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XXXIV. the Extra session.

  • Organization of the House
  • -- Mr. Lincoln's first Message -- various propositions -- Henry May's visit to Richmond -- conservative Republicans on Slavery and the Union -- Mr. Crittenden's re<*>ve -- Proposals to Compromise -- Confiscation of slaves used to promote the Rebellion -- the President's acts approved -- adjournment.

the XXXVIIth Congress convened, pursuant to the President's summons, in Extra Session, at noon on the 4th of July; when, on a call of the roll, an ample quorum of either House was found in attendance, including fill delegations from Kentucky,1 Missouri,2 Maryland,3 and Delaware.4 Tennessee had not yet chosen Representatives; and, when she did choose, at her regular State election, five weeks later, only the three districts east of the mountains elected members to the Union Congress; and, of these, one--Thomas A. R. Nelson — being arrested by the Rebels while on his way to Washington, regained his liberty by renouncing the Union and professing adherence to the Rebellion. Of the seceded States, only Arkansas chose Representatives to Congress in 1860; and these renounced their seats by open and active adhesion to the Southern Confederacy. In the Senate, the four States first named were fully represented; while Andrew Johnson was present from Tennessee, making 44 in all. Western Virginia had chosen three members at the regular State election in April, while another had been elected by a light vote, either then or subsequently, from the district lying along the Potomac, above and below Harper's Ferry. Of Representatives, 157 in all answered to their names at the first call. Galusha A. Grow [Republican], of Pennsylvania, was chosen Speaker, and Emerson Etheridge [Bell-Everett], of Tennessee, Clerk of the House. John W. Forney [Douglas], of Pennsylvania, was soon afterward elected Clerk of the Senate.

President Lincoln's Message was transmitted to both Houses on the following day. It was largely devoted to a recital of occurrences already narrated. It did not distinctly avow that the Government had ever [556] purposed the evacuation of Fort Sumter, but set forth the material facts as follows:

On the 5th of March (the present incumbent's first full day in office), a letter of Major Anderson, commanding at Fort Sumter, written on tile 28th of February, and received at the War Department on the 4th of March, was, by that Department, placed in his hands. This letter expressed the professional opinion of the writer, that reenforcements could not be thrown into that fort within the time for his relief rendered necessary by the limited supply of provisions, and with a view of holding possession of the same, with a force of less than twenty thousand good and well-disciplined men. This opinion was concurred in by all the officers of his command, and their memoranda on the subject were made inclosures of Major Anderson's letter. The whole was immediately laid before Lieut.-Gen. Scott, who at once concurred with Major Anderson in opinion. On reflection, however, he took full time, consulting with other officers, both of the Army and of the Navy, and, at the end of four days, came reluctantly but decidedly to the same conclusion as before. He also stated, at the same time, that no such sufficient force was then at the control of the Government, or could be raised and brought to the ground within the time when the provisions in the fort would be exhausted. In a purely military point of view, this reduced the duty of the Administration in the case to the mere matter of getting the garrison safely out of the fort.

Thus baffled with regard to Fort Sumter, the Administration had resolved to reenforce and provision Fort Pickens, Fla., simply as an indication of its purpose to maintain, in the South, the constitutional rights of the Government; and had dispatched the steamship Brooklyn to Pensacola for that purpose; but had been defeated in its effort, because

the officer commanding the Sabine, to which vessel the troops had been transferred from the Brooklyn, acting upon some quasi armistice of the late Administration (and of the existence of which the present Administration, up to the time the order was dispatched, had only too vague and uncertain rumors to fix attention), had refused to land the troops.

The news of this failure reached Washington “just one week before the fall of Sumter;” and thereupon the President proceeded at once to notify Gov. Pickens, of South Carolina, that he should provision Fort Sumter. “Whereupon, the fort was attacked and bombarded to its fall, without even awaiting. the arrival of the provisioning expedition.”

The President sets forth the course with regard to the seceded States which he had endeavored to pursue, until forced to abandon it by violence and bloodshed on their part, as follows:

The policy chosen looked to the exhaustion of all peaceful measures before a resort to any stronger ones. It sought only to hold the public places and property not already wrested from the Government, and to collect the revenue; relying for the rest on time, discussion, and the ballot-box. It promised a continuance of the mails, at Government expense, to the very people who were resisting the Government; and it gave repeated pledges against any disturbance to any of the people, or any of their rights. Of all that which a President might constitutionally and justifiably do in such a case, everything was forborne, without which it was believed possible to keep the Government on foot.

But this policy it was neither the interest nor the disposition of the Confederates, as such, to acquiesce in. The naked fact that it was deemed advisable on the part of the Union, raises the presumption that it would not answer the ends of the Secessionists. Says the President:

They have forced upon the country the distinct issue: “immediate dissolution or blood.”

And this issue embraces more than the fate of these United States. It presents to the whole family of man the question, whether a constitutional republic or democracy — a government of the people by the same people-can or cannot maintain its territorial integrity against its own domestic foes. It presents the question, whether discontented individuals, too few in numbers to control administration, according [557] to organic law, in any case, can always, upon the pretenses made in this case, or on any other pretenses, or arbitrarily, without any pretense, break up their government, and thus practically put an end to free government upon the earth. It forces us to ask: “Is there in all republics this inherent and fatal weakness?” “Must a government, of necessity, be too strong for the liberties of its own people, or too weak to maintain its own existence?”

So viewing the issue, no choice was left but to call out the war power of the Government; and so, to resist force employed for its destruction by force employed for its preservation.

After a brief exposure of the deceit and violence which governed the issue of the pretended submission, in Virginia and other States, of the question of Secession to a vote of the people, after they had been bound hand and foot to the car of the Confederacy, Mr. Lincoln says:

The people of Virginia have thus allowed this giant insurrection to make its nest within her borders; and this Government has no choice left but to deal with it where it finds it. And it has the less regret, as the loyal citizens have, in due form, claimed its protection. Those loyal citizens this Government is bound to recognize and protect, as being Virginia.

With regard to the self-styled neutrality of Kentucky, as of other States which had, by this time, passed out of that chrysalis condition into open rebellion, the President forcibly says:

In the Border States, so called — in fact, the Middle States--there are those who favor a policy which they call “armed neutrality;” that is, an arming of these States to prevent the Union forces passing one way, or the Disunion the other, over their soil. This would be disunion completed. Figuratively speaking, it would be building an impassable wall along the line of separation — and yet, not quite an impassable one; for, under the guise of neutrality, it would tie the hands of the Union men, and freely pass supplies from among them to the insurrectionists, which it could not do as an open enemy. At a stroke, it would take all the trouble off the hands of Secession, except only what proceeds from the external blockade. It would do for the Disunionists that which, of all things, they most desire — feed them well, and give them disunion without a struggle of their own. It recognizes no fidelity to the Constitution, no obligation to maintain the Union; and, while very many who favored it are, doubtless, loyal citizens, it is, nevertheless, very injurious in effect.

As to the work directly in hand, the President thus briefly proclaims:

It is now recommended that you give the legal means for making this contest a short and decisive one; that you place at the control of the Government, for the work, at least four hundred thousand men and $400,000,000. That number of men is about one-tenth of those of proper ages within the regions where, apparently, all are willing to engage; and the sum is less than a twenty-third part of the money value owned by the men who seem ready to devote the whole. A debt of $600,000,000 now is a less sum per head than was the debt of our Revolution when we came out of that struggle; and the money value in the country now bears even a greater proportion to what it was then than does the population. Surely, each man has as strong a motive now to preserve our liberties as each had then to establish them.

A right result, at this time, will be worth more to the world than ten times the mien and ten times the money.

The cool assumptions and fluent sophistries of the Confederates, with regard to State Rights, are very frankly and thoroughly handled by the President; but those who are familiar with the teachings of Webster and Jackson on this subject can need no further argument. Mr. Lincoln thus deals with the fiction of “State Sovereignty:”

The States have their status in the Union; and they have no other legal status. If they break from this, they can only do so against law and by revolution. The Union, and not themselves separately, procured their independence and their liberty. By conquest or purchase, the Union gave each of them whatever of independence and liberty it has. The Union is older than any of the States, and, in fact, it created them as States. Originally, some independent colonies made the Union; and, in turn, the Union threw off their old dependence for them and made them States, such as they are. Not one of them ever had a State constitution independent of the Union.


As to the proper division, or partition, of powers between the Federal and the State governments, he says:

Whatever concerns the whole should be confided to the whole — to the General Government; while whatever concerns only the State should be left exclusively to the State. This is all there is of original principle about it. Whether the National Constitution, in defining boundaries between the two, has applied the principle with exact accuracy, is not to be questioned. We are all bound by that defining, without question.

As to the abstract justice and rightfulness of Secession, he says:

What is now combated is the principle that Secession is consistent with the Constitution — is lawful and peaceful. It is not contended that there is any express law for it; and nothing should ever be implied as law which leads to unjust or absurd consequences. The nation purchased, with money, the countries out of which several of these States were formed. Is it just that they shall go off without leave, and without refunding? The nation paid very large sums (in tile aggregate, I believe, nearly a hundred millions) to relieve Florida of the aboriginal tribes. Is it just that she shall now be off without consent, or without making any return? The nation is now in debt for money applied to the benefit of these so-called seceding States, in common with the rest. Is it just, either that creditors shall go unpaid, or the remaining States pay the whole? A part of the present National debt was contracted to pay the old debts of Texas. Is it just that she shall leave, and pay no part of this herself?

Again: If one State may secede, so may another; and when all shall have seceded, none is left to pay the debts. Is this quite just to creditors? Did we notify them of this sage view of ours when we borrowed their money? If we now recognize this doctrine, by allowing the seceders to go in peace, it is difficult to see what we can do if others choose to go, or to extort terms upon which they will promise to remain.

The following illustration of the essential unreasonableness of Secession is ingenious and striking:

If all the States, save one, should assert the power to drive that one out of the Union, it is presumed the whole class of seceder politicians would at once deny the power, and denounce the act as the greatest outrage upon State Rights. But suppose that precisely the same act, instead of being called “driving the one out,” should be called “the seceding of the others from that one:” it would be exactly what the seceders claim to do; unless, indeed, they make the point, that the one, because it is a minority, may rightfully do what the others, because they are a majority, may not rightfully do.

No mention of Slavery as the grand, inciting cause of the Rebellion occurs in this Message; yet there is significance in the fact, stated by the President, that, while all the Free States had been, beyond exception, firm, hearty, and zealous in responding to his calls for troops:

None of the States commonly called Slave States, except Delaware, gave a regiment through regular State organization. A few regiments have been organized within some others of those States, by individual enterprise, and received into the Government service.

But that this is essentially a contest between aristocratic assumption and popular liberty the President perceives, and does not hesitate to declare. He says:

Our adversaries have adopted some declarations of independence, in which, unlike the good old one penned by Jefferson, they omit the words “all men are created equal.” Why? They have adopted a temporary National Constitution, in the preamble of which, unlike our good old one signed by Washington, they omit, “We, the people,” and substitute “We, the deputies of the sovereign and independent States.” Why? Why this deliberate pressing out of view the rights of men and the authority of the people?

This is essentially a people's contest. On the side of the Union, it is a struggle for maintaining in the world that form and substance of government whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men — to lift artificial weights from all shoulders — to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all — to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life. Yielding to partial and temporary departures, from necessity, this is the leading object of the Government for whose existence we contend.

I am most happy to believe that the plain people understand and appreciate this. It is worthy of note that while, in this the Government's hour of trial, large numbers of those in the Army and Navy who have been favored with the offices have resigned, and proved false to the hand that pampered [559] them, not one common soldier or common sailor is known to have deserted his flag.

Great honor is due to those officers who remained true, despite the example of their treacherous associates; but the greatest honor, and most important fact of all, is the unanimous firmness of the common soldiers and common sailors. To the last man, so far as known, they have successfully resisted the traitorous efforts of those whose commands, but an hour before, they obeyed as absolute law. This is the patriotic instinct of plain people. They understand, without an argument, that the destroying the Government which was made by Washington means no good to them.

Our popular government has often been called an experiment. Two points in it our people have already settled: the successful establishing and the successful administering of it. One still remains: its successful maintenance against a formidable internal attempt to overthrow it. It is now for them to demonstrate to the world that those who can fairly carry an election can also suppress a rebellion; that ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets; and that, when ballots have fairly and constitutionally decided, there can be no successful appeal back to bullets; that there can be no successful appeal except to ballots themselves, at succeeding elections. Such will be a great lesson of peace; teaching men that what they cannot take by an election, neither can they take by a war — teaching all the folly of being the beginners of a war.

He concludes his Message with these impressive and memorable words:

It was with the deepest regret that the Executive found the duty of employing the war power, in defense of the Government, forced upon him. He could but perform this duty, or surrender the existence of the Government. No compromise by public servants could, in this case, be a cure; not that compromises are not often proper, but that no popular government can long survive a marked precedent, that those who carry an election can only save the Government from immediate destruction by giving up the main point upon which the people gave the election. The people themselves, and not their servants, can safely reverse their own deliberate decisions.

As a private citizen, the Executive could not have consented that these institutions shall perish; much less could he, in betrayal of so vast and so sacred a trust as these free people had confided to him. He felt that he had no moral right to shrink, not even to count the chances of his own life, in what might follow. In full view of his great responsibility, he has, so far, done what he has deemed his duty. You will now, according to your own judgment, perform yours. He sincerely hopes that your views and your action may so accord with his as to assure all faithful citizens who have been disturbed in their rights, of a certain and speedy restoration to them, under the Constitution and the laws.

And, having thus chosen our course, without guile and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go forward without fear and with manly hearts.

Several of the opening days of the Session were mainly devoted by the House to the consideration of disputed claims to seats — there being rival claimants from Oregon, from Nebraska, and from the Ist district of Pennsylvania, beside three members in all from Virginia, whereof two (Messrs. Carlile and Whaley) were chosen from Western districts, by heavy votes, on the regular day of election; while the other (Mr. Upton) was chosen under different auspices. The Convention which passed the Ordinance of Secession had assumed power to annul or suspend the law which provides that a regular election shall be held, and Members of Congress semi-annually chosen thereat, on the fourth Thursday of May; but the people of West Virginia had treated this action of the Convention as a nullity, not having been ratified by a popular vote, as the law calling the Convention required; and had elected in its despite. Congress approved and sustained this action, and Messrs. Carlile and Whaley held their seats with very little dissent. There was more demur as to Mr. Upton's case-his poll being light, the time and manner of his election irregular, and he having voted in Ohio the preceding November; but he was not unseated. The [560] remaining contests involved no question connected with Slavery or secession. On the 8th, the House, on motion of Mr. Holman (Dem.), of Ind., modified at the suggestion of Mr. Hickman (Republican), of Pa.,

Resolved, That the House, during the present extraordinary session, will only consider bills and resolutions concerning the military and naval operations of the Government, and the financial affairs therewith connected, and the general questions of a judicial character; and all bills and resolutions of a private character, and all other bills and resolutions not directly connected with the raising of revenue, or affecting the military or naval affairs of the Government, shall be referred to the appropriate Committees without debate, to be considered at the next regular session of Congress.

On the 9th, Mr. Lovejoy, of Ill., moved the following:

Resolved, That, in the judgment of this House, it is no part of the duty of the soldiers of the United States to capture and return fugitive slaves.

After a strenuous effort to rule this out of order, as precluded by the resolve before quoted, a vote was taken on a motion of Mr. Mallory, of Ky., that it do he on the table; which was negatived: Yeas 66; Nays 81. Mr. Lovejoy's resolve was then adopted: Yeas 92; Nays 55; [the Yeas all Republicans; Nays, all the Democrat and Border-State conservatives, with Messrs. Sheffield, of R. I., Fenton, of N. Y., Horton, of Ohio, Wm. Kellogg, of Ill., Nixon, of N. J., and Woodruff, of Conn.]

On the 10th, Mr. Clark, of N. H., proposed, and on the 11th the Senate adopted, the following:

Whereas, a conspiracy has been formed against the peace, union, and liberties of the People and Government of the United States; and, in furtherance of such conspiracy, a portion of the people of the States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas, have attempted to withdraw those States from the Union, and are now in arms against the Government; And whereas, James M. Mason and Robert M. T. Hunter, Senators from Virginia; Thomas L. Clingman and Thomas Bragg, Senators from North Carolina; James Chesnut, Jr., a Senator from South Carolina; A. O. P. Nicholson, a Senator from Tennessee; William K. Sebastian and Charles B. Mitchell, Senators from Arkansas; and John Hemphill and Louis T. Wigfall, Senators from Texas, have failed to appear in their seats in the Senate, and to aid the Government in this important crisis; and it is apparent to the Senate that said Senators are engaged in said conspiracy for the destruction of the Union and Government, or, with full knowledge of such conspiracy, have failed to advise the Government of its progress, or aid in its suppression: Therefore,

Resolved, That the said Mason, Hunter, Clingman, Bragg, Chesnut, Nicholson, Sebastian, Mitchell, Hemphill, and Wigfall, be, and they hereby are, each and all of them, expelled from the Senate of the United States.

Messrs. Bayard, of Del., and Latham, of Cal., sought to have this so modified as merely to declare the seats of the indicated Senators vacant and strike their names from the roll; but the Senate rejected the amendment (Yeas 11; Nays 32) and passed the original resolve: Yeas 31 Republicans and McDougall, of Cal.,--in all, 32;

Nays--Messrs. Bayard, Breckinridge, Bright, Johnson, of Mo., Johnson, of Tenn., Latham, Nesmith, Polk, Powell, and Rice--10.

The Vice-President thereupon declared the resolve adopted by a two-thirds vote.

On the 10th, a bill reported from the Committee of Commerce, by Mr. Washburne, of Ill., providing for the collection of revenue from imports — adapting our revenue laws to the state of facts created by a formidable rebellion — authorizing the President to designate other places as ports of delivery instead of those held by Rebels--also, to close, by proclamation, ports so held — to prohibit all intercourse between loyal and insurgent [561] districts, etc. etc.--was passed, under the Previous Question-Yeas 136;

Nays--Messrs. Burnett, (Ky.,) Harding, (Ky.,) Norton, (Mo..) George H. Pendleton, (Ohio,) Reid, (Mo.,) Robinson, (Ill.,) Vallandigham, (Ohio,) Voorhees, (Ind.,) Wadsworth, (Ky.,) and Wood, (N. Y.)--10.

This bill came up in the Senate, on the 12th; and, after a brief debate, was passed: Yeas 36;

Nays--Messrs. Breckinridge, (Ky.,) Bright, (Ind.,) Johnson, (Mo.,) Kennedy, (Md.,) Polk, (Mo.,) and Powell, (Ky.)--6.

The House, on the 10th, likewise passed its first Loan bill — authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to borrow Two Hundred and Fifty Millions of Dollars, for the support of the Government and the prosecution of the War. Mr. Vallandigham, of Ohio, made an elaborate speech, in thorough-going opposition to the bill and to the entire policy of “coercion;” submitting, in reply to a question from Mr. Holman (Dem.), of Ind., the following proposition, as embodying his views touching the general subject, but asking no present action thereon:

Resolved, That the Federal Government is the agent of the people of the several States composing the Union; that it consists of three distinct departments — the legislative, the executive, and the judicial — each equally a part of the Government, and equally entitled to the confidence and support of the States and the people; and that it is the duty of every patriot to sustain the several departments of the Government in the exercise of all the constitutional powers of each which may be necessary and proper for the preservation of the Government in its principles and in its vigor and integrity, and to stand by and to defend to the utmost the flag which represents the Government, the Union, and the country.

Mr. Holman.
While the gentleman censures the Administration, let me ask him whether, with his own constituents, he is resolved that the Union shall be maintained.

Mr. Vallandigham.
My votes shall speak for me on that subject. My position is defined in the resolution just read. I am answerable only to my conscience and to my constituents, and not to the gentleman from Indiana.

The bill passed under the previous question: Yeas 150;

Nays--Messrs. Burnett, of Ky., Norton and Reid, of Mo., Vallandigham, of Ohio, and B. Wood, of N. Y. [The three first-named went over to the Rebels soon after the close of the session.]

On the 11th, the Army Appropriation bill being under consideration in Committee of the Whole, Mr. Vallandigham moved to add this proviso:

Provided, however, That no part of the money hereby appropriated shall be employed in subjugating, or holding as a conquered province, any sovereign State now or lately one of the United States; nor in abolishing or interfering with African Slavery in any of the States.

The proviso was voted down, and the bill (appropriating $161,000,000) reported and passed.

On the 13th, the bill calling out Half a Million Volunteers being under consideration, Mr. Vallandigham moved to add to it (as he had already done in Committee of the Whole) the following:

Provided further, That, before the President shall have the right to call out any more volunteers than are now in the service, he shall appoint seven Commissioners, whose mission it shall be to accompany the army on its march, to receive and consider such propositions, if any, as may at any time be submitted by the Executive of the so-called Confederate States, or of any one of them, looking to a suspension of hostilities, and the return of said States, or any of them, to the Union, or to obedience to the Federal Constitution and authorities.

The amendment was voted down without a division, and the bill passed.

This day, Messrs. John S. Carlile and Waitman T. Willey presented themselves as Senators from the State of Virginia (not the new State of West Virginia, since organized), vice Hunter and Mason, expelled as traitors. They presented credentials, setting forth their appointment by Gov. [562] Pierpont to fill the existing vacancies. Messrs. Bayard and Saulsbury, of Del., strenuously resisted their admission — the former wishing their credentials referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. Mr. Powell, of Ky., also opposed their acceptance as Senators; which was advocated by Messrs. Andrew Johnson, of Tenn., Latham, of Cal., Trumbull, of Ill., Collamer, of Vt., and Ten Eyck, of N. J. Mr. Bayard's motion to refer was voted down: Yeas--Messrs. Bayard, Bright, Polk, Powell, and Saulsbury; Nays 35: And Messrs. Carlile and Willey were then sworn in and took their seats.

On motion of Mr. F. P. Blair, the House this day expelled John B. Clark, a member-elect from Missouri (but who had not taken his seat), because he had

taken up arms against the Government of the United States, and now holds a commission in what is called the State Guard of Missouri, under the Rebel Government of that State. and took part in the engagement at Booneville against the United States forces.

This was adopted (after an attempt to send it to the Committee of Elections), by Yeas 94 to Nays 45, (nearly, but not entirely, a party vote).

On the 15th, Mr. B. Wood, of N. Y., moved that it be

Resolved, That this Congress recommend the Governors of the several States to convene their Legislatures, for the purpose of calling an election to select two delegates from each congressional district, to meet in general Convention at Louisville, in Kentucky, on the first Monday in September next: the purpose of the said Convention to be to devise measures for the restoration of peace to the country.

On motion of Mr. Washburne, of Ill., this was laid on the table: Yeas 92; Nays 51.

Mr. Wm. Allen (Dem.), of Ohio, moved that it be

Resolved, That, whenever the States now in rebellion against the General Government shall cease their rebellion and become loyal to the Union, it is the duty of the Government to suspend the further prosecution of the present war.

Resolved, That it is no part of the object of the present war against the rebellious States to interfere with the institution of Slavery therein.

This was ruled out of order without dissent.

Mr. Vallandigham here moved a long series of resolves, condemning as unconstitutional the increase of the Army, the blockade of the ports of the insurgent States, the seizure of dispatches in the telegraph offices, the arbitrary arrest of persons suspected of complicity with treason, and nearly every important act of the President in resistance to the Rebellion. On motion of Mr. Lovejoy, of Ill., these resolves were unceremoniously laid on the table.

A bill, introduced by Mr. Hickman, of Pa., defining and punishing conspiracies against the United States--providing that persons who conspire to overthrow, put down, or destroy by force, the government of the United States, or to levy war against the same, may be arraigned for trial before any U. S. district or circuit court, and, on due conviction, may be punished by fine not exceeding $5,000, or by imprisonment for not more than six years, was now called up and passed: Yeas 123; Nays 7. Most of the Nays were opposed not to the bill, but to the precipitancy of its passage. The Senate concurred, a few days thereafter, and the bill became a law.

Mr. McClernand (Dem.), of Ill., moved, and the House, by 121 to 5, voted, that

Whereas, a portion of the people of the [563] United States, in violation of their Constitutional obligations, have taken up arms against the National Government, and are now striving, by aggressive and iniquitous war, to overthrow it, and break up the Union of these States: Therefore,

Resolved, That this House hereby pledges itself to vote for any amount of money and any number of men which may be necessary to insure a speedy and effectual suppression of such Rebellion, and the permanent restoration of the Federal authority everywhere within the limits and jurisdiction of the United States.

Nays--Messrs. Burnett, Grider, (Ky.,) Norton, Reid, and Wood--5.

Mr. Potter, of Wise., offered the following, which was adopted:

Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary be directed to inquire whether Hon. Henry May, a Representative in Congress from the fourth district of the State of Maryland, has not been found holding criminal intercourse and correspondence with persons in armed rebellion against the Government of the United States, and to make report to the House as to what action should be taken in the premises; and that said Committee have power to send for persons and papers, and to examine witnesses on oath or affirmation; and that said Hon. Henry May be notified of the passage of this resolution, if practicable, before action thereon by the Committee.

Mr. May, being ill, was not then in his seat; but, the Committee having reported, on the 18th, that no evidence had been presented to them tending to inculpate Mr. May, he took the floor, and made what he termed a personal explanation, avowing that he had been to Richmond on an errand of conciliation and peace, evincing intense hostility to the Administration and the War on its part, and very thorough sympathy, at least, with the Baltimore friends of the Rebels. He said:

At the time I received notice of this accusation, it was under my consideration whether I could, with honor, come here, and enter upon the duties of a Representative upon this floor. The humiliation that I felt at the condition of my constituents, bound in chains; absolutely without the rights of a free people in this land; every precious right belonging to them, under the Constitution, prostrated and trampled in the dust; military arrests in the dead hour of the night; dragging the most honorable and virtuous citizens from their beds, and confining them in forts; searches and seizures the most rigorous and unwarrantable, without pretext of justification; that precious and priceless writ of habeas corpus, for which, from the beginning of free government, the greatest and best of men have lived and died — all these prostrated in the dust; and hopeless imprisonment inflicted without accusation, without inquiry or investigation, or the prospect of a trial — Sir, is there a representative of the people of the United States here in this body, acknowledging the sympathy due to popular rights and constitutional liberty, who does not feel indignant at the perpetration of these outrages?

With regard to his permission to visit Richmond, he said:

I did not feel at liberty to go across the Potomac without permission of the authorities of this Government. And so, I felt it my duty to wait on the Chief Magistrate, and tell him, as I did, most frankly and fully, the objects of my visit. I did not ask for his sanction; 1 did not desire it. I did not wish to embarrass the Chief Magistrate in such away. I had no claim upon his confidence; I had no right to ask him for any commission or authority; but I felt it was my duty to state to him distinctly the objects which governed me, and obtain his permission to cross the Potomac. It was most distinctly understood, between the President and me, that I took no authority front him — none whatever; that I asked for none, and disclaimed asking for any; that I went on the most private mission on which a humble citizen could go. I asked his consent, also, to obtain from the military authorities a pass. Having jurisdiction on the other side of the Potamac, they were to be consulted, and the necessary formalities observed. The President authorized me to say to Gen. Scott that I had conversed with him, and that, while he gave no sanction whatever to my visit to Richmond, he did not object to my going there on my own responsibility.

Mr. May carefully avoided all disclosure of the purport of his conferences with the Rebel chiefs at Richmond; but it was manifest that he visited and was received by, them as a sympathizing friend, and that his [564] communications were not intended to discourage them in their efforts. The conclusion is irresistible, that he went to Richmond hoping to elicit from the Confederate chiefs some proffer, overture, or assent, looking to reunion on their own terms, but had been utterly disappointed and rebuffed. He closed as follows:

Mr. Speaker, all the crime, all the treason of this act, rests on me, and me alone; and I am content, in the sight of high Heaven, to take it and press it to my heart.

Mr. Francis Thomas, of Maryland, replied ably and thoroughly to Mr. May's assaults on the Administration and its policy of “coercion;” pointing to the recent vote of the People of Maryland (44,000 “Union” to 24,000 “Peace” ) as their verdict on the issues whereon the President was arraigned by his colleague. He said:

The apportionment of representatives in the Legislature was made in old colonial times. It has been modified; but, up to this day and hour, the majority of the people of Maryland have no voice in the choice of their Legislature. Under our new Constitution, however, the majority, by a general ticket, elect a Governor; and, at the last election, they elected one responsive to the sentiment that beats warmly in the hearts of the people of Maryland. But the Legislature of Maryland, elected two years ago, not with a view to this issue, have been engaged in embarrassing the Governor in all his measures of policy. One of those measures, which Gov. Hicks thought a very prudent measure under the existing state of things in Maryland, was to collect the arms held by private citizens, without distinction of party. This the Legislature prevented from being carried into execution, and passed a law which goes very far to secure arms in the hands of individuals. Why? If the citizens of Maryland are for warring against the Government, they should not be permitted to have arms. If they are for peace, they do not need them; for the arm of the United States protects them, and the banner of the confederacy floats over them. Why, then, have the Legislature interposed obstructions, by law, to the collection of arms? Do they think it prudent to leave them in the hands of private holders, to be concealed where they cannot be found? It could not be for the purpose of upholding the laws of the Union. It could not be to uphold the statutes of Maryland. The President of the United States is faithful to his duty; and the people of Maryland are faithful to theirs.

The bill providing for the reorganization of the Army being this day before the Senate, Mr. Powell, of Kentucky, proposed to add to it the following:

And be it further enacted, That no part of the Army or Navy of the United States shall be employed or used in subjecting or holding as a conquered province any sovereign State now or lately one of the United States.

Mr. J. H. Lane, of Kansas, moved to amend this, by adding,

Unless a military necessity shall exist in enforcing the laws and maintaining the Constitution of the Union.

A very able and earnest debate arose hereon, wherein Messrs. Powell, Polk, and Bright, on the one hand, and Messrs. Sherman, of Ohio, Browning, of Illinois, Lane, of Kansas, Fessenden, of Maine, etc., on the other, took part. Mr. Lane's amendment was rejected by Yeas 11 (all Republicans) to

Nays--Messrs. Breckinridge, Bright, Browning, Carlile, Doolittle, Fessenden, Foster, Grimes, Hale, Harris, Howe, Johnson, of Tenn., Johnson, of Mo., Kennedy, Latham, McDougall, Morrill, Nesmith, Polk, Powell, Saulsbury, Sherman, Ten Eyck, and Willey--24.

Mr. Sherman, of Ohio, now moved the following as a substitute for Mr. Powell's proposition:

And be it further enacted, That the purposes of the military establishment provided for in this act are to preserve the Union, to defend tile property, and to maintain the constitutional authority, of the Government.

This was adopted, after debate; Yeas 33; Nays 4. [Breckinridge and Powell, of Ky., Johnson and Polk, of Missouri.]

As Mr. Powell's amendment was thus superseded, Mr. Breckinridge [565] now moved the following, as an addition to the amendment just adopted:

But the Army and Navy shall not be employed for the purpose of subjugating any State, or reducing it to the condition of a Territory or province, or to abolish Slavery therein.

This was rejected by the following vote:

Yeas--Messrs. Breckinridge, Bright, W. P. Johnson, of Mo., Kennedy, Latham, Nesmith, Polk, Powell, and Saulsbury--9.

Nays--Messrs. Anthony, Bingham, Browning, Carlile, Chandler, Clark, Collamer, Cowan, Doolittle, Fessenden, Foot, Foster, Grimes, Hale, Harlan, Harris, Howe, Johnson, of Tenn., King, Lane, of Ind., Lane, of Kansas, McDougall, Morrill, Pomeroy, Sherman, Sumner, Ten Eyck, Wade, Willey, and Wilson--30.

The original amendment was then rejected, so as to strike out all these declaratory propositions, and leave the bill as it came from the Committee of the Whole; when it was engrossed, read a third time, and passed.

Bearing in mind that this debate occurred three days before the battle of Bull Run, that it was initiated by a pro-Slavery Democrat from Kentucky, and that it occurred when loyal men still generally and confidently expected that the Rebellion would soon be suppressed, leaving Slavery intact, it may be well to note some of the significant intimations which it elicited from the more conservative Republicans; as follows:

Mr. Dixon (of Conn.) “Mr. President, the Senator from Kentucky [Mr. Powell] has alluded to remarks of mine, and has said that I have declared on this floor, that, if it were necessary to abolish Slavery in order to save the Union, Slavery should be abolished. Mr. President, I have said no such thing. What I said was this: that, if the war should be persisted in, and be long protracted, on the part of the South, and, in the course of its progress, it should turn out that either this Government or Slavery must be destroyed, then the people of the North--the conservative people of the North--would say, ‘Rather than let the Government perish, let Slavery perish.’ That is what I said; and I say it now,and shall continue at all times to say the same; not, by any means, as a threat, but as a warning and an admonition.”

Mr. Browning (of Ill.) Mr. President, I cannot say, in common with the Senator from Virginia [Mr. Carlile], that I regret that this amendment has been proposed to the Senate. I shall certainly vote against it; it does not meet my views, nor receive my approbation; but it may still be well that it has been offered; as it affords us an opportunity of comparing notes, understanding the opinions of each other, and giving the country at large a distinct understanding of what the purpose and intentions of the Congress of the United States are. I speak only for one; I intend to speak very briefly, but very plainly, my sentiments on this subject.

I differ, furthermore, from the Senator from Virginia, in the supposition that the institution of Slavery has had nothing to do in involving the country in the calamities which now press upon it. Had it not been for the sentiments and opinions which are engendered, fostered, and cherished by the institution of Slavery, I cannot persuade myself to believe that there ever would have been found a disloyal heart to the American Constitution upon the American continent. I believe that the whole trouble has grown out of the institution of Slavery, and its presence among us; and (as I remarked) the sentiments and opinions which it necessarily engenders, fosters, and cherishes. The war, it is true, is not a war for the extermination of Slavery. With the institution of Slavery where it exists, the General Government has nothing, as a Government, to do; nor has the General Government ever assumed the power of, in any shape or manner, controlling the institution of Slavery, or its management, in the States where it exists. The General Government has never been aggressive either upon the Slave States or upon the institution of Slavery. These troubles have all grown out of precisely the opposite — not the aggressions of the General Government, or of the Free States--but out of the aggressions of Slavery itself, and its continual struggles for expansion and extension to countries where it had no right to go, and where our fathers never intended it should go. If Slavery had been content to remain where the Constitution placed it — if it had been content with the privileges and immunities which the Constitution guaranteed to it — the Free States and the Slave States of this Union could have lived together in a perpetual bond of fraternity.

Mr. President, History gives no instance, in my judgment, of such long-suffering and forbearance as there has been, not by the, people of the Slave States, but as there has been exhibited by the people of the Free [566] States of this Union, in the endurance of outrages, wrongs, and oppressions, that they have suffered at the hands of that institution, and those who maintain the institution, and have suffered from their strong and enduring devotion to the General Government — to the institutions that our fathers achieved for us, and transmitted to us. I think I should not be at all mistaken in asserting that, for every slave that has ever been seduced from the service of his owner, by the interference of citizens of the Free States with the institution where it exists, more than ten free white men of the Free States of this Union have been outraged — every privilege of freedom trodden upon — every right of person violated — by lawless mobs in the Slave States. We have borne all this uncomplainingly; we have borne it without a murmur, because we were willing to bear it — willing to make the sacrifice, for the sake of the glorious institutions that were the common property and common blessing of us all.

Mr. President, we have not invited this war: the people of the loyal States of the Union are in no degree responsible for the calamities that are now upon the country: we gave no occasion for them. There is, in the history of man, no instance of so stupendous a conspiracy, so atrocious a treason, so causeless a rebellion, as that which now exists in this country; and for what purpose? What wrong had we ever done to the Slave States, or to the institution of Slavery? I have heard, in all the assaults that have been made on this Administration, no single specification of one injustice that they had ever suffered at the hands of the General Government, or at the hands of the Free States, or of the people of the Free States.

Mr. President, I am not prepared to admit, either — as some gentlemen take pains to explain — that this is not a war of subjugation. If it is not a war of subjugation, what is it? What was it set on foot for, if it is not for the sole, identical purpose of subjugating the atrocious Rebellion that exists in the country?

Mr. Sherman. My friend will allow me?

Mr. Browning. Certainly.

Mr. Sherman. My friend misunderstood my language. I said distinctly that it was not the purpose of this war to subjugate a State, a political community; but I will go as far as he or any other living man to up-hold the Government against all rebellious citizens, whether there be one or many of them in a State. If nine-tenths of the people of any State rebel against the authority of this Government, the physical power of this Government should be brought to reduce those citizens to subjection. The State survives; and, I have no doubt, the State of South Carolina, and the State of Florida, and the State of Virginia, will be represented on this floor long after the honorable Senator and I have filled the mission allotted to us.

Mr. Browning. I trust so. I will not stop to deal with technicalities; I care not whether you call it the subjugation of the people or the subjugation of the State, where all the authorities of a State, where all tile officers, who are the embodiment of the power of the State, who speak for the State, who represent the government of the State, where they are all disloyal and banded in treasonable confederation against this Government, I, for one am for subjugating them; and you may call it the subjugation of the State, or of the people, just as you please. I want this Rebellion put down, this wicked and causeless treason punished, and an example given to the world that will teach them that there is a power in tile freemen of this continent to maintain a constitutional government.

Why, Mr. President, it is just a struggle to-day — the whole of this fight is about that, and nothing else — whether there shall be any longer any such thing as government on this continent or not; and the very moment that the doctrine of Secession, the very moment that the astounding heresy of Secession, is admitted, in any sense or in any degree, government is overthrown; because, if there he any such thing as a right existing in a State to secede at any time at her will — causelessly to dismember this Union and overthrow this Government — there is an end to all constitutions and all laws; and it is a struggle to-day for the life of the nation. They have assailed that life: we have not done it; and all that the Government has done, and all that the Administration proposes to do, is in necessary self-defense against assaults that are made upon the very life of the nation. ** * Now, Mr. President, one thing more. It is better that people everywhere should understand precisely what is going on, what has happened, and what is to happen. For one, I should rejoice to see all the States in rebellion return to their allegiance; and, if they return, if they lay down the arms of their rebellion, and come back to their duty and their obligations, they will be as fully protected now, and at all times hereafter, as they have ever been before, in all their rights, including the ownership, use, and management of slaves. Let them return to their allegiance; and I, for one am now for giving to the Slave States as fully and completely all the protection of the Constitution and laws as they have ever enjoyed in any past hour of our existence.

But, sir, let us understand another thing. As I have already said, the power [567] to terminate this war now is not with us. The power is with us, but not to terminate it instantly. We will terminate it, if it is not terminated, as it should be, by those who began it. But, sir, I say, for one--I speak for myself, and myself only, but I believe, in so speaking, I utter the sentiments which will burst from every free heart in all the Northern States of the confederacy — that, if our brethren of the South do force upon us the distinct issue--‘Shall this Government be overthrown, and it and all the hopes for civil liberty, all the hopes for the oppressed and down-trodden of all the despotisms of the earth, go down in one dark, dreary night of hopelessness and despair?’--if they force upon us the issue whether the Government shall go down, to maintain the institution of Slavery, or whether Slavery shall be obliterated, to sustain the Constitution and the Government for which our fathers fought and bled, and the principles that were cemented in their blood — I say, sir, when the issue comes, when they force it upon us, that one or the other is to be overthrown, then I am for the Government and against Slavery; and my voice and my vote shall be for sweeping the last vestige of barbarism from the face of the continent. I trust that necessity may not be forced on us; but, when it is forced upon us, let us meet it like men, and not shrink from the high and holy and sacred duties that are laid upon us, as the conservators not only of government, but as the conservators of the eternal principles of justice and freedom for the whole human family.

It is better, Mr. President, that we should understand each other; and I repeat, in conclusion, that, when the issue comes — and if it comes — it comes because it is forced upon us; it comes upon us as a hard, unwelcome necessity — I trust we shall be found adequate to the emergency; I trust that our hearts will not fail us in the day of that terrible conflict — for it is to be a terrible one, if this war goes on. If rebellion does not recover of its madness — if American citizens will continue so infatuated as to prosecute still further this unnatural war against the best and most blessed Government that the world has ever known — this issue may be forced upon us. I say it is not true, as gentlemen have ventured to assert, that, if it were known by the people of the great Northwest that, in any possible contingency, this war might result in the overthrow and extermination of Slavery, they would no longer give their support to this Government. If it were known or believed by the people of the great Northwest that this Government should become so recreant to its duties as to shrink from meeting that great question, when forced upon us, in my opinion, they would descend in an avalanche upon this Capitol, and hurl us from the places we should be unworthy to fill.

We do not desire this issue; we do not want this necessity; but we have no power to prevent it; and it is better that the people everywhere should understand that, if the necessity is forced upon us, our choice is promptly, instantly, manfully made, and made for all time — that we make the decision, and we will abide by the decision, to stand by the government ; and, if it does go down — if not only this nation, but the great brotherhood of mankind everywhere, is to witness that unspeakable and unheard of calamity of the overthrow of constitutional government here — let us go down in a manly effort to sustain and uphold it, and to sweep away the causes that brought upon us all this trouble. * * * *

Mr. Carlile, of Va., having demurred to these views, Mr. Browning rejoined, as follows:

If he understood me as announcing any wish or any intention that this war should be a war waged against Slavery, he totally misapprehended my meaning.

Mr. Carlile. I did not so understand the Senator.

Mr. Browning. For I took especial pains to say that I would rejoice to see this war terminated; and, if the institution still existed when it is terminated, I should be for giving it then, as we had always done heretofore, in the best faith in the world, every possible protection that the Constitution and laws intended it should have; but that, if the issue was forced upon us — as it might be — to make a choice between the Government, on the one side, and Slavery on the other, then I was for the Government.

Mr. Sherman, of Ohio. I do not under-stand either the Senator from Kansas on my right, or the Senator from Connecticut, or the Senator from Kansas behind me, to say that it is the purpose of this war to abolish Slavery. It is not waged for any such purpose, or with any such view. They have all disclaimed it. Why, then, does the Senator [Mr. Powell] insist upon it? I will now say, and the Senator may make tile most of it, that, rather than see one single foot of this country of ours torn from the national domain by traitors, I will myself see the slaves set free; but, at the same time, I utterly disclaim any purpose of that kind. If the men who are now waging war against the Government, fitting out pirates against our commerce, going back to the old mode of warfare of the middle ages, should prosecute this Rebellion to such an extent that there [568] is no way of conquering South Carolina, for instance, except by emancipating her slaves, I say, Emancipate her slaves and conquer her rebellions citizens; and, if they have not people there enough to elect members of Congress and Senators, we will send people there. Let there be no misunderstanding my position; I wish it distinctly understood; but, at the same time, I utterly disclaim that it was any purpose, or idea, or object of this war to free the slaves. On the contrary, I am in favor of the Constitution as it is; I am in favor of giving the people — the loyal people — of the Southern States, every constitutional right that they now possess. I voted last Winter to change the Constitution for their benefit — to give them new guarantees, new conditions. I would not do that now; but I did last Winter. I will give them all the Constitution gives them, and no more.

Mr. John J. Crittenden, of Ky., on the 19th, submitted to the House the following:

Resolved by the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States, That the present deplorable civil war has been forced upon the country by the Disunionists of the Southern States now in revolt against the constitutional Government, and in arms around the capital; that, in this national emergency, Congress, banishing all feeling of mere passion or resentment, will recollect only its duty to the whole country; that this war is not waged, on our part, in any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor purpose of over-throwing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those States; but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution, and to preserve the Union, with all the dignity, equality, and rights, of the several States unimpaired; and, as soon as these objects are accomplished, the war ought to cease.

Mr. Stevens, of Pa., objecting,

The resolution could not be considered forthwith; but it was taken up on Monday, and, on motion of Mr. Burnett, of Ky., divided — the vote being first taken on so much of the resolution as precedes and includes the word “capital,” which was adopted by. Yeas 121; Nays--Messrs. Burnett and Reid--(Rebels:) when the remainder was likewise adopted: Yeas 117; Nays--Messrs. Potter, of Wis., and Riddle, of Ohio--(Republicans.) Mr. Burnett declined to vote.

It is worthy of record that on this sad day, while Washington, crowded with fugitives from the routed Union Grand Army, seemed to he at the mercy of the Rebels, Congress legislated calmly and patiently throughout; and the House, on motion of Mr. Vandever, of Iowa, unanimously

Resolved, That the maintenance of the Constitution, the preservation of the Union, and the enforcement of the laws, are sacred trusts which must be executed; that no disaster shall discourage us from the most ample performance of this high duty; and that we pledge to the country and the world the employment of every resource, national and individual, for the suppression, overthrow, and punishment of Rebels in arms.

Mr. Andrew Johnson, of Tenn., on the 24th, moved in the Senate a resolution identical with that of Mr. Crittenden, so recently adopted by the House; which was zealously opposed by Messrs. Polk and Breckinridge, and, on special grounds, by Mr. Trumbull, who said:

As that resolution contains a statement which, in my opinion, is untrue, that this capital is surrounded by armed men, who started this revolt, I cannot vote for it. I shall say “Nay.”

I wish to add one word. The revolt was occasioned, in my opinion, by people who are not here nor in this vicinity. It was started in South Carolina. I think the resolution limits it to a class of persons who were not the originators of this Rebellion.

But the resolution was nevertheless adopted, by the following vote:

Yeas--Messrs. Anthony, Browning, Chandler, Clark, Cowan, Dixon, Doolittle, Fessenden, Foot, Foster, Grimes, Harlan, Harris, Howe, Johnson, of Tenn., Kennedy, King, Lane, of Ind., Lane, of Kansas, Latham, Morrill, Nesmith, Pomeroy, Saulsbury, Sherman, Ten Eyck, Wade, Wilkinson, Willey, and Wilson-30.

Nays--Messrs. Breckinridge, Johnson, of Mo., Polk, Powell, Trumbull--5.

This day, the Senate considered a bill to confiscate property used for [569] insurrectionary purposes by persons engaged in rebellion or forcible resistance to the Government; and Mr. Trumbull, of Ill., moved the following amendment:

And be it further enacted, That whenever any person, claiming to be entitled to the service or labor of any other person, under the laws of any State, shall employ such person in aiding or promoting any insurrection, or in resisting the laws of the United States, or shall permit him to be so employed, he shall forfeit all right to such service or labor, and the person whose labor or service is thus claimed shall be thenceforth discharged therefrom — any law to the contrary notwithstanding.

This proposition was advocated by Mr. Ten Eyck, of N. J., who had opposed it two days before, in Committee, but who now urged its passage on the assumption that slaves had been engaged on the Rebel side in the battle of Bull Run. Mr. Pearce, of Md., earnestly opposed it, saying:

It will inflame suspicions which have had much to do with producing our present evils; will disturb those who are now calm and quiet; inflame those who are restless; irritate numbers who would not be exasperated by any thing else; and will, in all probability, produce no other real effect than these. Being, then, useless, unnecessary, and irritating, it is, in my opinion, unwise.

The vote was then taken, and the amendment adopted: Yeas 33; Nays — Breckinridge and Powell, of Ky., Johnson and Polk, of Mo., Kennedy and Pearce, of Md.--6. The bill was then engrossed, read a third time, and passed.

When this bill reached the House, it encountered a most strenuous and able opposition from Messrs. Crittenden and Burnett, of Ky., Vallandigham and Pendleton, of Ohio, and Diven, of N. Y.

Mr. Cox, of Ohio, moved (August 2d) that the bill do he on the table; which was negatived: Yeas 57; Nays 71.

Mr. Thaddeus Stevens closed a vigorous speech in its favor with this impressive admonition:

If this war is continued long, and is bloody, I do not believe that the free people of the North will stand by and see their sons and brothers and neighbors slaughtered by thousands and tens of thousands by rebels, with arms in their hands, and forbear to call upon their enemies to be our friends, and to help us in subduing them. I, for one, if it continues long, and has the consequences mentioned, shall be ready to go for it, let it horrify the gentleman front New York [Mr. Diven] or anybody else. That is my doctrine: and that will be the doctrine of the whole free people of the North before two years roll around, if this war continues.

As to the end of the war, until the Rebels are subdued, no man in the North thinks of it. If the Government are equal to the people — and I believe they are — there will be no bargaining, there will be no negotiation, there will be no truces with the Rebels, except to bury the dead, until every man shall have laid down his arms, disbanded his organization, submitted himself to the Government, and sued for mercy. And, sir, if those who have the control of the Government are not fit for this task, and have not the nerve and mind for it, the people will take care that there are others who are — although, sir, I have not a bit of fear of the present Administration or of the present Executive.

I have spoken more freely, perhaps, than gentlemen within my hearing might think politic; but I have spoken just what I felt. I have spoken what I believe will be the result; and I warn Southern gentlemen that, if this war is to continue, there will be a time when my friend from New York [Mr. Diven] will see it declared by this free nation that every bondman in the South--belonging to a Rebel, recollect; I confine it to them — shall be called upon to aid us in war against their masters, and to restore this Union.

The bill was now recommitted, on motion of Mr. Pendleton, of Ohio; and an attempt by Mr. Stevens to reconsider this decision was defeated by laying on the table — Yeas 71; Nays 61. It was reported back next day from the Judiciary Committee by Mr. Bingham, of Ohio, so amended as to strike out the section relating to slaves — adopted on motion of Mr. [570] Trumbull as aforesaid — and insert instead the following:

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That, whenever hereafter, during the present insurrection against the Government of the United States, any person claimed to be held to labor or service, under the laws of any State, shall be required or permitted by the person to whom such labor or service is claimed to be due, or by the lawful agent of such person, to take up arms against the United States, or shall be required or permitted by the person to whom such service or labor is claimed to be due, or his lawful agent, to work or be employed in or upon any fort, navy-yard, dock, armory, ship, or intrenchment, or in any military or naval service whatever, against the Government and lawful authority of the United States, then, and in every such case, the person to whom such service is claimed to be due shall forfeit his claim to such labor, any law of the State or of the United States to the contrary notwithstanding; and whenever thereafter the person claiming such service or labor shall seek to enforce his claim, it shall be a full and sufficient answer to such claim, that the person whose service or labor is claimed had been employed in hostile service against the Government of the United States, contrary to the provisions of this act.

Mr. Bingham called for the previous question on the reading of the bill, as thus amended, which was seconded. Mr. Holman, of Indiana, moved that the bill be laid on the table; which was beaten: Yeas 47; Nays 66. The amendment of the Judiciary Committee was then agreed to; the bill, as amended, ordered to be read a third time, and passed, as follows:

Yeas--Messrs. Aldrich, Alley, Arnold, Ashley, Babbitt, Baxter, Beaman, Bingham, Francis P. Blair, Samuel S. Blair, Blake, Buffinton, Chamberlain, Clark, Colfax, Frederick A. Conkling, Covode, Duell, Edwards, Eliot, Fenton, Fessenden, Franchot, Frank, Granger, Gurley, Hanchett, Harrison, Hutchins, Julian, Kelley, Francis W. Kellogg, William Kellogg, Lansing, Loomis, Lovejoy, McKean. Mitchell, Justin S. Morrill, Olin, Pot-ter, Alex. H. Rice, Edward H. Rollins, Sedgwick, Sheffield, Shellabarger, Sherman, Sloan, Spaulding, Stevens, Benj. F. Thomas, Train, Van Horne, Verree, Wallace, Charles W. Walton, E. P. Walton, Wheeler, Albert S. White, and Windom--60.

Nays--Messrs. Allen, Ancona, Joseph Baily, George H. Browne, Burnett, Calvert, Cox, Cravens, Crisfield, Crittenden, Diven, Dunlap, Dunn, English, Fouke, Grider, Haight, Hale, Harding, Holman, Horton, Jackson, Johnson, Law, May, McClernand, McPherson, Mallory, Menzies, Morris, Noble, Norton, Odell, Pendleton, Porter, Reid, Robinson, James S. Rollins, Sheil, Smith, John B. Steele, Stratton, Francis Thomas, Vallandigham, Voorhees, Wadsworth, Webster, and Wickliffe--48.

The bill, thus amended, being returned to the Senate, Mr. Trumbull moved a concurrence in the house amendment, which prevailed by the following vote:

Yeas--Messrs. Anthony, Bingham, Browning, Clark, Collamer, Dixon, Doolittle, Fessenden, Foot, Foster, Grimes, Hale, Harris, King, Lane, of Ind., Lane, of Kansas, McDougall, Sherman, Simmons, Sumner, Ten Eyck, Trumbull, Wade, and Wilson--24.

Nays--Messrs. Breckinridge, Bright, Carlile, Cowan, Johnson, of Mo., Latham, Pearce, Polk, Powell, Rice, and Saulsbury--11.

Mr. Clark, of New Hampshire, submitted5 the following:

Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Conyress assembled, That we, as representatives of the people and States, respectively, do hereby declare our fixed determination to maintain the supremacy of the Government and the integrity of the Union of all these United States; and to this end, as far as we may do so, we pledge the entire resources of the Government and people, until all rebels shall submit to the one and cease their efforts to destroy the other.

Which was adopted: Yeas 34; Nays 1--Mr. Breckinridge.

Mr. S. S. Cox, of Ohio,6 asked the House to suspend its rules to enable him to offer the following:

Whereas, it is the part of rational beings to terminate their difficulties by rational methods, and, inasmuch as the differences between the United States authorities and the seceding States have resulted in a civil war, characterized by bitter hostility and extreme atrocity; and, although the party in the seceded States are guilty of [571] breaking the national unity and resisting the national authority: Yet,

Be it resolved, First: That, while we make undiminished and increased exertions by our Navy and Army to maintain the integrity and stability of this Government, the common laws of war, consisting of those maxims of humanity, moderation, and honor, which are a part of the international code, ought to be observed by both parties, and for a stronger reason than exists between two alien nations, inasmuch as the two parties have a common ancestry, history, prosperity, glory, Government, and Union, and are now unhappily engaged in lacerating their common country. Second: That, resulting from these premises, while there ought to be left open, as between two alien nations, the same means for preventing the war being carried to outrageous extremities, there ought, also, to be left open some means for the restoration of peace and Union. Third: That, to this end — the restoration of peace and union on the basis of the Constitution — there be appointed a Committee of one member from each State, who shall report to this House, at its next session, such amendments to the Constitution of the United States as shall assuage all grievances, and bring about a reconstruction of the national unity; and that, for the preparation of such .adjustment, and the conference requisite for that purpose, there be appointed a commission of seven citizens of the United States, consisting of Edward Everett, of Massachusetts, Franklin Pierce, of New Hampshire, Millard Fillmore, of New York, Reverdy Johnson, of Maryland, Martin Van Buren, of New York, Thomas Ewing, of Ohio, and James Guthrie, of Kentucky, who shall request from the so-called Confederate States the appointment of a similar commission, and who shall meet and confer on the subject in the city of Louisville, on the first Monday of September next. And that) the Committee appointed from this House notify said Commissioners of their appointment and function, and report their action to the next session, as an amendment of the Constitution of the United States, to be proposed by Congress to the States for their ratification, according to the fifth article of the Constitution.

The House refused to suspend: Yeas 41; Nays 85.

Mr. Waldo P. Johnson,7 of Mo., proposed (Aug. 5th) to add to the bill providing for an increase of the Engineer Corps the following:

And be it further enacted, That this Congress recommend the Governors of the several States to convene their Legislatures for the purpose of calling an election to select two delegates from each Congressional district, to meet in general Convention at Louisville, in Kentucky, on the first Monday in September next; the purpose of the said Convention to be to devise measures for the restoration of peace to our country.”

Mr. Carlile, of Va. “Mr. President, there is no one, perhaps, within the limits of the Union, who is more anxious that peace should be restored to our country than I am; but, sir, in the presence of a large, organized army, engaged in an effort to overthrow the institutions of the country, and permanently to divide these States that have so long existed as one people, I do not think any such proposition as this ought to be made until that army shall be disbanded, and until an offer to meet those who desire peace shall be made to them by those who are engaged in this Rebellion. I cannot, therefore, entertaining these views, vote for the amendment offered by the Senator from Missouri--not that I would not go as far as he will go, or any other Senator on this floor, to allay the strife in our land; but I think that propositions of this kind, coming from the Senate of the United States at this hour, are inopportune; and, instead of aiding the effort that may be made for peace, they will prolong the civil war that is now raging in the country.”

Mr. Mcdougall, of Cal. “I wish merely to amend the remark made by the Senator from Virginia. He says this proposition would be inopportune. I say it would be intensely cowardly.”

Mr. Johnson's proposition was rejected by the following vote:

Yeas--Messrs. Bayard, Breckinridge, Bright, Johnson, of Mo., Latham, Pearce, Polk, Powell, and Saulsbury--9.

Nays--Messrs. Baker, Browning, Carlile, Chandler, Clark, Collamer, Cowan, Dixon, Doolittle, Fessenden, Foot, Foster, Grimes, Harris, Howe, King, Lane, of Ind., Lane, of Kansas, McDougall, Morrill, Rice, Sherman, Sumner, Ten Eyck, Trumbull, Wade, Wilkinson, Wilmot, and Wilson--29.

The bill increasing the pay of soldiers being that day under consideration, Mr. Wilson, of Mass., moved to add the following:

And be it further enacted, That all the acts, proclamations, and orders of the President [572] of the United States, after the 4th of March, 1861, respecting the Army and Navy of the United States, and calling out or relating to the militia or volunteers from the States, are hereby approved, and in all respects legalized and made valid, to the same intent, and with the same effect, as if they had been issued and done under the previous express authority and direction of the Congress of the United States.

The amendment was agreed to, and the bill thereupon passed, as follows: Yeas 33;

Nays--Messrs. Breckinridge, Kennedy, Polk, Powell, and Saulsbury--5.

This bill was, the same day, reconsidered, and the above amendment, being moved afresh, was again adopted: Yeas 37;

Nays--Messrs. Breckinridge, Bright,Kennedy, Pearce, and Powell--5.

So the amendment was once more agreed to, and the bill passed.

The bill being thus returned to the House, Mr. Vallandigham moved to strike out the above section, which was defeated by the following vote:

Yeas--Messrs. Allen, Ancona, George H. Browne, Calvert, Cox, Crisfield, Jackson, Johnson, May, Noble, Pendleton, James S. Rollins, Sheil, Smith, Vallandigham, Voorhees, Wadsworth, Ward, and Webster--19.


The bill was thereupon passed.

Mr. Calvert, of Md., offered the following:

That, whilst it is the duty of Congress, by appropriate legislation, to strengthen the hands of Government in its efforts to maintain the Union and enforce the supremacy of the laws, it is no less our duty to examine into the original causes of our dissensions, and to apply such remedies as are best calculated to restore peace and union to the country: Therefore, it is

Resolved (The Senate concurring herein), that a Joint Committee, to consist of nine members of this House and four members of the Senate, be appointed to consider and report to Congress such amendments to the Constitution and laws as may be necessary to restore mutual confidence and insure a more perfect and endurable Union amongst these States.

This proposition was laid on the table: Yeas 72; Nays 39--nearly a party division. And Mr. Diven, of N. Y., thereupon asked the unanimous consent of the House to enable him to offer the following:

Resolved, That, at a time when an armed rebellion is threatening the integrity of the Union, and the overthrow of the Government, any and all resolutions or recommendations designed to make terms with armed rebels are either cowardly or treasonable.

Mr. Vallandigham objected; and the House refused to suspend the rules: Noes 36; Ays 56--not two-thirds.

The session terminated by adjournment at noon, August 6th, having lasted but thirty-three days.

1 The Representatives from Kentucky had been chosen a few weeks before at a special election, wherein nine districts elected “conservative” or pro-Slavery Unionists, while the 1st reelected, by a considerable majority, Henry C. Burnett, a Secessionist, who only served through the Extra Session, and then fled to participate openly in the Rebellion. The only remaining district seriously contested was the 8th (Fayette, Bourbon, etc.), which elected John J. Crittenden (Union) over William E. Simms (late Democrat, now Secessionist), by 8,272 to 5,706. The aggregate vote of the State showed a preponderance of more than two to one for the Union.

2 The members from this State had been chosen in August, 1860: five of them as Democrats; one (Francis P. Blair,) as a Republican; another (James S. Rollins) as a Bell-Everett Unionist. One of the Democrats had already gone over to the Rebellion, as two more of them did afterward.

3 Maryland had very recently chosen her Representatives at a special election, wherein each district elected a professed Unionist — the 6th (south-western) by barely 162 majority. But Henry May, elected as a Democrat over Winter Davis in the Baltimore city district, by 8,424 votes to 6,214, received the unanimous and ardent support of tho Secessionists, and, as afterward appeared, for very good reasons.

4 Delaware had elected George P. Fisher (Unionist), in 1860, by the combined vote of the Lincoln and Bell parties — giving him 257 majority over Biggs (Breckinridge); while Reed (Douglas) drew away 761 votes.

5 July 25, 1861.

6 July 29th.

7 Who, with his colleague, Trusten Polk, openly joined the Rebels soon afterward.

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