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1863, setting forth the names of eminent, not to say illustrious, men of science in our country, and constituting them an Academy of Sciences. It will be remembered that this Academy, during the present winter, met in this Capitol; that one or more of our committee-rooms were set apart for them; and I know that many Senators and gentlemen of the other House took great interest in their meetings. This Academy is devoted to the cultivation of the sciences properly so called.
MR. MCDOUGALL. Will the Senator permit me to interrupt him?
MR. SUMNER. Certainly.
MR. MCDOUGALL. There may be some questions about which the Senator and myself may not understand each other exactly. Of course we have the right to incorporate an institution in the District of Columbia, that is local to the District, by virtue of our general powers of legislation over it; but that is not within the sphere of this legislation, as I understand.
MR. SUMNER. The Act of Congress to which I refer is general in terms; it is not limited to the District; it is a national act to create a National Academy: and the bill before the Senate simply proposes to apply the same principle to gentlemen engaged in the cultivation of literature and art, also to gentlemen engaged in the cultivation of history and those sciences which are connected with morals and government. In the designation of the two academies I have respected the example of France, which is the country that has most excelled in academies of this kind. I believe the Act of Congress is sufficient as a precedent. I do not think there
can be any just constitutional objection; and I am sure that the association, if once organized, would give opportunities of activity and of influence important to the literature of the country. I hope there will be not question about it.
Mr. Doolittle, of Wisconsin, wished to call up a bill from the House of Representatives, relating to certain half-breeds of the Winnebago Indians. "There is no chance of the pending bill passing the House of Representatives. What, then, is the use of taking up time with it here?" Mr. Morrill, of Maine, wished to introduce a bill to provide for the Washington aqueduct. Mr. Hale, of New Hampshire, thought that "at this stage of the session it was a little too late to be engaged in making a close corporation of mutual admirers," and he moved to take up a bill providing for the education of naval constructors and steam-engineers. The last motion prevailed.
NO FINAL ADJOURNMENT OF CONGRESS WITHOUT
SPEECH IN THE SENATE, ON THE RESOLUTION OF FINAL ADJOURNMENT, JULY 2, 1864.
JULY 2d, late in the evening, this day being Saturday, it was proposed that the session of Congress should finally close on Monday, July 4th, at noon. Mr. Sumner earnestly opposed this adjournment.
R. PRESIDENT,— In determining when to adjourn we may be guided by the experience of the past. If earlier Congresses, having less to do, infinitely less, than the present Congress, have found it necessary to continue their sessions through the summer, it is not improper to ask if we should be less industrious and less persevering.
I have in my hand a memorandum of the adjournments of Congress at the long session during the last twenty years. It is most suggestive, at least, even if not commanding to us.
The first session of the Twenty-Ninth Congress closed August 10, 1846. The war with Mexico had just begun. The first session of the Thirtieth Congress ended August 14, 1848. The main discussion of this year was on the Wilmot Proviso. The first session of the Thirty-First Congress lasted till September 30, 1850. This was the session of Compromise. The Fugitive
Slave Act bears date September 18th of this year. The first session of the Thirty-Second Congress did not close till August 31, 1852. During this period the Compromise measures were much discussed, also the Presidential question, and the platforms of the two great parties. It was as late as August 26th that I had the honor of moving the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act, being one of the Slavery compromises adopted by the previous Congress. The first session of the Thirty-Third Congress adjourned August 7, 1854. This was early for those times. The first session of the Thirty-Fourth Congress adjourned August 30, 1856, Kansas being the constant order of the day. Down to this period there was no adjournment before August, and one Congress sat as late as September 30th. But a change took place.
In 1856 the old per diem of eight dollars, as compensation of Senators and Representatives, was transmuted into the present system of compensation by an annual salary of three thousand dollars, be the session long or short. See now what ensued. The first session of the Thirty-Fifth Congress, immediately after the change of pay, closed June 14, 1858; and yet the questions of Kansas and the Lecompton Constitution were uppermost. The first session of the Thirty-Sixth Congress closed June 28, 1860, on the eve of the Presidential election, having been much occupied by the crisis of that historic conflict. Then came the long session of the Thirty-Seventh Congress, which did not adjourn till July 17, 1862, being a remarkable session, which has stored the statute-book with monuments of its industry and patriotism. Such is the record of the past; and now it is proposed to adjourn on the 4th of July.
There are two suggestions with regard to this record, which you will pardon me for making. First, so long as Congress was paid at the rate of eight dollars a day, and salary depended upon the duration of the session, Congress sat late in the season. It is humiliating to think that a consideration apparently so trivial. could have had such influence; but such are the facts. The other suggestion is of a different character. It appears, that, while the pretensions of Slavery were to be upheld, Congress was willing to give up the whole summer, even into autumn, to the odious theme. For the sake of an execrable Fugitive Slave Act, and other kindred measures, it bore all these heats, now so insupportable.
Sir, long ago I began the cry that we of the Free States must be as earnest and positive for Freedom as our opponents had always been for Slavery. Why not imitate their example? Business did not draw them away, heat did not drive them away, when Slavery was in question. But Freedom in every form is now in question. There is your army: it must be sustained. There are your finances: must they not be sustained also? There, too, are the great ideas of Freedom involved in this war. Much as has been done to uphold these, more remains to be done.
The question of finances assumes a practical form, and, as I am informed, it is now under discussion in the other House. While they debate an increased taxation, we are here, close upon midnight, considering how to end the session. That subject which of all others is the most difficult and delicate, which touches. all the great interests of the country, which cannot be treated in any hasty or perfunctory style, which should