November 16, 1865: Reconstruction controversies

Thaddeus Stevens
Thaddeus Stevens

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The Cape Girardeau Argus for November 16, 1865 shows its preferred Reconstruction policies in a couple of items reproduced from other papers. First, wondering why so many immigrants (and in Cape Girardeau County, these would mainly be Germans) support the Radicals, when they’d let a black man become president when an immigrant would be ineligible? And second, castigating Radicals like Thaddeus Stevens for disagreeing with the President — didn’t they say it was treason to oppose Lincoln during the war?

By the Constitution of the United States no foreign born citizen can ever be President or Vice President. When the Radicals accomplish their object, and allow negroes to vote, a rapid negro will be eligible to offices from which the foreigner is excluded. The negro will occupy the first place, and the negro the second in the political system. Are such of our naturalized citizens as are acting with the Radical Republicans willing by their votes to give the negroes a privilege which the Constitution denies to all of foreign birth? -Cairo Dem.

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The leading Republicans are wheeling into line rapidly against President Johnson and his reconstruction policy. The Toledo Record learns that “General Schenck, the other night, in that town, denounced with great vehemence the Mississippi Convention, and announced that no such convention should ever be allowed to restore any Southern State to the Union.”

After the fall elections the malcontents will be more outspoken. Already Wilson and Thad. Stevens have openly taken ground against the President, and by the time of the meeting of Congress the whole radical pack will be in full cry against him. – New York World

These fellows ought to be taken care of; they are “disloyal.” They used to tell us that the President was the “Government,” and that to oppose the President was to oppose the Government; and any man who did so was a traitor. Suppose “the Government” now give them a dose of their own remedy– arrest them and put them in Fort Lafayette or Fort Warren to cure their disloyalty Wouldn’t the loyal Leaguers howl then? — Quincy Herald

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