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Constitution. I belong to that, and stand by it to-day.
trust of my ability to do those subjects and the
The resolution which was offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. STEVENS] in 1862 reflected my ideas then, and it expresses my ideas now. If he and his friends have departed from it, it is not my fault. I choose to stand by it now, as I did then. Let me read it:
"Resolved, That if any person in the employment of the United States, in either the legislative or executive branch, should propose to make peace, or should accept or propose to accept any such proposition, on any other basis than the integrity and entire unity of the United States and their territory as they existed at the time of the rebellion, he will be guilty of a high crime."
We then declared that it was a crime for a man to believe that this Union was dissolved, and to-day the gentleman from Pennsylvania is guilty of that very crime; and I stand here to-day to assert it. I am sorry that he is not in his seat. If he were, I presume he would answer me as he did on a former occasion when my mouth was shut, and I was not permitted by the rules of the House to respond, in language which no gentleman would utter. I suppose he would make a similar response today; but let me say that anything that falls from such a mouth falls harmless at my feet, as its utterer is old, decrepit, and powerless.
Now, I want to say, as my time is nearly out, that I believe in the Union of these States; I believe in the punishment of treason as a crime; I believe in the perpetuity of this Government; I believe in the Constitution and laws of my country; I believe it is the best, the purest, the most beneficent Government that God ever gave to man; and I rejoice with men of all colors, that this to-day is recognized as a free Government. I am glad that the shackles of slavery have been stricken from the limbs of four million people, and that they are in the way of being elevated until they attain to the full stature of manhood. I would throw no obstacles in their way; I would do all I could to elevate them, and secure to them those rights to which they are entitled under the Constitution and laws of my country.
But I want to see this Union restored; I want to see the States restored to their originality positions in that Union. I want to see these seats filled; I want to see representatives both here, and on the floor of the Senate, from all the States, so that we may be once more a united people, and united for good. Let us maintain the integrity of the nation, the Union of the States, the supremacy of the Constitution, and the enforcement of the laws. Then, shall we transmit to posterity the liberties which we have enjoyed, based upon the rights of man, the liberties of the people, and in a country whose resources have scarcely begun to be developed. We shall go on and upward to greatness and glory. Then, can we invite to Our shores the people of all nations, opening to them the doors of civilization; educating and elevating them, and providing them with comfortable homes; then shall we be the center of civilization, a great, grand, glorious, and Christianized people, whose rule shall spread from one end of the continent to the other; nay, throughout the world-instructing man in the paths of truth, virtue, and equal liberty.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE.
Mr. F. THOMAS asked and obtained leave of absence for his colleague, Mr. J. L. THOMAS, for Monday and Tuesday of next week.
Mr. RITTER asked and obtained leave of absence for Mr. HOGAN for two weeks.
Sir, it is said that our Government can only
FREE AND SLAVE LABOR, ETC. Mr. RITTER. Mr. Speaker, I arise to-day with much diffidence; and if I were to consult my own feelings I certainly would have remained silent. The fact, sir, that so many gentlemen of great ability have so ably discussed most of the important subjects that are now agitating the public mind, together with a due appreciation of the great importance and magnitude of these questions, is well calculated to throw over one of my humble pretensions a dis
of the representatives from these States so that the dominant party here can have time to make such amendments to the Constitution and pass such laws as in their judgment will secure their party in power, and which they know that they could not do if all the States were represented? Sir, is this calculated to inspire the people with confidence that this Congress intends to do equal justice to all?
But, sir, it is said that we must have guaran tees. What do we understand from this? Sir, who has told what these guarantees are to be? All of the dominant party in this House are asking for and claiming that we should have guarantees, yet no plan of restoration setting forth the guarantees demanded by them has been presented to this House. Sir, why have the people in the lately rebellious States abolished slavery, pronounced their secession ordinances void, repudiated their war debts, &c., unless it has been to conform to the requirements of the conquerors, and thereby give assurances, or guarantees if you please, that they will obey the laws of the United States? Sir, is not this cry for guarantees merely an excuse for the purpose of postponing the time of the admission
Mr. Speaker, the idea of being taxed without the right of representation is one that has always been abhorred and detested by the American people, and accordingly we find in the Declaration of Independence one of the strongest reasons for rebelling against the King of England was that he had refused to pass laws for the accommodation of large districts of people unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature; a right, they say, that is inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. The Constitution of the United States also declares that representation and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States, which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers. Sir, I may safely say that the sentiment that there should be no taxation without representation has become so deeply impressed in the minds of the people of the United States that every effort to change it will but be the means to hurl from place or position every man who makes it. Sir, the President has fixed a plan for the restoration of those States, the people of those States have sacrificed a very large amount of property and also their own political views in order to become the recipients of the President's plan. They are willing and anxious to do it, and why should we object?
Sir, we have no sacrifice to make; we have maintained the Constitution and the Union; the flag of our fathers floats undisturbed over this nation; and I appeal to this House and to the country, I appeal to every lover of this Union, to come up like men and support the President in his noble and manly efforts to restore these erring people and States to maintain the Constitution and the Union, that we may once more have peace, prosperity, and happiness. Sir, it may be said that we have had some foreshowing of a plan, or rather the conditions upon which these States are to be allowed to be represented in the Congress of the United States. It is true that the majority of the committee of fifteen did report that the people of Tennessee were in a condition to exercise the functions of a State within this Union; but they then assert that they can only exercise the same by the consent of the law-making power of the United States. Now, sir, if the people of the State of Tennessee are in a condition to exercise the functions of a State, I ask, by what means or by what authority are they in that condition? It must be by authority of the Constitution of the United States; and if so, I would like to know by what authority these people are required to obtain the consent of the law-making power of the United States before they do exercise those functions which they admit themselves that they are in a condition to exercise.
Now, sir, I affirm that when a State is in a condition to exercise the functions of a State that Congress has no right or authority to require anything more than to judge of the legality of the election and qualification of its members, and to require that they shall take the oath prescribed by the Constitution. But they then declare that Tennessee is one of the United States of America upon the express condition that the people shall do certain things, and that they shall not do certain other things. These conditions are all very remarkable, and are required without even a shadow of authority. But, sir, there is one of them that strikes me as being more remarkable than all the rest, for the reason that in requiring it they make a demand, as I understand it, in direct opposition to an express declaration of the Constitution. The condition alluded to is in the words, "Nor shall the said State ever in any manner
The argument is that as Ohio has a larger population and makes more in the aggregate than Kentucky, therefore free labor is more profit-ing able than slave labor. I suppose, however, that the hard-working farmer in Ohio would not be much comforted by a knowledge of the fact that his State made more in the aggregate than the State of Kentucky if he is at the same time informed of the additional fact that each individual-white, free colored, and slave-in the State of Kentucky did make more on an average than did each individual in the State of Ohio. What gratification can it afford to a citizen of Ohio to know that his neighborhood is very densely populated, and that because of that fact, together with the difference in their system of labor, that he makes less on an average than does each individual in the State of Kentucky?
To prove that this is true, I beg to call the attention of this House and of the country to that most valuable document, the Eighth Census, made in 1860. By an examination of that document it will be found that the State of Ohio had in 1860 a population of—
Free colored persons..
claim from the United States, or make any allowance or compensation for slaves emancipated or liberated in any way whatever." Now, sir, these slaves were the property of somebody, or else they could not have been slaves, and the Constitution expressly declares that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.
Sir, I have heard a great deal said by gentlemen upon this floor about the importance and propriety of the Government complying with its plighted faith and solemn promises made to the colored people. This is all very well; but, sir, a great Government like ours should never place itself in such a condition that the fulfillment of one promise is the direct violation of another. Sir, what stronger pledge, what more solemn promise, has this Government ever made than the pledge to the white people of these United States that their lives, liberty, or property should not be taken without due process of law; and then added the clause above quoted, that private property should not be taken without just compensation? Sir, no stronger promise or pledge has ever been made to any people. It is true that this promise was made to white people; but that does not make it less obligatory upon us. Sir, who would have owned a slave if the Constitution and laws of the country had not authorized it? Being thus authorized, the people of Tennessee vested their money in slaves, relying upon the pledges and promises of the Government to protect them in it. Really, sir, it does seem to me to be most remarkable that we do not only disregard the pledge of the Federal Government, but they also require the State of Tennessee to violate her own pledges made to her own people.
But, Mr. Speaker, it is not my purpose today to discuss the important subject of the restoration of the seceded States further than I have done. My object is to ask attention to another subject of perhaps but little less importance. It is, sir, to one of the most important sources to which we are to look for revenue to enable us to meet the vast demand that is now continually pressing upon us in the item of interest, as well as to supply the ordinary demands of the Government, and ultimately to pay the enormous debt that we now owe. To be more explicit, it is my purpose to speak of the agricultural interest of the country, and to show, if I can, the difference in the different systems of labor as practiced in this country heretofore, and what may be expected from the laborers now in portions of this country under the system of labor now being inaugurated. Sir, the agricultural interest of this country is one of far more importance than any other one interest, and perhaps of many others put together, and if the agriculturists should fail for only a few years together, our whole country would be ruined, and no other interest or branch of industry could save us; but let the agricul turists succeed, and with proper legislation the country is safe. Now, sir, if this be true, we see at once the great necessity of fostering and protecting that important and worthy class of our fellow citizens.
Sir, in making our calculations for revenue to meet the vast demands against us, it will not do for us to suppose that the revenue from the States heretofore known as slave States will be increased by this great and sudden destruction of slave labor, but that the products of those States will be greatly diminished, and to the extent of that diminution must be the increase of taxation in the free States. The Government, therefore, must look to the free States to make up the deficiency caused by the destruction of slave labor in the former slave States. I know, sir, that this statement, if true, disproves the truth of an assertion long and loudly made by a certain class of politicians in our country, to wit, that free or hired labor is more profitable than slave labor, and in order to prove this assertion to be true, a comparison has often been made between the States of Ohio and Kentucky, Ohio being a free State and using free labor, and Kentucky slave labor.
The assessed value of real estate and personal property in Kentucky was $528,212,693; making an average to each individual, white, free colored, and slave, of about $457; and if made to each white and free colored person, the average is about $567 to each one.
To ascertain which had the most profitable system of labor, the people of Ohio, or those of Kentucky, I deem it necessary only to call attention to the most important products raised in each State, and estimate their value, and make the average to each person, thus: In Ohio in 1860:
Wheat raised, 14,532,570 bu., at $1 bu..... $14.532,570
2,302,838 36,673 ..2,339,511
25,528,972 tbs at 10 cts. b....
919,517 10,681 225,483 ..1,155,684
This gives on an average to each person in the State of Ohio about $59.
". 66 44
In Kentucky in 1860: Wheat raised, 7,394,811 bu., at $1 bu....... $7.394,811 Corn, 64,043,633 bu., at 50 cts. 32,021,866 Rye, 1,055,262 bu., at $1 1,055,262 Oats, 4,617,029 bu., at 50 cts. 2,308,514 Rice, 24,407 lbs, at 10 cts. ib... 2,440 Tobacco, 108,102,437 lbs, at 10 cts. b... 10,810,243 Cotton, 4,092 bales, at 10 cts. lb, counting the bales at 400 lbs. 163,480 Value of live stock, including horses, mules, asses, milch cows, working oxen, other cattle, sheep, and swine
This gives an average to each person in the State of Kentncky, including slaves, of about $100; and if the average is made only among the white and free colored persons, the amount to each one would be about $125, more than double the amount made to each person in Ohio, the people of Ohio making only $59 to each person. But to test this matter further, we will take the most important of the prod ucts of the States of Tennessee and Indiana: The State of Indiana has a population ofWhite persons..
Free colored persons...
The assessed value of real estate and personal property was in 1860, $411,042,424; makan average to each person in the State of about $305.
The population of the State of Tennessee
Free colored persons.........
The assessed value of real estate and personal property in the State of Tennessee was in 1860 $382,495,209. The average value to each person including slaves is about $343, and if the average is made only among the white and free colored persons it will be found to be about $453 to each one, against $305 to each person in the State of Indiana.
Mr. KELLEY. Are all the people of Kentucky embraced in that calculation-slaves and all?
Mr. RITTER. Every one; white people, free colored people, and slaves; if there are any other kinds there, if the gentleman will point them out, I will include them.
Mr. KELLEY. And the property equals $500 to each one of them?
Mr. RITTER. Three hundred and fortythree dollars to each.
Mr. KELLEY. Slaves and all?
Mr. RITTER. Yes, sir; if you exclude the slaves it will be $459 to each.
In Indiana in 1860:
Wheat raised 15,219.120 bu., at $1
400.226 bu., at $1 69.641.591 bu., at 50cts." 5,028,775 bu., at 50cts. 7,246,132 lbs, at 10cts..........
bu...... $15,219,120 400,226 34,820,792 2,514,387 754,613
Valueoflivestock, including horses, mules, asses, milch cows, working oxen, other cattle, sheep, and swine.
This makes an average to each person in the State of Indiana of about $77.
The products of Tennessee in 1860 were as follows:
Wheat raised, 5,409,863 bu., at $13 bu.
265,344 bu., at $1 50,748.266 bu., at 50 cts. Oats, 2,343,122 bu., at 50 ets." Tobacco, 38,931,277 lbs, at 10 cts. Cotton, 227,450 bales, counted at 400 lbs. bale and 20 cts. alb. is....... Live stock, including horses, mules, and asses, milch cows, working oxen, other cattle, sheep, and swine.....
This makes an average to each person in the State of Tennessee, including slaves, of $95. And if the average is made between the white and free colored person only, it is about $127 to each person, against $77 to cach person in the State of Indiana.
But as it may be thought that a comparison between these four States is not sufficient to satisfy every one, we will go still further, and introduce the great and rich State of Illinois and compare it with the State of Alabama. The population of the State of Illinois was
The assessed value of real estate and personal property was $389,207,372. This makes an average value to each person in the State of about $221.
The population of the State of Alabama was in 1860:
..1,704,323 7,628 .1,711,951
.526.431 2.690 .435,080
The assessed value of property, real estate and personal, was in 1860 $432,198,762, making an average to each person in the State, including slaves, of about $448, and if the average is made between the white and free colored persons of the State only, it will be
found to be about $800 to each person in the State of Alabama, against $221 to each person in the State of Illinois.
Mr. KELLEY. Will the gentleman allow me to put a brief question to him right here? Mr. RITTER. A short one.
Mr. KELLEY. Does that calculation embrace the appraised value of the slaves in Alabama and Kentucky?
Mr. RITTER. Yes, sir; I believe the Government always went upon the principle that they were worth something.
Mr. KELLEY. Does the calculation also embrace the appraised value of the laboring people of the free States?
Mr. RITTER. That has nothing to do with it, because the free colored people in the slave States are upon just the same footing in that respect with the free laboring population of the North.
of these will be found to be about $1,624, against $631 in the State of Massachusetts. In Massachusetts in 1860: Wheat raised, 119,783 bu., at $1 Rye, 388,085 bu., at $1 Indian corn, 2,157.063 bu., at 50 cts. Oats, 1,180,075 bu., at 50 cts.'
This gives an average to each person in the State of Illinois of about $96.
I would like to have the attention of the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. KELLEY] to this, because I suppose he will attempt to disprove these calculations, if he can.
Mr. KELLEY. I think they are disproved
Wheat, 1,222,487 bu., at $1 bu... Rye, 73,912 bu., at $1 Corn, 32,761,194 bu., at 50 cts. Oats, 716,435 bu., at 50 cts. Rice, 499,559 lbs, at 10 cts. Tobacco, 221,284 ib, at 10 cts. Cotton, 997,978 bales, at 400 tbs to the bale, and at 20 ets. Ib....
Value of live stock, including horses, mules, asses, milch cows, working oxen, other cattle, sheep, and swine....
Mr. RITTER. I have no doubt they are as much as they ever will be.
The people of the State of Alabama made, in 1860, the following products:
This gives an average to each person in the State of Alabama, including slaves, of about $146; and if the average is made between the white and free colored persons only it is about $266, against an average of $96 in the State of Illinois.
$1,222,487 73,942 16,380,597 358,217 49,955 22,128
These facts, it seems to me, are sufficient to satisfy the most prejudiced partisan as to which is the most profitable, free or slave labor; but as some persons are never satisfied unless extremes are made to meet, I beg to ask attention to a few facts in relation to the States of Massachusetts and South Carolina.
Massachusetts had a population in 1860 ofWhite persons.... .1,221,464 9,602 .1,231,066
Free colored persons..........
The assessed value of real estate and personal property in Massachusetts in 1860 was $777,157,816, making an average to each person in the State of about $631.
South Carolina had a population in 1860 of— White persons. Free colored... Slaves.....
.291.388 9,914 .402,406
The assessed value of real estate and personal property in South Carolina was in 1860 $489,319,128, which makes an average to each pengon in the State, including slaves, of $695; and if the average is made between the white and free colored persons, who were the owners of the property, the average value to each one
Tobacco, 3,233,298 lbs, at 10 cts. Ib.... Value of live stock, including horses, mules, asses, milch cows, working oxen, other cattle, sheep, and swine....
bu....... $119,783 388,085 1,078,531 590,037 323,319
This gives an average to each person in the State of Massachusetts of about $13. South Carolina raised in 1860:
1,285.631 bu., at $1 bu. 89,091 bu., at $1 15,065,606 bu., at 50 cts. 936,974 bu., at 50 cts. 119,100,528 lbs, at 10 ets. Tobacco, 104,412 lbs, at 10 cts. Cotton, 353,413 bales, counted at 400 lbs
to the bale, and 20 cts. tb, is about...... 28,273,040 Value of livestock, including horses, mules, asses, milch cows, working oxen, other cattle, sheep, and swine.........
$1,285.631 89.091 7,532,803 468,487 11,910,052 10,441
But we are told that the negro will work better and produce more as a freeman than they have ever done as slaves. To ascertain what
is true, or what we may expect from the colored people that have been lately made free, we have only to ascertain what has been the result where any large numbers of that race have been suddenly emancipated; and in order that there shall be no cause for contradiction on this point as to the facts of the case I will give them in the language of that eminent historian, Alison, who, in his History of Europe, says that
"St. Domingo, the greatest except Cuba, and beyond all question the most flourishing of the West India islands before the Revolution, is about three hundred miles in length and its average breadth about ninety miles. The Spanish possessed two thirds and the French the remainder. In the French portion the inhabitants consisted of about forty thousand whites, sixty thousand mulattoes, and five hundred thousand negro slaves. This French colony was immensely productive, exceeding all the British islands together. Its exports, including the Spanish portion, were £18,400,000, and its imports £10,000,000 sterling. Eighteen hundred vessels and twenty-seven thousand sailors were employed in conducting the vast colonial traffic. It was this splendid and unequaled colonial possession which the French nation threw away and destroyed at the commencement of the Revolution, with a recklessness and improvidence of which the previous history of the world had afforded no example. Hardly had the ery of liberty and equality been raised in France, says our historian, when it responded warmly and vehemently from the shores of St. Domingo. The slave population were rapidly assailed by revolutionary agents and emissaries, and the workshops and fields of the planters overrun by heated missionaries, who poured into an ignorant and ardent multitude the new-born ideas of European freedom. "The Constituent Assembly of March 8, 1790, had empowered the colonies to make known their wishes on the subject of a constitution by Colonial Assemblies freely elected by their own citizens, and on the 15th of May, 1791, the privileges of equality were conferred by the same authority on all persons of color born of a free father and mother. The planters openly endeavored to resist the decree, and civil war was preparing, when, on the night of the 26th of August, 1791, the negro insurrection long and silently organized, at once broke forth and wrapped the whole northern part of the colony in flames.
The conspiracy embraced nearly the whole negro population of the island. The cruelties exercised exceeded anything recorded in history. The negroes marched with spiked infants on their spears instead of colors. They sawed asunder their male prisoners and violated the females on the dead bodies of their husbands.'
those who are so persistently endeavoring to bring on an equality here? What is there in this plain and clear historic fact that gives hope for a better result here if these wild and fanatical schemes are pressed upon the people of these United States? Do we not know, sir, that his tory will repeat itself, and that if they continue to press and force upon the people this equality that similar results will be the consequence
Here, sir, we have the result of an attempt to put the negro on an equality with the white man. Sir, does it afford any consolation to
Exports to France.....
Here sir, we have a very sad but very instructive account of the result of suddenly emancipating large numbers of the colored race. Sir, is history to repeat itself in this instance? Is it not most rational for us to suppose that it will? What reason have we to believe that the colored people will do any better here than they have done under similar circumstances in other countries? Sir, can any gentleman suppose after being informed of these plain historical facts that those large and rich plantations in the former slave States will ever (for generations to come) be made to wave and almost to groan with or on account of the rich harvests of former years? No sir. But on the contrary these broad and fertile acres will be uncultivated, the fences that once inclosed them rotted and gone, and the land which once sent forth such large and heavy crops of grain, tobacco, and cotton will be covered with brambles and other wild growth that will afford no profit to either man or beast.
But, sir, we have other evidence to prove that whenever large numbers of colored people are suddenly emancipated the result is the destruction of labor, and consequently a very large. falling off of the products of the soil.
I will call the attention of gentlemen to the facts as they have occurred in the island of Jamaica, where the negroes were emancipated under the most favorable circumstances; their freedom was not said to be the result of war. No, sir; the Parliament of Great Britain bonestly made an appropriation to pay the owners for their property, and full equality, as it is desired here, was granted to the negro race. Parliament passed the act liberating the slaves on this island in 1833. Their population at that time was, of whites, 15,776; mulattoes, 68.527; and of blacks, 293,125. In the year 1810 Jamaica imported to the amount of £4,308,337, and her exports were £3,308,579. In twenty years after the emancipation of the slaves her imports had fallen off to the sum of £864,094 and her exports to the sum of £837,276; and in 1864 her exports were only £403,520, and her imports £932,316. There has been some increase in her black and mulatto population; but the white population have decreased to the amount of 1,960, and during the period between 1832 and 1847, 605. Sugar and coffee plantations containing 356,432 acres of land were entirely abandoned; and from 1848 to 1853 573 other plantations, containing 391,187 acres, were totally or partially turned to waste. These facts were recently stated in a speech delivered in the other end of this Capitol by one of the Senators from Kentucky
facts as they now exist, and make the best we can of them.
[Mr. DAVIS] as being verified by Mr. Carey, and a statement made by the West India Association of Glasgow and other documents.
Mr. Bigelow, in his Notes on Jamaica, says: "Shipping has deserted her ports, her magnificent plantations of sugar and coffee are running to weeds, her private dwellings are falling to decay, the comforts and luxuries which belong to industrial prosperity have been cut off, one by one, from her inhabitants; and the day is at hand when there will be no one left to represent the wealth, intelligence, and hospitality for which the Jamaica planter was once so distinguished."
The same writer, on page 53, says:
"It is difficult to exaggerate, and yet more difficult to define, the poverty and industrial prostration of Jamaica. The natural wealth and spontaneous productiveness of the island are so great that no one can starve; and yet it seems as if the faculty of accumulation were suspended. All the productive power of the soil is running to waste: the finest land in the world may be had at any price, and almost for the asking; laborreceives no compensation, and the product of labordoes not seem to know the way to market. Families accustomed to wealth and every luxury have witnessed the decline of their incomes until now, with undiminished estates, they find themselves wrestling with poverty for the commonest necessaries of life." And on page 54 he says:
"Since the year 1833, when the British slave emancipation act was passed, the real estate of the island has been rapidly depreciating in value, and its productiveness has been steadily diminishing to its present comparatively ruinous standard.”
And on page 55 the same writer gives us a table, which he says is from official returns, showing the amount of exports for three years previous to the emancipation act with the exports for three years preceding the month of October, 1848. He then adds that
"By this contrast it appears that during the last three years the island has exported less than half the sugar, rum, or ginger, less than one third the coffee, less than one tenth the molasses, and nearly two million pounds less of pimento than during the three years which preceded the emancipation aet."
And on pages 62 and 63 of the same author we have this statement:
"The value of fixed property-sugar estates-before emancipation was estimated at £20,000,000 sterling, but that the same property then could not be sold for more than £660,000 sterling."
Mr. Speaker, can any gentleman suppose, with this exhibition of facts before him, that the former slave States will, at any time for generations to come, be able to pay one half the amount of revenue that they would have done if their system of labor had not been destroyed? If so, I confess it is more than I can do. But, sir, whatever the deficiency may be, it must be clear to every one that those who did not own slaves will each one have to pay their proportionate part to make up that deficiency.
But, sir, admitting that what I have said is true, the great question of what is the best course for us to adopt under the present state of affairs, still presses itself upon us and demands
our serious and earnest consideration.
Sir, it is the duty of all patriots to take facts as they exist, and make the best out of them that we are able to do, without regard to party considerations. We all know that we were once the most happy and prosperous people upon this globe. We also know that that is not the case now, but that our happiness and prosperity as a nation is, to say the least of it, greatly diminished. What, then, I ask, is necessary for us to do in order again to be prosperous and happy? I know, sir, that some plain, common-sense people would think the question easily answered, and that all we have to do would be to retrace our action and return to the condition we were in when we were prosperous before, with all the laws and customs that we then had, and we would be so again. But, sir, these people forget that politicians are now ruling and leading the people of the United States, and their minds are filled with the ideas of progress and reform, and that although these progressions and reforms may be alone for the sake of maintaining a particu lar party, yet rather than acknowledge that they have failed in their attempts at reformation, they will press forward to something in advance, even if they bring ruin upon all. Now, sir, under this state of case the people will have to regard all that has been done as fixed facts, at least for a time, and look to these
Mr. SHELLABARGER. I will exercise my right to resume the floor if I find that too much time is to be taken.
Mr. ELDRIDGE. I object to the question being put to the gentleman from Kentucky [Mr. RITTER] unless he is allowed time to reply.
Mr. KELLEY. He will have time. The gentleman from Kentucky stated the assessed value of the property of the slave States in comparison with the assessed value of the property of the free States. I want to inquire whether that embraces the assessed value of the increase of slave population from year to year.
Mr. RITTER. I believe the gentleman asked that same question while I was upon the floor, with the exception of the part in regard to the increase of slave population. Of course slaves were regarded as valuable, and were required by the laws of the State to be assessed at what they would bring in the market, and were taxed as property.
Mr. KELLEY. I believe that branch of manufactures did not appear in the list of assessed property of the free States.
Mr. RITTER. That has nothing to do with the productions of the soil.
Mr. Speaker, I affirm that in my judgment one of the most important things that can now be done in order to restore this Government and give confidence to the people in its justice and integrity, is for those who are now controlling it to pay all loyal persons for all the property of every kind that has been taken by the Government or its agents in order to enable it to put down the rebellion. Sir, no man can have confidence in the justice or integrity of a Government when he knows that it has taken the proceeds of his hard earnings, and then delays or refuses to make just compensation in some way. Sir, a very large number of loyal men in these United States have had property of different kinds taken from them, and in many cases it was property upon which they mainly depended for a sup. port, and yet payment is withheld or refused. Now, sir, what effect is this course to have upon the minds of the people? Does not every gentleman know that if the Government fails to pay the citizen his just claims, and at the same time forces these same citizens to pay taxes to support these men in office, that it will have a tendency to alienate the minds of the citizens and all love for the Government or its stability will be destroyed? Sir, what other course could be adopted that would be so well calculated to bring on a repudiation of the entire debt, and thus to prostrate and destroy the credit and honor of this nation? Sir, only a few days since there was a proposition made in this House by an honorable member, [Mr. LAWRENCE, of Ohio,] to amend the Constitution so as to prohibit the payment by the Government or by the States for slaves that had been emancipated by it. Now, sir, why is such an amendment as this asked? Surely if the Constitution and laws of our country give no claim to those who formerly owned these slaves, such an amendment is entirely useless, and if the mover of the proposition had not thought that these people had a claim founded upon the Constitution and laws he would not have proposed such an amendment.
Mr. SHELLABARGER obtained the floor. Mr. KELLEY. Will the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. SHELLABARGER] permit me to ask one or two questions of the gentleman from Kentucky [Mr. RITTER] which he stated his willingness to answer after he should have concluded his speech?
Mr. SHELLABARGER. If I knew how much time it would take I might be willing to yield.
Mr. KELLEY. It will not take five minutes. Mr. SHELLABARGER. If it will not take more than five minutes, I will yield. Mr. KELLEY. I will propound the first question with the leave of the gentleman from Ohio.
If, then, these people have this claim, and to avoid it this amendment is sought and forced upon these people without their consent, I ask, sir, will not this be repudiation, so far as it goes, of the deepest dye, and what other effect do gentlemen suppose that such a measure can have upon the minds of the people except to alienate them from the Government and prepare them to vote for the repudiation of the whole debt of the United States? Sir, I warn gentlemen, if they do not desire such a repudiation, to stop in their wild and mad career and to cease their efforts to force their peculiar views upon the people.
Sir, let us imitate the noble example set us by our President; let us unroll the Constitu tion, as he has done, and be governed by it; let us open the doors of this House to the Rep resentatives duly elected and qualified from all the States; let each State regulate and control their own affairs in their own way, subject to the Constitution and laws of the United States. This, sir, in my judgment, is the only way that we can ever have a restored Union. have a Government kept together by military power, but it will not in that way ever give us a restored Union.
Mr. KELLEY. I wanted to point out the distinction. The gentleman's calculation of property was made by appraising the value of each working man in the South at from three hundred to one thousand dollars, and then crediting him with a portion of that in the average possession of property.
Now, I desire to ask the gentleman whether it be true, as he states, that all have been on an equality in Jamaica. He stated that all, black and white, were equal in Jamaica.
Mr. RITTER. `I gave my authority for the
Mr. KELLEY. The right of suffrage there is not possessed by one in ten of the popula tion; suffrage there is not as liberal as it is in England.
As the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. SHELLABARGER] wants the floor, I will forego the other questions.
Mr. RITTER. I think any other day will do just as well.
Mr. KELLEY. I will ask one other question: if taxation with representation be the true principle, and its disregard must lead to revolution, ought not that principle to be applied to the majority of the people of the two States of South Carolina and Mississippi?
Mr. RITTER. The gentleman makes that a matter of assertion.
Mr. KELLEY. I ask the gentleman a question. He argues that the correct principle is that taxation and representation should be equal, and that the disregard of that principle would justify revolution. Now, I ask whether the disregard of that principle in regard to the majority of the people of the two States of South Carolina and Mississippi would in his judgment justify revolution?
Mr. RITTER. I am in favor of taxation and representation going together. In South Carolina they have always gone together, for the people have all been represented.
Mr. KELLEY. The gentleman stated that the census of 1860 showed that there were 291,000 white people in South Carolina, and 412,000 colored people. Now, I ask whether the principle which he regards as so sacred and inviolable should be applied to that State, and whether its disregard would in his judgment justify revolution?
Mr. RITTER. The gentleman forgets that the people of the State of South Carolina and the other southern States have always been represented in the State Legislature, and until the last two or three years have always been represented in Congress. He appears to have the idea that there were some persons in that section of the country who were not represented.
Mr. KELLEY. Does the gentlemen, then, mean that the person shall have no voice in electing his representative, but that an oligarchy, an aristocracy, or a monarch nay
designate the representative; or does he mean that the representative shall be the choice of the person represented?
have the constitutional right to employ this means to which I allude for the restoration of the States, and if they will in good faith unite to apply and put in force the principle which both solemnly profess to hold, then the work of restoration of these States will be, if not easy at least ultimately certain, and at once secured.
Mr. RITTER. I do mean to say that there are a good many persons in the country who do not vote, and yet they are represented; and I presume that such will be the case for all time to come. I do not understand that any gentleman here proposes that everybody shall vote.
Mr. KELLEY. Then I will modify my question. Does the gentleman believe that a majority of the free adult male inhabitants of a State ought to have a voice in electing its representatives?
Mr. RITTER. Mr. Speaker, it seems to me we are consuming time here altogether unnecessarily. As I am trespassing upon the time of the gentleman from Ohio, [Mr. SHELLABARGER,] I will make this single remark, that I do not regard this as the proper place to discuss the question in regard to the qualifications of voters. The Constitution has, in my opinion, placed the control of that question with the States.
Mr. KELLEY. It is not often that a gentleman from Kentucky declines to answer a question or evades it.
DISFRANCHISEMENT OF REBELS.
Mr. SHELLABARGER. Mr. Speaker, some weeks ago I introduced a resolution, which was adopted by this body, referring to the Judiciary Committee of this House the inquiry whether it is competent, under the American Constitution, for Congress to declare by law the forfeiture of citizenship where that citizenship has been voluntarily abandoned by acts of disloyalty. Since that resolution was adopted the distinguished gentleman who occupies the chair of this House has been, I am glad to find, speaking, in the same direction in which that resolution points. Since that, again, one of the most distinguished lawyers of the House has introduced a set of resolutions bearing upon the same subject, and expressing with more distinctness a plan for putting in application that power of the Government, if it be one of the powers of the Government.
I am most glad, therefore, to find these and other evidences that the mind of the country is being directed now toward this important practical inquiry, as one, not all, of the means that may be resorted to for the purpose of relieving us from these questions of terrible embarrassment by which our Government is surrounded. To that great question, I desire to direct the remarks which I am about to make.
Mr. Speaker, your country, not yet twelve moons ago, went out from the presence of dangers so terrible and deadly as that their merest statement mocks at all the resources of human speech; and it went into a triumph and joy as indescribable as its recent sorrow was. And now again the people stand appalled under the shadow of some huge calamity, and before "grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front" men of stoutest heart start back aghast at the damned portent of civil war which they deem they see grim and manifest before them, and they look into each other's faces and inquire-why? In "the breach" between the President of the United States and Congress touching the method of restoring the States in recent revolt to controlling power in the Union, and in the causes for that breach, most men find the occasion for this alarm. I go not at all to-day into the consideration of these, and allude to them now only for the purpose of saying, as I do here and now, that if any faith can be placed in the sincerity or truth of the most solemn utterances of the Congress and of the President then they do not differ, but do most precisely agree, upon at least one of the most, if not the most, important and decisive principles and means for the restoration of these States to power which can enter into that great work. Nay, I go further, and solemnly aver here upon the awful responsibilities of one of the legislators of this my country that if the President and Congress
And, first, I reëxhibit to Congress and to the ciples upon this subject, made by the Prescountry a most explicit avowal of his prinident at Nashville on the 9th of June, 1864, in accepting the nomination of the Union party for the Vice Presidency. The avowal is an emphatic and complete assertion of all the constitutional power, at least by State action, and also of the expediency and duty of exercising the power, for which I shall contend. It was upon this explicit avowal that Mr. Johnson was elected. In his formal letter accepting the nomination, he refers to this speech as one "in which I indicated my acceptance of the distinguished honor conferred by that body, and defined the grounds upon which that acceptance was based, substantially saying what I now have to say.' (See Johnson's Life, by Savage, 298.) No pledge to principle could be more solemn, therefore, than this one is. None could be more signally ratified by a great people than was this in Mr. Johnson's election. In speaking of the convention to be convened to restore the government of Tennessee he uses the following language, which will be found in his Life, pages 295 and 296:
be trusted let them bring forth the fruits of repent"Treason must be made odious, and traitors must be punished and impoverished. Their great plantations must be seized and divided into small farms and sold to honest and industrious men."
"But in calling a convention to restore the State, who shall restore and reestablish it? Shall it be the man who gave his influence and his means to destroy the Government? Is he to participate in the great work of reorganization? Shall he who brought this misery upon the State be permitted to control its destinies? If so, then all the precious blood of our brave soldiers and officers so freely poured out will have been wantonly spilled. All the glorious victories won by our noble armies will go for naught, and all the bat:le-fields which have been sown with dead heroes during the rebellion will have been made memorable in vain. Why all this carnage and devastation? It was that treason might be put down and traitors punished. Therefore, I say, that traitors should take a back seat in the work of restoration. If there be but five men in Tennessee loyal to the Constitution, loyal to freedom, loyal to justice, these true and faithful men should control the work of reorganization and reformation absolutely. [Loud and prolonged applause.] I say that the traitor has ceased to be a citizen, and in joining the rebellion has become a public enemy. He forfeited his right to vote with loyal men when he renounced his citizenship and sought to destroy our Government. We say to the honest and industrious foreigner who comes from England or Germany to dwell among us and add to the wealth of the country, 'Before you can be a citizen you must be hore five years.' If we are so cautious about foreigners who voluntarily renounce their homes to live with us, what should we say to the traitor who, although born and reared among us, has raised a parricidal hand againts the Government which always protected him? My judgment is that he should be subjected to a severe ordeal before he is restored to citizenship. A fellow who takes the oath merely to save his property and denies the validity of his oath is a perjured man and not to be trusted. Before these repenting rebels can
Mr. Speaker, the argument I now enter upon is all aimed to show that "the traitor ceased, so far as his Government may so elect to treat him, to be a citizen" and "forfeited his right to vote' when, by persistent rebellion against his Government, he "renounced his citizenship," and that he "should be subjected to a severe ordeal before he is restored to citizenship," and that "he should be required to bring forth the fruits of repentance before he shall be trusted." And these are the solemnly "defined grounds upon which Mr. Johnson's acceptance of the nomination was based." (Life, 298.) These are not merely the excited utterances of a stump speech, but were again carefully and solemnly repledged as principles in his letter to the pres ident of the convention that nominated him. Upon them he went to the American people. The people by an overwhelming voice approved them. They cannot be now retreated from without both dishonor most shameless and foul and moral treason most deep and infamous. I cannot and will not believe that the President means to retreat from them; or that he purposes to seek refuge from the scorn and indig nation of a betrayed and outraged people in the embraces of them whom he called the "perjured fellows who take the oath merely to save their property." (See Life, 294.)
He has again and again repledged himself to this same thing since his election. In his recent speech to the Virginia delegation headed by Mr. Baldwin, (late of the rebel congress,) he used these words:
"If there were but five thousand loyal men in a State, or a less number, but sufficient to take charge of the political machinery of the State, these five thousand, or the less number, are entitled to it if all the rest be otherwise inclined. I look upon it as being fundamental that the exercise of political power should be confined to loyal men, and I regard that as implied in the doctrines laid down in these resolutions and in the eloquent address by which they have been accompanied."
In the recent speech of Colonel Stokes, of Tennessee, made to the Legislature of that lowing statement touching the present views State, he is represented to have made the folof the President upon this important question:
As President Johnson said the other day before I left Washington, If you don't disfranchise the rebels they will disfranchise you.'
Such, then, are the views of the President. To say that they are not his views, or that they are put forth as mere lures to insnare a generous and confiding people into his supportmere "springs to catch woodcock," which he deems neither constitutional nor capable of being practically applied and enforced, nor fit to be so applied-is to attribute to him purposes and conduct which would be disgraceful to the most vulgar political harlequin, but which, in the ruler of a great and generous people who have so honored and trusted him, would be utterly disgusting and infamous. I will neither say nor believe this; and I therefore shall assume that the President deems it both practicable, constitutional, and fit to enact that the traitor "forfeited his right to vote with loyal men when he renounced his citizenship and sought to destroy the Government," and "that he shall be subjected to a severe ordeal before he is restored to citizenship."
I need not say that Congress has already indicated its belief in the same thing.
It is obvious, then, that either they who hold the two political departments of this Government are most false and insincere, or else they agree that the disloyal should be sternly excluded, by " severe ordeals," from Government until they "bring forth fruits of repentance."
I now proceed to inquire whether this which both Congress and the President favor is permitted by the Constitution.
And to guard myself, at the very threshold of these remarks, from misapprehension, I state, that should the Government be found to