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Little Rhody Investigated

Little Rhody Investigated image
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The fttot is well kuown that the littlo state of Rbodé Island hu8 for niany years disfrancbisüd a considerable portiiíu of lier mala residents abovo the age ef 21 years. The lawa of the state give the nativo citizen the ballot without any qnalification whatever; but if he is a naturalized citizen, he must be possessed of $i;J4 worth of real estáte in Ehode Island. This law lias been given little nttention because the state was reliably EepuWioan, and the citiuens affected by it were of forcign birth and not Hable to sustain a party ttiat treated theni in this way. Henoe the Etpublioan party jnst as live as not keep them out of the eleotive franchise. But this disfranchisemont is in violation of soction two of artiule fourteen of the auiendmouts to the ooustitution which we extract: Beprespntatives shall be apportioned anong the several States according to th'eir respective numbers, counting; tho whole nuniber of persons in each State, xcluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the ohoice of electors of President and Vice President of the United States, represen tati ves in Congress. the executive and judicial officers ot a State, or the members of the legislature thereof. is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such States, or in any vvay abridged, except for participation in rebullion, or other crime, the basis of representation there in shall ba reduced in the proportion in which the nuraber of such male citizens shall bear to the whole nuraber of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State. In this, one of tho New England states, where the ballot is popularly supposed to be respected, if any where under the American sun, the constitution of the United States has not only been violated, but this state has been enjoying a representation in congre3s on the basis of these disfranohised voters. It is this point and to reruedy it that the investigation by the Wallace committee is progressing. No one denies her power to maintain a property qualification but no power is vested in her or any other state to exclude citizens from voting for officers of the United States, such as congressmen and eleotors, unless it the expense of representation in the popular house and electoral college in proportion to the number of voters disfranchised. Rhode Island has enjoyed immuiiity long enough and, though late in being investigated, it should be remembered congress has been Republican until a late date. Nothiug could be expected from the investigation by a Republican committee of a Eepublican state. The investigation by the Wallace committee has already shown the iniquity of Rhode Island suffrage laws. Men of foreign birth who owned real estáte and were voters before the war, who volunteered their services and fought all through the war, bat who have from any cause lost their property, Can not vote. The Boston Globe gives three notable instances of disfranctisement. Colonel John M. Duffy enlisted s a private, and by gallantry roso to the rank of heutonant-colonel, afterwards gerved in the regular army and retired, disabled, on a pension. Ho had real estáte once, but lost it, and of course can not vote. Colonel James Moran, who in 1864 supervised the election in his regiment, is disqualified from voting because he does not own $134 in taxable real estáte in Ehode Island. The Oluhe pertinently reuiarks thnt " the negro ■laves who becaine freemen and voters through his services are adruitted by the state whose honor he sustained on the battle field, to the right of citizonhip from whioh he is excluded." Hon. Thomas Davis sorved in both branches of the state legislature, and was a replesentative in congresa from 1853 tu 1855. He does not now own real estáte haviog lost it through business reverses, and he is therefore disfranchised by the Kepublican state of Ehode Island. He was bom in Ireland, but has been a citizen of the United States forty years or more. The Eopublican state of llhode Island disfranchises hiin on account of his birth. He is eligible for election to congress; but has not the qualiñcations of a votor required of foreign-born citixens by Eepublicau Ehode Island. The condition of Meuiphis doos not improve, and the Health Board has been forced to declare a general epidemie. - Up to Saturday the whole number of oases of yellow fever had been 330, of ■which 90 were Tatal. This is considered to be a very small death rate. Of the people thirty thousand have fled from the city. The authorities are unable to persuado the negroes to go to the carups provided for them without the city limita, although it is admitted that the only safety is in depopulation. All hopes of stamping out the diseaso having ended, Meuiphis settles down in gloom to await the welcome frost. - - " Mil Saturday a number of leading antiButler Deoioerats of Massachusetts met in conference at Boston. The result of the conferring is a notification to all coneerned that they are of tho same mind they ware last year, and that they are going to vote foi) a Democrat for Governor this fall, as they did a twelvemonth ago. This will displease Ben Butler. Siinultaneously a report comes from Boston that Gov. Talbot bas decided not to seek or accept a renomination at the hands of the Massachusetts Republicans. This will please Ben Butler. The cable announces that three thousand colliers in Staffordshire, England, have struck for an advnnce of ten per cent. in wages. From Wilkesbarre, Pa., comes the news that employees of the Lehign Valley Coal Compauy are out on a strike for an advanco of wages. The spinners in Eall lliver still hold out, and apparently there is no prospeot of a Bcttlumeut. It is well that a Third Tem Grant organ is to ba established at Washington; and it is fitting and proper that tiio now newspaper should be contrallad by Sooor Eobeson, mauaged by the man Murtagh, and financially backed by George Washington Childs- which is reported to bs the caso.


Old News
Michigan Argus