The New Reconstruction Law

July 16, 1867


The new reconstruction has law passed in Congress, but does not greatly change the laws of Virginia.The new law agrees with many of the requirements already instated in Virginian reconstruction.It outlines the new requirements to regain statehood and establishes nationally who is disfranchised.


The New Reconstruction Law - Who are now Disfranchised? We published yesterday morning the reconstruction law as it passed the two Houses of Congress on Saturday. It will have, we think, but little effect in Virginia, seeing that the old law has been administered here in almost every respect just as the new one requires it hereafter to be administered in all the southern States. Let us examine this law in detail, and see how it agrees with General Schofield's orders. The first section declares that the government existing in Virginia is "not a legal State government." This is just what General Schofield said when he was asked to disfranchise those persons whom the Alexandria Constitution had attempted to disfranchise. No man can be disfranchised by an illegal government. The second section gives the district commanders power to remove and appoint officers, State or municipal. General Schofield construed the old law as giving him this power. He reappointed our present City Council, or rather continued the members in office, forbid any election, has appointed a number of State officers, and done generally whatever this section authorizes. The third section gives the same powers to General Grant as those exercised by the district commanders. The fourth section confirms the acts of General Schofield which we mentioned above. It also makes it his duty to remove from office "disloyal" persons and persons who obstruct reconstruction. The fifth section makes the boards of registration judges of the qualifications of voters. They exercised the power here under General Schofield's order, and refused to register a number of persons. The sixth section is in exact accordance with General Schofield's orders, except in its latter clause, which is as follows: "The words 'executive or judicial office in any State,' in said oath mentioned, shall be construed to include all civil offices created by law for the administration of any general law of the State or for the administration of justice."
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Stacey Dec




“The New Reconstruction Law,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed November 26, 2022,