Page images
PDF
EPUB

Doo, 151.

gentlemen of the convention, no better idea of INAUGURAL OF GOVERNOR GAMBLE, est of the State, than I do now, if you could

devotion to what I believe to be the interDELIVERED AT JEFFERSON CITY, MO., AUG. 1.

only understand the reluctance with which I

accept the election with which you were Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Conven- pleased to honor me. But yet, gentlemen, tion :- I feel greatly oppressed by the circum- with all that has been said of the good result to stances under which I now stand before you. be accoinplished by me, it is utterly impossible After a life spent in labor, I had hoped that I that any one man can pacify the troubled would be permitted to pass its evening in retire- waters of the State; that any one man can still ment. I have never coveted public office, the commotion now running throughout our never desired public station. I have been con- borders. No man can do it. You, as you go tent to discharge my duties as a private citizen, forth to mingle with your fellow-citizens and I hoped such would be my lot during the throughout the land, look back upon this elecremainder of my life. Circumstances seemed tion as an experiment that is about to be tried to make it a duty for me, when the convention to endeavor to pacify this community, and rewas first elected, to agree to serve as one of its store peace and harmony to the State. It is an members, because the condition of the State experiment by those whose interests are with and country at large seemed to demand that your interes and who are bound to do all in every citizen of the State should throw aside their power to effect this pacification of the his own preferences, choice, and even his own State. scheme of life, if necessary, in order to serve It inay be we have not adopted the best plan the country. In accordance with what I re- or the best mode of securing the object which garded as an obligation every citizen owes to we desire ; but we have done what seemed to the community of which he is a member, I al- us in our naturest judgment best calculated to lowed myself to be chosen as a member of this accomplish it. And now, gentlemen, when you body. I came here and endeavored, as far as go forth to mingle with your fellow-citizens, it I could, to serve the best interests of the State, must depend upon you what shall be the result and you now have chosen to put upon ine a still of this experiment. If you desire the peace of more onerous and still more distasteful duty-a the State-if you earnestly desire it—then give duty from which I shrink. Nothing but the this experiment a fair trial; give it a full opmanner in which it has been pressed upon me portunity of developing all its powers of restorever would have induced me to yield my per- ing peace. I ask you— I have a right to ask of sonal objections to it. The members of this every member of this convention-that he and body, in the present distracted state of the I should so act together as will redound to country, have come to me since it was clearly the common good of our State. I feel that I manifest that the office of Provisional Governor have a right to ask, when you have by your would be made, and have urged that I should voice placed me in such a position, that you allow myself to fill that position. Nor was it shall unite with me your efforts and voice, inthe action of any political party-inen of all stead of endeavoring to prevent the result we parties have united in it. Those who have be- all desire. Unite all your efforts so that the longed to the parties that have all departed in good which is desired may be accomplished; the midst of the present difficulties and trials and with the blessing of that Providence which of the country have united in making this ap- rules over all affairs, public and private, we may plication to me. They have represented that accomplish the end for which we have labored, my long residence in the State and the familiar and which shall cause all the inhabitants of the acquaintance of the people with me would in- State to rejoice. sure a higher degree of confidence, and better Gentlemen of the convention, what is it that secure the interests, the peace, and order in we are now threatened with?' We apprehend the community than would be consequent on that we may soon be in that condition of anthe selection of any other person. I resisted. archy, in which a man when he goes to bed God knows there is nothing now that I would with his family at night does not know whether not give within the limits of any thing reason he shall ever rise again, or whether his house able, in order to escape being appointed. But shall remain intact until morning. This is the when it was said to me by those repesenting kind of danger, not merely a war between difthe people of the State that I could contribute, ferent divisions of the State, but a war between by assuming this public trnst, to secure the neighbors, so that when a man meets those peace of Missouri, in which I have lived for with whom he has associated from childhood, he more than forty years, that I night secure the begins to feel that they are his enemies. We peace of those who are the children of fathers must avoid that. It is terrible. The scenes of with whom I was intimate, I thought it my the French revolution may be enacted in every duty to serve.

quarter of our State, if we do not succeed in It is, therefore, an entire yielding up; it is the avoiding that kind of war. We can do it if we yielding of all my own schemes, of all my own are in earnest, and endeavor with all our power. individual wishes and purposes, when I under- So far as I am concerned, I assure you that it take to assume this office. I could give you, I shall be the very highest object--the sole aim of every official act of mine-to make sure that tions to the Constitution and laws of their the people of the State of Missouri can worship country, and I am free to say that I know of no their God together, each feeling that the man reason why they should not so act. Whatever who sits in the same pew with him, because might be said by citizens of other States, cerhe differs with him on political questions, is not tainly Missourians have no right to complain his enemy-that they may attend the same com- of the general course of the Government of the munion and go to the same heaven. I wish United States. I believe it to be a fact that for every citizen of the State of Missouri that, there is no law of a general character upon when he meets his fellow-man, confidence in your statutes that has been enacted since Mishim may be restored, and confidence in the souri came into the Union, but had received the whole society restored, and that there shall be votes and support of the Representatives of the conversations upon other subjects than those people of this state. Whatever we have asked of blood and slaughter; that there shall be from the Government of the United States has something better than this endeavor to encour- been given to us most cheerfully. We asked a age hostility between persons who entertain liberal land policy, and we got it; we asked different political opinions, and something more grants for our railroads, and we got them; we and better tban a desire to produce injury to asked for a fugitive slave law, and it was given those who may differ from them.

to us; we asked that our peculiar views in Gentlemen, if you will unite with me, and reference to the finances of the country should carry home this purpose to carry it out faith-be regarded, and even that was granted. In fully, much can be accomplished, much good short, I feel, I may safely say, that if the people can be dong; and I am persuaded that each one of this State had had the whole control of the of you will feel that it is his duty, his individ- Federal Government, if there had been but one ual duty-for in this case it is the duty of every State in the Union, the very policy which has American citizen to do all he can for the wol- been adopted by the General Government fare of the State. I have made no elaborate would have been adopted as best calculated to preparations for an address to you on this occa- advance the interests of the State. sion, but I have come now to express to you It is true, gentlemen, that, owing to divi. my earnest desire that we shall be found co- sions among us, private and sometimes public operating for the same common good in which rights have been violated; but I believe I caneach one of us is equally interested ; that, al- not be mistaken as to the real cause of the though differing as to modes and schemes, we troubles which are now upon us. I believe shall be found united in the great work of paci- there is no need, and there never has been any fication.

need, of a civil war in this State. I believe we Mr. Hall, the Lieut.-Governor, ou taking the should have had none, if the views of this conofficial oath, remarked as follows:

vention, as expressed in March last, had been Gentlemen of the Convention, I appreciate carried out; and I believe if we will return to highly the honor conferred upon me, by my these views, civil war will cease within our election to the office of Lieutenant-Governor borders. It shall

, therefore, gentlemen, be my of the State. When I reflect upon the embar- duty, my pride, as well as my pleasure, to do rassments and difficulties which surround that all that I can for both the success and provapo ition, I cannot but regret that your choice lence of those views in this state, whilo i havo has not fallen upon another individual. I con- the honor to hold the position which you have cur with the gentleman who has been elected conferred upon me. Notwithstanding the deGovernor, and who has just addressed you, in nunciations we sometimes hear against the deprecating the state of things which now exist Government of the United States and the asin the State of Missouri. We are in the midst saults made upon it, I am free to admit that, of a civil war, and I can only say that I will when I reflect upon the history of this State, unite my energies with him to do all that we when I remember its humble origin, when I can to mitigate its horrors and shorten its du- look upon the proud and exalted position that ration.

it occupied but a few months ago, my affections Gentlemen, it is scarcely necessary for me do cluster around the Government of my counto say that my opinion as to the causes of onr try. As a Missourian, I desire no change in the domestic difficulties has been sufficiently exem-political relations that exist between this State plified by my acts and words since I have been and the Government of the United States, and à member of this body. It can scarcely be least of all do I desire such a change as will necessary for me to say that, in my opinion, throw her into the arms of those who have our difficulties have been produced almost sole- proved unfaithful to the high trust imposed ly, if not entirely, by an effort upon the part of upon them by a generous and a confiding certain of onr officers and citizens to dissolve people. Mr. President, I am ready to take the our connection with the Federal Government. oath. I believe, gentlemen, that to Missouri union is Mr. Oliver, Secretary of State elect, followed peace, and disunion is war. I believe that to- in a few remarks of similar import as those of day Missouri conld be as peaceful as Illinois, if Messrs. Gamble and Hall. her citizens would have recognized their obliga

Doo. 152.

clares that this conflict must be carried on DEBATE IN THE U. S. SENATE

under the rules of war, and admits that some

things must be done contrary to the ConstituON THE BILL FOR THE SUPPRESSION OF INSUB- tion. I desire that the country should know RECTION, AUGUST 1, 1861.

the fact that constitutional limitations are no

longer to be regarded, and let the people once The bill to suppress insurrection and sedition get the idea that this is a war, not under the being taken up:

principles of the Constitution, but a conflict in Mr. Cowan (of Pa.) moved that it be post- which two great people are against each other, poned till December.

for whom the Constitution is not, but for whom Mr. Bayard (Del.) thought that was the best the laws of war are, and I venture to say that disposition that could be made of the bill. He the brave words we hear now about subjugathought it unconstitutional.

tion and conquest, treason and traitors, will be Mr. Harris (N. Y.) also spoke in favor of its glibly altered the next time the Representapostponement, and thought it very important. tives of States meet under the dome of the The bill was too important to be matured this Capitol. Then if the Constitution is really to session in the temper of the Senate and the be put aside, and the laws of war are to gortemperature of the place. He was inclined to ern, why not act upon it practically. I do not think that necessities of a case give a military hold that the clause of the Constitution which commander all the power needed.

authorizes Congress to declare war applies to Mr. Breckinridge (Ky.) said he should vote any internal difficulties ; nor do I believe that for its postponement. He was glad to see the the Constitution of the United States ever conSenate at last pause before one bill. He templated the preservation of the Union by wished it were published in every newspaper one-half of the States warring on the other in the country. He thought it would meet half. It provides for putting down insurrecwith universal condemnation. He thought this tion, but it does not provide for the raising of would abolish all State Government and destroy armies by one-half of two political communities the last vestige of political and personal liberty of this Confederacy for the purpose of subju

Mr. Trumbull, of Illinois, contended that gating the other half. If this is a case of war, some bill of the kind was necessary from the why not treat it like war? Practically it is exigencies of the times. The Constitution is in treated so. The prisoners are not hung as danger, and we have voted men and money to rebels. It is a war, and, in my opinion, not carry on the war to save the Constitution, and only an unhappy war, but an unconstitutional how can we justify ourselves without maturing war. Why, then, does the Administration rea bill so much needed ? Give the bill the go- fuse to send or receive a flag of truce, and all by, and let the Constitution be violated every those acts which might at least ameliorate the day because we would not pass it, but leave the unhappy condition in which we are placed ? military to do as they please without restriction. So much, then, we know. We know that ad

Mr. Breckinridge (Ky.) said the drama was mitted violations of the Constitution have been beginning to open, and the Senators who are made, and are justified, and are, by legislation, urging on the war are quarrelling among them- proposed still further to confer the authority to selves. The Senate had already passed a Gen- do acts not authorized or warranted by the eral Confiscation bill, and also a General Eman- Constitution. We have it openly avowed that cipation bill. The Police Commissioners of the Constitution, which is a bond at least beBaltimore were arrested without any law, and tween those states that adhere to it, is no carried off to an unknown place, and the Presi- longer to be regarded as that bond of Union. dent refused to tell the House what they were It is not enough to tell me that it has been arrested for and what had been done with violated by seceded States. It has not been them. Yet they call this liberty and law! violated by those States that have not seceded,

Gentlemen mistake when they talk about and if the Constitution is thus to be put aside, the Union. The Union is only a means of pre- these States may pause to inquire what is to serving the principles of political liberty. The become of their liberties. Mr. President, we great principles of liberty existed long before are on the wrong track, and we have been from the Union was formed. They may survive it. the beginning, and the people are beginning to Let gentlemen take care that they do not sever see it. We have been hurling hundreds to all that remains of the Federal Government. death. The blood of Americans has been shed These eternal principles of liberty, which lived by their own hands, and for what? They have long before the Union, will live forever some shown their prowess and bravery alike, and for where. They must be respected. They can- / what? It has been to carry out principles that not with impunity be overthrown, and if you three-fourths of them abhor. For the princiforce the people to the issue between any form ples contained in this bill, and contivually of government and these priceless principles of avowed on the floor of this Senate, are not liberty, that form of government will go down. shared, I will venture to say, by three-fonrths The people will tear it asunder as the irrepres- of your army. I said, sir, we have been on the sible forces of nature rend asunder all that op- wrong track. Nothing but utter ruin to the poses them. The Senator from Verinont de- | North, to the South, to the East, and to the

West will follow the prosecution of this contest. I would propose, with my habitual respect for You may look forward to innumerable armies him, (for nobody is more courteous and more and countless treasure to be spent for the pur- gentlemanly,) to ask him if he will be kind pose of carrying on this contest, but it will end enough to tell me what single particular proviin leaving us just where we are now ; for, if sion there is in this bill which is in violation of the forces of the Union are successful, what on the Constitution of the United States, which I earth will be done with thein after they are have sworn to support—one distinct, single conquered? Are not gentlemen perfectly satis- proposition in the bill. fied that they have mistaken a people for a fac- Mr. Breckinridge-I will state, in general tion? Have they not become satisfied that it terms, that every one of them is, in my opinis necessary to subjugate, conquer, even to ex. ion, flagrantly so, unless it may be the last. terminate a people? Don't you know it? I will send the Senator the bill

, and he may Don't everybody know it? Does not the world comment on the sections. know it? Let us pause, then, and let the Mr. Baker-Pick out that one which is in Congress of the United States respond to the your judgment most clearly so. uprising feeling all over this land in favor of Mr. Breckinridge-They are all, in my opinpeace. War is separation, in the language of ion, so equally atrocions that I dislike to disan eminent Senator, now no more. It is dis- criminate. I will send the Senator the bill, union,-eternal, final disunion. We have sep- and I tell him that every section except the aration now, and it is only much worse by war, last, in my opinion, violates the Constitution of and the utter extinction of all those sentiments the United States; and of that last section I which might lead to reunion. But let the war express no opinion. go on, and soon in addition to the moans of the Mr. Baker-I had hoped that that respectful widows and orphans all over this land, you will suggestion to the Senator would enable him to hear the cry of distress from those who want point out to me one, in his judgment, most for food, and the comforts of life. The people clearly so, for they are not all alike--they are will be unable to pay the grinding taxes which not equally atrocious. a fanatical spirit will attempt to impose upon Mr. Breckinridge-Very nearly. There are them. Let the war go on, and the Pacific ten of them. The Senator can select which he slope, now doubtless devoted to the Union, pleases. when they find the burden of separate condi- Mr. Baker-Let me try then, if I must gentions, then they will separate. Let it go on, eralize as the Senator does, to see if I can get until they see the beautiful pictures of the Con- the scope and meaning of this bill. It is a bill federacy beaten out of all shape and coneliness providing that the President of the United by the war, and they will turn aside in disgust. States may declare, by proclamation, in a cerFight for twelve months, and this feeling will tain given state of fact, certain territory within develop itself. Fight for twelve months more, the United States to be in a condition of insurrecand you will have three Confederacies instead tion and war; which proclamation shall be exof two. Fight for twelve months more, and we tensively published within the district to which will have four. But I will not enlarge upon this. it relates. That is the first proposition. I ask I am quite aware that what I say will be re- him if that is unconstitutional ? That is a plain ceived with sneers of disgust by gentlemen from question. Is it unconstitutional to give power the North-west and the East, but the future to the President to declare a portion of the terwill determine who is right and who is wrong. ritory of the United States in a state of insurWe are making a record here. I am met by the rection or rebellion ? He will not dare to say sneers of nearly all those who surround me. I it is. state my opinions with no approving voices, and Mr. Breckinridge-Mr. President, the Senasurrounded by scowls; but the time will come tor from Oregon is a very adroit debater, and when history will put her private seal upon he discovers, of course, the great advantage he these proceedings, and I am perfectly willing would have if I were to allow him, occupying to abide ber final judgment.

the floor, to ask me a series of questions, and Mr. Baker—Mr. President, it has not been then have his own criticisms made on them. my fartune to participate in at any length, in- When he has closed his speech, if I deem it deed, not to hear .ery much of the discussion necessary, I may make some reply. At preswhich has been going on-more I think in the ent, however, I will answer that question. The hands of the Senator from Kentucky than any. State of Illinois, I believe, is a military district; body else-upon all the propositions connected the State of Kentucky is a military district. In with this war; and, as I really feel as sincerely my judgment, the President has no authority, as he can an earnest desire to preserve the Con- and, in my judgment, Congress has no right to stitution of the United States for everybody, confer upon the President authority, to declare South as well as North, I have listened for a State in a condition of insurrection or resome little time past to what he has said, with bellion. an earnest desire to apprehend the point of his Mr. Baker- In the first place, the bill does objection to this particular bill. And now, not say a word about States. That is the first waiving what I think is the elegant but loose answer. declamation in which he chooses to indulge-1 Mr. Breckinridge-Does not the Senator know, in fact, that those States con pose mili- , It is our duty to advance, if we can; to suptary districts? It might as well have said press insurrection; to put down rebellion; to dis“States” as to describe what is a State. sipate the rising; to scatter the enemy; and when

Mr. Baker-I do; and that is the reason we have done so, to preserve in the terms of the why I suggest to the honorable Senator that bill

, the liberty, lives

, and property of the peothis criticism about States does not mean any ple of the country, by just and fair police reguthing at all. That is the very point. The ob- lations. I ask the Senator from Indiana, (Mr. jection certainly ought not to be that he can Lane,) when we took Monterey, did we not do declare a part of a State in insurrection and it there? When we took Mexico, did we not not the whole of it. In point of fact the Con- do it there? Is it not a part, a necessary and stitution of the United States, and the Congress indispensable part, of war itself, that there shall of the United States acting upon it, are not be military regulations over the country contreating of States, but of the territory com- quered and held ? Is that unconstitutional ? prising the United States; and I submit once I think it was a mere play of words that the more to his better judgment that it cannot be Senator indulged in when he attempted to anunconstitutional to allow the President to de- swer the Senator from New York. I did not clare a county, or a part of a county, or a understand the Senator from New York to town, or a part of a town, or a part of a State, mean any thing else substantially but this, that or the whole of a State, or two States, or five the Constitution deals generally with a state of States, in a condition of insurrection, if, in his peace, and that when war is declared, it leaves judgment, that be the fact. That is not wrong. the condition of public affairs to be determined In the next place, it provides that that being by the law of war, in the country where the so, the military commander in that district war exists. It is true that the Constitution of may make and publish such police rules and the United States does adopt the law of war as regulations: as he may deem necessary to sup- a part of the instrument itself, during the conpress the rebellion and restore order and pre- tinuance of war. The Constitution does not proserve the lives and property of citizens. I sub- vide that spies shall be hung. Is it unconstitumit to him, if the President of the United tional to hang a spy? There is no provision States has power, or ought to bave power, to for it in terms in the Constitution; but nobody suppress insurrection and rebellion, is there denies the right, the power, the justice. Why? any better way to do it, or is there any other? Because it is part of the law of war. The ConThe gentleman says, do it by the civil power. stitution does not provide for the exchange of Look at the fact. The civil power is utterly prisoners; yet it may be done under the law overwhelmed; the courts are closed; the judges of war. Indeed the Constitution does not probanished. Is the President not to execute the vide that a prisoner may be taken at all; ret law? Is he to do it in person or by his mili- his captivity is perfectly just and constitutional. tary commanders? Are they to do it with It seems to me that the Senator does not, will regulation or without it? That is the only not, take that view of the subject. Again, sir, question. Mr. President, the honorable Sena- when a military commander advances, as I tor says there is a state of war. The Senator trust, if there are no more unexpected great from Vermont agrees with him; or rather, he reverses, he will advance, through Virginia agrees with the Senator from Vermont in that. and occupies the country, there, perhaps as What then? There is a state of public war; here, the civil law may be silent; there pernone the less war because it is urged from the haps the civil officers may flee as ours have other side; not the less war because it is un- been compelled to flee. What then? If the just; not the less war because it is a war of civil law is silent, who shall control and reguinsurrection and rebellion. It is still war; and late the conquered district, who but the miliI am willing to say it is public war-public, as tary commander? As the Senator from Illinois contra-distinguished from private war. What has well said, shall it be done by regulation or then? Shall we carry that war on? Is it his without regulation? Shall the general, or the duty as a Senator to carry it on? If so, how? colonel, or the captain, be supreme, or shall he By armies under command; by military or- be regulated and ordered by the President of ganization and authority, advancing to suppress the United States ? That is the sole question, insurrection and rebellion. Is that wrong? Is The Senator has put it well. I agree that we that unconstitutional ? Are we not bound to ought to do all we can to limit, to restrain, to do with whoever levies war against us as we fetter the abuse of military power. Bayonets would do if he was a foreigner? There is no are at best illogical arguments. I am not willdistinction as to the mode of carrying on war; ing, except as a case of sheerest necessity, ever we carry on war against an advancing army to permit a military commander to exercise just the same, whether it be from Russia or authority over life, liberty, and property. But, from South Carolina. Will the honorable Sen- sir, it is part of the law of war; you cannot ator tell me it is our duty to stay here, within carry in the rear of your army your courts; fifteen miles of the enemy, seeking to advance you cannot organize juries; you cannot hare upon us every hour, and talk about nice ques- trials accorded to the forms and ceremonial of tions of constitutional construction as to wheth the common law amid the clangor of arms, and er it is war or merely insurrection ? No, sir. I somebody must enforce police regulations in a

« PreviousContinue »