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A FEW years since, the widow of Lyman Trumbull 
requested me to write a biography of her husband, who 
was United States Senator from Illinois during the three 
senatorial terms 1855-1873, or to recommend some suit- 
able person for the task. It had been a cause of surprise 
and regret to me that the name of Trumbull had not yet 
found a place in the swelling flood of biographical litera- 
ture that embraces the Civil War period. Everybody, 
North or South, who stood on the same elevation with 
him, everybody who exercised influence and filled the 
public eye in equal measure with him, had found his niche 
in the libraries of the nation, and such place in the hearts 
of the people as his merits warranted. Trumbull alone 
had been neglected. I reflected upon the matter and 
came to the conclusion that, although better writers than 
myself could be found for this kind of work, no one was 
likely to be found who had been more intimate with him 
during his whole senatorial career, or who had warmer 
sympathy for his aims or higher admiration for his abili- 
ties and character. I reflected also that very soon there 
would be no person living possessing these special qualifi- 
cations. Accordingly I decided to undertake the work. 

Mrs. Trumbull placed in my hands several thousand 
letters received by Trumbull, and a few written by him, 
during his public career. All these have been examined by 
me, and they are now in the Library of Congress. He was 
not in the habit of keeping copies of letters written by 
himself unless he deemed them important, and such copies 
were generally written out by his own hand, not taken in 


a copying-press. Other letters written by him have been 
sought with varying success in the hands of his corre- 
spondents, or their heirs, in various parts of the country, 
but nothing has been found in this way that can be 
considered of much importance. 

During the Reconstruction era I had sustained the 
policy of Congress in opposition to that of Andrew 
Johnson, but had revolted at the carpetbaggery and mis- 
government which had ensued, and had abhorred the 
"Ku-Klux" bills and "Force** bills which the Union 
party for a long time continued to enact or threaten. I 
was not quite prepared to find, however, upon going over 
the whole ground again, that I had been wron^ from the 
b^inning, and that Andrew Johnson's policy, which was 
Lincoln's policy, was the true one, and ought never to 
have been departed from. This is the conclusion to 
which I have come, after much study, in the evening of 
a long life. This does not mean that all of the doings and 
sayings of President Johnson were wise and good, but 
that I believe him to have been an honest man, a true 
patriot, and a worthy successor of Lincoln whose Recon- 
struction policy he followed. Lincoln himself could not 
have carried that policy into effect without a fight, and 
many persons familiar with the temper of the time think 
that even he would have failed. All that we can now 
affirm is that he was armed with the prestige of vic- 
tory and the confidence of the North, and hence would 
have been better prepared than Johnson was for meeting 
the difficulties that sprang up at the end of the war. It 
must be admitted, however, that Johnson honestly aimed 
to carry out that policy, both because it was Lincoln's 
and because he himself, after careful consideration, 
esteemed it sound. 

I acknowledge my indebtedness to the Diary oj Gideon 


Welles^ which I regard as the most important contribu- 
tion to the history of the period of which it treats that has 
yet been given to the public. The history of Mr. James 
Ford Rhodes I have found to be an invaluable guide, as 
to both facts and judgments of men and things. I am 
indebted to Professor William A. Dunning, of Columbia 
University, for valuable suggestions, criticism, and en- 
couragen^ent, as well as for the assistance derived from 
his admired writings on Reconstruction. Miss Katherine 
Mayo has lightened my labors greatly by her intelligent 
and indefatigable search of old letters and newspaper 
files and by interviews with persons still living. My 
gratitude is due also to the late William H. Lambert, of 
Philadelphia, for giving me access to his collection of 
manuscript correspondence that passed between Lincoln 
and Trumbull prior to the inauguration of the former as 
President; also to Dr. William Jayne, of Springfield, 
Illinois, to Hon. J. H. Roberts, of Chicago, to the wife of 
Walter Trumbull (now Mrs. L. C. Pardee, of Chicago), 
and to Mrs. Mary Ingraham Trumbull, of Saybrook 
Point, Connecticut. 

H. W. 




The TrumbuIIs from Newcastle-on-Tyne, England — Most illustrioua 
family in Colony of Connecticut — Lyman Trumbull born and edu- 
cated at Colchester — Begins his career as school-teacher in Creorgia 
in 1833 — Studies law there in office of Hiram Warner — In 1837 makes 
a journey on horseback to Shawneetown, Illinois — Begins practice of 
law in office of Governor Reynolds at Belleville — "Riding on the cir- 
cuit*' in the early days — In a letter to his father describes the killing 
of Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy at Alton — Elected to the legislature from St. 
Clair County in 1840 — Appointed secretary of state in 1841 by Gover- 
nor Carlin — Removed from office in 1843 by Governor Ford — Pol- 
itical disturbance in consequence — Belleville in 1842 — Marriage of 
Trumbull and Miss Julia Jayne — Their wedding journey — Political 
campaign of 1848 — Trumbull fails of nomination for governor — Is 
elected judge of the supreme court in 1848 — Removes his residence to 
Alton — Reelected as judge in 1852, but resigns in the following year . 1 



French adventurers from Canada the first whites in Illinois — Followed 
by colonists from Louisiana — Slaves sent from Santo Domingo by 
John Law's Company of the Indies — Thomas Jefferson takes steps 
to exclude slavery from the Northwest Territory — The Anti-Slavery 
Ordinance of 1787 — The territorial legislature authorizes the holding 
of "indentured servants" for a limited time — Attempts to repeal 
the Ordinance defeated in Congress by John Randolph of Roanoke — 
State constitution in 1818 prohibits slavery — the pro-slavery men 
attempt to change the constitution — Bitter contest in 1824 results 
in their defeat — Slavery continues, nevertheless, under judicial deci- 
sions — Trumbull wages war against it in the courts — His final victory 
in the Janot case, in 1845 23 



Senator Dou^as and the repeal of the Missouri Compromise — Disruption 
of political parties — Trumbull announces himself a candidate for 


Congress in opposition to the Nebraska Bill — Is elected in the Eighth 
Illinois District — Abraham Lincoln takes the stump against Douglas 
— Their joint debate at Springfield in October, 1854 — An Anti- 
Nebraska legislature elected — Lincoln a candidate for Senator in 
place of General Shields — Five Anti-Nebraska Bill members vote for 
Trumbull — Supporters of Shields transfer their votes to Governor 
Matteson — Lincoln transfers his votes to Trumbull, who b elected by 
a majority of one 92 



Trumbull takes his seat in the Senate — A protest is presented declar- 
ing him not eligible — It is overruled after debate — Disturbances in 
Kansas consequent upon the passage of the Nebraska Bill — Trumbull 
makes a speech criticizing Douglas's report thereon — Debate between 
the two Senators attracts wide attention — Speeches of Seward, Sum- 
ner, Collamer, and others — TrumbulFs first appearance in debate is 
warmly welcomed by the opponents of the Nebraska Bill . . 48 



Tlie national contest of 1856 results in the election of James Buchanan as 
President — The Republicans of Illinois elect their state ticket — The 
Kansas war continues — Buchanan appoints Robert J.Walker governor 
of the territory — The Pro-Slavery party hold a convention at the town 
of Lecompton to form a state constitution — The Free State men decide 
not to participate, but to vote against the constitution when submitted 
to the people — The convention decides not to submit the constitution 
to popular vote — President Buchanan agrees to this plan — Gover- 
nor Walker thereupon resigns his office and Senator Douglas opposes 
the admission of Kansas under the Lecompton Constitution — Both 
Trumbull and Douglas speak against the Lecompton measure and 
Congress rejects it — Douglas contemplates joining the Republicans. 69 



Popularity of Douglas among the Elastem Republicans growing out of the 
Lecompton fight — Not shared by those of Illinois — The latter choose 
Lincoln as their candidate for Senator — Some letters from Lincoln to 
Trumbull in 1858 — The campaign of 1858 results in the reflection of 
Douglas, but the popular vote shows a plurality for Lincoln — Doug- 
las*8 doctrine of " Unfriendly Legislation ** in the territories in regard to 
slavery turns the South against him — The John Brown raid at Har- 
per's Feny — TrumbulKs speech and debate thereon in the Senate . 86 




Hie National Republican Convention at Chicago in 1860 — How Lincoln 
was nominated in preference to Seward — the Secession movement 
after the election — Trumbull makes a speech at Springfield which 
includes a brief statement of Republican policy written by Lincoln — 
Correspondence between Lincoln and Trumbull before the inauguration 
— Trumbull advises his friends in Chicago not to make concessions to 
those who threaten to overthrow the Government — He has a debate 
in the Senate with Jefferson Davis — Makes a speech at the night 
session, March 2, 1861, against the Crittenden Compromise — The 
latter defeated in the Senate by Yeas, 19; Nays, 20 — Some items of 
Washington society news from Mrs. Trumbull — Interview between 
President Buchanan and Judge McLean — Text of Trumbull^s Speech 
against the Crittenden Compromise « . 108 



ThimbulFs interview with William Cullen Bryant, and others, who oppose 
William H. Seward as a member of LincoIn*s Cabinet — They consider 
Seward*s coterie in New York corrupt and dangerous — Trumbull 
communicates the objections to Lincoln — Lincoln thinks that the 
forces which backed Seward at the Chicago Convention must not be 
snubbed — He has already offered a place to Seward — Hie question 
of Cameron more difficult — David Davis*s bargain with friends of 
Cameron and of Caleb Smith — Cameron tries to procure an invitation 
to Springfield, but Lincoln refuses — Leonard Swett gives invitation 
without Lincoln's authority — Cameron visits Springfield and secures 
promise of Cabinet position from Lincoln — A. K. McClure protests 
against Cameron's appointment and Lincoln requests Cameron to 
decline — Cameron does not decline — Trumbull advises Lincoln not 
to appoint Cameron — Lincoln's Illinois friends protest against Cam- 
eron — Trumbull urges appointment of Judd — Seward and Weed 
support Cameron, who is finally appointed Secretary of War — Trum- 
bull, rejected as Senator, becomes Chairman of the Committee on the 
Judiciary — Thfe last great service of Senator Douglas to his country — 
His death and Trumbull's tribute to his memory .... 139 



The Senate appoints a committee to ask the President to recall the appoint- 
ment of Harvey as Minister to Portugal — He had notified Governor 
Pickens of the Government's intention to relieve Fort Sumter — 
Trumbull a member of the committee — Seward says that he did not 


know of Harvey's action till after the appointment was made — In 
fact, Seward gave the information to Harvey intending that he should 
send it to Pickens — John Hay's Diaiy says that Lincoln, before his in- 
auguration, offered to evacuate Fort Sumter — Also that he repeated 
the offer after inauguration — This confirms a narrative of John Minor 
Botts — The controversy between Botts and J. B. Baldwin concerning 
the latter's interview with Lincoln on April 5, 1861 — Reasons for 
believing that Botts's story is true — Remarkable interview between 
Douglas and Seward as to Fort Sumter 155 



Trumbull makes an excursion with Senator Grimes to the battle of Bull 
Run — Is caught by the retreating Union army and driven back to 
Washington — His account of the panic and stampede says, " It was the 
most shameful rout you can conceive of" — Sends a telegram to Mrs. 
Trumbull, but the authorities suppress it — Consternation at the 
Capital — General Fremont's doings at St. Louis — His military order 
of emancipation — Lincoln considers it premature and revokes it — 
Correspondence between Trumbull and M. Carey Lea, of Philadelphia 
— Cameron follows Frtoont's example in his first Annual Report — 
Sends report to the newspapers without the President's knowledge — 
Lincoln directs him to recall it and strike out the part relating to slav- 
ery — General David Hunter issues an order freeing all slaves in South 
Carolina, Georgia, and Florida — The President revokes it — Trum- 
bull reports a bill from the Senate Judiciary Committee to confiscate 
the property of rebels and to give freedom to all of their slaves — CoUa- 
mer opposes confiscation as both unconstitutional and impolitic — He 
offers an amendment to substitute judicial process for military confis- 
cation — Collamer's views prevail — The President objected, however, 
to the forfeiture of real estate beyond the lifetime of the owner — 
This was the first bill passed by Congress dealing a heavy blow at 
slavery 165 



Cameron and Alexander Cummings — Two million dollars placed in New 
York subject to Cummings's draft — The steamer Catiline chartered 
and laden by Cummings and Thurlow Weed — The House Com- 
mittee on Government Contracts — Cummings's testimony — Con- 
gressman Dawes's exposure of horse contracts — An equine Gol- 
gotha aroimd Washington City — The House censures Cameron — 
Lincoln removes him and appoints Stanton in his place — Cameron 
appointed Minister to Russia — Trumbull opposes confirmation — 
Cameron is confirmed, six Republican Senators voting in the negative. 178 




Lincoln's fiist suspennoo of the writ of habeas corpus — Secretary Seward 
and John Hay give verbal instructions thereunder — Senate debate on 
arbitrary arrests — Wide differences of opinion as to legality thereof — 
Trumbull calls for information — Debate between Trumbull, Dixon, 
and Wilson — Was power to suspend the writ lodged in the executive 
or in the legislative department? — Chief Justice Taney held that the 
writ had not been lawfully suspended anywhere — Trumbull demands 
trial by jury, without delay, of civilians arrested in loyal states — 
Before Congress takes action the election of 1862 results in victory for 
Democrats — Republican leaders intimidated — Stanton discharges 
all civilian prisoners — Congress passes TrumbulFs bill authorizing 
President to suspend writ, but requiring trial in civil courts and dis- 
charge of persons not indicted — Bill to indemnify the President for 
previous acts passed by both houses — Banishment of Vallandigham 
and suppression of the Chicago Times — Trumbull opposes the latter. 190 



The movement in the Senate for the retirement of Secretary Seward — 
Letters from Gustave Koemer, Alfred Iverson, and Walter B. Scates 
— The appointment of M. W. Delahay as judge of the U.S. District 
Court of Kansas — Hb subsequent impeachment and resignation — 
Letters of General John M. Palmer, Colonel Fred Hecker, and Jesse K. 
Dubob — Trumbull doubts the expediency of Lincoln's second nomina- 
tion — He thinks that there is a lack of efficiency in the prosecution of 
the war — This opinion shared by Henry Wilson and by Congressmen 
generally in the beginning of 1864 — The people, however, were for 
Lincoln's renomination — The Cleveland Convention, and nomination 
of General Frtoont — Simultaneous retirement of Fremont and Post- 
master-General Blair 210 



Scope of Lincoln's Proclamation of Emancipation — Amendment of the 
Constitution to abolish slavery — First proposals by Wilson, of Iowa, 
and Henderson, of Missouri — Trumbull reports the Thirteenth 
Amendment from the Senate Judiciary Committee — His argument 
thereon — Speeches of Senators Henderson and Reverdy Johnson — 
Amendment passes the Senate, but fails in the House — Second at- 
tempt in the House successful by a trade with Democrats — Amend- 
ment ratified — Objections rais^ by Southern States explained away 
by Seward 222 




Death of Lincoln — Conflict of opinions concerning the status of the 
seceding states — Lincohi's prodamation of December, 1863 — Re- 
construction of Louisiana in pursuance thereof — Trumbull reports a 
joint resolution admitting that state — Sumner prevents the Senate 
from voting on it — Lincoln*s last speech on Reconstruction — His 
plan indorsed by William Uoyd Garrison — Andrew Johnson as Presi- 
dent adopts it — Recognizes Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Ar- 
kansas as restored to the Union — Issues an executive order appointing 
a governor of North Carolina to call a constitutional convention — 
Negroes not included in the list of voters — Similar orders issued for 
the other seceding states — Wendell Phillips soimds a blast against 
President Johnson — Northern newspapers at first favorable to John- 
son — Desperate industrial condition of the South . . .231 


Excellent tone and temper of Johnson's first communication to Congress 

— Written by George Bancroft — Eulogy of the New York Nation — 
Johnson*s early life and training — A first-rate stump-speaker — Sum- 
ner attacks Johnson for *' whitewashing" the ex-slaveholders — Acts of 
Southern legislatures passed to keep the negroes in order — Senator 
Wilson moves that all such acts establishing inequality of civil rights be 
declared invalid — Trumbull argues for postponement of such legisla- 
tion until the Thirteenth Amendment is ratified — Debate between 
Trumbull and Saulsbury — Reports of General Grant and General Carl 
Schurz on the condition and temper of the Southern people — Letter 
from J. L. M. Curry on the same 244 



Trumbull introduces two bills to protect the freedmen in the states — 
Provisions of the Freedmen*s Bureau Bill — Trumbull contends that 
the Thirteenth Amendment authorized Congress to abolish the inci- 
dents and disabilities of slavery — The Freedmen*s Bureau Bill passed 
by Congress and vetoed by the President — The Senate fails to pass it 
over the veto — Struggle in the Senate to obtain a two-thirds majority 

— Senator Stockton (Democrat), of New Jersey, unseated — Tnim- 
bulFs Civil Rights Bill taken up — It does not deal with the right of 
suffrage — Debate in the Senate on the constitutional question — Bill 
passes Senate — Is opposed in the House by Bingham, of Ohio — Is 
vetoed by the President — Exciting scene in Senate when the bill is 


iwased over the veto — Trumbull takes the lead in the campaign of 1866 
and is rejected to the Senate — The Civil Rights Act in the courts — 
An echo from the State of Georgia 857 



The Joint Committee on Reconstruction reports the Fourteenth Amend- 
ment of the Constitution — It holds that the seceding states cannot be 
restored to their former places in the Union by the executive alone — 
Tennessee admitted to the Union by Congress — The Arm-in-Arm 
Convention at Philadelphia — President Johnson's unfortunate speech 
following that event — The Southern States refuse to ratify the Four- 
teenth Amendment — This refusal gives increased power to the radicals 
in the North 281 



Decision of the Supreme Court in the Milligan case — It declares all triab 
of civilians by military commissions imlawf ul — It implies that Andrew 
J(^mson*s policy was preferable to that of Congress — All the mem- 
bers of the Cabinet support the President's policy — Stanton, however, 
secretly confers with the radicals to undermine the President — Sum- 
ner and Stevens become the leaders in Congress and pass bills annulling 
state governments in the South — The Conservatives follow reluc- 
tantly, believing that the negroes cannot be protected unless they have 
the right to vote — Renuirkable series of Reconstruction Acts passed 
in 1867 and 1868 — The case of Georgia — Trumbull overthrows Gov- 
ernor Bullock and his senatorial supporters 888 



The TenureK>f-Offioe Bill passed to curtail the President's power to remove 
officeholders — It does not apply to members of the Cabinet — The 
President vetoes it — The veto message written by Seward and Stanton 
in conjunction — Bill repassed over veto — First mutterings about 
impeachment — The Judiciary Committee reports in favor of it — 
The House rejects the report — The President requests Stanton's resig- 
nation — Stanton refuses to resign — The President removes him and 
appoints Grant Secretary of War ad interim — Stanton retires — The 
Senate disapproves of the removal of Stanton — Grant retires and 
Stanton resumes office — The President accuses Grant of bad faith, and 
appoints Lorenzo Thomas Secretary of War — The House votes to im- 
peach the President and appoints managers therefor — The trial begins 
March 6, 1868 — The President is acquitted by vote of 35 to 19, not 


two thirds — Seven Republican Senators including Trumbull vote 
"Not Guilty" — Newspaper comments sustaining the "Seven Trai- 
tors" — Trumbuirs written opinion filed with the record — Conse^ 
quences of the impeachment trial — Death of Fessenden — Death 
of Mrs. Lyman Trumbull 801 


Ihe mccardle case— grants cabinet— 
the fifteenth amendment 

W. H. McCardle, of Mississippi, arrested by General Ord for seditious pub- 
lications — Takes an appeal to the Supreme Court — General Grant, 
as Secretary of War ad interim, retains Trumbull to defend the military 
authorities — Congress passes a law to deprive the Supreme Court of 
jurisdiction — Trumbull votes for it — The Court rules that its juris- 
diction has been withdrawn by Congress — Secretary Stanton fixes 
Trumbull's compensation for professional services at $10,000 — Sena- 
tor Chandler contends that the payment is contrary to law — Trumbull 
shows that both law and precedent are on his side — The facts in the 
case — President Crrant*s mishaps in choosing his Cabinet — Wash- 
bume for the State Department, Stewart for the Treasury, and Borie 
for the Navy — They are succeeded by Rsh, Boutwell, and Robeson — 
General John A. Rawlins selected by himself for Secretary of War with 
Grant's approval — General Jacob Cos and Rockwood Hoar, two men 
of the highest type, appointed but soon resign — Adoption of the 
Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution 827 



Senator Grimes's estimate of the Republican party in 1870 — President 
Grant's methods of carrying on the Government — His attempt to 
annex Santo Domingo — Senate rejects the treaty of annexation — 
The President comes in conflict with Charles Sumner, who is displaced 
as chairman of the Senate Conmiittee on Foreign Relations — TVum- . 
bull sustains Sumner — Motley, Minister to Great Britain, b removed 
from office and Trumbull is asked to take his place — He declines the 
offer — First movement for dvil service reform — Trumbull makes a 
speech at Chicago advocating it — Secretary Cox and Attorney-Gen- 
eral Hoar cease to be members of Grant's Cabinet .... 341 



Hie Liberal Republican movement begins in Missouri — Its leaders — 
Enfranchisement of the ex-Confederates, civil service reform, and reve- 


nue refonn, the issues — Meeting of revenue reformers at New York, 
November 22, 1871 — James G. Blaine, Speaker of the House, offers 
them a majority of the Committee of Ways and Means — The Missouri 
movement alarms the Republican leaders — They pass the Ku-Kluz 
Bill for the employment of military force in the South — Trumbull 
and Schurz oppose the Ku-Klux bill — Trumbull pronoimces it an 
unconstitutional measure — Schurz advocates the removal of all polit* 
cal disabilities — Congress passes an act of universal anmesty after 
the meeting of the Liberal Republican Convention .... 851 



General Grant's habits and training were not well adapted to civil and 
political duties — He was nominated for President on account of his 
military success — Rottenness in the New York Custom-House — 
Trumbull moves a general investigation of the waste of public money — 
The Senate decides in favor of a committee to investigate only matters 
specifically referred to it — The Leet and Stocking scandal — Colonel 
Leet found to be receiving $50,000 per year from the " General Order" 
business of the New York Custom-House — A Senate committee re- 
ports the facts to Secretary of the Treasury, Boutwell — The Secretary 
makes a new investigation and recommends that Collector Murphy 
discontinue the "General Order" system — Murphy allows it to con- 
tinue indefinitely — A second Senate investigation ordered — The 
Leet and Stocking mystery explained — President Grant not a partici- 
pant in the profits — The "General Order" system broken up — 
Indignation among Republicans resulting from the exposure . 861 



The Liberal Republican Convention in Missouri calls national convention 
at Cincinnati — Prompt and favorable response in Ohio and other 
states — Cooperation of leading Democrats — Springfield Republican^ 
• Cincinnati Commercial^ and Chicago Tribune, Republican newspapers, 
support the movement — Henry Watterson, Manton Marble, and 
August Belmont, Democrats, cooperate — The movement in Pennsyl- 
vania — William C. Bryant and others favor the nomination of Trum- 
bull for President — Great meeting at Cooper Union, New York — 
Governor Palmer, of Illinois, favors the movement — Charles Francis 
Adams, Horace Greeley, David Davis, B. Gratz Brown, and A. G. Cur- 
tin mentioned for President — Correspondence with Trumbull on the 
subject — The editors* dinner at Murat Halstead*s house — Platform 
embarrassment — The tariff question referred to the congressional dis- 
tricts — Frank Blair and Gratz Brown cause a commotion — Carl 
Schurz made chairman of the convention — Balloting for President — 


Brown withdraws his name and advises his friends to vote for Greelejr — 
Greeley nominated on the sixth ballot — Consternation of the sup- 
porters of Adams and IVumbuIl — Most of the Liberal Republican 
editors decide to support Greeley — Carl Schurz is much distressed — 
Godkin and Bryant reject Greeley — Correspondence between Bryant 
and Trumbull — Charles Sumner *s hesitating course — He finally 
decides to support Greeley .... .... 372 



How Trumbull received the news — Carl Schurz advises Greeley to decline 
the nomination — Greeley decides to accept it — Meeting of Liberal 
Republican leaders in New York to consider their course — Trumbull 
and Schurz decide to support the Cincinnati ticket — Correspondence 
between Schurz and Godkin — Parke Godwin against Greeley — 
President Grant renominated by the Republicans with Henry Wilson 
for Vice-President — The Democrats at Baltimore adopt both nominees 
and platform of the Liberal Republicans — A minority call a bolting 
convention, which nominates Charles 0*Conor — Trumbull's speech 
at Springfield, Illinois, in support of the Cincinnati ticket — Greeley's 
campaign starts with the prospect of victory — North Carolina election 
in August gives the Grant ticket a small majority — The tide turns 
against Greeley — Greeley takes the stump in September and makes a 
favorable impression, but too late — The October elections, in Pennsyl- 
vania and Ohio, go heavily Republican — Greeley and Brown defeated 

— Death of Greeley following the election — State election in Louisi- 
ana in 1872 — Fraudulent returns in favor of Kellogg exposed by 
Senators Carpenter and Trumbull — Kellogg sustained by President 
Grant 389 



Trumbull's senatorial term expires in 1878 — Not reelected — He resumes 
the practice of law in Chicago — The second Grant administration 
worse than the first — The Republican party beaten in the congres- 
sional elections of 1874 — The Hayes-Tilden campaign in 1876 — 
Disputed returns in Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida — The 
Electoral Commission — "Visiting Statesmen" sent to Louisiana to 
watch the count of the votes — Trumbull chosen as one of them — 
Chosen also to support Tilden's daim before the electoral commission 

— His argument thereon — E. W. Stoughton, in behalf of Hayes, con- 
tends that the returns of election certified by the governor of a state 
must be accepted — Also that the status of a governor recognized by 
the President of the United States cannot be questioned — Both these 
contentions are sustained by the Electoral Commission — By a vote of 


8 to 7 Hayes is declared elected President — Trumbull's marriage to 
Bffias Mary Ingraham — He is nominated for governor of Illinois by 
the Democrats in 1880 — Is defeated by Shelby M. Cullom — My last 
meeting with Trumbull at the World's Columbian Exposition — Trum- 
bull's professional services in the Debs case — His public speech, after 
the case was decided — He sides with the Populist party — Prepares 
their declaration of principles in December, 1894 — Text of the Declara- 
tion 407 



Trumbull goes to Belleville to attend the funeral of Gustave Koemer — 
Is taken with illness at hotel — On his return to his home he is found to 
be suffering from an internal tumor — His physicians decide that a sur- 
gical operation would be fatal — He lingers till June 5, 1896 — Dies in 
his eighty-third year — Impressive funeral — His great qualities as a 
lawyer and political debater — His conscientiousness and courage — 
Wa generosity, and fondness for little children — His place in the 
country's history — Eulogy by Joseph Medill, and other contempo- 
raries — Trumbull's estimate of Lincoln — His religious views — His 
surviving family and descendants 418 

Index • .^^ 488 


Events in the year 1854 brought into the field of 
national politics two members of the bar of southern 
Illinois who were destined to hold high places in the pub- 
lic councils — Abraham Lincoln and Lyman Trumbull. 
They were members of opposing parties, Lincoln a Whig, 
Trumbull a Democrat. Both were supporters of the com- 
promise measures of 1850. These measures had been 
accepted by the great majority of the people, not as 
wholly satisfactory, but as preferable to never-ending 
turmoil on the slavery question. There had been a subsi- 
dence of anti-slavery propagandism in the North, follow- 
ing the Free Soil campaign of 1848. Hale and Julian 
received fewer votes in 1852 than Van Buren and Adams 
had received in the previous election. Franklin Pierce 
(Democrat) had been elected President of the United 
States by so large a majority that the Whig party was 
practically killed. President Pierce in his first message to 
Congress had alluded to the quieting of sectional agita- 
tion and had said: "That this repose is to suffer no shock 
during my ofiScial term, if I have the power to avert it, 
those who placed me here may be assured." Doubtless 
the Civil War would have come, even if Pierce had kept his 
promise instead of breaking it; for, as Lincoln said a little 
later: "A house divided against itself cannot stand." 

It was not at variance with itself on the slavery ques- 
tion solely. In fact, the North did not take up arms 
against slavery when the crisis came. A few men foresaw 
that a war raging around that institution would somehow 
and sometime give it its death-blow, but at the beginning 
the Northern soldiers marched with no intention of that 


kind. They had an eye single to the preservation of the 
Union. The uprising which followed the firing upon Fort 
Sumter was a passionate protest against the insult to the 
national flag. It betokened a fixed purpose to defend 
what the flag symbolized, and it was only slowly and 
hesitatingly that the abolition of slavery was admitted as 
a factor and potent issue in the Northern mind. 

It is true that the South seceded in order to preserve 
and extend slavery, but it was penetrated with the belief 
that it had a perfect right to secede — not merely the right 
of revolution which oiu* ancestors exercised in separating 
from Great Britain, but a right under the Constitution. 

The states under the Confederation, dming the Revo- 
lutionary period and later, were actually sovereign. The 
Articles of Confederation declared them to be so. When 
the Constitution was formed, the habit of state sover- 
eignty was so strong that it was only with the greatest 
difliculty that its ratification by the requisite number of 
states could be obtained. John Quincy Adams said that 
it was " extorted from the grinding necessity of a reluctant 
people." The instrument itself provided a common 
tribunal (the Supreme Court) as arbiter for the decision 
of all disputed questions arising under the Constitution 
and laws of the United States. But it was not generally 
supposed that the jurisdiction of the court included the 
power to extinguish state sovereignty.^ 

^ Mr. H. C. Lodge, in his Life qf Daniel Webster, says, toudung the debate 
with Hayne in 1830: 

" When the Constitution was adopted by the votes of states at Phihulelphia, 
and accepted by the votes of states in popular conventions, it is safe to say that 
there was not a man in the country, from Washington and Hamilton, on the one 
side, to George Clinton and George Mason, on the other, who regarded the new 
system as anything but an experiment entered upon by the states, and from 
which each and every state had the right to peaceably withdraw, a right which 
was very likely to be exercised." 

Mr. Gaillard Himt, author of the Life of Jamee Madison, and editor of 
his writings, has published recently a confidential memorandum dated May 


The first division of political parties under the new 
government was the outgrowth of emotions stirred by the 
French Revolution. The Republicans of the period, led 
by Jefferson, were ardent sympathizers with the uprising 
in France. The Federalists, who counted Washington, 
Hamilton, and John Adams as their representative men, 
were opposed to any connection with European strife, 
or to any fresh embroilment with England, growing out 
of it. The Alien and Sedition Laws were passed in order 
to suppress agitation tending to produce such embroil- 
ment. Jefferson met these laws with the "Resolutions of 
*98," which were adopted by the legislatures of Virginia 
and Kentucky. These resolutions affirmed the right of 
the separate states to judge of any infraction of the Con- 
stitution by the Federal Government and also of the mode 
and measure of redress — a claim which necessarily 
included the right to secede from the Union if milder 
measures failed. The Alien and Sedition Laws expired by 
their own limitation before any actual test of their 
validity took place. 

The next assertion of the right of the states to nullify 
the acts of the Federal Government came from a more 
northern latitude as a consequence of the purchase of 
Louisiana. This act alarmed the New England States. 
The Federalists feared lest the acquisition of this vast 
domain should give the South a perpetual preponderance 

11, 1794, written by John Taylor of Caroline for Mr. Madison's information, 
giving an account of a long and solemn interview between himself and 
Rufus King and Oliver Ellsworth, in which the two latter affirmed that, by 
reason of differences of opinion between the £^t and the South, as to the 
acope and functions of government, the Union could not last long. There- 
fore they considered it best to have a dissolution at once, by mutual consent, 
rather than by a less desirable mode. Taylor, on the other hand, thought 
that the Union should be supported if possible, but if not possible he agreed 
that an amicable separation was preferable. Madison wrote at the bottom 
of this paper the words: " The language of K and E probably in terrorem" 
and laid it away so carefully that it never saw the light until the year 1905. 


and control of the Government. Since there was no clause 
in the Constitution providing for the acquisition of new 
territory (as President Jefferson himself conceded), they 
afBrmed that the Union was a partnership and that a 
new partner could not be taken in without the consent of 
all the old ones, and that the taking in of a new one with- 
out such consent would release the old ones. 

Controversy on this theme was superseded a few years 
later by more acute sources of irritation — the Embargo 
and War of 1812. These events fell with great severity on 
the commerce of the Northern States, and led to the pas- 
sage by the Massachusetts legislature of anti-Embargo 
resolutions, declaring that 'Vhen the national compact is 
violated and the citizens are oppressed by cruel and un- 
authorized law, this legislature is bound to interpose its 
power and wrest from the oppressor his victim.'* In this 
doctrine Daniel Webster concurred. In a speech in the 
House of Representatives, December 9, 1814, on the 
Conscription Bill, he said : 

The operation of measures thus imconstitutional and illegal 
ought to be prevented by a resort to other measures which are 
both constitutional and legal. It will be the solemn duty of the 
State Governments to protect their own authority over their 
own militia and to interpose between their own citizens and 
arbitrary power. . . . Willi the same earnestness with which 
I now exhort you to forbear from these measures I shall exhort 
them to exercise their imquestionable right of providing for the 
security of their own liberties.^ 

The anti-Embargo resolutions were followed by the 
refusal of both Massachusetts and Connecticut to allow 
federal oflScers to take command of their militia and by 
the call for the Hartford Convention. The latter body 

1 LdUrs cf Danid WebiUr, edited by C. W. Van Tyne, p. 67. Mr. Van Tyne 
says that Webster "here advocated a doctrine hardly distinguishable from 


recommended to the states represented in it the adoption 
of measures to protect their citizens against forcible 
drafts, conscriptions, or impressments not authorized by 
the Constitution — a phrase which certainly meant that 
the states were to judge of the constitutionality of the 
measures referred to. The conclusion of peace with Great 
Britain put an end to this crisis before it came to blows. 

On February 26, 1833, Mr. Calhoun, following the 
Resolutions of '98, affirmed in the Senate the doctrine 
that the Government of the United States was a compact, 
by which the separate states delegated to it certain 
definite powers, reserving the rest; that whenever the 
general Government should assume the exercise of pow- 
ers not so delegated, its acts would be void and of no 
effect; and that the said Government was not the sole 
judge of the powers delegated to it, but that, as in all 
other cases of compact among sovereign parties without 
any common judge, each had an equal right to judge for 
itself, as well of the infraction as of the mode and meas- 
ures of redress. This was the stand which South Caro- 
lina took in opposition to the Force Bill of President 
Jackson's administration.^ 

A state convention of South Carolina was called which 
passed an ordinance nullifying the tariff law of the 
United States and declaring that, if any attempt were 
made to collect customs duties under it by force, that 
state would consider herself absolved from all allegiance 
to the Union and would proceed at once to organize a 

^ Referring to this speech of Calhoun and to Webster*8 reply, Mr. Lodge 

"Whatever the people of the United States understood the Constitution to 
mean in 1789, there can be no question that a majority in 18SS regarded it as 
a fundamental law and not a compact, — an opinion which has now become 
universal. But it was quite another thing to argue that what the Constitution 
had come to mean was what it meant when it was adopted/* 

See also Pendleton's UJe qf Alexander E, Siepkem, chap. xi. 


separate government. President Jackson was determined 
to exercise force, and would have done so had not Con- 
gress, under the lead of Henry Clay, passed a compromise 
tariff bill which enabled South Carolina to repeal her 
ordinance and say that she had gained the substantial 
part of her contention. 

Despite the later speeches of Webster, the doctrine of 
nullification had a new birth in Massachusetts in 1845, 
the note of discord having been called forth by the pro- 
posed admission of Texas into the Union. In that year the 
legislature passed and the governor approved resolutions 
declaring that the powers of Congress did not embrace a 
case of the admission of a foreign state or a foreign terri- 
tory into the Union by an act of legislation and "such an 
act would have no binding power whatever on the people 
of Massachusetts." This was a fresh outcropping of 
the bitterness which had prevailed in the New England 
States against the acquisition of Louisiana. 

Thus it appears that, although the Constitution did 
create courts to decide all disputes arising under it, the 
particularism which previously prevailed continued to 
exist. Nationalism was an aftergrowth proceeding from 
the habit into which the people fell of finding their com- 
mon centre of gravity at Washington City, and of view- 
mg it as the place where the American name and fame 
were embodied and emblazoned to the world. During the 
first half-century the North and the South were changing 
coats from time to time on the subject of state sover- 
eignty, but meanwhile the Constitution itself was working 
silently and imperceptibly in the North to undermine 
particularism and to strengthen nationalism. It had 
accomplished its educational work in the early thirties 
when it found its complete expression in Webster's reply 
to Hayne. But the South believed just as firmly that 


Hajnie was the victor in that contest, as the North 
believed that Webster was. Hayne's speech was not 
generally read in the North either then or later. It 
was not inferior, in the essential qualities of dignity, 
courtesy, legal lore, and oratorical force, to that of his 
great antagonist. Webster here met a foeman worthy 
of his steel. 

In the South the pecuniary interests bottomed on 
slavery offset and neutralized the unifying process that 
was ripening in the North. The slavery question entered 
into the debate between Webster and Calhoun in 1833 
suflSciently to show that it lay underneath the other 
questions discussed. Calhoun, in the speech referred to, 
reproached Forsyth, of Georgia, for dullness in not seeing 
how state rights and slavery were dovetailed together and 
how the latter depended on the former. 

That African slavery was the most direful curse that 
ever afflicted any civilized country may now be safely 
affirmed. It had its beginning in our country in the 
year 1619 at Jamestown, Virginia, where a Dutch warship 
short of provisions exchanged fourteen negroes for a 
supply thereof. Slavery of both Indians and negroes 
already existed in the West Indies and was regarded with 
favor by the colonists and their home governments. It 
b^an in Massachusetts in 1637 as a consequence of hos- 
tilities with the aborigines, the slaves being captives taken 
in war. They were looked upon by the whites as heathen 
and were treated according to precedents found in the 
Old Testament for dealing with the enemies of Jehovah. 
In order that they might not escape from servitude they 
were sent to the West Indies to be exchanged for negroes, 
and this slave trade was not restricted to captives taken 
in war, but was applied to any red men who could be 
safely seized and shipped away. 


From these small begmnings slavery spread over all the 
colonies from Massachusetts to Greorgia and lasted in all 
of them for a centmy and a half, i.e., until after the close 
of the Revolutionary War. Then it began to lose ground 
in the Northern States. Public sentiment turned against 
it in Massachusetts, but all attempts to abolish it there 
by act of the legislature failed. Its death-blow was given 
by a judicial decision in 1783 in a case where a master was 
prosecuted, convicted, and fined forty shillings for beat- 
ing a slave. ^ 

Public opinion sustained this judgment, although there 
had been no change in the law since the time when the 
Pequot Indians were sent by shiploads to the Bermudas 
to be exchanged for negroes. If masters could not punish 
their slaves in their discretion, — if slaves had any rights 
which white men were bound to respect, — slavery was 
virtually dead. No law could kill it more effectually. 

In one way and another the emancipation movement 
extended southward to and including Pennsylvania in the 
later years of the eighteenth century. Nearly all the 
statesmen of the Revolution looked upon the institu- 
tion with disfavor and desired its extinction. Thomas 
Jefferson favored gradual emancipation in Virginia, to 
be coupled with deportation of the emancipated blacks, 
because he feared trouble if the two races were placed 
upon an equality in the then slaveholding states. He 
labored to prevent the extension of slavery into the new 
territories, and he very nearly succeeded. In the year 
1784 he reported an ordinance in the Congress of the 
Confederation to organize all the unoccupied territory, 
both north and south of the Ohio River, in ten sub- 
divisions, in all of which slavery should be forever pro- 
hibited, and this ordinance failed of adoption by only one 

* Xjt. H. Moore's History qf Slavery in MassachtueUs, p. 215. 


vote. Six states voted in the aflSnnative. Seven were 
necessary. Only one representative of New Jersey hap- 
pened to be present, whereas two was the smallest num- 
ber that could cast the vote of any state. If one other 
member from New Jersey had been there, the Jeffersonian 
ordinance of 1784 would have passed; slavery would have 
been restricted to the seaboard states which it then occu- 
pied, and would never have drawn the sword against 
the Union, and the Civil War would not have taken 
place. ^ 

After the emancipation movement came to a pause, 
at the southern border of Pennsylvania, the fact became 
apparent that there was a dividing line between free 
states and slave states, and a feeling grew up in both sec- 
tions that neither of them ought to acquire a preponder- 
ance of power and mastery over the other. The slavery 
question was not concerned with this dispute, but a habit 
grew up of admitting new states to the Union in pairs, 
in order to maintain a balance of power in the national 
Senate. Thus Kentucky and Vermont offset each other, 
then Tennessee and Ohio, then Louisiana and Indiana, 
then Mississippi and Illinois. 

In 1819, Alabama, a new slave state, was admitted to 
the Union and there was no new free state to balance it. 
The Territory of Missoiui, in which slavery existed, was 
applying 'for admission also. While Congress was con- 
sidering the Missouri bill, Mr. Tallmadge, of New Yorkt 
with a view of preserving the balance of power, offered an 

^ Je£Fenoii was cut to the heart by this failure. Commenting on an 
article entitled " fitats Unis " in the EncydojMie, written by M. de Meus- 
nier, referring to his proposed anti-slavery oidinance, he said: 

" The voice of a single individual of the State which was divided, or one 
of those which were of the negative, would have prevented this abomina- 
ble crime from spreadmg itself over the new country. Thus we see the fate 
of millions unborn hanging on the tongue of one man, and Heaven was silent 
in that awful moment." 


amendment providing for the gradual emancipation of 
slaves in the proposed state, and prohibiting the intro- 
duction of additional slaves. This amendment was 
adopted by the House by a sectional vote, nearly all the 
Northern members voting for it and the Southern ones 
against it, but it was rejected by the Senate. 

In the following year the Missouri question came up 
afresh, and Senator Thomas, of Illinois, proposed, as a 
compromise, that Missouri should be admitted to the 
Union with slavery, but that in all the remaining terri- 
tory north of 36 degrees and SO minutes north latitude, 
slavery should be forever prohibited. This amendment 
was adopted in the Senate by 24 to 20, and in the House 
by 90 to 87. Of the affirmative votes in the House only 
fourteen were from the North, and nearly all of these 
fourteen members became so unpopular at home that 
they lost their seats in the next election. The Missouri 
Compromise was generally considered a victory for the 
South, but one great Southerner considered it the death- 
knell of the Union. Thomas Jefferson was still living, at 
the age of seventy-seven. He saw what this sectional rift 
portended, and he wrote to John Holmes, one of his cor- 
respondents, under date of April 22, 1820: 

This momentous question, like a fire-bell in the night, 
awakened me and filled me with terror. I considered it at once 
as the knell of the Union. It is hushed, indeed, for the moment. 
But this is a reprieve only, not a final sentence. A geographical 
line, coinciding with a marked principle, moral and political, 
once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men, will 
never be obliterated, and every new irritation will mark it 
deeper and deeper. 

Nearly all of the emancipationists, during the decade 
following the adoption of the Compromise, were in the 
slaveholding states, since the evil had its seat there. The 


Colonization Society's headquarters were in Washington 
City. Its president, Bushrod Washington, was a Virgin- 
ian, and James Madison, Henry Clay, and John Ran- 
dolph, leading Southerners, were its active supporters. 
The only newspaper devoted specially to the cause (the 
Genius of Universal Emancipation) ^ edited by Benjamin 
Lundy and William Lloyd Garrison, was published in the 
dty of Baltimore. This paper was started in 1829, but 
it was short-lived. Mr. Garrison soon perceived that 
colonization, depending upon voluntary emancipation 
alone, would never bring slavery to an end, since emanci- 
pation was doubtful and sporadic, while the natural in- 
crease of slaves was certain and vastly greater than their 
possible deportation. For this reason he began to advo- 
cate emancipation without regard to colonization. This 
policy was so unpopular in Maryland and Virginia that 
his subscription list fell nearly to zero, and this compelled 
the discontinuance of the paper and his removal to an- 
other sphere of activity. He returned to his native state, 
Massachusetts, and there started another newspaper, 
entitled the Liberator ^ in 1831. The first anti-slavery 
crusade in the North thus had its beginning. It did not 
take the form of a political party. It was an agitation, an 
awakening of the public conscience. Its tocsin was imme- 
diate emancipation, as opposed to emancipation condi- 
tioned upon deportation. 

The slaveholders were alarmed by this new movement 
at the North. They thought that it aimed to incite slave 
insurrection. The governor of South Carolina made it the 
subject of a special message. The legislature of Georgia 
passed and the governor signed resolutions offering a 
reward of $5000 to anybody who would bring Mr. Garri- 
son to that state to be tried for sedition. The mayor 
of Boston was urged by prominent men in the South to 


suppress the Liberator^ although the paper was then so 
obscure at home that the mayor had never seen a copy of 
it, or even heard of its existence. The fact that there was 
any organized expression of anti-slavery thought any- 
where was first made generally known at the North by 
the extreme irritation of the South; and when the temper 
of the latter became known, the vast majority of North- 
em people sided with their Southern brethren. They 
were opposed to anything which seemed likely to lead to 
slave insurrection or to a disruption of the Union. The 
abolitionist agitation seemed to be a provocation to both. 
Hence arose anger and mob violence against the aboli- 
tionists everywhere. This feeling took the shape of a 
common understanding not to countenance any discus- 
sion of the slavery question in any manner or anywhere. 
The execution of this tacit agreement fell for the most 
part into the hands of the disorderly element of society, 
but disapproval of the Garrisonian crusade was expressed 
by men of the highest character in the New England 
States, such as William Ellery Channing and Dr. 
Francis Wayland. The latter declined to receive the 
Liberator, when it was sent to him gratuitously. 

What was going on in the South during the thirties and 
forties of the last century? There were varying shades of 
opinion and mixed motives and fluctuating political cur- 
rents. In the first place cotton-growing had been made 
profitable by the invention of the cotton-gin. This 
machine for separating the seeds from the fibre of the 
cotton plant caused an industrial revolution in the world, 
and its moral consequences were no less sweeping. It 
changed the slaveholder's point of view of the whole 
slavery question. The previously prevailing idea that 
slavery was morally wrong, and an evil to both master 


and slave, gradually gave way to the belief that it was 
beneficial to both, that it was an agency of civilization 
and a means of bringing the blessings of Christianity to 
the benighted African. This change of sentiment in the 
South, which became very marked in the early thirties, 
has been ascribed to the bad language of the abolitionists 
of the North. People said that the prime cause of the 
trouble was that Garrison and his followers did not speak 
easy. They were too vociferous. They used language cal- 
culated to make Southerners angry and to stir up slave 
insurrection. But how could anybody draw the line 
between different tones of voice and different forms of 
expression? Thomas Jefferson was not a speak-^asy. He 
said that one hour of slavery was fraught with more 
misery than ages of that which led us to take up arms 
against Great Britain. If Garrison ever said anything 
more calculated to incite slaves to insurrection than that, 
I cannot recall it. On the other hand, Elijah Lovejoy, at 
Alton, Illinois, was a speak-easy. He did not use any 
violent language, but he was put to death by a mob for 
making preparations to publish a newspaper in which 
slavery should be discussed in a reasonable manner, if 
there was such a manner. 

Nevertheless, the Garrisonian movement was errone- 
ously interpreted at the South as an attempt to incite 
slave insurrection with the attendant horrors of rapine and 
bloodshed. There were no John Browns then, and Gar- 
rison himself was a non-resistant, but since insurrection 
was a possible consequence of agitation, the Southern 
people demanded that the agitation should be put down 
by force. As that could not be done in any lawful way, 
and since unlawful means were ineffective, they consid- 
ered themselves under a constant threat of social up- 
heaval and destruction. The repeated declaration of 


Northern statesmen that there never would be any out- 
side interference with slavery in the states where it ex- 
isted, did not have any quieting effect upon them. The 
fight over the Missouri Compromise had convinced them 
that the North would prevent, if possible, the extension 
of slavery to the new territories, and that this meant con- 
fining the institution to a given space, where it would 
be eventually smothered. It might last a long time in its 
then boundaries, but it would finally reach a limit where 
its existence would depend upon the forbearance of its 
enemies. Then the question which perplexed Thomas 
Jefferson would come up afresh: "What shall be done 
with the blacks?** Mr. Garrott Brown, of Alabama, a 
present-day writer of ability and candor, thinks that the 
underlying question in the minds of the Southern people 
in the forties and fifties of the last century was not chiefly 
slavery, but the presence of Africans in large numbers, 
whether bond or free. This included the slavery question 
as a doUar-and-cent proposition and something more. 
Mrs. Fanny Kemble Butler, who lived on a Georgia plan- 
tation in the thirties, said that the chief obstacle to eman- 
cipation was the fact that every able-bodied negro could 
be sold for a thousand dollars in the Charleston market. 
Both fear and cupidity were actively at work in the 
Southern mind. 

In short, there was already an irrepressible conflict in 
our land, although nobody had yet used those words. 
There was a fixed opinion in the North that slavery was 
an evil which ought not to be extended and enlarged; 
that the same reasons existed for curtailing it as for stop- 
ping the African slave trade. There was a growing opin- 
ion in the South that such extension was a vital necessity 
and that the South in contending for it was contending 
for existence. The prevailing thought in that quarter was 


that the Southern people were on the defensive, that they 
were resisting aggression. In this feeling they were sin- 
cere and they gave expression to it in very hot temper. 

General W. T. Sherman, who was at the head of an 
institution of learning for boys in Louisiana in 1859, felt 
that he was treading on underground fires. In December 
of that year he wrote to Thomas Ewing, Jr. : 

Negroes in the great numbers that exist here must of ne- 
cessity be slaves. Theoretical notions of humanity and reli- 
gion cannot shake the commercial fact that their labor is of 
great value and cannot be dispensed with. Still, of course, 
I wish it never had existed, for it does make mischief. No 
power on earth can restrain opinion elsewhere and these 
opinions expressed beget a vindictive feeling. The mere 
dread of revolt, sedition, or external interference makes men, 
ordinarily calm, almost mad. I, of course, do not debate the 
question, and moderate as my views are, I feel that I am 
suspected, and if I do not actually join in the praises of 
slavery I may be denounced as an abolitionist.^ 

1 Oenerd W, T. Sherman as College Preeident, p. 88. 

••' .•- 



• >• 



The subject of this memoir was bom in Colchester, 
Comiecticut, October 12, 1813. The Trumbull family 
was the most illustrious in the state, embracing three 
governors and other distinguished men. AU were de- 
scendants of John Trumbull (or rather "Trumble" *), a 
cooper by trade, and his wife, EUenor Chandler, of New- 
castle, England, who migrated to Massachusetts in 1639, 
and settled first in Roxbury and removed to Rowley in the 
following year. Two sons were bom to them in Newcastle- 
on-Tyne: Beriah, 1637 (died in infancy), and John, 1639. 

The latter at the age of thirty-one removed to SuflBeld, 
Connecticut. He married and had four sons: John, 
Joseph, Ammi, and Benoni. 

Captain Benoni Trumbull, married to Sarah Drake 
and settled in Lebanon, Connecticut, had a son, Benja- 
min, bom May 11, 1712. 

This Benjamin, married to Mary Brown of Hebron, 
Connecticut, had a son, Benjamin, bom December 19, 

This son was graduated at Yale College in 1759, and 
studied for the ministry; he was ordained in 1760 at 
North Haven, Connecticut, where he oflBciated nearly 

* Stuart's Life qf Jonathan Trumbidl says that the family name was spelled 
*'Trumble" until 1766, when the second syllable was changed to "bull." 




sixty yearSj-Til^.'-preaching being interrupted only by the 
Revolutipnaiy War, in which he served both as soldier 
and as .-qli^plain. He was the author of the standard 
coIoniil-'iSlstory of Connecticut. He was married to Miss 
MaFtha' Phelps in 1760. They had two sons and five 

;'-/.The elder son, Benjamin, bom in North Haven, 
September 24, 1769, became a lawyer and married 
Elizabeth Mather, of Saybrook, Connecticut, March 15, 
1800, and settled in Colchester, Connecticut. The wife 
was a descendant of Rev. Richard Mather, who migrated 
from Liverpool, England, to Massachusetts in 1685, and 
was the father of Increase Mather and grandfather of 
Cotton Mather, both celebrated in the church history of 
New England. Eleven children were bom to these par- 
ents, of whom Lyman was the seventh. This Benjamin 
Trumbull was a graduate of Yale College, representative 
in the l^islature, judge for the probate districts of East 
Haddam and Colchester, and died in Henrietta, Jackson 
Coimty, Michigan, June 14, 1850, aged eighty-one. His 
wife died October 20, 1828, in her forty-seventh year. 
Lyman Trumbull was thus in the seventh generation of 
the Trumbulls in America.^ 

Five brothers and two sisters of Lyman reached ma- 
turity. A family of this size could not be supported by 
the fees earned by a country lawyer in the early part of 

^ Joseph, the second son of the John above mentioned, who had settled in 
Suffield, Connecticut, in 1670, removed to Lebanon. He was the father of 
Jonathan Trumbull (1710-1785), who was governor of Connecticut during the 
Revolutionary War, and who was the original "Brother Jonathan," to whom 
General Washington gave that endearing title, which afterwards came to 
personify the United States as "John Bull" personifies England. (Stuart's 
Jonathan TrumbuU, p. 697.) His son Jonathan (1740-1809) was a Representa- 
tive in Congress, Speaker of the House, Senator of the United States, and 
Governor of Connecticut. John Trumbull (1756-1843), another son of 
"Brother Jonathan," was a distinguished painter of historical scenes and of 

• • 

• • 

• • • 

• • 

• • • 

• ••- • 

• •• 

•• • 


the nineteenth century. The only other resource avail- 
able was agriculture. Thus the Trumbull children began 
life on a farm and drew their nourishment from the soil 
cultivated by their own labor. It is recorded that, al- 
though the father and the grandfather of Lyman were 
graduates of Yale College, chill penury prevented him 
from having similar advantages of education. His school- 
ing was obtaine<) at Bacon Academy, in Colchester, 
which was of high grade, and second only to Yale among 
the educational institutions of the state. Here the boy 
Lyman took the lessons in mathematics that were cus- 
tomary in the academies of that period, and became con- 
versant with Virgil and Cicero in Latin and with Xeno- 
phon. Homer, and the New Testament in Greek. 

The opportunities to put an end to one's existence are 
so common to American youth that it is cause for wonder 
that so many of them reach mature years. Young Trum- 
bull was not lacking in such facilities. The following inci- 
dent is well authenticated, being narrated in part in his 
own handwriting: 

When about thirteen years old he was playing ball one cold 
day in the family yard. The well had a low curbing around 
it and was covered by a round flat stone with a round hole in 
the top of it. He ran towards the well for the ball, which he 
picked up and threw quickly. As he did so his foot slipped on 
the ice and he went head first down the well. His recollection 
of the immediate details is vague, but he did not break his neck 
or stun himself on the rocky sides, but appears to have gone 
down like a diver, and somehow managed to turn in the narrow 
space and come up head first. The well had an old-fashioned 
sweep with a bucket on it, which his |;)rothers promptly lowered 
and he was hoisted out, drenched and cold, but apparently not 
otherwise injured. 

He attended school and worked on the farm until he 
was eighteen years of age when he earned some money by 


teaching the district school one year at Portland, Con- 
necticut. At the age of nineteen he taught school one 
winter in New Jersey, retiuning to Colchester the follow- 
ing summer. He had established a character for recti- 
tude, industry, modesty, sobriety, and good manners, so 
that when, in his twentieth year (1833), he decided to go 
to the state of Georgia to seek employment as a school- 
teacher, nearly all the people in the village assembled to 
wish him godspeed on that long journey, which was made 
by schooner, sailing from the Connecticut River to 
Charleston, South Carolina. The voyage was tempest- 
uous but safe, and he arrived at Charleston with one 
hundred dollars in his pocket which his father had given 
him as a start in life. This money he speedily returned 
out of his earnings because he thought his father needed 
it more than himself. 

A memorandum made by himself records that "on the 
evening of the day when he arrived at Charleston a 
nullification meeting was held in a large warehouse. The 
building was crowded, so he climbed up on a beam over- 
head and from that elevated position overlooked a 
Southern audience and heard two of the most noted 
orators in the South, Governor Hayne, and John C. 
Calhoun, then a United States Senator. He remembers 
little of the impression they made upon a youth of 
twenty, except that he thought Hayne an eloquent 

From Charleston he went by railroad (the first one he 
had ever seen and one of the earliest put in operation in 
the United States) to a point on the Savannah River 
opposite Augusta, Georgia, and thence by stage to 
Milledgeville, which was then the capital of Georgia. 
From Milledgeville he walked seventy-five miles to Pike 
County, where he had some hope of finding employment. 


Being disappointed there he continued his journey on 
foot to Greenville, Meriwether County, where he had 
more success even than he had expected, for he obtained 
a position as principal of the Greenville Academy at a 
salary of two hundred dollars per year in addition to the 
fees paid by the pupils. This position he occupied for 
three years. 

While at Greenville he employed his leisure hours 
reading law in the office of Hiram Warner, judge of the 
superior court of Georgia, afterwards judge of the 
supreme court of the state and member of Congress. In 
this way he acquired the rudiments of the profession. As 
soon as he had gained sufficient capital to make a start in 
life elsewhere, he bought a horse, and, in March, 1887, 
took the trail through the "Cherokee Tract" toward the 
Northwest. This trail was a pathway formed by driving 
cattle and swine through the forest from Kentucky and 
Tennessee to Georgia. Dr. Parks, of Greenville, accom- 
panied Trumbull during a portion of the journey. They 
traveled unarmed but safely, although Trumbull carried 
a thousand dollars on his person, the surplus earnings of 
his three years in Georgia. For a young man of twenty- 
four years without a family this was affluence in those 

Through Kentucky, Trumbull continued his journey 
without any companion and made his entrance into 
niinois at Shawneetown, on the Ohio River, where he 
presented letters of introduction from his friends in 
Georgia and was cordially welcomed. After a brief stay 
at that place he continued his journey to Belleville, St. 
Clair County, bearing letters of introduction from his 
Shawneetown friends to Adam W. Snyder and Alfred 
Cowles, prominent members of the bar at Belleville. 
Both received him with kindness and encouraged him to 


make his home there. This he decided to do, but he first 
made a visit to his parental home in Colchester, going 
on horseback by way of Jackson, Michigan, near which 
town three of his older brothers, David, Erastus, and 
John, had settled as farmers. 

Retmning to Belleville in August, 1837, he entered the 
law oflBce of Hon. John Reynolds, ex-governor of the 
state, who was then a Representative in Congress and 
was familiarly known as the "Old Ranger." Reynolds 
held, at one time and another, almost every office that 
the people of Illinois could bestow, but his fame rests on 
historical writings composed after he had withdrawn 
from public life.^ 

For how long a time Trumbull's connection with 
Governor Reynolds continued, our records do not say, 
but we know that he had an office of his own in Belleville 
three years later, and that his younger brother George 
had joined him as a student and subsequently became his 

The practice of the legal profession in those days was 
accomplished by "riding on the circuit," usually on 
horseback, from one county seat to another, following the 
circuit judge, and trying such cases as could be picked up 
by practitioners en route, or might be assigned to them 
by the judge. Court week always brought together a 
crowd of litigants and spectators, who came in from the 

* Reynolds wrote a Pioneer History of Illinois from 1637 to 1818, and also a 
larger volume entitled My Own Times, The latter is the more important of the 
two. Although crabbed in style, it b an admirable compendiimi of the social, 
political, and personal affairs of Illincns from 1800 to 1850. Taking events at 
random, in short chapters, without connection, circumlocution, or ornament, 
he says the first thing that comes into his mind in the fewest possible words, 
makes mistakes of syntax, but never goes back to correct anything, puts down 
small things and great, tells about murders and lynchings, about footraces in 
which he took part, and a hundred other things that are usually omitted in 
histories, but which throw light on man in the social state, all interspersed with 
sound and shrewd judgments on public men and events. 


surrounding country with their teams and provisions, 
and often with their wives and children, and who lived 
in their own covered wagons. The trial of causes was the 
principal excitement of the year, and the opposing law- 
yers were "sized up" by juries and audience with a pretty 
dose approach to accuracy. After adjournment for the 
day, the lawyers, judges, plainti£Ps, defendants, and lead- 
ing citizens mingled together in the country tavern, 
talked politics, made speeches or listened to them, cracked 
jokes and told stories till bedtime, and took up the unfin- 
ished lawsuit, or a new one, the next day. In short, 
court week was circus, theatre, concert, and lyceum to the 
farming population, but still more was it a school of 
politics, where they formed opinions on public affairs 
and on the mental calibre of the principal actors therein. 

Two letters written by Trumbull in 1887 to his father 
in Colchester have escaped the ravages of time. Neither 
envelopes nor stamps existed then. Each letter con- 
sisted of four pages folded in such a manner that the 
central part of the fourth page, which was left blank, 
received the address on one side and a wafer or a daub of 
sealing wax on the other. The rate of postage was twenty- 
five cents per letter, and the writers generally sought to 
get their money's worth by taking a large sheet of paper 
and filling all the available space. Prepayment of postage 
was optional, but the privilege of paying in advance was 
seldom availed of, the writers not incurring the risk of 
losing both letters and money. Irregularity in the mails 
is noted by Trumbull, who mentions that a letter from 
Colchester was fifteen days en route, while a newspaper 
made the same distance in ten. 

In a letter dated October 9, 1887, he tells his father 
that he is already engaged in a law case involving the 
ownership of a house. If he finds that he can earn his 


living in the practice of law, he shall like Belleville very 
much. In the same missive he tells his sister Julia that 
balls and cotillions are frequent in Belleville, and that he 
had attended one, but did not dance. It was the first time 
he had attended a social gathering since he left home in 
1833. He adds, "" There are more girls here than I was 
aware of. At the private party I attended, there were 
about fiifteen, all residing in town." The writer was then 
at the susceptible age of twenty-four. 

The other letter gives an account of the Alton riot and 
the killing of Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy. This is one of the 
few contemporary accoimts we have of that shocking 
event. Although he was not an eye-witness of the riot, 
the facts as stated are substantially correct, and the com- 
ments give us a view of the opinions of the writer at the 
age of twenty-four, touching a subject in which he was 
destined to play an important part. The letter is sub- 

Belleville, Sunday, Nov. 12, 18S7. 

Dear Father: Since my last to you there has been a mob to 
put down Abolitionism, in Alton, thirty-five miles northwest 
of this place, in which two persons were killed and six or seven 
badly wounded. The immediate cause of the riot was the 
attempt by a Mr. Lovejoy to establish at Alton a religious 
newspaper in which the principles of slavery were sometimes 
discussed. Mr. Lovejoy was a Presbyterian minister and for- 
merly edited a newspaper in St. Louis, but having published 
articles in his paper in relation to slavery which were offensive 
to the people of St. Louis, a mob collected, broke open his 
office, destroyed his press and type and scattered it through 
the streets. Immediately after this transaction, which was about 
a year since, Mr. Lovejoy left St. Louis, and removed to Alton, 
where he attempted to re-establish his press, but he had not 
been there long before a mob assembled there also, broke into 
his office and destroyed his press. In a short time Mr. Lovejoy 
ordered another press whidi, soon after its arrival in Alton, 


was taken from the warehouse (where it was deposited), by a 
mob, and in like manner destroyed. Again he ordered still 
another press, which arrived in Alton on the night of the 7th 
inst., and was safely deposited in a large stone warehouse four 
or five storeys high. 

Previous to the arrival of this press, the citizens of Alton held 
several public meetings and requested Mr. L. to desist from 
attempting to establish his press there, but he refused to do so. 
Heretofore no resistance had ever been offered to the mob, but 
on the night of the 8th inst., as it was supposed that another 
attempt might possibly be made to destroy the press, Mr. L. 
and some 18 or 20 of his friends armed themselves and re- 
mained in the warehouse, where Mr. Gilman, one of the 
owners of the house, addressed the mob from a window, and 
urged them to desist, told them that there were several armed 
men in the house and that they were determined to defend 
their property. The mob demanded the press, which not being 
given them, they commenced throwing stones at the house and 
attempted to get into it. Those from within then fired and 
killed a man of the name of Bishop. The mob then procured 
arms, but were unable to get into the house. At last they 
determined on firing it, to which end, as it was stone, they had 
to get on the roof, which they did by means of a ladder. The 
firing during all this time, said to be about an hour, was con- 
tinued on both sides. Mr. Lovejoy having made his appearance 
near one of the doors was instantly shot down, receiving four 
balls at the same moment. Those within agreed to surrender if 
their lives would be protected, and soon threw open the doors 
and fied. Several shots were afterward fired, but no one was 
seriously injured. The fire was then extinguished and the press 
taken and destroyed. 

So ended this awful catastrophe which, as you may well sup- 
pose, has created great excitement through this section of the 
country. Mr. Lovejoy is said to have been a very worthy man, 
and both friends and foes bear testimony to the excellence of his 
private character. Here, the course of the mob is almost uni- 
versally reprobated, for whatever may have been the senti- 
ments of Mr. Lovejoy, they certainly did not justify the mob 
taking his life. It is understood here that Mr. L. was never in 
the habit of publishing articles of an insurrectionary character, 


but he reasoned against slaveiy as being sinful, as a moral and 
political evil. 

His death and the manner in which he was slain will make 
thousands of Abolitionists, and far more than his writings 
would have made had he published his paper an himdred years. 
This transaction is looked on here, as not only a disgrace to 
Alton, but to the whole State. As much as I am opposed to the 
immediate emancipation of the slaves and to the doctrine of 
Abolitionism, yet I am more opposed to mob violence and out- 
rage, and had I been in Alton, I would have cheerfully marehed 
to the rescue of Mr. Lovejoy and his property. 

Yours very a£fectionately, 

Lyman Trumbull. 

After three years of riding on the circuit, Trumbull 
was elected, in 1840, a member of the lower house of the 
state legislature from St. Clair County. Li politics he was 
a Democrat as was his father before him. This was the 
twelfth general assembly of the state. Among his fellow 
members were Abraham Lincoln, E. D. Baker, William 
A. Richardson, John J. Hardin, John A. McClemand» 
William H. Bissell, Thomas Drummond, and Joseph 
Gillespie, all of whom were destined to higher positions. 

Trumbull was now twenty-seven years of age. He soon 
attracted notice as a debater. His style of speaking was 
devoid of ornament, but logical, clear-cut, and dignified* 
and it bore the stamp of sincerity. He had a well- 
furnished mind, and was never at loss for words. Nor 
was he ever intimidated by the number or the prestige of 
his opponents. He possessed calm intellectual courage* 
and he never declined a challenge to debate; but his man- 
ner toward his opponents was always that of a high-bred 

On the 27th of February, 1841, Stephen A. Douglas, 
who was TrumbulFs senior by six months, resigned the 
office of secretary of state of Dlinois to take a seat on 


the supreme bench, and Trumbull was appointed to the 
vacancy. There had been a great commotion in state 
politics over this office before Trumbull was appointed to 
it. Under the constitution of the state, the governor had 
the right to appoint the secretary, but nothing was said 
in that instrument about the power of removal. Alex- 
ander P. Field had been appointed secretary by Governor 
Edwards in 1828, and had remained in office under 
Governors Reynolds and Duncan. Originally a strong 
Jackson man, he was now a Whig. When Governor 
Carlin (Democrat) was elected in 1838 he decided to 
make a new appointment, but Field refused to resign and 
denied the governor's right to remove him. The State 
Senate sided with Field by refusing to confirm the new 
appointee, John A. McClemand. After the adjournment 
of the legislature, the governor reappointed McClemand, 
who sued out a writ of qiw warranto to oust Field. The 
supreme court, consisting of four members, three of whom 
were Whigs, decided in favor of Field. The Democrats 
then determined to reform the judiciary. They passed 
a bill in the legislature adding five new judges to the 
supreme bench. "It was," says historian Ford, "con- 
fessedly a violent and somewhat revolutionary measure 
and could never have succeeded except in times of great 
party excitement." In the mean time Field had retired 
and the governor had appointed Douglas secretary of 
state, and Douglas was himself appointed one of the five 
new members of the supreme court. Accordingly he 
resigned, after holding the office only two months, and 
Trumbull was appointed to the vacancy without his own 
solicitation or desire. 

Two letters written by Trumbull in 1842 acquaint us 
with the fact that his brother Benjamin had removed 
with his family from Colchester to Springfield and was 


performing routine duties in the office of the secretary of 
state, while Trumbull occupied his own time for the most 
part in the practice of law before the supreme court. He 
adds : ^' I make use of one of the committee rooms in the 
State House as a sleeping-room, so you see I almost live 
in the State House, and am the only person who sleeps in 
it. The court meets here and all the business I do is 
within the building." Not quite all, for in another letter 
(November 27, 1842) he confides to his sister Julia that 
a certain young lady in Springfield was as charming as 
ever, but that he had not offered her his hand in mar- 
riage, and that even if he should do so, it was not cer- 
tain that she would accept it. 

Trumbull had held the office of secretary of state two 
years when his resignation was requested by Governor 
Carlin's successor in office, Thomas Ford, author of a 
History of Illinois from 18H to 18Ji7. In his book Ford 
tells his reasons for asking Trumbull's resignation. They 
had formed different opinions respecting an important 
question of public policy, and Trumbull, although hold- 
ing a subordinate office, had made a public speech in 
opposition to the governor's views. ^ Of course he did this 

^ The following correspondence ptassed between them: 

Springfield, March 4, 1843. 
Ltman Trumbull, Esq., 

Dear Sir: It is my desire, in pursuance of the expressed wish of the 
Democracy, to make a nomination of Secretary of State, and I hope you will 
enable me to do so without embarrassing myself. I am most respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

Thomas Ford. 

Sfringfield, March 4, 1843. 
To Hm Excellenct, Thomas Ford: 

Sir, — In reply to your note of this date this moment handed me, I have 
only to state that I recognize fully your right, at any time, to make a nomina- 
tion of Secretary of State. 

Yours respectfully, 

Ltman Trumbull. 


on his own responsibility as a citizen and a member of 
the same party as the governor. He acknowledged the 
governor's right to remove him, and he made no com- 
plaint against the exercise of it. 

The question of public policy at issue between Ford 
and TVumbull related to the State Bank, which had 
failed in February, 1842, and whose circulating notes, 
amounting to nearly $3,000,000, had fallen to a discount 
of fifty cents on the dollar. Acts legalizing the bank's 
suspension had been passed from time to time and things 
had gone from bad to worse. At this jimcture a new biU 
legalizing the suspension for six months longer was pre- 
pared by the governor and at his instance was reported 
favorably by the finance committee of the House. Trum- 
bull opposed this measure, and made a public speech 
against it. He maintained that it was disgraceful and 
futile to prolong the life of this bankrupt concern. He de- 
manded that the bank be put in liquidation without 
further delay. 

When Trumbull's resignation as secretary became 
known, the Democratic party at the state capital was 
rent in twain. Thirty-twoof its most prominent members, 
including Virgil Hickox, Samuel H. Treat, Ebenezer 
Peck, Mason Brayman, and Robert Allen, took this occa- 
sion to tender him a public dinner in a letter expressing 
their deep regret at his removal and their desire to show 
the respect in which they held him for his conduct of the 
office, and for his social and gentlemanly qualities. A 
copy of this invitation was sent to the State Register y the 
party organ, for publication. The publishers refused to 
insert it, on the ground that it ^Vould lead to a con- 
troversy out of which no good could possibly arise, and 
probably much evil to the catufe.** Thereupon the signers 
of the invitation started a new paper under the watch- 


word ^'Fiat Justitia, Ruat Coelum/' entitled the Irude- 
pendent Democrat, of which Number 1, Volume 1, was a 
broadside containing the correspondence between Trum- 
btdl and the intending diners, together with sarcastic 
reflections on the time-serving publishers of the State 
Register. Trumbull's reply to the invitation, however, 
expressed his sincere regret that he had made arrange- 
ments, which could not be changed, to depart from 
Springfield before the time fixed for the dinner. He 
returned to Belleville and resumed the practice of his 

Charles Dickens was then making his first visit to the 
United States, and he happened to pass through Belle- 
ville while making an excursion from St. Louis to Looking 
Glass Prairie. His party had arranged beforehand for a 
noonday meal at Belleville, of which place, as it pre- 
sented itself to the eye of a stranger in 1842, he gives the 
following glimpse: 

Belleville was a small collection of wooden houses huddled 
together in the veiy heart of the bush and swamp. Many of 
them had singularly bright doors of red and yellow, for the place 
had lately been visited by a traveling painter 'Vho got along," 
as I was told, ''by eating his way.'' The criminal court was sit- 
ting and was at that moment trying some criminals for horse- 
stealing, with whom it would most likely go hard; for live stock 
of all kinds, being necessarily much exposed in the woods, b 
held by the community in rather higher value than hiunan life; 
and for this reason jimes generally make a point of finding all 
men indicted for cattle-stealing, guilty, whether or no. The 
horses belonging to the bar, the judge and witnesses, were tied 
to temporary racks set roughly in the road, by which is to be 
understood a forest path nearly knee-deep in mud and slime. 

There was an hotel in this place which, like all hotels in 
America, had its large dining-room for a public table. It was 
an odd, shambling, low-roofed outhouse, half cow-shed and half 
kitchen, with a coarse brown canvas tablecloth, and tin sconces 


stuck against the walls, to hold candles at supper-time. The 
horseman had gone forward to have coffee and some eatables 
prepared and they were by this time nearly ready. He had 
ordered "wheat bread and chicken fixings" in preference to 
"com bread and common doings." The latter kind of refection 
includes only pork and bacon. The former comprehends broiled 
ham, sausages, veal cutlets, steaks, and such other viands of 
that nature as may be supposed by a tolerably wide poetical 
construction "to fix" a chicken comfortably in the digestive 
organs of any lady or gentleman.^ 

A few months later, Trumbull made another journey 
to Springfield to be joined in marriage to Miss Julia M. 
Jayne, a daughter of Dr. Gershom Jayne, a physician of 
that city — a young lady who had received her education 
at Monticello Seminary, with whom he passed twenty- 
five years of unalloyed happiness. The marriage took place 
on the 21st of June, 1843, and Norman B. Judd served as 
groomsman. Miss Jayne had served in the capacity of 
bridesmaid to Mary Todd at her marriage to Abraham 
Lincoln on the 4th of November preceding. There was a 
wedding journey to Trumbull's old home in G>nnecticut, 
by steamboat from St. Louis to Wheeling, Virginia, by 
stage over the mountains to Cumberland, Maryland, and 
thence by rail via Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New 
York. After visiting his own family, a journey was made 
to Mrs. Trumbull's relatives at Stockbridge, Massachu- 
setts, including her great-grandfather, a marvel of indus- 
try and longevity, ninety-two years of age, a cooper by 
trade, who Was still making barrels with his own hands. 
This fact is mentioned in a letter from Trumbull to his 
father, dated Barry, Michigan, August 20, 1843, at which 
place he had stopped on his homeward journey to visit 

^ American Notes, chap. xm. The reason why hones were more precious 
than human life was that when the frontier fanner lost his work-team, he faced 
starvation. Both murder and horse-stealing were then capital offenses, the 
latter by the court of Judge Lynch. 


his brothers. One page of this letter is given up to glowing 
accounts of the infant children of these brothers. And 
here it is fitting to say that all these faded and time- 
stained epistles to his father and his brothers and sisters, 
from first to last, are marked by tender consideration and 
unvarying love and generosity. Not a shadow passed 
between them. 

The return journey from Michigan to Belleville was 
made by stage-coach. October 12, 1843, Mrs. Trumbull 
writes to her husband's sisters in Colchester that she has 
arrived in her new home. "We are boarding in a private 
family," she says, "have two rooms which Mrs. Black- 
well, the landlady, has furnished neatly, and for my part, 
I am anticipating a very delightful winter. Lyman is now 
at court, which keeps him very much engaged, and I am 
left to enjoy myself as best I may until G. comes around 
this afternoon to play chess with me." 

May 4, 1844, the first child was born to Lyman and 
Julia Trumbull, a son, who took the name of his father, 
but died in infancy. July 2, 1844, Trumbull writes to his 
father that the most disastrous flood ever known, since 
the settlement of the country by the whites, has devas- 
tated the bottom lands of the Mississippi, Missouri, and 
Illinois Rivers. He also gives an account of the killing of 
Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, who was miuxiered 
by a mob in the jail at Carthage, Hancock Coimty, after 
he had surrendered himself to the civil authorities on 
promise of a fair trial and protection against violence; and 
says that he has rented a house which he shall occupy 
soon, and invites his sister Julia to come to Belleville and 
make her home in his family. 

In 1845, Benjamin Trumbull, Sr., sold his place in 
Colchester and removed with his two daughters to 
Henrietta, Michigan, where three of his sons were already 


settled as farmers. It appears from letters that passed 
between the families that none of the brothers in Michi- , 
gan kept horses, the farm work being done by oxen exclu- 
sively. The nearest church was in the town of Jackson, 
but the sisters were not able to attend the services for 
want of a conveyance. They were prevented by the same 
diflBculty from forming acquaintances in their new habi- 
tat. In a letter to his father, dated October 26, Trumbull 
delicately alludes to the defect in the housekeeping 
arrangements in Michigan, and says that anything needed 
to make his father and sisters comfortable and con- 
tented, that he can supply, will never be withheld. His 
brother George writes a few days later offering a con- 
tribution of fifty dollars to buy a horse, saying that good 
ones can be bought in Illinois at that price. George adds : 
"Our papers say considerable about running Lyman for 
governor. No time is fixed for the convention yet, and I 
don't think he has made up his mind whether to be a 
candidate or not." 

The greatest drawback of the Trumbull family at 
this time, and, indeed, of all the inhabitants roundabout, 
was sickness. Almost every letter opened] tells either 
of a recovery from a fever, or of sufferings during a re- 
cent one, or apprehensions of a new one and from these 
harassing visitations no one was exempt. In a letter of 
October 26 we read : 

We have all been sick this fall and this whole region of 
country has been more sickly than ever before known. George 
and myself both had attacks of bilious fever early in September 
which lasted about ten days. Since then Julia has had two 
attacks, the last of which was quite severe and confined her to 
the room nearly two weeks. I also have had a severe attack 
about three weeks since, but it was slight. When I was sick we 
sent over to St. Louis for Dr. Tiffany, and by some means the 
news of our sending there, accompanied by a report that I was 


much worse than was reaUy the case, reached Springfield, and 
Dr. and Mrs. Jayne came down post haste in about a day and a 
half. When they got here, I was downstairs. They only staid 
overnight and started back the next morning. They had heard 
that I was not expected to live. 

In February, 1846, when Trumbull was in his thirty- 
third year, his friends presented his name to the Demo- 
cratic State Convention for the oflBce of governor of the 
state. A letter to his father gives the details of the bal- 
loting in the convention. Six candidates were voted for. 
On the first ballot he received 56 votes; the next highest 
candidate, Augustus C. French, had 47; and the third, 
John Calhoun, had 44. The historian, John Moses, says 
that "the choice, in accordance with a line of precedents 
which seemed almost to indicate a settled policy, fell upon 
him who had achieved least prominence as a party 
leader, and whose record had been least conspicuous — 
Augustus C. French." 

A letter from Trumbull to his father says that his 
defeat was due to the infiuence of Governor Ford, whose 
first choice was Calhoun, but who turned his following 
over to French in order to defeat Trumbull. French was 
elected, and made a respectable governor. Calhoun sub- 
sequently went, in an ofiicial capacity, to Kansas, where 
he became noted as the chief ballot-box stuflFer of the pro- 
slavery party in the exciting events of 1856-58. 

A letter from Mrs. Trumbull to her father-in-law. 
May 4, 1846, mentions the birth of a second son (Walter), 
then two and a half months old. It informs him also that 
her husband has been nominated for Congress by the 
Democrats of the First District, the vote in the conven- 
tion being, Lyman Trumbull, 24; John Dougherty, 5; 
Robert Smith, 8. The political issues in this campaign are 
obscure, but the result of the election was again adverse. 


The supporters of Robert Smith nominated him as a 
bolting candidate; the Yi/higs made no nomination, but 
supported Smith, who was elected. 

A letter written by Mrs. Trumbull at Springfield, 
December 16, 1846, mentions the first election of Stephen 
A. Douglas as United States Senator. "A party is to be 
given in his name," she says, ^^at the State House on 
Friday evening under the direction of Messrs. Webster 
and Hickox. The tickets come in beautiful envelopes, 
and I understand that Douglas has authorized the gentle- 
men to expend $50 in music, and directed the most splen- 
did entertainment that was ever prepared in Springfield." 

A letter to Benjamin Trumbull, Sr., from his son of 
the same name, who was cultivating a small farm near 
Springfield, gives another glimpse of the family health 
record, saying that "both Lyman and George have had 
chills and fever two or three days this spring*^; also, that 
"Lyman's child was feeble in consequence of the same 
malady; and that he [Benjamin] has been sick so much of 
the time that he could not do his Spring planting without 
hired help, for which Lyman had generously contributed 
$20, and offered more." 

May 13, 1847, Trumbull writes to his father that he 
intends to go with his family and make the latter a visit 
for the purpose of seeing the members of the family in 
Michigan; also in the hope of escaping the periodical 
sickness which has afflicted himself and wife and little 
boy, and almost every one in Belleville, during several 
seasons past. As this periodical sickness was chills and 
fever, we may assume that it was due to the prevalence of 
mosquitoes, of the variety anopheles. Half a century was 
still to pass ere medical science made this discovery, and 
dehvered civilized society from the scourge called 


The journey to Michigan was made. An account 
(dated Springfield, August 1, 1847) of the return journey 
is interesting by way of contrast with the facilities for 
traveling existing at the present time. 

We left Cassopolis Monday about ten o'clock and came the 
first 48 miles, which brought us to within five miles of La Porte. 
The second night we passed at Battstown 45 miles on the road 
from La Porte towards Joliet. The third night we passed at 
Joliet, distance 40 miles. The fourth night we passed at 
Pontiac, having traveled 60 miles to get to a stopping place, 
and finding but a poor one at that. The fifth night we were at 
Bloomington, distance 40 miles. The sixth day we traveled 43 
miles and to within 18 miles of this place ; the route we came from 
Cassopolis to Springfield is 294 miles, and from Brother David's 
about 886 miles. Our expenses for tavern bills from David's to 
this place were $17.75. Pretty cheap, I think. 

Among other items of interest it may be noted that the 
rate of postage had been reduced to ten cents per letter, 
but stamps had not yet come into use. The earnings of 
the Trumbull law firm (Lyman and George) for the year 
1847 were $2800. 

In 1847, a new constitution was adopted by the state of 
niinois which reduced the number of judges of the su- 
preme court from nine to three. The state was divided 
into three grand divisions, or districts, each to select one 
member of the court. After the first election one of the 
judges was to serve three years, one six years, and one 
nine years, at a compensation of $1200 per year each. 
These terms were to be decided by lot, and thereafter the 
term of each judge should be nine years. Trumbull was 
elected judge for the first or southern division in 1848. 
His colleagues, chosen at the same time, were Samuel H. 
Treat and John D. Caton. He drew the three years' 

In the year 1849, Trumbull bought a brick house and 


three acres of ground, with an orchard of fruit-bearing 
trees, in the town of Alton, Madison County, and re- 
moved thither with his family. In announcing this fact to 
his father the only reason he assigns for his change of resi- 
dence is that the inhabitants of Alton are mostly from the 
Eastern States. Its population at that time was about 
3000; that of Upper Alton, three miles distant, was 1000. 
The cost of house and ground, with some additions and 
improvements, was $2500, all of which was paid in cash 
out of his savings. Incidentally he remarks that he has 
never borrowed money, never been in debt, never signed a 
promissory note, and that he hopes to pass through life 
without incurring pecimiary liabilities.^ 

From the tone of the letter in which his change of resi- 
dence is announced, the inference is drawn that Trumbull 
had abandoned his law practice at Belleville with the 
expectation of remaining on the bench for an indefinite 
period. He accepted a reflection as judge in 1852 for a 
term of nine years, yet he resigned a year and a half later 
because the salary was insufficient to support his family. 
Walter B. Scates was chosen as his successor on the 
supreme bench. Nearly forty-five years later. Chief 
Justice Mag ruder, of the Illinois supreme court, an- 
swering John M. Palmer's address presenting the memo- 
rial of the Chicago Bar Association on the life and 
services of Trumbull, recently deceased, said that no 
lawyer could read the opinions handed down by the dead 
statesman when on the bench, ^Vithout being satisfied 

^ Mr. Morris St. P. Thomas, a close friend of Tnimbull in his latter years, a 
member of his law office, and administrator of his estate, made the following 
statement in an interview given at 107 Dearborn Street, Chicago, Jmie 18, 
1910: ''Judge Trumbull once told me that he had never in his life given a 
promissory note. ' But you do not mean,' said I, 'that in every purchase of real 
estate you ever made you paid cash down!' 'I do mean just that,' the Judge 
replied. ' I never in my life gave a promissory note.* ** 


that the writer of them was an able, mdustrious, and fair- 
minded judge. All his judicial utterances . . . are char- 
acterized by clearness of expression, accuracy of state- 
ment, and strength of reasoning. They breathe a spirit 
of reverence for the standard authorities and abound in 
copious reference to those authorities. . . . The decisions 
of the court, when he spoke as its organ, are to-day 
regarded as among the most reliable of its established 



When the territory comprising the state of Illinois 
passed under control of the United States, negro slavery 
existed in the French villages situated on the so-called 
American Bottom, a strip of fertile land extending along 
the east bank of the Mississippi River from Cahokia on 
the north to Kaskaskia on the south, embracing the 
present counties of St. Clair, Monroe, and Randolph. 
The first European settlements had been made here about 
1718, by colonists coming up the great river from Louisi- 
ana, under the auspices of John Law's Company of the 

The earlier occupation of the country by French 
explorers and Jesuit priests from Canada had been in the 
nature of fur-trading and religious propagandism, rather 
than permanent colonies, although marriages had been 
solemnized in due form between French men and Indian 
women, and a considerable number of half-breed children 
had been bom. Five hundred negro slaves from Santo 
Domingo were sent up the river in 1718, to work any gold 
and silver mines that might be found in the Dlinois country. 
In fact, slavery of red men existed there to some extent, 
before the Africans arrived, the slaves being captives 
taken in war. 

In 1784-85, Thomas JeflFerson induced Rev. James 
Lemen, of Harper's Ferry, Virginia, to migrate to 
Illinois in order to organize opposition to slavery in the 
Northwest Territory and supplied him with money for 
that purpose. Mr. Lemen came to Illinois in 1786 and set- 


tied in what is now Monroe County. He was the founder 
of the first eight Baptist churches in Illinois, all of which 
were pledged to oppose the doctrine and practice of 
slavery. Governor William H. Harrison having for- 
warded petitions to Congress to allow slavery in the 
Northwest Territory, Jefferson wrote to Lemen to go, or 
send an agent, to Indiana, to get petitions signed in oppo- 
sition to Harrison. Lemen did so. A letter of Lemen, 
dated Harper's Ferry, December 11, 1782, says that 
Jefferson then had the purpose to dedicate the North- 
west Territory to freedom.^ 

In 1787, Congress passed an ordinance for the govern- 
ment of the territory northwest of the river Ohio which 
had been ceded to the United States by Virginia. The 
sixth article of this ordinance prohibited slavery in said 
territory. Inasmuch as the rights of persons and property 
had been guaranteed by treaties when this region had 
passed from France to Great Britain and later to the 
United States, this article was generally construed as 
meaning that no more slaves should be introduced, and 
that all children bom after the passage of the ordinance 
should be free, but that slaves held there prior to 1787 
should continue in bondage. 

Immigration was mainly from the Southern States. 
Some of the immigrants brought slaves with them, and 
the territorial legislature passed an act in 1812 authoriz- 
ing the relation of master and slave under other names. 
It declared that it should be lawful for owners of negroes 
above fifteen years of age to take them before the clerk of 
the court of common pleas, and if a negro should agree to 
serve for a specified term of years, the clerk should record 
him or her as an "indentured servant." If the negro was 

^ These facts are detailed in a paper contributed to the Hlinois State Histori- 
cal Society in 1006 by Joseph B. Lemen, of OTallon, Ulinois. 


under the age of fifteen, the owner might hold him with- 
out an agreement till the age of thirty-five if male, or 
thirty-two if female. Children bom of negroes owing 
service by indenture should serve till the age of thirty 
if male, and till twenty-eight if female. This was a plain 
violation of the Ordinance of 1787 and was a glaring 
fraud in other respects. The negroes generally did not 
imderstand what they were agreeing to, and in cases 
where they did not agree the probable alternative was a 
sale to somebody in an adjoining slave state, so that they 
really had no choice. The state constitution, adopted in 
1818, prohibited slavery, but recognized the indenture 
system by providing that male children bom of inden- 
tured servants should be free at the age of twenty-one and 
females at the age of eighteen. The upshot of the matter 
was that there was just enough of the virus of slavery left 
to keep the caldron bubbling there for two generations 
after 1787, although the Congress of the Confederation 
supposed that they had then made an end of it. 

This arrangement did not satisfy either the incom- 
ing slave-owners or those already domiciled there. Per- 
sistent attempts were made while the country was still 
imder territorial government, to procure from Congress a 
repeal of the sixth article of the Ordinance, but they were 
defeated chiefly by the opposition of John Randolph, of 
Roanoke, Virginia. After the state was admitted to the 
Union, the pro-slavery faction renewed their efforts. They 
insisted that Illinois had all the rights of the other states, 
and could lawfully introduce slavery by changing the 
constitution. They proposed, therefore, to call a new con- 
vention for this purpose. To do so would require a two- 
thirds vote of both branches of the legislature, and a 
majority vote of the people at the next regular election. 
A biU for this purpose was passed in the Senate by the 


requisite majority, but it lacked one vote in the House. 
To obtain this vote a member who had been elected and 
confirmed in his seat after a contest, and had occupied it 
for ten weeks, was unseated, and the contestant previ- 
ously rejected was put in his place and gave the necessary 
vote. Reynolds, who was himself a convention man, says 
that "this outrage was a death-blow to the convention." 
He continues : 

The convention question gave rise to two years of the most 
furious and boisterous excitement that ever was visited on 
Illinois. Men, women, and children entered the arena of party 
warfare and strife, and families and neighborhoods were so 
divided and furious and bitter against one another that it 
seemed a regular civil war might be the result. Many personal 
combats were indulged in on the question, and the whole coun- 
try seemed to be, at times, ready and willing to resort to physi- 
caJ force to decide the contest. All the means known to man to 
convey ideas to one another were resorted to and practiced with 
energy. The press teemed with publications on the subject. 
The stump orators were invoked, and the pulpit thundered 
with anathemas against the introduction of slavery. The relig- 
ious community coupled freedom and Christianity together, 
which was one of the most powerful levers used in the con- 

At this time all the frontier communities were anxious 
to gain additions to their population. Immigration was 
eagerly sought. The arrivals were mostly from the 
Southern States, the main channels of communication 
being the converging rivers Ohio, Mississippi, Cumber- 
land, and Tennessee. Many of these brought slaves, and 
since there was no security for such property in Illinois, 
they went onward to Missouri. One of the strongest 
arguments used by the convention party was, that if 
slavery were permitted, this tide of immigration would 
pour a stream of weialth into Illinois. 


Most of the political leaders and office-holders were 
convention men, but there were some notable exceptions, 
among whom were Edward Coles, governor of the state, 
and Daniel P. Cook, Representative in Congress, the 
former a native of Virginia, and the latter of Kentucky. 
Governor Coles was one of the Virginia abolitionists of 
early days, who had emancipated his own slaves and 
given them lands on which to earn their living. The 
governor gave the entire salary of his term of office 
($4000) for the expenses of the anti-convention contest, 
and his unceasing personal efforts as a speaker and 
organizer. Mr. Cook was a brilliant lawyer and orator, 
and the sole Representative of Illinois in Congress, where 
he was chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, 
and where he cast the vote of Illinois for J. Q. Adams for 
President in 1824. Cook County, which contains the city 
of Chicago, takes its name from him. He was indefatiga- 
ble on the side of freedom in this campaign. Another 
powerful reinforcement was foimd in the person of Rev. 
John M. Peck, a Baptist preacher who went through the 
state like John the Baptist crying in the wilderness. He 
made impassioned speeches, formed anti-slavery socie- 
ties, distributed tracts, raised money, held prayer- 
meetings, addressed Sunday Schools, and organized the 
religious sentiment of the state for freedom. He was ably 
seconded by Hooper Warren, editor of the Edwardsville 
Spectator. The election took place August 2, 1824, and 
the vote was 4972 for the convention, and 6640 against it. 
In the counties of St. Clair and Randolph, which em- 
braced the bulk of the French population, the vote was 
almost equally divided — 765 for; 790 against* 

In 1850, both Henry Clay and Daniel Webster con- 
tended that Nature had interposed a law stronger than 
any law of Congress against the introduction of slavery 


into the territory north of Texas which we had lately 
acquired from Mexico. From the foregoing facts» how- 
ever, it is clear that no law of Nature prevented Dlinois 
from becoming a slaveholding state, but only the fiercest 
kind of political fighting and internal resistance. John 
Reynolds (and there was no better judge) said in 1854: 
"I never had any doubt that slavery would now exist in 
Illinois if it had not been prevented by the famous Ordi- 
nance" of 1787. The law of human greed would have 
overcome every other law, including that of Congress, 
but for the magnificent work of Edward Coles, Daniel P. 
Cook, John Mason Peck, Hooper Warren, and their 
coadjutors in 1824. 

The snake was scotched, not killed, by this election. 
There were no more attempts to legalize slavery by po- 
litical agency, but persevering efforts were made to per- 
petuate it by judicial decisions resting upon old French 
law and the Territorial Indenture Act of 1812. Frequent 
law suits were brought by negroes, who claimed the right 
of freedom on the ground that their period of indenture 
had expired, or that they had never signed an indenture, 
or that they had been bom free, or that their masters had 
brought them into Illinois after the state constitution, 
which prohibited slavery, had been adopted. In this 
litigation Trumbull was frequently engaged on the side of 
the colored people. 

In 1842, a colored woman named Sarah Borders, with 
three children, who was held under the indenture law by 
one Andrew Borders in Randolph County, escaped and 
made her way north as far as Peoria County. She and her 
children were there arrested and confined in a jail as fugi- 
tive slaves. They were brought before a justice of the 
peace, who decided that they were illegally detained and 
were entitled to their freedom. An appeal was taken by 


Borders to the county court, which reversed the action 
of the justice. The case eventually went to the supreme 
court, where Lyman Trumbull and Gustave Koemer 
appeared for the negro woman in December, 1843, and 
argued that slavery was imlawful in Illinois and had been 
so ever since the enactment of the Ordinance of 1787. 
The court decided against them.^ 

Trumbull was not discouraged by the decision in this 
case. Shortly afterward he appeared before the supreme 
court again in the case of Jarrot vs. Jarrot, in which he 
won a victory which practically put an end to slavery in 
the state. Joseph Jarrot, a negro, sued his mistress, Julia 
Jarrot, for wages, alleging that he had been held in servi- 
tude contrary to law. The plaintiff's grandmother had 
been the slave of a Frenchman in the Illinois country 
before it passed under the jurisdiction of the United 
States. His mother and himself had passed by descent to 
Julia Jarrot, nobody objecting. Fifty-seven years had 
elapsed since the passage of the Ordinance of 1787 and 
twenty-six since the adoption of the state constitution, 
both of which had prohibited slavery in Illinois. The pre- 
vious decisions in the court of last resort had generally 
sustained the claims of the owners of slaves held imder 
the French regime and their descendants, and also those 
held under the so-called indenture system. Now, how- 
ever, the court swept away the whole basis of slavery in 
the state, of whatever kind or description, declaring, as 
Trumbull had previously contended, that the Congress of 
the G>nfederation had full power to pass the Ordinance of 
1787, that no person born since that date could be held as 
a slave in Illinois, and that any slave brought into the 
state by his master, or with the master's consent, since 
that date became at once free. It followed that such per- 

^ Negro Servitude in lUinoie, by N. Dwight Harris, p. 108. 



negro, and lived where their assistance could be readily secured. 
They told the negroes repeatedly that they were free, urged 
them to leave their masters, and fought their cases in the lower 
courts time and time again, often without fees or remuneration. 
Chief among them was Lyman Trumbull, whose name should 
be written large in anti-slaveiy annals. 

He was a lawyer of rare intellectual endowments, and of 
great ability. He had few equals before the bar in his day. In 
politics he was an old-time Democrat, with no leanings toward 
abolitionism, but possessing an honest desire to see justice done 
the negro in Illinois. It was a thankless task, in those days of 
prejudice and bitter partisan feelings, to assume the r61e of 
defender of the indentured slaves. It was not often unattended 
with great risk to one's person, as well as to one's reputation 
and business. But Trumbull did not hesitate to undertake the 
task, thankless, discouraging, unremunerative as it was, and 
to his zeal, courage, and perseverance, as well as to his ability, 
is to be ascribed the ultimate success of the appeal to the 
supreme court. 

This disinterested and able effort, made in all sincerity of 
purpose, and void of all appearance of self -elevation, rendered 
him justly popular throughout the State, as well as in the region 
of his home. The people of his district showed their approval of 
his work and their confidence in his integrity by electing him 
judge of the supreme court in 1848, and Congressman from the 
Eighth District of Illinois by a handsome majority in 1854, 
when it was well known that he was opposed to the Kansas- 
Nebraska Bill. 



The repeal of the Missouri Compromise was the cause 
of Trumbuirs return to an active participation in politics. 
The prime mover in that disastrous adventure was 
Stephen A. Douglas, who had been Trumbull's prede- 
cessor in the office of secretary of state and also one of his 
predecessors on the supreme bench. He was now a 
Senator of the United States, and a man of world-wide 
celebrity. Bom at Brandon, Vermont, in 1813, he had 
lost his father before he was a year old. His mother 
removed with him to Canandaigua, New York, where he 
attended an academy and read law to some extent in the 
office of a local practitioner. At the age of twenty, he set 
out for the West to seek his fortune, and he found the 
beginnings of it at Winchester, Illinois, where he taught 
school for a living and continued to study law, as Trum- 
bull was doing at the same time at Greenville, Georgia. 
He was admitted to the bar in 1834. In 1835, he was 
elected state's attorney. Two years later he was elected 
a member of the legislature by the Democrats of Morgan 
County, and resigned the office he then held in order to 
take the new one. In 1837, he was appointed by Presi- 
dent Van Buren register of the land office at Springfield. 
In the same year he was nominated for Congress in the 
Springfield district before he had reached the legal age, 
but was defeated by the Whig candidate, John T. 
Stuart, by 35 votes in a total poll of 36,742. ^ In 1840, he 

^ The Journal of the lUmois State Historical Society for October, 1912, con- 
tains an autobiography of Stephen A. Douglas, of fifteen pages, dated Septem- 


was appointed secretary of state, and in 1841, elected 
a judge of the supreme court under the circumstances 
already mentioned. In 1843, he was elected to the lower 
house of Congress and was reelected twice, but before 
taking his seat the third time he was chosen by the legis- 
lature, in 1846, Senator of the United States for the term 
beginning March 4, 1847, and was reelected in 1852. In 
Congress he had taken an active part in the annexation 
of Texas, in the war with Mexico, in the Oregon Bound- 
ary dispute, and in the Land Grant for the Ulinois Cen- 
tral Railway. In the Senate he held the position of Chair- 
man of the Committee on Territories. 

In the Democratic party he had forged to the front 
by virtue of boldness in leadership, untiring industry, 
boundless ambition, and self-confidence, and horse- 
power. He had a large head surmounted by an abundant 
mane, which gave him the appearance of a lion prepared 
to roar or to crush his prey, and not seldom the resem- 
blance was confirmed when he opened his mouth on the 
hustings or in the Senate Chamber. As stump orator, 
senatorial debater, and party manager he never had a 
superior in this country. Added to these gifts, he had 
a very attractive personality and a wonderful gift for 
divining and anticipating the drift of public opinion. The 
one thing lacking to make him a man ** not for an age but 
for all time," was a moral substratum. He was essen- 
tially an opportunist. Although his private life was un- 
stained, he had no conception of morals in politics, and 
this defect was his undoing as a statesman. 

On the 4th of January, 1854, Douglas reported from 
the Senate Committee on Territories a bill to organize the 

ber, 1838, which was recently found in hb own handwriting by his son, Hon. 
Robert M. Douglas, of North Carolina. It terminates just before his first 
campaign for Congress. 


territory of Nebraska. It provided that said territory, or 
any portion of it, when admitted as a state or states, 
should be received into the Union with or without 
slavery, as their constitution might prescribe at the time 
of their admission. The Missouri Compromise Act of 
1820, which applied to this territory, was not repealed by 
this provision, and it must have been plain to everybody 
that if slavery were excluded from the territory it would 
not be there when the people should come together to 
form a state. 

Douglas did not at first propose to repeal the Missouri 
Compromise. He intended to leave the question of 
slavery untouched. He did not want to reopen the agita- 
tion, which had been mostly quieted by the Compromise 
of 1850; but it soon became evident that if he were willing 
to leave the question in doubt, others were not. Dixon, 
of Kentucky, successor of Henry Clay in the Senate 
and a Whig in politics, offered an amendment to the bill 
proposing to repeal the Missouri Compromise outright. 
Douglas was rather startled when this motion was made. 
He went to Dixon's seat and begged him to withdraw his 
amendment, urging that it would reopen the contro- 
versies settled by the Compromise of 1850 and delay, if 
not prevent, the passage of any bill to organize the new 
territory. Dixon was stubborn. He contended that the 
Southern people had a right to go into the new territory 
equally with those of the North, and to take with them 
anything that was recognized and protected as property 
in the Southern States. Dixon's motion received imme- 
diate and warm support in the South. 

Two or three days later, Douglas decided to embody 
Dixon's amendment in his bill and take the conse- 
quences. His amended bill divided the territory in two 
parts, Kansas and Nebraska. The apparent object of 


this change was to give the Missourians a chance to make 
the southernmost one a slave state; but this intention has 
been controverted by Douglas's friends in recent years, 
who have brought forward a mass of evidence to show that 
he had other sufficient reasons for thus dividing the ter- 
ritory and hence that it must not be assumed that he 
intended that one of them should be a slave state. The 
evidence consists of a record of efforts put forth by citi- 
zens of western Iowa in 1853-54 to secure a future state 
on the opposite side of the Missouri River homogeneous 
with themselves, and to promote the building of a Pacific 
raOway from some point near Council Bluffs along the 
line of the Platte River. These efforts were heartily 
seconded by Senators Dodge and Jones and Representa- 
tive Henn, of Iowa. They labored with Douglas and 
secured his cooperation. So Douglas himself said when he 
announced the change in the bill dividing the territory 
into two parts. 

Most people at the present day, including myself, 
would be glad to concur with this view, but we must 
interpret Douglas's acts not merely by what he said in 
1854, but also by what he said and did afterwards. In 
1856 he made an unjustifiable assault upon the New 
England Emigrant Aid Company, for sending settlers to 
Kansas, as they had a perfect right to do under the terms 
of the bill; and he apologized for, if he did not actually 
defend, the Missourian invaders who marched over the 
border in military array, took possession of the ballot 
boxes, elected a pro-slavery legislature, and then marched 
back boasting of their victory. Troubles multiplied in 
Douglas's pathway rapidly after he introduced his 
Nebraska Bill, and it is very likely that an equal division 
of the territory between the North and South seemed to 
him the safest way out of his difficulties. That was the 


customary way of settling disputes of this kind. We need 
not assume, however, that he intended to do more than 
give the Missourians a chance to make Kansas a slave 
state if they could, for Douglas was not a pro-slavery 
man at heart. 

Senator Thompson, of Kentucky, once alluded to the 
division of the territory embraced in the original Ne- 
braska Bill into two territories, Kansas and Nebraska, 
showing that his understanding was that one should be a 
free state and the other a slave state, if the South could 
make it such. He said : 

When the bill was first introduced in 1854 it provided for the 
organization of but one territory. Whence it came or how it 
came scarcely anybody knows, but the senator from Illinois 
(Mr. Douglas) has always had the credit of its paternity. I 
believe he acted patriotically for what he thought best and 
right. In a short time, however, we found a provision for a 
division — for two territories — Nebraska, the larger one, to 
be a free state, and as to Kansas, the smaller one, repealing the 
Missouri Compromise, we of the South taking our chance for it. 
That was certainly a beneficial arrangement to the North and 
the bill was passed in that way.^ 

What were Douglas's reasons for repealing the Mis- 
souri Compromise? It was generally assumed that he did 
it in order to gain the support of the South in the next 
national convention of the Democratic party. In the 
absence of any other sufiScient motive, this will probably 
be the verdict of posterity, although he always repelled 
that charge with heat and indignation. A more important 
question is whether there would have been any attempt 
to repeal it if Douglas had not led the way. This may be 
safely answered in the negative. The Southern Senators 
did not show any haste to follow Douglas at first. They 
generally spoke of the measure as a free-will offering of 

^ Cong. Globe, July, 1856, Appendix, p. 71£. 


the North, both Douglas and Pierce being Northern 
men, and both being indispensable to secure its pas- 
sage. Francis P. Blair, of Missouri, a competent witness, 
expressed the opinion that a majority of the Southern 
senators were opposed to the measure at first and were 
coerced into it by the fear that they would not be sus- 
tained at home if they refused an advantage offered to 
them by the North. ^ 

The Nebraska Bill passed the Senate by a majority of 
22, and the House by a majority of 13. The Democratic 
party of the North was cleft in twain, as was shown by the 
division of their votes in the House: 44 to 43. The bill 
would have been defeated had not the administration 
plied the party lash unmercifully, using the official pa- 
tronage to coerce unwilling members. In this way did 
President Pierce redeem his pledge to prevent any revival 
of the slavery agitation during his term of office. 

When the bill actually passed there was an explosion in 
every Northern State. The old parties were rent asunder 
and a new one began to crystallize around the nucleus 
which had supported Bimey, Van Buren, and Hale in 
the elections of 1844, 1848, and 1852. Both Abraham Lin- 
coln and Lyman Trumbull were stirred to new activities. 
Both took the stump in opposition to the Nebraska Bill. 

Trumbull was now forty-one years of age. He had 
gained the confidence of the people among whom he 
lived to such a degree that his reSlection to the supreme 
bench in 1852 had been unanimous. He now joined with 
Gustave Koemer and other Democrats in organizing the 
Eighth Congressional District in opposition to Douglas 
and his Nebraska Bill. Although this district had been 
originally a slaveholding region, it contained a large infu- 

^ Letter to the Missouri Demoerat^ dated March 1, 1856, quoted in P. 
OnnoQ Ray's Repeal qf the Missouri Compromise, p. 232. 


sion of Gennan immigration, which had poured into it 
in the years following the European uprising of 1848. Of 
the thirty thousand Germans in Illinois in 1850, Reynolds 
estimated that fully eighteen thousand had settled in 
St. Clair Coimty. These inmiigrants had at first attached 
themselves to the Democratic party, because its name 
signified government by the people. When, however, it 
became apparent to them that the Democratic party was 
the ally of slavery, they went over to the opposition in 
shoals, under the lead of Koemer and Hecker. Koemer 
was at that time lieutenant-governor of the state, and his 
separation from the party which had elected him made 
a profound impression on his fellow countrymen. Hecker 
was a fervid orator and political leader, and later a 
valiant soldier in the Union army. 

The Eighth Congressional District then embraced the 
counties of Bond, Clinton, Jefferson, Madison, Marion, 
Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, and Washington. It was 
the strongest Democratic district in the state, but politi- 
cal parties had been thrown into such disorder by the 
Nebraska Bill that no regular nominations for Congress 
were made by either Whigs or Democrats. Trumbull an- 
nounced himself as an anti-Nebraska Democratic candi- 
date. He had just recovered from the most severe and 
protracted illness of his life and was in an enfeebled con- 
dition in consequence, but he made a speaking campaign 
throughout the district, and was elected by 7917 votes 
against 5306 cast for Philip B. Fouke, who ran inde- 
pendently as a Douglas Democrat. This victory de- 
feated so many of the followers of Douglas who were 
candidates for the legislature that it became possible to 
elect a Senator of the United States in opposition to the 
regular Democracy. 

If political honors were awarded according to the rules 


of quantum meruUy Abraham Lincoln would have been 
chosen Senator as the successor of James Shields at this 
juncture, since he had contributed more than any other 
person to the anti-Nebraska victory in the state. He had 
been out of public life since his retirement from the 
lower house of Congress in 1848. Since then he had been 
a country lawyer with a not very lucrative practice, but 
a very popular story-teller. He belonged to the Whig 
party, and had followed Clay and Webster in supporting 
the Compromise measures of 1850, including the new 
Fugitive Slave Law, for, although a hater of slavery 
himself, he believed that the Constitution required the 
rendition of slaves escaping into the free states. He 
was startled by the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. 
Without that awakening, he would doubtless have re- 
mained in comparative obscurity. He would have contin- 
ued riding the circuit in central Illinois, making a scanty 
living as a lawyer, entertaining tavern loungers with 
funny stories, and would have passed away imhonored 
and imsung. He was now aroused to new activity, and 
when Douglas came to Springfield at the beginning of 
October to defend his Nebraska Bill on the hustings, 
Lincoln replied to him in a great speech, one of the 
world^s masterpieces of argumentative power and moral 
grandeur, which left Douglas's edifice of "Popular 
Sovereignty" a heap of ruins. This was the first speech 
made by him that gave a true measure of his qualities. It 
was the first public occasion that laid a strong hold upon 
his conscience and stirred the depths of his nature. It 
was also the first speech of his that the writer of this book, 
then twenty years of age, ever listened to. The impres- 
sion made by it has lost nothing by the lapse of time. 
In Lincoln's complete writings it is styled the Peoria 
speech of October 16, 1854, as it was delivered at Peoria, 


after the Springfield debate, and. subsequently written 
out by Lincoln himself for publication in the Sangamon 
Journal. The Peoria speech contained a few passages of 
rejoinder to Douglas's reply to his Springfield speech. In 
other respects they were the same.^ 

It was this speech that drew upon Lincoln the eyes of 
the scattered elements of opposition to Douglas. These 
elements were heterogeneous and in part discordant. The 
dividing line between Whigs and Democrats still ran 
through every county in the state, but there was a third 
element, unorganized as yet, known as " Free-Soilers," 
who traced their lineage back to James G. Bimey and 
the campaign of 1844. These were numerous and active 
in the northern counties, but south of the latitude 
of Springfield they dwindled away rapidly. The Free- 

^ Some testimony as to the efiPect produced upon Douglas himself by this 
speech was supplied to me long afterwards from a trustworthy quarter in the 
following letter: — 

Nbw York, Dec. 7, 1908. 
Mt dear Mr. White: 

In 1891, at hb office in Chicago, Mr. W. C. Gowdy told me that Judge 
Douglas spent the night with him at his house preceding his debate with Mr. 
Lincoln; that after the evening meal Judge Douglas exhibited considerable 
restlessness, pacing back and forth upon the floor of the room, evidently with 
mental preoccupation. The attitude of Judge Douglas was so unusual that Mr. 
Gowdy felt impelled to address him, and said : ** Judge Douglas, you appear to be 
ill at ease and under some mental agitation; it cannot be that you have any 
anxiety with reference to the outcome of the debate you are to have with Mr. 
Lincoln; you cannot have any doubt of your ability to dispose of him.'* 

Whereupon Judge Douglas, stopping abruptly, turned to Mr. Gowdy and 
aaid, with great emphasis: "Yes, Gowdy, I am troubled over the progress and 
outcome of this debate. I have known Lincoln for many years, and I have con- 
tinually met him in debate. I regard him as the most difficult and dangerous 
opponent that I have ever met and I have serious misgivings as to what may be 
the result of this joint debate." 

These in substance, and almost in exact phraseology, are the words repeated 
to me by Mr. Gowdy. Faithfully yours, 

Francis Ltnde Stetson. 

Mr. Gowdy was a state senator in 1854 and his home was at or near Peoria. 
There was no joint debate between Lincoln and Douglas at or near Gowdy's 
reaideoce, except that of 1854. 


SoHers served as a nucleus for the crystallization of the 
Republican party two years later, but in 1854 the older 
organizations, although much demoralized, were still 
unbroken. Probably three fourths of the Whigs were 
opposed to the Nebraska Bill in principle, and half of the 
remainder were glad to avail themselves of any rift in the 
Democratic party to get possession of the offices. There 
was still a substantial fraction of the party, however, 
which feared any taint of abolitionism and was likely to 
side with Douglas in the new alignment. 

The legislature consisted of one hundred members — 
twenty-five senators and seventy-five representatives. 
Twelve of the senators had been elected in 1852 for a four 
years^ term, and thirteen were elected in 1854. Among the 
former were N. B. Judd, of Chicago, John M. Palmer, 
of Carhnville, and Burton C. Cook, of Ottawa, three 
Democrats who had early declared their opposition to the 
Nebraska Bill. The full Senate was composed of nine 
Whigs, thirteen regular Democrats, and three anti- 
Nebraska Democrats. A fourth holding-over senator 
(Osgood, Democrat) represented a district whith had 
given an anti-Nebraska majority in this election. One 
of the Whig members (J. L. D. Morrison) of St. Clair 
County was elected simultaneously with Trumbull, but 
he was a man of Southern affiliations and his vote on the 
senatorial question was doubtful. 

At this time there was no law compelling the two 
branches of a state legislature to unite in an election to 
fill a vacancy in the Senate of the United States. Accord- 
ingly, when one party controlled one branch of the legis- 
lature and the opposite party controlled the other, it was 
not uncommon for the minority to refuse to go into joint 
convention. This was the case now. In order to secure a 
joint meeting, it was necessary for at least one Democrat 


to vote with the anti-Nebraska members. Mr, Osgood 
did so. 

Li the House were forty-six anti-Nebraska men of all 
descriptions and twenty-eight Democrats. One member, 
Randolph Heath, of the Lawrence and Crawford Dis- 
trict, did not vote in the election for Senator at any time. 
Two members from Madison Coimty, Henry L. Baker 
and G. T. Allen, had been elected on the anti-Nebraska 
ticket with Trumbidl. 

Li the chaotic condition of parties it was not to be 
expected that all the opponents of Douglas would coalesce 
at once. The Whig party was held together by the hope 
of reaping large gains from the division of the Democrats 
on the Nebraska Bill. This was a vain hope, because the 
Whigs were divided also; but while it existed it fanned 
the flame of old enmities. Moreover, the anti-Nebraska 
Democrats in the campaign had claimed that they were 
the true Democracy and that they were purifying the 
party in order to preserve and strengthen it. They could 
not instantly abandon that claim by voting for a Whig 
for the highest office to be filled. 

The two houses met in the Hall of Representatives on 
February 8, 1855, to choose a Senator. Every inch of 
space on the floor and lobby was occupied by members 
and their political friends, and the gallery was adorned 
by well-dressed women, including Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. 
Matteson, the governor's wife, and her fair daughters. 
The senatorial election had been the topic of chief con- 
cern throughout the state for many months, and now the 
interest was centred in a single room not more than one 
hundred feet square. The excitement was intense, for 
everybody knew the event was fraught with conse- 
quences of great pith and moment, far transcending the 
fate of any individual. 


Mr. Lincoln had been designated as the choice of a 
caucus of about forty-five members, including all the 
Whigs and most of the Free-Soilers, with their leader, 
Rev. Owen Lovejoy, brother of the Alton martyr. 

When the joint convention had been called to order, 
General James Shields was nominated by Senator Ben- 
jamin Graham, Abraham Lincoln by Representative 
Stephen T. Logan, and Lyman Trumbull by Senator 
John M. Palmer. The first vote resulted as follows : 

Lincoln 45 

Shields 41 

Trumbull 5 

Scattering 8 

Total . . • .99 

Several members of the House who had been elected as 
anti-Nebraska Democrats voted for Lincoln and a few for 
Shields. The vote for Trumbull consisted of Senators 
Palmer, Judd, and Cook and Representatives Baker and 

On the second vote, Lincoln had 43 and Trumbull 6, 
and there were no other changes. A third roll-call resulted 
like the second. Thereupon Judge Logan moved an 
adjournment, but this was voted down by 42 to 56. On 
the fourth call, Lincoln's vote fell to 38 and Trumbull's 
rose to 11. On the sixth, Lincoln lost two more, and 
Trumbull dropped to 8. 

It now became apparent by the commotion on the 
Democratic side of the chamber that a flank movement 
was taking place. There had been a rumor on the streets 
that if the reelection of Shields was found to be impossi- 
ble, the Democrats would change to Governor Matteson, 
under the belief that since he had never committed him- 
self to the Nebraska Bill he would be able, by reason of 


personal and social attachments, to win the votes of 
several anti-Nebraska Democrats who had not voted for 
Shields. This scheme was developed on the seventh call, 
which resulted as follows : 

Matteson 44 

Lincoln .38 

Trumbull 9 

Scattering 7 

Total 98 

On the eighth call, Matteson gained two votes, Lincoln 
fell to 27, and Trumbull received 18. On the ninth and 
tenth, Matteson had 47, Lincoln dropped to 15, and 
Trumbull rose to 35. 

The excitement deepened, for it was believed that the 
next vote would be decisive. Matteson wanted only three 
of a majority, and the only way to prevent it was to turn 
Lincoln's fifteen to Trumbull, or Tnimbuirs thirty-five to 
Lincoln. Obviously the former was the only safe move, 
for none of Lincoln's men would go to Matteson in any 
kind of shuffle, whereas three of Trumbull's men might 
easily be lost if an attempt were made to transfer them to 
the Whig leader. Lincoln was the first to see the immi- 
nent danger and the first to apply the remedy. Li fact 
he was the only one. who could have done so, since the 
fifteen supporters who still clung to him would never 
have left him except at his own request. He now be- 
sought his friends to vote for Trumbull. Some natural 
tears were shed by Judge Logan when he yielded to the 
appeal. He said that the demands of principle were 
superior to those of personal attachment, and he trans- 
ferred his vote to Trumbull. All of the remaining four- 
teen followed his example, and there was a gain of 
one vote that had been previously cast for Archibald 


Williams. So the tenth and final roll-call gave Trumbull 
filfty-one votes, and Matteson forty-seven. One member 
still voted for Williams and one did not vote at all. Thus 
the one hundred members of the joint convention were 
accounted for, and Trumbull became Senator by a 
majority of one. 

This result astounded the Democrats. They were more 
disappointed by it than they would have been by the 
election of Lincoln. They regarded Trumbull as an arch 
traitor. That he and his fellow traitors Palmer, Judd, and 
Cook should have carried off the great prize was an 
unexpected dose; but they did not know how bitter it was 
until Trumbull took his seat in the Senate and opened 
fire on the Nebraska Bill. 

Lincoln took his defeat in good part. Later in the 
evening there was a reception given at the house of Mr. 
Ninian Edwards, whose wife was a sister of Mrs. Lincoln. 
He had been much interested in Lincoln's success and 
was greatly surprised to hear, just before the guests began 
to arrive, that Trumbull had been elected. He and his 
family were easily reconciled to the result, however, since 
Mrs. Trumbull had been from girlhood a favorite among 
them. When she and Trumbull arrived, they were 
natiu*ally the centre of attraction. Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln 
came in a little later. The hostess and her daughters 
greeted them most cordially, saying that they had wished 
for his success, and that while he must be disappointed, 
yet he should bear in mind that his principles had won. 
Mr. Lincoln smiled, moved toward the newly elected 
Senator, and saying, "Not too disappointed to con- 
gratulate my friend Trumbull," warmly shook his hand. 

Lincoln's account of this election, in a letter to Hon. 
E. B. Washbume, concludes by saying: 

I regret my defeat moderately, but I am not nervous about 


it. I could have headed ott every combination and been elected 
had it not been for Matteson's double game — and his defeat 
now gives me more pleasure than my own gives me pain. On 
the whole, it was perhaps as well for our general cause that 
Trumbull is elected. The Nebraska men confess that they hate 
it worse than anything that could have happened. It is a great 
consolation to see them worse whipped than I am. I tell them 
it is their own fault — that they had abimdant opportunity to 
choose between him and me, which they declined, and instead 
forced it on me to decide between him and Matteson. 

There is no evidence that Trumbull took any steps 
whatever to secure his own election in this contest.^ 

^ The following manuscript, written by one of Lincoln*8 supporters who was 
himself a member of the legislature, was found among the papers of William H. 

"In the contest for the United States Senate in the winter of 1854-55 in the 
Illinois Legislature, nearly all the Whigs and some of the * anti-Nebraska Dem^ 
oerats* preferred Mr. Lincoln to any other man. Some of them (and myself 
among the number) had been candidates and had been elected by the people 
for the express purpose of doing all in their power for his election, and a great 
deal of their time during the session was taken up, both in caucus and out of it» 
in laboring to unite the anti-Nebraska party on their favorite, but there was 
from the first, as the result proved, an insuperable obstacle to their success. 
Four of the anti-Nebraska Democrats had been elected in part by Democrats* 
and they not only personally preferred Mr. Trumbull, but considered hb elec- 
tion necessary to consolidate the union between all those who were opposed to 
repeal of the Missouri Compromise and to the new policy upon the subject of 
slavery which Mr. Douglas and his friends were laboring so hard to inaugurate. 
They insisted that the election of Mr. Trumbull to the Senate would secure 
thousands of Democratic votes to the anti-Nebraska party who would be 
driven off by the election of Mr. Lincoln — that the Whig party were neariy a 
unit in opposition to Mr. Douglas, so that the election of the favorite candidate 
of the majority would give no particular strength in that quarter, and they 
manifested a fixed purpose to vote steadily for Mr. Trumbull and not at all for 
Mr. Lincoln, and thus compel the friends of Mr. Lincoln to vote for their man 
to prevent the election of Governor Matteson, who, as was ascertained, could, 
after the first few ballots, carry enough anti-Nebraska men to elect him. These 
four men were Judd, of Cook, Palmer, of Macoupin, Cook, of LaSalle, and 
Baker, of Madison. Allen, of Madison, went with them, but was not inflex- 
ible, and would have voted for Lincoln cheerfully, but did not want to separate 
from his Democratic friends. These men kept aloof from the caucus of both 
parties during the winter. They would not act with the Democrats from 
principle, and would not act with the Whigs from policy. 

'^l/Hien the election came off, it was evident, after the first two or three 


If Lincoln had been chosen at this time, his campaign 
against Douglas for the Senate in 1858 would not have 
taken place. Consequently he would not have been the 
cynosiu^ of all eyes in that spectacular contest. It was 
Douglas's prestige and prowess that drew him into the 
limelight at that important juncture, and made his nom- 
ination as President possible in 1860. 

ballots, that Mr. Lincoln could not be elected, and it was feared that if the 
balloting continued long. Governor Matteson would be elected. Mr. Lincoln 
then advised his friends to vote for Mr. Trumbull; they did so, and elected him. 

'* Mr. Lincoln was very much disappointed, for I think that at that time it 
was the height of his ambition to get into the United States Senate. He mani- 
fested, however, no bitterness towards Mr. Judd or the other anti-Nebraska 
Democrats, by whom practically he was beaten, but evidently thought that 
their motives were right. He UM me several times afterwards that the election of 
Trumbull was the best thing that could have happened. 

"There was a great deal of dissatisfaction throughout the state at the result 
of the election. The Whigs constituted a vast majority of the anti-Nebraska 
party. They thought they were entitled to the Senator and that Mr. Lincoln 
by his contest with Mr. Douglas had caused the victory. Mr. Lincoln, however, 
generously exonerated Mr. Trumbull and his friends from all blame in the 
matter. Trumbull*s first encounter with Douglas in the Senate filled the people 
of niinois with admiration for his abilities, and the ill-feeling caused by his 
election gradually faded away. 

"Sam C. Pabkb." 



Trumbull took his seat in the Senate at the first 
session of the Thirty-fourth Congress, December 8, 1855. 
His credentials were presented by Senator Crittenden, 
of Kentucky. Senator Cass, of Michigan, presented a 
protest from certain members of the legislature of Illinois 
reciting that the constitution of that state made the 
judges of the supreme and circuit courts ineligible to any 
other office in the state, or in the United States, during 
the terms for which they were elected and one year 
thereafter; affirming that Trumbull was elected judge of 
the supreme court June 7, 1852, for the term of nine 
years and entered upon the duties of that office June 24, 
1852; that the said term of office would not expire until 
1861; and that, therefore, he was not legally elected a 
Senator of the United States. The papers were eventually 
referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, but in the 
mean time Trumbull was sworn in. Before the question 
of reference was disposed of, however, Senator Seward 
contended that no state could fix or define the qualifi- 
cations of a Senator of the United States. He instanced 
the case of N. P. Tallmadge, who had been elected a 
Senator from New York while serving as a member of 
the legislature of that state, although the constitution of 
New York disqualified him and all other members from 
such election. Tallmadge was nevertheless admitted to 
the Senate and served his full term. TrumbuH's right to 
his seat was decided in accordance with that precedent 
by a vote of 35 to 8, on the 5th of March, 1856. Senator 


Douglas did not vote on this question, nor did he take 
part in the argument on it. 

The subject of burning interest in Congress was the 
condition of affairs in Kansas Territory. When the bill 
repealing the Missouri Compromise was pending, the 
opinion had been generally expressed by its supporters 
that slavery never would or could go into that region. 
Several Southern Senators and most of the Northern 
Democrats had held this view. Hunter, of Virginia, 
considered it utterly hopeless to expect that either 
Kansas or Nebraska would ever be a slaveholding state. 
Badger, of North Carolina, said that he had no more 
idea of seeing a slave population in either of them than 
he had of seeing it in Massachusetts. Dixon, of Ken- 
tucky, held a similar view. Nor is there any reason to 
doubt the sincerity of these men. Apparently the only 
Southern Senator who then cherished a different belief 
was Atchison, of Missouri, whose home was on the border 
of Kansas and whose opinions were based upon personal 
knowledge and backed by self-interest. 

President Pierce appointed Andrew H. Reeder, of 
Pennsylvania, governor of Kansas Territory. Reeder 
was not unwilling to cooperate with the South in estab- 
lishing slavery in an orderly way, but was quite unpre- 
pared for the tactics which had been planned by others 
to expedite his movements. He called an election for a 
delegate in Congress to be held on the 29th of November, 
1854. An organized army of Missourians marched over 
the Kansas border, seized the polling-places, and cast 
1749 fraudulent votes for a pro-slavery man named 
Whitfield. This was a gratuitous and unnecessary act of 
violence, since the bona-fide settlers from Missouri out- 
numbered the Free State men and the latter were, as 
yet, unorganized and unprepared. Grovemor Reeder con- 


firmed the election and thus gave encouragement to the 
invaders for their next attempt. 

A few immigrants had already gone into the territory 
from the New England States, moved by the desire of 
bettering their condition in life. Some of them had been 
assisted by the Emigrant Aid Company of Worcester, 
Massachusetts, a society started by Eli Thayer for the 
purpose of furnishing capital, by loans, to such persons 
for traveling expenses and for the building of hotels, 
sawmills, private dwellings, etc. These settlers from the 
East were as little prepared as Reeder himself for the 
sudden swoop of Missourians, and although they wrote 
letters to Northern Congressmen and newspapers pro- 
testing against the election of Whitfield as an act of 
invasion and a barefaced fraud, nothing was done to 
prevent him from taking his seat. 

The next election (for members of the territorial 
legislature) was fixed for the 30th of March, 1855. What 
kind of preparations for it had been made in the mean 
time in Missouri was plainly indicated by the following 
letter, dated Brunswick, Missouri, April 20, 1855, 
published in the New York Herald : 

From five to seven thousand men started from Missouri to 
attend the election, some to remove, but most to return to their 
families with an intention, if they liked the territory, to make 
it their permanent home at the earliest moment practicable. 
But they intended to vote. The Missourians were many of them 
Douglas men. There were one hundred and fifty voters from 
this county, one hundred and seventy-five from Howard, one 
hundred from Cooper. Indeed, every county furnished its 
quota, and when they set out it looked like an army. They 
were armed. And as there were no houses in the territory they 
carried tents. Their mission was a peaceable one — to vote, 
and to drive down stakes for their future homes. 

After the election some 1500 of the voters sent a committee 
to Mr. Reeder to ascertain if it was his purpose to ratify the 


election. He answered that it was, and said that the majority 
at an election must carry the day. But it is not to be denied 
that the 1500, apprehending that the governor might attempt 
to play the tyrant, since his conduct had already been insidi- 
ous and unjust, wore on their hats bunches of hemp. They 
were resolved, if a tyrant attempted to trample on the rights of 
the sovereign people, to hang him. 

It was not conscious brigandage that prompted this 
movement, but the simplicity of minds tutored on the 
frontier and fashioned in the environment of slavery. 
The fifteen hundred Missourians, who gave Governor 
Reeder to understand that they would hang him on the 
nearest tree if he did not ratify their invasion of Kan- 
sas, had homes, farms, and families. They supported 
churches and schools of a certain kind and considered 
themselves qualified to civilize Africans. They were 
types of the best society that they had any conception of. 
Far from concealing anything that they had done, they 
boasted of it openly in their newspaper organ, the 
Squatter Sovereign^ which published the following under 
the date of April 1 : 

Independence, Mo., March 31, 1855. — Several hundred 
emigrants from Kansas have just entered our city. They were 
preceded by the Westport and Independence brass bands. 
They came in at the west side of the public square and pro- 
ceeded entirely around it, the bands cheering us with fine 
music, and the emigrants with good news. Immediately fol- 
lowing the bands were about two hundred horsemen in regular 
order. Following these were one hundred and fifty wagons, 
carriages, etc. They gave repeated cheers for Kansas and 
Missouri. They report that not an anti-slavery man will be in 
the Legislature of Kansas. We have made a clean sweep. ^ 

This invasion was as needless as the former one, since 
the Free State men were still in the minority, counting 

* Edited by B. F. Stringfellow, author of AJriean Slaoery no EvU^ St. Louis, 


actual settlers only; but the pro-slavery party were 
determined to leave nothing to chance. Senator Atchison, 
in a speech at Weston, Missouri, on the 9th of November, 
1854, had told his constituents how to secure the prize: 

When you reside in one day's journey of the territory, and 
when your peace, your quiet, and your property depend upon 
your action, you can, without an exertion, send five hundred of 
your young men who will vote in favor of your institution. 
Should each county in the state of Missouri only do its duty, 
the question will be decided quietly and peaceably at the 
ballot-box. If you are defeated, then Missouri and the other 
Southern States will have shown themselves to be recreant to 
their interests and will deserve their fate.* 

A little later we find him writing letters like the 
following to a friend in Atlanta, Greorgia : 

Let your young men come forth to Missouri and Kansas. 
Let them come well armed, with money enough to support 
them for twelve months and determined to see this thing out! 
I do not see how we are to avoid a civil war; — come it will. 
Twelve months will not elapse before war — civil war of the 
fiercest kind — will be upon us. We are arming and preparing 
for it. 

Atchison was constantly spurring others to deeds of 
lawlessness and violence, but he always stopped short 
of committing any himself. He was probably restrained 
by the fear of losing influence at Washington. It was by 
no means certain that President Pierce would tolerate 
everything. The sad fate of one of the companies re- 
cruited in the South for immigration to Kansas is nar- 
rated in the following letter, addressed to Senator 
Trumbull by John C. Underwood, of Gulpeper Court 
House, Virginia : 

Soon after the repeal of the Missouri Compromise in 1854, 

* Cited in Villaid's John Brovm^ p. 94. 


in the neighborhood of Winchester and Harper's Ferry the pro- 
ject of sending a company of young men to Elansas to make it 
a slave state was much agitated. Subscriptions for that pur- 
pose were asked, and the duty of strengthening our sectional 
interest of slavery by adding two friendly Senators to your 
honorable body, was urged with great zeal upon my neighbors. 
This was long before I had heard of any movement of the New 
England Aid Co., or of anybody on the part of freedom. It was 
my understanding at the time that Senator Mason was the main 
adviser in the project. This may not have been the case. The 
history of this company will not be soon forgotten. Its taking 
the train on the Baltimore and Ohio R. R. at Harper's Ferry, its 
exploits in Kansas up to the fall of its leader (Sharrard) at the 
hands of Jones, the friend of the Democratic Gov. Geary, are all 
still well remembered. The return of the company with the 
dead body of their leader, and the blasted hopes of its sanguine 
originators, was a gloomy day in our beautiful valley, and cre- 
ated a sensation throughout the country. 

Another letter among the Trumbull papers deserves a 
place here, the author of which was Isaac T. Dement, 
who (writing from Hudson, Illinois, January 10, 1857) 
says that he was living in Kansas the previous year and 
had filed his intention on one hundred and sixty acres of 
land where he had a small store and a dwelling-house: 

On the 3d of September last [he continues] a band of armed 
men from Missouri came to my place, and after taking what 
they wanted from the store, burned it and the house, and said 
that if they could find me they would hang me. They said that 
they had broken open a post-oflSce and found a letter that I 
wrote to Lane and Brown asking them to come and help us 
with a company of Sharpe's rifies (this is a lie) ; and also that I 
had furnished Lane and Brown's men with provisions (a lie), 
and that I was a Free State man (that is so). 

Mr. Dement hoped that Congress would do something 
to compensate him for his losses. 

Governor Reeder ought to have been prepared for the 
second invasion. He had had sufficient warning. Unless 


he was ready to go all lengths with Atchison and String- 
fellow, he ought to have declared the entire election 
invalid and reported the facts to President Pierce. But he 
did nothing of the kind. He merely rejected the votes of 
seven election districts where the most notorious frauds 
had been committed, and declared "duly elected" the 
persons voted for in others. Eventually the members 
holding certificates organized as a legislature and ad- 
mitted the seven who had been rejected by Reeder. The 
latter took an early opportunity to go to Washington 
City to make a report to the President in person. He 
stopped en route at his home in Easton, Pennsylvania, 
where he made a public speech exposing the frauds in the 
election and confirming the reports of the Free State 
settlers. Stringfellow warned him not to come back. Li 
the Squatter Sovereign of May 29, 1855, he said: 

From reports received of Reeder he never intends returning 
to our borders. Should he do so we, without hesitation, say 
that our people ought to hang him by the neck like a traitorous 
dog, as he is, so soon as he puts his imhallowed feet upon our 
shores. Vindicate your characters and the territory; and should 
the ungrateful dog dare to come among us again, hang him to 
the first rotten tree. A military force to protect the ballot-box! 
Let President Pierce or Governor Reeder, or any other power, 
attempt such a course in this, or any portion of the Union, and 
that day will never be forgotten. 

The "Border RuflSan" legislature proceeded to enact 
the entire slave code of Missouri as laws of Kansas. It 
was made a criminal offense for anybody to deny that 
slavery existed in Kansas, or to print anything, or to 
introduce any printed matter, making such denial. 
Nobody could hold any ofiSce, even that of notary public, 
who should make such denial. The crime of enticing any 
slave to leave his master was made punishable with 
death, or imprisonment for ten years. That of advising 


slaves, by speakmg, writiiig, or printiiig, to rebd, was 
punishable with death. 

Beedtt was removed from oflice by President Pierce 
on the 15th of August, and Wilson Shannon, a former 
governor of Ohio, was appointed as his successor. 

The Free State men held a convention at Topeka in 
October, 1855, and framed a state constitution, to be 
submitted to a popular vote, looking to admission to the 
Uni<m. Tins was equivalent merely to a petition to 
Congress, but it was stigmatized as an act of rebellion by 
the pro-slavery party. 

On the 24th of January, 1856, President Pierce sent a 
special message to Congress on the subject of the dis- 
turbance in Kansas. He alluded to the ** angry accusa- 
tions that illegal votes had been polled,'' and to the 
^'imputations of fraud and violence"; but he relied upon 
the fact that the governor had admitted some members 
and rejected others and that each l^islative assembly 
had undoubted authority to determine, in the last 
resort, the election and qualification of its own members. 
Thus a principle intended to apply to a few exceptional 
cases of dispute was stretched to cover a case where all 
the seats had been obtained by fraud and usurpation. 
"For all present purposes," he added feebly, the "legis- 
lative body thus constituted and elected was tlie legiti- 
mate assembly of the Territory." 

This message was referred to the Senate Committee 
on Territories. On the 12th of March, Senator Douglas 
submitted a report from the committee, and Senator 
Collamer, of Vermont, submitted a minority report. 
This was the occasion of the first passage-at-arms 
between Douglas and his new colleague. The report was 
not merely a general endorsement of President Pierce's 
contention that it was impossible to go behind the returns 


of the IQinsas election, as certified by Governor Reeder, 
but it went much further in the same direction, putting 
all the blame for the disorders on the New England Emi- 
grant Aid Company, and practically justifying the 
Missourians as a people "protecting their own firesides 
from the apprehended horrors of servile insurrection and 
intestine war." Logically, from Douglas's new stand- 
point, the New Englanders had no right to settle in 
Kansas at all, if they had the purpose to make it a free 
state. To this complexion had the doctrine of "popular 
sovereignty" come^in the short space of two years. 

Two days after the presentation of this report, Mr. 
Trumbull made a three hours' speech upon it without 
other preparation than a perusal of it in a newspaper; it 
had not yet been printed by the Senate. This speech 
was a part of one of the most exciting debates in the an- 
nals of Congress. He began with a calm but searching 
review of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, dwelling first on the 
failure of the measure to fix any time when the people of 
a territory should exercise the right of deciding whether 
they would have slavery or not. He illustrated his point 
by citing some resolutions adopted by a handful of 
squatters in Kansas as early as September, 1854, many 
months before any legislature had been organized or 
elected, in which it was declared that the squatters afore- 
said "would exercise the right of expelling from the 
territory, or otherwise punishing any individual, or 
individuals, who may come among us and by act, con- 
spiracy, or other illegal means, entice away our slaves or 
clandestinely attempt in any way or form to affect our 
rights of property in the same." These resolutions were 
passed before any persons had arrived under the auspices, 
or by the aid, of the New England Emigrant Aid Com- 
pany; showing that, so far from being aroused to violence 


by the threatening attitude of that organization, the 
Missourians were giving notice beforehand that violence 
would be used upon any intending settlers who might 
be opposed to the introduction of slavery. 

Douglas had wonderful skill in introducing sophisms 
into a discussion so deftly that his opponent would not 
be likely to notice them, or would think them not worth 
answering, and then enlarging upon them and leading 
the debate away upon a false scent, thus convincing the 
hearers that, as his opponent was weak in this particu- 
lar, he was probably weak everywhere. It was Trumbull's 
forte that he never failed to detect these tricks and turns 
and never neglected them, but exposed them instantly, 
before proceeding on the main line of his argument. It 
was this faculty that made his coming into the Senate a 
welcome reinforcement to the Republican side of the 

The report under consideration abounded in these 
characteristic Douglas pitfalls. It said, for example: 

Although the act of incorporation [of the Emigrant Aid 
Company] does not distinctly declare that it was formed for the 
purpose of controlling the domestic institutions of Kansas and 
forcing it into the Union with a prohibition of slavery in her 
constitution, regardless of the rights and wishes of the people as 
guaranteed by the Constitviion of the United States and secured by 
their organic law, yet the whole history of the movement, the 
circumstances in which it had its origin, and the professions and 
avowals of all engaged in it rendered it certain and undeniable 
that such was its object. 

Here was a double sophistry: First, the implication 
that, if the Emigrant Aid Company had boldly avowed 
that its purpose was to control the domestic institutions 
of Kansas and bring it into the Union as a free state, its 
heinousness would have been plain to all; second, that the 
Constitution of the United States, and the organic act 


of the territory itself, guaranteed the people against such 
an outrage. But the declared object of the Nebraska 
Bill was to allow the people to do this very thing by a 
majority vote. Mr. Trumbull brought his flail down 
upon this pair of sophisms with resounding force. Li de- 
bate with Senator Hale, a few days earlier, Toombs, of 
Georgia, had had the manliness to say: 

With reference to that portion of the Senator's argument 
justifying the Emigrant Aid Societies, — whatever may be 
their policy, whatever may be the tendency of that poUcy to 
produce strife, — if they simply aid emigrants from Massachu- 
setts to go to Kansas and to become citizens of that territoiy, 
I am prepared to say that they violate no law; and they had a 
right to do it; and every attempt to prevent them from doing 
so violated the law and ought not to be sustained.^ 

By way of justifying the Border Ruffians the report 
said that when the emigrants from New England were 
going through Missouri, the violence of their language 
and behavior excited apprehensions that their object was 
to ^'abolitionize Kansas as a means of prosecuting a re- 
lentless warfare on the institution of slavery within the 
limits of Missouri." 

What! [said Trumbull,] abolitionize Kansas! It was said on 
all sides of the Senate Chamber (when the Nebraska bill was 
pending) that it was never meant to have slavery go into 
Kansas. What is meant, then, by abolitionizing Kansas? Is 
it abolitionizing a territory already free, and which was never 
meant to be anything but free, for Free State men to settle in 
it? I cannot understand the force of such language. But they 
were to abolitionize Kansas, according to this report, and for 
what purpose? As a means for prosecuting a relentless warfare 
on the institution of slavery within the limits of Missouri. 
Where is the evidence of such a design? I would like to see it. 
It is not in this report, and if it exists I will go as far as the. 
gentleman to put it down. I will neither tolerate nor counte- 

^ Cong, Globe, Appendix, 1856, p. 118. 


nance by my action here or elsewhere any society which is 
resorting to means for prosecuting a relentless warfare upon the 
institution of slavery within the limits of Missouri or any other 
state. But there is not a particle of evidence of any such inten- 
tion in the document which professes to set forth the acts of 
the Emigrant Aid Society, and which is incorporated in this 

Trumbull next took up the contention of the report that 
since Governor Reeder had recognized the usurping leg- 
islature, he and all other governmental authorities were 
estopped from inquiring into its validity. No great effort 
of a trained legal mind was required to overthrow that 
pretension. Trumbull demolished it thoroughly. After 
giving a calm and lucid sketch of the existing condition 
of affairs in the territory, Trumbull brought his speech 
to a conclusion. It fills six pages of the Congressional 

This was the prelude to a hot debate with Douglas, 
who immediately took the floor. Trumbull had remarked 
in the course of his speech that the only political party 
with which he had ever had any affiliations was the De- 
mocratic. Douglas said that he should make a reply to 
his colleague's speech as soon as it should be printed in 
the Glohcy but that he wished to take notice now of the 

^ The writer of thb book was intimately acquainted with the doings of the 
Emigrant Aid Societies of the country, having been connected with the 
National Kansas Committee at Chicago. The emigrants usually went up the 
Missouri River by rail from St. Louis to Jefferson City and thence by steam- 
boat to Kansas City, Wyandotte, or Leavenworth. They were cautioned to 
conceal as much as possible their identity and destination, in order to avoid 
trouble. Such caution was not necessary, however, since the emigrants knew 
that their own success depended largely upon keeping that avenue of approach 
to Kansas open. Later, in the smnmer of 1856, it was closed, not in consequence 
of any threatening language or action on the part of the emigrants, but because 
the Border Ruffians were determined to cut off reinforcements to the Free 
State men in Kansas. The tide of travel then took the road through Iowa and 
Nebraska, a longer, more circuitous* and more expensive route. 

* Appendix* p. 200. 


statement that Trumbull claimed to be a Democrat. 
This, he said, would be considered by every Democrat 
in Illinois as a libel upon the party. 

Senator Crittenden called Douglas to order for using 
the word "libel," which he said was unparliamentary, 
being equivalent to the word "lie." Douglas insisted 
that he had not imputed untruth to his colleague, but had 
only said that all the Democrats in Illinois would impute 
it to him when they should read his speech. He then 
went into a general tirade about "Black Republicans," 
"Know-Nothings," and "Abolitionists," who, he said, 
had joined in making Trumbull a Senator, from which 
it was evident that he was one of the same tribe, and not 
a Democrat. So far as the people of Illinois were con- 
cerned, he said that his colleague did not dare to go be- 
fore them and take his chances in a general election, for 
he (Douglas) had met him at Salem, Marion County, in 
the summer of 1855, and had told him in the presence of 
thousands of people that, differing as they did, they ought 
not both to represent the State at the same time. There- 
fore, he proposed that they should both sign a paper re- 
signing their seats and appeal to the people, "and if I did 
not beat him now with his ICnow-Nothingism, Abolition- 
ism, and all other isms by a majority of twenty thousand 
votes, he should take the seat without the trouble of a 

Neither Trumbull nor Douglas was gifted with the 
sense of humor, but Trumbull turned the laugh on his 
antagonist by his comments on the coolness of the pro- 
posal that both Senators should resign their seats, which 
Governor Matteson would have the right to fill imme- 
diately, and which the people could in no event fill by a 
majority vote, since the people did not elect Senators 
under our system of government. The reason why he did 


not answer the challenge at Salem was that his colleague 
did not stay to hear the answer. After he had finished his 
speech it was very convenient for him to be absent. "He 
cut immediately for his tavern without waiting to hear 
me." Trumbull denominated the challenge "a bald 
clap-trap declamation and nothing else." 

Douglas's charges about Know-Nothings and Aboli- 
tionists were well calculated to make an impression in 
southern Illinois; hence Trumbull did not choose to let 
them go unanswered. His reply was pitched upon a higher 
plane, however, than his antagonist's tirade. He said : 

In my part of the state there are no Know-Nothing organiza- 
tions of whose members I have any knowledge. If they exist, 
they exist secretly. There are no open avowed ones among us. 
These general charges, as to matters of opinion, amount to but 
very little. It is altogether probable that the gentleman and 
myself will differ in opinion not only upon this slavery question, 
but also as to the sentiments of the people of Illinois. The views 
which I entertain are honest ones; they are the sincere senti- 
ments of my heart. I will not say that the views which he 
entertains in reference to those matters are not equally honest. 
I impute no such thing as insincerity to any Senator. Claiming 
for myself to be honest and sincere, I am willing to award to 
others the same sincerity that I claim for myself. As to what 
views other men in Illinois may entertain we may honestly 
differ. The views of the members of the legislature may be 
ascertained from their votes on resolutions before them. I do 
not know how to ascertain them in any other way. As for 
Abolitionists I do not know one in our state — one who wishes 
to interfere with slavery in the states. I have not the acquaint- 
ance of any of that class. There are thousands who oppose the 
breaking-down of a compromise set up by our fathers to pre- 
vent the extension of slavery, and I know that the gentleman 
himself once uttered on this floor the sentiment that he did not 
know a man who wished to extend slavery to a free territory. 

Douglas replied at length to Trumbull on the 20th of 
March, in his most slippery and misleading style. If it 


were possible to admire the kind of argument which makes 
the worse appear the better reason, this speech would 
take high rank. It may be worth while to give a single 
sample. Trumbull had said that in his opinion the words 
of the Missouri Compromise, prohibiting slavery in cer- 
tain territories "forever," meant until the territory should 
be admitted into the Union as a state on terms of equality 
with the other states. Douglas seized upon this as a fatal 
admission, and asked why, if "forever" meant only a few 
years, Trumbull and all his allies had been abusing him 
for repealing the sacred compact. 

If so [he continued], what is meant by all the leaders of that 
great party, of which he (Trumbull) has become so prominent 
a member, when they charge me with violating a solemn com- 
pact — a compact which they say consecrated that territory 
to freedom forever? They say it was a compact binding forever. 
He says that it was an unfounded assumption, for it was only 
a law which would become void without even being repealed; 
it was a mere legislative enactment like any other territorial 
law, and the word "forever" meant no more than the word 
"hereafter" — that it would expire by its own limitation. If 
this assumption be true, it necessarily follows that what he 
calls the Missouri Compromise was no compact — was not a 
contract — not even a compromise, the repeal of which would 
involve a breach of faith. ^ 

And he continued, ringing the changes on this alleged 
inconsistency through two entire columns of the Globcj 
as though a compact could not be made respecting a ter- 
ritory as well as for a state, and ignoring the fact that if 
slaves were prevented from coming into the territory, the 
material for forming a slave state would not exist when 
the people should apply for admission to the Union. If 
the word "forever" had, as Trumbull believed, applied 
only to the territory, it nevertheless answered all practi- 

^ Cong. Globe^ S4th Congress, Appendix, p. 281. 


cal purposes forever, by moulding the future state, as the 
potter moulds the elay.^ 

The remamder of Douglas's speech was founded upon 
the doings of Governor Reeder, whom he first used to 
buttress and sustain the bogus legislature in its acts, and 
then turned upon and rent in pitiable fragments, calling 
him "your Governor," as though the Republicans and 
not their opponents had appointed him. 

Jime 9, 185ff, the two Senators drifted into debate on 
the Kansas question again, and Trumbull put to Doug- 
las the question which Lincoln put to him with such 
momentous consequences in the Freeport debate two years 
later: whether the people of a territory could lawfully ex- 
clude slavery prior to the formation of a state constitu- 
tion. Trumbull said that the Democratic party was not 
harmonious on this point. He had heard Brown, of Missis- 
sippi, argue on the floor of the Senate that slavery could 
not be excluded from the territories, while in the forma- 
tive condition, by the territorial legislature, and he had 
heard Cass, of Michigan, maintain exactly the opposite 
doctrine. He would like to know what his colleague's 
views were upon that point: 

My colleague [he said] has no sort of difficulty in deciding the 
constitutional question as to the right of the people of a terri- 
tory, when they form their constitution, to establish or pro- 
hibit slavery. Now will he tell me whether they have the right 
before they form a state constitution? ^ 

Douglas did not answer this interrogatory. He insisted 
that it was purely a judicial question, and that he and all 

1 In this debate Clayton, of Delaware, contended that the word "forever" 
was meant to apply to any future political body, whether territory or state, 
oocnpying the ground embraced in the defined limits. Hence he considered the 
Missouri Compromise unconstitutional, but he had opposed the Nebraska Bill 
because he was not willing to reopen the slavery agitation. Cong, Globes S4th 
Congrefl8» Appendix, p. 777. 

* Cong. Globe, 1856, p. 1871. 


good Democrats were in harmony and would sustain the 
decision of the highest tribunal when it should be rendered. 
The Dred Scott case was pending in the Supreme Court, 
but that fact was not mentioned in the debate. The right 
of the people of a territory to exclude slavery before 
arriving at statehood was already the crux of the political 
situation, but its significance was not generally perceived 
at that time. That Trumbull had grasped the fact was 
shown by his concluding remarks in this debate, to wit : 

My colleague says that the persons with whom he is acting 
are perfectly agreed on the questions at issue. Why, sir, all of 
them in the South say that they have a right to take their 
slaves into a territory and to hold them there as such, while all 
in the North deny it. If that is an agreement, then I do not 
know what Bedlam would be. 

Bedlam came at Charleston four years later. It is 
worthy of remark that in this debate Douglas held that 
a negro could bring an action for personal freedom in a 
territory and have it presented to the Supreme Court of 
the United States for decision. In the Dred Scott case, 
subsequently decided, the court held that a negro could 
not bring an action in a court of the United States. 

The Senate debate on Kansas affairs in the first session 
of the Thirty-fourth Congress was participated in by 
nearly all the members of the body. The best speech on 
the Republican side was made by Seward. This was a 
carefully prepared, farseeing philosophical oration, in 
which the South was warned that the stars in their courses 
were fighting against slavery and that the institution 
took a step toward perdition when it appealed to lawless 
violence. Sumner's speech, which in its consequences 
became more celebrated, was sophomorical and vituper- 
ative and was not calculated to help the cause that its 
author espoused; but the assault made upon him by Pres- 


ton S. Brooks maddened the North and drew attention 
away from its defects of taste and judgment. CoUamer, 
of Vermont, made a notable speech in addition to his 
notable minority report from the Committee on Territo- 
ries. Wilson, of Massachusetts, and Hale, of New Hamp- 
shire, received well-earned plaudits for the thoroughness 
with which they exposed the frauds and violence of the 
Border Ruffians, and commented on the vacillation and 
stammering of President Pierce. That Trumbull had the 
advantage of his wily antagonist must be the conclusion 
of impartial readers at the present day. 

If a newcomer in the Senate to-day should plunge in 
medias res and deliver a three-hours' speech as soon as he 
could get the floor, he would probably be made aware of 
the opinion of his elders that he had been over-hasty. 
It was not so in the exciting times of the decade before the 
Civil War. All help was eagerly welcomed. Moreover, 
Trumbull's constituents would not have tolerated any 
delay on his part in getting into the thickest of the fight. 
Any signs of hanging back would have been construed as 
timidity. The anti-Nebraska Democrats of Illinois re- 
quired early proof that their Senator was not afraid of the 
Little Giant, but was his match at cut-and-thrust debate 
as well as his superior in dignity and moral power. The 
North rang with the praises of Trumbull, and some per- 
sons, whose admiration of Lincoln was unbounded and 
unchangeable, were heard to say that perhaps Providence 
had selected the right man for Senator from Illinois. Al- 
though Lincoln's personality was more magnetic, Trum- 
bull's intellect was more alert, his diction the more inci- 
sive, and his temper was the more combative of the two. 

From a mass of letters and newspapers commending 
Mr. Trumbull on his first appearance on the floor of the 
Senate, a few are selected for notice. 


The New York Tribune, March 15, 1856, Washington 
letter signed "H. G.," p. 4, col. 5: 

Mr. Trumbull's review of Senator Douglas's pro-slaveiy 
Kansas report is hailed with enthusiasm, as calculated to do 
honor to the palmiest days of the Senate. Though three hours 
long, it commanded full gaUeries, and the most fixed attention 
to the close. It was searching as well as able, and was at once 
dignified and convincing. 

When Mr. Trumbull closed, Mr. Douglas rose, in bad tem- 
per, to complain that the attack had been commenced in his 
absence, and to ask the Senate to fix a day for his reply. He 
said Mr. Trumbull had claimed to be a Democrat; but that 
claim would be considered a libel by the Democracy of Illinois. 
Here Mr. Crittenden rose to a question of order, and a most 
exciting passage ensued; the flash of the Kentuckian's eye and 
the sternness of his bearing were such as are rarely seen in the 

The New York Daily Times, Washington letter, dated 
June 9: 

Douglas was much disconcerted to-day by Senator Trum- 
bull's keen exposure of his Nebraska sophism. He was directly 
asked if he believed that the people of the territories have the 
right to exclude slavery before forming a state government, but 
he refused to give his opinion, saying that it was a question to 
be determined by the Supreme Court. Trumbull then exposed 
with great force Douglas's equivocal platform of popular sov- 
ereignty, which means one thing at the South and another 
at the North. The "Little Giant" was fairly smoked out. 

Charles Sumner writes to E. L. Pierce, March 21 : 

Trumbull is a hero, and more than a match for Douglas. 
Illinois, in sending him, has done much to make me forget that 
she sent Douglas. You will read the main speech which is able; 
but you can hardly appreciate the ready courage and power 
with which he grappled with his colleague and throttled him. 
We are all proud of his work. 

S. P. Chase, Executive (Mice, Columbus, Ohio, April 
14, 1856, writes: 


I have read your speech with great interest. It was timely — 
exactly at the right moment and its logic and statement are 
irresistible. How I rejoice that Illinois has sent you to the 

John Johnson, Mount Vernon, Hlinois, writes: 

I wish I could express the pleasure that I and many other of 
your friends feel when we remember that we have such a man 
as yoiu'self in Congress, who loves liberty and truth and is not 
ashamed or afraid to speak. Let me say that I thank the 
Ruler of the Universe that we have got such a man into the 
Senate of the United States. . . . Your influence will tell on 
the interests of the nation in years to come. 

John H. Bryant, Princeton, writes: 

The expectations of those who elected Mr. Trumbull to the 
Senate have been fully met by his course in that body, those 
of Democratic antecedents being satisfied and the Whigs very 
happily disappointed. For Mr. Lincoln the people have great 
respect, and great confidence in his ability and integrity. Still 
the feeling here is that you have filled the place at this particu- 
lar time better than he could have done.^ 

At this time Trumbull received a letter from one of the 
Ohio River counties which, by reason of the singularity 
of its contents as well as of the subsequent distinction of 
the writer, merits preservation : 

Green B. Raum, Golconda, Pope Co., Feb. 9, '57, wishes 
Trumbull to find out why he cannot get his pay for taking 
depositions at the instance of the Secretary of the Interior in a 
lawsuit involving the freedom of sixty negroes legally manu- 
mitted, but still held in slavery in Crawford County, Arkansas. 
The witnesses whose depositions were taken were living in Pope 
Co., 111. Raum advanced $43.25 for witness fees and costs and 
was engaged one month in the work, for which he charged 
$800. This was done in May, 1855, but he had never been paid 
even the amount that he advanced out of his own pocket.* 

^ John H. Bryant, a man of large influence in central Illinois, brother of 
William CuIIen Bryant. 

* Green B. Raum, Lawyer, Democrat, brigadier-general in the Union army 
in the Civil War. 


In April, 1857, Trumbull received an urgent appeal from 
Cyrus Aldnch, George A. Nourse, and others in Minne- 
sota asking him to come to that territory and make 
speeches for one month to help the Republicans carry the 
convention which had been called to frame a state con- 
stitution. He responded to this call and took an active 
part in the campaign, which resulted favorably to the 
Republican party. 



In June, 1856, Lmcoln wrote to Trumbull urging him 
to attend the Republican National Convention which 
had been called to meet in Philadelphia to nominate can- 
didates for President and Vice-President and suggesting 
that he labor for the nomination of a conservative man 
for President. Trumbull went accordingly and cooperated 
with N. B. Judd, Leonard Swett, William B. Archer, and 
other delegates from Illinois in the proceedings which led 
up to the futile nominations of Fremont and Dayton. 
The only part of these proceedings which interests us now 
is the fact that Abraham Lincoln, who was not a candi- 
date for any place, received one hundred and ten votes 
for Vice-President. This result was brought about by 
Mr. William B. Archer, an Illinois Congressman, who 
conceived the idea of proposing his name only a short 
time before the voting began, and secured the coopera- 
tion of Mr. Allison, of Pennsylvania, to nominate him. 
Archer wrote to Lincoln that if this bright idea had oc- 
curred to him a little earlier he could have obtained a ma- 
jority of the convention for him. When the news first 
reached Lincoln at Urbana, Illinois, where he was attend- 
ing court, he thought that the one hundred and ten votes 
were cast for Mr. Lincoln, of Massachusetts. 

He wrote to Trumbull on the 27th saying, "It would 
have been easier for us, I think, had we got McLean" 
(instead of Fremont), but he was not without high hopes 
of carrying the state. He was confident of electing Bissell 


for governor at all events. Li August, Lincoln wrote 
again saying that he had just returned from a speaking 
tour in Edgar, Coles, and Shelby counties, and that he 
had found the chief embarrassment in the way of Repub- 
lican success was the Fillmore ticket. "The great diiE- 
culty," he says, "with anti-slavery-extension Fillmore 
men is that they suppose Fillmore as good as Fremont on 
that question; and it is a delicate point to argue them out 
of it, they are so ready to think you are abusing Mr. Fill- 
more." The Fillmore vote in Illinois was 37,444. 

The Republican state ticket, headed by William H. 
Bissell for governor, was elected, but Buchanan and 
Breckinridge, the Democratic nominees, received the 
electoral vote of the state and were successful in the 
country at large. The defeat of Fremont caused intense 
disappointment to the Republicans at the time, but it 
was fortunate for the party and for the country that he 
was beaten. He was not the man to deal with the grave 
crisis impending. Disunion was a club already held in 
reserve to greet any Republican President. Senator 
Mason, of Virginia, frankly said so to Trumbull in a Sen- 
ate debate (December 2, 1856), after the election: 

Mr. Mason: What I said was this, that if that [Republican] 
party came into power avowing the purpose that it did avow, 
it would necessarily result in the dissolution of the Union, 
whether they desired it or not. It was utterly immaterial who 
was their President; he might have been a man of straw. I 
allude to the purposes of the party. 

Mr. Trumbull: Why, sir, neither Colonel Fremont nor any 
other person can be elected President of the United Stat^ 
except in the constitutional mode, and if any individual is 
elected in the mode prescribed in the Constitution, is that cause 
for dissolution of the Union? Assuredly not. If it be, the Con- 
stitution contains within itself the elements of its own destruc- 

^ Coag. Qhbe, voL 48, p. 10. 


Four years passed ere Mr. Mason's prediction was put 
to the test, and the intervening time waslnainly occupied 
by a continuation of the Kansas strife. The prevailing 
gloom in the Northern mind was reflected in a letter writ- 
ten by Trumbull to Professor J. B. Turner, of Jackson- 
ville, Illinois, dated Alton, October 19, 1857, from which 
the following is an extract: 

Our free institutions are undergoing a fearful trial, nothing 
less, as I can conceive, than a struggle with those now in power, 
who are attempting to subvert the very basis upon which they 
rest. Things are now being done in the name of the Constitu- 
tion which the f ramers of that instrument took special pains to 
guard against, and which they did provide against as plainly as 
human language could do it. The recent use of the army in 
Kansas, to say nothing of the complicity of the administration 
with the frauds and outrages which have been committed in that 
territoiy, presents as clear a case of usurpation as could well be 
imagined. Whether the people can be waked up to the change 
which their government is undergoing in time to prevent it, is 
the question. I believe they can. I will not believe that the free 
people of this great country will quietly suffer their government, 
established for the protection of life and liberty, to be changed 
into a slaveholding oligarchy whose chief object is the spread 
and perpetuation of negro slaveiy and the degradation of free 
white labor. 

Soon after the inauguration of Buchanan, Robert J. 
Walker, of Mississippi, was appointed by him governor 
of Kansas Territory. Walker was a native of Pennsyl- 
vania and a man of good repute. He had been Secretary 
of the Treasury under President Polk, and was the author 
of the Tariff of 1846. When he arrived in Kansas steps 
had already been taken by the territorial legislature for 
electing members of a constitutional convention with a 
view to admission to the Union as a state. Governor 
Walker urged the Free State men to participate in this 
election, promising them fair treatment and an honest 


count of votes; but they still feared treachery and violence 
and fraud in the election returns. Moreover, voters were 
required to take a test oath that they would support the 
Constitution as framed. As Walker had assured them 
that the Constitution would be submitted to a vote of 
the people, they decided to take no part in framing it, 
but to vote it down when it should be submitted. 

The convention met in the territorial capital, Lecomp- 
ton. While it was in session a regular election of members 
of the territorial legislature took place, and Governor 
Walker had so far won the confidence of the Free State 
men that they took part in it and elected a majority of the 
members of both branches. About one month later news 
came that the constitutional convention had completed 
its labors and had decided not to submit the constitution 
itself to a vote of the people, but only the slavery clause. 
People could vote "For the constitution with slavery," 
or "For the constitution with no slavery," but in no case 
should the right of property in slaves already in the ter- 
ritory be questioned, nor should the constitution itself 
be amended until 1864, and no amendment should be 
made affecting the rights of property in such slaves. 

Senator Douglas was in Chicago when this news ar- 
rived. He at once declared to his friends that this scheme 
had its origin in Buchanan's Cabinet. Governor James 
W. Geary, Walker's predecessor in oflBce, had vetoed the 
bill calling the convention, because it contained no clause 
requiring submission of the constitution to the people; 
but it had been passed over his veto. He subsequently 
said, in a published letter, that the committees of the 
legislature having the matter in charge informed him that 
their friends in the South did not desire a submission 
clause. It was proved later that a conspiracy with this 
aim existed in Buchanan's Cabinet without his knowl- 


edge, and that the guiding spirit was Jacob Thompson, 
of Mississippi, Secretary of the Interior. The chief man- 
ager in Kansas was John Calhoun, the president of the 
convention, who had been designated also as the canvass- 
ing officer of the election returns under the submission 

Buchanan was not admitted to the secret of the con- 
spiracy until the deed was done. He had conmiitted him- 
self both verbally and in writing to the submission of the 
whole constitution to the people for ratification or re- 
jection. He had pledged himself in this behalf to Governor 
Walker, who had pledged himself to the people of Kansas. 
Walker kept his pledge, but Buchanan broke his. He sur- 
rendered to the Cabinet cabal and made the admission of 
Kansas under the Lecompton Constitution the policy of 
his administration. It proved to be his ruin, as an earlier 
breach of promise had been the ruin of Pierce. 

Walker exposed and denounced the whole conspiracy 
and resigned the governorship, the duties of which de- 
volved upon F. P. Stanton, the secretary of the territory, 
a man of ability and integrity, who had been a member 
of Congress from Tennessee. Stanton called the legis- 
lature in special session. The legislature declared for a 
clause for or against the constitution as a whole, to be 
voted on at an election to be held January 4, 1858. 
Stanton was forthwith removed from office by Buchanan, 
and John A. Denver was appointed governor to fill Walk- 
er's place. 

The stand taken by Douglas in reference to the Le- 
compton Constitution before the meeting of Congress, and 
the doubts and fears excited thereby in the minds of the 
leading Republicans of Illinois, are indicated in private 
letters received by Trumbull in that interval, a few of 
which are here cited: 


E. Peck, Chicago, November 23, 1857, says: Judge Douglas 
takes the ground openly that the whole of the Kansas constitu- 
tion must be submitted to the people for approval. 

C. H. Ray, chief editor of the Chicago Tribune^ writes that 
Douglas is just starting for Washington; he says that he sent 
a man to Uie Tribune office to remonstrate against its course 
toward him *' while he is doing what we all want him to do." 
Dr. Ray had no faith in him. 

N. B. Judd, Chicago, November 24, says that Douglas took 
pains to get leading Republicans into Us room to tell them 
that he intended to fight the administration on the Kansas 

Judd, November £6, writes that Douglas tells his friends that 
"the whole proceedings in Kansas were concocted by certain 
members of the Cabinet to ruin him." He does not think that 
the President desires this, but he cannot well help himself, and 
the conspirators intend to use Buchanan's name again (for the 

Lincoln wrote under date, Chicago, Nov. SO, 1857: . . . What 
think you of the probable "rumpus" among the Democracy 
over the Kansas constitution? I tliink the Republicans should 
stand clear of it. In their view both the President and Doug- 
las are wrong; and they should not espouse the cause of either 
because they may consider the other a little farther wrong of 
the two. From what I am told here, Douglas tried before leav- 
ing to draw off some Republicans on the dodge, and even suc- 
ceeded in making some impression on one or two. 

A. Jonas, Quincy, December 5, is unable to say whether 
Douglas is sincere in the position he has lately taken. "Should 
he act right for once on this question, it will be with some selfish 

William H. Bissell, governor, Springfield, December 12, 
thinks Douglas's course is dictated solely by his fears connected 
with the next senatorial election. 

S. A. Hurlbut, Belvidere, December 14, thinks that as be- 
tween Douglas and the Southern politicians the latter have the 
advantage in point of logic. "If the Lecompton Constitution 
prevails, no amount of party discipline will hold more than one 
third of the Democratic voters in Illinois.'* He predicts that 
the next Democratic National Convention will endorse John C. 


Calhoun's doctrine that slavery exists in the territories by 
virtue of the Constitution. 

Sam Galloway, Columbus, Ohio, December 12, asks: "What 
means the movement of Douglas? Is it a ruse or a bona-fide 
patriotic eflfort? We don't know whether to commend or cen- 
sure, and we are without any knowledge of the workings of his 
heart except as indicated in his speeches." 

W. H. Hemdon, Springfield, December 16, says: "Douglas 
is more of a man than I took him to be. He has some nerve at 
least. I do not think he is honest in any particular, yet in this 
difficulty he is right." 

C. H. Ray, Chicago, December 18, asks for Trumbull's 
views of Douglas's real purposes: "We are almost confounded 
here by his anomalous position and do not know how to treat 
him and his overtures to the Republican party. Personally, I 
am inclined to give him the lash, but I want to do nothing that 
will damage our cause or hinder the emancipation of Kansas." 

John G. Nicolay, Springfield, December 20, has been can- 
vassing the state to procure subscribers for the St. Louis Derruy' 
crai. He had very good success until the "hard times" came. 
Then he found it necessary to suspend operations. He says 
everybody is watching the political developments in Washing- 
ton, and he thinks that Douglas will be sustained by nearly all 
his party in Illinois. "The Federal office-holders keep mum 
and will not of course declare themselves until they are forced 
to do so." 

Samuel C. Parks, Lincoln, Logan County, December 26, 
says: Douglas is no better now than when he was the undis- 
puted leader of the pro-slavery party. He has done more to 
undermine the principles upon which this Government was 
founded than any other man that ever lived. 

D. L. Phillips, Anna, Union County, March 2, 1858: " You 
need not pay any attention to the silly statements of the Mis- 
souri Republican and other sheets respecting this part of the 
state being attached to Buchanan. It is simply false. The 
Democracy here are led by the AUens, Marshall, Logan, Parrish, 
Kuykendall, Simons, and others, and these are all for Douglas. 
John Logan is bitter against Buchanan. I think we ought all 
to be satisfied with the course of things. Let the worst come 
now. Better far than defer it, for come it will and must." 


The first session of the Thirty-fifth Congress began on 
the 7th of December, 1857. President Buchanan's first 
message was largely concerned with the affairs of Kansas. 
He spoke of the framers of the Topeka Constitution as a 
"revolutionary organization," and said that the Lecomp- 
ton Constitution was the work of the lawfully constituted 
authorities. He conceded that the submission clause of the 
Lecompton instrument fell short of his own intentions and 
expectations, but insisted that the slavery question was 
the only matter of dispute and that that was actually sub- 
mitted to the popular vote. 

Trumbull was the first Senator to expose these un- 
founded assumptions, and this he did in a brief argument as 
soon as the reading of the message was finished . He showed, 
in the first place, that the Topeka Constitution was no 
whit more "revolutionary" or irregular than the Lecomp- 
ton one, and one of the authorities whom he cited to sus- 
tain his contention was Buchanan himself, who, in a paral- 
lel case, had contended that the territorial legislature of 
Michigan had no authority to call a convention to frame 
a state constitution, and that any such proceeding was 
"an act of usurpation." This was not necessarily conclu- 
sive as to anybody but Buchanan. Yet in another case 
cited, that of Arkansas, where a territorial legislature was 
considering an act for the calling of a convention to frame 
a state constitution and where the governor had asked 
instructions from President Jackson as to his duty in the 
premises, the Attorney-General had held that such an act 
of the Legislature would be without authority and abso- 
lutely void. (This case had been cited by Douglas the 
previous year, in an argument against the Topeka Con- 
stitution.) The only regular proceeding was for Congress 
to pass an enabling act, on such terms and conditions as 
it might prescribe, under which the people might form a 


constitution preparatory to admission to the Union. 
Any other mode of accomplishing the same result, 
whether initiated by a popular assembly, as at Topeka, 
or by the legislature, as at Lecompton, was in the nature 
of a petition which Congress might respond to favorably, 
and thus legalize, or not. Neither of these modes of begin- 
ning had any higher authority than the other. Therefore, 
the underpinning of President Buchanan's first argument 
was knocked out by two citations of authority which he 
could not controvert. 

His second argument, that the slavery clause in the 
Lecompton Constitution, the only thing in controversy, 
was submitted to the popular vote, was easily demolished. 
The submission clause, said Mr. Trumbull, ^'amounts 
simply to giving the free white people of Kansas a right 
to determine the condition of a few negroes hereafter to 
be brought into the state, and nothing more; the condi- 
tion of those now there cannot be touched." 

On the following day, Senator Douglas made his speech 
against the Lecompton Constitution. It had been eagerly 
expected, and the galleries and floor were crowded. From 
his own standpoint it was a very strong argument, and 
was received with vociferous applause, contrary to the 
rules of the Senate. It left Buchanan with not a rag to 
cover him. It was the first public speech Douglas had ever 
made which went counter to the wishes of the Southern 
people. So when he said, — "I will go as far as any of you 
to save the party. I have as much heart in the great cause 
that binds us together as a party as any man living; I will 
sacrifice anything short of principle and honor for the 
peace of the party; but if the party will not stand by its 
principles, its faith, its pledges, I will stand there and 
abide whatever consequences may result from the posi- 
tion," — we must believe that he was sincere and must 


respect him for his courage. But his standpoint was that 
of one who "did not care whether slavery was voted down 
or voted up." It represented no high principle; the only 
right he contended for was the right of the people to decide 
for themselves whether they would have a particular 
banking system, or none at all; a Maine liquor law; or a 
railroad running this way or that way; and finally 
whether they would have a slave code or not. Great 
speeches are not kindled with such short stubble. 

One thing hinted at in this speech was that Buchanan 
had been so frightened by the revolt in the party against 
the Lecompton Constitution that he had taken steps to 
have the pro-slavery clause rejected at the coming elec- 
tion, by the very people who had framed it. "I think I 
have seen enough in the last three days," he said, "to 
make it certain that it will be returned ouU no matter how 
the vote may stand." Li a later debate, February 4, 
Douglas said : 

I made my objection [against the Lecompton Constitution] 
at a time when the President of the United States told all his 
friends that he was perfectly sure the pro-slavery clause would 
be voted down. I did it at a time when all or nearly all the 
Senators on this floor supposed the pro-slavery clause would be 
stricken out. I assumed in my speech that it was to be returned 
out, and that the constitution was to come here with that article 

If Buchanan had that intention he was not able to carry 
it into eflfect. 

Douglas at this time contemplated an alliance with the 
Republicans. His state of mind is pictured in a letter 
written by Henry Wilson to Rev. Theodore Parker, dated 
Washington, February 28, 1858, of which the following is 
an extract : * 

^ Cong. Olobe, S5\h Cong., 1st Sess., p. 571. 

* Lincoln and Hemdon, by Joseph Fort Newton, p. 148. 


I say to you in confidence that you are mistaken in regard to 
Douglas. He is as sure to be with us in the future as Chase, 
Seward, or Sumner. I leave motives to God, but he is to be with 
us, and he is to-day of more weight to our cause than any ten 
men in the country. I know men and I know their power, and 
I know that Douglas will go for crushing the Slave Power to 
atoms. To use his own words to several of our friends this day 
in a three-hours' consultation: '"We must grind this adminis- 
tration to powder; we must punish every man who supports 
this crime, and we must prostrate forever the Slave Power ^ which 
uses Presidents and dishonors and disgraces them." 

Similar testimony is found in the Trumbull corres- 
pondence, to wit: 

Jesse K. Dubois, state Auditor, Springfield, March 22, 1858, 
says he has a letter from Ray, of the Chicago Tribune^ who 
says that Sheahan, of the Timesy who has just returned to 
Washington, says that (1) Lecomptonwill be defeated; (2) that 
the Republicans shall have all the majority they like in the 
next Illinois legislature, to favor which he wants to unite with 
us in all doubtful counties or rather help us by running Douglas 
legislative tickets "(N. B. I do not see the point of this)"; 
(8) he concedes us the Senator, and says Douglas is willing to 
go into private life for a brief period, but protests that we must 
not sacrifice their Congressmen who run again on the Lecomp- 
ton issue, if any one of them desires to go back; (4) they will 
run candidates for Congress in every district, but without hope 
of electing one in the four northern districts " (N. B. I should 
think this is an easy matter) "; (5) Douglas is willing to retire, 
and if he beats Lecompton, to take his chances by and by; (6) 
Douglas and his friends have had a caucus in Washington and 
they agree so to shape matters, if possible, with Republican aid, 
as to return to the next Congress an unbroken phalanx of anti- 
Lecompton men, and break down the administration by making 
it harmless at home and abroad; (7) the fight is to the death, 
h Votdrance^ and cannot be discontinued, no matter what comes 
up. Ray seems to think Sheahan is honest in what he says, and 
has no doubt that he speaks for Douglas. 

A. Jonas, Quincy, April 11, says that letters have been re- 
ceived from Chicago and Springfield implying that a coalition 


is forming between a portion of the Republican party on the 
one hand and Douglas and his followers on the other. He pro- 
tests strongly against any such coalition and declares it can never 
be carried into effect. '"To suppose that the Republicans of 
this District can under any circumstances be induced to sup- 
port such a political demagogue and trickster as Isaac N. Morris 
is to believe them capable of worshiping Satan or submitting to 
the dictation of the slave oligarchy." 

W. H. Hemdon, Springfield, April 12, has just returned from 
the East. He speaks of Greeley's "puffs" of Douglas, which 
he regards as demoralizing to the Republicans of Illinois. "I 
heard Greeley handled quite roughly by the candidate for 
lieutenant-governor of Wisconsin, a very intelligent German. 
He spoke to Greeley in my presence and said that Wisconsin 
stood by Illinois and was not for sale." 

E. Peck, Chicago, April 15: "Dr. Brainard has had a talk 
with Dr. Ray, the substance of which was that we should con- 
sent to run Douglas as our candidate for the House of Repre- 
sentatives from this district. What does this mean? Can 
Brainard have any authority to make such a proposition? Ray 
has been advising with me, and we are both in the clouds. I 
requested permission to write to you for your opinion before any 
opinions were expressed here. Mr. Colfax may be able to tell 
you something of the opinions of Douglas. I am shy in believing, 
and more shy in confiding, . . . yet Ray believes that Brainard 
was authorized by Douglas to make the proposition." 

N. B. Judd, Chicago, April 19, says that if the Lecompton 
Bill is passed, Douglas is laid on the shelf. The Buchanan party 
in Chicago is of no consequence, "great cry and little wool." 
We shall have to fight the Democratic party as a unit. "How 
Douglas is to be the Democratic party in Illinois and the ally 
of the Republicans outside of the state is a problem which those, 
who are arranging with him, ought to know how to work out." 

Overtures to the Republicans of Illinois did not come 
from Douglas only. Here is one of a different hue: 

George T. Brown, Alton, February 24, urges the appoint- 
ment of J. E. Starr (Buchanan Democrat) as postmaster at 
Alton. "Slidell opened the way for you to talk to him and you 
can easily do so. The Administration is very desirous that you 


should not oppose their appointments, and will give you any- 

The foregoing letter betokens a sudden change of mind 
in administration circles at Washington, as is evidenced 
by the following communication which Trumbull had re- 
ceived from one of his constituents a few weeks earlier: 

B. Werner, Caseyville, January 4, refers to a former letter 
enclosing a petition for the establishment of a post-office at 
Caseyville. Hearing nothing of the matter, he went to see 
Mr. Armstrong, the postmaster at St. Louis, narrated the facts, 
and asked whether any order had been received by him respect- 
ing it. ''He asked me to whom I had sent the petition. I told 
him to you. He replied if I had sent the petition to Robert 
Smith (Dem. M.C.) the matter would have been attended to, 
but as Mr. Trumbull was a Black Republican, the department 
would not pay any attention to it." 

On the 2d of February, 1858, President Buchanan sent 
a special message to Congress with a copy of the Lecomp- 
ton Constitution, and recommended that Kansas be ad- 
mitted to the Union as a state under it. In this message 
he made reference to the Dred Scott decision, which had 
been pronounced by the Supreme Court in the previous 
March. On this point the message said: 

It has been solemnly adjudged by the highest tribunal 
known to our laws that slavery exists in Kansas by virtue of 
the Constitution of the United States. ICansas is, therefore, at 
this moment as much a slave state as Georgia, or South Caro- 

Trumbull made a speech on the special message as soon 
as the reading of it was finished by the secretary. He re- 
viewed the action of Governor Walker, which, in the 
beginning, had been avowedly taken with the view of cre- 
ating and promoting a Free State Democratic party in 
Kansas, to which end he had made use of the soldiers 
placed at his disposal by the President. That this was 


an act of usurpation was conclusively shown by Trum- 
bull, although Walker claimed that it had served the de- 
sirable purpose of preventing an armed collision between 
the contending factions. Trumbull then touched upon the 
Dred Scott case and maintained that the Supreme Court 
had likewise usurped authority by pronouncing an opinion 
on a case not before it. The court had virtually dismissed 
the case for want of jurisdiction. It had decided that 
Dred Scott was not a citizen and had no right to bring 
this action. There was no longer any case before the 
judges who so held. "Their opinions," said Trumbull, 
"are worth just as much as, and no more than, the opin- 
ions of any other gentlemen equally respectable in the 
country." Consequently, President Buchanan's assertion 
that Kansas was then as much a slave state as Geor- 
gia or South Carolina was unfounded and preposterous. 
Seward, Fessenden, and the Republican Senators gener- 
ally held to this doctrine, but Senator Benjamin, of Lou- 
isiana, replied with considerable force that it was com- 
petent for the court to decide on what grounds it would 
give its decision, and that it did, in so many words, elect 
to decide the question of slavery in the territories, which 
was the principal question raised by the counsel of Dred 
Scott. That the decision had an aim different from the 
settlement of Dred Scott's claim, and that this aim was 
political, is now sufficiently established. It is also estab- 
lished that Dred Scott never took any steps consciously 
to secure freedom, but that the action was brought in his 
name by some speculating lawyers in St. Louis to secure 
damages or wages from the widow of Scott's master. Dr. 
Emerson.^ One additional fact is supplied by a letter in 
the Trumbull correspondence, showing how the money 
was collected to pay the plaintiff's court costs. 

^^ IVederick Trevor Hill in Harper** MagwAMt July, 1907. 


G. BaQ^9 Washington, May 12» 1857» writes, that when the 
case of Dred Scott was first brought to the notice of Mont- 
gomery Blair, he applied to him (Bailey) to know what to do. 
Blair said he would freely give his services without charge if 
Bailey would see to the necessary expenses of the case. Not 
having an opportunity to confer with friends, Bailey replied 
that he would become responsible. He had no doubt the neces- 
sary money could be raised. On this assurance he proceeded, 
the case was tried, and the result was before the country. Mr. 
Blair had just rendered the bill of costs: $63.18 for writ of error 
and $91.50 for printmg briefs; total, $154.68. ''May I be so 
bold, my dear sir, as to ask you to contribute two dollars 
toward the payment of this biU. I am now writing to seventy- 
five of the Rep. Members of the late Congress, and if they will 
answer me promptly, each enclosing the quota named, I can 
discharge the bill by myself paying a double share.'* 

Mem. : $2 sent by Trumbidl June 20th, '57. 

The debate in the Senate on the Lecompton Bill con- 
tinued till March 23. The best speech on the Republican 
side was made by Fessenden, of Maine, than whom a more 
consummate debater or more knightly character and pre- 
sence has not graced the Senate chamber in my time, if 
ever. On the administration side the laboring oar was 
taken by Toombs, who spoke with more truculence than 
he had shown in the Thirty-fourth Congress. Jefferson 
Davis, who had been returned to the Senate after serving 
as Secretary of War under Pierce, bore himself in this 
debate with decorum and moderation. 

The Lecompton Bill passed the Senate, but was dis- 
agreed to by the House, and a conference committee was 
appointed which adopted a bill proposed by Congress- 
man English, of Indiana, which offered a large bonus of 
lands to Kansas, for schools, for a university, and for 
public buildings, if she would vote to come into the Union 
under the Lecompton Constitution now. If she would not 
so vote, she should not have the lands and should not 


come into the Union until she should have a population 
sufficient to elect one member of Congress on the ratio 
prescribed by law. The form of submission to a popular 
vote was to be: "Proposition accepted," or "Proposition 
rejected." K there was a majority of acceptances, the 
territory should be admitted as a state at once. Senator 
Seward and Representative Howard, Republican mem- 
bers of the conference committee, dissented from the re- 
port. This bill passed the House. 

Douglas made a dignified speech against the English 
Bill, showing that it was in the nature of a bribe to the 
people to vote in a particular way. Although he did not 
think that the bribe would prevail, he could not accept 
the principle. The bill nevertheless passed on the last 
day of April, and on the 2d of August the English propo- 
sition was voted down by the people of Kansas by an 
overwhelming majority. The Lecompton Constitution 
thus disappeared from sublunary affairs, and John Cal- 
houn disappeared from Kansas as soon as steps were 
taken to look into the returns of previous elections can- 
vassed by him. 

The opinion of a man of high position on the attitude 
of President Buchanan toward Lecomptonism is found in 
another letter to TrumbuU : 

J. D. Caton, chief justice of the supreme court of Illinois, 
Ottawa, March 6, 1858, does not think all the Presidents and 
all the Cabinets and all the Congresses and all the supreme 
courts and all the slaveholders on eajrth, with all the constitutions 
that could be drawn, could ever make Kansas a slave state. 
"No, there has been no such expectation, and I do not believe 
desire on the part of the present administration to make it a 
slave state, but as he [Buchanan] had already been pestered to 
death with it, he resolved to make it a state as soon as possible, 
and thus being rid of it, let them fight it out as they liked. In 
this mood the Southern members of the Cabinet found him when 


the news came of that Lecompton Constitution being framed, 
and he committed himself, thinking, no doubt, that Douglas 
would be hot for it and that there would be no general opposi- 
tion in his own party to it. . . . You say that the slave trade will 
be established in every state in the Union in five years if the 
Democratic party retains power! As Butterfield told the Uni- 
versalist preacher, who was proving that all men would be 
saved, 'We hope for better thhigs.*" 



The events described in the preceding chapter left 
Senator Douglas still the towering figure in national poli- 
tics. Although he had contributed but a small part of the 
votes in the Senate and House by which the Lecompton 
Bill had been defeated, he had furnished an indispensable 
part. He had humbled the Buchanan administration. He 
had delivered Kansas from the grasp of the Border Ruf- 
fians. What he might do for freedom in the future, if 
properly encouraged, loomed large in the imagination 
of the Eastern Republicans. Greeley, Seward, Banks, 
Bowles, Burlingame, Henry Wilson, and scores of lesser 
lights were quoted as desiring to see him returned to the 
Senate by Republican votes. Some were even willing to 
support him for the Presidency. 

The Republicans of Illinois did not share this enthusi- 
asm. Not only had they fixed upon Lincoln as their choice 
for Senator, but they felt that they could not trust Doug- 
las. He still said that he cared not whether slavery was 
voted down or voted up. That was the very thing they 
did care about. Could they assume that, after being 
reelected by their votes and made their standard-bearer, 
he would be a new man, diflferent from the one he had 
been before? And if he remained of the same opinions 
as before, what would become of the Republican party? 
Who could answer for the demoralizing effects of taking 
him for a leader? The views of the party leaders in Illi- 
nois are set forth at considerable length in letters received 
by Senator TrumbuU, the first one from Lincoln himself: 


Blooiongton, December ftS, 1857. 

Hon. Lyman TRuifBULL, 

Dear Sm: What does the New York Tribune mean by its 
constant eulogizing and admiring and magnifying Douglas? 
Does it, in this, speak the sentiments of the Republicans at 
Washington? Have they concluded that the Republican cause 
generally can be best promoted by sacrificing us here in Illinois? 
If so, we would like to know it soon; it will save us a great deal 
of labor to surrender at once. 

As yet I have heard of no Republican here going over to 
Douglas, but if the Tribune continues to din his praises into the 
ears of its five or ten thousand readers in Illinois, it is more 
than can be hoped that all will stand firm. I am not complain- 
ing, I only wish for a fair understanding. Please write me at 

Your obt. servant, 

A. LmooLN. 

C. H. Ray, Chicago, March 9, 1858, protests against any 
trading with Douglas on the basis of reelecting him to the 
Senate by Republican votes. The Republicans of Illinois are 
unanimous for Lincoln and will not swerve from that purpose. 
Thinks that Douglas is coming to the Republican camp and 
that the disposal of him will be a difficult problem unless he will 
be content with a place in the Cabinet of the next Republican 

J. K. Dubois, Springfield, April 8, says that Hatch (secre- 
taiy of state) and himself were in Chicago a few days since. 
Found every man there firm and true — Judd, Peck, Ray» 
Scripps, W. H. Brown, etc. Hemdon has just come home; 
says that Wilson, Banks, Greeley, etc., are for returning Doug- 
las to the Senate. "God forbid! Are our friends crazy?" 

J. M. Palmer, Carlinville, May 25 : 

We feel here that we have fought a strenuous and well-main- 
tained battle with Douglas, backed up by the whole strength of 
the Federal patronage, and have won some prospect of over- 
throwing him and placing Illinois permanently in the ranks of 
the party of progress, whether c^ed Republican or by some 
other name, and now, by a "Wall street operation," Lincoln, 
to whom we are all under great obligations, and all our men who 


have borne the heat and burden of the day, are to be kicked to 
one side and we are to throw up our caps for Judge Douglas, 
and he very coolly tells us all the time that we are Abolitionists 
and negro worshipers and that he accepts our votes as a favor 
to us ! Messrs. Greeley, Seward, Burlingame, etc., are presumed 
to be able to estimate themselves properly, and if they fix only 
that value on themselves, no one has a right to complain, but 

if I vote for Douglas under such circumstances, may I be 1 

don't swear, but you may fill this blank as you please. Yet I 
have no personal feelings against Douglas. . . . Lincoln and his 
friends were under no obligation to us in that controversy [of 
1855]. We had, though but five, refused to vote for him under 
circumstances that we thought, at the time, furnished good 
reason for our refusal. We elected an anti-Nebraska Democrat 
to the Senate, by his aid most magnanimously rendered, and 
that result placed us, through you, on the highest possible 
ground in the new party. If you had not been elected, we should 
have been a baffled faction at the tail of an alien organization. 
We have, as a consequence, an anti-Nebraska Democrat for 
governor, and our men are the bone and sinew of the new or- 
ganization, though we are in a minority. In all these results 
Lincoln has contributed his efforts and the Whig element have 
cooperated. For myself, therefore, I am unalterably deter- 
mined to do all that I can to elect Lincoln to the Senate. / can- 
not elect him, but I can give him and all his friends conclusive 
proof that I am animated by honor and good faith, and will 
stand up for his election until the Republican party, including 
himself and his personal friends, say we have done enough. 
Hence no arrangement that looks to the election of Douglas 
by Republican votes, that does not meet the approval of Lin- 
coln and his friends, can meet my approval. 

The chief diflieulty was that Douglas had never estab- 
lished for himself a character for stability. People did not 
know what they could depend upon in dealing with him. 
Other questions than Lecompton would soon come up, 
as to which his course would be uncertain. Who could 
say whether he would look northward or southward for 
the Presidency two years hence? 


Douglas knew that he need not look in either direction 
unless he could first secure his reelection to the Senate. 
Bear-like, tied to a stake, he must fight the course. His 
campaign against Lincoln for the senatorship does not 
properly appertain to the Life of Trumbull, although the 
latter took an active part in it. The author's recollections 
and memoranda of that campaign were contributed to 
another publication.^ He recalls vdth pity the weary but 
undaunted look, after nearly four months of incessant 
travel and speaking, of the Little Giant, whose health was 
already much impaired. A letter from Fessenden to Trum- 
bull, dated November 16, 1856, spoke of him as "a dy- 
ing man in almost every sense, unless he mends speedily 
— of which, I take it, there is little hope." In the Senate 
debates from 1855 on, he often spoke of his bad health, 
and in one instance he got out of a sick-bed to vote on 
the Lecompton Bill. The campaign of 1858 was a severe 
drain on his remaining strength, but in manner and mien 
he gave no sign of the waste and exhaustion within. 

The TrumbuU papers contain some contemporary 
notes on the campaign of 1858. The Buchanan Demo- 
crats in Illinois gave themselves the high-sounding title of 
the National Democracy. By the Douglas men they were 
called "Danites," a name borrowed from the literature 
of Mormondom. Traces of this sect are found in the fol- 
lowing letters: 

D. L. Phillips, Anna, Union County, February 16, 1858, 
says that Hon. John Dougherty will start in a few days for 
Washington to console the President and look for an office for 
himself. (He obtained the Marshalship of southern Illinois.) 

W. H. Hemdon, Springfield, July 8: 
Mr. Lincoln was here a moment ago and told me that he had 
^ Hemdon- Weik, Life of Lincoln^ 2d edition, vol. n, chap. iv. 


just seen Col. Dougherty and had a conversation with him. 
He told Lincoln that the National Democracy intended to run 
in every county and district, a National Democrat for each and 
every office. Lincoln replied, "K you do this the thing is set- 
tled." . . . Lincoln is very certain as to Miller's and Bate- 
man's election (on the state ticket), but is gloomy and rather 
uncertain about his own success. 

Lincoln's own thoughts respecting the Danites are set 
forth incidentally in the following letter: 

Springfield, June 28, 1858. 

Hon. Lyman Trumbull, 

My dear Sir: Your letter of the 16th reached me only 
yesterday. We had already seen by telegraph a report of Doug- 
las's onslaught upon everybody but himself. I have this morn- 
ing seen the Washington Union^ in which I think the Judge is 
rather worsted in regard to the onslaught. 

In relation to the charge of an alliance between the Republi- 
cans and the Buchanan men in the state, if being rather pleased 
to see a division in the ranks of Democracy, and not doing any- 
thing to prevent it, be such an alliance, then there is such an 
alliance. At least, that is true of me. But if it be intended to 
charge that there is any alliance by which there is to be any 
concession of principle on either side, or furnishing of sinews, 
or partition of offices, or swapping of votes to any extent, or 
the doing of anything, great or small, on the one side for a con- 
sideration expressed or implied on the other, no such thing is 
true so far as I know or believe. 

Before this reaches you, you will have seen the proceedings 
of our Republican State Convention. It was really a grand af- 
fair and was in all respects all that our friends could desire. 

The resolution in eflFect ^nominating me for Senator was 
passed more for the object of closing down upon the everlasting 
croaking about Wentworth than anything else. The signs look 
reasonably well. Our state ticket, I think, will be elected 
without much difficulty. But with the advantages they have of 
us, we shall be hard run to carry the legblature. We shall greet 
your return home with great pleasure. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


The only counties in the state in which the Danites 
showed any vitality were Union County in the south and 
Bureau County in the north. They polled only 5079 votes 
in the whole state. 

The influence of the Eastern Republicans, who were in- 
clined to support Douglas at the beginning of the cam- 
paign, and especially that of the New York Tribune^ is 
noted by Judd and Hemdon. 

N. B. Judd, Chicago, July 16: 

We have lost some Republicans in this region. . . . You may 
attribute it to the course of the New York Tribune^ which has 
tended to loosen party ties and induce old Whigs to look upon 
D.'s return to the Senate as rather desirable. You ought to 
come to niinois as soon as you can by way of New York and 
straighten out the newspapers there. Even the Evening Post 
compares Douglas to Silas Wright. Bah! 

W. H. Hemdon, Springfield, July 22: 

There were some Republicans here — more than we had any 
idea of — who had been silently influenced by Greeley, and who 
intended to go for Douglas or not take sides against him. His 
speech here aroused the old fires and now they are his enemies. 
Has received a letter from Greeley in which he says: "Now, 
Hemdon, I am going to do all I reasonably can to elect Lin- 

N. B. Judd, Chicago, December 26 (after the election), 

Horace Greeley has been here lecturing and doing what mis- 
chief he could. He took Tom Dyer [Democrat, ex-mayor] into 
his confidence and told him all the party secrets that he knew, 
such as that we had been East and endeavored to get money 
for the canvass and that we failed, etc.; — a beautiful chap he 
is, to be entrusted with the interests of a party. Lecturing is a 
mere pretense. He is running around to our small towns with 
that pretense, but really to head off the defection from his 
paper. It is being stopped by hundreds. 


A. Jonas, Quincy, same date: 

H. Greeley delivered a lecture before our lyceum last evening 
— a large crowd to hear him. John Wood, Browning, myself, 
and others talked to him very freely about the course of the 
Tribune in the late campaign. He acknowledged we were right. 

The Douglas men elected a majority of the legislature, 
but did not have a majority, or even a plurality, of the 
popular vote. So it appears from a letter to Trumbull, 
the existence of which the author himself had forgotten. 

Horace White, Chicago, January 10, 1859, sends a table of 
votes cast for members of the legislature in the election of 1858, 
showing a plurality of 4191 for Republican candidates for the 
House of Representatives. 

W. H. Hemdon, Springfield, says that Lincoln was defeated 
in the counties of Sangamon, Morgan, Madison, Logan, and 
Mason — a group of counties within a radius of eighty miles 
from the capital. They were men from Kentucky, Tennessee, 
and Virginia mainly, old-line Whigs, timid, but generally good 
men, supporters of Fillmore in the election of 1856. "These 
men must be reached in the coming election of 1860. Other- 
wise Trumbull will be beaten also." 

Spbinofielo» January 29, 1859. 

Hon. Lyman Trumbull, 

Dear Sir: I have just received your late speech in pamphlet 
form, sent me by yourself. I had seen and read it before in 
a newspaper and I really think it a capital one. When you can 
find leisure, write me your present impression of Douglas's 

Our friends here from diflFerent parts of the state, in and out 
of the legislature, are united, resolute, and determined, and I 
think it almost certain that we shall be far better organized in 
1860 than ever before. 

We shall get no just apportionment (of legislative districts) 
and the best we can do — if we can do that — is to prevent one 
being made worse than the present. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 


A letter from lincoln following the campaign of 1858» 
is appended as showing the cordial relations existing be- 
tween himself and Trumbull. The latter had written to 
him from Washington under date January 29, 1859, ray- 
ing that John Wentworth had written an article, intended 
for publication in the Chicago Journal (but which the 
editor of that paper had refused to print), imputing bad 
faith toward Lincoln on the part of N. B. Judd, B. C. 
Cook, and others, including Trumbull, in the last sena- 
torial campaign. Trumbull had received a copy of this 
article, and as its object was to create enmity between 
friends, and as it would probably be published somewhere, 
he wished to assure Lincoln that the statements and in- 
sinuations contained in it were wholly false. To this Lin- 
coln replied as follows: 

Springfield, February S, 1859. 

Hon. L. Trumbull, 

My dear Sir: Yours of the 29th is received. The article 
mentioned by you, prepared for the Chicago Journal^ I have 
not seen; nor do I wish to see it, though I heard of it a month 
or more ago. Any eflFort to put enmity between you and me is 
as idle as the wind. I do not for a moment doubt that you, Judd» 
Cook, Palmer, and the Republicans generally coming from the 
old Democratic ranks, were as sincerely anxious for my success 
in the late contest as myself, and I beg to assure you beyond all 
possible cavil that you can scarcely be more anxious to be sus- 
tained two years hence than I am that you shall be sustained. 
I cannot conceive it possible for me to be a rival of yours or 
to take sides against you in favor of any rival. Nor do I think 
there is much danger of the old Democratic and Whig elements 
of our party breaking into opposing factions. They certainly 
shall not if I can prevent it. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Twenty days after this letter was penned, there was a 
debate in the Senate which was an echo of the lUinob 


campaign, which must have been extremely interesting 
to both Lincohi and Trumbull. In a debate with Douglas 
in I8569 as already noted, Trumbull had asked him 
whether, under his doctrine of popular sovereignty, the 
people could prohibit slavery in a territory before they 
came to form a state constitution. He replied that that 
was a judicial question to be settled by the courts, and 
that all good Democrats would bow to the decision of the 
Supreme Court whenever it should be made. At Freeport, 
in the campaign of 1858, Lincoln put the same question 
to him in a slightly different form. 

On the 23d of February, 1859, there was a Senate de- 
bate on this question, in which Douglas contended that 
the Democratic party, by supporting General Cass in 
1848, had endorsed the same opinion that he (Douglas) 
had maintained at Freeport, since Cass, in his so-called 
"Nicholson Letter," had affirmed the doctrine of squatter 
sovereignty as to slavery in the territories. Douglas now 
contended that every Southern state that gave its elec- 
toral vote to Cass, including Mississippi, was committed 
to the doctrine that the people of a territory could law- 
fully exclude slavery while still in a territorial condition. 
Jefferson Davis replied: 

The State of Mississippi voted [in 1848] under the belief that 
that letter meant no more than that when the territoiy became 
a state, it had authority to decide that question. ... If it had 
been known that the venerable candidate then of the Demo- 
cratic party, and now Secretary of State, held the opinion which 
he so frankly avowed at a subsequent period on the floor of the 
Senate, I tell you, sir [addressing Douglas], he would have had 
no more chance to get the vote of Mississippi than you with 
your opinions would have to-day.^ 

^ When Lincoln, at the Freeport debate, asked Douglas whether the people 
of a territory could in any lawful way exclude slavery from their limits prior to 
the formation of a state constitution, Douglas replied that Lincoln had heard 
him answer that question "a hundred times from every stump in Ulinois." He 


On the 2d of February, 1860, Davis introduced a series 
of resolutions in the Senate of a political character evi- 
dently intended to head off Douglas at the coming Charles- 
ton Convention; or, failing that, to pave the way for the 
withdrawal of the delegates of the cotton-growing states. 
The fourth resolution was directed against the Douglas 
doctrine of unfriendly legislation, thus: 

Resolved^ That neither Congress nor a territorial legislature, 
whether by direct legislation or legislation of indirect and un- 
friendly nature, possesses the power to annul or impair the con- 
stitutional right of any citizen of the United States to take his 
slave property into the common territories; but it is the duty 
of the Federal Government there to afford for that, as for other 
species of property, the needful protection; and if experience 
should at any time prove that the judiciary does not possess 
power to insure adequate protection, it will then become the 
duty of Congress to supply such deiSciency. 

The Senate debate between Douglas and his Southern 
antagonists was resumed in May, after the explosion of 
the Charleston Convention. Douglas made a two days* 
speech (May 15 and 16) occupying foiu- hours each day, 
but did not mention the subject of unfriendly legislation, 
or show how a territorial legislature could nullify or cir- 
cumvent the Dred Scott decision. He was answered by 
Benjamin, of Louisiana, in a speech which made a sen- 

ceitainly had answered it more than once, and his answer had been published 
without attracting attention or comment either North or South. On the 16th of 
July, 1858, six weeks before the Freeport joint debate, he spoke at Blooming- 
ton, and there announced and affirmed the doctrine of "unfriendly legislation" 
as a means of excluding slavery from the territories. Lincoln was one of the 
persons present when this speech was delivered. On the next day, Douglas 
spoke at Springfield and repeated what he had said at Bloomington. Both of 
these speeches were published in the Illinois State Register of July 19, yet the 
fact was not perceived, either by Lincoln himself, or by any of the lynx-eyed 
editors and astute political friends who labored to prevent him from asking 
Douglas the momentous question. Nor did the Southern leaders seem to be 
aware of Douglases views on this question until they learned it from the 
Fteeport debate. 


sation throughout the country, and m which the doctrine 
of unfriendly legislation was mauled to tatters. Benja- 
min was the first Southern statesman to make his bow to 
the rising fame of Lincoln. After examining the Freeport 
debate^ he said : 

We accuse him [Douglas] for this, to-wit: that, having bar- 
gained with us upon a point upon which we were at issue, that 
it should be considered a judicial question; that he would abide 
the decision; that he would act under the decision and con- 
sider it a doctrine of the party; that, having said that to us here 
in the Senate, he went home, and under the stress of a local 
election his knees gave way; his whole person trembled. His 
adversary stood upon principle and was beaten, and lo, he is 
the candidate of a mighty party for Presidency of the United 
States. The Senator from Illinois faltered; he got the prize for 
which he faltered, but lo, the prize of his ambition slips from 
his grasp, because of the faltering which he paid as the price 
of the ignoble prize — ignoble under the circumstances under 
which he obtained it.^ 

There are scores of letters in Trumbuirs correspond- 
ence calling for copies of Benjamin's speech, yet it had no 
effect in Illinois, the Danite vote being smaller in 1860 
than it had been in 1858. Probably it had influence in 
the National Democratic Convention at Charleston, from 
which the delegates from ten Southern States seceded in 
whole or part when the Douglas platform was adopted. 
This split was followed by an adjournment to Baltimore, 
where a second split took place, Douglas being nominated 
by one faction and Breckinridge, of Kentucky, by the 

Fifty years have passed since John Brown, with twenty- 
one men, seized the Government armory and arsenal at 
Harper's Ferry (October 16, 1859), in an attempt to abol- 

^ Cong. Qlobe, 86Ui Cong., 1st Sess.. p. 2841. 


ish slavery in the United States. As sinews of war, he 
had about four thousand dollars, or dollars' worth of 
material of one kind and another. With such resources he 
expected to do something which the Government itself, 
with more than a million trained soldiers, five hundred 
warships, and three billions of dollars, acccomplished with 
diflSculty at the end of a four years' war, during which no 
negro insurrection, large or small, took place. One might 
think that the scheme itself was evidence of insanity. But 
to prove Brown insane on this ground alone, we must 
convict also the persons who plotted and cooperated with 
him and who furnished him money and arms, knowing 
what he intended to do with them. Some of these were 
men of high intelligence who are still living without strait- 
jackets, and it is not conceivable that they aided and 
abetted him without first estimating, as well as they were 
able, the chances of success. Yet Brown refused to allow 
his counsel to put in a plea of insanity on his trial, saying 
that he was no more insane then than he had been all his 
life, which was probably true. K he was not insane at the 
time of the Pottawatomie massacre, he was a murderer 
who forfeited his own life five times in one night by taking 
that number of lives of his fellow men in cold blood. 

I saw and talked with Brown perhaps half a dozen 
times at Chicago during his journeys to and from Kansas. 
He impressed me then as a religious zealot of the Old 
Testament type, believing in the plenary inspiration of 
the Scriptures and in himself as a competent interpreter 
thereof. But the text " Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, 
I will repay," never engaged his attention. He was op- 
pressed with no doubts about anything, least of all about 
his own mission in the world. His mission was to bring 
slavery to an end, but that was a subject that he did not 
talk about. He was a man of few words, and was extremely 


reticent about his plans, even those of ordinary move- 
ments in daily life. He had a square jaw, clean-shaven, 
and an air of calmness and self-confidence, which at- 
tracted weaker intellects and gave him mastery over 
them. He had steel-gray eyes, and steel-gray hair, close- 
cropped, that stood stiff on his head like wool cards, 
giving him an aspect of invincibleness. When he applied 
to the National Kansas Committee for the arms in their 
possession after the Kansas war was ended, he was asked 
by Mr. H. B. Hurd, the secretary, what use he intended 
to make of them. He refused to answer, and his request 
was accordingly denied. The arms were voted back to the 
Massachusetts men who had contributed them originally. 
Brown obtained an order for them from the owners. 

The Thirty-sixth Congress met on the 5th of December, 
1859. The first business introduced in the Senate was a 
resolution from Mason, of Virginia, calling for the ap- 
pointment of a committee to inquire into the facts at- 
tending John Brown's invasion and seizure of the arsenal 
at Harper's Ferry. Trumbull offered an amendment pro- 
posing that a similar inquiry be made in regard to the seiz- 
ure in December, 1855, of the United States Arsenal at 
Liberty, Missouri, and the pillage thereof by a band of 
Missourians, who were marching to capture and control 
the ballot-boxes in Kansas. On the following day Trum- 
bull made a brief speech in support of his amendment, 
in the course of which he commented on the Harper's 
Ferry affair in words which have never faded from the 
memory of the present writer. Nobody during the inter- 
vening half-century has sununed up the moral and legal 
aspects of the John Brown raid more truly or more for- 
cibly. He said : 

I hope this investigation will be thorough and complete. I 
believe it will do good by disabusing the public mind, in that 


portion of the Union which f eeb most sensitive upon this subject, 
of the idea that the outbreak at Harper's Ferry received any 
countenance or support from any considerable number of per- 
sons in any portion of this Union. No man who is not prepared 
to subvert the Constitution, destroy the Government, and re- 
solve society into its original elements, can justify such an act. 
No matter what evils, either real or imaginary, may exist in the 
body politic, if each individual, or eveiy set of twenty indi- 
viduals, out of more than twenty millions of people, is to be 
permitted, in his own way and in defiance of the laws of the 
land, to imdertake to correct those evils, there is not a govern- 
ment on the face of the earth that could last a day. And it 
seems to me, sir, that those persons who reason only from ab- 
stract principles and believe themselves justifiable on all occa- 
sions, and in eveiy form, in combating evil wherever it exists, 
forget that the right which they claim for themselves exists 
equally in eveiy other person. All governments, the best which 
have been devised, encroach necessarily more or less on the 
individual rights of man and to that extent may be regarded 
as evils. Shall we, therefore, destroy Government, dissolve so- 
ciety, destroy regulated and constitutional liberty, and inau- 
gurate in its stead anarchy — a condition of things in which 
every man shall be permitted to follow the instincts of his own 
passions, or prejudices, or feelings, and where there will be no 
protection to the physically weak against the encroachments of 
the strong? Till we are prepared to inaugurate such a state 
as this, no man can justify the deeds done at Harper's Ferry. 
In regard to the misguided man who led the insurgents on that 
occasion, I have no remarks to make. He has already expiated 
upon the gallows the crime which he committed against the 
laws of his coimtry; and to answer for his errors, or his virtues, 
whatever they may have been, he has gone fearlessly and will- 
ingly before that Judge who cannot err; there let him rest. 

The debate continued several days and took a pretty 
wide range, the leading Senators on both sides taking part 
in it. Trumbull bore the brunt of it on the Republican 
side, and was cross-examined in courteous but searching 
terms by Yulee, of Florida, Chesnut, of South Carolina, 


and Clay, of Alabama, who conceived that the teachings 
of the Republican party tended to produce such char- 
acters as John Brown. Trumbull answered all their 
queries promptly, fully, and satisfactorily to his political 
friends, if not to his questioners. Nothing in his senatorial 
career brought him more cordial letters of approval than 
this debate. One such came from Lincoln : 

SPBiNonsLD, December 9t5, 1859. 

Hon. Lyman Trumbull, 

Dear Sir: I have carefully read your speech, and I judge 
that, by the interruptions, it came out a much better speech 
than you expected to make when you began. It really is an 
excellent one, many of the points being most admirably made. 

I was in the inside of the post-office last evening when a mail 
came bringing a considerable number of your documents, and 
the postmaster said to me: *' These will be put in the boxes, and 
half will never be called for. If Trumbull would send them to 
me, I would distribute a hundred where he will get ten distrib- 
uted this way." I said: "Shall I write this to Trumbull?" He 
replied: "If you choose you may." I believe he was sincere, 
but you will judge of that for yourself. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

The next in chronological order of the letters of Lin- 
coln to Trumbull is the following : 

Springfield, March 16» 18G0. 

Hon. L. Trumbull, 

My dear Sir: When I first saw by the dispatches that 
Douglas had run from the Senate while you were speaking, I 
did not quite understand it; but seeing by the report that you 
were cramming down his throat that infernal stereotyped lie 
of his about ** negro equality," the thing became plain. 

Another matter; our friend Delahay wants to be one of the 
Senators from Kansas. Certainly it is not for outsiders to ob- 
trude their interference. Delahay has suffered a great deal in 
our cause and been very faithful to it, as I understand. He writes 
me that some of the members of the Kansas legislature have 


written you in a way that your simple answer might help him. 
I wish you would consider whether you cannot as^i^tthat far» 
without impropriety. I know it is a delicate matter] and I do 
not wish to press you beyond your own judgment. 

Yours as ever, 

A. LmcoiiJ.}- ' 

. m 

1 The manuscript of the foregoing letter is in the Lambert collection of 
Lincolniana. The two following which relate also to Delahay's senatorial aspi-' 
rations, are in the collection of Jesse W. Weik, of Greencastle, Ind.: 

Springfield, October 17, 1859. 

DsAR Delahat: Your letter requesting me to drop a line in your favor to 
Gen. Lane was duly received. I have thought it over, and concluded it is not 
the best way. Any open attempt on my part would injure you; and if the 
object merely be to assure Cien. Lane of my friendship for you, show him the 
letter herewith enclosed. I never saw him, or corresponded with him; so that a 
letter directly from me to him, would run a great hazard of doing harm to both 
you and me. 

As to the pecuniary matter, about which you formeriy wrote me, I again 
appealed to our friend Turner by letter, but he never answered. I can but 
repeat to you that I am so pressed myself, as to be unable to assist you, unless I 
oould get it from him. 

Yours as ever, 
(Enclosure) A. Lincx>ln. 

Springfield, October 17, 1859. 
M. W. Delahat, Esq., 

Mt dear Sir: I hear your name mentioned for one of the seats in the U.S. 
Senate from your new state. I certainly would be gratified with your success; 
and if there was any proper way for me to give you a lift, I would certainly do 
it. But, as it is, I can only wish you well. It would be improper for me to 
interfere; and if I were to attempt it, it would do you harm. 

Your friend, as ever, 

A. LiNCOur. 
P.S. Is not the election news glorious? 

We shall hear of Delahay again. 

• • « 

••• •• 

• • 

,• • 


• ••• ' 

• • • 

• • 




. The nomination of Lincoln for President by the Re- 
I publican National Convention in 1860 was a rather im- 
Ipromptu affair. In the years preceding 1858 he had not 
been accounted a party leader of importance in national 
politics. The Republican party was still inchoate. Seward 
and Chase were its foremost men. Next to them in rank 
were Sumner, Fessenden, Hale, Collamer, Wade, Banks, 
and Sherman. Lincoln was not counted even in the second 
rank until after the joint debates with Douglas. Atten- 
tion was riveted upon him because his antagonist was the 
most noted man of the time. After the contest of 1858 was 
ended, although ended in defeat, Lincoln was certainly 
elevated in public estimation to a good place in the second 
rank of party leadership. It was not until the beginning 
of 1860, however, that certain persons in Dlinois began to 
think of him as a possible nominee for the Presidency. 
Lincoln did not think of himself in that light until the 
month of March, about ten weeks before the convention 
met. His estimate of his own chances was sufficiently 
modest, and even that was shared by few. After the event 
his nomination was seen to have been a natural conse- 
quence of preexisting facts. Seward was the logical can- 
didate of the party if, upon a comparison of views, it were 
believed that he could be elected. One third of the dele- 
gates of Illinois desired his nomination and intended to 
vote for him after a few complimentary votes for Lincoln. 
There were some indispensable states, however, which, 
many people believed, Sewaxd could not carry. In Penn- 


sylvania, Indiana, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode 
Island he was accounted too radical for the temper of the 
electors. Illinois was reckoned by Trumbull and other 
experienced politicians as doubtful if Seward should be the 
standard-bearer. A conservative candidate of good re- 
pute, and suflSciently well known to the public, seemed to 
be a desideratum. Nobody had as yet thought of seeking 
a radical candidate, who was generally reputed to be a 
conservative. Bates, of Missouri, and McLean, of Ohio, 
were the men most talked about by those who hesitated 
to take Seward. McLean was a judge of the Supreme 
Court appointed by President Jackson. He had been 
Postmaster-General under Monroe and John Quincy 
Adams, and was now seventy-five years of age. Trumbull 
considered him the safest candidate, for vote-getting pur- 
poses, as regarded Illinois, if Lincoln were not nominated. 
Li a letter dated April 7, Lincoln had said that ''if Mc- 
Lean were ten years younger he would be our best can- 
didate." Bates was regarded by both Lincoln and Trum- 
bull as a fairly good candidate, but Trumbull had been 
advised by Koerner, the most influential German in Illi- 
nois, that Bates could not command the German vote. 
Koerner had said also (in a letter dated March 15) that 
he had made himself acquainted with the contents of 
more than fifty German Republican newspapers in the 
United States and had found that they were nearly unan- 
imous for Seward, or Fremont, as first choice, but that 
they would cordially support Lincoln or Chase. 

On the 24th of April, Trumbull wrote to Lincoln in 
reference to the Chicago nomination. He said that his 
own impression was that, as between Lincoln and Seward, 
the latter would have the larger number of delegates and 
would be likely to succeed ; and that this was the prevailing 
belief in Washington, even among those who did not want 


Seward nominated. He was also of the opinion that 
Seward could not be elected if nominated. The Congress- 
men from the doubtful states were generally of that 
opinion, and his own correspondence from central and 
southern Illinois pointed the same way. The next ques- 
tion was whether the nomination of Seward could be pre- 
vented. It was TnimbuH's opinion that McLean was the 
only man who could succeed in the convention as against 
Seward, and he could do so only as a compromise candi- 
date, beginning with a few votes, but being the second 
choice of a sufficient number to outvote Seward in the 
end. As to Lincoln's chances he said : 

Now I wish you to understand that I am for you first and 
foremost, and want our state to send not only delegates in- 
structed in your favor, but your friends, who will stand by you 
and nominate you if possible, never faltering unless you your- 
self shall so advise. 

In conclusion he asked Lincoln's opinion about Mc- 
Lean. Lincoln replied in the following letter: 

Spbingheld, April 29, 1860. 

Hon. L. Trumbull, 

My dear Sir: Yours of the 24th was duly received, and I 
have postponed answering it, hoping by the result at Charles- 
ton, to know who is to lead oui adversaries, before writing. 
But Charleston hangs fire, and I wait no longer. 

As you request, I will be entirely frank. The taste is in my 
mouth a httle; and this, no doubt, disqualifies me, to some ex- 
tent, to form correct opinions. You may confidently rely, how- 
ever, that by no advice or consent of mine shall my pretensions 
be pressed to the point of endangering our common cause. 

Now as to my opinion about the chances of others in Illinois, 
I think neither Seward nor Bates can carry Illinois if Douglas 
shall be on the track; and that either of them can, if he shall 
not be. I rather think McLean could carry it, with Douglas 
on or off. In other words, I think McLean is stronger in Illi- 
nois, taking all sections of it, than either Seward or Bates, and 


I think Seward the weakest of the three. I hear no objection 
to McLean, except his age, but that objection seems to occur 
to every one, and it is possible it might leave him no stronger 
than the others. By the way, if we should nominate him, how 
should we save ourselves the chance of filling his vacancy in the 
court? Have him hold on up to the moment of his inauguration? 
Would that course be no drawback upon us in the canvass? 

Recurring to Illinois, we want something quite as much as» 
and which is harder to get than, the electoral vote, — the legis- 
lature, — and it is exactly on this point that Seward's nomina- 
tion would be hard on us. Suppose he should gain us a thou- 
sand votes in Winnebago, it would not compensate for the loss 
of fifty in Edgar. 

A word now for your own special benefit. You better write 
no letter which can be distorted into opposition, or quasv-oppO' 
sition, to me. There are men on the constant watch for such 
things, out of which to prejudice my peculiar friends against 
you. While I have no more suspicion of you than I have of my 
best friend living, I am kept in a constant struggle against ques- 
tions of this sort. I have hesitated some to write this para- 
graph, lest you should suspect I do it for my own benefit and 
not for yours, but on reflection I conclude you will not suspect 
me. Let no eye but your own see this — not that there is any- 
thing wrong or even ungenerous in it, but it would be miscon- 

Your friend as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

What happened in the Chicago Convention was widely 
different from the conjectures of these writers, but the re- 
sult seemed entirely reasonable after it was reached. Lin- 
coln was as radical as Seward — subsequent events proved 
him to be more so — but his tone and temper had been 
more conservative, more sedative, more sjonpathetic 
toward "our Southern brethren," as he often called them. 
He had never endorsed the "higher-law doctrine," with 
which Seward*s name was associated; he believed that 
the South was entitled, under the Constitution, to an 


efficient Fugitive Slave Law; he had never incurred the 
enmity, as Seward had, of the Pilhnore men, or of the 
American party. 

These facts, coupled with some personal contact and 
neighborliness, early attracted the conservative dele- 
gates of Lidiana. Seward, with his " irrepressible conflict" 
speech, had been too strong a dose for them, but they were 
quite willing to take Lincoln, whose phrase, "the house 
divided against itself," had preceded the irrepressible 
conflict speech by some months. The example of Indiana 
bore immediate fruit in other quarters, and especially 
in Pennsylvania. Curtin, the nominee for governor, was 
early convinced that Seward could not carry that state, 
but that Lincoln could. Curtin and Henry S. Lane, the 
nominee for governor of Lidiana, became active torch- 
bearers for Lincoln. 

When those states pronounced for Lincoln, the men of 
Vermont (the most radical of the New England States), 
who had been waiting and watching in the Babel of dis- 
cord for some solid and assured fact, voting meantime 
for Collamer, turned to Lincoln and gave him their entire 
vote. Vermont*s example was more important than her 
numerical strength, for it disclosed the inmost thoughts 
of a group of intelligent, high-principled men, who were 
moved by an unselfish purpose and a solemn responsi- 
bility. Lincoln had now become the cynosure of the con- 
servatives with a first-class radical endorsement to boot, 
and he deserved both distinctions. His nomination fol- 
lowed on the third ballot. 

Dr. William Jayne, Springfield, May 20, wrote to 
Trumbull : 

The National Convention is over and Lincoln is our standard- 
bearer, much (I doubt not) to his own surprise; I know to the 
surprise of his friends. They went to Chicago fearful that Seward 


would be nominated, and ready to unite on any other man, but 
anxious and zealous for Lincoln. Pennsylvania could agree 
on no man of her own heartily. Ohio was for Chase and Wade. 
Indiana was united on Lincoln. That fact made an impression 
on the New England States. Seward's friends were quite con- 
fident after the balloting commenced. Now, if Douglas is not 
nominated, we will carry the state by thousands. If D. is nomi- 
nated, we will carry the state, but we will have a hard fight to 
do it. 

Out of a large mass of letters in the Trumbull corres- 
pondence touching the nomination of Lincoln, a half- 
dozen are selected as examples. 

Richard Yates, Jacksonville, May 24, 1860, says the Chicago 
nominations were received with delight, and there is every in- 
dication of success in Illinois. 

John Tillson, Quincy, May 28, writes that the nominations 
are highly acceptable here to every one except the Douglas 
men, who have just found out that Mr. Seward is the purest, 
ablest, and most consistent statesman of the age. 

J. A. Mills, Atlanta, Logan County, June 4: "I have never 
seen such enthusiasm, at least since 1840, as is now manifested 
for Lincoln. Scores of Democrats are coming over to us." 

B. Lewis, Jacksonville, June 6: "The Charleston Convention 
has struck the Democratic party with paralysis wherever 
Douglas was popular as their leader (and that was pretty much 
all over the free states), and we have now such an opportunity 
to make an impression as I never saw before. . . . We are ac- 
tually making conversions here every day. The fact tells the 
whole story. In 1858 I anxiously desired to hear of one occa- 
sionally, at least as a sign, but I could never hear of a single one. 
Now it is all gloriously changed." 

W. H. Hemdon, Springfield, June 14: "Lincoln is well and 
doing well. Has hundreds of letters daily. Many visitors every 
hour from all sections. He is bored, bored badly. Good gra- 
cious ! I would not have his place and be bored as he is. I could 
not endure it." 

H. G. McPike, Alton, June 29: "We have distributed a large 
number of speeches as you are aware, the most eflfective, I think, 
under all the circumstances, is that of Carl Schurz." 


In reply to letters of Trumbull, of which no copies were 
kept by him, Lincoln wrote the following : 

SPBiNGriELD, May 26, 1860. 

Hon. L. Trumbull, 

My dear Sir: I have received your letter since the nomi- 
nation, for which I sincerely thank you. As you say, if we can- 
not get our state up now, I do not see when we can. The 
nominations start well here, and everywhere else as far as I 
have heard. We may have a back-set yet. Give my respects 
to the Republican Senators, and especially to Mr. Hamlin, Mr. 
Seward, Gen. Cameron, and Mr. Wade. Also to your good wife. 
Write again, and do not write so short letters as I do. 

Your friend as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Spbingfield, III., June 5, 1860. 

Hon. L. Trumbull, 

My dbar Sir: Yours of May 31, inclosing Judge R.'s * 
letter is received. I see by the papers this morning, that Mr. 
Fillmore refused to go with us. What do the New Yorkers 
at Washington think of this? Governor Reeder was here last 
evening, direct from Pennsylvania. He is entirely confident of 
that state and of the general result. I do not remember to have 
heard Gen. Cameron's opinion of Perm. Weed was here and 
saw us, but he showed no signs whatever of the intriguer. He 
asked for nothing and said N. Y. is safe without conditions. 

Remembering that Peter denied his Lord with an oath, after 
most solemnly protesting that he never would, I will not swear 
I will make no committals, but I do not think I will. 

Write me often. I look with great interest for your letters 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Notwithstanding the brilliant opening of the campaign, 
the contest in Illinois was a very stiff one. Dr. Jayne*s 
forecast was confirmed by the result. Lincoln's plurality 
over Douglas in the state was 11,946, and his majority 

^ Presumably Judge Read, of Peonsylvaaia. 


over all was 4629. Dr. Jayne was himself elected State 
Senator in the district composed of Sangamon and Mor- 
gan coimties. The Republican State Committee made 
extraordinary efforts to carry this district, as they be- 
lieved that the reflection of Senator Trumbull would de- 
pend upon it. They obtained five thousand dollars as a 
special fund from New York for this purpose. Jayne was 
elected by a majority of seven votes, but Douglas received 
a plurality of one hundred and three over Lincoln in the 
same district. By the election of Jayne, the Republicans 
secured a majority of one in the State Senate. This in- 
sured the holding of a joint convention of the legislature, 
at which Trumbull was reelected Senator. 

At Springfield, Illinois, November 20, 1860, there was 
a grand celebration of the election of Lincoln and Hamlin, 
at which speeches were made by Trumbull, Palmer, and 
Yates. Lincoln had been urged to say something at this 
meeting that would tend to quiet the rising surges of dis- 
union at the South, but he thought that the time for him 
to speak had not yet come. He wished to let his record 
speak for him, and to see whether the commotion in the 
slaveholding states would increase or subside. Meanwhile 
he desired that the influence of this public meeting at his 
home should be peaceful and not irritating. To this end 
he wrote the following words, handed them to Trumbull 
and asked him to make them a part of his speech : 

I have labored in and for the Republican organization with 
entire confidence that, whenever it shall be in power, each and 
all of the states will be left in as complete control of their own 
affairs respectively, and at as perfect liberty to choose and 
employ their own means of protecting property and preserving 
peace and order within their respective limits, as they have ever 
been under any administration. Those who have voted for Mr. 
Lincoln have expected and still expect this; and they would 
not have voted for him had they expected otherwise. 


I regard it as extremely fortunate for the peace of the whole 
country that this point, upon which the Republicans have been 
so long and so persistently misrepresented, is now brought to 
a practical test and placed beyond the possibility of a doubt. 
Disunionists per ae are now in hot haste to get out of the Union, 
because they perceive they cannot much longer maintain an 
apprehension among the Southern people that their homes 
and firesides and their lives are to be endangered by the action 
of the Federal Government. With such "Now or never" is the 
maxim. I am rather glad of the military preparations in the 
South. It will enable the people the more easily to suppress 
any uprisings there, which those misrepresentations of purpose 
may have encouraged. 

These words were incorporated in Mr. Trumbull's 
speech and were printed in the newspapers, and the manu- 
script in Lincoln's handwriting is still preserved.^ 

But Mr. Lincoln's record neither hastened nor retarded 
the secession of the Southern States. The words he had 
previously spoken or written were as completely disre- 
garded by the promoters of disunion as were those uttered 
now by Trumbull. 

Jefferson Davis was not one of the hot-heads of seces- 
sion. His speech in the Senate on January 10, 1861, reads 
like that of a man who sincerely regretted the step that 
South Carolina had taken, and deprecated that which 
Mississippi was about to take, although he justified it 
afterward, but he believed that the coercion of South 
Carolina would be the death-knell of the Union. His 
remedy for the existing menace was not to reinforce the 
garrison at Fort Sumter, but to withdraw it altogether, as 
a preliminary step to negotiations with the seceding state. 
Yet he did not say what terms South Carolina would agree 
to, or that she would agree to any. That Lincoln was in 
no mood to oflfer terms to South Carolina or to any se- 

1 MS. in the collection of the late Major W. H. Lambert, Philadelphia. 


ceding states which did not say what would satisfy them, 
was made emphatic in a letter from Dr. William Jayne 
to Trumbull, dated Springfield, January 28, saying that 
Governor Yates had received telegraph dispatches from 
the governors of Ohio and Indiana, asking whether Illi- 
nois woidd appoint peace commissioners in response to a 
call sent out by the governor of Virginia to meet at Wash- 
ington on the 4th of February. "Lincoln," he continued, 
"advised Yates not to take any action at present. He 
said he would rather be hanged by the neck till he was 
dead on the steps of the Capitol than buy or beg a peace- 
ful inauguration." 

The following letters from Lincoln throw light on his 
attitude toward a compromise at a somewhat earlier 

Private and Confidential 

Springfield, III., December 10, 1860. 

Hon. L. Trumbull, 

Mt dear Sir: Let there be no compromise on the question 
of extending slavery. If there be, all our labor is lost, and ere 
long must be done over again. The dangerous ground — that 
into which some of our friends have a hankering to run — is 
Pop. Sov. Have none of it. Stand firm. The tug has to come; 
and better now than any time hereafter. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 


SPBiNGriELD, III., December 17, 1800. 

Hon. L. Trubibull, 

My dear Sir: Yours enclosing Mr. Wade's letter, which I 
herewith return, is received. If any of our frieuds do prove false 
and fix up a compromise on the territorial question, I am for 
fighting again — that is all. It is but a repetition for me to say 
I am for an honest enforcement of the Constitution — the fugi- 
tive slave clause included. 

Mr. Gilmore of N. C. wrote me, and I answered confidentialIy» 


enclosing my letter to Grov. Corwin to be delivered or not as he 
might deem prudent. I now enclose you a copy of it. 

Yours as ever, 



Sfbingfikld, III., December 21, 1860. 

Hon. Lybhan Truhbull, 

My dear Sm: Thurlow Weed was with me nearly all day 
yesterday, and left last night with three short resolutions 
which I drew up, and which, or the substance of which, I think, 
would do much good if introduced and unanimously supported 
by our friends. They do not touch the territorial question. Mr. 
Weed goes to Washington with them; and says that he will first 
of all confer with you and Mr. Hamlin. I think it would be best 
for Mr. Seward to introduce them, and Mr. Weed will let him 
know that I think so. Show this to Mr. Hamlin, but beyond 
him do not let my name be known in the matter. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

The first of the three resolutions named was to amend 
the Constitution by providing that no future amend- 
ment should be made giving Congress the power to inter- 
fere with slavery in the states where it existed by law. 
The second was for a law of Congress providing that 
fugitive slaves captured should have a jury trial. The 
third recommended that the Northern States should 
"review" their personal Uberty laws. 

Springfield, III., December 24, 1860. 

Hon. Ltman Trumbull, 

Mt dear Sir: I expect to be able to offer Mr. Blair a place 
in the Cabinet, but I cannot as yet be committed on the matter 
to any extent whatever. 

Dispatches have come here two days in succession that the 
forts in South Carolina will be surrendered by order, or consent, 
at least, of the President. I can scarcely believe this, but if it 
prove true, I will, if our friends in Washington concur, announce 
publicly at once that th^ are to be retaken after the inaugura- 


tion. This will give the Union men a rallying cry, and prepara- 
tions will proceed somewhat on this side as well as on the other. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Trumbull*s own opinions about compromise were set 
forth in a correspondence with E. C. Lamed, an eminent 
lawyer of Chicago. Under date January 7, Lamed sent 
him a series of resolutions written by himself which were 
passed at a great Union meeting composed of Republicans 
and Democrats in Metropolitan Hall. One of these reso- 
lutions suggested "great concessions" to the South with- 
out specifying what they should be. Lamed asked Trum- 
bull to read them and advise him whether they met his 
approval. TmmbuU replied under date January 16, at 
considerable length, saying: 

In the present condition of things it is not advisable, in my 
opinion, for Republicans to concede or talk of conceding any- 
thing. The people of most of the Southern States are mad and 
in no condition to listen to reasonable propositions. They per- 
sist in misrepresenting the Republicans and many of them are 
resolved on breaking up the Government before they will con- 
sider what guarantees they want. To make or propose conces- 
sions to such a people, only displays the weakness of the Govern- 
ment. A Union which can be destroyed at the will of any one 
state is hardly worth preserving. The first question to be de- 
termined is whether we have a Government capable of maintain- 
ing itself against a state rebellion. When that question is effec- 
tually settled and the Republicans are installed in power, I 
would willingly concede almost anything, not involving prin- 
ciple, for the purpose of overcoming what I regard the misappre- 
hension and prejudice of the South, but to propose concessions 
in advance of obtaining power looks to me very much like a con- 
fession in advance that the principles on which we carried the 
election are impracticable and wrong. Had the Republican 
party from the start as one man refused to entertain or talk 
compromises and concessions, and given it to be understood 
that the Union was to be maintained and the laws enforced at 


all hazards, I do not believe secession would ever have obtained 
the strength it now has. 

The pages of the Congressional Globe of 1860-61 
make the two most intensely interesting volumes in our 
country's history. They embrace the last words that the 
North and South had to say to each other before the doors 
of the temple of Janus were thrown open to the Civil War. 
As the moment of parting approached, the language be- 
came plainer, and its most marked characteristic was not 
anger, not hatred between disputants, but failure to un- 
derstand each other. It was as though the men on either 
side were looking at an object through glasses of differ- 
ent color, or arguing in different languages, or worshiping 
different gods. Typical of the disputants were Davis and 
Trumbull, men of equally strong convictions and high 
breeding, and moved equally by love of country as they 
understood that term. Davis made three speeches, two 
of which were on the general subject of debate, and one 
his farewell to the Senate. The first, singularly enough, 
was called out by a resolution offered by a fellow South- 
erner and Democrat, Green, of Missouri (December 10, 
1860), who proposed that there should be an armed po- 
lice force provided by Federal authority to guard, where 
necessary, the boimdary line between the slaveholding 
and the nonslaveholding states, to preserve the peace, 
prevent invasions, and execute the Fugitive Slave Law. 
This scheme Davis considered a quack remedy, and he 
declared that he could not give it his support because it 
looked to the emplojonent of force to bring about a con- 
dition of security which ought to exist without force. 
The present want of security, he contended, could not be 
cured by an armed patrol, but only by a change of senti- 
ment in the majority section of the Union toward the 
minority section. Upon this test he argued in a dispas- 


sionate way for a considerable space, ending in these 

This Union is dear to me as a Union of fraternal states. It 
would lose its value to me if I had to regard it as a Union held 
together by physical force. I would be happy to know that every 
state now felt that fraternity which made this Union possible; 
and if that evidence could go out, if evidence satisfactory to 
the people of the South could be given, that that feeling existed 
in the hearts of the Northern people, you might bum your 
statute books and we would cling to the Union still. But it is 
because of their conviction that hostility and not fraternity 
now exists in the hearts of the Northern people, that they are 
looking to their reserved rights and to their independent powers 
for their own protection. If there be any good, then, which we 
can do, it is by sending evidence to them of that which I fear 
does not exist — the purpose in your constituents to fulfill in 
the spirit of justice and fraternity all their constitutional ob- 
ligations. If you can submit to them that evidence, I feel con- 
fidence that with the evidence that aggression is henceforth to 
cease, will terminate all the measures for defense. Upon you 
of the majority section it depends to restore peace and perpetu- 
ate the Union of equal states; upon us of the minority section 
rests the duty to maintain our equality and community rights; 
and the means in one case or the other must be such as each can 

This was the explicit confirmation of what Lincoln had 
said, in his Cooper Institute speech a year earlier, was the 
chief difliculty of the North: "We must not only let them 
(the South) alone, but we must somehow convince them 
that we do let them alone." 

The best speech made on the Republican side of the 
chamber during this momentous session of Congress was 
made by Trumbull on the night of March 2. It was a 
speech adverse to the Crittenden Compromise, and was 
a reply to Crittenden's final speech in support of it. This 
measure was a joint resolution proposing certain amend- 

^ Cong. Olobe, 1860-61, p. 80. 


ments to the Constitution, the first of which proposed to 
apply the old Missouri Comproioise line, of 36° 30' north 
latitude, to all the remaining territory of the United 
States, so that in all territory north of it, then owned or 
thereafter acquired, slavery should be prohibited, and 
that in all south of it, then owned or thereafter acquired, 
slavery should be recognized as existing, and that the 
right of property in slaves there should be protected by 
Federal law. It was offered on the 18th of December, 
1860, and debated till the 2d of March following, when it 
was defeated by yeas 19, nays 20, all the Republicans 
voting against it except Seward, who did not vote and was 
not paired.^ 

Just before the vote was taken, Crittenden tried to 
amend his measure by striking out the words "hereafter 
acquired " as to the territory south of 36° 30', which he 
said was giving great offense in some parts of the North. 
This was not in the measure as originally proposed by 
him, but he had accepted it as an amendment offered by 
his colleague. Senator Powell, It was then too late to 
amend except by unanimous consent, and Hunter, of 
Virginia, objected. In this last debate. Mason drew at- 
tention to the minimum demands of Virginia as expressed 
by her legislature. These were the Crittenden Com- 
promise, including territory "hereafter acquired," and 
the right of slaveholders to pass with their slaves through 
the free states with protection to their slave property in 
transit. Mason intimated pretty plainly that even this 
would not satisfy him, for which he received some casti- 
gation at the hands of Douglas. The latter was a steady 
supporter of the Crittenden Compromise, but he main- 
tained throughout the debate that no cause for disunion 

^ Tnimbull*s speech on the Crittenden Compromise, which was impromptu 
and was delivered about midnight, is printed as an appendix to this chapter. 


would exist, even if the measure were defeated, and that 
none would exist if the Federal Government should at- 
tempt to compel a state or any number of states to obey 
the Federal law. 

Simultaneously with the rejection of the Crittenden 
Compromise, the Senate, by a two-thirds majority, passed 
a joint resolution to amend the Constitution by adding 
to it the following article: 

Article XIII. No amendment shall be made to the Consti- 
tution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to 
abolish or interfere, within any state, with the domestic insti- 
tutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or serv- 
ice by the laws of said state. 

This was a resolution introduced by Corwin, of Ohio. 
It had already passed the House by a two-thirds majority, 
but it fell into the limbo of forgotten things before sun- 
rise of the 4th of March. 

During this crisis Trumbull was receiving hundreds of 
letters from his constituents, nearly all exhorting him to 
stand firm. The only ones counseling compromise were 
from the commercial classes in Chicago, and of these there 
were fewer than might have been expected in view of the 
threatened danger to trade and industry. The dwellers 
in the small towns and on the farms were almost unani- 
mously opposed to the Crittenden Compromise. A few 
letters are here cited from representative men in their re- 
spective localities: 

A. B. Barrett (Mount Vernon, January 5) has taken pains 
to gather the opinions of Republicans in his neighborhood in 
reference to the secession movement and finds them, without a 
single exception, in favor of enforcing the laws and opposed to 
any concession on the part of Congress which would recognize 
slavery as right in principle, or as a national institution. 

J. H. Smith (Bushnell, January 7) contends that the Chi- 
cago platform was a contract between the Republican voters 


and the men elected to oflSce by them, and the voters expect 
them to live up to it, to the very letter. " If the South wants to 
fight let them pitch in as soon as they please; we would rather 
fight than allow slavery to go into anymore territory." Encloses 
resolutions to this purport passed by a public meeting of citi- 
zens of his town. 

A. C. Harding (Monmouth, January 1£) is pained to hear 
a rumor that some Republicans in Washington are considering 
a bill to make a slave state south of S6^ S0\ thus sanctioning a 
slave code by Congress. Any concessions that shall violate the 
pledges of the Republican party will instantly turn the guns of 
our truest friends upon those who thus give strength to the 
Southern rebels. Neither Adams nor Seward nor Lincoln can 
for a moment escape the fatal consequences if they yield their 
principles at the threat of disimion. 

Wait Talcott (Rockford, January 17) has just finished read- 
ing Seward's speech. It leads him to fear that yielding to the 
South, and calling a national convention under their threat, 
will embolden them, whenever the result of an election does 
not suit them, to insist that the victors shall take the place of 
the vanquished. 

G. Koemer (Belleville, January 21) : The Democratic Con- 
vention at Springfield has done some mischief by inflaming 
the lower order of the Democracy and confirming them in their 
seditious views. On the other hand, it has disgusted the better 
class of Democrats. It was a sort of indignation meeting of all 
the disappointed candidates, office-seekers, and losers of bets. 
A few Republicans are giving way under the pressure, but upon 
the whole the party stands firm. "Has secession culminated or 
is worse to come? I am prepared for the application of force. 
In fact, a collision is inevitable. Why ought not we to test our 
Government instead of leaving it to our children?" 

H. G. McPike (Alton, January 24) : "Our people believe the 
Constitution to be good enough. Let it alone. A compromise of 
any principle dissolves the Republican party, takes the great 
moral heart out of it, and will in so far bring ruin on the Govern- 

J. M. Sturtevant, president of Illinois College (Jacksonville, 
January SO), protests against the tone of Mr. Seward's speech. 
Says that the solid phalanx of thoughtf ul» conscientious, ear- 


nest, religious men who form the backbone of the Republican 
party will never follow Mr. Seward, or any other man, in the 
direction in which he seems to be leading. " We want the Con- 
stitution as it is, the Union as the Fathers framed it, and the 
Chicago platform. And we will support no man and no party 
that surrenders these or any portion of them." 

Grant Goodrich (Chicago, January SI) is convinced by his 
intercourse with the mass of Republicans, and with many 
Democrats, that any concessions by which additional rights are 
given to slavery will end the Republican party. There will be 
a division of the Republicans; a new party will arise, which will 
include the entire German element and which will be as hos- 
tile to the "Union-saving" Republicans as to the Democrats, 
and much more intolerant to their former allies. 

E. Peck (Springfield, February 1) says that the proposition 
to send commissioners to Washington was passed by the 
legislature as a matter of necessity, because, if the Republicans 
had not taken the lead, the Democrats would have done so, 
and would have obtained the help of a sufficient number of weak- 
kneed Republicans to make a majority. Mr. Lincoln would have 
preferred that commissioners be not appointed. 

W. H. Hemdon (Springfield, February 9): "Are our Repub- 
lican friends going to concede away dignity, Constitution, 
Union, laws, and justice? If they do, I am their enemy now and 
forever. I may not have much influence, but I will help tear 
down the Republican party and erect another in its stead. Be- 
fore I would buy the South, by compromises and concessions, 
to get what is the people's due, I would die, rot, and be forgot- 
ten, willingly." 

Samuel C. Parks (Lincoln, Logan County, February 11) is 
opposed to the Crittenden Compromise, because the integrity 
of the Republican party and the salvation of the country re- 
quire that this grand drama of secession, disunion, and treason 
be played out entirely. Either slavery or freedom must rule this 
country, or there must be a final separation of the free and the 
slave states. No compromise will do any pennanent good. On 
the contrary, if the territorial question is compromised now, it 
will but postpone, aggravate, and prolong the contest. Considers 
it mean and cowardly to leave to our children a great national 
trouble that we might settle ourselves. 


January 2, 1861, Trumbull wrote to Governor Yates 
advising that some steps be taken in the way of military 
preparations, saying: 

The impression is very general here that Buchanan has waked 
up at last to the sense of his condition and will make an effort 
to enforce the laws and protect the public property. That this 
was his determination two days ago, I have the best reasons for 
knowing, but he is so feeble, vacillating, and irresolute, that I 
fear he will not act efficiently; and some even say that he has 
again fallen into the hands of the disunionists. This I cannot 
believe. K he does his duty with tolerable efficiency, even at 
this late day, there will be no serious difficulty. The states 
which resolved themselves out of the Union would be coming 
back before many months. But if he continues to side with the 
disunionists, we cannot avoid serious trouble, for in that event 
I think the traitors would be encouraged to attempt to take 
possession here, and most of the public property and munitions 
of war would be placed in the hands of the disunionists before 
the 4th of March. In view of the present condition of affairs 
and the uncertainty as to the future, I think it no more than 
prudent that our state should be making some preparations to 
organize its military, or get up volunteer companies, so as to 
be ready to come to the support of the Constitution and the 
laws if the occasion should require. I think that there will be 
no occasion for troops here, and that the inauguration will 
probably take place. But take place it must, and at Washing- 
ton, even though a hundred thousand men have to come here 
to effect it. The Government is a failure unless this is done. 

Governor Yates^s reply, if any, is not found in the 
Trumbull papers, but a letter from him dated Springfield, 
January 22, says that Frank P. Blair, Jr., had just ar- 
rived from St. Louis with information that the secession- 
ists in Missouri had formed a plot to seize the United 
States Arsenal at St. Louis, which was the only depot 
of arms west of Pittsburg. If this should be attempted, 
Yates said it woidd lead to serious complications and 
perhaps a collision between Illinois and Missouri, since 


it could not be permitted that this great arsenal, intended 
for the use of the entire West, should fall into the hands 
of enemies of the Union. He asked Trumbull to see 
General Scott at once and insist that something be done 
which would obviate the necessity of action on the part 
of the state of Illinois. 

Some letters from Mrs. Trumbull to her son Walter, 
who was on a warship in foreign parts during the month 
of January,^ 1861, supply a few items of interest. 

January 21 she says: 

The Senators of Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida yester- 
day took formal leave of the Senate. The speech of Clay, of 
Alabama, was very ugly, but that of Davis was pathetic, and 
even Republican ladies were moved to tears. Gov. Pickens of 
S. C. sent for $300 due him as Minister to Russia, and the 
Treasurer sent him a draft on the sub-treasury at Charleston 
which the Rebels had seized. 

January 24: 

Called at Dr. Sunderland^s^ yesterday. He said that in talk- 
ing with a disunionist a few days ago he asked what the South 
demanded and what would satisfy them. He replied that the 
North must be uneducated, or educated diflPerently ; their senti- 
ments must be changed, and it can't be done in this generation. 

Just before starting home, Toombs's coachman, strange to 
say, deserted his kind master for a trip on the Underground 
Railroad, greatly to the disgust of Mrs. Toombs. She was met 
by Mrs. Judge McLean, who said to her, " Mrs. Toombs, are 
you going to leave us?" "Yes," she replied, "I am glad enough 
to go; here I am riding in a hack ! " It was very hard, very dis- 
gusting, and Mrs. McLean, instead of trying to hunt up her 
fugitive for her, told her that when the South had all seceded, 
they would have Canada right on their borders, and where 
one now escaped, there would then be a hundred. 

January 26 : 

The city begins to present a warlike appearance. Two com- 
^ Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. 


panics are stationed quite near us on E St. and others are placed 
in Judiciary Square near the Capitol, and at the President's, 
about 700 in all. A company of light artillery arrived yesterday 
morning, soon after which cannonading was heard, volley after 
volley. I supposed the thunder of the cannon was meant to 
convey wholesome instruction to the revolutionists, but I learned 
this evening that it was a salute for Kansas, which is now a 
state. Thirty-four guns were fired. I understood that some of 
the ladies at the National Hotel were so alarmed that they be- 
gan to pack their trunks so as to retreat promptly with all their 
luggage. I believe that Gen. Scott intends to have more troops 
here, but the 0. P. F.^ countermands most of his orders. The 
Cabinet find him very troublesome even now; he still listens to 
Slidell and others. 

A set of compromisers came here a few days since from New 
York with a string of resolutions and explained them to Senator 
King, hoping he would endorse them. Mr. King read them and 
handed them back silently. Said the spokesman: ''I trust they 
meet your approval, they are good resolutions; you approve 
them, do you not, Mr. Ejng? ** He answered in his good-himiored, 
laughing way, but withal very firmly: " I would resign my seat 
first and I think I would rather die." The same men went to 
your father urging him to support them, and stated that New 
York would not defend the public property within her limits 
unless Congress adopted some such action. Your father told 
them that if that was to be the course of New York, we might 
as well know it now as ever, and refused to have anything to 
do with their resolutions. 

Li the same letter she writes : 

Mrs. McLean called yesterday. She said they dined at the 
White House once while the President was making up his mind 
whether or not to recall Major Anderson. The judge took 
the President aside to make some inquiries about the Major. 
Buchanan replied that he had exceeded his instructions and 
must be recalled. The Judge raised his hand with vehemence, 
almost in the President's face, and asserted with emphasis: 
"You dare not do it, sir, you dare not do it." And he did not. 

^ "Old Public Functionary** — a name that Buchanan in one of his mes- 
sages had given to himself. 


Probably this is the only instance on record where a 
Judge of the Supreme Court shook his fist in the face of 
the President after dining with him at the White House. 
It is not improbable that the vehemence of the venerable 
Judge was one of the potent reasons deterring Buchanan 
from ordering Anderson to return from Fort Sumter to 
Fort Moultrie.^ 



[In the Senate, March 2, 1861.] 

Mr. Trumbull. Mr. President, the long public service of 
the Senator from Kentucky, his acknowledged patriotism and 
devotion to the Union, give great importance to whatever he 
says; and in all he has said in favor of the Union and its preser- 
vation, and the maintenance of the Constitution, I most heart- 
ily concur. No man shall exceed me in devotion to the Consti- 
tution and the Union. But, while this is so, what the Senator 
says of those of us who disagree with him as to the mode of 
preserving the Union and maintaining the peace of the country 
is well calculated, in consequence of the position he occupies, 
to mislead and prejudice the public mind as to our true posi- 
tion. Does he expect, or can he expect, that compromises will 
be made and concessions yielded when he talks of the great 
party of this country, constituting a majority of its people, as 
being wedded to a dogma set up above the Constitution; when 
he talks of us as usurping all the territories, as ostracizing all 
the people of the South, and denying them their rights? Is that 
the way to obtain compromises? Instead of turning his denun- 
ciation upon those who violate the Constitution and trample 
the flag of the country in the dust, he turns to us and talks to us 
of usurpations, of our dogmas; tells us that for a straw we are 
willing to dissolve the Union and involve the country in blood. 
Why are not these appeals made and these rebukes adminis- 

^ Jefferson Davis says, in his Rise and Fall of the Confederate States, that 
Buchanan told him that ** he thought it not impossible that his homeward route 
would be lighted by burning effigies of himself and that on reaching his home he 
would find it a heap of ashes/* 


tered to the men who axe involving the country in blood? If it 
is a straw for us to yield, is it anything more than a straw for 
them to demand? If it is a trifle for us to concede, is it any larger 
than a trifle which the South demands, and to obtain which it 
is willing to destroy this Union, which he has so beautifully and 
so highly eulogized? 

Sir, I have heard this charge against the people of the North, 
of a desire to usurp the whole of the common territories, till I 
am tired of the accusation. It has been made and refuted ten 
thousand times. Not a man in the North denies to every citi- 
zen of the South the same right in a territory that he claims for 
himself. And who are the people of the South? Slaveholders? 
Not one white citizen in twenty of the population in the South 
owns a slave. The nineteen twentieths of the nonslaveholding 
population of the South are forgotten, while the one twentieth 
is spoken of as "the South." The man who owns a slave in the 
South has just as much right in the territory as a man in the 
North who owns no slave.. If the Southerner cannot take his 
negro slave to the territory, neither can the Northern man. 

Again, sir, the Senator talks of the rights of the States to the 
common territories. The territories do not belong to the States; 
they are the property of the General Government; and the state 
of Kentucky has no more right in a territory than has the city 
of Washington, or any county in the state of Maryland. As a 
state, Kentucky has no right in a territory, nor has Illinois; 
but the territories belong to the Federal government, and are 
disposed of to the citizens of the United States, without regard 
to locality. 

But, sir, I propose to inquire what it is that has brought the 
country to its present condition; what it is that has occasioned 
this disruption, this revolution in a portion of the country. 
Many years ago an attempt was made in the state of South 
Carolina to disrupt this Government, at that time on account of 
the revenue system. It failed. The disunionists of 1832 were put 
down by General Jackson; and from that day to this there have 
been secessionists per aCy men who have been struggling con- 
tinuously and persistently to propagate their doctrine wherever 
they could find followers; and, I am sorry to say, they seem to 
have impressed the public mind of the South, to a great extent, 
with their notions. In 1850, the eflFort to break up the Govern- 


ment was renewed. It was then settled by what were known 
as the compromise measures of that year. The great men of 
that day — Clay, Webster, Cass, and others — took part in 
that settlement, and it was then supposed that the settlement 
would be permanent. The controversy of 1850 was not in 
regard to a tariflF, but in regard to the negro question; the very 
question which General Jackson had prophesied, in the nullifi- 
cation times, would be the one upon which the next attempt 
would be made to destroy the Government. After a long struggle, 
the compromise measures of 1850 were passed. Quiet was given 
to the country; all parties in all sections of the country acqui- 
esced in the settlement then made. Resolutions were offered 
in this body denouncing any person who should attempt again 
to introduce the question of slavery into Congress. Speeches 
were made, in which Senators declared that they would never 
again speak upon the subject in the Congress of the United 
States. It was said that the slavery question was forever re- 
moved from the halls of Congress, and we then supposed that 
the country would continue quiet on this exciting subject. But, 
sir, in 1854, notwithstanding the pledges which had been given 
in 1850, notwithstanding the quiet of the country, when no 
man was agitating the slavery question; when no petitions came 
from the states, counties, cities, or towns, from villages or indi- 
viduals, asking a disturbance of former compromises; when all 
was quiet, of a sudden a proposition was sprung in this chamber 
to unsettle the very questions which had been put to rest by 
the compromises of 1850. A proposition was then introduced 
to repeal one of the compromises which had been recognized 
by the acts of 1850; for the Missouri Compromise, which ex- 
cluded slavery from Kansas and Nebraska, was, by reference, 
directly and in express terms, reaffirmed by the compromises 
of 1850. But, sir, in the beginning of 1854, that fatal propo- 
sition was introduced and embodied in the Kansas-Nebraska 
Act, which declared that the eighth section of the act for the 
admission of Missouri into the Union, which had passed in 
1820, and which excluded slavery from Kansas and Nebraska, 
should be repealed, it being declared to be ''the true intent and 
meaning of the act not to introduce slavery into any state or 
territory, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people 
thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic insti- 


tutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of 
the United States" — a little stumpt speech, as Colonel Ben- 
ton denominated it, introduced into the body of the bill, which 
has since become as familiar to all the children of the land, 
from its frequent repetition, as Mother Goose's stories. That 
was the fatal act which brought about the agitation of the slav- 
ery question; and on the repeal of the Missouri Compromise 
followed the disturbances in the settlement of Kansas. That act 
led to civil war in Kansas, to the burning of towns, to the in- 
vasion from Missouri, to all the horrors and anarchy which 
reigned in that ill-fated territory for several years, all of which is 
too fresh in the recollection of the American people to require 
repetition. And, sir, from that day to this, the doctrine which 
it is pretended was enunciated in 1854 in the Kansas-Nebraska 
Act, of non-intervention, of popular sovereignty, for it is known 
under various names, has been preached all over the country, 
until in the election of 1860, it was repudiated and scouted, 
North and South, by a majority of the people in every state 
in the Union; and even at this session, it has been tlmist in 
here upon almost every occasion, as the grand panacea that 
was to give peace to the country; whereas it was the very thing 
which gave rise to all the difficulties. The disunionists per se 
have seized hold of the disturbances growing out of the slavery 
question, all occasioned by this fatal step in 1854, to inflame 
the public mind of the Sou^, and bring about the state of things 
which now exists. 

But, sir, the Union survived the disunion movement of 1832; 
it survived the excitement upon the slavery question in 1850; 
it survived the disturbances in Kansas in 1855 and 1856, con- 
sequent upon the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. It sur- 
vived them all without an actual attempt at disruption, until 
we came down to 1800, and Abraham Lincoln was elected Presi- 
dent; and even now, notwithstanding the dissatisfaction at his 
election in some portions of the country, and all the previous 
troubles, the laws to-day would have had force in every part of 
the Union, and secession would have been checked in its very 
origin, had the Government done its duty and not acted in 
complicity with the men who had resolved to destroy it. 

The secession movement, then, dates back several years. It 
received an impetus in 1850; another in 1854; and in 1800, by 


the connivance and the assistance of the Government itself, 
it acquired the strength which it now has. What has been the 
policy of the expiring administration? Its Cabinet officers 
boasting of their complicity with the men who were plotting 
the destruction of the Government; openly proclaiming in the 
face of the world that they had used their official power, while 
members of the Cabinet, and sworn to protect and preserve 
the Government, to furnish the means for its destruction; 
openly acknowledging before the world that they had used the 
power which their positions gave them to discredit the Govern- 
ment, and also to furnish arms and munitions of war to the men 
who were conspiring together to assault its fortifications, and 
seize its property; openly boasting that they had taken care, 
during their public service, to see that the arms of the Federal 
Government were placed in convenient positions for the use of 
those who designed to employ them for its destruction. More 
than this, members, while serving in the other branch of Con- 
gress, go to the Executive of the United States, and tell him, 
"Sir, we are taking steps in South Carolina to break up this 
Government; you have forts and fortifications there; they are 
but poorly manned; now if you will leave them in the condi- 
tion they are until the state of South Carolina gets ready to 
take possession, we will wait imtil that time before we seize 
them"; and the Executive of the nation asks that the treason- 
able proposition be put in writing, and files it away. Why, sir, 
is there another capital on the face of the globe, to which men 
could come from state or province, and inform the executive 
head that they were about to take steps to seize the public 
property belonging to the Government, and warn the Execu- 
tive to leave it in its insecure and imdefended state until they 
should be prepared to take possession, and they be permitted 
to depart? Is there another capital on the face of the globe 
where commissioners coming to the Executive under these cir- 
cumstances would not have been arrested on the spot for 
treason? But your Government, if it did not directly promise 
not to arm its forts, certainly took no steps to protect its public 
property; and this went on, until a gallant officer who was in 
command of less than a hundred men in the harbor of Charles- 
ton, acting upon his own responsibility, thought proper to throw 
his little force into a fort where he could protcK:t himself; and 


then it was that these insurgents, rebelling against the Govern- 
ment, demanded that he should be withdrawn, and the Execu- 
tive then was forced to take position. Then his Cabinet officers 
who had been in conspiracy with the plotters of treason, then 
the Chief Magistrate himself was forced to take position. He 
must openly withdraw his forces, and surrender the public 
property he was sworn to protect, openly violate the oath he 
had taken to support the Constitution of the United States, 
and execute the laws, and take side with traitors; or else he 
must leave Major Anderson where he was. Exposed to public 
view, brought to this dilemma, I am glad to say that even then, 
at that late day, the President of the United States concluded 
to take sides for the Union; that even he came out, though 
feebly it was, on the part of the United States, and his Secre- 
tary of War retired from his Cabinet, not in disgrace, so far as 
its executive head was concerned, for he parted pleasantly with 
the President of the United States, but he retired because the 
President would not carry out the policy which he understood 
to have been agreed upon, which was to leave the fortifications 
in a position that Carolina might take them whenever she 
thought proper. 

But, sir, notwithstanding this, the Executive of the nation, 
disregarding the advice of the Lieutenant-General who com- 
mands the armies of the United States, and who had warned 
him months before of the movements which were taking place 
to seize the public property at the South, still leaves the prop- 
erty unprotected; and the insurgents go on in some of the 
states, before even passing ordinances of secession, and con- 
tinue to seize the public property; to capture the troops of the 
United States; to take possession of the forts; to fire into its 
vessels; to take down its flag; imtil they have at this time in 
their possession fortifications which have cost the Government 
more than $5,000,000, and which mount more than a thousand 

All this has been done without any effort on the part of 
the Crovemment to protect the public property; and this is the 
reason that secession has made the head it has. Why, sir, let 
me ask, is it that the United States to-day has possession of 
Fort Sumter? Can you tell me why is Fort Sumter in posses- 
sion of the United States? Because there are a hundred soldiers 


in it — for no other reason. Why is Port Moultrie in posses- 
sion of the insurgents? Because there were no men there to 
protect it; and it is now matter of history that, had the Execu- 
tive done his duty, and placed a hundred men in Fort Moultrie, 
a hundred in Castle Pinckney, and a hundred in Fort Simiter, 
Charleston Harbor to-day would have been open, and your 
revenues would have been collected there, as elsewhere through- 
out the United States. 

Will it be said that Carolina would have attacked those forts, 
thus garrisoned? She does not attack a hundred men in Fort 
Sumter. It is a wonder that she does not. The little, feeble 
garrison there is well calculated to invite attack; but this thing 
of secession, under the policy of the Administration, has been 
made a holiday affair in the South. This great Government* 
one of the most powerful on the face of the globe, is falling to 
pieces just from its own imbecility. 

Mb. Wigfall. Mr. President — 

The Presidino Officer (Mr. Bright). Does the Senator 
from Illinois yield the floor? 

Mr. Trumbull. I have some further observations to make. 
I will yield for a single question; not for a speech. 

Mr. Wigfall. For a single question. I do not wish to inter- 
rupt the Senator if it is not agreeable to him. I desire to ask a 
single question. 

Mr. Trumbull. I have no objection to the question. 

Mr. Wigfall. I imderstand the Senator to object to the 
course that the present outgoing Administration has pursued 
in reference to the forts. I know the Senator's candor, direct- 
ness of purpose, fairness, and boldness of statement; and I desire 
to know whether the succeeding Administration will pursue the 
same peace policy of leaving the forts in the possession of the 
seceding states, or whether they will attempt to recapture them? 

Mr. Trumbull. The Senator will find out my opinions 
on this subject before I conclude. The opinions of the incoming 
Administration, I trust, he will learn to-morrow from the east- 
em front of the capitol. 

Mr. Wigfall. I trust we shall, sir. 

Mr. Trumbull. I speak for myself, without knowing what 
may be said in the inaugural of to-morrow; but I apprehend 
that the Senator will learn to-morrow that we have a Govern- 


ment; and that wiU be the begmning of the maintenance of the 

Mb. Wigfall. I hope we may. 

Mb. Tbumbull. While the forts in the South were left thus 
unprotected, and to be seized by the first comers, where was 
your army? Scattered beyond reach, and sent to the frontiers, 
so as not to be made available when it was wanted. And where 
was your navy? The navy of the United States, when it was 
known that the secession movement was on foot, was sent to 
distant seas, until there was not at the command of the Secre- 
tary of the Navy a single vessel, except one carrying two guns, 
that could enter Charleston Harbor — a small vessel destined, 
I believe, to take supplies to the African squadron, which car- 
ried two guns. Does anybody suppose this was accidental? If 
it were a question of fact to be tried before an intelligent jury 
in any part of Christendom, does any one doubt that the Sec- 
retary of War and the Secretary of the Navy would both be 
convicted of having purposely, and by design, removed the 
army and navy out of reach, in order that the forts might be 
seized, and that the secession movement might progress? And 
how has it been from that day to this? Irresolution and inde- 
cision on the part of the Executive — one day sending a ves- 
sel with troops to Charleston, and the next coimtermanding the 
order; and the Senator from Texas, with a taste which I cannot 
admire, spoke in terms of derision of his country's flag, when it 
returned in disgrace — "struck in the face," I think, was his 
expression — from Charleston Harbor. I admit it was disgrace- 
ful; but I am sorry it should have afforded the Senator from 
Texas, a member of the Senate of the United States, as the elo- 
quent Senator from Kentucky said he was, any pleasure that 
such a transaction should have occurred. 

This, then, briefly, is the reason that this secession movement 
has acquired the strength it has. It is because this Govern- 
ment has either favored it, or refused to do anything to check 
it. Notwithstanding the mistake of 1854, the country would 
have survived it all, had we had a Government to take care of 
and preserve it. 

Now, sir, what are the remedies that are proposed for the 
present condition of things, and what have they been from the 
beginning? They have been propositions of compromise; and 


Senators have spoken of peace, and of the horrors of civil war; 
and gentlemen who have contended for the right of the people 
of the territories to regulate their own affairs, and who have 
been horrified at the idea of a geographical line dividing free 
states from slave states, free territory from slave territory, and 
who have proclaimed that the great principle upon which the 
Revolution was fought was that of the right of the people to 
govern themselves, and that it was monstrous doctrine for 
Congress to interfere in any way with its own territories, come 
forward here with propositions to divide the country on a geo- 
graphical line; and not only that, but to establish slavery south 
of the line; and they call this the Missouri Compromise! 
The proposition known as the "Crittenden Proposition" is no 
more like the Missouri Compromise than is the Government of 
Turkey like that of the United States. The Missouri Compro- 
mise was a law declaring that in all the territory which we had 
acquired from Louisiana, north of a certain line of latitude, 
slavery or involuntary servitude should never exist. But it 
said nothing about the establishment of slavery south of that 
line. It was a compromise made in order to admit Missouri 
into the Union as a slave state, in 1820. That was the considera- 
tion for the exclusion of slavery from all the country north of 
86** 80'. Now, sir, I have no objection to the restoration of 
the Missouri Compromise as it stood in 1854, when the Kansas- 
Nebraska Bill passed; and I have drawn up — and I intend to 
offer it at the proper time as an amendment to some of these 
propositions — a clause declaring that so much of the four- 
teenth section of the act to organize the territories of Nebraska 
and Kansas, approved the SOth of May, 1854, as repeals the 
Missouri Compromise, and contains the little stump speech, 
shall be repealed, and that we may hear no more of it, I trust, 

Since its authors have repudiated it, and have come forward 
with a proposition to establish not the Missouri Compromise, 
but to establish a geographical line running through the terri- 
tory which we now have, establishing slavery south of it, and 
prohibiting it north, and providing that, in the territory we 
may hereafter acquire, slavery shall be established south of that 
line, I suppose we shall hear no more about leaving the people 
** perfectly free to regulate their own affairs in their own way "! 


The proposition known as the '* Crittenden Compromise'' de- 
clares not only that» **in the territory south of the said line of 
latitude, slavery of the African race is hereby recognized as 
existing, and shall not be interfered with by Congress"; but it 
provides further, that, in the territory we shall hereafter acquire 
south of that line, slavery shall be recognized, and not inter- 
fered with by Congress; but "shall be protected as property 
by all the departments of the territorial government during 
its continuance"; so that, if we make acquisitions on the south 
of territories now free, and where, by the laws of the land, the 
footsteps of slavery have never been, the moment we acquire 
jurisdiction over them, the moment the stars and stripes of the 
Republic float over those free territories, they carry with them 
African slavery, established beyond the power of Congress, and 
b^ond the power of any territorial legislature, or of the 
people, to keep it out; and we are told that this is the Mis- 
souri Compromise! We are told that slavery now exists in New 
Mexico; and I was sorry to find even my friend from Oregon 
[Mr. Baker] ready to vote for this proposition, which estab- 
lishes slavery. Why, sir, suppose slavery does exist in New 
Mexico; are you for putting a clause into your Constitution 
that the people of New Mexico shall not drive it out? 

But, sir, unlike the Senator from Oregon, I will never agree 
to put into the Constitution of the country a clause establish- 
ing or making perpetual slavery anywhere. No, sir; no human 
being shall ever be made a slave by my vote. No foot of God's 
soil shall ever be dedicated to African slavery by my act — 
never, sir. I will not interfere with it where I have no author- 
ity by the Constitution to interfere; but I never will consent, 
the people of the great Northwest, numbering more in white 
population than all your Southern States together, never will 
consent by their act to establish African slavery anywhere. 
Why, sir, the seven free states of the Northwest, at the late 
presidential election, cast three hundred thousand more votes 
than all the fifteen Southern States together. Senators talk 
about the North and the South, and speak of having two Presi- 
dents, a Northern President and a Southern President, as if 
we had no such country as the Northwest, more populous with 
freemen than all the South. The people of the South and the 


people of the East both wiU, by and by, learn, if they have not 
abc^uly learned, that we have a country, and a great and grow- 
ing country, in the Northwest; a free country — made free, 
too, by the act of Virginia herself. I do not propose to discuss 
the House Resolution. I have said on any and all proper occa- 
sions, and am willing to say at any time, to our brethren of the 
South, we have no disposition, and never had any, and have no 
power, if we had the disposition, to interfere with your domestic 

I think, then, sir, that none of these compromises will amount 
to anything; but still I am willing to do this, and I think if there 
is any difficulty it may be settled in this way : three of the states 
of this Union, the state of Kentucky, the state of New Jersey, 
and the State of Illinois, have called upon Congress to call a 
convention of all the states for the purpose of proposing amend- 
ments to the Constitution. I do not think the Constitution 
needs amendment. In my judgment, the Constitution as it is, 
is worthy to be lived up to and supported. I doubt if we shall 
better it; but out of deference to those states, one of which is 
my own state, I am willing to vote for the resolution which has 
been introduced into this body recommending to the various 
states to take into consideration this proposition of calling a 
convention, in order to make such amendments as may be 
deemed necessary by the states themselves to this instrument. 
So far, I am willing to go. Would it not have been better for 
the seceding states to have done that? Why did they not pro- 
pose, instead of attempting hastily to break up the Govern- 
ment and seizing its public property, to call a convention, in the 
constitutional form, of the various states, and if the Federal 
Constitution needed amendment, amend it in that way. No such 
proposition came from them; but Kentucky has made the pro- 
position for a convention, and I am willing to meet her in the 
spirit in which it is made, and am ready, for one, and would be 
glad if we could all unitedly pass the resolution suggesting to 
the states to call a convention to make any and all amendments 
to the Constitution which the exigencies of the times may 

The Senator from Texas wants to know how we are going to 
preserve the Union; how we are going to stop the states from 
seceding? And our Southern friends sometimes ask us to give 


them something to stand upon in the South. The best political 
foundation ever laid by mortal man upon which to plant your 
foot is the Constitution. Take the old Constitution as your 
fathers made it, and go to the people on that; rally them aroimd 
it, and not suffer it to be kicked about, rolled in the dust, spit 
upon, and their efforts to be wasted in vain efforts to amend it. 
Why, sir, has that old instrument ceased to be of any value? 
These gentlemen who are talking about amending it, and talking 
about guarantees as a condition to remain in the Union, claim 
to be par excellence the Union men. Why, sir, I conceive I am 
a much better Union man than they. I am for the Union under 
the Constitution as it is. I am willing, however, that a con- 
vention should be called out of deference to those who may 
wish to alter it; but I am not one of those who declare that un- 
less this provision is made, and unless this guarantee is given, 
I will unite to destroy the Union, and cease to observe the 
Constitution as it is. 

Sir, the Southern States have been arming. The Senator 
from Virginia [Mr. Mason] told us the other day that his state 
had appropriated $1,500,000 to arm its citizens. For what? To 
arm its citizens to fight against this Government; and then tell 
us that, to a man, they will fight against this Government, if 
it undertakes to enforce its laws, which they call coercion, the 
coercion of a State! Why, sir, a government that has not the 
power of coercing obedience to its laws is no government at all. 
The very idea of a law without a sanction is an absurdity. A 
government is not worth having that has not power to enforce 
its laws. If the Senator from Texas wants to know my opinion, 
I tell him yes, I am for enforcing the laws. Do you mean by that 
you are going to march an army to coerce a state? No, sir; and 
I do not mean the people of this country to be misled by this 
confusion of terms about coercing a state. The Constitution 
of the United States operates upon individuals; the laws oper- 
ate upon individuals; and whenever individuals make them- 
selves amenable to the laws, I would punish them according 
to the laws. We may not always be able to do this. WTiy, sir, 
we have a criminal code, and laws punishing larceny and mur- 
der and arson and robbery and all these crimes; and yet murder 
is committed, larcenies and robberies are committed, and the 
culprits are not always punished and brought to justice. We 


may not be able, in all instances, to punish those who conspire 
against the Government. So far as it can be done, I am for exe- 
cuting the laws; and I am for coercion. I am for settling, in the 
first place, the question whether we have a government before 
making compromises which leave us as pK)werless as before. 

Sir, if my friend from Kentucky would employ some of that 
eloquence of his which he uses in appealing to Republicans — 
and talking about compromise — in defense of the Constitu- 
tion as it is, and in favor of maintaining the laws and the Govern- 
ment, we should see a very different state of things in the coun- 
try. If, instead of coming forward with compromises, instead 
of asking guarantees, he had put the fault where it belongs; if 
he called upon the Government to do its duty; if, instead of 
blaming the North for not making concessions where there is 
nothing to concede, and not making compromises where there 
was nothing to compromise about, he had appealed to the South, 
which was in rebellion against the Government, and painted 
before them, as only he could do it, the hideousness of the 
crimes they were committing, and called upon them to return 
to their allegiance, and upon the Government to enforce its 
authority, we would have a very different state of things in 
this country to-day from what now exists. 

This, in my judgment, is the way to preserve the Union; and 
I do not expect civil war to follow from it. You have only to 
put the Government in a position to make itself respected, and 
it will command respect. As I said before, five hundred troops 
in Charleston would unquestionably have kept that port open; 
and if you will arm the Government with sufficient authority 
to maintain its laws and give us an honest Executive, I think 
you will find the spread of secession soon checked; it will no 
longer be a holiday affair. But while we submit to the disgrace 
which is heaped upon us by those seceding states, while the 
President of the United States says, "You have no right to 
secede; but if you want to, you may, we cannot help it,** you 
may expect secession to spread. 

Why, sir, the resolutions of the legislature of the state of 
New York, which were passed early in the session, tendering 
to the Federal Government all the resources of the state in 
money and men to maintain the Government, had a most 
salutary effect when it was heard here. I sawthe effect of it at 


once. It was the first blow at secession. Let the people of the 
North understand that their services are required to maintain 
this Union» and let them make known to the people of the 
South, to the Grovemment, and to the country, that the Union 
shall be maintained; and the object is accomplished. Then you 
will find Union men in the South. But while this secession fever 
was spreading, and the Union men of the South had no support 
from their Government, it is no wonder that state after state 
undertook to withdraw from a confederacy which manifested 
no disposition to maintain itself. 

My remedy for existing difficulties is, to clothe the Grovem- 
ment with sufficient power to maintain itself; and when that is 
done, and you have an Executive with the disposition to main- 
tain the authority of the Government, I do not believe that a 
gun need be fired to stop the further spread of secession. I be- 
lieve, sir, after the new Administration goes into operation, and 
the people of the South see, by its acts, that it is resolved to 
maintain its authority, and, at the same time, to make no en- 
croachments whatever upon the rights of the people of the 
South, the desire to secede will subside. When the people of the 
Southern States, on the 5th of March, this year, and on the 
5th of March, 1862, shall find that, after a year has transpired 
under a Republican administration, they are just as safe in all 
their rights, just as little interfered with in regard to their do- 
mestic institutions, as under any former Administration, they 
will have no disposition to inaugurate civil war and commence 
an attack upon the Federal Government. 

Why, sir, some Senators talk about the Federal Government 
making war. Who proposes it? The Southern people affect to 
abhor civil war, when they, themselves, have commenced it. 
Inhabitants of the six seceding states have begun the war. What 
is war? Is firing into your vessels war? Is investing your forts 
war? Is seizing your arsenals war? They have done it all, and 
more; and then have the effrontery to say to the United States, 
"Do not defend yourselves; do not protect your Government; 
let it fall to pieces; let us do as we please, ot else you will have 
war." The highwayman meets you on the street, demands your 
purse, and tells you to deliver it up, or you will have a fight. 
You can always escape a fight by submission. If in the right 
— and which is far better than to submit to degradation — 


you can often escape collision by being prepared to meet it. 
The moment the highwayman discovers your preparation and 
ability to meet him, he flees away. Let the Government be 
prepared, and we shall have no collision. 

I cannot think the people of this country in the loyal states 
would causelessly inaugurate civil war by attacking the Govern- 
ment; and I regard all the states as loyal, which have not under- 
taken to secede. I regard Kentucky and Tennessee and Missouri 
as loyal states, just as much so as Illinois. Why, sir, I live right 
upon the borders of Missouri, and I know that the people across 
the river were, last fall, just as good Union men as they were in 
Illinois. They never thought of secession until the thing was 
started in South Carolina, and until some persons here in Con- 
gress began to talk about guarantees, instead of coming out 
for the Constitution and the Union as they are. When Senators 
began to introduce propositions demanding guarantees as a 
condition of continuing in the Union, the real true Union men, 
in many instances, took sides with them, and thus became, in 
fact, only conditional Unionists. I am happy to say that they 
are getting over it, not only in Missouri, but they are already 
cured of it in Tennessee, and I trust in all the other states save 
those which, in their hurry, and with inconsiderate zeal, have 
already taken measures, as far as they could, to dissolve their 
connection with the Government. Sir, I cannot think it possible 
that this great Government is to go out without a struggle — 
a Government which has been blessed so highly, and prospered 
so greatly. What occasion is there for breaking it up? Are we 
not the happiest people in the world? Do we not enjoy personal 
liberty and religious freedom? \Miat is it that the people of these 
Southern States would have? Does anybody propose to inter- 
fere with their domestic institutions? Nobody. Does anybody 
deny their equal rights in the territories? Nobody. Why, sir, 
look at our condition. We are one of the great nations of the 
world. At the peace of 1783, we had, I think, something like 
three million population; we have now more than thirty mil- 
lion. At that time we had thirteen states; now we have thirty- 
four states; and our territories have spread out until they ex- 
tend across the continent. The boimdaries of the Republic 
embrace to-day a greater extent of country than was contained 
within the Roman Empire in the days of its greatest extent. 


or within the empire of Alexander when he was said to have 
conquered the world. 

Sir» I cannot believe that this mad and insane attempt to 
break up such a Government is to succeed. If my voice could 
reach them, I would caU upon my Southern brethren to pause, 
to reflect, to consider if this Republican party has yet done 
them any wrong. What complaints have they to make against 
us? We have never wielded the power of Government — not for 
a day. Have you of the South suffered any wrong at the hands 
of the Federal Government? If you have, you inflicted it your- 
selves. We have not done it. Is it the apprehension that you 
are going to suffer wrong at our hands? We tell you that we 
intend no such thing. Will you, then, break up such a govern- 
ment as this, on the apprehension that we are all hypocrites 
and deceivers, and do not mean what we say? Wait, I beseech 
you, imtil the Government is put into operation under this 
new administration; wait until you hear the inaugural from the 
President-elect; and, I doubt not, it will breathe as well a spirit 
of conciliation and kindness towards the South as towards the 
North. While I trust it will disclose a resolute purpose to main- 
tain the Government, I doubt not it will also declare, in un- 
equivocal terms, that no encroachments shall be made upon 
the constitutional rights of any state while he who delivers it 
remains in power. 



During all this storm and stress the President-elect 
was at home struggling with office-seekers. They came in 
swarms from all points of the compass, and in the great- 
est numbers from Illinois. Judging from the Trumbull 
papers alone it is safe to say that Illinois could have filled 
every office in the national Blue Book without satisfying 
half the demands. Every considerable town had several 
candidates for its own post-office, and the applicants were 
generally men who had real claims by reason of party 
service and personal character for the positions which 
they sought. But there were exceptions, and Trumbull 
brought trouble on his own head many times by taking 
part in the m616e. Yet there seemed to be no way of 
escape, even if he had wished to stand aloof. The day of 
civil service reform had not yet dawned. Time has kindly 
dropped its veil over those struggles except as relates to 
Lincoln's Cabinet. The selection of the Cabinet will be 
considered chronologically so far as the Trumbull papers 
throw light on it. 

On his journey to Washington for the coming session 
of Congress, Trumbull stopped a few days in New York. 
While there he received a call from three gentlemen, who 
were a sub-committee of a larger number who had been 
chosen, by the opponents of the Weed overlordship in 
New York politics, to call upon Lincoln and remonstrate 
against the appointment of Seward as a member of his 
Cabinet. The three men were William C. Bryant, William 


Curtis NoyeSy and A. Mann, Jr. They said thdt finding it 
impracticable to see Lincoln, they had decided to call 
upon Trumbull and ask him to present their views to 
the President-elect. Although Trumbull disclaimed any 
peculiar knowledge or influence in respect of Cabinet 
appointments, they proceeded to make their wishes 
known. They said that a division had taken place in the 
Republican party of New York, growing out of corruption 
at Albany during the last session of the legislature, in 
which many Republicans were implicated; that so strong 
was the feeling against certain transactions there, that 
but for the presidential election the Republicans would 
have lost the state in November; and that unless the 
transactions were repudiated by the coming legislature 
the party would be beaten next year. They did not con- 
nect Grovemor Seward personally with these transactions, 
but said that several of his particular and most intimate 
friends, whom they named, were implicated, and that if 
he went into the Cabinet he would draw them after him. 

Trumbull suggested to them that if Governor Seward 
went into the Cabinet, as many people considered to be 
his due, it did not necessarily follow that he would control 
the patronage of New York. Mr. Mann, however, thought 
that this would be inevitable. He and Mr. Bryant and 
Mr. Noyes expressed the opinion that Seward did not de- 
sire to go into the Cabinet unless he could control the 
patronage and thus serve his friends. They said they had 
no name to propose as a New York member of the Cabi- 
net, but they did not want the load of the Albany plun- 
derers put upon them, and that if it were so the party in 
New York would be ruined. 

The purport of this interview was communicated by 
Trumbull to Lincoln by letter dated Washington, Decem- 
ber 2, 1860. Lincoln replied as follows : 



SPBDransLD* III., Dec. 8» 1800. 

Hon. Lyman Tbumbttll. 

My dear Sm: Yours of the 2nd is received. I r^ret exceed- 
ingly the anxiety of our friends in New York, of whom you 
write; but it seems to me the sentiment in that State which 
sent a united delegation to Chicago in favor of Gov. Seward 
ought not and must not be snubbed, as it would be, by the 
omission to offer Grov. S. a place in the Cabinet. / vnll myseff 
take care of the question of ** corrupt jobs** and see that justice is 
done to all our friends of whom you wrote, as well as otiiers. 

I have written to Mr. Hamlin on this very subject of Grov. S. 
and requested him to consult fully with you. He will show you 
my note and enclosures to him; and then please act as therein 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

The enclosures were a formal tender of the office of 
Secretary of State to Seward and a private letter to him 
urging his acceptance of the appointment. The note to 
Hamlin requested that if he and Trumbull concurred in 
the step, the letters should be handed to Seward. They 
were promptly delivered. 

As matters stood at that time it was certainly due to 
Seward that a place in the Cabinet should be offered to 
him and that it should be the foremost place. He was 
still the intellectual premier of the party and nobody 
could impair his influence but himself. The principal 
scheme at Albany, to which Bryant and his colleagues 
alluded, was a "gridiron" street railroad bill for New 
York City, for which Weed was the political engineer. 

Trumbull saw Horace Greeley at this time. The latter 
would not recommend taking a Cabinet officer from New 
York at all, but he did suggest giving the mission to France 
to John C. Fremont. If this advice had been followed, 
and Fremont had been kept out of the country, Lincoln 


would have been spared one of the most terrible thorns 
in the side of his Administration; but fate ordained other- 
wise, for when Cameron was taken into the Cabinet it 
became necessary to provide a place for Dayton, and 
Paris was chosen for that purpose. 

The Cameron affair was the greatest embarrassment 
that Lincoln had to deal with before his inauguration. It 
was a fact of evil omen that David Davis, one of the dele- 
gates of Illinois to the Chicago Convention, assuming to 
speak by authority, made promises that Simon Cameron, 
of Pennsylvania, and Caleb Smith, of Indiana, should 
have places in the Cabinet if Lincoln were elected. In so 
doing, Davis went counter to the only instructions he 
had ever received from Lincoln on that subject. The day 
before the nomination was made, the editor of the Spring- 
field Journal arrived at the rooms of the Illinois del^a- 
tion with a copy of the Missouri Democrat^ in which Lin- 
coln had marked three passages and made some of his own 
comments on the margin. Then he added, in words under- 
scored : "Make no contracts that will bind me." Hemdon 
says that this paper was read aloud to Davis, Judd, Logan, 
and himself. Davis then argued that Lincoln, being at 
Springfield, could not judge of the necessities of the situa- 
tion in Chicago, and, acting upon that view of the case, went 
ahead with his negotiations with the men of Pennsylvania 
and Indiana, and made the promises as above stated.^ 

Gideon Welles, in his book on Lincoln and Seward, says 
there was but one member of the Cabinet appointed "on 
the special urgent recommendation and advice of Seward 
and his friends, but that gentleman was soon, with 
Seward's approval, transferred to Hyperborean regions 
in a way and for reasons never publicly made known.'* 
That man was Cameron. 

^ L^e of Lincoln, by Hemdon-Weik, 2d edition, m, 172, 181. 


The implication here is that Simon Cameron was ap- 
I)ointed a member of Lincoln's Cabinet in consequence of 
Seward's influence, and at his desire. That Seward and 
Weed labored for Cameron's appointment, and that Weed 
had private reasons for doing so, is true, but the control- 
ling factor was something of earlier date. David Davis 
had left his comfortable home at Bloomington and gone 
to Springfield to redeem his convention pledges. He 
camped alongside of Lincoln and laid siege to him. He 
had a very strong case prima facie. He had not only 
worked for Lincoln with all his might, but he had paid 
three hundred dollars out of his own pocket for the rent 
of the Lincoln headquarters during the convention. This 
seems like a small sum now, but it was three times as 
much as Lincoln himself could have paid then for any 
political purpose. Moreover, Davis had actually suc- 
ceeded in what he had undertaken.^ 

A. K. McClure says, in his book on " Lincoln and Men 
of War Times " (p. 139), that the men who immediately 
represented Cameron on that occasion (John P. Sander- 
son and Alexander Cummings) really had little influence 
with the Pennsylvania delegation, and that the change of 
votes from Cameron to Lincoln was not due to this barter. 

Nicolay and Hay say that after the election Lincoln 
invited Cameron to come to Springfield, but they produce 
no evidence to that effect. On the other hand, Gideon 

^ David Davis's habit of coercing Lincoln was once complained of by 
Lincoln himself, as related in a letter (now in the possession of Jesse W. Weik) 
of Henry C. Whitney to Wm. H. Herndon. Whitney says : 

''On March 5, 1861, I saw Lincoln and requested him to appoint Jim 
Somers of Champaign to a small clerkship. Lincoln was very impatient and 
said abruptly : * There is Davis, with that way of making a man do a thing 
whether he wants to or not, who has forced me to appoint Archy Williams 
judge in Kansas right off and John Jones to a place in the State Depart- 
ment ; and I have got a bushel of despatches from y^nwifl wanting to know 
if I *m going to fill up all the offices from Illinois/ " 


Welles, quoting from an interview with Fogg, of New 
Hampshire (a first-rate authority), says that Cameron 
tried to get an invitation to Springfield, but that Lincoln 
would not give it; that a little later Cameron invited 
Leonard Swett to his home at Lochiel, Pennsylvania, and 
that while there Swett took upon himself to extend such 
an invitation in Lincoln's name, and that Lincoln, al- 
though surprised, was obUged to acquiesce in what Swett 
had done. ^ Swett, it may be remarked, was the Fidus 
Achates of David Davis at all times. 

Cameron came to Springfield with a troop of followers, 
and the result was that, on the 31st of December, Lincoln 
handed him a brief note saying that he intended to nomi- 
nate him for Secretary of the Treasury, or Secretary of 
War, at the proper time. 

Almost inmiediately thereafter he received a shock 
from A. K. McClure in the form of a telegram saying that 
the appointment of Cameron would split the party in 
Pennsylvania and do irreparable harm to the new Admin- 
istration. He invited McClure to come to Springfield and 
give him the particular reasons, but McClure does not tell 
us what the reasons were. Evidently they were graver 
and deeper than a mere faction fight in the party, or 
a question whether Cameron or Curtin should have the 
disposal of the patronage. They included personal as 
well as political delinquencies, but McClure declined to 
put them in writing. 

After hearing them, Lincoln wrote another letter to 
Cameron dated January 3, 1861, asking him to decline 
the appointment that had been previously tendered to 
him, and to do so at once by telegraph. Cameron did not 
decline. Consequently Lincoln repeated the request ten 
days later, January 13. 

^ Diary 0/ Gideon, Welles, n, 390. 


In the mean time Trumbull, having learned that a 
place in the Cabinet — probably the Treasury — had been 
offered to Cameron, wrote a letter to Lincoln, dated Jan- 
uary 3, advising him not to appoint him. To this letter 
Lincoln wrote the following reply : 

Very Confidential 

Springfisld, III., Jan. 7, 1861. 

Hon. Lyman Trumbull, 

My dear Sir: Yours of the Sd is just received. . . . Gen. C. 
has not been offered the Treasury and I think will not be. It 
seems to me not only highly proper but a necessity that Gov. 
Chase shall take that place. His ability, firmness, and purity 
of character produce this propriety ; and that he alone can recon- 
cile Mr. Bryant and his class to the appointment of Gov. S. to 
the State Department produces the necessity. But then comes 
the danger that the protectionists of Pennsylvania will be dis- 
satisfied; and to clear this difficulty Gen. C. must be brought 
to cooperate. He would readily do this for the War Depart- 
ment. But then comes the fierce opposition to his having any 
Department, threatening even to send charges into the Senate 
to procure his rejection by that body. Now, what I would most 
like, and what I think he should prefer too, under the circum- 
stances, would be to retain his place in the Senate, and if that 
place has been promised to another let that other take a respect- 
able and reasonably lucrative place abroad. Also, let Gen. C.'s 
friends be, with entire fairness, cared for in Pennsylvania and 
elsewhere. I may mention before closing that besides the very 
fixed opposition to Gen. C. he is more amply recommended for 
a place in the Cabinet than any other man. . . . 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

It is easy to read two facts between these lines: first, 
that although Lincoln had written a letter four days 
earlier withdrawing his offer to Cameron, some influence 
had intervened to cause new hesitations; second, that 
Lincoln knew that Cameron ought not to be taken into 
the Cabinet at all, and that he was now seeking some way 


to buy him off. The cause of the new hesitation was that 
David Davis was clinging to him like a burr. The last 
observation in the letter to Trumbull, that Cameron 
was more amply reconunended for a place in the Cabinet 
than any other man, points to the activity of Seward and 
Weed in Cameron's behalf, of which Welles gives details 
in the interview with Fogg above mentioned. 

Before Lincoln's letter of the 7th reached Trumbull, 
the latter wrote the following, giving his objections to 
Cameron more in detail : 

WABsmaTON, Jan. 10, 1861. 

Hon. a. Lincoln, 

My dsab Sib: My last to you was written in a hurry — in 
the midst of business in the Senate, and I have not a precise 
recollection of its terms — but I desire now to write you a little 
more fully in regard to this Cameron movement, and in doing 
so, I have no other desire than the success of our Administra- 
tion. Cameronisverygenerally regarded as a trading, unscrup- 
ulous politician. He has not the confidence of our best men. 
He is a great manager and by his schemes has for the moment 
created an apparent public sentiment in Penna. in his favor. 
Many of the persons who are most strenuously urging his ap- 
pointment are doubtless doing it in anticipation of a compen- 
sation. It is rather an ungracious matter to interfere to oppose 
his selection and hence those who believe him unfit and un- 
worthy of the place 

[Copy ille^ble ] 

seems to me he is totally unfit for the Treasuiy Department, 
You may perhaps ask, how, if these things are true, does he 
have so many friends, and such, to support him, and such repre- 
sentative men. I am surprised at it, but the world is full of 
great examples of men succeeding for a time by intrigue and 
management. Report says that C. secured Wilmot in his favor 
by assurances of support for the Senate, and then secured 
Cowan by abandoning W. at the last. The men who make the 
charges against Cameron are not all, I am sure, either his per- 
sonal enemies, or governed by prejudice. Another very serious 
objection to Cameron is his connection with Gov. Servard. The 


Governor is a man who acts through others and men believe 
that Cameron would be his instrument in the Cabinet. It is 
my decided conviction that C.'s selection would be a great 
mistake and it is a pity he is 

[Copy illegible] 

Gov. Seward's appointment is acquiesced in by all our friends. 
Some wish it were not so, but regard it rather as a necessity, 
and are not disposed to complain. There is a very general 
desire here to have Gov. Chase go into the Cabinet and in that 
wish I most heartily concur. In my judgment you had better 
put Chase in the Cabinet and leave Cameron out, even at the 
risk of a rupture with the latter, but I am satisfied he can be 
got along with. He is an exacting man, but in the end will put 
up with what he can get. He cannot get along in hostility to 
you, and when treated fairly, and as he ought to be, will acqui- 
esce. This letter is, of course, strictly confidential. 

There is a reaction here and the danger of an attack on 
Washington is, I think, over. 

Very truly your friend, 

Lyman Trumbull. 

The newspapers soon got hold of the fact that a place 
in the Cabinet had been offered to Cameron. They did 
not learn that he had been asked to decline it. Letters 
began to reach Trumbull urging him to use his influence 
to prevent such a calamity. For example: 

James H. Van Alen, New York, January 8, says honest men 
of all parties were shocked by the rumor of Cameron's appoint- 
ment to the Treasury. This evening Judge Hogeboom and Mr. 
Opdycke leave for Springfield and Messrs. D. D. Field and 
Barney for Washington to make their urgent protest against 
the act. Says he has written to Lincoln and forwarded extracts 
from congressional documents in relation to Simon Cameron's 
actions as commissioner to settle the claims of the half-breed 
Winnebago Indians. Refers to the Congressional Globe^ 25th 
Congress, Sd Session, p. 1^. 

E. Peck, Springfield, January 10, says all the Chicago mem- 
bers of the legislature took such steps as they could to prevent 
the appointment of Cameron, believing him not to be a proper 


man for any place in the Cabinet. If he goes in, it will not be 
as the head of the Treasury Department. Understands that 
Chase was offered the Treasuiy, but did not accept. 

C. H. Ray, Springfield, January 16, thinks that the Cameron 
business should be brought to a halt by some decisive action 
among the Republicans in Senate and House. Says Lincoln 
sees the error into which he has fallen, and would, most likely, 
be glad to recede; but, except a dozen letters, he hears only 
from the Cameron and Weed gang. 

£. Peck, Springfield, February 1, says David Davis is quite 
''huffy" because of the objections raised to Cameron and be- 
cause Smith, of Indiana, is not at once admitted to the Cabinet. 

William Butler (state treasurer), Springfield, February 7, 
says that last evening he had a confidential conversation with 
Lincobi, who told him that the appointment of Cameron, or his 
intimation to Cameron that he would offer him a place in the 
Cabinet, had given him more trouble than anything else that 
he had yet encountered. He had made up his mind that after 
reaching Washington he would first send for Cameron and say 
to him that he intended to submit the question of his appoint- 
ment to the Republican Senators; that he should call them 
together for consultation, but would leave Cameron out, as the 
question to be considered would be solely in reference to him; 
and that he (Lincoln) wished to deal frankly and for the good 
of the party. Butler thinks it would be disastrous to Cameron 
to go into the Cabinet under such circumstances. 

Norman B. Judd, of Chicago, was also expecting a 
place in the Cabinet. He was a lawyer by profession and 
general attorney of the Chicago and Rock Island Rail- 
road. He had been a member of the State Senate, where 
he contributed largely to Trumbull's first election to the 
United States Senate, after which he had been devoted 
to Trumbull's political interests and no less to Lincoln's. 
He was chairman of the Republican State Committee 
and a member of the National Committee. He had been 
a delegate-at-large to the Chicago Convention, where he 
had worked untiringly and effectively for Lincoln's nomi- 


nation. He was not a man of ideas, but was fertile in 
expedients. In politics he was a "trimmer," sly, cat-like, 
and mysterious, and thus he came to be considered more 
farseeing then he really was; but he was jovial, compan- 
ionable, and j)opular with the boys who looked after the 
primaries and the nominating conventions. Both as a 
legislator and a party manager his reputation was good, 
but his qualities were those of the politician rather than of 
the statesman. He was certainly the equal of Caleb Smith 
and the superior of Cameron. If he had been taken into 
the Cabinet, he would not have been ejected without 
assignable reasons nine months later. It was known 
immediately after the November election that he ex- 
pected a Cabinet position and that Trumbull favored 

January 3, 1861, Judd wrote to Trumbull that he had 
heard no word from Lincoln, but he had heard indirectly 
from Butler (state treasurer) that Lincoln "never had a 
truer friend than myself and there was no one in whom he 
placed greater confidence; still circumstances embarrassed 
him about a Cabinet appointment." Judd understood this 
to mean that he would not be appointed and he took 
it very much to heart. Doubtless the circumstance that 
most embarrassed Lincoln was the same that operated in 
Cameron's case. David Davis was insisting that his 
pledge to the Indiana delegates should be made good. 

January 6, Lincoln made an early call on Gustave 
Koemer at his hotel in Springfield, before the latter was 
out of bed. Koemer gives the following account of it in 
his "Memoirs": ^ 

I unbolted the door and in came Mr. Lincoln. "I want to 
see you and Judd. VHiere is his room?" I gave him the num- 
ber, and presently he returned with Judd while I was dressing. 

» Vol. n, p. 114. 


*' I am in a quandary," he said; ^^Pennsylvania is entitled to a 
Cabinet office. But whom shall I appoint?" "Not Cameron," 
Judd and myself spoke up simultaneously. "But whom else? " 
We suggested Reeder or Wilmot. "Oh," said he, "they have 
no show. There have been delegation after delegation from 
Pennsylvania, hundreds of letters and the cry is Cameron, 
Cameron. Besides, you know I have already fixed on Chase, 
Seward, and Bates, my competitors at the convention. The 
Pennsylvania people say if you leave out Cameron you dis- 
grace him. Is there not something in that? " I said, " Cameron 
cannot be trusted. He has the reputation of being a tricky and 
corrupt politician." "I know, I know," said Lincoln; "but can 
I get along if that State should oppose my administration?" 
He was very much distressed. We told him he would greatly 
regret his appointment. Our interview ended in a protest on 
the part of Judd and myself against the appointment. 

January 7, Trumbull wrote to Lincoln advising him to 
give a Cabinet appointment to some person who could 
stand in a nearer and more confidential relation to him 
than that which grew out of political affinity, adding that 
he (Lincoln) knew whether Judd was the kind of man 
who would meet such requirements, and enclosing a 
written recommendation of Judd for such a position, 
signed by himself and Senators Grimes, Chandler, Wade, 
Wilkinson, Durkee, Harlan, and Doolittle. These, he 
said, were the only persons to whom the paper had been 
shown and the only ones aware of its existence. 

Let it be said in passing that this was bad advice. Any 
man going into the Cabinet as a more confidential friend 
of the President than the others would have had all the 
others for his enemies. 

January 10, William Jayne and Ebenezer Peck (both 
members of the state legislature) expressed the opinion 
that Judd would be appointed. Evidently the Trumbull 
letter and enclosure had, for the time being, produced the 
intended effect. Jayne said that Davis and Yates were 


opposed to Judd, but that Butler and Judge Logan 
favored him. 

February 17, Judd wrote from Buffalo, New York, 
where he was accompanying Lincoln on his journey to 
Washington, saying that he believed the Treasury would 
be offered again to Chase, and if so he must accept, 
although it might cause another ^'irrepressible conflict/' 
He said nothing about his own prospects.^ 

Evidently Lincoln had not yet decided to take Cameron 
into the Cabinet, but after he arrived in Washington the 
influence of Seward and Weed, which Dr. Ray had pre- 
figured in a letter to Trumbull, prevailed upon him to do 
so. This was the opinion of Montgomery Blair, a high- 
minded man and an acute observer, expressed to Gideon 
Welles in these words: 

Cameron had got into the War Department by the contriv- 
ance and cunning of Seward who used him and other comiption- 
ists as he pleased with the assistance of Thurlow Weed; that 
Seward had tried to get Cameron into the Treasury, but was 
unable to quite accomplish that, and, after a hard under- 
ground quarrel against Chase, it ended in the loss of Cameron, 
who went over to Chase and left Seward.* 

When Cameron and Smith were appointed, the Berlin 
Mission was given to Judd, as a salve to his wound. Gus- 
tave Koemer had been "slated" in the newspapers for 
the Berlin Mission, although he had not applied for it. A 
telegram had been sent out from Springfield to the effect 
that that place had been reserved for him, and he errone- 
ously supposed that it had been done with Lincoln's con- 
sent. It had been published far and wide in America and 
Europe without contradiction. Koemer's friends on both 

^ Fogg (A New Hampshire aays: '*Mra. Lincoln has Uie credit of excluding 
Judd, of Chicago, from the Cabinet,** — which is not unlikdy. Diary qf Oideon 

> Diary qf Qidem WdlM, i, 186. 


sides of the water had written congratulatory letters to 
him, and everybody seemed to think that the thing was 
done, and wisely done. Some of his clients had notified 
him that, having observed in the newspapers that he was 
going abroad for a few years, they had engaged other 
counsel to attend to their law business. At this very time 
Koemer was laboring for Judd's appointment as member 
of the Cabinet. 

The same telegram that announced failure in this at- 
tempt announced that Judd had been designated as Min- 
ister to Prussia and had accepted. Koemer felt humili- 
ated, and he now applied for some other foreign mission 
which might be awarded to the German element of the 
party — preferably that of Switzerland; but it was now 
too late. The other places had all been spoken for. At a 
later period he was appointed Minister to Spain. 

On the 9th of January, 1861, Trumbull was reelected 
Senator of the United States by the legislature of Illinois, 
by 54 votes against 46 for S. S. Marshall (Democrat). 
His nomination in the Republican caucus was without 

At the beginning of the special session of Congress 
called by President Lincoln for July 4, 1861, Trumbull 
was appointed by his fellow Senators Chairman of the 
Committee on the Judiciary, which place he occupied 
during the succeeding twelve years. 

The first duty he was called to perform was to announce 
the death of his colleague, Stephen A. Douglas. Douglas 
had placed himself at Lincoln's service in all efforts to 
uphold the Constitution and enforce the laws against the 
disunionists. He returned from Washington early in April 
and got in touch with his constituents, ready to act 
promptly as events might turn out. It turned out that 
the Confederates struck the first blow in the Civil War 


by bombarding Fort Sumter. This was the signal for 
Douglas's last and greatest political and oratorical effort. 
The state legislature, then in session, invited him to 
address them on the present crisis, and he responded on 
the 25th of April in a speech which made Ulinois solid for 
the Union. The writer was one of the listeners to that 
speech and he cannot conceive that any orator of ancient 
or modem times could have surpassed it. Douglas seized 
upon his hearers with a kind of titanic grasp and held 
them captive, enthralled, spellbound for an immortal 
hour. He was the only man who could have saved south- 
em Illinois from the danger of an internecine war. The 
southern counties followed him now as faithfully and as 
unanimously as they had followed him in previous years, 
and sent their sons into the field to fight for the Union as 
numerously and bravely as those of any other section of 
the state or of the country. Douglas had only a few more 
days to live. He was now forty-eight years of age, but if 
he had survived forty-eight more he could never have 
surpassed that eloquence or exceeded that service to the 
nation, for he never could have found another like occa- 
sion for the use of his astounding powers. 

He died at Chicago, June 3, 1861. Trumbull's eulogy 
was solemn, sincere, pathetic, and impressive — a model 
of good taste in every way. He retracted nothing, but, 
ignoring past differences, he gave an abounding and 
heartfelt tribute of praise to the dead statesman for his 
matchless service to his country in the hour of her great- 
est need. He concluded with these words: 

On the 17th day of June last, all that remained of our de- 
parted brother was interred near the city of Chicago, on the 
shore of Lake Michigan, whose pure waters, often lashed into 
fury by contending elements, are a fitting memento of the 
stormy and boisterous political tumults through which the great 


popular orator so often passed. There the people, whose idol 
he was, will erect a monument to his memory; and there, in 
the soil of the state which so long without interruption, and 
never to a greater extent than at the moment of his death, 
gave him her confidence, let his remains repose so long as free 
government shall last and the Constitution he loved so well 



Mrs. Trumbull did not accompany her husband to 
Washington at the special session of Congress July 4, 1861. 
A few letters written to her by him have been preserved. 
One of these revives the memory of an affair which caused 
intense indignation throughout the loyal states. 

On the day when it was decided in Cabinet meeting to 
send supplies to Major Anderson in Fort Sumter, a news- 
paper correspondent named Harvey, a native of South 
Carolina, sent a telegram to Governor Pickens at Charles- 
ton notifying him of the fact. Harvey was the only news- 
paper man in Washington who had the news. He did not 
put his own name on the telegram, but signed it "A 
Friend." He was afterward appointed, at Secretary 
Seward's instance, as Minister to Portugal, although he 
was so obscure in the political world that the other Wash- 
ington correspondents had to unearth and identify him 
to the public. It was said that he had once been the edi- 
tor of the Philadelphia North American. After he had 
departed for his mission, there had been a seizure of tele- 
grams by the Government and this anonymous one to 
Governor Pickens was found. The receiving-clerk testi- 
fied that it had been sent by Harvey. The Republicans 
in Congress, and especially the Senators who had voted 
to confirm him, were boiling with indignation. A com- 
mittee of the latter was appointed to call upon the Presi- 
dent and request him to recall Harvey. A letter of Trum- 
bull to his wife (July 14) says: 

The Republicans in caucus appointed a committee to ex- 


press to him their want of confidence in Harvey, Minister 
to Portugal. Mr. Linoohi and Mr. Seward informed the com- 
mittee that they were aware of the worst dispatch to Governor 
Pickens before he left the oowitiy, but not before he received 
the appointment, and th^ did not think from their conversa- 
tion with Harvey that he had any criminal intent, and requested 
the committee to report the facts to the caucus, Mr. Lincoln 
saying that he would like to know whether Senators were as 
dissatisfied when they came to know all the facts. The caucus 
will meet to-morrow and I do not believe will be satisfied with 
the explanation. 

The inside history of this telegram was made public 
long afterward. Shortly before Seward took oflBce as 
Secretary of State there came to Washington City three 
commissioners from Montgomery, Alabama, whose pur- 
pose was to negotiate terms of peaceful separation of the 
Confederate States of America from the United States, 
or to report to their own Government the refusal of the 
latter to enter into such negotiation. These men were 
Martin J. Crawford, John Forsyth, and A. B. Roman. 
They arrived in Washington on the 27th of February, 
four days after Lincoln's arrival and one week before his 
inauguration. They did not make their errand known un- 
til after the inauguration. They then communicated with 
Seward, by an intermediary, the nature of their mission, 
and the latter replied verbally that it was the intention of 
the new Administration to settle the dispute in an amica- 
ble manner. On the 15th of March, Seward assured the 
Confederate envoys that Sumter would be evacuated 
before a letter from them could reach Montgomery — 
that is, within five days. The negotiations were pro- 
tracted till a decision had been reached, contrary to 
Seward's desires and promises, to send a fleet with provi- 
sions to relieve the garrison at Fort Sumter. Then Seward 
gave this fact to Harvey, knowing that he would trans- 


mit it to Governor Pickens and that the probable effect 
would be to defeat the scheme of relieving the garri- 
son. This he evidently desired. He had already secretly 
detached the steamer Powhatan, an indispensable part of 
the Sumter fleet, and sent it on a useless expedition to 
Pensacola Harbor. 

Gideon Welles's account of the Harvey affair is as fol- 

Soon after President Lincoln had formed the resolution to 
attempt the relief of Sumter, and whilst it was yet a secret, a 
young man connected with the telegraph office in Washington, 
with whom I was acquainted, a native of the same town with 
myself, brought to me successively two telegrams conveying to 
the rebel authorities information of the purposes and decisions 
of the Administration. One of these telegrams was from Mr. 
Harvey, a newspaper correspondent, who was soon after, and 
with a full knowledge of his having communicated to the rebels 
the movements of the Government, appointed Minister to 
Lisbon. I had, on receiving these copies, handed them to the 
President. Mr. Blair, who had also obtained a copy of one, 
perhaps both, of these telegrams from another source, likewise 
informed him of the treachery. The subject was once or twice 
alluded to in Cabinet without eliciting any action, and when 
the nomination of Mr. Harvey to the Portuguese Mission was 
announced — a nomination made without the knowledge of 
any member of the Cabinet but the Secretary of State and 
made at his special request — there was general disapproba- 
tion except by the President (who avoided the expression of 
any opinion) and by Mr. Seward. The latter defended and 
justified the selection, which he admitted was reconunended 
by himself, but the President was silent in regard to it.^ 

Trumbull says in his letter that Lincoln and Seward 
told the committee that they did not know that Harvey 
had sent the dispatch before he received the appointment. 
Welles says that both of them knew it beforehand, and 
that it was a matter of Cabinet discussion in which Lin- 

^ Diary qfQid0(mWeUe9,J.9SL 


coin, however, took no part. How are we to explain this 
contradiction? It was impossible for Lincoln to utter an 
untruth, but if we may credit Gideon Welles, passim, it 
was not impossible for Seward to do so and for Lincoln to 
remain silent while he did so, as he remained silent while 
the Cabinet were discussing the appointment of Harvey. 
K Seward, at the meeting of which Trumbull wrote, in this 
private letter to his wife, took the lead in the conversa- 
tion, as was his habit, and said that there was no knowl- 
edge of Harvey's telegram to Governor Pickens until 
after Harvey had been appointed as minister, and Lincoln 
said nothing to the contrary, he would naturally have 
assumed that Seward spoke for both. 

There is reason to believe that Seward had previously 
prevailed upon the President to agree to surrender Fort 
Sumter, as a means of preventing the secession of Vir- 
ginia. Evidence of this fact is supplied by the following 
entry in the diary of John Hay, imder date October 22, 

At Seward's to-night the President talked about Secession, 
Compromise, and other such. He spoke of a Committee of 
Southern pseudo-unionists coming to him before inauguration 
for guarantees, etc. He promised to evacuate Sumter if they 
would break up their Convention vrithoui any row, or nonsense. 
They demurred. Subsequently he renewed proposition to 
Summers, but without any result. The President was most 
anxious to prevent bloodshed.* 

Hay here speaks of two offers made by Lincoln to evac- 
uate Sumter, one before his inauguration and one after. 
Both were made on condition that a certain convention 
should be adjourned. This was the convention of Vir- 
ginia, which had been called to consider the question of 
secession. It had met in Richmond on the 13th of Febru- 

* Letters and Diaries qf John Hay, i» 47. 


ary, while Lincoln was en route for Washington. As Lin- 
coln arrived in Washington on the 23d of February, the 
first offer must have been made in the interval between 
that day and the 4th of March. 

The History of Nicolay and Hay does not mention the 
first offer. It speaks of the second one as a matter about 
which the facts are in dispute, the disputants being John 
Minor Botts and J. B. Baldwin. Botts was an ex-member 
of Congress from Virginia and a strong Union man. Bald- 
win was a member of the Virginia Convention and a Union 
man. He had come to Washington in response to an invi- 
tation which Lincoln had sent, on or about the 20th of 
March, to George W. Summers, who was likewise a mem- 
ber of the convention. Summers was not able to come at 
the time when the invitation reached him, and he deputed 
Baldwin to go in his place. 

After the war ended, Botts wrote a book entitled "The 
Great Rebellion," in which he gave the following account 
of an interview he had had with President Lmcohi on 
Sunday, April 7, 1861 (two days after Baldwin had had 
his interview) : 

About this time Mr. Lincoln sent a messenger to Richmond, 
inviting a distinguished member of the Union party to come 
immediately to Washington, and if he could not come himself, 
to send some other prominent Union man, as he wanted to see 
him on business of the first importance. The gentleman thus 
addressed, Mr. Summers, did not go, but sent another, Mr. J. 
B. Baldwin, who had distinguished himself by his zeal in the 
Union cause during the session of the convention; but this gen- 
tleman was slow in getting to Washington, and did not reach 
there for something like a week after the time he was expected. 
He reached Washington on Friday, the 5th of April, and, on 
calling on Mr. Lincoln, the following conversation in substance 
took place, as I learned from Mr. Lincoln himself. After ex- 
pressing some regret that he had not come sooner, Mr. Lin- 
coln said, *' My object in desiring the presence of Mr. Summers, 


or some other influential and leading member of the Union 
party in your convention, was to submit a proposition by which 
I thhik the peace of the country can be preserved; but I fear 
you are almost too late. However, I will make it yet. 

*^This afternoon,*' he said, ''a fleet is to sail from the harbor 
of New York for Charleston; your convention has been in ses- 
sion for nearly two months, and you have done nothing but 
hold and shake the rod over my head. You have just taken a 
vote, by which it appears you have a majority of two to one 
against secession. Now, so great is my desire to preserve the 
peace of the country, and to save the border states to the 
Union, that if you gentlemen of the Union party will adjourn 
without passing an ordinance of secession, I will telegraph at 
once to New York, arrest the sailing of the fleet, and take the 
responsibility of evacuating Port Sumter!" 

The proposition was declined. On the following Sunday night 
I was with Mr. Lincoln, and the greater part of the time alone, 
when Mr. Lincoln related the above facts to me. I inquired, 
" WeU, Mr. Lincoln, what reply did Mr. Baldwin make? '* "Oh," 
said he, throwing up his hands, ** he would n't listen to it at all; 
scarcely treated me with civility; asked me what I meant by an 
adjournment; was it an adjournment sine die?** **0f course," 
said Mr. Lincoln, ''I don't want you to adjourn, and, after I 
have evacuated the fort, meet again to adopt an ordinance of 
secession." I then said, '*Mr. Lincoln, will you authorize me 
to make that proposition? For I will start to-morrow morning, 
and have a meeting of the Union men to-morrow night, who, 
I have no doubt, will gladly accept it." To which he replied, 
"It's too late, now; the fleet sailed on Friday evening." 

In 1866, the Reconstruction Committee of Congress 
got an inkling of this interview between Lincoln and Bald- 
win, called Baldwin as a witness, and questioned him about 
it. He testified that he had an interview with the Presi- 
dent at the date mentioned, but denied that Lincoln had 
offered to evacuate Fort Sumter if the Virginia Conven- 
tion would adjourn sine die. Thereupon Botts collected 
and published a mass of collateral evidence to show that 
Baldwin had testified falsely. 


Bolts says in his book that he had confirmatory letters 
from Governor Peirpoint, General Millson, of Virginia» 
Dr. Stone, of Washington, Hon. Garrett Davis (Sena- 
tor from Kentucky), Robert A. Gray, of Rockingham 
(brother-in-law to Baldwin), Campbell Tarr, of Wheeling, 
and three others, to whom Lincoln made the statement 
regarding^his interview with Baldwin, in almost the same 
language in which he made it to Botts himself. Botts 
quotes from two letters written to him by John F. Lewis 
in 1866, in which the latter says that Baldwin acknowl- 
edged to him (Lewis) that Lincoln did offer to evacuate 
Fort Sumter on the condition named. There are persons 
now living to whom Lewis made the same statement, 

There is another piece of evidence, supplied by Rev. R. 
L. Dabney in the Southern Historical Society Papers, in 
a communication entitled "Colonel Baldwin's Literview 
with Mr. Lincoln." This purports to give the writer's 
recollections of an interview with Baldwin in March, 
1865, at Petersburg, while the siege of that place was 
going on. Baldwin said that Secretary Seward sent Allan 
B. Magruder as a messenger to Mr. Janney, president of 
the Virginia Convention, urging that one of the Union 
members come to Washington to confer with Lincoln. 
Baldwin was called out of the convention by Summers on 
the Sd of April to see Magruder, and the latter said that 
Seward had authorized him to say that Fort Sumter would 
be evacuated on Friday of the ensuing week. The gentle- 
men consulted urged Baldwin to go to Washington, and he 
consented and did go promptly. Seward accompanied him 
to the White House and Lincoln took him upstairs into 
his bedroom and locked the door. Lincoln "took a seat 
on the edge of the bed, spitting from time to time on the 
carpet." The two entered into a long dispute about the 


right of secession. Baldwin insisted that coercion would 
lead to war, in which case Virginia would join in behalf 
of the seceded states. 

Lincoln's native good sense [the narrative proceeds], with 
Baldwin's evident sincerity, seemed now to open his eyes to the 
truth. He slid off the edge of the bed and began to stalk in his 
awkward manner across the chamber in great excitement and 
perplexity. He clutched his shaggy hair as though he would 
jerk out handfuls by the roots. He frowned and contorted his 
features, exclaiming, "I ought to have known this sooner; you 
are too late, sir, too late. Why did you not come here four days 
ago and tell me all this?" Colonel Baldwin replied: "Why, 
Mr. President, you did not ask our advice." 

The foregoing narrative involves the supposition that 
Lincoln, in the midst of preparations for sending a fleet 
to Fort Sumter, dispatched a messenger to Richmond to 
bring a man to Washington to discuss with him the ab- 
stract question of the right of a state to secede, and that, 
having procured the presence of such a person, he took 
him into a bedroom, locked the door, and had the debate 
with him, taking care that nobody else should hear a syl- 
lable of it. Not a word about Fort Sumter, although 
Magruder, the messenger, had said that it would be evacu- 
ated on the following Friday ! Yet the Rev. Mr. Dabney 
did not see the incongruity of the situation. 

Nicolay and Hay say that Lincoln did not make any 
offer to Baldwin to evacuate Sumter, but did tell him 
what he had intended to say to Summers, if the latter had 
come to Washington at the right time.^ 

A marvelous incident is related in Welles's Diary 
inmiediately after his narrative of the Harvey affair. It 
describes the activity and earnestness of Stephen A. 

^ Nicolay and Hay, ui, 42S. Probably the entry in Hay's Diary had been 
forgotten when the History was written, twenty-five years later. 


Douglas in combating the Rebels, in contrast to the futile 
diplomacy of Seward : 

Two days preceding the attack on Sumter, I met Senator 
Douglas in front of the Treasmy Building. He was in a car- 
riage with Mrs. Douglas, driving rapidly up the street. When 
he saw me he checked his driver, jumped from the carriage, and 
came to me on the sidewalk, and in a very earnest and emphatic 
manner said the rebels were determined on war and were about 
to make an assault on Sumter. He thought immediate and 
decisive measures should be taken; considered it a mistake 
that there had not already been more energetic action; said 
the dilatory proceedings of the Government would bring on a 
terrible civil war; that the whole South was united and in 
earnest. Although he had difiPered with the Administration on 
important questions and would never be in accord with some 
of its members on measures and principles that were funda- 
mental, yet he had no fellowship with traitors or disunionists. 
He was for the Union and would stand by the Administration 
and all others in its defense, regardless of party. [Welles pro- 
posed that they should step into the State Department and 
consult with Seward.] The look of mingled astonishment and 
incredulity which came over him I can never forget. "Then 
you," he said, ** have faith in Seward ! Have you made yourself 
acquainted with what has been going on here all winter? 
Seward has had an understanding with these men. If he has 
influence with them, why don't he use it?" 

Douglas considered it a waste of time and effort to talk 
to Seward, considered him a dead weight and drag on the 
Administration ; said that Lincoln was honest and meant 
to do right, but was benumbed by Seward; but finally 
yielded to Welles*s desire that they should go into Seward's 
oflBce, in front of which they were standing. They went in 
and Douglas told Seward what he had told Welles, that 
the rebels were determined on war and were about to make 
an assault on Sumter, and that the Administration ought 
not to delay another minute, but should make instant 
preparations for war. All the reply they got from Seward 


was that there were many rash and reckless men at 
Charleston and that if they were determined to assault 
Sumter he did not know how they were to be prevented 
from doing so. 

Seward's aims were patriotic but futile. He wished to 
save the Union without bloodshed, but the steps which he 
took were almost suicidal. What the country then needed 
was a jettison of compromises, and a resolution of doubts. 
Providence supplied these. The bombardment of Sumter 
accomplished the object as nothing else could have done. 
Nothing could have been contrived so sure to awaken the 
volcanic forces that ended in the destruction of slavery as 
the spectacle in Charleston Harbor. 



In company with other Senators, Trumbull went to the 
battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861. His experience there he 
communicated to his wife, first by a brief telegram, and 
afterwards by letter. The telegram was suppressed by 
the authorities in charge of the telegraph office, who sub- 
stituted one of their own in place of it and appended his 
name to it. The letter follows : 

Washinqton, July 22nd, 1861. 
We started over into Virginia about 9 o'clock a.m., and drove 
to Centreville, which is a high commanding position and a 
village of perhaps fifty houses. Bull Run, where the battle 
occurred, is South about S miles and the creek on the main 
road, looking West, is about 4j miles distant. The country is 
timbered for perhaps a mile West of the creek, between which 
and Centreville there are a good many cleared fields. At Cen* 
treville. Grimes and I got saddles and rode horseback down the 
main road towards the creek about three miles toward a hos- 
pital where were some few wounded soldiers and a few prisoners 
who had been sent back. This was about half-past three o'clock 
P.M. Here we met with Col. Vandever of Iowa, who gave us 
a very clear account of the battle. He had been with Gen. 
McDowell and Gen. Hunter, who with the strongest part of the 
army, had gone early in the morning a few miles north of the 
main road and crossed the creek to take the enemy in the flank. 
His division had very serious fighting, but had driven the 
enemy back and taken three of his batteries. At the hospital 
we were about one and a half miles from Generals Tyler and 
Schenck, Col. Sherman, etc., who were down the road in the 
woods and out of sight, with several regiments and a number of 
guns. Their troops, Vandever told us, were a good deal demor- 
alized, and he feared an attack from the South towards Bull 


Run where the battle of a few days ago was fought. About this 
time a battery, apparently not more than a mile and a half dis- 
tant and from the South, fired on the battery where Sherman 
and Schenck were. The firing was not rapid. On the hill at 
Centreville we could see quite beyond the timber of the creek 
off towards Manassas and see the smoke and hear the report of 
the artillery, but not very rapid as I thought. This we observed 
before leaving Centreville, and were told it was our main army 
driving the enemy back, but slowly and with great difficulty. 
While at the hospital McDougall of California came up from 
the neighborhood of Gen. Schenck and said he was going back 
towards Centreville to a convenient place where he could get 
water and take lunch. As Grimes and myself had got separated 
from Messrs. Wade and Chandler and Brown, who had with 
them our supplies, we concluded to go back with McD. and par- 
take with him. We returned on the road towards Centreville 
and turned up towards a house fifty or a hundred yards from 
the road, where we quietly took our lunch, the firing continuing 
about as before. Just as we were putting away the things we 
heard a great noise, and looking up towards the road saw it 
filled with wagons, horsemen and footmen in full run towards 
Centreville. We immediately mounted our horses and galloped 
to the road, by which time it was crowded, hundreds being in 
advance on the way to Centreville and two guns of the Sherman 
battery having already passed in full retreat. We kept on with 
the crowd, not knowing what else to do. On the way to Centre- 
ville many soldiers threw away their guns, knapsacks, etc. Gov. 
Grimes and I each picked up a gun. I soon came up to Senator 
Lane of Indiana, and the gun being heavy to carry and he bet- 
ter able to manage it, I gave it to him. Efforts were made to 
rally the men by civilians and others on their way to Centre- 
ville, but all to no purpose. Literally, three could have chased 
ten thousand. All this stampede was occasioned, as I under- 
stand, by a charge of not exceeding two hundred cavalry upon 
Schenck's column down in the woods, which, instead of re- 
pulsing as they could easily have done (having before become 
disordered and having lost some of their officers), broke and 
ran, communicating the panic to everybody they met. The 
rebel cavalry, or about one hundred of them, charged up past 
the hospital where we had been and took there some prisoners^ 


as I am told, and released those we had. It was the most shame- 
ful rout you can conceive of. I suppose two thousand soldiers 
came rushing into Centreville in this disorganized condition. 
The cavalry which made the charge I did not see, but suppose 
they disappeared in double-quick time, not dreaming that they 
had put a whole division to flight. Several guns were left down 
in the woods, though I believe two were brought oflp. What 
became of Schenck I do not know. Tyler, I understand, was at 
Centreville when I got back there. Whether other portions of 
our army were shamefully routed just at the close of the day, 
after we had really won the battle, it seems impossible for me 
to learn, though I was told that McDowell was at Centreville 
when we were there and that his column had also been driven 
back. If this be so it is a terrible defeat. At Centreville there 
was a reserve of 8000 or 10,000 men under Col. Miles who had 
not been in the action and they were formed in line of battle 
when we left there, but the enemy did not, I presume, ad- 
vance to that point last night, as we heard no firing. We fed our 
horses at Centreville and left there at six o'clock last evening. 
Came on to Fairfax Court House, where we got supper, and 
leaving there at ten o'clock reached home at half-past two this 
morning, having had a sad day and witnessed scenes I hope 
never to see again. Not very many baggage wagons, perhaps 
not more than fifty, were advanced beyond Centreville. From 
them the horses were mostly unhitched and the wagons left 
standing in the road when the stampede took place. This side 
of Centreville there were a great many wagons, and the alarm 
if possible was greater than on the other. Thousands of shovels 
were thrown out upon the road, also axes, boxes of provisions, 
etc. In some instances wagons were upset to get them out of 
the road, and the road was full of four-horse wagons retreating 
as fast as possible, and also of flying soldiers who could not be 
made to stop at Centreville. The oflicers stopped the wagons 
and a good many of the retreating soldiers by putting a file of 
men across the road and not allowing them to pass. In this 
way all the teams were stopped, but a good many stragglers 
climbed the fences and got by. I fear that a great, and, of 
course, a terrible slaughter has overtaken the Union forces — 
God's ways are inscrutable. I am dreadfully disappointed and 


Copy of telegram sent to Mrs. Lyman Trumbull, July 
22, 1861: 

The battle resulted unfavorably to our cause. 


When received by Mrs. Trumbull, it read: 

I came from near the battlefield last night. It was a desper- 
ately bloody fight. 

The only bill of importance passed at the July session of 
Congress at Trumbull's instance was one to declare free 
all slaves who might be employed by their owners, or 
with their owners' consent, on any military or naval work 
against the Government, and who might fall into our 
hands. It was called a Confiscation Act, but it did not 
confiscate any other than slave property. It was an enter- 
ing wedge, however, for complete emancipation which 
came by successive steps later. 

At the beginning of the regular session (December, 
1861), I was sent to Washington City as correspondent of 
the Chicago Tribune^ and was, for the first time, brought 
into close relations with Trumbull. He had rented a 
house on G Street, near the Post-OflSce Department. 

Vety few Senators at that period kept house in Wash- 
ington. At Mrs. Shipman's boarding-house on Seventh 
Street, lived Senators Fessenden, Grimes, Foot, and Rep- 
resentatives Morrill, of Vermont, and Washbume, of 
niinois; and there I also found quarters. As this was 
only a block distant from the Trumbulls', and as I had 
received a cordial welcome from them, I was soon on 
terms of intimacy with the family. Mr. Trumbull was 
then forty-eight-years of age, five feet ten and one half 
inches in height, straight as an arrow, weighing one hun- 
dred and sixty-seven poimds, of faultless physique, in 
perfect health, and in manners a cultivated gentleman. 


Mrs. Trumbull was thirty-seven years old, of winning 
features, gracious manners, and noble presence. Five 
children had been bom to them, all sons. Walter, fifteen 
years of age, the eldest then living, had recently returned 
from an ocean voyage on the warship Vandalia, under 
Commander S. Phillips Lee. A more attractive family 
group, or one more charming in a social way or more 
kindly aflfectioned one to another, I have never known. 
Civilization could show no finer type. 

The Thirty-seventh Congress met in a state of great 
depression. Disaster had befallen the armies of the 
Union, but the defeat at Bull Run was not so dishearten- 
ing as the subsequent inaction both east and west. Me- 
Clellan on the Potomac had done nothing but organize 
and parade. Fr6mont on the Mississippi had done worse 
than nothing. He had surroimded himself with a gang 
of thieves whose plundering threatened to bankrupt the 
treasury, and when he saw exposure threatening he issued 
a military order emancipating slaves, the revocation of 
which by the President very nearly upset the Govern- 
ment. The popular demand for a blow at slavery as the 
cause of the rebellion had increased in proportion as the 
military operations had been disappointing. Lincoln be- 
lieved that the time had not yet come for using that 
weapon. He revoked Fremont's order. He thereby saved 
Kentucky to the Union, and he still held emancipation in 
reserve for a later day; but he incurred the risk of alienat- 
ing the radical element of the Republican party — an 
honest, fiery, valiant, indispensable wing of the forces 
supporting the Union. The explosion which took place 
in this division of the party was almost but not quite 
fatal. Many letters received by Trumbull at this junc- 
ture were angry and some mournful in the extreme. The 
following written by Mr. M. Carey Lea, of Philadelphia, 


touches upon a danger threatening the national finances, 
in consequence of this episode: 

Philadelphia, Nov. 1, 1S61. 

Deab Sib : The ability of our Government to carry on this war 
depends upon its being able to continue to obtain the enormous 
amounts of money requisite. Of late, within a week or so, an 
alarming falling off in the bond subscriptions has taken place. 
Now it is upon these private subscriptions that the ability of 
the banks to continue to lend the Government money depends, 
and unless a change takes place they will be unable to take the 
fifty millions remaining of the one hundred and fifty millions 
loan. A member of the committee informed me lately that 
the banks had positively declined to pledge themselves before 
the 1st of December, notwithstanding Mr. Chase's desire that 
they should do so. 

This sudden diminution of subscriptions arises from the 
course taken by some of our friends in the West. Even suppose 
that Gen. Fremont is treated unfairly by the Government (and 
I think he is fairly termed incapable) — but suppose there 
should be injustice done him — you might disapprove it, but 
the moment there is any serious idea of resisting the act of the 
President, this war is ended. For the bare suggestion of such a 
thing has almost stopped subscriptions, and the serious discus- 
sion, much more the attempt, would instantly put an end to 

I beg to remind you that in what I say I have no prejudice 
against Fremont. I voted for him and have always concurred 
in opinions with the Republican party, but we have now 
reached a point where, if we look to men and not to principles^ 
we are shipwrecked. Fremont is not more anti-slavery in his 
views than Lincoln and Seward, and if he were in their place 
would adopt the same cautious policy. The state of affairs 
must be my excuse for intruding upon you these views. We all 
have all at stake and such a crisis leads those to speak who are 
ordinarily silent. I remain, my dear Sir, 

Yours respectfully, 

M. Carey Lea. 

To this weighty communication Trumbull made the 
following reply : 


Washinqton, Nov. 5th, 1861. 

My deab Sir : Thanks for your kind letter just received. I was 
not aware of a disposition in the West to resist the act of the 
President in regard to Gen. Fremont; though I was aware that 
there was very great dissatisfaction in that part of the country 
at the want of enterprise and energy on that part of our Grand 
Army of the Potomac. We are fighting to sustain constitutional 
government and regulated liberty, and, of course, to set up any 
military leader in opposition to the constituted authorities 
would be utterly destructive of the very purpose for which the 
people of the loyal states are now so liberally contributing their 
blood and treasure, and could only be justified in case those 
charged with the administration of affairs were betraying their 
trusts or had shown themselves utterly incompetent and unable 
to maintain the Government. In my opinion this rebellion 
ought to and might have been crushed before this. 

I have entire confidence in the int^rity and patriotism of 
the President. He means well and in ordinary times would have 
made one of the best of Presidents, but he lacks confidence in 
himself and thevnU necessary in this great emergency, and he is 
most miserably surrounded. Now that Gen. Scott has retired, 
I hope for more activity and should confidently expect it did I 
not know that there is still remaining an influence almost if not 
quite controlling, which I fear is looking more to some grand 
diplomatic move for the settlement of our troubles than to the 
strengthening of our arms. It is only by making this war ter- 
rible to traitors that our difficulties can be permanently settled. 
War means desolation, and they who have brought it on must 
be made to feel all its horrors, and our armies must go forth 
using all the means which God and nature have put in their 
hands to put down this wicked rebellion. This in the end will 
be done, and if our armies are vigorously and actively led will 
soon give us peace. I trust that Gen. McClellan will now drive 
the enemy from the vicinity of the Capital — that he has the 
means to do it, I have no doubt. If the case were reversed and 
the South had our means and our arms and men, and we theirs, 
they would before this have driven us to the St. Lawrence. If 
our army should go into winter quarters with the Capital be- 
sieged, I very much fear the result would be a recognition of the 
Confederates by foreign Governments, the demoralization of 


our own people, and of course an inability to raise either men 
or money another season. Such must not be. Action, action 
IS what we want and must have. God grant that McClellan 
may prove equal to the emergency. 

Yours very truly, 

Lybian Trubibull. 

The "influence almost if not quite controlling" meant 
Seward. Secretary Cameron went to St. Louis to investi- 
gate Fremont and found him guilty. Two months later he 
followed Fr6mont*s example.^ Li his report as Secretary 
of War he inserted an argument in favor of the emancipa- 
tion and arming of slaves. This he sent to the newspapers 
in advance of its delivery to the President and without his 
knowledge. The latter discovered it in time to expunge 
the objectionable part and to prevent its delivery to Con- 
gress, but not soon enough to recall it from the press. The 
expunged part was published by some of the newspapers 
that had received it and was reproduced in the Congres- 
sumal Globe (December 12), by Representative Eliot, of 

The next man to take upon himself the responsibility of 
declaring the nation's policy on this momentous question 
was General David Hunter, who then held sway over a 
small strip of ground on the coast of South Carolina. Li 
the month of May, 1862, he issued an order granting 
freedom to all slaves in South Carolina, Georgia, and 
Florida. Hunter's order was promptly revoked by the 

^ Gideon Welles quotes Montgomeiy Blair as saying in conversation (Sep- 
tember 12, 1862) : " Bedeviled with the belief that he might be a candidate for 
the Presidency, Cameron was beguiled and led to mount the nigger hobby, 
alarmed the President with his notions, and at the right moment (B. says) he 
plainly and promptly told the President he ought to get rid of C. at once, that 
he was not fit to remain in the Cabinet, and was incompetent to manage the 
War Department, which he had undertaken to run by the aid of Tom A. 
Scott, a corrupt lobby jobber from Philadelphia." (Diary, i, 127.) 


Trumbull had been the pioneer, at the July session, in 
the way of legislation for freeing the slaves. On the first 
day of the regular session he took another step forward, 
by introducing a bill for the confiscation of the property 
of the rebels and for giving freedom to persons held as 
slaves by them. This came to be known as the Confisca- 
tion Act. 

On the 5th of December, 1861, he reported the bill 
from the Committee on the Judiciary and made a brief 
speech on it. It provided that all the property, real and 
personal, situated within the limits of the United States, 
belonging to persons who should bear arms against the 
Government, or give aid and comfort to those in rebellion, 
which persons should not be reachable by the ordinary 
process of law, should be forfeited and confiscated to the 
United States and that the forfeiture should take imme- 
diate effect; and that the slaves of all such persons should 
be free. Also that no slaves escaping from servitude 
should be delivered up unless the person claiming them 
should prove that he had been at all times loyal to the 
Government. Also that no oflScer in the military or naval 
service should assume to decide whether a claim made by 
a master to an escaping slave was valid or not. 

This bill was the piice de rSsidance of senatorial debate 
for the whole session. Its confiscatory features were 
attacked on the 4th of March by Senator Cowan, in a 
speech of great force. Cowan was a new Senator from 
Pennsylvania, a Republican of conservative leanings, 
and a great debater. He opposed the bill on groimds of 
both constitutionality and expediency. On the 24th of 
April, Collamer, of Vermont, expressed the sound opin- 
ions that private property could not be confiscated except 
by judicial process, and that even if it could be done 
it would be bad policy, since it would tend to prolong 


the war and would constitute a barrier against future 

The Confederate Government had led the way by 
passing a law (May 21> 1861) sequestrating all debts due 
to Northern individuals or corporations and authorizing 
the payment of the same to the Confederate Treasury. 
The whole subject was extremely complex. "There was 
commonly," says a recent writer in the American His- 
torical Review, "a failure in the debates to discriminate 
between a general confiscation of property within the 
jurisdiction of the confiscating government and the treat- 
ment accorded by victorious armies to private property 
found within the limits of military occupation. Thus the 
general rule exempting private property on land from the 
sort of capture property must suffer at sea, was erroneously 
appealed to as an inhibition upon the right of judicial 
confiscation. That a military capture on land analogous 
to prize at sea was not regarded as a legitimate war mea- 
sure was so obvious and well recognized a principle that it 
would hardly require a continual reaffirmation. It was a 
very different matter, however, so far as the law and prac- 
tice of nations was concerned, for a belligerent to attack 
through its courts whatever enemy's property might be 
available within its limits." ^ 

Collamer offered an amendment to strike out the first 
section of the bill and insert a clause providing that every 
person adjudged guilty of the crime of treason should suffer 
death, or, at the discretion of the court, be imprisoned not 
less than five years and fined not less than ten thousand 
dollars, which fine should be levied on any property, real 
or personal, of which he might be possessed. The fine 
was to be in lieu of confiscation. The aim of the amend- 

* Article on " Some Legal Aspects of the Confiscation Acts of the Civil 
War/* by J. G. Randall. Am. Hist. Review, October, 1912. 


ment was to substitute due process of law in place of legis- 
lative forfeiture. Various other amendments were offered. 
On the 6th of May, the Senate voted by 24 to 14 to refer 
the bill and amendments to a select committee of nine. 
The House, which had been waiting for the Senate bill, 
decided on the 14th of May to take up a measure of its 
own, which it passed on the 26th. The select committee 
of the Senate framed a measure regarding the emancipa- 
tion of escaping slaves. This and the House bill were sent 
to a conference committee, which reported the bill which 
became a law July 17, 1862. 

This was not the end of it, however. Provision had been 
made in the bill for the forfeiture, by judicial process, of 
the property, both real and personal, of rebels, regardless 
of the clause of the Constitution which declares that "no 
attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or 
forfeiture, except during the life of the person attainted." 
No such exception was made in the bill. The President 
considered it unconstitutional in this particular, and he 
wrote a short message giving his reasons for withholding 
his approval of the measure. A rumor of his intention 
reached Senator Fessenden, who called at the White 
House to inquire whether it was true. He had a frank 
conversation with the President, the result of which was 
that both houses passed a joint resolution providing that 
no punishment or proceedings under the Confiscation Act 
should be so construed as to work a forfeiture of the real 
estate of the offender beyond his natural life. Lincoln's 
intended veto of the Confiscation Bill is printed on page 
3406 of the Congressional Globe. Touching confiscation 
in general he expressed the golden opinion that "the se- 
verest justice may not always be the best policy." But 
he would not have vetoed the bill on grounds of expediency 
merely. The forfeiture of real estate in perpetuity was 


the insuperable objection in his mind. And he here seems 
to me to have been entirely right. Yet Trumbull had the 
support of Judge Harris, Seward's successor in the Sen- 
ate, than whom nobody stood higher as a lawyer at that 

The President then signed both the bill and the joint 
resolution. The Confiscation Act remained, however, 
practically a dead letter, except as to the freeing of the 
slaves. Li the latter particular it was the first great step 
toward complete emancipation, since it took effect upon 
slaves within our lines, who could be reached and made 
free de Sado, It provided that all slaves of persons who 
should be thereafter engaged in rebellion, escaping and 
taking refuge in the lines of the Union forces, and all such 
slaves found in places captured by such forces, should be 
declared free; that no slaves escaping should be delivered 
up unless the owner should swear that he had not aided 
the rebellion ; that no officer of the United States should 
assume to decide on the validity of the claim of any per- 
son to an escaping slave; that the President should be 
authorized to employ negroes for the suppression of the 
rebellion in any capacity he saw fit; and that he might 
colonize negroes with their own consent and the consent 
of the foreign Government receiving them. 

According to a report of the Solicitor of the Treasury 
dated Dec. 27, 1867, the total proceeds of confiscation 
actually paid into the Treasury up to that time amounted 
to the insignificant sum of $129,680. 

The enforcement of the confiscation act was placed 
under the charge of the Attorney-General. Practically, 
however, it was performed by officers of the army, so 
far as it was enforced at all. General Lew Wallace, while 
in command of the Middle Department at Baltimore, in 
1864> issued two orders declaring his intention to confis- 


cate the property of certain persons who were either serv- 
ing in the rebel army or giving aid to the Confederate 
cause. These orders, which were published in the news- 
papers, came to the notice of Attorney-General Bates, 
who at once wrote to Wallace to remind him that the ex- 
ecution of the confiscation act devolved upon the Attor- 
ney-General, and that he (Bates) had not given any orders 
which would warrant the Commander of the Middle 
Department in seizing private property, and requesting 
him to withdraw the orders. Wallace replied that his con- 
struction of the law differed from that of the Attorney- 
General and that he should execute it according to his 
own understanding of it. Thereupon Bates took the or- 
ders, and the correspondence, to the President and de- 
clared his intention to resign his office if his functions 
were usurped by military men in the field, or by the War 
Department. Lincoln took the papers, and directed Sec- 
retary Stanton to require Wallace to withdraw the two 
orders and to desist from confiscation altogether. This 
was done by Stanton, but the orders were never publicly 
withdrawn although action under them was discontinued. 



Early in the year 1862, it was found that the national 
credit was sinking in consequence of frauds in the War 
Department. A Committee on Government Contracts 
was appointed by the House, and the first man to fall 
under its censure was Alexander Cummings, one of the 
two Pennsylvania politicians with whom David Davis had 
made his bargain for votes at the Chicago convention. 

The War Department was represented at New York by 
General Wool with a suitable staflf, Major Eaton being 
the commissary. There was also a Union Defense Com- 
mittee consisting of eminent citizens who had volun- 
teered to serve the Government in whatever capacity 
they might be needed. Nevertheless, Secretary Cameron 
placed a fund of two million dollars in the hands of Gen- 
eral Dix, Mr. Opdycke, and Mr. Blatchford, to be dis- 
bursed by E. D. Morgan and Alexander Cummings, or 
either of them, for the purpose of forwarding troops and 
supplies to Washington. As E. D. Morgan was Governor 
of the State and was busy at Albany, this arrangement 
would be likely to devolve most of the purchases on Cum- 
mings alone. Cameron wrote on April 2, to Cummings: 

The Department needs at this moment an intelligent, 
experienced, and energetic man on whom it can rely, to assist 
in pushing forward troops, munitions, and supplies. I am 
aware that your private affairs may demand your time. I am 
sure your patriotism will induce you to aid me even at some 
loss to yourself. 

Major Eaton, the army commissary, distinctly in- 


formed Cummings that his services were not needed in 
the purchase of supplies. Nevertheless^ Cummings drew 
$160,000 out of the two-million fund and proceeded to 
disburse the same. He first appointed a certain Captain 
Comstock to charter or purchase vessels. Captain Com- 
stock went to Brooklyn, accompanied by a friend, and 
inspected a steamer appropriately named the Catiline, 
which he found could be bought for $18,000. Before he 
made his report to Cummings, the friend who accom- 
panied him suggested to another friend named John E. 
Develin that there was a chance to make some money " by 
good management." Comstock at the same time assured 
Colonel D. D. Tompkins, of the Quartermaster's Depart- 
ment, that the ship was worth $50,000. Comstock testi- 
fied that he was sent for by Thurlow Weed to come to the 
Astor House at the outbreak of the troubles, and that 
Weed stated to him that he (Weed) was an agent of the 
Government to send troops and mimitions of war to 
Washington by way of the Chesapeake, and that he 
wished to charter vessels for that purpose. Afterwards 
Cummings called upon Comstock and showed him the 
same authority that Weed had shown. 

The Catiline was bought by Develin for $18,000. The 
seller of the ship testified that he received, as security for 
the purchase money, four notes of $4500 each executed 
by Thurlow Weed, John E. Develin, G. C. Davidson, and 
O. B. Matteson. Matteson had been a member of a pre- 
vious Congress from Utica, New York, but had been ex- 
pelled from the House. The Catiline was chartered for 
the Government at the rate of $10,000 per month for 
three months, with an agreement that if she were lost in 
the service the owners should be paid $50,000. The title 
to the Catiline was, for convenience, placed in the name 
of a Mr. Stetson. 


Cummings was examined by the Committee on Govern- 
ment Contracts. He testified that he had formerly been 
the publisher of the Philadelphia Evening BuUetiny and 
later publisher of the New York Worldy and that he had 
resided in the latter city about eighteen months; his 
family still residing in Philadelphia. The purchases made 
by him to be shipped on the Catiline consisted mainly of 
groceries and provisions, including twenty-five casks of 
Scotch ale, and twenty-five casks of London porter; but 
he testified that he did not see any of the articles bought, 
nor did he have any knowledge of their quality, nor did he 
see any of them put on board the ship. The purchases, he 
said, were made from the firm of E. Coming & Co., of 
Albany, through a member of the firm named Davidson, 
whom Cummings met at the Astor House. Cummings 
assumed that Davidson was a member of the firm because 
Davidson told him so; he had no other evidence of the 
fact. He assumed also that Coming & Co. were dealers in 
provisions, but had no absolute knowledge on that point. ^ 
He supposed that the goods were shipped from Albany to 
be loaded on the Catiline, but did not know that such was 
the fact. All these details he left to his clerk, James 
Humphrey, who had been recommended as clerk by Thur- 
low Weed. Cummings testified that he did not know 
Humphrey before; did not know whether he had ever 
been in business in Albany or in New York; took him on 
Weed's recommendation; made no bargain with him as 
to salary; did not know where he could be found now. 
Bought a lot of hard bread from a house in Boston. Ques- 
tioned to whom he made payment for this bread, he an- 
swered: "Directly to the party selling it, I suppose." 
"By you?" "By my clerk, I suppose." Did not recol- 
lect who first suggested the purchase of bread. Had no 

t £. Corning & Co., of Albany, were dealers in stoves and hardware. 


directions from the Government to purchase any particu- 
lar articles. Bought a quantity of straw hats and linen 
pantaloons, thinking they would be needed by the troops 
in warm weather. Did not personally know that any of 
the goods had been loaded on the steamer or by whom 
they should have been so loaded. The cargo was certified 
by Cimimings to Cameron as shipped for the Govern- 
ment. Mr. Barney, Collector of the Port, refused to give 
a clearance to the Catiline to sail. Mr. Stetson, the 
owner, produced a letter from Thurlow Weed requesting 
a clearance, but Barney still refused. Finally General 
Wool gave a "pass" on which the Catiline sailed with- 
out a clearance. General Wool revoked the pass on the 
following day, but the ship had already departed.^ 

The report says: "The Committee have no occasion to 
call in question the integrity of Mr. Cummings." We 
must infer, therefore, that he was chosen by Cameron to 
disburse Government money in this emergency because 
he was an extraordinary simpleton, and likely to be guided 
by Thurlow Weed in buying army supplies from a hard- 
ware firm in Albany, and an unknown Boston house that 
furnished hard bread. 

Congressman Van Wyck of New York, a member of the 
Committee, said that Mr. Weed's absence from home had 
prevented an examination into the nature and extent of 
his agency in the matter of the Catiline.^ At the time 
when Weed's testimony was wanted he was in Europe 

1 House Report no. 2, 37th Congress, 2d Session, p. 890. 

Cummings reappears in Welles's Diary, near the close of Andrew Johnson's 
Administration, as a favored candidate for the office of Commissioner of 
Internal Revenue. The report of the Committee on Government Contracts 
had been forgotten or only vaguely remembered. Welles had a dim recollec- 
tion that Cummings had a spotted record, and he warned Johnson against him. 
Seward indorsed him, however; said he was "a capital man for the place — no 
better could be found.** (Diary of Gideon WeU$9, uu ^U.) 

* Cong, Olobe, February, 1862, p. 710. 


acting as a volunteer diplomat '* assisting to counteract 
the machinations of the agents of treason against the 
United States in that quarter/' as appears by a letter of 
Secretary Seward to Minister Adams, dated November 7, 

The Committee on Government Contracts were unable 
to determine whether the cargo of the Catiline was a 
private speculation or a bona-fide purchase for the Gov- 
ernment. The character of the goods purchased and the 
mode of purchase pointed to the former conclusion. 
Scotch ale and London porter were not embraced in any 
list of authorized rations, nor were straw hats and linen 
pantaloons included in quartermaster's stores. Con- 
gressman Van Wyck conjectured that it was a private 
speculation until Collector Barney refused to grant a 
clearance, and that then it was turned over to the 
Government. Mr. Stetson, who applied for the clear- 
ance, first told the Collector that the ship was loaded 
with flour and provisions belonging to several of his 
friends. When he called the second time he testified that 
the cargo consisted of supplies for the troops. The ship 
was destroyed by fire before the three months' charter 

On the 13th of January, Henry L. Dawes, of Massa- 
chusetts, another member of the committee, alluded to 
certain purchases of cavalry horses, saying: 

A regiment of cavalry has just reached Louisville one thou- 
sand strong, and a board of army officers has condemned four 
hundred and eighty-five of the one thousand horses as utterly 
worthless. The man who examined those horses declared, upon 
his oath, that there is not one of them worth twenty dollars. 
They are blind, spavined, ring-boned, with the heaves, with 
the glanders, and with every disease that horseflesh is heir to. 
Those four hundred and eighty-five horses cost the Govern- 
ment, before they were mustered into the service, $58,200, and 


it cost the Government to transport them from Pennsylvania 
to Louisville, $10,000 more before they were condenmed and 
cast off. 

There are, sir, eighty-three regiments of cavalry one thou- 
sand strong now in or roundabout the army. It costs $^0,000 
to put one of those regiments upon its feet before it marches a 
step. Twenty millions of dollars have thus far been expended 
upon these cavalry regiments before they left the encampments 
in which they were gathered and mustered into the service. 
They have come here and then some of them have been sent 
back to Elmira; they have been sent back to Annapolis; they 
have been sent here and they have been sent there to spend the 
winter; and many of the horses that were sent back have been 
tied to posts and to trees within the District of Columbia and 
there left to starve to death. A guide can take you around the 
District of Columbia to-day to hundreds of carcasses of horses 
chained to trees where they have pined away, living on bark 
and limbs till they starve and die; and the Committee for the 
District of Columbia have been compelled to call for legislation 
here to prevent the city wherein we are assembled from becom- 
ing an equine Golgotha.^ 

Horse contracts of this sort had been so plentiful that 
Government oflBcials had gone about the streets of Wash- 
ington with their pockets full of them. Some of th^e 
contracts had been used to pay Cameron's political debts 
and to cure old political feuds, and banquets had been 
given with the proceeds, "where the hatchet of political 
animosity," said Dawes, "was buried in the grave of 
public confidence and the national credit was crucified 
between malefactors." 

Dawes said also that there was "indubitable evidence 
that somebody has plundered the public treasury well- 
nigh in a single year as much as the entire current yearly 
expenses of the Government which the people hurled 
from power because of its corruption" — meaning 
Buchanan's Administration,^ 

1 Cong, Olobe, January, 1862, p. 29a < Cong. Olobe, April, 1862, p. 1841. 


In the Senate on the 14th, Trumbull, quoting from 
the testimony of the House Committee, said that Hall's 
carbines, originally owned by the Government, but con- 
denmed and sold as useless at about $2 each, were pur- 
chased back for the Government, in April or May, at $15 
each. In June, the Government sold them again at $3.50 
each. Afterwards in August, they were purchased by an 
agent of the Government at $12.50 each and turned over 
to the Government at $22 each, and the Committee of 
the House was then trying to prevent this last payment 
from being made, and eventually succeeded in doing so. 
The beneficiary in this case was one Simon Stevens, not a 
relative of Thaddeus Stevens, but a protege of his, and an 
occupant of his law office. He operated through General 
Fremont, not through Cameron. 

"Sir," said Dawes, "amid all these things is it strange 
that the public treasury trembles and staggers like a 
strong man with a great burden upon him? Sir, the man 
beneath an exhausted receiver gasping for breath is not 
more helpless to-day than is the treasury of this Govern- 
ment beneath the exhausting process to which it is sub- 

Somewhat later Congressman Van Wyck showed, 
among other things, that Thurlow Weed, by the favor of 
Cameron, had established himself between the Govern- 
ment and the powder manufacturers in such a way as to 
pocket a commission of five per cent on purchases of 

The committee visited severe censure on Thomas A. 
Scott, for acting as Assistant Secretary of War, while 
holding the office of vice-president of the Pennsylvania 
Central Railroad. Scott said that he ceased to draw 
salary from the railroad when he became Assistant 

1 Cong, Qlobe, February. 1862, p. 712. 


Secretary, but that he had retained his raiboad connec- 
tion because he considered it of more value to himself 
than the other position. The committee considered it 
highly improper for him to hold the power to award large 
Government contracts for transportation and to fix 
prices therefor while he had personal railroad interests, 
and while Secretary Cameron, to whom he owed his 
appointment, was interested in the Northern Central 
RaUroad. The latter was commonly called ^'Cameron's 
road." An order had been issued by Scott, without con- 
sultation with the Quartermaster-General of the army, 
fixing the rates to be paid for the transportation of troops, 
baggage, and supplies. The Quartermaster-General tes- 
tified that Scott's order as to prices was addressed to one 
of his own subordinates and that he first saw it in the 
hands of that subordinate. He construed it, however, as 
an order from his superior oflBcer and therefore as govern- 
ing himself. Ofl5cers of other railroads testified that the 
rates fixed by Scott were much too high considering the 
magnitude and kind of work to be done. Thus, the rate 
for transporting troops was fixed at two cents per mile 
per man, whether carried in passenger cars or in box cars, 
and whether taken as single passengers or by regiments. 
Nicolay and Hay tell us that Cameron's departure 
from the Cabinet was in consequence of his disagreement 
with the President as to that part of his report relating 
to the arming of slaves; that although nothing more was 
said by either himself or Lincoln on that subject, "each 
of them realized that the circumstance had created a situ- 
ation of difficulty and embarrassment which could not 
be indefinitely prolonged." Cameron, they say, began to 
signify his weariness of the onerous labors of the War 
Department, and hinted to the President that he would 
prefer the less responsible duties of a foreign mission. To 


outsiders this affair seemed to have completely blown over 
when, on January 11, 1862, Lincoln wrote the following 
short note: 

My deab Sm : As you have more than once expressed a desire 
for a change of position, I can now gratify you consistently 
with my view of the public interest. I, therefore, propose nomi- 
nating you to the Senate next Monday as Minister to Russia. 

Very sincerely your friend, 

A. Lincoln. 

The real facts were given to the world by A. K. McClure 
somewhat later in his book on ''Lincoln and Men of War- 
Time." He says that Cameron's dismissal was due to the 
severe strain put upon the national credit, which led to the 
severest criticisms of all manner of public profligacy, cul- 
minating in a formal appeal to the President from leading 
financial men of the country for an immediate change of 
the Secretary of War; that Lincoln's letter of dismissal 
was sent to Cameron by the hand of Secretary Chase, 
and that it was extremely curt, being almost, if not quite, 
literally as follows: "I have this day nominated Hon. 
Edwin M. Stanton to be Secretary of War and you to 
be Minister Plenipotentiary to Russia"; that Cameron 
in great agitation brought this missive to the room of 
Thomas A. Scott, Assistant Secretary of War, where Mr. 
McClure happened to be dining and showed it to them; 
that he wept bitterly, and said that it meant his personal 
degradation and political ruin. Scott and McClure vol- 
unteered to see Lincoln and ask him to withdraw the 
offensive letter and to permit Cameron to antedate a 
letter of resignation, to which Lincoln consented. "The 
letter conveyed by Chase was recalled ; a new correspond- 
ence was prepared, and a month later given to the 
pubUc." 1 

^ Lincoln and Men qf War Timet p. 165. 


McClure palliates Cameron^s conduct by saying that 
'"contracts had to be made with such haste as to forbid 
the exercise of sound discretion in obtaining what the 
country needed; and Cameron, with his peculiar political 
surroundings and a horde of partisans clamoring for spoils, 
was compelled either to reject the confident expectation 
of his friends or to submit to imminent peril from the 
grossest abuse of his delegated authority." This is an- 
other way of saying that he was compelled either to pay 
his political debts out of his own pocket, or give his hench- 
men access to the public treasury, and that he chose the 
latter alternative. 

The House of Representatives passed a resolution of 
censure upon Cameron for investing Alexander Cum- 
mings with the control of large sums of the public money 
and authorizing him to purchase military supplies with- 
out restriction when the services of competent public 
officers were available. A few days later the President 
sent to the House a special message, assuming for himself 
and the entire Cabinet the responsibility for adopting 
that irregular mode of procuring supplies in the then 
existing emergency, a message which, when read in the 
light of Cummings's testimony, adds nothing to Lincoln's 

There was a struggle in executive session of the Senate, 
lasting four days, over the confirmation of Cameron as 
Minister to Russia. Trumbull took the lead in opposition. 
He considered it an immoral act, like giving to an unfaith- 
ful servant a "character" and exposing society to new 
malfeasance at his hands. He believed and said that the 
new office conferred upon him would serve simply as 
whitewash to enable him to recover his seat in the Senate, 
and that tl\at was the reason why he wanted the mission 
to Russia. 


Simmer, the Chairman of the Coimnittee on Foreign 
Relations, had been much impressed by Cameron's anti- 
slavery zeal. As soon as the nomination came in, he 
moved that it be confirmed unanimously and without 
reference to any committee, which was the usual custom 
in cases where ex-Senators of good repute were nominated 
to office. Objection being made, the nomination went 
over. This was the day on which Dawes made his speech 
in the House. Sumner saw the speech, called Cameron's 
attention to it, and asked what answer should be made to 
such accusations. Cameron replied that he had never 
made a contract for any kind of army supplies since he 
had been Secretary of War, but had left all such business 
to the heads of bureaus charged with such duties, and 
had never interfered with them. On the 15th he put this 
statement in writing and addressed it to Vice-President 
Hamlin : — 

I take this occasion to state that I have myself not made a 
single contract for any purpose whatever, having always inter- 
preted the laws of Congress as contemplating that the heads of 
bureaus, who are experienced and able officers of the regular 
army, shall make all contracts for supplies for the branches of 
the service under their care respectively. 

So far I have not found any occasion to interfere with them 
in the discharge of this portion of their responsible duties. 

I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Simon Cameron. 

Hon. H. Hamlin, 

President of the Senate of the United States. 

In reply Dawes produced documents to show that there 
were then outstanding contracts, made by Cameron him- 
self, for 1,836,900 muskets and rifles, and for only 64,000 
by the Chief of Ordnance, the officer charged with that 
duty, and that on the very day when the letter to Hamlin 
was written, Cameron made a contract, against the advice 


of the Chief of Ordnance, for an unlimited number of 
swords and sabres — all that a certain Philadelphia firm 
could produce in a given time. This was done after he 
had resigned and before his successor, Stanton, had been 
sworn in.^ 

Cameron was confirmed as Minister to Russia on the 
17th, by a vote of 28 to 14. The Republican Senators 
who voted against confirmation were Foster, Grimes, 
Hale, Harlan, Trumbull, and Wilkinson. Trumbull 
handed me this list of names for publication, saying that 
all of them desired to have it published. 

Cameron remained abroad until time and more exciting 
events had cast a kindly shadow on his record. He then 
came home and a few years later was reelected to the 
Senate. When the attack was made on his dear friend 
Sumner, which ended in displacing him from the chair- 
manship of the Committee on Foreign Relations, which 
he had held ten years, Cameron retreated to a Committee 
room, as to a cyclone cellar, where he remained until the 
deed was done, leaving Trumbull, Schurz, and Wilson to 
fight the battle for his dear friend. Then he returned and 
sat down in the chair thus made vacant. He subse- 
quently explained that he did so because his name was 
the next one to Sumner's on the committee list.^ 

1 Dawes, Cong. Olobe, April, 1862, p. 1841. 

' Congressional Record, 4Sd Cong., Ist Seas., p. 8484. 



The jaunty maimer in which Secretary Seward admm- 
istered the laws respecting the liberty of the citizen in the 
earlier years of the war is treated by John Hay with a 
humorous touch under date October 22, 1861 : 

To-day Deputy Marshal came and asked what he should do 
with process to be served on Porter in contempt business. I 
took him over to Seward and Seward said: '" The President 
instructs you that the habeas corpus is suspended in this city at 
present, and forbids you to serve any process upon any officer 
here." Turning to me: "That is what the President says, is it 
not, Mr. Hay?" "Precisely his words," I repUed; and the 
thing was done.^ 

Prior to the assembling of Congress in July, 1861, the 
President had given to General Winfield Scott authority 
in writing to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas 
corpus at any point on the line of the movement of troops 
between Philadelphia and Washington City. Without 
other authority Seward began to issue orders for the ar- 
rest and imprisonment of persons suspected of disloyal 
acts or designs, not only on the line between Philadel- 
phia and Washington City, but in all parts of the 

When the special session of Congress began, Senator 
Wilson, Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs, 
introduced a joint resolution to declare these and other 
acts of the President "legal and valid to the same intent 
and with the same effect as if they had been issued and 

^ LeUeri and Diarie», i, 47. 


done under the previous express authority and direction 
of the Congress of the United States." The clause of the 
Constitution which says that the privilege of the writ of 
habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless when, in cases 
of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it, 
does not say in what mode, or by what authority, it may 
be suspended. 

Straightway there were differences of opinion as to the 
lodgment of the power to suspend, whether it was in the 
executive or in the legislative branch of the Government. 
Other differences cropped up as to the phraseology of the 
Wilson Resolution and its legal intendment. It might be 
construed as an affirmance by Congress that the Presi- 
dent's act suspending the writ was lawful at the time when 
he did it, or, on the other hand, that it became lawful only 
after Congress had so voted, and hence was unlawful 
before. These diversities of opinion were very tenaciously 
held by different members of the Senate and House, of 
equal standing in the legal profession. The result was 
that Wilson's joint resolution was debated at great length, 
but did not pass. Instead of it an amendment was added\ 
to one of the military bills declaring that all acts, procla- 
mations, and orders of the President after the 4th of 
March, 1861, respecting the army and navy, should stand 
approved and legalized as if they had had the previous 
express authority of Congress; and the bill was passed as 
amended. This was understood to be a mere makeshift I 
for the time being. 

The general question was again brought to the atten- 
tion of Congress by Trumbull, December 12, 1861, wheii\ 
he introduced in the Senate the following resolution : 

Resolved, that the Secretaiy of State be directed to inform 
the Senate whether, in the loyal states of the Union, any person 
or persons have been arrested by orders from him or his 


'department; and if so> under what law said arrests have been 
made and said persons imprisoned. 

When this resolution came up for consideration (Decem- 
ber 16), Senator Dixon, of Connecticut, objected strongly 
to it. He thought that it was unnecessary and unwise, 
and that it could result in nothing advantageous to the 
cause of the Union. Some of the persons referred to, he 
I said, had been arrested in his own state. They had mani- 
fested their treasonable purposes by attempting to insti- 
jtute a series of peace meetings, so-called, by which they 
'hoped to debauch the public mind under false pretense of 
restoring peaceful relations between the North and the 
South. The Secretary of State had put a sudden stop 
to their treasonable designs by arresting and imprisoning 
one or more of them. He contended that the Secretary had 
done precisely the right thing, at precisely the right time, 
and had nipped treason in Connecticut in the bud. The 
only criticism which loyal citizens had to make of his 
doings was that he had not arrested a greater number. If 
there had been any error on the part of the Executive, it 
had been on the side of lenity and indulgence. He, Dixon, 
would not vote for an inquiry into the legality of such 
arrests because they found their justification in the dire 
necessity of the time. 

Trumbull asked how the Senator knew that the persons 
arrested were traitors. Who was to decide that question? 
If people were to be arrested and imprisoned indefinitely, 
without any charges filed against them, without examina- 
tion, without an opportunity to reply, at the dick of the 
telegraph, in localities where the coiurts were open, far 
from the theatre of war, such acts were the very essence 
of despotism. The only purpose of making the inquiry 
was to regulate these proceedings by law. If additional 
legislation was necessary to put down treason or punish 


rebel sympathizers in Connecticut, or in any other loyal 
state, he (Trumbull) was ready to give it, but he was not 
willing to sanction lawlessness on the part of public officials 
on the plea of necessity. He denied the necessity. The 
principle contended for by the Senator from Connecticut 
would justify mobs, riots, anarchy. He understood that! 
some of the parties arrested had been discharged without \ 
trial and he asked if Mr. Dixon justified that. Then the 
following ensued: 

Mr. Dixon. I do. 

Mr. Trumbull. Then the Senator justifies putting innocent 
men in prison. Else why were they discharged? I take it that 
was the reason for their discharge. I have heard of such cases. 

Mr. DixoNi They ought to be discharged, then. 

Mr. Trumbull. They ought to be discharged, and th^r 
ought to be arrested, too. An innocent man ought to be 
arrested, put into prison, and by and by discharged. Sir, that 
is not my idea of individual or constitutional liberty. I am 
engaged, and the people whom I represent are engaged, in the 
maintenance of the Constitution and the rights of the citizens 
under it. We are fighting for the Government as our fathers 
made it. The Constitution is broad enough to put down this^ 
rebellion without any violations of it. I do not apprehend that 
the present Executive of the United States will assume despotic] 
powers. He is the last man to do it. I know that his whole 
heart is engaged in endeavoring to crush this rebellion, and I 
know that he would be the last man to overturn the Constitu- 
tion in doing it. But, sir, we may not always have the same 
person at the head of our affairs. We may have a man of very 
different character, and what we are doing to-day will become 
a precedent upon which he will act. Suppose that when the 
trouble existed in Kansas, a few years ago, the then President 
of the United States had thought proper to arrest the Senator 
or myself, and send him or me to prison without examination, 
without opportunity to answer, because in his opinion we were 
dangerous to the peace of the country, and the necessity jus- 
tified it. What would the Senator have thought of such 


The debate lasted the whole day. Senators Hale» 
Fessenden^ Kennedy, and Pearce, of Maryland, supported 
the resolution. Senators Wilson, of Massachusetts, and 
Browning, of Illinois, opposed it. 

Read in the light of the present day the arguments of 
the opposition are extremely flimsy. They said in effect : 
** We know that our rulers mean well; if we ask them any 
questions, we shall cast a doubt upon their acts and then 
the wicked will be encouraged in their wrongdoing, and 
treason will multiply in the land." It was Trumbull's 
opinion that arbitrary arrests were causing division and 
dissension among the loyal people of the North, and were 
thus doing more harm than good, even from the stand- 
point of their apologists. Democratic conventions cen- 
sured them. That of Indiana, for example, resolved: 

That the total disregard of the writ of habeas corpus by the 
authorities over us and the seizure and imprisonment of the 
citizens of the loyal states where the judiciary is in full opera- 
tion, without warrant of law and without assigning any cause, 
or giving the party arrested any opportunity of defense, are 
flagrant violations of the Constitution, and most alarming acts 
of usiupation of power, which should receive the stem rebuke of 
every lover of his country, and of every man who prizes the 
security and blessings of life, liberty, and property. 

At the close of the debate. Senator Doolittle moved to 
refer the resolutions to the Committee on the Judiciary, 
in order to have a report on the question whether the 
right to suspend the writ of habeas corpus appertains to 
the President or to Congress. This motion was opposed 
by Trumbull, but it prevailed by a vote of 25 to 17, and 
the subject was shelved for six months. 

The question upon which Senator Doolittle wanted 
information had already been decided, so far as one emi- 
nent jurist could decide it, in the case of John Merryman, 


a citizen of Maryland, who was arrested at his home in 
the middle of the night on the 25th of May, 1861. He 
applied to Chief Justice Taney for a writ directing Gen- 
eral Cadwalader, the commandant of Fort McHenry, to 
produce him in court, on the ground that he had been 
arrested contrary to the Constitution and laws of the 
United States. He stated that he had been taken from 
his bed at midnight by an armed force pretending to act 
under military orders from some person to him unknown. 

The Chief Justice issued his writ and General Cadwal- 
ader sent his regrets by Colonel Lee, saying that the pris- 
oner was charged with various acts of treason and that the 
arrest was made by order of General Keim, who was not 
within the limits of his command. He said further that 
he was authorized by the President of the United States 
to suspend the writ of habeas corpiistoT the public safety. 
He requested that further action be postponed until h^ 
could receive additional instructions from the President. 

Judge Taney thereupon issued an attachment against 
General Cadwalader for disobedience to the high writ of 
the court. The next day United States Marshal Bonifant 
certified that he sent in his name from the outer gate of 
the fort, which he was not permitted to enter, and that the 
messenger returned with the reply that there was no 
answer to his card, and that he was thereupon unable to 
serve the writ. The Chief Justice then read from manu- 
script as follows: 

1. The President, under the Constitution and laws of the 
United States, cannot suspend the privilege of the writ of 
habeas corpus^ nor authorize any military officer to do so. 

2. A military officer has no right to arrest and detain a per- 
son not subject to the rules and articles of war, for an offense 
against the laws of the United States, except in aid of the judi- 
cial authority and subject to its control, and if the party is 


arrested by the military, it is the duty of the officer to deliver 
him over immediately to the civil authority to be dealt with 
according to law. 

The Chief Justice then remarked orally that if the 
party named in the attachment were before the court he 
should fine and imprison him, but that it was useless to 
attempt to enforce his legal authority, and he should, 
therefore, call upon the President of the United States to 
perform his constitutional duty and enforce the process of 
the court. 

July 8, 1862, the House, after a brief debate, passed 
a bill reported by its Judiciary Committee directing the 
Secretaries of State and of War to report to the judges of 
the courts of the United States the names of all persons 
held as political prisoners, residing in the jurisdiction of 
said judges, and providing for their prompt release unless 
the grand jury should find indictments against them dur- 
ing the first term of court thereafter. The bill also author- 
ized the President, during any recess of Congress, to sus- 
pend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus throughout 
the United States, or any part thereof, in cases of rebel- 
lion, or invasion, where the public safety might require it, 
until the meeting of Congress. Mr. Bingham, of Ohio, 
who reported the bill, explained that the committee did 
not attempt to decide whether the right to suspend the 
writ of habeas corpus was vested in the executive or in the 
legislative branch of the Government. That was a matter 
of dispute, and the bill was intended to settle doubts, 
not theroretically but practically. If the right belonged 
to the Executive under the Constitution the passage of 
the bill would do no harm; if it belonged to Congress the 
bill would enable the President to exercise it legally. A 
motion to lay the bill on the table was negatived by a vote 
of 29 to 89, after which it was passed without a division. 


July 15, Trumbull reported this bill from the Judiciary '^ 
Committee of the Senate with a recommendation that 
it pass. It was opposed vigorously by Wilson, of Massa-. 
chusetts, who called it a general jail delivery for the bene- 
fit of traitors. He moved to strike out all of it except the 
section which authorized the President to suspend the 
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. This motion was 
rejected by a majority of one, but the session came to an 
end on the following day without a final vote on the pas- 
sage of the bill. 

In the meantime President Lincoln had seen fit to 
transfer the license of making arbitrary arrests from the 
Secretary of State to the Secretary of War. The changed 
was no betterment, however, for, where Seward had pre- \l 
viously chastised the suspected ones with whips, Stanton t 
now chastised them with scorpions. Arbitrary arrests<^ 
became more numerous and arbitrary than before. A 
special bureau was created for them under charge of an ; 
oflBcer styled the Provost Marshal of the War Depart- < 

In the ensuing political campaign the Democrats made 
the greatest possible use of the issue thus presented, and 
they showed large gains in the congressional elections in 
the autumn of 1862. They carried New York, New Jer- 
sey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. 
Horatio Seymour was elected governor of the Empire 
State, and William A. Richardson (Democrat) was cho- 
sen by the legislature of Illinois as Senator in place of 
Browning, who was filling the vacancy caused by the death 
of Senator Douglas. It is impossible to say how much 
influence the arbitrary arrests had in producing these 
results, but it is certain that the Republican leaders were t-- ' 
alarmed. Stanton fell into a panic. The general jail deliv- 
ery apprehended by Wilson took place by a stroke of 1 


' Stanton's pen on the 22d of November, without waiting 
for the final vote on Trumbull's bill, and Wilson himself 
voted for the bill. 

In the House, Thaddeus Stevens introduced a bill to 
indemnify the President and all persons acting imder his 
authority for arrests and imprisonments previously made. 
This was passed under the previous question, December 8, 
unfairly and without debate. 

When Congress reassembled in December, Trumbull 
called up the House bill and offered a substitute for it. He 
held that under the Constitution Congress must author- 
ize and regulate the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. 
He would not, however, limit the exercise of the executive 
power to the time of meeting of the next Congress, as the 
House bill provided. His substitute proposed that the 
suspension of the writ should be left to the discretion of 
the President as to time and place during the continuance 
of the rebellion, but that political prisoners should not 
be held indefinitely without knowing the charges against 
them. The second section provided that lists of all pris- 
oners of this class in the loyal states should be furnished, 
within twenty days, to the courts of the respective dis- 
tricts and laid before the grand juries with a statement of 
the charges against them, and if no indictments should be 
found against them during that term of court they should 
be discharged upon taking an oath of allegiance to the 
United States, and (if required by the judge) giving a 
bond for good behavior. Future arrests for political 
offenses were to be regulated in like manner. CoUamer 
moved to strike out the second section, but failed by 
two votes. 

Republican resistance to this measure now ceased and 
the r61e of opposition was taken up by the Democrats. 
Powell, of Kentucky, contended that the power to sus- 


pend the writ of habeas corpus was lodged in Congress 
exclusively and could not be delegated to the President. 
He raised the objection also that there was no definition 
of the phrase "political offenses." Trumbull agreed to 
strike out that phrase altogether, in which case the 
President would have the power to suspend the writ for 
all offenses, and could determine for himself which ones 
were political and which were non-political. As to the 
right of Congress to delegate its own powers to the Presi- 
dent in analogous cases, he cited the power to borrow 
money, the power to grant letters of marque and reprisal, 
and the power to call forth the militia, all of which were 
lodged in Congress, but which Congress never exercised 
directly, but only by delegating its powers to the Execu- 

Senator Carlile, of Virginia, held that the writ of| 
habeas corpus ought never to be suspended in places where 
the courts were open. Trumbull replied that if it were not 
suspended in those places it could never be suspended at 
all, for if there were no courts open, the writ itself could 
not be issued. Yet the Constitution clearly contemplated 
the necessity of suspending it in certain conditions where 
it actually existed. 

February 23, 1868, Trumbull's substitute was agreed to 
by yeas 25, nays 12, and the bill was passed by 24 to 13. 
All of the negative votes, except two, were cast by Demo- 

February 27, the Senate took up the Stevens House bill 
to indemnify the President and adopted a substitute pro- 
posed by Trumbull. The substitute was not adopted by 
the House, but a conference was asked for and agreed to 
by the Senate. The conferees decided to consolidate into 
one act the Indemnity Bill and the Habeas Corpus Bill, 
which was still pending between the two houses. The 


report of the Conference Committee was presented to the 
Senate by Trumbull on March 2, one day before the end 
of the Thirty-seventh Congress. 

Except the financial bills, this was the most important 
measure of the session, and the one about which the most 
heat had been engendered. On the 24th of September, 
1862, the President had proclaimed martial law through- 
out the nation as to persons discouraging enlistments 
or resisting the Conscription Act and had suspended the 
writ of habeas corpus as to such persons. On the 1st of 
January following, he had issued the Emancipation Proc- 
lamation, of which he had given preliminary notice one 
hundred days before. These measures were extremely 
distasteful to the Democrats and especially so to those of 
I the border slave states. The pending measure was in- 
tended to condone all former arbitrary arrests and to 
sanction an indefinite number in the future, although 
providing for speedy trials. 

When the report was presented, Powell, of Kentucky, 
moved to postpone it till the following day. Trumbull 
would not agree to any postponement unless there was 
an understanding on both sides that a vote should be 
taken within a limited time. It was finally agreed be- 
tween himself and Bayard, of Delaware, that it should be 
postponed until seven o'clock in the evening, with the 
understanding that there should be no filibustering on the 
measure. The postponement was to be for debate and 
discussion only. "So far as I know, or can learn, or be- 
lieve," said Bayard, "it is delay for no other purpose." 
Powell was present when this colloquy took place and he 
neither affirmed nor denied. Trumbull took it to be an 
agreement between the two political parties. 

The debate began with a speech from Senator Wall 
(Democrat), of New Jersey, who held the fioor till mid- 


night, when Saulsbury, of Delaware, moved that the 
Senate adjourn. The motion was negatived by 5 to SI. 
Powell moved that the bill be laid upon the table. This 
was negatived without a division. Then Powell began a 
speech against the bill. At 12.40 a.m., Richardson moved 
that the Senate adjourn; negatived by 5 to 30. Powell 
continued his speech and became involved in a running 
debate with Cowan, of Pennsylvania, who took the floor 
after Powell had finished and made a speech, apparently 
unpremeditated, but nevertheless a great speech, going 
to the foimdation of things and showing that the 
Administration must be sustained in this crisis, since 
otherwise the fabric of self-government in the United 
States would perish. He did not say that he approved of, 
or condoned, arbitrary arrests in the loyal states. All his 
implications were to the contrary, but he insisted that 
those who would save the country and ward off chaos and 
anarchy could not pause now to contend with each other 
on the issue whether the President had the right to sus- 
pend the writ of habeas corpus or whether Congress had it. 
He said that he observed signs, on the Democratic side, 
of filibustering against the bill, and he thought that such 
tactics were unjustifiable and highly dangerous. EUs 
argument carried the greater force because of his habit- 
ual conservatism. While it did not, perhaps, change any 
votes, it probably dampened the resistance of the North- 
ern Democrats to the bill. 
When Cowan had concluded, Powell took the floor to 


reply. At 1.53 a.m., Bayard interrupted him with a mo- 
tion to adjourn, which was negatived by 4 to 35. Powell 
resumed his speech and made a much longer one than his 
first, at the end of which he moved an adjournment, 
negatived by 4 to 32. Then Bayard made a long speech 
against the bill. He finished at 5 o'clock and Powell made 


another motion to adjourn, which was negatived, 4 to 18, 
no quorum voting. 

Some confusion followed the disclosure of the absence 
of a quorum. Several motions were made and withdrawn, 
and finally Fessenden called for the yeas and nays on 
Powell's motion to adjourn. Li the mean time a quorum 
had been drummed up and the roll-call showed 4 yeas to 
SS nays. There was considerable noise and confusion on 
the floor when the result was announced and the presiding 
officer (Pomeroy , of Kansas) said quickly : 

The question is on concurring in the report of the Committee 
of Conference. Those in favor of concurring in the report will 
say " aye ** ; those opposed," no." The ayes have it. It is a vote. 
The report is concurred in. 

Trumbull instantly moved to take up a bill from the 
House relating to public groimds in Washington City, and 
his motion was agreed to. Then Powell wanted to go on 
with the Indemnity Bill and was informed by Grimes 
that it had already passed. He denied that it had passed 
and called for the yeas and nays. Trumbull claimed the 
floor and his claim was sustained by the chair. Powell 
called it a piece of "jockeying." After some further 
recriminatioix the Senate adjourned. 

On reassembling, the question whether the bill had 
passed or not was again taken up. The Senate Journal 
showed that it had passed, and the question arose on a 
motion to correct the Journal. In the debate which en- 
sued it was proved that the presiding officer did actually 
put the motion in the words quoted above; that, of the 
four Democrats who voted on the last roll-call, none 
heard it; that the Democrats were in fact filibustering 
against the bill, or at all events that Powell was doing so, 
for he avowed that he had intended to defeat it by any 
means in his power. On the other hand, there is no doubt 


that the passage of the bill was accomplished by the sharp 
practice of Pomeroy; but it was damnum absque injuria^ 
snap judgment being no worse than filibustering. More- 
over, there is evidence that of the thirteen Democratic 
Senators, only four or five were really determined to kill 
the bill at all hazards. All except that number absented 
themselves from the night session, while all or nearly all 
the Republicans remained in their places. 

The Conference Report was concurred in on the 2d of • 
March and the bill was approved by the President on the I 
following day. We may infer, therefore, that the power to j 
suspend the writ of habeas corpus resides in the legislative " 
branch of the Government, of which the President is a 
part, and that Congress may delegate its powers to the 
President and prescribe conditions and limitations to its 

No legislation more wholesome was enacted during the 
war period. No act of the period was more precise and 
lucid and less equivocal in its terms. Yet within two 
months it was grossly violated by the banishment of 
Clement L. Vallandigham, an ex-member of Congress 
from Ohio. 

Vallandigham was the incarnation of Copperheadism. 
I heard his speech of January 14, 1863, in the House, in 
which he discharged all the pro-slavery virus that he had 
been collecting from his boyhood days. As a public speaker 
he had no attractions, but rather, as it seemed to me, the 
tone and front of a fallen angel defying the Almighty. 
There was neither humor nor persuasion nor conciliation 
in his make-up. He was cold as ice and hard as iron. Al- 
though born and bred in a free state, he avowed himself a 
pro-slavery man. In the speech referred to he took two 
hours to prove the following propositions: (1) That the 
Southern Confederacy never could be conquered; (2) that 


the Union never could be restored by war; (S) that it could 
be restored by peace; (4) that whatever else might hap- 
pen, African slavery would be "fifty-fold stronger" at the 
end of the war than it had been at the beginning. 

General Ambrose E. Bumside, after his defeat at 
Fredericksburg, had been sent to take command of the 
^Department of the Ohio. Vallandigham was now seeking 
/the nomination of his party for governor of Ohio, and his 
I chances of success were not flattering until Bumside caused 
him to be arrested for alleged treasonable utterances in 
a speech delivered at the town of Mount Vernon on the 
1st day of May, 1863. He was taken out of his bed at 
Dayton in the night and carried to Cincinnati, put in 
a military prison, tried by a military commission, found 
guilty, and sentenced to close confinement in Fort Warren 
during the continuance of the war. President Lincoln 
commuted his sentence to banishment to the Southern 
Confederacy. He was accordingly sent across the army 
lines and handed over to his supposed friends, who did not, 
however, receive him with any touching marks of affec- 

Under the Act of Congress approved March 3, 1863, it 
was the duty of the Secretary of War within twenty days 
to report the arrest of Vallandigham to the judge of the 
United States District Court for southern Ohio, with a 
statement of the charges against him, in order that they 
might be laid before the grand jury, and if an indictment 
were found against him, to bring him to trial; and if no 
indictment were found during that term of court, to dis- 
charge him from confinement. Any oflBcer, civil or mili- 
tary, holding a prisoner in contravention of that act was 
guilty of a misdemeanor and liable to a fine of not less than 
five himdred dollars and to imprisonment in the common 
jail not less than six months. Accordingly, all the pro- 


ceedings in the case of Vallandigham subsequent to his ! 
arrest were unwarranted and lawless. The arrest itself j 
was, perhaps, permissible under the act, because the Pres- 
ident had the right to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. 
When Vallandigham applied for the writ, Judge Leavitt 
refused it on that ground. The refusal of the writ, how- 
ever, did not justify the later proceedings. 

The military trial of Vallandigham and his subsequent 
banishment led to vehement protests from Northern 
Democrats, which, in the light of the present day, seem 
not unreasonable. President Lincoln replied at great 
length and on the whole successfully to one such protest 
which came from a committee of citizens of New York, 
of which Erastus Coming was chairman. He did not fare 
so well in a later controversy with a conmiittee of the 
Ohio Democratic State Convention, who visited the 
Executive Mansion and submitted their protest in writing 
under date of June 26. In this communication they cov- 
ered the same ground as the New York men and added 
these words: 

And finally, the charge and the specifications on which Mr.l 
Vallandigham was tried entitled him to a trial before the civil i 
tribunals according to the express provisions of the late acts 
of Congress approved by yourself July 17, 1862, and March 
8, 1863. 

Mr. Lincoln replied to everything in the protest of the 
Ohio men except this paragraph. His failure to reply on 
this point gave them the opportunity to retort that his 
answer was "a mere evasion of the grave questions in-, 
volved." This is the only instance in Mr. Lincoln's con-, 
troversial writings, so far as I can discover, where such a • 
retort seems justified. The correspondence is published in ■\ 
Appleton's Annual Cyclopaedia, 186S. ^ 

The New York Tribune deprecated, in no querulous 


tone, but in moderate and dignified language, the entire 
proceedings in Vallandigham's case, and deemed them 
not helpful to the cause of the Union, but the contrary. 

Vallandigham was not the kind of man to win public 
sympathy, even for his misfortunes. Moreover, his trans- 
ference to the society that he was supposed to be most 
fond of (as an alternative to close confinement in Fort 
Warren) had a fiavor of jocularity that dulled the edge of 
criticism; but his strength in his own party was vastly 
augmented by these proceedings. He was nominated for 
,N, governor by acclamation, and would probably have been 
elected had not the victories at Gettysburg and Vicks- 
burg, two months later, withdrawn attention from him, 
(inspired the Unionists with new enthusiasm, and corres- 
pondingly depressed their opponents. 

Bumside, finding himself sustained by his superiors in 
f doctoring Copperheadism in Ohio, enlarged the scope of 
his practice. On the 1st of June he issued an order for- 
bidding the circulation of the New York World in his 
department and stopping the publication of the Chicago 
Times. Brigadier-General Ammen was charged with the 
execution of the latter order. On the following day, 
Ammen notified Wilbur F. Storey, the editor of the Times ^ 
that he would not be allowed to issue his paper on the 
Sd of June. Storey appealed to the United States District 
Court for protection. Shortly after midnight Judge 
Drummond issued a writ directing the military authori- 
ties to take no further steps under Bumside's order to 
suppress the Tim£S until the application for a permanent 
writ of injimction could be heard in open court. The 
judge said : 

I may be pardoned for saying that personally and officially I 
desire to give every aid and assistance in my power to the Gov- 
ernment and the Administration in restoring the Union, but I 


have always wished to treat the Government as a government 
of law and a government of the Constitution, and not a govern- 
ment of mere physical force. I personally have contended and 
shall always contend for the right of free discussion and the 
right of commenting mider the law and mider the Constitution 
upon the acts of the oflScers of the Government. 


Notwithstanding the order of the judge, a body of 
troops broke into the oflSce of the Times at half -past three 
o'clock in the morning, after nearly the whole edition had ; 
been printed, and took possession of the establishment. ; 
When daylight came there was great excitement in Chi-{ 
cago. Although the Times was a Copperhead sheet of an\ 
obnoxious type, many loyal citizens were convinced that 1 
Bumside's order would produce vastly more harm than J 
good to the Union cause. A meeting was hastily called 
at the circuit court room, at which Senator Trumbull and 
Congressman I. N. Arnold were present. Hon. William 
B. Ogden, ex-mayor, president of the Chicago and North- 
western Railway, a Republican in politics, offered for 
adoption a resolution requesting President Lincoln to 
suspend or rescind Bumside's order suppressing the 
Times. The resolution was adopted unanimously by the 
meeting and a petition to that effect was drawn up, signed, 
and sent around town for additional signatures. It was 
then telegraphed to the President, and Trumbull and 
Arnold sent an additional telegram asking that it might 
receive his prompt attention. 

Outside of the room, however, the utmost contrariety 
of opinion existed. The streets were filled with heated 
disputants, and there was danger of rioting throughout 
the day following the suppression of the newspaper. In 
the evening of June S, a great meeting of persons opposed 
to Bumside's order was held in the Court-House Square, 
which was addressed by General Singleton, Moses M. 

. I 



Strong, of Wisconsin, B. G. Caulfield, and E. G. Asay, 
Democrats, and by Senator Trumbull and Wirt Dexter, 

In the mean time Judge Drummond was hearing the 
arguments of Storey's lawyers on the question of making 
permanent the injunction that had already been dis- 
obeyed. While the proceedings were going on, a telegram 
came from Bumside to Ammen, dated Lexington, Ken- 
tucky, June 4, saying that his order for the suppression 
of the Chicago Times had been revoked by order of the 
President of the United States. The soldiers were accord- 
ingly withdrawn and Mr. Storey resumed possession of 
his property. 

The Chicago Evening Journal published the following 
outline of Trumbull's speech on this event : 

The point of Judge Trumbull's speech was to show the 
importance of adhering to the Constitution and laws in all 
measures adopted for the suppression of the rebellion. He con- 
tended that they furnished ample provisions for dealing with 
traitors in our midst; that the Administration and its friends 
were weakened by resort to measures of doubtful authority 
against rebel sympathizers where the law furnished adequate 
remedies; that while no one questioned the authority of mili- 
tary commanders in the field and within their lines where the 
civil authorities were overborne, to exercise supreme authority, 
the right to do this in the loyal portions of the country, where 
the judicial tribunals were in full operation, was very question- 
able. He held that by its exercise in such localities the enemies 
of the country were given a great advantage, by alleging that 
their constitutional rights and privileges were arbitrarily inter- 
fered with. He insisted that the Constitution and laws were 
supreme in war as well as in peace, and that the denial of 
this proposition was an acknowledgment that the people were 
incapable of self-government — an admisirion that constitu- 
tional liberty and the rights of the citizen, guaranteed by fun- 
damental laws, were of no value except in peaceful times, so 
that in tumultuous times personal libeky regulated by law, to 


establish which the Anglo-Saxon race had been contending for 
centuries, must give way to the discretion of any man who 
might happen at the time to be at the head of the Govern- 
ment; that this, the American people are not prepared to 
admit, nor was it necessary they should; that the right of free 
speech and a free election should never be surrendered; but 
that this freedom did not imply the right, in time of civil war, 
to give aid and comfort to the enemies of the country, either 
directly or indirectly, against which the laws made ample 

The legislature of Illinois was then in session and both 
houses passed resolutions condemning the action of the 
military authorities in suppressing the Chicago Times. ^ 

^ The New York Tribune, June 6, said: "We trust the great majority of 
considerate and loyal citizens share the relief and satisfaction we feel in view of 
the President's course in revoking the order of General Bumside which directs 
the suppression of the Chicago Times. And we further trust that the zealous 
and impulsive minority, who would have had General Bumside*s order sus- 
tained, will, on calm reflection, realize and admit that the President has taken 
the wiser and safer course. We cannot reconcile the decision of the Executive 
in this case with his action in regard to Vallandigham. Journalists have no 
si>ecial license to commit treason, and Vallandigham's sympathy with the 
rebels was neither more audacious nor more mischievous than that of the Times» 
Yet it is better to be inconsistently right than consistently wrong — better to 
be right to-day, though wrong yesterday, than to be wrong both days alike." 



James W. White, of New York City, writes, March 6, 
to ask Trumbull, as a member of the Seward Coimnittee, 
whether it is a fact that President Lincoln had knowledge 
of the dispatches written by Secretary Seward to Minister 
Adams, dated April 10, 1861, and July 5, 1862, before 
they were sent, and whether he approved the same. 

This refers to an event which very nearly upset Presi- 
dent Lincoln's Cabinet in the beginning of 1868. Secre- 
tary Seward had entered the Cabinet under strong sus- 
picions of lukewarmness toward the war policy of the 
President, which suspicions were shared by the Republi- 
can Senators generally. Consequently they were prepared 
to believe that the want of success which attended the 
Union arms was due to a lack of earnestness at headquar- 
ters, and that the man who paralyzed Lincoln was the Sec- 
retary of State. While this feeling was rankling in many 
bosoms, and especially among those who had considered 
the Executive remiss in dealing with the slavery question, 
the official correspondence of the State Department of the 
preceding year came from the press, containing, among 
other letters, one from Seward to Minister Adams dated 
July 5, 1862, with the following words : 

It seems as if the extreme advocates of African slavery and 
its most vehement opponents were acting in concert together 
to precipitate a servile war — the former by making the most 
desperate attempts to overthrow the Federal Union, the latter 
by demanding an edict of universal emancipation as a lawful 
and necessary, if not, as they say, the only legitimate way of 
saving the Union. 

INCIDENTS OF 180S AND 1864 211 

Probably this was a private note, which got into the 
published volume by mistake, but it was oil on the flames 
in 1863, and it became public simultaneously with the 
news of General Biunside's defeat at Fredericksburg. 
These were among the darkest hours of the war. The 
Republican Senators thought that the rebellion would 
never be put down unless Seward were forced out of the 
Cabinet and that now was the time to act. A caucus 
was held and a conrntiittee appointed, of which Senator 
CoUamer was chairman, to visit the President and express 
the opinion that Mr. Seward had lost the confidence of 
Congress and the country, and that his resignation was 
necessary to a successful prosecution of the war. Trum- 
bull was one of the members of the committee. 

Seward's unlucky letter, which formed the occasion of 
Judge White's communication to Trumbull, was written 
shortly before Lincoln's preliminary proclamation of 
emancipation as to slaves in the rebel states was published. 
Senator Sumner took the letter to the President and asked 
if he had ever given his sanction to it. He replied that he 
had never seen it before. The newspapers got hold of this 
fact and made it hot for Seward. The New York Times^ 
however, denied, apparently by authority, that Seward 
had ever sent any dispatch to a foreign minister without 
first submitting it to the President and getting his ap- 
proval of it. Such a denial would be technically correct 
if this letter were a private communication, not intended 
for the public archives. Judge White, in a public letter, 
maintained that Seward never had submitted this letter 
to his chief, thus raising a question of veracity with the 
Times. So he wrote the foregoing letter to Trumbull 
hoping to find a backer in him. Trumbull replied in the 
following terms : 

Pressing engagements and an indispoffltion to become in- 


vol ved in the controverey to which your letter of the 6th alludes 
must be my apology for not sooner replying to your inquiries. 
The want of harmony, not to say the antagonism, between 
some of the dispatches referred to and the avowed policy of 
the President would seem to afford sufficient evidence to a dis- 
cerning public that both could not have emanated from the 
same mind. In view, therefore, of the manner in which the 
information in my possession was obtained, and not perceiving 
at this time that the public good would be subserved by any 
disclosure I could make, I must be excused for not undertak- 
ing to furnish extraneous evidence in the matter. 

The accusations of the senatorial committee against 
Seward were summarized by Lincoln truthfully and 
with a touch of humor. "While they seemed to believe 
in my honesty,*' he said, " they also appeared to think 
that whenever I had in me any good purpose Seward 
contrived to suck it out unperceived." Seward was no 
more to blame for the ill success of the Union armies than 
any other member of the Cabinet. The ineflHciency in 
our armies, according to Gideon Welles, resided in the 
President's chief military adviser. General Halleck. 
However that may have been, it is well that the errand 
of the Republican Senators to the White House proved 
fruitless, since, if successful, it might have created a pre- 
cedent which would have upset our form of government. 

G. Koemer, Minister to Spain, writes from Madrid, 
March 22, 186S, that he is very much discouraged about 
the prospects of the war. He trusts more to the exhaus- 
tion of the South than to the victories of the North. 

My situation, under the circumstances, has been a very 
unpleasant one. For days and weeks I have avoided meetings 
and reunions where I would have had to answer questions, 
often meant in a very friendly manner, but still embarrassing 
to me. My family has also lived very retired, for the additional 
reason that we are not able to return the many hospitalities to 
which we are invited constantly. We have the greatest trouble 

mCroENTS OF 1868 AND 1864 21S 

in the world to live here in the most modest manner within our 
means. We forego many, very many, of the comforts we were 
accustomed to at home. 

From Columbus, Georgia, October 26, 1863, Alfred 
Iverson (former Senator), trusting that the difficulties in 
which the two sections are involved may not have extin- 
guished the feelings of courtesy and humanity in the 
hearts of individual gentlemen, writes, at the instance of 
an anxious mother, to make inquiries in reference to 
Charles G. Floumoy, supposed to have been captured 
with other Confederate soldiers by General Grant's forces 
in the vicinity of Vicksburg, and to be confined in a mili- 
tary prison at Alton, Illinois. 

Walter B. Scates (former judge of the supreme court of 
Dlinois, Democrat, now serving as assistant adjutant- 
general in the Thirteenth Army Corps) writes from New 
Orleans, November 14, 1863, that he is thoroughly con- 
vinced of the propriety and necessity of destroying 
slavery as a means of ending this most wicked war and 
preventing a recurrence of a like misfortune; is ready to 
take an active part in the organization of colored regi- 
ments, that they may assist in maintaining the Govern- 
ment and winning their own freedom. 

From Topeka, Kansas, November 16, John T. Morton 
remonstrates against the appointment of M. W. Delahay 
as judge of the United States District Court, because he is 
utterly incompetent. Says he gave up the practice of his 
profession in Illinois because he was so ignorant that no- 
body would employ him. O. M. Hatch confirms Morton; 
says the appointment is imfit to be made; has known 
Delahay personally for twenty years. Jesse K. Dubois 
and D. L. Phillips confirm Hatch. 

Jackson Grimshaw writes from Quincy , December 3 : 

Will the Senate confirm that miserable man Delahay for 


Judge in Kansas? The appointment is disgraceful to the Presi- 
dent, who knew Delahay and all his faults, but the disgrace 
to the Administration ndll be greater if the Senate confirms 
him. He is no lawyer, could not try a case properly even in 
a Justice's court and has no character. Mr. Buchanan in his 
worst days never made so disgraceful an appointment to the 

Hemdon relates that Delahay 's expenses to the Chicago 
nominating con vention, as an expected delegate from Kan- 
sas, were promised by Lincoln. He was not a delegate 
and never had the remotest chance of being one, but he 
came as a "hustler" and Lincoln paid his expenses all 
the same. He was nevertheless appointed judge, was im- 
peached by Congress in 1872 under charges of incom- 
petency, corruption, and drunkenness on and off the 
bench, and resigned while the impeachment committee 
was taking testimony. 

Major-General John M. Palmer writes from Chatta- 
nooga, December 18, 1868: 

The Illinois troops (now voters) are beginning to talk about the 
Presidency. Mr. Lincoln is by far the strongest man with the 
army, and no combination could be made which would impair 
his strength with this army unless, perhaps, Grant's candidacy 
would. The people of Tennessee would now vote for Lincoln, 
it is thought by many. Andy Johnson is understood to be a 
Presidential aspirant by most people in this state. He is not as 
popular as I once thought he was, though if he will exert himself 
to do so he can be Governor, or Senator, when the state is reor- 
ganized. He is understood to favor emancipation, and the peo- 
ple are prepared for it, but I fear personal questions will com- 
plicate the matter. The truth is all these Southern politicians 
are behind the times sadly. There is nothing practical about 
them. Now, when the whole social and political fabric is 
broken up, new foundations might be laid for institutions which 
would in their effects within twenty years compensate the State 
for all its losses, heavy as they are. But not much will be done, 
I fear^ because the politicians don't seem to know what is 

mcroENTS OF 1868 AND 1864 215 

required. One fourth of the people are destitute, and yet the 
leaders have not humanity and energy enough to induce them 
to organize for mutual assistance. There are farms enough in 
middle Tennessee deserted by their rebel owners to give tem- 
porary homes to thousands, and yet no one will take the respon- 
sibility of putting them in possession, but the leaders quietly 
suffer the poor to wander homeless all over the country. 

Colonel Fred Hecker writes from Lookout Valley, Ten- 
nessee, December 21 : 

Again we are encamped in Lookout Valley after heavy fight- 
ing and marching from November 22 to December 16, stopping 
a victorious march at the gates of Knoxville, returning with 
barefooted, ragged men, but cheerful hearts. This was more 
than a fight. It was a wild chase after an enemy making no 
stand, leaving everywhere in our hands, muskets, cannon, 
ammunition, provisions, stores, etc., and large numbers of 
prisoners. These, as well as the populations, were unanimous 
in declaring that the people of the South are ti^ed of the war 
and rebellion and are in earnest in the desire for peace and 
order. I conversed much with men of different positions in life, 
education, and political parties, from the enraged secessionist 
to the unwavering Union man just returning from his hiding- 
place, and I am fully convinced that most of the work is done. 
A great many had no idea what war was till both armies, pass- 
ing over the country, had taught them the lesson, and there 
is such a prevailing union feeling in North Carolina, northern 
Alabama, and Georgia, as I have ascertained in a hundred con- 
versations with men of that section of the country, that the 
result of the next campaign is not the least doubtful. You 
remember what I told you about General Grant at a time when 
this excellent man was pursued by malice and slander. I feel 
greatly satisfied that his enemies are now forced to do him 
justice. The battle of Chattanooga, with all its great conse- 
quences, was a masterpiece of planning and manoeuvring, and 
every man of us is proud to have been an actor in this ever 
memorable action. Revolution and war sift men and con- 
sume reputations with the voracity of Kronos, and it is good 
that it is so. 


From Chattanooga, January 24, 1864, Major-General 
John M. Palmer writes: 

I saw Grant yesterday and had a conversation with him. 
Peace-at-any-priee men would have a hard bargain in him as 
their candidate. He is a soldier and, of course, regards negroes 
at their value as military materials. He has just enough senti- 
ment and humanity about him to make him a careful general, 
and he esteems men, black or white, as too valuable to be 
wasted. He does not desire to be a candidate for the Presi- 
dency; prefers his present theatre of service to any other. Nor 
will the officers of the army willingly give him up. He has no 
enemies, and it is very difficult to understand how he can have 
any. He is honest, brave, frank, and modest. Is perfectly will- 
ing that his subordinates shall win all the reputation and glory 
possible; will help them when he can, with the most unselfish 
earnestness. He demands no adulation, and gives credit for 
every honest effort, and if efforts are unsuccessful he has the 
sense, and the sense of justice, to understand the reasons for 
failure and to attach to them their proper importance. Nobody 
is jealous of Grant and he is jealous of no one. He is not a great 
man. He is precisely equal to his situation. His success has 
been wonderful and must be attributed, I think, to his fine 
common sense and the faculty he possesses in a wonderful 
degree of making himself understood. I do not think he will 
be anybody's candidate for the Presidency this time, but after 
that his stock will be at a premium for anything he wants. Mr. 
Lincoln is popular with the army, and will, as far as the soldiers 
can vote, beat anything the Copperheads can start. No civil- 
ian or mere book-making general can get votes in the army 
against him. 

J. K. Dubois, Springfield, January 30, says : 

We are receiving daily old regiments who are reSnlisting and 
are sent home on furlough for thirty days to see their friends 
and recruit. This is very damaging to the Copperhead crew of 
our state. They swear and groan over this fact, for they have 
preached and affirmed that the soldiers were held in subjection 
by their officers, and that as soon as their time was up they 
would show their officers and the President that they would 

mcroENTS OP 1863 AND 1804 217 

have nothing more to do with this Abolition crusade. And so 
when these same men's time wiU have expired, commencing 
next June, they say to rebels both front and rear: "We were at 
the beginning of this fight and we intend also to be at the end." 
All honor to these brave and loyal men. 

Israel B. Bigelow, Brownsville, Texas, May 5, 1864, 
says that before the war it was commonly said that soil 
and climate would regulate slavery. 

In theory this was right if slavery was right, and whether 
right or wrong, slavery is declining, and with my very hearty con- 
currence — to my own astonishment. No man ever regarded 
a Massachusetts Abolitionist with greater abhorrence than 
myself, and yet I have subscribed to Mr. Lincoln's ironclad 
oath. Time works wondrous changes in men's feelings, and 
there are thousands of slaveholders in this state who, two years 
ago, cursed Mr. Lincoln and his Government, who are now will- 
ing to have their slaves freed if the war can be brought to an 

We now come upon the first evidence of any difference, 
of a personal kind, existing between Senator Trumbull and 
President Lincoln. Opposing views on questions of public 
policy, such as the Confiscation Bill and arbitrary arrests, 
have already been noted. A difference of another kind is 
disclosed in a letter from N. B. Judd, Minister to Prussia. 
Judd had returned to his post after a visit to this country. 
He wrote to Trumbull under date, Berlin, January, 1864 : 

When I last saw you your conviction was that L. would be 
reelected. I tell you combinations can't prevent it. Events 
possibly may. But until some event occurs, is it wise or pru- 
dent to give an impression of hostility for no earthly good? tjsu- 
ally your judgment controls your feelings. Don't let the case be 
reversed now. Although a severe thinker you are not consti- 
tutionally a croaker. Excuse the freedom of my writing. I 
have given you proofs that I am no holiday friend of yours. 

The next piece of evidence found is a letter from Tnim- 


bull himself to H. G. McPike» of Alton, Illinois^ one of 
the few letters of which he kept a copy Jn his own hand- 

Washington, Feb. 6, 1884. 

The feeling for Mr. Lincoln's rejection seems to be very gen- 
eral* but much of; it I discover is only on the surface. You 
would be surprised, in talking with public men we meet here, 
to find how few, when you come to get at their real sentiments, 
are for Mr. Lincoln's rejection. There is a distrust and fear 
that he is too undecided and inefficient to put down the rebel- 
lion. You need not be surprised if a reaction sets in before the 
nomination, in favor of some man supposed to possess more 
energy and less inclination to trust our brave boys in the hands 
and under the leadership of generals who have no heart in the 
war. The opposition to Mr. L. may not show itself at all, but if 
it ever breaks out there will be more of it than now appears. 
Congress will do its duty, and it is not improbable we may pass 
a resolution to amend the Constitution so as to abolish slavery 
forever throughout the United States. 

The third scrap is a letter from Governor Yates to 
Trumbull dated Springfield, February 26, to whom, per- 
haps, McPike showed Trumbull's letter quoted above. 
Yates writes: 

As you are a Senator from lUinoiSj the state of Mr. Lincoln, 
please be cautious as to your course till I see you. I have such 
strong regard for you personally that I do not wish either ene- 
mies or friends on our side, who would like- to supplant you, to 
get any undue advantage over you. 

Trumbull believed there was a lack of eflBciency in the 
use made, by the executive branch of the Government, of 
the means placed at its disposal for putting down the 
rebellion. That such was his opinion was made clear by 
his participation in the anti-Seward movements of the 
previous year. Whether the opinion was justified or not, 
it was so generally entertained in Washington that if the 
nomination had rested in the hands of the Senators and 

INCIDENTS OF 1863 AND 1864 219 

Representatives in Congress, Lincoln would have had 
very few votes in the Baltimore Convention. Albert G. 
Riddle describes a scene in the White House in February, 
1864, illustrative of public sentiment in Washington at 
that time. The reception room of the Executive Mansion 
was filled with persons, most of whom were inveighing 
against Lincoln, who was not present. The one most loud 
and bitter against the President was Henry Wilson, of 
Massachusetts. His assaults were so amazing that Riddle 
cautioned him to choose some other place than the 
Executive Mansion for uttering them; advised him to 
make his speeches in the Senate, or get himself elected 
to the coming National Union Convention and then de- 
nounce Lincoln, where his words might have some effect. 
Wilson replied that he knew the people were for Lincoln 
and that nothing could prevent his renomination.^ 

The opposition was based wholly upon charges of 
ineflSciency and lack of earnestness and vigor in the prose- 
cution of the war. But the feeling, both among the people 
at home and the soldiers in the field, was so overwhelm- 
ingly for Lincoln, that when the delegates came together 
in convention the opposition in Congress was silenced. 
After the nominations of both parties had been made, 
however, the previous distrust reappeared on a larger 
scale and became so pronounced that Lincoln himself 
thought that he was about to be defeated and took steps 
to turn the Government over to McClellan practically 
before the constitutional period for his own retirement.' 
If Lincoln himself was in despair, other persons who shared 
his gloom might be excused. 

The radicals who were opposed to Lincoln held a con- 
vention in the city of Cleveland on the Slst of May, 1864, 

^ Riddle's ReeolUdunu qf War-Time, p. 887. 
> Nicolay & Hay, ix. 251. 


and nominated General John C. Fremont for President 
and General John Cochrane for Vice-President. Among 
the leaders in this movement were B. Gratz Brown, of 
Missouri, Wendell Phillips, of Massachusetts, and Rev. 
George B. Cheever, of New York. They had the sympa- 
thy of Ben Wade, of Ohio, and Henry Winter Davis, of 
Maryland, and they reckoned upon the support of many 
radical Germans of the fiery type, perhaps suflSciently 
numerous to turn the votes of some important Western 
States. On the 21st of September, Fremont withdrew as 
a candidate and on the 23d the President asked for the 
resignation of Montgomery Blair as Postmaster-General, 
which the latter immediately gave. The simultaneous 
retirement of Fremont and Blair, who were known to be 
enemies to each other, led to a suspicion that there was 
some connection between the two events. The account 
given by Nicolay and Hay conveys no hint of this, but 
is confused and self-contradictory. Evidence is available 
to indicate that Fremont made his retirement conditional 
upon the removal of Blair from the Cabinet, and that Lin- 
coln, although reluctant to lose Blair from his oflBcial 
family, deemed it a necessity to get the third ticket out of 
the presidential contest, for public reasons.^ 

In the Senatorial contest of 1867 the false accusation 
was made that Trumbull had refused to make speeches 
in favor of Lincoln's reelection; whereas he was the lead- 
ing speaker at the great Union Mass Meeting at Spring- 
field on the 5th of October, 1864, which was addressed 
by Doolittle, Yates, and Logan also. His correspondence 

^ A letter dated August 9, 1910, in my possession, from Mr. Gist Blair, son of 
Montgomery Blair, says: **I have always understood that my father retired 
from Mr. Lincoln*s Cabinet in order to secure the withdrawal of Fremont as a 
candidate against Mr. Lincoln. There are letters which I cannot now put my 
hand on, which indicate that Mr. Lincoln continued to consult my father prac- 
tically the same as if he were a member of the Cabinet, up to the time of 
Mr. Lincohi*s death." 

INCIDENTS OF 186S AND 1864 221 

shows that he spoke at several other places during that 

But speech-making did not gain the victory in the 
election of 1864. That fight was won by Genial Sherman 
at Atlanta, aided by General Sheridan in the Valley of 
Virginia, and by Admiral Farragut at Mobile. 



DoNN Piatt, meeting William H. Seward on the street 
on the morning immediately after the issuing of the pre- 
liminary proclamation of emancipation, complimented 
him for his share in the act, whereupon the following col- 
loquy ensued: 

** Yes," said Seward, "we have let off a puff of wind 
over an accomplished fact." 

"What do you mean, Mr. Seward?" 

"I mean that the emancipation proclamation was ut- 
tered in the first gun fired at Sumter and we have been 
the last to hear it. As it is, we show our sympathy with 
slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach 
them and holding them in bondage where we can set them 
free." ^ 

Seward did not say this in a censorious spirit, but what 
he did say was true. The proclamation applied only to 
states and parts of states under rebel control. It did not 
emancipate any slaves within the emancipator's reach. 
Whether it freed anybody anywhere was a matter of dis- 
pute. What its legal effect would be after the war should 
cease, no one could say. Moreover, if the President had 
legal authority to issue the proclamation, then he, or a 
successor in office, could revoke it. 

The Constitution had not given to the Federal Govern- 
ment power to emancipate slaves. The proclamation did 
not purport to rest upon any constitutional power, but 
upon war powers solely. But war powers last only while 

^ Memories of Men who Saved the Union, by Donn Piatt, p. 150. 


war lasts, and when it comes to an end, all sorts of people 
have all sorts of opinions as to the validity of acts done 
under them. 

Public opinion at the time was keenly alive to doubts 
regarding the President's powers in this particular. Con- 
gress was flooded with petitions calling for action to con- 
firm and validate the proclamation, but the way was beset 
with difficulties. Should the Constitution be amended, or 
would an act of Congress suffice ? If the Constitution 
should be amended, should it abolish slavery everywhere 
or only in the places designated by the President? Should 
loyal slave-owners be compensated, as Lincoln desired? 
What were the chances of getting such an amendment 
ratified by three fourths of the states? And for this pur- 
pose should the rebel states be counted as still in the 
Union? If so, the requisite number might not be 

The first resolution oflFered in Congress for such an 
amendment of the Constitution was proposed in the 
House on the 14th of December, 1863, by Representative 
James F. Wilson of Iowa, in these words : 

Section 1. Slavery being incompatible with a free govern- 
ment is forever prohibited in the United States ; and invol- 
untary servitude shall be permitted only as a punishment for 

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce the forego- 
ing section by appropriate legislation. 

On the ISth of January, 1864, Senator Henderson, of 
Missouri, offered a resolution to amend the Constitution 
by adding thereto the following article : 

Slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment 
for crime, shall not exist in the United States. 

These resolutions were referred to the Judiciary Com- 
mittees of the respective houses. 


On the 10th of February, Trumbull reported the Hen- 
derson Resolution from the Committee on the Judiciary, 
with an amendment in the nature of a substitute in the 
following terms: 

Article XIII 

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntaiy servitude, 
except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have 
been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States or any 
place subject to their jurisdiction. 

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article 
by appropriate l^islation. 

The phraseology followed pretty closely that of the Ordi- 
nance of 1787. Trumbull adopted it because it was among 
the household words of the nation. To become effective 
as a part of the Constitution, this article required the 
votes of two thirds of each branch of Congress and ratifi- 
cation by the l^islatures of three fourths of the States. 
Presenting the resolution to the Senate, Trumbull said 
that nobody could doubt that the conflict then raging, 
and all the desolation and death consequent thereon, had 
their origin in the institution of slavery; that even those 
who contended that the trouble was due to the agitators 
and abolitionists of the North must admit that if there 
were no slavery there would be no abolitionists. So also it 
must be admitted that if there had been no slavery there 
would have been no secession and no civil war. All the 
strife that had ever afflicted the nation, or all that could 
be considered menacing to the country's peace, had had 
its source in that institution. Various laws had been passed 
by Congress to give freedom tQ slaves of rebel owners and 
even these laws had not been executed properly. The 
President of the United States had issued a preliminary 
proclamation in September, 1862, and a final one in Janu- 
ary, 1863, declaring all slaves imder rebel control free. 


but not those under our control. The legal effect of such a 
proclamation had been a matter of dispute. Some persons 
held that the President had the constitutional power to 
issue it and that all the slaves designated were free, or 
would become so whenever the rebellion should be crushed ; 
while others contended that it had no effect either dejure 
or de facto. It was the duty of the lawmaking power to 
put an end to this uncertainty by some act more compre- 
hensive than any that had yet been adopted. Would a 
mere act of Congress suffice? It had been an axiom of all 
parties from the beginning of the Government that Con- 
gress had no authority to interfere with slavery in the 
states where it existed. We had authority, of course, to 
put down the enemies of the country and the right to slay 
them in battle; we had authority to confiscate their prop- 
erty; but did that give us authority to slay the friends 
of the Union, to confiscate their property, or to free their 
slaves? In his opinion the only conclusive and irrepeal- 
able way to make an end of slavery was by an amend- 
ment of the Constitution, and the only practical question 
remaining was whether the resolution recommended by 
the committee could secure a two-thirds vote in Congress 
and the concurrence of three fourths of the states. There 
were thirty-five states, including those in rebellion, and 
two territories about to become states. Presumably the 
affirmative votes of twenty-eight states would be required 
for ratification. 

In this speech Trumbull gave public expression to his 
feelings regarding the feeble prosecution of the war to 
which he had given private expression in the letters to 
friends referred to in the preceding chapter. He said : 

I trust that within a year, in less time than it will take to make 
this constitutional amendment effective, our armies will have 
put to flight the rebel armies. I think it ought to have been 


done long ago. Hundreds of millions of treasure and a hundred 
thousand lives would have been saved had the power of this 
republic been concentrated under one mind and hurled in masses 
upon the main rebel armies. This is what our patriotic soldiers 
have wanted and what I trust is now soon to be done. But 
instead of looking back and mourning over the errors of the 
past, let us remember them only for the lessons they teach for 
the future. Forgetting the things which are past, let us press 
forward to the accomplishment of what is before. We have at 
last placed at the head of our armies a man in whom the coim- 
try has confidence, a man who has won victories wherever he 
has been, and I trust that his mind is to be permitted, uninter- 
fered with, to unite our forces, never before so formidable as 
to-day, in one or two grand armies, and hurl them upon the 
rebel force.* 

The feeling here expressed by Trumbull was the pre- 
vailing sentiment at Washington at that time, even in 
President Lincoln's Cabinet. Both Gideon Welles and 
Edward Bates shared it. Welles wrote: 

In this whole summer's campaign I have been unable to see 
or hear or obtain evidence of power or will or talent or original- 
ity on the part of General Halleck. He has suggested nothing, 
decided nothing, done nothing but scold and smoke and scratch 
his elbows. Is it possible that the energies of a nation should be 
wasted by the incapacity of such a man? 

When Welles said to the President that he had observed 
the "inertness if not incapacity of the General-in-Chief, 
and had hoped that he [the President] who had better 
and more correct views would issue peremptory orders," 
Lincoln replied that it was better that he, who was not 
a military man, should defer to Halleck, rather than 
Halleck to him. 

Additional light is thrown by an entry in Hay's 
"Diaries"^ under date April 28, 1864, where Lincoln 

» Cong. Globe, 1868-64, part «, p. 1814. « Vol. i, p. 187. 


When It was proposed to station Halleck in general command, 
he insisted, to use his own language, on the appointment of 
a General-in-Chief who should be held responsible for results. 
We appointed him, and all went well enough until after Pope's 
defeat, when he broke down, — nerve and pluck all gone, — 
and has ever since evaded all possible responsibility, little more, 
since that, than a first-rate derk. 

General Francis V. Greene, reviewing the war as a 
whole, says that 

If Lincoln had placed Grant in command of the Western 
armies in July, 1862, when Halleck was made General-in-Chief, 
instead of in October, 1863, it would have probably shortened 
the war by a year.^ 

This opinion is concurred in by General Grenville M. 
Dodge, one of the surviving major-generals of the Civil 
War,^ and I imagine that it will not be disputed by any 
military man at the present day. These citations show 
that the opinions held by Trumbull, as to the ineflBciency 
of the directing force of the Union armies, up to the time 
when Grant was called to take command at Washington, 
were not those of a mere fault-finder and backbiter. 

A notable speech in favor of the anti-slavery amend- 
ment was made by Henderson, of Missouri, who was him- 
self a slave-owner. The most impressive speech made in 
either branch of Congress, however, was that of Senator 
Reverdy Johnson, of Maryland. The fact that he repre- 
sented a slaveholding State could not fail to add force to 
any argument he might make in support of the measure, 
but the argument itself, both in its moral and its legal 
aspects, was of surpassing merit. It deserves a high place 
in the annals of senatorial eloquence. 

The constitutional amendment was under debate in the 
Senate until the 8th of April, 1864, when it was passed by 

^ Seribner'a Magasine, July, 1909. * In a letter to the writer. 


a vote of 38 to 6. The negative votes were the two from 
Delaware, two from Kentucky, and those of Hendricks, 
of Indiana, and McDougall, of California. It then went 
to the House, where it was under consideration till the 
15th of June, when it failed of passage by a vote of 98 
to 65, not two thirds. The Democrats generally voted in 
the negative. A second attempt to pass it was made in 
the House on February 1, 1865, this time successfully, the 
yeas being 119 and the nays, 56. There was an extraor- 
dinary scene in the House when the final vote was taken. 
It is described by George W. Julian, in his "Recollec- 
tions" (page 250), thus: 

The time for the momentous vote had now come, and no lan- 
guage could describe the solenmity and impressiveness of the 
spectacle pending the roll-call. The success of the measine had 
been considered veiy doubtful, and depended upon certain 
negotiations, the result of which was not fully assured, and the 
particulars of which never reached the public.^ The anxiety 
and suspense during the balloting produced a deathly stillness, 
but when it became certainly known that the measure had pre- 
vailed, the cheering in the densely packed hall and galleries 
surpassed all precedent and beggared all description. Mem- 
bers joined in the general shouting, which was kept up for 

^ The particulars referred to by Julian were subsequently made public by 
Mr. A. G. Riddle in his Recollections of War-Time, p. 825. Two Democrats were 
induced to vote in the affirmative and one other to be absent when the vote was 
taken. One of them was induced to vote right by the promise of an office for hb 
brother; another was facing an election contest in the coming Congress where 
his own seat was claimed by a Republican opponent. The Democrat was prom* 
ised favorable consideration by the Republicans before the testimony in the 
case was examined. The third was counsel for a railroad against whose interests 
a bill was about to be reported in the Senate, which bill was in the control of 
Charles Sumner. The bUl would not be reported, or not reported soon, if the 
Congressman should be absent when the vote was taken. These arrangements. 
Riddle says, were negotiated by James M. Ashley, of Ohio, in whose hands the 
Republicans of the House had deposited their honor for the time being. If the 
three Democrats had voted in the negative, the result would have been 117 to 
59, one less than the necessary two thirds. But that would only have delayed 
the adoption of the amendment till the next Congress. 


several minutes, many embracing each other, and others 
completely surrendering themselves to their tears of joy. . . . 

The ratification of the amendment was announced by 
the Secretary of State on the 18th of December, 1865. 
Three states. South Carolina, Alabama, and Florida, 
when they ratified it, passed resolutions expressing their 
understanding that the second section did not authorize 
Congress to legislate on the political status or civil rela- 
tions of the negroes, but merely to confirm and protect 
their freedom. On November 1, 1865, Governor Perry, of 
South Carolina, wrote to President Johnson, saying that 
his state had abolished slavery in all good faith and never 
would wish to restore it again, but that his people feared 
that the second section might be construed to give Con- 
gress local power over legislation respecting negroes and 
white men in the state of freedom. To this letter Secre- 
tary Seward replied that the second section was "really 
restraining in its effect instead of enlarging the powers of 
Congress." By this he meant that it restrained Congress 
to the single subject of slavery. It did not give citizen- 
ship or civil rights to the freedmen. The legislature of 
South Carolina accordingly ratified the amendment on 
the 13th of November, and put on record the letter of 
Seward as the official interpretation of this clause by the 
Federal Executive. Alabama did substantially the same 
on the 2d of December and Florida on the 28th of 
December. Seward's interpretation of the second sec- 
tion of the amendment turned out to be correct, but 
many years of doubt and gloom were to pass before a de- 
cision upon it was reached in the Supreme Court. 

From what has gone before it appears doubtful whether 
President Lincoln's proclamation of emancipation freed 
any slaves legally. Its immediate value was not so much 
in its effect upon the blacks as upon the whites. It liber- 


ated millions of the latter from bondage to a false philoso- 
phy and a monstrous social creed and made possible and 
necessary the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment. 
To Senator Trumbull belongs the distinction of having 
traced its lines and this is his title to immortality. 



The next event of world-wide concern was the assassi- 
nation of President Lincoln, which took place April 14, 
1865. It does not come within the scope of this work, 
except as it finds expression or comment in the Trumbull 
papers. One such, found in a letter of Norman B. Judd, 
Minister to Prussia, dated Berlin, May 7, ought to be 

At the present moment he PLiincoln] is deified in Europe. 
History shows no similar outburst of grief and indignation. 
Crowned heads and statesmen, parliaments and corporate 
bodies, literary institutions and the people, all vie in pronounc- 
ing the eulogy. The entire press of Europe has for the last ten 
days been filled with nothing else. We have had a very impres- 
sive and imposing funeral service. Kings, Representatives, 
Ministers, and the Diplomatic Corps were amongst the num- 
ber present. The people assembled to three times the capac- 
ity of the church. I told my colleagues to come without uni- 
form. — Something new under the sun at this Court of Uni- 

When the work of Reconstruction began, two opposing 
ideas came in conflict with each other respecting the status 
of the seceding states. One was that the act of secession 
annihilated the State Governments and put the inhabi- 
rants and their belongings in the condition of newly 
acquired territories, subject in all things to the conquer- 
ing power. This opinion was held by Charles Sunmer and 
Thaddeus Stevens. The other view was that every act of 


secession was null and void; that state sovereignty was 
suspended but not extinguished in the Confederacy; and 
that when the rebellion was crushed, it became the duty 
of the General Government to recognize the loyal men 
in each state, as the rightful nucleus of sovereignty, to 
assist them to set the state Governments going again; in 
harmony, however, with accomplished facts, including 
the abolishment of slavery. 

The latter view had been adopted by President Lin- 
coln in a proclamation issued simultaneously with his 
annual message to Congress December 8, 186S. This proc- 
lamation declared that whenever the voters of any seced- 
ing state, not less in number than one tenth of those who 
had voted in the presidential election of I860, should reSs- 
tablish a loyal State Government, it should be recognized 
as the true Government of the state. The qualifications 
of voters should be those existing in the state immedi- 
ately before secession, "excluding all others," but it was 
provided that all previous proclamations of the Presi- 
dent and all acts of Congress in reference to slavery should 
be held inviolable. It was explained that the question 
of admitting to seats in Congress any persons who 
might be elected by such states as members would rest 
with the respective houses exclusively. It was added 
that while this plan of Reconstruction was favored by 
the President he did not mean that no other would be 

In pursuance of the proclamation an election was held 
in February, 1864, in that portion of Louisiana controlled 
by the Union army under command of General Banks, at 
which election 11,411 votes were cast — the whole vote 
of the state had usually been about 40,000. At this elec- 
tion, Michael Hahn had been chosen governor and he was 
inaugurated as such on the 4th of March, with impressive 


ceremonies, "in the presence of more than 50,000 people," 
as General Banks announced. Writing to Governor H[ahn 
under date, March 13, 1864, Lincoki said: 

Now you are about to have a convention which, among other 
things, will probably define the elective franchise. I barely sug- 
gest for your private consideration whether some of the colored 
people may not be let in, as, for instance, the very intelligent 
and especially those who have fought gallantly in our ranks. 
They will probably help, in some trying time to come, to keep 
the jewel of liberty in the family of freedom. But this is only a 
suggestion, not to the public but to you alone. 

A constitutional convention of Louisiana was elected 
March 28, 1864 ; it assembled April 6; adopted a free state 
constitution July 22, which was ratified by popular vote 
September 5. Under this constitution a legislature was 
elected by which two Senators were chosen to represent 
the state at Washington. Their credentials were referred 
to the Committee on the Judiciary, and on the 8th of 
January, 1865, Trumbull called at the White House to 
consult with Lincoln respecting their admission. One of 
the consequences of the interview was the unanimous 
agreement of the Judiciary Committee in favor of a joint 
resolution recognizing the Government of which Michael 
Hahn was the head. This resolution was reported by 
Trumbull on the 23d of February. Sumner objected to it 
because the constitution did not grant negro suffrage, and 
he avowed the intention of using all parliamentary means 
to defeat it. In this endeavor he had the cooperation of 
Senators Chandler and Wade and of most of the Demo- 
crats. The latter opposed the resolution because the con- 
sitution was not the work of the majority of the white 
people of the state. On the 24th, there was a debate of 
some bitterness between Sunmer and Doolittle. The lat- 
ter contended that the vote of Louisiana was needed to 


ratify the Thirteenth Amendment of the Federal Consti- 
tution. To this Sumner replied that the so-called state of 
Louisiana was a shadow, that no such state existed, and 
that its ratification would be worthless if obtained. Li 
this contention he was sustained by Garrett Davis, of 

There were only seven working days remaining of the 
Thirty-eighth Congress, and Sumner managed to stave 
oflf the vote, although there was a large majority in favor 
of the resolution, as was shown by roll-calls on various 
motions. There was a sharp passage-at-arms between 
Trumbull and Sumner, which made a breach between 
them for a considerable time. 

On the 11th of April, five days before his assassination, 
Lincoln delivered a carefully prepared address from the 
balcony of the White House in response to a greeting of 
citizens who had assembled to welcome him on his return 
from Richmond after the sturender of that city. He 
embraced the occasion to call attention again to the ques- 
tion of Reconstruction which was now becoming momen- 
tous. He referred to the plan which he had recommended 
in his annual message of December, 1863, and said that it 
had received the approval of every member of his Cabi- 
net (which then included Chase and Blair). It had not 
been objected to by any professed emancipationist until 
after the news reached Washington that the people of 
Louisiana were about to take action in accordance with it. 
Then the question had been raised whether the seceded 
states were in the Union or out of it. He did not consider 
that question a material one, but rather a pernicious 
abstraction, having only the mischievous effect of divid- 
ing loyal men. The question now uppermost was how to 
get the seceded states again into their proper practical 
relations with the Union. "Let us all join," he said, "in 


doing the acts necessary to restoring the proper practical 
relations between these states and the Union, and each 
forever after innocently indulge his own opinion whether, 
in doing the acts, he brought the states from without into 
the Union, or only gave them proper assistance, they 
never having been out." The question was not whether 
the Louisiana Government as reconstructed was quite all 
that was desirable, but whether it was wiser to take it and 
help to improve it, or to reject and disperse it. " Concede 
that the new Government of Louisiana is only, to what it 
should be, as the egg is to the fowl, we shall sooner have 
the fowl by hatching the egg than by smashing it." He 
concluded by saying that his remarks would apply gener- 
ally to other states, but that there were peculiarities per- 
taining to each state, and important and sudden changes 
occurring in the same state, so that no exclusive and 
inflexible plan could safely be prescribed as to details. 
Therefore, he held himself free to make some new an- 
nouncement to the people of the South when satisfied 
that such action would be proper. 

This was, in a political sense, his last will and testament. 
No other communication from him to his countrymen was 
more fraught with wisdom and patriotism. It received the 
prompt endorsement of William Lloyd Garrison, who 
defended it when attacked by Professor Newman, of 
London University.^ Garrison held not only that Lincoln 
had no right to interfere with the voting laws of the states, 
but that it would be bad policy to do so; for if negro 
suffrage were imposed upon the South against the will of 
the people, then, ^'as soon as the State was organized 
and left to manage its own affairs, the white population, 
with their superior intelligence, wealth, and power, 
would unquestionably alter the franchise in accordance 

^ Life of Garrimm, by hb sons, iv, 128. 


with their prejudices and exclude those thus summarily 
brought to the polL^/' 

Garrison sa;w further than Sumner, but nobody at 
the North then imagined the tremendous consequences 
that were to follow the upsetting of Lincoln's plan. If 
Trumbull's resolution had passed, it would have served as 
a precedent for all the seceding states, in which case most 
of the misery of the next fifteen years in the South, includ- 
ing the carpet-bag governments and the Ku-£lux-Klan, 
would have been avoided. 

President Johnson at first had been rather more radical 
than the majority of his party as to the measure of pun- 
ishment to be visited upon the leaders of the rebellion. 
He had several times talked about '^ making treason 
odious," and had said that traitors should take back seats 
in the work of Reconstruction, and had used language 
which implied that some of the more prominent Confeder- 
ates ought to be tried and executed for treason. He had 
a sharp difference with General Grant as to the inclusion 
of General Lee in that category. Grant insisting that no 
oflBcer or soldier who had observed the terms of capitula- 
tion at Appomattox could be rightfully molested.^ 

But this feeling of animosity on Johnson's part grad- 
ually passed away. In an authorized interview with 
George L. Steams, October 8, 1865, on the subject of 
Reconstruction, and again in an interview with Frederick 
Douglass and others, February 7, 1866, on the suffrage 
question, he said nothing about making treason odious, 
but declared himself opposed to unrestricted negro suf- 
frage because he believed it would lead to a war of races 
— a war between the non-slaveholding class (the poor 
whites) and the negroes. The former hated and despised 

^ Grant's testimony before the House Committee on the Judiciary, July 18, 
1867. McPherson, p. SOS. ,- 


the latter, and this feeling he thought would be intensified 
if the suffrage were granted to the negroes. 

"The query comes up/' said Johnson in his colloquy 
with Douglass, "whether these two races, situated as 
they were before, without preparation, without time for 
the slightest improvement, whether the one should be 
turned loose upon the other, and be thrown together at 
the ballot-box with this enmity and hate existing between 
them. The question comes up right there, whether we 
don't commence a war of races. I think I understand this 
thing, and especially is this the case when you force it 
upon a people without their consent." 

Johnson had adopted not only Lincoln's plan of Recon- 
struction, but his Cabinet also. At its first meeting, April 
16, the unfinished project for the establishment of civil 
government in Virginia, drafted by Secretary Stanton at 
Lincoln's instance, was presented but not acted on. At 
a subsequent meeting. May 8, it was considered and 
adopted, and was promulgated as an Executive Order on 
the following day. It recognized Francis M. Peirpoint, 
who had been nominal governor in Lincoln's time, as 
actual governor, and declared that in order to guarantee 
to the state of Virginia a republican form of government 
and to afford the advantage and security of domestic 
laws, and the full and complete restoration of peace, he 
would be aided by the Government of the United States 
in the measures he might take to accomplish those ends. 

A loyal State Government of considerable scope and 
solidity, formed by Johnson himself as military governor, 
already existed in Tennessee. This was now recognized 
by the President as an accomplished fact. W. G. Brown- 
low had been elected governor, and a legislature had been 
constituted, which had passed a franchise act that limited 
the voting privilege to whites and excluded rebels of a 


certain grade. The Lincoln State Government of Louisiana 
and a similar one in Arkansas were allowed to stand. 

On the 29th of May, the President issued an Executive 
Order appointing W. W. Holden provisional governor of 
North Carolina, and prescribing certain duties to be per- 
formed by him; among others that of calling a convention 
to be chosen by the loyal people of the state for the pur- 
pose of altering or amending the state constitution, and 
forming a government fit to be recognized and defended 
by the Government of the United States. Following the 
precedent made by Lincoln in the Louisiana case, the 
qualifications of voters at the election of delegates to 
the convention were fixed and declared to be those "pre- 
scribed by the constitution and laws of North Carolina 
in force inmiediately before the 20th day of May, 1861, the 
date of the so-called ordinance of secession," excepting, 
however, certain classes of whites. Similar orders fol- 
lowed in rapid succession for reorganizing Mississippi, 
Georgia, Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, and Florida, 
the last one bearing date July 13, 1865. Before the form 
of the order was adopted, a vote had been taken in the 
Cabinet on the question whether negroes should be 
allowed to vote in the election of Delegates. Of the six 
members present, three had voted in the aflSrmative and 
three in the negative. Seward was not present, being still 
confined to his bed by the wounds infiicted on him the 
night when Lincoln was assassinated. The President then 
took the matter in his own hands, and at the next meet- 
ing of the Cabinet read the North Carolina order and none 
of the members offered any objection to it. 

Thus Reconstruction had been mapped out, so far as 
the executive branch of the Government was concerned, 
before the Thirty-ninth Congress assembled. 

Together with the order for Reconstruction in North 


Carolina, the President issued a proclamation of amnesty 
for all persons who had participated in the rebellion, 
excepting, however, certain specified classes of offenders. 
This proclamation bore the same date, and was published 
simultaneously with the North Carolina order; but the 
newspapers of the day, while commenting upon and gen- 
erally approving, made little account of the fact that 
negroes were excluded from voting at the election for 
delegates. The New York Tribune of May 30 merely 
said: "Of course no blacks can vote." The New York 
Times made mention of the same fact. 

The New York Evening Post of the same date, however, 
after pointing out that only white men and taxpayers 
could vote in the coming election in North Carolina, said : 

Unless, in the process of the reorganization, we build upon 
the principle laid down in the Declaration of Independence, 
that all men are created free and equal, there is no assurance 
that the different elements of which our social and political 
state is composed will subsist in harmony and tranquil coopera- 
tion. In that direction lies our way to political safety. If we 
attempt to build upon any foimdation of inequality between 
races and castes, we shall find a condition of things prevailing 
similar to that which has been the source of so many calamities 
to Ireland. 

The first blast against Andrew Johnson was sounded 
by Wendell Phillips at the New England Anti-Slavery 
Convention, Boston, May 31, on a resolution offered by 
himself affirming that 

The reconstruction of the rebel states without negro suffrage 
is a practical surrender to the Confederacy and will make the 
anti-slavery proclamation of the late President, and even the 
expected amendment of the Constitution utterly inefficient for 
the freedom and protection of the negro. 

This resolution was supported by Phillips in a spirit of 
blind fury. Every life and every dollar that had been 


spent by the North had been stolen, he contended, if this 
policy should prevail, and "there was but one way in 
which the people could still hold the helm of affairs, and 
lliat was by a repudiation of the entire war debt ! " Such a 
party would have his voice and vote until God called him 
home. "Better, far better, would it have been for Grant 
to'have surrendered to Lee, than for Johnson to have sur- 
rendered to North Carolina." 

The New York Tribuney June 2, took notice of Phillips, 
and, after adverting to his intemperate attacks on Salmon 
P. Chase and Abraham Lincoln in the past, turned to his 
"like delicate attentions" to Mr. Lincoln's successor. 

President Johnson [it said] believes in, and favors, the exten- 
sion of the elective franchise to blacks, but since he holds that 
no state has gone out, or could go out, of the Union, he believes 
that the Southern state constitutions stand as before, and that 
the right of suffrage stands as before until legally changed. We 
do not insist [it continued] that this is the true doctrine — we 
do not admit an unqualified right in the enfranchised people of 
any state to do as they will with the residue. Yet we insist that 
President Johnson's view is one that a true man may honestly, 
conscientiously hold — may hold it without being a hypocrite, 
a demagogue, or a tool of the slave power. And we think few 
considerate persons will deny that it is greatly desirable, if the 
desired reparation in the sUdus of the f reedmen can be achieved 
through the several states rather than over them — that it 
would be more stable, less grudging, more real, if thus accom- 
plished. In fact, we should prefer waiting a year or two, or 
accepting a limited enfranchisement, to a full recognition of the 
Equal Rights of Man by virtue only of a presidential edict, 
or order from the War Department, or even an act of Con- 

The New York Times ^ June 21, concurred, saying: 

It is an open question whether the Government should or 
should not attempt to secure suffrage to the Southern blacks; 
the best men may differ about it. 


It scored Wendell Phillips for advocating repudiation of 
the national debt as a cure for any other evil whatsoever. 

When Mr. Phillips says that if the Government and the peo- 
ple do not accept his doctrine, he will tiun scoimdrel and join a 
party of scoundrels, he does his doctrine the very worst injury 

Meanwhile there was a witches' caldron boiling in tiie 
South. The Confederate States had been impoverished 
by the war. Their labor system had been overturned 
under circumstances and in a mode that no other people 
had ever experienced. The negroes knew nothing of the 
responsibilities of freedom. They could not understand 
the meaning of a contract. The ex-slaves, when hired 
for a specified time, might abandon their work the next 
day or the next week, and return the following day or 
week and run the risk of being flogged or shot, either for 
going away or for coming back. The ex-masters, knowing* 
only one way of getting work out of the negro, — that of 
compulsion, — contended and believed that there was no 
other way, or none that would serve the purpose during 
their lifetime; and since the crops of the present year could 
not wait for the milder teachings of education and reason, 
they adopted the only means that would secure immediate 
results. The planters, or the majority of them, were still 
further crippled by having no money to pay wages. All 
of their money had become filthy rags by the downfall of 
the Confederacy. The only alternative was hiring labor 
on shares. This was an embarrassment that the Northern 
men (carpet-baggers) who went to the South directly 
after the war did not suffer from. Some of these, tempted 
by the high price of cotton and the low price of land, hired 
or bought plantations, and they had the pick of the labor 
market because they could pay cash. Their example 
was a fresh irritation to the impecunious native planter. 


who, in losing the Confederacy, had lost everything 
except the clothes he stood in, which were much the 
worse for wear. 

If there was to be a crop of cotton, or of anything, in 
1865, the laboring population must be kept in some kind 
of order. Work days must be continuous, and not alter- 
native with hunting and fishing days and play days. 
The planters looked to their legislatures in this emer- 
gency, and the legislatures enacted laws as near to the 
old slave codes as the condition of emancipation would 
allow, — if not nearer. These enactments began to reach 
the North before the Thirty-ninth Congress assembled. 
They were accompanied by tales of cruelty and outrage 
committed upon the freedmen, and of disloyal utterances 
and threats on the part of the unreconciled whites, male 
and female, who had been deprived of every weapon 
except their tongues. Little account was made of the 
need of time in which to become reconciled to these 
changes and to acquire admiration for those who had 
brought them about. 

Among letters which reached Trumbull was one from 
Colonel J. W. Shaflfer, of the Union Army, dated New 
Orleans, December 25, 1865, who gave the following 
account of what he had observed along the Gulf Coast: 

I have been to Mobile, spent a week there, have traveled 
around in this state, talked much with friend and enemy, and 
I unhesitatingly say that our President has been going too fast. 
I am told by all Union men that after the surrender of the rebel 
armies the men retiuned perfectly quiet, came to Southern and 
Northern Union men, saying, " We don't know what is expected 
of us by the Government, but one thing is certain, we are tired 
of war and desire above all things to retiun to the quiet pur- 
suits of life and try to mend our fortune as best we can, and 
cultivate a friendly feeling with all parts of the country once 
more; now tell us how to do this.*' Soon, however, to their sur- 


prise they found that the control of everything was to be again 
put in their hands, and at once they became insolent, abused 
the Government openly, and openly declared that Union men 
and Yankees must leave as soon as the military is withdrawn. 
Had they been given to understand that the Government was 
going to continue to govern and control, and that Union men 
alone would be trusted with the management of affairs, these 
people would have been entirely satisfied, glad to escape with 
their lives, and would at once have adapted themselves to cir- 
cumstances. Now they are drunk with power, ruling and abus- 
ing every loyal man, white and black. 

Per contra, Dr. C. H. Ray wrote, under date Septem- 
ber 29, 1865, on the subject of Reconstruction : 

What are our Republican papers thinking of when they make 
war upon the President as they are now doing? I see that there 
is hardly one to stand up in his defense, and that he will be 
fought out of our ranks into the arms of the Democracy. I do 
not see that he is so guilty as he is said to be, and for one I can- 
not join the cry against him. What do his assailants expect — 
to carry the coimtry on the Massachusetts idea of negro suf- 
frage, female suffrage, confiscation, and hanging? If so, they 
will drive all moderate men out of the party and the remainder 
straight to perdition. 

Only five Northern States at this time allowed negroes 
to vote at elections, and one of these (New York) required 
a property qualification from blacks but not from whites. 
The state of Illinois had an unrepealed black code similar 
to that of Kentucky, and had added to it, as lately as 
1853, a law for imprisoning any black or mulatto person 
brought into, or coming into, the state, for the' purpose 
of residing there, whether free or otherwise. Some liti- 
gation for the enforcement of this act was begun in 
Cass County in 1868, while the Civil War was in pro- 

^ Journal of the niinois State Historical Society, vol. iv, no. 4. 


ANDREW Johnson's first biessage 

Said the New York Times ^ December 6, 1865 : 

Probably no executive document was ever awaited with 
greater interest than the message transmitted to Congress yes- 
terday. It is safe to say that none ever gave greater satisfac- 
tion when received. Its views on the most momentous subjects, 
domestic and foreign, that ever concerned the nation, are full 
of wisdom, and are conveyed with great force and dignity. 

The original manuscript of the message thus eulogized 
was discovered nearly half a century later by Professor 
Dunning, of Columbia University, in the handwriting 
of George Bancroft, among the Johnson papers in the 
Library of Congress. 

It remains a document creditable alike to the man who 
composed it and to the one who made it his own by 
sending it as an official communication to Congress. It 
breathed the spirit of peace and harmony, of justice tem- 
pered with mercy, of human kindness and helpfulness, 
of self-abnegation and self-restraint, all couched in the 
tone of high statesmanship. It adhered, however, to the 
opinion previously expressed by the President, that the 
Executive had no right to extend the suffrage to persons 
to whom it had not been granted by state authority. 

A discriminating yet warm eulogium of the message 
was pronounced by the New York Nation^ which was 
then in the sixth month of its existence. It had criticized 
the President's Reconstruction acts as too hasty. Two or 
three months' time it considered too short to reconcile 
whites and blacks and teach them to respect each other's 


rights. Nevertheless, taken for all in all, the message was 
one which every American might read with pride. 

We do not know [it continued] where to look in any other part 
of the globe, for a statesman whom we could fix upon as likely 
to seize the points of so great a question, and state them with 
so much clearness and breadth, as this Tennessee tailor who 
was toiling for his daily bread in the humblest of employments 
when the chiefs of all other coimtries were reaping every advan- 
tage which school, college, and social position could furnish. 
Those who tremble over the future of democracy may well take 
heart again when men like Lincoln and Johnson can at any 
great crisis be drawn from the poorest ranks of society, and have 
the destinies of the nation placed in their hands with the free 
assurance that their very errors will be better and wiser than 
the skill and wisdom of kings and nobles. For if the President 
were to commit to-morrow every mistake or sin which his worst 
enemies have ever feared, his plan of Reconstruction would still 
remain the brightest example of humanity, self-restraint, and 
sagacity ever witnessed — something to which the history of no 
other country offers any approach, and which it is safe to say 
none but a democratic society would be capable of carrying out. 

The statesmanship of George Bancroft did not govern 
very long. The irony of fate decreed that within two 
months of the time when such words as the foregoing 
were uttered by the most competent critics in the land, 
the President of whom they were spoken should be in bit- 
ter strife with the majority of his own party, and within 
two years be facing trial by impeachment. 

Andrew Johnson was bom of a fighting race and in a 
region of fighters. He shared the poverty and ignorance 
of the mountaineers of East Tennessee. Hard labor was 
his portion in youth and early manhood. He was a tailor 
by trade. ^ He could read, but could not write until he 

^ " For a man who had ' come from the people/ as he was fond of saying, and 
whose heart was always with the poor and distressed, Andrew Johnson was one 
of the neatest men in his dress and person I have ever known. During his three 
years in Nashville, in particular, he dressed in black broadcloth frock-coat and 


was married, when the latter accomplishment was im- 
parted to him by his wife. With this kind of start he 
became, like Abraham Lincoln, and in much the same 
way and facing the same difficulties, a public speaker, and 
acquired by steady practice the faculty of making his 
meaning clear to the commonest understanding. When he 
found himself in the Senate of the United States, shortly 
before the outbreak of secession, he had few if any supe- 
riors as a debater in that body, and the Union had not a 
more unflinching defender. North or South. Alexander 
H. Stephens, a competent judge, considered Johnson's 
speech against secession the best one made in the Senate 
during the whole controversy. Secretary Seward, who ac- 
companied him in his '^ swing around the circle" in 1866, 
said that he was then the best stump speaker in the coun- 
try. Certainly the speech with which he began that tour 
at New York on the 29th of August was a great one. It 
fills five pages of McPherson's "History of Reconstruc- 
tion." It was extemporaneous, but faultless in manner 
and matter; it was charged with the spirit of patriotism, 
and it will bear comparison with anything in the annals 
of American polemics. If he had made no other speech 
in that campaign the results might have been far differ- 
ent, and the Union party which elected him might have 
avoided the breach which soon became remediless. 

The first blow leading to this breach was struck by 
Sunmer in the Senate, December 19, 1865, when he re- 
ferred to a message of the President, of the previous day, 
on the condition of tiie South, as a "whitewashing mes- 
sage " akin to that of President Pierce on the affairs of 

wabtcoat and black doeskin trousers, and wore a silk hat. This had been his 
attire for thirty years, and for most of that time, whether as governor of Ten- 
nessee, member of Congress, or United States Senator, he had made all of his 
own clothes." (Benjamin C. Truman, Secretary to Andrew Johnson, in Cenr 
twry Magasine, January, 1913.) 


Kansas. When Reverdy Johnson deprecated such an 
assault on the President of the United States, Sumner 
replied that it was "no assault at all," but after two other 
Senators (Doolittle and Dixon) had said that it was tiie 
same as accusing the President of falsifying, he replied 
that he did not so mtend it, but he did not withdraw or 
modify it. 

Certain acts of Southern legislatures on the subjects of 
apprenticeship, vagrancy, domicile, wages, patrols, idle- 
ness, disobedience of orders, and violation of contracts 
on the part of laborers were early brought to the atten- 
tion of the Thirty-ninth Congress. Many of tiiese acts 
betokened an intention on the part of the lawmakers to 
reduce the freedmen to a state of serfdom or peonage. 
The Virginia legislature, for example, passed a vagrancy 
act, the ultimate eflfect of which, Major-General Terry 
said, would be to "reduce the freedmen to a condition 
of servitude worse than that from which they had been 
emancipated — a condition which will be slavery in all 
but its name." Whereupon the general, being in com- 
mand of the military department, issued an order dated 
January 26, 1866, that "no magistrate, civil oflScer, or 
other person, shall, in any way or manner, apply or 
attempt to apply, the provisions of said statute to any 
colored person in this department." President Johnson 
refused to interfere with General Terry's order when it 
was brought to his attention. 

On the 13th of December, Senator Wilson, of Massa- 
chusetts, introduced a bill to declare invalid all acts, 
ordinances, rules, and regulations in the states lately in 
insurrection, in which any inequality of civil rights was 
established between persons on account of color, race, 
or previous condition of servitude. The Natick cobbler 
was as keen and fluent a debater as the ICnoxville tailor. 


He had a Yankee drawl in his pronunciation which 
detracted from the real merits of his argument, and so it 
came to pass that, contrary to the usual fate of extem- 
pore speaking, his speeches read better than they 
sounded. His speech in support of his measure on the 
21st of December was in his best style. It was devoid of 
passion or invective. He cherished no ill-feeling toward 
any person, high or low, who had been engaged in the 
rebellion. He did not seek or desire to punish anybody. 
Least of all did he desire to raise an issue with the Presi- 
dent. He wanted only peace, order, friendship, and 
brotherhood between North and South, as soon as possi- 
ble; but there could be no peace with these statutes 
staring us in the face. Therefore, he demanded that they 
be swept into oblivion with the slave codes that had pre- 
ceded them. 

Wilson desired an immediate vote on his bill. Senator 
Sherman thought that it ought to be referred to a com- 
mittee and postponed until the anti-slavery amendment 
of the Constitution should be oflBcially proclaimed. 
Trumbull concurred with Sherman. He said: 

I do not rise, sir, with a view of discussing the bill under con- 
sideration: it is one relating to questions of a very grave char- 
acter, and ought not to pass without due consideration. The 
Senator from Massachusetts tells us that it has been submitted 
to distinguished lawyers, and they all conceded its propriety, 
and nobody disputes the power of Congress to pass it. Doubt- 
less that was their opinion and is the opinion of the Senator 
from Massachusetts. Perhaps it would be my opinion upon 
investigation. I will not undertake to say, at this time, what 
the powers of the Congress of the United States may be over 
the people in the lately rebellious states. 

There was a time between the suppression of the rebellion 
and the institution of any kind of government in those states 
when it was absolutely necessary that some power or other to 
prevent anarchy should have control. The Senator from Dela- 


ware, and I believe the Senator from Maryland, said the rebel- 
lion was over, but at the time that the rebellion ceased there 
was no organized government whatever in most of the rebel 
states; and was the Government of the United States to with- 
draw its forces and leave the people in a state of anarchy for the 
time being? Surely not. As a consequence of the rebellion and 
of the authority clearly vested in the Government of the United 
States to put down the rebellion, in my judgment the Govern- 
ment had the right, in the absence of any local governments, 
to control and govern the people till state organizations could 
be set up by the people which should be recognized by the 
Federal Government as loyal and true to the Constitution. It 
must be so. It is a necessity of the condition of things. 

But, sir, I do not propose at this time to discuss this bill. It 
is one, I think, of too much importance to be passed without 
a reference to some committee. The bill does not go far enough, 
if what we have been told to-day in regard to the treatment of 
freedmen in the Southern States is true. The bill, perhaps, also 
may be premature in the sense stated by the Senator from 
Ohio. We have not yet the official information of the adoption 
of the constitutional amendment. That that amendment will 
be adopted, there is very little question; until it is adopted 
there may be some question (I do not say how the right is) 
as to the authority of Congress to pass such a bill as this, but 
after the adoption of the constitutional amendment there can 
be none. 

The second clause of that amendment was inserted for some 
purpose, and I would like to know of the Senator from Dela- 
ware for what purpose? Sir, for the purpose, and none other, 
of preventing state legislatures from enslaving, under any pre- 
tense, those whom the first clause declared should be free. It 
was inserted expressly for the purpose of conferring upon Con- 
gress authority by appropriate legislation to carry the first sec- 
tion into effect. What is the first section? It declares that 
throughout the United States and all places within their juris- 
diction neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist; 
and then the second section declares that Congress shall have 
authority by appropriate legislation to carry this provision into 
effect. What that "appropriate legislation" is, is for Congress 
to determine, and nobody else. 


Mr. Saulsbury here interrupted, saying, "I wish to 
ask the honorable Senator a question, with his consent, 
first answering his own. He asks me for what purpose 
that second section was introduced. I do not know; I 
had nothing to do with it. And now I wish to ask the 
honorable Senator whether, when it was before this body 
for adoption, he avowed in his advocacy of it that it was 
meant for such purposes as are now claimed." 

Then the following colloquy ensued: 

Mb. Trumbull. I never understood it in any other way. 

Mb. Saulsbuby. Did you state it to the Senate? 

Mb. Tbumbull. I do not know that I stated it to the Senate. 
I might as well have stated to the Senator from Delaware that 
the clause which declared that Slavery should not exist any- 
where within the United States means that slavery should 
not exist within the United States! I could make it no plainer 
by repetition or illustration than the statement itself makes it. 
I reported from the Judiciary Committee the second section of 
the constitutional amendment for the very purpose of confer- 
ring upon Congress authority to see that the first section was car- 
ried out in good faith, and for none other; and I hold that un- 
der that second section Congress will have the authority, when 
the constitutional amendment is adopted, not only to pass the bill 
of the Senator from Massachusetts, but a bill that will be much 
more efficient to protect the freedman in his rights. We may, if 
deemed advisable, continue the Freedmen's Bureau, clothe it 
with additional powers, and if necessary back it up with a mili- 
tary force, to see that the rights of the men made free by the 
first clause of the constitutional amendment are protected. 
And, sir, when the constitutional amendment shall have been 
adopted, if the information from the South be that the men 
whose liberties are secured by it are deprived of the privilege to 
go and come when they please, to buy and sell when they please, 
to make contracts and enforce contracts, I give notice that, if 
no one else does, I shall introduce a bill and urge its passage 
through Congress that will secure to those men every one of 
these rights: they would not be freemen without them. It is 
idle to say that a man is free who cannot go and come at pleas- 


lire, who cannot buy and sell» who cannot enforce his rights. 
These are rights which the first clause of the constitutional 
amendment meant to secure to all; and to prevent the very 
cavil which the Senator from Delaware suggests to-day, that 
Congress would not have power to secure them, the second sec- 
tion of the amendment was added. 

There were some persons who thought it was unnecessary to 
add the second clause. It was said by some that wherever a 
power was conferred upon Congress there was also conferred 
authority to pass the necessary laws to carry that power into 
effect, under the general clause in the Constitution of the United 
States which declares that Congres shall have authority to pass 
all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution any of 
the powers conferred by the Constitution. I think Congress 
would have had the power, even without the second clause, to 
pass all laws necessary to give effect to the provision making all 
persons free; but it was intended to put it beyond cavil and dis- 
pute, and that was the object of the second clause, and I cannot 
conceive how any other construction can be put upon it. 

Now, sir, I trust that this bill may be referred, because I 
think that a bill of this character should not pass without delib- 
erate consideration and without going to some of the conmiit- 
tees of the Senate. But the object which is had in view by this 
bill I heartily sympathize wiUi, and when the constitutional 
amendment is adopted I trust we may pass a bill, if the action 
of the people in the Southern States should make it necessary, 
that will be much more sweeping and efficient than the bill 
imder consideration. I will not sit down, however, without 
expressing the hope that no such legislation maybe necessary. 
I trust that the people of the South, who in their state constitu- 
tions have declared that slavery shall no more exist among 
them, will by their own legislation make that provision effec- 
tive. I trust there may be a feeling among them in harmony 
with the feeling throughout the coimtry, and which shall not 
only abolish slavery in name, but in fact, and that the legisla- 
tion of the slave states in after years may be as effective to ele- 
vate, enlighten, and improve the African as it has been in 
past years to enslave and degrade him.^ 

1 Cong, Olobe, 1865-66, i, 42, 43. 


On the 18th of December the adoption of the anti- 
slavery amendment was officially announced. On the 
same day the President sent to the Senate two reports on 
the condition of affairs, and the state of opinion, in the 
South, — a very brief one from Lieutenant-General 
Grant and a much longer one from Major-General Carl 
Schurz. The former was an incidental result of a three 
weeks' tour of inspection for military purposes. 

General Grant had spent one day in Raleigh, North 
Carolina, two days in Charleston, South Carolina, and 
one day each in Savannah and Augusta, Georgia. The 
substance of his report was that he did not think it prac- 
ticable to withdraw the military at present; that the citi- 
zens of the Southern States were anxious to return to 
self-government within the Union as soon as possible; 
that they were in earnest in wishing to do what they sup- 
posed was required of them by the Government and not 
humiliating to them as citizens. 

I am satisfied, [he said] that the mass of thinking men of the 
South accept the present situation of affairs in good faith. The 
questions which have heretofore divided the sentiment of the 
people of the two sections — slavery and state rights, or the 
right of a state to secede from the Union — they regard as hav- 
ing been settled forever by the highest tribunal — arms — that 
man can resort to. I was pleased to learn from the leading 
men whom I met that they not only accepted the decision 
arrived at as final, but, now that the smoke of battle has cleared 
away and time has been given for reflection, that this decision 
has been a fortunate one for the whole country, they receiving 
like benefits from it with those who opposed them in the field 
and in council. 

He alluded to a belief widely spread among the freed- 
men that the lands of their former owners were to be 
divided, in part at least, among them and that this belief 
was seriously interfering with their willingness to make 
labor contracts for the ensuing year. Then he added : 


In some instances, I am sorry to say, the freedman's mind 
does not seem to be disabused of the idea that a f reedman has 
the right to live without care or provision for the future. The 
effect of the belief in the division of lands is idleness and accu- 
mulation in camps, towns, and cities. In such cases, I think, 
it will be found that vice and disease will tend to the exter- 
mination or great reduction of the colored race. It cannot be 
expected that the opinions held by men at the South for years 
can be changed in a day; and, therefore, the freedmen require 
for a few years not only laws to protect them, but the fostering 
care of those who will give them good counsel and on whom 
they can rely. 

General Schurz's investigation had been made at the 
special request of the President. He had spent three 
months in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missis- 
sippi, and Louisiana. The President, when appointing 
him, had said that his own policy of Reconstruction was 
merely experimental and subject to change if it did not 
lead to satisfactory results. Schurz says in his " Remin- 
scences" ^ that when he returned to Washington from 
his journey he had much diflBculty in procuring an inter- 
view with the President; that the latter received him 
coldly and did not ask him for the results of his investi- 
gation ; and that when he (Schurz) said that he intended 
to write a report, the President said that he need not 
take that trouble on his account. Schurz was convinced 
that the President wished to suppress his testimony and 
he resolved that he should not do so. He accordingly 
wrote the report and sent it in, with the accompanying 
documents, and let his friends in the Senate know that 
he had done so. On the 12th of December the Senate, on 
Sumner's motion, called for the report. The President did 
not respond immediately. In the mean time he had had 
a conversation with General Grant whose views were for 

1 Vol. m, p. 202. 


the most part in accord with his own, and he asked the 
latter to communicate the information he had gained 
during his Southern tour in order to make it a part of his 
reply to the Senate Resolution. The reply occupies only 
one page and a half of McPherson's "Reconstruction." 
Schurz's consists of forty-four printed pages of text and 
fifty-eight pages of appendix; Schurz considered this the 
best paper he had ever written on a public matter, and 
there can be no doubt that it had great influence in Con- 
gress and on the Republican party. Yet the brief report 
of Grant was the sounder of the two. Indeed, Schurz 
himself in his later years had doubts as to the validity of 
his own conclusions.^ 

Schurz's conclusions may be summarized thus: 

If nothing were necessary but to restore the machinery of 
government in the states lately in rebellion in point of form, 
the movements made to that end by the people of the South 
might be considered satisfactory. But if it is required that the 
Southern people should also accommodate themselves to the 
result of the war in point of spirit, those movements fall far 
short of what must be insisted upon. . . . 

The emancipation of the slaves is submitted to only in so far 
as chattel slavery in the old form could not be kept up. But 
although the freedman is no longer considered the property of 
the individual master, he is considered the slave of society, and 

^ " It gives me some satisfaction now to say that none of those statements 
of fact have ever been eflFectually controverted. I cannot speak with the same 
assurance of my conclusions and recommendations, for they were matters not 
of knowledge but of judgment. And we stood at that time face to face with a 
situation bristling with problems so complicated and puzzling that every pro- 
posed solution based upon assumptions ever so just, and supported by reason- 
ing apparently ever so logical, was liable to turn out in practice apparently more 
mischievous than any other. In a great measure this has actually come to 
pass. ... I am far from saying that somebody else might not have performed 
the task much better than I did. But I do think that this report b the best 
paper I have ever written on a public matter. The weakest part of it is that 
referring to negro suffrage — not as if the argument, as far as it goes, were wrong, 
but as it leaves out of consideration several aspects of the matter, the great 
importance of which has since become apparent.'' (Reminucences, ui, 204, 209.) 


all independent state legislation will share the tendency to make 
him such. The ordinances abolishing slavery, passed by the con- 
ventions imder pressure of circumstances, will not be looked 
upon as barring the establishment of a new form of servitude. 

Practical attempts on the part of the Southern people to 
deprive the negro of his rights as a freeman may result in 
bloody collisions, and will certainly plunge Southern society 
into restless fluctuations and anarchical confusion. Such evils 
can be prevented only by continuing the control of the National 
Government in the states lately in rebellion until free labor is 
fully developed and firmly established, and the advantages and 
blessings of the new order of things have disclosed themselves. 
This desirable result will be hastened by a firm declaration, on 
the part of the Government, that national control in the South 
will not cease until such results are secured. . . . 

The solution of the problem would be very much facilitated 
by enabling all the loyal and free-labor elements in the South 
to exercise a healthy influence upon legislation. It will hardly 
be possible to secure the freedman against oppressive class 
legislation and private persecution, imless he be endowed with 
a certain measure of political power. 

It is fitting to notice here a letter written by Hon. 
J. L. M. Curry, of Alabama, to Senator Doolittle and 
read by him in the Senate on April 6, 1866. 

I was [said Mr. Curry] a secessionist, for a while a member 
of the Confederate Congress, and afterward in the army, on the 
staff of generals, or in command of a regiment. It would be 
merest affectation to pretend that I was not somewhat promi- 
nent as a secessionist. . . . Having laid the predicate for my 
competency, I desire to aver, as a gentleman, and a Christian, I 
hope, that with large personal intercourse with the people and 
those who are suspected of rebel intentions, I never heard (of 
course, since the surrender) of any conspiracy or movement or 
society or purpose, secret or public, present or prospective, to 
overthrow the United States Government, to resist its author- 
ity, to reenslave the negroesy or in any manner to disturb the rela- 
tions that now exist between the Southern States as constituent 
elements of the Federal Government and that Government, 
until I read of such intentions recently in Northern newspapers. 


With perfect certainty as to the truth of my affirmation, I can 
state that there is not a sane or sober man in Alabama who 
believes or expects that African slavery will be reiSstablished. 
As unalterable facts, the people accept the abolition of slavery, 
the extinction of the right of secession, and the supremacy of 
the Federal Government. It is as idle, a thousand times more 
so, to speak of another contemplated resistance to Federal 
authority as to anticipate the overthrow of the British Govern- 
ment by the Fenians.^ 

Mr. Curry's words were true, but at the time when they 
were written the weight of testimony available at Wash- 
ington and in the North generally was of a contrary sort, 
and Mr. Curry counted for no more at the national 
capital than any other disarmed secessionist. At a later 
period he became known to the North as one of the great 
benefactors of his time and country, especially noted for 
his labors in educating and upbuilding both races in the 
Southern States.* 

> Cong. Globe, 1966-66, p. 1808. 

* See Biography cf J. L, M. Curry, by Aldemum and Gordon, New York, 



On January 5, 1866, Trumbull introduced two mea- 
sures which engrossed public attention during the next 
three months and enlarged the parting of the ways 
between Congress and the President. These were the 
Freedmen's Bureau Bill and the Civil Rights Bill. The 
former was a measure to continue in force and amend an 
act of Congress already in operation, but which would 
expire by limitation one year after the end of the war, and 
which had been passed to provide for needy and homeless 
whites, as well as blacks. It embraced also the temporary 
disposition of abandoned lands. Under its operation 
General Sherman had assigned some thousands of acres 
of abandoned land to freedmen for the purpose of giving 
them employment and enabling them to earn their own 
living, and they were in actual possession. Of course, the 
title to such lands would revert to the former owners, 
whenever military rule should come to an end. The 
Freedmen's Bureau Bill provided that in places where the 
ordinary course of judicial proceedings had been inter- 
rupted by the rebellion, and where any of the civil rights 
enjoyed by white persons were denied to other persons 
by reason of race, color, or previous condition of servi- 
tude, the latter should be under military protection and 
jurisdiction, which should be exercised by the Commis- 
sioner of the Freedmen's Bureau under orders of the 
President of the United States, and that any person, who, 
under color of any state or local law or custom, should 
infringe such rights, should be punished by fine or im- 


prisonment or both. The courts authorized to hear and 
decide such cases were to consist of the ofiScers and agents 
of the Bureau, without jury trial and without appeal; 
but this jiuisdiction should not exist in any state after it 
should have been restored to its constitutional relations 
to the Union. 

The last-mentioned feature of the bill brought up the 
question whether Congress had power under the Con- 
stitution in time of peace to pass laws for the ordinary 
administration of justice in the states. Senator Hen- 
dricks, of Indiana, had doubts on that point. In a debate 
on the 19th of January, 1866, he said: 

My judgment is that under the second section of the [thir- 
teenth] constitutional amendment we may pass such a law as 
will secure the freedom declared in the first section, but that we 
cannot go beyond that limitation.^ 

To this Trumbull replied : 

If the construction put by the Senator from Indiana upon 
the amendment be the true one, and we have merely taken 
from the master the power to control the slave and left him at 
the mercy of the state to be deprived of his civil rights, the 
trumpet of freedom that we have been blowing throughout the 
land has given an uncertain soimd, and the promised freedom 
is a delusion. Such was not the intention of Congress, which 
proposed the Constitutional amendment itself. With the de- 
struction of slavery necessarily follows the destruction of the 
incidents of slavery. When slavery was abolished slave codes 
in its support were abolished also. 

Those laws that prevented the colored man going from home, 
that did not allow him to buy or to sell, or to make contracts; 
that did not allow him to own property; that did not allow him 
to enforce rights; that did not allow him to be educated, were 
all badges of servitude made in the interest of slavery and as 
a part of slavery. They never would have been thought of or 
enacted anywhere but for slavery, and when slavery falls they 

^ Cong. Okibe, 1866, p. 819. 


fall also. The policy of the States where slavery has existed has 
been to legislate in its interest; and out of deference to slav- 
ery, which was tolerated by the Constitution of the United 
States, even some of the non-slaveholding states passed laws 
abridging the rights of the colored man which were restraints 
upon liberty. When slavery goes, all this system of legislation, 
devised in the interest of slavery and for the purpose of degrad- 
ing the colored race, of keeping the negro in ignorance, of blot- 
ting out from his very soul the light of reason, if that were 
possible, that he might not think, but know only, like the ox, 
to labor, goes with it. 

Now, when slavery no longer exists, the policy of the Gov- 
ernment is to legislate in the interest of freedom. Now, our 
laws are to be enacted with a view to educate, improve, en- 
lighten, and Christianize the negro; to make him an independ- 
ent man; to teach him to think and to reason; to improve that 
principle which the Great Author of all has implanted in eveiy 
human breast, which is susceptible of the highest cultivation, 
and destined to go on enlarging and expanding through the 
endless ages of eternity. 

If in order to prevent slavery Congress deem it necessary to 
declare null and void all laws which will not permit the colored 
man to contract, which will not permit him to testify, which 
will not permit him to buy and sell, and to go where he pleases, 
it has the power to do so, and not only the power, but it be- 
comes its duty to do so. That is what is provided to be done by 
this bill. Its provisions are temporary; but there is another bill 
on your table, somewhat akin to this, which is intended to be 
permanent, to extend to all parts of the country, and to protect 
persons of all races in equal civil rights. 

I hope that the people of the rebellious states themselves 
will conform to the existing condition of things. I do not expect 
them to change all their opinions and prejudices. I do not 
expect them to rejoice that they have been discomfited. But 
they acknowledge that the war is over; they agree that they can 
no longer contend in arms against the Government; they say 
they are willing to submit to its authority; they say in their 
state conventions that slaveiy shall no more exist among them. 


With the abolition of slavery should go all the badges of servi- 
tude which have been enacted for its maintenance and support. 
Let them all be abolished. Let the people of the rebellious 
states now be as zealous and as active in the passage of laws and 
the inauguration of measures to elevate, develop, and improve 
the negro, as they have hitherto been to enslave and degrade 
him. Let them do justice and deal fairly with loyal Union men 
in their midst, and henceforth be themselves loyal, and this 
Congress will not have adjourned till the states whose inhabi- 
tants have been engaged in the rebellion will be restored to their 
former position in the Union, and we shall all be moving on in 
harmony together.^ 

In short, Trumbull held that it was for Congress to 
decide what rights might be established and enforced by 
federal law, in addition to that of emancipation. That 
this was to be a troublesome question was shown a little 
later by a colloquy between Trumbull and Henderson. 
The latter was of the opinion that the only sure way to 
protect the freedmen was to give them the right to vote. 
Trumbull thought that, for the present purpose of pro- 
viding them with food, clothing, and shelter. Dr. Town- 
send's Sarsaparilla or any other patent medicine, would 
be as effectual as the right of suffrage.^ Sumner, a little 
later, thought that the right to serve on juries and to 
hold oflBce was among the essential securities of freedom, 
and Thaddeus Stevens thought that land-ownership also 
was necessary. What could be done under the second 
clause of the Thirteenth Amendment was the question, 
either expressed or implied, underlying the whole con- 
troversy on Reconstruction during the next ten years. 

It was commonly believed that the President would 
approve the Freedmen's Bureau Bill; hence, when a veto 
message came, on the 19th of February, it was received 
with consternation by the Republicans in Congress. He 

1 Cong, Globe, 1866, p. S22. < Cong, Globe, 1866, pp. 745-46. 


held that the bill was both unconstitutional and inexpe- 
dient. It had been passed in the Senate by yeas 87, nays 
10, every Republican voting for it and every Democrat 
against it. There were three absentees when the vote 
was taken: Cowan and Willey, Republicans, and Nes- 
mith. Democrat. There was ample margin here for 
passing the bill over the veto, if the Republicans could 
hold together, but when the second vote was taken, 
February 20, the yeas were SO, and the nays 18, not two 
thirds. So the bill failed. Eight Republicans, Cowan, 
Dixon, Doolittle, Morgan, Norton, Stewart, Van Winkle, 
and Willey, had sided with the President. There were 
two absentees: Foot (Rep.), of Vermont, and Wright 
(Dem.), of New Jersey, both sick. 

The question of negro suffrage had not yet become 
acute in public discussions. The state of public opinion in 
the North was fairly set forth by Dr. C. H. Ray in a 
private letter to Trumbull dated Chicago, February 7, 

If he [Johnson] will agree to your bill giving the f reedmen the 
civil rights that the whites enjoy, and if he halts at that, and 
war is made on him because he will not go to the extent of negro 
suffrage, he will beat all who assail him. The party may be 
split, the Government may go out of Republican hands; but 
Andy Johnson will be cock-of-the-walk. The people, so far as 
I understand, are of the opinion that the war for the Union is 
over. . . . And as for the negro, they think that when he has 
the rights which your bill will give him, he must be contented 
to look upon the elective franchise as a something to be earned 
by giving evidence of his fitness therefor. 

The excitement caused by the veto of the Freedmen's 
Bureau Bill was still further intensified by a struggle on 
a side issue, in which Trumbull took the leading part, 
and which involved the seat of the Democratic Senator 
Stockton, of New Jersey. He had been chosen by the 


Legislature of his state in joint meeting on March 15, 
1865. The Democrats had a majority of five in the legis- 
lature, but had been unable, at first, to agree upon a can- 
didate. Accordingly, the joint meeting, by a vote of 41 
to 40, adopted a rule that any person receiving a plurality 
of the votes cast for Senator should be declared elected, 
Li pursuance of this rule, a vote was taken by roll-call 
and John P. Stockton received 40 votes, John C. Ten 
Eyck received 37 votes, and there were 4 scattering, the 
total number being 81, Stockton was accordingly de- 
clared elected without objection, and the joint meeting 
adjourned sine die. 

When Congress assembled in December, Stockton's 
certificate of election, in due form, was presented and he 
was sworn in. A protest, however, had been signed by 
all the Republican members of the New Jersey legislature 
and this was presented by Senator Cowan by request. It 
affirmed that Stockton had not received the votes of a 
majority of the members, as required by a law of the 
state. The protest and credentials were referred to the 
Committee on the Judiciary, which consisted of five 
Republicans (Trumbull, Harris, Clark, Poland, and 
Stewart) and one Democrat (Hendricks). 

Trumbull, in behalf of the committee, reported that 
Stockton was duly elected and entitled to the seat. All 
the members concurred except Clark, of New Hampshire, 
Regarding the law of the state, which required a majority 
to elect, the report said that the state constitution 
denominated and recognized the two houses, either in 
joint session, or separately, as "The Legislature"; that 
the legislature, in either capacity, had the right to make 
its own rules ; and that since a majority had voted for the 
plurality rule the subsequent action taken in pursuance 
of it was the act of the majority. There was room for an 


honest diflference of opinion, since the enactment of a law 
required action by the two houses separately and a sub- 
mission of the same to the governor. On this point, how- 
ever, Trumbull quoted from "Story on the Constitution ** 
to the effect that, since the governor had nothing to do 
with the choice of Senators, he was eliminated from 
consideration in any and all steps leading thereto. 

It happened at this time that one Republican Senator, 
Foot, of Vermont, and one Democrat, Wright, of New 
Jersey, were absent by reason of serious illness. Wright 
had gone to his home in Newark for treatment, but, 
before going, had paired with Morrill, of Maine, on the 
question of his colleague's contested election. When the 
debate was drawing to a close, severe pressure was put 
upon Morrill by his radical friends in the Senate to 
declare his pair off, and to vote against Stockton. When 
the vote was taken, on concurring in the report of the 
Judiciary Committee, the yeas were 21 and the nays 20. 
Stockton himself had not voted. Twelve of the affirma- 
tive votes were Republicans. Before the result was an- 
nounced. Senator Morrill, who had withheld his vote, 
asked the Secretary to call his name, and then voted in 
the negative, making a tie. Then Senator Stockton said 
that Morrill had been paired with his colleague on this 
question, and that Wright had told him before he went 
away that he would not go home at all without first 
obtaining a pair on this question. Under such circum- 
stances he (Stockton) felt at liberty to vote in his own 
behalf. So he directed the Secretary to call his name and 
he voted in the affirmative. Morrill admitted that the 
pair had been made, but said that when it was made he 
had not contemplated that it would run so long (seven 
weeks), and that he therefore felt at liberty to vote. He 
added, with apparent satisfaction, that his vote did not 


change the result. This was true, but Stockton's vote did 
change it to his own disadvantage. 

The result was announced; yeas 22, nays 21. If 
Stockton had not voted, the result would have been a tie, 
and he would have held his seat. His opponents bad 
exhausted their resources and there was no parliamentary 
way of trying the case over again. By casting a vote in his 
own case he gave them a weapon with which to renew the 

When the Senate reassembled. Simmer moved that the 
journal be corrected by striking out Stockton's name 
from the vote last taken, on the ground that he had no 
right to vote in his own case. The subject was thus 
brought up again, and the result was a reconsideration of 
the vote of the previous day. Trumbull concurred in the 
view that the question before the Senate was judicial in 
its nature and that, therefore, Stockton could not vote 
when his own seat was in question. 

On the last day of the debate a telegram was received 
from Senator Wright requesting a postponement of the 
vote till the following day, saying that he would then be 
in his seat or would not ask further delay. His request 
was supported by Reverdy Johnson in a pathetic appeal 
to the fraternal feeling and gentlemanly instincts of 
Senators; but Clark, who led the opposition, objected 
strenuously to any postponement, although two post- 
ponements had been previously granted on account of his 
own illness. 

On the motion to postpone till the following day the 
vote was, yeas 21, nays 22. Senator Dixon, a Republican 
supporter of Stockton, had fallen sick and was absent. 
Senator Stewart, another Republican supporter, was 
absent when the vote was taken, although he had been in 
the Senate Chamber earlier in the day; he had dodged. 


All thie members of the Judiciary Committee, who had 
signed the original report in favor of Stockton, voted for 
him to the last, except Stewart. If he and Dixon had 
been present, the final vote would have been postponed, 
and in all probability Stockton would have retained his 
seat, although Morgan, of New York, who had voted for 
postponement, changed on the very last vote, which 
was against Stockton, 20 to 28. 

An impartial reader of the whole debate, in the calm 
atmosphere of the present day, will be apt to conclude 
that partisan zeal rather than judicial fairness was the 
deciding factor in Stockton's case, and that the heat 
developed in the contest was due to a desire on the part of 
the majority to gain a two-thirds vote in order to over- 
come the President's vetoes. 

Consideration of the Civil Rights Bill began on the 
29th of January, on an amendment proposed by Trumbull 
which provided that all persons of African descent bom 
in the United States should be citizens thereof, and there 
should be no discrimination in civil rights or immunities 
among the inhabitants of any state or territory on account 
of race, color, or previous condition of slavery. The ques- 
tion was not merely whether this provision was just, but 
whether Congress had power under the Constitution to 
pass laws for the ordinary administration of justice in the 
states. On this point Trumbull said : 

Under the constitutional amendment which we have now 
adopted, and which declares that slavery shall no longer exist, 
and which authorizes Congress by appropriate legislation to 
carry this provision into efiFect, I hold that we have a right to 
pass any law which, in our judgment, is deemed appropriate, 
and which will accomplish the end in view, secure freedom to all 
people in the United States. The various state laws to which 
I have referred, — and there are many others, — although 


they do not make a man an absolute slave, yet deprive him of 
the rights of a freeman; and it is perhaps diiBScult to draw the 
precise line, to say where freedom ceases and slavery begins, but 
a law that does not allow a colored person to go from one county 
to another is certainly a law in derogation of the rights of a 
freeman. A law that does not allow a colored person to hold pro- 
perty, does not allow him to teach, does not allow him to preach, 
is certainly a law in violation of the rights of a freeman, and 
being so may properly be declared void. 

Without going elaborately into this question, as my design 
was to state rather than to argue the grounds upon which I 
place this bill, I will only add on this branch of the subject that 
the clause of the Constitution, under which we are called to 
act, in my judgment vests Congress with the discretion of 
selecting that "appropriate legislation" which it is believed 
will best accomplish the end and prevent slavery. 

Then, sir, the only question is, will this bill be eflFective to 
accomplish the object, for the first section will amount to noth- 
ing more than the declaration in the Constitution itself unless 
we have the machinery to carry it into eflFect. A law is good for 
nothing without a penalty, witiGiout a sanction to it, and that is 
to be found in the other sections of the bill. The second section 

"That any person, who imder color of any law, statute, ordi- 
nance, regulation, or custom, shall subject or cause to be sub- 
jected any inhabitant of any state or territory to the depriva^ 
tion of any right secured or protected by this act, or to different 
punishment, pains, or penalties on account of such person hav- 
ing at any time been held in a condition of slavery or involun- 
tary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the 
party shall have been duly convicted, or by reason of his color 
or race, than is prescribed for the punishment of white persons, 
shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction 
shall be punished by fine not exceeding $1000, or imprisonment 
not exceeding one year, or both, in the discretion of the court." 

This is the valuable section of the bill so far as protecting 
the rights of freedmen is concerned. That they are entitled to 
be free we know. Being entitled to be free under the Constitu- 
tion, that we have a right to enact such legislation as will make 
them free, we believe; and that can only be done by punishing 


those who undertake to deny them their freedom. When it 
comes to be imderstood in all parts of the United States that 
any person who shall deprive another of any right, or subject 
him to any punishment in consequence of his color or race, will 
expose himself to fine and imprisonment, I think all such acts 
will soon cease.^ 

Senator Saulsbury, of Delaware, contended that the 
Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution had given no 
power to Congress to confer upon free n^roes rights and 
privileges which had not been conceded to them by the 
states where they resided. He said that in Maryland 
about one half of the colored population were free before 
the Thirteenth Amendment was adopted, that in Dela- 
ware the free negroes largely outnumbered the slaves, and 
that in Kentucky the free negroes were a large part of the 
population. All that the Thirteenth Amendment did was 
to put the slave population on the same footing on which 
the free negroes already stood. Congress had no power 
to legislate on the status of free negroes in the several 
states before the Civil War. But the powers of Congress 
in this respect had not been enlarged by anything in the 
Thirteenth Amendment. That amendment had merely 
said that the condition of slavery — the condition in 
which one man belongs to another, which gives that other 
a right to appropriate the profits of his labor to his own 
use and to control his person — should no longer exist. 
Those who voted for the amendment might have contem- 
plated a larger exercise of power by Congress than mere 
emancipation, but they did not avow it on the floor of the 
Senate when the measure was pending.? He continued : 

The honorable Senator from Illinois has avowed that he does 
not propose by this bill to confer any political power. I have 
no doubt the Senator is perfectly honest in that declaration, 

> Cong. Ohbe, 1866» p. 475. 


and that he personally does not mean to give any political 
power, for instance, the right of voting, not only to the freed- 
men, but to the whole race of negroes; but the intention of the 
Senator in framing this bill will not govern its construction, 
and I have not the least doubt that, should it be enacted and 
become a law, it will receive very generally, if not universally, 
the construction that it does confer a right of voting in the 
states; and why do I say so? Says the Senator, '* It confers no 
political power; I do not mean that." The question is not what 
the Senator means, but what is the legitimate meaning and 
import of the terms employed in the bill. Its words are, 
''That there shall be no discrimination in civil rights or inmiu- 
nities." What are civil rights? What are the rights which you, 
I, or any citizen of this country enjoy? What is the basis, the 
foimdation of them all? They are divisible into two classes; 
one, those rights which we derive from nature, and the other 
those rights which we derive from government. I will admit 
that you may divide and subdivide the rights which you derive 
from government into different classifications; you may call 
some, for the sake of convenience and more definiteness of 
meaning, political; you may call others civil. 

What is property? It has been judicially decided that the 
elective franchise is property. Leaving out the question of vot- 
ing, however, as a question of property, is it not true that, 
under our republican form and system of government, the ballot 
is one of the means by which property is secured? Your bill 
gives to these persons every security for the protection of per- 
son and property which a white man has. What is one means 
and a very important means of securing the rights of person 
and property? It is a voice in the Government which makes 
the laws regulating and governing the right of property. Under 
our system of government — mark you, I do not say that it is 
so under all governments — one of the strongest and most 
efficient means for the security of person and property is a par- 
ticipation in the selection of those who make the laws. It was 
therefore that I thought that the honorable Senator when he 
framed this bill meant to give to these persons the right of vot- 
ing; and I should still think so but for his personal disclaimer 
of any such object. 


Senator Van Winkle (Unionist), of West Virginia, con- 
tended that negroes were not citizens of the United States 
and could not be made such by act of Congress, or by 
anything short of constitutional amendment. He was 
opposed to the introduction of inferior races into the 
ranks of citizenship, but if the Constitution should be 
changed in the mode provided for its amendment so as to 
introduce negroes, Indians, Chinese, and other alien races 
to citizenship, he would endeavor to do his whole duty 
toward them by recognizing them as citizens in every 

Senator Cowan held that the second clause of the Thir- 
teenth Amendment of the Constitution was limited to the 
breaking of the bond by which the negro slave was held 
by his master. It was not intended to revolutionize all the 
laws of the various states. The bill under consideration 
would not only repeal statutes of Pennsylvania, but 
would subject the judges of her courts to criminal prose- 
cution, for enforcing her own laws. He (Cowan) was will- 
ing to vote for an amendment of the Constitution giving 
Congress the power to secure to all men of every race, 
color, and condition their natural rights to life, liberty, 
and property, but the bill under consideration was an 
attempt to do, without any power, that which it was very 
questionable whether we ought to do, even if we had the 
power. Cowan concluded by arguing that Congress ought 
not to enact laws affecting the Southern States so radi- 
cally, when they were not represented in Congress. 

Senator Howard, of Michigan, supported the bill in a 
speech of great force from the humanitarian point of 
view, but did not dwell upon the constitutional question, 
except to aflBrm that he, as a member of the Judiciary 
Committee which had reported the Thirteenth Amend- 
ment, had intended, by the second clause thereof, to 


empower Congress to enact such measures as the pending 
Civa Rights Bill. 

Garrett Davis, of Kentucky, contended that negroes 
could not be made citizens of the United States under the 
power granted to Congress to pass naturalization laws, 
since naturalization applied only to foreigners. Negroes 
bom in this country were not foreigners. 

Trumbull replied that free negroes were citizens under 
the fourth article of the Confederation, prior to the adop- 
tion of the Constitution and that an attempt to exclude 
them from citizenship on the 26th of June, 1778, received 
only two votes in the Congress of the Confederation. He 
quoted a decision of Judge Gaston, of North Carolina, 
that free negroes bom in that state were citizens of the 
state and that slaves manumitted there became citizens 
by the fact of manumission. 

Reverdy Johnson held that it was as competent for 
Congress to strike out the word "white" from our natu- 
ralization law as it had been for a former Congress to 
insert that word. In that case a negro migrating from 
Africa to the United States might be made a citizen 
exactly like an immigrant from Europe. 

Garrett Davis denied this, saying: 

This is a government and a political organization by white 
people. It is a principle of that Government and that organi- 
zation, before and below the Constitution, that nobody but 
white people are or can be parties to it. 

The colloquy between Senators Johnson and Davis 
continued until the latter aflirmed that the making of 
negroes citizens by any process whatsoever was "revolu- 
tionary," as destructive to our Government as would be a 
bill establishing a monarchy, or declaring that the Presi- 
dent should hold office for life.^ 

^ Cong, Globe, 1866, p. 5S0. 


The debate continued till February 2, Senators 
Guthrie, Hendricks, and Cowan opposing the bill and 
Trumbull, Fessenden, and Wilson supporting it. The 
vote was then taken and resulted, yeas 33, nays 12, absent 
6. It went to the House, where it encountered unexpected 
opposition from Bingham, of Ohio, a radical Republican, 
who said: 

Now what does this bill propose? To reform the whole civil 
and criminal code of every State Government by declaring that 
there shall be no discrimination between citizens on account of 
race or color in civil rights, or in the penalties prescribed by 
their laws. I humbly bow before the majesty of justice, as I 
bow before the majesty of that God whose attribute it is, and 
therefore declare that there should be no such inequality or 
discrimination even in the penalties for crime, but what power 
have you to correct it? That is the question. You further say 
that in the courts of justice of the several states there shall, as to 
the qualifications of witnesses, be no discrimination on account 
of race or color. I agree that as to persons who appreciate the 
obligation of an oath — and no others should be permitted to 
testify — there should be no such discrimination. But whence 
do you derive power to cure it by congressional enactment? 
There should be no discrimination among citizens of the 
United States, in the several states, of like sex, age, and con- 
dition, in regard to the franchises of office. But such a discrimi- 
nation does exist in nearly every state. How do you propose to 
ciu^ all this? By a congressional enactment? How ? Not by say- 
ing in so many words (which would be the bold and direct way 
of meeting this issue) that every discrimination of this kind, 
whether existing in state constitution or state law, is hereby 
abolished. You propose to make it a penal offence for the judges 
of the states to obey the constitution and laws of their states, 
and for their obedience thereto to punish them by fine and 
imprisonment as felons. I deny your power to do this. You 
cannot make an official act done under color of law and with- 
out criminal intent and from a sense of duty, a crime. ^ 

The only Republican member of the House, from the 

^ Cong. Globe, 1866, p. 1298. 


non-slaveholding states, who sided with Bingham, was 
Raymond, of New York. The House passed the bill by 
yeas 111, nays 88. 

On the 27th of March, the President retmned the bill to 
the Senate without his approval. He vetoed it on grounds 
of inexpediency and unconstitutionality. His arguments 
were substantially the same as those of Senators Saulsbury 
and Cowan. 

Trumbull replied to the veto message in a speech of 
great power which occupies five pages of the Congressional 
Globe. He took up and answered the President's objections 
seriatim. These details need not now be repeated. There 
was one of a personal character, however, which calls for 
notice. He said that he had endeavored to meet the Presi- 
dent's wishes in the preparation of both the bills, and had 
called upon him twice and had given him copies of them 
before they were introduced and asked his coSperation in 
order to make them satisfactory. In short, he had done 
everything possible to avoid a conflict between the execu- 
tive and legislative branches of the Government, and 
since he had been assured that the President's aims, like 
his own, were in the direction of peace and concord, he was 
amazed when they were vetoed. At the conclusion of his 
speech he referred briefly to the constitutional objection 
to the bill saying: 

If the bill now before us, which goes no further than to secure 
civil rights to the freedmen, cannot be passed, then the con- 
stitutional amendment proclaiming freedom to all the inhabi- 
tants of the land is a cheat and a delusion. 

The floor and galleries of the Senate Chamber were 
crowded during the delivery of the speech and the roll-call 
followed immediately, resulting: yeas 33, nays 15, more 
than two thirds. The closing scene was thus described in a 
Washington letter to the NaUon^ April 12: 


After three days of extremely ardent debate signalized by a 
speech of singular cogency and power from Senator Trumbull, 
tie father of the bill, the vote was reached about 7 o'clock on 
Friday evening. When the end of the roll was reached and 
Vice-President Foster announced the result, nearly the whole 
Senate and auditory were carried off their feet and joined in a 
tumultuous outburst of cheering such as was never heard within 
those walls before. 

The veto of the Civil Rights Bill and the struggle over 
its passage the second time precipitated the exciting con- 
test at the polls in the autumn of 1866. In that campaign 
Trumbull held the foremost position in the Republican 
colunm. Whether it was possible to avoid the conflict we 
cannot now say. It was most desirable that the party in 
power should march all one way, and hence that the Presi- 
dent should respond to the friendly overtures of the lead- 
ers in Congress. When he found that he could not ap- 
prove the two bills that the Senator had placed in his 
hands for examination, he ought to have sent for him and 
pointed out his objections and at all events expressed re- 
gret that he could not concur with him in the particulars 
where they disagreed. Then there might have been mutual 
concessions leading to harmony. In any event, there would 
have been no sting left behind, no hard feeling, no sense 
of injury, and perhaps no rupture in the party. That 
was not Johnson's way. He lacked savoirfaire. He was 
combative by nature. He not only made personal enemies 
unnecessarily, but he alienated thousands who wished to 
be his friends.^ "Many persons," says a not unfriendly 
critic, "whose feelings were proof against the appeals 
made on behalf of the freedmen and loyalists were carried 

^ "Doolittle tells me he wrote the President a letter on the morning of the 
22d of February, knowing there was to be a gathering which would call at the 
White House, entreating him not to address the crowd. But, said D., he did 
speak and his speech lost him two hundred thousand votes." {Diary qf Gideon 
WdUa, u, 647.) 


over to the side of Congress by sheer disgust at Johnson's 
performances. The alienation, by the President, of this 
essentially thoughtful and conservative element of the 
Northern voters was as disastrous and inexcusable as the 
alienation of those moderate men in Congress whom he 
had repelled by his narrow and obstinate policy in regard 
to the Freedmen's Bureau and Civil Rights Bills. It was 
again demonstrated that Andrew Johnson was not a 
statesman of national size in such a crisis as existed in 
1866." ^ 

On the other hand, it must be admitted that Johnson 
was within his constitutional right in vetoing the biUs 
without previously consulting anybody in Congress. 

The Civil Rights Act came before the Circuit Court of 
the United States twice, soon after it was enacted, and in 
both instances was held to be constitutional. The circuit 
coiui:s were then presided over by Justices of the Supreme 
Court. In the case of United States v, Rhodes, Seventh 
Circuit, District of Kentucky, 1866, before Justice 
Swayne, the act was pronounced constitutional in all its 
provisions, and held to be an appropriate method of exer- 
cising the power conferred on Congress by the Thirteenth 

The other case was the Matter of Turner, Fourth Cir- 
cuit, Maryland, October Term, 1867, before Chief Justice 
Chase. This case was submitted to the court without 
argument. The Chief Justice expressed regret that it was 
not accompanied by arguments of counsel, but he decided 
that the act was constitutional and that it applied to all 
conditions prohibited by it, whether originating in trans- 
actions before, or since, its enactment.^ 

^ W. A. Dunning, Recomtructitm, p. 82. 

* Both of these cases are reported in the first volume of Abbott's Circuit 
Court Reports. 


If either of these cases had been taken to the Supreme 
Court on appeal, at that time, the Civil Bights Act of 
1866 would doubtless have been upheld by that body; yet 
in October, 1882, the court held by unanimous vote that 
none of the latest amendments of the Constitution (the ' 
Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth) did more than put 
prohibition on the action of the states. No state should 
have slavery; no state should make any law to abridge 
the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United 
States ; no state should deny the right of voting by reason 
of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. The 
power of Congress to go into the states to enforce the 
criminal law against individuals had not been granted in 
any of these amendments. It could not be affirmed that 
the second section of the Thirteenth Amendment gave 
power to Congress to legislate for the states as to other 
matters than actual slavery. But the Civil Rights Act 
applied to all the states — to those where slavery had 
never existed as well as to those where it had been 
recently abolished.^ 

The act which the court in October, 1882, pronounced j 
unconstitutional was the Anti-Ku-£]ux Act of 1871. 1 
Trumbull himself spoke and voted against that act be- 
lieving it to be unconstitutional, as we shall see later. 
He drew the line somewhere between the two acts. The 
judges participating in the decision in the Harris case 
were Chief Justice Waite and Associate Justices Miller, 
Bradley, Woods, Gray, Field, Harlan, Matthews, and 

One year later the court held that the Equal Rights Act 
of March 1, 1875, which gave to all persons full and equal 
enjoyment of accommodations and privileges of inns, 
public conveyances, theatres, and other places of public 

} United SUtes «. Harru, 106 U^. 629. 


amusement, common schools and public institutions of 
learning or benevolence supported in whole or in part by 
general taxation, was unconstitutional. The Supreme 
Court still consisted of the Justices above named. ^ 
It held that the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitu- 
tion related only to slavery and its incidents and that the 
Fourteenth Amendment was merely prohibitory on the 
states; that is, that it did not confer additional powers 
upon Congress, but merely forbade discriminating acts 
on the part of the states. The opinion of the court was 
delivered by Justice Bradley. The only dissenting opinion 
was given by Justice Harlan, of Kentucky, who held that 
the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution was not 
restricted to the prohibition of slavery, but that it con- 
ferred upon Congress the power to make freedom effectual 
to the former victims of slavery. He said : 

The Thirteenth Amendment, it is conceded, did something 
more than to prohibit slavery as an institution resting upon 
distinctions of race and upheld by positive law. My brethren 
admit that it established and decreed universal civil freedom 
throughout the United States. But did the freedom thus estab- 
lished involve nothing more than the exemption from actual 
slavery? Was nothing more intended than to forbid one man 
from owning another as property? Was it the purpose of the 
nation simply to destroy the institution and then remit the 
race, theretofore held in bondage, to the several states for such 
protection in their civil rights, necessarily growing out of free- 
dom, as those states in their discretion might choose to provide? 
Were the states, against whose protest the institution was de- 
stroyed, to be left free, so far as national interference was con- 
cerned, to make or allow discriminations against that race, 
as such, in the enjoyment of those fundamental rights which 
by universal concession inhere in a state of freedom? Had the 
Thirteenth Amendment stopped with the sweeping declara- 
tion in its first section against the existence of slavery and in- 

^ Civil RighU Cases, 100 U.S. 8. 


voluntary servitude, except for crime. Congress would have 
had the power by implication, according to the doctrines of 
Prigg V. Commonwealth of Penn^lvania, repeated in Strauder 
V. West Virginia, to protect the freedom established and conse- 
quently to secure the enjoyment of such civil rights as were 
fundamental in freedom. That it can exert its authority to 
that extent is made clear, and was intended to be made clear, 
by the express grant of such power contained in the second 
section of the Amendment. 

The question whether the Civil Rights Act of 1866 waa \ 
or was not constitutional never came squarely before the 
Supreme Court on a test case, but, as we have seen, other 
acts analogous to it did come before that tribunal in such 
a way that the authority of the court must be construed 
as adverse to it. My own thought is that the dissenting 
opinion of Mr. Justice Harlan above quoted is worth 
more than all the other literature on this subject that the j 
books contain. 

The autumn elections of 1866 returned a larger major- 
ity in Congress against President Johnson than had been 
there before. The result in Hlinois was the reelection of 
Trumbull as Senator by the unanimous vote of the Repub- 
lican legislative caucus, although there were three major- 
generals of the victorious Union army (Palmer, Oglesby, 
and Logan) competing for that position, all of whom 
reached it later. 

Trumbull sustained Johnson until the latter vetoed 
the Civil Rights Bill. He believed that the freedom of 
the emancipated blacks was put in peril by this action of 
the President, and he gave all of his energies to the task 
of passing the bill over the veto and sustaining it before 
the people. In this he was successful, but the avalanche 
of public opinion thus started did not stop with the 
defeat of Johnson in the election of 1866. It carried the 
control of the Union party out of the hands of the con- 


servatives and gave the reins of leadership to Sumner, 
Stevens, and the radical wing. Trumbull followed this 
lead till the impeachment of Johnson took place, when he 
halted and saved Johnson at the expense of his own popu- 
larity, and he never regretted that he had done so. 

A distant echo of the Civil Bights controversy reached 
the Illinois Senator from the state of Georgia, where he 
had been a school-teacher thirty years earlier. The cor- 
respondence is introduced here as a corrective, in some 
part, of the erroneous opinion that Trumbull was a man 
of cold and unfeeling nature: 

Morgan [Ga.], May 17th [1866]. 

Hon. LYBiAN Tbumbull: 

Dear Sm: Truth seems strange, but, stranger still appears 
the fact, that after a lapse of thirty years, I should offer you 
a feeble acknowledgment of the gratitude, and high respect I 
have ever cherished for you. It was my good fortune to enjoy, 
in Greenville, for nearly three years, the advantage of your 
profound teachings; and, in later life, when adverse circum- 
stances compel me to impart those lessons, and the hallowed 
influence of that instruction, to others, I award to you the full 
meed of praise. You cannot ima^e the satisfaction I experi- 
ence, when my eye turns to the many eloquent addresses you 
deliver before Congress; but as there lurks beneath the most 
beautiful rose, thorns that inflict deep wounds, so your avowed 
animosity to us casts a gloom over those delightiul emotions. 
Is there no delightful thrill of association still lingering in your 
bosom, when memory reverts to your sojourn among us? Is 
there no period in that long space, around which fond retrospec- 
tion can joyfully flutter her wings, and crush out the large 
drops of gall that have been distilled into your cup? I think 
you, and you alone, have the power and influence to arrest the 
mighty tide that threatens to overwhelm us. Can you not for- 
get our past delinquencies, to which, I confess, we have been too 
prone, and remember only the little good you discovered? I 
often make special inquiries after you, and was much interested 
in an account given by an old Southern member. As I had still 
in my mind's eye your tall and erect form, my surprise was 


great, indeed, to be told that your form was not so straight, 

and that you used spectacles. I have failed in the proper place 

to mention my name, "Fannie Lowe," the most mischievous 

girl of the sdiool. I married a gentleman from Mobile, who 

lived eight years after the union. He fell a victim to cholera, 

fourteen years since, during its prevalence in New Orleans. It 

was my great misfortune to lose my daughter, just as the flower 

began to expand and promise hope and comfort for my old age. 

In conclusion, I will be delighted to hear from you, and by all 

means send me your photograph. My kindest regards to your 

dear ones, and accept the warmest wishes of 

Mrs. F. C. Gaby. 
MoBGAN, Calhoun Ct., Georgia. 

United States Senate Chamber, 
Washington, June 27, 1866. 

My dear Mrs. Gary: I was truly grateful to receive yours 
of the 17th ult., and to know that after the lapse of thirty years 
I was not forgotten by those who were my pupils. I remember 
many of them well, and for all have ever cherished the kindest 
of feelings and the best of wishes. It pains me, however, to think 
that you and probably most of those about you, including those 
once my scholars, should so misunderstand me and Northern 
sentiments generally. How can you, my dear child, — excuse 
the expression, for it is only as a school-girl I remember Fannie 
Lowe, — how can you, I repeat, accuse me of entertaining feel- 
ings of " animosity " and of the bitterness of " gall " towards you 
or the South? . . . Towards the great mass of those engaged 
in the rebellion the North feels no animosity. We believe they 
were induced to take up arms against the Government from mis- 
taken views of Northern sentiment brought about by ambitious 
and wicked leaders, and those political leaders we do want, at 
least, to exclude from political power, if nothing more, till loyal 
men are protected and loyalty is respected in the rebellious dis- 
tricts. It is in the power of the Southern people to have recon- 
struction at once, and the restoration of civil government, com- 
plete, if they will only put their state organizations in loyal 
hands, elect none but loyal men to office, and see that those 
who were true to the Union, during the war, of all classes, are 
protected in their rights. I ask you, in all candor, till the dis- 
loyal of the South are willing to do this, ought they to complain 


if they are subjected to military control? I enclose you, as 
requested, a couple of photographs, which you will hardly 
recognize as of the young man whom you knew thirty years 
ago. The one without a beard was taken three or four years 
since; the other, this year. My family consists of a wife and 
three boys, the eldest twenty years of age. 

Please remember me to any who once knew me at Green- 
ville, for all of whom I cheri^ a pleasant remembrance; and 
believe me your sincere friend, 




While the events in the preceding chapter were trans- 
piring, a joint committee on Reconstruction were making 
an inquiry into the condition of the ex-Confederate States 
in order to determine whether they or any of them were 
entitled to immediate representation in Congress. It con- 
sisted of Senators Fessenden, Grimes, Harris, Howard, 
Williams, and Johnson, and Representatives Stevens, 
Washbume, of Illinois, Morrill, of Vermont, Bingham, 
Conkling, Bout well. Blow, Rogers, and Grider, Senator 
Reverdy Johnson and Representatives Rogers and Grider 
were Democrats. All the others were Republicans. There 
was a preponderance of conservatives on the committee. 
Senator Fessenden was the chairman, and his selection 
for the place marked him as princeps senatus in the esti- 
mation of his colleagues. 

While the Civil Rights Bill was pending in the House, 
we have seen that Bingham, of Ohio, made a speech against 
it and voted against it, holding it to be unconstitutional. 
He had supported the Freedmen*s Bureau Bill because 
it applied only to states in the inchoate condition which 
then existed. It was to be inoperative in any state, when 
restored to its constitutional relations with the Union. 
The Civil Rights Bill, on the other hand, was to apply to 
the whole country. North and South, without limit as to 
time, and to affect the civil and criminal code of every 
State Government. He held that there was no constitu- 
tional warrant for this, either in the Thirteenth Am«id- 
ment or elsewhere. In order to cure the supposed defect. 


Bingham proposed to the Reconstruction Committee a 
new constitutional amendment in these words : 

The Congress shall have power to make all laws which shall 
be necessaiy and proper to secure to the citizens of each state 
all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states, 
and to all persons in the several states equal protection in the 
rights of life, liberty, and property. 

This was agreed to by the committee, but before it was 
reported to the House, Stevens presented a series of 
amendments consisting of five sections which had been 
prepared by Robert Dale Owen, a distinguished publicist, 
who was not a member of the Congress. This series had 
met Stevens's approval, and after some delay and some 
changes it was adopted by the committee. Bingham then 
withdrew his own proposed amendment and offered the 
following in place of it, which was adopted as section one: 

No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge 
the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States, 
nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or pro- 
perty without due process of law, nor deny to any person 
within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. 

The difference between this provision and the first one 
proposed by Bingham was the whole difference between 
giving Congress power to pass laws for the administration 
of justice in the states and merely prohibiting the states 
from making discriminations between citizens. There 
was no definition of citizenship in the amendment as 
reported by the joint committee. Apparently they relied 
upon the Civil Rights Act, which had fieen passed over 
the President's veto, to supply that definition, but shortly 
before the final vote was taken in the Senate, Howard, 
who had charge of the measure in the temporary illness of 
Fessenden, proposed the following words to be placed at 
the beginning of the first section. 


All persons bom or naturalized in the United States, and 
subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United 
States and of the state wherein they reside. 

The reason for adopting this clause was to validate 
the corresponding part of the Civil Rights Act and put it 
beyond repeal, in the event that the Republicans should 
at some future time lose control of Congress. 

In addition to the first section, as shown above, the 
amendment provided that Representatives should be 
apportioned among the several states according to popu- 
lation, but that when the right to vote was denied in any 
state to any of the male inhabitants who were twenty- 
one years of age and citizens of the United States, except 
for rebellion or other crime, the representation of such 
state in Congress and the Electoral College should be 
proportionately reduced. Also that no person should hold 
any oflBce under the United States or any state who, hav- 
ing previously taken an oath to support the Constitution 
of the United States, had engaged in insurrection or rebel- 
lion against the same, but that Congress might, by a two- 
thirds vote, remove such disability. Also that the validity 
of the public debt of the United States should not be ques- 
tioned, but that no debt incurred in aid of insurrection 
or rebellion should ever be paid by the United States op 
any state. The concluding section provided that Congress 
should have power to enforce by appropriate legislation 
the provisions of the article. 

The Fourteenth Amendment passed the Senate June 8, 
by 33 to 11, and the House June 13, by 138 to 36. Sum- 
ner had opposed it bitterly in debate because it dodged, as 
he said, the question of negro suffrage; but when the vote 
was taken he recorded himself in the affirmative. 

The report of the committee giving the reasons for 
their action was submitted on the 18th of June. It held 


that the seceding states, having withdrawn from Con- 
gress and levied war against the United States, could 
be restored to their former places only by permission 
of the constitutional power against which they had re- 
belled acting through all the coordinate branches of 
the Government and not by the executive department 

If the President [it said] may, at his wfll and under his own 
authority, whether as military commander, or chief executive, 
qualify persons to appoint Senators and elect Representatives, 
and empower others to elect and appoint them, he thereby 
practically controls the organization of the legislative depart- 
ment. The constitutional form of government is thereby prac- 
tically destroyed, and its powers absorbed by the Executive. 
And while your committee do not for a moment impute to the 
President any such design, but cheerfully concede to him the 
most patriotic motives, they cannot but look with alarm upon 
a precedent so fraught with danger to the Republic. 

This conclusion was logical but misleading. The danger 
to the Republic lay not in the absorption of powers by the 
Executive, but in the prolongation of chaos, in dethroning 
intelligence, and arming ignorance in the desolated dis- 
tricts of the South.^ 

Stevens also reported a bill "to provide for restoring 
the states lately in insurrection to their full political 
rights." It recited that whenever the Fourteenth Amend- 
ment should become a part of the Constitution, and any 
state lately in insurrection should have ratified it and con- 
formed itself thereto, its duly elected Senators and Rep- 
resentatives would be admissible to seats in Congress. 
This bill was not acted on, but lay on the table of each 

^ Trumbull did not take an active part in the framing of the Fourteenth 
Amendment. A minute and unbiased histoiy of it has been written by Horace 
Edgar Flack, Ph.D., and published by the Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 
1908. It is impossible to resist the conclusion of this writer, that partisanship 
was a potent factor in the framing and adc^tion of it. 


house awaiting the action of the Southern States on the 
proposed amendment. 

On July 23, the two houses adopted a preamble and 
joint resolution admitting Tennessee to her former rela- 
tions to the Union. The preamble recited that that state 
had ratified the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments 
to the Constitution. There were only four negative votes 
on the Tennessee bill : Brown and Sunmer, Republicans, 
and Buckalew and McDougall, Democrats. The Presi- 
dent signed the bill, but he added a brief message explain- 
ing that his reason for doing so was that he desired to 
remove every cause of further delay, whether real or 
imaginary, to the admission of the Representatives of 
Tennessee, but he aflirmed that Congress could not right- 
fully make the passage of such a law a condition precedent 
to such admission in the case of Tennessee, or of any other 

The next event of importance in the controversy over 
Reconstruction was the National Union Convention held 
in Philadelphia on the 14th of August. It was composed 
of delegates from all the states and territories. North and 
South, who sustained the President's policy and acqui- 
esced in the results of the war, including the abolition of 
slavery. This came to be known as the "Arm-in- Arm 
Convention*' as the procession leading to the platform 
was headed by two delegates, one from Massachusetts 
and one from South Carolina, walking together with their 
arms joined. The signers of the call embraced the names 
of A. W. Randall, ex-governor of Wisconsin, Senators 
Cowan, Doolittle, Fowler, Norton, Dixon, Nesmith, and 
Hendricks, and ex-senator Browning, then Secretary of the 
Interior. The convention itself was eminently respecta- 
ble in point of numbers and character. It was presided 
over by Senator Doolittle, and the chairman of its Com- 


mittee on Resolutions was Senator Cowan. The resolu- 
tions adopted were ten in number and were faultless in 
principle and in expression. They were conveyed to the 
President by a committee of seventy-two persons. The 
effect of this dignified movement was offset and neutral- 
ized in large part by one paragraph of the President's 
reply to the presentation speech, namely: 

We have witnessed in one department of the Government 
eveiy endeavor to prevent the restoration of peace, harmony, 
and union. We have seen hanging upon the verge of the Gov- 
ernment, as it were, a body called, or which assumed to be, the 
Congress of the United States, while in fact it is a Congress of 
only a part of the states. We have seen this Congress pretend 
to be for the Union when its eveiy step and act tended to per- 
petuate disunion and make the disruption of the states inev- 
itable. Instead of promoting reconciliation and harmony its 
legislation has partaken of the character of penalties, retalia- 
tion, and revenge. This has been the course and policy of your 

This impeachment of the legality of Congress was fol- 
lowed by a battle in the political field, which raged with 
increasing fury during the whole remainder of Johnson's 
term of office and projected itself into the two terms of 
President Grant and the beginning of that of President 
Hayes, embracing the episodes of the impeachment trial 
and the Liberal Republican movement of 1872. All of this 
turmoil, and the suffering which it brought upon the 
South, would, probably, have been avoided if Lincoln, 
with his strong hold upon the loyal sentiment of the coun- 
try and his readiness to conciliate opponents, without 
surrendering principle, had not been assassinated. They 
became possible if not inevitable when the presidential 
chair was taken, in a time of crisis, by a man of combative 
temper, without prestige in the North, and devoid of tact 
although of good intentions and undoubted patriotism. 


The Southern States refused to agree to the Fourteenth 
Amendment. To them the insuperable objection was the 
clause excluding from the office-holding class those who 
had taken an oath to support the Constitution of the 
United States and had afterwards engaged in insurrection 
against the same. The conunon people refused to accept 
better terms than were accorded to their leaders. This 
was true chivalry and is not to be condemned, but the 
consequence was an increase of the power of the radicals 
in the North. It disabled conservatives like Fessenden, 
Trumbull, and Grimes in Congress, John A. Andrew, 
Henry Ward Beecher, and William C. Bryant, influential 
in other walks in life, from making effective resistance to 
the measures of Sumner and Stevens. If the Fourteenth 
Amendment had been ratified by any of the other ex- 
Confederate States, such states would have been admitted 
at once as Tennessee was. Both Wade and Howard, hot 
radicals as they were, refused to go with Sunmer when he 
insisted that fiui:her conditions should be exacted. When 
he offered an amendment looking to negro suffrage, 
Howard said that the Joint Committee on Reconstruc- 
tion had maturely considered that question and had care- 
fully abstained from interfering with "that very sacred 
right" — the right of each state to regulate the suffrage 
within its own limits. He argued that it was inexpedient 
in a party point of view to do so, and predicted that if the 
rebel states were coerced to adopt negro suffrage by an 
act of Congress, or by constitutional amendment, they 
would rid themselves of it after gaining admission.^ 

1 Cong. Qlobe, Fdvuaiy 15, 1807, p. 1881. 



On the 17th of December, 1866, the Supreme Court 
rendered its decision in the Milligan case, which had 
reached that tribunal on a certificate of disagreement 
between the two judges of the United States Circuit 
Court for Indiana. Milligan, a citizen, not in the military 
or naval service, had been arrested in October, 1864, by 
General A. P. Hovey, commanding the military district 
of Indiana, for alleged treasonable acts, had been tried by 
a military commission, found guilty, and sentenced to be 
hanged on the 19th day of May, 1865. He petitioned the 
court for a discharge from custody under the terms of the 
Habeas Corpus Act passed by Congress March S, 186S. 
He affirmed that, since his arrest, there had been a ses- 
sion of the grand jury in his district and that it had 
adjourned without finding an indictment against him. 
The act of Congress provided that the names of all civil- 
ians arrested by the military authorities in places where 
the courts were open should be reported to the judges 
within twenty days after their arrest, and that if they 
were not indicted at the first term of court thereafter they 
should be set at liberty. 

This question had been pretty thoroughly thrashed out 
in the Vallandigham case, but it had been imperfectly 
understood; President Lincoln had gone astray in that 
labyrinth, and judges on the bench had differed from each 
other in their interpretation of an unambiguous statute. 
The most commonly accepted opinion was that the act of 


186S was not applicable to Copperheads, or, if it was, I 
that it ought not to be obeyed. ' 

The Supreme Court was unanimous in the opinion that 
Milligan must be discharged, since the law was plain and 
unequivocal, but there was a division among the nine 
judges of the court as to the power to try persons not in 
the military service, by military commission. Five judges 
held that Congress could not abolish trial by jury in 
places where the courts were open and the course of jus- 
tice unimpeded. Four judges maintained that Congress 
might authorize military commissions to try civilians in 
certain cases where the civil courts were open and freely 
exercising their functions, although Congress had not ac- 
tually done so. The five judges constituting the majority 
were Davis (who wrote the opinion of the coiui:), Clifford, 
Nelson, Grier, and Field. The four who dissented from 
the argument, but not from the judgment, were Chief Jus- 
tice Chase (who wrote the minority opinion), and Judges 
Wayne, Swayne, and Miller. Davis*s opinion is not sur- 
passed in argumentative power or in literary expression 
by anything in the annals of that great tribunal. 

The logical consequences of the decision were tremen- 
dous, or would have been, if the public mind had been in 
a condition to appreciate its gravity. Not only did it fol- 
low logically that the trial and execution of Booth's fellow ■ 
conspirators, Payne, Atzerodt, Herold, and Mrs. Surratt, • 
were, in contemplation of law, no better than lynching, i 
but that Andrew Johnson's endeavor to put an end to 
government by military commissions, as soon as possible, 
was right, and that the contrary design, by whomsoever 
held, was wrong. I 

The radicals in Congress, however, were only angered 
by the decision. They were not in the least disconcerted 
by it, but the court itself was very much so. If it had been 


necessary to pass a law reorganizmg the court, in order 
to reap the fruits of the victory won in .the recent elec- 
tions, a majority could have been obtained for it. 

Under date of January 8, 1867, the ** Diary of Gideon 
Welles" tells us that there was a Cabinet meeting at 
which the President said that he wished to obtain the 
views of each member on the subject, already mooted, of 
dismantling states and throwing them into a territorial 
condition. A colloquy ensued which is reported as fol- 

Seward was evidently taken by surprise. Said he had 
avoided expressing himself on these questions; did not think it 
judicious to aotidpate them; that storms were never so furi- 
ous as they threatened; but as the subject had been brought 
up, he would say that never, under any circumstances, could he 
be brought to admit that a sovereign state had been destroyed, 
or could be reduced to a territorial condition. 

McCulloch was equally decided, that the states could not be 
converted into territories. 

Stanton said he had oonununicated his views to no man. Here, 
in the Cabinet, he had assented to and cordially approved of 
every step which had been taken, to reorganize the govern- 
ments of the states which had rebelled, aod saw no cause to 
change or depart from it. Stevens's proposition he had not 
seen, and did not care to, for it was one of those schemes which 
would end in noise and smoke. He had conversed with but one 
Senator, Mr. Sumner, and that was one year ago, when Sum- 
ner said he disapproved of the policy of the Administration and 
intended to upset it. He had never since conversed with Sum- 
ner nor any one else. He did not concur in Mr. Sumner's views, 
nor did he think a state would or could be remanded to a terri- 
torial condition. 

I stated my concurrence in the opinions which had been 
expressed by the Secretary of War, and that I held Congress 
had no power to take from a state its reserved rights and sov- 
ereignty, or to impose terms on one state which were not 
imposed on all states. 

Stanbeiy said he was dear and unqualifiedly against the 


whole talk and theory of territorializing the states. Congress 
could not dismantle them. It had not the power, and on that 
point he would say that it was never expedient to do or attempt 
to do that which we had not the power to do. 

Browning declared that no state could be cut down or extin- 
guished. Congress could make and admit states, but could not 
destroy or extinguish them after they were made.^ 

This extract is rather astounding for what it tells us 
of Stanton's position. Simultaneously, or nearly so, Con- 
gress passed an act virtually making the General of the 
Army independent of the President, and prohibiting the 
President from assigning him to duty elsewhere than in 
Washington City without the consent of the Senate, 
except at his own request. Congressman Boutwell, of 
Massachusetts, tells us that this provision was privately 
suggested to him by Stanton and that he (Boutwell) 
wrote it down at the War Department as dictated by 
Stanton, and took it to Thaddeus Stevens who incorpo- 
rated it in an appropriation bill.^ 

If the radicals were elated by the result of the elections, 
the conservatives were correspondingly depressed. It 
was no longer possible to prevent Stevens and Sumner 
from taking the lead, which they did forthwith. They 
crossed the Rubicon with the whole army. The Recon- 
struction policy initiated by Lincoln was now for the first 
time definitely abandoned by the Union party. In the 
month of February, Stevens carried through the House a 
bill declaring that there were no legal governments in the 
len rebel states, and providing that the existing govern- 
ments should be superseded by the military authority. It 
provided for no termination of such military government. 
Amendments were added by the Senate providing for 
constitutional conventions in those states, to be elected by 

^ Diary qf Oideon WeOet, m. K^lfL 
* BoutweU, RemmueeneM, n, 106. 


the male citizens twenty-one years old and upward, of 
whatever race or color, except those disfranchised for par- 
ticipation in rebellion. It was provided further that when 
the constitutions so framed should contain clauses giving 
the elective franchise to all persons entitled to vote in the 
election for delegates, and when the constitutions should 
be ratified by a majority of the people, and when such 
constitutions should have been submitted to and ap- 
proved by Congress, and when the states should have rat- 
ified the Fourteenth Amendment and it should have been 
adopted, then the states so reorganized should be entitled 
to representation in Congress, provided that no persons 
disfranchised by the Fourteenth Amendment should vote 
at the election or be eligible to membership of the con- 
ventions. The clause making negro suffrage a permanent 
condition of Reconstruction was adopted in a senatorial 
caucus on the motion of Sumner by a majority of two, 
after it had been rejected almost unanimously by the 
Senate committee to which it had been referred.^ 

Trumbull, Fessenden, and Sherman voted against 
Sumner's motion, but after it became the policy of the 
party they supported it. And here they made a mistake, 
for this was the act which placed the governments of ten 
states in the hands of the most ignorant portion of the 
community and disfranchised the most intelligent, entail- 
ing the direful consequences of the succeeding ten years. 

The road which the dominant party had now taken 
was, however, taken conscientiously. Congress and the 

1 This was the second time that Sumner had shunted the nation in the direc- 
tion he desired it to go; the 6r8t time was when he filibustered the Louisiana 
Bill to death at the end of the Thirty-ninth Congress. Edward L. Pierce, his 
biographer and eulogist, writing in the early nineties, says rather dubiously: 
** For weal or woe, whether it was well or not for the black race and the country, 
it is to Sumner's credit or discredit as a statesman that suffrage, irrespective of 
race or color, became fixed and universal in the American 83rstem/' (Memoir 
and Lettert, i, 228.) 


Northern people sincerely believed that slavery would be 
reestablished in some form miless the negroes had the 
right to vote and the assurance that their votes would be 
counted, and that, in that case, the war would have to be 
fought over again. Of course, party spirit and the greed 
of office had a place among the impelling motives at 
Washington, but these considerations would not have 
availed had not the opinion been deep-seated that a 
Democratic victory won by the votes of the solid South 
and a minority of the North would endanger the Union. 

Senator CuUom, of Dlinois, who was then a member of 
the House, said, forty-four years later, that "the motive 
of the opposition to the Johnson plan of Reconstruction 
was a firm conviction that its success would wreck the 
Republican party and, by restoring the Democracy to 
power, bring back Southern supremacy and Northern 
vassalage.'' ^ 

Montgomery Blair apprehended another revolution or 
rebellion and said that there might be two opposing gov- 
ernments organized in Washington. Maynard, of Tennes- 
see, a stanch loyalist, believed that Senators and Repre- 
sentatives from all the states would soon make their 
appearance at the national capital and that those from 
the rebel states would join with the Democratic members 
from the loyal states, constitute a majority, organize, 
repeal the test oath, and have things their own way. 
Welles, while recording these opinions, held the sounder 
one that the South was too exhausted and the Northern 
Democrats too timid for such a step.* 

The Reconstruction Bill passed both houses on the 
20th day of February, 1867, was vetoed by the President 
on the 2d of March, and was repassed on the same day by 

^ Fifty Years cf Ptiblie Service, by Shelby M. Cullom. p. 146. 
> Diary qf Gideon WeUee, n. 484. 


more than two-thirds majority in each house, Trumbull 
voting in the affirmative. 

It was followed by a supplementary bill even more dras- 
tic, providing for a registration of voters, and requiring 
each person, before he could be registered, to take an oath 
that he had not been disfranchised for participation in any 
rebellion, or civil war, against the United States, and had 
never held any legislative, executive, or judicial office and 
afterwards engaged in rebellion against the United States, 
or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. The Presi- 
dent was not slow to perceive the monstrosity of these 
provisions. In his veto message he dwelt on the absurdity 
of expecting every man to know whether he had been dis- 
franchised or not, and what acts amoimted to ''participa- 
tion " or fell short of it, and what constituted the giving 
of aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States. 
With genuine pathos he added: 

When I contemplate the millions of our fellow citizens of the 
South with no alternative left but to impose upon themselves 
this fearful and untried experiment of complete negro enfran- 
chisement, and white disfranchisement (it may be) almost as 
complete, or submit indefinitely to the rigor of martial law 
without a single attribute of freemen, deprived of all the sacred 
guaranties of our Federal Constitution, and threatened with 
even worse wrongs, if any worse are possible, it seems to me 
their condition is the most deplorable to which any people can 
be reduced. 

This bill was passed over the veto on the 23d of March, 
Trumbull voting in the affirmative. These votes, how- 
ever, did not prevent him from publishing in the Chicago 
Advance of September 5, the same year, a carefully writ- 
ten article denying the power of Congress to regulate the 
suffrage in the states, concluding with the following para- 
graphs : 

If the views expressed are correct, it follows that there are 


but two ways of securing impartial suffrage throughout the 
Union. One is, for the states themselves to adopt it, which is 
being done by some abeady; and now that the subject is being 
agitated and its justice being made apparent, it is to be hoped 
it will soon commend itself to all: the other is, by an amend- 
ment to the Constitution of the United States, adopting impar- 
tial suffrage throughout the Union, which to become effective 
must be ratified by three fourths of the States. 

Amendments of the constitutions of Ohio, Kansas, and 
Minnesota for that purpose were then pending, but they 
were all voted down by the people in October and Novem- 
ber, 1867. 

Congress continued to pass supplementary Reconstruc- 
tion measures at short intervals. One such authorized 
the commanders of the military districts to suspend or 
remove any persons holding any oflSce, civil or military, 
in their districts and appoint other persons to fill their 
places and exercise their fimctions subject to the disap- 
proval of the General of the Army of the United States. 
It was declared to be the duty of the commanders afore- 
said to remove from oflSce all persons disloyal to the 
United States and all who should seek to liinder, delay, or 
obstruct the administration of the Reconstruction Acts. 
Section eight of this act made members of boards of 
registration removable in like manner. Section eleven 
provided that "all the provisions of this act, and of the 
acts to which it is supplementary, should be construed 
liberally." This bill was vetoed by the President July 19, 
1867, and was passed over the veto by both houses the 
same day. Still another supplementary act was passed 
on the 11th of March, 1868, relating to the election of 
members of Congress in the rebel states. 

Under this harness of militarism constitutional conven- 
tions were held and constitutions adopted by all of said 
states, except Texas and Mississippi, during the year 


1868, and all the rest of them were admitted to the Union 
except Virginia, subject, however, to the condition that 
their constitutions should never be amended, or changed, 
so as to deprive any citizen, or class of citizens, of the 
right to vote, except as a punishment for crimes of the 
grade of felonies at common law. 

Delays having occurred in the course of procedure in 
Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas, there was opportunity 
to apply new conditions to their readmission and this 
chance was eagerly seized by the radicals. Trumbull, on 
the 13th of January, 1870, reported from the Judiciary 
Committee a simple resolution reciting that Virginia, 
having complied with all the requirements, was entitled to 
representation in Congress. This was amended on mo- 
tion of Drake, of Missouri, by a proviso that it should 
never be lawful for the state to deprive any citizen of the 
United States, on account of race, color, or previous con- 
dition of servitude, of the right to hold oflSce. Trumbull 
said in the debate on this proposition that Congress had 
no authority to enact it and that it would not be binding 
on the state. Yet it was adopted by a majority of one 
vote, SO to 29. Wilson then moved as an amendment that 
the state constitution should never be so changed as to 
deprive any citizen or class of citizens of school privileges, 
and this was adopted by 31 to 29, Trumbull in the nega- 
tive. In addition to these a long section was added pre- 
scribing a new form of oath to be taken by all state oflScers 
and members of the legislature, which was adopted by 45 
to 16, Trumbull voting no. In the final vote on the Bill, 
however, he voted in the affirmative. The same condi- 
tions were applied to Mississippi and Texas. 

In the debate on the Virginia Bill there was a passage- 
at-arms between Trumbull and Sumner which came near 
to overstepping parliamentary rules on both sides and 


which caused widespread newspaper comment. It was 
generally believed that a rupture had taken place between 
them which would never be healed ; yet a year later, when 
the decree went forth (presumably from the White House) 
that Sumner must be deposed from the chairmanship of 
the Committee on Foreign Relations, Trumbull was one 
of his strongest supporters in the fight which ensued. 

Following close after the reconstruction of Virginia 
came the re-reconstruction of Georgia. That state ratified 
her post-bellum constitution on the 11th of May, 1868, and 
elected Rufus P. Bullock, governor. He represented the 
radicals, but the conservatives at the same time carried 
the state legislature. A few negroes had been elected as 
members, and these were expelled on the groimd that the 
right to hold office had not been conferred upon them by 
the new constitution. The supreme court of the state a 
few months later decided that since the rights of citizen- 
ship and of voting had been conferred upon them, the 
right to hold office belonged to them also unless expressly 
denied. In addition to unseating the blacks, the conserv- 
atives had admitted certain members who could not take 
the oath prescribed in the Fourteenth Amendment of 
the Constitution. Governor Bullock needed a legislature 
different from the one which had been elected, in order to 
accomplish certain ends which he had in view, and he 
seized upon these irregularities as a means of overturning 
the majority. He then raised an outcry, which he knew 
would stir the north, — that the blacks in Georgia were 
still terrorized by the Ku-Klux Klans. 

President Grant soon thereafter recommended that 
Congress take Georgia again in hand. This was done 
promptly. An act was passed directing Governor Bullock 
to call the legislature together and directing the legislature 
to reorganize itself in accordance with the oaths of office 


heretofore prescribed, including that of the Fourteenth 
Amendment; to exclude all persons who could not law- 
fully take those oaths and to admit all who had been 
expelled on account of color; also requiring Georgia to 
ratify the Fifteenth Amendment before her Representa- 
tives and Senators should be admitted to seats in Con- 
gress. The seventh section of the act authorized Gover- 
nor Bullock to call for the services of the army and navy 
of the United States to enforce the provisions of the act- 
Under this authority, exercised by General Terry, twenty- 
four conservatives were expelled from the legislature and 
their places were filled by radicals, and the negroes for- 
merly excluded were returned to their places. Even this 
did not satisfy Bullock. He went to Washington with a 
troop of carpet-baggers and a pocketful of money and 
railroad bonds and persuaded General Butler, who was 
chairman of the House Committee on Reconstruction, to 
bring in a bill for the restoration of Georgia similar to that 
of Virginia, with a proviso extending for two years the 
term of oflBce of the present legislature, which would other- 
wise expire in November, 1870. Butler reported such a bill 
from his committee, but Bingham, of Ohio, oflfered an 
amendment to require a new election of the legislature 
at the time fixed in the state constitution, and this amend- 
ment was agreed to, in spite of Butler's opposition, by 115 
to 71. 

The Georgia Bill was the subject of an exciting battle 
in the Senate where Trumbull supported the Bingham 
proviso against the efforts of Morton, Howard, Drake, 
Stewart, Sumner, Wilson, and all of the new Senators 
from the South, two of whom (those of Texas) were 
hastily admitted in time to vote on the Georgia question. 
The first vote was on the motion of Williams, of Oregon, 
to prolong the life of the existing legislature till Novem- 


ber, 1872. One effect of so doing would be to save a seat 
in the United States Senate for a man who had been 
elected unlawfully. The vacancy would occur on March 4, 
1871, and could be lawfully filled only by the legislature 
chosen next preceding that date. 

Williams's motion was voted down April 14, by a major- 
ity of one. On the 19th of the same month, Trumbull 
made one of the great speeches of his public career, filling 
twelve columns of the Congressional Globe^ on the Georgia 
question, demolishing the Bullock case and stirring pub- 
lic opinion strongly. The struggle was protracted till July 
8, when the bill passed, as Trumbull desired, with the 
Bingham proviso. 

An editorial in the Nation of May 26, 1870, tells, in 
brief compass, what took place while the Georgia Bill was 
the matter of chief concern in the Senate: 

Our readers may remember that when Mr. Trumbull, some 
weeks ago, made his severe summing up of the "Georgia diffi- 
culty," he hinted in very plain terms that the patriots of the 
Bullock faction had been guilty of both corruption and intim- 
idation in trying to get their "Reconstruction" bill through, 
installing them in office for two years. By many people this 
charge was ascribed partly to Mr. Trumbull's hatred of the 
black man, and partly to his hostility to the pure and good of 
all colors, and doubtless some asked themselves, as they asked 
themselves when the Traitor Ross refused to give up his chair 
to Senator Revels, for the sake of the dramatic unities: "What 
else can we expect of a man who voted No on the Eleventh 

[A committee of the Senate, appointed to look into the mat- 
ter, had taken a mass of testimony and submitted a report.] 
Their finding is — and we blush to write it — that Bullock and 
his friends have been for a long time in Washington, complain- 
ing of the Ku-KIux Klan, and asking fresh guarantees for "the 
persecuted Unionists" of Georgia; that somehow or other, 
while there, they have had a great deal of money and railroad 
bonds, which they seemed to have no particular use for, them- 


selves; that they tried unsuccessfully to purchase the votes of 
Senators Carpenter and Tipton against the Bingham amend- 
ments; that harrowing reports of "outrages" in Georgia were 
actually prepared to order, like boots or dinners, furnished to 
them and paid for; that the writing of threatening letters to 
Senators was procured in the same manner; that $4000 was 
paid to that good and great man, Colonel Forney, of the Wash- 
ington Chronicle f for "advertising and printing speeches and 
documents," the Colonel's editorial denunciations of the oppo- 
nents of the Georgia Bill, we suppose, being thrown into the 
bargain. The Washington correspondent of the Boston Adver- 
tiser — a wicked fellow — adds that some of the witnesses 
when first examined "were very loath to tell what they knew, 
and indulged in the tallest kind of lying." The report of the 
committee is unanimous. 

The result of this expos6 probably will be that the Georgia 
question will at last, after a year's delay, filled with this lying 
and intrigue and corruption, be settied at the outset, by hand- 
ing the State Government back to the electors on the same 
terms as Virginia, and letting the "Bullock faction" go home 
and find some means of gaining an honest livelihood. . . . We 
cannot pass from this affair, however, without bearing hearty 
testimony to the services which Mr. Trumbull has, by his atti- 
tude in it from the very beginning, rendered to truth, justice, 
good government, and civilization. He has made every honest 
man, North and South, his debtor, not for being able, for this 
he cannot help, but for being bold, and hitting hard. "By 
Time," says Hosea Biglow, " I du like a man that ain't afeared ! '* 



Eably in 18679 Congress passed an act, originating in 
the Senate, to prevent the President from removing, with- 
out the consent of the Senate, any oflSce-holders whose 
appointment required confirmation by that body. In its 
inception it was not intended to include members of the 
Cabinet, but merely to protect postmasters, collectors, 
and other appointees of that grade, whom the President, 
in his stump speech at St. Louis, had declared his inten- 
tion to ^^kick out." Accordingly a clause was inserted 
excluding Cabinet oflScers from the operation of the mea- 

When the bill came before the House, a motion was 
made to strike out this exception, and it was at first nega- 
tived by a majority of four. Subsequently the motion 
was renewed and carried, but the Senate refused to con- 
cur. The diflferences between the two houses were referred 
to a conmiittee of conference of which Sherman was a 
member. He had been extremely resolute heretofore in 
opposing the attempt to include members of the Cabinet, 
because he held that no gentleman would be willing to 
remain a member after receiving an intimation from his 
chief that his services were no longer desired. To this 
Senator Hendricks replied that it was not a question of 
getting rid of a genUeman^ but of a man of different stamp, 
who might be in the Cabinet and desire to stay in. **The 
very person who ought to be turned out,** he said, "is the 
very person who wiU stay in." The Conference Committee 


reported the following proviso, which was adopted by 
both houses : 

That the Secretaries of State, of the Treasury, of War, of the 
Navy, and of the Interior, the Postmaster-General, and the 
Attomey-Greneral shall hold their offices respectively for and 
during tlie term of the President by whom they may have been 
appointed and for one month thereafter, subj^ to removal by 
and with the advice and consent of the Senate. 

Senator Doolittle, who opposed the bill in totOy pointed 
out that it did not accomplish what it aimed at: that is, 
it did not prevent the President from removing the Secre- 
tary of War. He showed that Stanton had never been 
appointed by Johnson at all. He was merely holding oflSce 
by sufferance. The term of the President by whom he 
was appointed had expired and the ^^one month there- 
after" had also expired; therefore, the proviso reported 
by the Conference Committee was futile to protect him. 

Sherman replied that the proviso was not intended to 
apply to a particular case or to the present President, and 
that Doolittle's interpretation of the phrase as not pro- 
tecting Stanton in oflSce was the true interpretation. He 
added that if he supposed that Stanton, or any other 
Cabinet officer, was so wanting in manhood and honor as 
to hold his office after receiving an intimation that his 
services were no longer desired, he (Sherman) would con- 
sent to his removal at any time. This declaration com- 
mitted Sherman in advance to a definite opinion as to the 
President's right to remove Stanton whenever he pleased. 

The bill passed with the clause above quoted, all the 
Republican Senators present voting for it except Van 
Winkle and Willey, of West Virginia. Trumbull was 
recorded in the affirmative. 

At the first Cabinet meeting of February 26, the bill 
was considered, and all the members thought that it ought 


to be vetoed. "Stanton was very emphatic,** says Welles, 
"and seemed glad of an opportmiity to be in accord with 
his colleagues." (He had previously given his sanction 
to the Stevens Reconstruction Bill in opposition to his 
colleagues.) The President said he would be glad if Stan- 
ton would prepare a veto or make suggestions for one. 
Stanton pleaded want of time. The President then turned 
to Seward, who said that he would undertake it if Stan- 
ton would help him. This was agreed to, and the veto 
(based on the ground of unconstitutionality) was pre- 
pared and submitted by them at the Cabinet meeting of 
March 1. Stanton must have been aware of the colloquy 
between Sherman and Doolittle in which his name was 
mentioned, and he probably agreed with them in the 
opinion that he was not protected by the Tenure-of -Office 
Act. K he had thought diflferently he would hardly have 
favored the veto, or joined with Seward in writing it. The 
veto message was sent in on March 2, 1867, and the bill 
was passed by two thirds of both houses the same day. 

Few persons at the present time believe that there 
was any substantial ground for the impeachment of An- 
drew Johnson. The unsparing condenmation of history 
has been visited upon the whole proceeding, and the com- 
monly received opinion now is that if the Senate had voted 
him guilty as charged in the articles of impeachment a pre- 
cedent would have been made whereby the Republic would 
have been exposed to grave dangers. Trumbull was one of 
the so-called " Seven Traitors " who prevented that catas- 

The first session of the Fortieth Congress began on 
March 4, 1867. The radical wing of the Republican party 
had been muttering about impeachment even earlier, and 
a resolution had been passed by the House on the 7th of 
January preceding, authorizing the Judiciary Committee 


to inquire into the oflScial conduct of the President and to 
report whether he had been guilty of acts designed or 
calculated to "overthrow, subvert, or corrupt the Govern- 
ment of the United States, or any department or oflSce 
thereof/* On the 28th of February, the committee re- 
ported that it had examined a large number of witnesses 
and collected many documents, but had not been able to 
reach a conclusion and that it would not feel justified in 
making a final report upon so important a matter in the 
expiring hours of this Congress, even if it had been able 
to make an affirmative one. On the 29th of March follow- 
ing, the committee was instructed to continue its investi- 

It accordingly continued its work and voted on the 1st 
of June, by 5 to 4, that there was no evidence that would 
warrant impeachment; but at the earnest solicitation of 
the minority it kept the case open during the recess which 
Congress took from July to November. Li this interval 
one member of the committee changed his vote and this 
change made the committee stand 5 to 4 in favor of im- 
peachment. The report of the conmaittee was presented 
by Boutwell, of Massachusetts, November 25, accom- 
panied by a resolution that Andrew Johnson, President 
of the United States, be impeached for high crimes and 
misdemeanors. James F. Wilson, of Iowa, chairman of 
the committee, submitted a minority report adverse to 
impeachment, and the House on the 7th of December sus- 
tained Wilson and rejected the majority report by a vote 
of 57 to 108. Among those voting against impeachment 
were Allison, Bingham, Blaine, Dawes, Poland, Spalding, 
and Washbume, of Illinois. On the other side were Thad- 
deus Stevens, B. F. Butler, and John A. Logan. On the 
5th of August, the President sent to Stanton a note of 
three lines saying that his resignation as Secretary of War 


would be accepted. Stanton replied on the same day 
declining to resign before the next meeting of Congress. 
The President thereupon decided to remove him regard- 
less of consequences, but he felt the necessity of finding 
somebody to take the oflSce who would be acceptable to 
the country. His choice fell upon General Grant, who was 
perhaps the only person whose appointment under the 
circumstances would not have caused a disturbance. No 
plausible objection could be raised against him in any 
quarter, not even by Stanton himself. Grant reluctantly 
consented to accept the place. Accordingly one week 
after Stanton had refused to resign, the President sus- 
pended him and appointed Grant Secretary ad interim 
and so notified Stanton. The latter had undoubtedly 
made plans for retaining the office in defiance of the 
President and was chagrined to find that a man had 
been appointed whom he could not resist. Although a 
few months earlier he had advised the President that 
the Tenure-of-Office Law was unconstitutional and had 
assisted in writing the message vetoing it on that ground, 
he now denied the President's power to suspend him with- 
out the consent of the Senate, but said that he yielded to 
superior force. He then surrendered his office to Grant. 
Although the usual expressions of confidence and esteem 
were exchanged between himself and his successor, a resi- 
due of asperity remained in the breast of the retiring 
Secretary, who felt that the head of the army ought not 
to have enabled the President to get the better of him. 
But as a matter of fact Grant did not want the office. He 
accepted it only because he feared that trouble might 
follow from the appointment of somebody less familiar 
than himself with conditions prevailing in the South. 

On the ISth of January, 1868, the Senate, having con- 
sidered the reasons assigned by the President for the sus- 


pension of Stanton from office, non-concurred in the same 
and sent notice to this effect to the President and to Grant. 
The latter considered his functions as Secretary cd inte- 
rim terminated from the moment of receipt of the notice 
and so notified the President, at the same time locking 
the door of his room and handing the key to the person 
in charge of the Adjutant-General's office in the same 

Under the terms of the Tenure-of-Office Law, Stan- 
ton returned and resumed his former place. 

On the 27th of January, a motion was made by Mr. 
Spalding in the House of Representatives that the Com- 
mittee on Reconstruction be authorized to inquire what 
combinations had been made to obstruct the due execu- 
tion of law and to report what action, if any, was neces- 
sary in consequence thereof. This resolution was adopted 
by a vote of 99 to SI. A few days later, on the motion of 
Thaddeus Stevens the evidence taken by the Conmiittee 
on the Judiciary on the impeachment question was re- 
ferred to the Committee on Reconstruction. Certain cor- 
respondence that had passed between General Grant and 
President Johnson relating to the retirement of the former 
from the War Office was also sent to the same committee. 

The correspondence between General Grant and the 
President here referred to gives a fresh illustration of 
Andrew Johnson's want of tact in dealing with men and 
events. He first made an accusation that Grant had failed 
to keep a promise that he had previously given that "if 
you [Grant] should conclude that it would be your duty 
to surrender the department to Mr. Stanton, upon action 
in his favor by the Senate, you were to return the office to 
me, yrioT to a decision by the Senate^ in order that if I de- 
sired to do so I might designate somebody to succeed you." 
This letter was dated January SI, 1868. Grant replied 


(February 3) denying that he had made any such pro- 
mise, and saying that the President in making this accu- 
sation had sought to involve him in a resistance to law and 
thus to destroy his character before the country. Several 
other letters followed, including one from each member of 
the Cabinet, who was present when the matter was talked 
of between the two principals, all confirming the Presi- 
dent's statements. The letters of Browning and Seward, 
however, tended to show that the President's desire was 
to make up a case for the Supreme Court, to decide 
whether he had a right under the Constitution to remove 
a Cabinet officer or not, and that he supposed that Grant 
had promised to cooperate with him to promote that end; 
but that whatever Grant might have promised, the sud- 
den action of the Senate led him to believe that he could 
not delay his retirement without subjecting himself to the 
chance of fine and imprisonment under the Tenure-of- 
Office Law.^ 

^ On the 3d of August, 1868, shortly after his acquittal, Johnson wrote a 
letter to Benjamin C. Truman, his former secretary, which gives his estimate 
of Grant and throws some new light on the politics of the time. There is nothing 
to show which of the Blairs was referred to as giving him advice as to the make- 
up of his Cabinet, but it was probably Montgomery. He says: 

'* I may have erred in not carrying out Mr. Blair's request by putting into my 
Cabinet Morton, Andrew, and Greeley. I do not say I should have done so had 
I my career to go over again, for it would have been hard to have put out Seward 
and Welles, who had served satisfactorily under the greatest man of all. Mor- 
ton would have been a tower of strength, however, and so would Andrew. No 
senator would have dared to vote for impeachment with those two men in my 
Cabinet. Grant was untrue. He meant well for the first two years, and much 
that I did that was denounced was through his advice. He was the strongest 
man of all in the support of my policy for a long while and did the best he could 
for nearly two years in strengthening my hands against the adversaries of con- 
stitutional government. But Grant saw the radical handwriting on the wall and 
heeded it. I did not see it, or, if seeing it, did not heed it. Grant did the proper 
thing to save Grant, but it pretty nearly ruined me. I might have done the 
same thing under the same circumstances. At any rate, most men would. . . . 
Grant had come out of the war the greatest of all. It is true that the rebels were 
on their last legs and that the Southern ports were pretty effectually blockaded, 
and that Grant was furnished with all the men that were needed, or could be 


' The quarrel between Johnson and Grant did not, how- 
ever, help the impeachers, who were voted down in the 
Committee on Reconstruction, February IS, by 6 to S, 
Stevens being in the minority. 

Stanton was now in a position of great embarrassment, 
being a member of the Cabinet by appointment of the 
Senate, but unable to attend Cabinet meetings. He was 
endowed with sufficient assurance for most purposes, but 
not enough to go to the White House and take a seat 
among gentlemen who would have looked upon him as 
an intruder and a spy. Johnson was advised by General 
Sherman and others to leave him severely alone. ^ 

If this advice had been followed, Stanton would have 
been exposed to ridicule ere long and the Senate could not 
have helped him to ward it off. But Johnson came to his 
rescue by making a fresh attempt to oust him. Eight days 
after Thaddeus Stevens's impeachment resolution had 
been voted down, two to one, in his own committee, the 
President sent a note to Edwin M. Stanton saying that 
he had removed him from the office of Secretary of War 
and appointed Lorenzo Thomas, the Adjutant-General 
of the Army, as Secretary of War ad interim. The new 
appointee immediately presented himself at the War 
Office and showing his authority demanded possession, 
which Stanton refused to yield. 

The tables were instantly turned. Stanton was no 
longer looked upon as holding an office with nothing to do 
except to draw his salary, but as a champion of the people 
defending them against a law-breaking President. Grant 
had warned Johnson months before that the public looked 

spared, after he took command of the Anny of the Potomac. But Grant helped 
more than any one else to bring about this condition. His great victories at 
Donelson, Vidcsburg, and Missionary Ridge all contributed to Appomattox.'* 
{padury Magazine, January, 1918.) 
^ ^ Rhodes, History qf the United Stales, vu 104. 


upon the Tenure-of-Office Law as constitutional until 
pronounced otherwise by the courts, and that although 
an astute lawyer might explain it differently the common 
people would "give it the effect intended by its framers/* 
that is, to protect Stanton.^ 

This was sound advice. The revulsion in the public 
mind was electrical in suddenness and strength. The 
House of Representatives, which, on the 7th of Decem- 
ber, by nearly two to one had rejected an impeachment 
resolution recommended by its Judiciary Committee, now 
(February 24) adopted the same resolution by 128 to 47. 
Every Republican member who was present, including 
James F. Wilson, voted in the aflSrmative. A committee of 
seven was appointed to prepare articles of impeachment 
and present them to the Senate. Nine such articles were 
reported to the House on the 2d of March and two addi- 
tional ones on the following day, all of which were agreed 
to, and seven members of the House were appointed as 
managers to conduct the imi>eachment, namely: John A. 
Bingham, George S. Boutwell, James F. Wilson, Benja- 
min F. Butler, Thomas Williams, John A. Logan, and 
Thaddeus Stevens. 

The trial began on the 5th of March, Chief Justice 
Chase presiding. The President was represented by 
Henry Stanbery, Benjamin R. Curtis, William S. Groes- 
beck, William M. Evarts, and Thomas A. R. Nelson. 
The House managers were overmatched in point of legal 
ability by the President's counsel, and still more by the 
facts in the case. The first eight articles of impeachment 
were based upon the President's attempt to remove 
Stanton and appoint Thomas as Secretary of War ad 
interim^ but inasmuch as Senator Sherman had publicly 
declared that Stanton, being an appointee of Lincoln, 

^ McPhenon» Reanutruetion, p. 907. 


was not protected by the Tenure-of-Office Law, and that 
he ought to be removed anyhow if he refused to resign at 
the President's request, it was deemed best by the im- 
peachers to divide the offense into two parts. So the first 
article related only to the removal of Stanton and the 
second only to the appointment of Thomas. This, it was 
believed, would enable Sherman to vote not guilty on the 
first, but guilty on the second. He could vote that the 
President had a perfect right to remove his Secretary of 
War, but no right to fill the vacancy, and that any attempt 
on his part to do so would be a high misdemeanor, pim- 
ishable by impeachment and removal from office. And so 
it turned out as regarded Sherman's vote, and also that of 
Senator Howe, of Wisconsin, who shared Sherman's view 
that Stanton was not protected by the law. 

The ninth article charged the President with having a 
conversation with General Emory, who commanded the 
military department of Washington, and saying to him 
that that portion of the Army Appropriation Act, which 
provided that all orders relating to military affairs should 
be issued through the General of the Army, or the officer 
next in rank, and not otherwise, was unconstitutional, 
thus seeking to induce said Emory to violate the provi- 
sions of said act. 

The tenth article recited that Andrew Johnson did at 
certain times and places make and "deliver with a loud 
voice certain intemperate, inflammatory, and scandalous 
harangues and did therein utter loud threats and bitter 
menaces as well against Congress as the laws of the 
United States duly enacted thereby, amid the cries, jeers, 
and laughter of the multitudes then assembled." Extracts 
from the speeches were embodied in this article, "by 
means whereof the said Andrew Johnson has brought the 
high office of President of the United States into contempt, 


ridicule, and disgrace, to the great scandal of all good 
citizens, whereby said Andrew Johnson, President of the 
United States, did commit, and was then and there guilty 
of, a high misdemeanor in oflSce." This article was the 
production of General Butler. 

The eleventh article embraced the charge of seeking to 
prevent Stanton from resuming his office as Secretary of 
War, but not that of removing him from it (this to accom- 
modate Sherman and Howe), and a milange of all the 
charges in the preceding articles, ending with a charge 
that the President had in various ways attempted to pre- 
vent the execution of the Reconstruction Acts of Con- 
gress. Thaddeus Stevens considered it the only one of the 
series that was bomb-proof, but the Chief Justice ruled 
that the Stanton matter was the only thing of substance 
in it, the residue being mere objurgation. The answer 
filed by the President's counsel set forth : 

First, that the Tenure-of-Office Law, in so far as it 
sought to prevent the President from removing a member 
of his Cabinet, was unconstitutional; that such was the 
opinion of each member of his Cabinet, including Stanton, 
and that Stanton among others advised him to veto it; 

Second, that even if the law were in harmony with the 
Constitution the Secretary of War was not included in its 
prohibitions, since the term for which he was appointed 
had expired before the President sought to remove him; 

Third, that it seemed desirable, in view of the foregoing 
facts, to secure a judicial determination of all doubts 
respecting the rights and powers of the parties concerned, 
from the tribunal created for that purpose; and to this 
end he had taken the steps complained of, and that he 
had committed no intentional violation of law. 

In answer to the eleventh article, the defendant said 
that the matters contained therein, except the charge of 


preventing the return of Stanton to the oflSce of Secre^ 
tary of War, did not allege the commission or omission 
of any act whatever whereby issue could be joined or 
answer made. As to the Stanton matter, his answer was 
already given in the answer to the first article. 

There were two theories rife in the Senate and in the 
country, respecting this trial. One was that impeach- 
ment was a judicial proceeding where charges of treason, 
bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors were to be 
alleged and proved; the Senators sitting as judges, hear- 
ing testimony and argument, and voting guilty or not 
guilty. This opinion was generally accepted at first, both 
in and out of Congress, and was the correct one. The 
other was that impeachment was a political proceeding 
which the whole people were as competent to decide as 
the Senate. This was the view taken by Charles Sumner 
and avowed by him in his written opinion while sitting as 
one of the sworn judges to vote guilty or not guilty, and 
it came to be the opinion prevailing in the Republican 
party generally before the case was ended. According to 
this view it was a question for the people to decide in their 
character as an unsworn "multitudinous jury." No 
method of arriving at, or of recording, their verdict was 
suggested or deemed necessary. To a person holding this 
view the trial itself was logically a waste of time, since a 
decision could have been reached without a scrap of testi- 
mony, or a single speech, on either side. 

The trial lasted from the 6th of March to the 16th of 
May, and the heat and fury of the contest both in and 
out of Congress became more intense from day to day. 
The impeachers lost ground in the estimation of the 
sober-minded and reflecting classes by their intemperate 
language, by their frantic eflforts to bring outside pressure 
to bear upon Senators, and especially by their refusal to 


admit testimony offered to show that the President's 
intent was not to defy the law, but to get a judicial deci- 
sion as to what the law was. The Chief Justice ruled that 
testimony to prove intent was admissible, and Senator 
Sherman asked to have it admitted, but it was excluded 
by a majority vote. Testimony to prove that Stanton 
advised the President that the Tenure-of-OflBce Law was 
imconstitutional and that he aided in writing the veto 
message was excluded by the same vote. Gideon Welles, 
under date April 18,^ says that Sumner, who had previ- 
ously moved to admit all testimony offered, absented him- 
self when it was proposed to call the Cabinet oflScers as 
witnesses. Monday, May 11, the case was closed and the 
Senate retired for deliberation. The session was secret, 
but the views of Senators, so far as expressed, leaked out. 
"Grimes boldly denounced all the articles," says Welles, 
"and the whole proceeding. Of course he received the 
indignant censure of all radicals; but Trumbull and Fes- 
senden, who followed later, came in for even more violent 
denunciation and more wrathful abuse." 

The vote was not taken until the 16th, and the inter- 
vening time was employed by the impeachers in bringing 
influence to bear upon Senators who had not definitely 
declared how they would vote. There were 54 votes in all ; 
two thirds were required to convict. There were 12 Demo- 
crats, counting Dixon, Doolittle, and Norton, who had 
been elected as Republicans, but had been classed as 
Democrats since they had taken part in the Philadelphia 
Convention of August, 1866. If seven Republicans 
should join the twelve in voting not guilty, the President 
would be acquitted. Three had declared in the conference 
of Monday, the 11th, for acquittal, and they were men 
who could not be swerved by persuasion or threats after 

^ Diary qfQidwnWtUes, m, 935. 



they had made up their minds. If four more should join 
with the three, impeachment would fail. Welles names as 
doubtful to the last Senators Anthony and Sprague, of 
Rhode Island, Van Winkle and Willey, of West Virginia, 
Frelinghuysen, of New Jersey, Morgan, of New York, 
Corbett, of Oregon, Cole, of Califomia, Fowler, of Ten- 
nessee, Henderson, of Missouri, and Ross, of Kansas. He 
adds. May 14: 

The doubtful men do not avow themselves, which, I think, is 
favorable to the President, and the impeachers display distrust 
and weakness. Still their efforts are unceasing and almost 
superhuman. But some of the more considerate journals, such 
as the New York Evening Post^ Chicago Tribune^ etc., rebuke 
the violent. The thinking and reflecting portion of the countiy, 
even Republicans, show symptoms of revolt against the con- 

The article in the New York Evening Post of May 14, 
two days before the first vote was taken, is a column long. 
It can only be summarized here. . 

So long as the court sat, it says, decency forbade the dis- 
cussion of the issue elsewhere. It characterizes the articles of 
impeachment in groups and severally, and says Article XI 
** reads like a jest, in charging solemn official acts of 1868 as 
done in pursuance of an extreme and excited declaration, made 
to a crowd, in a political speech almost two years before. . . .** 
Impertinent issues were constantly pressed upon the court from 
without. The New York Tribune demanded conviction and 
removal for breaking the Tenure-of-Office Act, because, it said, 
the President was guilty of drunkenness, adultery, treason, and 
murder. The investigation is of a sudden changed in its nature 
by the advocates of conviction and becomes a matter of poli- 
tics, and no longer a judicial concern. Senator Wilson leads off 
by violating an absolutely fundamental principle of the life and 
law of every free people, i.e., the principle that an accused man 
shall have the benefit of a doubt, and be believed innocent until 

^ Diary qf Gideon WdU$, m, ^66. 


proved guilty. Wilson says: "I shall give the benefit of what- 
ever doubts have arisen to perplex and embarrass me to my 
country rather than to the Chief Magistrate." . . . Here was a 
plain confession that to obtain conviction a "first principle of 
public law must be sacrificed; that one prominent judge, at 
least, would condemn the accused, however conscientiously, 
from other than judicial motives." It describes graphically 
the pressure brought to bear upon the court and its shameless 
character, and quotes from the New York Tribune^s flagrant 
attack upon Grimes, Trumbull, and Fessenden, "three of the 
most honored statesmen and tried patriots in the land." 
"Thus," it says, "a prominent party organ tries to instigate 
the passions of the multitude to drive the court to the judg- 
ment it desires." 

" In a meeting of the Republican Campaign Club on Tuesday 
evening," it continues, "Charles S. Spencer said that 'as a man 
of peace and one obedient to the laws, he would advise Senator 
Trumbull not to show himself on the streets in Chicago during 
the session of the National Republican Convention, for he 
feared that the representatives of an indignant people would 
hang him to the most convenient lamp-post.' And the meeting 
adopted and ordered to be sent to our Senators in Congress, a 
resolution, 'that any Senator of the United States elected by 
the votes of Union Republicans, who at this time blenches and 
betrays, is infamous, and should be dishonored and execrated 
while this free Government endures.' " 

The following is from the Chicago Tribune^ May 14, 


. . . The man who demands that each Republican Senator 
shall blindly vote for conviction upon each article is a madman 
or a knave. Why a Senator, or any number of Senators, should 
be at liberty to vote as conscience dictates on any of the articles, 
provided there be a conviction on some one of them, and not 
be at liberty to vote conscientiously unless a conviction be 
secured, is only to be explained upon the theory that the Presi- 
dent is expected to be convicted no matter whether Senators 
think he has been guilty or not. We have protested, and do 
now protest, against the degradation and prostitution of the 


Republican party to an exercise of power so revolting that the 
people will be justified in hurling it from place at the first oppor- 
tunity. We protest against any warfare by the party or any 
portion of it against any Senator who may, upon the &ial vote, 
feel constrained to vote against conviction upon one, several, 
or even all of the articles. A conviction by a free and deliberate 
judgment of an honest court is the only conviction that should 
ever take place on impeachment; a conviction under any other 
circumstances will be a fatal error. To denounce such Senators 
as corrupt, to assail them with contumely and upbraid them 
with treachery for failing to understand the law in the same 
light as their assailants, would be unfortunate folly, to call it 
by the mildest term; and to attempt to drive these Senators 
out of the party for refusing to commit perjury, as they regard 
it, would cause a reaction that might prove fatal not only to 
the supremacy of the Republican party, but to its very exist- 
ence. Those rash papers which have undertaken to ostracise 
Senators — men like Trumbull, Sherman, Fessenden, Grimes, 
Howe, Henderson, Frelinghuysen, Fowler, and others — are but 
uding the Copperheads in the dismemberment of our party. 

From the Nation, May 14, 1868. 

. • . Can any party afford to treat its leading men as a part of 
the Republican press has been treating leading Republicans 
during the last few weeks? Senators of the highest character, 
who, in being simply honest and in having a mind of their own, 
render more service to the country than fifty thousand of the 
windy blatherskites who assail them, have been abused like 
pickpockets, simply because they chose to think. We have, 
during the last week, heard language applied to Mr. Fessenden 
and Mr. Trumbull, for instance, which was fit only for a com- 
pound of Benedict Arnold and John Morrissey, and all their 
colleagues have been warned beforehand, that if they pleaded 
their oaths as an excuse for differing from anybody who hap- 
pened to edit a newspaper, they would be held up to execration 
as knaves and hypocrites. Now, the class of men who are most 
needed in our politics just now are high-minded, independent 
men, with their hands clean and souls of their own. Their 
errors of judgment are worth bearing with for the sake of their 
character. Yet this class is becoming smaller and smaller, fall- 


ing more and more into disrepute. The class of roaring, corrupt, 
ignorant demagogues, who are always on "the right side" with 
regard to all party measures, grows apace; and, if we are not 
greatly mistaken, if the Republican party does not make short 
work with them before long, they will make short work of it. . . . 

When it became known that Grimes, Trumbull, and 
Fessenden would vote not guilty, the pressure from out- 
side was redoubled upon others who had been reckoned 
doubtful, and especially upon Henderson, Fowler, and 

Even the General Conference of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, then in session at Chicago, was called upon 
to lend a hand, and a motion was made on the ISth of 
May for an hour of prayer in aid of impeachment. An 
aged delegate moved to lay that proposal on the table, 

My understanding is that impeachment is a judicial proceed- 
ing and that Senators are acting imder an oath. Are we to pray 
to the Almighty that they may violate their oaths f 

The motion to lay on the table prevailed. On the fol- 
lowing day, however. Bishop Simpson oflfered a new pre- 
amble and resolution, omitting any expression of opinion 
that Senators ought to vote for conviction, but reciting 
that "painful rumors are in circulation that, partly by 
unworthy jealousies and partly by corrupt influences, 
pecuniary and otherwise, most actively employed, efforts 
were being made to influence Senators improperly, and 
to prevent them from performing their high duty "; there- 
fore, an hour should be set apart in the following day for 
prayer to beseech God "to save our Senators from error.** 
This cunningly drawn resolution was adopted without 
opposition. It was supposed to have been aimed at Sena- 
tor Willey, of West Virginia, rather than at the Throne 
of Grace. 


Under the rules adopted for the trial each Senator was 
aUowed to file a written opinion. That of Trumbull was 
the first one in the list. Among other things he said : 

To do impartial justice in all things appertaining to the pre- 
sent trial, according to the Constitution and laws, is the duty 
imposed on each Senator by the position he holds and the oath 
he has taken, and he who falters in the discharge of that duty, 
dther from personal or party considerations, is unworthy his 
position, and merits the scorn and contempt of all just men. 

The question to be decided is not whether Andrew Johnson is 
a proper person to fiU the presidential office, nor whether it is fit 
that he should remain in it, nor, indeed, whether he has vio- 
lated the Constitution and laws in other respects than those 
alleged against him. As well might any other fifty-four persons 
take upon themselves by violence to rid the country of Andrew 
Johnson, because they believed him a bad man, as to call upon 
the fifty-four Senators, in violation of their sworn duty, to con- 
vict and depose him for any other causes than those alleged in 
the articles of impeachment. As well might any citizen take 
the law into his own hands and become its executioner as to ask 
the Senate to convict, outside of the case made. To sanction 
such a principle would be destructive of all law and all liberty 
worth the name, since liberty unregulated by law is but another 
name for anarchy. 

He then took up the articles of impeachment seriatim 
and showed that they all hinged upon the removal of 
Stanton and the ad interim appointment of Thomas. 

But even if a different construction could be put upon the 
law [he continued], I could never consent to convict the Chief 
Magistrate of a high misdemeanor and remove him from office 
for a misconstruction of what must be admitted to be a doubt- 
ful statute, and particularly when the misconstruction was the 
same put upon it by the authors of the law at the time of its 

As to the charge that he (Trumbull) had already 
voted that the President had no authority to remove 
Stanton, he said: 


Importance is sought to be given to the passage by the 
Senate, before impeachment articles were found by the House 
of Representatives, of the following resolutions: "Resolved by 
the Senate of the United States, That under the Constitution 
and laws of the United States the President has no power to 
remove the Secretary of War and designate any other officer to 
perform the duties of that office ad interim** as if Senators, sit- 
ting as a court on the trial of the President for high crimes and 
misdemeanors, would feel bound or influenced in any degree by a 
resolution introduced and hastily passed before adjournment 
on the very day the orders to Stanton and Thomas were issued. 
Let him who would be governed by such considerations in pass- 
ing on the guilt or innocence of the accused, and not by the law 
and the facts as they have been developed in the trial, shelter 
himself under such a resolution. I am sure no honest man 

He concluded with these words: 

Once set the example of impeaching a President for what, 
when the excitement of the hour shall have subsided, will be 
regarded as insufficient cause, and no future President will be 
safe who happens to differ with a majority of the House and 
two thirds of the Senate on any measure deemed by them 
important, particularly if of a political character. Blinded by 
partisan zeal, with such an example before them they will not 
scruple to remove out of the way any obstacle to the accom- 
plishment of their purpose, and what then becomes of the 
checks and balances of the Constitution so carefully devised 
and so vital to its perpetuity? They are all gone. In view of 
the consequences likely to flow from this day's proceedings, 
should they result in conviction on what my judgment tells me 
are insufficient charges and proofs, I tremble for the future of 
my country. I cannot be an instrument to produce such a 
result, and at the hazard of the ties even of friendship and affec- 
tion, till calmer times shall do justice to my motives, no alter- 
native is left me but the inflexible discharge of duty. 

Gideon Welles, under date May 16, says: 

Willey , after being badgered and disciplined to decide against 
his judgment, at a late hour last night agreed to vote for the 


eleventh article, which was one reason for reversing the order 
and making it the first. . . . Bishop Simpson, a high priest of 
the Methodists and a sectarian politician of great shrewdness 
and ability, had brought his clerical and church influence to 
bear upon Willey through Harlan, the Methodist elder and or- 
gan in the Senate,^ 

So the managers vaulted over ten articles and began 
the roll-call on the last of the series. The vote resulted: 
guilty, S5; not guilty, 19. One less than two thirds had 
voted not guilty; so the President was acquitted on an 
article, the gravamen of which was the President's 
attempt to prevent Stanton from returning to oflSce after 
the Senate had non-concurred in his removal. Sherman, 
Howe, and Willey had voted guilty on this article, but 
Henderson, Fowler, Ross, and Van Winkle had voted not 

The impeachers were stunned, and before they could 
collect their thoughts, the Chief Justice, in pursuance of 
a rule previously adopted, directed that the vote should 
now be taken on the first article. He was interrupted by 
a motion to adjourn, which he ruled out of order. An 
appeal from the decision was taken and sustained by a 
majority vote, and the Senate sitting as a court of im- 
peachment adjourned for ten days. The utmost efforts 
and direst threats were brought to bear upon Senator 
Ross because he was believed to be weak and defenseless, 
but he remained firm. When the court reassembled on the 
26th of May, the first article of impeachment, the one 
which charged the President with the high misdemeanor 
of removing Stanton from oflSce, was jettisoned alto- 
gether, and votes were taken on the second and third 
articles, relating to the appointment of Thomas as Secre- 
tary ad interim. On both of these articles the result was 

> Diary qf Qideon WdLei, m, S5S. 


identical in number and personnel with that on the elev- 
enth article. Impeachment had failed. The court then 
adjoiuned sine die. 

The opposition to impeachment had some latent 
strength that was never oflScially disclosed. Sprague, of 
Rhode Island, and Willey, of West Virginia, attended the 
meetings of the Republican anti-impeachers and said 
they would vote not guilty if their votes should be 
needed.^ The President was assured that Morgan would 
do the same.* 

On the same day, Edwin M. Stanton wrote a note to 
the President saying that inasmuch as impeachment had 
failed he had relinquished the War Department and had 
left the contents thereof in charge of the senior Assistant 
Adjutant-General. He then retired to his own home 
broken in health by hard labor and clouded in reputation 
by his retention of a place in the Cabinet in defiance of 
his chief. Not even success in maintaining his position 
could excuse such an act. Failure made it a glaring mis- 
demeanor. An attempt has been made to shift the respon- 
sibility for his action to the shoulders of Sumner and his 
other backers in the Senate, who advised him to "stick." 
Undoubtedly they did so advise, and undoubtedly they 
believed, and persuaded him to believe, that it was a 
patriotic duty to commit a glaring breach of good man- 
ners and to persist in it for months; but the responsibil- 
ity for such an act could not be assumed by other persons. 
Moreover, if it was a breach of the Constitution for the 
Senate to forbid the President to choose his own cabinet, 
as Stanton himself had aflSrmed, it was a breach of the 
Constitution for him to coOperate with the Senate in 
doing so. 

^ This fact is mentioned in Dunning*s ReeonstmcHorit p. 107, on the authority 
of ex-senator Henderson. The latter verbally made the same statement to me. 
* Century Magazine, Januaiy, 1913. 


The gloiy of the trial [says Mr. Rhodes] ^ was the action of 
the seven recusant Senators. . • . The average Senator who 
hesitated finally gave his voice with the majority, but these 
seven, in conscientiousness and delicacy of moral fibre, were 
above any average, and in refusing to sacrifice their ideas of 
justice to a popular demand, which in this case was neither 
insincere nor unenlightened, th^ showed a d^ree of courage 
than which we know none higher. Hard as was their immediate 
future they have received their meed from posterity, their 
monument in the admiring tribute of all who know how firm 
th^ stood in an hour of supreme trial. 

Li this comment there is now general concurrence. 
Even Ross has been immortalized by his resolute adher- 
ence to what he believed to be right. His trial was the 
hardest of all, because on the one hand he had no accu- 
mulated reputation to fall back upon, and on the other 
hand he had the most radical state in the Union to deal 
with. Moreover, he was desperately poor, his only prop- 
erty being a starving country newspaper. Hl-luck fol- 
lowed him after his term expired. A cyclone struck the 
town of Coflfeyville, Kansas, and scattered the contents 
of his newspaper oflSce over the adjacent prairie. Among 
the Trumbull papers is an appeal from the local reliel 
committee for help to start Ross's newspaper again, and 
a donation from Trumbull of two hundred dollars for 
this purpose. Some forty years later, Ross died in New 
Mexico, old and poor. He had been a soldier in the 
Civil War. Congress by a special act voted him a pen- 
sion, before his death. This was a solace on the brink of 
the grave and a tribute to his fidelity to principle in a 
trying hour. It was recognized as such and applauded by 
the press of the country without a discordant note. Li 
the award of credit for adherence to convictions of duty 
in the trial of Andrew Johnson, three other Senators 

^ History qfthe United States, vi, 156. 


have been for the most part overlooked, namely, James 
Dixon, of Connecticut, James R. Doolittle, of Wisconsin, 
and Daniel S. Norton, of Minnesota. All of these were 
elected as Republicans and all of them walked in the fiery 
furnace along with the Seven, or rather preceded them 
thither. The reason why they have been neglected by 
the muse of history is that they started two years earlier. 
They went to the Philadelphia Arm-in-Arm Convention 
and thus became classified as Democrats. Edgar Cowan, 
of Pennsylvania, did likewise. His term expired, how- 
ever, before impeachment reached the acute stage. Dixon 
and Doolittle had served through Lincoln's entire term. 
They approved of his Reconstruction policy and simply 
adhered to it after Johnson came in. They received a 
larger share of contumely as tiun-coats and outcasts 
than the Seven, because they began to earn that distinc- 
tion earlier. Doolittle accepted political martyrdom 
without a murmur. The legislature of Wisconsin passed 
resolutions denouncing his support of President Johnson 
and his policy and demanded his resignation as a Senator, 
and these resolutions were presented to the Senate by his 
colleague, Timothy O. Howe, and were answered by Doo- 
little on the floor of the Senate in a manly way. If there 
are laurels to be distributed at this late day, he and his 
three allies are entitled to "a far more exceeding and 
eternal weight of glory." 

Trumbull received his quota of abuse and vilification 
for his vote against impeachment from small-minded 
newspapers and local politicians. To these it seemed an 
infernal shame that he had still five years to serve in the 
Senate before they could turn him out. The only reply he 
ever made in writing, so far as I know, was in a letter 
dated May 20 to Gustave Koemer, which the latter 
caused to be published in the Belleville Advocaiey reiterat- 


ing in brief the views expressed in his opinion as a mem- 
ber of the court. 

Fessenden's unexpired term was shorter than Trum- 
bull's. He was read out of the party rather prematurely. 
In the autumn following his vote on impeachment, 
George H. Pendleton, of Ohio, made his appearance as 
a stump speaker in Maine supporting the Democratic 
policy of "paying the bonds in greenbacks." This was a 
new issue in the East, and a rather puzzling one every- 
where. Pendleton had been a candidate for the presi- 
dency in the national convention on that platform, but 
had fallen somewhat short of a nomination. Fessenden 
was the only man within reach able to meet him and 
expose his fallacies on the stump. The party was in dan- 
ger of losing the state. It was obliged to call for the Sena- 
tor's help. He responded favorably, took the field and 
routed the Greenbackers completely. This was his last 
victory. He had been in poor health for some years. 
Overwork and over-anxiety as chairman of the Finance 
Committee during the War, and later as Secretary of the 
Treasury, had told upon a feeble frame. He died Sep- 
tember 2, 1869, and with him passed away the most 
clairvoyant mind, joined to the most sterling character, 
that the state of Maine ever contributed to the national 
councils. Whether, if his life and health had been spared, 
he could have been reelected to the Senate, is doubtful. 
Gideon Welles was informed that he had not a friend in 
the Maine legislature. When his death was announced 
in the Senate, Trumbull said of him : 

As a debater engaged in the current business of legislation 
the Senate has not had his equal in my time. No man could 
detect a sophistry or perceive a scheme or a job quicker than he, 
and none possessed the power to expose it more eflFectually . He 
was a practical, matter-of-fact man utterly abhorring all show, 
pretension, and humbug. . • • 


But I did not rise so much to speak of the great abilities and 
noble traits of character which have made Mr. Fessenden's 
death to be felt as a national calamity, as of the personal loss 
which I myself feel at his departure. Only three others are now 
left who were here when I came to the Senate, and there is but 
one who came with me. There has been no one here since I 
came to whom I of tener went for counsel and whose opinions 
I have been accustomed more to respect than those of our 
departed friend. There were occasions during our fourteen 
years of service together when we differed about minor matters 
and had controversies, for the time unpleasant, but I never lost 
my respect for him, nor do I believe that he ever did for me. 
He was my friend more closely, perhaps, the last year or two 
than ever before. Like other Senators I shall miss him in the 
daily transactions of this chamber, and perhaps more than any 
other shall miss him as the one person from whom I most fre- 
quently sought advice. I am not one of those, however, who 
believe that constitutional liberty, our free institutions, or the 
progress of the age depend upon any one individual. When the 
great and good Lincoln was stricken down, I did not believe 
that the Government would fail, or liberty perish. Though his 
loss may have subjected the coimtry to many trials it woidd 
not otherwise have had, still our Government stands and liberty 
survives. Another has taken Mr. Fessenden's place; others will 
soon occupy ours, to discharge their duties better, perhaps, 
than we have done, and he among us to-day will be fortunate, 
indeed, if, when his work on earth is done, he shall leave behind 
him a life so pure and useful, a reputation so unsullied, a patriot- 
ism so ardent, and a statesmanship so conspicuous as William 
Pitt Fessenden.^ 

Grimes had a stroke of paralysis while the impeach- 
ment trial was in progress, and it was feared that he 
could not be in his seat when the time for voting came, 
but he rallied suflSciently to be carried into the Senate 
Chamber and to rise upon his feet when his name was 
called. When he learned the nature of his malady he 
announced that he would not be a candidate for reSlec- 

1 Cong. Globe, 1869, p. 113. 


tion. Thus he was taken out of the reach of party ven- 
geance, but though as pure as ice» he did not escape cal- 

John B. Henderson died while this book was pasang 
through the press. He was the only one of the Seven 
Traitors whom the Republican party publicly and for- 
mally forgave. He lost his seat in the Senate as he 
expected, and he retired to private life as a lawyer in the 
dty of St. Louis. Twelve years passed. Two presidential 
lustrums of Grant and one of Hayes had erased from the 
hearts of men the burning sensations of impeachment. 
Li 1884, a convention assembled in Chicago to nominate 
a candidate of the Republican party for the presidency. 
I happened to be there. On the second day of its sitting, 
the Conunittee on Permanent Organization reported the 
name of John B. Henderson, of Missouri, for permanent 
chairman. The assembled multitude knew at once the 
significance of the nomination and gave cheer after cheer 
of applause and approval. It was the signal that all was 
forgiven on both sides. Which side most needed forgive- 
ness was not asked. 

In August, 1868, all the sorrows of Trumbuirs public 
life were submerged and belittled by a domestic affliction. 
His wife, Julia Jayne Trumbull, died on the 16th of that 
month, at her home in Washington City, in the forty- 
fifth year of her age, and was buried in the cemetery of 
her native place, Springfield, Illinois. She was the mo- 
ther of six children, all boys, three of whom were living at 
the time of her death. 




In November, 1867, General Ord, commanding the 
military district of Mississippi, arrested and imprisoned 
an editor named W. H. McCardle, for alleged libelous and 
incendiary publications. McCardle applied to the United 
States Circuit Court for a writ of habeas corpus under the 
same act of Congress which Milligan had successfully 
invoked. The writ was granted, a hearing was had, and 
the prisoner was remanded to the custody of the military 
authorities. McCardle took an appeal to the Supreme 
Court. The Attorney-General of the United States, MrJ 
Henry Stanbery, decided not to appear in the case. Gen-j 
eral Grant was at this time Secretary of War ad interim, 
and Stanbery notified him of the pending case and sug- • 
gested to him the propriety of employ ing counsel torepre- . 
sent the military authorities having McCardle in custody. I 
As this was a case involving the validity of the Recon-f 
struction laws of Congress, General Grant took steps to 
defend, and addressed a letter to Senator Trumbull, 
dated January 8, 1868, saying: "This Department desires 
to engage your professional services, for that object/' 
Trumbull replied on the 11th, accepting the employment, 
and saying that he should desire to have other counsel 
associated with him. A few days later he secured the f 
assistance of Matt. H. Carpenter, of Wisconsin. A brief 
was prepared, and both Trumbull and Carpenter made 
oral arguments. McCardle was represented by Jeremiah 
S. Black. 


Trumbull's argument was made on the 4th of Mardu 
He contended that the court had no jurisdiction, and 
that, therefore, the appeal should be dismissed. The leg- 
islation of Congress on the subject was as follows: The 
Act of 1789, establishing the judiciary, did not give the 
right of appeal to the Supreme Court in habeas corpus 
cases. It was omitted in order to avoid lumbering the 
docket of the highest tribunal with petty details. On the 
5th of February, 1867, Congress passed an act granting 
the right of appeal to the Supreme Court in such cases, in 
order to protect negroes and white Unionists in the South. 
The last clause of the act was in these words : 

This act shall not apply to the case of any person who is or 
may be held in the custody of the miUtary authorities of the 
United States charged toUh any miliiary offense^ or with hav- 
ing aided or abetted rebellion against the Government of the 
United States prior to the passage of this act. 

It was Trumbull's contention that McCardle fell 
within this exception, and hence that the right of appeal, 
so far as he was concerned, did not exist. 

Congress was in trepidation as to the outcome of the 
case and was resolved to take no chances on it. Various 
legislative remedies were proposed. One was to require a 
unanimous vote of the Supreme Court to pronounce any 
act of Congress unconstitutional and void. A bill requir- 
ing a two-thirds vote of the court in such cases actually 
passed the House on the ISth of January by yeas 116, 
nays 39, but it was never considered by the Senate. The 
end was accomplished, however, in a diflferent way. The 
: Senate had passed a bill of only one section, reported by 
Williams, of Oregon, from the Committee on Finance, to 
amend the code of judicial procedure in revenue cases. 
'. The House attached to this bill another section repealing 
v^so much of the Act of February 5, 1867, as authorized an 


appeal to the Supreme Court in the class of cases therein 
named, and withdrawing from the Supreme Court juris- 
diction as to appeals already taken. This bill passed the 
House March IS, 1868, without a division. It was taken 
up in the Senate on the motion of Senator Williams and 
passed by a vote of 32 to 6 the same day, although Sena- 
tors Buckalew and Hendricks asked for an explanation/ 
of its meaning, which was not given to them. 1 

Although Buckalew and Hendricks did not have time 
to find out the nature of this bill, Andrew Johnson did.l 
In due time he returned it to the Senate with a veto mes-\ 
sage, exposing it as a measure to deprive citizens of their 
rights under existing law and to arrest proceedings al- . 
ready in course of judicial determination. On this veto • 
there was a debate in the Senate beginning on March 25,/ 
1868, in which the Democrats, led by Hendricks, had: 
decidedly the best of it. The supporters of the bill had ; 
very little to say for themselves. Trumbull contended 
that the bill did not aflfect any case then pending in the 
court, but in this debate he was worsted by Doolittle,, 
who showed that it applied to the McCardle case. Trum-i 
bull and Carpenter had argued that the Supreme Court' 
had no jurisdiction, since military cases were not appeal- j 
able under the Act of February 5, 1867. The court had | 
ruled against them because McCardle was arrested, not ^ 
for a military, but for a civil oflfense. It still remained to 
be determined whether the court below had jurisdiction. 
Trumbull was confident that the Supreme Court would j 
hold that the lower court had no such jurisdiction, in ; 
which case the appeal would fail and the bill vetoed by 
the President would be nugatory as to McCardle. Doo- ; 
little in reply showed that the bill did cut oflf McCardle's , 
rights as an appellant, and the Supreme Coiu-t so held in 
the month of December following, when it dismissed the 


/^petition expressly on the ground that its jurisdiction had 
been withdrawn by the Act of March 27, 1868. The bill 
was passed over the veto on that date, by 88 to 9 in the 
Senate and by 115 to 84 in the House. It was partisan 
l^islation. The Republicans drew a long breath after its 
passage because they had apprehended another Milli- 
gan decision, undermining, perhaps, the whole fabric of 
Congressional Reconstruction. Had not the court been 
I deterred by the critical condition of public affairs, it might 
with perfect propriety have retained its jurisdiction and 
^decided in favor of McCardle, since the Act of March 27 
was glaringly unjust as to him. But the judges were 
{intimidated by tlie awful pother o'er their heads and 
{were glad of an excuse to drop McCardle. 

It was not so easy to drop Trumbull, however. He was 
both Senator and retained counsel in this case. Therefore 
he ought not to have used the former position to help his 
own side in the litigation. The bill did not originate with 
him, or his committee, but he voted for it twice, although 
his vote was not needed. There was a two-thirds majority 
without him. True, he maintained that the bill did not 
apply to McCardle, but most of the Senators who took 
part in the debate held that it did. In a case of doubt 
involving the rights of a litigant, he ought to have re- 
frained from voting. 

Eventually he received $10,000 as compensation for 
legal services in this and one other case in which he had 
been retained by the War Department. The amount was 
fixed by Stanton, and was paid in part by him and in part 
by Secretary Rawlins after Grant became President. 
Somewhat later this payment became a subject of criti- 
cism in hostile newspapers; and inasmuch as the McCar- 
dle case had been tried during Johnson's Administration, 
it was hastily assumed that it had had some shady connec- 


tion with Trumbuirs vote of not guilty in the impeach-i 
ment case. When it became evident that the opponents 
of Johnson were the ones who had employed him and^ 
fixed the amount to be paid, the accusers said that his 
action was contrary to law and that he ought not to have 
taken any pay at all for legal services to the Government 
while he was a Senator. This charge was made by Chand- 
ler, of Michigan, on the floor of the Senate, and it led to 
a sharp debate, in which Chandler was called to order by 
the Vice-President for using unparliamentary language. 

There was a law, enacted in 1808, prohibiting execu- 
tive officers of the Government from making contracts 
with members of Congress, and prohibiting the latter 
from receiving payment therefor. This law did not apply 
in terms to legal services, and the presumption was that 
it did not apply to them in spirit, since there were pre- 
cedents for such employment of members of Congress as 
late as 1864, when Roscoe Conkling, then a member of 
the House from New York, had been employed by the 
War Department and had been paid for the service ren- 

Chandler, in the debate, quoted an opinion of Attorney- 
General Wirt, given in 1828, to the effect that although 
the circumstances attending the passage of the Act of 
1808 showed that Congress was then legislating on con- 
tracts for carrying the mails and for the purchase of sup- 
plies and not for legal services, yet, in his belief, the law 
was broad enough to include such services. An opinion 
of an Attorney-General, however, was not binding on 

Trumbull replied that the law had been settled differ- 
ently as to legal services, and that the only prohibition 
then in force was against Congressmen practicing for com- 
pensation in the Court of Claims or before the executive 


departments. In this contention he could hardly fail to 
be correct, since all such laws later than 1861 had eman- 
ated from, or had passed through, the conunittee of which 
he was chairman. The governing statute was the act of 
June 11, 1864, introduced by Senator Wade, in 1863. 
As originally drawn, it prohibited Congressmen from 
practicing for or against the Government before any 
court, or department ; but the word "court " was stricken 
out while it was pending in the Senate, and this was 
good evidence to show what the intention of Congress 

Although the payment was certainly legal, it would 
have been better for Trumbull if he had not taken it. 
Whenever he came before the people for public prefer*- 
ment thereafter, the Chandler accusation was brought 
against him afresh and it required a new refutation. 

After the impeachment fiasco was ended, the nomina- 
tion of Grant for President by the Republican party was 
inevitable — not because he was a Republican, but be- 
cause he was the only man whom the party could cer- 
tainly elect. Until he quarreled with Andrew Johnson, 
nobody knew which side he favored. Indeed, the Demo- 
crats, until that time, had looked hopefully to him as a 
possible candidate for themselves. 

The convention which nominated him was confronted 
by the fact that Congress had imposed negro suffrage on 
the South, while some of the largest Northern States had 
not yet adopted it, but had flatly refused to do so. The 
platform committee, therefore, reported, and the conven- 
tion adopted, a resolution declaring : 

The guaranty by Congress of equal suffrage to all loyal men 
at the South was demanded by every consideration of public 
safety, of gratitude, and of justice, and must be maintained. 


but the question of suffrage in all the loyal states properly 
belongs to the people of those states. 

Grant was nominated unanimously May 20, 1868, and 
Schuyler Colfax was nominated as Vice-President. The 
Democrats nominated Horatio Seymour for President 
and Frank P. Blair for Vice-president. In the election. 
Grant and Colfax received 214 electoral votes and Sey- 
mour and Blair 80. 

Grant's first Cabinet was a conglomerate which stupe- 
fied the politicians. For Secretary of State he named 
Elihu B. Washbume, of Illinois. Washbiune had repre- 
sented the Galena District in Congress continuously and 
creditably for twelve years, and was just entering upon a 
new term. He was a fellow townsman of Grant when the 
war broke out and had recommended him to Governor 
Yates as a military helper, and from that time onward 
had been his stanch and unwavering supporter. When 
Grant fell into disfavor after the battle of Shiloh, and 
almost everybody in Washington was clamoring against 
him, Washbume fairly roared on the other side, and con- 
tended not only that he ought to be retained in his place, 
but that he ought to be promoted to Halleck's place in 
command of all the Western armies — and here he was 
right. His personal relations with the General had been 
so close and his services so conspicuous that there was 
a general expectation that he would have a place in 
the Cabinet; but nobody supposed that it would be the 
Department of State, for which he was wholly unfitted. 
Although a man of ability, tenacity, and long experience 
in public affairs, he was impulsive, headstrong, comba- 
tive, and unbalanced. The Department of State was 
regarded then as the premier position, where equipoise 
was the chief requisite, and this quality Washbume 


Grant had chosen James F. Wilson, of Iowa, as Secre- 
tary of State and Wilson had accepted the appointment. 
He had been a leading member of the House and chair- 
man of its Judiciary Committee, and had been consulted 
by Grant on the most important matters connected with 
his duties as Secretary of War ad interim, including 
his correspondence with Andrew Johnson after he had 
resigned that office. Wilson had declined a reflection to 
Congress because he wished to retire from public life, 
and he accepted the appointment offered by Grant with 
reluctance and only at the lurgent solicitation of the latter. 

Washbiune had been promised the office of Minister 
to France. When he knew that Wilson was to be ap- 
pointed Secretary of State, he went to Grant and asked 
that the appointment of Secretary might be conferred 
upon himself temporarily so as to give him prestige in his 
office as Minister. Grant saw no objection to this, but 
he asked Wilson's permission first. Wilson did not relish 
the proposition, but he consented, on condition that 
Washbimie should not take any action as Secretary, 
either in the way of appointments to office or the an- 
nouncement of policies. As soon as Washbume had been 
confirmed by the Senate, he began to make appointments 
and announce policies, and Grant did not immediately 
call him to order. Wilson accordingly notified Grant that 
as the conditions had been broken he would not now 
accept the office. Grant then compelled Washbume to 
resign. But meanwhile Wilson had gone to New York en 
route to his home in Iowa, and a messenger (A. D. Rich- 
ardson) was sent after him by Grant to urge him to change 
his mind; he declined to do so, in terms, however, which 
preserved their friendship unimpaired.^ 

^ Mr. Wilson communicated these facts to me at the time of their occurrence, 
and the correctness of this narrative has been confirmed by Major-General 
Grenville M. Dodge, who was then in close communication with both parties. 


"Who ever heard before of a man nominated Secre- 
tary of State merely as a compliment?" was Fessenden's 
comment on the Washburne episode. 

Wilson afterward served a term in the United States 
Senate. He was a good lawyer, a man of sound judgment, 
of probity and stability of character, and would have 
filled the office of Secretary of State creditably if not 
brilliantly. When Grant found that Wilson's purpose to 
withdraw could not be changed he oflFered the place to 
Hamilton Fish, who accepted it. 

Grant's mishaps in filling the Treasury Department 
were quite as droll as the foregoing. He first sent in the 
name of Alexander T. Stewart, the great dry-goods mer- 
chant of New York, as Secretary. Stewart was a Scotch- 
Irishman who had migrated as a young man, and had 
taken up the vocation of a school-teacher in his adopted 
coimtry. Of his start in life he was very proud. He kept 
a well-thumbed copy of the New Testament in Greek on 
the centre table of his hospitable mansion, which he was 
fond of exhibiting to his guests as one of the tools of trade 
with which he began his career in America. Pedagogy, 
however, did not detain him long. He had brought some 
capital from the old country and he tinned his attention 
to silks and muslins, and by diligence, skill, and integrity 
had reached the foremost place in the nation as a mer- 
chant, before the outbreak of the Civil War. His whole- 
sale business was chiefly with the South, and this part of 
it was suddenly obliterated in 1861. Yet he recovered his 
leadership in dry goods before the war ended, and was 
then rated as third in the list of rich men in the United 
states, the names of Astor and Vanderbilt only being 
placed higher. 

Nobody knew, at the time when he was named for a 
place in the Cabinet, what political party he belonged to 


or favored. His most intimate friend and counselor was 
Henry Hilton, a Democratic ex- judge, potent in Tammany 
Hall. That fact, however, implied no political bias on the 
part of Stewart. Hilton was his watch-dog at the place 
where the local taxing and blackmailing power lay. Nor 
did Grant have any political aims or thought in selecting 
Stewart for the portfolio of the Treasury. He chose him 
because great wealth appealed strongly to the imagina- 
tion of one who had had severe struggles with poverty, 
and because he reasoned that a man who had been very 
successful in his private business would necessarily know 
how to manage the public business. Both Sumner and 
Gideon Welles said that Stewart had made a gift of con- 
siderable amount to Grant. 

The nomination of Stewart was scoffed at by nearly 
everybody in Washington, but it was well received by the 
press and no Senator dared to vote against it. It was 
presently discovered, however, that he could not legaUy 
hold the office, as he was disqualified by a law of 1789, 
which provided that nobody engaged in trade or com- 
merce, nor any owner of a seagoing vessel, nor any dealer 
in public lands or in public securities, should be eligible. 
Stewart had not been a candidate for the position, or for 
any position, but when it was offered to him, he thought 
he would like to have it, and to this end he proposed to 
retire temporarily from trade and conmierce, and put his 
business in the hands of trustees for charitable use, in 
order to meet the requirements of law. The President 
also requested Congress to change the law so that he 
might be qualified. Congress, however, did not think it 
desirable to trim the law to fit a particular case, and 
Stewart did not raise his bid. After a week's delay 
the President sent in the name of George S. Bout well, 
of Massachusetts, for Secretary of the Treasiury, and 


he entered upon the duties of the office with general 

When the name of Adolph Bone was announced for 
Secretary of the Navy, everybody began to ask. Who is 
Borie? Even Admiral Farragut had never heard of him. 
The answer came that he was a rich man in Philadelphia 
who had entertained General Grant handsomely on some 
occasion when he was temporarily in that city. Sunmer 
said in his speech of May 81, 1872, that he also had made 
a gift to Grant. He retained the position of Secretary 
only three months. He then resigned and recommended 
George M. Robeson, a lawyer of New Jersey, as his suc- 
cessor, and the latter was appointed. Robeson was as 
little known as Borie had been before he was appointed, 
but he was not the same kind of nonentity. 

John A. J. Cresswell, of Maryland, who became Post- 
master-General, had been a member of Congress. If 
there was not much to be said for him, there was nothing 
at all to be said against him. 

John A. Rawlins, Grant's chief -of -staff during the war, 
a man of high character and ability, chose himself for 
Secretary of War, and conmiunicated his preference to 
his chief through General James H. Wilson, who was on 
terms of intimacy with both parties. Grant received the 
communication favorably and sent the name of Rawlins 
to the Senate and here he made no mistake. But Raw- 
lins lived less than a year after his appointment. 

The two remaining members of the Cabinet, General 
Jacob D. Cox, of Ohio, Secretary of the Interior, and E. 
R. Hoar, of Massachusetts, Attorney-General, were ideal 
selections. The former had been governor of his state 
and had served with distinguished valor and efficiency 
in the Civil War. The latter was a man of sparkling wit 
and conversational powers, which, however, did not out- 


shine his solid qualities of mind and character. Both 
these men came early into collision with the *' spoils sys- 
tem/' which afflicted the whole of Grant's administra- 
tion with ever-increasing virulence. Both of them fought 
a losing battle with it, as did George William Curtis, who 
essayed, in a humbler capacity, to grapple with it. All 
three were retired, or retired voluntarily, before the end 
of Grant's first term. 

The plank in the Republican platform forcing negro 
suffrage upon the South, but leaving it optional with the 
Northern States, was too brazen to be long maintained. 
Moreover, there was danger lest this right of the negroes 
should be taken from them after the Southern States 
should have recovered the right to amend their own con- 
stitutions. These things absorbed the attention of the 
Fortieth Congress during the last month of its exist- 

On January 30, 1869, the House passed an amendment 
to the Constitution by more than two-thirds majority in 
these words: 

The right of any citizen of the United States to vote shall not 
be denied or abridged by the United States or any state by rea- 
son of race, color, or previous condition of slavery of any citizen 
or class of citizens of the United States. 

In the Senate, Vickers, of Maryland, moved to amend 
by providing that the right to vote should not be denied 
because of participation in the rebellion. This was 
rejected by 21 to 32, but it received the votes of eleven 
Republicans, among whom were Grimes, Harlan, Trum- 
bull, and Wilson. Wilson, of Massachusetts, moved to 
add the words "nativity, property, education, or creed" 
to the words "race or color,'' and this was adopted by 81 


to 27, Trumbull voting in the negative. The House 
rejected the amendment by 87 to 188 and sent it back to 
the Senate, which, by a vote of 88 to 24, receded from its 
amendment. The vote was then taken on concurring in 
the House Resolution as originally presented, and it failed 
by 31 to 27, not two thirds. 

The Senate then took up a resolution that had been 
previously reported by the Conmiittee on the Judiciary 
which was similar in terms to the one originally passed by 
the House, except that it added the words ^^and hold 
office" after the word "vote." The resolution was 
passed by 85 to 11 and sent to the House. Logan, of Sli- 
nois, moved to strike out the words "and hold office." 
This was defeated. Bingham, of Ohio, moved to insert 
the words "nativity, property, or creed," after the word 
"color." This was adopted by 92 to 71, and the resolu- 
tion passed by 140 to 87. The Senate disagreed to both 
of the House amendments. The measure then went to 
a Conference Committee consisting of Senators Stewart, 
Conkling, and Edmimds, and Representatives Boutwell, 
Bingham, and Logan, who reported in favor of Logan's 
amendment and against Bingham's, and in this shape the 
resolution passed both houses by the requisite majorities. 
If the word "nativity" had been retained the Southern 
States could not have disfranchised the negroes by means 
of the "Grandfather Clause," as some of them did. 
Morton, of Indiana, predicted that the South would find 
means of circumventing the clause if the prohibitions 
were limited to race, color, and servitude. When Morton 
came to Washington as Senator he was bitterly opposed to 
negro suffrage. He was now so hot for it that he shared 
the leadership of the radicals with Sumner. 

The Fifteenth Amendment as finally passed by Con- 
gress, February 26, 1869, was in these words : 



Sbction 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote 
shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any 
state, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servi- 

Sbction 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this 
article by appropriate legislation. 

It was declared ratified by the l^islatures of twenty- 
nine states on March SO, 1870. Ohio at first rejected, 
but later ratified it. New York at first ratified, but later 
reconsidered and rejected it. 



It looks at this distance as though the Republican party was 
"going to the dogs" — which, I think, is as it should be. Like 
all parties that have an undisturbed power for a long time, it 
has become corrupt, and I believe that it is to-day the [most] 
corrupt and debauched political party that has ever existed. 
... I have made up my mind that when I return home I will 
no longer vote the Republican ticket, whatever else I may do. 

So wrote James W. Grimes to Trumbull under date of 
Heidelberg, July 1, 1870. Grimes had had a stroke of 
paralysis while the impeachment trial was going on, but 
had rallied sufficiently to be carried into the Senate to 
vote not guilty on every article on which a vote was 
taken, and to give his reasons for doing so. He shortly 
afterwards resigned his seat, announced his retirement 
from public life, and went to Europe with his family. 
He was a native of the Granite State, a man of granite 
mould, of unblemished character, undaunted courage, 
keen discernment, and untiring industry. In Newspaper 
Row he was styled "Grimes the Sturdy" — a title be- 
stowed upon him by Adams Sherman Hill, then on the 
Washington staff of the New York Tribune^ and later 
Professor of Rhetoric in Harvard University. 

Grimes's estimate of the Republican party in 1870 was 
widely shared. Reconstruction, measured by the results 
of five years, was a failure, being a confused medley of 
ignorant negro voters, disfranchised whites, disreputable 
carpetbaggers, and corrupt legislatures. The civil ser- 
vice was honeycombed with whiskey rings, custom- 
house frauds, assessments on office-holders, nepotism. 


and general uncleanness. President Grant had trans- 
ferred his army headquarters to the White House. When 
he wanted to have anything done in which he felt a deep 
interest, he chose an aide-de-camp for the purpose in- 
stead of a civilian, and he never dreamed that anybody 
would be surprised or vexed when he sent Major Babcock 
to San Domingo to negotiate a treaty for the purchase of 
that country for the sum of $1,500,000, without the know- 
ledge of the Secretary of State or any member of the Cab- 
inet. He called at Sumner's house to secure his support 
for the ratification of the treaty, found him dining with 
John W. Forney and Ben : Perley Poore, and had a hasty 
talk with him about a treaty concerning San Domingo, 
no details being mentioned. He addressed Sunmer as 
chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to which he sup- 
posed it would be referred, and hoped Sumner would 
approve of the treaty. Sumner replied that he was an 
Administration man and that he would give very oareful 
and candid consideration to anything which the Presi- 
dent desired. 

This was the beginning of an Iliad of woes. Grant 
understood Sunmer's answer as a promise to support the 
treaty, whereas Sumner meant no more than his words 
signified, that he would consider it on its merits, but in a 
friendly spirit. It was not his custom to promise to sup- 
port treaties before seeing them. When he came to con- 
sider this one, he found that he could not support it. Not 
only was Sunmer's judgment adverse, but that of the 
press and other organs of public opinion was decidedly 
so. The treaty was rejected by a tie vote (two thirds 
being required to ratify). Grant put all the blame of 
rejection on Sumner. He thought that the latter had 
broken a promise and intentionally deceived him. He 
marked Sumner for destruction, and determined to have 


the treaty ratified in spite of him, if possible. A commis- 
sion of investigation had been authorized by Congress, 
after the rejection of the treaty, to visit San Domingo, 
and report upon the advisability of the purchase. This 
was by way of letting the President down easy rather 
than with any serious purpose of carrjdng out his wishes. 
The commission consisted of Benjamin F. Wade, Andrew 
D. White, and Samuel G. Howe. While it was at work 
steps were taken to reorganize the Senate Committee on 
Foreign Relations. 

Who prompted that movement was never divulged, 
but the attempt and its failure were narrated somewhat 
later by Senator Tipton, of Nebraska, in open Senate, 
without contradiction. Tipton said that at the begin- 
ning of the Third Session of the Forty-first Congress, a 
motion was made in the Republican Senate Caucus to 
depose Sumner from the chairmanship of the committee 
and to remove Schurz, of Missouri, and Patterson, of New 
Hampshire, from membership altogether.^ All three had 
voted against San Domingo. The motion had been nega- 
tived at that time, but the purpose had not been aban- 

The second vote on deposing Sumner took place in the 
Senate March 10, 1871, on a report made by Senator 
Howe, of Wisconsin, from the Republican Caucus, for 
the assignment of committees for the First Session of 
the Forty-second Congress. The Committee on Foreign 
Relations, as reported, had the name of Cameron as 
Chairman, and Sumner was not even a member of it. 
Then a debate began on the unusual step taken by the 
caucus committee in deposing Sunmer, without his own 
consent, from a place which he had held acceptably dur- 
ing all the time that the Republicans had controlled the 

1 Cong. Glebe, Biaich 10. 1871, p. 48. 


Senate. Wilson, Schurz, Logan, Tipton, and Trumbull 
spoke against the action of the Caucus Committee. 
Trumbull said: 

I am not the special friend of the Senator from Massachu- 
setts. He and I, during our long course of service here, have had 
occasion to differ, and differ, I am sorry to say, unpleasantly. 
But, sir, that will not prevent me from tiying to do justice to 
the Senator from Massachusetts. I stood by him when he was 
stricken down in his seat by a hostile party, by the powers of 
slavery. I stand by him to-day when the blow comes, not from 
those who would perpetuate slavery and make a slave of every 
man that was for freedom, but comes from those who have been 
brought into power as much through the instrumentality of the 
Senator from Massachusetts as of any other individual in the 

But, sir, this question has been brought before us, and what 
shall we do? I tried to avoid it. I have appealed to my asso- 
ciates and I have said to them : " We are very much divided; ** 
I say to them now: "We are very much divided." A few votes 
one way or the other constitute the majority in the Republican 
party; now is it desirable, is it best, to force such a change with 
sudbi an opposition as has manifested itself here? What is to be 
gained by it? I will not undertake to warn the Republican 
party of the consequences. ... I would that this debate had 
not occurred, that we could have paused at the outset when we 
saw this difference of opinion, and that there could have been 
some concession even to those in the minority which would 
have avoided this state of things. 

Senator Sherman deprecated the action of the majority. 
He regarded the change "unjustifiable, impolitic, and 
unnecessary," yet he offered Sunmer advice, like that of 
a doctor to a child respecting a dose of castor oil — to 
throw his head back and take it off quick, because it 
would do him good, thus: 

Therefore, while I feel bound to utter my opinion that this is 
an unwise proceeding, made without sufficient cause, yet in my 
judgment it ought not to be debated here. It is settled; and if 


my honorable friend from Massachusetts, the senior senator 
in this body» wishes to add another good work in his services to 
his country, in his services to the Republican party, he cannot 
do better than rise in his place and say that, if for any reason, 
whether sufficient or insufficient, a majority of his political as- 
sociates think it better for him to retire from this position, he 
yields gracefully to their wish; and I tell him that a new chap- 
let will crown his brow, and when his memoirs are written this 
will be regarded as one of the proudest opportunities of his life.^ 

Tipton let the cat out of the bag again by reading from 
some notes he had made of the proceedings of the caucus 
of the previous day. He said that Senator Howe in the 
caucus had defended the action of the committee in dis- 
placing Sumner, on the groimd that the Committee on 
Foreign Relations was not in harmony with the Senate on 
the subject of San Domingo, and that in order to correct 
this disagreement a change was necessary; whereas Mr. 
Howe, and all the others who were for displacing Sumner, 
now contended that San Domingo had nothing to do 
with it. Tipton begged leave to say also that Howe was 
wrong in his contention that the Committee on Foreign 
Relations was not in harmony with the Senate, the vote 
on the treaty having been 28 to 28 (a tie vote operated 
as a negative) . In other words, the Senate had sustained 
the committee, and there was no disagreement to be rec- 

Thereupon Sherman called Tipton to order for divulg- 
ing the secrets of the caucus, and Tipton replied that he 
had read all the proceedings of the caucus in the morning 
papers, including the namies of the Senators in the call of 
the yeas and nays, 26 to 21, and that there was only one 
error in the whole report and that a trifling one. Sher- 
man retorted that perhaps Tipton had furnished the 
report to the newspapers, but the latter denied it. Sher- 

1 Cong. GUbt, 1871, p. 51. 


man then insisted that the newspaper report carried no 
weight unless confirmed by a Senator. He made the 
charge also that Tipton had been guilty of divulging the 
vote on the treaty, taken in executive session. To this 
charge Tipton could make no defense, but he contended 
that it had done no harm. The discussion was continued 
till a late hour, the report of the Caucus Committee being 
supported in debate chiefly by Edmimds and Morton. 
The latter afiSrmed that San Domingo did not enter into 
the question of displacing Sunmer now — implying that 
it might have been the bone of contention earlier. Mor- 
ton's statement was technically true. The original dis- 
agreement between Sumner and the President had been 
so overlaid with fresh material that it was now relatively 
unimportant. Moreover, the Senate had no intention of 
ratifying the annexation treaty even if the Benjamin 
Wade Commission should so recommend — as it did. 
Morton himself had no such intention. 

I happened to be in Washington at this jimcture and 
was dining with the late Senator Allison (then a member 
. of the House), on the evening before the report was pre- 
( sented. He informed me of the posture of affairs, said 
that Sumner was to be deposed, and that Senator Howe 
had been designated to report a resolution to that effect. 
He regarded the situation as fraught with peril to the 
Bepublican party. I suggested that he and I should call 
upon Senator Howe and endeavor to prevent or perhaps 
delay the proposed step. Allison assented. So we went 
to Howe's apartments, found him at home and alone, 
and we labored with him till past midnight, seeking in 
a friendly way to change his purpose, but without avail. 
He could not be moved. While we were returning, Alli- 
son said that Grant must have played his last trump to 
break the custom of the majority in the Senate, never to 


displace a member without his own consent. After the 
deed was done, I called upon Sumner and had a conversa- 
tion with him on the subject. He said that the most puz- 
zling thing to him was the part taken by Senator Anthony, 
of Rhode Island, in the affair. Anthony was chairman 
of the caucus. He appointed the Committee on Commit- 
tees. Anthony was his friend, a very close friend. He 
ought to have known beforehand the purposes of the ma- 
jority, especially since an attempt to displace him had 
been made at the previous session. Was Anthony him- 
self deceived, or was he a party to the transaction? That 
was the puzzling question. 

When the vote was taken on Howe*s report, it was 
adopted by a large majority. The dissentients withheld 
their votes, as they did not choose to bolt the decision 
of the caucus when bolting could accomplish nothing. 
The result was a fresh grievance added to the growing 
stock of discontent. 

The President's first blow at Sumner had been the 
removal of his friend Motley from the position of Min- 
ister to England. A request for Motley's resignation was 
sent on July 1, 1870, but he did not comply with it. 
In the mean time the position was offered to Trumbull in 
the following letter : ^ 

Department of State, Washington, 
Confidential. Gabbisonb, August 5th, 1870. 

Mt dear Judge, 

The President desires me to ask if it will be agreeable to you 
to accept the Mission to London ; if so, he is desirous of securing 
to the country the value of your important service and your 
experience and ability. I hope most sincerely that it will meet 
your views to accept this Mission, now more than before impor- 

^ E. L. IMerce, in his Life cf Sumner, says that the position was first offered to 
Frelinghuysen, of New Jersey, and that he was confirmed by the Senate on the 
last day of the session. Evidently he did not accept it. 


taot. The events now happening and threatening in Europe 
lequire the presence in London of a icpteacn tatiYe of ability, of 
finnness, of learning, and of cafan aelf-possessicHi — and yoor 
enxptional ponession of these requisites has led to the voy 
strong desire of the President and mysdf that yon would un- 
dertake the duties of the position. I do not know that we are 
on the eve of the settlement of our qnesticHis with Great Brit- 
ain, but there are reasons to justify the hope that very impor^ 
fatd questicHis may be adjusted within the term of whoever may 
succeed Mr. Motley. The complications of Eun^iean politics 
are favorable and add to the evident desire of the British 
Ministry to dispose of all questicHis between the two countries. 
Can you come here and pass a day with me? I can tefl more 
than I can write. I sincerdy hope that you can give a favorable 
answer; for reasons which you wiD understand the President 
desires that this communication be considered confidential^ at 
least for the present. Please let me have your answer as soon 
as you conveniently can. 

Very f aithfuUy yours, 
Hon. Ltmah Tbumbuu* Hamilton Fish. 

VS. Skwatob, 
KoioRoif» Ulsrb Co^ N. Y. 

No written answer to this letter has been found. A 
verbal one was given at the interview which Mr. Fish 
invited. TrumbuU declined the appointment because he 
preferred to remain a Senator rather than to be a diplo- 
mat. Probably he became acquainted at this time with 
Secretary Fish's intention to move for a settlement of our 
differences with Great Britain: for in a speech made at 
Chicago on the 2d of November following, on "Coming 
Issues," he discussed the subject of our claims against 
that coimtry at considerable length. In this speech he 
maintained that we could justly ask for payment of the 
losses sustained by the depredations of the Alabama and 
other British-built cruisers, and that we had a still deeper 
grievance, although one not computable in dollars and 
cents, growing out of the demand made upon us for the 


surrender of the rebel envoys. Mason and SlideII» who 
were captured on board the steamship Trent at the 
beginning of the Civil War. He showed by the estab- 
lished rules of international law, affirmed by British pre- 
cedents and practice, that persons, papers, and materials 
in the enemy's service were alike contraband and subject 
to capture in neutral vessels on the high seas.^ 

Another "coming issue** referred to in this speech was 
the endeavor to break up and abolish the iniquitous sys- 
tem by which the appointment of thirty-five thousand 
officers and clerks of the National Government was made 
part of the patronage of politicians; and to carry out the 
principles of civil service reform in which these appoint- 
ments should be made after competitive examinations so 
as to secure officers of "the highest fitness, honesty, and 
capacity." In his argument in favor of this reform he 
instanced the experience of General J. D. Cox, Secretary 
of the Interior, who had foimd it necessary to resign his 
office because he could not purge his own department of 
spoUsmen and incompetents foisted upon him by Sena- 
tors and Representatives. Cox's resignation had caused 
intense indignation when the reasons for it leaked out. 
President Grant had pledged himself to the reform of the 
civil service and had appointed a competent conmiission 
to carry on the work, and was really desirous that it 

^ Mr. Charles F. Adams has shown in a recent essay that the British Minis- 
try were perfectly aware that the capture of Mason and Slidell was justifiable 
by British custom and precedent, but that public opinion was so inflamed oa 
the subject that they were swept off their feet, and could not have faced Parlia- 
ment an hour if they had not demanded the surrender of the prisoners. On the 
other hand, our practice and precedents were directly opposite. The American 
doctrine was "free ships make free goods" and a fortiori free persons, but so 
inflamed was public opinion on this side of the water that the British demand 
for the surrender of the prisoners would have been refused even at the risk 
of war, if we had not had one war on hand already. Both nations "flopped** 
simultaneously. The Trent Affair — on HiHorieal RetroepecL By Charles 
FVancis Adazns. Boston, 1912. 


should succeed, but he was not willing to fight for it. So 
when Congressmen fought against it he yielded and put 
the blame upon them. And the last state of it was worse 
than the first. ** No point in Trumbull's speech/' says the 
newspaper account of it, *'was more significant than his 
endorsement of Secretary Cox's civil service reform, and 
the enthusiastic cheering with which the large audience 
unanimously greeted this endorsement.'* 

Attorney-General Hoar had retired from public life 
some months earlier and for much the same reason. He 
had made several selections to fill vacancies on the bench 
of the Circuit Court with an eye single to the character 
and legal attainments of the judges, and had thereby 
incurred the enmity of most of the Republican Sena- 
tors, who wanted to dictate the appointments. It hap- 
pened at this time that the President was trying to 
win support for the San Domingo Treaty, and he foimd, 
or supposed, that the votes of certain carpet-bag Senators 
could be obtained if he would give them a member of 
the Cabinet. In order to create a vacancy he nominated 
Attorney-General Hoar as a justice of the Supreme Court. 
The nomination was referred to the Judiciary Committee 
of the Senate, consisting of Trumbull, Edmunds, Conk- 
ling, Carpenter, Stewart, Rice (of Arkansas), and Thur- 
man. Six of these voted against Hoar. The only affirma- 
tive vote was that of Trumbull.^ 

After Hoar was rejected, the President asked for his res- 
ignation as Attorney-General without assigning any reason 
therefor, and when it was handed to him he appointed an 
obscure but respectable lawyer from Georgia of the name 
of Akerman as Attorney-General, to please the carpet- 
baggers; but this move did not secure a sufficient num- 
ber of votes to ratify the treaty, nor was it ever ratified. 

^ Washington letter in the Naiion, Januaiy 6, 1870. 



The Liberal Republican movement of 1872 took its 
start in Missouri. During the war between the states, 
Missouri had been a prey to a real civil war, in which 
much blood had been spilled, and where churches, com- 
munities, and particular families had been torn asunder. 
In the agricultural districts and small towns, which were 
nine tenths of the whole, nobody, whether Secessionist, or 
Unionist, or neutral, could feel certain, when he went to 
bed, whether he should sleep till morning, or be awakened 
after midnight by a guerilla raid or a binning roof. The 
contending forces were not unequally divided. The Con- 
federates were the stronger half in wealth and inj9uence, 
although not in nimibers, but the proximity of the Fed- 
eral armies and their actual occupation of the soil gave 
a preponderance to the Unionists and strangled secession 
in its infancy. When the war came to an end, all "tiie 
heart-burning that it had engendered was still raging. Not 
only were the Republicans in power, but the most radical 
of them had control within the party. Lincoln was not 
sufficiently advanced for them. They had refused to 
vote for his renomination in the Convention of 1864. 

In the state constitution, adopted in 1865, disfranchise- 
ment and test oaths abounded.. In the succeeding four 
years there had been a gradual slackening of recrimina- 
tion and intestine strife; and a line of cleavage broke in 
the Republican ranks in 1869 which resulted in the elec- 
tion of General Carl Schurz as United States Senator, on 
the issue of reSnf ranchisement of the ex-rebels. The leader 


of the "party of eternal hate/' as it was styled by itsoppo- 
nents, was Charles D. Drake, his colleague in the Senate. 
The seat taken by Schurz was that formerly held by John 
B. Henderson, who had lost it by his vote against im- 

Schurz was a torch-bearer wherever he went, and his 
entry into the Senate gave a new impetus to the party of 
peace and amnesty not only in his own state, but through- 
out the country. In the autunm of 1870 a battle royal 
was fought in Missouri, beginning in the Republican 
state convention, which was split on the issue of reSn- 
franchisement. The Liberals, under the lead of Schurz, 
nominated a full state ticket with B. Gratz Brown for 
governor. The radicals nominated Joseph McClurg for 
governor and a full ticket. The Democrats made no 
nominations, but supported the Liberal nominees. The 
election resulted in a sweeping victory for the Liberals. 
The platform on which Brown was chosen declared that 
the time had come "for removing all disqualifications 
from the disfranchised people of Missouri and conferring 
equal political rights and privileges on all classes/' The 
other platform favored regnfranchisement "as soon as it 
could be done with safety to the state.** 

Both sections adopted a resolution saying: "We are 
opposed to any system of taxation which will tend to the 
creation of monopolies and benefit one industry at the 
expense of another/* This was interpreted by the Mis- 
souri Democrat^ the leading Republican newspaper of the 
state, as an anti-tariff deliverance. Its editor. Colonel 
William M. Grosvenor, was a party organizer of keen 
intelligence and tireless activity, as effective in his own 
field as Schurz was in his. He was a free-trader, and he 
gave the first impulse which brought the revenue reform- 
ers of that period as a distinctive element into the 


Liberal movement. The only organization then existing 
which offered any resistance to the demands of the pro- 
tected classes was the New York Free-Trade League, of 
which Mahlon Sands was secretary. On the 10th of No- 
vember, Sands sent out an invitation to persons whom 
he took to be like-minded with himself, including Carl 
Schurz, David A. Wells, Jacob D. Cox, William Cullen 
Bryant, E. L. Godkin, Charles F. Adams, Jr., General 
Brinkerhoff, Edward Atkinson, and others to a confer- 
ence to be held in New York on the 22d of that month. 
The declared object of this meeting was "to determine 
whether an effort may not, with advantage, be made to 
control the new House of Representatives by a union of 
Western Revenue Reform Republicans with Democrats." 
The meeting took place at the date mentioned and 
received the following notice in the Nation of December 1 : 

There has been a good deal of activity among the Revenue 
reformers during the week. On the 2Sd ult. they held a private 
meeting in this city, which was attended by Mr. D. A. Wells, 
Mr. George Walker, Mr. Horace White, of the Chicago Tru 
hune, Mr. Bryant, Mr. Bowles, of the Springfield Republican^ 
and others, and at which, after a good deal of talk, the conclu- 
sion was reached that things were looking very well; that the 
legislative debates of the coming winter would, under the influ- 
ence of the late elections, probably do a great deal to educate 
the public and prepare the monopolists and jobbers for what is 
certainly coming; and that the question of civil service reform 
was closely connected with that of the reform of the revenue, 
and ought to be discussed and pushed with it; and it was 
resolved finally to charge a committee with the work of looking 
after the interest of both in a general way during the winter, 
with power to make arrangements for the calling of a national 
convention in the spring, in case the course of Congress proved 
unsatisfactory. The usual distribution of "British gold'' did 
not take place, it must be confessed to the regret of aU present. 
Indeed, the desire for it, and as much of it as possible, was 
avowed with the greatest effronteiy. The open display of such 


feelings at a reform meeting was a curious sign of the times. 
Why the British should have cut off the supply was not 
explained, but we presume th^ were unable to withstand the 
repeated exposures in the Tribune, which have doubtless made 
Minister Thornton wince a little. 

The Speaker of the House, James G. Blaine, got wind 
of the Sands circular and sought an interview with myself, 
coming to Chicago for that purpose. He said that he 
recognized the drift of public sentiment on the tariff 
question, that he desired to avert anything like a split in 
the Republican ranks, and that he intended to give the 
tariff reformers a majority of the Committee on Ways and 
Means in the new Congress. He submitted that they 
could not gain more than that by a fight, and that it was 
the part of wisdom to be satisfied with that. He said that 
he would allow us to name two Republican members 
who, in conjimction with the Democrats, would consti- 
tute a majority. I reported this fact to the members of 
the New York Conference and it was agreed that no other 
steps should be taken in reference to the organization of 
the House. G. A. Finkelnburg, of Missouri, and H. C. 
Burchard, of Olinois, were selected as our preference for 
membership of the conmiittee. The names were com- 
municated to Blaine and they were appointed by him. 
He even went beyond his promise by prompting his 
friends on the floor to favor tariff reform. Eugene Hale, 
of Maine, was especially zealous in this behalf. He intro- 
duced a bill to make salt free of duty, and accepted an 
amendment putting coal in the same category and advo- 
cated it with earnestness and ability and carried it 
through the House, but it was strangled in the Senate. 
Dawes, of Massachusetts, a protectionist, was made 
chairman, but the majority of the committee was against 
him. Protection, at that time, meant the highest rate of 


duty on imports that anybody desired, and free trade 
meant any opposition to protection as thus interpreted. 
These definitions are not wholly obsolete at the present 


In the eyes of President Grant the Liberal movement < 
in Missouri was something in the nature of a new rebel- 1 
lion» and most of the Republican politicians shared his 
views. The necessity of keeping the party in power by 
fair means or foul had become a kind of religious tenet. \ 
The spectre of a solid South and a divided North had ' 
been terrifying from the start. What would happen if ^ 
the example of Missouri should overspread all of the \ 
reconstructed states? Seymour had carried New York 
and New Jersey in the last election. The solid South 
added to these would have made him President of the 
United States. No wonder that such Senators as Morton, 
Chandler, Conkling, and the Southern carpet-baggers, 
at the opening of Congress in December, 1870, gave 
a chilling reception to all who had taken part in the lib- 
eral campaign of Missouri, or who sympathized with it. 
Anything in the nature of investigation of frauds, or of 
reform in the civil service, was frowned upon by them. 
All who favored such steps were accused of seeking to split | 
the party and build a new one upon its ruins. This was a 
false accusation. The Administration could have averted 
the coming revolt by removing its causes. The Nation of 
December 8, 1870, said with truth: 

What has been taken for a desire or design to found a new 
party has been simply a design to make the old party attend to 
the proper business of the party in power, by legislating for the 
necessities of the time. There is a strong disposition on the 
part of the old hacks not to do this, but to go on infusing 
"economy and efficiency in the collection of the revenue,'' and 
nothing would please them better than that those who are not 
satisfied with this should take themselves off and try to estab- 


lish a little concern of their own» and give no further trouble. 
We believe the intention of the malcontents, however, is, and 
always has been, to stay where th^ are and give all the trouble 
th^ can. Whenever the time comes to establish a new party, 
it will make its appearance, whether anybody charges himself 
with the special work of getting it up or not. 

Among the sources of discontent disfranchisement was 
.5 ; the most pressing, since it was believed to be the chief cause 
iX^ M ^' ^^ shocking conditions in the South. Other things 
^ » ^v'l could wait. This was the "house-on-fire**; it must be put 
) t^ (I f o^^ ^^ once. The Liberals said that universal amnesty 
' (y >• j with impartial suflfrage was the true cure. The ruling 
v^ ^. ^ ^ powers at Washington maintained that the Southern 

/ /^ whites were still rebellious and that a new law, backed 

\^ by adequate military power, was needed to deal with the 

Ku-Klux Elans, which were terrorizing the blacks in 
order to prevent them from voting. The President sent a 
apedal message of twenty lines to Congress on March 28» 
calling attention to this condition of affairs and recom- 
mending some action, he did not say what. The brevity 
and indecision of it betokened reluctance on his part to 
':■ send any message at all. Congress, however, took the 
^ subject in earnest and passed the Ku-Klux Bill of 1871, 
: which authorized suspension of the writ of habeas corpus 
: and the employment of military force in dealing with the 
} Ku-Klux outrages. Trumbull and Schurz opposed the 
bill by speech and by vote, the former on the ground of 
unconstitutionality, the latter chiefly on the groimd of 
impolicy, although he also considered it unconstitutional. 
Trumbull contended that the Constitution never con- 
templated that the ordinary administration of criminal 
law in the states should be in the hands of the Federal 
Government and that the Fourteenth Amendment did 
not change the lodgment of that power from the state to 


the federal authorities. He did not make a set speech on 
the bill, but in an impromptu debate he said : 

Show me that it is necessaiy to exercise any power belonging 
to the Government of the United States in order to maintain 
its authority and I am ready to put it forth. But, sir» I am not 
willing to undertake to enter the states for the purpose of pun- 
ishing individual offences against their authority conmiitted 
by one citizen against another. We, in my judgment, have no 
constitutional authority to do that. When this Govermnent 
was formed, the general rights of person and property were 
left to be protected by the states and there they are left to-day. 
Whenever the rights that are conferred by the Constitution 
of the United States on the Federal Government are infringed 
upon by the states, we should afford a remedy. ... If the Fed- 
eral Government takes to itself the entire protection of the indir 
vidual in his rights of person and property what is the need of 
the State Governments? It would be a diange in our form of 
Government and an unwise one, in my judgment, because I 
believe that the rights of the people, the liberties of the people, 
the rights of the individual, are safest among the people them- 
selves, and not in a central government extending over a vast 
region of coimtry. I think that the nearer you can bring the 
administration of justice between man and man to the people 
themselves, the safer the people will be in their rights of person 
and property.^ 

He objected also to the clause of the bill authorizing 
the President to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, as in 
conflict with the clause of the Constitution which limits 
suspension to cases of invasion or rebellion where the 
public safety requires it. There was no present invasion 
to justify it and no rebellion in the proper definition of 
that term. He quoted authorities showing that rebellion 
meant an armed uprising against the Government, such 
as existed in 1861 and continued till the end of the war. 
No such condition existed now. 

^ Cong. Olobe, 1871, pp. 578-79. 


Schurz's speech, delivered on the 14th of April, was a 
masterpiece of political philosophy, not inferior to any- 
thing in the orations of Edmund Burke. It was a plea 
for the abrogation of all political disabilities. It occu- 
pies three pages of the Congressional Globe. Among other 
things he said : 

On the whole, sir, let us not indulge in the delusion that we 
can eradicate all the disorders that exist in the South by means 
of laws and by the application of penal statutes. Laws are apt to 
be especially inefficacious when their constitutionality is, with 
a show of reason, doubted, and when they have the smell of 
partisanship about them; and however pure your intentions 
may be (and I know they are), in that lighi a law like this, 
unless greatly modified, will appear suspicious. If we want to 
produce enduring effects there, our remedies must go to the 
root of the evil; and in order to do that, they must operate upon 
public sentiment in the South. I admit that in that respect the 
principal thing cannot be done by us: it must be done by the 
Southern people themselves. But at any rate, we can in a great 
measure facilitate it.^ 

Edmimds and Carpenter, of the Judiciary Committee, 
held that the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitu- 
tion gave power to the federal authorities to enforce the 
ordinary criminal law as between persons in the states. 
Some years later a case, arising imder this Ku-Klux Law 
in Tennessee, reached the Supreme Court, where it was 
pronounced imconstitutional and void. The court held 
that the three latest amendments of the Constitution pro- 
hibited the states from discriminating against citizens on 
^ account of race or color, but did not change the adminis- 
tration of the criminal law in the states. That jurisdic- 
tion remained with the states exclusively. Here Trum- 
bull's position was sustained almost in his own words.' 

» Cong, Olobe, 1871. p. CSS. 
^^^ > United States 9. Hams, 106 U.S. 629. 


While the Ku-KIux Act was doing its work in South 
Carolina under suspension of the habeas corpus y the Senate 
on December 20, 1871, took up a bill which had passed 
the House by more than two-thirds majority to remove 
the legal and political disabilities imposed by the Four- 
teenth Amendment, except in a few cases. Sumner moved 
as an amendment a bill which he had previously offered 
as a separate measure, that all citizens, without distinc- 
tion of race or color, should have equal rights in steam- 
boats, railway cars, hotels, theatres, churches, jury serv- 
ice, common schools, colleges, and cemeteries, whether 
under federal or State authority. Trumbull, and the two 
Senators from South Carolina, besought him not to 
encumber the Amnesty Bill, which required a two-thirds 
vote, with the Equal Rights Bill which required only a 
majority, since they believed that both could be passed 
separately, but that if his bill were tacked upon the 
Amnesty Bill, both would fail. Sumner insisted upon his 
amendment, and a vote was taken on it, February 9, 
resulting in a tie (Trumbull and Schurz voting in the 
negative), whereupon the Vice-President (Colfax) voted 
in the affirmative. The Sumner amendment having been 
adopted, all the Democrats turned against the bill and it 
was lost by 33 to 19, not two thirds. 

A second attempt, beginning in the House, had the 
same result. When the bill was taken up in the Senate 
Sumner again moved his Equal Rights Bill as an amend- 
ment, and it was again adopted by the casting vote of the 
Vice-President, and then the whole was lost by 32 to 22. 

In the mean time the Liberal Republican Convention 
had met at Cincinnati and adopted a platform very 
emphatic on the subject of amnesty. A sudden change 
came over the spirit of the regulars. The Amnesty Bill 
was reintroduced in the House by General Butler, May 


1S» and passed the same day without debate. It was 
taken up in the Senate, May 21. Sumner's Equal Rights 
Billy when offered in a modified form as an amendment, 
was rejected by 11 to SI, and the bill was passed the same 
day by S8 to i, the n^atives being Sunmer and Nye. 


grant's administration 

The demerits of the first Grant Administration were 
the principal cause of the Liberal uprising of 1872. They 
were enumerated in detail by Charles Sumner in open 
Senate, on May 81 of that year. They need not be reit- 
erated here. I have no inclination to rake over the ashes 
of a dead controversy or to detract from the fame of one 
who rendered inestimable service to the nation in its great- 
est crisis, without which all other service might have been 
unavailing. At the same time, the thread of this narra- 
tive requires some notice of the stings planted in the minds 
of sensitive persons, who were not seeking oflSce, by the 
man who was then the nation's head. 

Grant's shortcomings in civil station were such as 
might have been expected from one who was suddenly 
charged with vast responsibilities without his own solici- 
tation or desire and without any previous experience or 
training for them. His most striking characteristic was 
tenacity. Whether on the right track or on the wrong, he 
was deaf and blind to obstacles and opposition, because 
there was resistance to be overcome. This quality was 
reflected in his determination "never to desert a friend 
under fire" — a maxim more generous than wise, fitter 
for the field than for the forum, and which in his last 
days brought misfortunes to his own door which were 
lamented by everybody. 

The Republican politicians nominated him for Pres- 
ident, not because they deemed him qualified for the posi- 
tion, but because of his military renown. He was elected 



at a time when military habits and modes of thought were 
the worst possible equipment for the solution of political 
problems. Nevertheless, he rendered great service on two 
occasions — in the settlement of the Alabama Claims 
and by vetoing the Currency Liflation Bill. In both these 
cases he was much indebted to Hamilton Fish, his Secre- 
tary of State, but the credit is justly his own and the fame 
thereof will outlast all the scandals that arose from his 
confidence in, and association with, such characters as 
Orville Babcock, John McDonald, Ben Butler, W. W. 
Belknap, and Tom Murphy. 

The rottenness of the New York Custom-House was a 
crying evil before Grant became President, and its flavor 
was not improved by the appointment of Murphy as its 
chief oflScer. It was crammed with men who ^^had to be 
taken care of," whose work was not needed by the Gov- 
ernment, and who were incompetent even if it had been 
needed — small politicians, district leaders and "heelers," 
who were useful' in carrying primaries and getting del- 
egates elected to conventions. A Joint Committee on 
Retrenchment, organized as early as 1866 and kept alive 
by every subsequent Congress, had been investigating 
frauds and abuses in various quarters. Its chairman. 
Senator Patterson, of New Hampshire, made a report 
early in 1871 containing many interesting disclosures. 

On December 11, Senator Conkling oflfered a resolu- 
tion directing the Committee on Military Affairs to 
inquire into the defalcation of an army paymaster named 
Hodge. Trumbull moved as an amendment that the 
Joint Committee on Retrenchment be reconstituted and 
instructed to make a general investigation of the waste 
and loss of money in the public service. A debate sprang 
up on the proposed' amendment, which continued for a 
week and aroused keen interest throughout the country. 


Wilson, the chairman of the Military Committee, sus- 
tained the amendment, saying that the Hodge case did 
not appertain to military matters, but to finance, to the 
handling of public money. Sumner took the same view. 
Chandler objected to a joint committee with power to 
investigate all the executive departments. He preferred 
to have each department investigated by a separate com- 
mittee, if it needed investigation. In the coiu^e of the 
debate extracts were read from the Patterson Report, 
together with the testunony of witnesses. Weighers in the 
custom-house testified that men were sent to them by the 
collector as assistants for whom there was no work to do. 
They were simply put on the pay-roll and did nothing but 
draw their salaries. In the weighers' department alone 
$50,000 per year was thus squandered. Collector Mur- 
phy was quoted as saying, in answer to a remonstrance 
about unnecessary help in the custom-house, "There were 
certain people who had to be taken care of: it was well 
known that they had to be taken care of, and nobody 
in the party would say anything about his taking care of 
them, and he would do it." ^ 

Trumbull said that he did not denounce officers of the 
Government indiscriminately. He merely wished to have 
some system introduced by which appointments should 
be made with regard to the fitness of the appointees and 
the need of their services. As the debate enlarged, a line 
of cleavage was disclosed among Senators similar to that 
which occurred on the deposition of Sumner; Morton, 
Conkling, Chandler, Edmunds, and Sherman opposing, 
and Schurz, Sumner, Logan, Tipton, and Wilson sup- 
porting, the Trumbull amendment. Finally the Repub- 
lican Senatorial Caucus took the matter in hand and 
adopted a substitute to the Trumbull Resolution, which 

^ Cong. Globe, 1871. p. 51. 


was offered in the Senate by Anthony and adopted by S9 
to 18. It provided for a select committee to investigate 
only such subjects as the Senate should designate. 

One of the things stumbled on by the Patterson Com- 
mittee was the "general order" system in the New York 
Custom-House, which led up to the Leet and Stocking 
scandal, one of the most exasperating incidents of the 
Grant regime. Leet had been a member of General 
Grant's staff. The Patterson Committee found that he 
was enjoying the rank and pay of a colonel in the army, 
and also of a clerk in the War Department, and was receiv- 
ing an additional income, estimated at $50,000 per year, 
for the warehousing of imported goods in New York, 
without the expenditure of any labor or capital of his own 
and without even his personal presence in New York, he 
being a resident of Washington City. All goods arriving 
by the Cunard and Bremen lines were sent by the collec- 
tor's order to the Leet and Stocking warehouse, and were 
required to pay one month's storage whether they 
remained there a month or only a day, the cost being not 
less than $1.50 per package. This "general order" sys- 
tem had been devised before the Republican party came 
into power. It was flourishing in 1862.^ Collector Grin- 
nell. Grant's first appointee to that position, found it in 
force when he came into oflSce. Before it was devised 
the arriving goods had been stored temporarily in ware- 
houses belonging to the steamship companies, adjacent 
to the docks, without cost to the owners. 

When the Patterson Committee made this discovery 
they reported the facts personally to the Secretary of the 
Treasury (Boutwell), who appointed a board of three 
oflScers of the department to make an independent inves- 
tigation. This board made a report sustaining the find- 

^ See House report No. 50, 87Ui Congress, 8d session, page 38. 


ings of the Patterson Committee. Boutwell thereupon 
wrote to Collector Murphy, who had succeeded Grinnell 
as collector, advising him to discontinue the ^^ general 
order" system altogether and go back to the old system, 
no good reasons for the former change, but many objec- 
tions to it, having been found. Months passed after 
Boutwell's letter was sent, but the "general order" sys- 
tem was still flourishing and the coffers of Leet and Stock- 
ing were still receiving an income, at least double that of 
the President of the United States, as a reward for putting 
an obstruction in the pathway of lawful commerce. A. T. 
Stewart, Grant's first choice for Secretary of the Treasury, 
testified that the "general order" system was a damage 
to honest traflSc and a general nuisance. William E. 
Dodge testified that he had been compelled by it to cur- 
tail his imports at New York and to use other ports of 
entry to avoid the delays and exactions of the "general 
order" system. 

The indifference of the only man higher up than Secre- 
tary Boutwell — the only man who had power to remove 
Collector Murphy or to choke off Leet — was incompre- 
hensible. Schurz made comments on the case which the 
Administration Senators could not answer and dared not 
leave unanswered. On the 18th of December, Conkling 
introduced a resolution directing the Committee on Inves- 
tigation and Retrenchment to make an inquiry into the 
Leet and Stocking scandal. This resolution was preceded 
by a preamble quoting the words of Schurz as a reason 
for making the inquiry, in the following form : 

Whereas it has been declared in the Senate that at the port 
of New York there exists and is maintained by officers of the 
United States under the name of the ** General Order business" 
a monstrous abuse fraudulent in character, and whereas the 
following statement has been made by a Senator: ** It was inti- 


mated by some of the witnesses that Mr. Leet, who pockets the 
enormous profits arising from that business, had some connec- 
tion with the White House; but Greneral Porter was examined, 
Mr. Leet himself was examined, and they both testified that it 
was not so, and, counting the number of witnesses, we have no 
right to form a different conclusion. But the fact remains that 
this scandalous system of robbery is sustained — is sustained 
against the voice of the merchants of New York — is sustained 
against the judgment and the voice of the Secretary of the Trear 
suiy himself. I ask you how is it sustained? Where and what is 
the mysterious power that sustains it? The conclusion is inevita- 
ble that it is stronger than decent respect for public opinion, nay, 
a power stronger than the Secretary of the Treasury himself " : 
Therefore resolved, that the Committee of Livestigation and 
Retrenchment be instructed to inquire into the matter fully 
and at large, and particularly whether any collusion or impro- 
per connection with said business exists on the part of any 
officer of the United States, and that said committee further 
inquire whether any person holding office in the custom-house 
at New York has been detected or is known or believed by 
his superior officer to have been guilty of bribery or of taking 
bribes or of other crime or misdemeanor, and said committee 
is hereby empowered to send for persons and papers. 

The Committee of Investigation and Retrenchment 
had not been appointed when Conkling offered this reso- 
lution. It had been agreed upon in the Republican Cau- 
cus, but had not been reported to the Senate. Senator 
Anthony immediately reported the names: Bucking- 
ham (Connecticut), Pratt (Indiana), Howe (Wisconsin), 
Harlan (Iowa), Stewart (Nevada), Pool (North Carolina), 
Bayard (Delaware). Sumner expressed mild surprise 
that no Senator who had favored an investigation of the 
New York Custom-House, or of frauds in general, was 
a member of the committee, unless Bayard (Democrat) 
might be counted as such. He quoted from Jefferson's 
"Manual of Parliamentary Law" to show that the 
proper course was to give the leading place in such a com* 


mittee to the prime mover of it» who was, in this case, 
undoubtedly Trumbull, but that nobody who had shown 
any interest in the matter to be investigated, not even 
the Senator from New Hampshire (Patterson), whose 
investigation of the previous session had uncovered the 
alleged frauds, and whose familiarity with the case would 
be most useful now, had any place on it. Anthony con- 
tended that inasmuch as all the Senators had voted to 
raise the Committee, the vote having been unanimous, all 
the requirements of parliamentary law were satisfied by 
the appointment of the seven Senators named, or any 
other seven. Thurman, of Ohio, thought that Anthony 
was ''sticking in the bark" and not reaching the sound 
wood of the tree. Considerable time was spent in the 
debate on the composition of the committee, but in the 
end the list reported by Anthony was adopted, as was 
Conkling*s resolution, with its bulky preamble. The 
preamble was doubtless intended to convince Grant that 
Schurz (not Conkling) made the investigation necessary. 
Tfie committee went to work early in 1872 and eventually 
furnished a solution of the Leet and Stocking mystery. 

Leet learned in 1868, soon after Grant's election, that 
he intended to appoint Moses H. Grinnell collector of the 
port of New York. He procured from Grant a letter of 
introduction to Grinnell, but Grant cautioned him, when 
he gave it, not to use it for the purpose of getting an oflSce. 
When Leet handed the letter to Grinnell he remarked to 
him that he (Grinnell) was to be appointed collector of 
the port. Grinnell had not received any intimation of the 
fact before, and he inferred that Leet had been designated 
by the President to inform him of it. He asked Leet what 
he could do for him, and Leet replied that he wanted the 
''general order" business of the custom-house. Grinnell 
thought that this also was a message from the President, 


and he arranged as soon as possible to give Leet a portion 
of it. Leet fanned out this portion to a man named Bixby 
for $5000 per year» plus one half of all the profits in excess 
of $10,000. Then he went back to Washington and 
resumed his place as a clerk in the War Department; but 
he complained bitterly to Grinnell that his share in the 
** general order" business was not large enough, and he 
told Grinnell that he would be removed from office if he 
did not give him the whole of it. After much threatening, 
Grinnell did give him the whole of it, but he was removed, 
nevertheless, after holding the office about one year, and 
Murphy was appointed collector in his place. Murphy 
kept the "'general order" business in the hands of Leet 
and Stocking until March, 1872, when the committee 
made its report. On the 14th of March, the newspapers 
announced that Murphy had been removed as collector 
and General Arthur appointed in his place, that the ''gen- 
eral order" business had been radically reformed, and 
that Leet and Stocking had disappeared from history. In 
making this announcement the Nation called the atten- 
tion of the editor of Harper's Weekly (George William 
Curtis) , who was still a little deaf to the shortcomings of 
the Administration, to some things hard to understand. 

When the President [it said] became aware that Leet had 
abused his confidence, disregarded his wishes, made false repre- 
sentations as to his influence over him, and concealed his doings 
from him, — facts which were revealed by the repeated com- 
plaints of prominent merchants and by Leet's appearance in 
public as owner of the "plum," and finally by a congressional 
investigation, — he took no notice of them whatever. So far 
as we know he gave no sign of displeasure, paid no attention to 
the complaints against him, and let him go on for nearly two 
years preying on the commerce of the port, till a second con- 
gressional investigation, obtained with great difficulty, and 
the savage assaults of the press on the eve of an election, made 


the change we have just witnessed imperatively necessary. It 
has been the custom of the friends of the Administration 
hitherto, whenever charges of this kind are brought up, instead 
of answering them, to tell you that they endear the President 
more than ever to the American people; that his renomination 
is a sure thing, etc. ; and that Horace Greeley is a friend of Hank 
Smith. Now is this satisfactory? Let us have a candid answer, 
without allusions to cigars, or fast horses, or investments, or 
summer vacations. Hank Smith, or Horace Greeley. 

No dollar of the Leet and Stocking " plum " ever reached 
President Grant or any member of his family. We are 
left to conjecture what were his reasons for allowing the 
scandal to continue so long after the facts became known. 
Judging his course here by his second term, we are forced 
to conclude that his combativeness was aroused by the 
criticisms of Schurz, Trumbull, and others, which he inter- 
preted as marks of personal hostility to himself. In fact, 
his senatorial supporters so interpreted them in public 
discussions. He probably upheld Leet for the same rea- 
sons that he shielded Babcock in the greater scandal of 
the St. Louis Whiskey Ring in 1876.^ It was a mistake, 
however, to suppose (if he did suppose) that Trumbull was 
moved by any personal hostility. An interview with the 
latter, dated December 8, 1871, published in the Louis- 
ville Courier-Journal^^ shows that he was still on friendly 
terms with the President. His interlocutor began by ask- 
ing him if he would consent to the use of his name as a 
conservative candidate for the Presidency against Gen- 
eral Grant, to which the "Illinois statesman replied with 
more than usual emphasis, ^No sir, I would not. ' " 

Then the following conversation ensued : 

1 Rhodes, History qf the United States, vn, 1S2-89. 

' This interview was reprinted in the New York Times ct December 6. It is 
corroborated in sentiment by the Trumbull manuscripts of that date, but it was 
probably not intended for publication. It purports to be a conversation be- 
tween Trumbull and an ez-Senator. 


Why not? 

For many reasons. In the first place, I am satisfied where I 
am. I consider a seat in the Senate of the United States a posi- 
tion in which I can be more useful than in any other, and I 
believe it to be as honorable as any under the Grovemment if its 
duties be efficiently and properly discharged. In the next place, 
I do not agree with the programme which has been marked out 
by those who refuse to support the candidacy of the President 
for rejection. I am conscious of the need for many reforms, 
and I am daily striving to accomplish them. But I do not 
believe that a revolution of parties would be salutary. I do not 
believe that either the people of the North or of the South are 
ready to profit by such a change. 

And why not? 

Because the people of the South have really accepted nothing, 
and are not willing to cooperate with the Liberals of the North 
in settling the practical relations of society on a sure and gen- 
erous basis. I know that the South has much to complain of. 
But so have the Liberal Republicans. It is not the rebel ele- 
ment, perhaps, but the nature of things, that the South should 
not realize the complete overthrow of the old order and the 
necessity for a complete change of the domestic policy. I 
believe that the defeat of Greneral Grant would involve a reac- 
tion at the South whose consequences would be even worse than 
the present state of affairs. 

Don't you think General Grant meditates the permanent 
usurpation of the Executive office? 

No, I do not. My opinion is that General Grant is, in the 
main, a conservative man. He has made mistakes. But I can- 
not say they justify his removal. 

What are your personal relations? 

Very friendly. I have opposed some of his measures, but I 
have no personal feeling, and, indeed, this is one of the reasons 
why it is disagreeable to have my name mentioned in the con- 
nection you name. 

The interview closed with the writer's assurance that 
the views of Senator Sumner coincided with those of 
Trumbull. A Washington letter in the Nation of Decem- 
ber 28 said : 


Prom what I see and hear, the conviction is forced upon me 
that there will be no lead given by men like Trumbull volun- 
tarily. They may be forced by the Administration party into 
opposition, but they will go reluctantly and timidly. 

Among the letters received by Trumbull at this time 
was the following from a man of high repute and influence 
in Ohio: 

CoLUMBUB, December 15, 1871. 

You may remember me sufficiently to know who I am and 
my position in Ohio. My special object in this writing is to con- 
gratulate you for your proper and patriotic position on the 
Retrenchment Resolution. Messrs. Morton, Sherman et al, are 
grievously mistaken as to the state of public sentiment in regard 
to the Administration and the President. I am bold to say that 
outside of the Grand Army of the Republic and the office- 
holders (an imperium in imperio)^ more than one half of the 
Republicans are intensely dissatisfied with General Grant. His 
indecent interference in Missouri and Louisiana, his disgusting 
nepotism, his indefensible course in regard to San Domingo, 
and his recent complimentary letter to Collector Murphy have 
produced the <x)nviction that he is intellectually and morally 
unqualified for his present position. He will hear deep and 
alarming thunder before the Kalends of November, 1872. 

Go forward with your associates, Schurz, Sumner, Patterson,! 
and Tipton, in your exposure of the faults and frauds of the ' 
Administration, and the best class of Republicans will honor^ 
your magnanimity and patriotism. I know General Grant per- 
sonally. I have not asked him for any favor. As Senatorial 
Elector I traversed the state, and advocated the Republican 
principles and policy, but I have the pleasant consciousness 
and delightful remembrance that I never eulogized General 
Grant nor recommended him as suitable for the place. As long 
as he is under the special superintendence of Morton, Chandler, 
and Cameron, he must necessarily deteriorate, as none of them 
has ever been suspected of having any profound sense of right 
or wrong. 

Confidentially yours, 

Sam'l Galloway. 

Hon. Ltican Tbumbull, U.S.S. 



The Liberal Republicans of Missouri held a state 
convention at Jefferson City, January 24, 1872. They 
adopted a platform which affirmed the sovereignty of 
the Union, emancipation, equality of rights, enfranchise- 
ment, complete amnesty, tariff reform, civil service 
reform, local self-government, and impartial suffrage. 
They also called a national mass convention to meet at 
Cincinnati on the first Monday in May. 

This call was at once endorsed by General J. D. Cox, 
George Hoadley, Stanley Matthews, and J. B. Stallo, four 
of the most eminent citizens of Ohio, the first of whom 
had been a member of President Grant's Cabinet. Mr. 
Matthews, in an interview, expressed the hope that the 
Democrats would join in nominating a candidate for the 
^ / presidency of the type of Charles Francis Adams, William 
S. Groesbeck, Lyman Trumbull, or Salmon P. Chase. 

The movement spread like wildfire. Groups of Repub- 
licans, eminent in character and in public service in all 
the states, proclaimed their adhesion to it and declared 
their intention to participate in the convention. It had 
also the active support of the Springfield Republican, the 
Cincinnati Commercialy and the Chicago Tribune, and the 
sympathy of the New York Evening Post, the Nation, 
and the New York Tribune. Democratic sympathy was 
manifested early and found expression in the columns 
of the Louisville Courier-Journal, whose editor, Henry 
Watterson, took a keen interest in the preliminaries of the 
Cincinnati meeting and whose cooperation was gladly 


welcomed. The New York World, edited by Manton 
Marble, gave passive support to the movement by advis- 
ing Democrats to conform to present facts and not seek 
to revive or sustain the dead issues of the war and Recon- 

Under date^ New Orleans, April 23, Marble wrote to 
Schurz : 

It is due to you that I should say, before you go to Cincin- 
nati, that in my clear judgment the nomination of Charles 
Francis Adams would defeat the rejection of Grant. It has 
always been obvious that Mr. Adams would be among the best 
of Presidents. He has been growing, during the last few 
months, to be the best of candidates. I could not name another 
so safe to win. Adams and Palmer would be a quite perfect 
ticket. — This is founded on careful consideration. 

August Belmont, of New York, the most influential 
Democrat in that state not holding any public oflSce, took 
an active part, both by correspondence and by personal 
solicitation, in the endeavor to secure the nomination 
by the Cincinnati Convention of a candidate whom the 
Democrats could support, and to induce the latter to 
abstain from making a separate nomination. From Vin- 
cennes, Indiana, April 28, he wrote to Schurz that, after 
having seen many prominent men of both parties, he had 
found the Cincinnati movement even stronger with them, 
and the people, than he had anticipated. He added : 

Everybody looks for the action of your convention, and if 
you make a good national platform denouncing the abuses and 
corruption of the Executive, the military despotism of the 
South, the centralization of power and the subordination of the 
civil power to the military rule, and declare boldly for general 
amnesty and a revenue tariff, you will find every Democrat 
throughout the land ready to vote for your candidate, pro- 
vided you name one whom our convention can endorse. . . . 
I found in the West and in New York an overwhelming 


desire for Charles F. Adams. Adams is the strongest and least 
vulnerable man; he will draw more votes from Grant than will 
any other candidate. The whole Democratic party will follow 

There was a full delegation from Pennsylvania, com- 
posed of honorable men» who were not office-seekers. The 
meeting which appointed them was presided over by 
Colonel A. K. McClure» who announced, when taking the 
chair, that inasmuch as the Cincinnati Convention was a 
mass meeting, the persons attending it would not be en- 
tangled in the usual political machinery. The movement 
was on the lines of the Republican party; it was a move- 
ment of Republicans by necessity, who did not mean to 
be bound by the Government party as it then stood. 
General William B. Thomas said that he and other gen- 
tlemen had issued the call for this meeting to send a dele- 
gation to Cincinnati. He was engaged in work looking 
to the annihilation of the Republican party. He had 
helped to build up that party, but now he was free to say 
that it was the most corrupt party on the face of the 
earth. He was opposed to any candidate to be nominated 
by the coming Philadelphia Convention; Grant, or any 
other man. Colonel McClure said that the plain English 
of the whole thing was rebellion against the party and the 
bringing of it to the dignity of a revolution. Five years 
ago there might have been a necessity for the exercise of 
military power in the South, but not now. The South, to 
his mind, had been more desolated since the close of the 
war than before. 

The Pennsylvanians had fifty-six votes in the conven- 
tion. On the first roll-call they cast all of them for Gov- 
ernor A. G. Curtin. On all subsequent ones they gave 
a plurality for Adams.^ 

^ Chicago Ttmei, April 22. 


Numerous letters reached Trumbull before the call for 
the Cincinnati Convention was issued suggesting that he 
be a candidate for the presidency in opposition to Grant. 
One of these, dated Boslyn, Long Island, November 80, 
1871, was from John H. Bryant, brother of William Cul- 
len Bryant, who said that both himself and his brother 
desired to see him elected President and that if he should 
be a candidate he could count on the support of the Even- 
ing Post. 

Silas L. Bryan, of Salem, Illinois, the father of William 
Jennings Bryan, wrote under date, December 19, 1871, 
that he considered Trumbull the Providential man for the 
present crisis and that if he would consent to be a candi- 
date for the highest office he (Bryan) would take steps to 
promote that desirable end. To this letter Trumbull 
replied that to be talked about for the presidency im- 
paired the influence he might otherwise have to promote 
the reforms which he labored to bring about. He did not, 
however, refuse Judge Bryan's offer of assistance. 

Joseph Brown, Mayor of St. Louis, wrote that he would 
rather see Trumbull nominated for the presidency than 
any other man of either party. To this letter Tnunbull 
made a reply similar to that given to Judge Bryan. 

Walter B. Scates, ex-judge of the supreme court of 
Illinois, wrote: "You saved the Republican party in the 
impeachment trial and I now hope you may save the 
country from corruption, pillage, high tax, class legisla- 
tion, and central despotism." 

Jesse K. Dubois, auditor of Illinois, perhaps the most 
sagacious and experienced politician in the state, wrote, 
after signing the call for the Cincinnati Convention: 
"With you as our candidate I would wager we carry this 
state anywhere from 80,000 to 50,000 majority as against 


On February 23, Trumbull made a speech in the Sen- 
ate defending the Missouri Convention's platform against 
the objections of Senator Morton, who had stigmatized it 
as a Democratic movement, because that party in Con- 
necticut had endorsed it in their state convention. In this 
speech Trumbull took up each resolution in the platform 
and showed that it was either in accord with Republican 
doctrine as affirmed in the national platforms of the 
party, or had been commended by President Grant in offi- 
cial messages to Congress. On the subject of civil service 
reform, to promote which Grant had appointed the 
George William Curtis Commission, he said : 

The great evil of our civil service system grows out of the 
manner of making appointments and renewals and the use 
which is made of the patronage, treating it as mere party spoils. 
Often the patronage is used for purposes not rising to the dig- 
nity of even party purposes, but by certain individuals for 
individual and personal ends. It would be bad enough if the 
patronage were used as mere spoils for party, but it is infinitely 
worse than that under our present system. 

The Senator from Indiana, in his speech the other day, under- 
took to create the impression that I was opposed to civil ser- 
vice reform. Why, sir, I offered the very bill in this body 
which became a law under which the Civil Service Commis- 
sion was organized. I introduced bills here years ago in favor 
of a reform in the civil service and especially to break up the 
running of members of Congress to the departments begging 
for offices. In my judgment there is nothing more disreput- 
able, or which interferes more with the proper discharge of 
public duty, than this hanging around the skirts of power beg- 
ging for offices for friends. 

The growth of the Cincinnati movement was signalized 
by a meeting at the Cooper Union in New York City on 
the evening of April 12, of which the Nation said: "We 
believe that it was the most densely packed meeting 
which ever met there. All approach within fifty yards of 


the entrance was next to impossible in the early part of 
the evening, so great was the crowd in the street." Both 
Trumbull and Schurz spoke here to enthusiastic hearers. 
Among the letters received by Trumbull prior to the 
convention the most thoughtful and weighty was the fol- 
lowing written by Governor John M. Palmer, of Illinois: 

Springfield, April 18, 1872. 

I have felt considerable apprehension in regard to the Cin- 
cinnati movement for the reason that I have doubted the ability 
of men of the right stamp to control the action of the proposed 
convention, and I have believed that it would be better 
to endure the abuses and weaknesses and follies of Grant's 
Administration for another four years than to crystallize them 
by the mistake of making a bad nomination of his successor. 
Grant is an evil that we can endure if we retain the right to 
point out his faults in principle and practice, but if some ancient 
Federalist should be elected to succeed him what is now usurpa- 
tion would be accepted by the people as the proper theory of 
the government. But if the Cincinnati Convention nominates 
a statesman I will support him, and you if you are selected as 

the candidate. , *-• t> 

John M. PALBfEB. 

Among the names mentioned as desirable candidates 
that of Charles Francis Adams was the most prominent. 
After him came Lyman Trumbull, Horace Greeley, David 
Davis, B. Gratz Brown, and Andrew G. Curtin. Adams 
had been Minister to Great Britain during the war, and 
was now one of the arbitrators of the Geneva Tribunal 
under the Alabama Claims Treaty. He had written a 
letter to David A. Wells which showed that he did not 
desire the nomination, was perfectly indifferent to it, but 
that if it were given to him without pledges of any kind 
he would not refuse. He said among other things : 

If the call upon me were an unequivocal one based upon 
confidence in my character earned in public life, and a belief 
that I would cany out in practice the principles I professed. 


then indeed would come a test of my courage in an emergency; 
but if I am to be negotiated for» and have assurances given that 
I am honest, you will be so kind as to draw me out of that 

This phrase was interpreted erroneously by some as an 
expression of contempt for *'that crowd," but, of course, 
it was not so intended. The letter was not written for 
publication. Not only did Mr. Adams not seek the nomi- 
nation, but his son, Charles Francis, Jr., refused to go 
to the convention, or to invite any of his Boston friends 
to go. 

Greeley was an anti-slavery leader, founder of the New 
York Tribune, book-writer, lecturer, foremost journalist 
in the country, distinguished both for intellectual power 
and personal eccentricity. Davis was a member of the 
Supreme Court of the United States, by Lincoln's appoint- 
ment. Brown was governor of Missouri, and next to 
Schurz the most prominent leader of the Liberal move- 
ment. Curtin had been the war governor of Pennsylvania 
and was a man of high ability and unblemished character. 
The name of Sumner had been frequently mentioned as 
one suitable for the presidency, but he had not yet given 
his adhesion to the Liberal movement. 

The New York Herald of May 1 tells what I thought of 
the outlook when I first arrived in Cincinnati, thus : 

Cincinnati, April 27, 1872. — Mr. Horace White, who 
arrived this morning, says that the Liberal movement has as yet 
only penetrated the crust of public sentiment and that the 
masses of the people are waiting in a half -curious way to see what 
will be done here before they will make up their minds. 

Trumbull did not authorize the presentation of his name 
to the convention until one week before its meeting. 
Then a qualified acquiescence came in a letter to myself, 
dated Washington, April 24, saying: 


I do not think I ought to be nominated unless there is a 
decided feeling among those who assemble, and are outside of 
rings and bargains, that I would be stronger than any one else. 
Unless this is the feeling, I think it would not be wise to present 
my name at all. . . . D. A. Wells has enclosed me a letter writ- 
ten on the 20th by John Van Buren, Governor Hoffman's secre- 
tary, which he thinks undoubtedly represents the feelings of the 
Hoffman wing of the New York Democracy. In this letter Van 
Buren says the convention must not touch the question of free 
trade, that the persons pushing this question are not unani- 
mous on the question, and that a non-committal resolution 
would do harm in both directions. Grosvenor is very stren- 
uous about having such a resolution as will commit the con- 
vention distinctly to revenue reform, and I fear will be a little 
unreasonable about it. I had thought that a resolution might 
be adopted which would assert the principle without being 
offensive to anybody; perhaps something like the resolution 
adopted by the last Illinois State Convention. Free-traders 
and protectionists differ more about the application of princi- 
ples than the principles themselves in their efforts. Wells and 
other reformers of the East will be reasonable on this question. 
Van Buren further says in his letter: "One thing rely upon — 
you need do nothing at Cincinnati except with reference to 
drawing Republicans into the movement. Disregard the Demo- 
crats. The movement of that side will take care of itself. 
There will be no cheating nor holding back on their side. 
They will go over in bulk and with a will." 

My reply to this letter, written immediately after the 
adjournment of the convention, was the following: 

My judgment was from the beginning of our arrival here that 
you could not be nominated, but I did not tell anybody so. Dr. 
Jayne and Governor Koemer thought you could be; and their 
judgment, I thought, should be set before mine. So I held my 
tongue and did what I could. If I had taken the responsibility 
of withdrawing your name as suggested by your letter, I should 
never have had any standing in Illinois again — certainly not 
among your friends. 

As this convention did not consist of delegates chosen 


by primary meetings, any person of Republican anteced- 
ents or attachments was permitted to attend and take 
part in it. To bring order out of chaos it was necessary 
for the men of each state to come together and choose a 
number corresponding to its population to cast its votes 
on all questions arising, including the nomination of can- 
didates. In states which presented more than one candi- 
date, as in Illinois, there was some difficulty in making 
the proper division as between Davis and Trumbull; but 
all such troubles were adjusted before the hour for assem- 
bling arrived. The streets of Cincinnati had never beheld 
a more orderly, single-minded, public-spirited crowd. At 
least four fifths had come together at their own expense 
for no other purpose than the general good. There was, 
however, a small minority of office-seekers among them. 
The movement in its inception was altogether free from 
that class, but when it b^an to assume formidable pro- 
portions and seemed not unlikely to sweep the country, 
it attracted a certain number of professional politicians, 
including a few estrays from the South. 

The office-seeking fraternity were mostly supporters 
of Davis, whose appearance as a candidate for the presi- 
dency was extremely offensive to the original promoters 
of the movement. As a judge of the Supreme Court his 
incursion into the field of politics, unheralded, but not 
unprecedented, was an indecorum. Moreover, his sup- 
porters had not been early movers in the ranks of reform, 
and their sincerity was doubted. They were extremely 
active, however, after the movement had gained head- 
way, and they were able to divide the vote of Dlinois into 
two equal parts (21 to 21), so that Trumbull's strength 
in the convention was'seriously impaired. Davis's chances 
were early demolished by the editorial fraternity, who, 
at a dinner at Murat Halstead's house, resolved that they 


would not support him if nominated, and caused that 
fact to be made known. 

Greeley's candidacy had not been taken seriously by 
the editors at Halstead's dinner-party. As an individual 
he was generally liked by them and his ability and honesty 
were held in the highest esteem; but he was looked upon 
as too eccentric and picturesque to find much support 
in such a sober-minded convention as ours. Adams and 
Trumbull were the only men supposed by us to be within 
the sphere of nomination, and the chances of Adams were 
deemed the better of the two. We had yet to learn that 
there are occasions and crowds where personal oddity and 
a flash of genius under an old white hat are more potent 
than high ancestry or approved statesmanship, or both 
those qualifications joined together. 

Before nominations were made, a platform was to be 
framed and adopted. There were three main issues to be 
considered: Universal amnesty, civil service reform, and 
tariff reform. On the first and second there was no differ- 
ence of opinion. Without them the Cincinnati movement 
would never have taken place; the convention would 
never have been called. As to the third, there was a dif- 
ference of opinion which divided the convention and the 
Committee on Resolutions in the middle, and it soon 
became known that "there was no common ground on 
which the protectionists and revenue reformers could 
stand." So wrote E. L. Godkin from the convention hall 
to the Nation. He continued: 

The Committee on Resolutions, after sitting up a whole 
night, were compelled to accept the compromise which he 
[Greeley] proposed — the reference of the whole matter to the 
people in the congressional districts. It is right to add that 
the sentiment of the convention was overwhelmingly in favor 
of this course. There is a touch of absurdity about it, it is true, 
but it is at least frank and honest, and at all events nothing 


else was possible. Even such outspoken free-traders as Judge 
Hoadley y of this city, were compelled to concur in this disposi- 
tion of the question. 

As chainnan of the Committee on Resolutions, and 
a free-trader, I can confirm all that Godkin wrote, and 
add that the conmiittee considered the expediency of 
reporting to the convention their inability to agree and 
asking to be discharged. This plan was rejected lest it 
should cause a bolting movement, on an issue which was 
rated only third in importance among those which had 
brought us together. It was decided that tariff reform 
could wait, while the pacification of the South and the 
reform of the civil service could not. 

Thursday night, May 2, 1 had gone to bed at the Bur- 
net House when I was aroused by a loud knock on my 
door and a voice outside which I recognized as that of 
Grosvenor exclaiming: ^^Get up! Blair and Brown are 
here from St. Louis." Without waiting for ah answer he 
went on knocking at other doors in the corridor and giv- 
ing the same warning, but no other explanation. I arose, 
dressed myself, and went down to the rotunda of the 
hotel, where I found some of the supporters of Trumbull 
and of Adams who were trying to discover why the arrival 
of Frank Blair and Gratz Brown should produce a 
commotion in a convention of more than seven hundred, 
of which Blair and Brown were not members. Blair 
was then the Democratic Senator from Missouri. The 
two newcomers were not visible. They had obtained a 
room and had called into it some of the Missouri delega- 
tion and would not admit any uninvited persons. Pres- 
ently Grosvenor returned and told us that Brown in- 
tended to withdraw as a candidate for the presidency 
and turn his forces over to Greeley, and himself take the 
Vice-Presidency. Grosvenor considered this a dangerous 



combination and said that steps should be taken to 
checkmate it at once. 

The Adams and Trumbull men here collected remained 
till about two o'clock trying to learn more about the 
expected coup^ but as nothing further could be obtained 
they retired one by one to uneasy slumber. Grosvenor 
maintained to the last that great mischief was impending, 
but could not suggest any way to meet it. 

On the following day voting began, and the first roll- 
call showed Adams in the lead with 205 votes; Greeley 
had 147, Trumbull 110, Brown 95, Davis 92i Curtin 62, 
Chase 2|. Carl Schurz, who was permanent chairman 
of the convention and a supporter of Adams, then rose 
and with some signs of embarrassment said that a gentle- 
man who had received a large number of votes desired 
to make a statement, whereupon he invited the Hon. B. 
Gratz Brown to come to the platform. Brown advanced 
to the front, and after thanking his friends for their sup- 
port said that he had decided to withdraw his name and 
that he desired the nomination of Horace Greeley as the 
man most likely to win in the coming election. There was 
great applause among the supporters of Greeley, but the 
immediate result did not answer their expectations. Brown 
could not control even the Missouri delegation. The first 
vote of the Missouri men had been 80 for Brown. The 
second was, Trumbull 16, Greeley 10, Adams 4. 

All the votes are shown in the following table: 













































Although Greeley's plurality oi\ the sixth roU-call was 
small, his gain over the fifth was large, being 74 votes, 
that of Adams being only 15. This was a signal to all who 
wished to be on the winning side to take shelter under 
the old white hat. Changes were made before the result 
was announced which gave Greeley 482 to 187 for Adams. 
Then Greeley was declared nominated. The nomination 
of Gratz Brown for Vice-President followed without 
much opposition. 

The supporters of Adams and of Trumbull were 
stunned. The first impulse of their leaders, and espe- 
cially of Schurz, was to put on sackcloth, and go into 
retirement. Prompt decision, however, was necessary to 
the editors of daily newspapers. Other persons could go 
home and take days or weeks to think the matter over, 
but those who, at Halstead's table, had decided against 
David Davis, must needs make another prompt decision 
before the next paper went to press. They decided to 
support Greeley, because they had honestly led their 
readers to an honest belief that the Cincinnati move- 
ment was for the best interests of the Republic; and they 
deemed it unfair to turn against it on account of per- 
sonal vexation against a man whose candidacy had been 
tolerated through the whole proceedings. That Greeley 
was an unbalanced man we all knew. That he was lia- 
ble to go off at a tangent and that his self-esteem and 
self-confidence might put him beyond the reach of good 
counsel in affairs of great pith and moment, was the un- 
expressed thought of most of us. But we knew that his 
aims were patriotic, and we reflected that some risks are 
taken at every presidential election. Greeley had not yet 
been proved an unsafe President, and that was more 
than could be said for Grant. In fact. Grant's second 
term proved to be worse than his first. 


Schurz was more distressed by the "Gratz Brown 
trick," as it was commonly called, than by anything else. 
This had the appearance of a brazen political swap exe- 
cuted in the light of day, by which the presidency and 
the vice-presidency were disposed of as so much mer- 
chandise. He did not, however, in his thoughts connect 
Greeley with the trade. It was physically impossible 
that the latter could have been a party to it, if there 
was a trade. Nevertheless he considered the German vote 
lost beyond recall by the bad look of it.^ My own belief 
is that Blair and Brown were jealous of Schurz's power 
in Missouri; that they feared he would become omnipo- 
tent there, dominating both parties, if Adams should be 
elected President; and that the only way to head him oflf 
was to beat Adams. They chose Greeley for this purpose, 
not because they had any bargain with, or fondness for, 
him, but because he was the next strongest man in the 

The engineers of the Liberal Republican movement 
went their several ways. Those who held tariff reform 
of more importance than all other issues abjured Greeley 
at once. E. L. Godkin and William CuUen Bryant de- 
clared war against him because they considered him dan- 
gerous and unfit. The following correspondence which 
took place between Bryant and Trumbull was illustra- 
tive of the feelings of many others: 

' Frank W. Bird, of Boston, who went to Cincinnati as an anti-Adams dele- 
gate, wrote to Charles Sumner on May 7: '* Don't believe a word about the 
trade, in any discreditable sense, between Blair and Brown on the one p>art and 
the Greeley men on the other. Undoubtedly Blair wanted to head off Schurz, 
and equally truly an arrangement was made, or an understanding reached, on 
Thursday night, in a certain contingency to unite a portion of the Brown and 
Greeley forces: but, except perhaps in the motives of the leading negotiators on 
one side, there was nothing unusual in the affair, nothing that is not usually — 
indeed, almost necessarily — done in such conventions; nothing that was not 
contemplated and even proposed by the Adams men." (Sumner papers in 
Harvard University labraiy.) 


TheEvknino Post, 

41 Nassau Stbeet» Cob. LiBKBTr* 

New York. Maj 8th. 1872. 

My deab Sir, 

It has been said that you will support the nomination of Mr. 
Greeley for President. I have no right to speak of any course 
which you may take in politics in any but respectful terms, but 
I may perhaps take the liberty of saying that if you give that 
man your countenance, some of your best friends here will 
deeply regret it. We who know Mr. Greeley know that his 
administration, should he be elected, cannot be otherwise than 
shamefully corrupt. His associates are of the worst sort and 
the worst abuses of the present Administration are likely to 
be even caricatured under his. His election would be a severe 
blow to the cause of revenue reform. The cause of civil service 
reform would be hopeless with him for President, for Reuben 
E. Fenton, his guide and counselor, and the other wretches by 
whom Greeley is surrounded, will never give up the patronage 
by which they expect to hold their power. As to other public 
measures there is no abuse or extravagance into which that 
man, through the infirmity of his judgment, may not be 
betrayed. It is wonderful how little, in some of his vagaries, 
the scruples which would influence other men of no exemplaiy 
integrity, restrain him. But I need not dwell upon these mat- 
ters — they are all set forth in the Evening Post which you 
sometimes see. What I have written, is written in the most 
profound respect for your public character, and because of that 
respect. If you conclude to support Mr. Greeley, I shall, of 
course, infer that you do so because you do not know him. 

Yours truly, 

Hon. L. Trumbull. W. C. Brtant. 

United States Senate Chamber, 
Washington, May 10, 187£. 

Wm. C. Bryant, Esq., 

My dear Sir, — Your kind and frank letter is before me. I 
wish I could see something better than to support Mr. Greeley, 
but I do not. Personally, I know but little of him, but in com- 
mon with most people supposed he was an honest but confiding 
man, who was often imposed upon by those about him. This 
would be a great fault in a President, I admit, but with proper 


surroundings could be guarded against, and almost anything 
would be an improvement on what we have. One of the great- 
est evils of our time is party despotism and intolerance. Gree- 
ley's nomination is a bomb-shell which seems likely to blow up 
both parties. This will be an immense gain. Most of the cor- 
ruptions in government are made possible through party tyr- 
anny. Members of the Senate are daily coerced into voting 
contrary to their convictions through party pressure. A notable 
instance of this was the vote on the impeachment of Johnson, 
and matters in this respect have not improved since. If by 
Greeley's election we could break up the present corrupt organ- 
izations, it would enable the people at the end of four years to 
elect a President with a view to his fitness instead of having 
one put upon them by a vote of political bummers acting in 
the name of party. 

Having favored the Cincinnati movement and Greeley hav- 
ing received the nomination, I see no course left but to try to 
elect him, and endeavor to surround him, as far as possible, 
with honest men. Greeley had a good deal of strength among 
the people and was strong in the convention outside of bargain 
or arrangement. Many voted for him as their first choice, and 
in Illinois I feel confident he b a stronger candidate than Adams 

would have been. 

Lyman Trumbull. 

Sumner, although urged by many of his warmest 
friends both before and after the convention, including 
Frank Bird, Samuel Bowles, and Greeley himself 
(through Whitelaw Reid), to declare his position, did 
not break silence until May 31, when he made his great 
speech against Grant. The speech remains a true cata- 
logue of the shortcomings of Grant as a civil administra- 
tor up to that time. All his sins of omission and of com- 
mission were there set forth in orderly array, together 
with the proofs. Sumner thus spared future historians a 
deal of trouble in searching the records, but the speech 
was not very eflfective in the way of changing votes. 
Sumner sometimes mistook himself for a modem Cicero 


impeaching Verres. He pfled up the agony in the fash- 
ion customary in the pleadings of the ancient forum. He 
overlooked the signal services rendered by Grant before 
he held any dvfl office. He did not make allowance for 
the transition of a tanner's clerk, earning fifty dollars a 
month and having a family to support, first to the com- 
mand of half a million soldiers in war time, and then to 
the presidency of the United States in time of peace, all 
within the period of eight years. The mistakes naturally 
arising from such crude beginnings, when meeting gigantic 
responsibilities in quick succession, ought to have excited 
pathos as well as censure. By giving due consideration 
to Grant's whole career, he would have secured a better 
hearing for the part of it which he wished to impress upon 
the public mmd. 

Even now Sumner did not advise anybody to vote for 
Greeley. His omission to do so was at once construed as 
an argument favorable to Grant. It was said that the 
dangers involved in Greeley's eccentricities were so much 
greater than anything that Grant had done, or could do, 
that Grant's worst enemy (Sumner) would not advise 
people to vote for him. Not until the 29th of July did the 
Massachusetts Senator publicly speak for Greeley, and 
then only in a letter to some colored voters who had asked 
his advice. It was then too late to exert much influence. 
It is doubtful if even the colored men who had sought 
his advice gave any heed to it. Probably the reason why 
Sumner did not speak earlier was that he hesitated to 
break from his abolitionist friends, Garrison, Phillips, and 
others, who had besought him not to join the Democrats. 
When he did finally join the forces supporting Greeley, 
his old friend Garrison turned upon him and chastised 
him severely in a series of open letters, which Sumner 
declined to read. 



My own feelings immediately after the nomination 
were set forth in a telegram to the Chicago Tribune pub- 
lished in its issue of May 4. The chief part was in these 

Cincinnati, May S. — The nomination of Mr. Greeley was 
accomplished by the people against the judgment and strenu- 
ous efforts of politicians, using the latter word in its larger 
and higher sense. The Gratz Brown performance has given the 
whole affair the appearance of a put-up job, but it was merely 
a lucky guess. The Blairs and Browns do not like Schurz. To 
defeat a candidate who was likely to be on confidential terms 
with Schurz, as either Adams or Tnmibull would have been, 
was the thing nearest to their hearts, and for this purpose 
Brown made his appearance here. His speech in the Conven- 
tion fell like dish-water on the whole assemblage, and, being 
followed by the transfer of the Missouri votes to Trumbull, 
instead of Greeley, showed that he had no influence in his own 
delegation. The changes from Brown to Greeley were few and 
far between, and in a short time the convention only remem- 
bered that Brown had been a candidate once and was so no 
longer. But the personal popularity of Greeley was more than 
a match for the intellectual strength of Trumbull and the moral 
gravity of Adams. He was stealing votes from both of them all 
the time. When the Illinois delegation at last perceived that 
the heart of the convention was carrying away the head, and 
retired for consultation, the surprising fact was developed that 
fifteen of their own number preferred Greeley to any candidate 
not from their own state. The supporters of Adams, while en- 
tertaining the most cordial feeling for the friends of Trumbull, 
think that if the latter had come over to Adams's comer the 
result would have been different. I do not think so. If the 
Illinois vote could have been cast solid for Adams at an earlier 


stage, the result might have been different: but there was no 
time when Adams oould have got more than the twenty-seven 
votes which were finally cast for him. The contingency of hav- 
ing to divide between Adams and Greeley had never been con- 
sidered, and, therefore, no time had been allowed to compare 
views. The vote of the state being thus divided, its weight was 
lost for any purpose of influencing other votes. Then gush and 
hurrah swept everything down, and, almost before a vote of 
Illinois had been recorded by the secretary, the dispatches 
came rushing to the telegraph instruments that Greeley was 
nominated. For a moment, the wiser heads in the convention 
were stunned, though everybody tried to look perfectly con- 
tented. Of all the things that could possibly happen, this was 
the one thing which everybody supposed could not happen. 
Not even the Greeley men themselves thought it could happen. 
The only able politician who seemed to be really for Grc«ley 
was Waldo Hutchins, of New York, and even his sincerity was 
questioned by Greeley's backbone friends as long as the Davis 
movement was regarded as still alive. 

How the news was received by Trumbull was told by 
the New York Herald's Washington dispatch of May 3 : 

. . . The scene in the Senate, when the news was received, 
was one of complacent dignity, such as only the members of 
that body could arrange, even if they had studied to prepare 
themselves for an art tableau. Mr. Fenton was the recipient 
of the dispatches, and his chair was consequently surrounded 
by a crowd of the less dignified Senators, who could not wait 
to have the telegrams passed around. Trumbull was the most 
undisturbed of all those on the fioor. His equanimity aston- 
ished his friends as well as the numerous strangers in the gal- 
leries, who watched closely for indications of excitement in his 
parchment-like face. In truth, he seemed to get the news 
rather by some occult process of induction, if he got it at all, 
than by the course usual to ordinary men. Other members 
smiled, made comments, exchanged opinions and preserved 
their dignity with customary success; but he alone asserted an 
immobility of demeanor that will last for all time, in the mem- 
ory of its witnesses, as a remarkable instance of self-possession. 
At last, when every one else had delivered himself of some 


criticism he remarked to those in his immediate vicinity: "If 
the comitry can stand the first outburst of mirth the nomina- 
tion will call forth, it may prove a strong ticket." 

Carl Schurz was slow in reaching a decision to support 
the ticket. His first endeavor was to induce Greeley, in 
a friendly way, to decline the nomination, by showing him 
the sombre aspects of the campaign ahead. In a letter 
dated May 18, he told Greeley that the dissatisfaction 
of an influential part of the Liberal Republican forces 
was such that a meeting had been called to consider the 
question of putting another ticket in the field before 
the Democrats should hold their convention. Other dis- 
couraging features were presented and the letter con- 
cluded with these words : 

I have, from the beginning, made it a point to tell you with 
entire candor how I feel and what I think about this business, 
and now if the developments of the campaign should be such as 
to disappoint your hopes, it shall not be my fault if you are 
deceived about the real state of things. 

To this Greeley replied on the 20th, saying that his 
advices warranted him in predicting that New York 
would give 50,000 majority for the Cincinnati ticket, and 
that New England and the South would be nearly solid 
for it, while in Pennsylvania and the Northwest the 
chances were at least even. He ended by saying: "I shall 
accept unconditionally." 

The meeting foreshadowed in Schurz's letter to Greeley 
took place at the Fifth Avenue Hotel on the 20th of June. 
It was composed mainly of persons who had participated 
in the Cincinnati Convention and had been greatly dis- 
appointed by Mr. Greeley's nomination. William Cullen 
Bryant presided, but fell asleep in the chair soon after the 
proceedings began. The first speech was made by Trum- 
bull, who said that his mind was made up to support the 


Cincinnati ticket. He thought that Greeley had gained 
strength during the first month of the campaign and that 
the chances of his election were good. He could see no 
reason for nominating another ticket. That would sim- 
ply be playing into the hainds of the supporters of 
Schurz's position, as reported by the Nation^ was this: 

That he, more than any other man, was chagrined by the 
result of Cincinnati; that he does not consider Mr. Greeley a 
reformer, and has no expectations of any reforms at his hands, 
and will say so on the stump; that he believes him "to ()e sur- 
rounded by bad men"; that he (Mr. Schurz), however, is so 
satisfied of the necessity of defeating Grant and dissolving exist- 
ing party organizations, that he is ready to use any instrument 
for the purpose, and will, iJierefore, support Greeley in the 
modified and guarded manner indicated above. He looks for- 
ward, with a hopefulness bordering on enthusiasm, to the good 
things which will grow out of the confusion following on Gree- 
1^'s election, and is deeply touched by the Southern eagerness 
for Greeley. 

A private letter from E. L. Godkin to Schurz, dated 
Lenox, Massachusetts, June 28, gives reasons for depre- 
cating the course that the latter had decided to take in 
the campaign. 

He has considered Schurz's words about Greeley; would be 
most glad could he see any way to join in supporting Greeley, 
Schurz being the one man in American politics who inspires 
Godkin with some hope concerning them. He maturely consid- 
ered what he could and would do when Greeley was first nomi- 
nated. In view of his own share in bringing public feeling to 
the point of creating the convention, he would have stood by 
Greeley if possible; saw no chance to do so and sees none now; 
is satisfied he can have nothing to do with Greeley. If Greeley 
gave pledges, and broke them, " cw / believe he wovldy^ it would 
be no consolation to Godkin that an opposition would thereby 
be raised up. He went through all this with Grant, who gave 


far better guarantees than Greeley offers, ''and he made fine 
promises and broke them, and good appointments and reversed 
them, and I have in consequence been three years in opposi- 
tion." Cannot afford to repeat this. "Greeley would have to 
change his whole nature, at the age of 62, in order not to deceive 
and betray you," and when he has done so it will be too late 
to atone for having backed him by turning against him, which 
would then merely discredit one's judgment, and invite sus- 
picion of some personal disappointment. Moreover, the small 
band of political reformers will have fallen into disrepute and 
become ridiculous and the country will be worse off than before. 
Feels that Schurz is sacrificing the future in taking Greeley on 
any terms. . . • 

Parke Godwin was even more bitter against Greeley. 
He wrote to Schurz under date May 28 : 

"... I have so strong a sense of Greeley's utter unfitness for 
the presidency that I cannot well express it. The man is a 
charlatan from top to bottom, and the smallest kind of a 
charlatan, — for no other motive than a weak and puerile 
vanity. His success in politics would be the success of whoever 
is most wrong in theory and most corrupt in practice." All the 
most corrupt spoilsmen of either side are either with him now 
or preparing to go to him. It is the first of duties to expose him 
and his factitious reputation. Grant and his crew are bad, — 
but hardly so bad as Greeley and his would be. Besides, Grant, 
though in very bad hands, has his clutches full : Greeley's set 
would be newcomers. 

The regular Republican Convention met at Philadel- 
phia, June 5, and nominated General Grant for President 
by unanimous vote. The names of Henry Wilson, Schuy- 
ler Colfax, and several others were presented for Vice- 
President. On the first roll-call Wilson had 361 votes 
and Colfax 806, and there were 66 for other candidates. 
Before the result was announced, 38 votes from Southern 
States were changed to Wilson, giving him 399, a major- 
ity of the whole number cast. This decision was brought 
about by the wish of Grant himself, conimunicated to 


General Grenville M. Dodge before the convention met. 
Grant had no liking for Colfax.^ 

The platform of the convention laid stress on the im- 
perative duty of "suppression of violent and treasonable 
organizations in certain lately rebellious regions and for 
the protection of the ballot-box." This meant the stem 
execution of the Ku-Klux Law> under suspension of the 
writ of Aa6e(w corpus, which was abeady m progress. The 
remainder of the platform was either "pointing with 
pride" at past achievements, or clap-trap of various 
kinds, including a promise to take good care of capital 
and labor, so as to secure "the largest opportunities and 
a just share of the mutual profits of these two great ser- 
vants of civilization." 

The Democratic National Convention met at Balti- 
more, July 9, and adopted both the platform and the can- 
didates of the Cincinnati Convention. This involved a 
complete reversal of the party's principles as declared in 
its last previous platform, but it was not inconsistent with 
inexorable facts. There was nothing else to be done unless 
the party was determined still to battle against the result 
of the Civil War. It was inevitable, however, that there 
should be a remnant of the party that would never vote for 
Greeley — the man who above all others had gored them 
most savagely in the fights of a quarter of a century. The 
dissentients called and held a convention at Louisville, 
September 3, where they nominated Charles O'Conor 
of New York for President and John Quincy Adams for 
Vice-President, both of whom declined. Other attempts 
to put a third ticket in the field came to nothing. The 
recalcitrants either voted for Grant or abstained from 
voting altogether. 

Trumbull took an active part in the campaign, speak- 

^ This fact was given to me by General Dodge, in writing. 


ing to large crowds and almost incessantly in Maine, New 
York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illi- 
nois. His first speech was made at Springfield, Illinois, 
June 26, a synopsis of which will serve to indicate the 
views which he advocated. 

He said that he was glad to explain to Illinoisans the posi- 
tion he had felt it his duty to take on many points. It was now 
more than seventeen years that he had represented the state in 
Washington. In that time the principles on which the Republi- 
can party was formed had all been settled. Nothing remained 
but the machinery, which had fallen into the hands of those 
who sought to use it for merely selfish ends. During his service 
he had sometimes not acted according to the views of all his 
constituents, but he had not failed to follow his own sense of 
duty and right. Within the last ten years many abuses had 
crept into the Government and numerous defalcations had 
occurred, perhaps the most noted being that of Hodge, pay- 
master, in the office of the Paymaster-General, "whose defal- 
cations, occurring right under the eye of the Government, 
amounted to more than $400,000." An investigating com- 
mittee had reported to a previous Congress great abuses in the 
New York Custom-House — bribery and demoralization. At 
the beginning of the recent session he [Trumbull] had intro- 
duced a resolution for a joint committee of investigation, with 
power to send for persons and papers; introduced it in good 
faith to unearth frauds, if existent, and to correct them, with- 
out design of injuring the party. " I was simple-minded enough 
to believe that the Republican party, . . . with which I had 
been identified for so many years, would be lifted in public 
estimation ... if it had the virtue and the honesty to expose, 
even among its own members, wrong, corruptions, and fraud if 
fraud existed, and to apply the proper corrective. And I was 
very much astonished when that proposition was met by gen- 
tlemen in the Senate who constitute what, for brevity's sake, I 
may denominate a Senatorial Ring, denouncing me as unfaith- 
ful to the Republican fparty and as throwing dirt upon it 
by offering a resolution to inquire into the conduct of public 

The public indignation aroused by this forced the Senatorial 


Ring to action. **A party caucus of Republican Senators waa 
called, and a scheme devised to change the character of the 
resolution, and to organize and pack the committee, which* 
instead of going forth to uncover and expose corruption, should 
go forth to conceal and cover it up. The proposition for the 
joint committee of the two houses, with power to send for per- 
sons and papers, was voted down, and in its place a resolution 
was passed creating a conmiittee of the Senate alone. The 
members of the committee were selected in a party caucus, and 
not a single Republican Senator who had originally favored the 
investigation was placed upon the committee. This was con- 
trary to parliamentary law, and contrary to the plainest prin- 
ciples of common sense, if the object was to discover abuses, 
and contrary to that ordinaiy rule which says that a child must 
not be put to a nurse who cares not for it. This investigation 
was placed in the hands of the parties to be investigated. . . /' 
Even this committee, going to New York, could not, however, 
shut their eyes to the enormous abuses there. But they did 
give public notice that any merchants who had paid bribe 
money to customs officials would be prosecuted to the extent of 
the law, thereby securing the non-appearance of any such mer- 
chant as a witness. They acted as if sent to investigate mer- 
chants, not officials And the Senate Ring would allow no 

measure to be considered tending to rectify these abuses, want- 
ing to keep the spoils to cany next fall's elections. A bill from 
the House was referred to the Judiciaiy committee, which had 
a majority of Ring members, — a bill to inaugurate reforms 
and to protect merchants from plunder. Although it was before 
the committee two months it was never reported to the Senate. 
"I made two motions in the Senate to have the committee dis- 
charged and to bring the bill before the Senate, that it might 
receive its attention, but they were voted down under party 

"Let me tell you of another committee of investigation, 
raised in the House of Representatives, and packed also by an 
obsequious and partisan Speaker, — a committee, a majority 
of which consisted of the friends of the Secretary of the Navy 
whose conduct was about to be investigated. I want to tell you 
what that committee did, and I think you will be astonished 
when I state the fact that a conmiittee of members of the House 


of Representatives could have been found, who were so blinded 
by party zeal, so full of bigotry or cowardice that they could 
not see, or were afraid to expose, violations of the law on the 
part of political associates. This committee was raised on the 
motion of Governor Blair, of Michigan, a high-minded, inde- 
pendent, and able Republican. ... At his [Blair's] instance, a 
committee was raised to inquire into certain transactions in the 
Navy Department, presided over by Secretary Robeson. . . . 
Among many of the things that the committee was instructed 
to inquire into . . . was a claim for building certain vessels for 
the Government of the United States during the war. I have 
the precise figures here, giving the exact amounts which the 
Government contracted to pay for the construction of the 
three vessels, Tecumseh, Mahopac, and Manhattan. The con- 
tract was made in 1862, and the Government agreed to pay 
a contractor of the name of Secor $1,380,000 for the construc- 
tion of these three vessels. After the contract was made, the 
Government desired some changes in the plans of the vessels, 
and a board of naval officers was appointed to superintend 
them and to certify bills for extra work, which they did to 
the amount of more than $500,000. The vessels were furnished, 
the contract price paid — the sum due for the extra work was 
paid, and it was all settled and closed in the Navy Department 
in 1865. But these contractors, who had received more than 
$1,900,000 for building the vessels and the extra work, came to 
Congress by petition, and complained that they still had not re- 
ceived as much as they ought, because they said that they were 
delayed in their contracts by the action of the Government; 
that while thus delayed the price of labor and of materials 
advanced, and they had met with great loss, and they, there- 
fore, asked Congress to allow them something more. Congress, 
in 1867, passed a law directing the Secretary of the Navy to 
look into this matter and report to the next session. The Sec- 
retary appointed a board of Naval officers, who made the inves- 
tigation, and reported to Congress that these Secors ought to 
be allowed $115,000 more (I use round numbers) — $115,000 
in addition to what they had already received, and put into the 
law these words, "which shall be in full discharge of all claims 
against the United States on account of the vessels upon which 
the Board made the allowance as per this report." Now, do 


any of you» does any lawyer, . . . know how to write a stronger 
clause than that to end this daun? If you do, I do not. . . • 
The Secors, in 1868, received the $115,000 and gave their 
receipt. . . . Would you believe it possible that the Secretary 
of the Navy would, after that, pay anything more? . . . Mr. 
Robeson, in 1870, ... on his own motion, without any act of 
Congress authorizing it, proceeds to reinvestigate this claim, 
and without coming to Congress at all pays over to these gen- 
tlemen $03,000 more. Well, that is not the worst of it. He 
might just as well have paid them $98,000,000. The Congress 
of the United States never appropriated any money to pay 
this $93,000, but the Secretary of the Navy took the money 
appropriated for other purposes and other years and paid it 
out of that. This is bad enough. . . . But when this packed 
committee came to examine this transaction, a majority of its 
members reported that the transactions only involved a mere 
difference of opinion as to the construction of the law, and, in 
their opinion, the Secretary had construed it rightly. And Mr. 
Robeson, instead of being rebuked, is commended by the com- 
mittee, and is continued in office. It is due to the chairman of 
the committee — Governor Blair, of Michigan, and one of his 
associates — the committee consisted of five members — to 
say that they dissented from the majority report, and held that 
the transaction was not only without authority of law, but in 
direct violation of it. . . . 

"I was never a party man to the extent of being willing to 
serve the party against my country and if, to-day, I am acting 
with the Liberal Republican party, if I have denounced these 
transactions at the hazard of being myself denounced, it was 
done in good faith on my part, for the purpose of correcting 
abuses, and appealing from a party tyranny established by a 
Senatorial Ring to the honest, intelligent, upright citizens of 
the country, who are bound by no such shackles as will com- 
pel them to cover up fraud and iniquity in any party. . . .'* 

He mentioned the encroachments of the Federal Govern- 
ment, as in the attempt to destroy the privilege of the writ of 
habeas corpus in the last session of Congress, as a bill virtually 
placing the elections of the Southern States under the direction 
of the President. If the people have become so far indifferent 
to their rights as to permit the President to suspend the writ 


of habeas corpus at will, and to control and supervise their elec- 
tions, their liberties are gone, and "they have only to wait until 
a man sufficiently ambitious reaches the Presidency, for him to 
grasp and maintain absolute powers." 

The speech was two hours long, and concluded with 
this tribute to Greeley : 

. . . Mr. Greeley [he said] is a man of the highest character 
and intelligence. No man in the land is better acquainted with 
the public men of the country than he. He is a man of purity 
of character, of strict honesty, who would not look upon 
corruption and official delinquency with the least degree of 
allowance. You may rely upon that and upon his bringing 
about him the ablest men of the land to form a strong and able 
Administration, because he knows who the able men are, and 
could have no other motive than to make his Administration a 
success, as he will not seek a reflection. I am not in the habit 
of saying much about individuals, but I think I may say to you 
that you may trust Horace Greeley for an honest administra- 
tion of the Government, and that is what the people of the 
country want. You may trust him above almost all other men 
in this land for bringing about that state of good feeling between 
the North and the South, so essential to the peace and pros- 
perity of the nation. 

The campaign started with considerable ^lat among 
the ranks of Greeley's supporters and corresponding 
depression on the other side. Carl Schurz, who took the 
laboring oar, at first with reluctance bordering on gloom, 
gathered confidence as he progressed in his stumping tour. 
Enthusiasm for the old white hat seemed to be no fig- 
ment of imagination, but a living reality. All eyes were 
fixed upon North Carolina which had an election for 
state officers on the 1st of August, and which the Liberals 
expected to win. The early returns seemed to justify 
their confidence, but there was a change when the western 
mountain districts were heard from. The supporters of 


Grant carried the state by about 2000 majority. This 
wound was not so deep as a well nor so wide as a church 
door, but it answered one purpose. It ended the **old 
white hat '' enthusiasm and turned attention to the more 
sober and solid aspects of the campaign. That Greeley 
was an unbalanced character, that he was lacking in 
steadiness, in mental equipoise and ability to look at 
both sides of any question where his feelings were strongly 
enlisted, it was easy to show by many examples in his 
brilliant career. His occasional controversies with Lin- 
coln during the war, in which he was invariably worsted, 
were now reproduced with eflfect by the orators on the 
Grant side, and the old white hat and coat and the 
Flintwinch neck-tie were savagely pictured by Tom 
Nast in Harper^ 8 Weekly, There were satirical persons 
who said that Greeley took as much pains to make him- 
self a harlequin as another might take to make himself 
a dandy. 

The attacks were not without eflfect upon people who 
had never seen Greeley face to face. To his immediate 
friends in New York it seemed necessary that he should 
show himself to the public so that people might know he 
was a man of solid parts, of statesmanlike proportions 
and brain power. He was persuaded to make a series 
of speeches in Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania in the 
month of September, as those states were likely to have a 
decisive influence on the country in their local elections, 
which took place in October. Accordingly he took the 
stump, beginning at Jeflfersonville, Indiana, and moving 
eastward. His speeches surprised both friends and ene- 
mies by their high tone, argumentative force, good temper, 
and versatility and vigor of expression. The main point 
which he sought to enforce was the need of restored peace 
and brotherhood in all the land. No pleading could be 


more persuasive or more touching. No doubt can exist of 
the sincerity with which it was uttered. 

It was somewhat droll that in the last speech of the 
series he was confronted by a speaker on the Grant side 
at Easton, Pennsylvania, September 28, who predicted 
that if Greeley were elected all the furnace fires in the 
Lehigh Valley would be put out and their working-people 
thrown upon the almshouses. This to the stoutest cham- 
pion of the protective tariff then living! He was not, 
however, struck dumb by the prospect of the eariy 
impoverishment of the iron workers. He said: 

A recent speaker of the opposition has asserted that if I were 
made President all the furnace fires in the Lehigh Valley would 
presently be put out. This seems incredible. All men know I 
am a protectionist; but that I would not veto any bill fairly 
passed by the Congress of the United States modifying or 
changing the tariff is certainly true. I do not believe in govern- 
ment by selfish rings, but I believe just as little in government 
by the one-man power. I don't believe in government by 
vetoes. The veto power of the President is not given him to 
enable him to reject every bill for which he would have refused 
to vote if a member of Congress, but only to be employed in 
certain great emergencies where corruption or recklessness has 
passed a measure through Congress which would not stand 
the test of inquiry. I tell you, friends, I believe in legislation 
by Congress, not by Presidents, and I should myself approve 
and sign a bill which had a fair majority in Congress, although 
in my judgment it was not accordant with public policy — 
with the wisest policy. 

Although Greeley's stumping tour raised him in the 
public estimation, it is doubtful if it gained him any votes. 
It was now too late. People's minds were made up and 
nothing could change them, not even the Cr6dit-Mobilier 
scandal. General Grant was not concerned in this scan- 
dal, but a number of his most distinguished supporters, 
the very pillars of the Republican party, beginning with 


Vice-President Colfax, were named as guilty of taking 
bribes to influence their votes in Congress for the Union 
Pacific Railroad. This accusation was not made public 
until September, and then by accident. Most of the per- 
sons accused made denial, and since no investigation 
could be had until the next session of Congress (a month 
later than the election), nobody was bound to give cre- 
dence to an unproved charge. The general answer of the 
supporters of Grant was that they would not withhold 
their votes from him even if the charge were true. Nop 
could they be blamed for so saying. If the persons 
accused were really guilty, they would be punished in due 
time, or at all events exposed, and exposure would itself 
be punishment. It is needless to go into the details of the 
Cr^dit-Mobilier scandal here. It was investigated by an 
able and impartial committee of the House, and all the 
guilty ones were visited with such punishment as Con- 
gress could legally inflict. 

Of the three October states, Pennsylvania and Ohio 
gave large Republican majorities and Indiana a small 
majority for Hendricks (Democrat) for governor. This 
was decisive of the general result in November. Greeley 
and Brown were overwhelmingly defeated. The only 
states that gave them majorities were Georgia, Kentucky, 
Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas, having alto- 
gether 66 electoral votes. The others gave Grant and 
Wilson a total of 272 electoral votes. The state of New 
York, which Greeley, in his letter to Schurz, had claimed 
by 50,000, gave 53,000 majority against him. 

I have always held the opinion that either Adams or 
Trumbull could have been elected if nominated at Cincin- 
nati. I think also that Adams was the stronger of the 
two, because he had incurred no personal ill-will during 
the twelve years of war and Reconstruction and because 


the minds of the Democratic leaders who had encouraged 
the Liberal movement were eagerly expecting him. There 
would have been no bolting movement in that quarter. 
The Germans also were enthusiastic for Adams, and 
although they would have supported Trumbull willingly, 
there would have been perhaps a trifle less of cordiality 
for him. Neither of the two was gifted with personal 
"magnetism," but either of them had as much of that 
quality as Grant had, or as the public then desired. The 
voters were not then in search of the sympathetic virtues. 
There was a yearning for some cold-blooded, masterful 
man to go through the temple of freedom with a scourge 
of small cords driving out the grafters and money- 
changers. Adams was qualified for this r61e. He was 
also the man of whom the Republican leaders had the 
gravest fears as an opposing candidate. 

The campaign and its result killed poor Greeley. The 
election took place on the 5th of November. On the 10th 
he wrote a letter of two lines marked " private forever" 
to Carl Schurz, saying: 

I wish I could say with what an agony of emotion I sub- 
scribe myself, gratefully yours, Horace Greeley. 

He then took to his bed and his friends became alarmed. 
Frequent bulletins were published in the Tribune show- 
ing that he was a victim of insomnia, from which, the 
paper said, he had been a sufferer, more or less, at former 
periods of his life. He died on the 29th. His wife had 
died one month earlier, October SO. History says that he 
died of a broken heart. ^ 

^ John Bigelow*8 Diary, under date Nov. 28, 1872, contiuns tiie following 

" Greeley is now in a madhouse, and before morning will probably be 
dead — so Swinton tells me to-day; and Beid, whom I saw to-day, confirms 
these apprehensions." Retrotpediont qf an Active Life, v, 01. 


That Greeley had been eager for public office from an 
early period was shown by his famous letter withdrawing 
himself as junior partner from the firm of Seward, Weed, 
and Greeley. When the Cincinnati nomination came to 
him his fondest dreams seemed to be on the eve of fulfill- 
ment. Now all such dreams had vanished, a political 
party of noble aspirations had foundered on him as the 
hidden rock, his self-esteem had received an annihilating 
blow, and his beloved Tribune, the labor of his lifetime, 
was supposed to be ruined pecuniarily. Whatever his 
faults may have been, he received his punishment for 
them in this world. He was only sixty-two years of age, 
of sound constitution and good habits, and had never 
used liquor or tobacco. He ought to, and probably 
would, have lived twenty years longer if he had put away 
ambition and contented himself with the repute and 
influence he had fairly earned. He was the most influ- 
ential editor of his time and country, but as a political 
writer E. L. Godkin was his superior, and in fact Godkin, 
in the columns of the Nation, contributed more than 
any other writer, perhaps more than any other person, 
to his overthrow. 

The state election of Louisiana in 1872 had resulted in 
a disputed return for governor and legislature. One set of 
returns showed a majority for John McEnery, the con- 
servative candidate. Another set showed a majority for 
William P. Kellogg, Republican. The sitting governor, 
Warmoth, controlled the returning board and he favored 
McEnery. A former returning board headed by one 
Lynch had been dissolved by an act of the legislature. To 
this defunct board the supporters of Kellogg appealed. 
The Lynch Board, without any actual returns before 
them, declared Kellogg elected. They then procured an or- 


der from Judge Durell, of the United States Circuit Court 
at New Orleans, to the United States Marshal, Packard, 
who had a small military force at his command, to seize 
the State House. This was done and the act was approved 
by President Grant. An appeal to him from the better 
class of citizens of New Orleans was rejected. The excite- 
ment in Congress growing out of this usurpation was 
intense, even among Republicans. The Senate Committee 
on Privileges and Elections was ordered to make an inves- 
tigation, which it did, and it reported, through Senator 
Carpenter on the 20th of February, that the action of 
Judge Durell was illegal and that all steps taken in pur- 
suance of it were void. It recommended a new election 
and reported a bill for holding it; but Senator Morton, 
who made a minority report, prevented it from coming 
to a vote. Trumbull, who was also a member of the 
committee, made a report more drastic than that of Car- 
penter and supported his own view by a speech delivered 
on the 15th of February. 

Here you have [he said] an order sent from the city of Wash- 
ington on the 3d day of December, which was before Judge 
Durell issued his order to seize the State House and organize 
a legislature, and directing that nobody should take part in the 
organization except such persons as were returned as members 
by what was known as the Lynch Board, a board which the 
committee, in their repK)rt drawn by the Senator from Wiscon- 
sin, say had been abolished by an act of the legislature, and 
had not a single official return before it. It undertook to can- 
vass returns without having any returns to canvass. On forged 
affidavits, hearsay, and newspaper reports and verbal state- 
ments, the Lynch Returning Board, consisting of four men, 
without legal existence as a returning board, got together and 
without one official return, or other legitimate evidence before 
them, undertook to say who should constitute the Legislature 
of Louisiana.^ 

I Cong. Olobe, 197S, p. 1744. 


This was Trumbull's last speech in the Senate and was 
one of his best, but other influences prevailed with Grant. ^ 

Thus Kellogg and his crew became the masters of 
Louisiana,[and four years later became the deciding factor 
in the Hayes-Tilden presidential contest. 

^ Rhodes thinks that the influence which prevailed with Grant in this in- 
stance was that of Morton. (Hiitory qf the United States, vn. 111.) 



The defeat of the Liberal Republicans terminated 
Trumbuirs official career. His senatorial term expired 
on the 3d of March, 1873. The regular Republicans car- 
ried the legislature of Illinois, and Richard J. Oglesby was 
elected Senator in his stead. He was now sixty years of 
age and he resumed the practice of his profession in the 
city of Chicago, which had been his place of residence 
during the greater part of his senatorial service. His law 
firm at the beginning was Trumbull, Church & Trumbull, 
the second member being Mr. Firman Church and the 
third Mr. Perry Tnunbull, a son of the ex-Senator. Mr. 
William J. Bryan soon afterward became a student in 
the office. Various changes took place in the Trumbull 
law firm. Mr. Church removed to California, and his 
place was taken by Mr. Henry S. Robbins, and the firm 
became Trumbull, Robbins, Willetts & Trumbull. Mr. 
Hempstead Washbume, son of Hon. Elihu B. Washbume, 
became a member of the firm later. Trumbull's reputa- 
tion, talents, and experience soon gave him a place in the 
front rank of his profession, which he maintained till the 
end of his long life. I shall not attempt to follow the 
details of his career at the bar except as they touch upon 
public questions. The first affair of this kind was the 
Hayes-Tilden disputed election of 1876. 

The second Grant Administration was more lament- 
able than the first in respect of military rule, turbulence, 
and bloodshed in the South and corruption in the civil 
service in the North. These evils became so glaring and 


intolerable that the Republican party sufifered a disas- 
trous defeat in the congressional elections of 1874, and 
failed to secure a majority of the popular vote in the 
presidential election of 1876. The opposing candidates 
in this contest were Hayes (Republican) and Tilden 
(Democrat). One hundred and eighty-five electoral 
votes were necessary to a choice. The undisputed returns 
gave Tilden 184 and Hayes 166. Those of Florida, Louis- 
iana, and South Carolina were in dispute. It was neces- 
sary that Hayes should have all of them in order to be the 
next President. All of these states were under military 
control, and the returning boards who had the power of 
canvassing the votes, and the governors who had the 
power of certifying the result to Congress, were Republi- 

The excitement in the country when this condition 
became known was extreme. No confidence was placed 
in the character of the Southern returning boards. That 
of Louisiana consisted of three knaves and one fool,^ and 
the governor of the state was W. P. Kellogg, who had 
acquired the oflBce by the acts of usurpation described in 
the preceding chapter. It was seen at once that unless 
some respectable tribunal could be devised to decide 
between the conflicting claims the coimtry might drift 
into a new civil war. The first thing to be done was to 
endeavor to secure a fair count of the ballots cast in the 
disputed states. To this end a certain number of "visit- 
ing statesmen" were chosen by the heads of their respec- 
tive political parties to go to the scene of the contest and 
watch all the steps taken by the canvassers of the votes. 
President Grant appointed those of the Republican party 
and Abram S. Hewitt, chairman of the National Demo- 
cratic Committee, appointed the others. Trumbull had 

1 Rhodes, History qf the Untied States, vn, 231. 


voted for Tilden in the election, and he was chosen by 
Hewitt as one of ten visiting statesmen for Louisiana. 
Senator Sherman, of Ohio, was one of the Republican 
visitors. Congress passed a law on the 29th of January, 
1877, to create an Electoral Commission, consisting of 
five Senators, five Representatives, and five judges of the 
Supreme Court, to take all the evidence in regard to the 
disputed elections and to render a decision thereon by a 
majority vote of the fifteen members. Four of the five 
judges of the Supreme Court were named in the act of 
Congress. They were Miller and Swayne, Republicans, 
and Clifford and Field, Democrats, and the act provided 
that these four should choose the fifth. It was the gen- 
eral expectation that they would choqse David Davis as 
the fifth member, as he was commonly classed as an Inde- 
pendent, since he had been a candidate in the Cincinnati 
Convention, which nominated Greeley. But, on the very 
day when the Electoral Commission Bill passed, Davis 
was elected by the legislature of Illinois as Senator of the 
United States, to succeed Logan whose term was expiring. 
Davis accepted the senatorship and declined to serve as 
the fifth judge. Thereupon Bradley was chosen in his 

Trumbull was chosen as one of the counsel on the Til- 
den side to argue the Louisiana case. On the 14th of Feb- 
ruary he appeared before the Commission and oflFered 
to show that the votes certified by the commissioners of 
election in the voting precincts of Louisiana to the super- 
visors of registration, who were the oflicers legally ap- 
pointed to receive the same, showed a majority vary- 
ing from six to nine thousand for the Tilden electors; that 
the returning board did not receive from any poll, vot- 
ing place, or parish, and did not have before them, any 
statement, as required by law, of any riot, tumult, act of 


violence, intimidation, armed disturbance, bribery, or 
corrupt influence tending to prevent a free, fair, peaceable 
vote; that the supervisors of registration, without any 
such statements of violence or intimidation, omitted to 
include in the returns of election, or to make any mention 
of the same, votes amounting to a majority of 2267 
against W. P. Kellogg, one of the Hayes electors; that 
the votes cast on the 7th of November, 1876, had never 
been compiled or canvassed; that the votes had never 
been opened by the governor in the presence of the other 
state oflBcers required by law to be present, nor in the 
presence of any of them; that the law of Louisiana 
required that both political parties should be represented 
on the returning board, but that all the members, four in 
number, were Republicans, and that although there was 
one vacancy on the board they refused to fill it by choos- 
ing anybody; that the returning board employed as clerks 
and assistants four persons, whose names were given, all 
of whom were then under indictment for crime, to whom 
was committed the task of compiling and canvassing the 
returns, and that none but Republicans were to be pres- 
ent; and that all the decisions of the returning board 
were made in secret session. 

Not to detain you [said Trumbull] as to this Government in 
Louisiana, I will only say that it is not a republican government, 
for it is a matter that I think this Commission should take oflS- 
cial knowledge of, that the pretended oflBcers in the state of 
Louisiana are upheld by military pK)wer alone. They could not 
maintain themselves an hour but for military suppK)rt. Is that 
government republican which rests upon military power for 
suppK)rt? A republican government is a government of the peo- 
ple, for the people, and by the people: but the Government in 
Louisiana has been nothing but a military despotism for the last 
four years, and it could not stand a day if the people were not 
overborne by military power. 


His speech was about two hours long, and he was fol- 
lowed by Carpenter and Campbell on the same side. The 
leading argiunent on the Hayes side was made by Mr. E. 
W. Stoughton, of New York, who contended that neither 
the Commission nor Congress itself could go behind the 
oflScial returns certified by the governor of the state of 
Louisiana, and that the recognition of Kellogg as gov- 
ernor by the President of the United States was conclusive 
evidence of the fact that he was the person empowered 
to act in that capacity. 

By a vote of eight to seven the Commission decided in 
favor of StoXighton's contention, and the same rule was 
applied to all the other disputed returns, and by this ruling 
the presidential oflBce was awarded to Rutherford B . Hayes. 

Under the circumstances then existing, and with the 
characters then holding office in Louisiana, it is obvious 
that the latter had power to throw out an unlimited num- 
ber of Tilden votes if necessary to make a majority for 
Hayes. It is not obvious that the supporters of Tilden 
had power to intimidate an unlimited number of negroes; 
the number of the latter was slightly less than the number 
of whites in the State, and it was known that some of the 
negroes had joined the conservative party. Moreover, 
the Kellogg government was shamefully illegal, even as 
measured by the standards then enforced upon the South. 
It is fair to presume, therefore, that Tilden was justly 
entitled to the electoral votes of Louisiana. That is my 
belief although I voted for Hayes. 

It does not follow, however, that the decision of the 
Electoral Commission was wrong. That body was bound 
to consider the remote as well as the immediate conse- 
quences of its acts. It was engaged in making a prece- 
dent to be followed in similar disputes thereafter, if such 
should arise. If Congress, or any commission acting by 


its authority, should assume the functions of a returning 
board for all the states in future presidential elections, 
what limit could be set to their investigations, or to the 
passions agitating the country while the same were in pro- 
gress? Li short, the Electoral Commission was sitting 
not to do justice between man and man, but to save the 
Republic. Even if it made a mistake in the exercise of 
its discretion, the mistake was pardonable. 

On the 3d of November, 1877, the subject of this 
memoir was married to Miss Mary Ingraham, of Say- 
brook Point, Connecticut. The lady's mother was his 
first cousin. Two daughters were bom of this union, both 
of whom died in infancy. 

In 1880, when the next presidential campaign, that of 
Garfield and Hancock, opened, the Democrats of Illinois 
nominated Trumbull for governor of the State, without 
his own solicitation or desire. He was now sixty-seven 
years of age, with powers of body and mind unimpaired. 
In accepting the nomination he gave a brief account of 
his political life extending over a period of nearly forty 
years. He acknowledged that he had made mistakes, 
but said he had never given a vote or performed an act in 
his official capacity which he did not at the time believe 
was for his country's* good. He made a vigorous cam- 
paign, but the traces left of it in the newspapers contain 
nothing that need be recalled now. The Republican 
majority in the state was between thirty and forty thou- 
sand. The Republicans nominated Shelby M. Cullom 
for Governor and he was elected. 

The World's Columbian Exposition took place at Chi- 
cago in the year 1893. During one of my visits to it I had 


the pleasure of dining with Mr. and Mrs. Trumbull at 
their home on Lake Avenue. The only other guest was 
William J. Bryan, whom I had not met before. The lead- 
ing issue in politics then was the free coinage of silver at 
the ratio of sixteen to one. Mr. Bryan was an enthusias- 
tic free-silver man and a firm believer in the early triumph 
of that doctrine. Trumbull was inclined to the same 
belief, although less confident of its success. We had an 
animated but friendly discussion of that question. Presi- 
dent Cleveland had just called a special session of Con- 
gress to repeal the Silver Purchasing Act then in force, 
which was not a free-coinage law. I ventured to predict 
to my table companions that the purchasing law would 
be repealed and that no free-coinage law would be enacted 
in place of it, either then or later. None of us imagined 
that three years from that time Mr. Bryan himself would 
be the nominee of the Democratic party for President of 
the United States, on that issue. Trumbull's geniality 
and cordiality at this meeting were a joy to his guests. 
Our conversation, ranging over a period of nearly forty 
years, filled two delightful hours. He was then eighty 
years of age, but in vigor of mind and body I did not 
notice any change in him. We parted, not knowing that 
we should not meet again. 

Trumbull's next appearance on the public stage was in 
the case of Eugene V. Debs, who is still with us as a per- 
petual candidate of the Socialistic party for President. 
Li 1894 he was president of an organization of railway 
employees known as the American Railway Union. Li 
the month of May a dispute arose between the Pullman 
Palace Car Company and its employees in reference to 
the rate of wages, which resulted in a strike. Debs and 
his fellow oflBcers of the Railway Union, for the purpose 
of compelling the Pullman Company to yield to the 


demands of their employees, issued an order to the rail- 
way companies that they should cease hauling Pullman 
cars, and, if they should not so cease, that the trainmen, 
switchmen, and others working on the railways aforesaid 
should strike also. As a consequence of this order twenty- 
two railroads were '"tied up." All passengers trains 
composed in part of Pullman cars were brought to a 
standstill. Riots broke out in the streets of Chicago. An 
injimction was issued against Debs by Judge Woods, of 
the United States Circuit Court. Governor Altgelt, of 
Illinois, was called upon to restore order in the dty, but 
before he did so President Cleveland, having been offi- 
cially informed that the movement of the mails was 
obstructed by violence in the streets of Chicago, ordered 
a small body of troops to that city to break the blockade. 
This they accomplished without delay and without blood- 
shed. Li the mean time Debs and his associates were put 
imder arrest for violating the injunction of the court. 
Debs employed Mr. Clarence Darrow as his attorney, 
and Darrow applied for a writ of habeas corpus^ which 
was refused. Darrow appealed to the Supreme Court of 
the United States and engaged Lyman Trumbull and S. 
S. Gregory as associate counsel. The appeal was argued 
by Trumbull at the October Term in Washington City. 
Trumbull had volunteered his service and refused a fee, 
accepting only his traveling expenses. The court rejected 
the petition for a writ of habeas corpus and affirmed the 
jurisdiction of the circuit court. 

Both President Cleveland and the court were sustained 
by public opinion in this disposition of Debs. On the 6th 
of October, a large meeting was held at Central Music 
Hall in Chicago to consider the recent exciting events. 
It was addressed by Trumbull and Henry D. Uoyd. 
Trumbull's speech was published in the newspapers and 


in pamphlet form as a Populist campaign document. It 
was extremely eflfective from the Populist point of view, 
and was not, on the whole, more radical than the so- 
called Progressive platform of the present day. While 
expressing decided opinions on the subject of "judicial 
usurpation" (referring to the Debs case without men- 
tioning it), he exhorted his hearers to seek a remedy by 
the action of Congress. "It is to be hoped," he said, 
"that Congress when it meets will put some check upon 
federal judges in assuming control of railroads and issuing 
blanket injunctions and punishing people for contempt 
of their assumed authority. If Congress does not do it, I 
trust the people will see to it that representatives are 
chosen hereafter who will." The recall of judges, as a 
remedy for unpopular decisions, had not yet been dis- 

The testimony of persons who were present at this meet- 
ing is that Trumbull showed no abatement of his powers 
as a speaker, and that the audience "went wild with 

In the month of December following, the leaders of 
the People's party in Chicago, ten in number, requested 
Trumbull to prepare a declaration of principles to be 
presented by them for consideration at a national confer- 
ence of their party to meet at St. Louis on the 28th. This 
paper was drawn up and delivered to them in his own 
handwriting a few days before the meeting and was pub- 
lished in the Chicago Times of December 27, in the follow- 
ing words: 

1. Resolved, That human brotherhood and equality of rights 
are cardinal principles of true democracy. 

2. Resolved, That, forgetting all past political differences, 
we unite ia the common purpose to rescue the Government 
from the control of monopolists and concentrated wealth, to 


limit their powers of perpetuation by curtailing their privileges, 
and to secure the rights of free speech, a free press, free labor, 
and trial by jury — all rules, r^ulations, and judicial dicta in 
derogation of either of which are arbitrary, unconstitutional, 
and not to be tolerated by a free people. 

8. We endorse the resolution adopted by the National 
Republican Convention of 1860, which was incorporated by 
President Lincoln in his inaugural address, as follows: *'That 
the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the states, and espe- 
ciaUy of the right of each state to order and control its own 
domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, 
is essential to that balance of power on which the endurance 
of our political fabric depends, and we denounce the lawless 
invasion by armed force of the soil of any state or territoiy, no 
matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes." 

4. Resolved, That the power given Congress by the Consti- 
tution to provide for calling forth the militia to execute the 
laws of the Union, to suppress insurrections, to repel invasions, 
does not warrant the Government in making use of a standing 
army in aiding monopolies in the oppression of their employees. 
When freemen unsheathe the sword it should be to strike for 
liberty, not for despotism, or to uphold privileged monopolies 
in the oppression of the poor. 

5. Resolved, That to check the rapid absorption of the 
wealth of the country and its perpetuation in a few hands we 
demand the enactment of laws limiting the amoimt of property 
to be acquired by devise or inheritance. 

6. Resolved, That we denoimce the issue of interest-bearing 
bonds by the Grovemment in times of peace, to be paid for, in 
part at least, by gold drawn from the Treasury, which results in 
the Government's paying interest on its own money. 

7. Resolved, That we demand that Congress perform the 
constitutional duty to coin money, regulate the value thereof 
and of foreign coin by the enactment of laws for the free coin- 
age of silver with that of gold at the ratio of 16 to 1. 

8. Resolved, That monopolies aflFecting the public interest 
should be owned and operated by the Grovemment in the inter- 
est of the people; all employees of the same to be governed by 
civil service rules, and no one to be employed or displaced on 
account of politics. 


9. Resolved, That we inscribe on our banner, ''Down with 
monopolies and millionaire control! Up with the rights of man 
and the masses!" And mider this banner we march to the 
polls and to victory. 

These resolutions were conveyed to the St. Louis meet- 
ing by Henry D. Lloyd and F. J. Schulte and were 
adopted by the conference without alteration. 



On the 22d of March, 1896, Trumbull made an argu- 
ment before the Supreme Court at Washmgton City. On 
the 11th of April, although ailing from an unknown 
malady, he went to BeUeville to attend the funeral of his 
old and faithful friend, Gustave Koemer, and to make a 
brief address over the remains. This journey was made 
against the advice of his physician. At the conclusion of 
his remarks he became ill at his hotel in Belleville. There 
was a consultation of physicians, who reached the conclu- 
sion that he would be able to go home if he should go at 
once. He decided not to delay, and he reached home on 
the morning of April 13. Here another consultation of 
physicians took place at which a surgical operation was 
decided upon. This led to the discovery of an internal 
tumor which, in then- judgment, could not be removed 
without causing immediate death. He lingered till the 
5th of June. Before his death he made a calm and care- 
ful adjustment of his business affairs and gave to his chil- 
dren and grandchildren keepsakes that he had for years 
preserved for them. He passed away at the age of eighty- 
two years, seven months, and twelve days. His funeral, 
which was largely attended, took place from his house. 
No. 4008 Lake Avenue, and his remains were interred in 
Oakwoods Cemetery. 

There was a meeting of the Bar Association of Chicago 
to prepare a memorial on his life and services. On this 
occasion Hon. Thomas A. Moran, former judge of the 
appellate court, said : 


At the end of his career in the United States Senate, Judge 
Trumbull became a member of the Chicago Bar. He was 
thereafter continuously, and up to the time of his death, 
engaged in the active and laborious practice of his profession. 
The great place that he had held in tiie councils of the nation, 
the influence that he had exerted upon national legislation, 
and the esteem in which he was held by the lawyers and the 
statesmen of the country, entitled him to a lofty mien; but as is 
well known to us all who had the privilege of his acquaintance 
at the bar, while his demeanor was grave it was also modest, 
and his manner was marked by a gentleness that was most 
grateful to everybody with whom he came in contact. Hb 
sincerity and honesty in the presentation of his case, his respect- 
ful demeanor to any court in which he was engaged in a legal 
contest, constituted him a model that the lawyers of our bar 
might well imitate. He was in practice at the bar forty-four 
years after he ceased to be a judge of the supreme court of this 
state. . . . He was preeminently the grand old man of this coun- 
try. In his intercourse with his fellow citizens he was a quiet, 
sincere, frank, honest American gentleman. Lyman Trumbull 
was one of the very great men of the nation. 

Eulogistic remarks were made also by Senator John M. 
Palmer, ex-Senator James R. Doolittle, and Judge Henry 
W. Blodgett. Mr. Doolittle said that of the sixty-six 
members of the United States Senate who were there 
when Secession began, only four were then living. They 
were Harlan, of Iowa, Rice, of Minnesota, Clingman, of 
North Carolina, and himself (Doolittle). 

Trumbull's forte was that of a political debater well 
grounded in the law. Here he stood in the very front 
rank, both as a Senator addressing his equals and as an 
orator on the hustings. He was always ready to discuss 
the questions which he was required to face. He had a 
logical mind, and the ability to think quickly and to choose 
the right words to express his ideas. He never wasted 
words in ornament or display. He never lost his balance 
when addressing the Senate, or a public audience. He 


had perfect self-possession. He never stood in awe of any 
other debater or hesitated to reply promptly to question 
or challenge. Nor did he ever lose his dignity in debate. 
Once he came near to calling Sumner a falsifier, when the 
latter had described him as recreant to the principles of 
human liberty; but he restrained himself in time to avoid 
an infraction of the rules of the Senate. And he after- 
wards came to the defense of Sumner when the latter was 
deposed, by his more subservient colleagues, from the 
chairmanship of the Committee on Foreign Relations. 
On this occasion Sumner came forward holding out both 
hands, and with tears in his eyes thanked him for his 

His rare forensic gifts would have been unavailing 
without confidence in the justice of his cause, and a clear 
conscience which shone in his face and pervaded him 
through and through. Although not endowed with ora- 
torical graces he grasped the attention of his audience at 
once, and he never failed to convince his hearers that he 
had an eye single to the public good. It was hard for him 
to separate himself from the Republican party in 1871-72, 
but he considered it a duty that he owed to the country to 
expose the rottenness then pervading the national admin- 
istration. He did not have General Grant in mind when 
he moved the investigation of custom-house frauds in 
New York. He did not aim at him directly or indirectly, 
but at the system which had grown up before his election. 
Grant's mental make-up was such that he considered any 
fault-finding with federal office-holders a reproach to 
himself, as the head of the Government, and accordingly 
braced himself against it; and this habit grew on him 
through the whole eight years of his presidency. Yet 
Trumbull uttered no reproach against him during the 
campaign of 1872, or later. 


It was commonly said that Trumbull's nature was cold 
and unsympathetic. This was a mannerism merely. He 
did not carry his heart upon his sleeve for daws to peck 
at, but he was an affectionate husband and father and 
grandfather, most generous to his parents, brothers, and 
sisters, and one of the most unselfish men I ever knew. 
His poor constituents, who were often stranded in Wash- 
ington, needing help to get home, seldom applied to 
him for assistance in vain, and this kind of drain was 
pretty severe during his whole senatorial service. He was 
fond of little children. He was often seen playing cro- 
quet with his own and others in Washington City. Mr. 
Morris St. P. Thomas, a member of the Chicago Bar who 
shared Trumbull's office during his later years, says that 
he never knew a warmer-hearted man than Trumbull. 
He was kindness and consideration itself to the people in 
his office. He was never cross or short, and every young 
man there always felt that he could go into the judge's 
room whenever he liked, and sit down and tell him his 
troubles. Once it devolved upon Mr. Thomas to engage 
a stenographer for the office. Of the several applicants 
the best was an unprepossessing, hump-backed girl. ''I 
told the judge about her — that she was the ablest appli- 
cant, but very unprepossessing in appearance." "Why," 
said he, at once, "that's the very reason to take her, poor 
girl!" And they kept her for years. ^ 

In short, he was a high-minded, kind-hearted, cour- 
teous gentleman, without ostentation and without guile. 
In business affairs he was punctual, accurate, and spot- 
less. He never borrowed money, never bought anything 
that he could not pay cash for, never gave a promissory 
note in his life, not even in the purchase of real estate 
where deferred payments are customary. The best blood 

^ Interview, June 13, 1910. 


of New England coursed in his veins and he never dis- 
honored it» in either private or public life. 

It is perhaps too early to assign to Trumbull his proper 
place in the roll of statesmen of the Civil War period. 
Those who come after us and can look back one hundred 
years, instead of fifty, will doubtless have a better perspec- 
tive and a clearer vision than those who lived with the 
actors of that momentous struggle. Some things, how- 
ever, we may be sure of. One is that the man who drew 
the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution, abolish- 
ing slavery in the United States and all places under the 
jurisdiction thereof, will never be forgotten as long as the 
love of liberty survives in this land. Not that the Thir- 
teenth Amendment would not have been passed and 
incorporated in our system even if Lyman Trumbull had 
not been a Senator, or if he had never been bom. It was 
a consequence of the taking-up of arms against the Union 
in 1861 that slavery should come to an end somehow. All 
that Lincoln did, all that Trumbull did, all that Congress 
did, was to seize the occasion to give direction to certain 
irresistible forces then called into existence for blessing or 
cursing mankind. There were different ways of bringing 
slavery to an end. That of constitutional amendment 
was the best of all because it removed the subject-matter 
from the field of dispute at once and forever. Lincoln 
paved the way for it. He prepared the public mind for 
it by his two proclamations of emancipation. Trumbull 
and Congress and the state legislatures did the rest. 

It may be fairly said that Trumbull took the lead in 
putting an end to arbitrary arrests in the loyal states 
where the courts of justice were open, and in prescribing 
the process of the suspension of the writ of habeas corjms. 
This was a diflBcult problem to handle and it cost Trum- 
bull some popularity, since the loyal spirit of the North 


was very touchy on the subject of Copperheads and 
easily inflamed against anybody who was accused of sym- 
pathy with them. The law finally passed seems now to be 
altogether just, and well suited to be put in practice again 
if occasion for it should arise. 

Trumbull's place as one of the "Seven Traitors" who 
voted not guilty on the impeachment of Andrew Johnson 
is now universally considered a proud position, and I 
think that that of his neighbor and friend, James R. Doo- 
little, of Wisconsin, who earned the title of traitor a year 
or two earlier, is entitled to a place in the same Valhalla. 
Both are deserving of monuments at the hands of their 
respective states. 

The reader of these pages cannot fail to discern a 
marked change in Trumbull's course on Reconstruction 
about midway of the struggle on that issue. Gideon 
Welles said, under date January 16, 1867, " He [Trumbull] 
has changed his principles within a year.^ The facts are 
that he agreed with Lincoln's plan of Reconstruction, 
embodied it in the Louisiana Bill, reported it favorably 
from the Judiciary Committee, tried to pass it in the 
closing days of the Thirty-eighth Congress, but was 
prevented by the filibustering tactics of Sumner. After 
Johnson became President he adhered to that plan until 
Johnson vetoed the Freedmen's Bureau and Civil Rights 
Bills. He then believed that Johnson had betrayed the 
cause for which the nation had fought through a tour 
years' war and that the freedom of the blacks would be 
endangered if Johnson were sustained by the loyal states. 
He accordingly went with his party, but with misgivings, 
halting now and then, putting blocks in the way of the 
radicals here and there. He ceased to be the leader of the 
Senate as he had hitherto been, on this class of questions, 

^ Diary qf Qideon WeUes, m, 21. 


and he became a reluctant follower. When Sumner 
became angry and charged him in 1870 with betrayal of 
the cause of freedom, he hotly affirmed that he had voted 
for every measure for the equal rights of the freedmen 
that Congress had passed, including the three constitu- 
tional amendments. The truth was that he had put 
obstacles in the way of several measures that Sunmer 
deemed indispensable, until it became plain that the 
Republican party was determined to pass them and that 
further resistance would be useless. Then he gave his 
assent to them. This course he pursued until the Anti- 
Ku-Klux Bill was agreed to, by the Judiciary Committee, 
in 1871. Against this measure he voted in the committee 
and in the Senate. He held it to be unconstitutional, and 
he used against it the same arguments in substance that 
Bingham had used in the House against the Civil Rights 
Bill; and both he and Bingham were right. Trumbull 
did not change his principles, but he made an error in 
common with his party and he corrected it as soon as he 
became convinced that it was an error. I am open to the 
same criticism. 

Among interviews with men of note published in the 
Chicago press concerning the deceased was one with Mr. 
Joseph Medill, not a friendly critic but a political seer of 
the first class, who thought that Trumbull might have 
been President of the United States if he had voted, in 
the impeachment case, to convict Andrew Johnson. 

If he had remained true to his party [said Mr. Medill], Judge 
Trumbull, I believe, would have died with his name in the roll 
of Presidents of the United States. I have always thought that 
he could have been the successor of Grant. He stood so high in 
the estimation of his party and the nation that nothing was 
beyond his reach. Grant, of course, came before everybody, 
but Trumbull was next, a man of great ability, undoubted 
integrity, and stainless reputation, pure as the driven snow and 


nearly as cold. He could have been President instead of Hayes, 
or Garfield, or Harrison.^ 

Following the interview with Mr. Medill is one with 
Mr. Henry S. Robbins, a member of Trumbull's law firm 
from 1883 until 1890. Mr. Robbins did not find Trum- 
bull a cold man. 


All the time we were together [said Mr. Robbins] I never 
heard him speak a cross word to a clerk in the o£Bce. Among 
children he was a child again. He and his little grandson, the 
child of Walter Trumbull, who died several years ago, were 
inseparable companions when the grandfather was at home. 
They played together and talked together like two little boys. 
All the children in the neighborhood where he lived were wont 
to come to him with their little troubles and always found him 
one who could enter into fullest sympathy with them. Judge 
Trumbull had no worldliness. He seemed to practice law as a 
mission, not as a vocation by which to make money. With his 
reputation and his ability combined he might have died a 
millionaire. It always gave him a pang to charge a fee, and 
when he fixed the charge it was usually about half what a 
modem lawyer would charge.^ 

Another partner, Mr. William N. Homer, said : 

I came here from Belleville where Judge Trumbull formerly 
lived, and people down there — some of them at least — used 
to think that he was a cold man. I never found him so. I 
remember the first day we moved into these o£Bces and while 
we were getting settled. Judge Trumbull worked harder than 
any of us. He was more solicitous for our comfort than he was 
for his own. He was always trying to do something for the 
comfort of others. He had all the gentleness and sweetness of 
disposition and patience of a woman. ^ 

Mr. C. S. Darrow, who had charge of the Debs case in 
which Trumbull volunteered his services, said that 

the socialistic trend of the venerable statesman's opinions 
in his later years sprang from his deep sympathies with all 

^ Chicago Times, June 26, 1896. 


unfortunates; that sympathy that made hhn an anti-slaveiy 
Democrat in his early years, and afterwards a Republican. He 
became convinced Uiat the poor who toil for a living in this 
world were not getting a fair chance. His heart was with them. ^ 

A letter to myself from the widow of Walter Trumbull, 
who died in 1891, says: 

After my husband died, I, with my two boys, lived with Judge 
Trumbull until his death; and I wish I could tell you how beau- 
tiful that home life was. He was so devoted to his family, so 
sweet and tender and thoughtful for us all. Others never real- 
ized this and often thought him cold. He was so great a man 
and yet so gentle and simple in his ways that little children 
dung to him. 

Among the papers left by Trumbull was the following 
estimate of the character and career of Abraham Lincoln. 
It was addressed to his son Walter Trumbull and is here 
published for the first time: 

My dbar Son: I have often been requested to give my esti- 
mate of Mr. Lincoln's life and character. His death at the 
close of a great civil war in which the Government of which he 
was the head had been successful, and the manner of his taking 
off, were not favorable to a candid and impartial review of his 
character. The temper of the public mind at that time would 
not tolerate anything but praise of the martyred President, and 
even now it is questionable whether the truthful history of his 
life by Mr. Herndon, his lifelong friend, and law partner for 
twenty years, will be received with favor. As I could not give 
any other than a truthful narration of Mr. Lincoln's character, 
as he was known to me, I have hitherto declined to write any- 
thing for the public concerning him. Having known him at 
different times as a political adversary and a political friend, 
my opportunities for judging his public life and character 
were from different standpoints. We were members of the Ilh- 
nois House of Representatives in 1840. He was a Whig and I 
a Democrat, but we had no controversies, political or otherwise. 
Indeed, Mr. Lincoln took very little part in the legislation of 

^ Chicago Times, June 26, 1896. 


that session. It was the period when, as related by Mr. Hem- 
don, he was engaged in love affairs which some of his friends 
feared had well-nigh unsettled his mental faculties. I recall 
but one speech he made during the session. In that he told a 
story which convulsed the House to the great discomfiture of 
the member at whom it was aimed. Mr. Lincoln was regarded 
at that time by his political friends as among their shrewdest 
and ablest leaders, and by his political adversaries as a formid- 
able opponent. Contemporary with him in the legislature of 
1840 were Edward D. Baker, William A. Richardson, William 
H. Bissell, Thomas Drummond, John J. Hardin, John A. Mc- 
Clemand, Ebenezer Peck, and others whose subsequent careers 
in the national councils, on the field of battle, and in civil life 
have shed lustre on their country's history. It is no mean praise 
to say of Mr. Lincoln that among this galaxy of young men 
convened at the capital of Illinois in 1840, to whom may be 
added Stephen A. Douglas, although not then a member of the 
legislature, he stood in the front rank. 

As a lawyer Mr. Lincoln was painstaking, discriminating, 
and accurate. He mastered his cases, and had a most happy 
and fascinating way of presenting them. He was logical, fair, 
and candid. It was said of him by one of the most eminent 
judges who ever presided in Illinois, that after Mr. Lincoln had 
opened a case he [the judge] fully understood both sides of it. 
Some of Mr. Lincoln's contemporaries at the bar were more 
learned, and better lawyers, but no one managed a case, which 
he had time to thoroughly study and understand, more adroitly. 
The breaking-up of the Whig and Democratic parties in 1854, 
growing out of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and 
the opening of the territory to slavery, threw Mr. Lincoln and 
myself together politically. We were both opposed to the 
spread of slavery, and from the foundation of the Republican 
party till his death we were in political accord. I do not claim 
to have been his confidant, and doubt if any man ever had his 
entire confidence. He was secretive, and communicated no 
more of his own thoughts and purposes than he thought would 
subserve the ends he had in view. He had the faculty of gain- 
ing the confidence of others by apparently giving them his own, 
and in that way attached to himself many friends. I saw much 
of him after we became political associates, and can truthfully 


say that he never misled me by word or deed. He was truthful, 
compassionate, and kind, but he was one of the shrewdest men 
I ever knew. To use a conunon expression he was "" as cunning 
as a fox." He was a good judge of men, their motives, and pur- 
poses, and knew how to wield them to his own advantage. He 
was not aggressive. Ever ready to take advantage of the public 
current, he did not attempt to lead it. He did not promulgate 
the article of war enacted by Congress forbidding army and 
navy o£5cers from employing their forces to return slaves to 
their masters, under penalty of dismissal from the service, till 
more than six months after its passage. It was more than nine 
months after the enactment of a law by Congress declaring free 
all slaves of rebels captured, or coming within the Union lines, 
or found in any place occupied by rebel forces and afterwards 
occupied by the forces of the Union, that he issued the pro- 
clamation declaring free the slaves then within the rebel lines, 
all of whom, belonging to persons in rebellion, were made free 
by the act of Congress as soon as the Union forces occupied the 
country, and till then the proclamation could not be enforced. 
When applied to by a friend, just previous to the meeting of 
the convention at Baltimore which nominated him for a second 
term, to indicate what resolutions or policy he desired the con- 
vention to adopt, he declined to suggest any. These and many 
other illustrations might be given to show that Mr. Lincoln was 
a follower and not a leader in public affairs. Without attempt-* 
ing to form or create public sentiment, he waited till he saw 
whither it tended, and then was astute to take advantage of it. 
Some of Mr. Lincoln's admirers, instead of regarding his want 
of system, hesitancy, and irresolution as defects in his character, 
seek to make them the subject of praise, as in the end the rebel- 
lion was suppressed, and slavery abolished, during his admin- 
istration, ignoring the fact that a man of more j)ositive char- 
acter, prompt and systematic action, might have accomplished 
the same result in half the time, and with half the loss of blood 
and treasure. 

Mr. Lincoln was by no means the unsophisticated, artless 
man many took him to be. Mr. Swett, a lifelong friend and 
admirer, writing to Mr. Hemdon, says: "One great public mis- 
take of his character, as generally received and acquiesced in, 
is that he b considered by the people of this country as a frank. 


guileless, and unsophisticated man. There never was a greater 
mistake. Beneath a smooth surface of candor, and apparent 
declaration of all his thoughts and feelings, he exercised the 
most exalted tact, and the widest discrimination. ... In deal- 
ing with men he was a trimmer, and such a trimmer as the 
world has never seen." ^ 

Hemdon in his "Lincoln," at page 471, says: "He had a way 
of pretending to assure his visitor that in the choice of his 
advisers he was free to act as his judgment dictated, although 
David Davis, acting as his manager at the Chicago Conven- 
tion, had negotiated with the Pennsylvania and Indiana dele- 
gations, and assigned places in the Cabinet to Simon Cameron 
and Caleb Smith, besides making other arrangements which 
Mr. Lincoln was expected to satisfy." 

Another {)opular mistake is to suppose Mr. Lincoln free 
from ambition. A more ardent seeker after oflBce never existed. 
From the time when, at the age of twenty-three, he announced 
himself a candidate for the legislature from Sangamon County, 
till his death, he was almost constantly either in oflBce, or strug- 
gling to obtain one. Sometimes defeated and often successful, 
he never abandoned the desire for oflSce till he had reached the 
presidency the second time. Swett says, "He was much more 
eager for it [a second nomination] than for the first," and such 
was known to his intimate friends to be the fact, though his 
manner to the public would have indicated that he was indif- 
ferent to a second nomination. When first a candidate for the 
presidency Mr. Hemdon tells us, "He wrote to influential 
party workers everywhere," promising money to defray the 
expenses of delegates to the convention favoring his nomina- 

While ardently devoted to the Union, Mr. Lincoln had no 
well-defined plan for saving it, but suffered things to drift, 
watching to take advantage of events as they occurred. He was 
a judge of men and knew how to use them to advantage. He 
brought into his Cabinet some of the ablest men in the nation, 
and left to them the management of their respective depart- 
ments. This country never had an abler head of the Treasury 
Department than Salmon P. Chase. To his skillful manage- 
ment of the finances the country was indebted for the means 

^ Hemdoii*8 Life cf Lincoln, 597, 538. 


to cany on the war of the rebellion, and bring it to a successful 
issue. For the distinguished abUity with which the State 
and War Departments were managed during the rebellion the 
country is greatly indebted to Mr. Seward and Mr. Stanton. 
Other members of Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet were men of great 
executive ability. Lincoln was unmethodical and without exe- 
cutive ability, but he selected advisers who possessed these 
qualities in an eminent d^ree. 

To sum up his character, it may be said that as a man he was 
honest, pure, kind-hearted, and sympathetic; as a lawyer, clear- 
headed, astute, and successful; as a politician, ambitious, 
shrewd, and farseeing; as a public speaker, incisive, clear, and 
convincing, often eloquent, clothing his thoughts in the most 
beautiful and attractive language, a logical reasoner, and yet 
most unmethodical in all his ways; as President during a great 
civil war he lacked executive ability, and that resolution and 
prompt action essential to bring it to a speedy and successful 
dose; but he was a philanthropist and a patriot, ardently 
devoted to the Union and the equality and freedom of all men. 
He presided over the nation in the most critical period of its his- 
tory, and lived long enough to see the rebellion subdued, and 
a whole race lifted from slavery to freedom. The fact that he 
was at the head of the nation when these great results were 
accomplished, and of his most cruel assassination, before there 
was time to fully appreciate the great work that had been done 
during his administration, will forever endear him to the Ameri- 
can people, and hand his name down to posterity as among the 
best, if not the greatest, of mankind. 

Another manuscript, addressed to Mrs. Gershom 
Jayne, the mother of the first Mrs. Trumbull, in answer 
to a communication from her, gives Trumbull's views 
on religion: 

Chicago, Apr. 9%, 1877. 

Dear Mother: I scarcely know how to reply to your texts 
of Scripture and your solicitude for me. If the fervent prayers 
of the righteous avail, it would seem as if yours and tJiose of 
my departed Julia should have their influence, and I sometimes 
feel as if the spirit of my dear Julia was even now not far away. 


That I am not what I should be is too true: I feel it and I know 
it, and yet I trust the influence and prayers of those who have 
loved me have not been entirely thrown away. I have abund- 
ant reason to be thankful to our Heavenly Father for his pro- 
tection and ten thousand kindnesses to me which I know I have 
not deserved. How often when the way was dark before me 
has an unseen hand carried me safely through ! And yet, whilst 
ever ready to acknowledge my own imperfection and impo- 
tence, I suppose I know nothing of, or at best see but as through 
a glass dimly, that change of heart of which the converted 
speak, and which comes of a faith it has not been given me 
to possess. I certainly hope through the Saviour's interposition 
for a happy hereafter, but at the same time am obliged to con- 
fess that the way is to me dark and mysterious, and by no 
means as discernible as it appears to some others. I rejoice 
that they can see it clearly and wish that I could too. . . . 

Affectionately yours, 

Lyman Trumbull. 

Three sons of Lyman TrumbuU reached mature years: 
Walter, Perry, and Henry. The latter died unmarried, 
January 20, 1895. 

Walter, the eldest, was married September, 1876, to 
Miss Hannah Mather Slater. Three sons were bom of 
this union. The first of these, Lyman Trumbull, Jr., died 
in infancy. The second, Walter S., was born in 1879, 
married Miss Marjorie Skinner, of Hartford, Connecti- 
cut, in 1905, and now resides in New York City. The 
third, Charles L., born in 1884, married in 1910 Miss 
Lucy Proctor, of Peoria, Illinois, and now resides in Chi- 
cago. Walter Trumbull died October 25, 1891. 

Perry Trumbull was married to Mary Caroline Peck, 
daughter of Ebenezer Peck, judge of the United States 
Court of Claims, in 1879. Four children were bom to 
them: (1) Julia Wright, married to H. Thompson Frazer, 
M.D., now resides at Asheville, North Carolina; (2) 
Edward A., married Anna Whitby, and resides at Seattle, 


Washington; (3) Charles P., mamed, resides at Las 
Vegas, New Mexico; (4) Selden, resides in Chicago. 
Perry Trumbull died December 10, 1902. 

Mrs. Mary Ingraham Trumbull, widow of Lyman 
Trumbull, resides at Saybrook Point, Connecticut. 




I I 



Throughoat the Index, the initial T., standing alone, repieeents the gubject of the 

Abolition movement, the, and the mnrder 
of Lovejoy, 10. 

Act of March 27, 1868, purpose of, 828, 329; 
passed by Congress, and vetoed, 329; 
passed over yeto, 330; its application to 
McCardle case glaringly unjust, 330. 

Adams, Charles Francis, Seward's dis- 
patches of April, 1861, and July, 1862, to, 
210 j2f. ; proposed for Liberal Republican 
nomination for Presideut, 372, 373, 374, 
381 ; his attitude regarding the nomina- 
tion, 377, 378; defeated by Greeley, 383, 
384 ; why Blair and Brown opposed him, 
885 and n. ; a stronger candidate than 
T., 402, 403; xxi, 182, 389, 390. 

Adams, Charles Francis, Jr., The Trent 
Affair^ etc, 349 n. ; 353, 378. 

Adams, John, xxiii. 

Adams, John Quincy, xxii, 27, 103. 

Adams, John Quincy, 2d, nominated for 
Vice-President by dissentient Demo- 
crats (1872), 394; declines, 394. 

Akerman, Amos T., succeeds Hoar as 
Attomey-Oeneral, 350. 

Alabama, admission of, xxix ; and the 13th 
Amendment, 229; order for reconstruc- 
tion of, 238. 

Alabama Claims, T. on, 848; Grant's great 
service in settling, 362. 

Aldrich, Cyrus, 68. 

Alien and Sedition laws, xxiii. 

Allen, G. T., 42, 43, 46 n. 

Allen, Robert, 13. 

Allison, John, 69. 

Allison, William B., Senator, 304, 346. 

Altgeld, John P., Governor, and the Pull- 
man strike, 414. 

Alton, 111., T. removes to, 21. 

Alton riot, the, 8-10. 

American Bottom, locus of slavery in m., 
in 1783, 23. 

American BistoriecU Review^ quoted, 174. 

American Railway Union, 413. 

Ammen, Jacob, General, 206, 208. 

Amnesty, Johnson's proclamation of, 239. 

Amnesty bill, debated in Senate, 350; 
amended by Sumner, and rejected, 360; 
reintroduced and passed, 359,360. 

Anderson, Robert, Major, proposed recall 

of, from Sumter, 122, 123; 128, 166. And 
see Sumter. 

Andrew, John A., Governor, 287, 307 n. 

Anthony, Henry B., Senator, his attitude 
on oustiDg of Sumner from Foreign Af- 
fairs Committee, 347; 314, 364, 366, 367. 

Anti Ku-Klux bill. See Ku-Klux bilL 

Anti-Nebraska Democrats, in Ul. legisla- 
ture, 41 if>; and the Senatorial election 
of 1854, 46 n. 

Archer, William B., 69. 

"Arm-in-Arm Convention." /See National 
Union Convention. 

Armstrong, postmaster at St. Louis, 81. 

Arnold, I. N., Congressman, 207. 

Arrests, arbitrary, T's resolution of in- 
quiry concemiDg, 191 jf.; censured by 
Democratic Convention, 103; license to 
make, transferred to Stanton, 197 ; effect 
of change, 197, 198; action of Democrats 
on, 197; T. took lead in stopping, in loyal 
states, 422, 423. And see Habeas corpus. 

Arthur, Chester A., appointed Collector 
of New York, 868. 

Asay, E. G., 208. 

Ashley, James M., Congressman, 228 n. 

Atchison, David R., Senator, his advice 
to Missourians, 52; 49, 54. 

Atkinson, Edward, 353. 

Atzerodt, conspirator, 289. 

Babcock, Orville E., sent by Grant to San 

Domingo, 342; 862, 369. 
Bacon Academy, 3. 
Badger, George E., 49. 
Bailey, G., quoted on Dred Scott case, 83. 
Baker, Edward D., Senator, 10, 132, 427. 
Baker, Henry L., 42, 43, 46. 
Baldwin, J. B., and Lincoln's offer to 

evacuate Sumter, 159, 160; his version 

contradicted by Botts, 160, 161; R. L. 

Dabuey's account of interview of, with 

Lincoln, 161, 162. 
Bancroft, George, wrote Johnson's first 

message, 244, 246. 
Banks. Nathaniel P., General, 86, 87, 102, 

Barney, Hiram, Collector of New York* 

147, 181, 182. 



Barrett, A. B., quoted, 117. 

Bates, Edward, candidate for Republican 
nomination in 1860, 103; and enforce- 
ment of Conflacation Act, 177; 104, 160. 

Bayard, James A., Senator, 200, 201, 228. 

Bayard, Thomas F., Senator, 366. 

Beecher, Henry W., 287. 

Bellmap, William W., General, 362. 

Belleville, I11.,T. settles at, 6, 6; described 
by Dickens, 14, 15. 

Belleyille AdvoceUe^ tbe, 323. 

Belmont, August, quoted, on Liberal Re- 
publican movement, 373, 374. 

Benjamin, Judah P., Senator, on tbe Dred 
Scott case, 82; his reply to Douglas, 96, 
96; contrasts Douglas and Lincoln, 96. 

Benton, Thomas H., Senator, 126. 

Bigelow, Israel B., quoted, 217. 

Bigelow, John, his Diary quoted, 403 n. 

Bingham, John A., Congressman, opposes 
Civil Rights bill, 271, 272, 281; on Re- 
construction Committee, 281; proposes 
amendment to Constitution, 282 ; amends 
Georgia bill, 298, 299 ; 196. 304, 309, 339, 424. 

Bird, Frank W., quoted, on Cincinnati 
nominations, 386 n. ; 387. 

Bimey, James G., 37, 40. 

Bishop. Mr., killed in Alton riot. 9. 

Bissell, W. H., Governor, quoted, 10, 69, 
70, 74, 88, 427. 

Black, Jere. S., counsel for McCardle, 327 

Blaine, James G., interview of, with au- 
thor, on revenue reform, 364. 

Blair, Austin, Congressman, 397, 398. 

Blair, F. P., General, Democratic candi- 
date fur Vice-President (1808), 333 : and 
the Cincinnati convention, 385 and n. ; 
37, 120, 382. 

Blair, Gist, quoted, 220 n. 

Blair, Montgomery, quoted, on Cameron's 
appointment, 151 ; im Cameron's eman- 
cipation hobby, 172 n. ; his resignation 
as Postmaster General and Fremont's 
withdrawal, 220 and 7i. ; on reconstruc- 
tion, 293 ; 83, 112, 157, 234, 307 n. 

Blatchford, Samuel J., Justice, 276. 

Blodgett, Henry W., 419. 

Blow, Henry T., 281. 

Bonifant, V. S. Marshal, 196. 

Booth, J. Wilkes, 289. 

Border Ruffians. See Missourians in 

Borders, Sarah, 28, 29. 

Borie, Adolph, appointed Secretary of 
Navy, 337 ; resigns, 337. 

Boston Advertiser^ 300. 

Botts, John Minor, his Great Rebellion 
quoted on Lincoln's offer to evacuate 
Sumter, 159, 160 ; denies Baldwin's story, 
160, 161. 

Boutwell, George S., Congressman, ap- 

pointed Secretary of Treasury, 386, 3S7 ; 
and the Leet and Stocking scandal, 364, 
366 ; 281, 291, 304, 909, 339. 

Bowles, Samuel, 86, 363, 387. 

Bradley, Joseph P., Justice, 275, 276, 408. 

Brainard, Daniel, 80. 

Brayman, Mason, 13. 

Breckinridge, John C, elected Vice-Presi- 
dent (1866), 70; nominated for President 
(1860), by seceding delegates, 96. 

Brinkerhoff, R., 353. 

Brooks, Preston S., Congressman, his as- 
sault on Sumner, 66. 

" Brother Jonathan," 2 n. 

Brown, Albert O., Senator, 63. 

Brown, B. Grata, elected governor of Mo. 
as a liberal, X2; candidate for Liberal 
Republican nomination, 377, 378; arrives 
at Cincinnati, 382; withdraws in favor 
of Greeley, 383; nominated for Vice- 
President, 884; divers views of his 
c<»urse, 884, 386 and n. ; nominated by 
Democrats, 894 ; 220, 286, 889, 402. 

Brown, George T., 80. 

Brown, John, his raid on Harper's Ferry, 
96-100; author's impression of, 97; his 
own view of his mission, 97, 98 ; T. on 
moral and legal aspects of the raid, 96, 
99; 53. 

Brown, Joseph, 375. 

Brown, William G., quoted, xxziv. 

Brown, W. H., 87. 

Browning, Onrille H., Secretary of In- 
terior, his views on question of territori- 
albEing states, 291; 92, 194, 197, 285, 307. 

Brownlow, W. G., reconstruction gover- 
nor of Tenn., 237. 

Bryan, Silas L., 376. 

Bryan, William J., student in T.'s office, 
407 ; author's meeting with (1893), 413. 

Bryant, John H., quoted, 67 and n. ; 375. 

Bryant, William Cullen, refuses to sup- 
port Greeley, 385 ; correspondence with 
T. thereon, 386, 387; 139, 140, 141, 145,287, 
353. 376, 391. 

Buchanan, James, elected President, 70; 
appoints Walker Governor of Kansas, 
71 ; and the Lecompton Constituticn, 73; 
h\» message to Congress on Topekaand 
Lecompton constitutions, answered by 
T., 76. 77, and by Douglas, 77 ; said to 
favor rejection of pro-slavery clause, 
78; recommends admission of Kansas 
under Lecompton Constitution. 81 ; his 
message thereon discussed by T., 81. 82 ; 
Chief Justice Caton on his attitude to- 
ward Lecomptonism, 84. 85 ; and Justice 
McLean, 122, 123 and n. : policy of his 
government toward secessionists, 127, 
128; takes sides for the Union under 
pressure, 128 ; 74, 76, 113. 




Bncbanan Democrat! in 111., adopt name 
of National Democracy, 89; Lincoln 
quoted concerning, 90 ; tbeir small poll, 
91 ; their poll in 1880 even smaller, 96. 

Buckalew, Charles R., Senator, 286, 329. 

Buckingham, William A., Senator, 366. 

Bull Run, first battle of, described by T. 
in letters to Mrs. T., 166-167. 

Bullock, Rufus P., reconstruction gover- 
nor of Georgia, 297, 296, 299. 300. 

Burchard, Horatio C, Ck>ngres8man, 364. 

Burke, Edmund, 368. 

Burlingame, Anson, 86, 88. 

Bumside, Ambrose £., General, orders 
arrest of Vallandigham, 204 ; his pro- 
ceedings against the Chicago Times, 
206-209; his order revoked by Lincoln, 
206; defeated at Fredericksburg, 211. 

Butler, Benjamin F., Congressman, re- 
ports Georgia bill, 298 ; author of 10th 
article of impeachment, 311; 304, 309, 

Butler, Fanny Kemble, xxxiv. 

Butler, William, quoted, 148; 149, 161. 

Cabinet, Pres. Johnson's, discussion of 
Tenure-of-Oiflce bill by, 302,303; unani- 
mous in advising veto, 303, 311. 

Cabinet officers, and the Tenure-of-OflBce 
Act, 301, 302. 

Cadwalader, George, 196. 

Calhoun, John, and the Lecompton Con- 
stitution, 73 ; 18, 76, 84. 

Calhoun, John C, Senator, and the doc- 
trine of Nullification, xxv and n., 
xxvii; 4. 

Cameron, Simon, history of his inclusion 
in Lincoln's Cabinet, 142 ff. ; visits Lin- 
coln at Springfield, 144 ; Lincoln prom- 
ises portfolio to, 144, 429 ; urgent opposi- 
tion to, from McClure, T., and others, 
144, 146, 146, 147 if. ; and Fremont, 172 ; 
his report in favor of freeing and arm- 
ing slaves suppressed by Lincoln, 172 
and n. ; and the War Department 
frauds, llSff. ; and T. A. Scott, 184, 185 ; 
Nicolay and Hay on causes of his leav- 
ing Cabinet, 185, 186; made Minister to 
Russia, 186; McClure on his dismissal, 
186, 187 ; censured by House in Cum- 
mings afl'air, 186; his confirmation as 
Minister to Russia opposed by T. and 
others, 187, 188, but favored by Sumner, 
188; his statement to Hamlin, 188; vote 
on Confirmation of, 180 ; how he repaid 
Sumner, 189 ; 108, 343, 371. 

Carlile, John S., Senator, opposes habeas 
corpus suspension act, 199. 

Carlin, Thomas, 11. 

Carpenter, Matthew H., Senator, counsel 
in McCardle caae, 827, 829; 800, 366; re- 

port on Louisiana election, 406; speech 
before Electoral Commission, 411. 

Carpetbaggers, and the San Domingo 
treaty, 360; 241. 

Cass, Lewis, Senator, his Nicholson letter 
on squatter sovereignty, M; 48, 63, 126. 

Castle Pinckney, 129. 

Catiline, steamer, 179, 180, 181, 182. 

Caton, John D., quoted, on Buchanan's 
attitude toward Lecomptoniim, 84, 86 ; 

Caulfield, B. G., 208. 

Cavalry, fraudulent contracts for pur- 
chase of horses for, 182, 183 

Century Ma^fazine, cited, 246 n., 307 n., 
321 n. 

Chandler, Zachariah, Senator, and T.*b 
connection with the McCardle case, 381, 
332 ; 150, 166, 233, 365, 363. 371. 

Channing, William Ellery, xxxii. 

Charleston Convention of 1860, 107. 

Chase, Salmon P., Chief Justice, quoted, 
67; and Cameron's dismissal, 186; pre- 
sides at impeachment trial, 309 ; on the 
11th article, 311 ; his ruling on evidence 
of Johnson's intent to make a case for 
the Supreme Court, overruled by the 
Senate, 313 ; vote for, in Cincinnati con> 
vention (1872), 383; T's estimate of, as 
Secretary of Treasury, 429, 430; 79, 102, 
103, 107, 146, 147, 148, 150, 161, 170, 234,240, 
274, 289, 320, 372. 

Cheever, Rev. George B., 220. 

Cherokee Tract, the, 5. 

Chesnut, James, 99. 

Chicago, rioting at, in Pullman strike, 
414 ; troops ordered to, 414 ; meeting at, 
addressed by T., 414, 415. 

Chicago Advance, T.'s article in, on re- 
striction of suffrage, 294. 

Chicago Bar Association, and T.'s death, 
418, 419. 

Chicago Evenitig Journal, qvLOt^, on T.'s 
speech on Chicago Timee matter, 206; 

Chicago Times, publication of, forbidden 
by Bumside, 206-209 ; meeting of protest 
against the order, 207 ; the order revoked 
by Lincoln, 206 ; 416, 424, 425. 

Chicago Tribune, quoted, on the duty of 
Senators in impeachment trial, 316, 816; 
372, 389, 390. 

Cincinnati, Liberal Republican Conven- 
tion at (1872), 374. ff. ; bow composed, 379, 
380 ; difficulties of, on tariff question, re- 
sult in compromise, 381. 382; Greeley 
nominated for President by, 383, 384. 

Cincinnati CommercicU, 372. 

Citizens of U. S., definition of, in 14th 
Amendment, 283. 

Civil Rights bill, introduced by T., 867; 




T.*s proposed imendment to, debated in 
Semite, Vbff,\ penes Senate, 271, and 
House, 272; vetoed by Johnson, 272; 
passed oTer veto, 272, 273 ; held oonstita- 
tional by Circuit Court of U. S., 274; in 
Sopreme Coort, 275 ff. ; Bingham's ob- 
Jections^to, 281 ; relation of 14th Amend- 
ment to, 282, 283 ; T.*s coarse on, 4!24, 426. 

CiTll Rights Cases, 108 U. S., 275, 276. 

CiTil senrioe, demoralisation of, under 
Grant, 341, 312. 

CtyilHsenrice reform, T. on, 350, 876. 

Civil War, the, could not have been 
averted, xzi, xxii. 

Clark, Daniel, Senator, 262, 264. 

Clay, Clement C, Senator, bis farewell 
speech in Senate, 121 ; 100. 

Clay, Henry, xxvi, xxxi, 27, 39, 125. 

Clayton, John M., 68 n. 

Cleveland, Grover, orders troops to Chi- 
cago, 414 ; 413. 

Clifford, Nathan, Justice Sup. Court, 289, 

Clingman, Thomas L., Senator, 419. 

Cochrane, John, General, nominated for 
Vice-President by anti-Lincoln Repub- 
licans (1861), 219, 220. 

Cole, Cornelius, Senator, 314. 

Coles, Edward, and the "Anti-conven- 
tion *' Contest in HI., 27, 28. 

Colfax, Schuyler, elected Vice-President 
(1872), 333 : and Grant, 393, 394; and the 
Credit-Mobilier, 402; 80, 831, 359. 

CoUamer, Jacob, Senator, speech of, on 
Kansas affairs, 65; attacks T.*8 Confis- 
cation bill, 173, 174 ; 56, 102, 196. 

Collins, James H., 30. 

Colonization Society, xxxi. 

Compromise of 1850, xxi, 34, 124, 125. 

Confederate States. See States, seceding. 

Confiscation bill, concerning slaves only, 
introduced by T., and passed by Ck>n- 
gress, 168. 

Confiscation bill (II), introduced by T. 
(Dec. 1861), 173, 176; debated all the ses- 
sion, 173^. ; report of (Conference com- 
mittee on, adopted, 175; Lincoln pro- 
poses to veto, 175 ; passage of joint res- 
olution interpreting, 176; the first step 
toward full emancipation, 176; trifling 
proceeds of confiscation under, 176 ; con- 
troversy over enforcement of, 176, 177. 

Congress, adopts Missouri Compromise, 
XXX ; passes KsfUsas-Nebraska bill, 37 ; 
Pres. Pierce's special message to, on 
Kansas affairs, 65; Pres. Buchanan's 
first message to, 76; Buchanan recom- 
mends admission of Kansas to, 81; passes 
first Confiscation bill, 168; debate on 
second Confiscation bill in, 173 ff. ; 
Pres. Johnson's first message to, 244,246; 

power of, to pass laws for ordinary 
administration of Jnstioe in states, 268- 
260, 265 iT. ; attacked by Johnson, 286; 
radicals in, and the Milligan case, 280, 
290 ; makes general of the army virtnally 
independenu>f the President, 291 ; meaa- 
ores of reconstruction passed by, over 
vetoes, 291--286; and impeachment of 
Johnson, V3Aff, ; intensity of oontest in, 
312;andtheHoCardlecase,S28-380; passes 
Act of March 27, 1808, over veto, 330; 
and the 16th Amendment, 838^340 ; Prea. 
Grant's message to, on Ku-Klnx-Klana, 
856; and the Amnesty bill, 360. 300; 
and the CrMit-Mobilier, 402. Jnd see 
House of Representatives, Reconstmo- 
tion. Committee on, and Senate. 

Congress of the Confederation, and Jeffer- 
son's ordinance concerning slavery 
(1784), xzviii, xxix ; passes Ordinance of 
1787, 24, 25, 29. 

CongresgUmal Globe of 1860-61, 114. 

Conkling, Rosooe, Senator, 281, 331, 880, 

Connecticut, opposed to nomination of 
Seward, 108. 

Constitution of U. S., obstacles to ratifi- 
cation of, xxii and n. ; its ** educational 
work," xxvi, xxvli; and the power to 
free slaves, 222, 223; projects of amend- 
ing, in that regard, 223; the James F. 
Wilson resolution, 223; the Hender- 
son resolution, 223, reported by T. in 
amended form, 224. 

Amendment XIII, reported by T. in 
Senate, 224 ; his speech thereon, 224-226 ; 
favored by Henderson and R. Johnson, 
227;adopted by both branches, 228; scene 
in House described by Julian, 228 and n. ; 
ratified by States, 229, 252; Seward's in- 
terpretation of, 229; discussed in con- 
nection with Freedmen's Bureau bill, 
258, 260; and the Civil Rights bill. 267, 
269, 270; construed by Supreme ciourt 
in U.S. V. Harris, 275, 358, and in Civil 
Rights Gases, 276, 277; T.'s connection 
with, 422. 

Amendment XIV, construed by Su- 
preme Court in U.S. v. Harris, 275, 358, 
and in Civjl Rights Ceases, 276; prepared 
and reported by Joint Committee on 
Reconstruction, 282, 283; provisions of, 
283; passes both houses, 283; history of 
framing of, 284 n. ; Southern States re- 
fuse to ratify, and why, 287; and the 
power of Congress to enforce ordinary 
civil law in the states, 356, 357, 358. 

Amendment AT, construed by Su- 
preme Court in U.S. v. Harris, 275, 358; 
history of, 338-340; passed by Congress, 
339; text of, 340; ratified by States, 34a 




*' CoiiTention party," the, attempts to 
amend Illinois constitution to legalize 
slavery, 25, 26; defeat of, 27. 

Ck>ok, Burton C, 41, 43, 45, 46 n., 93. 

Cook, Daniel P., in the ** anti-conyen- 
Uon " contest, 27, 28; Cook County, 111., 
named for, 27. 

Cooper Union, Liberal Republican meet- 
ing at, 376, 377. 

Copperheadism, Vallandigham the incar- 
nation of, 203. 

Corbett, Henry W., Senator, 314. 

Coming, Erastus, 205. 

Corwin, Thomas, Congressman, 112, 117. 

Cotton-gin, results of invention of, xxxii. 

Cowan, Edgar, Senator, attacks T.'s Con- 
fiscation bill, 173; his great speech in 
favor of habeas corpus suspension act, 
201; on Civil Rights bill, 269, 271, 272; 
146, 261, 262, 285, 286, 323. 

Cox, Jacob D., appointed Secretary of In- 
terior, 337, 338; why he resigned, 349, 
350; 353, 373. 

CrMit-Mobilier scandal, the, 401, 402. 

Cresswell, John A. J., appointed Post- 
master General. 337. 

Crittenden, John J., Senator, his compro- 
mise measure, del)ated and rejected 
by Senate, 115-117 ; 48, 60, 66. 

Crittenden Compromise, debated, 115, 116; 
T's speech against, 115, 123-138; rejected 
by Senate. 117; letters toT. from Uli- 
noisans concerning, 117-119. 

Cullom, Shelby M., Senator, quoted, 293; 
defeats T. for governor of 111., 412. 

Cummings, Alexander, one of Cameron's 
agents, 143, 178; the leading figure in 
War Dep't scandal, 178^. ; a candidate 
for office under Johnson, 181 n. 

Curry, J. L. M., letter of, to Doolittle, as 
to Southern views, 255, 256. 

Curtin, Andrew G., Governor, vote for in 
Cincinnati Convention, 383; 106, 144, 
374, 377, 378. 

Curtis, Benjamin R., of counsel for Pres. 
Johnson, 309. 

Curtis, George W., 338, 368. 

Curtis Commission on Civil Service Re- 
form, 376. 

Dabney, Rev. R. L., his account of the 
Lincoln-Baldwin interview, 161, 162. 

"Danites.** 56« Buchanan Democrats. 

Darrow, Clarence 8., quoted, on T.'s *• so- 
cialistic trend," 425, 426 ; 414. 

Davidson, G. C, 179, 180. 

Davis, David, and Cameron's appoint- 
ment, 142^.; bargains with delegates 
from Penn. and Ind., 142, 429 ; his influ- 
ence with Lincoln, 143 and n. ; opinion 
of, in MilUgan case, 289 ; candidate for 

Liberal Republican nomination at Cin- 
cinnati, 377, 378; his candidacy objected 
to by editors, 380, 381 ; and the Electoral 
Commission (1877), 400; 178, 384. 

Davis, Garrett, Senator, on Civil Rights 
biU, 270; 161,234. 

Davis, Henry Winter, Congressman, op- 
poses Lincoln's reflection, 220. 

Davis, Jefferson, and ** Squatter Sover- 
eignty, "94, 95 ; his resolutions aimed at 
Douglas's nomination, 95; not a hot- 
head, 110; his speech of Jan. 10, 1861, 
110; his last speeches in Senate, 114, 
115; his farewell speech, 121; his Rise 
and Fall of the Ckmfederate States, 
12371.; 83. 

Dawes, Henry L., Congressman, on pur- 
chases of cavalry horses, 182, 183; on 
corruption in government service, 184; 
replies to Cameron's statement to Ham- 
lin, 188, 189; 304, 354. 

Dayton, William L., Senator, 69, 142. 

Debs, Eugene V., and the Pullman strike, 
413-415; T. counsel for, 414, 415. 

Delahay, M. W., opposition to his ap- 
pointment as district judge, 213, 214; 
appointed, impeached, and resigns, 214; 
100, 101 and n. 

Dement, Isaac T., on affairs in Kansas, 53. 

Democratic National Convention at Bal- 
timore (1860), nominates Douglas, 96; 
Southern delegates secede from, 96; 
107; (1872) adopts platform and candi- 
date of Liberal Republicans, 394. 

Democratic party, in North, split by Kan- 
sas-Nebraska bill, 37. 

Democrats, condemn suspension of ha- 
beas corpus and arbitrary arrests, 194, 
197; in Senate, oppose habeas corpus 
suspension bill, 196, 199, and filibuster 
against it, 200-203; in North, protest 
against Vallandigham's trial and sen- 
tence, 205; in Congress, oppose 13th 
Amendment, 228, but not unanimously, 
228 n. ; union of, with Liberal Republi- 
cans, suggested by M. D. Sands, 363; 
sympathy of, with that movement, 
372^., 379; dissentient (in 1872), nomi- 
nate O'Conor and Adams, 394. 

Denver, John A., appointed Governor of 
Kansas, 78. 

Develin, John E., 179. 

Dexter, Wirt, 208. 

Dickens, Charles, describes Belleville, 111., 
in American Notes, 14, 16. 

Disfranchisement, chief cause of bad 
conditions in South, 356. 

Dixon, Archibald, Senator, and repeal of 
Missouri Compromise, 34; 49. 

Dixon, James, Senator, opposes inquiry 
as to arbitrary arrests, 193, 198 ; his vote 



against impeaohment, 823 ; 247, 261, 201, 

266, 286, 818. 
Dodge, Angustofl C, Senator, 86. 
Dodge, Grenville M., General, 227, 884 n.. 

Dodge, William E., 366. 

Doolittle, James R., Senator, on Tenure- 
of-Office bill, 303 : his Tote against im- 
peachment, 828; his resignation de- 
manded, 823 : 160. 194, 220, 233, 247, 261, 
273 n., 286, 313, 329, 419, 423. 

Dougherty, Jolin, 18, 89, 90. 

Doaglas, Robert M., 32 n. 

Douglas, Stephen A., appointed to 111. 
Supreme Court, 10; elected U. S. Sena- 
tor, 19; his early career, 32 and n., 88; 
his position in the Democratic party, 
83; his personal appearance, 33 ; his tal- 
ents and character, 33 ; reports Ne- 
braska bill, 33 ; accepts Dixon Amend- 
ment repealing Missouri Compromise, 
84 : offers amendment dividing the ter- 
ritory, 34 ; his reasons, 36, and why not 
convincing, 86, 36; not a pro-slavery 
man, 36; his reasons for repealing Mis- 
souri Compromise, 36, 37 ; Lincoln's re- 
ply to his Springfield speech (1851), 39, 
40 and n.; and the senatorial election 
of 1864, 46 n.; his report on affairs in 
Kansas, 66; attached by T.,66; his so- 
phistry, 67, 68, 62 ; his debate with T., 
69j2f.; declares T. not a Democrat, 60, 
66; further debate with T. on Kansas, 
63^^. ; T. a match for, in debate, 66, 66; 
denounces Cabinet conspiracy regard- 
ing referendum on Lecompton Consti- 
tution, 72, 73 ; his motion for that action, 
74, 76; his anti-Lecompton speech, 77, 
78; for the first time, opposes wishes of 
South, 77 ; was he sincere? 77, 78; his 
lack of principle, 78; contemplates alli- 
ance with Republicans, 78-^; opposes 
English bill for admission of Kansas, 
94; his attitude toward slavery, 78, 86; 
his aid indispensable in defeating Le- 
compton bill, 86 ; appeals to iniai^ination 
of Eastern Republicans, 86 ; diHtnisted 
by Republicans of 111., 8&-88. 91, 92 ; his 
Instability, 88; his campaign for rejec- 
tion in 1858, 89^^. ; his health impaired, 
89: reafllrms doctrine of Squatter Sover- 
eignty, 94 ; answered by J. Davis, 95 ; 
his speech of May 15, 18G0, 95, answered 
by Benjamin, 95, 96 ; nominated for Pre- 
sident at Charleston, and by one faction 
at Baltimore, 96 ; favors Crittenden 
Compromise, 116; his views on causes of 
disunion, 116, 117; his last days devoted 
to the Union, 152, 153; speaks to III. 
legislature, 163 ; his influence alone 
saves Southern 111., 163; his death, 163; 

T.'s eulogy of, 163, 164; O. Welles's ao- 
oount of hia attitude in 1861, and his in- 
terview with Seward, 163, 164 ; 42, 47, 48, 
76, 86, 100, 104, 107, 108, 100, 427. 

Douglass, Frederick, 236, 237. 

Drake, Charles D., Senator, 296, 296, 352. 

Dred Scott case, opinion of Supreme 
Court, criticized by T., 82; 64. 

Drummond, Thomas, Justice, enjoins ex- 
ecutor of Bumside*s order against Chi- 
cago TYmes, 206; his order disregarded, 
207; 10,206,427. 

Dubois, Jesse K., quoted, 79, 87, 216, 217 ; 
213, 376. 

Duncan, Joseph, Governor, 11. 

Dunning, William A., his Reconstruction, 
quoted, 274, 321 n.; 244. 

Durell, Edward H., Justice, and the con- 
tested election in Louisiana, 404. 

Durkee, Charles, Senator, 160. 

Dyer, Thomas, 91. 

Eaton, Major, 178. 

Edmunds, George F., Senator, 339, 346, 

Edwards, Ninian, Governor, 11, 46. 

Electoral Commission (1877), composition 
of, 409; decision of, 410, 411; its pur- 
pose, ** not to do justice between man 
and man, but to save the Republic," 411. 

Eliot, Thomas D., 172. 

Ellsworth, Oliver, xxii n. 

Emancipation, Seward on actual date of, 
222; doubt regarding President's power 
in relation to, 222, 223. And see Slavery, 

Emancipation movement, history of, 

Emancipation Proclamation, issued, 200; 
distasteful to Democrats, 200 ; force and 
extent of, 222; doubt as to its legal ef- 
fect, 229, 230. 

Embargo, the, xxiv. 

Emerson, Dr., Dred Scott's master, 82. 

Emigrant Aid Co. (Worcester), 50, 59 ti. 

Emig:rant Aid societies, 69 n. 

Emory, William II., General, 9th article 
of impeachment based on alleged con- 
versation of Johnson with, 310. 

England, mission to, offered to T., 347, 
348, and declined, 348; T.*s speech on 
claims against, 348, 349; and demands 
surrender of Mason and Slidell, 348 
and n. 

English, William H., Congressman, his 
bill for admission of Kansas, passed by 
Congress, 83, 84, but rejected by people, 

Equal Rights Act (1875) held unconstitu- 
tional by Supreme Court, 275. 

Europe, and Lincoln's death, 231. 

GoFemment contracts 



Eraits, William M., of counsel for Pros. 
Johnson, 309. 

Farragut, David G., Admiral, 221. 

Federalist party, xxiii. 

Fenton, Reuben E., 386, 390. 

Fessenden, William P., 8ena tor, Chairman 
of Reconstruction Ck)mmittee, 281, 282; 
opposes conviction of Johnson, 313; 
abused by radicals, 313; '* read out " of 
Republican party, 324; called upon to 
resist Greenback heresy in Maine, 324; 
his death and character, 324 ; Ts eulogy 
of, 324, 325 ; 82, 83, 89, 102, 168, 194, 202, 
287, 292, 316, 317, 335. 

Field, Alexander r., 11. 

Field, D. D., 147. 

Field, Stephen J., Justice, 275, 289, 409. 

Fillmore, Millard, candidate for Pres., 
in 1856, 70; 92, 106. 

Finkelnburg, Gustavus A., Congressman, 

Fish, Hamilton, appointed Secretary of 
State, 335; letter of, to T., offering Eng- 
lish mission, 347, 318; 362. 

Flack, Horace E., history of the 14th 
Amendment, 284 n. 

Florida, and the 13th Amendment, 229; 
order for reconstruction of, 238; dis- 
puted returns from (1876), 408^. 

Floumoy, Charles G., 212. 

Floyd, John B., Secretary of War, resigns, 
128; 130. 

Fogg, George G., 144, 146. 

Foot, Solomon, Senator, 168, 261, 263. 

Ford, Thomas, historian of 111., quoted, 
11; as governor, requests T.'s resigna- 
tion as Secretary of State, 12 and n., 
13; 18. 

Foreign Relations, Senate Committee on, 
reorganization of, to punish Sumner, 

«* Forever," meaning of, in Missouri Com- 
promise Act, 62, 63 n. 

Forney, John W.. 300. 342. 

Forsyth, John, Senator, xxvii, 156. 

Foster, Lafayette S., Senator, 189, 273. 

Fouke, Philip B., 38. 

Fowler, Joseph S., Senator, 286, 314, 316, 

Free-silver, T. a believer in, 413. 

Free Soilers, in 1854, 40; nucleus of the 
Republican party, 41. 

Free State men, in minority in Kansas in 
1856, 49, 51 ; convention of, 65; refuse to 
take part in election of constitutional 
convention, 71, 72; elect majority of 
territorial legislature, 72. 

Free trade, meaning of, in 1871, 356. 

Freedmen*s Bureau, powers of, 257, 268. 

F*reedmen's Bureau bill, introduced by 

T., 267 ; provisions of, 267, 258 ; vetoed 
by Johnson , 260, 261 ; fails to pass Senate 
over veto, 261 ; T.'s course on, 423. 

Freeport, 111., joint debate between Lin- 
coln and Douglas at, M n., 96. 

Frelinghuysen, Frederick T., Senator, 
314, 316, 347 n. 

Frf^mont, John C, Republican nominee 
fur Pres., 69 ; his defeat fortunate for 
the country, 70; candidate for nomina- 
tion in 1860, 103; his order emancipating 
slaves revoked by Lincoln, 169, 170, 171; 
nominated for Pres. by Anti-Lincoln 
Republicans (1864), 219,220 ; withdrawn, 
220; connection between his withdrawal 
and Mr. Blair's retirement, 220 and n. ; 
141, 194. 

French, Augustus C, Governor, 18. 

French Revolution, effect of, on parties 
in U. S., xxiii. 

Fugitive Slave Law, 114. 

Galloway, Samuel, quoted, 76 ; letter to T. 
on Republican grievances against 
Grant, 371. 

Garfield, James A., General, 412. 

Garrison, William L., his crusade mis- 
takenly interpreted at the south, xxxlii; 
supports Lincoln's reconstruction plan, 
235, 236; 388. 

Gary, Mrs. F. C, letter of, to T., 278, and 
his reply, 279. 

Gaston, William, Judge, 270. 

Geary, John W., Governor, 63, 72. 

** General order " system in N. Y. custom- 
house, 364^. 

Genius of (fnit^eraal Emancipaiiont the, 

QeorgisL, and Garrison, xxxi; order for re- 
construction of, 238; re- reconstruction 
of. 297-300; status of negroes in, 296; 
bill for reorganization of, 298, 299; T.*s 
attitude on treatment of, 298, 299, 300. 

German vote, the, and the Republican 
nomination in 1860, 103. 

Germans in St. Clair county, 111., 38. 

Grettysburg, battle of, and its effect on 
Vallandigham's ambition, 206. 

Gillespie, Joseph, 10. 

Gilman, Wlnthrop S., 9. 

Godkin, Edwin L., quoted, 381,882 ; refutes 
to support Greeley, 386; deprecates 
Schurz's contrary decision, 392, 393; and 
Greeley's defeat, 404; 368. 

Godwin, Parke, quoted, against Greeley, 

Goodrich, Grant, quoted, 119. 

Government bonds, falling off in sub- 
scriptions to, in autumn of 1861, 170. 

Government contracts, House committee 
on, 178^. ; censures T. A. Scott, 184, 186. 




Oowdy, W. C.,40n. 

** Orandf ftther cUiue/* the, in ooiuititu- 
tions of southem ttatee, 339. 

Orant, UlysAes 8., J> M. Palmer on his 
character and future, 216; his southern 
tour of inspection, and report, 2G2, 2S3, 
254; Secretary of War ad interim, 806; 
retires infaTorof Stanton after actionof 
Senate, 306; his correspondence with 
Johnson, submitted to Beconstruction 
Committee, 306, 807; his reason for retir- 
ing, 807; Johnson on his attitude, 307 n.; 
and the McCardle case, 327; nominated 
for Pres., and elected, 382, 338; his first 
cabinet a conglomerate, 333; and Wash- 
bume*s appointment, 334; his agree- 
ment with J. F. Wilson, 331; compels 
Washbume to resign, 334; appoints 
Fish, 336; nominates Stewart for Treas- 
ury, 336, 336, then Boutwell, 336; his 
other appointments, 337, 338; his army- 
headquarters transferred to White 
House, 342; the San Domingo treaty, 
and quarrel with Sunmer, 342 Jf. ; re- 
moTes Motley as minister to England, 
347, 848; offers English mission to T., 
847,348; and ciTil-serYice reform, 849, 
860; and Attorney-General Hoar, 360; 
and the Liberal morement in Mo., 366 ; 
shortcomings of his administration, the 
main cause of Liberal movement, 861 ; 
his failings in ciyil station reyiewed. 
861 ff. ; nominated because of his mili- 
tary renown, 361, 362; his great services 
on two occasions, 362 ; and the Leet and 
Stocking case, 365 jtf. ; T. not personally 
hostile to, 369, 370; Republican dissatis- 
faction with, 370, 371, and opposition to, 
872 ff. ; Sumner's speech against, 387, 
388 ; his services overlooked by Sumner, 
388; compared favorably with Greeley, 
392, 393 ; renominated by Republicans, 
893 ; not personally involved in Cr^dit- 
Mobllier scandal, 401; reelected, 402; 
and the contest in La., in 1872, 406, 406 
and n.; his second administration, 407, 
408; 212, 214, 215. 226, 227, 236 and n., 240, 
308, 309, 330. 384, 406, 411, 420. 

Gray, Horace, 276. 

Gray, Robert A., 161. 

Greeley, Horace, "puffs" Douglas, 80, 91, 
92; candidate for Liberal Republican 
nomination, 377 ; his career and char- 
acter, 378; editorial attitude toward his 
candidacy, 381; Brown withdraws in his 
favor, 382, 383; nominated, 384; effect of 
his nomination, 384^. ; Godkin and Bry- 
ant refuse to support. SSTi; T.'s letter in 
favor of. 386, 387; author's view of his 
nomination, 389, 390; refuses Schurz's 
advice to decline, 391 ; meeting of Lib- 

eral BepabUcans opposed to, 391, 882; 
Schurz's attitude toward, 802, 893; nom- 
inated by Democrats, 894; supported by 
T. in the campaign, 396 ff.; T.'s tribute 
to, 399; liis failings laid bare, 400; carica- 
ture by Nast, 400; on the stump in Ohio, 
etc., 400; his tariff views, 401; his stump- 
ing tour too late, 401 ; overwhelmingly 
defeated, 402; fatal effect of defeat on, 
409; and n.; his last letter to Schura, 
403; his death, 408; reflections on his 
fate, 404 ; 86, 87, 88, 141, 307 n., 869. 

Green, James S., Senator, 114. 

Greene, Francis V., General, quoted, 227. 

GreenviUe Academy, 6. 

Gregory, S. S., 414. 

Grider, Henry, Congressman, 281. 

Grier, Robert C, Justice Sup. Ct., 289. 

Grimes, James W., Senator, denounces 
impeachmen t, 813 ; censured by radicals, 
818; striken with paralysis, but votes 
against impeachment,325; "though pure 
as ice,** did not escape calumny, 326; 
quoted, on Republican corruption, 341 ; 
his character, 341 ; 160, 166, 166, 168, 189, 
202, 281, 287, 316, 317, 338. 

Grimshaw, Jackson, quoted. 213. 

Grinnell, Moses H., collector of N. Y., 
864; and Leet, 367, 368. 

Groesbeck, William S., of counsel for 
Johnson, 309; 872. 

Grosvenor, William M., 362, 363, 382, 383. 

Guthrie, James, Senator, 271. 

Habeas corpus, authority to su8X)end, 
given to Scott, 190; discussion of power 
to suspend, 191, 194; case of MerrvMnan. 
194-196; writ of, denied Vallandigham, 
206; suspension of, authorized in Ku- 
Klux bill of 18n, 356, 367. 

Habeas Corpus Suspension bill, passes 
House, 196; reported by T. to Senate, 
but fails to pass, 197; T. offers substi- 
tute for, 198, which is opposed by Dem- 
ocrats, 199, but passes Senate, 199; in 
conference, combined with Stevens's in- 
demnity bill, 199; debated, filibustered 
against, and passed, 200-203; character- 
ized, 203; violated by banishment of) 
Vallandigham. 203 jtT-; and the Milligan 
case, 288, 289 ; invoked by McCardle, 327. 

Hahn, Michael, chosen governor of La., 
under reconstruction, 232, 233. 

Hale, Eugene, Congressman, as a revenue 
reformer, 364. 

Hale, John P., Senator, speech of, on Kan- 
sas affairs, 65; xxi. 37, 38, 102, 189, 194. 

Hall's carbines, fraudulent repurchases 
of, 184. 

Halleck, Henry W., General, G. Welles 
on, 226; other opinions of, 227; 212. 




Halstead, Marat, 380, 381, 384. 

Hamilton* Alexander, xzill. 

Hamlin, Hannibal, Vice-President, 108, 
100, 112, 141. 

Hancock, Winfleld S., General, 422. 

Hardin, John J., 10, 427. 

Harding, A. C, quoted, 118. 

Harlan, James, Senator, 150, 189, 320, 338, 
366, 419. 

Harlan, John M., Justice Sup. Ct., his 
dissenting opinion in Civil Rights 
Cases, 276, 278; 275. 

Harper's Ferry, Brown's raid on, 96-100. 

Harris, Ira, Senator, 176, 262, 281. 

Harris, N. Dwight, Negro Servitude in 
lUinoiSt 29 and n.; 30, 31; on T., 31. 

Harrison, William H., Governor, favors 
slavery in Northwest Territory, 24. 

Hartford Convention, xxiv, xxv. 

Harvey, J. E., divulges purpose to send 
supplies to Sumter, 155 if.; rewarded by 
Seward, 165, 157; Republican senators 
seek his recall from Portugal, 155, 156. 

Hatch, O. M., Secretary of State of 111., 
87, 213. 

Hay, John, his diary, quoted, 158, 190, 227. 
And see Xicolay and Hay. 

Hayes, Rutherford B., President, dis- 
puted election of, 406, 407 if. ; declared 
elected by Electoral Commission, 411. 

Hayne, Robert ¥., Senator, xxii n., xxvl, 
xxvii, 3. 

Heath, Randolph, 42. 

Hecker, Fred, quoted, 215; 38. 

Henderson, John B., Senator, proposes 
amendment to Constitution, forbidding 
slavery, 223; his resolution, amended, 
reported by T., 224; his speech in its 
favor, 227; the only one of the " Trait- 
ors " whom the Republican party pub- 
licly forgave, 326; 260, 314, 316, 317, 321 n.; 

Hendricks, Thomas A., Senator, 228, 258, 
262, 2n, 285, 301. 329, 402. 

Henn, Bemhart, Congressman, 35. 

Hemdon, William H., quoted, 75, 80, 89, 
90, 91, 92, 107, 119, 214, 429; 87, 112. 143 n.; 

Herold, conspirator, 289. 

Hewitt, Abram S., Congressman, 408, 400. 

Hickox, Virgil, 13, 19. 

Hill, Adams S., 341. 

Hilton, Henry, and A. T. Stewart, 336. 

Hoadley, George, 372, 382. 

Hoar, £. Rockwood, appointed Attorney- 
General, 337, 338 ; cause of his resigna- 
tion, 350; his recommendations for va- 
cant judgeships, 360; his nomination to 
Supreme Court not confirmed, and why, 
360; Grant asks his resignation, 360. 

Hodge, Paymaster, 362, 363, 396. 

Hoffman, John T., Governor, 379. 

Hogeboom, Henry, 147. 

Holden, W. H., 238. 

Horner, William N., quoted, on T's char- 
acter, 425. 

House of Representatives, Kansas-Ne- 
braska bill in, 37; rejects Lecompton 
bill, 83, but passes substituted English 
bill, 84 ; passes proposed Amendment to 
Constitution, forbidding interference 
with slavery, 117; passes Confiscation 
bill, 1 75 ; Committee on Government Con- 
tracts of, 178^.; censures Cameron, 
187; passes bill concerning political 
prisoners, 196 ; passes Stevens's indem- 
nity bill, 198; debate on 13th Amend- 
ment in, 223, 228; debate on Civil Rights 
bill in, 271, 272, 281; passes 14th Amend- 
ment, 282, 283; Stevens's Reconstruction 
bill introduced in, 284, passed by, 291, 
292, and passed over veto, 293, 294 ; passes 
bill admitting Tennessee, 295; Tenure- 
of-Offloe bill in, 301, and pskssed by, 
over veto, 303; votes against impeach- 
ment (Dec, 1867), 803, 304 ; impeachment 
voted by (Feb., 1868), 309; passes 15th 
Amendment, 338-340; Committee of 
Ways and Means of, 354; Committee of 
inquiry into navy frauds, characterized 
by T., 397, 398. 

Hovey, Alvin P., (rovemor, 288. 

Howard,JacobM., Senator, onCivil Rights 
bill,269, 270; on Reconstruction (Commit- 
tee, 281; proposes definition of ** cit- 
izens** in 14th Amendment, 282, 283; 

Howe, Samuel G., 343. 

Howe, Timothy O., Senator, his view of 
the impeachment, 310; and the ousting 
of Sumner, 345, 346 ; 316, 320, 323, 343, 366. 

Humphrey, James, 180. 

Hunt, Gaillard, xxii n. 

Hunter, David, General, at first battle of 
Bull Run, 166; his order freeing slaves 
in certain states, revoked by Lincoln, 

Hunter, R. M. T., Senator, 49, 116. 

Hurd, H. B., 98. 

Hurlbut, S. A., quoted, 74. 

Hutchins, Waldo, 390. 

Illinois, new constitution of, adopted in 
1847, 20; slavery in, when ceded to U. S., 
23; earlier occupation of, 23 ; opposition 
to slavery in, organized by Lemen, 23, 
24; territorial legislature of, violates 
Ordinance of 1787, 24, 25 ; provisions of 
constitution of, concerning slavery, 25; 
pro-slavery efforts to amend constitu- 
tion, 26, 26; their failure, 27; T. elected 
to Congress from 8th district of, 37, 38; 




and Seward's candidacy, 108; campaign 
of 1860 in, IWjf.; office-aeeken from, in 
1S61, 130; status of negroes in, 248; in 
the Cincinnati convention (1)872), 880, 
800 ; T. nominated for governor of, and 
defeated, 412. 

Illinois les^latore, and tbe proposed con- 
stitational convention, 26, 26 ; and the 
Senatorial election of 1864, 30^., 46 n.; 
condemns proceedings against Chicago 
Tifnes, 200 ; reiSlects T. as senator, 277. 

Illinois State Bank, suspension of, 13. 

Illinois Supreme Court, reconstruction 
of, 11; number of Judges of, 20; T. elected 
judge of, 20; T. recJlected to, and re- 
signs, 21 ; decision of, in Jarrot v. Jar- 
rot, 20, 30. 

Immigration, and attempted legalisation 
of slavery in UI., 26. 

Impeachment, two theories of, 812 ; a ju- 
dicial or political process? 812. 

Impeachment of Andrew Johnson, first 
mention of, 303; House Judiciary Com- 
mittee reports in favor of, 304 ; House 
rejects resolution providing for, 304; 
evidence submitted to Committee on Re- 
construction, 306, which refuses to re- 
commend, 306 ; resolutions of, adopted 
by House, 800 ; articles of, adopted, 800- 
311; managers appointed, 300 ; trial of, 
800, 312 Jf. ; conduct of managers of, 312, 
818; material evidence excluded, 818; 
divers newspapers quoted concerning, 
814-317; T. flies opinion in, 318, 810; vote 
of acquittal on 11th, 2d, and 8d articles, 
820, 321; end of the trial, 321; T.'s vote 
on, 423. 

Indemnity, Stevens'sbill of passes House, 
198; combined with habeas corpus bill, 
199; debated, fliibustered against, and 
passed, 200-203. 

Independent Democrat^ the, 14. 

Indiana, opposed to Seward, 103 ; in con- 
vention of 1860, 106, 107; election of 
Oct., 1872, in, 402. 

Inflation bill. Grant's veto of, 362. 

Ingraham, Mary, T.'s second wife, 412. 
And see Trumbull, Mary (Ingraham). 

Investigation and Retrenchment, Com- 
mittee on, established by Senate, 364 ; 
personnel of, 366, 367; solves I>eet and 
Stocking scandal, 367-360; characterized 
by T., 306, 396. 

*• Irrepressible Ck)nflict," the, existed be- 
fore it was so described, xxxiv. 

Iverson, Alfred, Senator, 213. 

Jackson, Andrew, xxv, xxvi, 76, 103, 124. 
Janney, Mr., 161. 

Jarrot v. Jarrot, decision of Supreme 
Court in, abolished Slavery in 111., 29, 30. 

Jayne, Gershom, T.*b father-in-law, 15. 

Jayne, Mrs. Gershom, T.*8 letter to, on re- 
ligion, 430, 431. 

Jayne, Julia M., marries T., 16. And see 
Trumbull, Julia (Jayne). 

Jayne, William, quoted, 106, 107 ; 106, 100, 
111, 160, 379. 

Jefferson, Thomas, and slavery, xxviii, 28, 
24; the proposed ordinance relating 
thereto (1784), xxviii, xxix andn. ; quot- 
ed,on Missouri Compromise, xxx ; xxiii, 

Johnson, Andrew, popularity of, inTenn., 
214 ; his early radicalism and anti-Soutb- 
em feeling, 236; gradual change in his 
attitude, 236; opposes unrestricted ne- 
gro suffrage, 236, 287; adopts Lincoln's 
plan of reconstruction and his Cabi- 
net, 237; executive orders of, reor- 
ganizing governments of all seceding 
states, 237, 238; issues amnesty procla- 
mation, 230 ; Phillips makes first attack 
on, 239, 240 ; defended by N. Y. TrUnoM 
and Times, 240, 241 ; his first message to 
Congress, written by Bancroft, 244 ; the 
message praised by N. T. Timet and 
Nation, 244, 246; his early history, 245 
and n. ; in Senate 'of U.S., 246; as pub- 
lic speaker and debater, 246 ; his speech 
against secession, 246; Stephens and 
Seward on, 246; his speech of Aug. 29, 
1866, 246; attacked by Sumner, 246, 247; 
and Terry's order concerning vagrancy 
law of Va., 247 ; and reports of Grant and 
Schurz on conditions in the South, 252, 
253, 254; vetoes Freeclmen's Bureau bill, 
260, 261, 423; vetoes Civil Rights bill, 
272, 423; his veto message answered by 
T., 272; his course discussed, 273, 274; 
his combativeness, 273 and n., 274 ; mar 
jority against, in Congress, increased by 
elections of 1866, 277; sustained by T. 
until veto of Civil Rights bill, 277; signs 
bill readmitting Tenn.,285; "National 
Union Convention " of supporters of, 
286, 286; his attack on Congress, and its 
sequel, 286; policy of, and the MiUigan 
case, 289; and the (Cabinet meeting of 
Jan. 8, 1867, 290; Northern view of his 
plan of reconstruction, 293; vetoes Re- 
construction bill, 293, and divers supple- 
mentary bills, 293, 294; his power of re- 
moval aimed at by Tenure-of-Ofl9ce bill, 
301, 302 ; impeachment of, now generally 
condemned, 303; first mention of im- 
peachment of, 803, 304; House rejects 
impeachment resolutions, 304; requests 
Stanton's resignation, 304, 306; suspends 
him and appoints Grant od interim^, 
306; correspondence of, with Grant, 
submitted to committee, 806, 307; his 

XJberftl BepabUcans 



lack of tact, 306; wishes to make up a 
case for Supreme Ck>urt, 307; quoted by 
Truman as to his Cabinet, 307 n.; ad- 
vised to let Stanton alone, but attempts 
to remove him, 308 ; names Thomas Sec- 
retary ad interim^ 308 ; his action causes 
change in public feeling, 309; House 
votes to impeach, 309; his trial, 309, 812 
ff.\ summary of articles, 309-311; his an- 
swer, 311; evidence of his purpose to 
make a case for Supreme Court not ad- 
mitted, 312, 313; acquitted, 320, 321; ve- 
toes Act of March 27, 1868, 329 ; T.*s vote 
on impeachment of, 423; 181 n., 229, 278. 

Johnson, 'Reverdy, Senator, favors 13th 
Amendment, 227; on Civil Rights bill, 
270; 247,264,281. 

Jonas, A., quoted, 74, 79, 92. 

Jones, George W., 36. 

Judd, Norman B., ezjiects seat in Lin- 
coln's Cabinet, 148; his character, 149; 
favored by T., 149; interview of, with 
Lincoln, 149, 150; receives Prussian mis- 
sion as a salve, 151, 152; quoted, as to 
T.*8 feeling against Lincoln, 217; as to 
European admiration of Lincoln, 231; 
on other subjects, 74, 80, 91 ; 15, 41, 43, 
45, 46 71., 69, 87, 93, 142. 

Julian, George W., Congressman, de- 
scribes scene in House on adoption of 
13th Amendment, 228 and n. ; xxi. 

Kansas, did Douglas intend it to be a slave 
state? 35, 36; affairs in, in 1865, 49 if. ; 
prospect of slavery in, 49; Reeder ap- 
pointed governor, 49; invaded by Mis- 
sourians, 49; election of Whitfield, 49, 
60; second invasion of Missourians, Wff.\ 
** Border Ruffian " legislature of, enacts 
Slave code, 54, 55; Shannon appointed 
governor, 56; Free State convention in, 
65; Pres. Pierce's special message on 
affairs in, 55; reports of Senate Com- 
mittee on Territories thereon, 55^^. ; de- 
bate on affairs in, in Senate, b^ff. ; T.*s 
letter to Turner on affairs in, 71 ; Walker 
appointed governor, 71 ; Constitutional 
Convention at Lecompton, 72; Cabinet 
Conspiracy concerning referendum on 
Lecompton Constitution, 72, 73; legis- 
lature declares for submission of the 
whole Constitution, 73; admission of, 
thereunder, recommended by Bu- 
chanan, 81 ; administration bill, passed 
by Senate, but repealed by House, 83; 
English bill, passed by Congress, but re- 
jected by people, 83, 84; reign of terror 
in, 126; proposed suffrage amendment 
to Constitution of, rejected, 296. 

Kansas-Nebraska bill, its original form, 
33, 34; as amended, 34, 36; passed by 

Congress, 37 ; effect of passage of, on 
parties at the North, 37; T. organizes 
opposition to, in 111., 37, 38; opposed by 
Lincoln, 39; and the Senatorial election 
in 111., in 1854, 39 if. ; attacked by T., 66; 
126, 126, 131. 

Keim, William H., 196. 

Kellogg, William P., and the governor- 
ship of La., 404, 405, 406, 408; 410, 411. 

Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, xxiii. 

King, Preston, Senator, 122. 

King, Rufus, xxii n. 

Koemer,Gustave, quoted, 103, 118, 212, 213 ; 
interview of, with Lincoln, 149, 160; and 
the Russian mission, 151, 152; appointed 
Minister to Spain, 152; T. writes to, on 
impeachment, 323; his death and fun- 
eral, 418 ; 29, 30, 37, 38, 379. 

Ku-Klux bill, held unconstitutional by 
Supreme Court, 275, 358 ; 424. 

Ku-Klux-Klan,in Georgia, 296, 300; Grant's 
special message on, 356 ; Congress passes 
bill relating to, 366, which is opposed by 
T. and Schurz, 366, 357, 368. 

Labor laws enacted by seceding states 
during reconstruction, 242 ; brought be- 
fore Congress, 247; character of, 247. 

Lambert, W. H., 110 n. 

Lane, Henry S., Senator, 106, 166. 

Lane, James H., Senator, 53, 101 n. 

Lamed, E. C. T.'s letters to, on compro- 
mise, 113, 114. 

Lea, M. Carey, letter of, to T., on Fre- 
mont emancipation episode, 170, and T.'s 
reply, 171, 172. 

Lecompton constitution, slavery clause of, 
alone to be submitted to people, 72, 73; 
declared valid by Buchanan, 76; con- 
demned by T., 76, 77; admission of Kan- 
sas under, urged by Buchanan, 81 ; dis- 
appears with rejection of English bill 
by the people, 83. 

Lee, S. Phillips, 169. 

Leet and Stocking scandal, 364 ff. ; Sen- 
ate orders inquiry into, 366-367 ; solution 
of, 367-369. 

Lemen, Rev. James, organizes opposition 
to slavery in Northwest Terr., 23, 24. 

Lewis, B., quoted, 107. 

Lewis, John F., 161. 

Liberal Republican movement (1872) 
started in Mo., 351 ; progress of, 351 jtf- : 
Schurz a leader in, 352 ; revenue reform 
an element in, 362, 363 ; how viewed by 
Grant and his friends, 366; shortcom- 
ings of Grant's administration the main 
cause of, 361. And aee Cincinnati, Con- 
vention at. 

Liberal Republicans, demand universal 
Amnesty with impartial suffrage, 366 ; 



Ub«nl BapobtteiBB 

call for national Conrention of, 373, 
which meets at Cincinnati, 374^^. ; lead- 
ing candidates for presidency among, 
377; diTlsion among, after Greeley's nom- 
ination, 386 jf. ; meeting of dissentients, 
391, 392. And »ee liissotiri. 

Liberator, the, established by Garrison 
(1831), xxxi; attempts to suppress, zzxiL 

Lincoln, Abraham, in III. legislature of 
1840, 10; his marriage, 16; and the Kan- 
sas-Nebraska bill, 37 ; and the Senatorial 
election of 1864, 39, iSff. ; effect of repeal 
of Missouri Compromise on, 39; his 
speech at Peoria in reply to Douglas, 39, 
40 and n.; defeated by T., 46, 46 n.; letter 
of, to Washbume, on the result, 46, 46; 
possible results of his election, 47 ; urges 
T. to attend first Republican national 
oonyention, 69; receires votes for Vice- 
President, 69; writes T. on the ticket, 
60, 70; on Douglas's attitude on Lecomp- 
ton, 74; on Republican praise of Doug- 
las, 87; Palmer on candidacy of, for 
Senate, 88; campaign of, for senatorahip 
(1868), 89 ir.; on Buchanan Democrats, 
90 ; on prospects for 1860, 92; his relations 
with T., 93; his debate with Douglas at 
Freeport, 94 n. ; commends T.*s speech 
on John Brown raid, 100; on Delahay*B 
candidacy for Senate, 100, 101 n.; his 
status in 1860, 102 ; a possible candidate 
for Republican nomination, 102 /f.; on 
the various candidates, 104, 106 ; his rad- 
icalism, 106 ; nominated, 106 ; comments 
of Illinoisanson his candidacy, 106, 107; 
on Republican prospects, 106 ; his vote 
in lU., 109; and the ratification at Spring- 
field, 109, 110; on South Carolina's atti- 
tude, 110, 111 ; opposed to compromise on 
extension of slavery, 111 ; proposes reso- 
lutions on slavery, etc., 112 ; on rumors 
of Buchanan's purpose to surrender 
forts. 112, 113; his Cooper Institute 
speech, 115 ; and the ofilce-seekers, 130; 
the making of his Cabinet, 139 if. ; and 
Seward, 139-141; offers State Department 
to Seward, 141; the Cameron affair, 142 
ff. ; his instructions against pre-conven- 
tion contracts, 142; Davis's influence 
over, 143 and n.; promises Cameron a 
portfolio, 144; anti-Cameron appeal to, 
by McClure and T., 144, 146; his reply to 
T., 146; tries to buy Cameron off, 146, 
146 ; T.'s further remonstrance to, 146, 
147; and .Judd, 148, 149; interview with 
Koemer, 149, 160; and the Harvey dis- 
l^atch to Gov. Pickens, 166 ff.; makes 
Harvey Minister to Portugal, 166, 157, 
158; his previous consent to evacuate 
Sumter, to prevent secession of Va., 
168 jtT- ; his interviews with Baldwin and 

Botts, 160, 160, 161 ; absurdity of Dab- 
ney's account, 162; revokes Fremont's 
emancipation order, 169; effect of his 
action, 109; letters of Lea and T. on the 
crisis, 170-172; T.'s view of his character, 
171; suppresses (Cameron's pro-emanci- 
pation report, 172 and n.; revokes 
Hunter's order, 172; proposes to veto 
T.'s Confiscation bill, 175; his objections 
removed by resolution, 175, 176; orders 
Wallace to desist from confiscation, 177; 
and Cameron, 185 ; nominates Cameron 
as minister to Russia, 186 ; assumes re- 
sponsibility in Cummings affair, 187; 
authori»s Scott to suspend habeas cor- 
pus, 190; his action approved, 191; trans- 
fers authority to Stanton, 197; proclaims 
martial law as to certain classes, 200 ; 
issues Emancipation Proclamation, 200 ; 
commutes Yallandigham's sentence to 
banishment, 204; replies to protest of 
Northern Democrats, 206 ; his only eva- 
sion, 206 ; revokes Bumside's order sup- 
pressing Chicago TYmes, 207, 206 ; criti- 
cized by N. T. Trilntne, 800 n.; and 
certain dispatches of Sewiird to Adams, 
210 if.; requested to demand SewanPi 
resignation, 211 ; his comment, 212 ; and 
Delahay, 214 ; Palmer on his prospect of 
renomination, 214, 215,216 ; fint evidence 
of personal difference bettween T. and, 
217, 218; T.'s opinion of his administn^ 
tion, 218; feeling in Congress adverse 
to his reflection, 218, 219 ; denounced by 
Wilson, 219 ; basis of opposition to, 219 ; 
renominated, but fears defeat, 219 ; re- 
quests Blair's resignation, and why, 220 
and n.; T. favors his rejection, 220, 221 ; 
reelected by favor of Union victories, 
221; and Halleck, 226; his death, 231; 
European opinion of, 231 ; his view of 
status of seceding states embodied in 
proclamation of Dec. 8, 1863, 232 ; letter 
of, to Gov. Hahn of La., 233 ; his address 
of Apr. 11, 18G6, on reconstruction, 234, 
236; his plan adopted by Johnson, 237; 
had his life been spared, 286 ; his plan 
of reconstruction definitely abandoned, 
291 ; T.'s estimate of his character and 
career, 430; xxi, 66, 67, 240, 246, 246, 423. 

Lincoln, Mary (Todd), 42, 46. 

Lloyd, Henry D., 414, 417. 

Lodge, H. C, Senator, Daniel Webster, 
xxii n., XXV n. 

Logan, John A., General and Senator, 76, 
277, 304, 309, 339, 344, 363, 409. 

Logan, Stephen T., 43, 44, 142, 220. 

Louisiana, election in, under Lincoln's 
reconstruction order, 232; Hahn chosen 
governor, 232, 233; constitutional oon- 
vention in, 233; U. S. Senators chosen 




under new free constitation, 233 ; reso- 
lutions recognizing new government 
of, defeate<l by Sumner, 233, 234; con- 
tested election of 1872 in, 404, 405; Sena- 
torial investigation thereof, 406; dis- 
puted returns from, in 1876, 406^. 

Louisiana Purchase, Federalist opposi- 
tion to, xxiii, xxiv.- 

Louisville Courier-Joumalt interview 
with T. in, 3G9, 370; 372. 

Lovejoy, Bmy. Elijah P., murder of, de- 
scribed by T., 8-10; its effect on Aboli- 
tion movement, 10; xxxiii. 

Lovejoy, Rev. Owen, Congressman, 43. 

Lundy, Benjamin, xxxi. 

McCardle, William 11., arrest and im- 
prisonment of, 327; remanded on ha- 
beas corpus, 327; appeals, 327; T. ap- 
pears against in Supreme Court, 327, 
328; his appeal dismissed, under Act of 
March, 1868, 329, 330; T.'s connection 
with case of, criticized, 330, 331. 

McClellan, George B., General, inaction 
of, 169; 171, 172,219. 

McClernand, John A., 10, 11, 427. 

McClure, A. K., his Lincoln and Men of 
War-Time, quoted, 143; opposes Cam- 
eron's appointment, 144; 374. 

McClurg, Joseph, 362. 

McCuUoch, Hugh, Secretary of Treasury, 
opinion of, on question of territorializ- 
ing states, 290. 

McDougall, James A., Senator, 166, 228, 

McDowell, Irwin, General, at first Bull 
Run, 165, 167. 

McEnery, John, and the governorship 
of La., 404, 406. 

McLean, John, Justice Sup. Ct., candi- 
date for Republican nomination (1860), 
103 ; shakes his fist in Buchanan's face, 
122, 123; 69, 104, 105. 

McLean, Mrs. John, 121. 

McPike, H. G., quoted, 107, 118; T.'s let- 
ter to, on Lincoln's reflection, 218. 

Madison, James, xxii n., xxxi. 

Magruder, Allan B., 161, 162. 

Magruder, Benj. D., Chief Justice of 111., 
quoted, 21, 22. 

Mails, irregularity of, in early 19th cen- 
tury, 7. 

Malaria, Trumbull family afflicted by, 

Managers of impeachment, overmatched 
by defendant's counsel, 309; their con- 
duct of the trial, 312, 313 ; bring pres- 
sure to bear on Senators, 313. 

Mann, A., Jr., 140, 141. 

Marble, Manton, quoted, 373. 

Mason, James M., Senator, threatens dis- 

solution of Union, 70, 71 ; moves for 
committee of inquiry into John Brown 
raid, 98 ; 63, 116, 134, 349 and n. 

Massachusetts, slavery in, xxvii. 

Massachusetts legislature, Anti-Embargo 
resolutions of, xxiv. 

Mather, Rev. Richard, 2. 

Matteson, Joel A., Governor, 43, 44, 46 
and n., 60. 

Matteson, O. B., 179. 

Matthews, Stanley, Justice of Sup. Ct., 
275, 372. 

Maynard, Horace, Congressman, quoted, 

Medill, Joseph, quoted, on T.'s character 
and possible future, 424, 425. 

Meigs, Montgomery C, Q.-M. Gen., 186. 

Merryman, John, summary arrest of, 

Methodist Church, the, and the impeach- 
ment trial, 317. 

Miles, Nelson A., General, 167. 

Military commission, trial of civilians 
by, divided opinion of Supreme Court 
on, in Milligan case, 289. 

Miller, Samuel F., Justice Sup. Ct., 275, 

Milligan case, decided by majority of 
Supreme Court, 288, 289 ; grounds of de- , 
cislon, 288, 289, and its consequences,/ 
288 ; radicals angered by. 289, 290 ; 327. / 

Minnesota, proposed suffrage amend- 
ment to couHtitution of, repealed, 296. ' 

Mississippi, order for reconstruction of, 
238; fails to adopt new constitution 
promptly, 296; new conditions im- 
posed on, 296. 

Missouri, admission of, xxix, xxx, during 
the war, 361 ; continued political warfare 
in, after the war, 351 ; state constitution 
of 1866, 351; division in Republican 
party of, results in Schurz's election as 
senator, 351, 352; success of Liberal 
republican movement in, 362; liberal 
movement in, how viewed by Grant, 
356 ; state convention of Liberal Repub- 
licans of, adopts platform and calls 
national Convention, 372 ; its platform 
defended by T., 376; vote of, in Cincin- 
nati convention, 383. 

Missouri Compromise, history of, xxx; 
repeal of, causes T.'s return to politics, 
32; not repealed by original Nebraska 
bUl, 84; Dixon amendment for repeal of, 
adopted by Douglas, 34 ; repeal of, and 
Lincoln, 39; meaning of ** forever " in, 
62, 63 n. ; repeal of, 126, 126; and the 
Crittenden Compromise, 131. 

Missouri Democrat, the, 142, 362. 

Missourians, and Kansas, 36 ; invade Kan- 
sas, 49; threaten Qoy. Reeder, 60, 61; 




Atchison's advioe to, ffi; In Kansas, 66, 

67, 68, 66. 
Monroe, James, President, 103. 
Moran, Thomas A., Judge, on T.*s pablic 

senrioes, 419. 
Morgan, £dwin D., Governor, 178, 261, 266, 

Morrill, Justin 8., Ckingressman, 168, 

Morrill, Lot N., Senator, 263. 
Morrison, J. L. D., 41. 
Morton, Oliver P., Senator, 298, 807 n., 338, 

346, 366, 363, 371, 376, 406, 406 and n. 
Motley, J. Lothrop, minister to England, 

removed, 347, 348. 
Moultrie, Fort, 129. 
Murphy, Thomas, appointed collector of 

N. Y., 362, 363; and the Leet and Stock- 
ing case, 366, 368; 871. 

Nation^ the, praises Johnson's first mes^ 
sage, 244, 246; quoted, on T. and the 
Georgia bill, 299, 300; on Republican 
abuse of the ** Seven traitors," 316, 317; 
on conference of revenue reformers, 363, 
364; on Liberal Republican movement, 
366, 366; on Leet and Stocking case, 368, 
369 ; on opposition to Grant, 370, 371 ; on 
Cooper Union meeting, 376, 377; on 
Schurz's attitude toward Greeley, 302 ; 
and the defeat of Greeley, 404; 273, 372. 

National Union Convention of Johnson 
men, 286, 286, 823. 

Nationalism, and the Constitution, xxvi, 

Nebraska, bill to organize territory of, 
reported by Douglas, 33, 34. A7id see 
Anti-Nebraska Democrats, and Kansas- 
Nebraska bill. 

Negro sufTrage, omitted from new consti- 
tution of La., 233; Garrison opposes im- 
position of, in the South, 236; Pres. 
Johnson opposed to, 236, 237; vote of 
Johnson's Cabinet on, as applying to 
provisional governments, 238; not in- 
cluded in executive orders, 238, 239; W. 
Phillips's views on, 239, 240, traversed 
by N. Y. Tribune, 240, and Times, 240, 
241 ; in Northern States in 1866,243; ques- 
tion of, not acute in early 1866, 261; 
Howard argues against, 287; made a per- 
manent condition of reconstruction, 
292 and n.; Northern opinion concern- 
ing, 293; in Republican convention of 
1868, 332, 333; Anally embodied in 15th 
Amendment, 338-340. 

Negroes, T. appears for in attempts to re- 
gain freedom, 28 ff. ; right of, to bring 
actions in U. S. courts, 64 ; condition of, 
in South, under reconstruction, 241-243; 
status of, in Northern states, in 1866,243; 

debate on granting civil rights to. 

Nelson, Samuel, Justice Sup. Ct., 288. 

Nelson, Thomas A.R., of connsel for John- 
son, 800. 

Nesmith, James W., Senator, 261, 286. 

New £ngland, why opposed to Louisiana 
Purchase, xxiii, xxiv. 

New England Emigrant Aid Co., attacked 
by Douglas, 86; blamed by Pierce and 
Douglas for disorders in Kansas, 2Sff. ; 
defended by T., 66, 60. 

New Jersey, opposed to Seward, 108; leg- 
islature of, elects Stockton Senator, 262 ; 
validity of his election challenged, 962- 

New York, "compromisers** from, 122; 
and the 16th Amendment, 840; majori^ 
against Greeley in, 402. 

New York Bvening Pott, quoted, cm exclu- 
sion of n^^roes from suffrage, 239; on the 
impeachment trial, 814, 316; 91, 872, 87&. 

New York Free Trade League, 868. 

New York HertUd, quoted, on Cincinnati 
convention, 380; 60, 878. 

New York Republicans oppose Seward's 
inclusion in Lincoln's Cabinet, 188 Jf. ; 
T.'s interview with, 140, 141. 

New York Times, quoted, on T.'s debate 
with Douglas, 66; on Seward's dispatch 
to Adams, 211; on Johnson's first mes- 
sage, 244. 

New York TWdtine, quoted, in T.'s debate 
with Douglas, 66; praises Douglss, 87; 
and the VaUandigham case, 206, 206, 
209 n. ; on Lincoln's revocation of order 
suppressing Chicago TimeSf 209 n. ; de- 
fends Johnson against Phillips, 240; 91, 
92, 239, 314, 316, 372. 

New York World, circulation of, in Bum- 
side's department, forbidden by him, 
206; 373. 

Newman, Professor, 236. 

Nicholson letter, on squatter sovereignty, 

Nicolay, John G., quoted, 75. 

Nicolay (John G.) and Hay (John), Abror 
ham Lincoln, on Lincoln's offer to evac- 
uate Sumter, 159; on Cameron's leaving 
the Cabinet, 185, 186 ; quoted, 143, 162, 220. 

Niles, Nathaniel, 30. 

North, the, took up arms to preserve the 
Union, xxi, xxii ; slavery in, xxviii. 

North Carolina, attempt at reconstruction 
in, 238; qualifications of electors in, 238; 
election of Aug^ust, 1872, in, 399, 40O. 

Northern States, n^ro suffrage in, 248. 

Northern view of reconstruction, 293. 

Northwest, the, its claim to consideration, 

Northwestern Territory, slavery in, before 




1787« 23, 24; proYlBions of Ordinance of 

1787, concerning slavery in, 24; main 

source of immigration to, 24. 
Norton, Daniel S.,Senator,hi8 Tote against 

impeachment, 323; 261, 286, 813. 
Noorse, George A., 68. 
Noyes, William C, 140, 141. 
Nullification, in South Carolina, xxy, 

xxvi; in Mass. (1886), xxvi. 
Nye, James W., Senator, 360. 

O'Conor, Charles, nominated for Pres. by 
dissentient Democrats (1872), but de- 
clines, 394. 

Ogden, William B., 207. 

Oglesby, Richard J., (General, succeeds T. 
in Senate, 407; 277. 

Ohio, in conyention of 1860, 107; proposed 
suffrage amendment to constitution of, 
rejected, 295; and the 16th Amendment, 
340; and the call for a Liberal Republi- 
can conyention, 372; election of Oct., 
1872. in, 402. 

**01d Public Functionary'* (Buchanan), 

Opdycke, George, 147, 178. 

Ord, Edward O. C, General, orders ar- 
rest of McCardle, 327. 

Ordinance of 1787, proTisions of, concern- 
ing slavery, 24; violated by territorial 
legislature of 111., 24, 26; attempts to re- 
peal 6th article of, 25 ; kept slavery out of 
III., 28. ; and the 13th Amendment, 224. 

Osgood, Uri (Illinois senate), 41, 42, 43. 

Otis, Harrison G., Mayor of Boston, and 
the LlberatoTy xxxii. 

Owen, Robert Dale, principal author of 
14th Amendment, 282. 

Palmer, John M., (General, on Republican 
alliance with Douglas, 87, 88; on Lin- 
coln's prospect of renomination, 214, 
216, 216; on Grant's character and fu- 
ture, 216; on Liberal Republican move- 
ment, 377; 21, 41, 43, 46, 46 n., 93, 109, 277, 
373, 419. 

Parker, Rev. Theodore, 78. 

Parks, Sam C, quoted, 46 n., 75, 119. 

Particularism, and the Constitution, xxvi. 

Patterson, James W., Senator, 343, 362, 363, 
364, 367, 371. 

Pajrne, conspirator, 289. 

Pearce, James A., Senator, 194. 

Peck, Ebenezer, quoted, 74, 80, 119, 147, 
148; 13 87, 160, 427, 431. 

Peck, Rev. John M., 27, 28. 

Peirpoint. Francis M., recc^^ised as 
Governor of Va., under reconstruction, 
237; 161. 

Pendleton, George H., Congressman, and 
the ** Greenback *' movement, 334. 

Pennsylvania, opposed to Seward, 103; in 

convention of 1860, 106, 107; in Liberal 

Republican movement, 374; election of 

Oct. 1872, in, 402. 
People's party, issues T's speech at 

Chicago as campaign document, 416; T. 

draws resolutions for meeting of, 41&- 

Philadelphia, National Union Convention 

at, 286, 286. 
Phillips, D. L., quoted, 76, 89; 213. 
Phillips, Wendell, opposes re^'lection of 

Lincoln, 220; savagely attacks Johnson, 

239, 240; reproved by N. Y. Tribune, 240, 

and Times, 240, 241; 388. 
Piatt, Donn, Memories of Men who saved 

the UnioTit quoted, 222. 
Pickens, Francis W., Governor, 121, 166, 

166, 167, 168. And see Harvey. 
Pierce, Edward L., Life of Sumner, 

quoted, 292 n., 347 n. ; 66. 
Pierce, Franklin, President, makes Reeder 

Governor of Kansas, 49 ; removes Reeder 

and appoints Shannon, 66; his special 

message on Kansas affairs, 66; xxi, 37, 

62, 64, 66, 73, 83, 246. 
Poland, Luke D., Senator, 262, 304. 
Pomeroy, Samuel C, Senator, 202, 208. 
Poore, Ben : Perley, 342. 
" Popular sovereignty," 39. 
Porter, Horace, General, 366. 
Postage in early 19th century, 7, 20. 
Pottawatomie massacre, the, 97. 
Powell, Lazarus W., Senator, opposes 

habeas corpus suspension bill, 198, 190, 

200, 201. 202 ; 116. 
Protection, meaning of, in 1871, 364. 
Pullman Co., strike of employees of, 413- 


Randall, Alexander W., Postmaster Gen- 
eral, 286. 

Randall, J. G., 174 and n. 

Randolph, John, of Roanoke, and article 
6 of Ordinance of 1787, 25; xxxi. 

Raum, Green B., quoted, 67 and n. 

Rawlins, John A., General, appointed Sec- 
retary of War, 337; 330. 

Ray, C. H., quoted, 74, 75, 87, 148, 243, 
261; 79,80,161. 

Ray, P. Ormon, Repeal of the Missouri 
Compromise, 37 n. 

Raymond, Henry J., Congressman, 272. 

Read, John M., 106. 

Reconstruction, Lincoln's plan of, set 
forth in proclamation of Dec. 8, 1863, 
232; the La. attempt at, 283, 234; Lin- 
coln's address on, Apr. 11, 1866, 236; his 
plan endorsed by Garrison, 236, 236, and 
adopted by Johnson, 237; in Va.,287; in 
Ttenn., 237, 288; in Ark., 238; In No. Caro- 




lina, and other leoeding states, 238; 
Shaffer and Ray on conditions in those 
States under, 242, 243; the Nation on 
Johnson's plan of, 244,246; Lincoln's 
plan of, definitely abandoned, 291 ; sup- 
plementary measure of, passed by Con- 
gress, vetoed, and passed over veto, 
294; drastic provisions of, 294; further 
measures of, passed over vetoes, 296; a 
failure, 341; change in T.'s course on, 

Reconstruction, House Committee on, in- 
quires into suspension of Stanton, 306; 
refuses to recommend impeachment, 

Reconstruction, Joint Committee on, 
members of, 281 ; amendment to Con- 
stitution proposed to, by Bingham and 
Stevens, 282; reports 14th Amendment, 

Reconstruction bill (Stevens's) establish- 
ing military government in South, 291, 
292 ; amended by provision for negro 
suffrage, 292; passed by Congress, ve- 
toed, and passed over veto, 293, 294. 

Reeder, Andrew H., appointed (Governor 
of Kansas, 49; confirms elections of 
Whitfield as Delegate to Congress, 49, 
60 ; and the Missourian invaders, 60,61, 
63, 64 ; removed by Pierce, 66 ; 66, 69, 63, 
106, 160. 

Religion, T.'s views on, 430, 431. 

Republican National Convention {1856\ 
69; il860\ nominates Lincoln, 106, 106: 
{186H) on negro suffrage, 332, 333; its 
negro-suffrage plank too brazen to be 
long maintained, 338 ; {1872y, nominates 
Grant and Wilson, 393; platform of, 394. 

Republican party, first national conven- 
tion of, 69, 70; rumored alliance of 
Douglas with, 78-80; still inchoate in 
1860, 102; candidate for presidential 
nomination of, in 1860, 102^. ; T.'s views 
concerning, 103, 104; T.'s view of duty 
of, in 1861, 113, 114; T.'s position in, in 
campaign of 1866, 273 ; control of, 
shifted to radical wing by veto of Civil 
Rights bill, 277; power of that wing of, 
increased by refusal of .South to ratify 
14th Amendment. 287; lead of, in Con- 
gress, assumed by Sumner and Stevens, 
291 ; definitely abandons Lincoln's plan 
of reconstruction, 291 ; generally adopts 
Sumner's view of impeachment, 312; 
treatment of " traitor " Senators by, 
322-326 ; Henderson alone forgiven, 326 ; 
corruption in, in 1870, 341^.; division in, 
in Mo., 351. /f. ; l>oth sections of, in Mo., 
adopt " Anti-tariff " resolution, 352 ; de- 
feated in Congressional elections of 
1874, 408 ; T.'s separation from, 420. 

Republicans of the first period, xxili. 

Republicans, Eastern, favor Douglas's re- 
election to Senate, 86; and the Lincoln- 
Douglas campaign, 91, 92; in UL, dia> 
trust Douglas, 86, and prefer Lincoln 
for Senator, 86 ; those opposed to Lin- 
coln, nominate Fremont and Cochrane 
(1864), 219, 220. 

Retrenchment, Joint Committee on, re- 
port of, 962, 363; and the Leet and 
Stocking case, 2Mff. 

Revenue reform, an element in Liberal 
Republican movement, 352, 363 ; confer- 
ence of advocates of, 363, 364; in the Cin- 
cinnati convention, 381, 382. 

Reynolds, John, Governor, and the pro- 
slavery attempt to amend the constitu- 
tion of 111., 26; quoted, 28; 6ti., 11, 38. 

Rhode Island, opposed to Seward, 103. 

Rhodes, James F., History of the U. S., 
quoted on *' anti-impeachment " Sena- 
tors, 322; on La. returning board, 406; 
cited, 406 n. 

Richardson, William A., Senator, 10, 197, 

Riddle, A. G., Recollections qf War- 
Time^ quoted, 228 n. ; 219. 

Robbins, Henry S., T.'s partner, 407; 
quoted, on T.'s character, 426. 

Robertson, Thomas J., 369. 

Robeson, George M., appointed Secretary 
of the Navy, 337; action in the Secor 
case, 396, 397, 398. 

Ross, Edmund G., Senator, immortalized 
by his vote against impeachment, 322; 
his later years, and death in poverty, 
322 ; 299, 314, 317. 

Russia, Cameron appointed Minister to, 
186. 187-189. 

San Domingo treaty, opposed by Sumner, 
342, 343; Wade commission, 343, and its 
report, 386; attempt to secure ratifica- 
tion of, 360. 

Sands, Mahlon D. , convokes conference of 
revenue reformers. 353. 

Saulsbury, Willard, Senator, 201, 228, 349, 
250, 267, 268, 272. 

Scates, Walter B., Judge, quoted, 213; 21, 

Schenck, Robert C, Congressman, 166, 166, 

Schurz, Carl, Senator, report of, in his 
Southern tour, 253-255; his report has 
great influence, 254; his later doubts a« 
to his conclusions, 254 n. ; succeeds Hen- 
derson in Senate, 361, 352; a leader in 
Liberal Republican movement, 352; op- 
poses Kn-KIux-Klan bill, 366. 368; his 
speech a masterpiece, 358; on Leet and 
Stocking case, 366, 366 ; chairman of Ctn- 




oinnati ConTentioii, 883; his Tlew of 
nomination, 384, 386; how connected 
with course of Blair and Brown, 386 and 
n. ; his attitude toward Greeley's can- 
didacy, 391, 392; urges him to decline, 
391; Godkin and Godwin remonstrate 
with, 392, 393; in the campaign, 399; 
Greeley's farewell letter to, 408; 107, 189, 
343, 344, 363, 369, 363, 360, 3n, 373, 377, 378, 

Scott, Dred, not consciously a party to 
suit brought in his name, 82, 83. And see 
Dred Scott case. 

Scott, Thomas A., censured by House 
Committee 184, 186; 172 n., 186. 

Scott, Winfleld, General, has authority 
from Lincoln to suspend habeas corpus, 
190; 121, 122, 128, IH. 

Scripps, John L., 87. 

Secession movement, history of, 126^. 

Secors, the, and the Navy Dep't, 397, 398. 

Senate of U.S., debates Kansas-Nebraska 
bill, 34, and passes it, 37; T. takes his 
seat in, 48 ; debates on affairs in Kansas 
in, 56 iT-, 63, 64, 66, 76irM 81, 82, 83; passes 
JLecompton bill, 83, and substituted 
English bill, 84; debate on popular soy- 
ereignty in, 94; debate on Dayis's anti- 
Douglas resolutions in, 96, 96, and on 
John Brown raid, 98-100; J. Davis's last 
speeches in, 110, 114, 116; debates Crit- 
tenden Compromise, 116-117, and rejects 
it, 117; passes proposed amendment to 
constitution forbidding interference 
with slavery, 117; Douglas's death an- 
nounced to, by T., 162, 163; struggle in, 
over confirmation of Cameron as Minis- 
ter to Russia, 187-189; debate in, on ar- 
bitrary arrests, 190^. ; passes bill con- 
cerning political prisoners, 197 ; debates 
habeas corpus suspension bill, 198 ff.; 
Democratic filibuster thereon, 200-203; 
debates 13th Amendment, 223 ff.; de- 
bates Louisiana bill, 233, 234; Sumner's 
attack on Johnson in, 246, 247; debate 
on Wilson bill in, 247-250; calls for 
Schurz's report on Southern affairs, 263 ; 
debates Freedmen's Bureau bill, 258-260, 
but fails to pass it over veto, 261 ; Stock- 
ton election contest in, 261-266; debates 
Civil Rights bill, 266-270, and passes it 
over veto, 272; passes 14th Amendment, 
283; passes bill admitting Texas, 284; 
amendment looking to negro suffrage 
offered in, 287 ; adopts Sumner's negro- 
suffrage amendment to Reconstruction 
bill, 292, and passes bill over veto, 293, 
294 ; pass bills readmitting divers States, 
296, 297; debates Georgia bill, 298, 299; 
debates TCnure-of-Ofilce bill, 301, 302, 
and passes it over veto, 303; non-con- 

curs in removal of Stanton, 306, 306; 
trial of Johnson impeachment in, 309^ 
314, 318-320 ; acquits him on three counts, 
820, 821; debate on T.'s connection with 
McCardle case, 331, 332; debates and 
passes 16th Amendment, 338-340; debate 
in, on ousting Sumner from Foreign Af- 
fairs Committee, 343 ff.; debates Ku- 
Klux-Klan bill, 366-368, and Amnesty 
bill, 369, 360, and Hodge resolution, 362- 
364; orders inquiry into Leet and Stock- 
ing scandal, 366, 366; discusses make-up 
of committee, 366, 367; T.'s speech on 
Mo. convention of 1872, 376; Sumner's 
anti-Grant speech in, 387, 388; orders 
investigation of La. election, 406; T.'s 
last speech in, 406. 
Seward, William H., speech of, on Kansas 
affairs, 64; the ** logical candidate " in 
1860, 102; opposition to nomination of, 
102, 103 ; too radical for some states, 103; 
T. and Lincoln on candidacy of, 103,104, 
106; his inclusion in Cabinet opposed, 
ia»ff. : State Dep't. offered to, 141; and 
Cameron's appointment, 143; and the 
Harvey despatch to Gov. Pickens,156ir*; 
and Harvey's appointment to Portugal, 
165, 167; his assurance to Confederate 
envoys as to evacuation of Sumter, 156; 
his purpose, to defeat relief of Sumter, 
167; had induced Lincoln to agree to 
evacuation to prevent secession of Va., 
168 ; sends Magruder to Va. convention, 
161 ; and Douglas, in AprU, 1861, 163, 164 ; 
his aims patriotic but futile, 164; as- 
sumes power to order arbitrary arrests, 
190^. ; his dispatches of Apr. 1861, and 
July, 1862, to Adams, 210 iT- ; his attitude 
toward Lincoln's war policy, 210; un- 
justly blamed for non-success of Union 
arms, 210, 211 , 212 ; committee of Repub- 
lican Senators urge Lincoln to demand 
his resignation, 211 ; Lincoln's comment 
thereon, 212; on real date of emancipa- 
tion, 222; his construction of 13th 
Amendment confirmed by Supreme 
Court, 229; on Johnson as a speaker, 246; 
opinion of, on matter of territorializing 
States, 290; prepares Johnson's veto 
message of Tdnure-of-OflSce bill, 308; 48, 
79, 82, 84, 86, 88, 106. 107, 108, 112, 116, 118, 
119, 146, 146, 147, 160, 151, 170, 172, 181 n., 
182, 197, 238, 307, 430. 

Seymour, Horatio, elected Governor of 
N. T., 197; Democratic nominee for 
Pres. (1868), 833; 366. 

Shaffer, J. W., quoted, on conditions in 
seceding states, 242, 243. 

Shannon, Wilson, succeeds Reeder as 
Governor of Kansas Terr., 66. 

Sbeahan, James W., 79. 




SheridAO, P. H., Q^neral, 221. 

Sherman, John, Senator, on Ttoore-of- 
Offlce blU, 301, 303, a08; his Tiew of im- 
peachment, 309, 810; and eTldence of 
Johnson's intent, 313.; on Somner and 
the Foreign Affairs Ck>mmittee, 344, 346; 
on Cancns secrets, 346, 346; 102,248,240, 
292, 316, 320, 363, 3n, 400. 

Sherman, William T., General, quoted, on 
conditions in La. (1800), zzzy, 166, 166, 
221, 257, 306. 

Shields, James, Senator, 30, 48. 

Shiloh, battle of, 334. 

Simpson, Matthew, Methodist bi8hop,and 
the impeachment trial, 317, 320. 

Slave trade, extension of, deemed a Tltal 
necessity in the South, zxxiT. 

Slavery, how involyed in the War, zxi, 
xxii; history of, in the U. S., xxrii ff. ; 
change in Southern view of, xxxii, 
xxxiii; in 111., early history of , 23 iT- ; 
proYlsions of Ordinance of 1787 concern- 
ing, Yiolated by legislature, 26; prohib- 
ited by State Constitution, 25; attempts 
to perpetuate in 111., 28-80; and the Kan- 
sas-Nebraska bill, 34^.; in Lecompton 
Constitution, 72, 76; Douglas's attitude 
toward, 78, 86 ; in territories, doctrine 
of Squatter Soyereignty, 94 and n., 06; 
resolutions concerning, proposed by 
Lincoln, 112; proposed Amendment to 
Constitution forbidding interference 
with, passes both Houses, 117; T.*s re- 
view of question of, 124 JT- ; T.'s view of 
effect of 13th Amendment on, 249, 260, 
261, 258, 259, 260. And see Constitution 
(Amendment XIII), and Squatter Soy- 

Slaves, premature attempts to emanci- 
pate, by Fremont, 169, 170, Cameron, 
172, Hunter 172; T.'s confiscation bill, 
173^.. Che first step toward full eman- 
cipation, 176. 

Slidell, John, 80, 349, and n. 

Smith, Caleb, Secretary of the Interior, 
142, 148, 149, 151, 429. 

South, the, and the right of Secession, 
XXX ; and the Missouri Compromise, 
XXX ; condition of, in second quarter of 
19th century, xxxii, xxxiii ; changing 
view of slavery in, xxxii, and of the 
slave trade, xxxiv. 

South Carolina, and Nullification, xxv, 
xxvi ; attitude of, in 1861, 110; forts in, 
Lincoln's attitude concerning, 112, 113; 
and the 13th Amendment, 229 ; disputed 
returns from (1876), 408. 

Southern States. See States seceding. 

Spaulding, Rufus P., Congressman, moves 
for inquiry into suspension of Stanton, 
306; 304. 

Spencer, Charles 8., threatens T. for his 
attitude on impeachment, 316. 

Spoils system, T. on iniquities of, 340. 

Springfield (HI.) Journal^ 142. 

Springfield (Mass.) Republican^ 872. 

Squatter Sovereign^ the, quoted, 51. 

Squatter Sovereignty, doctrine of, reaf- 
firmed by Douglas, 94; denied by Jeffer- 
son Davis, 94. 

StaUo, J. G., 373. 

Stanbery, Henry, Attorney-General, 
opinion of, on question of tenitorialix- 
ing states, 290, 291 ; of counsel for John- 
son, 309; 827. 

Stanton, Edwin M., Secretary of War, and 
arbitrary arrests, 197; general Jail de- 
livery by, 196; opinion of , on question of 
territorialhdng states, 290, 291; and the 
Cabinet section of Tenure-of-CMAce bill, 
302; advises veto, and assists Seward In 
preparing veto message, 308; declines to 
resign as Secretary of War, 305; sus- 
pended, 306; denies power of Pres. to 
suspend htm, 305; surrenders office to 
Grant,306; resumes office, after;Senate*s 
action, 306; his embarrassing position, 
308; Johnson attempts to remove, 308; 
refuses to turn over office to Thomas, 
306; change in popular feeling concern- 
ing, 306, 309; attempted removal of, 
basis of first 8 articles of impeachment, 
800, 810; claims to be protected by Ten- 
nre-of-<>fflce Act, 310 ; evidence of liis ad- 
vice to Johnson as to that act, excluded, 
313; articles based on removal of, not 
voted on, 320; relinquishes office, 321; 
his conduct condemned, 321 ;|177, 186, 189, 
237, 318, 319, 330, 430. 

Stanton, F. P., acting Governor of Kansas, 
removed by Buchanan, 73. 

State Register, the, 13, 14. 

State sovereignty, xxii, xxv. 

States, admitted in pairs, xxix. 

States, seceding, opposing views as to 
status of, 231, 232; ^umner and Stevens 
against Lincoln, 231, 232; reconstruction 
of, mapped out before 39th Congress 
met, 237, 238; witches' caldron in, under 
reconstruction, 241; labor problem in, 
241. 242 ; new labor laws of, 242. and their 
effect in the North, 242; Shaffer quoted 
on conditions in, 242, 243; reports of 
Grant and Schurz on conditions in, 
252-254 ; Committee on Reconstruction on 
status of, 284 ; Stevens reports bill to re- 
store political rights of, 284, 285; except 
Tenn., refuse to ratify 14th Amendment, 
287; cause and consequence of their re- 
fusal, 287; Stevens's bill to make mili- 
tary authority supreme in, 291, 292; con- 
stitutions adopted by, in 1868, 295, 296. 



Stephens, Alex. H., on Johnson^s speech 
against seceeeion, 246. 

Stetson, Francis L., letter of, to author, 
40 n. 

Stevens, Simon, 184. 

Stevens, Thaddeos, his bill of indemnity 
for arbitrary arrests, 198; his views 
of status of seceding states, 231 ; on Re- 
construction Conunittee, 271 ; proposes 
amendments to Constitutioa, 282; re- 
ports bill to restore political rights of 
states, 284; his bill making military 
authority supreme in the South,291, 292; 
author of 11th article of impeachment, 
311 ; 184, 260, 278, 287, 304, 306, 308, 309. 

Stewart, Alex. T., nominated by Grant as 
Secretary of Treasury, 335, and why, 
335, 336; ineligible, 336; on the ** general 
order " system, 366. 

Stewart, William M., Senator, 261, 262, 
2&I, 265, 298, 339, 366. 

Stoclcton, John P., elected Senator from 
N. J., 261, 262 ; his election contested, 
262-265; unseated for partisan reasons, 

Storey, Wilbur F., and the Chicago Titnest 

Stonghton, E. W., 41L 

Stringfellow, J. H., quoted, 64. 

Strong, Moses M., 206. 

Stuart, John T., 32. 

Sturtevant, J. M., quoted, 118. 

Suffrage, in seceding states, restriction 
of, 294. 

Summers, George W., 168, 159, 161, 162. 

Sumner, Charles, his speech on Kansas 
affairs, 64; Brooks's assault on, 65; 
quoted, in T.*s debate with Douglas, 66; 
and Cameron, 188, 189 ; his view of status 
of seceding states, 231 ; opposes recog- 
nition of new state government of La., 
233, and defeats it, 234; attacks Johnson, 
246, 247 ; and the 14th Amendment, 283; 
secures adoption of negro suffrage as 
permanent element of reconstruction, 
292 and n. ; Northern views concerning, 
293; dispute with T. on Va. bill, 297; t. 
opiKNtes ousting of, from Foreign affairs 
Committee, 297, 344, 420; his theory of 
-impeachment, 312; and Stanton, 321; 
and the San Domingo treaty, 342; 
charged with bad faith by Grant, 342, 
343; deposed as Chairman of Foreign 
affairs committee, 343-347; Sherman's 
advice to, 345 ; interview of author with, 
347; on attitude of Anthony. 347; Mot- 
ley's removal a blow at, 347 ; moves his 
Equal Rights bill as amendment to Am- 
nesty bill, 360; and Grant's adminis- 
tration, 361 ; his speech against Grant, 
387, 388; hJs attitude toward Greeley's 

nomination, 388; chastised by Garrison, 
388; 79, 102, 211, 228 n., 236, 260, 264, 278, 
285, 287, 291, 296, 313, 363, 366, 367, 370, 371, 
378, 386 n., 423, 424. 

Sumter, Fort, J. Davis's views concern- 
ing, 110; Buchanan's reported purpose 
to surrender, 112, 113 ; effect on Douglas 
of attack on, 115; Harvey divulges plans 
to send supplies to, 155 iT-; Seward de- 
termined to prevent relief of, 156, 167 ; 
Lincoln's earlier promise to evacuate, 
158 ff. ; attack on, aroused forces that 
finally destroyed slavery, 164; attack 
on, and emancipation, 222; 128, 129. 

Sunderland, Rev. Byron, 121. 

Supreme Court of U. S., and the second 
clause of 13th Amendment, 229 ; con- 
strues 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, 
in U. S. V. Harris, 275, 270, 358 ; holds Ku- 
Klux Act unconstitutional, 275; holds 
Equal Rights Act (1875) unconstitu- 
tional, 275, 276 ; and the CivU Rights Act, 
277; divided decision of, in Milligan 
Case, 288, 289; proposed legislation con- 
cerning, 328 ; its jurisdiction as affected 
by Act of Mch. 27, 1868, 329, 330; dismisses 
McCardle's appeal, 330; and the Debs 
case, 414. 

Surratt, Mary E., 289. 

Svrayne, Noah H., Justice Sup. Ct., 274, 

Swett, Leonard, quoted, 428, 429 ; 69, 144. 

Talcott, Wait, quoted, 118. 

Tallmadge, James, Congressman, and the 
admission of Missouri, xxix, xxx. 

Tallmadge, N. P., 48. 

Taney, Roger A., Chief Justice Sup. Ct., 
on the power to suspend habeas corpus, 
196, 196. 

Tarr, Campbell, 161. 

Taylor, John, of Caroline, xxii, n. 

Ten Eyck, John C, Senator, 262. 

Tennessee, loyal state government in, 
recognized by Johnson, 237; bill for 
readmission of, 285. 

Tenure-of -Office bill, purpose of, 301 ; not 
at first intended to apply to cabinet 
officers, 301 ; passes Congress, 301 ; cab- 
inet adyises veto of, 301; vetoed, and 
passed over veto, 303; and the Stanton 
case, 306, 309; unconstitutionality of, 
alleged by Johnson's counsel, 311, 313. 

Territorializing states, opinions of John- 
son's advisers on question of, 290, 291. 

Terry, Alfred H., General, and the legisli^ 
tureofVa., 247. 

Texas, opposition in Mass. lb admission of, 
xxvi ; order for reconstruction of, 238 ; 
fails to adopt new constitution prompt- 
ly, 396; new conditions imposed on, 298. 



Thayer, Eli, 60. 

Thomas, Jesae B., Senator, Author of Mia- 
Bouri €k)mpromiae, xxx. 

Thomas, Lorenao, appointed Secretary of 
Warod interim, 308; Stanton refnaesto 
glTe way to, 308; his appointment the 
basis of certain articlesof impeachment, 
309, 810, 320, 321 ; 318, 319. 

Thomas, Morris St. P., quoted, 21 n., 421. 

Thomas, William B., 374. 

Thompson, Jacob, Secretary of Interior, 
and the Lecompton Constitution, 73. 

Thompson, John B., quoted, 36. 

Thurman, Allen G., Senator, 367. 

Tilden, Samuel J., and the Election of 
1876, 406, 407ir- ; T. of counsel for, in La. 
case, 409, 410; Electoral €k)mmission de- 
cides adversely to, 411; legally elected, 

Tillson, John, quoted, 107. 

Tipton, Thomas W., Senator, 800, 343, 344, 
345, 346, 363, 371. 

Tompkins, D. D., 179. 

Toombs, Robert, Senator, 68, 83, 121. 

Topeka Constitution, condemned by Bu- 
chanan and upheld by T., 76, 77. 

Toucey, Isaac, 130. 

Traveling in U. S., in 1847, 20. 

Treat, Samuel H., Justice, 13, 20. 

Truman, Benj. C, quoted, 246 n. ; 307 n. 

Trumbull, Julia (Jayne), T.'s flrst wife, 
letters of, to Walter T., 121-123; T.'s let- 
ters to, on Hanrey dispatch, 156, 157, 168, 
and on first battle of Bull Run, 166-167; 
her personality, 160; her death, 326. 

Trumbull, Lyman, birth (1813) and an- 
cestry, 1-3; education, 3; school-teach- 
ing in Georgia, 4, 6; reads law there, 5; 
goes to Illinois (1837), and settles at 
Belleville, 5, 6; practices law, 7^.; de- 
scribes murder of Lovejoy, 8-10; his 
early attitude toward slavery, 10; in 
State legislature, 10; his qualities as a 
debater, 10; appointed Secretary of 
State, 11 ; his resignation requested by 
Gov. Carlin, and why? 12 and n., 13; 
his resignation splits the Democratic 
party, 13, 14; resumes practice, H; 
marries Julia M. Jayne, 15; describes 
river floods, and murder of Joseph 
Smith. 16; family affairs, 16. 17, 19, 20; 
candidate for Democratic nomination 
for governor, 18; defeated by Ford's 
influence, 18 ; nominated for Congress, 
and defeated (1846), 18, 19; his profes- 
sional earnings, 20; elected Judge of 
111. Supreme Court (1848), 20; removed 
to Alton, 21 : reelected judge (1862), but 
resigns (1853), 21; Chief Justice Ma- 
gruder on his judicial opinions, 21, 22. 
Engaged as counsel for negroes. 

claiming their fkvedom, SB; eaae of 
Sarah Borders, 38, 89; In Jarrot v. Jar- 
rot, wins a victory which practically 
puts an end to slavery In IlL, 89; N. D. 
Harris quoted on hia efforts, 30, SI; his 
return to politics due to repeal of Mis- 
souri Compromise, 38 ; takes stomp In 
opposition to Kansas-Nebraska bill, S7, 
38; Anti-Nebraska candidate for Con- 
gress in 8th district, 38, and elected, 38; 
in Senatorial election of 1864, receives 
votes of Anti-Nebraska Demoerata on 
early ballots, 43, 44; elected by votes of 
Lincoln men, to defeat Gov. MatleaoD, 
44, 46, 46 n. ; regarded as a traitor by 
regular Democrats, 46; Lincoln's atti- 
tude toward his election, 46, 46. 

Takes his seat In Senate, 48; protest 
against his election overruled, 48, 49; 
letter from J. C. Underwood to, on 
Kansas affairs, 62, 68; and tnm L T. 
Dement, 53; his speech on repoirt of 
Committee on Territories endorsing 
Pres. Pierce's view of Kansas affairs, 
66 if.; exposes Douglas's sophisms, 67, 
68; a welcome reinforcement to Re- 
publicans in Senate, 67; Dooglas de- 
clares him not a Democrat, 69; hia 
answer to Douglas's tirade against 
him, 60, 61 ; Douglas's reply, 61, 82; his 
construction of ** forever " In the Mis- 
souri Compromise, 62, 63; farther de- 
bate with Douglas on Kansas,' 63, M; 
effect of these debates on his reputa- 
tion, 65; his intellect and personality 
compared with Lincoln's, 66; divers 
views of his flrst appearance in debate, 
quoted, 66, 67; letter from G. B. Raum 
to, 67; campaigns in Minnesota, 68; at- 
tends Republican National Convention 
of 1856, 60; colloquy with Mason, on 
destruction of the Union, 70 ; letter of, 
to J. B. Turner, on conditions in 1867, 
71 ; divers reports to, on effect of Doug- 
las's Anti-Lecompton stand, 74, 75 ; 
demolishes Buchanan's message on 
Kansas affairs, 76, 77; letters to, on 
possible alliance of Douglas with Re- 
publicans, 79, 80 ; Democratic overtures 
to, 80, 81 ; speaks on Buchanan's claim 
that slavery lawfully exists in Kansas, 
81, 82; lettersto, from Lincoln andothers, 
voicing Republican distrust of Douglas 
in 111., 87, 88, and, generally, on the 
campaign of 1858, 90-92; his cordial 
relations with Lincoln, 93; takes part 
in debate on resolution for committee 
of inquiry into John Brown's raid, 98- 
100 ; his notable speech, 98, 99, and Lin- 
coln's praise thereof, 100; letter from 
Lincoln on Delahay matter, 100, 101. 




HiB view of candidates for Republican 
nomination in 1860, 103; writes to Lin- 
coln thereon, 103, 104; thinks Seward 
cannot be elected, 104, and believes Mo- 
Lean alone can beat him, 104; Lincoln 
his first choice, 104; Lincoln, in reply, 
avows his own ambition, and discusses 
other candidates, 104, 106; divers let- 
ters to,on Lincoln's nomination, 106-107; 
post-nomination letters of Lincoln to, 
106 ; speaks for Lincoln at ratification 
meeting, 109, 110; confidential letters of 
Lincoln to, against compromise. 111, 
112, and on Buchanan's reputed purpose 
to surrender So. Carolina forts, 112; his 
own views on compromise set forth in 
letter to E. C. Lamed, 113, 114; his 
speech on Crittenden Compromise 
(March 2, 1861), 115, 116, and n., 123-138; 
urged by constituents to stand firm, 117- 
119 ; writes Gov. Yates, advising military 
preparations, 120; declines to listen to 
"Compromisers" from N. Y., 122; his 
troubles with office-seekers, 139; in N. 
Y. meets remonstrants against Seward's 
inclusion in Cabinet, and reports to 
Lincoln, 139, 140; Lincoln's reply, 141; 
Greeley's advice to, 141; advises Lin- 
coln not to appoint Cameron, 14fi, 146, 
147; is urged to use his influence to that 
end, 147, 148; favors Judd for seat in 
Cabinet, 148, 149, 160; re^'lected senator 
(Jan. 1861), 152; announces death of 
Douglas, 152; his eulogy of Douglas, 
153, 154; the Harvey dispatch to Gov. 
Pickens, commented on in letter to Mrs. 
T., 155, 156. 

Witnesses first battle of Bull Run, and 
describes it in letter to Mrs. T., 165-167; 
his reconstructed telegram, 168 ; his first 
Confiscation Act passed by Congress, 
168; his physical aspect, etc., in 1861, 
168 ; his family, 169 ; letter of M. C. TiCa 
to, on financial affairs, 170, and his reply, 
171; brings in his second Confiscation 
Act, 173; his report thereon, 173; history 
of the bill in Congress, 173-176; speaks 
on War Dep't. frauds, 184; lea<ls opposi- 
tion to confirmation of Cameron's nomi- 
nation as minister to Russia, 187; votes 
against confirmation, 189; introduces 
resolution of inquiry concerning arbi- 
trary arrests in loyal states, 191, 192; his 
colloquy with Dixon of Conn., 192, 193; 
his resolution shelved, 194; reports from 
Judiciary Committee House bill on 
same subject, 197; offers substitute for 
that bill, which is opposed by Demo- 
crats, but finally passed, 196, 199; offers 
substitute for Stevens's bill to indem- 
nify Pres. for arbitrary arrests, 199; re- 

ports from conference his substitute 
combined with his habeas corpus bill, 
200 ; his report concurred in, after Dem- 
ocratic filibuster, 201, 202; his speech at 
meeting of protest against the order 
forbidding the publication of Chicago 
Timest 207* 208, 209; letter of Judge 
White to, regarding certain dispatches 
of Sewaid to Adams, 210, 211, and his 
reply, 211, 212; one of committee to urge 
Lincoln to get rid of Seward, 211; divers 
letters to, relating to the war, 212, 213, 
215, 216, 217; and Delahay's appoint- 
ment to a judgeship, 213-214; letters of 
J. M. Palmer to, concerning the election 
of 1864, 214, 216; first evidence of per- 
sonal difference between Lincoln and, 
217, 218; deems the government ineffi- 
cient in putting down the rebellion, 218; 
falsely accused of refusing to speaJc In 
favor of Lincoln's rejection, 220. 

Reports to the Senate as a substitute 
for Henderson's proposed Constitu- 
tional Amendment what later became 
the 13th Amendment, 224; his speech 
thereon, 225-226 ; his authorship thereof, 
his title to immortality, 230; and the new 
Senators from La., 233; reports resolu- 
tion recognizing Hahn government of 
La., 233; breaks temporarily with Sum- 
ner, 234 ; letter of Shaffer to, on condi- 
tions in South, 242, 243, and of Ray, on 
Reconstruction, 243; his speech on post- 
ponement of Wilson bill invalidating 
certain acts, etc., of seceding states, 248- 
251; colloquy with Saulsbnry, 250; in- 
troduces Freedmen's Bureau and Civil 
Rights bills, 267; speaks, in debate on 
the former, on construction of second 
clause of 13th Amendment, 258-260 ; col- 
loquy with Henderson, 260; letter from 
Ray, on negro suffrage, 261; favors 
Stockton in N. J. election contest, 261^.; 
in debating his Amendment to Civil 
Rights bills, speaks again on power of 
Congress to pass laws for ordinary ad- 
ministration of justice in States, 265-267; 
answered by Saulsbury, 267-268; quotes 
Gaston as to citisenship of free negroes, 
270; his great speech in reply to John- 
son's message vetoing Civil Rights bill, 
272; the Nation, quoted, on his speech, ^ 
273; his leading position in the campaign 
of 1866, 273; opposed to Kn-Klux bill of 
1871. 275, 3S6, 357, 368; rejected Senator 
(1866), 277; sustains Johnson until veto 
of Civil Rights bill, 277. 278; letter of 
Mrs. F. C. Gary to, 278, and his reply, 279 ; 
not active in drawing 14th Amendment, 
284 n.; his influence as against radical 
measures leflsened by refusal of South- 




em states to ratify 14th Amendment, 
3B7; on Sterens's Recons traction bill, 
votes against Sumner's amendment 
making n^gro sultrage a permanent 
condition of rec<m8tniCtion, 282, bat 
supports bill with that amendment, 
2S>2; at fault in so doing, 292; Totes to 
pass bill over veto, 294; votes to pass 
supplementary registration of voters 
bill over veto, 291; writing in Chicago 
Advance^ denies power of Congress to 
regulate sultrage in states, 294, 296; 
reports bill for readmission of Va., but 
opposes amendments applying new con- 
ditions, 298; has a lively dispute with 
'Sumner, 296, 297, but supports him 
strongly in the later movement to oust 
him from chairmanship of Com. on 
Foreign ReUtions, 297, 344, 420; sup- 
ports Bingham proviso to the Georgia 
bill, 296, and makes a powerful speech 
thereon, 299; the Nation*s high praise 
of the speech and its author, 299, 300; 
votes for Tenure-of -OfHce bill, as amend- 
ed, 902; abused for his stand against 
conviction of Johnson, 313, 315, 323; 
Spenoer*s threat, 315; N. Y. Evening 
J'ost, Chicago Tribune, and Nation^ 
quoted, as to abuse of the "traitors,** 
314-317; his written opinion on the case 
against Johnson, 818, 319 ; J. F. Rhodes 
quoted on the action of the seven, 322; 
his only reply to his viliflers, 323, 324; 
his eulogy of Fessenden, 324, 325; death 
of Mrs. Trumbull, 326. 

Retained for the War Dep't. in the 
matter of McCardle's petition for ha- 
beas corptis, 327; appears before Su- 
preme Court, 327, 328 ; votes to pass over 
veto the Act of March 27, 1868, which 
the Supreme Court held toapply ex jxwtf 
/ado to McCardle case, 329, 330: his 
action criticised, 330. 332; his acceptance 
of counsel fees attacked by Chandler as 
being: connected with his vote on im- 
peachment, 330. 331 ; his defense, 331, 
332 ; the Chandler charjre would not 
down, 332: supports Vickers's amend- 
ment to 15th Amendment. 338, and op- 
p<M«e8 Wilson's amendment, 339; letter 
of (irenier to.on Republican corruption, 
341 ; offered En^^lish mission, 347: his rea- 
son for declining:, 348; in Kpeech at Chi- 
cago, diHcusses claims of U.S. against 
England, 349. and the urgent need of re- 
form of the Civil service, 349, 360; in- 
dorses Cox's stand. 349, 350; casts only 
vote in Jndiciar>' Committee in favor of 
Hoar's confirmation as Supreme Court 
Justice, 350; votes against tacking Sum- 
ner's Equal Rights bill to Amnesty bill, 

380 ; offert amendment for general In- 
vestigation of publie service to Conk- 
ling's resolution concerning Hodge,a62 ; 
his remarks thereon, 863; not appointed 
on investigating coouiittee, 886, 867;not 
moved by perscmal hoatili^ to Grant, 
868; interview with, in CouriersJtmmal 
on his relations with Grant (Dec. 1871). 
369andn.,370; letterof 8.GaUowmy to, 
on Grant, 871 ; mentiooed 1^ Stanley 
Matthews as possible candidate of lib- 
eral Republicans, 872 ; J. H. Bryant and 
others urge him to become a candidate, 
375; his replies somewhat noB-commit- 
tal, 375; defends Mo. Liberal Bepobll- 
can platform as RepnbUcan do^rlne, 
376 ; on civil service reform, 876; letter 
of Palmer to, offering his snppoit, 877; 
in letter to author, gives qualified assent 
to use of his name, 378, 879; letter of 
author to, on his candidacy, 879; his 
strength impaired by division of vote of 
111. at Cincinnati, 380; opinions of edi* 
tors as to candidates, 381 ; vote for, in 
the convention, 383, 884 ; his snpporters 
decide to support Greeley, 884; letter 
of W. C. Bryant to, urging him not to 
support Greeley, 3M, and his reply, 386, 
387; how Greeley's nomination was 
brought about, 389, 390; how Tromboll 
received the news, 380, 391; takes active 
part in campaign, 894^. ; his speech at 
Springfield, 111., denouncing Republi- 
can corruption, 895-399; his tribute to 
Greeley, 399; if nominated, could have 
been elected, 402; Adams, the stronger 
candidate, 402, 403; his speech on La. 
election of 1872, his last speech in the 
Senate, 405,406. 

His official career ended by defeat 
of Greeley, 407; defeated for rejflection 
by Oglesby . 407 ; resumes practice of law, 
407; one of the ** visi