The Facts of Reconstruction eBook

John R. Lynch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 248 pages of information about The Facts of Reconstruction.
opinion.  The Democratic party was controlled by the slave oligarchy of the South, whilst the Whig party had not the courage of its convictions.  The Republican party came to the front with a determination to secure, if possible, freedom for the slave, liberty for the oppressed, and justice and fair play for all classes and races of our population.  That its efforts in these directions have not been wholly in vain are among the most glorious and brilliant achievements that will constitute a most important part of the history of our country; for it had been the unmistakable determination of that party to make this beautiful country of ours in truth and in fact the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Surely it is not your purpose now to reverse and undo any part of the grand and noble work that has been so successfully and so well done along these lines.

“And yet that is just what you will have done if you adopt the proposition presented by the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania.  While I do not assert and cannot believe that such was or is the purpose and desire of the author of that proposition, yet no one that will give the matter careful consideration can fail to see that the effect of it will be to undo, in part at least, what the Republican party has accomplished since its organization.  As a colored Republican, speaking in behalf of that class of our fellow citizens who honor and revere the Republican party for what it has accomplished in the past, I feel that I have a right to appeal to you not to cloud the magnificent record which this grand organization has made.  So far as the colored man is concerned, you found him a slave; you have made him a free man.  You found him a serf; you have made him a sovereign.  You found him a dependent menial; you have made him a soldier.  I therefore appeal to the members of this Convention, in the name of the history of the Republican party, and in behalf of justice and fair-play, to vote down this unjust, unfair, unwise and unnecessary proposition which has been presented by the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania.”



In addition to the reasons already given there are many others that might be urged against the proposed change of representation.

In the first place, the present plan is based upon the sound and stable principle upon which the Government was organized.  Representation in Congress is not based upon votes or voters, but upon population.  The same is true of the different State Legislatures.  All political parties,—­or, at any rate, the principal ones,—­have adopted the same system in the make-up of their State and National Conventions.  The membership of the National Convention being based upon each State’s representation in Congress, the State Conventions, with perhaps a few exceptions, are based upon the representation in the State Legislatures from each county, parish, or other civil division.  It is the fairest, safest, best, and most equitable plan that can be devised or adopted.

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The Facts of Reconstruction from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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