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Loyola University Honors Program exhibits historic documents as part of its "Justice Journey" and Constitution Day celebration

Loyola announcement - September 16, 2016

The Loyola University New Orleans Honors Program is proud to present a collection of historic documents designed to take you on a “justice journey” from the Declaration of Independence’s assertion that “all men are created equal;” to the ratification of the 14th Amendment, offering equal protection and due process; to the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote.

The exhibit, which is on display now through the end of the month, is on the first floor of the Monroe Library in the University Honors Program castle. Three of the documents included in the display were donated by Loyola alumnus Zachary Klos '15 to the Pro Bono Project Charity Auction, the 28th Annual Justice for All Ball.

As the documents themselves attest, this “justice journey” of early America was not perfect, but without these efforts to blaze new trails and open new doors – combined with the experience and foresight of both the nation’s founders and many who followed them – there might have been no justice, no freedom, no “right” to anything.

The transformation of the United States of America from thirteen British colonies into the current republic was a complex political process that spanned nearly 15 years, and encompassed four republics articulated by four documents: the Articles of Association (United Colonies of America), the Declaration of Independence (in which thirteen independent states united in Congress as the United States of America), the Articles of Confederation (in which the republic was governed by the unicameral “United States in Congress Assembled”) and finally the United States Constitution of 1787, now amended 27 times.

Below are descriptions of the items on display:

The First Republic: The United Colonies of North America: Thirteen British Colonies United in Congress was founded by 12 colonies on September 5th, 1774. Peyton Randolph and George Washington served, respectively, as the republic's first United Colonies Continental Congress President and Commander-in-Chief.

The Articles of Association, which were issued on October 20, 1774, created a system that implemented a trade boycott with Great Britain. The printing is from The December 1774, Gentleman's Magazine.

Richard Henry Lee, a Virginia delegate to the Colonial Continental Congress, issues & signs a 1775 colonial pass and recommendation for Walter Bartlett of Williamsburg, Virginia.

The Second Republic: The United States of was founded by 12 States on America July 2nd, and expired on March 1st, 1781, with the 1776, enactment of the Articles of Confederation. John Hancock and George Washington served, respectively, as the republic’s first United States Continental Congress President and Commander-in-Chief.

Resolution of Independency declaring “that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”, a U.S. Centennial printing, also records the 12 colony voting floor tally’s order, indicating New Hampshire, not Delaware, was the first to vote for Independence.

Declaration of Independence as published in Journals of Congress. Containing The Proceedings from January 1, 1776, To January 1, 1777, printed by John Dunlap.

The Third Republic began with the enactment of The Articles of Confederation on March 1st, 1781. The republic was governed through the United States in Congress Assembled, which concluded the Revolutionary War, ratified the Treaty of Paris, and primarily governed through Congressional Committees and Executive Department Heads. Samuel Huntington and George Washington served, respectively, as the republic's first United States in Congress Assembled President and Commander-in-Chief.

Articles of Confederation in the “Journals of The United States in Congress Assembled Published by Order of Congress” & opened to March 1st, 1781, recording ratification & Samuel Huntington as the 1st USCA President.

Pennsylvania v Connecticut (1782) original manuscript recording first United States federal court decision issued under the US Constitution of 1777, Article IX on December 30, 1782.

Samuel Huntington signed document as United States in Congress Assembled President, also signed by James Lawrence, and cancelled by Oliver Ellsworth, Jr. for monies owed by the State of Connecticut to Huntington for his service as a delegate to Congress

The Fourth Republic: The Journey to Justice has continued under our current republic, formed with the enactment of the United States Constitution of 1787 on March 4th, 1789, and governed by a Bicameral Congress, the President of the United States, and the United States Supreme Court.

The Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States, North West of the River Ohio as amended by the First Federal Bicameral Congress and signed into law by President George Washington on August 7th, 1789

The Bill of Rights: The Acts passed at the first session of the Congress of the United States of America: begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, in the year of 1789 opened to a full “Bill of Rights” printing, which emerged after the House and Senate debated and reduced more than 200 amendments to 27, and then finally proposing 12, to the state legislatures for ratification on September 25, 1789.

13th Amendment a complete 1866 printing, which was passed by the Senate April 1864, by the House January 1865, and ratified December 1865, abolished slavery and involuntary servitude as legal institutions. The amendment’s printing includes Secretary of State William H. Seward’s certification.

14th Amendment: The official congressional 1868 printing of the Louisiana State Constitution as transmitted to the 40th Congress by President Andrew Johnson in his Message from the President, etc., Transmitting Documents and Papers Relating to the Proceedings in North Carolina and Louisiana to Which They Refer, viz: Constitutions of Those States. AND An 1868 Louisiana Legislature printing of the 14th Amendment and its ratification resolution in Acts Passed By The General Assembly Of The State Of Louisiana At The First Session Of The First Legislature, Begun And Held In The City Of New Orleans, June 29, 1868.

19th Amendment: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation;” the document is signed Fred H Gillet, June 1919, as Speaker of the House of Representatives. AND Susan B. Anthony, Suffragist signature, "As ever sincerely, Susan B. Anthony," clipped from an autograph letter signed. Sadly, the reverse bears only five partial lines of an important letter written entirely in Susan B. Anthony's hand: "hesitate about doing this … do not wish to embarrass the Federation Manager -- I know they do not wish to have Suffrage assassination of.”