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silence and scarce a movement as the members by this answer were brought to realize that the Constitutional Amendment was still before them and would be passed upon by the people before it would again be brought before them for decision. Those who favored it believed the issue would be helpful to the campaign for President Lincoln's re-election, and those who were opposed to it were apprehensive that making it an issue at the Presidential election would be harmful to their chance for continuance in Congress. All realized that the trend of events and evolution of public sentiment were agains slavery, but to secure the adoption of the amendment by that Congress was a task of such huge proportions that it required great courage and determination to undertake it. What rendered the task appalling was that it would require 122 votes to pass the amendment if all members of the House should be present and vote, and that only 94 votes—28 less than that required number—had been cast in its favor on the 15th of June. And the additional votes required to pass the measure had to be secured among the 64 members who voted against it or the 24 who did not vote. It was not a struggle to win the votes of ordinary men, but a contest for the conquest of men of mettle, as it usually requires superior strength of personality and gifts of leadership to become a member of Congress.

Of far greater force and more stubborn than any other obstacle was the prejudice against the Negro race which was entertained by many people. That prejudice was largely the product of slavery and had been built up into great strength and was intensified into bitterness by antislavery teachings and movements, and especially by this effort to accomplish the utter destruction of slavery in the nation. Added to this was the hostility to abolitionists and their teachings and the unwise efforts by which some members of Congress were moved to oppose the proposed amendment.

But of all the mountains of difficulty which the proponents of the measure encountered and were required to surmount, the greatest was the intense partisan hostility to the proposed abolition of slavery. The solid republican membership of the House was for the amendment, and the only opposition it encountered came from the democrats, who seemed to regard the fate of their party as involved in the struggle. Under the leadership of Calhoun and his associates and followers, the democratic party-the party of Jefferson—had become so fully committed and so thoroughly identified with slavery that the continuance of that institution seemed necessary to the maintenance of the future existence and integrity of that party. And the future political hopes of democrats were dependent upon the continuance and success of the democratic party. This applied to war democrats who had united with the Union party to support the Goverment against the Rebellion, with the expectation of resuming their allegiance to the democratic party when normal conditions were again restored. To all such, as well as to those democrats who adhered to their party during the war, the destruction of slavery seemed to imperil their party and their own future political life. It was impossible to prevent the amendment from appearing as a party measure. It was known to all that it was strongly favored by the President and that, as already stated in this chapter, it had been unanimously endorsed by the great Baltimore Convention with scarcely less enthusiasm than that which greeted the President's renomination and the approval of his administration. Not only was it treated with enthusiastic hospitality by the convention, but throughout the Presidential campaign it was made an issue before the people, as was forecast by General Ashley in the House on the 28th of June. All this was helpful to secure in November the verdict of the people for a Constitutional Amendment abolishing and forever prohibiting slavery, but it intensified partisan hostility to that movement and made it more difficult when Congress reassembled to induce democratic members to change their attitudes to the question and vote for the amendment then pending in the House.

My recollections of the incidents connected with that long and arduous struggle for the destruction of slavery by Constitutional Amendment are as distinct as is my remembrance of the events of yesterday. I was upon terms of close personal friendship with members of Congress who had been lifelong democrats, but were loyal and true to the Government during the Rebellion, and I heard from them many emphatic declarations of their apprehensions that the destruction of slavery would require such a new alignment of political parties throughout the nation as would make uncertain the future public career of any democrat who voted for the pending Constitutional Amendment.

The extent to which loyal democrats were disturbed by the antislavery trend of the times is indicated in a letter addressed to President Lincoln by Mr. Charles D. Robinson, an editor of Wisconsin. Mr. Robinson was a staunch Union man of sterling character and a zealous adherent and champion of the democratic party. His support of the Government in its efforts to suppress the Rebellion had been unequivocal and cordial. But after Mr. Lincoln had been renominated on a platform that endorsed the Constitutional Amendment and had in his Niagara Falls correspondence declared that there would be no receding from the positions taken relative to slavery, Mr. Robinson, on the 7th of August, 1864, sent the President a frank and manly statement of the difficulties he was confronting in his efforts to remain loyal to the administration in its attitude to slavery. In that letter he stated that he had hitherto sustained the President's Emancipation Policy on the ground that it deprived the South of its laborers and thus undermined the strength of the Rebellion. But he declared that the attitude of the Government toward slavery "puts the whole war question on a new basis, and takes us war democrats clear off our feet, leaving us no ground to stand upon. If we sustain the war and the war policy, does it not demand the changing of our party policies? I venture to write you this letter, then, not for the purpose of finding fault with your policy-for that you have a right to fix upon without consulting any of us—but in the hope that you may suggest some interpretation of it, as well as make it tenable ground on which we war democrats may stand-preserve our party consistency-support the Government—and continue to carry also to its support those large numbers of our old political friends who have stood by us up to this time.” 2

Among those democratic members of Congress who voted against the amendment there were many in precisely the condition described by Mr. Robinson in the foregoing letter. They realized that their party was so committed to the defense of slavery that for them to vote for the proposed amendment would be to commit political suicide. And yet to induce men to do that was the only method by which democratic members of Congress who had voted against that amendment could be prevailed upon to change their votes and support the measure.

That was the situation which in the campaign for the passing of the amendment by that House of Representatives had to be faced from the adjournment of Congress on the Fourth of July, 1864, until the final vote was taken on the 31st of January, 1865. Unfortunately for all the interests involved, the Wade-Davis embroglio, mentioned elsewhere in this volume, sprang up among the Union leaders immediately after the adjournment of Congress and seenied for a time likely to defeat the Union party. But the Constitutional Amendment served to hold the administration forces together and to overcome the disintegrating influence of that inexcusable revolt. Some extremely radical antislavery men, who were ever ready to antagonize and embarrass the President, because of his conservative nature and policies, were kept from participating in that embroglio by their great interest in the Constitutional Amendment, the adoption of which they knew would be impossible without Mr. Lincoln's re-election. And every favorable issue in the field, every victory won, every encouraging prospect contributed to the strength of the campaign for the President's re-election and the endorsement by the people of that vital measure.

2 Abraham Lincoln, A History, Vol. IX., p. 214.

At the time the vote was taken on the 15th of June it was known that Henry Winter Davis of Maryland and Francis P. Blair of Missouri would vote for the amendment whenever their votes would secure its passage, and there were several other members who voted against the measure at that time of whom the same was believed to be true. But the task of securing a sufficient number of such changes to pass the amendment was herculean and very few of its supporters hoped for success.

By parliamentary courtesy the campaign for votes was continued under General Ashley's management and was given his constant attention. His own re-election was regarded so fully assured that his great gifts of leadership could be safely employed almost wholly in the interest of the amendment. Having an extensive acquaintance with members of the House and being a newspaper reporter I was, as General Ashley's secretary, constantly engaged in aiding him in the great work which, as Mr. Blaine says, "by common consent" was entrusted to him. Every member of the House and Senate who had favored the measure was interested in the movement to secure its passage at the next session of Congress and prominent men in all walks of life and in all the loyal states gave the proposition their earnest and energetic support. But all plans and efforts to win votes for the measure were kept constantly under the direction of General Ashley, in whose wisdom and ability for such work every friend of the amendment in and out of Congress had unquestioning confidence. Mr. Blaine says: “During the contest Mr. Ashley devoted himself with unswerving fidelity and untiring zeal” to the work of securing the passage of the amendment. “He made a forceful speech in support of the amendment, but the chief value of his work did not consist in speaking,

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