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nage, and whose greatest draught should not made to the majority's accusations and citaexceed fourteen feet. tions of fact.
A North Carolina Demonstration.
At the evening session, (February 20th,) Ruffin, of North Carolina, made a long speech on the Corwin report. It was heavily charged with the thunders of secession rhetoric. The proposition of a Middle Confederacy was a humbug, hatched by designing men to retard the great Southern movement. The President he characterized as "a driveler—an imbecile-a mere puppet in the hands of designing men." "The President, the Secretary of War, the LieutenantGeneral-I thank my God that my name stands on record upon the journals against the revival of the law creating that office have violated the spirit of the Constitution and usurped powers not delegated to them by the law. If such things had occurred in the purer and better days of the Republic, these men would have been hurled-ignominiously hurled from their high places." He justified the firing into the Star of the West. If it be again necessary to charter another vessel for a similar expedition, let it be a long, low, raking-looking schooner, and hoist at its peak the black flag, emblazoned with the skull and cross-bones, and then the Stars and Stripes will be saved from insult.
The House Select Committee of Five, to whom was referred the President's Special Message of January 8th, made a report, Thursday, (February 21st,) on the State of the Navy, and the conduct of the Secretary of the Navy therein. The report was a strongly drawn document, reflecting, in very severe terms, upon Mr. Toucey-the only remaining original member of Mr. Buchanan's Cabinet. It was accompanied by a Minority Report, by Mr. Branch, of North Carolina; also by a verbal dissent from John Cochrane, as to the views of the majority. The majority document will be given in the succeeding chapter. It is an important exposé of the conduct of the Navy Department-one which left upon Mr. Toucey's name a stain of dishonor which his friends failed to wipe away. The points of Mr. Branch's Minority Report will be stated, to show what was the defence
The Volunteer bill* then came up for consideration, when Bocock, of Virginia, resumed his remarks thereon. He assumed that the bill proposed to override the civil power of the country. He could not say what the Border Slave States would do in the event of the passage of this bill; but he knew that Virginia is committed, and her honor and interests require she should resist the intended warlike aggressions on the other Southern States. If the bill becomes a law, he hazarded the opinion that in less than three months all the Slave Border States, with one or two exceptions, will be found standing with the Seceded States. He
*As this important measure will have frequent
reference to it, we give the wording of the bill:
"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That the provisions of an act ap
proved the 28th day of February, in the year 1795, entitled 'An Act to provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions, and to repeal the act now in force for those purposes,' and of the act approved the 3d day of March, in the year 1897, entitled' An Act authorizing the employment of the land and naval forces of the United States in cases of insurrections,' are hereby extended to the case of insurrections against the authority of the United States.
SECTION 2. And be it further enacted, That the President, in any case in which it may be lawful to use either the militia or the military and naval force of the United States for the purpose aforesaid, may accept the services of such volunteers as may offer their services as cavalry, infantry, or artillery, organized in companies of the maximum standard, squadrons, and regiments, respectively, according to the mode prescribed for the organization of the respective arms in the military establishment of the United States; and it shall be lawful for the Pres
ident to commission the officers of such companies,
battalions, squadrons, and regiments in their respect ive grades, to continue till discharged from the service of the United States; and such volunteers, while in the service of the United States, shall be subject to the rules and articles of war, and shall be entitled to the same pay and emoluments as officers and soldiers of the same grade in the regular service."
A Voice from
argued that the Republican party is a hostile | released from our oaths, but organization, because its corner-stone is in so long as he stood here unopposition to the extension of Slavery, and der oath to support the Conits rallying-cry is, that Southern institutions stitution, he made no appeal to any man to are to be circumscribed and opposed, while violate that oath, and he wished to hear those advocated by that party are to be exnone to that effect from any quarter. He tended. In conclusion, he said the Republi- did not believe the bill conferred on the Prescans adhere to their platform with more ident any additional powers. If it has any tenacity than to the Constitution; and in the value it is merely explanatory of existing name of the Constitution, which the bill vio- laws. Within less than 60 days 16 forts have lated-in the name of his constituents, who been seized, and 14 of them held against the were to be injured by it-in the name of the power of the Government. If this seizure common country, whose peace was to be was made by any foreign government, or all destroyed, perhaps, never to be restored, and the powers of the world combined, we in the name of humanity, he denounced and would soon take arms against them. These execrated the bill. forts mount 1,120 guns, and the property Howard, (Rep.,) of Mich-cost $6,000,000 out of the public treasury. A Voice from igan, answered Bocock, ex- The very soil has been purchased, and the Michigan. pressing himself freely in title to the land is in the United States. No regard to the feeling and opposition mani- person on earth has a right to interfere with fested by the Virginia members. He had them, yet they have been seized and are now been accustomed, he said, always to listen to held, and certain gentlemen are not alarmed the Virginian (Bocock) with pleasure and in- at all about the disturbed peace of the counterest, His reputation for candor, and try. Oh, no! If the Government which we his great abilities as a legislator had never sworn to support would be allowed failed to command attention. But his speech peaceably and quietly to go out of existence, of yesterday and to-day was only listened to then there would be no more war, forsooth! with a feeling of surprise. A question, in- He regarded all appeals about coercion as volving the very existence of the Government, intended to divert the public mind from the is thrown off in appeals to the passions of the real issue. The charge of coercion is most people by clap-trap phrases! The appeals absurd. Coercion is an impossibility in the of the gentleman were made to be sent to very nature of things, according to the orVirginia, to influence the Convention now in ganization of the State and Federal Governsession in assisting to break up a Govern- ments, which he proceeded to show, and in ment which has taken the experience of more this connection referred to the seizure of the than half a century to establish. The gentle- revenue-cutters, the mint, money, and other man denounced the bill in the name of hu- public property, and arguing that any Governmanity, as unconstitutional, and appealed to ment which rightfully exists has the power the House to let the Seceding States go. to maintain its existence. If a Government Why don't we let them go? They came into has not the power of such defence, it is no the Union, it is said, seeking to promote Government at all. their happiness, but as they now find they cannot secure it, why not let them go? Why did not the gentleman ask them in direct terms to violate the oath they have taken to support the Constitution? Why blink that question? We have no power to let any State go out of the Union. Our sole duty is to support the Constitution and conserve the Government. When the Government shall legally be dissolved, we shall be
The morning hour expired before Mr. Howard's remarks were finished. Stanton obtained consent to make the further consid eration of his bill the special order for Monday, (February 25th,) when Howard, having the floor, would conclude his speech.
Adrian, (Dem.,) of New Jersey, presented a memorial signed by over thirteen hundred names-of whom over three hundred were those of Republicans-all from New Bruns
A SHARP ASSAULT ON THE
wick; also another memorial, from the same "he entered his solemn protest against the place, signed by five hundred names, includ- action of the Seceding States. In his opinion ing that of Theodore Frelinghuysen, (can- it was unwise and selfish, an irreparable indidate for Vice-President on the Whig ticket jury to themselves, an act of cruel injustice in 1844-Henry Clay being the candidate to the Middle and Border Slave States, as for the Presidency.) The memorialists prayed well as to the General Government, and of gross for the adoption of the Crittenden proposi- ingratitude to a million and tion, or for any other constitutional adjust- a half of gallant men in the ment of national difficulties. North who have made every sacrifice, and dared every danger, in support of the Constitution and in defence of Southern rights." He arraigned the Republican party for its many inconsistencies, in a very pointed and cogent train of thought. Against Mr. Seward he made some strong points, saying:
"But a short time ago we were told by the Senator from New York that between Free and Slave labor there was an irrepressible conflict.' Now he says that the different forms of labor, if Slavery were not perverted to purposes of political ambition, need not constitute any element of strife in the Confederacy!' But a short time ago we were told that it was necessary to protect the Territories from Slavery, and to drive back the slave power, which
The Corwin Report coming up as the special order, Barrett, (Dem.,) of Missouri, addressed the House in an hour's speech. He quoted from Jefferson's letters to show that the Missouri excitement, of 1820, was hatched by the defeated Federalists in order to create a new local and geographical issue, by which they hoped again to be restored to power; and, by a natural sequence, traced the Republican party from that germ. His characterization of the constituent elements of that party was more forcible than agreeable to the dominant section. He quoted largely from the speeches of Mr. Seward and Mr. Lincoln to show how radical and revolutionary their principles were. John Brown he pronounced to have been a true, practical Republican. The great object of the party was, not to keep Slavery out of the Territotories, for they were already declared to be unfitted for Slave labor; but, to eradicate the institution of Slavery entirely. The Government itself was one of the best ever instituted among men; it had done no wrong. It had provided a mode for redressing grievances. "The very election which raised a sectional President to power mani-Shall every seventh white man cut another's throat
fested the existence of a national conservative element which insured a constitutional check upon his administration, and its certain termination at the end of four years. An opposition, which, if united, could have defeated that election, could surely have protected themselves, under the Constitution, in the Union, against the aggressions of any sectional minority."* In view of this, *We have adverted to this simple and incontrovertible position, which strips the Disunionists of their alleged grievances, viz.:-the election of a Republican President. [See page 32 for the figures of the actual minority of the Republicans. See, also, page 137.]
was threatening the invasion even of the Free States. Now, says the great leader of the Republican party, there is no fear of Slavery anywhere, and the protection of the Territories from Slavery has ceased to be a practical question.'
Gentlemen of the Republican party, this is no time for trifling-no time for diplomacy; no time for promoting political dogmas; no time for advanc ing mere partisan interests; no time for trying to preserve doubtful political consistency. Questions
grave moment force themselves upon you. Shall a sacrifice be made of our house-of our race-our lineage our blood, for those of a strange clime?
for the sake of one negro? Will you disregard all ties
* As I have
With all due allowance for the usual misrepresentations-perhaps, we should say, usual misinterpretations, of Northern (or Republican) sentiment, as it appeared to the Southern mind-this speech by the Missourian may be pronounced one of the most graphic and well-directed arguments against the dominant party which came from the Southern side of
the House. The gentleman had the misfortune, however, to stand between two determined antagonists, both too much absorbed in their own effort to gain the advantage of position to notice even his presence.
At the close of Barrett's speech the House was called upon to consider the Senate bill providing for the payment of expenses incurred, in Oregon and Washington Territories, in suppressing Indian hostilities in 1855 and '56. In the course of a protracted debate Haskin, (Rep.,) of New York, proposed to refer the matter to Generals Scott and Wool for settlement, when Pryor, (Dem.,) of Virginia, "opened fire" on the military leaders with his sharpest artillery of the tongue. He said General Wool had threatened to carry fire and sword into the South, and General Scott had organized a military despotism in the Capital of the Republic; and, with more unnatural feelings than Coriolanus, proposed to march on his own motherState. Unlike the people of Rome, the people of that Commonwealth would not seek to conciliate his peace by the exhibition of the tears of their mothers and sisters, but would meet him as would become the sons of Virginia.
The Virginians, of Secession faith, could not forgive the presence of those nine hundred troops in and around the Capital in its hour of danger. It both thwarted their schemes, and implied a want of faith in their "sacred honor"-reason, doubly corded, for their dislike. To the Unionists of Maryland and Virginia those troops were not an unwelcome sight. The rich treasures of the National City seemed safer in their keeping than in that of the conspirators.
The Senate, Thursday, (February 21st,) considered the House bill to suspend the Postalservice in the Seceded States. It excited a warm and protracted discussion, in which Messrs. Doolittle, Douglas, Hunter, Fessenden and others participated.
The minor business consisted in the presentation of a number of petitions by Messrs. Crittenden, Powell, Dixon, and Bigler-all praying for compromise. Also one petition, from Milwaukie-presented by Mr. Doolittle-asking Congress to stand by the Consti
Mails in the Beceded States.
tution, to execute the laws, and to make no compromises with revolutionists. Mr. Wade presented a similar petition from citizens of Philadelphia. Mr. Bragg presented the credentials of Mr. Clingman, reelected to the United States Senate, from North Carolina, for a term of six years.
Mr. Hunter opened the debate on the mails. His argument to prevent the sus pension of mail-routes in the revolutionary States contained much good law, but was so singular in its claims as to be worthy of notice. Asserting that the States actually had seceded, he claimed that there still was an obligation nuder the Constitution to keep up the mail service! He said:
The most that any man can maintain is, that this Government, so far as the States are concerned its laws upon individuals; but it has not the right to which are within the Union, has the right to enforce enforce its laws by punishing States. This Congress has not the right to judge that States have violated the Constitution, and to say to them, 'Unless you will act constitutionally and properly, in our opinion, you shall not have your rights under the Constitution; you shall not have your share of the general benefits of legislation.' To do that would consolidate this Government, and make it supreme. If we can say that, because a State has not obeyed the Constitution, in our opinion, therefore, we can deprive it of its share of the general benefits of legislation until it does obey the Constitution; we may set up ourselves as judges of its acts in every respect, and proceed to punish it in this way whenever it departs in any degree from our notion of its constitutional duties."
All of which simply amounted to the legal hint that Congress must provide mails for the revolutionists. The same line of argument would have assumed that Congress must provide, as usual, for Coast Surveys, Harbor Improvements, Custom-Houses, Light-Houses, Supreme Court-Rooms, Marshal's Offices, &c., &c. That Mr. Hunter did not add these to his list of "general benefits," over which Congress could exercise no constitutional control, probably was owing to the extreme modesty of the Secessionists' demands. Mr. Hunter was an able lawyer, and one of the most experienced statesmen in the country. That he should have compromised his sagacity by demanding the general benefits of legislation to those in actual arms against the General
THE SOUTHERN IDEA."
North, and, with very few exceptions, at the South, until within a very recent period."
Government, cannot be excused even upon and political evil was universally received at the the plea of the technical strength of his legal | assumption. If a prodigal son should seize his father by the throat and demand his money on the plea of a general right to it under his family claim, his argument would have all the force of Mr. Hunter's logic.
Doolittle vs Hunter.
Clingman of North Carolina, interrupted to say that, with some knowledge of Mr. Calhoun's opinions, he never knew of his having asserted that African Slavery was a blessing-was the normal condition of the negro, &c. He (Clingman) knew that Mr. Calhoun did entertain the idea that African Slavery was right, as it existed in the South
Doolittle, (Rep.,) of Wisconsin, answered Hunter, at some length, and spoke in defence of the bill, which he considered a measure of peace, in that it gave the Post--that it was the natural condition of the master-General power to withdraw mails from revolutionary sections, and thus not compel Government to guard its property in transitu. He then adverted, in answer to Hunter's points, as to the changed relations of the of the Senate, after stating that affairs of the country, eonsequent on the new ideas which had entered into our political system, saying:
"New ideas, like new forces, have, indeed, entered into our system, and are the cause and occasion of that revolution we now witness. But what are these new ideas? What are these revolutionary forces which are now demanding the legitimate expression of their power, or threaten to rend or destroy whatever may stand in their way? It has, sir, first and before all others, and more potent than all others, in this new idea very recently adopted by Southern gentlemen, that Slavery is a blessing-that Slavery is a divine institution, and that Slavery is the natural, normal, and best relation of labor and capital. I say, in the first place, that it is a new idea, the out-growth of the brain of John C. Calhoun. But since be uttered it here it has grown with a rapidity almost unexampled in the Southern States, within the last fifteen or twenty years. This idea of Mr. Calhoun, that Slavery is a blessing, was not acknowledged by the men of the South, any more than by the men of the North twenty years ago. The world knows that, in the days of the Revolution, whether you look South or North-whether you look into the writings and speeches of Marion, or Oglethorpe, or Washington, or Madison, or Jefferson, or Henry, or Mason, of the South, or into the writings of Franklin, or Adams, or Jay, or Clinton, of the North, you find the same language on the subject of Slavery. It was regarded, on all hands, as an evil, socially and politically, as late as 1832, within my own recollection. In the Legislature of the State of Virginia her leading men held the same doctrine. They denounced it in terms stronger than any of mine, as a moral and political evil; as a blight, a mildew, a cancer, certain, steady, and fatal in its progress. repeat, sir, that the doctrine that Slavery is a social
negro, in this country-an idea which he (Clingman) also entertained. Doolittle answered, on this historically interesting point: "Mr. Calhoun, on the floor
most Southern men once held
The Southern "Idea."
that Slavery was a moral, as well as a social and political evil, declared: That folly and delusion are gone, and we now hold that Slavery is the most safe and stable basis for free institutions in the world.' I will not undertake to say that I repeat the precise words, but I know I have given their substance; and from that day to this hour, that idea, uttered by John C. Calhoun, then feebly sustained, but gathering strength and momentum with every revolving year, has become that new idea, that revolutionary force, which has entered into our system, and which is 'now threatening to rend and destroy it in its wild and irregular play.' Sir, it has revolutionized the Southern mind-it has been made to enter the schools and the pulpit of the Southern States, and to reverse their teachings. It has entered into their judicial tribunals, and reversed their decrees. It has entered their political rostrums and their Legislative halls changed their political creeds. Sir, that idea has gained such a domination in two-thirds of the Slave States, that it reigns, to-day, supreme, despotic, and as intolerant of opposition as the Spanish Inquisition.
"The honorable Senator from Virginia himself (Mr. Hunter) declared in his speech, last Fall, at Charlotteville, that when he entered into the Federal councils, which was at the commencement of Mr. Van Buren's Administration, the moral and political status of the Slavery question was very different from what it now is. Then the Southern men, with but few exceptions, admitted Slavery to be a moral evil, and palliated or excused it on the plea of necessity.' But last Winter, in debate, in an elaborate speech, he declared that, to-day, the 'keystone of the American arch is the black marble block of African Slavery;' and his colleague, inter rupting me in debate, asserted that in Virginia, to