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XXXIV. the Extra session.

  • Organization of the House
  • -- Mr. Lincoln's first Message -- various propositions -- Henry May's visit to Richmond -- conservative Republicans on Slavery and the Union -- Mr. Crittenden's re<*>ve -- Proposals to Compromise -- Confiscation of slaves used to promote the Rebellion -- the President's acts approved -- adjournment.


the XXXVIIth Congress convened, pursuant to the President's summons, in Extra Session, at noon on the 4th of July; when, on a call of the roll, an ample quorum of either House was found in attendance, including fill delegations from Kentucky,1 Missouri,2 Maryland,3 and Delaware.4 Tennessee had not yet chosen Representatives; and, when she did choose, at her regular State election, five weeks later, only the three districts east of the mountains elected members to the Union Congress; and, of these, one--Thomas A. R. Nelson — being arrested by the Rebels while on his way to Washington, regained his liberty by renouncing the Union and professing adherence to the Rebellion. Of the seceded States, only Arkansas chose Representatives to Congress in 1860; and these renounced their seats by open and active adhesion to the Southern Confederacy. In the Senate, the four States first named were fully represented; while Andrew Johnson was present from Tennessee, making 44 in all. Western Virginia had chosen three members at the regular State election in April, while another had been elected by a light vote, either then or subsequently, from the district lying along the Potomac, above and below Harper's Ferry. Of Representatives, 157 in all answered to their names at the first call. Galusha A. Grow [Republican], of Pennsylvania, was chosen Speaker, and Emerson Etheridge [Bell-Everett], of Tennessee, Clerk of the House. John W. Forney [Douglas], of Pennsylvania, was soon afterward elected Clerk of the Senate.

President Lincoln's Message was transmitted to both Houses on the following day. It was largely devoted to a recital of occurrences already narrated. It did not distinctly avow that the Government had ever

1 The Representatives from Kentucky had been chosen a few weeks before at a special election, wherein nine districts elected “conservative” or pro-Slavery Unionists, while the 1st reelected, by a considerable majority, Henry C. Burnett, a Secessionist, who only served through the Extra Session, and then fled to participate openly in the Rebellion. The only remaining district seriously contested was the 8th (Fayette, Bourbon, etc.), which elected John J. Crittenden (Union) over William E. Simms (late Democrat, now Secessionist), by 8,272 to 5,706. The aggregate vote of the State showed a preponderance of more than two to one for the Union.

2 The members from this State had been chosen in August, 1860: five of them as Democrats; one (Francis P. Blair,) as a Republican; another (James S. Rollins) as a Bell-Everett Unionist. One of the Democrats had already gone over to the Rebellion, as two more of them did afterward.

3 Maryland had very recently chosen her Representatives at a special election, wherein each district elected a professed Unionist — the 6th (south-western) by barely 162 majority. But Henry May, elected as a Democrat over Winter Davis in the Baltimore city district, by 8,424 votes to 6,214, received the unanimous and ardent support of tho Secessionists, and, as afterward appeared, for very good reasons.

4 Delaware had elected George P. Fisher (Unionist), in 1860, by the combined vote of the Lincoln and Bell parties — giving him 257 majority over Biggs (Breckinridge); while Reed (Douglas) drew away 761 votes.

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