Transfer of the district of Columbia government preferred to Negro suffrage-objection to the constitutional amendment for the basis of representation-the president's objection to disunion projects-five more votes to sustain a Veto
January 29, 1866
The District of Columbia government is being transferred to commissioners who the Dispatch argues would favor "unqualified" suffrage.
If the sense of the people of the district were taken upon the proposition Mr.Morrill, now before the Senate Committee on the District of Columbia, to transfer the District government to commissioners, there would probably be as few votes against it as there were for unqualified negro suffrage, as an alternative to the suffrage project. The residents of this city would certainly prefer a surrender of the charger. There is no doubt that the reconstruction committee will propose to proceed towards its object of the extension of suffrage to Freedman in the States by legislation as well as by constitutional amendment. Many Radicals object to the amendment on the ground that it does nothing for the blacks, though it controls the representative power of the States where are they are. Again, the amendment will never, perhaps, receive the sanction of three-fourths of the States. No one supposes that it will obtain the ascent of twenty-seven States, and therefore it will be necessary, in order to carry it, to count the eleven "seceded States" out of the Union. The law which, in pursuance of the constitutional amendment prohibiting slavery, may be an acted for the establishment of negro suffrage will be one, however, that will fall under the President's censure as a project for disunion, like the Ashley bill. The president has given his opinion in advance as to the proposition. But that will not hinder its adoption. The two-thirds passage will carry it. The Conservatives of the Senate need five more votes out of the present number of fifty-two to enable them to sustain a veto. These five are not likely to appear at present. The Southern States may judge now how far the constitutional amendment was, as Mr. Seward declared it to be, a restraint upon the power of Congress. To pass all laws which may be deemed necessary to give effect to that provision is power enough for the purpose of caprices of the most radical congress.
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“Transfer of the district of Columbia government preferred to Negro suffrage-objection to the constitutional amendment for the basis of representation-the president's objection to disunion projects-five more votes to sustain a Veto,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed April 26, 2018, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/48.