In 1866 only five states allowed black men full suffrage. Seeking to expand African American voting rights, Radical Republicans sponsored a bill that would enfranchise blacks living in the District of Columbia.
Benjamin M. Boyer, a Democratic representative from Pennsylvania, was one of the politicians who spoke out against the bill. In Boyer’s opinion, Radical Republicans misinterpreted Thomas Jefferson’s declaration that “all men are created equal.” According to Boyer, the Founding Fathers and the authors of several state constitutions had no intention of extending...
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