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commerce which is internal and in the States and not among the States.
My honorable friend from Wisconsin, not now in his seat, [Mr. HowE,] characterized this as a very little proposition"-I think that was his phrase-so small and so harmless that it created surprise in his mind that it had ever arrested the attention of anybody. He was surprised that it should have been opposed by any one. I believe he said it was as harmless as a walking-stick in the hands of its owner or at his feet; that it contained no powers the exercise of which anybody should apprehend. But, sir, what was his argument? How did he illustrate the simple and harmless character of this little proposition?" Before he took his seat he contended that the Government of the United States had the authority, under and by virtue of its power to regulate commerce, to build roads or canals in any of the States, and to go the full length of fixing the rates of fare and freights upon the railways which have been created entirely within the States. That was his proposition-" a very little proposition," says the honorable Senator from Wisconsin; such a one as should not create apprehension anywhere; which is explained to be a power sufficiently comprehensive and broad by the Government of the United States to build railroads and canals anywhere and everywhere_through the States without their consent and against their authority; and superadded to all that the power to appropriate all the railroads and canals which have been built by the enterprise and industry of the American people in the States, by fixing the rates of tolls and fares on these internal avenues! It is needless to tell me that a power which goes thus far and which authorizes the fixing of the tolls and the freights is not a power to regulate and control and direct all these avenues. It was well said, long ago, that"You take my life When you do take the means whereby I live." And the power of the General Government which asserts the right to fix the tolls, the rates of fare and freights on these roads, takes the vital forces from these roads.
American people united. United America achieved the Revolution, and it was not a revolution of thirteen independent and sovereign nations. Therefore no such thing as absolute sovereignty ever did inhere in the thirteen States, except in the thirteen States as represented by the American people united.
I therefore, sir, go entirely wide off from the doctrine of State sovereignty and State rights; but while I do that, I stand upon the doctrines of the Constitution as represented in the reserved rights of the American people. I maintain that the Government of the United States under the Constitution of the United States is a limited and not an absolute Government; that while the American people delegated certain functions to the Government of the United States which were to be exercised by it, and the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the States among those functions, it expressly reserved to itself all the powers not therein expressly delegated; and, sir, the interests which I advocate to-day are the interests which were expressly reserved. While the people did grant, I concede, to Congress the right to regulate commerce among the several States and with foreign nations, it reserved to itself the right to regulate domestic commerce, commerce which was exclusively internal and in the States. That question which springs necessarily from the right of eminent domain belongs exclusively to the States and never was in the General Government. Nobody has contended, and I presume nobody will contend, that the right of eminent domain exists anywhere except in the States. Nobody ever did contend, and I am sure nobody ever will, that the right to land, the title to real estate ever vested in the Government of the United States. The people of the several States do not draw their titles to their property from the Government of the United States, nor hold of it nor under it; but those rights are now all in the States, and necessarily the right of eminent domain is in the States; and from the earliest period of this Government down to the present time never has the General Government undertaken to enter upon the soil of any State to exercise the right of emineut domain in its own right or to take possession of the soil of the several States except by the consent of the States. I commend the honorable Senator from Michigan, when he again takes up the line of his argument, to his reading on this subject, and he will find through the whole history of the legislation of this country and throughout the judicial decisions no single instance where the Government of the United States has ever undertaken to exercise the right of eminent domain in any one State; and simply for the reason that the right belongs to the States and not to the General Government. Of course, sir, I am not now discussing the extraordinary powers which are exercised in time of war; I am discussing the power of commerce, commercial questions.
This measure naturally raises the question of power between the Government of the United States and of the several States; and of course, in the consideration of such a subject, it becomes necessary to draw the line somewhat between the authority of the Government of the United States on the question of regulating the commerce of the United States with foreign nations and among the States and that power which is peculiar to the people of the several States. I know it has been attempted in this argument, now and heretofore, to prejudice this side of the case by the argument that we were raising here the old doctrine of State rights and State sovereignty; that those who seek to oppose this bill seek to oppose it upon the ground of State rights and State sovereignty, and State rights and State sovereignty in an offensive sense.
Now, Mr. President, for myself I disclaim all such purpose, and I disclaim any desire or purpose to put it upon any such ground. Sir, I am not a believer in the doctrine of State sovereignty and never was; that is, in the sense in which it has been contended for. I believe that State sovereignty is a myth, a political myth, in the sense in which it has been or ever could be contended for. The right of absolute sovereignty never did inhere in any of these States; it never was in the colonies. While the colonies were integral parts of Great Britain they were, of course, subject to the jurisdiction of Great Britain, and it was idle to talk about sovereignty in colonies. When the colonies revolutionized, they did not revolutionize for themselves individually, but for the country at large. It was united America that accomplished the Revolution. It was not a revolution in favor of thirteen independent nations, but a revolution for the American people; the American people in unity effected the Revolution; and therefore the sovereignty inhered in the American people at large, the
In this way I undertake to go entirely aside from the questions of State rights and State sovereignty which are raised here; and the only distinction I seek to raise is the distinction between commerce foreign and among the States and that which is in the States and peculiarly of the States and springs up from the exercise of those reserved rights which belong to the people exclusively. Whenever this distinction ceases to exist in the minds of the American Congress, then, sir, your Government is transformed from a Government of delegated and limited powers to an absolute and imperial Government.
Now, sir, to show that there is some danger on this subject, and that I do not misapprehend the tendency of the times and the tendency of the doctrine which is contended for in this bill, having already adverted to the ground maintained by the honorable Senator from Wisconsin [Mr. Howe] as to the power of the Government to build railroads and canals in the several States and to fix the tolls and rates of freights and fares upon existing roads, let me call the attention of the Senate to what is trans
piring in this very Congress in this direction as illustrating the dangerous tendency of the exercise of this power and the extent to which it is proposed to carry it. I have before me a bill originating in the House of Representatives, and which, if passed there, will be sent here for the concurrence of the Senate. It is a bill with this significant title: "A bill to authorize the construction of national railroads and establish the same as military and commercial roads." That is the sounding title of the bill-a bill to establish national railroads! Upon an examination of this bill you will find its scope and comprehension to be this: it authorizes, in the first section, any five or more persons, being citizens of the United States, to associate themselves together as a body politic and corporate with full power to designate by a certificate a route for a railway across this continent. There is no limitation in the bill. Any five persons who choose to associate themselves under the power of this bill, having filed a certificate in the Bureau of National Railroads, which is authorized by the bill, may build a railway in any direction within the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, through any State or any Territory, and may exercise the right of eminent domain as a corporation, go in any direction they please, and bring to their backs the entire authority and power of the Government of the United States to take and condemn property, no matter what, real estate, highways of the several States, railways of the several States, navigable streams of the several States, or whatever they choose to appropriate. I do not misstate the force of this bill or what is contemplated under it. It is a bill to organize a bureau in a Department of this Government, with the power in a general way to associate any number of individuals, not less than five, with the power to construct national railways in any direction and in all directions. I ask the honorable Senator from Michigan whether he is prepared to go quite that length; for, sir, this bill is following exactly in the track of the bill which is before the Senate; it is the legitimate fruit of the doctrine of that bill, no more, no less. The third section of this bill is that "there shall be assigned to the Comptroller of National Railroads"-we are to enter upon a grand system of national railways; these railways are to be constructed through the several States in any direction or in all directions, limited only by the desire and the ambition and the ability of the parties who are thus organized by this bill.
Mr. President, was it ever supposed until now, was it ever dreamed by anybody in Con-gress or out of Congress until now, that there was power in the Government of the United States to authorize a body of men to build railways without regard to the laws of the several States or the improvements of the several States, in any direction and in all directions, throughout the length and breadth of the Republic? Why, sir, it may sound well to talk of a national railway system! The term has a large sound, I admit; and if we were in imperial France or in the Russias, I could understand how such a bill as that could be introduced. If these States were mere departments of an imperial and absolute Government, I could understand how you could have a national railway system inaugurated here at the seat of Government which might build its railways in all directions; but when I know that this Government is a Government of limited powers, when I know that it has no power except what it derives from the Constitution, and that Constitution is silent on this subject, and when I know, moreover, that the powers that are not delegated are reserved to the people, and that the people for half a century have been exercising these very powers and have built up a grand system of railways threading this whole country, I hesitate to believe that the Government of the United States either has the power to exercise any such functions or that it is at all expedient to exercise them if it had.
Mr. President, it is a great mistake to sup
pose that the strength of this nation lies in the Government of the United States. The Government of the United States is not strong. The strength of this nation is in the American people; and the strength of the nation is in the American people as they exercise it on the basis of their reserved rights. There is no strength outside of that. The Government of the United States is absolute weakness standing by itself; when not backed by the people we have seen during this war that it was weakness itself. From the very nature of the case it must be so. It was designed to be so. The Government of the United States was never designed to be strong, only for protection, only for general defense. But, sir, in all the relations which constitute the strength of the nation you must rely on the people. The strength of this nation and the power of this nation is in the people; the strength and power of the people are in their reserved rights-rights independent of the Government to direct their primary relations.
As illustrating this same principle, to show the tendency to do everything in a national way-for nothing is supposed to be legitimate about these times except it has the indorsement of nationality-let me read the title of another bill. They not only propose, you see, to frame a general bill by which you may form national railway corporations to make railroads throughout the length and breadth of the land, but they propose to do it exactly as you would form private corporations for manufacturing establishments in the several States, exactly on that plan; but they propose something more. Here are two bills that have a practical bearing on this question and a practical application of the general principle contended for in this general bill and growing out of the bill we have under consideration to-day, and illustrating the power which the friends of this bill claim to assert on the part of the General Government. Now, let me read the title of a bill introduced into the House of Representatives on the 30th of April:
ington and the Northwest, for national purposes." Not only is it contended that you may do it for commercial purposes, that you may do it for military purposes, but now you may do it for national purposes;" and what national" we are not told by this bill. The bill sets out with this interpretation of itself: Whereas there is now a complete line of railroad between the city of Washington and Cumberland, in Alleghany county, in the State of Maryland, which is about being shortened nearly fifty miles by a line from said city of Washington to the Point of Rocks, on the Potomac river, in Frederick county, in said State; and whereas a company has been incorporated by the State of Maryland to construct a railroad from Cumberland aforesaid to the Pennsylvania line, in the direction of Pittsburg, designed to connect with a railroad in Pennsylvania to the latter city; and whereas the Pittsburg and Connellsville Railroad Company, incorporated by the State of Pennsylvania, has completed a railroad from Pittsburg to Connellsville, on a line to connect with the Maryland road aforesaid; and whereas but a comparatively short distance between Cumberland and Pittsburg remains to be completed to furnish with the railroad between Washington and Cumberland a direct railroad communication, by a short and advantageous route, between Washington city and Pittsburg and the connections with the Northwest from the latter city; and whereas the Legislature of Pennsylvania has attempted to create impediments in connecting the railroads so as aforesaid authorized to be built in Pennsylvania and Maryland, which prevent at this time the completion of a work of national importance, and has thereby attempted to impair the value of a franchise under which citizens of Maryland and Pennsylvania have made large investments; and whereas it is proper for military and postal purposes, and especially to facilitate and regulate commercial intercourse among the States: Therefore be it enacted, that a railroad may be built to form these connections through the intervention of these State railroad corporations. I do not introduce these bills as arguments. They have not passed, and probably never will pass, the Congress of the United States. I introduce them as illustrating the doctrine, the dangerous tendency of the doctrine of the bill which is now before the Senate.
A bill to authorize the Cleveland and Mahoning Railroad Company, a corporation created and existing under the laws of the States of Ohio and Pennsylvania, to continue and construct the railroad of said company from the village of Youngstown, Mahoning county, in said State of Ohio, to and into the said State of Pennsylvania, and thence by the most advantageous and practicable route to the city of Pittsburg, in said State of Pennsylvania, and to establish said road as a military, postal, and commercial railroad of the United States.
Now, what is the effect of that bill? Here is a corporation chartered by the State of Ohio to build a road within the limits and jurisdiction of Ohio, of course, and this is a bill which authorizes that corporation, the creature of the power of Ohio, to extend its road to Pennsylvania, another State, and into Pennsylvania to a certain point, some one hundred miles more or less, with all the powers and privileges and immunities that that corporation has within the limits of Ohio. Is it possible that the Government of the United States has any such power? Is it possible that the Government of the United States can authorize and empower a railroad corporation, chartered to build a road within a particular State, to run its road into another State, and there to exercise all the privileges, powers, and immunities that it may exercise in the State that gave it the charter of incorporation? That is this bill; that is the principle of the bill now before the Senate.
To show you how prolific this principle is, I will read you the title of another bill springing from the same source; for I believe all have the same paternity, all come from the same quarter; and as they are laid here upon our tables, for our instruction, I suppose, if not for our edification, I may allude to them by way of illustrating my argument. This is "A bill to promote the construction of a line of railways between the city of Washington and the Northwest'--for what? For commercial purposes? For military purposes? Why, sir, to show you the looseness with which we go, here is "A bill to promote the construction of a line of railways between the city of Wash
But, sir, the point to which I threatened to address myself if I sufficiently recovered to make myself explicit was to demonstrate the distinction between commerce external and among the States and commerce internal and peculiar to the State and within its jurisdiction. If I maintain that distinction by the authorities, I rule off this bill. Now, let us see what the books say on that subject. The honorable Senator who champions this bill just at this timeI do not know how many champions it has had; I remember that on a former occasion it had one with whom I congratulate myself that I am not to deal now-seemed to forget altogether that there was such a thing as internal commerce, seemed to forget that we had a system of railroads in this country that was the product of the energy and the enterprise of the people as against the Government, for the Government did nothing for fifty years, while the people, in their own power and might, exercising the high functions reserved in the Constitution, were building up a system of railways incomparable in the history of the world, investing some three thousand millions of their own money, building some thirty thousand miles of railway, offering intercommunication and facilities for travel and intercourse and
exchange, bringing markets home to the door of every farmer in the land. Oblivious to all that, the Government all this time stood afar off and did nothing. Now, Mr. President, I maintain that the Government has no power to lay its hands on that commerce, no power. to lay its hands on this system of railway intercommunication in the States. I read from Kent's Commentaries; speaking of the commercial power of the Government of the United States, and stating the decision in Gibbons vs. Ogden, he says:
"This power, like all the other powers of Congress, was plenary and absolute within its acknowledged limits, but it was admitted that inspection laws relative to the quality of articles to be exported, and quarantine laws, and health laws of every description, and laws"
Now I ask the honorable Senator's attention to this
mass of legislation not surrendered to the General Government.'
"and laws for regulating the internal commerce of a State, and those with respect to turnpike roads, ferries, &c., were component parts of an immense
That is my point, and this authority is to this effect: that although the power of the General Government is supreme in the jurisdiction which is conceded to it, yet, says the com. mentator, laws "regulating the internal commerce of a State, and those with respect to turnpike roads, ferries, &c., were component parts of an immense mass of legislation not surrendered to the General Government."
Mr. HOWARD. Will the honorable Senator from Maine allow me to say one word right here?
Mr. MORRILL. Certainly.
Mr. HOWARD. I have listened to the Senator's citation from Kent, but I see nothing in that which conflicts in the slightest degree with the view which I took of this case. But I ask the honorable Senator whether he finds in Chancellor Kent, or in any other book treating of the constitutional power of Congress over commerce, any assertion or statement of a principle that trade, intercourse, or travel commencing in the city of New York, passing through the State of New Jersey, and ending in the city of Philadelphia, in the State of Pennsylvania, is internal commerce. I fancy the honorable Senator will hardly find any such doctrine in Kent, or elsewhere.
Mr. MORRILL. I have been arguing since I got up that that commerce which was among the States was within the power of Congress; but I am combating the doctrine that by force of the power to regulate commerce among the States you can enter a State and take possession of its roads. The proposition of this bill is to authorize a road constructed by New Jersey, entirely within its limits and jurisdiction, to extend itself beyond the limits of its charter, and outside of the limits and jurisdiction of New Jersey. On that question I maintain the authorities are all the other way; and the authority which I am reading recognizes the doctrine of commerce among the States and commerce in the States and purely of the States, over which Congress has no power whatever, and the commentator specifies turnpike roads and ferries as among the roads over which Congress has no control. But further he says:
"The court construed the word 'regulate' to imply full power over the thing to be regulated, and to exclude the actions of all others that would perform the same operation on the same thing."
Further, and bearing on the same point, I read from the same authority:
"Inspection laws, quarantine laws, and health laws, as well as laws for regulating the internal commerce of a State, are component parts of the immense mass of residuary State legislation, and over which Congress has no direct power, though it may be controlled when it directly interferes with their acknowledged powers.'
Thus I think, Mr. President, I am maintained by this authority in raising the distinction which I have stated. I acknowledge the right of Congress to regulate commerce with foreign nations and commerce among the States; but when it comes to the jurisdiction of the States and undertakes to make a railroad in a State, or control those which have been constructed within the limits and jurisdiction of the State, and by its authority, its jurisdiction ceases.
Sir, this is not an open question. If there is anything concluded, this question is concluded. Not only has it been concluded by the general teachings of those who made the Constitution of the United States; not only has it been concluded by fifty years of legislation on this subject, denying all the powers which are now claimed to be exercised, but it has been expressly adjudicated by the courts and specifically determined by the courts, that the Congress of the United States has no such power. I referred the honorable Senator, the other day, to the case of the Blackbird creek. I suppose he has become very familiar with the report of that case before this time. That is in the same direction. I have now to add an authority which was not at hand on that occasion, which is explicit and specific on this very question of the right to make railways in the several States.
I read from the case, Veazie et al. vs. Moor, in 14 Howard, page 573, which was a case arising on the internal waters of the State of Maine, where precisely this question was raised. The river Penobscot is a navigable river up to a certain point, and there the navigation which was open to the sea was obstructed by the falls of the river. Above that for many miles it was still navigable, an imperfect navigation. The Legislature of the State of Maine granted the exclusive right to navigate the river above those falls to A, B, and C for a term of years. Those who maintained the doctrine of the honorable Senator from Michigan contended that the right || of Congress to regulate navigation upon that river was exclusive, that the State could not interfere, and that its legislation therefore was unconstitutional. The court of my State decided that, although that river was navigable above the falls, the navigation to the sea having been interrupted by the falls, it became internal navigation, and the commerce upon it internal. Those who entertained different opinions, opinions in harmony with those of the honorable Senator apparently, brought the case here. The Supreme Court of the United States sustained the opinion of the court of my State, saying that that navigation was internal and within the exclusive jurisdiction of the State; that the Government of the United States had no control and no authority over it by virtue of that provision of the Constitution. In settling that case, in limitation of the authority of the General Government over this question, they touch upon this precise point of interfering with the railways of the several States. They
doctrine. I understood him to say on a former occasion that he had not any doubt of the power of the General Government to construct railroads through the several States, and also to regulate the rates of fares and freights upon those railways; but the court in this case explicitly say that the power to regulate commerce among the States does not admit of an interference with turnpikes, canals, or railroads in the several States.
"Commerce with foreign nations must signify commerce which in some sense is necessarily connected with these nations, transactions which either immediately or at some stage of their progress must be extra-territorial. The phrase can never be applied to transactions wholly internal between citizens of the same community or to a polity and laws whose ends and purposes and operations are restricted to the territory and soil and jurisdiction of such community. Nor can it be properly concluded, that because the products of domestic enterprise in agriculture or manufactures, or in the arts, may ultimately become the subjects of foreign commerce, that the control of the means or the encouragements by which enterprise is fostered and protected, is legitimately within the import of the phrase foreign commerce, or fairly implied in any investiture of the power to regulate such commerce. A pretension as far-reaching as this would extend to contracts between citizen and citizen of the same State, would control the pursuits of the planter, the grazier, the manufacturer, the mechanic, the immense operations of the collieries and mines and furnaces of the country; for there is not one of these avocations, the results of which may not become the subjects of foreign commerce, and be borne either by turnpikes, canals, or railroads, from point to point within the several States toward an ultimate destination like the one above mentioned. Such a pretension would effectually prevent or paralyze every effort at internal improvement by the several States; for it cannot be supposed that the States would exhaust their capital and their credit in the construction of turnpikes, canals, and railroads, the remuneration derivable from which, and all control over which, might be immediately wrested from them because such public works would be facilities for a commerce which, while availing itself of those facilitics, was unquestionably internal, although intermediately or ultimately it might become foreign."
Here, Mr. President, you find that in settling this question the Supreme Court, by way of illustrating the importance of the principle, and by way of combating the very doctrine contended for in that case, say explicitly that it would be ruinous and an unauthorized application of the principle to say that because the products carried over the roads might ultimately reach an adjoining State or a portion of the country, therefore the Government of the United States might interpose for the construction or regulation of railways within the several States. The court continue, and I beg the honorable Senator's attention to this language:
The rule here given with respect to the regulation of foreign commerce equally excludes from the regulation of commerce between the States and the Indian tribes the control over turnpikes, canals, or railroads, or the clearing and deepening of water-courses exclusively within the States, or the managment of the transportation upon and by means of such improvements."
I ask the honorable Senator from Wisconsin whether he recognizes the soundness of that
Mr. GRIMES. The Senator from Maine has been pressed into making an argument here when he was not expecting it, and as it is desirable that we should transact some executive business I move that the Senate proceed to
the consideration of executive business.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Does the Senator from Maine give way to the motion of the Senator from Iowa?
Mr. MORRILL. Yes, sir.
Mr. CHANDLER. I hope the Senate will come to a vote on this bill. I have been trying now for two entire sessions to get a vote upon the question. We are ready to take a vote, and I hope the Senate will grant me a short time to come to a vote. All I ask is a vote. The Senator from Maine pledged me that he would not speak against time, and that he would not speak over thirty minutes; and as the time that the Senator from Maine took for himself is nearly up, I will ask the Senate not to go into execu tive session, but to give me a vote on this bill that I have been trying now for more than two years to get a vote upon.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The question is on the motion of the Senator from Iowa. The motion was agreed to; there being, on a division-ayes 17, nões 12.
Mr. VAN WINKLE. Before the executive session I hope I shall be indulged in submitting the usual motion for the appointment of a committee of conference on the amendments of the Senate to the bill (H. R. No. 363) supplementary to the several acts relating to pensions disagreed to by the House of Representatives. The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Chair can only entertain the motion by unanimous consent. The Chair hears no objection.
Mr. VAN WINKLE. I now move that the Senate insist upon its amendments to the bill disagreed to by the House of Representatives, and agree to the conference asked by the House on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses thereon, and that the conferees on the part of the Senate be appointed by the President pro tempore.
The motion was agreed to; and the President pro tempore appointed Mr. LANE of Indiana, Mr. VAN WINKLE, and Mr. DAVIS the committee on the part of the Senate.
HOUSE BILLS REFERRED.
The bill (H. R. No. 602) to equalize the bounties of soldiers, sailors, and marines who served in the late war for the Union was read twice by its title, and referred to the Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia.
The joint resolution (H. R. No. 143) making an appropriation for the repair of the Potomac bridge was read twice by its title, and referred to the Committee on the District of Columbia.
THE STAUNTON PETITION. Mr. WILSON. It will be remembered that a few days since the Senator from Illinois [Mr. TRUMBULL] called the attention of the Senate to the case of some petitions from Virginia, and in the debate on that subject the name of Mr. Segar was used. I have since received a letter from him which he requests may be read to the Senate.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. It can only be received and read by unanimous conNo objection being made, the reading will be proceeded with. The Secretary read the letter, as follows: EBBITT HOUSE, May 27, 1866. MY DEAR SIR: In reply to certain allegations of a Staunton (Virginia) correspondent of Senator TRUMBULL, Connecting me with some attempt to per
secute the Union men of Augusta county, I beg leave to make the following statement:
Some two weeks since, I received from Nicholas K. Trout, Esq., of Staunton, a member of the State Senate, and whom I had never known but as an earnest Union man, a letter addressed to me as Senator-elect of my State, and requesting me to see Judge Underwood and procure, if I had the influence, the appointment of Mr. Harvey Risk as commissioner under the civil rights law for the Valley region of the State, he being represented to me as a gentleman of character and capacity who had been a member of the freedmen's court, and who had in that capacity given satisfaction to the community, white and black. This part of the commission I duly executed.
In the succeeding portion of Mr. Trout's letter he stated that a petition purporting to have come from Staunton had been presented to the Senate and referred to the Military Committee which (he said) exhibited the people of Augusta county in a light they did not deserve, and that he desired information of the terms of the petition and of the signatures thereto, more especially as he had not been able, after inquiry, to find a single person in Staunton who had signed the petition.
Regarding myself practically as a representative of the people of my State, and every day while in the city attending to their business in the seweral De
partments, though denied thus far the honor of an actual seat in the Senate, I went to yourself as chairman of the Military Committee, briefly stated the case, and asked to be allowed a copy of the petition, to which you readily assented, and sent a messenger with me to your committee-room for the copy.
I copied the petition myself, not wishing to trouble the clerk, and inclosed a copy by the first mail to Mr. Trout.
This is the whole of my connection with this affair. duty, furnish a copy of a public document, for what I did nothing more than discharge a representative object to be used could be known only to those seek
ing it, and not knowing myself personally nor having
ever seen a
The idea that I could enter into any scheme to persecute Union men anywhere is simply preposterous and ridiculous, for I do not suppose there is a single man in all the South who has come in for so large a share of rebel persecution and obloquy as myself. Very respectfully and truly yours,
JOSEPH SEGAR. Hon. HENRY WILSON, Senate United States.
Mr. CONNESS. In connection with this subject I desire to say that I had a Richmond paper on my desk a few days past, which I have sought to obtain again, but do not find, which contained an article directly connected with this subject. It consisted of a brutal attack upon the Union men of Virginia, the Union men who were Virginians residing now within Virginia; and the article appeared to have been instigated by this petition sent from Staunton to Congress asking for protection. I think the article had an indicative heading such as "cowards and recreants," or something to that effect. It denounced those men as cowards and recreants, and warned them to leave the State; plainly told them they would not be permitted to stay there, and that they had better get ready to go as soon as the blue coats should leave, meaning the soldiers of the United States who were then left in the State of Virginia. There is no doubt in the world that there is a settled purpose there to drive from the State of Virginia the loyal Virginians who are now living there. I have now in my possession a copy of the Richmond Examiner, I think, in which the grand jurors who recently sat at Norfolk and indicted Mr. Davis for the crime of treason are taken up, one by one, and discussed and denounced, threatened, attacked in the most bitter manner, their lives misrepresented, their characters misrepresented, and Virginians warned not to associate with them nor to have contact with them and not to deal with those of them who are in business. In that connection the gentleman now holding the office of collector of the port of Richmond was denounced because two persons in his employ were summoned as witnesses or jurors-I forget now which-which witnesses or jurors were soldiers in the Union Army, and one at least of whom was imprisoned in the rebel prisons eight months. The collector is denounced in this paper because he dares to keep in his employment two loyal soldiers who have given themselves to the Union cause.
I feel that as attention has now again been directed to this case, the matter should not pass without adding this statement, calling the attention of the Senate and the country again to the deliberate purpose of the rebels, led on and egged on by the rebel press of Virginia, to drive from their midst every loyal man in
the State. I hope it will be found consistent with public duty, and with a proper exercise of power on the part of the executive department of this Government, to see that these men shall not be abandoned, but that treason shall be suppressed in its fiendish utterances against these loyal men.
Mr. SAULSBURY. I wish to make a statement in regard to the matter before the Senate. I received a letter from a gentleman of high standing in Staunton, a few days after the petition was presented to this body asking for troops to be sent for the protection of loyal men, stating to me that the signatures were, in the judgment of the people there, forgeries. I answered his letter only the other day. I called upon the chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs some time ago to know if I could get a copy of the petition. He said I could, and I received one in the Senate but three or four days ago.
I am further informed by the gentleman that when the person who professed to act as a notary public had that paper before him there was nothing in the form of a petition over the names. There was paper containing names, and the petition was subsequently drawn over the names. I am satisfied myself, from the representations of the gentleman in Staunton who wrote to me upon the subject, that the signatures to this paper are forgeries to a great extent, and I am told by a gentleman who has inspected the original petition that in his judgment the names were signed by the same pen and the same ink, all except three, and by the same individual.
Mr. ANTHONY. I move the Senate adjourn.
Mr. POLAND. I desire to move a reconsideration of a nomination in executive session. Mr. CLARK. I move that we proceed to the consideration of executive business.
Mr. ANTHONY. I withdraw my motion. Mr. POLAND. I believe we are in executive session.
were signed to this petition, some of them stating that they did not understand it when they signed it, did not know the character of it. I was informed that an attempt had been made to intimidate the parties who had signed the paper and get them to disavow it, that there had been such a public pressure brought to bear upon them that they were making various excuses to avoid the persecutions that it was likely to visit upon them, and that in some instances, as the Senator from Delaware has intimated now, it was charged that the names were forged. The parties wrote me for the original petition to show that the men's names were there. They were not willing to rest under such imputation as that of having sent a petition here with names that were never signed by the parties. The original petition has been sent out there to confront those who make such a statement.
Mr. CONNESS. No; the Senate voted to go into executive session, but the doors, as I understand, have been considered open for certain business.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Massachusetts commenced reading a letter and the Chair asked if there was any objection to its being read. None was made, and the letter was read. The Senator from California then went on to make remarks, and then the Senator from Delaware. The doors were open during this time certainly.
Mr. CONNESS. I move now that they be considered closed, and that we go on with executive business.
Mr. TRUMBULL. Before that motion is put, I should like to say a word in reply to a statement made by the Senator from Delaware, which I think is unjust to the parties who sent this petition here. The petition referred to was presented by me. I have had two or three letters from the gentleman who inclosed me the petition, and I have seen one person who knew him and spoke of him as a respectable gentleman. I have no doubt whatever of the authenticity of the petition. Immediately after the Senator from Delaware applied to me for a copy of the petition, I was apprized by a letter from Staunton that parties had made threats against those who signed this petition. There is nothing in the petition improper for any person to have asked of Congress. The parties simply claimed protection as loyal men. That was all there was in their petition, with the addition of a statement that they could not obtain their rights through the local tribunals, which I am satisfied from many letters I have received is true, not only in Augusta county, Virginia, but elsewhere. I have no doubt that the motive which inspired this attempt to get the names of the parties signed to this petition was for the purpose of persecuting them there. I have seen, since this petition came here, a Staunton paper, and there are a number of articles in it on the subject; among others there are statements by parties whose names
Now, sir, I have no doubt in the world of the authenticity of the petition from all that I have heard in regard to it. As I stated, I have had more than one letter from the gentleman who inclosed it to me, who is represented to me--I do not know him personally-to be a citizen resident there in Augusta county, and there were affidavits accompanying the petition stating that the parties whose names were signed were residents there. I know none of them; but I state these facts, and I think it very unjust to the petitioners to have the imputation cast upon them here that the names signed were forgeries. It looks to me very much more like an attempt on the part of that wicked spirit which prevails, I am sorry to say, in some portions of the South to persecute any man who is loyal and true to the Union and has been so during the rebellion.
Mr. SAULSBURY. One word, Mr. President. All I have to say in reply to the Senator from Illinois is that he acts upon his own information; he forms his own judgment from the information he has received from Staunton. I form mine upon the information that I have received, and I know that my information comes from sources that at least entitle it to my respect and confidence. I was assured, in a letter, that diligent inquiry had been made to ascertain who it was, if there was any one there that had signed such a petition, and no one could be found.
Will the Senator allow me to inquire why was such an inquiry instituted? What was the object of it?
Mr. SAULSBURY. I will tell the Senator why it was. It was because it was believed that there was an attempt made to misrepresent the men of Staunton and of that county, and for some purpose of private malice against some particular individuals to have soldiers sent there to be quartered upon and to oppress the people. That was the object, as I understand from the letter. Now, sir, if there is any disposition to persecute any man on account of his loyalty or otherwise, in Staunton or in Augusta county, I am no party to that; but I as firmly believe that the statement made to me is true, from the gentleman from whom I received it, as the honorable Senator from Illinois believes that his information is correct.
Mr. TRUMBULL. I should like to ask the Senator from Delaware one question: if he himself would countenance the visiting of popular censure upon any man for sending a petition in respectful terms to the Congress of the United States, whether he agreed with his views or not?
have had cause to condemn in the bitterest terms, petitions sent from my own neighborhood and from my own State to get the military quartered upon us-petitions sent for soldiers to keep us from the polls. So, when the Senator asks me if I would condemn a man for signing a petition which was respectful in its terms, I say yes. It is according to the subjectmatter; I would condemn no man for asking in respectful terms for a remedy for any existing wrong; but when his object is oppression, himself, then I would condemn him.
Mr. TRUMBULL. Would you not allow him to judge whether it was wrong or not? Mr. SAULSBURY. I have a right to judge,
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Chair must execute the order of the Senate, and have the doors closed.
Mr. HENDRICKS. Before that is done I wish to make an appeal to the Senator from Rhode Island to withdraw his motion for a moment. His motion, I believe, is to adjourn.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. That motion has been withdrawn. The Senate made an order some time ago that it proceed to the consideration of executive business, but by common consent this discussion went on until interrupted by another motion to go into executive session. On that motion being called to the attention of the Chair it becomes the duty of the Chair to execute the order already made and have the doors closed.
Mr. ANTHONY. I move that the Senate proceed to the consideration of executive busi
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. This discussion is proceeding only by the unanimous consent of the Senate. It is not necessary that a motion be made to go into executive session; but it is the duty of the Chair to execute that order of the Senate whenever requested to do so by any Senator.
Mr. SAULSBURY. I desire to say a word in reply to the question put to me by the Senator from Illinois. I have condemned, and
Mr. HENDRICKS Before the Chair executes that order I ask the unanimous consent of the Senate to make one inquiry. I wish to inquire whether a Senator can in any case be called upon to explain why he has obtained a copy of a document on the files of the Senate, which is a public document, not belonging to the executive files of the body. I do not understand this. I have always thought that when a constituent of mine wrote to me for anything that appertained to the public business of the Senate I had a right, without any question about it, to send him information in regard to it. If I am wrong about that I want to know it. I do not want to get into any scrapes. I supposed that all the documents of the Senate in public session were public documents of the country, and that we could send them if printed, or furnish copies of them if not printed, or information of their contents, without being questioned about it. The reason I make the inquiry is that I am surprised that it is thought necessary in the Senate to make any explanation for having furnished to anybody a copy of any document that is public in its character and belongs to the files of the Senate. If I am wrong about it, I should like
Mr. CLARK. I think the Senator from Indiana is under a misapprehension. The other day the Senator from Illinois asked leave to withdraw from the files of the Senate an original petition for the purpose of returning it to the friends of the petitioners in Staunton, Virginia, on the allegation that it was asserted there that some of the names to the petition had been forged, and there was an attempt to get the names for the purpose of prosecuting or persecuting some of the parties there.
Mr. HENDRICKS. I thought the proposi tion of the Senator from Illinois in that respect was entirely proper.
Mr. CLARK. But with that application the name of Mr. Segar, of Virginia, became connected in some way. Now, Mr. Segar comes in with a paper to explain his connection with the matter. That is all there is to it. There is no question arising as to the conduct of any
Mr. HENDRICKS. That is all I wanted to know. Now, I wish to suggest on this question of adjournment, before the motion is put
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The motion is not to adjourn. That has been withdrawn. Mr. HENDRICKS. But I presume it will
Mr. ANTHONY. If the Senator from In
diana has got through, I will renew the motion that the Senate adjourn.
completing the maps connected with the boundary
Mr. HENDRICKS. I am not through. Mr. ANTHONY. I hope the Senator will let us know when he gets through, so that I may make the motion before anybody else gets the floor.
Mr. HENDRICKS. I am very anxious, for one, that this session of the Senate shall ap proach its close. I do not want to sit here all summer. I appeal to Senators that we go on with the business, transact it, get done, and go home.
The Senate having proceeded to the consideration of executive session; the doors were afterward reopened, and the Senate adjourned.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
The House met at twelve o'clock m..
Mr. TRUMBULL. What measure have you to bring forward?
Mr. HENDRICKS. I have no measure of my own to bring forward especially, but I am ready to assist any other Senator that has a measure to bring it to a wholesome result.
Mr. SHERMAN. We will expedite business, if you will leave it to us.
Mr. HENDRICKS. The fact that I have no special measure to bring forward does not touch the question. I presented one bill of some interest this morning touching the preemption of the public lands, and I hope that will not prolong the session of the Senate. All I want is that we shall go on with business. Now, we have a bill partly discussed, and that has been popping up in this body from time to time for two or three sessions, and I think we had better dispose of it. If it has got merits it ought to pass; if it has not we ought to defeat it. I suggest to the Senator from Rhode Island that we go on in open session with the discussion of that bill and come to a vote upon it.
Mr. ANTHONY. The Senate has already voted to go into executive session.
Mr. CLARK. Now let us have that order executed.
Mr. POLAND. If we are not in executive session I move that we go in.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. In pursuance of the order of the Senate, the Sergeantat-Arms will clear the galleries and close the doors.
Whereas it has been publicly declared by the supreme executive authority of this nation, in accordance with the dictates of sound wisdom, the just instincts of humanity, and the undoubted sentiment of the people of the loyal States, that treason should be made odious, and traitors not only disMr. CLARK. I ask for the execution of graced, but impoverished; and whereas it is represented that while no traitor who has survived the the order already made. chances of the battle-field and escaped the retribution due to his crimes at the hands of the loyal soldiers of the North, has been otherwise punished than by the award of public honors or the remission of disabilities to qualify him for the enjoyment thereof, the memories of the traitor dead have been hallowed and consecrated by local public entertainments and treasonable utterances in honor of their crime, which have not only been tolerated by the national authorities, but in some instances approved by closing the public offices on the occasion of floral processions to their graves, while the privilege of paying like honors to the martyred dead of the armies of the Union who perished in the holy work of punishing the treason of those who are thus honored, and restoring the Union of our fathers, has been denied to the loyal people of those communities by the local authorities, with the connivance or consent of the military or civil agents of this Government; and whereas the encouragement or toleration of such enormities is of pernicious and dangerous example, insulting to the living soldiers of the Republic, as well as to the memories of the dead, and calculated to make loyalty odious and treason honorable, and to obstruct, if not entirely prevent, the growth of such a feeling as is essential to any cordial or permanent reunion of these States: Therefore,
ORDER OF BUSINESS.
The SPEAKER announced, as the first business in order, the call of committees (commencing with the Committee of Elections) for reports to go upon the Calendar and not to be brought back by a motion to reconsider. No reports were presented.
The SPEAKER. This being a call for executive information, unanimous consent is necessary for its consideration on this day.
Resolved, That the Secretary of State be requested to inform this House what progress has been made in
There being no objection, the resolution was considered and agreed to.
Mr. RICE, of Maine, moved to reconsider the vote by which the resolution was adopted; and also moved that the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table.
The latter motion was agreed to.
TREASURY SALES OF GOLD.
Mr. PERHAM submitted the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury be directed to inform this House what amount of gold belonging to the United States has been sold by or under his authority since the 1st instant, and at what rates; also, the name of the agent or agents through whom such sales were effected, and what rate of commission has been authorized by the Department for selling the same.
The SPEAKER. This being a call for executive information, unanimous consent is necessary for its consideration on this day.
There being no objection, the resolution was considered and agreed to.
Mr. PERHAM moved to reconsider the vote by which the resolution was adopted; and also moved that the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table.
The latter motion was agreed to.
PUBLIC HONORS TO TRAITORS.
Mr. WILLIAMS submitted the following
Resolved, That the President be requested to inform this House whether any of the military or civil employés of this Government, within the State of Georgia or any of the other rebel States, have in any way countenanced or assisted in the rendition of publie honors to any of the traitors, either living or dead, who have been waging a parricidal war against this Government, in commemoration of their great crime, either by closing their offices on such occasions or making other favorable public demonstrations in connection therewith; and further, whether the privilege of doing like honors to loyalty at the graves of the Union soldiers who have perished far from their homes and kindred has been, in any instance, obstructed or denied by the rebel authorities, with the concurrence or acquiescence of the officers of this Government.
Mr. NICHOLSON. I raise the point of order that this resolution, being a call for executive information, must lie over under the rules.
The SPEAKER. The Chair sustains the point of order.
Mr. WILLIAMS. I move a suspension of
The SPEAKER. That motion cannot be
When may it be made?
DISPENSING WITH EVENING SESSIONS.
Mr. THAYER submitted the following resolution; on which he demanded the previous question:
Resolved, That the evening sessions of the House bedispensed with until otherwise ordered.
The previous question was seconded and the main question ordered; and under the operation thereof the resolution was adopted.
Mr. THAYER moved to reconsider the vote by which the resolution was adopted; and also moved that the motion to reconsider be laid on the table.
The latter motion was agreed to.
Mr. HALE submitted the following resolution, and demanded the previous question on its adoption:
Resolved, That the Secretary of War be directed to furnish to this House a report showing the amount of funds received by the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, from its organization to the 1st day of April, 1866; from what sources the same were derived, and to what general purpose appropriated; the amount (or value) of subsistence stores received and expended within said period; the value of quartermaster's property received prior to and amount remaining on hand on said 1st April; the estimated cost of transportation furnished on requisitions or orders from said bureau to said date, specifying what share of the same was for refugees, for freedmen, and for officers, soldiers, and civilians connected with said bureau; the amount of land included in the Government farms, so called, in charge of said bureau in the year 1865, and the value of the crops raised thereon; the number of buildings occupied by said bureau on the 1st day of September, 1865, and the amount of rent claimed for all lands and buildings previously occupied, up to April 1, 1866, by the owners or pretended owners thereof; the value of personal property, if any, seized and applied to tho uses of the bureau in any of the rebellious States; the number of officers of the Army or volunteers of each grade who had been or were on duty in said bureau previous to said 1st of April, and the gross amount of pay and allowances, as nearly as the same can be readily ascertained, to which such officers were entitled while thus on duty, and the amount of estimates of quartermasters' funds required by quartermasters on duty in said bureau for the use thereof, up to said April 1, and the amount transferred on said estimates.
The previous question was seconded and the main question ordered; and under the operation thereof the resolution was adopted.
Mr. STEVENS submitted the following res olution, on which he demanded the previous question:
Resolved, That the Committee on Invalid Pensions be instructed to bring in a bill to double the pensions caused by the casualties of war with the so-called confederate States.
Mr. TAYLOR. I will suggest to the gentleman from Pennsylvania that a bill passed this House a few days since and is now awaiting the action of the Senate. I think, perhaps, it will meet the views of the gentleman. This also is a resolution of instruction.
Mr. STEVENS. I do not understand that any bill has passed the House to meet the object I have in view.
Mr. TAYLOR. It grades the disabilities. Mr. STEVENS. My idea is that all these pensions should be doubled; and that is the idea contained in the resolution.
Mr. TAYLOR. I suggest, then, that the gentleman make the resolution one of inquiry.
Mr. STEVENS. There is no necessity of inquiring into the expediency of doing it. I want to test the sense of the House on the subject.
Mr. PERHAM. I ask the gentleman from Pennsylvania whether he will not allow the resolution to be one of inquiry.
Mr. STEVENS. If I were sure the committee would report in a couple of weeks I would consent to that modification.
Mr. PERHAM. The committee would be prepared to make some sort of a report in that time.
Mr. STEVENS. I agree to that modification.
Mr. SPALDING. I object to debate.