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that the alternative of conceded Disunion or constrained Emancipation might yet be avoided. His first Annual Message4 cautiously avoided the subject; but proposed a systematic colonization—in some territory to be acquired outside of the present limits of our country—of those Black,* who had already, or might thereafter, become free in consequence of the war. He coolly added:
"It might be well to consider, too, whether the free colored people already in the United States could not, so tar as individuals may desire, be included in such colonization."
Congress acceded to this, so far a3 to appropriate $10n,00l) in aid of the colonization as aforesaid of the freedmen of the Di:-trict of Columbia; which 6um, or most of it, was duly squandered—to the satisfaction of certain speculators, and the intense, protracted misery of a few deluded Blacks, wbo were taken to a wretclied sand-spit, known as Cow Island, on the coast of Hayti, and kept there so long as they conld be: and this was the practical finale of the Colonization project.
The XXXVIIth Congress having convened * for its second (or first regular) session, Gen. Wilson, of Mass., gave' notice in Senate of a bill to punish officers and privates of our armies for arresting, detaining, or delivering persons claimed as fugitive slaves; and Mr. O. Lovejoy, of 111., simultaneously introduced a bill of like tenor in the Hoiue. Mr. Wilson submitted his bill on the 23d; a resolve to the same effect having been submitted by Mr. Sumner six days before; as one of like nature was thb day laid before the House by
Mr. James F Wilson, of Iowa. Mr. Wilson, of Mass., soon reported' his bill; of which he pressed the consideration ten days afterward; but it was resisted with great ingenuity and earnestness by all the Opposition and by a few of the more conservative Administration Senators. Other bills having obtained precedence in the Senate, Mr. F. P. Blair reported' to the House from its Military Committee, an additional Article of War, as follows:
"All officers are prohibited from employing any of the forces under their respective commands for the purpose of returning fugitives from service or labor who may have escaped from any persons to whom such service or labor is claimed to be due. Any officer who shall be found guilty by courtmartial of violating this article shall be dismissed from the service."
This bill was strenuously opposed by Messrs. Mallory and Wickliffe, of Kentucky, as also by Mr. Vallandigham, of Ohio, while ably advocated by Mr. Bingham, of Ohio; and passed by a (substantially) party vote: Yeas 83; Kays 44. Having been received by the Senate and referred to its Military Committee, it was duly reported' therefrom by Mr, H. Wilson; vehemently opposed by Messrs. Garret Davis, of Ky., Carlile, of Ya., Saulsbury, of Del., and supported by Messrs. Wilson, of Mass., Howard, of Michigan, Sherman, of Ohio, McDougall, of Cal., and Anthony, of It. I., and passed:" Yeas 29; Nays 9—a party vote, save that Mr. McDougall, of Cal., voted Yea. The bill thus enacted was approved by the President, March 13th, 1862.
Gen. Wilson, upon evidence that the above act was inadequate to restrain the negro-catching propensities of some officers in the service, proposed" further action to the same
end; and the Senate considered " his
resolution of inquiry. Mr. Grimes,
of Iowa, in supporting it made a
statement as follows:
"In the month of February last, an officer of the 3d regiment of Iowa infantry, stationed at a small town in Missouri, succeeded in capturing several Rebel bridgeburners, and some recruiting officers belonging to Price's army. The information that led to their capture was furnished by two or three remarkably shrewd and intelligent slaves, claimed by a Lt.-Colonel in the Rebel army. Shortly afterward, the master dispatched an agent, with instructions to seize the slaves, and convey them within the Rebel lines: whereupon, the Iowa officer seized them, and reported the circumstances to headquarters. The slaves, soon understanding the full import of Gen. Halleck's celebrated Order No. 3, two of them attempted an escape. This was regarded as an unpardonable sin. The Iowa officer was immediately placed under arrest; and a detachment of the Missouri State Militia—men in the pay of this Government, and under the command of Gen. Ilalleck—were sent in pursuit of the fugitives. The hunt was successful. The slaves were caught, and returned to their traitor master; but not until one of them had been shot by order of the soldier in command of the pursuing party."
Mr. Sumner followed in an able speech in advocacy; but the subject was overlaid by others deemed more urgent; and the bill was not conclusively acted on.
At an early period " of the session. Gen. Wilson had proposed a reference of all laws relating to persons of color in the District of Columbia, and to the arrest of fugitives from labor, to the Standing Committee on said District, with instructions that they consider the expediency of a compensated Abolition of Slavery therein; and he soon afterward introduced" a bill of like purport; which was read twice and referred '* to the Committee aforesaid. Mr. Morrill, of Maine, duly reported" from said Committee Gen. Wilson's
bill; which provided for the Abolition of Slavery in the District, and the payment to the masters from the Treasury of an average compensation of $300 each for the slaves thus manumitted. The bill was so amended as to abolish also the Black Laws of said Di3trict. Mr G. Davis, of Ky., bitterly opposed the bill; proposing so to amend it as to send out of the country all persons freed thereby; which was ardently supported by Mr. Saulsbury, of Del. Mr. Doolittle (Repub.), of Wise., favored colonizing the freedmen, but moved to add "with their own consent;" which prevailed—Yeas 23; Nays 10—and Mr. Davis's proposition, as thus amended, was lost by a tie rote—19 to 19; and the emancipating bill— after having been ably supported by Messrs. Wilmot, of Pa., Hale, of N. II., Pomeroy, of Kansas (against paying the masters), King, of N. Y., Wilson, of Mass., Harlan, of Iowa, Wilkinson, of Minn., Sumner, of Mass., Fessenden, of Maine, Browning, of 111., and Morrill, of Maine, and further opposed by Messrs. Wright (Union), of Ind., Willey, of West Va. (who wished the question of Emancipation submitted to a popular vote of the District), Kennedy, of Md., McDougall, of Cal., and Bayard, of Del.—wa3 passed:" Yeas 29; Nays 14—as follows:
Yeas — Messrs. Anthony, Browning, Chandler, Clark, Collainer, Dixon, Doolittle, Fessenden, Foot, Foster, Grimes, Hale, Harlan, Harris, Howard. Howe. King. Lane, of Ind., Lane, of Kansas, Morrill, Pomeroy, Sherman. Sunnier, Ton Eyck, Trumbull, Wade, Wilkinson, Wilmot, and Wilson, of Mass.—2l».
Nays—Messrs. Bayard, Carlilc. Davis, Henderson. Kennedy, Latham, McDougall, Nesmith, Powell, Saulsbury, Stark, Willey, Wilson, of Mo., and Wright—14.
"April 3. "April 14. "Dec. 14. "Dec. 10. "Doc. 22. "Feb. la. "April 3.