Benson John Lossing.

Harper's encyclopdia of United States history from 458 A.D. to 1905 (Volume 3) online

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ment which is not right. The supervisor parently but only apparently the most

law is the subject of objection, among radical. Let the country at once assume

other things, because, while it leaves the at least the count and return of its own

elections in the hands of the States, it elections. It may be that this could be

proposes to set watchers over the State done in a way that would leave the States

officials, and to use a kind of dual control which object to supervision free from all

liable to all manner of friction. More- interference from their neighbors, as it

200



ELECTIVE FRANCHISE



would certainly leave us free from false
counting and false returns. They could
then govern their own people in their own
way, free from federal supervision in
congressional elections, and the United
States could govern itself free from all
fear of those practices deemed indispen
sable to local government. All we ask is
that in national matters the majority
of the voters in this country may rule.
Why should any Southern man object to
this?

Elective Franchise. During the Colo
nial period the people elected their repre
sentatives in the assemblies or legislatures
by ballot or, as in Virginia, by a viva voce
vote. The governors of Rhode Island
and Connecticut were the only ones elected
by the people, with the exception of Massa
chusetts from 1G20 to 1691. The CONSTI
TUTION or THE UNITED STATES (q. v.) pre
scribes the methods of electing the Presi
dent, Vice-president, and members of each
House of Congress. Local elections are
regulated by State laws. Tn all the
States except Wyoming and Colorado
(where women are entitled to full suf
frage) the right to vote at general elec
tions is restricted to males twenty-one
years of age or over.

The registration of voters is required in
the following States and Territories:
Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado,
Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois,
Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Mon
tana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jer
sey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Penn
sylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont,
Virginia and Wyoming. In some counties
in Georgia registration is required by
local law. In Kentucky registration is
required in cities ; in Kansas in cities of
the first and second class; in Nebraska
and Iowa in cities of 2,500 population
and over; in North Dakota in cities of
over 3,000 ; in Ohio in some cities ; in
Maine in towns of 500 or more voters; in
South Dakota in cities and towns of over
1,000 voters and in counties where regis
tration has been adopted by popular vote ;
in Tennessee in all counties of 50,000 or
more inhabitants; in New York in all
cities and villages of over 5,000 popula
tion; in Missouri in cities of 100,000; in
Wisconsin in some cities. In Washing



ton in cities and towns and in voting pre
cincts having 250 voters or more.

In Texas cities of 10,000 or over may
require registration. In Rhode Island
non-taxpayers are required to register be
fore Dec. 31, each year. Registration is
prohibited by constitutional provision in
Arkansas and West Virginia.

The qualifications for voting in each
State and the classes excluded from suf
frage are as follows:

Alabama. Citizen or alien who has de
clared intention ; must have resided in
State one year, county three months, town
or precinct thirty days ; parsons convicted
of crime punishable by imprisonment,
idiots or insane excluded from suffrage.

Arkansas. Citizen or alien who has
declared intention ; must have resided in
State one year, county six months, pre
cinct thirty days; persons convicted of
felony, until pardoned, failing to pay poll
tax, idiots or insane excluded.

California. Citizen by nativity, nat
uralization or treaty of Queretaro; must
have resided in State one year, county
ninety days, precinct thirty days; Chinese,
insane, embezzlers of public moneys, con
victed of infamous crime excluded.

Colorado. Citizen or alien who has
declared intention four months previous
to offering to vote; must have resided in
State six months, county ninety days,
town or precinct ten days; persons under
guardianship, in prison, insane or idiots
excluded.

Connecticut. Citizen who can read
constitution or statutes; must have re
sided in State one year, town six months ;
persons convicted of felony or theft ex
cluded.

Delaware. Citizen and paying county
tax after age of twenty-two; must have
resided in State one year, county one
month, precinct fifteen days; idiots, in
sane, paupers, felons excluded.

Florida. Citizen or alien who has de
clared intention and paid capitation tax
two years; must have resided in State one
year, county six months: persons under
guardianslv p. insane, convicted of felony
or any infamous crime excluded.

Georgia. Citizen who has paid all his
taxes since 1877; must have resided in
State one year, county six months; idiots,
insane, convicted of crime punishable by



201



ELECTIVE FRANCHISE

imprisonment until pardoned, tax delin- Massachusetts. Citizen who can read

quents excluded. constitution in English, and write; must

Idaho. Citizen; must have resided in have resided in State one year, town six

State six months, county thirty days ; Chi- months; paupers (except United States

nese, Indians, Mormons, felons, insane, soldiers and sailors honorably discharged)

convicted of treason or election bribery and persons under guardianship excluded,

excluded. Michigan: Citizen or inhabitant who

Illinois. Citizen ; must have resided has declared intention under United States

in State one year, county ninety days, laws two years and six months before elec-

town or precinct thirty days; persons con- tion and lived in State two and a half

victed of crime punishable in penitentiary years; must have resided in State six

until pardoned and restored to rights ex- months, town or county twenty days;

eluded. Indians, duellists, and accessories ex-

Indiana. Citizen or alien who has de- eluded.

clared intention and resided one year in Minnesota. Citizen or alien who has

United States and six months in State; declared intention and civilized Indians;

must have resided in State six months, must have resided in United States one

town sixty days, precinct thirty days; year prior to election, State four months,

persons convicted of crime and disfran- town or precinct ten days; persons con-

chised by judgment of court excluded. victed of treason or felony unless pardon-

lowa. Citizen; must have resided in ed, under guardianship or insane excluded.

State six months, county sixty days; idiots, Mississippi. Citizen who can read or

insane, convicted of infamous crime, non- understand constitution after Jan. 1,

resident United States soldiers and ma- 1892; must have resided in State two

rines excluded. years, town or precinct one year (except

Kansas. Citizen or alien who has de- clergymen, who are qualified after six
clared intention; must have resided in months in precinct); insane, idiots, Ind-
State six months, town or precinct thirty ians not taxed, felons, persons who have
days; idiots, insane, convicts, rebels not not paid taxes excluded,
restored to citizenship, persons under Missouri. Citizen or alien who has de-
guardianship, public embezzlers, bribed, clared intention not less than one year nor
excluded. more than five before offering to vote;

Kentucky. Citizen : must have resided must have resided in State one year, town

in State one year, county six months, town sixty days; United States soldiers and

or precinct sixty days; idiots, insane, marines, paupers, criminals convicted once

persons convicted of treason, felony, or until pardoned, felons and violators of

bribery at election excluded. suffrage laws convicted a second time

Louisiana. Citizen or alien who has de- excluded.

Ciared intention; must have resided in Montana. Citizen; must have resided
State one year, county six months, pre- hi State one year, county thirty days;
cinct thirty days; idiots, insane, persons Indians, felons, and soldiers excluded,
convicted of treason, embezzlement of pub- Nebraska. Citizen or alien who has de-
lie funds, or any crime punishable by im- clared intention thirty days prior to elec-
prisonment in penitentiary excluded. tion; must have resided in State six

Maine. Citizen; must have resided in months, county forty days, town or pre-

town three months; paupers, persons un- cinct ten days; idiots, insane, convicted

der guardianship, Indians not taxed, and of treason or felony unless pardoned, sol-

in 1893 all new voters who cannot read diers and sailors excluded,

constitution or write their own names in Nevada. Citizen ; must have resided in

English excluded. State six months, town or precinct thirty

Maryland. Citizen; must have resided days; idiots, insane, convicted of treason
in State one year, county six months ; per- or felony, unamnestied Confederates who
sons over twenty-one years convicted of bore arms against the United States ex-
larceny or other infamous crime unless eluded.

pardoned, under guardianship as lunatics New Hampshire. Inhabitants, native or

or non compos mentis excluded. naturalized; must have resided in town

202



ELECTIVE FRANCHISE ELECTORAL COLLEGES



six months; paupers (except United
States soldiers and sailors honorably dis
charged), persons excused from paying
taxes at their own request excluded.

New Jersey. Citizen ; must have re
sided in State one year, county five
months; idiots, insane, paupers, persons
convicted of crimes (unless pardoned)
which exclude them from being witnesses
excluded.

New York. Citizen ninety days previ
ous to election ; must have resided in
State one year, county four months, town
or precinct thirty days; persons convicted
of bribery or any infamous crime, unless
sentenced to reformatory or pardoned, bet
tors on result of any election at which
they offer to vote, bribers and bribed for
votes excluded.

North Carolina. Citizen; must have
resided in State one year, county ninety
days; persons convicted of felony or other
infamous crime, idiots, and lunatics ex
cluded.

North Dakota. Citizen, alien who has
declared intention one year, or civilized
Indian who has severed tribal relations
two years prior to election ; must have re
sided in State one year, county six months,
precinct ninety days; United States sol
diers and sailors, persons non compos men
tis, and felons excluded.

Ohio. Citizen; must have resided in
State one year, county thirty days, pre
cinct twenty days; persons convicted of
felony until pardoned and restored to citi
zenship, idiots, insane, United States sol
diers and sailors excluded.

Oregon. Citizen or alien who has de
clared intention one year; must have re
sided in State six months; idiots, insane,
convicted of felony, United States soldiers
and sailors, and Chinese excluded.

Pennsylvania. Citizen one month, and
if twenty-two years or over must have
paid tax within two years; must have re
sided in State one year, or six months if
after having been a qualified elector or
native he shall have removed and return
ed ; in precinct two months ; non - tax
payers and persons convicted of some of
fence whereby right of suffrage is forfeit
ed excluded.

Rhode Island. Citizen ; must have re
sided in State two years, town six
months; paupers, lunatics, persons non



compos mentis, convicted of bribery or in
famous crime until restored to right to
vote, under guardianship excluded.

South Carolina. Citizen; must have
resided in State one year, town sixty days ;
persons convicted of treason, murder, or
other infamous crime, duelling, paupers,
insane, and idiots excluded.

South Dakota. Citizen or alien who
has declared intention ; must have resided
in United States one year, State six
months, county thirty days, precinct ten
days; persons under guardianship, idiots,
insane, convicted of treason or felony un
less pardoned excluded.

Tennessee. Citizen; must have resided
in State one year, county six months, and
be resident of precinct or district; persons
convicted of bribery or other infamous of
fence excluded.

Texas. Citizen; must have resided in
State one year, town six months, and be
actual resident of precinct or district;
idiots, lunatics, pampers, United States
soldiers and sailors, and persons convicted
of felony excluded.

Vermont. Citizens must have resided
in State one year, town or precinct three
months (if residing in State one year,
bona fide resident in precinct at time of
registration may vote) ; unpardoned con
victs, deserters during Civil War, and ex-
Confederates excluded.

Virginia. Citizen; must have resided
in State one year, town three months,
precinct thirty days ; idiots, lunatics,
persons convicted of bribery at election,
embezzlement of public funds, treason,
felony, and petty larceny, duellists and
abettors, unless pardoned by legislature,
excluded. See DISFRANCHISEMENT.

Electoral Colleges, THE. The people
do not vote directly for President and
Vice-President, but they choose, for each
congressional district in the respective
States, a representative in an electoral
college, which consists of as many mem
bers as there are congressional districts
in each State, besides its two Senators.
The theory of the framers of the Consti
tution was that by this means the best
men of the country would be chosen in the
several districts, and they would better
express the wishes of the people concern
ing a choice of President and Vice-Presi-
dent than a vote directly by the people



203



ELECTORAL COMMISSION

for these officers. The several electors adopted, providing for the investigation of
chosen in the different States meet at the action of returning boards in South
their respective State capitals on the first Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana. There
Wednesday in December, and name in was much excitement in Congress and anx-
their ballots the persons for President and iety among the people. Thoughtful men
Vice-President. Then each electoral col- saw much trouble at the final counting
lege makes three lists of the names voted of the votes of the electoral colleges by
for these offices. These lists must be sent the president of the Senate, according to
to the president of the Senate by the first the prescription of the Constitution, for
Wednesday of January. Congress meets already his absolute power in the matter
in joint session to count the votes on the was questioned. Proctor Knott, of Ken-
second Wednesday of February. See lucky, offered a resolution for the appoint-
PRESIDENT, VOTE FOR. ment of a committee of seven members, to
Electoral Commission. A Republican act in conjunction with a similar commit-
National Convention assembled at Cincin- tee that might be appointed by the Senate,
nati, June 16, 1876, and nominated to prepare and report a plan for the crea-
Rutherford Birchard Hayes, of Ohio, for tion of a tribunal to count the electoral
President, and William A. Wheeler, of votes, whose authority no one could ques-
New York, for Vice-President. On the tion, and whose decision all could accept
27th a Democratic National Convention as final. The resolution was adopted,
assembled at St. Louis and nominated The Senate appointed a committee; and on
Samuel J. Tilden, of New York, for Presi- Jan. 18, 1877, the joint committee, con-
dent, and Thomas A. Hendricks, of Indi- sisting of fourteen members, reported a
ana, for Vice-President. A very excited can- bill that provided for the meeting of both
vass succeeded, and so vehement became Houses in the hall of the House of Repre-
the lawlessness in some of the Southern sentatives on Feb. 1, 1877, to there count
States that at times local civil war seemed the votes in accordance with a plan which
inevitable. The result of the election was the committee proposed. In case of more
in doubt for some time, each party claim- than one return from a State, all such re-
ing for its candidate a majority. In the turns, having been made by appointed
electoral college 185 votes were necessary tellers, should be, upon objections being
to the success of a candidate. It was de- made, submitted to the judgment and de
cided after the election that Mr. Tilden ci^ion, as to which was the lawful and true
had 184. Then ensued a long and bitter electoral vote of the State, of a commis-
contest in South Carolina, Florida, and sion of fifteen, to be composed of five mem-
Louisiana over the official returns, each bers from each House, to be appointed
party charging the other with fraud, viva voce, Jan. 30, with four associate
There was intense excitement in the Gulf justices of the Supreme Court of the
region. In order to secure fair play, United States, who should, on Jan. 30.
President Grant issued an order (Nov. 10, select another of the justices of the Su-
1876) to General Sherman to instruct preme Court, the entire commission to be
military officers in the South to be vigi- presided over by the associate justice long-
Innt, to preserve peace and good order, and est in commission. After much debate,
see that legal boards of canvassers of the the bill passed both Houses. It became
votes cast at the election were unmo- a law, by the signature of the Presi-
lested. He also appointed distinguished dent, Jan. 29, 1877. The next day the
gentlemen of both political parties to go two Houses each selected five of its
to Louisiana and Florida to be present at members to serve on the Electoral Com-
the reception of the returns and the count- mission, the Senate members being George
ing of the votes. The result was that it F. Edmunds (Vt. ), Oliver P. Morton
was decided, on the count by returning (Ind. ), Frederick T. Frelinghuysen
boards, that Hayes had a majority of the (N. J.), Thomas F. Bayard (Del.), and
electoral votes. The friends of Mr. Tilden Allen G. Thurman (0.)*, and the House
were not satisfied. There was a- Demo- members, Henry B. Payne (0.), Eppa
cratic majority in the House of Repre- Ilunton (Va. ), Josiah G. Abbott (Mass.),
sentatives. On Dec. 4 a resolution was James A. Garfield (O. ), and George F.

204



ELECTRICITY ELECTRICITY IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY



Hoar (Mass.). Senator Francis Kernan
(N. Y.) was afterwards substituted for
Senator Thurman, who had become ill.
Judges Clifford, Miller, Field, and Strong,
of the Supreme Court, were named in the
bill, and these chose as the fifth member
of associate justices Joseph P. Bradley.
The Electoral Commission assembled in
the hall of the House of Representatives,
Feb. 1, 1877. The legality of returns
from several States was questioned, and
was passed upon and decided by the com
mission. The counting was completed on
March 2, and the commission made the
final decision in all cases. The president
of the Senate then announced that Hayes
and Wheeler were elected. The forty-
fourth Congress finally adjourned on Sat
urday, March 3. March 4, prescribed as
the day for the taking of the oath of office
by the President, falling on Sunday, Mr.
Hayes, to prevent any technical objections
that might be raised, privately took the
oath of office on that day, and on Monday,
the 5th, he was publicly inaugurated, in
the presence of a vast multitude of his
fellow-citizens.

Electricity. The employment of elec
tricity for illumination, and as a mover
of machinery, has added an interesting
chapter to the volume of our national
history; and the name of Edison as one
of the chief promoters of the use of the
mysterious agent for light
ing, heating, and motive
power is coextensive with
the realm of civilization.
Ever since the discovery of
electro-magnetism, thought
ful men have contemplated
the possibility of producing
a controllable electric il
luminator and motor. In
1845 John W. Starr, of
Cincinnati, filed a caveat in
the United States Patent
Office for a " divisible elec
tric light." He went to
England to complete and
prove the utility of his in
vention. There George Pea-
body, the American banker, offered him
all the money he might need, in case his
experiment should be successful. It
proved so at an exhibition of it at Man
chester before scientific men. Professor




INCAMOESCBMT

LAMP.




Faraday pronounced it perfect. Starr
was so excited by his success that he died
that night, and nothing more was done
with the invention. In 1859 PROF. MOSES
G. FARMER (q. v.) lighted a parlor at
Salem, Mass., by an
electric lamp, but the
cost of producing it,
by means of a gal
vanic battery in the
cellar, was so great
that the use of it was
abandoned. These
were the pioneers in
our country. Now the
generation of electric
ity by dynamos, mag
nets, etc., produces
brilliant light at less
cost than by illumi
nating gas. It is used
so extensively in cities
for various purposes
that it has created a
new phrase in our
vocabulary " Indus
trial Electricity." For AKC LIGHT .
the provision of light,

heat, and motive power, extensive plants
are established in almost every city,
town, and village in the country. For
light, two kinds of lamps are used
the arc and the incandescent. Elec
tricity moves sewing-machines, elevators,
street-railway cars, the machinery of fac
tories, agricultural implements, and min
ing drills; and, with all its marvellous
adaptations and achievements towards
the close of the nineteenth century, its
development was then considered still in
its infancy.

Electricity, FARMING BY. See FARM
ING BY ELECTRICITY.

Electricity in the Nineteenth Cen
tury. ELIHU THOMSON (q. v.) , the cele
brated inventor and electrician, writes as
follows :

The latter half of the nineteenth cen
tury must ever remain memorable, not
only for the great advances in nearly all
the useful arts, but for the peculiarly
rapid electric progress, and the profound
effect which it hai had upon the lives and
business of the people. In the preceding
century we find no evidences of the ap-



205



ELECTRICITY IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

plication of electricity to any useful pur- enough to stop and start a current in a
pose. Few of the more important prin- line of wire connecting two points, but
ciples of the science were then known, something more than that was requisite.
Franklin s invention of the lightning-rod A good receiver, or means for recognizing
was not intended to utilize electric force, the presence or absence of current in the
but to guard life and property from the wire or circuit, did not exist. The art
perils of the thunder-storm. Franklin s had to wait for the discovery of the effects
kite experiment confirmed the long-sus- of electric current upon magnets and the
pected identity of lightning and electric production of magnetism by such currents,
sparks. It was not, however, until the Curiously, even in 1802 the fact that a
discovery by Alexander Volta, in 1799, wire conveying a current would deflect
of his pile, or battery, that electricity a compass needle was observed by
could take its place as an agent of prac- Romagnosi, of Trente, but it was after-
tical value. Volta, when he made this wards forgotten, and not until 1819 was
great discovery, was following the work any real advance made,
of Galvani, begun in 1786. But Galvani It was then that Oersted, of Copenhagen,
in his experiments mistook the effect for showed that a magnet tends to set itself
the cause, and so missed making the at right angles to the wire conveying cur-
unique demonstration that two different rent and that the direction of turning
metals immersed in a solution could set depends on the direction of the current,
up an electric current. Volta brought to The study of the magnetic effects of elec-
the notice of the world the first means for trie currents by Arago, Ampere, and the
obtaining a steady flow of electricity. production of the electro-magnet by Stur-

The simplest facts of electro-magnetism, geon, together with the very valuable
upon which much of the later electrical work of Henry and others, made possible
developments depend, remained entirely the completion of the electric telegraph,
unknown until the first quarter of the This was done by Morse and Vail in
nineteenth century. Davy first showed America, and almost simultaneously by
the electric arc or " arch " on a small workers abroad, but, before Morse had
scale between pieces of carbon. He also entered the field, Prof. Joseph Henry
laid the foundation for future electro- had exemplified by experiments the work-
chemical work by decomposing by the bat- ing of electric signalling by electro-
tery current potash and soda, and thus magnets over a short line. It was Henry,
isolating the alkali metals, potassium and in fact, who first made a practically use-



Online LibraryBenson John LossingHarper's encyclopdia of United States history from 458 A.D. to 1905 (Volume 3) → online text (page 32 of 76)