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State of Arkansas

Senate Journal



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           Arkansas that the proposed Constitutional Amendment
           was ever acted on by a Congress under and according to
           the Constitution of the United States ; when nearly one third
           of the States were refused representation in Congress :

                      This proposed Amendment was never submitted to the
            President of the United States , for his sanction :

                      The great and enormous power sought to be conferred on
            Congress , under that Amendment , which gives that body
            Authority to enforce , by appropriate legislation the provision
            of the first Article of such Amendment , in effect , takes
             from the States , all control over all the people in their local
             and their domestic concerns , and virtually abolishes the States.

                       The Second Section, in the minds of the Committee, is
             an effort to force negro suffrage upon the States ; an is
             intended or not , it leaves the power to bring this about by
             the States consent or not , and the Committee are of opinion
             that every State Legislature should shrink at once from ever
             permitting by their voice the possibility of such a calamity.

                        The Third Section of the proposed Amendment is an debt
             disfranchisement , which would embrace many of our best
              and uisest(sp) citizens , for there are but few that have not at
              times , or in some shape , taken an oath to support the Con-
              stitution of the United States . The committee can not consent
              thus to brand , by thousands , the people of the State who have
              struggled in a cause dear to them , like Patriots, and who
              have yielded to the fate of war as brave and magnanimous
              people only can do :

                          In considering this Amendment , the Committee have been
               struck by one feature of the first section in particular,
               and to this they call the attention of the Senate “nor shall any
               State deprive any person of life , liberty, or property without the
               Process of law” :

                           This is almost identical with the language con-
               tained in the fifth Amendment to the Constitution. And
               this Amendment was intended by our wise and good Congress
               to operate on the States and on Congress , and if this be not
               enough alreadyx surely no additional Amendment will do
               any good . If the one now existing be disregarded, will not the
               one be ignored? The Committee may not know what was intended
               by this part of the Amendment , but as advised they want
               not consent to engrafh(sp) upon the Constitution an Amendment
               now forming a part of that instrument , in as strong and
               apt language as this , and as broad as can be : The Committee
               are unwilling to approve this Amendment because it
               forces new and additional obligations and burdens on our
               people, not contemplated at the surrender of the troops of the
              Confederate States , and not contemplated or intended when the
              General Amnesty was proclaimed on 29th May 1865 :