previous next
[569] insurrectionary purposes by persons engaged in rebellion or forcible resistance to the Government; and Mr. Trumbull, of Ill., moved the following amendment:
And be it further enacted, That whenever any person, claiming to be entitled to the service or labor of any other person, under the laws of any State, shall employ such person in aiding or promoting any insurrection, or in resisting the laws of the United States, or shall permit him to be so employed, he shall forfeit all right to such service or labor, and the person whose labor or service is thus claimed shall be thenceforth discharged therefrom — any law to the contrary notwithstanding.

This proposition was advocated by Mr. Ten Eyck, of N. J., who had opposed it two days before, in Committee, but who now urged its passage on the assumption that slaves had been engaged on the Rebel side in the battle of Bull Run. Mr. Pearce, of Md., earnestly opposed it, saying:

It will inflame suspicions which have had much to do with producing our present evils; will disturb those who are now calm and quiet; inflame those who are restless; irritate numbers who would not be exasperated by any thing else; and will, in all probability, produce no other real effect than these. Being, then, useless, unnecessary, and irritating, it is, in my opinion, unwise.

The vote was then taken, and the amendment adopted: Yeas 33; Nays — Breckinridge and Powell, of Ky., Johnson and Polk, of Mo., Kennedy and Pearce, of Md.--6. The bill was then engrossed, read a third time, and passed.

When this bill reached the House, it encountered a most strenuous and able opposition from Messrs. Crittenden and Burnett, of Ky., Vallandigham and Pendleton, of Ohio, and Diven, of N. Y.

Mr. Cox, of Ohio, moved (August 2d) that the bill do he on the table; which was negatived: Yeas 57; Nays 71.

Mr. Thaddeus Stevens closed a vigorous speech in its favor with this impressive admonition:

If this war is continued long, and is bloody, I do not believe that the free people of the North will stand by and see their sons and brothers and neighbors slaughtered by thousands and tens of thousands by rebels, with arms in their hands, and forbear to call upon their enemies to be our friends, and to help us in subduing them. I, for one, if it continues long, and has the consequences mentioned, shall be ready to go for it, let it horrify the gentleman front New York [Mr. Diven] or anybody else. That is my doctrine: and that will be the doctrine of the whole free people of the North before two years roll around, if this war continues.

As to the end of the war, until the Rebels are subdued, no man in the North thinks of it. If the Government are equal to the people — and I believe they are — there will be no bargaining, there will be no negotiation, there will be no truces with the Rebels, except to bury the dead, until every man shall have laid down his arms, disbanded his organization, submitted himself to the Government, and sued for mercy. And, sir, if those who have the control of the Government are not fit for this task, and have not the nerve and mind for it, the people will take care that there are others who are — although, sir, I have not a bit of fear of the present Administration or of the present Executive.

I have spoken more freely, perhaps, than gentlemen within my hearing might think politic; but I have spoken just what I felt. I have spoken what I believe will be the result; and I warn Southern gentlemen that, if this war is to continue, there will be a time when my friend from New York [Mr. Diven] will see it declared by this free nation that every bondman in the South--belonging to a Rebel, recollect; I confine it to them — shall be called upon to aid us in war against their masters, and to restore this Union.

The bill was now recommitted, on motion of Mr. Pendleton, of Ohio; and an attempt by Mr. Stevens to reconsider this decision was defeated by laying on the table — Yeas 71; Nays 61. It was reported back next day from the Judiciary Committee by Mr. Bingham, of Ohio, so amended as to strike out the section relating to slaves — adopted on motion of Mr.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
August 2nd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: