and scope to protect the property of the United States
on the high seas.
seem to think it is no violation of the Constitution
to make war on your Government, and when its enemies are stationed in sight of the capital, there is no alarm, no dread, no scare, no fright.
Some of us would not feel so very comfortable if they were to get this city.
I believe there are others who would not be very much disturbed.
I do not think I could sleep right sound if they were in possession of this city; not that I believe I am more timid than most men, but I do not believe there would be much quarter for me; and, by way of self-protection, and enjoying what few rights I have remaining, I expect it would be better, if they were in possession of this city, for me to be located in some other point not too inconvenient or too remote.
I believe there are others who would feel very comfortable here.
Then, Mr. President
, in tracing this subject along, I cannot see what great wrong has been committed by the Government
in taking the course it has taken.
I repeat again, this Government is now passing through its third ordeal; and the time has arrived when it should put forth its entire power, and say to the rebels and traitors, wherever they are, that the supremacy of the Constitution
and laws made in pursuance thereof shall be sustained; that those citizens who have been borne down and tyrannized over, and who have had laws of treason passed against them in their own States, threatened with confiscation of property, shall be protected.
I say it is the paramount duty of this Government to assert its power and maintain its integrity.
I say it is the duty of this Government to protect those States, or the loyal citizens of those States, in the enjoyment of a republican form of government, for we have seen one continued system of usurpation carried on from one end of these Southern States to the other, disregarding the popular judgment, disregarding the popular will, setting at defiance the judgment of the people, disregarding their rights, paying no attention to their State Constitutions in any sense whatever.
We are bound, under the Constitution
, to protect those States and their citizens.
We are bound to guarantee to them a republican form of government; it is our duty to do it. If we have no Government, let the delusion be dispelled, let the dream pass away, and let the people of the United States
and the nations of the earth know at once that we have no government.
If we have a government, based on the intelligence and virtue of the American
people, let that great fact be now established, and once established, this Government will be on a more enduring and permanent basis than it ever was before.
I still have confidence in the integrity, the virtue, the intelligence, and the patriotism of the great mass of the people; and so believing, I intend to stand by the Government
of my fathers to the last extremity.
In the last Presidential contest I am free to say that I took some part.
I advocated the pretensions and claims of one of the distinguished sons of Kentucky
, as a Democrat.
I am a Democrat to-day; I expect to die one.
My Democracy rests upon the great principle I have stated; and in the support of measures I have always tried to be guided by a conscientious conviction of right; and I have laid down for myself, as a rule of action in all doubtful questions, to pursue principle; and in the pursuit of a great principle I can never reach a wrong conclusion.
I intend, in this case, to pursue principle.
I am a Democrat, believing the principles of this Government are Democratic.
It is based upon the Democratic
I believe Democracy can stand, notwithstanding all the taunts and jeers that are thrown at it throughout the Southern Confederacy.
The principles which I call Democracy — I care not by what name they are sustained, whether by Republicans, by Whigs, or not — are the great principles that lie at the foundation of this Government, and they will be maintained.
We have seen that so far the experiment has succeded well; and now we should make an effort, in this last ordeal through which we are passing, to crush out the fatal doctrine of Secession and those who are cooperating with it in the shape of rebels and traitors.
I advocated the professions of a distinguished son of Kentucky
at the late election, for the reason that I believed he was a better Union man than any other candidate in the field.
Others advocated the claims of Mr. Bell
, believing him to be a better Union man; others those of Mr. Douglas
In the South
we know that there was no Republican ticket.
I was a Union man then; I was a Union man in 1833; I am a Union man now. And what has transpired since the election in November last that has produced sufficient cause to break up this Government?
enumerated the facts up to the 25th day of May, 1860, when there was a vote taken in this body for the protection of slave property in the Territories
Now, from the 6th of November up to the 20th of December, tell me what transpired of sufficient cause to break up this Government?
Was there any innovation, was there any additional step taken in reference to the institution of slavery?
If the candidate whose claims I advocated had been elected President
— I speak of him as a candidate, of course not meaning to be personal — I do not believe this Government would have been broken up. If Stephen A. Douglas
had been elected, I do not believe this Government would have been broken up. Why?
Because those who advocated the pretensions of Mr. Lincoln
would have done as all parties have done heretofore; they would have yielded to the high behest of the American
Then, is the mere defeat of one man, and the election of another according to the forms of law and the Constitution
, sufficient cause to break up this Government?
No; it is not