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of cotton, however, has probably been but momentarily checked, even if the dream which has occupied the English imagination for sixty years, of raising cotton in India, should prove true, since the wants of the civilized world in that particular far outrun the capacity of the South to supply. The development of manufactures in the Southern States will serve to keep at home an immense capital, to reproduce itself through the labor of that portion of the white race which has hitherto not added much to the Southern wealth,
Meeting of Congress.-President's Message.-Naval and Military Affairs.-Estimates for Year.-Senators Expelled.-Acts passed.-Confiscation.-Operations of the Treasury. The Different Loans authorized.-Difficulties of the Government.Habeas Corpus.-The Press.-Newspapers Suppressed.
THE Thirty-seventh Federal Congress assembled at Washington in extra session, July 4th, pursuant to the call of the President. There were present forty-three senators at the opening of the session; of whom nine represented Border States: Delaware, Messrs. Bayard and Saulsbury; Kentucky, Messrs. Breckinridge and Powell; Maryland, Messrs. Kennedy and Pearce; Missouri, Messrs. Polk and Johnson; Tennessee, Mr. Johnson.
The senators from Kansas also appeared: Mr. Pomeroy, for the long term, and Lane, for the short term; from California, Mr. McDougall; and from Illinois, Mr. Browning, in place of Senator Douglas, deceased. In the course of the session appeared also Messrs. W. S. Willey and J. S. Carlile, from the loyal legislature of Virginia, and were admitted to seats as senators.
In the House of Representatives, there were present one hundred and fifty-nine members, including five who were elected from Western Virginia, and were admitted as members. The clerk of the House called the roll for all the States, including the Southern seceded States, but of course from them none were present. Mr. G. A. Grow, of Pennsylvania, was elected speaker, and Hon. Emerson Etheridge, late member from Tennessee, was elected clerk. The message of the President was brief, and confined mostly to the public exigency for the consideration of which Congress was assembled. The President restated the position of affairs on his accession to the Government, the functions of which had been suspended in six States, where a new government had been organized, which was seeking foreign recognition. It was incumbent upon the new Administration to prevent a dissolution. The inaugural address had indicated the policy to be pursued. The proceedings relating to Fort Sumter were alluded to, and the desire of the Government to maintain possession of it. The ejection of the United States troops left no recourse but to call out the war power of the Government. He thought that he had done nothing
which it was beyond the power of Congress to sanction; and he anticipated a full endorsement of his acts. He then asked for four hundred thousand men, and four hundred million dollars in money, to "make the contest a short and decisive one." The message also argued against the right of a State to secede, and stated what was to be the course of the Government towards the Southern States after the rebellion shall have been suppressed.
The message met with approbation from the loyal citizens of the Union, who saw in it evidence of the determination of the President to take care, as his oath had bound him to do, "that the laws were faithfully executed," and that the Republic suffered no detriment from any hesitation or half-measures on his part. The exigencies of his position were without a precedent in the history of the country, and while he had called Congress together for an extra session at as early a date as it could be convened, owing to the fact that in some of the States the election of members of Congress did not take place till June, he had in the mean time been compelled to take upon himself great responsibilities, which his message, as well as his own character for integrity, demonstrated that he had used wisely and well. The people felt that his acts, committed under such necessity, should be cordially sanctioned by Congress, wherever there was any doubt as to their validity, which only existed in regard to the enrolling of volunteers for the war, since the militia act of 1795 fully authorized his course in calling out the militia.
The Secretary of War in his report recounted the seizures of public property that had taken place on the part of the Confederates previous to the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln, and stated the results of the proclamation calling for troops, as follows:
Regulars and volunteers for three months, and for the war...
Total force called out by Government to July 4th...
For the maintenance of this force, and supplying of the necessary ordinance, arms, and reserve stores, in addition to the ordinary appropriation, $185,296,397 was required. The Secretary stated that the new regular regiments would be officered one-half from the regular army, and one-half from civil life. The civilians appointed to regimental commands were all either West Point graduates, or had before served with distinction in the field, and many of the second-lieutenants were created by the promotion of meritorious sergeants from the regular service. He alluded, also, to the large disaffection of army officers with whom State allegiance was paramount to Federal duty.
The report of the Secretary of the Navy furnished a complete abstract of the condition of the navy. On the 4th of March, the total number of vessels of all classes was ninety, designed to carry two thousand four hundred and fifteen guns. Of these, the available force was sixty
nine vessels, with one thousand three hundred and forty-six guns, of which forty-two, carrying five hundred and fifty-six guns, were in commission. Of the sixty-nine available vessels, the Levant was lost in the Pacific, the steamer Fulton was seized at Pensacola, and one frigate, two sloops, and a brig were burned at Norfolk. The other vessels destroyed there were considered worthless. There remained sixty-three, of which fifty-nine were put in commission. In addition to which, nine steamers were chartered, and twelve steamers and three sailing vessels were purchased, making an entire force of eighty-two vessels and eleven hundred guns. On the Atlantic coast, the blockading squadron, twenty-two vessels, with two hundred and ninety guns and three thousand three hundred men, was under the command of flagofficer Stringham. The Gulf squadron, consisting of twenty-one vessels, with two hundred and eighty-two guns and three thousand five hundred men, was under flag-officer Mervine. The East Indian, Mediterranean, Brazil, and African squadrons were recalled, adding two hundred guns and two thousand five hundred men for home service. Since the accession of Mr. Lincoln, two hundred and fifty-nine naval officers had resigned. The department, he added, had contracted for the building of twenty-three steam gunboats of five hundred tons each, to be followed by larger and fleeter vessels. The eight vessels ordered by the preceding Congress were being rapidly pushed to completion.
The Secretary of the Treasury put forth a statement of the financial wants of the Government. He stated that the estimates of the year required $319,000,000; that $80,000,000 of this, or the amount required for the ordinary expenses, should be raised by taxation, and that $240,000,000 must be borrowed. He proposed an increase of the duties, which he estimated would raise the customs to $57,000,000, and he estimated that the public lands would give $3,000,000. He advised a tax on real and personal estate, to make up the remaining $20,000,000; also a reduction of forty per cent. on all salaries. To raise the $240,000,000 which must be borrowed, he proposed a national loan of $100,000,000, in small bonds, bearing 7.30 per cent. interest per annum, and redeemable after three years; a loan of $100,000,000, at seven per cent. in stock, payable after thirty years, in London; and the issue of $50,000,000 in $10 and $20 notes, bearing 3.65 per cent. interest, payable in one year, or without interest payable in coin on
Through these reports the military and financial condition of the country was laid before Congress. The leading measures of the session were promptly brought forward. In the Senate, the chairman of the military committee introduced six bills. The first was designed to ratify what the President had done on his own responsibility; the second," to authorize the employment of volunteers to aid in enforcing the laws;" the third, to "increase the present military establishment of the United States; the fourth, "for the better organization of the military establishment of the United States; the fifth, "for the organization of a volunteer militia force, to be called the National Guard of the United States;" and the sixth to promote the efficiency of the army.
These bills were discussed at considerable length in both houses The opposition to them in the Senate came principally from Messrs Breckinridge, of Kentucky, and Polk, of Missouri, both of whom, in the autumn of 1861, went over to the rebels, and accepted military commands under them; and in the House from Mr. Burnett, of Kentucky, who also seceded to the rebels a short time after the close of the session, and his friend, Mr. Vallandigham, of Ohio.
The approval of the action of the President, which it was first proposed to make in the form of a resolution, was finally passed as a clause of one of the military bills, and Congress showed its hearty concurrence in his views in regard to the prosecution of the war by voting almost unanimously 500,000, instead of 400,000 men.
On the 22d of July, Mr. Crittenden, of Kentucky, in the House, and, on the 26th, Mr. Johnson, of Tennessee, in the Senate, moved the following resolution:
Resolved, That the present deplorable civil war has been forced upon the country by the disunionists of the Southern States, now in revolt against the constitutional Government, and in arms around the capital; that in this national emergency, Congress, banishing all feelings of mere passion or resentment, will recollect only its duty to the whole country; that this war is not waged on their part in any spirit of oppression, or for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, or purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution, and to preserve the Union with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the several States unimpaired; and that as soon as these objects are accomplished, the war ought to cease."
This resolution passed the Senate by yeas thirty, nays five, and the House by yeas one hundred and seventeen, nays two. This declaration of the objects for which the war was prosecuted, offered by loyal citizens of the Border States, was cheerfully accorded by Congress, the great body of the members of which still clung to the idea that within a few months the people of the seceded States would gladly return to their allegiance. The duration of the war beyond the close of the year was not deemed possible.
The Senate, on the 11th of July, expelled the senators James M. Mason and R. M. T. Hunter, of Virginia; Thomas L. Clingman and Thomas Bragg, of North Carolina; Louis T. Wigfall and J. W. Hemphill, of Texas; Charles B. Mitchell and William K. Sebastian, of Arkansas; and A. O. P. Nicholson, of Tennessee, all of whom were absent, having withdrawn on the secession of their respective States.
The propriety of this course was so obvious that there was but very slight opposition to it. Mr. Bayard, of Delaware, and Mr. Latham, of California, urged the substitution of a resolution declaring their seats vacant, instead of expelling them, on the ground that they ought not personally to suffer for what was the result of the action of their States. But the fact of their full sympathy with and co-operation in the work of secession was so patent, that this view met with little sup port from the other senators. Messrs. Breckinridge and Polk voted against the resolution. The vote stood ayes thirty-two, noes ten. On the 13th of July, Mr. Johnson, of Tennessee, presented the credentials of Messrs. W. T. Willey and J. S. Carlile, elected senators of Vir
ginia by the loyal legislature of that State, then in session at Wheeling. Their admission was objected to by Messrs. Bayard, of Delaware, and Powell, of Kentucky, but was defended by Mr. Johnson, of Tennessee, and others, and they were admitted by a vote of thirty-five yeas to five nays.
Congress adjourned on the 6th of August, having been in session thirty-three days. In that period it passed sixty-one public acts, of which the most important were:
1st. To borrow $250,000,000 by the issue of bonds bearing interest at a rate not exceeding seven per cent., and irredeemable for twenty years; to issue seven and three-tenths per cent. treasury notes, payable. in three years, and United States notes, without interest, payable on demand, whence they were called demand notes, to the amount of $50,000,000; to levy a direct tax of $20,000,000; a tax upon incomes over $800; to increase the duties.
2d. To provide for collecting duties in disaffected States, and authorizing an embargo.
3d. To authorize the enlistment of five hundred thousand volunteers.
4th. To increase the pay of volunteers to $13 per month for privates; in lieu of clothing, $3 50 per month; rations, $9 per month. A bounty of $30 to soldiers who re-enlist for the war. If a company reenlist, $50 each; if a whole regiment, $75.
5th. To increase the regular army for the entire war; and within a year after the restoration of peace the number of men to be reduced to twenty-five thousand men, unless otherwise ordered by Congress.
6th. To authorize the President to call out the militia to execute the laws, when necessary.
7th. Appropriating $180,000,000 for the army, for the year 1862; $30,000,000 for the service of the navy; $3,000,000 to hire and purchase vessels.
8th. To define and punish conspiracies. If two or more persons in any State or Territory combine to overthrow the Government, or obstruct the execution of its laws, they shall be punished with fine and imprisonment.
There was also passed at this session of Congress an act to confiscate property used for insurrectionary purposes, which provided that, in the present or any future insurrection, any property given to aid such insurrection, or used for that purpose with the knowledge and consent of the owner, should be subject to seizure and confiscation; that actions for the condemnation of such property might be brought in circuit, district, or admiralty courts having jurisdiction of the amount, and that the Attorney-General or any district attorney might institute proceedings, which in such case should be wholly for the bencfit of the United States; or any person might file an information with such attorney, in which case he should receive an equal share of the proceeds with the United States. In regard to slaves held by persons engaged in aiding the rebellion, the provisions of the bill were as follows: "That whenever hereafter, during the present insurrection against the Government of the United States, any person claimed to be