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my country, I earnestly beg the attention of Congress and the people to the subject."
Mr. Stevens, of Pa., having moved and carried a reference of this Message by the House to a Committee of the Whole on the State of the Union, and Mr. R. Conkling, of N. Y., having moved" the resolve above recommended, a debate sprung up thereon; which is notable only as developing the repugnance of the Unionists of the Border Slave States, with that of the Democrats of all the States, to compensated or any other Emancipation. Messrs. Wadsworth, Mallory, Wickliffe, and Crittenden, of Ky., and Crisfield, of Md., spoke for the former; Messrs. Richardson, of 111., Voorhees, of Ind., Biddle, of Pa., for the latter. All the Republicans who' spoke supported the proposition; though Messrs. Stevens and Hickman, of Pa., characterized it as timid, temporizing, and of small account. It passed the House" by 89 Yeas (Republicans, West Virginians, and a few others not strictly partisans) to 31 Nays (including Crisfield, Leary, and Francis Thomas, of Md., with Crittenden, Dunlap, Harding, Wadsworth, and Wickliffe, of By—the rest Democrats).
The resolve having reached the Senate and been duly referred, Mr. Trumbull, of 111., reported" it favorably from the Judiciary Committee; when, on its coming up," it was fiercely assailed by Mr. Saulsbury, of Delaware, and more temperately opposed by Messrs. Willey, of Ya., McDougall and Latham, of Cal., and Powell, of Ky. Mr. Henderson, of Mo., supported it, and thenceforward acted as an emancipationist. Messrs.
Sherman, of Ohio, Doolittle, of Wise., Browning, of 111., and Morrill, of Maine, also advocated the measure; and it passed "—Yeas 32 (including Davis, of Ky., Henderson, of Mo., Thomson [Dem.], of N. J., and Willey, of Ya.); Nays—Messrs. Bayard and Saulsbury, of Del., Kennedy, of Md., Carlile, of Va., Powell, of Ky., Wilson, of Mo., Wright, of N. J., Latham, of Cal., Nesmith and Stark, of Oregon. It is noteworthy that a majority of these Nays were the votes of Senators from Border States, to which it proffered compensation for their slaves, all whom have since been freed without compensation. The President of course approved" the measure; but no single Slave State ever claimed its benefits ,• and its only use inhered in its demonstration of the willingness of the Unionists to increase their already heavy burdens to pay for the slaves of the Border States—a willingness which the infatuation of the ruhog class in those States rendered abortive, save in its inevitable tendency to soften prejudice and reconcile the minds of loyal slaveholders to a social revolution fast becoming inevitable.
Mr. Wilson, of Mass., having given notice" of a joint resolve granting aid to the States of Delaware and Maryland to emancipate their slaves, Mr. Saulsbury, of Del., objected to its consideration; and it lay over. When called up," he declared his inflexible hostility to it, and his purpose to interpose every available obstacle to its passage. It was introduced, however, and had its first reading; but was not again taken np. Soon, however, Mr. White, of Ind,,
"Mar. 10. "Mar. II. "Mar. 20. "Mar. 2i "Apr. 2. "Apr. 10. *' Mar. 7,1862. "Maria
proposed." a more comprehensive measure; contemplating the gradual extinguishment, at the National cost, of Slavery in all the Border Slave States, and moved its reference to a Select Committee of nine. Mr. Hallory, of Ky., moved that this proposition do lie on the tahle; -which failed: Yeas 51; Nays 68; and it then prevailed: Yeas 67; Nays 52.
The Committee having been appointed," Mr. White reported " therefrom a bill offering $300 per head from the Treasury for the legal emancipation of the slaves of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri, or either of them. The bill was committed, but not acted on; having been reported too near the close of the Session. Next winter, Mr. Henderson," in the Senate, and Mr. Noell," in the House, submitted bills of similar tenor, providing for compensated emancipation in Missouri alone. Each encountered a bitter opposition from the Democratic and most of the Border-State Members; but Mr. Noell's finally passed" the House—Yeas 73; Nays 46. The Senate acted on Mr. Henderson's bill, which provided only for very Gradual Emancipation—ho declaring that if Congress should offer his State $10,000,000 for an act of Immediate Abolition, he would oppose its acceptance. The Senate debated hotly and tediously the rival advantages of Immediate and Gradnal Emancipation: the Democrats opposing both, but inclining the scale in favor of the latter; which prevailed—26 to 11—and in this shape tlie bill passed:" Yeas 23; Nays 18. On reaching the House, it was re
ferred—Yeas 81; Nays 51—to the Select Committee aforesaid; which was only enabled to perfect it on the last" day of the session; when the House refused—Yeas 63; Nays 57— to suspend the rules in favor of its immediate consideration, whicli required a vote of two-thirds. So perished the last effort to compensate the loyal States for the Emancipation of their Slaves—the Democrats and all the Border-State members who were not friends of the Administration unanimously resisting it in every shape and to the extent of their power.
"We have seen " that the XXXVIth Congress, after it had become Republican through the withdrawal of the representatives of the Gulf States, organized the new Territories of Colorado, Nevada, and Dakotah, by acts which maintained a profound silence with regard to Slavery. The hope of thus winning a portion of the slaveholding interest to active loyalty in the approaching struggle having been disappointed, Mr. Arnold, of 111., submitted" to the next House a bill abolishing and prohibiting Slavery in every Territory of the Union; which Mr. Lovejoy, of 111., duly reported" and pressed to a vote; ultimately modifying the bill so as to read as follows:
Mbited forever, in all the Territories of the United States now existing, or hereafter to be formed or acquired in any way."
No measure of the session was more vehemently opposed, not only by the Democrats without exception, but by the Border-State Unionists with equal zeal and unanimity; even Mr. Fisher, of Del., denouncing it, though he did not vote on the final passage. Mr. Cox, of Ohio, stigmatized it in debate as "a bill for the benefit of Secession and Jeff. Davis." Mr. Crisfield, of Md., characterized it as "a palpable violation of the rights of the States, and an unwarrantable interference with private property—a fraud upon the States which have made cessions of land to this Government, a violation of the Constitution, and a breach of the pledges which brought the dominant [Republican] party into power "—" a usurpation" —" destructive of the good of the country," &c, &c. Judge Thomas, of Mass., held that Congress could not warrantably pass this act without providing compensation, for slaveholders in the Territories. Messrs. Bingham, of Ohio, Stevens and Kelley, of Pa., R. Conkling and Diven, of N. Y., Arnold and Lovejoy, of 111., and others, defended the bill, and it passed,'0 under the Previous Question: Yeas,85 (all Republicans but Sheffield, of R. I., and Judge Thomas, of Mass. —to meet whose objections the original bill had been modified): Nays, 50: composed of all the Democrats and Border-State Unionists who voted, including Messrs. Calvert, Crisfield, Leary, Francis Thomas, and Webster, of Md., J. B. Blair, ¥m. G. Brown, and Segar, of Va., Casey, Crittenden, Dunlap, Grider, Harding, Mallory,
Menzies, Wadsworth, and Wickliffe, of
Ky.,Clements and Maynard,of Tenn.,
Hall,Noell, and J. S. Phelps, of Mo.—
22 of the 50 from Border Slave States.
The bill having reached the Senate,
it was reported*1 by Mr. Browning,
of Blinois, substituting for the terms
above cited the following:
"That, from and after the passage of this act, there shall be neither Slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the Territories of the United States now existing, or which may at any time hereafter be formed or acquired by the United States, otherwise than ill punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted."
In this shape it passed : ** Yeas 28 (all Republicans); Nays 10 (all Opposition); and the House concurred a in the Senate's amendment—Yeas 72 ; Nays 38—and the bill, being approved" by the President, became henceforth and evermore the law of the land.
The policy of confiscating or emancipating the slaves of those engaged in the Rebellion was very cautiously and timidly approached at the first" or extra session of this Congress. Yery early in the ensuing session, it was again suggested in the Senate by Mr. Trumbull," of Illinois, and in the House by Mr. Eliot," of Mass.
At the former session, Congress had ventured only to direct the confiscation of the right or property of masters in such slaves as those masters permitted or directed to labor on fortifications or other worts designed to aid the Rebellion; but now, a bolder and more sweeping measure was deemed requisite. Mr. Eliot's joint resolve—after disclaiming all right to interfere with the internal affairs and institutions of loyal States in peace—affirmed that the ex
1 May 12."
** June 9.
rating war must be prosecuted according to the laws of war, and
"That, therefore, we do hereby declare that the President, as the Commander-inchief of our army, and the officers in command under him, have the right to emancipate all persons held as slaves in any military district in a state of insurrection against the National Government; and that we respectfully advise that such order of Emancipation be issued, whenever the same will avail to weaken the power of the Rebels in arms, or to strengthen the military power of the loyal forces."
Mr. Trumbull proposed to enact that the slaves of all persons who shall take up arms against the United States, or in any manner aid or abet the existing Rebellion, shall thereupon be discharged from service or labor, and become thenceforth forever free; any existing law to the contrary notwithstanding.
These propositions, with various modifications, were vehemently discussed in either House, not continuously, but alternately with other measures, nearly to the end of that long and excited session. By friend and foe, they were debated as though their success or failure would decide the issue of Union or Disunion. By all the anti-Republicans, and by soma of the more conservative Republicans, they were denounced as utterly, glaringly, in antagonism to the Federal Constitution, and as calculated to extinguish the last vestige of Unionism in the Slave States, but especially in those that had seceded. Said Senator Cowan," of Pennsylvania:
In the same spirit, but more temperately, the bill was opposed by Messrs. Browning, of 111., "Willey, of Ya., Henderson, of Mo., and Collamer, of Vt. (the first and last Republicans; the others very decided Unionists), as well as more unsparingly by Messrs. Garret Davis and Powell, of Ky., Saulsbury, of Del., Carlile, of Ya., and others of the Opposition; while it was supported by Messrs. Trumbull, of 111., Wilson and Sumner, of Mass., Howard, of Mich., Wade and Sherman, of Ohio, Morrill and Fessenden, of Maine, Clark and Hale, of N. H., and nearly all the more decided Republicans. So intense and formidable was the resistance that the Senate at length ** referred the bill to a Select Committee of seven—Mr. Clark, of N. H., chairman—who duly reported therefrom " A bill to suppress Insurrection, and punish Treason and Rebellion;" which merely authorized the President, at his discretion, to proclaim free all slaves of persons who shall be found in arms against the United States thirty days after the issue of such proclamation. On this bill being taken up," Mr. Davis, of Ky., tried to have it so amended that the said slaves, instead of being freed, should be sold and the proceeds put into the Treasury; but only seven Senators were found sufficiently Democratic to sustain that proposition. He next proposed that no slave should be emancipated under this act, until he should be on his way to be colonized at some point outside of the United States: w-hich proposition received but six votes. Here the Senate bill was dropped, in deference to the action of the House; in which, after a long, arduous, doubtful struggle, during which Mr. Eliot's resolve was referred to the Judiciary Committee and reported against" by Mr. Hickman, of Pa., its Chairman—"because the President has all power now"—it had been referred" to a Select Committee of seven, whereof Mr. Sedgwick, of N. Y., was Chairman; whence Mr. Eliot, of Mass., reported" two bills, one providing for confiscating the property, the other for emancipating the slaves, of persistent Rebels; whereupon debate was renewed and continued for days—every Democrat and nearly every Border-State member resisting Emancipation as ruinous to the National cause. Said Mr. W. S. Holman, of Ind. (one of the most loyal and non-partisan of those elected as Democrats):
"I have supported, Sir, and will still support, every just measure of this Administration to restore the Union. No partisan interest shall control me when the Republic is in danger. I place the interest of my country far above every other interest. I will make any sacrifice to uphold the Government; but I will not be deterred from condemning, at this time, this or any other series of measures—the offspring of misguided zeal aud passion, or of want of faith in our people—which tends to defeat the hope of a restoration of the Union. The citizen soldier, stricken down in battle or worn out by the weary march, falls a willing sacrifice for the Constitution of his country, and his dying eyes light up with hope as they catch the gleam of its starry symbol; while we deliberate on measures which would overthrow the one, and blot out the stars from the other."
Said Judge Thomas (Conservative), of Massachusetts:
"That the bills before the House are in violation of the law of nations, and of the Constitution, I can not—I say it with all deference to others—I can not entertain a doubt. My path of duty is plain. The duty of obedience to that Constitution was never more imperative than now. I am not disposed to deny that I have for it a supersti
tious reverence. I have 'worshiped it from my forefathers.' In the school of rigid discipline by which we were prepared for it, in the struggles out of which it was born, the seven years of bitter conflict, and the seven darker years in which that conflict seemed to be fruitless of good; in the wisdom with which it was constructed and first administered and set in motion; in the beneficent Government it has secured for more than two generations; in the blessed influences it has exerted upon the cause of Freedom and Humanity the world over, I can not fail to recognize the hand of a guiding and loving Providence. But not for the blessed memories of the past only do I cling to it. lie must be blinded ' with excess of light,' or with the want of it, who does not see that to this nation, trembling on the verge of dissolution, it is the only possible bond of unity."
Mr. Samuel S. Cox, of Ohio, asked:
"Must these Northern fanatics be sated with negroes, taxes, and blood, with division North and devastation South, and peril to constitutional liberty everywhere, before relief shall come? They will not halt until their darling schemes are consummated. History tells us that such zealots do not and can not go backward."
Said Mr. John Law, of Indiana: "The man who dreams of closing the present unhappy contest by reconstructing tins Union upon any other basis than that prescribed by our fathers, in the compact formed by them, is a madman—ay, worse, a traitor—and should be hung as high as Hainan. Sir, pass these acts, confiscate under these bills the property of these men, emancipate their negroes, place arms in the hands of these human gorillas, to murder their masters and violate their wives and daughters, and you will have a war such as was never witnessed in the worst days of the French Revolution, and horrors never exceeded in St. Domingo, for the balance of this century at least."
Mr. Eliot closed the debate" in an able speech for the bills; and the Confiscation bill was passed—Yeas 82; Nays 68.
The Emancipation bill was next taken up; when, after rejecting several amendments, the vote was taken on its passage, and it was defeated: Yeas 74 (all Republicans); Nays 78— fifteen members elected as Repub
"April30. * May 26~