Page images

Hale's Reply.


gencies of war, the Senator, | tawotomies, or some other tribe

he said, dwelt upon that force which would be found in the Northern States favorable to the South. "Sir, I would do anything to avoid war that any honorable man can do; but, let not the Senator lay that flattering unction to his soul. I tell him if we do have war-God in his providence avert it!-the first thing we will do will be to dispose of Northern traitors. We shall not go South."

Hale's Reply.


of American savages. I recol
lect a friend said to me the other
day, when the Japanese were here, I am glad the Jap-
anese came, for,' said he, 'I have learned more his

tory from them than from all the books I ever read;

I know now what became of the ten tribes; they settled Japan.' [Laughter.] Well, sir, that is a speculation. Now, this was suggested by the honorable Senator from North Carolina, and it is full of meaning. There were ten tribes went out; and remember, they went out wandering. They left the ark and the empire behind them. They went, as I said before, God only knows where. But, sir, I do hope and pray that this comparison, so instinctive and so eloquent, suggested by the honorable Senator, may not be illustrated in the fate of these other tribes that are going out from the household of Israel."

The House, Monday, (February 4th), was

Lane, of Oregon, in his brusque manner, demanded to know whom the speaker called traitors. He proved, by his remarks, that he himself was a candidate for treason's honors. "Neither he nor any other man shall call them traitors!" The Oregon Senator evidently considered himself the guardian of secession honor. Hale replied pointedly, that he was not going to define any man's position-engaged almost wholly in considering the he left every man to choose for himself; but, "I repeat," he said, "that if we are forced into a war, I tell you we shall deal with all domestic questions without advice from anybody!" The Senator's further remarks were so characteristic that we quote his lan


"I have but a single word more to say in reply, rather to the Senator's rhetoric than his logic. He says the most imposing thing he has seen in this body was when those Senators announced the other day, that they were about to retire. Sir, I saw a ceremony simpler than that, and vastly more imposing about the same time. It was when my friend from the State of Maine, (Mr. Morrill,) coming here under an election from his State, walked up to that desk, and held up his right hand, and called God to witness that he would uphold the Constitution of the United States. That was vastly more imposing to me. The honorable Senator asks, in that overflowing rhetoric with which he has delighted the Senate so long, What will you say when the ten tribes go out?' Sir, I am glad to hear that. Ten tribes did go out from the kingdom of Israel, but the ark of the covenant of the living God remained with the tribe of Judah." [Applause in the galleries.] The presiding officer called to order.

Mr. Hale" I think the galleries ought to be excused for applauding a reference made to the Scrip

tures. [Laughter.] I say there is where the ark

of the covenant remained. What became of the ten

tribes? They have gone God only knows where, and nobody else. It is a matter of speculation what became of them; whether they constitute the Pot

Deficiency bill. A Resolution of Inquiry, offered by McClernand, of Illinois, recited the reported seizure, in New Orleans, of Mint and Custom-house, for revolutionary purposes, and called upon the President for informa tion. The preamble was objected to by Burnett, of Kentucky, who would consent to the inquiry without the preamble. McClernand accepted the amendment proposed; but Craige, of North Carolina, denied all and each of the allegations in the preamble. He was surprised that Mr. McClernand, entertaining the principles which he professed, should present such a resolution. His objection was fatal to its reception, even in its modified form of simple inquiry of the President for information respecting the seizure. Thus conspirators were aided in their schemes by "friends of the South," on the floors of Congress.

[blocks in formation]

Taylor's Farewell.

peaceful state of affairsdid not claim any right of secession except by the right of revolution. He conceived it for the interest of the North to accept a peaceful dissolution of the Union.

Sickles, of New York, interrogated Mr. Taylor. He asked, if a blockade be an act of war, whether, in his judgment, war has not already been initiated by the measures of a yet more aggressive character-namely, the seizure of the United States forts, of a public vessel of war of the United States, and the spoliation of the mint and the public moneys of the United States? That if this be so, then are not the measures of the Government of which he has spoken essentially defensive in their character, and rendered imperative upon the people and the Government of the United States in protection of their dignity, their rights, and their honor?

Taylor replied, that the seizures were in self-defence, and were not in offence-that the forts, being erected to guard the States, could not be justly used to coerce them. He, repeated, that any attempt at coercion would send Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina to the rescue. He then bade the House adieu.

One Loyalist from Louisiana.

Mr. Bouligney, of Louisiana, also made a personal explanation. He had received no official information that an Ordinance of Secession had been passed by Louisiana. As to the Convention, he was not elected by them, and had nothing to do with their action. He should not, therefore, obey their instructions. Some of the gentlemen of that body were his personal and intimate friends. He thought discourtesy had been exercised towards him in not sending him a copy of the ordinance. He would therefore pay no attention to it until he received official notice of its passage. Another reason compelled him to differ with the Senators and Representatives from that State. He was the only member of Congress elected therefrom as an American Union man, and to this principle he should stand forever. "When I came here," he added, "I took an oath to maintain the Constitution of the United States. What does that mean? Does

it not mean the Union of the States? It does, if I understand it aright. By that oath I shall stand. Whenever instructed by my im mediate constituents, and asked by them to withdraw myself from this House, their wishes shall be complied with as soon as I receive the information. I shall, however, not only withdraw, but resign my seat. After I do so, I shall continue to be a Union man, and stand under the flag of the country that gave me birth." This patriotic declaration called forth great expressions of approval from the floor and galleries. The episode was a very gratifying evidence of the unwavering loyalty of a few men from the South, not yet awed into submission to the behests of revolutionary Conventions and treasonable leaders. Colfax, of Indiana, called up his bill for suspending postal facilities in the Seceding States, when Branch, (Dem.,) of North The PostCarolina, opposed the measure. master already has power to discontinue the When the laws cannot laws in such cases.

The Southern Mails.

be enforced it would be time enough to consider such a measure as that now pending. We must either admit that the Seceded States are in or out of the Union. If this bill considers them in the Union, then it is a most injurious act to withdraw from them the postal laws. If, however, it was to acknowl edge that these States are out of the Union, then he had no objection to the bill. He knew of no better way of acknowledging the independence of these States than by withdrawing from them the postal benefits of the Government.

Sickles, of New York, thought there was a legal necessity for the passage of the bill, for there is no power, in any of the Seceding States, to protect the mails of the United States. There is no power in any of the Seceding States to punish any criminal of fence which may be perpetrated upon the mails. As there are no Courts there which would entertain jurisdiction of any offence charged to have been committed in any of the Seceding States, therefore, en necessitate rei, the Government of the United States must either subject the mails to the hazard of every possible trespass and depredation, or else withhold them from those States.

[ocr errors]

The Southern Mails.



The Southern Mails.

Hindman, of Arkansas, re- | South, in view of the fact garded the bill as virtually that the expenses exceeded recognizing the independence the revenues by several of the Seceded States, and should therefore vote millions annually, [see p. 168.] The want of for it. He thought, however, as a question of honor in the mere proposition is only another law, that those laws not specially repealed illustration of our previous statement, that the still remained in force. secession movement, in its treason, its breakSickles answered: "My attention has not ing of oaths, its " 'appropriations" of Governyet been called to that extraordinary incon-ment property, its deception and misrepresistency. I have yet to hear of the principle sentations, its air of insolence and dogmatism upon which a Sovereign State asserts its in--all savored of a demoralization of the prindependence, and still allows the laws of a foreign jurisdiction to be enforced within its boundaries; and I trust that no State holding the dignified attitude which these States claim, either as members heretofore of this Union, or as independent States, will continue in such position."

This question gave rise to an interesting running debate. The assumption of the South that, notwithstanding the Southern States had seceded, the Government was obliged still to execute its laws until they were repealed, involved such a remarkable stultification of moral and political sensibilities, that it created astonishment, even in a community accustomed to monstrous impositions. Branch, of North Carolina, demanded to know if any instance could be cited where the collection of postage had been stopped. Colfax replied that, in Alabama, certain postmasters had refused to remit the amounts due from their offices until the course of the State was determined, when Branch made the following covering point: "These are cases of individual postmasters. But I would ask the gentleman from Indiana if he has any information that, in any instance, in the States that have attempted to secede, the public authorities have interfered with the collection of the revenue from postages?"

Colfax answered, and gave such "instances" as quite effectually silenced the patriots

who were solicitous that Government should continue to carry the mails in the Seceded States. The postmasters might refuse to remit, but those were "individual" sins-the States did not interfere to prevent the collection of postages; therefore, the mails should be carried! It would be a very charming arrangement to have the Federal Government sustain the postal system throughout the

ciple of integrity which presents one of the most remarkable instances of degeneracy in the whole history of civilization. Mr. Buckle, in viewing it, will find prepared for his scrutiny a fearful basis of facts upon which to theorize. It is Carlyle, we believe, who says that a people who will appropriate a man will not stop at the lesser crime of appropriating money; but, without admitting such a charge as the deduction implies, it is certain from some cause, the Southern sentiment, in 1861, was demoralized morally, as well as politically, to an extent which must ever remain a blot on the once fair fame of the Seceded States. [See Sherrard Clemens' Speech, page 270.]

Mr. Colfax, in reply to Branch's demand for instances of State complicity in outraging the sanctity of the mails, said:

"I will answer the gentleman, that there is evidence in the Post-office Department that the mails are tampered with in the States that claim to have seceded, and there is no authority by which you can protect the letters against being tampered with. A man may take letters that do not belong to him from the mails in the public streets and open them, and there is no tribunal before which he can be brought for that offence. I will add, that it is well known that the correspondence between this Government and Major Anderson at Fort Sumter was stopped by the authority of the Governor of South Carolina, until the Governor saw fit to allow it to continue, and it

is now continued only by his toleration."

Sickles said, also, in the course of his forcible argument for the suspension : "So far as this is a question to be considered with reference

Sickles' Argument.

to individual and private incon-
venience, the merchants of New York will suffer, in
a pecuniary point of view, one hundred-fold more
than the merchants of the South. The Seceding
States are indebted millions upon millions to the

The Southern Mails.




The Democratic
Alarum Sounded.

City of New York. A large | the South, had stood up for a recognition portion of this indebtedness is of the independence of the Southern States, wholly unavailable. Of the bills presuming that their disquiet was, as reprereceivable, payable by the Seceding States, which sented, too grievous to allow of their further matured in January and February, not twenty per association with the North, in the Union. cent. has been paid. The balance of trade is entirely He represented, unquestionably, a large party against the Seceding States, as we all know, and this in the North, entertaining like sentiments, is the very season of the year when the remittances, if How the entire features of the revolution had honorably met, are forwarded. They have not been met, I regret to know. But, sir, they would not be changed, when the mask dropped off, may be safe; I maintain, under existing legislation and in the inferred from his remarks on this occasion, present condition of relations between the United for which we claim the reader's attention: States and the Seceding States, that it would be "Mr. Speaker, we must not most hazardous to forward remittances between the close our eyes to the new Seceding States and the remaining States of the phases which events have sucUnion. cessively put upon the secession movement. It originated, sir, as a peaceful remedy for grievances. As such it had thousands and tens of thousands of men at the North who were disposed to meet it on midway ground, and say, 'If you cannot abide with us, bitter as the lesson may be, we will yield to your appeals for a separation.' That was the December phase of the secession movement. In January it assumed a new attitude. No longer peaceable, no longer disposed to await the consent of the deliber ations of the Northern States, forcible possession was taken of our forts, and arsenals, and arms, and we were menaced, in advance, with all the terrors of civil war, and degradation to our flag and jurisdic tion was inflicted upon us. When this new phase of the secession movement was presented, those friends of the Southern cause who, up to December, defended it manfully, became only the apologists of the erring acts of their friends. In February it assumes yet a new phase. I can only characterize it as the Mexican method of revolution. * * In November it was peaceable secession. We could agree to that. I am for it. In January it was forci ble secession; and then, sir, the friends of peaceable secession in the North were transformed into timid

"I suppose, sir, that persons holding positions as postmasters in those States, pay over what they receive to the Sub-Treasuries in their vicinity; and then, sir, as we have seen in Louisiana, the State authorities, after it has been collected in one mass, appropriate it to the local Government. In that way all the revenues from the postal service, and all the deposits belonging to the United States in those SubTreasuries, are secured to the insurgent States; and frequently in the sub-treasuries and mints in those States there are large amounts of money belonging to private individuals, which are placed there upon deposit, placed there for coinage, placed there to be weighed, and placed there to be stamped for exportation. We have no means of protecting that private property in any of those States; and for the same reason that I would have suspended the Mint at New Orleans a month ago, if a proposition had been brought forward for that purpose, because I could not anticipate the security of the public and private property there, for that very identical reason I will now, in view of these acts of spoliation, withdraw the mails from a jurisdiction where they cannot be protected.



"The United States Judges have resigned, and you cannot get a jury in these Seceding States that would convict a man of an offence against a jurisdiction which they repudiated. Wherever the flag of the United States cannot go, wherever the jurisdiction of the United States is repelled and insulted, I would not trust the property of the United States. If the money, the bullion in the Mint at New Orleans is not safe from spoliation; if they are willing in Louisiana to imitate the Mexican policy of spoliation upon property, how, sir, could you intrust your mails with the property of your citizens, with the dispatches of your Government, and with the property, also, of the Government, within the same jurisdiction? You cannot do it."

apologists. In February it is spoliation and war.
Armies are raised under the guns of forts belonging
to the United States, the jurisdiction of which has
been ceded to us by the solemn acts of the Seceding
States. Measures of open war yielded to Mexican
spoliations, and I say, in the presence of this new
and last phase of the secession movement, that it
can have no friends in the North, it can have no
apologists in the North, but there will soon be no
exception to the general denunciation which it must
meet with from the loyal and patriotic citizens of
this country."

This declaration embodied the now almost unanimous feeling in the North—of stern, uncompromising resistance to the Southern Mr. Sickles, as a Democrat, and friend of movement. "Democracy," "Republicanism,"


"Americanism," “Abolitionism”—all were passing away like shadows over the plain, to give place to the vast cloud charged with the lightnings and thunders of a united people.

Hughes, (Dem.,) of Maryland, addressed the House in a speech of an hour's duration. It embodied the usual declaration of causes which led to the disturbed state of affairs, chief of which was the election of a President on a strictly geographical and sectional issue. He favored the Crittenden Compromise as a reasonable mode of adjustment. In the evening sessionVarious Speeches. held to give certain gentlemen an opportunity for an expression of their sentiments before debate

[blocks in formation]

South should have equal rights in the Territories with the North. His State had abundant reason to complain of the aggressions of the North, but this was no reason why the Union should be dissolved. When the dogmas of the Republican platform come to be put into practice, then it would be time to revolt. Kentucky had never found the Government oppressive, and was not going to plunge into revolution without just cause.

Trimble still prayed and hoped for the Union. He would vote to conciliate, but could not consent to the Crittenden Compromise for recognizing Slavery.

In the Senate, Tuesday, (February 5th,) Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee, de

Andrew Johnson's
Second speech.

was suspended on the Corwin Report—livered a somewhat remarkable speech, deMessrs. Logan, (Dem.,) of Illinois, Tappan, nouncing secession in forcible terms, and (Rep.,) of New Hampshire, Moore, (Dem.,) arraigning certain of his assailants for their of Kentucky, and Trimble, (Rep.,) of Ohio, inconsistency and duplicity. severally addressed the House.

In his former speech he had planted himself on the Constitution, beside its fathers, and against the doctrine of nullification and secession, which he considered to be a national heresy. As far back as 1833 he had

Logan opposed coercion or war against the Seceded States. We must regard the revolution as accomplished, and can treat with them only in a peaceful manner. He counseled concession and compromise. Let | planted himself on the same principles, and all come together in the spirit which actua- believed the doctrine of secession to be a ted the patriot fathers, and not as partisans, heresy, which, if sustained, would lead to who adhere to mere party platforms in pref- the destruction of the Government; and he erence to the Union, to save the Union. He opposed this doctrine to-day for the same was willing to vote for any proposition, and reasons. He believed that it would be the to sacrifice every opinion he ever entertained. destruction also of any Government which He wished to conciliate the conservative might be formed subsequently. He looked men of the South, that they, holding the upon this doctrine as a prolific political sin; national flag in one hand, and grasping the as a production of anarchy, which was the Union with the other, may put to rout the next step to despotism. For his speech on Disunionists. the 19th of December, [see page 91-92,] he had been attacked and denounced; but he was inspired with a confidence that he had struck treason a blow, and men who were engaged in being traitors felt the blow. His object now was to meet attacks.

Tappan opposed both secession and compromise. He was for the Constitution as it was, and preferred the Union as it had been to what it would be under "conciliation "which meant humiliation of the North. Mr. Tappan had, as a member of the Committee, joined Washburne, of Illinois, in a Minority Report, [see page 213-214.]

Moore discarded Secession as heresy and a new-fangled idea. The wise, patriotic, and sagacious framers of the Constitution did not implant within it seeds for its own destruction. None of them considered that a State had a right to secedo. He argued that the

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »