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The Northern Congress.
Spicy debate.
Senator Bright's case.

The subjoined debate of the Yankee Congress, upon the case of Senator Bright, of Indiana, was unavoidably crowded out of our issue of yesterday, because of the great press of late and interesting news:

The case of Mr. Bright was then taken up.

Mr. Davis, (Union,) of Ky., made an explanation of what Mr. Harlan had said in regard to the law against teaching slaves.--Where he (Mr. Davis) lived they had schools and Sunday schools where the slaves were taught to read. His own slaves, when born, were baptized according to the rights of the church to which he belonged, and female slaves were given in marriage just the same as white people. Mr. Rhett himself, who owned a large number of slaves, built a church, and specially employed a preacher for their edification. One great cause of the rebellion, which he omitted to speak of yesterday, was the division of the church--North and South.

Mr. Harlan, (Rep.,) of Iowa, said, that on a former occasion, in debate on this subject, several Senators from the South stated essentially the same facts, but were rebuked by the Senator from Virginia (Mr. Mason) with the declaration that it was the policy of the South not to teach the slaves.

Mr. Cowan, (Rep.,) of Pa., said that he had a very slight acquaintance with the opposed him in his political dogmas. He (Mr. Cowan) was as much in favor of putting down the rebellion as any one. He claimed that in examining this case the Senate must be governed by the salle rules as if they were as jurors. The charge against the Senator from Indiana is that of treason. There cannot be any half-way charge or half-way guilt. The Senator must be guilty of treason or nothing. If there was war between the North and the South, and the Senator from Indiana aided the South, he would, of course, be guilty of treason.

Mr. Sumner, (Rep.,) of Mass., said that he did not understand there was such a war, but that Jeff. Davis and his confederates had levied war against the Government, and they were traitors.

Mr. Cowan replied that if it could be proved that it was the intention of Mr. Bright to aid the traitors, there could be no doubt of his treason. The first fact to consider is, was there a state of war at the time the the letter was written? There were then three or four parties in the United States. One of them believed in secession. Another party did not believe in secession, yet thought if the States seceded we had no right to force them back. At the head of this party was Jas. Buchanan. Another party thought that as the Southern States had gone on in their secession movements until March, and had formed a Government, it was impolitic now to coerce them. Another party opposed secession, and was willing to take any means whatever to put it down. He (Mr. Cowan) understood that Mr. Bright belonged to the party which did not believe in secession, but thought it impolitic to attempt coercion, as it would only serve to more completely dissever the Union. At the first, all that the South asked was, that the United States troops should be withdrawn from their States; and at the time the letter of the Senator; and at the time the letter of the Senator from Indiana was written, the Southern Commissioners were here treating, indirectly, perhaps, with the Government for such a withdrawal. If there was at that time communication between the North and South, and if the Senator from Indiana thought the rebellion was not consummated, and there was to be no war, it was not treason to write the letter he did. In regard to the subject of the letter, if there was to be a new Government formed there could be no harm in sending such a letter. He (Mr. Cowan) thought that did not amount to much, as it was simply following the example of the circle in which he (Mr. Bright) moved. He (Mr. Cowan) was willing to admit that the writing of such a letter was a great folly; but he thought that Mr. Bright might have looked at the matter from another stand- point, and he (Mr. Cowan) was not willing to affix the stigma of treason from such doubtful testimony.

Mr. Harris, (Rep.,) of N. Y., said: Up to the called session of July last but a single Senator has been expelled for three quarters of a century. In the early history of our Government a Senator had engaged in seducing several tribes of Indians from their allegiance to our Government, and had attempted to attach them to the British Government For that high misdemeanor, as it is called inconsistent with the performance of his duty, as the record states, he was expelled. Another Senator was supposed, some time after that, to be engaged in the Burr conspiracy, and was brought to trial for that offence before the Senate. But a constitutional vote was not obtained, and he subsequently resigned. But, sir, since the 4th of July last, nearly one-third of this body have been expelled. These vacant seats are a constant and impressive memorial of the extent and desperate character of this treason, which has not only desolated this Senate, but our whole country. Now, sir, we are called upon to take another step. Senators were expelled because they were openly adhering to the enemies of the country, and giving them aid and comfort. Now, sir, we are asked to expel from the body a Senator who presents himself here, claims and occupies his seat. discharges the duties of a Senator, and professes to be loyal to the Constitution and the Union. This, sir, in my judgment, is a great stride beyond what we have already done.--As I understand it, Senators are now acting as a judicial tribunal, determining upon the rights of a Senator. and they are to be governed by no such principles, sublimated as they may be, as those suggested by the Senator from Kentucky. He told us that the Senate was to be controlled by no common law or parliamentary usage, but it was to decide whether or not the Senator on trial was unfit for parliamentary duty. It is well for this Senate that this doctrine had not been promulgated at an earliest day. If so, the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Sumner) would never have been permitted to hurl his polished, burning shafts against the barbarism of slavery, and the clarion voice of the veteran Senator from New Hampshire (Mr. Hale) would long since have ceased to resound in this hall. And there are other Senators who have long been suspected of being too much imbued with a certain unhealthy doctrine to have held their seats by any certain tenure, if the Senate had been allowed to expel Senators because, in the judgment of the Senate, they were unfit for parliamentary duty. The great question now on trial in our nation is whether it shall live, or whether, because the fingers of treason are clutched at its throat, it shall cease to exist. In time like these, which stir every patriot's heart, there is imminent danger that we may be led to do an act, in a case like this, which will fix a precedent which shall be pernicious in its influence hereafter. There is no more melancholy teaching in the history of English jurisprudence than the facility by which, from forced and arbitrary constructions, the best men of the times, innocent and patriotic men, of whom neither the times nor their country were worthy, were condemned for treason. The Sidney, the Brussels, the Hampden, and other worthies like these, furnish us an admonition that we should be cautious. Mr. Harris then referred to the letter, claiming that if the clause about fire-arms had been omitted it would have been harmless; that Lincoln had gotten up this fire-arm, and it was put in at Lincoln's suggestion, and the letter was a simple letter of introduction; and if Sumter had not been attacked, and there had been no war, the letter would not have been noticed, and closed as follows: It seems to me, if the Senate were to expel this senator without coming to the conclusion that he was guilty of a treasonable design, it would be guilty of the greatest injustice toward the Senator and toward the Senate.

Mr. Ten Eyck, (Rep.,) of N. J., had not the acquaintance of the Senator from Indiana beyond a mere speaking one, but that should not alter his course in this case. The simple fact was the finding of two letters on the person of Thomas D. Lincoln, written by the Senator from Indiana, one of which was addressed to his Excellency Jeff Davis. Mr. Lincoln's treason could not be of the darkest kind, as he had only been held to bail for the crime. The District Attorney of Ohio was very careful to retain this letter, as evidence of Mr. Lincoln's treason, and it was found on the person of the latter five and a half months after it had been written. Was it ever delivered to Jeff. Davis? He quoted from the President's inaugural address to show that the Government contemplated no war — that the Southerners must be the aggressors if war followed. He (Mr. Ten Eyck) upheld that great principle of common law which resolved all doubts for the benefit of those arraigned, and should vote against the expulsion of the Senator from Indiana.

Mr. Clark, (Rep.,) of N. H., referred to the letter written to Jeff. Davis, and thought that letter and the circumstances sufficient cause to expel the Senator from Indiana. The expulsion was absolutely demanded. We could not properly satisfy the country or support the Administration if we permitted such a Senator to remain in his seat. Suppose a letter had been found on the person of Copple, the confederate of John Brown, as follows:--

To John Brown, Leader of the Negro Insurrection, Harper's Ferry.

Allow me to introduce my friend Coppic,

who recommend and reliable in every truly.

I Summer.

How long would the Senator from Massachusetts have held his seat, and how soon would the Senator from Indiana have voted for his expulsion? If an open rebel ought to be expelled, ought not the person to be expelled who furnished aid to the open rebel to make the rebellion successful? He contended that the Senator could not plead ignorance that he went with the intention to sell improvements in fire-arms, nor of the fact that the rebels intended to make war. He read a long list of acts of war committed by traitors; also the charge of Judge Smalley, of New York, characterizing the acts of the rebels as treason by levying war. So much for the war and the state of the country. I need not quote Blackstone on the President's Message. Here is the decision of the Court upon the facts solemnly considered and made upon the very case itself. The rebellion has now burst into arms, and when the rebel chief left the Senate his last words were to utter his determination to fight, if peaceful rebellion could not be accomplished. In that speech of the Senator from Mississippi (Mr. Davis) the arch rebel declared that if they could not have a peaceful rebellion, they would trust themselves to the God of Battles and their own right arms.--Let us pass by this offence of the Senator from Indiana, and go out among the troops and urge them to fight and drive away the enemy which beleaguers Washington. What will they reply? ‘"Urge us to fight, when you keep in your counsels the men who are guilty of sending their friends to the South with fire-arms that might be put into the hands of rebels to murder us?"’ What answer have we to make them? Go and ask this Administration for more vigor: ask them to turn out from the departments any man who is tainted with treason. What will they say? ‘"Go back and turn out from the Senate the men who write letters to Jeff. Davis."’ Sir, if you had here a little page who was guilty of any such disloyalty, or his father even, you would turn out the page and father both; and yet it is proposed to retain the Senator from Indiana. Sir, an outraged people, in my opinion, will receive no such excuse as is presented by the Senator and his friends. They demand that this rebellion shall be crushed, and they will not be trifled with by any such pretence that such a letter as the Senator gave was a thing of course, and only inconsiderately done. To allow arms to be used against the Government, or to propose to do so, is a thing so atrocious that it would have excited the indignation of the Senator from Indiana, if he had been a loyal man, and would have made him denounce Lincoln as a mercenary traitor, instead of sending him, as a trustworthy man, to the chief rebel.--This is the charge I make, upon these facts, against the Senator from Indiana: that he aided, or intended to aid, those two rebels, Lincoln and Davis — knowingly aided them in the prosecution of their schemes of treason. And here I take issue with the Senator from New Jersey, (Mr. Ten Eyck,) who alleged that it does not appear that Lincoln ever visited Davis. I do not care whether he did or not. The Senator from Indiana, when he gave him the letter, completed his offence. That the rebellion existed and was in arms, the Senator knew. He knew that Davis was its leader, and that they wanted arms, for the Southern troops were seizing and stealing all the arms they could get; and he knew that Lincoln had arms to sell. These two rebels did not know each other. The Senator from Indiana knew the purpose of one was to sell arms, and the purpose of the other was to overthrow the Government, by force if necessary; and yet, with that guilty knowledge, he deliberately commended this traitor to go and sell this improved fire-arm to the rebel chief. But in all this the committee think there is nothing to justify us in expelling the Senator. Sir, we owe it to ourselves to drive him from this high place. Will we receive him into our counsels to permit him to take part in the legislation which is to preserve the country? A man who aided or who would aid to arm the rebellion against that country? We owe it to the country to expel him, and, above all, we owe it to the patriotic State of Indiana. Even now the telegraph flashes the news that her Tenth regiment has been nearly decimated. Her sons lie dead upon the ground, slain in defence of their country, and shall we retain here a Senator who would aid to furnish the rebellion with arms that are to kill and destroy her own citizens? Almost every day the Government seizes some persons in correspondence with the enemy and sends them to Fort Warren. I would deal more summarily with such men if I had the power. I would bring them up before martial law, and, if found guilty, I would hang or shoot them, and would say to all persons hereafter in like offences, such shall be your due. Some time last July a letter was found in the Post-Office of this city — a letter directed to the Richmond Enquirer--inquiring whether the Confederate Government wished to purchase any improved cannon. That letter was from my own State, and my own city — I blush to say it;--but though all efforts were used, its writer could not be found. If we could have found him he would have gone forth an execrated wanderer and an outcast, if no severer punishments had befallen him. There are men even in the free States who are so unpatriotic they would coin money out of the last drop of blood of the Government. They have shown it by their acts, or I would not believe it. I bear no unkindness, sir, toward the Senator from Indiana, but I am grieved that one so long in the service of his country, and so much honored, should so descend as to do her this injury: I only know what are the facts; and if it was my own brother I should feel it my duty to do the same. I would exclaim, ‘"Thy people shall be my people. The Lord do so to me; and more, also, if aught but death part thee and me."’ The first day of March, 1861, was an eventful day. On that day the Secretary of War struck the name of Gen. Twiggs, who had surrendered the army in Texas, from the roll of the army. On that same day the gallant Anderson wrote that he could not hold out much longer, and on that same day the Senator from Indiana wrote a letter to Jeff. Davis, telling him that Mr. Lincoln had an important improvement in fire-arms to sell. Senators, look at the picture! The Senator from Indiana deliberately furnishes, or aids to furnish, an important improvement in fire-arms to the rebel chief. Over the doors of the old Hall of Representatives there stands the finest design of art, in my judgment, to be found about the Capitol--it is that of History riding in the car of Time, making her record as she goes. Oh, what a record she made on that 1st day of March, 1861! I have sometimes fancied that I could see a cell of sadness over her countenance for the misery of the nation. We can only make atonement by completing the record, and bidding her make it, that when we know of the act of the Senator from Indiana, we drove him from the Senate and expelled him from this floor.

The Senate went into executive session, and afterwards adjourned till Monday.

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