Trees Planted by the Water: Early African American Legislators
|Handbook of Texas Online:||Ralph Long|
|Texas State Library:||Ralph Long|
|.Constitutional Convention 1868|
Entries from the Journals of the Reconstruction Convention, 1868
|June 5, 1868
The President announced the following standing committees: Education-Ta1bot, Chairman; Schuetze, Lieb, Constant, Long,
Mr. Long offered the following resolution: WHEREAS, The custom of carrying concealed weapons is openly indulged by spectators and others who visit this Convention, in the lobbies and elsewhere; therefore be it Resolved, That the Convention do order that no person shall hereafter be allowed in this hall, who carries belted on his person, revolvers or other offensive weapons. Mr. Carter moved the suspension of the rules for the consideration of the resolution. Rules suspended. Mr. Lindsay offered the following amendment to the resolution: Resolved, further, That the Sergeant-at-Arms is hereby ordered to see to it, that this order is strictly observed. The question being upon the adoption of the amendment, it was adopted. Mr. Buffington moved to amend by inserting " deadly," instead of "offensive." Amendment adopted. The question recurring upon
the adoption of the resolution as amended, it was agreed to.
Mr. Long introduced the following resolution: Be it Resolved by the people of Texas in Convention assembled, That Fred. Slaughter, the carrier of the mail from the postoffice to the capitol, and vice versa, for the benefit of the members of this body, be allowed four dollars per diema, and that the Secretary be authorized to draw upon the Treasurer therefor as he draws for the members. Laid over one day.
Mr. Lindsay made the following report from the Special Com- 'mittee appointed to inquire into the conduct of Messrs. Long and Johnson: COMMITTEE ROOM, August 7, 1868. Hon. E. J. DAVIS, President of the Convention: SIR: The Special Committee appointed by you, under an order of the Convention, to investigate the conduct of two of its members, Messrs. Johnson and Long, upon a charge of having violated the rules of decorum, prescribed for the government of this body, during its session. have performed that duty, and now beg leave to submit the following report: From the evidence, which they were enabled to procure, it appears that the occurrence took place entirely without the precincts of the Convention; and, however reprehensible their conduct may have been-about which the committee thinks it would be improper for them, under the circumstances, to express an opinion-it is not subject to the jurisdiction of this body. If the difficulty had taken place in the midst of the members, during the session of the Convention, or in the lobby of the House, then, by the rules adopted for the government of this body, as well as by general parliamentary law, the parties would have been justly subject to its censure, and might be dealt with by reprimand or expulsion; but, as it took place without the precincts of the House, if the parties are amenable to any tribunal, it is to the civil authority of the country; and they
RECONSTRUCTION CONVENTION JOURNAL. cannot be dealt with by parliamentary law upon the facts ascertained by our investigation. Whether the parties are amenable to the civil law upon the facts, the committee deems it improper for them to express an opinion, as such an intimation might prejudice the rights of the parties in an investigation before the civil tribunals of the country. They may be permitted, however, to say that, according to the principles of parli mentary law, there are certain privileges guaranteed to the members of all deliberative bodies, which shield and protect them against arrest by the civil authorities of the government, while in session. No member of a deliberative body can be arrested during the continuance and term of its sessions, except for treason, felony, breach of the peace, or in a case in which sureties of the peace may be demanded, of one or both of the parties, for threatened aggressions. In all other cases, the members of deliberative bodies are privileged from arrest, while the body, of which they are members, is in session. In this case no treason nor felony has been committed. And, as nothing occurred within the precincts and jurisdiction of the House, calling for its action, or animadversion. it would be improper for this committee to intimate whether a breach of the psace was committed or not; as that might become a subject of judicial inquiry by the civil tribunals of the country. Upon examination of the parties themselves involved in the investigation, the committee is satisfied the difficulty is at an end between them, and no precautionary measure is necessary to prevent a collision, and they therefore recommend their discharge from the custody of the sergeant-at-arms, and their restoration to their privileges in the House. They ask that the committee be now discharged. All of which is respectfully submitted. L. LINDSAY. B. F. WILLIAMS. JAMES P. BUTLER. Upon motion, the report was adopted. Mr. Burnett moved that the members be discharged upon the payment of fees. Carried. Mr. McCormick, from the Committee on Contingent Expenses, made the following report: 688
Mr. Long introduced the following declaration: Be it declared by the people of Texas in Convention assembled, That all attempts to justify the rebellion and war against the United States, made in Texas since August 5, 1865, by the courts of the provisional government, by deciding that the statutes of limitation have been running since said date and prior to the acceptance of this Constitution by Congress. That a payment to a " rebel receiver" operated an extinguishment of the debt, that the '" so-called Confederate States of America and the pretended States thereof" were de facto governments, that promissory notes given for Confederate paper, and obligations to pay money for slaves, made after President Lincoln's proclamation of emancipation stated that it took effect, were- null and void fiom the beginning, and shall so remain; provided, nevertheless, that this declaration shall not be construed to validate or invalidate by emancipation any of the acts of the other decisions. Mr Burnett moved to reject the declaration. Upon which the yeas and nays were demanded and resulted thus: Yeas-Messrs. Armstrong of Jasper, Armstrong of Lamar, Bledsoe, Board, Boyd, Bryant of Grayson, Buffington, Burnett, Caldwell, Carter, Cole, Constant, Curtis, Flanagan, W. Flanagan,, Grigsby, Hamilton of Travis, Harris, Harm, Home, Johnson of Calhoun, Jordan, Kealy, Keigwin, Kirk, Lindsay, McWashington, Munroc, Phillips of San Augustine, Phillips of Wharton, Posey,