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____________

FIFTY EIGHTH DAY

MONTGOMERY, ALA.,

Tuesday, July 30, 1901.

The Convention met pursuant to adjournment, was called to order by the President, and opened with prayer by Rev. Mr. Marshall, as follows:

Our Father who are in heaven; we thank Thee for Thy watchful care, and we thank Thee that Thy mercy and Thy love have been extended to us all the days of our lives. We praise Thee this morning that Thou hast given us the health and strength to assemble here, and we pray Thee that Thou wouldst give us an appreciation of Thy blessings and the privileges which Thou dost confer upon us, and especially do we ask Thee this morning that Thou wouldst be with us in the deliberations of this day. Bless each and every member of this convention of the people of Alabama assembled, and we pray Thee that the deliberations and actions of this day may be well pleasing in Thy sight and may be such as will be for the best interests of the people of the State, in the settlement of this, we believe, the greatest question that comes before this body. We pray for Thy guidance. Uphold us by Thy


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strong arm. Give us grace and strength that we may rightly discharge every duty that is placed upon us. Go with us through this day, through all life, and at last in Heaven save us, we ask for Christ’s sake, Amen.

Upon the all of the roll ninety-eight delegates responded to their names.

The report of the Committee on the Journal was read. Stating that the journal for the fifty-seventh day had been examined and found correct, and the same was adopted.

MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)—I move that the privileges of the floor be extended to late Senator R. L. Hipp

The motion was carried.

MR. PORTER– I notice in looking over the stenographic reports of my remarks upon Friday on the question of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments, on the second section of the fourteenth amendment they state “could not exclude.”  I stated they “could exclude.”  I ask that the word “not be stricken out.

THE PRESIDENT– The stenographer will make note of the correction.

MR. OATES– I desire to report the ordinance on the legislative department as correctly enrolled and ask that it be read and passed.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The gentleman from Montgomery asks unanimous consent to submit the article on legislative department.

MR. REESE– I rise to a question of personal privilege.

THE PRESIDENT‑ Will the gentleman state the question of privilege.

MR. REESE– In the proceedings of this Convention on last Friday, I made a motion that the rules of this Convention be suspended in order that a resolution might be put on its passage.  At the time that I offered that resolution, there was quite a considerable amount of disorder in the hall, and I could not hear what was taking place on the other side of the Convention.  On the day after I saw the stenographic report of this Convention, and in it there appears the remarks of the gentleman from Montgomery, for whom I sincerely entertain an admiration and regard, in some respects, greater than I do for any man in this Convention. He is reported as saying, “I thought you would shut me off.”  I had no purpose in the world in doing anything of that sort.  Had I had any idea that the gentleman from Montgomery had the slightest personal interest in the matter, I should have made the point of order that was made.  The effect of the point of order that was made. The effect of the point of order that I did make, Mr. Presi-


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dent, was not to shut off the debate upon the resolution.  The motion then was to suspend the rules and after the rules were suspended the gentleman from Montgomery had ample right to debate that motion or resolution. I desire in justice to the distinguished gentleman from Montgomery, the greatest military hero living in Alabama, I believe today, that I would never for a moment keep him from saying anything in this Convention that he desired to say.

MR. ROGERS – In my speech of yesterday there was an omission, it should be reported “in either counties of the fifty-three the negro population and the white are very nearly equal, and in thirty-one he holds the balance of power.”

THE PRESIDENT‑ The stenographer will take note of the correction.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑‑ In reference to the report of the Committee on Legislative Department, I will state to the Chair that the Committee on Engrossment has made its report, and at that time I asked that it lie on the table until the Convention could take it up.

THE PRESIDENT– It seems to the Chair the report would not be in order at this time, except by unanimous consent.  The Chair would suggest to the distinguished gentleman from Montgomery that the report of this committee would not be in over just at this time, as the regular order would be the call of the roll of delegates for the introduction of ordinances.

MR. OATES– I am perfectly willing for it to lie on the desk.

MR. SMITH (Mobile)– The Rules Committee instruct me to report the following resolution:

The Secretary read the following resolution:

Be it resolved that all debate upon the report of the Suffrage Committee during this, the 30th day of July, 1901, each speech shall be limited to ten minutes, and that at 12 o’clock noon the previous question be considered ordered; but after the previous question is ordered a representative of the majority and of the  minority report may each discuss the question for twenty minutes, the representatives of the majority report having the right to close.

MR. SMITH– The Committee makes that report owing to the fact that it was understood there were several delegates who desire to speak briefly, and that under the rule, as it stood, they would not have an opportunity to speak at all, and it was for the purpose of avoiding that closing out of some, that the resolution was introduced.


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MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)– That applies to the debate on this fourth section.

MR. SMITH– Yes, sir, that applies to the debate now going on as to this section.

MR. ROBINSON– Is it on the amendment or the section that the question will be order?

MR. SMITH– On the question pending, as I understood, on the fourth section.

MR. ROBINSON– The previous question on the section?

MR. SMITH– Yes on the section and amendment.

MR. ROBINSON– Mr. President, there is an amendment I would like to offer if it applies only to the amendment offered by the minority of the committee.  I have no objection, but if it applies to the whole section, I don’t think the Convention ought to adopt it.  I am satisfied there are amendments which will be offered and which will be acceptable to the Convention, and we have discussed the minority report for several days, and other amendments ought not to be cut off.

MR. OATES– I want to say as to that particular part of that section that has been under discussion, I have no objection that this should apply at all, but as to some other parts I gave notice before we entered on this discussion that I have an amendment to offer to the first subdivision, and while I did not wish to consume a great deal of time on that, perhaps ten minutes is pretty limited – but if it applies to the whole section, I would desire to see it modified.

Mr. Cunningham here took the chair.

MR. SMITH (Mobile)– After conferring with the Rules Committee again under the objection that has been made, the Rules Committee will ask leave to withdraw the report which has been made.

No objection being made, and the report was withdrawn.

MR. SMITH– The Rules Committee instructs me to make a report.

Resolved, That hereafter the sessions of this Convention shall be as follows: Meet daily at 9 a.m., adjourn at 1:30 p.m.; meet at 3:30 p.m. and adjourn at 7 p.m.

MR. PRESIDENT– The question is upon the adoption of the resolution.

MR. HOWZE– I move to amend that by striking out 1:30 p.m. and inserting 1 p.m.


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MR. BOONE (Mobile)‑I move to lay the amendment on the table.

MR. HOWZE‑I have the floor, and I would like to make some remarks.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The gentleman from Jefferson has the floor.

MR. REESE‑ Mr. President, I would like to hear the resolution read.

The Secretary again read the resolution.

MR. HOWZE‑ It does seem to me that the time fixed for adjournment at 1 o'clock is the most proper that we could have.  I think it would suit the house‑keepers and the families where we reside.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM. ‑Will the gentleman from Jefferson suspend for one moment?

(The President here resumed the chair.)

MR. HOWZE‑ From the information I can gather, the dinner hours extends in a large number of the boarding houses from 1 o'clock to 2 :30, and it does seem to me that we should consider the convenience of the people with whom we live in that respect and it is only cutting off half an hour from this long time we are called upon to work here these hot days, and I think a laborer anywhere should have at least two hours' rest in the middle of the day these hot days, and I hope the amendment will be adopted and that we will adjourn at 1 o'clock instead of 1 :30.

Upon a vote being taken the amendment was adopted.

MR. SOLLIE‑I wish to amend the resolution as amended by making the afternoon session to commence at 3 o'clock instead of 3 :30, so as to have four hours' session in the evening.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)‑I move to lay that on the table.

Upon a vote being taken the motion to table was carried.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is on the resolution as amended.

Upon a vote being taken the resolution as amended was adopted.

MR. FLETCHER‑I move to suspend the call of the roll of delegates for the introduction of ordinances and resolutions, and the regular call of the standing committees be dispensed with and that the Convention take tip the special order which is under consideration.


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Upon a vote being taken the motion was carried.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The special order this morning will be the consideration of the Committee on Suffrage and Elections.

MR. SENTELL‑ Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention, I did not intend to make any remarks on this subject, and if I had intended to make any lengthy remarks I would not do so now since the subject has been so thoroughly discussed from every standpoint, but as this is one of the most important subjects with which we have to deal, and as it is the one about which the people we represent are mostly interested, I feel it would be my duty not only to vote upon the question, but to express my views upon it as well. As I said, in the minds of the people, all other questions considered by this Convention fade into mere minor matters compared with the great question of suffrage and election. We were elected and sent here almost solely for the purpose of settling this one great question, and as there have been but few speeches upon this question from members representing that section of the State from which I came, it might not be improper for me to say something as coming from what is known as the white counties of the State, or the Piney Woods of the State. Those counties are largely white counties, and they are largely in agriculture, but they are intensely interested in this great question of suffrage and elections, because the negro in that section has become a menace to good government. He has become a drug upon the market, as was ably said by one of the gentlemen upon this floor the other day; it is a question in general election of buying the negro vote in our section.  Well, now, we want relief, and we must have relief from that condition of affair. I believe that the majority report of the committee solves this question. In my judgment it is the very best solution of this question that could be gotten up, and while there are some features of it that I do not entirely agree with, I believe, that in the main it is the solution of the question. That it will give what we want in the white counties, that it will give what the people in the Black Belt want, and will also settle the question in the hill counties of the State.

Now I shall not undertake to discuss nor to prove the constitutionality of this act, as was so ably and unanswerably done by the distinguished President of this Convention, and other members on the floor sufficient for me to say that I believe that it is constitutional. That I am satisfied on that question, because it is well settled that we are not forbidden to disfranchise the negro or anyone else, upon any other ground except upon the ground of race, color and previous condition of servitude, and we are not disfranchising him upon this ground in this act, but we are disfranchising them because they are not fit to vote, and I want to say here that we do not desire to disfranchise the negro or anybody else, upon any ground of race, color or previous condition, but we


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want to disfranchise all who are incapable of exercising the power to vote. Nor shall I undertake, gentlemen of the Convention, to prove the constitutionality of this act by the laws of nature, as was so satisfactorily done by the distinguished gentleman from Jefferson, but I want to say upon this question, that the laws of the nature have a great deal to do with the solution of this question, and that we will be willing to undertake here to settle it by the laws of nature, that we will settle it rightly. These great laws have demonstrated the fact that the white man is the superior, and that the white man is the only race that has ever shown the capacity to govern himself and the capacity to govern others.  Now it is a fact that the negro as a race, has never shown this capacity, and I am sorry to say that the little education that he has gotten does not help him along this line. It is fact and a deplorable fact, so far as experience in our section goes, that the educated negro is the worst that we have to deal with. It seems that his education does not benefit him along this line. There is another question that I want to mention just here. Does the majority report on suffrage and elections meet the wishes of the people who sent us here? In my judgment it does. We are under one sacred pledge to the white people of this State, and that is that we will disfranchise no white man. Now does this report carry out that pledge?  I claim that it does. For sure no white man will be deprived of the right to vote under this report. Now there is a temporary plan and a permanent plan. The temporary plan is to last until 1903, and then the permanent plats comes in. Under the temporary plan, the question of property qualifications and the question of educational qualifications cut no figure at all. It is a question whether you can vote under the provisions laid down under this section that we are now considering. Old soldiers in any of the wars can vote regardless of what other qualifications they have, then those who are sons or descendants of old soldiers can vote regardless of other qualifications, and if they cannot come in under any of these, they come in under they next subdivision, which is good character, and its intelligent understanding of republican form of government. So that lets in every white man, and if carried out properly and according to the intentions, no doubt it will eliminate all of that element‑ the ignorant class of voters which now give trouble. So I say this majority report does solve this question, and it does give to our people what they want, along this line. Mr. President, I do not care to carry into this discussion any more of the race question than is absolutely necessary, but it necessarily comes into it to some extent, and what I shall say in regard to the race question, and to the races, I mention only incidentally, but it is a fact, that it is not education that gives a man the capacity to vote correctly and rightly, and it is not the ownership of property that gives a man the right to vote intelligently. It is the capacity to understand the


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right use of the ballot, it is the capacity for self-government and the capacity to govern others. Now the negro himself will be a great deal better off, and will fare a great deal better in this country under the intelligent rule of the white man than he would if he were permitted to exercise any control in that government himself, because the white man as I said before, and especially the higher class of the white race, the Anglo‑ Saxon race, is the only race that has ever shown any capacity for self-government, and that it shown by the fact that wherever you place these people, whether few or in large numbers, they at once begin to improve their conditions, they at once begin to take in the surrounding circumstances, and to better their condition, and to bring law and order out of confusion and disorder. It is a race instinct, it is a race inclination and they always exercise that wherever they are. On the contrary, the negro has never shown such capacity, he has never exercised it, and I am sure never will. When you cut him a loose. froth the friendly influences of the white man, he invariably goes backward. It is not his race capacity or inclination to build up and improve his condition. So I say they will be better contented, when they once understand that the white man is the ruling power in this country, that he is exercising that power exclusively. Mr. President, it was said a few days ago by some gentleman on this floor, that the white people owned the lands of the State. That they owned the railroads of this State. that they owned the store houses and the mills and the factories and they hold all the offices, and he might have added with consistency “and the white people are going to do the voting in this State.” Mr. President, there is no need of any confusion on this question. They might as well look the matter square in the face. I for one say, and I believe I represent my people, when I say it, that the negro has not the capacity for exercising any control in the government of this country, because the power to vote is the power to control. The use of the ballot is one of the greatest and most sacred powers exercised by any citizen of this country.. If we allow this class to vote, then we allow them that far to govern in this country and as I said, I do not believe that the negro has the capacity for self-government, that he has a capacity for governing anyone else and ought not to vote at all, but under the Fifteenth Amendment, it would be impossible for us to exclude the entire race, so we have to respect, to some extent at least. the Fifteenth Amendment, but I cannot regard the Fifteenth Amendment as was done by one gentleman upon this floor a few days ago. who pronounced it a jewel. I prefer, Mr. President, to term it an abominable crime, because it was a crime against the civilization of the age and against the white people of the South. It organized in prejudice, the sole purpose of it at that time was to humiliate our beloved Southern people who were already crushed under the iron heel of war, and I shall never re‑


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spect such an amendment though we may be forced to obey it in the law. Now, Mr. President, as I said, the negro has his place, and the white man has his in this great age, and there is no need of any conflict, no need of any confusion; the white man is destined to rule, and he will rule; he will make the laws, he will execute the law, and he will do justice not only to him, but to the inferior race as well. In this great industrial age, and when there are thousands of acres of land untilled, cities to be built, inexhaustible stores of riches lying under ground, that have never been touched‑ there are constantly being developed new powers of invention and forces of nature which must be applied to the development of the great civilization which we now enjoy. In this great industrial development, the negro has plenty of room and plenty of space for the full exercise of all the powers and all the capacity that he has, and it has been shown and proved that in the exercise of his powers and his capacities in this great industrial world, he has attained the best results, and there is room for him there.  He may remain among us in peace, in prosperity and in happiness.  He can acquire property, he can enjoy his rights here as a citizen, and live peaceably and if he does well he will be applauded and respected by his superior, the white man, and if he does ill, why he will suffer the consequences. Now, Mr. President, as I said, I don't care to detain the Convention long; I only want to express my views upon the question, and I say now the question is before us we are called upon to settle it, and not only the people of the United States and of the civilized world are watching the settlement of this question, and to see what the Constitutional Convention of Alabama will do with this great question. In view of that fact, the great responsibility rests upon us to settle it rightly, and to settle it justly. I believe that we are capable of doing so. The people to whom we belong, the race to which eve belong, have solved every question that has been presented to them, not only solved it, but solved it justly to themselves and justly to their inferiors. Gentlemen, I believe we will solve this question directly, and I believe the adoption of that majority report reaches that conclusion and that solution. Now the question is before us, and as the votes draw nigh let us settle it, and settle is rightly, and forever.

Mr. Watts took the chair.

MR. MURPHREE (Pike)‑I have committed some reasons for the vote that I shall give here to paper, and I ask that it be included in the stenographic report.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– I understand the gentleman does not care to have it read.

MR. MURPHREE‑ No, sir; it is just an argument of mine.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ Do you want it read?


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        MR. MURPHREE:‑I don't care whether it is read or not.

       MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)‑I move that it be included in the stenographic report.

      MR   MALONE–I move that it be read..

      MR. MURPHREE –I don’t object to its being read.

      THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM–The question is upon the motion of the gentleman from Chambers that this paper be included in the stenographic report.

      MR. MALONE –It will take but a few minutes to read his remarks, and the gentleman’s voice is weak, I move that it be read by the Clerk.

      MR.  HEFLIN–If I understood the gentleman’s request, it was that it be included in the stenographic report.

        MR. MURPHREE–Yes, sir, that was my purpose, but I have no objection to its being read.

        MR. HEFLIN–I accept the amendment, Mr. President.

        Upon a vote the motion was carried.

 

        The Clerk was as follows:

        MR. MURPHREE–I wish to submit the following as some of the reasons why I shall support the minority report.

        If there is any one thing which this Convention should regard the most important it is that the provisions of the Constitution we are now about to adopt on the suffrage question should be such as will stand the test of the courts.  I believe it is conceded that the majority report could not be successfully attacked, and that the State and Federal courts would declare all its provisions, save one, not in conflict with the Constitution of the United States.

        As regards the constitutionality of the second subdivision of section four, familiarly known as the grandfather clause, there exists grave doubts, in the minds of some, as to its constitutionality. These doubts are not the result of hallucination, but on the contract are engendered and supported by the opinions of many of our most learned men in the law, not only here is this Convention, but elsewhere in the Southern States.  The minority report is signed by four of our number, who are known for their legal ability, who give it as their opinion that said provision is violative of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution.  Ex-Governor Thomas G. Jones, who is acknowledged to be one of the best constitutional lawyers in the State says the same thing.  Senators Morgan and Pettus are of the same opinion, and many others of our ablest men of the South agree with them on this point. 


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      As the minority report truthfully says, that by adopting this provision we invite an attack upon our suffrage plan through the courts, which may declare it void, and also give Congress an opportunity to reduce our representation in the lower House, and our vote in the Electoral College. The majority of the committee seem to have some doubts as to the validity of the scheme they propose, which is made manifest by the adoption of section 19, which provides that if any section of the article should become inoperative and void by reason of the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction the Legislature might remedy the defect caused by such decision. I understood Mr. Smith of Mobile, in his able address in support of the majority report to say that the grandfather clause was unnecessary, as the they provisions would effect the purpose desired without it.

    It does seem to me that it is unwise for this Convention to incorporate in our organic law a provision so uncertain and doubtful as to its constitutionality and thereby hazard the success of our suffrage plan. If perchance the courts should declare our work unconstitutional then the people's money. say $70.000, will have been spent and no good accomplished in that of regulating the suffrage. Why take this risk when we can get along without it? I shall vote for the minority report. If it is voted down I will then accept the majority report as being the best I can do under the circumstances.

      MR. WINN–When this question of the grandfather clause was first submitted, I was under the impression that to support it would be in violation of my oath of office to support the Constitution of the United States, but after I lead been taught by the able and lucid argument of Judge Walker, the difference between personal rights and political rights. I felt that I had tended been enlightened, and under the argument and splendid speech of our honored Chairman. my judgment, any opinion was formed and crystallized. The ground as to the argument. pro and con, upon this question, has been amply and ably covered by the best men and the most capable on this floor. on either side of this case.  Therefore, I shall not undertake to rehearse any of the arguments.  I did want to say, however, that with a conscience void of offense towards God or than, I now heartily and fully accept the majority report of this Committee on Suffrage. In it, I find no conflict with the constitution of the United States, which I have sworn to support, no points therein or friction, between the laws of its provision, and that of God, and it will with the other provisions in the ordinance, accomplish the chief purpose for which this Convention was called into existence. It will endure to the uplifting and betterment of both races, all alike will  rejoice, the negro as well as the white man, the negro who is capable of voting will rejoice that the vicious  and densely ignorant are eliminated from


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the electorate of this State. I had heard nothing said on this floor as to the grand old Confederate soldier, that has distressed or pained me except once, and once I heard the contemptuous expression applied "the old Confederate hoodlum." My God, that man had no appreciation of what he said, he had no appreciation of what those men ‑ even those he so designated ‑ he had no idea of the nobility of their lives, and that they had sacrificed their strength and their vitality until they were wrecks, upon the altar of their country. Mr. President and delegates, I protest against any such appellation to any Confederate soldiers. Look at that poor old tottering gray headed man that he called a hoodlum. Ah, he may be addicted to the drinking of whiskey, he may be addicted to the morphine habit, but do you know, his history? Look at him in 1861‑proud, the member of a family that stands as high as any in this Southland, he steps forth a lad of 18 in the flush of his early manhood, strong with enthusiasm, he dons the Confederate uniform, see him as he kissed that weeping mother and sister. See him as he turns and looks into the ranks of the defender of his country, turning his back upon the comforts and luxuries of a happy home and goes to meet the hardships of the march, the dangers of disease, and the terror and carnage of the battle field, see him as he faces undauntedly the very mouth of the cannon, as it belches forth the flame of hell and the missiles of death. Anon he is lost to sight, now we see him again, borne on a litter from the field, mangled and bleeding to the hospital. See him as he suffers there, but at last, under the care of a surgeon, and the gentle touch of Dizie's Maidens, slowly he returns to life. Their see him as his life current begins to throb again, leap lack to the front, eagerly taking his gun, and again into the hell of battle. Again and again, he falls wounded.  At last, the resources of the country exhausted, the Confederates have worn themselves out whipping the invaders during that long four nears. The war is over, and he with a remnant of the army.  see him as he returns to a desolate country, a desolate home, property gone, home gone, health gone, and it may be that every now and then, he is racked with again. Morphine and whiskey his only ease, and because he now and then driven to desperation by constant pain seeks that relief, you call him a hoodlum. No don't do it. he is now my brother. a noble life, wrecked upon the alter of his country. It occurs to me that he who could use that expression, as applied to the lowliest Confederate soldier, he can find in this broad land, however dissipated he may be. that if he had been at the Crucifixion of the Savior, he would have been the one that would have reviled Him, he would have seen nothing of his glory and power in the past, and would have been incapable of seeing and comprehending its effulgence in the future. He that was called a hoodlum is my brother. In 1861 I enlisted for the war in the Barbour Grays under that splendid gentleman and per‑


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fect captain, Blackmon, serving twelve months as a private and three years as a surgeon. and did my duty in that four years’ service, and it is the proudest record of my life. Yes, I am a Confederate soldier. the grandson. and the great grandson of Revolutionary sires, and I am not ashamed, gentlemen, that at one time during the Revolutionary war, the nose with hangman’s rope was about both their neck. This was in the native State of South Carolina. They had been active in the service of their country, and when they were captured by British soldiers their death was determined upon. but thanks to the ability of a good old preacher, who preached the same as some of our preacher; to this day,. praying a long time, the preacher met the procession going to the gallows, and recognizing them, said those are my members, and I wish to talk and pray with them before execution. The request was granted. the preacher talked and prayed but before he said amen, he being familiar with a plan for their rescue, the soldiers of the United States appeared and they were saved.  Upon this ground, gentlemen of this Convention, as a Confederate soldier, and being the grandson and great grandson of these sires. I shall demand my right to register as a voter. Talk about the soldier being humiliated to ask registration along this basis.  No, it will be his pride.  I can see my four well educated, proud, buoyant boys, grown young men, I can see in my mind’s eye when they walk up to the registrar's office and demand to be registered, because they are descendants of a soldier. I can see their checks mantle with pride. There is no trouble about humiliating the soldier.  The soldier's record is the proudest record of his life. The younger men in this Convention cannot see the glory, the terror, and the trials and dangers of those by-gone days; but let me tell you, gentleman, even the enemy’s praise was wrung from them.  Professor Andrews, the distinguished scholar and renowned educator, and captain of artillery in Grant’s army, in his lecture on the life of R. E. Lee, after giving the lines and plans of the battle at Coal Harbor. pausing, he exclaimed: “Where can you find troops comparable to that thin gray line; search the pages of history, you can't find it." Years ago it was my pleasure to attend a meeting of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama in the city of Mobile. Well there the kind and generous big‑hearted city and profession gave the association an excursion to Point Clear. On the return trip there was a banquet.  On our return from Point.  Clear the face of the water, were disturbed by the breeze to that extent that the boat rocked some. After the banquet was gathered in a group talking and enjoying the occasion–there had been lots of good things at the banquet-beer , champaign and anything you wanted to drink. Doctor rarely ever take anything of that kind, but do occasionally, on excursions I did not see but one doctor under the influence of stimulants and it came to him like a stroke of lightning, in a moment’s time he was under its influence.  Remember we were all standing and rocking, the boat caused us


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frequently to change our positions in order to keep our equilibrium. All of a sudden he staggered back and dropped his hat, got it up with a terrible effort and brought himself back into the circle of the group. He says, “Well, gentleman, I have decided that about the best thing I can do is to keep the motion of the boat," I think that is our position today, brother delegates. We are assembled here from all over the State as brothers, and now, when our labors shall be finished let us all as brothers join hands without doubting and carry out finished work before our masters, the people, for approbation. The best we can do is to take the motion of the boat.

MR. GREER (Perry)‑Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention. It is not my purpose to discuss nor to spend but $32.50 of the State's money in time.

I will also say  barring a few minor amendments, I am now ready to vote for the entire measure as reported by a majority of the committee. I simply desire to call the attention of the members of this Convention, Mr. President, to a few features of the discussions front the standpoint of one who mingles with the masses of the people, and defend them so far as my county and district is concerned, against misrepresentations, intended or implied, made upon this floor and by some of the press of this State. that the records may show they were not allowed to pass unrefuted.

It has been stated upon this floor by one who not only bears the honor as delegate from the State at large in this Convention, but who occupies the position of chairman of the great and dominant party of this State, that "this Convention comes not in response to the demand of the people of Alabama for white supremacy, but in answer to the demand for honest elections. The time has not existed in the political history of the gentleman from Madison (Mr. Walker) and mine when the Democracy of the State need appeal for white supremacy, and there never will come a time when there be danger of negro domination in Alabama.  Will you substitute for our present magnificent system of fraud, long tried and well established, a commission established from a central office in Montgomery? The whole scheme is not in favor of fair elections. I will not question the motives of those who presented it, but I declare by the majority of this committee permits the most infamous frauds that were ever planned in Alabama. They provide for a Committee on Registration. They provide means for limiting the membership of the Registration Board. They will register them for this year and every negro that registers may be over 45 years of age, and be voting 45 years hence. I do not say that they will do it, or that they intend to, but I say that the scheme permits them to do it. I say there are counties in Alabama where it will be impossible to do it, and I say there are counties in Alabama where it will be entirely practicable, and the chairman of


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the committee is not ill advised as to some of the counties in which it would be practicable to do it."

Now, Mr. President, there is not a gentleman on this floor for whom I have a more friendly feeling than for the speaker who used the language quoted, yet I must admit my surprise on the hearing such broad assertions coming from so able a delegate and chairman of the Democratic party of Alabama. He boasts of “our magnificent fraud” in one breath and in another speaks for record that the document drafted and passed by twenty-five of the most learned lawyers in the confines of the State after weeks of study and arduous labor, as a scheme and a fraud. He goes so far as to designate by implication where it is practicable to perpetuate this fraud, and the imitation while not in words is that the scheme was concocted for such perpetuation.

As I said in the beginning, I shall not attempt to discuss the technicalities of the provision. I have confidence in the ability and respect the honesty of the whole committee and accept the report at its face value. I simply wish to refute, sir, that my constituency have joined hands in the reconstruction of the organic law of this State with other than honest motives I hail from a section, sir, where the negroes are as numerous as the plovers in Texas and the pickaninnies rollick among the magnolias like monkeys in a cocoanut forest. A section where the cotton bloom is the emblem of prosperity, education and refinement and in the sinewy muscles of the black man love’s labor is found and not lost. I represent a people who in working out their own political salvation have worked out the salvation of the State. Then to question the honesty of this people at an epoch in our history when permanent white supremacy is in easy grasp is like smiting the breast that nursed you. I speak by authority when I tell you the Democrats of the Black Belt have tired of the notoriety that they are their brother’s keeper and theirs is the home of ballot box stuffing and political thievery. I tell you honestly and candidly, if this Convention should disfranchise the negro even at the sacrifice of representation in Congress and at home, my people will rally to your flag and ratify your action.

It has been said by a delegate we need have no fear of negro domination in Alabama. I tell you, we people of the Black Belt do fear such domination. While it is true peace and harmony exists between the races, and the negro is no longer a factor as against the social and political interests in the Black Belt, with the probable and almost certain formation of two strong political parties in this State as one of the results of the new constitution we are now framing, and he is again allowed the free franchise as under Republican rule, without restriction, history will repeat itself and the spirits of the sires now resting in death will witness the shot-gun they once carried, in the hands of their children, and


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sentries regularly walking their beats to protect our homes and our firesides. And, if their noble spirits can reason as in life, they will picture anew in their mind the prison cells in this city, the flashing bayonets of negro soldiery and the harsh command of negro officials as they closed against them the dungeon door, with no Angel of Mercy like unto him who unshackled the Apostle, have a brave and defiant manhood.

Strange, but true, that with all the honors and reputation achieved by the Black Belt in war, in statesmanship, in letters poetry and song, we are best known to the people of the State– yea, even to the Chairman of our party, by our political notoriety.  Members of this Convention have almost wept with joy when they would tell us how anxious they are to relieve us of the negro incubus forgetting the fact that for a quarter of a century the Black Belt has piloted the old Democratic ship from among the breakers on divers occasions and saved her from the wreckage.  They fail to conceive how the negro can be disfranchised except when we need him, and good will, good cheer and prosperity reigns supreme in the Black Counties, while it takes dollars and limited social equality to vote him in the white counties. It is an art, gentlemen, learned only by experience, one fraught with danger– a “magnificent system” that cannot be inherited or perpetuated. Itis an achievement of faith with the evidence not seen. It is Christianity, but not orthodox. It is prime but humane. It is wrong but right. It is justice but injustice. It is life instead of death. That this subordination will continue, we do not believe. Even in the election of the delegates on this floor, through our sheriff it was learned that a threat had been made that an effort would be made by the younger negroes to concentrate their forces and control the election.  It was purely out of fear they did not attempt to put their plans into execution. Nightly meetings were held and this Convention discussed, and while none become sufficiently emboldened to tell their secrets, it was plainly seen that under a proper leadership they would have entered the contest even at the risk of certain bloodshed.

Aside from these conditions, we believe the time has come to eliminate this illiterate vote and teach the youths of our country that the ballot is sacred and should and must be protected and defended against any and all efforts to pollute.  While we appreciate the fact that the time was when, to protect our homes and families, it was necessary to pursue another course, that time has passed, and, with due reverence for the fathers, for their bravery and chivalry, the Black Belt is now ready to about-face and lend her aid not only to purify the ballot, but to leave no mark of unfairness upon her escutcheon when the voice of the white people is expressed at the polls. When such is the sentiment which permeates a section that has stood as a stone wall in upholding white


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supremacy, of times marching almost into the jaws of death, as did the four hundred, is it fair or just to question our motives or charge us with infidelity?  This is the time of all times, Mr. President, for unity of action among the white people of Alabama, without regard to political fealty. No white man, who is a white man, should be placed in position by any act, word or deed, by this Convention to have his hair disheveled and his good temper disrupted by unweighed words that might create discord. This Convention should not go out of its legitimate province to unfairly criticize and impugn the motives, and perchance, weaken the chance for the success of the cause we were called here to promulgate

Now, in conclusion, let me say, there may be no fears that the Black Belt will not sustain the action of this Convention. Like the soldier on duty, she knows not how to disobey orders when her party speaks.  She appreciates the wisdom and learning of many who compose this Convention and has confidence, despite the chaff that has been blown, that when the work is completed the fundamental law of this State will be worthy of endorsement.  Her people are those of culture and refinement, the opinions of some newspapers to the contrary notwithstanding. Her colleges are found at every county seat and her public schools almost as numerous as the reader of The Birmingham Age-Herald. We long for an influx of white people to take advantage of our fertile soil, healthful clime and popular schools. This influx will come when it is known for certain that there need exist no fear from our negro population.

I believe, Mr. President, that the action of this Convention means not only a new era for Alabama, but marks the beginning of a new era for the civilized world. The flag of the nation now floats above many isles of the sea.  Our commercial interest extends throughout the civilized globe, and I believe the time will come when the progressive strides of the English-speaking people will encompass the globe, and our principles of free government will be embodied in the laws of every nation– yes, when America herself shall be bounded on the east by the rising sun, bounded on the south by the terredelfuaga, bounded on the north by the auroroborealis and bounded on the west by judgment day.

MR. BULGER– It is not my purpose to undertake anything like an elaborate argument at this time, but simply and briefly to give some of the reasons for the position I occupy on the report of the Committee.  On account of the magnitude and widespread importance of the pending question, the Convention has acted wisely  in providing that every delegate shall have an opportunity to express his views. On this floor we have all the political parties, both State and national, represented– the Democrats, the Republicans, the Populites and those few who yet have faith in the free silver and gold standard doctrine. I believe it is right and


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proper that we have an expression of the views of all of those gentlemen. We are not making a Constitution for any particular section of any particular party. We are making a Constitution for all the people of Alabama. At the very threshold of our efforts to solve this great problem with which we are confronted, we met with two proposition, plain and simple. Is the grandfather clause constitutional? Is it right? Will it stand the test of the Supreme Court of the United States? Will it stand the test of our own conscience? These questions, my friends, must be answered; they must be answered today. When the hands of the timepiece that hangs on this historic wall have pointed to the hour of twelve, each man on this floor, for himself, must answer Yea, or Nay. In passing upon a great question like this time and labor should not enter into the consideration. The Committee is hopelessly divided.  They have so announced by presenting to this convention two reports– The minority and the majority reports. Both of these reports are backed by ability, by patriotism and by honor. The majority say that the grandfather clause is constitutional and right.  The minority say that the grandfather clause is unconstitutional and wrong. What is a layman to do? There are one hundred and thirty members of this Convention who are not members of this distinguished Committee. My friends, we are confronted with the necessity of investigating for ourselves. Unlike the distinguished gentleman from Jefferson, who addressed this Convention in the outset of this argument, I have the profoundest confidence in the patriotism and in the honor of every member of the Suffrage Committee. I am not surprised that this Committee, after six long weeks of research and thought and consideration, have presented to this Convention an article on the suffrage that has not only attracted the attention of the people of Alabama but of the people of the whole country. I say I am not surprised that men like them should write an article on the suffrage that has attracted the admiration and approval of the people of Alabama. This committee does not come from any one place. The members of it come from the cities and the country; they come from the Black Belt and the hill countries; they come from the mountains of North Alabama and the flat lands of South Alabama. They come from every section of the State; they are not confined to one occupation. On that Committee we have lawyers and doctors and merchants and bankers and farmers.   No wonder they have written such a report.  In support of the position of each side– of the majority and of the minority reports– they have not only entertained this Convention with their argument, their logic and their oratory, but they have presented to us decisions upon this great question. I , for myself, have taken the time and the trouble to investigate every one they presented. I believe that four of the cases presented by the advocates of both the majority and the minority reports settles the question about which we have been talking so long. The case of Minor


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vs. Happersett in 21st Wallace, the case of the United States vs. Cruikshank, and the United States vs. Reese in the 92 U. S. Reports and the late case of Williams vs. The State of Mississippi, in my humble judgment settle this question as to its constitutionality.  They all decide the fundamental principal upon which this clause must stand or must fall.  They say that the Federal government has no power to regulate the right of suffrage in the States.  Non-constat, the States have the right to regulate their own suffrage. Then we only have to read the fifteenth amendment which puts a limitation on our right to regulate suffrage.  It says that no citizen of the United States shall be deprived of the right to vote “on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude.”  There are three reasons, there are three limitations that you shall not deprive a citizen of the United States of his right to vote, because he belongs to the African race, you shall not deprive him of his right to vote because he is a black man.  You shall not deprive him of his right to vote because he has been a slave, but it does not say anywhere that you shall not deprive him of his vote if he is a man of bad character or if he is a man who fails to understand the obligations of a citizen of the United States.  If I were on the Committee on the Harmony and Order of the Constitution, I would reverse the report of the Committee just a little.  I would measure every citizen who offers to vote by that clause.  We all agree that that is unconstitutional.  Then I would make an exception of the old soldier and the descendants of the soldier.  I would write the grandfather clause next.  Now, is it constitutional?  Are we prepared to answer that question today?  For myself I am.  I am ready on that proposition to answer yea.  Then we go a step further. Is it right?  Can I answer yea on this proposition and satisfy my own conscience.  If I can then I have discharged the duty–the important duty, the main duty , the most prominent duty I was sent here to discharge.  We have fixed the suffrage clause.

     Right here, in this historic hall, forty years ago, your fathers signed the ordinance of secession, picked up their hats and walked out of the Union, and the tocsin of war was sounded from the rock curbed coast of New England across the country to the Rio Grande.  The patriotism of the north railed around the Stars and Stripes; the heroism of the South railed under the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy, and they waged for four long years the most bloody war recorded in ancient or modern times.  The brave men of the South laid down the plow and the hoe; they went to the battle front for what they believed to be a great underlying principle of our government, and they poured out their blood like water.  They followed Lee and Jackson four years through blood and smoke and fire from Sumter’s coast where the first shot was fired to the famous apple tree where Lee surrendered. Those are the


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men I would exempt from the understanding clause. I would build a monument here today when the roll is called to those heroes of the Confederacy that would last longer than time. The good women of Alabama, out yonder on Capitol Hill, hard by the cradle of the Confederacy, have erected a monument, looking toward the skies. which will tell future generations of the patriotism, and the heroism and the courage of the soldiers of the Confederacy. (Applause.) It is built of marble and stone and steel. I would write one in the Constitution and I would build it of principle and when this old historic building has passed away and when that marble and stone and steel that stands out yonder is unknown, that principle will continue to live. Great men and great statesmen live ; great men and great statesmen die but great principles never die. (Applause.) I would build a monument like that to those heroes of the Confederacy, and I would do it without regard or without comparison to the inferior race in our country.

For thirty years the negro has had a fair and a full part as a citizen in Alabama. He has proven himself incapable of local self government. At every election he is the subject of barter and a sale. If you let him alone and let him vote his sentiments and his free will, he will vote against the white man and against the interest of the country. There are only two ways by which you can control him. You must either buy him and steal his vote. I am opposed to either. I would rather eliminate him from politics and let the white men of Alabama control Alabama.

MR. HANDLEY– That is the doctrine.

MR. BULGER– It is better for the white man; it is better for the negro, and it is better for the country that it be done. I would give him a fair and an impartial trial, when his life or his liberty or his property is involved.

I like the grandfather clause because it is a white man’s clause. I like it because it practically permits all white men to vote, and it practically denies all negroes to vote.  The grandfather clause my friend is not an experiment. It is in the Constitution of the State of Louisiana, and against the protest of both of their United States Senators, against the protests of many of the prominent newspapers in Louisiana, against the protest of more than half of the Representatives in Congress, yet the people in Convention assembled wrote it in the Constitution and it went back for their ratification, and by a large and overwhelmingly majority the people of Louisiana say it is right.

The people of North Carolina put it in their Constitution against the protest of both of their United States Senators, against the protest of their members of Congress and many of their newspapers, and the people of North Carolina say it is right. The people in this country are the power. When they speak, United


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States Senators, Congressmen and newspapers are in the minority.  Make a Constitution that guarantees to the people a free vote, a fair count and an honest election, put a clause in it that redeems the pledge of the Democratic part, in Convention assembled, that we will disfranchise no white people. Go to the sovereign people in Alabama on an honest platform like that, and the opposition to the grandfather clause can no more be in the way of its ratification than the tiniest bush can stand in the track of a might storm (Applause.) You must have the tolling masses; you must have the good people of Alabama behind you; you must have the men who make the cotton and the corn; you must have the men who built the magnificent cities in our State; you must have the men who lay the brick and the mortar. You must have the men who build the roads and put down the ties. You must have the men who stand at the throttles of our factories and our railroads and great enterprises, you must have the men who are behind the great engine of progress that has made Alabama the greatest State in the Union, to ratify your Constitution. You must have the endorsement of the people, the lawyers cannot do it, the merchants cannot do it, the politicians and the states cannot do it. If this Constitution, my, friends, is ever ratified it must be done by the common people of Alabama. If the minority shall succeed in striking out the grandfather clause they will have been successful in striking out the white man's clause, and this Convention would be deprived of the great opportunity of going to the people of Alabama on a question of ratification with the magnificent declaration that we provided for the old soldiers of the Confederacy.

Now, my friends, I am admonished that my time is out. It is a difficult matter to run a speech on a great subject like this right up to the minute in thirty minutes. I thank the gentlemen of this Convention very much for the attention they have given me. Up to this time in this long and heated debate, I have been content to listen to the distinguished gentlemen on this floor. I have been especially interested in the speeches of the gentlemen who argued along with the President of this Convention, the legal position.  I have been especially interested in the speeches of my friend here from the county of Randolph and my friend from Tallapoosa, who have presented the business side of this proposition.  Now, Mr. President, I thank you again for this opportunity to express my views to this Convention.     

MR. LOMAX‑ When I heard that there would be a minority report on the Committee on Suffrage and Elections I hoped that in that minority report which, in my judgment, struck down the best feature of the report of the majority, that there would be some suggestion of a remedy, solve intimation of a scheme by which we could accomplish the great purposes for which this Convention is assembled, and in that hope I was disappointed. The report of


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the minority contained nothing but doubts as to our future, prophesies of evil, predictions of disaster and forebodings of calamity, and with those predictions and those prophesies and those forebodings they offered to this Convention nothing which in the judgment of any candid man could meet the situation in which we are placed, or could accomplish the purpose for which we are assembled.

This great moment which has taken place already in Mississippi, Louisiana and in North and South Carolina, this great movement  in which today the people of Virginia and of Alabama are acting, must have been founded upon some great cause that needed a remedy.   The States which I have named have already acted. Alabama and Virginia will act, and those States that have not done so will act hereafter, and they will act because they believe that the time has come to put a stop to frauds in elections; because they are unwilling to continue a system which makes perjury honorable and bribery a badge of distinction, because they are unwilling to impose on posterity the awful incubus under which we labor, and which is honeycombing the morals of our people with fraud and perjury, because they desire their children to be reared in an atmosphere of moral purity, because they wish to establish a purified electorate, and to decree a perpetual reign of virtue and intelligence, and when then have so acted, they will be sustained by the moral sentiment of the world and no power of finite intelligence will dare to disturb their decree.

Now, what are the objections that are urged to the plan of the majority of this Committee? These gentlemen expressed the opinion. one of them at least, very doubtfully, my distinguished colleague from Montgomery‑ (Governor Oates) that what is called the grandfather clause is unconstitutional.  That is a misnomer as has already been said. It is not a grandfather clause, but they have succeeded in fastening that name upon it, and therefore I will so consider it. I do not propose or purpose or intend to go into a legal argument upon this proposition, but from my reading of the decisions and from what I have been able to gather in the course of this debate it is my opinion that this clause is not unconstitutional.  The proposition it seems to me, is this. That unless it is plainly written in the letter of the law, or plainly established in its administration by the agencies of the State, that a discrimination is made because of race or color, or previous condition of servitude the clause must stand as constitutional. No court can look at the letter of this law. No court can look at the manner of its administration, if it is administered as it is proposed to be done, and say that there is written either in its language or in its administration any discrimination against any man because of his race or his color or his previous condition of servitude, and therefore it stands to reason under the great weight of authority that the clause is not unconstitutional.


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It has been said that this is a great scheme on the part of the Black Belt ‑ I do not mean merely upon the floor of this Convention, but in public press - that this; is a great scheme on the part of the Black Belt to perpetuate itself in power in Alabama. Who, gentlemen of the Convention, started the call for a Constitutional Convention? It came from the Black Belt of Alabama. They wanted relief front the terrible situation in which they had been for twenty-five years, they wanted to stop fraud in elections : they wanted to put an end ‑ to those influences which were corrupting the morals, of their people, and then persisted in that call until, by the direction of the sovereign people of Alabama, you are here in convention today, seeking relief from fraud, begging that the incubus of perjury be taken off their shoulders, urging a purified electorate. We are told here that, when this Suffrage Committee has reported it is a scheme on the part of the Black Belt to perpetuate the methods which have heretofore always prevailed, and to entrench themselves in power, and it is said, that as a part of that scheme we have put in that grandfather clause to temporarily catch the votes of the white counties, knowing that it will be stricken down by  the Supreme Court of the United States, and that therefore they will be excluded from suffrage under the permanent plan of the Committee, when the registration has taken place tinder this grandfather clause, with the other clause in it that permits registration because of good character and the understanding of the duties of citizenship, I ask you, gentlemen of the Convention, what court can determine that the men who are permanently registered as voters, were registered under the grandfather clause, or the clause of good character and understanding?  It is impossible for that to he determined by any court, and therefore the men who come into our registration under this grandfather clause will be permanent voters and there is no court in the world that can strike down their rights. But it is said that it creates a permanent and hereditary class. It is not hereditary because no man secures the right to vote by reason of the fact that his father had it, and it is not permanent because the man upon whom it is conferred must soon pass away.  It is said in further objection to the clause that it will insult the white men who cannot read or write - that it will insult the son of Confederate soldiers who cannot read and write–to make them come into the electorate under such terms. Insult them, by saying, that because your father event forth to die in glory with Sidney Johnston, or to live in immortality with Robert Lee you shall have the right to vote? They will wear that right, gentlemen of the Convention as proud a distinction as you old men wear upon your breast the bronze badge of courage put there by the women of the South. (Applause).

We are told that the adoption of this plan will make capital timid and check immigration. We heard before this Convention


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met, and I read it in an article prepared by in distinguished friend from Montgomery (Governor Jones) that capital was timid, that industry halted and immigration stopped at tile doors of the State where the suffrage was subject to manipulation. We come into this Convention and we offer a plan that forever stops manipulation of the suffrage, and we are told that if we do that thing, capital will become timid, that investments will stop and immigration will fail to seek us. There is the country, and when in history did it ever occur that capital was timid of entering a State where the reign of virtue and intelligence was made permanent and eternal? When did it happen that immigration ran away from the borders of a country where an electorate was established of the highest morality and the strictest virtue? That is the object sought by this Convention. That is the object that will be attained by this Convention, and I deny that proposition that such things will come to us as the result of our action.

       They tell us further that Southern representation in Congress and in the Electoral College will be cut down if we abandon universal manhood suffrage. California, Connecticut. Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire. Pennsylvania and Vermont do not have today universal manhood suffrage. Can they strike clown the representation of Alabama because we abandon universal manhood suffrage, and let these State retain their representation? And suppose they do? Suppose our representation is reduced. I submit to you, gentlemen of the Convention, that reduction in representation is a small sacrifice to make for pure elections and the supremacy of Virtue and intelligence. (Applause). Ah, but they make more dire predictions than that. The distinguished gentleman from Lee told this Convention that it might happen in the event that this suffrage clause was adopted, that Alabama would again be reconstructed. Strike down a Southern State lay reconstruction; destroy its form of government, make it, every bond. State, county and municipal absolutely without value:  paralyze its industries; close up its furnaces and factories, and reduce it to the condition of a conquered province, because that people have risen in their manhood and said that fraud and perjury shall disappear forever from its limits? Will they do it?  Ah, gentlemen, even if they dared attempt it the voice‑ the still but potent voice‑ from Wall Street that sent the flag to Porto Rico, but held up the Constitution when it undertook to follow the flag. will say to those people that attempt it, “Murderers, stay thy hands!" and it will be stayed.

      We are told further, gentlemen of the Convention, that if we establish this plan, the negro will leave the South, will leave Alabama. Where will he go? Will he go to Mississippi, to Louisiana, to South Carolina or North Carolina,? He will be met upon the threshold of those States with the precise condition that he oc‑


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cupies in Alabama.  Will he go to Illinois?  Some of them went there but yesterday, and they had to be guarded in their cars with shot-guns, until the engine could fire up and bring them back to the South. (Applause).  Will they go to Africa?  The failure of the Nineteenth Century was the Republic of Liberia, and, however much of philanthropic money there may be north of our borders, there is not enough to establish a colony of 10,000,000 beings and maintain them until they learn the arts of free government.  They will not go. The old negro upon the Southern plantation and his son cares nothing for the right of suffrage.  The majority, and a vast majority of them, are content to stay where they have stayed since they were born, and are content to labor so long as they are met with justice and fair dealing, and those who may want to go, who may feel upon them the awful responsibility which declares that they must participate in government, if they go and leave the others, they will establish rather a period of happiness and contentment than a period of distress or disaster.

But we are told, Mr. President, that if we adopt this scheme, these Registration Boards will destroy the rights of the people. I have been surprised at the distrust which has been evidenced in this Convention of the people and their officers. When we had the Executive Article up, it seemed to be the supreme purpose of the Convention to hedge around the Governor and the State officers with legislation, upon the theory that they were all not entitled to the trust and confidence of the people. When the Legislative Article came around, we found the same distrust the men selected by the people to represent them in the making of laws, and, when we come to this Election Article, the same spirit of distrust comes up, and says we cannot trust these men to be fair; we cannot trust these men to be honorable. Is republican government a failure?  If we cannot trust the Executive Department if we cannot trust the Legislative Department, if we cannot trust the men who are to manage this registration, then popular government must be on its decline, because the people must have gone so wrong that they select men for public office unworthy of the great trust imposed upon them, and we are ready, if that be true, to adopt the suggestion that came but a few days ago from Australia that our government in America had failed and that it was best for us to once more accept the sovereignty of the British Empire. I do not believe that free government is a failure. The very movement that produced this Convention shows that men are capable of self-government. Here when after the war these people had been stricken down, their right to vote had been taken away, the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments had been passed for the purpose and with the object of putting the black heel upon the white throat,– these people here said you have undertaken to tie us down by every means that you can, but by the blood of our Caucasian ancestors who fought and secured this land in which we live, we


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will rule it by the shotgun or by fraud. For twenty-five years they have ruled it. By the same token they could have ruled it for twenty-five or fifty years more, and yet because that fraud was wrong, because they did not want their children to grow up in that atmosphere, because they wanted to establish purity in morals in public and private life, these people rising “from the stepping stone of their dead selves to higher things.’ declare that with all this power we will have a Constitutional Convention, and take away the possibility of fraud in Alabama forever, though it means our own defeat. (Applause).  Tell me that with such a people free government is dead? Tell me there is no patriotism in men like that, I tell you, gentlemen of the Convention, it took patriotism like that which sustained Washington and the Continental Army amid the gloom and despondency and snow and ice of Valley Forge, and made possible the splendid triumph of Yorktown.  It took a patriotism like that which sustained the men of 1812, who, notwithstanding the disasters that laid waste their country and devoted their capital to the flames, enabled them to hurl back from the soil of freedom the red cohorts of British invasion. It took a patriotism like that which sustained Zachary Taylor and Jefferson Davis upon the historic field of Buena Vista and sent Scott in triumph to tread unchallenged the halls of the Montezumas. It took patriotism like that which sent Pickett to the top of Missionary Ridge, and enabled Hancock to hold those historic heights at Gettysburg. A patriotism such as that must live forever, and keep free government alive so long as the people are true to the principles of their country and the traditions of their race.

Now, gentlemen, I am not here, and we are not here to disfranchise the negro race alone, we are here for a higher purpose and a nobler end. That purpose and that end is to establish pure elections in Alabama. I was born in this State; I expect to die within her borders, and I wish to contribute all that I can or have to her welfare and her prosperity, and I feel– I feel it in my very bones– that when I have voted to put upon the people of this State the plan of the majority of this Committee, I will have done all that man can do to insure her peace, prosperity and power. (Applause.)  When this Constitution shall have been ratified by the people, we will have assured the supremacy of virtue and intelligence in our great State, we will have stricken down forever fraud and corruptions in elections; we will have driven from the field of politics all temptations to strife and eradicated all elements of discord along racial lines, we will have softened, graced and ennobled the spirit of party, and driven the bandit propensities skulking to their dens, we will have builded anew the foundations of morality and truth in public and private life, and laid broad and deep the beginnings of an elevated and high-minded citizenship, devoted to the arts of peace, drinking deep at the fountains of knowledge, alert and vigorous in the upbuilding of a great State, wherein


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there shall be found a population of millions of moral beings, engrossed in a proportion far beyond that of any other in the world, in the toils of agriculture and manufacture and commerce, and the music of whose unnumbered industries shall beat a quick-step to the world’s progress, and in the era of peace, prosperity and power that will come to us, our people can exclaim with truth and with thanksgiving. “At last! At last! The dangerous, troubled night is o’er and the star of peace returned.” (Applause.)

MR. SMITH (Autauga)– The hour has about arrived for the closing of this debate, and it is now my time to present my views. This is the Alpha and the Omega.  Autauga County is the first alphabetically at the head of the list of counties, and if I should consult my pride I would say that it is in every respect first, but I gracefully yield this position to the honored old Chairman of the Suffrage Committee, and if he desires to close the argument, we would yield likewise the position to him.

Mr. President, it seems to me, sir, that this question has been discussed from every imaginable standpoint. It has been discussed from the legal and constitutional point; it has been discussed from a moral and a natural standpoint, and ably so, and by some from a very unnatural standpoint, so I shall only undertake to make a few scattering remarks.

Fellow delegates, I feel that a medal should be awarded to the President of this Convention for selecting twenty-five noble and learned men from this body, who have in my opinion given us under the existing circumstances the best solution of this entire suffrage plan that could be originated by men. Like brave men they fearlessly entered the old ship of state and have guided her through the breakers down the narrow channel, four of whom however, through caution, have said with some doubt in their own minds that there was danger ahead. Not so say the majority of the crew, and I feel, sir, that they will soon land here into a haven of peace, virtue and prosperity, and then all the honest and good men of this nation will rise up and call them great.

Mr. President, if we do not lock horns– and I do not think we will– with the Constitution of the United States, then, sir, I feel that we should honor the old soldiers and their descendants.  Rich are the treasures America has given the world; wonderful the countless ore and inventions and discoveries with which she has enriched mankind; beautiful the masterpieces of her art, but the most glorious jewel in the crown of her brow is that of her heroic sons who have fought and died for what they thought was right. Now, gentlemen, if you want to honor the memory of those who struggled. Could you take their vote today what would be their answer, louder than the roaring of the artillery? “If you would honor us, honor those for whom we died.” Mr. President,


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we see that our Northern friends have made it a special privilege that appointment to office must go to their old soldiers, or to descendants of their old soldiers, and they also contribute largely to their financial wants and we have nothing of this to give, therefore, Mr. President, I thank God for this opportunity of showing our appreciation and gratitude to those who wore the grey.

Mr. President, it seems to me that Congress, though they may be composed mostly of Republicans, would give us a helping hand when they find that we are trying  to establish virtue and honestly in our State.

 

I have patiently listened to the various discussions on subjects pertaining to our fundamental laws, and I have tried to vote intelligently on all questions, and I feel that every principle of government pertaining to the great interest of our State has been properly guarded by the friends of every measure. But, Mr. President, I have heard statements made here which have gone down in history and out to the world by some men of this Convention that make my heart sad. Yet we are bound to admit that their statements are, to a great extent, true.  The distinguished chairman of the Executive Committee said that mob law was on the increase, and it was brutalizing and misleading the young men of our country, and the other distinguished statesman assails the grand jury system, and desires that the Judges shall arraign the criminal as if the Judge, as well as if all of us, were not particeps criminis to the great evils that spread over our Southland.

Mr. President, I beg these gentlemen to take their hands off of the Sheriff and grand jurors of our State, for they know when the fountain-head is poisoned, the stream is likewise affected. The question is, who poisoned the fountain-head?

Now, Mr. President, I cannot hope in going over ground so often trodden to offer anything remote from common observation and thought; but I do say, sir, that the fifteenth amendment of our national Constitution, and the advocates of social equality are responsible for these great wrongs, not only in the South, but in every other State in this Union.  Yes, gentlemen, I dare say that the Force Bill would have been placed on our people had the advocates of this measure not been uneasy, through fear, that they would have met the fate of the Thracian King who fed his horses on human flesh and afterwards himself became the victim of the unnatural appetite which he had stimulated.

I hold, Mr. President, we were bound under these existing circumstances, in order to protect our firesides, our homes and our families, to do things which, within themselves, will work a change.  And I feel, sir, that at the beginning of this, the twentieth century, that the God of Creation has permitted Alabama to call her sons together on this occasion to begin this great reform. I


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say, sir. that the Republican administration, which added the fifteenth amendment to the Federal Constitution, caused a dark cloud to spread over our political sky, equal to that which Byron has so vividly depicted as coming over our material world:

“When the bright sun was extinguished, and the stars Did wander darkling in the eternal space rayless and pathless, and the icy earth swung Blind and blackening in the moonless air:  Morn came and went and came, and brought no day, And men forgot their passion in the dread

Of this, their desolation,

And all hearts, Were chilled with the selfish prayer for light.”

And we have for more than a quarter of a century struggled under this political cloud, with a people whose morals are today, in my opinion worse than they were twenty-five years ago, not withstanding they are being educated at the expense of our people.  And it is the young negroes that give us so much trouble. This is not confined to the South, but alas, in the North and West.  There is no doubt, Mr. President, that the learned statesmen, though Republicans, lost their reason on account of passion, when they permitted a race, which sustained the relation of slaves to those who founded our government, and who had heretofore controlled its affairs; and their admission to equal participation in the administration of its affairs, was something never known to the history of the past, and it has shown to the world, that ‘virtue and intelligence are the only security of republican institutions, and that a government which does not represent the property and ability of her States, has not stable foundation.”

It is a well known fact, as the great statesman, scholar and orator, Bourke Cochran, said in this city, that the fifteenth amendment is a failure.  Notwithstanding all of these known facts to history, our Southern States are compelled to call a Constitutional Convention in order, in some way, to get rid of this great evil, so we can protect the negro as well as ourselves; and I sincerely hope that a new morn will, e’er long, unbar her gates and dispel the dark clouds that overhang our political sky; for it seems now, that office and place are brought and sold as things in the market.

In promoting the aims of the ambitious, the arts of the demagogue are more potent than the virtues of the statesman. These are melancholy truths– facts to be lamented– but they should not cause us to despair of the future. In accommodating ourselves to the changes and turning them to best account, the great difficulty is to disengage ourselves from the past, especially the recent past and take hold of the present, to grapple with its issues, to march up to their lines, and in the contest of ideas to extract the truth and put it to use, practical use.


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I hear good men in this Convention, doubting the ratification of the Constitution to be framed here, because of some, comparatively speaking, little, insignificant matter. God forbid that this feeling should rest in the bosom of any good man in this State.  Any man who loves his children, and who wishes to raise honest boys, who wishes to have pure elections and good government, and who wishes to stop this wholesale confession that Alabama is almost in a state of anarchy, by assailing the grand juries and sheriffs of our State, will not hesitate for one moment to do all in his power to accomplish this end. And I hold that no man, saves he who feels that his fate is fixed to be a slave and his children after him are to inherit his condition, such a man has no incentive to use his faculties, except to provide mainly for the wants of his lower nature. He, and he alone, can afford to oppose a Constitution which will bring our State to honor and glory.

Now, gentlemen , with pure hands, let us gather together the broken fragments of the grand old temple that our fathers erected, and from these scared relics rebuild its columns and arches, and again raise its proud dome, towering to the skies, to stand in all coming time a fitting memorial of their skill and patriotism, and an enduring monument to virtues of the illustrious dead!

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑Mr. President, the hour is approaching at which we will be required to take a vote, according to the resolution which has been adopted by this Convention.  There are several gentlemen who desire to place themselves upon record upon this question. I move that the rules be suspended (expressions of dissent.)

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman from Greene will proceed to state his motion.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)–I move that the rules be suspended and that the vote be taken at 1 o'clock today, and that speakers be limited in their speeches from now until that time to not exceeding ten minutes.

MR. PILLANS‑ That requires a suspension of the rules, Mr. President.

THE  PRESIDENT‑ The question will be first upon the motion to suspend the rules.

 A vote being taken the Convention refused to suspend the rules.

MR. COLEMAN‑I regret very much that a number or persons have not had an opportunity to express themselves upon this great question, so that the members of this Convention from other portions of the State might have all opportunity to know the sentiments, of the people whom they represent. As the rule requires


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that the vote shall be taken at 12:30, I propose in the mean time to exercise the right, and that which is expected of me, to consume the next ten or fifteen minutes. I do not expect the delegates of this Convention to fortify the legal propositions which have been stated before you, which have been discussed with so much ability, and which it seems to me, to any unbiased mind, have been conclusively established. I propose, however, in this short time, which I have, in my own common sense, and commonplace way, to supply some material for argument, if it should be required in the discussion before the people, upon the ratification of this Constitution.  While the illustration of the delegate from Jefferson was homely, and perhaps beneath the dignity of the subject, inasmuch as it has been commented upon more than once in this Convention and carries upon its face that which would deceive or mislead, I will use his homely illustration by way of defining what I understand to be meant by the phrase “You cannot deny or abridge the right of suffrage to any citizen because of his race, color, or previous condition.”  Now if the delegates will remember, the homely illustration was that of the sow and the pigs, making a crack by which the pigs could escape, and the sow would be confined, and he ask you if that was not a discrimination. Of course it was, but the vice of the gentleman’s argument was this:  He did not state the whole case. The question is, why was the sow confined in the pen, and why were the pigs permitted to run at large? If the sow was confined there because she was a sow, it was a discrimination on account of her race, but if the sow was confined there on account of her vicious habits, it was a discrimination because of her habits, and not because of her race. The proposition presuppose that there was somebody in control of the sow, and I venture to assert that if you will go to the owner and ask him the question. “Why did you confine her in that pen?” He will tell you that it was because of her predatory habits, that she visited the poultry yard or got into the melon patch, and they were compelled to confine her in the pen. That is a simple illustration of the law. That is what is meant by denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color or previous condition:  but it makes no difference whether she was a black, razor-back or a red sow.  I intended to elaborate these questions somewhat at length, but the gentleman cited from the Stringfellow vs. Ivey case, to show you the danger that when an improper consideration was framed in a law that the whole might be stricken down, and he was even more unfortunate in his illustration. The case of Stringfellow vs. Ivey was this. When a man sells lands, he has a lien upon that land for unpaid purchase money, but no lien upon personal property for the unpaid purchase money. Mr. Stringfellow purchased from Mr. Ivey a piece of land and agreed to pay him so much money and a stock of goods, in a lump sum. No it not being paid, a bill was filed to enforce the vendor’s lien. The courts held that the lien could not be enforced, because the con-


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

sideration consisted of land and personal property. There had been no agreement as to the value of the land, and the value of the personal property.

And, therefore, the court could not tell how much was due for the land and how much was due for the personal property, but the court held, and have always held, that even though the consideration consisted of a sum if one note had specified how much was to be paid for the land and how much to be paid for the personal property, the courts would have upheld that for the land, and discarded that which was for the personal property. I mention this to show you that in the writing of the section under consideration, we have carefully guarded against every legal danger of having the law stricken down. I desire to simply call your attention to the law upon this subject. When part of a statute is unconstitutional, if that which remains is complete within itself, and capable of being executed in accordance with the apparent legislative intent wholly in accord with that which is rejected, it must be sustained (65 Ala.)  Now, those gentlemen admit that the understanding clause, as we will designate it, is constitutional. They admit that the soldiers’ clause is constitutional. This proposition says that if that be true, that even though you strike out the descendant clause, the whole of the remainder of the fabric would stand, and be sustained by the courts. I do not make this argument because of any apprehension that any part is unconstitutional, but simply to show you the falsity of the argument they have presented. There is not a proposition adduced here to sustain them. They have been overthrown by argument, and even upon these simple propositions they relied on so much there is not a decision or principle of law that sustains them. I will read you only one more line, and that is upon what courts have declared to be the law where you deny the right of suffrage upon the ground of race, color or previous condition. I say it is one which may be exercised to the full limit if the abridgement is made not on the point of race, but upon the point of characteristics of the parties excluded. Here is the case: 170 U. S. – the last opinion upon this subject. This is the Mississippi case. The court says: “Restrained by the Federal Constitution from discriminating against the negro race” (that is the Mississippi Convention) “discriminates against its characteristics, and the offences to which its criminal members are prone.”  No exception is made to it. “But nothing tangible can be adduced from this,” says the courts. If weakness were to be taken advantage of it was to be done “within the field of permissible action under the limitations imposed by the Federal Constitution.”  Could anything be plainer than that? “And the means of it were the alleged characteristics of the negro race, not the administration of the law by officers of the State.”  I do not see, delegates, what may be said in addition to what has been said. The whole argument that the Constitution is in danger if


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OFFICIAL  PROCEEDINGS

any part of it should be declared null and void is without any support either by authority or reason. When you say you put a standard to which the negro cannot attain, and our legislation is confined to his characteristics– and it is certainly confined there – the very latest exposition of the Supreme Court of the United States sustains us in that position. But the gentleman has cried “fraud.”  I will ask him to rise in his seat if he is here, and tell me what court, and at what time a court has ever declared a statute to be void on account of fraud, much less the organic law of a State. Fraud enters into transactions between parties, but you heard the principle discussed here time and again in regard to the Shelby County case, that they had no relief, because the statute could not be attacked as fraudulent, and by your vote that proposition was sustained, and I assure the delegates of the Convention, as a proposition of law, it is sound. The apparation that they are trying to draw up here melts away in air when it is exposed to the light of the decisions and principles of law so long established in this country. I do not know what to say, gentlemen. The honorable delegate from Jefferson County has told you that he was one who took a solemn oath before high heaven that the white man should rule, and we have heard the delegate from Montgomery County complain that the acts of the kuklux were not sufficient to satisfy him, and that he time and again in order that the elections might be carried, even by fraud, encouraged the managers.  And yet an officer upon whom high honors were conferred, and he, time and again– and I class my friends sitting there in the same category (applause), whose consciences are disturbed by the provision that we must support the Constitution of the United States and, therefore, they cannot see their way clear to vote for the report of the Committee.  I have read, and I don’t say it with any purpose of disparagement, or a certain class of people of whom it was said that they would “strain at a gnat but swallow a camel.” I do not know what more could be said to convince these men. We do know that on a certain occasion a man was found in a very hot place, and he desired that he might be sent back to earth, that he had five brethren there to tell of the place, but he was told that if they did not believe what they had heard, they would not believe though one came from the dead.  (Applause.)  The Good Book tells us there were five brethren. I wish there were only five here; but I can count four of the minority report and I can count my friend over there, and on the same side is the delegate from St. Clair County, who, in this Convention, said that one of the brightest stars in the crown was the fifteenth Amendment. I do not know how they will like that kind of company. (Applause).  I was shocked to hear a man claiming pride in being a white man, say that he regarded the Fifteenth Amendment as one of the brightest jewels in the crown, or one of the brightest something, that was pinned to the Constitution—


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I don't remember exactly the language now. After hearing him say that, fellow delegates, I was not surprised to hear him afterwards say that he feared neither man, hell nor the devil. If there was no other reason for calling this Convention here, and no other reason for ratifying this Constitution, it would be sufficient for me to work for it in order that so many of his constituents might be eliminated from the suffrage plank as to retire the gentleman entertaining those sentiments.  And I hope those living in that community will preserve the record of the man who could endorse the Fifteenth Amendment in Alabama in view of all that we have gone through. I will not express my opinion of him. (Applause.) Mr. President, I believe as strongly as I stand here, not only the fraud, the violence, the bloodshed, but I believe not one of our fair women has ever been assaulted in this land but that the infamous act may be traced to the fifteenth amendment. And I feel shocked as I remember that only a few weeks ago, a fair young lady in the gentleman's own county was the victim of an assault from one of these black fiends. That is my opinion of one of the effects of the fifteenth amendment. I wish that I had time. The gentleman from Pike, sitting over there, had his speech here, in which he stated that Senator Morgan and Senator Pettus held that this provision was unconstitutional. I say that he cannot find one line in anything that they have said, or written which sustains him in that proposition, on the contrary, it has been expressly admitted by one that it was constitutional, in a public speech, and he has never retracted it. I take this occasion to say to this Convention, that no longer than yesterday, the senior Senator, General Pettus told me out of his own mouth that “When you met, I did not see how you were going to keep the Democratic pledge and not violate the Constitution," but he says, "I assure you that you have performed the difficult task." And he told me, Mr. President, if it was necessary, he would not only support this clause that we have under consideration now, but if necessary he would go into the country upon it. I wish to read a short extract from a letter of Senator Morgan. The gentleman who has the letter is within the halls of this Convention, but has not had the opportunity to address you. “The counting of the electoral vote of Louisiana and  Mississippi is a silent admission of immense value with reference to the power of the State to regulate the negro vote.” Think of that ! Mississippi and Louisiana have already been counted and that was the last we have heard from Senator Morgan. I am sure that the gentleman from Barbour—

MR. LOWE (Jefferson) ‑‑ Will the gentleman yield for a moment?

MR. COLEMAN‑I haven't much time–

MR. LOWE‑I just wanted to move to extend the gentleman's time indefinitely.


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MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑Will the gentleman yield a moment ?

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑I am nearly through.

Mr. Lowe (Jefferson)‑I move that the gentleman's time be extended indefinitely.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑I will not accept it after the action of the Convention. I am not so eloquent or as interesting as many of those who have gone before me, but I and stating facts that may go before the people to satisfy them, and to correct errors which have been made here upon this floor. There sits the delegate from Barbour (Mr. Merrill) perhaps as intimate with Senator Pugh as anybody upon this floor or elsewhere, and I speak by his authority, as he has not had an opportunity to address you, that Senator Pugh finds no fault with this clause enfranchising the soldier and his descendants.

I thank you gentlemen. My time has expired. I have had no opportunity to deliver the argument intended, but I have given you in a common way this statement of fact; and illustrations, which I think will enable the common people to better understand the questions which will arise before them.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑If the gentleman will yield a moment, I would like to move that his time be extended. Inasmuch as the time of those who have preceded him has been extended.

 

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Chair will state for the information of the gentleman from Jefferson that the gentleman from Greene himself submitted a motion that the time for taking this vote be extended,—

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑I am not speaking of the time for taking of the vote, but in order for the gentleman to conclude his remarks I move that his time be extended.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑I do not desire it, and shall not accept it.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Chair will state that under the resolution offered by the gentleman from Jackson, as amended by the resolution offered by the gentleman from Jefferson, that the present order will be the taking of the vote. It is equivalent to ordering the previous question and the question will be upon the amendment offered by the minority of the Committee.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑I move a suspension of the rules, in order that the gentleman from Greene may conclude his remarks.          


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MR. REESE ‑ Will not the gentleman from Greene, the Chairman of the Committee, if it is equivalent to  calling the previous question, not have the right to conclude the argument?

THE PRESIDENT– The question will be upon the adoption of the amendment.

MR. SANFORD (Pike)– At the inception of this debate I offered an amendment striking out the last few words in the last line of the first clause. I have become convinced that the amendment ought not to be made at that place, if at all. I therefore ask unanimous consent of this Convention to be permitted to withdraw that amendment.

THE PRESIDENT–The gentleman from Pike asks unanimous leave to withdraw his amendment, is there objection?

There being no objection made, the amendment was withdrawn.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question will be upon the adoption of the amendment offered by the minority of the Committee.

MR. ROBINSON (Chambers)‑I move to lay the amendment embodied in the report of the minority of the Committee upon the table.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)– Upon that I call for the ayes and  noes.

The call for the ayes and noes was sustained.

THE  PRESIDENT‑ The question will be upon the adoption of the amendment offered by the minority of the Committee.  The minority report moves to strike out subdivision 2 of Section 4 of the report of the majority. It is now moved to lay the amendment offered by the minority of the Committee upon the table.  As many as favor tabling the report of the minority will say aye, and those opposed no, as their names are called.

Upon the call of the roll, the vote resulted as follows:

AYES.

Messrs. President,

Burnett

Cunningham

Altman

Cardon,

Davis of Etowah

Ashcraft

Carmichael of Colbert

deGraffenreid

Barefield

Carmichael of Coffee

Duke

Beavers

Carnathon

Eyster

Bethune

Chapman

Fitts

Blackwell

Cobb

Fletcher

Boone

Coleman of Greene

Foster

Brooks

Coleman of Walker

Gilmore

Bulger

Cornwall

Glover


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Graham of Montgomery

McMillan of Wilcox

Searcy

Grant

Malone

Selheimer

Grayson

Martin

Sentell,

Greer of Calhoun

Maxwell

Smith Mac A.

Greer of Perry

Miller of Wilcox

Smith Morgan M.

Haley

Moody

Sollie

Handley

NeSmith

Sorrell

Heflin of Chambers

Norman

Spragins

Heflin of Randolph

Norwood

Stewart

Henderson

O’Neal of Lauderdale

Tayloe

Hinson

Opp,

Thompson

Hodges

O’Rear

Vaughan

Hood

Parker of Cullman

Walker

Howze

Parker of Elmore

Watts

Inge

Pearce

Weakley

Jackson

Pettus

Weatherly

Jones of Bibb

Pillans

Whiteside

Jones of Hale

Pitts

Willet

Jones of Wilcox

Proctor

Williams of Barbour

Kirk

Reese

Williams of Elmore

Knight

Reynolds (Henry

Williams of Marengo

Ledbetter

Robinson

Wilson of Clarke

Leigh

Rogers of Lowndes

Wilson of Washington

Lomax

Rogers of Sumter

Winn

Long of Butler

Samford

Long of Walker

Sanders

Macdonald

Sanford

TOTAL– 109

NOES

Bartlett

Jones of Montgomery

Porter,

Beddow

Kirkland

Reynolds of Chilton

Cofer

Kyle

Sloan

Dent

Lowe of Jefferson

Smith of Mobile

Eley

Mulkey

Spears

Ferguson

Murphree

Waddell

Foshee

Oates,

White

Harrison

O’Neill (Jefferson.)

TOTAL– 23

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING

Almon

King

Morrissette

Case

Lowe of Lawrence

Palmer

Espy

Miller of Marengo

Studdard

PAIRS

AYES

Locklin

Burns

Browne

Craig


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

McMillan (Baldwin)

Davis, of DeKalb

Jenkins

NOES

Banks

Howell

Graham of Talladega

Renfro

Byars

Phillips,

Freeman

So the motion to table was carried.

MR. DENT (Barbour)‑I desire to make an explanation. I paired last week with Mr. Almon from Lawrence. I thought he was present this morning. The pair only applied to this vote for last week, and he said positively that he did not want the pair to extend beyond Monday. If he was here he would vote aye, but I think I am discharged from the pair, and that is the reason I voted, but I desired to make that explanation in the hearing of the Convention.

MR. OATES– I desire to offer an amendment to Section 4.

The amendment was read as follows:

Amend Section 4, first subdivision, after the word “States,” in line ten, strike out the semi‑colon, insert therefor a comma, and add the words “and did not desert from such service.”

MR. ROBINSON‑I desire to offer an amendment.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The pending question will be upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Montgomery, and upon that he is entitled for the floor.

MR OATES ‑ Mr. President, I do not intend to consume much tine in support of my amendment, but desire to state a few facts to which I ask the attention of the delegates. No man honors more highly than myself the soldier who performed his duty, and especially when he performed it, as many of our soldiers did in the war between  the States, most heroically; but we should not lose sight of the fact, that notwithstanding the great gallantry of many of our soldiers, that there are others who wore the uniform and were enlisted as Confederate soldiers, who did not make for themselves such a record, but upon the contrary deserted from the service. It is said in the report, the provision to which this amendment is offered, “those who honorably or faithfully served,”  and the conclusion, it is claimed, is deducible there from, that any man who may have deserted his colors at any time, could not have thus served.  The language employed is not that he should have served honorably and well, during the whole prior of his enlistment, and it is a consistent with the language used that a man may have served well for a time and then have deserted and gone over to the


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enemy. I have personal knowledge of the facts in some cases, and have heard of them in many more.

I will not undertake to detain the Convention to listen to the details of many of these desertions. I know of many more than I will undertake to describe, but I will mention a few by way of illustration. Two young men from the county of Dale, who were in my company, and both of whom served remarkably well until in 1863 when one of them deserted, and the next seen or known of him was that he was in the ranks of the enemy wearing that uniform and fighting on the other side. His brother continued in the ranks and was as good a soldier as any of the Fifteenth Alabama, and way present and surrendered at Appomattox. When he returned home. I happened to be in Newton when those brothers met, having not seen each other in a couple of years, one in the old dingy Confederate uniform and the other in the Union uniform, and when they met, instead of embracing each other, as brothers. they went to fighting, and that enlisted the old Confederates present on the one side, and those in blue on the other, until a considerable battle ensued, and the latter took to the woods. Now you suppose that Sam Woodham, the man who served through and surrendered at Appamattox, would esteem it any honor to him to give that brother equal rights and benefactions in this matter the same as himself?

MR. REESE‑I desire to ask the gentleman a question for information.

THE PRESIDENT– Does the gentleman from Montgomery yield?

MR. OATES‑ Yes.

MR. REESE–  In 1861 there was a large number of officers that left the United States army and navy and entered the Confederate service, and they were marked  as deserters on the muster roll of the United States army and navy. Now, how would your amendment affect that class of officers? (Applause.)

MR. OATES– I think my friend, the delegate from Dallas, is mistaken. They were not marked as deserters, and he cannot find any such record in the War Department, not one. Every officer, of course, as officers, took the oath to support the Constitution of the United States–

MR. REESE‑I think if the gentleman—

MR. OATES‑I yielded to the gentleman for a question, but not for an argument.

MR. REESE‑I wanted to ask another one.


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MR. GATES‑ They took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States as officers. Every man who takes that oath, takes it impliedly so long as he continues an officer. Now the penalty  which Congress affixed to those who had taken that oath, and were in the army, was the same as was applied to every man who had been a member of Congress from the State of Alabama, or any other State, and entered into the War of Rebellion, so called, but it was never deemed a violation of that oath.

MR. BURNETT‑I desire to ask under your amendment, in the case of these two brothers from Dale, where one deserted and joined the Federal army, if under the constitutional provision, as framed by the committee, this brother who joined the Federal army would not be entitled to vote because he was on the Union side?  How would your amendment reach him? That is what I desire to ask.

MR. OATES‑ That shows the defectiveness of this provision. I adinit if he had served well in the Union army, though a deserter front the Confederate army, he would have the right to vote, but at the same time I want to see that amendment put in there for this reason. I do not wish, however, to pass by and beyond the question just asked me by the delegate from Dallas, for I had not finished it.

These officers were never regarded as having sworn falsely to the extent of being deserters, and were never so mustered. They were, under the fourteenth amendment, prohibited from holding any office, until their disabilities were removed, just as I said in the case of any man who had been in Congress, from any of the Southern States and then engaged in the Rebellion afterwards.

And in respect to this case, I admit that the brother who deserted and served in the Union army might get in, notwithstanding my  amendment but that is not all. There are many others who deserted who did not join the Union  army, many of them, more than is supposed by a good many people. Any man who will take the pains to examine the muster rolls now on file in the Adjutant General’s office, will see that notwithstanding our regiments from Alabama in the main were as gallant as any, that the list of deserters from each regiment was from one to two hundred men. Now, do not tell me there are no deserters in Alabama, when there are the muster rolls showing that to be the fact. Well, now, a good many of them did not go on the other side and fight in the Union

ranks—

MR. WILLETT‑ Mr. President—

THE  PRESIDENT‑ Will the gentleman from Montgomery yield ?


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MR. OATES ‑‑ When I finish the sentence, but not in the midst of it. They did not go into the Union army but some of them lay out in the woods until the moss grew on their backs to keep them from fighting. Now do you want to benefit that kind of men? What compliment is it to the good soldier that you should extend an equal benefaction to the man who deserted his colors?  I will answer the gentleman's question now.

MR. WILLETT‑ Will the gentleman not admit that it is an historical fact that when General Lee evacuated Richmond, that the Virginians, who had made the best soldiers in the Confederacy, deserted the ranks, because they defended Virginia and went home to their families, and if a Virginian should come into Alabama, who fought up to the evacuation of Richmond, would not this amendment of yours disqualify him as a voters in Alabama?

MR. OATES‑ Yes, I presume it would, and I never, during the time I have to live, give my vote to extend such a benefaction as this to any man who deserted his colors in the hour of trial. (Applause.)

No man honors more than I do, the true soldier, and, sir, especially those men who when the great brain of Robert E. Lee could plan no more, when Johnston's cunning could give no further hope, and there was nothing that could avert the surrender, nothing whatever, except omnipotence, yet there were bands of these soldiers, ragged and dirty and living upon half rations, the heroes of an hundred battles, who were still ready to fight and to die for Dixie, and even when General Lee surrendered seventeen thousand muskets, surrounded by two hundred thousand men, then, many of these old heroes shed tears because the great Lee had seen it was necessary to surrender, for they preferred to fight on to the death. Now it is impossible for me to describe in fitting terns such heroes as those. Gentlemen, there are many hard cases, I admit, but men who deserted their colors are not esteemed and honored by their government. Those of the Federal army are never given pensions nor are their widows or their children pensioned. How is it here in Alabama? Have you upon your pension rolls down here a single deserter? Why the very law of the State of Alabama requires proof that a man served faithfully through, and if a Virginian, or any other man, saw proper to desert his colors, let him take the consequences. I want to see this amendment adopted, even though in its operation it will not exclude any. If I knew it would not exclude a man, yet I would still want it. I want it to be on record so as to show that in extending this benefaction to the soldiers, we mean real soldiers, honorable men, who were devoted to their country and who fought all the way through.

Now I will mention another case which I saw proper to mention to the Committee, when I offered this amendment in Commit‑


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tee. Take the case of one man who belonged to my own company, who fought for three years, as bravely as any man ever did I had personal cognizance of the fact that he served well and faithfully, and was never wanting in anything. He was not a coward, he was a brave man, and he deserted and event to the enemy; and when I saw him again he was in a blue uniform, and belonged to the First Florida cavalry regiment, and was fighting on that side. Now, it cannot be said, under the language, of this provision, that he did not serve honorably in the Confederate army, for he did for three years. (The gavel fell.)

I do not want to detain the Convention, but I would like to say a few more word. I will content myself‑

MR. REESE‑I move that the gentleman’s time be extended.

THE PRESIDENT‑ Does the gentleman move that the Convention remain in session?

There were expressions of dissent.

MR. OATES– I will be content, sir, to introduce as a part of my remarks, and not even ask the Convention that they be read, but that they be printed as a part of my remarks, some conclusions which I wrote down last night as to my position in regards to this matter. There is nothing in these conclusions that reflects on anybody, but they are complimentary to a good many.

The matter being submitted to the Convention, leave was given for the, remarks to be included in the official report, as follows:

First‑ The Convention was called for the purpose of reforming the suffrage and thus to secure honest election. Does any delegate deny this proposition? All concede this premise.

Second‑ The only way to accomplish this purpose, which is a laudable one, is by disfranchising some who are now voters– the densely ignorant and corrupt.

Third‑ But the majority of the Committee on Franchise and Elections say that they are tied down by the platform so that nor white man shall be disfranchised and this they will strictly obey; therefore, the conclusion is inevitable that this Convention will disfranchise none but negroes.

Fourth‑ We all took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States which says that no State shall disfranchise any man because he is a negro ; which then will you observe and keep your oath or the platform? I intend to keep my oath. Every manis the keeper of is own conscience. There is no way to obey literally both the oath and the platform, and wherein either must


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yield, with me it is the platform– not my oath, for that is sacred.

The nearest we can conform to the requirements of both is to fairly apply the same tests to both races. No complaint would be heard from any negro or the friend of any negro to such tests.  Would any white man complain of it as unfair or shrink from a comparison of his qualification and fitness to vote with those of a negro? Apply the same tests of qualification and fitness and some white men would be disfranchised and this would not be unjust but consistent with it, for some white men, I am sorry to say are utterly wanting in character and fitness for the exercise of the trust which is confided to a voter. I am glad to say that there are few of them compared with the negroes.

Under a fair test, applied alike to each race, not more than one-fourth of the negroes would vote, while not more than one hundredth part of the white men would fail to come up to the standard of qualification. The selection of soldiers and their descendants is not a fair test for to every negro soldier and his descendants there are five thousand white soldiers and their descendants.

While enlistment and faithful service as a soldier is highly honorable and patriotic, it is not a uniform and certain test of fitness and qualification for the exercise of the franchise, for many, after faithful and honorable service for a time, deserted their flag and fought on the other side. No general was braver or fought harder for American freedom than Benedict Arnold, and there after he deserted to and fought on the British side. There were in the war between the States many similar cases of lower rank or without rank. No Government pensions a deserted nor the widow or children of one. No man nor country honors a deserter. Then why use him in the count but for the purpose of making all voters white men?

While I have great respect for the high character and ability of the majority of the Committee on Suffrage and Elections, I am not ashamed of my associates who signed the minority report. Men of civic renown and large experience in public and private affairs; one of them at the age of 16 followed the immortal Forest through scenes of blood, another, the youngest and among the bravest Brigadier-Generals of the Lost Cause, while the third sat on his horse as complacently in the smoke of battle as in his pew at church while his guns hurled torments of destruction into the ranks of an invading foe. And while those who agree with us are few, they are high men who have the courage of their convictions. I am proud to number among them my colleague who preceded me in attaining the highest honor which the State can bestow, and who, on the staff of the gallant Gordon, rode with him through the jaws of death, even in the last wild charge he made, not the least dismayed though the world wondered. Gentlemen, you may,


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by your votes, turn us down, but, like truth crushed to earth, “we will rise again.

The hour of 1 o'clock having arrived, the Convention stood adjourned until 3:30 p.m.

________

AFTERNOON SESSION.

The Convention met pursuant to adjournment, there being 116 delegates present upon the call of the roll.

Leave of absence was accorded to Mr. Stewart of Perry for this evening, tomorrow and next day.

THE PRESIDENT– The special order for this evening will be the consideration of the report of the Committee on Suffrage and Elections. When the Convention adjourned the gentleman from Montgomery had not consumed all of his time.

MR. OATES– I do not resume for the purpose of consuming much time, but I find a question or two propounded to me, one of them in writing, that I desire to answer. One question is whether the amendment if adopted would apply to deserters from either army. It certainly would.  If a man was in the Union army and he deserted from that army, it would apply to him the same as if a man deserted from the Confederate army. It don’t matter which army he deserted from it would apply to him. Then, there is another question that is not understood, the operation and effect. Some say, well if you amendment be adopted that excludes deserters from registering or voting, and that it is contrary to the platform, which declares no white man shall be disfranchised. I say the amendment which I offer does not touch the question of qualification. It simply requires deserters to show their qualification and does not allow the claim of being a soldier to exempt them there from.  That is the whole operation of it. Now, the amendment that I offer would have the effect of not exempting from the duty of showing that they were qualified, in that they did not desert, or coming in under some other clause. In other words, Mr. President, I do not want to see a clause like this go out in the Constitution when it is certainly susceptible to misconstruction. I hear that the majority of the Committee expected specially to extend this benefaction to deserters, hence they used this language, but it does not say who honorably served this period of enlistment. If a man goes in as a soldier and serves through one battle, he honorably serves, but it don’t say continues to do so during the period of his enlistment. He may have honorably served and then taken into the woods the balance of war, or , as some did, go into the army of the enemy and serve on that side. The amendment I offer is no encumbrance to the section at all, it just


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adds down at the latter part “an did not desert such service.” If that be the meaning of the Committee not to extend this benefaction to the men that deserted. I find also that some of the delegates are not well informed about the extent of desertions. Every old man will certainly recall, when I mention the fact, that along about the last of the war President Davis issued several proclamations of amnesty and pardon to try to get men to come back to their colors. Why one of the great causes of our failure was the number of men that took to the woods, but a comparatively small number went to the enemy. The most of them were tired of fighting, they wanted to get away from the bullets and the danger.  It seems to me it is a much higher compliment to the soldier who served faithfully and truly to his colors during the period of enlistment or all through the war. It is a great compliment to say we do not thus highly esteem a man who deserted, because then it is not honoring the man who served faithfully throughout to put him on equality with the deserter. No one knows better than the people of the wiregrass counties down here what they suffered from the deserters. One-half to three-fourths of the 1st Florida Cavalry Regiment was made up out of deserters from our army, and they were raiders and depredators through all these counties, and some towns were captured and looted. I remember Skippersville.  When they made an assault upon Newton in force, and our one armed friend, the President of the Board of Convict Inspectors, Judge Carmichael, after he had given his right hand to his country in my own regiment, was at home, and he and Parson Calloway gathered a few boys with guns and hid out and fell upon those men and repulsed them. That kind of thing was going on down there, citizens were killed, and these Florida cavalrymen were regular marauders. It was not honorable service on their part.  They kept that whole section of the country in dismay, the people absolutely startled and the women and children frightened on account of the depredations of those fellows, made up mostly of deserters. There were a Captain Sanders and a Captain Morgan and one Newton who committed so many depredations that the citizens did not endure them down there, and they died violent deaths.  People there have a feeling recollection of these things, and to have a deserter in arms against them depredating upon them is not pleasant to a citizen, and he is apt to have a sharp recollection of them. I could bring forward a great many cases, but I do not choose to do it. I don’t want to consume the time. I tell you if you do not know the extent of desertion to go to the Adjutant General’s office and go over the records and count them up, and you will find that my statements of this morning is literally true, that the desertions generally ranged from 100 to 200 from a regiment. I will say in justice to one regiment that was the brigade in which I served, the 4th Alabama, that perhaps it did not have quite 100 deserters. It was the only regiment that had more


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men killed in battle than died by disease. In the regiment in which I had the honor to serve, with whose record I am perfectly familiar, it was in more battles than any regiment from the State thirty-nine battles. Its rolls will show there were in the regiment from first to last officers and men, 1,649, that there were killed in battle 311 men, wounded 542, 456 died of disease and 191 deserted. Now, there is the record of as fine a regiment as ever fired a gun upon any battlefield. None surpass it. Have you imagined what those men who still survive would feel to see that the Constitution of Alabama had without distinction extended to soldiers the right to be registered, vote and made no difference between the good soldier and the man who deserted, took to his heels and laid out in the swamps until the moss grew on their backs? It is a familiar term "moss‑backs" used down there during the war.

MR. CHAPMAN‑I would like to ask a question. You are asked what position. this would put the old officers of the army and navy in who left the service of the United States and entered the service of the Confederate States. I will ask you if it was not a rule, in fact, almost invariable, that they sent in their resignation before they entered the service of the Confederacy?

MR. OATES‑‑ The men educated at the naval and military establishments of the United States are educated gentlemen, all of them, and men of high sense of honor, and I am satisfied that every men of them sent in his resignation, and I have today learned that the naval register published during the war and possibly the army register, designated some of those who had resigned as deserters or dishonorably discharged. Dishonorably discharged is a different thing for they are not technically deserters, and while those officers are all pretty well dead and gone, scarcely any living that would never reach them. They were not deserters any more than was any man who had taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States as a civil officer and then went into the war of the rebellion, so called, and they have never been esteemed as deserters. If the register was marked thus it was really not with the approval of the Government. The Government of the United States today does not regard any of those officers as deserters, who in obedience to a sense of duty and attachment to their States, resigned their position and went into the Confederate service.

MR. DENT–Mr. President, I fully sympathize with the object sought to be accomplished by the distinguished gentleman who has just taken his seat, but it seems to the that the words used in this Section cover all the cases that have been alluded to by the distinguished gentleman, "honorably served." Surely a man who deserted his colors did not serve honorably. I know something, Mr. President, of the sacrifices, the endurance and the courage of


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Confederate Soldiers. I hope I will not be considered as egotistic in saying that I derive that knowledge not from hearsay, not from history, but from four years and three months actual service in the State of Alabama and in the Confederate service. I want to say another thing of the soldiers of the Confederacy, that many of them were men of character and education and intelligence.  Many a private in the ranks would compare favorably with many gentlemen in this Convention as to their intelligence and ability.  They understood the situation of the Confederacy, and however it may have been in other fields, and in other armies, I know that after the battle of Chickamauga where the Southern general failed to secure the fruits of his victory, there were plenty of men in the Confederate service who recognized right then and there that we were engaged in a hopeless struggle. When they charged in that battle they charged with an enthusiasm and courage that never was excelled on any battle field, I do not care when or where it was fought. While they stood by their colors and fought after that time it was with sullen courage and without hope of success, and I tell you it required the highest sort of patriotism and the highest sort of courage to remain true, under the circumstances, and I honor them the more because they did remain true under those conditions and circumstances.

I want to state an incident that happened in my own command, and I would ask the distinguished gentleman what he would do with an exceptional case of that kind. If the Convention will pardon me a moment while I indulge in the personal reminiscence.  When we crossed the Tennessee River, when Bragg fell back from Shelbyville, Tenn., and reach Chattanooga, I had a man in my command, a good soldier, a faithful soldier, always at his post, always ready for duty, who came to me and stated that he had received information that his wife and children had been plundered and robbed by Federal troops, and that they were suffering and on the point of starvation. He procured some money from me to send to his family. A day or two later he received a letter– when the knowledge first came to him it was by information– and this letter from his wife gave the conditions and her surroundings, how she had been treated, and she appealed to him to come home and make some provision for her and the children.  I was so interested in it myself that I made an application for a furlough for ten days, and did not send it through the regular channel, but went in person with the application to see if I could not procure a furlough for him. I did not succeed. When I came back and told him, I could see the effect which it had upon him.  I think it was the very next morning we were ordered from Chattanooga down towards Bridgeport, to a little place called Taylor’s store to act with the brigade of General Patton Anderson. This man came to me and called me off and I had a long talk with him. I could see that he was disturbed and had something on his


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mind. He referred repeatedly to the condition of his family and how much he felt for them and how anxious he was, not knowing exactly how they had fared since he had received the letter. While we were talking he handed me back the amount which he had gotten from me a day or two before. Where he got the money I do not know.  When we parted we had been talking a long time, and I told him that we had letter get some rest as we had to move the next day. He grasped me by the hand and said, Captain I will never forget you, you have been wonderfully kind to me. Next morning at roll call that man was gone. Now, I tell you gentlemen, you may look upon that as a desertion, technically it was, but who of us would have better stood the test?

 

I want to tell you the further history of that man. I had to report him as a deserter. I made inquiry to find out what became of him and I was told that he went back and arranged about his family, saw them cared for and then afraid to come back to join his command, he joined John Rody's Cavalry and fought with that command through the remainder of the war. What would  you do in a case like that? Technically he was guilty of desertion.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑Absent without leave.

MR. DENT‑‑ Yes, that is true, as my friend suggests, and yet technically it was desertion. I do not defend deserters.  The gentleman who spoke referred to the deserters down in the lower edge of Dale and Henry county and on the Florida line. He says himself that it was not honorable service that they were in, that is the very language he used. If it was not honorable they do not come within  the province of this clause of the report of the committee. They did not serve honorably and I tell you, Mr. Chairman, I am not afraid to say it if I was a member of the Board of Registrars and a man sought registration on the ground that he was a Confederate soldier and was a deserter he would not get a vote of mine to get his name placed on that roll of honor, I don't care whether he fought on the other side or not. I go further, if a man was a Confederate soldier, a Southern born man whose home family and associations were all here, and he deserted our flag and fought on the other side, I would not consider him an honorable man from the standpoint of service on the other side.

I know of some other cases. At the battle of Missionary Ridge a large part of my command was captured. One, by some means or other, I never understood how, was exchanged and got back to his command just before the surrender. He told me of this treatment in prison at Camp Douglas, somewhere upon the lakes.  He said he could not have suffered worse, to use his own language, if he had been in hell itself; that they tortured and punished prisoners there to force them to enlist in the Union service, not to fight us, but the Indians. He told me that a member of my


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command had succumbed under that treatment and thinking it was a matter of life and death, to save his life he took the oath of allegiance, stipulating that he was not to come South but to fight against the Indians in the Northwest.  What would you do in a case like that?

MR. OATES– Do you desire my answer? In the case of your man who left and went to fight Indians to have his life, I would register every one of them. If I was on a court martial I would acquit every one of them, because they were not deserters but absent without leave.

MR. DENT– I was satisfied that the gentleman would make that statement.

MR. OATES– But what would you do with the mossbacks so called?

MR. DENT– I would not register a soldier, not one of them under this clause, who did not serve honorably. I am in sympathy with the object to be secured by the distinguished gentleman, but it seems to me we can leave it just as it stands and accomplish what he wishes, without being personal and so specific, because I think the effect is the same, and if we adopt it that is the construction which this Convention puts upon this clause that it is when a man served honorably and he did not serve honorably unless he served to the end or was honorably discharged.

MR. OATES– Then it does not hurt to put that in there.

MR. DENT– I think we had better leave it out. I don’t know how much the members of the committee feel about it, but I am perfectly willing to let it stand as it is, because I think it covers the ground.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)– Let it stand as it is.

MR. DENT– If anybody disagrees with me, I hope it will be understood as the construction of the Convention, that a man did not serve “honorably” unless he served through the war or was honorably discharged.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)– May I ask the gentleman a question?

THE PRESIDENT– Does the gentleman from Barbour yield to the gentleman from Jefferson?

MR. DENT– Certainly.

MR. LOWE– Will the gentleman state why he is not willing for the clause to be specific, why it should be left open for construction instead of putting it so plain that anybody can understand it?


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MR. DENT‑I think it is specific enough, I have no objection to the word if the Convention desires it. I thought that was the conclusion to which the Committee arrived.

MR. LOWE‑I understand that he has no objection to the amendment except that the amendment is too specific.

MR. DENT‑ Not that it is too specific, because I think the purpose accomplished.

MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale) ‑ I fully sympathize with the high sentiment expressed by the gentlemen from Montgomery, but I am opposed to his amendment. This question was fully considered by the Committee on Suffrage but after careful investigation we deemed it proper to leave the clause just as it was reported. Nearly forty years have elapsed since the civil war. Passions engendered by the great contest have subsided. If it be true that there were Confederate soldiers who deserted the cause of the South and enlisted in the armies of the North, they have no doubt since that time, repented in sack‑cloth and ashes, in humiliation and sorrow for that terrible and unpardonable sin.

MR. LOWE– Will the gentleman from Lauderdale pardon me.

MR. O'NEAL– In a moment.

MR. LOWE‑I want the gentleman to specify a plan of that character.

MR. O'NEAL‑I decline for the present. I will answer in a moment. Suppose a man had deserted and since that time had led an upright and honorable life and reared a family, are we at this day to open the wounds of the war, to bring humiliation upon him and his family?  We have in this State a statute of limitation, a statute of repose, a statute of stale demands,—

MR. OATES‑I would like to ask my friend just at that point if although it may be described repose, do you think it ought to be a reason why he should be equally honored with the man who has served faithfully?

MR. O'NEAL‑I will answer that in time. I stated we have a statute of repose, after a lapse of twenty years, the courts presume every transaction is closed, they will not open any cause, they will presume a grant of land, a will or deed, or anything to quiet titles or to quiet human transaction. Now I say that if there was a man who deserted, let us throw over the sin the broad mantle of charity and forgive. I am opposed, Mr. President, to writing in the Constitution of Alabama the word "deserter." If any Confederate soldier deserted and joined the armies of the


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North, I ask you could he have served honorably in the Confederate army?

MR. LOWE– The gentleman has referred to the deserters from the Confederate army who have repented in sack-cloth and ashes. Does he know of a deserter from the Confederate army who repented in sack-cloth and ashes?

MR. O’NEAL– I don’t know one who did desert thank God in my end of the State they are few and far between.

MR. LOWE– I would suggest that they more likely repented in post offices and fine linen.

MR.  O’NEAL– They may.  I say if a man deserted the Confederate army and joined the army of the North he cannot have honorably served in the Confederate army. What did he do when he deserted– committed a crime against the laws of war, punishable with death and to say that a man could have served honorably who had deserted. I concede where a man was in the Confederate army and joined the Federal army some time afterward, after his desertion have served honorably in the Federal army, but if there be a man who served in the Confederate army and wants to claim he was a soldier in the army of the North and wants to open up his degradation and shame, let him do it, but I am unwilling after this long lapse of time to reopen this thing. I will lead to crimination and recrimination. How are you going to try it?  Suppose an honorable man is charged with desertion, his comrades may be dead, there may be nobody to prove that he was discharged. The muster roll might be lost. Why should we open up these questions, I am unwilling to put the word “deserter” in the Constitution. I want to say to the gallant Confederate soldiers of Alabama that we presume in the fundamental laws of the State that you all served honorably in the Confederate army and if a half dozen of you or a few of you in hours of distress forgot your duty, and went back to help your wives and families when you ought not to have done that, we say we blot out your sin with the tear of forgiveness.  You take Lee’s army at the close.  Read Cook’s account of it. They say from day to day these men received letters stating their wives and children were starving, they had no money to send them, they could not leave, and they were put in that terrible ordeal, their wives and children without a protector and they unable to furnish them supplies, and if under that terrible stress some deserted, would you brand him today for it after these long years, and say that he is unworthy of casting a vote as a soldier?  Leave it to the registrar, they can decide the question.  The war is over.

MR. LOWE‑ You say leave that to the registrars?

MR. O'NEAL‑ Yes, the law leaves that to the registrars.


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MR. LOWE‑ Would you say leave your rights to vote to registrars to be appointed by commission from Montgomery?

MR. O'NEAL‑ Yes. I would say that.

MR. LOWE‑I just wanted that distinctly understood.

MR. O'NEAL‑I would say to the registrar in the fundamental law that you must permit any soldier who serves honorably, and am willing to trust that registrar to see whether or not that soldier deserved it or not.

MR. LOWE–Would the gentleman be willing to be tried before a jury when he had not right to challenge a juryman?  Would you be willing to say that a jury system should be established in Alabama that denied to the defendant the right to challenge a juryman?

MR. O'NEAL‑I don't think the case is at all analagous.

MR. LOWE‑ Would you be willing to have your right to vote passed upon by three men whom you had no right to challenge, appointed by a partisan commission?

MR. O'NEAL‑ We are not on that question yet.  This article says if that Board of Registrars deny to a man the right to vote he has a right to appeal to a court and jury of his peers for vindication. If you abuse that power, if you take advantage of your position to act unjustly and wrongly we open the courts of the land to you for appeal and for redress. What more can the gentleman ask than that. We have got to trust somebody.  When you go before the Board of County Commissioners or Tax Board do you challenge them ?  You have no right to challenge, you have a right to appeal. Mr. President, the day has passed to reopen these old wounds and old sores, this is the day of reconciliation, a day of peace, a day of reconciliation between the sections.  The last words of the great Captain of the North on his dying bed prayed for reconciliation between the sections, the last words that graced his dying lips and gave benediction to his dying hours was peace and good will between the sections, and thank God today we can say to the people of the North in the language of Webster : "Standing hand in hand with hand clasped in hand, we should remain as we have been–  citizens of the same country, members of the same government– united now and united forever.”

Mr. President, I therefore move, in view of these facts to lay the amendment offered by the gentleman from Montgomery on the table.

Upon a vote being taken the amendment was laid upon the table by a vote of 92 ayes and 10 noes, on a division.

MR. ROBINSON‑I have an amendment to offer.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

The following amendment offered by Mr. Robinson of Chambers was read:

“Amend Section 4 by inserting after the word ‘upwards’ in the second line, the following words, ‘and those who will become 21 years of age before the 1st day of January, 1905.’”

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question will be upon the adoption of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Chambers.

MR. ROBINSON– I am satisfied if this Convention understands that amendment they will adopt it. I am in favor of this majority report, and I want to rub off all the rough places that appear in it. That amendment when incorporated in this Section will read as follows:

“Sec. 4. The following male citizens of this State, who are citizens of the United States, 21 years old or upwards, and those who will become 21 years of age before the 1st day of January, 1905.” shall be registered.

Mr. President, that does not extend this temporary plan. This board of registrars, if that amendment is adopted, will go out on the 1st day of January, 1903, and the only effect of that amendment is that the young men who become of age after the 1st day of January, 1903 and who become of age before the first day of January, 1905, shall register before the 1st day of January, 1903, although they cannot vote until they become of age. Now, Mr. President, this is a remarkable change in the history of suffrage and elections in the State of Alabama, and the sole purpose of that is to give these poor young men who are now 18 years of age and who cannot go to school‑ who are laborers‑at least three years to prepare themselves for the permanent plan which provides strictly educational and property qualifications without any conditions to it at all, and the practical effect of that is to let these young men, before they arrive at the age of 21 in 1905, register under this temporary plan, where they would not need the stern requirements of an educational qualification. Now, what harm can that do? Can any delegate here raise objection to it? Don't you want to throw the strong arm of protection around these poor young men who have not had the opportunity to go to school? They cannot go to school in the day time and prepare themselves. They must do it at night around the fire that is made of pine knots. Now, that is the simple effect of that amendment, and there is many a father in Alabama who would come under that temporary plan, but, with the stern rule that would cut off his boy, will say, “I will vote against a Constitution that does not give my boy the privilege to register when he is not in position to meet the stern rule of this permanent plan.”

That is simply this amendment. He cannot vote under the first Section until he becomes 21 years of age. It has been said


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

that he would have four years before the next general election.  That is not true. There will be an election for President of the United States in November, 1904. Every Judge of the Supreme Court, every judge of the Circuit Court, every Chancellor, every Probate Judge, and all the county officers will go out of office in 1904, and we have got to hold an election in 1904 to fill the places of those men. Now, I ask this Committee if they cannot extend this provision to take in the poor boy and give him time to acquire an education by which he could meet the stern rigors of the rule under this permanent plan.

MR. COLEMAN‑ Mr. President and delegates of the Convention, it seems to us that every boy who is 18 years of age, has three years within which to qualify himself under the "reading and writing" provision. It appeared to the Committee that was long enough. We desired to put the franchise upon a high standard, and we desired to eliminate from it everything that would invite criticism or suspicion. Any man can have until he is 21 years of age. We have a provision in there that those who are nineteen and a half years of age, because they have until 1903 to vote, a year and a half after this time, and they will be able to register by that time, and surely boys of 18 years of age ought to be able to qualify themselves to read and write within three years. We saw no necessity for it. We think it would invite unjust criticism upon our provision here to insert anything authorizing boys of 18 years of age to register in order that they might become entitled to vote. I do not desire to take up time by discussing these various amendments that may be offered. Most of them have been fully considered by the Committee, and I therefore move to lay the amendment upon the table, and ask for the previous question.

MR. SOLLIE‑I will have to ask for a yea and nay vote. Mr. President.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑I ask the gentleman from Greene to yield for a moment. I wish to rise to a question of personal privilege.

THE PRESIDENT‑ Will the gentleman state the question of personal privilege?

MR. LOWE‑ It is, sir, that it has been charged upon the floor that I have accused the Black Belt, and I desire to answer that proposition. I ask the gentleman to withhold his motion and I will yield to him to renew it.

MR. COLEMAN‑ The gentleman is not speaking to a question of personal privilege.

THE PRESIDENT– It seems that the question to which the gentleman desires to speak is not a question of personal privilege.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

It would be a legitimate argument upon the question before the Convention.

MR. LOWE– It has been charged against the speaker as Chairman of the Democratic State Committee, and I hope the gentleman from Greene will not insist on his motion.

MR. COLEMAN– I think, Mr. Chairman, that the question of personal privilege can be made at almost any time, but it seems to me that it has no pertinency to the amendment proposed here.

MR. LOWE– I will yield to the gentleman to renew his motion and I will not consume more than three minutes of time of the Convention.

THE PRESIDENT– Then gentleman says he will not consume but two or three minutes. Does the gentleman yield?

MR. LOWE– I was about to say that I ask no further indulgence. The disposition of the majority has been made plain.  I think when we are dealing together, the majority of this Convention will need the minority. The majority of white people in Alabama always need the minority. There will be a time, Mr. President, when discussions will arise when the limit of debate will be merely the patience of the people. There will be a time when the discussion will not be arbitrarily limited as to one man, and unlimited time accorded to another—

MR. WEATHERLY– I arise to a point of order. The gentleman is not addressing himself to the question of personal privilege to which he arose.

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman does not seem to be addressing himself to the proposition before the Convention.

MR. WEATHERLY– It is merely by the indulgence of the gentleman who moved the previous question.

MR. LOWE– And the gentleman withdrew it. I am reminded again of the allusion Randolph of Roanoke made to the man who sat in one of the early General Assemblies and was demanding the previous question and making points of order, and he said it reminded him of—

MR. COLEMAN– I yielded simply on the statement that the gentleman arose on a question of personal privilege and would consume only a few minutes of time in making it.

MR. LOWE– The gentleman displays his usual generosity, and I will confine myself to the question of personal privilege.

MR. BURNETT– I rise to a point of order. When the gentleman from Greene yields to the gentleman from Jefferson to dis-


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

cuss this matter, he had no power to limit the discussion or to direct what the gentleman from Jefferson should say.

MR. LOWE– The gentleman from Greene withdrew his demand for the previous question.

THE PRESIDENT– And yielded three minutes to the gentleman from Jefferson at his own suggestion to discuss a question of personal privilege.

MR. LOWE– The chair and the gentleman from Greene have consumed a considerable part of that three minutes, and I should like to consume the remainder of the three minutes.  I want to say that there is no man who sits on the floor of this Convention who has a higher regard for the Democracy of the Black Belt than I have. I say when any man has accused me on the floor of this Convention, whether it be the President of this Convention or any member of this Convention, of assailing the Black Belt, that he has said what is untrue, unjust and unjustifiable, and I am willing to stand upon the remarks I have made on that question. I deny the right of the Black Belt to assume a monopoly on all of the rascality in Alabama.  There has been more rascality in primary elections and in other elections in the white counties of Alabama, than has ever been contemplated in the Black Belt counties. The supremacy of the white man has never been in danger in Alabama except in these counties where the negro was in the minority and the bone of contention. It has only been when the white men divided and when there was a scramble for and purchase of negro votes that white supremacy has ever been in danger in any county in Alabama, and you propose now to eliminate not all the negroes for there will be at least 30 per cent of the negro vote registered in the first year, and there will be an increasing number registered every year thereafter, and you provide for elections so that it will absolutely necessary to—

MR. COLEMAN– I insist upon the point of order. The gentleman is not addressing himself to the question of personal privilege.

MR, LOWE– I assume I have a right to speak to the main question. The gentleman seems to be sore about this matter. But all of us remember that there have been counties in Alabama that wherever men who claim to be good Democrats have led the negro cohorts against the white people–

THE PRESIDENT‑ The gentleman from Greene yielded three minutes to the gentleman from Jefferson. The gentleman from Jefferson has the floor, and it is a matter of honor with the gentleman from Jefferson whether he consumes more than three minutes. It seems to the chair that he cannot displace the gentleman under thirty minutes.


3120      

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. LOWE‑‑I certainly shall not yield my sense of honor to the President of this Convention. He has shown an unfairness to me in the past, and I shall be the judge and keeper of my own conscience under the rules of the house. I wish to say, Mr. President, that I have devoted several of the best years of my life working for this Convention merely for the purpose of securing fair elections in Alabama.

I trust that the day when I have public duties to perform is early passing. I have not sought a public place. I did not seek the duties now, devolving upon the, and I accepted them with misgivings. I trust that in the very near future I may lay down every obligation that I owe to the public and devote my time and attention to domestic matters. I look for the coming of that day. There is nothing that the people of Alabama can offer me in a public way to which I aspire. If I did, I might have followed the lead of the majority here today and the combinations into which they were willing to enter. Thank God. I have not been built or construed on that plan. I speak now for the people in the same spirit that actuated me when, during the last three or four years I have attended State Conventions, to purify the ballot in Alabama and make possible fair elections.  There is no man in this Convention who knows who will for a moment question the truth of what I say.  There is no man who knows me who will doubt that I believe what I say today. My friend, the gentleman from Hale, said today that I referred to the report of the committee as a scheme. The term “scheme” carries no obloquy with it. I meant the “plan.”  I  say it is a plan that renders possible infamous frauds in Alabama, the most infamous ever perpetrated in Alabama, because they will be written in your Constitution. The gentleman from Greene, who was willing to cut me off, is the author of the anti-pass resolution and the anti-pass resolution has been compromised. I impute no unworthy motives to anyone. I invited you to consider the facts. What will be the limitation? I have listened and I have read in vain to see where, under the plan– I will not call it a scheme anymore because it seems to be obnoxious. I will call it a plan– and I appeal to you now in the last hour that you have a right to consider it– I appeal to you in this hour– this moment – before you vote and I ask you what remedy you offer under this plan?  What remedy is offered under this plan? I say to you that there is no remedy for the obtaining of honest and fair elections in Alabama offered under this plan.  I say to you that it is not true that you will ever achieve fair elections under the plan submitted by this committee. I say to you that the plan permits of fraud, and any plan that permits of fraud, invites fraud.  It does not eliminate the ignorant vote. It does not eliminate the negro vote. I ask in view of the conditions that confront the people of Alabama.  I appeal to you to raise the standard of citizenship so that only he who is willing to contribute


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

his share of the burden shall be able to participate. I do that, prompted by my belief in manhood suffrage, in order to meet the peculiar conditions that confront us in Alabama, but they bring us a plan here that would, in the course of three or four years, put into the population of Alabama, not all white men, but a very large percentage of the colored vote, and when the white men shall have divided, as some of the leaders of this movement have in the past advised them to do, and as many more have hoped they would do, when, I say, the white people in Alabama shall have divided as some of the leaders of this Convention have advised them to do, and as many more have wished they would do, the negro is the balance of power in Alabama.

Mr. Jenkins took the Chair during Mr. Lowe's remarks.

MR. COLEMAN ‑ I arise to a point of order. Under the rules, I think the delegates have a right to speak to the main question and the gentleman has certainly addressed the Convention on that question before. The question now is upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Chambers. If the gentleman from Jefferson claims the right to consume the time allowed him he ought to be confined in his remarks under the rules to the amendment.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑I was not aware of such a rule. The gentleman will confine his remarks to the amendment.

MR. LOWE ‑ I am delighted to see, I am delighted to see that the brave gentleman, the Chairman of the Committee, from Greene, who is able to stand the punishment, is getting sore. I am not speaking for applause. The applause comes from the other side. We knew where the majority is.  We know that in the making up of this Committee twenty-five of the strongest members of this Convention were placed upon it, and we know also, that the organization of the Convention itself was against us with all of its power. But now is the last time I will have an opportunity to speak in protest to yon men before we go to the people. Why, sir, the distinguished President of this Convention said upon the floor the other day that I said that I did not wish the ratification of this Constitution. He said that I had assailed the Black Belt. I challenge him now to show a line or a letter in my speech to that effect, and he had evidently studied it carefully, because he devoted a good deal of attention to me. I challenge him to show where there was a line in my speech that assailed the Black Belt or threatened the ratification of this Constitution. But he chose to put me in company with that grandest of Americans, in my conception, old Edmund Pettus. I am willing to live by him, and I am willing to die by him. There is no man in this Convention, from the President of the Convention down, who will ever occupy his seat as long as that old man lives. And there is


3122                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

John T. Morgan; he put me in company with John T. Morgan.  He will not himself, perhaps, and there is no man on this floor, who will aspire to Morgan’s  place as long as Morgan lives.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑I suggest that the gentleman confine his remarks to the question.

MR. LOWE– If the Chair rules me out of order, I will submit, but I will accept no suggestions from the Chair. I will accept the rulings of the Chair. I will warn the President of the Convention that the time comes when every man speaks his own opinion. I am willing to be put in company with those two great old men whose lives measure the history of Alabama and who have contributed their blood on every battlefield where the soldiers of Alabama have gone to the front, and who public service is recorded in the archives of the nation. And it will not lie in the mouth of a newcomer to assail either one of them. I would not have cared to have been criticized, but I dislike to be misrepresented. I tell you, Mr. President, that the people of Alabama are in revolt against your infamous registration system. I tell you that the people of Alabama who for years have been struggling for fair elections and looking forward to this Convention, are in revolt against your good character clause. You may believe it or not. I am saying to you now what I was denied the right to say behind closed doors, and the highest duty of a citizen is to speak the truth in public assemblies, let it hurt who it may. I do not want to serve my State, and the threats fall lightly upon me, for he who has nothing left to hope, has nothing to gain. The people of Alabama have honored me beyond my deserts, and I would be false to them in this hour if I did not speak the truth to you and the truth to them. I am not afraid of the threats that go forth from this Convention.

Mr. President, briefly, in conclusion, I want to say that it would have been the pleasure of my life to have been in accord with the majority of the committee. I would rather have been in accord with them than in opposition. It is true that not a change in our old organic law has passed here that my vote was not recorded  in the negative, and a man gets tired of being in the minority.  I would have been glad to have been in accord with the majority of this committee on the main question for which this Convention  was called, but, Mr. President, the report of that committee showed me so plainly that it was not the purpose to promote fair elections, but that it was the purpose to perpetrate fraud  in Alabama forever. Now, how can that be rendered possible?  You take a few of the politicians and then all of these fellows who have never been in politics at all, simply business men, and put them in company with politicians, and the shrewd politician gets the ear of the business man and the business man thinks that he


3123

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

is providing to save the people forever, especially when the champion of it has worn the ermine.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The Convention will be in order.

MR. LOWE‑I do not need the gavel . I only wish those to listen who want fair elections in Alabama. I never said that the black belt could perpetrate fraud. There has been more fraud perpetrated in an hour in white counties in Alabama than has been perpetrated in a year in the black belt of Alabama. There are no subdivisions that mark honesty or decency in public or private life. I want to say to you that in Dallas county they have fair primaries, absolutely honest and fair. I want to say to you that in Morgan county they have dishonest primaries, absolutely dishonest and unfair. I speak to you the truth as I know it, as it has been my duty to ascertain it.  I say to you that frequently in Madison county ‑ the county in know the Hale county primaries are absolutely rotten and contemptible. I know the Hale county primaries are always honest and fair. They shall not falsely impute to me an assault upon one geographical section of my State.  Gentlemen, what I ask you to do is simply to make honest and fair provisions for honest elections in Alabama. I am a believer in manhood suffrage.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The gentleman's time has expired.

MR. BROOKS‑I desire to offer an amendment.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑A motion for the previous question was pending and I yielded to the gentleman from Jefferson with the understanding that the motion would be renewed.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– Does the gentleman renew the motion?

MR. BROOKS ‑ I will ask the gentleman from Greene to yield to me for one moment.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑The gentleman from Mobile recognizes my obligation to yield the floor to the gentleman from Greene.

MR. BROOKS‑I ask the gentleman from Greene to yield for one moment‑

MR. COLEMAN‑ Merely for the purpose of offering it.

MR. BROOKS‑I ask the gentleman from Greene to yield a moment until the amendment is read.

MR. BOONE‑ Don't do it. Don't do it, Judge.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The Chair will rule that the gentleman from Mobile (Mr. Brooks) has the floor.

MR. BROOKS– It makes no difference to me. I do not care.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– Does the gentleman move the previous question?

Upon a vote being taken division was called for, and by a vote of 75 ayes and 11 noes the main question was ordered.

MR. SOLLIE– I now call for a yea and nay vote.

MR. deGRAFFENREID– There was a motion before the house to lay upon the table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Chambers. The gentleman from Greene moved to table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Chambers.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)– I demand the previous question upon the motion to table and upon the section.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– And after that the Chair does not think any other motion would be in order.

Mr. Reese sought recognition but failed.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The ayes and noes have been called for, is the call sustained?

The call for the ayes and noes was sustained.

MR. REESE – I rise to a parliamentary inquiry; what is now before the Convention?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– A motion to table. The gentleman from Greene moves to table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Chambers to Section 4. The Secretary will read the section and amendment.

MR. REESE– I do not desire the reading of the amendment, but I understood the Chair to state that a motion had been made to table, and a motion for the previous question.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The motion was made to table the amendment, and the ayes and noes were called for on motion to table.

MR. REESE– I make the point of order that the two motions cannot be put together, a motion to table and a motion for the previous question.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The motion for the previous question has been acted upon and there is only one motion before the house, which is a motion to table, and the ayes and noes have been called for.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑I rise to a point of order. After the previous question is ordered on the section and amendment a motion to lay upon the table is not in order.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– A motion to table is always in order, the Chair will so rule. The question is on the motion to lay on the table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Chambers.  The Clerk will call the roll, and those in favor of tabling the amendment will say I, and those opposed, no, as their names are called.

MR. LONG (Walker)–I ask for the reading of the amendment.

The amendment was read as follows: “Amend Section 4 by inserting after the word ‘upward’ in the second line, the following words: ‘And those who will become twenty-one years of age before the first day of January, 1905.”

MR. HEFLIN (Randolph)‑I understood the motion to be to table.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The Chair will state that it is to table the amendment, and those favoring the motion to table will signify it by saying I, and those opposed by saying no.

Upon the call of the roll the vote resulted as follows:

During the call of the roll:

MR. BROWNE– I am paired with the gentleman from Talladega, Mr. Graham, but I do not know how he would vote on this proposition if he were here, but I would vote aye.

MR. BYARS‑I am paired with the gentleman from Dallas.  Mr. Burns, upon the main question, but I understand he would vote aye on this proposition, and I will also vote aye.

AYES

Messrs. President,

Coleman, of Greene,

Hinson,

Altman,

Coleman, of Walker,

Hood,

Ashcraft,

Cunningham,

Howze,

Banks,

deGraffenreid,

Inge,

Barefield,

Eyster,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Bethune,

Ferguson,

Macdonald,

Blackwell,

Fitts,

McMillan (Wilcox),

Boone,

Fletcher,

Knight,

Bulger,

Glover,

Merrill,

Byars,

Grant,

Miller (Wilcox),

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Greer, of Calhoun,

NeSmith,

Carnathon,

Greer, of Perry,

Norwood,

Chapman,

Haley,

O’Neal (Lauderdale),

Cofer,

Harrison,

O’Neill (Jefferson),


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

Opp,

Sanders,

Watts,

O'Rear,

Sanford,

Weakley,

Parker (Cullman),

Searcy,

Weatherly,

Pettus,

Selheimer,

Williams (Barbour),

Pitts,

Smith (Mobile),

Williams( Marengo),

Proctor,

Vaughan,

Wilson (Washington),

Reese,

Waddell,

Winn,

Rogers (Sumter),

Walker,

TOTAL– 64

NOES

Bartlett,

Jackson,

Reynolds (Henry),

Beddow,

Jenkins,

Robinson,

Brooks,

Jones, of Bibb,

Rogers (Lowndes),

Burnett,

Kirk,

Samford,

Cardon,

Kyle,

Sloan,

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Lomax,

Smith, Mac A.,

Cobb,

Long (Walker),

Smith, Morgan M.,

Davis, of Etowah,

Lowe (Jefferson),

Sollie,

Dent,

Malone,

Sorrell,

Duke,

Martin,

Spears,

Eley,

Maxwell,

Spragins,

Foshee,

Moody,

Tayloe,

Gilmore,

Murphree,

Thompson,

Graham, of Montgomery,

Oates,

White,

Grayson,

Parker (Elmore),

Whiteside,

Handley,

Pearce,

Williams (Elmore),

Heflin, of Randolph,

Phillips,

Wilson (Clarke),

Henderson,

Porter,

TOTAL‑53

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING

Almon,

Hodges,

Morrisette,

Beavers,

Howell,

Mulkey,

Browne,

Jones, of Hale,

Norman,

Burns,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Palmer,

Case,

King,

Pillans,

Cornwall,

Kirkland,

Renfro,

Craig,

Ledbetter,

Reynolds (Chilton),

Davis, of DeKalb,

Leigh,

Sentell,

Espy,

Locklin,

Stewart,

Foster,

Long (Butler),

Studdard,

Freeman,

Lowe (Lawrence),

Willet,

Graham, of Talladega,

McMillan (Baldwin),

Heflin, of Chambers,

Miller (Marengo),

So the motion to table the amendment was carried.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

The question recurs upon the section reported by the Committee. The Secretary will read the section.

MR. WATTS– I suggest that it is not necessary to read the section again.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)– It is Section 4, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM. –  The question is on the adoption of Section 4.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑As I understand Section 4 has three subdivisions, and I ask a division of the question.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑A division has been called for. The Clerk will react the second sub‑division. The question  will be on the second subdivision. and upon that the ayes and noes have been demanded and the call has been sustained.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson) ‑ May I ask what disposition was  made of the first subdivision.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– It was amended and adopted.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑My motion was for the previous question upon the section not upon the subdivisions. That motion was carried. Now I do not know enough about parliamentary law–

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The Chair thinks when a division of the question is called for, if it permits of division that the delegates would have a right to the division.

MR. KNOX‑I would suggest if the previous question has been ordered on the section, that there is no room for the rule for a division of the question to operate. You could not take it up by paragraphs, and you could not take it up by sentences. It is all one question. The question is on the adoption of the section, and it seems to me if the previous question has been ordered on the section, the question would he upon the adoption of the section vel non.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The Chair will rule that the question is on the adoption of the section as a whole.

MR. CHAPMAN‑ The third subdivision has not been read yet.

THE CLERK‑ Not yet.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The Clerk will finish the reading of the section.

Subdivision 3 was read as follows:


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

3. All persons of good character, and who understand the duties and obligations of citizenship under a republican form of government.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The question now recurs upon the adoption of the section.

MR. OATES– I call for the ayes and noes on the adoption of the section.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)– I would suggest to the gentleman from Montgomery that I have asked for a division of the question.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The Chair will state to the gentleman from Jefferson that the previous question has been ordered as to the whole section and the Convention will have to reverse that decision before it can be taken up by subdivision.  The ayes and noes have been demanded and the call has been sustained, and as many as favor the adoption of the section will signify it by saying aye and we opposed by no as your names are called. The question is on the adoption of the whole section.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)– I ask for a ruling. I asked for a division of the question. I do not see why the sub-division cannot be voted on separately under Rule 37.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The Chair is not familiar with Rule 37 and will ask the gentleman to read the rule.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑The Chair has ruled upon this question  and no exception was taken at the time.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑‑‑ The gentleman from Greene, as the Chair understands it, demanded a division of the question, and the Chair does not want to be in error.

MR . LOWE (Jefferson)‑ I will ask the Chair to refer to Rule 37 on page 13. "Any delegate may call for a division of the question when  the sense will admit of it." I called for a division of the question, but failed to get it. I think this is so clear that the Chair cannot refuse it.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The Chair would like for the gentleman from Jefferson to rule on the previous question—

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑I have asked the Chair to refer to page 13, Rule 37.  That is all I care to say upon that subject.

MR. CHAPMAN‑A parliamentary inquiry. If my memory serves me correct as to the action of the Convention, by a separate vote a day or two ago we adopted and passed upon the first subdivision of Section 4, embracing what is known as the soldiers'


3129

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

clause. Since that tine the Convention has been discussing the second subdivision, and I think that the ruling of the Chair and the action of the Convention heretofore was that each subdivision of this section must be separately passed upon, and then the section as a whole passed upon. If I am correct in that, then there should be a separate vote now on subdivision, then on subdivision 3, and then on the section as a whole.

MR. REESE– The previous question has been ordered on this section, consisting of a number of subdivisions, and the only question is the adoption of the section. Rule 37 says that where the sense of a proposition will admit of it a member has the right to demand a division, and as a right, the Chair trust accord it to him. The fact that the previous question has been ordered cuts the figure in it. This section is composed of independent subdivisions, and the sense of each ogle of them admits of a separate vote upon each subdivision, and it appears to me to be clear that if any gentleman demands a division, he has a right to have each subdivision voted on independently, because striking out one subdivision would not affect the balance of the section.

MR. CHAPMAN‑ I move that we take up subdivision 2, or the second subdivision of Section 4. and vote on it.

MR. KNOX‑ The rule to which the gentleman refers, it seems to me, does not apply. Such a construction would  require a great many votes on every section, for every section that we adopt may be capable of a division into as many questions as there are sentences in the section. I have no objection to a division of the question, but it seems to me that the one cited does not extend to this kind of a case. It might be that the Convention would have preferred to have taken it up and considered it by paragraphs. If that motion had been made it have been in order to have voted upon it by paragraphs, but where the previous question is ordered on the section, it seems to me that without a reconsideration of the vote whereby the previous question was ordered, that the question cannot be divided up into different votes.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑I merely desire to read the rule again. I desired to read the rule the other day but I was ordered to set down. Rule 37 : Division of the question : Any delegate may call for a division of the question when the sense will admit of it. There is no allusion there to the previous question.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ It is clearly the opinion of the present occupant of the Chair that the point  made by the gentleman from Jefferson is correct and the Chair so rules. The Chair corrected his rulings before upon the suggestion of the gentleman from Calhoun, but the Chair will rule now, as the matter comes up for decision, that a division is in order, and the question will be


3130                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

on the next subdivision. We have adopted the first subdivision by a vote, and the second one is now to be voted upon.

MR. deGRAFFENREID ‑ When did we adopt the first subdivision. We never have voted upon the first subdivision.

MR. O'NEAL‑ We merely voted upon the minority report, and that was laid upon the table.

MR. deGRAFFENREID ‑The minority report was laid upon the table just as we adjourned.

Mr. Reese sought recognition.

THE CLERK ‑The first part of Section 4, down to the first subdivision has been adopted, as amended by the amendment of Judge Coleman and Mr. Samford. The subdivision is before the house.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The question recurs upon the first subdivision. Those in favor of the adoption of the first subdivision will say—

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑I demanded the ayes and noes upon the adoption of each subdivision.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The ayes and noes have been ordered.

MR. PILLANS‑ The call for the ayes and noes has not been sustained yet.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The Clerk informs the Chair the call for the ayes and noes was submitted to the Convention, and the call was sustained.

MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)‑I rise to a point of order. You cannot demand the ayes and noes on all the subdivisions, but you must demand the ayes and noes on each paragraph as you come to it.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The point of order is sustained.

The ayes and noes have been demanded, is the call sustained?

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑If the vote is on the first subdivision, I do not insist upon the call for the ayes and noes, but I do not understand the ruling of the Chair. I have no information that the first subdivision has ever been adopted.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑It has not been adopted, we are voting on that now.


3131

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑Although the Chair states so, I have no information, and do not believe that the first subdivision has ever been adopted.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The Chair just stated to the gentleman from Jefferson that it has not been adopted.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑‑I do not ask for the ayes and noes on the first subdivision.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The call for the ayes and noes is withdrawn.

MR. PILLANS‑I rise to a point of order. I demand that the question be put and that this House proceed with its business in order.

Upon a vote being taken, the first subdivision  of Section 4 was thereupon adopted.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The question recurs upon the adoption of the second subdivision.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑And upon that I call for the ayes and noes.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑The first clause of this Section has not been adopted. There are four clauses in this, the first being that which says the following male citizens of this State, who are citizens of the United States, 21 years old or upward, who if their place of residence shall remain unchanged, who have at the date of the next general election, the qualifications as to residence prescribed in Section 2 of this Article, and who are not disqualified under Section 6 of this Article, shall upon application be entitled to register as electors prior to the first day of January, 1903. That is the first paragraph—

MR. MACDONALD ‑That has been adopted.

MR. BLACKWELL‑I will ask if the Clerk's record do not show that has been adopted?

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑I ask if the Secretary's record shows that paragraph in this Article has been adopted.

THE CLERK‑ Here is an amendment offered by Judge Coleman that was adopted, and that is all the record shows that is attached to this report.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike.)‑That is the point I make. You cannot go and adopt the first subdivision, without adopting what may be termed the caption. That has never been adopted, and the records do not show that it has been adopted.


3132                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM ‑The Chair will state to the gentleman from Pike that the Clerk has sent for his journal and will verify the statement.

MR. WILLIAMS (Elmore)‑I move the adoption of the first clause, and the first paragraph of that Section.

Upon a vote being taken the first clause of the Section was  adopted.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The question now recurs  upon the first subdivision. As many as favor the adoption of this subdivision will signify it by saying aye.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑Which Section is that?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The first subdivision. The question now recurs upon the adoption of the second subdivision.

MR. BAREFIELD‑ You have not announced the vote upon the first subdivision of the Section.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The first clause was adopted, and we have just voted upon the first "division."

MR. BAREFIELD‑ But the Chair did not announce the result.

THE  PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The Chair announces that it is adopted.

The question now recurs upon the second subdivision.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑Upon the second clause I demand the ayes and noes.

The call for the ayes and noes was not sustained, and a viva voce vote  was taken upon the second subdivision of Section 4.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑I wish to have my protest recorded against the adoption of Subdivision 2.

THE  PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ Does the gentleman call for a division?

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑I called for the ayes and noes, and  I wish to have my protest recorded upon the minutes against the adoption of Section (Subdivision 2.)

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The Chair will state to the gentleman from Jefferson that the call for the ayes and noes was not sustained.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑The Chair refuses, then, to allow my protest to go upon the minutes of this Convention?


3133

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The gentleman has a right, at any time he sees fit, to spread his protest on the Journal.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑I ask for the spreading of my protest on the minutes.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ After the vote is announced, the gentleman will be in order to make such a motion. It seems to the Chair that the second subdivision is adopted, and the Chair declares it adopted. The gentleman from Jefferson.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑I wish to enter my protest against the adoption of Section 2 as undemocratic, unjust and unfair.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ Will the gentleman send up his protest in writing?

MR. O'NEAL‑I move the adoption of Subdivision 3.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑‑ The question recurs upon the adoption of Subdivision 3, and it is moved that it be adopted.

Upon a viva voce vote Subdivision 3 was adopted.

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑ Now I move the adoption of the whole Section as amended.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The question recurs upon the adoption of the Section as a whole.

MR. HARRISON‑I desire to make a parliamentary inquiry. What has become of the call for the previous question on this Section, which was sustained on the motion of the delegate from Greene ?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The Chair will rule that the previous question has been ordered on the whole section and the ayes and noes are demanded----

MR. O'NEAL‑ Not on the whole section?

MR. SOLLIE‑‑ Yes, sir; the ayes and noes were called on the  whole section, and the call was sustained.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The call for the ayes and noes on the whole section was sustained according to the recollection of the Chair.

MR. O'NEAL‑ The ayes and noes were not called for on the whole section.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ Is there a all for the ayes and noes?

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑ My motion was for the previous question on the section as a whole.  I call for the ayes and noes.


3134                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

The call was sustained.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The question recurs upon the adoption of the section as a whole. Those in favor of the adoption of the section will vote aye and those opposed, no, as your names are called.

Upon the call of the roll the vote resulted as follows:

AYES.

Messrs. President,

Handley,

Pillans,

Altman,

Heflin, of Chambers,

Pitts,

Ashcraft,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Proctor,

Barefield,

Henderson,

Reese,

Bethune,

Hinson.

Reynolds (Henry),

Blackwell,

Hood,

Robinson,

Boone,

Howze.

Rogers (Lowndes),

Brooks,

Inge,

Rogers (Sumter),

Bulger,

Jackson,

Samford,

Burnett,

Jenkins,

Sanders,

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Jones, of Bibb,

Sanford,

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Searcy,

Carnathon,

Kirk,

Selheimer,

Chapman,

Knight,

Smith (Mobile),

Cobb,

Lomax,

Smith, Mac. A.,

Coleman, of Greene,

Long (Walker),

Smith, Morgan M.,

Coleman, of Walker,

Macdonald,

Sollie,

Cornwall,

McMillan (Wilcox),

Sorrell,

Cunningham,

Malone,

Spragins,

Davis, of Etowah,

Martin,

Tayloe,

deGraffenreid,

Maxwell,

Thompson,

Duke,

Merrill,

Vaughan,

Eley,

Miller (Wilcox),

Waddell,

Eyster,

Moody,

Walker,

Ferguson,

Murphree,

Watts,

Fitts,

NeSmith,

Weakley,

Fletcher,

Norwood,

Weatherly,

Foster,

O'Neal (Lauderdale) ,

Whiteside,

Glover,

O'Neill (Jefferson),

Williams (Barbour),

Graham, of Montgomery,

Opp,

Williams (Marengo),

Grant,

O'Rear,

Williams (Elmore),

Grayson,

Parker (Cullman),

Wilson (Clarke),

Greer, of Calhoun,

Parker (Elmore),

Wilson (Wash'gton ),

Greer, of Perry,

Pearce,

Winn,

Haley,

Pettus.

Total‑104.


3135

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

NOES.

Bartlett,

Gilmore,

Porter,

Beddow,

Harrison,

Sloan,

Cardon,

Kyle,

Spears,

Dent,

Lowe (Jefferson),

White,

Foshee,

Oates,

Total‑14.

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING.

Almon,

Kirkland,

Norman,

Beavers,

Ledbetter,

Palmer,

Case,

Leigh,

Renfro,

Espy,

Long (Butler),

Reynolds (Chilton),

Hodges,

Lowe (Lawrence),

Sentell,

Jones, of Hale,

Miller (Marengo),

Studdard,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Morrisette,

Willett,

King,

Mulkey,

PAIRS.

AYES.                                     NOES.

Locklin,

Banks,

Browne,

Graham, of Talladega,

Burns,

Byars,

Stewart,

Cofer,

McMillan (Baldwin),

Howell,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Phillips,

Craig,

Freeman,

So the  section was adopted.

THE  PRESIDENT PRO TEM ‑The Secretary will read the next section.

Mr. Long (Walker) secured recognition.

MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)‑A point of order. An amendment is not in order until the section is read.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The Chair recognized the gentleman from Walker. The Chair does not know for what purpose he arose.

MR. LONG (Walker)‑I want to offer an amendment to the section. If it is not in order at this time I will offer it when the section is read.

Section 5 was read as follows:

Section 5. After the first day of January, 1903, the following persons, and no others, whom, if their place of residence shall re‑


3136                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

main unchanged, will have, at the date of the next general election, the qualifications as to residence prescribed in Section 2 of this Article, shall be qualified to register as electors, provided, they shall not be disqualified under Section 6 of this Article.

Mr. Long (Walker) was recognized.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑I ask the gentleman to yield to me for the purpose of making a motion, for a moment.

MR. LONG‑I will yield after my amendment is offered.

MR. SAMFORD‑ That is all right.

The Clerk read the amendment offered by Mr. Long of Walker, as follows:

“Amend Section 5, in the first line, by striking out ‘1903' and inserting ‘1905' in lieu thereof, and by adding after the word ‘article’ in the fifth line, the following: ‘Provided, further, that all male persons becoming of age, or citizens of Alabama, between the first of January, 1903, and the first of January, 1906, shall be registered under subdivision 3 of section 4 of this article.”

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑Mr. President, it seems to me----

PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The gentleman from Walker has the floor.

MR. LONG‑I have no objection to his making his motion.

MR. SAMFORD‑I desire to say that this section has two very long subdivisions. I therefore move that the rules be suspended, and that we consider this section by the subdivisions, instead of considering it as a whole.

Upon a vote being taken the motion to suspend the rules was carried.

MR. LONG (Walker)‑Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention, the objection of the amendment‑ I will ask the Clerk

to read the section as it would read after it is amended.

The Clerk read the section as amended.

MR. LONG‑ Now, Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention, that simply extends the time of the property and educational qualification in Alabama from 1903 to 1905. It is in line with the amendment that I voted for which was offered by the gentleman from Chambers, and the motion which I thought then, and still think, is just. This is a better one, I think, because it postpones the property and educational qualification in Alabama from 1903 to 1905. I appeal to the delegates upon this floor, and I think I know as much about poor people of Alabama as any member of this Convention. and I tell you, I know many sons of


3137

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

Confederate soldiers between 17, 18 and 19 years of age who cannot prepare themselves within the next twelve months to meet the educational or property qualifications to vote. This, as I can see, will do no harm. It does not extend the soldier clause, or the descendant of a soldier clause, so far as registration is concerned ; but between 1903 and 1905, when the property and educational clause goes into effect, all the voters, or men becoming of age, to the voters, or becoming citizens of the State of Alabama, will register under Section 3 of Article IV, which reads: “All persons of good character, and who understand the duties and obligations of citizens under a republican form of government.”  This, I think will make the Constitution much stronger. I, for one, have voted so far with this Committee, and I hope I shall continue to do it. I shall vote for it, and surrender my own ideas to the wisdom of the Committee. I have done it thus far, and I will do it hereafter. But I do ask that the Chairman of the Committee himself, carefully consider this amendment that I have offered. I believe that it is just, and I know that it is right. Why, Mr. President, a property and educational qualification is repulsive, it is not Democratic. The only excuse that can be given for it in this instance need not be referred to by me. There is not a sensible man in the hearing of my voice but who knows the necessity for it. If we could do otherwise there should never be all educational or a property qualification of the right to vote. This does not do away with it, but extends the time. Suppose a man is 20 years of age now, or 19 years of age‑ he has to prepare himself within twelve months  by the accumulation of $300 worth of property, or otherwise be able to read and write in the first day of January, 1903. While he may be fortunate enough to marry a woman with $300 worth of property, and thus save himself, that is the only way he can save himself. I have no respect for a  man that votes under his wife's petticoats. I want the man to vote and be able to do it in his own right. I think he should be able to read and write, but I think he should have more than twelve months in which to prepare himself for that purpose. I cannot see any just reason why this amendment should not be adopted. I tell you that I personally know numbers of sons of Confederate soldiers who will be disfranchised under it. They cannot stay away from the farm next year long enough to learn to read and write. Many crops are made in my county without horse or man, by white women and oxen, and I tell you that many of those widow women have sons and they help them make these crops and they cannot take them out of the field long enough for them to get an education within the short period of twelve months. So far as the accumulation of property is concerned, $300 worth of property, there is not only in ten who will ever own it. I am willing to submit it to the wisdom of this Convention, and abide by their result. I respectfully ask the consideration of the Chairman of the Committee on Suffrage to that amendment, and if he can accept it, either in whole or in part, I will be


3138                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

glad, or if this Convention can accept it in whole or in part. I will be glad,  otherwise I will be satisfied.

MR BULGER‑I have an amendment: “Amend report of the Committee by striking out Section 5 of the report.”

MR. O'NEAL‑‑I move to lay the amendment on the table.

MR. BULGER‑ Before the gentleman ‑---

MR. O'NEAL‑I move to lay the amendment of the gentleman from Walker on the table, also the amendment offered by the gentleman from Tallapoosa.

 

MR. BULGER‑ Will the gentleman withdraw?

MR. O'NEAL‑‑ Certainly.

MR. BULGER‑I understood I had the floor when the gentleman made the motion. I will not say, Mr. President, and gentle

men of the Convention, that I dislike to disagree with the Committee on Section 5. I am glad, sir, that I have got the opportunity to disagree with the Committee on Section 5. I like Section 4, and I believe we have incorporated in Section 4 all the suffrage plan that we need in Alabama. I believe the good character and understanding clause incorporates all the principles and all the policy that is in Section 5.

MR. DUKE‑I rise to a point of order.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The  gentleman will state the point of order.

MR. DUKE – The amendment is out of order. A resolution was just adopted to adopt this section by paragraph, and we are now on the first paragraph, and his resolution is to strike out Section 5. I make the point of order that his amendment is out of order. We are not considering Section 5. but the first paragraph of Section 5.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑‑ It seems to the chair that the point of order is well taken.

MR. BULGER‑I offer this amendment and withdraw the other.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑‑ The gentleman from Tallapoosa desires to withdraw his amendment. If there is no objection leave will be granted.

MR. REESE‑I object.

MR. DUKE‑‑I make the point of order that he has not leave to withdraw. The amendment will properly come when the section comes up for adoption.


3139

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

The amendment was read as follows:

“Amend report of the committee by striking out the first division of Section 5.”

MR. REESE‑I rise to a point of order. There were two amendments pending prior to the last one sent up by the gentleman from Tallapoosa. He has not obtained the consent of the house to withdraw the substitute he offered.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The gentleman withdrew his amendment, but the point of order is well taken.

MR. O'NEAL‑ What is the question before the house?

THE  PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The question is upon the adoption of the first subdivision.

MR. O'NEAL‑ Am I in order to make a motion?

MR. BULGER‑ Mr. President, I insist that I have the floor.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The gentleman from Tallapoosa will state whether his amendment------

MR. BULGER‑I rise to a point of parliamentary inquiry.  Is it not parliamentary that an amendment to an amendment can always be offered?

THE  PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ That is correct.

MR. BULGER‑Is that not the parliamentary status of this question now? My amendment was offered to the amendment of the gentleman from Walker.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The Chair did not so understand it. The Clerk will read the amendment.

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑ I rise to a point of order. The gentleman has introduced no amendment to the first subdivision of Section 5. He has simply introduced an instrument there which purports to strike, it is not an amendment. If the gentleman desires to do that he can vote against the adoption of the subdivision when that comes up before the house.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The Chair does not think that the amendment offered by the gentleman from Tallapoosa is germane to the amendment offered by the gentleman from Walker and therefore it is not in order.

MR. O'NEAL‑ Does the Chair hold that it is not germane?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM. ‑The amendment offered by the gentleman from Tallapoosa is not germane to the amendment


3140                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

offered by the gentleman from Walker. I will sustain the point of order made by the gentleman from Hale.

MR. O’NEAL– I move to lay the amendment of the gentleman from Walker on the table.

MR. LONG– Upon that I call for the ayes and nays.

MR. WILLIAMS (Elmore)– I rise to a point of order. The gentleman from Walker offered an amendment, and the gentleman from Tallapoosa offered an amendment to strike out the entire section. He asked leave to withdraw that, and the Chair said, “I hear no objection,” and it was granted, and then he said, “I offer this amendment from Walker.”

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The Chair ruled it out oforder as not being germane.

MR. WILLIAMS (Elmore)‑I rise to a point of inquiry.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑‑ The gentleman will state the point of inquiry.

MR. WILLIAMS– Is not an amendment to the amendment in order?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– Not always. The question is on the motion to table.

MR. LONG– I ask for ayes and nays.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The gentleman from Walker asks for the ayes and nays. Is the call sustained?

The call is sustained. Those in favor of the motion to table will signify it by saying aye, those opposed no as your names are called.

MR. SAMFORD– I rise to a point of inquiry.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– State the point of inquiry

MR. SAMFORD– Does this house adjourn this evening at six o’clock, or do we hold on to seven?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– It is the information of the Chair that we adjourn at seven.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)– We adjourn at six o’ clock, because the resolution said ‘hereafter’ fixing the time of the meeting in the morning at nine and adjournment at seven. When we adopted that rule of meeting at nine o’clock we adjourn at seven; as long as we meet at 9:30, we adjourn at six. There is no use for me to talk to you gentlemen about the hereafter. You have been talked to enough about that.


3141

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The Chair will state that he got his information from a page. (Laughter.)

MR. SAMFORD‑I appeal from the decision of the page.

(Cries of Vote! Vote.)

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The Clerk will call the roll.

MR. CARMICHAEL (Colbert)‑I move we adjourn.

The President took the Chair and the Secretary proceeded to call the roll.

During the call of the roll.

MR. WILLIAMS (Elmore)‑I vote aye for the purpose of moving a reconsideration on tomorrow morning.

Upon the call of the roll the vote resulted as follows:

AYES.

Messrs. President,

Grant,

Pillans,

Ashcraft,

Greer, of Perry,

Pitts,

Banks,

Hinson,

Rogers (Lowndes),

Barefield,

Hood,

Rogers (Sumter),

Bethune,

Howell,

Sanders,

Blackwell,

Howze,

Searcy,

Boone,

Inge,

Selheimer,

Browne,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Smith (Mobile),

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Knight,

Tayloe,

Carnathon,

Lomax,

Vaughan,

Chapman,

Lowe, of Jefferson,

Waddell,

Cobb,

Macdonald,

Walker,

Coleman, of Greene,

McMillan (Wilcox),

Watts,

Coleman, of Walker,

Merrill,

Weakley,

Cunningham,

Miller (Wilcox),

Weatherly,

Dent,

NeSmith,

Williams (Barbour),

deGraffenreid,

Norwood,

Williams (Marengo),

Fitts,

O'Neal (Lauderdale),

Williams (Elmore),

Fletcher,

O'Rear,

Wilson (Clarke),

Foster,

Parker (Cullman),

Wilson (Wash'gton),

Glover,

Pettus,

Winn,

Total‑63.

NOES.

Bartlett,

Davis, of  Etowah,

Grayson,

Beddow,

Duke,

Greer, of Calhoun,

Bulger,

Eley,

Haley,

Burnett,

Ferguson,

Handley,

Cardon,

Foshee,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Graham, of Montgomery,

Jackson,


3142                 

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

Jenkins,

O’Neill, of Jefferson,

Smith, Mac A.,

Jones, of Bibb,

Opp,

Smith, Morgan M.,

Kirk,

Parker (Elmore),

Sollie,

Kyle,

Pearce,

Sorrell,

Long, of Walker,

Phillips,

Spears,

Malone,

Porter,

Spragins,

Martin,

Proctor,

Thompson,

Maxwell,

Reynolds, of Henry,

White,

Moody,

Robinson,

Whiteside,

Murphree,

Sanford,

Oates,

Sloan,

TOTAL– 49.

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING.

Almon,

Harrison,

McMillan, of Baldwin,

Altman,

Heflin, of Chambers,

Morrisette,

Beavers,

Henderson,

Mulkey,

Brooks,

Hodges,

Norman,

Case,

Jones, of Hale,

Palmer,

Cornwall,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Reese,

Craig,

King,

Renfro,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Kirkland,

Reynolds (Chilton),

Eyster,

Ledbetter,

Samford,

Espy,

Leigh,

Sentell,

Gilmore,

Locklin,

Stoddard,

Freeman,

Long, of Butler,

Willet.

Graham, of Talladega,

Lowe, of Lawrence,

PAIRS

AYES.                                     NOES.

Burns,

Byars,

Stewart,

Cofer,

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)– I now move the adoption of the first paragraph of Section 5, and on that I call for the previous question.

MR. LONG (Walker)– A point of order. It is 6 o’clock and the House stand adjourned.

MR. O’NEAL– A point of order—

MR. PILLANS– No sir, I made a point of order awhile ago when the other gentleman was presiding that the resolution says hereafter the meetings of this House shall be at 9 o’clock in the morning—

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)– That was lost.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)– It was not lost. I beg your pardon.  The resolution provides that the meeting shall be at 9 o’clock in


3143

CONSTITUTIONAL  CONVENTION, 1901

the morning and meet again at 3:30 and hold until 7. Now that resolution was brought in after 9:30 this morning and therefore it could not possibly take effect today. It cannot take effect until the time for meeting is fixed as well as the tithe for adjournment and therefore the House stands adjourned today under the old rule.

A reading of the resolution was called for.

MR. ROGERS‑I think it is the resolution I wrote myself.  The Committee has changed it a little.

The resolution was read as follows:

Resolved, That hereafter the sessions of this Convention shall be as follows: Meet daily at 9 a. m., adjourn at 1 p.m., meet at 3:30 p. m. and adjourn at 7 p.m.

MR. PILLANS‑‑ That became operative at once, and this is "hereafter." It is how it became operative at once when it was after 9:30 when the resolution was introduced.

THE PRESIDENT‑ In the opinion of the Chair it would become operative as to all subsequent adjournments, subsequent to adoption of the resolution. It would not effect anything that occurred prior to its adoption, but the adjournment, if it says that hereafter we shall adjourn at 1:30, as was first proposed, then the morning session would have terminated at 1:30 instead of 1.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)‑I would like to ask the Chair a question.

THE  PRESIDENT‑ The gentleman will propound the interrogatory.

MR. ROGERS‑ If the opinion of the Chair is correct, will you not have to turn back the hands of the clock so as to enable us to meet at 9 o'clock this morning, when it was 10 o'clock when the resolution was introduced?

THE PRESIDENT‑ The opinion of the Chair is that the resolution became operative on all adjournments that occurred subsequent to the adoption of the resolution and that its operation would not be deferred until the next day.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)‑I move that we adjourn.

There were expressions of dissent, and upon a vote being taken a division was called for, and by a vote of 63 ayes and 53 noes the Convention adjourned.