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CHAPTER XXI.

RECONSTRUCTION.

The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments-Universal Suffrage and Universal Amnesty

the Key-note of Reconstruction-Gerrit Smith and Wendell Phillips Hesitate-A Trying Period in the Woman Suffrage Movement-Those Opposed to the word "Male" in the Fourteenth Amendment Voted Down in Conventions--The Negro's Hour-Virginia L. Minor on Suffrage in the District of Columbia-Women Advised to he Silent -The Hypocrisy of the Democrats preferable to that of the Republicans-Senator Pomeroy's Amendment-Protests against a Man's Government-Negro Suffrage a Political Necessity-Charles Sumner Opposed to the Fourteenth Amendment, but Voted for it as a Party Measure-Woman Suffrage for Utah--Discussion in the House as to who Constitute Electors-Bills for Woman Suffrage presented by the Hon. George W. Julian and Senators Wilson and Pomeroy-The Fifteenth Amendment-Anna E. Dickinson's Suggestion-Opinions of Women on the Fifteenth Amendment–The Sixteenth Amendment-Miss Anthony chosen a Delegate to the Democratic Nitioval Convention July 4, 1868—Her Address Read by a Unanimous Vote-Horatio Seymour in the Chair-Comments of the Press—The Revolution.

The war settled two questions: 1st. That we are a Nation, and not a mere confederacy of States. 2d. That all " persons” born or naturalized in the United States are " citizens," and stand equal before the law. Freedom, United States citizenship, the limit of State authority, and national protection of the fundamental rights of citizens in the several States, are clearly set forth in the following amendments :

THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT, DECEMBER 18, 1865. “1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

"2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT, JULY 28, 1868. Section 1. “ All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Vol. II.—21.

(313)

Section 2. “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State."

Section 3. “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State Legislature, or as an Executive or Judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or give aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability."

Section 5. “The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."

FIFTEENTH AMENDMENT, MARCH 30, 1870. Section 1. “The right of citizens of the United to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any State, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

Section 2. “The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

The women understood the principles involved in these amendments, and accepted the logical conclusions. Under the first they applied to Congress for protection against the tyranny of the States in depriving them of the right of suffrage, but they were remanded to the States, and were told that Congress had no jurisdiction in the mat

Under the second, when women claimed the rights of citizens as tax-payers who helped to support the Government, they were told that neither the fathers nor their sons ever thought of women in framing their Constitutions, and that some special legislation was needed before their rights of citizenship could be recognized or accorded.

During the prolonged debates on these amendments, those who watched the progress of political sentiment and understood the drift of events, struck the key-note of reconstruction in “universal snffrage and universal amnesty,” but they were speedily silenced or condemned. Abraham Lincoln saw that this was the true policy,

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