"Colored Suffrage in Wisconsin," Chicago Tribune, March 29, 1866, p. 2.
John Osborne, Dickinson College
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
COLORED SUFFRAGE IN WISCONSIN
The Supreme Court of Wisconsin has settled the long-contested and vexatious question of negro suffrage in that State, in accordance with the principles of right and true democracy. The Court has decided that colored men are entitled to vote under the amended Constitution of 1847. A. Johnson, acting President, decides that colored men are not citizens; but the Supreme Court of Wisconsin declares they are citizens - as much as A. Johnson himself, and possessing as good a right to vote.
It is a favorite objection of the Copperheads that, if the blacks were endowed with the suffrage, they are too ignorant to know how to cast a ballot. The matter will be tested in Wisconsin next week, at the spring election. If they have so little sense as to vote the Copperhead ticket, we shall conclude that there is some truth in the aspersion cast on their intelligence. The colored men of Wisconsin number perhaps 700 to 800 voters, and furnished about 350 soldiers to the Union army. Every right-thinking man will rejoice over this righteous decision of the Supreme Court of our sister State, and will wish that the Supreme Court of Illinois may come to a similar conclusion. Some twenty years ago the Supreme Court of Ohio decided that colored men more than half white by parentage must be considered white men in the eye of the law, and entitled to the right of suffrage. The soundness and correctness of that decision has never been challenged or traversed.