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Reconstruction Bill.

Provisional Governor.

His Duties.

The following is the bill, a copy of which was annexed to the proclamation :

"A BILL to guarantee to certain States whose Governments have been overthrown or usurped, a Republican form of Government.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That in the States declared in rebellion against the United States, the President shall, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint for each a Provisional Governor, whose pay and emoluments shall not exceed those of a Brigadier General of Volunteers, who shall be charged with the civil administration of such State, until a State Government therein shall be recognized as hereinafter provided.

“SECTION 2. And be it further enacted, That so soon as the military resistance to the United States shall have been suppressed in any such State, and the people thereof shall have sufficiently returned to their obedience to the Constitution and laws of the United States, the Provisional Governor shall direct the Marshal of the United States, as speedily as may be, to name a sufficient number of deputies, and to enroll all white male citizens of the United States, resident in the State, in their respective counties, and to require each one to take the oath to support the Constitution of the United States, and in his enrollment to designate those who take and those who refuse to take that oath, which rolls shall be forthwith returned to the Provisional Governor; and if the persons taking that oath shall amount to a majority of the persons enrolled in the State, he shall, by proclamation, invite the loyal people of the State to elect delegates to a Convention, charged to declare the will of the people of the State, relative to the reěstablishment of a State Government subject to, and in conformity with the Constitution of the United States.

Reconstruction Bill.

The Constitution.

Votes for Delegates.

SECTION 3. That the Convention shall consist of as many members as both Houses of the last Constitutional State Legislature, apportioned by the Provisional Governor among the counties, parishes, or districts of the State, in proportion to the white population returned as electors by the Marshal, in compliance with the provisions of this Act. The Provisional Governor shall, by proclamation, declare the number of delegates to be elected by each county, parish, or election district; name a day of election not less than thirty days thereafter; designate the place of voting in each county, parish, or election district, conforming as nearly as may be convenient, to the places used in the State elections next preceding the rebellion ; appoint one or more Commissioners to hold the election at each place of voting, and provide an adequate force to keep the peace during the election.

“ SECTION 4. That the delegates shall be elected by the loyal white male citizens of the United States, of the age of twenty-one years, and resident at the time in the county, parish, or election district in which they shall offer to vote, and enrolled as aforesaid, or absent in the military service of the United States, and who shall take and subscribe the oath of allegiance to the United States in the form contained in the Act of Congress of July 2, 1862; and all such citizens of the United States who are in the military service of the United States, shall vote at the head-quarters of their respective commands, under such regulations as may be prescribed by the Provisional Governor for the taking and return of their votes; but no person who has held or exercised any office, civil or military, State or Confederate, under the rebel usurpation, or who has voluntarily borne arms against the United States, shall vote or be eligible to be elected as delegate at such election.

“ SECTION 5. That the said Commissioners, or either of them, shall hold the election in conformity with this Act, and so far as may be consistent therewith, shall proceed in

Reconstruction Bill.

Who shall Vote.


the manner used in the State prior to the rebellion. The oath of allegiance shall be taken and subscribed on the pollbook in the form above described, but every person known by or proved to the Commissioners to have held or exercised any office, civil or military, State or Confederate, under the rebel usurpation, or to have voluntarily borne arms against the United States, shall be excluded, though he offer to take the oath; and in case any person who shall have borne arms against the United States shall offer to vote, he shall be deemed to have borne arms voluntarily, unless he shall prove the contrary by the testimony of a qualified voter.

The pollbook, showing be returned to the Provisional Governor by the Commissioner of elections, or the one acting, and the Provisional Governor shall canvass such return, and declare the person having the highest number of votes elected.

“ SECTION 6. That the Provisional Governor shall, by proclamation, convene the delegates elected as aforesaid, at the Capital of the State, on a day not more than three months after the election, fixing at least thirty days' notice of such day. In case the said Capital shall in his judgment be unfit, he shall in his proclamation appoint another place. He shall preside over the deliberations of the Convention, and administer to each delegate, before taking his seat in the Convention, the oath of allegiance to the United States in the form above prescribed.

“SECTION 7. That the Convention shall declare, on behalf of the people of the State, their submission to the Constitution and laws of the United States, and shall adopt the following provisions, hereby prescribed by the United States in the execution of the Constitutional duty to guarantee a republican form of government to every State, and incorporate them in the Constitution of the State ; that is to say:

First. No person who has held or exercised any office, civil or military, except offices merely ministerial, and mili

Reconstruction Bill.

Involuntary Servitude Prohibited.

No Rebel Debt Paid.

tary offices below the grade of Colonel, State or corporate, under the usurping power, shall vote for, or be a member of the Legislature, or Governor.

" Second. Involuntary servitude is forever prohibited, and the freedom of all persons is guaranteed in said State.

Third. No debt, State or corporate, created by or under the sanction of the usurping power, shall be recognized or paid by the State.

" SECTION 8. That when the Convention shall have adopted these provisions, it shall proceed to reëstablish a republican form of Government, and ordain a Constitution containing these provisions, which, when adopted, the Convention shall, by ordinance, provide for submitting to the people of the State entitled to vote under this law, at an election to be held in the manner prescribed by the Act for the election of delegates, but at a time and place named by the Convention, at which Election the said Electors, and none others, shall vote directly for or against such Constitution and form of State government; and the returns of said election shall be made to the Provisional Governor, who shall canvass the same in the presence of the electors, and if a majority of the votes cast shall be for the Constitution and form of government, he shall certify the same, with a copy thereof, to the President of the United States, who, after obtaining the assent of Congress, shall, by proclamation, recognize the government so established, and none other, as the Constitutional Govern. ment of the State, and from the date of such recognition, and not before, Senators, and Representatives, and Electors for President and Vice-President may be elected in such State, according to the laws of the State and of the United States.

“ SECTION 9. That if the Convention shall refuse to reëstablish the State Government on the conditions aforesaid, the Provisional Governor shall declare it dissolved ; but it shall be the duty of the President, whenever he shall have reason to believe that a sufficient number of the people of the

Reconstruction Bill.

Provisional Governor's Duties.

Taxes to be Collected.

State entitled to vote under this Act, in number not less than a majority of those enrolled, as aforesaid, are willing to reëstablish a State Government on the conditions aforesaid, to direct the Provisional Governor to order another election of delegates to a Convention for the purpose and in the manner prescribed in this Act, and to proceed in all respects as hereinbefore provided, either to dissolve the Convention, or to certify the State Government reëstablished by it to the President.

“ SECTION 10. That, until the United States shall have recognized a republican form of State Government, the Provisional Governor in each of said States shall see that this Act, and the laws of the United States, and other laws of the State in force when the State Government was overthrown by the rebellion, are faithfully executed within the State ; but no law or usage whereby any person was heretofore held in involuntary servitude shall be recognized or enforced by any Court or officer in such State, and the laws for the trial and punishment of white persons shall extend to all persons, and jurors shall have the qualifications of voters under this law for delegates to the Convention. The President shall appoint such officers provided for by the laws of the State when its government was overthrown as he may find necessary to the civil administration of the State, all which officers shall be entitled to receive the fees and emoluments provided by the State laws for such officers.

" SECTION 11. That, until the recognition of a State Government, as aforesaid, the Provisional Governor shall, under such regulations as he may prescribe, cause to be assessed, levied, and collected, for the year eighteen hundred and sixty-four, and every year thereafter, the taxes provided by the laws of such State to be levied during the fiscal year preceding the overthrow of the State Government thereof, in the manner prescribed by the laws of the State, as nearly as may be; and the officers appointed, as aforesaid, are vested

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