Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

THE RADICALS DETERMINED TO PREVENT A

SETTLEMENT.

piness. But the tide of the destoyers of the promise.” It will develop the great crime Union was at its flow—the crisis they had longization and humanity, by men, who, unfortu

that has been committed against liberty, civilsought to create, had arrived, with the addi- nately for the American people, had, for over tional advantage of having the reigns of 'Gov- two years past, the direction of our national ernment in their power, so that while they affairs.

On the 18th day of December, 1860, Senator might not be able to control the storm, they could direct the course of the ship of state, Senate of the United States a series of resolu

Crittenden, of Kentucky, introduced into the with a view to cause sufficient damage to justi- tions as a basis of settlement of the difficulties fy in their belief a general overhauling and re- between the North and the South-difficulties,

which at that time, threatened the peace of the pairs, with all the modern improvements," as

country and the integrity of the Union. [Conexpressed by Gen. BUTLER in New York.

geessional Globe, Part 1, session of 1860-61, The following full history of the CRITTEN- page 114 ] DEN compromise, and the action of the Repub

Senator Hale (Abolition) led off in a speech lican party thereon was compiled by a distin- be his opinion that the remedies of our troubles

in opposition to the resolutions, declaring it to guished patriot, and we here present it in de were not in Congressional action. He said: tail. We can well afford the space it occupies, "I do not know that this Congress can do anything; but as it covers the most important history of our

this controversy will not be settled here." country

He was right. The controversy was not settled there. Would to God it had been! But we all know that the reason why it was not settled there was, the Republicans would not per

mit it. Douglas told them, on the floor of the CHAPTER XXII.

Senate, that the responsibility of the failure was with them. The Republican Şenators and Representatives acted on the idea of Senator

Chandler, of Michigan, who declared that withCould the Present War have been Avoided...Complete out a little blood-letting the Union would not

History of the Crittenden Compromise... Votes, Resolves, be worth a rush.
Propositions, &c.

No further action was had on these resoluCOULD THE PRESENT WAR HAVE BEEN AVOID- tions, except ordering them to be printed, un

til January 28, 1861, (South Carolina having seceded Dec. 20, and her delegation withdrawn

from Congress Dec. 24, 1860) when Mr. Crit"We know of no great revolution which might not have tenden introduced them anew with a different been prevented by compromise early and graciously made. preamble, in which shape they read as follows: Firmness is a great virtue in public affairs, but it has its sphere. Conspiracies and insurrections, in which small (Page 237,) minorities are engaged, the outbreakings of popular vi- “WHEREAS, The Union is in danger, and owing to the olence uncounected with any extensive project or any unhappy divisions existing in Congress, it would be difficult, durable principle, are best repressed by vigor and decțsion- if not impossible, for that body to concur in both its branches To shrink from them is to make them formidable. But no

by the requisite majority, so as to enable it either to adopt wise ruler will confound the pervading taint with the slight such measures of legislation or to recommend to the States local irritation. No wise ruler will treat the deeply-seated such amendments to the Constitution as are deemed necesdiscontents of a great party as he treats the conduct of a sary and proper to avert that danger; and whereas in so mob which destroys mills and power-looms. The neglect | great an emergency the opinion and judgment of the peoof this distinction has been fatal even to governments ple ought to be heard, and would be the best and surest strong in the power of the sword.

guide to their representatives; therefore In all movements of the human mind which tend to great Resolved, That provisicns ought to be made by law, revolutions, there is a crisis at which moderate concessions without delay, for taking the sense of the people, and submay amend, conciliate and preserve.-Macaulay. mitting to their vote the following resolutions, as the basis

for the final and permanent settlement of those disputes No truer words were ever uttered by any that now disturb the peace of the country, and threaten

the existence of the Union. historian; and had we had a wise ruler instead

'Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the present weak-minded Chief Magistrate, of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, we should not now have to lament the deplora- two-thirds of both Houses concurring, That the following ble condition to which the country is reduced

articles be and are hereby proposed and submitted as

amendmendments to the Constitution of the United States, by the want of those timely concessions, which which shall be valia to all intents and purposes as part of would have conciliated and preserved. To said Constitution, when ratified by Conventions of threeshow to a people how they have been made the fourths of the several States: dupes of a class of men'whose hostility,” in the held, or hereafter acquired, situated north of latitude thir

“Article 1. In all the territory of the United States now language of the lamented Douglas, "to slavery ty-six degrees and thirty minutes, slavery or involuntary is stronger than their fidelity to the Constitu- servitude, except as a punishment of crime, is prohibited tion, and who believed that the disruption ernment. In all the territory now held, or hereafter ac

while such territory shall remain under territorial goywould draw after it, as an inevitable conse- quired, south of said line of latitude, slavery of the Afriquence, civil war, servile insurrections, and, can race is hereby recognized as existing, and shall not finally, the utter extinction of slavery in all be interfered with by Congress; but shall be protected as the Southern States," we have made up from property by all the departments of the Territorial govern

ment during its continuance; and when any territory the record a history of the “Crittenden Com- | north or south of said line, within such boundaries as Con

ED-HISTORY OF

THE CRITTENDEN

COM

PROMISE.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

gress may prescribe, shall contain the population requsite have obstructed the due administration and execution of for a member of Congress according to the then Federal acts of Congress, and especially the acts for the delivery of ratio of representation of the people of the United States fugitive slaves, and have thereby contributed much to the it shall if its form of government be republican, be adınit- discord and commotion now prevailing. Congress, thereted into the Union on an equal footing with the original fore, in the present perilous juncture does not deem it imStates, with or without slavery, as the Constitution of proper, respectfully and earnestly to recommend the resuch new State may provide.

peal of those laws to the several States which have enacted “Art. 2. Congress shall have no power to abolish slav- them, or such legislative corrections or explanations of ery in places under its exclusive jurisdiction, or within the them as may prevent their being used or perverted to such limits of States that permit the holding of slaves.

mischievous purposes, "Art. 3. Congress shall have no power to abolish "3. That the act of the 18th of September, 1850, comslavery within the District of Columbia, so long as it ex- monly called the Fugitive Slave Law, ought to be so ists in the adjoining States of Virginia and Maryland, or amended as to make the fee of the Commissioner, mentioneither, nor without the consent of the inhabitants, nor ed in the eighth section of this act, equal in amount, in without just compensation first made to said owners of the case decided by him, whether his decision be in favor slaves as do not consent to such abolishment. Nor shall or against the claimant. And, to avoid misconstruction, Congress at any time prohibit officers of the Federal Gov. the last clause of the fifth section of said act, which auernment or members of Congress, whose duties require thorizes the person holding a warrant for the arrest or dethem to be in said District, from bringing with them their tection of a fugitive slave to summon to his aid a posse slaves, and holding them as such during the time their comitatus and which declared it to be the duty of all good duties may require them to remain there, and afterward citizens to assist him in its execution, ought to be 80 taking them from the District.

amended as to expressly limit the authority and duty in "Art. 4. Congress shall have no power to prohibit or cases in which there shall be resistance, or danger of rehinder the transportation of slaves, from one State to an- sistance or rescue. other, or to a Territory in which slaves are by law permit- “4. That the laws for the suppression of the African ted to be held, whether that transportion be by land, nav- slave trade, and especially those prohibiting the importaigable rivers, or by sea.

tion of slaves into the United States, ought to be made ef"Art. 5. That in addition to the provisions of the third fectua), and ought to be thoroughly executed, and all other paragraph of the second section of the fourth article of the enactments necessary to those ends ought to be promptly Constitution of the United States, Congress shall have made." power to provide by law, and it shall be its duty so to provide, that the United States shall pay to the owner who shall ap- On the 15th of January, 1861, Senator ply for it the full value of his fugitive slave,in all cases when Clark (Abolitionist) moved to strike out all of the Marshal, or other officers whose duty it was to arrest

Mr. Crittenden's proposition, after the preamsaid fugitive, was prevented from so doing by violence or intimidation, or when, after arrest, said fugitive was res

ble and the word Resolved, and insert in lieu cued by force, and the owner thereby prevented and ob- thereof the following: structed in the pursuit of his remedy for the recovery of of his fugitive slave, under the said clause of the Constitu- "That the provisions of the Constitution are ample for tion and the laws made in pursuance thereof. And in such the preservation of the Union, and the protection of all cases when the United States shall pay for such fugitive, the material interests of the country; that it needs to be they shall have the right in their own name to sue thé obeyed rather than amended; and that an extrication county in which said violence, intimidation, or rescue, was

from the present dangers is to be looked for in strenuous committed, and to recover from it, with interest and dam- efforts to preserve the peace, protect the public property, ages the amount paid by them for said fugitive slave. And aud enforce the laws, rather than in guarantees for particthe said county after it has paid said amount to the United ular difficulties, or concessions to unreasonable demands. States, may, for its indemnity, sue and recover from the "Resolved, That all attempts to dissolve the present wrong-doers or rescuers, by whom the owner was prevent- Union, or overthrow or abandon the present Constitution, ed from the recovery of his fugitive slave, in like manner with the hope or expectation of constructing a new one, as the owner himself might have sued and recovered. are dangerous, ilusory, and destructive; that in the opin

"Art. 6. No future amendment of the Constitution, ion of the Senate of the United States, no such reconstruca shall effect the five preceding articles, nor the third para

tion is practicable; and therefore, to the maintenance of graph of the second section of the first article of the Con- the existing Union and Constitution, should be directed stitution, nor the third paragraph of the serond section of all the energies of all the departments of the Government, the fourth article of said Constitution, and no amendment

and the efforts of all good citizens." shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or

The object of the introduction of that resogive to Congress any power to abolish or interfere with slavery in any of the States by whose laws it is or may be lution was very plain: it was to kill Mr. Crit allowed or permitted.

tenden's plan without taking a direct vote on "AND, WHEREAS, also, besides those causes of dissension

it. Mr. Clark's motion prevailed by the followembraced in the foregoing amendments proposed to the Constitution of the United States, there are others which ing vote: come within the jurisdiction of Congress, and may be remedied by its legislative power; and, whereas, it is the de- Anthony, Durkee,

Seward, sire of Congress, as far as its power will extend, to remove Baker,

Fessenden,

Simmons, all just cause for the popular discontent and agitation Bingham,

Foote,

Sunner, which now disturb the peace of the country, and threaten Chandler,

Foster,

Ten Eyck, the stability of its institutions; therefore,

Clark,
Grimes,

Trumbull, **Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives Collamer,

Hale,

Wade, of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, Dixon,

Harlan,

Wilkinson, That the laws now in force for the recovery of fugitive Doolittle,

King,

Wilson, slaves are in strict pursuance of the Constitution, and

25.-All Republicans. have been sanctioned as valid and constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States; that the slavehold- Bayard,

Green,

Powell, ing states are entitled to the faithful observance and exe

Bigler,
Lane,

Pugh, cution of those laws, and that they ought not to be re

Bragg,
Latham,

Rice, pealed or so modified or changed as to inipair their efficien- | Bright,

Mason,

Saulsbury, cy; and that laws ought to be made for the punishment of Clingman, Nicholson,

Sebastian, those who attempt, by the rescue of the slaves, or other

Crittenden, Pearce, illegal means, to hinder or defeat the due execution of Fitch,

Polk, said laws.

23.-All Democrats and Americans. “2. That all State laws which conflict with the Fugitive Slave Acts, or any other constitutional act of Congress, or

Mr. Crittenden's proposition was thus dewhich, in their opinion impede, hinder or delay the free feated for the present. At a subsequent hour course and due execution of any of said acts, are null and

of the same day, Senator Cameron. who had void by the plain provisions of the Constitution of the Uni. ted States. Yet those State laws, void as they are, have voted for the Clark amerdment, moved a regiven color to practices and lead to consequences which consideration of the vote by which the Critten

AYES.

NAYS.

1

NAYS.

NAYS.

[ocr errors]

and

den proposition was killed. The vote on this Bright,

Lane,

Rice,
Crittenden, Latham,

Sebastian, motion was not taken until the 18th of January,

Douglas,
Mason,

Thomson, 1861. The following was the result: (Page, Gwin,

Nicholson,

Wigfall. ----19. 443.)

Hunter,
YEAS.

Gwin,
Bayard,

Pearce,

Anthony,
Fessenden,

Sumner,
Bigler,
Hunter,
Polk,

Bingham,
Foote,

Ten Eyck,
Johnson of Ark., Powell,

Chandler,

Foster,
Bragg.

Trumbull,
Johnson of Tenn., Pugh,
Bright,

Clark,
Grimes,

Wade,
Kennedy,

Dixon,

Wilkinson,
Clingman,
Rice,

Harlan,
Crittenden,
Lane,

Wilson--20.
Saulsbury,

Doolittle,

King,
Douglas,
Latham,
Sebastian,

Durkee,

Morrill,
Fitch,
Mason,
Slidell.--27.

Of the nineteen who voted yed, seventen
Green,
Nicholson,

were Democrats and two Americans. The lat

ter were Senators Crittenden, of Kentucky, Anthony, Doolittle, Seward,

and Kennedy, of Maryland. The twenty who Baker, Fessenden,

Simmons,
Bingham,
Foote,
Summner,

voted in the negative were all Republicans. Cameron, Foster,

Ten Eyck,
Chandler,
Grimes,

Wade,
Clark,

In the House of Representatives.
Hale,

Wigfall,
Collamer,
Harlan,
Wilkinson

On the 27th of February, 1861, [see page
Dixon,
King,
Wilson. --24.

1261,] Mr. Clemens, of Virginia, proposed to It will be seen that Mr. Cameron voted the House of Congress that the Crittenden against his own proposition. The motion to

compromise should be submitted to a vote of reconsider having prevailed, the question then the people for adoption or rejection. He prowas on agreeing to Mr. Clark's substitute for posed the following joint resolution: the Crittenden plan. The final vote was not

"WHEREAS, The Union is in danger; and owing to the taken, on agreeing directly to the Crittenden unhappy division existing in Congress, it would be diffi. proposition, until the 3d of March, the day pre- cult, if not impossible, for that body to concur, in both its ceding the close of the Congress and the inau- branches, by the requisite majority, so as to enable it

either to adopt such measures of legislation, or to recomguration of Mr. Lincoln. The Clark amendmend to the States such amendments to the Constitution ment was first disposed of; the debate preceding as are deemed necessary and proper to avert that danger; the vote on which we give: Mr. Clark-"It might be expected, as I offered that

"WHEREAS, In so great an emergency, the substitute, that I would say something in its support; but, opinion and judgment of the people ought to as the session is drawing so near a close, though I am

be heard, and would be the best and surest prepared, I shall waive the opportunity, and let the vote be taken.

guide to their representatives; therefore Mr. Wilson-“We have voted on that several times, "Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives and I suggest that it be withdrawn, and let us vote di- l of the United States of America in Congress assembled, rectly on the resolutions.

That provisions ought to be made by law, without delay, The Presiding Officer-"It cannot be withdrawn, the for taking the sense of the people, and submitting to the yeas and nays having been ordered.

vote the following resolutions (Crittenden's) as the basis “The Secretary proceeded to call the roll.

for the final and permanent settlement of those disputes Mr. Anthony (when his name was called)—"Without that now disturb the peace of the country and threaten any reference to the merits of this amendment, I shall the existence of the Union." vote against it for the purpose of allowing the Senator from Kentucky to obtain a vote on his resolutions. I vote [Here followed Mr. Crittenden's resolutions. nay.

The proposition of Mr. Clemens was rejectMr. Baker (when his name was called) -"Without reterence to the merits of this amendment, I shall voto ed by the following vote: yeas 80, nays 113. against it in order to get an opportunity to vote against the resolution of the Senator from Kentucky, “The result was announced-yeas 14, nays 22, as follows: | Adrian, D, Florence, D, Moore, T, Am. "YEAS.

Andersou, W.C. AmFourke, D, Morris, I, N, D.

Avery, D. Garnette, D. Nelson, Am
Bingham,
Fessenden,
Sumner,

Barr, D.

Gilmer, Am. Niblack, D.
Chandler,
Foote,
Trumbull,

Barrott, D. Hamilton, D. Noell, D.
Clark,
Harlan,
Wade,

Babcock, D., Harris. J, M, Am.Peyton, D.
Doolittle,
King,
Wilkinson.-14.

Boteler, Am. Harris, T.J, D. Phelps, D.
Durkee,
Morrill,

Bouligney, Am. Hatton, Am.

Pryor, D.

Brabson, Am. Holman, D. Quarles, Am.
Anthony,
Foster,
Mason,

Branch, D. Howard, William, DRiggs, D.
Baker,
Gwin,
Nicholson,

Briggs, Am.

Hughes, D. Robinson, J. C, D.
Hunter,
Bayard,

Polk,
Bristow, Am. Jenkins, D.

Rust, D.
Johnson, of Tenn, Pugh,
Bigler,

Brown, D. Kunkel, D. Sickles, D.
Bright,
Kennedy,
Rice,

Burch, D.

Larabee, D. Simms, D. Crittenden, Lane,

Sebastian,

Burnett, D.

Leach, J, M, Am.Smith, William, D Dixon, Latham, Ten Eyck--22. Clark, H. F. D. Leake, D,

Smith, W,H.N, Am Douglas,

Clark, J. B. D.
Logan, D.

Stevenson, D.

Cochrane, John, D Maclay, D. Stewart, J, A, D, So Mr. Clark's amendment was rejected. Cox, D. Mallorry, Am. Stokes, Am. (Page 1404.

Craig, James, D. Martin, C, D, D. Stout, D.

Martin, E, S, D.. Thomas, D. The question then recurred on adopting the i Burton, D.

Maynard, Am. Vallandigham, D. Crittenden plan of compromise. It was de- Davis, J, G, D, McClernard, D.

[ocr errors]

YEAS.

NAYS.

Vance, Am. feated by the following vote: (Page 1405.) DeJarnette, D. McKentey, D. Webster, Am.

Dimmick, D. Millson, D. Whitney, D.

Edmundson, D. Montgomery, D. Winslow, D. Bayard, Johnson, of Tenn. Polk,

English, D. Laban, Am. Woodson, D. Bigler, Kennedy, Pugh,

80—Democrats, 61; Americans, 19. Wright, D

YEAS.

[ocr errors]

NAYS.

tors, except those from South Carolina, who Ci-Fi Adams, R. Foster, R.

Pettit, R.

had retired from Congress; and no one denied Aldrich, R. Frank, R.

Porter, R.

the truth of his statement. Nor did any of the Alley, R. French, R.

Potter, R. Ashley, R. Gooch, R.

Pottle, R.

Republican members of the Committee of ThirBabbett, R. Graham, R. E. R. Reynolds, R. teen deny its truthfulness. They must, thereBeale, R. Grow, R. Rice, R.

fore all be taken as having concurred in its Bingham, R. Hale, R.

C. Robinson, R.
Blair, R.
Hall, R.
Royce, R.

correctness, viz:. that the Southern Senators: Blake, R.

Helmick, R. Scranton, R. would have received the Crittenden plan, if Brayton, R. Hickman, R. Sedgwick, R. tendered and sustained by the Republican memBuffington, R. Hindman, D. Sherman, R. Burlingame, R. Hoard, R.

bers, as a final settlement of the slavery con

Somes, R. Burnham, R. W. A. Howard, R.Spaulding, R.

troversy; and, that therefore, the only difficulButterfield, R.

Humphrey, R. Spinner, R. ty in the way of an amicable adjustment was Campbell, R. Hutchins, R. Stanton, R.

with the Republican party, and on it would Carey, R Irvine, R.

Stevens, R.
Carter, R.
Junkin, R.
W. Stewart, R.

rest the sole responsibility of the disagreement Case, R. F. W. Kellog, R. Scratton, R.

and its consequent horrors of civil war. Coburn, R. W. Kellog, R.

Tappan, R.

But there is other proof. On the 7th of JanC. B. Cochrane, R.Kenyon, R. Thayer, R. Colfax, R, Kilgore, R. Theaker, R.

uary, 1861, Mr. Toombs made a speech (see p. Conkling, R. Killinger, R. Tompkins, R.

270) in which he corroborated the statement of Conway, R. DeWitt C. Leach, RTrain, R.

Mr. Douglas, so far as he was concerned. He Corwin, R. Lee, R. Trimble, R.

said: Covode, R. Longnecker, R. Vandever, R. W. H. Davis, A'n.Loomis, R. Van Wyck, R. “But, although I insist upon this perfect equality in the Dawes, R. Lovejoy, R. Terree, R.

territories, yet when it was proposed, as I understand the Delano, R. Marston, R. Wade, R.

Senator from Kentucky now proposes, that the line of 36. Duell, R. McKean, R. Waldron, R.

deg. 30 min. shall be extended acknowledging and proDana, R. McKnight, R. Walton, R.

tecting our property on the south side of that line, for the: Edgerton, R. McPherson, R. C. C. Washburne,R sake of peace-permanent peace-I said to the Committee Edwards, R. Morehead, R. R.B. Washburne,R of Thirteen, and I say here, that, with other satisfactory Elliot, R. Morrill, R. Wells, R.

provisions, I would accept it. I am willing, how. Ely, R. Morse, R. Wilson, R.

ever, to take the proposition of the Senator, as it was unEtheridge, A'n. Nixon, R. Windham, R. derstood in committee, putting the North and the South Farnsworth, R. Olin, R.

Wood, R.

on the same ground, prohibiting sļavery on one side, ac. Fenton, R. Palmer, R.

Woodruff, R.
Ferry, R.
Perry, R.

applying the Slavery and protecting it on the other, and

applying that to all future acquisitions, so that the whole 113. Republicans, 110; Americans, 2; Democrats, 1. continent to the North Pole shall be settled upon the one

rule, and to the South Pole under the other." Such was the recorded action of the two houses of Congress, at the most critical and Congressional Globe, part 2, page 1300. will

But that is not all. By reference to the same momentous period of our history, on a measure that would have saved us from civil war had be found a speech made by Mr. Pugh, on the the representatives of the party that had just 3d of March, 1861. In the course of that been elected to power adopted it in season.

speech, Mr. Pugh said: It is denied by some of the leaders and “The Crittenden proposition has been indorsed by the presses of the Republican party, that such almost unanimous vote of the Legislature of Kentucky, would have been the result of the adoption by Commonwealth of Virginia. It has been petitioned for by

It has been indorsed by the Legislature of the noble old Congress of the Crittenden Compromise; but a larger number of electors of the United States than any they produce no proof to sustain their asser- proposition that was ever before Congress. I believe in tion. On the other hand, we have as high tes jority of the people of my State-ay, sir, and of nearly timony as could be desired or needed, to show jority of the people of my State-ay, sir, and of nearly that had the Crittenden Compromise been the State of Mississippi left this Chamber, I heard one of adopted in season, it would have saved the them, who now assumes, at least, to be President of the country from civil war.

Southern Confederacy, propose to accept it and to maintain

the Union if that proposition could receive the vote it ought Senator Douglas, on the 3d of January, 1861 to receive from the other side of the Chamber. Therefore, speaking of his own plan of adjustment, which of all your propositions, of all your amendments, knowing he had introduced into the Senate, said: (See as I do, and knowing that the historian will write it down,

at any time before the 1st of January, a two-thirds vote Appendix Con. Globe, 1860, 1861, page 41.)... for the Crịttenden Resolutions in this Chamber would have

saved every State in the Union but South Carolina." "I believe this (his own plan] to be a fair basis of amicable adjustment. If you of the Republican side are not Mr. Pugh said that in the presence and in willing to accept this, nor the proposition of the Senator the hearing of Republican Senators, and no are willing to do. I address the inquiry to the Prepublia Douglas was present and followed Mr. Pugh

one denied the truth of his assertion. Mr. few days ago, every member from the South, includiug in a speech, remarking: (Page 1391.) those from the cotton States, (Messrs. Toombs and Davis,) expressed their readiness to accept the proposition of my "The Senator has said that if the Crittenden Proposition venerable friend from Kentucky, Mr. Crittenden, as a could have passed early in the session, it would have saved FINAL SETTLEMENT of the controversy, if tendered and sus- all the States except South Carolina. I firmly believe it tained by the Republican members. Hence, THE SOLE RE- would. While the Crittenden Proposition was not in acSPONSIBILITY of our disagreement and the ONLY DIFFICULTY cordance with my cherished views, I avowed my readiness in the way of an AMICABLE ADJUSTMENT is with the REPUB- and eagerness to accept it, in order to save the Union, if LICAN PARTY."

we could unite upon it. No man has labored harder than

I to get it passed. I can confirm the Senator's declaràWhen Mr. Douglas made that speech, he tion, that Senator Davis himself, when on the Committee made it in presence and in the hearing of Jeff.

of Thirteen, was ready, at all times, to compromise on the Davis and Toombs, and other Southern Sena- 1 Mr. Toombs was also."

Crittenden Proposition, I will go further, and say that

"MY DEAR SIR:

receive this.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The pros

We think nothing could be more conclusive any that would be acceptable to the South.than that testimony, unless the actual experi- They wanted a disruption of the Union, and ment itself, by the adoption of the plan itself civil war, in order to overthrow slavery. The and à trial under it, which the Republican testimony of Mr. Douglas on that point is overmembers would not permit Senator Critten- whelming. In a letter to S.S. Hayes, Esq., of den's opinion as to the effect the adoption of Illinois, he said: his plan would have had, was expressed by him,

“WASHINGTON, December 29, 1860. in a letter to Larz Anderson, Esq., of Cincin

You will have receivnati, dated Frankfort, March 27, 1861, in

ed my proposed amendments to the Constitution before you which he said:

The South would take my proposition if the

Republicans would agree to it. But the extreme North “Those resolutions were proposed in the true spirit of and South hold off, and are precipitating the country into compromise, aad with the hope of preserving or restoring revolution and civil war. to the country peace and union. They were the result of

"While I can do no act which recognizes or countenances the joint labors of, and consultation with friends, having the doctrine of secession, my policy is peace, and I will not the same object in view; and I believe if those measures consider the question of war until every effort has been thus offered had been, at a suitable time, proniptly adopt- made for peace, and all hope shall have vanished. . When ed by the Congress of the United States, it would have that time coñes, if unfortunately it shall come, I will then checked the progress of the rebellion and revolution and do what it becomes an American Senator to do on the then SAVED THE UNION."

state of facts. Many of the Republican leaders desire a

dissolution of the Union, and URGE WAR AS A MEANS OF ACSome of the leaders finding the proof against COMPLISHING DISUNION; while others are Union men in good their party to be so conclusive and overwhelm

faith. We have now reached a point where a COMPROMISE

on the basis of MUTUAL CONCESSION, or DISUNION, and WAR, ing, endeavor to avoid its force by stating that, are INEVITABLE. I prefer a fair and just compromisé. had the Southern Senators remained in their I shall make a speech in a few days. S.A. DOUGLAS. seats and voted, the Crittenden plan of Com- "S. S. HAYES, ESQ." promise would have passed Congress. That is

On the same day Mr. Douglas addressed a not true. Under no circumstances could it letter of like import to the Hon. Jobn Taylor, have passed the House, which was Republican. of New York. To that gentleman, Mr. DougWith a full Senate, and every Senator present las wrote: and voting, it would have required forty-four

“WASHINGTON, Dec. 29, 1860. votes to pass the Crittenden Compromise, being

“MY DEAR SIR :--Pressure of business has preyented an a two-thirds vote, which is required on amend

earlier acknowledgment of your kind letter. ments to the Constitution. Had the thirty pects of our country are gloomy indeed, but I do not deSenators from the Slave States been present. spair of the Republic. We are now drifting rapidly into

civil war, which must end in disunion. This can only be and voted, they, with the ten Democrats from preventeå by amendments to the Constitution, which will the Free States, would have made but forty, take the slavery question out of Congress, and put an end which would not have been enough by four to the strife. Whether this can be done DDPENDS UPON votes. It is not true, therefore, that had the

THE REPUBLICANS. Many of their leaders desire disunion Southern Senators remained in their seats and

on party grounds, and here is the difficulty. God grant

us a safe deliverance is my prayer. voted, the Crittenden Compromise would have

Very truly your friend, passed the Senate even, As we have already

"S. A. DOUGLAS.

“Hon. John TAYLOR," remarked, the House being Republican, it could not have received a majority vote in that Mr. Douglas made his speech four or five body, let alone a two thirds vote.

days after the date of that letter, in which he But unanimity of opinion was necessary to vowed his readiness and eagerness to accept have secured the success of the Crittenden plan the Crittenden Compromise in order to save the with the states, had it even passed Congress. Union; thereby endorsing it as a fair and The Southern Senators, in the Committee of just compromise." But there were too many Thirteen, felt the necessity of that unanimity, Republican leaders, who desired a dissolution aud therefore it was that Mr. Douglas said, of the Union, and urged war as a means of that "every member from the South, including accomplishing disunion, to permit either Mr. those from the Cotton States, (Messrs. Toombs Douglas' plan or Mr. Crittenden's plan, or the and Davis,) expressed their readiness to ac- Peace Conference plan to pass; and so the cept the Crittenden Compromise as a final country was precipitated into civil war. settlement of the controversy,' IF TENDERED Early in February, 1861, Mr. Douglas, in a AND SUSTAINED BY THE REPUBLICANS." If letter to the editors of the Memphis Appeal, not tendered and sustained by the Republi-, drew more fully the portrait of the managing cans, the Southern Senators, as did everybody Repúblicans. He said: else, knew that the adoption, by Congress, of the Crittenden. Compromise, would, in the end,

“WASHINGTON, February 2, 1861. be perfectly numatory, as it would be defeated "MESSRS, EDITORS:

You must remember that in the State Legislatures by the Republicans. there are disunionists among the party leaders at the North Had it been tendered and sustained by the stronger than their fidelity to the Constitution, and who

as well as at the South, men whose hostility to slavery is Republican members of Congress, the Southern believe that the disruption of the Union would draw after people would have had a strong assurance,

it, as an inevitable consequence, civil war, servile insuramounting almost to certainty, of its success

rection, and, finally, the utter extermination of slavery in

all the Southern States. They are bold, daring, deterin the State Legislatures; for the two great mined men; and believing, as they do, that the Constituparties would then have been for it. But the tion of the United States is the great bulwark of slavery managing, leading Republicans wanted no com

on this continent, and that the disruption of the American

Union involves the inevitable destruction of slavery, and promise at all, and least of all did they desire 1 is an inseperable necessity to the attainment of that end,

« PreviousContinue »