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obvious that this can be reached only by requir- | upon the rebel States conditions-precedent to of not less heroic men who survive, are entitled ing as conditions-precedent to restoration- representation, the issue is to be made and
to the glory of having preserved the integrity i. That the civil and military leaders of the contested before the people, and we had better of the Union and the supremacy of the Govrebellion, who naturally create and direct the meet it fully and fairly upon this floor.
ernment. public opinion of the South, should be made The war was a logical and inevitable result of
But though the right of the Government to ineligible to office under the United States the conflicting views entertained by the north- collect customs, hold courts, maintain military Government.
ern and southern schools of politics in respect power, and exercise all other functions of Fed2. That the rights of the freedmen and the to the nature of our Government. They who eral authority in the insurgent States, has resafety of the Government be secured by grant | regard it as simply a league, necessarily trans- mained unbroken, yet it has been assumed, ing suffrage to the liberated or withholding it ferred sovereignty to the independent States of and much legal learning marshaled to prove, temporarily from the disloyal.
which it was composed, and held that the State that the local governments perished. I admit 3. That the elective franchise and an equal was entitled to their highest allegiance and the great skill and ability of the advocates of distribution of political power shall be pro- could secede at pleasure. We, on the other this theory, but have failed to be convinced of tected by a decrease in the basis of representa hand, who held that the Union was a Govern- its truth. I am unable to see how the numertion, where impartial suffrage is denied, by such ment de facto, denied the right to withdraw, ous citations which have been made from disa proportion of the whole population as the dis- and contended that the Federal Government | tinguished publicists are applicable to the state franchised males above twenty-one years of age could claim supreme allegiance and coerce the of things which here exist. The local governbear to the whole male population above that people of a State. With social and industrial ments of the seceding States had an uninterage.
systems in constant and complete antagonism, rupted continuity of existence until the fall of There is no injustice in such requisitions, | it must ultimately happen that sectional inter- the confederacy, and were then destroyed, not and they are imperatively demanded for public ests would be thought paramount to the ad- by the enemies, but by the friends of the Union. safety. There is no hardship in withholding vantages of the Union, and then the final The legitimate governments were usurped by a political power from men who have violated arbitrament of force must come, as it did. revolutionary power, which administered them the most solemn oaths, have destroyed untold But when it came, was it the purpose of the in the interests of treason and in defiance of wealth, and decimated the population of the South to overthrow the State governments? Federal authority. There was a continuity, land in an effort to overthrow its Government. Certainly not, for it was in their interests that but not an identity of existence, when a loyal
Is it not our paramount duty as guardians of they rebelled. They renounced their allegiance was transferred into a disloyal State. The the Republic to throw around it such safeguards to the Constitution and attempted to transfer former passed over its form, but not its life, to of law as shall protect it against the machina- it to another. They did not desire to inaugu. the new State, and hence did not necessarily tions of a yet powerful foe, until treasonable rate anarchy, but to construct a new confeder. | perish, either at its birth or its demise. It was purposes shall have passed away or become acy out of the existing States. When peace- neither a metamorphosis nor a metempsychoinnoxious? I am constrained to believe that ful measures failed they attempted forcibly to sis of the State. It was not a case of death, no loyal man would hesitate for a moment to sunder the umbaical cord which bound them but of suspended animation. The insurgents give a cordial support to these measures were to the parent State, to expel Federal authority maintained the old forms, in order the better not his reason perplexed or his desires over- in all its forms from their borders, and to to concentrate and wield their power, but in ruled by a theory of the indestructibility of transfer the States without lapse or essential law they had no municipal governments in States which dominates his better judgment | modification of their governments to a new operation from the beginning to the close of and his patriotism. I fully concur, sir, in the federal league. This they did in fact, but not the war, for a State can come into existopinion entertained by gentlemen around me, in law. It was simply a suspension of Federal ence only by an act of Congress. They are that the insurgent States did not perish, either authority. Their ordinances of secession passed simply municipal organizations for home purby their ordinances of secession or their acts by Legislatures were void; for the States, as poses, and not governments in the purview of of war; but I differ in toto from the conclu- such, are not parties to the Union, and have international law. Hence they do not come sion that they have a right to representation in no more power to break the bond than a board
into existence by the recognition of foreign Congress simply because of their existence as of trade or city council. Their ordinances of Powers, and their status is to be determined States. If the present governments of the secession passed in conventions were equally | by constitutional rather than international law, rebel States have been organized by those who void, first, because the Constitution has no pro- the same as cases are decided in court by stathad forfeited all their political rights, and are
vision for self-destruction indthat way; and sec- ute law, where there is a statute, to the excluheld in their power, they have no legal exist- | ondly, because the Government was originally || sion of common law. Under the Constitution, ence or right of representation more than the organized by a three-fourths vote of all the I know of no way in which a State can perish. revolutionary governments which have been | States, and could only be disorganized, if that If the people should resort to their reserved overthrown. The national Legislature, to were possible by peaceful means, by a similar | right, and sunder their relations to the Federal whom alone the right belongs, must in some
Eleven States only instead of twenty- Union by successful revolution, undoubtedly way signify when their political status has been four made the attempt, and hence their work the State would cease to exist as a part of the properly restored before they can rightfully was a nullity.
Government. But this case does not occur claim seats within it. The right of a Govern- Did they effect their object in the conflict of until the revolution has been recognized as a ment to make use of the means necessary to arms? They established a civil power which success by other Christian Powers. This posiits own existence is the supreme law of every had a de facto existence and exercised the || tion, I think, will not be controverted by genState. It was that reserved and sovereign | functions of government for four years. Did tlemen familiar with public law. right of the Government which conferred upon it acquire an existence de jure? I think not. The loyal people of the South were overus the power to refuse representation during | Ifit did, then the rebels dismembered our ter- | powered and held in duress by an armed mob, the pendency of the struggle, and the same ritory and became alien enemies upon a for- | and their governments rendered inoperative by imperative law of public necessity demands | eign soil, for they could not have become alien force during the period in which the slave power the continued exclusion of the representatives enemies upon our own soil. If it did, then was testing the ability of the Federal Governof that rebel power till the loyal people of the they can only be held as prisoners of war ment to maintain its supremacy. South, who have never worshiped at the altars and can claim exemption from the guilt and But the usurpation has been crushed and the of treason, shall have reconstructed their State the punishment of treason. If it did, they can- rebel power subverted, and now the governgovernments upon principles consistent with the not be required in law or justice to pay taxes ments of the States revert to the loyal people genius of civil liberty and upon conditions levied upon the States during their separate of the South, who have a right to claim protecwhich we shall dictate as essential to the future existence; and have a right to insist that the tion and immunity at our hands while they peace and welfare of the Republic. It is not liabilities which they incurred as an inde- reorganize their governments on principles for treason to sit in judgment upon itself, nor pendent power shall be assumed and honor- which we may deem essential to the repubfor the enemies of the Government to become | ably discharged by the General Government, lican form guarantied by the Constitution and chief counselors of the State.
on their readmission to the Union. If it did, to the future peace and safety of the Republic. The war has wrought great changes, not only they are to-day in the condition of conquered | Says Chief Justice Chase: in the social condition, but the civil structure territory and should be brought into the Union,
“ It is my opinion the States remain States. The of the late slave States. They cannot return like other States, by a vote of Congress, and rebel governments of the southern States have been as they were originally, and it is proper that not by the supererogatory work of constitutional destroyed. All the machinery of these governments Congress, to whom belongs the right of deter- amendments. If it did, then the rebels played || these States remain States, the second process of
has come to an end; and now, holding, as I do, that mining the conditions upon which States shall the double part of victors and vanquished in reorganization is that the governments now revert be organized and of making them parts of the the final scene of the drama, and have been into the hands of the southern people. They are to Union, should decide when these States have asking and receiving pardons from a defeated
rebuild the governments of these States." been properly reorganized and fitted to renew foe. It is clear, sir, that the slave States never It is not designed by the series of measures their legitimate functions in the Union. This reached the dignity of an independent confed- now pending to construct a platform for the is a responsibility which we, whom the people eracy. There has never been a moment when admission of new States, thongh it may become have made depositaries of their will, cannot they have not been regarded and treated as a such, but to put the organization of the disinnocently yield or repudiate, and for another part of the Union. Their de facto govern. rupted governments into the hands of loyal citito assume it would be a usurpation of power ment was never recognized by other Powers as zens, and to preserve them in their custody till such as would not be tolerated in the coarsest belonging to the community of nations, and time shall have removed, or at least soothed, and most absolute despotism to be found on was treated by us as a fiction during the pend. | the passions and prejudices of these troubled the map of the world. And yet, sir, on this i ency of the contest. The brave men who fell times. The justice and wisdom of such a policy very question of the right of Congress to impose lí on a thousand battle-fields, and the mighty host ll will hardly be questioned by any friend of the
Government; but in organic legislation what- as near universal as the well-being of society || have been in arms against their Government. ever is just and wise has the force of law. The and the perpetuity of government will allow. || Ignorance may exclude from the ballot-box, late President Lincoln, in speaking of recon- The axiom of political equality, and the dogma | but treason must. Whether the entire adult struction, says:
that all just powers of government are derived, male population made free by the proclamation "An attempt to guaranty and protect a revived from the consent of the governed, which we of January 1, 1863, and by the late amendment State government constructed in whole or in prepon- have laid in the foundations of our civil insti- of the Constitution, numbering some seven hostility
, and violence it is to be protected is simply | tutions, forbid any restriction upon suffrage, hundred thousand, shall at once be admitted absurd.'
except when overridden by the higher law of to the full enjoyment of all the political priviThe present Chief Magistrate, too, speaking || public safety. This is the only and sufficient leges of American citizens or not, is simply and out of the fullness and bitterness of his expe- justification for withholding the privilege from | solely a question of political well-being: A rience, said:
aliens, minors, and females. Properly speak- || deprivation of civil rights is a defeat of the “Bụt in calling a convention to restore the State, || ing, any conditions of suffrage in the nature ends for which Governments are organized, who shall restore and reëstablish it? Shall the man
of personal qualifications, made for the public || and is an abuse of power, but a Government who gave his means and his influence to destroy the Government? Is he to participate in the great work
good, are not restrictions, and can only become based upon political equality presupposes a of reorganization? Shall he who brought this misery such when individuals fail to reach the stand. || degree of intelligence and virtue, and hence upon the State be permitted to control its destinies?
ard which their own good and the weifare of may properly demand the qualifications essenIf this be so, then all this precious blood of our brave soldiers and officers, so freely poured out, will have
society demands. This is self-exclusion from tial to its own existence in those who exercise been wantonly spilled; all the glorious victories won a full participation in the privileges of free- its privileges. by our noble armies will go for naught, and all the men for which the Government should not be We cannot settle the question of suffrage battle-fields which have been sown with dead heroes during the rebellion will have been made memorable
held responsible. Rational liberty is the off- by reference to abstractions. Civil instituin vain. Why all this carnage and devastation? It spring of law, and must be maintained by law. tions are not a creation of the pure reason, but was that treason might be put down and traitors pun- But law in a free Government is an expression are an outgrowth of the experience of ages, ished. Therefore I say that traitors should take back seat in the work of restoration. If there be but
of national sentiment, and can only be exe- and must be maintained by practical wisdom; five thousand men in Tennessee loyal to the Consti- cuted when in accord with the public mind. I but it is beset with difficulties. Free Govern tution, loyal to freedom, loyal to justice, these true do not mean in accord with the views and ments are impossible among uncivilized peoand faithful men should control the work of reorganization and reformation absolutely. I say that the
wishes of all men, or sections even-for then || ples. When the masses are but partially or traitor has ceased to be a citizen, and in joining the it might not be a “terror to evil doers''-—but || viciously educated, as in South America and rebellion has become a public enemy. He forfeited with the prevailing sentiment of the people. Mexico, and even in parts of Europe, they have bis right to vote with loyal men when he renounced his citizenship and sought to destroy our Govern
It is essential, therefore, for the preservation || but a precarious and fitful existence. Then, ment."
of liberty, that the law should embody intelli- an addition to the existing body of electors, The bill reported by the committee proposes gence and virtue of a high order. Republics of seven hundred thousand men wholly destithe temporary disfranchisement of rebels, while are the latest and the best results of an ad- tute of mental discipline and a practical knowlthe amendment offered by the gentleman from vanced civilization, and are the civil forms in edge of affairs, if not fatal to free government, Massachusetts provides for a system of suffrage which the will and ideas of those for whom and might render it undesirable. But here, where which shall include all males above the age of by whom Governments are established have the great majority of the people are under the twenty-one. These two measures fairly involve sought the highest condition of man. But were restraints of a Christian education, we have a a discussion of the grounds and the policy of you to establish a republic among the unthink- reserve of conservative power, which would suffrage.
ing and unrestrained barbarians of the South seem to be abundantly able to counteract any The theory has been advanced that the fam- Sea islands, it would be subverted before a dangerous tendencies resulting from such an ily is the unit of society and the rightful source twelvemonth. A savage people cannot be a increase. It may be more safe to give them of political power. This, though beautiful as free, self-governing people. Where the pas- the privilege to vote than to leave them like an abstraction, does not, I apprehend, solve sions of men are not under the restraint of the pent-up fourth estate in Europe, a disconthe problem of suffrage. If the right to vote the developed reason and conscience, they will tented and factious force under the State, persprings from the family relations, how many not be a law unto themselves, but must be re- petually seeking to redress its real or imaginary votes shall the family cast? If but one, who strained by force. Transport to our shores ten wrongs by mobs and revolutions. Every Britshall cast it? Do you say the father, who is million corrupt and ignorant Chinamen, a thing ish ministry for half a century has been obliged the natural representative and defender of the by no means impossible, and give them unlim- to protect itself against this class of the popufamily? But suppose the father is superannu- ited suffrage, and straightway your institutions lation, by holding an army in one hand and a ated and feeble, would he be called upon in an would be subjected to radical and essential reform bill in the other. emergency to shoulder his staff, when stagger changes, if not to complete subversion.
The fact that the freedmen are concentrated ing under the weight of eighty years, to defend For these, among other reasons, I hold that at the South throws some doubt and perplexity either his family or his country? Would not the question of suffrage is not to be determined into the problem. If they were scattered over bis stalwart but unmarried son, sustained and by an appeal to our original rights, but by a the whole country the gift of suffrage to this impelled by the vigor of thirty summers, rather consideration of its probable effects upon the people would not hazard or materially affect be summoned to stand in the breach when the public welfare and the perpetuity of the Gov. any State or national interest whatsoever. The rights and privileges of either his family or the ernment. This I contend for, not because I whole body is less than the number of foreignState are invaded? As, under such circum- wish to exclude freedmen from the ballot-box, ers naturalized every ten years, and would constances, the son would more ably defend, so but because I would trace our political privi- stitute but one seventh of the entire voting popwould he not more safely exercise the suffrage | leges to their true source. I would place upon ulation of the country. A Government which of the family than the father? But the theory defensible and impregnable grounds the exclu- has sufficient power of assimilation to maintain deprives him of the privilege and the State of sion of amnestied but unrepentant rebels from its character and its stability against the ignothe advantage of a vote. If, now, all the fam
any part or lot in the work of reconstructing rance and prejudice brought in by an annual ily but this son were cut off, and he left alone, the Union, shattered by their hands, and which increase of the foreign vote of a hundred thouis he still to be deprived of all political rights they are still anxious to destroy. We have no sand need not entertain an apprehension of till he becomes the head of a family? Would right to exclude any man from the privilege of evil to result from the vote of seven hundred not this be a limitation rather than an extension | suffrage unconditionally, but we have the same thousand natives who have been taught the vir. of the precious privilege of suffrage, and tend right and are under the same obligation to tue of self-restraint and the value of liberty in to transfer the sovereignty of the majority to require of him for its exercise those conditions the school of oppression. There can be hut an aristocratic minority ?
of intelligence and virtue without which repub- little danger from a race so docile and apt to Suppose, again, the head of the family is a lics cannot exist, as we have to make prepara- learn. We should bear in mind, too, that though Mormon, and the husband of a score of wives : tion and fitness a prerequisite for the discharge themselves enslaved, they have grown up in is the political power of twenty families to be of official and ministerial duties. This is de. the midst of free institutions and have had the given to the saintly patriarch of Utah? Sir, manded of us by all the force of our obligations moral discipline of suffering. Remember, also, such a policy would turn the current of history, to preserve and perpetuate good government. what unswerving loyalty they exhibited in the swiftly flowing into civil freedom, backward The political axiom that taxation and repre- darkest and most hopeless hour of the war, toward the patriarchy of the infant world. Isentation are correlative rights, which the fathers when the pampered children of the Republic dismiss the theory, and turn to one more plau- laid down in justification of their act of revo- had yielded to the sorcery of treason and gone sible though equally fallacious.. I refer to the || lution, has been reiterated here and elsewhere into a foul revolt against liberty and the Gov. dogma that suffrage is an inalienable natural as an irrefutable defense of universal suffrage. ernment of their fathers. With what incorrupt. right..
But the argument is false in philosophy and ible fidelity they fed and guided through all Now, sir, I contend that it is not a natural defective in logic. It assumes that suffrage snares and dangers our starving soldiers escapright at all. It does not exist in a state of should be as universal as representation, which ing from the infernal lazaretto of a power which Dati re, but is created by the organization of is the very question at issue. Taxation does renounced alike the laws of war and the incivil society. It is the method by which the not necessarily carry with it the right to vote. stincts of humanity. With what alacrity they ultimate sovereignty of the people is expressed Men may be required to pay taxes for the sup- leaped into the bloody arena when the hazard. in the administration of government, and hence port of a Government which protects them in of life was made the price of their liberty. is purely a political right. Voting is not an end the enjoyment of their civil rights, even where With what dauntless heroism they fought and but a means, and should be extended or lim- || public safety requires a restriction of their fell, side by side with the bravest and manliest ited according as the one or the other will best | political rights. This holds in the case of fe. of the land, for the integrity of a Governinent subserve the ends for which Governments are males and aliens, and may be applied with which had been to them the house of bondage. made. In a republic the privilege should be even greater force to native-born citizens who Why, sir, these despised chattels of the traitor
ous chivalry grappled with their masters in the still in the Union. My own opinion has been speech of the loyal country should be a bitter deadliest breach, and fought with a firm and that our condition was without precedent, either and perpetual reproach to these men. Would desperate courage where bullet and shell made in our own or foreign history, and that the you, then, place them here to baffle legislation, wildest havoc with your ranks, and their ashes | theory of reconstruction which was most direct where every debate would be to them as terrimingle with the dust of your noble dead from and simple, and which could receive the gen. ble as the fiery tracery upon his palace walls to the rivers to the sea and the Gulf. Have not eral and cordial support of the people, provided the doomed monarch of Babylon? Place them such deeds redeemed the race from dishonor it was in the interest of impartial rights, was here and you make this place a bedlam to us and distrust, and entitled them, not only to a most legitimate, and should shape the policy || and an inferno to them. Bitter dissensions protection of their civil rights, but to an im- ll of the Administration.
would constantly arise, which would finally dispartial enjoyment of the privileges of citizen- We have just emerged, sir, from a grand member and ruin the 'Republic. Once within ship? It seems to me, sir, to be a legitimate | revolution. The principles involved, and which these walls their purpose would find fit expresresult of the war, and as though to withhold it have gained the final mastery, have no less sion in the language of Beelzebub to the inferwould be a violation of the gratitude, the honor, || intrinsic value and are not less vital to the nal council: and the plighted faith of the Republic.
welfare of those who shall enter into our labors "Untamed reluctance and revenge, though slow, But, sir, I would not insist upon my views than were those for which our fathers staked Yet ever plotting how the conqueror least or make my convictions an obstruction to the their lives, and for the transmission of which
May reap his conquest, and may least rejoice
In doing what we most in suffering feel. restoration of a cordial union and fraternal | they renounced the whole proud inheritance of intercourse with the South. We must ask noth- the fatherland and built anew the fabric of
It is an indispensable condition of peace to ing more, we must accept nothing less than civil government. Is there any “powerful
both North and South that the guilty authors what is necessary to the future peace and safety charm" in the wizard past which should hold
of the war, whose pride and passions would of the country. The suffrage of colored men, this generation spell-bound? Our responsi
rankle with the shame of defeat, should be though limited by intelligence and military ser- bilities to the future are not less than were those
forced into obscurity where they will be stripped vice, would undoubtedly be offensive and hu- of the past to us. The authority of legal maxims
of the prestige of distinction and the power of miliating to the South, for it would conflict and venerated parchments is not so high as the place, with pride of caste and with settled convic- cry of justice and the demands of public safety.
Our policy should be to punish the leaders, tions that political subordination is the divinely Sir, we are under a covenant of blood to the
but to elevate and inspire with confidence the appointed condition of black men. It is idle | loyal dead and the loyal living and to their
masses who have been cheated or forced into for us to expect that legislation or victories children after them to see that what the people rebellion. We should no longer bandy, the will supplant the inveterate prejudices of a have gained in the field is not lost in the forum.
epithets of " fanatical Yankee" and "southern century.
We cannot shirk this grave responsibility under || tyrant," nor nurse sectional animosities and Time is an important element in moral tri- the pretext of public necessity, and be guilt- | prejudices as groundless as the childish sentiumphs, for the progress of ideas in general | less. The people will hold us in the discharge
ment the poet has cast into the pleasant episociety is slow. But we have a right to insist, of our solemn obligations. The divine law || gram : both as conquerors and the friends of freedom,
"I do not love you, Dr. Fell, does not require us to do equal justice to
The reason why I cannot tell, that theories that have covered the land with "white" men, but to all men; and if we can
But this alone I know full well, shame and sorrow and well-nigh wrecked the not find the statute upon the tables of the law
I do not love you, Dr. Fell." Government shall nowhere again toke forms || givers, we may find it written upon the heart While we should shrink from no duty, and of law or turn our legislative halls into the || by Him who " hath made of one blood all shirk no responsibility which the safety and arenas of discord and passion.
nations of men for to dwell on all the face of welfare of the country demand, our abiding We have been told that the appearance of the earth.
aspiration and effort should be to lay wide the freedmen at the polls would be the signal for We cannot afford to lose time in restoring | open the channels of trade and intercourse an indiscriminate war of extermination, and the rebel States to the full exercise of their between the North and South, and to bind in the next breath that it would enhance the functions in the Federal Government. The the two sections together by the bonds of mupolitical power of their former masters. If, Union cannot long lie asunder in time of peace. tual interest, and the yet stronger ties of comnow, the desire of the South to realize both of There is a silent, irresistible force in the tide mon ideas and common patriotism. If we are these objects did not neutralize their efforts for of events, a recuperative power in the great to be one people, the deep, dark chasm which either, the past is an assurance that the power industries of the country, stronger than polit- has opened in our history, which puzzles the of the Government would be ample to crush ical parties, which will enforce an early reor- skill of the wisest, must be spanned by frank sedition, while the untarnished record of the ganization of these States. If we do not adopt || and manly concessions and a mutual forbearnegro during the war and his quiet but earnest some just and feasible plan for the reconstruc- ance until the growth of other times shall have pursuit of knowledge and the legitimate fruits tion of the disorganized South, the people will obliterated the horrid breach. The men who of industry now, are to us a pledge of his future reconstruct this House. Nothing should be have trodden the paths of war, and whose graves loyalty to liberty.
done in a spirit of exasperation and revenge. lie thick and beautiful on southern plains, as The southern argument that the ballot should The safety of the Republic and the cause of the stars that keep watch in the deep vault of be withheld on account of race or color rests national liberty alone should dictate terms, heaven; the heroes who survive and the heroes in unalloyed prejudice, which has grown up The freedom of all must be maintained," and who went down in the rage and wrath of battle, from a false education and a vicious social sys- the peace and security of the Government as- like grass in the swath of the mower; they who tem. It is indefensible on any principles of sured by retaining it in the hands of its friends. at New Orleans and at Mobile, with rudder set human nature or sound logic. A reference to But while we battle with an inflexible will for and sails spread to the breeze, sailed as into facts and history shows abundantly that there is the realization of these indispensable condi- the very mouth of hell, and brought forth the no natural repugnance between races or colors. tions of reunion, we shall do well to bear in twin demons of treason and bondage to the What is sometimes regarded as such is only a mind that in bringing back eleven great States || light of justice and liberty, have made it imposfalse class pride, made obstinate by long.con. to their allegiance we cannot secure full and sible that a slave should ever again crouch and tinued, artificial, and enforced distinctions in exact justice as in the ordinary administration tremble beneath the flag of the Republic. To social condition, which becomes obvious and of law; that retaliation, if possible, would not us belongs the duty of assuring the safety and palpable when the races are brought together restore our treasure or bring back our dead, perpetuity of the Union. Let us do our work upon a common level of political equality. and that time, which obliterates the trenches of in the spirit of Christian charity, and in our
Why, sir, these sticklers for an incompati- || war, will soften our sense of wrong and take admiration of men of noble natures and heroic bility of race, if you will but perpetuate the something from the severity of our demands. mold, who dared to stand like heroes at the inequality and wrong of a barbarous age, will Practical statesmanship to-day does not con- threshold their homes, and to fall like men mix and circulate freely and gladly in this wide sist in determining what we would do if we at their hearth-stones, in defense of a bad and mosaic of society, and even mingle their blood || could, but what we can do if we will, and then wicked cause, let us forget our wrongs and fostill all the nice distinctions of color are blended in doing it. Let me not be understood as pal- ter a spirit of patriotism and of brotherhood, and lost in a universal smut of the cuticle. liating the guilt or counseling a feeble dispen- || which shall embrace every State and every These puerile conceits which we have been sation of justice to the master spirits
who raised citizen in our broad and sea-girt domain, rich wont to hear pronounced with solemn and and directed this storm of blood. To-day they in its mountains and rich in its plains, blessed assured gravity by politicians of the southern are building the tombs of dead traitors, and in its climates and blessed in its peoples. school will soon follow into obscurity or con- inciting the rabble to the red-handed work of Mr. ROSS. Mr. Speaker, it is known, at tempt the outrage and wrong in which they were negro extermination. They are attempting, by | least by my constituents, that I was not a supengendered-. Opinionum commenta delet dies, || processions, songs, and eulogies to corrupt the porter of the last Administration, and did not naturce judicia confirmat.'
current of history and redeem from eternal cast my vote for the election of the present But the paramount argument for a system of infamy the memory of their comrades in per- incumbent of the presidential chair; nor have suffrage which shall admit freedmen and ex- jury, murder, and treason. These things must I any retractions to make or apologies to offer clude rebels from the franchise of the ballot is
We must have but one history, and our for such opposition. Educated in the princithe necessity of securing at the South a party monuments must teach the wisdom and glory | ples of the Democratic party, with an abiding whose loyalty is unimpeachable, to renew and of loyalty. It cannot be otherwise than that || faith in their correctness, I cheerfully gave my maintain municipal governments in the insur- the latest and most resplendent chapter in our aid to the election of its chosen standard-beargent States, true to the principles which have national records, the statutes of the last half ers, thinking it the best and safest policy to inprevailed in the late struggle of arms. This decade, and the next; the very tribute which trust in its keeping the destinies of the country; will be specially imperative, if we adopt the || industry casts into the public treasury; nay, nor have these opinions been shaken by subtheory of the Executive, that these States are that the prevailing sentiments and familiar sequent events, but confirmed. I thought that conciliatory measures and wise counsels would This committee was created for the purpose this orphan child of reconstruction will never preserve the Union and avert the calamities of of preventing restoration; to destroy, not to receive much nourishment from the breast of a civil war. To this end I favored the peace | restore, and thus far it has successfully carried its unnatural, unfriendly mother. Like miliofferings tendered in Congress by Mr. Critten- out the objects and purposes for which it was tary courts-martial, the committee was organden and Mr. Douglas. Some of the measures ushered into existence. They are opposed to ized to convict. Their object has been to disof the Administration, which I regarded as in. the restoration of the Union, and it will never sever and destroy, not to restore or build up. fringing upon the Constitution, the reserved be restored as long as they have the power to This central directory” has held its star-chamrights of the States, and the liberties of the cit- prevent it. The resolution creating this com- ber meetings in secret conclave. Still the counizen, I strenuously opposed. This difference mittee and defining its duties is in palpable | try could readily divine what such a committee of opinion with and opposition to the Admin- conflict with the plain provisions of the Con- would naturally be doing. After two months' istration has sometimes called forth from its stitution. Permit me to call your attention to session with the credentials of members from friends the unjustifiable charge of disloyalty to it. Article one, section five, provides that eleven States before them, the first bantling the Government and sympathy with treason. "each House shall be the judge of the elec- ushered into the presence of the House, purThe inference is unfair, and no bypothesis | tions, returns, and qualifications of its own tured on the fructifying pap of the committee could be more foreign to the truth... At the members." Now, while this resolution stands of public safety," was a constitutional amendlast presidential election eighteen hundred as valid and is executed it virtually annuls this ment to deprive these unrepresented States of thousand votes were cast outside of the States constitutional provision that “ each IIouse shall some twenty or thirty Representatives in Conin rebellion against the policy of the Adminis- be the judge," &c., "of the qualifications of its gress, to which they are entitled under the Contration. These men were not disunionists; own members." By the terms of this resolu- stitution, and without permitting them to be they were true friends of the Constitution and tion both Houses must judge of the qualifica- heard by Representatives or otherwise. It is the perpetuity of civil liberty. They would tions, &c., of each, instead of ach House judg. | sought to enforce an odious constitutional prohave preserved the Union peaceably if possi- || ing of its own members. . By reterring all cre- vision upon eight million people, against their ble, but forcibly if necessary. The Union pre- dentials to this committee you deprive this will, and without their assent. served in its pristine purity is worth all the sac- House of being the judge,'' or of even ex- Then a very modest appropriation of $10,000 rifices, vast as they have been, of blood and || pressing an opinion on the subject; neither is asked for to enable them to manufacture testreasure. Whether they were right or wrong, House can act separately as the judge ;' but | timony in favor of disunion and against the whether the one or the other policy would have it requires both Houses, actiug jointly, to be restoration policy of the Administration. Such been best, is no longer a practical question ; || the judges."
a request was promptly granted by such a Conwhat is done cannot be recalled.
By the Constitution each House is to act gress. Next, twenty-five thousand extra copies Let us turn from the dead past to the living, i separately in judging of the qualifications of of voluminous ex parte testimony, prepared by practical issues before us. First and greatest | its own members, while by the resolution this the secret junta, are ordered to be printed, exin magnitude and importance is the restoration | right is denied, as it requires the concurrent | pressly as a campaign document, to be used of the Union with amicable; fraternal relations | action of both Houses before the members can for the purpose of engendering sectional strife between its different sections. It rises infi- be admitted to either. If three fourths of the and exciting personal animosities and bitternitely above all others, and merits the pro- members of this House desire to admit a mem- ness between the people. Thus increased taxes found and dispassionate consideration of Con- ber from Tennessee it cannot be done without are imposed upon the people to further party gress and the country. Half a million of our the consent of the Senate, wherefore I hold schemes, dissever the Union, and misrepresent brave men and untold millions of treasure have that the resolution is in violation of the Con- and malign the President. been lavishly bestowed to suppress rebellion, stitution as it prohibits each House from the After three months of the most excruciating enforce the laws, and maintain the Union. exercise of the constitutional right to judge of labor the directory introduce another propThe objects for which the war was prosecuted | the qualifications, &c., of its own members, as osition to admit the State of Tennessee into were authoritatively enunciated by resolutions this House cannot act upon the subject without the Union. The State of Tennessee out of the introduced in both brauches of Congress by the concurrent action of the Senate. By this Union! If so, then the rebellion was a sucMessrs. Johnson and Crittenden, and obtained new rule all propositions for the admission of cess, the Union severed, and the Government with great unanimity its concurrent sanction. members from the southern States must be re- destroyed. Sir, is this theory of a dissevered On this congressional platform, acquiesced in ferred, without debate or vote, to the joint Union and dead States true? If so, when, by every department of the Government with- committee on reconstruction. How, then, can where, and by what means was it accomplished? out change or modification, the war was pros- this House judge of the qualifications and ad- The insurgents passed ordinances of secession. ecuted, the rebellion suppressed, peace restored, mit a member when it desires to do so? It may Did we acknowledge their binding force or and the Union maintained. Such, at least, was be said by rescinding the resolution. But can validity ? Surely not; we held them as absothe judgment of the country up to the time of one House repeal a joint resolution ? Thus the lutely null and void. They claimed the right the meeting of the present Congress. Every- Constitution is held in abeyance by joint reso- to take certain States out of the Union, and, where, on land and sea, our arms had been lution of Congress.
to enforce it, appealed to the arbitrament of triumphantly victorious, the insurgents were Again, article one, section two, of the Con.
We denied the right and accepted the routed and vanquished, laid down their årms stitution provides that each State shall have tendered wager of battle. They waged war and sued for peace. Animosity began to give at least one Representative;' and by article against the Government for the purpose of takway, sectional bickering was hushed, business one, section three, the Senate of the United ing the States out of the Union; we prosecuted and confidence began to revive, the country States shall be composed of two Senators from it on our part to keep them in the Union; and was tired of strife and war, the national heart each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, inasmuch as it is admitted that the contest was yearned for peace, quiet, unity, and fraternity. for six years; and each Senator shall have one decided in our favor, it is diflicult to understand 'The Executive had inaugurated and was suc- vote. Yet Congress has been in session for how the committee come to the sage conclucessfully carrying out a policy for the restora- over five months, and in palpable violation of sion that the insurgent States are out of the tion of civil authority, which for its wisdom this plain constitutional provision has pers ist- Union. If this theory be true, the present inand justice cominended itself to the country ently refused any representation either in the cumbent of the executive chair is ineligible to and the civilized world. Such was the condition Senate or House from eleven States of the the office of President, not having been prior of national affairs when Congress convened. Union, although from some of them, at least, to his election "fourteen years a resident of
These bright visions and cherished hopes | loyal Senators and Representatives, duly elected the United States." received their first rude shock when the hon- and qualified, with legal credentials, have been Sir, the sophistical theory of a dissevered orable Speaker, in his serenade speech, sounded | knocking at our doors asking admission, un- Union is false and fallacious, and cannot stand the key note of opposition to restoration-that less they would consent to abandon the great || the scrutinizing test of investigation. Accordlwe should “make haste slowly." The senti- fundamental principle which lies at the basis ing to the reasoning of the committee, the sinments enunciated in that carefully prepared of our form of government, that each State | gular anomaly is presented that the States, in speech, by one of the ablest and most distin- has the exclusive right to determine who shall some mysterious manner, without any person guished of his party, foreshadowed unmistak- exercise the elective franchise, and to manage knowing when, where, or how, actually got ably the purpose to thwart the Executive in his and control her own domestic institutions and out of the Union, though the rebellion colpolicy for the restoration of the Union. A civil polity in her own way, subject only to lapsed and the Government triumphed. It is caucus was called, Mr. STEVExs's anti-restora- the Constitution of the United States and the urged that the States were guilty of treason, tion resolution adopted, the Clerk refused to laws made in pursuance thereof Congress and, therefore, dead States, out of the Union. place on the roll or call the name of any mem- can only lawfully exercise the delegated pow- Every lawyer knows that a State cannot com ber from either of the eleven southern States. ers, all others are reserved to the States mit treason. Tennessee, never having been As soon as the House was thus organized the respectively, or to the people." Many of the out, requires no enabling act at our hands for caucus resolution was adopted, creating the States now represented in Congress do not readmission. Though temporarily overrun by celebrated joint committee of fifteen on recon- conform to the invidious discriminations of | rebellion, she is not obliterated or torn by ruthstruction, to which were to be referred without the disunion committee. Why not exclude | less hands from her orbit. She still stands as debate all credentials and other matters appertheir members for the same reason?
one of the States in the national constellation, taining to members from the eleven southern Sir, I have not been disappointed in the action without any constitutional riglit or lawful au States, thereby ignoring the standing Commit- of the committee charged with the specific duty | thority on her part to secede or on ours to tee of Elections in each House and depriving of reconstruction. According to all parliament- | force her out. then of their right to judge of the elections, ary rules and usages, it should have been con- The Union of these States can only be de returns, and qualifications of its own mem: structed with a majority favorable to the object | stroyed or dissevered by consent or force. Con
with which it was specially intrusted. I fear sent has not been given, and force has been
overcome by force. Thank God, the terrible considerations, control their action. A great Forewarned we are forearmed, while those who fratricidal conflict is terminated. The Union responsibility from which we cannot, if we betray with a kiss are most to be dreaded and has survived the shock and still lives. The would, divest ourselves devolves upon this Con- shunned. nation's blood and treasure have not been sac- gress. Why should we longer delay the full Sir, why are the threescore and ten constí. rificed for naught. If these eleven States are and complete restoration of the Union? Is tutional amendments thrust upon the considactually out of the Union, why were some there anything to be gained by procrastination? eration of the present Congress ? More in of their Representatives retained in Congress, || If, as is alleged, there still exists in some parts number than in all previous Congresses com. without objection, after the passage of their of the outh unkind and even bitter feelings bined. It is a circumstance pregnant with ordinances of secession and during the prose- toward the North, it is not likely that oppres- meaning, ominous of the deep-seated hatred cution of the war? In August, 1801, Congress sion and tyranny on our part or the enforce- and utter contempt with which that instrument imposed a direct tax on these eleven States of ment of the anti-American doctrine of " tax- is regarded by a majority of the members of between five and six million dollars, which ation without representation” will tend to this Congress. Indeed, it is thought unfashrecognized them as being in the Union. In diminish it or increase their respect and love for ionable and in bad taste to speak a word in March, 1862, in apportioning representation The southern people committed a grave praise of the old Constitution. If all these among the States, fifty-seven members were error, and were guilty of a great wrong in amendments were adopted there would scarcely assigned to the eleven States whose Repre. | waging war against a beneficent Government; be anything left of it. To us, truly, has ignosentatives are now excluded from this Hall. ) and they have been greatly humiliated and se- rance been bliss; for over three fourths of a Why apportion them Representatives in Con- verely punished. In their penury and penitence century we have been plodding along with gress if they were out of the Union?
they ask to come back. Like the prodigal son, our old Constitution. Washington, Madison, Article four, section three, of the Constitu- they have wandered far from their father's Franklin, Hamilton, and their compeers, made tion provides that "no new State shall be house, wasted their substance in riotous living, it. The benighted and sluggish intellects of formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any have been feeding upon husks, have come to such men as Jackson, Clay, Webster, and other State, nor any State be formed by the themselves and turned their faces homeward. Benton, were impervious to this latter day junction of two or more States, or parts of Now, what shall we do? Shall we imitate the light, and died in blissful ignorance that å States, without the consent of the States con- elder brother by getting angry, or the kind. Constitution they had lived under and cher. cerned as well as of the Congress.” Under hearted father who saw the returning prodigal ished was so radically defective in protecting and by virtue of this provision the State of when afar off, and went forth to meet him? the rights and liberties of the people. How Virginia was divided, the State of West Virginia | Sir, for myself I am frank to say I have no weak and frail is human judgment! How admitted by the consent of the Legislature of heart to turn my back upon the returning pen- strange and inscrutable are the ways of Prov. Virginia, thereby recognizing her as a State in itent. If there are still roots of bitterness idence, that the nation should have been sufthe Union, and the action of her Legislature as springing up in the hearts of this people, the fered to grope its way in darkness so long ! valid in giving their consent to her dismeinber- surest and most expeditious way to eradicate But now, suddenly and miraculously as the ment.
them is by justice tempered with mercy. Two conversion of the Apostle of the Gentiles, preIt is well known that President Lincoln al- antagonistic plans, radically different, are pend- tended statesmen in the Thirty-Ninth Conways recognized and regarded the States within ing before Congress and the country:
gress rise up, men assuming to have more the Union, and urged in public and private i. The plan of the committee of fifteen, of || purity than Washington, more intellect than upon his party the admission of Representatives a severed Union, dead States, conquered prov. Madison and Jefferson, and discover that our from the State of Louisiana into Congress. In inces, and public enemies, to be taxed without || form of government is a failure; that our admi, the adoption of the constitutional amendment representation and governed by arbitrary force. rable Constitution, with all its symmetrical abolishing slavery the States lately in rebel- 2. The plan of the President: that the ordi- checks and balances, is an abhorrent thing, lion were distinctly recognized as being in the nances of secession were void ; that the States to be detested and spurned, and wholly unfit Union, for that purpose, by the Administra- still live and are in the Union; that taxation for this moral and enlightened age! tion. The Supreme Court of the United States without representation is against the genius of Mr. Speaker, I am sometimes oppressed recently, with but one dissenting voice, decided our Government; that legally elected loyal with serious misgivings, whether gentlemen to take up and dispose of the business in said Representatives should be admitted to their who find so many radical defects in our Con. States, thus adjudicating that they are States seats in Congress.
stitution are really in favor of the form of gov. in the Union, and not Territories or conquered On these issues I cannot doubt as to my duty, ernment under which we live. I prefer to let provinces.
and shall cordially support the restoration pol. well enough alone, toSir, I have now shown that for the last four || icy of the Administration in preference to the
“Bear those ills we have, years every department of the Government, destructive policy of Congress. One will build Than fly to others that we know not of." executive, legislative, and judicial, has uni- up, the other destroy ; one is life, the other And I trust it will not be esteemed discourte formly recognized them as States in the Union, || death, to the nation. It is my deliberate con- ous to the House when I announce that I have and repudiated the suicidal dogma of a de- viction, founded upon the best information at as much confidence in the capacity and integstroyed Union and dead States. The chair- my command, that the controlling minds on rity of the men who made our Constitution as man of the committee on reconstruction mooted that committee neither desire nor intend that I bave in the central directory," which, if bis favorite theory of conquered territory and the Union shall ever be restored. They fan not checked in their revolutionary scbemes, dead States in the Thirty-Eighth Congress, but the dying embers of sectional prejudice and will destroy it. I concur in and commend to with all his popularity as a party leader and passion; they pretend that there is danger of the House the views of the President so feliacknowledged ability he was unable to control another outbreak in the South, and that the citously expressed in relation to amending the twenty votes of his own party in favor of the freedmen will be reënslaved, and thereby hope Constitution. proposition; and when introduced by him in to conceal their covert designs upon the liber- Now, I submit, Mr. Speaker, for the can. the Baltimore convention was voted down by || ties of the people, and more effectually break did and dispassionate consideration of the an overwhelming majority in the house of his down the reserved rights of the States, under: House, whether the paramount interest of the own friends. Now, since the meeting of this mine the foundations of constitutional liberty, country does not demand at our hands that we Congress, new light seems suddenly to have and erect upon its ruins a consolidated despot- should stop this tinkering with the Constitudawned upon the darkness. Heretofore an ism. I say it in sorrow, not in malice, and tion and apply ourselves to the necessary and intimation that the Union was disrupted or sincerely hope I may be mistaken.
legitimate business before us. The people ex· severed was regarded as disloyal, but now it Mr. Speaker, paradoxical as it may appear, pect and will demand this at our hands. They constitutes the very quintessence of patriot- || there are persons in this country, nurtured in are grievously oppressed with onerous taxes ; ism. Now, the President and his Cabinet, as our midst, basking beneath the protecting ægis let us try and ameliorate their condition and well as the brave officers and soldiers who of our flag, inimical to our free institutions, lighten those heavy burdens. Retrenchment periled their lives that the Union might live, | hostile to our form of government, ready to of expenses should commence at once in every are to be ostracized and repudiated because overturn it whenever a favorable opportunity branch and department of the public service. they refuse to keep step to the revolutionary is presented; nor, sir, are they confined to the The tariff should be repealed or reduced to a strides of these radical destructionists.
south side of Mason and Dixon's line. The revenue standard ; the lords of the loom are Mr. Speaker, can it be possible that honor- “hammering?' has been going on at both ends ; || amassing princely fortunes at the expense of able meinbers are serious when they propose to at the South it has now ceased. If like obstruc- the consumer. The Army and Navy should hold as conquered provinces, and govern by mil- tions impede our progress at the other end of be at once reduced to a peace establishment. itary force eleven States, with eight or ten mil. the line, they must get out of the way, or a like The internal revenue is oppressive and bears lions of people, for an indefinite period of time remedy must be applied. The great mass of very unequally, especially on mechanics and without representation? Will they obliterate our people are devotedly attached to our insti- artisans; the $600 exemption should be inthese States, and strike eleven stars from the tutions and form of government, and will not creased io $1,000, and large incomes of $20,000 national galaxy? Would they create a Hun. tolerate treason or disunion in any section. and upward should pay a higher tax, say gary, a Poland, or an Ireland? Shall we turn History is replete with instances in which twenty to twenty-five per cent. The laws in upon our fathers, abjure our past history, and friendship and devotion have been assumed for relation to fishing bounties is class legislation take to our embrace theories of government the purpose of stealthily disarming appre- for the benefit of the few at the expense of the drawn from the despotisms of the Old World? hended danger and destroying the victim. We cousumer, and should be repealed. The na. I iinplore gentlemen to pause and consider may find, when too late, that we have nurtured tion's gratitude, as well as the claims of jusbefore they peril all we hold most dear by tak- in our bosoms venomous reptiles ready to strike || tice to our country's brave defenders, demand ing a step so pregnant with danger; to let with poisoned fangs at the heart of the cher- the passage of a law for the equalization of reason and justice, and not passion or party ished and revered institutions of our fathers. bounties. These important measures are kept