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Floyd's Disgrace.

counts, by the Grand Jury | the courage to "attend to his interests" before of Washington City: first, that Committee. As the chief witnesses exfor malfeasance in office; amined were Mr. Benjamin, Mr. Russell, and and, second, for conspiracy with others to Mr. Bailey-all his friends-the assumption defraud the Government-he found it con- that the hearing was ex parte, and therefore cenient to absent himself, and take refuge in unreliable, was simply refreshing for its cool Virginia, under the plea of "attending to her assurance. The testimony withheld by the interests." Having robbed the Government two witnesses last named was, unquestionof millions-having contributed to arm the ably, of a more criminal character than what revolutionists and to humiliate the Adminis- they divulged; but, the facts elicited were as tration, he was well qualified to assume a given in the report, and were not controvertleading part in a drama based upon perjury ed. The "full response" promised by the and deception. Benedict Arnold received absconded principal was given to the world, the gold of the British Government for his a few weeks later, in the columns of a Rich"services," but no honorable Englishman ever mond paper; but, though it asseverated, arwould allow the contaminating touch of his gued, vilified, and invoked the ear of the traitor's hand-if Mr. Floyd was welcomed just, it failed to wipe away the stain which by the conspirators, in his escape from the rested as irrevocably upon his name as the hand of the Government he had betrayed, the moth on door of a tomb. people of Virginia put him away from their hearts, as unworthy of an honorable man's respect. The price of his treason was the overwhelming contempt of his own fellowcitizens.

State of the Country,
February 15th.

The state of the country at the date of February 15th was one of comparative peace. Excitement consequent on the several acts of secession had given place to Mr. Floyd wrote from his retirement a pro-cared to confess. The dim perspective had a feeling of anxiety for the future, which few test to the report of the Special Committee,


Floyd's Protest.

"The numerous assaults which have been made upon my character for several weeks past in the newspapers, and which from their source and nature could not be replied to, have at length culminated in a report from the Committee of the House of Representatives, submitted to that body on the 12th inst. The report is an ex parte arraignment of my official conduct upon ex parte testimony,

taken in secret in my absence. It is a labored at

tempt by innuendo, and by means and circumstances

in the absence of proof, to fix upon me some unexpected complicity with a robbery of the Government of which I had no knowledge until about the time it waw publicly disclosed; and now that these charges have been put in form, and have emanated from an authoritative source, I pledge myself to meet them by full response as soon as the report of this Committee, with the evidence taken by it, has been printed, and can be examined.

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no clear light to lure the mind on to pleasant depths beyond. Ghosts of a buried great ness seemed to fit in the gloom gathering around. Voices of the illustrious dead seem ed to breathe upon the very air of the room where men brooded over the destruction which threatened the Republic. Shadows formed, and melted but to form again, making pictures which made the soul sick-pictures of men in deadly conflict, of burning houses, of suffering women and beggared children, of a capital sacked and ruined, and a land in desolation. These were the visitants to the fireside of every thoughtful citizen; and if there still was a struggle for compromise, it was to appease treason in order to avert the greater terrors of a state of civil war. But, as men suffer and grow strong, so the quiet of February was silently preparing the souls of those made to lead for the great emergencies to come. Out of that ordeal of internal personal struggle came the hearts of fire and nerves of steel, which were to save the Republic when the trumpet called her sons to her defence.




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Seven Steam-Sloops

provided for.

THE Eleventh week of the Thirty-sixth | Government could only obSession of Congress (February 11th-16th) tain money at large disscarcely sustained the interest excited by the counts, the proposition was previous week's proceedings. The brilliant inopportune and unwise. What, to him, seemspeeches of that week rendered it one of the ed suspicious was the fact that the vessels promost memorable of the session. The week posed were of the class required to enter which followed was distinguished by only Southern waters-ports of the Seceded States. one or two speeches of note, Virginia "showed | He was not willing to vote one dollar for any her colors" most unmistakably, and, for that reason, if for no other, the Eleventh week will be remembered.

In the Senate, Monday, (February 11th,) a great number of petitions were presented by Messrs. Crittenden and Bigler, for the passage of compromise resolutions. Senator Wade also presented four numerously signed petitions, from citizens of Philadelphia, asking Congress to stand firm by the Union, the Constitution as it is, and the enforcement of the laws.

Seven Steam-Sloops provided for.

addition to the navy which looked to the coercion of any State that had seceded.

Mr. Fessenden, (Rep.,) of Maine, reminded Mr. Hunter that precisely the same class of vessels, and the same number, had been reeommended by the Committee at the previous session, and that Mallory, of Florida, was Chairman of that committec. Hunter replied that they were recommended by Mr. Mallory because they were of the character and kind required for Southern ports-but, now that all these States had seceded, for whose benefit they were especially designed, there was no propriety in the project being brought forward again without there was a design to use the vessels against those very States.

The Naval Appropriation bill being called, Mr. Hale, (Rep.,) of New Hampshire, submitted several amendments-one of which embraced the building of seven steam sloops- Mr. Grimes, (Rep.,) of Iowa, remarked upon of-war. This called up Hunter, (Dem.,) of the absolute requirements of the navy-that Virginia, who "wished to know the amount no country was any longer building sailing proposed to be appropriated, and the reasons vessels for naval use-that the cost of the for it; and why, at this time, it is proposed proposed sloops was only about $300,000 each to make this large addition to the Navy?"-that Great Britain had two hundred and Mr. Hale answered that it was a matter seventy-four of the same class of vessels-that recommended by the Navy Department, and the economy of manning and keeping in ser had been urged upon Congress for years. vice of such vessels was so great over that The idea of another sailing vessel being add-required by heavier craft, as to make the ed to the navy was an absurdity. The navy building a matter of actual economy to the thenceforth was to be a steam navy. Mr. Hale then read the recommendations of the Secretary of the Navy on the subject.

Mr. Hunter answered, that, in the then embarrassed state of the Treasury, when the

Treasury. Upon that ground alone had the measure been brought forward. No "coer cion" was proposed by their construction.

After further discussion, which was participated in by Messrs. Hunter, Grimes, Pearce,

to 18.

Fessenden's Defence.

and Polk, the amendment was adopted-30 | terests of the Government. And
if I can no longer do that, I will
leave my place here and return
to my State, and say I am at its service. Now, sir,
how do we stand as Senators-we who remain,
whose States have not seceded? We look on these
facts, remarkable as they are, as taking place outside

Mason's Speech in

When the bill was reported to the Senate, on its passage, a discussion followed of an interesting character. Mason, (Dem.,) of Virginia, spoke against the special amendment proposed. He referred to the depressed state of the Treasury, remarking that Government was in an actual state of destitution. For what, then, were these additional expenses to be incurred at that particular moment? He could not shut his eyes to the fact that seven States had seceded; six of them had joined, formed a Government and a nationality, and by no vote of his should there be any additions to the mil-side, who are waging war against it, are to have the itary force of the Government, which was to

be used to coerce those States.

Mr. Fessenden answered Fessenden's Defence. for the Committee.


said it was time that Senators should understand precisely what the condition of the country was, and who was responsible for it. It was a singular address, coming from that quarter, to appeal to the Republican side to know what was the object of the proposition! Who had been in power for years? The proposition to build the steamers had come from a Democratic President, and a Democratic Committee of a Democratic Senate, year after year. Why did the gentleman question the Republicans about it? What change has transpired, Mr. Fessenden wished to know, that rendered the measure less requisite now than heretofore? The only reason offered by the Virginia Senator was, that six States had seceded, had seized property, had assailed the Government!

Mr. Fessenden continued:

of this Chamber, and we are not bound to deal with
them as negotiations. We are to look on them as
against the interest, the welfare of the Government
and the Constitution of the United States, under
which we live. That is the point of view from which
we must look at them. But men seem to say to
themselves and the country, I, standing here as a
member of this Government, must look out and
keep my eyes open, not that this Government has
the advantage of my counsels, but that those out-

benefit of my counsels and my aid.' Why, sir,

taken in.consideration and in connection with this

question, this bill of my friend from Vermont (Mr.
Collamer) is simply a bill to provide that, if the
revenue of the Government cannot be collected in a

particular place, or a particular point, then these
places shall cease to be recognized as places where
the revenue shall be legally collected. Yet this is
commented on as a design of coercion. Do we not
owe it to the foreign Governments themselves, that
we should either enforce our own laws in these
ports, or else declare them not to be legal ports of
entry for the United States?"

Mr. Mason replied, " Clearly so !" and added
that, if the Committee could avow that rea-
son in the bill-that the State of South Car-
olina is no longer a member of the Confed-
eracy, and is beyond the jurisdiction of the
Government-let them avow it!

Mr. Fessenden asked what difference there was, as a point of law, whether or not the motive was avowed. It was not necessary that the motive should stand declared. He resumed:

"It is almost impossible to refrain from asking, "We simply declare that there may be cases in Who does the Senator represent here? Is he a Sen- which it may be difficult for the United States to ator of the United States here on this floor, and does collect revenue in particular places, by the ordinary he stand up here and say, after all these things course of proceedings, and we give the President the have taken place, that they render it unnecessary power to say that we shall no longer attempt to now to increase the naval force of the country? I collect the revenue, for it shall cease to be a port recognize the fact, as was said by the Senator from where vessels may legally enter, under the authority Mississippi, (Mr. Davis,) that, so long as I am here, of the United States; when we declare that it is no I am bound to perform my duty as a Senator of the longer a port of the United States, a port of entry, United States, without any reference to what may and give notice of the fact, then comes a time be done outside of this Chamber. So long as I stay when, if foreign vessels undertake to consider it a here, and receive the money of the Government, I port of the United States, they will become amena will look out, to the best of my ability, for the in-ble to the laws, and must take the consequences. It



Fessenden's Defence.

was in reference to this fact that these people are now availing themselves of this being a port of the United States, and collect the revenue and put it into their own pockets, when in fact they are nobody in the eyes of the law, and in the eyes of the world. We are going on now, also, furnishing them postal facilities, we paying the expense and they receiving the money. Now the Senator says this won't do. Either declare war, or else declare that they are no longer a part of the United States. I don't propose to do either. I propose to do simply that which is necessary for our own protection and advantage. I am acting yet as Senator of the United States, and I will legislate for the United States, and not for South Carolina, or any other Seceding State; and as long as I stay here, I take it that it is my duty. Nor am I going to be diverted from this by talk about force and coercion. The time may come when it will be necessary for us to speak plain. I am willing to speak plain now, and I say, speaking for myself, that if the time ever does come when it will be necessary to use force to execute the laws of the United States, under the Constitution, I am perfectly ready to do it. But I trust I shall have no such necessity. The measure of my friend from Vermont is a measure of peace, and the measure of constructing these additional vessels is a measure of peace. I do not suppose anybody ever dreamed of making this appropriation for the purpose of making war upon these States. It may be war will come. It may be these difficulties will grow vastly greater than they are now, and when that time comes I trust we shall be ready to meet our responsibilities like men. But the question is now, What is necessary for us to do for the interest of this country, in reference to its naval force? Although the Senator will not vote for it, because it may be that it will give additional force to the Government which he represents here, I say to him that is no objection to my mind. I am perfectly willing it should have that additional force, when I am so well defended by the recommendation of a Democratic President, year after year, and supported by a Democratic Senator."

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Mason's Rejoinder.

will tell whom I represent. I represent the sovereign State of Virginia, to whom I alone am amenable for what I may do, or what I may say. I heard the Senator from Mississippi, to whom he refers, with equal approbation to himself. I will do nothing that will stand in the way of the full and complete administration of this Government as long as I remain one of the participants in its administration; but I have reason to believe that the Government is initiating a policy that will lead to civil war, and that will lead to unnecessary war, and will minister to the passions of bad men. I will not vote to increase the naval armament for that purpose; and if I have reason to believe that the purpose is to strengthen the arm of the Government with a view to prospective war, I am doing my duty as a Senator of the United States in doing what I can to prevent it. The Hon. Senator has not favored us with his view of the reasonable propriety of incurring this expenditure in the present condition of the Treasury, but has contented himself with the recommendation of a Democratic President. When Senators, who are soon to become the dominant power, will not say whether they are going to war or not, but shadow it out darkly, I will not vote a dollar until there is a settled policy, an established and understood policy, for the new state of things. I want to know what is to be the policy of this Government; whether they are going to make war on the Seceding States, or whether they will let them peacefully withdraw upon terms to be settled by negotiation, or whether we are to remain here till the 4th of March, with these purposes only darkly shadowed forth, as was done by the Senator 'from New York (Mr. Seward) the other day, and as has been done by the Senator from Maine to-day, that there may be a state of things when it is necessary to coerce a State. We have that policy shadowed out, but not avowed. It is time to establish a policy. Let us know what is to be done. I desire as a Senator of the United States to know how to shape my vote in relation to their measures of public policy; and until we know whether civil war is to be waged or not, because of Secession, I will never vote a dollar to increase the navy. King, (Rep.,) of New York, followed. He said he had, at former sessions, voted against any increase of the navy, because he did not see the necessity for it. But now that treason was abroad in the land, he believed there was a necessity for the increase of the armament and defensive power of the country. He declared:

King's call for the Use of Force.

"This Government and this country cannot be

King's Call for the
Use of Force.

peaceably destroyed, or overthrown, or divided. The sove, reigns themselves will come here before that is done, even if their representatives could prove recreant in their defence of it. It is well that the whole country should know that the people of this country will not consent, they will never consent to the peaceable destruction or dissolution of the Government. They would be recreant to the highest duties of men, to their country, to their race, to themselves, and to the high trust of the ancestry who acquired it, if they could entertain a thought of the destruction of this country. I don't believe it can be destroyed. I would use forbearance and patience; I would extend every degree of kindness, and make every effort at conciliation to these people. But, to their right to divide this Government, to take a State out of the Union, or, least of all, that they should peaceably have a right to break up this Government, I would never admit. I don't know what these gentlemen consider peace. They have armed themselves, and have even taken arms belonging to this Government. Cabinet officers and members of the Senate have been interested in this treason, and a foul, infamous plot has existed, I have no doubt, to destroy this Government. Providence, rather than the skill and attention of the people, has arrested it; some of the men have been driven out

of the Cabinet in disgrace; and an indictment found against one of them for embezzlement, or petty larceny, or grand larceny, or for any other infamous

attempt which men can commit. There were mem

bers of Congress found in the war of 1812 who voted

against the supplies for Government, and it is not surprising that such should be found in Congress at any time. The greatest latitude of opinion exists in this country, and so it should. Men cannot talk treason they must act it and he who acts it, in my judgment, should take the fate of a traitor, and should not seek to escape by pretending that he can commit it peacefully against the country. I cannot conceive the case of a man of honor who could steal into a house, partly his own, and clandestinely and privately rob it of its means of strength and defence, and then assail it and claim a right to do so peacefully, and say he should not be punished or disturb

ed by force. I tell these gentlemen that, in my judgment, this treason must come to an end-peacefully, I hope; but never, in my judgment, peacefully, if by an ignominious submission of the honor of the people of this country to traitors. Never! I desire peace, but I would provide, amply provide, for the means of defence of the country, by war, if


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"Whereas, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida have seceded from the Confederacy of the United States, and established a Southern Confederacy; and whereas, it is desirable that the most amicable relations should exist between the States of the two Governments, and war be avoided, as the greatest calamity that can result: Therefore,

"Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives, That the President be and is hereby required to acknowledge the independence of the said Southern Confederacy, as soon as official information of its establishment shall be received, and that he receive such Commissioners as may be appointed by that Government for an amicable adjustment of all matters in dispute."

This was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The subject of the seizure of the Mint at New Orleans was then brought before the House, in a preamble and resolution, by McClernand, (Dem.,) of Illinois, reciting that by the seizure of the Mint, money, and Custom-house by the revolutionary authorities of Louisiana, the United States are put at defiance, and calling upon the Presi dent, if not incompatible with the public interests, for all the facts in the case, and what steps, if any, have been taken, or contemplated, to recover possession of the said property. Adopted.

Ferry, (Rep.,) of Connecticut, asked leave to offer a resolution instructing the Committee on the Judiciary to inquire into the expediency of so amending the Constitution of the United States as expressly to forbid the withdrawal of any State from the Union without the concurrent vote of two-thirds of both Houses of Congress, the approval of the Presi dent, and the consent of all the States, and that the Committee report by joint resolution or otherwise. Objected to by Winslow, of

Green, (Dem.,) of Missouri, obtained the North Carolina, but afterwards introduced floor, when the Senate adjourned.

and laid over.

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