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Franklin College, and after being admitted to practice at the bar went to Cadiz, Ohio, in 1840. In 1854 he was elected to Congress, where he served with only intermission of one term for eighteen years. In 1864 he was made judge-advocate-general, and before the close of the year was appointed solicitor of the United States court of claims. On the assassination of Lincoln, whose warm personal friend he was, he was summoned to Washington to investigate that crime, and within twenty-four bours after his arrival had opened an office and formulated plans which led to the arrest, trial, and conviction of the conspirators. President Johnson appointed him special judge-advocate, and the work of examining and cross-examining the witnesses fell largely to his share. His argument for the prosecution occupied nine hours in its delivery. He was a member of the committee which drew up articles of impeachment against President Johnson, and, as chairman, made the closing argument before the Senate, which held a vast audience for three successive days. His most important work was the formulation of the fourteenth amendment to the constitution. He won his greatest fame as an orator, and all his most famous speeches advocated national honor and national justice. After more than thirty years of public service he returned to Cadiz, where he died, 1901.




R. CHAIRMAN,—The annual message of the Presi

dent of the United States, which has been referred

to this committee for its consideration, should not be passed over lightly. It contains much that, in my judgment, is offensive to the people and injurious to their interests, and which should not be allowed to go to the country unchallenged. It is my purpose, sir, to speak of this paper with all the respect that is due to the distinguished position of its author, but with the utmost freedom and candor. I speak to-day as a representative of the people and for the people;

not as the representative of party or for party. I speak to-day as an American citizen, claiming every State and section and rood of the Republic as part of my native country, that country which at last has but one constitution and one destiny. I do not intend, in anything I may this day utter, to do injustice to any section of that country, or to any of its interests.

The President of the United States, in this paper, invokes all good citizens to strive to allay “the demon spirit of sectional hatred and strife now alive in the land." This sectional spirit, to which the President refers, manifested itself upon this floor during the first two months of this session. It found fit, fierce, and expressive utterance on the other side of this chamber amongst the avowed political friends of the President himself, in their attempt to arraign and condemn sixty of their peers here as the aiders and inciters of treason, insurrection, and murder; and this, too, without giving to the accused a hearing, without testimony, in defiance of all law, and without subjecting the conscience of these selfconstituted triers to the inconvenient obligation of an official oath. While these gentlemen were thus attempting to enforce mob law on this floor, they were loud in proclaiming that the inauguration of a Republican President, elected by the people in conformity with the constitution and laws, should be resisted to the extremity of disunion and civil war.

These were the enunciations with which our ears were greeted for two months, pending the contest for the organization of this House. If it was fit that the President should rebuke this sectional spirit among the people, it is fit that its manifestations upon this floor should be rebuked as well; and it is eminently fit that the sectional policy of the President and of his party should be rebuked in return by the


whole people. There is so much in the tone of this paper that is intensely sectional, that I am constrained to believe that the President's plaintive invocation to allay“the demon

was but smooth dissimulation, the better to dis guise the sectional policy of himself and his party.

Sir, to put down forever this sectional party; to put an end forever to this sectional strife, and sectional innovation upon the constitution and the rights of the people, I am ready to join hands with good men in every section of the Union. That is a fell spirit, a demon spirit, which, under any pretence or for any purpose, would strike down all the defences of law; would sweep away all the landmarks of right and justice; would break down the traditional policy of this government, as wise as it is beneficent; which, instead of maintaining and perpetuating peace between every section of this country, would inaugurate and perpetuate diseord, which would fill this goodly land with the lurid light of civil war; which would give its peaceful homes to conflagration, and its citizens to the sword; staining the white raiment of its mountains and the green vesture of its plains with the blood of human sacrifice shed in that unnatural and unmatched atrocity, fraternal strife.

Notwithstanding all I have heard, sir, upon this floor, of threats of disunion and civil war, I do not fear it; for there is in this land a power stronger than armies — that new power, born of the enlightened intellect and conscience of the people - the power of public opinion. That power speaks to-day, through the pen and the press, the living voice and the silent ballot. That power is stronger, I repeat, than armies. No, sir; notwithstanding all these threats, there can be no conflict of arms between the great sections of this Union. This land, consecrated to freedom and to man, by.

the blood of patriots and of martyrs, would refuse to bear up upon its holy ground an army of traitors. Local rebellions there may be; but in the future, as in the past, they will be suppressed by the popular will; by that majestic voice of the nation, at whose lightest word the tumult of the mob is still, and the wild, stormy sea of human passion is calm. God is not in the whirlwind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the storm.

The question to-day is, not how shall civil war between the great sections of this Union be averted — for that is not to be, it is an impossibility — but the question of to-day is, how shall this sectional party and this sectional strife be allayed? I answer, sir, that this sectional strife will never be allayed by imitating the example, or adopting the policy. of the President and his party; never, while there is an honest head or an honest heart in this land. Neither will this sectional strife be allayed, but fostered, rather, by the attempt, here or elsewhere, either by national or by State legislation, to enact sedition laws, by which to fetter the conscience, or stifle the convictions of American citizens. This sectional strife will never be allayed by the attempt, here or elsewhere, either by national or by State legislation, to annul the sacred right of domicile, to make it a felony for any freeman, born anywhere within the limits of the Republic, to live unmolested on the spot of his origin, so long as he behaves himself well, and it pleases God to let him live.

This sectional strife never will be allayed by the attempt to nationalize chattel slavery, to place it under the shelter of the federal constitution, and to maintain it in all the national domain, either by force of a congressional slave code, which the President recommends in this message, or by

force of Territorial legislation, enacted by virtue of congrəssional grants of power.

Sir, it is in such legislation as I have named, or in the attempt to inaugurate such legislation, that the President's party, sometimes misnamed the Democratic party, lives, and moves, and has its being. The time was, at the organization of this government, when it was conceded by every State and every great statesman in the land, that it was the right and the duty of the federal government to exclude slave labor and chattel slavery from every rood of the national domain, and to protect the free labor of freemen, not only in the Territories of the United States, but in every State of the Union, north, south, east and west, and wherever the jurisdiction of the government extended, either on the land or

the sea.

In that day, sir, the grand words of the constitution, " to establish justice, to promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty,” were not denounced as “ glittering generalities,” or the utterances of “infant philosophers; but were reverently held, believed in, and acted upon, as absolute verities. Then, sir, to promote the general welfare Congress - the First Congress - legislated for the greatest good of the greatest number, by protecting the free labor of the whole country; and to establish justice and secure the blessings of liberty, that Congress re-enacted the ordinance of 1787 (which had ceased with the confederation to be law), for the government of all the national territory; declaring thereby that no person therein should ever be enslaved, except for crime; or be deprived of life or liberty, but by due process of law and the judgment of his peers; nor of his property the product of his toil, without just compensation. Under the influence of this legislation, enacted in the very spirit of

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