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rights within the limits of a State where the people are all opposed to the execution of that law. It is a truism in free governments that laws rest upon public opinion and fall powerless before its determined opposition.
The time has passed, sir, when appeals might profitably be made to sentiment. The time has come when men must, of necessity, reason, assemble facts, and deal with current events. I may be permitted in this to correct an error into which one of my friends fell this morning, when he impressed on us the great value of our Union as measured by amount of time and money and blood which were spent to form this Union. It cost very little time, very little money, and no blood. It was one of the most peaceful transactions that mark the pages of human history.
But our existing Government is not the less sacred to me because it was not sealed with blood. I honor it the more because it was the free-will offering of men who chose to live together. It rooted in fraternity; and fraternity supported its trunk and all its branches. Every bud and leaflet depends entirely on the nurture it receives from fraternity, as the root of the tree. When that is destroyed, the trunk decays and the branches wither and the leaves fall; and the shade it was designed to give has passed away forever. I cling not merely to the name and the form but to the spirit and purpose of the Union which our fathers made. It was for domestic tranquillity; not to organize within one State lawless bands to commit raids upon another. It was to provide for the common defence; not to disband armies and navies lest they should serve the protection of one section of the country better than another. It was to bring the forces of all the States together to achieve a common object, upholding each the other in amity, and united to repel exterior force. Every barrier to the freest intercourse was swept away. Under the Confederation it had been secured as a right to each citizen to have free transit over all the other States; and under the Union it was designed to make this more perfect. Is it enjoyed? Is it not denied? Do we not have mere speculative question of what is property raised in defiance of the clear intent of the Constitution, offending as well against its letter as its whole spirit? This must be reformed, or the Government our fathers instituted is destroyed. I say, then, shall we cling to the mere forms, or idolize the name of Union, when its blessings are lost, after its spirit has fled? Who would keep a flower which had lost its beauty and its fragrance and in their stead had formed a seed-vessel containing the deadliest
poison? Or, to drop the figure, who would consent to remain in alliance with States which used the power thus acquired to invade his tranquillity, to impair his defence, to destroy his peace and security? Any community would be stronger standing in an isolated position, and using its revenues to maintain its own physical force, than if allied with those who would thus war upon its prosperity and domestic peace; and reason, pride, self-interest, and the apprehension of secret, constant danger would impel to separation.
I do not comprehend the policy of a Southern Senator who would seek to change the whole form of our Government and substitute Federal force for State obligations and authority. Do we want a new Government that is to overturn the old? Do we wish to erect a central Colossus, wielding at discretion the military arm and exercising military force over the people and the States? This is not the Union to which we were invited; and, so carefully was this guarded that, when our fathers provided for using force to put down insurrection, they required that the fact of the insurrection should be communicated to the authorities of the State before the President could interpose. When it was proposed to give to Congress power to execute the laws against a delinquent State, it was refused on the ground that that would be making war on the States; and, though I know the good purpose of my honorable friend from Missouri [Senator Green] is only to give protection to constitutional rights, I fear his proposition is to rear a monster which will break the feeble chain provided and destroy rights it was intended to guard. That military government which he is about to institute, by passing into hostile hands, becomes a weapon for his destruction, not for his protection.
This Union is dear to me as a union of fraternal States. It would lose its value if I had to regard it as a union held together by physical force. I would be happy to know that every State now felt that fraternity which made this Union possible; and, if that evidence could go out, if evidence satisfactory to the people of the South could be given that that feeling existed in the hearts of the Northern people, you might burn your statute-books and we would cling to the Union still. But it is because of their conviction that hostility and not fraternity now exists in the hearts of the people, that they are looking to their reserved rights, and to their independent powers for their own protection. If there be any good, then, which we can do it is by sending evidence to them of that which I fear does not exist -the purpose of your constituents to fulfill in the spirit of jus
tice and fraternity all their constitutional obligations. If you can submit to them that evidence, I feel confident that, with the evidence that aggression is henceforth to cease, will terminate all the measures for defence. Upon you of the majority section it depends to restore peace and perpetuate the Union of equal States; upon us of the minority section rests the duty to maintain our equality and community rights; and the means in one case or the other must be such as each can control.
SENATOR FOSTER.—I was singularly unfortunate, Mr. President, in being so misunderstood by the Senator from Mississippi. I surely have made no party appeal, and have made no charge against any party as reasonable at all for the evils now existing in our country. I did, it is true, say that our Federal Government was in the hands of the Democratic party. Is it not true? I did not make the assertion in any offensive sense. I did not couple it with any intimation that that party was at all responsible for the evils under which we are now laboring. Having alluded to that fact, I said that a Senator connected with that party, and representing as gallant and as patriotic a State as belongs to the Confederacy, came forward with a resolution looking toward the restoration of peace and harmony in the country, and that in that state of things, although its phraseology was not entirely acceptable to me, and although it would be made far more acceptable by the amendments proposed to it by the Senator from New York, still, if the amendments proposed proved unacceptable to the Senator from Kentucky, I would vote for his resolution as it was, without amendment, for the reason that, under those circumstances, I considered it my duty to aid in the restoration of peace and harmony to the country.
Sir, if that is a party appeal, or if that is making a party charge, I have misunderstood and now greatly misunderstand the English language in its plainest and most obvious forms and words. My object was to show that I was ready to discard all these considerations, and discard them fully and absolutely, and I am sorry that I was so misunderstood.
SENATOR GREEN.-Mr. President, I am a little surprised, and not only a little but greatly surprised, that the Senator from Mississippi should deem it his duty to make use of language which I think so very unparliamentary in characterizing suggestions thrown out for the purpose of superinducing reflection, as quack nostrums. There are medical quacks: men who expect to accomplish results without means. So in political science there are quacks who, seeing the diseased condition of the pa
tient, will do nothing to relieve him. But he is not a quack who, as an advising physician, does not administer medicine, but, having considered the condition of the patient, suggests a proper subject for consideration. The Senator from Mississippi has a right to condemn my suggestion, to oppose it, to vote against it; but to call it a quack remedy is such an expression as I have seldom heard in this Senate chamber. So, in regard to my friends from California; so in regard to others. We are making suggestions; we are hoping that reflection may set in, and that a proper consideration may devise something-to do what? To build up a central military despotism? No; but to maintain constitutional rights according to the plan of the Constitution as given to us by our fathers. Is there a Senator from any State in this Union who will rise in his place and say he wants more than that? If he does want more, I, for one, do not agree with him.
If my friend will read the fourth section of the fourth article of the Constitution, he will find it says this: It is the duty of the Federal Government to protect the States against invasion without any application upon the part of the Executive, without any application upon the part of the legislature. When domestic violence springs up, and you want to quell that with Federal power, Federal power cannot be exerted until the legislature or Executive demands it. But when invasion is about to occur, the Federal power is adequate to it without any request.
Is that military despotism? If it is, Madison and Washington and Pinckney and Hamilton established that Government. To call any proposition building up a military despotism amounts just to this: we are going out of the Union, right or wrong; and we will misrepresent every proposition made to save the Union.
SENATOR LATHAM.-Mr. President, my friend from Mississippi, in his allusion to me, either misunderstood me or unintentionally did me great injustice. I did not say, because I did not think it—and, if I did say it, I did not intend so to be understood that the State which I had the honor here in part to represent would think it any cause whatever for separation. because of her failure to obtain the great measure to which I alluded. I merely said this: that it would weaken her attachment, but would not certainly destroy her allegiance to the Government at any time or in any sense.
SENATOR DAVIS.-I am very happy indeed to hear the explanation of my friend from California. He will find, however, upon examining the report, I think, that I understood his lan
guage. I am happy to find I did misunderstand his meaning, and very glad to be corrected.
The Senator from Missouri has taken special offence at my use of the word "quackery," as contrary to the usage of the Senate. I will not quarrel with him about it; and, if he is satisfied, will agree that he is a learned pundit; that he is the highest authority on parliamentary etiquette; that he is the highest authority on political merit; but I cannot consent to his construction of the Constitution. When he selects a clause from the Constitution, which he reads with peculiar emphasis, and invites me to study-that clause in the Constitution which authorizes, or rather requires the Federal Government to repel invasion-I have but to refer him to the history of the Government for the meaning of that clause. Was it to establish a military cordon surrounding the States? Was it to raise battlements, whose armaments should frown terrifically down upon the people of a State? No, not at all, sir. It was to repel foreign aggression. That power was delegated when these States united for common defence. It was to bind their separate forces into one whole; so that the power of all might be used against any common enemy that invaded either of them; not the invasion of one State by another. That was a thought which would have deterred from union; that is the sad reflection which experience alone could have suggested to our minds. The Senator from Missouri, therefore, uses the phrase of the Constitution in a meaning which it cannot have; in an intent which our fathers had not; and does to them the great injustice of believing that, while they were sweeping away even the barriers to the freest trade between the States, they were providing to build up military cordons to keep the people apart.
CHARLES SUMNER [Mass.].-Mr. President, I offer to the Senate a piece of testimony of direct and most authoritative bearing upon the present state of the Union. If I may adopt the language of the Senator from Mississippi [Mr. Davis] it will help us to make the diagnosis of the present disease in the bodypolitic.
I hold in my hand an unpublished autograph letter, written by General Jackson, while President of the United States, and addressed to a clergyman [the Rev. Andrew J. Crawford] in a slaveholding State:
"MY DEAR SIR:
"WASHINGTON, May 1, 1833.
I have had a laborious task here, but nullification is dead; and its actors and courtiers will only be remembered by the