Negro Jurors and Voters

January 22, 1866


Congress discusses legislation meant to guarantee African American representation but the Dispatch argues that Congress "pressed this matter of negro equality so far" .


Lawyers here differ in opinions as to the legal effect of the bill which has passed Congress upon rights of the black and colored voters to sit on juries and to hold offices in the District. One of the most eminent Senators holds that, when the law shall take effect, the freedmen voters must be admitted to serve on juries, and are also eligible to any corporation office. In the even of a close election between two candidates for the mayoralty, the negro vote will the balance; and as to the councils, compromises may be made by which one-third of the members may be blacks or mulattoes. But a Congress which has pressed this matter of negro equality so far will not hesitate to press it further.
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Justin Barlow




“Negro Jurors and Voters,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed March 30, 2023,