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Roll called under the rules.
2 Senators present were:
Messrs. Aldridge, Bosson, Cate, Cypert, Case, Carrigan, Frazier of Wilson, Frazier of Knox, Johnson, Keith, McFarland, McKinney, Nelson, Powell, Smith, Senter, Spence, Trimble, Thompson and the Speaker.
Senators absent were:
There being a quorum present, the minutes of the last meeting were read and approved.
Senator Nelson offered Senate Resolution No. 2, which was not read.
On motion of Senator Trimble, the unfinished business of yesterday was taken up, to-wit: The motion to suspend the rules to take up Senate Resolution No. 1, and the motion carried.
The rules were suspended.
5 Those voting in the affirmative were:
Messrs. Aldridge, Bosson, Cate, Cypert, Case, Frazier of Wilson, Frazier of Knox, Keith, McKinney, McElwee, Nelson, Powell, Smith, Spence, Trimble and the Speaker.
Those voting in the negative were:
The Committee appointed by the Speaker were Messrs. Bosson, McFarland and Senter.
Senate Resolution No. 2 was then taken up and read, to-wit:
Resolved, That the Principal Clerk of the Senate be directed to communicate to the House of Representatives, by message, that the Senate is now organized and ready to proceed with the transaction of public business.
Senator Senter offered Senate Joint Resolution No. 1, in lieu of Senate Resolution No. 2, to-wit:
Resolved, That the Clerk of the Senate inform the House that the Senate is organized and ready to proceed to business.
Resolved further, That a Joint Committee of five, to consist of two on the part of the Senate and three on the part of the House, be appointed to wait upon His Excellency, the Governor, and inform him that both Branches of the Legislature are organized and ready to receive any communication he may deem necessary to make them.
The resolution was accepted in lieu.
On motion of Senator Trimble, the rules were suspended and the Resolution adopted.
The Committee appointed by the Speaker were Messrs. Nelson and Smith.
Senator Nelson offered Senate Resolution No. 3, to-wit:
Resolved, That the rules adopted for the government of the Senate at the last session of the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, be, and they are hereby adopted as the rules for the government of the Senate during the present special session, until otherwise ordered.
The Resolution was withdrawn.
Report No. 1, from the Special Committee of Three, under Senate Joint Resolution No. 1, to-wit:
Mr. Speaker:~The Committee appointed to wait on the Governor to inform him that the Senate was ready to receive from him any communication, report that they have discharged their duty, and the Governor will at once communicate with the Senate.
Executive Message No. 1, extra session, to-wit:
STATE OF TENNESSEE,
Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives:
Having convened you in extraordinary session, it is made my duty by the Constitution to state to you the purposes for which you have been convened. The main purpose, and that which constitutes the present an extraordinary occasion, is briefly, but directly stated in my proclamation of the 19th of June, calling you together. To that paper I respectfully refer you.
Under the fifth article of the Constitution of the United States, Congress has proposed, as an amendment to that instrument, a fourteenth article, which has been duly certified and communicated to this Department, by the Secretary of State, of the United States. Copies of said proposed amendment, with the authenticating certificate, and letter of enclosure of the Secretary of State, are herewith transmitted for your consideration, and I invoke your action as promptly as is consistent with the gravity and importance of the subject.
i beg you to bear in mind, in your deliberations, that while the most of you have been at all times, personally and individually, loyal to the United States, as a whole you represent a State, the most of whose people went into rebellion, raised one hundred and fifty-four regiments, and sent them into the field to fight against
the National Government; levied war against the United States for four years, and were finally conquered and reduced to the condition of inhabitants of a subjugated province, wholly at the mercy of the conqueror. By the laws of nations and the laws of war, the General Government has an undoubted right to prescribe terms of settlement to the State of Tennessee. These terms have been prescribed, and are now presented for your acceptance or rejection. I have every assurance that when they are accepted, your Senators and Representatives will be admitted to their seats in Congress, and the State at once re-clad with her long lost rights. Are these terms reasonable? For my own part, they seem to me to be but the decree of political justice and equity, made necessary by the result of the rebellion.
By the first section, equal protection in the enjoyment of life, liberty and property, is guaranteed to all citizens. Practically, this affects mainly the negro, who having been emancipated by the rebellion, and having lost that protection which the interest of the master gave him, became by the very laws of nature, entitled to the civil rights of the citizen, and to the means of enforcing those rights.
To deny this to him, would be to place his life, property and labor in the power of every unfriendly local authority, or evil disposed person, and would be an instance of barbarism unworthy of the age. It will also prevent unjust and oppressive discrimination by one State against the citizens of other States.
By the second section, classes who are disfranchised without crime, are not to be counted in ascertaining the basis of Federal representation. This, too, may be regarded as one of the results of the rebellion; a change made necessary by our changed condition. We have now among us à class of freemen, to whom we deny the ballot and all other political rights. Have we a right to count them against the enfranchised citizens of other States? If so, then will three of our citizens, (rebels though they be,) equal in the political balance four citizens of any Northern State, however patriotic; and one citizen of South Carolina or Mississippi will balance two citizens or Union soldiers who may reside North of the Ohio. Certainly the South is not in a condition to claim so great a political advantage in the national adjustment now proposed, unless, indeed, there be merit in rebellion.
The third section is intended to prevent that class of rebel leaders from holding office, who, by violating their official oaths, added one great offense to another. It is meant as a safeguard against another rebellion, by keeping out of power those who brought on and are mainly responsible for that through which we have just passed. These men, in law and justice, forfeited their lives and property, but a benign and merciful Government inflicts no other punishment or disability upon them than such
as is necessary to prevent them from repeating their crime. No loyal citizen will object to this section.
The fourth section declares the validity of our national debt, and that debts incurred or losses sustained in aid of rebellion, are void. This is simply a declaration of the honorable intentions of the nation, and will be endorsed by every American citizen who, is worthy of the title. It also refuses compensation for slaves lost or emancipated by the war. As our slaves were lost by the rebellious conduct of our own people, we should not expect to tax the nation to pay for them.
This brief analysis of the proposed amendment, exhibits a magnanimity on the part of the American people, through their Representatives in Congress, which challenges our admiration. Viewed as terms of final adjustment, between the conqueror and the conquered, their mildness and freedom from all penalty is without a parallel in the history of nations.
I congratulate you on your good fortune, in having the opportunity of being the honored agents of restoring the ship of State to her ancient moorings, soon again to set sail upon her voyage of prosperity and glory.
But little over a year ago, you assembled in the Capitol, and took charge of the State. She was prostrate, bleeding and helpless. The courts were nowhere held with safety, and justice was administered only within a few fortified posts. County governments were broken up, and peace officers made no efforts to perform their duties, and anarchy, with all its horrors, reigned supreme. Without a treasury or revenue laws, the credit of the State was destroyed, and our grand system of railroads was in ruins; while guerrillas prowled without restraint over the State. You have placed our great State upon its feet. Under your judicious legislation, the treasury has been able to meet the heaviest demands. The credit of the State is rapidly rising to its former maximum height. Your railroads are nearly all in running order, paying the interest on their loans, while all your courts are open, and justice is administered in every part of the State. It is now your proud privilege, to restore the noble old Commonwealth to her ancient position in the Union of our fathers. As you have performed your duty heretofore, in defiance of the abuse and denunciation of traitors, so I am confident you will do so in the future, heedless of threats or dictation from any source.
I regret that duty requires me to bring to your notice any other subject than the weighty question I have already submitted. But I am constrained to call your attention, to the necessity of amending an Act, passed at your last Session, entitled, “An Act to establish a Metropolitan Police District, and to provide for the government thereof." Having appointed Com
missioners for the cities of Memphis and Chattanooga, the force in each case was promptly organized, and the prospect for relief to the peaceable citizens was quite promising. But the law, in its practical workings, is found to be quite defective. Chief among these defects, may be mentioned the want of an adequate remedy in case of the refusal of the County Courts to levy and collect the necessary revenue to defray the expenses of the police, and the power of evil disposed persons in combination, to arrest the operations of the Commissioners, by injudicious and wanton litigation. Other defects will present themselves, and it is believed will be easily corrected. A thorough perfection of the law is recommended.
WILLIAM G. BROWNLOW.
[CONCURRENT RESOLUTION RECEIVED AT DEPARTMENT OF STATE JUNE 16, 1866.]
JOINT RESOLUTION PROPOSING AN AMEND
MENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE
Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, (twothirds of both Houses concurring) That the following article be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which, when ratified by three-fourths of said Legislatures, shall be valid as part of the Constitution, namely:
SECTION 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States, and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction, the equal protection of the laws.
SECTION 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians