What was the point of this statement by Representative John Farnsworth?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,745
SoCal
#11
I don't know. He was arguing in favor of the 14th Amendment against what he labeled as Democrat fear-mongering. Miscegenation wasn't the issue being debated; I don't know his feelings on the matter other than what he says in the quoted passage, i.e. he feels they are unnecessary.
You seem fixated on Farnsworth's apparent endorsement of capital punishment for it. Once again, the passage seems clear to me. He is mocking Rogers for not being able to restrain himself without threat of punishment.
Yes, he is mocking Rogers, but he is also saying that if Rogers really wants this, then he can have it. It's like someone being ridiculed for wearing elbow pads and knee pads while walking but still being told that he can do this if he really wants to.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,108
#12
There were miscegenation laws in most states then. It was an issue being used by opponents of the 14th Amendment. Not many in Congress would openly oppose such laws. So Farmsworth is making fun of the objections rather than directly addressing them.

He was addressing a Democrat from NJ. Most former Confederate states were not seated in Congress at that time, and NJ had had about 10% slaves at one time, and had more southern attitudes about race than most of the Union states.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,745
SoCal
#13
There were miscegenation laws in most states then. It was an issue being used by opponents of the 14th Amendment. Not many in Congress would openly oppose such laws. So Farmsworth is making fun of the objections rather than directly addressing them.
That does raise the question of what Farnsworth would have actually done had a bill to ban miscegenation in Washington DC reached the House floor for a vote, though.

He was addressing a Democrat from NJ. Most former Confederate states were not seated in Congress at that time, and NJ had had about 10% slaves at one time, and had more southern attitudes about race than most of the Union states.
Yes, I know.
 

botully

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
3,530
Amelia, Virginia, USA
#14
Yes, he is mocking Rogers, but he is also saying that if Rogers really wants this, then he can have it. It's like someone being ridiculed for wearing elbow pads and knee pads while walking but still being told that he can do this if he really wants to.
I admit I don’t understand your analogy, but it’s late.
Without looking, I’d still guess that it was already against the law in DC, as it was in most places, indeed until recently. Again, without checking, I’m sure there are still laws on the books even if unenforced.
If you’re asking if Farnsworth would vote in favor of hanging as a punishment, I don’t know, but based on his reply I’d say “no”, as he uses it like a reductio ad absurdum argument.
Advocating for interracial marriage would have been an extreme, even absurd position at the time, especially given the stakes in this particular debate. Is there any congressman or prominent politician who, in the context of the 14th amendment, wanted to ensure the legality of interracial marriage?
 
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betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,108
#15
Exactly, Farnsworth was making fun of the objection, because he couldn't openly say he was for interracial marriage.

Interracial marriage was legal in some northern states and did occur before the Civil War. There were white women married to black men who were lynched in the NYC draft riots.