160.-a plan of settlement.
The New York Journal of Commerce
suggests the following plan of settlement:
To return to the question of our interrogator: Without knowing or being particularly anxious to know what was his object in asking it, we “can
devise a way by which our troubles can be settled without more bloodshed:” a way, too, which we deem far more honorable and Christian
, as well as far more politic and humane, than this wholesale butchery of brethren and kindred, under the plea of enforcing the laws.
It is as follows.
1. Let an armistice be agreed on between the two belligerents for three months.
2. Let the Executives of the two powers, by means of Envoys, arrange for a Convention of delegates from each of the thirty-four States now or lately composing the American Union,--said Convention to be held at Louisville, Ky.
, at such date as may be agreed on; it being understood that the election and sending of such delegates shall in no way prejudice the claims of either of the belligerents, in case the Convention
should fail to come to any peaceful arrangement.
3. The business of the Convention
should be to devise, if practicable, some plan of reunion under a modified constitution, such as they may agree upon, whereby all the thirty-four States can cooperate with each other for the common defence against foreign invaders;--for mutual free trade between themselves,--for uniform duties upon imports from foreign countries,--for a common post-office and mail system, &c., &c.
4. If a reconstruction should be found impossible, then arrange for a peaceable separation and a pro rata
division of the common property, with reciprocal treaties of amity, commerce, mails, &c.
5. In case of a reconstruction, we take it for granted that the individual States, as such, must have more rights and immunities than they have under the present Constitution.
They must at least be independent of each other as to all local institutions and interests, especially in the matter of slavery.
At those points where the present machinery chafes, there must be an easing off, so that it may run more smoothly hereafter.
6. The same end might be answered by having two Sections in each of the two Houses of Congress; one to be called the Northern Section
, and the other the Southern
; and no bill to become a law unless concurred in by a majority of each Section of both Houses.
This would retard legislation on some subjects, but it would afford the South
(which is a decided minority as compared with the North
, and will
become more so from year to year) a guarantee that their peculiar interests would not be sacrificed to sectional prejudices or fanaticism.
Perhaps it might be sufficient to have a Northern and a Southern Section in only one House
, leaving the other as it is at present.
7. Whatever plan, either of reconstruction or separation, might be adopted by the Convention
, should only become binding upon the States, after being ratified by three-fourths of the eleven Confederate States
, and also by three-fourths of the twenty-three United States
8. The suppression of hostilities for three months, and the turning of men's thoughts to plans for mutual benefit instead of mutual destruction, would be almost sure to open the eyes of both sections of the country to the enormous wickedness of the war, on one side or on both, and to result in its speedy termination.
This alone would be a great point gained, and would probably lead to a satisfactory arrangement of the main question at no distant day.--N. Y. Journal of Commerce
, August 3.