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Atlanta Constitution Newspaper Archive: June 27, 1890 - Page 1

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Publication: Atlanta Constitution

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

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   Atlanta Constitution, The (Newspaper) - June 27, 1890, Atlanta, Georgia                               VOL. XXI. GA., PRICE FIVE CENTS. IT STARTS OFF VERY LIV.ELY. THE FIRST DAY'S DEBATE On the National Election Law Bill. 4HE SOUTH HOLDING ITS OWN.: "Mr. Hemphill, of South Carolina, Speaks Plain Words IN DEFENSE OF HIS SECTIOM. Juno first eiim- in light over the national election law bill were li red in The house today. They mode eonsnioruble imUo, but created little ex- citement-, ludoud. tbo discussion started off in a spirit of unexpected calmness aud delibera- tion- There wus nouo of tho excitement that tras looked for. Tlio speeches today were, iowever, only tho opening salutes. The heavy firing and thrilling scenes will come later on. when tho bloody shirt llaimters begin to get in their work. The democrats are goiiig to make a stolid and determined fight, but each and every one oE are deternmied to, keep tbeir tempers. They will simply show tlio iniquity and partisaiiry ot tho measure, aud will trust to the fairness of at least soino of tho republicans. Henry Cabot Lodge opened the fight today in a two speech, which was about as strong an argument of tho case as could possibly be made. It was, however, not an argument that would convince any one of the ju ti e of tho measure. On the other baud the speech of Mr. Hemphill, of South Caro- lina, who followed, was one of the strongest aiguiueiits of tho kind ever heard on the floor of tho house. Ic was, uideed, convincing aud was listened to by a largo number of republi- cans attentively. Mr. liowetl, of Illinois, followed for tlio re- publicans and he was followed by Harry Tucker, of Virginia. All of these men were members of tho committee that reported the bill ami, therefore, had the first right to speak. Tho sensation of the day was created when Mr. Tucker took bis seat and gave the remain- der of his time to Mr. Lehlbacu, of New Jersy, a republican, who made a red hot speech in opposition to Che bill. Just as he had gotten under way and was making it tot for the re- publicans, TOXI HEED STARTLED. Tom. Rceil came rushing in from his private Worn and cried out in a voice loud enough to ae heard all around him: Who in the hell gave that fellow "When informed that it hatl been done by the -democrats, he gritted his teeth and subsided. -Heed has refused to give any of tbe republicans time who are opposed to the bill, and Messrs. Ewart end Columau have requested time from tho democrats. Of course it will bo given them. A large number of republicans in the bouse are opposed to the bill, hut it is not probable that mare than three or four will have tho nervoto bolt over Tom Reed's bars. The bill will, therefore, pass the house, but it is almost certain to meet its death in tbe senate, where there is no Reed to bulldoze tbe republican senators in adopting tlie gag-law. Governor Campbell, oi Ohio, Who is bero i ling to write an open letter on tho subject the b'.ll, severely criticizing it, and it ib txi teteil that Governor Mill, of New York, will do the same. A movement is also on foot to hold moss meetings in the north aud un a general sentiment in that section against the measure. Here are full synopses .of today's speeches Mr- Lodge, of Massachusetts, began the debate upon the national election bill. He said that he did nut think a more grave 'and serious subject had over come before the bouse. It demanded serious and deliberate treatment. He had no personalities or reflections to make, but desired to treat the question dispassionately. The bill proposed to extend the exist- ing laws regarding the election of members, BO that they would be effective throughout the United States whenever the people wanted them so extended. He proceeded to sketch the pian of the bill in outline. Ko local machinery was disturbed. Ho said ballots were lobe cast as at present, and 310 secret ba'.iot system, was to be interfered with "Where it prevailed. Bverythingthat concerned tho government should be open. The business -of the people must not be transacted in dim corners, but openly and before ,tbe people's eyes. The assurance of honest elections lay in making public every step and-act by which the representatives of the people were chosen to their high office. -To secure publicity at every stage of the election, therefore, was the leading principle of the bill. Under its terms Concealment became impossible without a re- to violence, and violence was itself public- ity. As to the power of congress to- enact such .legislation the constitution and tbe decisions, of the supreme court were con- clusive The power was found, in section 4, article 1, of tbe constitution, relating to the place and manner of electing -representatives. It was not enough that elec- "tioBs were fair; they must be known to be fair The question of expediency was a most uaportant oue. It bad been charged that the Ml was sectional. Observing tbe boat of cer- tain- persons and newspapers and their he was led to remember that sus- picion always came to guilty minds. The acts Which it was proposed to extend had been called into existence by the gigantic frauds, in Sbecity of New York, prior to 1870 and 1871. certainly was-not a sectional origin in :tne sense that the charge was now made. As to the southern states, Mr. Lodge con- tinued it was apparent that many people be- iieved that great frauds were there committed, anu if the belief be true that such a thing as a election in the south was unknown, then it-was high time the United States should put a stop to the evil, if it had to exercise1 every power the constitution put into its hands. 1.ODGK AJTD HIS IFIGURKS. Lodge presented a 'number of abstracts show the insufficiency ot representation in tnasouth. He said tbat hi forty-one -election in tho south members -were by an average of less thai Totes. He compared 'Missassipp 5SS. where the populations in were equal in number. The total vote, in Mississippi was 117.000; in New Jn 1888 the total vote in Mississippi had ert to while in New Jersey i ollen to No intelligent anc c minded man would deny that there ha< the north, and the prool was efforts made there by both parties to throw open elections to publicity. It waa necessary to argue that southern ions were not always fair and free. Where 'g-doing occurred in the north it was where Party sought to get ahead of the other by means. As to the south it -was largel; Cation of race. The negro- problem was of the gravest before the American people., oue in which all were concerned, and whether living The wrong of slavery was to be ex- v condoned VSPAPERl as by tlio south wfclca Trpheld it. was not forced on us like the Chinee, It waa idle to say that he was better off than had He not boon brought to civilization- Better an eternity of savage liberty than a civilization which came to them with the auctioneer's hammer in onu hand and the whip in the other. Such fidelity as the negro had shown to tho government and master Ue- served'-a better reward from the and south, than it hnd -yet received. The ne- gro wanted no brutalUy on one side, nor senti- mentality on the other: The" government; which made tlio black man a citizen was a cowardly government if it did not protect him in his right. Failure to do right brought its own punishment. Tho bill had boon called revolutionary; Kevolution was to be found In speeches ho which showed thafcoonstitu- ioual represeutatioii did nos exist. The first tcp to-.vai-d a solution of tho race problem was 0 take it out of national The national govern meat must exteud to every citizen the iqual rights which the constitution guaranteed. In conclusion, he said; "Letus do our whole inty to every American or poor, rtack or white, weak or strong, and wo can safely abide by the result. Let us secure to very man liberty and freedom, which is the ;onier-stone of American liberty." [Applause.] At the conclusion of his speech, Mr, Lodge raa warmly congratulated by his republican lolleaguea. Hit. IIEMPHILL'S GREAT SPEECH. Mr. Hemphill, of South Carolina, followed, teginrfim; with an argument to demonstrate he unconstitutional nature of the bill. That saugress had no power to interfere' with elec- ons, he read from, legislative declarations n the past by tfho states of New York, Ohio and JTew Jersey, against congressional usurpa- tion oi tho right to conduct elections. He de- cjarod that this was not a national bill. It was sectional. Under tho provisions of the irst section, some portions of the United States vouid be uudor the supervision of from two to ;hreo supervisors, to the respective size of the congressional and judicial districts, ie coald conceive of no honest purpose for such a provision. It could have no effect but to place the people of some districts between .he upper and nether mill-stones. As to tho terms under which the -Jaw was to go into erfect (tho petition of limited numbers of per- why was it so limited? If it was a good' thing the law should be of uni- versal application. "Why was it that this very complicated and unsatisfactory provision was put in unless there was an iu- :oution to make the- law bear down upon some portion of tho people of this country, and allow others to do as they saw fit. lie called for an explanation of that provision. Now, suppose tho United States inspectors were corrupted, and from the amount of corruption depicted tho gentleman from Massachusetts, It might safely be inferred that one-half of tho people were unworthy of trust; that they were to bo watched as criminals or ticket-of-leave men. Suppose that a supervisor was to re- turn a democrat. IIo had a life tenure and couldn't bo removed. That hadn't occurred to the gentleman from Massachusetts. This was a measure to rob the people of "thoir dear- est rights. Ho had inarched before the slit- taring bayonets ot the United States soldiers to cast his ballot. Troops of soldiers' had been sent to his town, and evory soldier had east his ballot for GreeTey. Tho result was that the party Lad a bigger majority than it had ever liad in any preceding election. "Under this system, which it was proposed to revive, the of tho south had been robbed somo years .ngo by picked villains of the north, backed lip bayonets of the United States array.' The south did uot want to be put in that position again. Mr. Hemphill continued, "know that we must either rule the country or leave it. Now, for myself, before the people of the United States, and before God, in all reverence, 1 swear we will not leave it. [Applause.] It is the home of our fathers. There their bones lio buried. They bought it with their blood when Concord and Lexington were the battle-fields of this country. They have handed it down to us unimpaired; and, Gen- tlemen, are not oar fathers' sons? Shall the blood first turn back in our veins? Shall we transmit to coming jjenorations agrcSAaml noble state which has been overrul errand down-trod Jo n by a race Whom God never in- tended should rule over us? I do not hesitate to sav tho colored man has as many "rights as I have; but ho cannot have bis rights and mine too; and this law i3 ,11 tended to put him again in control of the southern intended to awaken that race prejudice which is fast dying intended to bring about that constant irritation and clash between tho two colors in. the south which will retard its growth and which will be destructive of tho very principles of human government." Mr. Hemphill then read from a recent ad- dress by ex-Governor Chamberlain, of South Carolina (a in Boston, to show what a former governor and republican thought of the negro situation in the south. He knew it was useless to reason with certain men in the north. They did not to and would not believe anything the south might say. But there were many people in the country who believed in honesty, and be had no doubt that "when we pass back of politicians and get to the great body of the American people and have stated to them honestly and fairly the truth with reference to the southern country and the black man in it; when they have understood the whole fftcta and have cdine to a conclusion, I have no dobut they will ren- der an honest and righteous verdict; and whatever that verdict may be, as a common citizen of a common country, I pledge the peo- ple of the south to accept it as the final arbi- idgea, and this might bring- abontadeplota- le state of affairs. Law could not be enf dreed; vhen moral sentiment was so low as 

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