The New York Times reports a speech by Kentucky governor Bramlette. He advocates ratification of the 13th Amendment and establishing a free labor system. I’m not sure what his point was about the ownership of land; was he advocating redistribution of land from the former slaveowners to the (white) masses?
Gov. Bramlette of Kentucky on Emancipation.
LOUISVILLE, Thursday, June 29.
Gov. BRAMLETTE addressed the citizens this evening in favor of the Constitutional Amendment and the advantages of free over slave labor in Kentucky. He said slavery has been utterly overthrown, and proved the impossibility of its restoration. He urged the people to proceed to establish a system of free labor, as dictated by wisdom and their interest, showed by statistics of the population and the occupation of land by slave-holders and non-slave-holders, that the rich lands of the State were in the hands of a class exceedingly small in comparison with the popular masses, urged the organization of the free white laborers of the State to take care in future of their own interests. He said the necessity existed for the immediate action of Kentucky in disposing of the vexed question of slavery, the progress of events having practically destroyed the institution itself. Gov. BRAMLETTE discussed at some length the second section of the amendment, and answered, with overwhelming power, the objections urged against it, such as that the amendment gives Congress power to confer the elective franchise upon emancipated slaves, and thus makes social equality. He said the section gives Congress no more power than under the constitution now existing, and this second section meant simply that Congress should, by appropriation or necessary legislation, prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude in the State.