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President Johnson And The South Carolina Delegation

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Tho frank observations addressed by President Johnson to the South Caro hen delegation wliich vvaitad on hiiu, present lio most ex liui-t and satisfuetory declaration lie h:is yet made of his policy. President Johnson takes exception to the word " reconstructiou" which has jaiued sucl cinrency in conDectiou wilh 'lie rchabililalion of the revolted staten, uití Mibsi: tute for it tho word "restora(ion." The word "recoustruct11 implies lliut lbo slalea need to be made over atïew ; but the President hulds that tlioy havo never oeaeed to exist; that thuir State, guvcruinents wo uot extinguislud, hut only suipeüétffl ; thattheir btute coristitntions are still in force, and niilj netd awendment; that thcir loyal mtizeus, who wen overborno by tbc rebellion, nre cntitled to all the lights joBsisfod by luyal peoplc auywbere; and tiiat, cousoqueiitly, no statu nceds to be "jcci'iistructL'd" - that is, constructed ajoew - but otiiy to be rettored, na existing statcs, to their constitutioual relatious to the federal government. The President, who alwajs stood in tl;e Í : on t rank of the advocates of state light?, told the Spillh Carolina delegatiou that he sus ected he was still a better state righl&maii thao some of theuaselvts. He ucoordingly expeets the peojile cf the statcs to lake most of tho hteps requisita í'or re-ostablishing their cid federal relations. All that ho can do is to afi'ord theni fucilities for begiuuing the neeesêary action. President Johnson's views, as now further developcd, contain throe arguments against t'oreing negro suffrage on the restored states. Tiie first of these, which he has frequeutly given before, is, that the power of regulating the eleclive franchise has always beeu possessed, ïightfully aud untiiiostioned, by every stute. Mr. Johuson's second argument, wliich is none the less conelusive from being presented by iuiplieation, is a deïiionstratioa that negro suSrago is not neeeasary to secure to the blaeks the niaintoiiauco of their freedom. To relieve this point from all possibility of uoubt, be insista that South Carolina (aud, by parity of reasuuiog, of oourse all tho otber revolted stutes,) shall not oüIv sfl aniond her enstitution as to precludtíí slavery, but shall also ratify the pcuding umuudineut to tho federal Coriotitutio:), prohibiiing slavery forever in all the staltri; thus putting universal freedom uuder a perpetual lederal guariiutee. So far as regards tbe complete sueeess of eaianoipation, this drives the nail and clinehes it. It takes away all preteuse, and all color of pretenso, for iasistiug on negro suíFrage as a means oí' soouring to ihe blucks their uewly ac(juired freedom. President Johnson's third argument, tUough addressed to Ihe South Carolina (lelegatu)n, is obviously meant for tho negru suffrage party of the North, who are aeuused by him oí actiug iu ignoraaoo of the Bituation. Hia argumeDt hits the mark so csactly in the ruiddlo that wc must stato it iu his own words : " vvbile tbe war has emaucipated elaves uit has omancipated a larger number of 'í white men. lie would talk plain, as H the delegatiou had s.iid that was what '■ üu:y desired. lie could go to men " who had owned fifty or a hundred 11 alavés, and who did net care as much 'i fot the puoi white man as they did for " the negro. Thoso who own the land " hayo the eapital to employ help, and, 11 thorefoie, some of our uorthern friends " ave deceived when they, living afar off, " think they can exercise a greater " control over tho freedmen than the '.' southern men who have been reared " where the iustitution of slavery bas " prevailcd." The President, who speaks from a ! knowledge of the South, addressed this ' weighty obssrvation to men who aleo : linow the South, and werc ijualified to iippreoiate its fore.o. Mr. Johnson anehors kis expectaüou of southern loyalty nn the fidclity of tlie cmancipated southurn white men - the great and uuraerous lower class who were coerced iuto the ïebcllioi) by the slaveholdurs and thoir niiniou5, and w'uo will hereafter vote aod act as free mon. Bluves and mas tors alike Iwve looked down tipoo thia class ; and fron education, habit, and dopeudenco tho frecd negroos will be more likoly to court the favor of their late ownerp, than of a class who are oear cnough to their condition to regard thcüii with jealousy, and wliom, by a fstrange sort of, they have always hespifscd. But, aside from the influeaoe (if past relations, the great faet that ttra former slaveholder.-i reniain the principal líindholders of the South ; that they :ilone havo cíipiia.1. to eniploy labor, aud will havo tbe natusrai ascendency of employés, makes the piposition to' admit the uègroes td the a a counterpoise to their hite owncrs, porfoctly absurd, lts practical eftbct woiïlti be to give tha owner of a liu-g'e pUutation, instcad of one vote, a hundred ;; - as tnany, at least, as he had dependent male negroes to whoui hö paid wages aiid let u cottage and garden. If tho negioes sliCHild bny their doinicils it would ouly makü tho matter worse ; for if they bought, they would. buy to a great, extent on credit, &nd would thus add tbe dependenco of debtor to that of employés. - JY. Y. World.


Old News
Michigan Argus