Monday, April 16, 2012

The Fourteenth Amendment and Confederate Officers

As most African Americans know the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments effectively ended slavery as a legal institution.

The 13th Amendment declared that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
Section 1 of the 14th Amendment stated that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
The 15th Amendment provided that " The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
Each of these amendments contained a clause that gave the Congress the power "to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."
Also, as most African Americans know the Congress chose for more than one hundred years not to rigorously enforce these amendments.
The 14th Amendment contains three other sections.  Section 2 deals with how representatives are be apportioned and Section 4 forbids questioning the public debt and declares  that "neither the United States 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." 

Fitzhugh Lee
Let us now consider Section 3 of this amendment which states:  No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or 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.  This provision effectively prohibits former Confederate officers from who were in government or the military before the war from serving  in a State or National government.

Joe Wheeler
Judging by the number of former Confederate officers who held elected positions, this provision, like other parts of the three amendments cited, was largely ignored.  The list contains the names of 49 general officers who went on to serve in the government.
1.      Bate, William Brimage- MG - US Senator - March 4, 1887–March 9, 1905
2.      Beale, Richard Lee Turberville - BG - US Representative, January 23, 1879–March 3, 1881
3.      Bratton, John "Reliable" - BG - US Representative, December 8, 1884–March 3, 1885
4.      Bullock, Robert - BG - US Representative, March 4, 1889–March 3, 1893
5.      Butler, Matthew Calbraith - MG - US Senator from South Carolina, March 4, 1876–March 3, 1894 and Maj. Gen. US Volunteers, 1898 through April 15, 1899, Spanish-American War
6.      Chalmers, James R. - BG - Three-term US Representative from Mississippi, March 4, 1877–April 29, 1882 and June 25, 1884–March 3, 1885
7.      Churchill, Thomas J. - MG - Arkansas governor, January 13, 1881–January 13, 1883
8.      Clark, John Bullock Jr. - BG - US Representative from Missouri, March 4, 1873–March 3, 1883 and From 1883 until 1889, served as Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives
9.      Cockrell, Francis M. - BG - US Senator from Missouri, March 4, 1875–March 3, 1905. Interstate Commerce Commission, 1905–1910. Texas–New Mexico boundary commission. U.S. War Department Director of Ordnance, 1912–1915
10.   Colquitt, Alfred Holt - BG - Governor of Georgia, January 12, 1877–resigned November 4, 1882 and US Senator from Georgia, March 4, 1882–March 26, 1894
11.   Cook, Philip - BG - US Congressman, March 4, 1873–March 3, 1883. *Secretary of State of Georgia, 1890–1894
12.   Cox, William Ruffin - BG - US Representative, March 4, 1881–March 3, 1887 and Secretary of U.S. Senate, 1893–1900
13.   Dibrell, George Gibbs - BG - US Representative, March 4, 1874–March 3, 1884
14.   Du Bose, Dudley M. - BG - US House of Representatives from Georgia, 1871–1873
15.   Field, Charles W. - MG - Doorkeeper of the US House of Representatives
16.   Finley, Jesse Johnson - BG - Served part of three contested terms as US Representative, April  19, 1876–March 3, 1877; February 20, 1879–March 3, 1879 and March 4, 1881–June 1, 1882
17.   Forney, William Henry - BG - US Representative, March 4, 1875–March 3, 1893
18.   Gibson, Randall Lee - BG - US Representative from Louisiana, March 4, 1874–March 3, 1882. US Senator from Louisiana, March 3, 1883–December 15, 1892
20.   Gordon, George Washington - BG - Member of US House of Representatives, March 4, 1907–August 9, 1911
21.   Gordon, John Brown - MG - US Senator from Georgia, March 4, 1873–May 26, 1880; March 4, 1891–March 3, 1897, Governor of Georgia, 1886–1890
22.   Hagood, Johnson - BG - Governor of South Carolina, November 30, 1880–December 5, 1882
23.   Hampton, Wade - Governor of South Carolina, December 14, 1876–February 26, 1879; US Senator from South Carolina March 4, 1879–March 3, 1891. US Railroad Commissioner, 1893–1897
24.   Hunton, Eppa - BG
25.   Jackson, Henry R.  - BG - Minister to Mexico, 1885
26.   Kemper, James Lawson - MG - Governor of Virginia, January 1, 1874–January 1, 1878
27.   Lee, Fitzhugh - MG - Governor of Virginia, January 1, 1886–January 1, 1890. US Consul General to Havana, Cuba, 1896–1898. Major General of US Volunteers in the Spanish-American War. Retired as brigadier general, US Army, 1901
28.   Lewis, Joseph Horace - BG -Two terms in state legislator, three terms in US Congress, May 10, 1870–March 3, 1873. Judge in Kentucky for 18 years starting in 1880, last four years as chief justice of the court of appeals
29.   Longstreet, James - LG - US IRS agent, postmaster, Gainesville, Georgia, 1879–1880. US. Minister to Turkey, 1880– 1881. US Marshal, 1881– 1884
30.   Lowry, Robert - BG - State senator for two years. Governor of Mississippi, January 9, 1881–January 13, 1889
31.   Mahone, William - MG - U.S. Senator, 1881–1887
32.   Marmaduke, John Sappington - MG - Governor of Missouri, January 12, 1884–December 28, 1887
33.   Martin, William T. - MG - Mississippi state senator for 12 years
34.   Maxey, Samuel Bell - BG - US Senator, March 4, 1875–March 3, 1887
35.   McGowan, Samuel - BG - State legislator, 1878. Associate justice of South Carolina Supreme Court, 1879–1893
36.   Morgan, John Tyler - BG - US Senator, March 4, 1877–June 11, 1907
37.   Nicholls, Francis Redding Tillou - BG - Governor of Louisiana, January 8, 1877–January 13, 1880, May 21, 1888–May 16, 1892
38.   Perry, Edward Aylesworth - BG - Governor of Florida, January 6, 1885–January 13, 1889
39.   Pettus, Edmund Winston - BG - US Senator from Alabama, March 4, 1896–December 27, 1907
40.   Ransom, Matt Whitaker - BG - US Senator from North Carolina, January 30, 1872–March 3, 1895. U.S. Minister to Mexico, 1895–1897
41.   Ross, Lawrence Sullivan - BG - Governor of Texas, January 18, 1887–January 20, 1891
42.   Scales, Alfred Moore - BG - North Carolina. State legislator, 1866–1869. US Representative, March 4, 1875–December 30, 1884. Governor of North Carolina, January 21, 1885–January 17, 1889
43.   Shelley, Charles M. - BG - US Representative from Alabama, March 4, 1877–March 3, 1881 and November 7, 1882–January 9, 1885. President Cleveland appointed him fourth auditor of the U.S. Treasury, 1885–1889
44.   Terry, William - BG - Served two terms in the US House of Representatives, March 4, 1871–March 3, 1873 and March 4, 1875–March 3, 1877
45.   Vance, Robert Brank - BG - US Congressman, March 4, 1873–March 3, 1885. Assistant commissioner of patents
46.   Walker, James Alexander - BG - Republican, US Congressman, March 4, 1895–March 3, 1899
47.   Walthall, Edward Cary - MG - US Senator, 1885–1898
48.   Wheeler, Joseph - MG - US Congressman, 1882–1900. Major general of US Volunteers in the Spanish-American War. Retired as brigadier general in the US Army
49.   Young, Pierce Manning Butler - MG - US House of Representatives, July 25, 1868–March 3, 1869, December 22, 1870

1 comment:

Allen Mesch said...

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