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MERRIMON.--Yes, sir; they are a part of "the governed," and I
say that they have not only assented, but they have consented to
this system of government.

Mr. MORTON.--How?

Mr. MERRIMON.--I say so, because they have never raised their
voice in opposition to it; they have given for nearly a century
their highest moral sanction to it; we have had a moral
expression from the American women with a degree of unanimity and
cordiality that is striking. I am warranted in saying that nine
hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand have given their
moral assent, in as full a measure as it was possible for them
to do, to our system of government. They have sustained it under
all circumstances with their love, their hands, and their hearts,
with their smiles and their tears, educated their children to
love it and to die for it. They have manifested their love for it
in every form, it has never appeared, be it said to their honor,
that they disliked or disapproved it. They have had the right
under the bill of rights of every State in the Union, they have
had the right under the Constitution of the Union at all times to
memorialize the States and to memorialize Congress, protesting
against any abridgment of their natural or civil rights, if they
deemed there was any abridgment of those rights. But I repeat
what I said a while ago, the number who have thus memorialized
Congress and the State governments, compared with those who have
not opened their mouths on this subject, is as a drop in the sea
compared to the waste of waters. They have yielded their assent
to this system of government; they have ratified it by every
means in their power outside of exercising the political right to
vote. I know that there are a few women in the country who
complain, but those who complain, compared with those who do not
complain, are as one to a million.

But to get back to the point. Those who established the
Declaration of Independence gave an exposition to their view of
it in the formation and administration of the several State
governments they adopted. For years in those State governments
they provided civil and political distinctions and
discriminations; they provided that certain classes of white men
should enjoy certain classes of rights, that certain other men
should not enjoy the same rights. They provided that the male
population should enjoy rights that the female should not enjoy.
They provided that the white race should be free and that the
black race should be slaves. They did that, and according to
their action and the organic laws which they adopted, they said
in the most solemn manner they could, that that system of
government carried out the purposes they meant to declare and
define in the Declaration of Independence. They not only did
that, but they had a right to do it, nor was it inconsistent with
the declaration, for it referred only to natural rights, and when
they instituted governments they provided civil and political
rights, and therefore there was no contradiction and no practical
absurdity as is suggested. Their theory was practical and adapted
to the comprehension and protection of human rights. They were
not visionary theorists but practical statesmen. They were not
radical but conservative in their notions of government. Not only
the State governments did at first what I have indicated, but
when the American people came to establish the Constitution of
the United States they again provided in the Constitution a
distinction and discrimination between the male and the female
portion of the American people; they provided that the males
should hold the offices, that the males should have the right to
vote; and not only that, but by way of further exposition of
their views of the nature, purposes, and meaning of the
Declaration, they provided that the black race should be slaves.
That Constitution recognizes negro slavery in three several
provisions.

Mr. MORTON.--Does the Senator speak of the Constitution of the
United States?

Mr. MERRIMON.--Yes, sir. In the matter of representation, slavery
was expressly provided for; it was recognized in another
provision relative to prohibiting the importation of certain
persons until after the year 1808; and in another provision which
provided that those held to labor, escaping to another State,
should be surrendered to their masters on demand. The
Constitution of the Union, made in pursuance of this very
Declaration of Independence and conforming to it, recognized a
distinction between the white race and the black race, and
recognized and provided distinctions between the male and the
female portions of the people of the American Union, and thereby
in the most absolute manner drew the civil and political
distinctions that have been kept up in one way or another from
that day to this, and which I contend, with a view to good
government, so far as the male and female portions of the
American people go, ought to be kept up and perpetuated. It seems
to me that any one who will take into consideration the facts to
which I have called attention must see that the broad, radical
construction which the Senator puts on the Declaration of
Independence can not be sustained by reason, authority, or
practice.

But, sir, I want now to refer to the position taken by the
Senator from California [Mr. Sargent]. He says that under the
Constitution by the XIII., XIV. and XV. articles of Amendment,
Congress has no power to deprive the females of this country of
the right of suffrage. That I deny as emphatically as I can. I
read from Paschal's Annotated Constitution, p. 65:

18. But citizenship of the United States, or of a State,
does not of itself give the right to vote; nor, _e
converso_, does the want of it prevent a State from
conferring the right of suffrage. (Scott _vs._ Sandford, 19
Howard, 422.)

The right of suffrage is the right to choose officers of the
Government, and it does not carry along the right of
citizenship. (Bates on Citizenship, 4, 5.) Our laws make no
provision for the loss or deprivation of citizenship.
(_Id._)

The word "citizen" is not mentioned in this clause, and its
idea is excluded in the qualifications for suffrage in all
the State constitutions. (_Id._, 5, 6.)

Mr. SARGENT.--What clause is he commenting on?

Mr. MERRIMON.--He is commenting on section 2 of article 1. He
says further:

American citizenship does not necessarily depend upon nor
co-exist with the legal capacity to hold office or the right
of suffrage, either or both of them.

No person in the United States did ever exercise the right
of suffrage in virtue of the naked, unassisted fact of
citizenship. (_Id._)

There is a distinction between political rights and
political powers. The former belong to all citizens alike,
and cohere in the very name and nature of citizenship. The
latter (voting and holding office) does not belong to all
citizens alike, nor to any citizen merely in virtue of
citizenship. His power always depends upon extraneous facts
and superadded qualifications; which facts and
qualifications are common to both citizens and aliens.
(Bates on Citizenship.)

I read these hasty citations of authority which happen to be
convenient to show that there is a distinction between political
power and political rights, and in further support of the
distinction between citizenship, or civil rights, and political
rights.

Mr. SARGENT.--Will my friend allow me a moment?

Mr. MERRIMON.--Yes, sir.

Mr. SARGENT.--The author there is commenting on the second
section of the first article of the Constitution, and I think his
reasoning on that upon general principles may be correct, at any
rate it is in consonance with the authority that he cites. But
it will be observed that by the XIV. article, section 1, it is
provided that--

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and
subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the
United States and of the State wherein they reside.

And then it says:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge
the privileges or immunities of citizens,

Covering the whole broad ground. Whatever may be the privileges
and immunities of citizens are covered and protected by this
clause. This is subsequent to the article commented on there and
changes the spirit of the old Constitution, is inconsistent with
it, repeals it, or modifies it _pro tanto_; or else there would
be no object in the adoption of the XIV. article.

Mr. MERRIMON.--I was just coming to the discussion of that
Amendment. The XIV. Amendment applies to civil rights. As I have
shown, a citizen merely by virtue of citizenship does not enjoy
political rights; neither the right to vote nor the right to hold
office. The manifest object and purpose of the XIV. Amendment was
to secure to all the American people equality of right in the
States, equality of right under the United States, civilly, not
politically; and that is made more manifest when we consider the
second section of the XIV. Amendment. It is in these words:

Representatives shall be apportioned among the several
States according to their respective numbers, counting the
whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not
taxed.



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