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Proceedings of the Civil Rights Mass-Meeting held at Lincoln Hall, October 22, 1883. Speeches of Hon. Frederick Douglass and Robert G. Ingersoll.

1883DC-National-Washington_Proceedings (40).pdf

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Current Saved Transcription [history]

37 in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, power is given to Congress, and power is denied to the States, not only, but Congress is expressly authorized to enforce the amendments by appropriate legislation. Certainly, the power is as broad in the one case as in the other; and in both cases, individuals can be reached as well as States.

So, the Constitution provides the "Congress shall have power to regulate commerce among several States." Under this clause Congress deals directly with individuals. The States are not engaged in commerce, but the people are; and Congress makes rules and regulations for the government of the people so engaged.

The Constitution also provides that "Congress shall have power to regulate commerce with the Indian tribes." It was held in the case of The United States vs. Holliday, 3 Wall., 407, that "Commerce with the Indian tribes means commerce with the individuals composing those tribes." And under this clause it has been further decided that Congress has the power to regulate commerce not only between white people and Indian tribes, but between Indian tribes; and not only that, but between individual Indians. Worcester vs. The State, 6 Pet., 575; The United States vs. 43 Gallons, 93 U.S., 188; The United States vs. Shawmux, 2 Saw., 304.

Now, if the word "tribe" includes individual Indians, may not the word "State" include citizens?

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