Wednesday, January 25, 2012

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - No Vote for You!

Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image. Some posters also include attribute information as to the source of the image.

Image from

Phoebe Breeden Eppard and Wesley Eppard

Wesley Eppard  (1825 – 1882), my 3G grand-uncle, was the baby of the family, youngest brother of my 3G grandfather William Eppard, son of Johann George Eppard and Catherine Beasley.  Johann George directed in his will of 1866 (read it HERE) that Wesley should be allowed to purchase the family farm in Rockingham County, Virginia in four easy installments. 

Yet Wesley picked up his family and moved to Missouri.  In 1870, they were farming in Randolph County, Missouri.  His real estate was worth $2000 and personal property, $300. 

Now here’s the strange thing:  it appears Wesley was denied the right to vote.   In the 1870 Federal Census, Columns 19 and 20 concern Constitutional Relations.  In column 19, he is confirmed as a male US citizen of age 21 or upwards.  In column 20, there is a mark indicating he was denied the right to vote on “other grounds than rebellion or other crime.”

The Fifteenth Amendment, which guaranteed no one would be denied the right to vote based on race, was ratified that year.  But that doesn’t apply to Wesley.  He was white.

The fact that he had been a Confederate should have had no bearing since the question says “other than rebellion.”

He is not checked off for being deaf, blind, insane or idiotic. 

Following ratification of the 15th Amendment, some states continued to try to deny voting rights to certain citizens, not just former slaves, but the Irish and Chinese among others.  That didn’t apply to Wesley either.  In his county, only 3 other white citizens were denied the right to vote:  a German, an Englishman, and a Canadian, all of whom were also US citizens.  Wesley was born in Virginia. 

So why was Wesley Eppard denied?  If I could determine Missouri’s laws regarding voting requirements, I might have an answer. 


  1. Interesting. You might check out the Missouri Digital Heritage website: There might be information about voting there or you could ask an archivist. Good luck!

    1. Good idea, Heather. I'll look into that! Thanks for the link.

  2. It might be the hair. LOL

    Yeah, I'm here through the week...

    1. Yeah, he has a bit of that Pebbles Flintstone thing going on.