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The opposing parties carried on the canvass with great vigor during the autumn. The real practical question at issue was expressed in the two words, Union or Disunion. Although the Opposition did not distinctly avow a willingness to give up the Union, that was a fair inference from the utterance of the resolutions of the Convention. The earlier autumn State elections gave very little indication of what the Presidential vote would be. When the latter was given, Mr. Lincoln's re-election in the Electoral College by an unprecedented majority was secured. General McClellan received the vote of only the two late slave-labor States, Delaware and Kentucky, and the State of New Jersey. The offer of sympathy and protection to the soldiers in the field, by the Chicago Convention, had been answered by the votes of those soldiers in overwhelming numbers against the nominees of that Convention. They gave one hundred and twenty-one thousand votes for Mr. Lincoln, and thirty-five thousand and fifty for General McClellan, or three to one in favor of the former. They did not regard the war they had so nobly waged, as a “failure," and they required no “sympathy” or “ protection" from any political party.

The result of the Presidential election gave great joy to all the true friends of the Union, at home and abroad. That election was waited for with the greatest anxiety by millions of men. A thousand hopes and fears were excited. Vast interests hung upon the verdict; and for awhile in our country every thing connected with trade and manufactures seemed to be stupefied by suspense. Gold, the delicate barometer of commercial thought, fluttered amazingly, as the hour of decision drew nigh. At length, the result was announced. Principle had triumphed over Expediency. The nation had decided by its calmly expressed voice, after years of distressing war, and with the burden upon its shoulders of a public debt amounting to two thousand million dollars, to fight on, and put down the Rebellion at any cost. A load was lifted from the great loyal heart of the Republic. Congratulations came over the sea like sweet perfumes; and out of the mouths of the dusky toilers on the plantations of the South, went up simple, fervid songs of praise to God for this seal of their deliverance, for the election had surely proclaimed “liberty throughout all the land to all the inhabitants thereof." By it the hopes of the Conspirators were blasted. They well knew the power that slumbered behind that vote, and which would now be awakened in majestic energy. They well knew that all was lost, and that further resistance would be vain and wicked; and had Jefferson Davis and Robert E.


1 The Secretary of State (W. H. Seward), in a speech at Washington City, on the 14th of September, said: “The Democracy at Chicago, after waiting six weeks to see whether this war for the Union is to succeed or fail, finally concluded that it would fail; and therefore went in for a nomination and platform to make it the sure thing by a cessation of hostilities and an abandoninent of the contest. At Baltimore, on the contrary, we determined that there should be no such thing as failure; and therefore we went in to save the Union by battle to the last. Sherman and Farragut have knocked the bottom out of the Chicago nominations; and the elections in Vermont and Maine prove the Baltimore nominations stanch and sound. The issue is thus fairly made up -McClellan and Disunion, or Lincoln and Union."

2 Fourteen of the States allowed their soldiers to vote. Those of some of the States voted in camp. Those of New York sent their ballots home to friends to deposit in the ballot-box for them in a prescribed way.

3 The following notice of the fluctuations in the price of gold during the space of a few hours, in one day (November 1, 1864), was given in an evening newspaper of that date:

** The fluctuations in gold, as bulletined at Gilpin's Merchants’ Exchange to-day, have been as follows: 10 A, M., 230; 10.20, 233; 10.25, 240 ; 10.35, 236; 10.40, 2354 ; 11.15, 2374: 11,35, 238; 12, 237+; 12.15, P. M., 2375; 12.40, 2367; 12.50, 2844 ; 1.10, 2354; 1.25, 236; 1.85, 2884; 1.45, 238; 1.55, 2394; 2.10, 2387; 2.20, 2394 ; 2.45, 2404 ; 2.55, 2404; 3.00, 241; 8.25, 2391; 4, 2391; 4.15, 241."

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Lee been less selfish and cold, and more humane, they might, by the simple fiat of their will, have closed the war six months before the time of its ending, saved thousands of precious lives, and hastened the return of peace and prosperity upon the land upon which they and their fellows had brought the terrible ravages of civil war. Upon these two men, more than upon

all others, will the judgment of history and the verdict of posterity leave the stain of the guilt of prosecuting a hopeless war.

When Congress assembled, on the 6th of December, a month after the election, the President, in his annual message, spoke of “the purpose of the people within the loyal States to maintain the integrity of the Union,” as having never been more firm, as evinced by the late vote; and he alluded with gratification to “the extraordinary calmness and good order with which the millions of voters met and mingled at the polls.” He also noticed the pleasant fact that “on the distinct issue of Union, or no l'nion, the politicians had shown their instinctive knowledge that there is no diversity among the people.” From this fact he derived the most precious hopes for the National cause. He deprecated any further attempts at “negotiation with the insurgent leaders,” for the positive terms of fixed disagreement had been given by both parties, in the preceding summer.' He said, “I retract nothing heretofore said as to slavery. I repeat the declaration made a year ago, that while I remain in my present position, I shall not attempt to retract or modify the Emancipation Proclamation, nor shall I return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that Proclamation, or by any of the acts of Congress. If the people should, by whatever mode or means, make it an executive duty to re-enslave such persons, another, and not I, must be their instrument to perform it. In stating a single condition of peace, I mean simply to say that the war will cease on the part of the Government whenever it shall have ceased on the part of those who began it.” These declarations found a cordial response in the hearts of the loyal millions.

In that message the President urged the House of Representatives to concur with the Senate in adopting a Thirteenth Amendment of the National Constitution, for prohibiting slavery in the Republic forever. The Senate

had adopted ito at the preceding session by the strong vote of April 8, thirty-eight to six. The President's recommendation was acted

upon, and the subject was taken up for consideration in the House on the 6th of January, 1865. On the 31st of the same month, it was adopted by a vote of one hundred and nineteen against fifty-six. Thus the nation,



1 See page 447.

? The following was the vote: Yeas. — Maine-Fessenden, Morrill; Vero Hampshire, Clark, Hall; Mauchusetts-Sumner, Wilson; Rhode Island-Anthony, Sprague; Connecticut-Dixon, Foster; Vermont-Collamer, Foot; New York, Harris, Morgan; New Jersey, Tenyck; Pennsylvania-Cowan; Maryland, Reverdy Johnson; West Virginia–Van Winkle, Willey; Ohio-Sherman, Wade; Indiana-Lane; Ninois-Truinbull; Missouri-Brown, Henderson; Michigan-Chandler, Howard ; Iowa–Grimes, Harlan; WisconsinDoolittle. Howe; Minnesota-Ramsay, Wilkinson; Kansas-Lane, Pomeroy; Oregon,Harding, Nesmith; California-Conness.-38.

Only two of these affirmative votes were Democrats, namely, Johnson and Nesmith. The Nays were all Democrats, namely: Delaware—Riddle, Saulsbury; Kentucky-Davis, Powell; Indiana-Hendricks; California-MeDougal).–6. Six Democrats did not vote, namely, Buckalew of Pennsylvania ; Wright of New Jersey; Hicks of Maryland; Bowden and Carlisle, of West Virginia; Richardson of Minois.

This measure was first submitted to the Senate by Mr. Henderson, of Missouri, on the 11th of January, 1564, and, as we have observed, was adopted on the 8th of April following.

3 The following was the vote: Yeas. - Maine-Blair, Perham, Pike, Rice; New Hampshire Patterson, Rollins; Massachusetts-Alley, Ames, Baldwin, Boutwell, Dawes, Elliott, Gooch, Hooper, Rice, W. D. Wash



for the first time in its life, speaking through its representatives, declared its practical recognition of the great truth of the Declaration of Independence, that “all men are created equal.” This act was the full complement of the Proclamation of Emancipation. The work thus begun was in this way, and at this time, completed. In the school of a fiery experience the people had been educated in the lessons of goodness, and taught the truth that “righteousness exalteth a nation." When the nation, acting upon this lesson, declared by the act we are considering, its determination to be just, the seal of God's approval was instantly seen in the manifestations of the National power. From the hour when that righteous Amendment was adopted, the National arms were everywhere victorious. The Rebellion, still so rampant and defiant at the opening of the fourth year of its career, rapidly declined, and within the space of four months it disappeared, and the authority of the National Government was supreme in every part of the Republic. At last, when “there was not a house where there was not one dead,” as it were, and the American Pharoah let the bondmen go, the plagon of war ceased.

The adoption of that Amendment by the House of Representatives, produced the most lively sensation of satisfaction in that body and among the spectators. Senator Henry Wilson, one of the most earnest and able men of the country in labors for this consummation, has put on record a vivid picture of the scene. “ Notice had been previously given," he says, "by Mr. Ashley, that the vote would be taken on that day. The nation, realizing the transcendant magnitude of the issue, awaited the result with the most profound anxiety. The galleries, and the avenues leading to them, were early thronged by a dense mass intensely anxious to witness the scene. Senators, Cabinet officers, Judges of the Supreme Court, and even strangers, crowding on to the floor of the House, watched its proceedings with absorbing interest. During the roll-call, the vote of Speaker Colfax, and the votes of Mr. English, Mr. Ganson and Mr. Baldwin, which assured success, were warmly applauded by the Republican side. And when the Speaker declared that the constitutional majority of two-thirds having voted in the affirmative, the Joint Resolu

burn; Rhode Island-Dixon, Jenckes; Connecticut-Brandegee, Deming, English, Hubbard; Vermont-Bas. ter, Morrill, Woodbridge; New York-A, W. Clark, Freeman Clark, Davis, Frank, Ganson, Griswold, Herrick, Hotchkiss, Hulburd, Kellogg, Littlejohn, Marvin, Miller, Morris, Nelson, Odell, Pomeroy, Radford, Steele, Van Valkenburg; New Jersey -Starr; Pennsylvania-Bailey, Broomall, Coffroth, Hale, Kelly, McAllister, Moorhead, A. Myers, L. Myers, O'Neill, Scofield, Stevens, Thayer, Tracy, Williams; Delaware-Smithers; Maryland-Cresswell, Davis, Thomas, Webster; West Virginia-Blair, Brown, Whaley; Kentucky-Anderson, Kendall, Smith, Yeaman; Ohio-Ashley, Eckley, Garfield, Hutchins, Schenck, Spaulding; Indianu-Colfax, Derwent, Julian, Orth; Mlinois-Arnold, Farnsworih, Ingersoll, Norton, E. B. Washburne ; Missouri, Blow, Boyd, King, Knox, Loan, McClurg, Rollins; Michigan-Baldwin, Beaman, Driggs, Kellogg, Longyear, Upson; Ionca-Allison, Grinnell, Hubbard, Kasson, Price, Wilson; Wisconsin-Cobb, McIndoe, Sloan, Wheeler; Min. nesota-Donnelly, Windom; Kansas-Wilder; Oregon-McBride; Nevada-Worthington; CaliforniaCole, Higby, Shannon.-119.

Fifteen of the above were Democrats. The Nays were all Democrats, as follows: Maine-Sweat; Veu York-Brooks, Chanler. Kalbfleisch, Keirnan, Pruyn, Townsend, Ward, Winfield, B. Wood, F. Wood; New Jersey-Perry, Steele; Pennsylvania-Ancona, Dawson, Denison, Johnson, Miller, Randall, Styles, Strause; Maryland-Harris; Kentucky-Clay, Grider, Harding, Malloy, Wadsworth; Ohio--Bliss, Cox, Finck, Johnson, Long, Morris, Noble, O'Neill, Pendleton, C. A. White, J. W. White; Indiana-Cravens, Edgerton, Harrington, Holman, Law; Illinois-_J. C. Allen, W. T. Allen; Edw. Harris; Wisconsin-Brown, Eldridge ; Missouri-Hall, Scott.-56. Eight Democrats did not vote, namely, Lazear, Pennsylvania; Marcy, Nero llampshire; McDowell and Voorhees, Indiana; Le Blond and McKinney, Ohio; Middleton and Rogers, New Jersey.

1 The following is a copy of the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution :

" SECTION 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. ** SECTION 2. Congress she have power to

force th rticle by appropriate legislation."




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tion was passed, the announcement was received by the House, and the spectators on the floor, with a wild outburst of enthusiastic applause. The Republican members instantly sprang to their feet, and applauded with cheers and clapping of hands. The spectators in the crowded galleries waved their hats, and made the chamber ring with enthusiastic plaudits. Hundreds of ladies, gracing the galleries with their presence, rose in their seats; and, by waving their handkerchiefs, and participating in the general demonstrations of enthusiasm, added to the intense excitement and interest of a scene that will long be remembered by those who were fortunate enough to witness it. For several minutes, the friends of this crowning act of Emancipation gave themselves up to congratulations, and demonstrations of public joy.”

When the excitement had subsided, Mr. Ingersoll, of Illinois, arose and said: "In honor of this immortal and sublime event, I move that the House adjourn." It was carried by a vote of one hundred and twenty-one nst twenty-four. The Amendment was subsequently submitted to the action of

the several State Legislatures; and on the 18th of December fol

lowing," the Secretary of State officially announced its ratification by the requisite three-fourths of the Legislatures of the States. It then became a part of the Constitution, and the supreme law of the land. Thenceforth, slavery was made impossible within the borders of the Republic.

We have just observed that the Rebellion was yet defiant at the close of 1864. Such was the attitude of the Conspirators who originated and con

trolled it. In his annual “Message” to the“ Congress” at Richmond, Davis took a general survey of the situation, and treated

the matter with his usual foolish bravado. He spoke of the fall of Atlanta, but said the result would have been the same had Richmond fallen. “The Confederacy,” he said, “would have remained as erect and defiant as ever." “The purpose of the Government,” he said, “and the valor of the troops would have remained unchanged. The baffled foe would in vain have scanned the reports of your proceedings, at some new legislative seat, for any indication that progress had been made in his gigantic task of conquering a free people.” Then he tried to assure the “Congress" with the old story, which nobody believed, that the Government would soon be exhausted of men and money. “Not the fall of Richmond,” he said, “nor Wilmington, nor Charleston, nor Savannah, nor Mobile, nor all combined, can save the enemy from the constant and exhaustive drain of blood and treasure which must continue until he shall discover that no peace is attainable unless based on the recognition of our indefeasible rights.”

In the same message Davis made an appalling exhibit of the desperate condition of the Confederate finances—a public debt of nearly $1,200,000,000, without a real basis of credit, and a paper currency depreciated several hundred per cent.

He also showed the hollowness of his boastings of the inherent strength of the Confederacy by fairly admitting the fact, by implication, that the capacity of the white population to furnish men for the army was exhausted, and that the slaves must be looked to for strength in the future. It had been proposed to arm them; but this was considered dangerous, for

Nov. 7,


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1 History of the Anti-Slavery Measures of the Thirty-Seventh and Thirty-Eighth United States Com gressex, 1861-1965; by Henry Wilson, page 393.



they would be more likely to fight the Confederates than the Nationals. Davis was averse to a general arming of the negroes, but recommended the employment of forty thousand of them as pioneer and engineer laborers in the army, and not as soldiers, excepting in the last extremity. “But,” he

* said, "should the alternative ever be presented of a subjugation, or of the employment of the slave as a soldier, there seems to be no reason to doubt what should then be our decision.” But they never ventured upon

the arming of the negroes. And it was a significant indication of Davis's consciousness of the weakness of the hold of the Confederates upon them, either legally as slaves, or morally as men, that he suggested the propriety of holding out to the negro, as an inducement for him to give faithful service, even as a laborer in the army, a promise of his emancipation at the end of the war.' It was tried in Richmond, and failed, for the negroes would not trust the Confederates.

Davis's proposition disturbed the slave-holders, and made all but Unionists uneasy, for it indicated an opinion on the part of the “Government” that the cause was reduced to the alternative of liberating the slaves, and relying upon them to secure the independence of the Confederacy, or of absolute subjugation. The people had also observed, for some time, with gloomy forebodings, the usurpation of power on the part of Davis, and a tendency to the absolutism which precedes positive despotism. At about the time we are considering, that feeling was intensified by a decision of George Davis, the Confederate "Attorney-General," in a certain case, that the “Cabinet Ministers

that all laws be faithfully executed,” even should they be clearly and expressly unconstitutional. This decision struck down the Constitution, the supposed bulwark of the liberties of the people. There was wide-spread discontent; and when the news came that Mr. Lincoln was re-elected by an unprecedented majority, they lost hope and yearned for peace, rather than for an independence that proved to be less desirable than that which they had enjoyed under the Government they had rebelled against. But Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee would not permit it, and the desolating war went on.


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1 " This," says a Rebel War Clerk's Diary (ii. 326), “is supposed to be an idea of Mr. Benjamin, for foreign effect." It is added, " the press is mostly opposed to the President's project of employing 40,000 slaves in the army, under promise of emancipation."

2 See A Rebel War Clerk's Diary, ii. 322. “It makes the President absolute," wrote the Diarist. “I fear this Government, in future times, will be denounced as a cabal of bandits and outlaws, making and executing the most despotic decrees. This decision will look bad in history, and will do no good at present." At page 334, the Diarist says: “Both Houses of Congress sit most of the time in secret session, no doubt concocting strong measures under the influence of the existing crisis. Good news, only, can throw open the doors, and restore the hilarity of the members. When not in session, they usually denounce the President; in session, they are wholly subservient to him."

The Diarist further recorded, as follows, under date of January 7, 1865:-"How insignificant a legislative body becomes when it is not independent. The Confederate States Congress will not live in history, for it never really existed at all, but has always been merely a body of subservient men, registering the decrees of the Executive. Even Mr. Miles, of South Carolina, before introducing a bill, sends it to this department for approval or rejection."— Volume II., page 379.

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