Today in Texas History – March 30

From the Annals of Reconstruction – In 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Act to readmit Texas to Congressional representation.  The Act followed Texas new constitution and election of a state government and most importantly, Texas’ ratification of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.  Texas was readmitted upon the following fundamental conditions:

First. That the constitution of Texas shall never be so amended or changed as to deprive any citizen or class of citizens of the United States of the right to vote who are entitled to vote by the constitution herein recognized, except as punishment for such crimes as are now felonies at common law, whereof they shall have been duly convicted under laws equally applicable to all the inhabitants of said State: Provided, That any alteration of said constitution, prospective in its effects, may be made in regard to the time and place of residence of voters.

Second. That it shall never be lawful for the said State to deprive any citizen of the United States on account of his race, color, or previous condition of servitude, of the right to hold office under the constitution and laws of said State, or upon any such ground to require of him any other qualifications for office than such as are required of all other citizens.

Third. That the constitution of Texas shall never be so amended or changed as to deprive any citizen or class of citizens of the United States of the school rights and privileges secured by the constitution of said State.

One could argue that all three conditions were violated – at least in spirit – by Texas for decades.

 

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