Table of Contents:
Federal Congress.Senate.--Mr. Dixon presented a petition of the citizens of the United States sustaining the Government of the United States in the present crisis. Mr. Dixon said he entirely concurred in the sentiments of the petition. It was his purpose to vote for any measures calculated in his judgment to sustain the vigorous progress of the war, the Union and the Administration. He hoped the Government would prosecute the war with all the energy and ardor that they possibly could. Whatever may be the issue of the conflict, let it be short and decisive; let the war be so conducted as to bring the crisis at issue to a speedy and decided result. His constituents desired that the end might soon come, and with such a result as will not invite a repetition. Let no thought of peace be entertained until the war has been brought to an end. The territorial integrity of the Union must and shall be preserved inviolate; whatever stands in the way, whether democracy or slavery, carry the war on until all obstructions to peace shall be removed. A great nation like this can never be overwhelmed, whether by foreign or domestic foes. He saw the conspiracy forming an existence six months before it was threatened by the conspirators. It was because he was well acquainted with the violent characters of those who first formed it. The large territory over which this conspiracy exists, renders it more difficult to suppress, but the suppression is not impossible by the Federal Government; let it cost whatever it may, it must and will be crushed. If this Government does not meet with success, then the voice of the united people of the loyal and free States will declare that slavery must perish, and that forever.--Such is the determination of thousands who have had heretofore lenient views upon the institution. Mr. Dixon said he had voted, and should continue to vote, for all the bills tending to prosecute the war with vigor, until the last battle was fought and the last victory won. If the insurgents or rebels would throw down their arms, and return to their former position in the Union, he would be rejoiced, and not only himself, but his constituents, and the people of the North would rejoice; but until they do return as loyal citizens, wage such a war against them as will compel them to acknowledge the power and supremacy of the Government. If the rebellion has sufficient coherent powers to have a successful revolution, let the world know it; but, if not, let the flag of the nation be planted and wave over all the land. Let the broad stripes and bright stars triumphantly float over Richmond, Charleston, Mobile and New Orleans, as a witness and proof, not of subjugation, but of liberty and freedom. It is the intention and deliberate purpose of the loyal States to accomplish this; this purpose cannot be shaken, whatever disasters may occur, or however disheartened they may be by unforeseen repulses, they will never abandon their Constitution to which they have pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honors. The petition was laid on the table. Mr. Fessenden reported back a bill for the additional support of the army. Mr. Trumbull, a bill confiscating property used for insurrectionary purposes. A bill for the benefit of the officers and soldiers employed in defending Fort Sumter was referred to the committee on military affairs. Mr. Breckinridge moved that the Senate take up the resolution No. 1, and make it the special order for to-morrow at 1 o'clock. The Senate then went into Executive session. House of Representatives.--On motion of Mr. Washburne, it was resolved that the committee on commerce be directed to institute an immediate inquiry as to what further means are necessary, if any, to make the blockade of ports in the rebellions States more effectual, and to arrest the depredations of the pirates now preying upon American commerce under pretended letters of marque and reprisal issued by the rebel Government of the so-called Southern Confederacy. On motion of Mr. Nixon, of N. J., a resolution was passed that Congress, the Senate concurring, adjourn next Friday. Mr. Eliot, from the committee on commerce, reported the following: ‘ "Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury be requested to employ immediately a sufficient force to protect our commerce from the pirates who now infest our seas." ’ Mr. Cox wanted the resolution to be referred to the Naval Committee. Mr. Vallandigham inquired whether it was contemplated to employ privateers by the Federal Government. Mr. Eliot replied that it was not. The resolution was then passed. Mr. Allen, of Ohio, offered a resolution that whenever the seceded States shall manifest or express a desire to resume their allegiance to the Government, military operations against such State shall be suspended; and that it is no part of the object of this Government to interfere with slavery in the States. Mr. Blake, of Ohio, moved to amend the first resolution by adding a proviso that the military operations shall only be suspended when the seceded States surrender their leaders to be hung. [Laughter.] Mr. Washburne, of Illinois, moved to lay the resolutions on the table. They were finally excluded on a point of order raised by Mr. Hickman, of Pennsylvania. Mr. Vallandigham offered a series of resolutions declaring that the President of the United States had usurped powers granted by the Constitution, and violated the Constitution severally: in calling out the militia of the United States, and declaring war as in his proclamation of April 15th; in blockading and closing the Southern ports; in suspending the writ of habeas corpus; in drawing from the Treasury money not specifically appropriated by Congress; in the search of telegraph offices, and the seizure of telegraphic dispatches; in the suppression of certain newspapers, and in the arrest and imprisonment of certain persons not subject to the articles of war. Mr. Lovejoy, of Illinois, moved to lay the resolutions on the table. Mr. Vallandigham demanded yeas and nays, which were not ordered. Mr. Burnett then demanded a division, when the motion prevailed — ayes 85, noes 15. Mr. Vallandigham remarked, sotto voce, upon the announcement of the negative vote, ‘"just three more than the Apostles."’ [Laughter.] Mr. Ashley, of Ohio, asked leave to introduce a resolution respectfully requesting the Legislature of Virginia, assembled at Wheeling, to retrocede to the United States the city of Alexandria, and so much of Fairfax county as may include the Mount Vernon estate. --Objected to. Mr. John F. Potter, of Wisconsin, offered a resolution, under the suspension of the rules, instructing the committee on elections to inquire and report whether the Hon. Henry May, the representative from the Fourth Congressional district of Maryland, has not held criminal correspondence and intercourse with persons in arms against this Government, and empowering the committee to send for persons and papers. The resolution was amended to substitute the committee on the judiciary for that on elections. Mr. Cox, of Ohio, moved as an amendment that Mr. May be notified of the passage of the resolution before any further action be taken upon it. Accepted. Mr. Burnett, of Kentucky, contended that the question involved in the resolution was not one of privilege. The House by a viva voce vote decided that it was. Mr. Dawes, of Massachusetts, saw in this case a difficulty similar to that which presented itself in the case of Mr. Clark, of Mo., expelled on Saturday. Neither Mr. May nor Mr. Clark had taken their seats here, nor had they yet taken the oath of office; how could they, then, be regarded as within the jurisdiction of this House? Mr. Potter replied that it was well known Mr. May was a member elect of this House; that the charge that he was in communication with rebels had been publicly made through the newspapers, and, in justice to Mr. May himself, the charge should be investigated. Mr. Vallandigham asserted on the highest authority that Mr. May visited Richmond under the authority of the Administration, and with the consent of Gen. Scott. Mr. Washburne, of Illinois, denied entirely the assertion that Mr. May's visit was undertaken under the authority of the Administration. Mr. Vallandigham replied that he had gone there under a passport which could not have been issued without the authority of the Administration. Mr. McClernand, of Illinois, had ample reasons for believing that Mr. May did receive a special passport to visit, but what was the object of his visit, or what he did in Richmond, he was unable to say. He had always, however, regarded Mr. May as a loyal and patriotic citizen. Mr. Richardson, of Illinois, said that he had this morning been informed by Dr. May that his brother was now detained by illness at Baltimore, and had been detained in Richmond through the same cause. He was confident his brother would be able to vindicate himself from all suspicion. Under these circumstances Mr. R contended the adoption of the resolution would be highly improper. Mr. Curtis, of Iowa, thought the fact that Mr. May received a passport ought not to imply that he acted under the authority of the Administration. Mr. Vallandigham repeated again that Mr. May went to Richmond on a political mission, with the consent and acquiescence of the Administration, and by the authority of General Scott, and that this consent was given after the object of his mission had been disclosed. Mr. Thaddeus Stevens, of Pennsylvania, said that upon this statement of the friends of Mr. May, he desired the investigation to be based. He wanted to know whether in this war the Administration would hazard any negotiation or any truce, except to bury the dead, until every rebel shall have laid down his arms. Mr. Washburn repeated his denial that Mr. May had either the authority or the consent of the Administration to visit Richmond. Mr. Calvert, of Maryland, said that Mr. May did go to Richmond under the authority of the Government. Mr. Lincoln had himself told him that Mr. May asked for a passport declaring it was his purpose to visit Virginia simply as a private citizen, and in that understanding Mr. Lincoln not only gave his consent, but induced Gen. Scott to furnish a special passport. Mr. Vallandigham moved to lay the resolution on the table. Mr. Kellogg, of Illinois, endorsed the views of Mr. Dawes in respect to the jurisdiction of this House, but as the friends of Mr. May boldly asserted that that gentleman had undertaken a political mission to Richmond with the consent and sanction of the Administration, and the friends of the latter denied the assertion, a different aspect was put upon the case. Under these circumstances an investigation into the subject was not only the right but the duty of the House to institute. It was important that the country should know whether at a time when the gallant soldiers of the Union were rushing to the defence of the nation, the Administration were holding secret conferences with the rebel leaders or instigating a compromise. The inquiry was an important one to the nation, and he called upon the friends of Mr. May to permit the investigation to be held. Mr. Vallandigham said it was evident from this colloquy that the cause of justice would be best served by delaying the investigation until Mr. May's recovery, and he renewed his motion to lay on the table, calling the previous question on it. The vote being taken by yeas and nays upon the demand of Mr. Burnett, resulted as follows: Yeas 56, nays 82.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.