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PROCEEDINGS OF CONGRESS CONTINUED. THIRTEENTH
WEEK. THE VOLUNTEER BILL, FINAL VOTE ON THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF THIRTY-THREE. ITS ADOPTION. INTENSE EXCITEMENT PREVAILING, THE SENATE ACTION ON THE PEACE • CONVENTION PROPOSITIONS. THE E ND FORESIADOWED.
The thirteenth week of quently compelled to a mere brief of the arImportance of the
the second session of the gument, instead of admitting the graces of Week.
XXXVIth Congress was oratory. one of the most important and interesting in In the Senate, Monday, its results of any six days of the session. (February 25th,) a number Senate Petitions. Speech-making was subordinate to action. of petitions were presented The numerous speeches already recorded in of a very stern anti-compromise character, these pages prove how ably and thoroughly declaring for the Union, the Constitution, the entire question of Government was hand- and the enforcement of the laws against reyled. The Convention of Delegates called olution and treason. Per contra, Mr. Bigler in. 1787, to revise the Articles of Confeder- presented the resolutions of the Pennsylvania ation, embodied no finer forensic ability than State Democratic Convention, held at Harriswas displayed in the winter of 1860–61. The burg February 22d, declaring against the use wide range of the debate, rendered necessary of coercive measures towards any of the Seby the extraordinary nature of the questions ceded States; approving of the conciliatory sprung by the destructionists, viz.: of a right overtures made by the Southern Border to break up the Government; of a right to a States; and declaring their hearty concurconstitutional sanction of property in man; rence in all reasonable and constitutional of the right to equality of the minority; of a measures for the preservation of the Union right to the extension of Slavery over free consistent with the rights of all the States. Territory—called forth all the lore and men- These resolutions were not as rankly protal resources of men not unfitted for the cri- Southern in their demands as those passed, sis; and the future will not fail to regard the early in the month, by the Democratic eloquence, the argumentative and legal State Conventions of Connecticut (see page strength, the learning, the tact, exhibited, as 363] and Michigan. Their modified tone was worthy of association with that great era in indicative of the rapid change in public senBritish legislation, when Pitt, Fox, Burke, timent, against which the leaders of the DemErskine and Sheridan sent the splendors of ocracy eventually had to succumb. Very their rhetoric scintihating over the intellect- significant petitions were presented by Sumual, like the magic Northern Lights over the ner, of Massachusetts, Ten Eyck, of New Jermaterial, heavens. This is challenging a se- sey, and Trumbull, of Illinois. vere ordeal of criticism; but, we may appeal Among matters up for in confidence to the Globe to justify our par- consideration was the bill Mails in the Secoded
States again. allel. Great emergencies are said to call giving the Postmasterforth ready minds : in the declamation of both General power to suspend postal relations Northern and Southern men will be found a with the insurrectionary States, which was verification of the aphorism. We have strenuously opposed by Hemphill and Wigsought to reproduce, in some degree, these fall, of Texas, Mason, of Virginia, Pearce, of notable speeches, though we have, from the Missouri, and other Southern members. necessity of condensation, been more fre- They generally protested against the use of
the word "insurrection,” as offensive to the 1847. When the present Administration ears of “gentlemen from the South”; and came into power, the public debt was proposed substitutes calculated to strip the $29,000 000, with nearly $18,000,000 in the bill of its retaliatory character.
treasury; but now the public debt is over Hemphill offered a substitute for the bill, $96,000,000. The smallest possible amount that“ whereas, several States have withdrawn the Government can get along with the next from the Union, and the laws of the United fiscal year is $58,000,000. It was a necessity States no longer have force: therefore, Resolved, to pass the bill. that the Postmaster-General is authorized to The amendments were finally acted upon, discontinue the postal service, and make ar- under the operation of the previous question. rangements with the Government of those All the Senate amendments were concurred States in regard to the same."
in, except that on tea and coffee, on which Polk, of Missouri, moved to modify the Mr. Sherman asked and obtained a commitamendment so as to read, “In all the tee of conference. States which have withdrawn from the The Volunteer bill (see Union the Postmaster-General shall have p. 431] came up, when
The Volunteer Bill
Howard's Speech power to discontinue the postal service.” Howard, of Michigan, reLost-yeas, 19; nays, 30. Hemphill's sub- sumed his speech (see p. 432,] assuming that the stitute was also voted down--9 to 38. The bill only gave construction to laws already in bill was disscussed at some length before existence. Congress must put in the President's being put upon its passage. In the course hands means to perform his duty, if it exof remarks made by Green, (Dem.,) of Mis- pects bim to perform it, and must instruct souri, there was an exhibition of ignorance, i him as to the mode in which he should do and of egotism--ever apt to accompany ig- it. They could not be released from this norance—which did not reflect creditably obligation. He repeated, that the President upon the intelligence of the State from should have power to execute the Constiwhence he came. The Senator located the tution in all its parts. The highest duty of “Whiskey Insurrection” in John Adams' ad- a Government, which dates far anterior to all ministration, and made Washington com- constitutions, is to preserve its existence. mander-in-chief for its suppression! The He reviewed the several asseverated causes bill finally passed, by a vote of 34 to 12. of the revolution, showing how groundless
A very long discussion followed on the they were. His statements on this head Civil Appropriation bill, which, after sundry were clear and concise. His summary was amendments, finally passed by a vote of 30 not calculated to add strength to the hopes to 4. The session was prolonged late into of the compromisers. His words were: the evening.
“ When the madness of the hour shall pass away; In the House, Monday, when this excitement shall have disappeared; when The Morrill Tariff Bill. (February 25th,) the Mor- men shall look at these things coolly, they will de
rill Tariff bill, with its one nounce this whole movement as the most causeless hundred and sixty amendments, was under revolt to be found in the history of the world. consideration in Committee of the Whole. There has been nothing like it since Lucifer and his The discussion was one of intense interest, angels were thrown over the battlements of heaven. and the bill, at the hour of one, found only There is no foundation for it. There are no difficulabout one-third of the amendments acted on,
ties here which might not be settled, and, in my when the Chairman of the Committee of judgment, which ought not to be settled. But, reWays and Means urged the necessity of con. They have but one duty to perform, and that is to
maining unsettled, what is the duty of Congress! curring in all the amendments, to many of
move on with moderation, with coolness, with wiswhich he was opposed, and, under other cir- dom, but with unflinching firmness, to the discharge cumstances, would vote against them. But of every great constitutional duty--namely, the exhe believed the very existence of this Gov-ecution of the laws of the Union; the defence of the ernment depended on the prompt passage of Union, the public property of the Union-in short, this bill, which is substantially the act of the execution of the Constitution. This must be done.
AN IRATE VIRGINIAN.
There is but one tribunal which can release Congress. | hostility. In fact, it was a measure of fratrimen from the duty, and that is, the sovereign power cidal and civil war clearly against the letter which framed the Constitution. That is the only and spirit of the Constitution. He closed bis power which can dissolve this Government; and fulmination in these words: until it is dissolved by that power, our duty is not
“ Then, sir, I say, pass your bills of coercion. doubtful, nor will the final result prove our authority Pass them with whatsoever indecent haste and agto have been uncertain."
gravating circumstance. Collect the materials of Pryor, (Dem.,) of Vir
war, so that when your leader descends upon the Pryor Again. ginia, followed in a brief
scene he may draw the curtain from the bloody but characteristically vio- drama—so that when he assumes the reins of power lent speech. He did not, at that late hour, he may precipitate his legions into the bosom of the propose to discuss all the issues challenged South. I do not say they may be ' welcomed with by Mr. Howard's speech. But one good bloody hands to hospitable graves,' but this I will result from the passage of the bill he would adventure : that the people of the South will not consider:
surrender their rights without a struggle ; and that " Inasmuch as its enactment—its eventual enact for whatsoever may be wrested from them by the ment—is a foregone and inevitable conclusion, I do grasp of superior force, they will indemnify their most fervently pray that it may be adopted at once, posterity by bequeathing them the legacy of an un. to the end that the people of Virginia and the South tarnished name.” may be roused to an apprehension of the perils Curtis, (Rep.,) of Iowa, answered the Virwhich menace their destruction. Sir, it is by this ginian's jrate declamation. He (Pryor) had policy of concealment and procrastination; this followed in the same line of argument as Machiavelian policyof. divide and conquer,' that the others from his State, which, evidently, was enemies of the South have sown division in its coun meant to keep the public mind inflamed and cils. Dissembling designs which I know they enter bewildered. The Repubtain, and pretending pacific purposes, which I licans were accused of med Curtis' Speech know they abhor at heart, they have succeeded, so
itating coercion, when far, in detaching the Border States from the Southern interest and alliance. Sir, for the sake of a
everything they had done and said had no united South, for the sake of the cause now sus
such bearing. The gentleman expressed the pended on the success of the Southern movement, I hope that the bill would speedily pass for beseech gentlemen on the other side-nay, I rather the purpose of arousing Virginia and the defiantly challenge them, to assume the attitude of South. He did not thus speak to reason, to ayowed hostility correspondent with their bloody the bill, or to Congress, but to the Convendesigns."
tion of Virginia, and to the assemblies of the No man, he declared with a violent de- South, who are taking action against their meanor, dared to gainsay the assertion, that own mother-country. The gentleman's own the Republican party were resolved never to statement that a Confederacy exists within recognize the independence of the Seceded the United States should induce us to draw States, nor to surrender the control over the around ourselves all the means of power and captured forts. In short, they are resolved protection we can command. If we are a to permit the South no other alternative but nation, we onght to show it. What are the submission or subjugation. In the event that pillars of Government ? Goodness, wisdom, the South declines to capitulate, coercion by and power. There can be no Government arms is their purpose and policy. Who so bold without power, and no law without sanction, as to deny this assertion ? He desired to pro- the omission of which would be mere advice. claim to the country that the policy of the dom- The bill now pending was for means of deinant party and the incoming Administration fence, and for the sake of peace. He conis to carry slaughter and sword into the tended that there was nothing unconstitubosoms of the people of the South, rather than tional in the bill, which only extended the tolerate the existence of a Southern Confed-provisions of existing laws. Jefferson, and eracy. The object is to chastise and subdue Madison, and other Presidents had power to the Seceded States. By this bill the Pres- call out State troops. He repeated, that the ident may carry on against them a vigorous bill is intended to aid in the execution of the
laws, maintain our common Simms, from his seat, Curtis' Speech. Government, and protect said " Murder!"
Curtis' Speech and shield our citizens in all Curtis answered — that sections. He did not make war on the South- murder came from the other side. The acts of ern States, but every man who raised his hand assassins were not from the Republicans--the against the Government, as in the Southern murderous axe against the Government was States, was in rebellion against it. If gentle wielded by persons skulking in the Executive men have affection for the country, let them Chamber and Senate of the United States, rally around its standard. There is no peace striking at their own mother—their motherif people will not show more loyalty. The country. peace and safety of society depend on the Burnett, of Kentucky, replied to the memGovernment, which every man is bound to ber from Iowa. He believed, with his friend support, and the Government is bound to from Virginia, that the passage of the bill was support every man.
a foregone conclusion, and declarative of war. He was interrupted, at some length, by Such a measure never had passed Congress Simms, of Kentucky, Rust, of Arkansas, nor received the approval of any President. Hughes, of Maryland, Clark, of Missouri, Those who framed and put the Constitution Branch, of North Carolina, and Burnett, of into operation expressly declared that, under Kentucky-all of whom contested his posi- no circumstances, in no conceivable state of tions and inferences with some feeling. Bur- the case, were the militia of the several nett, among his inquiries, asked whether it States ever to be called into service by the was the purpose of the Republicans, under Federal Government, except in subordination this bill, to reenforce the forts in the Seceded to the civil powers. The bill gave the PresStates now held by the Federal Government, ident unlimited power over the army and and to recapture the forts taken therein, un- navy, and enabled him to call into service less they shall be surrendered.
3,000,000 volunteers. The time has gone by Curtis replied, that his purpose was to sup- to deal with theories, and the fact of secession port the Constitution as it is, until some must be looked on as a reality. The revolupower shall be vested in him to do other- tion was peaceful, successful, and the result wise. He had sworn to support the Consti- a Confederated Government. Was it not bettution, and must do so. It may not be ne- ter for us and our posterity to recognize that cessary to reenforce those forts in the present Government-not its independence, but the exasperated state of the public mind. He existing fact—and then treat with it, instead (Curtis) recognized rebellion and civil war as of involving and threatening the country existing in the South. He would resort to with civil war? No man had more love for all honorable means to avoid a conflict of the Union than himself, but it must be one arms, and did not believe it would be neces-, of equality, and Kentucky would stand by sary to move an army thither until the people no other. In arraigning the Republicans, he carry their hostility against the United States. said that they had rejected all propositions
This did not satisfy. Simms asked another from the Border Slave States, and to accept question. In executing and enforcing the less than what they contained would be dislaws, do you hold it necessary in doing so to honorable, therefore impossible. reenforce the Southern forts in possession of John Cochrane, of New the Federal Government, and to recapture York, having obtained the Sickles' Amendment. the property ?
floor, gave way for an The reply was, that he (Curtis) was not amendment offered by Sickles, of New York, going to say in open session what might be as follows: come the duty of his country in event of fur
“Provided, That none of the troops to be raised ther aggressions. He would not speak of under this act shall be employed, except to aid in measures that ought to be spoken of only in the execution of judicial process issued in conform. secret session, if a purpose of that kind were ity with the Constitution and the laws; nor shall entertained.
any of said troops be sent into any State unless upon
CORWIN RESOLUTIONS CALLED
the request of the Legislature thereof, or of the Ex- / the warts, and afford more sufficient guaranecutive, when the Legislature shall not be in session, tees to the diversified and growing interests in conformity with section four of article four of the of the Government, and of the people comConstitution."
posing the same. This substitute was reBefore any action was Volunteer Bill Post
jected, by a vote of 74 to 108.
Kilgore, (Rep.,) of Indiana, then moved postpone further consider
that the resolutions and the pending amendation of the bill until Thursday the 28th,
ments be laid on the table-a motion that which was done, although Mr. Stanton de- would dispose of the entire reported resoluclared such a postponement was equivalent tions and all the amendments—which latter to killing the bill. The vote to postpone included the resolutions offered by Mr. Kelstood 100 to 74. Among other remarks made
logg, (see page 310,) and the Crittenden resduring the calling of the yeas and nays, Mr. Bouligny, of Louisiana, said: "With all due
olutions, [see pages 156–7,] as submitted by
Mr. Clemens, of Virginia. It was offered as respect to the gentleman who introduced this bill. I must say—and it is my duty to say,
a test question, covering the entire ground of that it is the most infamous and outrageous compromise. As such the motion was voted
The vote' stood: yeas 14, nays 174. bill that has ever been presented to Congress; and I say shame on the man who
The Kellogg Resolutions,
Thə Kaliogg Propodid it !"
being the next amendment,
offered as a substitute for The Report of the Committee of Thirty. three being the special order, came up. Then
the entire propositions submitted by Mr. Corfollowed a scene which the dramatist of Pan- win, were then voted on, and were rejected demonium in Parts might have chozen for by the vote of 33 ayes to 158 nays. Kellogg one of his acts. The hubbub grew out of rainly sought to withdraw his propositions, the effort to establish the order in which the and threatened, in event of their rejection, to propositions and amendments were to be con- renew them. Most intense excitement presidered.
vailed in the House during the contest in In the House, Wednesday, (February 27th,) forcing the resolutions to a vote. The Souththe Select Committee of Five reported, in a
ern members generally voted “nay,” because majority and minority report, on the Corre- they preferred the Crittenden proposition. spondence between the President and the au
The Crittenden propo
The Crittenden Propthorities of the State of South Carolina. sition, offered by Mr. Clem
osition Rejected. These interesting documents will be com- ens as a substitute to the prised in a succeeding chapter.
Corwin Resolutions, then came up. The subThe report of the Committee of Thirty-stitute was rejected, by a vote of 80 ayes to three was called up, when several members
113 nays. proceeded to give their views. Debate was,
The question then recurhowever, cut off, and the voting, under the red upon ordering the first call of the previous question, proceeded. The series of resolutions reportfirst vote was on the amendment proposed by ed from the Committee of Thirty-three, to be the Pacific States' members of the Commit- enrolled and read a third time. The resotee, Messrs. Burch and Stout. It recom
lutions were as follows: mended to the several
“Resolved, By the Senate and House of RopresentStates of the Union that atives of the United States of America in Congress tion Rejected.
assembled, That all attempts, on the part of the they, through their respective Legislatures, request Congress to call a hinder the recovery and surrender of fugitives from
Legislatures of any of the States, to obstruct or Convention of all the States, in accordance service or labor, are in derogation of the Constiwith the Fifth Article of the Constitution, tution of the United States, inconsistent with the for the purpose of amending the Constitu- comity and good neighborhood that should prevail tion in such manner, and with regard to such among the several States, and dangerous to the peace subjects, as will more adequately respond to of the Union.
The Corwin Resolo
The National Conven