« PreviousContinue »
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
THE GREAT REBELLION,
à CLASSIFIED SUMMARY OF THE LEGISLATION OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE TIIRTY-SIXTH CON-
OF THE THIRTY-EIGHTH CONGRESS, WITH THE VOTES THEREON,
AND THE IMPORTANT
EXECUTIVE, JUDICIAL, AND POLITICO-MILITARY FACTS OF THAT
ORGANIZATION, LEGISLATION, AND GENERAL PROCEEDINGS OF THE REBEI
CONTAINING THE PRINCIPAL POLITICAL FACTS OF THE CAMPAIGN OF 1864
OF GETTYSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA,
WASHINGTON, D.C. :
This volume is intended to be a Record of the Legislation, and the general Political History of the United States, for the last four years--a period of unexampled activity and of singularly deep interest and importance, whether reference be had to the vast material interests involved in the stupendous struggle, or the precedents, principles, and measures which the Convulsion has produced. It is further intended to be a Record rather of those salient fiets which embody or illustrate principles, than of those which relate to med or parties, and hence have transient and inferior significance.
So abundant have been the materials, that compression has been a necessity. Selection has been made with the purpose of presenting, fully and fairly, the facts as they are, and the agencies by which they came-viewing all else as subordinate.
The first Ninety pages are devoted to the period of Secession, and contain a narrative of the successive steps in the movement in each State, in chronological order; also, the elaborate justifying papers of the South Carolina Convention, with counter-selections from other authorities; together with i condensation of the various propositions of Adjustment made in or out of Congress and the vote upon each taken in either body, and the various Official Papers of the day tending to show the relations of the parties, the wrongs complained of, and the remedies proposed. Closely examining this Record, it is difficult for a candid person to escape the conviction that Adjustment was hopeless-Revolution having been the pre-determined purpose of the reckless men who had obtained control of the State machinery of most of the slaveholding States. This conviction will be strengthened by study of what has since transpired.
It will be remembered that the Thirty-Sixth Congress proposed permanently to settle the security of slavery in the slaveholding States by an amendment of the Constitution, which was adopted by a two-thirds vote in each House. And that it completely disposed of the Territorial feature of the difficulties by agreeing upon, and almost unanimously passing, bills organizing Territories covering the entire area owned by the Government. The record of these two important historical facts is given within. They have great significance in establishing the character of the Rebellion.