The Constitutional Amendment

October 2, 1866


After days of speculation surrounding President Johnson his views surrounding the constitutional amendment are officially made clear to the Nation.


The Constitutional Amendment--The President's next Message--Points he will recommend. Washington, September 30.--All statements to the effect that the President has announced his determination to recommend the adoption of the amendments to the Constitution proposed by Congress are utterly unfounded. He has not said to any one he was in favor of those amendments. It is true, nevertheless, that the President has had under consideration some of the political points to be embraced in his next annual message to Congress, and some of these points have been submitted to his Cabinet. There is good reason for saying that Mr. Johnson will adhere strictly to the policy that has characterized his administration. Among other things he will urge that while the Constitution leaves it an open question for the courts whether ordinary legislation is or is not binding while states are refused representation that instrument is distinct and emphatic in its requirement that in the preparation of amendments to the Constitution all the States that claim and are willing to exercise the right shall be represented. The President will insist on the immediate admission of loyal and legally qualified representatives from all the non-represented States, in order that Congress may be enabled to prepare such amendments as the condition of the country demand. He will likewise recommend that when Congress is in accordance with this view of the requirements of the Constitution, amendments may be prepared adopting the questions of representation of taxation to meet the changed condition of the country . It is also understood that the President will embody in his message, as a suggestion to Congress, the two propositions for amendment submitted last winter in the reported conversation with Senator Dixon. A corrected and revised copy of the President's opposition for amendment is herewith sent as follows: "Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union according to the number of qualified male voters, as prescribed by each State. Direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union according to the value of all property subject to taxation in each State. This amendment not to take effect until the census of 1870 shall have been taken.
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Nat Berry




“The Constitutional Amendment,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed March 30, 2023,