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‘ [312] nesses in the House to prove it. I certainty could not have been more surprised had he drawn a pistol and taken aim at me.’


Jan. 25th. Mr. Greeley (as a member of the Committee on public lands,) reported a bill providing for the reduction of the price of lands bordering on Lake Superior. In Committee of the Whole, he moved to strike from the army appropriation bill the item of $38,000 for the recruiting service, sustaining his amendment by an elaborate speech on the recruiting system. Rejected. Mr. Greeley moved, later in the day, that the mileage of officers be calculated by the shortest route. Rejected. The most striking passage of the speech on the recruiting system was this:

Mr. Chairman, of all the iniquities and rascalities committed in our country, I think those perpetrated in this business of recruiting are among the most flagrant. I doubt whether this government punishes as many frauds in all as it incites by maintaining this system of recruiting. I have seen something of it, and been by hearsay made acquainted with much more. A simple, poor man, somewhat addicted to drinking, awakes from a drunken revel in which he has disgraced himself by some outrage, or inflicted some injury, or has squandered means essential to the support of his family. He is ashamed to enter his home—ashamed to meet the friends who have known him a respectable and sober man. At this moment of half insanity and utter horror, the tempter besets him, portrays the joys of a soldier's life in the most glowing and seductive colors, and persuades him to enlist. Doubtless men have often been made drunk on purpose to delude them into an enlistment; for there is (or lately was) a bounty paid to whoever will bring in an acceptable recruit to the station. All manner of false inducements are constantly held out —absurd hopes of promotion and glory are incited, and, when not in his right mind, the dupe is fastened for a term which will probably outlast his life. Very soon he repents and begs to be released—his distracted wife pleads—his famishing children implore—but all in vain. Shylock must have his bond, and the husband and father is torn away from them for years—probably for ever. This whole business of recruiting is a systematic robbery of husbands from their wives, fathers from their children, and sons from their widowed and dependent mothers. It is not possible that a Christian people have any need of such a fabric of iniquity, and I call upon this House to unite in decreeing its abolition.

Jan. 31st. In Committee of the Whole, the naval appropriation bill being under consideration, Mr. Greeley offered an amendment

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