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but it is a free country in arms | objected to by Burnett, of Kentucky, as calculated to do harm in the excited state of the country. Mr. Adrian said the country demanded it, and called for a suspension of the rules, to get it before the House. During the calling of the yeas and nays on the motion to suspend, the running remarks elicited formed one of the most interesting features of the entire session, while the result had a very important bearing on the ultimate question of National affairs. We give, as a matter of curiosity, the entire report of the remarks elicited, as the names of certain prominent gentlemen were called:
Mr. Toombs Speech. and standing for the right. * * * They have made a proclamation of outlawry against us. The Constitution gives them no warrant for this thing. Your Chicago Platform and declaration of prin
ciples expressly declares, very much like the
When Mr. Leach's (S. Am., N. C.) name was called, he said he could not give his vote for the resolution, although he would like to give his vote for any man who would save the Union.
unjust Judge that you neither fear God nor regard man. [He read from the Chicago Platform the article denying the legal existence of Slavery in the Territories.] Then you declare that the treaty of 1803 was null and void, and no law at all. You declare that the acts by whieh we organized and protected the Territories of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi, are all null and void, and no laws; and you declare that the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States is null and void, and no law, and that there is no Constitution but the Chicago Platform. You swear to support this Government with this understanding. But my friend from Kentucky (Mr. Crittenden) says we can't secede-we can't revolutionize. What can we do? Why, you can submit, for, they say, we are the strongest, and we will hang you. I will take that right. I will take the Constitution, and I will defend it against the sword or the halter. We are willing to defend that right with the halter around our necks, and to meet these Black Republicans, their myrmidons and allies whenever they choose to come on. “You have outlawed us-you avow it. Mr Lincoln declares it. Your platform, your papers, your Legislatures, declare it; and there is but one voice rolling throughout your entire phalanx-that we shall be outlawed in the Territories of the United States. But I say we will not; and I will never compromise that right, upon the face of the earth. I won't buy a shameful peace. I prefer war. Georgia is on the war-path, on a proposition of this order for him to propound a question to Mr. Adrain
The Senate adjourned to Wednesday.
Resolution to Endorse Anderson.
In the House, Monday, a most interesting episode occurred, on the introduction, by Mr. Adrian, of N. J., of a resolution approving the act of Major Anderson, and to support the President in his effort to enforce the laws, viz:
Resolved, That we fully approve the bold and patriotic act of Major Anderson, in withdrawing from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, and the determination of the President to maintain that fearless officer in his present condition; and we will support the President in all constitutional measures to enforce the laws and preserve the Union."
This was followed by marked excitement and personal feeling. Its introduction was
Mr. McKean (Rep., N. Y.) said a few more men like Major Anderson would quiet the conntry、 Mr. Hindman (Dem., Ark.) wanted a vote, and to ascertain who had proved a traitor to every principle. Mr. Campbell (Rep. Pa.) approving the conduct of Major Anderson, voted Yea.
Mr. Hill (S. Am., Ga.) was an advocate of peace but conceived the resolution could be productive of nothing but harm.
The rules were suspended-134 against 53.
Mr. Bocock (Dem., Va.) moved to lay the resolution on the table. He wanted to show a disposition to get rid of this firebrand motion.
Mr. Lovejoy (Rep., Ill.)-We sustain the Government.
Mr. Hindman wished to know whether it was in
Voices from the Republican side-"Not in or
Mr. Hindman-I am not asking the opinion of Black Republican gentlemen.
The Speaker said nothing was in order but the call of the roll.
When John Cochrane's (Dem., N. Y.) name was reached, he said, having cause to believe that Anderson acted under the instructions of the Secretary of War, I vote Aye. [Laughter.]
Mr. Dunn (Rep., Ind.)-Believing Anderson acted on his sole responsibility, I vote Aye. [Renewed Laughter.]
Mr. Hamilton (Dem., Texas) believed Anderson ought to be sustained by the Government, but for other reasons he voted against the resolution.
Mr. Moore (S. Am., Ky.)-As the Secretary of War denounced the act of Anderson, I vote No.
Mr. Hatton (S. Am., Tenn.) believing the resolution would do harm and no good, voted against it. Mr. Vallandigham (Dem., Ohio)—I vote for peace and compromise. You refuse it. I vote now against force. No.
Mr. Hindman (Dem., Ark.) said if the President or the Secretary of War, or any other officer, directly or indirectly, justified the act of Major Anderson, he did not hesitate to say that they are guilty of treason and inciting civil war.
Mr. Kunkel (Dem., Md.) believing that Major Anderson acted more for personal safety than for the peace of the country, voted No.
Mr. Stevenson (Dem., Ky.) did not know what measures the President contemplated, therefore he was not willing to pledge himself to anything looking to coercion. Whenever a measure of that kind shall be presented, he would inflexibly oppose it from end to end. He voted Nay.
Mr. Stokes (S. Am. Tenn.. had no objection to the first part of the resolution, but had to the latter part. He did not believe the resolution had a tendency to reconcile or to restore peace. It was known he was for peace and compromise, and for healing the disturbing questions which excite and distract the country; but he did not believe this resolution
Mr. Logan (Dem., Ill.)-As the resolution meets would heal the difficulties, therefore he voted Nay. my unqualified approbation, I vote Aye.
Mr. Mallory (S. Am., Ky.) while willing to sustain Major Anderson, would not vote for the resolution, pledging him in advance to all the measures of the President.
Mr. McKenty (Dem., Pa.)-I have the honor of representing one of the most conservative districts of Pennsylvania-one that is strongly Democratic. Our political difficulties and sympathies have been always with the South. I don't believe there is a single man in my district that does not sustain the President in his course. While we have stood by South Carolina at the ballot-box, we connot sustain her in her treason against the General Government. I feel that the act of the President is merely defensive; and if the last page of our nation's history is to be a bloody one, the responsibility must rest with those who will make it so.
Mr. Moore (Dem., Ky.)-If the question was confined to the simple act of approving of Anderson, he might vote aye; but he could not support the remainder of the resolution.
Mr. Moore (Dem,, Ala.) said a solemn compact had been entered into between the representatives of South Carolina and the President; that the forts were not to be disturbed or reinforced. He wished it to be recorded that the people of South Carolina, in her weakness, kept her faith when these forts were necessary for the protection of her homes and firesides. I vote Nay.
The Republican side called him to order, objecting to further remarks.
Mr. Barksdale (Dem., Miss.) amid shouts for order from the Republican side, and much general excitement, said this resolution was a fireband cast into the South for the purpose of inciting revolution and insurrection. It was infamous and cowardly. He could not be heard throughout owing to the He took his seat remarkgreat state of confusion. ing that he had said all he wanted to say. The Speaker's hammer had repeatedly called him to order.
Mr. Barrett (Dem., Mo.) indorsed Major Anderson's act, but as no official information had been
Mr. Nixon (Rep., N. J.)—As I stand on the Con- transmitted concerning it, he deemed it an improper stitution and laws, I vote Yea.
Mr. Pryor-As I believe the act of Major Anderson to foster civil war, I vote Nay.
Mr. Rust (Dem., Ark.) as Anderson had shown no extraordinary courage in abandoning a weak work for a safe one, and as the President had pledged his word not to change the condition of the forts, voted Nay.
Mr. Sickles (Dem., N. Y.) believed his constituents were unfalteringly opposed to coercion against the sovereign States; nevertheless, convinced as he was that they regard Major Anderson's act as within the spirit of his instructions and the scope of his duty and patriotism-that it is the sworn duty of the President to preserve the Union by upholding the Constitution he believed he gave an expression of the opinion of the City of New York by voting Yea. [Applause from Republican side.]
subject for consideration at this time.
Mr. Gilmer (S. Am., N, C.) approved the conduct of Major Anderson; but as the House had refused to admit a proposition for adjustment of the difficulties, he could not in the face of that fact vote for the
expressions of loyalty. It was the first resolution of the session looking to the "enforcement of the laws" and to sustaining the President. It indicated to him the course which Congress was now willing to sustain him in pursuing.
The Border State Proposition.
Mr. Etheridge, of Tennessee, previous to this vote, had asked leave to introduce resolutions embodying the substancematter of the propositions agreed to by the Border State Committee [See page 172.]; but the usual protest, "I object!" gave them their quietus. Mr. Etheridge tried to force it upon the House by a suspension of the rules, but a vote not to suspend decided against him. The loss of these resolutions and the adoption of that offered by Mr. Adrian, seemed to indicate pretty clearly that the House was becoming less considerate of compromise and more solicitous of an enforcement of the laws.
The House adjourned to Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the President's Message, covering the correspondence with the South Carolina Commissioners, was transmitted to the two Houses. In the Senate, its reading, and the reception of the correspondence, gave rise to an exciting passage between Mr. Davis, of Mississippi, and Mr. King, of New York. The Message, at the call of Mr. Seward, was read as follows:
The President's Message.
House of Representatives:
"At the opening of your present session, I called your attention to the dangers which threatened the existence of the Union. I expressed my opinion freely, concerning the original causes of these dangers, and recommended such measures as I believed would have the effect of tranquilizing the country, saving it from the peril in which it had been needlessly and most unfortunately thrown.
"Those opinions and recommendations I do not propose now to repeat. My own convictions upon the whole subject remain unchanged. The fact that great calamity was impending over the nation was even at that time acknowledged by every intelligent citizen. It had already made itself felt throughout the length and breadth of the land. The necessary consequences of the alarm thus produced were most deplorable. The imports fell off with a rapidity never known before, except in the time of war, in the history of our foreign commerce. The Treasury
The President's Message.
was unexpectedly left without means, which it had reasonably counted upon to meet its public engagements. Trade was paralyzed, manufactures were stopped, the best public securities suddenly sunk in the market, every species of property depreciated more or less, and thousands of poor men who depended on their daily labor for their daily bread, were turned out of employment.
"I deeply regret that I am not able to give you
information upon the state of the Union, which is communicate. On the contrary, matters are still more satisfactory than what I was then obliged to worse at present than they then were. When Congress met, a strong hope pervaded the whole public mind that some amicable adjustment of the subject would be speedily made by the Representatives of the States, which might restore peace between the conflicting sections of the country. That hope has been diminished by every hour of delay, and as the prospect of a bloodless settlement fades away, the public distress becomes more and more aggravated. As an evidence of this, it is only necessary to say that the Treasury notes, authorized by the act of the 17th of December last, were advertised accord
ing to law, and that no responsible bidder offered to take any considerable sum at par, at a lower rate of interest than twelve per cent. From these facts, it appears that in a Government organized like ours, domestic strife, or even a well-grounded fear of civil hostilities more destructive of public and private interests than the most formidable foreign war.
"In my annual message I expressed the conviction, which I have long deliberately held, and which recent reflection has only tended to deepen and confirm, that no State has the right, by its own act, to secede from the Union, or to throw off its Federal obligation at pleasure. I also declare my opinion to be, that even if that right existed, and should be exercised by any State of the Confederacy, the Executive Department of this Government had no authority, under the Constitution, to recognize its validity by acknowledging the independence of such State. This left me no alternative, as the chief executive officer, under the Constitution of the United States, but to collect the public revenue and protect the public property, so far as this might be practicable, under existing laws. This is still my purpose. My province is to execute, not to make, the laws. It belongs to Congress exclusively to repeal, modify or enlarge their provisions, to meet exigencies as they may occur. I possess no dispensing power. I certainly had no right to make aggressive war upon any State, and I am perfectly satisfied that the Constitution has wisely withheld that power, even from Con. gress.
"But the right and the duty The President's to use military force defensively Message. against those who resist the Federal officers in the execution of their legal functions, and against those who assail the property of the Federal Government is clear and undeniable. But the dangerous and hostile attitude of the States toward each other, has already far transcended and cast into the shade the ordinary Executive duties already provided for by law, and has assumed such vast and alarming proportions as to place the subject entirely above and beyond Executive control. The fact cannot be disguised, that we are in the midst of a great revolution. Therefore, I commend the question to Congress, as the only human tribunal under Providence possessing the power to meet the existing emergency. To them, exclusively, belongs the power to declare war, or to authorize the employment of military force, in all cases contemplated by the Constitution, and they alone possess the power to remove all the grievances which might lead to war, and to secure peace and union to this distracted country. On them, and on them alone, rests the responsibility. The Union is a sacred trust left by our Revolutionary fathers for their descendants, and never did any other people inherit such a legacy. It has rendered us prosperous in peace and triumphant in war. The National Flag has floated in glory over every sea, and under its shadow American citizens have found protection and respect in all lands beneath the sun. If we descend to considerations of purely material interest when, in the history of all time, has a Confederacy been bound together by such strong ties of mutual interest? Each portion of it is dependent upou all, and all upon each portion, for prosperity and domestic security. Free trade throughout the whole supplies the wants of one portion from the productions of another, and scatters wealth everywhere. The great planting and farming States require the aid of the commercial and navigating States to send their productions to domestic and foreign markets, and furnish the naval power to render their transportation secure against all hostile attacks.
"Should the Union perish in the midst of the present excitement, we have already had a sad foretaste of the universal suffering which would result from its destruction. The calamity would be severe in every portion of the Union, and would be quite as great, to say the least, in the Southern as in the Northern States.
"The greatest aggravation of the evil, and that which would place us in the most unfavorable light, both before the world and posterity is, as I am firmly convinced, that the secession movement has been chiefly based upon misapprehension at the South of
The President's Mes sage.
the sentiments of the majority in several of the Northern States. Let the question be answered from the political assemblies to the ballot box, and the people themselves would speedily re dress the serions grievances which the South have suffered. But, in Heaven's name, let the trial be made before we plunge into an armed conflict, upon the mere assumption that there is no other alternative. Time is a great conservative power. Let us pause at the momentous point, and afford the people, both at the North and South, an opportunity for reflection. Would that South Carolina had been convinced of this truth before her precipitate action. I therefore appeal through you to the people of the country to declare in their might that the Union must and shall be preserved by all constitutional means.
"I most earnestly recommend that you devote yourselves to the question how this can be accomplished in peace. All other questions, when compared with this, sink into insignificance. The present is no time for palliatives. Prompt action is required. A delay in Congress to prescribe or recommend a distinct and practical proposition for conci. liation, may drive us to a point from which it will be almost impossible to recede. A common ground on which conciliation and harmony may be produced is surely not unattainable. The proposition to compromise by letting the North have exclusive control of the Territory above a certain line, and to give Southern institutions protection below that line, ought to receive universal approbation. In itself, indeed, it may not be entirely satisfactory, but when the alternative is between reasonable concession on both sides and the destruction of the Union, it is an imputation on the patriotism of Congress to assert that its members will hesitate a moment. Even now the danger is upon us.
"In several States which have not yet seceded, the forts, arsenals, and magazines of the United States have been seized. This is by far the most serious step which has been taken since the commencement of the troubles. This public property has long been left without garrisons and troops for its protection, because no person doubted its security under the flag of the country in any State of the Union. Besides, our small army has scarcely been sufficient to guard our remote frontiers against Indian incursions. The seizure of this property, from all appearances, has been purely aggressive, and not in resistance to any attempt to coerce a State or States to remain in the Union. At the beginning of these unhappy troubles, I determined that no act of mine should increase the excitement in either seetion of the country. If the political conflict were to end in civil war, it was my determined purpose not
The President's Message.
AN EXCITING PASSAGE.
to commence it, nor to furnish an excuse for it in any act of this Government. My opinion remains unchanged, that justice as well as sound policy requires us still to seek a peaceful solution of the questions at issue between the North and South. Entertaining this conviction, I refrained even from sending reenforcements to Major Anderson, who commanded the forts of Charleston harbor, until an absolute necessity for doing so should make itself apparent, lest it might be regarded as a menace of military coercion, and thus furnish a provocation, or, at least, a pretext, for an outbreak on the part of South Carolina. No necessity for these reenforcements seemed to exist. I was assured, by distinguished, upright gentlemen of South Carolina, that no attack on Major Anderson was intended, but that, on the contrary, it was the desire of the State authorities as much as it was my own to avoid the fatal consequences which must eventually follow a military collision.
"And here I deem it proper to submit, for your information, copies of a communication dated 28th December, 1860, addressed to me by R. W. Barnwell, J. H. Adams, and James L. Orr, Commissioners of South Carolina, with the accompanying documents, and copies of my answer thereto, dated December 31st. [See pages 145-149.] In further explanation of Major Anderson's removal from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, it is proper to state that after my answer to the South Carolina Commissioners, the War Department received a letter from that gallant officer dated December 27th, 1860, the day after his movement, from which the following is an extract:
*** I will add as my opinion, that many things convinced me that the authorities of the State designed to proceed to a hostile act (evidently referring to the orders dated December 11th, of the late Secretary of War.) Under this impression, I could not hesitate
that it was my solemn duty to move my command from a fort which we could not probably have held longer than forty-eight or sixty hours, to this one where my power of resistance is increased to a very
"It is said that serious apprehensions are to some extent entertained, in which I do not share, that the peace of the District may be disturbed before the 4th of March next. In any event, it will be my duty to preserve it, and this duty shall be performed.
"In conclusion, it may be permitted to me to remark that I have often warned my countrymen of the dangers which now surround us. This may be the last time I shall refer to the subject officially. I feel that my duty has been faithfully, though it may be imperfectly performed; and whatever the result may be, I shall carry to my grave the consciousness that I at least meant well for my country.
(Signed) "JAMES BUCHANAN. Washington City, Jan. 8, 1861."
Davis, of Miss., called for the reading of the accompanying papers. He referred to the peaceful nature of the mission, and to the amiable character of the Commissioners. The country, therefore, had a right to expect something good from their presence. But they had returned, and the President had not even referred to the termination of their mission. He added: "He," (the President,) "stops with the letter which he sent to them, and which I must say, with all respect to the high office which he holds, was wanting in fairness, and was a perversion of the arguments which they had presented. They replied to him, and exposed the unfairness of his treatment of the facts which they stated, certainly in a manner most uncomfortable to him, and he returned their letter as one which he could not receive. In his communication to us he does not even permit us to know that these Commissioners had attempted to reply to the positions he had taken. But, with this great misstatement of his paper to them, he sends that paper to the world without even a reference to the fact that he was answered. I have an authentic
"It will be recollected that the concluding part of copy of their answer, and I send it to the the orders was in the following words :
"The smallness of your force will not permit you, perhaps, to occupy more than one of the three forts, but an attack on, or attempt to take possession of either one of them, will be regarded as an act of hostility, and you may then put your command into either of them, which you may deem most proper to increase its power of resistance. You are also authorized to take similar defensive steps whenever you have tangible evidence of a design to proceed to a hostile act.'
desk that it may be read."
Mr. King (Rep., N. Y.) interposing, objected, say- Exciting Passage. ing that the Senator (Mr. Davis) talks of the high character of the Commissioners. Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr once also had high characters.
Mr. Davis called Mr. King to order, remarking, that he (Mr. K.) once occupied a higher position than he does now.