by the report, and, rising above the storm of passion that seems to control the hour, resolutely maintained that attitude.
They have done me all justice, and if my antecedents as a private citizen and a public servant have not proved a shield against criticism, and are not a sufficient guaranty, I give to them the pledge of an honest heart that my future life, wherever fortune may place me, shall give them no occasion to regret this act of justice to me and those whose destinies are interwoven with mine.
I am not informed as to the opinion of Senators
, except as they have declared them in debate.
I have approached no Senator
to learn his views.
I have had no outside friends to solicit the aid of the public Press, with which to manufacture public opinion in my favor.
Conscious of the purity of my intentions and purposes in all that relates to the support of the Government
to which I owe allegiance, I had a right to suppose that my peers would rise above the behests of party, and look on this transaction in its true light.
But this is a matter that I cannot and have not attempted to control.
If the Senate has been polled, and, as I see it stated in some of the papers, it is a foregone conclusion that go I must, I say to my friends and my enemies that I will lose no time in putting myself on trial again before a tribunal whose judgment I have ever found just, and who, I am sure, will give me all the benefits resulting from an acquaintance of forty years and upward with a service which entitles them to judge whether I am a loyal or a disloyal subject-whether I have been a faithful or unfaithful representative of their rights in the many and varied duties which they have intrusted to me to perform.
I will go forth with my record in one hand and the record of those who sent me here in the other, and will submit to the people of the State of Indiana
the question of right or wrong in this case.
I will go with the platform of principles laid down by that party I have acted with through life, and in the name of those principles, and in the name of the Constitution
that I have ever tried to support, in letter and in spirit, I will ask a fair and impartial hearing.
This, and this only, is the tribunal with which I intend to be content.
then referred to the question of the Senator
, ( Mr. Willey
,) asking him to define the letter of September to the Senator
I will say that I have had but one countersign since I have been on duty here, and that has been — peace, peace, peace.
War never, never, never, as a remedy for any supposed grievance.
But how different was the tone of the speech of the honorable Senator
, (Mr. Johnson
.) Causes of complaint I know he has, and I sympathize with him in his afflictions.
Would I had the power to lift the load of sorrow that has bowed him and tens of thousands of others to the earth.
Point out the road that leads to peace, with the restoration of the Union
, making ours one government, with one flag, not a star effaced, and I will travel it with him as long as there is one gleam of light to guide us. And, sir, forgetting and forgiving, I would even consent to take as travelling companions, the Senators
, and Pennsylvania
, with all their heresies.
has done one great injustice.
Smarting under blows inflicted by the conduct of those he called a close corporation when here, he points to my association with them, forgetting, at the same time, his own. History, facts.
and living witnesses, repel this absurd and unfounded accusation.
The honorable Senator
, (Mr. Kennedy
,) moved by a sense of justice to arrive at the truth, vindicates history in his late speech on some of these points.
He well recollects the appeals made by himself, myself, and other Senators
, some of whom I still see here, to Southern Senators
to remain in their seats and give the incoming Administration a trial.
knows I had no part or lot in any movement having for its object the disruption of this land.
In replying to the request of the Senator
I do not want to be considered as seeking votes or any change of opinions.
I said on a former occasion, my opinions were fixed.
In the execution of details connected with the administration of government affairs, I have always endeavored to conform my action to the policy of those in charge of the Government
So under this Administration; when differing from them I have said so in a becoming manner, I trust.
I have been opposed to the principle of coercion.
I believe, in the language of the present Secretary of State
, that this Federal system is, of all forms of government, the most unfitted for this labor of coercion.
Coercion is war, and war, in the language of the late Senator
, (Mr. Douglas
,) is disunion.
But when hostilities commenced against Fort Sumter
an entirely new feature presented itself.
This act, followed by the proclamation of the President
, was war. While my principles in regard to coercion remain unchanged, and while I doubt whether the line of policy of the last Administration, as well as the present, was the best with regard to affairs at Charleston
, yet I never hesitated in my duty to my own Government, which was to sustain it in all its efforts to fully enforce obedience to the laws of the United States
, within all constitutional limits.
, I have said all I proposed saying on this occasion; yet I wish to add a few words more.
I will inquire, who is it that is asking for my expulsion?
My record as a public man is before the country, and particularly before my constituents.
The party that have so often honored me with a seat on this floor have lately adjourned one of the largest Conventions ever held in the State
Did they desire my expulsion on the ground that I was disloyal, or on the ground that I was not a faithful representative of their interests?
Has any part of that great army from that State expressed any such desire?
Have you had any petitions for my removal?
Barely one, I believe.
I do not understand that my constituency are asking my expulsion, and I want that fact understood.
before the country, that I am to be expelled because