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Mr. Holman, (Democrat), | tain recognized.
a State to withdraw from its Federal re-
He referred to the decisions of the Supreme Court in support of this view, saying, the unity of the American people pervaded the Convention which framed the Constitution. Any mode of withdrawing from the Union, excepting by a Convention, would be revolutionary. The Government being sovereign, its first duty is to preserve itself; and, being sovereign, where is the power to dissolve it? He argued, it would be unjust, unsafe and inexpedient for some States to secede from the others, for with the possession of the Southern forts and the aid of foreign powers, they would be capable of inflicting great wrongs upon the commerce of the adhering State. He spoke of the Mississippi valley as a geographical unity, which the people of the great North-west could not consent to share with a foreign power. He had heard much about coercion. But was it coercion for us to do what we have sworn to do; namely, uphold the Constitution and the laws, and stay the lawless, violent hand that would tear down the Government? Were we to be required to submit to State spoliations? No? Such submission would be disgraceful, utter imbecility. But if we must submit let it be proclaimed that our system of Government is a splendid failure. In the course of his remarks he earnestly appealed to the Northern States to remove the grievances which are complained of. He believed the Northern States would all do so when the sober second thought of When the the citizens had time to act. anti-Slavery agitation commenced in the North, he could not say that the South were blameless. The Garrisons and the Philipses find their counterpart in the Rhetts and Yanceys. Such men, in fact, formed the two great sectional parties. In conclusion he appealed to all Conservative men to rally in favor of the integrity of the Constitution, merge the partizan in the patriot, and make a generous sacrifice on the altar of their country, for the general welfare and happiness of all.
Another significant step was a motion, by Mr. Stanton, (Rep.,) of Ohio, to make the special order for Tuesday the bill for organizing and disciplining the militia of the District of Columbia. Objected to by the Southern side, and lost by one majority on a motion to suspend the rules. The Army appropriation bill then came up for consideration in Committee of the Whole on the State of the Union. Speeches were made by McClernand, (Dem.,) of Illinois, and Cox, (Dem.,) of Ohio, both looking to a vigorous policy to sustain the Union. Mr. McClernand assumed that when danger could not be averted it was then the point of wisdom to meet it-to endeavor to overthow it. In this spirit he proposed to deal with the question of Secession now upon us. He denied the right of any State to secede from the Union, and deprecated the consequences of any such assumed right, as a measure of revolution which must A dispatch from Washington to the Assonecessarily, in the present case, embroil the ciated Press said, in regard to this speech: country in a sanguinary and wasteful war. In "The speech of Mr. McClernand, of Illinois, his legal argument he said the idea of nation- in its geographical, commercial and national ality is as old as the Rovolution itself, that significance, is producing quite a sensation that war was a national measure. The treaty here. It is rallying the Union feeling." Mr. of 1783 was made as a nation which Great Bri- | Corwin, from the Committee of Thirty-three
STANTON'S REPLY TO REAGAN.
reported. The report was made the Special | and, if she cannot get her rights in, she will Order for Monday, January 21st.
In the House, Tuesday, Mr. Reagan, (Democrat) of Texas, having the floor, proceeded to define his views. The speech gave rise to a spirited debate, in which Mr. Stanton, of Ohio, showed an unflinching determination not to be rode down, nor to suffer gross libels on the North to pass uncontradicted. Mr. Reagan said he came to the capital with the hope that such measures might be brought forward by those who have the power to control the question, as would assure the South of future security. The Republicans have held sullenly back, and declared that they have no terms of peace to offer. In view of such facts four States have already gone out of the Union, and others are rapidly seceding. Unless, by the 4th of March, something is done to arrest this movement, we will see but few Southern States in the Union. The irrepressible conflict had culminated too soon for its authors-behold the result! They mean to effect the humiliation and desolation of the South, or a dissolution of the Union. They have reached that logical end. He proceeded to show that the condition of the Negroes, in no portion of the world, could compare favorably in blessings with those of our own country. Would the North, if they were freed, accept them as freemen? No. You would fight the South with all your energy and power against such an influx, and yet you demand the South to liberate 4,000,000 of slaves, and break up the social order, and commercial and political prospects, and retain the Negro element among us. You never consider the relative position of the two races, and what is to be the end of your conduct. He spoke of the destruction of manufactures and commerce which would be produced by the abolition of Slavery. The cry of treason had been raised against certain States, and the blockade of their ports threatened; but if this be attempted those concerned will, like a famous general, find a fire in front as well as in the rear. He knew no Southern State that asked more than its constitutional rights, and, so far as Texas is concerned, she is unalterably determined never to submit to less;
have them out of the Union. The Northern States have done nothing to show the Southern States that they shall have security in the Union, because to give Southerners their Constitutional rights would be to disband the Republican party; but, by the violation of the Constitution they are enabled to make war on the South. In reviewing parts of Mr. McClernand's speech Mr. Reagan said: One accepts independence, with all its consequences, rather than base submission and eternal ruin.
Mr. McClernard remarked that his position was that of a Unionist, opposing both extremes in North and South.
Mr. Reagan replied, that he knew the position of the Illinois member, individually, but asked him to consider what it was which had brought the South to its present condition. If their rights had not been denied, no disunion would have been raised. He referred to the history of Texas, and the means by which she won her independence, and spoke of the recent alleged insurrections in that State. He charged that the Methodists were all emissaries of the spirit of incendiarism-that it was their ministers, their members, who had sought to light the fires of insurrection in that State.
This charge called up Mr. Stanton. He pronounced the imputations of the Texas member to be an unwarrantable libel on the Methodists. They were not incendiaries, not fanatics, not inciters to crime and debauchery. As a society they doubtless did regard African Slavery as unwise, unchristian, and immoral, and it was probable that wherever the members of it might go, they would carry that opinion with them. He added:
"The speech of the gentleman from Texas is rather extraordinary in this, that when he seeks, as he says, some measure of conciliation from this side
of the House that shall avoid civil war and disunion, he at the same time announces to the political organization which elected the President, that this
Union cannot be preserved except by its absolute disorganization and destruction. Now as a mere political organization, he cared nothing for any party. They are all secondary and subordinate considerations with me. But the principles on which this Government was founded, by whatever party they
may be advocated now, cannot be surrendered under any threat of civil war or apprehension of secession. This may as well be clearly understood first as last. And, if the principles of the Republican party cannot be vindicated as historical, and as consecrated by all the fathers of the Republic as being in acquiescence with the history of the country for fifty years, I am prepared to abandon it, and surrender the organization to-day. I stand pledged to maintain here, by the authority of the fathers and the principles of the Constitution, that the Republican party claims and maintains no principle, proposes to carry out no doctrines and no policy, that has not the sanction of the Constitution. Occupying that ground, and maintaining these principles, gentlemen cannot drive us from it by an apprehension of consequences, from whatever quarter they may come. He was utterly astounded that the gentleman from Texas should assume here, as a conceded proposi tion, that the Republican party was organized on the idea of the ultimate and utter extinction of Sla
very in the States. Now, if that gentleman would undertake to circulate my reply among the people of his district in Texas, at the rate of one for every two which I am willing to circulate of his among my people, he would much enlighten his constituents on the true principles of the Republican party, and disabuse their minds of their misconcep
The Texas member here interposed, saying that he did not consider Mr. Stanton an exponent of the Republican party. This did not serve any purpose but to call up a "live Republican," in the person of Marston, of N. H., who repeated Mr. Stanton's asseveration, and assumed the declaration to be those of the party. He added: "I know of no Republican who looks upon the Republican organization as one designed, directly or indirectly, now or in the future, present or remote, to interfere with Slavery in the States." To this Mr. R. replied, that Mr. Seward had averred that the "irrepressible conflict" would be the overthrow of Slavery. Mr. Stanton retorted that many men had entertained various philosophical opinions regarding the ultimate issues of the present social status of the two systems of labor, but, the opinions were those of individuals only. The speaker then resumed his argument:
"I desire to lay down, in a Stanton's Reply. few words, what I regard as the great leading and distinguishing feature of the two political parties of the country. The Republican party holds that African
| Slavery is a local institution, depending upon local statute laws that it cannot exist beyond the limit of the State by virtue of whose laws it is established. The Democratic party holds that African Slavery is a national institution, established and maintained by National Constitution, existing everywhere where it is not prohibited by statute local law. Now, whoever maintains that Slavery is a local statute law is, whether he knows it or not, a Republican, and if not in the party, he ought at once to join it; and every man who holds that Slavery is a national institution, existing everywhere by the force of the Constitution where not prohibited by local law, is a Democrat, and if not already, should, as early as possible, join that party.
"Now, all questions about which we differ, arise from and grow out of that necessary and natural cardinal difference. You say that the nationality of Slavery is established and maintained by those provisions in the Constitution which authorizes the recapture of fugitive slaves in the Free States. Judge Taney is the organ of the Democratic party on this position. That position we deny, and base our denial upon the declaration of the framers of the Constitution and the Convention which framed it. On several occasions, when the proposition was made for a clause to authorize masters to pursue fugitive slaves and recapture them, objection was made, not because the thing was not proper in itself, but because the phraseology threw out the idea that Slavery was recognized. A change was made in the terms-that Persons owing service or labor in one State, by the law thereof, escaping into another, shall not, by reason of the law in that State, be excused from such service, but shall be delivered up to whom such service is due. Again, the language of the provisions of the Constitution itself designates a Person escaping from service or labor; and every man, who ever read the law books, must know that the difference between a Person and a thing is here recognized. Chattels are things, and persons are creations of God, having rational accountability, and are immortal beings, and therefore the Constitution treats them as persons. Again, what do you want with the Fugitive Slave law? Why have you not constitutional provisions for recapturing horses and cows? Simply because the Constitution recognizes property in every thing property by common law, and therefore the Courts in every State are bound to recognize the constitutional title of any party who follows property and claims through the law of the State to which he goes, and where his property is found.
"What do you want with constitutional provisions for the recapture of fugitive slaves? You want it because it is not part of the Constitution. You can
not capture your slaves without special provisions, recognized by the States surrendering the person escaped. Under this same provision of the Constitution you follow from one State to another indented apprentices who escape from their masters, to whom they are bound for a term of years; you follow a child who is supposed by law to owe you service, and you may follow a wife, who, according to the same legal fiction, owes you service, and reclaim them under the same provision. Will you claim that children and wives are property within the meaning of the provisions of the Constitution? Yet they are covered by this same provision. The doctrine I put forth here is sustained by all the eminent statesmen of the country that have given an opinion upon this question, from the organization of the Government, that Slavery is a local institution, depending upon local State laws, and has no existence outside the State within which it exists.
The Constitution of the United States is the law of the land, and all State Constitutions and State laws coming in conflict with it are null and void. I desire to know upon what principle we can exclude Slavery from the Free States, or prevent any man coming in with slaves and making a Free State his domicile? Indeed, if Slavery existed by virtue of the Constitution we could not prevent him. I cannot prevent a man from Kentucky going with his Bourbon whiskey or his Durham cow across to Ohio and settling there, because it was his constitutional right to do so, and Ohio could not invade that right; and if slaves be property in the same sense, as you contend, how can we prevent you from coming to Ohio and domiciling and holding your slaves as property there? Gentlemen claim that this is the Constitution, and that if it is not it ought to be so."
and control over the slave
This severe and forcible application of principle to practice created some stir on the Southern side of the House. It was by far the most searching because the most practical expose of the assumptions of right in slaves as property under the Constitution. The speaker was interrupted by Mr. Crawford, of Geo., and Reagan, of Texas, but he fastened upon them the logical deductions of their Stanton's closing remarks succeeded in setclaims of property-that of taking and hold-ting the Georgia members at loggerheads in ing it in Free as well as in Slave States or the matter of the forts' seizure. Crawford Territories. The argument on this point is said the seizure was justifiable, and Georgia so clear and strong that we quote it :— held herself responsible for the act. Hill, (of "When you go into a Free State not regulated Geo.) said the State had not seized any porby the laws of the State where you come from- tion of the public property. It was a mob for they deny the right of a master to exercise which had committed the act. He disclaimcontrol over the slave-you claim to carry with ed, for Georgia and its State Government, you into a Free State the right to exercise dominion any responsibility for the act. Mr. Crawford
rights for the slaveholders, and the others resist them as unconstitutional. And yet we are told by the gentlemen from Texas that unless the Republican organization disbands itself, and recognizes these constitutional demands, civil war must come, and the Government must be overthrown."
insinuated that Mr. Hill did | secession sentiments, if there was not a radinot know what he was talk-cal change in Northern public opinion. He ing about. Mr. Love, (of consumed the time up to the hour allotted Geo.) said both gentlemen were wrong, as the for the consideration of the Pacific Railway forts were seized for self defence. If the State bill, when the question passed over. Mr. did not secede they would be returned. Mr. Crittenden persisted in pressing the subject Hardeman, (of Geo.) said the country was in the of the paramount importance of the State of crisis of a revolution-that, in fact, a revolu- the Union, but the Pacific Railway bill kept tion was going on. In view of the fact the the floor up to adjournment. Executive of the State had seized the forts in advance, and the people would sustain him in the act.
Stanton adverted to the seizure as a wanton act of war-that it inaugurated war, and Georgia must assume the responsibility. He declared his willingness and wish yet to adjust matters. He thought the people of the South loyal, but that they were laboring under the most shameful misapprehensions regarding the dominant party and its policy. Garrison and other men like him are now gloating over the ruin they have contributed so largely to bring about. With such men are united, hand in hand, the men in Charleston, who are seeking to overthrow the Government and to drench the country in blood. Gentlemen from the revolutionary districts must be perfectly aware that the Federal Government cannot surrender its power to a rebellious demand. The thing is utterly impossible. If it did it would be an act of imbecility, and an utter abandonment of all Government, and an abdication of its executive power. Gentlemen must see that that mode of separation can lead to nothing but civil war and bloodshed. If they are determined to do this, and resist by force of arms, and refuse time for consulting the popular will-the only source of true power-as to what shall be done in this emergency, they must take the consequences on their own heads.
Mr. Stanton's words called up Rust, of Arkansas; Adrian, of New Jersey; Anderson, of Missouri, and Garnett, of Virginia. The latter gentleman had the floor upon adjournment.
In the Senate, Tuesday, Mr. Crittenden's resolutions being the Special Order were under consideration, when Clark, of New Hampshire, moved an amendment by offering, as a substitute, his resolutions [see p. 184.] Mr. Green, of Missouri, expressed ultra pro
In the Senate, Wednesday (January 16th), the Vice-President presented a message from the President, announcing the Senate resolution, relating to his appointment of Joseph Holt, to perform the duties of the office of Secretary of War, made vacant by the resig nation of Secretary Floyd. He fully set forth the legal reasons for the step.
Mr. Rice, (Democrat), Minnesota, offered a resolution for the appointment of a Special Committee of Seven by the Senate, with instructions to inquire into the expediency of the passage of a general act for the admission of New States, and the readjustment of the limits of California, Minnesota and Oregon. First: New Mexico shall be bounded on the North by the 37th degree of latitude; East by Texas; South by Texas and the Mexican boundary; and West, by the 114th degree of longitude.
Bill for Admitting
Second: Kansas, including the present Territories of Kansas, East of longitude 140; a small portion of New Mexico, North of latitude 37, and that portion of Nebraska which lies South of latitude 43.
"Third: An enlargement of the jurisdiction of Minnesota, to embrace the proposed Territory of Dakota, and the portion of Nebraska lying North of latitude 43.
"Fourth: An enlargement of the jurisdiction of Oregon, so as to merge and include the Territory of Washington.
"Fifth: A readjustment of the State of California, so as to include that portion of Utah and New Mexico, lying West of longitude 114."
Mr. Bigler then called up the Crittenden resolutions, by a motion to set aside all other business, which prevailed, by a vote of 27 to 20. The speeches of the day were by the Members from Rhode Island, Messrs. Simmons and Anthony, both of whom expressed, in the strongest terms, the necessity for sustaining the Union and the Constitution, at all hazards. Both approved of Mr. Clarke's amendment; viz., that the Constitution was