Scenes in the Federal Congress.
the negro question.
A late number of the Baltimore sun furnishes the proceedings of the Northern Congress on the 14th of March, some portion of which we copy:
On motion of Mr. Trumbull
, the joint resolution from the House
for affording aid to States undertaking emancipation, was taken up
, of Del, took the floor Rethought
this the most extraordinary resolution ever introduced into the American Congress--extraordinary in its character, and especially in its origin.
It was not only extraordinary, but he doubted its patriotism.
It was a contradiction of the avowed purpose of the party in power — a party which, He thanked God, he had never belonged to, and it was certain that he never would.
That party, however, had declared here that it had no intention to interfere with the rights of the States of any section.
Yet here was a measure of unmistakable interference, in violation of that pledge — proposing action in regard to a domestic institution of the slave States.
Have they asked your aid?
No. Then your proffer is indelicate, to say the least.
He related that during the late s of the Legislature of Delaware
a printed bill had found its way to that-body, proposing the issue of $300,000 of bonds for emancipation in Delaware
The measure was there scouted.
This bill, he had learned, had its origin in Washington
He thought it at well that Congress should wait to hear from the people of the slave States on this subject, before inaugurating measures — and coming as they do in this volunteer way, he could but regard them as part of the scheme for keeping alive the general and slavery agitation, and extend it into the border States.
This fall, in the election in Delaware
, the list is sought to be made of emancipation, on the pretence that the General Government
generously orders pecuniary aid. Thus the question of the abolition of slavery was to be intensified in the border slave States.
was to be given this inducement.
Was not this an interference, not by direct but by indirect means ? On this idea, supposing the proposition to be sincere, the country would pleasant the spectacles of going into the whole sale negro business.
The proposition had been rejected once in his State.
He could force it directly to Federal authority, and yet here it was made to them a second time.
He now in the name of his people again rejected it. When the people of Delaware
desired to lacerate the balance of the few slave they have, they will do it in their own way, in their own time, and at their own They would ask no aid of the General Government
With this proposition fairly before the people of Delaware
as the Republican
policy, the loyal men of that State--supposing they will be allowed the opportunity of a fair election — will sweep it on rely out of their borders.
The loyal men, he repeated, would do this; the Constitution
loving men — for those only who support and uphold the Constitution
as it is are loyal Those who attack it in such measures violative of its provisions as this, are not loyal.
S. cited the language of the resolution — that the United States
"ought" to compensate, &c.--as indefinite and not binding, and as allowing that the whole thing was intended as a delusion, and that the indemnity would never actually be made.
If it was honestly latened, why should not the resolution declare, in express terms, that compensation will or shall be made ? He had no idea that it ever could be. The purpose was general emancipation.
With the immense burden of debt which this was will pile up, the people of the free States will never candent to the large additional imposition for this scheme of emancipation.
He didn't believe that those who proposed it expected that they would.
As to the power of Congress to appropriate money in such a case the Judiciary Committee, who recommended the passage of the resolution, and who are supposed to be learned in the law, had not enlightened them regard to it, and no man of national reputation in the country had ever declared that Congress had such powers.
, of Ky.
, moved to Strage out all after the word "that" in the resolution, and proposed a substitute.
D. said he had not fully made up his mind in regard to the power of Congress to a propriate money for such a purpose an emancipation, but if such a measure was thought desirable, the States might first adopt an amendment to the Constitution
for authority for such appropriations.
The morning hour here expired, and the bill for the relief of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia, came up as the special order.
The question was on the amendment of Mr. Doolittle
to the proposed amendment of Mr. Davis
, for compulsory colonization of the liberated slaves beyond the United States
, and appropriating $100,000 therefore, Mr. Doolittle
desiring to make it apply only for those who voluntarily choose to colonize in Hayti or Liberia
or other countries.
said that he denied, under the Constitution
, the power of Congress either to abolish slavery in the District
, or appropriate money for buying or colonizing negroes.
The question was taken on Mr. Doolittle
's amendment to the amendment, and it was adopted — yeas 33, nays 16.
In answering to his name, Mr. Powell
, of Ky.
, said he should vote for the amendment, out would vote against the bill.
When Mr. Saulsbury
's name was called, he said he should vote on no such measure.
The following is the vote on Mr. Doolittle
, Browning Chandler
, Davis. Dixon
of ind., Lane
, Tea Eyck
, Trumbult, Wade
, Carille, Fessenden
of Mass, Wilson
Not voting or absent, Messrs Foster
, and Willey
The amendment then stood as follows:
"And be it further enacted,
That the sum of $00,000, out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, shall be expended, under the direction of the President
of the United States
, to aid in the colonization and settlement of all persons liberated under this act and such free people of African
descent now residing in said district as may desire to emigrate to the Republic
of Hayti or Liberia
, or such other country beyond the limits of the United States
as the President
may determine: Provided, that the cost shall not exceed $100 for each person colonized."
The motion was now on the amendment as above amended, and the vote being taken, resulted — yeas 19, nays 19, as follows:
, Ten Kyck, Trumbull
, Wad, Wilkis son, Wilmot
, wilson of Mass--19.
This being a tie, the Vice President
gave the casting vote in the negative, and the amendment as amended was rejected.
In addition to those not voting before, Mr. Bayard
, of Delaware
, refrained this time.
, of Md, rose and said, in behalf of his colleague, (Mr. Pearot
,) that he was a absent from sickness.
that took the floor and spoke at length against the whole measure, promising that he had only offered the amendment he did and voted as he did with the view of rendering the bill as little objectionable as possible.
He proceeded to argue the absence of all power in Congress to abol slavery any where, and in repelling the idea of Mr. Pomeroy
, of Kansas
, that slavery did not exist in this District by law, argued that slaves were held as all other property, just as lands, horses, etc. The law presumed the existence of property, and protected it as such in possession.
He cited ancient authorities as well as modern, on this subject-- Mr.
D. in this connection passed to the consideration of the constitutional provision on the subject of appropriating private property for public uses.
Tale could only be done in cause or circularity, with full compensation.
How, then, could slaves be taken any more than lands, in the arbitrary way proposed that as price one half their value?.
The rule of the Constitution
was of double force as applied to slaves, as property can only be taken for public use. Of what use are liberated slaves to be to the Government
D. spoke at length, touching a great variety of topics and finally (turning towards Mr. Sumner
, of Mass.
,) asked what right had the laws of Theodore Parker
, and such others, to be forced upon the people of this District ? Had they not the same right to their own opinions as those philanthropies ? True and philosophic principles, he said, had been announced on this subject by the gentleman from Wisconsin
, (Mr. Doolittle
) to the effect that the negro and white faces never could live and associate to together on us quality.
Let the propel of this District than say for themselves at least, whether they will have these negroes among them when they have been liberated.
If you will not allow them to vote as to whether they will own slaves or not, at least do not compel them to enjoin on our quality with the free negroes.
He want into statistics to show how largely the number of free negroes had increased in the District
having increased, according to the recent of 1860 to over 11,000, and probably since this war commenced there are several thousand more here now in addition.
They would not be here, he supposed, in the halls of Congress crowding out the white ladies and gentlemen attending here.
He would not speak for the army of the Potomac, but for that of the West
he knew he could declare that they regarded the people of the souths having a rightful property in their slaves, and were opposed, to the purpose here enunciated and at least two-birds of them never would have entered the army offer the disaster of Boll Run if they had supposed they would be aiding in carrying out such schemes?
Having now got this great army by representations of a desire to restore the Union
on the basis of the Constitution
was it to be shown that it had been deceived and mustered in on false pretenses ? Mr.
D. inclosing, declared that the people of this District were not free — bad not as much freedom as the slaves here proposed to be freed.
They had no representatives of their own choosing, and therefore were to be sacrificed He mentioned the cause of one (Mrs. Bell
) who owned five slaves, yielding her each from $150 to $300 per year, whom now it was intended to take from her at $300 a piece.
wilson, of Mass, got the floor, and on his motion, the bill was postponed until to-morrow.
, of B. I, from the Committee
on Navel Affairs, reported on the communication from the Secretary of the Navy
relative to the removal of the Naval Academy from Annapolis
, with a resolution for the appointment of a joint committee of the two Houses to consider the subject of the future location of the Academy.
The Senate then went into executive session, and subsequently adjourned.
House of Representatives.
, of Va.
, rose to a privileged question.
He said he desired to present the credentials of Hon. Joseph Segar
, as representative elect from the first congressional district of the State of Virginia
, and ask that he (Mr. Segar
) be sworn in.
, of Mass.
--Let the credentials be read.
, of Ohio
, thought this election was not in accordance with the laws of Virginia
, and therefore he would move to refer the whole matter to the Committee
The speaker put the question, but only 40 members voting in the affirmative and 23 in the negative, not a quorum--
, of Ohio
, moved a call of the House
; agreed to
Various excuses were given for absentees.
The papers in the case were then referred.
, of Ill.
, introduced a bill to render freedom general and silvery sectional.
, offered a resolution that the Committee
on Ways and Peans be instructed to inquire into the expediency of the Government
organizing a large force and sending them to the Western
mines for the purpose of working the same, for the benefit of the Government
, in defraying the expenses of the war. Adopted.
[A Washington letter, speaking of the debate in the Senate on the resolution from the House
, founded on the President
's message recommending aid for emancipation in the States which may desire it, says: ‘The prospect is that it will be concurred in, but with opposition from Senators
from slave holding States.’