(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Messrs. Vallandigham, Richardson and Cox"

§5? 









Class 
Book 



-!l45g 



.^ 



Messrs, TALLANDIGHAM, RICHARDSON ANB CK>X. 
SPEECH 

OF 

HON. SAMUEL SBELLABARGER. 

OF OHIO, 

Delivered in the House of Representatives, January 27, 1863. 

The House being in Cvmmifctee of the Whole on the State of the Uuion, Mr. SHEL- 
LABAROER said : 

Mk. Chairmak: TM.e extinction of a nationality, in whose language are 
recorded the first events of human history, whose constitution antedates the 
pyramids fey three hundred years, and whose arts, literature and laws are the 
sources of all future civilization, is recorded by its last historian in that one 
startling sentence, **sedition destroyed the city, and Komans destroyed- the 
sedition." A polity older than Thebes, a Government whose life outmeasures 
Assyrian, Chaldean and Gre^^ian dominion combined, has the story of its 
decline and fall summed up, and its history told, in this sentence with which 
the Hebrew State is dismissed forever from the families of men. 

Sir, the sedition which let Titus into the Hebrew capital was but the mad- 
ness of those wnom the gods would destroy. If the attacks we witnessed the 
other day upon this Government when my colleague [Mr. VallandiqhamI 
sought to persuade its subjects no longer to give to it their support in its 
present struggle against armed treason were mere madness, they wore rela- 
tively innocent. But, sir, we are spectators to-day of events in our midst, 
seen in an arranged, simultaneous and systematized eflfort to paralyze the 
Government in this its life or death struggle with treason, and to persuade 
one hulf its subjects to "adhere to its enemies,'' which are not meye madness, 

I stop not to prove to-day. My countrymen, you no longer need proofs, I 
think. But whether you do or not, I cannot stop to prove, but only to warn 
you to-day that the "enormous conspiracy" of which you were told in the 
i;i>t public utterance of Mr. Douglas, on the 1st of May, 1801. has its con- 
spirators in the North — I do not say in this House — who there play their 
infernal part in this drama. The key-note was struck by Stephens at Sa- . 
vannah, on the 22d of March, 1861, when ha said: 

" The process of disintegration in the old Union will go on with nlmost ^bsohu-^ 
(•(■rtainty. We are tlie nucleus o( a growing power. Looking tt) the future, * « * (■ 

II is not beyond the range of pos.sibility, ancj even probability, that all the great State.i 
HK THE NoitTinvEsr shall gravitate thi^ way. Our doors are wide enoughopen to receive 
them, but not until they are ready to assimilate with us in principle.'^ 

And, sir, what we see in the North daily of these efforts to. paralyze this, 
and to inspire with confidence the rebel government, are assigned and set 
parts in the play of the conspirators in this "process of disintegration." 

My colleague [Mr. Vallandigham] said the other day that "this Gov- 
ernment, with an arbitrary power which neither the Czar of Kussia nor the 
Emperor of Austria dare exercise, has struck down at a bl,ow cveiy badge 
and muniment of freedom." The gentleman from Kentucky, [Mr. Habi>- 
iNO,] in substance, repeated this. But, sir, these two speeches, as to thi* 
point, are but imitations, and almost copies, of the speech of Mr. Breckin- 
ridge in the United States Senate, of 15th of July, 1861, made shortly before 
he entered the rebel service; and all are the echoes of a message of Jeflerson 



Jir,c v^v! ^^iV .i. ^ •'^^^ I ^ oC^ 



E>^ 



3 



DftTJs. Another gentleman [Mr. Cox] alleges, in substance, that the six 
hundred and forty-one days of Mr. Lincoln's administration have divided 
the Union into two belligerent parts; have debauched the religion and 
morals of the nation; have murdered, by its war, one hundred and fiftv 
thousand of its children, and by disease as many more. Another gentleman 
[Mr. Richardson} attributes this war and its fearful calamities to the "Pres- 
ident and his friends," because, he says, they could have avoided it by hon- 
orable compromise. 

I do not allude to these specimens of attack upon him who, as the national 
Executive, if we are to live, must be supported in the discharge of his con- 
stitutional duty to "protect and defend" the Government by all of the peo- 
ple, to say that these are parts of the play of the conspirators, for that would 
be unparliamentary. I do not refer to them for the purpose of influencing 
their authors by any reply, for that would be useless. 1 do not allude to 
them for the purpose of finding fault with any criticism of the acts of this. 
Administration. It is not the right merely, t5ut the duty, of every repre- 
sentative of the people, to watch, and by truthful, manly criticism, to guard 
the interests of the people and of their Government, by detecting and expo- 
sing the errors and wickedness of the highest and lowest officer of tne Gov- 
ernment- If a bad proclamation has been issued, it a vicious policy has 
been inaugurated, if a faithful and able commander has been superseded, or 
frauds have been committei, show these by patriotic and reasonable appeals 
to facts, and every patriot in the land will honor you, and will leap to your 
support in correcting the error. I bow in blind adoration to no President, 
no party, no administration. I know none of them as such in this frightful 
struggle for national life. I honor the man Avho makes this Government 
stronger by showing its faults. But, sir, the utterances I have cited belong 
not to this class of truthful or reasoning exposures or rebuke of error in this 
Government. 

"What, sir! tell Americans, who are not fools, and can read, that when the 
President arrests men such as Merryman and Kane, engaged in murdering 
our unarmed soldiers in Baltimore, coming to rescue this capital from the 
torch, or when he arrests those who were burnijig the bridges over which 
they came here, or who were acting in the plot to assassinate the President, 
he "struck down at a blow every badge of republican government," and is 
guilty of acts of despotism which the Czar dare not do! Why, sir, the au- 
dacity of this accusation, that military arrests for the public safety in time 
of great danger are unprecedented despotism, is absolutely sublime. In the 
war for our institutions, and most of them under the general command of 
Washington, these military arrests were almost daily. Some were charged 
with "being inimical to the liberties of America, ' as in the case of Connolly 
and others "in Maryland. Others with "damning General Washington and 
Congress," as in the case of Kirkpatiick, of the same State. Others for ex- 
pressing "sentiments inimical to America," and for "advising men to lay 
down their arms," as in the case of Belniir(!S, of the same State. Others for 
being "enemies to American liberty," as in the case of Joshua Tcstill, of the 
pamc State. Others for being "disaffected to the cause of American freedom," 
as in the case of twenty Friends taken from Philadelphia aad imprisonetl at 
Winchester, Virginia. Others for being suspected of being loyalists, as in 
tJie case of Colonel Henry Frey, of New York, imprisoned during the war, 
with others, at Hartford, Connecticut. AVhy, sir, under Washington, through- 
out the war, by military authority, and in disregard of habens carpus, for the 
public safety, these arrests of dangerous men were almost universal. 

Tell Americai's that these arrests are unheard-of acts of despotism, when 
they know that for such arrests at New Orleans by Jackson he received the 
plaudits of his Government; and for them by ileneral Wilkinson, at the 
time of Burr's conspiracy, he was applauded by Mr. Jefferson, who said: 

"(ln f;rc:»t occ'asions, everr Rood officer must lie rpndy to risk liiinsilf in fioing be- 
jond the strict line oi law, when tho public j)resorvntioii reiinires i(. His motives will 
be n jnstitioation, as far na there is any discretion in his ultralcg;\l proceedings, and no 
indulgence of j>rivate feelings." 

"Your sending hereSwartwout and liollman, iind adding to them Bnrr, Blennerhas- 
aet and Tyler, should they fall into your hands, will be supported by thepiiblic opinion." 

m FXCHANeE , 



"The Feds, and the little bnnd of Quids, in opposition, will try to make something 
of the infringement of liberty by the military arrests and deportation of citirenM • but 
if it .loes not go beyond such ottendcrs as Swartwout, Bollman, Burr, Blennerhasset 
Tyler, 4c., they will be supported by the public approbation." 

And these acts by Jackson and Wilkinson were done at a time when the 
public danger was to ours now as the summer breeze to the sweep of the 
hurricane. Tell us that these military arrests for "public safety" are unheard- 
of acts of despotism not dared to be made by autocrats, when wo know that, 
from the conspiracy of Cataline to the rebellion of Dorr, in every civilized 
Government under the heavens, they have been resorted to as a means of 
preserving the State! And, sir, they never should be resorted to, except 
when necessary to preserve the State, and then with extremest care. Tell 
men not idiots that Mr. Lincoln's six hundred and forty days' possession of 
this Government has divided this Union, inaugurated the war, and brou"ht 
all its consequences, when every man on the globe who reads any human 
language, from Esquimaux to English, knows that under Mr. Buchanans 
administration this Union was (as much as now) divided, seven States had 
seceded, the rebel government was formed, the President installed, the Con- 
gress in session, an act matured calling out one hundred thousand militia to 
seize on Washington and assassinate the President, our army and arms seized 
in Texas, public property taken by the rebellion, and the Government's au- 
thority overthrown throughout one-fourth its limits! Tell us Lincoln com- 
menced this war, when Walker, the rebel Secretary of War, on the 12th of 
April, 1861, boasts that they began it on that day by the attack upon Sum- 
ter, and notified through his organs his army of seven thousand men and 
one hundred and forty cannon to be ready at a moment's notice to march 
upon and take this capital ; and this and innumerable other acts of war, all 
done before one efibrt was made by this Government even in preparation for 
self-defense ! 

Why, Mr. Chairman, by what name will history call such truthless assaults 
upon our beloved institutions and the Government, now when it r.eeds so 
much the sympathy and support of all its children? Are these treason? 
Oh no, not treason, although they destroy the Government. They are not 
treason, only because treason is bold and leaps to its ends by the "overt act." 
It is only because treason is bold, and takes the hazards of crime, that some- 
body said of it that treason multiplied becomes heroic, successful becomes 
patriotism. Why, sir, Cataline, as conspirator, at the door of the Senate, 
has received the execrations of all history, and is pinioned over the door- 
way of every council chamber in Christendom. There, sir, over your door- 
way you see his bones yet, and scorn stands there pointing at them her slow 
unmoving finger. But Cataline as the captain, in flagrant war at Pistoia, 
has received from history the sacred rite of sepulture. When Absalom 
stole from his father the king the hearts of the king s subjects, us he kissed 
the men of Israel beside the king's gate, Absalom was but a demagogue and 
thief. But to the memory of Absalom, in the wood of Ephraim, as a leader 
of open rebellion, the tears of his father accord the meed of a hero illustri- 
ous at least in crime. 

No, Mr. Chairman, these covered and furtive attacks upoK this Govern- 
ment itself, which are made now by seeking to persuade the people that the 
crimes of their own Government are the causes of this rebellion against 
itself, are not technical treason, just because treason is no skulk or coward. 
And, sir, neither are they debate. AVhy, sir, debate is the contest of intel- 
lect with intellect, wielding in that contest truth— high, sublime, mighty 
truth — and if the combatants have no other li" lit, they have at least the 
sword-sparks struck by the conflict from these tlieir weapons. Michael or 
Ajax may be set down by poets as impersonations of high debate. But 
even Ajax, groping for an antagonist and for light, is not such impersona- 
tion ; much less is not debate the truthless dribblings of inanity as it stande 
there vacant anu emasculated, nuittering at each passer by its incoherent 
twaddle. Neither, sir, are these diatribes debate which, in this Hall or out, 
libel the loyal men of the North as the authors of our national cnlamiiic8. 

These utterances are not debate, sir. Then, what are they "^ Let them U- 



forever to histoiy what the ravings of the hags of th3 drama are to it, "a 
deed without a name." 

Let ns look a little at these accusations against the men of the North. — 
The gentleman from Illinois says in effect, we brought the war wrongly, un- 
justly, by rejecting an honorable compromise, which was rejected the 2d of 
March, 1861. This was after seven rebel States had seceded; organized a, 
rebel government; inaugurated its president; matured, in its congress, an 
act calling out one hundred thousand militia ; surrendered our army in Texas, 
and our forts, arsenals, navy yards and other public property to the rebel- 
lion; and after the conspirators had taken a final leave of this Government 
in contemptuous defiance of the Government and rejection of all compro- 
mise, and was in the act of organizing its armies to march them on this cap- 
ital to overthrow the Government and to assassinate the President of the 
United States, and to seize upon the seat of his and of this Government's 
power. That was the precise attitude of the rebels towards the "President 
and his friends" at the moment when that President and his friends, as the 
o-entleman alleges, at last refused to make with the rebels "an honorable 
compromise!" And that was the attitude of affixirs — mark it, Americans — 
when began the six hundred and forty-one days of this administration's ex- 
istence, which the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Cox] in this House dares to 
insinuate have borne, as their terrible fruits, the destruction of three hui,dred 
thousand citizens, the division of this Union into two belligerent parts, the 
bankruptcy and total debauchery of the entire nation. Let this House and 
nation note this attitude of affairs when this honorable compromise was de- 
clined, and when these six hundred and forty-one days began, and then let 
uj look a moment at these startling accusations that we have brought this 
war and its awful fruits by rejecting honorable compromise. 

Shall I argue with these honorable gentlemen the proposition that the 
President and his friends could only compromise with rebels, whose knife 
was at their throats, honorably upon the supposition that our principles, which 
we were required to abandon in the compromise, were so obviously wrong 
and unjust that we and the people who elected Mr- Lincoln could not hon- 
estly entertain them as true? If honestly entertained as wise principles of 
government, and just approved by the people, could the President and his 
friends abandon thm in obedience to the logic of the knife and the pistol, 
and abandon them at the very moment he was appointed by the people to 
to execute them? Would that, sir, be the gentleman's idea of an honorable 
compromise? Let us see. 

I now make an appeal which I know must reach the sense of manhood as 
well as the patriotism of the gentleman from Illinois, and of every member 
on the other side. Had Mr. Douglas been elected on the doctrine of "pop- 
ular sovereignty," and then had the New England States, or Ohio, pursued 
the course of their Soutiiern sisters and said, "we are unwilling to belong 
to a Government which protects slavery; we are tired of what these men 
call the copartnership; we will break it up, and will erect a Government of 
our own;" and if they had seized the forts, arsenals and public property of 
the whole country, and had arrayed themselves in hostility to the Govern- 
ment, and threatened to depose Mr. Douglas, and to take possession of the 
capital, and had put their knife at the heart of Mr. Douglas, and at the heart 
of the gentleman from Illinois, as the head of bis Cabinet; and then, in 
that posture of affairs, had said to Mr. Douglas and his Cabinet, and to the 
people who elected him, "we will submit to your (iovernmcnt and live under 
it if you will make with us an 'honorable compromise;' just abandon your 
principle of 'popular sovereignty;' put into the Constitution our Chicago 
platform; exclude popular sovereignty from the Territories forever; and do 
not stop there, but after you have got the Chicago platform into the Consti- 
tution, put in a clause touching it which shall say, as the Crittenden compro- 
mise did touching its 'slave code' which it injected into the Constitution, 'no 
future amendment to the Constitution shall aflect this article.'" And then 
had New England said, "do this, and we 'black republicans' will condescend 
to live under your government, and will not cut its throat, and yours too. — 
"We offer you this 'honorable comproinisc' You can accept it or the knife. 



If you reject this honorable compromise you will be the cause of the war 
we will make on the Government; and will be the authors of the slaughter 
and bankruptcy it will bring, and of our division uf the Union and of ovr 
rebellion." Had New England done this — and I beg pardon of noble New 
England forever quoting this supposition, which I do from Mr. Latham — 
would the gentleman from Illinois have accepted that most "honorable com- 
promise?" Would he, Mr. Chairman? Would he, my ju.st-minded men of 
America? Would he do the thing described b}' the noble Democrat, Kose- 
erans, just after the victory at Murfreesboro', which has made him immortal, 
whj thus speaks of the peace traitors of the North: 

" They will liok the boots of these Southern thieves and liars, who will turn around 
and kick them." 

Mr. Chairman, I take the question back. To ask it is not to assume merely 
that the gentleman from Illinois would have played the traitor by laying 
down, at the foot of monstrous, causeless rebellion, that Government which 
the people ha.d just given to him and made him swear "to protect and de- 
fend." It is not to assume merely that he was too poor-spirited and too 
cowardh' to defend a principle he believed right, and which the people had 
just approved and intrusted to him to defend as their chosen guardian ; but 
it is to suppose the gentleman from Illinois is a dog, and a very mean dog at 
that. Sir, if he would not, and could not, make such a compromise without 
dishonor and the abandonment ot all pretense of ours being a Government, 
then, in the name of all that is high and holy in common justice and fair 
play, I ask how could wc abandon our principles and the Government at the 
bidding of rebellion, with Yancey's dagger at our heart? 

But, Mr. Chairman, there is still another reason why I should not suppose 
the gentleman, as a member of Mr. Douglas' Cabinet, would, upon our threat 
of rebellion, have "honorably" compromised away "the Constitution as it is' 
than the one I have given, that it is to suppoiie him a traitor, u poltroon, 
and a very bad pup. That other reason, sir, is, that upon this very question 
the gentleman and all his party, but pre-eminently that gentleman, has been 
tested — ay, sir, most thoroughly tested. That gentleman, as the chosen and 
confidential representative of Mr. Douglas, was at the national Democratic 
convention at Charleston in April, 1860. What he said there and did was 
to be taken to be and was what Douglas said, and what Democracy North 
said. And, air, Yancey was there too. And that same knife which is now- 
red and dripping with blood of patriots slain on a hundred battle-fields for 
the Union was there loo. And that same torch was there, and in the hands 
of the same conspirators, which has fired this temple of our liberties. And 
there Yancey held that knife at the throat of the gentleman from Illinois, 
and applied that torch to the funeral pyre on which they had stretched, for 
immolation to the Moloch of slavery, the Democratic party. 

The gentleman then knew and said what Mr. Douglas, in etiect, repeated 
in the last public utterance of his life, that this attitude of Yanct-y and his 
co-conspirators toward him and Mr. Douglas, at Charleston, was one act in 
the plot for the destruction of this Union by destroying the Democratic 
party. Sir, did you not know it? Did you not, in ett'ect, say it ? Have 
you not said so ten thousand times out of this Hall and in it? Did you not 
say, what the whole Democratic party North have said, that then and there 
the conspirators meant to destroy the Democratic party first, and this Union 
next — to put out the light, and then put out the light?. And, sir, then, too, 
the gentleman, with th'is same knife of rebellion at hie throat, was tendered, 
by these same conspirators, a compromise — if he f)leases, an "honorable eom- 
piomise" — one which would save the Democratic J'arty, and, in his judg- 
ment, that would have saved this Union. What was that compromise? 
Let the country look at it now once mor<-. What was that tiling wiiich the 
gentleman from Illinois, rather than agree to do, would destroy the Demo- 
cr-tic party and thereby the Union? Why, sir, it is to the "honorable coni- 
promise ' said to be tendered to us in the Crittenden compromise as Hyperi- 
on to a satyr. Here is the proposition offered to the gentleman at Charlet- 
ton, before which he preferred to take the severance of the Democratic party 
and of this Union. It says: 



6 

"Itis the dut}' of the Federal Government in all its departments ^o protect, when ne- 
eeasary, the righ's of persons and property in the Territories, and wherever else it.'* 
oonstitutional authority extends." 

That was all he was required to accept as a compromise, and with it to 
take Mr. Douglas for President. That was the "slave code," the Breckin- 
ridge platform, the "honorable compromise" tendered to the gentleman, as 
he lay there, the great representative of Douglas s'^uatter sovereignty, upon 
the funeral pile of the nsitional Democracy, with Yancey's knife at his throat. 
Take this "honorable compromise," the "slave code," and the negatii'n of 
popular sovereignty, with Douglas and the preservation of the Union by the 
preservation of national Democracy, or take the knife to Union and Democ- 
racy. Mind you, Mr. Chairman, Yancey did not ask that this "honorable 
compromise," the Breckinridge platform, should bo put into the Constitution, 
and that it should then be made, like the laws of the Medes and Persians, 
unalterable by all the people throughout all the ages. Oh, no, sir. They 
did not ask so much as that at his hands, but only that it should be put into 
a political platform — a thing brewed, like the hell-broth of the witches, from 

" Eye of mewt and toe of frog, 
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog. 
Adder's fork, nnd blind-worm's sting, 
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing. 
For a charm of powerful trouble;" 

and then dashed away more quickly than brewed when its purposes are end- 
ed. And, sir, what was the action of the gentleman then, when, by letting 
into that thing of wind called a platform this protection to slavery, he could 
have preserved the Democratic party, and thereby, as he avers, the Union 
also, and could have elected Douglas and avoided this war, as they tell us? 
Did he do it? For the sake of the national Democracy and of the Union 
did he doff his prmciples and make that "honorable compromise?" Did he 
get upon his belly and oat just a little more dirt? No, sir; oh, no. Just 
when the gentleman was in this attitude, with Y'ancey's knife at his party's 
n«ck, he received from Mr. Douglas this emphatic dispatch: 

•'Accept the Cincinnati platform and Dred Scott; but go not a step beyond." 

Mr. ALLEN, of Illinois. I desire to ask the gentleman one question. — 
What authority has the gentleman from Ohio for making that assertion ? 
Does he state it from his own knowledge, or from information? and if from 
information, what is the source of that information? 

Mr. SHELLABAliGER. I stated it as an extract, verbatim, ct literatim, 
0t jnmctuatim, from the reports of the proceedings of the Charleston Con- 
vention, as they were given to us in the public papers at the time the con- 
vention was in pizblic session ; and it never has been, so far as I knyw, denied. 

Just then, too, it was that a distinguished delegate from Ohio, Mr. Payne, 
exclaimed in the convention, "we cannot recede I'rom this ground of non- 
interveniion without personal dishonor, and .so help us Cod we never will." 
It was about the same moment when another dchigate exclaimed, "I feel, 
praise the Lord, that I have got through eating dirt. I have eaten my peck, 
and I want no more." And it was then the gentleman rejected the "honor- 
able compromise," divided the Democrati'j party, defeated Judge Douglas, 
which he avers divided this Union, and brought on tliis war. lie did all 
tills rather than abandon a principle he believed right, and put its opposite 
into a mere platform. He and Mr. Payne could not put the opposite of 
their principle of non-intervention into a platform, even for the sake of the 
Democracy and the Union, without "personal dishonor," and they snore by 
the God of nations and of men they never would. And, sir, what man or 
mouse has dared to wag tongue or tail at these men for not eating that peck 
of dirt at Charleston? 

Sir, that was what ho was asked but declined to do at Charleston, to save 
this Union by "hf)norable compromise." What is it that was demanded of 
us? Here is the material pro-slavery term of that Crittenden compromise 
tendered, it is said, to us. It says: 

'• In all the 'rerritories south of .iO" 31/ slavery ol thi' .African race is recognized a>t 



existing, anrl shall not be inte;-(ered with by Congress ; but shall be protected by all the 
departments of the territorial government during Us eantinuance." 

This provision applied to all future acquired territories. This proposi- 
tion, let it be observed, is the very antipode of the leading principle on which 
Mr. Lincoln had just been elected, as that leading principle was incorpora- 
ted in the eighth resolution of the Chicago platform, which excluded slavery 
from the territories. It was "personal dishonor'' for Mr. Payne and Mr. 
Richardson to admit into their mere platform the opposite of their princi- 
ples, not principles just affirmed by the voice of the people; hut it is '-hon- 
orable compromise" for us to thrust'nto the Constitution of the United States, 
and to make it unalterable forever, the very opposite of our principles which 
had just been affirmed by the voice of the nation. Why, Mr. Chairman, the 
gentleman has become patient beyond precedent, when it is not his, but our 
principles, our honor, our possession and administration of the Government, 
which are to be gfven up by this "honorable compromise.' Since this re- 
bellion has culminated in flagrant war, he has exhibited the graces of meek- 
ness far beyond the examples of the patriarchs and prophets. Even Moses 
and Job have ceased to be respectable. The primer must be changed now 
in order to vindicate "the truth of history;'" and to the questions our mother* 
used to ask us in the nursery, "who was the most patient man?" and "who 
the meekest man?" instead of the answers being Job, Moses, both must now 
be answered, William A. Richardson. 

It is true the gentleman's suffering is alleviated some in the fact that it is 
otif suffering he proposes to tolerate, oi/r honor he proposes to tarni.sh, our 
principles he proposes to sacrifice ; but still he is meek and patient, because 
in "this honorable compromise'' he is now ready to make with armed rebel- 
lion he parts with his own principles of non-intervention as well as ours. — 
And what makes his graces of patience arise to the absolutely illustrious 
and saintly, is the fact that this honorable compromise is to be made with 
the same men now in arms against him, who admonished the people of 
Charleston, when the gentleman and his fellow-delegates went there, to put 
an increased police force on their beat, and stronger locks on their doors to 
protect property and women from the danger which the presence of North- 
ern Democrats had brought to the city. Why, sir, I remember that a man, 
once a most distinguished member of this House and of the Senate, whose 
eloquence surpassed Patrick Henry's, drew from oriental biography an ex- 
ample of meekness in the life of a Hebrew herdsman, who afterwards be-'"' 
came a Hebrew king. He described the shepherd boy as being helped (ipl'J 
the acclivities of Judea's mountains by adhering to the tails of Jesse's cat* 
tie; and as receiving with marked patience in his golden hair what wa«' ■ 
coveted most for the enrichment of the impoverished soil in the valleys be- 
low. That looks like patience. But even that example pales its ineffectual'!^ 
fires before the lustre of this modern example of meekness which we hav* 
in the gentleman from Illinois. 

Mr. Chairman, even my colleague [Mr. Tallandioham] was compelled, . 
the other day, to admit that we could not in honor accept the Crittendeiiri 
compromise; and he makes us guilty of a "high crime" in holding our prin-'" 
ciples at all, and not in tbe refusal to part with theai. Ho says .• 

"But that party, most (ii.sAstronsly for the (-ountry, refijscd all i!Oinpromi.«e. How,, 
indeed, could theyacoept B,ny ?■ TJiat which the South clemanded, and the Democratic- 
and conservative parties of the North and West were willing to grant, and which alonef'' 
eoiild avail to keep the peftce and save the Union, implied a surrender of tlie solo vital i 
clement of the party." * '■' '•' '•' '•'' "■■■ '-'' ''" , '■ 

"Sir, the orime, the hi^ crime of the Republican party was not so much its refusal 
•<o compromise, as its ori^final organization upon a basis and doctrine wholly inooosist- 
«?nt with the stability of the Constitution and the peao&of ihe Union." 

Sir, the repetition laowy.and its use, to overthrow the Gov<rnment, by those 
who aspire to speak fac a great party, of this accusation, that the principle 
upon which Mr. Linc^lnw^is. elected was .so damnable as to make its holding 
a "high crime," and i.ts affirmation by the people a just'onuse of rebellion, . 
makes it proper that abttmtion should be invited again, stale as it is, to whaV't 
that hideous principle is,. Here it is: 

"The States have tliiiflr/gl>t, .exr;iusively, to order and control thoir domosticin.ilitu- 



8 

tions according t& their own judgment; and the Terrltorks are, by th« Constitution 
and comnit>n iaw, free Territory; and when necessary to secure to persons in theTer- 
ritoriec their constitutional right to liberty, legislation to that end should be provided." 

This, sir, is the precise substance of the whole principle making our "high 
<;rime." The States exclusive masters of their own domestic aftkirs, the 
Territories free. The question I make with him who sajs this principle is 
?i "high crime," and with him who sajs we caused the war by refusing to 
part with this principle is, was this principle so damnable in its character 
that we could have abandoned it without personal dishonor, while he could 
not abandon his principles at Charleston without such personal dishonor? 
That is the question, sir. Gentlemen cannot dodge it, or blink it, or cover 
it up from the view of an intelligent people. Three words cover the whole 
vast question: "Are Territories free?" Is this doctrine so monstrous 
that we could not believe it — so monstrous that, just when it was solemnly 
sanctioned by the people, and a Government selected to defend it, it could 
bo abandoned under the force of the logic of assassins and bullies, by an 
"honorable compromise ?" What ! Mr. Chairman, that the Territories ought 
to be free — a self-evident and monstrous wickedness^to be instantly aban- 
doned at the threat of treason the moment treason demands it. Why, sir, 
in the name of history, of truth, and God, let us look at this. Favor to 
freedom and to free labor — non-favor to extension of slavery and slave labor 
in the new States and empires of this continent ! Who, sir, were and are 
the friends and advocates of this doctrine, which freemen are now demand- 
ed to dash to the dogs of rebellion the moment they bark at us ? Why, sir, 
where did -vve learn that lesson? Who were our schoolmasters? 

Will the gentleman from Illinois walk with me a moment in fancy ? I 
take him to no porch of Zeno. I ask him not to the groves of Aristotle. — 
Let him go with his head uncovered with me now, for I invite him into an 
august presence- That is not an unnatural fancy which lets the dead re- 
visit "the glimpses of the moon," and which has assembled them again in 
Independence Hall as witnesses of the sad spectacle now before us, the death- 
struggle of the great Kepublic modeled after their teachings or formed by 
their hands. It is into that convocation that I invite gentlemen of this 
House and my countrymen. Let us light up again that old hall, where they 
reassenvble now, with the same lamps which shone down upon their benches 
when they were there before. Let the books be opened again from which 
these founders of our Government read the precepts which guided them in 
our natal epoch. Let that focus of lights which fell upon the cradle of the 
Republic be again thrown in full blaze upon us as we stand around what, 
alas may be its grave. Let us look upon the shades of our fathers in the 
same illuminations which surrounded them when they made the Republic. 
There these lights are now hanging in a vast galaxy around the chamber 
where, in fancy, our mighty dead have come back. He who turns with 
most confidence to the teachings of our holy religion, would first look to- 
wards the constellation in which are grouped the great teachers ot that di- 
vine faith. In that group he will see Baxter, Paley, Whitfield, Clark, Mc- 
Knight, Scott, Beattie, Butler, Goodwin, and the whole body of the repre- 
sentative minds of Christendom. Of the Protestant faith Wesley may be 
the central figure, and of the Catholic, Leo X : and all alike are saying in 
the language of Wesley — "Human slavery is the vilest thing that ever saw 
the sunlight," and in the language of Leo X., "not religion alone, but nature 
herself cries out against slavery." He who reveres the teachings of the 
great masters in public and international law, would first look at the light 
held by Blackstone and Montesquieu, and Sir AVilliam Jones and Grotius, 
where he would read their united testimony written over them nil in the 
immortal words of Grotius, that great father of the international law — 
"They who buy, sell, or abduct slaves or free men are men-stealers." He 
who bows reverently before the men wlio give laws to empires, policies to 
States, and character to civilization itself, would first see the light which 
came from the torch held in the hand of Fox and Burke and Clarkson and 
Wilberforce and Pitt; and would read in that light the utterance of thcra 
all in the memorable words of Pitt — "It is injustice to permit slavery to re- 



9 

or 

■main a single hour in England." He who is most moved by th^ melodies of 
iniperisliable song, or is guided by the persuasive forees of high literary 
productions, would first see in this assemblage, Addison, Uunnah Mure anil 
Dr. Johnson, and their associates in the world of letters, and would read, 
over them all, the words of Dr. Johnson, written in ligiit which ages have 
not dimmed, "No man is the property of another." He who bows with 
most reverence in the august presence of the conuuon law, would first turn 
to that grand impersonation of that law which is over the very entrance to 
the Chamber where we now are, Lord Mansfield. What he holds in his 
hand is the judgment of the King's Bench in the cjise of Sommersett; that 
thing which, upon the ■22d day of June, 1772, belted with a zone of light 
the earth as far as goes that dominion "whose morning drum beat following 
th'^ sun and keeping pace with the hours circles the earth with one continu- 
ous and unbroken strain of martial airs of Englau<l;" and wliich spread all 
•over the British dominions — nay, sir, all over the .grej\t globe wherever the 
-common law pushes its sublime sway — a vast an<l dazzling effulgence. The 
words of that judgment, which are the most important, by far, ever recorded 
injudicial records, are still there, where they w-ere when tl c liepublic was 
made. Bead them : 

"The claim of slavery can nkvkr bk suppoRrED." 

But, Mr. Chairman, high over all, central to them all, jtenctrating, per- 
vading and sanctifying all, is that other precept from the lijis of tlie Master 
of them all, from which alike all government, all law, all morality, and all 
civilization derive the springs aaid sources of their existence. It says : "As 
ye would that others shoraild do unto you, -do ye even so unto them." 

Such, incontestibly;, were the lights under which were formed the institu- 
tions of the Itepublic. I have sought, in fancy, to put them back again in 
the same chamber where they were when the Government wj\s formed. I 
have gatheied there beneath those lights the shades of the men who stood 
around the cradle of the Republic. And as these pa.ss before them let gen 
tlemen be silent, for in that pirocession shall pass by every one of our illus- 
trious dead. Let them heed the sublime precepts to which, as they pass, 
each one of these will point. There, their precepts, are legible, yc.t, once 
traced in light, now, alas! retraced in a nation's blood. At the head of that 
procession, sir, I see him whose bones sleep — do they sleep, sir. now? — close 
by us at Mount Vernon. The sentence to which Washington points the 
gentleman from Illinois is that one he uttered oil the 0th of September, 
A. D. 1786, just before he became President of the Convention which made 
the Constitution. In the name of the liberty which the sword of Washing- 
ton won — in the name of the Constitution Washington made — in the mime 
of the God Washington feared — I beg my country to read that sentence 
to which Washington points us as he passes by us in this, may be, funeral 
procession of his Republic. Here it is: "It is among my fiust wishks to 

SKE SOME PLAN ADOPTED BY WHICH SLAVERY IN THIS COUNTRY SHALL UK 
ABOLISHED BY LAW." 

Next to AVashington, let Benjamin Franklin pass by us. He wrote, in 
part, the Declaration of Independence. His name is to the Constitution, is 
linked with every glorious memory of the Revolution, is engraved upon the 
monuments which philosophy erects for her most illustrious sons, and his 
immortal epitaph she has chiseled there in the language of another repub- 
lic — ^'Eripuii fulmen de ccelo, scejiiruiiujue tr/Tauriis." The words to which 
Franklin points us. as he passes by in the mournful procession, are the very 
last public utterances of his illustrious life; and they como to us, gentlemen 
of the House, with startling emphasis, because they are words of prayer 
addressed to an American Congress. To Congress he says: 

" Step to the very vorj^e of tJie power vested in you for (iisc-ourngine every species of 
tniffic in our feHow'rnen ; * * * devise sonic means of Tcniovjng this incotisistency 
of ch.irnctor from th<? Amerio.in people." 

My fellow-Americans, may I beg you, in the light of tho dread events 
now around us, to read the words to which the great Fronklin points us as 
he goes by ? 

Next to Franklin let the uuthor of the Declaration of Independence come. 



10 

And as his great shade proceeds his finger is upon the words of his which 
consecrated to freedom a vast empire, whore now live six million freemen. 
They are: 

" There shall be, in the Territories of the Northwept, neither slavery nor mvoluntary 
aervitudc, except in punishment of crime."' 

Next to Jefferson, let Patrick Henry ^o by — a name connected with the 
.springs and sources of our free institutions, and whose lustre would only be 
dimmed bj' any attempt at eulogy. And as he passes us by he repeats, in 
solemn emphasis, those ever-memorable words of his, bearing date the 18th 
of January, 1773: 

" It is a duty we owe to the purity of our religion to .show that it is at variance with that 
law that warrants slavery. 1 believe that the time will come when an opportunity will be 
offered to abolish this lamentable evil." 

Let the father of the Constitution, Madison, go by next to the illustrious 
Henry. And as he goes, he points those who declare that we brought thi:i 
war, by our refusal to make slavery, by name, eternal in the Constitution, to 
his immortal words : 

"It is wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in 
men." 

But, sir wo weary in this review. There is, from the illustrious ones of that 
assemblage we have imagined of our revolutionary dead, no single dissenting 
voice. There pass by us, in the same processiin of heroes, Hamilton, and Chase, 
and AVirt, and Crawford, and Mason, and Pendleton, and Marshall, and Lowndes, 
and Monroe, and Tucker, and Pinckney of Maryland, and Lee, and Randolph, 
and all — all, as they pass by us — by speech and act and vote, in the assemblies 
which formed our institutions, admonish us to see to it that freedom shall be the 
law of the Republic. 

And, sir, did time admit of it, I would let these men point this House and the 
country again to their illustrious deeds. But those deeds in favor of freedoni 
are too vast in numbor and importance to be recited. Let that one monument 
oi' tbeir wisdom and patriotism, erected by their hands at the very vestibule of 
our national existence — the ordinance of 1787 — sufiice for this hour. There 
that monument stands, its base resting upon and stretching across one-third of 
the continent, and its top far above the stars. In looking at it now, well may its 
great author, Jell'erson, exclaim of it, "I have reared a monument harder than 
brass, more enduring than pyramids." Would the gentleman from Illinois, if 
he could, now tear down that monument? Would he now take from its sunmiit 
or from its eternal base one stone or one fragment of one stone? Let him look 
at it nr)w in its awful grandeur, as it stands before him, its top "meeting the> 
sun in its coming, the earliest light of the morning gilding it, and parting day 
lingering and playing on its summit." 

The first Congress which ever met under the Constitution applied that ordi- 
nance, c.vcluding slavery from all our then Territories, to our new form of gov- 
ornnicnl. Its beneficent provisions began at the western base of the Alleghe- 
nies, and swept across the great States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, far oil to the 
Lake i»f the Woods. It was passed by the very men who had just made the 
Cdustitution — passed early in the morning of the first days of the Republic's, 
existence — passed when the young leaf upon our tree of liberty opened to the 
sun its lir.st verdure — passed when the first oath, ))y the men who had made the 
Constitution, had scarce escaped from their lips to support it; and had scarce 
yet been registered by (!od to whom it was addressed, and was approved by 
Washington on the same day the AVar Department of this Government was first 
created. And, sir, after it was passed, it received the illustrious signature of 
Washington. Why, sir, in the light of the events now surrounding us, and of 
the teachings of to day upon this floor, is it not a startling fact that one of the 
very lirst statutes ever passed by an American Congress, and one of the very 
first wlii<'h received the approving signature of the first President — of the man 
"first ill war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his fellow-citizens" — provi- 
ded that there should be no slayery forever in all the vast territories then owned 
by tills (ioverninciil — provided precisely what, in the election of the present 
Administration, lln' people declared to lie the best for the whole counjry — provi- 
ded j)r«'cisely w hut a gentleman on this floor now alleges our favoring makes u» 
tlie autliors of this relnllion, and llic murderers of the three hundretl thonsaud 



u 

who have fallen in Mr. Lincoln's six hundred and fortj-ono days; and prnvidcd 
what another calls a "high crime?" Ah, Mr. Cliairman, will these gentlemen 
be — not just, for that we do not e.\peet — liut will Ihey oniil to bo monsters? 

Wliy, sir, shall I ask the gentleman f'rum Illinois what he would take as a 
consideration for the benelicent results of that great act of the first Congress 
and of Washington ; that act under tlie po>v<>r of which a nation of men, a con 
stellation of States, an empire of weallli and civilization has leaped, like Miner 
va from the head of .love, full grown and Ijeautifiil? Let him contrast Ohio, 
Indiana, Illinois, and the Slates protected by that signature of Washinglon, with 
their si.\ million of free, happy, and prosperous sons, with their nujre than em 
pires of wealth, and their si.v inland oceans of commerce, witii any other ec(ual 
extent of slave territory upcm which God's equally propitious sun and rains de- 
scend, and then answer me, not like the truckling demagogue and parti.^an of 
slavery, but like what he is, the independent, high-souled and sagacious stutes- 
man. Nay, sir, what would 3-ou take and have wrested from the brow of your 
your own great State of Illinois the crown ol" liljerty which Washington's signa- 
ture, dated on the memorable 7lli day of August, 1789, placed upon it? AVliy, 
Mr. Chairman, I will not ask him that question, for it ii asking him whether, 
for not one piece of silver, he would have douf against Illinois what Iscariot got 
.thirty pieces for doing against Christ. I will not even ask what he would take 
and have reversed in history the action of Randolph and his associates, by 
which, on the 2d of March, 1803, they refused to permit slavfMj to linger ("or one 
hour in all tlie beautiful bordejs of his great State. And yet, Mr. Chairman, it 
was just what AVashington and his first Cougjess did for us ; just wjuit Kan 
dolph did for Illinois ; just that we sought to do for that vast and beautiful earth 
which stretches freni the waters of the ilississippi to the Pacific ocean, and 
where our children now plant 

"The seeds of empire future, broad. 
And rear the first altars to the Pilgriin'.s God." 

There tee wanted to do for our children what AVashington did for us. And, 
Mr. Chairman, it was (inly the non-abandonment, at the bid of treason, by us of 
that desire that is demiunced in this House as the cause of this rebellion against 
Washington's Kepulilic. It is that which makes the six hundred and forty days 
of this Administration the murd<'rers of thi'ee hundred thousand of our ciiil- 
dren ! Sir, I might continue this exhibition of the precepts and deeds of our 
dead until it included them all. From sire to son these principles were trans 
mitted and repeated. I might re(Mte the teachings by Webster, repeated in his 
memorable declaratidn, tliat he would never do aught "to extend African slavery 
on this continent, or to add another slave State to this Union." I might point 
to that noble sentiment uttered by the great Clay, when, with a vehenn.'nco 

' almost unlike himself, ho declared that "no earthly power could compel him to 

I vote to extend slavery into Territories now free." 

I But I must here pause, and let down the vail which hides from us the exam- 
ples of these great men. Sir, if the Republic must perish, let all these holy 
memories of its origin, to which I have alluded, and the names of its f()unders 
peHsh also; and let that vail never rise again to agonize the heart of a perished 
people by the memories of the frightful delusion under which our experiment in 
free government was begun — a delusion, a lie, enunciated in those words upon 
which that experiment was begun — that "all men by nature are cntith'd to life, 
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ;" and, sir, let their names perish from 
among men who de(ei\ed their diildren into the belief that "neither slavery nor 
involuntary servilud<' ought to be extended e\cej)t in punishment of crimes." I, 
sir, have not exhibited again fur the ten theusandlh time the words and deeds of 
these men of the past, in the vain hope of convincing the gentlenuin from Illi- 
nois, or anyone wlio says that the non alnindonment of our princMples at the l)id 
«f rebellion caused this war, that Washington and Franklin and Madison and 
Jefferson and Patrick Henry and Huriic and AVilberforce and lilackstone and 
Orotius and Mansfield and Wesley and Baxter and Addisi>n and Clay and Web 
ater Were right. Nay, sir, not in tin; hope to convince him that the universal 
conscience, example, and lieart of modern Christian civilization is right. In 
obedience to these, at the perio<l of our Rc-volution, from the vast iloruinions of 
the English, human slavery, like a bird of (Mil, took its everlasting llight; and 
in obedience to thes« it has been banislu-d forever, since our l{<'volution, from 
France, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, tiie Dutch West Indies, and, indeed, from 



.12 

about every civilized people upon the face of the globe. Nay, sir, not in the 
vain hope to convince them that the teachings of all these and of the divine 
rovelaiion is right, whose sublime precepts do inculcate a benevolence which, to 
adopt the words of Patrick Henry, "is at variance with that lavi^ which war- 
rants SLAVERY." I have not passed before him, in the cerements of the tomb, 
all these the founders of our free institutions, each one as he passes repeating 
those words of Washington — "It is among my first wishes to see some plan 
adopted by which slavery in this country shall ))e abolished by law," in the 
hope that the teachings of Washington, and of all his illustrious associates, and 
of all modern civilization, would be preferred to the teachings of the Charleston 
Mercury. But I have cited these examples and deeds of history again for other 
purposes, One is that for which the Irish lawyer cited Blackstone to the drunk- 
en judge, to remind him what a fool Billy Blackstone was. I want to show him 
what blockheads Grotius, Burke, Addison, Blackstone, Milton, Washington, 
Jetferson, and Franklin, and Webster, and Cla^' were. And the other reason 
for these citations is to show him that when he bids us to abandon our principles 
at the threat of rebellion he bids us abandon what we had been fooled into be- 
lieving, not merely by the precepts and examples of all the great men of this 
Republic without one illustrious exception, but by the precepts and example of 
€very truly great man who has lived for two hundred years, and by the united 
voice and e.xample of the entire chiistianized world. I wanted to show him, not 
that Washington and Grotius and the Bible and modern civilization were right, 
but only that when we declined, by an "honorable compromise,^' with Yancey's 
whip at our ))acks, to swap the principles of Patrick Henry for those of mud-sill 
Hammond, we have some apology for bringing on this war in the I'act that we 
were deceived into believing our principles by the teachings of all good men and 
gflod Governments which have existed for a century. I have cited them to show 
him that if it would have been dishonorable compromise for him to be bullied out 
of his principle of "squatter sovereignty" by Yancey at Charleston, because he 
had reasons to believe in it, then it would be dishonoraljle compromise in us to 
be bullied out of our principles at Washington by Benjamin or Toombs or Ma- 
son, because we had reasons to believe in ours. 

But, Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman is right when he says it would have been 
honorable compromise for him to have got upon his belly at Charleston before 
Toombs and Yancey and begged pardon for having dared to hold any principle, 
and especially that of popular sovereignty, and to have meekly taken in its 
place "the slave code;" and if it would be "honorable compromise," had Mr. 
Douglas been elected, for him and Mr. Douglas to prostrate themselves before 
the Republican party with their hands upon their mouths in the dust, crying 
"unclean — unclean — if you Republicans only will not rebel and assassinate Mr. 
Douglas, we will gladly put your principles info the Constitution and make them 
eternal, and Avill never hold any of our own any more, and will ask pardt>n for 
ever having gone so far as to put any even into a platform ;" if he is right in 
saying that it would have been honorable compromise in us, just when the prin- 
ciples of Washington and his compeers were by the voice and approval ot the 
people intrusted to us for administration, to abandon them when mud- sill Ham- 
mond cracked his whip at us ; yet, sir, it is monstrously, absolutely, and incon 
teslably an error to assert that these conspirators would have given us even that 
"honorable compromise." Utterly polluted with dishonor as we would have 
been, as we lay there prostrate in filth before the relx'Uion, Ijeggiug to be per- 
mitted to exchange Washington's principles for Bully Brooks' by '•honorable 
compromise," they would have spit upon us and kicked us, instead of giving us 
the "honorable compromise" of the gentleman from Illinois. 

In proof of this let us submit facts to a candid world. Mr. Douglas, whatever 
he may hav(> previously said in hot debate, said in the lust public utterance of 
his life: "There never was a time since the inauguration of Wa«hiiigton when 
(he rights of the South were safer under the law than they are now." "The 
slavery question was a mere pretext" for this rebellion. The rebellion is the 
result of "an enormous conspiracy formed more than twelve months ago." If 
llr. Douglas told the truth when lie declared that the rebels had no more cause 
to rebel wiien they did than they would have had on the 30th of April, 1789, the 
day Washington was inaugurateil — and Mr. Douglas said that is su — will the 
gentleman say to me that our debasement of ourselves at the feel of the rebels 
by abandoning our principles and accepting theirs would have broken up that 
enormous conspiracy, made their rights more secure, w hieh were as secure as 



13 



when Washington was inaugurated; or would they have permitted llionisclves 
to be rol)bed by our prostration before them of tlieir coveted "pretext?" WouKl 
they, sir? If he will so say, then I will submit another pnM)f. "Douglas did 
not know," will the gentleman say, "whereof he alliriiied when he said that tlie 
slavery question was a mere 'excuse' for the rebellion ;" and that they were "as 
safe when they rebelled as they were under "Washington :" ])<)\iglas was not very 
familiar with public aflairs ; liad not seen mueh of this rebeldom ; did not know 
the plans and movements of the conspirators; and was not a close or shrewd 
observer of men ; and what is worse, was born in New England. Douglas lied 
when he declared the slavery question was a mere "excuse." Be it so; let the 
gentleman iiom Illinois pass Douglas too into the rear along with the Idockheads 
Washington and Madison and Franklin and Grotius. 

I next take as my witness Reverdy Johnson — a soutliern man, not guilty of 
being born in Xew England. Does he know something about the southern 
heart? He, upon the 7th of May, 1861, at Frederick, Maryland, useii these 
words: "The truth is, and I regret to believe it, that a fear of Ihe violation of 
southern rights was with the promoters of this rebellion a mere pretense." — 
They feared "the power was passing from them." Did tliis the Soulh's great 
champion in the great Dred Scott case, aud one of its greatest intellects, know 
this South? or did he falsify when he declared, that wlien they rebelled they 
did not even have -a fear of the violation of any southern right? Does the gen- 
tleman reply, that "Johnson was not of tlie rebels, and not very smart, and did 
not know as well as I why they rebelled," and that compromise and security of 
their rights was what the rebels wanted ? Very well ; let Johnson, the giant in- 
tellect of the South, pass into the congregation of the fools, along with Jellerson 
and his associates, who were ignorant as to the rights aiul interests or designs 
of these rebels. I will now call as my next witness, a man who will come up to 
the standard which entitles liim to speak as to what the reljels would have done 
in compromise. Yancey, the prince of the rebels, whose keen blade the gentle 
man from Illinois felt at Charleston, was, perhaps, as well posted as to the se- 
crets of the rebellion as even the gentleman from Illinois. lA't this House, this 
country, history, hear and write down, with pen of iron and point of diamond, 
every word of this utterance of the nuister of the rebellion ; and li't it never per- 
ish from the records of human wickedness. Let the gentleman from Illinois be 
careful to mark each word. Its date is material, and is December, ISGl. He 
says: 

"No profiered compromise; no amendments to the Constitution; no prottered addi- 
tional guaranties, can delay her (the Soiitli's) action for indei)endence one moment. — 
There is no defect in t)ie fundamental law; therefore it needs uo alteration." 

Did Yancey know as well as he of Illinois whereof lie spoke? Did tliat man 
know? He was selected by the rebel ^Soulh to be their mouth-piece at Charles- 
ton, and whose speech there was to annihilate "squatter sovereignty" and De- 
mocracy, and to complete the first act in this infernal drama of rebellion and 
murder. Sir, did he knoM' whether they wanted "honorable compromise?" No, 
say the gentlemen in Diis House, who alleged that we caused (his war liy rejec- 
tion of compromise. We know better than Yancey, the IJeelzelmb of this seces- 
sion, what its secrets were. This slatt-ment of Yancey was but the unofficial 
statement of ;ui individual, and he did not know what the rebtds want. Very 
well, sir. Lt'l Yancey, as an individual, also pass into tlie company of simple- 
tons, who HTO not wise in the designs of the rebellion, and who do nol compre 
hcnd the Southern heart; and I now call a group of witnesses. I now call no 
unofficial testiimmy or individual averment. I take the solemn official announce- 
ment made by the ihrec commissioners ol' the rebel government, speaking through 
Lord John iiussell to Parliament, to Europe, and the world. This is not tlie 
twaddle of pot-house politicians, nor the inflamed raphsodies of ranters; but it 
is the authorized, calm, cautiously worded, and ollicial enunciations "I the views, 
purposes and judgment of the rebellion, which it has chosen to record about 
itself in imperishable history. Sir, will the gentleman accept this ullerance of 
the commissioners Yancey, Rest and Maun as evidence of what concession.s or 
compromises thev wanted ? These are their wor<ls, which bear date the Mlh of 
August, 1861: 

"It wasfromno/t'octhatth'* slaves would be liherated that secession took place. Tlif 
very parly in power had proposed to guaranty slavery forever in the States, if tlio Souik 
would but remain in the Union." 



14 

Will the gentleman, in Iho teeth of this solemn official utterance by the diplo- 
matic representatives (jf'this liugc (reason, in which they aver that they did not 
leave the Union from any "fear" as to their slaves, persist in declaring that they 
lied, and did have fears which themselves disclaimed, and which compromise 
would have assuaged? Will he still persist in being wiser than the combined 
wisdom of the rebellion, as to the secret motives and suppressed fears of these 
rebels? If he will still persist, and will say these are but words and not deeds, 
then I point him to deeds — most emphatic, deliberate and convincing — which 
shall show Mr. Latham's, Mr. Douglas' and Mr. Johnson's statement to be most 
true, that these men wanted no compromise, had no "fears" as to their rights, 
but were acting upon "a hxed plan to break up the Government." 

My countrymen, among these deeds look next at the action of your own Gov- 
ernment, done to conciliate these rebels. After they, by withdrawing from Con- 
gress, gave all the power to tlie loyal States, you (jrganized all your Territories 
into three Governments, and in each yeu not only did not exclude slavery, but 
you expressly enaet<Hl that all property should be protected ; so that, if Dred 
Scott dicta were law, you protected slavery in every inch of American territory 
not theretofore organized. You, at tlie same time, by a two- thirds vote in each 
branch of Congress, passed amendments to the Constitution, whereby Congress 
was expressly prohibited from ever disturbing slavery in the States. You passed 
unanimously a resolution declaring that Congress had no power or inclination to 
touch slavery in the States. The Executive, in the most solemn form, protested 
the same purpose not to disturb their domestic institution. 

May I ask j'ou, my fellow-citizens, who are not quite insane with partisan 
madness, did not Yancey, Rostand Mann tell the trutli when they said they had 
no fears Ibr slavery, and that "the party in power had proposed to guaranty it 
f(jrever in the States?" Did not Douglas tell the truth when he declared "that 
the rights of the States never stood firmer under the law than when they re- 
belled," and that "there was never a day since AVashington was inaugurated 
tliat they liad not as good a cause for rebellion as when they did rebel ?" 

But, sir, add to this the fact that AVigfall, Benjamm, Hemphill, Slidell,and 
Johnson of Arkansas, in their seats in the Senate, on the vote on that compro- 
mise on the 20th of January, 1861, by refusing to vote, helped to defeat it; and 
then add to that the fact that Mr. Lincoln's i'riends, before the rebellion, were in 
the minority in both branches of Congress, and in tlio Supremo Court, and could 
not raise by law money to pay one soldier, to buy one gun or one pound of pow- 
der; could not make one brigadier general, one secretary, one foreign minister, 
pass one law or one resolution, nor do one legislative or judicial act which did 
not meet the approbation of these rebels who left tJongress. And in view of all 
these, of all these solemn declarations of the ablest and most thoroughly intel- 
ligent statesmen of the North and South, loyal and rebel; in view of all these 
irrcsistiljle facts of palpable and recent history, what is the name of that state- 
niejit that we forced these men into rebellion by rel'usal to secure their rights by 
compromise, or that they would accept at our hands compromise, however dis- 
hon(jrable to us, or fatal to all constitutional or popular government? Sir, I 
know of no speech or phrase of power enough to iv'ach down to the depths of 
the perfidy that justifies this treason, which drinks up at once a nation's liberty and 
blood, and whicli puts that treason's crimes upon the heads of those who are the 
victims of its foul murders. 

Mr. Chairman, my colleague, [Mr. Vallanmgjiam.] in his recent remarks in 
this House, plumes himself upon the sagacity and Ibresight which enabled him 
to foietell that the war for the Union would ignominously fail. Sir, it may fail. 
I have opini(jns not like his as to the ability of a grt'at people to defend the only 
institutions in the world which stand for popular liberty and self-government. — 
15ut 1 need not state these opinions here. The gentleman may be right, and 
this people may be so craven as not to defend by the sword the institutions and 
liberties which Washington, under (!od, won Uy the sword. But, sir, let heaven, 
earl!) and lull be witnesses of what 1 say; il this struggle should, as the gen- 
tleman says it will, ignominously fail to deliver the liiiion and (iovernment from 
a rebellion against the right of popular suHrage, against republican institutions 
and the liljerties of the poor man — for, mark it, tlial is what the rebellion is — 
then, sir, that failure will be tlie result of ellbrls here to alienate the people of 
this (iovernment from its support, and of the meditated purj)ose of northern 
conspirators to unite us to the government of the rebellion. And, sir, should 
that ruin be in reserve for us, which God forbid, and Bhould at last be realized 



15 

tlie hideous promises made by northern nu'n to those traitor.*, which iirfred and 
invited and at last induced the blow from the rebellion — promises tliat one-half 
the North would sustain them in Ihe infernal treason — then, nir, iiistorv Mill re 
cord high in the rolls, where she registers the names of the masters in this work 
of infamy, the names of them who made tiiese promises. And, sir, in the Infer 
no of some future Dante who shall trace the spirits of thosi- who are tlie archi- 
tects of this hideous ruin, the infernal limner will paint in foregmund upon his 
canvass of mingled tire, blood and tears, among their diiefs thorn who incilcd 
the rebellion bj promising to this treason, as its best ally, (me half the North, 
and whose treachery to their country at last made the hellish promise good. 

"Why, sir, the gentleman's book of prophecy of tlie failure of a free people to 
repress a rebellion against their liberties, of which he is so boastful on this floor, 
and which he l)oasts that time, his avenger, has so nobly vindicated, has not in 
it the abominable merit of the sybilline books, of foretelling, in ambiguous utter- 
ances, events in whose coming the prophets had no action. The gentleman is 
proud that he could foresee and foretell the I'ailure of tlie war for llie I'nion. — 
Sir, did he forget that so could Fulvia furetell the day on which (.'icero was to be 
assassinated in his house? So could Cethegus foretell the day on which Cata- 
line would be at the gates of Rome. So could Catesby foretell that (iiiy Fawkes 
would be, with matches in his pocket, under the Hcmse of Parliament upon the 
5th of November, 1605. So could Benedict Arn»)ld foretell that Sir Jlenry Clin- 
ton was to be at West Point upon the 25th of September. And so (;ould Iscariot 
foretell that the Son of Man would be betrayed ))y a kiss. Should these pn)ph- 
ccies of the failure of this Government to defend itself against the sword of this 
conspiracy prove true, as they will should the great and hitherto loyal Denux-- 
racy of the North follow his lead, it will be, sir, because these prophets who 
foretell our overthrow shall succeed in making good, at last, to the rebellion 
their pledge made years ago, that a "majority of northern men were ready to 
fight the South's battle on cur ground," and would be at last Ijrought under the 
banners of that rebellion. The gentleman denounces the war by our Govern- 
ment to enforce the obedience and respect of its subjects, as an absurd, wicked 
and preposterous failure. It is unpre<-(dented and nionstrous to compel rebels 
to obey and respect a good Government, in this man's logic and history 1 

"Why, sir, whose history has the gentleman read .' Not Kome's, for Rome 
killed Cataline at Pistoia. Not England's, for England has a hundred Sedj;e- 
moors. Not the United States', for that put down Burr's ctmspiracy and the 
whisky rebellion. Not Jefl" Davi.s', for that (juells the rising in (Jeorgia against 
the conscription. Not the Utopia of Sir Thomas Moore, for that liad /a«%s. lie 
has not studied the parts of that one hour of dn'ams he gave us upon this tloor, 
because during that brief hour he preserves not the decent method there is in 
madness. He, in one breath, denounces as tyranny and monstrous delusion 
tills war of the Government, waged to keep its capital, its forts, its mints, its 
harbors, and its territory, and to secure to all its citizens (he right to "follow to 
the Gulf the waters of the Mississippi with travel and tradi;." .\nd then he tells 
us in the next breath that we mean to compel this river, from source to mouth, 
to remain free to our entire people, an 1 that we "must and will follow it with 
travel and trade, not by treaty, but by right, freely, peai'cably, and without re 
striclion or tribute, under the same (5overnment and Hag, to its home in the 
bosom of that Gulf" 

Why, sir, this last breath, taken by itself, sounds belicose — very. Its "must 
and will" is portentous of war. Should Jefferson Davis not be in a melting 
mood when the gentleman gets to tin frmtof his balleries at Vicksburg, and 
.should the almost irresistible blandishments of the gentleman's excjuisile man- 
ners — adorned as he is with a tiara on his brow set with those gems his speech 
describes the "slave code," the "right of transit," tiie "right of sojourn," and 
all this family of brilliants, and accompanied witli a regal train of bloodhound« 
— not overcome the obdurate allections of Mr. Davis, nor silence liis lialterii-s at 
Vicksliurg, then the "must and will" of this sentence looks as if our Lothario 
actually meditated "creating love by force and developing fraternal all'eelion by 
war," and meant to make lov(; to the batteries at VicUsburg by the persuasions 
of bayonet and ball. But, sir, when you put tliis sentence along witli the ones 
preceding, in which all courtships by coercion are denounced as utter, disastrous 
and wicked folly, the villainous compound does not approadi to tiie dimensions 
of third-rate rhodomontade, nor to the dignily of d. cnyed gibberisli. What, >ir, 
in one breath toll us that this Government "must aud will" have, "by right," 



16 

thf free navig-ation of the Mississippi, Davis' baUprios and tlio world to tlio con- 
trary notvvithstanding, and in the next tell us that the effort of this Government 
to-day to enforce that free navigation is unprefcdented and njonstrous wicked- 
ness! Why, sir, the gentleman, as I have said, is not mad, for there is some 
method, even in madness. What, then, is his speech? Sir, I admit I do not 
know, and think the country will label it as Barnum named the tiling in his 
gallery of queer things, which was neither man nor monkey, and which he called 
"What is it?" 

Sir, the gentleman outdoes the philosophers of Dean Swift, or somebody else, 
who organized a corporation to put out the sun and light their workl with sun- 
beams extracted from cucumbers. His sagacity would be just equal to theirs if 
he had stopped when his raphsodies against coercion were ended ; and when he 
had got up a Government with a Constitution, but with no power to "protect or 
defend it;" with laws, but with ho authority to compel subjects to obey them ; 
with a capital, but with no right, owing to habeas corpus, to arrest the Guy Fawkes 
who was about to blow it up; with a President, made commander-in-chief of its 
armies to quell insurrection, but with no armies to command, nor any right to 
command th(>m ; with exclusive control of its navigable rivers, but with no right 
to navigate them ; had he, I say, stopped then he would have been just as wise 
as the cucumber philosophers. But, going on, alter he has got up this admira- 
ble form of government, to tell us in his most coercive and unlove-making man- 
ner, with teeth gritting, arms defiant, nostrils distended, lips compressed, fists 
clenched, face upturned, with the whole man on tip-toe exalted, and eyes "in 
fine frenzy rolling," that this Gi>vernment "must and will" have, by right, and 
not by treaty or tribute, the free navigation of the Mississippi river, Jetf Davis 
nolens volens; then, sir, is when I get "bothered." And, Mr. Chairman, it is the 
duly of every mcm))er of Congress, in imitation of the gentleman, to quote some 
poetry in every speech upon this llo(jr. In obedience to that duty, and in dedi- 
cation to the lofty genius of the gentleman from Ohio for subduing rebellions 
without coercioji, and by the matchless seductions of the "compromise" which 
will "preserve the Constitution as it is" by changing it so as to (it each rebellion 
as it comes along,' and which will "enforce the laws" l)y altyring them so as to 
legalize each murder committed against them, I (juote from the Melodies of the 
Kingdom of Lilliput : 

" There was a man wl\o loved a maid, who loved the maiden much ; 
The Tn:\id dislikoil his 'orin and size, and would noi marry such. 
You like, said lie, the mouse, I'm told — the iiionse in form and .nnd fi'i'/.c ; 
I'll be a mouse to suit your views— a mouse by compromise." 

Sir, the life of the Republic will be decided speedily. That existence neK 
evidently depends on those who mad(? it — the people. Should the mass of the 
northern Democraf^y, in obedience' to the counsels of my colleague, [Mr. Val- 
LANDiGHAM,] withdraw their support from this (iovefnment in its struggle against 
rebellion, then, as he predicts, we are defeated and hjst. If they should follow 
those of such patriots and Democrats as he of rcnnsylvauia, [Mr. Wright,] for 
whose recent speech all patiiots thank him and liistory will honor him, and of 
such distinguished patriots and Democrats as AVrightof the Senate, Tiutler, Di\. 
llosecrans, aiul scores of other Democrats in the army, in this House, and in 
placivs of public trust and of private inlluence, then, sir, the rebeHi(»n will be 
overthrown, and lh« Republic will livp to protect and bless us and our children 
and our children's children (i)r ages; tvill live under "the Constitution as it is 
and the Union as it was," not when Senators wcic stri(dven down in tlunr own 
blooii in tile Sciuite Chamher foi- word.s spoken in debate, and when all over the 
South men were murdered for repeating the sentiments of the Declaration of 
Indepemlenee, but as it was when, in its golden age, M'ashington and Madison 
weri' fathers and I'residenta of the Republic. 

Spnngtield News, lu-iui. 



LIBRARY OF 



CONGRESS 




012 026 747 4