previous next

Confederate Congress.
first session.


Tuesday, February 25, 1862

The Senate met at 12 o'clock M. Prayer by Rev. M. D. Huge, of the Presbyterian Church.

Standing committees.

Mr. Hunter stated, that at an informal meeting of the Senate, after adjournment yesterday, a committee was appointed to prepare a list of the Standing Committees. He presented from that committee the following report, which was read and concurred in by the Senate:

The first mentioned member of each committee was constituted the Chairman thereof.

Indian Affairs.

On motion of Mr. Johnson, of Ark, the bill presented by him yesterday relative to the Red River and Arkansas Indian Superintendencies was referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.

Suspension of the Tariff.

Mr. Sparrow, of La., presented joint resolutions adopted by the Legislature of Louisiana in favor of suspending the collection of duties on foreign imports during the blockade, or during the war. He also submitted a resolution, which was adopted, directing the Committee of Finance to inquire into the expediency of the proposed suspension.

Cotton and tobacco.

On motion of Mr. Phelan, of Mississippi, it was.

Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs be instructed to inquire into the expediency of taking possession and control, by the Government, of all the cotton, tobacco, and other products, within the limits of the Confederate States, with a view to the destruction of said products, or any portion thereof whenever the same may be threatened with capture by the enemies of the country; and that said committee report, as soon as possible, by bill or otherwise.

The Roanoke Island disaster.

Mr. Dortch, of N. C., presented a resolution adopted by the State Convention of North Carolina, relative to the Roanoke Island affair, which, on motion of Mr. Orr, of S. C., was referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.

Message from the President.

A message from His Excellency, the President, by his Private Secretary, was received, and laid upon the table, to be read in Executive session.

Joint Committee.

A resolution from the House of Representatives for the appointment of joint committees, was taken up and concurred in.

On motion of Mr. Barnwell, the Vice President was authorized to appoint said committees on the part of the Senate.

On motion of Mr. Sparrow, the Senate went in to Executive session, and after a brief sitting with closed doors, adjourned.

House of Representatives.

Tuesday, Feb. 25, 1862.

The House met at its usual hour, Mr. Speaker Bocock in the Chair. Prayer by Rev. Dr. Burrows, of Richmond. Journal of yesterday read and agreed to.

The Speaker announced the regular standing committees, published elsewhere.

  • Mr. Clopton, of Ala., offered a bill to regulate the appointment of officers, which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
  • Mr. Chilton, of Ala., submitted several resolutions of inquiry.
  • Mr. Hanley, of Ark., offered a resolution to admit J. P. Johnson, a contestant for a seat in this House, to the privileges of the floor. Adopted, except as to secret sessions.
  • Mr. Dawkins, of Fla., presented certain resolutions adopted by the Legislature of that State. They related in part to the arrearages of pay due to mail contractors. Referred to Committee on Post-Offices and Post Roads
  • Mr. Gartrell, of Ga., presented resolutions of that State, relative to the pay of officers and soldiers of the army. Referred to Committee on Military Affairs.
  • Mr. Crockett, of Ky., offered certain resolutions relating to the military service of the country, which, on his motion, were laid on the table for the present.
  • Mr. Perkins, of La., offered a bill for the admission, duty free, for a limited time, of all imports, save from the United States.--Referred to the Committee of Ways and Means.
Also, a bill for allowing to members of the Cabinet seats upon the floor of Congress, in accordance with the provisions of Article VI., See 6 of the Constitution, and asked that it might pass at once.

Mr. Foote, of Tenn., favored the bill. He thought it among the wisest provisions of the Constitution, that the members of the Cabinet should be allowed to defend their measures upon the floor of Congress. But he had, and should maintain, that the bestowal and exercise of this right implied that if the Cabinet should, after such defence, be deliberately voted down on a vital question, it would become the imperative duty of such Cabinet to resign, and give place to others who should be in accord with the popular sentiment as thus indicated. A refusal thus to yield to public opinion, deliberately expressed, after careful consideration, would justify a civil revolution. He did not propose to mend the bill, but deemed it right to say, in supporting it, that he did so with the intention of maintaining for it the construction indicated.

Mr. Smith, of Virginia, inquired if Mr. Foots considered the resignation of the President involved in this forced resignation of his Cabinet?

Mr. Foote said not. The resignation of the English Ministers did not involve the abdication of the British Queen.

Mr. Smith supposed that no analogy could be drawn between a hereditary sovereign and an elective President. He wished to know what became of the President's constitutional right to appoint and control his Cabinet advisers.

Mr. Foote had no fear that a President would ever defy public sentiment by retaining a Cabinet after popular condemnation of its policy.

Mr. Perkins, to avoid discussion, named the printing of the bill, and its further consideration was postponed for the present.

Mr. Garnett hoped a day would be fixed for its consideration. He objected to some of the sentiments expressed by the gentleman from Tennessee.

Mr. Perkins proposed to postpone until Thursday.

Mr. Lyons hoped a later day would be fixed. He could never yield his assent to such doctrines as those advanced by gentlemen from Tennessee.

Mr. Perkins said that the President, and not his Cabinet officers, was responsible, and solely responsible, for the policy of his Administration. He agreed to postpone until Friday

Mr. Chilton, of Alabama, moved to refer the bill to the Judiciary Committee.

Mr. Lyons wished an opportunity afforded him to offer an amendment securing the right to the members of the House to put questions to the Cabinet officers on the floor, and have them answered.

Mr. Garnett opposed the reference. He thought the bill was perfectly simple, and needed not the labors of a committee.

Mr. Chilton desired the reference as the shortest mode of disposing of the subject. The great interests of the country required action. It was more important to secure the Government than to spend time upon abstractions.

Mr. Foote opposed the reference, and wished to act upon the bill now.

Mr. Swann moved to postpone till to-morrow. Motion not agreed to.

The motion to postpone till Friday was also lost; and the motion to refer the bill to the Judiciary Committee adopted.

Mr. Marshall, of La., offered a resolution to authorize the President to destroy cotton and tobacco when necessary to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy. Referred to Committee on Military Affairs.

Mr. Conrad, of La., offered an amendment calling upon loyal citizens to effect this destruction, with the promise of compensation by the Confederate Government.

Mr. Kenner, of La., offered a resolution repealing the rule by which the House is now resolved into secret session. Referred to Committee on Rules on motion of Mr.

Mr. Davis, or Miss., submitted several bills

relative to the military service, which were appropriately referred.

Mr. McDowell, of N. C., offered a resolution for the establishment of a mint. Referred.

Mr. Davidson, of N. C., presented several memorials, which were referred.

On motion of Mr. Smith, of N C., seconded by Mr. Lyons, of Va., the House went into secret session. After some time spent therein the doors were opened.

The joint resolution of Mr. Smith, of Va., for the prevention of intemperance in the army, were discussed at some length, and, on his motion, referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.

Mr. Bell, of Mo., was appointed on the Military Committee in the place of Mr. Harris, of the same State, who is absent.

The House then adjourned.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
B. F. Smith (4)
Phelan (4)
J. M. Perkins (4)
Foote (4)
Dortch (4)
Yancey (3)
Wigfall (3)
Sparrow (3)
Thomas G. Peyton (3)
Oldham (3)
Mitchell (3)
Maxwell (3)
Lyons (3)
Marmaduke Johnson (3)
Hill (3)
Jefferson Davis (3)
Chilton (3)
Baker (3)
Simms (2)
Semmes (2)
Preston (2)
Orr (2)
Hunter (2)
Haynes (2)
William Keep Garnett (2)
Clay (2)
Clark (2)
G. R. Burnett (2)
James Brown (2)
Swann (1)
Post Offices (1)
McDowell (1)
Mike Marshall (1)
Kenner (1)
J. P. Johnson (1)
Harris (1)
Hanley (1)
Gartrell (1)
Foots (1)
Dawkins (1)
Davidson (1)
Crockett (1)
Conrad (1)
Clopton (1)
Clarke (1)
Burrows (1)
Bocock (1)
Bell (1)
Barrett (1)
Barnwell (1)
Barn (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
February 25th, 1862 AD (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: