Monday, December 12, 2011

December 12 in San Antonio history...

1980
The new headquarters of San Antonio Savings is nearing completion at Loop 410 and San Pedro Avenue.  It is due to open at the end of the month.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

December 8 in San Antonio history...

1941
Travis Cotton, 28, of 206 Weaver Street, was waiting when the recruiting office opened and is the first San Antonian to volunteer after the Pearl Harbor attack yesterday.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1 in San Antonio history...

1884
The Light asked San Antonians to assure the city's future by purchasing beer from local breweries rather than ordering from St. Louis.

1924
Congress received a bill from President Harding for spending $12,000,000 on Ft. Sam Houston, Camp Normoyle, Kelly and Brooks Fields.

1944
Park Commissioner Henry Hein scheduled a special pick-up of waste paper and tin cans for a city-wide salvage drive.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30 in San Antonio history...

1942
Determined to prevent a fire in San Antonio like the deadly fire that killed 477 people at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston two days earlier, Mayor C.K. Quin, Fire Commissioner P. J. Anderson and Fire Chief C. A. Hart met to discuss inspection of local night spots and the abolition of revolving doors in those establishments.
The daughter of Ft. Sam Houston commander, C. K. Nulsen, was killed in the Cocoanut Grove inferno.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21 in San Antonio history...

1953
San Antonio police, armed with 12-gauge riot guns, launched "Operation Bird Kill" at City Hall.  The hunt, which began at 2:30 a.m., was designed to drive the cowbirds away from City Hall after they had become a nuisance, both noisy and unsanitary.

1963
Scheduled dedication ceremonies for the new John F. Kennedy High School have been postponed.

1968
Big Brother and the Holding Company, featuring Janis Joplin, are scheduled to play a concert in Hemisfair Arena but the show is cancelled at the last minute.

1973
Adela Navarro of the Texas Hispanic-American History Institute urged SADA commissioners to remove the statue of Ben Milam from Milam Park and restore the name to "El Campo Santo" and said that allowing commercial activity at the park would be a "desecration" to the people buried there.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17 in San Antonio history...

1912
Jourdanton, the wonder city, pulls off a jubilee, beginning Wednesday and ending Saturday.

1942
Excavators

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11 in San Antonio history...

1920
Reminiscing over a day that 12 years ago caused millions of heavy hearts to lift with joy, San Antonio citizens today thronged the downtown area to witness a revival of the epochal event - Armistice Day.  Rodney "Gipsy" Smith, the noted English evangelist now conducting a revival in San Antonio, rode in the parade.


1930
Radio station KMAC, San Antonio's newest radio broadcasting unit with studios in the Blue Bonnet Hotel, will be formally opened tonight, with Mayor C. M. Chambers and other prominent civic and business leaders present, according to announcement by Jack Wallace, manager.  The owner is W. W. McAllister, and the call letters KMAC, were suggested by Mac, short for McAllister.

1940
Maj. Gen. James G. Harboard spoke in front of the Alamo today at the conclusion of the Armistice Day parade, urging America to adopt universal military training. "The red menace threatens your country," he said, "and there are societies in the United States today, many of them that would like to see the Stars and Stripes replaced by the red flag of anarchy."  Universal military service, Harboard said, would prevent the necessity of maintaining a huge standing army.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 3 in San Antonio history...

1941
The new Ford automobiles for 1942 went on display at local dealers today:  the Jordan-Ivers Company, the Herpel-Gillespie Company, and George Jones, Inc.  (Automobile production would cease shortly after the declaration of war on December 8, 1941 and would not resume for four years.)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 1 in San Antonio history...

1941
Parachutist George Hopkins, a native San Antonian, jumped from a plane and landed on the top of Devil's Tower National Monument in Wyoming today.  However, his plan for getting down from the mountain went awry and he had to wait six days in freezing temperatures for rescuers to climb up to him with rappelling equipment.

Monday, October 31, 2011

October 31 in San Antonio history...

1966
The Granada Hotel, which opened in 1927, closed at noon to be converted into a home for the elderly.  Monthly rent began at $58 per month.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October 22 in San Antonio history...

1975
The World Football League, including the San Antonio Wings, folds.  San Antonio would not have another professional football team again until 1984 - the San Antonio Gunslingers of the USFL.

1976
The Spurs make their debut as an NBA team in Philadephia against the 76ers, appropriately.  They continue their high-scoring ABA tradition, winning 121-118.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 16 in San Antonio history...

1941
Merger of Austin College at Sherman and Trinity University, located at Waxahachie, received the approval of delegates to the state-wide synod of the Presbyterian Church now meeting at the Madison Square Presbyterian Church here.  Three more resolutions pertaining to the merger will be discussed Thursday, the Rev. R. E. Joiner, said.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Right of Suffrage




THE



MINORITY REPORT






IN FAVOR OF EXTENDING THE






RIGHT OF SUFFRAGE,




WITH CERTAIN LIMITATIONS,






TO ALL MEN WITHOUT DISTINCTION OF






RACE
OR COLOR






MADE IN THE




TEXAS RECONSTRUCTION
CONVENTION:




BY E. DEGENER




FEBRUARY
24, 1868
































AUSTIN:

PRINTED AT THE
SOUTHERN INTELLIGENCER OFFICE




1866













MINORITY REPORT.

________



COMMITTEE ROOM, Feb. 24, 1866

Hon.
J.W. Throckmorton, President Convention, Austin:

   MR.
PRESIDENT: Disagreeing with the majority of the Committee to whom the subject
of the Elective Franchise was referred, I proposed to the Committee the
following Amendment, to be inserted after the first section:

    “From and
after the 4th of July, 1866, every male citizen of the United
States, who shall have attained 21 years of age, or become a naturalized
citizen of the United States, and shall have resided in this State one year
next preceding an election, and the last six month in the district, country,
city or town in which he offers to vote, and who shall be able to read and
write the English or his native language understandingly,
shall be deemed a qualified elector.”

    This being
rejected, a further amendment was offered, substituting 1876 for 1866, which
was also rejected.  Then followed another
proposition, to amend the original resolution, so as to make it read, “From and
after the 4th day of July, 1866, every male citizen of the United
States born free,” &c., which shared the same fate of the preceding
amendments; so that, not being able to agree with the majority of the
committee, I be leave to offer the following:



MINORITY REPORT

    The majority
of the Committee on the Legislative Department, to which was referred that part
of the Constitution defining the qualifications of Electors, having reported in
favor of re-adopting that part of the old Constitution which deprives Africans
and their descendants of the right of suffrage, I respectfully beg leave to
present the following objections to their Report:

ALL POLITICAL POWER INHERENT
IN THE PEOPLE

    The fundamental principle upon which the American system of
government was founded are,

    1st, The civil and political equality of all men.

    2d, That they are endowed with certain inalienable
rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    3d, That, to insure these rights, governments are instituted
among men.

    4th, That governments derive their just powers from
the consent of the governed.

    These fundamental principles of American liberty constitute the
basis of the Bills of Rights, which, under various modifications, pervade all
our constitutional charters.  The
doctrine, that the foundation of all free government was the right of the people to participate in the legislative
power, and in the organization of governments, was universally accepted by the
early American statesmen; and the framers of the Federal Constitution were care
to confide all power to the people,
and to provide for the protection of the whole
people.  To illustrate this, it is only
necessary to refer to the Constitution itself. In the 2d section of Article 1, the organization of the House of
Representatives is provided for, as follows:

    “The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen
every second year, by the people,”
&c.  And still later, when the
Constitution was amended, the rights of the people were not forgotten, but
protected by new safeguards, as may be seen by the following Articles:

    “ART. 1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom
of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a
redress of grievances.

    “ART. 2. A well regulated militia being necessary to the success
of a free state,
the right of the people to keep and
bear arms shall not be infringed.

    “ART. 4. The right of the people
to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable
searches and seizures, shall not be violated.

    “ART. 9. The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights
shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    “ART. 10. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution,
nor prohibited by it, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    The founders of the Republic
of Texas
, acknowledging
the right of the people to govern, declared in their Bill of Rights that “all
political power is inherent in the people, and that all free governments are
founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit.”

    As the people of Texas
have declared their belief in this doctrine, and assuming that this Convention
will reaffirm it, it remains for us, in framing our organic law, to see to it
that every section shall harmonize with these great and acknowledged principles
of human liberty.

    If all political power is inherent in the people of Texas by what
authority can we prohibit any portion of the people form the free exercise of
that most important of all political power, the right of suffrage, as is
proposed by the Report of the majority, which, if adopted, would forever
exclude a large portion of the people of Texas from any participation in the
affairs of the government; against which injustice I hereby solemnly protest.



NEGRO SUFFRAGE NOTHING NEW



    In demanding
the right of suffrage for the colored citizens of our State, I do not ask for
the establishment of any new principle, or any untried experiment, but that we
give practical effect to our own theory of government be returning to the
usages adopted by the founders of the American Republic.

    Under the
Articles of Confederation, Congress acted directly upon the subject of
suffrage, in the organization of territorial governments, which were to result
in State governments.  The celebrated
ordinance of 23d April, 1784, drafted by Jefferson, authorized the “Free males
of full age,” without distinction of color, to take part in forming these
governments; and the still more famous ordinance of July 13, 1787, vested the
right of suffrage in all the “free male inhabitants of full age,” who had
certain qualifications of freehold or residence.

    This
ordinance was re-enacted immediately after the adoption of our present
Constitution, by the act of Congress of August 7, 1789; and in this respect was the precedent for
every subsequent territorial act passed until 1812.  The several acts passed from the foundation
of the government to that date, were as follows.

    Under the
Congress of the Confederation, those to which I have referred, namely, that of
April 28, 1784, “For the temporary government of territory ceded or to be ceded
by the individual States to the United States;” and that of July 13, 1787, “for
the government of the territory of the United States northwest of the river
Ohio.”

    And by the
Congress of the United
States
since the adoption of the
Constitution:

    The act of August 7, 1789, already
referred to as re-enacting the ordinance of 1787;

    The act of May 26, 1790, for the government of the territory of
the United States south of the river Ohio, under which the State of Tennessee
was organized;

    The act of April
7, 1798
, for the establishment of a government in the Mississippi territory;

    The act of May
7, 1800
, establishing the Indian territory;

    The act of March
26, 1804
, for the government of Louisiana,
which provided for a legislative council, to be appointed by the President of
the United States,
and not for an elective legislature as did all the rest;

    The Act of June
11, 1805
, for the government of Michigan territory.  The Act of March 2, 1805, for the establishment of the territory of Orleans,
and the Act of February 3,
1809
, for the government of Illinois
territory.  In no one of these ten acts
was any restriction placed on the right of suffrage by reason of the color of
the citizen.  In none of these was the
word white used to limit the right of
suffrage.[*]

    It is also true, that under the Articles of Confederation, and
long subsequent to the adoption of the Federal Constitution, the free colored
man was a voted, and that the framers of the Constitution intended by the word
people,” all classes and
complexions.  In proof of this, it is
only necessary to refer to the Journals of the Convention which adopted the
Articles of Confederation, which record the fact that, when the 4th
article was under consideration, which proposed that the “free inhabitants of
each of these States shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free
citizens in the several States,” the delegates from South Carolina moved to
insert the word white, so as to make it read “free white inhabitants,” that
only two of the eleven States represented voted to sustain the motion.  South
Carolina
, thus signally defeated, tried another
expedient to accomplish the same object, and again failed, thus placing upon an
imperishable record the consistency of the Convention and its determination to
make to invidious distinction between races or colors.



THE ORIGINAL STATES MADE NO DISTINCTION



    It is an important historical fact, that at the time of the
adoption of the Federal Constitution, there was but one state, (South
Carolina
,) whose Constitution distinguished in this
respect against the colored man.

    The Constitution of Massachusetts provided that every male
person, being 21 years of age, and possessing certain property qualifications,
should have the right to vote.

    The Constitution of New York gave the right of suffrage to every
male inhabitant of full age, with certain property qualifications.

    In New Jersey,
the Constitution provided that all
inhabitants of the colony, who were of full age, and worth fifty pounds, were
entitled to vote.

    The Constitution of Pennsylvania allowed that every freeman, of
21 years of age, who had paid taxes, should enjoy the right of an elector.[†]

    In Maryland,
the right to votes was extended to all
freemen
who possessed a certain amount of property.

    Virginia and Delaware gave the right to all men who had a
common interest with an attachment to the community.[‡]

    The Constitution of North Carolina provided that all freemen who
had paid taxes should be entitled to vote.[§]

    Georgia
made electors of all citizens and inhabitants who paid taxes.

    The colonial charters of Rhode Island
and Connecticut
made no distinction on account of color or race.

    The Constitution of Tennessee provided that every freeman who
possessed a freehold should be entitled to vote; and for nearly forty years the
colored man of Tennessee
exercised the elective franchise.[**]

    The Legislature of Colorado, at its first session in 1861, passed
a law, establishing the qualifications of voters, making no distinction of color
or race.

    Thus I have presented undoubted historical evidence that the
founders of our Republic, and of the individual States composing it,
practically enforced their theory, (so eloquently expressed in the Texas
Declaration of Rights, that “all political power is inherent in the people,”)
by giving to the whole people, without distinction of color, equal political
rights and privileges.

    Under these Constitutions the free colored man continued to
exercise the right of suffrage, until the slave system had acquired sufficient
power to effect by its insidious diplomacy a radical change in the organic law
of nearly every State, disenfranchising a large portion of the people, who were
thus deprived of that political power, which had been the boast of our Fathers,
and which was the chief corner stone of American liberty; but now that slavery
has been blotted out by the blood of the Nation, it is but just and reasonable
that the rights of the people should be restored to them.[††]



A REPUBLICAN FORM OF GOVERNMENT



    The Federal
Constitution stipulates that “the United States
shall guarantee to every State in this Union,
a republican form of government.”

    That it may
be clearly understood what Congress considers a republican form of government,
I respectfully beg leave to submit the following extracts from a series of
resolutions, lately presented to the Senate of the United States, by Hon. Charles
Sumner, which clearly indicates the line of our duty, and the course we must pursue in order to be admitted to
the Union.

    The preamble
and resolution read as follows:

    “Resolutions
declaring the duty of the United States to guarantee republican governments in
the rebel States on the basis of the Declaration of Independence, so that the
new governments shall be founded on the consent of the government and the
equality of all persons before the law.

“Resolved, That it is the duty of the United States at
the earliest practicable moment, consistent with the common defense and the
general welfare, to re-establish by act of Congress republican governments, in
those States where loyal governments have been vacated by the rebellion, and
thus to the full extent of their power fulfill the requirement of the
Constitution, that “the United States” shall guarantee to every State in this Union,
a republican form of government.

    “That in
determining the extent of this duty, and in the absence of any precise
definition of the term ‘republican form of government,’ we cannot err if when
called to perform this guarantee under the Constitution, we adopt the
self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence as an authoritative rule
and insist that in every re-established State, the consent of the governed
shall be the only just foundation of government and that all persons shall be
equal before the law.

    “That
independent of the Declaration of Independence, it is plain, that any duty
imposed by the Constitution must be performed in conformity with justice and
reason, and in the light of existing facts; that therefore, in the performance,
of this guarantee, there can be no power under the Constitution to
disenfranchise loyal people, or to recognize any such disenfranchisement.

    “That the United States,
now called at a crisis of history to perform this guarantee, will fail in duty
under the Constitution, should they allow the re-establishment of any State,
without proper safeguards for the rights of all the citizens.

    “That the
path of justices is also the path of peace, and that for the sake of peace it
is better to obey the Constitution, and, in conformity with its requirements,
in the performance of the guarantee, to re-establish State governments on the
consent of the governed and the equality of all persons before the law, to the
end that the foundation thereof may be permanent, and that no loyal majorities
may be again overthrown or ruled by any oligarchical class.”

 This amendment
proposed by the majority Report, tried by this test, falls fatally short of its
requirements.  It not only disfranchises
nearly one-half of the loyal citizens of this State, but makes this
disfranchisement perpetual, heredity and insurmountable.  It clings to each man and his posterity
forever, if there be a traceable thread of African descent.  No achievements of war or peace, no
acquisition of property, no education, no mental power or culture, no merits
can overcome it.

    Texas as an independent Republic and as a State of the Union has tested the value of the constitutional
provision now under consideration, and the result has been the perfect
demonstration, that the system is essentially and practically oligarchical, in
such a sense as actually and seriously to have endangered the public peace and
the success of republican institutions.

    Suppose now
with the lights thus afforded us, we adopt the report of the majority and
incorporate into our Constitution a provision disfranchising a large portion of
the loyal citizens of the State, and with that instrument in our hands, ask to
be admitted into the Union, could we have a reasonable hope of success?  Does any man believe that Congress would be
so unmindful of its duty and its pledges, as to admit us with a Constitution so
far behind the spirit of the age and the demands of the nation, in view of the
changed condition of affairs, besides being so unjust and so entirely anti-republican?



SOUTHERN REPRESENTATION



Another objection to the report of the majority is
based upon the fact, that if we refuse to enfranchise the freedmen, we reduce
our representation in the Congress of the United States and thus materially
weaken our political power.

    The
Congressional joint Committee on reconstruction have agreed to the following
amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

    “Article -. Representatives
and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be
included within this Union, according to their respective numbers, counting the
whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed, provided,
that whenever the elective franchise
shall be denied or abridged in any State, on account of race or color, all
persons of such race or color shall be excluded from the basis of
representation
.”

    This
amendment, or some Act equivalent to it, will undoubtedly pass and become a
law.  As an amendment to the
Constitution, its ratification by three-fourths of all the States in the Union will be required and judging by the tone of the
Northern press and by other indications of public sentiment North and West, its
ratification will be certain.

    The provision
of this amendment would apply to all States, where suffrage is based on color,
whether North or South, although practically the effect would be felt only in
the late slave States.

    If the
colored men of the South are all
counted in, to measure the right of representation and are then all
disfranchised, the whites in the late slave States will be represented in
Congress by thirty-three more members
than an equal number of whites in the Northern States.  This would be unjust because unequal, and
will not be permitted.  On the contrary
if we enfranchise our blacks and they are then included in this basis of
representation, we shall go back into the Union
with thirteen more representatives,
than we were entitled to before the abolition of slavery.

    Again, if the Southern States should follow the example which Texas
is about to present, and refuse to enfranchise the negro, and he is therefore
excluded from the basis of representation, we shall return to the Union with an
immense loss of political power in the House of Representatives, having at
least twenty members less than we were entitled to before 1861.[‡‡]

    When Texas was a member of the Union, three-fifths of her slave
population were represented in Congress, and it is now for us to determine by
our own acts whether we will have our entire population included in the basis
of representation, thus increasing the political power of the State, or
diminishing it by allowing nearly one-half of our inhabitants to go
unrepresented.



THE CHANGE IN OUR CONDITION NOT RECOGNIZED



    We are reminded by his Excellency Gov. Hamilton, in his late
message that, “by the voice of the American people, assuming the form of
constitution law, slavery has been abolished, and he suggest, that this
radicals change should be fully recognized in the amended Constitution by
providing for the new condition of the freedmen, by giving them civil and
political rights on an equality with the white population of the State, and
that the enjoyment of these privileges should not depend upon the accident of
birth or color, and that should we fail to make these political privileges
depend upon rules of universal application, we will be betrayed into the error
of legislating under the influence of ancient prejudice, and that “any system
of laws intended to deprive the colored race of the actual fruits of liberty,
will meet with resistance from the Congress of the United States.”

    The report of the majority entirely ignores these words of wisdom
and of patriotism. Instead of conforming to the new condition of affairs it
presents for our acceptance a pro-slavery provision of the Constitution adopted
in 1845, and retained in the amended Constitution of 1861.

    The former Constitutions of Texas were framed so as to protect
the institution of slavery, and therefore consistently deprived the colored man
of the rights pertaining to citizenship; but now that slavery is abolished, our
relations to the colored race are materially changed.

    Thos who were lately slaves, having “no rights which a white man was
bound to respect,” are now freemen, entitled to all the rights and privileges
of American citizens.

    Under the slave system, these people enjoyed the protection of
their masters, whose interest impelled them to surround their property by all
necessary safe-guards; but now, this protection is withdrawn, and henceforth their
grievances are to be redressed by the law, and their rights maintained by our
Courts.

    Born upon the soil, and attached to it by a variety of
association and interests, they will, despite our desires or our efforts to the
contrary, remain with us.  As the cloud
of ignorance and oppression by which they have so long been overshadowed, is
gradually dispelled by education and the change in public sentiment, they will
enter into all the industrial and business pursuits of our people, and thus
become a power in the State, whose presence and influence cannot be ignored.

    Our own interest therefore imperatively demands, that we should
deal justly by these people – that our laws should afford them ample protection
– that we should extend to them the hand of kindness, encourage their efforts
towards elevation, and do whatever may be necessary to make them good and
useful citizens, lest they become a pest and a scourge to society.

    To extend to the freedmen the right of suffrage would elevate
them in their own estimation – give them increased importance in every
community, and would extend over them a shield so broad that it would
effectually protect them against wrongs and oppressions which they would
otherwise be subjected.

    The colored people of our State constitute and important part of
the body politic; as citizens they will be called upon to sustain an equal
share of the public burthens,  - in
common with other members of the community, they will be taxed to support the
government, and to pay their share of the debt incurred for their emancipation;
as property holders, they will have a permanent interest in the welfare of the
State, and if ever the necessity should arise, they will be required to shed
their blood in defence of our common country. Who then will say, that they should be deprived of the rights of
citizenship?

    It has been suggested, that the mass of our colored people,
because of their ignorance and want of education, are unfit to exercise the
right of suffrage.

    The same objection can, with equal force, be urged against a
certain class of white men, but no one pretends in their case, that the
objection is valid; and if we would avoid class legislation, we must make the
same rule apply to both.

    If this objection be good as applied to the present generation of
blacks, it can not apply to the next, or to future generations, because the
General Government through the agency of the Freedmen’s Bureau has already
amply provided for their education, and when this bureau shall have been
withdrawn our own school system will continue the work so auspicious commenced,
and as we are legislating for generations to come, this objection is without
force and unworthy of further consideration.



WHITE MEN TO CONTROL NEGRO VOTES



    We are also met the objection, that if we enfranchise the negro,
white men, and especially his late master will control his vote.

    With this we have nothing to do; it is our duty and our business
to give him the right of suffrage, and his
to exercise it as he pleases.  White men
are usually divided into political parties and if they have the control of
colored voters, the colored vote will be divided, and if the whites vote all
together, they will be no stronger if the colored men vote with them.

    On large plantations, the relation of employers and employed may occasionally
operate to give the planter some undue control over the laborers.  So it was formerly but falsely said, that
wealthy capitalists, who employed a large number of workmen, held them in
political bondage, but no one ever suggested this as a reason why they should
be disfranchised; but if the late slaveholders really believe they can control
the votes of their emancipated claves, I appeal to them to sustain my views,
that they may avail themselves of this new and important element of political
power.



WAR OF RACES



    It is sometimes urged with
apparent solemnity, that if the negro is enfranchised, it would result in a war
between the two races.

    One of the old arguments against emancipation, was the
anticipated terrible efforts were sure to follow the sudden liberation of the
slave.  The freedmen were certain to
wreak their long pent up revenge, the moment they were released from bondage.  This argument was used to prevent
emancipation in the British West Indies, and Senator Davis, of Kentucky, made free use of it in the United States Senate
to intimidate Congress, when it was disposed to give liberty to the slaves of
the District of Columbia.  But notwithstanding this, freedom was not
withheld in either case, and was received by the emancipated with thanksgiving
and prayer, whose hearts were filled to overflowing with joy and gratitude, and
not with revenge, so that the evil predictions were not fulfilled, no war of races ensuing.

    As the year 1865 drew to a close, the whole Southern country was
terrified by an apprehended war of races to be inaugurated during the coming
holidays.  Under the slave system, this
had always been a season of alarm; dreadful forebodings took possession of
almost every Southern heart; but the season usually passed of without any
slaughter, save that which took place among the pigs and poultry in the barn
yards of the neighboring planters; but this
time there would be no mistake – the negroes were free – they could go where
they pleased and do as they pleased, and the bloody horrors of St. Domingo were
certain to be re-enacted.  The eventful
days approached – Federal bayonets and Confederate home-guards were ready to
repel the first attack of the black hordes who were now to begin the war of
races.  The holidays come, and all was
peace and quietness over the land, while hundreds of Southern fields, for the
first time during this merry-making season, were blackened by sable laborers,
who now, having a new motive for toil, were industriously preparing the soil for
future harvests.  This again were the
cowardly and unmanly fears of the late slaveholding communities dispelled, and
the war of races was still further
postponed.

    It is now proposed to take one more step towards the elevation of
the colored race by giving them the right of suffrage, and again are the hands
of his late oppressors raised in holy horror at another prospect of a war of
races, which must be inevitable, if this last mad act of fanaticism is
consummated. True, previous anticipations failed, but only give the negro the
right to vote, and war, with all is bloody horrors will sweep over the sunny
South like a destroying angel, filling the land with mourning – crimsoning
every cotton field and reddening every stream, while blazing towns and cities light
up the horrid scene with terrific grandeur! False friends of the colored man, stay your hands!  Let him remain
half a slave that his race may be preserved.

    Reason and argument having failed, thus do the opposers of this
last crowing act of emancipation feebly attempt to defeat the ends of justice
by again seeking to operate upon the fears of the timid, by once more raising
the absurd cry of a war of races!

    Unworthy of serious consideration as this objection really is,
let us briefly examine it.

    All the bloody feuds between the white and black races of which
history gives any account, were the result of injustice and oppression at the
hands of the superior race.

    But who is now to begin this war of races?  Certainly not the white man, for he will find
it his interest to be upon the best possible terms with the newly made
voters.  The leading men, and the hosts
of political aspirants in every community, will suddenly find that these people
are entitled to respectful consideration, for voters are not to be slighted,
much less treated with indignity; and for this reason, they will every where
receive that kindness and attention which their political importance demands;
and at the polls their rights will be carefully protected by their white
political friends.  Is it not therefore
clear that the white man will not begin this dreadful war of races?  And is it not equally certain that the black
man will not begin it?

    Men are not apt to make war upon their friends or upon those who
have conferred great and lasting benefits upon them; but the history of the
human race is full of bloody illustrations to the contrary.  Wrongs and injustice many be submitted to for
a time, but the hour of retribution is certain to come; therefore, if we would
live in peace and harmony with the colored race, from which we cannot be
separated, and whose destiny is so indissolubly interwoven with our own, we
much do them no wrong, practice no injustice upon them, but being the superior
race, protect them from all harm and bestow upon them every right and privilege,
which their changed condition justly demands.

    These people were called upon to defend with their lives, the
integrity of the Union, and thousands of them
are still under arms ready to perish in defence of their native land and they
are now everywhere clamoring for the right of suffrage.  the last battle in Virginia
had scarcely ceased, before they held conventions in Petersburg,
Richmond and Alexandria, declaring by resolutions their
desire and their right to vote.  Their example
was soon followed by the colored men of Tennessee,
Mississippi, Alabama,
North and South Carolina and Louisiana, who in large conventions have
demanded the same right.  Their petitions
to Congress are of daily occurrence, while at the same time they are
maintaining at the seat of government a large and talented delegation of black
men, for the purpose of urging their claims upon Congress and the
President.  Since the discussion on this subject
has commenced, Congress has, by an overwhelming majority pass a law giving
unconditional suffrage to the colored people of the District of Columbia.

    This has the agitation of this question been commenced and
carried forward with extraordinary vigor; those who demand this right are
counted by millions, and let no man suppose that agitation will cease, or that
its fervor or intensity will abate, until their claims are satisfied.

    Let us then learn wisdom from the history of the past, and
without compulsion from any quarter, cheerfully accord to our own freedmen, rights
and privileges, long unjustly withheld, thus insuring our peace and prosperity,
and their gratitude and friendship forever more.

    In consideration of the importance of this subject, and the views
hereby presented, I respectfully bed leave to offer the following resolution:

    That so much of the report of the Committee, as related to the
right of suffrage, be referred to a select committee, with instructions to
report an amendment, to provide for the prospective admission of the freedmen
to the right of suffrage.

                                                                                                                                E.
DEGENER

   





















[*] Speech of Hon. Wm. D. Kelley in House of
Representatives, June 10,
1865



[†] Hon. Wm. D. Kelley of Pennsylvania, in a speech made in the House
of Representatives, January
16, 1865
, made this statement in reference to negro suffrage in his
State:

   “I remember well to have seen negroes at the
polls exercising the right of suffrage in Pennsylvania, where they enjoyed it
from the foundation of the government to the year 1838, when the growing
influence of the increasing slave power of the country, deprived colored men of
this right by following the example of South Carolina and inserting the word
“white” in the Constitution of the State.

   Again said Mr. Kelley: “When the
Constitution was adopted the free colored men of New Jersey and of the States
adjoining, and of all the States excepting South Carolina and probably Delaware
and Virginia, in which suffrage was regulated by statute, and not by
constitutional provision, were citizens and did vote on the question of its adoption.
I challenge the production of any legal decision or historical work to
contradict this assertion.”



[‡] The father of Democracy, the illustrious Jefferson, in a letter dated July 12, 1816 in discussing a proposed
amendment to the Constitution of Virginia, thus clearly set forth his views:

“The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every
citizen in his person and property, and in their management.  Try by this as a tally every provision of our
Constitution and see if it hangs directly on the will of the people.  Let
every man who fights or pays exercise his just and equal right in their
election
.” – Jefferson’s Works, vol. 7, page 11.

   And again, in a letter written April 19, 1824, he said:

   “However nature may, by mental or physical
disqualifications, have marked infants and the weaker sex for the
protection  rather than the direction of
government, yet among men who either pay
or fight for their country, no line of right can be drawn
.” – Works, vol.7, page 345.



[§] In regard to North Carolina, it may not by
inappropriate to refer to its early law and usage, as state by one of its
distinguished jurists, Judge Gaston, in an opinion pronounced in 1838, in the
case of the State vs. Manual, which may be found in 4 Devereux, and Battle’s
North Carolina Reports, page 25.

   “The very Congress which framed our
Constitution (the State Constitution of 1776) was chosen by free holders. That
Constitution extended the elective franchise to every freeman who had arrived
at the age of twenty-one, and paid a public tax; and it is a matter of
universal notoriety, that under it free person without regard to color, claimed and exercised the franchise until
it was taken from free men of color, a few years since, by our amended
Constitution.”



[**] In reference to Tennessee,
it is an interesting fact that Cave Johnson, one of the distinguished men of
our country, was elected to Congress by Negro votes.  On mage 1305 of the Congressional Globe for
the session of 1853-54, will be found the following statement of Hon. John
Petit, of Indiana,
made in the United States Senate, May 25, 1854, while discussing the suffrage clause of the
Kansas Nebraska bill:

   “Many of the States have conferred this
right [of suffrage] upon Indiana,
and many, both North and South, have conferred it upon free Negroes without
property.  Old Cave Johnson, of
Tennessee, an honored and respectable gentleman, formerly Postmaster-General,
and for a long time a member of the other House, told me with his own lips that
the first time he was elected to Congress from Tennessee (in 1828) it was by
the votes of free negroes; and he told me how. Free Negroes in Tennessee
were then allowed by the Constitution of the State to vote; and he was an iron
manufacturer, and had a large number of free Negroes as well as slaves in his
employ.  I well recollect the number he
stated.  One hundred and eighty-four free
negroes in his employ went to the ballot-box and elected him to Congress the
first time he was elected.”



[††] EMANCIPATION IN RUSSIA – When Alexander II, the
present Emperor of Russia, by a proclamation set free twenty-three millions of
serfs, he completed his work by supplementary provisions investing the freedmen
with civil and political rights, including the right to testify in Court – the
right of suffrage, and the right to hold office.  This immortal proclamation, dated at St. Petersburg, 19 February 1861, was
promulgated amidst prayers and thanksgiving in all the Churches of the National
Capitol, and at once sent to every part of the Empire by the hands of generals
and staff officers of the Emperor himself.

   One of these “supplementary provision,” or
laws regulating the emancipation of the serfs, secures to the freedmen complete equality in the courts with
“the right of action, whether civilly or criminally, to commence process, and
to answer personally or by attorney; to make complaint, and to defend their
rights by all the means known to the law, and
to appear as witnesses and as bail, conformably to the common law
.”  Other sections secure to the freedmen
equality in political rights, by providing, that, “on the organization of the
towns, they shall be entitled to take part in the meetings and elections for
the towns and to vote on town affairs, and to exercise diverse functions; “
that they shall also “take part in the assemblies for the district, and shall
vote on district affairs, and choose the chairman,” and generally enjoy all
right to choose their local officers and to be chosen in turn. – Charles Sumner’s Speech, Worcester, Mass.



[‡‡] Hon. Thad. Stevens said in a recent speech in Congress
on this subject. “If the Southern States exlude the colored population, they
will lsoe at least thirty-five
Representatives in this hall. If they adopt it, (negro suffrage) they will have
eighty-three votes.  Take it away from
them and they will have only from forty-five to forty-eight votes all told in
the House of Representatives.”


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September 7 in San Antonio history...

1924
The new St. John's Episcopal Church at Burnet and North Hackberry streets is completed and holds opening services.

1972
The first Folklife Festival opens on the grounds of the Institute of Texan Cultures. 7,546 people attend on opening day.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

September 3 in San Antonio history...

1979
PM Magazine, with hosts Mario Bosquez and Peggy Kokernot, debuts on KSAT Channel 12 at 6:30 p.m.

Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29 in San Antonio history...

1986
Blockbuster Video announces its first San Antonio location at 9885 IH-10 West in the Colonnade. They would acquire the Sound Warehouse and Music Plus retail chains in 1992, but declare bankruptcy on Sept. 23, 2010.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

August 20 in San Antonio history...

1910
The congregation of Travis Park Methodist Church will erect a 12-story office and church building to cost about $50,000.  The building will be erected on the adjoining church property on Travis and Navarro.

1960
Hundreds of San Antonians searched the skies last night for more than five hours for a glimpse of a "reddish ball of fire" reported to have been seen in the northeast section of the city.  Local authorities have yet to determine what caused the reddish light.

Friday, August 19, 2011

August 19 in San Antonio history...

1909
A meeting of the German-American citizens is held at Beethoven Hall to organize a branch of the German-American Alliance of the United States of America.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 16 in San Antonio history...

1920
The 2nd Division recruiting station at Jefferson and Travis has been moved to the southwest corner of Cameron and W. Houston.  Capt. Bernard M. Smith hopes that the new location will be more conducive to enlisting.

1960
Delinquent city tax collections for the fiscal year showe an increase of 17 percent over the previous years, said, J. Frank Norton, back tax attorney.

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15 in San Antonio history...

1905
An ordinance was adopted by the city council wherein the city disclaimed any right, title or interest in the Alamo property.  The mayor was authorized to execute a quit claim deed to Miss Clara Driscoll.

1918
A single fingerprint is the sole evidence against a San Antonio man ordered to stand trial in district court for burglary.  It will be the first case of its kind in Bexar County and the third in the state.  Although other evidence is lacking, police claim the print method is infallable.

1969
Jethro Tull and Led Zeppelin play a concert at Hemisfair Arena.  It is the first appearance in San Antonio for both bands.  Tickets sell for $3, $4 and $5.