United States, in violation of their Constitutional obligations, have taken up arms against the National Government, and are now striving, by aggressive and iniquitous war, to overthrow it, and break up the Union of these States: Therefore,
Resolved, That this House hereby pledges itself to vote for any amount of money and any number of men which may be necessary to insure a speedy and effectual suppression of such Rebellion, and the permanent restoration of the Federal authority everywhere within the limits and jurisdiction of the United States.
Nays--Messrs. Burnett, Grider, (Ky.,) Norton, Reid, and Wood--5.
, of Wise., offered the following, which was adopted:
Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary be directed to inquire whether Hon. Henry May, a Representative in Congress from the fourth district of the State of Maryland, has not been found holding criminal intercourse and correspondence with persons in armed rebellion against the Government of the United States, and to make report to the House as to what action should be taken in the premises; and that said Committee have power to send for persons and papers, and to examine witnesses on oath or affirmation; and that said Hon. Henry May be notified of the passage of this resolution, if practicable, before action thereon by the Committee.
, being ill, was not then in his seat; but, the Committee
having reported, on the 18th, that no evidence had been presented to them tending to inculpate Mr. May
, he took the floor, and made what he termed a personal explanation, avowing that he had been to Richmond
on an errand of conciliation and peace, evincing intense hostility to the Administration and the War
on its part, and very thorough sympathy, at least, with the Baltimore
friends of the Rebels
At the time I received notice of this accusation, it was under my consideration whether I could, with honor, come here, and enter upon the duties of a Representative upon this floor.
The humiliation that I felt at the condition of my constituents, bound in chains; absolutely without the rights of a free people in this land; every precious right belonging to them, under the Constitution, prostrated and trampled in the dust; military arrests in the dead hour of the night; dragging the most honorable and virtuous citizens from their beds, and confining them in forts; searches and seizures the most rigorous and unwarrantable, without pretext of justification; that precious and priceless writ of habeas corpus, for which, from the beginning of free government, the greatest and best of men have lived and died — all these prostrated in the dust; and hopeless imprisonment inflicted without accusation, without inquiry or investigation, or the prospect of a trial — Sir, is there a representative of the people of the United States here in this body, acknowledging the sympathy due to popular rights and constitutional liberty, who does not feel indignant at the perpetration of these outrages?
With regard to his permission to visit Richmond
, he said:
I did not feel at liberty to go across the Potomac without permission of the authorities of this Government.
And so, I felt it my duty to wait on the Chief Magistrate, and tell him, as I did, most frankly and fully, the objects of my visit.
I did not ask for his sanction; 1 did not desire it. I did not wish to embarrass the Chief Magistrate in such away.
I had no claim upon his confidence; I had no right to ask him for any commission or authority; but I felt it was my duty to state to him distinctly the objects which governed me, and obtain his permission to cross the Potomac.
It was most distinctly understood, between the President and me, that I took no authority front him — none whatever; that I asked for none, and disclaimed asking for any; that I went on the most private mission on which a humble citizen could go. I asked his consent, also, to obtain from the military authorities a pass.
Having jurisdiction on the other side of the Potamac, they were to be consulted, and the necessary formalities observed.
The President authorized me to say to Gen. Scott that I had conversed with him, and that, while he gave no sanction whatever to my visit to Richmond, he did not object to my going there on my own responsibility.
carefully avoided all disclosure of the purport of his conferences with the Rebel
chiefs at Richmond
; but it was manifest that he visited and was received by, them as a sympathizing friend, and that his