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ions of this act shall not be so construed as to require the education of colored and white children in the same school.
Sec. 5. That all free persons of color who were living together as husband and wife in this State while in a state of slavery are hereby declared to be man and wife, and their children legitimately entitled to an inheritance in any property heretofore acquired, or that may hereafter be acquired, by said parents, to as full an extent as the children of white citizens are now entitled by«the existing laws of this State. May 26—All the freedmen's courts in Tennessee were abolished by the assistant commander, the law of the State making colored persons competent witnesses in all civil courts.
TEXAS. A colored man is permitted by the new constitution to testify orally where any one of his race is a party, allows him to hold property, and to sue and be sued.
1865, December .—"An act to provide for and regulate labor contracts for agricultural pursuits" requires all such laborers to make labor contracts for the next year within the first ten days of January—the contracts to be in writing, to be with heads of families, to embrace the labor of all the members, and be binding on all minors thereof. Each laborer, after choosing his employer, "shall not be allowed to leave his place of employment until the fulfillment of his contract, unless by consent of his employer, or on account of harsh treatment, or breach of contract on the part of employer; and if they do so leave, without cause or permission, they shall forfeit all wages earned to the time of abandonment." Wages due shall be a lien ~pon the crops; and one half shall be paid at periods agreed by the parties, "but it shall be lawful for the employer to retain the other moiety until the completion of the contract." Employers failing to comply, are to be fined double the amount due to laborer. These are the eighth and ninth sections in full:
Sec. 8. That in case of sickness of the laborer, wages for the time lost shall be deducted, and where the sickness is feigned for purposes of idleness, and also on refusal to work according to contract, double the amount of wages shall be deducted for the time lost, and also where rations have been furnished; and should the refusal to work be continued beyond three days, the offender shalll be reported to a justice of the peace, and shall be forced to labor on roads, levees, and other public works, without pay, until the offender consents to return to his labor.
Sec. 9. That, when in health, the laborer shall work ten hours during the day in summer, and nine hours during the day in winter, unless otherwise stipulated in the labor contract; he shall obey all proper orders of his employer or his agent; take proper care of his work mules, horses, oxen, stock; also of all agricultural inplements; and employers shall have the right to make a reasonable deduction from the laborer's wages for injuries done to animals or agricultural implements committed to his care, or for bad
or negligent work. Bad work shall not be allowed. Failing to obey reasonable orders, r.r.%lect of duty, and leaving home without pevn V-sion, will be deemed disobedience; impudence, swearing, or indecent language to or in the ^ret • ence of the employer, his family or agent, oTM quarrelling and fighting with one another, shall be deemed disobedience. For any disobe.iience a fine of one dollar shall be imposed on the offender. For all lost time from work hours, unless in case of sickness, the laborer shall be fined twenty-five cents per hour. For all absence from home without leave the laborer will be fined at the rate of two dollars per day. Laborers will not be required to labor on the Sabbath except to take the necessary care of stock and other property on plantations and do the necessary cooking and household duties, unless by special contract. For all thefts of the laborer from tho employer of agricultural products, hogs, sheep, poultry or any other property of the employer, or wilful destruction of property or injury, the laborer shall pay the employer double the amount of the value of the property stolen, destroyed or injured, one half to be paid to the employer and the other half to be placed in the general fund provided for in this section. No live stock shall be allowed to laborers without the permission of the employer. Laborers shall not receive visitors during work hours. All difficulties arising between the employers and laborers, under this section, shall be settled, and all fines be imposed, by the former; if not satisfactory to the laborers, an appeal may be had to the nearest justice of the peace and two freeholders, citizens, one of said citizens to be selected by the employer and the other by the laborer; and all fines imposed and collected under this section shall be deducted from the wages due, and shall be placed in a common fund, to be divided among the other laborers employed on the plantation at the time when their full wages fall due, except as provided for above. December 21—This bill became a law: Sec. 1. That any one who shall persuade or entice away, feed, harbor, or secrete any person who leaves his or her employer, with whom she or he has contracted, or is assigned to live, or any apprentice who is bound as an apprentice, without the permission of his or her employer, said person or persons so offending shall be liable for damages to the employer, and also, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to pay a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, nor less than ten dollars, or imprisonment in the parish jail for not more than twelve months nor less than ten days, or both, at the discretion of the court.
Sec. 2. That it shall be duty of the judges oi this State to give this act especially in charge oi the grand juries at each jury term of their respective courts.
A new vagrant act is thus condensed in the New Orleans Picayune:
It adopts the same definition of vagrancy as in the act of 1855, and provides that any person charged with vagrancy shall be arrested on the warrant of any judge or justice of the peace; and if said judge or justice of the peace shall be satisfied by the confession of the offender, or by competent testimony, that he is a vagrant within this said description, he shall make a certificate of the same, which shall be filed with the clerk of the court of the parish and in the city of New Orleans. The certificate shall be filed in the offices of the recorders, and the said justice or other officer shall require the party accused to enter into bond, payable to the Governor of Louisiana, or his successors in office, in such sums as said justice of the peace or other officer shall prescribe, with security, to be approved by said officer, for his good behavior and future industry for the period of one year; and upon his failing or refusing to give such bond and security, the justice or other officer shall issue his warrant to the sheriff or other officer, directing him to detain and to hire out such vagrant for a period not exceeding twelve months, or to
cause him to labor on the public works, roads, and levees, under such regulations as shall be made by the municipal authorities: Provided, That if the accused be a person who has abandoned his employer before his contract expired, the preference snail be given to such employer of hiring the accused: And provided further, That in the city of New Orleans the accused may be committed to the work-house for a time not exceeding six months, there to be kept at hard labor on the public works, roads, or levees. The proceeds of hire in the cases herein provided for to be paid into the parish treasury for the benefit of paupers: And provided further, That the persons hiring such vagrant shall be compelled to furnish such clothing, food, and medical attention as they may furnish their other laborers.
1865, April 15—Andrew Johnson qualified as President, Chief Justice Chase administering the oath of office.
Remarks at an Interview with Citizens of Indiana.
1865, April 21—A delegation was introduced by Governor 0. P. Morton, to whose address President Johnson responded, stating that he did not desire to make any expression of his future policy more than he had already made, and adding:
But in entering upon the discharge of the duties devolving upon me by the sad occurrence of the assassination of the Chief Magistrate of the nation, and as you are aware, in surrounding circumstances which are peculiarly embarrassing and responsible, I doubt whether you are aware how much I appreciate encouragement and countenance from my fellow-citizens of Indiana. The most courageous individual, the most determined will, might justly shrink from entering upon the discharge of that which lies before me; out were I a coward, or timid, to receive the countenance and encouragement I have from you, and from various other parts of the country, would make me a courageous and determined man. I mean in the proper sense of the term, for there is as much in moral courage and the firm, calm discharge of duty, as in physical courage. But, in entering upon the duties imposed upon me by this calamity, I require not only courage, but determined will, and I assure you that on this occasion your encouragement is peculiarly acceptable to me. In reference to what my administration will be, while I occupy my present position, I must refer you to the past. You may look back to it as evidence of what my course will be; and, in
reference to this diabolical and fiendish rebellion sprung upon the country, all I have to do is to ask you to also go back and take my course in the past, and from that determine what my future will be. Mine has been but one straightforward and unswerving course, and I see no reason now why I should depart from it.
As to making a declaration, or manifesto, or message, or what you may please to call it, my past is a better foreshadowing of my future course than any statement on paper that might be made. Who, four years ago, looking down the stream of time, could have delineated that which has transpired since then? Had any one done so, and presented it, he would have been looked upon as insane, or it would have been thought a fable—fabulous as the stories of the Arabian Nights, as the wonders of the lamp of Aladdin, and would have been about as readily believed.
If we knew so little four years ago of what has passed since then, we know as little what events will arise in the next four years; but as these events arise I shall be controlled in the disposition of them by those rules and principles by which I have been guided heretofore. Had it not been for extraordinary efforts, in part owing to the machinery of the State, you would have had rebellion as rampant in Indiana as we had it in Tennessee. Treason is none the less treason whether it be in a free State or in a slave State; but if there could be any difference in such a crime, he who commits treason in a free State is a greater traitor than he who commits it in a slave State. There might be some little excuse in a man based on his possession of the
Eeculiar property, but the traitor in a free State has no excuse, but simply to be a traitor. Do not, however, understand me to moan by this that any man should be exonerated from the penalties and punishments of the crime of treason. The time has arrived when the American people should understand what crime is, and that it should punished, and its penalties enforced and inflicted. We say in our statutes and courts that burglary is a crime, that murder is a crime, that arson is a crime, and that treason is a crime; and the Constitution of United States, and the laws of the United States, say that treason shall consist in levying war against them, and giving their enemies aid and comfort. I have just remarked that burglary is a crime and has its penalties, that murder is a crime and has its penalties, and so on through the long catalogue of crime.
To illustrate by a sad event, which is before the minds of all, and which has draped this land in mourning. Who is there here who would say if the assassin who has stricken from our midst one beloved and revered by all, and passed him from time to eternity, to that bourne whence no traveler returns, who, I repeat, who, here would say that the assassin, if taken, should not suffer the penalties of his crime? Then, if you take the life of one individual for the murder of another, and believe that his property should be confiscated, what should be done with one who is trying to assassinate this nation? What should be done with him or them who have attempted the life of a nation composed of thirty millions of people?
We were living at a time when the public mind had almost become oblivious of what treason is. The time has arrived, my countrymen, when the American people should be educated and taught what is crime, and that treason is a crime, and the highest crime known to the law and the Constitution. Yes, treason against a State, treason against all the States, treason against the Government of the United States, is the highest crime that can be committed, and those engaged in it should suffer all its penalties. I know it is very easy to get up sympathy and sentiment where human blood is about to be shed, easy to acquire a reputation for leniency and kindness, but sometimes its effects and practical operations produce misery and woe to the mass of mankind. Sometimes an individual whom the law has overtaken, and on whom its penalties are about to be imposed, will appeal and plead with the Executive for the exercise of clemency. But before its exercise he ought to ascertain what is mercy and what is not mercy. It is a very important question, and one which deserves the consideration of those who moralize upon crime and the morals of a nation, whether in some cases action should not be suspended here and transferred to Him who controls all. There, if innocence has been invaded, if wrong has been done, the Controller and Giver of all good, one of whose attributes is mercy, will set it right.
It is not promulging anything that I have not heretofore said to say that traitors must be made odious, that treason must be made odious, that traitors must be punished and impoverished.
They must not only be punished, but their social power must be destroyed. If not, they will still maintain an ascendency, and may again
become numerous and powerful; for, in the words of a former Senator of the United States, "When traitors become numerous enough, trea son becomes respectable." And I say that, after making treason odious, every Union man and the Government should be remunerated out of the pockets of those who have inflicted this great suffering upon the country. But do not understand me as saying this in a spirit of anger, for, if I understand my own heart, the reverse is the case; and, while I say that the penalties of die law, in a stern and inflexible manner, should be executed upon conscious, intelligent, and influential traitors—the leaders, who have deceived thousands upon thousands of laboring men who have been drawn into this rebellion—and whilo I say, as to the leaders, punishment, I also say leniency, conciliation, and amnesty to the thousands whom they have misled and deceived ; and in reference to this, as I remarked, I mighi, have adopted your speech as my own.
As my honorable friend knows, I long anco took the ground that this Government was oent upon a great mission among the nations ol the earth; that it had a great work to perform, nd that in starting it was started in perpetuity. Look back for one single moment to the Articles of Confederation, and then come down to 1787, when the Constitution was formed—what do you find? Thatwe, "the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect government," &c. Provision is made for the admission of new States, to be added to old ones embraced within the Union. Now, turn to the Constitution: we find that amendments may be made, by a recommendation of two thirds of the members of Congress, if ratified by three fourths of the States. Provision is made for the admission of new States; no provision is made for the secession oi old ones.
The instrument was made to be good in perpetuity, and you can take hold of it, not to break up the Government, but to go on perfecting it more and more as it runs down the stream of time. We find the Government composed of integral parts. An individual is an integer, and a number of individuals form a State; and a State itself is an integer, and the various States form the Union, which is itself an integer—they all making up the Government of the United States. Now we come to the point of my argument, so far as concerns the perpetuity of the Government. We have seen that the Government is composed of parts, each essential to the whole, and the whole essential to each part. Now, if an individual (part of a State) declare war against the whole, in violation of the Constitution, he, as a citizen, has violated the law, and is responsible for the act as an individual. There may be more than one individual, it may go on till they become parts of States. Sometime the rebellion may goon increasing in numbers till the State machinery is overturned, and the country becomes like a man that is paralyzed on one side. But we find in the Constitution a great panacea provided. It provides that the United States (that is, the great integer) shall guarantee to each State (the integers composing the whole) in this Union a republican form of
government. Yes, if rebellion had been rampant, and set aside the machinery of a State for a time, there stands the great law to remove the paralysis and revitalize it, and put it on its feet again. When we come to understand our system of government, though it be complex, we see how beautifully one part moves in harmony with another; then we see our Government is to be a perpetuity, there being no provision for pulling it down, the Union being its vitalizing power, imparting life to the whole of the States that move around it like planets round the sun, receiving thence light and heat and motion.
Upon this idea of destroying States, my position has been heretofore well known, and I see no cause to change it now, and I am glad to hear its reiteration on the present occasion. Some are satisfied with the idea that States are to be lost in territorial and other divisions; are to lose their character as States. But their life breath has been only suspended, and it is a high constitutional obligation we have k. secure each of these States in the possession and enjoyment of a republican form of government. A State may be in the Government with a peculiar institution, and by the operation of rebellion lose that feature; but it was a State when it went into rebellion, and when it comes out without the institution it is still a state. I hold it as a solemn obligation in any one of these States where the rebel armies have been beaten back or expelled—I care not how small the number of Union men, if enough to man the ship of State, I hold it, I say, a high duty to protect and secure to them a republican form of government. This is no new opinion. It is expressed in conformity with my understanding of the genius and theory of our Government. Then in adjusting and putting the Government upon its legs again, I think the progress of this work must pass into the hands of its friends. If a State is to be nursed until it again gets strength must be nursed by its friends, not smothered by its enemies.*
Now, permit me to remark, that while I have opposed dissolution and disintegration on the one
* On this and other points, President Johnson declared himself in his Nashville speech of June 9,1864, from which these extracts are taken:
The question is, whether man is capable of self-government? I hold with Jefferson that government was made for the convenience of man, and not man for government. The laws and constitutions were designed as instruments to promote his welfare. And hence, from this principle, I conclude that governments can and ought to be changed and amended to conform to the wants, to the requirements and progress of the people, and the enlightened spirit of the age. Now, if any of your secessionists have lost faith in men's capability for self-government, and feel unfit for the exercise of this great right, go straight to rebeldom, take Jeff. Davis, Beauregard, and Bragg for your masters, and put their collars on your necks.
And let me say that now is the time to secure these fundamental principles, while the land is rent with anarchy and upheaves with the throes of a mighty revolution. While society is in this disordered state, and we are seeking security, let us fix the foundation of the Government on principles of eternal justice which will endure
for all time. There is an element in our midst who are for perpetuating the institution of slavery. Let me say to you, Tennesseeans and men from the Northern States, that slavery is dead. It was not murdered by me. I told you long ago what the result would be if you endeavored to go out of the Union to save slavery; and that the result would be bloodshed, rapine devastated fields, plundered villages and cities and, therefore, I urged you to remain in the Union. In trying to save slavery, you killed it and lost your own freedom. Your slavery is dead, but I did not murder it. As Macbeth said to Banquo's bloody ghost:
"' Never shake thy gory locks at me; Thou canst not say I did it.'" Slavery is dead, and you must pardon me if I do not mourn over its dead body; you can bury it out of sight. In restoring the State leave out that disturbing and dangerous element and use only those parts of the machinery which will move in harmony. But in calling a convention to restore the 13tate, who shall restore and re-establish it? Shall the man who gave his influence and his means to destroy the Government? Is he to participate in the great work of reorganization? Shall he who brought this misery upon the State be permitted to control its destinies? If this be so, then all this precious blood of our brave soldiers and officers so freely poured out will have been wantonly spilled. "All the glorious victories won by our noble armies will go for nought, and all the battle-fields which have been sown with dead heroes during the rebellion will have been made memorable in vain, r" ^tWhy all this carnage and devastation? It .|< ^vas that treason might be put down and traitors "Ipunished. Therefore I say that traitors should take a back seat in the work of restoration. If there be but five thousand men in Tennessee loyal to the Constitution, loyal to freedom, loyal to justice, these true and faithful men should control the work of reorganization and reformation absolutely. I say that the traitor has ceased to be a citizen, and in joining the rebellion has become a public enemy. He forfeited his right to vote with loyal men when he renounced his citizenship and sought to destroy our Government. We say to the most honest and industrious foreigner who comes from England or Germany to dwell among us, and to add to the wealth of the country, "Before you can be a citizen you must stay here for five years.'' If we are so cautious about foreigners, who voluntarily renounce their homes to live with us what should we say to the traitor, who, although born and reared among us, has raised a parricidal hand against the Government which always protected him? My judgment is that he should be subjected to a severe ordeal before he is restored to citizenship. A fellow who takes the oath merely to save his property, and denies the validity of the oath, is a perjured man, and not to be trusted. Before these repenting rebels can be trusted, let them bring forth the fruits of repentance. He who helped to make all these
Land, on the other I am equally opposed toconsolidation, or the centralization of power in the hands of a few. Sir, all this has been extorted from me by the remarks you have offered, and as I have already remarked, I might have adopted your speech as my own. I have detained you longer than I expected, but Governor Morton is responsible for that.
I scarcely know how to express my feeling in view of the kindness you have manifested on this occasion. Perhaps I ought not to add what I am about to say, but human nature is human nature. Indiana first named me for the Vice Presidency, though it was unsolicited by me. Indeed, there is not a man can say that I ever approached him on the subject. My eyes were turned to my own State. If I could restore her, the measure of my ambition was complete. I thank the State of Indiana for the confidence and regard she manifested toward me, which has resulted in what is now before me, placing me in the position I now occupy.
In conclusion, I will repeat that the vigor of my youth has been spent in advocating those great principles at the foundation of our Government, and, therefore, I have been by many denounced as a demagogue, I striving to please the
widows and orphans, who draped the streets of Nashville in mourning, should suffer for his great crime. The work is in our own hands. We can destroy this rebellion. With Grant thundering on the Potomac before Richmond, and Sherman and Thomas on their march toward Atlanta, the day will ere long be ours. Will any madly persist in rebellion? Suppose that an equal number be slain in every battle, it is plain that the result must be the utter extermination of the rebels. Ah! these rebel leaders have a strong personal reason for holding out to save their necks from the halter; and these leaders must feel the power of the Government! Treason must be made odious, and traitors must be punished and impoverished. Their great plantations must be seized, and divided into small farms, and sold to honest, industrious men. The day for protecting the lands and negroes of these authors of the rebellion is past. It is high time it was. I have been most deeply pained at some things which have come under my observation. We get men in command who, under the influence of flattery, fawning, and caressing, grant protection to the rich traitor, while the poor Union man stands out in the cold, often unable to get a receipt or a voucher for his losses. [Cries of "That's so!" from all parts of the crowd.] The traitor can get lucrative contracts, while the loyal man is pushed aside, unable to obtain a recognition of his just stripes and shoulder-straps. I want them all to hear what I say. I have been on a gridiron for two years at the sight of these abuses. I blame not the Government for these things, which are the work of weak or faithless subordinates. Wrongs will be committed under every form of government and every administration. For myself, I mean to stand by the Government till the flag of the Union shall wave over every city, town, hilltop, and cross-roads, in its full power and majesty.
people. I am free to say to you that my highest ambition was to please the people, for I believe that when I pleased them, I was pretty nearly right, and being in the right, I didn't care who assailed me. But I was going to say I have always advocated the principle, that government was made for man—not man forgoverment; even as the good Book says that the Sabbath was made for man—not man for the Sabbath.
So far as in me lies, those principles shall be carried out; and, in conclusion, I tender you my profound and sincere thanks for your respect and support in the performance of the arduous duties now devolving upon me.
To Virginia Refugees.
April 24, 1865—A large number of Southern refugees had an interview, Hon. John C. Underwood making an address; to which the President replied:
It is hardly necessary for me on this occasion to say that my sympathies and impulses in connection with this nefarious rebellion beat in unison with yours. Those who have passed through this bitter ordeal, and who participated in it to a great extent, are more competent, as I think, to judge and determine the true policy which should be pursued. [Applause.]
I have but little to say on this question in response to what has been said. It enunciates and expresses my own feelings to the fullest extent, and in much better language than I can at the present moment summon to my aid.
The most that I can say is, that entering upon the duties that have devolved upon me under circumstances that are perilous and responsible, and being thrown into the position I now occupy unexpectedly, in consequence of the sad event— the heinous assassination which has taken place— in view of all that is before me, and the circumstances that surround me, I cannot but feel that your encouragement and kindness are peculiarly acceptable and appropriate.
I do not think you have been^amiliar with my course, if you who are from the South deem it necessary for me to make any professions as to the future on this occasion, or to express what my course will be upon questions that may arise. If my past life is no indication of what my future will be, my professions were both worthless and empty; and in returning you my sincere thanks for this encouragement and sympathy, I can only reiterate what I have said before, and, in part, what has just been read.
As far as clemency and mercy are concerned, and the proper exercise of the pardoning power, I think I understand the nature and character of the latter. In the exercise of clemency and mercy, that pardoning power should be exercised with caution. I do not give utterance to my opinions on this point in any spirit of revenge or unkind feelings. Mercy and clemency have been pretty large ingredients in my compound. Having been the executive of a State, and thereby placed in a position in which it was necessary to exercise clemency and mercy, I have been charged with going too far, being too lenient; and I have become satisfied that mercy without justice is a crime, and that when mercy and clemency are exercised by the executive it