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Report of the Conspiracy Committee.
The Minority Report and Resolution.
to have been openly political | hostile enemy, and during the
clubs, have since assumed the character of military organizations, are now engaged in drilling, and expect to provide themselves with arms, some from the State authorities, and others from private subscriptions. But so far as the Committee were able to learn, their purposes, while they sympathized strongly with secession, there is no proof that they intend to attack either the Capitol or District of Columbia, unless the
surrender should be demanded by a State to which they profess a high degree of allegiance. Some of these companies in Baltimore professed to be drilling for the sole purpose of preventing other military companies from passing through the State of Maryland. Whether these representations of the purposes of these companies be correct or not, the Committee have failed to discover any satisfactory evidence that they had any purpose whatever, as a mere mob, without the sanction of State authority, to attack the Capitol, or any other public property in this District, or to seize the District. If it should be admitted that any one of these organizations were hostile to the Government, or entertained unlawful purposes, they are in no proper sense secret, and are not, therefore, such as are contemplated in the resolution of the House.
"The Committee are unanimously of opinion that the evidence produced before them does not prove the existence of a secret organization here or else where, hostile to the Government, that has for its object, upon its own responsibility, an attack upon the Capitol or any other of the public property here, or an interruption of any of the functions of the Government. The Committee submit herewith all the testimony taken upon the subject, and ask that the same and this report be printed, and the Committee be discharged from the further consideration of the subject."'
To render his surprise successful, the North Carolina member called for the previous question on his resolution. The Committee, however, "ventilated" the gentleman's strategy
so much to his discredit that the resolution
This report was, it afterwards appeared, dacity to libel and calumniate his fellowthe result of a compromise, being less positive citizens by his published proclamation of and direct than the majority desired, owing the 3d of January. He has proclaimed that to a wish to make it unanimous. It was rehe was in possession of information not acported as the unanimous voice of the Com-cessible to the Legislature, or to the people mittee. The members of it were, therefore, taken by surprise when Mr. Branch, (Dem.,) of North Carolina-one of the Committee-arose to offer a minority report, setting forth that no conspiracy existed, and therefore that the following resolution should receive the sanction of the House:
The Minority Report and Resolution.
"Resolved, That the quartering of troops of the regular army in this District and around the Capitol, when not necessary for their protection from a
of the State, and that there did exist in the State an organization of his fellow-citizens, armed and prepared to invade the District and to capture this Capitol."
This bitter assault called up various parties, and, for a while, the confusion was beyond the Speaker's control. It only received its quietus in the vote to table, as recorded above.
Nothing further of interest transpired up to the hour of adjournment.
REPORT ON MR.
In the House, Friday, (February 15th,) speeches were made by Vandever, (Rep.,) of Iowa, and De Jarnette, (Dem.,) of Virginia. The Iowa member's argument was an able and thorough exposé of the duplicity practiced by the Southern leaders in the Democratic Conventions at Charleston and Baltimore, and of their duplicity towards the Union. He was interrupted much by Southern men, who sought to parry his points by references to side issues and personal matters. He disapproved the Corwin Report, and stood firmly on the principle of no more Slave Territory forever!
De Jarnette's Speech.
De Jarnette argued, with much feeling and no little ability, the Southside view of the question of Union. He was very severe on the anti-Slavery sentiment of the North, and of England; and essayed to throw upon it the responsibility of the evils which had come upon the country. He assumed that England's ultimate design was to disrupt the American Confederacy, and that the North was rushing on in a scheme of madness in its crusade against Slavery-which he regarded as not only a just and wise institution, but said it was bound to spread, not only because of its commercial prosperity, but from its agricultural necessity. closed thus:
"You can never induce England to remain hostile to the South, because she is dependent on the South. From her trade with it she derives, annually, an income of more than six hundred millions, besides giving employ to millions of her starving people. What does she derive from the export trade of the North? Not one cent; because it is all consumed. Her bread, when there is a failure in the European crop, she sometimes gets from your ports. That is all. But that does not constitute à basis of trade, because it is consumed, and hence is no source of income.
"We at the South understand the strength of our position. The step we are about to take is not one of our own choosing, but one of necessity. That necessity you have created, against our repeated protests, as well as against our threats. You have not heeded our solemn protests, and you have laughed to scorn our threats. As you have scorned our threats, so now we scorn yours, and we defy your power!
"Do not, I implore you, suppose that Virginia will submit to oppression. She leaves this Union and will sacrifice all, except her honor and the liberties of her people to preserve it. You now assail both. She has called her young men and her old men together around her council-board. They have left their swords at home, because their presence sometimes engenders strife.
They want peace, and not war; and if you do
not acknowledge the sovereignty of Virginia, and the equality of her people, you will find them, too, on the war-path."
This speech, violent as it was—and, indeed, as was all the declamation of disunionist speakers-was charged with a wild eloquence and feeling which rendered it, for the moment, impressive. It served the purpose, however, of fanning the slumbering fires of secession in the State, through which it was quite studiously circulated. When such a speech was delivered, it was spread on the very wings of the wind throughout the South-when a Union speech was made by a Southern man, its echo scarcely reached beyond the walls of the Capitol, except towards the North.
Saturday's session, in the Senate, was devoted entirely to a consideration of the Morrill Tariff bill.
Saturday (February 16th) was private bili day. At the evening session the Corwin Report, being the special order, was before the House, when Somers, (Rep.,) of Maine, Burnham, (Rep.,) of Connecticut, and Waldron, (Rep.,) of Michigan, Beale and Duell, (Reps.,) of New York, Walton, (Rep.,) of Vermont, all delivered speeches of a strongly anti-compromise tone. The first was particularly pointed and forcible in his remarks. We may quote:
A Breeze from Maine,
"The difficulties that threaten the peace and stability of the nation are the results of an attempt to override Civilization by forcing Slavery on enlightened communities. The advocates of Slavery are trying to harmonize an intensified despotism with free schools and Christianity; they insult the intelligence of the North by declaring that wrong is right, and they propose to gag all who presume to differ from them. They had undertaken to unite two repellant bodies, and, because they will not fuse, they threaten to break the crucible; any political chemist could have foretold the result. The framers of the Constitution, while planting
A Breeze from Maine.
A Breeze from Maine
prevent it-better prepare for
Slavery is doomed, and will go out in blood. Seces. sion, compromise, and reconstruction is now the plat form of the odds and ends of the Democratic party; Secession to force compromise-compromise to destroy the Republican party and reconstruct the old De
Slavery as a necessity there, yet provided in the Constitution means for carrying out the theory of equal rights, namely: Free speech and a free press. They feared not error so long as truth was free to combat it. Our Southern friends under-resistance; unless the South retreats from its treason, stand the power of truth as well as Napoleon the First did, and fear it more. * * Its present game of forcing the North into compromise is one of brag; conventions are cheap, and resolutions cheaper. We have had numerous Southern Conventions and resolutions for direct trade and magnificent steam-mocracy on its ruins. Let us meet this courageously ships, but they have floated only in the imaginations of the resolvers. But you say now they have certainly seceded; have seized public property, and threaten war. I know it, and this is the very card to bring Congress to its knees, and they know it. I admire their boldness. They stake all on a small pair, and then, without moving a muscle, look their opponent in the face until he quails, and lays down his hand. They play the game more desperately than they first intended, for they did not expect firmness in the people of the North. If that which was intended for a farce results in a tragedy, the getters-up of the piece will be alone responsible. * Be warned of the fate of those who have compromised with wrong. The Fugitive Slave law was framed to satisfy the slave power, and was
the people sustain brave men, and follow a hero into a ditch sooner than a coward into camp. Save the Free States from humiliation, the Border States from Secession. By compromise you encourage treason and enhance the danger. I hope that the Union will be saved, but it must not be by striking hands with wrong. Let us have liberty and Union if we can; but liberty without Union rather than Union without liberty."
This sounded like the stern North wind cutting through the pines. It was, unquestionably, Maine sentiment. Its last sentences sounded like grim prophecy. Compromise
with revolutionists, and concessions to Slavery, found no response save that of defimade so heavy that it crushed its Northern cham-ance from the real Northmen. They were pion the greatest man of the age; and carried down as unbending in their sense of right as the a President and the Whig party. Are you not pines in their primeval forests. It was Histosatisfied with such a feat, or have you got your eyes ry telling her beads over again. on another crop of great men, and a successful party, whose necks you wish to place under their modern guillotine called compromise? Several are on their backs already, looking up at the glistening blade, but they are unwilling to die alone, so they
The speeches of Burnham, Beale, and Walton were reassurances of the feeling rapidly growing, against compromise, in their States, as was evident from the satisfaction with which they were received by their constitu beckon us on to share their inglorious fate. A sham compromise will do the South no good-for a real ents. How it must have pained the heart of one there is no basis. The Border States, for their the noble Kentucky Senator to have heard own safety, must ally themselves with the North. these daily protests against his well-meant, Emancipation is sure to come in time-nothing can but weakly cherished offspring!
Davis en route.
THE journey of Jefferson regarded as a throwing Davis, President-elect of down of the gauntlet, and the Southern Confederacy, sped over the North to confrom Mississippi to Montgomery, was one con- firm the impression of the utter hopelessness of tinued ovation. Great numbers of people any compromise with the Seceded States. A congregated at every station. Twenty-five new Government was formed-the dream of speeches were made by the President, on the dreamers was realized:-the Slave Republic route, to the gathered crowds. He was met, was a fact, which no step of the North or of on his approach to Montgomery, by a Com- the Border States could avert. Compromise mittee of the Congress, and by the city au- not only was not asked for, but was scorned; thorities, who served as an escort, while two while the idea of any reconstruction was only military companies from Columbus, Georgia, entertained to be vituperated. Exhilarated joined the retinue as a body-guard. by the remarkable success of the revolution to a state of nitrogenic delight, any return to the old Union looked, to their elated visions, like a descent to Avernus, and a reconstructionist was regarded as an enemy.
The reception at Montgomery, Saturday evening, (February 16th,) was enthusiastic. At the depot Mr. Davis made a speech to the great concourse in waiting. He addressed them at some length on the state of the South and the duties of its people, assuming a position at once of defiance and menace toward the North. This speech was
Eleven o'clock Saturday night the President, in answer to the clamors of the people, thus addressed them from the balcony of his
FELLOW-CITIZENS AND BRETH-
* A letter received at Washington, February 24th, STATES OF AMERICA-For now from a "distinguished Alabamiah," said:
we are brethren not in name merely, but in factmen of one flesh, one bone, one interest, one purpose-and of an identity of domestic institutions. We have hence, I trust, a prospect of living to
"You may suppose that there is a chance to rebuild the Union which has been torn down. There is none. Not only is there no probability, but there is no possibility of such an event. We do not be-gether in peace, with our institutions subject to prolieve that the North will give us any substantial tection, not defamation. It may be our career will guarantees, and we could not trust them if they did. be ushered in in the midst of storm. It may be that The idea which seems to have taken possession of as this morning opened with clouds, mist, and rain, the Peace Congress,' as it is called, that we will be we shall have to encounter inconvenience at the besatisfied with the prohibition north of 36 deg. 30 ginning. But, as the sun rose, it lifted the mist and min., and Squatter-Sovereignty south of that line, is dispelled the clouds, and left the pure sunlight of a gross insult to our understanding. Be assured, Heaven; so will the progress of the Southern Conwe have no idea of accepting any such terms The federacy carry us safe to the harbor of constitutional truth is, and our friends outside of the Seceding liberty and political equality. Thus, we have nothStates ought to be apprised of the fact, we have ing to fear at home, because at home we have holost all hope of an amicable adjustment, and are mogeneity. We will have nothing to fear abroad, be. looking to the bayonet as the final arbiter of the dis- cause, if war should come, if we must again baptize pute.'" in blood the principles for which our fathers bled in
The Inaugurai Ad.
dress of Jefferson Davis.
that the beginning of our ca-
"Our present condition, achieved in a manner unprecedented in the history of nations, illustrates the American idea that Governments rest upon the consent of the governed, and that it is the right of the people to alter and abolish Governments when ever they become destructive to the ends for which they were established. The declared compact of the Union from which we have withdrawn was to establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity; and when, in the judgment of the sovereign States now composing this Confed
the Revolution, we shall show we are not degenerate sons, but will redeem the pledges they gave, preserve the sacred rights they transmitted to us, and show that Southern valor still shines as brightly as in 1776, in 1812, and in every other conflict. I was informed, my friends, that your kindness only required I should appear before you. Fatigued by travel, and hoarse, I am unable to speak at any length, and came merely to assure you of my gratitude for these manifestations of your good-will. I come with diffidence and distrust to the discharge of the great duties devolved on me by the kindness and confidence of the Congress of the Confederated States. I thank you, friends, for the kind manifestations of favor and approbation you exhibit on this occasion. Through my entire progress to this city, I have received the same flattering demonstrations of generous support. I did not regard them as personal to myself, but as tendered to me as the humble representative of the principles and policy of the Confederate States. I will devote to the du-eracy, it has been perverted from the purposes for ties of the high office to which I have been called all I have of heart, of head, of hand. If, in the progress of events, my services shall be needed in another position; if, to be plain, necessity shall require that I shall again enter the ranks as a soldier, I hope you will welcome me there. Now, friends, again thanking you for this manifestation of your approbation, allow me to bid you good-night."
The Inaugural Address of Jefferson Davis.
which it was ordained, and ceased to answer the ends for which it was established, a peaceful appeal to the ballot-box declared that, so far as they were concerned, the Government created by that compact should cease to exist. In this they merely asserted the right which the Declaration of Independence of 1776 defined to be inalienable. Of the time and occasion of its exercise they, as sovereigns, were the final judges, each for itself.
The impartial, enlightened verdict of mankind will vindicate the rectitude of our conduct, and He who knows the hearts of men will judge of the sincerity with which we labored to preserve the Government of our fathers in its spirit.
"The right, solemnly proclaimed at the birth of the States, and which has been affirmed and reaffirmed in the Bills of Rights of the States subsequently admitted into the Union of 1789, undeniably recog
The inauguratory ceremonies transpired in the open air, from the front of the Capitol, in the presence of a vast crowd, among whom were many ladies, and an imposing body of military. The Inaugural Address was pronounced, commencing at one o'clock, prior to the administration of the oath. It read as follows: "GENTLEMEN OF THE CONGRESS OF THE CONFED-nizes in the people the power to resume the authority ERATE STATES OF AMERICA-FRIENDS AND FELLOWCITIZENS Called to the difficult and responsible station of Chief Executive of the Provisional Government which you have instituted, I approach the discharge of the duties assigned me with an humble distrust of my abilities, but with a sustaining confidence in the wisdom of those who are to guide and aid me in the administration of public affairs, and an abiding faith in the virtue and patriotism of the people.
"Looking forward to the speedy establishment of a permanent Government to take the place of this, and which, by its greater moral and physical power, will be better able to combat with the many difficulties which arise from the conflicting interests of separate nations, I enter upon the duties of the office to which I have been chosen, with the hope
delegated for the purposes of Government. Thus, the sovereign States, here represented, proceeded to form this Confederacy, and it is by the abuse of language that their act has been denominated 'revolution.' They formed a new alliance; but, within each State, its Government has remained. The rights of person and property have not been disturbed. The agent through whom they communicated with foreign nations is changed; but, this does not necessarily interrupt their international relations. Sustained by the consciousness that the transition from the former Union to the present Confederacy has not proceeded from a disregard, on our part, of our just obligations, or any failure to perform every constitutional duty moved by no interest or passion to invade the rights of others, anxious to cultivate peace and commerce with all nations, if we may