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1865 September 9: The Question of Negro Suffrage in Wisconsin

September 14, 2015

The following editorial comes from The Prescott Journal of September 9, 1865.

Negro Suffrage.

The question of Negro suffrage in this State is exciting a good deal of discussion.  The Democratic papers and talkers, believing Negro Suffrage to be unpopular, are untiring in their assertions that it is a principle of the Union Party and the leading idea of that organization.

The fact is, it is a principle of no party now.  It will be supported by many, we think a majority, of the Union party, and by a good many strong Democrats, and it will be opposed by the majority of the Democratic party and by a good many Republicans.  The Union State Convention may adopt it as a party tenant and may not.

We are not called to decide the question of negro suffrage at the South.  That question is a very serious one, and most of the talk on it as yet, has been crude and unsatisfactory.  It needs more time and knowledge to decide that question.

But in this State there is no need of hesitancy or doubt.  The negro bears all the burdens of Government, and it is simple justice to confer on him its privileges.  Are they ignorant?  We will show you white voters more so.  Is there an inborn repugnance to associating with them?  We grant it ;  but their names stood on the enrollment list with yours, and you made no objection.  The companionship of the poll list is no closer than that.

Let us do justice.  Give the colored man his right to vote, and then if you do not like it, when his right of suffrage is taken away, relieve him of all the burdens of Government, except such as other aliens living here must bear.

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