The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Sunday, February 13, 2005

The Democratic record on race: a minor gem

It will pass; but, for the moment, I'm something of a Voteview junkie.

The record of past roll calls is lapidary and laconic, to put it mildly. But, viewed with the expectation of the archaeologist, it has its pleasures.

As with RC 20 of the 41st Congress, on March 15 1869, on passage of S 23 (16 Stat 3) for the further security of equal rights in the District of Columbia.

On which the House voted 111-46 - with all 111 votes for coming from the Republicans, and all but one of the votes against from the Democrats [1]. Border state Dems weigh in against the DC Negro, natch; but the spirit of the Copperheads is rife in Pennsylvania - little brotherly love evident - and Ohio whose Dems are solid for maximising the mockery of the term freedman.

Of the GOP members voting, some 16 were from former Confederate states (AR-2, NC-6, SC-1, TN-7): states that had yet to be 'redeemed' by the Party of Treason.

No Negro members took part in the vote: Joseph Rainey (SC) and (very briefly) Jefferson Long (GA) served in the 41st, but neither were yet members in March 1869. Rainey was elected to fill the seat of Franklin Whittemore - who seems to have a colourful tale of his own to tell.

  1. The lone GOP nay was Witcher of WV.


A useful CRS report (PDF) Black Members of the United States Congress: 1870-2004.

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