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Dr. James P. Hambleton, an ex-rebel sur
upon as a crime, or to find where any traitor has been made odious. On the contrary, the tens of thousands of men who with devilish hate sought the life of the nation are as complacent at the sad wreck they have made, and as jubilant at the easy penalties they have incurred, as though they had been doing God's work, and were receiving a crown of glory for their valor and devotion to the cause of treason. After the surrender of Lee to Grant these men were ready to agree to any terms. They geon, thus testifies as to the feeling in Georgia: thought that treason was a crime, and that there was a law in existence to punish it as such. They would have been willing at that time to concede any condition for future good behavior and security in order to save their lives and their property. But when the President, from the goodness of his heart it may be, but certainly with mistaken clemency, gave them a pardon for past offenses, and they found themselves far beyond the reach of the law, they began to think that treason was not so great an offense after all, that it was only a poTitical mistake, and not a crime. And to-day, instead of being humble and penitent, we find them open, bold, and defiant. They talk now of their rights in the Union, just as they used to prate of their "divine institution," and insist that we have no power to impose any terms upon them, and that all who do insist on terms are traitors and disunionists. I am inclined to think, sir, that if we were traitors we would have a better chance of easy times for the future than by standing forth as the advocates of our country's right, to be branded by such as they
which a great increase of bitterness has taken place, displaying itself in a sort of social ostracism toward Union men, northern emigrants, and Army officers. There is a general desire on the part of the people to see the bureau removed. The Governor would like to see it removed, but while it remains extends to it cordial cooperation. The city of Mobile appears to be largely under the dominion of rowdyism, and actuated throughout by a feeling of hostility to the freedmen. During the past six months four colored churches have been burned in consequence of an attempt to establish colored schools in them."
"The people there expect payment for their slaves and for the destruction of property by the war when the passions of the hour shall have subsided. They expect that at some future day there will be a sort of compromise by which the southern States will be relieved of their share of the rebel debt as a compensation for their losses. The people hold the same opinions as to State sovereignty as before the war, but having accepted the situation cannot, as honorable men, again resort to secession."
Talk about the loyalty of the South! Loyalty to whom and to what? Loyalty to the Government and people of the United States who have made them submit by force to the Constitution and laws they fought so long and desperately to destroy? Is it natural that the hearts of these people could so soon be changed from one of intense, bitter, deadly hate to that of devotion and attachment to the Government? And if their loyalty is not one of devotion and attachment, what kind of loyalty is it? Do you propose to have two kinds of loyalty, one for the North and the other for the South? If you do, what is to be the nature of the one and the character of the other? If northern loyalty is shown by the thousands of lives that have been lost and the millions of money that has been spent to preserve the nation, is southern loyalty to be proven by an utter contempt for the brave heroes who put down the rebellion, by a shameful recital of their high-handed outrages in desolating loyal States, or by making demigods of their traitorous leaders, to whom even now they propose to erect monuments as enduring evidence of their new-born love to the Government? Is this the kind of loyalty you want? Is this the kind of men you trust with the destinies of this nation? If it is, then, in my judgment, you need no joint committee to hunt it up. You will find it broadcast from Virginia to Texas. If it is not, then you must wait, and wait patiently, until the people in that region learn what you mean by loyalty, and set earnestly to
work to obtain it.
The President, in my judgment, made a great, a sad, and I fear a fatal mistake in the indiscriminate manner with which he granted pardon.
I am satisfied he did it for the best, thinking that after these men said they had lost all, and that the Government, in its great clemency forgave them all, they would become penitent and be moved by the tender cords of love to the side of the country. But, sir, the President has been mistaken. He has been made the victim of misplaced confidence, and instead of their becoming penitent, they are as defiant to-day as they were when Jeff. Davis ruled at Richmond as the great high-priest of the confederacy. Treason is still as deep and as damning in their bosoms as the day the great southern heart was inflamed by the attack on Sumter. They will strive to make the President think otherwise, to induce him to stand by them, and after he has stood by them and they have once more got back the power they lost, they will turn on him to sting him as surely as the viper turned to sting the farmer after he had warmed life into it.
It was but the other day that Alexander H. Stephens, the vice president of the exploded confederacy, gave his testimony before the committee on reconstruction, and what does he say:
quently used-I mean by it loyal to law, order, and the Constitution-to support the Government under the Constitution. That was their feeling. They did what they did believing it was best for the protection of constitutional liberty. Toward the Constitution of the United States, as they construed it, the great mass of our people were as much devoted in their feelings as any people ever were toward any cause. This is my opinion. As I remarked before, they resorted to secession with a view of maintaining more securely these principles. And when they found they were not successful in their object, in perfect good faith, as far as I can judge from meeting with them and conversing with them, looking to the future developments of their country in its material resources, as well as its moral and intellectual progress, their earnest desire and expectation was to allow the past struggle, lamentable as it was in its results, to pass by, and to cooperate with the tro friends of the Constitution, with those of all sections who earnestly desire the preservation of constitutional liberty and the perpetuation of the Government in its purity. They have been a little disappointed in this, and are so now. They are patiently waiting, however, and believing that when the passions of the hour have passed away this delay in restoration will cease. They think they have done everything that was essential and proper, and my judgment is, that they would not be willing to do anything farther as a condition-precedent. They would simply remain quiet and passive."
What will the loyal men of this country say to such reasoning as this? After carrying on a war of four years to break up the Government, and after having been conquered and compelled to yield to a superior force, we are coolly told by these reconstructed patriots that they expected their representatives to be admitted" as loyal men,' and that when they went into rebellion the people thought it was best for constitutional liberty, and that they will not agree to any conditions that the American people impose upon them, and says with the most supreme impudence that the South ought to refuse all conditions, and in case conditions are demanded and refused, he says:
"Should such an offer be made and declined, and these States should thus continue to be excluded and kept out, a singular spectacle would be presented. A complete reversal of positions would be presented. In 1861 these States thought they could not remain safely in the Union without new guarantees, and now, when they agree to resume their former practical relations in the Union under the Constitution as it is, the other States turn upon them and say they cannot permit them to do so, safely to their interest, without new guarantees on their part. The southern States would thus present themselves as willing for immediate union under the Constitution, while it would be the northern States opposed to it. The former disunionists would thereby become Unionists, and the former Unionists the practical disunionists."
Surely, Mr. Stephens has been taking lessons from the President, or the President has been learning from him. He says further on this subject:
Mr. Speaker, I am not an alarmist, but I cannot close my eyes to what is going on around me, nor fail to note the "signs of the times." We have barely emerged from one of the greatest and most bloody conflicts known to the annals of history. Millions of treasure has been spent, hundreds of thousands of lives have been sacrificed, and whole States have been desolated by the ravages of war to put down treason and to maintain and uphold the Constitution and the Union. Sir, if I mistake not, we are on the eve of a revolution that portends as momentous consequences to the untold millions of the future as the conflict through which we have passed brought upon us.
"But the people of that State, (Georgia.) as I have said, would not willingly, I think, do more than they have done for restoration. The only view in their opinion that could possibly justify the war which wascarried on by the Federal Government against them was
Is it any wonder that these red-handed traitors are such friends of the "President's policy," when they see and know that "his policy," and his alone, is to give back to them all their rights as fully and place them in
I cannot close my eyes to the fact that the the idea of the indissolubleness of the Union; that those possession of the Government as completely
The President's policy, in my judgment, has done more to make treason respected and traitors heroes than the establishment and independence of the confederacy could have done; because, if the President's policy is fully carried out, it not only places the eleven seceding or rebellious States in the hands of the rebels, but by giving them once more a voice in the Government, the time will not be long before these same rebels will have the complete control of the Government in all its departments. No wonder, then, every rebel, from Davis to the merest subaltern in the confederate army, including bushwhackers, jayhawkers, and guer
"That is what they looked to. They expected that the State would immediately have their representatives in the Senate and in the House, and they expected in good fath, as loyal men, as the term is fre
"I think, as the Congress of the United States did not consent to the withdrawal of the seceding States, it was a continuous right under the Constitution of the United States, to be exercised so soon as the seceding States respectively made known their readiness to resume their former practical relations with the Federal Government, under the Contitution of the United States. As the General Government denied the right of secession, I do not think any of the States attempting to exercise it thereby lost any of their rights under the Constitution as States when their people abandoned that attempt."
rillas, copperheads, and whilom peace men, are the earnest and devoted admirers of the "President's policy." It is just the "policy" for them, because they plainly see that it is the only one that they can live by and one which, through their newspaper press, they profess to die by. The President may continue to be deluded; but I warn the American people to-day not to look with indifference at what is going on about them, not to imagine, because we have put down the war of rebellion, there is still no danger to the Republic. I say there is danger; and unless the people of the North, the East, and the West arise once more in their might and proclaim to the South, you shall not be again invested with all the rights of loyal States until fundamental guarantees are given for future peace and security, you will see this Government, in less than ten years, in the hands of the very men who for the past four years have been trying to destroy it.
But it is said the President has the advantage of Congress, because he has "a policy," and Congress has none. It is a good thing for this country and the world that Congress has no "policy." The day of "policy" has, I trust, passed away, never to return. It was "policy" that brought on this rebellion, and that was near making the rebellion a success.
of the United States put there by "policy" in the interests of slavery shall be stricken out, and that hereafter the southern States, instead of having a representation here based on the negro population, shall be represented according to their white population alone or according to their voting population.
I have heretofore given my reasons for this and do not propose to repeat them, but until a constitutional amendment of this kind is passed by Congress and ratified by the States I cannot vote to admit them to representation.
Desiring that "treason should be made odious," and knowing that it would be unsafe to again trust political power to such as engaged in rebellion against the Government; feeling that I cannot safely trust such men in making laws for me, I want a constitutional amendment proclaiming in effect that no person who has entered or shall hereafter enter into rebellion against the United States shall ever be eligible for President, Vice President, or member of the Cabinet, or as a Senator or Representative in Congress.
So long as Congress and the Executive acted on "policy" in the prosecution of the war, defeat after defeat was the result. But so soon as "policy" was thrown aside, and principles, eternal and unchangeable, were pursued in/stead, victory after victory perched upon the banners of the Republic, until at last principle was made triumphant over policy in the total and utter overthrow of treason.
It was 66 policy" that induced the framers of the Constitution to recognize the existence of slavery. It was "policy" that made the Missouri compromise of 1820, and that led to its repeal. It was "policy" that made the fugitive slave law of 1850, and it is "policy" that would to-day yield to the spirit of slavery, and give back to it more than it possessed when four million human beings were held in bondage. No, sir; I want no policy; I have done with it. I want principles-principles that will live when you and I are dead, and that our children can live by and bless us for when they come in possession of the trust reposed in us.
This war has already decided one principle. It has decided that hereafter, in this land of liberty, there shall be no such thing as a slave, and the American people have made this principle a part of the organic law of the land. Mr. Alexander Stephens, however, does not think that the American people had the right or the power to make this a part of the Constitution, although he says it was one of the results of the war.
I know you have a law on your statute-book, commonly called the "test oath," that excludes such persons from being Senators or Representatives; but once allow the southern States to participate in legislation, and in conjunction with the men who serenaded the Presi dent on the 22d of February last, and who presented him with a set of resolutions in which this test oath is denounced, you will find that it is but a 66 rope of sand," and that it will be repealed as unconstitutional. I prefer, therefore, to make this a part of the organic law, so as to place it beyond the reach of any "policy" that may hereafter desire to repeal it.
I know it will be hard for the southern people, who have engaged in this rebellion, to be taxed to pay off any public debt contracted in subduing them, and that it will be desirable, and even a point of honor with them, to tax her people to pay off the debt incurred by the rebel States in waging war against the United States.
In order, therefore, to protect the hundreds of thousands of men and women who loaned their hard earnings to the Government to carry on the war, and who received bonds in return, on the express condition that they should be promptly and faithfully met, as well as to protect thousands of poor Union men in the South who do not want to be taxed to pay off the rebel debt, I desire a constitutional amendment that neither Congress nor any State shall pass any law whereby any part or portion of the debt contracted in putting down rebellion shall ever be repudiated, or whereby any part or portion of the debt, State or confederate, contracted in aid of the rebellion, shall ever be paid or assumed.
I am aware that all the lately rebellious States have either passed laws or have inserted clauses in their constitutions, looking to the same result, but I am at the same time impressed with the conviction that "policy" might lead these men hereafter to repeal their laws or alter their constitutions, and I prefer that the American people should place a prohibition in the Constitution that would be so high that ambition would never soar to reach it or cupidity dare to touch it. Besides, since they were so willing to put this clause in their State constitution, they could not object to aid us in placing it in the Constitution of the United States.
As our soldiers and sailors should be our peculiar care-especially since the President has said that he intends to rely upon them expressly-I think we owe it to the sacrifices they have made and the sufferings they have endured, that there should be a constitutional provision denying to Congress the right to hereafter pass any law by which any pension, bounty, or gratuity shall be given to any person who served in the confederate army, or who went into rebellion against the Government. I know there is no fear of this or the next Congress passing any such law; but if reconstructed traitors ever get into power, and the Vallandigham Democracy should be within
reach to aid them, I am disposed to think that they would refuse to give any pension, bounty, or pay to our soldiers and sailors, unless you would agree to give the same to theirs. Why not? They think, in the language of the rebel ex-vice president, that when they took up arms to tear down the Government they were aiding to rescue, preserve, and perpetuate the principles of the Constitution ;" and inasmuch as that is just what our soldiers and sailors thought they had periled so much to save, they (the rebel soldiers) will claim as much of the honor and gratitude as our own.
These, Mr. Speaker, are the principles I would advocate, to be made a part and portion of our organic law. With them I think the country will be safe; without them you might as well prepare yourself at once to see this Government in the hands of the men who have been seeking to destroy it.
Congress owes it to the country to pass upon the propositions that I have named-and which I do not pretend to claim to be my ownand to submit them to the States for ratification. Instead of being several, they can be embraced in one proposition. So soon as they are ratified by any or all of the eleven States, I would admit such of them to representation as adopt them. Such as do not adopt them I would exclude from representation until three fourths of the States have ratified them, so as to make them binding upon all.
In this way, and in this alone, in my judgment, can the honor, the safety, or the perpe tuity of the Republic be established.
I know there are some who do not apprehend any evil consequences from allowing these States to be represented now without any conditions and without any changes in our funda. mental law. I wish I could think with them, and could place that confidence in the honor and loyalty of the men who went into rebellion as would warrant me in trusting them without any guarantees. But, sir, I cannot believe that men who conspired so long and secretly to bring on the rebellion, who fought so desperately and wickedly to make it a success, who starved and tortured so many thousands of our brave and heroic defenders in prisonpens and in dungeons, who have taken so many oaths, and have violated them, and become perjurers before God and man, and who since they have been vanquished and compelled to cease their strife, are as open and defiant as they should be modest and humble-I cannot believe, I say, sir, that such men are safe to be trusted with the destinies of a great nation and of an injured and magnanimous people.
I may be mistaken. It is possible, barely possible, that they are sincere, and that they do not contemplate in the future to act in any other way than for the glory and honor and success of this mighty nation. If I have made a mistake in not believing them to be thoroughly loyal, it is one made on the side of my country and in behalf of her safety. The loyalty of men who have been engaged for over four years in breaking up the Government is at least doubtful. In doubtful cases it is better to give the benefit of the doubt to the side of the permanency of your country than against it. If these men are at once taken in full fellowship and granted equal rights and powers without any guarantees, and it should afterward turn out that they were not true and sincere in their loyalty, the consequences will be terrible, and nothing but the interposition of the all-powerful arm of God could stay the anarchy that would be its legitimate results.
Let us all, then, unite in insisting on such guarantees as will secure a peace that is lasting and that will make the Constitution and the Union as impregnable from treason within as it is invincible from foes beyond its borders; and whether our course be indorsed to-day or not we shall have the consciousness of acting honestly and with a sole view of perpetuating our institutions, and unnumbered millions yet unborn will justify our action and honor us for standing firmly and unflinchingly by the ark of our safety.
you admit the constitutional principle to which I have referred that rebels must represent these people in the Congress of the United States. It does not follow that rebels shall hold office. It does not follow that men who have attempted to overthrow the Government shall come here and hold seats in this House and at the other end of the Capitol. We have the determination of that question; we are to decide upon the qualifications of those who come here and claim seats; and I presume there is no man who has loved his country and stood by it and defended it in its hour of peril that would admit any man to a seat to represent any portion of this country, whose hands are not clean, and cannot do, as we have all done, take an oath to support the Constitution and laws of the country, and swear that he has never uplifted his arm against the Government of his country. That is not asked; it never has been asked by any one who has been loyal heretofore to this Government; it never has been asked by the President of the United States. And I submit the question now, not only to Congress, but to the country, what are you to do? What will you do? What can you do contrary to what has been done already? A policy was inaugurated by the late President Lincoln, which has been carried out by President Johnson, under which these States have formed their organizations, and under which they are here to-day. Will you change that policy; and if so, how will you change it?
Mr. SCOFIELD. I wish to ask the gentleman from Kentucky if it makes any difference whether we allow a man who was engaged in the rebellion to come in here and represent a district, or some other man, who, although he was not engaged in the rebellion, would vote exactly as the rebel would? Does it make the representation any better because the representative did not happen to be engaged in the rebellion, provided his views are the same and his votes here would always be the same?
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Speaker, as this is the only occasion probably upon which I will have an opportunity to speak outside of the regular business of the House, I avail myself of it for that purpose. I regret that the rule has not been suspended so that I might be allowed to speak in the House and not have to come in Committee of the Whole to say what I think I ought to be entitled to say in the House. But as this is a day for general discussion, I suppose my lips may be opened and I can say pretty much what I please. Therefore, I propose to discuss the same question that is discussed here usually on Saturdays, namely, the condition of the States and the condition of the country, the position of the President and the position of Congress at this time.
I hold, Mr. Speaker, as I have always held, that this war through which we have just passed was prosecuted for the purpose of restoring the Union; that the action of all the eleven States which passed ordinances of secession, and which claimed to be out of the Union, was null and void; and that the entire action of Congress, all the speeches made by Union men, and by almost everybody else except those who were rebels and who believed in the right of secession, for there were some such on this floor, and I understand there are some such now, were made distinctly and emphatically maintaining the ground that those eleven States were not out and could not get out of the Union. They attempted to set up a government for themselves, making slavery the corner-stone of that government. It was an old and favorite plan of many people in the South. It was discussed fully, claborately, and at length, in this Hall and at the other end of the Capitol, for a quarter of a century, and the termination of that discussion brought on the war. Every loyal man in the country, North and South, and especially the loyal representatives of the people, denied the right of those States to secede, or to go out of the Union, or to do anything by which the Constitution should be subverted or the Government overthrown. And when it was my good fortune to enter the Thirty-Eighth Congress, a large majority of the representatives of the people sustained that idea. It was my pleasure to act with them, and to vote for men and money to suppress the rebellion and to keep these States in the Union, so as to have one great and glorious Republic. That was the policy pursued by the late President, Mr. Lincoln; that is the policy pursued by the present incumbent of the presidential chair, Mr. Johnson. That was in every resolution and in every speech made, even by the extremest men, upon this floor. That was the doctrine to which the Union party adhered. Now, sir, after we have pursued that line of policy and carried the war to a successful ternination, and restored the Union by the suppression of the rebellion, the remarkable, the wonderful doctrine is propounded on this floor in the Thirty-Ninth Congress that these States are out of the Union and should be kept out of the Union until members upon this floor see proper to let them come in.
Now, there is a plain provision of the Constitution which no man can ignore, which no deny, and which is the substratum upon which our Government rests, and that is that there cannot possibly be a republican form of government unless representation accompanies
The very moment this war was closed, the very moment the rebellious armies surrendered, the Government inaugurated a system of taxation throughout the entire South, appointing assessors and collectors in every district, who brought into the Treasury of the United States nearly thirty million dollars. And yet it is a conceded fact that throughout the entire South, during the war, the people were slain, their towns, cities, and houses were burned, their property was destroyed, and they were left almost entirely destitute. If this be true, and if this Congress intends to insist upon that policy, I ask, in the name of common sense, how long it can last. It does not follow because
Mr. SMITH. Well, Mr. Speaker, I do not see how that difficulty can be avoided in the future of our country.
Mr. BOUTWELL. If the gentleman will permit me, I will suggest a way.
Mr. SMITH. I prefer first to suggest my own way. The gentleman from Massachusetts can suggest his afterward.
Now, during the whole war, there were men here representing States which were not in rebellion, but which had a rebellious element in them, which contained rebellious districts, a portion of the people of the State absolutely believing in the doctrine of secession. Gentlemen representing such States hold seats upon this floor now. How are we to avoid that? Is there anything in the Constitution, is there anything in any law by which we can prevent people from sending representatives from any of the States which have not been absolutely in rebellion by the passage of an ordinance of secession by a State convention or by the Legislature? It cannot be avoided.
Now, I say very distinctly that, while the State of Pennsylvania may to-day send to this House a majority of good Representatives, men who will vote fairly and correctly and honestly and conscientiously, it does not necessarily follow that she will continue to send here, through all time, only men who will vote in accordance with the ideas of my distinguished friend who has suggested this question. It is not to be assumed that the district which I now have the honor to represent, and which I represented in the Thirty-Eighth Congress, will necessarily return a man of my political sentiments at the next election. It is not to be assumed necessarily that the district which has sent here my honorable colleague, [Mr. McKEE,] who is as radical as it is possible for a man to be, and whom I love and admire because of his devotion to the Union, will elect at the next election a man with the same zealous principles. Because a particular district in Illinois sends now as its Representative a gentleman seven feet high, and with the strong political proclivities of my friend over the way, [Mr. WENTWORTH,] it does not follow that that district
Mr. SMITH. If the gentleman thinks that he can suggest a plan, I am always willing to learn; and therefore I yield.
Mr. BOUTWELL. I desire to ask the gentleman whether he does not see any difference between canvassing the political opinions which may be held upon questions concerning the administration of the Government by men elected as representatives from loyal States, and declining to recognize as entitled to representation people who at present are not represented, and who cannot be until there is somo affirmative action on the part of the Government, without an inquiry as to their opinions concerning the right of the Government to exist. If we find, as we have found by the testimony of Mr. Stephens and others, that in some of these States which the gentleman desires should be represented immediately and without inquiry, nine tenths or nineteen twentieths of the people deny the right of this Government to exist, are they to come in here by their representatives and attempt to use their political power for the overthrow of the Government? Is not that a different question from the question how the Government shall be administered, all of us agreeing that it has a right to exist?
Mr. SMITH. As the question is presented by the gentleman from Massachusetts, I admit the difference in the two propositions which he presents. But, sir, allow me to say that I do not confine the question alone to loyal States, to Pennsylvania, Illinois, Massachusetts, or Kentucky. I submit this question in the case of a State where that condition of things does not exist, according to all the information we have, which is not locked up and hidden from the House and from the country-a State where there are loyal men, who have from the beginning to the end of the late struggle evinced their devotion to the Union, and who have further manifested their loyalty to Congress by returning to Congress as representatives men who are as loyal as any who now exercise the privilege of this floor-in such a case as this how is it to be reconciled to the consciences of members of this House and the people of the country, that such a community should be denied the right of representation?
Mr. BOUTWELL. Does the gentleman mean to confine the elective franchise in Mississippi, for example, to the loyal white men, excluding the disloyal white men? Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir.
Mr. BOUTWELL. Then I ask the gentleman how a government is to be set up and maintained in such a State as Mississippi, it being matter of public notoriety, as well as the showing of sworn testimony, that nine tenths of the white people are disloyal? Does the gentleman expect that one tenth of the white people of Mississippi will be permitted by nine tenths to set up and continue a govern. ment against the judgment of the nine tenths, unless you support that government by the power of the Federal authority?
Mr. SMITH. Now, Mr. Speaker, I am glad that this question has been asked. According to the precedents established here by speeches and by resolution in the Thirty-Seventh and the Thirty-Eighth Congresses by the strongest meu upon this floor, the doctrine was fully enunciated and maintained by a majority of the Union men, among them the honorable Speaker of this House, that the loyal people of each State, regardless of numbers, were to be recognized and considered as the State, and entitled to the rights and privileges of this State, including the right of representation in Con
Mr. BOUTWELL. I did not ask the gentleman what the Speaker of this House, or any
one else, has said. I asked the gentleman a practical question; if it appear upon testimony which cannot be disputed that nine tenths of the people of Mississippi are disloyal, does the gentleman expect that those nine tenths will permit the one tenth to set up and maintain a government?
gentleman from Kentucky to go on with his remarks.
Mr. SMITH. I thought the gentleman had yielded the floor to me unconditionally. I do not wish to get into any trouble. I am trying to be as courteous as I can.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Speaker, if that question should be reduced to a practical formif it be true that in such a case one tenth of the community must rule, that one tenth alone must be allowed to vote, that one tenth should be regarded as the State, and the remaining portion of the people must be entirely ostracized, must not be considered as entitled to the right of suffrage in the reorganization; who is to fix that? The gentleman no doubt will. say "Congress is to fix it." Very well, admit it, for the sake of argument. Then why does not Congress fix it, and let the loyal one tenth of the people be represented in Congress, and enjoy all the other rights to which, as loyal citizens, they are entitled under the Constitution?
I know that the distinguished gentleman from Ohio, [Mr. BINGHAM,] whom I regret to say I do not now see in his seat-a gentleman who is justly looked upon as one of the leaders of this House, a man for whose opinions I have a very high regard, and one whose lead I have followed during the troubles of the last three or four years-asserted in the ThirtySeventh Congress, in the case of an applicant for a seat from the State of Virginia, that the twenty-five men who alone had voted for that applicant, were the district, and that therefore he was entitled to a scat on this floor; and he was accorded a seat by a majority of the votes of the House, the Union men voting for his admission.
Again, sir, the gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Maynard, held a seat on this floor as a Representative from the State of Tennessee during the Thirty-Seventh Congress, after that State had adopted an ordinance of secession. Mr. McKEE. Will my colleague permit me to ask him one question?
Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir.
Mr. McKEE. In the case of the election of that gentleman from Virginia, did any others than those twenty-five who voted offer to vote or want to vote?
Mr. SMITH. I do not know anything about that; and it is not pertinent to the question. The rule of law and of practice in such a case is, that it makes no difference whether there were twenty, or twenty thousand men voting. No matter how many refuse to vote, those who do vote are entitled to representation, and their representative is entitled to his seat.
Mr. RANDALL, of Pennsylvania. Will the gentleman from Kentucky yield to me for a moment?
Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir.
Mr. RANDALL, of Pennsylvania. I desire to ask the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. BOUTWELL a question. I would like to know whether he believes that it is in the power of nine tenths of the people of a State
Mr. HIGBY. I object to the gentleman from Pennsylvania asking a question of the gentleman from Massachusetts.
The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Kentucky having the right to the floor has a right to vield
Mr. HIGBY. I object to the gentleman from Pennsylvania putting a question to another gentleman who is not upon the floor.
Mr. RANDALL, of Pennsylvania. Then I will ask the gentleman from Kentucky to put to the gentleman from Massachusetts the question which, to avoid circumlocution, I proposed to ask directly myself.
The SPEAKER. The Chair thinks the gentleman from California [Mr. HIGBY] is correct in the point which he raises, as the gentleman addressed has not the floor to reply.
Mr. HIGBY. I do not want the gentleman from Pennsylvania to speak in the time which entitled to floor, have the gentleman from Kentucky. I want the
The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Pennsylvania may address the member upon the floor for the purpose of explanation, but he cannot address other members.
Mr. RANDALL, of Pennsylvania. I desire the gentleman from Kentucky to yield to me to put a question to the gentleman from Massachusetts. I do not listen to what the gentleman from California says; I yield to the decision of the Speaker.
Mr. SPEAKER. The gentleman from Kentucky has the right to yield the floor to the gentleman from Pennsylvania for personal explanation under the rule which has so often been read.
Mr. SCOFIELD. For explanation of the pending measure.
The SPEAKER. The gentleman will see that does not extend to interrogating other members. Mr. RANDALL, of Pennsylvania. Let me ask the gentleman from Massachusetts how he believes nine tenths of the disloyal people of a State could destroy or impair the rights of the loyal one tenth. Now, if that loyal one tenth have to pay taxes have they not certainly the right of representation? Having that right of representation, when they come here and present loyal men and who are capable of taking the oath I have taken, what reason can he give for not admitting them to seats upon this floor?
Mr. BOUTWELL. I should like to answer the question if the gentleman will permit me.
Mr. SMITH. I will yield to the gentleman from Massachusetts if he will not take up too much time in answering the question.
Mr. BOUTWELL. I will answer as briefly as I can.
Mr. SMITH. Do not take too much time. Mr. BOUTWELL. You can stop me when you please.
Mr. Speaker, the right of representation, whether in the Senate or in this House, is a right which pertains to States as States, and can be exercised by the people only through the recognized State organizations. The State organizations in these eleven States, which once existed in harmony with the organization of the national Government, by some event or through a series of events, have ceased to exist as a matter of fact, because they are not represented. That is the evidence they have ceased to exist. How, why, or when is a matter of no importance. Before any representation from either of those States can be exercised you must have the previous recognition of the right of the State to be represented. And in the inquiry as to the right of a State to be represented we must look to the whole constituency of a State to ascertain whether there is such an existing loyal sentiment as will reasonably lead to the expectation that the representation of that State will be loyal.
I will answer the question distinctly. There is no right of one tenth of the people of a State, even though loyal, to be represented as a State. It is the right of the people, of the whole people, when they demonstrate their loyalty to this Government, to be represented as the people of that State.
Mr. RANDALL, of Pennsylvania. The gentleman overturns the doctrine of Mr. Lincoln from the beginning.
own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively is essential to the balance of power, on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depends."
Mr. McKEE. Allow me to ask a question. Mr. SMITH. Not now. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Lincoln used language which I think it proper to read just here. I think it was when he was first inaugurated President of the United States. I did not vote for him then, but fell into the ranks and followed him afterward during the war. I think it is good authority to quote from. I want his original supporters to go back upon him, if they can, and when the war is over deny the doctrines of that man. He said: "The right of each State to order and control its
Now, there is no statement in that as to the number of the people who shall compose a State. I say, with all deference to this House, Congress has violated the laws in the admis sion to representation to Congress from those States lately disorganized, but now ready for admission to representation. If the gentleman from Nevada were here in his seat I would say that that State has not the requisite number of people to entitle it to representation upon this floor, yet she has two Senators and a Representative in Congress. Now, what are you to do? If you carry out the rule strictly you would have prevented that thing. If the loyal people who have maintained their allegiance to the Government in any of these States still claim it as a State, it is a State.
Now, I submit a question to the gentleman on the other side. The States have been disorganized. Their governments have been somewhat subverted-entirely if you please. Slavery has been overthrown, one of the fundamental institutions of each State, a constitutional provision of each State, one recognized by the Constitution of the United States and maintained by all the laws of the Government of the United States. There has been an entire subversion of that institution in every State of the Union. The Governors who went into the rebellion have all been, turned out of office. How? By what means? By force, by war. By men supplanting the principles upon which they stood before the war and repudiating the action of the Governors then elected and the Legislatures then in power.
And what do we find to-day? No man on this floor has ever yet given a different construction nor can do it. There is a State gov ernment in every State lately in rebellion, a Governor, a Legislature, a judiciary, all the power which belongs to States under the Constitution. And what is it? It is recognized as republican in form. It is considered good.
But suppose you do not like it; suppose you will not admit it as a principle upon which these States should be organized and received back into the Government: what are you going to do, and when are you going to do it? You say that the President has no power to do what he did. Why do you not undo it? You have been here five months. The intellect of the nation, I presume, is in this Hall and the other. The representatives of the people are here from all the districts except these eleven States. If what has been done by President Lincoln and President Johnson is not good, why in the name of common sense, justice, right, and constitutional law, do you not undo it and do something else that is good?
Well, suppose you do undo it, what are you going to do in its place? You are bound to have a State government, to have the same machinery there that exists now, You say that you want the rebel debt repudiated. It has been done. You say you want the constitutional amendment adopted. It has been done. You say you want loyal men elected to Congress. How do you know that that has not been done in every instance? Who has determined that question? Has the legitimate power of each House investigated it, decided upon it, and reported to each House upon it? The Committee of Elections have done nothing, reported nothing on the subject. The representatives of the various States claiming to be loyal have been asking admission on this floor, and they have been rejected. Upon what ground? Congress says the States lately in rebellion are not properly organized. Why do you not organize them? What are you waiting for?
You say you want to see loyalty in the South. When are you going to get it? How are you going to get it? Are you going to get it this year, or next year, or the next, or when? Have assurance that will have any more loyalty two, three, four, or five years hence
There is but one process by which it can be remedied, by some constitutional enactment, such as was offered by the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. BAKER] the other day. If when this Congress assembled it had passed two amendments to the Constitution and stopped there, I believe the country would have been quiet and restored to a degree of peace to-day that it will not reach for years to come. Those two amendments should have been: 1. Repudiation of the rebel debt and no taxation hereafter for the payment of any portion of it. 2. That no man who had gone voluntarily into the rebel army or given aid and comfort to the rebellion should hereafter hold an office within the gift of the Federal Government. If Congress had passed those two amendments to the Constitu tion by this time the country would have been restored to peace and quietness, and no Representative from the rebel States would have taken his seat here who was not loyal to the Government. Then those who had not used their efforts to overthrow and destroy the Government would have been represented here, as they are entitled according to your Constitution, and you could have collected you taxes with the same ease that you do it now in the North.
Now, I want this country to be in the hands of Union men. I want men to control it who are fitted to maintain it in the future. I want the people who have sustained it during its dark days to pilot it in the years to come. But I assert from my place to-day, with all seriousness, and with as much earnestness and honesty, as in my judgment can be possessed by any man, that this Congress is doing a wrong which will result in injury to this great Government by denying the great constitutional principles upon which the Government of this country is founded, in refusing to a people, however rebellious they may have been, who have been whipped and completely subjugated until they laid down their arms and agreed to be obedient to the Constitution and laws of the country, a representation in the councils of the nation where they should be heard.
Gentlemen say we must punish somebody, Very well, I agree to that. The distinguished gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. BOUTWELL] offered a resolution some days ago directing an inquiry to be made as to why some of these men have not been punished, and calling for the punishment of Jeff. Davis and others of the leaders of this rebellion. Now that very indirection seems to be casting blame upon the President because these men have not been punished.
What is the fact? The inquiry was made of the Chief Justice of the United States as to why he did not hold a court for the trial of those charged with treason. His reason was that martial law existed in Virginia and the other rebel States, and it was injudicious to hold a court in a State where martial law was prevailing. And yet a court has been held under that same Chief Justice in the District of Columbia, where martial law exists, and has acted upon questions in which all the States lately in rebellion were interested.
The Secretary of War was called upon and he expressed the same sentiments. The Pres ident has reserved from pardon five hundred leading men in the rebellion, as is well known to Congress and to the country. Now, why do you not pass a joint resolution calling for the trial and execution of these traitors? Because and know the President of the United States has no power in himself to do it; Congress alone has the right to make such laws as will provide for the trial, condemnation, and punishment of
39TH CONG. 1ST SESS.-No. 132.
Mr. SCOFIELD. I would ask the gentleman why he does not introduce a bill to that effect.
Mr. SMITH. I will, if some of you do not do it.
Mr. SCOFIELD. Why has not the gentleman done it before? He has been here five months.
Mr. SMITH. I have been waiting for it to be done by some of the gentlemen who have shown so much blood-thirstiness in regard to the rebels.
Mr. SCOFIELD. The gentleman is the only one now talking with any blood-thirstiness, and he calls upon us to say why we have not done something to punish these men.
Mr. SMITH, Because the organs of the radical portion of Congress, and of those who are opposed to the policy and conduct of the Administration, are denouncing him day after day because he does not do something. And yet members sit in their seats here or walk about the city or go through the country condemning the President for what should be justly charged to the Congress of the United States, and which cannot be shouldered on him.
Mr. ELDRIDGE. I would ask the gentlemau from Kentucky [Mr. SMITH] if he desires to be understood as claiming that Congress has the power to pass laws now under which these men shall be tried, condemned, and punished, and must that not be done under the laws that existed at the time the crimes were committed?
Mr. SMITH. As a matter of course they must be punished under the laws that existed at the time their crimes were committed. But Congress can by law provide the means by which they can be brought to justice.
Mr. ELDRIDGE. Must they not be tried in the district prescribed by the laws which existed at the time the crimes were committed? Mr. SMITH. I will agree to that. But the districts are as numerous as the men themselves. We can have them tried in Virginia and all the southern States because the courts are now reëstablished there.
Mr. BROOMALL. I would ask the gentleman from Kentucky [Mr. SMITH] what additional legislation he considers nccessary and what power has Congress to pass laws for the punishment of crimes committed heretofore.
Mr. SMITH. I have said all the time that the President of the United States had nothing to do with it; and I was undertaking to defend the President against the charge that he does not punish anybody, when he had no right to punish anybody. If the right existed in any place at all to lay down a plan by which these people were to be brought to trial it was in Congress and nowhere else. They failed to do it. I know Congress cannot pass ex post facto laws. I know that.
Mr. BROOMALL. What law can Congress pass?
Mr. SMITH. I understand how men would avoid if they could, bringing the people they charge as having been guilty of the highest crimes known to the laws of the country to justice because it will affect to some extent the policy pursued by Mr. Lincoln and President
Mr. BROOMALL. I desire to ask the gentleman what power Congress has in the matter. And where does it get it?
Mr. SMITH. I would like to ask the gentleman from Pennsylvania-I do not want him to answer, as I will answer for him-what power has the President in the matter?
Mr. BROOMALL. To enforce the laws as they exist.
Mr. SCOFIELD. To execute the laws. Mr. SMITH. If the position assumed by these gentlemen be true, that Congress has no power by any process of legislation over these rebels who have thus acted, what power have they to legislate in reference to the rebels in
the States under the parole of the Administration? What right have they to keep them out? They want to punish the whole of them in a
body. They want to punish a State, a corporation, for what a few men have done. They refuse, by any declarative action of theirs, so as to put themselves right upon the record. I know what it means. It does not need a man of great experience to understand it. It is because President Johnson has followed the policy of President Lincoln. He carried out that policy, and States have been organized in the rebel States, republican in form, and which cannot be overturned or destroyed, which this Congress dare not destroy. I leave it to time to prove the truth of what I say. It is because they feel the force and effect of that policy upon the people. The great mass of the people will soon rise to maintain it, whether they have belonged to one party or the other here
Mr. RANDALL, of Pennsylvania. The President of the United States did, on the 2d of October, 1865, address a letter to Chief Justice Chase on this subject, and the Chief Justice, on the 12th of October following, replied, declining to hold a court as suggested by the President, and proposed a military tribunal for the trial of these people.
Mr. SMITH. That is true. I understood the President to say so myself.
Mr. SHELLABARGER. I want to make a suggestion in reference to what has been said of Chief Justice Chase. I do not know these statements are exactly parliamentary, but as one has been made, I desire to say this: within a few days the Attorney General of the United States made a statement to myself and others, not confidential or private, which it may be well enough to be known by the nation. He, the law officer of the Government, stated that the position taken by Chief Justice Chase under the circumstances was proper, as the condi tion of the country was not such as to make a judicial trial much less than a mockery. Chief Justice Chase was therefore right, in the opinion of the Attorney General, in declining for the time to hold court on account of the dis turbed condition of the State where the trial was to be held.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Speaker, I wish to say only this: if the opinion of the Chief Justice was correct, and that a civil trial would have been nothing less than a mockery, that in all the mass of civilians a jury could not be found that would convict them of treason, would it not be a farce and mockery for a commission to be called? I say that the position assumed by Congress and Chief Justice Chase, and other leading men in the country, to throw the whole onus of complaint and blame upon the President of the United States is wrong, unfair, and unjust. It is as certain to recoil upon them as the sun will rise and shine from day to day until the world shall end.
Now, I know that attacks were made upon the President of the United States long before this Congress met. I know that the very day this Congress was organized an attack was made upon him by which it was attempted to take out of his hands everything that had been done or that he could do, and to reverse every principle which had been adopted for six or eight months, and to place the whole matter in the hands of a committee, whose proceedings are so secret that no member of the House, even, is permitted to know what they are doing.
I happened to vote for the appointment of that committee, and I am sorry for it. They say that full confession is good for the soul, and I am always ready to confess when I do wrong. I did vote wrong then, because I had but just entered the House, and I believed that the Union party, with what I had heretofore acted, was still composed of Union men who did not adhere to the infamous doctrine, which I had fought for four years, that a State is out of the Union, and not entitled to representation. I went with them, therefore; but the moment I found out that their policy was to maintain that the States were out of the Union, and should be treated as Territories, that mo ment I abandoned them. It was not the great Union party, true to the Government and the