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Foster, Lafayette Sabine (1806-1880) to Mr. Wakeman

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00544 Author/Creator: Foster, Lafayette Sabine (1806-1880) Place Written: Norwich, Connecticut Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 5 October 1866 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Foster, a U.S. senator from Connecticut, discusses his views on reconstruction with Wakeman, a lawyer. Foster says that he would restrict the right to vote to those with "capacity and virtue," but that it would be "arbitrary, unjust, and tyrannical to make any discriminations\85on account of color\85" Writing extensively about the rights, especially voting rights, of the "negro," he states "There is no more sense in talking of a man's natural right to vote, than there is in talking of his natural right to be the Chief Justice, or the President of the United States\85It is dangerous to commit so important a power to any who have not both capacity and virtue - I would restrict the right of suffrage to those who had both - to such I would give it, no matter about their color, the ignorant and vicious I would exclude\85"

People: Foster, Lafayette Sabine, 1806-1880.
Wakeman, Mr., fl. 1866.
Johnson, Andrew, 1808-1875.

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Reconstruction, Congress, African American History, Suffrage, Civil Rights, Education

Sub Era: Reconstruction