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[461] West will follow the prosecution of this contest. You may look forward to innumerable armies and countless treasure to be spent for the purpose of carrying on this contest, but it will end in leaving us just where we are now; for, if the forces of the Union are successful, what on earth will be done with theta after they are conquered? Are not gentlemen perfectly satisfied that they have mistaken a people for a faction? Have they not become satisfied that it is necessary to subjugate, conquer, even to exterminate a people? Don't you know it? Don't everybody know it? Does not the world know it? Let us pause, then, and let the Congress of the United States respond to the uprising feeling all over this land in favor of peace. War is separation, in the language of an eminent Senator, now no more. It is disunion.--eternal, final disunion. We have separation now, and it is only much worse by war, and the utter extinction of all those sentiments which might lead to reunion. But let the war go on, and soon in addition to the moans of the widows and orphans all over this land, you will hear the cry of distress from those who want for food, and the comforts of life. The people will be unable to pay the grinding taxes which a fanatical spirit will attempt to impose upon them. Let the war go on, and the Pacific slope, now doubtless devoted to the Union, when they find the burden of separate conditions, then they will separate. Let it go on, until they see the beautiful pictures of the Confederacy beaten out of all shape and comeliness by the war, and they will turn aside in disgust. Fight for twelve months, and this feeling will develop itself. Fight for twelve months more, and you will have three Confederacies instead of two. Fight for twelve months more, and we will have four. But I will not enlarge upon this. I am quite aware that what I say will be received with sneers of disgust by gentlemen from the North-west and the East, but the future will determine who is right and who is wrong. We are making a record here. I am met by the sneers of nearly all those who surround me. I state my opinions with no approving voices, and surrounded by scowls; but the time will come when history will put her private seal upon these proceedings, land I am perfectly willing to abide her final judgment.

Mr. Baker--Mr. President, it has not been my fortune to participate in at any length, indeed, not to hear very much of the discussion which has been going on — more I think in the hands of the Senator from Kentucky than anybody else — upon all the propositions connected with this war; and, as I really feel as sincerely as he can an earnest desire to preserve the Constitution of the United States for everybody, South as well as North, I have listened for some little time past to what he has said, with an earnest desire to apprehend the point of his objection to this particular bill. And now — waiving what I think is the elegant but loose declamation in which he chooses to indulge — I would propose, with my habitual respect for him, (for nobody is more courteous and more gentlemanly,) to ask him if he will be kind enough to tell me what single particular provision there is in this bill which is in violation of the Constitution of the United States, which I have sworn to support--one distinct, single proposition in the bill.

Mr. Breckinridge--I will state, in general terms, that every one of them is, in my opinion, flagrantly so, unless it may be the last. I will send the Senator the bill, and he may comment on the sections.

Mr. Baker--Pick out that one which is in your judgment most clearly so.

Mr. Breckinridge--They are all, in my opinion, so equally atrocious that I dislike to discriminate. I will send the Senator the bill, and I tell him that every section except the last, in my opinion, violates the Constitution of the United States; and of that last section I express no opinion.

Mr. Baker--I had hoped that that respectful suggestion to the Senator would enable him to point out to me one, in his judgment, most clearly so, for they are not all alike — they are not equally atrocious.

Mr. Breckinridge--Very nearly. There are ten of them. The Senator can select which he pleases.

Mr. Baker--Let me try then, if I must generalize as the Senator does, to see if I can get the scope and meaning of this bill. It is a bill providing that the President of the United States may declare, by proclamation, in a certain given state of fact, certain territory within the United States to be in a condition of insurrection and war; which proclamation shall be extensively published within the district to which it relates. That is the first proposition. I ask him if that is unconstitutional? That is a plain question. Is it unconstitutional to give power to the President to declare a portion of the territory of the United States in a state of insurrection or rebellion? He will not dare to say it is.

Mr. Breckinridge--Mr. President, the Senator from Oregon is a very adroit debater, and he discovers, of course, the great advantage he would have if I were to allow him, occupying the floor, to ask me a series of questions, and then have his own criticisms made on them. When he has closed his speech, if I deem it necessary, I may make some reply. At present, however, I will answer that question. The State of Illinois, I believe, is a military district; the State of Kentucky is a military district. In my judgment, the President has no authority, and, in my judgment, Congress has no right to confer upon the President authority, to declare a State in a condition of insurrection or rebellion.

Mr. Baker--In the first place, the bill does not say a word about States. That is the first answer.

Mr. Breckinridge--Does not the Senator

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