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amendment by inserting instead of the words "and afford them all proper protection" the following:
Rice, John H. Rice, Rollins, Sawyer, Schenck, Scofield, Shellabarger, Sloan, Spalding, Starr, Stevens, Thayer, Francis Thomas, Trowbridge, Upson, Van Acrnam, Burt Van Horn, Ward, William B. Washburn, Welker, Williams, James F. Wilson, and Stephen F. Wilson-86.
That the supervision and care of said bureau shall extend to all loyal refugees and freedmen, so far as
the same shall be necessary to enable them as speedily as practicable to become self-supporting citizens of the United States, and to aid them in making the freedom conferred by proclamation of the Commanderin-Chief, by emancipation under the laws of States, and by constitutional amendment, available to them and beneficial to the Republic. And the powers conferred and the duties enjoined by the act hereby amended, shall be applicable to all persons named or referred to in this section; and all acts or parts of acts inconsistent with the provisions of this act are hereby repealed.
Strike out all the remaining sections of the bill. Mr. DAVIS. I call for the yeas and nays on this amendment.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
The question was taken; and it was decided in the negative-yeas 35, nays 86, not voting 62; as follows:
YEAS-Messrs. Ancona, Delos R. Ashley, Bergen, Chanler, Darling, Davis, Dawson, Eldridge, Glossbrenner, Goodyear, Grider, Hale, Aaron Harding, Hogan, Edwin N. Hubbell, James M. Humphrey, Kuykendall, Latham, Le Blond, Marvin, McCullough, Niblack, Nicholson, Radford, Samuel J. Randall, Raymond, Ritter, Ross, Sitgreaves, Stilwell, Strouse, Taylor, Trimble, Henry D. Washburn, and Whaley-35.
NAYS-Messrs. Allison, Ames, Anderson, James M. Ashley, Baker, Baldwin, Baxter, Beaman, Bidwell, Blaine, Bromwell, Buckland, Reader W. Clarke, Sidney Clarke, Cobb, Cook, Cullom, Defrees, Deming, Dixon, Dodge, Donnelly, Dumont, Eckley, Eggleston, Eliot, Farquhar, Ferry, Garfield, Hart, Henderson, Higby, Holmes, Hooper, Asahel W. Hubbard, Chester D. Hubbard, Demas Hubbard, John H. Hubbard, James R. Hubbell, Ingersoll, Jenckes, Julian, Kelley, George V. Lawrence, William Lawrence, Loan, Longyear. Lynch, McClurg, McKee, McRuer, Mercur, Moorhead, Morris, Myers, O'Neill, Orth, Paine, Patterson, Perham, Pike, Plants, Price, Alexander H.
NOT VOTING-Messrs. Alley, Banks, Barker, Benjamin, Bingham, Blow. Boutwell, Boyer, Brandegee, Broomall, Bundy, Coffroth, Conkling, Culver, Dawes, Delano, Denison, Driggs, Farnsworth, Finck, Grinnell, Griswold, Abner C. Harding, Harris, Hayes, Hill, Hotchkiss, Hulburd, James Humphrey, Johnson, Jones, Kasson, Kelso, Kerr, Ketcham, Laflin, Marshall, Marston, McIndoe, Miller, Morrill, Moulton, Newell, Noell, Phelps, Pomeroy, William H. Randall, Rogers, Rousseau, Shanklin, Smith, Taber, John L. Thomas, Thornton, Robert T. Van Horn, Warner, Elihu B. Washburne, Wentworth, Windom, Winfield, Woodbridge, and Wright-62.
So the amendment was not agreed to.
Mr. NÏBLACK stated that his colleague, Mr. KERR, was detained from the House by illness. Mr. RICE, of Maine, stated that Messrs. WINDOM, CONKLING, and HOTCHKISS were absent, by order of the House, taking testimony.
The vote was then announced as above recorded.
The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. I move to reconsider the vote by which the bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and demand the previous question. I do it in order to give the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. ScoFIELD] an opportunity to offer his amendment.
The previous question was seconded and the main question ordered; and under the operation thereof the motion to reconsider was agreed to.
Mr. SCOFIELD moved to strike out all after the word "them" in the ninth line, section seven, and in lieu thereof to insert the following:
The yeas and nays were ordered. The question was taken; and it was decided in the affirmative-yeas 96, nays 32, not voting 55; as follows:
NAYS-Messrs. Ancona, Bergen, Chanler, Darling, Davis, Dawson, Eldridge, Glossbrenner, Goodyear, Grider, Hale, Aaron Harding, Hogan, Edwin N. Hubbell, James M. Humphrey, Kuykendall, Le Blond, Marshall, Marvin, McCullough, Niblack, Nicholson, Radford, Samuel J. Randall, Raymond, Ritter, Ross, Sitgreaves, Strouse, Taylor, Trimble, and Wright-32.
YEAS-Messrs. Allison, Ames, Anderson, Delos R. Ashley, James M. Ashley, Baker, Baldwin, Banks, Baxter, Beaman, Bidwell, Blaine, Bromwell, Buckland, Reader W. Clarke, Sidney Clarke, Cobb, Cook, Cullom, Dawes, Defrees, Deming, Dixon, Dodge, Donnelly, Dumont, Eckley, Eggleston, Eliot, Farquhar, Ferry, Garfield, Abner C. Harding, Hart, Henderson, Higby, Holmes, Hooper, Asahel W. Hubbard, Chester D. Hubbard, Demas Hubbard, John H. Hubbard, James R. Hubbell, Ingersoll, Jenckes, Julian, Kelley, Latham, George V. Lawrence, William Lawrence, Loan. Longyear, Lynch, Marston, McClurg, McKee, MeRuer, Mercur, Moorhead, Morrill, Morris, Myers, O'Neill, Orth, Paine, Patterson, Perham, Pike, Plants, Price, Alexander H. Rice, John H. Rice, Rollins, Sawyer, Schenck, Scofield, Shellabarger. Sloan, Starr, Stevens, Stilwell. Thayer, Francis Thomas, Trowbridge, Upson. Van Aernam, Burt Van Horn, Ward, Henry D. Washburn, William B. Washburn, Welker, Whaley, Williams, James F. Wilson, Stephen F. Wilson, and Woodbridge-96.
NOT VOTING-Messrs. Alley, Barker, Benjamin, Bingham, Blow, Boutwell, Boyer, Brandegee, Broo all, Bundy, Coffroth, Conkling, Culver, Delano, Deaison, Driggs, Farnsworth, Finck, Grinnell, Griswold, Harris, Hayes, Hill, Hotchkiss, Hulburd, James Humphrey, Johnson, Jones, Kasson, Kelso, Kerr, Ketcham, Laflin, McIndoe, Miller, Moulton, Newell, Noell, Phelps, Pomeroy, William H. Randall, Rogers, Rousseau, Shanklin, Smith, Spalding, Taber, John L. Thomas, Thornton, Robert T. Van Horn, Warner, Elihu B. Washburne, Wentworth, Windom, and Winfield-55.
So the bill was passed.
Mr. ELIOT moved to reconsider the vote by which the bill was passed; and also moved that the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table.
The latter motion was agreed to.
MESSAGE FROM THE SENATE.
A message from the Senate, by Mr. FORNEY, its Secretary, announced that the Senate had passed a bill (S. No. 342) for the relief of Ira B. Curtis, in which he was directed to ask the concurrence of the House.
APPOINTMENTS TO MILITARY ACADEMY. On motion of Mr. SCHENCK, by unanimous consent, joint resolution of the Senate No. 136, relative to appointments to the Military Academy of the United States, was taken up from the Speaker's table, the amendments of the Senate non-concurred in, and a committee of conference asked.
RAILROAD IN MISSOURI AND ARKANSAS.
On motion of Mr. CULLOM, by unanimous consent, Senate bill No. 223, to revive and extend the provisions of an act granting the right of way and making a grant of land to the States of Arkansas and Missouri to aid in the construction of a railroad from a point upon the Mississippi opposite the mouth of the Ohio river, via Little Rock to the Texas boundary, near Fulton, in Arkansas, with branches to Fort Smith and the Mississippi river, approved February 9, 1853, and for other purposes, was taken from the Speaker's table, read a first and second time, and referred to the Committee on Public Lands.
JOHN A. COAN.
On motion of Mr. McKEE, by unanimous consent, the papers in the case of John A. Coan were withdrawn from the files of the Committee of Claims, copies of the same being left.
The SPEAKER. The morning hour having expired, the first business in order is House bill No. 543, which was made the special order for this day after the morning hour, being a bill to restore to the States lately in insurrection their full political rights.
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. Unless the members of this Congress who represent the loyal people of this country approach the propo sition before us, providing for the restoration of the late rebel States, in a proper spirit and with mutual concessions, I fear we shall fail to accomplish the great work committed to our hands. I desire to approach its consideration with charity for all and malice toward none. I know that I approach it in a forgiving spirit and with a thankful heart. With thankfulness, because the din of war has been hushed and the national conflagration extinguished. In a forgiving spirit, because I know how much there is to be forgiven if we would reunite dissevered and broken ties, secure the perpetual unity of the nation, and bind up its millions of bleeding and broken hearts.
In all the votes which I have given or may give on the propositions for reconstruction, in all I have said or may say, I shall keep steadily in view the one great desire of my heart, which outweighs and overshadows all others, and before which the petty schemes of parties and of men dwindle into insignificance and appear
to me criminal. That desire is to see the States recently in rebellion restored to all the rights, privileges and dignities of States of the American Union at the earliest day consistent with the national safety, and upon such terms as shall secure the power, unity, and glory of the Republic.
How can this most desirable result best be accomplished? In answering this interrogatory the first question which presents itself to Holding these views, I insist that the people every reflecting mind is this: has the Govern- who maintained constitutional State government of the United States as at present organ- ments, who, during the entire war, were repized the constitutional power to demand or resented here, and who are now represented exact from the people in the late rebel States here, the people who maintained this national any conditions prior to the recognition of their Government and put down the rebellion, have recently reorganized State governments and a right under the laws of war as conquerors to the admission of their Senators and Repre-prescribe such conditions as in the judgment sentatives in Congress? If so, is it expedient of the majority of this Congress are necessary to exact of them the terms or conditions pro- for the national safety and the national secuposed by the committee of fifteen, or such con- rity. This is the right of the conqueror under ditions of a like character as may finally be every law, human and divine. If this be not agreed upon by the two Houses of Congress, the true theory, then, indeed, is our national as conditions-precedent to their resumption, Government a rope of sand. as States, of all constitutional relations to the national Government which were severed by their acts of rebellion and war?
Entertaining these ideas, at the extra session of Congress in July, 1861, I drew up a bill embodying them, but by the advice of friends I did not present it until the regular session in December. On the 12th of March following, by the direction of the Committee on Territories, I reported to this House "a bill to provide temporary provisional governments for the districts of country in rebellion against the United States." That bill, on the motion of my then colleague, (Mr. Pendleton,) was laid upon the table by a vote of 65 to 56, a number of Republicans voting with the Opposition, and a still larger number not voting at all.
At the first session of the Thirty-Eighth Congress, upon consultation, it was thought best to have a committee on the rebellious States, and the late Henry Winter Davis offered a resolution for the appointment of such a committee. The committee was raised, and he was appointed its chairman.
After the committee was appointed, of which I was a member, I again introduced the old bill, with such modifications and additions as time had suggested. That bill which was reported passed both Houses of Congress, but did not receive the sanction of President Lincoln, and therefore failed to become a law.
territorial jurisdiction of the United States by
I claim that we have the power, and that it is not only our right but our duty to demand such conditions as the majority of the loyal representatives of this Congress may deem requisite for the safety and security of the nation. I believe we have the constitutional power, because I believe the States represented in this Hall during the war and now are the Government. If I did not believe this I could not vote for any of the propositions before the House or any proposition of a like character.
From the first I have held that when the people of the late rebel States abolished their constitutional State governments and confederated together in violation of the national Constitution and organized hostile State gov. ernments and a national confederate government, and maintained those governments by force of arms until the rebellion became so formidable as to claim the prerogatives of a national de facto government, and to have conceded to it by the United States and the great Powers of Europe belligerent rights, that from that hour constitutional State governments ceased in each of the States so confederated together, and until governments are reorganzed in each of them in subordination to the national Constitution, and recognized by this Congress, there can be no constitutional State governments in such States.
Mr. RANDALL, of Pennsylvania. Will the gentleman allow me to ask him who he intends shall form the State governments-the people of the States, or who?
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. I propose that the loyal people of these States shall reorganize these State governments and administer their governments under such rules and restrictions as the Congress of the United States, representing the people of the loyal States, shall require.
Mr. RANDALL, of Pennsylvania. Then I understand the gentleman to say that he is willing that the loyal people shall form State governments, or shall continue their State governments and protect and elect Congressmen as part of their duty. Do I understand him aright?
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. Under such rules and restrictions as this Congress shall require. Mr. RANDALL, of Pennsylvania. That is
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. Now, Mr. Speaker, I hope I can go on without any more of these interruptions. From the outbreak of the rebellion I have sought to have all the Departments of the Government adopt and act upon this idea. I have held that the sovereignty of the nation was in the people who reside in the States which maintained constitutional State governments, recognizing the national Constitution as the supreme law of the land, and the Government which it created as the one to which all citizens owed a paramount allegiance. I have held that the sovereignty of the nation could not be impaired or destroyed within the
At the second session of the Thirty-Eighth Congress I again introduced the same bill with some modifications, and by direction of the committee I reported it to this House. After a number of efforts to modify it so as to secure a majority vote, it was lost, and we were left at sea on this great question of reconstruc tion. And to-day we are reaping the fruits of our stupidity and folly. I allude to these facts to show how steadily the national mind has been marching up to this idea, that the men who remained loyal to this Government, who maintained constitutional State governments, and who during the war administered this Government are the Government.
Mr. WRIGHT. Will the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. ASHLEY] allow me to ask him a question?
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. I would rather the gentleman would ask me his questions after I get through my argument.
Mr. WRIGHT. I wish simply to ask the gentleman to give us his definition of a loyal
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. If the gentleman will ask me after I get through I will answer his question.
Mr. WRIGHT. Very well; I will ask the gentleman then.
says they are now in constitutional relations to the national Government utters that which he knows to be untrue. The man who stands up and says that during the entire war the rebel States were entitled to be represented here lays down a proposition, which would undermine and sap the very foundations of the Government. If these rebel States had the right to be represented here and had been represented here during this war, this Government would have been bound hand and foot, and we'would have been incapable of resistance.
This, then, being the idea adopted by the committee of fifteen, I can support this bill. I know that the proposition submitted by that committee falls far short of what I expected, far short of what the loyal men in the South had a right to expect, far short of what the men who sacrificed so much to preserve this nation had a right to expect. But if I can get nothing better I shall vote for their proposition, as I have already voted for the proposed constitutional amendment which was sent to the Senate the other day. When that proposition was up I desired to offer an amendment to it. But the honorable gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. STEVENS] who had charge of the measure had entered a motion to recommit, and would not allow the amendment to be offered. But I now send it to the Clerk's desk, as the amendment I then desired to offer. It may do no good to send it to the Senate now, as I learn since I got on my feet that the amendment which we sent over has received, with an amendment to the third section, the sanction of a majority of the true Union members of that body, and will, undoubtedly, pass that body.
The Clerk read as follows:
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. I was saying that I allude to these facts for the purpose of showing how steadily the national mind has been approaching this idea. And when this joint committee on reconstruction, composed of the ablest men in the nation, made their report the other day, they recognized the same idea, to wit, that the constitutional governments in all the rebel States were abolished; that during the war and now they were not in constitutional relations with the national Government. And the man, whoever he may be, who stands up and
SEC. 1. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
SEC. 2. No State shall deny the elective franchise to any of its inhabitants, being citizens of the United States, above the age of twenty-one years because of race or color; but suffrage shall be impartial. And on the 4th day of July, A. D. 1876, all citizens of the United States above the age of twenty-one years, not convicted of crime or excluded from the right of the ballot by act of Congress or by the law of any State because of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, shall be electors in each State and Territory of the United States; and on and after the 4th day of July, A. D. 1876, all natural-born citizens of the United States thereafter becoming twenty-one years of age, and all aliens who may thereafter be naturalized and are above the age of twenty-one years and can read and write the English language, shall be qualified to vote for electors of President and Vice President of the United States, for members of the Congress of the United States, and for Governors and members of State Legislatures.
SEC. 3. Representation shall be apportioned among the several States according to the respective number of inhabitants in each.
SEC. 4. No payment shall ever be made by the United States or any State for or on account of the emancipation of any slave or slaves, or for or on account of any debt contracted in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States.
SEC. 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. I do not desire to take up the time of the House in discussing this proposition, as I understand the Senate has practically agreed to sustain the proposition on representation which was sent them from this House a short time since. It will be noticed, that in prescribing the qualifications of electors, I omit the word "male" and use the words "all citizens of the United States above the age of twenty-one years." I did this purposely, as I am unwilling to prohibit any State from enfranchising its women if they desire to do so. The Senate having struck out the third clause and inserted another this amendment will serve no other purpose than to show what I desired to offer the other day.
But, Mr. Speaker, I have an amendment which I desire to offer to this bill-an amendment upon which I shall ask a vote, and to which I desire the attention of the House. House bill No. 543, as reported by the committee, requires the adoption of the constitutional amendment proposed before any State,
term. Sir, look at Georgia; they would not elect Joshua Hill, but elected Alexander H. Stephens; and so of nearly every rebel State. If the southern people are stupid enough to suppose that such men as Alexander H. Stephens will ever be admitted into the Senate or House of Representatives they might as well be undeceived now. Hence, I say that in view || of the fact that the loyal men have had no voice in those reconstructed governments, have had no voice in their legislation, have been dumb and silent under the sway of these traitors who were placed in power over them by the Executive, the loyal men of those States should, have a fair opportunity to select men who will truly represent them under the Constitution and laws when modified in accordance with the constitutional amendment proposed by Congress.
no matter when it may be ratified, shall be admitted here, thus putting it in the power of the northern States, if they desire to do so, to exclude States which in good faith ratified this constitutional amendment and amended their State constitutions and laws so as to comply with all the conditions we make. I desire, then, to have the bill reported by the committee so amended that whenever any State lately in insurrection and rebellion shall have ratified this amendment in good faith, and shall have modified its constitution and laws in conformity therewith, that its Senators and Representatives shall be admitted into Congress; that is, that the loyal men of Tennessee and Arkansas now elected shall be admitted; but that as to the other States, they shall, before being represented in Congress, after the adoption of this amendment and the modification of their constitution and laws, elect, or reëlect, if you will, Governors and all other State officers, members of the Legislature, Senators of the United States, and members of this House. Why do I ask for this provision? Because these governments, set up by the President of the United States, set up over the heads of loyal men, have every one of them elected traitors to official positions in those States, have elected traitors to this House, have elected traitors to the Senate. I insist that this provision shall be applied to them, so that when their constitutions and their laws are modified in accordance with the proposition which we lay down, the loyal men of those States shall, under the amended Constitution and laws,.vote for the officers which are to be recognized by the Government of the United States. I ask the Clerk to read the amendment which I propose to offer:
The Clerk read as follows:
That whenever any State lately in insurrection shall have ratified, in good faith and irrevocably, the above recited amendment, and shall have modified its constitution and laws in conformity therewith, and after such ratification and modification of its constitution and laws shall have elected a Governor and the State officers provided for in the constitution of such State, including the State Legislature and Senators and Representatives to the Congress of the United States, under such limitations and restrictions as may be imposed by the constitution and laws of such State when amended as herein prescribed, the Senators and Representatives from such State, if thus elected and qualified, may after having taken the oaths of office required by law, be admitted into Congress as such: Provided, That neither the State of Tennessee nor Arkansas shall be required to reelect a Governor and State officers or a State Legislature or Senators or Representatives to the Congress of the United States; but whenever either of said States shall have ratified the above recited amendment, and shall have modified their constitutions and laws in conformity therewith, their Senators and Representatives now duly elected and qualified may be admitted into Congress on taking the oaths of office required by law.
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. It will be observed, Mr. Speaker, that, by the adoption of this amendment, every State which adopts in good faith the proposed amendment to the Constitution and modifies its constitution and laws in conformity therewith, and after such modification elects a Governor and members of the Legislature and Senators and members of this House, it shall have its Representatives admitted here. An exception, however, is made in the case of Tennessee and Arkansas, which now have loyal Governors and other State officers and loyal Legislatures. Those States would not be required, under this amendment, to reëlect their officers, but the Senators and Representatives already elected, if they can take the oath, would be admitted to seats in Congress, and their present State officers would be allowed to continue in their present positions.
I think this modification a very necessary Let gentlemen look over the South and see the character of the men who have been elected as Senators. In almost every instance, where they are not out and out open-throated rebels, who ought to be incarcerated in prisons or exiled from the country instead of approaching this temple of liberty; in almost every instance, I say, where there has been any concessions made to loyal men the Legislatures have elected moderate men for the short term and the most malignant rebels for the long
I also have an amendment which I intend to offer when the other bill comes up, but will not take up time by reading it now. I will send it to the reporter and he can insert it with my remarks.*
Let us look, Mr. Speaker, at the condition in which we find the country. I hold in my hand the propositions reported by the committee of fifteen. I need not read them. They have been carefully examined by every member. All over the land, North and South, a cry is raised against the report of that committee. I ask gentlemen if they can put their hands on a single page of human history where, after a rebellion has been put down of the character of the one we had to deal with, they can find the conquerors making propositions so mild, so conciliatory, and so merciful as these made by the committee of fifteen-propositions as applicable to the conquerors as the conquered. Yet we find men in this Hall, men all over the South, men holding high positions in the Government before the rebellion, and high positions in the rebel government, who
Amendment to be proposed by Mr. J. M. ASHLEY to House bill No.-, declaring certain persons ineligible to office under the Government of the United States.
Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert as follows:
That no person who has acted as president or vice president or member of either house of the congress of the so-called confederate States of America, or as head of any department or bureau thereof, or as military or naval officers above the grade of colonel or master in the navy, or as governor of either of the so-called confederate States or member of the legislature thereof, or member of any State convention who voted for an ordinance of secession, or any person who in a foreign country acted as an agent of the so-called confederate States, or who have treated officers or soldiers or sailors of the Army or Navy of the United States, captured during the late war, otherwise than as lawful prisoners of war, or any person who was an officer of the Army and Navy of the United States, or who was educated at the Military or Naval Academy of the United States, or who was head of any Department or bureau under the Government of the United States, or who was a member of the Thirty-Fifth or Thirty-Sixth Congress of the United States, or judge of any court thereof, or who since 1856 acted as a foreign minister or agent of the United States, or who resigned any office, civil or military, in any State or under the Government of the United States and accepted office under any rebel State government, or under the government of the so-called confederate States of America with intent to give aid and comfort to the rebellion, shall ever be eligible to any office of trust or profit under the Government of the United States: Provided, That any person included in the above named classes, who before the 1st day of January, A. D. 1865, ceased to give aid and comfort to the rebellion, and labored to restore the authority of the United States in the State in which he resided, shall be exempt from the provisions of this act; and any one claiming the benefit of this provision may make application to the district court of the United States for the district in which he resides, and the judge of said court is hereby authorized and required to hear and determine all applications for exemptions under the provisions of this act, and if the judge before whom any such hearing is bad shall be satisfied from the evidence before him that the person claiming exemption did cease to participate in the rebellion or give aid and comfort thereto, and labored to secure a restoration of the authority of the Government of the United States, on or before the 1st day of January, A. D. 1865, he shall cause a record to be made of that fact in a book to be kept by the court for that purpose, and the judge shall cause a certificate to be issued to the person so claiming exemption, setting forth the facts as found by the evidence, whereupon the person so receiving such certificate, shall be restored to all the privileges and immunities of a citizen of the United States in the several States.
have the effrontery to tell the people of this country that they will not accept such conditions. If they will not and we permit them to dictate their own terms, is not this a practical surrender on the part of the conqueror to the conquered? Suppose our position had been reversed; suppose the anti-slavery men of this country had gone into a rebellion as the South did, without a pretext, without cause, when they had a majority in this and the other branch of Congress, simply because a proslavery man had been elected President. Suppose this to have been the case, that State after State had seceded, had captured the forts of the United States, and had made war on the Union for four years, destroying half a million of lives, as well as running up a debt of over $3,000,000,000 for posterity to pay. I say suppose this to have been the case, do you believe any such proposition would have been made by those men when they had conquered as have been made by this Government, nay, proposed by this very House? Do you suppose that leading anti-slavery men, like Garrison, Phillips, Beecher, Greeley, and Gerrit Smith, would have been sent for by a pro-slavery Executive to be counseled with and sent home as provisional governors to organize States over the heads of the only loyal men in those States? Do you think there would have been any such stupid performance if the North had been in rebellion? No, sir, we would have been stripped naked, as was said by Henry A. Wise the other evening at Alexandria.
My friend from Iowa in front of me [Mr. PRICE] hands the paper containing the extract I am quoting, and I will read it:
"If I had triumphed," said Governor Wise, "I should have favored stripping them naked. [Laughter.] Pardon! They might have appealed for pardon, but I would have seen them damned before I would have granted it. For myself, the boot being on the other leg, I take no oaths; I ask no pardons! [Prolonged cheers.] I give you that brigade-the old, the lasting, the enduring Wise brigade. [Cheers and applausc.]"
Do you suppose if the rebellion in the North to which I have referred had been put down, any traitor would have been permitted to walk in Boston and utter such treason against the Government? No, sir; and yet we are denounced in this Congress as a rump Congress, as Jacobius, as sanguinary men. Why? Be cause we ask, in restoring the governments of the southern States, that our friends shall have a fair share in the administration of their State governments, and that the leading traitors shall be punished.
Sir, under the Administration, as matters are now going, not a single, solitary traitor will be punished. Rebel soldiers that were in prison have all been liberated, while the soldiers of the grand Union Army who are in prison for the slightest offenses remain, and you cannot get them pardoned out. These are unpleasant facts, but I could not pass them and do my duty without referring to them.
What do we ask? The loyal men of the nation ask that in the restoration of the rebel States the men who were our friends and allies during the rebellion-the loyal men-shall be clothed with the power of the local and State governments of the South. Is this asking too much? If this is not accorded to us, if these men are to come back here, the loyal oath to be repealed as is recommended, and no conditions are to be exacted; if these men are to come back here next year and take possession of the Government, so far from treason being punished and made odious it will only prove to have been a passport to favor and to power.
Sir, has it come to this? Can the unselfish heroism and bravery, the devotion and sacri fices of our soldiers and the loyal men and women of the nation so soon be forgotten? Are the men who conducted this nation safely through the most terrible war recorded in history to admit, now that the rebellion is over, that they are incapable of administering the Government in time of peace? Are the men who fought the opponents of this Government on the battle-field and at the ballot-box for the last four years, and everywhere vanquished