of disobedience to the Constitution, wherever manifested; and that we earnestly recommend the repeal of all nullification laws; and that it is the duty of the President of the United States to protect and defend the property of the United States.
The Yeas were 124; the Nays none
--most of the Southern
members refusing to vote.
Mr. Isaac N. Morris
(Democrat) of Illinois
, next moved
That we have seen nothing in the past, nor do we see anything in the present, either in the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency, or otherwise, to justify a dissolution of the Union, etc., etc.
On this, the Yeas were 115 ; Nays 44. Two of the Nays were Northern Democrats.1
On the same day, a resolve, by Mr. Lazarus W. Powell
, of Kentucky
, proposing a Committee of Thirteen on the absorbing topic, came up in the Senate, and Mr. Benjamin F. Wade
, of Ohio
, uttered some weighty words on the general subject.
Having shown that the Government
had hitherto been under the control of the Slave Power
--that the personal rights and safety of Northern men of anti-Slavery views were habitually violated in the South
--that the present pointed antagonism between the Free
and the Slave States
had been caused by a great change of opinion, not at the North
, but at the South
, he continued:
The Republican party holds the same opinion, so far as I know, with regard to your “peculiar institution” that is held by every civilized nation on the globe.
We do not differ in public sentiment from England, France, Germany, and Italy, on the subject of Slavery.
I tell you frankly that we did lay down the principle in our platform, that we would prohibit, if we had the power, Slavery from invading another inch of the free soil of this Government.
I stand to that principle to-day.
I have argued it to half a million of people, and they stand by it — they have commissioned me to stand by it; and, so help me God, I will I say to you, while we hold this doctrine to the end, there is no Republican, or Convention of Republicans, or Republican paper, that pretends to have any right in your States to interfere with your peculiar and local institutions.
On the other hand, our platform repudiates the idea that we have any right, or harbor any ultimate intention, to invade or interfere with your institution in your own States. * * *
I have disowned any intention, on the part of the Republican party, to harm a hair of your heads.
We hold to no doctrine that can possibly work you any inconvenience — any wrong — any disaster.
We have been, and shall remain, faithful to all the laws — studiously so. It is not, by your own confessions, that Mr. Lincoln is expected to commit any overt act by which you may be injured.
You will not even wait for any, you say; but, by anticipating that the Government may do you an injury, you will put an end to it — which means, simply and squarely, that you intend to rule or ruin this Government. * * *
As to compromises, I supposed that we had agreed that the day of compromises was at an end. The most solemn we have made have been violated, and are no more.
Since I have had a seat in the Senate, one of considerable antiquity was swept from our statute-book; and when, in the minority, I stood up here, and asked you to withhold your hands — that it was a solemn, sacred compact between nations — what was the reply?
That it was nothing but an act of Congress, and could be swept away by the same majority which enacted it. That was true in fact, and true in law; and it showed the weakness of compromises. * * *
We beat you on the plainest and most palpable issue ever presented to the American people, and one which every man understood; and now, when we come to the capital, we tell you that our candidates must and shall be inaugurated — must and shall administer this Government precisely as the Constitution prescribes.
It would not only be humiliating, but highly dishonorable to us, if we listened to any compromise by which we should set aside the honest verdict of the people.
When it comes to that, you have no government, but anarchy intervenes, and civil war may follow; and all the evils that human imagination can raise may be consequent on such a course as that.
The American people would lose the sheet-anchor of their liberties whenever it is denied on this floor that a majority, fairly given, shall rule.
I know not what others may do; but