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had commenced passing laws and inserting into their respective State constitutions such amendments as these:
ART. XIII.-SEC. 1. No negro or mulatto shall come into or settle in this State after the adoption of this Constitution.
SEC. 2. All contracts made with any negro or mulatto coming into the State contrary to the provision of the foregoing section shall be void; and any person who shall employ such negro or mulatto, or otherwise encourage him to remain in the State, shall be fined in any sum not less than ten dollars nor more than $500.-Constitution of Indiana.
In the Constitution adopted by the convention lately held in Illinois we find the following provision:
ART. XVIII.-SEC. 1. No negro or mulatto shall migrate to or settle in this State after the adoption of this Constitution.
SEC. 2. No negro or mulatto shall have the right of suffrage or hold any office in this State.
SEC. 3. The General Assembly shall pass all laws necessary to carry into effect the provision of this article.
Is this your plan of reconstruction? Is this the way you expect to save the Constitution and the Union? Is this the way you expect to win, and, in the language of my good friend, Mr. Crittenden, "woo back" the people of the Southern States? What! break up their State organizations, destroy forever their domestic tranquillity, beggar them and their children, and yet expect them to return to their allegiance and become again peaceful and patriotic citizens? Sir, I ask, is not this the ne plus ultra of human folly? I beseech you to abandon these unwise and impracticable measures. You have made by law the capital of the nation free. Be content. Let there be no further Congressional agitation of the question of slavery. Leave this question for all future time to the people of the States where it exists, and to be disposed of by them as they may deem best for the welfare of all concerned. Sir, I listened with infinite satisfaction to the able argument of the learned gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Thomas] a few days since against these extreme measures. I cordially indorse almost his entire speech. With such Republicans as himself, and with my friends from Indiana [Mr. Dunn] and from New York [Mr. Diven], and many others that I could name, my constituents could live, aye, and all the reasonable people of the South could live, upon terms of the most enduring friendship. Let the wisdom of such men guide and control the action of the dominant party here and all will yet be well.
Mr. Chairman, we were treated a short time ago by the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Davis], to a disquisition upon the dignity of labor. Sir, this is a noble theme, and if he had confined himself to the subject without going out of his way to make an onslaught upon the loyal people of the
Southern States, there was much that he said to meet my hearty indorsement. Sir, I honor and respect the laboring man; to him is our country in a large degree indebted for its rapid advancement in physical, moral, and mental improvement; and there is no better specimen of manhood to be found, and no higher and more admirable illustration of the beneficent influence of our free institutions, than the man who by his own labor rises from the humbler to the higher walks of life; and I care not in what department or in what direction these beneficial results of labor may be directed. And allow me to say, sir, that these liberal sentiments are largely entertained by the people in that section of the country where I live. The gentleman from Pennsylvania, while leveling his malice at the border slave States, seemed to think that the only motive which prompted them to adhere to the Union was in order that their institution of slavery might be made more secure!
Sir, I am ready to confess that I believe slavery to be more secure in the Union than it would be out of it, and especially so if we are to have such men as the gentleman from Pennsylvania for our neighbors. But how unkind, oh! how uncharitable, to attribute a motive like this to the brave and loyal men who have risked their all in endeavoring to put down this rebellion. Is not their love of country as sincere, their motives of action as pure and honorable, as those that guide and control the citizens of other States? Such attacks at this time are out of place here. They reach back to the foundation of the Government. They are aimed equally at the memories of many of those who aided in its establishment; Washington and Jefferson, Madison, Clay, and Jackson were not only Southern men, but they were all slave-owners; while if you will trace the history of slavery on this continent you will find that the people of the Northern States were as largely instrumental, and profited as much, in the establishment of African slavery here as did the Southern people. Whatever guilt attaches to it in a moral or political point of view must be forever shared equally by the North and the South. Sir, the great men of the South need no defense at my hands. There is not a page in your country's history that is not illuminated and adorned by their wisdom, their patriotism, and their valor. From the time that the first blow was struck in the cause of American independence until the breaking out of this "accursed rebellion," there is scarcely a battlefield whose sands were not moistened by the blood of patriotic Southern men. To them the world is largely indebted for the establishment of free government on this continent. And the cause of humanity and liberty in the distant regions of the earth has had no truer and warmer advocates in this Capitol than Southern men, whose eloquent words came
So softly that, like flakes of feathered snow,
No, sir, the Union men of the border slave States, estimating at their true value all the blessings conferred upon them by the Union, regarding the Federal Constitution and the Government established under it as the best ever instituted among men, following the teachings of the Father of his Country, and desiring to hand down to their children these priceless gifts, have risked and are now risking all that is dear to them for its preservation, and but for their action this day the Government would inevitably have been destroyed. And these croakings come with bad grace, especially from those whose action has contributed so much to the present unfortunate state of things, and who, setting aside the Constitution as their guide and rule of action, are pressing upon us daily the most absurd propositions, the success of which must at once destroy the last vestige of hope for the reconstruction and salvation of the Government.
(Here the hammer of the Chairman fell, the hour having expired.)
Mr. DUNN of Indiana: Mr. Chairman, I move that the gentleman from Missouri be allowed to proceed with his remarks, and that his time be extended.
The CHAIRMAN: If there be no objection, the gentleman from Missouri will continue his remarks.
There being no objection, Mr. Rollins said:
I will detain the committee but a short time longer. Mr. Chairman, it has been charged here that Kentucky desires to dictate the policy of the nation. Sir, I love and honor the people of that noble and proud old commonwealth. It is the land of my birth. Beneath her sacred soil rest the ashes of the immortal Clay. It is the home of Crittenden, and I trust I shall ever be as sensitive in regard to her reputation as are the brave and true men around me, who so faithfully represent her interests here. Where are the evidences of the truth of this charge? Sir, they do not exist. Kentucky does not wish to dictate the policy of the nation further than to keep the nation right. At the commencement of this rebellion Kentucky did all in her power to preserve the peace and prevent this fratricidal war. In the councils of the nation and before the assemblies of the people she pleaded with all the earnest enthusiasm of a warm-hearted patriotism; she offered to the nation, through her illustrious son, terms of conciliation and compromise which ought to have been accepted. But her voice was unheeded. Neither section would listen to her timely and generous appeals. Strife and bitterness seemed to have filled the hearts of men on every side.
Yet Kentucky did not falter; seeing the danger of their own position, and knowing that their fair fields would be the inevitable theatre upon which the heavy clash of arms would first be felt, and realizing the natural sympathies of their own people with the Southern States, and the misrepresentations by which bold leaders and crafty traitors expected to mislead the
honest masses, the loyal men of Kentucky had a most difficult and critical duty to discharge. With what fidelity and good judgment she met the crisis let the history of passing events tell. No crimes or blunders were committed by her true sons. Rejecting all false theories springing out of the secession movement, forgetting the sympathies which were appealed to in order to enlist her in the Southern cause, rising to a true national position and planting herself upon the bulwarks of the Federal Constitution, she threw off her neutrality, unsheathed her sword, and by the side of the gallant men who flocked to her rescue from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and other loyal States she bade defiance to traitors and proclaimed, in the language of the immortal Jackson, "The Federal Union, it must be preserved." Upon the crimson fields of Wildcat, of Somerset, of Fort Henry, of Fort Donelson, and Pittsburg Landing she illustrated anew her deep devotion to the cause of constitutional liberty.
No, sir, Kentucky has not attempted nor desired to dictate the policy of the nation in this terrible crisis. She has done her whole duty under the most trying and difficult circumstances that ever surrounded a brave and chivalrous people; with true and filial devotion she has bared her bosom and received the blow which was intended for the heart of the nation; poised upon her own great centers of truth and loyalty she has resisted every appeal made to her by recreant sons, and stood as a wall of fire to check the encroachments of those whose purpose was to destroy the nation. What I have said of Kentucky is equally true of the other border slave States Maryland, Western Virginia, Delaware, and Missouri. They regard American nationality as the precious casket in which is contained the priceless gift of free institutions, and they would regard themselves as alike recreant to their generation, to posterity, and to struggling humanity throughout the world if they failed to do their part towards preserving and transmitting unimpaired to future generations this sacred and invaluable.
Sir, whatever others may have done, or may yet do, to uphold and maintain the Government and the Constitution, the loyal men of the border slave States, as long as time shall last and free institutions be prized among men, will be remembered and honored for their heroic courage and devoted patriotism. Like poor old Lear, they have withstood the "peltings of the pitiless storm" that raged around them; have checked and rolled back the mad waves of passion and prejudice which were sweeping with desolating fury over the land and threatening to engulf all that was most precious on this continent. For the sake of their country and its free institutions they have sacrificed their material interests, broken the tenderest ties of family and of social life, and determined either to perish or to save from dismemberment and ruin the Union and the Constitution, threatened by the fierce assaults of ambitious leaders and their deluded and misguided
followers. And, sir, as long as a love of liberty and of free government shall find a lodgment in the hearts of men, the names of Johnson, of Etheridge, of Prentice, of Guthrie, of Davis, of Gamble, of Bates, of Phelps, and, though last, yet first, of my venerable friend who sits before me [Mr. Crittenden] will be associated with the founders of republican government on this continent.
Mr. Chairman, I fear the end is not yet. My mind alternating betwixt hope and fear, I put my faith upon the patriotism and good sense of the great majority of the American people, and the kindness of that good Providence that has thus far watched over and guided our country through all the dangers which have beset us:
A thousand years scarce serve to form a State,
Can man its shattered splendor renovate,
Recall its virtues back, and vanquish time and fate?
What we most need in the present hour is calm and prudent counsel in our legislative halls. I am sincere in the belief that the Government is in more danger from the indiscreet action of impracticable politicians and misguided theorists than from any failure of our arms. What we want is a great Union Conservative party, made up from all other parties, within whose folds may be gathered the good men of the nation, North and South, planted firmly on the Constitution, and determined to resist and to repel the aggressions of extremists, and by a liberal and beneficent policy win back the wandering children of the republic to their duty and their loyalty.
Sir, if my poor voice could reach our distant brethren in the South, I would ask each and every one of them, What has the South gained by secession ? What has any one individual in the South gained by secession? Has it given, is it likely to give them, a better form of government? Is their property more secure? Has it brought peace and happiness to their firesides, prosperity to their business? Have they profited in any respect by this movement? On the contrary, have not the ambitious leaders who put on foot this rebellion, contrary to the wishes and better judgment of the masses, brought bankruptcy, ruin, and desolation upon the entire South? There never was, so far as I know, a single solitary meeting of the people asking a change of government. The movement did not originate with the people themselves. They are patriotic. It originated with Davis and his And oh !
crew in this Capitol.
Is there not some chosen curse,
Some hidden thunder in the stores of Heaven,
Red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man