that I am allowed to utter them upon the Senate floor.
, if I am speaking treason, 1 am not aware of it. I am speaking what I believe to be for the good of my country.
If I am speaking treason, I am speaking it in my place in the Senate.
By whose indulgence am I speaking?
Not by any man's indulgence.
I am speaking by the guarantees of that Constitution which seems to be here now so little respected.
And, sir, when he asked what would have been done with a Roman Senator
who had uttered such words, a certain Senator
on this floor, whose courage has much risen of late, replies in audible tones: “He would have been hurled from the Tarpeian Rock
Sir, if ever we find an American Tarpeian Rock, and a suitable victim is to be selected, the people will turn, not to me, but to that Senator
who, according to the measure of his intellect and his heart, has been the chief author of the public misfortunes.
He, and men like him, have brought the country to its present condition.
Let him remember, too, sir, that while in ancient Rome
the defenders of the public liberty were sometimes torn to pieces by the people, yet their memories were cherished in grateful remembrance; while to be hurled from the Tarpeian Rock
was ever the fate of usurpers and tyrants.
I reply with the just indignation I ought to feel at such an insult offered on the floor of the Senate chamber
to a Senator who is speaking in his place.
, I shall not longer detain the Senate.
My opinions are my own. They are honestly entertained.
I do not believe that I have uttered one opinion here, in regard to this contest, that does not reflect the judgment of the people I have the honor to represent.
If they do, I shall find my reward in the fearless utterance of their opinions; if they do not, I am not a man to cling to the forms of office, and to the emoluments of public life, against my convictions and my principles; and I repeat what I uttered the other day, that if indeed the Commonwealth
, instead of attempting to mediate in this unfortunate struggle, shall throw her energies into the strife, and approve the conduct and sustain the policy of the Federal Administration
in what I believe to be a war of subjugation, and which is being proved every day to be a war of subjugation and annihilation, she may take her course.
I am her son, and will share her destiny, but she will be represented by some other man on the floor of this Senate.
, I rose a few minutes ago to endeavor to demonstrate to the honorable Senator
that all these imaginations of his as to the unconstitutional character of the provisions of this bill were baseless and idle.
I think every member of the Senate must be convinced, from the manner of his reply, that that conviction is beginning to get into his own mind; and I shall therefore leave him to settle the account with the people of Kentucky
, about which he seems to have some predictions, which, I trust, with great personal respect to him, may, different from his usual predictions, become prophecy after the first Monday of August next.
, in the heat and excitement of this debate, there are one or two ideas that ought not to be lost sight of. Tile Senator
seems to forget, while he speaks of the delegated powers of this Government under the Constitution
, that one of the powers which is delegated is that we shall guarantee to every State of this Union a republican form of government; that when South Carolina
seeks to set up a military despotism, the constitutional power with which we are clothed and the duty which is enjoined upon us is to guarantee to South Carolina
a republican form of government.
There is another idea that seems to be lost sight of in the talk about subjugation, and I hope that my friends on this side of the Chamber
will not also lose sight of it in the excitement of the debate.
I undertake to say that it is not the purpose of this war, or of this Administration, to subjugate any State of the Union
, or the people of any State of the Union
What is the policy?
It is, as I said the other day, to enable the loyal people of the several States of this Union to reconstruct themselves upon the Constitution of the United States
has led the way; Virginia
, in her sovereign capacity, by the assembled loyal people of that State in Convention, has organized herself upon the Constitution of the United States
, and they have taken into their own hands the Government
of that State.
has her judges, her marshals, her public officers; and to the courts of Virginia
, and to the marshals and executive officers of Virginia
we can intrust the enforcement of the laws the moment that the state of civil war shall have ceased in the eastern or any other portion of the State
It is not, therefore, the purpose of this Government to subjugate the people of Virginia
, or of any other State, and subject them to the control of our armies.
It is simply that we will rally to the support of the loyal people of Virginia
and of Tennessee
and of North Carolina
and of Texas
, ay, and of the Gulf
States too when they are prepared for it; we will rally to the support of the loyal people of these States and enable them to take their Government in their own hands, by wresting it out of the hands of those military usurpers who now hold it, for they are nothing more and nothing less.
That is all that is involved in this contest, and I hope on this side of the Chamber
we shall never again hear one of our friends talking about subjugating either a State or the people of any State of this Union, but that we shall go on aiding them to do just precisely what the loyal people of Virginia
are doing, what the loyal people of Tennessee
are preparing to do, what the loyal people of North Carolina
stand ready to do, and what the loyal people in Georgia
, and last perhaps of all, the loyal people of South Carolina
will do in reconstructing themselves