3347

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

SIXTY FIRST DAY

________

MONTGOMERY, ALA.,

Friday, August 2, 1901.

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

“Oh, Lord, our Heavenly Father, we come before Thee with praise and thanksgiving that Thou hast brought us unto another day, with all its privileges and its duties.  We pray Thee for grace and strength to sustain us in the discharge of every duty and for an appreciation of our privileges.  May we appreciate the privilege of life, health and strength, food and raiment, of law and order, and above all may we appreciate the privilege of eternal life offered to him that cometh unto Thee.  Give us, we pray Thee, strength that we may overcome temptation, grace that we may endure trial


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wisdom that we may discern what is right and courage that we may discharge every duty.  May we lean upon Thee.   May we look to Thee for strength and for help.  May the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer.  Have mercy on us according to Thy loving kindness and according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies.  Blot out all of our transgressions.  Bless each and every member of this Convention and bless their families.   Bless us all according to our every need, and guide us through this day, through all life, and at last in Heaven receive us, we ask for Christ's sake. Amen.

Upon the call of the roll, 108 delegates responded to their names.

Leaves of absence were granted to the following delegates.  Mr. Henderson for Saturday and Monday; Mr. Sorrell for this afternoon ; Mr. Knight for tomorrow and Monday; Mr. Williams of Elmore for tomorrow and Monday; Mr. Williams of Barbour for Monday and until 12 o'clock Tuesday; Mr. Kirkland for Saturday and Monday; Mr. Sollie for the afternoon session of today and tomorrow; Mr. Heflin of Randolph for Saturday.

MR. SANFORD– I desire to have corrected something in the stenographic report. They made the correction yesterday morning and they attributed what I said the day before to my friend  (Mr. Samford) from Pike County.  Now, he has such reputation and character that he can bear many things, but I do not wish to impose any of my sayings upon him.   It is said that Mr. Samford said so and so.  I would suggest to the stenographers if they would put after Mr. Samford “of Pike” and after Mr. Sanford “of Montgomery” it would be better.  It should be Sanford instead of Samford on the first page.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑ On yesterday morning, by reason of the lateness of the train, I was delayed in coming into the morning session for about an hour.  During my absence, I notice in the stenographic report that the gentleman from Jefferson  (Mr. Beddow) in rising to a point of personal privilege, said  "I explained to the gentleman (referring to myself) I thought that the putting in of the subdivision about the descendants of soldiers would imperil the whole plan.  At that same time, he expressed himself as being satisfied that I was right in the stand I took, but he wanted it there because there were a number of ignorant people throughout the State that such a plank would be catchy to them and would get a large number of votes for the ratification of this Constitution.” I want to say as a matter of personal privilege that the statement is not accurate.  What I did say to the gentleman from Jefferson was that while I thought perhaps the clause as to good moral character would cover the entire white race, that there was a lack of confidence among a great number of the citizens of this State


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

as to what that clause meant, and that I wanted the grandfather clause put in in order to create confidence among my people, and I did not state it was for the purpose of catching the ignorant vote.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑ I ask unanimous consent to make a report from the Committee on Engrossment.  I desire to report Resolution No. 195 with an adverse report.  The Committee also instructs me to report Resolution No. 199, with an adverse report.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)‑ I rise for the purpose of making an explanation.  Yesterday Mr. Fitts, it is reported, said  "There is danger in the whole thing."  I understood the gentleman to say, "That is the gist of the whole thing,"  That was in the interrogatory he made me yesterday about the registrars and my reply.

MR. FITTS‑ What page?

MR. ROGERS– Third page, fourth column.

MR. FITTS‑ I think that is what I said.

MR. ROGERS‑ I wanted to make that statement.  I thought he said  "that was the gist of the whole question.  I want to say I do not think there is any danger about the registrars to the peace and happiness, of the people of Alabama.  I think in this system we have devised the only possible means of putting this law into execution.  It matters not what sort of law you enact, you must always have officers to carry that law out, and I believe the registrar system is the very system, and the only system which any people can adopt to preserve the liberties of all the people, and to keep out of the electorate the vicious and the ignorant.  That is the correction I wish to make.

MR. GRAHAM–  I am requested by the Committee on Suffrage to ask that the Convention excuse them for a few minutes.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Committee on Suffrage ask unanimous consent to sit for a few moments during the Convention.  There is no objection.

MR. ROGERS‑ Yesterday was what?

THE PRESIDENT‑ Thursday.

MR. ROGERS‑The stenographic report is headed Wednesday, and should be corrected.

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

Resolution No. 199, reported by the Committee on Engrossment was read as follows:


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

Resolution No. 199 by Mr. Howell (Cleburne.)

Resolved, That what ever clerical assistance may be necessary to be employed by the Enrolling and Engrossing Clerk of the Convention be paid for at the rate of 15 cents per hundred words for such assistant clerical work.

Amended by Mr. Carmichael (Colbert.)

That the Engrossing and Enrolling Clerk may employ such assistants as may be necessary. and these assistants shall receive 15 cents per hundred words for the work they do.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑ I am instructed by the Committee to say that in the consideration of those two resolutions we ascertained that if at any time the Engrossing Clerk needed clerical assistance, it could be furnished by the Secretary of this Convention. and for that reason the committee decided—

THE PRESIDENT– Is there any motion made with reference to the resolution?

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)– I move that it be laid on the table.

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

The Secretary read Resolution No. 195 with an adverse report

from the Committee on Engrossment.

Resolution 195 by Mr. Carmichael (Colbert.)

Be it resolved, That the Engrossing and Enrolling Clerk of the Convention be, and she is, hereby authorized to employ such assistance as may be necessary to properly discharge the duties of her office.  This resolution shall take effect on and after the 24th day of June.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)–  I move that the resolution be laid

on the table.

Upon a vote being taken,  the motion was carried.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑ I move that the Convention recess until 10 o'clock to await the report of the Committee on Suffrage and Elections.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion was carried.

At 10:05 the Convention reconvened.

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑ I desire to introduce a short resolution :

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman asks unanimous consent to introduce a resolution.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901         

The consent was given

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑ I move that the privileges of the floor be extended to D. Y. Huffman an ex‑member of the Legislature.

Mr. Cunningham took the chair.

MR. WADDELL (Russell)‑ I ask unanimous consent to introduce a short resolution.

Unanimous consent was accorded.

The Clerk read the resolution as follows:

Be it resolved that the Secretary of this Convention be and he is hereby authorized to contract with some competent person for the, enrollment, on animal parchment, with India ink, the Constitution upon its adoption by this Convention.

Referred to the Committee on Engrossment.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)‑ On behalf of the Committee on Education I move that the consideration of the report of that Committee be made a special order after the consideration of the present special order which is the report of the Judiciary Committee.

MR. WATTS‑ I understand the motion is to make it a special order after the report of the Committee on Judiciary.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ That is the present special order.

MR. PITTS (Dallas)‑ A great many of the other Committee have reported, and their reports took the regular course and the should not be displaced.

MR. GRAHAM‑ I do not wish to displace any committee, except the Committee on Municipal Corporation, and that committee is willing.

MR. PITTS‑ I represent the Committee on Representation and I object to that.  I don't see why a committee which has reported among the first should be displaced.  It will only take a short time to dispose of those reports.  I object to it.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The question is upon the motion of the gentleman from Talladega.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion was lost.

MR. HOWELL‑ I move sir that the privilege of the floor be accorded the Hon. W. J. Alexander of Calhoun.

Upon a vote being taken the motion prevailed.

MR. BURNETT‑ I rise to a question of personal privilege.  Yesterday's stenographic report said that I asked this question of


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

the delegate, Judge Walker :  "I would like to ask the gentleman if it is not a fact that the Democratic party is the only party in Alabama, who has gotten out any pledges to the people of Alabama, that none will be disfranchised.”  That question should be accredited to my friend from Monroe, Mr. Barefield.

MR. WHITE– I move the regular order be dispensed with, and that we commence on the special order where we left off on yesterday.

On a vote being taken, the motion was adopted.

MR. BURNS‑ In the stenographic report, second page, last column, I find the following:  “Mr. Burns – What would you do for instance in my county.  We have not any Republicans.  Would we have to do without legislation because we could not get a respectable white Republican?”  I did not ask anything about the  legislation, and I did not say  “we have not got.”  Neither did I say that we had no Republicans.  I said distinctly we did have a Republican who was too big for the job and would not take it at $20 a day.  Now I care not particularly so far as I am concerned, what it says, but I do not want it to go out that I said we did not have any Republicans when we have the most prominent Republican in Alabama, as proud, as good, and as true and able a Republican as there is in the Southern States.  An ex-sheriff, ex-circuit judge, exCongressman and ex-United States District Attorney.  He has hundreds and thousands of friends amongst the staunchest Democrats in the blackbelt.  He is a member of a large and lucrative law firm.  He is a brother of my distinguished and excellent colleague, and his name is George H. Craig.

MR. SLOAN– I desire to ask the gentleman a question, did you not say that there were no Republicans in the county except negroes?

MR. BURNS– No sir, I did not say any such thing, your ears are as bad as the stenographers. (Laughter.)

MR. WHITE– The Committee on Suffrage and Elections has instructed me to report Section 12 which was referred to the committee on yesterday, as it was before the Convention at the time the amendment by the gentleman from Montgomery was offered, having covered the matter included in the amendment offered by the gentleman from Montgomery in Section 14 as a substitute.  Therefore I move the adoption of Section 12 as it stood, before the amendment of the gentleman from Montgomery was offered.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The question is on the motion of the gentleman from Jefferson.

A vote being taken Section 12 was adopted.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. WHITE‑Section 14, I believe, is the next matter before the Convention.

I have a substitute for Section 14, as adopted by the Committee.  It is an amendment to Section 14, I should have said.

The Secretary read the substitute as follows : "By adding at the end of the section the following:  "The Legislature shall by law provide for purging the registration lists of the names of those who die, become insane, convicted of crime, or otherwise disqualified as electors under the provisions of this Constitution, and of any whose names may have been fraudulently entered on such lists by the registrar, provided that a trial by jury may be had on the demand of any person whose name is proposed to be stricken from the list."

MR. WHITE‑ I move the adoption of the amendment.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The question is upon the adoption of the amendment.  Does the gentleman desire to address the Convention upon the amendment.

MR. WHITE‑ No sir, I think it is perfectly plain and the matter was discussed on yesterday.

MR. JENKINS‑There is something in the closing line that I think ought to be stricken out, it says,  "No primary election in this State shall be made compulsory. " Now, Mr. President, I do

not think that ought to be put into the Constitution.

MR. O'NEAL‑ I rise to a point of order.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑The gentleman will state his point of order.

MR. O'NEAL‑The question before the Convention is the amendment offered by the Committee on Suffrage.  The gentleman is not speaking to the amendment.

MR. JENKINS‑ I propose to amend the whole section to strike out the amendment as offered and also this part of it.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The point of order is well taken. The gentleman will confine himself to the pending amendment.

MR. JENKINS‑ The pending amendment is to purge the lists of voters, as reported by this committee.  Now we have been here fifty days trying to perfect a system by which we can get the people of Alabama on the roll of voters in this State that we know and believe are entitled to be there.  We pass this temporary plan, and it goes back to the precincts, and these people are put upon it, but by this amendment, if you pass it, you place it in the hands and in the power of the Legislature, to undo in a measure what we


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

propose to do here today.  We do not know that our friends are going to be always in the Legislature.  Five years from now  the Legislature of Alabama may be Republican, ten years from now, it is possible that it will be, and perhaps sooner than that and if you open the door to tamper with the lists, with the rolls as made up by the temporary plan, you invite the Legislature in the future in Alabama when we lose power to come here and strike from the rolls of voters men who by common consent and agreement at home are put there and whom the people in the precinct want to be there, and I say, Mr. President that this is too dangerous a proposition to be put in the Constitution.  The people see right before them now that this measure is in their control and they are willing to vote for it.  When you say however, after the plan is perfected, and tour names are on the roll or list of voters, some Republican Legislature or some hostile Legislature can come here and through a technicality or something that we do not now dream of, spring a question upon us and strike its from the roll, they will not allow this Constitution to pass.

MR .GRAHAM (Talladega)– Will the gentleman permit a  question?

PRESIDENT PRO TEM– Will the gentleman yield?

MR. JENKINS– Certainly.

MR. GRAHAM– I want to know if the gentleman has any objection to taking the names of the dead, the insane, those convicted of a crime, and those fraudulently put upon the registration off, if it is done by a jury of the country; if he has any objection to purging the registration as to those– none others are named inan amendment?

MR. JENKINS– I want to say when a man dies, he can no longer vote.

MR. GRAHAM– I heard that he could. (Laughter)

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)– Will the gentleman yield to a suggestion?

MR. JENKINS– Certainly.

MR. SAMFORD– Hasn’t it been the rule that they continue

to vote in certain section in this State for the last twenty-five years?

MR. JENKINS– I want to say that that charge has been made in the past, but it is not true, and so far as I know no dead man has ever been voted in my county.

MR. SANFORD– May I ask the gentleman one question?

MR. JENKINS– Yes sir.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901         

MR. SAMFORD‑ I understand when you say that has not been done, you confine it to your own knowledge?

MR. JENKINS‑ Well I don't think-------

MR. REESE‑ I rise to a point of order.  This matter is not germane to this germane and it is a useless consumption of the time of this convention.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ It seems to the Chair that the amendment provides for purging the list of the dead. (Laughter.)

MR. REESE‑ The Chair misunderstood me.  I say the interruptions and questions asked this gentleman are not germane and it is a useless consumption of the time of the Convention.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The Chair will overrule the point of order.

MR. JENKINS‑ I yielded to the gentleman.  We have in the blackbelt in Alabama, nothing to conceal as to what we have done in the past, and we do not propose to stand here and allow anything to pass to discredit us.  What we have done we have done open and above board, and we have no apologies to make.

MR. PORTER‑ I wish to ask the gentleman a question.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ Will the gentleman yield?

MR. JENKINS‑ I hate to be discourteous, but there have been so many questions, and my time is limited, therefore I must decline to yield.  Now, Mr. President I say this, that if you want this Constitution adopted, you must not tie any strings to it, in the way of the hereafter, that after this roll is perfected, that some Legislature can come here and allege frauds.  That roll ought to be a sacred roll, when it is made, so that the white man can feel the peace and security in it that he feels in the permanency of things that God Almighty has made to last forever, as long as he is a citizen of this State.  If you will allow that impression to go out to the old soldiers who are allowed to come under it, and the others that we have made exceptions of, they will vote for it, but if you have any technicalities hedged around it, or any questions of fraud or doubt cast upon it, or if you give the power into the hands of any other tribunal, to pass upon the question, other than this Constitutional Convention, and as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the land, you will strike down the confidence of the people in the plan proposed.

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

MR. WHITE– I move the previous question on the pending amendment and Section.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The previous question is demanded on the pending amendment and Section.

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

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM— The gentleman will state his question of personal privilege.

MR. JENKINS — I understood the gentleman to yield for me to introduce an amendment to the amendment.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The Chair did not so understand the gentleman from Jefferson.

MR. WHITE‑ I understood that the gentleman’s time had expired, and the Chairman had so ruled.

MR, O'NEAL‑ The gentleman stated that he would offer it before he concluded his remarks.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ He failed to do so.  The question is the motion for the previous question on the pending amendment and Section.

The Secretary again read the amendment.

A vote being taken the amendment was adopted and on a further vote being taken, the Section as amended was adopted.

MR. WHITE– I have a substitute for Section 18, adopted by the Committee, and ask that it be offered in lieu of it and all amendments.

The Secretary read the substitute as follows:

"The poll tax mentioned in this Article shall be $1.50 upon each male inhabitant of this State over the age of 21 years and under the age of 60 years who would not now be exempt by law ; provided those male inhabitants of the State who shall reach the age of 45 years on or before the 1st of January, 1901, shall not thereafter be required to pay a poll tax.  Such poll tax shall become due and payable on the 1st day of October in each year, and become delinquent on the 1st day of the next succeeding February, but no legal process nor any fee or commission shall be allowed for the collection thereof.  The Tax Collector shall make returns of poll tax collections.  The poll tax shall be applied exclusively to the support of the public schools of the county, in which it is collected.”

MR. WHITE– The change in the substitute from that in the original Section consists in this:  That after January 1, 1903, those arriving at 45 years of age shall be subject to a poll tax until they arrive at the age of 60 years.  That does not affect, however, any person who is now 45 years of age, and who is exempt, or who will be exempt on January 1, 1903, so that it does not affect any


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

person who now is exempt from the payment of poll tax, nor any one who would be exempt on January 1, 1903.  It was believed by the Committee and urged before the Committee with great force, that this is really the only available arrangement.  I say it was determined by the Committee and urged before it with great force that after January 1, 1903, when the permanent plan goes into effect that the poll tax provision is the only thing that will give permanent relief to the country, and therefore the change was made.

MR. FITTS (Tuscaloosa)‑ Mr. President, this to my mind is a very dangerous proposition.  This is in one sense an increase of taxation, there is no other way of looking at it.   This is a very serious menace to the ratification of this Constitution.  There are a great many men in this State who are 39 years of age, 40, 41, 43 or 44 years of  age who are poor men, and who have been looking forward already to the time and counting the years up to the period when they would be relieved of the payment of poll tax. Little as it seems to men who occupy seats upon this floor, it is an important factor to men of little material substance, but of considerable character in various portions of the hill country of this State.  These men have seen their brethren go under the rope, pass the age of 45 and escape the payment of poll tax for the balance of their lives.  They are almost up to that point themselves.  They are looking forward to the point where they themselves will be free that within a year or two of the time when they would be free from it, these men have been expecting it.  It is a part of the unwritten law of the State, as old as the oldest man, a part of the air we breathe that the working of the row's and the paying of poll taxes ceases at 45 years of age.  They have been looking forward to it, taking it into account in their expectations, it is a part of their unwritten law, part of the fabric of the country and they expect to be relieved of it when they reach 45 years of age.  There are possibly a number of these men approaching that age, who have been looking forward to this relief, and if you write down in the Constitution that they shall pay a poll tax for fifteen more years of their lives, it is a serious matter. and if it is not serious they allow their imaginations to give it a serious turn, it becomes serious, and as little as you think about it, there are thousands of men in this State who are ranging about the age of 40, who will take this as a matter to themselves, they will bring it home to themselves and they will say that the payment of a poll tax for fifteen years of my life when I was about to be relieved of it, when I was just about to be freed from it, and it will put a bad taste in their mouths, so to speak, and it will set them against the ratification of this Constitution.  Now, Mr. President, it does not meet this objection in the least to say that this is not a tax that can be collected by law and that it is a voluntary contribution to the school fund.  Is the highest tax because in addition to making it a


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poll tax, you have made it a qualification to exercise the suffrage.  It is useless to say that he need not pay it, because if he does not pay it he disfranchises himself, and you put upon him a Collector stronger than the strong arm of the law when you restrain him from the ballot box if he does not pay it.   It is an increase of taxation, a violation of the Democratic platform, that taxes should not be increased by this Constitution.  Conceal it as you will, it is a tax which he must pay in order to vote, it is a tax which the collector cannot collect from him, but which the law collects from him before he can vote.  It is an increase of taxation because no matter how little the increase is, it is not for us to judge how much increase the people will bear without a murmur, it is an increase and in many instances, it is an increase from twenty‑two dollars and fifty cents to twenty‑four dollars, as the case may be, by men who are coming close to the period when they would be freed from the further payment of a poll tax.   It is useless to say patriotism will prompt its payment and inspire an approbation of this article in the Constitution.  Patriotism is good enough to be talked about, but when patriotism is connected with the payment of the tax, the payment of the tax comes nearest home, and patriotism takes a back seat.  They do not believe that there is any necessity for a change of the conditions under which they have been reared.  A change of condition under which they have seen other man pass out from under the obligation to pay a poll tax, a change of the condition under which their fathers and their fathers'  fathers passed out from under the obligation to pay a poll tax.  Gentlemen of the Convention, it is an increase of taxation.   The fact that you say you cannot collect it by law does not change it because the very strongest obligation that call be put upon a poor man‑the fact that if he does not pay it, his right to vote is gone he will regard it as a tax, he will pay it as a tax and he will vote but he will murmur and be discontented.  Therefore I offer a substitute for the report of the committee, the section as it was originally reported by that committee.

MR. SMITH (Mobile)– I want to offer an amendment to the section as amended.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM. – The gentleman from Tuscaloosa did not send up his amendment.

MR. FITTS– Here  it is. I offer that as a  substitute for the report of the committee.

MR. SMITH‑ There is pending an amendment to the report of the committee.  I offer an amendment to the amendment or substitute for that amendment.

MR. FITTS‑ I offer the original section as a substitute.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. SMITH– I understand you do. That operates under the ruling here as an amendment.  I was not appealing to the gentleman from Tuscaloosa for a ruling.

MR. FITTS‑ No, and I am not appealing to you, but I am insisting upon my rights.  None of us are judges of that.  He is up there (pointing to the Chair).  We are on an even about that.

MR. SMITH‑I rose to a point of order.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ What is the point of order submitted by the gentleman from Mobile?

MR. SMITH‑ That the section pending was the motion offered by the committee. For that there has been offered a substitute by the gentleman from Tuscaloosa, which under the rulings of this body is treated as an amendment.  I now offer a substitute for that substitute by which is a second amendment and I submit it is in order.

MR. REESE‑ I make the point of order that Section 18 is the matter before the house, and for that the committee offers an amendment.  Now the gentleman from Tuscaloosa offers as a substitute the original section reported by the committee.  It is running in a circle, and he has got back, he offers the same thing for which the committee substitutes an amendment.  I make the further point of order that the gentleman from Tuscaloosa did not give notice that he would offer it, and the gentleman from Mobile did actually offer the amendment, and the gentleman did not offer

his.

MR. FITTS–  I did offer it.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)‑ In order to accomplish the purpose of the gentleman from Tuscaloosa,  it will be necessary for him to move for leave to introduce the original section, he could not, offer it as a substitute, when there was an amendment to it.  The original section was there already, and that would be tautology.  How call you substitute a thing for the same thing?  It could not be a substitute for the matter was there itself, therefore he had nothing before the house at all.  The gentleman from Mobile is in order to offer an amendment to this substitute and the original section.

MR. LONG (Walker)‑ I move to lay the substitute on the

table.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ I understood the gentleman rose to a point of order.

MR. WHITE‑ I rise to a point of order, and that is that the substitute offered by the gentleman from Tuscaloosa is out of order.  The committee offered a substitute for the original section.  Read it there.  Mr. Secretary, and see if it is not a substitute.


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THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The Chair will ask whether a substitute or amendment?

THE' SECRETARY‑ Substitute for Section 18 by Committee on Suffrage and Elections.

MR. WHITE– That will do.  The committee offers that as a substitute for Section 18, the original.  The gentleman from Tuscaloosa offers Section 18 as a substitute for the substitute.  That cannot be done, it is already before the house as a substitute, and he cannot offer in turn the original as a substitute for the substitute.

MR. REESE‑ If the substitute offered by the committee is laid upon the table, would not the question recur on the original section ?

MR. WHITE‑  Of course.

MR. REESE‑ It is the same thing, the proposition of the gentleman from Tuscaloosa.

MR. WHITE–  It  is only as to the parliamentary status that I speak.

MR. FITTS‑ I want to state this point of order which I think to be sound, that is that Section 18 as originally reported by the committee was sent lack to the committee on yesterday afternoon.  They reported this morning from the committee another Section 18, to take the place of Section 18, another section new and independent to take the place of Section 18.  That is before the house now.   I move to substitute for that something else; it matters not that it is the same thing which happens to be here recommitted.   The old section is back to the Committee recommitted and they this morning brought in a new and independent section, and I asked to substitute something for that.  It simply happens by chance that that is the same thing they had yesterday, but that ought not to prevent the rule that I have a right to offer a substitute.

MR. WHITE‑ If you are allowed to offer the original as a substitute for the substitute, why cannot we offer a substitute.

MR. FITTS‑ The substitute has nothing to do with it. This morning the Committee offered something else.

THE PRESIDENT‑ It appears that the Committee reports the substitute for the original section, numbered 18.   It, therefore, has the parliamentary status as an amendment to the original section.  The gentleman from Tuscaloosa moves to substitute for the substitute the original section.  It, therefore, takes the place of an amendment to the amendment, and the Chair will have to hold that the gentleman's substitute is in order, and there being


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two amendments pending, the gentleman from Mobile is out of order.  The pending question is a substitute offered by the gentleman from Tuscaloosa, which is the original section he offered as an amendment to the substitute submitted by the Committee.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)‑ I propose to address myself to the pending question as to increasing taxes.  It is not an increase of taxation because it is the old rate at one dollar and fifty cents.  That is a sufficient answer to that proposition.  The second proposition is that it is a voluntary contribution, and, therefore a reduction of taxation and not an increase on the face of it.  The third proposition is that the property holders of the State of Alabama are contributing now about $825,000 to the education of the sons of these poor men for whom my friend from Tuscaloosa pleads, voluntarily contributing nearly one‑half of all the revenues of the State of Alabama for the purpose of  benefiting the children of these men when he says are not patriotic enough to contribute the dollar and fifty cents for this cause.  I do not believe it of the poor people of the State of Alabama.  I do not believe that the poor people of the State of Alabama are so wanting in interest not only in this country, but in their own offspring, and I say, Mr. President that if there are men in the State of Alabama who, having received from the people of the State of Alabama funds to educate these children, are not willing to contribute the small pittance of one, dollar and fifty cents to add to this fund, the do not want them as voters or citizens; they ought to leave the boundaries of the State of Alabama.  We are not here, Mr. President, to cater to that sort of sentiment; we are not here, Mr. President, to stand up for capital or for labor; but we propose to put them both upon the same broad basis, the friends of both and the enemies of neither.  Mr. President, it does seem to me that we have heard enough about the barefooted boy whose daddy is the barefooted man.  The boy who wears shoes has some rights as well as the boy that goes barefooted, and the man who wears shoes has some rights in the State of Alabama, as well as the man who goes barefooted.  We propose, Mr. President, that the property of the State of Alabama shall educate these children.  Why?  Because it is recognized that there is some necessary connection between ignorance and vice and intelligence and good government.  That is why the do it.  We propose to educate these people, and when a man is so wanting in a sense of what is right and proper and just, not only to the country but to himself, as to refuse to adopt the great plan of suffrage in the State of Alabama which will eliminate from its ranks the ignorant and vicious.  I say he is so ignorant and vicious the sooner we get rid of him, both as a voter and as a citizen, the better for the State at large.  Now, another proposition:  Suppose a family composed of a man and his wife and three children, which makes up about the average of the families of Alabama‑the poor


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man who has no property upon which he pays taxes– when he contributes one dollar and fifty cents poll tax, he gets back four dollars and fifty cents in actual money for the education of these children.  Men here who talk about the poor people of the State of Alabama put too low an estimate upon the virtue and the intelligence of the people of this state.  The poor people of Alabama can be approached reasonably upon any proposition, and when you go to one of these men and talk to him reasonably ; when you get down out of your sky‑scraping orators and wind‑jabbing, dander jack business, and talk to him calmly and reasonably as a citizen, he listens to you ; he hears you, therefore, Mr. President, knowing these people, being reared among those people, knowing these poor people from my infancy up, and, knowing how patriotic and loyal they are, I say that when we get to that proposition, I venture to say they will respond gladly to it and I move the previous question.

MR. O'NEAL‑ I hope the gentleman won't do that.   Some of us want to discuss it.  The Committee has not been heard at all.

MR. ROGERS–  I am speaking for the Committee.  I will say to the gentleman I speak at the request of the Committee.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑ I desire to ask the gentleman from Sumter if he will not withdraw the motion for the previous question.  I would like to make a few remarks.

MR. O’NEAL‑ So would I.  I would like to speak about five minutes.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)– It is a matter that involves a question of considerable importance, and the Committee ought not to want to cut off debate on a question like this.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)– I withdraw the question, then, Mr. President.

MR. O'NEAL‑ There has been a misapprehension from the beginning.  We all recognize under the temporary plan, we were able to carry out the pledges made to the people of Alabama, and remove the vicious and incompetent.  The difficulty was in the permanent plan in 1903.  We say that any man who can read and write or owns a certain amount of property can vote.   When,  then, would be the condition in this State?

Let us take the census of the United States.  We find, for instance, in the County of Dallas, there are twenty‑two hundred and eighty‑eight white people who are literate, and three thousand one hundred and eighty‑four negroes that are literate, so in Marengo, and in all of the counties of the Black Belt, you find that the negroes who can register and vote tinder your clause will out‑number the white people.  The gentleman says we are under pledge


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not to increase taxation.  What is taxation?   A contribution to the support of the Government. Is this a forced contribution?  No man is obliged to pay it unless he choose to do so.  There is another proposition.  The gentleman from Tuscaloosa talks about the pledge which we trade to the people of Alabama in reference to taxation.

What, I ask the Convention. is the paramount pledge that we made to the people of Alabama?   It is to secure permanent white supremacy in this State, and are we going to violate that pledge?  Unless we adopt the report as made by this Committee.  We do not lay our suffrage upon the rock as we ought to do.  Why?  Everybody knows that illiteracy among the negro race is rapidly decreasing.   Everybody knows that unless we put some additional safeguard around this provision which authorizes every negro who can read and write to vote, the Black Belt, if the vote is counted as cast, will be under negro domination.  Every delegate from the Black Belt in the Committee on Suffrage this morning made that statement.  Whose opinion are we to take?   Are we to take the opinion of those of its from the white counties, when every man who represents a county in the Black Belt this morning, with the solemn responsibility resting upon him, stated before that Committee that this provision was absolutely essential to the preservation of white supremacy in that portion of Alabama?  Is there any man in this Convention who has so little patriotism that he looks only to the benefit of his immediate county?   I say that this Convention is broad and patriotic enough to consider the interest of the State at large and not the interest of any county in North Alabama or in some other section.   I tell you, gentlemen, if we frame a provision here on suffrage, that allows any section of the State to be under the domination of the ignorant and vicious your Suffrage Article is a failure.  Now, we propose to remedy that and when we offer the remedy, the gentleman says it is increasing taxation.   I will say as to the white counties of North Alabama--‑we are not white entirely, the negroes predominate in many counties in North Alabama; they predominate in Lawrence and almost in Morgan and in Limestone and Madison, and in other counties in that section of the State, and I tell you the people of North Alabama are not opposed to this provision.  All  through that section of the State there is an overwhelming demand for better schools and better education.  When you go before the people of Alabama and tell them this is a voluntary contribution for the schools of the State.  I tell you no provision in your Constitution will be more popular, so I repudiate the charge that there is no patriotism among the people of Alabama.  Gentlemen rise here and arrogate to themselves all the patriotism of the State.  They admit it would do good-‑is it not admitted that the adoption of this provision would decrease the danger of negro rule in this State?  No man can honestly say otherwise.  Why not do it?  Some of


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us say, why we have all the wisdom and patriotism in Alabama.  What are we?   Nothing but the representatives of the people of Alabama and the people of Alabama are as patriotic as we are.  When you tell the people of Alabama that we put this clause in your article on suffrage in order that we might carry out the pledge that we made you to lay deep and strong and permanent in the fundamental laws of this State the foundations of white supremacy, they will say   “Well done good and faithful servant.”

MR. SAMFORD–  I occupy the anomalous position of being opposed to both the report of the committee and te substitute offered by the gentleman from Tuscaloosa.   I realize the fact, and I realized the fact on yesterday when I offered an amendment leaving the fixing of a poll tax to the Legislature as has heretofore been, that as we had practically in our suffrage plan made use of the poll tax system to purify our elections that some change was necessary.  The plan as suggested by the committee is wrong both in principle and in practice, and to the mind of any fair-minded man I fail to see how they could fail to look at it from a different standpoint.  As an illustration, I and my brother go to the tax collector to pay our taxes, the taxes upon our property, he is two years my junior.  Upon his taxes is added one dollar and fifty cents, upon my taxes the one dollar and fifty cents is left off.  He asks the question, why am I required to pay one dollar and fifty cents more than my brother, we occupy the same relations to the State, we are sons of the same father, we are equally patriotic, we are attempting to do our duty as citizens– why am I required to pay one dollar and fifty cents and my brother exempt from it?  The only answer you can give is, that your brother was born two years before you were.  That, gentlemen of the Convention, will never be a satisfactory answer to the proposition that we are now putting before the people.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)–  I would like to ask the gentleman from Pike, why adopt any age for poll tax, why say to the man after forty-five that he should not pay and to another man that he should pay it.  Answer that question.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)–  I am coming to that now.  I recognize the difficulty that we are laboring under, and that is that we have adopted a poll tax system to eliminate a certain class of the vicious and illiterate from the franchise in this State.   I further recognize the fact that it is absolutely essential to the furtherance of that plan, that the age limit should be raised to sixty years in order to cover the whole people, and I am in favor of raising the limit to sixty years, but I am not in favor of discriminating against the class who are now under forty-five years of age.   There is no reason in it, there is no good sense in it, there is no good judgment in it.  The gentleman from Tuscaloosa I feel, misrepresented the white people of this State when he says that they will resent the


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raising of the age limit. I believe that the vast majority –  and I place the plane of patriotism of the white people of this State upon a higher standard than does the gentleman from Tuscaloosa.  Every man knows that this money when it is collected goes into the coffers of the public school fund, every poor man knows that when he pays his one dollar and a half he gets three, four, five or six fold what he put into it, he knows he gets the benefit from the taxes raised upon the property of the rich man, he knows he gets the benefit of the taxes raised from the property of the great corporations, he knows that every liberal-minded man in this State whether he be high or low, rich or poor, desires to educate his children of the poor white people of this State.   I submit to the Convention, in my section, in the wire grass section , where we are cultivating the poorest lands in the State, and where we have a high class of civilization, I submit to this Convention that every white man is willing to contribute one dollar and fifty cents towards the education of the children of the State.   I am opposed to discrimination in anything.   We are here to eliminate, as has been said by the gentleman from Lauderdale, the ignorant and vicious voter.  This committee composed of twenty-five patriotic, unselfish and sensible men have evolved a plan, the basis of which is the collection of a poll tax.   Stop at forty-five years and half of their labors have been for naught.  Raise it to sixty years, and I tell you, as the gentleman from Lauderdale said, when this question is put plainly and simply and without any embossing or without any frills and furbelows of oratory and talk to the plain people, in a plain manner, they will endorse your action.  But if you go back with a plan half made, go back with a plan that upon its face is a dodge, its very appearance being to dodge what some members of this Convention conceive to be a pledge not to raise the tax limit, they will repudiate your actions, and will not appreciate your labors.   I appeal to this Convention to meet this matter in a manly way to place the standard before them of right, if it be right that we should do this in order to eliminate and gain the great ends for which we were convened.   Let us fix the age limit at sixty years, let us fix it so that every man who is a citizen of this State shall be required if he participates in our republican form of government, to contribute something towards the education of the citizens who are to follow him and take up the burdens of the State.

MR. O’NEAL–  Will the gentleman allow me to interrupt him?  Here is a census showing males 21 years old and over who can read and write in Greene County.  There are only 807 native whites who can read and write and 1,264 negroes who can read and write.  So the negroes predominate under this reading and writing clause.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)–  Will the gentleman from Lauderdale permit a question?


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THE PRESIDENT–  The gentleman is out of order unless the gentleman from Pike yields.

MR.  LOWE (Jefferson)–  Does the gentleman from Lauderdale think we are legislating here–

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.–  The gentleman from Jefferson is out of order unless the gentleman from Pike yields.

MR. O'NEAL– We are legislating for the whole State.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑  The gentleman from Lauderdale is out of order.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)– No man in this Convention doubts that every delegate upon this floor is using his utmost judgment and his utmost patriotism to protect not only the men who are clad in purple and fine linen, but they are doing everything in their power to protect the interests of the poor man in Alabama as well. There is not a delegate upon this floor, within my knowledge who is here for a selfish motive, and it is the duty of every one of us to take hold of these questions in a patriotic manner, having the interests of the citizens in view and fearing no man, fearing nothing except to do wrong, and when we have ascertained what is right to do, and let the consequence take care of itself, and let the people take care of our acts.

MR. REESE– I have been asked by one of the most intelligent citizens I know, this question,  “Is it not apparent on the part of some that some of the white counties– ”

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)– I will ask the gentleman just one moment to let me read what I would submit in case I get an opportunity.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– Does the gentleman yield?

MR. REESE– Yes.

MR. SAMFORD– Under the rulings of the Chair it cannot be offered now, but in case the opportunity is offered me—

MR. REESE–  I cannot yield for a speech.

MR. SAMFORD–  I am not going to make a speech.

MR. REESE–  But you are. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT–  Does the gentleman from Dallas yield?

MR. REESE– I cannot yield now, I will try to yield later.  I have been asked this question:  “Is it not apparent that there are gentlemen here from white counties that do not care if the Black Belt is turned over to the negroes?”

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)–  I rise to a point of order– a point of inquiry:  Will the gentleman indicate who has come to this Con-


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vention, who has undertaken to draw the line of distinction between the white counties and the black counties?

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Chair rules that is not a point of order, but that it is a question for the gentleman from Dallas.  Does the gentleman from Dallas yield?

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)– But, sir, we cannot interfere ordinarily, under any ordinary rule with the —

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM–  The gentleman is out of order.  The gentleman from Dallas declines to yield.

MR. REESE–  My time is limited. I have been asked that question, Mr. President.  My answer to that question and the an- swer very promptly given was that I do not believe any such thing.  When I look in the faces of these men here, I cannot believe any such thing as that.  We have got the same blood in our veins that they have in theirs, and we have worked together and we have prayed over these things for these many years.  We have met here to watch the fruition of our desires and we have worked and worked together for this purpose, and although the great volume of the result of that work have come from the section that I represent, I say that the gentlemen who came from different sections came with all the patriotism of the people of the Black Belt. Mr. Chairman, I do not believe any such proposition as that, notwithstanding the remarks of the gentleman from Tuscaloosa.  I believe the citizens of his county are more patriotic than he believes them to be.   I believe that the citizens of a county that gets more out of the State Treasury in proportion to the amount put in, have more patriotism about them than to throw us onto the tender merices of the negro in order to allow a few men to vote that are not willing to contribute $1.50 to the education of the barefooted boys of Alabama.

MR. FOSTER— I want to correct the statement of the gentleman that Tuscaloosa County gets more from the State Treasury than it pays in for schools and county purposes.

MR. REESE–  That is not the statement.  I did not intend to say that.

MR. FOSTER—  I will state, too, that the people of Tuscaloosa are with you on this proposition.

MR. REESE–  I knew it, Mr. President.  I am glad to have the gentleman from Tuscaloosa confirm me in my opinion about the people of Tuscaloosa.  What I meant to say was, there was no money that went into the county, because it is a county that uses for its educational and other institution:, which I think have been conducted along; patriotic lines.   I think that the people of Tuscaloosa will not be unwilling to disfranchise negroes at 15 cents


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apiece.  Mr. President, when you pay $1.50 for a poll tax, in Dallas County, I believe you disfranchise ten negroes.The proportion, I believe, of negroes which this poll tax provision will disfranchise will be ten negroes to one white man, and Mr. President, I want to apologize to these retained counsel of the—

MR. LOWE‑ I think he should indicate the retained counsel to whom he refers.

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman from Jefferson is out of order, unless the gentleman from Dallas yields.

MR. LOWE– Give us the names.

MR. REESE– I cannot be interrupted in the middle of a sentence.   I want to apologize to the retained counsel of the barefooted boy that I am not trying to burglarize into his case and take away his client, I am not posing in the attitude of the attorney for the barefooted boy, but I say that this $1.50 goes to the barefooted boy, and to the boy that has got a pair of shoes.  It goes for educational purposes, and, Mr. President, let us rise above these things and let us educate our people, and when we pay $1.50 we disfranchise ten negroes and we help to educate a whole lot of white boys.  Now, I believe like the gentleman from Sumter.   I have great confidence in the people.   I have a great deal more in the people than I have in the politicians, and I believe when we go to the people of Alabama and say we are building up your country here, give us this $1.50 for educational purposes and for the disfranchisement of a vicious and useless class, Mr. President, they will give it to you.  Now, give us this relief in the Black Belt, and I believe it will relieve us of the situation and be satisfactory to our people.

MR. LONG– I will ask a question–

MR. REESE– I promised the gentleman from Pike to yield to  him.

 MR. LONG– If the poll tax disfranchises so many Negroes why is it yesterday you wanted the property and educational qualifications in there?

MR. REESE– I want to correct the statement of the gentleman from Lauderdale.  He says there are about twenty-five hundred literate white people in Dallas County.  I am satisfied he meant literate voters.

MR. O'NEAL‑ I mean literate voters.

MR.  PITTS‑ The county which I have in part the honor to represent, has a population of fifty‑four thousand in round numbers.  Of that only ten thousand are white and forty‑four thousand are negroes and a great many of those negroes are educated


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and a great many of them own property.  We do not desire to disfranchise a good negro.  We are on the floor of this Convention to vote against it.  If he pays taxes, we think that he ought to vote.  We honestly believe it, if he is a good citizen, but I want to say this, Mr. President, we do not desire and cannot  turn over completely into the hand, of the negro, and we believe that the white people of Alabama will aid us in preventing this terrible catastrophe.  Now, I want to thank the distinguished gentleman from Lauderdale for what he has said in favor of the people of the Black Belt, and I simply desire to add to what he has said, that if they will keep the poll tax as is provided for by the report of the Committee, we will be satisfied.  We of the Black Belt desire that it should be from 21 years of age to 60 years of age, but some of the delegates from the white counties suggested that it would not be treating them right, and we are here willing to give, whenever it is possible to do so we are willing to give.

MR.  LOWE (Jefferson)‑ Will the gentleman pardon me?  I would like to know how it is that the gentleman supposes that the delegates from the white counties— the gentleman says the delegates from the white counties—

MR. PITTS– I did not hear–

MR. LOWE– You say delegates from white counties—

MR. PITTS– Yes sir, I said so.

MR. LOWE‑  I would like to know if the gentleman will designate upon the floor of this Convention any time when the delegates from the white counties have opposed the delegates from the Black Belt.

MR. PITTS‑ I don't think it is necessary, and I am not called upon to state, but I will state that smile of the best delegates in this Convention from the white counties stated it would not be treating them right to insist upon having the age 21 to 60, and we yielded.  We are willing to accord to them what they wanted, and we ask them in return to make some concessions to us, and they did make a concession by the report that is now presented here.  As stated by the distinguished gentleman from Lauderdale, there was a conference in the Committee between the delegates from the white counties and the delegates from the black counties of this State, and this is somewhat of a compromise.  Now, let me suggest this, most of the negroes in the Black Belt who own property were slaves.  Now, who is it that we dread?   It is the educated young negro who will not work and who spends his time in gambling and winning the earnings of those who do work.  We don’t think he ought to be permitted to come in and vote, and if this section is adopted as reported by the Committee, although we from the Black Belt prefer it to be from forty-five to sixty, yet we have conceded that, but I say if this is given to us  “from twenty-one to


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sixty,”   I assure you we in the Black Belt will take care of ourselves.

MR. BROWNE–  I understood the gentleman from Dallas (Mr. Pettus) to state some of the Black Belt have a compromise agreement by which certain things were agree to and one was that the Black Belt delegates agreed to retain the poll tax age at forty-five.  If that is so, they ought to keep the faith and not come into the Convention and by recommitment to the Committee, raise the age from forty-five to sixty.

MR. PITTS–  I did not make that statement.  I said it was understood between the delegates on the Suffrage Committee that all of those who are now forty-five or will be forty-five in January, 1903.

MR. LOWE– Will the gentleman yield a moment?  Does the gentleman from Talladega intimate that this Convention has agreed to support a compromise made by two contending factions in Committee?

MR. BROWNE–  I did not so state.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)–  What did the gentleman state?

MR. BROWNE–  I stated if they had agreed to certain things—

MR. LOWNE– That was my understanding of the statement.

MR. BROWNE– That if they had agreed to certain things before the Committee, they ought to stand by the agreement.

MR. LOWE– Who should stand by the agreement?

MR. BROWNE– The delegates from the Black Belt that made the agreement.  Now, Mr. President, I decline to be further interrupted.

MR. LOWE-  Yes, and I don’t blame the gentleman from declining to be interrupted.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM–  The gentleman is out of order.

MR. BROWNE– Mr. President, there are delegates on this floor representing counties where they can well afford to agree to support a measure looking to raising the age of paying poll tax to sixty, because they have very few poor white men living in those counties, but in North Alabama and a great many of the counties, in most of the North Alabama counties that have hills in them, we have a very poor class of white people.  Now, you propose to raise the age limit from forty-five to sixty.  You cannot change the effect of that so as to make it otherwise than this.  You go


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back to those tens of thousands of poor white people in North Alabama and tell them that while in one sense we have kept the faith and not raised your taxes, we have provided that we are going to charge you who are forty‑five years of age, twenty‑two dollars and fifty cents apiece for the right to vote between now and the time you become sixty years of age.

MR. WALKER‑ Under the report made by the Committee, those who are now forty‑five years of age and those who will be forty‑five years of age by the first of January, 1903, will not have to.

MR. BROWNE–  Then I will have to fall a notch and come down to those who will not be 45 years of age on the first of January, 1903.

MR LOWE (Jefferson)‑ Will the gentleman yield?

MR. BROWNE.‑ No, sir.  That is the most vicious piece of legislation that has ever been undertaken to be passed through this Convention.  Why do you in the name of Heaven, make that ex‑ ception in favor of those who are so fortunate or unfortunate as to be on the verge of forty‑five years now.  If it is right, why not include everybody?   Why offer to those who are now forty‑four years this exemption when you do not extend it to those who are only forty‑two.  As I understand it the amendment proposed is, “provided that those finale inhabitants of the State who shall reach the age of forty‑five years on or before the first day of January, 1903, shall not thereafter be required to pay poll tax.”  What is that exception?

MR. O'NEAL–  Are you not in favor of it?

MR. BROWNE–  No, sir, I am not in favor of it.  I am in favor of the amendment proposed by the gentleman from Pike so as to leave this matter in the hands of the legislature and it seems to me that is all the gentleman from the black belt counties ought to ask of us, that is if the result of this suffrage plan without that clause is not such as to satisfy them.   If it is not sufficient to practically disfranchise all of the negroes in the black belt or a sufficient number to insure white supremacy then let the legislature come in and raise the poll tax from forty-five years to sixty  without our doing it, when we do not know that it is necessary.

MR. LOWE‑  Will the gentleman yield for a question?  I want to know if the gentleman from Talladega says he is going to leave this matter to legislature and not to the Convention?

THE PRESIDENT‑  The gentleman is not entitled to the floor and cannot answer the question.

MR. BROWNE‑  I am willing to answer the question.


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THE  PRESIDENT‑ The gentleman from Mobile has the floor, the gentleman from Talladega is out of order.

MR. SMITH (Mobile)‑ In all this discussion the State of Alabama has been constantly divided into two classes, the black belt and the hill counties, usually spoken of as the hill counties and sometimes as the white counties.

There has been no consideration or no thought of any other section whatever, except the hill counties and the black belt.  The reason of that, Mr. President, is perfectly manifest, and that is the hill counties are, some of them, counties in which there are black belts, and some of then counties in which the negroes hold the balance of power, so that active politics has become an evil and a necessary one in those counties.   The black belt, as we know, has a large majority of negroes and that has been an evil.  That portion of the State to which I belong is neither a hill county with negroes holding the balance of power, nor a black belt county.  The white man there stands in undisputed control of the elective franchise and can control it at all times.  The Negro is allowed to vote.  His vote is counted but it accomplishes nothing.  I take it our position is the one that the balance of the State is now seeking to ob‑ tain so far as the suffrage question is concerned.   Now it seems to me, therefore, Mr. President, the experience of the black belt, as well as the experience of the hill counties situated as they have been, possibly will not be the experience of those sections when they have reformed the ballot, and have put themselves in the same position that my county has so long occupied and it seems to me, therefore, that some of the deductions and conclusions that they have drawn from last experience are erroneous.  When this pressure is removed from them men will not act as those who are under this. pressure do but they will act as men who have not been under this pressure have acted.   For that reason it seems to me, based upon the experience of my section, it is an error to make this poll tax entirely voluntary.   As I said before the vote of my section has not amounted to anything.   I has been nothing but eight or nine thousand white men.   It has not been necessary to carry an election.  Any time it was necessary the black belt could put in ten, fifteen, twenty or thirty thousand negro votes, and dispense with the necessity of  using  that nine or ten thousand white men.  But the time is now coming and you are preparing it here when there will be nothing counted but the votes of white men, and when you will want and need the vote of the white man as badly as you want the silence of the negro, and it seems to me that any measure you take here to encourage the white man to sit by and not take part in politics is an error.  Now, Mr. President, when you take a man who has no interest in politics, when you take a man that does not want any office, when the life of politics in his county does not depend on his registering and voting he will not


3373 CONSTITUTIONAL  CONVENTION, 1901         

do, in order to save his franchise, what a man will now do in the black belt or what a man will now do in the hill counties.  Now my experience is, that men who have no personal interest in politics, and in a county where it is not absolutely necessary that a man should take part in politics, that the very best class of voters, the very best element of our people, will not even go to the polls unless they are brought there in carriages.  Now you may say that any man who will not pay a dollar and a half to educate his children is not worth voting.---------

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)‑ Did it ever occur to you that the reason for that is that all the class that now vote and are controlled by politicians will be cut out under the requirement to pay a dollar and a half, and the best man has not time to fool with that sort of cattle.  The reason the best men, and good business men, take so little interest in politics is because it is controlled and manipulated by the politicians of the State, and the business man has not time to mix up with them.

MR. SMITH‑ It did not occur to me because it is not that way down my way.  Whenever the business man comes out and takes an interest in my county, it goes his way as certainly as the sun rises in the morning, and it only goes against his interest when there is nothing that touches the pocket or interest of the business element, and when there is nothing that touches the pocket or interest of the business element, he does not go unless he is persuaded to go, and although that has not been the condition in the hill or black belt counties I believe when negro domination and influence is removed it will be the same condition to a large extent.  Now. Mr. President, if you make the payment of a poll tax voluntary and put upon it no other condition than he shall vote, I believe a large majority of the best element of the white people in this State will sit by and not take part, and that the politics of this State will fall into the hands of rings and cliques who will operate and run it, pay their poll tax and vote  not for the benefit of the State, but for offices for themselves and their followers.  I believe that such a condition as that would be almost as bad, though not quite, as the politics that are influenced and dominated on account of the negro.  Now Mr. President, it seems to me that the same purpose can be accomplished and yet make this tax enforcible under a provision that no man shall vote unless lie pays his poll tax before February 1st, and there shall be no process for the collection of. it.

MR. LOWE‑ Will the gentleman yield for a question?

MR. SMITH‑ I prefer not. Mr. President, if it is not paid by February lst the right to vote is taken from him.  Now I believe in making it non‑enforcible down to April, after the first day of February, but on the first day of April and thereafter, I believe in making it enforcible by ordinary process. Now the effect of


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that as I take it, will be this, we know the disposition of the negro, and we know the disposition of the vicious element that only uses his vote as a means of getting money to drink or gamble with.  That man is not–

MR. ROGERS– You stated a while ago that the voluntary payment of the poll tax, that the payment of poll tax puts politics in the hands of politicians.  Now you say it should not be left voluntary, but should be enforced by the State.  Now explain, please your position in regard to that matter.

MR. SMITH (Mobile)‑ I cannot explain because I have other matters, to explain that hill take the time.  If the gentleman will think and not talk he will find out.

I was going to say that the negro and the vicious element will not pay two months ahead of time a dollar and a half in order to exercise this privilege, but if the business than knows he is liable for tax, although he will not give a dollar and a half to vote or exercise the franchise, he will put it on the list of liabilities like he does everything else and tell his clerk to pay it when it is due, and will not, wait until the first of February, but will pay it between October and February, along with the balance of his bills, and he will, as a matter of business, qualify himself to vote, and there will be no incentive, on the day of election for him to refuse to vote on account of the extra burden ; whereas, when the day of election comes, and purchases come around and nobody will buy a tramp or a negro ahead of time or when the politician comes around two weeks before election and wants to buy, to and behold ! the first day of February has passed and he has no vote to sell. I am, therefore, opposed to this system that makes it entirely voluntary, and if I get the opportunity, I will offer an amendment, making it compulsory after the first day of April.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑ He will not be allowed to vote.

MR. SMITH—  No sir; not if he does not pay before the first of February.

MR. STEWART‑ I  am in favor of the substitute offered, and favoring that substitute.   I represent the sentiments of the people whom I have the honor to represent in this Convention.  The statistics of the United States show that there is about 33 per cent of the negro population that are illiterate.  The whites and negroes in our county stand in proportion of about five to one‑about 5,000

negro voters to about 1,200 whites.  Deduct a third from that for illiterates, and it leaves about 3,000 negro voters, in round numbers, who are qualified under the intellectual part of this Article; but now take off the bridle and put no control over them in the way of poll tax from 45 to 60, and, Mr. President, in five years


3375 

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901        

after we have organized this system in 1903, the negro, if we permit them to control us, will be absolutely in control of our county and of our county affairs.  There will be a clear‑cut majority.  Now, the only protection we can have is to allow the poll tax from 45 to 50 to accumulate on them after 1903, and in that way cut off to some extent the number of people who will qualify as voters under the registration after 1903.  Now, up to 1903, under the law as we have adopted, it, or the Article as we have adopted it, the white people of Perry County and of all that Black Belt country, will be absolutely in control and dominate the counties, so far as the politics of it is concerned.  We will have absolute control of it, but if we are cut down to 45 years of age, and the negro after that time is not to pay poll tax, you will find and every one of us will find, that we will wake up some election morning and find that we are under their domination and under their control, and the county officers will be in the hand of the negro and not in the hand of the white man. It is impossible to tell anything about the age of a negro, after he gets to be 35.  The trouble is, these Negroes have been reared in our counties; their fathers, who were slaves, were reared there, and a large number of those who are there will be able to prove by their old masters their age, will show clearly to any registration board that they are over 45, yet under 60, and we ask that this protection of the rights and privileges of the white man of the country.  We do not ask anything except your protection.  We ask the white counties and the white people, and it seems to me if they desire to redeem the State from the rule of the negro, that they should hold out a helping hand to the black belt and assist us.  In addition to that, if you enforce the collection of this poll tax by ordinary systems, that are used in the country or under the State laws as they now stand, as suggested by the gentleman from Mobile, what will be our condition? On the first day of January of each year, when the contract is being made with the farm laborer or tenant, the man who advances to the tenant will pay that poll tax, this very tax– the man making the contract with the negro will pay his poll tax, in connection with any other taxes he may have, for the purpose of procuring his labor; and, the truth of the business is, these poll taxes will be kept paid just as they are paid today.  The farmer, the land owner will pay, the taxes for his own protection.  The land owner will pay the taxes to keep the little property he may have‑the negro may have around him‑from being taken by the tax collector and makinghim, therefore dissatisfied.  We don't want this tax to be other than voluntary, and it will be almost a crime against nature to impose upon its any such system that will enforce the collection of this tax.  Leave it out of this Article entirely, if you are going to enforce the collection.  For that reason, I favor the substitute that has been offered.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. BULGER– I like the report of the Committee for two reasons; one is because it has a tendency to disfranchise the darky in the Black Belt, and it has a tendency to increase the school fund in the white counties.  If I understand, the gentlemen who speak for the Black Belt and live in the Black Belt, it will have the effect of disfranchising and eliminating a great many negroes from the elective franchise.  I am sure, sir , if it is adopted, it will have the effect to add many dollars to the school fund of the white children in the white counties. Now, the most popular law on the statute books in this State is the law that provides that the poll tax of the two races shall be kept separate and shall be kept in counties where it is paid.  Now, the gentleman from Tuscaloosa is mistaken, I think, as to what the people of the white counties will think of being required to pay poll tax from 45 to 60.  The most willing contribution made in this country by the white people of Alabama is the poll tax they pay for the support of the public schools, that they know goes to educate the white children, and which they know does not go to educate the negro children.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)– Would not the man who is already 45 years of age be just as willing to pay it as the one who became 45 years of age later?

MR. O’NEAL- No, not if he is exempt now.

MR. BULGER– I do not think so, for this season—

MR. SAMFORD– Then if he would not be just as willing, I will ask you if it would not be fair for him to do it?

MR. BULGER– Except for one thing; where a man has been paying until 45 and by the Constitution and law of this State he has become exempt—

MR. LONG– Will the gentleman yield a minute?

MR. BULGER– I would not yield to anybody, except my friend from Walker.

MR. LONG– I am grateful for the privilege.  I ask if the gentleman is not over 45, and is, therefore , not objecting?

MR. BULGER- No sir; I am not over 30. (Laughter.) That is an unfair question to ask a gentleman like me.

MR. FITTS- Situated as you are.

MR. BULGER– Situated as I am. (Laughter.)  I was going on to say in answer to my friend from Pike, that where a man, by law, has been paying the tax until he is 45 and when, by law, he has been exempt from that payment, he, in my humble judgment, would not pay it as willingly as a man who has yet to become 45.  The poll tax paid in this State by white people according to my observation and experience, is very willingly paid,


3377 

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901       

Grandfathers who are over 45 and up to 60, feel just as much interested in education of their grandchildren as they do in the education of their own children, and, in my judgment, there will be no objection by these gentlemen to paying these taxes until they are 60 years of age, when they know especially under the law that the white children get the whole benefit of the tax for school purposes.

Now, Mr. President, it seems to me that this is the only section of this Constitution that would be absolutely satisfactory both to the hill counties and to the Black Belt.  What we would like to do in this country more than any other two things, would be to disfranchise the darkeys and to educate the while children.  If we can do that, just let us alone and we will continue to have the greatest State in the American Union.

MR. LONG (Walker)‑ I would be the last man on the floor of this Convention to advocate anything detrimental to the Black Belt.   I love the people of the Black Belt, and it was to a Black Belt girl that I lost my heart, who today I have the honor to call my wife, and that is one of the losses that I have made in the numerous games of life that I have never regretted.

Mr. President, I cannot see why they should bring up an argument to increase the poll tax age from forty‑five to sixty.  Why, in 1903- up to1903, out of four propositions that the registers of the black belt can register every man, woman and child, dog and varmint if they see fit and declare everybody else not registered.  They can register every man, woman and child, black and white, or refuse every one, black and white, and under this soldier clause, descendants clause, the understanding clause and the good character clause‑

MR. O'NEAL‑Will the gentleman yield?

MR. LONG‑ I will not.  Certainly under that, that is guarantee enough.  I do not mean to intimate upon the floor that the black belt will be dishonest but they would take care of themselves, and they will register the good people and leave off the vicious, as that is what they should do, and that would be a protection until 1903, after that from the age of twenty‑one to forty‑five he will have to pay his poll tax and all who are acquainted with the negro knows that it is hard to tell the difference between a negro forty‑five years old and one sixty years old.  The registers can take the benefit of the doubt and say he is forty‑five.  The negro hardly ever has a record of the date of place of birth. There is no danger from that, and you speak about a compromise made by white delegates upon this floor.  I say I have never heard of such a compromise.  I am not in partnership with any compromise.  I am in favor of doing anything that is right, but I tell you it is not right to raise the age for paying poll tax from forty‑five to


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

sixty years and I tell you the people of the white counties will repudiate it, and you will lose this Constitution, at the lowest calculation, in my opinion, by at least twenty to thirty thousand votes, to be conservative.  My people are as patriotic as any people, but when you touch their pocket book and you touch a principle that has existed ever since we had an Alabama, you touch the hearts of men that are nearly reach that age.  It is well enough to talk about charity among men who are past forty-five, and say he is excepted, but you do not except the others.  That is charity to nobody.  If you are in favor of charity, accept the amendment of the gentleman from Pike.  It is a thousand times better.  It is not class legislation.  If you want to raise it from forty-five to sixty, come out like men and say so, don’t excuse a little scallawag because born twelve months prior to me.  You have no right to do it.  You have a right to state the age for poll tax, but you have no right to exempt certain classes, make certain classes pay after the age of those who are excused from paying. You have no right to say you shall not pay because you are forty-five years of age, but you, because you are forty-four and a half years shall pay for fifteen years longer.  Let us look at this thing from a sensible standpoint.  If I thought for one moment that the black belt was in danger, I would vote a ten dollar poll tax; I would vote for twenty dollars poll tax.   I would vote for fifty dollars poll tax, but that is not the question.  The black belt can take care of itself.  We are willing to give it every opportunity to do so.   We have done that and that is one of the main objects for calling this Constitutional Convention.  You can call it a voluntary tax.  It has been stated upon this floor that it is not a tax, because it is voluntary.  What is the result; the forfeiture of the right of franchise.  It is one of the worst sort of taxes.  Why an ad valorem tax in one sense is a voluntary tax.  What does it do?  Forfeit your right of property.  Where is a man on this floor that would not rather lose his property than his right to suffrage.  So you see it is the very worst form of taxation, and the people in Alabama in my judgment are not expecting anything of the kind.  On yesterday I had the honor of offering an amendment which in the wisdom was overwhelmingly voted down, that required a poll tax after 1903 and went on so far as to say that those who refused to register under the temporary plan could not register under the permanent plan, and yet the delegates by a vote of nearly three to one voted it down; yet we are told here today by the very men who voted against it that the poll tax will disfranchise ten negroes to one white man.  In other words fifteen cents contribution would disfranchise one negro.  If that is the case let’s raise a few hundred or a few thousand dollars and disfranchise every one of them.  Fifteen cents does not disfranchise the negro; neither does a dollar and a half disfranchise them.  Because the records in the black belt show that the negroes in the black belt pay nearly three times the poll tax the white people in the black belt pay.


3379 

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)‑ Will the gentleman allow me to ask him a question?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– Will the gentleman yield?

MR. LONG– I decline to yield.  I admit that this is because many of the white people in the black belt pay the taxes of the negroes, the poll tax included.  They can continue to do that or refuse to do it as they see fit and proper.  I mention that to show you that it is not a question of the supremacy of the white people in the black belt.  The white race will take care of itself, and when the delegates of this Convention are asked to come up here and raise the limit up to $1.50  for all those who become 45 years of age after the ratification of this Convention, it is the worst form of class legislation, and the most vicious measure in my honest judgment that has ever been proposed here.  We, as Democrats, have always opposed class legislation, and I want to see any man get up here and say that this is not class legislation.  You have a right to name your limit. I am willing, for one, and introduced an ordinance in this Convention, which the distinguished Committee on Suffrage and Elections saw fit to ignore, to make the poll tax apply to every man that had the right to vote in the State of Alabama, irrespective of his age.  I am willing now to vote for the amendment of the gentleman from Pike, but I tell you I am not willing to vote for class legislation here that will allow men under 45 years of age to be discriminated against. I can see no good reason why after all of these clauses have been put in here that we should be asked to raise the age limit up to which a man should pay poll taxes.  There cannot be any good reason given, and I tell you that it is a violation of the Democratic platform, as said by the distinguished gentleman from Tuscaloosa (Mr. Fitts).  I claim to know as much about the wishes of the people as many others, and I tell you that the farmer's sons in this State look at this $1.50 a year as a tax, and one that they are looking forward to the time when they will reach the age when they will be exempted from its payment, and road duty is the most obnoxious thing in the world to them.  I have seen numbers of men whose wages have been garnished time after time on a forfeiture for costs because they did not work the roads.

MR. HOOD‑ As a delegate from the white section of Alabama, I wish to repudiate the idea that the white people of Alabama in my section are less patriotic than the white people of any other portion of the State.  As a delegate from the hill counties of this State, I also wish to deny the proposition that the white people of those counties are poorer than those of any other counties in this State, and that they are not able to pay the pitiful sum of $1.50 annually to swell the school fund for the public schools of this State, especially, Mr. President when this $1.50 contributed


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

by the people of those white counties is retained in their own counties to build up their common schools.

MR. LONG (Walker)‑ I would like to ask the gentleman a question.  You stated that the white people in the white counties

were just as well off as the white people in the black belt?

MR. HOOD‑ They are not all paupers, and the gentleman well knows it.  He comes from a county in this state of but a little more than twenty‑five thousand people, the assessed valuation of whose property is over six million dollars.  (Applause.)  They are not all paupers, Mr. President, and neither are they all fools. (Applause.)

Now, in any judgment, this poll tax qualification is the most important provision of this entire article.  Under the scheme reported by this committee, on the 1st day of January, 1903, this magnificent temporary plan expires, and then ive have a property and educational qualification stated in the alternative.  In other words, every person offering to vote or register after that date, who will be able to read and write, cannot be disqualified.  We are told that in the black belt, and that in many counties in this State, there is a large percentage of those young negroes who are coming of age that will be able to read and write, and therefore will be qualified under the provisions of this article.

The only safety valve, Mr. President, that is contained in this article after 1903, for a large proportion of the negroes in this State, is this poll tax of $1.50.  The gentleman from Walker suggests that you cannot tell how old a negro may be who is in the neighborhood of 45 years old; that you cannot tell whether he is 30, or 40, or 45 or 55 years of age.  Ah, Mr. President, that is but an additional reason why this age limit should be increased to the age of 60.

Again, it is suggested that it is class legislation to say to those men who have already attained the age of 45, that we will not again impose this burden upon you.   In reply to that, I will ask the gentleman the question: Can he conceive of any scheme to restrict the suffrage in this State that is not class legislation?  But there is a good reason for not including those men who are exempt.  That is right to them.   This exemption is a right that has already accrued, and this Committee simply proposes not to take away from theni that right.  That, Mr. President, is not class legislation.

Again, it is urged by the gentleman from Mobile--------

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑ I would like to ask the gentleman a question.

MR. HOOD‑ Certainly.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. SAMFORD‑ Isn't it an equal right under the present law with every citizen of this State, that, when he gets to be 45 years old, he will be exempt from the payment of poll tax?

MR. HOOD ‑ It is under the present Constitution, but we propose not to give that right under the new Constitution.

MR. SAMFORD‑ Will the gentleman answer another question?

MR. HOOD‑ I decline to yield further.

It is urged by the distinguished gentleman from Mobile that the provision as contained in the report of this Committee will disfranchise many of the white people of Alabama, or, in other words, that many of the business men of the city of Mobile, and other cities, will avail themselves of the fact that the collection of this tax is not compulsory, and will therefore decline to pay it, and thereby disfranchise themselves.   Mr. President. it may be true that the citizens of Mobile, and of the other cities and towns of the State, in the ordinary elections, in which they have no great interest, do not usually vote, and it may be true, and is to some extent, that very frequently you have to send for that class of people in carriage to get them to vote, but when men of that class are required to pay a poll tax of $1.50 several months in advance of the election sometime before they know what issues will be involved, sometime before they know whether friends will be candidates, are they, for the paltry sum of $1.50, going to refuse to register, and thereby disqualify themselves to vote?

Again, Mr. President, the Supreme Court of the United States, in the Williams case, speaking of the legality of the Mississippi law, referred to the fact that the poll tax is made a qualification there, and emphasis is laid upon the fact that the collection of that poll tax is not compulsory.   Is that not significant coming from the Supreme Court of the United States?

MR. SMITH‑ May I ask the gentleman if it has not reduced the vote of the white people in Mississippi very largely?

MR. HOOD‑ Probably it has.  I could not say.  It has certainly reduced the negro vote in a greater proportion‑90 per cent., as suggested by some gentleman.

Now, the main purpose of this Committee is dispensing with the compulsory collection of the poll tax was to allow the poll tax to accumulate and pile up on this very class of voters that we want to get rid of the vicious voter in Alabama.   We want that poll tax to pile up so high that he will never be able to vote again.  If you provide a compulsory way of collecting that poll tax, you destroy the objects and purposes of the Committee in reporting the provision as it is reported.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

Now, believing the Convention is ready to vote upon this proposition, I move to lay the substitute of the gentleman from Tuscaloosa on the table.

MR. SOLLIE (Dale)‑ I hope the gentleman will withdraw that motion a moment. (Expressions of dissent.)

MR .HOOD–  I decline to do so.

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

The call was sustained.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM–  The question is upon the motion to table the substitute offered by the gentleman from Tuscaloosa.  Those favoring the motion to table will vote aye and those opposed no, when their names are called.

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

AYES.

Messrs. President,

Hood,

Palmer,

Banks,

Howze,

Parker (Cullman),

Bulger,

Jackson,

Pillans,

Burnett,

Jenkins,

Pitts,

Burns,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Reese,

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Kirkland,

Rogers (Lowndes),

Carnathon,

Knight,

Rogers (Sumter),

Chapman,

Kyle,

Samford,

Cobb,

Lomax,

Selheimer,

Coleman, of Walker,

Macdonald,

Smith (Mobile),

Craig,

McMillan (Baldwin),

Spragins,

Cunningham,

McMillan (Wilcox),

Stewart,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Malone,

Tayloe,

Dent,

Maxwell,

Vaughan,

Eley,

Merrill,

Waddell,

Foster,

Miller (Wilcox),

Walker,

Glover,

Morrisette,

Watts,

Graham, of Talladega,

Murphree,

Weatherly,

Grant,

NeSmith,

White,

Greer, of Perry,

Norman,

Williams (Barbour),

Harrison,

Norwood,

Winn,

Heflin, of Chambers,

Oates,

Hinson,

O’Neal (Lauderdale),

Total– 67

NOES

Almon,

Beavers,

Brooks,

Altman,

Beddow,

Browne,

Ashcraft,

Bethune,

Byars,

Barefield,

Blackwell,

Cardon,

Bartlett,

Boone,

Davis, of Etowah,


3383

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901          

Duke,

Ledbetter,

Robinson,

Fitts,

Leigh,

Sanders,

Fletcher,

Long (Butler),

Sanford,

Foshee,

Long (Walker),

Sloan,

Freeman,

Lowe (Jefferson),

Smith, Mac A.,

Graham, of Montgomery,

Lowe (Lawrence),

Smith, Morgan M.,

Haley,

Martin,

Sollie,

Handley,

Miller (Marengo),

Sorrell,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Moody,

Spears,

Henderson,

O’Rear,

Thompson,

Hodges,

Parker (Elmore),

Weakley,

Howell,

Pearce,

Whiteside,

Inge,

Pettus,

Williams (Marengo),

Jones, of Bibb,

Phillips,

Wilson (Clarke),

Kirk,

Reynolds (Chilton),

Wilson (Wash’gton),

Total– 60.

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING

Case,

Jones, of Hale,

Renfro,

Cornwall,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Reynolds (Henry),

Espy,

King,

Searcy,

Ferguson,

Locklin,

Sentell,

Gilmore,

O’Neill (Jefferson),

Studdard,

Grayson,

Opp,

Willett,

Greer, of Calhoun,

Proctor,

PAIRS.

AYES

NOES

Carmichael, of Colbert

Williams (Elmore),

Eyster,

Cofer,

Coleman, of Greene,

Mulkey,

deGraffenreid,

Porter,

MR. SMITH (Mobile)– I desire to offer an amendment to the substitute.

The amendment was read as follows:

Amendment to substitute for Section 18 of the report of the Committee on Suffrage and Elections: “Amend by striking from the fifth line of Section 18 as printed, the words ‘but no legal process nor any’ and inserting before the word ‘fee’ the word ‘no’ and by striking out the word  ‘thereof ‘  in the sixth line of the Section and adding where the word  ‘thereof ‘  was, the words ‘before any poll tax becomes delinquent nor shall there be any process for its collection until April 1, thereafter.’”

MR. SMITH (Mobile)– I do not desire to make any further discussion in the matter than I have already made. The amend-


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

ment I have offered seeks to accomplish the purpose that I advocated in my speech a few moments ago, and it makes the Section read in this way, so far as relates to this question of poll tax : Such poll tax shall become due and payable on the 4th day of October in each year and become delinquent on the 1st day of the next succeeding February.  No fee or commission shall be allowed for the collection of any poll tax before it becomes delinquent nor shall there be any process for its collection until April 1st, thereafter.

It does not touch the other proposition at all.  It simply puts it in position where a man will have to pay his poll tax before February in order to vote, and if he does not pay it before February, then after the next April he can be made to pay it.  At that time, as I said before, if he has not paid his poll tax voluntarily he will also be disqualified to vote, and the enforcement of the collection of the poll tax will not restore the right to vote but only add that much to the school fund, without giving any additional right of franchise.

      

MR. WILLIAMS (Marengo)–  Under the law as it stands now, the members of military companies are exempt from paying a poll tax.  What effect will this provision have on them?

MR. SMITH–  I have not really considered that question and can’t answer it.   I have never belonged to the military and I haven’t bothered about it much one way or the other.

MR. WILLIAMS–  I think that is a proposition that should be discussed by this Convention.

MR. SMITH–  I think anybody ought to discuss any proposition they see fit and I am not trying to cut discussion.  It is an amendment offered by the Committee, and I do not desire to discuss it further.

MR. SOLLIE (Dale)– Gentlemen, I shall not attempt to detain you today in a lengthy speech.  I hope I shall get through before the ten minutes have expired.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM–  I will call the attention of the gentleman from Dale to the fact that the pending question is the amendment offered by the gentleman from Mobile, relative to collecting taxes by legal process.

MR. SOLLIE– Yes sir; and as I understand it an amendment always brings up a discussion on the law, which it purports to amend, and brings the two under review of necessity; because the law, as amended, will be the original law so much changed.

Much has been said in discussion touching this poll tax question, as to the wishes of the hill counties and of the people of the black belt.  The hill counties of Alabama and the black belt do


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not make up the entire State.  We have lying across the southern and south eastern portion of the State a tier of great counties known as the  “wire grass.”  They may be the least populous.  I know not as to that.  They may be the smallest in territory.  I know not as to that.  They are regarded as the rural district of the State to some extent.  I concede that, and yet I say to you, gentlemen of the Convention, that they are not a section whose wishes may upon any occasion when the State of Alabama is concerned, or when its will is to be consulted be entirely overlooked or neglected.  The wire grass has the proud honor of having filled your Governor’s chair, of having led your delegation in Congress.  It has the proud honor to have borne its part in all the political strifes and contests of the State; and its wishes and its desires may be well consulted.  In my judgment, the whole of this attempt to raise the age of paying the poll tax from forty-five to sixty years, when sent abroad to the wire grass country for its ratification, will find an unfriendly reception.  When we think of it it is not easy for the poor man who has passed the meridian of his life and who has already worked as much as one man should work, and already  begins to feel that the shades of the evening are gathering about–

MR. O'NEAL‑ I rise to make a parliamentary inquiry.  Is it in order to discuss the original section as reported or the substitute reported by the Committee while the amendment is pending?

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question under discussion in the amendment offered by the gentleman from Mobile.  The Chair holds the point of order well taken, and will confine the gentleman to the discussion of the substitute.

MR. SOLLIE– When speaking to this amendment and it alone:  I cannot see where there comes any relief to the voter merely by making it compulsory.   It  looks to me that whereas he was at first confronted by two.  The proposition,  Mr. President, as it comes originally, is to say to the voter you must pay after you have passed the age of forty‑five a poll tax of $1.50 before you can vote.  The point has been made that this is a hardship upon him, and has been contended for by some of the delegates on the floor of this Convention.  Now we seek to amend that by saying:  “Not only must you forfeit your right to vote if you fail to pay this tax by a given time, but even after that is done, still you must pay the tax.”

That which seemed to me a hardship, unjust and impolitic and seemed to threaten the document ,we are expected to send from this Convention, is made more unjust, a greater hardship and is gathering unto the Constitution more of unpopularity, and I think that the amendment should not be adopted.

MR. REESE‑ Mr. President, the amendment of the gentleman from Mobile leaves this proposition in the shape of the play of Hamlet with the character of Hamlet left out.  We are here for


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the purpose of purifying the suffrage in this State.  We are endeavoring to exclude from the suffrage a large class that does not add to the purity and safety of our government.  All sorts of theories are urged upon this floor.   In answer to the theories that are presented here,  I  state a fact, a condition, not a theory.  The same proposition presented here in the report of the Committee has been successfully tried in the neighboring State of Mississippi.  A few weeks before the assembling of the Convention, I had occasion to be in the State of Mississippi on business.  I made it my business to have a long talk with Judge Calhoun who was President of that able body– one of the ablest bodies that have ever assembled in the South, present company excepted.  And, Mr. President, I discussed this matter with other distinguished Mississippian who has participated in that Convention and I said to them:  “Gentleman, you took part in that Convention you discussed these theories which I have read and which are here in this book.  How was it?  I want to know, how it practically turned out?  What things in this Constitution that you have made are the things that have given you relief?   And from Judge Calhoun down to the last delegate that I spoke to, told me it was this provision regulating the payment of the poll tax at a particular time and the fact that no legal process could be issued for the collection of it; the fact that it was a voluntary one.  They said that question was discussed in the Convention as to whether the legal process proposition, which the Committee has put here, should be put in there, and it was decided that if the voter knew that, even though he did not pay it before the first of February, yet if, after the first of February, the government officers had the right to put in machinery to take it from him any way, he would pay it, because if he had to die for a lamb, he might as well die for a sheep and pay it before the first of February without any extra cost.  Is it a fact that the people when they know that the legal machinery is going to be put in effect, and when the tax collectors are to get 50 cents and the tax assessors 50 cents, and the constables for serving a garnishment is going to get paid and the justice of the peace for issuing the garnishment is going to get paid or is going to levy on the negro’s chickens or his cow– is it a fact that they are not going up there to pay the dollar and a half before the first day of February, and enfranchise themselves?   I , therefore, move the previous question on the section and the pending amendment, and, Mr. President, when the previous question is ordered, I shall move to table the substitute of the gentleman from Mobile.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)– Let me say to the gentleman from Dallas that there are some of us who want to get an amendment in there, and I appeal to him to withdraw his motion.

MR. REESE– I am the last man on the floor to gag anybody, but I move to table the amendment of the gentleman from Mobile.

MR. BURNS– I shall ask my colleague from Dallas to desist


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a few moments, and let the motion for the previous question come from the committee.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM–  The question is on the adoption of the motion of the gentleman from Dallas to table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Mobile.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion to table prevailed.

MR. BEDDOW– I desire to offer an amendment to the amendment reported by the Committee.

The amendment was read as follows:

“Amend Committee’s substitute as follows:  Strike out the words  ‘over the age of 21 years and under the age of 60 years, who would not now be exempt by law ; provided, that those male inhabitants of the State who shall reach the age of 45 years on or before the first day of January, 1903, shall not hereafter be required to pay a poll tax,’  and insert in lieu thereof  ‘between the ages prescribed by law, and who would not now be exempted by law.’”

MR. BROWNE– The effect of that amendment would be simply to leave it to the Legislature, if in future it might become necessary to raise the limit from the existing age of forty-five years to sixty years.  We contend that it is not necessary, even to insure the supremacy of the white people in the Black Belt, to raise the age to sixty.   We may be right or we may be wrong.  If we are wrong and under the plan reported by the Committee too many colored men register, the next Legislature could raise the limit from 45 to 60 years.

It does away with class legislation.  It does away with allowing men who are 45 years of age on January 1st, 1903, the privilege of being exempt from paying the poll tax.  It does away with that pernicious class legislation which is reported by the Committee, allowing certain persons over 45 years of age to be exempt and yet have the right to vote, and prescribing that others shall not be allowed to vote unless than pay a poll tax, and at the same time it gives the Black Belt all the protection it requires.  If the colored people register under the property qualification and under the educational qualification, the next Legislature can then raise the limit to 60 years, if it be necessary, and take away from those persons the right to vote without paying the poll tax.   It simply changes it from over the age of 21 and under the age of 60, so that it will be between.  The ages prescribed by law are now over 21 and under 45.  They will remain so until changed by the Legislature, and the Legislature can change it, if it be necessary, and it is unwise for this Convention to change it when it is not known to be necessary.  I am as certain as I could be of anything, that I do not have a positive knowledge of that that amendment will have


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the effect of making at least 20,000 white voters in North Alabama vote against the ratification of this Constitution.  When a man of my age goes upon the stump and tells those hill people that it is patriotic for you to come up and pay a dollar and a half extra poll tax which, under the present law, you would not be required to pay for the next fifteen years or while you are between the ages of 45 and 60 years, they will ask me:  “Mr. Browne, how old are you?”  and when I tell them that I am 46 years of age, they will ask me  “if it was patriotic to put it on us to pay this tax during these years, why in the name of heaven did you except yourself; why didn’t you fix it so you would also have to pay?”  I move the previous questions. (Expressions of dissent).

MR. O’NEAL– I want to discuss his amendment.  Will the gentleman not withdraw his motion for a minute?

MR. WADDELL‑ I move we adjourn.

The Convention thereupon adjourned until 3:30 o'clock.

  ____________

AFTERNOON SESSION

The Convention met pursuant to adjournment, there being 129 delegates present upon the call of the roll.

Leaves of absence were granted as follows: To Mr. Howze for tomorrow and Monday, to Mr. Long of Butler, for tomorrow; to Mr. Bulger for this evening and tomorrow, to Mr. Vaughan for Saturday, to Mr. Martin of Calhoun for tomorrow, to Mr. Burnett for Saturday and Monday.

THE PRESIDENT– The special order for this afternoon is the consideration of the report of the Committee on Suffrage and Election.   The Convention had under consideration Section 18, substitute of the Committee, and he substitute to the substitute offered by the gentleman from Talladega.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)‑ I ask for the reading of the amendment to the substitute offered because it is not in print and I would like to hear it.

The Secretary read the amendment as follows:

“Strike out the words over the age of 21 years and under the age of 60 years who would not now be exempt by law ; provided, that these male inhabitants of the State who shall reach the age of 45 years on or before the first day of January, 1903, shall not thereafter he required to pay poll tax, and insert in lieu thereof. ‘between the ages prescribed by law and who would not now he exempt by law.’”

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)‑ As I understand the purpose of those who advocated the amendment this forenoon, it was that it


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would leave it where the Legislature should remedy it in future years.  If I understood the reading of that correctly it is between the ages now prescribed by law—

MR. BROWNE‑ Not "now," but prescribed by law.

MR. GRAHAM– That is very indefinite, and what I thought I would bring out by having it read.  As prescribed by law now it means between 21 and 45 years, and would cut off any extension hereafter by the Legislature.   I expect to advocate this briefly from two standpoints.  One has already been urged very strongly by the section that would be most interested in it, that it is necessary to cut off the negro vote after he becomes 45 years of age.  If this amendment should prevail then the negro would be encouraged to lie up in idleness until 45 years of age, and then come out as a voter for life without paying any tax on property or any poll tax, and I submit that this would be a very dangerous state of affairs.  The next proposition that I want to urge is that it is the opinion of most of the members of this Convention that the poll tax will be materially cut down under this new election law, and for that reason it will be necessary for us to collect all the poll tax possible, in order to supplement the school fund.  A great deal has been said here about what the people will do in this event, and in that even, and without being personal to any delegate upon this floor I want to express my opinion, and I believe it to be the opinion of the majority her, that this Convention is getting heartily tired of the man who talks of the thousands majority that will go this way or that way because a certain amendment may prevail.  (Applause) I was born and reared,  I am proud to say, in that section of the State that has been talked about.  I have lived among those people, I love them and I love their association still, and I do not know a single one of them that has a ring in his nose, a sack over his head or lines about his hoofs.  The people in that section of the State are independent, and interested in the subject of schools, and I will point you to the fact that there is scarcely a white county in all that section that has not chartered a private college.  How do they get their support?  By taxation?  Not at all, but by the voluntary contribution of white men who are in favor of the education of white children.  I have handled every dollar of poll tax in a large county in this State for the last twelve years, and I have never heard any citizen complain at the payment of the poll tax, except negro laborers whose wages were garnished for the purpose of collecting their poll tax.  Gentlemen, if the declaration of every delegate here who has made one regard to the vote in certain sections being affected by the passage or nonpassage of certain amendments and ordinances, should become true, there would not be a single delegate left to vote for the Constitution after we adopt it– not a one.   I say I am getting tired of that argument in this Convention,  “You must vote for this, or must not vote for it, because I know so many votes that won’t go for


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the Constitution if you do not do this or do that.”   All I want is to appeal to your common sense on matter, of principle, and if the people of Alabama do not want the Constitution that we adopt when it is adopted as a matter of principle, let them reject it– and stop pandering to supposed prejudices in order to put something in here.  Now they say why discriminate between 45 years of age and over  that?   I will answer that.  If a man is already 45 years of age, he has acquired this exemption as a right under the law, but if he has not reached 45 years, it is no right of his and he cannot anticipate it as a right.  Did the people who sent us down here expect that we should send the old Constitution back to them unchanged?   Did they?   If we do make this change and bring in those who are not 45 years of age, I submit that the people cannot complain that any burden has been put upon then.  I state it as my opinion, and without reference to what the vote will be, that the people will not object if the money is used on the public schools, and I base that opinion upon my experience in handling the poll tax in one of the largest counties in the State of Alabama.  Gentlemen, answer two propositions.  First, do you favor a poll tax for public schools after 45 years of age?   If you are in favor of extending the schools, vote for it.  If you are in favor of shielding the Black Belt from the negro vote after he is 45 then vote for the Committee's substitute.   The man who has already passed 45 years possibly has his children provided for, and he will not complain that he is given the privilege and opportunity of contributing a small amount each year for the education of his grandchildren or of the children of his neighbors who are coming on after him.  I ask you to vote against the amendment proposed by the gentleman from Talladega (Mr. Browne) and support the substitute.  That substitute is not in here without concessions.  I make concessions in the Committee, every man made concessions in order to get this, and I ask the delegates of the Convention to meet the Committee on half-way ground and make some concession because there is no principle involved here.  The statement about its being a most vicious thing– you hear that about most anything– “it is vicious and I oppose it”– and that is the extent of the argument. I say you not to lose sight of these things.  Get rid of the negro after 45 years of age, help the white counties with a poll tax fund for public schools.  These are two principles that rise above everything else, and, on behalf of the Committee which has made concessions, and trying to do the best thing possible under the circumstances, I ask the delegates to support this substitute which is fair and right to all sections of the State of Alabama.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)–  I would ask the Convention and the Committee to lose sight of the fact that the Committee is on trial, and let us discuss this matter as if it were a simple suggestion from the Committee, and that the Committee was willing to, abide by the action of the Convention.  In the first place, the gen‑


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tleman who has just preceded me seems to think that the words in this substitute would limit the age for the payment of poll taxes to the present time of 45 years, when, as a matter of fact, the substitute is so framed as to permit the General Assembly, at any time it sees fit, to raise the age limit, not only to 60 years, but to 160 years if it sees proper.  This amendment, as offered by the gentleman from Talladega (Mr. Browne), is in effect the same amendment that I offered to this section upon yesterday, and I had in mind this line of thought at the time I offered it.  It is claimed by the gentleman from the Black Belt, for whom I have the highest regard, for whom I have a feeling akin to affection; it is claimed by the representatives from that section of the State, that the requirement of a payment of a poll tax is necessary to eliminate the ignorant and vicious voter from their politics.  It is also claimed, and I recognize it as a fact, that it will largely assist us in the white counties, to do identically the same thing.  But delegates will consider the proposition that the scheme purposes, that from and after the first day of January, 1903, all poll taxes must be paid in order to entitle a man to a franchise, and men coming of the age of 45 years will not be entitled to cast the ballot unless they have kept up the payment of their poll tax before they arrive at that age.  It may be that our suffrage clause is all we expect it to be with the age limit as it is.   It may be that we will not desire to change a single solitary letter in it in future years; it may be that the poll tax clause may be all that it is intended to be; if that is a fact, nobody cares to raise the age limit for the payment of the poll tax.  If, upon the other hand, it should fail to be effective, if, upon the other hand, the age limit of 45 years fails to give the Black Belt counties, and the white counties with the vicious vote, the desired result, they may then appeal to the Legislature of the State for the relief they seek, and I have no doubt that when that proposition is made clear to the representatives of the people of this State, that they will place the limit at any age that is necessary to meet the exigencies of the occasion.  The substitute is infinitely better than the amendment offered by the Committee.  No brave man ever goes into a battle dodging from side to side and jumping from tussock to tussock, and expect to win out in the battle, and yet with this amendment that this Committee offers to place in the fundamental law of this land, we go before the people of the State, admitting that we are trying to dodge something in order to get it in.  If we are to raise the age limit at all, and I see no reason for excepting any man from the payment of a poll tax and making it apply to another; if we are to raise the age limit at all, then raise it equally, and let us say to the people and to our constituents when we go home and present the question to them, this was a great movement, a great educational movement, a movement that we thought was right, and let the results take care of themselves.  I heartily agree with the gentleman from


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Talladega, that I have no patience with the sentiment of this man getting up and saying that this will lop off 20,000 votes, and the other proposition will lop off 20,000 votes, and, using that as an argument for or against any proposition.  The question ought always to be, and the only question that ought to be considered by this Convention is, what is right in the premises; what is best according to our best judgment for the people of this State; what is the very best Article we can put in the Constitution?  And when we have arrived at that conclusion, let its do it, and if the Convention fails of ratification, we have got just as good a Constitution as any man who votes against it.  But, as I said before, there may be no necessity for this raise in the age; it may be that the accumulated poll tax of the young man before he arrives at the age of 45 years, or the poll tax limit, will have completely debarred him from participating in politics, and then a further raise will never be necessary.  So far as I am concerned I know that all taxes are onerous; that no tax is paid because a man wants to pay it.  My people are as patriotic, rather, I should say, the people whom I have the honor to represent, are as patriotic as any people in this State, and no more; we are all of the same blood ; we have all had practically the same teaching; we all have the same religion; we all or a great majority of the people of my section, are Democrats from principle and they are all now practically in favor of public education.   I believe that they will as willingly pay a poll tax for the education of the children of the county as any people in the State of Alabama; they will do it as willingly, and no more willingly, than the people in the balance of the State, but if it is not necessary, then do not let us do it.   If it is not necessary for us to encumber the instrument with that clause then do not let us do it; but if it is necessary, then, in the name of common justice and of common right, do not go and put a clause in there that will have the effect of making it appeal that we are acting from policy and not from principle, when we adopted the instrument.

MR. O’NEAL‑ We are not acting from policy, but we are acting from principle.  That is the reason I oppose the amendment offered by the gentleman from Talladega.   I am surprised, Mr. President, that the amendment should come from the distinguished Chairman of the Committee on Finance.  He was the gentleman who advocated a reduction of State taxation, and when his attention was called to the fact that he had not anticipated the reductions in revenue which might occur in the future, he answered that in his calculations he had prepared for every emergency that might arise, and a few days afterwards the report of the Committee on Suffrage was made which necessarily involved a reduction of the poll tax in this State at least fifty thousand dollars.  Now when we say to him we propose to raise the age limit, by which to increase they poll tax in this State and thereby prevent the necessity of supplementing the deficiency in the coun-


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ties by an appropriation of the general revenues he opposes it.  It seems to me that his position is utterly, inconsistent.  Ah, but the gentlemen say that this poll tax will affect the young men of Alabama who are coming of age.  Have we not said to the young men of A1abama that after 1903 you must be able to read and write or own $300 worth of property before you can vote.  If we say you cannot vote unless you are educated how, then, can you consistently oppose a measure which increases the school fund by which those young men can be prepared to exercise the elective franchise.  Ah, but the gentlemen say that the poll tax should be left to the legislature.   Mr. President, what is the law on that subject today.  The present law of Alabama is this:   The General Assembly will levy a poll tax not to exceed one dollar and fifty cents on each poll which shall be applied exclusively in aid of the public schools.  What, then, is the power of the legislature under the present Constitution?  The power of the legislature under the present Constitution is as to a poll tax is clearly defined, the legislature is commanded by the fundamental law of the State to levy a tax of one dollar and fifty cents on every poll without any limitation as to age, and I say, Mr. President, that the present law in the code of Alabama by which the poll tax is limited to those between the age of twenty‑one and forty‑five is unconstitutional or to say the least of doubtful constitutionality.

MR. OATES– I would like to ask the gentleman a question?  I would ask my friend what becomes of the Constitution, don't the legislature disregard it when they limit it to forty‑five years?

MR. O’NEAL– Certainly they do, because here is a plain mandate of the Constitution which says this tax must be on each poll.  What does a poll mean?  A poll means head— a tax on each voter, not on polls between certain ages, and therefore I say that when the legislature of Alabama undertook to limit this poll between certain ages it violated the fundamental law of the State.  Now what does the gentleman ask us to do?   He asks us to say to the legislature of Alabama, we fix the amount at one dollar and fifty cents, but you can fix it on any age you see proper.   It says a poll tax of $1.50 as may be prescribed by law.  In other words it says to the legislature, you can if you want to dictate to the people of Alabama, at what age a voter must pay a poll tax, you can say all people between 21 years and 25 years of age shall pay poll tax, or between 21 years and 30 years.   I will ask the distinguished gentleman is he so absolutely sure that this State will never again have a Republican or Populist legislature?  Are you so sure of it?  Suppose you should have a legislature composed of such men as the distinguished gentleman from St. Clair who advocates the fifteenth amendment as the brightest jewel in the crown of the Constitution, and it would say we will fix the age limit at 30 years.  What becomes of your plan of suffrage?  Instead of putting your fundamental law upon a rock you place it at the


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mercy of the legislature which may be as capricious and shifting as the sands under your feet, yet the distinguished Chairman of the Committee on Taxation gravely asks this Convention to leave it to the legislature, to fix the age limit as they  may determine, but if that legislature is opposed to your policies, if it is, antagonistic to the theories and principles of the Democratic party, if that legislature favors universal manhood suffrage, it could pass a law fixing the limit on the poll tax between 21 years and 22 years, and then in what a beautiful position would be the great Constitutional Convention of Alabama that followed the lead of the distinguished Chairman of the Finance Committee.  Now, Mr. President, the gentleman says that it is class legislation. Why, everything in a certain sense is class legislation.  Two young men go to the polls, one of them can read and write and he is told he can vote, the other cannot read and write and he cannot vote, you make a distinction between those who can and those who can't.  You say to one man, have you $300 worth of property, and his answer is, No sir: and another man's answer is, Yes, Sir: and you have a class distinction again.  One man cannot read nor write, but he has $300 worth of property and he can vote, isn’t that a class distinction to a certain extent.  You can say a man is subject to military duty until he reaches a certain age.  Every thing is class legislation in the sense used by the gentleman.  If you act on that proposition and are governed by that argument you ought to strike out everything in the Suffrage Article, you should say there shall be no educational or property qualification, you ought to say good character should not be a test because it would create two classes one of good and one of bad character in Alabama.  That argument is unworthy  of a place in a great Constitutional Convention engaged in framing the fundamental law which will preserve the ballot in the hands of the virtuous and intelligent and take it out of the hands of the vicious and incompetent.  The courts only denounce that class legislation which favors some and discriminates against others similarly situated

MR. TAYLOE– I have listened to the able arguments of the gentleman who have preceded me.   I have steadily voted with the Committee on all propositions that they have advocated, and have thought that their work was a very complete one.  I realize the fact that the work of the Committee has been very thoroughly and ably done, but I believe the relief sought by my section of the country depends largely upon the poll tax, and that it is the one remedy that would make it complete.  On the other proposition I was very well satisfied it would reach a large number of the class we wanted to exclude, and I have taken those parts of it on faith, because I was waiting for the final refuge of the poll tax, and I would have been willing, but for the position of my friends in North Alabama, to have voted even for all increase of the poll tax beyond one dollar and fifty cents, because I realized that was our


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protection if we were to have any protection at all.  Now when we come nearly to the close of it the point is called fully to my attention that it is the vote of the negro between forty‑five and sixty years of age that we would have to particularly guard against and the further fact that very few years elapse between the time when a negro is twenty‑one and the same negro is forty‑five years old.  Now under the proposition that the gentleman from Talladega offers to us, we would have to go to the Legislature for relief sought instead of having it plainly written in the Constitution as the committee desire it.  If we cannot get relief here how can we get it from the Legislature?  The same objection on the stump would  apply to the proposition of the gentleman from Talladega as would apply to the proposition of the committee, and that is the reason we should support this amendment of the committee

as it stands.

MR OATES– As I understand the argument of the delegate from Perry he is in favor of raising the limit to sixty years.

MR. TAYLOE– From forty-five to sixty years.

MR. OATES– Making it from twenty‑one to sixty years of age, straight out, subject to poll tax from twenty‑one to sixty years?

MR. TAYLOE– Yes.

MR. OATES– I am in accord with that idea.

MR.  TAYLOE– That is the proposition that I argue from twenty‑one to sixty‑years. In all of those years from 1874 to this day the black belt has had to do things that it did not want to do, and what it did was in obedience to the dictates of the white people of Alabama all of whom wanted relief and all of whom looked for big majority to the black belt the same as was done in Mississippi and other Southern States. This movement to reform the ballot in Alabama is in the heart of those politicians who have carried the State for years in dangerous emergencies and they ask for that relief.  I tell you that they are satisfied with the work that has been done, what North Alabama has done for her citizens, but for us this is the one measure of relief that we want. I am sorry to hear so often this talk of North and South Alabama, the white and black belt.  That is the position that Barbour county occupied as one of the three great divisions of the State.  We should rememember that we are white people and come here to perpetuate white supremacy, and that the purpose for which we have come here is to eliminate the negro vote as far as possible, and we ask you now to come to our assistance and give us the only thing that we deem efficient to eliminate it, and when we eliminate it we can  have fair elections, and as far as I am concerned I do not care what counties win, or where the power lies, so that power lies with the Anglo‑Saxon race, and I hope it will lie with


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them forever and that you will help them in this matter and carry it on to its legitimate conclusion.

MR. DUKE– I have followed faithfully the lead of this committee that has been so highly complimented by the speakers who have taken their seats.   I think that their report is as fine a document as could have been gotten up by any set of men.   I believe that it is our duty to adhere to the report of the committee unless we are satisfied that the committee is wrong.   I am still in favor of adhering to the report of that committee made deliberately after being in session for something over thirty days, but I am not in favor of that committee when a little disturbance comes up over the question on the evening before, meeting at night and changing their report and bringing it in to us and say adhere to the report of the committee.   I prefer, and would have preferred had it not been voted down, to adhere to the report of that committee that was made deliberately after they had studied the question for so long.   Mr. President, I am not willing to take the report of a committee made in twenty-four hours, in preference to one made after deliberation for thirty or forty days.  I appeal from Phillip drunk to Phillip sober.  Now, Mr. President, the report of that committee as originally made was substitued by way of amendment to the report of the committee as last made, but it was voted down.   Then the next best thing to it I  consider is the amendment offered by the gentleman from Talladega.  A great deal is said here about the black belt.  I would not say anything to disparage that great section of our country which has been our shelter in the time of storm. I believe in upholding them, but Mr. President, I am not in favor of doing an injustice to the white people of this country in order that the black belt may be protected, or any other portion of this State.  Now what do we do here.  We say that a man who is forty‑five years of age now or at the date, 1903, that he may register and never pay any more poll tax, but his brother  who is only forty‑four years of age at that day must go on and pay poll tax for fifteen years longer.   I ask the gentlemen of the Convention is that fair, is that right?   When you go back home to your constituents, when you go back home advocating fairness in elections, won't they come back at you and say that you have not done fair by the young men of this country when you adopted that provision in your Constitution.  The gentleman from Talladega says that he is tired of threats about this Constitution and will not be adopted and so forth.  He will get more tired of threats than that, Mr. President, when he goes back to the white counties of this State and says to them, that we have not only not reduced the taxes but we have increased them, and increased them on that class of men that are the very hope of the country.  Now the gentlemen referred this morning to the man that was looking forward to the time when he could quit paying his, poll tax. Gentlemen you may smile at it as much as you please, there are men


3397

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

all over this country looking forward to the time when they reach forty‑five years of age and can quit working the road and paying poll tax. Some one has said that a man unwilling to pay $1.50 is not entitled to vote.   Gentlemen of the Convention, every one in this country is not well off.  There are a great many poor people in this country who do not have $1.50 that they can pay, there are a great many people all over the white counties that have not $1.50 at the end of the year, but come out in debt.  There are white men in this country who rather than pay $1.50 would surrender their vote, you may say as much as you please and say that they are not patriotic, but I say they are.

MR. OATES– May I ask the gentleman a question.

MR. DUKE– My time is nearly up, I will answer you when I get through.  They say you do not expect to send the Constitution back unchanged.  No, my friend from Talladega, it won't be sent back unchanged, for if there ever was an instrument in this world torn to pieces, this old Constitution of 1875 has been torn.  No, we won't send it back unchanged, but we want to put into it, we want to put in changes that will meet the approbation of all the white people of this country.  Now, the gentleman from Lauderdale in his excitement and eloquence says that if we adopt this amendment that it will reduce the taxes of the colored people $50,000, and yet, Mr. President, from the report of the Department of Education I find that if it produced all it would not produce that much because they did not pay but $40,000 taxes, that was the amount for the entire race, and yet the gentleman says we will 1ose

$50,000 if we adopt that.

The gentleman from Perry says it is so short a time in which a negro can get to be 45 years old after he is 21 years old.  Gentlemen, from what I  have heard of the Black Belt, and I do not say this disparagingly, from what I have heard of the Black Belt and its methods, the negro is welcome to every year he gains from 21 to 45. Mr. Chairman, I now move the previous questionon this amendment and the Section.

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

MR. BURNS‑ I hope the gentleman will withdraw that.  I wish to ask the gentleman from Chambers a few questions.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The time of the gentleman from Chambers, has expired.

MR. BURNS‑ A point of order.  If the gentleman's time had expired, it expired before he took his seat two minutes.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM..‑  The Chair declared the gentleman’s  time had expired when the Chair rapped him down, and immediately moved for the previous question.


3398    

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. BURNS– When the Chairman rapped he had not time to make a motion

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The gentleman from Dallas is out of order and will be seated, unless the gentleman from Chambers will withdraw the motion for the previous question.

MR. BURNS‑ I will ask the gentleman from Chambers if he did not make the motion after he was rapped down?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.–  The Chair holds that he made it in time. Does the gentleman from Chambers withdraw it?

MR. DUKE–I am willing to withdraw  it and will attempt to answer the questions.

MR. BURNS‑ I shall never believe that the gentleman from Chambers would attempt to gag anybody, much less his friend from the Black Belt.

MR. DUKE–  I am perfectly willing to answer the question.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The gentleman will please ask the question.

MR. BURNS– You say after you rapped him down he had a right —

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.–  I will state to the gentleman from Dallas if he will be quiet long enough, the gentleman from Chambers has already withdrawn his motion, and he can answer now.

MR. DUKE– Yes, I will, with the understanding that I can renew it. I have the floor I believe.  Will  you renew the motion?

MR. BURNS– I will renew the motion when I get through, Mr. President, I had made up my mind on account of physical disabilities, as much as anything else, not to attempt to bore this Convention on any subject, because I knew the men that constituted this Convention, I knew the old men and the young men, and I have been perfectly satisfied to let them frame the organic law of this State, knowing from the manner in which the committees have been appointed, that they would do justice to all sections of the State.   I recognize no section and no factions in the Democratic Party, from the standpoint of a member of this Constitutional Convention.   I ask no man if he be a  Populite, a  Republican, voted for Kolb, whether he voted for Kolb or voted Jones whether he went wild with Bryan or crazy with Palmer and Buckner.  (Laughter.)  I was willing to come here and clasp hands across the bloody chasm, North and South, East and West.   I  came here epluribus unum.  (Laughter.)   I was sent here from the grand old county of Dallas, not exactly a fit representative.


3399   

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901        

but one of the few in that county that might possibly represent the best elements and the best interests of that county, and I would rather stand here today and represent Dallas County than to be a delegate from the State at large, or from any district in this State. (Applause.)  Now my friend from Chambers said something, in regard to the Committee's report.  Is the report of that Committee wrong?  Mr. President, is there any delegate upon this floor that can rise up, place his hand upon his heart and say to this Convention that that Committee did not do exactly what they thought was right and was for the best interest of the entire State.  Is that report wrong?   Of course they have changed, wise men change‑fools never. (Applause.) Yes, they changed.  They came in closer touch with the men who constitute this Convention, they called them to them, laid their hands up them and said, gentlemen, what is best, and what shall we do, and when their hearts warmed to each other, when they recognized the fact that all were working together to one great end, the benefit of their common country, they said perhaps with all these ordinances, with all these suggestions, with all these speeches, with all this panorama that we have witnessed, perhaps we have not gone quite far enough, and said we will make it sixty years instead of forty‑five years.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)– They exempted part of them over forty‑five years.

MR. BURN'S– They did exempt them. My distinguished young friend over here, whom I recognize as one of the ablest men in this Convention, says that they have not done right by the young men. I do not believe there is a man in the county where Mr. Heflin and Mr. Duke come from and that gallant one‑armed soldier comes from, would rise up in the sight of even a blind tiger still, and say that a young man in that county would do wrong. (Laughter.)  I believe that young man slanders his own county. I believe that the men who associate with such men as these young men from that county, will never get together, or go off simply and mutter to themselves and say   "They have done us wrong."  No man who is a Democrat, no man who is fit to cast a ballot in this proud State of Alabama, and care for the women and children to come, no man who should be called a Democrat, true and tried, is fit to be a qualified elector in this State, who says “They have done wrong."  Down in my county nobody will ever say  "They done me wrong"  except some mixed breed bastard yellow buck, or somebody who comes within that line of disqualification.  By the way, the Committee left out some of the best lines, and I have got a little fuss with the Committee myself.

MR. BROWNE– The Committee is not always right, then?

MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)–   Will the gentleman yield a moment.  I wish to make a motion.  This is the first time the dis‑


3400    

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

tinguished gentleman from Dallas has addressed the Convention, and I move to extend his time.

The extension of time was accorded.

MR. BURNS‑ I  said that I had a crow to pick with the Committee, and as I see nobody present that I might offend, I wish to say, everything I say is in the Bible, or in the Statutes of Alabama.  I want the Committee to report favorably, and this Convention to adopt a provision that no person shall vote who has been guilty  of lying in wait, or of an attempt to commit murder, or of an attempt to commit rape, or of an attempt to commit arson, or of an attempt to commit burglary, or who has abandoned his wife or children– I want you to mark this, because I want to offer it as a separate ordinance—or who is a bastard whose disabilities have not been relieved or removed by court of competent jurisdiction or the Governor.  I say I have a crow to pick with the Committee, but I will pass on. Let us see what the black belt has to say to you. I demand nothing from you so far as our portion of the Black belt is concerned. We are no better than you.  You that have come here to represent the entire State, if you do not come here to represent the Black Belt as well as the White Belt, the hills as well as the wire grass, and the boys away up in the Tennessee Valley; if you do not come here to represent them all–the bareheaded girls and the shirttail boys (yells)‑ and every one else, you have not come for the purpose of doing your duty.  I hail from a different section of country, and I am here to do justice to the mountains, the hills, the valleys, and the dells‑North and South Alabama, and every section of this noble State.  (Applause).  I might, however, say to you that of all the agricultural schools, the Black Belt has not one.  Where is the agricultural school in the First District?  Down in Clarke County at Jackson – no Black Belt there.  Where is the agricultural school in the Second District?   Down at Evergreen–no Black Belt there.  Where is the agricultural school in the Third District?  Down where the old one‑armed hero used to live, at Abbeville– no Black Belt there. Where is the agricultural school in the Fourth District ?  Away up in Sylacauga, where my friend Browne comes from–no Black Belt there. Where is the agricultural school in the Fifth District?   Over in Wetumpka, right across where they keep penitentiaries and lynch a fellow once in a white–no Black Belt there.  They have a fine county, and a fine town and the best of people in the world; but there is no Black Belt there.  Where is the Sixth?   Away up where my friend Mr. Pierce carne from, and that ought to be a good place, taking him as a sample of the people that live there–but there is no Black Belt there.  Where is the Seventh?  At Albertville--there is no Black Belt there.  Where is the Eighth–Away up yonder where Saunders and Pettus came from, and you know their looks there are no Black Belt there–(laughter),–and if you believe there are Black Belt-


3401

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901 

ers up there, you just ask Judge McClellan and Walkers and others.  They say there is no Black Belt there because the Kolb crowd reigned there.  Where is the mighty Ninth– that is where Jefferson County can be found, and where is that situated?  At Blountsville‑ away up yonder, my God Almighty, in a county that sends a Republican  here at this Convention. (Applause).  Gentlemen get up on this floor and talk about what they will do for the Black Belt. Has the Black Belt any agricultural schools?  Where is the University of Alabama?  That is too old to talk about; but it is not in the Black Belt.  Where is the Deaf and Dumb Asylum?  Away up yonder where my friend Browne came from ; and from a speech here today, you know that is not in the Black Belt.  Now, what does the Black Belt ask in this Convention?  Some speakers may ask a great deal.  I, as one of their representatives, do not demand anything except justice and right, to be treated as we ought to be treated.  Look upon our past; view us in the present and resolve in your mind that you will treat us just as we deserve; and that is all I ask.   I don't agree with my friend from Perry  (Judge Stewart),  who says that in a few years the buck negroes will come in vast numbers, five or ten thousand, and control the Black Belt. No, no.  Even after the time that the bells that now invite our sons and daughters to institutions of learning, and to the worship of Almighty God, shall be rung as a midnight incendiary alarm, even after that when blood has reddened the Alabama River, and the Warrior River, and all the streams‑even then some white man, some white men, will rise up and say, by the Living God it is still our country, and we are still for white supremacy.

MR. DUKE– I now renew my motion for the previous question upon the substitute and the amendment thereto.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The question is, shall the main question be now put?

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

MR. WHITE– I  move to lay the amendment of the gentleman from Talladega on the table.

MR. BROWNE– On that I call for the ayes and noes.

The call was sustained.

'The Secretary read the substitute and the amendment.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The motion is to lay the amendment of the gentleman from 'Talladega on the table.  The ayes and noes have been called for.

The roll call resulted as follows:


3402    

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

AYES

Messrs. President,

Grant,

Oates,

Almon,

Greer, of Perry,

O’Neal, of Lauderdale

Altman,

Harrison,

Opp,

Banks,

Hinson,

Parker, of Cullman,

Boone,

Hood,

Pillans,

Burnett,

Howze,

Pitts,

Burns,

Jenkins,

Reese,

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Jones, of Hale,

Rogers, of Lowndes,

Carnathon,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Rogers, of Sumter,

Chapman,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Sanford,

Coleman, of Walker

Kyle,

Selheimer,

Craig,

Lomax,

Smith, of Mobile,

Cunningham,

Macdonald,

Spragins,

Davis, of Kent,

McMillan, of Wilcox,

Stewart,

Dent,

Malone,

Tayloe,

Eley,

Maxwell,

Vaughan,

Ferguson,

Merrill,

Waddell,

Fletcher,

Miller, of Wilcox,

Walker,

Foster,

NeSmith,

Watts,

Glover,

Norman,

Weatherly,

Graham, of Talladega

Norwood,

White,

TOTAL‑63NOES

Ashcraft,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Palmer,

Barefield,

Henderson,

Parker, of Elmore,

Beavers,

Hodger,

Pearce,

Beddow,

Howell,

Pettus,

Blackwell,

Inge,

Phillips,

Brooks,

Jackson,

Robinson,

Browne,

Jones, of Bibb,

Samford,

Byars,

Kirk,

Sanders,

Cardon,

Knight,

Smith, Mac A.,

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Ledbetter,

Smith, Morgan M.,

Cobb,

Leigh,

Spears,

Cornwall,

Long, of Walker,

Thompson,

Davis, of Etowah,

Lowe, of Lawrence,

Whiteside,

Freeman,

McMillan (Baldwin)

Williams, of Barbour,

Fitts,

Martin,

Williams, of Marengo,

Graham, of Montgomery

Miller, of Marengo,

Williams, of Elmore,

Haley,

Moody,

Wilson, of Clarke,

Handley,

Murphree,

Winn,

Heflin, of Chambers,

O’Rear,

TOTAL‑59


3403   

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901  

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING

Bartlett,

King,

Reynolds, of Chilton,

Bethune,

Kirkland,

Reynolds (Henry),

Bulger,

Locklin,

Searcy,

Case,

Long, of Butler,

Sentell,

Coleman, of Greene,

Morrissette,

Sollie,

Espy,

Mulkey,

Sorrell,

Foshee,

O'Neill (Jefferson ),

Studdard,

Gilmore,

Proctor,

Willet,

Grayson,

Renfro,

Wilson, of Washington

PAIRS

AYES

NOES

Eyster,

Cofer,

deGraffenreid,

Porter,

Greer, of Calhoun,

Sloan,

So the amendment was laid on the table.

THE PRESIDENT– The previous question  has been ordered upon the amendment and upon the substitute.

MR. SAMFORD– I rise for the purpose of making a motion to reconsider the vote whereby the previous question was ordered, so that I may introduce an amendment to the section which will strike out the exemption in favor of a certain class of citizens.  I make that motion, and upon that I call for the ayes and noes.

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

MR. SAMFORD– And upon that I call for the ayes and noes.

MR. PETTUS– A motion to reconsider a vote for the previous question is not in order under Rule 27.

THE PRESIDENT– When a vote has been passed except on the previous question, etc.,  "It shall be in order for any delegate who voted with the majority to move for a reconsideration thereof on the same day or within the morning session of the succeeding day."

MR. SAMFORD– That rule makes it obligatory.  A motion to reconsider would always be in order to be considered at that time.  The only effect of the rule is to make certain motions for reconsideration lie over a day.  Other motions to reconsider are considered at once.  That is the only effect of that rule.  Any question that has been passed upon by the House, unless there is a rule to the contrary may be reconsidered by the majority of the House, that has always been the rule in parliamentary bodies


3404    

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

and in order to make exception to it you have to bring in another rule and that has been done in this case.

MR. HOOD– I rise to a point of order.  The gentleman did not vote with the majority.

MR. SAMFORD‑ I did vote with the majority on the previous question.

THE PRESIDENT— The point of order is not well taken.  The Chair does not so understand the reading of the rule and the Chair holds the motion to reconsider the vote by which the previous question was order is out of Order at this time.  That is the Chair’s construction.  If the Chair is in error, he is in error.

MR. SAMFORD— I ask the Chair to read the rules to the House.

THE PRESIDENT— I have just read rule 27. Does the gentleman acquiesce in the decision of the Chair. If not, the Convention is here.

MR. SAMFORD– I never appeal from the decision of the Chair unless I feel outraged, and in this instance it is not an outrage to me.

THE PRESIDENT– The Chair is placing his construction upon the English language as it here reads.

MR. SAMFORD– I rise to a point of parliamentary inquiry.  I will ask if the Chair holds that a motion to reconsider a vote by which the previous question was ordered cannot be made.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.–  It says here except on the previous question or on motion to lay on the table.

MR. SAMFORD– I just asked the Chair if he holds that a motion to reconsider a Vote by which the previous question was ordered cannot be made?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The Chair does not feel called upon to decide that point of order because it is not before the House.  The gentleman is out of order.

MR. DUKE– I ask the President to read the last sentence of  rule 27 and see if the Chair will not see fit to reverse its ruling. It reads as follows:  “A motion to reconsider a vote, upon any incidental or subsidiary question, shall not remove the main subject under consideration from the House, but shall be considered at the time when it is made."

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The Chair is still of the opinion that a motion to reconsider the vote by which the previous question was ordered is not in order at this time.


3405   

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION,  1901

MR. KNOX‑ It seems to me, Mr. President, that the ruling of the Chair is correct.  It is contrary to the general parliamentary law as laid down in Reed's Rules and several other works a motion to reconsider a vote whereby the previous question was ordered would be proper, but under our rules the Committee on Rules has for some reason, I do not remember what influenced them, has withheld that right and say that when a vote has passed except on the previous question or a motion to lay on the table or take from the table it shall be in order for any delegate who voted with the majority to move for a reconsideration thereof on the same day or any subsequent day.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The Chair is firmly convinced of the correctness of his ruling under this rule.

MR. SAMFORD‑ I move to suspend the rules of this Convention in order that I make a motion to reconsider the vote whereby the previous question was ordered and upon that I call for the

ayes and noes.

The call was sustained.

AYES

Almon,

Handley,

Oates,

Ashcraft,

Harrison,

Opp,

Barefield,

Heflin, of Chambers,

O'Neal (Lauderdale),

Bartlett,

Heflin, of Randolph,

O'Rear,

Beavers,

Henderson,

Palmer,

Beddow,

Hinson,

Parker (Cullman),

Bethune,

Hodges,

Parker (Elmore),

Blackwell,

Hood,

Pearce,

Boone,

Howell,

Phillips,

Brooks,

Inge,

Reese,

Browne,

Jackson.

Rogers (Lowndes),

Byars,

Jenkins,

Samford,

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Jones, of Bibb,

Sanders,

Cobb,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Sanford,

Coleman, of Walker,

Kirk,

Selheimer,

Cornwall,

Knight,

Sorrell,

Craig,

Leigh,

Spragins,

Cunningham,

Lomax,

Thompson,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Long, of Walker,

Weakley,

Dent,

Lowe, of Jefferson,

Weatherly,

Duke,

Macdonald,

White,

Fitts,

McMillan, of Baldwin,

Whiteside,

Fletcher,

Maxwell,

Williams (Marengo),

Foster,

Miller (Marengo),

Williams (Elmore),

Freeman,

Moody,

Wilson (Clarke),

Graham, of Montgomery,

Murphree,

Winn,

Greer, of Perry,

NeSmith,

Haley,

Norwood,

TOTAL‑‑82


3406    

OFFICIAL  PROCEEDINGS

    NOES

Messrs.  President,

Howze,

Robinson,

Banks,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Rogers (Sumter),

Burnett,

Kyle,

Sloan,

Burns,

Ledbetter,

Smith, Mac. A.,

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Lowe, of Lawrence,

Smith, Morgan M.,

Carnathon,

McMillan (Wilcox)

Stewart,

Davis, of Etowah,

Martin,

Tayloe,

Eley,

Merrill,

Vaughan,

Ferguson,

Miller, (Wilcox)

Waddell,

Gilmore,

Norman,

Walker,

Glover,

Pettus,

Williams (Barbour),

Graham, of Talladega

Pillans,

Grant,

Pitts,

TOTAL--36

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING 

Altman,

King,

Reynolds, of Henry,

Bulger,

Kirkland,

Searcy,

Cardon,

Locklin,

Sentell,

Case,

Long, of Butler,

Smith (Mobile),

Chapman,

Malone,

Sollie,

Coleman, of Greene,

Morrisette,

Spears,

Epsy,

O’Neill, of Jefferson,

Stoddard,

Foshee,

Mulkey,

Watts,

Grayson,

Proctor,

Willet,

Greer, of Calhoun,

Renfro,

Wilson (Washington),

Jones, of Hale,

Reynolds (Chilton),

PAIRS

AYES

NOES

Eyster,

Cofer,

deGraffenreid,

Porter,

During the roll call Mr. Samford asked unanimous consent at this time to offer an amendment and to have it passed upon.

MR. HOWZE– I object.

The rules were suspended.

MR. SAMFORD- Now I move that the vote by which the previous question was ordered be reconsidered.

MR. REESE– I would like to ask the gentleman for what purpose, and if that is the only purpose?

MR. SAMFORD– It is the only purpose.

MR. O’NEAL– Will you move the previous question on the amendment?


3407

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. SAMFORD‑ I will.

The motion to reconsider prevailed.

 MR. SAMFORD‑ I offer this as a substitute for the amendment offered by the Committee, and upon that I move the previous question.

The Secretary read the substitute as follows:

Sec. 18. The poll tax mentioned in this Article shall be one dollar and fifty cents upon each  male inhabitant of the State over the age of 21 years, and under the age of 60 years, who would not now be exempt by law, except on account of age.  Such poll tax shall become due and payable on the first day of October in each year, and become delinquent on the first day of the next succeeding February, but no legal process nor any fee or commission shall be allowed for the collection thereof.  The Tax Collector shall make returns of poll tax collections separate from other collections, and all monies collected under this section shall be applied to the public schools in the county in which the same is collected.

MR. SAMFORD‑ Mr. President, the only difference between the substitute I offer and the report of the committee is that it makes no exemptions in favor of any one class of citizens above the age of forty‑five years to sixty.  I think the question is thoroughly understood.

MR. COBB‑ Will the gentleman allow a question. Are not all citizens who are now over forty‑five years exempt by law?  Would they come under that provision of your substitute?

M R. SAMFORD‑ I think not.

MR. COBB‑ Why not?

MR. SAMFORD‑ Why, it says exempt by law. That does not apply.

MR. COBB– I am with you but want that understood, whether you are reaching the object you intend?

MR. SAMFORD‑ I intend to reach that object.  It says the poll tax mentioned in this article shall be one dollar and a half upon each male inhabitant of the State over twenty‑one years of age and under the age of sixty years, who would not now be exempt by law.

MR. COBB‑ Now exempt by law.  All men over forty‑five and under sixty, are they not exempt by law?

MR. SAMFORD‑ My understanding of it is that that clause was put there for the purpose of applying to certain Confederate soldiers, military companies and certain other persons who are


3408    

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

already exempt by the statute law of this State, whether over forty‑five years or not.

MR. COBB‑ Hadn't you better put in who are not now exempt by law, except from age. " The way you have it there leaves room for a construction.

MR. SAMFORD‑ I will ask unanimous consent to add "except on account of age" after the word "law" in the third line.

MR. GRANT‑ I object.

MR. SAMFORD–  Then I let it go like it is.  I said that there are certain exemptions made by law, age is not one of them.   I do not think it has that effect and upon this amendment and the sec‑

tion I move the previous question.

MR. WEATHERLY– Will the gentleman allow a question?  When the committee put in that phrase “not now exempt by law” I believe that is the language.

MR. SAMFORD– Yes, sir.

MR. WEATHERLY– The statute fixed the age at forty‑five, so there was no exemption, so that exemption above the age of forty-five in the Constitution and in the statute were the same, so that under the present phraseology the exemption provided by statute over forty‑five would be an exemption now provided by law.

MR. ROBINSON– Does not your section in there apply to the blind, the deaf and dumb and to  wounded soldiers, who have less than five hundred dollars worth of property?

MR. WEATHERLY– Yes, sir.

MR. ROBINSON– That is exactly it.

MR. SAMFORD– I state to the Convention it is my contention and I do not think it would apply but think it does apply to these men.  There would be a discrepancy and the Committee upon  "Harmonics"  would be expected to put it right.

MR REESE– Will the gentleman allow a question?  Would you allow me to make a motion to suspend the rules to allow the insertion of words.

MR. SAMFORD– I will.

MR. REESE– I move that the rules, be suspended and that the gentleman be allowed to insert the words requested.

Upon a vote being taken the rules were suspended.

MR. SAMFORD‑ This is the amendment: “Add after the word ‘law’ in the third line ‘except on account of age.’ "


3409

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901     

Now I move the previous question.

The previous question was ordered.

MR. GRANT‑ I consider this, sir, a much more dangerous proposition than the one voted down–

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM–  The gentleman from Calhoun will be seated he is out of order.

MR. GRANT‑ For what reasons. I move to lay the amendment of the gentleman from Pike on the table.

The motion to lay the amendment on the table was lost.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The gentleman moves to lay what on the table?

MR. GRANT‑ The amendment of the gentleman from Pike.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– Which amendment does the gentleman refer to?

MR. GRANT– The amendment of the gentleman from Pike– the dangerous amendment.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The motion to lay on the table is not debatable.

MR CUNNINGHAM– I call for the ayes and noes.

The call was sustained.

AYES

Messrs. President,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Rogers (Sumter),

Burnett,

Hinson,

Sanders,

Byars,

Hodges,

Sloan,

Cardon,

Howze,

Smith, Mac A.,

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Smith, Morgan M.,

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Ledbetter,

Spears,

Carnathon,

McMillan (Baldwin),

Thompson,

Craig,

Malone,

Waddell,

Davis, of Etowah,

Martin,

Walker,

Duke,

Merrill,

Watts,

Eley,

Miller (Wilcox),

Weakley,

Fitts,

Moody,

Weatherly,

Fletcher,

Norman,

Williams (Barbour).

Freeman,

O'Neal (Lauderdale),

Williams (Marengo),

Glover,

Parker (Cullman),

Williams (Elmore),

Grant,

Pettus,

Wilson (Clarke),

Handley,

Robinson,

TOTAL-‑51


3410    

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

NOES

Almon

Haley

Oates

Banks

Harrison

Op,

Barefield,

Heflin, of Chambers,

O’Rear,

Bartlett,

Hood,

Palmer,

Beddow,

Inge,

Parker (Elmore),

Bethune,

Jackson,

Pearce,

Blackwell,

Jenkins,

Phillips,

Boone,

Jones, of Bobb,

Pillans,

Brooks,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Pitts,

Browne,

Jones, of Hale,

Reese,

Burns,

Knight,

Rogers (Lowndes),

Chapman,

Kyle,

Samford,

Cobb,

Leigh,

Sanford,

Coleman, of Walker,

Lomax,

Selheimer,

Cornwall,

Long (Walker),

Spragins,

Cunningham,

Lowe (Jefferson),

Stewart,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Macdonald,

Tayloe,

Dent,

McMillan (Wilcox),

Vaughan,

Ferguson,

Maxwell,

White,

Foster,

Miller (Marengo),

Whiteside,

Graham, of Montgomery,

Murphree,

Winn,

Graham, of Talladega,

NeSmith,

Greer, of Perry,

Norwood,

TOTAL-‑67

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING

Altman

Greer, of Calhoun,

Renfro,

Ashcraft,

Howell,

Reynolds (Chilton),

Beavers,

King,

Reynolds (Henry),

Bulger,

Kirk,

Searcy,

Case,

Kirkland,

Sentell,

Cofer,

Locklin,

Smith (Mobile),

Coleman, of Greene,

Long (Butler),

Sollie,

deGraffenreid,

Lowe (Lawrence),

Sorrell,

Eyster,

Morrisette,

Studdard,

Espy,

Mulkey,

Willet,

Foshee,

O’Neill (Jefferson),

Wilson (Washington),

Gilmore,

Porter,

Grayson,

Proctor,

Upon casting up the vote there were 51 ayes and 67 noes and the motion to table was lost.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The previous question having been ordered the question. recurs upon the amendment of the gentleman from Pike.

A vote being taken a division was called for.


3411

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901        

MR. LONG (Walker)‑ I call for the ayes and noes.

A DELEGATE‑ I rise to a point of order.  The call is too late.

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

MR. HEFLIN‑ I rise to a point of parliamentary inquiry.  I insist that the amendment of the gentleman from Pike suggested by the gentleman from Macon excluded those from paying poll tax who are now forty‑five years of age.  Is that true?

A DELEGATE– No, included them.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– I think that is a matter of individual opinion for delegates of the Convention.

A division was called for.

Upon a vote being taken, there were 60 ayes and 55 noes and the amendment was adopted.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The question recurs upon the section as amended.  The previous question has been ordered.

MR. WILLIAMS– (Marengo)‑ I call for the ayes and noes.

The call was sustained.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The question is upon the adoption of the original section as amended.  As many as favor its adoption will say aye and those opposed no as the roll is called.

Upon the call of the roll the section as amended was lost by a vote of 55 ayes to 64 noes as follows:

AYES

Messrs. President,

Dent,

Lowe (Jefferson),

Banks,

Ferguson.

Macdonald,

Beddow,

Fletcher,

McMillan (Wilcox),

Blackwell,

Foster,

Murphree.

Boone,

Graham, of Talladega,

NeSmith,

Brooks,

Harrison,

Norwood,

Burns,

Hood,

Oates,

Chapman,

Jackson,

O'Neal (Lauderdale),

Cobb,

Jenkins,

Palmer,

Coleman, of Walker,

Jones, of Hale,

Parker (Elmore),

Cornwall,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Pillans,

Craig,

Knight,

Pitts,

Cunningham,

Kyle,

Reese,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Lomax,

Rogers (Lowndes),


3412    

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

Samford,

Tayloe,

Whiteside,

Sanford,

Vaughan,

Williams (Elmore),

Selheimer,

Waddell,

Winn,

Spragins,

Weatherly,

Stewart,

White,

TOTAL–55

NOES

Almon,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Norman,

Barefield,

Henderson,

Opp,

Bartlett,

Hinson,

O’Rear,

Beavers,

Hodges,

Parker (Cullman),

Bethune

Howell,

Pearce,

Browne

Howze,

Pettus,

Byars,

Inge,

Phillips,

Cardon,

Jones, of Bibb,

Robinson,

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Rogers (Sumter),

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Kirk,

Sanders,

Carnathon,

Ledbetter,

Sloan,

Davis, of Etowah,

Leigh,

Smith, Mac. A.,

Duke,

Long (Walker),

Smith, Morgan M.,

Eley,

Lowe (Lawrence),

Spears,

Fitts,

McMillan (Baldwin),

Thompson,

Freeman,

Malone,

Walker,

Glover,

Martin,

Watts,

Graham, of Montgomery,

Maxwell,

Weakley,

Grant,

Merrill,

Williams (Barbour),

Haley,

Miller (Marengo),

Williams (Marengo),

Handley,

Miller (Wilcox),

Wilson (Clarke),

Heflin, of Chambers,

Moody,

TOTAL–64

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING

Altman,

Greer, of Perry,

Reynolds (Henry),

Ashcraft,

King,

Searcy,

Bulger,

Kirkland,

Sentell,

Case,

Locklin,

Smith (Mobile),

Coleman, of Greene,

Morrisette,

Sollie,

Espy,

Mulkey,

Sorrell,

Foshee,

O’Neill (Jefferson),

Studdard,

Gilmore,

Proctor,

Willett,

Grayson,

Renfro,

Wilson (Wash’gton),

Greer, of Calhoun,

Reynolds (Chilton),

PAIRS

AYES

NOES

Burnett,

Long (Butler),

deGraffenreid,

Porter,

Eyster,

Cofer,


3413  

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901     

MR. O’NEAL (Lauderdale)– I offer an amendment to the original section.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– It was amended and has been lost and there is nothing to amend.

MR. BROWNE– I make the point of order that the gentleman from Pike offered all amendment to the substitute reported by the Committee. The amendment of the gentleman from Pike was adopted.  The substitute as reported by the Committee as amended by the gentleman from Pike has been lost and the question recurs on the original section.

MR O’NEAL (Lauderdale)– I offer an amendment‑‑a substitute‑-if in order.

MR. REESE– I rise to a point of order.  The original section which the gentleman claims is now before the house was offered as an amendment to the substitute, that was presented here today by the Committee, by the gentleman from Tuscaloosa.  The Convention has passed upon the section which was originally reported as Section 18, and has voted that down, and there is nothing before the house in the shape of Section 18.  I ask for a ruling.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The recollection of the Chair is that the gentleman from Tuscaloosa (Mr. Fitts) offered the original substitute reported by the Committee, and the recollection of the Chair is that that substitute and the original section was laid on the table.  Therefore there is nothing before the house to amend.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)‑ I move to reconsider the vote by which the section originally reported by this Committee was, recommitted to that Committee if it is not too late.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑ Mr. President, I move to take the amendment offered by the gentleman from Tuscaloosa from the table.

MR. KNOX– I rise to a question of inquiry.  My question of inquiry is this: Unless the original section which the Committee on Suffrage and Elections first reported was before the Convention, what was there for them to report a substitute to?  This original section was recommitted to the Committee on Suffrage and Elections.  They reported it back with a substitute.  Thereupon the gentleman from Tuscaloosa. I believe, offered a substitute for that substitute. Now, the mere fact that his substitute was in terms about the same as the original section would not get rid of the original section because that is the base, it seems to me, upon which all these amendments are built. Now the Convention voted down the substitute offered by the gentleman from Tuscaloosa and then it engrafted upon the substitute which the Committee


3414            

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

has reported the amendment offered by the gentleman front Pike, and then the Convention voted down that substitute as amended, and it seems to me that the question would recur upon the original section, as the Convention has voted down all amendments and all substitutes to it.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The Chair is of the opinion that the original section is on the table, but since this question has been merely a parliamentary battle this afternoon, and there is already a motion to take from the table, and one to reconsider.  The Chair will change his ruling for the purpose of facilitating the matter and hold that the original section is before the Convention.

(Applause.)

MR. KNOX‑ And the previous question has been ordered.

MR. O’NEAL– I offer an amendment.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)– I offer a substitute‑‑

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The previous question has been ordered on the original section and amendments will not be in order.

MR. WHITE— I move the adoption of Section 18 as reported by the Committee.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)– I move we adjourn.

Upon a vote being taken the section was adopted.

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

MR. REESE– I move to amend the motion to adjourn by fixing the time to adjourn at 6:55 o'clock.

Upon a vote bring taken the amendment to the motion was lost.

MR. SANFORD– I moved to adjourn just now.

MR. BROOKS– I make the point that a motion to adjourn is not amendable.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The point of order comes too late, because a vote was taken on the amendment, and the Convention refused to adjourn at 6:55.

MR. REESE– I move that when this Convention adjourn it adjourn to meet at 11 o'clock Monday morning.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– I do not understand the motion of the gentleman.

MR. REESE– I  move that when this Convention adjourn that it adjourn sine die.


3415   

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901         

THE PRESIDENT‑-The motion is out of order.

MR. WHITE‑ I have a substitute for Section 19, which I now, send to the Clerk's desk.

MR CARMICHAEL (Coffee)– The Chair did not put my motion to adjourn.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ I overlooked the fact that I had not put the motion to adjourn. The gentleman from Coffee moves that we now adjourn.

Upon a vote being taken the motion was lost.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The Chair will state to the gentleman from Jefferson that when the Convention adjourned yesterday afternoon the gentleman froth Tallapoosa, Mr. Sorrell, had offered a substitute to the original section, and the gentleman from Montgomery, Mr. Sanford, had offered an amendment to that, hence there is already pending an amendment to the amendment, and therefore a further amendment is not now in order.

MR. WHITE‑ Were they not recommitted?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ No, sir.

MR. WHITE‑ Then I move to lay the amendment of the gentleman from Tallapoosa and the amendment to that amendment which was offered by the gentleman from Montgomery, on the table, with the view of offering a substitute.

MR. WILLIAMS (Elmore)‑ I was going to suggest for the information of the Chair that the gentleman from Tallapoosa accepted the amendment of the gentleman from Montgomery.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑Unanimous consent was not given, hence the motion to table is in order.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑ I ask that the two amendments be read.

The amendments were read as follows:

Amendment by Mr. Sorrell of Tallapoosa : Amend Section 19 by adding at the end thereof the following:  ‘Providing that any new law enacted by the General Assembly as provided for in this section, shall not become operative until ratified by a majority of the qualified electors in this State.’ ”

Amendment by Mr. Sanford (Montgomery) to the amendment, by adding the words "at an election expressly held for that purpose."

MR. COBB‑I make the point of order that the amendment offered by the gentleman from Montgomery was by unanimous consent accepted by the gentleman from Tallapoosa.


3416   

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The journal does not so show, and the motion is to table both amendments, hence there is nothing in the point of order, even were it well taken, because the motion was to table.

MR. COBB– But if it had been accepted, then the amendment would be in order.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The journal states otherwise.

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

The Call was not sustained.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion to lay the amendment on the table prevailed.

MR. WHITE– I offer a substitute for Section 19, and on that I call for the previous question.

MR.  KNOX– Please state that the Committee on Suffrage and Elections in lieu of Section 19.

The substitute was read as follows:

The substitute for Section 19 by the Committee on Suffrage and Elections:

"If any section or subdivision of this Article shall for any reason be, or be held, by any court of competent jurisdiction, and of final resort to be invalid, inoperative or void, the residue of the Article shall not otherwise be invalidated or affected."

MR. WHITE– This substitute is offered by the Committee on Suffrage and Elections, and I move its adoption, and upon that I call the previous question.

MR. HARRISON– I appeal to the Acting Chairman of the Committee not to deny me an opportunity to be heard.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM–The gentleman from Jefferson does not yield .

MR. WHITE– I would like to have a moment to confer with the committee on this matter.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM–The Convention will give the Committee an opportunity to confer.

MR. WHITE– I yield.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The gentleman from Jefferson yields to the gentleman from Lee.

MR. HARRISON‑ I am much obliged to the majority of the Committee.  I am one of the minority who voted against this


3417   

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901  

substitute.  I was opposed to the original section, and am more strongly opposed to the substitute than I was to that. One of the same reasons that induced me to oppose the original section applies to this, and that is, in the first place, it is a quasi admission that this Convention has made some mistake.  In the second place, I am opposed to it as a matter of policy. I do not believe we can sustain it before the people, when it comes to a question of a ratification of this Constitution.  The Convention will bear in mind that this is intended in case any court should hold void any section or clause of this Constitution.  It is only applicable in that case.  Now, I simply submit this proposition:  It will have no effect, only in the event that some section or clause is declared unconstitutional. Say, for instance, that the descendants or grandfather clause is declared unconstitutional; what would become of your temporary plan or permanent plan?  It is made up from three sources. There is no provision made in this Article whatever to keep them separate‑-none on earth. This permanent list is made up by the registrars, and no one knows, or can know, under which subdivision a party was registered; therefore, I submit to all the lawyers in this Convention, and even to the laymen that if one of these sources is held to be void‑and there is no way to tell which, or to tell how many of that registered list comes from this void source‑will it not affect the whole registration?   If so and your entire permanent list is held void, then in 1903, you place the entire voting population of Alabama on an educational and property qualification.  That will stand, the temporary plan being destroyed.  If we declare that it is our intention that if any part be declared void, the rest shall stand. Isn't that the natural result?

And again, what  power has this Convention to limit the powers of the courts?   I say it in a friendly spirit, as I said it in the Committee, if you propose to do this, then go back and make some such provision as this: Provide that the Boards of Registration appointed for the several counties shall prepare and file as required by the seventh subdivision of Section 10, of this Article, three separate and distinct lists of those registered by them, showing upon one those who registered under the first subdivision of the Section, showing upon another those who registered tinder the second subdivision of said Section, and showing upon another those who registered under the third subdivision of said Section. If this is incorporated in it, then the purpose indicated for it might be carried into effect.  I only offer this in a friendly spirit.  I am against the policy.  I hesitated for awhile in entertaining the doubts I do as to one of these subdivisions, but a large majority of this Convention have said after discussing it that there is no doubt of its constitutionality, and whether right or wrong, I propose to stand by you and take your judgment, but I do not want you in conclusion to express this sort of doubt, as to whether or not it will stand.  I only ask that in this closing hour of this Convention, will deliberate


3418   

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

and not adopt this provision, simply because it is reported here as a substitute.  It is true a majority of the Committee have recommended it.   I have briefly stated to you the reasons that actuated me, and I ask you as lawyers and gentlemen of intelligence, what will be the effect of it?   If there is to be opposition in the State of Alabama to the ratification of this Constitution, and you present it to the voters, and show to them that there is a likelihood of its being declared void, and you admit it, indirectly or in a quasi manner, or at least, that in case this temporary clause should be held void, that then you throw the entire electors of the State upon the permanent provision of education and property qualification?  Can you ratify it if you do that?   Isn't it better, if you desire to adopt this position, in contradiction to what the State of North Carolina took, for I understand in the adoption of their Constitution they took exactly the reverse of his proposition, and that was if any part of it was held unconstitutional, the whole of it should fall, they did not attempt to adopt any part of it without adopting it all.  If we separate ours, then the strongest objection to it is taken away, for a part may stand.   But under my view of it, if this is adopted and the courts will regard it, and so held, then in case the temporary plan is held unconstitutional, we are at once on the other plan,— the educational and property plan, for which our people will not be ready in 1903, and that will stand, and we will have virtually placed upon the people of Alabama an educational and property qualification upon this plan.

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

MR. HARRISON–I had read my amendment, and I hope I may offer it as an amendment to the substitute.

The amendment by Mr. Harrison was read as follows:

Amend by adding at the end of Section 19 the following words, to wit:

Provided, that the Boards of Registration appointed for the several counties, shall prepare and file, as required by the seventh subdivision of Section 10 of this Article, three separate and distinct lists of those registered by them, showing upon one those who registered under the first subdivision of the Section; on another those who registered under the second subdivision of said Section; and on another those who registered under the third subdivision of said Section.

MR. WEATHERLY– I move to lay the amendment on the table.

Upon a vote being taken the motion to lay the amendment upon the table prevailed.


3419    

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901 

MR. SANDERS– I have an amendment to offer, or rather a substitute.

The substitute was read as follows:

"It is hereby declared that the suffrage plan contained in this Article is one and indivisable, and that each provision thereof is separate, distint, independent and indivisable."

MR. SANDERS‑ It seems to me that the substitute reported by the Committee contains a suggestion and intimation that some of the provisions in the Suffrage Article are void and would fall before the courts.  I do not believe, Mr. President, that would be the case, but I doubt the wisdom, and I doubt the policy of the Article upon its face containing a doubt and intimation as to the soundness of all of its provisions. I take it that what the Committee aims to accomplish is that each provision of the Suffrage Article shall be separate, distinct, independent and indivisible, so that if one part of it shall fall the other part will remain intact, and every provision will stand upon its own merits. I think that the substitute accomplishes all that we should attempt to embody in the suffrage Article upon that point.

MR. CARMICHAEL (Colbert)‑ I move to lay the section, substitute and amendment to the substitute upon the table.

MR. KNOX‑-I hope the gentleman will withdraw that for a moment.

MR. CARMICHAEL-‑I withdraw it.

MR. KNOX‑ Mr. President, it seems to me that we should adopt the substitute as reported by the Committee on Suffrage and Elections. The gentleman from Lee (General Harrison) has maintained with great emphasis in the discussion of the general question, that he believed that one clause, the descendants clause of the suffrage plan, was unconstitutional, and would be so held by the Supreme Court. He claimed to concur in the wisdom of the committee in reporting that provision of the plan ,which provided that all those of good character should leave the right to vote and that soldiers should have the right to vote, and yet he objects in his argument here, to a simple statement in this article, that it is not the intent and meaning of the framers of this Constitution that it should all stand or fall together.  Now, we remember that when the income tax cases were before the Supreme Court of the United States, that court first decided that the statute was valid in part, and invalid in part, and yet for the want of a declaration in the statute itself disclaiming any such intention, a divided court, upon a reconsideration of the question  held the whole act void.  Why?   Because they said they would presume that Congress would not have passed any part of that act if they had known


3420   

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

and understood that the other part was going to be declared invalid.

And so the gentleman from Lee here following up the strenuous opposition he has offered to one provision of this article, objects to our making any provisions for protection to the rest of the plan against a disaster which he says will befall the whole plan, when the Supreme Court knocks out one clause.  He suggests, Mr. Chairman, and this has been harped upon a great deal during the discussion of this article on suffrage, that when we make any declaration in this article as to what our intentions are with reference to the whole article we show a lack of confidence in the article. I do not think that because an attorney is cautious and prudent, because he wishes to hedge about an article with every safeguard which it is possible to throw around it, that it indicates any lack of confidence on his part in its validity or constitutionality.  These people who are always so dead cock sure about every proposition which they advocate do not always make the safest counsellors or advisers. Of what comfort is it to your client, after he has entrusted important interests to your management and has lost his case, to be able to say that my attorney was so confident in the position  he occupied that he even omitted to throw around it a needed safeguard, which would have protected the whole scheme, or practically the whole scheme.

MR. SANDERS– May I interrupt the gentleman.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– Will the gentleman yield?

MR. KNOX– I prefer not to yield just now.  Lord  Eldon the greatest of the Lord Chancellors–one of the greatest–was regarded and so designated by the profession as the “great doubter.”  The attorney is not always wrong, either, Mr. President, simply because the court has decided contrary to the advice he has given.  The court is sometimes wrong, and the court sometimes admits that it is wrong.  Why, I remember a case where Gen. Butler–Benjamin F. Butler– who without regard to his many other shortcomings, was justly regarded everywhere, as a very eminent lawyer, appeared before the Supreme Court of the United States and filed an application for a rehearing of a case that had been decided against him.  His application was overruled, and he appeared and presented a second application for a rehearing.  Chief Justice Waite, who was then presiding, called him to order, and said “Don’t you know, General Butler, that it is contrary to the precedents and practice of this court to entertain a second application for a rehearing!”  To which General Butler replied:  “Yes, if Your Honor please, I recognize that, but I venture to suggest that if the court will take this application for a rehearing, they will not only grant it, but they will thank me for putting it in.”  And the court did take the application for a rehearing and it was granted!  I remember another instance which is related as having occurred


3421

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

in that court, where it is said that a very bright young Irishman by the name of Johnson was arguing some important case before the court, and he had with him Coke and Blackstone and Kent, and was laying down elementary principles one after another, when Judge Miller, who was fond of interrupting counsel, interrupted, and said:  "Oh, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Johnson, I think you might at least indulge the presumption that this court knows the A B C's of the law!  "No,"  he said, " if Your Honor please, I indulged that presumption in the court below, and got left, and I do not propose to take any chances here!"

Now, Mr. President, simply because a court decides a proposition adversely to the advice of counsel, it does not always follow that the original advice was not sound and proper, and therefore it is the more important that ee should hedge around this article – this most important article of our Constitution–with proper safe guards.  Where is the general who will lead his men out to fight in the open, to be shot at in the open, when he can just as safely, and just as effectively.  It is not from want of confidence in our position that we wish to insert in the face of this article a provision declaring it to lie our intention that it should stand notwithstanding some one or more of its provisions may be declared invalid.

Now, in the North Carolina Article on Suffrage, they distinctly declare there that it is their intention, if any part of the Article is overthrown, that it shall overthrow the whole Article.  In Louisiana they make no declaration upon that question, but their intention is left open to construction by the courts.  It is simply to get around the construction which the Supreme Court of the United States placed upon the income tax act, that we wish to incorporate in this Article a simple declaration, that it is not our intent that if one clause fails, all should fail.  Suppose they should strike out the descendants clause; you would have the good character clause, and you have the old soldier clause. The gentleman from Lee (General Harrison) seems to want to leave it, so as to be sure that all will fall if the Supreme Court of the United

States should sustain his position.

Mr. President. I move the previous question upon the amendment to the section and substitute, as reported by the Committee, and the amendment to the amendment.

MR. SANDERS‑ May I ask the gentleman a question.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– Does the gentleman yield for a question?

MR. KNOX‑ Yes, Sir.

MR. SANDERS– Does not the substitute offered by myself meet the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the income tax case?


3422    

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. KNOX‑ I sympathize with your object in offering the substitute, but I am afraid it does not go far enough, and, as everybody will understand, what we mean by it anyhow, we may as well say so.  I move the previous question.

MR. HARRISON‑ I desire to ask the gentleman what would become of the permanent list that is made under the temporary plan in case either of those clauses would be held unconstitutional?

MR. KN OX- I think it will undoubtedly stand, and that it cannot be successfully attacked in any court.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The gentleman from Calhoun moves the previous question.  The question is, shall the main question be now put?

Upon a vote being taken, a division was called for and resulted in the main question being ordered.

MR. KNOX‑ I move to table the amendment offered by the gentleman front Limestone.

Upon a vote being taken, a division was called for, and, by a vote of 63 ayes and 21 noes, the motion to table prevailed.

The question recurred upon the substitute offered by the Committee.

MR. HARRISON‑ I demand the ayes and noes.

The call for the ayes and noes was not sustained, and upon a vote being taken, the motion to table was lost.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The question recurs upon the motion to adopt the substitute offered by the Committee.

MR. HARRISON- I ask for the ayes and noes.

The call was not sustained.

Upon a vote being taken, a division was called for, and by a vote of 64 ayes and 22 noes, the substitute was adopted.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The question recurs upon the original section as amended by the substitute and upon that the previous question has been ordered.

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

MR. K NOX– I move that we adjourn.

MR. SANFORD- (Montgomery)- I have all additional section to this.

The section was read as follows:

Section 20. When any person offers to vote, the returning officer must call his name audibly and distinctly and if there be


3423 

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901          

no objections to the qualifications of such person as an elector, he is to receive his vote and the name of each elector whose ballot has been so received must be taken down immediately by the clerk, or clerks, on separate lists, which shall be headed "names of voters" and called poll lists, and the numbers and order in which such elector votes must at the same time be entered by each clerk against his name, and numbered on the ballots with the same number as that which is entered against his name.

MR. SANFORD‑ I offer that amendment for the purpose of carrying out, as I said a day or two ago, the declared purpose of reforming the suffrage system in the State of Alabama, and having pure elections entirely devoid of fraud or a suspicion of fraud.

If that section should be adopted, it will render fraud absolutely impossible.  It will enable contested elections to be thoroughly investigated, and I hope, therefore, that it will be adopted.  I hope, too, my friends, that you will, if an aye and no vote should be called upon it, sustain the call, and vote and don't dodge the question.

MR. WEATHERLY‑ I move to lay the amendment upon the table.

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

The call was not sustained, and a vote being taken the amendment was tabled.

MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)‑ I move that this Convention now adjourn.

MR. WHITE– I ask the gentleman to withdraw that a moment.

MR. HEFLIN‑ I withdraw the motion.

MR. WHITE‑ I move that the article be now engrossed and ordered to a third reading.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑ I desire to state that at the beginning of this discussion it was stated that there would be an opportunity given for offering substitutes, and while I have no substitute to offer, and am perfectly ready–

MR. KNOX‑ That is true, if there is any substitute to be offered.

MR. WHITE- If there is a substitute to be offered I will withdraw my motion.

MR. BLACKWELL‑ I desire to offer an additional section.

MR. WHITE‑ I will not withdraw the motion for that.  I will withdraw it for a substitute to the entire article.

MR. JENKINS‑ I desire to offer as a substitute–


3424    

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. BLACKWELL‑I insist upon my right to introduce a section.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑The gentleman declines to yield for that purpose, and the Chair cannot help the gentleman from Morgan.

MR. WHITE‑I will state to the gentleman that we have taken this article up section by section‑

MR. BLACKWELL‑And we have always permitted the introduction of an additional section under such circumstances.

MR. WHITE‑The Committee insists upon the motion.

MR. HEFLIN (Randolph)‑Is a motion to adjourn now in order?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑Not while the gentleman from Jefferson has the floor.

MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)‑I will ask the gentleman from Jefferson a question.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑Does the gentleman yield?

MR. WHITE‑Yes, sir.

MR. HEFLIN- (Chambers)‑Unless the article now ordered to engrossment then a substitute could be offered.

MR. WHITE‑I suppose so.

MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)‑I understand some gentlemen want to offer additional sections, and one or two want to offer substitutes, and I will ask the gentleman from Jefferson to renew my motion to adjourn.

MR. WHITE‑We have no objection to allowing a substitute to the entire article to be offered.

MR. PILLANS‑I trust the gentleman will not withdraw it.  We have been here two weeks on this proposition and there are many other things for us to consider.

MR. WHITE‑‑I am here at the direction of the Committee, and I must insist upon it.

MR. BLACKWELL‑We insist that this is a very unusual proceeding to deny a man this right.

MR. WADDELL‑A parliamentary inquiry.

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

MR. WADDELL-What has become of Section 18?


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION ,1901         

THE PRESIDENT PRO  TEM‑Section 18 has been adopted.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑ I rise to suggest to the Chair and to the Convention that by unanimous consent it was agreed when the final section of the suffrage proposition was disposed of a substitute or substitutes for the article would be in order.

MR. WHITE ‑ I withdraw for the purpose of allowing you to introduce that now.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑ I rise now for the purpose of offering a substitute.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM- The Chair will recognize the gentleman from Jefferson to offer a substitute for the entire article.  Does the gentleman desire that the substitute shall lie read at this

time.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)‑ I have no preference as to whether it is read at this time or in the morning. .

MR. BAREFIELD‑I move that we do now adjourn.

Leaves of absence were granted Mr. Norwood for Saturday and Monday, Mr. Opp for yesterday and this morning on account of sickness and Mr. Foshee for Saturday.

The Convention thereupon adjourned.

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CORRECTIONS.

In speech of Mr. Pillans on sixtieth day, fourth page, fifth column, thirty‑second line should read: "We do not know how, these names of electors are to be purged, nor by what processes."  In thirty‑fourth line should read: "If a man is registered and dies, etc."

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In first column fifty‑ninth day, in Mr. Brooks's remarks, in thirty‑sixth and fortieth line from bottom of column and the word “few” should he omitted.