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RESOLUTION

OF INQUIRY.

87

ment of a large majority of the people of the , Our wishes are not to be regarded; we are not worState, thus characterized the precipitationists thy even to sit in council with South Carolina upon and their schemes:

our own fate; even Old Virginia, the land of Wash

ington, the mother of constitutional liberty in Amer* It seems to us that the whole annals of the hu- ica, is waved off majestically by the Charleston man race do not present such an example of arro-Mercury, when she approaches with the olive branch gance and presumption as this attempt of South Ca- and asks to be permitted to consult with Carolina rolina to coerce the Border Slave States out of the upon measures concerning their common destiny. Union. If she herself desires to go out, in heaven's * Ye gods! upon what meat doth this our Cæsar name, let her go. We do not desire to coerce her. feed, that he has grown so great ? He doth beAnd yet she seeks to 'drag us after her, at the haz- stride the earth like a Colossus,' and we, petty borard of all that makes life worth having; to ‘drag' us derers, must 'crawl between his huge legs, and into the slaughter-house of civil and servile war; to

' find ourselves dishonorable graves.' drag' us away from a Government with which we are satisfied, under which we enjoy prosperity and These several expressions are a reflex of the peace, sitting every man of us in joy and content conservative public opinion in the several under our own vine and fig-tree ; to ‘drag' us from sections of the Union during the middle of this Guvernment, constructed by the wisdom and December. It will be apparent, therefore, patriotism of our venerated forefathers and cement- what action in Congress would have met their ed by their heroic blood, and force us down a preci

views. pice the bottom of which no mortal eye can see.

CHAPTER XIII.

PROCEEDINGS OF CONGRESS CONTINUED. THIRD WEEK, SPEECI ES OF SENATORS WADE, JOHNSON AND OTHERS. THE RESOLUTIONS OF ADRIAN, LOVEJOY, MORRIS AND OTHERS. THE CRITTENDEN COMPROMISE RESOLUTIONS. TIE COMMITTEE OF THIRTEEN.

The third week of the officers of the United States upon a requisition, A Resolution of loquiry.

session proved a very im- or if this has ever been refused; and further,

portant and exciting one in what instructions have been given to the ofboth Houses. In the Senate, on Monday (Dec. ficers of said Forts in case of a demand to 17th), Mr. Clark (Rep.) of New Hampshire, surrender them by any person or authority sought to obtain information concerning the made upon them; also, the copies of any corcondition of Fort Moultrie by a resolution of respondence between the Commander-in-Chief inquiry, which requested the President to in- of the American Army relative to the necesform the Senate what number of men were sity of supplying the officers of said forts with stationed at Forts Moultrie and Sumter; protection. This was immediately objected whether, in his opinion, the number was suffi- to by Mr. Brown (Dem.) of Mississippi, when, cient to defend those forts against any attack under the rules it had to lie over. The Southor domestic violence; whether additional men ern members evidently had determined upon had been ordered to either of said forts, or a steady opposition to all Union or coercive any steps taken to put them in position to resolves. resist any attack; in whose custody the arsenal At one o'clock Mr. Powell's resolution for at Charleston is placed ; what arms and prop- a Committee of Thirteen on the Union was erty are there kept, or, if removed, by whom; taken up, when Mr. Wade, of Ohio, proceeded why said arms are not put in possession of to address the Senate. As Mr. W. was un

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Senator Wade's

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derstood to speak for the Republicans, histed with the same faithfulness as has been this most speech assumed peculiar significance, aside repugnant Fugitive Slave law. You have a law in from its remarkakble power and unity. We South Carolina by which you take the Free Citizens shall reproduce so much of it as may illustrate of Massachusetts, or any other maritime State, and

lock them up in jail, under a penalty. If the poor man its “points.” After adverting to the unusual

cannot pay the jail fees, eternal slavery stares him excitement he thought argument would avail in the face. It is a monstrous law, revolting to the very little; but silence would be treason. best feelings of humanity, and in conflict with the Thus far he had listened for complaints in Constitution of the United States * * * You order to assertain what were the evils and have the whole legislation of the country; you own wrongs complained of, but had listened in the Cabinet and the Senate, and, I may add, you vain. As the Republican party never had own the President of the United States as much as held office—was only prospectively coming into the servants on your own plantations. I can't,

power, it was manifest that therefore, see why the Southern men rise up and

no act had yet been com- complain of the action of this Government. *
Speech.
mitted of which to com-

What doctrines do we hold detrimental to you? Are plain. If fears existed as to what might hap- Constitution ? I tell you nay. There is no principle

we the setters forth of any new doctrine under the pen, they were groundless, arising out of un

held to-day by the great Republican party that has warrantable prejudices. If there were wrongs not had the sanction of your government for more of deed or principles he would be the first to than'seventy years. You have changed your opinrecant them when they were shown to exist. ions—we stand where we used to stand. We stand, Who are the complainants ?

on the Slavery question, in the place formerly occu

pied by the most revered statesmen of this nation, Why, they have had more than two-thirds of

every one of them, Washington, Jefferson, Monroe, this Senate for many years. You that complain, re

Adams, Jackson and Polk, inclusive; and that represent but little more than one quarter of the free vered statesman, Henry Clay, of blessed memory, people of the United States; yet, you have prevailed with his dying breath asserted the doctrine we hold for ten years past in the Cabinet of the President, to-day. Why, then, are we held up before the comand in the Supreme Court of the United States, and munity as violators of your rights? It is late in the nearly every department of the Government. Those day to accuse us of harboring these opinions. who voted with you have dictated the policy of the

“Mr. Lincoln's character, from his youth up, has Government. Is it not strange that those who occu

bern such that you have no right to draw any inferpy this position come here complaining that their

ence that he will trespass on the right of any man, rights have been stricken down! *

* I may and if you harbor adverse suspicions they are unsay these gentlemen who have raised upon this floor warrantable and spring from prejudice, nothing their bill of indictment against us, have been the

else. leaders of the dominant party for years; therefore,

“The Republican party holds the same opinion, if there is anything in the legislation of the Federal

so far as I know, with regard to your peculiar inGovernment that is not right, you, and not we, are stitution that is held by every civilized nation on responsible for it. We never yet have been invest- the globe. We do not differ in public sentiment ed with power to control the legislation of the coun- from England, France, Germany, and Italy on the try for an hour." * * *

subject of Slavery. “We have no security in travelling nearly one half “I tell you frankly that we did lay down the prinof this Confederacy—especially the Gulf States. Iciple on our platform, that we would prohibit, if we don't care what a man's character may be, and if he had the power, Slavery from invading another inch never violated any law under heaven; but if he of free soil of this Government. I stand to that comes from the North, and especially if he has ex principle to-day. I have argued it to half a million ercised his political rights, and voted for Lincoln of people and they stand by it-they have commisinstead of somebody else, is an offence punishable sioned me to stand by it, and, so help me God, I by indignity, by stripes and by death. And you, will! I say to you while we hold this doctrine to whose constituents are guilty of all these things, can the end there is no Republican, or Convention of stand up and accuse us of being unfaithful to the Republicans, or Republican paper, that pretends we Constitution of the land ! I make the assertion here have any right in your States to interfere with your that I do not believe, in the history of the world, peculiar and local institutions. On the other hand there ever was a nation or a people where a law so our platform repudiates the idea that we have any repugnant to the general feeling was ever execu- right, or harbor any ultimate intention, to invade,

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or interfere with, your institution, in your own Mr. Wade adverted, at some length, to the States.

question of a right of secession, assuming “I have disowned any intention on the part of the that it was revolution, which, if successful, Republican party to harm a hair of your heads. would make all concerned in it heroes—if unWhold to no doctrine that can possibly work you successful, would submit every participator's any inconvenience—any wrong-any disaster. We neck to the halter. The President, he held, have been and shall remain faithful to all the laws, had but one course to pursue to sustain the studiously so. It is not, by your own confessions, Constitution and the laws. Washington City that Mr. Lincoln is expected to commit any overt

was founded by the “Father of his Country" act by which you may be injured. You will not even wait for any, you say; but by anticipating that to be the capital of the Union, and it should

He himself had the Government may do you an injury you will put never be anything else. an end to it—which means, simply and squarely, lived, and hoped to die, under the folds of that you intend either to rule or ruin this Govern- the flag consecrated by the blood and sacrifiment.

ces of his own father. " As to compromises, I supposed that we had This speech caused a sensation throughout agreed the day of Compromise was at an end. The the country. It was not the impulse of a momost solemn we have made have been violated, and ment, made in anger or haste. It was delibeare no more. Since I have had a seat in the Senate, rate and well considered; and, being the first one of considerable antiquity was swept from our

utterance of a Republican leader, was properstatute book; and when in the minority I stood up ly regarded as an exposition of the views and here and asked you to withhold your hands—that it was a solemn, sacred compact between nations, purposes of the dominant party. The Senate, what was the reply? That it was nothing but an act during its delivery, was crowded with anxof Congress, and could be swept away by the same ious listeners in the galleries, while many majority which enacted it. That was true in fact and members of the Lower House found places on true in law, and it showed the weakness of compro- the floor. It was accepted as the declaration mises.

of the party, and its words were weighed by “We beat you on the plainest and most palpable the public, thoughtfully and scrutinizingly, as issue ever presented to the American people, and the great occasion demanded. one which every man understood; and now, when In the House, Monday, we come to the capital, we tell you that our candi- various propositions were

" Signal" Risoludates must and shall be inaugurated-must and submitted, for compromises,

tions. shall administer this government precisely as the amendments to the Constitution, calling of a Constitution prescribes. It would not only be hu- Nationa Convention, &c. A resolution, offermiliating, but highly dishonorable to us, if we listened to any compromise by which we should lay ed by Mr. Adrian, (Dem.,) of New Jersey,– aside the honest verdict of the people. When it after an amendment on motion of John Cochcomes to that you have no government, but anarchy rane, (Dem.,) of New York, including in the intervenes, and civil war may follow, and all the recommendation the repeal of all Personal · evils that human imagination can raise may be con- Liberty bills, so called—was adopted by a sequent upon such a course as that. The American vote of 151 Yeas to 14 Nays:people would lose the sheet anchor of Liberty when

Whereas, The Constitution of the United States ever it is denied on this floor that a majority fairly is the supreme law of the land, and its ready and given shall rule. I know not what others may do, faithful obedience a duty of all good and law-abiding but I tell you, that with that verdict of the people in citizens. Therefore, my pocket, and standing on the platform on which these candidates were elected, I would suffer any-dience to the Constitution, wherever manifested, and

Resolved, That we deprecate the spirit of disobething before I would compromise in any way. I deem it no case where we have a right to extend statutes by the State Legislatures in conflict with,

that we earnestly recommend the repeal of the courtesy or generosity. The absolute right, the

and in violation of that sacred instrument, and the most sacred that a free people can bestow upon any laws of Congress passed in pursuance thereof." man, is their verdict that gives him a full title to the office he holds. If we cannot stand there we cannot

After some skirmishing with the Southern stand anywhere, and, my friends, any other verdict members, Mr. Lovejoy, (Rep.) of Illinois, would be as fatal to you as to us."

pressed the following to a vote:

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" Whereas, The Constitution of the United States for a State to withdraw from the Union. Reis the supreme law of the land, and its ready and ferred to the Committee of Thirty-three. faithful obedience a duty of all good and law-abiding Mr. Crawford (Dem.) of Georgia, offered a citizens. Therefore,

motion declaring that the Constitution recogResolved, That we deprecate the spirit of disobe- nizes property in slaves; that Congress bas dience to the Constitution wherever manifested, and passed laws to aid slave-holders in recapturthat we earnestly recommend the repeal of all Nul. ing their slaves whenever they escape and lification laws; and that it is the duty of the Presi: make their way into the Free States; that dent to protect and defend the property of the United the Supreme Court has decided that negroes States."

are not included either in the Declaration of This forced a direct issue upon all. It

Independence or in the Constitution except passed by a vote of 124—the Southern mem

as slaves; that they cannot become citizens; bers quite generally refusing to vote. Nays, and we, the members of the House of Repre

sentatives, will sustain and support the conMr. Morris, (Dem.,) of Illinois, then brought struction of the Constitution, the laws, and forward, for the third time, his Union resolu- the said decision of the Supreme Court. This tion, as follows:

resolution was tabled Tuesday. Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we In the Senate, Tuesday (Dec. 18) the proproperly estimate the immense value of our National cedings took an additional interest by the Union to our collective and individual happiness ; introduction of schemes of compromise by that we cherish a cordial, habitual and immovable Messrs. Lane, (Dem.) of Oregon, and Crittenattachment to it; that we will speak of it as of the den, (American) of Kentucky. The first-named palladium of our political safety and prosperity ; declared the Government to be unfitted for that we will watch its preservation with jealous the exigencies of the times and proposed Comanxiety; that we will discountenance whatever

This may suggest, even a suspicion that it can, in any missioners to suggest remedies, &c. event, be abandoned, and indignantly frown upon silly and impracticable scheme was, on mothe first dawning of every attempt to alienate any tion of Mr. Douglas, very properly “laid over." portion of our country from the rest, or enfeeble the Mr. Crittenden's series was as follows: sacred ties which now link together the various “ Whereas, Alarming differences have arisen beparts ; that we regard it as a main pillar in the edi-tween the Northern and Southern States, as to the fice of our real independence, the support of tran- rights of the common Territory of the United States, quillity at home, our peace abroad, our safety, our and it is eminently desirable and proper that the disprosperity, and that very liberty which we so highly sensions be settled by the Constitutional provisions prize ; that we have seen nothing in the past, nor do which give equal justice to all sections, and thereby we see anything in the present, either in the election restore peace, Therefore, of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency of the United Resolved, That by the Senate and House of Rep. States, or from any other existing cause, to justify resentatives, the following article be proposed and * its dissolution ; that we regard its perpetuity as of submitted, as an amendment to the Constitution, more value than the temporary triumph of any party which shall be yalid as part of the Constitution, when or any man; that whatever evils or abuses exist un ratified by the Convention of three-fourths of the der it ought to be corrected within the Union, in a people of the States : peaceful and constitutional way; that we believe it First. In all the Territories now or hereafter achas sufficient power to redress every wrong and en-quired, north of lat. 36 deg. 30 min., Slavery, or inforce every right growing out of its organization or voluntary servitude, except for the punishment for pertaining to its proper functions; and that it is a crime, is prohibited; while, in all the Territory South patriotic duty to stand by it as our hope in peace of that latitude, Slavery is hereby recognized as and our defense in war."

existing, and shall not be interfered with by ConThis was passed by 115 to 44-several gress, but shall be protected, as property, by all deNorthern Democrats, including Messrs. Sickles partments of the Territorial Government, during its

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continuance. All the Territory north or south of and Florence, voting nay.

said line, within such boundaries as Congress may Mr. Sickles, (Dem.,) of New York, intro- prescribe, when it contains a population necessary duced a resolution proposing, as an amend- for a Member of Congress, with a republican form of ment to the Constitution, an article arranging / government, shall be admitted into the Union, on an

H

ANDREW JOHNSON'S SPEECH.

91

sue.

equality with the original States, with or without called for the use of force in sustaining the Slavery, as the Constitution of the State shall pres- laws. He said: cribe.

The duties now are the same as in 1793 and 1832; Second. Congress shall have no power to abolish the consequences belong to God. He intended to Slavery in the States permitting Slavery.

discharge his duty, whatever the consequences may Third. Congress shall have no power to abolish be. Have we not the power to enforce the laws in Slavery in the District of Columbia while it exists in the State of South Carolina, as well as in the State Virginia and Maryland, or either ; nor shall Congress, of Vermont or any other State? And, notwithstandat any time, prohibit the officers of the Government ing they may resolve and declare themselves abor Members of Congress, whose duties require them solved from all allegiance to this Union, yet it does to live in the District of Columbia, from bringing not save them from the compact. If South Carolina slaves there, and holding them as such.

drives out the Federal Courts from the State, then Fourth. Congress shall have no power to hinder the Federal Government has a right to re-establish the transportation of slaves from one State to the Courts. If she excludes the mails, the Federal another, whether by land, navigable rivers, or sea.

Government has a right and the authority to carry Fifth. Congress shall have power, by law, to pay the mails. If she resists the collection of revenue in an owner who shall apply the full value for a fugitive the port of Charleston, or any other ports, then the slave, in all cases when the Marshal is prevented Government has a right to enter and enforce the from discharging his duty by force or rescue, made law. If she undertakes to take possession of the after arrest. In all such cases the owner shall have property of the Government, the Government has a power to sue the county in which the violence or right to take all means to retain that property. rescue was made, and the county shall have the And if they make any effort to dispossess the right to sue the individuals who committed the Government, or to resist the execution of the wrong, in the same manner as the owner could Judicial system, then South Carolina puts her

self in the wrong, and it is the duty of the GovSixth. No further amendment or amendments shall ernment to see the judiciary faithfully executed. affect the preceding articles, and Congress shall Yes, Sir, faithfully executed. In December, never have power to interfere with Slavery in the 1805, South Carolina made a deed of cession of the States where it is now permitted.

land on which these forts stand-a full and free cesThe last resolution declared that the Southern sion—with certain conditions, and has had possesStates have a right to the faithful execution of the sion of these forts till this day. And now has South law for the recovery of slaves; and such laws ought Carolina any right to attempt to drive the Governnot to be repealed or modified so as to impair their ment from that property? If she secedes, and makes efficiency. All laws in conflict with the Fugitive any attempt of this kind, does she not come within Slave law it shall not be deemed improper for Con- the meaning of the Constitution, where it speaks of gress to ask the repeal of. The Fugitive Slave Law levying war? And in levying war, she does what ought to be so altered as to make the fee of the the Constitution declares to be treason. We may as Commissioner equal, whether he decides for or

well talk of things as they are, for if anything can be against the claimant; and the clause authorizing the treason, within the scope of the Constitution, is not person holding the warrant to summon a posse comi- levying war upon the Government, treason? Is not tatus to be so as to restrict it to cases where violence attempting to take the property of the Government or rescue is attempted. The laws for the suppres- and expel the Government soldiers therefrom, treasion of the African slave trade ought to be effectu-son? Is not attempting to resist the collection of ally executed.

the revenue, attempting to exclude the mails, and Mr. Powell's resolution for a Committee of driving the Federal Court from her borders, treason? Thirteen on the Crisis was adopted— the What is it? I ask, in the name of the Constitution, Speaker to name the members—and Mr. Crit- what is it? It is treason, and nothing but treason.” tenden's resolutions were referred to it.

He, at some length, reviewed the philosophy Wednesday (Dec. 19) Ex- of secession, and gave the President's Ostend Andrew Johnson's Speech.

Gov. Andrew Johnson, of Manifesto a very practical application. It

Tennessee, had the floor of was necessary to purchase Cuba in order to the Senate, when the resolutions offered by prevent a foreign power from occupying soil him proposing amendments to the Consti- so closely conjoined to the United States to tution were taken up. He took emphatic be in other hands. Yet, here it was proposed grounds against the right of secession, and to erect a foreign Government right in the

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