Page images



the pilgrims from despotism the world over, from help us out of our difficulties; but if, on the their miseries, to a more perfect and enlightened other hand, a different policy be intended, he government, has been an ignis falúus—leading those could well understand why the Administrawho would strive for liberty to the most miserabletion would not proclaim it. He repeated, failare that history ever has recorded. How old is “ It is the settled policy of those in power to this Government? Sir, there are men living to-day involve us very soon in civil war.” Their who can remember when your Declaration of Inde- silence was proof of this to his mind. No pendence was first pronounced; there are ears into which first fell the sublime truths that were then

doubt orders have gone to the Mediterranean

and other distant stations to bring home our enunciated to the world by the great apostle of liberty; and if we go on as gentlemen have threat- ships. Why was this so if the policy of the ened, if they dictate terms to the popular will and Administration is peace? Why is there an to the popular party, and stipulate that they are a

immense armament at New York, larger sine qua non apon which their allegiance is to be than for the last twenty years, if they were to rendered, it is all a failure; and though I would believe the newspapers and private corredo as much as the Senator from Kentucky—as spondence? There could be no doubt that much as any living man would do; and if, for the troops are being thrown into distant stations, preservation of the liberties of this country, and that a number of ships were taking in the sacrifice of my poor life should be called for, I

supplies. If the policy of the Administratrust God would give me grace to lay myself down tion is war, it would, of course, be concealed a victim on the altar of patriotism as readily as any until there was readiness to strike. From man :—I say if this is to be the manner in which we

information he had received within the are to be met, if this is the argument addressed to as, much as I love this country-much as I rever

last two or three days, there are reenforceence the Constitution of the United States, I say ments and heavy guns going South to take to all such States as have seceded for the causes possession of the forts in North Carolina, named, go! and, instead of asking one to return Virginia, and elsewhere. If


he should rewhich has gone out, I would rather all others should gard it as a purpose to make war. This go that are not willing to stay in the Union as our word “war” was repeated over and over fathers made it, and to submit to the restraints of again, showing the North Carolina Senator the Constitution as they intended it should be sub- to be thoroughly excited in his anxieties. mitted to.

This speech called out Hale, Clark, and “Sir, we are a Union only in name if we are not Grimes. The first said, in regard to any willing to abide by this test. If we are not willing knowledge he had concerning the President's to submit to the requirements of the Constitution, policy, that he was utterly ignorant of what perform all its duties, and when the popular voice

the Administration intended to do. He had says to those in power, “ Come down and let others take your place;" if, instead of quietly surrendering not passed a word with members of the

Cabinet. He had not put his eyes the ensigns of power at the behest of the popular

on that will, they choose to "let slip the dogs of war," and great leading mind,” (Seward,) as the Senator appeal to force as the arbiter to decide our questions called him. He presumed that the President -then, sir, instead of having a Government of had the courage to stem the storms assailing which to boast, we should hide our faces in shame.” the ship of State. This was the reason why Tuesday, the Douglas res

Mr. Lincoln had not gone outside the circlo Clingman Again. olution still being before of his constitutional advisers. He sought no

the Senate, Clingman again advice elsewhere. adverted to the Inaugural If the policy of Chandler, (of Mich.,) obthe Administration be peace, why should it tained the floor in answer

epridge. not be announced ? Everybody knows that to Breckenridge, who had the country is suffering. Commerce is par- used the word “ bloodletting” in his speech alyzed, manufactures are depressed, stocks of the previous day, saying it was the Michare down, and general distress prevails igan Senator's doctrine. He (Chandler,) said throughout the land. If, as the Senator he was not the author of the idea, or the docfrom Illinois said, the President would an- trine -- whichever it might be — but that it nounce that his policy was peace, it would lowed its paternity to a distinguished son of

[ocr errors]

Chandler vs. Breck

Simmons' Resolo.


[ocr errors]


Virginia, Jefferson, who, in writing from Paris, Breckenridge briefly retorted to this severe said that “the people cannot always be well | argumentum ad hominem. informed, and that the tree of liberty must be Simmons, (of Rhode Isrefreshed by the blood of patriots and tyrants” | land,) offered an amendIt was the natural manure. There was where ment to the Douglas Resohe (Chandler) obtained the idea. The doc-lution, as follows: trine of the “higher law” and the “irrepres- “Strike out all after the word Rescived,' and sible conflict” was assigned to Mr. Seward, insert, • That the Committee on the Judiciary be inand the Senator from Illinois had said that stracted to make the following inquiries : Mr. Lincoln inaugurated the doctrine. If the * Firet : If any State or States within the limits of Senator had read the Bible, he would have the United States of America have changed or modifound the doctrine was not only held before fied their laws respecting the oath required to be Mr. Seward was born, but before the May- taken by the members of the Legislature thereof, to Hower crossed the Atlantic, and before the such an extent as to disqualify its members as electSaviour was born. It was illustrated in the

ors of a Senator to the United States, according to

the provisions of the Constitution? history of Pharaoh and Moses, as he proceeded to show. The Senator from Kentucky member of the Senate has been elected by the Leg

Second : If any Senator now claiming to be a had spoken for that and other States, and islature of any State, the members whereof were had argued to prove the propriety of aban

thus disqualified ? doning the forts and of giving up attempts to · Third: What vacancies, if any, there are in the enforce the laws, and had said that unless Senate which the Executive of any State has a conthis was done Kentucky would go ont of the stitutional right to make temporary appointments to Union. The people, on the 6th of Novem- fill? ber, had sat on this great issue and rendered

“ And that said Committee report the result of a verdict. There were four Presidential their inquiries to the Senate." candidates. The aggregate votes for Lincoln, This was understood to be aimed at Cling. Douglas, and Bell, were 3,814,217 votes, and man, who, it was said, had been elected by a in the platforms respectively of these parties Legislature which had refused to take the there was a clear and emphatic declaration usual oath of allegiance to the United States for the maintenance of the Union and the Constitution. Constitution, and the enforcement of the This he supported in a short speech. He laws. The fourth Presidential candidate was assumed that the Senate could act; that it the Senator from Kentucky, with what the should ascertain what States were competent Senator from Illinois called “a disunion plat- to fill vacancies, either by the Legislative or form of a disunion party.” He received 848,- Executive appointment, and whether any 000 votes. This showed him that the plat- Senators have been elected by those who form was repudiated by three millions of were not competent to vote for them. The voters. The Senator now proposed to reopen Senator from Illinois had said he would give a question which has thus been settled, and the Republicans some trouble, because he to insert his platform, naked and simple, in knew what their schemes were. Now, he the Constitution of the United States, not. (Simmons) did not know that his brother withstanding the immense vote against him. Senators had any schemes. The Senator did It was too late. The thing cannot be done. not think it possible that the majority could The people have renderded their verdict. perform their duty without some scheme. The question cannot be reopened. He be- He then replied to some remarks which Mr. lieved that if the rattlesnake banner was Clingman had incidentally made on the tarraised in Kentucky, it would be hailed by iff question, and in response to a question by but few supporters in that gallant State. that gentleman, said he never dreamed that Kentucky held too many loyal souls to be the non-payment of duties by the Confed. marshaled under a disloyal banner. He felt erate States would make any sensible difit to be impossible for her to be unfaithful to ference. the Union.

Mr. Clingman-Will you let them go?

[ocr errors]

Mr. Simmons—They have gone without | Republic. The Senator's speech was not asking. I am not disposed to force them concluded when the Senate went into Exback. I presume they will be sick of their ecutive session. experiment within a year.

The speech was resumed Thursday, and Mr. Clingman--That remains to be tested. occupied all the open session of that day, and

Mr. Simmons, resuming, said the country a portion of Friday. Its latter portion was in six months would settle matters in spite devoted to an arraignment of the principles of the restless politicians. He had no more of the dominant party, and in favor of a idea that the Administration contemplated recognition of the independence of the Souththe invasion of State rights any more than ern Confederacy. he (Simmons) did. He believed this was Friday, Howe, of Wisgetting to be well understood at the South, consin, addressed the Sen

Howe's Speech. and hence new issues and threats were made, ate on the Douglas Resoluand new positions taken. Certain gentlemen tion, opposing it, and dealing the Senators are in a wonderful hurry to settle everything from Kentucky and Illinois some sturdy before it happens. We shall continue to col- blows. The information asked, he thought lect the revenue as heretofore, or the States a proper degree of self-respect should prevent setting up for themselves will cease to have the Democratic Senators from calling for, any business. He believed the President has since it was under their rule and domination as kind and pacific intentions towards those that the country was placed on the verge of States as any President ever had. He be destruction. We have now, he said, an Adlieved, but for the agitation here and else- ministration which has proclaimed a fixed where, they would go about their every-day purpose to maintain the authority of the associations. Politicians, however, must be United States, and not the authority of this agitating. They never produce a dollar, and or that section merely, by peaceful means, if never will.

peaceful means will suffice. This is the setWednesday, Bayard, of tled purpose, as he understood it, of the AdBayard's Speech. Delaware, consumed the en- ministration. Was it not a purpose which

tire open session in a speech demanded the best energies of every one ? of an elaborate character, covering the whole It seemed to him the Senator from Illinois ground of the rights of States and the pow. was not furnishing the great aid he could ers of the Federal Executive. His position have furnished with this view. Instead of was a “Southern" one, in most respects, helping to hold up the hands of the Governgoing to prove the right of secession and the ment, that Senator was confronting the Gov. want of power for coercion. He quoted, at ernment, not by arms and the application of some length, from the Madison and Hamilton force, but with objections that the Adminis“Federalist" papers, and also from the writ- tration must stop here, then there, and must ings of William Rawle, one of the ablest and not undertake to collect the revenue, &c., most unbiased jurists Pennsylvania pro- and it seemed to him (Howe) this furnished duced during the Revolutionary era. [Rawle, aid to the enemies, and not to the friends of in 1825, published a volume of “ Notes on the country.

He would admonish reprethe Constitution," wherein he assumed, in sentatives that if another revolution is to be the broadest sense, the independence of the thrust upon us, we should take especial care States and their right to withdraw, at any that the future historian shall not be comtime, by a vote of their people, from the Fed pelled to record that, with the friends of the eral Union, which he considered but a mere United States, were found the semblance of compact.] Mr. Bayard presumed that the the Cowboys of the Revolution. His President and Congress had the power, also, (Howe's) party had done nothing to create to treat in the matter of the cession and se- the feverish apprehension alluded to by the cession of the States, and therefore called Senator from Illinois. They were in no way upon the President to secure peace by set- responsible for it; they have no purpose to thing upon terms for a reorganization of the trample on a single right of any individual


in any portion of the country. The Senator | Resowed, That the President be requested to comfrom Illinois argued that the information municate to the Senate, if not incompatible with asked was to allay excitement, bu. did not the public interest, the dispatches from Major Anevery such suggestion from so respectable a

derson to the War Department during the time he source tend more than all things else to in- has been in command of Fort Samter." crease and continue the excitement? To al

Mr. Howe then resumed

Howe's Speech Con. lay excitement, all should unite to tell the

his speech of the previous country they have no purpose to trample on

Friday. He conceived the any one's rights or constitutional privileges.

true design of the dominant party to be not As to Mr. Douglas' proposition to amend to subjugate the revolutionary States, but to the Constitution, he objected to it for the ad- save them from subjugation. The Unionists mission it contained ; namely, that fraternity

of those States, he believed, were being ridcan be maintained only by adopting certain den down by a reckless tyranny, from which amendments to the fundamental law. This they had a right to be relieved. The leaders is not the proper method of bringing about were in insurrection against their own peace fraternity, for if approved only by a portion and order—were persecuting their own citi. of the people of the Union, it would be disap- zens, who were also citizens of the United proved by the remainder of them. A Con- States, and entitled to its protection. He adstitution, to be satisfactory, must receive the verted, at some length, to the exclusion of assent of the whole country. We have got

Slaves from the Territories, and demanded such a Constitution now. Why should not

to know if such exclusion-the deliberate the people continue to be satisfied with it?

voice of the majority—could afford any rea

The means Mr. Howe's speech was concluded on Mon- sonable ground for rebellion ? day, Saturday being devoted to miscellaneous

did not justify the ends. The cause was too business and an Executive session. A very

immaterial for the monstrous wrongs perpe sharp controversy sprung up over the election trated against the Union, by the Seceded of new officers of the floor-the Southern States, in the seizure of forts, arsenals, mints, members resisting a change.

&c.—the firing on the United States flagThe last week of the extra session was ren

the defiance of United States authority. dered notable from the tilt between Messrs. Mr. Howe called upon Mr. Douglas, if that Breckenridge and Douglas. These two men Senator really wished to preserve the Union were mutually disinclined to fellowship. En and to avert the calamities of civil war, to tertaining ideas of polity quite at variance, unite with the Republicans in the declaration, they still had suffered the session to pass that while they did not propose to make war, without any expressions to indicate the hos- they did not intend that war shall be made tility existing between them. Douglas was, on the North. The country may be saved, evidently, anxious to force his opponent to a not by dissolving the Union, but by supportconfession of his real principles. That ing it—not by abjuring the Constitution, but Breckenridge was disloyal to the Constitu- by taking a fast hold upon it. Did any State tion all Senators well understood, and Doug- or section complain that injustice had been las finally became so anxious to force the done them, or their rights denied? If so, let Kentuckian to the confessional—to unmask his them go bravely before the people of the treason, and thus to dispose of him forever Uuited States for redress, and not to those of as a Democratic leader-tbat, on Monday, any one State or section. To the victims of (VIarch 25th,) in the course of the debate private wrong. the Courts are open for relief, with Howe, (of Wisconsin,) he referred to and to those of public wrong the Legislatures the Senator from Kentucky in such a manner are available. as to compel that gentleman to take the In further reply to the Senator from Ilifloor, which he did on Tuesday.

nois, he showed the difficulties of procuring Mr. Powell, on Monday, March 25th, in- amendments to the Constitution, which the troduced, by unanimous consent, the follow- former had advocated as a remedy for existing resolution, which was agreed to: ing troubles. He was alike opposed to the

[blocks in formation]



second proposition of Mr. Douglas, viz.: the these things without legal

Douglas on the Dorecognition of the Seceded States; this, he authority, was a threat to argued, would not produce peace. As to the violate the Constitution third proposition or alternative of that Sen- and laws of the United States. Was it wise ator-war, with a view to the subjection and to delude the people into the belief that the military occupation of such States as have or Administration is going to do what the Conmay secede—the issue is made up between stitution and laws do not permit ? the loyal citizens and those who defy the au- Howe (interrupting) said the Senator, inthority of the United States. They had seen stead of summoning the representatives of a new Government and a strange flag set up, the people to provide the necessary means and this had been brought about in a great for securing the revenues, summoned the measure by the aid of the Government of the Government to abandon the revenue. United States. Our ministers, agents, or Douglas replied, that he endeavored, durofficers had put into the hands of those who ing the last session, when the Republicans were plotting against the Federal authority, were rushing through a bill to destroy the treasure, arms, and means by which the revenue, to prevent it; but they would not triumph of the Disunionists had been listen to the warning, and he apprehended achieved.

that there would be an extra session to undo Douglas, thus personally a part of what was recklessly and unwisely Douglas on the De

appealed to, was constrain- done. The Senator from Wisconsin would

ed to reply. He defended not say that he (Douglas) was a Tory, but his proposition for information. If the War that his speech reminded him of it. Now, Department possessed no information no harm a man might be reminded of Tories by his could result from giving an open answer. antagonism to them, or by his own identity Or, if the information which exists, already with them. He did not choose to say in Was been imparted to the Confederate States, what category the Senator from Wisconsin and our enemies are in possession of it, there was. He had not the slightest apprehension would be no harm in letting others have it. the people of the country would regard him He apprehended the furnishing of this in- as an enemy of the country. This was an formation would tend to allay public excite-insinuation by the Senator from Wisconsin, ment. He supposed there was no danger as rather than a direct assertion, for it seemed to Fort Sumter, as he understood the order impossible for the Republicans to make had been given for its evacuation; the ques- speeches without impugning his motives or tion he desired to get at was, whether Fort assailing his character. If he should die, Pickens was to be held merely as a cause for he supposed that he should have a long irritation-as

-as a thorn festering in the finger train of mourners, because they would, by -producing disease. If it was not national his decease, be deprived of material out of but local in its character, it ought to be sur- which they manufacture their speeches. The rendered to those who hold the harbor; it Senator from Wisconsin had opposed the ought not to be retained by the Federal Gov- amendments to the Constitution which he ernment, unless designed as a basis of opera- (Douglas) had proposed, with the view of tion against the Seceded States. He wanted insuring the safety and equality, and restorto find out whether we are to have peace or ing peace, unity, and fraternity to the whole war. He, however, believed the policy to country. In his opinion, all who were opbe peace. The Senator from Wisconsin said posed to amending the Constitution, were bis remarks were calculated to belittle the looking to a dissolution of the Union, either Administration; but he (Douglas) had only as a necessity which could not be avoided, said that there is no power to collect the rev- or as a thing desirable in itself. enue, and blockade the ports of the Seceded This called up Clark (of

A Republican Dis. States, and that the President cannot use the New Hampshire) who quesmilitary force, excepting as aid of a civil au- tioned the right of a Senthority; hence, the threat to do either of ator, to make such a statement in view of the


« PreviousContinue »