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Mr. King--These men were here with a
"Resolved, That all attempts to dissolve the Union, or overthrow the Constitution, with the expectation Mr. Davis-I call the Senator to order. I of constructing it anew, are dangerous and illusory, and in the opinion of the Senate no reconstruction sent a paper to be read, Sir.
Mr. King-I call the Senator to order. I is practicable; and, therefore, to the maintenance object to the reading of the
Mr. Davis-If the Senator has the meanness
to object, let it come back.
Mr. King said he objected to the reading. He did not want to hear the papers read.
of the existing Union and Constitution should be directed all the energies of the Government."
The whole matter was laid over.
of excitement. At the reception and readIn the House, Wednesday was also a day ing of the President's Message, Mr. Howard, of Michigan, moved that the Message be referred to a Special Comtions to inquire whether mittee of Five, with instructhe United States have been or are now treatany Executive officers of
Howard's Special Committee on the Message
A long discussion ensued on a point of order, and the yeas and nays were called on the decision of the Chair that the paper was understood to be part of the Senate papers. Mr. King said he objected to the reception of the paper, as he supposed it was to supply a defect in the President's Message. The decision of the Chair was sustained-ing or holding communication with any per
31 to 19. And it was also ordered to be read -36 to 13.
The reading of the last letter again called up Mr. Davis. In the course of his remarks he said: "I feel now, even more than before, pity for the Chief Executive of the United States. Fallen, indeed, is that Executive, who so lately was borne into the high office which he holds, upon the shoulders of the Democracy of the land, when he comes down to depend upon the Senators from New York for protection." He then asked: "Why, after the reception of the last letter, the President had not called upon the Commissioners for the means by which peace could be restored? Thus he would have initiated a measure which might have led to auspicious results, and might have turned away civil
Then we should not have stood waiting hourly, as we do to day, for what the telegraph may bring us to decide whether we are to have peace or war."
Mr. Crittenden called up his resolutions. Mr. Clark, of N. H., moved to substitute the following:
Resolved, That the provisions of the Constitution are ample for the preservation of the Union, and the protection of all the material interests of the country; that it needs to be obeyed rather than amend
ed; and an extrication from our present difficulties
is to be looked for in strenuous efforts to preserve and protect the public property, and enforce the laws, rather than in new guarantees for particular interests, or compromises, or concessions to unreasonable demands.
son or persons for the transfer of forts and other property; whether any demand for their surrender has been made, and by whom, and what answer has been given; whether any officer or officers have entered into any pledge not to send reenforcement of troops to the harbor of Charleston, and if so, when, where, by whom, and on what considerations; whether the Custom-house, Post-office, and arsenal at Charleston have been seized, by whom held in possession; whether any revenue cutter has been seized, and whe
ther any efforts have been made to recover it. The Committee to have power to send
persons and papers, and report from time to time such facts as may be required by the national honor, &c.
This stirred up the opposition to a determined resistance. Mr. Crawford, of Georgia, ineffectually sought to introduce a substitute. Mr. Garnett, of Virginia, sought to have the Message considered in the Committee of the Whole on the State of the Union. Mr. Phelps, of Mo., would oppose the resolu tion as offering, instead of a remedy for evils, a mere effort to indict somebody. Mr. Florence, (Dem.,) of Pennsylvania, opposed the resolution, believing it to be productive of no good. So of Hill, of Georgia, and Martin, of Virginia, the latter of whom deemed it a firebrand. The resolution finally passed - 133 to 62. On further motion of Mr. Leake, the Special Committee, now ordered on the Message, was instructed to inquire whether any arms have recently been remov
MR. HUNTER'S SPEECH.
ed from Harper's Ferry to Pittsburgh; and | apply to those cases when we if so, by whose authority and for what reason. annex a country, and they are In the Senate, Friday, the Crittenden resnot quite ready to come in as a olutions were called up. Mr. Turnbull moved State. The next exception is, that Congress may di an amendment, approving the conduct of vide the Territories, so that Slavery shall be prohibitMajor Anderson in withdrawing from Fort ed in one portion, and be recognized and protected in Moultrie to Fort Sumter; also approving the determination of the President to maintain that officer in his present condition, and avowing that we will support the President in all constitutional measures for the enforcement of the laws and for the preservation
the other; provided the law is sanctioned by a majo.
of the Union.
Mr. Hunter, of Virginia, then addressed the Senate at length on the state of the country. He reviewed the course of events, and assumed that the South had but one path to pursue—either to obtain a concession to her
demands or to withdraw from the Union. The
rity of Senators. This exception is intended to ap ply to cases when unpeopled Territory is annexed, and is subject to fair division between sections."
But these were not all that were necessary assumed the unequivocal position that she to preserve the South from encroachments. He must have guarantees of power as well as guarantees of principle, otherwise the South would be at the mercy of the majority of the North. It would, therefore, be necessary to modify section a constant representative in the Presithe system of government, so as to give each
"In the first place, I would resort to a dual Executive, as proposed by Mr. Calhoun, but in another form. I would provide that each sec
dential chair. As this scheme has found some favor among re-constructionists," we Hunter's Speech. the nature of that guarantee may give the Senator's propositions on this that would effectually protect our social system from such assaults as these? They must be guarantees of a kind that will stop up all the avenues through which they threaten to assail the social system of the South. There must be Constitution should elect a President, to be called the First tional amendments which should provide, First, That Congress shall have no power to abolish Slavery in the States or the District of Columbia, or the dock-serve yards, forts and arsenals of the United States. "Second: Congress shall not abolish, tax, or should be President of the Senate, having a casting obstruct the Slave-trade between the States. “Third: It shall be the duty of each of the States to suppress combination within its jurisdiction, for the armed invasion of any other State.
'Seventh: Congress shall recognize, and protect as property, what is held to be such by the laws of any State, in the Territories, dockyards, arsenals, forts, and wherever the United States has exclusive jurisdiction. These are, of course, liable to exceptions-First: Congress may leave Slavery to the people of the Territories, when they shall be ready to pass into the condition of a State, with the usual sanction of a majority of Senators from the nonSlaveholding States. This exception is designed to
and Second President, the first to serve for four years, and the President next succeeding him to for four other years, and afterward be reeligible. During the term of the President the Second
vote in case of a tie. No treaty should be valid which did not have the signature of both Presidents, and be sanctioned by two-thirds of the Senate. No law should be valid which was not signed by both Presidents, or, in the event of a veto, be passed by the sanction of a majority of the Senators from the section from which he came. And no officers should be appointed unless with the sanction of both Presi dents, or the sanction of a majority of the Senators from whence they are appointed. And, Sirs, I would change, if I had the power, the mode of electing these Presidents. I would provide that each State should be divided into Presidential electoral districts. Each district should elect one man as Elector, and these Electors should meet in one cham. ber, and the two men who, after a certain number of ballots, should receive the highest number of votes, should be submitted as candidates to the people, and he should be declared President who should have the majority of districts. I would do this to destroy the chances of a combination, for purposes of power and patronage. I would substitute this in stead of a National Convention. I would diminish
the temptations to all such cor- | charge its constitutional oblirupt combinations for spoils gations; and then, if the Court and patronage, by the fact that found the State to be in fault, one of the Presidents that would be elected would then, Sir, I would have, if it did not repair the wrong, have four years to serve before he could take the that any other State might deny all privileges to its power. Meantime he would be in training for four citizens, and that all the States might tax its com years, as President of the Senate, and using the veto merce until it ceased to be in fault. Thus I would propower. vide a remedy without bringing the General Government in collision with the States, and I would give the States, in such cases, the right of denying the discharge of any obligation which they may have incurred. In this way I believe these wrongs might be remedied, without producing any collision or jarring. In order to make this complete, it should be provided that the Judges of the Supreme Court in each section should be appointed by the President from that section, and that is the only original ap
"But I go further. I believe the working of our present Executive system would destroy this Government by dissolution, or by turning it into a despotism, in the end, if some amendments are not made. The working of this Executive is such as to bring up a party whose very existence depends upon spoil and plunder. I have heard Mr. Calhoun say often, that the conflict in every Government would be conflicts between two parties, which he called the tax-paying party and the tax-consum-pointing power, I would give the second President." ing party- the one dependent entirely upon the spoils of office, and the other the tax-paying party, which made the contributions to the Government and expected nothing in return except from the general benefits of legislation. He said, and wisely said, in my opinion, that whenever this tax-consuming party got entire possession, disunion would follow, and the Government must cease or take an entirely different form. I say the working of our present system is such as to give rise to such a party in the country, and some change must be made, or else it will eventually end in despotism.
"Now, Sir, the check which I propose not only
He adverted at some length, and with great argumentative force, to the questions of secession, coercion and the enforcement of the laws. Call it what you may, secession was a fixed fact, and that the constitutional power did not exist to coerce a State he be lieved to be incontestable. His argument on the question of the relative and positive rights of a State was very able-by far the most able of any made by any Southern member. It was subtle, forcible and very plauremedies this evil, and gives a sectional check, when sible. Its great length forbids us from drawAs a logical a sectional check is necessary, but it would do much ing upon the verbatim report. to purify the general legislation of the country, and deduction of his argument, he added:— renovate the public morals of the land. I do believe "But will this be possible if we have a civil war? that this single change would do more to give us a I ask if the Republicans are willing to add civil war permanent Government than any other which could to the long catalogue of enormities for which they be made; but it is not the only check which ought to have to answer hereafter? Is it not enough that be introduced, for some of the most important ob- they have marched into power over the ruins of the jects of this Constitution are now left simply to the Constitution? Is it not enough that they have seized discretion of the States. There is a large class of this Government at the expense of the Union? Will rights for which there is no remedy, or next to none. it not satisfy them unless they add civil war? Those provisions which are designed to secure free How will they settle with their own consciences? trade and free intercourse between the States-most How will they settle with humanity, for having of them are left to the States. They can pass laws crushed the highest capacity for usefulness, progress to tax the commodities of an obnoxious State. I to development, that was ever bestowed on man! believe, myself, it was intended by the framers of Sir, what judgment will posterity pronounce upon the Constitution that the States should be instru- them for their unhallowed ambition? Will it not say, mental in restoring fugitive Slaves, and we know it you found peace, and established war; you found is in their power to obstruct and actually to impede an Empire and a Union, and you rent them into the Government of the United States. Now, Sir, I fragments? And more awful still, what account propose, in order to secure the proper enforcement will they render at the bar of Heaven? When from of these rights, that the Supreme Court should also many a burning homestead, and many a bloody batbe readjusted so as to consist of ten members, five tle field, a spectral host shall appear to accuse them from each section, the Chief Justice to be one of the -when the last wail of suffering childhood shall five; and I would allow any State to bring another arise from the depths of the grave, to make its feeble State before it, on a charge of having failed to dis-plaint against them, and the tears of helpless women
MR. SEWARD'S SPEECH.
shall plead against them, for her | the preceding session, and wounded honor, in her speech- the calamities which were less woe and despair-how will impending at the moment, they account for it before man and before God, before earth and before Heaven, if they close in blood this great American experiment, which was inaugurated by Providence in the wilderness, to insure peace on earth and good will to men? It is said that the very smell of blood stirs the animal passions of men. Give us time for the play of reason. Let us see, after the States have secured in themselves their old organization and their old system-let us see if we cannot bring together once more our scattered divisions, we cannot close up our broken ranks, and cannot find some plan of conciliation. And when those columns come mustering in from the distant North, and the further South,
from the rising to the setting sun, to take their part in that grand review, there will go up a shout that will shake the heavens, and which shall proclaim to the ends of the earth that we are united once morebrothers in war, brothers in peace, ready to take our place in the front of that grand march of human progress, and able and willing to play in that game of nations where the prizes are wealth and empire, and where victory may crown our name with deathless and eternal fame."
Mr. Seward's Speech.
he confessed that the alarm was appalling. Union is not more the body than Liberty is the soul of the nation. The American citizen, therefore, who has looked calmly at revolution elsewhere, and believed his own country free from its calamities, shrinks from the sight of convulsive indications of its sudden death. He knew how difficult it was to decide, amid so many and so various counsels, what ought to, or even what can, be done. But, it was time for every Senator to declare himself. He, therefore, declared his "adherence to the Union in its integrity and with all its parts, with my friends, with my party, with my State, with my country, or without either, as they may determine, in every event, whether of peace or of war, with every consequence of honor or dishonor, of life or of death."
This fine sentiment was the key-note to his entire speech; to the defence and illustration of that stand-point he brought to bear all the power of his eloquence, all the force of his logic, all the resources of his accomplished intellect. The effort cost him sacrifices, since, before war he chose peace, and for peace he would compromise to the last verge of propriety. This position lifted him above those of his party who had declared against compromise, and, to some degree, served to argue a difference in policy from the Presidentelect, whose first minister he was to become.* For that reason it created comment, though,
Mr. Harlan, of Iowa, followed, confining his remarks chiefly to the Fugitive Slave law and the impropriety of the presumption fostered by Southern men that the majority should submit to the minority. He conceived that human liberty, liberty of speech, of the press, of the conscience, of government, of religion—all were at stake; if the North yielded, all were in peril, and society itself would be shocked to its very centre by such a "compromise." Nothing of moment transpired in the as a whole, its general impression was emin
House, during Friday.
Mr. Seward's Speech.
Saturday's session of the Senate was rendered memorable by Mr. Seward's long expected speech. It called together a vast audience. The speaker's position as the accredited Secretary of State of the incoming Administration rendered his words of more than usual weight. He was to pronounce for war-to decide if the seceding States should be permitted to depart in peace, or be held responsible at the bar of Executive power. If compromise were possible he was to indicate it.
ently satisfactory to the large majority in the Free States, and to many in the Slave States who still hoped for adjustment.
It was, he said, easy to say what would not save the Union. Mere eulogiums would not,
*The N. Y. Tribune, late in December, had inserted the following as a "double-leaded" editorial: 'We are enabled to state in the most positive terms, that Mr. Lincoln is utterly opposed to any conces
sion or compromise that shall yield one iota of the position occupied by the Republican party on the subject of Slavery in the Territories, and that he stands now, as he stood in May last, when he accepted the nomination for the Presidency, square
After adverting to the happy auspices of upon the Chicago Platform."
one language, one religion,
“First: It is only sixty days since this disunion movement began; already, those who are engaged in it have canvassed with portentous freedom the possible recombinations of the States when dissevered, and the feasi ble alliances of those recombinations with European nations-alliances as unnatural, and which would prove ultimately as pestilential to society here as that of the Tlascalans with the Spaniard, who promised them revenge upon their ancient enemies, the Aztecs.
mutual criminations would Mr. Seward's Speech. not, a continuance of the debate on the power of Congress over Slavery in the Territories would not. The Union could not be saved even by proving secession illegal and unconstitutional, and little more would be gained by proving the right of the Federal Government to coerce a Seceding State to obedience. All must give place to the practical question-Have many Seceding States the right to coerce the remaining members to acquiesce in a dissolution? Congressional Compromises, as such, he as-military demoralization, and, eventually, a sumed, were not calculated to save the Union. military despotism. He then entered upon He said: "I know that tradition favors this a consideration of the causes of the impendform of remedy. But, it is essential to suc- ing dissolution of the political bond of Union. cess, in any case, that there be found a pre- | We quote: ponderating mass of citizens, so far neutral on the issue which separates parties, that they can intervene, strike down clashing weapons, and compel an accommodation. Moderate concessions are not customarily asked by a force with its guns in battery; nor are liberal concessions apt to be given by an opposing force not less confident of its own right and its own strength. I think, also, that there is a prevailing conviction that legislative compromises which sacrifice honestly-cherished principles, while they anticipate future exigencies, even if they do not assume extra-constitutional powers, are less sure to avert imminent evils than they are certain to produce ultimately even greater dangers." He thought, therefore, that it would be wise to discard two prevalent ideas or prejudices, viz: that the Union was to be saved by somebody in particular, or was to be preserved by some cunning and insincere compact of pacification. After referring, at some length, to the facts of the consolidation of the States to form a Government capable of acting as a central power and a unit-of enforcing its powers and sustaining its rights, he proceeded to show, that, laying aside all passion, all prejudice, all pique, the Union was essential to the prosperity and development of the American people. "Notwithstanding recent vehement ex-versy, especially of its bearing on themselves. pressions and manifestations of intolerance in some quarters, produced by intense partisan excitement, we are, in fact, an homogeneous people, chiefly of one stock, with accessions well assimilated. We have, practically, only
Secondly: The disunion movement arises partly out of a dispute over the common domain of the United States. Hitherto the Union has confined this controversy within the bounds of political debate by referring it, with all the national ones, to the arbitrament of the ballot-box. Does any one suppose that disunion would transfer the whole domain to either party, or that any other umpire than war would, after dissolution, be invoked?
“Thirdly: This movement arises, in another view, out of the relation of African slaves to the domestic population of the country. Freedom is to them, as to all mankind, the chief object of desire. Hitherto, under the operation of the Union, they have practically remained ignorant of the contro
Can we hope that flagrant civil war shall rage among ourselves in their very presence, and yet that they will remain stupid and idle spectators? Does history furnish us any sat isfactory instruction upon the horrors of civil