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he did indicate the course afterwards pur- decision of the Chair, that two-thirds of a sued, did so by no special authorization of quorum complied with the constitutional the President-elect. His views, and those ex- requisition. The Senate sustained the Chair, pressed by Mr. Wade, were simply the Re- by a vote of 33 to 1—that single “nay” bepublican ultimate of the discussions of the ing Wade, of Ohio. winter.

This vote secured the final passage, by both The debate here took a more general turn, Houses, of the Corwin Joint Resolution, profrom the speaker having referred to Mr. posing to the Legislatures of the several Baker's willingness to compromise. It called States an amendment to the Constitution, up that Senator and Mr. Trumbull alter Mr. Mason then called up

The Crittenden Plan nately. Mr. Baker's closing reply was a most the Crittenden Resolutions,

i ejected. able and earnest appeal for an acceptance of in order to get a direct any reasonable terms of settlement, and par- vote on them. Mr. Clark's Resolutions, it ticularly of the Corwin proposition to amend will be remembered, had been offered as a the Constitution.

substitute, (see page 184,] when Mr. Bigler After some further remarks by various par- offered his propositions as a substitute to the ties, a vote was had on the Doolittle amend substitute. This was the condition of the ments to Pugh's amendment, viz.:—to sub- question at the moment Mr. Mason called up

stitute the Crittenden the matter. Mr. Bigler now withdrew his Final Struggle for

propositions for the Cor- substitute. The vote on Clark's Resolutions Compromise.

win amendment. Lost by was 14 ayes to 22 nays. Other amendments 18 to 28. The question then recurred on the were then called up and disposed of, when, substitute, when a running debate occurred the main question being ordered on the joint between Messrs. Bigler, Clingman, Douglas, (Crittenden) resolutions, they were rejected: Mason, Pugh, Morrill, Wade, Wigfall, Wilson, yeas 19, nays 20. The roll-call was : Doolittle, Johnson, of Arkansas, and others.

YEAS.—Messrs. Bayard, Bigler, Bright, CrittenIt was peculiarly sharp and personal—as-den, Douglas, Gwin, Hunter, Johnson, (Tennessee,) suming more of the character of charge Pugh, Rice, Sebastian, Thomson, and Wigfall —19.

Kennedy, Lane, Latham, Mason, Nicholson, Polk, and counter charge than of a Senatorial dis

“ NAYS.--Messrs. Anthony, Bingham, Chandler, cussion. A vote being had, at length, the Clark, Dixon, Doolittle, Durkee, Fessenden, Foote, proposed substitute was rejected-only three Foster, Grimes, Harlan, King, Morrill, Sumner, Ten voting in the affirmative. Mr. Bingham then Eyck, Trumbull, Wade, Wilkinson, and Wilson--20. proposed as an amendment to the amend

An attempt to go into Executive session ment, Mr. Clark's resolution, viz. :-- that failed, and the Senate, after its night session the Constitution is good enough—only wants of twelve hours, took (at Ý A. M.) a recess to be obeyed, &c. Lost — 13 to 25. The until 10 A. M. Minority Report proposition of Messrs. Sew Monday in the House ard and Trumbull was then voted on as an was, as usual with the last The Closing Scene. amendment. Lost-14 to 25.

hours of a session, 'very The main question, viz., the adoption of noisy, exciting, and uninteresting, except to the joint (House) resolution to amend the those immediately concerned. At the hour of Constitution, then came up, and received 24 twelve the Speaker, William Pennington, of ayes to 12 nays. This vote the Speaker an- New Jerssey, delivered his farewell address, nounced, when Mr. Trumbull, of Ilinois, in- gving utterance to his sympathy and hopes for terrupted, before the Speaker should declare the Union. He cordially approved the report of the result, to interpose the constitutional the Committee of Thirty-three; while his ohjecion, that two-thirds of a quorum was conviction was unchanged, that a National, not two-thirds of the members of the Senate, Convention, for the redress of actual or supand, therefore, that the constitutional amend- posed grievances, was the proper and most ment was rejected. A discussion followed, available remedy. He said: “As a member and, as Mr. Trumbull wished the question of the Union, I declare my conviction that no tested, as a precedent, he appealed from the I tenable ground has been assigned for a dis

day.”

solution of the ties which Mr. Hamlin then stepped The Closing Scene. bind every American citi- forward and said:

The Closing Scene. zen to his tountry; and im " SENATORS—The experience. partial history will so decide. My confidence of several years in this body has taught me somein the American people is such that I believe thing of the duties of the presiding officer, and nu just complaint can long exist without a with a stern, inflexible purpose to discharge these redress at their hands. There is always a duties faithfully, relying upon the courtesy and remedy in the Union. With this view, I still cooperation of Senators, and invoking the aid of declare my willingness to join in measures

Divine Providence, I am now ready to take the of compromise. I would do so because of oath required by the Constitution, and to enter the ancient ties that have bound us together, upon the discharge of the official duties assigned

me by the confidence of a generous people.” under institutions framed by our fathers, and

Mr. Hamlin then took the oath, as follows: under a Constitution signed by the immortal Washington. I would do so for the national

“ I, Hannibal Hamlin, do solemnly swear to sup. honor committed to the experiment of free in- port the Constitution of the United States.” stitutions. I would do so for the love I bear

Mr. Breckenridge said: “Having now army countrymen in all parts of our beloved rived at the termination of this Congress

, I land, and especially so for the sake of the now declare the Senate adjourned without noble band of patriots in the Border States, who, in the midst of great opposition, have

Mr. Hamlin took the chair, and the procstood as firm as rocks in the wild ocean, forlamation for an extra session was read. the peace and perpetuity of the Union.” The

Thus closed the second session of the close of his address was a benediction on the XXXVIth Congress of the United States. country and on the members of the House, That it was one of the most anxious ever with whom he had been so long and so

held, history will not fail to affirm. The agreeably associated. . He concluded by an

fate of a nation hung upon its words—the nouncing that the House of Representatives happiness, prosperity, and destiny of a peoof the Thirty-sixth Congress was adjourned ple depended upon its enactments. That it sine die.

spoke and legislated wisely is a question for The Senate proceedings of Monday morn- the future to determine. ing were interesting and brief. At the hour In reviewing its proceedings, we are first of noon the Vice-President called the Senate impressed with the radical nature of the difto order and addressed them:

ferences both of opinion and polity which SENATORS—In taking final leave of this position, prevailed, to a great degree, among members, I shall ask a few moments in which to tender to you

They were not differences of kind, but of abmy grateful acknowledgments for the resolution solute antagonisms-such as never could and declaring your approval of the manner in which I never will exist in harmony. One party have discharged my duties, and to express my deep claimed, on principles of right, a positive recsense of the uniform courtesy which, as the presid-ognition of Slavery, by the Constitution ing officer, I have received from the members of this and by the acknowledgments of the Free body. If I have committed errors your generous States; another party pronounced that asforbearance refused to rebuke them, and during the sumed right to be unfounded in law, in whole period of my service I have never appealed equity, or in humanity, and therefore not to in vain to your justice or charity.

be conceded under any pretext. A conserva“ The memory of these acts will ever be cherished tive few stood between these antagonisms, among the most grateful recollections of my life ; holding to the hands of each, in the endeavor and for my successor I can express no better wish to lock them in the fraternal embrace. But, than that he may enjoy the relations of mutual confidence which 'so happily have marked our inter- though their mediation was passively accourse. Now, gentlemen of the Senate, and officers cepted, hearts and opinions were unchanged of the Senate, from whom I have received so many

-so deep-rooted and inera dicable were their kind offices, accept my gratitude and cordial wishes differences; and the country looked upon the for your prosperity and welfare."

votes given for “compromise" as the inerest

THE PRESIDENT

AND

THE

REBEL AGENTS.

479

form, in which personal re

With a country to save, : * The Closing Scehe. gard played a more con- the first Republican Ad

The Closing Scene. spicuous part than any de- ministration sailed out sire, on the side of Northern men, for conces- upon a sea of troubles dark and stormy sion to Southern demands, even in a moder- enough to dismay the most intrepid soul. ate degree.

Will the Ship of State be able to weather the The new Administration came into power storm ? was the anxious thought of every totally uncommitted. It had offered no com- citizen who had intelligence enough to compromise-made no threat. The pledges of prehend the appalling disaster which stared leading men it was not bound to redeem, the country in the face—the wreck of the while, in his choice of a Cabinet, the Presi- American Republic—the explosion of the dent had indicated no definitive policy. great Republican experiment !

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

IMPORTANT REPORTS OF THE SELECT (HOUSE) COMMITTEE OF

FIVE. REPORT ON THE PRESIDENT'S CORRESPONDENCE WITH TIE SOUTH CAROLINA COMMISSIONERS. THE MINORITY REPORT, (DIESENTING.) REPORT ON THE SECESSION REVOLUTION, AND THE DUTY OF THE GOVERNMENT.

THE Special Committee of Five on the caution, which the future would approve. President's Message of February 8th-con- We give place to these documents—forming, sisting of Messrs. Howard, (Rep..) of Michi- / as they do, historical ranges, by which to gan, Dawes, (Rep.,) of Massachusetts, Rey- direct the student of events into correct and nolds, (Rep.,) of New York, Cochrane, (Dem.,) acknowledged channels. of New York, and Branch, (Dem.,) of North “Accompanying the message Carolina-reported, from time to time, on the of the President referred to this The Majority Report. subjects committed to their discretional in- Committee, is a copy of certain vestigation. Their report on the condition of correspondence had between the President and the Navy has been given (see p. 440, et sequitur.) claiming to be Commissioners on the part of South

Messrs. R. W. Barnwell, J. H. Adams, and J. L. Orr, February 27th, the Committee submitted a

Carolina, authorized and empowered to treat with majority report, covering the entire question, the Government of the United States for the delivery of the President's correspondence with the of the forts, magazines, light-houses, and other real South Carolina Commissioners, and the com- estate, with their appurtenances, within the limits plicity with treason chargeable to certain of South Carolina, and also for the apportionment of members of the Cabinet. The report is an the public debt, and a division of all other property important document, giving the version to held by the Government of the United States as agent acts of an Executive charácter which was sus- of the Confederated States, of which South Carolina tained by a vast majority of the people, as

was recently a member; and generally to negotiate well as by the force of facts, whose authen- as to all other measures and arrangements proper to ticity will bear but one statement. The Mi- be made and adopted in the existing relations of the

parties, and for the continuance of peace and amity nority Report, made by Mr. Cochrane-hav

between the Commonwealth (of South Carolina) and ing also the concurrence of Mr. Branch

the Government at Washington. defended the Executive from censure, and

“A further message of the President, under date of pronounced his course one of wisdom and February 8th, 1861, and referred to the Committee,

· communicates a copy of certain made the subject of a formal The Majority Report, correspondence, growing out and elaborate reply. Consider. The Majority Report

of another special mission from ing the position assumed by the the State of South Carolina to the President of the President in his Annual Message, in respect to the United States, having for its object a demand upon right of a State to withdraw from the Union, and the the Government of the United States for the delivery total absence of power on the part of the Executive of Fort Sumter, in the harbor of Charleston, to the to recognize the validity of any such attempt, the constituted authorities of the State of South Caro- Committee cannot but regard the mission itself, as lina.

well as the manner in which it has been treated by “The correspondence above referred to is submit the President, as among the most remarkable events ted bythe President without comment, or any sugges- of the extraordinary times in which we live. In his tion as to the propriety or necessity of any action by Annual Message, communicated to Congress at the Congress in respect to it, or to the various subjects beginning of the present session, the position is to which it refers. If important to be submitted to most distinctly affirmed by the President, that no Congress at all, it seems certainly to be of a character State has the constitutional right to withdraw from demanding grave consideration; and the fact that it the Union, and that there is no power in the Execuhas been placed before us by the President implies tive Department of the Government, to give the that, in his opinion, at least, it involved considerations slightest countenance or encouragement to any such which might properly engage the attention of the leg. attempt. In this opinion we fully concur, and believing islative branch of the Government, in connection with it to be the true theory of the Constitution, we have the various other matters forced upon it by the ne- been unable to perceive upon what principle the cessities of the times. The Committee has, there. President, representing the dignity of the Govern. fore, thought it expedient and proper to direct ment of the United States, has assumed to enter. attention to these special embassies, their object, tain or hold any official communication of the the action of the President thereon, and, incident character disclosed with the representatives of ally, to the character of the correspondence. the State of South Carolina. For it seems to us

" The first communication to the President, by ' obvious enough, that upon the principles enunciMessrs. Barnwell, Adams, and Orr, under date of ated in the Annual Message, the gentlemen compos. December 28th, 1860, communicates an official copy ing this Commission, acting under the sanction of a of an Ordinance of Secession, adopted by the State disloyal State, could be regarded in no other light of South Carolina, on the 20th of the same month, by ! than as engaged in a revolutionary effort to subvert virtue of which that State assumes to have withdrawn the Government of the United States; and, being so from the Federal Union, and taken the position of regarded, it would appear to have been the plain an entirely independent nation. That such an atti. | duty of the Executive to enforce the laws against tude was assumed by South Carolina, in attempting any individuals, however eminent and respectable, negotiations with the Government of the United known or suspected of complicity in any movement States, is not only obvious from the history of cur- of a treasonable character. We are not able to rent events, but it was most distinctly asserted by imagine any circumstances ander which the Presiher • Commissioners,' in their communication to the dent of the United States would be justified in enterPresident. The movement of Major Anderson from taining diplomatic intercourse with the State of Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, after their arrival in South Carolina, in her present attitude to the Washington, seems to have been regarded as an ob- General Government, except apon the assumption stacle, on their part, to the opening of any discussion that by the action of her authorities she had suctouching the object of their mission, until the cir- ceeded in acquiring the position of an independent cumstances attending that movement should be ex | power, owing no duty whatever to the Government plained in a manner which would relieve them of all of the United States. doubt as to the spirit in which the contemplated “As before stated, it is claimed by her, and in her negotiations should be conducted. They, however, behalf, that she now occupies such a position, and urge upon the President the immediate withdrawal her agents are sent hither upon that assumption, of the troops of the United States from the harbor charged with most extraordinary and insolent deof Charleston, upon the allegation that they are a mands upon the President. The reception, by the standing menace, which rendered negotiations impos. | President, of such a communication under such cirsible, and which, as they express it, threaten speed cumstances, and awarding the dignity of an official ily to bring to a bloody issue questions which ought reply, involves, to some extent, the recognition of to be settled with temperance and judgment.' This the assumed position of the rebellious State, and communication was received by the President, and impliedly admits that the individuals engaged in the

THE MAJORITY REPORT.

481

revolutionary movements against course in respect to the abanThe Majority Report the Federal Government have donment of its own forts, arse. The Majority Report.

acquired a political position nals, and other public buildings which entitles them to some other consideration upon threats of forcible expulsion, if the demands than is most commonly due to those who invite a upon it are not at once acceded to, we may well collision with established authority. It is this atti- pause and consider to what depths of degradation tude of the President that the Committee partic. and humiliation the American Government is apularly desire to express dissent from, and to affirm proaching, if the lowest depth has not already been most emphatically the doctrine that so long as the reached. Federal Government exists, its Constitution and “The Committee do not propose to discuss here laws operate with full vigor upon the people of whether it is wise or politic at the present time to every State, and that no action of State authority employ the whole power of the Government under of less degree than successful revolution can justify all circumstances and at all hazards to punish ofany department of the Government in treating any fenders against its laws. In times of extensive civil persons engaged in the effort to throw off all Fed commotion and discontent, prudence may dictate eral obligations other than rebels and traitors, and great caution and forbearance in the exercise of acentitled to be dealt with as such.

knowledged powers; and when whole communities “Even if, from any considerations growing out of assume the attitude of revolution against established the structure of our Government, or the dangerous Government, for real or imaginary wrongs, it may tendency of the secession movement in several be wise to listen to their complaints with attention, States of the Union, the anxiety to prevent the shed and not, by any unnecessary rigor against palpable ding of blood, and of avoiding the evils of civil war, violations of law, provoke passions already unduly great forbearance in the actual enforcement of the and unreasonably excited. But when growing dislaws against political offenders may be pardoned, content assumes the position of actual hostility ; and perhaps justified, we are not prepared to give when, instead of seeking redress under existing our assent to any action of the Executive Depart forms, resort is had to force, and the purpose is ment, which, in express terms, or by necessary im- | boldly avowed by overturning the Government to plication, may seem to place the responsible actors which their allegiance is due, we cannot see the and abettors of secession in any State of the Union wisdom of a policy which permits treason to per. in any other aspect than that of traitors to the Con form its work without hindrance of molestationstitution of the United States. It is believed that above all we cannot sanction a policy in the Exthe a

n and maintenance of this position is esecutive Department of this Government which prosential to the existence of the Federal Government, fesses a purpose of executing its laws and protectand without which it neither can have nor deserve ing its property from unlawful violence, and yet reobedience at home or respect abroad. It may, mains inactive when revolution is actually impend. perhaps, for a time, be tolerated that offenders ing, and entertains friendly intercourse with emagainst the laws may be permitted to go unwhipt bassies instigated by and growing out of the highest of justice.' The forcible seizure of public property type of treason to the Federal Constitution. by rebellious citizens may temporarily be allowed to “The President acknowledges the obligation of pass uppunished, for reasons which may appear | his oath to protect and defend the Constitntion and satisfactory to those charged with executive duty ; | enforce the laws made in obedience to its requirebut this condition of things cannot be of long con ments, denies the right of secession, and yet in the tinuance. Either tho Government must vindicate correspondence before us we have the evidence its power, or it will itself become powerless. If any that with full knowledge that the authority of the portion of the people of the Republic may at their Government has been set at defiance, its dignity inpleasure repudiate all Federal authority, defy and sulted, and its flag dishonored, he yet negotiates disorganize the Government, seize its property, and with treason and commits the Government to a parinsult its flag, without incurring the hazard of pun. | tial recognition of the revolutionary movement for ishment for treason, either by civil or military au- its destruction. If for any considerations of policy thority, we may well admit that there iş no Govern. he may be justified in suspending the exercise of its ment of the United States worthy of preservation. powers, we know of no reason that can justify a And if, after the people of the State, without ad. course of action which ignores the theory upon equate cause, have announced their purpose of re. which the whole foundation of the Government pudiating all allegiance to the Federal Union, they rests. If the fact that the Government has the are without question to be entertained by the Gov. power to protect itself from domestic violence may ernment of the United States, in diplomatic inter- | not prudently be acted upon under any apprehen

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