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[566] States of this Union, in the endurance of outrages, wrongs, and oppressions, that they have suffered at the hands of that institution, and those who maintain the institution, and have suffered from their strong and enduring devotion to the General Government — to the institutions that our fathers achieved for us, and transmitted to us. I think I should not be at all mistaken in asserting that, for every slave that has ever been seduced from the service of his owner, by the interference of citizens of the Free States with the institution where it exists, more than ten free white men of the Free States of this Union have been outraged — every privilege of freedom trodden upon — every right of person violated — by lawless mobs in the Slave States. We have borne all this uncomplainingly; we have borne it without a murmur, because we were willing to bear it — willing to make the sacrifice, for the sake of the glorious institutions that were the common property and common blessing of us all.

Mr. President, we have not invited this war: the people of the loyal States of the Union are in no degree responsible for the calamities that are now upon the country: we gave no occasion for them. There is, in the history of man, no instance of so stupendous a conspiracy, so atrocious a treason, so causeless a rebellion, as that which now exists in this country; and for what purpose? What wrong had we ever done to the Slave States, or to the institution of Slavery? I have heard, in all the assaults that have been made on this Administration, no single specification of one injustice that they had ever suffered at the hands of the General Government, or at the hands of the Free States, or of the people of the Free States.

Mr. President, I am not prepared to admit, either — as some gentlemen take pains to explain — that this is not a war of subjugation. If it is not a war of subjugation, what is it? What was it set on foot for, if it is not for the sole, identical purpose of subjugating the atrocious Rebellion that exists in the country?

Mr. Sherman. My friend will allow me?

Mr. Browning. Certainly.

Mr. Sherman. My friend misunderstood my language. I said distinctly that it was not the purpose of this war to subjugate a State, a political community; but I will go as far as he or any other living man to up-hold the Government against all rebellious citizens, whether there be one or many of them in a State. If nine-tenths of the people of any State rebel against the authority of this Government, the physical power of this Government should be brought to reduce those citizens to subjection. The State survives; and, I have no doubt, the State of South Carolina, and the State of Florida, and the State of Virginia, will be represented on this floor long after the honorable Senator and I have filled the mission allotted to us.

Mr. Browning. I trust so. I will not stop to deal with technicalities; I care not whether you call it the subjugation of the people or the subjugation of the State, where all the authorities of a State, where all tile officers, who are the embodiment of the power of the State, who speak for the State, who represent the government of the State, where they are all disloyal and banded in treasonable confederation against this Government, I, for one am for subjugating them; and you may call it the subjugation of the State, or of the people, just as you please. I want this Rebellion put down, this wicked and causeless treason punished, and an example given to the world that will teach them that there is a power in tile freemen of this continent to maintain a constitutional government.

Why, Mr. President, it is just a struggle to-day — the whole of this fight is about that, and nothing else — whether there shall be any longer any such thing as government on this continent or not; and the very moment that the doctrine of Secession, the very moment that the astounding heresy of Secession, is admitted, in any sense or in any degree, government is overthrown; because, if there he any such thing as a right existing in a State to secede at any time at her will — causelessly to dismember this Union and overthrow this Government — there is an end to all constitutions and all laws; and it is a struggle to-day for the life of the nation. They have assailed that life: we have not done it; and all that the Government has done, and all that the Administration proposes to do, is in necessary self-defense against assaults that are made upon the very life of the nation. ** * Now, Mr. President, one thing more. It is better that people everywhere should understand precisely what is going on, what has happened, and what is to happen. For one, I should rejoice to see all the States in rebellion return to their allegiance; and, if they return, if they lay down the arms of their rebellion, and come back to their duty and their obligations, they will be as fully protected now, and at all times hereafter, as they have ever been before, in all their rights, including the ownership, use, and management of slaves. Let them return to their allegiance; and I, for one am now for giving to the Slave States as fully and completely all the protection of the Constitution and laws as they have ever enjoyed in any past hour of our existence.

But, sir, let us understand another thing. As I have already said, the power

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