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[388] amendment giving Congress power over Slavery in the States is forbidden; which was defeated, not receiving the requisite two-thirds-Yeas 123; Nays 71. It was reconsidered, however, on motion of Mr. Daniel Kilgore, of Indiana, seconded by1 Mr. Benjamin Stanton, of Ohio; adopted: Yeas 133; Nays 65: and the Senate concurred: Yeas 24; Nays 12.

This closed the efforts in Congress to disarm the sternly purposed Rebellion, by yielding without bloodshed a substantial triumph to the Rebels.

At this session, after the withdrawal of Southern members in such numbers as to give the Republicans a large majority in the House and a practical control of the Senate, three separate acts were passed, organizing the Territories of Colorado, Nevada, and Dakotah respectively — the three together covering a very large proportion of all the remaining territory of the United States. All these acts were silent with regard to Slavery; leaving whatever rights had accrued to “the South” under the Constitution, as interpreted and affirmed by the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott decision, not merely unimpaired, but unassailed and unquestioned, by any Federal legislation or action. The passage of these acts in this form was certainly intended to soothe the prevalent madness, and to strengthen the Unionists of the South, especially of the Border States; though it does not seem to have had any such effect. And, indeed, it is not probable that any concession could have been made, after the withdrawal of Toombs, Davis, etc., from Washington, that would not have evoked the stern answer-“ Too late!”

1 February 28, 1861.

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