Sunday, July 14, 2013

"that inasmuch as the Constitution of the U.S. explicitly declares that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"

MEMORIAL OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA FREEDMEN.--The following is the material portion of the memorial to Congress adopted by the late Freedmen's Convention at Charleston :

   "We ask, first, that the strong arm of law and order be placed alike over the entire people of this 8tate: that life and property be secure, and the laborer as free to sell his labor as the merchant his goods. We ask that a fair and impartial construction be given to the pledges of government to us concerning the land question. We ask that the three great agents of civilized society--the school, the pulpit, the press be as secure in South Carolina as in Massachusetts or Vermont.--We ask that equal suffurage be conferred upon us in common with the white men of this State. This we ask because all free governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed; and we are largely in majority in this State, bearing for a long period the burden of an odious taxation without a just representation. We ask for equal suffrage as a protection from hostility evoked by our known faithfulness to our country's flag during the slaveholders' rebellion. We ask that colored men shall not in every instance be tried by white men; and that neither by custom or enactment shall we be excluded from the jury box. We ask that inasmuch as the Constitution of the U.S. explicitly declares that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and the constitution is the supreme law of the land, that the late efforts of the Legislature of this State to pass an act to deprive us of arms be forbidden as a plain violation of the constitution, and unjust to many of us in the highest degree, who have been soldiers and purchased our muskets from the United States government when mustered out of the service.

   "We protest against any code of black laws the Legislature of this State has enacted, or may hereinafter enact, and pray to be governed by the same laws that control other men.--The right to assemble in peaceful convention to discuss the political questions of the day; the right to enter upon all avenues of trade, commerce, agriculture, to amass wealth by thrift and industry; the right to develop our whole being, by all the appliances that belong to civilized society, cannot be questioned by any class of intelligent legislators."

- Vermont Watchman & State Journal, Montpelier, December 15, 1865. Vol. 61. No. 7. Whole No. 3087. Pg. 1.

No comments: