« PreviousContinue »
which might possibly be acceptable; and I also great and good man by imputing to him such a Now, I think this is going to be done. It may not be distinctly protested that tho Executive claimed no right" gross attempt to usurp the powers of Congress.
done to-day. I thought it ought to be done on the
first day of this session of Congress, Others thought Hearken to his language
Mr. President, the honorable Secretary of it better to wait and inquire-take a recess. Then I
thought it had better be done when the recess was " that the Executive claimed no right to say when | State, in the prepared speech delivered by him or whether members should be admitted to seats in at the Cooper Institute, in New York, on the
ended. Others thought it had better be postponed,
to the 1st of February. Now they are talking of Congress from such States. This plan was, in advance, 22d of February, simultaneously with the deliv
postponing it until they can pass some law.” submited to the then Cabinet, and distinctly ap; ery of President Johnson's speech, to which I proved by every member of it. One of them suggested that I should then, and in that connection, apply the have alluded, speaking of the restoration of
It is quite apparent that the Secretary deems emancipation proclamation to the theretofore ex: the rebel States, uses the following very strange
no law necessary to the reintroduction of the cepted parts of Virginia and Louisiana; that I should language :
Senators and Representatives of the rebel drop the suggestion about apprenticeship for freed
States into these Halls; he seems to have igpeople, and that I should omit the protest against
“Now, I am sure this plan is going to succeed." my own power in regard to the admission of members That is, the plan of President Johnson; the rebel States and the legislation of Congress,
nored entirely the effects of the war upon the of Congress." Will the Senator from Pennsylvania have the I plan of immediate, unconditional readmission
and looks upon them as just as much entitled into Congress. goodness to listen to this language?
at this day to be readmitted here as the State "I am sure of it, because some plan must succeed.” Such was the peculiar caution, on this mighty
of New York is entitled to enjoy the benefits subject, of Abraham Lincoln. He disclaimed
He is perfectly sure that a particular plan of her present representation here. This readin the most distinct and emphatic terms both
is going to succeed, because he is sure some mission, he says, is all that remains to be done: in his proclamation of the Sth of December, I plan must succeed, 'When I was a school-boy,
"And it is the same plan that Abraham Lincoln
projected before he was removed from his high trust, 1863, and in what is called his dying speech, || attending to my logic, had I uttered such a
the same one that Andrew Johnson was executing for made only a few days before his death, all sentence, I think the professor would have told
him in Tennessee. It will be done. authority in himself to impart to the States
me it was a non sequitur. But let us proceed. **Then, is the Union is to be restored some time he was attempting to reconstruct any constiThe Secretary continues :
there is to be some plan which is practicable, and if
there is some one, then someone who is in favor of tutional right to elect members of Congress,
"And because this is the only plan which has
it can tell me what that plan is and when it is likely whether Senators or Representatives, in such ever been attempted, or which I think ever will be
to be adopted. I pause for a reply. I have never attempted."
seen any other plan proposed. I have seen this plan & way as to give them a legal title to be ad
suggested attwo successive Congresses, that, notwithmitted to seats.
The only plan! Had the honorable Secre-
standing the conditions of the States, they should be tary forgotten the plan of Mr. Lincoln, as differexactly what he means-nothing more, noth
legislated into the condition of Territories, and should ent in principle from that of Mr. Johnson as be governed by the military arm till they had pering less. That is by no means the doctrine of light from darkness? He says:
formed sufficient acts of purgation, and should be the present day. The claim now is that the
brought in at some far-off period.” right to elect, and consequently the legal right
"Certainly it is the only one that can be attempted with success."
I read from the speech chiefly to show what to have the party elected, if possessing the requisite personal qualifications, admitted to
Sir, we will try that issue. I make no boast;
the real doctrine is, known as "my_policy;' I throw out no menace and no defiance; but I
that it is a claim on the part of the Executive his seat in either House, has been imparted by the President's authority and under his comsay with confidence here to the friends of this
that he in his decrees has reëstablished these
States and put them in possession of all their mission, and that Congress are concluded and policy that I will try that issue before the coundebarred any inquiry into the right claimed.
try. I know of nothing in it which should deter functions as States, without the assistance and Again, sir, Mr. Lincoln did not confine himan honest man from espousing the negative;
without the sanction of Congress, and that self to the peculiar mode of reconstruction and I tell you, sir, that when this issue is fully
therefore they are entitled to be represented mentioned in that proclamation.
now; and that for Congress to wait any longer, Early in July
and fairly presented to the people of the Unifollowing, as the world knows, Congress with ted States, when they come to understand what
to keep them out by any statute or any measit is in its length and in its breadth, in its de
ure it may see fit to resort to, is doing a great great unanimity passed a bill for the reëstablishment of the rebel States, commonly known signs, in its purposes, in its enormous dangers,
wrong to the insurrectionary States. Sir, we as the “Winter Davis bill," a bill which Pres. in its injustice, in its cruelties, and in all its
are doing no wrong to the insurrectionary
States. I concur with the honorable Secreident Lincoln did not see fit to approve; but
deformities, you need not doubt that that honfor his omission to approve it he gives, in the est and loyal and gallant people who have done
tary of State when he says the time will come proclamation he issued on the 8th of July, 1864, so much to preserve the Government, to main
when they will be readmitted to the Union with the following reason: tain its dignity and its honor, will utter a last
all their rights and privileges, with their full ing and an indelible rebuke to the policy so con
complement of Senators and Representatives; “Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do proclaim, declare, and make fidently and so boastfully advocated by the Sec
but I do not hold that it is the duty of Conknown, that while I am, (as I was in December last, retary of State. He says further:
gress to admit them now and immediately. I when by proclamation I propounded a plan for
"It is nearly executed already. The States are
think we ought to take time to consider, that restoration,) unprepared, by a formal approval of there'
we ought to look especially to the condition of this bill, to be inflexibly committed to any single plan of restoration; and while I am also unpre
Hearken to this
the southern people, and ascertain to our own pared to declare that the free State constitutions
“The States are there, just as fully in the exercise
satisfaction whether they are in such a social and governinents already adopted and installed in Arkansas and Louisiana shall be set aside and held of their State functions and powers and faculties as
and political condition as to make it safe and for naught, thereby repelling and discouraging the the State of New York is, at Albany, to-day."
secure for us to readmit them. loyal citizens who have set up the same as to What is the logical consequence of this? Sir, I reject, as entirely untenable, the prinfurther effort, or to declare a constitutional competency in Congress to abolish slavery in States, but
If the eleven rebel States are at the present ciple, if it can be called a principle, that whenam at the same time sincerely hoping and expecting time as legitimately and constitutionally in the ever a disloyal State sends to Congress a loyal that a constitutional amendinent abolishing slavery exercise of their proper functions, and as much representative that loyal representative ought, throughout the nation may be adopted, nevertheless I am fully satisfied with the system for restoraentitled to be represented in the two Houses
to be admitted to his seat if he has been regution contained in the bill as ono very proper plan of Congress as is the State of New York, and | larly elected. Upon this point a great deal for the loyal people of any State choosing to adopt if Congress are wantonly and wickedly refusing | has been said both in Congress and out of it, and that I am, and at all times shall be prepared to allow them the same privilege of represen
We are told that if they send here to give the executive aid and assistance to any such people, so soon as the military resistance to the Uni- tation here as is enjoyed by the State of New | loyal Senators, our duty is to admit them; if ted States shall have been suppressed in any such York, what is the consequence? What is the
they send here loyal Representatives, the duty State, and the people thereof shall have sufficiently returned to their obedience to the Constitution and logical result of this position, or rather assump
of the House is to admit their Representatives. the laws of the United States, in which cases mili- tion, of the Secretary of State, that they are as
Sir, I deny it. That assertion is in direct in. tary governors will be appointed, with directions to perfectly rehabilitated, that they are as per
consistency with the essential principle of re. proceed according to the bill," fectly in the enjoyment of their State rights as
publican government. What is a representaHere it is apparent that Mr. Lincoln was not is the State of New York ?
tive who is sent to the Congress expected to willing to be bound down even to his own plan Sir, I would not impute to the Secretary of
do? What is his leading characteristic? Is he as sketched in his proclamation of the 8th of State any unlawful intention ; I do not ; but I not expected to represent the interests and the December, 1863, but that he was entirely satisfied with the bill he had omitted to approve;
cannot read this language and fail to see that feelings of the constituency who send him?
it at least squints at the possibility of an armed Certainly. Who expects that a particular conand he solemnly promised, in his proclamation || interference at some future day and the estab- stituency will elect a man to Congress and send of July, 1864, that whenever military resistance
lishment by means of the executive sword of him here as their representative, whose princishould cease in any of the rebel States, and
these reconstructed States regularly in Con- | ples are utterly at war with theirs, or whose the people in those Štates were willing to return to their loyalty, he would give them his execu
gress, with the full quota of Senators and Repre. | interests or principles or prejudices are inconsentatives. If they are constitutionally entitled
sistent with theirs? And yet the honorable Sentive aid by appointing a provisional governor to this representation, as much so as New York,
ator from Connecticut holds, I believe, that we and giving governors the authority granted by
it is wholly unconstitutional for us to keep them ought to admit the loyal representatives withthe bill. Here were his two schemes, both of
out, and clearly our sworn duty to let them in.. out the slightest reference to the character of them liberal, and the last, had the bill been ap
In short, according to the Secretary of State, the constituency whom they represent. Sir, that proved, free from all constitutional objections. the conduct of Congress upon this subject is
is a great fallacy. Now, sir, let Mr. Lincoln be no longer quoted usurpatory, tyrannical, revolutionary, and even
Mr. DIXON. If the Senator had taken the here or elsewhere as being the author of this treasonable. There is but one step between such
trouble to listen to what I said, or to read it enorinous policy by which the whole power of Congress over the subject of reconstruction is || itary force to carry out its purposes. He says: a position and advising the employment of mil | afterward, he would have seen that I expressly
stated that the constituency should be loyal to be absorbed into the single hand of the Ex
as well as the representative.
'Representatives can come up and lay their hands ecutive. Do not desecrate the name of that upon the Bible and take the oath, and remain there.
Mr. HOWARD. Perhaps I mistake the Senator's views; but certain it is that the generally toward the Government of the United first took my seat in this honorable body I found
States?" principle has been repeatedly advocated on this
the two Senators from Virginia here already, floor.
but I am frank to say, in reply to the question Mr. DIXON. The President said the same "At the time of the surrender of General Lee's army
of the honorable Senator from Delaware, that and the restoration of peace, I think there was not thing in the message from which the Senator only a general but an almost universal acquiescence
if the question had been put to me, as a Sen. has just read. The Senator will certainly find and congratulation among the people that the war ator, after the secession of Virginia from the it in one of his messages. had terminated, and a large majority of them were at
Union, or rather after she had taken up arms least contented gratified, thatit had terminated Mr. HOWARD. I wish the Senator would
by a restoration of the State to the Union. At that as a government against the Government of look it up for me. I have not been so fortu- timo the leaders, too, seemed to have been entirely the United States, whether I would admit Sennate as to discover it. Mr. President, it is the subdued. They had become satisfied that Mr. Lin
ators elected by that State, no matter when, character of the constituency that is to be rep
colu was a noble, kind-hearted, generous man, from
to come into the Congress I should have anresented in Congress by the person elected, | sinnted, and Mr. Johnson took his place, they remem- swered - No." and not that of the mere representative him
bered Mr. Johnson's declarations in the Senate of the Mr. SAULSBURY. One other question : self. He is but their servant and agent.
United States before the war, his own treatment dur-
was not the honorable Senator a member of Mr. DIXON. If the Senator will allow me, tions after he came to Washington as the Vice Pres- this body when my friend on my left (Mr. I can repeat from recollection what the Presi- ident of the United States, in one or more speeches, WILLEY] was admitted to a seat on this floor,
but especially in a speech in which he declared that dent says. The President says that each State treason was a crime which inust be punished, they
and when the late Senator from Virginia, since ought to be represented when they present felt exceedingly apprehensive for the security of their deceased, was admitted to a scat on this floor, themselves, not only in an attitude of loyalty
property, as weil as for the security of their lives; and and harmony, but also in the persons of rep; amorehumble, unpretending set of gentlemen I never
both occurring since the war commenced ? saw than they were at that time. But froin the time
Mr. HOWARD. I do not remember whether resentatives whose loyalty cannot be questioned that Mr. Johnson commenced his indiscriminate sys- I was a member of the body at that time or under any legal or constitutional test. That tem of pardoning all who made application, and from
not. is his language.
impositions which I have no doubt were practiced
Mr. SAULSBURY. I refer to Hon. Mr. Mr. HOWARD. I shall feel better satisfied secessionists among the first, they became bold, inso- Bowden. when I read the exact language of the Presi.
lent, and defiant; and this was increased to a very
Mr. HOWARD. I know the precedent had dent, a little more secure as to what Mr. Johnately after the evacuation of Richmond given by
already been fixed by the action of the Senate son actually means. But, sir, the idea of al- General Patrick, the Democratic copperhead provost before I took my seat here. The Senators lowing a representative who swears that he is marshal of the army of the Potomae, to the original from Virginia were in their seats, and I think
conductors of the public press before the rebellion to loyal to come to Congress and take his seat,
reëstablish their papers, I believe without restriction there was a change afterward; but the question for no other reason than that he swears he is or limitation upon any of the proprietors; since
which never was raised as to the propriety of recog. loyal, while at the same time the fact is his
time I think the spirit of disloyalty and disa ffection
nizing the Senators from Virginia. It will be whole constituency is disloyal, unfriendly to until among the leaders generally tbero is as much
remembered, however, that the government of the Government, and indisposed to uphold it, disaffection and disloyalty as there was at any timo old Virginia has ever been recognized by the is to me a most inexpressible absurdity. It is
during the war, and a hundredfold more than there
action of Congress. Althongh, as one of the the character of the constituency, and the conrender of the ariny. This is the conclusion to which
results of the insurrection in that State, their stituency alone, that is to be looked to. Only my mind has been brought by the licentiousness of civil government had become dissolved and a few months ago every one of these several the press and by communications which are made to
destroyed, still there was a government, a gov: me from all parts of the State, either verbally or by southern constituencies was in open rebellion letter, from the inost prominent and reliable Union
ernment for the whole of Virginia, organized against the Government. There was not a sources."
and in activity in western Virginia; and that single congressional district throughout the And such is the concurrent testimony of a government was recognized by the Congress as rebellious States that did not have within its | great majority of all the numerous witnesses being the legitimate government of the State. limits a large majority, and the whole commu- examined before that committee; the great I did not feel disposed to disturb the action of nity had been declared public enemies by Con- || weight of proof is, that instead of producing | Congress on that subject. But I beg to put the gress. I was very glad the other day to hear | quietude, peace, and contentment in the insur- question to the honorable Senator whether he the honorable Senator from Pennsylvania, who rectionary districts, the policy of Mr. Johnson || objected to it. a year or so ago had spoken so eloquently here in extending pardons and amnesty almost iu- Mr. SAULSBURY. Yes, sir; I did. in favor of dealing gently with our southern discriminately has had the effect to make the Mr. HOWARD. I am very glad to hear it. brethren, who told us over and over and over rebels and their friends more defiant and more Mr. SAULSBURY. One other question. again that the Union element was large and contemptuous toward the Government.
The honorable Senator says that the General strong and powerful throughout the South, and Mr. President, I have stated that the busi- Government recognized the Legislature which that, in order to bring the war to a successful ness of reconstructing the States belongs exclu- sat at Wheeling as the Legislature of the whole and speedy close, our best policy was to culti- || sively to Congress, and not to the Executive; || of Virginia. Now, I wish to ask the Senator vate and befriend that portion of the rebel that that is a thing to be done by the exercise whether Virginia as a State, as a whole state, community--I was glad to hear him, the other of the law-making power only. The President before its division into East and West Virginia, day, acknowledge that those Union men, once of the United States cannot make laws. He had not assumed to secede from the Union, so precious and so numerous, were but rari has no power of legislation whatever under the and whether the military power of Virginia was nantes in gurgite vasto; that they were few Constitution. On the other hand, the Consti- not in possession of a great part of what is now and far between, swimming, I suppose, almost tution itself, in its first article, declares emphat
West Virginia. out of sight of each other in the vast and ically that all legislative powers herein granted Mr. HOWARD. I believe the mere historstormy gulf of the rebellion.
shall be vested in a Congress of the United ical fact was this: upon the passage of the Well, sir, such is the fact. It is a fact, and States, which shall consist of a Senate and ordinance of secession, in April, 1861, by the it has been recognized for four years past--a House of Representatives;', leaving no resid- Virginia convention, a new government for fact recognized by the laws of the United States uum of legislative power to be exercised by any the State of Virginia was organized in West and by the decision of the Supreme Court-that other functionary of the Government, but giv- Virginia. It was recognized as the governpractically the whole southern people were hos- || ing the whole of it, without stint and in the ment of that State by Congress, and we have tile to the United States, hostile to this Gove broadest terms, to the two Houses of Congress. ever since recognized that government as the ernment, anxious to overthrow it, determined Now, I ask, what power has the President by an government of Virginia, and recognize it to to overthrow it, making sacrifices beyond those | imperial decree to reconstitute, reconstruct, or this day. I believe there has been no interever submitted to by any other portion of the rehabilitate, or recreate a State of this Union regnum whatever. human family to overthrow, not a bad, oppres; which for four long years had forfeited its polit- Mr. President, I was speaking of the condi. sive Government, but a Government which had ical existence as a State by turning its arms as tion of the rebel States during the war. It is never been felt by them except in the benefits a community against the United States? What often said that it is impossible for a State to it conferred upon them. How vain, how idle had become of these State powers during these get or to be out of the Union ; that these is it to pretend that within only a few months four years of war? Mr. Johnson seems to hold rebel States have always been in the Union; from the close of these bloody scenes it has that these States were never out of the Union, that they have tried to get out of the Union, transpired that a large majority or any major- | but always in the Union.
but cannot get out of the Union; that that ity or any considerable portion of the people Mr. SAULSBURY. Will the honorable Sen- has turned out to be physically impossible; of those States have become loyal and friendly ator allow me to ask him a question just there? and the result, in the minds of some, is that to the Government, willing to go on and act the Mr. HOWARD. Yes, sir.
they have always been in the Union and of the part of good citizens in upholding it and carry. Mr. SAULSBURY. If the doctrine for Union; that none of their faculties have been ing out its purposes. I have been in the way which he now contends be true, I wish to ask | lost or impaired by the rebellion, and that on of obtaining some information on the subject, the honorable Senator this question : after the cessation of the rebellion they are entitled which it may not be useless to lay before the Tennessee bad assumed to secede, and after to all the rights and privileges they ever posSenate. I ask leave to read, for the purpose Virginia assumed to secede, if they were out sessed as members of the Union. Now, sir, of showing what is the actual condition of the of the Union and not entitled to representa- what was the actual condition of the rebel rebel population in the South, especially in Vir: tion upon this floor, why did he, as a Senator, States during the war is rather a barren quesginia, an extract from the testimony taken countenance the presence of the present Presi- tion ; but I have ever been of the opinion that before the reconstruction committee of Hon. dent of the United States as a Senator on this the rebel States were actually out of the Union John M. Botts. The following question was floor from Tennessee and the Senators from from the time they took up arms against the put to him: Virginia as representing a State?
Government down to the time when their "What is the feeling of the ex-rebels in Virginia Mr. HOWARD. Mr. President, when I || armies were surrendered or disbanded.
Mr, COWAN. What was the war for, then ? Yes, sir, we have a right to proclaim that they | my posterity, my constituents and my coun
Mr. HOWARD. I will tell you what the are conquered, as much conquered as ever Gaul trymen forever against the recurrence of the war was for. There is no doubt about this or Germany was conquered by the Roman arms; evils through which we have just passed ; and fact, that there was a universal condition of as much conquered as Canada was conquered I say that this great duty, a duty almost too armed hostility on the part of the seceding by the British forces during the Seven Years' mighty and too weighty for the best wisdom of States against the Government. That is ad- war; as much conquered as was the Brit- both Houses of Congress, still pertains to the mitted. There is no doubt about the further ish Government upon this continent in the councils whom the people have constituted in fact that for four years and more the Govern- triumph of our arms-conquered, subjugated. these Halls, not to the President. ment was engaged in armed hostility against They lay at our feet. They had no Legisla- Sir, in the month of February, 1865, while these seceding States. I am not going into the tures of their own. There was no legislative | Hon. Mr. Collamer occupied the floor, he question as to what is the foundation of all authority whatever which we either recognized made use of language so forcible and so clear, government, but I say to Senators, and espe- or were bound to recognize as the conqueror. upon the power of Congress over the rebel cially to the Senator from Pennsylvania, that There was no other will that could prevail, or States, that I must again trespass upon the in contests between political communities I that ought to prevail in the conquered territory | Senate by reading an extract. That gentleknow of no law higher than physical force. Does but the will of the United States in Congress man bad reflected long, carefully, and prohe? Will he answer ?
assembled the will of the conqueror. It was foundly upon this whole subject. We all know Mr. COWAN. I shall be glad to answer at for us, and for us alone, sitting in the two the constitution of his mind, its remarkable some length, hereafter ; but I will give the hon- Houses of Congress to give the law to the con- strength and elasticity, the clearness of his orable Senator enough to start on now to carry quered, not by any means the væ victis, not a conceptions, and the accuracy of his judg. him through. The several States of the Union law of vengeance, destruction, or desolation, ment. He gives us this as the result of his are, in my judgment, political communities- but a law which should carry out the just pur
reflections. He says: Mr. HOWARD. I beg leave to restate the poses and wishes of the American people in "Sir, are there not two sides and two parties to question in order to avoid wandering.
regard to the rebel States; a law which in the this war? It is the strangest war men ever heard of Mr. COWAN. Then the gentleman does not end should restore them to their original con
if it has but one side to it. I take it there are two
parties to this war: tho several States who have want an answer.
dition and functions as States of the Union ; made it on the one side, and the national GovernMr. HOWARD. Yes, sir; I want an answer. and no Union man here or elsewhere has ever, ment against whom they made it on the other; and The question which I put to the honorable Sen- so far as I know, contemplated anything else
I suppose the two parties must participate in the
restoration of peace and quietness, and their restoator is this: do you know of any higher law but that, ultimately, and within a reasonable ration to their former condition, or a condition where than that of physical force between contending time, and in a secure manner, these conquered they can perform their functions within the Governpolitical communities? States shall be brought back into the Union.
inent, as integral parts of the Union. It is for Con
gress to say when that state of things exist. Congress Mr. COWAN. I have only to reply that the | It is necessarily the work of law, and law arising is not bound to receive their members or to treat question in itself is nonsense; there is no sense under the Constitution itself.
them as being regular, loyal, integral members of
this Union because they have surceascd fighting and about it; and nobody could answer it directly It is said that these States have the right of
surceased military operations, until we have seen a as a question supposed to contain a sensible coming back to Congress. I grant it. They return to loyalty and an obedience to their alleproposition. I know what the gentleman means have a right to return to their allegiance and
giance and the performance of their fealty, the true by the question, and I will answer him at the to be represented in the two Houses of Con
restoration of themselves to their former condition
of loyalty and obedience; and that must be for Conproper time, or now if he desires it; but I do gress; but that right does not accrue, and can- gress to decide." not want to interrupt him.
not accrue, until the conqueror-the Congress If this is true, what authority has the PresiMr. HOWARD. Iam drawing my remarks of the United States-has seen that it is con- dent of the United States to decide that momentto a close. I supposed the honorable Senator sistent with their interests, with the interests ous question as to the fitness of the population would treat my query very much in that way. of their people, the interest of the whole people of a rebel State to be reconstructed into a State,
Mr. COWAN. If the Senator will allow me of the United States. We bold them to-day and to be represented in Congress? Can he I will put it in shape and answer it.
not by their own will, not by their willing fealty judge of the fitness of those constituencies? Mr. HOWARD. Mr. President, for four to the Government, not in virtue of their fidelity | Where in the Constitution does he find a waryears the contest between these two parties to the Constitution; but solely, in my judgment, rant for passing such a judgment? Again, was that of force. For seven years the contest even to-day, by virtue of this highest law known Mr. Collamer says: between the colonies and the mother country to communities-physical force. What keeps “Sir, when will, and when ought, Congress to admit was a contest of force. The Declaration of
your provisional governors in their seats to-day? these States as being in their normal condition? Independence was just as unconstitutional an The Federal bayonet. What preserves even old
When they see that they furnish evidence of it." act, when construed in the light of British law, Virginia to-day from a renewal of insurrection? That is all that Congress is seeking to do as was any of the ordinances of secession; and What to day hinders another conspiracy, the now, to obtain the evidence of their fitness for still the law which finally gave sanction and calling together of another southern congress,
restoration. enduring solemnity and importance and effect the election of another southern president, and
"It is not enough that they stop their hostility and to that immortal Declaration was the law of a general secession of all these States? Is it
are repentant. They should present meet fruits for
repentance. They should furnish to us by their actions force; and the civilized world has recognized the the friendliness of the rebel communities toward some evidence that the condition of loyalty and obeindependence of the United States as a nation the Government? Is it their love of the Union
dience is their true condition again, and Congress from nd after the 4th of July, 1776, although of the United States and the Constitution? Is
must pass upon it; otherwise we have no securities.
It is not enough that they lay down their arms. Our the contest between the parties endured for it because they respect us? No, sir. If they courts should be established, our taxes should be seven years after that date. Had the same had the power to-day, and were not resisted or gathered, our duties should be collected in those results accrued in the contest between the Uni- | prevented by the bayonet, I tell you that before
States," &c. ted States and the seceded States, the Senator forty-eight hours you would see combinations,
Again: from Pennsylvania will not deny that the inde- conspiracies, legislative assemblies and con
"The great essential thing now to insist upon, in
my judgment, is that Congress shall do nothing which pendence of each of those States would have ventions assembling together, and you would
can in any way create a doubt about our power over been recognized as having taken effect from see these southern people again asserting the the subject." and after the date of the ordinances of seces- right of secession, again setting up for State Weighty words, indeed, sir-that Congress sion. For four years these States, in one form | independence, for independence as a southern should do nothing, even at that time, when the or another, either separately or combined, || confederacy, a new nation upon the face of the war was raging, calculated to create any doubt prosecuted a war against the United States for earth; and, in my opinion, that is to-day the about the power of Congress over this whole the purpose of upholding their ordinances of great object they most cherish at their hearts. subject. secession.
Sir, they look upon themselves as a separate "Indeed, it is right to assert at the proper time that Now, I ask the Senator from Pennsylvania, || nation ; their people cherish a love for a sepa- we have that power; and how and when and in what in case they had been successful, would the rate nationality; and the honorable Senator
manner we shall execute that power is in the discre
tion of Congress. I do not mean to occupy very much ordinances of secession have been void? No, from Pennsylvania and the honorable Senator time with that; but one thing I have to say: I believo sir; they would have been valid, upheld and from Connecticut, if they have read as atten.
that when reëstablishing the condition of peace with established by this highest law between con- tively as I have--and I have no doubt they
that people, Congress.representing the United States,
has power in ending this war as any other war, to get tending communities, physical force. So far have-ought to be just as well convinced that some security for the future. It would be a strange as communities are concerned, so far as nations such would be the result as I am. Sir, it is thing if it were not true that this nation, in ending a are concerned which are at war with each other, the bayonet, to-day, that preserves the author
as well as a foreign war.could close it and make
peace by securing, if not indemnity for the past, at the question whether the war is right or wrong ity of the Government in the rebel States. Re- least some security for future peace. I do not bois entirely immaterial; and in our case the move your military pressure, take away your lieve that Congress is stripped of that powerin relation only question of any importance is, what was Freedmen's Bureau, take away the small frag
to this or any other war; and hero I do not wish to
be understood as undertaking to assert the existenco the actual condition of the rebel States during ments of troops that now remain in the south- of such a power without some warrant in the Constithe war? Why, sir, they were as independent ern States and elect as President of the United tution." of the Government of the United States as is States a man who does not believe in State And then he proceeds very learnedly and the Government of Mexico. We reconquered coercion-elect another James Buchanan, and conclusively to show whence he derives the them, to be sure; but the States which we you will have, the moment he has entered upon power. Now, Mr. President, as I have stated brought back into the Union, if we did bring his office, another general secession. Mr. Pres- before, the great issue is, shall Congress decide back any States as such, were by no means ident, for one, I desire to guard against such a the question of the right of the rebel States such States as existed before the war. They contingency, I desire to take security from the to readmission into this Union as they once were different. They were entitled to no other conquered; I desire to impose on them some were, or shall we tamely permit the President appellation than that of conquered country. reasonable conditions that shall save me and of the United States, without law, without oui
consent, to take in his own hands this vast mass Union, the Union for which this war of which calls the highest law, the law of force? Does of legislative power which must necessarily be he has spoken was undertaken, and for which he propose to place himself upon that? He employed in their full reconstruction ? C'est it was carried through in the manner in which asked me, with an air of great triumph, if I le premier pas qui coute-it is the first step | it was carried through.
knew of any higher law between contending always, that cost, in error.
The Senator alleged that the southern States communities than that of force. Sir, I know If we wink at this assumption on the part of | during the war were out of the Union, and he of no more stupid, brutal law than that of the President, good and patriotic man though | appealed to me as to whether they were not force. I know that it has to be resorted to, he be-and I am not disposed to question his out of the Union. Admitting for the nonce his and I know that it is resorted to in the absence patriotism-it will be but setting a precedent | postulate, I put the question, what was the war of reason, because it has obtained the name for the future, and it is impossible to foresee for? That he promised to answer, but that of the ultima ratio regum; or, in other words, to what extravagant extent these executive pre- was what he did not answer. It is the answer when kings have no reason, they resort to force. tensions may be carried. Sir, upon a question to that question for which the American people | Now, I was about to say, in answer to the so momentous, involving the safety and pros- look from that honorable Senator and those Senator's question, but was prevented, that perity for all time of the whole United States, with whom he acts. What was the war for? when communities contend, they may submit is it not, I ask gentlemen, becoming at least If the ordinances of secession, if the rebellion, their differences to a test such as this, and then that Congress should maintain a firm, manly, || if the war, if anything which occurred during the Constitution and the laws are the highest and resolute stand? Call us what you may, that time took the eleven States in question law, and force has no place. Radicals, Black Republicans, Revolutionists, out of the Union, what was the war for? The Mr. HOWARD. Then the use of force is or what not; on this subject we occupy the Union man answers, it was for the purpose of unconstitutional? very breach itself; we occupy the passage-way; supporting and sustaining and restoring the Mr. COWAN. Not at all. It was perfectly we stand as did the three hundred Spartans Union ; if they were out, it was to bring them constitutional and perfectly right with a just when their country was invaded by the count- | back; if they were not out, it was to keep them purpose in view, but perfectly unconstitutional, less hordes of Persia. For one I propose in. Has not that been the understanding of perfectly wrong, and without a single apology, occupy this position so long as life shall last, the American people, with the exception, per- if the end and aim and object was that which or so long at least as I have the honor of a seat haps, of a few extremists? Sir, that was the is avowed by the Senator from Michigan to-day. on this floor; and if I shall perish in the feeble unanimous opinion of the Congress of the Uni- If the object was to compel the southern peoresistance which I may be able to make to these || ted States in July, 1861. That was the almost | pleexecutive pretensions'; if the Constitution is to unanimous, if not the unanimous expression Mr. HOWARD. Mr. Presidentbe swept away by fervor or fury, and we stripped of the opinion of the loyal States as to the Mr. COWAN. I beg the honorable Senator's of the just powers which the people have in- || object and purpose of the war. Was it false? | pardon. I will give him a chance to say any. trusted to us, I hope that there will be at least Did that resolution assert a falsehood, or was thing he pleases at the proper time. one of this Spartan band to survive the destruc- it a truth? Did it assert the true intention of Mr. HOWARD. I hope the Senator will tion, and who may be able to erect, as did the the people, or was it a cover for a design which not misrepresent me, as he declines to yield commonwealth of Lacedemon upon the heights they chose to conceal, and which is only devel- the floor. overlooking that famous pass where the three | oped now in the face of the people?
Mr. COWAN. If the purpose was to com. hundred fell, a monument to their courage and I
say to the honorable Senator from Michi- pel the southern people to fulfill their constitapatriotism, inscribed with these words of eter- gan that the war was for the Union; it was to tional obligations, and to obey the laws of the nal force and duration : "Go, traveler, tell to save the Union ; it was to restore it and to com- Union, then we had a perfect right to do it. Lacedemon that we died here in obedience to pel the submission of those who desired to dis- Our right was as perfect as that of the sheriff her sacred laws." I ask for no prouder monu- member the Union to the laws and the Consti- when he compels the felon to surrender to him, ment.
tution of the country. The honorable Senator and based upon precisely the same ground. If, And if there be any persons here or else- is a member of the star-chamber committee on the other hand, the war was for the purpose where who expect to drive me, as a humble of fifteen; he is a member of that committee of conquering those people, holding them as our member of this body, from the position I have which carries at its girdle the keys of the Union; vassals, treating them as serfs and slaves, subtaken ; if there be a deluded class, either here he was appointed to inquire into the temper of ject to the domination of one half of the Union, or elsewhere, who expect to intimidate Con- the southern people; he was appointed to in- then, I say, it was an outrage upon all right, gress, or who aim to intimidate Congress into | quire whether the people of those States were all authority, and had no warrant anywhere, a compliance with these executive edicts; if fit to be restored to their rights under the either in the laws of God or the laws of man; we are to have a coup d'état, as has been recom- Union; and now I say, as I said the other day, and especially on the part of those who have mended to the President by more than one of if what he says is true, he indorses the Chicago descended from the signers of the Declaration the leading journals of the country published || platform. He has established himself upon the of Independence, it would have been an atroin his interest; if we are to have that policy | platform that the war was a failure; and he city. [Manifestations of applause in the galcarried out which has been more than once fings out broadly, into the faces of American leries. ] recommended by a newspaper in this city which soldiers and American citizens, that instead of The PRESIDING OFFICER, (Mr. POYEROY is supposed to speak his sentiments and by his restoring to the Union and to the country and in the chair.) Order must be observed in the authority; if Congress is to be expelled by the to their rights under the Union the people of galleries. point of the bayonet, and rebel Senators and the South, the war was a failure; and here, in Mr. COWAN. How did we justify ourselves rebel Representatives thrust into these Halls the open face of day, in the presence of the in the first Revolution ? What did we say to in despite of our votes, I have this to say, not people, he says the southern people are a con- the mother country then and there? That boasting of peculiar personal courage, come quered people, and that we hold them, to use every community, that every people had the on! I ask no favors! The first hand of violence his own language, by the point of the bayonet. right to choose their own form of government. that shall be laid upon a member of this body Mr. President, is that so? I do not under- I have heard the Declaration of Independence or the other body will be a signal for such an take to take issue with the gentleman upon the quoted here a thousand times over to establish uprising of the loyal northern masses as shall fact as to whether the condition of that people | absurdities which it never was intended to teach him, whoever he may be, who puts him- be what he represents it to be or not. It is establish; but here is a great historical fact self at the head of the movement, that the enough for me to know that that is the ground that no man dare deny; and that is, that the people of the United States have not forgotten upon which he plants himself here; and I am American Revolution was based upon the right they are still a free people, and that they are exceedingly glad that he has so manfully of a people to govern themselves, and that represented, and intend forever to be repre- avowed it. The rebellion, then, was success- nobody else had a right derived from heaven. sented, by a free American Congress. [Mani- ful in that: it took the rebel States out of the If they had the right, whence did they derive festations of applause in the galleries.] Union ; it took their people out, as a matter it? From the gentleman's higher law of force?
Mr. COWAN. Mr. President, I think, in of course, loyal and disloyal, false and true, And then talk about standing in the pass of view of the danger which portends and which faithful and unfaithful; and since they have | Thermopyle, and talk about building monuhas been alluded to by the honorable Senator been out, and since the reconquest has been ments there! from Michigan, that this is a good time to be made, if you please to call it so, or since the
"They fell devoted, but undying; brave, and a good time to say stout things; conclusion of the war, they have remained The very gale their names seemed sighing; and I am glad that he has availed himself of dehors the Union, and are held as a conquered
The waters murmured of their name; the opportunity. I am not so well pleased people. If that is true, say so. We will meet
The woods were peopled with their fame;
The silent pillar, lone and grey, that he has claimed for himself the position of you in the pass of Thermopylæ or at Philippi, Claimed kindred with their sacred clay.” Leonidas and his Spartans in the pass of Ther- if you please.
Why, sir, it is to desecrate that which has mopylæ, in his fight. There the three hundred Mr. HOWARD. We will meet you at both been sacred for three thousand years to allude stood against an invading horde of foreigners || places.
to Thermopylæ in such a connection. What who sought their country. Where is the Sen- Mr. COWAN. Very well ; we will meet you was the struggle of Leonidas? That Greece ator standing now? Is he standing in the in the physical and in the spiritual. I believe || should govern Persia? No; it was to throw breach? Ay, sir, directly in the breach ; but the meeting in one of those cases was physical | back the tide of the Persians, who insisted, it is in that breach which the American people and the other spiritual,
according to this higher law of force, that the desire to heal. He stands in that chasm which Now, sir, I might ask here, by what title, by king of kings, Xerxes, had a right to govern they would bridge over. He stands in the what right, by what authority was the honor- | Greece, had a right to hold its people as a conmouth of that wound which they would close able Senator, or anybody else, clothed in this quered people and its provinces as conquered and cicatrize. That is his true position. He Government to make conquests of his fellow- | provinces. stands in the very breach which prevents the citizens? Is it because he appeals to what he Mr. President, let us look at this question
coolly. I ask again, by what warrant did we the admission of members of Congress from the ance and acknowledged the Government of make this war? Was it because, as the ques- rebellious States. That was his phrase; and the Union and their obligations to the Constition was put to me the other day, there is such that was all. Nobody pretends that President | tution and laws just as before, what would a thing as political dominancy, political sover- Johnson ever undertook to say that we should you have done with them? You could do one eignty, by which one people have a right to admit this man or that man or the other man, of two things. You could say, “Very well, dominate another people? Who will dare to or that we should reject this one or the other that is all right; you may go on just as you avow it upon this floor? Our warrant was the Even the honorable Senator himself did
are, provided you obey tlie Constitution and Constitution and the laws. We said to the not pretend it. What did he say? He gave the laws, subject, however, to our right to southern people: you bound yourselves, States a legal opinion in that respect. Was it a good hang you ; we have the right to hang you if and people, with us in that Constitution; you opinion or was it a bad one? What does the we choose to enforce it, but that is a question assisted in making those laws; and now you Constitution provide in that case? Does the we will not decide now; in the mean time we refuse to fulfill your obligations; now you Constitution provide that this Senate shall will hold it in abeyance over your head, and undertake to secede and withdraw yourselves determine who shall be members of the Senate you can go on and play Governor and Legisfrom the operations of the very law that you and who shall not, or does it confer that power lature." That was one way, and the Presiassisted to make under that Constitution ; ll jointly upon the Senate and the House? It is dent had a perfect right to do that. Nobody you provided that the Executive of the nation very expressive on that subject. It is about
could quarrel with him if he had chosen to should swear to support the Constitution ; as clear as it can be made. The Constitution || take that course. you provided that he shonld see that the confers the power upon each House separately. On the other hand, the President had the laws were faithfully exeented; you provided Then the Senator read Mr. Lincoln's opinion perfect right to say to these men, " You have that those laws should be paramount, that on that point, and Mr. Lincoln's phrase was been engaged in rebellion ; you have been in they should be higher than all other laws the “respective Houses." What does that | complicity with treason and unfaithful to the within their particular constitutional circle; mean? Does that mean the Houses jointly or trust committed to you by your people; you you did all that, and we claim the right to the IIouses separately. I should not think it are set aside, your office is vacated." What compel you to stand upon them. Sir, we did. would require a very close or accurate criticism then? What would a court say in such a case, We compelled the recusants, we compelled the to determine that. There is the whole of it. and I address some who have been judges? rebels, we compelled the traitors, if you please, Now, Mr. President a very brief statement The court then appoint somebody to support to lay down their arms and yield obedience-to will set all this matter right. The States are the trust until the corporators meet together the Senator from Michigan or anybody? Not corporations ; they are legal persons, having no and elect for themselves. at all, sir. It was not by any especial virtue actual physical existence, but existing in con- Mr. HOWE. Let me ask the Senator where of his or mine; it was not on account of any | templation of law for the purpose of carrying the President gets the authority to set aside superiority that we might assume over the out the purposes of the trust, and the citizens the Governors and Legislatures of States. southern people that we claimed the right to of the several States are corp
ators; and in
Mr. COWAN. I should think that a man compel their surrender. We did it in the name one of its aspects, and in this aspect, a State who had the power to do a thing indirectly of the Constitution and standing under the may be contemplated precisely as you contem- would have power to do it directly. shadow of the majesty of the law. They sur- plate a bank or a railroad or any other corpo- Mr. HOWE. I ask the question where the rendered to the law.
ration. The officers of these corporations, the President gets that power. Mr. HOWARD. They surrendered to our oflicers of rebel States, and a certain number Mr. COWAN. I will tell you where he gets arms.
of the corporators, if you please-I am not here it. He gets it as the supreme Executive of Mr. COWAN. They surrendered to the disposed to quarrel as to the number or to the nation. He gets it by virtue of the warlaw. Your arms compelled them to surrender dispute as to the number; that can be talked rant which the American people gave him to to the law, but they surrendered to the law. of hereafter-undertook to pervert the purpose go down there and to suppress the rebellion, The honorable Senator is a lawyer, and a good of the corporation, undertook to carry the cor- and to take all that he found in armed resistone, I should say, in many of the departments | poration bodily away from the original intent ance to it. Had he not that power ? of that profession; and impressed as he is, and purpose to which it was bound by the Con- Mr. HOWE. Hehad the power to suppress impregnated as he is all through with the very stitution and the laws. What was the duty of the armed forces engaged in the rebellion ; but spirit of the law, the moment that surrender the United States under these circumstances? where did he get the power to depose the Gov. was made the honorable Senator would not Was it not their bounden duty to see that the ernor and the Legislature of a State; and have dared to lift his hand to the worst rebel | citizens, the corporators, even if there were not judges, and municipal oflicers ? of them all. He would not have been guilty more than a dozen of them faithful, should not Mr. COWAN. Precisely from the same of the impropriety of which the Senator from be deprived of their franchise, and that this source that the constable gets it, precisely from Nevada [ Mr. NYE] was the other day, when | corporation should not be carried away with- the same source that the sheriff gets it, or the he said that he would have hanged Jeff. Davis out their will and consent? I say that if there marshal gets it. He gets it under and by virtue without law. The honorable Senator knows was one man from the rebel States who came of the law. He had the right to drive these peothat the man who would do so, the man who up and protested against this perversion of the ple from their places by virtue of that authority. would violate the sanctity of the law and take State corporate authorities and being carried Mr. HOWE. Then a sheriff, I understand, a criminal out of the grasp of the law and away by secession, the United States Govern- || would have the same right as the President. execute his individual vengeance upon him, ment would have been bound to listen to him Mr. COWAN. Instead of saying to the would be a murderer in fact and a murderer and to rescue him and restore him to his man, “You must go out of your office," the in law. The law is supreme over the Ameri- | rights as guarantied under the Constitution and sheriff could do it by arresting him, and why? can people, and it is to the law that we bow. the laws. Well, sir, that was the view the Because if the sheriff, who has limnited power, We owe no allegiance to Presidents or to Con- United States took of it. They took precisely | allowed the man to go out from his control gresses or to anybody else as the sovereigns the same view of it that a court of chancery he would not be very likely to take him easily in this country, and thank God for it! I hope | takes of trusts. They were the custodian of | again ; but the President had all these people the day may never come when we, as citizens the rights of the people, the general custodian; in his net, and they could not very readily get of this great and free Republic, shall be held and they interfered that the trusts might be out of it. to obedience to anything but the law. Do you | preserved ; that the corporation might not be Mr. HOWE. Wellwant to be slaves? Do you want to wear the perverted from its original uses? What then? Mr. COWAN. I decline to yield further; collar and the harness of a man superior over War resulted and the war was successful; re- I do not want any more interpolations. Í you? If you do you are unworthy sons of sistance ceased. When that happened, there think everybody will understand me when I get revolutionary sires. I yield me to the law, were two ways by which those corporations through, and if not, I do not know that I can bat I yield to 110 man and no body of men; could be restored. Who could restore them? make myself any plainer. and without desiring to boast at all, I will Gentlemen talk here about Congress restoring There is the source of the authority. I do not make my boast there; I will never submit to them; they talk about the President restoring say that was a better plan than the other plan. wearing the collar or the harness of any man. them; they talk about anybody restoring them. I have no quarrel about that. It was within I am willing to pay my obeisance humbly to I can say to gentlemen that in this country | the option of the President to take either of the law. I am willing to yield to its require. States are not made by Presidents, States are these plans. He had a right to arrest these ments, even when I believe it to be unconsti- not made by Congress; State governments people; he had a right to allow them to go at tutional; but I will obey the law and never are not made by them. Neither the President || large on their parole, or, in other words, he had obey the behests of any single man or body nor Congress nor anybody else when this war a right to admit them to bail, if you please. in of men unless they are enforced upon me and was put down had a right to interfere in the that behalf; and he had a right to establish I cannot resist it.
restoration of the corporate rights of the cit- oflicers there to support the trust until the corThe honorable Senator set out by trying to izens of the southern States. The question porators, the citizens of the States, could come show that Mr. Lincoln's plan of reconstruction was to be referred to them. There were two back and resume their functions and elect new was not President Johnson's plan of recon- ways of doing it. One was to allow the corpo- officers true and faithful to their trust. struction. That was his object. He proposed rate officers to continue upon their profession Mr. Johnson chose the latter of these courses. to set that question entirely at rest, and I can of repentance and coming back within the pur- Where was the necessity for quarreling with state to you in a very few words how nearly he view of the original great charter.
it? Where did the quarrel come from? The came to it. President Johnson, in his last Suppose, if you please, that Governor Brown, || southern people did not complain of it. Noannual message, declared that it was for each of Georgia, and the Legislature of Georgia, || body ever heard Governor Letcher, of VirHouse of Congress to determine for itself upon who had been in rebeilion, professed repent. Il ginia, or Governor Brown, of Georgia, or any