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Stone Collection: Volume 71 - Item 11
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Alfred H. Stone Collection
Volume: 71

11. John Hancock, The Great Question for the People! Essays on the Elective Franchise; Or, Who Has the Right to Vote? (Philadelphia: Merrihew & Son, 1866). (44 p.)

Review of legal precedents regarding suffrage during the Colonial period as they relate to the question of whether African Americans should be granted the suffrage today. The author’s arguments are based on two assumptions. First, “our Rebel leaders must never return to power,” and second, “No citizen, who will not inform himself upon these important duties and responsibilities, should be permitted to vote away the rights and liberties of his fellow-citizens, and thereby endanger our sacred institutions.” The author’s second assumption was formulated with “the ignorant Southern classes of the people, . . . irrespective of color,” in mind. The last four pages of this pamphlet are taken up by advertisements for life insurance, a home organ, and artificial limbs. (The collection has another copy of this pamphlet in volume 14 [no. 11].)