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Reconstruction of Georgia [December 22, 1869]

 

An Act to promote the Reconstruction of the State of Georgia.

Be it enacted . . ., That the governor of the State of Georgia be, and hereby is, authorized and directed, forthwith, by proclamation, to summon all persons elected to the general assembly of said State, . . . to appear on some day certain, to be named in said proclamation, at Atlanta, in said State; and thereupon the said general assembly of said State shall proceed to perfect its
organization in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States, according to the provisions of this act.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That when the members so elected to said senate and house of representatives shall be convened, as aforesaid, each and every member and each and every person claiming to be elected as a member of said senate or house of representatives shall, in addition to taking the oath or oaths required by the constitution of Georgia, also take and subscribe and one in the office of the secretary of state of the State of Georgia one of the following oaths or affirmations, namely: " I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I have never held the office, or exercised the duties of, a senator or representative in Congress, nor been a member of the legislature of any State of the United States, nor held any civil office created by law for the administration of any general law of a State, or for the administration of justice in any State or under the laws of the United States, nor held any office in the military or naval service of the United States, and thereafter engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or gave aid or comfort to its enemies, or rendered, except in consequence of direct physical force, any support or aid to any insurrection or rebellion against the United States, nor held any office under, or given any support to, any government of any kind organized or acting in hostility to the United States, or levying war against the United States So help me God . . ." Or the following oath or affirmation, namely: " I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I have been relieved, by an act of the Congress of the United States, from disability as provided for by section three of the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States. So help me God . " And every person claiming to be so elected, who shall refuse or decline or neglect or be unable to take one of said oaths or affirmations above provided, shall not be admitted to a seat in said senate or house of representatives, or to a participation in the proceeding; thereof, but shall be deemed ineligible to such seats.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That the persons elected, as aforesaid, and entitled to compose such legislature, and who shall comply with the provisions of this act, by taking one of the oaths or affirmations above Described, shall thereupon pro
ceed, in said senate and house of representatives to which they have been elected respectively, to reorganize said senate and house of representatives, respectively, by the election and qualification of the proper officers of each house.

SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That it is hereby declared that the exclusion of any person or persons elected as aforesaid, and being otherwise qualified, from participation in the proceedings of said senate or house of representatives, upon the ground of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, would be illegal, and revolutionary, and is hereby prohibited.

SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That upon the application of the governor of Georgia, the President of the United States shall employ such military or naval forces of the United States as may he necessary to enforce and execute the preceding provisions of this act.

SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That the legislature shall ratify the fifteenth amendment proposed to the Constitution of the United States before senators and representatives from Georgia are admitted to seats in Congress.