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Important Bill.


militia, in certain One to further provide for the duty on imports. This latter, reported by John Cochrane, (Dem.,) of New York, was accompanied with an expression of his views. He fully concurred with the President in his opinion against the right of secession, deeming all acts and Ordinances of Secession, so far as the same may be carried into effect, are to be considered as revolutionary infractions of the supreme law of the land, however they may be regarded as the proper exercise of an indefeasible right of resisting acts which are plainly unconstitutional and too oppressive to be endured. He also concurred in the President's opinion that the Federal Constitution has abstained from conferring on the Federal Government, or any department thereof, authority to declare and wage an oppressive war against a seceding State, in order to coerce or repeal any act of secession she may have passed, or to compel her to remain nominally, as well as in fact, a member of the Federal Union. A just conception of the constitutional authority of Congress combines with other, and, if possible, higher and more commanding motives to prescribe other measures than aggressive and coercive war to remedy the grave inconveniences, perils, and evils of such secession.

Conkling's Speech.

Mr. Conkling, (Rep.,) of New York, the Corwin Report being the Special Order, addressed the House at considerable length, and with a force which created much remark. His position was that of an uncompromising Republican, and Unionist at all hazards. To the elaboration of his argument he brought to bear the resources of a fertile mind and the power of an eloquent utterance. He had no hope, from the first stages of the controversy, that any concessions would stem the tide of revolt. The charges sown broadcast over the South, maligning, misinterpreting, and falsifying the Republican party to the Southern people, had so poisoned their minds that they did not want unity with the North. The leaders of the conspiracy had sown the whirlwind to direct the storm--they would rule while their deceived constituents obeyed. These apostate Ameri

Conkling's Speech

cans plotted the ruin of the country, for then the great Gospel of Freedom, which filled Christendom with light and hope, would shrivel up like a scroll.

Hindman, of Arkansas, interposed to know if the gentleman was in order in the use of such language as "apostate Americans?" He would inquire of the gentleman if he intended to apply that language to any member of that House or to their constituents? If such language could be used there, then the time had come for the dissolution of the Union, and for the secession of the Southern States from it. He asked the Chair to decide whether or not such language was in order.

Grow, of Pennsylvania, being in the chair, said, so long as the remarks were not personal, there was no power to interfere. Hindman proposed to render them personal, evidently, for he again rose in excitement, and said the word "apostate Americans" had been used for some purpose, and he desired to know to whom the words were applied, and whether it was proper to apply them in that House. It was botter to meet the question now than at another time.

Conkling resumed, to press his point against those who, by deception, intrigue, and treason, had inaugurated the causeless rebellion. It was causeless, groundless, without excuse in the eyes of Christian men. Though not confessed, the true reason of the uprising was that Slavery had ceased to rule-that, by the sentiment of an overwhelming majority of the people of this Republic, Slavery, as a moral poison, was outlawed and abhorred. It was because that Slavery, as a policy to be fostered, had ceased to be national in this country. It was charged on the North that at all its social assemblies it was held to be a moral, a social, and political evil. The charge is true, every word of it! It was true that the vast majority of the people of the North, all political parties alike, looked upon Slavery, as an institution, as a monster of the worst kind, insatiable and destructive to the victim, to the master, and to the land. In that respect the North agreed with the rest of the civilized world, that Slaveholding was the worst of wrongs, the liberty-founded, model Republic alone excepted! The jurisprudence of the

Conkling's Speech.

world was against Slavery, the civilization of the world was against Slavery; the literature of the world was against Slavery. Webster once said, "Lightning is strong, the torrent is strong, the earthquake is strong, but there is something stronger than all this -it is the enlightened judgment of mankind." And that, too, is against Slavery. There was no one to blame for that. No, it was one of the enactments of that "higher law," which was recognized by all people, and to which Coke had given utterance when he said, "that the law of Parliament, when in conflict with the law of God, was to be held utterly at naught."

It was true that the feeling, long dormant, had at length asserted its supremacy-that freedom, hereafter, was to be the rule, and Slavery the exception, in our "great experiment."

The Reformation had, after years of persecution, been successful. No more wars, now, of conquest for Slavery's sake! No longer shall the arms of the Republic go forth to change realms into deserts, to sack cities, to subdue Territories, in order to people them with Slavery, and endow them with slave representation. The ambassadors of the Republic in Europe will never again dare to assemble at the tomb of the great Charlemagne and proclaim an Ostend Manifesto! Henceforth American Slavery was not to be enlarged. No longer was she to be the feasted, pampered child of American destiny, a thing to be fondled and caressed by the Government. No! but from this time out it would be a simple necessity in the country, having defined constitutional rights, and having no more.

The speaker then referred to the power existing to put down treason and rebellion, showing that all means were placed at the President's disposal to care for the Government's safety. He had vacillated; he wanted firmness and integrity; he had left the country "naked to its enemies." The Execntive stood before the world a pitiful spectacle, petrified with fear, or vacillating between determination and cowardice, while rebels tore from his nerveless grasp the insignia of the Republic, and in its place hoisted

Conkling's Speech.

the banner of secession and rebellion. Congress was powerless to control this. The Constitution had given them no power to interfere. They had voted the money to carry on the Government, and what else could they do? Nothing but to take their share in that issue which remained-the paramount ques tion of the country.

The idea of a constitutional right of secession was to be spurned. There were three ways in which a State could cut loose from Federal allegiance: By the amendment of the Constitution, as provided in the Constitution itself; by the consent, not of the State going out, or of the remaining States, but by the universal acquiescence of the American people; and by that right or power which inheres in man, and not in States-that option which all men had to defeat their governments, and, if they succeeded, to live in peace as patriots and heroes-if they failed, to die as rebels and traitors.

As to a settlement by concession, he never would consent to an adjustment with men with uplifted banners of revolt in their hands. He had no terms to offer until the revolu tionists doffed their cockades, hauled down their Pelican and Palmetto flags, and donned the habiliments of peaceful, law-abiding citizens. And, as for the wavering Border States, if they halted between the two conclusions, to go out or to remain in—if they were waiting to be coaxed-if that was so— if the people of any State were to be raffled for by the Government, he, for one, would decline to take any part in such transaction. He would not see the Government go into an auction-room to bid for allegiance. If they were to be coaxed into wedlock, he would prefer the feeling of the old conqueror with regard to his daughter, and of whom the poet sung :

"A warrior should her bridegroom be,
Since maids were best in battle wooed,
And won 'mid shouts of victory."

This was the way he would prefer to woo those States who stood wavering, and who wanted to be coaxed into the Union. As for the noble patriots from those States who were battling for the Union, and, at every personal hazard, were endeavoring to stem

Conkling's Speech.




Howard's Views.

Howard, (Dem.,) of Ohio, declared also for conciliation by compromise. He would disregard party and platforms, and do his duty as an American. Upon that Congress the destiny of the Republic hung. Six stars of our National flag were obscured, and he should not cease to hope for their restoration. Exhaust all other remedies to bring them back before resorting to force.

the tide of disunion, he | protection and rights. Kentucky, he avercould not word his admira- red, would maintain her rights; and, though tion. For them he could do generous and loyal, would not remain in the all things possible or consistent. But he could Union but as an equal. not vote for any compromise to extend Slavery, nor to amend the Constitution. He would vote to sustain the laws and rigidly to enforce the Constitution, in Free as well as in Slave States. He would leave the Constitution as it was. If they should alter it, if the American people should tamper with that libertybestowing instrument, some Gibbon, or, better still, some Dante, would immortalize the crime. Some limner, with infernal pencil, would group in the picture, horrible in their resemblance to the actors of the day, and hang it in the sky, full in the view of those who shall hereafter tread the corridors of time. The men of the North believed in the Government as their fathers made it. They cherished it for all its memories, its martyrs, its heroes, and its statesmen. They cherished it for the shelter it afforded against that storm which, without it, would burst and desolate the continent. But above all, they cherished it for its promises yet unaccomplished, its mission incomplete, and its destiny unfulfilled. They would sustain it and lefend it to the last.

Edward Joy Morris'

Edward Joy Morris, (Independent,) of Pennsylvania, in a speech characterized by much decision, said he would save the Union by remanding the entire question of Slavery in the Territories to the people, to whom its decision properly belonged. Let them battle it out, without the factious intervention of Congress or of Territorial Legislatures. He would go for the Corwin Report, or for the Crittenden Resolutions, to submit the question of compromise to the people. Speaking of the proposed Convention at Montgomery, he said it might establish a Government stronger than the Federal, but it would, necessarily, be an oligarchy-the few slave-owners would reign, not the majority poor white population. He defended the policy of the Republican party, and thought the aspersions of its enemies as base as they were unfounded. All the agitation which prevails in the South, so far as it is based on the allegations that the people of the North Stevenson, (Dem.,) of wished to abolish Slavery in the States, is Kentucky, followed Conk- utterly without cause. The statement was a ling in a brief reply. If calumny, got up for the bad ends of aiding the New York member was a fair representa- in the scheme to disrupt the Union. tive of Northern sentiment, the hope of an spoke of the conservatism of Pennsylvania adjustment must be extinguished. He saw, and of Mr. Lincoln, who was the most conin this and other speeches, a design to deny servative of any candidate in the Presi the South all rights in the Territories. He dential election. He stood by the Constiregarded the States as equal and sovereign, tution, let the issue be what it may; and, in having equal rights to the common domain, dying, might he stand there and defend it to and entitled to full protection to their prop- the last! The Government of the United erty therein. He still hoped the returning States has a right to defend its own existreason of the dominant party would show ence, and it is its duty to do it against them the propriety and justice of a compro- coercion, which is on the part of the Secedmise, guaranteeing the South its required ing States.

This speech made a powerful impression ɔn the House. Taken with those of Thaddeus Stevens, Van Wyck, and others, on the Republican side, it clearly indicated the set of the current of public feeling in the Free States, and showed, to those not blind, how impassably wide was the gulf which compromise was expected to span.

A Kentuckian's


Thursday, in both Houses, was a landmark | the provision, that citizens of each State are in the legislative history of the revolution. entitled to all the privileges in every State. On that day Mr. Seward, in the Senate, and He would not prohibit the transportation of Mr. Adams, in the House, made their last and slaves through the States, but would prohibit utmost bids for peace. Representing the the traffic in African slaves. If disunion dominant party and the incoming Adminis- comes, the baseness of the act would only be tration, their declarations assumed even more equalled by its stupendous folly. But, he than usual significance. The replies of Ma- would not say disunion, for it could not come, son and Wigfall, also, embody the sentiments Nations do not die easy; man, in his mad entertained by the revolutionists at this time. folly, may attempt the destruction of the Their conjoined speeches will, therefore, Union, but humanity denounces the act, and serve, in an historical view, as a résumé of the God would not permit it. practical position of the two sections and parties. We shall, in consequence, dissever them from our current Congressional record, and accord them the more proper position of a special chapter. [See Chapter XXI.]

Tho New Jersey


In the Senate session of Friday, February 1st, the Fresident's Message being under consideration, Latham, (Dem.,) of California, expressed his views at length on the state of the country. Previous to the Message being called up, Ten Eyck, (Rep.,) of New Jersey, presented the joint resolutions of the New Jersey Legislature, [see page 251,] expressing a willingness to accept the Crittenden Resolutions, advising a Convention of the States, appointing Commissioners to Washington, and instructing members of Congress from the State to act in accordance with the resolutions of the Legislature. Mr. Ten Eyck said he owed a higher duty to the country than to the State. He refused to be instructed to the extent of having his actions controlled by the Legislature;-a machine would do as well as a man, if he was to be ordered from Trenton. But, these particular instructions he should particularly hesitate to obey, because he did not believe they presented the feelings of the people of New Jersey. The Legislature, by an accidental vote, had undertaken to instruct Senators here against the will of a majority of the people. He would not be shackled in such a way. He objected to the resolutions of the Senator from Kentucky, because they provided an unconstitutional mode of amending the Constitution. He was willing to have an efficient law for the rendition of fugitives, and to repeal all laws interfering with such law; but he would insist on the effectual carrying out of

Latham's Views.

Mr. Latham's views possessed interest, apart from their intrinsic nature, as an exposition of the feeling of his far-removed State, in regard to the crisis. He adverted to the loyalty and devotion of California to the Union. Lying in the arms of the Sierra Nevadas, she was removed from the evils which might come upon some sections, but was not, therefore, a disinterested spectator of events when the Union was in danger. Disunion! It was never pronounced by Calhoun; it was a crime which the boldest ventured even to infer, only a short time since; now it was familiar as a household word to American ears. The great fact was upon us, as the empty seats in the Senate would testify. Whatever the cause, it only remained now for legisla tors to meet the crisis with words and deeds calculated to heal the great discord reigning, and to restore peace and harmony once again.

He then proceeded to a discussion of the causes, and to suggest the cure. Secession, as a constitutional right, he considered a fallacy-there could be no such thing. It was revolution, as Mr. Toombs properly characterized it. The right of revolution undoubtre-edly was inherent in man, but must as strenuously be denied by Government. A recognition of that right would be to sign the death-warrant of Government. It must depend for its justification upon its success-its failure will recoil upon its leaders. But, as this Government was founded upon the principle of the consent of the governed, it was the right of that class to decide for itself its own relations, if the question were viewed merely as a personal matter. Viewed, however, in all its relations, it was a question to be decided by all parties affected by its solution.





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Latham's Views.

Latham's Views.

He reviewed the causes | submitted by Messrs. Critof the estrangement of the tenden, Bigler and Douglas, two sections, and found in but proposed that offered the Republican party the centralization of a by Mr. Rice, of Minnesota, as the one best calsentiment on the question of Slavery at once culated to give peace and harmony to the insulting and injurious to the South. There country [see p. 232.] He drew a sad sketch of prevailed, to a limited extent, a conservative the results depending upon the settlement of feeling among a large class in the party; but, the question. If the agitation was to increase the one cardinal principle of the organization, and war was to threaten, one thousand milof enmity to Slavery, was logically and sen- lions of dollars would not cover the loss, in sibly construed as enmity to the South. the way of depreciated property, paralyzed Acting in unison, the Slave States were rap- commerce, crippled manufactories. His peridly concentrating this opposition to their oration was as follows: enemies in the formation of a Government all their own, wherein the radical sentiment of the North could no longer interfere for their disaster. To resort to brute force in order to "conquer the South to obedience," was unworthy of men of this enlightened century. If we granted the power of the majority to rule, even to the employment of force, might instate mob law at any moment, anywhere. It would produce its legitimate fruits of disorganization if conceded to any majority which might band together to effect any specific purpose. The property, the peace of the few might be at the mercy of the many, who are ever in the majority. No! Our Government was one of peace-founded upon the consent of the governed; and, when six States rise up and proclaim their resolve to govern themselves, the question of authority must not be met by force.

"A Government sustained only by force must, from its very nature, be arbitrary, or must soon become a despotism, and in the disorganization and general chaos, we shall be happy if we escape foreign intervention, and are spared the humiliating sight of a European soldiery perambulating in triumph the streets of our once proud Atlantic cities. For what reason shall all these calamities befall us? Why shall we thus, in the midst of unparalleled success-in the full vigor of our national youth, for we have not yet reached even man's estate become possessed of such a legion of devilsa prey to such insanity as to willfully shatter our own household gods-to heap the ashes of our own hearth-stone on our devoted heads, and, with spiteful hands and flaming torches, set fire to and destroy that friendly and wide-spreading roof that has so sheltered all true Liberty's children in the whole world-casting to utter and eternal destruction the hopes and elevated aspirations of mankind? I implore you, Senators, as others have done before me,

Peaceful remedies he considered possible by everything dear to our hearts and sacred to our nay, within their reach. The Democratic party of the North were friends and allies of the South. They had but to unite their forces, to forget their own unhappy and useless divisions, to inaugurate a great Constitutional party, which would sweep all before it at the ballot-box. A divided country he could only contemplate with horror. The pictures presented by the other Senators of the results sure to follow the downfall of the Government were not overdrawn. It could only be palliated by the peaceful formation of two new confederacies, which, though disunited with themselves, were one to the world. A peaceful separation was demanded, if all efforts at compromise must fail.

consciences, not to turn a deaf ear to the voice of the people, calling upon us, from all sections, to pause in our political career, and to prove to the North and to the South, and to the civilized world, that our hearts and our minds expand with the mag. nitude of the subject on which we are called to deliberate; that our patriotism can rise above party considerations; that when the honor, dignity, and existence of our institutions are at stake, there is no sacrifice of personal vanity, or the narrow sphere of partisan politics, that we are not eager, nay, proud to make, to save our common country. Senators, neficent Providence that the shades of our departed patriots, sages, and heroes of the Revolution might speak to us, for whom while living they so toiled and labored, and spilled freely their heart's-blood, how they would implore us to pause and retrace our steps from this perilous brink of destruction and fra He approved of the several propositions ternal strife! How would the voices of Washington,

if from the realms on high it were vouchsafed by a be

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