The First Vote

November 16, 1867, page 721

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Every one of the several Southern States which have voted under the reconstruction acts of Congress have been carried by the white and colored loyalists. Louisiana, Virginia, Alabama, and now Georgia, have declared by large majorities of Union men in favor of Conventions to remodel the State Constitutions on the basis of equal rights to all, and in each and all of them positive and decided Unionists of both colors have been chosen to assist in this labor of remodeling the State laws.

The good sense and discretion, and above all the modesty, which the freedmen have displayed in the exercise, for the first time, of the great privilege which has been bestowed upon them, and the vast power which accompanies the privilege, have been most noticeable. Admiration of their commendable conduct has suggested the admirable engraving which we give on the first page of this issue. The freedmen are represented marching to the ballot-box to deposit their first vote, not with expressions of exultation or of defiance of their old masters and present opponents depicted on their countenances, but looking serious and solemn and determined.  The picture is one which should interest every colored loyalist in the country.

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