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States has to Fort Sumter, and as much right to attack it; and he pledged one feeble to act in the contingency which might arise. He commended the forbearance of South Carolina. He had feared she would be too hasty. He wanted
all the States to act. He knew Missouri to be for the Union. Even the supporters of Rhett and Yancey are for Union, but he meant a Union which would give protection to all. He was tired of all these petitions for Union. He wanted a Union about which there would be no quarreling, and which would give rights to all, or else he wanted no Union but separation. He said this was not a mere question of Slavery, but it affects every property-holder of the North. Missouri, though slow, would act; but the action of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia has been disastrous. If the Border States had acted with the South, we would have had peaceable sep.
both Houses, in counting the electoral vote.
In the Senate, Thursday, Mr. Bingham,
no concessions be made
ration. Every one of the Slaveholding States ought
"He was in favor of the proposition of the Senator from Kentucky, but there must be a reaction in the public mind of the North, or else these amendments would go for nothing. This thing must be settled
either by adjustment or separation. There could be no honorable adjustment unless there was a retraction of Northern opinion. The Senate cannot amend the Constitution, and had better let the question alone and attend to the regular business, and wait for a proper adjustment. But if there was no change of Northern opinion, he would not ask for any Union. He deprecated war, and, in this civilized age of the world, he thought all the difficulties ought to be settled without recourse to
arms and war. Let the whole Southern States act together, and let them negotiate with the North as equals, and if they cannot agree, then let there be peaceable and quiet separation."
The amendment, after this harangue, was passed-27 to 17. Among those Democrats who voted with the Republicans were Messrs. Douglas, Bigler, and Latham, and Johnson, (Am.,) of Tennessee—a vote which, in the estimation of the Southern interest, placed them in the category of friends to coercion. Wednesday (Feb. 13th) was consumed, in
Mr. Wilkinson, (Rep.,) of
Rice, (Dem.,) of Minnesota, also presented
An unusually large number of petitions were presented by Messrs. Wade, Seward, Crittenden, and Cameron-pro and con compromise. The House, Thursday, after much time consumed in "personal explanations," resumed consideration of the Corwin Report, when Campbell, (Rep.,) of Pennsylvania, delivered his views in a speech marked with
REPORT OF THE
a decision and force which
"He alluded at some length to the present state of the country—a state calculated to awaken every man to a sense of peril. If every effort at conciliation should fail, the true way was to meet the crisis as men ready for duty in a just cause— even to the laying down of their lives. If those who have seized the forts, arsenals, and other public property, surrendered them, he would hear their complaints, and, if well founded, furnish the measures of redress. What reason have the enemies of the Union to oppose the peaceful inauguration of Mr. Lincoln, who was elected strictly according to the Constitution? Though the vessel of State was now dashed about, a pilot will presently be found. He argued that our Government is a grand nation of people and not of States. It is supreme, and the heresy of Secession can make no impression on reasonable minds. Secession is rebellion. In the Se
ceded States there are men true to the Government, and who preserve their alliance to the Union. Honor and humanity demand they be protected. Any other course would sink the Government to perdition. Any Government not protecting them from persecution, confiscation, and death, is not worthy of that name. There are no grievances
which cannot be redressed in the Union. He was
willing to do something for Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, and other States, and for loyal citizens in Georgia and Alabama who require assistance. He argued that Mr. Crittenden's proposition, in effect, was condemned in the last Presidential election by an overwhelming majority. In the language of Clay, no earthly power should induce him to vote for a specific measure for the introduction of Slavery where it did not before exist, whether south or north
of the parallel of 36 degrees, 30 minutes. The prop osition of the Select Committee met his approval. He was in favor of the passage of the resolution recommending the repeal of the Personal Liberty laws, and of the bill amendatory of the Fugitive Slave act. It was in the power of the Slave States to quiet this agitation by abandoning extreme views, giving up the Crittenden measure, and other impossibilities, and combining on the admission of New Mexico as a State in the Union. This would settle the chief question of difficulty, namely, that relating to the Territories. Should conciliatory measures here fail, he would advocate the calling of a National Convention. At all events, Pennsylvania will stand by the Union as it is."
The Special Committee, appointed [see page 284] to inquire into, and to report on
Report of the Conspiracy Committee.
the facts as to an alleged
"The Committee entered upon the investigation under a deep sense of the importance and the intrinsic difficulty of the inquiry. To prove the existence of a secret organization having for its object the resistance to and the overthrow of the Govern· ment would, in the very nature of the case, be a difficult task, if such an organization really existed. On the other hand, in a time of high excitement, consequent upon the revolutionary events transpiring all around us, and the very air filled with rumors, and individuals indulging in most extravagant expressions of fears and threats, it might well be thought difficult to elicit such clear proof as would enable the Committee to pronounce authoritatively that no such organization existed, and thus contribute to the quiet of the public mind and the peace of the country. The Committee have pursued their labors with a determination on their part to ascer tain the real facts, so far as possible; and if sometimes they have pernaitted inquiries and admitted testimony not strictly within the rules of evidence or within the scope of the resolutions, it is to be attributed to their great anxiety to elicit the real facts, and to remove unfounded apprehensions. The extraordinary excitement, existing prior to the late Presidential election led disaffected persons of high and low positions, after the result of that election became known, to consult together on the question of submitting to that result, and also upon various modes of resistance-among other modes, resistance to the counting of the ballots and to the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln, the seizure of the Capitol
and the District of Columbia, were discussed form
ally in this city and elsewhere; but too much diversity of opinion seems to have existed to admit of the adoption of any well-organized plan until some of the States commenced to reduce their theories of secession to practice. Since then, persons thus disaffected seem to have adopted the idea that all resistance to the Government, if there is to be any, should have at least the color of State authority. If the purpose was at any time entertained of forming an organization in secret, or open, to seize the District of Columbia, attack the Capitol, or prevent the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln, it seems to have been rendered contingent upon the secession of either Maryland or Virginia, or both, and the sanction of one of these States. Certain organizations in this District and in Maryland that, prior to the Presidential election, seem
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 elsewhere, 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
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
able man in the State who has had the au
dacity to libel and calumniate his fellowcitizens by his published proclamation of the 3d of January. He has proclaimed that he was in possession of information not accessible to the Legislature, or to the people 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.
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 argued, with
"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 He 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:
"You can never induce England to remain hostile
"The difficulties that threat
en the peace and stability of A Breeze from Maine. 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 des
"We at the South understand the strength of our
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
into a ditch sooner than a coward into camp. Save
Slavery as a necessity there, | prevent it-better prepare for yet provided in the Constitution it in season. Aggressions on means for carrying out the Northern men in the Slave theory of equal rights, namely: Free speech and a States must cease, rebellion must be put down, or the free press. They feared not error so long as truth power of a consolidated North will sweep away all 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 Slavery is doomed, and will go out in blood. Seces. First did, and fear it more. Its present game sion, compromise, and reconstruction is now the plat of forcing the North into compromise is one of brag; form of the odds and ends of the Democratic party; conventions are cheap, and resolutions cheaper. Secession to force compromise-compromise to desWe have had numerous Southern Conventions and troy the Republican party and reconstruct the old Deresolutions for direct trade and magnificent steam-mocracy on its ruins. Let us meet this courageously ships, but they have floated only in the imaginations--the people sustain brave men, and follow a hero 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 made so heavy that it crushed its Northern champion—the greatest man of the age; and carried down a President and the Whig party. Are you not satisfied with such a feat, or have you got your eyes 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
This sounded like the stern North wind
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
blade, but they are unwilling to die alone, so they which they were received by their constitu-