Report of the Committee on their loyalty, made July 31, 1861.
The Committee appointed to investigate, ascertain, and report to the House
the number of persons, with the names thereof, now employed in the several departments of the Government
who are known to entertain sentiments of hostility to the Government
of the United States
, and who have refused to take the oath to support the Constitution of the United States
, beg leave to report in part to the House
The Committee have given to the inquiry all the attention which their limited time and the pressure of other duties would allow, but have as yet scarcely advanced beyond its threshold.
They have, however, examined a large number of witnesses, and have no hesitation in saying that the testimony adduced has been of such a character as to fully justify the action of the House
in the premises, and to show the imperative necessity of the investigation which has been instituted.
The Committee, though prepared to believe that the popular conviction in respect to the general unsoundness of the Departments in the particulars referred to was well founded, yet must confess that they have been astonished at the number and aggravation of the well-authenticated cases of disloyalty to the Government
, which in the course of their investigation, have been brought to their notice.
That persons should be thus disloyal to a Government which has confided to them its sacred trusts, in whose employ they have found support for themselves and families, and to which their fidelity is due by every consideration which appeals not only to the honor of the public officer, but to the honesty of the man, and that such persons should be retained in office, and in some instances retained where the facts have been brought to the knowledge of those who have the power of removal, must be the occasion of profound grief and humiliation to every patriotic and loyal heart.
And their retention in office, especially in the present critical condition of the Government
, can be justified by no assumed necessity or convenience of the public service, and may well excite the honest indignation of the country.
The Committee, while prepared to make these general statements, which are concurred in by every member of the Committee
, find that it will be impossible to complete the work assigned to them and make a report thereof within the probable limits of present session.
They therefore ask leave to sit during the recess of Congress, and ask the adoption of the accompanying resolution.