Debate in the Yankee Congress.
In looking over the debates of the Yankee Congress
for the past two weeks we find some matters which are amusing to the people of the Confederacy
Mr. Carlile on "the State of the Union"--Virginia in his debasement.
) said that in these unhappy times, when good men were rendered odious and had men popular, when great men are made little and little men great, he who would serve his country best must be above personal consideration.
He paid a glowing tribute to the State of Virginia
, and said, that, even in her debasement, the challenged our admiration for the gallantry of her sons on many an honorable field.
He did not believe there would be an early cessation of hostilities, nor did he believe that the starvation on which the rebels for three years have subsisted was likely to result in an early death.
The Union could never be restored by the mere exercise of the coercive powers of the Federal Government
We had reached a point where the nature and character of this struggle must be settled definitely.
Was this an exercise of the constitutional power of the Government
to put down a rebellion against its authority, or was it a war of the Northern States
against the Southern
If the former, then we draw all our powers from the Constitution
If the latter, it is a war by the States against the Constitution
, leaving the States responsible alone to the judgment of the civilized world, for the manner in which the war has been conducted.
denied that any legislative powers were derived from the laws of war, and quoted the views of John Quincy Adams
in support of his opinion.
The whole scope and plan of the powers of the Government
was to operate on individuals and not on States.
We had no power under the Constitution
to coerce a State.
To say that Congress had the power to legislate and inaugurate war measures would be to say that the men who formed the Constitution
Our Government itself was the creature of civil war, and was established on the great principle that there would be a Government among States of different geographical location and separate domestic institutions for common purposes.
If the power proposed here was exerted it would be a declaration that, after seventy years of trial, the principle contended for in the war of the revolution was a failure, and we were now in 1864 contending for a homogeneity of interests.
We had just as much and no more right under the Constitution
to say to one of the States that slavery should not be tolerated in its borders as we had to say that the Catholic
religion should not be tolerated.
We go outside of the Constitution
to seek power for legislative action, and here we acknowledge that the experiment of free Government is a failure.
He denied that the rebels were belligerents unless they became so by the acts of our war authorities.
In our legislative capacity he would never consent to acknowledge them as such.
He though we could secure, and had the undoubted right to secure, the service of slaves without emancipating them.
The power of the States had never been doubted to emancipate slaves, but he denied the existence of the power for their emancipation in the States by an act of the Federal Government
Such a power had never been invoked.
He would go as far as the members from the loyal States, whose soll had not been made the scene of war, in exerting every power possible to put down the rebellion, but he could not consent to the exercise of powers clearly not within the scope of Congress and the Federal Government
under the Constitution
We should use force against force, and not resort to acts which would repel the love of the honest citizen of the South
who had never gone willingly into the rebellion.
We should not perpetrate acts like that recently perpetrated by that bad man, Butler
, on the James river
, where he sent his transports and seized the gram and pork of a widow, and then announced the enterprise as "a great Union victory." The people of the South
were our kindred — bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh — and many of them are now compelled, on account of our present inability to crush the rebel authority, to acknowledge it as a de facto
He had always maintained that the mere exercise of the coercive powers of the Government
never would restore the Union
We should never inaugurate measures which would render death preferable to the Union
We should distinguish between those in arms and those who are willing and anxious for a connection with us. He would not, in his legislative capacity, interfere with slavery in the States, but as a military commander he would use the negro as he would a horse or a wagon abandoned by the enemy.
We would be obliged to conquer our own prejudices before we could conquer the South
A war of conquest was always interminable, and the position of the seceded States rendered the Union
as desirable to them as to us. We have for three years resorted to the coercive powers of the Government
Why not change our policy a little, and leave all these irritating subjects to the military departments, where they properly belong.
The "man and Brother" must ride in the cars.
(Mass.) introduced a resolution directing the Committee
on the District of Columbia, to inquire into the expediency of a law granting equality of privileges to colored people on the railroads of the District
He called attention to the subject for the reason that an outrage was recently committed in this District upon an officer with the rank of Major
of the United States
This officer had been recently ejected from one of those street cars by the conductor.
because he was a black man. He thought we had better break up all railroads if we would not have them carried on without such outrages, which did more to injure our cause abroad and at home than a defeat in battle.
Mr. Hendricks (Ind.)
said, if he expressed any opinion he would say the outrage was the other way. Separate cars were provided for the colored people, and this case occurred because the negro declined to ride with persons of his own color, and wished to force himself with white men.
did not think there were any cars running now for the accommodation of colored people.
knew differently, for he had entered one, and was glad to get out the best way he could.
did not think it a disgrace to ride with these colored people.
read the letter of Dr. Augusta
of the Seventh Colored Volunteers.
He believed it was as great an outrage as it would be to eject the Senator
from his seat here.
Without meaning any personal disrespect, Mr. Wilson
said he believed the largest quantity of information, in and out of this Senate, was from the New York papers, and his attention was called to this subject from them.
This was not the only place where the reform was needed.
He had information of an outrage perpetrated on a mail railroad, where two colored men were ejected from an empty car, and forced into a cattle car.
This was a part of the malignant system of slavery, but the country was being rapidly abolitionized and civilized.
believed, from the expressions he had heard to day, that social as well as political equality was to be forced upon the white race.--The people would never adopt that sentiment.
He was glad that the Senator
had now plainly presented the issue before the country.
said he had no desire to force equality on the Senator
What he wanted was to let every man assume the station God intended him to attain.
The yeas and nays were ordered, and resulted as follows:
, Ten Eyck
, Nesmith. Powell
, Van Winkle
The loyal member from Kentucky would like a few slaves to be Spared.
offered an amendment to the Conscription bill, that persons of African
descent, between 20 and 45 years of age, whether citizens of the United States
or not, shall be enrolled and form part of the national forces, and when a slave shall be drafted and mustered into the service, the master shall receive a certificate for $300, and the drafted man shall be free.
This Mr. Stevens
said would give compensation to masters in the loyal border States.
Mr. Clay (Ky.)
hoped that Mr. Stevens
would withdraw his amendment.
A good feeling was now prevailing in his State, and the adoption of this proposition would retard the progress of the Union
He did not object to taking rebel property, but that of loyal men ought not to be interfered with.
(Mass.) said the laws of all the States recognize slaves as persons and not as property, and the exigency has arrived when we should use them as other men are used for putting down the rebellion.
Mr. Morris (N. Y.)
favored the amendment, not being able to see why that description of property should be exempted, while the property of citizens of other States are used for national purposes.
Mr. Creswell (Md.)
favored the amendment, stating that the slaveholders in the State of Maryland
have furnished but few if any men for the war.
(Ill.) said he would not put money into the pockets of slaveholders.
It was their duty to put their slaves into the army without compensation.
We put our sons into the army, and why should they not give their slaves.
(Del.) would say to the gentleman from Kentucky
) that the people of his State had no such scruples as the people of Kentucky
are represented to have.
There would be nothing more welcome to Delaware
than to take her slaves from her.
briefly maintained that according to the Constitution
private property, including slaves, cannot be taken for public uses without compensation.
(Md) maintained that slaves do military duty, and therefore we do not owe the slaveholders anything for their services.