Sir, in the authority given to Congress by the Constitution of the United States to declare war, all the powers incidental to war are, by necessary implication, conferred upon the Government of the United States. Now, the powers incidental to war are derived, not from their internal municipal source, but from the laws and usages of nations. * * * There are, then, Mr. Chairman, in the authority of Congress and of the Executive, two classes of powers. altogether different in their nature, and often incompatible with each other — the War power and the Peace power. The Peace power is limited by regulations, and restricted by provisions, prescribed within the Constitution itself. The War power is limited only by the laws and usages of nations. This power is tremendous; it is strictly constitutional; but it breaks down every barrier so anxiously erected for the protection of liberty, of property, and of life. This, Sir, is the power which authorizes you to pass the resolution now before you; and, in my opinion, there is no other. * * * There are, indeed, powers of Peace conferred upon Congress which also come within the scope and jurisdiction of the laws of nations ; such as the negotiation of treaties of amity and commerce; the interchange of public ministers and consuls; and all the personal and social intercourse between the individual inhabitants of the United States and foreign nations. and the Indian tribes, which require the interposition of any law. But the powers of War are all regulated by the laws of nations, and are subject to no other limitation. * * * It was upon, this principle that I voted against the resolution reported by the Slavery Committee, “that Congress possesses no constitutional authority to interfere, in any way, with the institution of Slavery in any of the States of this confederacy;” to which resolution most of those with whom I usually concur, and even my own colleagues in this House, gave their assent. I do not admit that there is, even among the Peace powers of Congress, no such authority; but in war, there are many ways by which Congress not only have the authority, but are bound, to interfere with the institution of Slavery in the States. The existing law prohibiting the importation of slaves into the United States from foreign countries is itself an interference with the institution of Slavery in the States. It was so considered by the founders of the Constitution of the United States, in which it was stipulated that Congress should not interfere, in that way, with the institution, prior to the year 1808. During the war with Great Britain, the military and naval commanders of that nation issued proclamations inviting the slaves to repair to their standard, with promises of freedom and of settlement in some of the British colonial establishments. This, surely, was an interference with the institution of Slavery in the States. By the treaty of peace, Great Britain stipulated to evacuate all the forts and places in the United States, without carrying away any slaves. If the Government of the United States had no power to interfere, in any way, with the institution of Slavery in the States, they would not have had the authority to require this stipulation. It is well known that this engagement was not fulfilled by the British naval and military commanders; that, on the contrary, they did carry away all the slaves whom they had induced to join them; and that the British Government inflexibly refused to restore any of them to their masters; that a claim f indemnity was consequently instituted in behalf of the owners of the slaves, and was successfully maintained. All that series of transactions was an interference by Congress with the institution of Slavery in the States in one way — in the way of protection and support. It was by the institution of Slavery alone that the restitution of slaves, enticed by proclamations into the British service, could be claimed as property But for the institution of Slavery, the British commanders could neither have allured them to their standard, nor restored them, otherwise than as liberated prisoners of war. But for the institution of Slavery, there could have been no stipulation that they should not be carried away as property, nor any claim of indemnity for the violation of that engagement. But the War power of Congress over the institution of Slavery ill the States is yet far more extensive. Suppose the case of a servile war, complicated, to some extent — as it is even now — with an Indian war; suppose Congress were called to raise armies, to supply money from the whole Union to suppress a servile insurrection: would they have no authority to interfere with the institution of Slavery? The issue of a servile war may be disastrous; it may become necessary for the master of the slave to recognize his emancipation by a
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