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revolutionary times it is de- | 14th, when Mr. Boyce pre
Proceedings of the
"Long may it wave
O'er the land of the free
And the home of the brave."
This patriotic outburst, savoring so rankly of the Union, deeply stirred up that little assembly. Mr. Miles, from the Flag and Seal Committee, protested against Mr. Brooke's resolution, and his sentiments. He said, among other things:
The gentleman speaks of the victories achieved in Mexico under the flag of the United States. True, sir, but I feel more pride in stating that the Palmetto Regiment was there, and bathed its own State flag in the blood of many of its members and officers, and the warm heart of the gallant Colonel of their regiment, the chivalrous Butler, beat its last pulsation there. [Applause.] That flag, that State flag, is dearer to my heart than the flag of the United States, for it was under that flag that the battle of Fort Moultrie was fought; it was under that flag that the battles of Eutaw, Kings Mountain, and Cowpens were fought; and I have always, sir, been one of those who thought there was an over-estimate placed on the glories of the flag of the United States. Why, sir, most of the great battles of the Revolution were not fought under it, but under the separate State flags, before the recognition of the United States by the nations of the world."
Proceedings of the
sented to Congress a flag re-
Flags were presented by Messrs. Stephens, Toombs, and Walker. All these candidates for National adoption were referred to the proper Committee.
The secret seal was lifted slightly on the 14th, by a resolution-permitting the Judiciary Committee "to print such matters as they may desire to lay before Congress." This same liberty was extended also to any of the Standing Committees, so far as to allow the printing of any matter which they might deem requisite for the uses of the Committees.
The inauguration of President Davis was fixed for Monday, February 18th, and a suitable Committee appointed to attend the President. An Act was adopted in secret session this day (February 15th) to continue in office the officers of customs, and providing for the payment of the customs to the
Mr. Brooke withdrew his resolution, "at Confederate authorities. The proceedings the suggestion of a friend."
of the open session of the Congress, February
The Flag question came up again, February 16th, were unimportant.
PROCEEDINGS OF CONGRESS CONTINUED.
WITHDRAWAL OF LOUISIANA MEMBERS.
TENTH WEEK. THE SPEECHES OF SLIDEL, WINTER
BENJAMIN, CLINGMAN, ANDREW JOHNSON, HENRY
THE Senate proceedings | which we have been compelled of Monday, February 4th, to seize in self-defence, if it were particularly interest- should appear that our share in ing from the withdrawal speeches of the Lou- such expenditure has been greater than in other isiana Senators, and by the elaborate disunion sections; and, above all, we shall, as well from the argument of Mr. Clingman, of North Caro- dictates of natural justice and the principles of international law as of political and geographical affinities lina. Mr. Crittenden presented several imand of mutual pecuniary interests, recognize the right portant memorials and petitions from citizens of the inhabitants of the Mississippi Valley and its triof Louisville, Kentucky, of New Albany, In- butaries to its free navigation. We will guarantee to diana, from citizens of Michigan, New York, them a free interchange of all agricultural producMaryland, &c., praying the passage of his tions, without imposts, tax-duty, or toll of any kind; resolutions, or for some compromise. Chand- the free transit from foreign countries of every spe ler, of Michigan, presented two petitions cies of merchandise, subject only to such regulations from citizens of Bay County, of that State, as may be absolutely necessary for the protection protesting against the alteration of the Con- of any normal system we may establish, and for stitution. Other petitions were presented by purposes of police. Messrs. Bigler and Fessenden, also praying for compromise. Wilson, of Massachusetts, introduced a resolution calling upon the President for information concerning the seizures in Louisiana. To its introduction Bigler objected, when it laid over under the rules. Mr. Slidell, of Louisiana, sent to the Secretary's desk a copy of the Louisiana Ordinance of Secession, which he had read. He then addressed the Senate quite at length, defending the course of the Seceding States. His argument, in many respects, was an able one, and his declarations were somewhat novel on points of interest involved. Among other things, he said:
"We will adopt all laws not locally inapplicable or incompatible with our new relations; we will recognize the obligations of all existing treaties those respecting the African slave-trade included. We shall be prepared to assume our just proportion of the national debt; to account for the cost of all the forts and other property of the United States,
"We must be prepared to resist coercion, whether fore supposed friendly, by open war, or under the attempted by avowed enemies, or by a hand heretomore insidious, and, therefore, more dangerous pretext of enforcing the laws, protecting public property, and collecting the revenues. We shall not cavil about words, nor discuss legal and technical distinctions; we shall consider the one as equivalent to the other, and shall be prepared to act accordingly. Utroque arbitrio parati. You will find us ready to meet you with the outstretched hand of fellowship, or in the mailed panoply of war, as you may will it. Elect between these alternatives.
"You may ignore the principles of our immortal Declaration of Independence; you may attempt to reduce us to subjection; or you may, under color of enforcing your laws or collecting your revenue, blockade our ports. This will be war, and we shall meet it with different, but equally efficient, weapons. We will not permit the introduction or consumption of any of your manufactures; every sea will swarm with our volunteer militia of the ocean, with the striped bunting floating over their heads, for we do not mean to give up that flag without a bloody struggle-it is ours as much as yours; and although for
a time more stars may shine on your banner, our children, if not we, will rally under a constellation more numerous and more resplendent than yours. You may smile at this as an impotent boast, at least for the present, if not for the future; but if we need
ships and men for privateering, we shall be amply supplied from the same sources as now almost exclusively furnish the means for carrying on, with unexampled vigor, the African slave-trade-New York and New England. Your mercantile marine must either sail under foreign flags or rot at your wharves.
'But, pretermitting these remedies, we will pass to another equally efficacious. Every civilized nation now is governed in its foreign relations by the rule of recognizing Governments de facto.' You alone invoke the doctrine of the 'de jure,' or divine right of lording it over an unwilling people strong enough to maintain their power within their own limits. How long, think you, will the great Naval Powers of Europe permit you to impede their free intercourse with their best customers for their various fabrics, and to stop the supplies of the great staple which is the most important basis of their manufacturing industry, by a mere paper blockade? You were, with all the wealth and resources of this once great Confederacy, but a fourth or fifth rate naval power, with capacities, it is true, for a large, and, in a just quarrel, almost indefinite expansion. What will you be when not only emasculated by the withdrawal of fifteen States, but warred upon by them with active and inveterate hostility?"
His argument was directed to a justification of the course pursued by his people. He asserted that the revolution was a movement of the people, and not a scheme of leaders; that it was not a long-contemplated conspiracy, but a public expression of a prevalent popular feeling.
Government only existed.
He proceeded to show that, Benjamin's Farewell in the treaty of cession of
domain, the sovereignty was only conveyed in trust. Of the feeling and fixed purposes of the Southern people, he said:
"We are told that the laws must be enforced; that the revenues must be collected; that the South is in rebellion without cause, and that her citizens are traitors.
"Rebellion! The very word is a confession, an avowal of tyranny, outrage, and oppression. It is taken from the despot's code, and has no terror for other than slavish souls. When, sir, did millions of people rise as a single man, rise in organized, deliberate, unimpassioned rebellion against justice, truth, and honor? Well did a great Englishman exclaim upon a similar occasion:
"You might as well tell us that they rebelled against the light of heaven; that they rejected the fruits of the earth. Men do not war against their benefactors; they are not mad enough to repel the instincts of self-preservation. I pronounce, fearlessly, that no intelligent people ever rose, or ever will rise, against a sincere, rational, and benevolent Infatuation
authority. No people were ever born blind.
"Traitor! Treason! Ay, sir, the people of the South imitate and glory in just such treason as glowed in the soul of Hampden; just such treason as leaped in living flames from the impassioned lips of Henry; just such treason as enriches with a sacred halo the undying name of Washington!
"You will enforce the laws. You want to know if we love a Government; if you love any authority to collect revenue; to bring tribute from an unwilling people? Sir, humanity desponds, and all the inspiring hopes of her progressive improvement vanish into empty air at the reflections which crowd upon the mind at hearing repeated, with aggravated enor
mity, the sentiments against which a Chatham launched his indignant thunders a century ago. The very words of Lord North are repeated here in debate, not as quotations, but as the spontaneous out
Mr. Benjamin followed, Benjamin's Farewell. delivering his valedictory. His former speech [given on pages 150-51] expounded his views on the rights of States. On the present occasion he reaffirmed those opinions, and refer-pourings of a spirit the counterpart of theirs. red to the fact that it was said whatever rights might accrue to the old States, Louisiana, purchased by the Government, could not plead any "original independence." He assumed that the State and its people were not a piece of property over which the Government could exercise the jurisdiction of bargain and sale; that they were only parts of a whole domain, for which, and by which,
"In Lord North's speech on the destruction of the tea in Boston Harbor, he said:
"We are no longer to dispute between legislation and tax. ation; but we are now only to consider whether or not we have any authority there. It is very clear we have none, if we suffer the property of our subjects to be destroyed. We must punish, control, or yield to them.'"
"And thereupon he proposed to close the port of Boston, just as the Representatives of Massachu setts now propose to close the port of Charleston,
MR. CLING MAN'S SPEECH.
in order to determine whether or not you have any authority there. It is thus that Boston, in 1861, is to pay her debt to Charleston, which, in the days of her struggle, proclaimed the generous sentiment that
• the cause of Boston was the cause of Charleston.' Who, after this, will say that Republics are ungrateful? Well, sir, the statesmen of Great Britain an swered to Lord North's appeal, 'yield.' The courtiers and the politicians said, 'punish,' 'control.' The result is known. History gives you the lesson. Profit by its teachings."
It is my
second was then the next
The consideration of the Clingman's Speech. President's Message, on the Virginia Peace Convention resolutions, was then called, when Mr. Clingman, of North Carolina, addressed the Senate, chiefly in reply to Senator Seward. In his former speech [see pages 63-64] his general views were expounded. He confined himself, at this time, to special points. He proceeded to show that a Republican rule must inevitably result in the abolishment of Slavery, in all States which remained under the old state of things. He said, in all sincerity, to Mr. Crittenden, that," in his judgment, the issue which North Carolina and Kentucky have to determine is, whether there shall be a manly resistance now, or whether our States shall become free-negro communities. deliberate judgment that, if this issue had met with no resistance, the latter alternative would have been the result." He recurred, quite at length, to the impossibility of a blockade being sustained, or even allowed by European governments. He drew a sad picture of the disaster which would overwhelm Northern commerce and finances, if cotton were withheld. The South, he assumed, could keep an army of 450,000 men in the field, and, fighting for very existence, would never count its cost. But, the North, to meet this force, must have a relatively greater one. How would it be kept in the field? He conceived it impossible for the necessary army to be rendered available for any length of time—its cost would, of itself, live the North down. The only three courses left to be pursued were, 1st. A settlement such as would satisfy the South. 2d. The * We can hardly account for this statement of the recognition of Southern independence. 3d. Senator. As we have shown, [page 137,] the ReWar. The first he considered as most desir-publicans were immensely in the minority, on a popable; if it could not be made effective, the| ular vote.
Mr. Clingman then referred to the question of recognition of Southern independence by foreign powers-a certainty about which there should be no dispute. He proceeded to show that it would be against the order of things not to recognize it after the new Confederacy became a de facto Government. Great Britain, in particular, would come forward, for, notwithstanding her apparent antislavery sympathies, she was going to do nothing to injure her commerce, nor to throw her own masses out of employment.
The breaking up of the Charleston Democratic Convention was one of the worst obstacles in the way of the cooperation of all. the Southern States in the secession movement. If only one candidate had been in the field, and the Republican candidate had been
elected, then the Slave States would all have gone out together; but, that very division in the Convention had been the obstacle in the way to this uniform movement. He said the result would have been the same had there been but one candidate in the field-the
Northern majority would have carried all be
fore it.* The idea of submission to that
majority was absurd, if the principle was to be pressed to its entire conclusions. Suppose a free negro had been elected Presidentwould it have been expected of the South to
and the Homestead bill he considered as all The Pacific Railway bill, the Tariff bill, inimical to a peaceful settlement, since they
were nothing but Repub-
this city changed to one in har-
He said of the future, that the Confederacy should meet adverse fortune, and again change its would be divided into several unities-that views, then there might be a reunion and a reconthe anti-Slavery section along the St. Law-struction of the Government. Twice did the Plerence and in New England was not going beians secede, and twice did the haughty Patricians with the States bordering the Ohio and Mis- make such terms of conciliation as rendered Rome the foremost empire upon earth. sissippi Rivers, whose sentiments and interests were too clearly identified with those of the South. He therefore thought the Northern States would divide. He closed:
"If the States were now divided into two Confed
eracies, and their interests required a union, I do not know why it might not occur. But war places an impassable gulf between them. A Roman Ambassa"The Senator from New York said on one occa-dor, addressing those to whom he was sent, said, sion, not long since, that, in this dispute between I carry in my bosom peace and war; which will the North and the South, it was a matter of con- you have?' Reversing his declaration, I say to Senscience with the North, while with the South ators on the other side of this chamber, 'You carry it was only a matter of interest; and therefore the in your bosoms, for the country, peace or war; South ought to yield. By this mode, secession, the which do you mean to give it? If you say war, conscience of the North can be relieved, without then our people will meet you, and struggle with subjecting the South to financial bankruptcy, polit- you all along the lines, and wherever else you come; ical degradation, and social ruin. The anti-Slavery and they will defend their honor and the safety of their wives and children, with the same spirit and resolution they exhibited at Sullivan's Island, and at Kings Mountain, at Yorktown, and at New Orleans, and over the many battle-fields of Mexico. I have no doubt the South will make a triumphal defence, if assailed; but sooner than submit to disgrace and degradation, she would, if fall she must, rather go down, like the strong man of the Bible, carrying with her the main pillars of the edi fice, the edifice itself, and the lords of the Philistines, into one common ruin."
current can then run its course unchecked and un
trammeled. It has already demanded, at Boston, the removal of the statue of Daniel Webster, because he was willing to compromise with the South.* How long will it be before it requires that the statues of such slaveholders as Washington and Jackson shall be thrown into the Potomac, the monument of the former razed to the ground, and the very name of
It is singular what ideas have prevailed in regard to Webster's views. He was ever a consistent anti-slavery man, and opposed any compromise which would demand a sacrifice of this sentiment. In one of his very latest speeches, made at Buffalo, May 22d, 1851, he said:
"If the South wish any concession from me, they
won't get it not a hair's breadth of it.
away, or hire a mercenary Heep, that he might say what a mercenary apostate from liberty Daniel Webster has become. He knows himself to be a hypocrite and falsifier. * * All that I now say is, that, with the blessing of God, I will not now or hereafter, before the country or the world, consent to be numbered among those who introduced new slave-power into the Union. I will do all in my power to prevent it."
Hale, of New Hamp-.