Suffrage in the District

January 16, 1866


The Suffrage bill and the provisions associated with it face debate in the District as lawmakers report the bill back to the House.


It is stated that the committee to whom the subject of negro suffrage in this District is referred. cannot agree upon any particular bill, and will,, therefore, report the bill back to the House. I don't now that this is so, but it is not unlikely. In my judgement, the House will not agree to general negro suffrage if the committee should report to that effect. Moreover, the President will veto such a bill to a certainty, and no two-thirds vote can be got against the veto. Opposition in the Senate to any qualification of the proposed negro suffrage in this District has manifestly increased. The proposition to apply the qualification of reading, writing, etc., to all voters, white as well as black, has failed in committee. But an amendment will be offered to the bill, as reported, which will exempt from the qualification those whites who are now voters, and enforce it in regard to the blacks.
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Justin Barlow




“Suffrage in the District,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed December 3, 2022,