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FIFTY NINTH DAY

_________

MONTGOMERY, ALA.,

Tuesday, July 31, 1901.

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

O Lord, God, we come into Thy presence with a deep sense of our dependence upon Thee.  We come to Thee with thanksgiving, that our lives and health has been preserved, and that we have been permitted to assemble here this morning. We thank Thee for all the good which we have, material, social and spiritual. Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes down from our Father with whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning. Guide us during the day. Accept the gratitude of our hearts, the praise of our lips and the service of our lives, in return from that goodness which Thou hast shown to us. Forgive our lack of faithfulness, and may we in all the coming days live soberly, righteously and  Godly  in  this  present  world.  Bless these Thy servants here assembled.  Bless them in their homes and in their works.  Prepare us for the duties of this day. May we be led and guided by Thee.  Finally bring us to the home of the good, we pray Thee, through Christ, our Redeemer.  Amen.

Upon the call of the roll 107 delegates responded to their names.

MR. OATES– I am reminded this morning by seeing the delegate from Monroe here, Mr. Morrisette, who has been absent for sometime on account of sickness, that upon the vote taken upon the minority report in the Suffrage amendment, I had agreed to pair with him, but it has escaped me at the time. It makes no difference, but I state that in justice of the delegate.

Leaves of absence were granted to the following delegates: Mr. Jones of Montgomery for today; Mr. Graham of Talladega for yesterday.

MR. BULGER– I rise to a point of personal privilege, not to correct the stenographic report but to correct what I said. Referring to the Grandfather Clause. I am report as saying: “I like it, because it practically permits all white men to vote, and it practically denies all negroes to vote.”

I think I said that, but did not mean to say it. I meant to say that “it did not interfere with the negro who was qualified to vote.”


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MR. DENT‑I do not want to make a correction nuns protunc, like the gentleman from Talladega, but I want to correct something I did not say. The stenographic report shows that I said “with John Roddy's Cavalry.” I do not know the given name of Roddy, and did not use it. I don't know whether his name is John or not. I do not think it is. I ask to have it corrected just to show “Roddy's Cavalry.”

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

MR. BEDDOW‑I move that the roll call of delegates be dispensed with, and that we suspend the rules, and immediately proceed to the consideration of the article on Suffrage.

THE PRESIDENT‑‑‑ Does the gentleman include the call of Committees ?

MR. BEDDOW‑‑‑‑ Yes, sir.

MR. OATES‑I have no objection to that with one exception. I desire to call up the report of the Committee on Legislative Department for reading and final passage.

THE PRESIDENT‑‑ Does the gentleman desire it read at this time?

MR. OATES‑ Yes, sir. I do not object to the motion if that is accepted.

THE PRESIDENT‑ Does the gentleman from Jefferson except the report of the Committee on Legislative Department? That would come up under the head of the Committee on Engrossment perhaps, as it is lying on the table.

MR. BEDDOW‑ Yes, sir.

MR. KIRKLAND‑ I have a short petition which I desire to have the unanimous consent to have read. I ask unanimous consent that the body of the petition be read.

THE PRESIDENT‑‑ The question before the house is upon the motion of the gentleman from Jefferson. The Chair will submit the request of the gentleman from Dale, as soon as the house has passed on the other motion. The motion is to dispense with the call of the roll of delegates for the introduction of ordinances and the call of Standing committees with the exception of the Committee having in charge the article on Legislative Department.

Upon a vote being taken the motion was carried and the rules suspended.


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MR. OATES– I now move to take the article reported by the Committee on Legislative Department from the table and that it be read the third time, and put upon its final passage.

MR. BROOKS– What is the motion? Is it on ordering it to a third reading.

THE PRESIDENT– It has been ordered to a third reading. The question is on the third reading of the report.

MR. BROOKS– Will any remarks be in order now?

THE PRESIDENT– It seems to the Chair they would be in order.

MR. BROOKS– While there are several sections in the report of the committee that I do not agree to, there is one particularly, that I object to and which compels me to vote against the adoption of that article. I refer to the proposition which changes the policy of this State, from the time that it became a State, and which makes its policy in opposition to the policy of every State in the Union, in regard to the election of members of the Legislature, and to the sessions of the Legislature. Now without a single exception in forty-give States of this Union, every State has a biennial session of the Legislature. Some of them have annual sessions. Some few have–

MR. OATES– Will the gentleman allow an interruption?

MR. BROOKS– In one moment.  Some few have biennial and some few have annual sessions, with the exception of the State of Mississippi, which has quadrennial elections, and biennial sessions. The policy which now obtains in this State is common to every other State in this Union.  I will now hear the gentleman from Montgomery.

MR. OATES– I was about to ask when my friend was making no exception, what about Mississippi? It has a Legislature

only once in four years.

MR. BROOKS– That is only because I did not have time rapidly enough to follow the operations of the gentleman’s mind. I cannot say but one thing at a time. Now, Mr. President, for that reason, I shall feel compelled to vote against the adoption of this article. I believe that it is an unwise and a radical departure from the policy of the State.

MR. O’NEAL– I desire to make a suggestion.

THE PRESIDENT– Does the gentleman yield?

MR. BROOKS– Yes sir.

MR. O’NEAL– There seems to be a misapprehension as to the law of Mississippi on this subject. The law of Mississippi is


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that the Legislature meets biennially. Every four years, there is a session which has no limit upon its term, and every two years there is a session limited to thirty days. So they meet biennially.

MR. BROOKS‑I understand that, sir. The sessions are quadrennial, as to general legislation, with an alternating session for local legislation every two years, but in point of fact, they have biennial sessions of the Legislature. Now I want to say that I do not believe the people of this State call for any such radical departure, and I do not believe that they understand now, or that they have any idea that this great right of meeting frequently  and electing their representatives, freshly from them, when new questions spring up, and the right to come together, at least in sessions every two years, has been taken away from them, by this Constitution, and I think they will wake up some day to find themselves in a position that they never dreamed this Convention was putting them in, and for that reason, I object and will vote against the adoption of the article on Legislative Department.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)– Old “Probono Publico” “Watchman,” and the balance of that family have been warning the people of the State, through the newspapers, that this Convention has taken away from them the right to meet every two years. I have been reading it in these papers myself, but I have never yet heard an expression from the people that did not favor the four year term. They have paid no attention to "Probono Publico." "Watchman," "X Rays," and other people who stand as the guardians of the rights of the people of Alabama. Upon the other hand, every expression you can hear from the business interest of the State of Alabama and the business interests is the than who follows the plow, as well as the one who manages the great corporations in the State of Alabama, favors meeting every four years. It is the universal expression of the wish of the people of the State of Alabama. If we had not taken out of the hands of the Legislature local legislation, why then of course, it would be well to meet every two years, and let the people pass local legislation, but when we have said that the legislature should not pass upon local legislation, when the have said there should be other means of providing for local laws, then it is safe for them to meet every four years. The Governor has the right to call the Legislature into session whenever the interest of the people of Alabama are menaced. We have not taken away from the people any right. We are simply doing what the people want us to do, They want us simply to let them  alone and let them pursue their business, and their pleasure, and look out for their happiness in the State of Alabama. Now the gentleman from Mobile says that the people of the State of Alabama do not know what we are doing. I think he casts a reflection upon the intelligence of the people of the State of Alabama. Let him show me one single objection from the people and this has been heralded


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all over the State of Alabama, about the four year term, except may be from that “Probono Publico” family. I hardly think it is necessary, Mr. President to say anything more of this question.

MR. BOONE– Can’t you move the previous question on the article?

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)– I am not sufficiently informed as to parliamentary usage, to know whether we can or not.

MR .BOONE– Try it.

MR. ROGERS– I move the previous question upon the third reading.

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman from Sumter moves the previous question upon the third reading of the article as reported.

MR. O’NEAL– I desire to make a point of order. Would a motion be in order now to strike out any section of that report.

THE PRESIDENT– The question is upon the adoption of the article as a whole.

MR. O’NEAL– We have to vote upon the whole.

THE PRESIDENT– Either accept or reject the whole.

MR. O’NEAL– So a discussion of this question would be fruitless at present.

THE PRESIDENT– Unless the Convention desires to reject the whole article. The question is as to whether the main question shall be put.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)– Can this question be discussed as to whether we shall meet every four years or every two.

THE PRESIDENT– It can be discussed if the Convention declines the call for the previous question.

MR. O’NEAL– I desire to make a parliamentary inquiry: Would a motion to re-commit the entire article to the Committee with instructions to report as to the biennial sessions be in order?

THE PRESIDENT– It is not the province of the Chair to suggest what motion would be in order, but to submit motions that are made.

THE PRESIDENT– The question is upon the motion for the previous question.

MR. O’NEAL– I move to lay the whole article on the table.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion to table was lost.


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THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is on the motion of the gentleman from Sumter. Shall the main question be now put?

Upon a vote being taken, the main question was ordered.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is on the reading and adoption of the article. The Secretary will read the article.

The article was read as follows:

An ordinance to create and define the Legislative Department.

Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled, That Article IV of the Constitution be stricken out, and the following Article inserted in lieu thereof:

ARTICLE— .

Legislative Department

Section 1. The Legislative power of this State shall be vested in a Legislature, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Sec. 2. The style of the laws of this State shall be: “Be it enacted by the Legislature of Alabama,” which need not be repeated, but the act shall be divided into sections for convenience, according to substance, and the sections designated merely by figures, teach law shall contain but one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title. except general appropriation bills, general revenue bills, and bills adopting a code, digest or revision of statutes; and no law shall be revived, amended, or the provisions thereof extended or conferred, by reference to its title only; but so much thereof as is revived, amended, extended, or conferred, shall be re‑enacted and published at length.

Sec. 3. Senators and Representatives shall be elected by the qualified electors on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, 1902, and every four years thereafter, unless the Legislature shall change the time of holding elections. The terms of office of the Senators and Representatives shall be four years, commencing on the day after the general election, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution. Whenever a vacancy shall occur in either House the Governor shall issue a writ of election to fill such vacancy for the remainder of the term.

Sec. 4. Senators shall be at least 25 years of age and Representatives, 21 years of age. They shall have been citizens and residents of this State for three years and residents of their respective counties or districts one year next before their election, if such county or district shall have been so long established; but if not then of the county or district from which the same shall have been taken; and they shall reside in their respective counties or districts during their terms of service.

Sec. 5. The Legislature shall meet quadrennially, at the Capitol, in the Senate Chamber and in the Hall of the House of Representatives (except in


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cases of the destruction of the capitol, or epidemics, when the Governor may convene them at such place in the State as he may deem best) on the day specified in this Constitution, or on such other day as may be prescribed by law; and shall not remain in session longer than sixty days at the first session held under this Constitution nor longer than fifty days  at any subsequent session.

Sec. 6. The pay of the members of the Legislature shall be $4 per day, and 10 cents per mile in going to and returning from the seat of government to be computed by the nearest usual route travelled.

Sec. 7. The Legislature shall consist of not more than thirty-five Senators, and not more than 105 members of the House of Representatives; to be apportioned among the several districts and counties as prescribed in this Constitution, provided that upon the creation of any new county, it shall be entitled to one representative in addition to the number above named.

Sec. 8 The Senate, at the beginning of each regular session, and at such other times as may be necessary, shall elect one of its members president thereof, to preside over its deliberations in the absence of the Lieutenant Governor; and the House of Representatives, at the beginning of each regular session and at such other times as may be necessary, shall elect one of its members as Speaker; and the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall hold their offices respectively until their successors are elected and qualified. In case of temporary disability of either of said presiding officers, the House to which he belongs may elect one of its members to preside over that House and to perform all the duties of such officer under disability during the continuance of the same; and such temporary officer while performing duty as such, shall receive only the same compensation to which the permanent officer is entitled by law. Each House shall choose its own officers, and shall judge of the election, returns and qualifications of its members.

Sec. 9.  A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties, as each House may provide.

Sec. 10. Each House shall have power to determine the rules of its proceedings and to punish its members or other persons for contempt or disorderly behavior in its presence; to enforce obedience  to its process to protect its members against violence, or officers of bribes or corruption; and with the concurrence of two-third of either House to expel a member; but not a second time for the same offense, and shall have all the powers necessary for the Legislature of a free State.

Sec. 11. A member of either House expelled for corruption shall not thereafter be eligible to either House, and punishment for contempt or disorderly behavior shall, not bar an indictment for the same offense.

Sec. 12. Each House shall keep a Journal of its proceedings and cause the same to be published immediately after its adjournment, except, in such


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parts as in its judgment, may require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question shall, at the desire of one-tenth of the members present, be entered on the Journals. Any member of either House shall have liberty to dissent from or protest against, any act or resolution which he may think injurious to the public or an individual, and have the reasons for his dissent entered on the Journals.

Sec. 13. Members of the Legislature shall in all cases, except treason, felony, violation of their oath of office and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place.

Sec. 14. The doors of each House shall be open except on such occasions as in the opinion of the House, may require secrecy; but no person shall be admitted to the floor of either House while the same is in session, except members of the Legislature, the officers and employes of the two Houses, the Governor and his secretaries, Representatives of the press and such other persons to whom either House, by unanimous vote, may extend the privileges of its floor.

Sec. 15. Neither House shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.

Sec. 16. No Senator or Representatives shall, during the term for which he shall have been elected be appointed to any office of profit under the State, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased during such term, except such offices as may be filled by elections by the people.

Sec. 17. No person convicted of embezzlement of the public money, bribery, perjury or other infamous crime shall be eligible to the Legislature, or capable of holding any office of trust or profit in this State.

Sec. 18. No law shall be passed except by bill and no bill shall be altered or amended on its passage through either House as to change its original purpose.

Sec. 19. No bill shall become a law until it shall have been referred to a standing committee of each House, acted upon by such committee in session, and returned there from, which facts shall affirmatively appear upon the Journal of each House.

Sec. 20. Every bill shall be read on three different days in each House, and no bill shall become a law unless on its final passage it be read at length, and the vote taken by yeas and nays, the names of the members voting for and against the same to be entered upon the Journals, and a majority of each House be recorded thereon as voting in its favor, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution.

Sec. 21. No amendment to bills shall be adopted except by a majority of the House wherein the same is offered, nor unless the amendment, with


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the names of those voting for and against the same, shall be entered at length on the Journal of the House in which the same is adopted, and no amendment to bills by one House shall be concurred in by the other unless by a vote taken by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against the same be recorded at length on the Journals; and no report of a committee of conference shall be adopted in either House except upon a vote taken by yeas and nays and entered on the Journal as herein provided for the adoption of amendments.      

Sec. 22. The Legislature shall have no power to authorize lotteries or gift enterprises for any purpose, and shall pass laws to prohibit the sale of lottery or gift enterprise tickets, or tickets in any manner in the nature of a lottery in this State; and all acts or parts of acts heretofore passed by the Legislature and all acts amendatory thereof, or supplemental thereto, are hereby avoided.

Sec. 23. The presiding officer of each House shall, in the presence of the house over which he presides, sign all bills and joint resolutions passed by the Legislature, after the same shall have been publicly read at length immediately before signing, and the fact of reading and signing shall be entered upon the journal; but the reading at length may be dispensed with by a two-thirds vote of a quorum present, which fact shall also be entered upon the journal.

Sec. 24.  The Legislature shall prescribe by law the number, duties and compensation of the officers and employes of each House; and no payment shall be made from the State Treasury or be in any way authorized to any person except to an acting officer or employe, elected or appointed in pursuance of law.

Sec. 25 The Legislature shall have no power to grant or to authorize or require any county or municipal authority to grant, or shall any county or municipal authority have power to grant any extra compensation, fee or allowance to any public officer, servant or employe, agent or contractor,

after services shall have been rendered or contract made, nor to increase or decrease the fees and compensation of such officers during their terms of office; nor shall nay officer of the State bind the State to the payment of any sum of money but by authority of law. Provided this section shall not apply to allowances made by Commissioners, Courts or Boards of Revenue to county officers for ex-officio services.

Sec. 26. All stationery, printing, paper and fuel used in the Legislative and other departments of government, shall be furnished, and the printing, binding and distribution of laws, journals, department reports and all other printing and binding and repairing and furnishing the halls and rooms used for the meetings of the Legislature and its committees shall be performed under contract, to be given to the lowest responsible bidder below maximum price, and under such regulations as shall be prescribed by law; no member or officer of any department of the government shall be in any way interested in such contracts, and all such contracts shall be subject to the approval of the Governor, Auditor and Treasurer.


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Sec. 27. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives. The Governor, Auditor and Attorney General shall before each regular session of the Legislature, prepare a general revenue bill to be submitted to the Legislature for its information and the Secretary of State shall have printed for the use of the Legislature a sufficient number of copies of the bill so prepared, which the Governor shall transmit to the House of Representatives as soon as organized, to be used or dealt with as that House may elect. The Senate may propose amendments  to revenue bills. No revenue shall be passed during the last five days of the session.

Sec. 28. The general appropriation bill shall embrace nothing but appropriations for the ordinary expenses of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Departments of the State, interest on the public debt and for the public schools. The salary of no officer or employe shall be increased in such bill, nor shall any appropriation be made for any officer or employe unless his employment and the amount of his salary have already been provided for by law. All other appropriations shall be made by separate bills, each embracing but one subject.

Sec. 29. No money shall be paid out of the treasury, except upon appropriations made by law, and on warrant drawn by the proper officer in pursuance thereof; and a regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public moneys shall be punished annually in such manner as may be by law directed.

Sec. 30. No appropriation shall be made to any charitable or educational institution not under the absolute control of the State, other than normal schools established by law for the professional training of teachers for the public schools of the State, except by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each House.

Sec. 31. No act of the Legislature shall authorize the investment of any trust fund by executors, administrators, guardians and other trustees in the bonds or stock of any private corporation: and any such acts now existing are avoided, saving investment heretofore made.

Sec. 32. The power to change the venue in civil and criminal causes is vested in the court: to be exercised in such manner as shall be provided by law.

Sec. 33. When the Legislature shall be convened in special session, there shall be no legislation upon subjects other than those designated in the proclamation of the Governor calling such session, except by a vote of two-thirds of each House. And special sessions shall be limited to thirty days.

Sec. 34. No State office shall be continued or created for the inspection or measuring of any merchandise manufacture or commodity; but any county or municipality nay appoint such officers when authorized by law.

Sec. 35. No act of the Legislature changing the seat of government of the State shall become a law until the same shall have been submitted


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to the qualified electors of the State, at a general election, and approved by a majority of such electors voting on the same; and such act shall specify the proposed new location.

Sec. 36.  A member of the Legislature who shall solicit demand or receive or consent to receive, directly or indirectly, for himself or for another from any company, corporation or person, any money, office, appointment, employment, reward, thing of value or enjoyment or of personal advantage or promise thereof, for his vote or official influence, or for withholding the same, or with an understanding, expressed or implied, that his vote or official action shall be in any way influenced thereby; or who shall solicit or demand any such money or other advantage, matter or thing aforesaid, for another, as a consideration of his vote or influence, or for withholding the same; or shall give or withhold his vote or influence, in consideration of the payment or promise of such money, advantage, matter or thing to another, shall be guilty or bribery within the meaning of this Constitution, and shall incur the disabilities provided thereby for such offense, and such additional punishment as is or shall be provided by law.

Sec. 37.  Any person who shall, directly or indirectly, offer, give or promise any money or thing of value, testimonial, privilege or person advantage, to any executive or a judicial officer, or member of the Legislature, to influence him in the performance of any of his public or official duties, shall be guilty of bribery, and be punished in such manner as may be provided by law.

Sec. 38.  The offense of corrupt solicitation of members of the legislature, or of public officers of this State, or of any municipal division thereof, and any occupation or practice of solicitation.

Sec. 40. In al elections by the Legislation of such members or officers to influence their official action; shall be defined by law, and shall be punished by fine and imprisonment in the penitentiary; and the Legislature shall provide for the trial and punishment of the offenses enumerated in the two preceding sections, and shall require the judges to give the same specially in charge to the Grand Juries in all the counties of this State.

Sec. 39.  A member of the Legislature who has a personal or private interest in any measure or bill proposed or pending before the Legislature shall disclose the fact to the House of which he is a member, and shall not vote thereon.

Sec. 40. In all elections by the legislature the members shall vote viva voce, and the votes shall be entered on the Journals.

Sec. 41.  It shall be the duty of the legislature to pass such laws as may be necessary and proper to decide differences by arbitrators to be appointed by the parties who may choose that mode of adjustment.

Sec. 42.  It shall be the duty of the Legislature, at its first session after the ratification of this Constitution, and within every subsequent period of twelve years, to make provision by law for the revision, digesting and pro-


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mulgation of the public statutes of this State of a general nature, both civil and criminal.

Sec. 43. The Legislature shall pass such penal law; as they play deem expedient to suppress the evil practice of duelling.

Sec. 44. It shall be the duty of the Legislature to regulate by law the cases in which deductions shall be made from the salaries of public officers for neglect of duty in their official capacities, and the amount of such deduction.

Sec. 45. It shall be the duty of the Legislature to require the several counties of this State to make adequate provision for the maintenance of the poor.

Sec. 46. The Legislature shall not have power to authorize any municipal corporation to pass any laws inconsistent with the general laws of this State.

Sec. 47. In the event of annexation of any foreign territory to this State, the Legislature shall enact laws extending to the inhabitants of the acquired territory, all the rights and privileges which may be required by the terms of the acquisition not inconsistent with this Constitution. Should the State purchase such foreign territory the Legislature, with the approval of the Governor, shall be authorized to expend any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated and if necessary to provide also for the issuance of State bonds to pay for the purchase of such foreign territory.

Sec. 48. The Legislature shall plot tax property, real or personal, of the State, counties, or other municipal corporations of cemeteries, nor lots in incorporated cities or towns, or within one mile of any city or town, to the extent of one acre, nor lots one mile or more distant from such cities or towns to the extent of five acres, with the buildings thereon, when the same are used exclusively for religious worship, for public schools or for purposes purely charitable.

Sec. 49. The Legislature shall by law  prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary to ascertain the value of personal and real property exempted from sale, under legal process by this Constitution, and to secure the same to the claimant thereof as selected.

Section 50. The State shall not engage in works of internal improvement, nor lend money or its credit in aid of such; nor shall the State be interested in any private or corporate enterprise, or lend money, or its credit to ally individual, association or corporation.

Sec. 51. The Legislature shall have no power to authorize any county, city, town, or other subdivision of this State to lend its credit, or to grant public money or thing of value in aid of or to any individual, association or corporation whatsoever, or to become a stockholder in any such corporation, association or company, by issuing bonds or otherwise.


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Sec. 52. There can be no law of this State impairing the obligations of contracts by destroying or impairing, the remedy for their enforcement, and the Legislature shall have no power to revive any right or remedy which may have become barred by lapse of time or by any statute of this State.

Sec. 53. The Legislature shall not enact any law not applicable to all the counties in the State, regulation costs and charges of courts, or fees, commissions or allowances of public officers.

Sec.54. The Legislature shall not authorize payment to any person of the salary of a deceased officer beyond the date of his death.

Sec. 55. The Legislature shall not retire any officer on pay or part pay, or make any grant to such retiring officer.

Sec. 56.  Lands belonging to, or under the control of the State, shall never be donated directly or indirectly to private corporations or individuals, or railroad companies; nor shall such lands be sold to corporations or associations for a less price than that for which it. is subjected to sale to individuals: provided, that nothing contained in this section shall prevent the Legislature from granting a right of way, not exceeding 125 feet in width, as a mere easement to railroads or telegraph or telephone lines across State lands, and the Legislature shall never dispose of the land covered by said right of way except subject to such easement.

Sec. 57. No obligation or liability of any person, association, or corporation held or owned by this State, or by any county or other municipality thereof, shall ever be remitted, released or postponed, or in any way diminished, by the Legislature; nor shall such liability or obligation be except by payment thereof; nor shall such liability, or obligation be exchanged or transferred except neon payment of its face value; provided, that this section shall not prevent the Legislature from providing by general law for the compromise of doubtful claims.

Sec. 58. No State or county official shall, at any time, during his term of office accept either directly or indirectly any fee, money, office, appointment, employment, reward or thing of value, or of personal advantage, or the promise thereof, to lobby for or against any measure pending before the Legislature, or to give or withhold his influence to secure the passage or defeat of any such measure.

Sec. 59. The Legislature shall never pass any law to authorize or legalize any marriage between any white person and negro or descendant of a negro.

Sec. 60. The Legislature shall provide by law for the regulation, prohibition, or reasonable restraint of common carriers, partnerships, associations, trusts, Monopolies, and combinations of capital so as to prevent them car either of them from making the articles of necessity, trade or commerce scarce, or from increasing unreasonably the cost thereof to the consumer, or preventing reasonable competition in any calling, trade or business.


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Sec. 61. The Senators and Representatives shall, before entering on their official duties, take the following oath, to wit:

"I _____________ do solemnly swear (or affirm as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Alabama to the best of my ability so help me God."

Sec. 02. If at any time it should become impossible or dangerous for the Legislature to meet or remain at the capitol, or for the Senate to meet or remain at the Senate Chamber or for the Representatives to meet or remain in the Hall of Representatives, the Governor may convene the Legislature, or remove it after it has convened to some other place, or may designate some other place for the sitting of the respective Houses. or either of them, as necessity may require.

During the reading of Section 4—

MR. OATES– I rise for the purpose of calling the attention of the Convention to the section preceding the one just read in reference to the election of Senators and Representatives. I called attention to that in my report, but no action has been taken on this feature of it. That provides for the election of Senators and Representatives. The next election is for four years, and the delegates will notice there is no exception in there. It would imply that Senators, all Senators, in other words, shall be elected along with representatives for four years.

THE PRESIDENT‑‑ The report will not be open for amendment at this time.

MR. OATES‑I know, but I am just calling attention to it.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Committee on Harmony, or the Convention perhaps will deal with that question.

MR. OATES‑I am just calling attention to it. so they will remedy it, and it will not escape them. One-half the Senators that are in now hold for two years. One-half will go out, and there would be no provision for their election but for that fact. All the Senators should be elected at the next election so that when half of them go out, the others would take their places. It requires some work to reconcile it.

THE  PRESIDENT‑As many as favor the adoption of the Article as read will say aye and those opposed no, as your names are called. Call the roll, Mr. Clerk.

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

AYES

Messrs. President,

Banks,

Beddow,

Altman,

Barefield,

Bethune,

Ashcraft,

Beavers,

Blackwell,


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Boone,

Eley,

Pettus,

Browne,

Eyster,

Pillans,

Bulger,

Fitts,

Pitts,

Burnett,

Fletcher,

Proctor,

Burns,

Foster,

Reese,

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Gilmore,

Reynolds (Henry).

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Glover,

Robinson,

Carnathon,

Graham, of Montgomery,

Rogers, of Lowndes,

Kyle,

Graham, of Talladega,

Rogers, of Sumter,

Leigh,

Grayson,

Samford,

Lomax,

Grant,

Sanders,

Lowe, of Jefferson,

Greer, of Calhoun,

Sanford,

Macdonald,

Greer, of Perry,

Searcy,

McMillan, of Wilcox,

Haley,

Selheimer,

Martin,

Handley,

Sentell,

Maxwell,

Harrison,

Smith, of Mobile,

Merrill,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Smith, Mac A.,

Miller, of Wilcox,

Henderson,

Smith, Morgan M.,

Morrissette,

Hodges,

Sorrell,

Mulkey,

Hood,

Spragins,

Murphree,

Howell,

Tayloe,

NeSmith,

Howze,

Thompson,

Norwood,

Inge,

Vaughan,

Oates,

Jackson,

Waddell,

O’Neal of Lauderdale,

Jenkins,

Walker,

Chapman,

Jones, of Bibb,

Weakley,

Cobb,

Jones, of Wilcox,

White,

Coleman, of Greene,

Kirk,

Whiteside,

Coleman, of Walker,

Kirkland,

Williams, of Barbour,

Cornwall,

Knight,

Williams, of Marengo,

Craig,

O’Neill (Jefferson),

Williams, of Elmore,

Cunningham,

O’Rear,

Wilson, of Clarke,

Davis, of Etowah,

Palmer,

Wilson, of Washington.

Dent,

Parker, of Cullman,

Winn,

deGraffenreid,

Parker, of Elmore,

Duke,

Pearce,

TOTAL‑115

NOES

Bartlett,

Cofer,

Porter,

Brooks,

Foshee,

Reynolds, of Chilton,

Byars,

Moody,

Sollie,

Cardon,

Phillips,

Spears,

TOTAL‑12

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING

Almon,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Ferguson,

Case,

Espy,

Freeman,


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

Heflin, of Chambers,

Long, of Walker,

Sloan,

Hinson,

Lowe, of Lawrence,

Stewart,

Jones, of Hale,

McMillan (Baldwin),

Studdard,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Malone,

Watts,

King,

Miller, of Marengo,

Weatherly,

Ledbetter,

Norman,

Willet.

Locklin,

Opp,

Long, of Butler,

Renfro.

During the call of the above roll:

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)– I vote aye for the purpose of moving to reconsider tomorrow.

The article was declared adopted by a vote of 113 ayes to 11 noes.

THE PRESIDENT– It will be ordered printed and referred to the Committee on Order, Consistency and Harmony of the Whole Constitution.

MR. REESE– This Convention passed a resolution requiring the pages of the stenographic report to be numbered. I desire to ask the Chair for what reason that resolution has been disregarded?

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Chair is unable to inform the gentleman from Dallas, but will call the attention of the official stenographer to the matter.

MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale) ‑‑ I ask unanimous consent tom submit a resolution.

Resolution No. 277, by Mr. O'Neal of Lauderdale, read as follows:

Resolution 277, by Mr. O'Neal

Resolved, That a special committee of three be appointed by the Chair, whose duty it shall be to ascertain and report the cause of the delay and confusion in the delivery and distribution of the mail of the delegates to this Convention, and to recommend such action as they deem best to secure a speedy delivery and distribution of the mail.

MR. O’NEAL‑I ask that the rules be suspended and that the resolution be placed upon its passage.

Upon a vote being taken, the rules were suspended.

MR. KIRKLAND‑I ask unanimous consent to have a petition sent up and read.

MR. O'NEAL‑I rise to a point of order. The Chair has not put the motion to pass the resolution.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question recurs upon the adoption of the resolution. As many as favor the adoption of the resolution offered by the gentleman from Lauderdale will say aye, those opposed no.

Upon a vote being taken, the resolution was adopted.

THE PRESIDENT– The Chair will appoint upon that committee Mr. O’Neal of Lauderdale, the gentleman from Mobile, Mr. Pillans, and the gentleman from Lamar, Mr. NeSmith.

MR. SMITH I (Mobile)– I desire to ask leave for the Rules Committee to retire for a few minutes to meet in the Senate Chamber.

(Leave was given.)

MR.. KIRKLAND –  I ask unanimous consent to have my petition read.

Ozark, Ala., July 26th. 1901.

To the President and Members of the Constitutional Convention:

Whereas, on last Tuesday, your Honorable Body adopted Section 2 of the Suffrage Article, which requires that a qualified voter shall have resided in the State two years, in the county one year, and in the precinct or ward three month; and whereas, said section, as passed, will necessarily disfranchise, or prevent from voting, a great number of the best white citizens of the State, to wit, many ministers, teachers, laborers, and business men moving from county to county, therefore, we, the undersigned citizens of Dale County, Alabama, do hereby petition Your Honorable Body to reconsider said section and amend it so as to require only three months’ residence in the county. G. P. Dowling, Probate Judge; J. D. Bailey, attorney; J. A. Reynold, Tax Assessor; W. P. Windham, J. P. ; J. R. Levy, Clerk C. C. Ct.; A. N. Hawkins, Supt. Education; J. W. Corfitt, Register; W. L. Casey, A. D. Wall, Sheriff; J. K . Powell, Co. Treas.; J. E. Acker, Mayor; J. A. Anglin, Alderman; J. P. Byrd, Alderman; R. M. Dowling, J. F. Smith, J. W. Johnson, and many others.

Referred to Committee on Suffrage and Elections.

MR. WHITE‑‑I beg to call attention to the matter of the stenographic report of Saturday of the proceedings of Friday, the 26th inst. I was away on Monday and did not return on yesterday until just about time to vote on the Suffrage measure, and I find what I think is a mistake in the stenographic report of the speech made by the gentleman from Calhoun.   On the second page, beginning at the bottom of the fourth column, it reads as follows: “And the gentleman from Jefferson, Mr. White, would have us believe that the maintenance of good government is in


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

danger under conditions now prevailing in this State." I am sure I gave expression to no such sentiment as that. I think it is an error of the stenographer. Possibly it was the other gentleman from Jefferson, Mr. Lowe.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The  gentleman is correct, and the stenographer will be requested to note the correction.

MR. MAXWELL‑I have a petition I desire to have read and referred to the Committee on Education.

The petition was read as follows:

Rockford, Ala.

To the President and Members of the Constitution Convention of the State of Alabama.

We, the undersigned, respectfully memorialize your Honorable Body to incorporate a provision in the Constitution of the State of Alabama providing "that no public school teacher in this State shall be deprived of his license to teach, or of any of his rights under a contract to teach, in any public school in the State, except by due process of law.

Jeff Sox, Principal, Rockford H. School.

Robt. McPheeters. Teacher in Public schools.

Referred to Committee on Education.

MR. LONG (Walker)‑The stenographic report of yesterday. in the remarks made myself, I am quoted as follows : “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." I wish to correct that in the stenographic report. I said as follows: "I shall vote for and surrender as far as possible my idea to the wishes of the Committee," but I am not willing to surrender and have never yet agreed to surrender my own ideas to the Committee on Suffrage.

MR. BEAVERS‑I ask unanimous consent to introduce a short ordinance.

The Secretary read the ordinance as follows:

An  ordinance to amend Section 3 of Article XI of the Constitution.

Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled, that Section 3 of Article XI of the Constitution as heretofore adopted by this body, be and the same is hereby amended by adding thereto the following:


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

And, provided further, That out of the counties of St. Clair and Shelby a new county may be formed under the provisions of this Article, with not less than four hundred square miles, so as to leave the said counties of Shelby and St. Clair with not less than five hundred square miles each.

Referred to Committee on State and County Boundaries.

MR. HANDLEY‑‑I ask unanimous consent to introduce a short ordinance.

The Secretary read the ordinance as follows:

An ordinance to repeal Sections 8 and 9 of the Article on Banks and Banking, heretofore adopted by this Convention.

Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled, "That Sections 8 and 9 of the Article on Banks and Banking heretofore adopted by this Convention be and the same is hereby repealed.

Referred to Committee on Banks and Banking.

MR. WILLIAMS (Elmore) – On yesterday on the call of the roll to table the amendment of the gentleman from Walker, I voted aye, and announced I did it for the purpose of moving to reconsider. I would ask the President if a motion to reconsider a proposition that has been tabled is in order?

THE PRESIDENT– It would not be in order.

MR. WILLIAMS –  Then I have an amendment to offer to that section of the report of the Committee on Suffrage and Elections, clause when reached.

THE PRESIDENT– The special order for this morning will be the consideration of the report of the Committee on Suffrage.  The journal shows that at adjournment, the Convention was considering Section 5 by subdivisions and the pending question was on the motion of the gentleman from Greene, that subdivision 1 be adopted, and he moved the previous question, on the adoption of subdivision 1 of Section 5.

MR. SAMFORD (Montgomery)– I thought it was the first paragraph, and not the first subdivision.

THE  PRESIDENT‑‑‑ The Chair meant paragraph, when he used the word subdivision possibly he was unhappy in the language used.        

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)– That does not mean the subdivision marked “first.”

THE  PRESIDENT ‑‑ It means the first paragraph. The question is, shall the main question be now put?


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. BULGER‑‑‑I rise to a question of parliamentary inquiry.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The gentleman will state his question of parliamentary inquiry.

MR. BULGER‑I want to ask if this section is adopted by subdivisions, and each subdivision is adopted separately, will it preclude an amendment to the whole section?

THE PRESIDENT‑ It seems to the Chair that it would, but an additional subdivision might be added.  The question is, shall the main question be now put?

Upon a vote being taken, the main question was ordered, and on a further vote being taken, the paragraph was adopted.

The Secretary read the next paragraph as follows: “First, Those who, unless prevented by physical disability, can read and write any article of the Constitution of the United States in the English language, and who, being physically able to work, have been regularly engaged in some lawful business or occupation, trade or calling, for twelve months next, preceding the time they offer to register; or"

MR. SAMFORD‑I desire to offer an amendment.

The Secretary read the amendment as follows: "Amend by inserting in the eighth line of said section after the word ‘work,’ the following: ‘And who are dependent on their labor for support."

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pike.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)– I will ask a few moments of the time of the Convention to explain as nearly as I can the operation of the amendment. I desire to say here, that I am heartily in ac-

cord with the intention of the Committee with reference to this section, but it occurs to me that the language of the first division is entirely too broad, and would have the effect of being a great deal more far reaching in its effect than intended

MR. REESE– I would like to suggest this amendment to the gentleman; “and having no visible means of support or being dependent on his labor.”

MR. SAMFORD- I will come to that.  You will observe that the amendment suggested will cover that defect if you look at it closely. It provides that when a man is not dependent upon his labor, that he need not have any employment, but when he is dependent on his labor that he must be employed, and that carries with it the idea that men who have no visible means of support, men who hang around the low dives of the larger towns and many


3164                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

of the smaller towns of the State, who shoot craps all night and sleep all day—

MR. CUNNINGHAM– Would not the visible means of support appear in the next subdivision, providing for a property qualification of $300.

MR. SAMFORD– Yes, that is provided for in Subdivision 2. Perhaps the amendment that I offer makes the provision here very closed to the inhibition in Section 6 of this Article, but you will observe the difference to be this: In Section 6, in order to keep a man from exercising the right of franchise, he must be convicted of being a vagrant, which has been defined by the Supreme Court of this State several times. Under the amendment that I offer here, and under the clause as reported by the Committee, it was intended to meet a class of citizens known as loafers and hangers on, and a class that every man in this Convention is acquainted with, if he has been a close observer of the people in this State for many years. In the attempt of the Committee to do exactly the right thing, they have in my opinion encroached upon another class of our citizens that ought not to be encroached upon. I offer the amendment for what it is worth. I desire the Convention to consider it, and if it is worthy of any consideration, to adopt it, and if not, then I am still with the majority, as I always am. I have no pride of opinion in the matter.

MR. O'NEAL‑ Will the gentleman permit an interruption?

MR. SAMFORD‑ Certainly.

MR. O'NEAL‑I want to call attention to Section 5628 in the Code : "Any person who, having no visible means of support, or being dependent on his labor, lives without employment, or neglects his employment." Now is not a man who has property and does not have to work covered by subdivision 2 of this Section?

MR. SAMFORD‑ No. I don't think he is.

MR. O'NEAL‑‑‑ If he has property and does not have to work, is he not covered by Subdivision 2 of this Section?

MR. SAMFORD‑ If he has property.

MR. O'NEAL‑ If he has property, he is covered by Subdivision 2. The question I want to ask is, if he has no visible means of support, he is a tramp or vagrant, as defined by law, and covered by the other Section No. 6.

MR. SAMFORD‑ Suppose my son should return from college at the age of 21 years after having devoted the first twenty-one years of his life to the acquiring of an education. when he should look around the world for six months or a year, two years or five years. as the case may be, and I had the means to sup‑


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CONSTITUTIONAL  CONVENTION, 1901

port him, would he be a tramp or a vagrant? Yet under this clause he could not vote. As I said, I had no pride of opinion in this matter, but it does reach a class of our citizens that ought not to be reached, it appears to me.

MR. BEDDOW– I desire to offer a substitute to the amendment of Mr. Samford.

The Secretary read the substitute as follows:

Amend Section 5 by striking out after the word "language" in the seventh line, and including the word "register" in the ninth line.

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

MR. BEDDOW– I heartily concur in the amendment of the gentleman from Pike, except in this, that it does not go far enough. If the substitute I have offered for his amendment is adopted, it would strike out these words from the first subdivision: “And who being physically able to work, have been regularly engaged in some lawful business or occupation, trade or calling for twelve months next preceding the time they offer to register.” Before the amendment was offered by the gentleman from Pike under this subdivision as it stood, coming from the Committee, it would prohibit from voting the capitalist who had made his fortune and who was resting upon his oars from his labors during his old age. The amendment offered by the gentleman from Pike would cover that if adopted, but there is another class of good citizens, Mr. President, who under this Section, that are likely to be debarred from the right to vote in the elections of this State. Take the great mass of laborers in this country, under this subdivision, and it would be necessary for him to work 365 days, or as many as there were working days in the year. It would require him to work every one of these days. The language of this subdivision is that they must have been "regularly engaged" in some lawful business or occupation, trade or calling. Suppose one of our furnaces in the Birmingham District should be banked on account of the low price of iron for three months. The result might be to throw out of employment 300 men from that one furnace. Those men would be out of employment without their own consent and under the terms of this subdivision as it stands, would not be regularly engaged in some lawful business or occupation for twelve months next preceding the time they offer to register– These 300 men, though otherwise qualified, would be debarred from voting. Let us take another step. While I am not an advocate of strikes, and while I as much deplore the necessity for strikes throughout the country, yet that is the last court of appeal for the laboring man. Suppose that these consolidations should keep up that are going on


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throughout our country, and these great manufacturing industries continue to get together under one management. If they should see fit by the power of their capital to oppress their laborers by cutting their wages, and they should go systematically at work for the purpose of doing that and owning dozens of furnaces, and hundreds of ore mines and iron mines, they should reduce the wages of these men, and they could single out one particular class and say we will reduce your wages 50 per cent., those men would have to quit work, for they have but one opportunity to stand against such suppression.

Now in case such a condition should come, there are but two things that can occur, he must work for what he is offered, or he must be disfranchised from voting. I ask you gentlemen to consider well this Article and the substitute I have offered. We cannot afford to pass it. If you do it, you strike down from this large element their only hope to protect themselves, their wives and their children.

MR. JACKSON‑I would like to ask the gentleman a question. Suppose a man is out of employment, or his time is up, or has been dismissed, he goes out in some other class of business, and he is engaged in that, would he not be lawfully engaged in an occupation of business and regularly engaged?

MR. BEDDOW– No, sir; he would not be regularly engaged in any lawful business or occupation, because that is not an occupation– hunting for a job is not an occupation.

MR. JACKSON— Suppose he was out of a job and hunting another job, would not he be lawfully engaged in hunting another job of work?

MR. BEDDOW— Would you call hunting a job, being regularly engaged in some lawful business or occupation?

MR. JACKSON‑ Yes, I think so.

MR. BEDDOW‑ We differ there. Suppose that man was out of work six months. In that event he would be debarred from voting, under the exact terms of this provision,

Mr. Cunningham took the Chair.

MR. LONG (Walker)‑Suppose there was a man in the State of Alabama, there are numerous of them, dependent upon their sons to keep them up. Would they not be debarred from voting under this, although he might be able to read and write.

MR. BEDDOW– No, sir; because under the head of physical disability he would not be debarred.

MR. LONG‑‑‑ Suppose he is not physically disable, but is an old man and does not want to work ?


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. BEDDOW‑ Then he would be debarred from voting.

MR. REESE‑ Could not your purpose be accomplished in a different way without destroying the balance of the section by putting in a proviso that would cover the case you have in mind in case of a strike.

MR. BEDDOW‑I would say to the gentleman from Dallas that might be so, but I am somewhat of the belief that according to one of the illustrations used here that the right place to kill a snake is to hit him on the head.

MR. HOOD‑‑ Will the gentleman yield to an interruption?

MR. BEDDOW‑I yield to everybody. I want this matter fully understood.

MR. HOOD‑ Isn't it true that the Supreme Court of Alabama has held that a person who holds himself out for employment or is in readiness for employment is a person employed within the meaning of this subdivision.

MR. BEDDOW ‑ No, sir: I don't understand anything of the sort.

MR. HOOD‑ They have decided that if a person holds himself out for employment, that is employed in the sense in which it is used in this section subdivision.

MR BEDDOW‑ In the sense that he is not a tramp or vagrant. Do they say he is regularly employed in a trade or calling.

MR. HOOD‑ They do in the sense used in this subdivision and make him pay a license. They have decided the point in license cases.

MR. REESE‑ Mr. President‑

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– For what purpose does the

gentleman arise?

MR. REESE‑ To make a remark.

THE  PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The Chair will be delighted to hear the gentleman in a moment. The gentleman from Barbour has the floor.

MR. DENT‑ The gentleman from Etowah states the proposition that I really intended to discuss when I sought recognition by the Chair, and that was that a man who holds himself out regularly as ready to be engaged in business, would come under the provisions of this article. Take for instance the case of a young man who has just been licensed to practice law. He may have very little business, not even a case or a brief in a year.  Yet if he held himself out ready to do that business when it came along he


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

would not be disqualified under the provisions of this section. The same might be true of a young physician and cases of like kind.  Gentlemen, it seems to me that the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pike gives all the qualifications that is necessary for this article. The law or labor, Mr. President, was placed upon our race by the primal curse, and we ought not to be afraid of it. It is really one of the curses of this country, that we are afraid of it as I sometimes think when I hear preachers and moralists talking so much about violating the commandments and observing the seventh day and keeping it holy. I have no objection to that. I think it is all right, but I think they sometimes stretch that particular part of the commandments a little too much and they become one-sided in their views and forget the other clause which, according to my interpretation and opinion of it, is just as imperative and just as binding. We hear men talking about enforcing the law for observing the Sabbath and that it should be properly kept. I feel that I want to offer an amendment that they also be required to observe the other part of the commandment that for six days thou shalt labor and do thy work. You do not hear much about that, but it is there, and it is just as imperative and binding and as important, and if a man labors daily with his hands to supply his necessities, he is not violating that commandment.

It seems to me that the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pike is a good one and it seems to me that it leaves the clause reaching a class that ought to be reached by this provision and that is idlers, tramps, men who have no ostensible employment and who do not hold themselves out for employment, and yet who have no visible means of support. Under Article VI, you have to convict a man of these crimes before he is disqualified. It seems to me, Mr. President, that the amendment ought to be adopted.

MR. CHAPMAN‑ In our opinion, does the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pike embrace that class of young men who are supported by their fathers?

MR. DENT– I think it does. They would be qualified under that amendment.

MR. CHAPMAN‑ Would they be considered as having visible means of support?

MR. DENT‑‑ Certainly: if their fathers supported them and they  have a home.

MR. REESE– I think it very possible that the section as reported by the Committee may not work injustices to anyone, but it is very susceptible of misconstruction by the people. I don't think it is understood, and I think we had better fix it so the meaning will be very clear. I have received a letter from one of the most intelligent business men of Dallas County, Mr. C. W. Hoop‑


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

er, well known in this State, calling my attention to this particular matter, which I believe is covered by the amendment of the gentleman from Pike, and I shall favor the amendment of the gentleman. I am in sympathy with the purpose desired to be accomplished by the gentleman from Jefferson, and I believe it to be right, and I believe it to be wise, and the suggestion of the gentleman from Jefferson should be accepted by this Convention and some words be put in here under which it would be incapable of misconstruction and be clear to these men that it would not apply to persons who had difficulties with their employers and are temporarily out of work. If the gentleman from Jefferson will prepare  an amendment of that kind, I will take pleasure in voting for it.  I believe an amendment such as offered by the gentleman from Pike is absolutely necessary. I believe if you were to go before the people as it is. I believe that it would create disgust among them. I, for one, am not in favor of creating any timidity on the part of those citizens who reside in every  town  and every village, and I refer to the husbands of the ladies who keep a boarding house, the husband of the lady that takes in sewing, and the husband of the lady who conducts a mercantile business or some other character of business. These men are respectable members of society in the communities in which they live, and I say for the benefit of that class and for others, the young then who have possibly not decided as to what calling they will embark in and who are dependent upon their parents– they are not working for a living but if their parents are willing to support them until they have determined upon what business they will embark in. Without any hostility at all to the idea and theory of the gentleman from Jefferson, unless some other gentleman desires to speak on his proposition, I will make a motion to table the substitute, with the understanding—

MR. LONG (Walker)‑I  hope the gentleman will withdraw that for a moment.

The motion to table was withdrawn.

MR. LONG‑ That I may not be misunderstood, I ask for the reading of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pike.

The Secretary read the amendment as follows ; “Amend first subdivision Section 5, by inserting after the word ‘work,’ in the eighth line of said section, the following, ‘and who are dependent on their labor for support.’”

MR. LONG (Walker)‑The amendment offered by the gentleman from Pike would allow a man, and is intended to allow a man, who has money, to lay around the springs, or somewhere else, and not be amenable to this section. It is simply absurd and ridiculous– that is enough to say upon that proposition.


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The amendment of the gentleman from Jefferson is in the right line and I hope it will be adopted by this Convention. Why, sir, a poor man has a right to quit work if he wants to, and no 2 by 4 registrar has the right to deny him the right to vote because he does quit work. There are a great many of us here who have never struck the ground a lick of work for twelve months, unless we struck at a snake and missed it.

MR. JENKINS– How could a man having a pension vote?

MR. LONG– A man drawing a pension who does not work, could not vote.

MR. JENKINS– I will ask another question. How would he come in under the soldier clause?

MR. LONG– He would not come in under the soldier clause, because it expires in 1903.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)– I will ask if any able-bodied soldiers in this State draw pensions?

MR. LONG– I don’t think they do, and I hope not. I am talking about the amendment of the gentleman from Jefferson I think the gentleman from Pike is too ridiculous to discuss. (Laughter).

MR. SAMFORD– I am much obliged to you. (Laughter).

MR. LONG– Now, I do think a man has a right to quit work if he wants to. The Bible says work was put on the human race as a curse. I, for one do not like the medicine, and a great many of us here don’t like it, and the only thing that keeps us at work is we have not a rich wife to support us, and if we are not fortunate enough to marry a rich woman, we are disfranchised because we have no visible means of support, and have not been engaged in a lawful occupation for the last twelve months. I do hope that this clause will be knocked out. I understand full well why it is there. We have quite enough traps set to catch all the negroes in Africa or anywhere else.

MR. MORRISETTE– If you wife supports you, is not that a visible means of support?

MR. LONG– Yes, it might be; but that is not a legal occupation. It says who is not engaged in some lawful business, trade or occupation for twelve months next preceding the time they offer to register. I ask if living upon one’s wife is a lawful occupation? That is the question.

MR. CHAPMAN– I will ask if it is not a lawful occupation, for that man who has a rich wife to be attending to her business and minding her?


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. LONG‑ Yes sir, but the wife that has money usually attends to her own business and generally attends to her husband besides. (Laughter.)

MR. BURNETT‑ Don't you think it a lawful occupation for a man to be engaged in courting his wife?

MR. LONG‑ There is not anybody that does that. They always court her before marriage. I never heard of any man doing that after he is married. It is generally somebody else's wife then if he does any courting. (Laughter.) Now I do hope that the amendment as offered by the gentleman from Jefferson will be adopted. It is on the right line.

MR. BURNETT‑I want to ask the gentleman a question.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ Does the gentleman yield?

MR. LONG‑ No, sir, I want to speak to the question, and seriously speak upon it. I cannot see why a man who has not been engaged in some lawful business or occupation, trade or calling for twelve months next preceding the time they offer to register, should not be allowed to register. I have said we have enough traps to catch every negro– and there is no use for this in here. It will be a dagger and double-bladed ax in the hands of men ‑who oppose the ratification of the Constitution and you cannot explain it satisfactorily either. There are a great many men trying to get more money for their labor, that are trying to get work, that are trying to keep their wages from being cut down below what will support their father, wives and children, and would you deny them that right and leave it entirely with the Register to say whether a man was regularly engaged for twelve months next preceding the time of registration?  The next section absolutely deprives him and he is compelled to answer these questions pro pounded to him. Now I ask the delegates on this floor to consider how radical this Section is. I do not believe that they will adopt it. They cannot give any good reason why it should they adopted. It is as I said another trap.  We have enough subdivisions and sections in this report besides this. It will be hard to explain to the people of Alabama. In fact it cannot be properly explained. You cannot explain it toy your own conscience. Go off and reason with yourselves carefully in the closet or anywhere else and you cannot see any good reason why it should be in here.

MR. PRESIDENT‑ In order that we may act intelligently upon this proposition to strike out this clause. I want to say it won't apply to a single man who will be qualified to register prior to the 1st day of January, 1903, not a single man who up to that time call register will be subject to the provisions of that requirement. In the next place it will not affect any man who has $300 of property or is the husband of a woman who owns $300 of prop‑


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erty. It is linked in its operation strictly  to those persons who become of are after the first day of January, 1903, and who do not have $300 worth of property.         

MR. LONG (Walker)‑I would like to ask the gentleman a question. You take the position that man is better because he has $300, or his wife has $300.

MR.  ASHCRAFT– I do not.

MR. LONG– Why do you make this exception then?

MR. ASHCRAFT– We are obliged to apply some tests and according to the observation of men it has been found that those persons who practice economy enough to save for themselves $300 worth of property, or who have exercised the good judgment to marry a woman who has $300, is a man of some character and may be reasonably expected on the average to exercise the elective franchise unselfishly.

MR. MACDONALD– He has property to take care of.

MR. BEDDOW– Is the gentleman to be understood as saying that a man who marries a woman with a little money is better than a man who marries a poor girl for love?

MR. ASHCRAFT– No sir, I do not, but I do say that we have observed that men who have come into control of property are more conservative and intelligent as a class, not every one of them, but generally, as a class, they act more consideration towards the Government than those persons who have no responsibilities upon them. We have also observed that the young man who has put forth energy and skill sufficient to have a capacity to read and write, although some of them had few opportunities, as a class, have the sense of responsibility which will insure a reasonable exercise of the elective franchise. I am sure that our Committee have considered all these propositions and the purpose for which they have presented this clause is to exclude from the franchise those young men who have sought education, not that they may work the better, but that they may avoid work.  They are willing to let in every man who seeks education in order that he may work the better, but that they may avoid work. They poses seek to read and write, they have set up a barrier to exclude as many as possible of that class from the exercises of the elective franchise. I think the provision ought to stand, and I think the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pike makes a mean and invidious distinction, and I am opposed to it.

MR. COLEMAN– Mr. President, in considering these questions, delegates ought to consider the entire plan submitted.  Much of the argument directed against the Section now under consideration is met fully by the next paragraph of the Section. When


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you consider the State of Alabama, composed as it is, in one section of the mining interests, and in another section of what is known as the Black Belt, and another section, the agricultural interests, and then remember the Fifteenth Amendment, with the decisions under it, and remember the pledge of the Democratic Party to disfranchise no white man, you will see the difficulties that this Committee was confronted with. Their scheme has been to establish a good standard for the electorate. We have considered all the questions that have been argued before this Convention. The word “regularly” seems to raise some objections to it, and so far as the Committee is concerned, if it will ease the disturbed condition of the gentleman, we are perfectly willing to strike out the word “regularly.”  But so far as the remainder of the section is concerned, the committee devoted at least two days, or a day and a half anyhow, in selecting these words. I propose to read to you the decisions in this State as to what is meant by being engaged in business, and then you will have some conception of the influence that operated upon the minds of the committee framing this section. Section 5467 of the code: Any person who engages in or carries on any business, et cetera. Then down below you will find this language; “To engage in or carry on any business within the meaning of this law is to pursue an occupation or employment as a livelihood or as a source of profit but it is not necessary that it should be the party’s sole occupation or employment. It is the question of intention only, and it is immaterial, whether such profit was realized or not.”  Under the influence of those decisions it has been often held where an attorney was engaged in business, if he has an office and holds himself out as a practicing lawyer, whether he has clients or not. So far then as the argument has been used that it would disfranchise laborers who have stopped work, Mr. President, it is without force.

MR. MACDONALD– I would like to inquire whether the second paragraph of this section wherein persons convicted of being tramps or vagrants does not sufficiently meet the proposition contained in the second paragraph of the sixth section.

MR. COLEMAN– The difference between the two is this: We are providing a plan by which we may eliminate the vicious and the venial vote, and at the same time comply with the pledge of the party to disfranchise no white man. Under the section that you refer to it requires a convention for the offense. Under the section we have here the conviction is not required. It is a question of qualification. As is well known in every town in this State there are numbers of people who live, you cannot tell exactly by what means. Mr. President, education alone is not a sufficient qualification for a voter. Under a liberal system of this State there are many negroes who will be able to qualify under the reading and writing clause, and yet who are drones in this State and have no employment.


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MR. KIRK– You speak of the case of a lawyer. I want to ask you this. Suppose a clerk should lose his position in a dry goods store and did not have the required amount of property, assuming, that he was not a married man and he was unable to secure employment for eight or twelve months from the time of losing his position, would he be permitted to vote under the provisions of the plan reported by the committee?

MR. COLEMAN– I have no doubt of it in the world, he is a man who has an occupation, but it temporarily seeking work.

MR. O’NEAL– He is trying to get employment.

MR. COLEMAN– Trying to get employment, yes. In the case of a strike, it is because he does not believe that he is getting sufficient compensation for his employment but he is ready to go to work.

MR. PILLANS– May I ask the gentleman a question? Where would be the objection to amending that section by adding after the words “compensation, trade or calling,” the words so far as he has been able with diligence to procure the same?

MR, COLEMAN– We have no objection to it in the world, but it adds nothing to the meaning of the phrase, none in the world. What we are after is to get a good electorate for the State of Alabama, to exclude persons who may under our system have become to some extent educated, and there are quite a number of them. We are not making this Constitution for today or tomorrow, but for ten or fifteen years perhaps, and in that time quite a number may become qualified under a simple reading and writing clause, and yet have no regard for the suffrage question. If I am permitted I will move to amend by striking out the word “regularly” in the eighth line if I can get unanimous consent.

There being no objection the word was ordered stricken out.

MR. BEDDOW– I think I will be willing to withdraw my amendment provided the committee, after striking out the word “regularly” and the word for in the ninth line will insert the word “within.”

MR. COLEMAN– I could not accent that, because if a man was engaged one day or one week, he could be a drone the remainder of the year, and it would destroy the section entirely. With this understanding of the section under the decisions of the Supreme Court it seems to me that there could be no difficulty in its construction or application. Now you cannot draw up a law unless there is some county or some beat or some individual has to be affected by it, but the question is—

MR. BLACKWELL– I desire to ask if we strike out the word “regularly” will not a man still have to be employed the


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whole twelve months under the language of the section, even after you strike out the word "regularly."

MR. COLEMAN‑ I hate to be interrupted in the middle of a sentence. If I had been understood in what I have said before, and as explained by the decisions I have read, certainly not. The clerk that has been discharged, if he seeks employment, is not disqualified under this section, but if he is discharged and loafs around for twelve months not seeking employment, and is engaged in nothing  he would be and I think ought to be disqualified. Any change in that would let in ten thousand in this State who ought not to be permitted to exercise the franchise, having these views. I move, Mr. President—

MR. COBB– I wish to make a few remarks before the gentleman moves the previous question.

MR. COLEMAN‑ It is not my intention to move the previous question, but I was going to move to lay the amendment of the gentleman from Jefferson on the table.

MR. COBB‑ Very well, I can be heard afterwards.

MR. COLEMAN ‑ The committee believes that we need something more than an educational qualification.

THE  PRESIDENT‑ The gentleman from Greene moves to lay upon the table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson.

MR. LOWE– A motion to lay upon the table is not debatable, I understand.

THE PRESIDENT‑ It is not.  The question is upon the motion to table.

MR. BEDDOW‑I call for the ayes and noes.

The call was not sustained. A vote being taken a division was called for and by a vote of 77 ayes and 30 noes the motion to table prevailed.

MR. COBB‑I have an amendment.

The Secretary read the amendment as follows : "Amend by inserting after the word ‘lawful’ in the eighth line of the first subdivision of  Section 5, the word ‘employment.’”

MR. COBB‑‑‑I offer that amendment out of abundant caution, the section as reported by the committee in using the words —

MR. COLEMAN‑ May I interrupt the gentleman? While the committee does not think it adds anything to what is there, to save the time we will accept it.


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THE PRESIDENT– The question will be upon the amendment.

MR. COLEMAN– The amendment is inserting the word “employment.”  I ask unanimous consent to accept that amendment.

 

MR. WILLIAMS (Elmore)– I ask to have the amendment read.

The Secretary again read the amendment.

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman from Macon can still get in his speech on the question. (Applause).

MR. COBB– I do not want to be shut out of my speech but it is a very short one.

MR. COLEMAN– I suggest you add the word “or” after the word employment.

By unanimous consent the amendment was allowed.

MR. COBB– I wish to call the attention of delegates to the fact that these words “business, education, trade or calling” do not cover in my belief a large class of men whom it is not desired or desirable to cut off from the electorate. I refer to the young men who become of age just before the time of registration and who prior to that time it may be, have been going to school or in some business or employment under the direction of their fathers, of course, this section can have no reference to a minor, it refers to men who are of full age. Now, just before the time for registration a young man becomes of age, he has been out of school, he has not been engaged therefore in any employment during the twelve months preceding the time of registration. My insistence is that the terms employed here “business or occupation, trade or calling” does not cover—

MR. BURNETT– They have been going to school, isn’t that an occupation?

MR. COBB– If the gentleman will possess his soul in patience, I will try and argue that very question.

MR. BURNETT– Isn’t it a lawful employment?

MR. COBB– I don’t think so.

MR. BURNETT– I certainly do.

MR. COBB– And why don’t I think so? Because the word “employment is a legal term, it has been defined by the books, it is well understood by the gentleman of the legal fraternity. I am providing that out of abundant caution for these worthy young men who become of age immediately before the day of registra-


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tion so they shall not be cut off by some wrong ruling upon the part of the Registrars. Let that be made plain. I suggested the word employment, thinking it would be sufficient, but I have doubts even note whether the word employment itself would not be construed so narrowly, I am not fighting the Committee. I want to guard these young men.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑‑Why should not it be so plain that it is not necessary for a court to pass upon it, and there can be no room for misconstruction?

MR. COBB‑‑ That is what I want, and I should be obliged to my friend if, while I am speaking,  he will draw in something. I want it plain, so plain that there shall be no room for construction.  There is room for construction here, and when you leave it to these registrars, who are not lawyers, to determine the manner in which they shall perform their duty.

MR. PILLANS‑I wish to offer an amendment if it is in order after the acceptance by unanimous consent of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Macon.

THE PRESIDENT‑ It is in order to offer an amendment to an amendment.   The pending amendment is the amendment of the gentleman from Pike.

MR. PILLANS‑I offer an amendment.

The Secretary read the amendment as follows: "Amend the first subdivision of Section 5 by adding after the word ‘calling,’ in the ninth line and before the word ‘for,’ the following words,

‘so far as he has been able with diligence to procure the same.’”

MR. PILLANS ‑I offer that as a substitute to the amendment of the gentleman from Pike.

THE PRESIDENT– The question will be upon the substitute offered by the gentleman from Mobile to the amendment of the gentleman from Pike.

MR. PILLANS—  It is with great reluctance I suggest any change to this section.  We all recognize the motive that actuated the committee, and it was it worthy one, and we do not care to strike down or weaken any plan which they have evolved in this subdivision, but if the subdivision is thought to be dangerous in the manner drafted, we ought to be particularly careful in framing the organic law not to adopt that clause without making such changes as will rid it if possible of danger. I take it from what the gentleman said, who last spoke, that there is danger. The chief danger that occurred to me when I first read it was that the man who faithfully endeavored to keep at work and obtain employment might be deprived of the suffrage: that worthy citizens who could read and write and construe the Constitution might


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nevertheless fail to obtain employment, notwithstanding due vigilance on their part. Now the people to be reached, although they have a smattering of learning or a great deal of learning, nevertheless are unworthy and useless members of society who will do nothing, who have no occupation or employment. The object of the amendment I desire to offer, is to enable worthy men who have the qualification of reading and writing and who are—

MR. O’NEAL– Does the gentleman—

MR. PILLANS– I would have like to finish that sentence.  I may finish it later.

THE PRESIDENT– The Chair would suggest to delegates when they wish to interrupt a speaker that they rise and address the Chair. The Chair will try to get permission for them.

MR. O’NEAL– I did, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT– The Chair recognizes that fact.

MR. PILLANS– I only wish to finish the sentence. The object of the amendment offered is to enable worthy men who are good citizens and who can read and write, who are not of the class intended to be excluded by the committee. Who can doubt that the man trying to get work should receive the same credit as the man who does work?

MR. O’NEAL– I wish to call your attention to the word “employment,” in Webster’s Dictionary, which I think covers young men from school. It says the act of employing or using, a state of being employed, that which engages or occupies, that which consumes time and attention. Now, if a young man is engaged in anything that consumes time and attention, he is engaged in some employment.

MR. PILLANS– That can be the intention of the Committee’s report, but I suggest that a man’s time and attention may be employed in flirting with girls.

MR. BOONE– Or gambling.

MR. PILLANS– That is not lawful employment, but paying attention to the ladies is lawful employment; amusing society, walking on the street, idling through life is perfectly lawful, providing it does not fall within the vagrancy statutes. Now, the proposition is this, a man is not within the clear, plain and manifest meaning of this section unless he is engaged in doing some-

thing for his people and himself.

MR. WEATHERLY– May I interrupt the gentleman?

THE PRESIDENT– Will the gentleman yield?


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MR. PILLANS‑ Yes, sir.

MR. WEATHERLY‑ Will not your amendment have the effect of increasing the objections made by the gentleman from Jefferson? Your amendment, as I understand it, provides that he should have made diligent effort to procure work.

MR. PILLANS‑ Yes.

MR. WEATHERLY‑ Now, the objection of Mr. Beddow is, when persons are out on strike they do not want to make diligent effort; they want to stay on strike until they accomplish their object and that, as the section now stands, does not conflict with the idea of the gentleman from Jefferson, but, if amended according to your idea, I think it will conflict; it will bring on the very thing that he desires to obviate.

MR. PILLANS– It is with the greatest respect that I receive any suggestion from my learned friend, for I know his ability, his care and thoughtfulness, and the care he has given to this subject when on the Committee, but I cannot agree with him as the effect of the words used by the Committee. I do admit, however, that they might conflict with the privilege of striking to some extent, but I do not believe that this Committee intended to make a provision that would give to the illiterate person who willfully declined to work in this State a right to vote-an absolute right to vote– along with those engaged in some lawful business or employment; and so far as I am concerned, and I believe I speak for the people who think in the State. I would rather give to the man who seeks to be thrifty and to employ the time which God has given him, in the exercise of some lawful occupation and the accumulation of something for his old age and those dependent upon him. I would rather give it to him than to the man who will willfully decline to work. I think that the object of the Committee was to reach those ,who willfully or intentionally decline to work. So far as I am concerned, I think the amendment is a proper one and a good one and ought to be adopted, not only for those who labor, but those who endeavor to labor to get upon the registration.

MR. HOWZE– I desire to call the attention of the Convention to the fact that these incidental conditions in which these parties may be placed does not deprive them of the right to register. The argument seems to be based upon the idea that this provision. Section 5 is simply providing a registration for and abridging the election, and should these parties be deprived of the vote at that time, it does not take away from them the subsequent right of elective franchise, and I take it that this Convention cannot arrange a plan to meet all the incidental conditions that may arise prior to any election in this State. Many men are deprived of the right to vote at all election by reason of ignorance, by reason of


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absence at the time of registration, and if these conditions exist prior to the registration by which certain parties may be deprived of the right, it does seem to me it should not affect the plan upon which we propose to act in regard to these matters. Now, Mr. President, it does seem to me that we have established a principle here which is a wise and a good one. We are striking out the ignorant, the vicious and the idle people of this country, and of this State. In other words, we want to elevate this suffrage, the right to exercise this suffrage in this State, and if conditions should exist at any time prior to the election by which some people may be deprived of the right at that time it is of course an incident, and something with could not probably be prevented, but should that deny us the right and the duty of establishing a plan which is wise and just and proper, in order to prevent the very thing which we are called here to prevent. Now, I do not think that these conditions , these incidental conditions, should keep us from placing in our Constitution a clause of this character, where we insist that a man must have occupations, he must have a business and he must engage in it for his support. It is wise provision, and I think the report of the Committee should stand just as it is.  Possibly the suggestion of the gentleman from pike should have some weight, but I do not think it does. It may deprive the young men for a certain time, or for one election of the right to vote, but he soon gets into the channel, and he can soon qualify himself to exercise this right of suffrage. I, therefore, do not think that this section is susceptible of amendment in the way in which the gentleman suggests, which will keep it as perfect as I regard it on the report of the Committee.

MR. WILLIAMS (Marengo)– I have attempted constantly to vote with the reports of committees, and I think it is the duty of the Convention to vote with the reports of the committees where they can, but I do not think the committees should arrogate to themselves all of the knowledge in matters that concern this Convention, and I am sure that this committee does not, and I rise for the purpose of suggesting to this Convention that they were possibly wrong in tabling the resolution of the gentleman from Jefferson just now, and my suggestion is borne out that he is correct in his views, and that I am correct in my views, as I was in the vote that I then cast not to table his amendment, from the latitude that this discussion here has taken. It was most forcibly impressed upon me when the question was put to the gentleman, Mr. Pillans from Mobile, by the gentleman from Jefferson, Mr. Weatherly, when he offered it. I thought Mr. Pillans’s proposition covered the whole subject and was correct, and it did look like it, but when the learned gentleman from Jefferson shot that question at him, it demonstrated to my mind that Mr. Pillan’s proposition was worse than the proposition of the gentleman from Jefferson; that it is worse, as he, Mr. Pillans, proposes to amend


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it than it is even now as reported by the committee. I say from the latitude of this question, the various propositions presented to the Convention, I am more deeply impressed with the fact that the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson, Mr. Beddow, is correct. Now, why is it correct? It has been admitted to be correct as demonstrated by him from the standpoint of the mining element among the voters, but what are you going to do with a large class of voters who are engaged in turpentine business, who engage in business that employ from six to nine and not thirteen months in the year like cotton raisin, what are you going to do with all those other fellows, the cotton fellows and the corn fellows and the miners when they have not stuck to that business all that year around? Now, these stokers– I believe you call them,  men who ship cotton– stevedores or something of that kind, what are you going to do with those fellows?  The gentleman here says that they are after these fellows. I know just as good stevedores and stokers that line the wharves of our ports as any class of men who have a right and who do vote under the present suffrage law.

MR. WEATHERLY– Will the gentleman yield for a moment?

THE PRESIDENT– Does the gentleman yield?

MR. WILLIAMS‑ Yes, sir.

MR. WEATHERLY– If the man is a stoker, is not that his business?

MR. WILLIAMS– Ah, yes, I started to say when I got up

here that this was a dangerous proposition, but I did not say dangerous because the old word has been harrowed and furrowed over here until we are tired of it. I say it is a worrisome proposition. It is worrying us now, and will worry us after the ratification of the Constitution, but the worst worry it will give us will be when we are out on the hustings trying to ratify the Constitution.  Do you understand it?  Does the gentleman from Jefferson understand it except as a lawyer?  Can he go down in his mind and say that a man who has an occupation for one-half of the year, only six months of the year, is going to understand when this thing is presented to him that while the law says twelve, yet if he works six or nine months only that he is not going to be debarred from voting? I shall admit the legal proposition, and he is correct in my opinion on the legal proposition, but just as good lawyers on the other side are going to object and will say the other way, and the man who is likely to be debarred will vote against this Constitution, because he will not understand that nine means twelve. I say it is a worrying thing,  and there is no use to have it in there. Some of the gentlemen have suggested that we need it in the black belt country. We do not need it.  To use the ex‑


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pression of the gentleman from Walker, you have a seine sweeping every one of them, even the little minnows cannot get through it.  The good character clause as a temporary catch and the understanding clause as the same and Section 6 as a permanent clause in the Constitution is going to catch, in my opinion, all of them.

THE PRESIDENT– Does the gentleman yield to the gentleman from Mobile?

MR. WILLIAM– Yes, sir.

MR. PILLANS– Does the gentleman mean to say that there is any class of available citizens in Alabama who are without such thrift as will accumulate $300 worth of taxable property, in other words, who have no homes.  There is no such available class of citizens in Alabama as that working six months in the year and the other six months are idle and do nothing. I will ask him if he does say so, not to apply it to the laborers—

MR. WILLIAMS– And the one we hope to have later on, too. Now, Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention, I am in perfect accord with the committee. We understand the proposition, and it is not worrying them nor me now as to who shall be allowed to vote under as to who shall be allowed to vote under this proposition and I favor it, but I say it will worry the fellows down there in the turpentine country, and it will worry us all along the wharves of our port, and it will worry us in the mining regions, and it will worry us everywhere, when we come up for the ratification of this Constitution. The people are not going to understand it and the advocates against the ratification will use this clause freely to defeat the ratification, and I say, to get back on my line of argument, what is the use of putting a worrying thing in there, that will not do any practical good?

MR. ASHCRAFT– The gentleman says when we go before the people that it will be very hard to enlist the support of the man who has not had this employment for a year.  Will any man who is to vote for the ratification of this Constitution be affected in the slightest degree by this proposition?  Will he not be protected by the temporary plan which makes him a life elector?

MR. WILLIAMS– In voting for this particular Constitution?

MR. ASHCRAFT– In voting for this Constitution.

MR. WILLIAMS– Of course every citizen votes for this, but every citizen who is entitled to vote for or against the ratification of this Constitution will have the privilege of registering under the temporary plan for life. Can he be affected by this provision, which is to come into operation at a further date?

MR. ASHCRAFT– But suppose he did not register under the temporary plan.


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MR. WILLIAMS– Very well, let’s suppose, for some reason, that he does not vote on election day. Suppose that he neglects it. You like to have good electors. You don’t like to have trouble over the ratification of the Constitution, or in the future over any particular matter, do you? To get back to the line of argument from which I have been twice interrupted. I say the Black Belt part of the country does not need this proposition because under the good character clause and the understanding of the republican form of government as temporary plans, you will in my opinion catch a good many of the illiterate vicious negroes, and when you go further down and take up your sixth clause with all these disqualifications or idiots and insane persons and those who have been convicted of certain offenses under the laws of the State, you are going to catch the balance of these fellows, those who are guilty of offenses and such and you will have the record on them, that they are the very fellows you are after. I am speaking for the ratification by white men in the northern end of the State as well as in the southern end of the State, of this Constitution.

MR. deGRAFFENREID – Don’t you know that the temporary plan expires on the first day of January, 1903?

MR. WILLIAMS– I know that, yes, sir; of course I do.

MR. deGRAFFENREID – And a great many people who won’t be permitted to register under the permanent plan.

MR. WILLIAMS– Yes sir; of course, anyone who has studied the report does. Now that proposition that the gentleman fired at me explains my position fully and exactly. We have got to explain to every fellow on the stump in this State before we can get that ratification of the Constitution all the matters, just as I do to him.  I tell you now we are getting too many things in the Suffrage Article to explain it to the people, much too much in this whole Constitution, and I dare say that every member of this Convention is getting, every day, letters from home telling them to quit making changes which must be explained to the people of the State. Now only two or three days ago I got a letter from one of the most intelligent men in this State, a Probate Judge, in reply to some business letter I had written him, and he added a postscript calling my attention to this subsection and saying “Don’t you think you are going to present a very burdensome question to the people on ratification, and in the future after that?” I have had a half dozen letters from people calling my attention to this particular section. I do not care to make any remarks on these letters just now.

MR. COLEMAN– Didn’t that Probate Judge say if he had the power to register all negroes he would do it?

MR. WILLIAMS– He did not.


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MR. COLEMAN– At no time?

MR. WILLIAMS– I do not think he did. I let my distinguished friend the Chairman of the Committee, read the letter. I have no recollection of its being in there. Now we have a lot of explanations to make. I do not believe the men in this Convention understand this article on suffrage. I say all of them do not believe it.

MR. COLEMAN– Didn’t you say yourself that Judge Powell told you so?

MR. WILLIAMS– Told me what?

MR. COLEMAN– That he would register them all if he could; that he would register all the negroes.

MR. WILLIAMS– That letter was not from Judge Powell.

MR. COLEMAN– Didn’t you tell me that Judge Powell had said that?

MR. WILLIAMS– He may have said six weeks ago he would register them all. If you say he said so, I guess he said so; I do not recollect it.

I say what is the use of putting this thing here to go out and to be explained to the people. Give some good reason or some bad reason for it.

MR. ASHCRAFT– I rise to a point of order. I regret to interrupt the gentleman but he is speaking to the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson—

MR. WILLIAMS– I will come to that in a minute. I see the gentleman’s proposition. He is correct in it.

MR. LONG (Walker)– I just wanted to ask one question. As amended this section reads as follows:

“Those who being physically able to work, have been engaged in some lawful business, occupation or employment, trade or calling for twelve months next preceding the time them offer to register.”

Does that not require a man to be engaged the whole twelve months?

MR. WILLIAMS– I say that the legal construction of this subsection is that they do not have to be employed regularly for the whole twelve months, but I say you cannot go up here into these hill counties where they have the mining element, or the lower counties where they have their turpentine industries and such industries as are not perennial, and explain that to the people in the whole time you have to educate them on the ratification business, and if we realize that we have less than sixty days in which


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

to educate the people of Alabama on this whole Constitution, and we have taken more than sixty days already, how will you educate them to every proposition and provision in it?  I cannot for the life of me, see how the distinguished Chairman of the Suffrage Committee says we need that paragraph of the subsection.  They catch every negro in the Black Belt under the good character and intelligence clause, and under this disqualification clause in Section 6 and now I move to take from the table the motion of the gentleman from Jefferson, Mr. Beddow, that was tabled just now, and that we present it for adoption to this Convention, and it is on the motion to take from the table that I raise my argument.

MR. BAREFIELD ‑The gentleman has alluded to the turpentine workers. I would like to ask the gentleman if he is acquainted with the turpentine men.

MR. WILLIAMS ‑No, sir; we do not have many of them in my county.

MR. BAREFIELD‑I would like to ask is it not a fact that those who do the manual labor in turpentine stills, if they are not mostly composed of fugitives from justice from the other portions of the State of Alabama?

MR. WILLIAMS– Yes, sir; and four that reason they would go out under  the good character clause, just as much as under the

other proposition contained in Section 6. and that is my proposition.

MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)– Does that apply after 1903?

MR. WILLIAMS– No, sir; but Section 6 does apply after 1903, and they would go out under that if not under the good character clause.

MR. O’NEAL– Don’t the gentleman understand the good  character clause out after 1903.

MR. WILLIAMS– Of course I do, but the qualification clause in Section 6 does not.

THE PRESIDENT– The time of the gentleman from Marengo has expired.

MR. WILLIAMS– My motion is to take from the table the motion of Mr. Beddow.

THE PRESIDENT– The question is on the motion of the gentleman from Marengo to take from the table.

MR. COLEMAN– Is that in order when we are discussing an amendment.

MR. O’NEAL– There are two amendments now.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. MORRISETTE– No new business has been transacted since that was laid on the table. I move it be in order.

MR. WILLIAMS– The reason I made that motion was because there has been new business, and there has been—

MR. MORRISETTE– No new business was transacted since that was laid on the table and it is therefore in order. There have been two amendments but no action was taken on either of them by the Convention.

THE PRESIDENT– It seems to the Chair that it would require unanimous consent now to consider the motion to take from the table as it would interrupt the regular order.

MR. LONG– I want to call the attention to the fact that some business has transpired. The Chairman accepted the amendment of the gentleman from Jefferson, the amendment was laid on the table, and the Convention struck out the word “regular” and accepted the amendment of the gentleman from Macon, and it strikes me the majority of the Convention could take from the table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson.

MR. WILLIAMS– I concede that the position of the Chair is correct at this time, but I could not find any other time in which to get my opinion of this Section before the Convention, therefore I chose this time, but as soon as the amendment of the gentleman is disposed of, I will then make the motion to take from the table, and I believe I will be in order. I therefore withdraw the motion.

There was no objection and the motion was withdrawn.

MR. COLEMAN– I was surprised to hear the argument of the gentleman from Marengo. It shows how little gentleman who are lawyers here keep in mind the system that we have presented.  His main argument was that all these parties could be excluded under the good character and understanding clause.

MR. WILLIAMS (Marengo)– Will the gentleman pardon me?

MR. COLEMAN– I yield.

MR. WILLIAMS (Marengo)– Under the good character clause until 1903, and under Section 6 thereafter.

MR. COLEMAN– I understand the gentleman exactly, but every delegate upon this floor knew that his whole argument was made upon the assumption that the good character clause would be in operation at that time. Of course he tried to explain it when he saw the predicament in which he was placed, and the inapplicability of the argument. The temporary clause which has been adopted was adopted rather to carry out our pledges to the people of Alabama that no white man should be disfranchised, and then


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it provided a permanent clause consisting of property qualifications and educational qualifications, but the Committee was aware that there would be a large class in this State in view of this understanding clause, or the reading; and writing clause, who would be incompetent voters, and I say that the gentleman does not speak for the Black Belt when he says that this provision is not required. It is absolutely necessary or something in the place of it which will meet the same ends designed here by us. Now this question has been fully discussed. The reading of the definition shows how carefully the Committee framed this Section: that the words we had in there “occupation,” was a synonym for “employment,” and the word “employment” for “occupation.”

MR. WEATHERLY‑I understand the Chairman consented to the insertion of the word “employment” at the suggestion of the gentleman from Macon.

MR. COLEMAN‑I did.

MR. WEATHERLY‑ At his request I would like to know if the Chairman would be willing to insert an additional word in there, and that is insert the words “pursuits.”  I just make that suggestion.

MR. COLEMAN– There is no objection in the world. it is covered any way. If it is satisfactory to the body of the Convention, if the Convention will grant permission, the Committee will accept the word “pursuits.”

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman from Green asks unanimous consent to insert the word “pursuit” after the word “employment.”

MR. HARRISON– I ask the Chairman of the Committee to consider that well.  I think it might be dangerous to accept that. He might be pursuing a coon. (Laughter.)

MR. COLEMAN– Of course, if I do not get unanimous consent, I have no right to do it.

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman from Greene asks unanimous consent to insert the word “pursuit” after the word “employment.”

(Objection was made.)

THE PRESIDENT‑ There seems to be objection.

MR. COLEMAN‑ Now this discussion shows the importance of some provision like this. It shows with what great care this Section was framed by the Committee. Now a substantial amendment has been offered that was not provided for before, and we accept these amendments simply to stop the discussion that we may proceed with the business. I do not see and cannot under‑


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

stand how it is to be benefited by any amendment or substitute, which has been offered, and I move to lay the amendment on the table.

THE PRESIDENT– Does the gentleman include both amendments?

MR. COLEMAN– Both of them.

THE PRESIDENT– It is moved that the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pike and the substitute to the amendment offered by the gentleman from Mobile be laid upon the table. Is the Convention ready for the question?

MR. LONG (Walker)– I ask for a division of the question.

THE PRESIDENT– The question will be first upon the motion to table the substitute offered by the gentleman from Mobile.

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

THE PRESIDENT–The question recurs upon the motion to table the  amendment by the gentleman from Pike.

MR. BEDDOW– I have an amendment.

MR .WILLIAMS– Do I not come in now to make my motion to take from the table?

THE PRESIDENT– If the gentleman could get recognized, he could come in, but the Chair recognized the gentleman from Jefferson. Does the gentleman yield?

MR. WILLIAMS– I want to make a motion to take from the table the motion of the gentleman from Jefferson that was laid on the table just now.

MR. BEDDOW– The amendment will cover the motion that far, and the motion to take from the table will not be necessary.

The Secretary read the resolution offered by Mr. Beddow as follows:

“Amend Subdivision 1 of Section 5, by inserting after the word ‘register,’ in line 9, the words ‘provided this subdivision shall not apply to persons temporarily unemployed pending a strike, or disagreement with their employers.”

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson.

MR. COLEMAN‑I move to lay the amendment offered on the table.

MR. LOWE– I call for the ayes and noes.

The call was sustained.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

THE PRESIDENT– The question is upon the motion to table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson.  As many as favor the motion to table will say aye and those opposed no, as your names are called.

AYES.

Ashcraft,

Henderson,

O’Rear,

Barefield,

Harrison,

Palmer,

Bethune,

Hinson,

Parker (Cullman),

Browne,

Hood,

Pearce,

Bulger,

Howze,

Pitts,

Burnett,

Inge,

Reynolds, of Henry,

Carnathon,

Jenkins,

Rogers (Lowndes),

Chapman,

Jones, of Hale,

Rogers (Sumter),

Cobb,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Samford,

Coleman, of Greene,

Kirkland,

Sanders,

Coleman, of Walker,

Knight,

Searcy,

Cornwall,

Kyle,

Sentell,

Craig,

Leigh,

Smith (Mobile),

Dent,

Lomax,

Smith, Morgan M.,

deGraffenreid,

McMillan (Wilcox),

Spragins,

Eley,

Merrill,

Tayloe,

Fletcher,

Miller (Wilcox),

Waddell,

Glover,

Morrisette,

Walker,

Graham, of Talladega,

NeSmith,

Watts,

Grant,

Norwood,

Weakley,

Greer, of Calhoun,

O’Neal (Lauderdale),

Williams (Barbour),

Handley,

Opp,

Winn,

TOTAL– 66

NOES.

Messrs. President,

Fitts,

Long, of Walker,

Altman,

Foshee,

Lowe, of Jefferson,

Banks,

Foster,

Macdonald,

Bartlett,

Gilmore,

Martin,

Beavers,

Graham, of Montgomery,

Maxwell,

Beddow,

Grayson,

Moody,

Blackwell,

Greer, of Perry,

Mulkey,

Boone,

Haley,

Murphree,

Brooks,

Heflin, of Chambers,

Oates,

Burns,

Heflin, of Randolph,

O’Neill, of Jefferson,

Byars,

Hodges,

Parker (Elmore),

Cardon,

Howell,

Pettus,

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Jackson,

Phillips,

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Jones, of Bibb,

Pillans,

Cunningham,

Kirk,

Porter,

Davis, of Etowah,

Ledbetter,

Reese,

Duke,

Long, of Butler,

Renfro,


3190                  

OFFICIAL  PROCEEDINGS

Reynolds (Chilton),

Sollie.

White,

Robinson,

Sorrell,

Whiteside,

Sanford,

Spears,

Williams (Marengo),

Selheimer,

Thompson,

Williams( Elmore ),

Sloan,

Vaughan,

Wilson (Clarke),

Smith, Mac. A.,

Weatherly,

Wilson (Wash’gton).

Total‑69.

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING.

Almon,

Freeman,

McMillan, of Baldwin,

Case,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Miller (Marengo),

Davis of DeKalb,

King,

Norman,

Eyster,

Locklin,

Proctor,

Espy,

Lowe, of Lawrence,

Studdard,

Ferguson,

Malone,

Willet.

PAIRS.

AYES.                                                 NOES.

Stewart.

Cofer.

The motion to table was lost.

MR. GRAHAM (Montgomery)– I have an amendment.

MR. COLEMAN– Is it too late to verify that vote?

MR. O’NEAL– I ask for a verification of the vote.

MR. WILLIAMS– A point of order, Mr. President. It is too late, because of interposition of new business.

MR. COLEMAN– I was on the floor.

MR. O’NEAL – It can’t be done until it is announced.

MR. COLEMAN– You have to announce it.

THE PRESIDENT– The trouble about it was that the Chair had announced the result and had recognized the gentleman from Montgomery, who offered an amendment.

MR. BOONE– It is not a question as to who was on the floor, but who the Chair recognized.

MR. COLEMAN– That is all true; but I ask the Chair if the motion is made immediately upon announcement, if it is not in time.

THE PRESIDENT– It is, but not after the Convention has passed upon a question and taken up new business. The Chair recognized the gentleman from Talladega who yielded to the gen-


3191

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

tleman from Talladega, who yielded to the gentleman from Montgomery. The Secretary will read the amendment.

"Amend amendment by striking out the words ‘pending a strike or disagreement with their employers.’

MR. BEDDOW– By consent of the house, I wish to accept that amendment.

MR. O'NEAL‑I object.

THE PRESIDENT‑‑ The gentleman from Jefferson asks unanimous consent to accept the amendment. Is there objection? The Chair hears no objection.

MR. O'NEAL‑‑‑I object until I hear it read.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The gentleman objected before the Chair submitted the question to the Convention, and when the Chair submitted the question to the Convention, the gentleman did not renew it. The Secretary will read the amendment as modified by the acceptance of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Montgomery.

MR. GRAHAM (Montgomery)‑I move the previous question.

MR. O'NEAL‑I hope the gentleman won't do that.  We want to discuss this matter. The Chairman of the Committee wants to be heard on it.

THE PRESIDENT‑‑ The gentleman from Montgomery moves the previous question.

MR. O'NEAL– I hope the House will vote the motion down.

THE PRESIDENT— The gentleman is not in order.

MR. COLEMAN‑I ask even after the previous question has been moved, if I have not the right to be heard.

MR. REESE‑‑I make the point of order. The previous question is moved. The gentleman made the motion to table this proposition awhile ago, and it was defeated. Now the house has a right to vote without his discussing the proposition.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is not debatable. Does the gentleman apply his motion to the section and amendment, or simply to the amendment?

MR. GRAHAM ( Montgomery)– To the amendment and section.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)–Then I have the right to close.

THE PRESIDENT‑ Certainly.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

Upon a vote being taken, the President announced that it appeared to the Chair that the ayes had it.

A division was called for.

MR. SOLLIE– I rise to a question of inquiry. Is it the whole section or subdivision that we are discussing?

THE PRESIDENT– The subdivision. That Chair was incorrect in stating the section. It is the subdivision.

MR. KIRK– If in order, Mr. President, I would like to move a division of the question.

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman is too late now.

Upon a vote being taken, there were 59 ayes and 60 noes, and the motion for the previous question was lost.

MR. COLEMAN– Please read the amendment as offered. I hope the gentlemen will pay attention to it.

The Secretary read the amendment as follows:

“Amend subdivision 1 of Section 5, by inserting after the word “register” in line nine, the words “provided this subdivision shall not apply to persons temporarily unemployed pending a strike or disagreement with their employers.

Amendment to the amendment by Mr. Graham (Montgomery)— Amend the amendment by striking out the words “pending a strike or disagreement with their employers.”

MR. COLEMAN– Now, if the delegates will just pay attention for a moment we will see what trouble we get into when we move too rapidly. It says, provided, that this subdivision shall not apply to parties temporarily out of employment, or who are engaged in a strike. That is they are not required to read and write even. They are free to vote without any qualification.

MR. GRAHAM– I would like to ask the gentleman a question. The mover of that amendment is willing to change it this way, provided, this requirement as to employment shall not apply to persons temporarily out of employment.

MR. COLEMAN– That is what I wanted to get the floor before for. That shows how important it is to notice closely what we are doing and not to proceed too rapidly. This Convention was ready to permit those who were engaged in a strike or temporarily out of employment of accord to them a higher position  than any elector in the State. We are framing an organic law. It requires close attention and study of these amendments that we offer. I haven’t had an opportunity to consult with the Committee, but if I can get a second I will move that this first paragraph be recommitted to the Committee on Suffrage and Elections.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

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

THE PRESIDENT– The Secretary will read the next subdivision.

MR. SANFORD‑ That has been recommitted to the Committee. I desire to offer an amendment.

THE PRESIDENT– As soon as the paragraph is read the Chair will recognize the gentleman to offer an amendment.

The Secretary read the next subdivision as follows:

Second‑ The owner in good faith, in his own right or the husband of a woman who is the owner in good faith, in her own right, of forty acres of land situated in this State, upon which they reside; or the owner in good faith, in his own right, or the husband of any woman who is the owner in good faith, in her own right, of real estate, situate in this State assessed for taxation at the value of $300 or more, or the owner in good faith, in his own right, or the husband of a woman who is the owner in good faith, in her own right of personal property in this State assessed for taxation at $300 or more;  provided, that the taxes due upon such real or personal property for the year next preceding the year in which he offers to register shall have been paid, unless the assessment shall have been legally contested and is undetermined.

MR. SAMFORD (Montgomery)– I have an amendment.

The amendment was read as follows:

“Amend report of Committee on Suffrage and Elections by striking out the second subdivision of Section 5 of said report.”

THE PRESIDENT– The question will be upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Montgomery.

 

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)– I offer that amendment fellow delegates, because I am aware that property is power among all people and in every government, and that it is especially a power in this republic whose dominating vice is avarice. The men who own property often time show the very highest degree of sagacity, or energy, or self-denial and of economy, and all those qualities by which large fortunes are acquired. But, from all I can learn by tale or history in the observations of a not now short life, mere possession of property does not give patriotism or wisdom or virtue. Oftentimes it is a means of profligacy and indulgence in all the forms of vice and of folly.  Therefore, the ownership of property should not be a qualification to vote. I remember an anecdote, Mr. President, of the celebrated Emory Storrs of Chicago, a very brilliant lawyer, and a very profligate man. Upon one occasion at Saratoga, he was surrounded by a number of gentlemen of large fortune, and, while he himself was impecunious, he was a


3194                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

genius whose brilliancy was admitted by everyone, and they jeered him and sneered at him, and he finally replied to them:  “Gentlemen, I do not wish to be offensive, but, in my reading of the New Testament, the only man of fortune that was at all distinguished in that book was Dives, and he was in hell.”  So, while I do not go to the full extent of Emory Storrs’s sarcasm, I do say that the mere possession of wealth is not qualification for government; that the wisest men, the greatest moral teachers, the greatest patriots, the finest soldiers, and sometimes the most sagacious statesmen have had no property at all; that they have been supported by public contributions and buried at public expense. That is true in the history of all counties, ancient and modern. Why, my friends, I have but to remind you that such a man as Samuel Adams could not have voted under that clause.  When he was elected to the Colonial Congress of 1774, his friends had to contribute to buy suitable apparel for his appearance in that assembly.  He himself would have been buried at public expense, but for the fact that his son had died and left him a few thousand dollars, and yet that man has been called the “Cromwell of America;” that man has been ranked as second only to Washington; that man has been considered in the very first rank of patriots– a man who stirred the colonies in 1774, ‘75 and ‘76 in the war against England for independence and for liberty, and yet that man could not have voted under this Section had he been living in Alabama today. Why should I remind you of the fate of James Monroe, so familiar to the history of this country, and yet so poor that he was buried at public expense.  He could not have voted under this clause.

Now, tell me, you gentleman who favor that Section, what virtue there is in forty acres that can give a man the wisdom to vote? Of what virtue is there in $300 of his wife’s garments or jewelry that can impart to him patriotism? Why should it be so?  If it depends upon his wife’s $300, she may run away, and when she goes she takes the $300 and disfranchises her husband. (Laughter) The very absurdity of the proposition shows that such a provision as this ought not to be made a qualification for voter. I can count from here to the river many young men, single, qualified so far as character is concerned, who have ordinary intelligence, as required, and yet who do not own $300 worth of taxable property or forty acres of land. There are gentlemen in this Convention who are not the happy possessors of forty acres of land, let it be ever so unfertile or unproductive. Why should you make such a qualification as that? How many men would you qualify if you put in a mere property qualification? Many of the best men in Alabama. How many men would you disqualify by that first subdivision of the fifth Section, – men who cannot read nor write and yet men of very fine sense, of high patriotism, of great public virtue, of much devotion to the welfare of Alabama. What virtue is there in the power to read a paragraph of the Con-


3195

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

situation of the United States? What sanctity is there in that instrument about which men in this Convention differ as to its interpretation, as they do all over‑ the United States? Why didn't the Committee say “You should learn to read the Lord's Prayer and practice its humility; you should learn to read the Sermon on the Mount, and take it to your life as a guide in all its magnificent virtues?”  Why not?  Some of the most brilliant men in history– brilliant for their genius, immortal for their attainments and good they have done to the world, and yet, in their personal characters, were lost to every sense of morality and virtue. Who has not read the sarcasm of Pope about Lord Bacon being "the greatest, brightest, meanest of mankind?" Who does not remember Byron 's career – the genius of the nineteenth century, and known for his profligacy as much as he is for his charming  poems?  Who does not remember Voltaire, the apostle of reason, the most gifted man of the eighteenth century, profligate in all things, believing in nothing– he did not believe in God, but actually repudiated everything that we have been taught is sacred in Christianity. Who does not remember Rosseau? How many of these great and brilliant men would I call to your minds who had not a solitary virtue except the gift of intellect, if that could he considered a virtue? Let me say to you that it is not a man's intelligence that makes him a valuable citizen. It is his moral qualities. Your intellect is nothing more than the headlight of a locomotive. It shows the way, but it possesses no driving power. It is character that makes a man, and character is will disciplined according to great moral principles.  That is what you want. Why, one Sunday school is of more value in making good citizens that a district full of public schools. Why? Sunday schools teach morals, teach the duty of man to God, to his country, to his family and to himself.  Your general literacy attainments teach you nothing except a capacity maybe to acquire what are the great moral truths, which are few, for morality, my countrymen, is but one. Religion and religious creeds are innumerable, and if you teach a man high morality, whether he can read or write, or not, he is still a valuable citizen.

MR .PROCTOR– I would like to ask the gentleman from Montgomery if his amendment is adopted, whether it will not cut out a class of voters who would be entitled to vote if it is left as it is?

MR. SANFORD– No, not cut them out; it would allow them to vote. My amendment is to strike out the Section which provides for a property qualification.

MR. PROCTOR– And then you cut out all that class of people who would come in if that Section was left in.

MR. SANFORD– By no means. They come in anyhow; but it is the men who carry the muskets and who toil for your country


3196                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

that it would let in. When you asked a man to volunteer to defend the Southern country forty years ago, did you ask if he had forty acres of land? Did you ask him if he could read and understand the Federal Constitution, or the Sermon on the Mount. Aren’t these the men who bear the muskets in war and in days of great danger?  Who are these men but they who put out the flames on your buildings, and put down insurrections, who make your policemen, who make your gallant soldiers, who make your great heroes?

A friend suggests that Aristides of Athens was buried at public expense, and that is true, and no wiser or better man ever trod the streets of Athens, once the pride and admiration of the world.

There are a great many men who have the power of property — and I respect them for the self-denial, the sagacity and the industry by which they accumulated their possessions, yet it does not fit them to govern. Yet it is a singular fact that whenever a man acquires property, he straightway sets up to be a ruler of his kind. It is a peculiarity of humanity. I have seen men who did not go to the polls for twenty years, so they asserted, and yet when they accumulated a fortune, straightway they were presidents of every little meeting, ward associations or little committees, and everything of that kind, and endeavoring to dictate the policy of a great commonwealth, when they did not know a solitary principle of government.

So I hope, my friends, that this Article that does no good, that shuts out many, will not be insisted upon. If it depends purely upon that, some of the very best men in Alabama would be cut off from the franchise. I am speaking now not only of the second subdivision, but of the first subdivision, and I will tell you an incident to show you the character of the men whom it may exclude. There is a man now living in Crenshaw County, formerly, of this county, whom I knew in the army for nearly four years.  He marched when he was ordered to go to the front; he starved rather than abandon his post; he encountered every peril as cheerfully as the bridegroom does his wedding entertainment; he was afraid of nothing and bore everything without a murmur. When I said to him, calling him by his given name, Sam; “I am against disfranchising men because they cannot read and write,” he said to me, “Colonel, you know me,” and “if the welfare of my country demands that I should be disfranchised and never vote again, let it be done.”  A spirit of sacrifice that few men in this assembly would have entertained or expressed. That is the character of men whom the first subdivision may shut out from the polls.

MR. WEATHERLY– Does he own any property?

MR. SANFORD– I think he does– I think he owns property.

MR. WEATHERLY‑‑ Then he may get in.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. SANFORD– That would let him in, but his son may never own any, though he could vote because he was the son of a soldier. But suppose he arrives of age after 1903, it will not reach him.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)– Then I will suggest that he could perhaps read and write and have some employment.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)– He might provided he was as fortunate as you represented your son could be in traveling over Europe for five years, and reveling in the delights of fashionable society.

 

Now, Mr. President, as I was speaking about the making men who are the possessors of land and fortune voters, and those who possess neither land nor personal property non-voters. As I said these men oftentimes volunteer cheerfully for all the high duties of society, especially where dangers, hardships and privations are to be encountered. Do not exclude them from the ballot box. Poverty is hard enough to bear.  Do not expatriate them practically by saying you have got no country, you are a beast of burden, but not a man, to say who shall be your judges, your legislators or your Governors.

Christ and his Disciples might be here, having every virtue known to God and man, and they could not vote, yet the man owning millions of dollars, and having every vice and profligate habit perhaps known outside of the infernal regions, votes and makes legislators and Judges and Governors.  A poor man, my friends, such as I have described him, made in the image of God, in the image of Christ, also may be excluded from the polls because he does not own the paltry sum of three hundred dollars, or the little cow pen of forty acres. I hope the Convention will strike this out.

MR. ROGERS (Lowndes)– I would like to know if Christ and his Disciples would not come under the good character clause.

MR. SANFORD– That would depend entirely upon which way he was going to vote. (Laughter.)  Who is to be the judge of the good character?

MR. SOLLIE– May I interrupt the gentleman?

MR. SANFORD‑ Yes, sir.

MR. SOLLIE‑ He could not come after January 1, 1903, under the good character clause, could he?

MR. SANFORD‑ No.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)– Mr. President, the gentleman does not take into consideration the purposes of this committee.


3198                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

You strike out that section and there is not a negro in Alabama that will not vote. The purpose is to enable those who should exercise the franchise to exercise it. He has lost sight of the great object for which this Convention was called, to eliminate a class of voters who are not competent to exercise the vote. Similar provisions to this have been adopted in every State, where they have met to reform the article upon Suffrage and Elections, and it has always been they rule in some States of the United States. I am astonished at the sentiments of the gentleman, however much we may have admired the learning that he showed, and I suppose that was the principal object of the address. I do not think it necessary to consume any time whatever in further discussion of that paragraph of the section, and I move to lay the amendment upon the table and ask for the previous question upon the article and amendment.

MR. BULGER– Upon that I call for the ayes and noes.

MR. SOLLIE– A point of inquiry. Is it the whole section or a subdivision?

MR. WILLIAMS (Elmore)– I ask for a division of the question.

THE PRESIDENT– The question will divide itself. The question will be put first on the adoption of the amendment, and then on the adoption of the subdivision.

MR. LOWE– I rise to suggest that perhaps there might be a division of this question which provides in the first place that the owner in good faith should be entitled to vote and then that the husband of the owner in good faith be allowed to vote. I think there are two propositions there.

MR. O’NEAL (Lauderdale)– I rise to a point of order. The question before the house is the previous question. There cannot be a division of the previous question.

THE PRESIDENT– The point of order is well taken. The question is shall the main question now be put.

Upon a vote being taken the main question was ordered.

THE PRESIDENT– The question will be upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Montgomery.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)– I asked a division of the question, and the question is upon the ayes and noes as I understand it.

THE PRESIDENT– In the opinion of the Chair the question is not capable of division. The rule as the Chair understands it, is that there may be a division where the sense will permit it, but the Chair must decide a question of that kind, and , in the opinion of the Chair the sense of the question here will not permit a


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division.  The ayes and noes were called for.   Is the call sustained?

The call for the ayes and noes was not sustained.

MR. REESE‑I rise to make a parliamentary inquiry. Is not the amendment offered by the gentleman from Montgomery to strike out the entire section?

THE  PRESIDENT---‑It is.

MR. REESE–  Then that would dispose of the original section. I move to lay the amendment on the table.

THE PRESIDENT‑ In the opinion of the Chair after the previous question has been ordered, the gentleman cannot move to table. The gentleman would have been in order to have moved to table before the previous question was ordered, but after the previous question has been ordered, the question is upon the adoption of the amendment and section as reported.

MR. deGRAFFENREID  ‑A point of order. The gentleman’s motion, or whatever you may call it, is not an amendment. As I understand it, you can amend the section by moving to strike.

THE PRESIDENT– The Chair will overrule the point of order.  The question is upon the adoption of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Montgomery, which is to strike out the subdivision marked “2nd’ As many as favor the motion to strike out a paragraph marked “2nd” will say aye; those opposed no.

Upon a vote being taken a division was called for, and the amendment was lost by a vote of 18 ayes to 38 noes.

The question then recurred upon the adoption of the subdivision as reported by the Committee, and upon a vote being taken, the subdivision was adopted.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Secretary will read the next section.

MR. SOLLIE — I have an amendment to the whole section.

THE PRESIDENT — Does it add a subdivision?

MR. SOLLIE– Yes, sir.

Amendment offered by Mr. Sollie read as follows:

“Amend Section 5 by adding at the end of the following subdivision: ‘Third, Those who reach the age of 21 years after January 1st, 1903, and before the first day of January, 1905, who are persons of good character and who understand the duties and obligations of citizenship under a republican form of government.’”


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MR. SOLLIE– I also have to offer an amendment to that amendment by way of substitute.

The amendment was read as follows:

"Amend Section 5, by adding at the end, following subdivisions :

'Third---‑Those who reach 21 years of age after January 1st, 1903, and before the 1st day of January, 1905, who are lawful descendants of persons who honorably served in the land or naval forces of the United States, in the war of the American Revolution or in the war of 1812, or in the war with Mexico, or in any war with the Indians, or in the war between the States, or in the land or naval forces of the Confederate States, or of the State of Alabama in the war between the States, or persons of good character, and who understand the duties and obligations of citizenship under a republican form of government.

MR. SOLLIE (Dale)‑Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention: It is a little odd that I should offer an amendment and at once an amendment to that amendment or a substitute for it, and I will explain here and now why I do so. The substitute is my preference. I should like to see the Convention adopt it. It extends to the youths both the descendants and the good character and understanding clause of the "temporary plan," already adopted, until January, 1905 ; and it gives to those to become of age within that time exactly the same opportunity the others will have under the temporary law, but I am not sure that the Convention will be as friendly to the idea of extending to those boys to come of age within the time covered by the amendment both the descendants clause and the character and understanding clause as their will to the character and understanding clause alone.  Therefore, I have offered the latter as an amendment to the subdivision and the former as an amendment to, or substitute for, the latter, in order that I may secure a vote, first, on the substitute ; and, if it is lost, then on the amendment which extends to the boys only the good character and understanding clause for the time in question.  As I understand the rule, we vote first on the substitute and then on the amendment. This is my reason for offering the two as I have.

Now, gentlemen, each of these amendments is stripped of some of the objectionable features of the temporary plan already adopted by us, such as the registrar clause, to which objection has been made here; and of nearly or quite all of the objections which are substantial that have been urge against other amendments looking to the same relief offered heretofore, when we were considering the last subdivision, and which were voted down by the Convention. One of the most forcible objections I have heard in dis-


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cussing; these amendments voted down with the Chairman of the Committee, is that they have been too uncertain and were offered in such way that it would be difficult to understand them, and that it would require study on the part of a lawyer to learn their meaning if adopted at the places and in the connections proposed.  This point was probably well made. The objection to that offered by the gentleman from Chambers, Judge Robertson, was that it provided for the registration of boys before they became of age, a sort of preparatory saving of the privilege before it could be known that the boy would ever need it. This, too, was a valid objection. But these amendments I offer have not any of these objections. They are easy of construction, and may be easily understood. They are regular, in a proper place, so that they cannot confound or confuse, and are as clear and definite as the most severe critic might wish. They ring as clearly as a new silver dollar or a new bell. They simply make a provision on behalf of such of the unfortunate youths of the State as may become of age for the two years next succeeding the end of the "temporary plan" adopted, which, in justice, they should have, and which some at least of the delegates here I feel sure want them to have. It prevents their being shut off from the right to vote by a law which imposes upon them conditions with which in some cases at least they cannot comply. It is true that it fastens upon our permanent plan a temporary provision, for the exact execution of which provision is not made, and that their registration will have to be provided for ; but it is equally true that a plan of registration for all to come under the permanent plan will have to be provided by the Legislature and they will also provide how and by what rules these youths shall register; and we may, I think, safely leave it to the wisdom of the Legislature to determine the plan. What sensible objection can there be to letting these youths have the advantages which we extend to others now among us or who shall become of age before Jan. 1, 1903? Precisely, or nearly, the same reasons obtain in the one case as in the other. In either case it is wise that we let them vote; for they cannot make the preparations demanded; they cannot acquire either the property or the educational qualification the law demands in the time fixed. I would gladly see it so arranged that these amendments would apply all the time, but that cannot be done here; and I have made the time short in the hope that I may secure the adoption of one of the amendments. I insist that such of our young men as shall come of age between this and January, 1905, without owning the property or having the education provided for, but who are either descendants of the soldiers mentioned, or have good characters and understand the duties of citizenship under our form of government ought to be permitted to register and vote. I insist, Mr. President, that this amendment solves the vexed question of taking care of the youths soon to become of age. I believe it is every man’s desire to protect them if


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it can be safely and lawfully done, and that all are willing and prefer that they have some time to get ready.

It is a new thing with us in Alabama to have to vote under a property or educational qualification. It is a radical departure from our time honored customs; and when it is introduced into the rural districts it will not find a hearty welcome. In those sections the people have never been accustomed to going much to school or to providing for the education of their children. The desire for an education has not entered into the hearts and lives and characters of the citizens there. They do not understand as they should, perhaps, the necessity for becoming educated. Great and radical changes cannot be made in their habits and lives in a season. Their condition of ignorance has sunk deep into their very natures. It is one of life’s ordinary, and as they think, normal conditions. It is part of their civilization, which they think is good and right and just. They do not experience any inconvenience on account of it, because they have not known any other conditions. They look upon the educated world outside as some distant object not directly affecting them. They cannot be made to face about in the time allowed by the provision. They must have some time for it. And if the time is not given by us they will take it at their

own expenses. And who of us, Mr. President, feels a sensation of pride when we contemplate the boy who has had a boorish father and has been kept between the plow-handles till the very day he is twenty-one years old, and been then turned loose in the world with, say five or ten dollars, without education and without property, and forced then to acquire these for himself, but in the meantime cut off from the right to vote by a law which we have deliberately made? Before these people will catch up the inspiration and betake themselves to the acquisition of an education as a class we will have to send teachers there to labor and toil with them, and speakers to arouse them.  They will have to be led up to it by degrees. They cannot and will not take it up at once of their own motion. They will not know until our Constitution is ratified and becomes a law and is promulgated, whether or not they are going to have to live under it; and when that is done there will remain practically no time, before the period for preparing is out. Why, Mr. President, in some of the rural districts of which I know three out of five of the boys to come of age will probably not be able to  vote under the provision. They will not have the property or the education required. And for two reasons; First, because they will not have understood the necessity for it; and, secondly, because their fathers have controlled their time, and they have had no opportunity. Shall we place upon these youths such a handicap as that? Shall we directly violate the pledges we made to them?  Shall we violate the pledges we have made to the people of Alabama that we would not disfranchise any white man? Shall we go from this Convention with the recollection of such a betrayal of


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trust upon us? Shall we place this blight upon the youth of the land who are just budding into young manhood, these young men who are already so nearly men of maturity, that if the call to arms were made they would be among the first to shoulder their muskets and march to the front to fight for our common country?  Shall we not rather execute than betray the trust? Some here attempt to avoid the force and effect of our pledges as to the boys by saying we pledged ourselves only as to those who vote now, and that the pledge does not bind us as to future generations. Grant it.  Are these boys to become of age before 1905, future generations?  Does not the charge cover them too. Are they not among the cestui qui trust for whom we are directed to provide? Are they not within the terms of the trust? It is too narrow a construction to place upon the charge. It violates its spirit and plain meaning.

I can understand how those of us who supported the minority report of the Committee on the temporary plan may consistently object to the descendants parts of the substitute; but can see no valid reason why any of us should object to the character and understanding amendment. The minority mentioned think the descendants clause unconstitutional, and cannot consistently support it anywhere; but no one has questioned the constitutionality of the character and understanding clause. And if the other cannot be carried then lets adopt at least that amendment. It will be a great relief. Many who otherwise could not vote may do so if even that amendment is adopted. And it cannot be reasonably objected to upon any ground which, in my judgment, ought to control our actions here. Those who oppose it cannot say that it is unjust, or unconstitutional. It violates no law of rights or morals or of political economy, nor does it the Federal Constitution. It is unassailable on all these grounds. Then what objection can there be to it?

I do indeed, think of one, that of policy. But I maintain that the better policy says adopt it.

In the debates on the temporary plan the minority charged that the life of that plan had been made short because its advocates feared it would not stand the test of the courts. I trust that they were entirely mistaken in that.  For myself, I stand here in my place and tell them that it was not that consideration which induced me to support that plan, and that I am satisfied of its legality, that I do not fear for its fate in the courts. I am willing to follow it into the courts and there defend it.  And the majority of the Committee must surely believe that it is constitutional.  I will take the liberty to say they do: for I believe thesis to be candid men : and they have asserted here on this floor that they had no doubts of its legality.  And they would be estopped now to deny it, legality if they were disposed to use that argument as a reason for opposing this amendment. I do not believe that these gentlemen


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prepared the temporary plan believing it to be unconstitutional, and by a lawyer’s trick made its life so short that it could be dispensed with before the hammer of the courts could come down upon it to strike the life out of it. I repudiate for them and myself the whole of these imputations. I deny that we did any such thing. I believe in standing up like men to what we do here and in doing nothing we cannot stand by and defend publicly or otherwise.

I am willing and ready to say to the courts and to the world:  “Yes, this temporary suffrage plan is our plan; it is good; it is our annunciamento; it is our doctrine; it is our faith; it is our creed; it is our thesis; and we pin it to our walls and stand here ready and able like brave men to defend it.” With like candor and fearlessness we should protect our youths yet awhile. We ought not to let the clouds gather round them and add to their misfortunes for which they are probably not responsible, the other mortifying and humiliating one of disfranchisement. And it will require time and tactful management to bring them up to the required conditions. We have to approach them according to their several conditions and surroundings. We must let them understand that our purpose is to lift them up, not rush them. We cannot do that by making a summary law requiring quick, radical change in their lives. Who of you campaigners has not learned that you have to move to the accomplishment of an object in one community by one set of methods and in another by a different one? Who of us all is so blind to human nature as to approach all men in the same way? Who has taught school without learning that he must manage one child one way and another in a different way? So it is with voters. I plead for the youth of the rural districts. Those of you who were not reared among them do not understand them possibly as I do. What seems easy and right to you may seem  hard and unjust to them. Their situation and environments are all different from yours, possibly. This requirement that they must forthwith get property and education will seem hard to them. Let’s keep the trust.

I would like to see the substitute adopted. If this cannot be then I hope we will adopt that amendment.

MR. SMITH (Mobile)– The argument the gentleman has made is practically the same position that he took in reference to the second paragraph of the fourth Section. The same considerations were presented to the Committee in the Committee room, and discussed at very considerable length, and the views that the Committee there expressed I believe to be well founded.  In the first  place, it seems to me that there is some misconception as to why we have adopted the temporary plan at all. It may be the intention of some members of the Convention to arrange a fraudulent scheme to disqualify the negro, but that is not the view with


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which the Committee has formed its plan.  Its idea has been to truly and in fact, elevate the basis upon which the electorate was to be put in the State of Alabama.  Circumstances, however, much concerned us, owing to the face that we have this large number of ignorant blacks with us which made it absolutely impossible for us to put the suffrage upon a high basis without making some exceptions to that rule.  If we had introduced the permanent plan in the first instance, unaided by the admission into the electorate that is granted by the temporary plan, it would have been absolutely impossible, under existing circumstances, to have adopted the Constitution. The negroes would have been disqualified to a large extent and therefore would have voted against it.  A large number of citizens who on account of the fortunes of war had no opportunity to qualify under the permanent plan would have been disfranchised, and it would have left but a small minority to vote for any plan that we might produce. It was therefore absolutely necessary that we should make a temporary plan, that looked with tenderness to the condition of the soldiers and their descendants and a temporary plan that would enable us to redeem the pledges that were made to the party, and to adopt what would eventuate in a high plane of suffrage.  That we have attempted to do and that we think is going to be of benefit to us, on any contest in the courts upon the validity of these exceptions, but probably in consideration of these questions as they arise, as they may in congress, upon a consideration of whether or not they would reduce our representation both in Congress and in the Electoral College.  If we present to them this position and tell them that the honest true effort of our people has been to raise the suffrage to an intelligent and proper basis, and that what we have done in the temporary plan has been absolutely necessary to get it upon that basis, then there can be no disposition whatever to cut down our representation in Congress or in the Electoral College.  They will say, “yes, it is true they have made exceptions which apply more largely to the whites than to the blacks; yes it is true you have introduced a soldier’s clause to admit to a large extent white men; it is true they have introduced the descendant’s clause, to admit to a large extent white men, but what was the final purpose?  Was it the purpose to circumvent the Fifteenth Amendment, or was it the purpose to place upon a high plane the suffrage of the State of Alabama, and could they have placed it upon this high plane in any other way?”

THE PRESIDENT– Will the gentleman from Mobile suspend.  He will be entitled to the floor this afternoon.

The Convention then adjourned until 3:30 p.m.

__________

AFTERNOON SESSION

The Convention met pursuant to adjournment, there being 144 delegates present upon the call of the roll.


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Indefinite leave of absence was granted to Mr. Proctor on account of sickness in his family.

MR. deGRAFFENREID – I ask  unanimous consent to introduce a resolution that it may be referred to  the appropriate committee.

The Secretary read the resolution as follows:

Resolution 278, by Mr. deGraffenreid:

Resolved. That the Secretary of this Convention be and he is hereby instructed to buy the necessary  parchment for enrolling the Constitution to be adopted by this  Convention.

MR. deGRAFFENREID – I ask that it be referred to the Committee on Engrossment that has that business in charge.

I  make the motion that the resolution be put on its immediate passage.

Upon a vote being taken, the rules were suspended, and on a further vote the resolution was adopted.

MR. GLOVER (Choctaw)– I ask unanimous consent to introduce a short petition.

Unanimous consent was accorded.

The Secretary read the petition as follows:

To the Constitutional Convention,

Montgomery, Ala.;

We, the undersigned citizens of the State of Alabama, do hereby offer our protest against the railroad pass evil, and do hereby declare our desire that it be made an unlawful act for either State, county or municipal officials to accept railroad passes from any railroad company or for such company to give such passes.

We further petition the Constitutional Convention, now insession in Montgomery, to incorporate into the proposed Constitution some effective, self-operative provision to that end.

Butler, Ala., July 23rd, 1901.

Signed, Charles E. McCall, Judge of Probate, and many others.

MR. SMITH (Mobile)– I have a resolution with favorable report from the Committee on Rules.

Resolution 279, by Rules Committee:

Resolved , That from and after the passage of this resolution the special resolution heretofore introduced, extending the limit of debate as applicable to the consideration of the report of the


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Committee on Suffrage, be repealed; and that the previous rule, limiting each speech in the debate upon amendments to ten minutes be again put in force.

MR. SMITH‑I move the adoption of the resolution.

A vote being taken, the resolution was adopted.

MR. SOLLIE– By consent of the gentleman from Mobile, I wish to ask unanimous consent to correct the amendments now pending before the house.

THE PRESIDENT– The chair hears no objection.

MR. SOLLIE– The correction is to make a proviso at the end that no one shall register under that after January 1st, 1905. I fear my amendments do not accomplish their purpose without the correction.

MR. SMITH (Mobile)– I had said that the objection to the soldiers and descendant clause so far as the Committee is concerned, was to a large extent, it was the child of necessity, but in addition to that the clauses as limited in the report, each have their justification, which has been very fully discussed and stated before this Convention. The justification of the soldiers’ clause resting on the patriotism and hardships which were imposed upon that class of men by the fortunes of the recent war; the justification of the descendants’ clause laying in the fact that there were many who lost their property and they were left by the war without means of support and the children were obliged to labor for the support and maintenance of a widowed mother, and the family with all these hardships and these necessities, the opportunity that was afforded to citizens under other circumstances of obtaining an education and the qualification under the other clause was denied to them.  But, Mr. President, the extension of this clause has in it no such justification. It is true that there are men under the other clause who probably would not fail within the justification that has been offered, but they were members of a class, and it is impossible to make any clause that will operate absolutely within the purpose for which the class is admitted.  Those, however, who become of age after 1903 are men who were born long after the close of the civil strife, who were not deprived of their  fathers of the service of their fathers in the support and maintenance of their families. They are the children of the men who have  returned home, and have at least been able to look after their families for something like thirty-five years, and the men that now become 21 years of age have had the same opportunities to acquire an education that those who hereafter become of age will have, and there is, therefore, nothing in the circumstances or condition  of the young men who come of age after January, 1903, which will put them upon a different basis, or make any justification for their


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admission that is not open to all other young men that may become of age hereafter. In addition to that, Mr. President, we will have an election in 1902. Every man that will be of age at that time will have had an opportunity of registering under the article as it is now written.  The next election that we will have will be in 1904, and every young man not now of age will have had three years within which to prepare himself to qualify under the reading and writing clause and it they have that ambition, that desire to become educated men, to qualify themselves as citizens, each and every one of them will have an ample opportunity to do so. I think, therefore, that this is an extension of the rule which is without justification in the necessity, it is without justification upon the same ground that we have made the other exceptions, and it would look like an effort to in some measure evade the constitutional provision, and while perfectly lawful, and perfectly constitutional it would not give a good aspect to the efforts that he have made to lawfully and in a proper way elevate the suffrage in our State. These considerations were addressed to the committee and after a very full discussion of the subject they concluded it would be wiser to limit the clause to January, 1903, and I submit in doing so they have followed the wisest course and that the amendment ought not to be adopted.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)– It seems to me that the question has been fully discussed. The same question arose on yesterday.  The simple proposition is whether or not the arrangement which has been adopted by the committee, persons who are not now of age will be able to vote, or attain sufficient age to vote. I do not care to add anything to what has been said. I move the previous question in this case upon the section and the amendments offered by the gentleman from Dale.

THE PRESIDENT– The question is shall the main question be now put.

Upon a vote being taken the main question was ordered.

MR. deGRAFFENREID –  I move to lay the amendment of the gentleman from Dale on the table.

THE PRESIDENT– The previous question is ordered, it is too late to move to table. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Dale.

MR. SOLLIE– Upon that I ask for an aye and no vote.

The call for the ayes and noes was not sustained.

MR. SOLLIE– The vote is upon the amendment to the amendment, I presume, Mr. President.


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THE PRESIDENT‑ On the amendment to the amendment.

MR. SOLLIE‑I would like before the vote is put  upon the second amendment that it be read.

The second amendment was read by the Secretary.

Upon a vote being taken a division was called for and there were 30 ayes and 56 noes and the amendment to the amendment was lost.

THE PRESIDENT– The question now recurs on the—

MR. REESE‑ Mr. President—

MR. LOWE  (Jefferson)‑The gentleman from Dallas sought recognition from the Chair. It is possible a vote is going to be put when a delegate asks recognition

THE PRESIDENT– The vote has been put. It seems to the Chair that the delegate from Dallas is able to take care of himself.

MR. LOWE‑ And it seems to me that it is entirely  possible that a vote will be put when a delegate is asking recognition from the Chair.

MR. REESE‑ Mr. President, I  have no complaint. (Applause.)

MR. WHITESIDE‑I offer an amendment.

MR. HEFLIN (Chamber,)‑‑I rise to a point of order‑ I think the gentleman from Greene named the previous question on the section and amendments.

THE PRESIDENT– It is the subdivision which is before the Convention.

MR. O’NEAL– I rise to a point of order, the subdivision has been adopted.

THE PRESIDENT– The section has been adopted with the exception of one subdivision which was referred to the Committee on Suffrage and Elections. Is the committee ready to report?

MR. COLEMAN– The committee has not met. It will meet this evening at 8 o'clock.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Secretary will read the next section.

Sec. 6. The following persons shall be disqualified both from registering and from voting; namely:

All idiots and insane persons; those who shall by reason of conviction of crime, be disqualified from voting at the time of the ratification of this Constitution; and those who shall be convicted


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of treason, murder, arson, embezzlement, malfeasance in office, larceny, receiving stolen property, obtaining property or money under false pretenses, perjury, subornation of perjury, robbery, assault with intent to rob, burglary, forgery, bribery, assault and battery on the wife, bigamy, living in adultery, sodomy, incest, rape, miscegenation, crime against nature, or any crime punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary, or of any infamous crime or crime involving moral turpitude; also any person who shall be convicted as a vagrant or tramp, or of selling or offering to sell his vote or the vote of another, or buying or offering to buy the vote of another in any election by the people or in any primary election or to procure the nomination or election of any person to any office, or of suborning any witness or registrar to secure the registration of any person as an elector.

MR. PORTER– I have an amendment.

The Secretary read the amendment as follows:

Amend Section 6 at the end of the 15th line by adding “or any elector who registers for another, or registers more than once, any registrar who enters the name of any elector on the list of registered voters without such elector makes application in person or under oath on the form made for that purpose or who knowingly registers any person more than once, or knowingly enters the name upon the registration list as a registered voter when no one of that name applied to register.”

THE PRESIDENT– The question will be on the adoption of the amendment of the gentleman from Coosa.

MR. PORTER– I am in favor of fair elections. If we are to have fair elections in Alabama, and the Registrars who have been attacked in this bill should be guilty of the charges that have been preferred against them. I think it is nothing but right that they should come under those mentioned in the catalogue of crimes.

MR. COLEMAN– Under Section 4693 of the Criminal Code, and this report is made with reference to the laws as they exist, it reads as follows: “Any person voting at any county or State election who has not registered and taken and subscribed to the oath must, on conviction, be fined not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars, or imprisonment in the county jail or sentenced to hard labor for the county for not more than one year nor less than one month.  If the gentleman will take Section 6 and compare it with the laws already in force, I do not think the most critical member of this Convention will find aught against the section as provided by the Committee. Contrary to my usual custom, feeling satisfied that we have covered every possible contingency which could arise I move to lay the amendment upon the table.


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MR. PORTER‑‑ On that I call for the ayes and noes.

The call for the ayes and noes was not sustained.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑I desire to offer an amendment.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question now is upon the motion to table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Coosa.

Upon a vote being taken the motion to table prevailed.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑I have an amendment.

The Secretary read the amendment as follows : "Amend Section 6, by inserting in the thirteenth line after the word 'primary election' the words ‘or any nominating convention or mass meeting,’ at the end of the fifteenth line ‘or prevent the registration of any person as an elector.”

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The question will be on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Montgomery.

A vote being taken, the amendment was lost.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is on the section as reported.  Is the Convention ready for the question?

MR. PROCTOR‑I have an amendment.

The Secretary read the amendment  as follows: “Strike out in first line the word 'crime' and insert the words 'felony as now prescribed by laws and insert after the word ‘another’ and makes or offers to make a false return.”

THE  PRESIDENT‑ The question will be upon the amendment of the gentleman from Jackson.  Is the Convention ready for the question?

MR. COLEMAN‑I move the previous question upon the section and upon the amendment offered.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The previous question is called for. The question is, shall the main question be now put.

A vote being taken the main question was ordered.

THE  PRESIDENT‑ The question is upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jackson.  Does the gentleman desire to debate the question?

MR. PROCTOR‑ Just one word.

THE PRESIDENT— Does the gentleman from Greene yield?

MR. COLEMAN-----‑I yield half my time.


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MR. PROCTOR– The amendment offered puts the word “felony” in place of the word “crime” and the second amendment any person who makes or offers to make a false return. it was submitted to the Chairman of the Committee and he agreed with me that he would have no objection to the latter part.

MR. COLEMAN– The amendment is offered as a whole.

THE PRESIDENT– Does the gentleman from Jackson yield to the gentleman from Greene.

MR. PROCTOR– Yes, I will yield to the gentleman.

MR. COLEMAN– I thought he was through.

MR. PROCTOR– I thought there would be no objection by the Committee. I so understood it.

MR. COLEMAN– If he had offered only the amendment contained in the latter clause, it would have been in accord with our views. We think it is covered but to dispense with discussion and consumption of time I would have accepted it, but, as I understand it now, the amendment says, “persons convicted of felony,”  Felony is something you can punish only by imprisonment in the penitentiary and the section contains other crime and others involving moral turpitude. It is much more stringent.

MR. PROCTOR– I will ask unanimous consent to strike out the first part of the amendment.

THE PRESIDENT– Does the gentleman yield?

MR. COLEMAN– I accept it.

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman asks unanimous consent to strike out the first part. The Secretary will read the amendment as changed.

The Secretary read as follows: “Insert in line twelve after word ‘another’ ‘or makes or offers to make a false return of.’”

MR. CHAPMAN– There are two words “another” in the main line. Which one is it?

MR. PROCTOR– It will read this way: “Selling or offering to sell the vote of another or buying or offering to buy the vote of another or offers to make a false return in any election by the people or any primary election or to procure the election of any person.”

MR. COLEMAN– I could not accept that, it is not at all consistent.

MR. REESE– I would like to have the amendment read.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

THE  PRESIDENT– The Secretary has just read it. He will read it again.

The Secretary read as follows : "Insert in line twelve after the later word 'another' the words ‘or makes or offers to make a false return of.’”

MR. COLEMAN ‑It is ungrammatical.

MR. O'NEAL– A point of order. If the sentence be read with the amendment, it will show that it has no sense.

MR. REESE – My request was that the Secretary read it. I did not care about the other gentleman reading it. I ask that the Journal Clerk will be requested to read the amendment himself. (Laughter.) I mean the Reading Clerk and not the members of the Convention. I want to know what was in that paper there.

THE PRESIDENT‑ Does the gentleman desire the Reading Clerk to read it?

MR. REESE‑I rise to a question of personal privilege. What I do object to is gentlemen on the floor stating  what is in the paper. I desire Colonel Brandon to read what is in the paper that he has in his hand.

THE PRESIDENT– The Reading Clerk will please read the paper.

The Reading Clerk read as follows:

“Amendment offered by Mr. Proctor. Insert in line twelve after the word ‘another’ the words ‘or makes or offers to make a false return of.’ As amended the Section would read: “Also any person who shall be convicted as a vagrant or tramp or selling or offering to sell his vote or the vote of another or by buying; or offering to buy the vote of another in any election by the people,” etc.

MR. PROCTOR‑I ask the Clerk to strike out the word “of.” It is inadvertently put in there.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is now upon the adoption of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jackson.

MR. BURNS– I want to ask if it is too late to offer an amendment.

THE PRESIDENT‑ It is too late. The previous question has been ordered.

MR. BURNS‑I though the gentleman from Jackson had withdrawn his.


3214                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman could not withdraw it after the Convention has ordered the previous question.

MR. REESE– I move to table the amendment.

MR. BOONE– I rise to a point of order. The previous question has already been ordered and it is too late at this juncture to move to table.

THE PRESIDENT– The Chair has been ruling in conformity to the point of order. In an authority which is furnished me, it says: “Even after ordering the previous question and up to the moment of taking the last vote under it, it is in order to lay upon the table the question still before the assembly.”  The Chair was influenced in its ruling to the contrary by the fact that the rules of this Convention prohibited the making of a motion to adjourn after the previous question had been ordered, and a motion to adjourn is a motion of higher rank than a motion to table. Inasmuch as the rules do not expressly relate to a motion to table, it seems to the Chair under the authority furnished, that the ruling of the Chair was erroneous. The Chair, therefore, reverses the former ruling and rules the motion to table to be in order. The question is on the motion to table the amendment of the gentleman from Jackson.

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

THE PRESIDENT– The question is upon the adoption of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jackson.

MR. O’NEAL– Would the gentleman from Jackson allow me to call his attention to the fact that it would destroy the sense.

THE PRESIDENT– The question is not debatable.

MR. O’NEAL– I ask unanimous consent.

There was objection made.

MR. COLEMAN– I have the right to close and I yield it to Judge Walker for a moment.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)– I rise to a point of order.

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman will state his point of order.

MR. SAMFORD– The gentleman yielded a portion of his time to the gentleman from Jackson who took part of it and the gentleman replied to him for a moment, and that ended it.

MR. COLEMAN– I have not replied.

THE PRESIDENT– It seems to the Chair that the gentleman from Greene discussed the question briefly.


3215

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. COLEMAN‑I have never understood it as occupying my time. It is a grammatical error and mistake that has been made in my mind all the time.

MR. GREER (Calhoun)‑I move to amend the rules to  allow the gentleman to discuss the question briefly.

THE PRESIDENT‑ It is moved that the rules  be suspended and the gentleman from Madison be  allowed to call the attention of the Convention to the question.

A vote being taken the rules were suspended.

MR. WALKER‑I just want to call the attention of the Convention to the fact that as worded the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jackson if embodied in this provision would not make sense. I will read at the beginning of the paragraph: "Also any person who shall be convicted" that would be joined to the amendment that the gentleman offers. What is the amendment there?

The Secretary read as follows: “Or makes or offers to make a false return.”

MR. WALKER ‑It would read in that connection: "Any person who shall be convicted or makes or offers to make a false return."

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑He has not got it that way.

MR. WALKER– That is the way it is.   The clause as proposed to be introduced by the gentleman from Jackson would not make sense, unless he used the words after the second word 'another' on that line "of making or offering to make a false return." The way it is now makes no sense at all.

MR. PROCTOR‑I desire to meet the objections pointed out by  the gentleman from Madison.  To substitute for the word "make" the word "making."

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is on the adoption of the amendment of the gentleman from Jackson.

The amendment was adopted.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is upon the adoption of the section as amended.

MR. O'NEAL‑I vote aye for the purpose of moving to reconsider.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is upon the adoption of the section as amended.

Upon a vote being taken, the section as amended was adopted.


3216                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. LONG (Walker)– I ask unanimous consent to offer a resolution to be referred to the Committee on Suffrage and Elections.

Resolution 280, by Mr. Long of Walker:

Be it ordained that Section 5 of the report of the Committee  on Suffrage and Elections be stricken out and the following inserted in lieu thereof:

Section 5. The General Assembly shall provide by law for the registration of all male persons becoming of age and all male persons who become citizens of Alabama on and after the 1st of January, 1903; provided, any law for registration made by the General Assembly shall require all applicants for registration after January 1st, 1903, to be eligible to register under all the requirements made by Section 2 of this Article; provided, the General Assembly may make, by law, to become operative after January 1st, 1903, such other provisions for registering and voting not in conflict with this Constitution.

Referred to Committee on Suffrage and Elections.

MR. LONG– I give notice that I will ask the Committee on Suffrage and Elections to report that resolution one way or the other.

MR. COLEMAN– Under an order made at a previous day, it was determined that after the completion of Section 6, we should take up for reconsideration an amendment that was offered to Section 1 of the Article as reported by the Committee, “Every citizen of this State who is a citizen of the United States,” requiring as a qualification for the voter that the party should be a citizen of the State and the United States.

THE PRESIDENT– Will the gentleman allow the Chair to state the question? Under a former order made by this Convention, it was decided to reconsider the action whereby this Convention adopted the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson.

The Secretary read as follows: “Amendment by Mr. Beddow, amend by adding after the words United States in the first line of Section1, the following words, “and every male resident of foreign birth, who, before the adoption of this Constitution, may have legally declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States.” There was an amendment by Mr. Smith of Mobile to that as follows: “Provided that all such foreigners who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, shall cease to have the right to vote if they shall fail to become citizens of the United States after they are entitled to become such citizens.”


3217

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question will be upon the motion to reconsider the vote whereby the Convention adopted the section as read.

MR. WALKER‑ That first section, as reported by the Committee confines the right of voting to people who are citizens of the United States.  That was done deliberately, in view of the idea that it was it mistake for the State of Alabama to seize upon immigrants into this country ahead of the time when, under the policy of the country at large, these people could become citizens and confer upon them the right to participate in our elections before they became citizens of this State. I submit that while we are dealing with the question here of purifying our electorate, that the policy as evidenced by the section as it originally stood, was a sound and correct one, that it is impolitic for this State, it is not in the condition of so eagerly desiring additions to its voting population, as to seize upon foreigners before they have become citizens of this country.  Now, is there any occasion to make that amendment here: is it not wise and prudent policy to wait until these people have declared their intention, and do as nearly all the States in this country do, wait until they do become citizens?  Even under the amendment offered by the gentleman from Mobile, which sought to obviate in some measure the effect of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson, those people may never become citizens of Alabama under that amendment even. It is simply required that the time of five years shall elapse after requiring that they pass muster and become citizens of the United States.  No man is in a position to complain in the State of Alabama that he has not the special privilege conferred upon him when he has not resided in this country long enough to become a citizen. Gentlemen, I submit that it is not unwise in the  condition of immigration that is coming into this country at this time for Alabama to adhere to the period of probation which is necessary in the country at large.

MR. OATES ‑ I want to suggest to the gentleman from Madison that it was manifest in the committee, and it was asserted that there are only five States in the Union, including the State of Alabama, who allowed people who had declared their intention, to vote.

MR. WALKER‑I think it will be found that in States in the Northwest, this innovation was made and at a time when they were receiving a remarkable good character of immigration from Northern Europe. We do not receive in any great quantity that character of immigration at this time. We are not in a position while we are called upon to offer special privileges and inducements to the character of immigration that sometimes come into this country–


3218                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. OATES– I want to supplement what I said. One-half of the members of Congress from the States of Minnesota and the Dakotas are foreigners, as is also a United States Senator, Mr. Nelson.

MR. WALKER– It is certainly a wise policy for this State and any other State of the American Union, to require people coming from abroad to remain here such a length of time that their qualities as good citizens may be established before they are admitted into the full privilege of American citizenship. This is our country and we have a right to protect it, and one means of protecting now is to keep it from being polluted by the raw recruits sent here from other parts of the world, unfamiliar with our institutions, take them fresh from  the ships and make them citizens of Alabama. I think the section as it originally stood is a proper one.

MR. BEDDOW– I am the person that introduced the amendment that is now sought to be reconsidered. I had hoped that upon mature reflection by this Committee on Suffrage that has offered to us such a magnificent plan that the motion to reconsider would not be opposed. I had hoped that when I return to my constituents at home that I could say to them, we have kept the faith that you have reposed in us, and while the argument of the gentleman who has just taken his seat is strong along some lines, still I put this question as I did at the outset, upon the high ground discussed in this Convention of standing by the pledges that each of us made to our people at home.  We pledged that in this new suffrage scheme we would not disfranchise any white man. I hold in my hand the Constitution of 1875. In the very first section of that Constitution it says that every male person of foreign birth who may have legally declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States before he offers to vote,” etc., really showing to the delegates of this Convention that at the time this Convention was called that that class of citizens had the right to vote.  Upon every stump in the State of Alabama and every meeting attended by the delegates of this Convention, that pledge was renewed to them. I was sorry to hear the gentleman who has just taken his seat say that this committee when it left out this foreign element that had been voting in our elections, deliberately struck them down because I thought that in the hands of a committee like that, that they, above all other would not present to us a suffrage plan that would, if we extended our votes upon the floor of this Convention, cause every one of us to violate the pledges that we made to our people in the very first line, in the very first section proposed in the new suffrage plan. If they did deliberately do this, then they have deliberately tried to lead us into a violation of our pledges, and I hope that the gentleman drew on his imagination when he stated that. Take the people that would come in


3219

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

under this provision as amended by the amendment that I offered and the amendment made by the gentleman from Mobile. It would only let those in who have been exercising the right of franchise.  At this little colony between Birmingham and Montgomery the town of Thorsby, a colony of industrious, intelligent white people who have not been voting in our elections more than one year.  You strike them from the electorate, and you strike out as good citizenship as you have in the State of Alabama. Take towns made up like the town of Cullman in North Alabama, where if we all had done as they have done, looked upon the inferior race, if we had looked upon them as Cullman has looked upon them, we would not be here today, trying to disfranchise Mr. Cuffey, because they have always kept him out of their town.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑Will the gentleman yield to a question?

MR. BEDDOW‑ Certainly.

MR. SANFORD‑ When that pledge was made by the Democratic party not to disfranchise any white man did it not have reference to citizens of the United States, because it could disfranchise nobody except citizens?

MR. BEDDOW‑ No, sir, I did not understand it so. I understood the pledge to say  just what it said, and when it said white men I took it white men, that is what I told my people and that is what our Democratic platform says, the white man who was at that time entitled to vote. They tell us  that there are only five States in the Union that have a provision similar to the one we have authorizing a foreigner to vote. If that be so, that is not our fault. It is not our fault that the Constitution of 1875 allowed men upon declaring their intention to become citizens, to be admitted to the elective franchise, but it will be our fault if after they have been admitted by this other Constitution, and after we have come here under sacred and solemn pledges to say at this late day that they shall not further exercise the right we pledged, that we would not deprive them of. Now, Mr. President, I don't care to take up the time of this Convention. I have made one speech heretofore upon this question and you understand it as fully as I do, but I beg you, don't send me back to my people to ask for the ratification of a Constitution when they can stand up in my face and say, "Did you not say that you would not disfranchise any voter?" I would be compelled to say yes, and he would say to me, "You have violated that pledge, because in the first line of your suffrage plan, you have disfranchised me." I beg you do not reconsider this amendment that has already been put into the suffrage plank, let it stand. So far we have not violated our pledges, and I beg and I pray, gentlemen, don't let us do it, but let us go back home with clean hands and clean consciences in this matter.


3220                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. MORRISETTE– Do I understand you to say that the men in Cullman who are voting are not citizens of the United States?

MR. BEDDOW– No, sir, I referred to Cullman to show the class of citizens coming to this country and that have been allowed that privilege. I presume most of them have become citizens.

MR. MORRISETTE– You said in the town of Thorsby, they have been voting a year.

MR. BEDDOW– Yes, sir.

MR. MORRISETTE– Did I understand you to make the statement that the gentleman voting are not citizens of the United States?

MR. BEDDOW– I mean to say that without this amendment that I propose putting in the suffrage plank, that they will be disfranchised.

MR. MORRISETTE– And they are already citizens of the United States and have been voting for a year, and this will disfranchise them?

MR. BEDDOW– No sir; they have declared their intention to become citizens and are there by entitled to vote under the present Constitution and they have been voting for a year.

MR. MORRISETTE– Under the laws of the United States they are required to be here five years before they can become citizens, but they are here and already voting in Alabama?

MR. BEDDOW– Yes sir.

MR. MORRISETTE– And they are not citizens of the United

States?

MR. BEDDOW– Not citizens of the United States, but are entitled to the franchise under our present Constitution.

MR. MORRISETTE– And have voted?

MR. BEDDOW– Yes, and those are the ones we promised not to disfranchise.

MR. OATES– I think the gentleman from Jefferson unintentionally made a wrong impression. If the clause of the Constitution should remain as it is reported by the Committee it would not disfranchise those gentlemen, but only postpone the time up to the date of their qualification. In five years they could qualify. Some of them might qualify before the Constitution is ratified. It does not disfranchise any of them.      


3221

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. BEDDOW– I understand the gentleman, but I say if you prevent him from voting in any election until he can qualify under the present law, you prevent him from voting in any election. You disfranchise him and in our platform we made no exceptions whatever.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)– Consistency is a jewel. At a former session of this Convention when the question was being submitted to the members of this Convention as to whether or not the sons of Confederate Veterans who had fought on the bloody battle fields of this country for the preservation of our liberties should be permitted to cast a vote, the gentleman from Jefferson was not so ready to remember the obligation that he made, but, forsooth, because the people of Alabama in convention assembled desire to restrict the franchise to citizens of the United States who know something of republican forms of government and republican institutions for some reason not made known, perhaps, to this Convention, the gentleman from Jefferson objects and calls our attention to the pledges made.  Mr. President, I for one, did not pledge myself that I would not postpone for a time the right of any man to vote who was not a citizen of Alabama and who was not a citizen of the United States. I desire to impress upon the Convention the point made by the gentleman from Montgomery, that is, that we do not even now intend to disfranchise these people. We do not even taking the pledges made by the Democratic Party and made by the delegates upon this floor to the people of Alabama in its strictest construction, we do not intend to disfranchise the foreigner who has declared his intention of becoming a citizen. We only say to him that before you shall exercise the right of franchise, you must become a citizen of the United States, you must become a citizen of the State of Alabama before you will have any right to participate in its government or to direct its policies or to assist in making its law.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)– It is a judicial ascertainment of his fitness— his naturalization.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)– When it comes to the right of a son of a veteran of the wars of this country to exercise the right of franchise, a man who has been born, upon the soil, a man who has been nursed at the breasts of a mother, who had instilled into him by a patriotic mother the duties of a citizen under a republican form of government, when it comes to the son of a man who has fought upon the bloody battlefields of his country and who has instilled into that son the duty that he owes to his State and to his country, the gentleman from Jefferson objects unless he is able to read and write, notwithstanding the fact he may be as intelligent as any member upon this floor. I desire to say, here and now, Mr. President, that education is never the test of intelligence. It is not necessary that a man should be educated in a college in order


3222                  

OFFICIAL  PROCEEDINGS

that he should understand the duties of a citizen under a republican form of government, but I do say that men who have been reared across the waters, under a form of government different from ours, under a form of government that we consider oppression, under a form of government that we consider to be directly in opposition to all that we hold dear in this country, that he cannot by simply filing a declaration of his intention to become a citizen of this State or this Union thereby acquire sufficient knowledge to exercise the franchise as it should be, no matter how much he has acquired in the schools or universities of his native land.  There has been a requirement fixed by the United States Congress that a man should live in this country for five years and that he should have a good moral character before he becomes a citizen. There are many things that might be said along this line, but I do not desire to take up the time of this Convention. I hope in justice to all our citizens, in justice to our republican institutions, in justice to our State, that this vote will be reconsidered and that this amendment will be stricken out.

MR. BOONE– I rise to favor the motion to reconsider and I shall only detain the Convention a very few minutes. I desire to call the attention of the Convention to a personal experience of how this would work, if Section 1 stands as it is. Under that Section any man who has declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States has the right to vote. Now, sir, take the county which I have the honor to represent. There are numbers of Spaniards there who came from Cervera's fleet who cannot write the Spanish language, to say nothing of any acquirements in the English language or any acquirements in our republican form of government or any knowledge of the duties required of them as citizens of Alabama.  Many  a time I have seen a man taken up in our City Court and naturalized for the purpose of voting who  did not know anything in the world about our government, its theories, the rights of citizens, the citizen's duties or obligations to the government, or anything of that kind.  Now, gentlemen, I thought the main question we are here for was to elevate the electorate of this State and to purify the ballot. It is nonsense to tell me that simply because a man comes from Poland, Russia, Austria or Italy into this State, who has no knowledge at all of our theories of government, can land at Mobile, on a ship, go up and declare his intention to become a citizen of the United States, generally through all interpreter, and then can go down immediately and cast his ballot. Is that right, just or wise?

MR. OATES‑Not a citizen of this State but of the United States.

MR. BOONE– Not of this State, but declares his intention to become a citizen of the United States, yet, although not a citizen of this State, not a citizen of the United States, ignorant of


3223

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

our language, ignorant of our conditions, he can go in and cast his ballot the same as a man who had been here all of his life and knew all of the conditions and theories surrounding that election.

MR. BEDDOW‑I would like to ask the gentleman from Mobile if the County of Mobile has suffered much from those people having been allowed to vote heretofore when they send such representatives  to this body as yourself and others.

MR. BOONE– It is not whether we suffer in the past. We would have suffered if there had been a sufficient volume of such immigration.

MR. BEDDOW‑ Doesn't the gentleman understand that it is the same men who voted then that will vote when the Constitution is ratified?

MR. BOONE– No, I do not; it would allow every one of them to come in before the ratification of this Constitution.

MR. BEDDOW‑ Those that are not here.

MR. BOONE‑ Yes, not here today, but may come in here next week.

MR. BEDDOW ‑‑Does not the gentleman know that they can declare their intention at any time now? Don't you know that they still have their right to declare their intention and vote upon this question and on the ratification of this Constitution.

MR. BOONE‑ No, sir; I do not. I say the scheme we are making here is the permanent scheme  not only for this day, not just for the ratification of this Constitution, but we are putting down for years to come.

MR. BEDDOW‑ Does not the gentleman know that this will not be the permanent scheme  until it is ratified by the people?

MR. BOONE– I know it will not be the law until ratified but the object is to keep out any such fellows as that who have no knowledge of the Constitution. I promised the Convention that I would only occupy a few minutes and I move the previous question on the motion to reconsider.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The gentleman from Mobile moves the previous question on the motion to reconsider.

MR. COLEMAN— I believe I have the right to close.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is shall the main question be now put?

MR. CUNNINGHAM ‑ I had wished to say a few words, will the gentleman withdraw?


3224                  

OFFICIAL  PROCEEDINGS

MR. BOONE– No, sir.  I insist upon the motion.

Upon a vote there were 55 ayes and 32 noes and the previous question was ordered.

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑I move to lay the motion to reconsider on the table and on that I call for the ayes and noes.

The call for the ayes and noes was sustained.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is upon the motion to table the motion to reconsider.

The  roll call resulted as follows:

AYES.

Beddow,

Haley,

Proctor,

Bethune,

Heflin, of Chambers,

Porter,

Blackwell,

Hinson,

Reynolds (Henry),

Brooks,

Hodges,

Rogers (Lowndes),

Browne,

Jenkins,

Searcy,

Burnett,

Jones, of Bibb

Selheimer,

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Kirk,

Smith, Mac A.,

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Leigh,

Smith, Morgan M.,

Cobb,

Lomax,

Sorrell,

Cunningham,

Long (Walker),

Spragins,

Davis, of Etowah,

Macdonald,

Thompson,

Duke,

Martin,

Vaughan,

Eley,

Merrill,

Weatherly,

Fitts,

Murphree,

White,

Foshee,

Parker (Cullman),

Whiteside,

Foster,

Parker (Elmore),

Wilson (Clarke),

Gilmore,

Pettus,

Wilson (Washington),

Graham, of Montgomery,

Pillans,

TOTAL– 53

NOES.

Messrs. President,

Coleman, of Greene,

Handley,

Altman,

Coleman, of Walker,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Ashcraft,

Cornwall,

Henderson,

Banks,

Craig,

Hood,

Barefield,

Dent,

Howell,

Bartlett,

deGraffenreid,

Howze,

Boone,

Fletcher,

Inge,

Bulger,

Glover,

Jackson,

Burns,

Graham, of Talladega,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Byars,

Grant,

Knight,

Cardon,

Grayson,

Kyle,

Carnathon,

Greer, of Calhoun,

Ledbetter,

Chapman,

Greer, of Perry,


3225

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

Lowe (Jefferson),

Pearce,

Spears,

Lowe (Lawrence),

Phillips,

Tayloe,

McMillan (Wilcox),

Pitts,

Waddell,

Maxwell,

Reese,

Walker,

Miller (Wilcox),

Renfro,

Watts,

Moody,

Robinson,

Weakley,

Morrisette,

Samford,

Williams (Barbour),

Oates,

Sanders,

Williams (Elmore),

O’Neal (Lauderdale),

Sanford,

Winn,

O’Rear,

Sloan,

Palmer,

Smith (Mobile).

TOTAL– 69

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING.

Almon,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Norwood,

Beavers,

King,

O’Neill (Jefferson),

Case,

Kirkland,

Opp,

Cofer,

Locklin,

Reynolds (Chilton),

Davis, of DeKalb,

Long (Butler),

Rogers (Sumter),

Eyster,

McMillan (Baldwin),

Sentell,

Espy,

Malone,

Sollie,

Ferguson,

Miller (Marengo),

Stewart,

Freeman,

Mulkey,

Studdard,

Harrison,

NeSmith,

Willett,

Jones, of Hale,

Norman,

Williams (Marengo).

THE PRESIDENT– There are 69 noes and 53 ayes and the motion to table is lost. The question recurs on the adoption of the

motion to reconsider. Upon that the previous question has been ordered.

MR. COLEMAN– I simply wish to state that this provision is in accordance with the former Constitutions of this State, when we were in fact a free and happy people. You will find it in the Constitution of 1819 and you will find it in the Constitution of 1861, none others, except citizens were qualified to vote in this State. I have not complaint to make against the delegate from Jefferson who takes such good care of his constituents who are not citizens of the United States, but there is an equal duty resting upon the other delegates who are members of this Convention to represent their constituents who are citizens of the United States.  I have been told by members upon this floor, and if requested their name will be given, that time and again when elections are approaching they could go to these parties who had just immigrated into this State and have them state their intention to become citizens and by the cost of one dollar and a half, they would vote at these elections. They took no other steps to qualify themselves until the next election, and they would be approached again and by the payment of a dollar and a half they would declare their intention to become citizens and vote again. They are the kind


3226                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

of electors which this; provision was intended to eliminate from the right of suffrage in this State. I do not see how any person who has in view the object of elevating the standard of suffrage can object to it. So far as disfranchising any one citizen, I will state, in my opinion, legally if they do not become enfranchised they will disfranchise themselves only because the doors are open for them to qualify according to the laws of the State and the proposition so wisely adopted by Congress in that which has been embodied in our reports. No foreigner can be naturalized until he has resided here so long and understands the duties and obligations of a citizen under a republican form of government. It goes further. It requires him to be a man of good moral character and a man attached to the principles of government and to have its interests and happiness at heart, and a person born out of this country, raised up under despotism or an empire or any other, except a strictly republican form of government, imbibes the principles of those, countries where he grew up, just as our native born imbibe and understand the duties of citizenship in this country. I do not care to elaborate the argument any further, and, Mr. President, I move that we proceed to the previous question.

THE PRESIDENT– The question is on the previous question.

MR. LOWE– I feel that I would be derelict in my duty to a large part of my constituents–

MR.  FITTS– I rise to a point of order. The previous question has been ordered and the gentleman is out of order.

THE  PRESIDENT– The previous question has been ordered, and it is not debatable. The point of order is well taken.

MR. LOWE– I would like to enter my protest.

MR. FITTS– I  insist upon the point of order, Mr. President.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion to reconsider was carried.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑‑Now, I move that the amendment be laid upon the table.

Mr. Beddow– On that I call for the ayes and noes.

MR. CHAPMAN– I have an amendment to the amendment.

THE  PRESIDENT‑ The gentleman from Pike got the eye of the Chair, and he moves to table.

MR. CHAPMAN– I made this motion to reconsider, and I would like for the gentleman from Pike to permit me to give a few words.


3227

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

THE PRESIDENT‑ Does the gentleman from Pike withdraw his motion to table?

MR. SAMFORD‑I would not be willing to any amendment to this section, and, therefore, I have to decline to yield.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman declines to withdraw his motion to table and the question will be on the motion to table. The question is not debatable.

MR. LOWE‑I ask for the ayes and noes.

MR. WILSON‑ Two amendments have already been adopted.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Chair is obliged to the gentleman for calling the attention of the Chair to the fact there are two amendments, and the next question would be on the motion to reconsider the vote whereby the amendment offered by the gentleman from Mobile was adopted.

MR. COLEMAN‑I do not understand that to be the condition. The amendment to the amendment was adopted, and it became a part of Section 1, and I at the time made a motion to reconsider, and it was postponed until after we dismissed of Section 6.

THE PRESIDENT‑ If the Convention reconsiders the vote whereby the section, as amended, was adopted, then the pending question would be upon the amendment, and there has been an amendment adopted to that.

MR. COLEMAN‑ Yes, sir.

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑‑I rise to a point of order. The motion to reconsider the vote by which a section was adopted brings before the Convention for its consideration this section as a whole, and, therefore, the motion to lay on the table the amendment that is part of the section is out of order.

MR. COLEMAN ‑ I had the floor, Mr. President, but of course he had the right–

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑ That is a point of order on which I desired the ruling of the Chair.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Chair will rule on your point of order in a moment.

MR. COLEMAN‑I was here on the floor making a motion to strike out that part of Section 1 which has been inserted by the amendments, and upon that I called for the previous question.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Chair, not having the amendments before him, does not exactly recall the status.  The gentleman from Jefferson, as the Chair recalls, offered an amendment, and the gentleman from Mobile offered an amendment to the amend


3228                  

OFFICIAL  PROCEEDINGS

ment. The amendment to the amendment was adopted, the amendment was adopted, and the section as amended was adopted. Now  the Convention has reconsidered the vote whereby the section as amended was adopted.

MR. COLEMAN‑ That is correct. I understand it was reconsidered.

THE PRESIDENT‑ Did you  propose to submit it in different motions?

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑I rise to a point of order. I submit that when the motion to reconsider was passed, and that it brought the section as amended before the Convention for reconsideration without any reference to how many amendment had been tacked onto it before that time, and now the delegate from Greene in handling  that section which is now before the house for consideration, moves to strike from the section as amended certain words which—

THE PRESIDENT– Which were incorporated by the amendment.

MR. SAMFORD– Which had been incorporated by the amendment.

THE PRESIDENT– Then, in the opinion of the Chair, the Convention having voted upon that question and acted upon it, cannot be brought again into the question except by a motion to reconsider. A motion to reconsider was made, entered, and its consideration was postponed until this date. The question would be upon the other motion.

MR. SAMFORD– I move that the vote adopting the amendment be reconsidered.

MR. O’NEAL– I rise to a point of order. The gentleman from Jefferson—

THE PRESIDENT– The Chair will hear the point of order of the gentleman from Jefferson.

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑ The gentleman from Pike moved to lay on the table an amendment that does not exist, and the gentleman from Jefferson made the point of order that his motion was out of order.

THE PRESIDENT‑ In the opinion of the Chair, the point of order is well taken. The question before the Convention is a motion to reconsider the vote whereby the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson was adopted and upon that the previous question has been ordered. It was ordered upon both of these questions to reconsider as the Chair understood. They were both submitted.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. O'NEAL‑I desire to make this statement: My remembrance is that the gentleman from Jefferson accepted the motion of the gentleman from Mobile, and there was no separate vote taken on the proposition. That is true, but this Convention has never reconsidered the action whereby the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson was adopted.

 

MR. REESE‑I move to reconsider the vote by which the  amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson was adopted.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The motion was made at the time it was adopted. It is the special order now. The Chair simply omitted to submit the question at the same time the other motion‑it was an omission of the Chair. Both motions were made, entered formally and set down especially for this occasion. The question is now upon the motion to reconsider the vote whereby this Convention adopted the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson. It seems the previous question was not ordered on this  motion.

MR. COLEMAN‑ That was by omission. I move now the  previous question if it is not out of order.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Jefferson.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑I rise to a point of order. The point of order is that a few moments ago before the gentleman from Jefferson got on the floor, the gentleman from Greene moved the previous question on this very point. If the gentlemen do not bear me out in this, of course I will not insist.

MR. COLEMAN‑ There is the Journal.

MR. SAMFORD‑ That is my recollection.

THE PRESIDENT‑ It was not the recollection of the Chair that the gentleman from Greene–

MR. COLEMAN‑ Mr. President, will you allow me a moment?  It seems there is some confusion here arising from not properly considering this Section. These amendments which have been offered, which were offered, occupy the same relation to this Section now as if it had been originally written in there. There are no longer any amendments before this body. The Section as adopted reads: “Every male citizen of this State who is a citizen of the United States, and every male inhabitant who has declared himself to become a citizen," etc.

THE PRESIDENT‑‑ Will the gentleman from Greene allow a suggestion from the Chair?  When the gentleman from Jefferson offered his amendment it was adopted. There was one vote. Then the question was submitted to the Convention on the adop‑


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

tion of the Section as amended and that was adopted.  Now the Convention has reconsidered the vote whereby the Section was adopted, but it has not reconsidered the action whereby the amendments offered by the gentleman from Jefferson was adopted and we cannot get around that proposition by making an independent motion to strike it out, because that would be in opposition to the deliberate action of the Convention, reversing its action, which can only be done upon a motion to reconsider.

MR. HOWZE‑I rise to a point of parliamentary inquiry. I want to know if the original motion to reconsider did not embrace the original Section and the amendment?

THE PRESIDENT‑ It did.  There were two motions.

MR. HOWZE‑ Well, was the motion not made or call for the previous question embrace both propositions.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The gentleman from Greene seems to have overlooked at the time he made the motion that there were two motions to reconsider pending, and the Journal does not seem to show that the previous question was ordered on anything except the vote whereby the Section as amended was adopted.

MR. HOWZE– My point of inquiry is were they not both combined so that the call for the previous question included them

both?

MR. COLEMAN‑ Suppose the Section had been originally written just as it was adopted, and the motion had been made to reconsider the vote by which it was adopted and that motion had been carried, would not the Section be before us?   That, Mr. President, is exactly the situation or the condition of the Section as it was when adopted.

THE  PRESIDENT– The Section is now before the Convention, but it is before the Convention with the amendment of the gentleman from Jefferson incorporated in it.

MR. COLEMAN‑ The motion was to rescind, to strike out that part which had been inserted by the amendment.

THE  PRESIDENT– And the Chair rules that that motion cannot be made.  It is out of order because it is in conflict with the deliberate action of this Convention and can only be done by a motion to reconsider.

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑ It strikes me that on a question of such grave importance as this, at least to certain delegates upon this floor that we should not rush through with it rapidly by technical inhibition, previous questions and motions to lay upon the table, without at least a protest upon the part of those who have consciences upon the subject. Now, Mr. President. I agree


3231

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

with my friend from Pike, the distinguished gentleman who said that consistency is a jewel.  Now there are several kind of consistencies. There is a theoretical consistency, there is a practical consistency, there is a consistency of policy, and there is a consistency of honor.  In my opinion, Mr. President, the consistency of honor inheres here when we who stated upon the platform of the dominant party of this floor pledged ourselves that we would not vote to disfranchise any white man in the State of Alabama.  An Englishman, a Welshman, a Scotchman, an Irishman, a German, an Italian, a Spaniard, a Frenchman, and all these people are white men and some of them today can vote under the qualifications of the Constitution of 1875.  Now I undertake to say, Mr. President, that if this amendment previously adopted by this Convention is stricken out, these men will be disfranchised, and inasmuch as they are white men, and inasmuch as they will be disfranchised, and inasmuch as there is no exception in the platform to any white man,  regardless of where he was born, consistency connects my honor with the platform upon which I stand. (Applause.)  Now, Mr. President, I agree with the theoretical part of this proposition. I agree that as a matter of policy it is best to limit this to the citizens of the United States, those who have become citizens of the United States, but the amendment as amended by the gentleman from Mobile provides that only foreign born citizens now in the State of Alabama who does not take out his final papers and become a citizen of the United States shall be disfranchised by refusing to take out his last papers, he does it himself and I did not do it, but I am unwilling even if there is one white man in the State of Alabama that will be disfranchised under this provision and there are hundreds. Now to certain gentlemen on this floor, this is a theoretical question in its application. To some of us it is a practical question. When I go home to my constituency and ask them upon the stump to ratify the great work of this Convention I want to be able to quote what the distinguished Chairman of this Committee said when he pledged this Committee and this Convention that no white man should be disfranchised and if I mistake not he said he would sacrifice his right arm before he would vote to do it. I want to be in a position when some foreigner,  who is a tax‑payer, who is a good citizen, rises in his seat and says : "Here I have been voting in your State elections, I am a Democrat. I am a tax‑payer, I do not come within the provisions of the sixth section, I am guilty of none of these crime and yet I cannot vote because I have not lived here long enough to become a citizen of the United States."  That being the case, Mr. President, I think that it would be proper for the Chairman of this Committee to begin to stick his arm in the furnace, and let it be singed a little upon that proposition. Now, let us be consistent. Another proposition to which my attention has been called, is the practical one. Under the present Constitution,


3232                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

every foreigner in the State of Alabama can qualify as an elector, and vote against its ratification.

MR. COLEMAN‑ If the gentleman will yield a moment, I wish to correct a statement.

THE PRESIDENT‑ Does the gentleman yield.

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑ Certainly.

MR. COLEMAN‑I said I would rather have my right arm palsied than to disfranchise a soldier or the descendant of a soldier.  I never said that in regard to a foreigner.

MR. CUNNINGHAM– The gentleman will withdraw his remarks. I misunderstood the gentleman. I thought it was in regard to the white man. The Chairman of this Committee knows I am heart and soul for this report from end to end. With this amendment I want to be in a position that I can look every white man in Alabama in the face and say, "If you are disfranchised. you disfranchised yourself ; this Convention did not do it." I tell you under the provisions of this section the very first line, if this amendment is stricken out. I cannot truthfully say it, because he can arise in his seat and tell me that he is disfranchised. Now, gentlemen of the Convention, I appeal to you not to strike out this amendment. It applies only to those who can vote today and if they fail to qualify as citizens of the United States then they are excluded and they did it themselves, but let us not do it.  Another question in answer to the question of my distinguished and amiable friend from Mobile-and there are so many distinguished men from Mobile-I mean Mr. Boone in this instance– he said that about these foreigners, Spaniards and other foreigners could come to Mobile and vote, I want to say under the provisions of this great and splendid article, they must live in the State two years and must be able to read and write this Constitution in the English language. It seems to me that answers every argument made upon this question ; that the fellows who can't speak the English language who propose to come to this State and vote. I hope this Convention will stand by the record and will stand by the party and will stand by the pledges, and as I see it myself. by its sacred honor, in not disfranchising any white man in the State of Alabama.

MR. LONG‑‑I would like to ask the gentleman from Jefferson a question. Under these amendments could not every citizen in Alabama and of the United States who has declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States, could he not vote on the ratification of the Constitution?

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑ Yes, sir, he can; and will give it a black eye.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. LONG‑ Then if he votes under the section as adopted will he be able to vote again?

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑ He can not until he is naturalized.

MR. SAMFORD‑ He could vote after he had qualified as a citizen, couldn't he?

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑ Yes, sir, as soon as the time expired.

MR. SAMFORD‑‑ And then would that disfranchise him?

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑ Yes, sir, until the time expired, the five year limit, fixed by Congress; he can not qualify as a citizen of the United States.

MR. O'NEAL– I notice the last census shows that in Jefferson County there are only 276 foreigners who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United State. By the census of 1900. Now is the gentleman prepared to state that a single one of those citizens who are now voting could not become citizens of the United States today?

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑ Yes, sir, I am prepared to state, because the remarks made by the Chairman of the Committee‑ I believe it was the Chairman of the Committee, when he said there had been a custom for these foreigners to take out their first papers is correct, and the Democratic party did it, and in order to augment the Democratic majority. It was under Democratic auspices, and for Democratic purposes, and there are several in Jefferson County, who would be disfranchised under this proposition because they have not lived here for five years, and if there is one, Mr. President, that one is not provided as a single exception in the Democratic platform. In the discussion of this question, in my mind these questions were asked, and the delegates and candidates for office who made their pledges, as my distinguished friend, Mr. Beddow says, pledged these people that under the Constitution of the United States they were voters, and would not be disqualified, and the mass of them came up and voted for this Constitutional Convention.

MR. JENKINS– I very much dislike to see the spirit to throttle this Convention on a question like this. I insist that this Convention has acted positively on this question, and I consider that the action proposed is revolutionary in the history of Alabama. and the principles we have hitherto adhered to, and I want to say that when the bill calling the Constitutional Convention first passed the Senate in 1898 there was a clause in that bill passed without a dissenting vote that no foreign-born citizen residing in the State of Alabama who then had the right to vote should be disfranchised, anti not a vote was cast against it.  Now, Mr. President, I say that the impression has gone out all over Alabama


3234                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

that those in Cullman County and Jefferson County, and all over the State, because they are all over the State. You can not go into a county, hardly ,but what you will find some Scotchmen or Canadians who are good citizens, and as true to the principles of our government as we are ourselves. Yet we would disfranchise those  people. Now, Mr. President, I differ from some of the gentlemen on this floor. We are not here so much to raise a high standard of citizenship and for the purification of the ballot, as we are to perpetuate white supremacy in Alabama. (Applause) And when you strike down a single white voter who is now enlisted under the white plume of what Democracy of Alabama, you strike down the very principles for which we are here. Now we should stop a moment and think. You strike out this German vote, you strike out this Canadian vote, you strike out this Swiss vote, you strike out this British vote, the Scottish vote, now voting with the white people, and you endanger in that measure white supremacy in Alabama.

MR. SAMFORD– I would like to ask the gentleman how many Canadian votes it would disfranchise from Canada.

MR. JENKINS– I want to say that I cannot answer that question.

MR. SAMFORD– I would like to know how many German votes it would disfranchise.

MR. JENKINS– I will say in answer to the question of the gentleman, that in Walker county alone you would disfranchise perhaps five hundred.

MR. SAMFORD– “Perhaps”— I ask the gentleman—

MR. JENKINS– I want to state to the gentleman from Pike

that I am not a walking dictionary of statistics.

MR. SAMFORD– I would ask the gentleman if he got that

information from a “page” (Laughter.)

MR. JENKINS– Now I want to say this, that the great evil in Alabama today is not the few Germans in Cullman county or the Italians in Mobile, or Scotch in Jefferson county, but the great evil that hangs like a black cloud over Alabama is negro rule and black domination.  I want to say, Mr. President, that every—

MR. O'NEAL‑I understood you to say  that there were large numbers of foreigners all over Alabama who had declared their intention to vote, and are now voters. I hold in my hand the census of 1900 which shows in the whole State of Alabama only 619 foreigners who declared their intention to become citizens.

MR. JENKINS– Who declared their intentions to become citizens.  There may be next year 600,000. We do not know. (Laughter.)


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. SAMFORD– In that case we want to stop this thing.

MR. JENKINS‑I want to say that we want to open the doors and invite the German-Americans that are now filling up the States of Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan to come to the South in order to do away with this negro system we have, and we can have these foreigners, these independent Germans and foreigners to come here and divide up these great plantations and get the peace, the prosperity and the civilization we have in the Northwest, and I want to welcome them here, and we ought to invite them,  but how can you invite them if you are to put them on the plain lower than the negro that lives here. A great many can not speak the English language. How can they register under the first clause?  Now, I say we are losing sight of the main proposition. The main proposition is white supremacy in Alabama, and every German-American that you disfranchise, or Scotchman or British or Canadian in that proportion you break down the very principle we met here to put upon its passage. I want to say another thing, Mr. President, people in this county vote by parties, and the few little votes in the primary or in the Convention that is foreign will not control the policies of a primary election, but the German vote in the election in August may control the results.

MR. COLEMAN– Mr. President, the committee has presented its views as it regards the best interest of the State of Alabama.  We are no more interested than every citizen who is a member of this Convention. You have the wine responsibility upon you.  The question is whether or not you are willing to admit these men to exercise the franchise upon their simple declaration of an intention to become citizens of the United States.  That is the whole question. Whether they can speak the English language or not, whether they have been here without regard to the length of time, whether raised under republican form of government or under despotism; whether they came to this country. imbibed the correct principles of love and life and liberty and happiness and security, and the rights of persons and of property, interested in securing proper representations; it is for you to say, and not for gentlemen who feel somewhat dependent upon a small constituency at home composed of person who are not citizens of the United States. I place the responsibility where it ought to be. The committee has done what, in its opinion, it thought best for the whole State. Now decide for yourself. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote by which the amendment from the gentleman from Jefferson, as amended, was adopted, and upon that I call the previous question.

MR. WILSON ‑ I ask the gentleman to yield to me one moment. You have the floor after the previous question is ordered.

MR. PRESIDENT‑ Has the gentleman yielded ?


3236                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. COLEMAN– You put me in a position I do not like to occupy, but I withdraw.

THE PRESIDENT– The question is on the motion to call for the previous question. The question is, shall the main question be now put?

Upon a vote being taken the motion was carried.

THE PRESIDENT– The question will be upon the motion to reconsider.

MR. COLEMAN– I will give the gentleman five minutes of my time.

MR. WILSON– In order that my record may not appear contradictory upon this question, I ask the Convention to hear me a moment. I voted in the outset against both of these amendments, the amendment proposed by the gentleman from Mobile, and the amendment proposed by the gentleman from Jefferson. I voted against reconsideration of the section mainly to let things stay done that we had done, and for that reason I intend to vote against the reconsideration of the amendment.  It reminds me of an encounter which I at once witnessed between a carpenter and a tramp in my back yard. I heard some angry talking, and I went out to see what was going on. I was at breakfast. It sounded to me as if a fuss was up.  Just as I approached them I heard the tramp say to the carpenter, in a menacing, threatening voice, that if he had to stop and chop wood everywhere he got something to eat, he would never get anywhere. I think if we stop and reconsider every time we pass a section, we will never get anywhere, and for that reason I vote against the proposition. I do not think it is a dangerous proposition as some of the gentlemen contend.  In the first place only those foreigners who have declared their intention to become citizens at the time of the ratification can vote.  Not as it is in the present Constitution that all those who may hereafter declare their intention, but all those who have declared their intention at the time of the ratification of the Constitution.  Further those people lose their rights unless they become citizens when they are entitled to become citizens; unless they complete their citizenship, as required by the Federal laws. I think that the proposition stated by the gentleman from Greene is unfair that foreigners who may not even speak the English language, who may know nothing of our institutions, and have no sympathy for our government may vote.  The same qualifications apply to him as to everybody else. If he owns three hundred dollars worth of property, he can vote, or if his wife owns it, or if he can read and write the English language, or has good character. He must come up to the test, and if he can come up to those tests and has heretofore declared his intention, why, it seems to me it is not the harmful proposition that the gentlemen have insisted.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION ,1901

MR. WATTS‑I arise to a point of personal privilege. I desire to state that I have voted on this amendment under a misapprehension, and have voted each time against the amendment and each time I have done so under a misapprehension, and do not wish to be misunderstood when I vote in favor of the amendment.

MR. COLEMAN– Upon a great question like this, while anecdotes sometimes illustrate very well, it seems to me they are out of place. The foreigner who comes with three hundred dollars worth of property, who may have no knowledge of our form of government, and the probability he has none, that does not qualify him alone. The gentlemen lose sight of what constitutes citizenship in this country. It is necessary to sustain the form of government that we have. They must have some knowledge of it. They must not only have some knowledge of it, but they must be attached to the principles of government, and they cannot be simply from the fact that they have property.  Now, Mr. President, sufficient time has been consumed. The question is with this Convention. So far as disfranchisement is concerned, it avails but little for one man to say so and so; and for another to say he does not so understand it. It does seem, however, plain that if we make a provision by which a man can become qualified, we do not disfranchise him. We must insert a provision by which he can never qualify as a voter, but we do not disfranchise him. He may disfranchise himself, as any other man may disfranchise himself, but certainly a provision of this kind does not disfranchise him.

MR. WEATHERLY– I desire to know if the third subdivision of Section 4. as to admitting persons of good character and who understand the duties and obligations of citizenship, would apply to these 619 foreigners, who have filed their first naturalization papers.

MR. COLEMAN‑I do not know that I catch the point.

MR. O'NEAL‑ Good character would apply.

MR. WEATHERLY– Wouldn't they come on the same plan as the others?

MR. COLEMAN‑ If they are citizens.

MR. WEATHERLY‑ But if the amendment is adopted admitting these 619 foreigners-that is what I understand the number is-in order for them to vote, wouldn't they have to show up a good character under the temporary plan, and wouldn't they also become life electors?

MR. COLEMAN ‑ They would, I think.  They would be electors without ever becoming citizens of the United States or of Alabama.


3238                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. WEATHERLY– But they would have to show up a good character.

MR. COLEMAN– They are not citizens, but are made permanent electors whether they ever become citizens or not.

MR. MORRISETTE– Is it not a fact that if these amendments are adopted we are conferring a special privilege upon foreigners who have declared their intention to become citizens, that we are not conferring upon native-born citizens?

MR. COLEMAN– As a matter of course.  Every member of the Convention knows that.

MR. MORRISETTE‑ Are we willing to do that?

MR. COLEMAN‑I am not.

MR. MORRISETTE– Is there anything in the platform that we should confer upon. foreigners anything that we do not confer upon our citizens?  I did not make any such pledge.

A reading of the amendment was called for.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is upon the motion to reconsider the vote whereby the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson was adopted.

MR. CUNNINGHAM– I call for the ayes and noes.

The call was sustained.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega) —  A parliamentary inquiry. Wasn't the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson amended?

THE  PRESIDENT‑ It was amended by unanimous consent.  The amendment of the gentleman from Mobile was accepted by unanimous consent.

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

THE PRESIDENT– It seems to the chair that the sectionhas been read three or four times, and the question is on a motion to reconsider. The ayes and noes have been called for and the call sustained. All those in favor of reconsideration will say aye and those opposed no when their names are called.

(During the following roll call Mr. Reese took the chair.)

AYES.

Messrs. President

Bulger,

Coleman, of Greene,

Altman,

Byars,

Coleman, of Walker,

Banks,

Cardon,

Cornwall,

Barefield,

Carnathon,

Dent,


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

deGraffenreid,

Kyle,

Renfro,

Fletcher,

Ledbetter,

Robinson,

Glover,

Lowe (Lawrence),

Rogers (Lowndes),

Graham, of Talladega,

McMillan (Wilcox),

Samford,

Gant,

Miller (Wilcox),

Sanford,

Grayson,

Moody,

Sloan,

Greer, of Calhoun,

Morrisette,

Smith (Mobile),

Greer, of Perry,

NeSmith,

Spears,

Handley,

Oates,

Tayloe,

Henderson,

O’Neal (Lauderdale),

Waddell,

Hood,

O’Rear,

Walker,

Howze,

Palmer,

Williams (Barbour),

Inge,

Pearce,

Williams (Elmore),

Jones, of Wilcox,

Pitts,

Winn,

Knight,

Reese,

TOTAL– 56

NOES.

Beavers,

Haley,

Phillips,

Beddow,

Heflin, of Chambers,

Pillans,

Bethune,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Porter,

Blackwell,

Hodges,

Reynolds (Henry),

Brooks,

Jackson,

Sanders,

Browne,

Jenkins,

Searcy,

Burnett,

Jones, of Bibb,

Selheimer,

Burns,

Kirk,

Smith, Mac A.,

Carmichael, of Colbert

Kirkland,

Smith, Morgan M.,

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Leigh,

Sorrell,

Chapman,

Lomax,

Spragins,

Cobb,

Long (Walker),

Thompson,

Cofer,

Lowe (Jefferson),

Vaughan,

Cunningham,

Macdonald,

Watts,

Davis, of Etowah,

Martin,

Weakley,

Duke,

Maxwell,

Weatherly,

Eley,

Merrill,

White,

Fitts,

Murphree,

Whiteside,

Foshee,

Parker (Cullman),

Williams (Marengo),

Foster,

Parker (Elmore),

Wilson (Clarke),

Graham, of Montgomery

Pettus,

Wilson (Washington).

TOTAL– 63

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING.

Ashcraft,

Espy,

Jones, of Hale,

Almon,

Ferguson,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Bartlett,

Gilmore,

King,

Case,

Harrison,

Locklin,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Hinson,

Long (Butler),

Eyster,

Howell,

McMillan (Baldwin),


3240                                          

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

Malone,

O’Neill (Jefferson),

Sollie,

Miller (Marengo),

Opp,

Stewart,

Mulkey,

Reynolds (Chilton),

Studdard,

Norman,

Rogers (Sumter),

Willet,

Norwood,

Sentell

PAIRS

AYES                                      NOES

Boone,

Proctor,

Craig,

Freeman.

So the motion to reconsider was lost by a vote of 63 noes to 56 ayes.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM – The question before the house is the adoption of the section as amended.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)– The motion to reconsider has been lost. This section has already been adopted.

MR. JENKINS– I make the point of order there is nothing before the house.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The question before the house, in the opinion of the Chair, is the adoption of the section as amended.

MR. CUNNINGHAM.– I move the previous question.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The previous question is moved. Shall the main question now be put?  As many as favor that motion will signify it by saying aye; those opposed no.

The main question was ordered.

MR. O’NEAL (Lauderdale)‑I demand the ayes and noes on the adoption of the Section. (Expression of dissent).

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The call was not sustained.

MR.. O'NEAL‑ The call was never put.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The call was put.

MR. O’NEAL– I don't think the house understood it.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑A demand is made for the call of the ayes and noes. Is the call sustained?

The call is not sustained.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑I rise to state to the delegates of the Convention my understanding was that the amendments adopted all along would depend upon the action of the Convention upon this first section.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION,  1901

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The Chair desires to say that the Chair recognized the gentleman from Greene as the Chairman of the Committee to conclude the debate.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑I just wanted to state that some of the delegates may have been absent on that day. Is that so, Mr. Beddow?

MR BEDDOW‑ Yes, sir.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑And whatever amendments made to the different section all along to correspond, the understanding being that the other sections were to remain as they were with the amendments inserted, unless the amendment to the first section was reconsidered.

MR. BEDDOW‑ That is correct.

MR. COLEMAN‑ We may as well go to Section 1 now.

THE  PRESIDENT PRO TEM. ‑The question before the house is the question of adopting the section as amended.

Upon a vote being taken, Section 1, as amended, was adopted.

MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)‑I give notice that I will move to reconsider this vote tomorrow.

MR. BEDDOW‑I rise to a point of order. You cannot move to reconsider but once.

MR. BLACKWELL‑‑I make the point of order that we cannot have but one reconsideration of the same section.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– That matter will take care of itself when it comes up.

MR. CUNNINGHAM– If the Chair takes official cognizance of the motion to reconsider, I desire to make the point of order that it is not in order.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The Chair thinks that the point of order is well taken.

MR. O’NEAL– That question cannot come up until tomorrow. I cannot make the motion until tomorrow, and how can the Chair rule before the question is before the Chair.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The Chair understands the gentleman from Lauderdale to have made a motion to reconsider this vote, and----

MR. O'NEAL‑ Let me state my position. Under the rules of this House that goes over for consideration until tomorrow, that being the case, how can the Chair pass upon whether that is in order or not.

3242                                                    OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. CUNNINGHAM– I say that the motion is out of order.

THE  PRESIDENT  PRO TEM‑‑ The Chair has ruled that the motion is out of order.

MR. O’NEAL– I appeal from the division of the Chair.

Upon a vote being taken the ruling of the Chair was unanimously sustained.

Section 7 was read as follows:

Sec. 7. No person shall be qualified to vote or participate in any primary election, party convention, mass meeting or other method of party action of any political party or faction, who shall not possess the qualifications prescribed in this Article for an elector, or who shall be disqualified under the provisions of this Article from voting.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)– Mr. President, the Section provides that those who participate in our primary elections shall be qualified electors. I move its adoption.

Upon a vote being taken Section 7 was unanimously adopted.

Section 8 was read as follows:

Sec. 8. No person, not registered and qualified as an elector under the provisions of this Article, shall vote at any State, county or municipal election, general, local or special, held subsequent to the general election in 1902; but the provisions of this Article shall not apply to any election held prior to the general election in 1902.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)– There has been ample provision for all persons qualified to register under the provisions which have been made.

The latter clause of the provision of this Article shall not apply to any election held prior to the general election held in 1902, was to provide for municipal elections that came off under the present law before that time. Those elections will be held under the present law. I move the adoption of Section 8.

Upon a vote being taken the Section was adopted.

Section 9 was read as follows:

Sec. 9. Any elector whose right to vote shall be challenged for any legal cause before an election officer, shall be required to swear or affirm that the matter of the challenge is untrue before his vote shall be received, and any one who willfully swears or affirms falsely thereto shall be guilty of perjury.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. SAMFORD (Montgomery)‑‑‑I have an amendment to offer.

Amendment offered by Mr. Sanford of Montgomery, was read as follows:

Amend Section 9 by adding at the end of said Section the following namely, the name of each elector whose ballot has been received must be immediately taken down by the clerks of election, on separate lists which shall be headed names of voters,’ and called poll lists, and the number of the order in which each elector votes must at the same time be entered by the clerk against his name.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑Mr. President, it has been said time and again that we are assembled here for the purpose of having pure elections.  That is the primary object, it is said by some gentlemen of this Convention. If them are sincere in their declaration, that amendment is secure absolutely.  Elections free from fraud is what we are after.  It was the law of Alabama so far as I know from 1819 until after 1867 or 1868.  The ballots were numbered so that in all contests of election the truth could be ascertained.  The numbers were stricken out, however, after the Federal Government undertook to prosecute, and did prosecute the people of Alabama for alleged false voting. It was done for the purpose of rendering it impossible to convict men in Federal courts of their alleged crime.  But inasmuch as we have gone so far, and it has been asserted by leading gentlemen that there never will be any danger of Federal interference in our elections again, and we have gone so far as to appoint the very same day for Federal elections to be held that State elections are held.  The reason for blotting out the numbering of ballots twenty-five or thirty years ago no longer exists.  The reason of the law having ceased, the law itself should cease, and inasmuch as by this we can absolutely contest all elections in which fraud has been charged.  I hope that it will be adopted for the purpose of having fair elections, which have been clamored for so much by some of the gentlemen of this Convention.

MR. O’NEAL– I would like to hear the amendment read.

The amendment was read as requested.

MR. O'NEAL‑ That does not require any numbering of the ballot. I want to ask the gentleman a question, or rather make a suggestion. That does not require any numbering of the ballot, it only requires that it be done under the law. When you go to vote, the clerks take down your name and put number fifty or number sixty as the case may be opposite your name.

MR. SANFORD‑ That law has been abolished for years. They may have numbered the men in accordance with the regis‑


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

tration list, but they have numbered the ballot. My amendment provides for the numbering of the vote or ballot.

MR. O’NEAL– I want to call the attention of the gentleman to the fact that you do not require the ballot to be numbered in that amendment.

MR. SANFORD– That is what I do, or it was my intention to require it.

MR. O’NEAL— You stated that, but the amendment don’t require it.

MR. deGRAFFENREID – It seems to me that all the matter contained in that amendment is purely legislative and for that reason I move to lay it upon the table.

MR. SANFORD– Wait until I can write it as I intended to write it.

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

MR. SAMFORD– Wait until the amendment is offered.

MR. O’NEAL (Lauderdale)– I move that the gentleman from Montgomery be given an opportunity to perfect his amendment.  This is a matter of importance, and I do not think he should be treated rudely by this Convention. I move that he be allowed to perfect his amendment.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– Is there objection to the request?

MR. WADDELL– Then the motion is out of order.

MR. HOWELL– I move that he have the privilege of perfecting his amendment.

MR. LEIGH– If I am in order, I move to reconsider the vote by which that amendment was lost, and to give the gentleman from Montgomery an opportunity to amend. I do not think he was treated right.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The amendment was tabled and not lost.  The motion is out of order.

MR. JACKSON– I move to take it from the table.

MR. O’NEAL (Lauderdale)– The amendment of the gentleman from Montgomery is tabled.  The gentleman from Montgomery now offers a different amendment.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The gentleman from Montgomery now offers a different amendment.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

The Clerk will now read the amendment.

The amendment was read as follows: “Amend Section 9 by adding at the end of said section the following to wit : the name of each elector whose ballot has been received must be immediately taken down by the clerks of election on separate lists which shall be headed names of voters, and called poll lists, and the number of the order in which elector votes must at the same time be entered by the clerks against his name, and the votes shall be numbered as the name of the voter is numbered.

MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)‑I simply desire to call the attention of the Convention to a principle of law which I think is important. The gentleman from Hale has stated that this is a matter of purely legislative detail. A number of States have decided as I remember that a law passed by the legislature requiring the numbering of the ballot is unconstitutional, because it destroys the secrecy of the ballot.  One or two Western States which have decided that.

Mr. Jenkins sought recognition.

THE  PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ Does the gentleman from Lauderdale yield to the gentleman from Wilcox?

MR. O'NEAL‑I do not yield now.  I desire to make this motion. My remembrance is that those decisions hold that if you desire to number your ballots it must be----

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑A point of order. There is no question before this Convention upon which the gentleman is making his remarks.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The Chair will state to the gentleman from Greene, that an amendment was offered by the gentleman from Montgomery. That amendment was tabled, and the gentleman from Montgomery offered another amendment and that is what the gentlemen seem to be discussing.

MR. LONG (Walker)‑I rise to a point of order. I will state that the President has said on several occasions that no one delegate has the undivided attention of the Chair.

MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)‑Have I the floor?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ You seem to have it.

MR. O'NEAL‑As this is a matter of importance.  I desire to speak with reference to the law of the case. The authorities to which I desire to refer. In some of the States the courts have held that statutes providing for the numbering of ballots are unconstitutional, as impairing the secrecy of the ballot which is usually  guaranteed by the State Constitution.


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MR. BLACKWELL– Will the gentleman allow a question?

MR. O’NEAL‑ No, sir.  I desire to make this motion, as this is a matter of importance, that this matter be referred to the Committee on Suffrage and Elections, which will meet tonight and the matter can be considered.

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑ I move to lay the motion of the gentleman from Lauderdale and the amendment of the gentleman of Montgomery both on the table.

MR. BLACKWELL– Upon that I call for the ayes and noes.

The call was not sustained.

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

MR. ROBINSON (Chambers)‑I move to strike out Section 9.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)– I move to lay the motion on the table.

MR. ROBINSON– I will state to the distinguished chairman of the committee that I have the floor.

This section is purely legislative. The matter of challenge is now provided for in the election law of the State, and the Legislature ought to be allowed to make provisions for it hereafter. This would limit the Legislature. This only requires the party challenged to swear that the matters on account of which he is challenged is untrue. The legislature ought to go further and require him to swear to certain facts specifically as to his right to vote, and this should not become a part of the Constitution. This is a matter that ought to be provided for in an election law, just as it is provided for in the election law now. Put this in the Constitution and the Legislature is bound by it simple and alone. The election law providing for this question of challenge ought to require a man to swear more than the broad fact that it is untrue. There is no necessity for this in the Constitution. It ought not to be in the  Constitution, and ought to be stricken out.

MR. KIRKLAND‑I move to lay the motion of the gentleman from Chambers on the table.

Upon a vote being taken a division was called for, and the motion to lay on the table prevailed by 49 ayes and 43 noes, and the amendment was tabled. 

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑I move the adoption of Section 9.

Upon a vote being taken Section 9 was adopted.

Section 10 was read as follows:


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

Sec. 10. The General Assembly shall provide by law for the registration, after the first day of January, 1903, of all qualified electors. Until the first day of January, 1903, all electors shall be registered under and in accordance with the requirements of this section as follows:

First‑ Registration shall be conducted in each county by a board of three reputable and suitable persons resident in the county who shall not hold any elective office during their term, to be appointed within 60 days after the ratification of this Constitution by the Governor, Auditor and Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, or a majority of them, acting as a Board of Appointment.  If one or snore of the persons appointed on such Board of Registration shall refuse. neglect or be unable to qualify or serve, or a vacancy or vacancies occur in the membership of the Board of Registrars from any cause, the Governor, Auditor and Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries or a majority of their, acting as a Board of Appointment, shall make other appointments, to fill such board. Each Registrar shall receive $2 per day, to be paid by the State and disbursed by the several Probate Judges, for each entire day's attendance upon the sessions of the board.

Before entering upon the performance of the duties of his office, each Registrar shall take the same oath required of the

judicial officers of the State, which oath may be administered by any person authorized by law, to administer oaths. The oath shall be in writing and subscribed by the Registrar, and filed in the office of the Probate Judge of the county.

MR. FITTS‑I move that we take this section up by subdivisions.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑The section ought to be read first. I was going to make that motion myself after it was read.

MR. FITTS‑ It will not hurt for me to make it.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The chair understands that this is not the proper time. A suspension of the rules would be necessary. Proceed with the reading of Section 10.

The Clerk continued to read Section 10, as follows:

Second‑ Prior to the first day of August, 1902, the Board of Registrars in each county shall visit each precinct at least once, and oftener if necessary, to make a complete registration of all persons entitled to register, and remain there at least one day from 8 o'clock in the morning until sunset. They shall give at least twenty days' notice of the time when, and the place in the precinct where, they will attend to register applicants for registration, by bills posted at five or more public places in each election precinct, and by advertisement in a newspaper, if there be one, published in


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the county, once a week for three successive weeks.  Upon failure to give such notice, or to attend any appointment made by them in any precinct, they shall, after like notice, fill new appointments therein; but the time consumed by the board in completing such registration shall not exceed sixty working days, in any county, except that in counties in which there is any city of 8,000 inhabitants or over, the board may remain in session, in addition to the session hereinabove prescribed for not more than three successive weeks in each of said cities ; and thereafter the board may sit from time to time in each of such cities not more than one week in each month, and except that in the county of Jefferson the board may hold additional sessions, of not exceeding five consecutive days’ duration for each session, in any town or city of 1,000 or more and less than 8,000 inhabitants.  No person shall be registered except at the county site or in the precinct at which he resides.  The registrars shall issue to each person registered a certificate of registration.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The Chair, upon reflection, is inclined to rule that the motion of the gentleman from Tuscaloosa would be in order.

MR. FITTS– I renew my motion then.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– It is moved by the gentleman from Tuscaloosa that this section be taken up by paragraphs.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion was carried.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑Mr. President, we have done a good day’s work today, and the Committee on Suffrage and Elections have a meeting tonight, and I move that we do now adjourn.

Upon a vote being taken, the Convention adjourned.

__________

CORRECTION.

In proceedings of Monday, 29th, not following corrections:

MR. deGRAFFENREID – I desire to ask you if it is possible for any such fraud to be perpetrated.   Does not the registration plan provide that there shall be a list of persons registered, sworn to by the registrars placed in the Probate office, and another list, duly sworn to, filed in the office of the Secretary of State? If that be so, how can any fraud be done?