The Removal of Disabilities.
February 22, 1870
Congress passes a bill that allows for former rebels to be pardoned and serve in politics.
The disposition of the Congress to pass a general bill removing disabilities from all persons disqualified under the fourteenth amendment was evidenced in the House this afternoon by a vote of over three to one. In fact, the opposition is weak not only in numbers but in influence, for all the stronger class of Republicans favor the general bill. Mr. Cox made an apt scriptural citation showing that the quality of mercy was an attribute of the conqueror in the earliest days, and that general pardon was the sequence of war where one party was finally overcome by the other. To this Mr. Covode made au off-band reply, drawing also from the Bible to show that those who neglect to punish and destroy their enemies, even after hostilities have ceased, themselves were destroyed. Porter, of Virginia, the man whom Geneeral Butler condemned to wear a ball and chain for disloyal and seditious language, hissed and foamed, and let off a speech full of venom and hatred for all who were in rebellion. They should have no forgiveness from him. He wanted some of the names stricken from the disability bill then under discussion. He said the Legislature of Virginia was suspending action until they could pick up unrepentant rebels to fill judgeships and then have their disabilities removed. There were some named in the bill who were blood-thirsty rebels, and what adequate punishment had they yet received? There had been no confiscation and other devastation, and short of that would not satisfy the man of the ball and chain.
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“The Removal of Disabilities.,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed August 8, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1599.