A Hand Book of Politics for 1868

Author: Military Governors  | Date: 1868

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Military Government (1867–1868)


First Military District—Virginia. . . .

MAY 28 [1867]—Where civil authorities fail to give adequate protection to all persons in their fights of person and property, it was announced that military commissioners would be appointed; trials by the civil courts preferred in all cases where there is satisfactory reason to believe that justice will be done. . . .

June 26—It was decided that, as the laws of Congress declared there was no legal government in Virginia, the Alexandria constitution does not disfranchise any persons. . . .

April 4 [1868]—The office of Governor of Virginia having become vacant by the expiration of Governor Pierpoint’s term, and he being ineligible for the next term, Henry H. Wells was appointed. . . .

Second Military District—North and South Carolina. . . .

April 27 [1867]—Local election in Newbern suspended; and officers appointed, and required to take the oath of March 23, 1867. . . .

May 30 . . . In public conveyances, on railroads, highways, streets, or navigable waters, no discrimination because of color or caste shall be made, and the common rights of all citizens therein shall be recognized and respected; a violation of this regulation to be deemed a misdemeanor, and to render the offender liable to arrest and trial by a military tribunal, besides such damages as may be recovered in the civil courts. The remedy by distress for rent is abolished, where lands are leased or let out for hire or rent. No license for the sale of intoxicating liquors in quantities less than one gallon, or to be drank on the premises, shall be granted to any person other than an inn-keeper. . . .

August 1—The session of the Legislature of North Carolina, elected in 1866, indefinitely postponed. . . .

September 5—The act of the Legislature of North Carolina, of March 7, 1867, "for the relief of executors, administrators, &c.," annulled as in violation of the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of the acts of Congress passed prohibiting all acts in aid of the late rebellion. Courts directed to dismiss judgments, orders, and decrees, under said legislation. . . .

September 13—General Canby ordered that all citizens assessed for taxes, and who shall have paid taxes for the current year, and who are qualified and have been or may be duly registered as voters, are declared qualified to serve as jurors. Any requirement of a property qualification for jurors is hereby abrogated. The collection of certain illegal and oppressive taxes, imposed in parts of North and South Carolina, was suspended.

October 16—An election ordered in South Carolina, November 19 and 20, for or against a "convention," and for delegates to constitute the Convention. Violence, or threats of violence, or of discharge from employment, or other oppressive agencies against the free exercise of the right of suffrage, prohibited. . . .

October 19 . . . The election of municipal officers in Charleston forbidden. . . .

December 3—A system of taxation established, for the support of the provisional government of South Carolina for the year from October 1, 1867, to September 30, 1868. Appropriations ordered for the various offices and expenses of the State.

December 28—The election declared to have resulted in favor of a convention; and the delegates notified to meet in Charleston, January 14, 1868. . . .

1868, January 14—Conventions of both States met, and adjourned March 17.

February 6—Ordinance of South Carolina Convention for the collection of taxes, promulgated, and the assessors ordered to collect the taxes therein levied. State Treasurer authorized to pay the expenses of the Convention. . . .

May 2—Constitution announced ratified by a majority of the votes actually cast by the qualified electors of South Carolina. . . .

Third Military District—Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. . . .

April 12 [1867]—General Wager Swayne issued this order at Montgomery, Alabama:

General Orders, No. 3.

I. Complaints of hardship in the needless apprenticing of minors, particularly in pursuance of the preference given to the "former owner" in the law, have been almost incessant. It is enjoined upon probate judges, upon application, to revise the action taken in such cases, and as a rule to revoke indentures made within the past two years of minors who were capable of self-support. . . .

III. The use of "chain-gangs" as a mode of legal punishment being found to involve serious abuses, will be henceforth discontinued, except in connection with the penitentiary. . . .

August 2—No civil court will entertain any action against officers or soldiers, or others, for acts performed in accordance with the orders of the military authorities. All such suits now pending to be dismissed.

August 12—Ordered, that all advertisements or other official publications under State or municipal authority shall be made in such newspapers only as have not opposed and do not oppose reconstruction under acts of Congress, nor attempt to obstruct the civil officers appointed by the military authorities. . . .

January 13 [1868]—This order was issued: "Charles J. Jenkins, Provisional Governor, and Jno. Jones, provisional treasurer, of the State of Georgia, having declined to respect the instructions of and failed to co-operate with the major general commanding the third military district, are hereby removed from office." Brevet Brigadier General Thomas H.

Ruger appointed Governor, and Brevet Captain Charles F. Rockwell to be treasurer of Georgia. . . .

February 28—All civil courts and officers whose duty it is to provide for the relief of paupers, shall extend relief to all persons entitled to relief, as such, without any discrimination as to race or color. . . .

March 18—In all the jails and other prisons, colored prisoners are to receive the same food, in quality and quantity, as white prisoners, and the sheriffs shall get the same fees for victualling all classes of prisoners.

March 26—Freedmen being threatened with discharge, "for the purpose of controlling their votes, or of restraining them from voting," bureau officers were directed by the superintendent of registration, E. Hulbert, to report all cases of interference with their political rights. . . .

Fourth Military District—Mississippi and Arkansas. . . .

July 29 [1867]—An order issued notifying all State and municipal officers that any attempt to render nugatory the action of Congress designed to promote the better government of the rebel States, by speeches or demonstrations at public meetings in opposition thereto, will be deemed sufficient cause for their summary removal. The same prohibition in regard to speeches will be applied to all officers holding appointments from these headquarters, and to officers of the army in this district. . . .

September 6—Where a person, indicted for a criminal offence, can prove by two credible witnesses that he was a loyal man during the rebellion, believes that he cannot by reason of that fact get a fair and impartial trial by jury, the court will not proceed to try the case, but the papers shall be transmitted to these headquarters. As freed people bear their share of taxation, no denial to them of the benefit of those laws will be tolerated, and a refusal or neglect to provide properly for colored paupers will be treated as a dereliction of official duty. . . .

December 5—It was ordered that, in consequence of stolen goods being sold or delivered after dark, traders and all other parties are forbid purchasing or delivering country supplies after sunset till market hour in the morning, and making such sale or delivery a military offence. . . .

Fifth Military District—Louisiana and Texas. . . .

April 8 [1867]—An election in the parish of Livingston, Louisiana, annulled. . . .

April 27—General Griffin, reciting that persons disqualified by law are drawn to serve as jurors in the civil courts of Texas, directed that hereafter no person shall be eligible to serve as a juryman until he shall have taken the test-oath of July 2, 1862. . . .

May 2 . . . New Orleans. . . . The mayor, Edward Heath, ordered to adjust the police force so that at least one-half shall be composed of ex-Union soldiers. . . .

May 25—Collection of taxes in Texas levied during the rebellion prohibited. . . .

July 30—J. W. Throckmorton, Governor of Texas, removed as an impediment to reconstruction, and E. M. Pease appointed. . . .

Aug. 8—Judge Edward Dougherty, 12th district of Texas, removed for denying the supremacy of the laws of Congress, and Edward Basse appointed.

Edward McPherson, (Washington, 1868), 316–323 passim.

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Chicago: Military Governors, A Hand Book of Politics for 1868, ed. Edward McPherson in American History Told by Contemporaries, ed. Albert Bushnell Hart (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1903), Original Sources, accessed May 27, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=UQPMPXYY1EL2AF9.

MLA: Governors, Military. A Hand Book of Politics for 1868, edited by Edward McPherson, in American History Told by Contemporaries, edited by Albert Bushnell Hart, Vol. 4, New York, The Macmillan Company, 1903, Original Sources. 27 May. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=UQPMPXYY1EL2AF9.

Harvard: Governors, M, A Hand Book of Politics for 1868, ed. . cited in 1903, American History Told by Contemporaries, ed. , The Macmillan Company, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 27 May 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=UQPMPXYY1EL2AF9.