Scenes in the House Upon the Passage of the Amendment.

May 12, 1866


Thaddeus Stevens and Radical Republicans give their best efforts to prevent the third section of the amendment from being stricken out. They tell the Democrats, "Give us the third section or give us nothing!"


It will be seen from the following report that the Democrats forced the House to a vote upon the report of the committee as a whole, so as to prevent the striking out of the third section- intending, of course, to kill the Radicals at home on that section. Raymond, of the New York Times, presented a pitiable spectacle. His paper and himself have denounced the third section in unmeasured terms, and yet he voted for it. Messrs., Whaley and Latham, of West Virginia, voted in the negative. Mr. Hubbard, of the same State, voted " aye": Mr. Stevens, of Pennsylvania, closed the debate, and said to his political friends, give us the third section or give us nothing. It was our only salvation. Without it he would not give a snap of his finger for the whole thing. Some said the third section was too strong for their stomachs, but it was not too strong for the stomachs of the people; others said it was too lenient, but it was not so for his hard heart, for if it were left to him, he would not only disfranchise these rebels till 1870, but to eighteen hundred thousand and seventy. [Laughter and applause.]
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Brooke Beam


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“Scenes in the House Upon the Passage of the Amendment.,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed June 1, 2023,