Austin: Printed at Gazette Office, by Jo. Walker, State Printer, 1866. 53, [1 blank], , ix, [1 blank], 272, , xxvii, [1 blank] pp. Separate title page for the Laws of the Eleventh Legislature. Bound in marbled paper over boards and modern quarter morocco. Very Good.
The 1866 Constitution was Texas's maiden effort to return to the Union's good graces. It was supplanted when Congress took control of Reconstruction, inaugurated a system of military rule over the rebellious States, and required that the freedmen be granted the suffrage.
"With no African-American delegates and the will to meet only the minimum requirements for readmission to the Union, Texas's 1866 Constitutional Convention gave newly freed African-American men the right to sue or be sued, to contract and be contracted with, to acquire and transmit property, to obtain equal criminal prosecution under the law, and to testify orally in any case involving another African American. Significantly, the 1866 constitution did not allow African Americans to hold public office or to vote.
"When the newly elected 11th Texas Legislature met in August 1866, the members refused to ratify either the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, or the 14th Amendment, which granted citizenship to African Americans. The legislature wanted to return Texas as much as possible to the way it was before the war and restrict the rights of African Americans." [TX State Library and Archives Commission, on Reconstruction.]
The Eleventh Legislature forbade any "laborer" to leave his employer during the term of his employment contract; restricted employers' power to compete for the hire of laborers, enacted vagrancy laws, prohibited racial intermarriages, permitted only white males to serve on juries or hold office, and enacted Joint Resolutions urging withdrawal of American troops and rejecting the 14th Amendment.
Winkler & Friend 1539. Babbitt 539. Item #37036