(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Congress has given the country its ultimatum. It has announced to the rebel
States the fundamental law to be incorporated into the Constitution of the country.
Nothing now remains, but for the people to ratify the new propositions and
the Federal Constitution stands before the world recognizing the equality of
man and the equal protection of the rights of all men under the same flag and
the same laws. The present Congress will be regarded in history as one of the
ablest bodies of men ever convened for purposes of fundamental legislation.
When the clouds of prejudice have passed away the people of another age will
do justice to the ability and the courage of the thirty ninth Congress. True,
we have not obtained all that the free North could wish. But a great step has
been taken- the country is placed forever on the side of freedom. No race or
color is henceforth to be privileged above another. The South must be willing
to lose political power in our national halls if she refuse the ballot to her
four million of liberated bondmen. She must sit in the seats of the minority
and be powerless or give justice to her down trodden race.
Not many years will pass before the love of political power, the emigration
from the North and from Europe, the softening influences of social interchange
of thought, the enlightening effects of schools, will open the eyes of these
deluded rebels and show them that their true prosperity lies in developing all
the energy of the people and in making citizens and voters of all their race.
It is worthy of all praise that Congress amid such tumult of public opinion,
such attacks from every quarter, has held steadily on its course and wrought
out so good, so practical a solution of the momentous questions at issue. The
extremists on both sides will be dissatisfied. We expect this as a matter of
course. But sober minded men will rejoice that so good provisions- provisions
looking to the establishment of such fundamental truths are about to be incorporated
into the Constitution of the land. Perhaps we shall not get the requisite number
of States to ratify at present. But time that works all wonders and overcomes
all opposition, will at last bring this to completion. State after State will
spring into line and at last the stars and stripes shall truly float over a
land of the free. This country is the home of the oppressed. It is destined
to be the moral republic of the world. As years roll on we shall purge our civil
institutions of their various defects. One after another shall the American
people wipe out old acts of oppression; society will assume purer forms; men
shall at last be universally educated and universally respected. All shall enjoy
an equal share in the government and the rights and interests of all be equally
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The 14th amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the States on the June13, 1866. It was ratified by of 28 of the 37 states July 28, 1868. It was designed to grant citizenship and protect the civil liberties of the slaves who had been emancipated. The writer of this article feels that the Southern states should grant the freed men the right to vote. In fact, he states that the South will find that their prosperity lies in making all men citizens and voters. The states each had the responsibility for determining voter qualifications at this time, and that would not change until the adoption of the 15th amendment in 1870. The Gazette & Courier was the newspaper in Greenfield, Massachusetts, from July 20, 1841 until June 24, 1932. Before 1841 the newspaper's name changed quite frequently, with Gazette a frequent part of the title.
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Proposal of the 14th Amendment by Congress article from the Gazette and Courier newspaper
| publisher Greenfield Gazette and Courier
| date Jun 25, 1866
| location Greenfield, Massachusetts
| width 2.0"
| height 7.0"
| process/materials printed paper, ink
| item type Periodicals/Newspaper
| accession # #L05.119
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