The Yankee Congress.
the negro question.
Vallandigham Denounces Senator Wade.
In the Federal Congress on Thursday last, the 24th inst., the proceedings were of a peculiarly interesting character.
The negro question, as usual, formed the text for all discussion, and predictions were made by some of the members that the time was not far distant when a black man would be seen on the floors of Congress.
We subjoin the following condensation:
arrests and imprisonment of citizens.
, of Ky.
, moved to take up the resolution offered by himself concerning arrests and imprisonment of citizens of Kentucky
by the Secretary of State
, of Mass.
, was opposed to taking up the resolution as inexpedient at this time.
did not see why the Senator
should make any opposition.
It was simply asking how many citizens of a free State had been dragged from their homes without law, and calling on tyrants and usurpers to know where they are and what are their names.--if instead of being free white men they had been free negroes, the Senator
would make no opposition.
men had some rights, and he wanted the Secretary
to tell us why and what for these men were thus unlawfully dragged to prison without a charge of crime.
said the Senator
had made an inflamed speech; and called a high officer of the Government
It was evident, if the resolution was taken up the whole question would be gone into.
If the Secretary
was a tyrant and a usurper, were not the men arrested traitors?
(in his seat)--Who are they?
continued, urging that it was not best to go into the inquiry at present.
said that some of the men who were arrested were as loyal as the gentleman from Massachusetts
He defied the Senator
to point out any law by which the Secretary of State
could carry off citizens of Kentucky
and imprison them in forts in New York.
Recognition of Liberia and Hayti.
The morning hour here expired, and the bill for the recognition of Liberia
and Hayti came up as the special order.
, of Ky.
, moved a substitute, authorizing the President
to appoint Consuls to Liberia
, and a Consul General
to Hayti, with power to negotiate commercial treaties, &c. He was opposed to sending any ambassadors to those countries.
If they send a minister here in turn, and he be a full-blooded negro, he could demand a recognition of social equality with other diplomate at receptions and on all court occasions, and in private life.
He drew a picture of a ‘"great big black fellow,"’ and the airs he might assume on such occasions, and related a similar incident at the court of Napoleon
, where one of our ministers, in reply to a query of what he thought of the black ambassador, said, ‘"I think, clothes and all, he is worth about $1,000."’
said he yesterday made no appeal for those two countries on account of color or the fact that their people had once been slaves.
It was the Senator
who had introduced the subject of slavery.
He assured the Senator
that such diplomats, if similar to other representatives he had seen from Haytl, (as they would be,) would be too refined to thrust themselves in any society where their presence was not desired.
They never would trouble the Senator
The subject was then laid over.
The Confirmation question.
The special order — the bill to confiscate the property of rebels and free their slaves — came up.
, of Vermont
, spoke at length, taking the ground that free institutions were on trial, and that the question was whether the Government
could be sustained without resort to the despotic appliances of stronger forms of government.
If we could not, the system was a failure, which he was not prepared to acknowledges.
He dwelt upon the supposed rights derived from the fact of existing war. Plausible as this might seem, he thought it unwarrantable to derive such rights from our present condition.
Though other nations might recognize them as belligerents, he did not see how we could, or any attempt be made to legislate against them as belligerents and enemies with any property and consistency.
He did not believe we could legislate our selves out of the war any more than we could legislate ourselves into a millennium.
It is true, legislation might be necessary for a restoration of the Union
The machinery of State governments was again to be put into operation, or their condition would not be restored as before.
C. held that they had two branches of duty in connection with the war--first, to put down armed resistance by force of arms, and then to bring back the rebellious States to loyalty.
Such a bill as this was not calculated to effect the latter.
The people in the rebellious States were subject to the influences of the circumstances by which they were surrounded, as were other people — a de facts
Government had been set up by a certain class among them, and now they had to be protected and rescued from its power.
That was the duty of the Government
, and not the attempting of wholesale confiscations, involving whole communities.
He cited the provisions of the Constitution
declaring that no one shall be deprived of his property except by process of law, &c. That was a prohibition against every one--against Congress itself — and was put in the Constitution
especially to prevent our doing such a thing when we might want to do it. A good deal of hocus pocus was displayed in talking about proceedings in rem.
in this connection.
The Constitution, if a man is guilty of treason, says it is a crime, and you may punish him in person.
That's all. It provides nothing about his property, which is the proceeding in rem.
But this bill proposes first to punish him in one way and then in the other, which the provisions of the Constitution
are intended to guard against.
He denied that it was a proper rules to do whatever you have the physical means to do, and declared that it made very little difference what department of the Government
all these usurpations go to. If Congress assumes to control the army; conduct the war, and sent its committees out into the field to inspect the acts of our Generals
, etc, he did not see that it was any better than the act of the British Parliament in the days of Cromwell
It was a tyranny and a usurpation.
He discussed the idea so freely expressed of conquering the rebellious States, repudiating.
It as unsound.
We had conquered Tennessee
, It was said; but did we pretend to own anything there — the Capitol
of the State
, the State
institutions, &c No. Therefore we had only done the duty of affording protection — He discussed also the military power, and as confiscation was claimed as a ‘"military necessity"’ it of course belonged to that department.
It was for the President
and his officers to determine in special instances as they carried on the war.
C. next treated of the punishment of rebellious persons.
As to hanging 100,000 men or 10,000 or anything like it, nothing was more absurd than to talk of it. He hoped no one even desired or hoped for such a thing.--Exemplary punishment, however, could be visited upon certain individuals.
But this could only be done when we had the power to do it. What we want is some law to put power in the hands of the President
to induce those people to come back to their allegiance after we have taken possession sufficiently of the country.
He could not, by any possibility, see a path to peace through such a bill as this.
Some citizens in Tennessee
had send to the Federal General
in command asking for protection to their property, but under this bill they would have no property.
Let it be passed, and the officer would reply, ‘ "You have no property — Congress has confiscated it all."’ Thus these entire people would be without homes.
But it was urged that money was wanted for the treasury.
Well, who would buy a farm in that country under these circumstances?
It would require two regiments to protect every such plantation.
There was one branch of the bill, which evidently was intended to free a large body of slaves, and without that feature he believed there were some of his friends here who would not care a cent about the bill.
There was no proceeding provided in the case: it simply declared the slaves free — without any actual capture in war, or getting possession of the property.
If this was not taking men's property, without process of law, he did not know what was. It was not even by proceeding in rem.
He referred to the pledges of the Republicans in regard to not interfering in the institution of slavery in the States, and asked, in view of such an for as this, can you expect to make the world believe you have not interfered with slavery in the States ! It was a direct violation of the securities which the Constitution
He did not believe that his people wished him to do anything in violation of the Constitution
, and if they did, they know that he would not gratify their desire.
C. next spoke of the character of the substitute which he proposed for the bill, by which imprisonments were provided not less than five years, and fines imposed of not less than $10,000, which could be collected in the usual way, when not duly paid, out of the property of the culprit, as in other cases of crime — thus avoiding the question of forfeitures, and the legal — difficulties in the way of such being effective beyond life.
In the mean time the President
to be armed with power to issue proclamations at his discretion, and fixing a day by which people could return to loyalty and receive pardon.
The question was on the amendment of Mr. Sherman
, of Ohio
, to the original bill, naming certain classes of civil, military, and naval officers of the Confederacy
, as well as others.
who have been formerly officers of the United States
, as those whose property should be confiscated and slaves freed, in lieu of a general application to all in the rebel States who take part or give aid and comfort.
, of Delaware
, said that while he might approve some of the provisions in the substitute bills, as they as well as the original, all embraced features of freeing slaves, he should vote against them all.
, of New York, proposed to amend the amendment by making it apply to all who had rebelled against the Government
, of Virginia
, said he hoped some test of the Senate would now be made.
He had more hopes of the restoration of the Union
since he had heard the wise and temperate remarks of the gentleman from Vermont
thought Mr. King
's amendment worse than the original bill, effecting not only every man, but the women and children of the seceded States.
briefly defended the principle of the original bill as taking only the property of those whose persons could not be reached, but would be content with Mr. Sherman
's proposition, if the Senate should prefer it.
's amendment was then rejected — years 7, nays 82.
The question recurred on Mr. Sherman
's amendment, and it was adopted — yeas 20, have 11, as follows:
Yeas — Messrs
, Foot, Foster
, Hows, Lane
, Ten Eyck
, Lans of Kansas
The bill was then postponed until 1 o'clock to-morrow.
Hayti and Liberia again.
On motion of Mr. Sumner
, the bill for the appointment of diplomatic representatives to Liberia
and Hayti was again taken up. Mr.
S. sent to the Clerk
to be read a letter from Mr. Webb
, of Boston
, our commercial agent at Hayti
, indicating a high state of progression there, and great disadvantage to the United States
by reason of the non-recognition of that power, our flag being less respected than that of other nations in consequence, &c.
The question was then taken on Mr. Davis
's amendment, as a substitute, and it was rejected years 8, noes 30
ross and declared that this was evidently one of the series of measures to be enacted by abolitionism, and twelve months would see a negro on the floor of this Senate, and his family in the diplomatic gallery.
He wished only to say that he would not be responsible for this result.
The bill was then passed — yeas 82 nays 7--as follows:
, Foot, Foster
, Simme as, Sumner
, Ten Eyck
, and Wright
, and Thompson
On motion of Mr. Latham
, of California
, the bill to establish a steamship line between California
was made the order for 12½ o'clock to-morrow.
The Senate went into executive session, and shortly after adjourned.
House of representatives.
, of Ohio
, introduced a resolution requesting the President
to transmit to the House
, if not incompatible with the public interests, copies of such correspondence between the French Government
and the Government
of the United States
, received during the last two months, relative to the present troubles in America
Referred to the Committee
on Foreign Affairs.
The Suppression of the rebellion.
The Speaker stated the regular order of business was the putting down of the rebellion and prevent its returning, upon which Mr. Lovejoy
was entitled to the floor.
, of Ill.
, said it was apparent that this rebellion had defenders on this floor.
Whenever an attempt was made towards putting down this rebellion, the fact is developed that this rebellion has its advocates and defenders on this floor.
Either slavery or the Republic
The question is, which shall it be?
When the Seceded States
come back, he wanted them to come in such a way as to allow him to walk free on the soil of those States, without the fear of the knife or tar and feathers.
He wanted to stand everywhere on the American
soil without being compelled to hold his tongue.
He proposed to let the slaves take care of themselves, as they are abundantly able to do. There never can be peace until slavery is destroyed.
This is the nation's opportunity, and he appeared to every gentleman the importance of this opportunity — given to them in the providence of God.
, of New York, favored the motion to recommitment.
He, for one, was in favor of a confiscation bill; a bill which would amplify for the punishment of treason and devote the property of the ringleaders of the rebellion to the reimbursing of the expense incurred in the rebellion.
He was not in favor of an indiscriminate bill.
proposed to yield the floor to Mr. Diven
, of New York, and then call the previous question.
, of Maryland
, said he would object to such arrangement; he wanted free license for general debate.
, of New York, then called the previous question.
The main question was then ordered by a vote of 71 to 48.
The yeas and nays were then ordered on Mr. Olin
's motion — that the subject of the confiscation of rebel property be referred to a select committee of seven, with instruction to report to this House at an early day. Adopted — yeas 90 and nays 81.
Bounty to soldiers' widows — the rebellion Lugged in.
On motion of Mr. Morrill
, of Vermont
, the House
received itself into Committee of the Whole and took up the House
bill to give bounty to the widows of soldiers who have been or may be killed.
, of Missouri
, said he always believed it far better to settle there national difficulties by an appeal to reason and to the ballot-box, rather than by the use of arms — The present civil war will be and must be regarded as a scandal and a disgrace to the age in which we live.
The conspirators of this rebellion, in the judgment of posterity, will be considered as moral monsters and the worst of foes to well regulated liberty.
Unfortunately for the country, the former President
, Mr. Buchanan
, was weak and vacillating, with his Cabinet composed in part of conspirators, bold, reckless, and unscrupulous.
Although the present difficulties were agitated by the fanatics of the North
, yet there was nothing but what could have been legally settled.
Our first and paramount allegiance is due to the General Government
In conclusion, he said never let this epitaph be written on the national tomb: This people, in endeavoring to abolish African
slavery on this continent, lost their own liberty and committed national suicide.
Vallandigham Denounces Wade as a "scoundrel, a liar, and a coward".
, of Ohio
, said that in a speech delivered the other day in this city, the following words were used ‘"I accuse them of a deliberate purpose to assail, through the judicial tribunals and through the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States
, and everywhere else, and overawe, intimidate, and trample under foot, if they can, the men who boldly stand forth in defence of their country, now imperilled by this gigantic rebellion.
I have watched it long, and I have seen it in secret, and have seen its movements ever since that party got together, with a colleague of mine in the other House as Chairman
of Resolutions — a man who had never any sympathy with the Republic
, but whose every breath is devoted to its destruction just as far as his heart dare permit him to go."’ Now, here in my place in this House
I denounce — and I speak it advisedly — the author of that speech as a liar, a scoundrel, and a coward!
His name is Benjamin F. Wade
Further debate on the Widow and Orphan bill.
, of N. H.
, addressed a few remarks pertinent to the bill.
, of Ohio
, addressed the House
at some length, setting forth the object of the war, claiming it to be for the preservation of the Constitution
and the laws, and for nothing else.
The Committee rose and the House