Page:History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century Volume 3.djvu/25
The minority of the joint committee, B. B Richards, W. T. Baker and W. C. Martin, Democrats, made a report in which they say:
“While we concur in much of the reasoning and many of the conclusions of the other members of the committee as to the serious dereliction of duty and the corrupt practice of an obscure agent of a high official of the State, and believe that he has appropriated an amount of the public funds nearly or quite equal to the Swamp Land deficit, we yet must dissent from the main position of the other members of the committee, that this humble secretary—this obscure agent—is the chief or only wrong doer: … That there is a serious deficit in the public treasury no one will find it difficult to conclude. That the amanuensis of the Governor has been the wicked and willing agent to help to cause that deficit, all will admit. But painful as the duty may be (and it is one of the most painful we have ever performed), we deem it our duty nevertheless, to declare our conviction that the gross negligence of one high State official and the malpractice of another, are among the fruitful sources of all the loss, derangement and shame under which the State now labors, and which is partially exposed by this investigation. We cannot too strongly condemn the negligence in the Executive Department and the malpractice in the financial department of the State as revealed by the testimony submitted herewith.”
Both reports recommended that the Attorney-General be instructed to institute legal proceedings against the persons and securities involved for the purpose of recovering the missing funds. The General Assembly passed joint resolutions giving such instructions to the Attorney-General and further providing that all money thus recovered should be paid pro rata to the counties affected by the defalcation.
Among the important acts of the General Assembly was one to ratify the amendment to the Constitution of the United States, forever prohibiting slavery. An act proposing to amend the Constitution of the State of Iowa granting suffrage to negro citizens; also to amend the Constitution to disfranchise all citizens who might be guilty of treason or who have absconded for the purpose of avoiding any military conscription or draft and also prohibiting such persons from holding any office in the