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is submitted to the States, and it brings this war The SPEAKER. The Chair thinks that these wrought great changes in the situation of the counto a close, I will ever rejoice at the vote I have are explanations of the pending measure.
try affecting this important question, and I apgiven; but if I am mistaken, I will remember it Mr. ASHLEY. I yield to the gentleman from proach its discussion at this time with quite alis not the first time, New York.
iered views, as to its expediency, from those which Mr. Speaker, 1 desire above all things that the Mr. MILLER, of Pennsylvania. I ask for || governed me when I last addressed the House Democratic party be again placed in power. The five minutes of the time of the gentleman from upon the same subject. The brilliant successes condition of the country needs the wise counsel New York.
that have rewarded the gallant efforts of the miliof the Democracy. The peace and prosperity of Mr. HERRICK. I have no objection to give | tary and naval forces of the nation, and the result this once powerful and happy nation require it the gentleman five minutes of my time.
of the presidential election, which has since tranto be placed under Democratic rule. The isto- Mr. MILLER, of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I spired, have necessarily exercised an important ry of the past demonstrates this. The question || I had hoped that I would be permitted to close influence over the publíc mind in both the loyal of slavery has been a fruitful theme for the op- my short career upon this floor without claiming and the insurgent States; and this question has ponents of the Democracy. It has breathed into any of the time or attention of the House; but 1 || assumed a very different aspect from that which existence fanaticism, and feeds it with such meat feel that I owe it to more than two hundred and it bore at the last session of Congress. The reas to make it ponderous in growth. It must soon sixty thousand lovers of the country, friends of | jection by the people at the polls of the proclaimed be strangled or the nation is lost. I propose to the “ Constitution as it is,” in the State of Penn- l policy of the Democratic party has closed many do this by removing from the political arenu that sylvania, lo repudiate the sentiments and position avenues to reconciliation which then remained which has given it life and strength. As soon as of gentlemen, [Messrs. McAllister and Cor. open, and the waning strength of the rebellion this is done fanaticism
FROTH,] my colleagues here, who have been heard has brought its leaders to the verge of despera“ Writhes with pain, this morning.
tion. Perils which then seemed imminent have And dies among its worshipers.”
I came here, sir, with no ambition save to do faded away, and others of quite different tenor
what I conceived to be my duty in the service of menace us in the future. Then the rays of truth will be unshaded, and
my constituents and the preservation of a pure In such a period of transition, when tremenonce more our people will rejoice in the salvation and consistent record,
dous events succeed one another with almost inof their country, and of the reinstating in power
But I prefer to go back to my home, I choose conceivable rapidity, it is impossible for the legis. that party which made this country great, and
to meet ihose who sent me here, and say that I lator to remain unaffected by the mighty changes which has done so much to secure to man civil
have tried to do that, at least, which was exand religious liberty.
that meet him on every side. It is weak, Mr. acted of me when I took the oath enlilling me to Speaker, it is criminal for him, from a false pride Many of the honorable gentlemen of this House
a seat upon this floor, that I would, to the extent in preserving an imaginary consistency, to rewith whom I am politically associated may condemn me for my action to-day. I assure them !
of my ability, preserve in violate the Constitution main stationary when all the rest of the world is
of the United States, in word and letter, as those || moving forward, and to regulate his words and do that only which my conscience sanctions and
who made it gave it to us. I feel that I have not actions by what he has said or done in the past. my sense of duty to my country demands. I have
been derelict in the discharge of duty; that I have Change is the universal law of nature, pervading been a Democrat all the days of my life. I learned
not forgotten what was due to myself and what the world of mind as well as the world of matter. my Democracy from that being who gave me
was due to them. I have no argument to make birth; it was pure; it came from one who never
Ordinarily it effects its operation by almost imin regard to what I conceive to be the merits of perceptible gradations, and their results only told me an untruth. All my political life has been
the question before us. That ground has been become visible at long intervals. But every genspent in defending and supporting the measures
fully and ably covered by those who have pre- eration sees further and more clearly than its which I thought were for the good of the party,
ceded me. I stand here to-day to indorse the sen- predecessor that the radicalism of one century and the country. My energy, my means, and
ciments and arguments of my friend from Ohio, becomes the conservatism of the next, while steadmy time were all given for the success of the Democratic cause.
[Mr. PENDLETON) I stand with him as to the I am no Democrat by mere
ily through the ages the eternal march of human power of this House to pass this measure. His advancement sweeps on. In such a period, how. profession, but I have always been a working
able and eloquent arguments have not been an- ever, as that in which our lol is cast, and in such If by my action to-day I dig my political
swered-nor, in my judgment, can they be-by grave, I will descend into it without a murmur,
a crisis as that now resting upon the country, the ablest of those on the other side of the House. when the whole fabric of society is convulsed by knowing that I am justified in my action by a con
Now, sir, it strikes me that much as this mat. the fierce struggle between contending opinions, scientious belief I am doing what will ultimately
ter has been discussed, no member has yet salisprove to be a service to my country, and know
upon the issue of which depends the continued ing there is one dear, devoted, and loved being factorily met the great question at the bottom of existence of the American Republic, if not, inin this wide world who will not bring tears of
this proposition. Abolish slavery, and no man deed, the fate of conslinutional liberty throughout bitterness to that grave, but will strew it with
among them has pretended to show what we are the world, this progress goes on with marvelous beautiful flowers, for it returns me to that domes
to do with the freedmen, except that, as good celerity, and the changes of a century are some
Christians, it will become our duty to feed and times condensed into a single year. tic circle from whence I have been taken for the
cloche them. The true philanthropists and tax Mr. Speaker, at the last session of Congress I greater part of the last two years. Knowing my duty I intend to perform it, re
payers of the country are equally interested in voted against this resolution from a solemn conlying upon the intelligence and honesty of the
knowing what is to be done with the elephant || viction of duty. And as I shall now vote for it
when we get him. We should not pull down the from a similar conviction, it becomes me to expeople I represent to do me justice. If this action
old house until we have built the new one. Il plain to the House and the country what considshall be condemned by my people I will go back
say to my friends on the other side of the House erations prompt me to assume a new attitude upon with pleasure to the enjoyment of private life, free from the exciting political arena; but no power
that for them to discuss the constitutionality of a the quesiion before us. Events which will now on earth will prevent me from quietly depositing
proposed amendment is a broad farce. They pro- govern my action have superseded the argumy ballot in behalf of the candidates of the Dem
pose to amend that, the body of which, in every ments which influenced the vote I recorded last ocratic party. I hope I will be granted the pleas- || Vated in the action of the President of the United
essential, vital feature they have consistently vio: year. The considerations which then rendered ure of reading the eloquent speeches made by my
the amendment proposed impolitic, in my view, Democratic associates, and admire their rise and
States, this House, and every subordinate departe || have ceased to operate, and reasons of great force, onward march to distinction. This boon I pray
nient and employé known to this Administration. which were not then in existence, have arisen to
It would have been more creditable to the fairyou not to take from me.
make it now expedient, and to warrant me in If, on the other hand, the course of the Demo
ness of the dominant party if they had proposed reversing my former action.
to blot out the sovereignty of the States, and decrals who will vote for this amendment will meet
In my humble judgment the rejection of this the approbation of the people, and we are greeted
clared that there are no reserved rights in the measure at that time was demanded by the best with the plaudit of " Well done, good and faith
Constitution which Congress and the President interests of the country, which now, on the conful servants," it will be the desire of our hearts to cannot ignore with impunity.
trary, seem to call for its adoption. Mr. Speaker,
If, Mr. Speaker, I could be induced to vote for circumstances have changed, and I shall now open our arms for your reception and shelter you as the hen shelters her brood, satisfied you were
any amendatory proposition to the organic law of vote for the resolution, as I formerly voted against honest in your belief but mistaken in your opin- || all is chaos.
this land I would not do it at a time like this, when it, because I think such action on my part is best ions.
calculated to assist in the maintenance of the Gov
The SPEAKER. The five minutes allotted to Mr. ASHLEY. I now yield the remainder of
ernment, the preservation of the Union, and the my time to the gentleman from New York, (Mr. the gentleman have expired.
perpetuation of the free institutions which we inHERRICK.)
Mr. MILLER, of Pennsylvania. I rose simply | herited from our fathers. These are the greatobMr. HARDING. I ask the gentleman to yield | the positions assumed upon this floor by two of struggled during the last four years with a couro
for the purpose of repudiating the sentiments and jects for which the loyal peopleofthis country have to me for a moment.
my colleagues from Pennsylvania, and have only age and self-devotion to which history affords no Mr. JOHNSON, of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speak
to requesi my colleague (Mr. Corfrotu) to make parallel, and poured forth their blood and treasure er, this is rather an arbitrary proceeding. One his acknowledgments to my other venerable col. with an unhesitating patriotism that has astongentleman occupies the floor and farms it out to
league (Mr. Baily) to whose Quaker knocks heished the world. So long as a Representative whoever he pleases. We have a Presiding Offi- is doubiless indebted for his wonderful conversion. seeks these objects, regardless of partisan or pocer, and I prefer he shall assign the floor.
Mr. HERRICK. Mr. Speaker, the joint res- litical prejudices, he cannot be rightfully charged The SPEAKER. The Clerk will read the rule
olution now before the House submitting to the on the subject.
with inconsistency, no matter how widely the The Clerk read, as follows:
Legislatures of the several States an amendment means he may find it necessary to employ at one
to the Constitution of the United States, comes time or another, to adapt himself to ever-varying " While a member is occupying the floor he may yield It before us under circumslances widely different circumstances, may differ. I believe this is the to another for explanation of the pending measure as well from those existing when at the last session of only consistency that is truly desirable. It is as for personal explanation."
Congress the same resolution failed to receive the ceriainly the only one to which I make any preMr. JOHNSON, of Pennsylvania. Can these requisite iwo-thirds vote of this body:
tensions, be called explanations relative to members? The eventful year which has elapsed has I have no doubt of the power to make this amendment to the Constitution in the manner the South any additional constitutional guaran- when Missouri applied for admission into the proposed. It is altogether immaterial, for the tees that might be requisite for the future security Union. There was therefore no conflict of opinion purposes of this discussion, whether the power of their “ peculiar institution."
between the two parties as to the power to amend of three fourths of the States to alter the organic For the sake of the Union the Democratic party the Constitution in regard to the institution of law is altogether unlimited, except by the reser- of the North would have cheerfully acquiesced slavery. Stripped of all side issues the main quesvation in the amending clause of the Constitution. in amendments to the Constitution explicitly ac- tion presented to the people for their decision was It may well be doubted whether the people do not knowledging the right of citizens of the slave- whether slavery should be abolished and the sepossess certain inalienable rights, of which a holding States to carry their slaves into the Ter- ceded States coerced into allegiance to the Conminority, however small, cannot be divested by ritories and hold them there until the new States, stitution, as it is now proposed to amend it, or a majority, however large. But the States formed upon their admission to the Union, should de- whether the war should be speedily terminated the Federal Government by a grant to it of their clare for themselves whether they would have the and the ægis of the Constitution thrown around sovereignty over certain specified subjects, and it | institution or not. For the sake of peace and the the social system of the South. The people by must seem to follow that they can also confer upon Union they would gladly have voted for the then a large majority sustained the first proposition it any other rights or powers which they them- proposed amendment providing that the Consti- || and fully indorsed the policy of the Administraselves possess, in the manner prescribed by the iution should never be changed so as to destroy tion on the slavery issue, and I am now disposed Constitution itself. By the adoption of that Con- or weaken slavery in the States where it then to bow in submission to that popular decree. stitution the States transferred to three fourths of existed. Had their views prevailed, and governed I have no doubt, however, that if the popular their number their entire sovereignty, which can the action of the Administration, all the blood verdict upon this momentous question had been be at any time exerted to augment or diminish that has been shed and all the money that has l different from what it was, we should now be the functions of the General Government, save been expended, North and South, during the last in sight of the blessed haven of peace, for I am in the two particulars excepted by special limita- four years, would have been saved, and the coun- fully persuaded that the olive-branch held out in tion. Three fourths of the States can, by an try would have gone on uninterruptedly in her the election of the distinguished and patriotic citiamendment of the Constitution, exercise through- || marvelous career of prosperity and power. But zen and soldier who was nominated at Chicago, out the United States any power that a State in- the voice of Democratic wisdoin was disregarded; | and the indorsement by the northern people of the dividually can exercise within its own limiis. men of extreme opinions controlled both sections, principles enunciated by the Democratic party,
The institution of slavery is purely a creation and a civil war ensued, of which the end is not would have been hailed with joy by our fellowof law, and completely under the control of the yel-the South fighting for secession, and conse- countrymen of the South as the harbinger of an Slate in which it may exist, at whose pleasure it | quently the perpetuation of slavery, and the North honorable and a lasting peace. The ablest men may be modified or abolished. What the State for the Union, and incidentally for the abolition of the whole country would have come together may do, the higher power to which by the adop- || of slavery.
in a spirit of mutual concession and compromise tion of the Constitution the State voluntarily ceded The Democratic party, while sustaining the and resettled the foundations of the Government its whole sovereignty, except in two particulars, | Government, believed that the interests of the so firmly that the superstructure might defy the is certainly competent to do, whenever it chooses country, of humanity, and of the cause of liberty wind and the storm for ages yet unborn. to assert its authority. In amending the Consti- would be best consulted in a peace, in which both But this was not to be. The anti-slavery sentution, three fourths of the States actually repre- || parties must give up something for the sake of timent proved predominant. The candidates of sent the whole; and the agent is invested with all agreement. They believed that there was no im- the Democratic party for President and Vice the powers that belong to his principal.
passable gulf between the North and the South President were defeated, and a Congress elected That this was the view entertained by the which should prevent them from coming together which is certain to adopt the resolution now unfounders of our Government is conclusively es. again under the same Government, and that the der consideration unless we anticipate their action. tablished by the fact that a proviso, declaring that issue of slavery might be of the greatest import- The question is settled by a popular verdict, which “no Slate shall, without its consent, be affected ance in any negotiation which might be under- I am not disposed to further resist. So far as the in its internal police," was defeated in the Con- taken to restore peace and reëstablish a perfect || national Government is concerned, slavery is no vention which 'framed the Constitution by a de- Union. They thought that both of the combal- || longer a political issue. We cannot influence its cisive majority. The power thus acknowledged || ants, weary of the carnage and devastation that fate, which now depends upon the action of the was never disputed from that day until the aboli, were desolating the land, and taught by dearly-|| States in their individual capacity. And released tion of slavery, by a constitutional amendment bought experience to respect the bravery and de- || from all party ties which formerly bound them to became a practical question in the politics of the termination of each other, would gladly consent it, but which now belong to a past state of things, country. I have never entertained a doubt of the to a peace upon the basis of mutual concession- the Representatives of the Democratic party in this existence of this power, and I am now convinced the South surrendering its project of a separate | House are left free to act upon the question pendthat the time has arrived when it is expedient to nationality and the North iis hostility to the in- ing as in their estimation, individually, will best exercise it in consummating the amendment pro- stitution of negro slavery.
promote the restoration of the Union, and preposed in the resolution now under consideration. These were the views which prevailed in the serve our free Government. For my part, I shall
Mr. Speaker, I never had any love for the in- Democratic party a year ago, and made it then vote for the resolution, because, under existing stilution of slavery. I always regarded it as a practically a unit in opposition to the measure circumstances, I think its immediate adoption moral, social, and political evil, and a fruitful curse now before the House proposing the abolition of will in a great degree tend to secure those objects to any community in which it might exist. In slavery by an amendment of the Constitution, in nearer than all others to every patriotic heart. this sentiment I believe that I fairly represent accordance with its own provisions. As a life- Now, and for the next two years at least, the the views of the great bulk of the Democratic || long member of that time-honored political organ- Democratic party is, and must be, powerless in the party of the northern States. That party has ization, whose history is the history of the Gov- nation. It may embarrass, but it cannot change, never been either pro-slavery or anti-slavery; ernment in its proudest days, and whose policy, the policy of the Administration. For good or but it has ever been devoted to the Union and carried out by a long line of wise and patriotic for evil, the Administration now in power will the Constitution, and always consistent in the statesmen, made this country what it was four wield the functions and control the destinies of position that the Federal Government had no years ago, I raised my voice and recorded my the Government. It may end the war and restore right to interfere either for or against the institu- vole as a member of this House against the joint the Union. At all events its opponents cannot. tion, except to fulfill the duty in regard to the resolution now under consideration.
Such being the case, I am unable io reconcile it to return of fugitive slaves imposed upon it by the The tone of the public mind at that time seemed my ideas of duty to stand between it and the peoConstitution. Democrats of the school in which to me, as it no doubt seemed to all who agreed in ple. The Administration desires now to submit I was educated believed, and believe now, that opinion with me, to foreshadow a change of Ad- ihis amendment to the States, and, in my judgunder the Constitution as it exists, every State ministration and the accession to power of the ment, a Democrat may consent to this submission has the exclusive control of the subject within its Democratic party, which we believed would be simply from a desire to allow its policy a fair oplimits, and that the Federal power can neither able to check the red tide of war and induce the poriunity with the people, while holding himself abolish it in a Siale nor prohibit it in a Territory. || South to return to the Union, by showing a con- at perfeci liberty to advocate or oppose the amendThe contrary doctrine we regard as repugnantio ciliatory spirit and giving it the fullest assurance ment in his own State, as circumstances may seem the very theory of the Government and inimical that all its rights and privileges under the Consti- to require. Sir, if this were an absolute enactto its peace and safety; and Democratic states- tution, as it exists, should be preserved, and their ment to abolish slavery by legislation, in defiance men clearly foresaw and predicted that the as- continued enjoyment of them for the future guar-ll of the constitutional provision that the States shall cendency of an anti-slavery party in the North antied by such constitutional changes as might be have exclusive control of their local institutions, a and in the Government would provoke an armed requisite to effect that object. The two parties || widely different question would be presented from collision between the northern and southern States into which the people were divided prepared for that which is involved in the measure now pendof the Union, The Democracy cared nothing for the presidential election with a distinctly-under- ing. As, however, it is but a preliminary measure slavery. lis preservation or destruction was with stood issue. The party of the Administration in to enable the people to practically reach and legally them a subordinate consideration in comparison corporated this amendment in the platform of prin- pass judgment upon an important issue which has with the stability of the Government, the suprem-ciples upon which they entered the canvass. The agitated the country ever since the formation of acy of the Constitution, and the integrity of the Opposition boldly declared for a cessation of hos- the Union, I am unable to discover any violation Union; and they accordingly exerted their ul- cilities and a national convention to redress all of the great principles of the political party with most power to keep the irritating subject out of grievances, settle all difficulties, and make an hon- | which I have been identified through all my past party politics, and thus to avoid the terrible ca- orable and lasting peace by a satisfactory compro- life, in recording my vote in favor of its passage. tastrophe which its agitation has brought upon mise. ' It was well understood that the principal | I am willing to accord to my cunstituents the prive the country: As a party they did all they could business of this contemplated national convention, ilege I enjoy, as their Representative, of personto prevent the war in which we are now engaged, || should it ever assemble, would be to put at rest, ally passing upon this measure. It may be, sir, and no portion of the responsibility for it rests at once and forever, by the agency of amend- that the adoption of this resolution, at this parupon the shoulders of the northern Democracy. ments to the Constitution, the vexed question of ticular time, will be productive of beneficial results They warmly, supported the “Crittenden com- slavery, which has disturbed the harmony of the to the national cause, while it can certainly do no promise," and were perfectly willing to give to country ever since its agitation was commenced, t harm, since, in the event of its failure in this Congress, it is sure to be passed by our successors in this resolution, and the President should call cause I feel convinced that the monarchies of Euihese seats, who are already elected by the people, an extra session of the next Congress, at which rope, and especially the Governments of France with a full understanding that they are to con- it should pass, as it undoubtedly will, so as to and England, regard it for their interest that a persummate this movement, and thus provide for the become an issue in our Slate elections next fall. manent separation between the North and the complete extermination of slavery in the Union. In the light of past experience I would ask my South shall take place, and a balance of power be
Now, Mr. Speaker, let me ask my Democratic friends on this side of the House if we could rea- established on this continent. The division of colleagues upon this floor, of what possible ad- sonably expect to successfully meet the prominent the United States into two distinct and unfriendly vantage will the defeat of this measure be to our question that would be forced upon our party. nations, both obliged to support large military and party at this time, in full view of the fact that our All candidates for the Legislature would be con- naval forces, weighed down with immense debis, political opponents have the power to pass it im- fronted with this measure, and all our elections and subject to all the burdens which depress the mediately upon our adjournment in spite of us, would necessarily be conducted with special ref- communities of Europe, would at once rob repuband boluly proclaim their intention to do so at an erence to it. In the State of New York, if this | licanism of many of the attractions with which extra session of the Thirty-Ninth Congress, to be negro question should be put out of our politics our example has hitherto clothed it, protect the convened immediately after the 4th of March? by the adoplion of this resolution in season for colonies of England on the north, and the nom
Looking at the subject as a party man, from a the Legislature now in session to pass upon it, the || inally Mexican but really French empire on the party point of view, as one who bopes soon to see Democracy, 1.doubt not, will elect a majority of south, from the “manifest destiny" with which ihe Democratic party again in power, this propo- both Houses of the next Legislature and reclaim the reintegration of the Union threatens them, and sition seems to present a desirable opportunity for full possession of the government of the Empire I give to England and France, through the excluthe Democracy to rid itself at once and forever of Slate upon the expiration of Governor Fenton's sive control of the cotton trade and ihe command the incubus of slavery, and to banishits perplexing term. But if this question remains in issue I do of the transit routes in Mexico and Central Amerissues beyond the pale of party politics, no longer not hesitate to express my opinion that outside ofica, the commercial supremacy of the world. to distraciour counsels and disturb the harmony of the cities of New York and 'Brooklyn scarcely a Fully satisfied that these consequences would our movements. It has been our seeming adher- Senator or Assemblyman could be elected next flow from the success of the rebellion and the ad. ence to slavery, in maintaining the principle of November in the Stale. If my Democratic col- mission of the southern confederacy into the famState rights, that has, year by year, depleted our leagues from the noble State of New York desire lily of nations, I have always believed that France party ranks until our once powerful organization to see it redeemed from the Republican misrule and England would never allow the restoration has irailed its standard in the dust and sunk into which now prevails at Albany, I am confident of the union of these States if it was possible for a hopeless minority in nearly every State of the that the mosi direct way of approaching that re- them to prevent it. Their interference was not Union; and every year and every day we are sult will be found in the adoption of the resolution to be feared when the rebellion was vigorous and growing weaker and weaker in popular favor, now before the House. Tiwill dispose of the in- defant, but the danger increases in proportion as while our opponents are strengthening, because evitable negro question and open an easy path to the rebellion shows signs of weakness and yieldwe will not venture to cut loose from the dead victory and the triumph of our party, in the popu- || ing. One great obstacle, Mr. Speaker, las alcarcass of negro slavery. The institution of sla- lar vindication of the great principles which un- ways stood in the way of foreign intervention: very was cruelly murdered in the house of its derlie its foundation. The passage of this resolu- the invincible hostility of the people of England friends when they raised the standard of rebellion tion by Congress, in season to be finally disposed and France to the institution of slavery. "That against the constiiutional Government which had of by the present Legislature at Albany, will be obstacle the insurgeni leaders are ready to reever protected it from the popular disfavor that more disastrous to our opponents in the State of move, in order to claim the sympathies of the always attached to it in the North. When the New York than was the capture of Fort Fisher to world as a people fighting only for the right of Representatives of the slaveholding States, with the rebels. !! will explode their chief magazine | self-governmeni, and abolishing slavery in order base ingratitude, deserted the Democracy, which and spike their heaviest ordnance. The way will to secure their own liberty. We, in this country, had always sustained their rights, and left their then be clear, and union and harmony being re- know how utterly false such representations are. seals in Congress, while, with our coöperation, stored to our ranks, the political power of the State We know that they began the war for the prothey had ample power to proteci slavery even must inevitably come into our hands.
tection of slavery, ihat they have carried on the from such a measure as ihat now before the Then again, Mr. Speaker, in a national point war for four years for the preservation of slaHouse, they not only gave a death-stab to the of view, it is barely possible that the misguided very, and that they only consent now lo abolish institution, but forever absolved the Democratic people of the insurgent States, hopeless of estab- it because they know its abolition is inevitable. party, which had always protected it, from any lishing their independence, and nearly exhausted We know all these things, Mr. Speaker, but the further obligations to breast the storm of popular by the unequal struggle they have so long main- | people of France and England do not know them, sentiment which will continue to rage against it tained, may be willing to return to their allegiance, and there is really great danger that the diplomacy in all the northern States until its prohibition, as even under the present Administration, for the of the rebels may excite a popular sentiment in contemplated in the resolution now before the
sake of preserving the remains of slavery that still those countries ihal will give iheir Governments House, shall have been incorporated into the Con
The adoption of this resolution will open the moral support without which they dare not stitution. It is plain enough to my mind that if a way for the restoration of the southern States venture to recognize the southern confederacy, the Democratic party would regain its supremacy without subjecting them to what they would or actively intervene in iis behalf. I deem it in the Government of the nation it must now let doubtless consider the humiliation of making of the utmost importance that our Government slavery "" slide.'
any terms with the present Administration in should checkmate these designs of the southern Why, Mr. Speaker, when the chosen Repre- regard to their peculiar institution. Aner they | traitors. . To enable it to do this, the adoption by senlatives of the border Stales upon this floor shall have laid down their arms, Mr. Speaker, us of the resolution now under consideration is stand up and advocate this measure in the elo- under a general amnesty, and again taken their indispensable. So it seems to me. By such acquent and persuasive tones which we have heard places as equal and sovereign States in the Union, || tion we will show the world that the South has from the gentlemen from Delaware, Maryland, they could vote upon this amendment, and the abolished slavery only because it could not save Kentucky, and Missouri, who have spoken in other States would come to the consideration of l it, and that we are not clinging to an effele instithis debate; why, I ask, should the Represent- the subject with far different and more friendly lution after those whom it most concerns have atives of the Democracy of the free States any feelings than those which may actuate them now. given it up. We shall appear in our true light, longer contend against an inevitable result, espe- Perhaps, sir, in this way the South may, through as a resolute and patriotic people, contending for cially when no advantage from such contention the generosity of the loyal States, happy to wel- the life of the nation againse traitors who rose in is to accrue to either our party or the country? come their “wayward sisters" back to the fam- rebellion for the sake of slavery, and now seek to Two gentlemen from Missouri, a State whose ily of the Union, yet save slavery from the doom destroy the Government in revenge for the depeople have voluntarily abolished slavery since which certainly awaitsit in any other contingency. struction of slavery. With the perfect apprehenthis House adjourned last July, [Messrs. Rollins I have, however, little hope of such a result. sion of these facis which the adoption of this and King,] who, at the last session voled with me All indications go now to show that the rebel lead- || resolution will give to the people of foreign counagainst this resolution, both of them being slave- ers, undaunted by the disasters and undelerred by | tries, I do not believe that their rulers will dare holders, have spoken at this session in favor of the sufferings of ihe people whom they rule with to lend either moral or material aid to our domesit. They, who are far better qualified than I am to despotic power, are stubbornly determined to fight tic foes; and this, Mr. Speaker, has been a conjudge of the justice and propriety of this measure, on to the bitter end. They appear, since the sideration of great weight with me in arriving at have become convinced by the events of last year presidential election, to have thrown aside all a determination to vote for the resolution under that the best interests of the country will be pro- ideas of reconciliation which they may have be- | consideration. moted by the passage of this resolution by the pres- fore entertained for I believe that a reconciliation Such, Mr. Speaker, are the views and opinions, ent Congress. I agree with them, Mr. Speaker, could have been effected had that election resulied somewhat incongruous, I confess, which have and I have become likewise convinced that the differently-and will now accept no alternative brought me at last, after long deliberation, to a best good of the old Democratic party will be en- but recognition or subjugation. Making every conclusion, the stronger in that it has not been hanced by its adoption. Upon the consumma- other consideration subordinate to their hatred of lightly or carelessly formed. I feel it to be my lion of this measure a new organization of parties the Union, and satisfied that slavery must die, they duty now to vote for this resolution, and I shall will be inevitable, and the slavery question being have no doubt resolved to sacrifice to that passion | do so whatever may be the consequences to me, forever disposed of, other issues connected with even the institution for the protection of which politically or otherwise. Imay incur the censure the future interests and policy of the Government they first raised their parricidal hands against the of some of my party friends on this floor, and will divide the people; and it needs no prophet to Government. No rational man can doubt that perhaps displease some of my respected constitforetell the speedy triumph of the true Democracy they are now ready to abolish slavery by their uents; but io me the country of my birth and the with the great principles inscribed upon its ban- own action, if that will secure their recognition Government under whose benign protection ! ner by Jefferson, Jackson, and other patriots and abroad, or the intervention of foreign Powers have enjoyed all the blessings of liberty, and sages who have borne it aloft through the great their behalf. And it is not at all impossible that under which, restored lo more ihan all its original political struggles of the past.
if they gained the former the latter would soon splendor, and strengthened and purified by the Suppose, Mr. Speaker, this House should fail follow. 1, for one, think there is imminent danger trials through which it has passed, I expect my to respond to the popular sentiment in passing II of such recognition and such intervention, be- ll children and my children's children to enjoy the
same blessings, long after my mortal frame shall part of the Constitution. The power of determ- | deemed possible. We are therefore on our oaths have moldered into dust, is dearer lo me than ining what is or is not an amendment resis with to declare that interference with an institution friends or party or political position. Firm in Congress and three fourths of the States; they, local in its character is not merely an addition to the consciousness of right, I know that posterity, on their consciences and oaths, say that any pro- the powers of the General Government as a dewill do me justice, and feel that no descendant of vision is an amendment, and nowhere is there a struction of the local powers of the States, but is a mine will ever blush at the sight of the page on power, except by revolution, which can hold that
malter necessary to the general weal of all parts which my vote is recorded in favor of country, determination wrong. The Supreme Court can- of the country. I cannot so hold, and am less Government, liberty, and progress.
not, because the very existence of that court is, | inclined so to hold because there is no tribunal lo Mr. BROWN, of Wisconsin. It is not my beyond question, within the power of amend. review our decision. I am not now and never intention to discuss the measure now pending ment. Congress and the three fourths of the have been an apologist for slavery. I have never before the House, but simply to give a résumé States are therefore the final judges as well of what believed that it could be a permanent institution; of the reasons which must determine my own is an amendment, or the removal of a defect, as of the seeds of death were in iis nature. Had I lived course. This, upon a matter of so great import- the propriety of making it a part of the Constitu- in Maryland I should have voted to abolish slaance and involving differences of opinion so wide, || tion. The gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Cox] is very; I should so have voted in Missouri; I would is due both to myself and to my constituents. therefore right in saying that the power of amend- so vote in Kentucky. Their material interests
The amendment of the Constitucion abolish- ment extends even io creating a king. But this will undoubtedly be advanced by such abolition; ing slavery can be made effective in the rebel- is only because our decision, supported by three but it is still a question reserved under the CouJious Slates only by arms. But the President fourths of the States, is final, and if we are false stilution for their own people. has already by proclamation declared those slaves 10 our oaths there is no review. But I hold that This is, however, not even a question of the free, and assericd his intention to use our armies if, upon a desert island where there is no civil practical abolition of slavery. There are causes to enforce it. The President has four years in government, one man kills another, he is not the at work, which in any event will destroy it; the which to try this experiment, with the unlimited less a murderer because there is no power to pun- progress of our armies is wasting it; even a reccontrol of the resources of the nation during that ish. And in our case, the fact that we are lo act ognition of the confederacy would not save it period; the amendinent could not hasten military us judges as well as legislators only increases the from its final doom. The rebels have themselves operations or lake from the power of his master responsibility of observing strictly the spirit and challenged for their favorite institution the allena single slave. It is therefore, for the purpose of object of the Constitution.
lion and hostility of the world; they have placed abolishing slavery, without practical effect unless The Supreme Court of the United States, in ic in the front rank, where every blow dealt by our the President should recede from his declared in- | sustaining the validity of the United States Bank, soldiers al rebellion strikes it with destructive lention of enforcing his proclamation.
put their decision on the ground that the decision force. It is mischievous in so far as it would tie the of Congress in declaring it necessary as a fiscal Thousands of the most intelligent have already hands of the President in so regulating the mode agent of Government could not be reviewed. It || escaped; new ideas as to liberty (a word hitherto of abolishing slavery as not to precipitate upon was true, as a part of the current history of the unknown to them) have through intermingling the country ihree million ignorant and debased || period, that its fiscal agency had liue influence with our soldiers been scattered among them; the negroes, without the slightest preparation for lib. upon its creation, and that its general financial patient drudge of former times (who then scarce erty, or power on the part of Government, by a power and the regulation of exchanges were the knew that he had a soul) will soon inquire into system of apprenticeship or otherwise, to require chief objects it accomplished; but Congress de- the reason why his bone and sinews are the propthem to labor.
cided otherwise, and an institution at war with erty of another; the wealth of the southerner in It removes all inducement on the part of south- the real spirit of our Government was preserved. slavery, if it cannot take to itself wings, will at erners to resist in the last instance the proposi- || Our present banking law, if (as I do not believe) least lake to itself legs and disappear. tion of Davis to free and arm the southern slaves it should finally be sustained by the highest tri- Nor am I allogether indifferent to the effects and turn them against our northern armies and buvals, must be sustained on the ground of the de- upon national character of such an amendment. people,
cision of Congress that it was the fiscal agent of Ti is a declaration upon our part that slavery is With that proposition slavery is a weapon in Government, or necessary as a part of its finan. not merely a local institution, but a national sin, our hands and for our benefit. The slaveholders, cial system, although the majority of us, and sustained and upheld by the Constitution. Our between the hostile action of the two opposing | doubtless the courts themselves, believe that it fathers carefully avoided the possibility of this parties, will be glad to save any portion of their was a scheme to enable overgrown nioneyed cap- charge; nowhere have they used in the Constiturights; they wili, when Davis undertakes to en- ilalisis to increase their gains from the necessities lion ihe word slave. In providing for their surforce his desperate policy, be only too willing to of the country, and to escape from their share of render it uses the words “persons held to service assent to an abolition as rapid as the interests State taxation, (necessary to sustain the war,) or labor;" in depriving the South of full repreeither of the country at large or of the negroes
and throw the whole burden upon the poorer sentation for slaves, it requires an enumeration of themselves will permit,
classes, real estate owners, laboring and business free persons, &c., and three fourths of all others. It reserves no power, in case experience should It is therefore as judges that we are lo So careful were they to avoid a recognition in any demonstrate great evils in the intermixture of say that the proposition before the House is an way of slavery! We might fairly change these large masses of the black and white races, to amendment within the spirit of the Constitution. two provisions; but to ingrast upon the Constiguard by colonization against such evils.
An amendment implies the removal of a defect tution a provision abolishing slavery, is to deIt utterly ignores the greatest evil of slavery; or an improvement upon the Constitution; it is clare upon our oaths that slavery was connected extends through generations its effect in com- necessarily consistent with and not destructive of with the purposes and object of the Constitution, pletely debasing the subject of it and making him the Constitution in its true spirit. It is to the and belonged to the North as well as to the South. unfit cither to be a good citizen or a good man. fabric of government very nearly what "repair" But while for the reasons stated I cannot vole
Il violates that good faith which all civilized is to a building. There is probably no lawyer in for the amendment, I have been extremely doubtGovernments have hitherto observed, by destroy- | this House who has not been employed in cases ful whether I ought to vote against it. I recog. ing valuable rights hitherto acknowledged as prop- || involving the distinction between a new erection nize the absolute feally due from a member of erty, and yet refusing compensation.
and repairs. It is almost impossible to give any Congress to the interests of his country and his England, in emancipating the slaves on her general definition by which, in every case, the constituents. Not only is it his duty, as a matislands, not only established a system of appren. distinction between the two can be determined; ter of conscience, not to vote for a bad measure, ticeship, but compensated those who lost.' It is but almost every one in ordinary cases can feel || but he is bound, when he cannot defeat bad legisno answer that slavery is immoral; individuals, that distinction. The power given is to amend, || lation, not to increase the evil by useless oppoupon the faith of laws which recognized rights in and an amendment must be consistent with the sition. We all know that in the next Congress negro labor, have invested their property in such fabric, improving portions of it. Here again I there is a majority of extreme men. They will, rights. When the Government sees fit to change must illustrate, by reference lo ordinary life, an- without regard to the effect of this measure upon its policy and destroy the rights, it owes com- other distinction.
the country, pass it. And whatever may be the pensation. Of course compensation is due only I have said that the word amendment in the personal wishes of the President, he is so comto loyal owners.
fabric of the Constitution answers very nearly to mitted to the radicals on this question that he must It is a dangerous abuse of the power of amend- || “repair" as applied to buildings, but addition is call a special session of Congress. A session of ment conferred by the Constitution.
very different from either repair or amendment. Congress unsettles all the business interests of the Tagree with neither of the gentlemen who have The owner of a house is discontented with its ex- country. No man seeking legitimate profits can argued the constitutional effect of such an amend- lent; he adds a library-room, a dining-room, or a know what course to pursue. Some new freak of ment. I draw a distinction between the right to kitchen; this is no repair; nor would any ad. || legislation may tax him into bankruptcy, or so make such an amendment and the power to make dition in substance to ihe powers of the General depreciate the currency as to effect the same reit. The right affects the consciences of those au- Government or any destruction of the powers of Better a pestilence than a session of Conthorized to act, the power the consequences of the the State be an amendment. Still I concede that
gress, so far as business is concerned. Ifa session act when complete. In most of our Slates, by amendment has a somewhat more extensive sig. is pernicious to the business interests, it is ten constitutional enactment, no person can twice be nification than repair, and that it would not be times more so to our armies. Each duy politiput in jeopardy for the same offense; the verdict | always safe to resort to the analogy.
cians throw stumbling-blocks in their path. It of a jury, therefore, acquitting a criminal is not The Constitution in its true spirit delegated cer- was only yesterday that this House passed a ressusceptible of a review; no matter how corrupt tain powers of general interest in every Slate to olution impliedly censuring the most successful or hon, much in violation of law, it is final and the General Government; in no instance did it I general of the war-a complete soldier in his plans, conclusive. They have, therefore, power to dis- seek to interfere with the merely local interests a hero in the field, a statesman in council. I mean regard the instructions of the judge on points of or institutions of any State. Indeed, any such General Sherman. law and acquit an acknowledged criminal, but interference would be entirely inconsistent with If, then, there is no hope of great advantage they liave no such right, and it would be a vio- the declaration of the Constitution itself as to its | by the mere delay of this measure, it is the duty lation of cunscience and of their highest duty. objects. I do not believe that any one State voting of those opposed to it not to vote. Amendinents proposed by two thirds of Congress || for the Constitution would have done so had any But is it not of the greatest consequence to reand ratified by three fourths of the States become such exercise of the power of amendment been ll lieve our armies, even for a short time, of this bur
den which we are attempting to put upon their been averted had we rendered a more cheerful, a of human blood shed for immediate as against shoulders ? Grant, Thomas, and Sherman, in more implicit obedience to that instrument. In- l gradual emancipation, among such men I do not despite of both rebels and radicals, may, if we stead of squaring the Constitution to suit our no- desire to be numbered. delay this blow at them, succeed in a few months tions, we would do better to make our opinions It is not many months since the President of in overthrowing the rebellion. I have stated that, conform to the Constitution. All our misfortunes the United States, above his own signature, pubso far as slavery is concerned, I consider this are, to my mind, clearly traceable to a disregard licly stated that if he could save ihe Union he question as one involving simply the difference of its provisions. I can understand those who would do so, irrespective of slavery. Tam for between a healthfal process of emancipation and have never loved the Constitution in the past leaving open to him the opportunity of redeemone injurious alike to the negro and the country. eager to tinker it now, and if you show me a ing the pledge thus given to the country. Since But that is certainly a mere matter of opinion, man who has been noted in the past for disloy- || that time the President, in his famous note adand gentlemen honestly believing in emancipa- | alty to the Constitution, and for his disregard for dressed " to all whom it may concern,” insisted tion may well ask for a security. I have, to avoid the Union which it made possible, I will show upon the abolition of slavery as a preliminary to this doubt, drawn a substitute for the amend- you a man in favor of this amendment. The peace. The position taken in that document was ment, which obviates the greater part of the prace | party to which I belong have looked ever to the so generally condemned that even the editor of tical objections which I have raised; it leaving Constitution as the guide of their policy. It was the New York Tribune was disgusted by the folly only the question of abuse of power. I ask that the chart by which they directed the course of the of the man who wrote it. We now propose to it may be read, as at the proper time I intend to ship of State in the better days when the vessel commit the country to a policy which everybody offer it.
was under their guidance. The chart has been condemned but a few months ago. Sir, I, foroné, The amendment was read, as follows:
discarded by others; the ship is among the break- cannot give my vote to do it. The proclamation Sec. 1. Hereafter every sale, transfer, or assignment ers; storms, dark and menacing, shut out the sky. || ofemancipation was all but universally condemned of the right of one person to the service or labor of an- In such an hour, instead of trying to amend the by the true friends of the Union. I believed it to other, shall be void, and by the mere fact of the consent chart, I am for following it, and I doubt not, if beat once impolitic and illegal, and yet I am asked of the owner to such sale, assignment, or transfer, the per
we do, but that there is still a pleasant voyage son owing service or labor shall be released from all such
to give my assent now to legalize a policy which obligation and become free.
before us, and a haven of safety at the end of it, I cannot approve of, either in the President or in SEC. 2. All fernales, such as are usually termed slaves, in whic the old ship may lie in security and at Congress. owing service or labor to others, are hereby released from
peace. such obligation, and are and shall be wholly free.
Mr. Speaker, I desire to save the party in power Sec. 3. From and after the 1st day of January, A. D.
I am told, Mr. Speaker, that if I desire to save from itself, and I tell its leaders here that they had 1880, slavery, and all involuntary service, except that aris- the Democratic party I will help to amend the better never have been born than live to see the ing from the relations of parent and child, master and ap- Constitution so as to abolish slavery; I must try day when their experiments in legislation, of prentice, guardian and ward, or that imposed as a punish
to cut it loose, so it is said, from dead issues. which this amendment is one, may be the chief inent for criine, are and shall be abolished. Sec. 4. Congress shall by law provide compensation for
Singularly enough, sir, this advice comes from obstacle in the way of the realization of that most the actual and direct damage or loss sustained through the men who have spent their lives in misrepresent- dear to the truly loyal American heart-the resoperntion of this law, by loyal citizens of the United ing the Democratic party and in vilifying its lead- | toration of the Union. States.
These men have become very suddenly 80- While I have argued, sir, against this measure Mr. BROWN, of Wisconsin. It will be per- | licitous for the welfare of the Democracy. They as if it were in truth an "amendment" to the ceived that it immediately obviates the worst tell us, sir, there is a great future in store for us, Constitution, I regard it as subversive of the enobjections to negro slavery, and yet presents in- if we Democrats only
follow their advice. I am tire spirit of that instrument. We have been ducements for the rebels to return to their alle | suspicious of this new-born zeal for the interest of warned by the “Father of his country.” to disgiance. It is much better for them than Davis's the Democratic party coming from such a source. countenance irregular opposition to the Constituproposition to free and arm the slaves, and there- I for one have not learned Democracy from its || tion," and at the same time to resist with care the fore may defeat that measure.
most inveterate foes, and I will not place myself spirit of innovation upon its principles, however speIt prevents an industrial revolution which, de- under their instruction now. I cannot but be- || cious the pretexts.” One method of assauli, he tells stroying the South, will utterly forbid the idea of lieve that my immediate colleague has been giv- us, sir, "may be to effect in the forms of the Conaid from that quarter in paying the interest on our ing too much importance to this new school of || stitution alterations which will impair the energy public debt.
Democratic advisers. I am afraid, sir, he is re- of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot If this substitute is accepted, while I cannot' || peating second-hand the charge that the Demo- be directly overthrown." These, sir, are words of directly vote for it, as being an abuse of power, ! cratic party had been always subservient to the prophetic warning. Under“SPECIOUS PRETEXTS" shall not vote against it, and I am well assured || South, and found its subserviency followed by of amending the Constitution, you desire to make that there are others on the Democratic side who | increased exactions in the interest of slavery. I it the instrument of depriving men of vested rights, will either directly or indirectly support it; so owe it to my own self-respect as a Democrat, I and to leave behind you a precedent which, if that the measure will pass the House. It is for owe it to my party, to say that this charge is en- followed, will leave every right, civil or religious, gentlemen on the other side to say whether they || tirely unfounded. When the South asked what || which the minority possesses at the will of the urged this in good faith, or as politicians; if in the Constitution gave her we cheerfully yielded majority. When the Constitution went into opthe first view, they will accept the substilute; if | that; we as Democrats could not do less, and we eration there were twelve slave States and but in the last, reject it.
never did more. My colleague again says that || one free State. It was within the power of the Mr. HARDING addressed the House. (His he has an especial enmity
against the South as twelve slave States to force slavery on Massaremarks will be published in the Appendix.] a Democrat, because the South abandoned the chusetts, in the same way that you propose to
Mr. KALBFLEISCH. Mr. Speaker, the ar- Democratic party. Well, sir, here the South force abolition on the Souih. Would Massachugument upon the question now before the House committed for herself and for all of us a very sad || setts, think you, have submitted to so gross a has been so ably conducted and so long continued mistake, as all who purpose to follow the bad ex- perversion of the compact she had just entered that it is with more or less reluctance I venture ample will; but I cannot believe that the spirit of into? Did she fight against England for seven to delay the public business by stating even briefly revenge and recrimination which such remarks years for the right to manage her own affairs only the reasons which induce me to dissent from a as these indicate is that which should be indulged to transfer that right to another authority against majority of my fellow-members, and to cast my in by those who are intrusted with the grave re- which she had no legal safeguard? Sir, Massavote, as I propose to do, to maintain the Consti- | sponsibility which devolves on the members of chusetts might have been left a wilderness, but tution as it is and as it was when our country, this body. Not only the South, but a majority of this right could not have been wrested from her. governed under it, was marching with proud and the people of the North, have abandoned, tempo- | people. Do you propose to force from South stately step to empire and to greatness. I am not rarily, the Democratic party; and sir, the majority Carolina, men of Massachusetts, what you would sure, sir, that I would trespass at all upon the of both sections have traveled further, and I be- have yielded yourselves only with your lives? House at this stage of its proceedings upon this lieve have fared worse.
We are told, sir, and the fact seems to be conquestion if it were not for the fact ihat my im- Mr. Speaker, since I entered this House I have ceded by a vast majority of those in favor of this mediate associate, speaking for a constituency | endeavored to shape my conduct to the end that no measure, that slavery is dead. The progress of closely connected with that which I have the word or act ot' mine would stand in the way of the ll the war and the incidents connected with it, we honor to represent, sees the line of his duty in a restoration of peace and Union to these Stales. are cold, have destroyed the institution in this different direction from that which I propose to I believe the legislation of the country should be country, and placed ii beyond the hope of resurtake. Though what I have to say may not in- shaped in the spirit by which, I believe, I have | rection. Why then do we find genilemen, and fluence the vote of any member who hears me, been actuated. "In my opinion the amendment especially those most clamorous in insisting that still, sir, I believe the people of the great city in you now propose to provide for may stand in the slavery is dead, so urgent and pertinacious in whose behalf I have the honor in part to speak way of both peace and Union. Even while this seeking to lay sacrilegious hands upon that venon this floor would not be fairly represented in the measure is under discussion messengers are pass- erated and almost sacred instrument, our glorious national councils if I did not in the name, and I ing between Washington and Richmond, and if | Constitution, under the pretense that alteration of believe with the approval, of a large majority of these men are successful, and if the negotiations | it is necessary for the abolition of slavery? Has them state here that their faith in the Constitu- || they propose to inaugurate result in anything, the not its abolition been proclaimed by the Presition as it is and as it was when they required of very question we now propose to commit our- dent? Nay, further, does not the President deme the promise to faithfully maintain it, is not im- || selves upon will form the chief obstacle in the mand as a condition precedent to the restoration paired by anything which has since transpired, | way of a settlement of our difficulties. Suppose, of peace, and in fact as the only terms upon which but that, on the contrary, they cling to it still as sir, that the South should be willing, as the basis | he will consent to a restoration of the Union, that their fathers did before them as to the sheet- of pence, to consent to gradual emancipation? | the States in rebellion shall themselves abolish anchor of their safety.
Should we place ourselves in a position thai would slavery? In the face of all this, how can bis poMr. Speaker, I have watched the course of prevent the acceptance of such terms? The amend- litical supporters now deny that the destruction events loliule purpose if the troubles which now ment you now propose to make will then stand of slavery is demanded at our hands? Taking surround us are in any degree due to imperfec- as the only obstacle in the way of peace. If there these gentlemen at their words, Mr. Speaker, ar tions in the Constitutions on the contrary, sir, I be men here willing to risk the life of the nation there is no necessity for any change in the Conam mistaken if these troubles might not have on the hazard of battle, and willing to see rivers stitution to secure the abolition of slavery. What,