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ing of passports to any other than citizens of the United States, shall be, and is hereby, repealed so far as its prohibition may embrace any class of persons liable to military duty by the laws of the United States."
measure, or whose votes are asked for it, voted
I move the previous question on the bill. The previous question was seconded and the main question ordered.
The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time; and being engrossed, it was accordingly read the third time and passed.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa, moved to reconsider the vote by which the bill was passed; and also moved that the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table.
The latter motion was agreed to.
Mr. SPALDING demanded the regular order of business.
The House accordingly resumed the consideration of the joint resolution (H. R. No. 127) proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, reported from the joint committee on reconstruction.
The motion to recommit the joint resolution had been made by Mr. STEVENS.
The pending question was upon the motion of Mr. GARFIELD to amend the motion to recommit by adding instructions to the committee to report the proposed amendment to the Constitution with the third section stricken out.
Upon this question Mr. SMITH was entitled to the floor for one minute; but he was not present.
Mr. BROOMALL. Mr. Speaker, it was to be expected that the measure now before the House would meet the opposition and denunciation of the unrepentant thirty-three of this body. The gentlemen who have voted on all occasions upon the rebel side of all questions that have been before the country for six years could hardly be expected to change their position at this time.
Mr. ROSS. Will the gentleman allow me to ask him a question?
Allow me at once to say that I have but thirty minutes, and will not yield any of my time to anybody.
I say, Mr. Speaker, that it was not to be expected that those gentlemen would change their front upon short notice at this late day. But it is useless to waste arguments upon them in favor of this measure.
That measure, however, will meet with no opposition from those on whom the country depends for its safety, because if it is not necessary it is at least harmless. If we are already safe with the civil rights bill, it will do no harm to become the more effectually so, and to prevent a mere majority from repealing the law and thus thwarting the will of the loyal people.
The second proposition is, in short, to limit the representation of the several States as those States themselves shall limit suffrage. That measure has already received the sanction of all who can possibly be expected to vote for the proposition now before the House; because the joint resolution which passed this body by more than two thirds, and was defeated in the Senate, proposed to submit a similar change in the Constitution to the States for ratification. There is, therefore, little necessity for argument upon this point.
But I will ask, why should not the representation of the States be limited as the States themselves limit suffrage? It is said that this is intended to prevent the southern States from having the representation now based upon their black and non-voting population. The terms of the proposed measure do not so limit it. But I will admit that mainly it will operate only on that population, and in the South. And why not? If the negroes of the South are not to be counted as a political element in the gov ernment of the South in the States, why should they be counted as a political element in the government of the country in the Union? If they are not to be counted as against the southern people themselves, why should they be counted as against us? The fact is, the negro of the South does vote, or rather he has his vote cast for him. He is voted by his white and hardly more loyal neighbor-I would say brother only that I might be suspected of having some sly reference to the Democratic bleaching process which so confuses southern genealogies.
If the blacks were permitted to vote instead of being voted, according to the doctrine of chances they would vote right half the times by mere guessing, be they ever so ignorant; and this is greatly more than can be said of their white neighbors for the last half dozen years. I will not say that this is more than can be said of the northern friends of those neighbors for the same period; but I will not risk my reputation for veracity by denying the proposition.
It was also to be expected that the six Johnsonian new converts to Democracy would also oppose and vote against this measure; commencing with the gentleman from New York, [Mr. RAYMOND,] who, I believe, has the disease in the most virulent form, thence down to the gentleman from Kentucky, [Mr. SMITH,] who preceded me on this question, and who has the mildest and most amiable type of the infection. Upon them, too, arguments are useless.
There must then be thirty-nine votes against the measure, and I want there to be no more. I want every member of this House outside of those thirty-nine to vote for it heartily and earnestly. I want every man to come to the couclusion to which I have come, to vote, if not for that which he wants, for the best that he can get; to vote for the report of the committee if he can get it, just as he would have voted for something better; and if he cannot get the measure reported, then to vote for the next best.
It is not what I wanted. How far short of it! But the necessity is urgent, and we must take what will obtain the votes of two thirds of both Houses of Congress, and the ratification of three fourths of the actual States of this Union, those entitled to a voice upon the question.
Now, what is this that is submitted for our action? I will consider the several propositions briefly; I am only sorry that I am limited to so short a space of time. We pose, first, to give power to the Government of the United States to protect its own citizens within the States, within its own jurisdiction. Who will deny the necessity of this? No one. The fact that all who will vote for the pending !!
The next proposition proposes to disfranchise until 1870 a certain portion of the southern people. Now, I am sorry to see that opposition to this feature of the measure comes from this side of the House. I regretted very much yesterday to hear the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. GARFIELD] and the gentleman from Maine [Mr. BLAINE] oppose this feature of the joint resolution. I am sure they have not well considered it. Let us see who it is we propose to deprive of suffrage until 1870, and to what extent.
First, we do not propose to do what was done at the close of the Revolution, to disfranchise throughout all time to come the active and willing participants in the mischief, but only until the year 1870, only for the next four years. Again, we do not propose to deprive all the voters of the South of the privilege of voting, but only the willing aiders and abettors.
Look at the words of the proposition:
All persons who voluntarily adhered to the late insurrection, giving it aid and comfort.
Now, who are they, and how many are there of that class? This is an important inquiry. It has been said broadly, with the air of sincerity, and as if it were susceptible of being demonstrated, that these people number nine tenths of all the voters of the South. This is a grand mistake. The white population of the eleven States not now represented in the Government was in 1860 five million six hundred thousand in round numbers. Counting the voters as one fifth-and that is about the ordinary ratio of voters to population-we have one million one hundred and twenty thousand voters in those eleven States. Do we propose to disfranchise all these? Do we propose to disfranchise nine tenths of them, as has been said here? By no means.
According to the best estimates that can be made upon the subject and all are mere estimates, for we are without the means of obtaining accurate information-there were altgether in the southern army about eight hundred thousand men. How many of them were negroes I do not know. I know that the southern Democrats at first entertained the notion of their northern friends, that the negro would not do for a soldier, but after several years of conscription and draft, both wings of the party began to think he would. Toward the close of the rebellion the South commenced to muster the negro into the service. Suppose there were fifty thousand of them-it is true that is but a guess, there may have been twice as many or half as many-this would leave seven hundred and fifty thousand white men actually participating in the rebellion in the field.
Now, let us bear in mind that the masses of the people in the South rendered aid and comfort to the rebellion only in the field. The great leaders of the Democracy rendered, it is true, aid and comfort in various other ways. But they constituted the few. I speak of the masses of the people only; and I repeat that they rendered aid and comfort, within the meaning of this provision, in the field only. We may therefore take seven hundred and fifty thousand as the number of the individuals in the South who rendered aid and comfort to the enemy, not counting (because the number is so inconsiderable) the comparatively few though powerful leaders who rendered aid and comfort outside of the army.
But, sir, we do not propose to disfranchise even these seven hundred and fifty thousand. Some of them were killed; how many we do not know. We do know that our own dead numbered nearly three hundred thousand; and we have every reason to believe the confederacy suffered to the same extent that we did in that matter. Supposing two hundred and fifty thousand of the rebel army were lost, we have five hundred thousand actual voters in the South to be disfranchised by this measure if they come within the meaning of it. But do they come within the meaning of this provision? Why, sir, it does not embrace the unwilling conscripts; it does not embrace the men who were compelled to serve in the army. How many were there of these? I do not know; but I do know that after the first few months in the war of the rebellion the southern people refused to volunteer, and were required to be forced into the army. How many were there of these so forced? If I were allowed to guess, I would say very nearly all. At least it would be fair to say three hundred thousand of these people belonged to the unwilling class who were forced into the army by rigid conscription laws and the various contrivances of the leading rebels. This will leave two hundred thou
sand; and I say now it is utterly impossible, in my opinion, that the number of people in the South who can be operated upon by this provision should exceed two hundred thousand, if, indeed, it should reach the one half of that number. Is this nine tenths of the voters of the South? Why, it is about one in every twelve.
I am just reminded by my colleague [Mr. WILLIAMS] that the report of the committee shows us that these eleven States furnished forty-two thousand soldiers to the Union Army. I suppose no one on this side the House will pretend that the pending measure will disfranchise them, whatever may be the desire on the other side. These men can take the "test oath." Why can they not fill Federal offices in the South?
portion of this debt held by southern Democratic leaders; and it is to guard against the paying of this that the great necessity exists for putting this provision into the Constitution. It may be that the punishment of our country for its national sins is not yet complete. It may be that in the future an inscrutable Providence intends, for our full punishment, to restore to power for a time the Democratic party. What would be the result then? We know what would be the result. I want to put it out of the power of the Government to pay the rebel debt, that our friends on the other side of the House may not at some time be tempted by their old habit of obedience to the southern task-master. These men who have voted upon that side of all questions can hardly be expected to withhold their votes when their possible future leaders shall demand that the rebel debt be paid as far as they are concerned. The only way to guard against that effectually is to put the provision itself in the Constitution prohibiting any portion thereof from ever being paid.
It is looked upon, Mr. Speaker, as a monstrous piece of tyranny that we should ask one out of twelve of the voters to stand aside for four years, to take a back seat, in the classic language of the White House, as a part expiation-if the word is not itself a mockery used in that connection-in part expiation of so enormous a crime. Let it be understood that we do not propose to disfranchise these people for State purposes. They are allowed their own local government, if the people of the States will permit them to vote. They will only not be allowed to control this Government, and they ought not to be allowed to control it. So far as we are concerned, we give them local government to the fullest extent to which we have it ourselves. It is known to every gentleman in this Hall that by far the largest portion of the business of government is done in the States. With respect to this largest portion, we leave it to these States to grant or refuse suffrage, without regard to the condition, the opinions, or the crimes of those claiming it. So much for that.
Now, I know we have it from high authority that in all the southern country there are not enough of men who can take the oath prescribed by the law to hold the Federal offices. I know that is asserted, but I have no belief in it whatever. I am satisfied that it is not true. I do not know why that assertion has been so boldly made unless for the purpose of enabling the Democrats of this body and the new converts to obtain a repeal of the "test oath," and thereby to give seats in Congress to some of their southern political friends. I do not know why otherwise that notion was started, but that it is not true any reflecting man who will read the history of the last five years must see. We know what the truth is. It is this: the manner in which the present Administration has punished treason has made it not odious, but indeed the only popular institution of the South, so that if a man can take the oath he is afraid to let his neighbors know it. Treason has been made popular in the South, and loyalty odious. A man who has always been loyal is compelled by public opinion, forced upon and encouraged in the South by the Administration, compelled, I say, to deny his loyalty, and to simulate treason. Where are the forty-two thousand southern Union soldiers?
The third of these propositions is to prevent the payment of the rebel debt by the United States or any of the rebel States, and to prevent compensation from ever being made for slaves. Is there anybody here who has any objection to that? The former measure has received the sanction of the House heretofore by the requisite two-thirds vote, and might be passed by as a thing settled upon. Is there any reason why we should guard against the payment of the rebel debt? It is strange that there should be necessity for it; but that there is such no one here can doubt. A large portion of this debt is held abroad. The foreign allies of the Democratic rebellion contributed their money to aid the party here; and if the Government of the United States does not provide irrevocably that they shall lose the investment, it will be false to every duty it owes to its citizens. But there is a considerable
The latter branch of the fourth section prohibits the giving of compensation for slaves. Now, a prominent Democratic member of this House, whose name I will not mention without his consent, yesterday told me that when the Democratic party-he did not say "if," but "when, ," and he did not even blush to say it-when the Democratic party came to be restored to power it would demand payment for emancipated slaves or the repudiation of our national debt, and I confess I believed him.
Can any man doubt what the position of the Democratic members of this body will be with fifty-eight added to their number from the rebel States-fifty-eight Representatives of those whom they have for years obeyed and who will demand this of them?
Mr. LE BLOND. Mr. Speaker, I demand the name.
The SPEAKER. The gentleman declines to be interrupted.
Mr. BROOMALL. If any man hesitates to believe with me, let him look over the files of the Congressional Globe for the last four years, and then if he is not convinced I will concede that he is beyond the reach of conviction.
been the penalty allotted to treason, to rebellion that fails to make itself revolution? Death, banishment, confiscation. Look at England in the Indies and in Jamaica! Yet we propose not even punishment, not even the enforcement of existing laws.
They say that we offered in 1861 to pay for these slaves. So we did, and if the offer had been accepted we would have gained largely by it. The cost of the war, counted only in dollars, would have largely paid for all the slaves. But the offer was not accepted, and it will never be renewed with the consent of the loyal people. Let our political opponents call the dead to life, let them restore to their homes three hundred thousand murdered American citizens, and then let them pay the debt which we contracted in putting down their rebellion, and we will renew our offer. We will then pay for their slaves and gain largely by the transaction.
Mr. Speaker, this measure has been spoken of as the punishment to be imposed upon the South. Why, is this all that is proposed to be inflicted upon men who have been guilty of crimes so monstrous? Is there to be no further punishment than this? Is treason not to be rendered odious? In fact, this is not a punishment at all. These people have now no rights. They are the conquered, we the conquerors; and the conquered, as everybody knows, must look to the conquerors for their future political and civil position. We propose to grant rights, we propose to give favors, but we propose to leave out one in every twelve for four years in thus giving the favors. It is not as punishment, it is as a means of future security, that this provision is asked to be incorporated in the Constitution. We have beaten the in the field. He is at our mercy. In a spirit of unparalleled magnanimity, we propose to restore the status ante bellum as far as is consistent with our future safety. Why, there never were such terms as these offered to any vanquished people by the victors. Look through all history and find its parallel. In every other country what has
These people have murdered two hundred and ninety thousand of our fellow-citizens. The man Probst, who in Philadelphia has been tried and sentenced to be hanged for murder, killed eight persons. That poor, miserable, petty scoundrel only killed eight; these people have killed two hundred and ninety thousand. He is to be hanged, and Alexander H. Stephens, who was one of the main supporters of the rebellion, is to be allowed a seat in the Senate of the United States. What a mockery of human justice!
Sir, the time will come when the poor, ignorant Dutchman who committed his petty crime will be brought to the same bar with Vice President Stephens who aided in the murder of so many of the good and the true men of our country, and these things will all be made even. There is a necessity for a future world that the immense inequalities of the present one may be rectified.
Let it offend no Democratic sensibilities that I should contrast Probst and Stephens, the murderous Dutchman and the murderous conspirator. If there is any one man in the South peculiarly responsible to the widows and the orphans of those whose bones lie upon southern battle-fields or are worn as ornaments about the necks of high-born Democratic ladies, that man is Alexander H. Stephens. He sinned against light and knowledge. He was the great champion of the Union in the South. When he was bribed by the love of office into crime, what wonder that the great masses of the South followed him?
Why, even Probst was the pupil of Stephens. Probst was a soldier, serving by accident on the right side. Stephens made his school, inaugu rated the war. Sir, read, if you can read, the miserable man's confession, and then ask yourself whether those horrible details could have been gone through by any one who had not learned the art of human butchery in the school of war.
Both these men "accept the situation;" both acknowledge that they have been defeated in a war upon society; but Stephens appears before a committee of Congress and actually claims rights, like the Pharisee in the temple; while poor Probst can only say, "Lord have mercy upon me a sinner."
Probably my Democratic friends may not like the comparison. Neither do I. I will not put the ignorant upon a level with the learned in responsibility. I will not apply the same rule to tlie private soldier and to the statesman. I will not compare the murderer of only eight with the murderer of two hundred and ninety thousand. Yet Probst is to be hanged, while the President of the United States and the Democratic members of Congress are at this moment asking exactly such a modification of the "test oath" as will allow Stephens a seat in the United States Senate! Oh, what a mockery of justice in this! Break down your prison doors. Repeal your criminal codes. Let it not be said that in enlightened America we only punish the poor, the ignorant, and the degraded!
To bolster up the pet theory of restoration founded on rebel rights, it is now denied that we have ever been at war. War supposes conquest as one obvious mode of termination, and conquest extinguishes political rights. This would not suit the purposes of those who think the South was right in her demands, but only blundered in the means employed to obtain them. Hence there has been no war, whatever the soldiers and the bereaved ones may think to the contrary.
The President of the United States, in his recent peace proclamation, has given us from a Democratic stand-point the military history of the country for the last five years. He says that in 1861 certain persons in certain States
conspired together to prevent the execution of the laws; that the Government resolved to put down the conspiracy, not in the spirit of conquest, but in that of self-preservation, and that the insurrection has now been suppressed; and this is all. This is the official report of the high Executive to his grand constituency.
From the cold official statement, who that did not feel and know these eventful years could imagine what scenes of human sorrow are embraced within the unwritten history of that period? There was an insurrection, and it has been suppressed. Has sated ambition forgotten the immense cost to the country of the process by which it became what it is? Why, in this brief history there are hundreds of thousands of treasons unpunished. In this the blood of more than a quarter of a million murdered victims cries aloud for retributive justice. And this the President of the United States calls insurrection. Why this history would exhibit great armies, such as the world has rarely seen, devastating whole States, and meeting in grand and terrible conflict-all the machinery of war in its largest possible extent.
But who shall write the details? Who shall tell the instances of individual suffering? Who shall say how many husbands and fathers asked but one day of absence from the Army to bury the wife or child and were of necessity denied? Who shall tell of the tired sentinel, awakened at his post after days and nights of toil, from dreams of home, to answer at the bar of the terrible court-martial for not doing what man could not do? Who shall tell of the secret sorrow of the unpensioned widow and orphan of him who fell from the ranks upon the long and march to die the death of the dog by weary the roadside and be marked upon his country's roll of dishonor as a deserter?
submitted to this House for its consideration comes to us clothed with all the power and the commanding influence of a committee of the two Houses of Congress, selected, as charity compels us to suppose, on account of their experience, their wisdom, their justice, and their patriotism; and that which has been submitted to us is the work of five long and tedious months, and represents the views, sentiments, and principles of at least the majority of the House, or the party from which they were selected.
Yet the President of the United States calls the occurrences of the last five years insurrection, and tells us with true official coldness that it is suppressed! Surely sated ambition has overlooked the immense cost of what it feeds. on. If this is insurrection, in the name of all that is horrible what is war?
America transcends her elder sister in the length of her rivers, in the height of her mountains, and in the tremendous energy of her people. And we are now told that that transcendency extends even to the art of human butchery. When an American insurrection is so like the most devastating of European wars, the imagination shrinks with horror from contemplating what would be an American war. Surely the heart of the Executive is not in sympathy with the millions who made him what he is. Mr. SHANKLIN. Mr. Speaker, the subject now before the House for its consideration is a matter, perhaps, of as much importance, and involves as many important interests to the American people, as any subject upon which the Congress of the United States can have to pass. Upon its solution may depend the weal or woe of the American people and their descendants. Those institutions, republican and free in their character, reared by the wisdom, the patriotism, and the sufferings of our revolutionary sires, and consecrated by their blood, may depend upon the action of this Congress upon this subject.
It becomes us, then, as the Representatives of a generous and confiding people, who hold these important interests and trusts in our hands, to divest ourselves as far as is possible of every angry passion, to banish every sectional prejudice or partiality, to discard personal interest and considerations, to break the lines of party, and to rise above considerations of that kind to a higher and purer sphere, that we may act for the general good of the whole country now and forever. If we could but do this our labors would be easy, our task would be more than half performed in its very commencement. But if, from the frailty of our natures and our passions, we are unable to assume a position of this sort let us at least approach our task with clean hands, pure hearts, and patriotic intentions.
Mr. Speaker, the subject which has been
I therefore approach this subject with no ordinary degree of embarrassment and hesitancy; but my own convictions of truth and justice, of right and of duty, must control my action, and I am ready to take whatever responsibility may attach to it.
The joint resolution reported by the committee, and which is now before the House, is as follows:
SEC. 1. 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.
SEC. 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But whenever, in any State, the elective franchise shall be denied to any portion of its male citizens not less than twenty-one years of age, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion or other crimes, the basis of representation in such State shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens not less than twenty-one years of age.
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 members of Congress, and for electors for President and Vice President of the United States.
SEC. 4. Neither the United States, nor any State, shall assume or pay any debt or obligation already incurred, or which may hereafter be incurred, in aid of insurrection or of war against the United States; or any claim for compensation for loss of involuntary service or labor.
SEC. 5. Congress shall have power to enforce, by
appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
That joint resolution presupposes and takes as an established fact that those States lately in rebellion are no longer members of the Union; that the ties which bound them to this Government have been severed, and that the people of those States are aliens and foreigners to this Government. That is the position which has been assumed by this committee, and upon that hypothesis this resolution and these measures are based. I do not design now to discuss the question whether these States are in or out of the Union. That question has been ably and elaborately discussed. Our minds are made up upon that subject. The mind of the public is made up upon that subject. But we all remember that at the commencement of this difficulty these States asserted that it was a constitutional right which they had to withdraw from the Union and form independent and separate governments themselves, and in obedience to this claimed right they passed their ordinances of secession. We took the ground, and rightfully too, as I believe, that they had no such right under the Constitution which had been framed by our fathers; that they owed allegiance to the General Government; that they must obey the laws and Constitution of the General Government, and that they could not withdraw from it. The issue was fairly made up. One party contended that they had the right of secession and to sever the ties which bound them to the Union; and the other party, as I think rightfully, took the ground that they had no such right; and the issue was made and submitted to the arbitra
ment of arms.
Mr. Speaker, after four long years of bloody war, the most desolating that the world has ever seen; after the sacrifice of half a million of our Federal soldiers and citizens, and the slaughter, perhaps, of nearly as many more of the confederate people; after the expenditure of more than four thousand million dollars, a debt entailed upon this country, and which will be handed down for years and years to
come, our armies triumphed. These people who asserted this right of secession surrendered it; they said they would give up the contest. They laid down their arms and dispersed; and they then expected to come back into the room and to assume the places which they had occupied before. But they are met at the threshold with, "No, no; you are aliens and foreigners, and you cannot come into this Government unless upon such terms as we may propose to you."
You went to war to sustain the Constitution of the United States and to enforce all the provisions of that Constitution. We triumphed, and then we turn around and say that all their constitutional rights have been lost. We say to them, "You made war to go out of the Union; you have failed with your armies to accomplish your purpose to get out of the Union; and yet you are out of the Union. We fought to keep you in the Union and we triumphed, yet you are out of the Union." That is the result of this whole proposition, and the logic of the committee.
Mr. Speaker, there are two prominent and distinct ideas contained in this proposition. The first idea is to strike down the reserved rights of the States, those rights which were declared by the framers of the Constitution to belong to the States exclusively and necessary for the protection of the property and liberty of the people. The first section of this proposed amendment to the Constitution is to strike down those State rights and invest all power in the General Government. It is then proposed to disfranchise the people of the southern States who have gone into this rebellion, until the party in power could fasten and rivet the chains of oppression for all time to come, and hedge themselves in power, that they may rule and control those people at will. Those are the two ideas contained in this proposi tion.
Now, how do you propose to carry out that second idea? Is it by degrading, by humbling, by humiliating these people, and rendering them unworthy of the blessings of liberty or of being recognized as citizens? Do you expect to effect the object in that way? Do you expect, by the terms you propose to impose on those people, to render them willing serfs and slaves to your power? If they will submit to the burdens which you propose, then they ought not to come back into this Union; for they will be unworthy to hold the position of American citizens.
But how are you going to humble and degrade these people? By disfranchising them, by oppressing them with taxes, by denying them representation, by dragging them down to the loyal political and social equality with the servile African race. You may impoverish them, you may exterminate them, but you can never reduce them to the condition when they will kiss the hand that strikes them.
How long do you suppose it would take to bring you to that condition? How long would you struggle against those acts of oppression, those acts of tyranny, before you would bow in submission as slaves and serfs? Do you suppose these people in the southern States are intellectually, morally, or physically your inferiors? Certainly you do not believe that. They may be disloyal in the estimation of some. But I will assert that so far as we know these peo ple from their past history, they are not your inferiors physically, morally, or intellectually.
The people of the southern States and the people of the northern States stood side by side in the great battles of the revolutionary war; they met in the councils of the nation; they were as brave upon the battle-field, as wise in the council, and as safe advisers as the people of the northern States. They were the peers and the equals of the people of the North.
In the war of 1812 they stood by the Govern ment and they drove back the foreign invader. Were they your inferiors then? Does history establish that to be the fact? They were your equals wherever tried and wherever met. In the war with Mexico, men from South
You deny to the States the right of repudiation. Yet, in the very act of denying that right, you yourselves commit an act of repudiation. You violate the honor of the nation, which is most solemnly pledged to payment for the slaves which were enlisted in the United States Army in loyal slave States. In my State, Kentucky, more than thirty thousand negroes enlisted in the Union Army. Before that enlistment an act was passed by this Congress, pledging the faith of the nation to payment for the slaves that might be enlisted in the Union Army in loyal slave States, not exceeding $300 apiece. Has such compensation ever been made? It has not. The nation is pledged to|| the payment of that debt. The nation to-day owes to my State more than $10,000,000 under the provisions of that act. Yet now you propose a constitutional provision denying both to the States and the General Government the right to pay such debts. By this measure you propose to violate the plighted faith of the nation; you propose to practice upon the people an outrage and a violation of their rights.
But, Mr. Speaker, we are asked by gentlemen here, and asked with an air of great confidence and triumph, "Do you want these rebels to take seats in Congress? Are you willing to admit to participation in the Government rebels who have sacrificed and slaughtered our people?" No, sir.
Carolina and men from Massachusetts and Rhode Island stood side by side on the battlefields upon the plains of Mexico. Were not the men of the South as brave and gallant as the men of the North? Did they shrink from responsibility? They were your equals in every point of view.
From the commencement of this Government down to the commencement of this unfortunate war they met in councils of the nation; they met in judicial forums; they filled executive, judicial, and ministerial offices side by side with men of the northern States, and in every sta tion and position they were the peers and equals of the men of the North.
You have recently met them in this civil war, with five times their population and ten times their resources, and they kept your gallant and brave armies at bay for four long years. Their councils were as wise, their measures were as judicious for prosecuting the war and to effect the objects which they had in view as yours were. They kept you at bay. The cannon of their army were heard as often in this capital as your cannon were heard in their capital at Richmond. Does this prove that they are your inferiors? You overcame them by numbers, not because you were their superiors in wisdom, in gallantry, in bravery. I admit and assert that they erred in this matter. They claimed rights which did not belong to them. Thousands of them, however, believed that they had these rights. They acted upon that belief. But, sir, they have now surrendered all those claims. What policy will you now pursue toward them?
Mr. Speaker, if the doctrine of the party in power is true, that those States are out of the Union, that they have cut loose from their obligations to the Constitution, and taken themselves outside of the pale of that instrument, I ask you what have you gained by this war. We waged a war to prevent their going out; we waged a war for the purpose of enforcing the laws against them. We were successful, as gentlemen say. The people of the South waged a war to go out of the Union. They were unsuccessful. Yet the doctrine of the party in power admits that the rebels succeeded in accomplishing the object for which they fought. I ask again, what have you gained? Have you kept them in the Union? You say that you have not. Have you maintained and sup ported and enforced the Constitution? You say that you have not. Then what have you gained by this war which has cost this nation so much blood and treasure? All that you have gained is that you have entailed upon yourselves and upon posterity a debt which bears the nation down, and will continue to bear it down as an incubus. You have freed, it may be said, four million slaves. Yes, you have freed four million slaves, who were productive laborers, who were contented and happy and well provided for, and you have thrown them upon society unprepared for their condition, destitute of that training and education which are necessary to enable them to protect themselves. You have converted one half of them into vagabonds. That is a part of the fruits of this war. You have done more. By the demoralization of these people, and by the policy which you have adopted in regard to them, you have imposed upon the people a debt which I will not attempt to estimate, for the purpose of supporting a pet institution called the Freedmen's Bureau.
Perhaps you have gained another object. You have through that bureau manufactured the materials that have filled the galleries of this Hall during the whole session. Crowds of these negroes have hung over us like a black and threatening cloud, while we were crucifying the Constitution of our fathers and trampling under our feet the rights and liberties of the people in passing the Freedmen's Bureau bill, the civil rights bill, and the indemnity bill. They have joined in the shouts of triumph which have gone up when this House has trampled on the rights of the people and set at naught the provisions of the Constitution. What more do you propose by this measure?
If these people are not pardoned and acquitted then they have no right, as they have violated the laws of the country, to enjoy all the blessings of the protection of this Government; but if they have been pardoned, if the political sins of which they have been guilty have been wiped out, do you think your garb of loyalty and patriotism is made of such flimsy stuff that association with these men would soil and contaminate it? The mighty host, we are told, that is gathered around the throne of the Most High is composed of pardoned sinners, the associates and companions of angels. But a pardoned rebel must not associate with the political Pharisees of this House!
Where are you going to? You are not willing to associate with pardoned rebels. I understand the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania, [Mr. STEVENS,] who is ever fruitful in resources in getting you in and out of difficulties, is going to set up a little concern of his own, and you who have been faithful to him in life ought not to desert him in death, and then you will be free from the contamination of pardoned rebels, mercy, and charity. Nor will you be haunted and tormented with the veto messages of Andrew Johnson, the wise patriot and statesman.
Mr. Speaker, there is but one other subject. What ought to be our policy here? Should it be tyrannical and oppressive, or should it be liberal? We are told we cannot trust these people. They have given up the right of secession; they have taken the oath to support the Government and the laws; what are you going to do with them? Are you going to hold them in subjugation? England has tried a policy of that sort toward a noble and generous people, the Irish. What has been the result of that policy? Has it been to conquer them? It has been to implant in the bosom of every Irishman a deep hatred of England. That hatred has descended from sire to son; and I hope it will continue to be transmitted until that noble and generous people will rise in majesty and power and secure their freedom. Russia has pursued a similar policy toward Poland. Has the result been to subjugate the gallant Poles? They are ready at any moment to rise in rebellion. Austria has pursued the same policy. The result has always been the same.
The southern people whom it is proposed to subjugate are a noble, brave people. They may have been deluded, they may have committed a great crime, but they are now anxious to unite with all of our people to sustain the Government. Will you receive them? Will you make them your friends? Will you rather make them your enemies? This question we must solve.
They would be a most invaluable friend. And in my opinion they would, if you would adopt a kind, generous policy toward them, receive them and extend to them equal State and individual rights, and that without delay. By your treatment prove to them that the war you waged against them was not a war of conquest or subjugation or from malice or vengeance, but a war to maintain the Constitution of our fathers and the rights of the Union of the States, as you declared it was when you took up arms and when the strife commenced. Redeem your plighted faith by your acts and your policy, and peace, friendship, and prosperity will once more cover our now distracted country. Then we can bid defiance to the enemies of our free institutions. No nation, however proud or domineering she may be, will dare insult our flag or deny our just rights. Generations unborn will rise up to praise and bless your memories.
Let me beseech you in the name and behalf of patriotism, justice, and a downtrodden and oppressed people, to cease your war on the President of your selection and choice, who has exhibited to the world the highest order of wisdom, patriotism, charity, justice, and devotion to the equal rights of man. We will once more see the charred cities and villages that now dot a large portion of our Union rise up in fresh and pure proportions; our desolated fields will again blossom as a garden of roses. But above all, under the wise and just lead of President Johnson, we will see our people gather around our country's altar, and under the flag of a restored nation renew their Vows of obedience and devotion to the Constitution of our fathers. But should you who now hold the power in this House persist in your persecutions and relentless oppression, you may yet live to see the day when you will regret the folly and madness that now hurries you to the overthrow of your power. It may be the overthrow and destruction of the best Government that ever blessed mankind. That your measures of policy will lead to peace or harmony no dispassionate man can for a moment hope. You may discover when it is too late that you have pressed your unequal laws beyond the point from which you can retreat. You may bring down upon your country and Government the condemnation of all enlightened, civilized nations, and you may build up a nation of just enemies in your midst, and this land may again be drenched and deluged with fraternal blood. May we and our children be spared from that terrible ordeal, is the prayer of one who loves his whole country. Discharge your joint committee on reconstruc tion; abolish your Freedmen's Bureau; repeal your civil rights bill, and admit all the delegates from the seceded States to their seats in Congress, who have been elected according to the laws of the country and possess the constitutional qualification, and all will be well.
[Here the hammer fell.] PENNSYLVANIA CONTESTED-ELECTION CASE. The SPEAKER laid before the House papers in the Pennsylvania contested-election case of Koontz vs. Coffroth; which were referred to the Committee of Elections.
ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE.
The SPEAKER also laid before the House a communication from the acting Attorney General, transmitting, in compliance with a reso lution of the House, a list of clerks, &c.; which was laid upon the table, and ordered to be printed.
Mr. RAYMOND. Mr. Speaker, I took occasion at an early stage of the session, while making some remarks on the general subject of restoration, to say that, in my judgment, the joint committee to which it had been referred, ought to lay the whole of their plan upon our tables before asking us to act upon any of its specific parts. I congratulate myself, sir, that, although when first made the demand was
received with anything but favor, the committee now concede its justice by complying with it. It seemed to me then, as it seems to the committee now, that when a proposition embracing several branches more or less interdependent and all essential to the object sought to be attained, justice and fair dealing required that Congress should have possession of the whole case before being required to act upon any of its parts. We may see the result of a different course in the recent experience of the British House of Commons. That House was called on to consider a scheme of parliamentary reform, consisting of two branches, one an extension of the suffrage, and the other a reapportionment of representation, or, as they style it, a redistribution of seats. The ministry submitted its programme for the first but withheld the second. Thereupon a portion of the ministerial party demanded to see the whole plan before acting upon part of it. The ministry refused to comply, and the result of their refusal was that, although they commenced the session with a majority of sixty, they carried the bill on its second reading by the meager majority of five, in a House of over six hundred members.
tion from both sides of the House, it was
I am glad to see that the reconstruction committee does not imitate the obstinacy of the British ministry. After long delay and several attempts to carry single parts of its proposition, it now submits the whole of the plan by which it proposes to restore the Union. I must say that I see nothing in the report which required any such delay, nothing which depends for its validity or force upon the evidence which, with such protracted pain, the committee has spent five months in collecting. And it is fortunate for us that this is so, for Congress is not yet in possession of any considerable portion of the testimony. It has not yet been printed and laid upon our tables to guide our action.
Now, sir, I have at all times declared myself heartily in favor of the main object which that bill was intended to secure. I was in favor of securing an equality of rights to all citizens of the United States, and of all persons within their jurisdiction; all I asked was that it should be done by the exercise of powers conferred upon Congress by the Constitution. And so believing, I shall vote very cheerfully for this proposed amendment to the Constitution, which I trust may be ratified by States enough to make part of the fundamental law.
The second amendment which is proposed to the Constitution relates to the basis of representation. That has also been already before this House for its action, and I have always declared myself in favor of the object it seeks to accomplish. As I remarked on a previous But, sir, without dwelling further upon these occasion, I do not think the South ought to gain preliminary matters, I will proceed to state the a large increase of political power in the counnature of the report which has thus been made. cils of the nation from the fact of their having The programme of reconstruction reported by rebelled, as they will do if the basis of reprethe committee consists of three parts: first, sentation remains unchanged. But when it a series of five constitutional amendments, was presented before it came in a form which upon as many different subjects, each distinct recognized by implication the right, of every from the other; and then two bills, one provid-State to disfranchise a portion of its citizens ing for the admission into Congress of Representatives from the States lately in rebellion upon certain conditions, and the other excluding from Federal offices for all time to come certain classes of persons who have been engaged in that rebellion. The House has ordered that these three propositions shall be taken up in succession, and the proposed amendments to the Constitution are the only topics which are properly before us for our action now. concur fully in the suggestion of the President of the United States, that it would be wise, when acting upon amendments to the Constitution, that all the States to be affected by them should be represented in the debate. I do not understand him to hold, I certainly do not hold myself, that the presence of them all is essential to the validity of the action we may take; and inasmuch as they are to be submitted, if adopted by us, to all the States of the Union for their ratification, and as the assent of three fourths of all those States will be required to make them valid as parts of the Constitution, I am quite willing to take action upon them here even in the absence of those States which are as yet without representation.
on account of race, color, or previous condi-
And now, sir, with regard to these amend ments, five in form, but only four in substance, I have this to say: that, with one exception, they are such as commend themselves to my approval. The principle of the first, which secures an equality of rights among all the citi zens of the United States, has had a somewhat curious history. It was first embodied in a proposition introduced by the distinguished gentleman from Ohio, [Mr. BINGHAM,] in the form of an amendment to the Constitution, giving to Congress power to secure an absolute equality of civil rights in every State of the Union. It was discussed somewhat in that form, but, encountering considerable opposi
complaint is so justly made, I shall give it my
The third amendment embodied in this report is of an entirely different character. It provides that until the year 1870 all persons within the States lately in rebellion who "voluntarily adhered to the rebellion and gave it aid and comfort" shall be "excluded from the right of voting for members of Congress and for electors of President and Vice President of the United States."
Now, the first thing that strikes my attention in this is, that this amendment recognizes these States as States, and as States within the Union. How else, upon what other ground, are they authorized to be represented at all? The amendment does not confer upon them any right of representation. It does not confer upon their people any right of voting. It recognizes their right to representation. It recognizes the general right of suffrage as belonging to the people of these States. It simply limits that right thus recognized as existing. It excludes a portion of the people from exercising that right of suffrage which in the absence of such exclusion they would possess. Now, this discards entirely the doctrine that these States are Territories, the doctrine that they are conquered provinces, and that their people are alien enemies, out of the Union and without rights of any kind. And so far it has my hearty approbation.
But, sir, it proposes to exclude the great body of the people of those States from the exercise of the right of suffrage in regard to Federal officers. The gentleman from Pennsylvania, [Mr. BROOMALL,] in his very ingenious argument this morning, attempted to show that it would not exclude more than one in twelve of the voters in the southern States. But it seems to me idle to enter into such calculations, which depend on a series of estimates, each one of which cannot be anything more than a wild and random guess. I take it that we all know perfectly well that the great masses of the southern people "voluntarily adhered to the insurrection; not at the outset, not as being originally in favor of it, but during its progress, sooner or later, they voluntarily gave in their adhesion to it, and gave it aid and comfort. They did not all join the army. They did not go into the field, but they did, at different times, from various motives and in various ways, give it aid and comfort.
Well, sir, that would exclude the great body of the people of those States under this amend ment from exercising the right of suffrage. It is proposed to permit those only who did not at any time nor in any way thus adhere to the insurrection to vote for members of Congress and for presidential electors. I do not think they would number more than one tenth of the whole population. But even if they should number one eighth or one fifth they would still constitute but a very small portion of the people to be clothed with the exclusive powers of government. They would still constitute a government oligarchical and not republican in form. Yesterday the chairman of the joint committee on reconstruction, [Mr. STEVENS,] in his forcible remarks introducing this report, took ground against admitting the memberselect from Tennessee and Arkansas because they do not represent their constituents. "Do not tell me," said he, "that there are loyal representatives waiting for admission; until their States are loyal they can have no standing here, for they would merely misrepresent their constituents." And yet he proposes that we shall allow one fifth, one eighth, or one tenth, as the case may be, of the people of these southern States to elect members from those States, to hold seats upon this floor. Now, would not men thus elected in the most emphatic sense misrepresent their constituents? How can the gentleman from Pennsylvania favor such a proposition as this, which is certain to secure members who will not truly represent their States, when he refuses admission to the loyal delegation from Tennessee? By what process of reasoning