« PreviousContinue »
The Southern "Idea."
day, the almost universal opinion | Let us not deceive ourselves,
fostered and encouraged.'
"The first demand which it made was, that Congress should surrender all power to restrict the extension of Slavery into the Territories. It demands, in the next place, that the people of the Territories shall have no power to resist its expansion. It demands, in the third place, that the Supreme Court, by a decree, shall declare that it is established by
the Constitution in every Territory of the United States. And now it goes further, sir, and, with arms in its hands, it demands a new Constitution, by which we shall carry the institution of Slavery, not only into the Territories acquired from Mexico, where it was prohibited by law before we acquired them, but new provisions by which we shall carry into all future Territory to be acquired south of a given line, which may embrace the whole of Mexico and Central America.
Mr. Hunter replied briefly. He was gratified at the tone of the Senator's speech, and at his declarations relative to the peaceful designs of the Republicans in proposing the bill under consideration. He still deemed it unnecessary, however, as the PostmasterGeneral already had authority to close offices and to suspend mail routes where the business of the Department could not be prosecuted with safety.
Powell, (Dem.,) of Kentucky, opposed the bill, as giving the power of an autocrat to one of the "head clerks of the President." It was time for Senators, he thought, to inaugurate some other policy than to confide their powers to a head clerk or to a Depart
Fessenden, (Rep.,) of Maine, answered that he thought the opponents of the bill were drawing on their imagination. The bill simply gave power to the Postmaster-Geniteral to suspend the operation of the laws, and relieve him of any attempt to enforce the laws. It is most eminently a measure of peace. The secret is, that gentlemen want to force us to acknowledge that secession is lawful. It seems to be the simple truth that gentlemen won't let us have a measure of peace without acknowledging the right of secession.
"This new idea, this revolutionary force, demands the expression of its power, or threatens to rend and destroy the best Government on earth, involving, it
may be, the hopes and the liberties of the world. And, sir, with an effrontery almost sublime, when with arms in its hands it seizes our forts, fires upon our flag, takes possession of our property, robs our Treasury, it claims to be acting peacefully, with the most humane desire to avoid collision and bloodshed. * * As to those other questions, as to what our relations may ultimately become towards these Seceding States, they are matters which belong to the future, which I cannot predict, and which, in my judgment, no human mind is capable of predicting. It rests with Providence; it rests upon exigencies over which, perhaps, we can have no control. Let us
wait, and let us see what the developments of Pro
vidence, the course of events may be. For myself,
I desire most earnestly to avoid the shedding of blood. I desire a peaceful solution of all existing
difficulties, and I hope and trust that we may have a peaceful solution. Events are going on very rapidly. We can hardly keep pace with them. We must open our eyes to them, and see them as they are.
Douglas gave his views,
a curse would have occasioned no trouble if
it had not been attempted to engraft it in the
MR. WILSON'S SPEECH.
Doolittle answered Douglas with a reference to the record, which told against him very forcibly. We may quote:
“In 1852 we had peace. The Slavery question was settled, and settled bylaw. In all the Territory of the United States north of 36 30, it was settled by the compromise of 1820; in New Mexico and Utah by the compromise of 1850. But, sir, this new idea, that Slavery is a blessing, came here to the Federal Government and demanded expansion for Slave labor into the free Territories of the United States. It demanded, first, the repeal of the Missouri Compromise act of 1820; and the repeal was made! The Senator from Illinois (Douglas) is the man whose hand was raised to strike down that compromise which had given peace for thirty years. The idea then demanded, as its next progressive step, the subjugation of the Northern soil of Kansas, and it was done! Then, when the Lecompton Constitution was formed, though reeking with perjury and fraud, and though voted down by ten thousand majority of the people of Kansas, the idea demanded that Kansas should be forced into the Union under that most iniquitous constitution in violation of the will of the people! That i ea is still here pressing new demands; what does it now ask? It now demands a new Constitution; it demands that the Constitution of our fathers, which was made perfect on this question, shall give way to new provisions to subject Free Territories to the institution of Slavery."
These words came with the force of gosgel-they were so true. They really embody the philosophy of the political history of the country for thirty years prior to 1860.
The special order having precedence came up, when the bill to suspend the mails went over. The special order was on the motion to print extra copies of the President's Message, communicating the Virginia Peace Convention resolutions-Wilson, of Massachusetts, having the floor. After some discussion, it was agreed to have an evening session for
At the evening session, Wilson having the floor, expressed a wish to speak on the Crittenden resolutions rather than on the special order. Consent being accorded, he gave his views on the great questions before the country, at length. The importance attached to the speech called together a very brilliant audience, who thronged the galleries, while many members of the House found seats in the Chamber. The speech was one of the most elaborate performances of the session, covering the entire ground of National and State relations. As an argument it was masterly. As a statement it was more than individual in its opinions — it echoed the predominant sentiment of the unconditional Unionists of the North. It was thus reported in abstract for the daily press : 'Mr. Bancroft, in his last volume of the History of the United States, had drawn the character of George Mason as one of the band of patriots that carried America through the Revolution to National Independence. This Christian patriot had been truly loyal, and on renouncing the King could stand justified to his own conscience only by the purest and most unselfish attachment to Human Freedom. Sincerity made him wise and bold. He was modest and unchanging, and had scorn for every-thing mean, cowardly, and low; always spoke his convictions with frank earnestness. Virginia sent this wise patriot to represent her in the assemblage of statesmen who met to frame a Constitution. This noble son of Virginia admonished the compeers that Slavery brought the judgment of Heaven upon the country, and, by an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punished national sins by national calamities.' These words of admonition and warning resound in the ears of the nation in the dark night now upon us. In this hour of fraternal strifes and treason, who does not see that Slavery has brought the judgment of Heaven on our country, and Providence furnishes a gigantic national sin. One year ago these chambers rang with passionate menaces of disunion, if the free people of the North dared to assume the control of the Republic. Timid conservatives shrank before the angry mutterings of meditated treason; but the farmers, mechanics, and laborers, who recognize no master but God, calmly thronged to the ballot-box, and struck from corrupt and dis
loyal hands the reigns of power! The treasonable words of last year are now hardened into deeds; madness and folly rule; treason holds carnival in the National Capital; men high in the national coun
cils plot conspiracies against the Government they have sworn to defend, and clasp hands with the assassins of the Union; States vauntingly proclaim their withdrawal, and seize the fortresses of the nation; insult and fire upon the flag of the Republic. Never since the dawn of creation has there been a conspiracy against the rights of man so utterly causeless; so wicked, and regardless of the judgment of the civilized world and approval of Almighty God. No wonder that the actors in this wicked drama look in vain for one word of human sympathy. These conspirators against the unity of America, and the architects of the Southern Confederacy, receive no words of cheer from any portion of the civilized world. The Journal des Débats tered not only the voice of France, but Europe, and all civilized men, when it said: 'There is not a corner on earth where it will find sympathy and assistance.' Nor can men who plot treason against the Government appeal from the present to the verdict of the future. The destroyers of the American Union may achieve immortality as enduring as its founders, but it will be an immortality of shame and dishonor. This conspiracy was not the work of a day. Nearly thirty years ago the spirit of nullification raised its hand against the Government, and the disciples of Calhoun said that Slavery was the corner-stone of the Republic.
promise. He accorded to the Senator from Kentucky purity of motive and patriotic intention, but said the plan for running the line of 36 deg. 30 min. was not a compromise, but an unquallified concession-a cheat and a delusion. The leaders of Slavery propagandism had fixed their hungry eyes on Cuba, Mexico, and Central America, and had fought their battles on this question. They were ignominiously beaten and then rebelled. The Senator from Kentucky (Crittenden) proposes also to make the rule applicable to all the Territory hereafter to be acquired. The freemen of the North who fought the battle in November will never accept this. He (Crittenden) also proposes to insert in the Constiut-tution a provision that Congress shall not abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia while it exists in Virginia and Maryland. Why should the nation bind itself to await the pleasure of Virginia? Such a proposition is an indignity and insult to the people of the United States. The Senator from Kentucky, seconded by the Senator from Illinois, (Douglas,) propose that the elective franchise shall not be exercised by any persons of the African race. Why is such a proposition made now? This class of men had exercised the rights of citizenship in Massachusetts for eighty years, and the ancestors of these men fought with heroic courage in the Revolution for liberty and independence. Men of the North could never put the propositions of the Senator from Kentucky in the Constitution. fear, if they did, the reproaches of insulted reason and violated conscience; that their names would be enrolled among those who have betrayed the cause of the people, and that they would be consigned to the moral indignation of history."
"He then proceeded to argue that the denunciations of the North, that it hated the South, were not true. He said the citizens of Massachusetts, and the whole North, had ever treated the South with kindness and courtesy. New England, and especially Massachusetts, had been singled out for reproach. Massachusetts clings to the teachings of Webster and Adams. She reads in all history that
Slavery has hastened the decay and fall of nations,
and finds in the pages of Pluto, Socrates, Burke, Fox, Humboldt, Washington, Jefferson, and others, testimony which deepened her conviction against Slavery domination and expansion. He referred to the speech of the Senator from Louisiana, (Benjamin;) under the pressure of the searching arguments of the Senator from Oregon (Baker) he lost his temper, and made an assault on Massachusetts. Governor Andrew never said the invasion of Virginia was right, and never had sympathy with it, as the Senator from Louisiana charged. There was no truth in the accusation that Massachusetts sent Senators here to insult the South. He alluded to the threats that unless the North change its sentiments, the Union cannot remain, and contended that the sentiments of the North were those of the Declaration of Independence and founders of the Republic. The venerable Senator from Kentucky comes forward as a pacificator, with a com
February 22d, being Washington's birthday, the House was not in session. The Senate held a session, but nothing of interest particularly relating to national affairs transpired.
A number of petitions were presented to the Senate, Saturday, some opposing and some favoring compromise. The Post Route and the Utah Appropriation bills consumed the day in their consideration.
In the House, Saturday, the Tariff bill was called up, after much fillibustering, on the part of its opponents, to prevent its consid eration. Among its opponents was Garnett, (Dem.,) of Virginia, who, in his remarks on the measure, vindicated his claim to the laurels won by Wigfall in the Senate. His declamation was of the pure secession species. We will quote from the official
An Instance of Dis
THE WEEK'S RESULT.
report, so that no doubts | silenced by Mr. Sherman's attempt to take be cast on the record: the bill from the Committee of the Whole. "This Tariff measure on the In the course of remarks made by Sickles, necessaries of the poor, for the benefit of the iron- (Dem.,) of New York, views were expressed by mongers of Pennsylvania, is the well-known price of that member, strongly antagonistic to the her vote in November. This is your economical party! bill, and to the Republican ways and means One hundred and eight millions of dollars in of raising revenue with which to meet the debt in three months! Your President-elect has, we enormous indebtedness of Mr. Buchanan's hear, arrived this morning in the city. Has he come Administration. His remarks were quite as to restrain your imprudences? Is he in hot haste to personal as those of Garnett, though less ofcheck your reckless extravagance? Or why this fensive in terms. night march from Harrisburg? What credit he deserves for its cleverness, and the cunning contrivance
At the evening session of the House, Saturday, speeches were made by Messrs. Gooch, (Rep.,) of Massachusetts; Fenton, (Rep.,) of New York; Haskin, (Rep.,) of New York; Blair, (Rep.,) of Pennsylvania; and Kellogg,
by which he has set all the conspirators of Baltimore
certain, at least, that you will have to increase the pay of the Lieutenant-General for the signal servi
ces that he has performed. You will need a large supply of peacock-feathers for the appropriate adorn. ment of his military dress-the reward for his pro
found plans and excessive toils in preparing plans of campaign against his native State, and the Southern States generally. Additional secretaries will have to be employed to draw up his bulletins and his 'views' on international law, interlarded as they are with rare excerpts from Paley's Moral Philosophy, and with the yet richer display of his extensive political learning, and his command of the tritest quotations from Pope."
And much more of the same sort, reckless in its insolence and indecent in its recklessness. The "gentleman from Virginia" was only
The Week's Result.
The week had proven one of stormy debate, but progress had been made towards placing matters in a better position for the emergencies which seemed impending, and for the reassertion of the dignity of the Government. By the withdrawal of the Southern members, the Republicans, for the first time in the history of the party obtained a working majority. The majority in the Senate was the first in the history of the Government in which the Northern States had a ruling power in that branch. From the organization of the Government up to 1860, the Slave sentiment had had uncontrolled ascendency in the upper House--thus virtually holding the reins of government. That its sway was despotic and ended in disaster is a fact which its strongest partisans will scarcely question.
REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE NAVY. LIST OF THE
List of Vessels.
OF MR. BRANCH.
"Store-ships.-Falmouth, sloop-of-war, stationed at Aspinwall; Warren, stationed at Panama; Fredonia, stationed at Valparaiso; Supply, sailed from Pensacola 12th of January for Vera Cruz; Release, returning from the Mediterra. nean; Relief, at New York.
"Special Service.-Niagara, screw-frigate, special service to Japan.
THE Report of the Special Committee of Five on the President's Message of January 8th, made to the House February 21st, [see page 431,] was an interesting document, embodying facts of an important na"Receiving Ships.-Ohio, ship-of-the-line, Boston; North ture. It first gave a list of the entire naval | Carolina, ship-of-the-line, New York; Princeton, steamer, force of the country and its disposition, with a list of commanding officers. The list of the vessels we give, together with their location on the 16th day of January, 1861:
“East India Squadron.-Hartford, steam-sloop, cruising
on the East India station; John Adams, sloop, cruising on the East India station; Dacotah, sloop, cruising on the East India station; Saginaw, steamer, cruising on the East India station; Vandalia, sloop-of-war, on the way to the station. "Brazil Squadron-Congress, frigate, cruising on the station; Seminole, steam-sloop, cruising on the station; Pulaski, steamer, cruising on the station.
'Pacific Squadron.-Lancaster, steam-sloop, at Panama, January 3; Saranac, steamer, at Panama, January 3; Wyoming, steam-sloop, at Panama, January 3; Narragansett, steam-sloop, on the South American Coast; Cyane, sloop-ofwar, at Panama, January 3; St. Mary's, sloop-of-war, at Panama, January 3; Levant, sloop-of-war, at Hilo, September 3.
"Mediterranean Squadron. - Richmond, steam-sloop, cruising on the station; Susquehanna, steam-sloop, cruising on the station; Iriquois, steam-sloop, cruising on the station.
Philadelphia: Alleghany, steamer, Baltimore; Pennsylva
nia, ship-of-the-line, Norfolk; Independence, razee, Mare
There were also in the ports of the United
"At Portsmouth, N. H.-Santee, frigate, 50 guns; Dale, sloop, 15 guns; Marion, sloop, 16 guns.
At Boston.-Colorado, steam-frigate, 40 guns; Minnesota, steam-frigate, 40 guns; Mississippi, steamer, 11 guns; Vermont, ship-of-the-line, 84 guns; Vincennes, sloop, 20 guns; Preble, sloop, 16 guns; Bainbridge, brig, 6 guns
"At New York.-Wabash, steam-frigate, 40 guns; Rosnoke, steam-frigate, 40 guns; Potomac, frigate, 50 guns; Brandywine, frigate, 50 guns; Savannah, sloop, 24 guns; Perry, brig, 6 guns.
"At Philadelphia.-Pawnee, sloop-of-war, 6 guns; Water Witch, steamer, 3 guns; St. Lawrence, frigate, 50 guns; Jamestown, sloop, 22 guns.
"At Washington.-Pensacola, steam-sloop.
"At Norfolk.-Merrimac, steam-frigate, 40 guns; Plym outh, sloop, 22 guns; Germantown, sloop, 22 guns; Raritan, frigate, 50 guns; Columbia, frigate, 50 guns; United
"African Squadron.—Constellation, sloop-of-war, cruising on the coast of Africa; Portsmouth, sloop-of-war, cruis-States, frigate, 50 guns. ing on the coast of Africa; San Jacinto, steam-sloop, cruising on the coast of Africa; Mystic, steamer, cruising on the coast of Africa; Sumter, steam-sloop, cruising on the coa-t
of Africa; Mohican, steam-sloop, cruising on the coast of Africa; Saratoga, sloop-of-war, cruising on the coast of
"Home Squadron.—Cumberland, sloop-of war, at Vera Cruz; l'owhatan, steam-sloop, at Vera Cruz; Pawnee, steam-sloop, at Philadelphia; Brooklyn, steam-sloop, at Hampton Roads; Sabine, frigate, under orders to Pensacola; Macedonia, shop-of-war, on way to Pensacola; St. Louis, sloop-of-war, under orders to Pensacola; Pocahontas, steamsloop, at Vera Cruz; Mohawk, steamer, supposed to be on
“At Annapolis.-Constitution, frigate, 50 guns."
Disposition of the
"The number of ships thus lying in port and dis. mantled and unfit for service is 28, mounting in the aggregate 874 guns. None of them could be repair. ed and put under sail short of several weeks' time, and several of them would require for that purpose at least six months. No orders have been issued to
her station, the coast of Cuba; Crusader, steamer, supposed put in readiness any of them.
to be on her station, the coast of Cuba; Wyandotte, steamer, supposed to be on her station, the coast of Cuba.
The foregoing comprises the whole naval force of the country-both that which is in commission