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nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

SEC. 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

No. 162. Provisional Governments of Virginia, Texas, and Mississippi

February 18, 1869

A JOINT resolution for the removal of certain civil officers in Virginia and Texas was introduced in the Senate July 24, 1868, and passed the same day. The bill was not taken up in the House until December 10; it was then referred to the Committee on Reconstruction, which reported it January 18, 1869, with an amendment, the amendment being the first two provisos of the act. The same day the bill passed the House. The Senate added the proviso including Mississippi, in which the House concurred. The resolution became law under the ten days rule.

REFERENCES. — Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XV., 344. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 40th Cong., 2d and 3d Sess., and the Cong. Globe. The debate was unimportant.

A Resolution respecting the provisional Governments of Virginia and Texas.

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Resolved. That the persons now holding civil offices in the provisional governments of Virginia and Texas, who cannot take and subscribe the oath prescribed by the act . . . [of July 2, 1862]. . ., shall, on the passage of this resolution, be removed therefrom; and it shall be the duty of the district commanders to fill the vacancies so created by the appointment of persons who can take said oath: Provided, That the provisions of this resolution shall not apply to persons who by reason of the removal of their disabilities as provided in the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution shall have qualified for any office in pursuance of the act . . . [of July 11, 1868]. : And provided further, That this resolution shall not take effect until thirty days

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from and after its passage: And it is further provided, That this resolution shall be, and is hereby extended to, and made applicable to the State of Mississippi.

No. 163.

Act to strengthen the Public

March 18, 1869

A BILL "to strengthen the public credit, and relating to contracts for the payment of coin," was introduced in the House January 20, 1869, by Schenck of Ohio, and referred to the Committee of Ways and Means. The bill was taken up February 24, and passed the same day by a vote of 121 to 60, 41 not voting. On the 27th the bill passed the Senate, but was disposed of by a "pocket" veto. The second section of the bill legalized contracts for payments in coin. The same bill was again introduced by Schenck March 12, and passed the House the same day by a vote of 93 to 48, 52 not voting. A bill of somewhat different character had been introduced in the Senate March 9. On the 15th the Senate bill was laid aside, and the House bill, without the second section, passed, the final vote being 42 to 13. REFERENCES. Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XVI., 1. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 40th Cong., 3d Sess., and 41st Cong., 1st Sess., and the Cong. Globe.

An Act to strengthen the public Credit.

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Be it enacted. That in order to remove any doubt as to the purpose of the government to discharge all just obligations to the public creditors, and to settle conflicting questions and interpretations of the laws by virtue of which such obligations have been contracted, it is hereby provided and declared that the faith of the United States is solemnly pledged to the payment in coin or its equivalent of all the obligations of the United States not bearing interest, known as United States notes, and of all the interest-bearing obligations of the United States, except in cases where the law authorizing the issue of any such obligation has expressly provided that the same may be paid in lawful money or other currency than gold and silver. But none of said interestbearing obligations not already due shall be redeemed or paid before maturity unless at such time United States notes shall be

convertible into coin at the option of the holder, or unless at such time bonds of the United States bearing a lower rate of interest than the bonds to be redeemed can be sold at par in coin. And the United States also solemnly pledges its faith to make provision at the earliest practicable period for the redemption of the United States notes in coin.

No. 164.

Submission of the Constitutions of Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas

April 10, 1869

In a message of April 7, 1869, President Grant recommended that provision be made for a vote in Virginia on the State constitution agreed upon by a convention April 17, 1868, and for the election of State officers, the State to be restored on the approval of the constitution by Congress. He further raised the question whether the rejected constitution of Mississippi should not be resubmitted. A bill to give effect to this recommendation, and including Texas, was reported in the House the next day from the Committee on Reconstruction, and passed with amendments by a vote of 125 to 25, 47 not voting. The Senate, by a vote of 30 to 20, added the provision of section 6 of the act, together with other amendments. The final vote in the Senate was 44 to 9. The House, under suspension of the rules, concurred in the Senate amendments, the vote being 108 to 39, 54 not voting. Proclamations submitting the constitutions of the States to the voters were issued, for Virginia, May 14, for Mississippi, July 13, and for Texas, July 15.

REFERENCES. Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XVI., 40, 41. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 41st Cong., 1st Sess., and the Cong. Globe. The bill reported April 8 is in the Globe. On Canby's course in Virginia see Senate Exec. Doc. 13, 41st Cong., 2d Sess. On conditions in Virginia see Senate Exec. Doc. 13, 41st Cong., 2d Sess.; in Texas, House Misc. Docs. 57 and 127, and Senate Misc. Doc. 109, 40th Cong., 2d Sess.

An Act authorizing the Submission of the Constitutions of Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas, to a Vote of the People, and authorizing the Election of State Officers, provided by the said Constitutions, and Members of Congress.

Be it enacted...

That the President of the United States, at such time as he may deem best for the public interest, may submit the constitution which was framed by the convention which

met in Richmond, Virginia, on Tuesday, . . . [December 3, 1867] ..., to the voters of said State, registered at the date of said submission, for ratification or rejection; and may also submit to a separate vote such provisions of said constitution as he may deem best, such vote to be taken either upon each of the said provisions alone, or in connection with the other portions of said constitution, as the President may direct.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That at the same election the voters of said State may vote for and elect members of the general assembly of said State, and all the officers of said State provided for by the said constitution, and members of Congress; and the officer commanding the district of Virginia shall cause the lists of registered voters of said State to be revised, enlarged, and corrected prior to such election, according to law, and for that purpose may appoint such registrars as he may deem necessary. And said elections shall be held and returns thereof made in the manner provided by the acts of Congress commonly called the reconstruction acts.

SEC. 3. [Similar provisions for Texas]; Provided, also, That no election shall be held in said State of Texas for any purpose until the President so directs.

SEC. 4. [Similar provisions for Mississippi.]

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That if either of said constitutions shall be ratified at such election, the legislature of the State so ratifying, elected as provided for in this act, shall assemble at the capital of said State on the fourth Tuesday after the official promulgation of such ratification by the military officer commanding in said State.

SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That before the States of Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas shall be admitted to representation in Congress, their several legislatures, which may be hereafter lawfully organized, shall ratify the fifteenth article, which has been proposed by Congress to the several States as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That the proceedings in any of said States shall not be deemed final or operate as a complete restoration thereof, until their action, respectively, shall be approved by Congress.

No. 165. Reconstruction of Georgia

December 22, 1869

A BILL "to enforce the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution and the laws of the United States in the State of Georgia, and to restore to that State the republican form of government elected under its new constitution," was introduced in the Senate March 5, 1869, by Edmunds of Vermont, and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The bill was reported with an amendment on the 17th, but without recommendation as to its passage, the committee being equally divided on that point. A bill with the same title was reported in the House April 7, from the Committee on Reconstruction. There was no further action on either bill during the session. A concurrent resolution of February 9 had provided, in the meantime, for the recognition of the electoral vote of Georgia. In his annual message of December 6, President Grant called attention to the unseating of colored members of the legislature of Georgia and the seating of persons disqualified by the fourteenth amendment, and submitted "whether it would not be wise, without delay, to enact a law authorizing the governor of Georgia to convene the members originally elected to the legislature, requiring each member to take the oath prescribed by the reconstruction acts, and none to be admitted who are ineligible under the third clause of the fourteenth amendment." The Edmunds bill was thereupon called up, and, together with a bill on the same subject introduced by Oliver P. Morton of Indiana, referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. December 13 the committee reported the Morton bill. On the 17th, by a vote of 38 to 15, section 8, "that the legislature of Georgia shall be regarded as provisional only, until the further action of Congress," was stricken out, and section 8 of the act inserted. The bill then passed, the vote being 45 to 9. The House passed the bill on the 21st by a vote of 121 to 51, 39 not voting.

REFERENCES. Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XVI., 59, 60. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 41st Cong., 1st and 2d Sess., and the Cong. Globe. On political conditions in Georgia see House Misc. Doc. 52, 40th Cong., 3d Sess.; House Exec. Doc. 82, Senate Exec. Docs. 3 and 41, Senate Reports 58 and 75, 41st Cong., 2d Sess.

An Act to promote the Reconstruction of the State of Georgia.

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Be it enacted. That the governor of the State of Georgia be, and hereby is, authorized and directed, forthwith, by proclamation, to summon all persons elected to the general assembly of said State, to appear on some day certain, to be named in said proclamation, at Atlanta, in said, State; and thereupon the said general assembly of said State shall proceed to perfect its

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