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Southern Protests.

referred, also, to the Convention called by his own honored State, but he could not recommend the plan of that Convention at all. Virginia knew that her rights could be secured by the States. But, if that Convention proposed a plan which not only does not secure the rights of the South, but takes away what little it has, he would be a traitor if he did not denounce it. He then proceeded to argue against the proposition of the Convention, claiming that the first section cut the South from all rights in the northern portion of the Territory, and left them to law-suit in the other portion. It left them rights under the common law, but. the judicial expounders of the common law in the Free States denied any right of property in man.

Mr. Crittenden replied to Mr. Mason, contending that the propositions of the Convention were for the security of the rights of the South.

The discussion was continued by Messrs. Bragg, (Dem.,) of North Carolina, Mason, Crittenden, Polk, (Dem.,) of Missouri, and Pugh, (Dem.,) of Ohio.

Mr. Baker, (Rep.,) of Oregon, said he intended to vote for the propositions as they were, and submit them to the people at large. The country was in great peril, and he was told that these measures, if passed, would harmonize the differences; therefore, he thought he would do right in submitting the question to the people. Why not submit the propositions for approval or rejection? He would not shut his eyes to the fact that twenty States appealed to us, and that States had seceded. Suppose the arguments of the Senators from Virginia are true, is that any reason why we should not submit the propositions to the people? If the people reject them, it is their business, not ours; and if the people accept them, then they are measures of peace and union. The Senator from Virginia objected to the propositions; that was one reason why he (Baker) agreed to them; and if Virginia, as represented here, agreed, he should immediately begin to doubt. If these propositions will satisfy the Border States, he would go for them heart and soul. But he was not voting to-day; he

Southern Protests.

was simply submitting them to the people. There was danger abroad,and he knew he did no harm in giving the question to the people. If the people did not like it, let them reject it. If events change so much, he was willing to violate the Chicago Platform. It was not the Constitution of the United States. He was willing to give up a great deal to preserve the Government to friends in Kentucky and Tennessee, but not anything to secession in South Carolina and Louisiana; yet, he thought he did not give up much. He believed Slavery was wrong, and he believed under these propositions the foul blot of Slavery would not be extended over any Territory. He thought others also gave up a great deal, and he was willing to meet them half-way. He hoped to hear words of peace and kindness from Mr. Lincoln, and expected to hear in response a hymn of peace, hope, and trust. He trusted a great deal to time and patience; therefore, he thought the best thing he could do was to vote for the resolutions.

Mr. Green, (Dem.,) of Missouri, said he regarded this the most prominent question ever brought before the Senate. He was willing to make himself a burnt-offering on the altar of sacrifice, but he would not take one of the propositions of the Peace Conference, which involved a desertion of safety and honor. The people could not stand by them, and he would not vote for them. He was not willing to leave any question to doubt; we must have it plain and unequivocal, and sustained by the hearts of the people, or else we will not be associated with such people. We must either make a permanent Union or a permanent separation. These propositions of the Peace Convention are the merest twaddle, but the Crittenden resolutions have some sense in them. We must have the right of property settled beyond a doubt everywhere. Who made freedom national and slavery local? When the Government found every State had slaves, slaveholders had the right of transit through Pennsylvania. But no Senator can come through a free State with his servant now, and is compelled, when he goes home, to avoid what is called "free soil." If this

Southern Protests.

thing is not corrected, then we must divide. He said he never expected to open his mouth in the Senate again, except to vote; and he must say his hopes of the Union were all gone. He believed that the die was cast, and there was such hostile feeling that we could not live together. He had waited in vain for a reaction of feeling at the North, (he wanted none at the South,) but none came, and he believed we must divide. He was not a Secessionist, but was driven to separation. These seeming peace propositions were only intended to lull old Virginia and other States; but if they are wise, they will strike the blow in time, and go to the Confederacy where they can have their rights. Is it possible that any Senator will undertake to support these wishy-washy, twaddle resolutions? He never would vote for them, and he would stake his reputation, whatever the consequences, on his vote.

The resolution was, however, adopted, by a vote of 95 to 62.

Lane on Johnson.

The special order in the Senate, Saturday, (March 2d,) was the Peace Convention proposition, when Lane, (Dem.,) of Oregon, proceeded to "ventilate" the speech of Andrew Johnson, [see pages 34950.] He argued the right of secession, and declared that Virginia would follow the other Southern States if she was not pacified. He characterized in severe terms Mr. Johnson's declarations regarding the right of coercing a State. He assumed that the Republican party was the evil genius of the hour-it would neither let the Southern States into the Territories-it would not let them go out, nor let them stay in the Union. His speech, able in many respects, occupied three hours in its delivery, and was a mingled mass of argument, invective, and personality-being particularly severe on Mr. Johnson, of Tennessee, who rose to reply, and, as one of the correspondents present observed, "literally flayed him (Lane) alive.” He reiterated his former positions regarding treason. Treason was plain

A motion was made by Wade, of Ohio, to adjourn, and renewed by Trumbull, of Illinois, who saw no good in debating propositions intended for the Border States, when they will have none of them. Lane, (Dem.,) of Oregon, addressed the Senate on the Critten-ly defined as making war den resolutions, which he advocated, while he regarded the resolutions of the Peace Convention as a cheat and a humbug.

In the House, Saturday, Mr. Bingham moved to take up his bill for collecting customs on ship-board in event of any resistance to the execution of the revenue laws, and moved a suspension of the rules to override objections, but failed to get it before the House. Mr. Dawes, from the Select Committee of Five, called up the report on the Navy, and moved the previous question on the resolution of censure, [see page 444.]

Branch, (Dem.,) of North Carolina, as a member of the Committee, declared the facts would not sustain the resolution.

Sickles, (Dem.,) of New York, said the resolution was a disgrace to those who would vote for it.

Florence, (Dem.,) of Pennsylvania, considered the resolution as stabbing a man in the dark.

Winslow, (Dem.,) of North Carolina, said there was no evidence to justify the censure.

Johnson on Lane.

Show him those

against the Government.
who fired on the United States flag, who
seized forts, arsenals, and custom-houses,
and he would show you traitors. If he
were President of the United States, he
would have all such arrested and tried;
and, if convicted, would have them hung.
He declared against all flags but the Stars
and Stripes for the country, and assumed
that it was its destiny to wave over the
entire land, in spite of secession.


The applause which followed this truly splendid outburst of ehement patriotism was very loud in the galleries, upon which the Chair ordered the galleries to be cleared. This order was met in an extraordinary manThe entire crowd rose and gave vent to one tumultuous shout; when, three cheers for the Union being proposed, they were given in a voice which fairly stunned the astonished Senators. The crowd were then ready to leave, and the doors were locked upon the excited mass.

In order to get before the Senate the Cor

The Corwin Amendments in the Senate.



Wilkinson's Speech.

forming every obligation they are under to every portion of this Confederacy. No one has a right to ask more than this, and no one has a right to ask us to give bonds for our good behavior. We are ready to perform every constitutional obligation and comply with every law and every duty imposed upon us, but we scorn the man or the party, or the power, that asks us to give bonds for our good behavior. We have a right in the Government; and when we

win amendment to the Constitution, Bigler, | Standing upon the Constitution (Dem.,) of Pennsylvania, moved to susper.d and upon the laws as they are, the rule which prevented bills or resolutions the people of my State are not from being read and passed the same day, willing that wrong shall be done to any man or any so far as related to propositions to amend the section, but she demands that justice shall be done to Constitution. This resolution was passed, all. Believing they are right, the people of the Northwest will adhere to their conviction, faithfully per by a vote of 20 to 16, and, after much badgering, chiefly between Messrs. Mason and Douglas, the Senate voted to take up the House joint resolution to amend the Constitution of the United States. The Senator from Ohio moved to amend the resolution by striking out the words "authorize or"-which he conceived to be bad grammar and worse English. After some discus-elect a President, under the Constitution and the sion of this point, the amendment was carried laws, we claim that, without let or hindrance, and without giving bonds, he shall be President of the by the casting vote of the Chair, much to the United States. Elect your man, and we will bow regret of Messrs. Douglas, Crittenden, and others, who said any amendment would necessitate a delay, which would kill it. A reconsideration was, however, had, when, after much further precious time spent on the trivial matter, the amendment was disagreed to. Pugh then moved to amend the entire resolution by substituting the Crittenden resolutions.

Minnesota's Senti


Wilkinson, (Rep.,) of Minnesota, addressed the Senate at some length. He said he opposed both amendments and the original resolution. He reflected with some severity upon the course pursued by the opposition, to humiliate the Republicans and the Northern Free State sentiment, by forcing them into compromise. The closing portion of his remarks were as follows:


The young State which I have the honor in part to represent here will remain in this Union, under the old Constitution, just as it was, performing every duty which that Constitution imposes upon her, and ready at all times to perform every obligation and yield to any reasonable demand which that Constitution can require, or that anybody can require under that sacred instrument. But when her people are required to surrender their principles and denounce their political opinions, they will never submit to any such humiliation-never. I have no right to speak for anybody but myself and the State I represent, and I do not attempt to. Yet for that State and myself I say here, no matter what the consequences may be to her and myself, we have taken no step from which we intend to recede.

down before him, and yield all the Constitution gives

—and you have no right to demand more than this of us. I know nothing abont these Personal Liberty bills, of which you complain. But if you have any grievances against my State, present them, and, brave men as they are, like honorable men as they are, they will, without any apologies, perform their constitutional obligations. But, sir, when you ask

us, before we enter into our house at the other end

of this avenue, and which belongs to us under the Constitution, that we shall give bonds for our good behavior, we spurn it, as proud people anywhere

would spurn any such miserable compromises. The people of the North-west will never consent to the idea that the Southern Confederacy shall take possession of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Yet the madmen of the State which bears the name of that noble river have planted batteries upon its banks, and attempt to exercise a control over the navigation of that great highway of nations. This of itself is an act of war. It is war, and I need not say that millions in the mighty North-west stand ready to-day to maintain the free navigation of that river, if, to secure it, they shall be obliged to des olate its banks from the mouth of the Ohio to the Balize; and they will do it. I am well aware there are brave hearts in these States, who are putting forth all their efforts to save this Union from destruction, and to avert the horrors of civil war; and I am prepared to join with those friends of our common country to avert from us the fearful calamity; and to accomplish this, I would do much that, under other circumstances, I might not do. I sincerely hope and pray we may recover from this revolution without bringing war, with all its attendant horrors, upon us; but if war must come, I have an abiding

faith that the flag of our Union, the old flag, the flag of the Revolution, will, in the future as it did in the past, wave in glory and triumph over the vanguard

of a victorious American army.

Random Debate.

Doolittle, (Rep.,) of Wisconsin, offered, as an amendment to Mr. Pugh's amendment, his own resolution, [see page 464.]

Douglas said he hoped to be allowed to take a vote. They were spending the night in talking, and preventing action on valuable bills. It was now 10 o'clock.

Chandler referred to the remarks of the Senator from Kentucky, (Powell,) and asked if a compromise was made, would he go for the enforcement of the laws in all the States. Powell said that he would enforce the laws in all the States of the Union, but he was opposed to all coercion in any of the States. He thought civil war would destroy all hopes of peace.

Chandler replied, denouncing all comproImise with traitors. The question was, whether we have a Government or not? If we have no Government here, he (Chandler) would emigrate to some other place where they had a Government, even to the Camanches. He contended that the Union sentiment would eventually triumph in the South, and overthrow the very men who now howl against Union. The South will gain no benefit from disunion; it will only bring a Canada to their own borders. He deprecated civil war, but anarchy was still worse. He was willing to yield anything to true Union men, but nothing to traitors.

Wigfall replied. He said it was strange that men say they mean nothing personal, and yet make wholesale charges of theft against a party. Unfortunately, the North did not always send men here who were either gentlemen or Christians. When he (Wigfall) called a man a scoundrel, he meant what he said, and held himself responsible for it. He hoped the Senator (Chandler) would not turn himself over to the Caman

ches. They suffered a great deal already by contact with the whites. [Laughter.] He (Wigfall) declared that the navigation of the Mississippi would never be impeded by the

Seceded States.

Rice, (Dem.,) of Minnesota, said the people of the North-west knew their own rights too well to suppose that the navigation of the great river will ever be impeded by anything except ice.

Wigfall-And low water. [Laughter.] If the Senator will put that in, I will accept of his amendment. He predicted that Mr. Lincoln would leave the Chicago Platform, and go for peace; receive the Commissioners from the Confederated States, and, instead of making war, would withdraw the forces from the forts. He did not think there would be war now.

Rice was sorry the discussion had taken this form. He did not believe the people of the North-west would vote one dollar for coercion.

Wigfall continued, saying he believed that nothing short of the acknowledgment of the right of secession would satisfy the South. As to the propositions of the Peace Conference, if no other reason existed, if they were adopted, all the States which were not gone would immediately go out.

Crittenden said he would like to submit a few remarks, but, as it was so late, he doubted if it was best to go on.

This random discussion, fruitless as it was, consumed the time to midnight, when, on motion of Hunter, of Virginia, the Senate adjourned to Sunday evening at 7 o'clock.

Sunday evening the crowd for admittance was immense. Vast numbers failed to gain even standing room. Mr. Crittenden pro

ceeded to address the Sen

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Mr. Crittenden's Last


He said one of the great questions of the difficulty was the Territorial question, and referred to the resolutions of Mr. Clay, which, he said, were intended to take the question out of Congress. The question now is, that the South, having seen itself excluded from the Territory, they think they have as much right as other sections in the Territory of the United States. But you deny it them. Their blood and their money helped to acquire it. The question has reached a point where it is of vital interest. The question is not of party, but of the union of the country. He referred to New Mexico as a barren country, which he thought could not become a Slave State. We are not here to talk on the disadvantages of Slavery, but as to constitutional rights, and the South think they have as much right to carry it in emigration as you have to any of your systems of labor. Is that so great a cause of complaint as to bring upon the country all the great evils of disanion? If we cannot agree, let us divide the Territory-you go on one side and we go on the other. We talk about our fathers, and what did they do? He then referred to the compromise of 1820, as an example. He said all that belonged to the South now was one poor Territory, and all they asked was to let the South remain as it is. You are coming into power, and we ask you to give us some security that you will not abuse your power in that Territory. He believed that all that is necessary to settle the great mischief that is going on is to agree that in this sterile Territory the state of things shall remain as it is. Till when? Forever, gentlemen, say-but till this Territory shall have one hundred thousand inhabitants, when it will be admitted as a State, and then they will dispose of the question as they please. This is all that is asked. He said all, because in respect to fugitives there is no difficulty. That is settled by the Constitution. In regard to

the District of Columbia, he argued, as it was ceded by Maryland, it would be an act of bad faith to abolish Slavery without the consent of Maryland. He asked if it was not worth something, even if we could not bring back States, to preserve those which have not gone; or is an idea and dogma not in the Constitution, but which has its origin in the peculiar idea of the people of a certain section, to be an inseparabie barrier to measures of policy necessary to save the country? Propositions were offered by him as a Senator of the United States, and not as a compromise from the North to the South, but measures which he offered as a Senator, were for the equality of all. He would not offer a proposition unfair to either section. He trusted in God; neither his feeling nor principle would allow him to attack or permit any


Mr. Crittenden's Last

thing unfair to one section or the other. Yet, Senators say, let us have no compromise; let us have blood first. But the Bible says, First be reconciled to thy brother before thou layest thy gift on the altar.' Yet gentlemen would not give a straw for reconciliation; but our business is to preserve the Union. If not, what would be the consequences? Who knows? He did not. He would advise that, if injustice were done now, the Union was worth bearing much for. Party passion and excitement would not last always, and if one Congress do wrong another may do right. But this cry of no compromise was like the old cry of the Romans, ræ victis-woe to the conquered, and now translated No Compromise. He claimed that the Constitution intended to leave the people of the States free to act as they pleased in regard to their domestic institutions, and contended that the numerous petitions received from all parts of the country were an evidence that the heart of the people was right, and in favor of peace and reconciliation with their brethren, aud that they were not willing to have their children go to war for a trifle and a dogma. We are one people of the same blood, and one family, and must compromise family troubles. He was for Union, and not for secession, and would say to Kentucky, stand by the Union, till necessity forces you out, with constancy and fidelity. This was the best Government in the world, notwithstanding the bad administration sometimes, and he would have Kentucky stand by the Union, if rebellion swept over the whole land, like the last soldier of a brave band, till everything was gone, and then consider what next should be done. This was his principle and his advice. He was about to part from his friends here, and had spoken in truth and soberness what he believed. He had hoped something would have been done to pacify the country, and this resolution from the House, though not sufficient, would still be a ray of sunshine. He expressed great confidence in the integrity of the people, and appealed to the Senate to have a vote, that something, at least, may be done which would be a step towards peace and harmony-something to save the Union. He begged those who declared they would not amend the Constitution to reconsider, and think how the condition of the country would be changed."

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