Author Archives: Allen Gathman

April 12, 1866: Oh yeah, Congress overrode the veto.

Lobby of the House of Representatives during passage of the Civil Rights act of 1866. ******************************************* The Cape Girardeau Weekly Argus of April 12, 1866 buried this one sentence at the very bottom of the first column on the second … Continue reading

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April 5, 1866: Supporting Presidential Reconstruction

The April 5, 1866 Cape Girardeau Argus reported that an overflow crowd packed the Jackson courthouse to meet in support of President Johnson. The report below gives the resolutions that were passed by this group. In short, they’re for Presidential … Continue reading

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March 29, 1866: More celebration of the veto of the Freedmen’s Bureau bill

Charles Sumner ************************************ The Cape Girardeau Argus once again rejoices over Andrew Johnson’s veto of the bill extending the Freedmen’s Bureau. This time the article is from the front page, usually reserved for “literary” efforts — stories, poetry, humor, etc. … Continue reading

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March 22, 1866: Supporting Johnson’s veto of the Freedman’s Bureau bill

The Cape Girardeau Argus continues here in its support for Johnson’s view of Reconstruction, a view in which the rights of freed former slaves apparently need no protection. On February 19, Johnson vetoed the bill extending the Freedman’s Bureau. He … Continue reading

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March 13, 1866: Suffrage?

The New York Times ran a short editorial on March 13, 1866 suggesting a rationale for placing limits on suffrage for black Americans. I leave it to the reader to pick apart the various problems with the argument, but this … Continue reading

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March 1, 1866: Joy over the veto of the 2nd Freedmen’s Bill

The Cape Girardeau Weekly Argus’ editor exults over Johnson’s veto of the 2nd Freedmen’s bill in terms so fulsome that it’s a little hard to take seriously. You can read the bill online; I’m having trouble finding the crimes “commensurate … Continue reading

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February 22, 1866: Local Boosters Push for Railroad

Citizens held a meeting in Cape Girardeau to advocate for the St. Louis and Iron Mountain railroad to come through Cape Girardeau. Spoiler alert; it didn’t. A spur was built that connected it to Jackson, and much of that right-of-way … Continue reading

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January 11 and 18, 1866: Loyalty oaths, and anti-suffrage sentiment

The Cape Girardeau Weekly Argus of January 11 and 18th both had some items of interest. Firstly, as we’ve seen, though the paper is strongly Unionist, the editorial policy favors union (and restoration of the status of the seceded states) … Continue reading

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December 21, 1865: A little of this and that.

Woman on the ice at St. Louis, 1905 ******************** A variety of items from the Dec. 21, 1865 Cape Girardeau Weekly Argus. First, a note about the ice on the Mississippi breaking up at St. Louis. This may sound strange … Continue reading

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December 14, 1865: Proposed civil rights law

Henry Wilson of Massachusetts ******************** The 13th amendment now being ratified, senators debate a proposal to make the freedom of black Americans meaningful by providing protection for their rights. It doesn’t get far. SECURITY FOR FREEDOM. Mr. WILSON, of Massachusetts, … Continue reading

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