The Representation Amendment

February 2, 1866


Congress discusses legislation meant to improve the accuracy of representation due to the inclusion of freedmen.


Washington, January 31, 1866- What I telegraphed last evening, to the effect that the Radicals we're throwing off disguises as to hostility to the President, was exhibited in full force by Mr.Stevens to-day. The resolution for amending the Constitution which past the House is vague. Certainly not tho-thirds of the States will adopt it ; for as the Executive, as stated in the proclamation from the State Department, recognized Southern States as now underrepresented in the Union, they must so be considered hereafter. Besides, the resolution implies that States may deny certain races or color the right of suffrage whereas it has been assumed by the Radicals that Congress had the right to control that matter under the portion of the Constitution which provides for a republican form of Government in states. It will be seen by the proposed constitutional amendment that if all negroes are not allowed to vote none of that race shall be counted for representation. Thus a limited suffrage, based on property, or intelligence, or military service, will not count. States must take the entire black, or be proscribed. Politicians freely suggests as the reasons of General Grant's proposed visit to Europe, the desire of his friends to have him away from this political vortex during the agitation of political issues within the next year or two. At the end of that term he maybe brought out for the Presidency with a clean record. The whole radical crew will be glad to have him away from here. The funeral of E.H .Fuller, an old citizen, was largely attended to-day. A rumor prevails that a reliable radical organ that is not one thing to-day and another to morrow- is to be established here as a first-class daily morning journal. I hear from an intelligent and substantial Republican source that the radical members of Congress are saying that a division of the main question has taken place in the Cabinet. It is stated that Mr. Seward, Mr.McCullouch, and Mr. Welles, are for reconstruction, and stand for the President. Mr.Stevens would hardily have made his denunciatory speech to-day unless a wide and deep gulf was between the President and the radical ascendancy in Congress.
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Justin Barlow




“The Representation Amendment,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed June 1, 2023,