note.--Some members ultimately became alienated from the party by which they were respectively elected; some were unseated as improperly returned; and several were elected from States formerly in revolt who were not admitted to seats; the above table conforms to the original returns.
The XXXVIIIth Congress reassembled1
soon after the Presidential Election
; and Mr. Lincoln
addressed to it his last Annual Message.
With reference to the recent election, he said:
Judging by the recent canvass and its result, the purpose of the people, within the loyal States, to maintain the integrity of the Union, was never more firm, nor more nearly unanimous, than now. The extraordinary calmness and good order with which the millions of voters met and mingled at the polls give strong assurance of this.
Not only all those who supported the Union ticket, so called, but a great majority of the opposing party also, may be fairly claimed to entertain, and to be actuated by, the same purpose.
It is an unanswerable argument to this effect, that no candidate for any office whatever, high or low, has ventured to seek votes on the avowal that he was for giving up the Union.
There have been much impugning of motives, and much heated controversy as to the proper means and best mode of advancing the Union cause; but, on the distinct issue of Union or no Union, the politicians have shown their instinctive knowledge that there is no diversity among time people.
In affording the people the fair opportunity of showing, to one another and to the world, this firmness and unanimity of purpose, the election has been of vast value to the National cause.
He discouraged further attempts at negotiation with “the insurgent leader,” as precluded by the fixed resolve on our side not to concede Disunion and on his to accept nothing less; and added:
In presenting the abandonment of armed resistance to the National authority, on the part of the insurgents, as the only indispensable condition to ending the war on the part of the Government, I retract nothing heretofore said as to Slavery.
I repeat the declaration made a year ago, that, “ while I remain in my present position, I shall not attempt to retract or modify the Emancipation Proclamation, nor shall I return to Slavery any person who is free by the terms of that Proclamation, or by any of the acts of Congress.”
If the people should, by whatever mode or means, make it an Executive duty to reenslave such persons, another, and not I, must be their instrument to perform it.
In stating a single condition of peace, I mean simply to say that the war will cease on the part of the Government whenever it shall have ceased on the part of those who began it.
The event of this session was the passage, by the required two-thirds vote, of the Constitutional Amendment
abolishing and forever prohibiting Slavery throughout the United States
This measure had been first submitted2
to the Senate by Mr. Henderson
, and adopted3
in that branch by the strong vote of 38 to 6; as follows:
Yeas--[Democrats in Italics.]
New Hampshire--Clark, Hale.
Rhode Island--Anthony, Sprague.
New York — Harris, Morgan.
New Jersey--Ten Eyck.