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ceased. He is still making war on the South. He is still denouncing them as rebels. He is still firing the northern heart and treating them as if they were still in arms against the Government. Sir, that is not the duty of this hour. I know very well that when we were in the midst of this great war that with whatever force of language or of sentiment or of thought I have been endowed I have urged upon the people when the war was pending to wake up all these tremendous powers. I remember on one occasion to have used this language, on the 9th of February, 1864:
Now, Mr. President, I will turn to another point. The Senator from Nevada denounces me, as well as the honorable gentleman who sits beside me, [Mr. CowAN,] because we sustain here what are denominated State rights. Sir, I do stand here to defend State rights-not State wrongs, but the rights which do belong to the States under the Constitution; not a right to secede from the Union, not a right to break up the Government, not a right to overthrow the authority of the Government and form a new Government; but the rights which the Constitution does secure are just as sacred to me as any other right for which my heart ever aspired or my voice has ever pleaded. I tell you, sir-and that, in my judgment, is the great mistake of the men who are continually straining every nerve to centralize all power here in the Federal Government-I tell you, if it were the last word I ever uttered, that unless we can defend the rights of the States, it is in vain to hope that we can defend the rights of any individual citizen who resides within the States. For the great mass of human rights, the rights which I have in my family, in my wife, in my children, in my home, in all my surroundings, in my reputation, in my person, in all the great rights which I hold dear, find my protection in the power and independence of the State in which I live. It is Wisconsin which defends my wife, my children, my homestead, all those near and dear liberties that cluster around and make life on earth desirable. The Federal Government defends Wisconsin from aggressions from abroad. The Federal Government defends Wisconsin in the enjoyment of free and unrestricted commerce and liberty with the other States of the Union. But, sir, when it comes home to the liberties of the individual citizen, I tell you that State rights, and State rights alone, are their protection; and the man who overlooks it does not understand the very foundation on which our liberties rest.
Sir, while I would give to this Government every power which the Constitution gives, while I am willing to sacrifice all that I have and all that I am to maintain its supremacy, I tell you with just as much earnestness that I am for defending the rights of the States under the Constitution from being aggressed and encroached upon by the insidious legislation of Congress. Let no man, therefore, stand up to charge me with believing in the doctrine of secession. The right to secede is not one of the rights of the States; but it is one of the rights of the States to defend and control their own domestic institutions. I say to gentlemen here who are pressing every nerve to concentrate all power in this Government that they are sleeping on a political volcano of which they form no conception-a volcano that will sweep them and the party that they sustain out of power, if they continue to trespass upon the rights of the States, with as much certainty, and consign them to as much condemnation as the old Federal party of 1800 ever received at the hands of the American people.
Sir, to defend the rights of the States is our great duty now. We have fought the battle for the Union. We have crushed all opposition to its supremacy. We have compelled every armed rebel to ground his arms and submit to its authority. All the war forces and war enginery of this great Government are waked up and are in full play. The train is made up, the engines are in motion, and all the danger is that now that the war which waked up these forces to engage in it have ceased, now that peace has come, we must still keep the war engines on the track, and the war powers in full operation.
In my judgment, that is the great mistake which the honorable Senator from Nevada makes. He does not realize that the war has
"War and not peace is our real situation. Whatever may have produced this state of things, war is upon us with all its necessities, with all its realities, with all itsstern duties, and we must fight it through. At this hour, whatever will give strength to our armies in the field and bring revenue to support them, demands the first consideration of Congress and of every department of this Government. If left to me I would speak but one word, 'Fill up the ranks, press on the columns.' To spare the unnecessary shedding of blood; to save the resources of the country; to solve all financial questions, and put our credit upon a basis so strong as to command the money of the world, I would speak no other word but Fill up the ranks, press on the columns.' To secure liberty and Union; to secure peace with all the other nations by inspiring them with respect, and to put a final end to that conspiracy, founded on slavery, which makes war against us, I would still say, as the most radical and at the same time the most certain of all measures, Fill up the ranks, press on the columns.""
Every man who accepts this pardon takes it upon condition that he will support the emancipation proclamation of the President of the United States and all the laws of Congress passed in relation to the emancipation of the slaves. This binds them by the express condition of the pardon itself. If they violate it, if they refuse to obey those laws, if for any reason they shall violate this oath, not only the crime of moral perjury rests upon them, but the pardon itself becomes absolutely void. What further, Mr. President? This pardon contains another condition, that it is "to be void and of no effect if the said A B shall hereafter at any time acquire any property whatever in slaves or make use of slave labor.'
That, sir, was the language of myself as a humble member of this body when we were in the midst of the war, when blows were to be struck and victories to be won or all to be lost. That was the language when I could feel in my soul that the very life of this country depended upon the many arms of her sons; whether the country was to live or die depended on whether we could crush the military force of the rebellion. Sir, we have crushed it, in the blessing of God, we have broken it down, it has surrendered; and now what is our condition? Peace. What are our victories now to be won? Moral victories. Then it was military victories, the war of forces; now it is a war of mind with mind, heart with heart, judg ment with judgment, sentiment with sentiment, prejudices to be overcome, hearts to be warned into affection to the Government; and the man who does not know that in a moral warfare magnanimity is more powerful than denunciation, that love is more attractive and powerful than hatred, knows nothing of the human heart. He has not read history, he has not studied statesmanship, he knows nothing of Christianity or of its divine teachings, who does not know that a fallen, stricken foe, surrendering to your power, is better governed by magnanimity than by vengeance, by love than by hate.
But, say these gentlemen, the President is abusing the power to pardon. I have in my hand one of the forms of this instrument which is executed as the pardon. It is executed upon conditions, and the conditions which are imposed have commanded the judgment and the admiration of the world. Sir Morton Petoif my honorable friend from Massachusetts will allow me to quote a titled authority-Sir Morton Peto, when he returned from this country to Europe, spoke of the conditions which were contained in this instrument of pardon upon which the rebels renewed or declared their renewal of allegiance to the Government as a thing which would challenge the admiration of mankind. One would think, standing here and listening to the arguments of gentlemen like the Senator from Nevada, that we were in the court of St. Petersburg dealing with Poland, or that we were in the court of some
I say, then, let us hear no more of this denunciation here because the Executive in the exercise of that high power with which the Constitution has clothed him, has used his power in the most potent way possible to destroy the institution of slavery, at the same moment that of the tyrannical kings of England dealing by duty to support the Government of the Unihe was binding them by oath, by interest, and with Ireland. "Confiscation! Hanging!" "Infernal rebels-give them no terms and no quarter!" "They are no longer to be regarded as worthy of the name of an American citizen," though they have surrendered, taken the oath of allegiance, laid down their arms, and for months and months, and for a whole year or more have shown by their acts and by their conduct that they are determined to live at peace and in subjection to the laws of the United States; and so well have they behaved that even the Senator himself, with all
The great majority of these pardons were issued before the constitutional amendment had been adopted by a number of States sufficient to ratify it. Bear in mind that the great object, one of the very greatest objects in view in the closing up of this rebellion was the utter extirpation of slavery; and every man who took a pardon bound himself to favor the proclamation of emancipation and bound himself never to own any slave labor or to buy or sell a slave. This was binding them in advance of the pas sage of the constitutional amendment. Iundertake to say that no wiser, more politic, or more efficient instrumentality could be used in the southern States than to bind the men who sought pardon to favor emancipation and the emancipation proclamations and the extinction of slavery. Sir, to whom were these pardons given? Generally to those men who have property. If a man living in a State where slavery existed is not permitted himself to own slaves, does he desire that the institution of slavery should exist around him? Not at all. It makes it his interest, his policy, as well as his sworn duty, to do all in his power to extirpate slavery, what we were trying to do. Men are denouncing the President of the United States for doing the very thing for which we had been struggling in this contest, denouncing the pardons given by the President when they were the greatest instrumentality to influence that. people and operate upon the minds of that people to bring them to favor the emancipation of the slaves and the adoption of this very constitutional amendment.
Every pardon was accepted by the person receiving it upon these express conditions. I have before me the form of acceptance addressed to the Secretary of State: Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State : SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the President's warrant of pardon bearing dato 186-, and hereby signify my acceptance of the same, with all the conditions therein specified.
There is one other point in the Senator's speech to which I wish to call attention. He
has repeated here time and time again during his discourse that the purpose on our part who sustain the policy of the Administration is to bring immediately into the Halls of Congress unwashed, bloody-handed rebels, with their skirts yet smoking with the blood of our sons. Mr. President, I hurl back the charge as utterly unfounded. There is no man here sustaining the policy of the Administration that has ever avowed any such doctrine as that. The immediate admission of unwashed rebels! No, sir, no!
House and it does not belong to the President
It has been charged again and again, the newspaper press has been loaded down with these infamous falsehoods, for infamous they are, in charging upon the President or his supporters that it was their purpose to bring into Congress rebels to rule the Government. It is utterly false. But what have they contended for? They have contended that Congress should judge, the Senate for itself, the House of Representatives for itself, upon the admission of its members. My friend upon the right [Mr. SUMNER] Smiles as I refer to this argument. It is an argument which he never has met and never can meet. I say that the Senate of the United States under the Constitution is made the sole judge when a person coming to its doors shall enter or shall not. I say that the President of the United States has no more to do with that question than the judges of the Supreme Court, and I would spurn any attempt by either President or court to overrule the Senate in its judgment on that question. Sir, I put a case not long ago in reference to the State of Maine; I will call it again to the attention of the Senate. It is necessary some times that things be repeated and repeated again and again. What was the case I put? A State may be interrupted by civil war or foreign war. If we were engaged with a war with England, her forces might come down the river St. John, perhaps, advance into the State of Maine, and capture a portion of the State, as she once did in the war of 1812. Suppose she should cap. ture one of the congressional districts, could that district elect a member to the House of Representatives? No, sir. Suppose she should capture two, could those districts elect members to the House of Representatives? Not at all. Maine has five congressional districts. If Great Britain should capture all but one, could that one elect a member to the House of Representatives? Although foreign war had overrun four fifths of the State, four of the five congressional districts, still that one district would be entitled to its representation in the Congress of the United States. How would it be with the Senate? If the enemy should capture one district or two districts, Maine could still elect a Legislature; but suppose she was to capture four of the five districts of Maine, could Maine elect a Legislature? No, sir, Maine could not elect a Legislature. If she could not elect a Legislature, she could not elect a Senator. Could not the Senate Mr. CONNESS. And in no other form. judge of the fact whether Maine was in a con- Mr. DOOLITTLE. There was no other form dition to elect a Legislature, whether there presented; but the Senator from Illinois knows was a Legislature to elect a Senator, as well very well what my opinion was on that subject, as judge whether the Senator had been elected and what his was, that it was not essential to according to the forms of law? So, in such a the power of the body that there should be a case as that Maine might be entitled to a Rep-joint resolution; but a joint resolution would resentative in the House of Representatives receive the sanction of some members which when she would not be entitled to a Senator the measure could not receive if it was put in in this body. the other form.
Mr. CONNESS. I propose to ask the Senator if he does not know that upon the question of the admission of Louisiana, under the recommendation of President Lincoln, it was never proposed, either by the President or anybody else, that the Senators from Louisiana should enter this body until both Houses, by the form of a joint resolution, had first settled the question; and I now ask in more concentrated form of the honorable Senator whether the then President of the United States, Mr. Lincoln, or himself, the honorable Senator, ever proposed to admit the Senators chosen in Louisiana, under that so-called State government, in any other manner than under the form of a joint resolution first.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. I will answer the Senator. I voted for the resolution, or struggled for the resolution, in that form, a resolution that was reported by the Senator from Illinois from the Judiciary Committee.
It is just so with a civil commotion or civil war. A civil war may disturb one district in a State so that it cannot elect a Representative, and yet the other districts may. When they had a rebellion in Massachusetts long ago, and one of their congressional districts was overrun, perhaps it was so disturbed that they could not elect a member of Congress at that election, while all the other districts might. So if a whole State should be overrun by a civil commotion, it might not be in a condition to elect a Legislature at all. Could not the Senate judge of that? The Senate has the right to judge whether there is a Legislature to elect a Senator, and the supreme judgment is given to this body, and it does not belong to the other 39TH CONG. 1ST SESS.-No. 159.
Mr. President, gentlemen have supposed that on one occasion here they found the Senate voting that Congress must join in some act before members could be elected. True, sir; and when was it? We were in the midst of the war, and the question came up whether we should allow them to elect presidential electors to take part in the decision of the question of the Presidency. There was a bill pending here to organize all the southern States as Territories; the bill had passed the other House under the lead of Mr. Davis, and in this body was urged by the Senator from Ohio, [Mr. WADE. Mr. BROWN, of Missouri, moved as a substitute for that bill a proposition which declared that during the insurrection those States should not elect electors for President and Vice President; that those States should not elect members of Congress until there was a proclamation made by the President in suance of an act of Congress to that effect; and it passed without any discussion on that question.
That is the point with me. Whether we allow the House of Representatives to say we shall have Senators in this body from Tennessee or not is a mere matter of courtesy toward the House, not a question of power. I do not admit their power to control us on the question of the admission of members. We have the right to admit them if we choose to do it, whether the House join or not; but if a joint resolution is brought forward now I am perfectly free to vote for it. I never stand upon mere forms. It is only when the doctrine is avowed and urged that this body has not the power and the jurisdiction over the question, and when it is sought to gag this body and bind it hand and foot so that it cannot act upon the question until it shall receive the assent of a majority of the House, which may be controlled by some outside party caucus arrangement under the lead of the member from Pennsylvania, that I protest. I am not willing that the Senate of the United States should surrender that jurisdiction which the Constitution has vested in it absolutely without appeal and alone in the Senate. That is the point I make.
Mr. President, I have not referred to what the honorable Senator from Nevada brought forward and made so prominent in his speech to-day, to wit, my action upon the Freedmen's Bureau bill or the civil rights bill. I have purpurposely refrained from that for the reason that
when those resolutions, to which I have already referred, of the Legislature of Wisconsin shall be taken up, and I be permitted to speak for myself and of my own action upon that subject, I intend to cover the whole subject at once and not trespass more than once upon the attention of the Senate, and therefore I have put these two questions aside for to-day.
I conclude, sir, by saying, as I said in conclusion yesterday, that the amendment now pending before the Senate is meant for and intended for nothing else than to declare a want of confidence in the Administration, to attack the Administration in that particular thing in which never in the whole history of the Government has Congress ever sought or attempted to attack an Administration before.
Mr. CONNESS. Will the Senator permit me to ask him a question?
Mr. DOOLITTLE. Certainly.
Mr. CONNESS. The Senator yields so seldom that
Mr. DOOLITTLE. On this point I am willing to yield. I am not in any particular argument just here, and I am willing to be interrupted.
Mr. CONNESS. Now I will thank the Sen-
I object to the amendment, also, for the other reasons which have been stated, and they have been stated by others so clearly that I shall not occupy the time of the Senate in pursuing them further. I have risen simply to reply to one or two of the charges made to-day by the Senator from Nevada, namely, that the Administration had been derelict in not bringing traitors to trial, that the Administration had been derelict in the pardoning power; and to reply, also, to a charge which he made against me, though I do not think that he intended to charge me with it in an offensive sense, that I was an advocate of the doctrine of State rights. I have explained on this occasion to some extent the views which I entertain on that subject.
Mr. SAULSBURY. Mr. President, it was my intention to make some remarks in reply to the kind allusions of the honorable Senator from Nevada to myself; but I see that he is not in the Chamber. I am no sportsman. I am told, however, by sportsmen that while it is the best mode of shooting a bird to fire when he is on the wing, I never heard one say that it was wise to shoot when the bird was out of sight; and therefore I shall not trouble the Senate now, but shall take occasion when I shall see the Senator present, provided the occasion is a proper one, to return the compli ment which he paid me yesterday.
Mr. HOWARD. Mr. President
Mr. CONNESS. If the Senator from Michigan will give way I will move that the Senate proceed to the consideration of executive busi
Mr. SHERMAN. I appeal to my friend from Michigan. I suppose he desires to address the Senate upon political questions.
Mr. HOWARD. I desire to address a few words to the Senate.
Mr. SHERMAN. I will ask the Senator, as
that you do not now do it. I consider the Federal restraints upon the States in reference to rights of citizens as now in the Constitution safe and sufficient. I feel it, in consequence, my imperative duty to oppose this section. Grant this power, insert it in the Constitution, and how soon will the privilege of determining who must vote within the States be assumed by the Federal power? Gentlemen here admit that they desire this, but that the weak kneed of their party are not equal to the issue. Your purpose is the same, and but for that timidity you would now ingraft negro suffrage upon our Constitution and force it on the entire people of this Union.
the debate has become somewhat personal, whether we had better not dispose of this matter and get this bill out of the way. I would like it as a personal favor. This bill is under my charge, placed there in consequence of the sickness of the chairman of the Committee on Finance, and I should like to have it out of the
Mr. HOWARD. The Senator from Ohio is not more anxious to dispose of the present bill than I am, still I cannot very well suffer the occasion to pass without making a few remarks upon some of the numerous subjects which have been drawn into the discussion. If it is the desire of the Senate to go into executive session I will yield. Mr. SHERMAN. Does the Senator desire to speak upon the particular subject pendingon the question of removals?
Mr. HOWARD. Mr. President, I propose to address the Senate on the bill and the various other subjects which have been regarded as cognate and relevant thereto by certain other Senators.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The question is on the motion to proceed to the consideration of executive business.
The motion was agreed to; and after some time spent in executive session the doors were reopened.
MESSAGE FROM THE HOUSE.
A message from the House of Representatives, by Mr. MCPHERSON, its Clerk, announced that the House had passed a joint resolution (H. R. No. 127) proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, two thirds of the members of the House having agreed thereto. At the suggestion of Mr. FESSENDEN, the joint resolution was read twice by its title, and placed upon the Calendar. On motion, the Senate adjourned.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
The House met at twelve o'clock m. Prayer by Rev. T. R. HOWLETT.
The Journal of yesterday was read and approved.
The SPEAKER. The first business in order is the consideration of the joint resolution reported by the committee on reconstruction, on which the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. RANDALL] has the floor.
Mr. RANDALL, of Pennsylvania. Speaker, in discussing this question briefly, as I am compelled to do by reason of the limited time allowed me, I shall advert to the proposition now before the House as a whole, not undertaking a lengthy discussion of the various amendments which have been proposed, and I trust the chairman of the committee [Mr. STEVENS] will, when the proper time arrives, call the previous question, and in that manner induce a vote upon the main proposition as embraced in the whole five sections of the proposed amendment to the Constitution.
And for that purpose I desire to analyze the various sections of the proposed amendment. The first section proposes to make an equality in every respect between the two races, notwithstanding the policy of discrimination which has heretofore been exclusively exercised by the States, which in my judgment should remain and continue. They relate to matters appertaining to State citizenship, and there is no occasion whatever for the Federal power to be exercised between the two races at variance with the wishes of the people of the States. For myself, I would wish that the colored race should be placed in the same political condition as it occupies in Pennsylvania; but I would leave all this to the States themselves, just in the same manner as the elective franchise is permitted. If you have the right to interfere in behalf of one character of rights-I may say of every character of rights, save the suffragehow soon will you be ready to tear down every barrier? It is only because you fear the people
The second section, to my mind, is ambiguous, and is liable to a doubtful construction. What does this amendment mean? Does it mean that those males over twenty-one years not allowed to vote shall not be counted in the basis of representation? If so, why not say so in terms; but if it means, as it may, that the diminution of representation is to be in proportion they bear to the voters, it may deny all or greatly abridge representation. Suppose, for instance, a State with one hundred thousand voters, and a similar number excluded, if proportions are considered this State would seem to have no Representative. I desire that my colleague, [Mr. STEVENS,] the gentleman having charge of this legislation, shall answer what they claim it to mean, so that the issue when before the country may be rightly understood.
In addition, this section makes an entire change in the basis of representation, which should in every country rest upon inhabitants. This is the safest and has been found to work the best. I do not consider there is any need to change, more especially when a large portion of our people with whom we hope for all time to live on terms of peace and equity are not now here to present their views and consider the effect this legislation will have upon their interest.
The injustice and the animus of the third section have been so fully stated by gentlemen on the other side that I will not consume my limited time in reproducing, but dismiss it with the remark that it is intended to secure what you most wish, an entire disagreement to the whole scheme by the eleven southern States, and a continued omission of representation on this floor. This brings me to another point in the argument of the gentleman from Pennsylvania who introduced this report. The fourth section I need not discuss, because I believe if that proposition was presented to this House as a simple proposition it would be almost unanimously adopted. The gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. STEVENS] tells us
"Upon a careful survey of the whole ground, we did not believe that nineteen of the loyal States could be induced to ratify any proposition more stringent than this. I say nineteen, for I utterly repudiate and scorn the idea that any State not acting in the Union is to be counted on the question of ratification."
In this respect let me say that the gentleman must fly directly in the face of the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States; he has to put at naught the precedent established in reference to the amendment of the Constitution abolishing slavery; he has to overcome what is clearly the common-sense judgment of the people of this country upon this point. And moreover, I believe his opinion, as there expressed, is in contravention of the judgment of a majority of this House, with whom he is politically associated.
Such is the plan of the committee of fifteen, or what may perhaps be described as the congressional view of this vexed question. It is a plan of disunion, and it is a deception to call it otherwise; and the friends of the Union, by whatever name, must coöperate to defeat this measure, or the Union will sooner or later be destroyed by those who have arrogated to themselves to be its special defenders.
This proposition is worthy of having emanated from the tower of Babel. It carries with it a confusion of tongues and a confusion of purposes. One design, however, is clearly
apparent, and that is to secure the success of the Republican party, even in the event of the overthrow of the Union.
Now, Mr. Speaker, what have we in the opposition to this plan of procrastination and delay? The President, immediately upon his accession to the Presidency, took up the plan which Mr. Stanton informs us was the mode which Mr. Lincoln had marked out for himself; and he has steadily pursued it, regardless of threats and clamor, exhibiting a moral courage of the equal of which we have but rare instances in history. Thus guided by wisdom and prudence, he has brought us along until now the admis sion of loyal representatives in Congress from the late rebel States is all that is required to complete and make perfect our Union.
His plan is simple and effective, just and equitable; and acceptable, as I believe, to a vast majority of the people both North and South. What is this policy?
1. That the southern States are in the Union. Their ordinances of secession being null and void, they have never been out, and are legally entitled to representation in Congress.
2. That whenever the people in any of those States elect Union men, of whose loyalty there can be no question or doubt, it is the duty of Congress to admit them.
3. That all those claiming seats in Congress from the southern States who were prominently identified with the rebel government or rebel army should be immediately rejected and their constituents requested to elect loyal Union men in their places.
The issue is now made up, and to the people we must appeal. It rests with them whether we shall at once permit the people in the eleven States to do as Generals Grant and Sherman told the soldiers of their disbanding armies to do-go home, resume their occupations, be good citizens, and then promised them that they should not be disturbed.
No real and hearty peace can for years come from the course the majority in this House are pursuing. You are continuing to do with the loyal people of the South what the rebels did during the war, persecute and contemn them. All this is unjust, and is not the way to approach restoration. Let us leave the war-path, and return to the ways of friendship and peace.
Complaint is made, Mr. Speaker, of the support which the Democratic party, as a party, throughout the country is giving to the Presi dent in his plan of restoration. That should not surprise any one. The Democratic party, during the period of the war, have closely adhered to the Constitution and the laws of the country. They find in President Johnson that same disposition to adhere to the Constitution and the laws. The course of the Democracy, in their support of the President, is actuated by a devotion to principle. It does not ema: nate from any seeking for office or from any other sordid motive.
There is another matter to which I wish to direct the attention of the House, and through the House the attention of the country. I would suggest that in the view of just and reasonable men the time has arrived when this system of virulent abuse of the President of the United States should cease. It is time that there should be an end of these appeals to the morbid feelings and prejudices of the people of the North, appeals calculated to array the northern people against the people of the South, who have laid down their arms, and who, I believe, are now seeking in good faith to conduct themselves in allegiance to the Constitution. They have been punished severely, not more severely, perhaps, than they deserve. But why should we not accept their words as expressing their real sentiments? Why should we treat them as aliens and outlaws, a policy which must for a long time prevent us from securing the full benefits of our victory?
Gentlemen seem to fear that unless something is done by legislation to prevent it the great conservative men of the country, under the leadership of Andrew Johnson, will come into possession of the legislative branch of the
stitution, and its principles have been for seventy-five years the operative cause of our country's rise, progress, strength, and great
When I see members here so intensely loyal, who owe their present bombastic greatness to the kindness and generosity of the Democratic party, and who now traduce and malign their Democratic colleagues, I cannot help thinking that ingratitude is a crime and ought to be made odious. I am inclined to think that there are some furiously loyal gentlemen here, who, when they shall give an account of their stewardship to their constituents, may be politely informed, by virtue of the power vested in the people, that the private station is henceforth their post of honor, and sic transit gloria mundi for hypocritical loyalty, niggers, universal suffrage, bureaus, southern plantations, office, power, glory, bag, and baggage.
Mr. Speaker, my first inquiry is, are the southern States still States and integral parts of the Union, or have they, by the act of secession and war, brought themselves to a territorial condition, or the condition of a conquered foreign country, now reduced to provinces? The chairman of the reconstruction committee [Mr. STEVENS] answers affirmatively, and doubtless many others here hold the same opinion. If this be so, if that is the status of the southern States, then all your constitutional amendments, acts, conditions, prohibitions, and directions are in order and must be submitted to by the conquered and vanquished foreigners inhabiting Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Louisiana, &c.
I now yield the floor to my colleague. Mr. STROUSE. Mr. Speaker, any proposition to amend the Constitution of the United States would, a few years ago, have excited and aroused the greatest interest on the part of the people as well as of Congress. The good old charter produced by the inspired wisdom of the great and patriotic men who founded the Republic is ignored by the modern reformers. Amendments are offered and passed with as much haste and facility as a bill to admit a wilderness with a few hundred adventurers roving in it as a State in the Union. There is danger in this, danger to the country at large, danger to our institutions and liberties. The Constitution was never intended to be plastered and patched as latterly it is proposed to do, no more than the Union of States formed by the thirteen old colonies was ever designed to be broken or severed by secession or rebellion of any one or more States. We are prone to speak lightly of an amendment to the Constitution, as if it were no more than the passage of an ordinary act. I regret this exceedingly. Members of Congress, who are here to represent the great body of the people, should be extremely cautious how they tamper and tinker with the fundamental law. History should be our guide and counsel. The gradual undermining, changing, altering, and amending of the foundation so strongly built, so massively erected, so skillfully constructed by the master minds of the revolutionary patriarchs, may destroy the temple of the Republic which so majestically rested on it for eighty years.
What necessity is there now, Mr. Speaker, that demands the change which this bill calls for? I am answered that the necessity grows out of the war, that the South is vanquished, the negroes are liberated, and that therefore the organic law must be so amended that the emancipated slave shall in all respects be the equal of the white man. Well, I have listened patiently during this week to the many heavy and light speeches made here on the subject in hand by the friends and advocates of amendment and negro equality, from the chief engineer down to my dramatically tragic colleague who reads anonymous rebel letters for the instruction of this House, and yet I am not enlightened on the subject under discussion. Instead of debating this grave and serious question as becomes statesmen and jurists, we hear some six or eight stump speeches every day, and in truth, not very courteous or good at that.. Gentlemen on the loyal side, as it is called, in place of arguing the point of difference among themselves, that is, whether the southern States are in or out of the Union, or whether they are conquered provinces and the people aliens, or States and the people citi zens, indulge in political slang, abusing and vilifying e Democratic party by charges and accusations as groundless as they are discourtI honestly believed that the time had gone by for the utterance of such foul and false attacks and aspersions, and especially in this place. The Democratic party of the country and the Democratic members of this Congress require no defender here or elsewhere. The history of the United States is the history of the Democratic party; its creed is the Con
It cannot be that this monstrous doctrine is seriously entertained by a majority of this House. This point has been so thoroughly discussed that it were a waste of time to enlarge upon it. A short time ago, when I had the honor to address the House on a subject akin to this, I stated that our case, the late rebellion, is sui generis, which cannot be classed under any ordinary description of war, civil or foreign. The law of nations, as construed by these old and eminent authors in monarchical Governments in a past age, ought not and cannot be fairly applied at this day in our dealing with a portion of our own people, inhabiting å part and parcel of our own territory. A war with a foreign Power, or with a sovereign nation, would place the legal question involved in a very different light. We quelled the rebellion among our own citizens and in our own country. We conquered nothing. We have not more territory, people, or property than we had before. This, in my judgment, is the rational and natural deduction from the premises, in law and in fact.
And this is my opinion now, that the States are and never ceased to be, in law and in fact, constituent parts of our Union. If I am correct in this opinion, and it is the view taken by the most eminent lawyers and publicists of the country, then what necessity exists for these amendments of the Constitution? Let the States be represented in the Senate and House by men who can conscientiously qualify as members, and after that, when we have a full Congress, with the whole country represented, let any amendment that may be required be proposed, and let those most interested have an opportunity to participate in the debates and deliberations of matters of so much moment to every citizen. If it were not for the malignant party spirit, the overweening desire to perpetuate radicalism, proscription, and the centralization of power instead of enlightened statesmanship acting in a spirit of justice and equity, the States would now be in their proper positions quo ante bellum, contributing and adding to the general welfare and prosperity of the country, North and South.
While discussing the report of the committee with a learned friend of mine, he informed me that the subject was most ably treated in an editorial in the New York Times. The Times is acknowledged to be one of the ablest and most leading Republican papers in the United States. Fully concurring in the views therein
expressed, I beg to read the article for the benefit of this House. It is sound, patriotic, statesmanlike, and just, and well deserves the serious consideration of every truly patriotic man who loves his country, its history, and glory:
"As a plan of pacification and reconstruction, the whole thing is worse than a burlesque. It might be styled a farce, were the country not in the midst of a very serious drama. Its proper designation would be A plan to prolong indefinitely the exclusion of the South from Congress by imposing conditions to which the southern people will never submit.' This being the obvious scope and tendency of the proposition, we are bound to assume that it clearly reflects the settled purpose of the committee. So that the joint committee, appointed nearly five months ago to take exclusive charge of the question of reconstruction, now offer as the result of all their labors what would in fact render reconstruction forever impossible.
"There is an anomalous feature in the affair as it stands, which of itself reveals the monstrous nature of the pretensions set up by the committee. All the provisions of the proposed amendment imply the adoption of the extreme view in regard to the relation of the South to the Union. We must begin by assuming that what were States before the war are mere Territories now; or this attempt to dictate terms as the condition of recognition becomes undisguised usurpation. We must assume, in fact, that the South is at this moment neither more nor less than an aggregate of Territories, waiting for admission as States, and from whose people Congress may therefore require compliance with certain proposals. And yet the amendment, on its face, declares the existence, as States, of all the States recently in rebellion, and presupposes the exercise by their several Legislatures of the highest constitutional attribute of State sovereignty. They have no right to representation in Congress, forsooth. They may not say yea or nay on the most trivial questions that come before Congress. They are not permitted to enjoy a particle of influence in matters affecting the finance, the trade, the industry, the foreign relations of the country, or any of its concerns, great or small. These privileges they are denied on the pretense that they are not within the Union, and therefore have no right to recognition as parts of the Union. Nevertheless, under the contemplated amendment, they are treated as sovereign States, whose ratification of the amendment is essential to its constitutional validity. They are to vote for or against a change in the Constitution of the Union of which, on the radical hypothesis, they are not present members! Could absurdity go further? Could the folly of this fanaticism be made more manifest?
"From the dilemma into which the committee have thus plunged there is no logical escape. If the southern States are in a condition by their Legislatures to ratify or reject a constitutional amendment, they must of necessity be qualified to send Senators and Repreeither House as to the eligibility of the persons sent. A sentatives to Congress, subject only to the judgment of
State which may assist in the sovereign task of molding the Constitution under which Congress acts may surely demand a voice in what the Constitution creates. The greater right covers the lesser right in this or in other cases. On the other hand, if the southern States are not entitled to admission to Congress-if the point be established, as the radical doctors say it is, that these are States no longer, but Territories only, subject to the will of the conqueror-then it follows that they are not entitled to any lot or part in the business of amending the Constitution. Upon which horn shall the central directory' be impaled? Shall we take it that this prodigious amendment, this mighty mouse brought forth by a mountain after five months' parturition, does not mean what it says when it speaks of the States lately in rebellion as States still, with their sovereign functions unimpaired, though for a time uninterrupted? Or shall we conclude that the doctrine of State suicide is abandoned, the doctrine of subjugation given up, and the criminal blunder of which the radicals have been guilty in excluding the South from Congress at length confessed? Let there be explicit answers upon these heads of the subject. As it at present appears the position of the committee is utterly untenable.
"Aside from these points the worthlessness of the committee's proposition is obvious. It cannot by any possibility effect anything. We may confidently take it for granted that the people of the South will never under any circumstances acquiesce in their own disfranchisement for four years in reference to all that relates to the Federal Government. There is room for difference of opinion on the general merits of the reconstruction problem; on this point there can be none. The South has taken its stand on the ground of a common citizenship, and it will never accept as the price of congressional representation that which would be equivalent to an acknowledgment of four years' serfdom or inferiority as the penalty of rebellion. Nor should it be asked to accede to terms of this nature. Punish the rebel leaders, if necessary, by banishment or otherwise. But to propose to punish a whole people to suit the partisan conveniences of those who dictate the penalty is an outrage upon justice and common humanity. With all their errors and faults, the southern people have shown that they are not cowards. They will not belie their nature by writing themselves down slaves at the bidding of a committee appointed to consider the question of reconstruction.
If we would do aught to hasten the result which all moderate men admit to be exceedingly desirable it is necessary, without more ado, to discard the idea of constitutional changes as the condition-precedent of the readmission of the South to Congress. That is the primary step toward reconstruction, practically
The third proposition is one which disfranchises the enemies of the country. I approve that. I think it right in principle. I think it necessary at this time. If I had any opinion to express I should say to the gentlemen of the House that it is impossible to organize a government in the insurgent States and have the enemies of the country in possession of political power in whole or in part, in the local governments or in representation here.
It does not change the result, in my opinion, if you couple with this the franchise of the negro. Certainly it will be much better, if rebels are allowed to vote, that the privilege should be extended to the colored people. I propose, so far as I am concerned, to lose no opportunity to impress upon the country the necessity for the extension of suffrage to the colored men in the best and most effective way possible. But that question is not now presented.
considered, and we should prepare to take it on the ground of existing rights, subject only to the lawful test of individual fitness. To talk of wholesale and almost indiscriminate punishment as a preliminary measure, to call for concessions implying the relation of supplicants petitioning for favors instead of citizens insisting upon their rights, to demand a confession of inferiority with one breath, while with another admitting the existence of constitutional equality, is to aggravate feelings already much too bitter, and to multiply difficulties which the joint committee have thus far vainly endeavored to overcome."
Mr. BANKS. Mr. Speaker, the measure before the House presents a basis upon which it is proposed the insurgent States shall be restored to the Union. It is, therefore, the most important question which can be presented to the House or to the country. It deserves the most mature consideration. I should have been glad if a more general and thorough discussion of the subject could have been had on these particular measures, but the House has decided otherwise. I desire to make a few suggestions as briefly as possible, chiefly in reference to what has been said by other gentlemen who have addressed the House. It is my belief that reorganization of governments in the insurgent States can be secured only by measures which will work a change in the basis of political society. I do not think this can be done by theoretical constitutional or statutory provisions. Anything that leaves the basis of political society in the southern States untouched leaves the enemy in condition to renew the war at his pleasure, and gives him absolute power to destroy the Government whenever he chooses. Therefore, sir, no proposition meets my entire approval that does not propose a radical change in the basis of political society in these States; but I do not, of course, expect the House to adopt my opinions, nor do I ask that they shall be embodied in these propositions which may be adopted.
There are two methods by which the change I propose can be made: one by extending the elective franchise to the negro; the other by restrictions upon the political power of those heretofore invested with the elective franchise, a part of whom are loyal and a part of whom are disloyal; a part of whom are friends and a part of whom are enemies.
I have no doubt that the Government of the United States has full power to extend the elective franchise to the colored population of the insurgent States. I mean authority; I said power. I have no doubt that the Government of the United States has authority to do this under the Constitution; but I do not think they have the power. The distinction I make between authority and power is this: we have, in the nature of our Government, the right to do it; but the public opinion of the country is such at this precise moment as to make it impossible we should do it. It was therefore most wise on the part of the committee on reconstruction to waive this matter in deference to public opinion. The situation of opinion in these States compels us to look to other means to protect the Government against the enemy.
The other has reference, of course, to the disfranchisement of those who are or may be considered public enemies. In regard to that section of the amendment relating to representation, I have this to say: while it is entirely equitable, and does not admit of question on that score from any quarter whatever, yet I do not think it will exert any controlling influence upon the political character of those States. It reduces the representation of the insurgent States some fifteen members. The reduction is not of paramount importance, whether they have more or less members, however loyal they might be. It is but just that they should be restricted to a fair share of representative power. But they do not seek to govern by opinion. They do not rely on ideas for success. They govern by force. Their philosophy is force. Their tradition is force. Whether they be few or many, they will have power whenever they are restored here. While, therefore, sir, I accord cheerfully with the proposition, it does not meet the emergency presented at this time.
Now, sir, what are the objections to the disfranchisement of the enemies of the country? And in speaking of them I mean those who organized and sustained rebellion against the Government of the United States for five years; who contemplated it for thirty years; who are ready now, not as friends, but as enemies of the Government, to accept whatever share of power may be accorded to them in a Government where the people have the entire power to do that which seems to them right and just. An enemy to the Government, a man who avows himself an enemy of its policy and measures, who has made war against the Government, would not seem to have any absolute right to share political power equally with other men who have never been otherwise than friends of the Government. That proposition would seem to recommend itself to the judgment of every
But it is said that there are certain practical difficulties in this matter which ought to control our judgment. It was intimated the other day that there had been some understanding when the enemies of the country laid down their arms that they were to return to power; an implication, if not an agreement, that we are to restore them to their full status as citizens of the United States, with local and representative power.
Now, sir, I do not agree to that at all. I think they had the most distinct information possible given from every department of the Government, by all its officers under all circumstances, that they were not to claim or receive political recognition or the recognition of political power. They surrendered because, as they say, they were beaten. They could not or did not choose to continue the fight any longer, and they laid down their arms, as I believe, with the conviction that it was impossible for them to prosecute the war any further.
The measures adopted by the Government at the time of the surrender show exactly its determination, which the enemy could not misunderstand. General Johnston of the rebel army proposed a treaty with the army of the Union in which it was stipulated that the rebels would lay down their arms on condition that the rebel State governments should be recognized, the Supreme Court deciding where conflicting governments existed, and that the people should be guarantied their political rights and franchises as well as the rights of person and property. This was summarily rejected by the Government. President Lincoln, when applied to by General Grant for instructions, sent a dispatch written by his own hand, with the approval of President Johnson, directing General Grant to have no communication with General Lee unless for the capitulation of his army, and not to decide, discuss, or confer upon any political question. Certainly those officers who treated with General Grant could not have had any expectation of that kind.
The terms of surrender to General Grant were that the rebels were to return to their homes, not to be disturbed so long as they observed their parole and the laws in force
where they resided. The Attorney General decided that they had no right to return to the places where they resided before the war within the loyal States, and that to wear the rebel uniform was a violation of their parole and a fresh act of rebellion.
President Lincoln, as late as March, 1865, in a proclamation in which he referred to a bill passed by both Houses of Congress, declared that while he did not assent to all its provisions, he should be governed by its condi tions in any settlement that he should undertake with the insurgent States. One of these conditions was that the mass of rebel leaders, civil and military, were to be forever excluded from political power. President Johnson, in his proclamation of May 29, 1865, which, I think I may say here, what I have said elsewhere at all times, presents a plan of settlement that would be entirely satisfactory to the country, and enable us to reorganize these governments immediately without detriment or danger-President Johnson, in his proclamation of amnesty of the 29th of May, 1865, declares that all persons in military or naval custody, as prisoners of war, including, of course, all the paroled officers and soldiers of the rebel army, were excepted from the act of amnesty and pardon. The proclamation enumerates thirteen or fourteen distinct classes of rebels, embracing nearly all the influential people of the rebel States, who were excepted from the benefits of that proclamation. These facts show that there is no ground for the sup position that the surrender of the rebels proceeded from any just expectation of being restored to power in the Government. And, so far as the President is concerned, his proclamation gives evidence that it was not his intention, even some months after the surrender, to receive them or recognize them as the representatives of political power.
It is said that the acts of pardon granted in individual cases, or the general charter of amnesty and pardon of the 29th of May, changes in some measure the political relation of the public enemies to the Government itself. I do not think so. A pardon does not confer or restore political power. A general act of amnesty differs from an individual pardon only in the fact that it applies to a class of offenders who cannot be individually described. It secures immunity from punishment or prosecution by obliterating all remembrance of the offense. But it confers or restores no one to political power. On the contrary, the general charter of amnesty, even if authorized by Congress, as it may be said to have been by the act of July, 1862, contains conditions and limitations of purpose which excludes any idea of restoring political power to public enemies who might be affected by its provisions. Amnesty and pardon are granted to all persons not in the excepted classes, "with restoration to rights of property in cases where legal proceedings had not been instituted for its confiscation. So far as the charter of amnesty and pardon is concerned, by its own conditions and terms, by its express terms, all idea of extending to them political privileges or power is excluded.
But, sir, the effect of a pardon deserves to be a little more carefully considered. A pardon restores a criminal when pardoned to all the rights that can be conferred upon him by the authority granting the pardon. That is all. If the President of the United States, in addition to the authority to pardon which he has, had also the power to invest those people with political rights and he expressed it in his pardon, then they would not only be free from prosecution, but be invested with polit ical rights; but the President has no such power. He has the simple power of pardon.
The power of declaring who shall exercise the franchise is in the first instance conferred upon the States by the first article of the Constitution; and in the second instance, by the provision conferring the right to judge of the election of its members, on the Congress of the United States, and without their concur