SAMUEL ALFRED FOOT - AUTOGRAPH NOTE SIGNED - HFSID 16031
Sale Price $198.00
SAMUEL ALFRED FOOT
He signs an autograph note to Senator Sumner, forwarding a proposed Reconstruction Amendment. It differs significantly from the 14th and 15th Amendments ultimately adopted!
Autograph Note signed: "Saml. A. Foot", 1 page, 8x13. Undated, but circa 1867. In full: Senator Sumner's attention is respectfully requested to the within." Written and signed on verso of a printed text titled, "Proposed Amendments to the Constitution." Pencil note (unknown hand) on verso: "1867 Jan. 14. Gift of Hon. Chas. Sumner (H. R. 1830). Samuel Alfred Foot (1790-1878) was a New York State judge and legislator who, while in the State Assembly, introduced resolutions condemning the Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision. Foot is often confused with his third cousin, Samuel Augustus Foot (1780-1846), a Governor and US Senator from Connecticut. Samuel Alfred Foot's note to Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts appears to recommend as a single amendment, what ultimately became the 14th and 15th Amendments to the US Constitution. The 13th Amendment (1866) abolished slavery; the 15th (1868) banned denial of citizenship on the basis of race or previous condition of service. The 14th Amendment (1868) required states to afford equal rights to all citizens. Noteworthy in Foot's proposal is the absence of the famed "due process" and "equal protection" clauses, under which a wide range of citizen protections under the Bill of Rights - originally restraints on the federal government only - have been applied by the Supreme Court to state governments as well. (Until the 1930s, the "due process" clause was also used to limit states' authority to regulate private enterprise.) An intriguing historical "what if?" Horizontal folds, 1½ inch tear at right edge in top fold. Pencil note (unknown hand) on face. Lightly creased.
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