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Proceedings and Debates of the 1867 Constitutional Convention
Volume 74, Volume 1, Debates 168   View pdf image (33K)
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serted that the admission of the negro to the witness box
would lead to his admission to the jury box. There was
nothing further from the truth than this. The one was
a civil and the other a political right. As had been stated,
women had testified for generations, and yet had never
been admitted to political rights. Again, objection was
made on the score of liability of injustice to the white
man. He feared that this matter was not well under-
stood in the counties, that the proper distinction was not
drawn between competency and credibility. There was
an idea afloat that it would put a white man at the mercy
of every negro who will swear to this or that, but the
cross-examination to which the witnesses will be sub-
jected will leave no possible opportunity of injustice to
the white man.
Mr. Jones advanced other arguments also at some
Mr. Pleasants moved an amendment to the order of Mr.
Farnandis to strike out all after the word "color. "
Mr. Gill took the floor in support of the amendment just
offered, and agreed that it should be placed in such a way
that the Legislature could not possibly change it. }•. (.
was as much opposed as any man in the State to giving
the negro the right of suffrage, the right to hold office, or
the right to sit on a jury, but as far as his (Mr. G. 's)
voice went, he should have every other right.
Mr. Dobbin said he was satisfied that this was a matter
deep down in the hearts of members, and he agreed that
a middle, temperate ground was the best plan, and he
would sacrifice his convictions that the Bill of Rights was
the proper place for this article, and would vote for the
order of the gentleman from Harford, (Mr. Archer. )
Mr. George also said that in the spirit of compromise
he now intended to accept the proposition of the gentle-
man from Harford; so, also did Mr. Brown.
Mr. Rider said his people of Somerset did not want this
thing and would not submit to it.
Mr. Page and Mr. Jones took issue with him. The
latter said that he had nearly a year since published his
views on this subject, had made speeches in the Legisla-

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1867 Constitutional Convention
Volume 74, Volume 1, Debates 168   View pdf image (33K)
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