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And again, had not the loyal citizens of those Finally, the contest was by wager of battle portion of the community being prohibited States a right to claim that they were citizens decided against the rebels. In 7 Casey's Penn- from voting,) and under that constitution the of the United States and entitled to protection | sylvania Reports, 334, Hill et al. vs. Eply, it is present members of Congress from that State under the Constitution, as did the inhabitants | laid down :
were elected and now have seats in this House. of Rome by claiming that they were Roman “If no one be misled to his hurt he will not be Tennessee also adopted a constitution in a simcitizens? estopped.”
ilar manner. But it has been said that the citiIn Vattel's Law of Nations, page 6, it is laid Also, in 12 Casey, 522, Brubaker vs. Oakes,
zens did not all vote on these questions, that. down it is ruled that
some of them were not allowed that right. "If a nation is obliged to preserve itself, it is no "It is essential to an estoppel by matter in pais,
If they committed such acts as to deprive less obliged carefully to preserve all its members, that he who sets it up is bound to show that he has themselves of the right of suffrage it was a fault The nation owes this to itself, since the loss even of been misled to his hurt." one of its members weakens it and is injurious to its
of their own, or if those who had a right negpreaervation. It owes this also to the members in And in 3 Hill, 215, Dezell vs. Odel, it is laid lected to vote it would not invalidate a couparticular in consequence of the very act of associa
down that to make an estoppel effectual it stitution which had a majority of those who did tion; for those who compose a nation are united for
vote. their defense and common advantage, and none can
must show that the party made an admission All that is required when a matter is justly be deprived of this union and of the advan- clearly inconsistent with the evidence pro- submitted to the people for their ratification is tages he expects to derive from it while he on his
posed to be given, and that the other party a majority of the votes polled. The Constituside fulfills the conditions." And the same author on the same page fur
has acted upon that admission. The United tion of the United States provides that in order States were not misled, for the actions of the to make an amendment thereto valid it must
rebels were well known, and both parties acted pass Congress by a vote of two thirds of both “The body of a nation cannot, then, abandon a with full knowledge, and as already indicated, Houses, and be ratified by the Legislatures of province, a town, or even a single individual who is a part of it, unless compelled to it by necessity, or
were on an equality as to matter of record. So three fourths of the several States, or by conindispensably obliged to it by the strongest reasons that upon no legal principle are the rules of vention in three fourths thereof, so that in such founded on the public safety."
estoppel applicable as contended by my two an important amendment as that abolishing the It cannot be denied that East Tennessee had colleagues.
system of slavery we cannot afford to theorize during the rebellion a large number of loyal Mr. Speaker, it has been said that if the as to States being out of the Union or losing citizens. Mr. Lincoln, in his message to Con- States lately in rebellion were only put in their status as States, for there is no telling gress on the 3d day of December, 1861, stated :
abeyance during the war, then at its termina- what the United States Supreme Court, as now "I decm it important that the large region of East tion they were restored to all the rights they or shall hereafter be constituted, may decide Tennessee and western North Carolina be connected with Kentucky and other faitbful parts of the Union
possessed prior to the rebellion, and the Pres- in regard to the States lately in rebellion, and by railroad.
ident bad no right to direct provisional gov- if there should not be a ratification by three On the 4th of May, 1864, the House passed
ernors to call a convention to amend or form fourths of the entire number of States, (includa bill authorizing the President to appoint in
a constitution different from the mode desig- ing those lately in rebellion,) and it should each State in rebellion a provisional governor,
nated in the constitution in force at the break- be determined that in consequence thereof the
And the honorable genwith the pay and emoluments of a brigadier | ing out of the war.
amendment abolishing slavery was invalid, general, to be charged with the civil adminis.
tleman from Ohio [Mr. SHELLABARGER] refers then all the lives and treasure sacrificed to tration until a State government therein shall
to the actions of the President in regard to eradicate from this Republic that accursed sysbe recognized, and prior to that time, to wit,
North Carolina, and recites the clause in the tem which brought upon the nation so much on the 20th of January, 1864, President Lin
old constitution pointing out a mode for alter- misery would be of no avail. But the Secrecoln ordered an election to be held in Arkansas ing or amending the same.
tary of State, that far-seeing statesman, (Mr. for Governor, &c.; thus showing that neither
Now, owing to the rebellion, great changes Seward,) who through the four years of terrible the action of Congress nor President Lincoln
had taken place. As a war necessity, slaves conflict managed the affairs of state so ably and had any tendency to treat the rebel States as had by proclamation been declared to be kept us out of foreign wars, provided for the out of the Union or annihilated as States, but
freed, and the fourth section of the fourth contingency so as to avoid all cavil. That genon the contrary shows the very opposite.
article of the Constitution of the United States | tleman, in his published certificate in form of President Johnson, in his annual message
requires that the United States shall guaranty proclamation of the 18th of December, 1865, of the 4th of December last, says:
to every State in the Union a republican form recites the amendments, to wit: “The perpetuity of the Constitution brings with it
of government, and in order to carry out that "Sec.1. Neither slarery nor involuntary servitude, perpetuity of the States; thus mutual relations make injunction it was indispensable that a change except as a punishment for crime whereof the party us what we are; and in our politicalsystem their con- of the constitution should be made, and the
shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within nection is indissoluble. The wholecannot exist with
the United States or any place subject to their jurisout the parts, nor the parts without the whole. So
Government had a right to demand it in order diction. long as the Constitution of the United States endures
that the civil laws, which had to give way to "SEC. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this the States will endure; the destruction of one is the the military, could be revived. And as to the
article by appropriate legislation." destruction of the other; the preservation of the one is the preservation of the other." mode of altering the constitution, though the
And then proceeds as follows: .But it is said by my colleague [Mr. STE
old one points out a method by which amend- "And whereas it appears from official documents VENS] that "on the ground of estoppel the ments or alterations may be made, still that
on file in this Departinent that the amendinent to
the Constitution of the United States, proposed as United States have a clear right to elect to addoes not prevent the calling of a convention
aforesaid, has been ratified by the Legislatures of the to adopt a new constitution or change the States of Illinois, Rhode Island, Michigan, Maryjudge them out of the Union ;' that “they are estopped both by matter of record and matter former, subject to the ratification of the legal
land, New York, West Virginia, Maine, Kansas, Mas
sachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, voters. in pais."
That is a right which the sovereign Nevada, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin,
Vermont, Tennessee, Arkansas, Connecticut, New And my able colleague, [Mr. BROOMALL,] in people of each State never parted with, and his speech of the 26th of January, says, in
IIampshire, South Carolina, Alabama, North Caromay as often as they choose, by con
lina, and Georgia, in all twenty-seven States; and speaking of the rebel States:
vention, change their constitution so as not whereas the whole number of States in the United “Having set up an independent government and
to be incompatible with that of the United States is thirty-six; and whereas the before specially waged war as a nation, they are estopped from pleadStates. The Legislature, without a convention,
named States whose Legislatures have ratified the ing the right of citizenship to defeat the right of concan make alterations only in the way pre
said proposed amendinent constitute three fourths
of the whole punber of States in the United States: scribed by the constitution; but as I have al- Now, therefore, be it known that I, William H. SewIf the latter gentleman's doctrine is tenable, || ready said, that is no bar to a change made
ard, Secretary of State, by virtue and in pursuance
of the second section of the act of Congress, approved then those residing in what are denominated through a convention, subject to the ratifica- the 20th of April, 1818, entitled "An act to provide the rebel States are no longer citizens of the tion of the voters; and for this procedure we for the publication of the laws of the United States, United States, and consequently not amenable have a case directly in point in regard to the
and for other purposes,' do hereby certify that the to her laws, and in that event all laws of Con- State of Missouri. Article twelve of the con
amendment aforesaid has become valid torll intents
and purposes as a part of the Constitution of the gress passed to punish rebels would be nugatory. stitution of the 10th of July, 1820— under United States.
But how do the records stand in regard to which it became a State--provides that, · It will be seen, Mr. Speaker, that seven estoppel? It is true that the so-called southern "The General Assemby may at any time prepare
of the above-named States that ratified said confederacy adopted a constitution and passed such amendments to this constitution as two thirds amendment had been with what was called laws, claiming to be independent of the United
of each House shall deem expedient, wbich shall be
the “southern confederacy."' Surely it would States, and at the same time the United States three several times, at least twelve months before not do for us now to say that the States so ratiCongress passed stringent laws which denied the next general election, and if, at the first session fying the amendment are not States within that those States were separated from the Uni
of the General Assembly after such general election,
the Union. I might add that the Legislatures ted States, and inflicted upon them severe pen- ify such proposed amendments, they shall be valid of California and New Jersey have since also alties for their treason. So as regards matter to all intents and purposes as part of this constitu- ratified the amendment, while those of Kenof record the United States would be estopped
tion: Provided, That such proposed amendment shall
tucky and Delaware persistently refuse. from treating these States as out of the Union, when the same are proposed as when they are finally, Mr. Speaker, we have heard on this floor, as well as the rebel States would be by having | ratified.”
portrayed with zeal and eloquence, the barasserted they were out. Then as to matter in Yet, notwithstanding this prescribed mode barities committed by the rebels upon the pais. The United States asserted that those of amendment, the Legislature of that State Union soldiers, and the desecration of our rebel States had not dissolved their connection passed, in the year 1865, a law calling a con- dead, yea, even the murder of our venerable with the Union, while the rebels on the other vention which continned in session a few weeks President. Now, sir, if it would restore to us hand asserted they had. So as to matter in pais, l and adopted a constitution which was submit. again our much-esteemed President; to the they would be equally estopped.
ted to the people for ratification, (the disloyal || bereaved parents, their sons; to the widow, her
husband; to the orphan children, their fathers | stitution each State has a right to regulate the || Republic, (and even there I am sorry to have and protectors who fell in defense of this Re- qualifications of its own electors, and Congress to say that some were to be found sympathizing public; to the maimed their amputated limbs, has no right to assume that authority. In the with treason,) but in the rebellious States it and restore to health the shattered constitu- District of Columbia Congress has exclusive required the nerve of a Socrates to be loyal to tions of our surviving soldiers, I would be jurisdiction, and may there regulate the right | his country where his personal liberty, life, willing-if the Constitution would allow it-to of suffrage, which is of very little practical property, and all that is dear to man were in see the rebel States annihilated.
importance, as none but municipal officers are peril. Even Alexander H. Stephens, who for a But that restoration cannot be had; our no- elective in the District. According to the con- time so eloquently raised his voice against treable dead must sleep until the sound of Gabri- stitution of Pennsylvania, none but "white free- son and clung to the horns of the altar of libel's trumpet. Though there are no marks to men of the age of twenty-one years, having re- erty, was, in the hour of trial and temptation, designate the resting place of some, yet their sided in the State one year," "&c., are entitled induced by the offer of a vice presidency in the noble deeds will be engraven upon the hearts to the right of suffrage, and before that can be so-called southern confederacy to let go that of a grateful nation; while those who fell fight- | changed there must be an alteration in the con- which he professed to love and revere, and ing to destroy our free institutions, if not to- stitution of that State. As to the freedmen, || turned his back against his country. tally forgotten, will only be remembered as reb- the amendment already adopted gives Congress When war was raging it was necessary, for els and traitors, and not as the honorable gen- sufficient authority to legislate for their protec- the preservation of the Union and to weaken tleman from New York (Mr. RAYMOND] said, tion. I consider, Mr. Speaker, that the most the hands of the enemies of the Republic, to in comparing them to our dead, “The dead of | important amendment needed is that of repre- devastate the country in possession of the the contending hosts sleep beneath the soil of sentation according to the vote; for while it insurgents; but as the rebellion is now ended, & common country under the common flag; must be conceded that each State has a right it is the duty of the nation to foster and build their hostilities are hushed, and they are the to regulate the right of suffrage, yet if the col- it
up; and by proper encouragement, with the dead of the nation forevermore." Sir, those ored man is deprived of a vote he should not be | blessings of free labor, evidenced by true loywho were trying to take the heart's blood of counted in the representation; to simplify it, l| alty, those States will exhibit in a few years the nation deserve no such eulogy. Again, it no other one ought to vote for him. If these
one of the brightest spots in this Republic. has been asked, “How long may this nation three amendments were adopted, and especially | My distinguished colleague, [Mr. WILLIAMS,] survive with Senators elected by rebel Legisla- the first, and the States lately in rebellion should in speaking of the States lately in rebellion, tures, or by treaties made by Senators chosen send loyal men as representatives, they ought to says: by rebel States ?''
be admitted; and if
this arrangement could be "Eleven of the columnar supports of our political This, Mr. Speaker, is rather a patriotic ap- made, I see no difficulty in regard to representa- edifice are now lying around us, like the grand colpeal; but if the Senate and House of Repre- tion from those States. But Congress ought
umns of Tadmor and Palmyra, with shaft and capi
tal and architrave alike shattered by the mighty consentatives stand firm there will be no danger never to admit to a seat any man who has vol
vulsion that has laid them all in ruins." of such getting seats in either branch.
untarily borne arms against the United States, And asks: The sixth section of the third article of the and of their qualification each House is the judge. Constitution of the United States provides President Johnson, in his annual message, says:
“Where is the hand that is to lift these columns to
their place?" that
"It is for you, fellow-citizens of the House of Rep. Mr. Speaker, though the metaphor is beau"Each House shall be the judge of the election, resentatives to judge, each of you for yourselves, of returns, and qualifications of its members." the election, returns, and qualifications of your own
tiful, I do not agree with the honorable gentlemembers."
man that eleven of the States of this Union are We must not look at these questions as an advocate employed for his client, nor let our
I have not time to review all the arguments | lying around like the grand columns of Tadfrom the Democratic side of this House, but if
mor and Palmyra.'! The shock, it is true, was feelings betray our judgment, but view them as statesmen.
the gentlemen from New Jersey [Mr. Rogers] || great, but they stood erect in the storm like the Mr. Speaker, we have been repeatedly told and the late member from Indiana (Mr. Voor
mighty oak of the forest, but came out somewhat on this door that we ought to be cautious about hees) express the views of their party, they
scarred. But the leaders who caused this terriadmitting Representatives from the States lately would be willing to admit to seats on this floor
ble conflict deserve condign punishment. The in rebellion, but no particular plan for their rebels whose hands have been stained with the
Government officials deserve great credit for admission has been clearly defined. blood of our Union soldiers.
causing the arrest, trial, and execution of Wirz, It seems to me that if Congress would sub
If we were to determine that the States lately | barbarities to the Union prisone
who was proved to be a monster, and for his mit to the respective States a few important in rebellion could only be admitted as new
no better fate than that which was meted out amendments to the Constitution of the United States, after presenting an acceptable constiStates, they would be ratified, and all this com- tution, and upon that basis receive them back,
to him; still he was but a subordinate, and it plication avoided. It would have been better what would prevent them immediately after is not right that the chief officers should escape if this course had been pursued immediately from changing their constitution in any way
punishment. I agree with what was said by an after the assembling of the present Congress. they saw fit, provided it was not inconsistent
eminent judge in my State, that “the greater The framers of the Constitution contemplated with that of the United States? So that the
the man, the greater the example.” that the time might arrive when amendments only safeguard is the amending of the Consti
Treason ought to be made odious, and there would be necessary, and therefore provided a tution of the United States, which will be a
should be no procrastination in the trial of method for its accomplishment. It would be sufficient barrier against all innovations; and
such offenders; the leading spirits should be strange if, after a period of upward of seventy if those States are sincere as to their returned
the first brought to justice, and it is hoped that years in this progressive age, amendments loyalty they will have no hesitation through
that part of the last annual message of Presiwould not be found necessary ; though I think their Legislatures to join in ratifying the mate
dent Johnson, in which he saysthey ought to be as few as practicable. rial amendments, and especially that of repre
“It is manifest that treason, most flagrant in char
acter, has been committed. Persons who are charged Yet I do not agree with the honorable gensentation.
with its commission should have fair and impartial tleman from New York, [Mr. RAYMOND, ) who, It is true a bitter feeling has prevailed against
trials in the highest civil tribunals of the country, in
order that the Constitution and the laws inay be fully in speaking of the Constitution, says he looks some of the rebel States for their treasonable
vindicated; the truth clearly established and afirmed upon all propositions for its amendment with course, and especially South Carolina, and that that treason is a crime, that traitors should be punhesitation and distrust." How any statesman is not to be wondered at when we take into con
ished, and the offense made odious''. can hesitate and distrust” about the prac- sideration the unparalleled misery they have may be speedily carried into effect, though I ticability of amending the Constitution to cor- brought upon the country; but it is hoped they cannot well see why the leading traitors in the respond with the times and circumstances I have repented in sackcloth and ashes, and, as rebellion could not have been tried by a milcannot imagine. Then, Mr. Speaker, I would some evidence of that, we find even South Car- | itary commission as well as Wirz. I look upon propose: first, that the Representatives in olina ratifying the amendment abolishing their | John C. Breckinridge as one of the vilest traiCongress shall be apportioned among the sev. favorite institution of slavery, while Kentucky | tors, and I trust an effort will be made to have eral States according to the number of qualified and Delaware, professing to be loyal States, || him arrested, tried, and punished; and I might voters in each State. Secondly, that neither refuse. I trust, Mr. Speaker, that the two say that officers who held high military posiof the States of the Union sball ever assume Houses of Congress will see the vast importance tions under the United States, and with the or pay any part of the debt of the so-called of having the requisite amendments to the Con- | knowledge acquired as to the position of afconfederate States of America, or of any State stitution speedily passed and submitted to the fairs, turned traitors and joined the rebelarmy, contracted in carrying on war against the Uni- States for ratification. Then, after being rati- ought not to be permitted to stalk about the ted States; and, thirdly, that the Constitution fied by the Legislatures of three fourths of the country. be amended by striking out that clause which States, without fear of not being able to carry Now, Mr. Speaker, though I differ somewhat says:
out the injunction of guarantying to every with some of our leading members of the Repub“No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported
State in this Union a republican form of gov- lican party in this House as to the status of the from any State.
ernment, Representatives from those States States lately in rebellion, I agree with them that According to the estimate of my colleague, lately in rebellion who can take the oath pre- none but true, loyal Representatives ought to (Mr. STEVENS,) a small tax on exportation of scribed by existing laws can be admitted to seats be admitted to seats from those States, and that cotton alone would amount to $100,000,000 in Congress; and it is due to such men as May- we should have, as a safeguard, proper amendannually--a sum which would do much toward nard, Colonel Stokes, Colonel Hawkins, Ar
ments to the Constitution of the United States. paying off our war debt. It is not likely it nell, Fowler, and others, who, in the nation's It is hoped that the joint committee on rewould be laid on any other product. These struggle, stood up for right and freedom, to be construction may mature some acceptable plan, are all the amendments I deem necessary. cared for. It was easy to be a Union man in || which will meet the approbation of both branches
There can be no doubt that under the Con- the loyal States, surrounded by friends of the l of Congress and of the President, for the speedy
adjustment of the perplexed questions that now action. And however much that committee population, for example—will any one affirm agitate the country. I do not agree with the may have been abused by the whole copper- that we would not have the power to ascertain honorable gentleman from New York, [Mr. head press of the country, and arraigned by who and what these electors were; and if they RAYMOND,] that we do not get inuch informa- the President as an "irresponsible directory,” were not what the Constitution says they shall tion from that committee. It is composed of I can see nothing either in the material of be, to refuse to adinit them? And the same gentlemen of strict integrity, and experienced which it is formed or the duties which have may be said as to the power of the Senate in statesmen, who have been laboring assiduously i been assigned them by the Senate and the relation to the States. to procure all the information possible to la House that detracts either from the conclusions And yet when Congress passes a joint resobefore Congress, and, when a full report is at which they arrive or the right they have in lution appointing a joint committee whose made, will no doubt give us definite informa- exercising the powers allotted to them. Act- || duty is to inquire into the condition of eleven tion as to the situation of affairs in the States ing on behalf of the Senate and the House, States, the majority of whose people have for lately in rebellion, and be of great importance they act as any other committee, clothed with the past four years been in armed and wicked to the whole country. I would here remark such powers only as the Senate and the House rebellion against the Government, and to report that the honorable chairman of the committee, see fit to give them. Their conclusions, and whether any of these States are entitled to be (my colleague,) who has already passed the the facts upon which their judgment is based, represented because of their treason, it is period of life usually assigned to man, for his must be submitted to the Congress for its rati- denounced as a crime, and held up to the world devotion to and toil in behalf of his country fication or rejection. How it can be looked as a monstrous outrage and a vile usurpation. deserves great credit; and I pray that his life upon or called “irresponsible," when it must Sir, if it be an outrage for me to refuse to may be spared until the great questions that render an account to the country for its con- admit to my house a man coming from a localnow so much interest the nation may be ad- duct, is hard for me to comprehend. That it ity infected with some loathsome, contagious justed so that all the States can be represented can be likened to a " directory," when it has disease until I am satisfied I can do it without in the councils of the nation.
no power of its own, and when its resolutions running any risks or hazards of my life, or If, Mr. Speaker, this great Republic, pow are Tecble and lifeless except they receive the to the life of the inmates of my house, then it extending from the St. Lawrence to the Gulf assent of Congress, is still more difficult for me is monstrous in me to refuse men admission of Mexico, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific to understand.
here, coming from disloyal constituencies, ocean, and from which the dark stain of slavery The joint resolution empowering that commit- until I am satisfied their admission will not has been eradicated, and the Gospel, education, tee to act was passed on the 4th day of Decem- endanger the life of the Republic. This un. and civil rights extended to all classes, with a ber last, and received the support and the vote seemly haste on the part of these States to Constitution which, according to the language of some of the very men whom we find to-day come back into Congress on their terms is of Chief Justice Marshall, in Cohens vs. Vir- denouncing it as a usurpation. When it went only equalled by their precipitate action in ginia, (6 Wheaton, 387,) is formed for ages to out to the world no one saw in it anything but leaving these Halls in 1861 to join in bfeaking come, and is designed to approach immortality a legitimate exercise of the powers of Con- up by force of arms what they would tear down as near as human institutions can approach it; gress, and the President himself, so far as I to-morrow by political trickery if you but give and if the citizens are true and loyal, and put am aware, did not say a word in opposition them the opportunity and the power. their trust in Him who holds in His hands the to it.
While I am as desirous as any man that the destinies of nations, this Republic will endure The Constitution says that "each House States unrepresented should have their deleas a shining light until the end of time, show- shall be the judge of the election, qualification, I gates participate with us in our deliberations, ing to the world that man is capable of self- and returns of its own members." It nowhere I am at the same time sensible of a duty that government, and that this is truly “the land says that each House shall separately, for itself, I owe to my country and to such of the loyal of the free and home of the brave."
do this, nor that it shall not be done by the masses of the South as stood true to the Union Mr. J. L. THOMAS. Mr. Speaker, the concurrent action of each House. Each House in its hour of peril, that is paramount to any great question of reconstruction and the col- can act separately for itself, and in all ques. courtesy that I might be willing to extend to lateral issues properly belonging to it have tions touching the elections, &c., of the mem- them. been agitating this country in some form or bers of each House, the practice heretofore Sir, the smoke of the great revolution another since the first session of the Thirty- || in ordinary cases has been for each House to through which we have just emerged has not Eighth Congress.
act without the concurrence of the other. yet sufficiently passed away to allow us to disThe rebellion which has been so gloriously But the question involved in the admission cern clearly the prospects or hopes of the crushed out has devolved upon us the solemn of the Senators and Representatives of the future. For myself, as I never entertained a duty of dealing with its results in such a man- lately rebellious States was and is not a mere doubt during the long and dreary night that ner as that a permanent peace shall be secured | question of qualification, election, and return for nearly five years hung like a death-pall over and a lasting adjustment of all the irritating of its members, but goes to the fundamental our country, that the rebellion would be finally causes that produced it, shall be forever put at principles of the status and organization of the crushed out, and traitors made to feel the rest. I, for one, have made up my mind what people and the State governments of the States enormity of their guilt, so to-day, if I feel a course I shall pursue, and “with malice to- asking for the admission of their Senators and sad disappointment that they have not met ward none, with charity for all, with determi- Representatives.
that doom that their treason entitled them to nation to do the right as God giveth me to see The Constitution says that each House | receive, I have an abiding confidence in the the right”—to advocate and support such prin- may determine the rules of its own proceed - | devotion and patriotism of the loyal masses of ciples as will reconstruct the States lately in | ings." (Article one, section five.). Does this the people that they will never allow these rebellion on a sure and loyal foundation, and prevent the Congress from making joint rules, rebels, who have forfeited everything by their that treason will never again lift its bloody to be binding on both? On the contrary, has rebellion, to dictate the terms upon which they hand to strike down the bulwarks of the Con- it not been the practice for each House, by shall resume their relationship to the Governstitution.
concurrent action, to make joint rules, not only ment. They are either to be consulted as to Differences have arisen among us as to to facilitate public business, but to make their what conditions will best please them, or we how this can best be done. Loyal, patriotic, action uniform and harmonious? And if there are to make known to them upon what terms honest men have spoken on the subject, and ever was a case presented where neither House we please to receive them. We are either to while some of them differ as to the details, should act without the concurrence of the other consent that such men as they select shall be and others as to mere abstract questions and it is in the mode and manner of dealing with our peers in this House, or we are to tell them theoretic views of “State suicide,” we all the representation from these States. If each what character of peers they shall send here. agree on one point, and that is, that no rebel- House should act for itself we might have the We are either to exact no guarantees for future lious State shall be represented on this floor strange anomaly of the people being repre- security, or we are to impose such guarantees until her people show such unmistakable proofs sented in one branch and the States unrepre- as Congress in its wisdoin may deem best for of repentance and loyalty for the future as will sented in another, or vice versa.
the public good. warrant us in believing that “the Republic Again, the Constitution says that
I hold that treason is the same, whether it can receive no detriment" at the hands of its
“The House of Representatives shall be composed be committed by an aggregate of individuals, former assailants.
of members chosen every second year by the people of or by but one individual. It is levying war The committee on reconstruction, to whom
the several States, and tho clectors in each State shall
against the United States; giving aid and com this IIouse, by the unanimous vote of the ma- the most numerous branch of the State Legisla
fort to its enemies. When an aggregate of jority, intrusted the investigation of the conture."- Art. 1, Sec. 2.
individuals commit treason, they are as liable dition of the rebel States, have not as yet Will any one tell me that the House has not
to pay its penalty as any single individual would reported that any of them are in a condition | the power to inquire and ascertain whether a be. If any person in a State commits treason, to be represented here, with the exception of man sent here to represent the people was in and you have the power to prescribe the con. the State of Tennessee. That committee, com: fact elected by the electors having the qualifi- || ditions upon which he shall be pardoned, (which posed as it is of some of the best and most cations requisite for the most numerous branch the President has done, both by his amnesty patriotic members of this body, is entitled to our of the State Legislatures? Suppose a man proclamation and the thousands of pardons highest consideration and respect, and would | should present himself with his credentials, he has granted,) then you have the power as a not, I am sure, abuse the trust that has been bearing the broad seal of his State, certifying | Congress to say to these same men, "Before you placed in their hands. The fact that they have that he was duly elected, and it should turn shall be allowed to exercise your functions as not yet reported that any of these States, except out that he was not elected by the qualified States, you shall first comply with certain conthe State of Tennessee, are in a condition to electors of the most numerous branch of the ditions, which we deem to be necessary before be represented is a strong argument to my State Legislature, but by a portion of the peo- we can allow you to resume all your rights as mind why we should not be precipitate in our plemot qualified as such an elector-a negro members of a State."
T'he Constitution says the United States shall which the rebellion did not and could not into a consideration of abstract questions, which guaranty to each State a republican form of | destroy: Then all the acts done by these pro- when fully exhausted and finally answered bring government. At the end of the rebellion we visional governors are illegal and void, and us no nearer to the point we are trying to reach found that the insurgents had erected insur: without warrant of law, either under the Cop- than when we started. rectionary governments that were in the hands stitution or the laws of nations.
For this reason I do not intend to assume, as of traitors, and that were not only not repub- It appears to me, sir, that a strange confu- many have who have preceded me, either the lican, but that were usurpations and tyrannies, sion of ideas has taken place in the discussion | right of a State to secede, or whether the rebel We found that the rebels in arms had seized of this question. A State is confounded with States did secede, or whether they have ever hold of the political machinery of the States, the government of the State. A State cannot been out of the Union, or whether they are Terand had not only carried them into rebellion, go out of the Union unless by successful revo- ritories. It is enough for me to know that they but had linked their fortunes to a pretended | lution it succeeds in a separate, independent have been in rebellion ; that during that rebeland revolutionary confederacy, which they | nationality, acknowledged as such by the world. lion their State governments ceased to have acknowledged, and to which they had all sworn Secession ordinances cannot carry a State out any relations (except as enemies) with the peoallegiance.
of the Union, because if they could, every State | ple of the United States; that certain conseWe found that men who were true in their | that attempted to secede would to-day be out quences followed from their rebellion-one the loyalty to this Government were hunted down of the Union. But the government of a State | subversion or overthrow of their State governlike dogs and treated like beasts; their property can become usurped and so utterly destroyed ments, the other a suspension of the represenconfiscated, their homesteads desolated, their as to require not only remodeling but an entire tation in Congress. wires and children forced away from them be- new frame work.
I claim, sir, that it is for Congress to decide cause of their loyalty. We found all this, and Suppose, sir, for illustration, that the rebels not only whether these State governments more which I shall not stop to recount, and in my own State had succeeded in 1861 in pass- having been once subverted, have been again which history will blush to record.
ing an ordinance of secession and forcing the reconstructed, but to examine and see how This being the case, the question is, not loyal Governor of Maryland either to leave the they have been reconstructed, and whether they whether the States that went into rebellion State or to vacate the functions of his oflice; have been so reconstructed as to entitle them were ever out of the Union, not whether by suppose, in place of the State government then to representation here. In the language of the their ordinances of secession they succeeded in in existence, they had elected another Governor, lamented Lincolndoing what their ordinances proclaimed to the Legislature, and judiciary-all of them sworn "Let us all join in doing the acts necessary to reworld, but whether the State governments we to support the upstart and usurping confed- storing the proper practical relations between theso found in existence at the time the combined eracy; suppose this State government so or
States and the Union, and each forever after inno
cently indulge his own opinion whether, in doing the armies of the confederacy surrendered to Grant | ganized had waged war against the United acts, ho brought the States from without into the were the legitimate State governments recog- States for four years, and at the end of that Union, or only gave them proper assistance, they nized by the Constitution, and republican in time was compelled by force of arms to submit
never having been out of it.” form, or were usurpations, presided over by to the power against whom it had rebelled, in That we are all desirous of doing this I am traitors to their country.
what condition would my State have been, and satisfied. That it ought to be done quickly, It cannot be contended for a moment that what would have been the duty and the obliga | but with a view to secure future peace and the State governments found in existence in tions of this Government to the loyal Union security, both to them and to us, I am perApril, 1865, were the same State governments men of Maryland who refused to take part in suaded. So far as the constitutional power of that existed prior to 1861. Not only is this not the usurpation, and who never yielded a vol. || Congress over this whole matter is concerned, so, in relation to the functionaries representing untary support to the confederacy?
I am convinced it is ample and exclusive. these State governments, such as Governors, To be sure the boundaries of the State would The President, as Commander-in-Chief of judges, and members of the Legislature, but in have remained the same as they do now. Its the Army and the Navy, has the power to erect many, if not all of them, their State constitu- geography would not have been changed, and military provisional governments as temporary tions had been changed in order to meet the possibly its name would have been allowed to expedients for peace and quiet. But these pronew obligations which they had contracted in exist. But suppose one portion of the people, || visional governments only proved two things: attaching themselves to the rebel usurpation. || acting under the constitution of the State as it first, that the old State governments had been Were these State governments legal or illegal; existed prior to 1861, had elected Representa- subverted or destroyed; and second, that having were they constitutional or unconstitutional; tives and Senators, and suppose another portion been destroyed, some expedient must be resorted were they republican or anti-republican? If of the people had elected Senators and Repre- to to make a new one. The power of Congress they are legal, constitutional, and republican, sentatives in accordance with the laws made commenced where that of the President ceased. then were their ordinances of secession legal, || during the four years it was in rebellion, and His power ceased when he withdrew his proconstitutional, and republican? If, on the that still another portion had elected Senators
visional governors. The power of Congress other hand, their ordinances of secession are and Representatives in accordance with a con- commenced when called upon to recognize the and were void, then their State governments stitution and laws made and enacted under and Senators and Representatives of the newly. made under their ordinances of secession are by virtue of a convention called into being by reconstructed State governments. void. The one follows as the necessary con- a provisional governor appointed by the Pres- That this power is in Congress, and exclusequence of the other. This being the case, ident as Commander-in-Chief of the Army, | sively in Congress, I shall read a short passage their secession ordinances being void, and all which State government would you recognize, from the decision of the Supreme Court of the their State governments in existence during and which set of Representatives would you United States in the case of Luther vs. Borden, the rebellion being in like manner void and | admit, and where would the power reside as to reported in 7 Howard's Supreme Court Reports, usurpations, we are forced to come to one of which was the State government and who its at page 10. Say the court: two conclusions, either that the State gov- Representatives? If you say you would recog- "The fourth section of the fourth article of the Conernments in existence in 1861 and prior to the nize the State governments in existance prior | stitution of the United States provides that Congress rebellion, are in existence now, unchanged,
shall guaranty to every Stato in the Union a repubto 1861, then how can you reconcile the fact
lican form of government.' with all of their rights and immunities, in as that the State governments organized in all of “Under this article of the Constitution it rests with full and ample a manner as they possessed them the lately rebellious States are to-day the creat
Congress to decide what government is the established
one in a State. For as the United States granty at that time, or the rebel usurpations which ures and creations of the conjoint action of the
to every State a republican government. Congress continued in these States for four years, and President of the United States by the appoint- must necessarily decide what government is estabwhich have been overthrown by force of arms, ment of provisional governors, on the one part,
lished in a State before it can determine whether it are still in existence, or the new State gov- and the people of these States, acting by per
is republican or not.
And when the Senators and Representatives of
I desire gentlemen to pay their particular
"into the councils of the Union, the authority of the the rebellion just as though no rebellion had were usurped, then I want to know if you government under which they are appointed, as well happened-then there is no obligation, no con- intend to acknowledge the rebel usurpations asits rcpublican character, is recognized by the proper dition that either Congress or the Executive,
If this be true, then neither Mr. Lincoln nor possessed by them prior to the time when they | the Union the authority under which they are
appointed is not only recognized, but the repubional governors of States whose machinery of In the discussion ofthis question, Mr. Speaker, | lican character of their State governments is government was already in existence, and I do not intend to allow myself to be drawn at once and forever acknowledged ?
Acting on this theory, at the first session of resides in the Congress of the United States. In another part of his testimony the followthe Thirty-Eighth Congress a joint resolution By 'assuming the first, the States that went ing significant facts are developed : was passed declaring that no State declared to into rebellion would have the right to build up "Question. Have you a copy of your report to the be in rebellion by the proclamation of the Pres- any kind of a government as a State organiza- || President?
· Ansicer. I have not a copy of that report. I have ident shall be entitled to appoint electors for tion, and provided it owed allegiance to the
at home the rough draft froin which the report was President and Vice President until both Houses Constitution of the United States it would be made, but not the accompanying papers, as I had no 'of Congress by concurrent action shall have entitled to be recognized as such and to have copies made of them. Not being aware that I should
be called before this cominittce to testify I did not recognized a State government in such State. its representation in this House. More than
bring that rough drast with me to the city. This theory of reconstruction is not there- || this, the States that went into rebellion not
"Question. Can you state from recollection the subfore a new one, made by this Congress to keep only did not need any provisional or military stance of the conclusions in your report to thọ Presi
dent which you state you made to hinn? the rebellious States from participating in legis- governments to aid them in building up new
Answer. I might be able to state the substance of lation, but has been solemnly decided by the governments after the fall of the confederacy, the conclusions. One of them recollect distinctly Supreme Court of the United State as a power but by simply surrendering, after they were
was to this effect: That if the rebel element was
allowed to vote in the South every member who would vested exclusively in Congress, and one that no compelled to surrender, and yielding obedience
be returned to Congress would be hostile to the policy coördinate branch of this Government has the to the laws of the United States, after they of the Federal Government, not only as regards payright to interfere with. were forced to do so, they had the right eo
ment of the national debt, but in reference to the
emancipation of the negroes; that while they exAnd, sir, the world will be surprised to know instanti to resume their former position in the pressed a willingness to accede to the principles of that both Mr. Seward and the President held Union, and to have all the original rights ex- the emancipation proclamation, they always coupled to this doctrine, and so instructed some of the ercised by them before they went into rebel
with ita determination to regulate their own affairs in provisional governors of the so-called recon- lion.
that respect, stating that they would have an organ
ized system of negro labor which they would control structed States.
I, for one, cannot agree to any such a doc- for themselves. Over and over again, in conversa
tion in New Orleans, I heard them saying that they In answer to a letter from Governor Marvin, trine, but hold to the only safe rule for the
could make the condition of affairs better for themprovisional governor of Florida, Mr. Seward, reconstruction of these States, that the power
scives than it was before. They said that Governon the 12th of September, 1865, thus speaks: is in Congress to determine when these States ment had freed the negroes and should be made to shall be entitled to exercise all their proper
take care of cripples and those who were not able to DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON, September 12, 1865. functions in the Union, and how and on what
work, while they would regulate and control the labor
of able-bodied men. Sır: Your Excellency's letter of the 29th ultimo, terms it shall be done. Ay, sir, and that *** I would here state that while many in the South with the accompanying proclamation, has been re- until these terms are complied with they shall
would say that Government must pay the rebel debt ceived and submitted to the President. The steps to
as well as Federal debt, the better and more intelliwhich it refers toward reorganizing the government remain where they have remained for the
gent class of them did not speak in this way; but they of Florida scem to be in the main judicious, and good last four years, in the Union to be sure, be- told mo distinctly that I could not expect that they results from them may be hoped for. The presump- cause they had not the power to get out of it;
would help to pay our debt or pension our soldiers tion to which the proclamation refers, however, in favor of insurgents who may wish to vote and who but in the Union, divested of their represen
for whipping them; that they would have power in
the Government some day, with their increased repmay have applied for but not received their pardons, ion in Congress until the Union masses of resentation, and would be able to defeat the payment is not exactly approved. All applications for par- this land have so hedged them in by proper
of the interest on the debt or in some other way don will be duly considered and will be disposed of
destroy public credit. I asked them where they exas soon as may be practicable. It must, however, be guarantees and safeguards for future protec
pected to get help for that purpose, and they would distinctly understood that the restoration to which tion as that they can be safely invested with generally say that there were portions of the North your proclamation refers will be subject to the decis
where they had no interest in Government securities ion of Congress.
-the West, for instance. I found that to be the feelI have the honor to be your Excellency's obedient
The question then occurs, have the State
ing among the best men who had been in the rebelservant,
governments of any of the rebellious States lion that I met at the South. They seemed to tako WILLIAM H. SEWARD. been reconstructed in such a manner as to
it for granted that we could not expect them, when His Excellency WILLIAM MARVIN, Provisional Gov- entitle them to be not only represented in Con
they should again attain power, to help pay our ernor of the State of Florida, Tallahassee.
gress, but to receive all the powers and privWhat did the Secretary mean, when he said || ileges of loyal States?
Now, this is the testimony of one of the men that the restoration to which the Governor's
sent by the President to ascertain the amount
In answering this question we should conproclamation referred "will be subject to the
and kind of loyalty there is in the South. sider, first, the status of the people of these decision of Congress," if it was not that to
Carl Schurz, also sent by the President to States as to their loyalty to the Government; Congress attached the duty, the power, and the and second, the nature or kind of State gov.
ascertain the feeling of the South, gives the responsibility of deciding how and when that
following as his estimate of loyalty: ernments they have organized, and which we restoration was complete, final, and satisfac
"I may sum up all I have said in a few words. If are called upon to recognize.
nothing were necessary but to restore the machinery tory?
I take it that no true, devoted friend of his of government in the States lately in rebellion in Again, in a dispatch dated July 24, 1865, country could wish that any of these States point of form, the movements made to that end by
the people of the South might be considered satisfacMr. Seward, by order of the President, sends should again aid in controlling the destinies of
tory. But if it is required that the southern people the following telegram to Governor Sharkey, | this nation until the people of the States have should also accommodate themselves to the results of Mississippi: shown themselves to be loyal to the Govern
of the war in point of spirit, those movements fall far WASHINGTON, July 24, 1865. ment which they are in part to control. When
short of what must be insisted upon.
“The loyalty of the masses and most of the leaders W.L.SHARKEY, Provisional Governor of Mississippi: I use the word loyal in this connection, I do of the southern people consists in submission to neYour telegram of the 21st has been received. The not mean that sturdy, bold, and defiant patriot
cessity. There is, except in individual instances, an President sees no reason to interfere with General Slocum's proceedings. The government of the State who, through four years of blood and slaughter,
entire absence of that national spirit which forms the
basis of true loyalty and patriotism." will be provisional only until the civil authorities
maintained that no State had the right to rebel, shali be restored with the approval of Congress. and who refused to give a voluntary support to
He also recommends the President to Meanwhile military authority cannot be withdrawn.
"Adrise Congress to send one or more 'investigatthe rebel usurpation; but I take it in its new WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
ing committees' into the southern States to inquire and amended sense, as a man who did go into for themselves into the actual condition of things Has Congress said any more? Could Con- | rebellion, but who, having taken the amnesty
before final action is taken upon the readmission of gress say any more? Which of the civil au
such States to their representation in the legislative oath, means in good faith to keep it.
branch of the Government and the withdrawal of the thorities of any of these States has been restored In this latter sense I am constrained to say national control from that section of the country.” with the approval of Congress? And yet Mr. that I do not believe that the vast majority of Seward undertakes to unite with those who
Generals Terry and Turner and Colonel those who have taken the oath are loyal, be- Browndenounce the action of Congress as revolu- cause I do not believe, in the language of our
"Concur in representing the sentiments of the peotionary because Congress assumes to do what || patriotic President, that you “trust' them. ple of Virginia in relation to the Government as unimhe says cannot be done except with the ap- That my opinion is not formed from any proved, and as rather having become embittered proval of Congress. If Congress has not the || prejudice, but that it is a conviction based on
since Lee's surrender. They say that at that time
the people were humble, sick of war, longing for peaco constitutional power to inquire into and deter- sworn and legal testimony, I beg leave to refer on any terms, and ready to accept gratefully the parmine the fact whether the governments of these to the testimony of Hon. John Covode. In one don of the Government, and to submit to any condiStates lately in rebellion have been properly || part of it, in answer to a question put to him
tions that might be imposed, while now they are reorganized, I want to know who has that power? || by the committee, he says:
arrogant, exacting, and intolerant. Most witnesses
of that class express a decided opinion that the withHas the President? If he has, where does he
drawal of the Federal troops and of the Freedmen's
“I conversed with loyal men from other Statesfind his power? · It is clearly not in the Con
Bureau would be followed by an unrelenting proMississippi, Alabama, &c.--who were then in New stitution, and it is equally as clear that it is not Orleans. They expressed a deep interest in having a
scription of white Unionists and persecution and to be found either in the laws of Congress or correct policy inaugurated in Louisiana on account
remission to slavery of the colored people. The in any military power that he possesses as Com
of the offect it would have on their own States. They change of feeling is very generally ascribed by these said that if Louisiana was directed in the right course
witnesses to the President's liberal policy. In regard mander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy. Has at the start, from her position and relations to other
to the Federal debt, the people of Virginia are rep
resented as in favor of its repudiation, or at least of the Supreme Court the power to determine this
States, it would go far to produce the best results in
combining with it the confederatedebt. The witnesses question? It certainly cannot have, since all loyal men whom I met in New Orleans seemed tolack
who have been connected with the confederacy, howof its powers are well defined, and, as I have confidence in their being ultimately protected and
ever, deny this, and represent the people as willing
to pay their share of the Federal debt by taxation. before stated, that tribunal has decided that
supported by the Government; and I was frequently
On this subject General Lee's opinion is that they Congress has the power. were to be abandoned to the rule of the rebel ele
are willing to pay both, and opposed to a repudiation
of cither. We are driven, then, to one of two conciu
ment, to notify them in time to enable them to get sions: that there is no power anywhere, in any
away, more especially if the troops of the United General Swayne thus testifies before the
States were to be withdrawn. They said that if the of the coördinate branches of this Government
committee on reconstruction of the amount troops were withdrawn they could not live there. I to judge of or determine upon the reconstruction know many citizens of Louisiana who remained
and kind of loyalty in Alabama. He says: within reach of the military because they did not “After the surrender of Lee a kindly feeling was of these States, or that power belongs to and dare to venture to return to their former homes." generally expressed toward the United States, since