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JEFFERSON DAVIS' SPEECH.
virtue that beareth all things, has seemed to be proper that I believeth all things, hopeth all should appear in the Senate and things, endureth all things, announce that fact, and say which tells us to love our enemies, and bless them something, though very little, upon it. The occa that curse us? Are we expected to be denied the sion does not invite me to go into the argument, sensibilities, the sentiments, the passions, the reason, and my physical condition will not permit it; the instincts of men? Have not we pride and yet something would seem to be necessary, on honor? Have we no sense of shame, no reverence the part of the State I here represent, on an ocfor our ancestors, and care for our posterity? casion like this. It is known to Senators who Have we no love of home, of family, of friends? have served here that I have for many years Must we confess our baseness, discredit the fame advocated, as an essential attribute of State sov. of our sires, dishonor ourselves, and degradeereignty, the right of a State to secede from the our posterity, abandon our homes, flee our country-all, all for the sake of Union? Must we agree to live under the ban of our own Government? Must we acquiesce in the inauguration of a President chosen by confederate but hostile States, whose political faith constrains him to deny us our constitutional rights? Must we consent to live under a Government which we believe will henceforth be administered by those who not only deny us justice and equality, but brand us as inferiors?-whose avowed principles and policy must destroy our domestic tranquillity and imperil the lives of our wives and children, and ultimately destroy our States? Must we live by choice, or compulsion, under the rule of those who present us the alternative of an irrepressible conflict in defence of our altars and firesides, or the manamission of our slaves, and their admission to social equality? No, sir, never, never! The free men of Alabama have proclaimed to the world that they will not, and have proven their sincerity by seceding from the Union, and braving all the dangers of a separate and independent nation among the powers of the earth. As a true and loyal citizen of that State, approving of her action, acknowledging entire allegiance, and feeling that I am absolved by her act from all my obligations to support the Constitution of the United States, I withdraw from this body, intending to return to the bosom of my mother, and share her fate, and maintain her fortunes."
Union. If, therefore, I had not believed there was justifiable cause-if I had thought the State was acting without sufficient provocation-still, under my theory of government, I should have felt bound by her action. I, however, may say I think she had justifiable cause, and I approve of her acts. I conferred with the people before that act was taken, and counseled them that if they could not remain then they should take the step. I hope none will confound this expression of opinion with the advocacy of the right of a State to remain in the Union, and disegard its constitutional obligations by nullification. Nullification and secession are indeed an tagonistic principles. Nullification is the remedy which is to be sought and applied, within the Union, against an agent of the United States, when the agent has violated constitutional obligations, and the State assumes for itself, and appeals to other States to support it. But when the States themselves, and the people of the States, have so acted as to convince us that they will not regard our constitutional rights, then, and then for the first time, arises the question of secession, in its practical application. That great man who now reposes with his fathers, who has been so often arraigned for want of fealty to the Union, advocated the doctrine of nullification, because it preserved the Union. It was because of his deep-seated attachment to the Union that Mr. Calhoun advocated the doctrine of
nullification, which he claimed would give peace
within the limits of the Union, and not disturb it,
and only be the means of bringing the agent before the proper tribunal of the States for judgment. Se
cession belongs to a different class of rights, and is
to be justified upon the basis that the States are sovereign. The time has been, and I hope the time will come again, when a better appreciation of our Union will prevent any one denying that each State is a sovereign in its own right. Therefore, I say I concur in the act of my State, and feel bound by it. It is by this confounding of nullification and secession that the name of another great man has been invoked to justify the coercion of a Seceding State. The phrase to execute the law,' as used by General Jackson, was applied to a State refusing to obey
the laws and still remaining in the Union. I remember well when Massachusetts was arraigned before the Senate. The record of that oc
casion will show that I said, if Massachusetts, in pursuing the line of duty, takes the last step which
separates her from the Union, the right is hers, and I will neither vote one dollar nor one man to coerce her; but I will say to her, "God speed! "
"Mr. Davis then proceeded to argue that the equality spoken of in the Declaration of Independence was the equality of a class in political rights, referring to a charge against George III. for inciting insurrection, as a proof that it had no reference to the slaves. But we have proclaimed our independence. This is done with no hostility or any desire
to injure any section of the country, nor even for our pecuniary benefit, but from the high and solid foundation of defending and protecting the rights we inherited, and transmitting them unshorn to our posterity. I know I feel no hostility to you Senators here, and am sure there is not one of you, whatever may have been the sharp discussion between us, to whom I cannot now say, in the presence of my God, I wish you well. And such is the feeling, I am sure, the people I represent feel toward those whom you represent. I, therefore, feel I but express their desire when I say I hope, and they hope, for those peaceful relations with you, though we must part, that may be mutually beneficial to us in the future. There will be peace if you so will it, and you may bring disaster on every part of the country if you thus will have it. And if you will have it thus, we will invoke the God of our fathers, who delivered them from the paw of the lion, to protect us from the ravages of the bear; and thus, putting our trust in God, and our own firm hearts and strong arms, we will vindicate and defend the rights we claim. In the course of my long career, I have met with a great variety of men here, and there have been points of collision between us. Whatever of offense there has been to me, I leave here. I carry no hostile feel ings away. Whatever of offense I have given, which
has not been redressed, I am willing to say to Sena
tors, in this hour of parting, I offer you my apology for anything I may have done in the Senate, and I go thus released from obligations, remembering no injury I have received, and having discharged what I deem the duty of man, to offer the only reparation at this hour for every injury I have ever inflicted."
The five Senators then rose to withdraw, when the Democratic members, and those from the still represented Slave States, arose to extend the hand of fellowship in parting. Messrs. Hale, of N. H., and Cameron, of Pa., were the only Republicans who volunteered thair adieus.
The Kansas Bill
The Kansas bill was called up by Mr. Seward, and put upon its passage. After the adoption of the amendment of Fitch, (Dem.,) of Indiana, in regard to a Judicial District, the bill for the admission of Kansas as a Free State, passed by the following vote: "YEAS-Messrs. Anthony, Baker, Bingham, Bigler, Bright, Cameron, Chandler, Clark, Collamer, senden, Foot, Fitch, Foster, Grimes, Hale, Harlan, Crittenden, Dixon, Doolittle, Douglas, Durkee, FesJohnson (Tenn.), King, Latham, Morrill, Pugh, Rice, Seward, Simmons, Sumner, Ten Eyck, Thomson,
Trumbull, Wade, Wilkinson, Wilson-36.
"NAYS-Messrs. Bayard, Benjamin, Clingman, Green, Hemphill, Hunter, Iverson, Johnson (Ark.), Kennedy, Mason, Nicholson, Polk, Powell, Sebas
tian, Slidell, Wigfall-16.
The Crittenden (revised) resolutions were then called up by Mr. Bigler, who proceeded to address the Senate at length, urging their adoption as the only balm for the sore distemper of the times. He held that it was the right of the people to amend or alter the provisions of the Constitution. He forcibly adverted to the history of the country, which, from thirteen small States, by Union, had risen to its present proud position of greatness. He reviewed the danger in which it now stands of disruption and ruin, and to the events that have added exasperation to exasperation in both sections, and until the South has come to the belief that its only safety lies in eternal separation. He then referred to the compromise of 1820, which gave peace to the country till 1850, when another compromise was effected. Then the Anti-Slavery party sprung up and our troubles began. The raid of John Brown upon Virginia, the endorsement of the Helper book, and abuse of the Southern people followed, the doctrine of the "irrepressible conflict,"
until at last a President was elected who af
firmed and proclaimed these doctrines. Now South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida have seceded from the Union. Such is the distracted condition of the country, and our mission now should be to restore peace-such a peace as would send the old spirit and vitality into all the channels of commerce and society. The gentleman earnestly argued the necessity, as well as great propriety, of a Convention of the people to
consider amendments to the Constitution. | Wade) presented resolutions of his State, one of which was against the Personal Liberty bills, while the House of Representatives of Ohio refused to repeal one such law. He wanted to show to the people of his State and the country the difference between pro'fession and practice here.
Mr. Cameron said the Senator from Virginia seemed to be anxious for the excuse to leave the Union. He (Cameron) had voted as he did, because he saw no disposition to compromise on the other side, unless he went on bended knees and asked forgiveness. He should ask no forgiveness, because he had done no wrong, but still he was willing to forgive the backslidings of the South, and do all he could to preserve the Union. But he was not to be dragooned or driven. He was the
He urged Senators on the other side to consider the necessity of passing these or similar resolutions. In reply to arguments against the resolutions, he would say that these are extraordinary times, and demand extraordinary measures. He earnestly appealed to the Southern States to pause and consider if they could not obtain their rights in the Union. He claimed that the Territories ought to be opened to all the people of all the States. The country must maintain the Constitution, and accept the meaning of the tribunal who has the right to expound it. It was a fatal day for the country when a sectional party was formed. Disguise it as we may, the Republican party has for its basis hostility to Slavery. One of the great difficulties is the abuse and insult heaped on the Southern peo-peer and equal of the Senator from Virginia. ple. They declared war against secession, Mr. Mason said he was unconscious of and yet believed redress for the alleged griev- having said anything to arouse the wrath of ances should be sought at the hands of all the Senator from Pennsylvania. He (Mason) the people. He believed the laws should be did not want an excuse for leaving the Union. maintained on this point. He agreed with If he wanted any excuse it was to know how the Senator from Illinois (Douglas), yet how to remain in the Union. He had seen to-day could we coerce a State? It would be war six Senators taking formal leave of the Senate, against fifteen States. Coercion was delusion. and he knew the Union was dissolved, absoHe referred to the troubles which fall mostly lutely dissolved. Senators may not recogon the Border States, and closed by express-nize the dissolution, but that will not alter ing fidelity to his own State, whose sentiments he claimed to represent.
Cameron, of PennsylCameron Catechised. vania, followed in a few remarks, to say that it was the other side of the Senate which would not accept the olive branch held out to them. He would vote for the propositions--would do anything to save the Union. Being catechised by Green, of Mo., and Iverson, of Geo., Mr. Cameron said he approved of the propositions so far as to be willing to vote for them, and asked the Southern members to do the same. His views of coercion were expressed by saying it was a bad remedythat he did not know if, indeed, he should ever resort to it-certainly it was the last remedy he should adopt.
Mason, of Virginia, referred to the fact that the Senator had voted against the Crittenden resolutions, and for the amendment of the Senator from New Hampshire (Mr. Clark), and that the Senator from Ohio (Mr.
the fact. States are gone, and the chairs of their Senators are vacant. What is the remedy? Coercion! Would you use the discipline the pedagogue inflicts on an urchin at school? The Constitution was against coercion, and humanity and the civilized world were against it. We cannot make war unless we change the laws, and we cannot change the laws unless we violate the Constitution. But the question of peace or war was in the hands of the majority. The South deplored war because of the consequences, not from fear; and if it were forced on them it would be such a war as the world had never seen. The only excuse he wanted was to remain in the Union, and would to God the Senator from Pennsylvania would give him such excuse!
Mr. Cameron said he had not heard of any threats of war, but if it must come Pennsylvania was ready to meet it. The people of his State were ready to do anything honorable to save the Union-were willing to
yield their prejudices. The North has committed no aggression, no wrong, and you can't drive them by bullying them. If you want the Union preserved, let us know what wrong we have committed, and we will redress it. Mr. Saulsbury, of Del., looked at the marks of the Senator from Pennsylvania as an omen of good. He believed the Senator was sincere; and though four or five States have gone, if his side will meet the Senator in the same spirit, the Union will still remain. He invoked the Senators to imitate the spirit of the Senator from Pennsylvania.
"WASHINGTON CITY, Jan. 21, 1861.
"To the Hon. WM. PENNINGTON, Speaker of the Hous of Representatives:
"SIR: Having received information that the State of Alabama, through a Convention representing her re-sovereignty, have adopted and ratified an ordinance by which she withdraws from the Union of the United States of America, and resumes the powers heretofore delegated to the Federal Government, it is proper that we should communicate the same to you, and through you to the House of Representatives over which you preside, and announce our withdrawal from the further deliberations of that body. The causes which, in the judgment of our State, rendered such action necessary, we need not It is sufficient to say that duty requires
Mr. Crittenden urged action on this important measure, and spoke against any post-relate. ponement. He expressed the hope that the Union might remain a long time yet, and the
States be reunited.
our obedience to her sovereign will, and that we
shall return to our homes, sustain her action, and
share the fortunes of our people.
"We have the honor to be, very respectfully your obedient servants, (Signed)
GEORGE S. HOUSTON,
JAMES S. PUGH,
J. L. M. CURRY,
JAMES A. STALLWORTH."
Schuyler Colfax, (Rep.,) of Ind., introduced the following bill in regard to mail service in the revolutionary States:
"Whereas, In several of the States of this Union the Judges, District Attorneys, and Marshals commissioned by the United States for said States, have resigned their offices, and it appears impracticable, in consequence of the revolutionary proceedings therein to fill the vacancies thus created; and,
The Senate adjourned without a vote. In the House, Monday, (January 21,) was an eventful day. Lovejoy, of Ill., presented. a memorial from certain Methodist clergymen, of Illinois. Burnett, of Ky., objected to its reception in a tone of great insolence, saying, "Let the preachers attend to their own business." He thought Congress was capable of managing its legislation without their aid. Lovejoy remarked, with a tone of keen sarcasm, that the memorial only asked that clergymen should be protected in attending to their own business. One Methodist preacher had been hanged in Texas, simply for attending to his own business. It was to be permitted to attend to their own business that they had been constrained to memorialize this Congress, which was so capable of managing its own business. The memorial, under the objection, was laid on the table. Its introduction served to illustrate the hate-ries ful feelings which the Southern Secession members entertained for all "Northern emissaries." The incident referred to by Mr. Lovejoy, of a Methodist minister having been hung, simply for declaring Slavery a sin in the sight of God, was only one of several executions which, ere long, followed, in Texas, for the same cause.
Withdrawal of Ala
The Alabama Representatives announced their withdrawal, in the followlowing communication, which was read by the Clerk:
Whereas, The Government of the United States
is thus without any means of collecting or enforcing from the offices collecting the same, or of punishing violations of the postal laws committed by robbe
in such States the payment of the postal revenues
of the mail or otherwise, or of enforcing the performance of mail contracts:
Therefore, Be it enacted, etc., That in all States which are, or may hereafter be situated as above, the Postmaster-General is hereby directed to disconti, ue the postal service for such period of time as in his judgment the public interests require, and shall report his action to Congress."
This was, after some questioning by Branch, of N. C., referred to the Post-office Committee.
Mr. English, (Dem.,) of Indiana, introduced a preamble setting forth, that, in the alarming condition of the country, mere differences of opinion should be discarded, and all sectional
MR. CORWIN'S SPEECH.
the question whether the
differences removed; and believing the Crit-
"Resolved, That the Select Committee of Thirtythree be instructed, without delay, to take the necessary measures to carry it into practical effect."
To get this before the House he moved a suspension of the rules. Lost, by 67 to 92. Mr. English, with some feeling, called the attention of the country to the fact that the Republicans would not allow a vote on a plan promising peace.
On motion of Mr. Morris, (Dem.,) of Ill., the Committee on Judiciary was instructed to inquire into the propriety of amending the neutrality laws so as to prevent persons of one State from fitting out military expeditions to aid persons in States which have declared themselves out of the Union, and occupy a position outside of the rightful authority and laws of the United States.
Mr. Vandever, (Rep.,) of Iowa, asked leave to offer resolutions declaring that the Federal Government has no power to interfere with Slavery in the States; that whatever may be the power of the Government relative to Slavery in the Territories, &c., it is no ground for a dissolution of the Union; that it is not expedient to amend the Constitution at this time. A government without power to maintain itself is not worthy to be preserved. He withdrew the resolutions, in view of the consideration of the report of the Committee of Thirty-three. Members on the Democratic side wished a vote and objected to their withdrawal.
The House then proceeded to the consideration of the Majority Report of the Committee of Thirty-three, when Mr. Corwin, Chairman of the Committee, proceeded to address the House in advocacy of the adoption of the Report. He had served in the House thirty years ago, and then was called upon to consider a question analogous to that now presented, of the power of a State to sit in judgment on acts of Congress, and to withdraw from the Federal Union. He little dreamed that at the close of his public career he should be called upon to legislate on a revolution created by the same State upon the same assumption. In considering
lative power, as it was supposed it had, to coerce a portion of this great national combination to obey the laws of the Government of the United States, he would, so far as he could, look into the matter as a question of constitutional law. He thought gentlemen on both sides had misunderstood the facts bearing on the question, and the meaning of the word coercion, as applied to the Government. Again, they were mistaken in the supposition that all the laws that might | be considered fatal to the existence of the Republic of the United States, as now constituted, might not be enforced without any attempt whatever at coercing any State taking this or that position. If it were true that a State might withdraw itself from all connection with its fellow States of the Union, it did not follow that if a State did not choose to avail itself of the benefits conferred by the Union and the laws, that each law vital to the existence of the Union may not be enforced without disturbing the peace of that State. That is, if a State ever did withdraw, all the laws might be enforced without disturbing her political relations to the general Union; and if a State should secede, whether it did so under the specious garb of State Sovereignty or not, he was unable to see how it was that any distinct number of men, combined to give force and countenance to the existence of the laws of the United States, could pass laws to make any difference in the measure of the offense, if it be an offense, denominated treason. The facts which had come to his knowledge of the course taken had been fully submitted to the Committee. Now, it was supposed that the causes of the complaint which had led to this strange and eccentric movement of the Southern States either had no foundation in fact, or, if they had, these causes of complaint could be removed, and the people might hope that the public tranquillity would be restored. That brought him to the consideration of one or two topics which he would briefly present.
He then adverted to those acts and relations of the Northern States to which the Southern States took exception and offered as a justification of their revolutionary steps