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[474]
Notice had been previously given, by Mr. Ashley, that the vote would be taken on that day. The nation, realizing the transcendent magnitude of the issue, awaited the result with profound anxiety. The galleries, and the avenues leading to them, were early thronged by a dense mass intensely anxious to witness the scene. Senators, Cabinet officers, Judges of the Supreme Court, and even strangers, crowding on to the floor of the House, watched its proceedings with absorbing interest. During the roll-call, the vote of Speaker Colfax, and the votes of Mr. English, Mr. Ganson, and Mr. Baldwin, with assured success, were warmly applauded by the Republican side. And when the Speaker declared, that, the Constitutional majority of two-thirds having voted in the affirmative, the joint resolution was passed, the announcement was received by the House and the spectators on the floor with a wild outburst of enthusiastic applause. The Republican members instantly sprang to their feet, and applauded with cheers and clapping of hands. The spectators in the crowded galleries waved their hats, and made the Chamber ring with enthusiastic plaudits. Hundreds of ladies, gracing the galleries with their presence, rose in their seats; and by waving their handkerchiefs, and participating in the general demonstration of enthusiasm, added to the intense excitement and interest of a scene that will long be remembered by those who were fortunate enough to witness it. For several minutes, the friends of this crowning act of emancipation gave themselves up to congratulations and demonstrations of public joy. โ€˜In honor,โ€™ said Mr. Ingersoll (Rep.), of Illinois, โ€˜of this immortal and sublime event, I move that the House adjourn.โ€™ The Speaker declared the motion carried; and then, again, cheering and demonstrations of applause were renewed. Mr. Harris (Dem.); of Maryland, demanded the yeas and nays on the adjournment, yeas, 121; nays, 24. So the House adjourned, having on that day passed a measure which made Slavery forever impossible in the Republic of the United States.

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