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The slavery question in the Federal Congress.
speeches from Jim Lane and John S. Carlile.
Abolition of slavery the object of the war.
&c., &c., &c.

In our edition of yesterday we gave a short synopsis of the proceedings in the Washington Congress on the 17th inst., in which reference was made to a debate on the negro question between Jim Lane, of Kansas notoriety, and John S. Carlile, the Virginia traitor. The New York Herald, of the 18th, has a full report of the speeches, the main points of which we subjoin:

Mr. Lane, (Rep.,) of Kansas, called up the resolution that the Secretary of War be requested to furnish to the Senate copies of the orders for the erection of barracks for Kansas troops. Mr. Lane said:--Mr. President, I do not desire to conceal my motive in introducing this resolution. As a citizen and a Senator I have the right of criticizing the acts of the Government; and I mean to exercise it with the full flush of a truthful patriotism — kindly but fearlessly, cordially but searchingly. I will waste no words. I do not wish uselessly to consume your time. But the hour is when truth should be spoken in these halls, and that plainly. I declare, then, as a fact which all financiers will admit and no statesman dispute, that every day's delay in the vigorous prosecution of this war is pregnant with peril to the Republic. Sir, this is a war of the people. When Sumter fell they became a unit. Party prejudices were scattered, personal hates forgotten. Roused by their wrongs, they proffered their strength and pledged all their resources to avenge an injustice which threatened to destroy the freest Government of earth. Manassas followed — a fearful reverse, and seemingly a fatal defeat. But even that did not dash the spirit nor shake the purpose of the people. The balk of the moment, the blood and treasure lost, only deepened their determination to crush out the conspiracy. Such unity, such ardor, such sacrifices, the world has rarely or never witnessed. Sir, let me not be misunderstood in this matter of delay. My confidence in the Administration will not permit me for a moment seriously to entertain the injurious suspicion that this army we have created — so admirable in spirit and discipline, so complete in all its appointments — this magnificent organization, to which the country has contributed its choicest spirits, and on which it has lavished untold millions of treasure — is destined, without one decisive blow struck, to a living burial in the inglorious obscurity of winter quarter! But should this confidence prove to be misplaced — should this fatal policy of inaction seize upon the energies of our, rulers. I feel, I know, that the public announcement of the fact will be as the fire-bell at midnight. Dismay and confusion will follow, and the evils of anarchy may interpose new and fearful obstacles to the restoration of that Government whose chief peril must always result from the loss of confidence on the part of the people. Fortunately, the people are as intelligent as they are patriotic. They do not require impossibilities, nor insist upon premature action. And thus we are brought to the consideration of the questions of strength and preparation. Why is our army inactive? Will it be answered that it is still deficient in discipline? That reply would be as unjust as it is illogical. Ours is an army of volunteers, who must not be judged by the rules applied to regulars. You cannot drill it into that mere machine which martinets consider the perfection of efficiency. The citizen soldier is an individual; no amount of discipline can destroy his individuality. Four months of industrious drill is ample time to prepare such troops for effective service. Prolonged inactivity will finally discourage his zeal. The prospect of action must be ever present as an incentive. Inaction is the bane of the volunteer.

These opinions I express with confidence, for I have had a large personal experience in the management of volunteer soldiers. The training of two distinct regiments during the Mexican war, with subsequent labors in Kansas, and the campaigns of the last spring and summer in Missouri, have given me a practical knowledge on this subject entitled to consideration. The regiments that fought and won the battle of Buena Vista were not as well provided as the Army of the Potomac, and not better drilled. Sir, I have witnessed the drill of that Army, and I am satisfied that it has reached the maximum of discipline attainable by volunteers, and that every day of inaction now tends to its demoralization. While, also, as regards discipline, we are as fully prepared for action as we ever shall be. We have the advantage of superiority in that respect to the enemy.

Every unprejudiced observer during the Mexican war will testify that the regiments from the North, in the excellence of their drill, far exceeded those from the States now in rebellion. Our opponents are formidable only when their individuality can be shown while fighting under cover — as at Manassas, Springfield, and Ball's Bluff. Operating in mass, on the open field, we can always conquer — as at Dry Wood, where four hundred Kansas troops checked and drove back ten thousand rebels; and of these facts the Confederates themselves are fully aware. Recently, at Spring river, eight hundred Kansas troops encountered six thousand rebels, covered by that stream and six miles of timber. This handful of heroic men offered a fight on the open prairie, which was declined by the enemy — either because they expected us to repeat the folly of attacking them in their timber stronghold, or feared a defeat without its protection. It will require on our part rapidity of movement and boldness of strategy to force them into a battle on the open field. So much for inefficiency. That heroic veteran, the late Lieutenant-General of the army, now forced by age and infirmity into a retirement made glorious by the memories of a long life of patriotism and triumph, announced the fact that the ides of October would see his column prepared to move. Hence, it is impossible not to believe that they are by this time complete in arms, equipment, means of transportation, and every other physical appliance of service. Why, then, do they tarry? If Napoleon, with sixty thousand undisciplined recruits, scaling the frozen fastnesses of the Alps, and avoiding their hostile fortifications, could, in five weeks, reach the plains of Lombardy, pierce the Austrian lines, and annihilate the army of Melas, a hundred and twenty thousand strong, on the field of Marengo, thereby emancipating the whole of Italy, shall it be said that we cannot surmount the hills of Virginia and Kentucky, in spite of their defences, and, penetrating to the heart of the rebellion, strike in detail their armies — inferior to our own in numbers, arms, equipment, discipline and all that constitutes the true soldier, and stretched along a line of over two thousand miles in extent — destroying the heterogeneous hosts as we go, or scattering them in consternation, and restore to the rule of the republic those fair regions now cursed by a usurpation more intolerable than that of the Austrian, and which holds in bonds of terror even those wretched men who are committed to its support? Mr. President, to doubt our ability is disgraceful. Let it not be said that the snows of winter are upon us. If Washington could march his barefooted soldiers over the frozen roads of New Jersey, their footsteps marked with blood, and in the middle of winter cross the Delaware, filled with floating ice, can we not, at the same season, move our well clad legions towards the mild valleys of the South, to re-establish that freedom which their sufferings secured? Will you wait till spring, when the roads, if ever, will become impassable? or till our troops shall have been decimated by the diseases of summer? No. Clear this war of the doubts that surround its purpose; give to the volunteer a battle cry; cherish that enthusiasm which is indispensable to success, and which nerved the conscripts of Napoleon to the achievement of victory without reference to disparity of numbers, See that your volunteers are not thrown upon artillery without preparation; they must see the guns, count them, hear the whistle of their balls, and thus prepared, no strength of fortifications can resist them; they are the most effective troops on earth. ****** The occupation of the rebel States by our army is a military necessity. I laugh to scorn the policy of wooing back the traitor to their allegiance by seizing and holding unimportant points in those States. Every invitation extended to them in kindness is an encouragement to stronger resistance. The exhausting policy is a failure; so long as they have four million slaves to feed them, so long will this rebellion be sustained. My word for it, sir, long before they reach the point of exhaustion the people of this country will lose confidence in their rulers. And it is unreasonable to expect the loyal citizens of the rebel States to manifest their desire to return to their allegiance while their homes and families are in the power of their oppressors. Did the Italians welcome Napoleon till he had expelled their tyrants, and thereby proved his ability to protect them? So with the people of the disloyal States; march your armies there; engage and scatter the forces of the enemy; whip somebody; evidence your ability to protect the loyal citizens, their homes and families, and then, and not till then, will they rally to your standard by thousands and tens of thousands. I have alluded, Mr. President, to the slave population of the rebel states. It is claimed by the friends of slavery that the institution is a source of military strength. The slaves are made not only to feed and clothe their oppressors, but to build fortifications for their defence, and even in some cases to bear arms in their service. The slaveholders are right, and they are wrong; the institution is an element of strength, but only while it exists. Withdraw that element, and this rebellion falls of its own weight.--The masters will not work, and they must eat. Now, they are fighting to retain their slaves, exposing their lives and the lives of their sons. Suppose we had their slaves; to what lengths would they not go in an opposite direction, in the hope to recover them? They would bow down in dutiful submission, even to Abraham Lincoln himself. In my opinion, the obtaining possession of those slaves by the Government would be more effective in crushing out the rebellion than the seizure, if it could be made, of every ounce of ammunition they possess. As the fear of losing their slaves is now the incentive to war, so would then the desire for their recovery be the inducement for peace.--March your armies into the heart of their Confederacy — win one victory — oppose kindness to cruelty, and as the peasantry of France rallied to the standard of Napoleon on his return from Elba, so will the slaves, with one impulse, flock to ours. The General who commands that army will be received with the same acclaim as was Bonaparte; they will hail him as their liberator and friend, and by their very numbers will secure safety to his army. No trouble, then, in obtaining information of the enemy's operations. Interested in our success — grateful as they will be faithful — every movement will instantly be reported, endangering their champions and protectors Peace will be restored, and the cause of the war removed; and then, in these halls, in the interests of humanity and a united country, we can deliberate and do justice. Mr. President, in my opinion, the policy of fortifications should be discarded. A capital dependent on such protection is not worth preserving; the only sufficient bulwark for its defence is formed by the loyal breasts of our citizen soldiery. Think no more of barracks for winter quarters; our troops do not desire them. Cheat yourself no longer with the delusive idea that your camps are still schools of instruction; henceforward your lessons must be taught in the field. Advance rapidly, and strike boldly. The country is favorable; the climate invites; the cause demands. Advance, and all is accomplished; the Government is saved, and freedom is triumphant.

Mr. Carlile, (Union,) of Va.--I imagine, Mr. President, that the Senate and the country, after the speech of the Senator from Kansas, will be convinced that the President of the United States has made a very great mistake. By the Constitution he is made the Commander-in-Chief of our armies, and he selects the commander who is to lead those armies in the field, and the mistake is that he did not select the Senator from Kansas as that commander. It is very easy for brave gentlemen in their private rooms, or on the carpeted floors of the halls of Congress, to criticise military movements. But, sir, I think there is one principle which, if not good military sense, according to the Senator from Kansas, is at least good common sense, that is, that where the advantages of a victory would not half compensate for the disasters of a defeat. We should hesitate long before we give battle. I believe if defeated now the consequences of the defeat would be more disastrous to the country than any benefits which are likely to be obtained from any impatient onward movement. I believe that the great body of the people throughout the nation are willing to rely upon the wisdom and discretion of the executive power, and to wait until they are ready to move. But, sir, I was surprised to hear from that Senator that twenty millions of loyal people are unable to contend with the five millions now in rebellion, counting all the whites in the rebellious States without liberating the four million slaves in those States. Sir, that is a confession of weakness I am unwilling to make. We were unaccustomed to language like this a year or two ago, and it now comes from the same gentleman who told us then that these four million slaves were an element of weakness; the same gentleman who then laughed at the threatened dissolution, and said that the South could not be kicked out of the Union. Sir, this is an effort on the part of the Federal Government to suppress insurrection and to put down rebellion, and while it is your duty to put down rebels, it is equally your duty to protect the innocent and unoffending citizen. You cannot wage an indiscriminate war upon the people of the slaveholding States without trampling under foot the solemn obligations of that Constitution which binds this Union together. I have sat here sir, and been modified, and my heart has sunk within me in seeing the precious moments consumed in slavery agitation in this body. May we not reasonably charge to this unwarranted agitation of this question the very troubles which are now staring us in the face? This rebellion had its origin in motives beyond and outside of this question of slavery. I know it has been used as a pretext by those who originated this rebellion in order to obtain the physical power necessary to enable them to attempt the accomplishment of ther unholy purposes. If this is to be a war for the liberation of slaves, it will not be a constitutional struggle for the maintenance of the Union and of the rights of the people of the States under it; but it will be a war for the overthrow of the Constitution; it will be an inhuman and unholy crusade against American constitutional liberty. Convince the loyal people of this country that this is not a struggle for constitutional liberty, and not for the Union, but that it is an effort to prostitute the powers of the Government for the purpose of destroying the rights of the people of the States, and depriving them of all the rights guaranteed by a common Constitution, formed by a common ancestry. Convince them that your army is to be turned into an army of negro thieves, and you will see that army disappear as rapidly as the snow melts away under a Southern sun. The charge was made when the attempt w made to organize this rebellion, that a person had been elected who would make war against the Constitution and the rights of the people under it. Establish this line of conduct which is now sought to be inaugurated in this chamber, and you will make that charge true, and you will alienate the hearts of loyal people all over the country. This is an honest struggle, and an honest President tells us that it is not to be prostituted into a war upon the rights of people in the States, and not to be used to rob and plunder citizens of their property acknowledged to be such by State authority. But it is to be, as it was originally declared to be, an effort to put down wicked men who have banded themselves together and used the power of the State government against the people, which had been placed in their hands in a time of profound peace to be used for the public good. If the Union is ever to be restored, it is to be done through the action of loyal people in the rebel States. Relieve those people by your army, and your Union will be speedily restored. But if you attempt the exercise of an unconstitutional power by the liberation of their slaves, you will strike down every loyal man in the slaveholding States, and there will not one be left to tell the story of the Union. I am willing to trust to the President as an honest patriot, who told us in the beginning, and who tells us now, that, by virtue of his oath, he must preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.

Mr. Lane--Do I understand the honorable Senator to express the opinion that it is the constitutional duty of this Government to maintain the slaves of rebels and traitors in arms, and restore them if they escape?

Mr. Carlile--My opinion as to what the duty of the Government is goes just as far as its constitutional obligation, and no further. At the time of the adoption of that Constitution, twelve States were nominally slaveholding, and the exigencies of the times demanded that they should adapt themselves to circumstances, and they made a solemn obligation that they would return the fugitive slave who might have escaped. I would not affirm that it was the duty of the army to deliver a fugitive slave to his owner, whether loyal or rebel; and, on the other hand, I would not affirm that it was not the duty of the army. I regard our citizens who have enlisted in the cause of our country as citizens still and I hold it to be the duty of every good citizen to obey the laws of the land. **** Sir, I know no party but the party of the Union, no cause but the cause of my country, and I will attempt by no doubtful war power to abolish institutions secured by plain constitutional provisions. I have perilled all — all. You cannot realize what it is to separate from friends, from kindred, from sections, and from all early and dear associations. But the path of duty was on the one hand and feeling on the other, and I did not hesitate to take my stand. And if gentlemen from the non-slaveholding States would but talk to their constituents who have — I use it in no offensive sense — crazy notions on this question, and if they would risk but one tithe as much as the loyal citizens in the slaveholding States have done, to correct public opinion, we would have an era of good feeling that would bring peace to every part of this distracted country. Mr. Carlile closed by asking what could be done with the four million of slaves? contending that it would be barbarous to send them out of the country, and claiming that Senators ought not to throw obstacles in the way of the loyal men of the South.

Mr. Lane, of Kansas, said that if the army was deterred from fighting a battle simply from fear of defeat, then the country will fall. We must fight and gain a victory before England sends her army and navy upon us, and then she will not send her army or navy. Victory is what we want, ***

The Senator charges me with having made anti-slavery speeches. I have never made a speech of that kind on this floor, but I want it understood that I have lost all my reverence for that institution. I think it is a subject we can discuss here or elsewhere, and if this war is to be waged without having a single mention of freedom, however slight, I fear for the result, for there is nothing to excite to that enthusiasm which is necessary to drive forward our troops to victory.

Mr. Carlile.--Do I understand the Senator that the great question of preserving the Constitution, and the Union under it, and maintaining the integrity of the Republic, is less calculated to excite the enthusiasm of a free people than a crusade against the institution of slavery?

Mr. Lane--The enthusiasm is all understood by the distinguished Senator from Virginia, as well as others. But I declare here that we can never instill into the citizen soldiery that enthusiasm which is necessary, so long as it is understood that this war is without a purpose. It is that of which we complain, that it is without a purpose, so that the minister of one of the first Governments on earth is obliged to declare ‘"that it is for dominion on the one hand and power on the other. "’ Is there a Senator here but knows that if we had written upon our banners ‘ "Freedom,"’ to-day we would have had a victory gained, and that instead of being threatened, with the armies and navies of Great Britain we should have the sympathy of that entire people? Wage this war for the purpose of crushing out rebellion, and let such as emanation from hell as the institution of slavery take care of itself. If it perishes, let it perish; and when we announce to the world that this institution has perished, Freedom will smile, and God will be pleased. We will take the words of a certain military order: ‘ "All loyal persons, without reference to color, sect, age, or size, who seek protection within our lines, must be treated kindly."’ With that for our motto, we believe that the institution will not survive the war, and that peace will be made permanent for our children, by the removal of the cause of the war.

Mr. McDougal, (Opp.) of Cal., opposed the resolution, and protested against bringing a subjects not calculated to further the great interests of the country.

Mr. Grimes, (Rep.) of Iowa, moved to lay the resolution on the table.

The motion was agreed to.

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