"The Supplementary Bill," March 28, 1867
The March 28, 1867, issue of The Old North State was one of the first to elaborate on President Andrew Johnson's struggles with Congress. The Reconstruction Acts, passed over Johnson's vetoes, voided state governments organized under Johnson's plan of reconstruction and placed the former Confederate states into military districts to form new state governments that recognized the civil liberties of former slaves. This document presents Johnson's message to Congress explaining his veto of the Second Reconstruction Act. The transcribed excerpt provides the first passage from Johnson's veto message. For the full text, see the PDF file.
This bill provides for the elections in the ten States brought under the operation of the original act to which it is supplementary. Its details are principally directed to the elections for the formation of the state constitution; but by the sixth section of the bill â€œall electionsâ€ in these States, occurring while the original act remains in force, are brought within its purview. Referring to the details, it will be found that, first of all, there is to be a registration of the voters. No one whose name has not been admitted on the list is to be allowed to vote at any of these elections. To ascertain who is entitled to registration reference is made necessary by the express language of the supplement to the original act and to the pending bill. The fifth section of the original act provides as to voters that they shall be â€œmale citizens of the state twenty-one years old and upward, of whatever race, color, or previous condition who have been resident of said state for one year.â€ This is the general qualification followed however, by many exceptions. No one can be registered according to the original act, â€œwho may be disfranchised for participation in the rebellion,â€ a provision which left undetermined the question as to what amounted to disfranchisement and whether without a judicial sentence, the act itself produced that effect.
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