The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935 Page: 46
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
chisement cannot be ascertained."24 The Austin Republican, how-
ever, said it was between 7,500 and 10,000.25 Many whites sim-
ply refused, for various reasons, to register, and no organization
against a convention was formed until too late. The radicals
won, therefore, and a convention was ordered, 44,689 to 11,440.26
When the convention met, Governor Pease in his message ad-
vised sufficient disfranchisement to place the State in the control
of loyal persons."7 For many days there was much by-play on
the question of who should administer the oath of office to the
members of the Convention. Suggestions ran from the Chief
Justice of Texas to the Commanding General to the President
of the Convention; still others wanted a committee to examine the
credentials. Furthermore, there was considerable argument on
the kind of oath which should be taken. The original resolution
provided that every member swear to-support the United States
Constitution, but this was later amended to include the provi-
sions of the third section of the Fourteenth Amendment; that is,
that the subscriber had never taken an oath to the United States
and later aided the rebellion. When it became evident that such
an oath would exclude some good radicals, the suggestion was
accepted that if anyone refused to take the oath, his reason should
be sent to the District Commander. Finally the whole matter
was postponed until October 10.28
On July 7, 1868, the Committee on Political Disabilities re-
ported a long list of Republicans who should be relieved of their
disqualifications by Congress. The Committee stated that these
men deserved release because they were of good moral character
and of high enough intelligence to be useful in reconstruction.
Soon the convention found itself in an impasse when some names
were withdrawn and others added; in the end the report was re-
turned to the committee which made a new report on July 27.
The question was debated until August 28, when several motions
were offered to the effect that Congress be asked to remove the
24Hen. Ex. Doe. 53 (40 Cong. 2 Sess.).
2Ramsdell, Reconstruction in Texas, p. 196.
6"Ibid., pp. 193-99.
27Ibid., p. 203. This is the proper place to say that Ramsdell's dis-
cussion of disfranchisement in the convention is comprehensive and
thorough. See Reconstruction in Texas, pp. 204, 226. 229, 240-1.
"2Journal of the Texas Convention, 1868 (first session), pp. 20-4, 46.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935, periodical, 1935; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117143/m1/54/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.