The Constitutional Amendment- President Johnson
June 24, 1866
President Johnson addresses Congress, calling out the Radicals for proposing an amendment to the Constitution while eleven states are lacking representation.
The message of President Johnson to Congress on the subject of the amendment to the Constitution proposed by more than two-thirds of that body is characteristic, of the man and worthy the President of the nation. It required somewhat of resolution to speak in the frank manner of that paper- to tell the predominating, willful, and overbearing party in Congress that they were doing that which could not be approved by the spirit or the letter of the Constitution, and which was not consistent with the order, harmony and union of the Republic. This is, indeed, exactly what they are doing. They pass a proposed amendment to the Constitution while eleven States are unrepresented in the Congress, and hurry it oft to the State legislatures for immediate adoption. It is not deemed proper to wait for the election of new legislatures in order that the public sentiment might be ascertained by votes of the people, as it were, upon the amendment itself; but the present legislatures, whose political views are known, are to be convened and to pass at once upon a measure of the most eminent importance, affecting vitally the whole Union, and especially the eleven unrepresented States.
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“The Constitutional Amendment- President Johnson,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed October 22, 2017, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/231.