Georgia Senate Debate on Expulsion of Black Legislators "As a species of baboon..." Sept. 1868

Pat Young

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#1
The vote by the Georgia legislature to expel its Black members in September 1868 was a national sensation. The expulsion was introduced by the Democrats, but gained the support of many Republican senators. Here is a summary of the debate in the state senate:

Macon Weekly Telegraph
Friday, Sep 18, 1868
Macon, GA
Vol: XLII
Issue: 47
Page: 8

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Pat Young

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#11
Interestingly, rumors were circulating after Grant's election that he would support the expulsion of the black legislators:

Richmond Whig
Friday, Dec 25, 1868
Richmond, VA
Vol: 47
Issue: 112
Page: 1


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Pat Young

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#12
In her history of the end of Reconstruction, historian Heather Cox Richardson writes of the expulsion:

Insolent Southern Democrats inadvertently helped the Republicans' sympathetic portrayal of deserving black workers. Majorities in seven Southern states-Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina-adopted the new constitutions and elected Republican legislatures and state officers, despite white boycotting cotting of the polls, intimidation of black voters, and violence. The legislatures latures convened and ratified the Fourteenth Amendment, thus completing the terms for readmission to the Union. Although radicals feared for Republican freedpeople when national power left the states, Congress readmitted the whole group of seven states in June 1868. Almost immediately the white Democratic members of the Georgia legislature argued that the black legislators were ineligible for office under the Georgia constitution and expelled them. The bad faith of the white Georgians, who clearly counted on a Democratic president in 1868 to sustain their actions, contrasted painfully with the dignity of the expelled pelled members. The story of one expelled man who pointedly wiped the dirt from his feet when he left the chamber told volumes in Republican can papers and fueled sympathy for Southern African-Americans.
Heather Cox Richardson. The Death of Reconstruction: Race, Labor, and Politics in the Post-Civil War North, 1865-1901 (Kindle Locations 1107-1110). Kindle Edition.
 



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