« PreviousContinue »
Every person charged with an offence made punishable under the act shall be tried by the military court of the army or corps of troops capturing him; and, after conviction, the President may commute the punishment in such manner and on such terms as he may deem proper.
valid to all intents and purposes as a part of the said Constitution, namely:
ART. 13, Sec. 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
"That the following article be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which, when ratified by three-fourths of said Legislatures, shall be
Third. That all negro slaves captured in arms be at once delivered over to the executive authorities of the respective States to which they belong, to be dealt with according to the laws of said States.
Fourth. That the like orders be executed in all cases
with respect to all commissioned officers of the United
States of this Confederacy.
Sec. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legisla
All negroes and mulattoes who shall be engaged in war or taken in arms against the Confederate States, or shall give aid or comfort to the enemies of the Confederate States, shall, when captured in the Confederate States, be delivered to the authorities of the State or States in which they shall be captured, to be dealt with accord-ticipated in the deliberations of the Coning to the present or future laws of such State or States.
"I think history will bear me out in the statement, that if the men by whom that Constitution was framed, and the people by whom it was adopted, had anticipated the times in which we live, they would have provided by constitutional enactment, that that evil and that sin should in some comparatively unremote day be removed. Without recurring to authority, the writings public or private of the men of that day, it is sufficient for my purpose to state what the facts will justify me in saying, that every man of them who largely par
vention by which the Constitution was adopted, earnestly desired, not only upon grounds of political economy, not only upon reasons material in their character, but upon grounds of morality and religion, that sooner or later the institution should
The Senate began the consideration of the question March 28th, Senator Trumbull opening the debate in favor of the amendment. He predicted that within a year the necessary number of States would ratify it. Wilson of Massachusetts made a long and able speech in favor. Davis of Kentucky and Saulsbury of Delaware led the opposition, but Reverdy Johnson, an independent Democratic Senator from Maryland, surprised all by his bold support of the measure. Among other things he said :
Passage of the Thirteenth Amendment.
The first amendment to the Constitution growing out of the war, and one of its direct results, was that of abolishing slavery. posed the amendment. Harlan of Iowa, Senator McDougall of California, opIt was first introduced to the House De-Hale of New Hampshire, and Sumner, cember 14th, 1863, by James M. Ashley of made characteristic speeches in favor. Ohio. Similar measures were introduced Saulsbury_advocated the divine right of by James M. Wilson, Senators Henderson, slavery. It passed April 8th, by 38 ayes to Sumner and others. On the 10th of Feb-6 noes, the latter comprising Davis and ruary, Senator Trumbull reported Hen-Powell of Kentucky; McDougall of Caliderson's joint resolution amended as fol-fornia; Hendricks of Indiana; Saulsbury
and others. On the 10th
and Riddle of Delaware.
Arnold of Illinois, was the first to se1861,) of a resolution to abolish slavery cure the adoption in the House (Feb. 15, but the Constitutional amendment required a two-thirds vote, and this it was difficult to obtain, though all the power of the Administration was bent to that purpose. The discussion began May 31st; the vote was reached June 15th, but it then failed of the required two-thirds-93 for to 65 against, 23 not voting. Its more pronounced advocates were Arnold, Ashley,
their parts, as you are to uphold the laws of Pennsylvania or New York, or any other State whose civil policy has not been disturbed."
Michael Hahn, one of the Representa
Broomall, Stevens, and Kelly of Pennsylvania; Farnsworth and Ingersoll of Illinois, and many others. Its ablest opponents were Holman, Wood, Mallory, Cox and Pendleton-the latter rallying nearly all of the Democrats against it. Its Dem-tives elect, closed a very effective speech, ocratic friends were MeAllister and Bailey which secured the personal good will of of Pennsylvania; Cobb of Wisconsin; the House in favor of his admission, in Griswold and Odell of New York. Before these words: the vote was announced Ashley changed "And even, sir, within the limits of the his vote so as to move a reconsideration and dreary and desolated region of the rebelkeep control of the question. At the next lion itself, despair, which has already taksession it was passed, receiving every Re- en hold of the people, will gain additional publican and 16 Democratic votes, 8 Dem-power and strength, at the reception of the ocrats purposely refraining, so that it would news that Louisiana sends a message 'of surely pass. peace, good-will, and hearty fellowship to the Union. This intelligence will sound. more joyful to patriot ears than all the oft repeated tidings of 'Union victories.' And of all victories, this will be the most glorious, useful and solid, for it speaks of reorganization, soon to become the great and difficult problem with which our statesmen will have to familiarize themselves, and when this shall have commenced, we will be able to realize that God, in his infinite mercy has looked down upon our misfortunes, and in a spirit of paternal love and pity, has addressed us in the language ascribed to him by our own gifted Longfellow:
Admission of Representatives
The capture of New Orleans by Admiral Farragut, led to the enrollment of 60,000 citizens of Louisiana as citizens of the United States. The President thereupon appointed a Military Governor for the entire State, and this Governor ordered an election for members of Congress under the old State constitution. This was held Dec. 3, 1862, when Messrs. Flanders and Hahn were returned, neither receiving 3,000 votes. They received certificates, presented them, and thus opened up a new and grave political question. The Democrats opposed their admission on grounds so well stated by Voorhees of Indiana, that we quote them :
"I am weary of your quarrels,
Mr. Speaker, Louisiana-ever loyal, hon
"Understand this principle. If the Southern Confederacy is a foreign power, an independent nationality to-day, and you have conquered back the territory of Lou-orable Louisiana-seeks no greater blesisiana, you may then substitute a new sys- sing in the future, than to remain a part of tem of laws in the place of the laws of that this great and glorious Union. She has State. You may then supplant her civil in- stood by you in the darkest hours of the stitutions by institutions made anew for her rebellion; and she intends to stand by you. by the proper authority of this Government Sir, raise your eyes to the gorgeous ceil-not by the executive—but by the legisla-ings which ornament this Hall, and look tive branch of the Government, assisted by upon her fair and lovely escutcheon. Carethe Executive simply to the extent of sign- fully read the patriotic words which suring his name to the bills of legislation. If round her affectionate pelican family, and the Chairman of the Committee of Ways you will find there inscribed, Justice, and Means, (Mr. Stevens) is correct; if the Union, Confidence.' Those words have gentleman from Kansas (Mr. Conway) is with us no idle meaning; and would to correct, and this assumed power in the God that other members of this Union, South is a power of the earth, and stands could properly appreciate our motto, our ¡ to-day upon equal terms of nationality motives and our position!" with ourselves, and reconquer back State by State its territory by the power of arms, then we may govern them independently of their local laws. But if the theory we have been proceeding upon here, that this Union is unbroken; that no States have sundered the bonds that bind us together; that no successful disunion has yet taken place, if that theory is still to prevail in these halls, then this cannot be done. You are as much bound to uphold the laws of Louisiana in all their extent and in all
The debate attracted much attention, because of the novelty of a question upon which, it has since been contended, would have turned a different plan of reconstructing the rebellious States if the President's plans had not been destroyed by his assassination. Dawes, of Massachusetts, was the Chairman of the Committee on Elections, and he closed the debate in favor of admission. The vote stood 92 for to 44 against, almost a strict party test, the Democrats voting no.
ernor shall so certify to the President, who, shall, by proclamation, recognize the govafter obtaining the assent of Congress, ernment as established, and none other, as the constitutional government of the State; and from the date of such recognition, and and electors for President and Vice-Presinot before, Senators and Representatives dent may be elected in such State. Until re-organization the Provisional Governor
In the House as early as Dec. 15, 1863, Henry Winter Davis moved that so much of the President's message as relates to the duty of the United States to guaranty a Republican form of government to the States in which the governments recognized by the United States have been abrogated or overthrown, be referred to a select committee of nine to report the bills necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing guarantee, was passed, and on May 4th, 1864, the House adopted the first reconstruction bill by 74 yeas to 66 nays—a strict party vote.* The Senate passed it by yeas 18, nays 14-Doolittle, Henderson, Lane of Indiana, Ten Eyck, Trumbull, and Van Winkle voting with the Democrats against it.
shall enforce the laws of the Union and of the State before the rebellion.
The remaining sections are as follows: SEC. 12. That all persons held to involuntary servitude or labor in the States charged therefrom, and they and their posaforesaid are hereby emancipated and disterity shall be forever free. And if any such persons or their posterity shall be reThe bill authorizes the President to ap-claim to such service or labor, the courts strained of liberty, under pretence of any point in each of the States declared in rebellion, a Provisional Governor, with the pay and emoluments of a brigadier; to be SEC. 13. That if any person declared free charged with the civil administration until by this act, or any law of the United States, a State government therein shall be recognized. As soon as the military resistance or any proclamation of the President, be to the United States shall have been sup-in or reduced to involuntary servitude or restrained of liberty, with intent to be held
of the United States shall, on habeas corpus, discharge them.
labor, the person convicted before a court of competent jurisdiction of such act shall be punished by fine of not less than $1,500, and be imprisoned not less than five, nor more than twenty years.
pressed, and the people sufficiently returned to their obedience to the Constitution and laws, the Governor shall direct the marshal of the United States to enroll all the white male citizens of the United States, resident in the State in their respective counties, and whenever a majority of them take the oath of loyal people of the State shall be entitled to elect delegates to a convention to act upon the re-establishment of a State gov ernment the to tails prescribed. Qualified voters in the army may vote in their camps. No person who has held or exercised any civil, military, State, or Confederate office, under the rebel occupation, and who has voluntarily borne arms against the United States, shall vote or be eligible as a delegate. The convention is required to insert in the con-upon issued a proclamation which closed stitution provisions
hereafter hold or exercise any office, civil SEC. 14. That every person who shall or military, except offices merely ministerial and military offices below the grade Confederate, is hereby declared not to be of colonel, in the rebel service, State or a citizen of the United States.
Lincoln's Proclamation on Reconstruction
President Lincoln failed to sign the above bill because it reached him less than one hour before final adjournment, and there
1st. No person who has held or exercised any civil or military office, (except offices merely ministerial and military offices below a colonel,) State or Confederate, under the usurping power, shall vote for, or be a member of the legislature or governor. 2d. Involuntary servitude is forever pro-approval of this bill, to be inflexibly comhibited, and the freedom of all persons is mitted to any single plan of restoration; guarantied in said State. and, while I am also unprepared to declare that the free State constitutions and gov
"Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do proclaim, declare, and make known, that, while I am (as I was in December last, when by proclamation I propounded a plan for restoration) unprepared, by a formal
3d. No debt, State or Confederate, created by or under the sanction of the usurp-ernments already adopted and installed in ing power, shall be recognized or paid by Arkansas and Louisiana shall be set aside the State. and held for nought, thereby repelling and discouraging the loyal citizens who have set up the same as to further effort, or to declare a constitutional competency in Congress to abolish slavery in States, but am at the same time sincerely hoping and
Upon the adoption of the constitution by the convention, and its ratification by the electors of the State, the Provisional Gov
McPherson's History, page 317.
expecting that a constitutional amendment | admit the Arkansas Senators raised an is abolishing slavery throughout the nation sue which partially divided the Republimay be adopted, nevertheless I am fully cans in both Houses, some of whom fasatisfied with the system for restoration vored forcible reconstruction through the contained in the bill as one very proper aid of Military Governors and the machinplan for the loyal people of any State ery of new State governments, while others choosing to adopt it, and that I am, and at opposed. The views of those opposed to all times shall be, prepared to give the Ex- the President's policy are well stated in a ecutive aid and assistance to any such peo- paper signed by Benjamin F. Wade and ple, so soon as the military resistance to Henry Winter Davis, published in the New the United States shall have been sup- York Tribune, August 5th, 1864. From pressed in any such State, and the people this we take the more pithy extracts: thereof shall have sufficiently returned to their obedience to the Constitution and laws of the United States, in which cases Military Governors will be appointed, with directions to proceed according to the bill."
The President, by preventing this bill from becoming a law, holds the electoral votes of the rebel States at the dictation of his personal ambition.
If those votes turn the balance in his favor, is it to be supposed that his competitor, defeated by such means, will acquiesce?
If the rebel majority assert their supremacy in those States, and send votes which elect an enemy of the Government, will we not repel his claims?
And is not civil war for the Presidency inaugurated by the votes of rebel States? Seriously impressed with these dangers, Congress, (( the proper constitutional authority," formally declared that there are no State governments in the rebel States, and provided for their erection at a proper time; and both the Senate and the House of Representatives rejected the Senators and Representatives chosen under the authority of what the President calls the free constitution and government of Arkansas.
The President's proclamation "holds for naught" this judgment, and discards the authority of the Supreme Court, and strides headlong toward the anarchy his proclamation of the 8th of December inaugu
Admission of Arkansas.
On the 10th of June, 1864, introduced a joint resolution for the recognition of the free State government of Arkansas. A new State government had then been organized, with Isaac Murphy, Governor, who was reported to have received nearly 16,000 votes at a called selection. other State officers are:
Lieutenant Governor, C. C. Bliss; Secretary of State, R. J. T. White; Auditor, J. B. Berry; Treasurer, E. D. Ayers; Attorney General, C. T. Jordan; Judges of the Supreme Court, T. D. W. Yowley, C. A. Harper, E. Baker.
The Legislature also elected Senators, but neither Senators nor Representatives obtained their seats. Trumbull, from the Senate Judiciary Committee, made a long report touching the admission of the Senators, which closed as follows:
If electors for President be allowed to be chosen in either of those States, a sinister light will be cast on the motives which induced the President to "hold for naught" the will of Congress rather than his gov
"When the rebellion in Arkansas shall have been so far suppressed that the loy-rated. al inhabitants thereof shall be free to reestablish their State government upon a republican foundation, or to recognize the one already set up, and by the aid and not in subordination to the military to maintain the same, they will then, and not be-ernment in Louisiana and Arkansas. fore, in the opinion of your committee, be That judgment of Congress which the entitled to a representation in Congress, President defies was the exercise of an and to participate in the administration of authority exclusively vested in Congress the Federal Government. Believing that by the Constitution to determine what is such a state of things did not at the time the established government in a State, and the claimants were elected, and does not in its own nature and by the highest judinow, exist in the State of Arkansas, the cial authority binding on all other departcommittee recommend for adoption the ments of the Government. following resolution :
A more studied outrage on the legislative authority of the people has never been perpetrated.
Congress passed a bill; the President refused to approve it, and then by proclamation puts as much of it in force as he sees fit, and proposes to execute those parts by officers unknown to the laws of the United States and not subject to confirmation of the Senate !
Resolved, That William M. Fishback and Elisha Baxter are not entitled to seats as Senators from the State of Arkansas."
1864, June 29-The resolution of the Committee on the Judiciary was adopted
-yeas 27, nays 6. President Lincoln was known to favor the immediate admission of Arkansas and Louisiana, but the refusal of the Senate to
The bill directed the appointment of the following article be proposed to the Provisional Governors by and with the ad- Legislatures of the several States as an vice and consent of the Senate. amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which, when ratified by three-fourths of said Legislatures, shall be valid as part of the Constitution, namely: [Here follows the 14th amendment. See Book IV.]
The President, after defeating the law, proposes to appoint without law, and without the advice and consent of the Senate, Military Governors for the rebel States!
He has already exercised this dictatorial usurpation in Louisiana, and he defeated the bill to prevent its limitation. *
The President has greatly presumed on the forbearance which the supporters of his Administration have so long practiced, in view of the arduous conflict in which we are engaged, and the reckless ferocity of our political opponents.
Whereas no legal State governments or adequate protection for life or property now exists in the rebel States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Texas, and Arkansas; and whereas it is necessary that peace and good order should be enforced in said States until loyal and republican State governments
But he must understand that our support is of a cause and not of a man; that the authority of Congress is paramount and must be respected; that the whole body of the Union men of Congress will not submit to be impeached by him of rash and unconstitutional legislation; and can be legally established: Therefore if he wishes our support, he must confine Be it enacted, &c., That said rebel States himself to his executive duties-to obey shall be divided into military districts and and execute, not make the laws-to sup-made subject to the military authority of press by arms armed rebellion, and leave the United States, as hereinafter prescribed, political reorganization to Congress. and for that purpose Virginia shall constitute the first district; North Carolina and South Carolina the second district; Geor
If the supporters of the Government fail to insist on this, they become responsible for the usurpations which they fail to gia, Alabama, and Florida the third dis rebuke, and are justly liable to the indig-trict; Mississippi and Arkansas the fourth nation of the people whose rights and district; and Louisiana and Texas the fifth security, committed to their keeping, they sacrifice.
SEC. 2. That it shall be the duty of the President to assign to the command of each of said districts an officer of the army, not below the rank of brigadier general, and to detail a sufficient military force to
The question, as presented in 1864, now passed temporarily from public considera-enable such officer to perform his duties tion because of greater interest in the and enforce his authority within the disclosing events of the war and the Presi-trict to which he is assigned. dential succession. The passage of the 14th or anti-slavery amendment by the States also intervened. This was officially announced on the 18th of December 1865, by Mr. Seward, 27 of the then 36 States having ratified, as follows: Illinois, Rhode Island, Michigan, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, Maine, Kansas, Massachu setts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Nevada, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, Tennessee, Arkansas, Connecticut, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia.
SEC. 3. That it shall be the duty of each officer assigned as aforesaid to protect all persons in their rights of person and property, to suppress insurrection. disorder, and violence, and to punish, or cause to be punished, all disturbers of the public peace and criminals, and to this end ne may allow local civil tribunals to take jurisdiction of and to try offenders, or, when in his judgment it may be necessary for the trial of offenders, he shall have power to organize military commissions or tribunals for that purpose; and all in terference under color of State authority with the exercise of military authority under this act shall be null and void.
Let them consider the remedy for these usurpations, and, having found it, fearlessly execute it.
TEXT OF THE RECONSTRUCTION MEASURES.
Reconstruction Act of Thirty-Ninth Con-
SEC. 4. That all persons put under military arrest by virtue of this act shall be tried without unnecessary delay, and no cruel or unusual punishment shall be inflicted; and no sentence of any military commission or tribunal hereby authorized, affecting the life or liberty of any person, shall be executed until it is approved by
Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, (two
thirds of both houses concurring,) That the officer in command of the district, and
14th Constitutional Amendment.
Joint Resolution proposing an Amendment to the Constitu
tion of the United States.