War of the Rebellion: Serial 100 Page 0462 OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA. Chapter LIX.

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War. I am led to this mainly by a letter which I received on the 7th from Chief Justice Chase, giving some points of the policy advocated by him, which if adopted in this State would, in my opinion, lead to disastrous results. The points I refer to are briefly as follows, viz: The organization of the State government to be left to the people acting in their original sovereign capacity. In determining the right of suffrage, the old constitution, amended in 1835, be followed in preference to the new one, which was in force at the commencement of the rebellion, the object being to give negroes the right to vote. The first proposition is not, I think, open to serious objection. With proper assistance from the military authorities it can be successfully carried out. The second proposition is the one to which I refer as specially objectionable, and this for two reasons: First, the constitution of the States as it existed immediately prior to the rebellion is still the State constitution, and there is no power on earth but the people of the State can alter it. The operations of the war have freed the slaves in this and most other States, and doubtless slavery will be constitutionally abolished throughout the country. But the United States cannot make a negro, nor even a white man, an elector in any State. That is a power expressly reserved by the Constitution to the several States. We cannot alter or amend the constitution of North Carolina as it now exists without either first altering or else violating the Constnited States. If we hold that by the rebellion the States have lost their existence as States and have been reduced to unorganized territories under the absolute sovereign authority of the United States, then undoubtedly we may declare that all inhabitants, white and black, shall have equal political rights and an equal voice in the organization of a State to be admitted into the Union. But I understand President Johnson repudiates this doctrine, hence it may be left out of the question. It appears to me beyond question that the constitution of North Carolina is now valid and binding as the law of the State, and that any measures for the reorganization of the State government must be in accordance with the provisions of that instrument. This, I am convinced, is the unanimous opinion of the leading Union men of the State. My second reason for objecting to the proposition is the absolute unfitness of the negroes, as a class, for any such responsibility. They can neither read nor write; they have no knowledge whatever of law or government; they do not even know the meaning of the freedom that has been given them, and are much astonished when informed that it does not mean that they are to live in idleness and be fed by the Government. It is true they are docile, obedient, and anxious to learn, but we certainly ought to teach them something before we given them an equal voice with ourselves in Government. This view is so fully recognized as correct by all who are familiar by actual contact with the negro character and condition that argument seems superfluous. I have yet to see a single one among the many Union men in North Carolina who would willingly submit for a moment to the immediate elevation of the negro to political equality with the white man. They are all, or nearly all, content with the abolition of slavery; many of them are rejoiced that it is done. But to raise the negro in his present ignorant and degraded condition to be their political equals would be, in their opinion, t If they did not rebel against it would only be because rebellion would be hopeless. A government so organized would in no sense be a popular government.