The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 146
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
C. Hamilton (a brother of A. J. Hamilton) and E. J. Davis.
Less than a dozen members of this convention could be techni-
cally classified as carpetbaggers.14 The contest for control of the
convention arose immediately upon the selection of a presiding
officer for the convention; A. J. Hamilton of the moderates nom-
inated Colbert Caldwell, while Morgan C. Hamilton nominated
E. J. Davis. The radical Davis won by a vote of 43 to 31, but the
results of the convention were not a complete victory for the
radicals. A. J. Hamilton was able to defeat a proposal which
would restrict suffrage to those who were eligible to hold office
under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the
United States. The voting disqualification was limited to those
"who may be disqualified therefrom by the Constitution of the
United States until such disqualification shall be removed by the
Congress of the United States." In commenting upon A. J.
Hamilton's successful fight for the broader suffrage basis, Oran
M. Roberts in later years said:
This transaction is explained to show the patriotic conduct of ex-
Governor A. J. Hamilton, seconded in his effort by Judge (Lemuel
D.) Evans, by which they evinced their devotion to right and their
ability to rise above the common prejudice of the day and do justice
to their fellow-citizens who had differed with them. Such men with
kind hearts and the nobility of manhood, deserve to be remembered
with gratitude by those whom they rescued from political degre-
14Wortham, History of Texas, V, 53. Ramsdell says that, "at least half a dozen
of the Radicals had served in the Confederate Army, while some fifteen or twenty
had been in the Federal service. Most of these latter were bona fide Texans;
not more than six or eight were of the true carpet-bag variety."-Ramsdell, Re-
construction in Texas, 2o1.
15Wooten, Comprehensive History of Texas, II, 176. The Fourteenth Amendment
to the United States Constitution provided that: No person shall be a Senator or
Representative in Congress, elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any
office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having
previously taken an oath as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United
States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial
officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have
engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to
the enemies thereof; but Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House,
remove such disability.
The proposal defeated by Hamilton and Evans would have made anyone in-
eligible to hold office under the Fourteenth Amendment also ineligible to vote
by providing that: "All citizens of the United States, twenty-one years old and
upwards, who shall have been a resident of the State one year and six months in
the district, county, city, or town in which they offer to vote, except such as are
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/188/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.