« ZurückWeiter »
PROCEEDINGS OF CONGRESS CONTINUED. EIG ITI WEEK. I M
PORTANT AND EXCITING WEEK. WITHDRAWAL SPEECHES OF JEFFERSON DAVIS, YULEE, CLAY, ETC. CORWIN'S SPEECH IN SUPPORT OF HIS REPORT. SPEECHES OF BIGLER, CLEMENS, ETHERIDGE, NELSON, RUST, GIL MER, AND OTHERS.
THE Session of the Senate for the 8th, the session of the Senate, are at variance with the week, (January 21-26) opened with speeches whole spirit of the Constitution, and with the true from the withdrawing Senators, viz: Yulee intent and meaning of the act of 1795." and Mallory, of Florida; Clay and Fitzpat
The Seceding Senators then claimed the rick, of Alabama; and Davis, of Mississippi. floor for their parting salutations. Yulee, of Prior to this withdrawal, Mr. Hunter, of Vir- Florida, rose to say that, in view of authenginia, asked to be excused from any further tic information from his State, his colleague service on the Finance Committee, remarking and himself deemed it proper to announce to that, in view of the withdrawal of Southern the Senate that their conSenators, the majority would pass into the nection with this body had Yulee's Valedictory. hands of their opponents; he therefore
come to an end, The State thought justice to himself and to the Senate of Florida, in Convention duly assembled, required that he should be permitted to re
has seen fit to recall the powers delegated to tire. His labors, as Chairman of that im- the Union, and to assume the responsibility portant Committee, had extended through a
of separate Government. He was sure the term of fifteen years. His ability, prudence people of Florida would never be insensible and probity had rendered his country inyal to the blessings and advantages of the Union uable service. He was excused.
when directed to the purpose of establishing Mr. Polk, (Dem.,) of Missouri, then pre- justice, and domestic tranquillity, and safety. sented a petition of citizens of his state, They would also hold in grateful memory the whose signatures filled fifteen quires of fools- earlier history of the Union. But, they had cap paper. The roll was wrapped in the decided that their civil and social safety American flag, inscribed, “ Love to the North, were jeoparded by a longer continuance in South, East and West." The petitioners
the Union. Recent events had impressed asked the passage of the Crittenden resolu- them with the belief that there is no safety tions. It was laid on the table.
except in withdrawal. They would rememSlidell, of Louisiana, moved that the Sen-ber always the large array of noble spirits at ate take up the message of the President in the North, and their efforts to uphold the answer to his resolution in relation to his right. With grateful emotions and acknowappointment of Acting Secretary of War. ledgements for the many courtesies he had He also offered a resolution as follows:
enjoyed in this body, and with most cordial “ Resolved, That in the opinion of the Senate, the wishes, he retired from their midst in cheerreasons given by the President, in his message, for ful approving loyalty to his own State. not communicating to the Senate at an early day the
Mallory, of the same State, followed. He fact of his having appointed Joseph Holt Acting Sec- regretted, more than words could tell, the retary of War.
course of events which had compelled the “ Also resolvrd, That the grounds assumed by the disseverance of the Union. But one course President for making such an appointment during had been left for the injured States to pur
sue—to withdraw from a Confederacy which Christian communication, behad failed of its intent and great truths. He cause it could not endure what Clay's Adieu. said: "Many difficulties will arise-among it styles the leprosy of Slavery. them one which I am not ashamed to say I It refuses us permission to pass through the North dread, that is civil war. But whatever dan- with our property, in violation of the Constitution and
the laws of Congress, designed to protect that prop. ger may come upon us, we Mallory's Bene
erty. It has refused us any share in the lands acare a united people. Yet quired mainly by our diplomacy, our blood, and our diction.
I implore, I entreat, and treasure. It has robbed us of our property, and repray you not to mistake the facts and force fused restoration. It has refused to deliver up cri us into war. The South will never submit to miuals against our laws, who fled to the North with the last degradation of a constrained exist- our property, or with blood upon their hands, and ence under a violated Constitution. We do it threatened us with punishment, and murdered not seek to conquer you, and we know you Southern men who attempted the recovery of their could never conquer us. But if, in a moment property. It invaded the borders of Southern States, of pride and infatuation, you should imbrue burned the dwellings and murdered the families. your hands in our blood, there will be such Habitual violators of the rights of humanity, they a contest as was never seen before. In thus have exhausted all that human ingenuity can de
vise, and all that diabolical malice can invent, to leaving the Senate to return to my own State, heap indignity upon us, and make us a by-word, a
there to serve her with unfaltering head and hissing, and a scorn throughout the civilized world. · heart, I am very happy to acknowledge ten Yet we bore all this for many years, and might have
thousand acts of courtesy and kindness which borne it many years longer, under the oft-repeated I have received from Senators on the opposite assurance and fondly cherished hope that these side, and which I shall remember through things were not the action and feeling of a majority, life, and to whom I am indebted for much but a minority party. But the failure of these promwhich I shall not only cherish, but recall ises and our hopes have conclusively proved to us with pleasure. And, Sir, in parting on this that there is no hope. The platform of the Repubside from true and tried friends, the noble lican party we regard as a declaration of war against
the lives and institutions of the Southern people. It representatives of the free people of the
not only reproaches us as unchristian and heathenNorth, who are true to themselves—the noble ish, and imputes to 'us a sin and crime, but adds champions of truth and justice—it is not words insulting and hostile to our domestic transtrange that we should feel, that whatever quillity. In its declaration that our negroes are enthe future may have in store for us, it will be titled to liberty and equality with white men, it is in brightened by the recollection of the loyalty spirit, if not in fact, a strong incitement to insurrecand many acts of friendship which have tion, arson, murder, and other crimes. And, to agcharacterized our intercourse, and which, in gravate the insult, the same platform denies us my judgment, will bind them to us by ties equality with Northern white men or free negroes, of kindness for ever."
and brands us as an inferior race. To cap the cli
max of insult to our feelings, and this menace to our Ciay, of Alabama, then extended his ad
rights, this party nominated for the Presidency a vice to the Hall in the following terms: man who not only indorsed the platform, and prom
" I rise to announce, for my ised to enforce its principles, but disregards the Clay's Adieu. colleague and myself, that the judgments of your Courts, the obligations of your
people of Alabama have adopt- Constitution, and the requirements of his oath, by ed an Ordinance of Separation, and that they are all approving any bill to prohibit Slavery in the in favor of withdrawing from the Union. I wish it Territories of the United States. A large mato be understood that this is the act of the people jority of the Northern people have declared of Alabama, in taking this momentous step. It is their approval of the platform, and candidates nearly forty-two years since Alabama came into this of that party in the late election. It is the Union. She entered it amid violence and excite- solemn verdict of the people of the North that the ment, caused by the hostility of the North against Slaveholding communities of the South are to be the institution of Slavery at the South. It is this outlawed, and branded with ignominy, and consigned same spirit of hostility at the North which has effect- to execration and ultimate destruction. Sir, are we ed the secession of Mississippi, South Carolina, looked upon as more or less than men? Is it exGeorgia, Florida, and Alabama. It has denied | pected that we will or can exercise that god-like
JEFFERSON DAVIS' SPEECI.
virtue that beareth all things, has seemed to be proper that I Clay's Adieu. believeth all things, hopeth all should appear in the Senate and Clay's Adieu.
things, endureth all things announce that fact, and say which tells us to love our enemies, and bless them something, though very little, upon it. The occathat curse us? Are we expected to be denied the sion does not invite me to go into the argument, sensibilities, the sentiments, the passions, the reason, and my physical condition will not permit it; the instincts of men ? Have not we pride and yet something would seem to be necessary, on honor? Have we no sense of shame, no reverence the part of the State I here represent, on an ocfor our ancestors, and care for our posterity? | casion like this. It is known to Senators who Have we no love of home, of family, of friends have served here that I have for many years Must we confess our baseness, discredit the fame advocated, as an essential attribute of State sovof our sires, dishonor ourselves, and degrade ereignty, the right of a State to secede from the our posterity, abandon our homes, flee our Union. If, therefore, I had not believed there was country—all, all for the sake of Union ? Must we justifiable cause-if I had thought the State was agree to live under the ban of our own Government? acting without sufficient provocation-still, under Must we acquiesce in the inauguration of a President my theory of government, I should have felt bound chosen by confederate but hostile States, whose po- by her action. I, however, may say I think she had litical faith constrains him to deny us our constitu- justifiable cause, and I approve of her acts. I contional rights? Must we consent to live under a Gov- ferred with the people before that act was taken, ernment which we believe will henceforth be admin and counselled them that if they could not remain istered by those who not only deny us justice and that they should take the act. I hope none will equality, but brand us as inferiors ?-whose avowed confound this expression of opinion with the advoprinciples and policy must destroy our domestic cacy of the right of a State to remain in the Union, tranquillity and imperil the lives of our wives and and disegard its constitutional obligations by nullichildren, and ultimately destroy our States? Must we fication. Nullification and secession are indeed anlive by choice, or compulsion, under the rule of those tagonistic principles. Nullification is the remedy who present us the alternative of an irrepressible con- which is to be sought and applied, within the Union, flict in defence of our altars and firesides, or the man- against an agent of the United States, when the umission of our slaves, and their admission to social agent has violated constitutional obligations, and equality ? No, sir, never, never! The free men of the State assumes for itself, and appeals to other Alabama have proclaimed to the world that they States to support it. But when the States themwill not, and have proven their sincerity by seceding selves, and the people of the States, have so acted from the Union, and braving all the dangers of a as to convince us that they will not regard our conseparate and independent nation among the powers stitutional rights, then, and then for the first time, of the earth. As a true and loyal citizen of that arises the question of secession, in its practical State, approving of her action, acknowledging entire application. That great man who now reposes with allegiance, and feeling that I am absolved by her his fathers, who has been so often arraigned for act from all my obligations to support the Constitu- want of fealty to the Union, advocated the doctrine tion of the United States, I withdraw from this body, of nullification, because it preserved the Union. It intending to return to the bosom of my mother, and was because of his deep-seated attachment to the share her fate, and maintain her fortunes.”
Union that Mr. Calhoun advocated the doctrine of Mr. Fitzpatrick, of the same State, approved nullification, which he claimed would give peace the words and endorsed the sentiments of within the limits of the Union, and not disturb it, his colleague, and announced his withdrawal and only be the means of bringing the agent before from the Senate, He was succeeded by
the proper tribunal of the States for judgment. SeJefferson Davis, of Mississippi, whose remarks to be justified upon the basis that the States are
cession belongs to a different class of rights, and is had excited some expectancy of bitterness. sovereign. The time has been, and I hope the time The report of his brief speech of defence, jus- will come again, when a better appreciation of our tification and adieu, read :
Union, will prevent any one denying that each State “I rise for the purpose of is a sovereign in its own right. Therefore, I say I Jell. Davis Parting Salutation.
announcing to the Senate that concur in the act of my State, and feel bound by it.
I have satisfactory evidence It is by this confounding of nullification and secesthat the State of Mississippi, by solemn ordinance sion that the name of another great man has been in Convention assembled, has declared her separa-invoked to justify the coercion of a Seceding State. tion from the United States. Under these circum- The phrase 'to execute the law,' as used by Genestances, of course, my functions terminate here. Itral Jackson, was applied to a State refusing to obey
the laws and still remaining in The Kansas bill was callClay's Adieu. the Union. I remember well ed' up by Mr, Seward, and
The Kansas bill when Massachusetts was
ar- put upon its passage. After raigned before the Senate. The record of that oc- the adoption of the amendment of Fitch, casion will show that I said, if Massachusetts, in (Dem.,) of Indiana, in regard to a Judicial pursuing the line of steps, takes the last step which District, the bill for the admission of Kansas separates her from the Union, the right is hers, and I will neither vote one dollar nor one man to coerce
as a Free State, passed by the following vote:
“YEAS–Messrs. Anothony, Baker, Bingham, Bigher ; but I will say to her, “God speed!”
“Mr. Davis then proceeded to argue that the ler, Bright, Cameron, Chandler, Clark, Collamer, equality spoken of in the Declaration of Indepen- senden, Foot, Fitch, Foster, Grimes, Hale, Harlan,
Crittenden, Dixon, Doolittle, Douglas, Durkee, Fesdence was the equality of a class in political rights, Johnson (Tenn.), King, Latham, Morrill, Pugh, Rice, referring to a charge against George III. for inciting Seward, Simmons, Sumner, Ten Eyck, Thomson, insurrection, as a proof that it had no reference to
Trumbull, Wade, Wilkinson, Wilson-36. the slaves. But we have proclaimed our independence. This is done with no hostility or any desire Green, Hemphill, Hunter, Iverson, Johnson (Ark.),
“Nays-Messrs. Bayard, Benjamin, Clingman, to injure any section of the country, nor even for our pecuniary benefit, but from the high and solid Kennedy, Mason, Nicholson, Polk, Powell, Sebas
tian, Slidell, Wigfall--16. foundation of defending and protecting the rights we
The Crittenden (revised) inherited, and transmitting them unshorn to our pos
Bigler's Speech. terity. I know I feel no hostility to you Senators resolutions were then called here, and am sure there is not one of you, whatever up by Mr. Bigler, who promay have been the sharp discussion between us, to ceeded to address the Senate at length, urgwhom I cannot now say, in the presence of my God, ing their adoption as the only balm for the I wish you well. And such is the feeling, I am sure, sore distemper of the times. He held that it the people I represent feel toward those whom you was the right of the people to amend or alter represent. I, therefore, feel I but express their de- the provisions of the Constitution. He forci. sire when I say I hope, and they hope, for those bly adverted to the history of the country, peaceful relations with you, though we must part, which, from thirteen small States, by Union, that may be mutually beneficial to us in the future. had risen to its present proud position of There will be peace if you so will it, and you may greatness. He reviewed the danger in which bring disaster on every part of the country if you thus will have it. And if you will have it thus, we it now stands of disruption and ruin, and to will invoke the God of our fathers, who delivered the events that have added exasperation to them from the paw of the lion, to protect us from the exasperation in both sections, and until the ravages of the bear; and thus, putting our trust in South has come to the belief that its only God, and our own firm hearts and strong arms, we safety lies in eternal separation. He then will vindicate and defend the rights we claim. In referred to the compromise of 1820, which the course of my long career, I have met with a great gave peace to the country till 1850, when anvariety of men here, and there have been points of other compromise was effected. Then the collision between us. Whatever of offense there has Anti-Slavery party sprung up and our troubeen to me, I leave here. I carry no hostile feel bles began. The raid of John Brown upon ings away. Whatever of offense I have given, which has not been redressed, I am willing to say to Sena- Virginia, the indorsement of the Helper book, tors, in this hour of parting, I offer you my apology and abuse of the Southern people followed,
the doctrine of the "irrepressible conflict," for anything I may have done in the Senate, and I go thus released from obligations, remembering no
until at last a President was elected who af injury I have received, and having discharged what firmed and proclaimed these doctrines. Now I deem the duty of man, to offer the only reparation South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georat this hour for every injury I have ever inflicted." gia, and Florida have seceded from the Union.
The five Senators then rose to withdraw, Such is the distracted condition of the counwhen the Democratic members, and those try, and our mission now should be to restore from the still represented Slave States, arose peace—such a peace as would send the old to extend the hand of fellowship in parting. spirit and vitality into all the channels of Messrs. Hale, of N. H., and Cameron, of Pa., commerce and society. The gentleman earnwere the only Republicans who volunteered estly argued the necessity, as well as great their adieus.
propriety of a Convention of the people to
consider amendments to the Constitution. Wade) presented resolutions of his State, He urged Senators on the other side to con one of which was against the Personal sider the necessity of passing these or similar Liberty bills, while the House of Representaresolutions. In reply to arguments against tives of Ohio refused to repeal one such law. the resolutions he would say that these are He wanted to show to the people of his State extraordinary times, and demand extraordin- and the country the difference between proary measures. He earnestly appealed to the fession and practice here. Southern States to pause and consider if they Mr. Cameron said the Senator from Vircould not obtain their rights in the Union. ginia seemed to be anxious for the excuse to He claimed that the Territories ought to be leave the Union. He (Cameron) had voted opened to all the people of all the States. as he did, because he saw no disposition to The country must maintain the Constitution, compromise on the other side, unless he went and accept the meaning of the tribunal who on bended knees and asked forgiveness. He has the right to expound it. It was a fatal should ask no forgiveness, because he had day for the country when a sectional party was done no wrong, but still he was willing to formed. Disguise it as we may, the Repub- forgive the backslidings of the South, and do lican party has for its basis hostility to Sla- all he could to preserve the Union. But he was very. One of the great difficulties is the not to be dragooned or driven. He was the abuse and insult heaped on the Southern peo- peer and equal of the Senator from Virginia. ple. They declared war against secession, Mr. Mason said he was unconscious of and yet believed redress for the alleged griev- having said anything to arouse the wrath of ances should be sought at the hands of all the Senator from Pennsylvania. He (Mason) the people. He believed the laws should be did not want an excuse for leaving the Union. maintained on this point. He agreed with If he wanted any excuse it was to know how the Senator from Illinois (Douglas), yet how to remain in the Union. He had seen to-day could we coerce a State? It would be war six Senators taking formal leave of the Senate against fifteen States. Coercion was delusion. and he knew the Union was dissolved, absoHe referred to the troubles which fall mostly lutely dissolved. Senators may not recogon the Border States, and closed by express- nize the dissolution, but that will not alter ing fidelity to his own State, whose sentiments the fact. States are gone, and the chairs of he claimed to represent.
their Senators are vacant. What is the remCameron, of Pennsyl- edy? Coercion! Would you use the discipCameron Catechised. vania, followed in a few line the pedagogue inflicts on an urchin at
remarks, to say that it was school? The Constitution was against coerthe other side of the Senate which would not cion, and humanity and the civilized world accept the olive branch held out to them. were against it. We cannot make war unless He would vote for the propositions--would we change the laws, and we cannot change do anything to save the Union. Being cate- the laws unless we violate the Constitution, chised by Green, of Mo., and Iverson, of But the qnestion of peace or war was in the Geo., Mr. Cameron said he approved of the hands of the majority. The South deplored propositions so far as to be willing to vote war because of the consequences, not from for them, and asked the Southern members fear; and if it were forced on them it would to do the same. His views of coercion were be such a war as the world had never seen. expressed by saying it was a bad remedy- The only excuse he wanted was to remain in that he did not know if, indeed, he should the Union, and would to God the Senator ever resort to it-certainly it was the last re- from Pennsylvania would give him such medy he should adopt.
excuse. Mason, of Virginia, referred to the fact Mr. Cameron said he had not heard of that the Senator had voted against the Crit- any threats of war, but if it must come Perintenden resolutions, and for the amendment sylvania was ready to meet it. The people of the Senator from New Hampshire (Mr. of his State were ready to do anything honClark), and that the Senator from Ohio (Mr. orable to save the Union—were willing to