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peared to be a popular demand and a public The forbearance of this Government had necessity; trusting then, as now, that Congress been so extraordinary, and so long continued would readily ratify them. It is believed that as to lead some foreign nations to shape their nothing has been done beyond the constitu- action as if they supposed the early destruction tional competency of Cong ess.
of our National Union was probable. While Soon after the first call for militia it was this, on discovery, gave the Executive some considered a duty to authorize the Command- concern, he is now happy to say tbat the sovering Gei al, in pro er cases, according to his eignty and rights of the United States are now discre'ion, to suspend the privilege of the writ everywhere practically respected by foreign of habeas corpus, or, in other words, to arrest Powers, and a general sympathy with the counand detain, without resort to the ordinary pro- try is manifested througbout the world. cesses and forms of law, such individuals as The reports of the Secretaries of the Treag. he might deem dangerous to the public safety. ury, War, and the Navy will give the iniormaThis authority has purposely been exercised tion in detail deemed necessary and convenient but very sparingly. Nevertheless tbe legality for your deliberation and action; while the and propriety of what has been done under it Executive, and all the departments, will stand are questioned, and the attention of the coun- ready to supply omissions, or to communicate try has been called to the proposition that one new facts considered important for you 10 who is sworn to “ take care that the laws be know. faithfully executed" should not himself violate It is now recommended that you give the legal them. Of course some consideration was given means for making this contest a short and a to the questions of power and propriety before decisive one; that you place at the control of this matter was acted upon. The whole of the Government, for the work, at least four ihe laws which were required to be faithfully hundred thousand men and four hundred milexecuted were being resisted and failing of lions of dollars. That number of men is about execution in nearly one third of the States. one tenth of those of proper ages within the Must they be allowed to finally fail of execu- regions where, apparently, all are willing to ention, even had it been perfectly clear that, by gage; and the sum is less than a twenty-third the use of the means necessary to their execu- part of the money value owned by the men who tion, some single law, made in such extreme seem ready to devote the whole. A debt of six tenderness of the citizen's liberty that practi- hundred millions of dollars now, is a less sum cally it relieves more of the guilty than of the per head than was the debt of our Revolution innocent, should to a very limited extent be when we came out of that struggle; and the violated ? To state the question more directly, money value in the country now bears even a are all the laws but one to go unexecuted and greater proportion to what it was then than does the Government itself go to pieces lest that one the population. Surely, each man bas as strong be violated ? Even in such a case would not a motive now to preserve our liberties as each the official oath be broken, if the Government had then to establish them. should be overthrown, when it was believed A right result, at this time, will be worth that disregarding the single law would tend to more to the world than ten times the men and preserve it? But it was not believed that this ten times the money. The evidence reaching question was presented. It was not believed us from the country leaves no doubt that the that any law was violated. The provision of material for the work is abundant; and that it the Constitution that “the privilege of the writ needs only the hand of legislation to give it of babeas corpus shall not be suspended unless legal sanction, and the hand of the Executive when, in cases of rebellion orinvasion, the pub- to give it practical shape and efficiency. One lic safety may require it,” is equivalent to a pro- of the greatest perplexities of the Government vision, is a provision, that such privilege may is to avoid receiving troops faster than it can be suspended when, in cases of rebellion or in- provide for them. In a word, the people will vasion, the public safety does require it. It was save their Government if the Government decided that we have a case of rebellion, and itself will do its part only indifferently well. that the public safety does require the qualified It might seem, at first thought, to be of little suspension of the privilege of the writ which was difference whether the present movement at authorized to be made. Now it is insisted that the South be called "secession” or “rebelCongress, and not the Executive, is vested with lion.” The movers, however, well understand this power. But the Constitution itself is silent the difference. At the beginning they knew as to which or who is to exercise the power; they could never raise their treason to any and as the provision was plainly made for a respectable magnitude by any name which im. dangerous emergency, it cannot be believed plies violation of law. They knew their people the framers of the instrument intended that in possessed as much of moral sense, as much of every case the danger should run its course un- devotion to law and order, and as much yride til Congress could be called together, the very in and reverence for the history and Governassembling of which might be prevented, as ment of their common country as any other was intended in this case, by the rebellion. civilized and patriotic people.
They knew No more extended argument is now offered, they could make no advancement directly in as an opinion at some length will probably be the teeth of these strong and noble sentiments. presented by the Attorney General. Whether Accordingly they commenced by an insidious There shall be any legislation upon the subject, debauching of the public mind. They invented and if any, what, is submitted entirely to the an ingenious sophism, which, if con eded, was better ju nent of Congress.
followed by perfect logical st through all the incidents, to the complete destruction of separately, procured their independence and the Union. The sophism itself is, that any their liberty. By conquest, or purchase, the State of the Union may, consistently with the Union gave each of them whatever of independDational Constitution, and therefore lawfully ence and liberty it bas. The Union is older and peacefully, withdraw from the Union with than any of the States, and, in fact, it created out the consent of the Union or of any other them as States. Originally some dependent colState. The little disguise that the supposedonies made the Union, and, in turn, the Union right is to be exercised only for just cause, threw off their old dependence for them, and themselves to be the sole judge of its justice, made them States, such as they are.
Not one is 100 thin to merit any notice.
of them ever had a State constitution independWith rebellion thus sugar-coated, they have ent of the Union. Of course it is not forgotten been drugging the public mind of their section that all the new States framed their constitufor more than thirty years; and until at length tions before they entered the Union; neverthethey bare brougbt many good men to a willing. less, dependent upon and preparatory to coming ness to take up arms against the Government into the Union. the day after some assemblage of men have Unquestionably the States have the powers enacted the farcical pretence of taking their and rights reserved to them in and by the NaState out of the Union who could have been tional Constitution; but among them surely brought to no such thing the day before. are not included all conceivable powers, how
This sophism derives much, perhaps the ever mischievous or destructive, but, at most, whole, of its currency from the assumption that such only as were known in the world at the there is some omnipotent and sacred supremacy time as governmental powers; and certainly a pertaining to a State—to each State of our Fede- power to destroy the Government itself had ral Union. Our States have neither more nor never been known as a governmental, as a less power than that reserved to them, in the merely administrative power. This relative Union, by the Constitution—no one of them matter of national power and State rights, as a ever baving been a State out of the Union. The principle, is no other than the principle of genoriginal ones passed into the Union even before erality and locality. Whatever concerns the they cast off their British colonial dependence; whole should be confided to the whole-to the and the new ones each came into the Union di- General Government; while whatever concerns recily from a condition of dependence, except only the State should be left exclusively to the ing Texas. And even Texas, in its temporary State. This is all there is of original principle independence, was dever designated a State about it. Whether the National Constitution, The new ones only took the designation of in defining boundaries between the two, has States on coming into the Union, while that applied the principle with exact accuracy, is name was first adopted for the old ones in and not to be questioned. We are all bound by by the Declaration of Independence. Therein that defining, without question. tbe - United Colonies" were declared to be What is now combatted is the position that " free and independent States;" but, even then, secession is consistent with the Constitution—is the object plainly was not to declare their inde- lawful and peaceful. It is not contended that pendence of one another, or of the Union, but there is any express law for it; and nothing directly the contrary, as their mutual pledge should ever be implied as law which leads to and their mutual action, before, at the time unjust or absurd consequences. The nation and afterwards, abundantly show. The express purchased with money the countries out of plighting of faith, by each and all of the origin which several of these States were formed. 18 pál thirteen, in the Articles of Confederation, it just that they shall go off without leave, and two years later, that the Union shall be per- without refunding? The nation paid very large petual, is most conclusive. Having never been sums (in the aggregate, I believe, nearly a hunStates, either in substance or in name, outside dred millions) to relieve Florida of the aborigiof tbe Union, whence this magical omnipotente nal tribes. Is it just that they shall now be off of State rights," asserting a claim of power to without consent, or without making any relawfully destroy the Union itself? Much is turn? The nation is now in debt for money said about the “sovereignty” of the States; applied to the benefit of these so-called secebut the word even is not in the National Con- ding States, in common with the rest. Is it stitution; nor, as is believed, in any of the Siate just either that creditors sball go unpaid or the constitutions. What is a “sovereignty,” in the remaining States pay the whole? A part of political sense of the term? Would it be far the present national debt was contracted to pay wrong to define it " a political community with the old debts of Texas. Is it just that she shall out a political superior ?" Tested by this, no leave and pay no part of this berself? one of our States, except Texas, ever was a sove- Again, if one State may secede, so may anreignty. And even Texas gave up the charac- other; and when all shall have seceded, none is ter on coming into the Union; by which act left to pay the debts. Is this quite just to credishe acknowledged the Constitution of the Uni- tors? Did we notify them of this sage view of ted States, and the laws and treaties of the ours when we borrowed their money ? If we now Taited States made in pursuance of the Consti- recognize this doctrine by allowing the seceders tution, to be, for her, the supreme law of the to, go in peace, it is difficult to see what we can land. The States have their status in the Union, do if others choose to go, or to extort terms and they have no other legal status. If they break upon which they will promise to remain. from tbis, they can only do so against law and The seceders insist that our Constitution by revolution. The Union, and not themselves admits of secession. They have assumed to make a national constitution of their own, in | Whoever, in any section, proposes to abando? which, of necessity, they have either discarded such a Government would do well to consider in or retained the right of secession as, they insist, deference to what principle it is that he does it, it exists in ours. If they have discarded it what better he is likely to get in its stead, they thereby admit that, on principle, it ought whether the substitute will give or be intended not to be in ours. If they have retained it by to give so much of good to the people. There their own construction of ours, they show that are some foreshadowings on this subject. Our to be consistent they must secede from one adversaries have adopted some decla ation of another whenever they shall find it the easiest independence, in which, unlike the good old way of settling their debts, or effecting any one penned by Jefferson, they omit the words other selfish or unjust object. The principle "all men are created equal." Why? They itself is one of disintegration, and upon which have adopted a temporary National Constituno Government can possibly endure.
tion, in the preamble of which, unlike our good If all the States save one should assert the old one signed by Washington, they omit" We. power to drive that one out of the Union, it is the people," and substitute, We, the deputies of presumed the whole class of seceder politicians the sovereign and independent States." Why? would at once deny the power and denounce Why this deliberate pressing out of view the the act as the greatest outrage upon State rights. rights of men and the authority of the people? But suppose that precisely the same act, in- This is essentially a People's contest. On stead of being called “driving the one out," the side of the Union it is a struggle for mainshould be called “the seceding of all the others tai ing in the world that form and substance of from that one,” it would be exactly what the government whose leading object is to elevate seceders claim to do; unless, indeed, they make the condition of men, to lift artificial weights the point that the one, because it is a minority, from all shoulders, to clear the paths of landmay rightfully do what the others, because able pursuit for all, to afford all an unfettered they are a majority, may not rightfully do. start and a fair chance in the race of life. These politicians are subile and profound on Yielding to partial and temporary departures the rights of minorities. They are not partial from necessity, this is the leading object of the co that power which made the Constitution, and Government for whose existence we cont nd. speaks from the preamble, calling itself “We, I am most happy to believe that the plain the People.”
people understand and appreciate this. It is It may well be questioned whether there is worthy of note that, while in this the Governto-day a majority of the legally qualified voters ment's hour of trial, large numbers of those in of any State, except perhaps South Carolina, the Army and Navy who have been favored in favor of disunion. There is much reason with the offices have resigned, and proved false to believe that the Union men are the majority to the hand which had pampered them, not one in many, if not in every other one, of the so- common soldier or common sailor is known to called Seceded States. The contrary has not have deserted his flag. been demonstrated in any one of them. It is Great honor is due to those officers who reventured to affirm this, even of Virginia and mained true, despite the example of their treachTennessee; for the results of an election, held erous associates; but the greatest honor and in military camps, where the bayonets are all most important fact of all is tbe unanimous on one side of the question voied upon, can firmness of the common soldiers and common scarcely be considered as demonstrating popular sailors. To the last man, so far as known, they sentiment. At such an election all the large class have successfully resisted the traitorous efforts whoare, at once, for•the Union, and against coer- of those whose commands but an hour before cion, would be coerced to vote against the Union. they obeyed as absolute law. This is the patri
It may be affirmed, without extravagance, otic instinct of plain people. They understand, that the free institutions we enjoy have devtl. without an argument, that the destroying the oped the powers and improved the condition of Government wbich was made by Washington our whole people beyond any example in the means no good to them. world. Of this we now have a striking and an Our popular Government has often been impressive illustration. So large an army as called an experiment. Two points in it our the Government has now on foot was never be- people have already settled—the successful csfore known, without a soldier in it but who had tablishing and the successful administering of it. taken his place there of his own free choice. One still remains—its successful maintenance But more than this: there are many single regi- against a formidable internal attempt to overments whose members, one and another, pos- throw it. It is now for them to demonstrate 10 sess full practical knowledge of all the arts, the world that those who can fairly carry an sciences, professions, and whatever else, whether election can also suppress a rebellion; that baluseful or elegant, is known in the world; and lots are the rightful and peaceful successors of there is scarcely one from which there could bullets; and that when ballots have fairly and not be selected a President, a Cabinet, a Con- constitutionally decided, there can be no sucgress, and perhaps a Court, abundantly compe- cessful appeal back to bullets; that there can tent to administer the Government itself. Nor be no successful appeal except to ballots themdo I say this is not true also in the army of our selves at succeeding elections. Such will be a late friends, now adversaries, in this contest; great lesson of peace, teaching men that what but if it is, so much better the reason why the they cannot take by an election, neither can Government, which has conferred such benefits they take it by a war; teaching all the folly of on both them and us, should not be broken up. being the beginners of a war.
Lest there be some uneasiness in the minds President Lincoln's First Annual of candid men as to what is to be the course of
Message, Doc. 3, 1861. the Gorernment towards the Southern States ofte the rebellion shall have been suppressed, Fellow-Citizens of the Senate the Esecutive deems it proper to say, it will be
and House of Representatives : his purpose then, as ever, to be guided by the In the midst of unprecedented political Constitution and the laws; and that be prob. troubles, we have cause of great gratitude to ably will have no different understanding of the God for unusual good health, and most abundpowers and duties of the Federal Government ant harvests. relatively to the rights of the States and the You will not be surprised to learn that in people, under the Constitution, than that ex- the peculiar exigencies of the times, our interpressed in the inaugural address.
course with foreign nations has been attended He desires to preserve the Government, that with profound solicitude, chiefly turning upon it may be administered for all, as it was admin our own domestic affairs. istered by the men who made it. Loyal citizens A disloyal portion of the American people everywhere have the right to claim this of their have, during the whole year, been engaged in Government, and the Government bas no right an attempt to divide and destroy the Union. A to withhold or neglect it. It is not perceived nation which endures factious domestic divisthat, in giving it, there is any coercion, any ion, is exposed to disrespect abroad; and one conquest, or any subjugation, in any just sense party, if not both, is sure, sooner or later, to of those terms.
invoke foreign intervention. The Constitution provides, and all the States Nations thus tempted to interfere, are not albave accepted the provision, that "the United ways able to resist the counsels of seeming States shall guaranty to every State in this expediency and ungenerous ambition, although Union a republican form of government.” But, measures adopted under such influences selif a State may lawfully go out of the Union, dom fail to be unfortunate and injurious to baving done so, it may also discard the repub- those adopting them. lican form of government; so that to prevent The disloyal citizens of the United States its going out is an indispensable means to the who have offered the ruin of our country, in end of maintaining the guarantee mentioned ; return for the aid and comfort wbich they have and when an end is lawful and obligatory, the invoked abroad, have received less patronage indispensable means to it are also lawful and and encouragement than they probably exobligatory.
If it were just to suppose, as the It was with the deepest regret that the Execu- insurgents have seemed to assuine, that foreign tire found the duty of employing the war nations, in this case, discarding all moral, porer, in defence of the Government, forced social, and treaty obligations, would act solely, upon him. He could but perform this duty or and selfishly, for the speedy restoration of surrender the existence of the Government. commerce, including, especially, the acquisiNo compromise by public servants could in this tion of cotton, those nations appear, as yet, not case be a cure; not that compromises are not to have seen their way to their object more dioften proper, but that no popular government rectly or clearly through the destruction, than can long survive a marked precedent, that those through the preservation, of the Union. If we who carry an election can only save the Gov- could dare to believe that foreign nations are ernment from immediate destruction by giving actuated by no higher principle than this, I am up the main point upon which the people gave quite sure a sound argument could be made to the election. The people themselves, and not show them that they can reach their aim more their servants, can safely reverse their own readily and easily by aiding to crush this redeliberate decisions.
bellion than by giving encouragement to it. As a private citizen the Executive could not The principal lever relied on by these insurbare consented that these institutions shall gents for exciting foreign nations to hostility perisb ; much less could he in betrayal of so against us, as already intimated, is the embar. Fast and so sacred a trust as these free people rassment of commerce. Those nations, howhad confided to him. He felt that he had no ever, not improbably, saw from the first that it moral right to shrink, nor even to count the was the Union which made as well our foreign chances of his own life, in what might follow. as our domestic commerce. They can scarcely In full view of his great responsibility he has, have failed to perceive that the effort for dis69 far, done what he has deemed his duty. union produces the existing difficulty; and that You will now, according to your own judgment, one strong nation promises more durable peace, perform yours.
He sincerely hopes that your and more extensive, valuable, and reliable views and your action may so accord with his commerce, than can the same nation broken u to assure all faithful citizens, who have into hostile fragments. been disturbed in their rights, of a certain and It is not my purpose to review our discussions speedy restoration to them under the Constitu- with foreign States; because whatever might tion and the laws.
be their wishes or dispositions, the integrity of And having thus chosen our course, without our country, and the stability of our Governguile and with pure purpose, let us renew our ment, mainly depend, not upon them, but on trust in God, and go forward without fear and the loyalty, virtue, patriotism, and intelligence with manly hearts.
of the American people. The correspondence ABRAHAM LINCOLN. itself, with the usual reservations, is herewitb July 4, 1861.
I venture to hope it will appear that we have surplus which will probably remain after salis practiced prudence and liberality toward for- fying the claims of American citizens against eign Powers, averting causes of irritation, and, China, pursuant to the awards of the commiswith firmness, maintaining our own rights and sioners under the act of the 3d of March, 1859. honor.
If, however, it should not be deemed advisable Since, however, it is apparent that here, as in to carry that recommendation into effect, I every other State, foreign dangers necessarily would suggest that authority be given for inattend domestic difficulties, I recommend that vesting the principal, over the proceeds of the adequate and ample measures be adopted for surplus referred to, in good securities, with a maintaining the public defenses on every side. view to the satisfaction of such other just claims While, under this general recommendation, pro- of our citizens against China as are not unvision for defending our sea-coast line readily likely to arise hereafter in the course of our occurs to the mind, I also, in the same connec- extensive trade with that empire. tion, ask the attention of Congress to our great By the act of the 5th of August last, Congress lakes and rivers. It is believed that some forti-authorized the President to instruct the com. fications and depots of arms and munitions, manders of suitable vessels to defend them. with harbor and navigation improvements, all selves against, and to capture pirates. This at well selected points upon these, would be of authority has been exercised in single instances great importance to the national defense and only. For the more effectual protection of our preservation. I ask attention to the views of extensive and valuable commerce, in the eastthe Secretary of War, expressed in his report, ern scas especially, it seems to me that it would upon the same general subject.
also be advisable to authorize the commanders I deem it of importance that the loyal regions of sailing vessels to recapture any prizes which of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina pirates may make of United States vessels and should be connected with Kentucky, and other their cargoes, and the consular courts, now esfaithful parts of the Union, by railroad. I there- tablished by law in eastern countries, to adjufore recommend, as a military measure, that dicate the case, in the event that this should Congress provide for the construction of such not be objected to by the local authorities. road, as speedily as possible. Kentucky, no If any good reason exists why we should perdoubt, will co-operate, and, through her Legis- severe longer in withholding our recognition of lature, make the most judicious selection of a the independence and sovereignty of Hayti and line. The northern terminus must connect with Liberia, I am unable to discern it. Unwilling, some existing railroad ; and whether the route however, to inaugurate a novel policy in regard shall be from Lexington, or Nicholasville, to the to them without the approbation of Congress, I Cumberland Gap; or from Lebanon to the Ten- submit for your consideration the expediency nessee line, in the direction of Knoxville; or on of an appropriation for maintaining a chargé some still different line, can easily be determ- d'affaires near each of those new States. It ined. Kentucky and the General Government does not admit of doubt that important comco-operating, the work can be completed in a mercial advantages might be secured by favorvery short time; and when done, it will be not able treaties with them. only of vast present usefulness, but also a valu- The operations of the Treasury during the able permanent improvement, worth its cost in period which has elapsed since your adjournall the future.
ment have been conducted with signal success. Some treaties, designed chiefly for the inter- The patriotism of the people has placed at the ests of commerce, and having no grave political disposal of the Government the large means importance, have been negotiated, and will be demanded by the public exigencies. Much of submitted to the Senate for their consideration. the national loan has been taken by citizens of
Although we have failed to induce some of the industrial classes, whose confidence in their the commercial Powers to adopt a desirable country's faith, and zeal for their country's melioration of the rigor of maritime war, we deliverance from present peril, have induced bave removed all obstructions from the way of them to contribute to the support of the Govthis humane reform, except such as are merely ernment the whole of their limited acquisitions. of temporary and accidental oceurrence. This fact imposes peculiar obligations to econ
I invite your attention to the correspondence omy in disbursement and energy in action. between her Britannic Majesty's minister ac- The revenue from all sources, including loans, credited to this Government and the Secretary for the financial year ending on tte 30th June, of State, relative to the detention of the British 1861, was $86,835,900 27, and the expenditures ship Perthshire, in June last, by the United for the same period, including payments on acStates steamer Massachusetts, for a supposed count of the public debt, were $84,578,834 47; breach of the blockade. As this detention was leaving a balance in the Treasury, on the Ise occasioned by an obvious misapprehension of July, of $2,257,065 80. For the first quarter of the facts, and as justice requires that we should the financial year, ending on the 30th Septemcommit no belligerent act not founded in strict ber, 1861, the receipts from all sources, incluright, as sanctioned by public law, I recommend ding the balance of 1st of July, were $102,532,that an appropriation be made to satisfy the 509 27, and the expenses $98,239,733 09; learreasonable demand of the owners of the vesseling a balance on the 1st of October, 1861, of for her detention.
$4,292,776 18. I repeat the recommendation of my predeces- Estimates for the remaining three quarters sor, in his annual message to Congress in De- of the year, and for the financial year 1863, cember last, in regard to the disposition of the together with his views of ways and means for