The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935 Page: 47
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Radical Disfranchisement in Texas, 1867-70
disabilities from all Texans; but such generosity, at that early
date, was futile. After considerable parliamentary ineptitude a
list was adopted for submission to Congress.29 Unable to agree
on any fundamental,3o the delegates separated to await the out-
come of the national Presidential campaign in the fall.3'
The defeat of Seymour gave the radicals enough confidence to
renew work. The convention met in a second session wherein the
radical Davis faction moved for stringent disfranchisement. The
moderates, led by A. J. Hamilton, Caldwell, and Haynes thought
it wise to go no further than the third section of the Fourteenth
Amendment; otherwise the entire Constitution would be defeated
and the Republican party destroyed.32 The ultra or Davis faction
controlled the franchise committee which reported a long oath
equally as bad, and reading like the iron-clad of July 2, 1862, with
provision that disabilities might be removed by two-thirds of the
legislature or by Congress. The moderates, led by A. J. Hamil-
ton, and valiantly supported by the few Democrats, fought against
such severity. The story of how Hamilton's eloquence finally
secured a clear majority, (30-26), for his substitute, is so thril-
lingly told by Ramsdell that it would be superfluous to repeat
it here. It should be read.33 As completed, the Constitution pro-
vided that all State officials must swear that they were not dis-
qualified by the Fourteenth Amendment; that no one might vote
who was disabled by the United States Constitution until such
disability was removed by Congress; and that all voters must be
registered.34 The minority radicals, on February 4, 1869, pro-
tested bitterly against such leniency and spread their objections
on the pages of the convention journal: "The majority of the
Convention have deliberately removed from the constitution every
9"Ibid., pp. 226, 232, 511, 925-29.
30For an interesting prediction of the problems which would arise in
the coming radical State Convention when it would attempt to write
the principles of the Fourteenth Amendment into a State Constitution,
see E. Degener, to John Sherman, March 22, 1867, in Sherman Papers,
CXIX, 27442. Degener had been a member of the Texas Constitutional
Convention under Johnson restoration and was also one of the Congress-
men elected when the new radical government was recognized by Congress.
Ramsdell, Reconstruction in Texas, pp. 229ff.
'2Journal (second session), pp. 483-6, 512-5.
3Ramsdell, Reconstruction in Texas, pp. 240-55ff.
"SThe Constitution can be found in House Mis. Doec. 31 (41 Cong. 1
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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/m1/55/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.