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not clothed in mourning, when every household mourns its victims sacrificed upon the altar of the insane hate of people against people-people who never saw one another and who know nothing about each other-I say that what the nation wants now is quiet, peace, and harmony, that good men should come together and be forgiving, and that if there are to be more victims they shall be victims of the law, not the victims of individual malice, or the victims of individual revenge. Let the law in its majesty seize upon the guilty, pronounce upon their cases, and execute its judgments as becomes a civilized, Christian people.

Mr. HOWE. I cannot allow this hold of the Treasury that we have got just now to pass away from us, and these appropriations to go, until I have said a word of explanation upon one remark of my colleague's.

To recall the Senate to the state of the question, it will be borne in mind that he undertook to defend the policy which the President is governed by in his appointments, and to deny that he was making any appointments for opinion's sake. I had some facts, that is to say, I heard some statements which I thought militated against that view of the case, and I submitted them that I might know whether they were correct or not. In reply to that my col- || league took occasion to remark, as if it were a subject of personal injury to himself, that in his absence I had presented to the Senate some resolutions passed by the Legislature of Wisconsin asking him to resign his seat here in the Senate. If my colleague has a right to consider that a personal injury, if it was a personal injury to him, I regret it. If it was a wrong done him, I regret the act very much. Those resolutions were sent to me by the secretary of state of Wisconsin in company with several other series of resolutions and memorials, most of which were addressed in terms to the Congress of the United States. I could not understand any possible purpose in sending them to me except it was to have them laid before the Senate; and so it never occurred to me to doubt for an instant that it was entirely proper, and that it was demanded as the due of the State of Wisconsin that they should be presented to the Senate. I did have a question in my own mind whether courtesy to my colleague did not rather call upon me to wait and allow him to present the resolutions. I submitted that question to a couple of Senators much older and more experienced than myself sitting near me, and it was in pursuance of their recommendation that I submitted the resolutions myself. I certainly did not intend to do my colleague any wrong. I do not believe to-day I did him any wrong. I do think the Legislature intended that those resolutions should be submitted to the Senate. The fact of their passage was known to the world, and I think I only obeyed the wish of the Legislature of Wisconsin when I did submit them.

convictions instead of hers. That was his prerogative as a Senator. But having seen fit upon that great vital measure to follow his own convictions, to declare his own wishes, and not to make known the wish of Wisconsin, I must be allowed to say in all candor that I do not think the State of Wisconsin stepped out of her jurisdiction, or that the Legislature overstepped the jurisdiction prescribed to them when they saw fit to comment upon that course of his as to them seemed just. With that action of the Legislature I had no conceivable connection in the world, any further than to be their organ in submitting the resolutions to the Senate.

As to the other question raised by my colleague and discussed here, touching the President's policy itself, I expressly waived any attack upon that. My colleague's ideas of reconstruction are not advanced here now for the first time, and I do not feel called upon now to say a word in reply to them.

Mr. WILSON. Some things have fallen from the Senator from Wisconsin and the Senator from Pennsylvania that I desire to notice; but at this hour I do not like to ask Senators to stay here for that purpose. I therefore move that the Senate do now adjourn.

The motion was agreed to; and the Senate adjourned.

But my colleague asks me if I consider that act of the Legislature instructing him to resign his seat because of some votes he had given here as an act of toleration, and whether I approve of the conduct of the Legislature. Sir, the conduct of the Legislature had not been drawn in question at all. There had been no allusion to it whatever. But when my colleague holds up that act of the Legislature as an evidence of intolerance like that of which I spoke in certain appointments which were attributed to the President, I think he overlooks entirely the difference between the relations existing between him and the Legislature of Wisconsin and the relations existing between the President and the party who put him in the presidential chair. My colleague seems to forget the fact that the Legislature of that State selected him out of all the people of Wisconsin to come here, bringing her power of attorney to declare her will, to defend her interests, to uphold her honor, to be her representative. They had requested him upon one great measure to make a given declaration of her wishes. He declined to do that. I do not attack my colleague for declining it, for obeying his own

TUESDAY, May 8, 1866.

The House met at twelve o'clock m. Prayer by the Chaplain, Rev. C. B. BOYNTON. The Journal of yesterday was read and approved.


The SPEAKER stated the first business in order to be the consideration of the constitutional amendment reported by the joint committee on reconstruction.

Mr. GARFIELD. I move that that special order be postponed, and that the House proceed to the consideration of the tax bill. I do this for the reason that I believe in three or four days at the farthest we can finish the tax bill. If we enter now into the discussion of the constitutional amendment it will bring up the entire subject of reconstruction, and the debate will run on for three or four weeks. It seems to me to be almost a national calamity to delay the tax bill that long. I call for the previous question.

Mr. STEVENS. I hope there will be no such disposition made of the special order. I have no idea that the constitutional amendment will take up more than two or three days. It ought to be in the Senate at once, if it is ever to be acted on. As to the tax bill, we will not lose anything by letting it lie over. Some additions have been recently made to it which I have not had time to read. We have set apart the night sessions for the consideration of that bill.

Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. I understand it was the agreement of the House yesterday that the constitutional amendment should be considered during the day and the tax bill during the evening.

Mr. GARFIELD. I do not think that was the understanding. It was not mine.

The SPEAKER. To what time does the gentleman propose to postpone it?

Mr. GARFIELD. Until the tax bill has been disposed of.

Mr. STEVENS. I move that that motion be laid upon the table.

Mr. RAYMOND. In case we do not finish the constitutional amendment to-day, will it be superseded by the proposition made the special order for to-morrow?

The SPEAKER. The constitutional amendment remains the special order until disposed of.

Mr. JENCKES. I ask the gentleman from Ohio to modify his motion so that we may have the day for the tax bill, and the evening for reconstruction.

Mr. STEVENS. I withdraw my motion to lay upon the table.

I will say that the intention is not to press the accompanying bills until this constitutional amendment has been disposed of by the Senate.

The SPEAKER. That will require unauimous consent.

M. GARFIELD. I am willing to agree to that.

Mr. STEVENS. I object.

Mr. GARFIELD. Then I insist on my motion and demand the previous question.

The previous question was seconded and the main question ordered.

Mr. LE BLOND. I demand the yeas and nays. I want to see whether the negro shall have preference of the finances.

The yeas and nays were ordered.

The question was taken; and it was decided in the negative-yeas 51, nays 82, not voting 50; as follows:

YEAS-Messrs. Anderson, Delos R. Ashley, Barker, Bergen, Boyer, Chanler, Coffroth, Darling, Dawes, Dawson, Denison, Eldridge, Finck, Garfield, Glossbrenner, Goodyear, Grider, Griswold, Aaron Harding, Harris, James Humphrey, Jenckes, Kasson, Kerr, Latham, Le Blond, Marshall, McCullough, Moorhead, Niblack, Patterson, Phelps, Pike, Radford, Samuel J. Randall, Raymond, Ritter, Ross, Rousseau, Shanklin, Stilwell, Strouse, Taber, Taylor, Thayer, Thornton, Robert T. Van Horn, Henry D. Washburn, William B. Washburn, Whaley, and Williams-51.

NAYS Messrs. Alley, Ames, James M. Ashley, Baker, Baldwin, Banks, Baxter, Beaman, Benjamin, Bidwell, Bingham, Blow, Bromwell, Broomall, Buckland, Bundy, Reader W. Clarke, Cobb, Conkling, Cullom, Defrees, Deming, Dixon, Dodge, Donnelly, Harding, Hart, Hayes, Henderson, Higby, Holmes, Driggs, Eckley, Eliot, Farnsworth, Ferry, Abner C. Hotchkiss, Asahel W. Hubbard, James R. Hubbell, Hulburd, Ingersoll, Julian, Kelley, Kelso, Ketcham, Kuykendall, Laflin, George V. Lawrence, William Lawrence, Longyear, Lynch, MeIndoe, McKee, McRuer, Mercur, Miller, Morris, Moulton, O'Neill, Orth, Perham, Plants, William H. Randall, Alexander H. Rice, John H. Rice, Rollins, Sawyer, Schenck, Scofield, Shellabarger, Spalding, Stevens, John L. Thomas, Trowbridge, Upson, Van Aernam, Burt Van Horn, Warner, Elihu B. Washburne, Welker, Stephen F. Wilson, and Windom-82.

NOT VOTING-Messrs. Allison, Ancona, Blaine, Boutwell, Brandegee, Sidney Clarke, Cook, Culver, Davis, Delano, Dumont, Eggleston, Farquhar, Grinnell, Hale, Hill, Hogan, Hooper, Chester D. Hubbard, Demas Hubbard, John H. Hubbard, Edwin N. Hubbell, James M. Humphrey, Johnson, Jones, Loan, Marston, Marvin, McClurg, Morrill, Myers, Newell, Nicholson, Noell, Paine, Pomeroy, Price, Rogers. Sitgreaves. Sloan, Smith, Starr, Francis Thomas, Trimble, Ward, Wentworth, James F. Wilson, Winfield. Woodbridge, and Wright-50.

So the House refused to postpone the special


Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. I ask the gentleman from Pennsylvania to yield to allow me to offer a resolution.

Mr. STEVENS. I will yield if it does not come out of my time.

MERCHANTS' NATIONAL BANK OF WASHINGTON. Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. I ask unanimous consent to introduce the following resolution:

Resolved, That the Committee on Banking and Currency be directed to examine into all the facts and circumstances connected with the recent failure of the Merchants' National Bank of Washington, and report to the House the amount of money deposited in the said bank, and by whom, the causes of its failure, and also what further legislation is necessary in regard to the national banks to protect the public and the Government, and that the said committee be empowered to send for persons and papers, and examine witnesses under oath.

Mr. HOOPER, of Massachusetts. I sug gest an amendment that it be made to apply to other banks.

Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. I accept that "and other banks."

The resolution, as amended, was agreed to. Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois, moved to reconsider the vote by which the resolution was agreed to; and also moved that the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table. The latter motion was agreed to.


Mr. RICE, of Massachusetts. I ask the gentleman from Pennsylvania to yield to allow me to introduce a bill.

Mr. STEVENS. I will yield.

Mr. RICE, of Massachusetts. I ask unanimous consent to introduce and put upon its passage a bill to amend an act to establish the

The bill was read in part, when Mr. ROSS demanded the regular order of business.

grade of vice admiral in the United States of ratification. It is absurd to suppose that
any more than three fourths of the States that
propose the amendment are required to make
it valid; that States not here are to be counted
as present. Believing, then, that this is the
best proposition that can be made effectual, I
accept it. I shall not be driven by clamor or
denunciation to throw away a great good be-
cause it is not perfect. I will take all I can get
in the cause of humanity and leave it to be per-
fected by better men in better times. It may
be that that time will not come while I am here
to enjoy the glorious triumph; but that it will
come is as certain as that there is a just God.


The House should remember the great labor which the committee had to perform. They were charged to inquire into the condition of eleven States of great extent of territory. They sought, often in vain, to procure their organic laws and statutes. They took the evidence of every class and condition of witness, from the rebel vice president and the commander-inchief of their armies down to the humblest freedThe sub-committees who were charged with that duty-of whom I was not one, and can therefore speak freely-exhibited a degree of patience and diligence which was never excelled. Considering their other duties, the mass of evidence taken may well be considered extraordinary. It must be remembered, also, that three months since, and more, the committee reported and the House adopted a proposed amendment fixing the basis of representation in such way as would surely have secured the enfranchisement of every citizen at no distant That, together with the amendment repudiating the rebel debt, which we also passed, would have gone far to curb the rebellious spirit of secession, and to have given to the oppressed race their rights. It went to the other end of the Capitol, and was there mortally wounded in the house of its friends.


After having received the careful examination and approbation of the committee, and having received the united Republican vote of one hundred and twenty Representatives of the people, it was denounced as "utterly reprehensible," and "unpardonable;" "to be encountered as a public enemy;' "positively endangering the peace of the country, and covering its name with dishonor." "A wickedness on a larger scale than the crime against Kansas or the fugitive slave law; gross, foul, outrageous; an incredible injustice against the whole African race;" with every other vulgar epithet which polished cultivation could command. It was slaughtered by a puerile and pedantic criticism, by a perversion of philological definition which, if when I taught school a lad who had studied Lindley Murray had assumed, I would have expelled him from the institution as unfit to waste education upon. But it is dead, and unless this (less efficient, I admit) shall pass, its death has postponed the protection of the colored race perhaps for ages. I confess my mortification at its defeat. I grieved especially because it almost closed the door of hope for the amelioration of the condition of the freedmen. But men in pursuit of justice must never despair. Let us again try and see whether we cannot devise some way to overcome the united forces of self-righteous Republicans and unrighteous copperheads. It will not do for those who for thirty years have fought the beasts at Ephesus to be frightened by the fangs of modern catamounts.

Let us now refer to the provisions of the proposed amendment.

The first section prohibits the States from abridging the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States, or unlawfully depriving them of life, liberty, or property, or of denying to any person within their jurisdiction the "equal" protection of the laws.

I can hardly believe that any person can be found who will not admit that every one of || these provisions is just. They are all asserted, in some form or other, in our DECLARATION Or organic law. But the Constitution limits only the action of Congress, and is not a limitation on the States. This amendment supplies that

Mr. RICE, of Massachusetts. I hope the gentleman will allow this to pass.

Mr. ROSS. We have had flummery enough of that kind.


Mr. STEVENS. The short time allowed by our resolution will suffice to introduce this debate. If unexpectedly there should be any objection to the proposed amendment to the Constitution I may ask the indulgence of the House to reply.

The committee are not ignorant of the fact that there has been some impatience at the delay in making this report; that it existed to some extent in the country as well as among a few members of the House. It originated in the suggestions of faction, no doubt, but naturally spread until it infected some good men. This is not to be wondered at or complained of. Very few could be informed of the necessity for such delay. Beside, we are not all endowed with patience; some men are naturally restive, especially if they have active minds and deep convictions.

But I beg gentlemen to consider the magnitude of the task which was imposed upon the committee. They were expected to suggest a plan for rebuilding a shattered nation-a nation which though not dissevered was yet shaken and riven by the gigantic and persist-period. ent efforts of six million able and ardent men; of bitter rebels striving through four years of bloody war. It cannot be denied that this terrible struggle sprang from the vicious principles incorporated into the institutions of our country. Our fathers had been compelled to postpone the principles of their great Declaration, and wait for their full establishment till a more propitious time. That time ought to be present now. But the public mind has been educated in error for a century. How difficult in a day to unlearn it. In rebuilding, it is necessary to clear away the rotten and defective portions of the old foundations, and to sink deep and found the repaired edifice upon the firm foundation of eternal justice. If, perchance, the accumulated quicksands render it impossible to reach in every part so firm a basis, then it becomes our duty to drive deep and solid the substituted piles on which to build. It would not be wise to prevent the raising of the structure because some corner of it might be founded upon materials subject to the inevitable laws of mortal decay. It were better to shelter the household and trust to the advancing progress of a higher morality and a purer and more intelligent principle to underpin the defective corner.

I would not for a moment inculcate the idea of surrendering a principle vital to justice. But if full justice could not be obtained at once I would not refuse to do what is possible. The commander of an army who should find his enemy intrenched on impregnable heights would act unwisely if he insisted on marching his troops full in the face of a destructive fire merely to show his courage. Would it not be better to flank the works and march round and round and besiege, and thus secure the surrender of the enemy, though it might cost time? The former course would show valor and folly; the latter moral and physical courage, as well as prudence and wisdom.

This proposition is not all that the committee desired. It falls far short of my wishes, but it fulfills my hopes. I believe it is all that can be obtained in the present state of public opinion. Not only Congress but the several States are to be consulted. Upon a careful survey of the whole ground, we did not believe that nineteen of the loyal States could be induced to ratify any proposition more stringent than this. I say nineteen, for I utterly repudiate and scorn the idea that any State not acting in the Union is to be counted on the question


defect, and allows Congress to correct the unjust legislation of the States, so far that the law which operates upon one man shall operate equally upon all. Whatever law punishes a white man for a crime shall punish the black man precisely in the same way and to the same degree. Whatever law protects the white man shall afford "equal" protection to the black Whatever means of redress is afforded to one shall be afforded to all. Whatever law allows the white man to testify in court shall allow the man of color to do the same. These are great advantages over their present codes. Now different degrees of punishment are inflicted, not on account of the magnitude of the crime, but according to the color of the skin. Now color disqualifies a man from testifying in courts, or being tried in the same way as white men. I need not enumerate these partial and oppressive laws. Unless the Constitution should restrain them those States will all, I fear, keep up this discrimination, and crush to death the hated freedmen. Some answer, "Your civil rights bill secures the same things." That is partly true, but a law is repealable by a majority. And I need hardly say that the first time that the South with their copperhead allies obtain the command of Congress it will be repealed. The veto of the President and their votes on the bill are conclusive evidence of that. And yet I am amazed and alarmed at the impatience of certain well-meaning Republicans at the exclusion of the rebel States until the Constitution shall be so amended as to restrain their despotic desires. This amendment once adopted cannot be annulled without two thirds of Congress. That they will hardly get. And yet certain of our distinguished friends propose to admit State after State before this becomes a part of the Constitution. What madness! Is their judgment misled by their kindness; or are they unconsciously drifting into the haven of power at the other end of the avenue? I do not suspect it, but others will.

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The second section I consider the most important in the article. It fixes the basis of representation in Congress. If any State shall exclude any of her adult male citizens from the elective franchise, or abridge that right, she shall forfeit her right to representation in the same proportion. The effect of this provision will be either to compel the States to grant universal suffrage or so to shear them of their power as to keep them forever in a hopeless minority in the national Government, both " legislative and executive. If they do not enfranchise the freedmen, it would give to the rebel States but thirty-seven Representatives. Thus shorn of their power, they would soon become restive. Southern pride would not long brook a hopeless minority. True it will take two, three, possibly five years before they conquer their prejudices sufficiently to allow their late slaves to become their equals at the polls. That short delay would not be injurious. In the mean time the freedmen would become more enlightened, and more fit to discharge the high duties of their new condition. In that time, too, the loyal Congress could mature their laws and so amend the Constitution as to secure the rights of every human being, and render disunion impossible. Heaven forbid that the southern States, or any one of them, should be represented on this floor until such muniments of freedom are built high and firm. Against our will they have been absent for four bloody years; against our will they must not come back until we are ready to receive them. Do not tell me that there are loyal representatives waiting for admission-until their States are loyal they can have no standing here. They would merely misrepresent their constituents. I admit that this article is not as good as the one we sent to death in the Senate. In my judgment, we shall not approach the measure of justice until we have given every adult freedman a homestead on the land where he was born and toiled and suffered. Forty acres of land and a hut would be more valuable to him than the immediate right to vote. Unless we give them this we shall receive the censure of

Lincoln during the years 1863 and 1864. Subsequently, and as late as the early summer of 1865, President Johnson issued his celebrated amnesty proclamation granting pardons and immunities to certain specified classes in the South that had participated in the rebellion with a military rank under colonel, and excepting certain classes from the benefits of his clemency.

Now, I am perfectly aware that as matter of strict law the deprivation of the elective franchise may not be regarded as a punishment, and therefore no violation of the immunities conveyed by the pardon. But as a matter of fact these pardons have been given and accepted with the full understanding that the recipients were thereby fully restored to all the rights and privileges of citizenship, and do we not by the proposed action place ourselves in the attitude of taking back by constitutional amendment that which has been given by act of Congress and by presidential proclamation issued in pursuance of law? And will not this course be justly subject to the charge of bad faith on the part of the Federal Government?

Mr. STEVENS. I will answer that question. I do not know if the gentleman is a lawyer, but I suppose he has examined this question. A pardon, whether by the President having the power, or specially by act of Parliament or Congress, extinguishes the crime. After that there is no such crime in the individual. A man steals; he is pardoned; he is not then a thief, and you cannot call him a thief, or if you do you are liable to an action for slander. None of those who have been fully pardoned are affected by this provision.

Mr. BLAINE. Then I must say if the gentleman answers the question in that way that he puts a strange construction on the section. I will read it again. It is as follows:

SEC. 3. Until the 4th day of July, 1870, all persons who voluntarily adhered to the late insurrection, giving it aid and comfort, shall be excluded from the right to vote for Representatives in Congress and for electors for President and Vice President of the United States.

mankind and the curse of Heaven. That article referred to provided that if one of the injured race was excluded the State should forfeit the right to have any of them represented. That would have hastened their full enfranchisement. This section allows the States to discriminate among the same class, and receive proportionate credit in representation. This I dislike. But it is a short step forward. The large stride which we in vain proposed is dead; the murderers must answer to the suffering race. would not have been the perpetrator. A load of misery must sit heavy on their souls.


The third section may encounter more difference of opinion here. Among the people I believe it will be the most popular of all the provisions; it prohibits rebels from voting for members of Congress and electors of President until 1870. My only objection to it is that it is too lenient. I know that there is a morbid sensibility, sometimes called mercy, which affects a few of all classes, from the priest to the clown, which has more sympathy for the murderer on the gallows than for his victim. I hope I have a heart as capable of feeling for human woe as others. I have long since wished that capital punishment were abolished. But I never dreamed that all punishment could be dispensed with in human society. Anarchy, treason, and violence would reign triumphant. Here is the mildest of all punishments ever inflicted on traitors. I might not consent to the extreme severity denounced upon them by a provisional governor of Tennessee-I mean the late lamented Andrew Johnson of blessed memory-but I would have increased the severity of this section. I would be glad to see it extended to 1876, and to include all State and municipal as well as national elections. In my judgment we do not sufficiently protect the loyal men of the rebel States from the vindictive persecutions of their victorious rebel neighbors. Still I will move no amendment, nor vote for any, lest the whole fabric should tumble to pieces.

I need say nothing of the fourth section, for none dare object to it who is not himself a rebel. To the friend of justice, the friend of the Union, of the perpetuity of liberty, and the final triumph of the rights of man and their extension to every human being, let me say, sacrifice as we have done your peculiar views, and instead of vainly insisting upon the instantaneous operation of all that is right accept what is possible, and "all these things shall be added unto you."

I move to recommit the joint resolution to the committee on reconstruction.

Mr. BLAINE. I do not rise to discuss the proposition, but to ask of the honorable chairman of the committee a question, an answer to which, I am sure, will afford gratification and satisfaction to me, and doubtless to other members of the House. It relates to the third section of the proposed constitutional amendment, which is in these words:

SEC. 3. Until the 4th day of July, in the year 1870, all persons who voluntarily adhered to the late insurrection, giving it aid and comfort, shall be excluded from the right to vote for Representatives in Congress and for electors for President and Vice President of the United States.

Now, the question in my mind, upon which I respectfully ask for information, is whether this may not involve us in a position of bad faith. On the 17th of July, 1862, an act was approved, entitled "An act to suppress insurrection, to punish treason, to seize and confis cate the property of rebels, and for other purposes," of which the thirteenth section is in

these words:


That the President is hereby authorized at any time hereafter, by proclamation, to extend to persons who may have participated in the existing rebellion, in any State or part thereof, pardon and amuesty, with such exceptions and at such times and on such conditions as he may deem expedient for the public welfare."

Under and in pursuance of this act the late President Lincoln issued a proclamation granting a great number of pardons upon certain specified conditions. Hundreds and perhaps thousands of pardons were granted by Mr.

Now, I understand the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania to say that those under the rank of colonel who were pardoned will not be considered as having "adhered" to the rebellion, and that this will not apply to them, or in any way affect them. This certainly is a very strange construction, and it seems to me that it effectually nullifies what has been understood as the intent and purpose of the section. In that view the section is worthless; and in the view I have given it involves bad faith.

Mr. STEVENS. The law says that a man convicted of felony shall not testify. You call him as a witness; the objector shows his conviction; he shows his pardon; and he is not a felon.

Mr. BLAINE. The gentleman from Pennsylvania will excuse me. There is no pardon

that can be shown in this case.

Mr. STEVENS. Oh, yes; there is a pardon. Mr. BLAINE. There was no pardon granted except by the proclamation. These men have no pardons which they can produce in court as a malefactor can. A vast class was pardoned by wholesale, and being pardoned, they stand to day just as well in point of civil rights and privileges as they did before the rebellion. Now, I maintain that this constitutional amendment would lead to serious misunderstanding throughout the entire South.

Mr. STEVENS. Of course the fact of having complied with the conditions of pardon

will be shown.

Mr. BLAINE. But there were no conditions.

Mr. STEVENS. Oh, yes, there were. Mr. BLAINE. President Johnson's proclamation pardoned all below a certain rank in the rebel army. Mr. Lincoln, I know, did exact conditions; and if there were no proclamation out except that of Mr. Lincoln, why, of course, there could be no misunderstanding. But I want the gentleman to observe the phraseology of the act of 1862, for

it was evidently written with a view to being applied after the war should have ceased. It


"The President is hereby authorized at any time hereafter, by proclamation, to extend to persons who may have participated in the existing rebellion, in any State or part thereof, pardon," &c.

It alluded to a future time when the rebellion should be suppressed. That future time has been reached. The rebellion was concluded and its armies dispersed, and President Johnson, in direct and literal pursuance of law, issued his proclamation pardoning all that class below the rank of colonel who had participated in the rebellion.

Now, this constitutional amendment would be held to override the President's proclamation, being organic in its nature and supreme. I understand, to use the cant phrase of the day, that it 'goes back" on these men, and deprives them of the civil rights which this full pardon restored to them. That is my understanding, and that, it seems to me, would be the legal construction. But if the gentleman from Pennsylvania is correct, and it does not apply to that class of men, then I maintain that it is the bounden duty of the House to make the language so plain that "he who runs may read," and that there may be no doubt about its construction.

Mr. STEVENS. I have only to say, again, that whenever a man can show a full pardon, no penalty can be inflicted.

Mr. BLAINE. I desire to make no motion at this time, but if this provision is to be left, according to the construction which I have given it, what I think is the obvious one, or according to the construction which the gentleman from Pennsylvania has given it, which, it seems to me, would lead to infinite mischief and complication, I shall avail myself, at the proper time, of the right to move to strike it


Mr. FINCK. Mr. Speaker, I promise to trespass upon the attention of the House but a very few minutes in what I have to say on this question.

An amendment to the Constitution is at all times a matter of grave importance, and should command calm and patient deliberation.

It is of the last importance to the prosperity and happiness of a people that stability in the great organic laws of the nation should be maintained. Amendments sometimes, I agree, become necessary to the constitution of every nation; but they should not be hurriedly made, and never without considering the interests and opinions of the whole people.

To me, Mr. Speaker, this of all other seems the most inauspicious time to propose or make changes in our Constitution.

We are just at the close of the most stupendous war which has ever scourged any nation, and the passions and alienations which have been engendered by this strife have not yet completely passed away."

The amendments proposed are to affect the people of this whole country, but more espe cially are they intended to affect the people of the States lately in insurrection; and it would seem not only to be an act of even-handed justice, but of the highest wisdom, if we would consult the teachings of the wise and pure men who established our Government, that these people should have an opportunity of considering and discussing these amendments here, and to record their votes through their representatives either for or against them before they are finally submitted to the States for their action. Now, what is the condition in which we to-day find ourselves?

The war terminated over a year ago. The people of the late insurgent States have fully and completely yielded obedience to the Constitution and laws of the United States. Their State governments are completely restored. Their courts are in the full exercise of their jurisdiction, and profound peace reigns throughout our borders. To show that these people only refer to the fact that they have ratified the are in earnest, and acting in good faith, I need

dential election of 1868, but will, after having his feelings soothed and his love of country encouraged by being branded as an outlaw and compelled to bear the burdens of Government, in the nicely adjusted and ascertained period of four years from the 4th day of July, 1866, which is a safe and reasonable time after the next presidential election, be converted into a true and loyal citizen, and will by that time become attached to the Government which had disfranchised him, and may then safely be intrusted with the great right of suffrage. Certainly this discovery deserves to be protected by some law.

amendment abolishing slavery, abandoned the pretended claim to the right of secession, and elected members of Congress.

But, sir, the men who control this Congress have failed, in my judgment, to meet these people in that true spirit of kindness and forgiveness dictated by a wise and enlarged statesmanship, and which now alone are necessary to restore cordial relations between the two sections.

At the commencement of this session a most extraordinary resolution was adopted, creating a joint committee of fifteen on reconstruction, and to which it was ordered that everything relating to the admission of members from the late insurgent States should be referred, and none of their representatives were to be admitted until this committee should report on the subject. Thus this House, in the face of that provision of the Constitution, which declares that each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members, surrendered the exercise of that right to a joint committee, the distinguished chairman of which [Mr. STEVENS] had already pronounced these States conquered territories and their citizens aliens.

We have been advised from time to time, with an air of supreme defiance at the restoration policy of the President, that Congress must first ascertain and declare that these were States really in the Union, with governments republican in form; and that until these things were satisfactorily declared by Congress, no Senator or Representative could be admitted from any of these States.

Well, sir, we have waited, and the country has waited, with feverish anxiety for the period when this committee should report on these questions and the congressional plan should be finally presented. Witnesses have been brought from all parts of the country and examined by the committee, to ascertain and report on the loyalty of the southern people and the condition of their State governments. At last, after five months' labor, this committee has brought in its report, and what information do they bring us? And what do they propose that Congress shall do? Do they tell us whether these States are in or out of the Union; or whether they have governments republican in form? Nota bit of it. But they report an amendment to the Constitution, containing four or five sections, with two bills accompanying it, and these are to constitute the congressional plan, as opposed to the policy of the President.

The time to which I am limited by the resolution of the House regulating this discussion n; will prevent me from entering into an elaborate examination of this plan of the committee; and I shall have, therefore, to content myself with a very brief examination of it.

The first section provides that—

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Well, all I have to say about this section is, that if it is necessary to adopt it, in order to confer upon Congress power over the matters contained in it, then the civil rights bill, which the President vetoed, was passed without authority, and is clearly unconstitutional.

The second section provides a new basis for the apportionment of Representatives to Congress, and is substantially the same which was defeated some weeks since in the Senate.

The third section deprives all persons who voluntarily aided in the rebellion from voting for members of Congress and for electors for President and Vice President until the 4th day of July, 1870.

The majority of the committee have made a most wonderful discovery, as disclosed in this third section of the proposed amendment, and have gravely announced to the world that a citizen of the United States who is now entitled to vote, but whose loyalty is suspected, would be an unsafe voter in 1866, or even in the presi

But, sir, this proposition to disfranchise these people by an amendment to the Constitution, to which you require the consent of the States whose citizens are thus to be disfranchised, is a most solemn admission that you have no authority to do so without such an amendment. I trust gentlemen have no design in this proposition to disfranchise nine tenths of the voters of eleven States, unfairly to perpetuate their political power, or to influence the next presidential election.

The fourth section provides that the rebel debt shall never be paid. Well, I suppose no one can be found in this country silly enough to believe that the rebel debt ever will be paid.

These proposed amendments are accompanied by a bill which constitutes a part of the plan of the committee, the first section of which provides

That whenever the above recited amendments shall have become part of the Constitution, and any State lately in insurrection shall have ratified the same, and shall have modified its constitution and laws in conformity therewith, the Senators and Representatives from such State, if found duly elected and qualified, may, after having taken the required oaths of office, be admitted into Congress.

Also, another bill, which declares

Certain persons ineligible to office under the Government of the United States.

Here, sir, in these propositions, we have the result of the wisdom and statesmanship of the distinguished gentlemen who compose the majority of the committee; and I say it without intending the least disrespect to these gentlemen, that in the future they will be quite unwilling to fix upon this report as the standard and measure of either their ability or statesmanship. Allow me to say, further, that this committee have had the opportunity, in the most important period of our history, to have inscribed their names among the first statesmen of the age, by a liberal and enlightened policy, which would have bound all sections of this great country together in the strong bond of mutual friendship and a restored Union. But they have let that opportunity pass.

Stripped of all disguises, this measure is a mere scheme to deny representation to eleven States; to prevent indefinitely a complete restoration of the Union and perpetuate the power of a sectional and dangerous party.

I am, Mr. Speaker, in the present attitude of our affairs, opposed to making any amendments to the Constitution; and, beside this objection, I am opposed to the measure under discussion, because it seeks to introduce into our system a principle which is wholly unauthorized, and will, if adopted, I fear, lead to serious difficulties in the future.

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tion provides "that no State, with out its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate;" and the right to representation in the House is equally clear.

But this House by the mere exertion and combination of numbers excludes from its deliberations fifty-seven members; and the Senate by the same power excludes twentytwo members from a voice and vote in that Chamber. And it is, sir, in this strange and extraordinary condition of our affairs that we are gravely invited to proceed to change the Constitution in such a manner as to deeply and materially affect every State whose representatives are excluded from Congress; and we are further asked to say to these States thus excluded that if they refuse to debase themselves as equal States in the Union and decline to ratify and approve by affirmative action these changes, that their exclusion shall be perpetual.

I ask gentlemen to pause and reflect before they commit themselves to so monstrous and revolutionary a scheme as this.

I may be deluded and mistaken when I assume that we are still legislating under a Constitution which we have all sworn to support. Or can it be possible that while the forms and provisions of that sacred instrument are still contained in our books, that its whole spirit and binding authority have been destroyed, and that the rich heritage of our fathers, of a free Government regulated by law, has become already a mere machine by which the majority in Congress are left free and untrammeled to do just what they please?

Mr. Speaker, I trust that we are still in possession, not only of the Constitution of our fathers, but that we will be animated and controlled, at least in some degree, by their wisdom and patriotism.

Sir, I deny wholly that there exists under our Constitution any right whatever for any number of States to combine together to exclude the rest from their constitutional representation in Congress, and to say to these States so excluded that they shall only exercise the right of representation on the terms and conditions of adopting certain proposed amendments to the Constitution, because by the recognition of such a principle you at once sanction the right of three fourths of the States, not to make amendments merely, but to adopt a provision which they may call an amendment, and then drive the remaining one fourth of the States out of the Union, unless they shall also adopt the same proposition.

For that is virtually what is assumed may be done by the proposition of this committee. Nay, more than this is assumed. It is the assertion of the right of three fourths of the States to say to the other fourth, you shall be held in this Union for the purposes of taxation; you shall be subjected to all the burdens and duties of States in the Union, but you shall never be represented in Congress unless you agree to the conditions which we shall see proper to impose on you, although the Constitution expressly declares that "no State without its consent shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate," and that each State shall have at least one Representative in the House.

Sir, the whole scheme is revolutionary and a most shallow pretext for an excuse to exclude the vote of eleven States in the next presidential election. You cannot exact conditions in this way from any State in the Union; no more from Georgia, than from Massachusetts. They are each equal States in the Union, held together by the same Constitution, neither being the superior of the other in their relation to the Federal Government as States.

I cannot pretend to say, Mr. Speaker, what will be the action of these States, on these proposed changes, but I trust they will have spirit enough left to reject, with firm and manly independence, a scheme which disfranchises a large majority of their citizens and brands with the humiliating marks of inferiority States which are constitutionally the equals of any other

States in this Union. I trust, sir, these people will rally with a united and patriotic purpose around the wise and just policy of Andrew Johnson.

generation who may come after us, may deem it best for the true interest of a country which may then number one hundred million people, and fifty States, to modify the rights of some other States in their representation.

The six New England States have twelve Senators, but have a population less than the single State of New York, and in the next generation will probably have a population less than some of the States in the great valley of the Mississippi, and who can tell but that some other interest may not then form a combination and say to these six States, you have too much power in the Senate for your population, and we can only agree that you shall enjoy the right to be represented in Congress on the condition that you will consent to a reduction of your equal suffrage in the Senate?

Gentlemen from New England might then appeal to the Constitution and to the sanctity of that provision which gives to each State two Senators. But, sir, the answer could be made, and with tremendous force, that the same provision existed from the foundation of the Government; and notwithstanding that fact, these States once, on a memorable occasion in the history of this country, combined to disregard this provision and denied the benefit of this right to eleven of their sister States unless they should first sanction and adopt conditions which the majority had no right to impose; and depend upon it, sir, the appeal, if made to men like those who now control our legislation, would be made in vain.

Gentlemen cannot justify themselves in supporting this proposed legislation on the ground that these States are out of the Union, and that therefore this Congress may require such conditions-precedent as they please to their admission. No, sir; these States are not out of the Union. They have never been out of the Union. They have been recognized by the executive and judicial departments of the Government as States in the Union, and Congress has, by its legislation, more than once during the war fully recognized them as States in the Union, and the very measure which is now proposed to them for their acceptance is a recognition of the fact that they are existing States of the Union; and yet gentlemen who support these propositions put themselves in the attitude of requiring conditions from these States, on which they are to be entitled to representation, which they do not for a moment believe they have a right to exact from New York or Pennsylvania. Sir, these eleven States are in the Union as equal States, and as clearly entitled to representation, as Ohio or Massachusetts. They are to be counted in the number of all the States, three fourths of which are necessary to ratify an amendment to the Constitution. They are so far regarded by this committee as States as to be called upon to exercise one of the highest functions which a State can exercise, namely, to adopt or reject a proposed change in the organic law of the country.

But, sir, a strange spectacle is presented in this measure. States are called upon to deliberate on proposed amendments within their own respective jurisdictions; and these very States are deprived of all opportunity of discussing or voting upon these propositions in Congress, and are States which it is gravely proposed shall not be represented, unless they shall first adopt amendments presented to them by two thirds of the representatives of twenty-five out of the thirty-six States of this Union. And more than all, these States are thus invited to deliberate on the modest demand made of them to disfranchise a large majority of their own citizens, through Legislatures elected or to be elected, by the votes of the very men who are to be disfranchised under this amendment. Sir, the proposition need only be stated to condemn it as anti-republican and wholly at war with all the well-settled principles of a free representative Government.

It is, sir, the assertion of a principle which may embarrass the nation in the future. I trust this Government may continue a free Government for countless generations to come. The life of man is of but short duration, that of a nation is often counted by centuries. And we should remember that it is always unsafe to establish precedents which may disturb the union of these States or sanction a combination of States to impair that perfect equality of the rights of the States as they exist and are secured, under our federative system.

We all know that one of the compromises made by the framers of the Constitution was the recognition of the equality of each State in the Senate; and to fix this equality they provided in the Constitution that no State, without its consent," should be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

Well, you not only refuse this constitutional right of equal suffrage in the Senate, but go further, and deny all representation to eleven States in either House of Congress, and propose that the exercise of this plain right, secured by the Constitution to all the States, shall be enjoyed only on such terms and conditions as you may see fit to propose, through a Congress which thus excludes these States. Gentlemen would do well not to forget that it is possible, if this combination of the majority of the representatives of twenty-five of the thirty-six States, should now be successful, and should be sanctioned by the people, that a

Sir, this measure is dangerous to our safety. It protracts an unfortunate contest without promising any beneficial results to the harmony and prosperity of the country. The time has come, I most respectfully submit, when the feelings of sectional hate and animosity should give way to the higher and nobler principles of magnanimity, of kindness, conciliation, and true charity.

The people of the United States will never consent to a dissolution of the Union. They have sacrificed too much to preserve it ever to abandon it or sanction measures which will delay the complete restoration of all the States to their constitutional relations with the Federal Government. It was for this that our brave men fought. For this oceans of blood and treasure were poured out like water; and the man or set of men who may attempt to obstruct or delay the full fruition of the great struggle will be ground into powder by that people whose purposes to maintain the Union and preserve the Constitution are as fixed as our mountains.

Mr. Speaker, the North and the South are destined to live together as one people, in the same Union, and under a common Constitution. Let us, I beseech you, endeavor to live together as true friends and brothers.

its Secretary, announced that the Senate had passed a joint resolution of the House (No. 133) relative to the attempted assassination of the Emperor of Russia, with an amendment, in which he was directed to request the concur rence of the House.

Let us rise equal to the great occasion and imitate the noble example of our brave armies in the field, who, when the conflict had ended, no longer regarded the southern people as enemies, but as friends. "Enemies in war, in peace friends." Let us welcome into these Halls representatives from all the States who may be true to the Constitution and the Union; and when all these States shall once more gather around this common council chamber of the nation, then, and not till then, let the great questions of amendment be fairly discussed and voted upon.

Sir, if we shall be true to our destiny, obedient to the great principles of the Constitution and the rights of all the States, this Government will endure, and we shall be enabled to

transmit it unimpaired to our children as a priceless heritage, which has come down to us from the men of the Revolution, to be, as I most carnestly pray, perpetuated for ages to come as the model of free governments and the asylum for the oppressed of every land.


A message from the Senate, by Mr. FORNEY,


Mr. GARFIELD. Mr. Speaker, I do not rise to speak at length upon the pending measure, but for the purpose of entering a motion and submitting a few practical suggestions on the bill, and particularly in reference to the third


With almost every proposition in the report of the joint committee on reconstruction I am pleased; yes, more than pleased, I am delighted that we have at least reached the firm earth, and planted our feet upon the solid granite, on enduring and indubitable principle. I believe we have at last a series of propositions which, in the main, will meet the approval of the American people as no others have ever done since the beginning of this struggle.

I will not go into a general discussion of the reconstruction policy, but will confine myself in the few words I shall say to the joint resolution and the amendment to the Constitution proposed by it now before the House, and more particularly to one section of it. First let me say I regret more than I shall be able to tell this House that we have not found the situatiou of affairs in this country such, and the public virtue such that we might come out on the plain, unanswerable proposition that every adult intelligent citizen of the United States, unconvicted of crime, shall enjoy the right of suffrage.

Sir, I believe that the right to vote, if it be not indeed one of the natural rights of all men, is so necessary to the protection of their nat ural rights as to be indispensable, and therefore equal to natural rights. I believe that the golden sentence of John Stuart Mill, in one of his greatest works, ought to be written on the constitution of every State, and on the Consti tution of the United States, as the greatest and most precious of truths, "That the ballot is put into the hands of men, not so much to enable them to govern others as that he may not be misgoverned by others." I believe that suffrage is the shield, the sword, the spear, and all the panoply that best befits a man for his own defense in the great social organism to which he belongs. And I profoundly regret that we have not been enabled to write it and engrave it upon our institutions, and imbed it in the imperishable bulwarks of the Constitution as a part of the fundamental law of the land.

But I am willing, as I said once before in this presence, when I cannot get all I wish to take what I can get. And therefore I am willing to accept the propositions that the committee have laid before us, though I desire one amendment which I will mention presently.

I am glad to see this first section here which proposes to hold over every American citizen, without regard to color, the protecting shield of law. The gentleman who has just taken his seat [Mr. FINCK] undertakes to show that because we propose to vote for this section we therefore acknowledge that the civil rights bill was unconstitutional. He was anticipated in that objection by the gentleman from Pennsyl vania, [Mr. STEVENS.] The civil rights bill is now a part of the law of the land. But every gentleman knows it will cease to be a part of the law whenever the sad moment arrives when that gentleman's party comes into power. It is precisely for that reason that we propose to lift that great and good law above the reach of political strife, beyond the reach of the plots and machinations of any party, and fix it in the serene sky, in the eternal firmament of the Constitution, where no storm of passion can shake it and no cloud can obscure it. For this reason, and not because I believe the civil rights bill unconstitutional, I am glad to see that first

section here.

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