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Chapter 8:

  • Congress passes no measures to enable the President to execute the laws or defend the Government
  • -- they decline to revive the authority of the Federal Judiciary in South Carolina, suspended by the resignation of all the judicial officers -- they refuse authority to call forth the militia or accept volunteers, to suppress insurrections against the United States, and it was never proposed to grant an appropriation for this purpose -- the Senate declines throughout the entire session to act upon the nomination of a collector of the port of Charleston -- Congress refuses to grant to the President the authority long since expired, which had been granted to General Jackson for the collection of the revenue -- the 86th Congress expires, leaving the law just as they found it -- General observations.

We have already seen that Congress, throughout the entire session, refused to adopt any measures of compromise to prevent civil war, or to retain first the cotton or afterwards the border States within the Union. Failing to do this, and whilst witnessing the secession of one after another of the cotton States, the withdrawal of their Senators and Representatives, and the formation of their Confederacy, it was the imperative duty of Congress to furnish the President or his successor the means of repelling force by force, should this become necessary to preserve the Union. They, nevertheless, refused to perform this duty with as much pertinacity as they had manifested in repudiating all measures of compromise.

1. At the meeting of Congress a Federal Judiciary had ceased to exist in South Carolina The District Judge, the District Attorney, and the United States Marshal had resigned their offices. These ministers of justice had all deserted their posts before the act of secession, and the laws of the United States could no longer be enforced through their agency. We have already seen that the President, in his message, called the

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