Skip to main content

Full text of "The record of Hon. C. L. Vallandigham on abolition, the union, and the civil war"

See other formats


3 3433 08180383 9 





! PUBLIC ubha'kyIj 

i ; 

*STOR, LENbx •*♦«- ;•/ 


■~ci ^ >*. O JacJETnaa-. -*■» - 


DevotecLto the Cnian tram the beginning, I^viIlnot 
desert it iio"\v in tliis the liaiir of" its soresl triid . 







to Time, and bight nobly hath the Avenger answered mk." — Speech of January 14, 1863. 





Z^V Oov/ 




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1863, by 


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southera 
District of Ohio. 

The Record of Hon. r. L. Vallandigimm 
on Abolition, th« Union and the 
Civil War. 

This is tho title of a book of 248 pages, just 
publighod bj J. Walter <t Co., Cincinnati. It 
contains: 1. History of tli« Abolition movement. 
2. There is a West; For tho Union Forever, Out- 
side of the Union for Herself. 3. How Shall the 
Union be Preserved? 4. Executive Usurpation 
5. Chargeeof Disloyalty Triumphantly Repelled. 
6 Speech before the Democratic Convention, at 
Columbus, July 4th, 1862. 7. State of the Coun- 
try. 8. Political Campaign of 1862. 9. Demo- 
.oratio Jubilees in tho Fall of 1862. in. The 
Great Civil War in America. 11. The 
ConsoripUon Bill, el<; , etc., etc This book, 
which is embellished with a fine portroit of 
Mr. Vallandigham, embraces all the speeches 
made by him since the commencement of the war 
together with several previously delivered in Con- 
gress and elsewhere. It form^ a valuable "Re- 
cerd'for every politician, and will prove most in- 
teresting to all olasses of readers. Price 60 cents, 
in paper binding; $1 in cloth. It is for sale at the 
oflBce of the Philadelphu Evening JonRNAt, by 
Philadelphia Agent for the Publisherv 



This work offers, in a convenient form, the principal speeches of Hon. 
C. L. Vallandigham, on the Constitution, the Union, and the Civil War, 
Extracts from other speeches are added; also, a variety of facts and inci- 
dents. The object is to furnish the means of forming a correct judgment 
in relation to a man who, through the malignant assaults of his enemies, 
and the esteem of his friends, has become one of the most generally 
talked-of men of these times. 

This Record shows why Mr. Vallandigham has so many enemies, and 
all of one class — why negrophilistic fanaticism includes, as one of its essen- 
tial qualities, an intense hatred of Vallandigham. This fact is explained 
by showing that, not only his six years in Congress, but his whole public 
life, has been a clear, uniform, and unequivocal expression of a deep and 
true love of his country, the Union, and that he has ever been among the 
foremost to stand by and defend its institutions and laws. 

In the darkest and most trying hours of the great national conflict, 
still pending, Mr. Vallandigham has never deviated a moment from the 
old and true principles of Democracy, whereby the Union was formed 
and preserved, and by which alone it can be saved from destruction, 
restored, and perpetuated. If his words and acts have been treason, then 
was the Government itself, through the whole period of its history, down 
to the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln, one continued act of treason. In 
common with all democratic and conservative statesmen, he had, before the 
commencement of the war, and formerly, maintained that the principles 
around which the Abolition party was organized, were hostile to the 
Union, and would endanger its peace and perpetuity, if permitted to get 
control. Those warnings were not heeded, and the fatal mistake was com- 
mitted of placing in power men whose cherished principles were enemies 
of the Union. A deadly national conflict ensued; and then Mr. Vallan- 
digham did differ from many in whom the people had reposed full faith 
and confidence. He stood by his principles, held his position unmoved, 



•while the strong current of a raving fanaticism, that swept by and around 
him, bore off many of his old companions, knocked from their feet. 

Of the war, its causes and attending circumstances, many have said 
more than Mr. Vallandigham ; but few, if any, have said so much that 
comes square up to the record of events, as history unfolds them. The 
doctrines announced by him, and the few who have stood with him, arc 
rapidly forming themselves into the public sentiment of the country. 
The conviction that those men have been right thus far, gives value to 
their opinions in relation to the probable course of coming events. 

Those who have been accustomed to denounce Mr. Vallandigham as a 
traitor and disunionist, will not take a favorable interest in this Record, 
for they will find their slanderous accusations nailed to the wall, and 
hung up to the gaze of the public. This work will, however, be gladly 
■welcomed by a large number of honest men, who have hitherto been de- 
ceived by false reports, continuously and persistently circulated. They 
will discover a pure, able, consistent patriot, a devoted friend and de- 
fender of the Union, in one, whom, through slander and misrepresenta- 
tion, they had been led to regard as a traitor, to whom permission to 
Kve was an extra and unmerited allowance. To that immense circle of 
fiends who, with inflexible firmness, have adhered to Mr. Vallandigham, 
amidst all the malignant and deadly assaults of his enemies, this Record 
will be a sure testimony that their confidence has not been misplaced. 
And they will here be furnished with the means, not only to correct the 
misjudgments of those who have been honestly deceived, but to silence 
the slanders of those who delight in falsehood and injustice. 

The above remarks tell why this Record has been prepared, and is now 

offered to the public. 

J. W. & CO. 

Cincinnati, April 13, 1863. 







OCTOBER 29, 1855. 

We open this Record with a copy of the speech delivered by Mr. 
Vallandigham, at a Democratic meeting held in Dayton, on the 
evening of the 29th of October, 1855, a few days after the election 
which resulted in the choice of Salmon P. Chase as Governor of 
Ohio. Three hundred and one thousand votes had been east at that 
election, of which Mr. Chase, the " Free Soil " candidate, received 
one hundred and forty -six thousand, being less than half, but enough 
to elect him. The Democratic candidate received one hundred and 
thirty-one thousand, and the remaining twenty thousand were»given to 
Mr. Trimble, whom the old-line Whigs supported. The Democratic 
party being thus temporarily defeated, and thrown out of power, an 
excellent opportunity was offered for giving the history of the causes 
which led to the defeat, and for indicating, also, the means which 
would " restore it to sound doctrine and discipline, and, therefore, to 
power and usefulness.'^ This task was performed by Mr. Vallan- 
digham, on the occasion referred to, in a speech characterized by 
extraordinary logical accuracy and clearness of statement, as well as 
extensive and thorough historical research. The general purpose for 



which the meeting had convened was to consider "The PRESENT 


After some preliminary remarks, explanatory of the object of the 
meetinjr. and the reasons why it was proper and expedient thus early 
to discuss before the people the great question which must make up 
the chief issue in the campaign of 1856, and to organize preparatory 
thereto, Mr. Vallandiguam said that he proposed as the text or 
'•rubric " of what he had to say to-night, the following inquiries: 

Wht has the Democratic Party suffered defeat in Ohio? 
Why is it so greatly disorganized? What will restore 


These, Mr. President, are grave questions. I propose to answer 
them plainly — boldly — not as a partisan, but as a patriot ; and for 
the opinions which I shall this night avow, I alone am responsible. 
I speak not to please, but to instruct, to warn, to arouse, and, if it 
be not presumption, to save, while to be saved is yet possible. The 
time for plain Anglo-Saxon out-speaking is come. Let us hear no 
more the lullaby of peace, when there is no peace; but rather the 
sharp clang of the trumpet stirring to battle ; at least, the alarm 
bell in the night, when the house is on fire over our heads. Or, 
better still, give us warning while the incendiary is yet stealing, 
" with whispering and most guilty diligence," and flaming torch, 
toward our dwelling, that we may be ready and armed against his 

First, then : The Democratic party of Ohio suffered defeat because 
it became disorganized; and it was disorganized because it held not, 
in all things, to sound doctrine, vigorous discipline, and to true and 
good men. It began to tamper with heresy and with unsound men — 
to look after policy, falsely so called, and forget sometimes the true 
and honest; not mindful, with Jackson, that the right is always 
expedient — at least, that the wrong never is ; and that an invigorating 
defeat is ever better than a triumph which leaves the victor weaker 
than the conquered. This is a law of nature, gentlemen, and we 
may claim no immunity from punishment for its inlVaction. I speak 
of the Democratic party of Ohio, because we are our own masters, 
and have a work of our own to perform. But the evil, in part, lies 
outside the State. It infects the whole party of the Union, as such. 
It ascends into high places, and sits down hard by the throne. But 
I affect the wise caution of Sallust, remembering that concerning Car- 
thage it is better to be silent, than speak too little. Yet we, as mem- 
bers, must partake of the weakness and enervation of other parts of 
the system ; and atrophy is quite as fatal, though it may not be so 
speedy, as corruption and gangrene. 

The inquiries, gentlemen, which I have proposed, assume the 
truth of the facts which they imply. Are they not true ? That we 


have been defeated, is now become history. But defeat did not 
disorganize us. Had not discipline first been lost, we could not 
have been overpowered. I know, indeed, that some have affirmed 
that we, too, are an effete party, ready to be dissolved and pass away. 
It is not so. Dissolution and disorganization are wholly different 
things. The Democratic party is not a thing of shreds and patches, 
organized for a transient purpose, and thrown hap-hazard together, in 
undistinguishable mass, without form, consistency, or proportion, by 
some sudden and temporary pressure, and passing away with the 
occasion which gave it being ; or catching, for a renewed, but yet 
more ephemeral existence, at each flitting exigency, as it arises in 
the State ; molding itself to the form of every popular humor, and 
seeking to fill its sails with every new wind of doctrine, as it passes, 
either in zephyr or tempest, over the waves of public caprice — born 
and dying with the breath which made it. No, sir. The Demo- 
cratic party is founded upon principles which never die : hence it 
is itself immortal. It may alter its forms ; it must change its meas- 
ures — for, as in principle it is essentially conservative, so in policy it 
is the party of true 'jyrogress — its individual members and its leading 
spirits, its representative men, can not remain the same. But 
wherever there is a people wholly or partially free, there will be a 
Democratic party more or less developed and organized. But no 
party, gentlemen, is at all times equally pure and true to principle 
and its mission. And whenever the Democratic party forgets these, 
it loses its cementing and power-bestowing element ; it waxes weak, 
is disorganized, is defeated — till, purging itself of its impurities, and 
falling back and rallying within its impregnable intrenchments of 
original and eternal principles, it returns, like " eagle lately bathed," 
with irresistible might and majesty, to the conflict, full of hope, and 
confident in victory. Sir, it is this recuperative power — this vis 
medicatriv — which distingui.shes the Democratic party from every 
other ; and it owes this wholly to its conservative element, FIXED 
POLITICAL PRINCIPLES. I say political principles — principles dealing 
peculiarly with government — because it is a political party, and 
must be judged according to its nature and constitution. Kecog- 
nizing, in their fullest extent, the imperative obligations of personal 
religion and morality upon its members, and also that, in its aggre- 
gate being, it dare not violate the principles of either, it is yet 
neither a Church nor a lyceum. It is no part of its mission to set 
itself up as an expounder of ethical or divine truth. Still less is 
it a mere philanthropic or eleemosynary institution. All these are 
great and noble, each within its peculiar province, but they form no 
part of the immediate business and end of the Democratic party. 
And it is because that party sometimes will forget that it is the first 
and highest duty of its mission to be the depositary of immutable 
political principles, and steps aside after the dreams and visions of 
a false and fanatical progress — sometimes political, commonly phil- 
anthropic or moral — that it ceases to be powerful and victorious ; 
for God has ordained that truth shall ever, in the end, be vindicated, 
and error chastised. 


Forjrettini; the true province of a political party, the Democracy 
of France and Germany has always failed, and ever must fail. It 
aims at too much. It invokes government to regenerate man, and 
set him free from the taint and the evils of sin and suffering ; it 
seeks to control the domestic, social, individual, moral, and spiritual 
relations of man ; it iijjnores or usurps the place of the fireside, the 
Church, and the lyceum : and, emulating the folly of Icarus, and 
spreading its wings for too lofty a flight into upper air, it has 
melted like wax before the sun. Jndirccdi/, indeed, government will 
always, sir, affect more or less all these relations for good or evil. 
But departing from its appointed orbit, confusion, not less surely or 
disastrously, must follow, than from a like departure by the heavenly 
bodies from their fixed laws of motion. And, indeed, the greater, 
and by far the gravest part of the errors of Democracy everywhere, 
are to be traced directly to neglect or infraction of the fundamental 
principle of its constitution — that man is to be considered and dealt 
with by government strictly in reference to his relations as a polit- 
ical being. 

These reflections, Mr. President, naturally lead me to the first 

Personal dissension : a turning aside after mere temporary and 
miscalled expediency ; a faith in and following after weak, or uncer- 
tain, or selfish, or heretical men ; neglect of party tone and disci- 
pline as essential to the moiuilc, and hence the success of a party, 
as of an army, and just as legitimate ; these, and the like minor 
causes of disorganization and defeat, I pass over. They are inci- 
dent to all parties, and although never to be too lightly estimated, 
yet rarely occasion lasting or very serious detriment. Commonly, 
indeed, sir, they are but the diagnostic, or visible development of 
an evil which lies deeper — ^just as boils and blotches upon the sur- 
face of the body show that the system is tainted and distempered 
within. Neither do I pause, gentlemen, to consider how far the final 
inauguration of the grand scheme of domestic policy, which the Dem- 
ocratic party so many years struggled for, and the consequent pros- 
tration and dissolution of the "Whig party, have contributed to the 
loss of vigilance and discipline; since an organization healthy in all 
other things must soon recover its wonted tone and soundness. Sir, 
the Democratic party has principle to fall back upon; and it has, too, 
a trust to execute not less sacred, and almost as difficult, as its first 
work. It is its business to preserve and keep pure and incorrupt 
that which it has established. And this, along with the new polit- 
ical questions which, in the world's progress, fi-om day to day spring 
up, will give us labor enough, and sweat enough, without a wild 
foray into the province of the benevolent association, the lyceum, 
or the Church ; to return thence laden, not with the precious thihgs, 
the incense, and the vessels of silver and gold from ofl" the altar, but 
the rubbish and the offal — the bigotries, the intolerance, the hypoc- 
risies, the persecuting spirit, and whatever else of unmixed evil has 
crept, through corruption, into the outer or the inner courts of the 


I know, indeed, gentlemen, that every political party is more or 
less directly affected, as by a sort of magnetism, by all great public 
movements upon any subject; and it is one of the peculiar evils of 
a democracy, that every question of absorbing, though never so 
transient interest — moral, social, religious, scientific, no matter 
what — assumes, sooner or later, a political shape and hue, and 
enters into the election contests and legislation of the country. 
For many years, nevertheless, sir, questions not strictly political 
exerted but small influence upon parties in the United States. The 
memorable controversies which preceded the American Revolution, 
and which developed and disciplined the great abilities of the giants 
of those days — founded, indeed, as all must be, upon abstract prin- 
ciples drawn from the nature of man considered in his relation to 
government — were yet strictly legal and political. The men of that 
day were not cold metaphysicians, nor wicked or mischievous enthu- 
siasts — else we had been subjects of Great Britain to this day. 
Practical men, they dealt with the subject as a practical question; 
and deducing the right of revolution^ the right to institute, alter, 
or abolish government^ from the " inalienable rights of man," the 
American Congress summed up a long catalogue of injuries and 
usurpations wholly political, as impelling to the separation, and 
struck out of the original draught of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence the eloquent, but then mistimed, declamation of Jefferson 
against the African slave-trade. Sir, it did not occur to even the 
Hancocks and the Adamses of the New England of that day, that 
the national sins and immoralities of Great Britain could form the 
appropriate theme of a great state paper, and supply to a legisla- 
tive assembly the most potent arguments wherewith to justify and 
defend before the world a momentous political revolution. Discov- 
eries such as these are, belong to the patriots and wise men — the 
Sewards, the Sumners, the Hales, and the Chases — of a later and 
more enlightened age. 

Our ancestors went to war, indeed, about a preamble and a prin- 
ciple : but these were political — the right of the British Parliament 
to tax America. And they did not si*op to inquire whether war 
was humane and consistent with man's notion of the Gospel of 
Peace. Their political rights were invaded, and they took up arms 
to repel the aggression. Nor did they, sir, in the temper and spirit 
of the pharisaic rabbins and sophisters of '55, ask of each other 
■whether, morally or piously, the citizens of the several Colonies 
were worthy of fellowship. They were resolved to form a polit- 
ical UNION, so as to establish justice and to secure domestic tran- 
quillit}^ the common defense, the general welfare, and the blessings 
of liberty to themselves and posterity. And the Catholic of Mary- 
land and Huguenot of Carolina, the Puritan Eoundhead of New 
England and the Cavalier of Virginia — the slavery-hating, though 
sometimes slave-trading, saint of Boston and the slave-holding sin- 
ner of Savannah — Washington and Adams, Rutledge and Sherman, 
Madison and Franklin, Pinckney and Ellsworth, all joined hands 
in holy brotherhood to ordain a Constitution which, silent about 


temperance, forbade nJlyious tests and cstahlishments, and provid-^Ji 
for tin', extradition of fugitive slaves.^ 

Tlie questions whit-h engaged the great minds of Washington and 
the luen who coni])osed his cabinets were, also, purely political. 
" )rA(".«i/,-y," indeed, sir, played once an important part in the drama, 
threatening even civil war ; but it was as the creature of the tax- 
gatherer, not the theme of the philanthropist or the ecclesiastic. 
Even the Alien and Sedition Laics of the succeeding administra- 
tion — renascent now by a sort of Pythagorean metcinpsi/cJiosis, in 
the form of a secret, oath-bound conspiracy — were del'ended then 
solely on political grounds. "The principles of '98," which, at that 
time, convulsed the country in the struggle for their predominance, 
were, indeed, aljstractions, though of infinite practical value — but 
they were constitutional and political abstractions. Equally is it 
true that all the capital measures, in every administration, from '98 
to 1828 were of a kindred character, except only the Missouri 
Question, that "fire-bell in the night" which filled Jefferson with 
alarm and despair. But this was transient in itself; though it left its 
slumbering and treacherous ashes to kindle a flame, not many years 
later, which threatens to consume this Union with fire unquenchable. 

But within no period of our history, gentlemen, were so many 
and such grave political questions the subject of vehement, and 
sometimes exasperated, discussion, as during the administrations of 
Jackson and his successor, continuing down, many of them, to 
1847. Among these I name Internal Improvements, the Protective 
System, the Public Lands, Nullification, the llcmoval of the Indians, 
the United States Bank, the Eemoval of the Deposits, liemovals 
from Office, the French Indemnity, the Expunging Resolutions, the 
Specie Circular, Executive Patronage, the Independent Treasury, 
Distribution, the Veto Power, and their cognate subjects. Never 
were greater cjuestions presented. Never was greater intellect or 
more abundant learning and ingenuity brought into the discussion 
of any subjects. And never, be it remembered, was the Democratic 
party so powerful. It was the power and majesty of principle and 
truth, working out their development through machinery obedient 
to its constitution and nature. True, Andrew Jackson was then at 
the head of the party, and his name and his will, moving all things 
with a nod, were a tower of strength. But an hundred Jacksons 
could not have upheld a party one day which had been false to its 

Within this period, indeed. Anti-masonry rose, flourished, and 
died ; the first, in the United States, of a long line of third parties — 
the ttrtium quid of political sophisters — based upon but one tenet, 
and devoted to a single purpose. But even in this, the professed 
principle was solely political. 

Following the groat (juestions of the Jackson era, came the Annex- 
ation of Texas, tiie Oregon question, and the Mexican War ; during, 

*B(>th those provisions wore carried unanimously, without debiito and 
without vote.— 3 Mad. Pap., 1366, 1447, 1456, 1468. 


or succeeding which, that pestilent and execrable sectional contro- 
versy, JResjJiiblicce, portentum ac poejic funus, was developed and 
nurtured to its present perilous magnitude. 

Here, gentlemen, a new epoch begins in our political history. A 
new order of issues, and new party mechanism are introduced. At 
this point, therefore, let us turn back and trace briefly the origin and 
history of those grievous departures from the ancient landmarks, 
which, filling the whole country with confusion and perplexity, have 
impaired, more or less seriously, the strength and discipline of the 
Democratic party. 

In the State of Massachusetts — not barren of inventions — in the 
year 1811, at a meeting of an ecclesiastical council, a committee was 
appointed, whereof a reverend doctor, of Salem, was chairman, 
to draught a constitution for the first " Temperance Society " in the 
United States. The committee reported in 1813, and the society was 
established. It languished till 1826 ; and, " languishing did live." 
Nathan Dane was among its first presidents. In that year of grace, 
sir, at Boston, died this association, and from its ashes sprang the 
"American Society for the promotion of Temperance " — the parent 
of a numerous offspring. This association was, in its turn, supplanted 
by the Washingtonian Societies of 1841, and they, again, by the 
Sons of Temperance. The eldest of these organizations taught only 
temperance in the use of ardent spirits ; their successors forbade, 
wholly, all spirituous, but allowed vinous and fermented liquors. 
The Washingtonians enjoined total abstinence from every beverage 
which, by possibility, might intoxicate, and so, also, did the Sons of 
Temperance. But all these organizations, gentlemen — in the out- 
set, at least — professed reliance solely upon "moral suasion," and 
denied all political purpose or design in their action. They were 
voluntary associations, formed to persuade men to be temperate. This 
was right,' was reasonable ; was great, and noble ; and immense re- 
sults for good rewarded their labors. The public was interested, 
everywhere. The cause became popular — became powerful. De- 
signing men, not honest, were not slow to discover that it might be 
turned into a potent political engine for the advancement of personal 
or party interests. Weak men, very honest, were dazzled and 
deluded by the bright dream of intemperance expelled, and man 
restored to his original purity, by the power of human legislation. 
And lo, in 1855, in this, the freest country upon the globe, fourteen 
States, by statute — bristling all over with fines, the jail, and the peni- 
tentiary — have prescribed that neither strong drink nor the fruit of 
the vine shall be the subject of contract, traflic, or use within their 
limits. Temperance, which Paul preached, and the Bible teaches as 
a religious duty, and leaves to the Church, or the voluntary associa- 
lion, is now become a controlling element at the polls and in legis- 
lation. Political parties are perverted into great temperance societies ; 
and the fitness of the citizen for ofiice gauged now by his capacity 
to remain dry. His palm may itch ; his whole head may be weak, 
and his whole heart corrupt; but if his tongue be but parched, he is 


And now, sir, along with good, came evil ; and when the good 
turned to evil, the plague abounded exceedingly. I pass by that 
numerous host of lesser isms of the day, full — all of them — of folly, 
or i'anaticism, and fit only to "uproar the universal peace, confound 
all unity on earth," which, nevertheless, have excited much public 
interest, numbered many followers, and, flowing speedily into the 
stream of party politics, aided largely to pollute its already turbid 
and frothy waters. I come to that most recent fungus development 
of those departures from original and wholesome political principle, 
Know-Notiiingism — as barbarous in name, as, in my judgment, it is 
dangerous in essence. 

The extraordinary success, gentlemen, which had attended political 
temperance and abolition, revealed a mine of wealth, richer than 
California ^/acer, to the office-hunting demagogue. Ordinary politi- 
cal topics were become stale — certainly unprofitable. But he, it 
now appeared, who could call in the aid of moral or religious truths, 
touched an answering chord in the heart of this very pious and 
upright people — a people so keenly sensitive, too, each one, to the 
moral or religious status of his neighbor. 

Not ignorant, sir, of the corroding bitterness of religious strife, 
and mindful of the desolating persecutions, for conscience' sake, of 
which governments, in times past, had been the willing instruments, 
the founders of our Federal Constitution forbade, in clear and positive 
language, all religious tests and establishments : and every State, in 
terms more or less emphatic, has ordained a similar prohibition. The 
Constitution of Ohio, declaring that all men have a natural and 
indefeasible right to Avorship Almighty God according to the dictates 
of their own conscience, provides that "no preference shall be given, 
by law, to any religious society, nor shall a)iy interference with the 
rights of conscience be permitted ; and no religious test shall be 
required as a qualification for ofiice." 

By prohibitions, positive and stringent as these are, gentlemen, 
our fathers, in their weakness, thought to stay the flood of religious 
intolerance. Vain hope ! The high road to honor and emolument lay 
through the " higher law " reforms of the day. Moral and religious 
issues alone were found available. The roll of the " drum ecclesi- 
astic " could stir a fever in the public blood, when the thunders of 
the rostrum fell dull and droning upon the ears of the people. It 
needed but small sagacity, therefore, to foresee that the prejudices of 
race and sect must prove a still more powerful and wieldy engine. 
The Pope of Pilgrims Progress grinned still at the mouth of the 
cave full of dead men's bones; and Fox's Book of Martyrs lay shud- 
dering yet, with its hideous engravings, under every Protestant roof. 
How easy, then, to revive, or, rather, to fan into a flame, this secret 
but worse than goblin dread of Papacy and the Inquisition. Add to 
this, that a majority of Catholics are foreigners — obnoxious, there- 
fore, to the bigotry of race and birth also ; add, further, that silence, 
secrecy, and circumspection are weapons potent in any hands : add, 
still, that to be over-curious is a controlling element in the American 
character. Compound, now, all these with a travesty upon the signs, 


grips, and machinery of already existing organizations, and you have 
the elements and mechanism of a great and powerful, but assuredly 
not enduring party. 

In the month of January, 1854, the telegraph, on lightning wing, 
speeds through its magic meshes the astounding intelligence that, 
at the municipal election of the town of Salem, (not unknown in 
history,) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, men not known to 
be candidates were, by an invisible and unknown agency, said to be a 
secret, oath-bound society, without even so much as a name, elected by 
heavy majorities over candidates openly proclaimed. In March, and 
in April, similar announcements appear from other quarters. The 
mystery is perplexing — the country is on fire — and lo, in October, 
nine months after this Salem epiphany, from Maine to California, the 
mythic " Sam " has established his secret conclaves in every city, 
village, county, and State in the Union. 

And here, again, sir, the Protestant clergy, forgetting, many of them, 
their divine warrant and holy mission — I speak it with profoundest 
sorrow and humiliation — have run headlong into this dangerous and 
demoralizing organization. They have even sought, in many places, 
to control it, and through it, the political affairs of the country : and, 
sad spectacle ! are found but too often foremost and loudest and most 
clamorous among political brawlers and hunters of place. I rejoice, 
sir, that there are many noble and holy exceptions — ministers mindful 
of their true province, and preaching only the pure precepts and doc- 
trines of that Sacred Volume, without which there is no religion, and 
no stability or virtue worth the name, in either Church or State. 
Nevertheless, covertly or openly, the Protestant clergy and Church 
have but too much lent countenance and encouragement to the order. 
And the truth must and shall be spoken both of Church and of Party. 

In seizing upon the Temperance and other moral and religious 
movements, party invaded the territory of the Church. The Church 
has now avenged the aggression, and gone into party — not with the 
might and majesty of holiness — not to purify and elevate — but with 
distorted feature, breath polluted, and wing dripping and drolling in 
mire and stench and rottenness, to destroy and pollute, in the foul 
embrace, whatever of purity remained yet to either Church or the 
hustings. The Church has disorganized and perverted party ; and, ia 
its turn, party has become to the Church as "dead flies in the oint- 
ment of the apothecary." Church and State, each abandoning its 
peculiar province, and meeting upon the common ground of fanaticism 
and proscription, have joined hands in polluting and incestuous wed- 
lock. The Constitution remains, indeed, unchanged in letter ; but 
this unholy union has rendered nugatory one among its wisest and 
most salutary enactments. 

But, gentlemen, all these are, in their nature and from circum- 
stances, essentially ephemeral. No powerful and controlling interests 
exist to cement and harden them into strength and durability. They 
are among the epidemic diseases which for a season infect every body 
politic — leaving it, if sound in constitution and not distempered 
otherwise, puriiied and strengthened. In all these, too, the Democ- 


racy, as a party, has stood firm and uncoutamluate; although, indeed, 
iudividual nieuibers have, iu every State and county, been beguiled 
and led astray, and thereby the aggregate power and influence of the 
party greatly impaired. 

Especially, sir, is the present order of " Kuow-Nothings " evanes- 
cent. Even now it totters to the earth. In the beginning, indeed, 
it was, perhaps, the purpose of its founders to hold it aloof from the 
great sei-tioual controversy between the North and the South, and 
to mold it into a permanent national party. But circumstances are 
stronger tiian men — and already throughout the North it has become 
thoroughly abolitionized. Hence, it must speedily dissolve and pas3 
away, or remain but a yet more hateful adjunct of that one stronger 
and more durable organization, in which every element of opposition 
to the Democratic party must, sooner or later, inevitably terminate — • 
THE Abolition iiordk of tiik North; for, however tortuous may 
be its channel, or remote its fountain, into this turbid and devour- 
ing flood will every brook and rivulet find its way at last. 

The consideration of this great question, 3Ir. President, I have 
naturally and appropriately reserved to the last. It is the gravest 
and most momentous, full of embarrassment and of danger to the 
country ; and, in cowering before, or tampering with it, the Demo- 
cratic party of Ohio has given itself a disabling, though I trust not 
yet mortal, wound. 

I propose, then, sir, to trace fully the origin, development, and 
progress of this movement, and to explore, and lay open at length, 
its relations, present and prospective, to the Democratic party and 
to the Union. 

Slaverv, gentlemen — older in other countries also than the rec- 
ords of human society — existed in America at the date of its dis- 
covery. The first slaves of the European were natives of the soil ; 
and a Puritan governor of Massachusetts — founder of the family of 
Winthrop — bequeathed his soul to God, and his Indian slaves to 
the lawful heirs of his body. Negro slavery was introduced into 
Hispaniola in 1501, more than a century before the colonization of 
America by the English. Massachusetts, by express enactment, in 
1641, punishing "man-stealing" with death — and it is so punished 
to this day under the laws of the United States — legalized yet the 
enslaving of captives taken in war, and of such " strangers," for- 
eigncrs, as should be acquired by purchase ; while confederate New 
England, two years later, providing for the equitable division of 
lands, goods, and ^'2^^''^ons," as equally a part of the "spoils" of 
war, enacted also the first fugitive slave law in America.* White 

*Slavkry in MASSACiitrsETTS. — "There shall never be anj' bond slavery, 
villeinnge, or captivity among us, unless it be lawful captivos taken in just 
•wars, and such sii-angers as willingly sell themselves, or are sold to us.' — Mas- 
aachwittts Body oj Liberties, 1G41: g 91. 

"It is, also, l)y these confederates agreed, that, etc and that accord- 
ing to the difTerent charge of each jurisdiction and plantation, the whole 
advantage of the war, (if it please God so to bless their endeavors,) whether 
it be in lands, goods, or persons^ shall be proportionably divided among said 


slaves — convicts and paupers some of them ; others, at a later day, 
prisoners taken at the battles of Dunbar, and Worcester, and of 
Sedgemoor — were, at the first, employed in Virginia and the British 
West Indies. Bought in England by English dealers, among whom 
was the queen of James II, with many of his nobles and courtiers — ■ 
some of them, perhaps, of the house of Sutherland — they were im- 
ported and sold at auction to the highest bidder. In 1620, a Dutch 
man-of-war first landed a cargo of slaves upon the banks of James 
river. But the earliest slave-ship belonging to the English colo- 
nists was fitted out, in 1645, by a member of the Puritan Church, 
of Boston. Fostered still by English princes and nobles, confirmed 
and cherished by British legislation and judicial decisions, even 
against the wishes, and in spite of the remonstrances, of the Colo- 
nies, the traffic increased ; slaves multiplied, and, on the Fourth of 
July, 1776, every Colony was now become a slave State; and the 
sun went down that day upon four hundred and fifty thousand of 
those who, in the cant of eighty years later, are styled " human 
chattels," but who were not, by the act of that day, emancipated. 

Eleven years afterward, delegates, assembling at Philadelphia, from 
every State except Rhode Island, ignoring the question of the sin- 
fulness and immorality of slavery as a subject with which they, as 
the representatives of separate and independent States, had no con- 
cern, founded a Union and framed a Constitution, which, leaving 
with each State the exclusive control and regulation of its own 
domestic institutions, and providing for the taxation and represent- 
ation of slaves, gave no right to Congress to debate or to legislate 
concerning slavery in the States or Territories, except for the inter- 
diction of the slave-trade and the extradition of fugitive slaves. 
The Plan of Union proposed by Franklin, in 1754, had contained 
no allusion, even, to slavery ; and the Articles of Confederation of 
1778, but a simple recognition of its existence — so wholly was it 
regarded then a domestic and local concern. In 1787, every State, 
except, perhaps, Massachusetts, tolerated slavery either absolutely 
or conditionally. But the number of slaves north of Maryland, 
never great, was even yet comparatively small — not exceeding forty 
thousand in a total slave population of six hundred thousand. In 
the North, chief carrier of slaves to others, even as late as 1807, 
slavery never took firm root.^ Nature warred against it in that 

confederates." — Articles of Confederation, etc., May 19, 1643; g 4; aiid Ban- 
croft's United States, vol. 1, p. 168. 

The New England Fugitive Slave Law. — "It is also agreed that if 
any servant run away from his master into any of these confederate juris- 
dictions, that, in such case, upofi certificate of one magistrate in the jurisdic- 
tion out of which the said servant fled, or upon due proof, the said servant 
shall be delivered up either to his master or any other that pursues and brings 
such certificate or proof." — Ibid, § 8. 

*"The North and the Slave Trade. — The number of African slaves 
imported into the port of Charleston, S. C, alone, in the years 1804, 1805, 
1806, and 1807— the last year of the slave-trade— was 39,075. These were 
consigned to niyiety-one British subjects, eighty-eight citizens of New England, 
ten French subjects, and only thirteen citizens of Charleston. — Compend. of 
U. S. Census, p. 83. 


latitude ; otherwise every State in the Union vrould have been a 
slaveholilint; State to this day. It was not profitable there, and it 
died out — linperina, indeed, in New York, till July, 1827. It died 
out ; but not so much by the manumission of slaves as by their 
transportation and sale in the South. And thus New En<;laud, sir, 
turned an honest penny with her left hand, and with her right 
modestly wrote herself down in history as both generous and just. 
In the South, gentlemen, all this was precisely reversed. The 
earliest and most resolute enemies to slavery were Southern men. 
But climate had fastened the institution upon them ; and they found 
no way to strike it down. From the beginning, indeed, the Southern 
colonies especially had resisted the introduction of African slaves ; 
and, at the very outset of the revolution, Virginia and North Caro- 
lina interdicted the slave-trade. The Continental Congress soon 
after, on the tJth of April, 1776, three months earlier than the Dec- 
laration of Independence, resolved that no more slaves ought to be 
imported into the Thirteen Colonies. Jefferson, in his draught of 
the Declaration, had denounced the king of England alike for en- 
couraging the slave-trade, and for fomenting servile insurrection in 
the provinces. Ten years later, he boldly attacked slavery, in his 
"Notes on Virginia;" and in the Congress of the Confederation, 
prior to the adoption of the Constitution, icith its solemn compacts and 
compromises upon the subject of slavery, proposed to exclude it from 
the territory north-west of the river Ohio. Col. Mason, of Virginia, 
vehemently condemned it, in the Convention of 1787. Neverthe- 
less, it had already become manifest that slavery must soon die away 
in the North, but in the South continue and harden into, perhaps, a 
permanent, uneradicable system. Hostile interests and jealousies 
sprang up, therefore, in bitterness, even in the Convention. But the 
blood of the patriot brothers of Carolina and Massachusetts smoked 
yet upon the battle-fields of the Revolution. The recollection of 
their kindred language and common dangers and sufferings, burned 
Btill in their hearts. Patriotism proved more powerful than 
jealousy, and good sense stronger than fanaticism. There were no 
Sewards, no Hales, no Sumners, no Greeleys, no Parkers, no Chase, 
in that Convention. Theire was a Wilson, but he rejoiced not in the 
name of llcnry ; and he was a Scotchman. There was a clergy- 
man — no, not in the Convention of '87, but in the Congress of '76 ; 
but it was the devout, the learned, the pious, the patriotic Wither- 
spoon ; of foreign birth, also — a native of Scotland, too. The men 
of that day and generation, sir, were content to leave the question 
of slavery just where it belonged. It did not occur to them, that 
each one among them w^as accountable for " the sin of slaveholding " 
in his fellow; and that to ease his tender conscience of the burden, 
all the fruits of revolutionary privation, and blood, and treasure — 
all the recollections of the past, all the hopes of the future — nay, 
the Union, and with it, domestic tranquillity and national indepen- 
dence — ought to be offered up as a sacrifice. They were content to 
deal with political questions, and to leave eases of conscience to the 
Church and the schools, or to the individual man. And, accord- 


ingly, to this Union and Constitution, based upon these compro- 
mises — execrated now as " covenants with death and leagues with 
hell " — every State acceded ; and upon these foundations, thus broad 
and deep and stable, a political superstructure has, as if by magic, 
arisen, which, in symmetry and proportion, and, if we would but be 
true to our trust, in strength and durability, finds no parallel in the 
world's history. 

Patriotic sentiments, sir, such as mai-ked the era of '89, continued 
to guide the statesmen and people of the country, for more than 
thirty years, full of prosperity; till, in a dead political calm, conse- 
quent upon temporary extinguishment of the ancient party lines and 
issues, the Missouri Question, resounding through the land with 
the hollow moan of the earthquake, shook the pillars of the Republic 
even to their deep foundations. 

Within these thirty years, gentlemen, slavery, as a system, had been 
abolished by law or disuse, quietly and without agitation, in every 
State north of Mason and Dixon's line — in many of them lingering, 
indeed, in individual cases, so late as the census of 1840. But, ex- 
cept in half a score of instances, the question had not been obtruded 
upon Congress. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 had been passed with- 
out opposition, and without a division, in the Senate ; and by a vote 
of forty-eight to seven in the House. The slave-trade had been 
declared piracy, punishable with death. Respectful petitions from the 
Quakers of Pennsylvania, and others, upon the slavery question, were 
referred to a committee, and a report made thereon, which laid the 
matter at rest. Other petitions, afterward, were quietly rejected, and, 
in one instance, returned to the petitioner. Louisiana and Florida, 
both slaveholding countries, had, without agitation, been added to our 
territory. Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Ala- 
bama, slave States each one of them, had been admitted into the 
Union, without a murmur. No Missouri Restriction, no Wilmot 
Proviso, had as yet reared its discordant front to terrify and con- 
found. Non-intervention was then both the practice and the 
doctrine of the statesmen and people of that period ; though, as yet, 
no hollow platform enunciated it as an article of faith, from which, 
nevertheless, obedience might be withheld, and the platform " spit 
upon," provided the tender conscience of the recusant did not forbid 
him to support the candidate, and help to secure the " spoils." 

Once only, sir, was there a deliberate purpose shown, by a formal 
assault upon the compromises of the Constitution, to array the 
prejudices of geographical sections upon the question of slavery. 
But, originating within the secret counsels of the Hartford Conven- 
tion, it partook of the odium which touched every thing connected 
with that treasonable assembly,* till, set on fire by a live coal from 

*"The Haktford Convention-. — "liesolved, That it is expedient to recom- 
mend to the several State legislatures cerlain amendments to the Constitution, 

" That the power to declare or make war, by the Congress of the United 
States, be restricted. That it is expedient to attempt to make provision for 
restraininff Congress in the exercise of an unlimited power to make 7iew States, 


the altar of jealousy and fanaticism, it burst into a conflacrration, six 
years later. And now, sir, for the first time in our history under the 
Constitution, a strenuous and most embittered struggle ensued, on 
the part of the North — the Frdcra/ists of the North — to prevent the 
admission of a State into the Union ; really, because the North — the 
Federalists of the North — strove for the mastery, and to secure the 
balance of power in her own hands ; but ostensibly because slave- 
holding, which the Missouri Constitution sanctioned, was affirmed to 
be immoral and irreligious. In this first fearful strife, this earliest 
departure from the Constitution and the ancient sound policy of the 
country, the North — for the truth of history shall be vindicated — 
TUE North was the aggressor; and that, too, without the slightest 
provocation. Vermont, in New J^ngland, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, 
out of territory once the property of slaveholding Virginia, had been 
admitted into the Union ; and Michigan organized into a territorial 
government, without one hostile vote from the South given upon the 
ground that slavery was interdicted within their limits. Even Maine 
had been permitted, by vote of Congress, to slough off from Massachu- 
setts, and become a separate State. But now Missouri knocked for 
admission, with a constitution not introducing, but continuing slavery, 
which had existed in her midst from the beginning ; and four several 
times, at the first, she was rejected by the North. The South re- 
sisted, and the storm raged. Jefferson, professing to hate slavery, 
but living and dying himself a slaveholder, or, in the delicate slang 
of to-day, a "slave-breeder," loving yet his country with all the 
fervid patriotism of his early manhood five and forty years before, 
heard in it " the knell of the Union," and mourned that he must 
" die now in the belief that the useless sacrifice of themselves by the 
generation of 1776, to acquire self-government and happiness to their 
country, was to be thrown away by the unwise and unworthy passions 
of their sons ; " consoling himself — the only solace of the patriot of 
fourscore years — that he should not live to weep over the blessings 
thrown thus recklessly away for " an abstract principle ; " and the 
folly and madness of this " act of suicide and of treason against the 
hopes of the world."* 

and admit them info the Union. That an amendment he proposed respecting 

SLAVE KKPKK.SENTATION AND SLAVE TAXATION." — The third resolution of the 

Hartford Convention, reported Dec. 24, 1814, and subsequently adopted. 

It was also resolved "that the capacity of naturalized citizeiis to hold offices 
of trust, honor, or profit, ought to bo restricted. 

*The Missouri Question a Federal Movement — the North the 
Aggressor. — "The slavery agitation took its rise during this time (1819-'20), 
in the form of iittempted restriction on the State of Missouri — a prohibition to 
hold slaves to be placed upon her as a condition of hor admission into the 
Union, and to be binding upon her afterward. This agitation came from the 
North, and under a Federal lead, and soon swept both parties into its vortex. 
.... The real stru(jgle was political, and for the balance of power, as frankly 
declared by Mr. Kufus King, who disdained dissimuliition The resist- 
ance made to the admission of the State, on account of the clause in relation 

to free people of color, was 07ily a mask to the real cause of opposition 

For a while this formidable Missouri qucstio7i threatened the total overthroui 


But the incantations of hate and fanaticism had evoked the hideous 
specter, and it ought to have been quelled, never to re-appear. The 
appalling question was now stirred ; and it should have been met 
and re-settled forever, by the men of that day, on the original basis 
of the Constitution — not left, as a legacy of discord, a Pandora's box 
full of all evil, of mischief and pestilence, to the next generation. 
They were not true to themselves ; they were not true to us. They 
cowered before the goblin, and laid before it peace-offerings and a 
wave-offering, and sent us, their children, to pass through the fire ia 
the valley of Ilinnoni. Setting aside the compromises of the Con- 
stitution, and usurping power not granted to Congress, they under- 
took to compromise about that which had already been definitely and 
permanently settled by that instrument. This was the beginning, 
sir, of that line of paltry and halting compromises ; of fat-brained, 
mole-eyed, unmanlike expedients, which put the evil day off only to 
return laden with aggravated mischief. They hushed the terrible 
question for a moment ; and the election machinery moved on, and 
the spoils of the Presidency were divided as before. But it was " a 
reprieve only, not a. final sentence.^'' The "geographical line" thus 
once conceived for the first time, and held up to the angry passions 
of men, was, as Jefferson had foretold, never obliterated, but rather, 
by every irritation, marked deeper and deeper. And, after fifteen 
years' truce, it re-appeared in a new and far more dangerous form; 
and, enduring already for more than half the average life-time of 
man, has attained a position and magnitude which neither demands 
nor will hearken to any further compromise. Nevertheless, sir, but 
for the insolent intermeddling of the British government and British 
emissaries — continued to this day, with the superaddition now of 
Napoleon the Third — it might have slumbered for many years 

In England, gentlemen, the form of personal bondage disappeared 
even to its last traces from her own soil, about the beginning of the 
seventeenth century ; its legal existence continued till 16G1 ; its 
worst realities remain to this day ; for although, in that very humane 
and most enlightened Island, there be no involuntary, servitude 
except as a punishment for crime, yet in England, poverty is a crime, 

of all political parties upon principle, and the substitution of geographical par- 
ties, distinguished by the slave line, and, of course, destroying the just and 
proper action of the Federal Government, and leading eventually to a separa- 
tion of the States. It was a Federal 7novement, accruing to the benefit of that 
party, and, at first, was overwhelming, sweeping all the Northern Democracy 
into its current, and giving the supremacy to their adversaries. When this 
effect was perceived, the Northern Democracy became alarmed, and only 
wanted a turn or abatement iii popular feeling at home, to take the first oppor- 
tunity to get rid of the question, by admitting the State, and re-establishing party 

lines upon the basis of political principles It was a political movement 

for the balance of power, balked by the Northern Democracy, who saw their 
own overthrow, and the eventual separation of the States, in the establishment 

of geographical parties divided by a slavery and anti-slavery line 

In the Missouri controversy, the North was the undisputed aggressor."— 
Benton's Thirty Fears, pp. 5, 10, aiid 136, of volume first. 


punishable with the worst form of slavery, or by starvation and 
death. Three hundred years ago, she began to traffic in negro slaves. 
Queen Elizabeth was a sharer in its gains. A hundred and fifty 
years later, at the peace of Utrecht, England undertook, by compact 
with Spain, to import into the West Indies, within the space of 
thirty years, one hundred and forty-four thousand negroes, demand- 
ing, and with exactest care securing, a monopoly of the traffic. 
Queen Anne reserved one-quarter of the stock of the slave-trading 
company to herself, and one half to her subjects; to the king of 
Spain, the other quarter being conceded. Even so late as 1750, 
Parliament busied itself in devising plans to make the slave-trade 
still more eflFectual, while in 1775, the very year of the Revolution, 
a noble earl wrote to a colonial agent these memorable words : " We 
can not allow the Colonies to check or discourage, in any degree, a 
traffic so beneficial to the nation." Between that date, and the 
period of first importation, England had stolen from the coast of 
Africa, and imported into the new world, or buried in the sea on 
the passage thither, not less than three and a quarter millions of 
negroes — more, by half a million, than the entire population of the 
Colonies. In April, 177G, the American Congress resolved against 
the importation of any more slaves. But England continued the 
traffic, with all its accumulated horrors, till 1808 ; for so deeply had 
it struck its roots into the commercial interests of that country, that 
not all the effijrts of an organized and powerful society, not the 
influence of her ministers, not the eloquence of all her most renowned 
orators, availed to strike it down for more than forty years after 
this, its earliest interdiction in any country, by a rebel congress. 
Nevertheless, sir, slavery in the English West Indies continued 
twenty-seven years longer. But the loss of her American Colonies, 
and the prohibition of the slave-trade, had left small interest to Great 
Britain in negro slavery. Her philanthropy found room now to 
develop and expand in all its wonderful proportions. And accord- 
ingly, in 1834, England — England, drunk with the blood of the 
martyrs, stoning the prophets, and rejecting the apostles of political 
liberty, in her own midst — robbed, by act of Parliament, one hundred 
millions of dollars from the wronged and beggared peasantry of Ire- 
land, from the enslaved and oppressed millions of India, from the 
starving, overwrought, mendicant carcasses of the white slaves of her 
own soil, to pay to her impoverished colonists, plundered without 
voice and without vote in her legislature, the stipulated price of 
human rights; and with these, the wages of iniquity, in the outraged 
name of God and humanity, mocked the handful of her black bonds- 
men in the West Indies with the false and deluding shadow of 
liberty. Exeter Hall resounded with acclamation ; bonfires and 
illuminations proclaimed the exultant joy of an aristocracy fat with 
the pride and lust of domination. But in that self-same hour — in 
that self-same hour, from the furnaces of Sheffield and the manu- 
factories of Birmingham ; from the wretched hovels of Ireland, full 
of famishing and pestilence ; from ten thousand work-houses crowded 
with leprous and perishing paupers, the abodes of abominable cruel- 


ties, which not even the pen of a Dickens has availed to portray in 
the full measure of their enormity, and from the mouths of a thou- 
sand pits and mines, deep under earth, horrid in darkness, and reek- 
ing with noisome vapor, the stupendous charnel-houses of the living 
dead men of England, there went up, and ascends yet up to heaven, 
the piercing wail of desolation and despair. 

But p]ngland became now the great apostle of African liberty. 
Ignoring, sir, or putting under, at the point of the bayonet, the poli- 
tical rights of millions of her own white subjects, she yet prepared 
to convict the world of the sinfulness of negro slavery. Exeter Hall 
sent out its emissaries, full of zeal, and greedy for martyrdom. The 
British government took up the crusade — not from motives of reli- 
gion or philanthropy. Let no man be deceived. No, sir. Since 
the days of Peter the Hermit and Richard the Lion-hearted, England, 
forgetting the Holy Sepulcher, had learned many lessons : and none 
know better now their true province and mission, than English 
statesmen. But the American experiment of free government had not 
failed. America had grown great — had grown populous and powerful. 
Her proud example, towering up every day higher, and illuminating 
every land, was penetrating the hearts of the people, and threaten- 
ing to shake the thrones of every monarchy in Europe. Force 
against such a nation would be the wildest of follies. But to be 
odious is to be weak, and internal dissension had wasted Greece, and 
opened even Thermopylae to the Barbarian of Macedon. The 
Missouri Question had revealed the weak point of the American 
Confederacy. Achilles was found vulnerable in the heel. In sjpem 
ventum erat, intestina discordia dissolvi rem Romanam posse. 

The machinery which had effected emancipation in the British 
West India Islands, of use no longer in England, was transferred to 
America. Aided by British gold, encouraged by British sympathy, 
the agitation began here, in 1835 ; and so complete was it in all its 
appointments, so thorough the organization and discipline, so perfect 
the electric current, that, within six months, the whole Union was 
convulsed. Afl51iated societies were established in every northern 
State, and in almost every county; lecturers were paid, and sent 
forth into every city and village ; a powerful and well supported 
press, fed from the treasuries, and working up the cast-off rags of 
the British societies, poured forth a multitude of incendiary prints 
and publications, which were distributed by mail throughout the 
Union, but chiefly in the southern States, and among the slaves. 
Fierce excitement in the South followed. And so great became the 
public feeling and intei-est, that President Jackson, so early as the 
annual message of 1835, pressed earnestly upon Congress the duty 
of prohibiting the use of the mail for transmitting incendiai-y pub- 
lications to the South. But, prior to the sitting of Congress, the 
Abolition societies, treading again in the footsteps of the emancipa- 
tionists in England, had prepared, and now poured in a flood of 
petitions, praying Congress to take action upon the subject of slavery. 
The purpose was to obtain a foothold, a fulcrum, in the capital ; for 
without this, the South could not be effectually embroiled, and little 


could be accomplished, even in the North. But no appliances were 
left untried. Au'itutur.s, their breath was agitation ; quiescence would 
have been a sentence of" obscurity and dissolution. And acoordinirly, 
in May, 18!}5. the American Anti-slavery Society was established in 
New York, its object being the immediate and unconditional aboli- 
tion of negro slavery in the United States. It was a permanent 
organization, to be dissolved only upon the consummation of its pur- 
pose. The object of attack was the South, the seat of war the North. 
Public sentiment was to be stirred up here against slavery, because 
it was a moral evil, and a sin in the sight of the Most High, for the 
continuance of which, one day, the men of the North were account- 
able before heaven. Slaveholders were to be made odious in the eyes 
of Northern men and foreign nations, as cruel tyrants and task-mas- 
ters, as kidnappers, murderers, and pirates, whose existence was a 
reproach to the North, and whom it were just to hunt down and 
exterminate, as so many beasts of prey, to whom even the laws of 
the chase extended no indulgence. To hold fellowship and union 
with slaveholders, was to partake of all their sins and enormities; 
it was to be " in league with death, and covenant with hell." The 
Constitution and Union were themselves sinful, and, as such, they 
ought forthwith to be abrogated and dissolved. And thus, sir, the 
earlier Abolitionists, who were zealots, began just where their succes- 
sors of to-day, who are traitors, have ended. 

A separate political organization was not, at the first, proposed, 
and each man was left to his ancient party allegiance. The revolu- 
tion was to be a moral and religious revolution, and its principles, 
propagated by petitions, lectures, societies, and the press, in the 
North, were, through these instrumentalities, to penetrate Congress 
and the legislatures of the South, and if not hearkened to there, 
then to efl'ect a dismemberment of the Union by secession of the 
North, or secession forced upon the South. 

Slavery, gentlemen, had, before this, been the subject of earnest and 
sometimes angry controversy in Congress, and elsewhere. But a 
powerful and permanent organization, founded for such a purpose, 
and working by such appliances, had never yet existed. Coming 
thus in such a questionable shape, even the North started back aghast, 
as at "a goblin damned;" and it was denounced as treason and 
madness from the first. Its presses were destroyed, its assemblies 
broken up, its publications burned, and its lecturers mobbed every- 
where, and more than one among them murdered in the midst of 
popular tumult and indignation. The churches, the school-houses, 
the court-houses, and the public halls were alike closed against them. 
Misguided men, fanatics, emissaries of England, traitors — these were 
among the mildest of epithets which, in every place, and almost from 
every tongue, saluted their ears. The very name of "Abolitionist" 
became a by-word and a hissing. Not an advocate, and scarce even 
an apologist, for the men, or their course, was found in either hall of 
Congress. Members presented their petitions with great reluct- 
ance ; and, as late as the twenty-eighth of December, 1837, Mr. Calhoun 
rejoiced that "every senator, without exception," had confessed him- 


self opposed to the agitation. A bill to punish, by severe penalties, 
any post-master who should knowingly put into the mail any incen- 
diary publication directed to the South, had, by the casting vote of 
Vice-President Van Buren, been ordered to a third reading. The 
Senate declined to refer, or in any way act upon, the numerous peti- 
tions presented, while the Plouse. refusing to read, print, or refer, laid 
them forthwith upon the table. In January, 1838, the Senate, by a 
majority of four to one, adopted a series of resolutions denouncing 
the Abolition movement " on whatever ground or pretext urged for- 
ward, political, moral, or religious," as insulting to the South, and 
dangerous to her domestic peace and tranquillity ; and further, con- 
demning all efforts toward the abolition of slavery in the District of 
Columbia and the Territories as a breach of good faith, a just cause 
of serious alarm to the States in which slavery exists, and of most 
mischievous tendency. At the following session, the House of Rep- 
resentatives, by a majority of more than one hundred and fifty, 
passed resolutions, stronger, if possible, than these, and, some time 
later, censured, and almost expelled, John Quincy Adams, for pre- 
senting an abolition petition looking to a dissolution of the 

Outside of Congress, also, sir, Abolition received, up to this period, 
just as little countenance or support. By both of the great political 
parties it was utterly and indignantly repudiated ; while from none 
of the political, and scarce any of even the religious journals and 
periodicals of the day, did it find either aid or comfort. Especially, 
sir, was the Democratic party then sound on this question. General 
Jackson had already denounced, in strong language, officially, the 
"wicked and unconstitutional attempts of the misguided men, and 
especially the emissaries from foreign parts," who had originated the 
Abolition movement. President Van Buren, in his inaugural address, 
had volunteered a pledge to veto any bill looking to the abolition of 
slavery in the District of Columbia. Benton, Buchanan, Wright, 
Allen, all concurred ; and voted, also, for the resolutions which 
passed the Senate. In Ohio, the Democratic State Convention of 
January 8, IS-IO, planted itself firmly upon the rock of the Constitu- 
tion, and taking high and patriotic ground, condemned the efi"orts 
then being made for the abolition of slavery in the District of 
Columbia, " by organizing societies in the free States, as hostile to 
the spirit of the Constitution, and destructive to the harmony of the 
Union:'' and resolving that, "We, as citizens of a free State, had no 
right to interfere" with slavery elsewhere, denounced the Abolition 
movement and Abolition societies, declaring, that while they " ought 
to be discountenanced by every lover of peace and concord, no sound 
Democrat would have any part or lot with them." It was, also, 
further resolved, as if in the very spirit of prophecy, that " political 
Abolitionism was but ancient Federalism,, under a new guise, and 
only a new device for the overthrow of Democracy." 

These resolutions, sir, were adopted with but three dissenting 
voices, in a more numerous assemblage of delegates than bad ever 
before met in the State. 


[George W. Ells, Esq., one of the old Liberty (Abolition) Gunrd, hero 
interruptinE:, said, that historical statements oui^lit to be correct; that he had 
been a member, from Licking county, of the convention referred to, and that 
he knew that the resolutions quoted had never passed, but were smus^irlcd 
into the proceedings, in order to be circulated through the South, to aid Mr. 
Van Buren.] 

Mr. VALLANODlGnAM. Sir, T have before me the ojjUcial record 
of the proceedings of that convention, sifrncd by the late lamented 
Thomas L. Ifamcr, president of the convention, a man too candid, too 
brave, and too true to lend himself to so base and detestable a fraud 
for any such purpose. You libel the gallant dead ; and it is quite 
too late in the day, after the lapse of fifteen years, for you, sir, by 
your own parol testimony, to seek to impeach the absolute verity of 
the record. And I repeat now again, and desire you to hoar and 
understand it, that these resolutions did pass that convention, and 
pass, too, with but three dissenting voice%, in that, the largest State 
convention ever before assembled in Ohio. And if you, sir, hap- 
pened to be one of the three who voted against these resolutions, I 
can only say that you had the misfortune to find yourself in a very 
small and most inglorious minority. I assert further, that three 
weeks after that convention, Benjamin Tappan, then a senator in 
Congress from Ohio, quoting these same resolutions, and affirming 
the statement which I have just made, concluded a speech of remark- 
able precision and clearness, by declining even to present a petition 
from citizens of the State, praying for the abolition of slavery in the 
District of Columbia.* 

A few months later — mark you, Mr. President, Ohio then took the 
lead in denouncing the treason and fanaticisms of Abolition — the 
Democracy of the Union, assembled in general convention at Balti- 
more, passed, without a dissenting vote, that memorable resolution, 
penned by that pure and incorruptible patriot, Silas Wright; and 
which penetrated then the heart also, and not the ear only, of every 
Democrat, to the full and utmost significancy of every word and 
letter, repudiating " incipient steps," even by Congress, in relation to 
"questions of slavery," of every sort, as calculated to lead to the 

* Thk Ohio Resolutions. — " Resolved, That in the opinion of this conven- 
tion, Congress ought not, without the consent of the people of the District, 
and of the States of Virginia and Maryland, to abolish .slavery in the Dis- 
trict of Columbia; and that the efforts now making, for that purpose, by 
organized societies in the free States, are hostile to the spirit of the Consti- 
tution, and destructive to the harmony of the Union. 

^^ Resolved, That slavery being a domestic institution, recognized by the 
Constitution of the United States, we, as citizens of a free State, have no 
right to interfere with it; and that the organizing of societies and a.ssocia- 
tions in free States, in opposition to the institutions of sister States, while 
productive of no good, may be the cause of much mischief; and while such 
associations, for political purposes, ought to be discountenanced by every 
lover of peace and concord, no sound Democrat will have part or lot witli 

"Resolved, That political Abolitionism is but ancient Federalism, under a 
new guise, and that the political action of anti-slavery societies is only a 
device for the overthrow of Democracy." 


most alarming and dangerous consequences, and sucli as ougtt not to 
be countenanced by any friend of our political institutions. 

Such, Mr. President, was Abolition in the North, fifteen years ago 
• — such it is not now. To the philosophic historian, who, in a future 
age, shall sit amid the ruins of my country, to write her decline and 
fall, I leave the sad but instructive office of tracing its progress, and 
exploring the causes, which, step by step, have lead to its present 
portentous development. I propose but a brief and hasty summary. 

Slowly emerging from obscurity and odium, abolition began to fix 
attention, not as hitherto, by its sound and fury, but, losing none of 
these, rather now by its increasing numbers and influences. Design- 
ing men soon foresaw that, of all the movements of the day, none 
promised so abundant and perhaps durable -a harvest to him who 
should organize and discipline its wild crusading forces into a regular 
political party. Fanaticism, and a false, religious zeal, conjoined with 
that pestilent, but ever-potent, spirit, which is so sorely off'ended at 
the mote that is in our brother's eye, and which makes each man 
jealous over his neighbor's conscience, could easily be arrayed under 
the banner of sectional hate and bigotry, and thus a distinct political 
faction be compounded out of these elements. Such a party, sir, 
united by these, the strongest, though not most durable ties, was 
soon shuffled together, and not long after, supplanted the system of 
affiliated societies. It formed separate tickets, and, in 1844, supported 
a candidate for the Presidency. But, prior to 1848, it attained, as a 
party, comparatively small weight in elections. The vehement con- 
tests and grave political questions which convulsed the two great 
parties of the country, overshadowed all interest in the feeble, but 
still earnest and active abolition band ; but that band, meantime, was 
steadily increasing, by accessions, now and then from the Democrats, 
but chiefly from the Whigs ; some honest men, and the discontented 
and rejected spirits of each, naturally dropping off", and falling into 
its ranks. Abolitionists — many of them styling themselves, at this 
period in their history, the "Liberty Party," gained now, in some 
counties, the balance of power ; and hence became there an object 
of courtship to the other parties ; in New England yet earlier, but 
all over the North, in 1844, the Whig party began to trim and falter 
upon the question. The defeat of Clay, and the annexation of Texas, 
gave a new impetus to abolition, and many more, upon these pretexts, 
fell into its ranks. Meantime, the steady, persistent, never-wearying 
labors of its orators and press, full of grossly false and exaggerated 
portraitures of slavery, and libels upon Southern society, working by 
day and by night, in the Church, the schools, and the lecture-room, 
at the public meeting, the fireside, and the sick bed, fomenting thus 
hate and jealousy of the South everywhere, and that, too, for the 
most part, without counteracting influence from any quarter, had 
poured the leprous distillment deep into every vein and artery of 
the Northern body politic. 

Just at this point, sir, in the history of the Abolition movement, 
came the Oregon controversy, and after that the Mexican war, em- 
broiled by the now terrible question of the acquisition of a very large 


tract of Mexican territory. Pride or vanity, wounded by the settle- 
ment of the Oregon boundary at forty-nine, ambition, disappointed 
of office, the nomination of Generals Casa and Taylor in 184S, and 
the manifestly approaching dissolution of the Whig party, all con- 
tributed to throw a large portion of that party in the North, and not 
a few from the Democratic host, into the ranks of the Abolitionists ; 
who, swelled now by such great accessions, threw ofl' wholly the 
odious name of Abolition, and, organizing into one body, under a new- 
title, at Buffalo, announced Martin Van IBuren as their candidate for 
the Presidency. In the midst of all this chaos in the political ele- 
ment?, arose that pernicious bubble, the " Wilmot Proviso," which, 
convulsing the country for more than four years, in its various forms, 
had well nigh precipitfted us headlong into the bottomless gulf of 

Assuming now the specious name of " Free Soil," and disguising ita 
odious principles and its true purposes, under the false pretence of No 
Extension of Shivery, the Abolition party addressed itself to minds 
full now of hate toward the South and her institutions, and ready alike 
to forget the true mission of a political party, and the limitations of 
the Constitution. But the united patriotism, talent, and worth of the 
North and South rallied to the rescue of this the last grand experi- 
ment of free government, from the thick darkness of failure and of 
ruin by the parricidal hands of its own children. The Compromise 
of 1850 followed : intended and believed to be a final adjustment of 
this appalling controversy. It was designed to be a covenant of peace 
forever — sealed and attested by the self-sacrifice of Webster, Clay, 
and Calhoun, the most illustrious triumvirate of great men and pa- 
triots, in any age or any country. But to no purpose : the yawning 
gulf did not close over them. The origin of the evil lay deeper, and 
it was not reached. No great question of a like nature and magnitude 
was ever adjusted by a legislative compromise, in a popular govern- 
ment. The evil lay in that great and most pernicious error which 
pervaded and penetrated so large a portion of the Northern mind, that 
the men of the North, if not under the Constitution, yet, by some 
•'higher law" of conscience, had a right, and, as they would escape 
that fire which is not quenched, were bound to intermeddle, and, in 
some way, to legislate for the abolition of the "accursed system." No 
act of Congress, no number of acts, could heal a malady like this, rooted 
in presumptuous self-righteousness, and aggravated by the corroding 
poison of sectional jealousy and hate. For such, sir, there is no sweet 
oblivious antidote in legislation. Set on fire by these passions, applied 
now to that case which, coming nighest home, appealed most plausibly 
and most strongly to their impulses and their prejudices, a large part 
of the North resolved to render nugatory the chief slavery compro- 
mise of the Constitution, by trampling under foot and resisting or 
obstructing the execution of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. And 
three years later, re-enforced now by many recruits from the Demo- 
cratic ranks, and by almost the entire Whig force of the North, 
disbanded finally by the overthrow of 1852, but re-organized in part 
under the banuer of Kaow-Nothingism; the Abulitioa handful of 


1835, swelled now to a mighty host, rallied in defense of the Missouri 
Restriction, and shook the whole land with a rocking tempest of 
popular commotion, more dangerous than even the storm of 1850. 

Here, then, gentlemen, let mc pause to survey the true nature and 
full extent of the perils which thus encompass us, and to inquire: 
What remains to be done, that they may be averted? 

In January, 1838, Mr. Calhoun spoke, with alarm — then derided as 
visionary — of the danger which, to him, seemed already as certain as it 
would be disastrous, from the continued, persevering, uncounteracted 
efforts of the Abolitionists, imbuing the rising generation at the North 
■with the belief that the institutions of the South were sinful and 
immoral, and that it would be doing God service to abolish them, 
even should it involve the destruction of half her inhabitants, aa 
murderers and pirates at best. Sir, what was then prophecy, is now 
history. More than half the present generation in the North have 
ceased to look upon Southern men as brethren. Taught to hate, first, 
the institutions of the South, they have, very many of them, by easy 
gradations, transferred that hatred to her citizens. Learning to abhor 
what they are told is murder, they have found no principle either 
in nature or in morals, which impels them to love the murderer with 
fraternal affection. Organized bands exist in every northern State, 
with branches in Canada, which make slave-stealing a business and a 
boast : and that outrage which, if any foreign state, or any State of 
this Union even, in any thing else, were to encourage or permit in 
any of her citizens, would, by the whole country, with one voice, be 
regarded as a just cause of instant war or reprisals, is every day 
consummated without rebuke, or by connivance, or the direct sanc- 
tion of many of the members of this Confederacy; by school-books, 
and in school-houses ; in the academies, colleges, and universities ; in 
the schools of divinity, medicine, and law — these same sad lessons 
of hate and jealousy are every day inculcated. Even the name and 
the fame of a slaveholding Washington have ceased to cause a throb 
in many a Northern heart. The entire press of the North, in jour- 
nals, newspapers, periodicals, prints, and books, with not many manly 
and patriotic exceptions, has either been silent or lent countenance 
and support, knowingly or carelessly, to the systematic and treasonable 
efforts of those who are resolved to pull down the fabric of this Union. 
Literature and the arts are put under conscription, for the same 
wicked purpose. Not a Northern poet, from Longfellow and Bryant, 
down to Lowell, but has sought inspiration from the black Helicon of 
Abolition : and the poison from a hundred thousand copies of false 
and canting libels, in the form of works of fiction, is licked up from 
every hearthstone, while the " Tribune " of Greeley — one among ten 
thousand " sold to do evil," at once the tool and the compeer of 
Seward in his traitorous purpose to make himself a name in history 
— the antithesis of Washington — by the subversion of this Republic — 
gathering up, with persevering and most devilish diligence, every 
murder, every crime, every outrage, every act of cruelty, rapine, or 
lust, upon white or upon black, real or forged, throughout the South, 
Beads it forth winged with venom and malice, as a faithful witness of 


the true and general state of Southern society, and the legitimate 
fruit of slavehoiding. In the public lecture, and anniversary address ; 
at the concert hall, and upon the boards of the theater ; nay, even at 
the festivals of our ancient charitable orders, this same dark spirit of 
mischief is ever present, dropping pestilence from his wings. Even 
history is corrupted, and figures marshalled into a huge lie, to 
compass the same treacherous end. 

Here, again, too, the clergy, and the Church, gentlemen, mindful 
less than ever of their true province and vocation, have, one by one, 
joined in the crusade, till nineteen-twenticths of Northern pulpits 
resound every Sabbath, in ?crmon or prayer, with imprecation upon 
slaveholders. Already has di.'^union and consequent strife ensued in 
all the chief religious sects, three only excepted. Outside of these 
— and sometimes within them, too — the religion of the Bible is but 
too often superseded by the gospel of Abolition, and the way of 
salvation taught to lie through sympathy with that distant portion 
of the African race which is held in bondage south of Ma.--oa and 
Dixon's line. Thus the spirit of persecution is superadded to the 
jealousies of sectional position, and the furnace of hate heated seven 
times hotter than is wont. 

They who would not turn a deaf ear to the express requirements 
of the Constitution, are beguiled and drawn astray by the hollow 
pretense of Opposition to the Extension of Slavery — a pretense alike 
false and unmanly, and opposed to the spirit of the Constitutional 
compact, and the principle which forbids to intermeddle with slavery 
in the States. 

Others, sir, who may care nothing for the sinfulness or immorality 
of slavehoiding, are wrought to jealousy by the false and impudent 
outcry against the "aggressions of the slave-power," "the grasping 
spirit of the South," "Southern bluster and bravado ;" and many an 
arrant coward hires himself to be written down a hero, for his 
wondrous courage in lending the eye a terrible aspect on his own 
hustings, at the mention of a " fire-eater " from the Carolinas, or 
repelling, indignantly, six weeks after the offense, on the floor of 
Congress, the insolence of some "slave-dealing" member from Vir- 
ginia, who is, perhaps, at the moment, a hundred miles from the 
capitol. Thus the claim of the South to participation in the common 
territory purchased by the common blood and treasure of the Union 
• — nay, even her demand that the solemn compact of the Constitution 
be fulfilled and her fugitives restored to her, are denounced alike as 
arrogant "slave-driving " assaults and aggressions upon the rights of 
the North. 

Others, again, arc persuaded that the South is weak, is unwilling, 
and dare not resist — is afraid of insurrection, and dependent lor safety 
and bread and existence upon the proverbial fertility and magna- 
nimity of New England. As if no Henry, no Lee, no Jefferson, no 
Pinckney, no Sumpter, no Hayne, no Laurens, no Carroll, no George 
Washington had ever lived — as if the spirit of Marion's men lingered 
not yet upon the banks of Santee, and the fierce courage of the Butler 
who ro&e pale and corpse- like from the bed of death, to lead the 


Palmetto regiment to battle at Cherubusco, foremost in the ranks and 
" nearest the flashing of the guns," was already become extinct. 

The political parties, also, at the North, gentlemen, have faltered, 
and some of them f^illen, before Abolition. The Whig party, bar- 
gaining with, courting, and seeking to absorb it into its own ranks, 
has, itself, at last, been swallowed up and lost. Political Temperance 
and Know-Nothingism are rapidly drifting into the same vortex. The 
spirit of Anti-Masonry transmigrated, some years ago, into the opaque 
body of Abolitionism. Fourierism, Anti-Rentism, the party devoted 
to Women's Rights, and all the other isms of the day, born of the 
same generating principle, are already fully assimilated to their com- 
mon parent : for all these isms, sir, like the nerves of sense, run in 
pairs. Even the Democratic party, never losing its identity, never 
ceasing to be national, and even now the sole hope of the country, 
if it will but return to its ancient mission and discipline — the only 
organized body round which all true conservatives and friends of tho 
Constitution and Union may rally — has, nevertheless, in whole or in 
part, at some period or another, in every State, cowered before or 
tampered with this dark specter. 

Just such, too, as public feeling in the North is, so is its legisla- 
tion. Vermont has passed a law repealing, in effect, within her limits, 
the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, and abrogating so much of the Con- 
stitution as requires the rendition of fugitives from service. Connec- 
ticut, enacting a similar statute, has gone a step farther, and outraged 
every dictate of justice, in the effort to make it effectual. Massa- 
chusetts, the "model Commonwealth" of the times, improving yet 
upon the work of her sister States, provides, also, that whatsoever 
member of her bar shall dare appear in behalf of the claimant of a 
fugitive slave, shall ignominiously be stricken from her court rolls, 
and forbidden to practice wiihin her limits. Legislation of a kindred 
character exists, sir, in other States also ; and New England will, 
doubtless, yet find humble imitators even in the West. Already, 
indeed, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin has deliberately released 
from her penitentiary, upon habeas corpus, a prisoner convicted, on 
indictment before a United States court, of resisting the laws and 
officers of the United States in a slave case. Judges, elsewhere, 
have held that no citizen of the United States living South may 
dare set his foot, with a slave, upon the north-west shore of the 
Ohio, at low-water mark even, without by that act, though but for a 
moment, and from necessity, working instant emancipation of the 
slave. Not many months ago, a mingled mob of negroes, white and 
black, at Salem, in Ohio, entered a railroad train, and by violence 
tore from the family of a slaveholder, passing through the State from 
necessity, and at forty miles an hour, the nurse of his infant child. 
A Massachusetts legislature has demanded of her Executive the 
removal of an able, meritorious, and upright judge, for the conscien- 
tious discharge, within her limits, of the duties of an office which 
he held under authority of the United States ; and a Massachusetts 
ecclesiastical conclave, three hundred in number, rose as one man on 
the announcement of the outrage, and shouted till the house rang 


again with their plaudits. And a Massachusetts university rejected, 
also, the same judjrc, for the same cause, when proposed for a pro- 
fessorship in the institution. 

Tiuis. sir, within little more than two years from the death of her 
noblest son — whose whole life, and whose dying labors were ex- 
hausted in defending the Union and holding the Commonwealth of 
his adoption up to the full measure of her Kcvolutionary patriotism 
and greatness — has the star of Massachusetts been seen to fall from 
heaven and begin to plunge into the utter blackness of disunion. In 
vain now, sir, from the grave of the Statesman of Marshficld there 
comes up the warning cry, " Let her shrink back ; let her hold others 
back, if she can; at any rate, let her keep herself back from this 
gulf, full at once of fire and blackness — full, as far as human fore- 
sight can scan, or human imagination fathom, of the fire and the 
blood of civil war, and of the thick darkness of general political 
disgrace, ignominy, and ruin." No; she is fallen. Sumner has sup- 
planted Winthrop ; and a Wilson crawled up into the seat which 
Webster once adorned. 

And add, now, to all this, gentlemen, that, already, that portentous 
and most perilous evil, against which the Father of his Country so 
solemnly and earnestly warned his countrymen, a party bounded by 
geographical lines — a Northern party, standing upon a Northern 
platform, doing battle for Northern issues, and relying solely for 
success upon appeals to Northern prejudices and Northern jealousies, 
is now, for the first time in our history, fully organized and consoli- 
dated in our midst. Add farther, that, to the Thirty-Fourth Con- 
gress, fourteen Senators and a majority of Representatives have been 
chosen who, in name or in fact, are Abolitionists; Ohio contributing 
to this dark host her entire delegation in House and Senate, one 
only excepted ; and thus, for the first time, also, since the organiza- 
tion of our Government, has the House of Representatives been 
converted into a vast Abolition conventicle, full of men picked out 
for their hatred of the South, and who can not be true to the Con- 
stitution and the Union without treachery to the expectations and 
the purposes of those who elected them. And then reflect yet fur- 
ther, that this vast and terrible magazine of explosive elements is 
gathered together just upon the eve of a Presidential election, with 
all its multiplied and convulsing interests ; and that soon Kansas 
■will knock for admission into the Union, thus surely precipitating 
the crisis ; and who, tell me, I pray you, may foresee what shall be 
the history of this Republic at the end of two years from to-day? 

All this, gentlemen, the spirit of Abolition has accomplished in 
twenty years of continued and exhausting labors of every sort. But, 
in all that time, not one convert has it made in the South ; not one 
slave emancipated, except by larceny and in fraud of the solemn 
compacts of the Constitution. Meantime, public opinion has wholly, 
radically changed in the South. The South has ceased to denounce, 
ceased to condemn slavery — ceased even to palliate — and begun now, 
almost as one man, to defend it as a great moral, social, and political 
blessing. The bitter and proscriptive warfare of twenty years has 


brought forth its natural and legitimate fruit in the South. Exas- 
peration, hate, and revenge are every day ripening into fullest matur- 
ity and strength ; and, throughout her entire extent, she awaits now 
but the action of the North to unite in solemn league and covenant 
to resist aggression even unto blood. 

But the South, sir, has forborne a little. I say, she has forborne 
a little. She has not yet associated and formed political parties to 
put down Masonry and Odd Fellowship in the free States and in the 
Territories, upon the pretext that these institutions are sinful and 
immoral. She has not yet organized societies, and fostered and pro- 
tected them by her legislation, to steal that which our law recognizes 
as property, and refused restitution on the pretext that by the 
*' higher law " of conscience, no right of property exists in the thing 
stolen. Neither, sir, has any southern States, no, not even " fire- 
eating " South Carolina, sought as yet to compensate herself for the 
fugitives which we have abducted, by enacting laws to encourage the 
slave-trade, by punishing with fine and imprisonment in her peni- 
tentiary for years any one of her citizens who should aid in enforc- 
ing the laws of the United States against the traffic, striking from 
her court rolls any attorney within her limits, who should appear in 
behalf of the prosecution, and excluding all who hold the office of 
United States Commissioner or Judge, from any office or appoint- 
ment under her authority. How long before all this shall have been 
done, is known to Him only whose omniscient eye penetrates and 
illumines the clouds and thick darkness of the future. 

Thus, then, Mr. President, by little and little at first, but now, as 
■with a flood, fraternal afi'ection is wasted away ; hate and jealousy 
and discord, nourished and educated into maturest developments; 
and, one by one, the real and strong cords which bind us together 
as a confederacy snapped asunder, or stretched to their utmost ten- 
sion. It needs no spirit of prophecy, not even a human sagacity 
above the ordinary level, to foretell just how long the habits, forms, 
and paper parchments of a union can last when its life-giving prin- 
ciple and nourishing and sustaining virtue are wasted and gone. 
Sir, he is yet but in the swaddling bands of infancy, who does not 
already see that there is wanting but some strong convulsion, or 
even but some sudden jar in the system, to hurl us headlong down 
into the abyss of disunion. 

I know, gentlemen, that to many all this is as " a twice-told tale, 
vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man." They hearkened not to the 
voice of Webster, Clay and Calhoun, while yet among the living; 
neither would' they believe, though these three men rose from the 
dead. Being dead, they yet speak. The dead of all ages speak. 
All history lifts up its warning voice. Livy and Tacitus are full of 
saddest and most instructive teachings. But let us not deceive our- 
selves. It is not in their pages that we are to read the lessons of 
that danger which threatens us with destruction. There has been to 
us no slow and gradual progression of five hundred years to the full 
growth and stature of a great nation ; neither is it in reserve for us 
to pass through the mellowing and softening gradations of luxury, 


vice, corruption, and enervation for five hundred years more, to our 
final fall as an empire. No. The history of Greece is the true study 
for the American statesman. There he will find the chiefost lessons 
of political wisdom, adapted to our peculiar exif^encies. He will learn 
there how internal dissension and discord may prostrate a state in the 
full vi<ror of its manhood ; and, indeed, that it is only in the man- 
hood of a confederacy that there is strenirth enough, and enersry 
enouch, in the members, to rend each other in pieces, and that in the 
decadence of a state, in decay and atony, it is a Caesar within, or a 
Macedonian phalanx, or Roman leaions from without, which over- 
whelm the state. In Thucydides, he may learn how a thirty years' 
civil war exhausted Greece, and prepared her first for the haughty 
domination of the conquering member of the confederacy; and finally, 
for that yoke of foreign despots which galls and burns into her neck 
to this day. 

Let us improve these lessons. It is not yet too late to be saved. 
The current may still be turned back, and the Union restored to its 
former sound and healthy condition, though many a gaping scar shall 
attest the wounds she has received from the hands of her owa 

What then remains to be done? — I answer this momentous 
question, Mr. President, by declaring first, what will not heal the 
sick man of America. 

First, then, closing our eyes and our ears to the truth, and laugh- 
ing all danger to scorn, will not do it. The scoffs and derision of 
the diluvian world did not stay the fountains of the great deep, nor 
seal up the windows of heaven. 

Professions and resolutions of love for the Union and Constitution, 
whether hypocritical or sincere, will not do it, while, at the same 
moment, we strike the blow which destroys both. Nor will legislative 
compromises and finalities, nor yet national conventions and presi- 
dential elections. None of these. 

Least of all, sir, will platforms, of themselves, avail any thing. 
Time was when they had a meaning, and when the partisan who re- 
pudiated or doubted even an abstract principle, was stricken down by 
a surer and heavier blow of popular wrath than he who "bolted " a 
nomination. But that day is past. The best of platforms is now too 
often but a spider's snare ; the weak and unsuspecting house-fly is 
caught and devoured, the stout, blue-bottle, carrion insect breaks 
through its meshes. A sound system of faith is, indeed, still pro- 
claimed, but mental reservation is now tolerated. The thirty-nine 
Articles are subscribed, but a wide margin and much space between 
the lines allowed for liberal interpretation. Obedience is no longer 
expected or required to the platform, if the professor will but sup- 
port the candidate. And thus, sir, the aged worshiper who lingers 
yet around the altar, and the simple-minded convert of yesterday, 
■whose burning faith receives the creed as an enunciation of eternal 
principles, the sacred canon of political scripture, are alike amazed 
to learn from the organ of the ecumenical council, interpreting by 
authority, that it is only the gospel according to Judas, whereby a 


general amnesty is proclaimed to all rebels and deserters ; — a cum- 
brous but convenient piece of machinery, whereby apostates may be 
restored, if not to favor, at least to position and office in the party. 
Witness the bold and impudent fraud of the platform promulgated 
by the Grand Council of Knovv-Nothings at Philadelphia, which yet 
a subordinate State Council of the same Order, assembled at Cleve- 
land, and bound by the most stringent oaths to obedience, had assumed, 
in advance, to repudiate. And need I but allude to that State De- 
mocratic Convention of Ohio, which, resolving to adhere to and support 
the Baltimore platform, rugged all over as it is, with denunciations 
of all and every attempt, of whatsoever shape, or color, or pretense, 
in Congress or out of it, to keep up the slavery agitation, did yet, 
with amiable and most refreshing consistency, resolve that the Democ- 
racy of Ohio would use all power, under the Constitution, " to prevent 
the increase, to mitigate, and finally to eradicate — tear up by the 
roots — the evil of slavery." 

Either away then with platforms, at least, as a sanative process, and 
until a sounder public virtue be restored, or require a strict and 
ready and honest obedience to the principles which they proclaim. 

What then remains to he done f — I answer, first, that whatever it 
may be, it is to be done by and through the Democratic party, and 
the national Whigs and others who may act with it in this crisis ; 
for "when bad men combine, good men must associate." There is 
no hope, none, in any other organization. To that party, therefore, 
and through it, to all true patriots and conservatives, I address myself, 
and answer further : We must return to the principles, follow the 
practice, imitate the good faith and fraternal aifection, and restore the 
distinctions with which our ancestors set out at the commencement 
of this government. We must learn a wise and wholesome conserva- 
tism ; learn that all progress is not reform, and that the wildest and 
most pernicious and most dangerous of all follies is to attempt to 
square our political institutions and our legislation by mere abstract, 
theoretical, and mathematically exact, but impracticable truths. We 
must remember, also, our true mission as a political party, and re- 
trace our steps from outside the territories of the lyceum and the 
Church, and drive back the clergy and the Church to their own 
domain. We must build up again the partitions which separate sacred 
things from profane, and begin once more to '■'■Render unto Ccesar 
the things that are Ccesar s, and unto God the things that are God^s.^' 
We must set out again to pronounce upon political questions, with- 
out essaying to try them by the touchstone of our own peculiar 
notions of moral or divine truth, and thus relegate temperance to the 
voluntary association, religion to the Church, and slavery to the 
judgment and conscience of those in whose midst it exists, or is 
sought to be established, casting aside that false and dangerous and 
most presumptuous self-delusion, that we are to give account, each 
one as citizens, for the sins or immoralities of our fellow-men. Slav- 
ery, indeed, sir, where it exists, or to the people among whom it is 
proposed to introduce it, may be, and it is to them, a political subject 
in part. To us of the North, it is and can be none other than an 


ethical or rolif^ions question. For, diseuipe and falsify it as yon 
will ; marshal and array your fitrures and your facts to lie never so 
grossly, it is the sinfulness and iniinorality of slaveholding as viewed 
by the Northern mind, and this alone, which has stirred the people 
of the North to such a hip;ht of folly and madness. And yet, if 
immoral, it concerns only the people of the States and Territories 
where it exists ; if sinful, they only are the offenders, and even if a 
political evil, it is they alone who feel the curse. It is, therefore, 
and can be of no possible concern to us, except, indeed, upon the 
principle of that self-sufficient, self-righteous and most pernicious 
egoism which it is time now to purge out of the system. 

But a high and imperative constitutional obligation, also, Mr. 
President, devolves here upon the Democratic party. 

The accidents and the necessities of its settlement determined the 
political character of this continent, and divided it into separate 
colonies, as perfectly independent, one of the other, as any foreign 
states. A common subjection to the crown of Great Britain gave the 
first notion of a common Federal Government ; and the aggressions 
of that crown, and of Parliament, compelling civil war, forced our 
fathers into a union and articles of confederation. The Constitution 
of '89 extended the powers and the efficiency, but did not alter the 
nature of the General Government. That instrument, sir, was framed 
by delegates appointed not by the old Congress, but by the States, 
as sovereign and independent communities. State conventions rati- 
fied it ; and it was binding only as between those States which ac- 
ceded to it. They consented to yield up to a common government, 
certain delegated powers, for the good of the whole ; reserving all 
others, each to itself. We are a confederacy, sir, of sovereign, dis- 
tinct, independent States ; in all things not brought into the common 
fund of power, just as thoroughly foreign to each other (except only 
in a common language and fraternal affection), and as subject to 
the obligations and comities of the law of nations, as France and 
England. With the domestic police and institutions of Kentucky, or 
any other State, the people of Ohio have no more right to inter- 
meddle, than with the laws or form of government in Russia. Slavery 
in the South is to them as polygamy in the Turkish Empire ; and 
for the political evils, or the sinfulness and immorality of the one, 
they are in no wise more responsible than for the other. Or — to 
select the same subject-matter — they have no more right to inter- 
fere with, nor are they in any degree more accountable for, the con- 
tinuance of slavery in Virginia, than for its existence in Persia. 
Neither, sir, have the people of the northern States any greater right, 
under the Constitution, to deny admission into the Union to a State, 
because its laws sanction involuntary servitude, or to prescribe that 
slavery shall not be tolerated in a territory, than to abolish it in a 
State already in the Union. The converse of this proposition is 
sheer, rank, unmixed, unanointed Ft'deralism — just the Federalism 
of Alexander Hamilton, who, in the convention of '87, would have 
made the States wholly subordinate to the General Government — 
mere adjuncts — "corporations for local purposes." The reasons, sir, 


are obvious, and they are conclusive. It is a fundamental principle 
of the Democratic theory, and of our institutions, that to the people 
of each particular State, county, township, city, and village, shall be 
committed, as far as possible, the exclusive regulation of their more 
immediate and local affairs. In other words, that power, whenever 
it is practicable, shall be diffused to the utmost, and never centralized 
beyond urgent necessity. Again, the only limitation prescribed in 
the Constitution, for the fitness of a State for fellowship with us, is 
that such State shall establish a "republican" or representative form 
of government. Now, it is too late to allege, at this day, and quite 
too absurd, that the existence of the domestic institution of slavery 
in a State makes its form of government anti-republican, and, there- 
fore, unconstitutional. Such an argument is not worth a serious 
refutation. Again : The territories are the common property of the 
States in their Federal capacity, purchased by the common blood and 
treasure of all, and as much the property of South Carolina as of' 
Massachusetts. They are tenants in common of this property ; and 
for one State to demand the exclusion of another from participation 
in their use in common, in every respect, is arrogant and unfounded 
assumption of superiority ; and fifty-fold more offensive, when the 
pharisaic pretense is set up that they are more holy than that other 
State, whose inhabitants are sinners before God exceedingly, and who 
would pollute the territory, by the introduction of their wickedness 
upon its soil ; assuming thus to be keeper of the conscience and 
custodian of the morals of the people of the territory, putting on 
the robes, and ascending into the judgment-seat of the Almighty. 
Sir, if the inhabitants of Cape Cod are not satisfied with the copar- 
cenary, let them seek, by partition, to hold in severalty ; and, obtaining 
thus the very small and almost infinitessimal portion which is their 
share, exert over it such acts of ownership as to them may seem 
meet ; but not attempt insolently to take possession and control of 
the whole. 

Manifestly, then, sir, the agitation of the slavery question finds no 
warrant or countenance, but direct and emphatic condemnation, in the 
Constitution. That part of the instrument which apportions the rep- 
resentation and taxation of slaves, for the most part executes itself, 
and admits only of direct attack by amendment or nullification. The 
clause which empowers Congress to prohibit the slave-trade, has long 
since been C[uietly carried into effect ; and the South has never sought 
to disturb it. The sole remaining instance in which Congress may 
legislate in reference to slavery, is for the extradition of fugitives. 
From its very nature, sir, this presents a capital point for assault by 
Abolitionists. Long before the act of 1850, they had, by state leg- 
islation, or public odium, rendered nugatory the act of 1793, and 
were laboring for its direct repeal by Congress. They openly repu- 
diated that part of the Constitution upon which it was founded ; and, 
as early as 1843, a general convention of Abolitionists, assembled at 
Buffalo, and composed of the ablest and most distinguished members 
of the party, resolved that whenever called upon to swear to support 
the Constitution, they would, by mental reservation, regard that clause 


in it as utterly null and void, and forming no part of the instrument.* 
Nevertheless, sir, in the adjustment of 1B50, provision was made to 
enforce this solemn compact. And hence, the popular tumults, the 
mobs, the forcible rescues, and the nullifying; acts of the New Jln- 
gland States, and other parts of the North, which yet find countenance 
and applause even from a thousand presses and tens of thousands of 
citizens, upon the pretext that the rendition of fugitives is distasteful 
and revoltini:; to the North. Yes, Abolitionist, it is the Constitution 
which you attack, not the act of 1850. It is the extradition of 
" panting fugitives," under any circumstancea, or by virtue of any 
law, at which you rebel. Be manly, then, and outspoken, and honest. 
Act the part of cowards and slave-stealcrs no longer. Assail the 
Constitution itself, and do it openly — it is the Constitution which 
demands the restoration — and cover not up your assaults any longer, 
under the false and beggarly pretense that it is the act of Congress 
■which you condemn and abhor. 

I know, sir, that it is easy, very easy, to denounce all this as a 
defense of slavery itself. Be it so; be it so. But I have not dis- 
cussed the institution in any respect — moral, religious, or political. 
Hear me; I express no opinion in regard to it; and, as a citizen of 
the North, I have ever refused, and will steadily refuse, to discuss 
the system in any of these particulars. It is precisely this continued 
and persistent discussion and denunciation in the North, which has 
brought upon us this present most perilous crisis ; since to teach men 
to hate, is to prepare them to destroy, at every hazard, the object of 
their hatred. Sir, I am resolved only to look upon slavery outside 
of Ohio, just as the founders of the Constitution and Union regarded it. 
It is no concern of mine — none, none — nor of yours, Abolitionist. 
Neither of us will attain heaven by denunciations of slavery ; nor 
shall we, I trow, be cast into hell for the sin of others who may hold 
slaves. I have not so learned the moral government of the universe ; 
nor do I presumptuously and impiously aspire to the attributes of 
Godhead, and seek to bear upon my poor body the iniquities of the 

I know well, indeed, Mr. President, that in the evil day which has 
befallen us, all this, and he who utters it, shall be denounced as 
"pro-slavery; " and already, from ribald throat.s, there comes up the 
slavering, driveling, idiot epithet of " doughface." Again ; be it so. 
These, Abolitionist, are your only weapons of warfare ; and I hurl 

* The Buffalo Resolution, 1843, offered by a committee of which Salmon 
P. Chask, of Ohio, was a member. — ^^ Resolved, That we hereby give it to be 
distinctly understood, by this nation and the world, that, as Abolitionists, con- 
sidering that the strength of our cause lies in its righteousness, and our hopes 
for it in our conformity to the laws of God, and our support for the rights of 
man, we owe to the sovereign Kuler of the Universe, as a proof of our alle- 
giance to him, in all our civil relations and otficcs, whether as friends, citizens, 
or us public functionaries, sworn to support the Constitution of the United 
States, to regard and treat the third clause of that instrument, whenever 
applied in the case of a fugitive slave, as vttkkly null and void, and, 
consequently, as forming no part of the Constitution of the United States, 


them back defiantly into your teeth. I speak thus boldly, because I 
speak in and to and for the North. It is time that the truth should 
be known and heard, in this the age of trimming and subterfuge. 
I speak this day, not as a Northern man, nor a Southern man ; but, 
God be thanked, still as a United States man, with United States 
principles ; and though the worst happen which can happen — 
though all be lost, if that shall be our fate, and I walk through the 
valley of the shadow of political death, I will live by them, and die 
by them. If to love my country ; to cherish the Union ; to revere 
the Constitution ; if to abhor the madness and hate the treasou 
which would lift up a sacrilegious hand against either ; if to read 
that in the past, to behold it in the present, to foresee it in the future 
of this land, which is of more value to us and the world for ages to 
come, than all the multiplied millions who have inhabited Africa 
from the creation to this day — if this it is to be pro-slavery, then, ia 
every nerve^ fiber, vein, bone, tendon, joint, and ligament, from the 
top-most hair of the head to the last extremity of the foot, I am all 
over and altogether a pro-slavery man. 

To that part now, Mr. President, of the Germans who have been 
betrayed upon this question, I address a word of caution. Little 
more than a year ago, availing themselves of the Nebraska question 
as the pretext, mischievous and designing demagogues, just at the 
moment they prepared to deny you the full enjoyment of your own 
political rights here in Ohio, persuaded some of you to trail in the 
dust at the heels of the Abolition rout. They told you, and you 
believed it, some of you, that, failing to establish civil liberty 
against the crowned oppressors of your fatherland, and seeking for 
it as exiles in America, you had the right, nevertheless, to inter- 
meddle with personal liberty among the inhabitants of other States 
and Territories, to form political associations exclusively German, 
to adopt platforms of your own as such, to instruct us in the science 
of government, the nature of free institutions, and the value of free- 
dom, to require of us to give away our public lands to all alike, 
naturalized or alien, white or black, to denounce the people of the 
South, because of the "curse of slavery," to repeal the Fugitive Slave 
Law, to abolish slaveholding throughout the States, in conformity with, 
as you alleged, and perhaps by virtue of power derived from, the 
Declaration of Independence, and finally to propose to convert your 
good old German May festival into an Abolition mass meeting, in 
our very midst. These things, they persuaded some of you to 
believe and to do. But at this very moment, and by the self-same 
demagogues, was ih.e knife put to your own throats, and you were 
quietly guillotined, and your heads thrust into the basket, upon just 
the principles they had persuaded you that you had the right to 
intermeddle with the domestic, moral, and religious concerns of other 
States and Territories. Opening now your eyes to the fraud thus 
practiced upon you, learning the true character of the men who 
beguiled you, and remembering that the first State which breasted 
and turned back the torrent which was sweeping you, and your 
hopes, and your rights before it, was the slaveholding State of 


Virginia, through the Domociatic party of Virj^inia, followed up by 
ever}' southern State, Kentucky alone excepted, retrace your steps 
now into tlie ranks of that party, stand fast to your true interests 
and true position, concern yourselves no longer with the business of 
others, but quietly enjoy, and calmly deiend, your own rights, 
remembering always those who have ever sustained you in whatso- 
ever truth and liberty and justice demand for you. 

Addressing myself now, iinally, Mr. President, to the Democratic 
party of Ohio, 1 say : You are a political party ; hence, all your 
principles must as well take shape and color, as reflect them, from 
the fundamental institutions of the country ; and those principles 
which belong to Democracy, universal and theoretical, are to be 
modiOed and adjudged by the Constitution. It has always been 
your boast, that you arc peculiarly the party of the Constitution 
and of that Union which results from, and exists only, by the 
Constitution. And just in proportion as you value these, will you 
mold and modify your doctrine, and your practice, to sustain and 
preserve them in every essential element. Sure I am, at least, that 
you will not, for the sake of an abstract principle, purely, or mainly 
moral, or religious, and to us not political, and urged now in the 
very spirit of treason and madness, and far removed from every per- 
sonal concern of yours, sacrifice or even imperil these priceless 
legacies of a generation at least as good and as wise as we. Trust 
not to past success. Times have changed. For four years you 
filched inglorious triumphs by fomenting dissensions among your 
enemies, and by exhausting all the little arts of partisan diplomacy, 
to keep the Whig and Abolition parties asunder. You wasted your 
time striving to pluck out of the crucible of politics the fluxes which 
they threw in, seeking thus vainly to prevent or impede a fusion 
•which was inevitable, and which, when it came, overwhelmed you as 
with a flood of lava, in disastrous, if not ignominious defeat. Was 
this conduct befitting a great and enduring party — conduct worthy 
the prestige of your name? Learn wisdom from Virginia, your 
mother State ; she is ever invincible, because she is always candid 
and manly and true to principle. Look no longer now to avail- 
ability; above all, be not deceived by the false and senseless out- 
cry against that most just, most Constitutional, and most necessary 
measure — the Kansas- A^ehraaka Act. The true and only question 
now before you is: Whether you will have a Union, with all its 
numberless blessings in the past, present, and future, or Disunion 
and civil war, with all the multiplied crimes, miseries, and atrocities 
•which human imagination never conceived, and human pen never 
can portray? 

I speak it boldly — I avow it publicly — it is time to speak thus, 
for political cowardice is the bane of this, as of all other republics. 
To be true to your great mission, and to succeed in it, you must 
take open, manly, oue-sldcd ground upon the Abolition question. 
In no other way can you now conquer. Let us have, then, no hollow 
compromise, no idle and mistimed homilies upon the sin and evil of 
slavery iu a crisis like this, no double-tongued, Janus-faced, delphic 


responses at your State conventions. No ; fling your banner to the 
breeze, and boldly meet the issue. Patriotism above mock 


If thus, sir, we are true to the country, true to the Union and 
the Constitution, true to our principles, true to our cause and to the 
grand mission which lies before us, we shall turn back yet the fiery 
torrent which is bearing us headlong down to the abyss of disunion 
and infamy, deeper than plummet ever sounded ; but if in this, the 
day of our trial, we are found false to all these, false to our ances- 
tors, false to ourselves, false to those who shall come after us, traitors 
to our country and to the hopes of free government throughout the 
globe, Bancroft will yet write the last sad chapter in the history of 
the American Republic. 




More than four years had intervened between the delivery of the 
preceding speech and the one that here follows. Meantime the evil 
agencies, there so clearly depicted, and against which those earnest 
warnings were given, had been steadily maturing their work of mis- 
chief. Like some vile insects, which consume and destroy the 
foundations of houses, working silently and unseen, and permitting 
the occupants to receive the first intimations of danger when they 
feel their dwellings crumbling and falling around them, so were 
those industrious fanatics consuming and destroying the founda- 
tions of the Union. 

The John Brown raid into Virginia gave the first public and 
distinct intimation of the coming trouble. Moved by the same 
spirit, and aiming at the same end as that whole great army of fan- 
atics to which he belonged, only having less than an average share 
of prudence and sagacity, he broke from the ranks, and rushed 


forward in advance of the lines. It has been said that " coming 
events cast their shadows before," and it might have been added, 
that those coming events sometimes send forward miniature repre- 
sentations, from which may be seen, by substituting great things for 
small, what will be the character of those events when they come. 

To all who hated that dear old Union which God gave to our 
fathers, John Brown's raid was a signal for rejoicing, while it sent 
a thrill of horror to the heart of every true patriot. The whole 
country was startled, and, for a brief period, deeply aroused. Men 
took sides, and showed, by their words and deeds, either that they 
were leagued in sympathy with those who had resolved on the 
destruction of the Union, or else that the Union was held in the 
firm grasp of their strongest and deepest affections. 
r" Among those who took a prominent place in this latter class was 
Mr. Vallandighaji, of Ohio. On many occasions he had predicted 
the very dangers whose first loud note of alarm was now sounding. 
Especially had he predicted and portrayed those dangers in that 
speech on the 29th of October, 1855. He had described the char- 
acter and form of the coming trouble, as if seen with the keen eye 
of prophecy. And now, as the danger draws nearer, we find him 
still at his post. Congress had assembled at its first meeting after 
that notable and ominous event; a Speaker was to be elected, and 
the question was, should he be one who had lent the sanction and 
influence of his name to principles involved and illustrated in the 
late raid of John Brown. 

It was under these circumstances — the general question before the 
House being the election of a Speaker — that Mr. Vallandigham ob- 
tained the floor, but yielded it for the purpose of a ballot. No choice 
having been made, he resumed the floor, but proposed again to yield 
for another ballot. Objection being made, he proceeded to address 
the House, as follows : 

Mr. Clerk : Desiring to speak at some length, and with some 
regard to method, upon the more important subjects which have 
been iqiroduced into this debate, I can not consent to yield the floor 
except upon a point of order, or for a strictly personal explanation. 
I claim no right myself to interrupt others for the purpose of inter- 
rogatory or catechising, and in return acknowledge no right in them 
to subject me to cross-examination as a witness upon this floor. I 
trust, along with other reforms, to see the ancient decorum and pro- 
priety of legitimate debate restored within these walls. In nothing, 
therefore, which I propose to say, do I mean to offend, by personal 
reflection upon any member of this House. 

And now, in the first place, Mr. Clerk, allow me to say that I do 


not regret this discussion. I lament, indeed, that it has not, at all 
times, been conducted in a better temper. Had it been possible to 
avoid it altogether, certainly it would have been preferable that it 
had never been commenced; but no one familiar with the temper of 
the whole country, reflected back in the Representatives of the coun- 
try, and concentrated here into one intense focus, could have expected 
a week to pass after organization without an explosion more formid- 
able, perhaps, and in a more questionable shape. This, in my judg- 
ment, is a better time and mode in which to meet it than any other. 
But, gentlemen of the House of Representatives, let us conduct it at 
all times with the temper and courtesy which become a legislative 
assembly. And yet the admonition is almost needless here. Although 
within these walls are assembled the two hundred and forty-two Rep- 
resentatives and Delegates from the thirty-eight States and Territories 
of the Union, bringing with them every variety of personal and 
sectional temper and peculiarity; assembled, too, in the midst of a 
popular feeling more pervading and more deeply stirred up than at 
any former period, in one-half at least of these States, and upon the 
eve of startling, and, it may be, disastrous events, yet without organ- 
ization, without rules, without a Speaker to command, or a Sergeant- 
at-Arms to execute — without gavel or mace — the instinct of self-govern- 
ment peculiar to the Anglo-Saxon race, and the habit of self-command 
and of obedience to but the shadow even of law and authority, have, 
for now these ten days past, secured us not only from collision and 
violence, but, for the most part, from breach even of the strictest 
decorum observed by our predecessors in this Hall at any period of 
our history. How sublime the spectacle ! how grand this illustration 
of the spirit of free government ! There is but one other country 
upon the globe where a similar spectacle could be exhibited. 

I do not, then, regret this debate ; it is fit and proper in itself; it is 
strictly parliamentary. You have a right by English precedent ; you 
have a right by American precedent; by the usages of this House, to 
discuss the qualifications of your candidates for Speaker. If any 
member of this House has indorsed and recommended a book full of 
sentiments insurrectionary and hostile to the domestic peace and tran- 
quillity of this country — a book intended or tending to stir up discord 
or strife between the difierent sections of this Union, or servile or other 
insurrection in ^ny one or more States of this Union, and refuses still 
to disavow sympathy with the sentiments and purposes of such book, 
he is not fit to be Speaker or member of this House. Whether any 
one who has recommended such a book for wholesale circulation, not 
knowing, or caring to inquire into its character and contents — who 
has indorsed insurrection and violence in blank, and given a cordial 
letter of credit to whatsoever the Abolition authors of the " Helper 
book " might choose to say and to circulate throughout the South, is 
competent for Speaker, or fit to be trusted in the Speakership, this 
House must determine ; and the country, gentlemen, must sit in 
judgment upon the decision. 

But, Mr. Clerk, this whole subject and controversy has assumed a 
character and magnitude which impel me to break the silence which I 


thus fur liave observed. Sentiments have been avowed and statements 
made upon this floor which demand notice and reply. 

[At this jHiint Mr. Yallandigham gave way to a motion to adjourn, which 
was ncirativc'd. lie then said that he sliould decline to pursue any farther that 
ni.c;ht tiie line of remark which he had proposed to himself; and, the House 
having again refused to adjourn, lie proceeded to read and refer to matters 
which, forming no part of what he designed to say in the first place, are 
omitted here. (See Congressional Globe, page 150.) The House, after sev- 
eral other motions, having finally adjournud, the next morning he resumed 
as follows :] 

Thoujrh a younj; man still, I have seen some legislative service. 
One of the earliest lessons which I taught myself as a legislator, and 
which I have souirht to exemplify in every department of life, was so 
to be a politician as not to forget that I was a gentleman. There is a 
member of this House, now present, with whom, some years ago, I 
served in the legislature of my State, and to him I might with perfect 
confidence appeal to verify the assertion that no man ever was more 
exact in the observance of every rule of courtesy and decorum, not 
only in debate, but in private intercourse with his i'ellows. 1 might 
appeal, also, to the members here present of the last Congress, and to 
every member of this House of llepresentatives, and demand of them 
whether I have offended in any thing, in public or private, in word or 
by deed. 

NoW; Mr. Clerk, that courtesy which I thus readily extend to others 
I am resolved to exact ibr myself, at all times and at every hazard. I 
had a right, yesterday, especially after yielding for a ballot, at a time 
when the Republican party with confidence anticipated the election 
of their candidate for Speaker, to expect the usual courtesy, scarce 
ever refused, of an adjournment. If any gentleman, this morning, 
after a night's calm reflection, sees, in any thing that 1 have ever said 
or done, here or elsewhere, any justification for the extraordinary yet 
very discreditable scenes of yesterday, enacted by grown-up men and 
llepresentatives, I do not envy him the mental or moral obliquity 
of his vision. 

Mr. Clerk, I heard it said, many years ago, and my reading and 
observations of the proceedings of this House and of the Senate have 
taught me the truth of the declaration, that there was a marked 
difi'erence between the deportment of the anti-slavery juen in Congress 
toward slaveholders and their own Democratic colleagues from the free 
States. Sir,- 1 want no better evidence of that fact than the occur- 
rences of yesterday. 

I said then, that if any member of this House had indorsed a book 
full of sentiments which were insurrectionary and hostile to the domes- 
tic peace and tranquillity of this country — a book intended or tending 
to incite servile insurrection in one or more of the States of this Union, 
and refused still, either by himself or through another, to disavow all 
sympathy with such sentiments, he was not fit to be Speaker or 
member of this House. That judgment I, this morning, deliberately 
reaflirm in all its length and breadth and significance. The other day 
the gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. Millson,) a slaveholder, distinctly 


declared upon this floor, with all the emphasis he could command, that 
any one who would incite a servile insurrection, or knowingly distribute 
books or papers with that design, was not only not fit to be Speaker, 
but not fit to live. There was then upon that side of this Chamber no 
sign, not even a whisper, of indignation or resentment. No, gentle- 
men, you sat in your seats, under that just but scathing denunciation, 
as mute as fishes and as gentle as lambs. Even your candidate for 
Speaker started to his feet, and, with manifest trepidation, disavowed 
every purpose and sentiment of the kind. Now, gentlemen of the 
Republican party, once for all and most respectfully, not in the lan- 
guage of menace, but as sober truth, receive this message from me, 
greeting : I am your peer ; I represent a constituency as brave, as 
intelligent, as noble, and as free as the best among you upon this floor 
— and in their name and in my own name, I tell you that just whatso- 
ever rights, privileges, courtesies, liberties, or any thing else, you — 
whether from apprehension of personal danger or from any other cause 
— you, brave men at home vaunting arrantly there your rebukes here 
of Southern insolence and bravado — you, who return to your constitu- 
ents at the end of every session bearing with you the scalps of half a 
score of flre-eaters from Alabama, Mississippi, or the Carolinas — you 
are accustomed to extend to slaveholders and Southern men upon this 
floor, I, as your peer, demand and will have at your hands. If you 
think otherwise, you have much yet to learn of the character of the 
man with whom you have to deal. I am as good a Western fire-eater 
as the hottest salamander in this House. (Laughter and applause.) 

I have been served with a notice this morning that the llepublican 
party here do not intend to listen to any further discussion. Very 
respectfully, I care not whether they listen or not. Let me tell them 
that the country holds its breath in suspense at the lightest word 
uttered in this Hall. The people of the United States are listening, 
at this moment, to catch every syllable which falls from the lips of the 
humblest member here. >^ 

I propose, now, sir. to address myself to those subjects only which 
I designed, from the beginning, to discuss. 

I have said, and repeat, that the sentiments which have been avowed 
and the statements made upon this floor, demanding notice and reply, 
impel me to break the silence which I have thus far observed. The 
North and the South stand here arrayed against each other. Upon 
the one side, I behold numerical power ; upon the other, the violent, 
even fierce, spirit of resistance. Disunion has been threatened. Sir, 
in all this controversy, so far as it is sectional, I occupy the position of 
ARMED NEUTRALITY. I am not a Northern man. I have little sym- 
pathy with the North, no very good feeling for, and am bound to her 
by no tie whatsoever, other than what once were and ought always to 
be among the strongest of all ties — a common language and common 
country. Least of all, am I that most unseemly and abject of all 
political spectacles — " a Northern man with Southern principles ;" but, 
God be thanked, still a United States man with United States princi- 
ples. When I emigrate to the South, take up my abode there, identify 
myself with her interests, holding slaves or holding none; then, and 


not till then, will I have a right, and will it be my duty, and no doubt 
my pleasure, to maintain and support Southern principles and Soutliern 
institutions. Then, sir, I am not a Southern man, either — although, 
in this unholy and most unconstitutional crusade against the South, 
in the midst of the invasion, arson, insurrection, and murder, to which 
she has been subject, and with which she is still threatened — with the 
torch of the incendiary and the dagger of the assassin suspended over 
her — my most cordial sympathies are wholly with her. 

31 r. Clerk, I have heard a good deal said, here and elsewhere, about 
" Southern rights." Sir, I have no respect — none — none — for Southern 
rights merely because they are Southern rights. They arc yours, 
gentlemen — not mine. Maintain them here, within the Union, firmly, 
fearlessly, boldly, quietly — do it like men. Defend them here and 
everywhere, and with all the means in your power, as I know you will 
and as I know you can. Yorktown and New Orleans — the end of the 
Revolution and the end of the War of 1812 — are both yours, and 
there is no power on earth that can subdue or conquer you. 

But, while I have no respect for Southern rights simply because 
they are Southern rights, I have a very tender and most profound and 
penetrating regard for my own obligations. Your rights impose upon 
me corresponding obligations, which shall be fulfilled in their spirit 
and to the very letter — three -fifths rule, fugitive slave law, equal 
rights in the Territories, and whatsoever else the Constitution gives 
you. (Applause.) Our fathers made that compact, and I will yield a 
cordial, ready, and not grudging, obedience to every part of it. 

I have heard it sometimes said — it was said here two years ago, not 
on this floor, certainly, but elsewhere — that there is no man from the free 
States, North or West, who is " true to the South." Well, gentlemen, 
that depends upon what you mean by being true to the South, If you 
mean that we, the llepresentatives of the free States of this Union, 
North and West, shall sit here within this Chamber, uttering Southern 
sentiments, consulting Southern interests, sustaining Southern institu- 
tions, and giving Southern votes, reckless of our own identity and our 
own self-respect, then I never was, am not now, and never will, while 
the Representative of a free State, be "true to the South;"' and I 
thank God for it. If that be what is meant by "rottenness," in the 
other end of the capitol, commend me to rottenness all the days of 
my life. 

But if you mean — and I know that a large majority of you do mean 
— true to the Constitution, without which there can not be, and ought 
not to be, any Union — true to our own obligations — ready and sedu- 
lous to fulfill every article of the compact which our fathers made, to 
the extremest inch of po.ssibility, and yielding, gracefully and willingly, 
as in the earlier and better days of the Republic, every thing which 
comity and good fellowship, not only as between foreign states, but 
among brethren, demands at our hands, then, I tell you, and I tell the 
gentleman from Tennes.see, (Mr, Nelson,) that the great mass of the 
Democratic party in the free States, and especially in the West, and 
thousands and tens of thousands of others, not members of that party, 
are now, and, I trust, ever will be, true to the South. 


Allow me to illustrate my proposition. There are in this Hall, as 
elsewhere, three classes of men. The Republican or anti-slavery 
man — and you, gentlemen, have, or have had, not a few of that num- 
ber in the South — asks, whenever a measure is proposed here, Will 
it tend to injure and hem in the institution of slavery, or rather 
will it weaken or offend the South, because it is the South ? and he 
subordinates every other- consideration to the great object of suppress- 
ing slavery, and of warring on the South. Upon the other hand, the 
merely Southern man, and especially the Southern extremist, asks, How 
will this measure advance the interests of slavery, or, rather, how will 
it aggrandize the South as South ? and his vote is determined or in- 
sensibly influenced by this consideration. There is yet another, a 
third class, who ask none of these questions, and are moved by none 
of these considerations ; political Gallios, perhaps, the gentlemen from 
Ohio (Mr. Corwin) would call them, who care for none of these things. 
To that class, Mr. Clerk, I am glad to belong. Outside of my own 
State, and of her constitution, I am neither pro-slavery nor anti-slav- 
ery; but maintain, as was said upon a memorable occasion, "a serene 
indifference " on this subject between these two sections. And here 
I stand upon the ancient, safe, constitutional, peaceable ground of our 
fathers. For many years after the foundation of this Republic were 
laid by wiser and better men — pardon me, gentlemen — than I see 
around me, no man ever thought of testing any measure here by its 
effects upon the institution of slavery. Never till the fell " Missouri 
question " reared its horrid front, begotten in New England, and 
brought forth in New York, was slavery made the subject of partizan 
and sectional controversy within this capitol. And we had peace in 
the land in those days, and patriotism and humanity and religion 
and benevolence ; faith and good works. We neither had, nor 
demanded then, an anti-slavery Constitution, an anti-slavery Bible, nor 
an anti-slavery God ; but the Constitution of the land, the Bible of 
our fathers, and that great and tremendous Being, who, from eternity, 
has ruled in the armies of heaven, and among the children of men. 

Then, sir, I am not a Northern man, nor yet a Southern man ; but I 
am a Western man, by birth, in habit, by education ; and although 
still a United States man with United States principles, yet within, 
and subordinate to the Constitution, am wholly devoted to Western 
interests. Sir, this is no new enunciation of mine here. I proclaimed 
it upon this floor one year ago, and now congratulate myself and the 
West in having found so able and eloquent a coadjutor in the person 
of the distinguished gentleman from the seventh district of Ohio 
(Mr. Corwin). Sir, I am of and from the West; the great A^alley of 
the Mississippi ; of the free States of that valley, seated in queenly 
majesty at the head of the basin of that mighty river; yet one in 
interest, and one by the bonds of nature, stronger than hooks of steel, 
with every other State in that valley, full as it is, of population and 
riches, and exultant now in the hour of her approaching dominion. 
Seat yourself, denizen of the sterile and narrow, but beautiful hills 
and valleys of New England, and you, too, of the great cities of the 
North, whose geography and travel are circumscribed by the limits of 


a street railroad ; seat yourselves upon the summit of the AUcphanies, 
and behold spread out before you a country stretchinj; from the 
Alleghany to the Kocky Mountains — from the Gulf of Mexico to the 
Canada frontier — with limitless plains, boundless forests, fifteen States, 
a hundred river*, ten thousand cities, towns, and villages, and twelve 
millions of people. Such a vision no man ever saw ; no, not even 
Adam, when, in the newness and grandeur of God-made manhood, he 
stood upon the topmost hill of Paradise, and looked down upon a 
whole heinisphere of the yet unpeopled world. That, sir, is my 
country ; if I may speak it without profanity, God's own country ; 
yet, in this war of sections, I am of the free States of that valley. 

Mr. Clerk, when I came to this city, two years ago, I brought with 
me an intense nationality ; but I had been here only a little while 
till I learned that a man without a section to cling to, was reckoned 
but as a mere cipher in the account ; and from that hour, subordinate 
always to the Constitution, I became and am a WESTERN sectionalist, 
and so shall continue to the day of my death. I, too, propose, with 
the Leather Stocking of the " Prairie," to fight fire with fire. I 
learned here, Mr. Clerk, that while there was a North and a South, 
there was no West. I found her individuality sunk in the North. 
I saw that you of New York and New England entertained a profound 
respect for the citizen of South Carolina or Georgia, slaveholder 
though he might be, because he was east of the Alleghanies; and 
that you of Georgia and South Carolina reciprocated the good opinion, 
abolition aside, because the New Yorker and the Yankee lived very 
near to the rising of the sun ; while the Western man was held to be 
a sort of outside barbarian, very useful to count in a trial of numer- 
ical strength, but of no value for any other purpose. We of the great 
valley of the Mississippi are perpetually ignored. Sir, if all this 
were done of studied purpose, it would at least be tolerable ; but not 
so ; there is no design in it. It is a cool, silent, persistent, unob- 
trusive, but most ofiensive disparagement. Gentlemen, you do not 
know us. It is but a few months ago that a great paper in the city 
of New York spoke of Judge Douglas as attempting — and it was in 
the very capital of the State — " to impose his absurd theories upon 
the honest foresters of Ohio." And about the same time another 
great paper in the North referred to Governor Chase as a public man 
of merely "provincial reputation." 

Let not the gentleman from the Mansfield district (Mr. Sherman) 
flatter himself that he is to be an exception. No, sir ; he sees the 
parting rays of the setting sun too late in the day. A distinguished 
predecessor of his attained once the same point of greatness, but only 
to be let down gently in favor of Cape Cod. Do not deceive your- 
self. You were only put forward to be killed off"; you were merely 
detailed as a forlorn hope, to be shot down in front of that Malakoff 
which you never will capture. Oh no ! though two thousand miles 
east of the Rocky Mountains, you are quite too far West. Your 
distinguished colleague from the seventh district (Mr. Corwin) is gazing 
now wistfully through a spy-glass in the direction whither your eyes 
are turned ; but he, alas, any more than you, will never wake up 


from that delicious reverie in which he now sits buried, to realize 
that — 

'Tis distance lends enchantment to the views, 
And robes the Speaker's tribune in its radiant hue. 

We did, indeed, gentlemen, once elect a Western President; but 
him you killed in a month — and a South-western President, too, and 
he survived you but fifteen months. 

But, gentlemen of the West, the day-spring of our deliverance 
begins to dawn. Let us rejoice. The long period of our minority is 
about to terminate. Within the Union, after the next census, we of 
the Mississippi Valley will hold in our own hands the political power 
and the destinies of this country, and we will administer them for the 
benefit of the whole country. The day of our political independence 
is right now, while I speak. If you of the North and South-east 
will conspire, as for the last seventy years, to control the power and 
patronage of this Government for your own benefit, we of the Missis- 
sippi Valley will combine to rescue them from your hands. If you 
of the whole North will continue your sectional warfare upon the 
whole South, know ye that we of the North-west hold the political 
balance of power between you, and that we will use it to crush out 
and annihilate forever the fanaticism and treason which are threaten- 
ing now to overspread the whole North, and very speedily to destroy 
this Republic. We will be ignored no longer. And here let me warn 
the Republican representatives from the West, that they have loaned 
themselves too long already to this proud and domineering North. 
You permit yourselves to be identified with the North, and to make 
common cause with her against slavery. Cui bono? Not yours; ah, 
no! You help to win the fight; you make good soldiers — excellent 
food for powder — but your Northern officers and Northern masters 
will divide the spoils. When William H. Seward threatens the South 
with the power and domination of the North, he means you ; but 
when he would distribute office and patronage, he will know no West. 
Some of you dream that your Governor Chase will be the candidate 
of the Republican party for the next Presidency. Miserable infatua- 
tion ! Cease, then, I beseech you, this unmanly vassalage to the 
North. If you will not hearken to the voice of patriotism, listen, at 
least, to the demands of independence and self-respect. If you will 
be sectionalists, lay aside this pestilent fanaticism on the subject of 
slavery, which you borrow servilely from the clergy, lecturers, and 
other demagogues of the North, and which they use for the purpose 
of their own aggrandizement — lay it aside, and be Western sectional- 
ists. Talk not to me about humanity and benevolence. I have as 
profound and delicate an appreciation of them as you can have, but I 
will not be insulted with the miserable pretense. Are there no 
objects of charity in your own midst — no poor, no sick, no lame, no 
halt, no blind, no widows and orphans — to whose necessities you may 
administer, and thus find vent for that abounding river of humanity 
which wells up and flows out from the fountain of your hearts ? Par- 
don me, but I despise and contemn your vassalage to the North as 
much as you can contemn and despise any man's servility to the SoutK 


And now, one word to the gentleman from Pennsylvania, (Mr. Hick- 
man,) wliu tuck rci'uixc, the other day, in the "engine-room" of the 
left side of this Chamber, whence, through new and rudely-constructed 
port-holes, to send his missiles whistling into the camp which he so 
lately deserted. I admire his discretion — the better part of valor. 
Sir, he spoke about precipitating eighteen millions of people upon 
eight millions. AVhcnce docs he propose to get his eighteen millions? 
Did he mean to include us of the North-west? Does he imagine 
that we are militiamen to be drafted, or conscripts to be enrolled, and 
march forth at the sound of his drum, or to the notes of his bugle? 
I tell him that, if he means to raise the black standard of internecine 
war upon the South, he must find his recruits nearer home. 

Mr. Florence (in his seat.) He will not find them there. (Applause in 
the galleries.) 

Mr. Vallandigham. I rejoice to hear it. But I tell the gentle- 
man further, that, if the Territories of this Union are to become the 
subject of controversy after dissolution, we of the Mississippi Valley 
propose to keep them ourselves, and then to make fair and honest 
partition with each other. 

I approach now, Mr. Clerk, a painful and most difficult subject — 
periculosce ■plenum ojms aleoc. A word which, for very many years 
after the organization of this Government, no man ever dared to 
breathe within this capitol, has now become as familiar as the most 
ordinary words of salutation. Not a day nor an hour passes, but the 
hoarse croaking of this raven is heard, piercing the fearful hollow of 
our ears with moaning and dirge-like wail, the '' never more " of the 
Union of these States. Sir, in this war of sections, standing here 
between the living and the dead, we, the Democratic representatives 
of the West, and I, as one of that number, have a duty to perform, 
which, in all humbleness, but in all faithfulness, shall be fulfilled. 
But too many of you of the North are striving with might and main 
to force the South out of this Union ; and too many of you of the 
South are most anxious to be forced out. Do not deny it, either of 
you. I know it. Sir, if any member should rise here and tell me 
that there are no disunionists in the South, could I believe it ? And 
when the gentleman from New York, (jMr. Clark,) or any one else, 
would persuade the South that there are no Abolitionists, or disunionists, 
in the North or the West, he only insults the intelligence of the men 
upon whom he would impose. Sir, if any colleague of mine, or any 
other gentleman from the free States, upon this floor, will so far 
forget the solemn responsibilities of his office, in the midst of the 
great and most alarming dangers wherewith we are at this moment 
encompassed, and unintentionally, of course, misrepresent the true 
state of public sentiment and public action in the North and the 
northern portions of the West, I, at least, will not consent to be 
a party to the deception. I tell gentlemen of the South that the 
doctrines of Hale, Banks, Seward, Giddings, Chase, Lincoln, and, 
above all, of the New York Tribune, are the doctrines of a large 
majority of the people of the North, and of a powerful and, for all 


efficient purposes of political action, a controlling minority, just now, 
in the AVest. One column of editorial in the recognized organs of 
the Republican partj^ of Ohio, circulating every day among the 
niasses of the people, penetrating into the homos and hearts of every 
family, acting and reacted upon by the public opinion which they 
help to create, and by which the public men of this country are set 
up, or pulled down, at the ballot-box, is better evidence of the true 
Republican sentiment of Ohio than a thousand speeches from the 
distinguished member for the seventh District of that State (Mr. 
Corwin). Sir, I listened the other day, as I always listen, with very 
great pleasure, to the genial and gushing eloquence from the lips of 
that gentleman, touched, as they are, as with a live coal from the 
altar of oratory. In the sentiments which he uttered here, there is 
much, very much, which meets my hearty concurrence ; but I regret 
that truth and candor compel me to say that he does not represent 
the opinions and sentiments of the party to which he belongs. He 
claims, indeed, the leadership of that party. Pardon me — he is not 
only not a leader, but not even a respectful follower of the Republican 
party in that State. (Applause in the galleries.) Kentuckian as he 
is by birth, nobleman by nature — patriot as he is, and Whig as he! 
once was, I know that he never will consent to "guard the baggage " 
of that vandal host. Yet am I sorry to say that, to him, more thani 
to any other man in the State, the Republican party to-day are 
indebted for their political supremacy in Ohio. He it was, whoy. 
■without power in his own party, yet controlled, at the late election^ 
the fifty thousand conservative voters of that State who are not of 
the Democratic party, and misled them into the support of an organ- 
ization and of principles with which he has no real sympathy at all. 
He went into the Republican party to control it for good — but he 
was only as a straw before the whirlwind. He finds now a barren 
scepter in his gripe ; and let me, with great respect, remind him 
that it is not conservative speeches which are needed here to save 
us, but conservative votes at home. Certainly, the vast majority of 
the people of Ohio, of all parties, are at heart opposed to insurrec- 
tion and disunion ; but I tell the gentleman that, if he would con- 
quer abolition and sectionalism, he must fight them at the ballot- 

Mr. Clerk, I do not propose to follow the gentleman into a discussion 
of the local politics of Ohio. I resolved, a good many years ago, 
to make no speech within a legislative assembly fit only to be spoken 
upon the "stump;" and to that resolution I propose steadily to 
adhere. But, inasmuch as the mere partisan politics of my State 
have already been drawn into debate here, a passing remark may not 
be inappropriate from me as a Representative, in part, from that 
State — though, in truth, I can add little to what has been fitly^ 
strongly, eloquently spoken by the gentleman from the twelfth Dis- 
trict (Mr. Cox). 

Something has been said — more, I understand, is to follow — in 
regard to the soundness of the Democratic party in Ohio, and in 
Other States of the Union. Sir, I will: spare gentlemen all trouble 


upon that point. The Democratic party in Ohio, some years ago, 
was not SdUtid, as men count soundness now. You need not go 
back to the records, and reproduce them here. Open confession is 
good fur the soul, and I make it. I speak the more freely, because I 
think — and tlicre are hostile witnesses here present to attest it — that 
Diy own record, from the very beginning of this whole controversy 
concerning slavery as a political question, is as unimpeachable as the 
record of any man in the North or the West, and, I may add, the 
South, too ; for let me admonish gentlemen from that section that 
many of the people of the free States were for a good while misled by 
the prec-epts, if not the practice, of some of the earlier, and the later 
fathers, too, of the southern political church. A little charity, I pray 
you, upon this subject. The Democratic party of Ohio, ver}' much 
after the fashion described by the gentleman from the seventh district, 
(Mr. Corwin,) adopted, in 1848, a certain resolution, in which they 
denounced slavery in the abstract, and, with valorous earnestness, 
declared that the people of Ohio would use all power clearly given 
in the constitutional compact to " eradicate," tear up slavery by the 
roots; li(f — there is much virtue in "but," as well as "if" — they 
further resolved, with refreshing consistency, protesting the highest 
regard for the Union, the Constitution, and the rights of all the States, 
that the Democracy of Ohio were of opinion that no power was 
conferred by the constitutional compact to institute any process of 
eradication at all. Sir, I am not here to commend the superior 
honesty of such a platform. The gentleman, (Mr. Corwin,) who is 
well posted and of mature years, has explained luminously how these 
things are done, even in Republican conventions ; but I will not 
disingenuously pretend — of course, I have no allusion to my col- 
league — that these resolutions did not at that time express the sen- 
timents of the Democracy of my State. I think that, so far as they 
were supposed to be anti-slavery in their character, they did express 
both the opinions and the feelings of a very large majority of the peo- 
ple of the State. Sir, I was a member of that convention, and of 
the committee on resolutions, and voted many times in committee, 
during a protracted session of two days, against any and every expres- 
sion of opinion upon the question of slavery in any form. Like my 
colleague, I was overpowered ; like him, I endeavored to make the 
best of it, seeking consolation in the second and sound part of the 
resolution, and whiling away my idle hours in the delicate task of 
reconciling the two branches with each other. My success in this 
somewhat difficult work was just about equal to the success of the 
gentleman (Mr. Corwin) who undertook a similar contract here, the 
other day. But, Mr. Clerk, at every subsequent convention I exerted 
myself to the utmost to procure a recision of these resolutions; 
and, finally, in January, 1856, they were rescinded, and a sound 
platform adopted in their stead. From that hour the Democratic 
party has steadily gained strength. I pass by the election of Mr. 
Chase to the Senate, in 1848, the refusal by a State Convention to 
indorse the Baltimore platform, in 1853, and other unsound things, 
in faith or in practice, whereof the Democracy of my State were 



guilty in times past. " Let the dead past bury its dead." Ernst tst 
das Lrhen. Our business is to grapple manfully with the living 
realities of the present moment. Sir, in my judgment, the wisest 
man that ever lived was the author of the statute of limitations; 
all things adjust themselves equitably in periods of just about six 
years. Politicians, indeed, in later times, require, and, perhaps, are 
entitled to a shorter limitation. No man's record ought to be revived 
or called in question after the lapse of six months. 

Allusion has been made to the present state of parties and of 
public sentiment in the North and West. Sir, I do not propose to 
speak at any length upon this subject. The events are recent, and 
no public man anywhere can have fiiiled to observe them. It is 
folly to deny that, all through the North, and in many portions of 
the West, distinct and very earnest sympathy has been exhibited for 
John Brown in his recent insurrectionary and murderous invasion 
of Virginia ; and that, too, not by the vulgar and low, but by men 
very high in political, social, and religious positions. Funeral pro- 
cessions, halls draped in mourning, tolling of bells, sermons, eulogies, 
orations, public meetings, adjournment of courts of justice, attempted 
adjournment of Senates and Houses of Representatives, and all the 
other usual insignia of public sorrow, bestowed only hitherto upon 
the great and the good, the patriots, the heroes, and martyrs of the 
world — all these tributes, and more, have been paid to the memory 
of a murderer and felon. Even in my own native State, and in a 
part of my own district, I lament to say that these sad evidences of 
a corrupted public sentiment have been exhibited. In Cleveland, 
fertile in revolutionary conventions, in Akron, in Cincinnati, and 
elsewhere, in public assemblages, and by other means equally public 
and significant, the sympathy of thousands has been expressed. 
Sir, it is vain to attempt to conceal what all this means. There is 
a public sentiment behind it all, or it never would be tolerated. 
Thirty years ago, John Brown, hung like a felon, would have been 
buried like a dog. 

Allusion has been made also to the Union meetings held, or to be 
held, in the great cities of the North. Sir, I would not abate one 
jot or tittle from the true value, least of all, from the patriotism of 
these assemblages. When public meetings run along with public 
sentiment, they are powerful to mold and to give it efficiency; but 
when they do not beat responsive to the popular heart, they are of 
no value. No ; one single page of election returns is worth more, 
as an index of real public sentiment, than all the Union resolves 
which shall be passed between this and the 4th of March, 1861. 
Let no man be deceived. If the distinguished gentleman from 
Tennessee (Mr. Nelson) be sincere — and I know that he is — in 
believing that the great mass of the people of the free States are 
opposed to the agitation of the slavery question in any form, and 
are ready to strike hands with any party which will put it down 
forever ; if he really thinks that but a very small part of the peo- 
ple of the North sympathize with John Brown, or yield assent — a 
cordial and working assent — to the doctrines of William H. Seward, 


the "irrepressible conflict" included, full ns it is of insurrection, 
treason, and murder; if he believes that, without the strong arm of 
the Federal dovernnicnt, powerl'iilly and in good faith stretched 
forth, fugitive slaves could be recaptured in one half the free Statea 
of this Union, under any law of Congress, I can only say, that ho 
has the mild virtue of an honest heart — most marvelous credulity. 
Sir, I entertain for tluat gentleman the very highest respect, but he 
must allow me to say that, aside from that portion of his remarks 
the other day, which breathed so much of earnest, sincere, and 
eloquent eulogy upon the Union — one such speech, blinding the 
eyes of the people of the free Statea to the real public sentiment at 
the South, does more thus to keep alive the flames of civil discord 
between the South and the North and West, than a hundred speeches, 
vehement and impassioned though they may be, of the gentleman 
from South Carolina (Mr. Keitt). Sir, when a member of this House,, 
of fine personal appearance, of sonorous voice, of classic education, 
and approved rhetorical excellence, tells us, with a magnificence of 
rhythm which regurgitates through these aisles, peals along these 
galleries, pierces the ceiling, and loses itself amid the columns and 
Bcaflfolding of the unfinished dome of the capitol, that he will shatter 
this llepublic "from turret to foundation stone," we are apt to 
understand that he is executing a grand rhetorical fugue, and that 
he is not half so much in earnest as he would have us imagine. 
But when a gentleman, mature in years, with a cold logic, a calm 
demeanor, but a sincere heart and earnest purpose, tells us, in the 
midst of invasion and murder — the legitimate and inevitable fruit» 
of the "irrepressible conflict," which has been proclaimed against 
his own section — that he is not alarmed, and believes that no mis- 
chief is intended, we only understand that he invites aggression. 

Sir, I am this moment reminded, by the appearance of the gentle- 
man before me, (Mr. Briggs,) that I need no better illustration of 
the melancholy change in public sentiment, at the North, within the 
past few years. Here he sits, upon the only national side of this 
chamber, sole exempler of the "lost politics" of the Whig party, 
faithful among the faithless, only he ; sole representative of the flag 
of our country, solitary and alone, E PLurihus Unum. (Laughter.) 
Sir, does not all this mean something? 

But I will pursue this subject no further. I find no pleasure in 
it. I have said, and I think the dullest among us can not fail to 
discern it now, that there is danger, great and most imminent danger, 
of a speedy disruption of the Union of these States. Too many of 
you of the South desire it, and but too many of you of the North 
are cither striving for, or reckless whether it comes or not. 

Sir, I will not consent that an honest and conscientious opposition 
to slavery forms any part of the motives of the leaders of the 
Republican party. In the earlier stages of the Abolition agitation, 
it may have been otherwise, but not so now. This whole contro- 
versy has now become but one of mere sectionalism — a war for 
Eolitical domination, in which slavery performs but the part of the 
stter X in an algebraic equation, and is used now, in the political 


algebra of the day, only to work out the problem of disunion. It 
was admitted, in 1820, in the beginning, by Rufus King, who hurled 
the first thunderbolt in the Missouri controversy, to be but a question 
of sectional power and control. To-day it exists, and is fostered and 
maintained, because the North has, or believes that she has, the 
power and numbers and strength and wealth, and every other ele- 
ment which constitutes a State, superior to you of the South. 
Power has always been arrogant, domineering, wrathful, inexorable, 
fierce, denying that constitutions and laws were made for it. Power 
now, and here, is just what power has been everywhere, and in every 
age. But, gentleman of the North, you who ignorantly or wittingly 
are hurrying this Republic to its destruction, you who tell the South 
to go out of the Union if she dare, and you will bring her back by 
force, or leave her to languish and to perish under your overshadowing 
greatness, did it never occur to you that when this most momentous 
but most disastrous of all the events which history shall ever to the 
end of time record, shall have been brought about, the West, the great 
West, which you now coolly reckon yours as a province, yours as a 
fief of your vast empire, may choose, of her own sovereign good 
will and pleasure, in the exercise of a popular sovereignty, which 
will demand, and will have non-intervention, to set up for herself? 
Did you never dream of a W^estern Confederacy? Did that 
horrid phantom never flit across you in visions of the night, when 
deep sleep falls upon men? Sir, we have fed you, we have clothed 
you, we have paid tribute to, and enriched you, for now these sixty 
years ; we it is who have built up your marts of commerce ; we it 
is who have caused your manufacturing establishments to flourish. 
Who made Boston? What built up New York, till now, like Tyre 
of old, she sits queen of the seas, and her merchant-princes and 
trafiickers are among the honorable of the earth? The cotton OP 
THE South, and the produce op the West. Maintain this 
Union, and you will have them still. Dissolve this Union, if you 
dare ; send California and Oregon to the Pacific, compel the South 
into a southern confederacy, force us of the West into a western 
confederacy, and then tell me what position would you assume 
among the powers of the earth ? Where then would be your pride 
and arrogance, your trade and business, your commerce and your 
dominion? Look at the map spread out before you. Behold your- 
selves, as Mr. Webster said of Austria, " a mere patch upon the 
earth's surface." And, gentlemen of New England, let me ask you, 
What if New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York should refuse to 
go with you? They may refuse. You are a peculiar people. 
(Laughter.) I can not say God's peculiar people ; for you have 
dethroned Jehovah, and set up a new and anti-slavery god of your 
own ; and before one year, you will inaugurate the statue of John 
Brown in the place where the bronzed image of Webster now stands. 
(Applause and hisses.) But, suppose these three States refuse your 
fellowship. Then would be fulfilled the prophecy, uttered many 
years ago, of the re-annexation of New England to the British crown. 
I know well, Mr. Clerk, that within the Union, we of the West 


are now, and so far as business and trade are concerned, must ever 
remain, tributaries to the North. You have made us so by that 
niatrnificent net-work of railroads which stretches now from the 
Atlantic to and beyond the Mississippi. But be not deceived. That 
"vast inland sea" is mare nostrum — it is our Atlantic ocean. Once 
cut off from the powerful and controlling tics of a united Govern- 
ment, aliens and foreigners to each other, with police and espionage 
and armed force at every depot upon the frontiers, nature, stronger 
•than man, would rcassume her rights and her supremacy. You made 
the railroad and the telegraph, but God Almighty made the Missis- 
sippi and her hundred tributaries. 

Is it not, I appeal to you, better then for you of the North, better 
for yon of the South, better for us of the West, better for all of us, 
that this Union shall endure forever? Sir, I am for the Union as 
it is, and the Constitution as it is. I am against disunion now, and 
forever ; against disunion, whether for its own sake or for the sake of 
any thing else, equal, independent, constitutional liberty alone excepted. 
Do you ask me when the hour for disunion will come ? I tell you never, 
never, while it is possible to avert it ; never, while we can have, within 
the Union, the just constitutional rights which the Union was first made 
to secure; never certainly, till the hour shall come wherein to 
vindicate the glorious right of revolution. I speak not of the abstract 
right of secession. Do you ask me when that hour will come? I 
can not tell you. Of that every State and every people must judge 
for themselves, before God and the .great tribunal of history. Our 
fathers, in their day and generation, judged of it for themselves in 
our great Revolution. There, gentlemen, is one precedent, at least, 
hallowed by success, and canonized in the world's history. American 
citizens dare not call it in question. I commend it to you. Study 
it; ponder over it; profit by it. I know, indeed, that it has been 
sometimes said that our fathers went to war about a preamble, and 
fought seven lung years to vindicate a principle. But, gentlemen, I 
am not sure that there is not, in all this, somewhat of the flourish 
of rhetoric and the flash of history ; a little of the "glittering gener- 
alities " of the Declaration of Independence. I fear it may not be 
safe for you to follow that precedent too closely. 

Do you ask me whether the election of an anti-slavery, sectional, 
Republican president, upon a sectional platform, pledged to administer 
the Government for sectional purposes, would, per se, be a justifiable 
cause of di.sunion ? I can not tell you. But I do tell you, as 
a Western man, and I tell the gentleman from Tennessee, (3Ir. 
Nelson,) that, when you of the South shall have attained the 
numerical power and strength in this Union, and shall then organize 
a Southern party, on a Southern basis, and, under the forms of the 
Constitution, shall elect a Southern President, for the purpose of 
controlling all the vast power and patronage and influence of the 
Government, by action or non-action, for the advancement of Southern 
interest, and above all, for the purpose of extending slavery into 
States now free, with the design of making them all slave States, I 
■will meet you as the Irish patriot would have met the invaders of 


Ireland — with the sword in one hand, and a torch in the other ; 
dispute every inch of ground, burn every blade of grass, till the last 
intrenchment of independence shall be my grave. (Applause.) I 
will not wait for any overt act. What! Do I not know that fire will 
burn, that frost will congeal, that steel and poison will do their work 
of destruction to the human system, that I shall await the slow 
process of experiment to ascertain their natural and inevitable effects? 
Never — never ! Experimentum in vili corpore. 

These, Mr. Clerk, are no new doctrines in the country whence I 
come. Stronger sentiments, if possible, were uttered here upon this 
floor, ten years ago, by a distinguished predecessor of mine, the Hon. 
Robert C. Schenck, of Dayton, my fellow-citizen still, and the familiar 
friend of the eloquent gentleman before me, (Mr. Corwin,) an old- 
line Whig now, with a slight, very slight varnish of Republicanism. 

Allow me, sir, to read what he said in a similar, though not so 
alarming, crisis in public affairs, on the 27th of December, 1849 : 

" If wc of the northern States " — 

We had no West then, sir ; her existence and geography have 
been ascertained, and settled since — 

" If we of the northern States would not vote for a Southern man, merely 
because he is a Southern man, and men of the South will not vote for a Northern 
man, merely because he is a Northern man; and if that principle is to be 
carried out from here into all our national politics and elections, what must 
be the result? Disunion. That itself is disunion. You may disguise and 
cover up as yow. please, but that it will be. It may, perhaps, be regarded as 
but the first step in disunion ; but its consequence follows as inevitable as fate. 
One section — the North or the South — must always have the majority. Dis- 
franchise all upon the other side, and the Union could not hold together a 
day; it ought not to hold tor/ether upon such conditions a day. On this floor we 
now have from the free States one hundred and forty Representatives, and 
ninety from the slave States. Suppose the relative numbers were reversed; 
would we submit to be denied all participation in privileges here? Not for 
AN hour. And should we ask for such submission from others? NevebI 
The Whig party say — never. The true people of the North say — never.'' 

That, sir, was good Whig doctrine ten years ago. It was good 
American doctrine in 1856 ; and I aver here, upon my responsibility 
as a Representative, that it is good sound Democratic doctrine every- 
where, and all the time. 

Then, sir, I am against disunion. I find no more pleasure in a 
Southern disunionist than in a Northern or Western disunionist. Do 
not tell me that you of the South have an apology in the event and 
developments of the last few months. I know you have. War — 
irrepressible war, has been proclaimed against your institution of 
slavery; it has been carried into your own States; arson and murder 
have been committed upon your own soil ; peaceful citizens have 
been ruthlessly shot down at the threshold of their own doors. You 
avenged the wrong ; you executed the murderer and the felon ; but 
he has risen from the dead a hero and a martyr ; and now the 
apostles of this new Messiah of Abolition, with scrip and purse, armed 
with the sword, insolent from augmenting numbers, apostles rather 


of Mahomet, disciples of Peter the Hermit, are but gathering 
strength, and awaiting the hour for a new invasion. Certainly — 
certainly, in all this you have ample justifieation for whatsoever of 
excitement and alarm and indignation pervade now the whole South, 
from Watfou and Dixon's line down to the Gulf of Mexico. But will 
you secede now? Will you break up the union of these States? 
Will you bring down for ever, in one promiscuous ruin, the columns 
and pillars of this magnificent temple of liberty, which our fathers 
reared at so great cost of blood and of treasure ? Wait a little ! 
Wait a little ! Let us try again the peaceful, the ordinary, the con- 
stitutional means for the redress of grievances. Let us resort once 
more to the ballot-box. Let us try once again that weapon, surer set, 
and hitter than the bayonet . 

Mr. Clerk, I am not, perhaps, so hopeful of the final result as 
pome other men ; but I was taught in my boyhood that noblest of 
all Roman maxims — never to despair of the Kepublic. I was taught, 
too, by pious lips, a yet higher and holier doctrine still — a firm 
belief in a superintending Providence, which governs in the aflfairs 
of men. I do believe that God, in his infinite goodness, has fore- 
ordained for this land a higher, mightier, nobler destiny than for any 
other country since the world began ; Times noblest empire is the last. 
From the Arctic ocean to the Isthmus of Darien ; from the Atlantic 
to the Alleghanies ; stretching far and wide over the vast basin of 
the Mississippi, scaling the Rocky Mountains, and lost at last in the 
blue waters of the Pacific, I behold, in holy and patriotic vision, one 
Union, one Constitution, one Destiny. (Applause.) But this 
grand and magnificent destiny can not be fulfilled by us, except as 
a united people. Clouds and darkness, indeed, rest now over us; we 
are in the midst of perils ; rocks and quicksands are before us ; strife 
and discord are all around us. How then, sir — mighty and momentous 
question, pregnant with the fate of an empire — shall we bring peace 
to this divided and distracted country ? Sir, in my deliberate and 
most solemn judgment, there is but one way of escape ; and that the 
immediate, absolute, unconditional disbandment of this sectional, anti- 
slavery, Republican party of yours. (Applause in the galleries.) If 
not, then upon your heads, and upon the heads of your children, be 
the blood of this Republic. You have organized a political party, 
based upon geographical discriminations, and for the purpose of 
administering this Government for the benefit of a part. You have 
neither strength, nor organization, nor existence even, in one half, 
nearly, of the States of this Union. Look around you. Behold 
upon this side of the House every section represented. Here are 
THE United States. What do we see upon the left side of this 
Chamber ? Not one solitary Representative of your faith or party 
from fifteen States of this Union. What does all this mean? It 
never was so before in the history of this Republic. What does it 
all tend to ? Sir, there died, not many years ago, in New England, 
a man whom you all once idolized as approaching a little nearer in 
intellect to our notions of divinity than most men in any age. Died, 
did I say? No, he "still lives;" lives in history, lives iu the public 


records, lives in his published works, lives in his public services, 
lives upon canvas, and in marble, and in bronze. Seven years ago, 
he wrote to a citizen of his native State : 

" Tliere are, in New Hampshire, many persons who call themselves Whigs, who 
are no Whigs at all; and no better than disimionists. Ajiy man who hesitates 
in granting and securing to every part of the country its just and Constitutional 
rights, is an enemy to the whole country." 

I know, gentlemen of the Republican party, that you profess, many 
of you, that you would not deny any Constitutional right to the 
States of the South. Admit it. But let me ask you by what rule 
of interpretation do you propose to ascertain these rights ? I appeal 
to your platforms, to your speeches, to your acts. Like the learned 
doctor of Padua, you confess the bond ; the Venetian law can not 
impugn it ; but you would give the exact pound of flesh, shedding no 
blood, cutting nor more nor less, under penalty of death and confisca- 
tion, than the just pound, not to be made light or heavy in the 
balance or the division of the twentieth part of one poor scruple, nor 
in the estimation of a hair. You well know that rights thus yielded 
are rights withheld ; and withheld, too, with every aggravation of 
insult and wrong. Is that the spirit of the Constitutional compact? 
Is that the spirit which animated the great man and patriot whose 
ashes repose upon the banks of the Potomac, or of that other hero 
and patriot who finds a resting-place, in his long sleep, amid the 
shades of the Hermitage ? How long, think you, can such a Union 
last? and what, above all, is it worth while it does last? 

I have now finished what I desired to say upon the momentous 
subjects which have been introduced into this discussion. I have 
Bpoken freely of disunion. The time, most unhappily, has gone by 
when that melancholy theme can any longer be ignored or evaded. 
It must be met — met promptly, and met not with afi"ected contempt, 
nor with real indifference. I have not spoken of it with any unmanly 
terror, but only with that sad and solemn alarm and apprehension 
which every patriot ought to feel in contemplating the overthrow of a 
Union so grand, a Constitution so admirable, a Government so vast, 
and institutions so noble, as these under and in the midst of which we 
are still permitted to live. 

Sir, a Southern paper, not many miles from this capitol, has been 
pleased to say that there is no southern State contemplating secession, 
in any possible contingency. No; they are only "coolly calculating 
the effect of disunion threats upon the nerves of the northern and 
western States." I do not believe it. Whoever utters it, libels the 
South and the North and the West. Idle threats and menaces will 
no longer frighten any one. Mutual interests and mutual fears do, 
indeed, bind us together still ; but fraternal affection and good-will 
are the only bands which can keep us a united people. They are the 
silver cord and the golden bowl which are now so well-nigh broken 
at the fountain. If they be, indeed, snapped asunder, then nor 
threats, nor fears, nor interests, nor any thing else can keep us 
together. My nerves, at least, are of the hardest and the toughest. 


I am no more io be moved from my propriety by clamor and menace 
from the South, than by denunciation and fanaticism from the North 
or the West. Standing; here — I repeat it — an armed neutral in the 
midst of this conflict of sections, I propose, in all humility, but in 
all justice, to hold even and impartial the scales between them. I 
have spoken freely and plainly, but have spoken justly and truly. 
I have not sought to conceal the evil which afflicts us — still less to 
exaggerate it, but only to exhibit it just as it is ; for be assured — be 
assured there is no medicine nor surgery which can heal it without 
the utmost disclosure and knowledge of the true cause and character 
and extent of the disease. I have spoken briefly of the present evil 
Btate of public v-sentiment in the North and the West; in Ohio, my 
own native State. Yet, mother as she is, I have sought rather to 
imitate, not the rude and obscene behavior of Ham, but the filial 
piety and modesty of the elder sons of the Patriarch when mellowed 
with wine, and quietly, with averted eye, to cover her nakedness with 
the mantle of silence. Yet, as a Representative here in this Chamber, 
I have a dvity to perform for the whole country, for the sake of the 
Constitution, for the perpetuity of the Union, and as its last hope. 

I know well, indeed, that much that I have said to-day, will here, 
as elsewhere, be denounced as pro-s/ai»ery. Be it so. I have heard 
that too often, already, to feel the slightest apprehension or alarm ; 
but I tell you, gentlemen, as a thousand times I have told those who 
sent me here, that : If to love my country, to revere the Constitution, 
to cherish the Union ; if to abhor the madness and hate the treason 
which would lift up a sacrilegious hand against either; if to read that 
in the past, to behold it in the present, to foresee it in the future of 
this land, which is of more value to us and to the world, for ages to 
come, than all the multiplied millions who have inhabited Africa from 
the creation to this day — if this it is to be pro-slavery, then in every 
nerve, fiber, vein, bone, tendon, joint, and ligament, from the topmost 
hair of the head to the last extremity of the foot, I am all over and 
altogether a pro-slavkry man. (Applause from the Democratic 
benches and the galleries.) 





This is that famous speech in which Mr. Vallandigham is said 
to have proposed to divide the Union into '■'■four distinct nationalities^ 
Such is the assertion repeatedly and persistently made by the Aboli- 
tion press. The whole speech is here given : also, the proposed 
amendments to the Constitution. It is not easy to imagine a greater 
perversion of the plain and obvious meaning of language than has 
been exhibited in this case. A cause that requires the use of such 
means must be a bad one. The attention of the public has been 
repeatedly called to those misrepresentations ; but thus far it has 
been found impossible to obtain a correction in the Abolition journals. 
So far from this, the leading papers of that class have continued to 
repeat the false statement, thus compelling the belief, that in making 
and circulating this declaration, those papers have been manufacturing 
and using a deliberate and intentional falsehood. 

But the people are pretty generally learning that the reports 
furnished by Abolition papers, pretending to give the sentiments of 
leading Democratic statesmen, are, almost invariably, caricatures or 
gross misrepresentations. They will not, therefore, be surprised to 
find that this speech, made in the hour of most imminent peril, when 
the greatest calamity any nation has ever endured was impending, so 
far from being, as has been so often and so falsely asserted, a propo- 
sition to divide the Union into " four distinct nationalities," was, in 
fact, a most wise and prudent suggestion, evincing the deepest political 
sagacity and foresight. If adopted, the country would have been 
saved that great waste and slaughter which have already wearied and 
sickened the heart of humanity, and of which the end is not yet. 
Even now, it may not be too late to make good use of some features 
of the plan here proposed. 


The special order — namely, the Report of the Committee of 
Thirty-Three — being under consideration — Mr. VallandighaM 
addressed the House as follows : 

Mr. Spkakkr: It was my purpose, some three months ago, to 
speak solely upon the question of peace and war between the two 
great sections of the Union, and to defend, at length, the position 
which, in the very beginning of this crisis, and almost alone, I 
assumed against the employment of military force by the Federal 
Government to execute its laws and restore its authority within the 
States which might secede. Subsequent events have rendered this 
unnecessary. "NVithin the three months, or more, since the Presi- 
dential election, so rapid has been the progress of events, and such 
the magnitude which the movement in the South has attained, that 
the country has been forced — as this House and the incoming Ad- 
ministration will at last be forced, in spite of their warlike purposes 
now — to regard it as no longer a mere casual and temporary rebel- 
lion of discontented individuals, but a great and terrible revolution, 
which threatens now to result in permanent dissolution of the Union, 
and division into two or more rival, if not hostile, confederacies. 
Before this dread reality, the atrocious and fruitless policy of a war 
of coercion to preserve or to restore the Union has, outside, at least, 
of these walls and of this capital, rapidly dissolved. The people 
have taken the subject up, and have reflected upon it, till, to-day, ia 
the South, almost as one man, and by a very large majority, as I be- 
lieve, in the North, and especially in the West, they are resolved, 
that, whatever else of calamity may befall us, that horrible scourge 
of CIVIL WAR shall be averted. Sir, I rejoice that the hard Anglo- 
Saxon sense and pious and humane impulses of the American people 
have rejected the specious disguise of words without wisdom, which 
appealed to them to enforce the laws, collect the revenue, maintain 
the Union, and restore the Federal authority by the perilous edge 
of battle, and that thus early in the revolution they are resolved to 
compel us, their llepresentatives, belligerent as you of the Repub- 
lican party here may now be, to the choice of peaceable disunioa 
upon the one hand, or Union through adjustment and conciliation 
upon the other. Born, sir, upon the soil of the United States — 
attached to my country from earliest boyhood, loving and revering 
her with some part, at least, of the spirit of Greek and Roman 
patriotism — between these two alternatives, with all my mind, with 
all my heart, with all my strength of body and of soul, living or 
dying, at home or in exile, I am for the Union which made it what 
it is; and, therefore, I am also for such terms of peace and adjust- 
ment as will maintain that Union now and forever. This, then, is 
the question which to-day I propose to discuss : 



Sir, it is with becoming modesty, and with something of awe, that 
I approach the discussion of a question which the ablest statesmen 
of the country have failed to solve. But the country expects even 


the humblest of her children to serve her in this, the hour of her 
sore trial. This is my apology. 

Devoted as I am to the Union, I have yet no eulogies to pronounce 
upon it to-day. It needs none. Its highest eulogy is the history of 
this country for the last seventy years. The triumphs of war, and 
the arts of peace — science, civilization, wealth, population, commerce, 
trade, manufactures, literature, education, justice, tranquillity, secur- 
ity to life, to person, to property — material happiness, common de- 
fense, national renown, all that is implied in the " blessings of lib- 
erty " — these, and more, have been its fruits from the beginning to 
this hour. These have enshrined it in the hearts of the people ; 
and, before God, I believe they will restore and preserve it. And,, 
to-day, they demand of us, their embassadors and Representatives, 
to tell them how this great work is to be accomplished. 

Sir, it has well been said that it is not to be done by eulogies. 
Eulogy is for times of peace. Neither is it to be done by lamen- 
tations over its decline and fiill. These are for the poet and the 
historian, or for the exiled statesman who may chance to sit amid 
the ruins of desolated cities. Oars is a practical work, and it is 
the business of the wise and practical statesman to inquire first 
what the causes are of the evils for which he is required to devise 
a remedy. 

Sir, the subjects of mere partisan controversy which have been chiefly 
discussed here and in the country, so far, are not the causes, but only 
the symptoms or developments of the malady which is to be healed. 
These causes are to be found in the nature of man, and in the pecul- 
iar nature of our system of governments. Thirst for power and 
place, or preeminence — in a word, ambition — is one of the strongest 
and earliest developed passions of man. It is as discernible in the 
school-boy as in the statesman. It belongs alike to the individual and 
to the masses of men, and is exhibited in every gradation of society, 
from the family up to the highest development of the State. In all 
voluntary associations of any kind, and in every ecclesiastical organ- 
ization, also, it is equally manifested. It is the sin by which the 
angels fell. No form of government is exempt from it; for even 
the absolute monarch is obliged to execute his power through the 
instrumentality of agents; and ambition here courts one master 
instead of many masters. As between foreign States, it manifests 
itself in schemes of conquest and territorial aggrandizement. la 
despotisms it is shown in intrigues, assassinations, and revolts. la 
constitutional monarchies, and in aristocracies,, it exhibits itself iu 
contests among the different orders of society, and the several inter- 
ests of agriculture, trade, commerce, and the professions. In democ- 
racies it is seen everywhere, and in its highest development; for her© 
all the avenues to political place and preferment, and emolument, 
too, are open to every citizen ; and all movements, and all interests 
of society, and every great question — moral, social, religious, scien- 
tific, no matter what — assumes, at some time or other, a political 
complexion, and forms a part of the election issues and legislation 
of the day. Here, when combined with iaterest, and where thft 


action of the Government may be made a source of wealth, then 
honor, virtue, patriotism, religion, all perish before it. No restraints 
and no compacts can bind it. 

In a federal republic all these evils are found in their amplest 
proportions, and take the form also of rivalries between the States ; 
or more commonly, or finally, at least, especially where geographical 
and climatic divisions exist, or where several contiguous States are 
in the same interest, and sometimes where they are similar in insti- 
tutions or modes of thought, or in habits and customs, of sectional 
jealousies and controversies, which end always, sooner or later, in 
either a dissolution of the union between them, or the destruction of 
the federal character of the government. But, however exhibited — 
whether in federative or in consolidated governments, or whatever 
the development may be — the great primary cause is always the 
same: the feeling that might makes right; that the strong ought to 
govern the weak ; that the will of the mere and absolute majority of 
numbers ought always to control ; that fifty men may do what they 
please with forty-nine; and that minorities have no rights, or at least 
that they shall have no means of enforcing their rights, and no rem- 
edy for the violation of them. And thus it is that the strong man 
oppresses the weak, and strong communities, states, and sections ag- 
gress upon the rights of weaker states, communities, and sections. 
This is the principle; but I propose to speak of it, to-day, only in 
its development in the political, and not in the personal or domestic 

Sir, it is to repress this principle that governments, with their 
complex machinery, are instituted among men; though in their abuse, 
indeed, governments may themselves become the worst engines of 
oppression. For this purpo.ce treaties are entered into, and the law 
of nations acknowledged between foreign States. Constitutions and 
municipal laws and compacts are ordained, or enacted, or concluded 
to secure the same great end. Xo men understood this, the philos- 
ophy and aim of all just government, better than the framers of our 
Federal Constitution. No men tried more faithfully to secure the Gov- 
ernment which they were instituting from this mischief; and, had the 
country over which it was established been circumscribed by nature 
to the limits which it then had, their work would have, perhaps, 
been perfect, enduring for ages. But the wisest among them did 
not foresee — who, indeed, that was less than omniscient, could have 
foreseen? — the amazing rapidity with which new settlements and new 
States have sprung up, as if by enchantment, in the wilderness; or 
that political necessity, or lust for territorial aggrandizement would, 
in sixty years, have given us new territories and States equal in 
extent to the entire area of the countr}' for which they were then 
framing a Government? They were not priests or prophets to that 
God of M.\N1FEST DESTINY whom wc now worship, and will continue 
to worship, whether united into one Confederacy still, or divided 
into many. And yet it is this very acquisition of territory which 
has given strength, though not birth, to that sectionalism which 
already has broken in pieces this, the noblest Government ever 


devised by the wit of man. Not foreseeing the evil, or the neces- 
sity, they did not guard against its results. Believing that the great 
danger to the system which they were about to inaugurate lay rather 
in the jealousy of the State Grovernments toward the power and 
authority delegated to the Federal Government, they defended dili- 
gently against that danger. Apprehending that the larger States 
might aggress upon the rights of the smaller States, they provided 
that no State should, without its consent, be deprived of its equal suf- 
frage in the Senate. Lest the legislative department might encroach 
upon the executive, they gave to the President the self-protecting power 
of a qualified veto; and, in turn, made the President impeachable by 
the two Houses of Congress. Satisfied that the several State Gov- 
ernments were strong enough to protect themselves from Federal 
aggressions, if, indeed, not too strong for the efiiciency of the General 
Government, they thus devised a system of internal checks and bal- 
ances looking chiefly to the security of the several departments from 
aggression upon each other, and to prevent the system from being 
used to the oppression of individuals. I think, sir, that the debates 
in the Federal Convention, and in the conventions of the several 
States called to ratify the Constitution, as well as the cotemporaneous 
letters and publications of the time, will support me in the statement 
that the friends of the Constitution wholly under-estimated the power 
and influence of the Government which they were establishing. Cer- 
tainly, sir, many of the ablest statesmen of that day earnestly desired 
a stronger Government ; and it was the policy of Mr. Hamilton, and 
of the Federal party, which he created, to strengthen the General 
Government ; and hence the funding and protective systems, the 
national bank, and other similar schemes of finance, along with the 
"general-welfare doctrine," and a liberal construction of the Con- 

Sir, the framers of the Constitution — and I speak it reverently, but 
•with the freedom of histoi-y — failed to foresee the strength and cen- 
tralizing tendencies of the Federal Government. They mistook 
wholly the real danger to the system. They looked for it in the 
aggressions of the large States upon the small States, without regard 
to geographical position, and accordingly guarded jealously in that 
direction, giving, for this purpose, as I have said, the power of a self- 
protecting veto in the Senate to the small States, by means of their 
equal suff"rage in that Chamber, and forbidding even amendment 
of the Constitution, in this particular, without the consent of every 
State. But, they seem wholly to have overlooked the danger of sec- 
tional COMBINATIONS as against other sections, and to the injury and 
oppression of other sections, to secure possession of the several depart- 
ments of the Federal Government, and of the vast powers and influ- 
ence which belong to them. In like manner, too, they seem to have 
utterly under-estimated slavery as a disturbing element in the 
system, possibly because it existed still in almost every State, but 
chiefly because the growth and manufacture of cotton had scarce yet 
been commenced in the United States — because cotton was not yet 
crowned king. The vast extent of the patronage of the Executive, 


and the immense power and influence which it exerts, seem also to 
hare been altogether under-estimated. And independent of all these, 
or rather, perhaps, in connection with them, there were inherent 
defects, incident to the nature of all governments; some of them 
peculiar to our system, and to the circumstances of the country, and 
the character of the people over which it was instituted, which no 
human sagacity could have foreseen, but which have led to evils, mis- 
chiefs, and abuses, which time and experience alone have disclosed. 
The men who made our Government were human ; they were vicn, and 
they made it for men of like passions and infirmities with themselves. 

I propose now, sir, to inquire into the practical workings of the 
system ; the experiment — as the fathers themselves called it — after 
seventy years of trial. 

No man will deny — no American, at least, and I speak to-day to, 
and for Americans — that in its results it has been the most successful 
of any similar Government ever established ; and yet, in the very midst 
of its highest development and its perfect success, in the very hour 
of its might, while ''towering in its pride of place," it has suddenly 
been stricken down by a revolution which it is powerless to control. 
Sir, if I could believe, as the gentlemen from Tennessee, (Mr. Ether- 
idge,) would seem to have me believe, that for more than half a cen- 
tury the South has had all that she ever asked, and more than she 
ever deserved, and that now, at last, a few discontented spirits have 
been able to precipitate already seven States into insurrection and 
rebellion, because they are displeased with the results of a presidential 
election ; or, if I could persuade myself, with the gentleman from 
Massachusetts, (Mr. Adams,) that thirteen States, or fifteen States, 
aod eleven or twelve millions people have been already drawn, or may 
soon be drawn, into a revolt against the grandest and most beneficent 
Government, in form and in practice, that ever existed, from no other 
than the trivial and most frivolous causes which he has assigned, then 
I should, indeed, regard this revolution, in the midst of which we are, 
as the most extraordinary phenomenon ever recorded in history. 
But the muse of history will, I venture to say, not so write it down 
upon the scroll which she still holds in her hand, in that grand old 
Hall of Representatives, where, linked to time, solemnly and sadly 
she numbers out yet the fleeting hours of this perishing Republic. 
No; believe me. Representatives, the causes for these movements lie 
deeper, and are of longer duration, than all this. If not, then the 
malady needs no extreme medicine, no healing remedies, nothing, 
nothing. Time, patience, forbearance, quiet — these, these alone will 
restore the Union in a few months. But, sir, I have not so read the 
history of this country, especially for the last fourteen years. The 
causes, I repeat, are to be found in the practical workings of the 
■ystem, and are to be removed only by remedies which go down to 
the very root of the evil; not, indeed, by eradicating the passions 
which give it birth and strength — for even religion fails to accom- 
plish that impossible mission — but by checking or taking away the 
power with which these passions are armed for their work of evil 
asd mischief. 


I find, then, sir, the first or remote cause which, has led to the 
incipient dismemberment of the Union, in the infinite honors and 
emoluments, the immense, and continually increasing, power and 
patronage of the Federal Grovernment. Every admission of new 
States, every acquisition of new territory, every increase of wealth, 
population, or resources of any kind; all moral, social intellectual, 
or inventive development ; the press, the telegraph, the railroad, 
and the application of steam in every form — whatsoever there is of 
greatness at home, or of national honor and glory abroad — all, 
all has inured to the aggrandizement of this central Government. 
Part of this, certainly, is the result of causes which no constitu- 
tional restriction, no party policy, and no statesmanship can control; 
but much of it, nevertheless, from infringements of the Constitution, 
and from usurpations, abuses, corruptions, and mal-administration 
of the Grovernment. In the very beginning, as I have said, a fixed 
policy of strengthening the General Government, in every depart- 
ment, was inaugurated by the Federal party; and this led to the 
bitter and vehement struggle, in the very first decade of the system, 
between the Democratic-liepublicans and the Federalists ; between 
the advocates of power, and the friends of liberty; those who leaned 
strongly toward the General Government, and those who were for 
State rights and State sovereignty — the followers of Hamilton and 
the disciples of Jefferson — which ended, in 1801, in the overthrow 
of the Federal party, and the inauguration of the Democratic policy, 
which demanded a simple Government, a strict construction of the 
Constitution, no public debt, no protective tarifi", no system of inter- 
nal improvements, no national bank, hard money for the public 
dues, and economical expenditures; and this policy, after a long and 
violent contest for more than forty years — a contest marked with 
various fortune, and occasional defeat, and sometimes temporary 
departure by its own friends — at last became the established policy 
of the Government, and so continued until this pestilent sectional 
question of slavery obliterated old party divisions, and obscured and 
hid over and covered up for a time — if, indeed, it has not removed 
utterly — some, at least, of the ancient landmarks of the Democratic 
party. And yet, in spite of the overthrow of the Federal party, iu 
spite of the final defeat of its policy, looking especially and pur- 
posely to the strengthening of the General Government, partly from 
natural causes, as I have said, and partly because the Democratic 
party has sometimes been false to its professed principles — above 
all, to its great doctrine of State rights, and its true and wise j^olicy 
of economy in expenditures, and decrease in executive patronage 
and influence — the Federal Government has gone on, steadily 
increasing in power and strength and honor and consideration and 
corruption., too, from the hour of its inauguration to this day; and 
when I speak of "corruption," I use the word in the sense in which. 
British statesmen use it — men who understand the word, and who 
have, for a century and a half, reduced the thing itself to a science 
and a system, and have made it an element of very great strength 
in the British Government. 


Nor, sir, is this mischief, if mischief indeed it be, confined wholly 
to any one department of the General Government? The Federal 
judiciarv — to begin with it — here and in the States, dazzles the imagin- 
ation and invites the ambition of the lawyers, that not most numerous 
but yet most powerful class of citizens, by its superior honors, its 
great emoluments, its life-tenure, its faith in precedents, and its 
settled forms and ancient practice, untouched by codes and unshaken 
by crude and reckless and hasty legislation. Here, in this venerable 
forum, where States at home and States and empires from abroad, and 
the Federal Government itself, are accustomed to contend for the 
judgment of the court, whatever there yet remains of ancient and 
black-letter law ; whatever of veneration and regard for the names 
and memories, and the volumes of Littleton and Coke, and Croke, and 
Plowden, and the year books ; or for silk gowns, and for all else, too, 
that is valuable in legal archrcology, has taken refuge, and stands 
intrenched. All that there was of form and ceremony and dignity 
and decorum, in the beginning of the Government, is still to be found 
here, and only here ; all but the bench and bar of forty years ago — 
the Marshalls, and the Storys, the Harpers, the Pinckneys, the Wirts, 
and the Websters of an age gone by. 

Still, the circle of honor through the judiciary is a narrow one, and 
it lies open to but few ; and yet, in times past, the judiciary has done 
much to enlarge the powers and increase the consideration and import- 
ance of the central Government. 

But it is the Senate and the House of Representatives which are the 
great objects of ambition, and the seats of power. All the legislative 
powers of this great and mighty Republic, whose name and authority 
and majesty are known and felt and feared, too, throughout the earth, 
are vested in the Congress of the United States. War, revenues, 
credit, disbursement, commerce, coinage, the postal system, the pun- 
ishment of crimes upon the high seas, and against the law of nations, 
the admission of new States, the disposition of the public lands, 
armies, navies, the militia — all belong to it to control, together with 
an unnumbered, innumerable, and most indefinable host of implied or 
derivative powers : whence funding systems, banks, protective tariflfs, 
internal improvements, distributions, surveys, explorations, railroads, 
land grants, submarine telegraphs, postal steam navigation and post 
roads upon the high seas, plunder schemes, speculations, and pecula- 
tions, pensions, claims, the acquisition and government of Territories, 
and a long train of usurpations and abuses, all tending — legitimate 
powers and illegitimate assumptions of power alike — to aggrandize 
the central Government, and to make its possession and control the 
highest object of a corrupt, wicked, perverted, and peculating ambi- 
tion, in any party or any section. 

But great and imposing as the powers, honors, and consideration 
of Congress are, the executive department is scarce inferior in any 
thing, and, in some things, is far superior to it. Your President stands 
in the place of a king. There is a divinity that doth hedge him in ; 
it is the divinity of patronage. He is the god whose priests are a 
hundred and fifty thousand, and whose worshipers a host whom no 


man can number ; and the sacrifices of these priests and worshipers 
are literally "a broken spirit." Sir, your President is commander-in- 
chief of your armies, your navies, and of the militia — four millions 
of men. He carries on war, concludes peace, and makes treaties of 
every sort. Through his qualified veto, he is a participant in the 
entire legislation of the Government, and it behooves the whole army 
of speculators, jobbers, contractors, and claimants, to propitiate him 
as well as Senators and Representatives. He calls the Congress 
together on extraordinary occasions, and adjourns them in case of 
disagreement. He appoints and receives embassadors and all other 
diplomatic agents; appoints judges of the Supreme Court, and of 
other judicial tribunals; cabinet ministers; collectors of customs, 
and post-masters, and controls the appointment of a hundred and 
fifty thousand other officers, of every grade, from Secretary of State 
down to the humblest tide-waiter. All that is implied in the word 
"patronage," and all that is meant by that other word, the "spoils" 
— res detestahilis et cadiica — a word and a thing unknown to the 
fathers of the Republic, all belong to him to control. His power of 
appointment and removal at discretion makes him the master of every 
man who would look to the Executive for honor or emolument; and 
its tremendous influence is reflected back upon the Senate and this 
House, on every Senator or Representative who would reward his 
friends for their support at home, or secure new friends for a re-elec- 
tion. The Constitution forbids titles of nobility ; yet your President 
is the fountain of honor. Sir, to pass by the utter and extraordinary 
perversion of the original purpose of the Constitution in the choice 
of electors for the President — a perversion the result of caucuses, 
national conventions, and other party machinery, and which has led 
to those violent and debauching presidential struggles, every four 
years, for possession of the immense spoils of the executive office — no 
department has, in other respects also, so utterly outstripped the 
estimate of the founders of the Government, except, indeed, of the 
few who, like Patrick Henry, were derided as ghost-seers and hypo- 

When the elder Adams was President, the great east-room of the 
White House — where now, or lately, on gala days, are gathered the 
embassadors and ministers of a hundred courts, from Mexico to 
Japan, and the assembled wit and fashion and beauty and distinc- 
tion of the thirty-three States of the Union — was then used by the 
excellent and patriotic wife of the President as a drying-room for — 
not the maids of honor — but the washerwoman of the palace. 

Sir, there is an incident connected with the early settlement of this 
city — still the capital of the Republic, selected as the seat of Govern- 
ment, by Washington, the Father of the Republic, and bearing his 
honored name — an incident which shows how much he and the other 
great men who made the Constitution under-estimated the power and 
importance of the Executive. This capitol, within which we now 
deliberate, fronts to the east. There all your Presidents are inaugu- 
rated : and it was the design and the expectation of the founders of 
the city that it should extend to the eastward. There, sir — there, in 


that direction — was to be the future Komc of the American continent. 
The Executive mansion was meant to be in the rear, and to be kept in 
the rear of the Chambers of the Legislature. A long vista through 
the original forest trees — a sort of American mall — was to connect 
them together ; and the President was expected to enter below stairs, 
and at the back door, into this capitol. But he was to be kept for 
the most part trans Tibercm — on the other side of the Tiber. The 
low, marshy ground to the westward, it was supposed, would forever 
forbid the building up of a city between the seats of legislative and 
executive magistracy; and the whole — if, indeed, ever laid out at all 
— might have become a great national park. But behold the strange 
perversity of man ! The city has all gone to the westward. The 
rear of the capitol has now become its front. Pennsylvania Avenue, 
instead of a suburban drive, is now a grand thoroughfare, the chief 
artery which conveys the blood from that which is now the center or 
heart of the system — the President. The Executive mansion — that 
old castle, with bad fires and without bells, to the sore discomfort of 
Mistress Abigail Adams — is now, and has been for years, the great 
object of attraction; and whereas, in the beginning, the "taverns" — 
for that was the name given them sixty years ago — all clustered 
around this capitol, I observe that now the greatest, most flourishing, 
and best patronised " hotel " has established itself within bow-shot of 
the White House. Sir, the power of executive gravitation has proved 
too strong for the framers of the Government and the founders of the 
city. Westward the course of architecture has taken its way ; and 
certainly, sir — certainly — it is not because of any especial attraction 
about that most venerable of ancient marts — old Georgetown. 

But to resume, sir. Nothing adds so much to the power and 
influence of the Executive as a large revenue and heavy expenditures ; 
and if a public debt be added, so much the worse. Every dollar more 
borrowed or collected, and every dollar more spent, is just so much 
added to the power and value of the executive office. Nothing in the 
political history of the country has been so marked as the steady, but 
enormous, increase in the taxation and disbursement of the Federal 
Government. Fifteen years ago — to go back no further — ^just previous 
to the Mexican War, the receipts of the Treasury were ^29,U00,000, 
and the expenditures 827,000,000 ; while four years ago — only ten 
years later — the receipts had run up to §69,000,000, and the expendi- 
tures to $71,000,000 — the latter being always, or nearly always, a 
little in advance of the former. Nature, it is said, sir, abhors a vacuum ; 
but government — our government, at least — would seem to abhor a 
plethoric treasury. There are always surgeons, volunteers too, at 
that, if need be, of a very famous school of surgery, who are ready 
to resort, upon all occasions, to financial phlebotomy. Verily, sir — 
verily these surgeons of the executive household have great faith 
in a low fiscal regimen. 

The collection and disbursement of 880,000,000 a year, for four 
years, is a prize worth every sacrifice. The power of the sword, the 
command of armies and navies and the militia, is itself a tremendous 
power ; and, from the signs around us, from all that everywhere meets 


the eye or falls upon the ear, at every step throughout this capital, I 
am afraid that now at length, and before the close of the last quarter 
of the first century of the Republic, it is about to assume a terrible 
significancy, and that the reign of military despotism is henceforth to 
be dated from this year. But, great as this power is, it is nothing — 
nothing as yet in this country — compared with the power of the 
purse. He who commands that unnumbered host of eager and hun- 
gry expectants whose eyes are fixed upon the Treasury, to say nothing 
of that other host of seekers of office, is mightier far than the 
commander of military legions. The gentleman from Tennessee 
(Mr. Etheridge) entertained us the other day with a glowing picture 
of the exodus of the present incumbents about the executive offices 
and elsewhere. Sir, 1 should be pleased, when he next addresses the 
House, to have his fine powers of "wit and eloquence tested by a 
description of the flight of the incoming locusts about the fourth of 
March. Certainly, sir — certainly — the departure of the army of fat, 
sleek, contented, well-fed and well-clad officeholders, whose natural 
habitat is the Treasury building, or some other of the same sort, is 
a picture melancholy enough to excite commiseration in even the 
hardest and the stoniest heart. But the ingress of that other mighty 
host of office-seekers, fifty to one — lean, lank, cadaverous, hungry, 
hollow-eyed, with bones bursting through their garments, and long, 
skinny fingers, eager to clutch the spoils ; and stung, too, with the 
cestus of that practical sort of patriotism which loves the country for 
its material benefits, would require some part, at least, of the powers 
of those diabolical old painters of the Spanish or Italian school. The 
gentleman will pardon me, but I am sure that even he is not equal 
to it. 

Such, Mr. Speaker, is the central Government of the United States, 
and such its powers and honors and emoluments ; and every year adds 
strength to them. Against the centralizing tendencies and influences 
of such a Government, the States, separately, can not contend. Neither 
ambition nor avarice, the love of honor or the love of gain, find any 
thing to satisfy their large desires in the State governments. Sir, the 
State executives have no cabinets, no veto for the most part, no army, 
no navy, no militia, except upon the peace establishment, and that 
commonly despised ; no foreign appointments, and no diplomatic inter- 
course ; no treaties, no post-office, no land-office, no great revenues 
to disburse ; small salaries, and no patronage — in short, sir, nothing 
to arouse ambition, or to excite avarice. The Legislature of the 
State have a most valuable, but not the most dignified, field of labor. 
They declare no war, levy no imports, regulate no external commerce, 
coin no money, establish no post-routes, oceanic or overland ; make 
no land grants, emit no bills of credit of their own, publish no Globe, 
have no franking privilege, and their Senators and Representatives 
serve the State for a few hundred dollars a years. The State judi- 
ciaries, however important the litigation before them may be to the 
parties, attract commonly but small interest from the public ; and, of 
late years, no great or splendid legal reputation is to be acquired, 
outside of a few of the larger cities at least, either upon the bench 

70 now SHALL the union be preserved? 

or at the bar of the State courts. Whatever, sir, the dignity or power 
or consideration .of the United States may be, tliat of each State is 
but the one tliirty-fourth part of it ; and, indeed, for soiue years past, 
the control of the State governments has, to a great extent, been 
Bougbt after chiefly as an instrumentality for securing control of 
legislative, executive, or judicial position in the Federal Government. 
And all this mischief — for mischief certainly I must regard it — has 
been steadily aggravated by the policy pursued in nearly all tho 
States, of diminishing, in every way, in their constitutions, and by 
their laws, the dignity, power, and consideration of the several 
departments of their State governments. Short tenures, low salaries, 
biennial sessions, crude, hasty, and continually changing legislation, 
new constitutions every ten years, and whatever else may be classed 
under the head of reform, falsely so called, have been the bane of 
State sovereignty and importance. Indeed, for years past, State 
constitutions, laws, and institutions of every sort, seem to have been 
regarded as but so many subjects for rude and wanton experiments at 
the hands of reckless ideologists or demagogues. But, besides all 
this, the infinite subdivision of political power in the States, from 
the chief departments of State down through counties, townships, 
school-districts, cities, towns, and villages, all which certainly is very 
necessary and proper in a democratic Government, tends very much 
of itself to decrease the dignity and importance of the States. In 
short, sir, in nearly all the States, and especially in the new States, 
the great purpose of the politicians would seem to have been, to 
ascertain just how feeble and simple and insignificant their governments 
could be made — just how near to a pure and perfect democracy our 
representative form of republicanism can be carried. All this, sir, 
would have been well, and consistent enough, no doubt, if the States 
were totally disconnected, or if the Federal Government could have 
been kept down equally low, simple, and democratic. Certainly, this 
is the true idea of a strictly democratic form and administration of 
government ; and the nearer it is approached, the purer and better 
the system — in theory, at least. But the experiment having been 
fairly tried, and the fact settled, that in a country so large, wealthy, 
populous, and enterprising as ours is, it is impossible to reduce 
down, or to keep down, the central Government to one of economy 
and simplicity, it is the true wisdom and policy of the States to see 
to it that their own separate governments are not rendered any more 
insignificant, at least, than they are already. 

Such, sir, I repeat, then, is the central Government of the United 
States, and such its great and tremendous powers and honors and 
emoluments. With such powers, such honors, such patronage, and 
such revenues, is it any wonder, I ask, that every thing, yes, even 
virtue, truth, justice, patriotism, and the Constitution itself, should 
be sacrified to obtain possession of it? There is no such glittering 
prize to be contended for every four or two years anywhere through- 
out the whole earth ; and accordingly, from the beginning, and every 
year more and more, it has been the object of the highest and low- 
est, the purest, and the most corrupt ambition known among men. 


Parties and combinations have existed from the first, and have been 
changed, and reorganized, and built up, and cast down, from the 
earliest period of our history to this day, all for the purpose of 
controlling the powers and honors and the moneys of the central 
Government. For a good many years parties were organized upon 
questions of finance or of political economy. Upon the subjects of 
a permanent public debt, a national bank, the public deposits, a 
protective tariff, internal improvements, the disposition of the public 
lands, and other questions of a similar character, all of them looking 
to the special interests of the moneyed classes, parties were, for a 
long while, divided. The different kinds of capitalists sometimes also 
disagreed among themselves — the manufacturer with the commercial 
men of the country ; and, in this manner, party issues were occasionally 
made up. But the great dividing line, at last, was always between 
capital and labor — between the few who had money, and who wanted 
to use the Government 'to increase and "protect" it, as the phrase 
goes, and the many who had little, but wanted to keep it, and who 
only asked Government to let them alone. Money, money, sir, was 
at the bottom of the political contests of the times ; and nothing so 
curiously demonstrates the immense power of money, as the fact, that 
in a country where there is no entailment of estates, no law of primo- 
geniture, no means of keeping up vast accumulations of wealth in 
particular families, no exclusive privileges, and where universal 
suffrage prevails, these contests should have continued, with various 
fortune, for full half a century. But, at the last, the opponents of 
Democracy, known at different periods of the struggle by many dif- 
ferent names, but around whom the moneyed interests always rallied, 
were overborne, and utterly dispersed. The Whig party, their last 
refuge, the last and ablest of the economic parties, died out ; and the 
politicians who were not of the Democratic party, with a good many 
more, also, who had been of it, but who had deserted it, or whom it 
had deserted, were obliged to resort to some other and new element for 
an organization which might be made strong enough to conquer and to 
destroy the Democracy, and thus obtain control of the Federal Govern- 
ment. And most unfortunately for the peace of the country, and for 
the perpetuity, I fear, of the Union itself, they found the nucleus of 
such an organization ready formed to their hands — an organization 
odious, indeed, in name, but founded upon two of the most powerful 
passions of the human heart: sectionalism, which is only a narrow 
and localized patriotism, and anti-slavery, or love of freedom, which 
commonly is powerful just in proportion as it is very near coming 
home to one's own self, or very far off, so that either self-interest, or 
the imagination can have full power to act. 

And here let me remark, that it had so happened that almost, if 
not quite, from the beginning of the Government, the South, or slave- 
holding section of the Union — partly because the people of the 
South are chiefly an agricultural and producing, a non-commercial 
and non -manufacturing people, and partly because there is no con- 
flict, or little conflict, among them between labor and capital, inasmuch 
as to a considerable extent, capital owns a large class of their laborers 

72 now SHALL the union be preserved? 

not of the white race; and it may be also, because, as Mr. Burke 
said, many years ago, the holders of slaves are " by far the most 
proud and jealous of their freedom," and because the aristocracy 
of birth and family, and of talent, is more highly esteemed among 
them than the aristrocracy of wealth — but no matter from what 
cause, the fact was that the South, for fifty years, was nearly always 
on the side of the Democratic party. It was the natural ally of the 
Democracy of the North, and especially of the West. Geographical 
partition and identity of interests bound us together; and till this 
sectional question of slavery arose, the South and the new States of 
the West were always together ; and the latter, in the beginning, at 
least, always Democratic. Sir, there was not a triumph of the Dem- 
ocratic party in half a century, which was not won by the aid of 
the statesmen and the people of the South. I would not be under- 
stood, however, as intimating that the South was ever slow to ap- 
propriate her full share of the spoils — the opima spolia of victory, 
or especially that the politicians of that great and noble old Com- 
monwealth of Virginia — God bless her — were ever remarkable for the 
grace of self-denial in this regard — not at all. But it was natural, 
sir, that they who had been so many times, and for so many years, 
bafBed and defeated by the aid of the South, should entertain no 
very kindly feelings towards her. And here I must not omit to say, 
that all this time there was a powerful minority in the whole South, 
sometimes a majority in the whole South, and always in some of the 
States of the South, who belonged to the several parties which, at 
different times, contended with the Democracy for the possession and 
control of the Federal Government. Parties, in those days, were not 
sectional, but extended into every State, and every part of the Union. 
And, indeed, in the Convention of 1787, the possibility, or, at least, 
the probability, of sectional combinations, seems, as I have already 
said, to have been almost wholly overlooked. Washington, it is 
true, in his Farewell Address, warned us against them, but it was 
rather as a distant vision than as a near reality ; and a few years 
later, Mr. Jefferson speaks of a possibility of the people of the 
Mississippi Valley seceding from the East ; for even then a division 
of the Union, North and South, or by slave lines in the Union, or out 
of it, seems scarcely to have been contemplated. The letter of Mr. 
Jefferson upon this subject, dated in 1803, is a curious one ; and I com- 
mend it to the attention of gentlemen upon both sides of the House. 
So long, sir, as the South maintained its equality in the Senate, 
and something like equality in population, strength, and material 
resources in the country, there was little to invite aggression, while 
there were the means, also, to repel it. But. in the course of time, 
the South lost its equality in the other wing of the capitol, and 
every year the disparity between the two sections became greater and 
greater. Meantime, too, the anti-slavery sentiment, which had lain 
dormant at the North for many years after the inauguration of the 
Federal Government, began, just about the time of the emancipation 
in the British West Indies, to develop itself in great strength, and 
with wonderful rapidity. It had appeared, indeed, with much vio- 


lence'at tlie period of the admission of Missouri, and even then shook 
the Union to its foundation. And yet, how little a sectional contro- 
versy, based upon such a question, had been foreseen by the founders 
of the Government, may be learned from Mr. Jefferson's letter to Mr. 
Holmes, in 1820, where he speaks of it falling upon his ear like "a 
fire-bell in the night." Said he : 

"I considered it, at once, as the death-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 politi- 
cal" — 

Sir, it is this very coincidence of geographical line with the 
marked principle, moral and political, of slavery, which I propose to 
reach and to obliterate in the only way possible ; by running other 
lines, coinciding with other and less dangerous principles, none of 
them moral, and, above all, with other and conflicting interests — 

" 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." . . . 
... "I regret that I ara now to die in the belief that the useless sacrifice of 
themselves, by the generations of 1776, to acquire self-government and hap- 
piness to their country, is to be thrown away by the unwise and unworthy 
passions of their sons; and that my only consolation is to be that I shall 
not live to weep over it." 

Fortunate man ! He did not live to weep over it. To-day he 
sleeps quietly beneath the soil of his own Monticello, unconscious 
that the mighty fabric of government which he helped to rear — a 
government whose foundations were laid by the hands of so many 
patriots and sages, and cemented by the blood of so many martyrs 
and heroes — hastens now, day by day, to its fall. What recks he, 
or that other great man, his compeer, fortunate in life and opportune 
alike in death, whose dust they keep at Quincy, of those dreadful 
notes of preparation in every State for civil strife and fraternal car- 
nage ; or of that martial array which already has changed this once 
peaceful capital into a beleaguered city ? Fortunate men ! They 
died while the Constitution yet survived, while the Union survived, 
while the spirit of fraternal affection still lived, and the love of true 
American liberty lingered yet in the hearts of their descendants. 

Sir, the antagonism of parties founded on money or questions of 
political economy having died out, and the balance of power between 
the North and the South being now lost, and the strength and dig- 
nity, and the revenues and disbursements — the patronage and spoils — 
of the Federal Government having grown to an enormous size, was 
any thing more natural than the organization, upon any basis peculiar 
to the stronger section, of a sectional party, to secure so splendid and 
tempting a prize? Or was any thing more inevitable than that the 
" marked principle, moral and political," of slavery, coinciding with 
the very geographical line tchich divided the two sections, and 
appealing so strongly to Northern sentiments and prejudices, and 
against which it was impossible for any man or any party long to 
contend, should be revived ? Unhappily, too, just about this time, 


the acquisition of a very lar£;e territory from Mexico, not foreseen 
or provided for by the Missouri compromise, opened wide tlie door 
for this very question of slavery, in a form every way the most 
favorable to the agitators. The Wilmot Proviso, or Congressional 
prohibition — now, indeed, exploded, but which, nevertheless, received, 
in some form or other, the indorsement of every fi-ee State then in 
the Union — it was proposed to establish over the whole territory 
thus acquired, as well south of 36° 30' as north of that latitude. 
The proposition, upon the other hand, to extend the Missouri com- 
promise line to the Pacific, was rejected by the votes of almost the 
entire Whig party, and of a large majority, I believe, of the Demo- 
cratic party of the free States. That, sir, wag the fatal mistake of 
the North ; and in tribulation and anguish will she and the other 
sections of the Union, and our posterity, too, for ages, it may be, 
weep tears of bloody repentance and regret over it. 

This controversy, however, sir, after having again shaken the 
Union to its center, was at last, though with great difficulty, adjusted 
through the compromise measures of 1850, by the last of the great 
statesmen of the second period of the Republic. But four years 
afterward, upon the bill to organize the territories of Kansas and 
Nebraska, upon the principles of the legislation of 1850, the impris- 
oned winds — Eurus, Notusque, creherque procellis Africus — were all 
again let loose with more than the rage of a tropical hurricane. 
The Missouri restriction, which for years had been denounced as a 
wicked and atrocious concession to slavery, and which, some thirty 
years before, had consigned almost every free State Senator or Rep- 
resentative who supported it, to political oblivion, became now a 
most sacred compact, which it was sacrilege to touch. A distin- 
guished Senator, late the Governor of Ohio, who had entitled his 
great speech against the adjustment measures of 1850, " Union and 
Freedom without Compromise^'' now put forth his elaborate defense, 
four years later, of the Missouri restriction, with the rubric or text, 
in ambitious characters, '■'■Maintain Plighted Faith." But, right or 
wrong, wise or unwise, at the time, as the repeal of that restriction 
may have seemed, subsequent acts and events have made it both a 
delusion and a snare. Yes, sir, I confess it. I, who, as a private 
citizen, was one of its earliest defenders, make open confession of it 
here to-day. It was this which gave a new and terrible vitality to 
the languishing element of abolitionism, and which precipitated, at 
least, a crisis which, I fear, was, nevertheless, sooner or later, inevit- 
able. It is the crisis of which the President elect spoke three 
years ago. It is, indeed, reached. Would to God it were passed, 
also, in peace. 

But, sir, whether the leaders of the movement against the repeal 
of the Missouri restriction were consistent or inconsistent, honest or 
dishonest, the great mass of the people of the free States were roused, 
for a time, to the highest indignation by it; and, inasmuch as the 
Whig party was just then falling to pieces, wicked, or reckless, or 
short-sighted men eagerly seized upon this unsettled condition of 
the public miud, to reorganize the Free Soil party of 1818, under a 


new and captivating name, but very nearly upon the principles of the 
Buffalo platform of that year, thus abandoning the extreme abolition 
sentiments of the Liberty party, and bringing up the great majority 
of the Whig party, and not a few of the Democratic party, also, to 
the Free Soil and non-slavery extension principle ; and by this com- 
promise, forming and consolidating that powerful party, which, for 
the first time in our history, by a mere sectional plurality — in a 
minority, in fact, by a million of votes — has obtained possession of 
the power and patronage of the central government. Sir, if all this 
had happened solely by accident, and were likely never to be repeated, 
portentous as it might be of present evil, it would have caused, and 
ought to have caused, none of the disasters which have already fol- 
lowed. But the DREAD SECRET once disclosed, that the immense 
powers and revenues and honors and spoils of this great and mighty 
Bepublic may be easily won, by a mere sectional majority, upon a 
popular sectional issue, will never die ; and new aggressions and new 
issues must continually spring from it. This is the philosophy and 
the justification of the alarm and consternation which have shaken 
the South from the Potomac to the Gulf. It is the philosophy, and 
the justification, too, of the amendment of the gentleman from Mas- 
sachusetts, (Mr. Adams,) and of all the other propositions for new 
adjustments and new guarantees. Sir, the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Sedgwick) was right when he said that there never was 
any great event which did not spring from some adequate cause. 
The South is afraid of your sectional majority, organized and con- 
solidated upon the abstract principle of hostility to slavery generally, 
and the practical application of that principle to the exclusion of 
slavery from all the Territories, and its restriction, by the power of 
that sectional majority, to where it now exists. And if this be not 
the fundamental doctrine of the llepublican party, I shall be greatly 
obliged to some gentleman of that party to tell me what its funda- 
mental doctrine is. 

But unjust and oppressive as the South feel their exclusion from 
the common territories of the State to be, they know well, also, that 
the propelling power of a great moral and religious principle, as it 
is regarded in the North, added to the still more enduring, persist- 
ent, and prudent passion of ambition, of thirst for power and place, 
for the honors and emoluments of such a Government as ours, with 
its half a million of dependents and expectants, and its eighty mil- 
lions of revenues and disbursements, all, all to be secured by the 
Aladdin's lamp of a sectional majority, can not be arrested or 
extinguished by any thing short of the suppression of the power 
■which makes it potent for mischief. And nothing less than this, be 
assured, will satisfy any considerable number of even the more mod- 
erate of the people of the border slave States, and certainly without 
it there is not the slightest hope of the return of the States upon 
the Gulf, and thus of a restoration of the Union as it existed but 
three months ago. The statesmen and the people of all these States 
well know, also, that, by the civil law of every country, among 
individuals, and by the law of nations, as between sovereign and 


foreitrn States, the power to a<r£;ress, along with the threat and the 
preparation to aggress, is a good cause why an individual or a State 
should be required to give some adequate assurance that the power 
shall not be used to execute the threat; or, otherwise, that the 
power shall itself be taken away. Apply now, sir, these principles 
to the case in hand. The North has the power; that power is in 
the hands of the Republican party, and already they have resolved 
to use it for the exclusion of the South from all the Territories. 
There shall be no more extcn.sion of slavery. More than this : the 
leaders of the party — many of them leaders and founders of the old 
Liberty Guard, the original Abolition party of the North — the very 
men who brought the masses of the Whig party, and many of the 
Democratic party, from utter indifference and non-intervention years 
ago upon the question of slavery, up to the point of no more slavery 
extension, and persuaded them, in spite of the warning voice of 
Washington, in the very face of the appalling danger of disunion, to 
unite, for this purpose, in a powerful sectional party, for the first 
time in the history of the Government — these self-same leaders pro- 
claim now, not indeed as present doctrines or purposes of the 
Republican party, but as solemn abstract truths, as fixed, existing 
facts, that there is a "higher law" than the Constitution, and an 
"irrepressible conflict" of principle and interest, between the domi- 
nant and the minority sections of the Union, and that one or the other 
must conquer in the conflict. Sir, in this contest with ballots, who 
is it that must conquer — the section of the minority, or the section 
of the majority ? 

And now, sir, when sentiments like these are held and proclaimed 
— deliberately, solemnly, repeatedly proclaimed — by men, one of 
whom is now the President elect, and the other the Secretary of State 
of the incoming Administration, is it at all surprising that the States 
of the South should be filled with excitement and alarm, or that they 
should demand, as almost with one voice they have demanded, ade- 
quate and complete guarantees for their rights, and security against 
aggression? Right or wrong, justifiably or without cause, they have 
done it ; and I lament to say, that some of these States have even 
gone so far as to throw ofi" wholly the authority of the Federal 
Government, and withdraw themselves from the Union. Sir, I will 
not discuss the right of secession. It is of no possible avail now, 
either to maintain or to condemn it; yet it is vain to tell me that 
States can not secede. Seven States have seceded ; they now refuse 
any longer to recognize the authority of this Government, and already 
have entered into a new confederacy, and set up a provisional gov- 
ernment of their own. In three months their agents and commis- 
sioners will return from Europe with the recognition of Great Britain 
and France, and of the other great powers of the continent. Other 
States at home are preparing to unite with this new confederacy, if 
you do not grant to them their just and equitable demands. The 
question is no longer one of mere preservation of the Union. That 
was the question when we met in this Chamber some two months 
ago. Unhappily, that day has passed by; and while your "perilous 


Commmittee of Thirty-three " debated and deliberated to gain time — 
yes, to gain time — for that was the insane and most unstatesmanlike 
cry in the beginning of the session, star after star shot madly from 
our political firmament. The question to-day is : How shall we now 
keep the States we have, and restore those which are lost? Ay, sir, 
restore^ till every wanderer shall have returned, and not one be mis- 
sing from the "starry flock." 

If, then, Mr. Speaker, I have justly and truly stated the causes 
which have led to those most disastrous results, if, indeed, the con- 
trol of the immense powers, honors, and revenues — the spoils — of 
the Federal Government, in a word, if the possession of power, and 
the temptation to abuse it, be the primary cause of the present dis- 
memberment of the United States, ought not every remedy proposed 
to reach at once the very seat of the disease? And why, sir, may not 
the malady be healed? Why can not this controversy be adjusted? 
Has, indeed, the union of these States received the immedicable 
wound? I do not believe it. Never was there a political crisis for 
which wise, courageous, and disinterested statesmen could more 
speedily devise a remedy. British statesmen would have adjusted it 
in a few weeks. Twice, certainly, if not three times, in this century, 
they have healed troubles threatening a dissolution of the monarchy 
and civil war, and each time healed them by yielding promptly to 
the necessities which pressed upon them, giving up principles and 
measures to which they had every way for years been committed. 
They have learned wisdom from the obstinacy of the king who lost 
to Great Britain her thirteen colonies; and have been taught, by that 
memorable lesson, to concede and to compromise in time, and to do 
it radically; and history has pronounced it statesmanship, not weak- 
ness. In each case, too, they yielded up, not doctrines and a policy 
which they were seeking for the first time to establish, but the 
ancient and settled principles, usages, and institutions of the realm ; 
and they yielded up these to save others yet more essential, and to 
maintain the integrity of the empire. They did save it, and did 
maintain it ; and, to-day, Great Britain is stronger and more pros- 
perous and more secure than any government on the globe. 

Sir, no man had, for a longer time, or with a more inexorable firm- 
ness, opposed Catholic emanciption than the Duke of Wellington ; 
yet, when the issue came, at last, between emancipation or civil war, 
the hero of a hundred battle-fields, the conquerer at Waterloo, the 
greatest military commander, except Napoleon, of modern times, yes, 
the IRON DUKE lost not a moment, but yielded to the storm, and him- 
self led the party which carried the great measure of peace and com- 
promise through the very citadel of conservatism — the House of Lords. 
Sir, he sought no middle ground, no half-way measure, confessing 
weakness, promising something, doing nothing. And in that memor- 
able debate he spoke words of wisdom, moderation, and true courage, 
which I commend to gentlemen in this House — to our Wellington 
outside of it, and to all others, anywhere, whose parched jaws seem 
ravenous for blood. He said: 


" It has been my fortune to have seen much of war — more than most men. 
I have been constantly engaged in the active duties of the military profession 
from boyhood until 1 have grown gray. My life has been passed in famil- 
iarity with scones of death and human suifering. Circumstances have placed 
me in countries where the war was internal — between opposite parties in the 
same nation ; and, rather than a country I loved should be visited with the 
calamities which I have seen, with the unutterable horrors of civil war, I 
would run any — I tvould inake any sacrifice — / worild freely lay down my 
life. There is nothing which destroys property and prosperity, and demoral- 
izes cliar;icter, to the extent which civil war does. By it, the hand of man 
is raised against his neighbor, against his brother, and against his father; the 
servant betrays his master, and the master ruins his servant. Yet this is the 
resource to which we must have looked — t/iese are the means which we mxist have 
applied, in order to have put ati end to this state of thinps, if we had not 
embraced the option of bringing forward the measure for which I hold myself 

Two years later, sir, in a yet more dan!:;crous crisis upon the Reform 
Bill, which the Commons had rejected, and when civil commotion and 
discord, if not revolution, were again threatened, and it became neces- 
sary to dissolve the Parliament, and, for that purpose, to secure the 
consent of a king adverse to the dissolution, the Lord Chancellor of 
England, one of the most extraordinary men of the age — by, perhaps, 
the boldest and most hazardous experiment ever tried upon royalty — 
surprised the King into consent, assuring him that the further exist- 
ence of the Parliament was incompatible with the peace and safety 
of the kingdom ; and having, without the royal command, summoned 
the great officers of State, prepared the crown, the robes, the King's 
speech, and whatever else was needed, and, at the risk of the penalties 
of high treason, ordered, also, the attendance of the troops required 
by the usages of the ceremony, he hurried the King to the Chamber 
of the House of Lords, where, in the presence of the Commons, the 
Parliament was dissolved, while each House was still in high debate, 
and without other notice in advance than the sound of the cannon 
which announced his majesty's approach. Yet all this was done in 
the midst of threatened insurrection and rebellion ; when the Duke 
of Wellington, the Duke of Cumberland, and other noblemen were 
assaulted in the streets, and their houses broken into and mobbed ; 
■when London itself was threatened -with capture, and the dying Sir 
Walter Scott was hooted and reviled by ruffians at the polls. It was 
done while the kingdom was one vast mob; while the cry rang through 
all England, Ireland, and Scotland, that the Bill must be carried 
through Parliament or over Parliament — if possible, by peaceable 
means — if not possible, then by force ; and when the Prime Minister 
declared, in the House of Commons that, by reason of its defeat, 
" much blood would be shed in the struggle between the contending 
parties, and that he was perfectly convinced that the British Consti- 
tution would perish in the conflict." And, sir, when all else failed, 
the King himself at last gave permission, in writing, to Earl Grey 
and the Lord Chancellor, to create as many new peers as might be 
necessary to secure a majority for the Keform Bill in the House of 

Such, sir, is British statesmanship. They remember, but we have 


forgotten, tte lessons which our fathers taught them. Sir, it will 
be the opprobrium of American statesmanship forever, that this 
controversy of ours shall be permitted to end in final and perpetual 
dismemberment of the Union. 

I propose, now, sir, to consider, briefly, the several propositions 
before the House looking to the adjustment of our diificulties by 
Constitutional amendment, in connection, also, with those which I 
have myself had the honor to submit. 

Philosophically or logically considered, there are two ways in 
which the work before us may be effected : the first, by removing the 
temptation to aggress ; the second, by taking the power away. Now, 
sir, I am free to confess that I do not see how any amendment of the 
Constitution can diminish the powers, dignity, or patronage of the 
Federal Government, consistently with the just distribution of power 
between the several departments ; or between the States and the 
General Government, consistently with its necessary strength and 
efficiency. The evil here, lies rather in the administration than in 
the organization of the system ; and a large part of it is inherent in 
the administration of every government. The virtue and intelligence 
of the people, and the capacity and honesty of their representatives, 
in every department, must be intrusted with the mitigation and 
correction of the mischief. The less the legislation of every kind, 
the smaller the revenues and fewer the disbursements; the less the 
Government shall have to do, every way, with debt, credit, moneyed 
influences, and jobs, and schemes of every sort, the longer peace can 
be maintained; and the more the number of the employees and 
dependents on Government can be reduced, the less will be the 
patronage and the corruption of the system, and the less, therefore, 
the motive to sacrifice truth and justice, and to overleap the Consti- 
tution to secure the control of it. In other words, the more you 
diminish temptation, the more you will deliver us from the evil. 

But I pass this point by without further remark, inasmuch as none 
of the plans of adjustment proposed — either here or in the Senate — 
look to any change of the Constitution in this respect. They all 
aim — every one of them — at checking the power to aggress ; and, 
except the amendment of the gentleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. 
Adams,) which goes much further than mine in giving a negative 
upon one subject to every slave State in the Union, they propose to 
effect their purpose by mere constitutional prohibitions. It is not 
my purpose, sir, to demand a vote upon the propositions which I 
have myself submitted. I have not the party position, nor the power 
behind me, nor with me, nor the age, nor the experience which 
would justify me in assuming the lead in any great measure of 
peace and conciliation ; but I believe, and very respectfully I suggest 
it, that something similar, at least, to these propositions will form a 
part of any adequate and final adjustment which may restore all the 
States to the Federal Union. No, sir ; I am able now only to fol- 
low where others may lead. 

I shall vote for the amendment of the gentleman from Massachu- 
setts (Mr, Adams) — though it does not go far enough — because it 

so now SHALL the union be preserved? 

ignores and ilenics the moral or religious element of the anti-slavery 
agitatit)n, and thus removes, so far, at least, its most dangerous sting — 
fanaticism — and, dealing with the question as one of mere policy 
and economy, of pure politics alone, proposes a new and most com- 
prehensive guarantee for the peculiar institution of the States of the 
South. I shall vote, also, for the Crittenden propositions — as an 
experiment, and only as an experiment — because they proceed upon 
the same general idea which marks the Adams amendment ; and 
whereas, for the sake of peace and the Union, the latter would give 
a new security to slavery in the States, the former, for the self-samo 
great and paramount object of Union and peace, proposes to give a 
new security also to slavery in the Territories south of the latitude 
36° 30'. If the Union is worth the price which the gentleman from 
Massachusetts volunteers to pay to maintain it, is it not richly worth 
the very small additional price which the Senator from Kentucky 
demands as the possible condition of preserving it? Sir, it is the 
old parable of the Roman Sibyl; and to-morrow she will return with 
fewer volumes, and, it may be, at a higher price. 

I shall vote to try the Crittenden propositions, because, also, I 
believe that they are perhaps the least which even the more moderate 
of the slave States would, under any circumstances, be willing to 
accept ; and because, North, South, and West, the people seem to have 
taken hold of them, and to demand them of us, as an experiment, at 
least. I am ready to try, also, if need be, the propositions of the 
Border State Committee, or of the Peace Congress ; or any other 
fair, honorable, and reasonable terms of adjustment, which may so 
much as promise, even, to heal our present troubles, and to restore 
the Union of these States. Sir, I am ready and willing and anxious 
to try all things and to do all things " which may become a man," 
•s^ to secure that great object which is nearest to my heart. 
^ But, judging all of these propositions, nevertheless, by the lights 
of philosophy and statesmanship, and as I believe they will be 
regarded by the historian who shall come after us, I find in thera 
all two capital defects, which will, in the end, prove them to be both 
unsatisfactory to large numbers alike of the people of the free and 
the slave States, and wholly inadequate to the great purpose of the 
reconstruction and future preservation of the Union. None of 
them — except that of the gentleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. 
Adams,) and his in one particular only — proposes to give to the 
minority section any veto or self-protecting power against those 
aggressions, the temptation to which, and the danger from which, 
are the very cause or reason for the demand for any new guarantees 
at all. They who complain of violated faith in the past, are met 
only with new promises of good faith for the future ; they who tell 
you that you have broken the Constitution heretofore, are answered 
with proposed additions to the Constitution, so that there may be 
more room for breaches hereafter. The only protection here offered 
against the aggressive spirit of the majority, is the simple pledge of 
power that it will not abuse itself, nor aggress, nor usurp, nor 
amplify itself to attain its ends. You place, in the distance, the 


highest honors, the largest emoluments, the most glittering of all 
prizes, and then you propose, as it were, to exact a promise from 
the race-horse that he will accommodate his speed to the slow-moving 
pace of the tortoise. Sir, if I meant terms of equality, I would 
give the tortoise a good ways the start in the race. 

My point of objection, therefore, is that you do not allow to that 
very minority which, because it is a minority, and because it is afraid 
of your aggressions, is now about to secede and withdraw itself from 
your Government, and set up a separate confederacy of its own, you 
do not allow to it the power of self-protection within the Union. 
If, Representatives, you are sincere in your protestations that you do 
not mean to aggress upon the rights of this minority, you deny your- 
selves nothing by these new guarantees. If you do mean to aggress, 
then this minority has a right to demand self-protection and security. 

But, sir, there remains yet another, and a still stronger objection to 
these several propositions. Every one of them proposes to recognize, 
and to embody in the Constitution, that very sort of sectionalism which 
is the immediate instrumentality of the present dismemberment of 
these States, and the existence of which is, in my judgment, utterly 
inconsistent with the peace and stability of the Union. Every one of 
them recognizes and perpetuates the division line between slave labor 
and free labor, that self-same '■'■ gfoc/raphical line, coinciding loith the 
marked principle, moral and political" of slavery, which so startled 
the prophetic ear of Jeiferson, and which he foretold, forty years ago, 
every irritation would mark deeper and deeper, till, at last, it would 
destroy the Union itself. They, one and all, recognize slavery as an 
existing and paramount element in the politics of the country, and 
yet only promise that the non-slaveholding majority section, immensely 
in the majority, will not aggress upon the rights or trespass upon the 
interests of the slaveholding minority section, immensely in the 
minority. Adeo senucrunt Jupiter et Mars? 

Sir, just so long as slavery is recognized as an element in politics 
at all — just so long as the dividing line between the slave labor and 
the free labor States is kept up as the only line, with the disparity 
between them growing every day greater and greater — just so long it 
will be impossible to keep the peace, and maintain a Federal Union 
between them. However sufficient any of these plans of adjustment 
might have been one year ago, or even in December last, when pro- 
posed, and prior to the secession of any of the States, I fear that 
they will be found utterly inadequate to restore the Union now. I 
do not believe that, alone, they will avail to bring back the States 
which have seceded, and, therefore, to withhold the other slave States 
from ultimate secession ; for, surely, no man fit to be a statesman can 
fail to foresee that unless the cotton States can be returned to the 
Union, the border States must and will, sooner or later, follow them 
out of it. As between two confederacies — the one non-slaveholding, 
and the other slaveholding — all the States of the South must belong 
to the latter, except, possibly, Maryland and Delaware, and they, of 
course, could remain with the former only upon the understanding 
that, just as soon as practicable, slavery should be abolished within 


their limits. If fiftoon slave Ftntes can not protect themselves, and 
feel secure in a Union with eighteen anti-slavery States, how can ci2;ht 
slave States maintain their position and their rights in a Union with 
nineteen, or with thirty anti-slavery States? The question, theretbre, 
is not merely, What will keep Virjrinia in the Union, but also, what 
will brintr Georgia back? And here let me say, that I do not doubt 
that there is a larire and powerful Union sentiment still surviving in 
all the States which have seceded, South Carolina alone, perhaps, 
excepted ; and that if the people of those States can be assured that 
that they shall have the power to protect themselves by their own 
action within the Union, they will gladly return to it, very greatly 
preferring protection within to security outside of it. Just now, 
indeed, the fear of danger, and your persistent and obstinate refusal 
to enable them to guard against it, have delivered the people of those 
States over into the hands, and under the control, of the real secession- 
ists and disunionists among them ; but give them security, and the 
means of enforcing it ; above all, dry up this pestilent fountain of 
slavery agitation, as a political element, in both sections, and, my 
word for it, the ties of a common ancestry, a common kindred, and 
common language ; the bonds of a common interest, common danger, 
and common safety ; the recollections of the past, and of associations 
not yet dissolved, and the bright hopes of a future to all of us, more 
glorious and resplendent than any other country ever saw ; ay, sir, 
and visions, too, of that old flag of the Union, and of the music of 
the Union, and precious memories of the statesmen and heroes of the 
dark days of the Revolution, will fill their souls yet again with desires 
and yearnings intense for the glories, the honors, and the material 
benefits, too, of that Union which their fathers and our fathers made ; 
and they will return to it, not as the prodigal, but with songs and 
rejoicing, as the Hebrews returned from the captivity to the ancient 
city of their kings. 

Proceeding, sir, upon the principles which I have already considered, 
and applying them to the causes which, step by step, have led to our 
present troubles, I have ventured, with great deference, to submit the 
propositions which are upon the table of the House. While not 
inconsistent with any of the other pending plans of adjustment, they 
are, in my judgment, and again I speak it with becoming deference, 
fully adequate to secure that protection from aggression, without which 
there can be no confidence, and, therefore, no peace and no restoration 
for the Union. 

There are two maxims, sir, applicable to all constitutional reform, 
both of which it has been my purpose to follow. In the first place, 
not to amend more, or further, than is necessary for the mischief to be 
remedied ; and next, to follow strictly the principles of the Constitution 
which is to be amended; and corollary to these, I might add, that in 
framing amendments, the words and phrases of the Constitution ought, 
BO far as practicable, to be adopted. 

I propose, then, sir, to do as all others in the Senate and the House 
have done, so far — to recognize the existence of sections as a fixed 
fact, which, lamentable as it is, can no longer be denied or suppressed; 


but, for the reasons I have ah-eady stated, I propose to established 
four instead of two grand sections of the Union, all of them well 
known, or easily designated by marked, natural, or geographical lines 
and boundaries. I propose four sections instead of two ; because, if 
two only are recognized, the natural and inevitable division will be 
into slaveholding and non-slaveholding sections ; and it is this very 
division, either by constitutional enactment, or by common consent, 
as hitherto, wliich, in my deliberate judgment and deepest convic- 
tion, it concerns the peace and stability of the Union, should be 
forever hereafter ignored. Till then, there can not be, and will not 
be, perfect union and peace between these United States ; because, 
in tlie first place, the nature of the question is such that it stirs up, 
necessarily, as forty years of strife conclusively proves, the strongest 
and the bitterest passions and antagonism possible among men ; and, 
in the next place, because the non-slavcholding section has now, and 
will have to the end, a steadily increasing majority, and enormously 
disproportioned weight and influence in the Government ; thus com- 
bining that which never can be very long resisted in any Government 
— the temptation and the power to aggress. 

Sir, it was not the mere geographical line which so startled Mr. 
Jefferson, in 1820 ; but the coincidence of that line with the marked 
principle, moral and political, of slavery. And now, sir, to remove 
this very mischief which he predicted, and which has already happened, 
it is essential that this coincidence should be obliterated; and the 
repeated failure, for years past, of all other compromises, based upon 
a recognition of this coincidence, has proved, beyond doubt, that it can 
not be obliterated unless it be by other and conflicting lines of prin- 
ciple and interests. I propose, therefore, to multiply the sections, and 
thus efface the slave-labor and free-labor division, and, at the same 
time, and in this manner, to diminish the relative power of each 
section. And to prevent combinations among these difterent sections, 
I propose, also, to allow a vote in the Senate by sections, upon demand 
of one-third of the Senators of any section, and to require the con- 
currence of a majority of the Senators of each section in the passage 
of any measure, in which, by the Constitution, it is necessary that the 
House, and therefore, also, the President, should concur. All this, 
sir, is perfectly consistent with the principles of the Constitution, as 
shown in the division of the legislative department into the two 
Houses of Congress ; the veto power ; the two-thirds vote of both 
Houses necessary to pass a bill over the veto ; the provisions in 
regard to the ratification of treaties, and amendments of the Con- 
stitution ; but especially in the equal representation and suffrage of 
each State in the Senate, whereby the vote of Delaware, with a 
hundred thousand inhabitants, vetoes the vote of New York, with her 
population of nearly four millions. If the protection of the smaller 
States against the possible aggressions of the larger States required, 
in the judgment of the framers of the Constitution, this peculiar, and 
apparently inequitable provision, why shall not the protection, by a 
similar power of veto, of the smaller and weaker sections against the 
aggressions of the larger and stronger sections, not be now allowed, 

84 now SHALL the union be preserved? 

^hen time and exporionce have proved the necessity of just snr>h a 
check upon the nuijorit}'? Does any one doubt that, if" the men ^^•ho 
made the Constitution liad foreseen that the real dani;cr to the system 
lay not in aggression by the hirge upon the small States, but in 
geographical combination.s of the strong sections against the weak, 
they would have guarded jealously against that mischief, just as they 
did against the danger to which they mistakenly believed the (Jov- 
ernment to be exposed ? And if this protection, sir, be now demanded 
by the minority as the price of the Union, so just and reasonable a 
provision ought not for a moment to be denied. Far better tliis than 
secession and disruption. This would, indeed, enable the minority to 
fight for their rights in the Union, instead of breaking it to pieces to 
secure them outside of it. 

Certainly, sir, it is in the nature of a veto power to each section 
in tlie Senate ; but necessity requires it, secession demands it, just as 
twice in the history of the Koman Commonwealth secession demanded 
and received the power of tlie tribunitian veto as the price of a res- 
toration of the Republic. The secession to the Sacred Mount secured, 
just as a second secession, half a century later, restored, the veto of 
tribunes of the people, and reinvigorated and preserved the lloman 
constitution for three hundred years. Vetoes, checks, balances, con- 
current majorities — these, sir, are the true conservators of free Gov- 

But it is not in legislation alone that the danger or the temptation 
to aggress is to be found. Of the tremendous power and influence 
of the Executive I have already spoken. And, indeed, the present 
revolutionary movements are the result of the apprehension of exec- 
utive usurpation and encroachments, to the injury of the rights of 
the South. But for secession because of this apprehended danger, 
the legislative department would have remained, for the present at 
least, in other and safer hands. Hence the necessity for equal pro- 
tection and guarantee against sectional combinations and majorities 
to secure the election of the President, and to control him when 
elected. I propose, therefore, that a concurrent majority of the 
electors, or States, or Senators, as the case may require, of each 
section, shall be necessary to the choice of President and Vice-Pres- 
ident ; and lest, by reason of this increased complexity, there may 
be a failure of choice oftener than heretofore, I propose also a special 
election in such case, and an extension of the term, in all cases, to 
six years. This is the outline of the plan; the details may be learned 
in full from the joint resolution itself; and I will not detain the 
House by any further explanation now. 

Sir, the natural and inevitable result of these amendments will be 
to preclude the pos.sibility of sectional parties and combinations to 
obtain possession of eitlier the legislative or the executive power and 
patronage of the Federal Government; and, if not to suppress totally, 
at least very greatly to diminish the evil results of national caucuses, 
conventions, and other similar party appliances. It will no longer 
be possible to elect a President by the votes of a mere dominant and 
majority section. Sectional issues must cease, as the basis, at least, 


of large party organizations. Ambition, or lust for power and place, 
must look no longer to its own section, but to the whole country ; 
and he who would be President, or in any way the foremost among 
his countrymen, must consult, henceforth, the combined good, and the 
good-will, too, of all the sections, and in this way, consistently with 
the Constitution, can the "general welfare" be best attained. Thus, 
indeed, will the result be, instead of a narrow, illiberal, and sectional 
policy, an enlarged patriotism and extended public spirit. 

If it be urged that the plan is too complex, and, therefore, imprac- 
ticable, I answer that that was the objection, in the beginning, to the 
whole Federal system, and to almost every part of it. It is the 
argument of the French Republicans against the division of the legis- 
lative department into two Chambers; and it was the argument 
especially urged at first against the entire plan or idea of the electoral 
colleges for the choice of a President. But, if complex, I answer 
again, it will prevent more evil than good. If it suspend some legis- 
lation for a time, I answer, the world is governed too much. If it 
cause delay, sometimes, in both legislation and the choice of Pres- 
ident, I answer yet again, better, far better this, than disunion and 
the ten thousand complexities, peaceful and belligerent, which must 
attend it. Better, infinitely better this, in the Union, than separate 
confederacies outside of it, with either perpetual war or entangling 
and complicated alliances, ofi'ensive and defensive, from henceforth 
forever. To the South I say : If you are afraid of free State ag- 
gressions by Congress or the Executive, here is abundant protectioQ 
for even the most timid. To the Republican party of the North 
and West I say : If you really tremble, as, for years past, you would 
have had us believe, over that terrible, but somewhat mythical mon- 
ster — the SLAVE POWER — here, too, is the utmost security for you 
against the possibility of its aggressions. And, from first to last, 
allow me to say that, being wholly negative in its provisions, this 
plan can only prevent evil, and not work any positive evil itself. It 
is a shield for defense, not a sword for aggression. In one word, 
let me add that the whole purpose and idea of this plan of adjust- 
ment which I propose, is to give to the several sections inside of the 
Union that power of self-protection which they are resolved, or will 
some day or other be resolved, to secure for themselves outside of 
the Union. 

I propose further, sir, that neither Congress nor a Territorial 
Legislature shall have power to interfere with the equal right of 
migration, from all sections, into the Territories of the United States ; 
and that neither shall have power to destroy or impair any rights of 
either person or property in these Territories ; and, finally, that new 
States, either when annexed, or when formed out of any of the Ter- 
ritories, with the consent of Congress, shall be admitted into the 
Union with any constitution, republican in form, which the people 
of such States may ordain. 

And now, gentlemen of the South, why can not you accept it? 
The Federal Grovernment has never yet, in any way, aggressed upon 
your rights. Hitherto, indeed, it has been in your own, or at least 


in friendly hands. You only fear, beino: in the minority, that it -will 
asrgresp. because it has now f:\llen under the control of those who, 
you believe, have the temptation, the will, and the power to aggress. 
But this plan of adjustment proposes to take away the power; and 
of what avail will the temptation or the will then be, without the 
power to execute? Both must soon perish. 

And why can not you of the Republican party accept it? There 
is not a word about slavery in it, from beginning to end — I mean in 
the amendments. It is silent upon the question. South of 36° 30', 
and east of the Rio Grande, there is scarce any territory which is 
not now within the limits of some existing State ; and west of that 
river and of the Rocky Mountains, as well as north of 36° 30' and 
east of those mountains, though any new State should establish 
slavery, still her vote would be counted in the Senate and in the 
electoral colleges with the non-slaveholding section to which she 
would belong ; just as if, within the limits of the South, any State 
should abolish slavery, or any new State not tolerating slavery should 
be admitted, the vote of such State would also be cast with the sec- 
tion of the vSouth. However slavery might be extended, as a mere 
form of civilization or of labor, there could be no extension of it as 
a mere aggressive political element in the Government. If the South 
only demand that the Federal Government shall not be used agtrres- 
ively to prohibit the extension of slavery; if she does not desire 
to use it herself, upon the other hand, positively to extend the insti- 
tution, then she may well be satisfied ; and if you of the Republican 
party do not really mean to aggress upon slavery where it now exists ; 
if you are not, in fact, opposed to the admission of any more slave 
States ; if, indeed, you do not any longer propose to use the powers 
of the Federal Government positively and aggressively to prohibit 
slavery in the Territories, but are satisfied to allow it to take its 
natui'al course, according to the laws of interest or of climate, then 
you, too, may well be content with this plan of adjustment, since it 
does not demand of you, openly and publicly, to deny, abjure, and 
renounce, in so many words, the more moderate principles and doc- 
trines which you have this session professed. And yet candor obliges 
me to declare that this plan of settlement, and every other plan, 
whatsoever, which is of the slightest value — even the amendment of 
the gentleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. Adams.) is a virtual disso- 
lution of the Republican party as a mere sectional and anti-slavery 
organization; and this, too, will, in my judgment, be equally the 
result, whether we compromise at all, and the Union be thus restored, 
or whether it be finally and forever dissolved. The people of the 
North and the "West will never trust the destroyers — for destroyers, 
indeed, you will be. if you reject all fair terms of adjustment — the 
destroyers of our Government, and such a Government as this, with 
the administration and control of any other. You have now the 
executive department, as the result of the late election. Better, far 
better, reorganize and nationalize your party, and keep the Govern- 
ment for four years in peace, and with a Union of thirty-four States, 
than with the shadow and mockery of a broken and disjointed Union 


of sixteen or nineteen States, ending, at last, in total and hopeless 

Having thus, sir, guarded diligently the rights of the several 
States and sections, and given to each section also the power to pro- 
tect itself, inside of the Union, from aggression, I propose next to 
limit and to regulate the alleged right of secession, since this, from 
a dormant abstraction, has now become a practical question of tre- 
mendous import. As long, sir, as secession remained an untried and 
only menaced experiment, that confidence, without which no Govern- 
ment can be stable or eiScient, was not shaken, because it was believed 
that actual secession would never be tried ; or, if tried, that it must 
speedily and ingloriously fail. The popular faith, cherished for 
years, has been that the Union could not be dissolved. To that faith 
the liepublican party was indebted for its success in the late election ; 
and we who predicted its dissolution were smitten upon the cheek, 
and condemned to feed upon bread of affliction and water of afflic- 
tion, like the prophet whom Ahab hated. But partial dissolution 
has already occurred. Secession has been tried, and has proved a 
speedy and a terrible success. The practicability of doing it, and 
the way to do it, have both been established. Sir, the experiment 
may readily be repeated — it will be repeated. And is it not madness 
and folly, then, to call back, by adjustment, the States which have 
seceded, or to hold back the States which are threatening to secede, 
■without providing some safeguard against the renewal of this most 
simple and disastrous experiment? Can foreign nations have any 
confidence, hereafter, in the stability of a government which may so 
readily, speedily, and quietly be dissolved? Can we have any confi- 
dence among ourselves? 

If it be said that it would have availed nothing to check secession 
in the gulf States, even had there been a Constitutional prohibition 
of it, I answer, perhaps not, if it had been total and absolute — for 
there would have been no alternative but submission or revolution; 
and, hence, I propose only to define and restrain and to regulate 
this alleged right. But I deny that, if a particular mode of seces- 
sion had been prescribed by the Constitution, and thus every other 
mode prohibited, it would have been possible to have secured, in any 
of the seceding States — no, not even in South Carolina — a majority 
in favor of separate State secession, or secession in any other way 
than that provided in the Constitution. No, sir; it was the almost 
universal belief in the cotton States in the unlimited right of seces- 
sion — a doctrine recognized by few in the free States, but held to by 
a great many, if not very generally, all over the slave States — which 
made secession so easy. It is hard to bring any considerable num- 
ber of the people of the United States — suddenly, at least — up to 
the point of a palpable violation of the Constitution ; but it is easy, 
very easy, to draw them into any act which seems to be only the 
exercise of one right for the purpose of securing and preserving 
the higher rights of life, liberty, person, and property for a whole 
State or a whole section. Sir, it is because of this very idea or 
notion among the people of the gulf States, that they were exer- 

88 now SHALL the union be preserved? 

cising a rij:;lit reserved under the Constitution, that secession there, 
and the establishment of a new confederacy and provisional govern- 
ment, have been marked by so much rapidity, order, and method — 
all through the ballot-box, and not with the halter, or at the point 
of the bayonet, over oppressed minorities — and, for the most part, 
with so few of the excesses and irregularities which have character- 
ized the progress of other revolutions. I would not prohibit totally 
the right of secession, lest violent revolutions should follow ; for 
where laws and constitutions are to be overleaped, and they who make 
the revolution avow it to be a revolution, and claim no right except 
the universal rights of man, such revolutions are commonly violent 
and bloody within themselves ; and, even if not, they can not be 
resisted by the establislied authorities except at the cost of civil war ; 
while, if submitted to in silence, they tend to demoralize all govern- 
ment. It is of vital importance, therefore, every way, in my judg- 
ment, that the exercise of this certainly quasi revolutionary right 
should be defined, limited, and restrained ; and, accordingly, I pro- 
pose that no State shall secede without the consent of the legislatures 
of all the States of the section to which the State proposing to secede 
may belong. This is, obviously, a most reasonable restraint; and 
yet, of its sufficiency no man can doubt, when he remembers that, in 
the present crisis of the country, had this provision existed, no State 
could have obtained the absolute consent, at least, of even one-half 
of the States of the South. 

Such, Mr. Speaker, is the plan which, with great deference, and 
yet with great confidence, too, in its efficiency, I would propose for 
the adjustment of our controversies, and for the restoration and 
preservation of the Union which our fathers made. Like all human 
contrivances, certainly, it is imperfect, and subject to objection. But 
something searching, radical, extreme, going to the very foundations 
of government, and reaching the seat of the malady, must be done, 
and that right speedily, while the fracture is yet fresh and reunion 
is possible. Two months ago, when I last addressed the House, 
imploring you for immediate action, less, much less, would have 
sufficed ; but we learned no wisdom from the lessons of the past — 
and now, indeed, not poppy, nor mandragora, nor other drowsy syrup 
is of any value to arrest that revolution, in the midst of which we 
are to-day — a revolution the grandest and the saddest of modern 

The following are the amendments to the Constitution, proposed 
by Mr. Vallandigham, on the 7th of February, 1861, to the sup- 
port of which the foregoing speech is devoted : 


■Whereas the Constitution of the United States is a grant of specific powers 
delegated to the Federal Cxoveriiment by the people of the several States, all 
powers not delegated to it nor prohibited to the States being reserved to th© 


States, respectively, or to the people; and whereas it is the tendency of 
stronger governments to enlarge their powers and jurisdiction at the expense 
of weaker governments, and of majorities to usurp and abuse power and 
oppress minorities, to arrest and hold in check which tendency, compacts and 
Constitutions are made; and whereas the only effectual constitutional security 
for the rights of minorities — whether as people or as states — is the power 
expressly reserved in constitutions, of protecting those rights by their own 
action; and whereas this mode of protection, by checks and guarantees, is 
recognized in the Federal Constitution, as well in the case of the equality 
of the States in representation and in suttrage in the Senate, as in the provision 
for overruling the veto of the President and for amending the Constitution, 
not to enumerate other examples; and whereas, unhappily, because of the vast 
extent and diversified interests and institutions of the several States of the 
Union, sectional divisions can no longer be suppressed; and whereas it concerns 
the peace and stabilit}" of the Federal Union and Government, that a division 
of the States into mere slaveholding and non-slaveholding sections, causing, 
hitherto — and from the nature and necessity of the case — inflammatory and 
disastrous controversies, upon the subject of slavery, ending, already, in present 
disruption of the Union — should be forever hereafter ignored; and whereas 
this important end is best to be obtained by the recognition of other sections 
without regard to slavery, neither of which sections shall alone be strong 
enough to oppress or control the others, and each be vested with the power to 
protect itself from aggressions: Therefore, 

Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of 
Atneriea in Congress assembled, (two-thirds of both Houses concurring,) That 
the following articles be, and are hereby, proposed as ainendments to the 
Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid, to all intents and 
purposes, as part of said Constitution, when ratified by conventions in three- 
iburths of the several States: 

Article XIII. 

Sec. 1. The United States are divided into four sections, as follows : 

The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Khode 
Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and all new 
States annexed and admitted into the Union, or formed or erected within the 
jurisdiction of any of said States, or by the junction of two or more of the 
same, or of parts thereof, or out of territory acquired north of said States, 
shall constitute one section, to be known as the North. 

The States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, 
Iowa, and Kansas, and all new States annexed or admitted into the Union, 
or erected within the jurisdiction of any of said States, or by the junction of 
two or more of the same, or of parts thereof, or out of territory now held or 
hereafter acquired north of latitude 36° 30', and east of the crest of the 
Kocky Mountains, shall constitute another section, to be known as the West. 

The States of Oregon, and California, and all new States annexed and 
admitted into the Union, or formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any 
of said States, or by the junction of two or more of the same, or of parts 
thereof, or out of territory now held or hereafter acquired west of the crest 
of the Rockj' Mountains and of the Kio Grande, shall constitute another 
section, to be known as the Pacific. 

The States of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, 
Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, 
Kentucky, and Missouri, and all new States annexed and admitted into the 
Union, or formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any of said States, or by 
the junction of two or more of the same, or of parts thereof, or out of territory 
acquired east of the Eio Grande, and south of latitude 36° 30', shall constitute 
another section, to be known as the South. 

Sec. 2. On demand of one-third of the Senators of any one of the sections 
on any bill, order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurrence of the House 
of Kepresentatives may be necessary, except on a question of adjournment, a 


vote eIiuII 1>o had hy sections, and a majority of the Senators from each 
section votini;;. sluill I'O necessary to the passage of such bill, order, or resolu- 
tion, and t.) the validity of every such vote. 

tJKt'. 3. Two of the electors for President and Vice-President shall be 
appointed by each iState in such manner as the Lctjislature thereof may 
direct, for the State at large. The other electors to which each Stale may 
be entitled, shall be chosen in the respective congressional districts into which 
the State may, at the regular decennial jieriod, have been divided, by the 
electors of each district, having the f|unlilications requisite for electors of the 
most luimerous branch of the Slate jA-gislature. A. majority of all the 
electors in each of the four sections in this article established, shall bo 
necessary to the choice of President and Vice-President; and the concurrence 
of a majority of the States of each section shall be necessary to the choice of 
President by the House of Kepresentatives, and of the Senators from each 
Bection ti> the choice of Vice-President by the Senate, whenever the right of 
choice siiall devolve upon them respectively. 

Skc. 4. The President and Vice-President shall hold their office each during 
the term of six years; and neither shall be eligible to more than one term, 
e.vcept by the votes of two-thirds of all the electors of each section, or of the 
States of each section, wluniever the right of choice of President shall devolve 
upon the House of llepresentatives, or of Senators from each section whenever 
the right of choice of Vice-President shall devolve upon the Senate. 

Sec. 5. The Congress shall, by law, ])rovide for the case of failure b}' the 
House of Representatives to choose a President, and of the Senate to choose 
a Vice-President, whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them 
respectively, declaring what oiliccr shall then act as President; and such 
officer shall act accordingly until a President shall be elected. The Congress 
shall also provide by law for a special election for President and Vice-Presi- 
dent in such case to be held and completed within six months from the 
expiration of the term of office of the last fjreceding President, and to be 
conducted in all respects as provided for in the Constitution for regular elec- 
tions of the same officer, except that if liie House of Ecpresentativcs shall 
not choose a President, sliould tin; right of choice devolve upon them, within 
twenty days from the opening of the certificates and counling of the electoral 
votes, then the A'ice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the 
death or other constitutional disability of the President. The term of office 
of the President chosen under such special election shall continue six years 
from the fourth day of ilarch preceding such election. 

Article XIV. 

No State shall secede without the consent of the Legislatures of the States 
of the section to which the State proposing to secede belongs. The President 
shall have power to adjust with seceding Slates all questions arising by reason 
of their secession; but the terms of adjustment shall be submitted to the 
Congress for their approval before the same shall be valid. 

Article XV. 

Neither the Congress nor a Territorial Legislature shall have power to 
interfere with the right of the citizens of any of the States within either of 
the sections to migrate upon equal terms with the citizens of the States within 
cither ('f the other sections to the Territories of the United Slates: nor shall 
either the Congress or a Territorial Legislature have power to destroy or 
impair any rights of either person or property in the Territories. 

Kcw States annexed for iidmission into the Union, or formed or erected 
•within the juri.'diction of other States, or by the junction of two or more States, 
or parts of States; and States formed, with the consent of the Congress, out 
of any territory of the United States, shall be entitled to admission upon 
an equal footing with the original Slates, under any constitution establishing a 
govcrnineut republican in furm which the people thereof may ordain, when- 


ever such States, if formed out of any territory of the United States, shall 
contain, within an area of not less than sixty thousand square miles, a popu- 
lation equal to tiie then existing ratio of representation for one memher of 
the House of Kepresentatives. 

A card, from which the following is extracted, was published by 
Mr. Vallandigham, in the Cincinnati Enquirer, on the 10th of 
November, 1860, a few days after the presidential election : 

And, now, let me add that I did say — not in Washington, not at 
a dinner-table, not in the presence of " fire-eaters," but in the city 
of New York, in a public assembly of Northern men, and in a public 
speech at the Cooper Institute, on the 2d of November, 1860 — that, 
*' if any one or more of the States of this Union should, at any time, 
secede — for reasons of the sufficiency and justice of which, before 
God and the great tribunal of history, they alone may judge — much 
as I should deplore it, I never tcould, as a Representative in the Con- 
gress of the United States, vote one dollar of money icherehy one drop 
of American hlood should he shed in a civil war." That sentiment, 
thus uttered in the presence of thousands of the merchants and solid 
men of the free and patriotic city of New York, was received with 
vehement and long-continued applause, the entire vast assemblage rising 
as one man, and cheering for some minutes. And I now deliberately 
repeat and reaffirm it, resolved, though I stand alone, though all 
others yield and fall away, to make it good to the last moment of 
my public life. No menace, no public clamor, no taunts, nor sneers, 
nor foul detraction, from any quarter, shall drive me from my firm 
purpose. Ours is a government of opinion, not of force — a Union of 
free will, not of arms ; and coercion is civil war — a war of sections, 
a war of States, waged by a race compounded and made up of all other 
races, full of intellect, of courage, of will unconquerable, and, when 
set on fire by passion, the most belligerent and most ferocious on the 
globe — a civil war, full of horrors, which no imagination can conceive 
and no pen portray. If Abraham Lincoln is wise, looking truth and 
danger full in the face, he will take counsel of the " old men," the 
moderates of his party, and advise peace, negotiation, concession ; 
but if, like the foolish son of the wise king, he reject these whole- 
some counsels, and hearken only to the madmen who threaten chas- 
tisement with scorpions, let him see to it, lest it be recorded at last 
that none remained to serve him "save the house of Judah only." 
At least, if he will forget the secession of the Ten Tribes, will he not 
remember and learn a lesson of wisdom from the secession of the 
Thirteen Colonies ? 

In answer to a gross telegraphic misrepresentation of this propo- 
sition, Mr. Vallandigham explained and defended it, in a card to the 
Cincinnati Enquirer, dated February 14, 1861, as follows: 


My proposition looks aoleli/ to the restoration a7id maintenance of 
the lliion forever, by su<rgestiiig a mode of voting in the United 
States Senate and the electoral colleges, by which the causes wliich 
have led to our present troubles may, in the future, be guarded 
against tcithont secession and disunion ; and, also, the agitation of the 
slavery question, as an element in our national politics, he forever here- 
after arrested. jMy object — the sole motive by which I have been 
guided from the beginning of this most fatal revolution — is to main- 
tain THE I'NION, and not destroy it. When all possible hope is gone, 
and the Union irretrievably broken, then, but not till then, I will be 
for a Western confederacy. 

One needs some familiarity with the persevering perversity of the 
Abolition press, not to feel a little surprised at finding the false 
statement, contradicted above, continually repeated and reaffirmed, as 
if made out of some grains of truth, at the first, and never denied. 
And yet a leading Abolition paper, in Cincinnati, so late as Decem- 
ber 16, 1862, says: 

Mr. Vallandigham, by his propositions for a division of the Republic 
into four distinct nationalities — propositions as infamous in their 
design as ruinous in their consequences — did as much to rouse the 
people to a sense of their real danger, as the first shots of the insur- 
rectionists at Charleston. 

Referring to this statement, in a communication to the Cincinnati 
Enquirer, under date of Washington, D. C, December 18, 1862, Mr. 
Vallandigham says : 

Now, it is somewhat remarkable, certainly, that after the introduc- 
tion, in February, 1861, of the propositions falsely thus described by 
that newspaper, it not only complimented the speech in which Mr. 
Vallandigham defended them, but actually so f\ir failed to become 
aroused to a sense of danger, as to repeatedly and earnestly advocate 
the policy of letting the South go — a something that Mr. Vallandig- 
ham has never done, to this day. But let that pass. 

The deliberate and circumstantial repetition, at this time, and in its 
fullest form, of the misrepresentation of the nature of the propositions 
which I did introduce, is but another proof of the desperate ibrtunes 
of the Abolition party, and particularly of the press which has sup- 
ported it. To the personal assaults of that press, and especially of 
the paper quoted from, I reply not. Pope and Pagan may now very 
calmly be allowed to sit at the mouth of the Abolition cave, and 
gnash their toothless gums at Democratic pilgrims as they pass by. 
"The effectual check and waning proportions" of this Administra- 
tion, and its despotic and bloody policy, enable us to practice the 
more cheerfully now, a philosophy which hitherto may have been 
somewhat compulsory. But false statements of recorded or historic 
facts do not come within the rule. 


Now, Mr. Vallandigham never proposed to divide " tlie KepuLlic 
into four distinct nationalities." So fur as any such proposition lias 
been suggested at all, it was by General Scott, who even went so far 
as to name the probable capitals of three of those " nationalities." 
My proposition, on the contrary, was to maintain the existing Union, 
or "nationality" forever, by dividing or arranging the States into 
sections loithin the Ifnion, nnder the Constitution^ for the purpose of 
voting in the Senate and electoral colleges. 




^^ After some time he past." 

If the sober and unerring review of history should demonstrate that 
the present Administration has, from the first, lent itself to the devel- 
opment and execution of a cunningly devised plot, whose object was 
to destroy the old Union, constituted by the suffrages of the States, 
and establish in its place a government under which civil rights would 
be held and enjoyed only at the pleasure of an absolute, centralized, 
and irresponsible despotism — should history, when it resumes the 
startling events of these times, and traces those events to their now hid- 
den causes, convict the President, and those with whom and through 
whom he has been acting, of this great crime against God and their 
country, it will then be seen with what clear penetration that eminent 
statesman, to whose counsels we have been listening, described the most 
secret movings, the first and most cautious unfoldings of that infamous 
plot. Then, " after some time he past" the stern verdict of history will 
justify and vindicate the solemn warnings he gave, and it will be 
recorded that all who heeded those warnings, and rallied to the pro- 
tection and defense of the Temple of Liberty, obeyed the dictates of 
prudence and wisdom. It has been said, a nation may lose its liberties 
in a day, and not discover the loss in a hundred years. Should this be 
the sad doom of our country, which once gloried in calling itself the 


land where civil freedom was most dearly cherished and widely enjoyed, 
there would still be a few whose names the historian would gather, 
and of whom record that they knew and noted the hour when liberty 
withdrew, heard the muffled dcath-knell, and sounded the alarm 
through the land. High on that scroll will be written the name of 

The speech that follows was delivered soon after the opening of the 
extra session of Congress, convened on the 4th of Jul}-, 1861. No 
speech was ever delivered in the midst of greater personal danger — 
not even Cicero's defense of Milo. The galleries were filled with an 
excited soldiery and infuriated partisans threatening assassination. A 
leading Abolition paper in New York had, two days before, declared 
that, if an attempt was made to speak for peace, "the aisles of the 
Hall would run with blood." Arbitrai-y arrests, for opinion and 
speech, had already been commenced. Almost without sympathy 
upon his own side of the House, and with a fierce, insolent, and over- 
whelming majority upon the other side, Mr. Yallandigham, calm 
and unawed, met every peril, and spoke as firmly, solemnly, and 
earnestly as under ordinary circumstances. The "motto" prefixed to 
the speech is from Lord Bacon's will, and is significant, interpreted, 
as it has now been, by the light of two years' experience. Some threo 
hundred thousand copies of the speech, in various forms, were pub- 
lished and circulated in the United States. It was published, also, 
in England and on the Continent. 

The House was in Committee of the Whole, the subject under con- 
sideration, The State of the Union, when 3Ir. YALLANDIGnAM, obtain- 
ing the floor, said : 

Mr. Chairman: In the Constitution of the United States, which 
the other day we swore to support, and by the authority of which we 
are here assembled now, it is written : 

" All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of 
the United States." 

It is further written, also, that the Congress to which all legislative 
powers granted, are thus committed — 

"Shall make no law ahi-idging the freedom of speech or of the press." 

And, it is yet further written, in protection of Senators and Repre- 
sentatives, in that freedom of debate here, without which there can 
be no liberty, that — 

" For any .speech or debate in either House they shall not be questioned in 
any other place." 

' Holding up the shield of the Constitution, and standing here in the 
place, and with the manhood of a Representative of the people, I 


propose to myself, to-day, the ancient freedom of speecli used witliin 
these walls, though with somewhat more, I trust, of decency and dis- 
cretion than have sometimes been exhibited here. Sir, I do not 
propose to discuss the direct question of this civil war in which we 
are engaged. Its present prosecution is a foregone conclusion ; and a 
wise man never wastes his strength on a fruitless enterprise. ]\Iy 
position shall, at present, for the most part, be indicated by my votes, 
and by the resolutions and motions which I may submit. But there 
are many questions incident to the war and to its prosecution, about 
which I have somewhat to say now. 

Mr. Chairman, the President, in the message before us, demands 
the extraordinary loan of S4;00,000,000 — an amount nearly ten times 
greater than the entire public debt. State and Federal, at the close of 
the Revolution, in 1783, and four times as much as the total expendi- 
tures during the three years' war with Great Britain, in 1812. 

Sir, that same Constitution which I again hold up, and to which I 
give my whole heart, and my utmost loyalty, commits to Congress 
alone the power to borrow money, and to fix the purposes to which it 
shall be applied, and expressly limits army appropriations to the 
terra of two years. Each Senator and Representative, therefore, must 
judge for himself, upon his conscience and his oath, and before God 
and the country, of the justice and wisdom and policy of the Presi- 
dent's demand ; and whenever this House shall have become but a 
mere office wherein to register the decrees of the Executive, it will 
be high time to abolish it. But I have a right, I believe, sir, to say 
that, however, gentlemen upon this side of the Chamber may differ 
finally as to the war, we are yet firmly and inexorably united in one 
thing, at least, and that is in the determination that our own rights 
and dignities and privileges, as the Representatives of the people, 
shall be maintained in their spirit, and to the very letter. And, be 
this as it may, I do know that there are some here present who are 
resolved to assert, and to exercise these rights with becoming decency 
and moderation, certainly, but, at the same time, fully, freely, and at 
every hazard. 

Sir, it is an ancient and wise practice of the English Commons, to 
precede all votes of supplies by an inquiry into abuses and grievances, 
and especially into any infractions of the Constitution and the laws by 
the Executive. Let us follow this safe practice. AVe are now in Com- 
mittee of the Whole on the State of the Union; and in the exercise 
of my right and my duty as a Representative, and availing myself of 
the latitude of debate allowed here, I propose to consider the present 
STATE OF THE Union, and Supply, also, some few of the many omis- 
sions of the President in the message before us. Sir, he has under- 
taken to give us information of the state of the Union, as the 
Constitution requires him to do ; and it was his duty, as an honest 
Executive, to make that information full, impartial, and complete, 
instead of spreading before us a labored and lawyerly vindication of his 
own course of policy — a policy which has precipitated us into a 
terrible and bloody revolution. He admits the fact; he admits that, 
to-day, we are in the midst of a general civil WAR; not now a mere 


petty insurrection, to be suppressed in twenty days by a proclamation 
and a posse comilatus of three months' militia. 

Sir. it has been the misfortune of the President, from the beginning, 
that he has totally and wholly under-estimated the map:nitude and 
character of the Kevolution with which he had to deal, or surely he 
never would have ventured upon the wicked and hazardous experiment 
of callin<; thirty millions of people to arms among themselves, with- 
out the counsel and authority of Congress. But when, at last, he 
found himself hemmed in by the revolution, and this city in danger, 
as he declares, and waked up thus, as the proclamation of the 15tli 
of April proves him to have waked up, to the reality and significance 
of the movement, why did he not forthwith assemble Congress, and 
throw himself upon the wisdom and patriotism of the Representatives 
of the States and of the people, instead of usurping powers which the 
Constitution has expressly conferred upon us? Ay, sir, and powers 
•which Congress had but a little while before, repeatedly and emphat- 
ically refused to exercise, or to permit him to exercise? But I shall 
recur to this point again. 

Sir, the President, in this message, has undertaken also to give us 
a summary of the causes which have led to the present revolution. 
He has made out a case — he might, in my judgment, have made out a 
much stronger case — against the secessionists and disunionists of the 
South. All this, sir, is very well, as far as it goes. But the President 
does not go back far enough, nor in the right direction. He forgets 
the still stronger case against the abolitionists and disunionists of the 
North and West. He omits to tell us that secession and disunion had 
a New England origin, and began in Massachusetts, in 1804, at the 
time of the Louisiana purchase ; were revived by the Hartford con- 
vention, in 1814, and culminated, during the war with Great Britain, 
in sending commissioners to Washington to settle the terms for a 
peaceable separation of New England from the other States of tho 
Union. He forgets to remind us and the country, that this present 
revolution began forty years ago, in the vehement, persistent, offensive, 
most irritating and unprovoked agitation of the slavkry question 
in the North and West, from the time of the Missouri controversy, 
■with some short intervals, down to the present hour. Sir, if his state- 
ment of the case be the whole truth, and wholly correct, then the 
Democratic party, and every member of it, and the AVhig party, too, 
and its predecessors, have been guilty, for sixty years, of an unjust, 
unconstitutional, and most wicked policy in administering the affairs 
of the Government. 

But, sir, the President ignores totally the violent and long-continued 
denunciation of slavery and slaveholders, and especially since 1835 — 
I appeal to Jackson's message for the date and proof — until at last a 
political anti-slavery organization was formed in the North and West, 
which continued to gain strength year after year, till, at length, it 
had destroyed and usurped the place of the Whig party, and finally 
obtained control of every free State in the Union, and elected himself, 
through free-State votes alone, to the Presidency of the United States. 
He chooses to pass over the fact that the party to which he thus owes his 


place and his present power of mischief, is M-holly and totally a seo- 
tional organization ; and, as such, condemned by Washington, by Jef- 
ferson, by Jackson, Webster, and Clay, and by all the founders and 
preservers of the Republic, and utterly inconsistent with the principles, 
or with the peace, the stability, or the existence even, of our Federal 
system. Sir, there never was an hour, from the organization of this 
sectional party, when it was not predicted by the wisest men and truest 
patriots, and when it ought not to have been known by every intel- 
ligent man in the country, that it must, sooner or later, precipitate a 
revolution, and the dissolution of the Union. The President forgets 
already that, on the 4th of March, he declared that the platform of 
that party was " a law unto him," by which he meant to be governed 
in his administration; and yet that platform announced that whereas 
there were two separate and distinct kinds of labor and forms of 
civilization in the two different sections of the Union, yet that the 
entire national domain, belonging in common to all the States, should 
be taken, possessed, and held by one section alone, and consecrated to 
that kind of labor and form of civilization alone which prevailed ia 
that section which, by mere numerical superiority, had chosen the 
President, and now has, and for some years past has had, a majority 
in the Senate, as from the beginning of the Government it had also 
in the House. He omits, too, to tell the country and the world — 
for he speaks, and we all speak now, to the world, and to posterity- — 
that he himself, and his prime minister, the Secretary of State, 
declared, three years ago, and have maintained ever since, that there 
was an " irrepressible conflict " between the two. sections of this 
Union ; that the Union could not endure part slave and part free ; 
and that the whole power and influence of the Federal Goyernment 
must henceforth be exerted to circumscribe and hem in slavery within 
its existing limits. 

And now, sir, how comes it that the President has forgotten to 
remind us, also, that when the party thus committed to the principle 
of deadly hate and hostility to the slave institutions of the South, 
and the men who had proclaimed the doctrine of the irrepressible 
conflict, and who, in the dilemma or alternative of this conflict, were 
resolved that " the cotton and rice fields of South Carolina, and the 
sugar plantations of Louisiana, should ultimately be tilled by free 
labor," had obtained power and place in the common Government of 
the States, the South, except one State, chose first to demand solemn 
constitutional guarantees for protection against the abuse of the tre- 
mendous power and patronage and influence of the Federal Govern- 
ment, for the purpose of securing the great end of the sectional 
conflict, before resorting to secession or revolution at all? Did he 
not know — how could he be ignorant — that, at the last session of 
Congress, every substantive proposition for adjustment and compro- 
mise, except that ofiered by the gentleman from Illinois, (Mr. Kel- 
logg) — and we all know, how it was received — came from the South? 
Stop a moment, and let us see. 

The Committee of Thirty-three was moved for in this House by a 
gentleman from Virginia, the second day of the session, and received 



the vote of every Southern Representative present, except only the 
members from South Carolina, who declined to vote. In the Senate, 
the committee of thirteen was proposed by a Senator from Kentucky, 
(Mr. Powell,) and received the silent acquiescence of every Southern 
Senator present. The Crittenden propositions, too, were submitted 
also by another Senator from Kentucky, (Mr. Crittenden,) now a 
member of this House ; a man, venerable for his years, loved for his 
virtues, distinguished for his services, honored for his patriotism; for 
four and forty years a Senator, or in other public office ; devoted from 
the first hour of his manhood to the Union of these States ; and who, 
though he himself proved his courage fifty years ago, upon the battle- 
field against the foreign enemies of his country, is now, thank God, 
still for compromise at home, to-day. Fortunate in a long and well- 
spent life of public service and private worth, he is unfortunate only 
that he has survived a Union, and, I fear, a Constitution, younger 
than himself. 

The border State propositions, also, were projected by a gentleman 
from Maryland, not now a member of this House, and presented by 
a gentleman from Tennessee, (Mr. Etheridge,) now the Clerk of thia 
House. And yet all these propositions, coming thus from the South, 
were severally and repeatedly rejected by the almost united vote 
of the Republican party in the Senate and the House. The Critten- 
den propositions, with which Mr. Davis, now President of the Con- 
federate States, and Mr. Toombs, his Secretary of State, both declared, 
in the Senate, that they would be satisfied, and for which every 
Southern Senator and Representative voted — never, on any occasion, 
received one solitary vote from the Republican party in either House. 

The Adams or Corwin amendment, so-called — reported from the 
Committee of Thirty-three, and the only substantive amendment 
proposed from the Republican side — was hut a bare promise that 
Congress should never be authorized to do what no sane man ever 
believed Congress would attempt to do — abolish slavery in the States 
where it exists ; and yet, even this proposition, moderate as it was, and 
for which every Southern member present voted — except one — was 
carried through this House by but one majority, after long and 
tedious delay, and with the utmost difiieulty — sixty-five Republican 
members, with the resolute and determined gentleman from Pennsyl- 
vania (Mr. Hickman) at their head, having voted against it and 
fought against it to the very last. 

And not this, only, but, as a part of the history of the last session, 
let me remind you that bills were introduced into this House, pro- 
posing to abolish and close up certain Southern ports of entry ; 
to authorize the President to blockade the Southern coast, and to 
call out the militia, and accept the services of volunteers — not for 
three years merely — but without any limit as to either numbers or 
time, for the very purpose of enforcing the laws, collecting the revenue, 
and protecting the public property — and were pressed, vehemently and 
earnestly, in this House, prior to the arrival of the President in this 
city, and were then — though seven States had seceded, and set up a 
government of their own — voted down, postponed, thrust aside, or in 


some other way disposed of, sometimes by large majorities in this 
House, till, at last, Congress adjourned without any action at all. 
Peace, then, seemed to be the policy of all parties. 

Thus, sir, the case stood, at twelve o'clock on the 4th of March 
last, when, from the eastern portico of this capitol, and in the presence 
of twenty thousand of his countrymen, but enveloped in a cloud of 
soldiery, which no other American President ever saw, Abraham 
Lincoln took the oath of office to support the Constitution, and 
delivered his inaugural — a message, I regret to say, not written in 
the direct and straightforward language which becomes an American 
President and an American statesman, and which was expected from 
the plain, blunt, honest man of the North-west — but with the forked 
tongue and crooked counsel of the New York politician, leaving 
thirty millions of people in doubt whether it meant peace or war. 
But, whatever may have been the secret purpose and meaning of the 
inaugural, practically, for six weeks, the policy of peace prevailed j 
and they were weeks of happiness to the patriot, and prosperity to 
the country. Business revived ; trade returned ; commerce flourished. 
Never was there a fairer prospect before any people. Secession in 
the past, languished, and was spiritless, and harmless; secession in 
the future, was arrested, and perished. By overwhelming majorities, 
Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Missouri — all 
declared for the old Union, and every heart beat high with hope 
that, in due course of time, and through faith and patience and peace, 
and by ultimate and adequate compromise, every State would be 
restored to it. It is true, indeed, sir, that the Republican party, 
with great unanimity, and great earnestness and determination, had 
resolved against all conciliation and compromise. But, on the other 
hand, the whole Democratic party, and the whole Constitutional- 
Union party, were equally resolved that there should be no civil war, 
upon any pretext : and both sides prepared for an appeal to that 
great and final arbiter of all disputes in a free country — the people. 

Sir, I do not propose to inquire, now, whether the President and 
his Cabinet were sincere and in earnest, and meant, really, to perse- 
vere to the end in the policy of peace ; or whether, from the first, 
they meant civil war, and only waited to gain time till they were fairly 
seated in power, and had disposed, too, of that prodigious horde of 
spoilsmen and office-seekers which came down, at the first, like an 
avalanche upon them. But I do know that the people believed 
them sincere, and cordially ratified and approved of the policy of 
peace — not as they subsequently responded to the policy of war, in 
a whirlwind of passion and madness — but calmly and soberly, and aa 
the result of their deliberate and most solemn judgment ; and believ- 
ing that civil war was absolute and eternal disunion, while secession 
was but partial and temporary, they cordially indorsed, also, the pro- 
posed evacuation of Sumter, and the other forts and public property 
within the seceded States. Nor, sir, will I stop, now, to explore the 
several causes which either led to a change in the apparent policy, 
or an early development of the original and real purposes of the 
Administration. But there are two which I can not pass by. And 

^ c) i\ 


the first of these was party nkcessity, or the clamor of politicians, 
and especially of certain wicked, reckless, and unprincipled conductors 
of a partisan press. The peace policy Avas crushing out the llepub- 
lican party. Under that policy, sir, it was melting away like snow 
before the sun. The general elections in Rhode Island and Connect- 
icut, and municipal elections in New York and in the western States, 
gave abundant evidence that the people were resolved upon the most 
ample and satisfactory Constitutional guarantees to the South, as the 
price of a restoration of the Union. And then it was, sir, that the long 
and agonizing howl of defeated and disappointed politicians came up 
before the Administration. The newspaper press teemed with appeals 
and threats to the President. The mails groaned under the weight 
of letters demanding a change of policy ; while a secret conclave of 
the Governors of Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and other States, 
assembled here, promised men and mone}' to support the President 
in the irrepressible conflict Avhich they now invoked. And thus it 
was, sir, that the necessities of a party in the pangs of dissolution, 
in the very hour and article of death, demanding vigorous measures, 
which could result in nothing but civil war, renewed secession, and 
absolute and eternal disunion were preferred and hearkened to before 
the peace and harmony and prosperity of the whole country. 

But there was another and yet stronger impelling cause, without 
which this horrid calamity of civil war might have been postponed, 
and, perhaps, finally averted. One of the last and worst acts of a 
Congress which, born in bitterness and nurtured in convulsion, 
literally did those things which it ought not to have done, and left 
undone those things which it ought to have done, was the passage of 
an obscure, ill-considered, ill-digested, and unstatesmanlike high 
protective tariff act, commonly known as " the Morrill tariff." 
Just about the same time, too, the Confederate Congress, at Mont- 
gomery, adopted our old tariff of 1857, which we had rejected to 
make way for the Morrill act, fixing their rate of duties at five, 
fifteen, and twenty per cent, lower than ours. The result was as 
inevitable as the laws of trade are inexorable. Trade and commerce 
— and especially the trade and commerce of the West — began to look 
to the South. Turned out of their natural course, years ago, by the 
canals and railroads of Pennsylvania and New York, and diverted 
eastward at a heavy cost to the \Vest, they threatened now to resume 
their ancient and accustomed channels — the water-courses — the Ohio 
and the Mississippi. And political association and union, it was well 
known, must soon follow the direction of trade and interest. The 
city of New York, the great commercial emporium of the Union, 
and the North-west, the chief granary of the Union — began to clamor 
now, loudly, for a repeal of the pernicious and ruinous tariff. Threat- 
ened thus with the loss of both political power and wealth, or the 
repeal of the tariff, and, at last, of both, New England — and Penn- 
Bylvania, too, the land of Penn, cradled in peace — demanded, now, 
coercion and civil war, with all its horrors, as the price of preserving 
either from destruction. Ay, sir, Pennsylvania, the great key-stone 
of the arch of the Union, was willing to lay the whole weight of her 


iron upon that sacred arcb, and crush it beneath the load. The sub- 
jugation of the South — ay, sir, the subjugation of the South ! — I am 
not talking to children or fools ; for there is not a man in this House 
fit to be a Representative here, who does not know that the South 
can not be forced to yield obedience to your laws and authority 
again, until you have conquered and subjugated her — the subjugation 
of the South, and the closing up of her ports — first, by force, in war, 
and afterward, by tarifi" laws, in peace — was deliberately resolved 
upon by the East. And, sir, when once this policy was begun, these 
self-same motives of waning commerce, and threatened loss of trade, 
impelled the great city of New York, and her merchants and her 
politicians and her press — with here and there an honorable exception 
— to place herself in the very front rank among the worshipers of 
Moloch. Much, indeed, of that outburst and uprising in the North, 
which followed the proclamation of the 15th of April, as well, 
perhaps, as the proclamation itself, was called forth, not so much by 
the fall of Sumter — an event long anticipated — as by the notion 
that the " insurrection," as it was called, might be crushed out in a 
few weeks, if not by the display, certainly, at least, by the presence 
of an overwhelming force. 

These, sir, were the chief causes which, along with others, led to 
a change in the policy of the Administration, and, instead of peace, 
forced us, headlong, into civil war, with all its accumulated horrors. 

But, whatever may have been the causes or the motives of the 
act, it is certain that there was a change in the policy which the 
Administration meant to adopt, or which, at least, they led the 
country to believe they intended to pursue. I will not venture, now, 
to assert, what may yet, some day, be made to appear, that the 
subsequent acts of the Administration, and its enormous and persist- 
ent infractions of the Constitution, its high-handed usurpations of 
power, formed any part of a deliberate conspiracy to overthrow the 
present form of Federal-republican government, and to establish a 
strong centralized Government in its stead. No, sir ; whatever their 
purposes now, I rather think that, in the beginning, they rushed, 
heedlessly and headlong into the gulf, believing that, as the seat of 
war was then far distant and difficult of access, the display of vigor in 
re-enforcing Sumter and Pickens, and in calling out seventy-five 
thousand militia, upon the firing of the first gun, and above all, in that 
exceedingly happy and original conceit of commanding the insurgent 
States to " disperse in twenty days," would not, on the one hand, 
precipitate a crisis, while, upon the other, it would satisfy its own 
violent partisans, and thus revive and restore the falling fortunes of 
the Republican party. 

I can hardly conceive, sir, that the President and his advisers 
could be guilty of the exceeding folly of expecting to carry on a 
general civil war by a mere posse comitatus of three-months militia. 
It may be, indeed, that, with wicked and most desperate cunning, the 
President meant all this as a mere entering-wedge to that which was 
to rive the oak asunder ; or, possibly, as a test, to learn the public 
sentiment of the North and West. But however that may be, the 


rapid secession and movements of Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, 
and Tennessee, taking with them, as I have said, elsewhere, four 
millions and a half of people, immense wealth, inexhaustible resources, 
five hundred thousand fighting men, and (he graves of Washington and 
Jackson, and bringing up, too, in one single day, the frontier from 
the Gulf to the Ohio and the Potomac, together with the abandon- 
ment, by the one side, a^id the occupation, by the other, of Harper's 
Ferry and the Norfolk navy -yard ; and the fierce gust and whirlwind 
of passion in the North, compelled either a sudden waking-up of the 
President and his advisers to the frightful significaney of the act 
■which they had committed, in heedlessly breaking the vase which 
imprisoned the slumbering demon of civil war, or else a premature 
but most rapid development of the daring plot to foster and promote 
secession, and then to set up a new and strong form of government 
in the States which might remain in the Union. 

But, whatever may have been the purpose, I assert here, to-day, as 
a Representative, that every principal act of the Administration since 
has been a glaring usurpation of power, and a palpable and dangerous 
violation of that very Constitution which this civil war is professedly 
waged to support. Sir, I pass by the proclamation of the 15th of 
April, summoning the militia — not to defend this capital — there is 
not a word about the capital in the proclamation, and there was then 
no possible danger to it from any quarter, but to retake and occupy 
forts and property a thousand miles off — summoning, I say, the 
militia to suppress the so-called insurrection. I do not believe, 
indeed, and no man believed in February last, when Mr. Stanton, of 
Ohio, introduced his bill to enlarge the act of 1795, that that act 
ever contemplated the case of a general revolution, and of resistance 
by an organized government. But no matter. The militia thus 
called out, with a shadow, at least, of authority, and for a period 
extending one mouth beyond the assembling of Congress, were amply 
sufficient to protect the capital against any force which was then 
likely to be sent against it — and the event has proved it — and 
ample enough, also, to suppress the outbreak in Maryland. Every 
Other principal act of the Adminstration might well have been post- 
poned, and ought to have been postponed, until the meeting of Con- 
gress ; or, if the exigencies of the occasion demanded it. Congress 
should forthwith have been assembled. What if two or three States 
should not have been represented, although even this need not have 
happened ; but better this, a thousand times, than that the Constitu- 
tion should be repeatedly and flagrantly violated, and public liberty 
and private right trampled under foot. As for Harper's Foiry and 
the Norfolk navy-yard, they rather needed protection against the 
Administration, by whose orders millions of property were wantonly 
destroyed, which was not in the slightest danger from any quarter, at 
the date of the proclamation. 

But, sir. Congress was not assembled at once, as Congress should 
have been, and the great question of civil war submitted to their 
deliberations. The Representatives of the States and of the people 
were not allowed the slightest voice in this, the most momentous 


question ever presented to any government. The entire responsibility 
of the whole work was boldly assumed by the Executive, and all the 
powers required for the purposes in hand were boldly usurped from 
either the States or the people, or from the legislative department; 
while the voice of the judiciary, that last refuge and hope of liberty, 
was turned away from with contempt. 

Sir, the right of blockade — and I begin with it — is a belligerent 
right, incident to a state of war, and it can not be exercised until war 
lias been declared or recognized ; and Congress alone can declare or 
recognize war. But Congress had not declared or recognized war. 
On the contrary, they had, but a little while before, expressly refused 
to declare it, or to arm the President with the power to make it. 
And thus the President, in declaring a blockade of certain ports in 
the States of the South, and in applying to it the rules governing 
blockades as between independent powers, violated the Constitution. 

But if, on the other hand, he meant to deal with these States as still 
in the Union, and subject to Federal authority, then he usurped a 
power which belongs to Congress alone — the power to abolish and 
close up ports of entry; a power, too, which Congress had, also, but a 
few weeks before, refused to exercise. And yet, without the repeal 
or abolition of ports of entry, any attempt, by either Congress or the 
President, to blockade these ports, is a violation of the spirit, if not 
of the letter, of that clause of the Constitution which declares that 
*' no preference shall be given, by any regulation of commerce or 
revenue, to the ports of one State over those of another." 

Sir, upon this point I do not speak without the highest authority. 
In the very midst of the South Carolina nullification controversy, it 
was suggested, that in the recess of Congress, and without a law to 
govern him, the President, Andrew Jackson, meant to send down a 
fleet to Charleston and blockade the port. But the bare suggestion 
called forth the indignant protest of Daniel Webster, himself the arch 
enemy of nullification, and whose brightest laurels were won in the 
three years' conflict in the Senate Chamber, with its ablest champions. 
In an address, in October, 1832, at Worcester, Massachusetts, to a 
National Ilepublican convention — it was before the birth, or christen- 
ing, at least, of the Whig party — the great expounder of the Consti- 
tution, said : 

"We are told, sir, that the President will immediately employ the military 
force, and at once blockade Charleston. A military remedy — a remedy by 
direct belligerent operation, has thus been suggested, and nothing else has been 
suggested, as the intended means of preservmg the Union, fciir, there is no 
little reason to think that this suggestion is true. We can not be altogether 
unmindful of the past, and, therefore, we can not be altogether unapprehen- 
cive for the future. For one, sir, I raise my voice, beforehand, against the 
unauthorized emploj-ment of military power, and against superseding the 
authority of the laws, by an armed force, under pretense of putting down nul- 
Jitication. The Praident has no authority to blockade Charleston^' 

Jackson ! Jackson, sir ! the great Jackson ! did not dare to do it 
without authority of Congress; but our Jackson of to-day, the little 
Jackson at the other end of the avenue, and the mimic Jacksons 
around him, do blockade, not only Charleston habor, but the whole 


Southern coast, three thousand miles in extent, by a single stroke of 
the pen. 

"The Prosiilcnt has no authority to employ military force till ho shall bo 
duly required" — 

Mark the word : 

"required so to do by law and the civil authorities. His duty is to cause the 
laws to be executed. His duty is to support the civii authoriiy" — 

As in the Merryman case, forsooth ; but I shall recur to that here- 

" His duty is, if the laws be resisted, to employ the military force of the 
country, if necessary, for their support and execution; but to do all this in coin- 
pLiance only with law mid with decisions of the tribimals. If, by any ingenious 
devices, those who resist the laws escape from the reach of judicial authority, 
as it is now provided to be exercised, it is entirely competent to Congress to 
make such new provisions as the exigency of the ease may demand." 

Treason, sir, rank treason, all this to-day. And, yet, thirty years 
ago, it was true Union patriotism and sound constitutional law ! Sir, 
I prefer the wisdom and stern fidelity to principle of the fathers. 

Such was the voice of Webster, and such too, let me add, the voice, 
in his last great speech in the Senate, of the Douglas whose death 
the land now mourns. 

Next after the blockade, sir, in the catalogue of daring executive 
usurpations, comes the proclamation of the 3d of May, and the orders 
of the War and Navy Departments in pursuance of it — a proclamation 
and usurpation which would have cost any English sovereign his head 
at any time within the last two hundred years. Sir, the Constitution 
not only confines to Congress the right to declare war, but expressly 
provides that " Congress (not the President) shall have power to 
raise and support armies;" and to "provide and maintain a navy." 
In pursuance of this authority. Congress, years ago, had fixed the 
number of oificers, and of the regiments, of the different kinds of serv- 
ice; and also, the number of ships, officers, marines, and seamen which 
should compose the navy. Not only that, but Congress has repeat- 
edly, within the last five years, refused to increase the regular army. 
More than that still : in Februai'y and March last, the House, upon 
several test votes, repeatedly and expressly refused to authorize the 
President to accept the service of volunteers for the very purpose of 
protecting the public property, enforcing the laws, and collecting the 
revenue. And, yet, the President, of his own mere will and author- 
ity, and without the shadow of right, has proceeded to increase, and 
has increased, the standing army by twenty-five thousand men ; the 
navy by eighteen thousand ; and has called for, and accepted the serv- 
ices of, forty regiments of volunteers for three years, numbering 
forty-two thousand men, and making thus a grand army, or military 
force, raised by executive proclamation alone, without the sanction of 
Congress, without warrant of law, and in direct violation of the Con- 
stitution, and of his oath of of&ce, of eighty-five thousand soldiers 


enlisted for three and five years, and already in the field. And, yet, 
the President now asks us to support the army which he has thus 
raised, to ratify his usurpations by a law ex post facto,' snid thus to 
make ourselves parties to our own degradation, and to his infractions 
of the Constitution. Meanwhile, however, he has taken good care 
not only to enlist the men, organize the regiments, and muster them 
into service, but to provide, in advance, for a horde of forlorn, worn-out, 
and broken-down politicians of his own party, by appointing, either 
by himself, or through the Governors of the States, major-generals, 
brigadier-generals, colonels, lieutenant-colonels, majors, captains, 
lieutenants, adjutants, quarter-masters, and surgeons, without any 
limit as to numbers, and without so much as once saying to Congress, 
"By your leave, gentlemen." 

Beginning with this wide breach of the Constitution, this enormous 
usurpation of the most dangerous of all powers — the power of the 
sword — other infractions and assumptions were easy ; and after public 
liberty, private right soon fell. The privacy of the telegraph was 
invaded in the search after treason and traitors ; although it turns 
out, significantly enough, that the only victim, so far, is one of the 
appointees and especial pets of the Administration. The telegraphic 
dispatches, preserved under every pledge of secrecy for the protec- 
tion and safety of the telegraph companies, were seized and carried 
away without search-warrant, without probable cause, without oath, 
and without description of the places to be searched, or of the 
things to be seized, and in plain violation of the right of the people 
to be secure in their houses, persons, papers, and eff"ects, against 
unreasonable searches and seizures. One step more, sir, will bring 
upon us search and seizure of the public mails ; and, finally, as in 
the worst days of English oppression — as in the times of the Kussells 
and the Sydneys of English martyrdom — of the drawers and secre- 
taries of the private citizen ; though even then tyrants had the grace 
to look to the forms of the law, and the execution was judicial mur- 
der, not military slaughter. But who shall say that the future Ti- 
berius of America shall have the modesty of his Roman predecessor, 
in extenuation of whose character it is written by the great historian, 
avertit occulos, jussifque scelera non spectavit. 

Sir, the rights of property having been thus wantonly violated, it 
needed but a little stretch of usurpation to invade the sanctity of the 
person ; and a victim was not long wanting. A private citizen of 
Maryland, not subject to the rules and articles of war — not in a case 
arising in the land or naval forces, nor in the militia, when in actual 
service — is seized in his own house, in the dead hour of night, not 
by any civil ofiicer, nor upon any civil process, but by a band of 
armed soldiers, under the verbal orders of a military chief, and is 
ruthlessly torn from his wife and his children, and hurried off" to a 
fortress of the United States — and that fortress, as if in mockery, the 
very one over whose ramparts had floated that star-spangled banner 
immortalized in song by the patriot prisoner, who, 

. "By the dawn's early light," 


saw its folds gleaming amid the wreck of battle, and invoked the 
blessings of heaven upon it, and prayed that it might long wave 

"O'er the land of the free, and the home Df the brave." 

And, sir, when the highest judicial officer of the land, the Chief 
Justice of the Supreme Court, upon whose shoulders, " when the judi- 
cial ermine fell, it touched nothing not as spotless as itself," the aged, 
the venerable, the gentle, and pure-minded Taney, who, but a little 
while before, had administered to the President the oath to support 
the Constitutiun, and to execute the laws, issued, as by law it was 
his sworn duty to issue, the high prerogative writ of habeas corpus — 
that great writ of right, that main bulwark of personal liberty, com- 
manding the body of the accused to be brought before him, that 
justice and right might be done by due course of law, and without 
denial or delay, the gates of the fortress, its cannon turned towards, 
and in plain sight of the city, where the court sat, and frowning 
from the ramparts, were closed against the officer of the law, and the 
answer returned that the officer in command has, by the authority of 
the President, suspended the writ of habeas corpus. And thus it is, 
sir, that the accused has ever since been held a prisoner without due 
process of law; without bail; without presentment by a grand jury; 
without speedy, or public trial by a petit jury, of his own State or 
district, or any trial at all ; without information of the nature and 
cause of the accusation; without being confronted Avith the witnesses 
against him ; without compulsory process to obtain witnesses in his 
favor; and without the assistance of counsel for his defense. And 
this is our boasted American liberty ? And thus it is, too, sir, that 
here, here, in America, in the seventy-third year of the Republic, 
that great writ and security of personal freedom, which it cost the 
patriots and freemen of Knglaijl six hundred years of labor and toil 
and blood to extort and to hold fast from venal judges and tyrant 
kings; written in the great charter at llunnymede by the iron barons, 
who made the simple Latin and uncouth words of the times, nullus 
liber homo, in the language of Chatham, worth all the classics ; 
recovered and confirmed a hundred times afterward, as often as 
violated and stolen away, and finally, and firmly secured at last by 
the great act of Charles II, and transferred thence to our own Con- 
stitution and laws, has been wantonly and ruthlessly trampled in the 
dust. Ay, sir, that great writ, bearing, by a special command of 
Parliament, those other uncouth, but magic words, per statutum tri- 
cessimo prima Caroli secundi regis, which no English judge, no 
English minister, no king or queen of England, dare disobey; that 
writ, brought over by our fathers, and cherished by them, as a price- 
less inheritance of liberty, an American President has contemptuously 
set at defiance. Nay, more, he has ordered his subordinate military 
chiefs to suspend it at their discretion ! And, yet, after all this, he 
coolly comes before this House and the Senate and the country, and 
pleads that he is only preserving and protecting the Constitution ; 
and demands and expects of this House and of the Senate and the 
country their thanks for his usurpations ; while, outside of this 


capitol, his myrmidons are clamoring for impeacTiment of the Chief 
Justice, as engaged in a conspiracy to break down the Federal Gov- 

Sir, however much necessity — the tyrant's plea — may be urged in 
extenuation of the usurpations and infractions of the Pi-esident in 
regard to public liberty, there can be no such apology or defense 
for his invasions of private right. What overruling necessity required 
the violation of the sanctity of private property and private confi- 
dence? What great public danger demanded the arrest and impris- 
onment, without trial by common law, of one single private citizen, 
for an act done weeks before, openly, and by authority of his kState? 
If guilty of treason, was not the judicial power ample enough and 
strong enough for his conviction and punishment? What, then, was 
needed in his case, but the precedent under which other men, in other 
places, might become the victims of executive suspicion and dis- 
pleasure ? 

As to the pretense, sir, that the President has the Constitutional 
right to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, I will not waste time in 
arguing it. The case is as plain as words can make it. It is a legis- 
lative power; it is found only in the legislative article; it belongs 
to Congress only to do it. Subordinate officers have disobeyed it; 
General Wilkinson disobeyed it, but he sent his prisoners on for 
judicial trial ; General Jackson disobeyed it, and was reprimanded 
by James Madison ; but no President, nobody but Congress, ever 
before assumed the right to suspend it. And, sir, that other pre- 
tense of necessity, I repeat, can not be allowed. It had no existence 
in fact. The Constitution can not be preserved by violating it. It 
is an offense to the intelligence of this House, and of the country, 
to pretend that all this, and the other gross and multiplied infrac- 
tions of the Constitution and usurpations of power were done by the 
President and his advisers out of pure love and devotion to the Con- 
stitutioa. But if so, sir, then they have but one step further to take, 
and declare, in the language of Sir Boyle Roche, in the Irish House 
of Commons, that such is the depth of their attachment to it, that 
they are prepared to give up, not merely a part, but the whole of the 
Constitution, /o preserve the remainder . And yet, if indeed this pre- 
text of necessity be well founded, then let me say, that a cause which 
demands the sacrifice of the Constitution and of the dearest securi- 
ties of property, liberty, and life, can not be just; at least, it is not 
worth the sacrifice. 

Sir, I am obliged to pass by, for want of time, other grave and 
dangerous infractions and usurpations of the President since the 4th 
of March. I only allude casually to the quartering of soldiers in 
private houses without the consent of the owners, and without any 
manner having been prescribed by law; to the subversion in a part, at 
least, of Maryland of her own State Government and of the authorities 
under it; to the censorship over the telegraph, and the infringement, 
repeatedly, in one or more of the States, of the right of the people 
to keep and to bear arms for their defense. But if all these things, 
I ask, have been done in the first two months after the commence- 


ment of this war, and by men not military chieftains, and unused to 
arbitrary power, what may we not expect to see in three years, and 
by the successful heroes of the fight? Sir, the power and rights of 
the States and the people, and of their Eepresentatives, have been 
usurped ; the sanctity of the private house and of private property 
has been invaded; and the liberty of the person wantonly and wick- 
edly stricken down; free speech, too, has been repeatedly denied; 
and all this under the plea of necessity. Sir, the right of petition 
will follow next — nay, it has already been shaken ; the freedom of 
the press will soon fall after it ; and let me whisper in your ear, that 
there will be few to mourn over its loss, unless, indeed, its ancient 
high and honorable character shall be rescued and redeemed from its 
present reckless mendacity and degradation. Freedom of religion 
will yield too, at last, amid the exultant shouts of millions, who have 
seen its holy temples defiled, and its white robes of a former inno- 
cency trampled now under the polluting hoofs of an ambitious and 
faithless or fanatical clergy. Meantime national banks, bankrupt 
laws, a vast and permanent public debt, high tariffs, heavy direct 
taxation, enormous expenditure, gigantic and stupendous peculation, 
anarchy first, and a strong government afterward — no more State 
lines, no more State governments, and a consolidated monarchy or 
vast centralized military despotism must all follow in the history of 
the future, as in the history of the past they have, centuries ago, 
been written. Sir, I have said nothing, and have time to say noth- 
ing now, of the immense indebtedness and the vast expenditures 
which have already accrued, nor of the folly and mismanagement of 
the war so far, nor of the atrocious and shameless peculations and 
frauds which have disgraced it in the State governments and the 
Federal Government from the beginning. The avenging hour for all 
these will come hereafter, and I pass them by now. 

I have finished now, Mr. Chairman, what I proposed to say at this 
time upon the message of the. President. As to my own position 
in regard to this most unhappy civil war, I have only to say that I 
stand to-day just where I stood upon the 4th of March last; where 
the whole Democratic party, and the whole Constitutional Union 
party, and a vast majority, as I believe, of the people of the United 
States stood too. I am for peace^ speedy, immediate, honorable 
PEACE, with all its blessings. Others may have changed — I hav« 
not. I question not their motives nor quarrel with their course. It 
is vain and futile for them to question or to quarrel with mine. My 
duty shall be discharged — calmly, firmly, quietly, and regardless of 
consequences. The approving voice of a conscience void of offense, 
and the approving judgment which shall follow "after some time be 
past," these, God help me, are my trust and my support. 

Sir, I have spoken freely and fearlessly to-day, as became an 
American Kepresentative and an American citizen ; one firmly 
resolved, come what may, not to lose his own Constitutional liber- 
ties, nor to surrender his own Constitutional rights in the vain efi"ort 
to impose these rights and liberties upon ten millions of unwilling 
people. I have spoken earnestly, too, but yet not as one unmindful 


of the solemnity of the scenes -which surround us upon every side 
to-day. Sir, when the Congress of the United States assembled here 
on the 3d of December, 1860, just seven months ago, the Senate was 
composed of sixty-six Senators, representing the thirty-three States 
of the Union, and this House of two hundred and thirty-seven mem- 
bers — every State being present. It was a grand and solemn spec- 
tacle — the embassadors of three and thirty sovereignties and thirty- 
one millions of people, tlie mightiest republic on earth, in general 
Congress assembled. In the Senate, too, and this House, were some 
of the ablest and most distinguished statesmen of the country ; men 
whose names were familiar to the whole country — some of them des- 
tined to pass into history. The new wings of the capitol had then 
but just recently been finished, in all their gorgeous magnificence, 
and, except a hundred marines at the navy-yard, not a soldier was 
within forty miles of Washington. 

Sir, the Congress of the United States meets here again to-day; 
but how changed the scene ! Instead of thirty-four States, twenty- 
three only, one less than the number forty years ago, are here, or 
in the other wing of the capitol. Forty-six Senators and a hund- 
red and seventy-three Representatives constitute the Congress of 
the now United States. And of these, eight Senators and twenty- 
four Representatives, from four States only, linger here yet as 
deputies from that great South which, from the beginning of the 
Government, contributed so much to mold its policy, to build up its 
greatness, and to control its destinies. All the other States of that 
South are gone. Twenty-two Senators and sixty-five Representatives 
DO longer answer to their names. The vacant seats are, indeed, still 
here ; and the escutcheons of their respective States look down now 
solemnly and sadly from these vaulted ceilings. But the Virginia 
of Washington and Henry and Madison, of Marshall and Jefi"erson, 
of Randolph and Monroe, the birthplace of Clay, the mother of 
States and of Presidents; the Garolinas of Pinckney and Sumter and 
Marion, of Calhoun and Macon; and Tennessee, the home and burial- 
place of Jackson; and other States, too, once most loyal and true, 
are no longer here. The voices and the footsteps of the great dead 
of the past two ages of the Republic linger still — it may be in echo — 
along the stately corridors of this capitol; but their descendants, 
from nearly one-half of the States of the Republic, will meet with 
us no more within these marble halls. But in the parks and lawns, 
and upon the broad avenues of this spacious city, seventy thousand 
soldiers have supplied their places ; and the morning drum-beat from a 
score of encampments, within sight of this beleaguered capitol, give 
melancholy warning to the Representatives of the States and of the 
people, that amid arms laws are silent. 

Sir, some years hence — I would fain hope some months hence, if 
I dare — the present generation will demand to know the cause of all 
this ; and, some ages hereafter, the grand and impartial tribunal of 
history will make solemn and diligent inquest of the authors of this 
terrible revolution. 



In reply to a question by Mr. Holman, of Indiana, in regard to 
supporting the Government, Mr. Vallandigiiam said he would 
answer in the words of the following resolution, which he had pre- 
pared, and proposed to offer at a future time : 

Reaolved, That the Federal Government is the agent of the people 
of the several States compcsing the Union ; that it consists of three 
distinct departments — the legislative, the executive, and the judicial — 
each equally a part of the Government, and equally entitled to the 
confidence and support of the States and the people; and that it is 
the duty of every patriot to sustain the several departments of the 
Government in the exercise of all the Constitutional powers of each 
which may be necessary and proper for the preservation of the Gov- 
ernment in its principles and in its vigor and integrity, and to stand 
by and defend to the utmost the flag which represents the Govern- 
ment, the Union, and the country. 



It would not be easy to find a fair and honest Democrat who has 
not been denounced as a secessionist by the Abolition press. These 
denunciations have been more bitter and malignant, and involved a 
larger use of destructive epithets, in proportion to the power, influ- 
ence, and consistency of the men against whom they have been 
directed. In Mr. VALLANDiimAM's case, the whole vocabulary of 
Abolition Billingsgate has been brought into requisition. Of this 
"arch-traitor," "Southern sympathizer," "secessionist," the worst 
things that could be said by preachers, lecturers, and presses, gave 
but feeble expression to the intense and malignant hatred cherished 
against him. Those men who have been screeching for the Union, 
while plotting its destruction, have found Mr. Vallandigham always 
in their way. The piteous bowlings of the Abolition demon have not 
been without provocation; for, in whatever direction that old devil 
would lay his course, be would be sure to find Mr. Vallandigham 


across his path. And no one has oftener dealt the old monster a 
square blow in the eye. But the demon has a wide circle of friends, 
among whom his sufferings have excited the deepest sympathy and 

Upon Congress there has been a strong outside pressure against 
Mr. Vallandigham, and, on the part of many members of that 
body, a great willingness to yield to that pressure. There has even 
been an intense and watchful anxiety to find something that would 
serve as a plausible excuse for making a hostile descent upon the 
special object of Abolition hatred. And yet — here is a most import- 
ant and significant fact — no successful attempt to impeach, or even 
cast reproach upon, his loyalty, has ever been made. The efforts in 
that direction, made seven times in Congress, have not even attained 
to the dignity of decent failures, and have only been a mortifying 
and disgraceful reproach to the parties through whom they have been 

When, on the 7th of January, 1862, Mr. Vallandigham de- 
nounced, in strong terms, the surrender of Mason and Slidell, under 
a threat, he was assailed, personally, as to his war record, by John 
HuTCHiNS, of Ohio, the successor of Joshua R. Giddings. In 
reply, Mr. Vallandighaai said: 

I do neither retract one sentiment that I have uttered, nor would 
I obliterate a single vote which I have given. I speak of the record 
as it will appear hereafter, and, indeed, stnnds now upon the Journals 
of this House and in the Congressional Globe. And there is no 
other record, thank God, and no act or word or thought of mine, 
and never has been from the beginning, in public or in private, of 
which any patriot ought to be ashamed. Sir, it is the record as I 
made it, and as it exists here to-da}' — and not as a mendacious and 
shameless press have attempted to make it up for me. Let us see 
who will grow tired of his record first. Consistency, firmness, and 
sanity, in the midst of general madness — these made up my offense. 
But " Time, the avenger," sets all things even : and I abide his 

To-day the magnitude and true character of the war stand con- 
fessed, and its real purposes begin to be revealed ; and I am justified, 
or soon will be justified, by thousands, who, a little while ago, con- 
demned me. But I appealed, in the beginning, as I appeal now, 
alike to the near and the distant future ; and by the judgment of 
that impartial tribunal, even in the present generation, I will abide; 
or, if my name and memory shall fade away out of the record of 
these times, then will these calumnies perish with them. 

But, of those attacks, the most important and serious was that 
made in the House of Representatives on the 19th of February, 


18C2, by Mr. Hickman, of Pennsylvania, who oflfered a resolution 
"Instructing the Committee on the Judiciary to inquire into the 
truth of certain charges of disloyalty made in the local columns of 
a Baltimore newspaper against C. L. Yallandigiiam, of Ohio." 

The debate that ensued was racy and rare ; contains some capital 
strokes. We give the full report, that all may see the extent and 
magnitude of the charges of disloyalty, as presented by one of the 
shrewdest and most cunning of the Abolition members. 

The resolution above referred to having been oflfered, Mr. Val- 

Mr. Speaker : I was just waiting for an opportunity to call the 
attention of the House to that statement myself, having received it 
from some unknown source a moment ago. I do not know, of 
course, what the motive just now of the gentleman from Pennsylvania 
may be, nor do I care. My purpose then was just what it is now, 
to give a plain, direct, emphatic contradiction — a flat denial to the 
infamous statement and insinuation contained in the newspaper 
paragraph just read. I never wrote a letter or a line upon political 
subjects, least of all, on the question of secession, to the Baltimore 
South, or to any other paper, or to any man south of Mason and 
Dixon's line, since this revolt began — never ; and I defy the produc- 
tion of it. It is false, infamous, scandalous ; and, it is beyond 
endurance, too, that a man's reputation shall be at the mercy of 
every scavenger employed to visit the haunts of vice in a great city, 
a mere local editor of an irresponsible newspaper, who may choose 
to parade before the country false and malicious libels like this. I 
avail myself of this opportunity, to say that I enter into no defense, 
and shall enter into none, until some letter shall be produced here 
which I have written, or authorized to be written, referring to " bleed- 
ing Dixie," or making any suggestion "how the Yankees might be 
defeated." If any such are in existence, I pronounce them, here and 
now, utter and impudent forgeries. I have said that I enter upon 
no defense. I deny that it is the duty or the right of any member 
to rise here and call for investigation founded upon statements like 
this; and I only regret that 1 did not have the opportunity to 
denourtce this report before the chairman of the Committee on the 
Judiciary rose, and. in this formal manner, called the attention of the 
House to it — himself the accuser and the judge. Sir, I have been 
for five years a member of this House, and I never rose to a per- 
sonal explanation but once, and that to correct a report of the pro- 
ceedings of the House. I have always considered such mere per- 
sonal explanations and controversies with the press as unbecoming 
the dignity of the House. 

Nevertheless, I did intend to make this the first exception in my 
congressional career, and to say — and I wish my words reported, not 
only at the desk here officially, but in the gallery — that 1 denounce, 
in advance, this foul and infamous statement, that I have been in 


treasonable, or even suspicious correspondence ■with any one in that 
State — loyal though it is to the Union — or in any other State, or 
have ever uttered one sentiment inconsistent with my duty, not only 
as a member of this House, but as a citizen of the United States — 
one who has taken a solemn oath to support the Constitution, and 
who, thank God, has never tainted that oath in thought, or word, or 
deed. I have had the right, and have exercised it, and as God liveth 
and my soul liveth, and as He is my jvidge, I will exercise it still 
in this House, and out of it, of vindicating the rights of the Ameri- 
can citizen; and beyond that I have never gone. My sentiments 
will be found in the records of the House, except as I have made 
them public otherwise, and they will be found nowhere else. There, 
sir, is their sole repository. And foreseeing, more than a year ago, 
but especially in the early part of December, 1860, the magnitude 
and true character of the revolution or rebellion into which this 
country was about to be plunged, I then resolved not to write, 
although your own mails still carried the letters, nor have I written, 
one solitary syllable or line — as to the gulf States months even 
before secession began — to any one residing in a seceded State. 
And yet, the gentleman avails himself now of this paragi'aph, to give 
dignity and importance to charges of the falsest and most infamous 
character. Had the letter been produced ; had the charge come in 
any tangible or authentic shape ; had any editor of any respectable 
newspaper, even, indorsed the accusation, and made it specific, there 
might have been some apology; but the gentleman knows well that 
this base insinuation was placed in the local columns of a vile news- 
paper, put there by some person who had never seen any such letter. 
Sir, I meet this first specific charge of disloyalty, made responsibly 
here — I meet it at the very threshold, as becomes a man and a 
Representative — by an emphatic but contemptuous denial. This is 
• due to the House; it is due to myself. 

Mr. Richardson. I hope the gentleman from Pennsylvania will 
allow me to make a single remark. 

Mr. Hickman. Certainly. 

Mr. Richardson. Mr. Speaker: I want to hear nothing about 
disloyalty on this side of the House while there is a class of mem- 
bers here upon the other side of the House who have declared that 
they will vote for no proposition to carry on the war, unless it is 
prosecuted in a particular line, and for the abolition of slavery. 
They would subvert the Constitution and the Government, and I 
denounce them as traitors, and they ought to be brought to trial, 
condemnation, and execution. 

Mr. Hickman. Mr. Speaker: The motives which actuated me in 
introducing the resolution in question ought not to be doubted. 
The severe charge contained in the article in question is made 
against the gentleman from Ohio, a member of this House. Even 
a suspicion, a mere suspicion, would justify such an investigation as 
this resolution contemplates. But the gentleman from Ohio, as well 
as other members upon this floor, knows that the suspicions which 
have existed against him — I do not say whether justly or unjustly-^ 


have been numerous, and in circulaiiou for a long time past. It is 
the duty of this House to purge itself of unworthy members. I do 
not assert whether the gentleman from Ohio occupies, properly or im- 
properly, his seat upon this floor. By offering this resolution I do not 
prejudge him. If he were the most intimate friend I had on earth, 
accused as the gentleman from Ohio is in the paragraph in question, I 
should deem it my solemn duty to urge the investigation which is 
here suggested. But, sir, this charge does not come in a very ques- 
tionable shape. It appears as an original article in the Baltimore 
Clipper, and is, therefore, presumed to be editorial, or at least under 
the supervision of the editor. It, to all appearances, emanates from a 
responsible source. 

But, sir, I suggest further, that the suppression of the newspaper 
in question, the Baltimore South, and the seizure of its office of pub- 
lication, was made under the direct authority of the Government, and 
it is to be presumed that the effects of the office are, at this time, in 
the custody of the Government, or of the agents of the Government, 
and, therefore, the information communicated in this paper must have 
come through the Government, or tiie agents of the Government. It 
is responsible in its origin, as far as we can judge. Now, sir, I refer 
the gentleman from Ohio, as my answer to the suggestion that I was 
not justified in offering this resolution under the circumstances, to 
page 69 of the last edition of the Manual. The first paragraph 
of section thirteen, headed "Examination of ^Vitucsses," reads as 
follows : 

"Common fame is a good ground for the House to proceed to inquiry, and 
even to accusation." 

This, sir, is more than common fame. I repeat, that it is, so far as 
it appears, a direct charge by the editor of a responsible newspaper. 
The inf(Ti-mation comes, we must believe, through the Government, or 
the agents of the Government, and it is, therefore, more than common 
fame. It is good ground, at least, for instituting an inquiry. 

Mr. Vallandiouam. I desire to ask the gentleman from Penn- 
sylvania whether he does not know that this is a mere local item, and 
that the author of it does not even pretend to have seen the letters. 

Mr. Hickman. I do not understand what the gentleman means 
by saying that the author of the paragraph has not seen them. 

Mr. VALL.A.NDiGnAM. I Say he does not profess to have seen 
them, and I knoio that he never did, for they never were written, do 
not now exist, and never did exist. 

Mr. Hickman. "Who never saw them? 

Mr. Vallandigiiam. The author of that paragraph in the local 
columns of this newspaper. 

Mr. Hickman. He never saw the letters! 

Mr. Vallandiqham. He does not profess even to have seen 

Mr. Hickman. Whether it is a local item or not, it is an original 
article in a responsible newspaper, and is, therefore, presumed to have 
been inserted under the direct supervision of the editor, if not written 
by him. 


Mr. Vallandigham. The gentleman from Pennsylvania has 
alluded to suspicions existing heretofore. Now, I desire to know of 
him, whether he ef^er heard of any specific item on which any such 
suspicions ever rested — any thing other than words spoken in this 
House or made public over my own name ? 

Mr. Hickman. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Vallandigham. Well, let us have it. 

Mr. Hickman. I have heard a thousand. 

Mr. Vallandigham. Name a single one. 

Mr. Hickman. I do not desire to do any injustice to the gentle- 
man from Ohio. 

Mr. Vallandigham, I have asked the gentleman, and I demand a 
direct answer to my question, whether he can specify one single item? 

Mr. Hickman. I will reply to it directly. 

Mr. Vallandigham. Or does the gentleman mean merely the 
newspapers slanders that have been published against me, and which 
I have denounced as false, over and over again, in cards, and on the 
floor of this House ? 

Mr. Hickman. I know nothing about that, sir. I know that 
suspicions may well exist, and I know they do exist, where denials 
accompany them. 

Mr. Vallandigham. Yes ; I know that fact in the gentleman's 
own case. 

Mr. Hickman. I have no controversy with the gentleman from 
Ohio, nor am I here to defend myself in the course which I have 
taken. Let him defend himself, and allow me to take care of myself, 
as I expect to be able to do. 

Mr. Richardson. Will the gentleman from Pennsylvania allow 

Mr. Hickman. I will not suffer any interruption except by the 
gentleman from Ohio. He has a right to interrupt me, and I am 
glad he does so, because I do not want to put the gentleman from 
Ohio in any false position any more than I would desire to be my- 
self placed in one ; and I will not do it. I do say, most distinctly, 
that suspicions have existed against the loyalty of the gentleman 
from Ohio ; and I would not have referred to them at all if I had 
not been satisfied that he himself knew of the existence of those 
suspicions as well as I did. Indeed, the remarks which preceded my 
rising on this floor indicated the fact, more clearly than I myself 
could indicate it by any thing that I could say, that he was in pos- 
session of a knowledge of the existence of those suspicions, for he 
got up to repel them, not merely such as are contained in this article 
in question, but in general terms — general suspicions and imputations 
against his character. That was deemed right by him, sir. I have 
nothing to say against it. 

Now, the gentleman asks for specifications. I am called upon by 
him to refresh my memory, and to give an instance. I will give 
him one or two. I may not be able to give more at this time. Per- 
haps, if he were to give me time, I would be able to refer him to 
many more instances. 

Mr. Vallanpigham. Mr. Speaker- 

Mr. Hickman. The gentleman must allow me to answer his ques- 
tion, and then he may interrupt me. I must reply to one inquiry ai 
a time. I am now on the witness-stand — brought to it by the gentle- 
man I'rom Ohio. I am on cross-examination, and he must allow me 
to answer one question before he propounds to me another. Now, 
sir, I refer to the fact of the Brcckenridgc meeting in the city of 
Baltimore, where the gentleman from Ohio attended, and which gave 
rise to very many suspicions, allow me to say ; at least I have heard 
a great many expressed. Allow me again to refer to the fact of his 
attending a certain dinner in Kentucky, which was given, I believe, 
in his honor, or which was, at least, published as such in the papers. 

Mr. VALLANDiQHAiNr. Allow me, right there 

Mr. Hickman. Allow me first 

Mr. Vallandiguam. That is a specific charge, vrhlcli I wish to 

Mr. Hickman. Not this moment. 

Mr. Vallandigham. I appeal to the gentleman's honor. 

Mr. Hickman. I will treat the gentleman from Ohio fairly. He 
must receive all my answer befoi-e he asks me another question, 

Mr. Vallandigham. Let him oblige me by replying to me spe- 

Mr. Hickman. I am not done with my answer, and I refuse to 
yield the floor until I finish my answer. 1 am entitled to be treated 
here properly, as well as the gentleman from Ohio. I will extend 
to him all the courtesy that can possibly be demanded by any gentle- 
man. That is my habit, I trust. There are many other items. There 
was the speech which the gentleman made at the July session in this 
House — a speech which was understood to be one of general accusa- 
tion and crimination against the Government and against the party 
having the conduct of this war. It gave rise to a great many sus- 
picions; and the gentleman from Ohio, with his intelligence, ought 
not to be ignorant of all these facts. Well, sir, will not conversation 
naturally arise in consequence of these facts? And I appeal to every 
member of this' House whether they have not heard suspicion upon 
suspicion against the loyalty of the gentleman from Ohio. Is it not 
a common rumor, sir, that he is suspected ? I allege that it is a 
common rumor in the northern States, and among the loyal people 
of the loyal States, that the gentleman from Ohio is, at least, open 
to grave suspicion, if not to direct imputation. That is my answer. 
Now I will hear the gentleman. 

Mr. Vallandigham. In reply to the specification, and the only 
one, which the gentleman has been able to point out, relating to a 
public dinner in Kentucky, allow me to tell him that my foot hae 
not pressed the soil of Kentucky since the 10th day of July, 1852, 
when, as a member of a committee appointed by the common council 
of the city where I reside, I followed the remains of that great and 
noble man, true patriot and Union man, Henry Clay, to their last 
resting-place. I have partaken of no dinners there, or elsewhere, of 
% political character, uor did I ever attend any Breckenridge meet- 


ing at Baltimore, or elsewhere, at any time. This is my answer to 
that, the only specification. And yet, the gentleman dares attempt 
to support that falsehood, which I here denounce as such, by alluding 
to suspicions which have been created and set afloat throughout the 
whole country, not merely against me, but against hundreds and 
thousands of others, in whose veins runs blood as patriotic and loyal 
as ever flowed since the world began. I tell the gentleman that, in 
years past, I have heard his loyalty to the Union questioned. I have 
known of things which would have justified me — had I relied on 
authority similar to that to which he has attempted to give dignity 
— in introducing similar resolutions to make inquiry into his purpose 
to disrupt this Union by the doctrines which he has held, and the 
opinions which he has expressed. And yet, opinions and sentiments, 
uttered here, are " the head and the front of my ofiending." It has 
" this extent, no more." 

And, sir, I replied, some time ago, to two others, which, I doubt 
not, the gentleman would have dragged now out of the mire and slough 
into which they have fallen, but that they were answered, when thrust 
into debate by the gentleman before me (Mr. Hutchins). I refer to 
the charge that I had once uttered the absurd declaration that the 
soldiery of the North and West should pass over my dead body 
before they should invade the southern States. I denied it then, and 
will not repeat the denial now. 

Nor need I refer again to that other charge, that I had uttered, in 
debate, here or elsewhere, the sentiment that I preferred peace to the 
Union ; I have heretofore met that charge with a prompt and em- 
phatic contradiction, and no evidence has been found to sustain it. 
Keferring to that and other charges and insinuations, on the 7th of 
January last, I said to my colleague : 

" As to my record here at the extra session, or during the present session, 
it remains, and will remain." 

And just here, sir, in reference to the speech to which the gentle- 
man alluded, delivered on this floor, in the exercise of my constitu- 
tional right as a member of this House, on the 10th of July last, I 
defy him — I hurl the defiance into his teeth — to point to one single 
disloyal sentiment or sentence in it. I proceeded to say, further, oa 
the 7th of last month : 

"I do neither retract one sentiment that I have uttered, nor would 1 
obliterate a single vote which I have given. I speak of the record, as it will 
appear hereafter, and, indeed, stands now upon the Journals of this House and 
in the Congressional Globe. And there is no other record, thank God, and 
no act or word or thought of mine, and never has been from the beginning, 
in public or in private, of which any patriot ought to be ashamed. Sir, it is 
the record, as I made it, and as it exists here to-day; and not as a mendacious 
and shameless press have attempted to make it up for me. Let us see who 
will grow tired of his record first. Consistency, firmness, and sanity, in the 
midst of general madness — these made up my offense. But 'Time, the 
avenger,' sets all things even ; and I abide his leisure." 

And am I now to be told, that because of a speech made upon 
this floor, under the protection of the Constitution, in the exercise 


and discharge of my solemn right and duty, under the oath wliich I 
have taken, that I am to-day to he arraigned here, and the accusation 
supported by the addition of mere vague rumors and suspicions, which 
have been bruited over and over again, as I have said, against not 
myself only, but against hundreds and thousands, also, of other most 
patriotic and loyal men ? 

The gentleman from Pennsylvania makes the charge that I attended 
a certain dinner in the State of Kentucky. Sir, I was invited to that 
State, and have been frequently, by as true and loyal men as there 
are in that State to-day. I accepted no invitation, and never went 
at all. I have already named the last and only time when I stood 
upon the soil of Kentucky. But I know of nothing now — whatever 
there may have been in the past — certainly nothing to-day about 
Kentucky that should prevent a loyal and patriotic man from visiting 
a State which has given birth or residence to so many patriots, to so 
many statesn)an, and to orators of such renown. 

Yet that is all, the grand aggregate of the charges, except this mis- 
erable falsehood which some wretched scavenger, prowling about the 
streets and alleys and gutters of the city of Baltimore, has seen fit to put 
forth in the local columns of a contemptible newspaper ; so that the 
member from Pennsylvania may rise in his place and prefer charges 
against the loyalty and patriotism of a man who has never faltered 
in his devotion to the flag of his country — to that flag which hangs 
now upon the wall over against him ; one who has bowed down and 
worshiped this holy emblem of the Constitution and of the old Union 
of these States, in his heart's core, ay, in his very heart of hearts, 
from the time he first knew aught to this hour ; and who now would 
give life, and all that he is or hopes to be in the present or the future, 
to see that glorious banner of the Union — known and honored once 
over the whole earth and the whole sea — with no stripe erased, and 
not one star blotted out, floating forever over the free, united, har- 
monious old Union of every State once a part of it, and a hundred 
more yet unborn. I am that man ; and yet he dares to demand 
that I shall be brought up before the secret tribunal of the Judiciary 
Committee — that committee of which he is chairman, and thus both 
judge and accuser — to answer to the charge of disloyalty to the 
Union ! 

Sir, I hurl back the insinuation. Bring forward the specific 
charge; wait till you have found something — and you will wait 
long — something which I have written, or something I have said, 
that would indicate any thing in my bosom which he who loves his 
country ought not to read or hear. In every sentiment that I have 
expressed, in every vote that I have given, in my whole public life, 
outside this House, before I was a member of it, and since it has 
been my fortune to sit here, I have had but one motive, and that 
was the real, substantial, permanent good of my country. I have 
diflFored with the majority of the House, difi'ered with the party in 
power, difi'ered with the Administration, as, thank God, I do and 
have the right to differ, as to the best means of preserving the 
Union, and of maintaining the Constitution and securinsr the true 


interests of my country; and that is my offense, that the crime, and 
the only crime, of which I have been cuilty. 

Mr. Si^eaker, if, in the Thirty-fifth Congress, I or some other 
member had seen fit to seize upon the denunciations, long-continued, 
bitter, and persistent against that member, (Mr. Hickman) — for he, 
too, has suffered, and he ought to have had the manhood to remember, 
in this, the hour of sore persecution, that he himself has been the victim 
of slanders and detraction, peradventure — for, sir, I would do him 
the justice which he denies to me — what, I say, if I had risen and 
made a vile paragraph in some paper published in his own town, or 
elsewhere, the subject of inquiry and investigation, and had attempted 
to cast yet f\irther suspicion upon him, by reference to language 
uttered here in debate, which he had the right to utter, or by charges 
vague and false, and without the shadow of a foundation except the 
malignant breath of partisan suspicion and slander, what would have 
been his record, in the volumes of your reports, and the Congressional 
Grlobe, going down to his children after him? But, sir, it is not in 
the power of the gentleiuan to tarnish the honor of my name, or to 
blast the fair fame and character for loyalty which I have earned — • 
dearly earned, with labor and patience and faith, from the beginning 
of my public career. From my boyhood, at all times and in every 
place, I have never looked to any thing but the permanent, solid, and 
real interests of my country. 

Beyond this, Mr. Speaker, I deem it unnecessary to extend what 
I have to say. I would have said not a word, but that I know this 
Committee will find nothing, and that they will be obliged, therefore, 
to report — a majority of them cheerfully, I doubt not — that nothing 
exists to justify any charge or suspicion such as the member from 
Pennsylvania has suggested here to-day. I avail myself of the 
occasion thus forced on me, to repel this foul and slanderous assault 
upon my loyalty, promptly, earnestly, indignantly, yea, scornfully, 
and upon the very threshold. Sir, I do not choose to delay week 
after week, until your partisan press shall have sounded the alarm ; 
and till an organization shall have been effected for the purpose of 
dragooning two-thirds of this House into an outrage upon the rights 
of one of the Representatives of the people, which is without example 
except in the worst of times. I meet it and hurl it back defiantly 
here and now. 

Why, sir, suppose that the course which the member from Penn- 
sylvania now proposes, had been pursued in many cases which I 
could name in years past ; suppose that his had been the standard of 
accusation, and irresponsible newspaper paragraphs had been regarded 
as evidence of disloyalty or want of attachment to the Constitution 
and the Union; nay, more, if a yet severer test had been applied, 
what would have been the fate of some members of this House, or 
of certain Senators at the other end of the capitol, some years ago? 
What punishment might not have been meted out to the predecessor 
(Mr. Giddings) of my colleague on the other side of the House? 
How long would he have occupied a seat here? Where would the 
Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Sumner) have been? Where the 


other Senator from Massachusetts (3Ir. Wilson)? Where the Sen- 
ator from New Hampshire (Mr. Hale)? Where the three Sen- 
ators — Mr. Seward, Mr. Chase, and Mr. Hale, two of them now 
in the Cabinet, and the other in the Senate still — who, in 1850, 
twelve years ago, on the 11th of February, voted to receive, refer, 
print, and consider a petition praying for the dissolution of the 
Union of these States? Yet I am to be singled out now by these 
very men, or their minions, for attack ; and they who have waited 
and watched and prayed, by day and by night, with the vigilance 
of the hawk and the ferocity of the hyena, from the beginning of 
this great revolt, that they might catch some unguarded remark, 
some idle word spoken, something written carelessly or rashly, some 
secret thought graven yet upon the lineaments of my face, which 
they might torture into evidence of disloyalty, seize now upon the 
foul and infectious gleanings of an anonymous wretch who earns a 
precarious subsistence by feeding the local columns of a pestilent 
newspaper, and, while it is yet wet from the press, hurry it, reeking 
with ialsehood, into this House, and seek to dignify it with an 
importance demanding the consideration of the House and of the 

Sir, let the member from Pennsylvania go on. I challenge the 
inquiry, unworthy of notice as the charge is, but I scorn the spirit 
which has provoked it. Let it go on. 

Mr. Hickman then replied briefly ; and, in the course of his 
remarks, said: As the gentleman has called upon me, I will answer 
further. Does he not know of a camp in Kentucky having been called 
by his name — that disloyal men there called their camp Camp Vallan- 
digham? That would not indicate that in Kentucky they regarded 
him as a man loyal to the Federal Union. 

Mr. Vallandigham. Is there not a town — and it may be a 
camp, too — in Kentucky by the name of Hickman ? (Laughter.) 

Mr. Hickman. Thank God ! disloyal men have never called one 
of their camps by my name. There are a great many Hickmans in 
Kentucky, but I have not the pleasure of their acquaintance. I 
have heard of but one Vallandigliam. 

Mr. Vallandiuiiam. And there are a great many Yallandighama 
there, too. 

Mr. Hickman, after a few words further, w'ithdrew his resolutions; 
and there the matter ended. 

A few other less formidable attempts have been made to extinguish 
Mr. Vallandigham. On the 21st of April, 1862, Benjamin F. 
Wade, of Ohio — whom John A. Gurley declared to be " a good 
combination of Old Hickory and Zacii Taylor" — attacked Mr. 
Vallandigham in the Senate, in the following language: 

I accuse them (the Democratic party) of deliberate purpose to 
assail, through the judicial tribunals and through the Senate and 
House of Kepresentatives of the United States, and everywhere 


else, and to overawe, intimidate, and trample under foot, if they can, 
the men who boldly stand forth in defense of their country, now 
imperiled by this gigantic rebellion. I have watched it long. I 
have seen it in secret. I have seen its movements ever since that 
party got together, with a colleague of mine in the other House as 
chairman of the Committee on Resolutions — a man who never had any 
sympathy icith the Republic, but ivhose every breath is devoted to its 
destruction, just as far as his heart dare permit him to go. — Con- 
gressional Globe, p>age 1735. 

Quoting the foregoing extract, in the House, on the 21th of April, 
Mr. Vallandigham said : 

Now, sir, here in my place in the House, and as a Representative, 
I denounce — and I speak it advisedly — the author of that speech as 
a liar, a scoundrel^ and a coward. His name is Benjamin F. Wade. 

This had the effect to silence Wade's battery, and the " combina- 
tion of Old Hickory and Zach Taylor" has not seen fit to renew 
hostile demonstrations. 

The only other attack of this sort, worthy of notice — if, indeed, 
these we are mentioning are — was made in June 1862, by Shella- 
BARGER and GuRLEY, of Ohio, who presented printed petitions from 
citizens of their own Districts — none from Mr. Vallandigham's — asking 
for his expulsion from the House as " a traitor and a disgrace to the 
State of Ohio." The petitions were referred to the Committee on 
the Judiciary, consisting of the following members : John Hickman, 
chairman, John A. Bingham, William Kellogg, Albert G. 
Porter, Benjamin F. Thomas, Alexander S. Diven, James F. 
Wilson, George H. Pendleton, and Henry May — all of them 
Republicans except May and Pendleton. This Committee, on the 
very same day on which the petitions were presented, by a unanimous 
vote, ordered them to be reported back and laid upon the table ; and, 
accordingly, on the first day that the Committee was called — July 3, 
1862 — Mr. Bingham reported them back, and, on his motion, they 
ujere laid on the table, no evidence whatever of either " treason " or 
" disgrace " having been produced to the Committee. And there 
they "lie" now. 





The Convention tluit met in Columbus, on the 4tli of July, 1862, 
was one of the largest, most enthusiastic and harmonious ever con- 
vened in Ohio. The delegation from Mr. Vallandigham's district 
alone numbered fivQ hundred and fifty. The largest hall in the 
city, crowded to its utmost capacity, failed to accommodate more than 
one-fourth part of those in attendance. It was, therefore, determ- 
ined, after a partial and temporary organization, to adjourn to the 
State-House grounds, in order that the thousands of Democrats 
present might be enabled to participate in, and witness the proceed- 
ings of the Convention. This order having been made known, the 
vast assemblage promptly reported themselves on the east side of the 
State-House, ready for business. Gov. Medary was elected Presi- 
dent, and conducted to the chair amidst shouts of triumphant re- 

The immediate object of the convention was to nominate candi- 
dates for the offices of Supreme Judge, Secretary of State, Attorney 
General, School Commissioner, and Board of Public Works. Candi- 
dates were soon agreed upon ; those in the minority gracefully retired, 
or were withdrawn by their friends; and, in every case, the nomi- 
nations were made unanimous. A platform and series of resolutions 
were then read and adopted, the latter quoting from the Constitution 
that important provision, " The trial of all crimes, except in cases 
of impeachment, shall be by jury, and such trial shall be held in the 
State where the said crimes shall have been committed." Also, 
from the Amendments, the 1st, 4th, 5th, Gth, and 10th articles, so 
clear, comprehensive, and specific, and designed as an absolute and 
perpetual guarantee to the people of this country against those very 
outrages and violations of their rights which they have been com- 
pelled to sufi'er under this Administration. The resolutions then say : 


"We utterly condemn and denounce the repeated and gross viola- 
tion, by the Executive of the United States, of the said rights, thus 
secured by the Constitution ; and we also utterly repudiate and con- 
demn the monstrous dogma that in time of war the Constitution is 
suspended, or its powers in any respect enlarged beyond the letter 
and true meaning of that instrument. 

And close with the bold and solemn declaration — 

That we view, with indignation and alarm, the illegal and unconsti- 
tutional seizure and imprisonment, for alleged political offenses, of our 
citizens, without judicial process, in States where such process ia 
unobstructed, but by Executive order, by telegraph or otherwise, and 
call upon all who uphold the Union, the Constitution, and the laws, 
to unite with us in denouncing and repelling such flagrant violation 
of the State and Federal Constitutions, and tyrannical infraction of 
the rights and liberties of American citizens ; and that the people 
of this State can not safely, and will not submit to have the 
freedom of speech and freedom of the press — the two great and 
essential bulwarks of civil liberty — put down by unwarranted and 
despotic exertion of power. 

At this point of the proceedings, loud and continued calls were 
made for Vallandigham, who, when he ascended the platform, was 
greeted with rapturous applause. He spoke as follows : 

Mr. President and fellow Democrats of the State of Ohio : 
I am obliged again to regret that the lateness of the hour precludes 
me from addressing you either in the manner or upon the particular 
subjects which otherwise I should prefer. This is my misfortune 
again to-day, as last night; but speaking thus, without premeditation, 
and upon such matters chiefly as may occur to me at the moment, 
if I should happen to get fairly under headway, it may turn out to be 
your misfortune. (Laughter.) I congratulate the Democracy of 
Ohio, that, in the midst of great public trial and calamity, of perse- 
cution for devotion to the doctrines of the fathers who laid deep 
and strong the foundations of the Constitution and the Union under 
which this country has grown great and been prosperous — the fathers, 
by whose principles, one and all, the party to which we are proud to 
belong has always been guided — to-day we have assembled in num- 
bers greater than at any former convention in Ohio. I congratulate 
you that, despite the threats which have been uttered, and the de- 
nunciations which have been poured out upon that time-honored and 
most patriotic organization, peaceably and in quiet, with enthusiasm 
and earnestness of purpose, we are here met; and, in harmony, which 
is the secret of strength and the harbinger of success, have dis- 
charged the duties for which we were called together. There was a 
time when it was questionable if, in free America — in the United 
States, boasting of their liberties for more than eighty years — a party 
to which this country is indebted for all that is great and good and 


grand and jrlorlous — would have been permitted peaceably to apsem- 
ble to exercise its political rights, and perform its appropriate func- 
tions. Threats have even been made, in times more recent, that this 
most essential of all political rights, secured to us by the precious 
blood of our lathers, in a seven years' revolutionary war, should no 
longer be enjoyed. The Democrats of our noble sister State of 
Indiana, second-born daughter of the North-west, have been menaced, 
within the last ten days, with a military organization and the bayonet, 
to put down their party. I hold in my hand a telegraphic dispatch 
from the capital of that State, boasting of this infamous purpose, 
I will road it, gentlemen, because I know that the same dastardly 
menaces have been proclaimed against the Democrats of Ohio, and 
because I am here to-day to rebuke them, as becomes a frceborn man 

who is resolved to perish (Great applause, in the midht of which 

the rest of the sentence was lost.) 

Some months ago, a Democratic State Convention was held in 
Indiana. It was a Convention of the party founded by Thomas 
Jefierson, built up by a Madison and Monroe, and consolidated by 
an Andrew Jackson (applause) — a party under whose principles and 
policy, from thirteen States, we have grown to thirty-four, fur thirty- 
four there were, true and loyal to this Union, before the Presidential 
election of 1860 — a party under whose wise and liberal policy the 
course of empire westward did take its way, until the symbol of 
American power — the stars and stripes — waved proudly from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific, over the breadth of a whole continent — a 
party which, by peace and compromise, and through harmony, wis- 
dom, and sound policy, brought us up from feeble and impov'.-rishcd 
colonies, struggling in the midst of defeat and disaster in the war of 
the Kevolution, to a mighty empire, foremost among the powers of 
the earth, the foundations of whose greatness were laid, broad and 
firm, in that noble Constitution, and that grand old Union which the 
Democratic party has ever maintained and defended. The Demo- 
cratic party, with such principles, and such a history and record to 
point to, held a State Convention, in pursuance of its usages for more 
than thirty years, and under the rights secured by a State and Federal 
Constitution, older still, in the capital of the State of Indiana. And 
yet, referring to this party and its Convention, the correspondent of 
a disloyal and pestilent, but influential newspaper, in the chief city 
of Ohio, dared to send over the telegraphic wires, wires wholly under 
the military control of the Administration, which permits nothing to be 
transmitted not acceptable to its censors, a dispatch in these words : 

" The fellows are frightened, evidently not without cause." 

Well, gentlemen, I know not how far Democrats of Indiana may 
be frightened — and a nobler and more fearless body of men never 
lived — but I see thousands of Democrats before me, to whom fear 
and reproach are alike unknown. Frightened at what? Frightened 
by whom ? We are made of sterner stuff. 

"The militia of the State,"' he adds, "will, probably, be put upon a war 
footing very Bhorlly." 


And ■who, I pray, are the militia of the State? They are not 
made up of the leaders of the Republican party in Indiana or Ohio, 
I know. I never knew that sort of politicians to go into any such 
organization, in peace or in war. No men have ever been more bitter 
and unrelenting in their opposition to, and ridicule of, the militia, 
and none know it better than I, as my friend before me, by hia 
smile, reminds me, that one of my own offenses is that I am a militia 
brigadier, in favor of the next foreign war. 

But who are the militia ? They are the freeborn, strong-armed, 
stout-hearted Democrats of Indiana, as they are of Ohio. Let them 
be put on a war footing. Good 1 We have hosts of them in the 
array already, and on a war footing, but who are as sound Democrats 
and as much devoted to the principles of the party, as they were the 
hour they enlisted. They have been in the South, and I have the 
authority of hundreds of officers and privates in that gallant army 
for saying, that not only are the original Democrats in it more devoted 
to the party to-day than ever before, but that hundreds, also, who 
went hence Hepublicans, have returned, or will return, cured of the 
disease. (Laughter and applause.) Sir, the army is, fortunately, 
most fortunately for the country, turning out to be a sort of political 
hospital or sanitary institution, and I only regret that there are not 
many more Republican patients in it. (Laughter.) 

Well, put the militia upon a war footing. Put arms in their hands. 
They never can be made the butchers or jailers of their fellow-citizens, 
but the guardians rather of free speech and a free press, and of the 
ballot-box. Standing armies of mercenaries, not the militia of a 
country, are the customary instruments of tyranny and usurpation. 

But this correspondent proceeds : 

" If the sympathizers with treason and traitors " — 

We sympathize with treason and traitors ! We, who have stood by 
the Constitution and the Union from the organization of the party, 
in our fathers' day, and in our own day, in every hour of trial, in 
peace and in war, in victory and in defeat, amid disaster, and when 
prosperity beamed upon us — we to be branded as enemies to our 
country, by those whose traitor fathers burned blue lights as signals 
for a foreign foe, or met in Hartford Convention to plot treason and 
disunion fifty years ago ! We false to the Constitution and to our 
Government, the bones of whose fathers lie buried on every battle- 
field of the war of 1812, from the massacre at the River Raisin to 
the splendid victory at New Orleans ; we, who bore aloft the proud 
banner of the Republic, and planted it in triumph upon the palace 
of the Montezumas ; we, by whose wisdom in council, and courage in 
the field, for seventy years, the Constitution and the Union, and the 
country which has grown great under them, have been preserved and 
defended ; we to be denounced as sympathizing with treason and 
traitors, by the men who, for twenty years, have labored day and night 
for the success of those principles and of that policy and that party 
which are now destroying the grandest Union, the noblest Constitution 
and the fairest Country on the globe ! Talk to me about sympathiz- 


ing with disunion, witli treason and with traitors ! I tell you, men 
of Ohio, that in six nionthf;, in three months, in six weeks it raay 
be, these very luon, and their masters in Washini:;ton, whose bidding 
they do, will be the advocates of the eternal dissolution of this Union, 
and denounce all who oppose it, as enemies to the peace of the 
country. Foreign intervention and the repeated and most bcrious 
disasters which have lately befallen our arms, will speedily force the 
issue of separation and Southern independence — disunion — or of 
Union by negotiation and compromise. Between these two I am — 
and I here publicly proclaim it — for the Union, the whole Union, and 
nothing less, if, by any possibility, I can have it ; if not, then ibr so 
much of it as can yet be rescued and preserved ; and in any event, 
and under all circumstances, for the Union which God ordained, of 
the Mississippi Valley, and all which may cling to it, under the old 
name, the old Constitution, and the old flag, with all their precious 
memories, with the battle-fields of the past, and the songs and the 
proud history of the past — with the birthplace and the burialplace of 
Washington, the founder, and Jackson, the preserver of, the Constitu- 
tion as it is, and of the Union as it was. (Great applause.) 
But this correspondent again proceeds : 

" If the sj-mpatliizers with treason and traitors meditate to carry out their 
plana in this quarter'' — 

What plans ? Just such as to-day have been the business of this 
Convention ; the plans of that old U^nion party, laying down a plat- 
form, and nominating Democrats to fill the offices and control the 
policy of the Government, to the end that the Constitution may be 
again maintained, the Union restored, and peace, prosperity, and hap- 
piness once more drop healing from their wings. 

"plans," the fellow proceeds, "in this quarter, they will doubtless find the 
work quite as hot as they bargained for." 

And I tell the cowardly miscreant who telegraphed the threat that, 
he, and those behind him, will find the work fifty-fold hotter when 
they begin it, than they had reckoned on, both here and in Indiana. 

" Ten thousand stand of arms," he adds, " have been ordered for the State 

For what? To put down the Democratic party? Sir, that is a 
work which can not be done by ten, or twenty, or fifty thousand stand 
of arms in the hands of any such dastards, in ofiice or out of it. If 
60 full of valor, and so thirsty for blood, let them enlist under the 
call just issued for troops in Ohio and Indiana. Let them go 
down and fight the armies of the '"rebels" in the South, and let 
Democrats fight the unarmed, but more insidious and dangerous, 
Abolition rebels of the North and "West, through the ballot-l;ox. 

Forty thousand additional troops, I estimate it, are called for, in the 
proclamation of yesterday, from the State of Ohio. Where are the 
forty thousand Wide Awakes of 18G0, armed with their portable lamp 
pests, and drilled to the music of the Chicago platform? Sir, I 


propose that tliirty-five thousand of them be conscripted forthwith. 
They will never enlist ; they never do. They are " Home Guards." 
They " do n't go," but stay vigorously at home to slander and abuse 
and threaten Democrats whose fathers or brothers or sons are in the 
Union armies, or have f;illen in battle. I speak generally — certainly 
there are exceptions. But I will engage that if the records of the 
old Wide Awake clubs in the several cities and towns of Ohio shall 
be produced, and the Republicans will detail or draft thirty-five 
thousand from the lists, I will find five thousand strong-armed, stout- 
hearted, brave and loyal Democrats to go down and see that they 
do n't run away at the first fire. (Great laughter.) 

Sympathizers with treason and traitors ! Secessionists ! Sir, it is 
about time that we have heard the last of this. The Democracy of 
Ohio, and of the United States, are resolved that an end shall be put 
to this sort of slander and abuse. But I do not propose to discuss 
this particular subject further now. (Go on, go on.) 

Well, then, from that which concerns the Democratic party, to a 
word, a single word, about what relates to myself; and I beg pardon 
for the digression. I am rejoiced that it has been permitted to me to 
be here present, to-day, in person before you. Had you believed the 
reports of the Republican press, you would, no doubt, have expected 
to see, probably, the most extraordinary compound of leprous and 
unsightly flesh and blood ever exhibited. (Laughter.) Well, my 
friends, you see that I am not quite "monstrous," at least, and bear 
no especial resemblance to the beast of the Apocalypse, either in 
heads or horns, but am a man of like fashion with yourselves. To 
the Republican party alone, and its press and its orators, I am 
indebted, no doubt, for a large part of the "curiosity" which, I am 
sorry to say, I seem to have excited, and which has brought out 
even some of them, as if to "see the elephant." They have never 
meant to be friendly toward me, I know; but as I sec some of 
them now within my vision, let me whisper in their ears, that I never 
had better friends, and no man had, since the world began. They 
have advertised me free of cost, absolutely free of cost, for the last 
fifteen months; yes, I may say, for some five years past, all over 
the United States, Why, sir, a Republican editor, without " the un- 
dersigned " for a text, would be the most unhappy mortal in the 
world. Every little "printer's devil" in the office would be hallooing 
for copy, and no copy to be had. I know that they are friends, by 
the usual sign, "the remarks they make." Gentlemen, I have had my 
share of what Jefl'erson called the unction, the holy oil with which 
the Democratic priesthood has always been anointed — slander, detrac- 
tion, and calumny without stint. Really, I am not sure that with 
me it has not reached "extreme unction," though I am by no means 
ready, and do not mean to depart yet. Well, I will not complain. 
It has cost me not a single night's loss of sleep from the beginning. 
My appetite, if you will pardon the reference — if you will allow me, 
as Lincoln would say, to "blab" upon so delicate a subject — has 
been in no degree impaired by it. Others before me, and with me, 
have endured the same. Here is my excellent friend near mc (Mr. 


Medary). 0, blessed martyr! (Great applause.) For one and 
sixty years the storms of parti^^an persecution, and nialipnity in 
every furm, have beaten upon his head; but, though time and toil 
have made it gray, the heart beneath beats still, to-day, as sound and 
true to its instincts of Democracy and patriotism, and of humanity 
too, as when he laid his first offerings upon the altar of his country, 
just forty years ago. What others have heroically suffered in ages 
past, we, too, can endure. 

We arc all, indeed, still in the midst of trials. Here, before me, 
is the gentleman of whom T have just spoken, whom you have hon- 
ored with the Presidency of this noble Convention, for forty years a 
Democratic editor — for forty years devoted to the Constitution and 
the Union of these States — a man who, through evil and through good 
report, has adhered, with the faith of a devotee and the firmness of 
a martyr, to the principles and policy of that grand old party of the 
Union ; and now that the frosts of three-score years have descended 
and whitened his head — he, I say, has lived to see the paper to 
which he gives the labor and the wisdom of his declining years, 
prohibited from circulation through a part of the mails as " disloyal " 
to the Government ! (Cries of no, no, shame !) Samuel Medary 
disloyal ! and ^Vendell Phillips a patriot ! Sir, it is not many months 
since, that in the city of Washington, in that magnificent building 
erected by the charity of an Englishman who loved America — I 
would there were more like him — that art and science might the 
more widely flourish in this country — the Smithsonian Institute — 
Wendell Phillips addressed an assemblage of men as false to the 
Union and the Constitution as himself. Upon the platform was the 
Speaker of the House of Representatives, the third officer in the 
Government; by his side the Vice-President of the United States, 
and between these two, in proportions long drawn out, the form of 
" Honest Old Abraham Lincoln." Am I mistaken, and was it at 
another and earlier abolition lecture by that other disunionist, Horace 
Greeley, in the same place — there have been many of them — that 
Lincoln attended ? The Speaker and Vice-President, I know, were 
there ; and with these two or three witnesses before him, and in 
presence of the priesthood of Abolitionism, the Suraners and Wilsons, 
the Lovejoys and the Wades of the House and Senate, (great laugh- 
ter,) surrounded by these, the very architects of disunion, he pro- 
claimed that "for nineteen years he had labored to take nineteen 
States out of the LTnion." And yet this most spotted traitor was 
pleading for disunion in the City of Washington, where women are 
arrested for the wearing of red, white, and red upon their bonnets, 
and babes of eighteen months are dragged from the little willow 
wagons drawn by their nurses, because certain colors, called seditious, 
are found upon their swaddling clothes! The next day, or soon 
after, this same Wendell Phillips did dine with, or was otherwise 
entertained, by his Excellency, the President of the United States, 
who related to him one of his choicest anecdotes. Yet Democratic 
editors, Democratic Senators and llepresentatives, and those holding 
other official positiens by the grace of the States or of the people, 


are " traitors " forsooth, because they would adhere to the principles 
and organization of their noble and patriotic old party ! Such are 
some of the exhibitions which Washington has witnessed during the 
past Winter. 

Congress, too, has been in session. Sir, I saw it announced in one 
of the disloyal papers of this city yesterday, that Jeflf. Davis and 
Toombs and Yancey and Rhett and other secessionists of the South, 
would derive much comfort from this day's meeting. Well, sir, I 
have just come from a body of men which I would not, for a moment, 
pretend to compare for statesmanship, respectability, or patriotism 
with this Convention. That body has devoted its time and attention 
to doing more, in six months, for the cause of secessiouism, than 
Beaui'egard and Lee and Johnson and all the southern Generals 
combined have been able to accomplish in one year. Said a Senator 
from the South, the other day, a Union man : " Jeff. Davis is run- 
ning two Congresses now, and is making a d — d sight more out of 
the Washington Congress than the one at Richmond." (Laughter, 
and many remarks of approval.) 

Sir, the legislation of that body has been almost wholly for the 
"Almighty African." From the prayer in the morning — for, gentle- 
man, we are a pious body, we are — making long faces, and somtimes 
wry faces, too, (laughter,) — we open with prayer, but there is not 
much of the Almighty Maker of heaven and earth in it — from the 
prayer to the motion to adjourn, it is negro in every shape and form 
in which he can, by any possibility, be served up. But it is not 
only the negro inside of the House and Senate, but, outside, also. 
The city of Washington has, within the past three weeks, been con- 
verted into one universal hospital ; every church, except one for each 
denomination, has been seized for hospital purposes. But while the 
sanctuaries of the Ever-living God — the God of Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob — not the new god of the Burlingames and Sumners and other 
Abolitionists, not that god whose gospel is written in the new bible 
of Abolition — but the Ever-living Jehovah God have been confiscated 
for hospitals, every theater, every concert saloon, every other place 
of amusement, from the highest to the lowest, from the spacious 
theater in which a Forrest exhibits to an enraptured audience his 
graphic renderings of the immortal creations of Shakespeare, down 
to the basest den of revelry and drunkenness, is open still. As in the 
Inferno of the great Italian poet — 

"The gates of hell stand open night and day." 

Sir, if these places of amusement — innocent some of them, but 
not holy, certainly — had first been seized as hospitals for the comfort 
and cure of the thousands of brave and honest men who went forth 
believing in their hearts that they were to battle for the Constitution 
and the Union, but who now lie wasting away upon their lonely 
pallets, with no wife, or sister, or mother there to soothe, groaning 
in agony, with every description of wound which the devilish ingen- 
uity of man can iutiict by weapons whose invention would seem to 
have been inspired by the very spirit of the author of all human 


woe and suffering — wounds, too, rankling and festering for the want 
of surgical aid — if those places, I say, had first been seized, and 
then it had become necessary, for the comfort or life of the thousands 
of other sick and wounded who are borne in the city every day, to 
occupy the churches of Washington, I know of no better or holier 
purpose to which they could have been devoted. And now, sir, not 
far from that stately capitol, within whose marble walls Abolition 
treason now runs riot, is a building, "Green's Row" by name, rented 
hy the Government, in which one thousand one hundred fugitive 
slaves — "contrabands," in the precious slang of the infamous Butler 
— daily receive the rations of the soldier, which are paid for out of 
the taxes levied upon the people. One hundred thousand dollars a 
day are taken from the public treasury for the support of fugitive 
slaves there and elsewhere ; while the army of Shields, and other 
Union armies in the field, even so late as six weeks ago, marched 
barefooted, bareheaded, and in their drawers, for many weary miles, 
without so much as a cracker or a crust of bread with which to allay 
their hunger. Ay, sir, while many a gallant young soldier of 
Ohio, just blooming into manhood, who heard the cry that went up 
fifteen months ago : " Rally to defend the flag, and for the rescue of 
the capital," and went forth to battle, with honesty in his heart, his 
life in his hand, with courage in every fiber, and patriotism in every 
vein, lies wan and sad on his pallet in the hospital, your surgeons 
are forced to divide their time and care between the wounded soldiers 
and these vagabond fugitive slaves, who have been seduced or forced 
from the service of their masters. These things, and much more — 
I have told you not a tithe of all — are done in Washington. We 
know it there, though it is withheld from the people; and while every 
falsehood that the ingenuity of man can invent to delude and deceive, 
is transmitted or allowed by the telegraphic censors of the Admin- 
istration — themselves usurpers unknown to the Constitution and laws 
— these facts are not permitted to reach the people of the United 

Your newspapers, the natural watch-dogs of liberty, are threatened 
with suppression, if but the half or the hundredth part of the truth 
be told. And now, too, when but one other means remains for the 
redress of this and the hundred other political grievances under 
which the land groans — party organization and public assemblages 
of the people — even these, too, are threatened with suppression by 
armed force. Ay, sir, that very party, which, not many years ago, 
bore upon every banner the motto, "Free Speech and a Free Press," 
now, day by day, forbids the transmission through your mails of the 
papers from which you derive your knowledge of public events, and 
which advocate the principles you cherish. And Democratic editors, 
too, are seized, " kidnapped " in the midnight hour — torn from their 
families — gagged — their wives with ofiicers over them menacing vio- 
lence if they but ask one farewell grasp of the hand, one parting 
kiss — thrust into a close carriage, in the felon hour of midnight, and 
with violence dragged to this capital, and here forced upon an express 
train and hurried off to a military fortress of the United States. 


Yes, men of Ohio, to a fortress that bears the honored name of that 
first martyr to American liberty — the Warren of Bunker Hill ; or, 
it may be, to that other bastile, desecrating that other name sacred 
in American history, and honored throughout the earth — the name 
of that man who forsook home and gave up rank and title, and, in 
the first flush of youth and manhood, came to our shores and linked 
his fortunes with the American cause — the prisoner of Olrautz, the 
brave and gallant Lafayette. Ay, freemen of the West, fortresses 
bearing these honored names, and meant for the defense of the coun- 
try against foreign foes, and out of whose casemates bristle cannon 
planted to hurl death and destruction at armed invaders, echo now 
with the groans and are watered by the tears — not of men only from 
States seceded and in rebellion, or captured in war, but from the 
loyal States of the North and the West, and from that party which 
has contributed nearly three-fourths of the soldiers in the field 
to-day. Are these things to be borne ? (Never ; no, never.) If 
you have the spirit of freemen in you, bear them not ! (Great 
applause, and cries of that 's it, that 's the talk.) What is life 
worth ? What are property and personal liberty and political liberty 
worth ; of what value are all these things, if we, born of an ancestry 
of freemen, boasting, in the very first hours of our boyhood, of a 
more extended liberty than was ever vouchsafed to any other people, 
are to fail no-^ in this the hour of sore trial, to demand and to defend 
them at every hazard ? Freedom of the press ! Is the man who sits 
in the White House at Washington, and who owes all his power to 
the press and the ballot, is he now to play the tyrant over us? (No; 
never, never !) Shall the man who sits at one end of a telegraphic 
wire in the AVar Department, or the Department of State — a mere 
clerk, it may be, a servant of servants — sit down, and by one single 
click of the instrument, order some minion of his, a thousand miles 
off, to arrest Samuel Medary, or Judge Ranney, or Judge Thurman, 
and hurry them to a bastile? (No; it can't be done ; we will never 
allow it.) The Constitution says: "No man shall be held to answer for 
crime except on due process of law." Our fathers, six hundred years 
ago, assembled upon the plains of Runnymede, in old England, and 
rescued from tyrant hands, by arms and firm resolve, the God-given 
right to be free. Our fathers, in the time of James I, and of Charles 
I, and James II, endured trial and persecution and loss of life and of 
liberty, rather than submit to oppression and wrong. John Hamp- 
den — glorious John Hampden! the first gentleman of England 
arrested upon an illegal executive warrant — went calmly and hero- 
ically to the cells of a prison rather than pay twenty shillings of an 
illegally-assessed tax, laid in defiance of the Constitution and laws 
of England, and of the rights and privileges of Englishmen. And all 
history is full of like examples. William Tell brooked the tyrant's 
frown in his day and generation, in defense of these same rights, 
in the noble Republic of the Swiss ; and that gallant little people, 
henamed in among the Alps, though surrounded on every side by 
despots whose legions numbered more than the whole population of 
Switzerland, have, by that same indomitable spirit of freedom, main- 


tained their rights, their liberties, and tlieir independence to this 
hour. And are Americans now to offer themselves up a servile sac- 
rifice upon the altar of arbitrary power? Sir, I have misread the 
signs of the times, and the temper of the people, if there is not 
already a spirit in the land which is about to speak in thunder-tonea 
to those who stretch forth still the strong arm of despotic power — 
"Thus far shalt thou come, and no farther. We made you; you are 
our servants." That, sir, was the language which I was taught to 
apply to men in office when I was a youth, or in first manhood and 
a private citizen, and afterward, when holding otilce as the gift of the 
people, to hear applied to me ; and I bore the title proudly. And I 
asked then, as I ask now, no other or better reward than, "Well 
done, good and faithful servant." (Cries of "You shall have it; you 
deserve it.") But to-day, they who are our servants, creatures made 
out of nothing by the power of the people, whose little brief author- 
ity was breathed into their nostrils by the people, would now, for- 
sooth, become the masters of the people ; while the organs and 
instrumeuts of the people — the press and public assemblages — are 
to be suppressed ; and the Constitution, with its right of petition, 
and of due process of law, and trial by jury, and the laws, and all else 
which makes life worth possessing, are to be sacrificed now upon the 
tyrant's plea that it is necessary to save the Government, the Union, 
fcir, we did save the Union for years — yes, we did. "We were the 
"Union savers,"" not eighteen months ago. Then there was not aa 
epithet in the whole vocabulary of political Billingsgate so oppro- 
brious in the eyes of a llepublican, when applied to the Democratic 
party, as " Union shriekers," or " Union savers." I remember, in 
my own city, on the day of the Presidential election, in 1860 — 1 
remember it well, for I had that day traveled several hundred miles 
to vote for Stephen A. Douglas for the Presidency — that, in a ward 
where the judges of election were all Democrats, your patriotic Wide- 
Awakes, strutting in unctuous uniform, came up, hour after hour, 
thrusting their Lincoln tickets twixt thumb and finger at the judges, 
with the taunt and sneer, ''iSave the Union! Save the Union T And 
yet now, fursooth, we are "traitors" and "secessionists!" And old 
gray-bearded and gray-headed men, who lived and voted in the times 
of Jefl'ersou and Madison and Monroe and Jackson — men who have 
fought and bled upou the battle-field, and who fondly indulged the 
delusion, for forty years, that they were patriots, wake up suddenly 
to-day to find themselves "traitors!" — sneered at, reviled and insulted 
by striplings " whose fathers they would have disdained to have set 
with the dogs of their flocks." Of all these things an inquisition, 
searching and terrible, will yet be made, as sure and as sudden, too, 
it may be, as the day of judgment. We of the loyal States — we of the 
loyal party of the country, the Democratic party — we, the loyal citi- 
zens of the United States, the editors of loyal newspapers — we, who 
gather together in loyal assemblages, like this, and are addressed by 
truly loyal and Union men, as I know you are to-day and at this mo- 
nieut (that's so; that's the truth) — we, forsooth, are to be now denied 
our privileges and our rights as Americans and as freemen j we are 


to be threatened with bayonets at the ballot-box, and baj^onets to 
disperse Democratic meetings ! Again I ask, why do they not take 
up their muskets and march to the South, and, like brave men, meet 
the embattled hosts of the confederates in open arms, instead of 
threatening, craven like, to fight unarmed Democrats at home — pos- 
sibly unarmed, and possibly not. (Laughter and applause, and a 
remark, "That was well put in.") If so belligerent, so eager to shed 
that last drop of blood, let them volunteer to re-enforce the broken 
and shattered columns of MeClellan in front of Richmond, sacrificed 
as he has been by the devilish machinations of Abolition, and there 
mingle their blood with the blood of the thousands who have already 
perished on those fatal battle-fields. But no ; the whistle of the bul- 
let and the song of the shell are not the sort of music to fall pleas- 
antly upon the ears of this Home Guard Republican soldiery. 

With reason, therefore, fellow-citizens, I congratulate you to-day 
upon the victory which you have achieved. A great poet has said": 

"Peace hath her victories as well as "War." 

To-day the cause of free govei-nment has triumphed. A victory of 
the Constitution, a victory of the Union has been won, but is yet to 
be made complete by the men who go forth from this, the first polit- 
ical battle-field of the campaign, bearing upon their banners that 
noble legend, that grand inscription. The Constitution as it is, 
AND THE Union as it was. (Great cheering.) In that sign shall 
you conquer. Let it be inscribed upon every ballot, emblazoned 
upon every banner, flung abroad to every breeze, whispered in the 
zephyr, and thundered in the tempest, till its echoes shall rouse the 
fainting spirit of every patriot and freeman in the land. It is the 
creed of the truly loyal Democracy of the United States. In behalf 
of this great cause it is that we are now, if need be, to do and to 
suffer in political warfare whatever may be demanded of freemen who 
know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain them. Is there any 
one man, in all this vast assemblage, afraid to meet all the respon- 
sibilities which an earnest and inexorable discharge of duty may 
require at his hands in the canvass before us ? (No, no, not one.) 
If but one, let him go home and hide his head for very shame : 

"Who would be a traitor knave? 
Who could fill a cowarcVs grave? 
Who so base as be a slave V 

Let him turn and flee." 

It is no contest of arms to which you are invited. Your fathers, 
your brothers, your sons are already, by thousands and hundreds of 
thousands, on the battle-field. To-day their bones lie bleaching 
upon the soil of every southern State, from South Carolina to Mis- 
souri. It is to another conflict, men of Ohio, that you are summoned, 
but a conflict, nevertheless, which will demand of you some portion, 
at least, of that same determined courage, that same unconquerable 
will, that same inexorable spirit of endurance, which make the hero 
upon the military battle-field. I have mistaken the temper of the 
men who are here to-day, I have misread the firm purpose that speaks 


in every eye and beams from every countenance, -which stiffens every 
sinew and throbs in every breast; I have misread it all, if you are 
not resolved to s:;o home and there maintain, at all hazards and by 
every sacrifice, the principles, the policy, and the organization of that 
party to which again, and yet again, I declare unto you, this Govern- 
ment and country are indebted for all that have made them grand, 
glorious, and great. (Cheers and great applause.) 

The foregoing speech was received with shouts of applause, some- 
times obliging the speaker to wait. In fact, the whole reception of 
Mr. VALLANDionAM, at Columbus, was one of the proudest and most 
gratifying that could have been given. He arrived from Washing- 
ton on the 3d, and about midnight, on that evening, a crowd sur- 
rounded his hotel, and made it unmistakably evident that a speech 
must be forthcoming, or there would be no sleep for him or them 
that night. And, again, on the evening of the 4th, another speech 
was demanded, and given from the balcony of the hotel — three 
speeches loithin twenty hours. 

Those exhibitions of deep interest and profound admiration, thus 
given in behalf of Mr. Vallandigham, were that spontaneous 
reaction which, sooner or later, was sure to return to the man who, 
in the hour of his country's most imminent peril, and when sur- 
rounded and prcs.sed upon, from every direction, by the most malig- 
nant obloquy and reproach, still adhered, with unflinching integrity 
and firmness, to those great principles of political justice and truth 
wherein is involved the only hope for our country. This speech 
was made the subject of a long and complimentary review in the 
London Times. 





The reign of terror was at its bight, and the most serious appre- 
hensions were entertained for the personal safety of Mr. Vallan- 
DIGHAM, when he announced his determination to address the public 
in Dayton. A bolder stroke was never made, nor a more fearless exhi- 
bition given, of high moral as well as physical courage. At the first 
intimation of the proposed meeting, a low, ugly growl, like the fretting 
of hungry but chained tigers, might have been heard in the purlieus 
of Abolition fanaticism, and those were the places where the edicts 
of the Abrahamic dynasty were kept, and whence they were issued. 
It has been said that fanaticism is one of the hounds who, when 
once they have tasted blood, never bolt their track. But this hound 
does sometimes bolt his track ; at least, he cowers and hides himself, 
when he sees his prey is too large for his grapple. An exhibition 
of that sort was given in Dayton, on the 2d of August, 18G2. Mr. 
Vallandigham had been selected as their next victim by the base 
minions of a corrupt and desperate Administration. As some 
blood-thirsty, but cowardly beast of prey watches for his victim, bo 
had they been watching for him, and a good time to pounce upon 
him had come, if only the pounce could be made without danger to 
themselves. But as the hour for the meeting approached, the brave 
and true men of Montgomery and adjacent counties were seen coming 
in, until fully seven tJwiisand were there. The men who had sworn 
that Vallandigham should never again speak in Dayton, very 
wisely concluded that discretion was better than valor; so gracefully 
retired behind each other, and kept that position till the speech was 
over. A few hours before the speaking commenced, the Empire of 
that day was distributed through the city, and contained a few words 
of prudent advice, which may have been of some service in bringing 


those men to the conclusion they came to. After stating the object 
of the meeting, and alluding to threats of disturbance, the Empire 
said : 

Political meetings, like churches, are open alike to saint and to 
sinner — all \vho conduct themselves in an orderly manner are invited, 
and all such are made welcome. We have no apprehension that 
the threats of a few shoulder-hitters, urged on by those who lack 
but the courage to do that which they urge others to do, will be 
carried out. The Democrats present will preserve the peace and 
the credit of our city, and will tolerate no disturbance of any kind. 
No affray, no disturbance, will be commenced by them, but they will 
promptly end all such summarily, and with as little disorder as the 
nature of the case will admit. 

This advice was taken, and, without interruption, the speech was 
delivered to a vast assembly, on the south side of the Court-IIousc. 
Of this speech, Gov. Mcdary, republishing it in the Crisis, said : 

It should be read by every voter in the United States. Nothing 
equal to it has been made during the past few years. Seldom has 
it ever been equaled for power, pathos, purity of diction, and truth- 
fulness in point of facts. Elevated in tone, statesmanlike in concep- 
tion, it thrills the reader as though fresh from a lloman Senate in 
the hour of Rome's most terrible trials for freedom and existence. 
It should be read in every school-house, to the assembled people, 
before the elections, on the second Tuesday of next October. 

The following report is full in some parts, in others condensed : 

Mr. Vallandigham began by an allusion to the fact that he had 
arranged to be absent from the city, ou a visit to an aged and very 
near relative, but that, meantime, false charges, and rumors also as to 
intended arrests, were started. My rule, said he, is to always meet 
such things a little more than half way. Conscious of rectitude, I 
mean, face to face with every foe and every danger, to do all, and to 
bear all that may become a man ; and, therefore, at much incon- 
venience, I have postponed my visit, and am here to-night, surrounded 
by thousands of such constituents and friends as no man ever had. 

He then referred to the spring election and its result in this city, 
upon a direct issue against himself, presented to and accepted by his 
friends — the triumphant election of the whole Democratic city ticket; 
and observed that the lesson to our enemies was a severe one, and 
that they ought to learn from it that there was such a thing as abus- 
ing a man so persistently, wantonly, and wickedly, as to make him 
immensely popular.* 

Mr. V. next gave a full and minute narrative of the infamous con- 
spiracy just exploded, to procure his arrest as "implicated" with two 
clergymen from the " Uurder States," who had been guests at his 

*"The City of Dayton repudiates Clement L. Vallandigham." — Dayton 
Republican Platform. 


house. Nothing had been found ; both of them were promptly 
released, and the whole plot had failed. But those concerned in it, 
some of them '• Christians," were known, and would be remembered. 
A telegraphic dispatch had been prepared by one of the conspirators, 
and sent oiF to the New York Tribune^ from Dayton, though dated at 
Columbus, announcing his (Mr. V.'s) "arrest;" and it had never 
been contradicted to this day.* Democrats, said he, have never 
received any justice at the hand of the telegraph, and never will, till 
after the 4th of March, 1865, when, with every thing else, it will be 
in Democratic hands. The llepublican party are teaching us many 
things, and may find us apt scholars, possibly improving on their 
lessons, if they shall finally succeed in overthrowing all constitution, 
law, and order. But I trust that it will never come to this. 

I am for obedience to all laws and constitutions. No man can be 
a good democrat who is not in favor of law and order. No matter 
how distasteful constitutions and laws may be, they must be obeyed. 
I am opposed to all mobs, and opposed also — inexorably opposed 
above every thing, to all violations of constitution and law by men in 
authority — public servants. The danger from usurpations and viola- 
tions by them is fifty-fold greater than from any other quarter, 
because these violations and usurpations come clothed with the false 
semblance of authority. Those parts of our constitutions and laws 
which command or restrain the people must be obeyed ; but still 
more must those also which limit and restrain public servants^ from 
the President down. There are rights of the people, to secure which 
constitutions were ordained, and they must and will be exacted at all 
hazards ; and among the most sacred of these rights, are free speech, 
a free press, public assemblages, political liberty, and above all, or 
at least, at the foundation of all, personal liberty, or freedom 
from illegal and arbitrary arrests. It was a right, secured in Greece, 
while she was free, and in Rome in her purer days. But it is pecul- 
iarly an Anglo-Saxon right; and it has cost more struggles in En- 
gland to hold it fast than any other. The right is declared, in the 
strongest language, in the Great Charter, in the time of King 
John, six hundred years ago. Here is the pledge wrung from the 
tyrant by men, none of whom could read or write, but who were 
resolved to be free : 

" No freeman shall be arrested, or imprisoned, or disseized (of property), or 
outlawed, or banished, or any ways injured, nor will we psiss sentence upon 
him, nor send trial upon him, unless by the legal judgment of his peers, 


This is the '• keystone of English liberty," the pride and boast 
of every Englishman. The violation of it cost one English monarch 
his head, another his crown, and a third his most valuable colonies; 
and to-day, if Queen Victoria were to attempt to suspend it by tele- 
graph, or by executive order, or order of privy council in any way, 
she would be a refugee in a foreign laud before a fortnight. 

* A full account of the infamous transaction here referred to, was published 
in the Dayton Empire^ Aug. 5, 18G2. 


Eighty years later, this sacred and invaluable right to be free from 
arrest, except by law, was confirmed ; and in 1G27, by the celebrated 
Petition of Right, drawn up by that great lawyer, Lord Coke, was 
again confirmed and extended, as follow : 

" No man, of what estate or condition that he be, shall be put out of his 
land, or tenements, nor arrested, noi' imprisoned, nor disinherited, nor put 
to death, without being brought to answer by due process of law." 

And it was further provided that no commissioner should be 
appointed to try any one by " martial law," who was not in the array, 
" lest by color of them, any of his Majesty's subjects be destroyed, 
or put to death, contrary to the laws and franchises of the land." 

Next came the Habeas Corpus Act of 1G79, to secure the rights 
asserted by the Great Charter and its confirmations, a statute by 
virtue of which, saj^s Lord Campbell — and with shame I confess now 
to the justice of the proud boast — ''Personal liberty has been more 
efiectually guarded in England than it has in any country in the 

Next after this came the Bill of Rights of 1689, enacted by the 
profoundest statesmen and purest patriots which England ever had. 
These great and good men, after that, by arms, they had driven 
James II from the throne, for his repeated violations of the rights 
of Englishmen, declared that he had been guilty of an attempt to 
Bubvert the laws and liberties of the kingdom, among other things : 

" 1. By assuming and exercising a power of dispensing with and suspending 
of laws and the execution uf laws, without consent of Farliamejit. 

" 2. By committing and prosecuting divers worthy prelates, for humbly peti- 
tioning to be excused from concurring to the said assumed power. 

" 7. By violating the freedom of election of members to serve in Parliament. 

"All which," say they, "are utterly and directly contrary to the known 
laws and statutes and freedom of this realm." 

These, sir, are the " Liberties of Englishmen." They are the 
Liberties which were brought over by our ancestors from England, 
and embodied in all our constitutions and laws. In 1041, twenty 
years after the first settlement of Massachusetts, that infant colony 
declared, in her " Body of Liberties," that 

"No man's life shall be taken away, no man's honor or good name .shall be 
etained, no man's person shall be arrested, restrained, banished, dismembered, 
nor any ways punjshed, no man shall be deprived of his wife or children, no 
man's goods or estate shall be taken away from him, nor any way endamaged 
under color of law or countenance of authority, unless it be by virtue or equity 
of some express law of the country, warranting the same, etc. 

" No man's person shall be restrained or imprisoned by any authority what- 
soever, before the law hath sentenced him thereto, if he can put in sufQcient 
security, bail, or mainprise," etc. 

So, also, in the Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776, 
among the many grievances set forth against the king, are the 
following : 

" He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, tho 
civil power : 

"For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury: 
"For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses." 


In the Virginia " Bill of Rights " of 1776, written also by Jefferson, 
it is declared that — 

"All power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that 
magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them. 

" All power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, 
without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, 
and ought not to be exercised. 

"/rt all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and gov- 
erned by, the civil power. 

"Freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can 
never be restrained, but by despotic governments." 

And 3'et again ; in the " Declaration of Rights " of Massachusetts, 
in 1780, it is laid down that — 

"No person shall be held to answer for any crime or offense, until the same 
is fully and plainly, substantially and formally described to him. And no per- 
son shall be arrested, imprisoned, or despoiled, or deprived of his property, im- 
munities, or privileges, put out of the protection of the law, exiled or deprived 
of his life, liberty, or estate, but by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the 

"Every person has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and 
seizures of his person, his houses, his papers, and all his possessions. 

"The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a State. 

"The people have a right to keep and bear arms for the common defense. 
The military power shall always be held in exact siibordinatio7i to the civil 
authority, and be governed by it. 

" The people have a right in an orderly and peaceable manner to assemble, 
to consult upon the common good. 

"The power of suspending the laws ought never to be exercised but by the 
Legislature, or by autiiority derived from it, to be exercised in such particular 
cases only as the Legislature shall expressly provide for. 

" No person can, in any case, be subjected to law martial, or to any penalties 
or pains, by virtue of that law, (except those employed in tlie army or navy, 
and except the militia in actual service,) butby authority of the Legislature." 

Such were the liberties of Americans in the Revolutionary period 
of our history, and before it ; and they have been embodied in all 
our constitutions ever since. 

Let the present Constitution of Ohio speak. In our " Bill of 
Rights " we declare that 

"All political power is inherent in the people. 

" The people have the right to assemble together in a peaceable manner, to 
consult for their common good ; to instruct their representatives, and to petition 
the General Assembly for the redress of grievances. 

"The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security. 
The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power. 

" The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless, 
in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety require it. No power of 
suspending laivs shall ever be exercised except by the General Assembly. 

"In any trial, in any court, the part}' accused shall be allowed a speedy 
public trial, by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the 
offense is alleged to have been committed. 

"Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all 
subjects, being responsible for the abuse of the right; and no law shall be 
passed to abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. 

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, an«l 
possessions, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated. 


" All courts shall bo open, and justice administered vrithout denial or 

Similar provisions exist in every State constitution in the United 
States, tlius securing every citizen from State tyranny and oppression. 
Nor is the Federal Constitution less ample and explicit. Hear it : 

" All lesjislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the 
TJnitod States." 

" The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless 
when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety require it." 

Now, sir, from the beginning of the Government down to the year 
1861, no lawyer, no jurist, no statesman, no writer upon the Consti- 
tution, ever pretended that the President, or any other authority, 
could suspend the privilege of this writ, except Congress alone. 

But I read further : 

"The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law and equity arising 
under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or 
which shall be made, under their authority, 

" The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be \>y jury, 
and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have 
been committed. 

" Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against 
them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No 
person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two wit- 
nesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court. 

" Congress shall make no law I'cspecting an establishment of religion, or 
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or 
of the ])ress ; or the riglit of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition 
the government for a redress of grievances. 

"The right <if the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. 

" The right of the peoi)le to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and 
eifects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated ; and 
no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or athrma- 
tion, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons and 
things to be seized. 

" No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous 
crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases 
arising in the land and naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service, 
in time of war and public danger; nor shall be depkived of life, lib- 
erty, OR PR0Pf:RTY, WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OF LA"w; nor shall private prop- 
erty be taken for public use without just compensation. 

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoj' the right to a speedy 
and public trial by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the 
crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously 
ascertained by law; and to be informed of the nature and cause of the 
accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have com- 
pulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance 
of counsel for his defense. 

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor 
prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to 
the people." 

These, thus repeated and multiplied over and over again, are the 
Magna Charta of American freemen. They constitute the BuJy of 
American Liberties. They cost much blood and treasure, and are 
worth the most precious treasure and blood of the whole country. 


Let them be maintained at every hazard and sacrifice. They are 
dearer in time of war and public danger, than in time of peace. 
They are secured by the Constitution, and can only be forfeited ia 
accordance with the Constitution. I abhor and denounce the mon- 
strous doctrine, so rife of late, that the Constitution is suspended in 
time of war ; or that the powers under it are enlarged ; or, at least, 
that there is a " war power " above and greater than the Constitu- 
tion. Sir, that instrument was made for war as well as peace. It 
expressly gives to Congress the right to declare war, raise armies, 
provide navies, and call out the militia to execute the laws, suppress 
insurrection, put down rebellion, and repel invasion. Every power, 
the very utmost necessary and proper for carrying on any war, for- 
eign or domestic, is explicitly given. The "tyrant's plea" of neces- 
sity, is false. No power that ought to be exercised is withheld, and 
every usurpation is utterly without excuse. Whoever maintains that 
the framers of the Constitution failed to make it good enough and 
strong enough for any crisis — for war and for peace — libels Wash- 
ington and Madison and Hamilton, and the other patriots of '87. 
And the man who denounces " sticklers " for the Constitution, and 
declares that he can tell a "traitor" by his crying out for the Con- 
stitution, is himself a traitor or a fool. Keep an eye on him. 

We have no hope for ourselves, or ou.r children, except in the Con- 
stitution. The President, more than any other man, is bound to 
obey it. He takes a solemn oath to support it. It is his duty to 
act according to law. Among the personal rights under the Consti- 
tution is that of habeas corpus. The uniform- testimony of courts 
and statesmen is that it can be suspended only by Congress. If the 
President can suspend it, it can only be by proclamation, declaring 
where, and for how long it is suspended. He has no right to send 
a dispatch for the arrest of any citizen of the United States, and to 
say that, by that act, his minions are authorized to suspend the writ. 
Better to live in Austria, in Turkey, or under any other admitted 
despotism, than where the President, the servant of the people, shall 
seize, without "due process of law," and carry off to prison any citi- 
zen under the pretence of treason. 

These guarantees were not in the original Constitution, but de- 
manded by the States and the people, and added afterwards. They 
were added for fear some President might be elected who would 
claim to have the power, if not expressly withheld by the Constitu- 
tion. What are they? Freedom of speech, of the press, peaceable 
assemblages, the right to keep and bear arms, freedom from illegal 
arrest. Yet you have been told that we shall not be allowed to enjoy 
these rights — that "executive orders" shall be issued against us — 
that men who represent the voice of the people shall not be heard — 
that the press shall be muzzled, and men's mouths gagged, and no 
censure or criticism of the acts of the President, or of the officials 
under him, shall be permitted, under penalty of arrest and imprison- 
ment ; and, thus, that our personal and political liberties shall be 
disregarded, and the Constitution trampled under foot. 

Well, sir, we shall see about it. " No person shall be deprived of 


life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.^' Every civil 
officer knows what " due process of law " is, and, when armed with 
such due process, it is the duty of every person to obey. But who- 
ever comes with any other papers, or any pretence of authority, by 
telegraphic dispatch, or otherwise, from the Secretary of War, Com- 
niandcr-iri-chief, or President, deserves to be met as a burglar. It is 
a desecration of the citizen. There is a statute against it. Let such 
persons be met by the law. Every house is a castle, the poor man's 
cottage as well as the rich man's palace, in which he may defy arbi- 
trary power. Such is the law in England. In the language of Lord 
Chatham, in that noblest outburst of eloquence, " The poorest 
man in his cottage may bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. 
It may be frail ; its roof may shake ; the wind may blow through it ; 
the storm may enter ; the rain may enter ; but the King of England 
can not enter it. All his power dares not cross the threshold of that 
ruined tenement." (Tremendous cheering.) 

This right is equally sacred and secured to us here in America, 
and we will never yield it up. least of all to our own public servants. 
The sooner it is made known to this Administration that the people 
who created it and put it in power will maintain their rights, the 
less trouble there will be. I but repeat the declaration of the two 
hundred thousand Democratic voters of Ohio — fifty thousand of them 
in the army from this State — that freedom can not be violated by the 
Administration. Hear the resolution of that Democracy, in State 
Convention assembled, on the 4th of July last: 

"That we view with indignation and alarm the illegal and unconstitutional 
eeizure and imprisonment, for alleged political offenses, of our citizens, with- 
out judicial process, in States where such process was unobstructed, but, by 
executive order, by telegraph or otherwise; and call upon all who uphold the 
Union, tha Constitution, and the laws, to unite with us in denouncing and 
repelling such flagrant violation of the State and Federal Constitutions and 
tyrannical infraction of the rights and liberties of American citizens; and 
that the people of this State can not safely, and will not submit to 
have the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press, the two great 
e.ssential bulwarks of civil liberty, put down by unwarranted and despotic 
exertion of power." 

Sir, the men who urge on these violations know not what they do. 
The title to your lands, to your personal property, the legal right 
to all you have, rests in obedience to constitution and laws. Let 
this terrible truth be proclaimed everywhere, that whenever, either 
through infi-action and usurpation by the President, or by violence, 
the Constitution is no longer of binding force and the hifrhest rule 
of action, then we are at the mercy of mere power, military power 
at last. This is despotism, absolute, unmixed, cruel despotism — a 
despotism enforcing its orders to-day by arbitrary imprisonments, 
and to-morrow by bloody executions. Let all men who love the 
peace, good order, and happiness of society, who desire that the rights 
of all classes, and that rights of all kinds shall be maintained, lift 
up their voices against the arbitrary and unconstitutional acts of the 
party in power. Men of the Ptcpublican party, it is your day now: 
to-morrow, it may be, it will be ours. Be warned in time. Stand 


by the Constitution — by law and order. Do nothing by usurpation 
or violence. It must react — it will react — and there is no raging 
flood, no mountain torrent, neither the whirlwind, the surging ocean, 
nor the avalanche, like the madness of an oppressed and outraged 
people. Do men who are inciting to mobs and acts of violence, or 
applauding usurpation and infraction of Constitution and law, not 
know that they are those who suffer most and worst in the end? 
Do they imagine that they whose nights, sacred, by God's appoint- 
ment, to silence and rest, have been invaded without process of law, 
and their wives and children terror-stricken by arbitrary arrests of 
husbands and fathers — editors and public men of the loyal States, 
who have languished, for opinion's sake, within Bastiles for months — 
will have no day of reckoning for all these enormities? Sir, that 
great reaction has set in ; it hastens on. 0, that you may allow it 
to be under the Constitution and according to law — but come it will ; 
and be assured — be assured — that when that great day of account 
does come, by the measure you have meted out to us, by 

ber, remember, that wrongs like these burn deep into the innermost 
recesses of our souls, steeling them against atonement and mercy ; 
and that when the inevitable change which already is hurrying on 
upon the wings of the wind, shall have arrived, that same power by 
virtue of which you imprison us, will be in our hands. Be warned 
in time. All history has been written in vain, if our day does not 
come, and come right speedily : 

"For time at last sets all things even — • 
And if we do but watch the hour, 
There never yet was human power 
"Which could evade, if unforgiven, 
The patient search and vigil long 
Of him who treasures up a wrong." 

I speak it not as a menace, but by way of entreaty, that your 
hereafter in this life depends upon your adherence to the laws and 
Constitution. And yet I am amazed to learn that men of wealth 
and position in this city — lawyers, clergy, merchants, and others — - 
are proclaiming that those in authority have a right to disobey the 
Constitution and laws, and ought to disobey them, to secure objects 
which can not be had without disregarding all law and the personal 
and political rights of the citizen. Do these men know what they 
do? Have they read history? 

Mr. Vallandigham here referred, at length, to Greece, Eome, England, 
and the French Revolution for historic parallels, reading from the 10th and 
I4th chapters of Allison's History of Europe. He quoted the "Law of Sus- 
pected Persons," under which all France was divided into twelve classes liable 
to arrest; among them the following: 

" 1. All those who, in the assemblies of the people, discourage their enthu- 
siasm b}' cries, menaces, or crafty discourses. 2. All those who more prudently 
epeak only of the misfortunes of the Republic, and are always ready to spread 
bad news with an afl'ected air of sorrow. 3. All those who have changed 
their conduct and language according to the course of events, who were mute 
on the crimes of the Koyulists, and loudly exclaimed against the slight fauiU 


of the Republicans. 10. Those who speak with contempt of the constituted 
authorities, the ensigns of the law, tlie popular societies, or the ' defenders 
of liberty,'" etc. 

Having read these passages, Mr. Vallaxdigham proceeded: 

Sir, fifty thousand " Revolutionary Committees " spranjr up ia 
France to execute this terrible decree. They numbered five hund- 
red and forty thousand members, each one a special marshal or 
policeman to enforce it ; and in a few weeks seven hundred thousand 
citizens were suspected of "disloyalty." The prisons were speedily 
loaded with victims in every part of France. "Let them quake in 
their cells," said Collot d' Herbois, in the Convention ; " let the base 
traitors tremble at the successes of our enemies ; let a mine be dug 
under their prisons, and at the approach of those whom they call 
their liberators, let a spark blow them into the air." 

Mr. Vallandigham then read a passage concluding as follows; 

"Night came, but with it no diminution of the anxietj^of the people. Every 
family early assembled its members ; with trembling looks they gazed round 
the room, fearful that the very walls might harbor traitors. The sound of a 
foot, the stroke of a hammer, a voice in the streets, froze all hearts with hor- 
ror. If a knock was heard at the door, every one, in agonized suspense, 
expected his fate. Unable to endure such protracted misery, numbers com- 
mitted suicide." 

Sir, all of these enormities sprang first from a disregard of \afr 
and right in little things, or in violations declared to be " necessary j" 
and advanced step by step, till they culminated in the bloody and 
accumulated atrocities of Marat, Danton, and Robespierre, when, by 
execution or massacre, tens of thousands perished. All history is 
but a repetition of itself; and what has been, may be. You of the 
Republican party did not believe me, two years and more ago, when 
I foretold that Abolition and sectionalism must and would produce 
civil war. And you do not believe me now. Neither did the ante- 
diluvians believe Noah ; but the Flood came. 

It is the history of the past, that, in times of great public danger, 
the provisions of the law will not be respected. It was that which 
made France go into such great excesses. They began with the 
savans and lawyers of France, who taught the multitude that con- 
stitutions and laws and personal rights did not stand in their way ; 
and that men might be imprisoned or put to death without process 
of law. In such cases, power falls always, at last, into the hands of 
the worst of men. 

Let the day of reckoning come, and these men will peri^:-h as they 
have done in all ages. Robespierre died horribly in atonement for 
his crimes ; and, as the ax fell upon his neck, a woman exclaimed in 
tones of terrible exultation : " Murderer of my kindred, your agony 
fills me with joy; descend to hell, covered with the curses of every 
mother in France!" 

Sirs, by the memories of the past, by the history of the tyrannies 
of Greece and Rome, and the terrors of the French Revolution, I 
call on all men to demand of the Administration that it obey the 
Constitution. If any man is a traitor, guilty of any act of treasoa — 


not for opinion's sake, not for political differences — let liim be pro- 
ceeded against according to law, and, if guilty, let him perish on a 
gallows as high as Haman's. It is because I would avoid these 
horrors that I call on the President to keep the exercise of the mil- 
itary law where the Constitution keeps it, in the army and navy — 
and to see to it that no man, not in the army and navy, shall be 
arrested without '' due process of law." 

Hear the Constitution again : " No person shall be deprived of life, 
liberty, or property without due process of law." " The accused 
shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial 
jury." Was this, was either of these rights "enjoyed" by Flanders, 
of Malone, in New York, a Democratic editor, who was dragged from 
his family, imprisoned for months, and then released without charge 
against him, and without redress for the wrong? Were they enjoyed 
by General Chra'les Stone? Were they not flagrantly violated in the 
person of James W. Wall, the honored son of a patriot Senator of 
New Jersey? Have they been allowed to any one arrested by "Ex- 
ecutive order?" Sir, this Administration has no Constitutional or 
legal authority to make these arrests. I have as good a right to 
arrest the President, or any one of his Cabinet, as he or they have to 
arrest me or any other citizen in this manner. The Constitution is 
broad enough and strong enough for any emergency. It points out 
the mode of arrest and trial wherever there is actual or suspected 
guilt. Let it be obeyed. I, too, have sworn to support that Constitu- 
tion ; and, more than that, I have done it. I demand that all men, from 
the humblest citizen up to the President, shall be made to obey it 
likewise. In no other way can we have liberty, order, security. I 
was born a freeman. I shall die a freeman. It is appointed to all 
men once to die ; and death never comes too soon to one in the dis- 
charge of his duty. I have chosen my course — have pursued it — 
have adhered to it to this hour, and will to the end, regardless of 
consequences. My opinions are immovable ; fire can not melt them 
out of me. I scorn the mob. I defy arbitrary power. I may be 
imprisoned for opinion's sake — never for crime ; never because false 
to the country of my birth, or disloyal to the Constitution which I 
worship. Other patriots, in other ages, have suffered before me. I 
may die for the cause; be it so ; but the "immortal fire shall outlast 
the humble organ which conveys it, and the breath of liberty, like 
the word of the holy man, will not die with the prophet, but survive 
him." (Loud cheers.) 

And, meantime, men of Dayton, the opinions which I entertain, 
the deep convictions that control me in that course which, before 
Almighty God, I believe can alone maintain the Constitution and 
restore the Union as our fathers made it, I never, never will yield up. 
Neither hight nor depth, neither death nor life, nor principalities, nor 
powers, nor things present, nor things to come — no, nor the knife of 
the assassin, shall move me from my firm purpose. (Great and long- 
continued cheering.) 

The President professes to think that the Union can be restored 
by arms. I do not. A Union founded on consent can never be 


ceiuciitcd by force. This is the testimony of the Fathers. It was 
his own. He said, in his Inaugural, but sixteen months ago : 

"Suppose you go to war, you can not fight nlwnys; and when, after much 
loss on bvih sic/e.i, and no gain on either, you cease lighting, the old identical 
questions as to terms of intercourse are upon you." 

I a,i;ree with hira in that. But now we are in the midst of war, 
and tlioy who really think that war will maintain the Constitution 
and restore the Union, ought to fight. I am for the Union in any 
event. It is an impelling necessity, it is manifest destiny, certainly 
in the Valley of the Mississippi, that we be one people. We never 
can fulfill the Great Mission appointed for us without it. But, under 
Providence, it can onl}^ be brought about through the wisdom, cour- 
age, and integrity of the people. 

At a late "war meeting," so-called, in this city, it was charged by 
an ex-Uovcrnor of the State, of "tin-cup" memory, that I proposed 
to divide this country into four confederacies or republics. It is 
false, and he knew it. I proposed only to divide the Senate into four 
divisions, and to change the mode of electing the President. And 
this I did in order to preserve, not to destroy the Union. And still 
my heart's desire and prayer is to see it restored just as our fathers 
made it. 

And now, men of ]Montgomery, I have somewhat to say upon what 
Mr. Lincoln, in his late proclamation, has most justly and truly called 
"this unnecessary and injurious CIVIL war." I am for suppressing 
rebellion — I am. I always have been. Perhaps my mode is not that 
of other men ; but I have the right — and mean to exercise it still — 
of judging for myself of the true and proper mode. I think mine 
would iiave prevented it at first ; and even after it began, would have 
ended it long since. It must, it will be tried at last, if ever any thing 
is to be accomplished. But I have had no power to try it. They 
who have the power have determined upon another way — with what 
success, judge ye — and, like a good citizen, I resist not, but stand by 
to see the result of the experiment. If it is successful in maintaining 
the Constitution and restoring the Union, I will make full, open, 
explicit confession that I was wrong, utterly, totally wrong, and will 
retire to private life the residue of my days. But if it fail — let the 
people judge then between mc and my accusers. 

I repeat it: I am for suppressing all rebellion — both rebellions. 
There are two — the Secession Kcbcllion South, and the Abolition 
Rebellion North and West. I am against both ; for putting down 
both. Since you have resolved that there shall be war, I commit 
the armed Rebellion South, to the soldiers of the army, three-fourths 
of them Democrats, young Democrats. I commit it to Halleck and 
Buell and Burnside and others, and to that abused, persecuted, out- 
raged general and patriot, George B. McClellan. (Great cheering.) 
If he can not do it, it is because, in the nature of things, it is not 
possible that it be done in that way. The plan proposed hy him 
was (he only one which even so much as promised success. And it 
implied a restoration of the Union as it was, and, meantime, the 


maintenance of the Constitution as it is. That is the reason why 
he has been so persecuted by abolition rebels and disunionists. 
But it is the proud boast of himself and his friends, that in spite 
of all their abuse and calumny, he has calmly and steadfastly 
pursued his policy. All our victories were the result of that 
policy ; all our reverses followed his supersession. From that hour 
to this, there has been no victory. Defeat has not lost him the con- 
fidence of the people. He has the devoted and enthusiastic affection 
of his soldiers; and he has the calmness, the firmness, and the 
unshaken consistency and persistency of purjjose which will enable 
him to triumph in the end, at least, over his enemies at home. To 
him, therefore, and to the army, I commit the Secession Rebellion 
of the South. I waste no breath in idle denunciation of an enemy 
a thousand miles off. Cursing will not put down men in arms, else 
there would have been an end to this armed rebellion long ago. As 
Governor Richardson suggested in Congress, the Jericho of Secession 
is not to be thrown down by the blowing of Abolition horns. Who- 
ever among the Abolitionists would curse secession, let him enlist, 
and then he will show his faith by his works, and your armies will 
be full in a week. Let every man who would invite others to go, 
first go himself. I have never interfered with enlistments. While 
the war lasts, our armies, for many reasons, must not be disbanded ; 
go I said in Congress more than a year ago. Without enlistments 
they can not be kept up ; and if any man, subject to military duty, 
really thinks that the Union can be restored by force and arms, and 
only in that way, let him enlist; it is his duty to enlist; he is 
"disloyal" if he does not enlist. (Cries of good, good; that's the 
talk.) Whoever shall be drafted, should a draft be ordered accord- 
ing to Constitution and law, is in duty bound, no matter what he 
thinks of the war, to either go, or find a substitute, or pay the fine 
which the law imposes ; he has no right to resist, and none to run 

I have said that, in my deliberate and solemn judgment, war can 
not restore the Union, but, if continued long enough, must destroy 
it; and, it may be, our own liberties also. "War," said Douglas, 
"is disunion; war is final, eternal separation." The Administration 
do not seem to think so. The country, just now, does not think so. 
Mr. Lincoln says, that war is the right way to restore the Union. 
I think there is another, a better, the only way to do it. He has 
the power to try his ; I have not. War is upon us ; and from the 
beginning, believing as I did, and yet powerless for good, I laid 
down the rule for myself, and have faithfully adhered to it, and will 
to the end, neither to vote for or against any purely war measure 
of the Administration. Wherever I have voted upon any question, 
my course has been governed by other considerations than those 
having reference to my opinions on the war. Accordingly, I have 
not voted for any army bill, or navy bill, or army or navy appropria- 
tion bill, since the meeting of Congress on the 4th of July, 1861. 
Neither have I voted against any such bill from the beginning. I 
appeal to the Globe, and to the Journals of the House, for the proof. 


These facts I refer to, because you are my constituents, and have a 
right to know them. One thing, liowever, we all must demand of 
the Administration : that the war be conducted according to the 
Constitution, and for a constitutional purpose. 

But, men of Dayton, there is another and diiferent, yet most des- 
perate rebellion to be dealt with — the Abolition Kebellion of the 
North and West. It, too, must be put down ; speedily and firmly 
put down, if we would save the country. In my judgment, you will 
never suppress the armed Secession llebellion till you have crushed 
under foot the pestilent Abolition Rebellion first. Ask the officers 
and soldiers of the army, and they will tell you the same thing. A 
Kepresentative, and exempt, therefore, from military service, I believe 
it my duty to stay at home and fight the Abolition rebels of the 
North and West. In the exercise of my constitutional rights, which 
can not and shall not be taken away, I propose to do my part toward 
putting down this, the earliest and most desperate and malignant 
rebellion. It must be met by reason and appeals to the people, 
through the press and in public assemblages, and be put down at the 
ballot-box. But if the overt rebellion in Wisconsin and in Ohio, at 
Urbana, in 1857, and Cleveland, in 1859, (the one at Urbana an 
armed rebellion,) had been promptly and severely punished as they 
ought to have been, we never would have had any other. 

Here Mr. V. traced briefly the history of the slavery question 
from the beginning to the present day. In 1787 it had been settled 
by the compromises of the Constitution, and all had been peace, 
quiet, and prosperity, till the terrible " Missouri Question," which 
struck upon the ear of Jeflerson " like a fire-bell in the night." 
That had been settled by compromise, and we had quiet and peace 
again for fifteen years, till the systematic and organized anti-slavery 
agitation began, in 1835, at which time it was so bitterly denounced by 
President Jackson. But it continued gaining strength every year, 
till it ended, as every wise man foresaw it must end, in an "unneces- 
sary and injurious civil war." Fifteen years ago there were 
Secession disunionists South, just as there were Abolition disunionists 
in the North and West. The former were in public places, State 
and Federal ; but as soon as they proclaimed their disunion proclivi- 
ties, or were even suspected of them, they were speedily ejected from 
office, even in South Carolina. In 1851, every southern State, with- 
out exception, carried the Union ticket upon a direct issue ; and for 
years no disunionist, in the South, could be elected to any office. 
How was it, meantime, in the North and West? From absolute 
odium and weakness. Abolitionism steadily increased in position and 
power, till the Senate began to be filled with Abolitionists, open or 
in disguise, and the House of Representatives also ; and till every 
free State, in every branch of its government, fell into the hands of 
active and aggressive anti-slavery men ; and, finally, a President was 
elected by a sectional anti-slavei-y party, on a sectional anti-slavery 
platform, who himself declared that this Union could not endure 
"part slave and part free." And yet, at the South, even after 
secession began, it was with difficulty that any State was induced to 


secede, except Soutli Carolina. In every other cotton State, there 
was a large minority against secession ; and up to April 15th, 1861, 
North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Arkansas refused, by large 
majorities, to secede, while Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and 
Missouri adhere to the Union to this day. In the very midst of 
secession, if any fair and adequate compromise had been proposed by 
Congress, especially if the ''Crittenden propositions" of December, 

1860, had been adopted, secession would have perished. Mr. Davis 
and Mr. Toombs both declared that they would be content. That 
is the statement of Mr. Pugh. It is the testimony of Mr. Douglas 
also. But those propositions never received a solitary Republican 
vote in either the Senate or the House. " Hence, the sole responsi- 
bility for our disagreement," said Douglas, on the 3d of January, 

1861, "and the only difl&culty in the way of our amicable adjust- 
ment, is %oith the Republican party ^ 

Sir, these are facts which it is useless to deny, and senseless to 
quarrel with ; and they are part of the many circumstances upon 
which I found my immovable hope of a final restoration of the 
Union, in spite of the folly and madness and wickedness every day 
exhibited, uniting the South, and dividing the North and West, 

The South is now well nigh united as one man ; and for nearly three 
months we have met with little else than defeat. What united the 
South? What changed the fortunes of the war? In the beginning 
it was declared to be for the Union and the Constitution. These 
were noble objects, and success attended our arms. Before the 
battle of Bull Run, Mr. Crittenden sought to offer his now often 
quoted resolution, defining the objects of the war, and the Repub- 
licans did not allow it to be even so much as received. It was met 
with sneers and contempt. The day after the battle, when Washing- 
ton was full of escaped soldiers, and fugacious Congressmen from 
the battle-field, it was offered again, and without objection. But 
two men, both Republicans, voted against that part of it. I voted 
for that part of it, but not for the first, because it did not speak 
the whole truth ; because it did not denounce the Abolition dis- 
unionists of the North and West also, and hold them responsible 
too. Six hundred thousand men were soon afterward enlisted. The 
victories of Hatteras, Port Royal, Mill Springs, Donelson, Roanoke, 
Winchester, Newbern, Island Ten, New Orleans, Norfolk, and others 
all followed. Then was the hour for wisdom and sound, policy. 
But, no ; it was the exact time selected by Abolitionism for the very 
saturnalia of its folly and madness. Every scheme and project of 
emancipation, execution, and confiscation. Congressional and Execu- 
tive, of the whole session, was pressed forward, and many of them 
consummated during this same period of victory. The war was every- 
where to be perverted from the spirit of the "Crittenden resolution." 
And with what result? The South, before that time divided, was 
now united as one man. Even the border slave States were shaken 
to the center, and thousands of their citizens driven into the Con- 
federate service. The armies of the South were rapidly filled up. A 
spirit was breathed into each man's breast which made him a host, 


It was these things, and such infamous orders as Butler's at New 
Orleans, which inspired their armies, making them invincible — and 
not overwhelming numbers. Victory everywhere was theirs. Mc- 
Dowell, The Seven Pines, Front Royal, Winchester, Cross Keys, 
Port Republic, James Island, Vicksburg, and the Great Seven Days 
Battle of Richmond all followed. The men, and the women, too, of 
the South said. If indiscriminate execution, confiscation, and eman- 
cipation arc the rule of the Federal Government, let us perish 
rather on the battle-field. 

This is what Abolitionism has cost us already — an unnecessary 
and injurious civil war; a united South; a divided North and West; 
a diminished Federal army; an increased Confederate army; the one 
dispirited, the other confident; fifteen months of most vigorous war, 
with the largest army and most numerous navy of modern times; 
and yet not a single State restored ; but a public debt of a thousand 
millions of dollars incurred, and two hundred and fifty thousand 
brave men lost to the army, no man knows how. For all this, 
Abolitionism is responsible. Let it answer at the bar of public 
opinion. Let the people judge. Let the inexorable sentence go forth, 
and just and speedy judgment be executed upon it. 

These, men of Dayton, are my opinions. They are my convictions. 
And yet, for these I am denounced as "disloyal!" What is loyalty? 
Obedience, faithfulness to law, or, in Norman-French, to LoY ; and 
there is no higher law than the Constitution. AVhoever obeys the 
laws is Myal ; whoever breaks them, whether one in authority or a 
private citizen, is disloyal. There is no such thing yet in the United 
States, thank God, as loyalty to a President, or to any Administration. 
And yet, I have heard of loyalty to Abraham Lincoln, to a man, a 
public servant, whom the people made, and can unmake ! Whoever 
talks thus is fit only to be a slave. If these men mean that I am 
opposed to the Administration and party in power, and to the doc- 
trines and policy of Abolition, and think them false to the Constitution, 
and disastrous to the country ; if they mean that I am a Democrat, 
devoted to the principles and policy, and faithful to the organization 
of that grand old party which made this country what it is, and am 
for the old Constitution and the old Union, then I am disloyal, and 
bless God for it. But if they mean that I am false to the Constitu- 
tion, untrue to the Union, or disloyal to the country of my birth, in 
thought, or word, or deed, then, in the language of an eloquent 
citizen of Indiana, (Mr. Voorhees,) " they lie in their teeth, in their 
throats, and in their hearts." (Loud cheers.) 

Who is an Abolitionist? Whoever is for indiscriminate confisca- 
tion, in order to strike at slavery, is an Abolitionist. Whoever is for 
emancipation and purchase of the slaves of the border States, and 
the pretended colonization of them abroad, but really their importa- 
tion North and West, to compete with our own white labor, is an 
Abolitionist. Whoever would reduce the southern States to Territo- 
ries, in order to strike down slavery in them by Federal power, is an 
Abolitionist. Whoever is in favor of arming the slaves, or of declar- 
ing slavery abolished by executive or military proclamation, is aa 


Abolitionist. And, finally, ■whoever is for converting the war, directly 
or indirectly, into a crusade for the abolition of slavery, is an Aboli- 
tionist of the worst sort ; and he who votes for those who favor these 
things, is also an Abolitionist in practice, no matter what his profes- 
sions or his party name may be. Whoever is opposed to these pro- 
jects and votes accordingly, and is for the Constitution as it is, and 
the Union as it was, is a truly loyal citizen, whether he fights Seces- 
sion rebels in the field, or Abolition rebels at the ballot-box. 

And now, men of Montgomery, if you desire that the rebellion at 
the South shall be suppressed, that the Confederate armies shall be 
dissolved, and that the Constitution shall be maintained, the Union 
restored, and all laws obeyed, unite with me at the ballot-box in speedily 
and forever crushing out the execrable Abolition rebellion in the 
North and West. Whoever feels it his duty to fight armed rebels at 
the South, let him enlist at once ; let him not buy up a substitute, 
but go himself. Whoever remains at home, it is his duty to join with 
me against Abolition rebels in our midst. This is loyalty ; this is 
fidelity to the Union. The hour of trial and of vindication will soon 
come. The great hereafter is at hand. In six month — I repeat 
it — in three months, in six weeks, it may be — sooner or later, come 
meantime what may, the question will be, eternal separation, or 
THE UNION THROUGH COMPROMISE. Which will you then choose — 
not now, not yet; for amid arms reason, too, is silent — but when it 
does come ? Come it will, and then you must choose between the 
Union which our fathers made, or a hopeless, cheerless, eternal, and 
belligerent disunion. I believe that the Administration will declare 
for separation. Then, as now and ever, I shall be for the Union and 
against separation. Sir, the choice must be made, and made soon. 
We have already an enormous debt. A thousand millions would 
not pay it. We spend three millions a day. How long can you 
stand that? Our army of six hundred and thirty -seven thousand last 
January, has melted away to four hundred thousand ; and now three 
hundred thousand more volunteers are demanded, and will soon be in 
the field. Yet, only fifteen mouths ago, just seventy-five thousand 
militia were called out, and the '"insurgents " ofiicially commanded to 
disperse in twenty days ! A government paper currency of hundreds 
of millions is upon us; and a taxation the most onerous and unjust 
ever levied upon any but a conquered people. A tarifi", too, of from 
forty-one to one hundred and thirteen per cent., as if to heap up the 
utmost measure of the load, is now added. Stand in the doorway 
of your farm-house and behold and feel nothing, nothing not taxed, 
except the air you breathe, and the bright sun-light or star-light of 
heaven ! And yet, you must pay it to the uttermost farthing. None 
but a madman or a traitor will talk of resistance or repudiation. It 
was not so in Democratic times. For sixty years that party goveyned 
this country in peace and prosperity, and with wisdom and sound 
policy. Try it again. I am a party man more from conviction than 
inclination. There must be parties under every free government, and 
if there are not good parties, there will be bad ones ; and " when bad 
men combine," said Burke, " good men must associate." Why did 


the Democratic party always govern this country wisely and well 
and all other parties fail? Because our institutions are Democratic, 
and the principles and policy of the Democratic party arc consistent 
with them ; just as a piece of mechanism can only be made to work 
upon the principle or theory on which it is constructed. That is the 
philosophy of the historic fact. But the Democratic party could not 
conduct the British government three months without signal and dis- 
astrous failure. Let the people lay these things to heart. IjCt them 
restore the Democratic party to power, if they would be rescued at 
last. And, meantime, if the President would be sustained, let him 
resist fearlessly the spirit of Abolitionism; let him adhere to the Con- 
stitution ; and himself obey all laws, and execute all laws ; let him 
unmuzzle the press, and unfetter the tongue, and give freedom again 
to assemblages of the people and to elections ; let him liberate his 
so-called prisoners of State, and henceforth arrest no man without 
due process of law ; in a word, let him look to love, not fear ; to law, 
not terror, as the support of his administration ; and every true patriot 
in the land will rally round him ; and then, in God's good time, our 
eyes shall yet be gladdened, dark as the hour now is, with the blessed 
vision of the Constitution maintained, the Union restored, and the 
old flag of our country known and honored once again in every land 
and upon every sea. (Great and long-continued cheering.) 



The Democratic Congressional Convention, composed of the coun- 
ties of Butler, Montgomery, Preble, and Warren, met at Hamilton, in 
Butler Co., September 4th, and nominated Hon. C. L. Vallandigham, 
by acclamation. Mr. V. being informed of his nomination, and con- 
ducted to the stand, signified his acceptance by reading the following 
address : 

To the Democrats and other loyal Union men of the Third Congres- 
sional District of Ohio : 

Just after the congressional election in 18G0, acknowledging my 
very many and great obligations to you for past iavors, I declared 
my fixed purpose to decline another candidacy. In this mind I con- 


tinned through all the extraordinary changes of the past two years. 
I learned, indeed, some time ago, from many sources, and upon un- 
mistakable evidence, that it was the general desire of the Democracy 
of the District that I should be their candidate again, and I thanked 
them for the confidence implied. But recently circumstances have 
changed. The " reign of terror " has been renewed with more sever- 
ity than ever before. Freedom of the press and of speech has been 
repeatedly and causelessly stricken down. Political and personal 
liberty has, over and over again, been assailed by illegal and arbitrary 
arrests ; and thus a determined purpose evinced to break down the 
ancient, customary, and constitutional means of opposition to the poli- 
tical party in power, under the false and tyrannical pretence that it 
is *' opposition to the Government." To shrink from a canvass 
pressed upon me by the unanimous voice of the Democracy of the 
District, would be cowardice now. You have never deserted me ; I 
will not, in this hour of peculiar trial and peril, desert you. With 
many and most heartful thanks, therefore, I accept the unanimous 
nomination just tendered to me, content with your indorsement here 
to-day, and the ratification of it, by the Democrats and other loyal 
Union men of the District at the polls, as of more value than an 
election purchased by the sacrifice of the party and the principles 
■which my judgment and conscience approve, and which I have 
adhered to and maintained from my very boyhood to this day ; a 
party, too, the success of which is so essential, at this moment, to the 
reunion of the States, and the peace and prosperity of the country ; 
for, if there be any one fact proved now beyond a reasonable doubt, 
it is the utter imcompetency of the party in power to successfully 
administer the Government. / know, indeed, that the District in 
which I have been three times honored with an election, has been 
changed by a '■'■no party " partisan Legislature, and made heavily 
Republican, for the purpose of preventing the return of a Democrat; 
and that at the election last fall, the counties which now compose this 
District, gave the Republican or Fusion candidate for Governor a very 
large majority. But districts made for party purposes have more 
than once been changed by the people at the polls, and greater ma- 
jorities than this many times overcome, as was, indeed, done last 
spring, even in the District as now constituted. In any event, the 
vindication of Democratic principles and the Democratic cause is, at 
this time especially, of far more importance than mere success in any 

At yoixr demand, therefore, men of the Third District, I accept 
the nomination, and present myself to the people for their suffrages, 
upon no other platform than the Constitution as it is and the 
Union as it was. 

It is a platform broad enough for every patriot. Whoever is for 
it, I ask his support. Wheever is against it, I would not have his 
vote. Every faculty of body and mind which I possess shall be 
exerted unremittingly for the great purpose implied in this platform. 

As a Representative, it is my duty to visit the constituency of the 
old District, still a part of the new, and to render to them an account 


of my stewardsliip as a public servant. As a candidate, I have ft 
right to address the people upon all political questions, and they 
have a rip;ht to hear me. 
Says the Constitution : 

" Membora of the House of rvcpresenlatives shall be chosen every second year 
by the people." 

And again : 

" Congress shall mal<e no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of tho 
press ; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the 
government for a redress of grievances." 

Our State Constitution is still more explicit : 

" The people have the right to assemble together in a peaceable manner, to 
consult for their common good; to instruct their representatives, and to peti- 
tion the General Assembly for the redress of grievances. 

These high and essential constitutional rights the Democrats and 
other loyal Union men of this District everywhere, and I as their 
candidate, mean to exercise to the fullest extent. And it will tend 
much toward the quiet and good feeling of communities, if all idle 
talk, such as that the Democratic candidate shall not speak in this 
place or that place, be dispensed with : for let it be understood, once 
for all, that wherever in any part of any county in the District it 
is deemed convenient and proper to advertise a Democratic meeting, 


After reading the foregoing, Mr. Vallandigham spoke an hour 
or more, with great force and effect, often interrupted by applauding 
responses. No report was made of the speech, beyond a few notes 
by the secretary, from which we learn that, in closing, he stated, 
that he had supported the Six Million Bill for paying the three 
months' volunteers ; and had also prepared and reported a bill to 
pay a bounty of thirty dollars to these volunteers, in addition to 
their pay. This bill, he said, passed the House, but failed in the 

Mr. v. then defined his position as to State defense, expressed in 
the following resolution, which he offered, and which was adopted 
by the meeting unanimously, amid great cheering : 

Resolved, That it is the highest duty of the citizen, whenever his 
country or State is invaded, to rush to its rescue, by arms, if he is 
capable of military service, and by money or otherwise every way, 
if he is not; and that the Democracy, as a part of the people of this 
district, laying aside all party fooling for that purpose, are ready with 
life and fortune to do their part in discharging this patriotic duty. 

The way being thus opened, by receiving and accepting the nomi- 


nation, Mr. Vallandigham entered upon a thorough and vigorous 
canvass of his district. To carry his old congressional district, and 
by a larger majority than ever before, after all denunciation, was the 
great point to be attained. But the Legislature, at its last session,, 
had added to his district the county of Warren, one of the strongest 
Abolition counties in the State, and by this most unfair and dis- 
ingenuous piece of gerrymandering, had provided against the pos- 
sibility of his re-election. But this, with him, was no reason for 
faltering. It was due to his friends, and the cause, that he should 
demonstrate to them, and to all concerned, that he had lost none of 
his fitness for the high office in which they desired to continue himj 
and should publicly nail to the wall those base slanders and lies 
with which the abolition press had been teeming. The occasion, also, 
furnished an opportunity not to be lost, for bringing clearly and 
boldly to the view of the people, those great and true principles of 
political practice and faith, for whose fearless and unwavering advo- 
cacy and defense he had continually suffered the most malignant 

The occasion was improved ; the six weeks preceding the day of 
election being spent in addressing large and enthusiastic assemblies, 
at prominent points in the district. And the result was a triumphant 
indorsement and vindication of Mr. Vallandigham. His old dis- 
trict, which hehas represented for the last six years, gave him a 
majority four times larger than ever before. 

The Cincinnati Times, an Abolition paper, in its issue the day 
after election, said : 

Vallandigham, though his district, in the new apportionment, was 
arranged especially to defeat him, is barely defeated, and that is all. 
In his old district, where, a year ago. he scarcely dare attempt to 
address a popular assemblage, he has a majority of about 700, and 
is defeated only from the fact that a very strong Bepublican county 
has been added to the district. These facts are given as an illustra- 
tion of the political revolution that has undoubtedly begun in the 
North-western States. 

The Cincinnati Enquirer, referring to this statement, the next 
day, said : 

The Times is correct in its facts. The Hon. C. L. Vallandigham 
has obtained the greatest personal and political triumph ever won by 
any public man in the United States. In the face of a storm of 
abuse, obloquy, slander, and denunciation, from every Abolition print, 
and every Abolition orator, from Maine to California, which, in fury, 
was probably never equaled, Mr. Vallandigham has been indorsed by 


the constituents whora he represents in Congress, by a majority 
of 800 votes, an increase of 700 since his last election, in 1860. 
Denouiicoil as a traitor, as a secessionist, as an enemy of his country, 
by the fawning parasites of power, by vindictive political partisans, 
who have sought to make his name synonymous with treason, his 
life and liberty threatened by those who were ignorant of his political 
record, he has appealed to the people of his district, and he has been 
triumphantly sustained. 

It was a spectacle that challenged admiration, to see an able, a 
bold and brave man standing up for what he deemed right, unawed 
by power, and unseduccd by his personal advantages^ which lay upon 
the other side. The American people are a generous people, and 
love to see fairness and honesty displayed. 

After the indorsement of the people of his district — after 10,000 
American citizens have honored him with their votes — the slanderers 
of Mr. Yallandigham had better, for shame's sake, cease their abuse. 
If they do not, there is no knowing to what position of prominence 
he may advance. If Mr. Vallandigham has been beaten, it is owing 
to the rascality of an Abolition legislature, which made a district 
with especial view to his defeat. He has carried his own district, 
but he could hardly be expected to carry Tom Corwin's in addition, 
which was saddled upon him. 

The haters and slanderers of Mr. Vallandigham were thus 
despoiled of the triumph they had hoped to secure, and had nothing 
to boast of beyond what they obtained by unfair legislation and 

A most corrupt and infamous Abolition sheet, the most deadly, 
persistent, and mendacious slanderer of Mr. Vallandigham, on the 
morning of the election, thus put in its last word : 

Vallandigham. — It will be enough to beat the cowardly, impu- 
dent, and malignant traitor Vallandigham in his district as it stands. 
In the name of the honor of Ohio, beat him in the old district. 
The new district — we explain for the public at large — is the old one, 
with "Warren county attached. It is discreditable that Vallandigham 
can have the support of even a faction in Ohio. The disgrace will 
be black, burning, and infinitely shameful, if he is not beaten over- 

Then, surely, the disgrace was " black, burning, and infinitely 
shameful," for, as the Empire remarked, referring to the above 
declaration : 

Mr. Vallandigham has not been beaten in the old district ; on the 
contrary, he triumphantly carries it, by four times as large a ma- 
jority as ever before. And, better still, he is indorsed in his own 
county, which he never carried before, by a majority of near four 


The Empire says, also : 

And, further, lie lias not only been indorsed by the people of hi3 
own district, but by the Democracy of the whole State. Does the 
Commercial remember any thing about the Fourth of July Conven- 
tion, of which it said Vallandigham and Medary were the "ruling 
spirits ; " that convention of " Butternuts," if you please, over which 
Sam Medary presided, and at which Vallandighani was the principal 
speaker? Well, the ticket which the " Vallandighammers " that day 
nominated has been elected, ratified, and indorsed by the people of 
the State. Montgomery county has a representative on that ticket, 
in the person of Professor C. W. H. Cathcart. 

But the fact that Mr. Vallandigham's non-election was secured 
by adding to his district a piece of strong Abolition territory, has 
been studiously ignored, and even lied out of view, by the Abolition 
press. Referring to this subject, the Hon. J. W. Wall, lately 
elected United States Senator from New Jersey, said, in a letter to 
the New York World, in October, 1862 : 

If I am correctly informed, at the last session of the Ohio Legis- 
lature, over three thousand Republican votes were transferred bodily 
to the district, for the purpose, as was avowed, of preventing his 
return to Congress. Besides all this, resort was had to the base 
means that corruption and misrepresentation understand so well how 
to wield. 

There is no public man in the State of Ohio who wields the per- 
sonal influence, and has a stronger hold upon the popular heart, than 
the fearless, incorruptible, and talented Representative from the Day- 
ton district. Knowing him, as I do, and the fierce, malignant oppo- 
sition against which he has had to contend, led on by the remorseless 
energies of fanaticism, I may say, as was said of Hector, '■'■Si Pergema 
dextra defendi possent^ etiam hac defensa fuissent." But Hector's 
arm was not strong enough to save the city. 

There is no more patriotic heart beats in any man's bosom than 
his. No man, either in Congress or out of it, has exhibited more 
wisdom and remarkable forecast in reference to this war and its 
results. No man has been more disinterested, devoted himself to 
his country's best interests, and labored more assiduously to stay 
the disastrous legislation of the last Congress, which he declared was 
pregnant with manifold mischief to the country. Any man familiar 
with his speeches, will be struck with the prophetic sagacity they 
manifest. He saw the "end from the beginning," and predicted the 
present ruined, disastrous condition of the country. 

In every part of the Union the defeat of Mr. Vallandigham was 
deeply regretted, especially as he had been so well sustained by his 
own district, and was beaten only by a part of Corwin's old district 


bein"' turned over unto him. The tone of the Democratic press was 
like this, from the Mount Vernon (Ohio) Banner: 

The defeat of the gallant Clement L. Vallandighara, in the 
Third District, is greatly lamented by all good Union-loving Demo- 
crats. The Republicans purposely formed a district to defeat him, 
and they have been successful by a small majority. But they can 
not put Mr. Vallandigham down. Although slandered more than 
any living man, he has come out of the "fiery ordeal" like pure 
gold. Higher honors yet await him. 

The Syracuse (N. Y.) Courier said : 

In this State the malignants and radicals crow lustily over the 
defeat of the brave, gifted, and patriotic Vallandigham. A high 
and independent spirit, such as the times require, has, perhaps, fallen 
there, but not sacrificed by the people whom he had represented. 
If victimized at all, he is a victim of the same kind of radical gerry- 
mandering of his district as sacrificed Biddle in Pennsylvania. A 
strong Republican county was added to his district, and it was so 
constituted that the counties composing the district gave last fall 
over 3,000 majority against the Democratic ticket. If defeated by 
800 majority, he has every reason to be proud of the result, and of 
the confidence evinced by this diminished majority against him. 

In Hamilton, where Mr. Vallandigham was nominated, a meet- 
ing, held soon after the election, indorsed him in a series of resolu- 
tions, among which are the following : 

Whereas, A recent act of the Ohio Legislature remapped the 
territory of the Third Congressional District, including within its 
well-known boundary the county of Warren ; and, whereas, such 
remapping was executed by the enemies of the Democratic party, 
with the intent to prevent a return to Congress of the chosen tribune 
of the ancient district; and, whereas, by such partisan legislation we 
have been temporarily deprived of the services of our faithful public 
servant, Hon. C. L. Vallandigham, therefore, 

Resolved, By the Democracy of Butler county, in mass meeting 
assembled, That we reaffirm our confidence in the patriotism of our 
Representative, and again record an entire satisfaction of his man- 
agement of our trust. 

Resolved, That to his fortitude and consumate policy as much as to 
any single existence, we attribute the recently disclosed sober second 
thought of the people. 

Resolved, That for his earnest deprecation of the calamities of 
these States ; for his attempt to appease the wrath of the contending 
people of both sections of the Union ; for his endeavor to invoke 
reason, and call back the blessings of happier days; for his marvelous 
perception of the consequences of this "unnatural civil war," and for 
his unoqualed exertions in its repression ; for this catalogue of crimes, 
which has excited the ire of fanatics, which has furnished the weapons 


of destruction to an Abolition press, and wliicli has made his name 
synonymous with traitor, the constituents of Hon. Clement L. Val- 
landigham demand the judgment of history. 

The closing resolution ends with a quotation which it -will not 
always be treason to repeat, nor is it now treason against Heaven — 

"Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children 
of God." 



After the election of October 14, 1862, which exhibited the 
gratifying results of the most important and remarkable political 
revolution ever witnessed in Ohio, it was determined to have some 
general jubilee celebrations. Those meetings were started, and went 
with a rush all over the State. For several weeks the " Democratic 
jubilees" were the order of the day, and were attended by immense 
multitudes. Indiana, also, took a part in those jubilees. 

Mr. Vallandigham attended a large number of those meetings. 
One of the first at which he was present was held at Centreville, 
Indiana, on the 20th of October, where he spoke two hours to an 
audience of two thousand or more, who heard and applauded his 
speech with unbounded enthusiasm. One of that crowd ends a 
report of the doings with the remark that " Not only have the 
people of his district indorsed him, but the people of Indiana, 
Ohio, and Pennsylvania have spoken in thunder tones in favor of 
Vallandigham, the Constitution, and the Union." 

On the 22d of October, two days later, Mr. Vallandigham was 
at the " grand jollification " in Hillsborough, Ohio, held in honor 
of "the great Democratic victories in Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsyl- 
vania." The Hillsborough Gazette says : 

Never was the truth of that old adage, " Truth is mighty and 
will prevail," more fully verified than on this occasion. Many who 


had come to hear the speaker, with opinions altogether biased against 
hiui, having never been Democrats in their lives, went away from the 
meeting impressed with the belief that he was the most powerful, 
forcible, and truthful speaker they had ever heard, and with a 
fixed determination to vote for him in case he shall ever be a can- 
didate for any office that will give them an opportunity to do so. 
We do not hesitate to say that Mr. Vallandigham is, to-day, the 
most popular man in the State of Ohio ; and, as a rebuke for the 
shameful manner in which he was gerrymandered out of his seat in 
Congress by an Abolition legislature, the people of Ohio would now 
be willing to bestow upon him any office within their gift. 

Three days later, October 25th, Mr. Vallandiguam was at Mt. 
Vernon, 0., in midst of the Democracy of "Old Knox." The day 
was stormy and very unpleasant, but the city had no room large 
enough for the crowd ; so they took a stand in the open air, and, 
defying the weather, listened to Mr. Vallandiguam with the moat 
earnest attention for three full hours. The Mt. Vernon Banner 
says : 

The audience would have heard him speak a whole day with the 
greatest pleasure. His speech was certainly the ablest and best ever 
delivered in this city ; and men who have heard many of the most 
eminent speakers in the Union, declare Mr. Vallandigham equal, if 
not superior, to any of them. The speech, fi'om beginning to end, 
was characteristic of the statesman, the patriot, and the Christian. It 
comprehended the situation and crisis of our affiiirs. The course and 
tendency of events were well told, and the condition of the country 
truly depicted. The designs of the factious demagogues, conspiring 
fanatics, and unfaithful public men, who now, unfortunately, sit in the 
high places of power and trust, were laid bare and reprobated with, 
crushing truth, reason, and common sense. "Would that every honest 
and really patriotic citizen could hear and heed Mr. Vallandigham's 
words of truth and wisdom; the base schemes of wicked men would 
soon be exploded or frustrated, their authors punished, or, at least, 
deprived of power to ruin, and the country restored to peace, har- 
mony, and prosperity. 

The next of these meetings at which we find Mr. Vallandigham 
was held on the 1st of November, at his old home in New Lisbon, 
Columbiana county, 0. The Ohio Patriot^ of that place, describing 
the meeting, says : 

"Word had circulated that Vallandigham, the friend of the Consti- 
tion and the Union — which, by Repuljlican interpretation, means the 
traitor and secessionist — was to speak, and the old men of the county, 
who used to listen to his father's preaching, and the young men who 
admired his valor and his patriotism, came in, by hundreds, to get the 
political gospel from the son. Never in New Lisbon did there assem- 
ble so many of the sober and pious people of the county. 


In another editorial the Patriot says : 

Mr. Vallandigham was born and raised in New Lisbon, and was 
well known to the people of this county previous to his removal to 
Dayton. When a young man, fully confiding in his ability and integ- 
rity, they elected him to the legislature of the State; and their con- 
fidence in his patriotism and statesmanship has been increased by 
every act of his life. He has been the subject of much abuse from 
the Republicans ; but they can not show one word he has ever uttered 
that was disloyal : while it would be very easy to establish, that, if 
every man in the North had pursued the same course for the last ten 
years, we would have had no war, no Federal tax, no draft, no stricken 
people mourning for their dead kindred, victims of battle. Mr. Val- 
landigham is immensely popular. 

On the 5th of November, Mr. Vallandigham was at that immense 
Democratic celebration in Newark, 0. A correspondent of the Cin- 
cinnati Enquirer, describing the meeting, says : 

Such demonstrations as the one we had here yesterday should con- 
vince the most skeptical of the lively, healthy, vigorous existence of 
the Democracy. It is affirmed by those who ought to know, that it 
was the largest political meeting in this city since the year 1840. 
And certainly it could not well be exceeded in earnestness and zeal. 
About ten thousand people convened in the court-house square, be- 
tween one and two o'clock, P. M. Many came from the adjoining 
counties. Hon. C. L. Vallandigham made the first speech. His 
introduction was accompanied by an enthusiastic outburst of applause 
from the whole multitude. Mr. Vallandigham began by referring 
to and narrating the incidents and revealing the motives of the recent 
causeless and most foul murder, at Dayton, of one of his best friends, 
J. F. Bollmeyer, editor of the Dayton Mnpire, by an Abolition 
assassin. He had, the day before, attended the funeral of his mar- 
tyred friend, a victim of Abolition vindictiveness. He spoke most 
feelingly on this subject; he characterized the murder very truly and 
properly as one of the sad results of the Gospel of Hate, which has 
been for years persistently preached by so many of the clergy, and 
diffused and instilled by the Abolition press of the land. He scouted 
and exposed the false and miserable pretence which the lying tele- 
graph and the Abolition papers had alleged, that it was the issue of 
a rencounter about a dog. The fact of the Grand Jury having 
indicted the assassin for murder in the first degree, showed the real 
character of the affair. It was a cowardly Abolition murder of a 
noble, talented, and courageous man, for no other reason than that 
he was an able and prominent Democrat. 

Although, Mr. Vallandigham said, he sometimes felt like harboring 
a spirit of revenge for the many persecutions and outrages, even to 
the shedding of blood and loss of life, which had been inflicted upon 
Democrats by the Abolitionists, yet he counseled charity toward them, 
and would seek for redress, at least in the first place, at the hands 


of the Liw and through the ballot-box. His rebuke at our hypo- 
critical opponents, ^vho profess to be such pure Christians and mor- 
alists, was most scathing. He contrasted their conduct and practice 
with that of the Democracy, as to who had manifested the greater 
regard for the precepts of Christianity, which, as he understands it, 
is the Gospel of Love. The Abolitionists had preached and prac- 
ticed the Gospel of Hate — hate toward everybody except the negro, 
and even with respect to him, they were more actuated by hate for 
the negro's master than by love for the negro. 

On the 13th of November, Mr. Vallandigham spoke at the mass 
meeting in Circleville ; and the next day at Lancaster. He then 
suddenly disappeared from the State; but, on the day following, was 
heard of at Cambridge, Ind., where a grand Democratic jubilee was 
that day to be held. 

The " Butternuts " came in by car-loads, while wagons and horses, 
by thousands, brought up the rear. Mr. Vallandigham was there, 
as a part of the programme. He had visited the same district on 
the 20th of October, and spoken at Centreville, as we have said. 
Being, of course, a suspicious character, he was dogged by the 
United States Marshal for Indiana, named Garland Rose, under 
orders from Governor Morton, of that State. Referring to his former 
visit and its adventures, Mr. Vallandigham began his speech thus : 

Is the Marshal of Indiana here to-day? Are his minions about? 
Is his committee here again? Why liest thou hid now, 0, sweet- 
soented Rose ? Lift up thy delicate head, thou daughter of a mild 

"Quid lates dudum, Rosa?" 

Why has not Morton threatened to deck me this time, also, with 
a garland of roses? Ah! I remember me, elections have been held, 
and the people have spoken. Their voice, as the voice of many 
waters, has been heard. It has reached the palaces at Washington 
and Indianapolis and Columbus, and penetrated even their darkened 
and deaf recesses. Lincoln and Morton have heard it, and their 
knees have smitten together. Tod heard it. The " Democratic 
thunder" reached his ears; he knew it, and his "back-bone" soft- 
ened and shriveled and shrunk before it. Sic semper tijrannit. 
Let us rejoice. The people are once more masters, and henceforth, 
no more shall the rights of the citizen and the courtesies and hos- 
pitalities of States be violated. The occupation of marshals and 
detectives and spies and informers and affidavit-makers, is gone, 
never to return ; and their offices, at least the official existence of 
them, one and all, will soon cease. "Teach me the measure of my 
days," sr.ys the Psalmist ; and I commend the pious reflection to 
Lincoln and Morton and Tod, and all others under and around, or 
like them, who have abused power, and outraged the people. The 


4th of March, 1864, will end their days. Habeas corpus is here. 
Arbitrary arrests are at an end. The people of New York had 
restored the great charter of liberty on the 6th of November, and 
the people of Ohio and Indiana on the 14th day of October. In the 
midst of a despotism worse than that of Austria, the people of these 
great States have risen in their might, and pulled down the temple 
of Abolitionism, never to rise again. Not a vestige of it will be left. 
Its site will be plowed over, and salt sowed, after the custom of the 
Romans, upon the spot where it stood. 

In the contest just closed, while the sky was dark, and the storm 
•was gathering — when the old Democratic ship was struggling with 
the billows — men who had professed to be leaders, who had been 
foremost when the sky was bright and the wind blew fair, had 
deserted their posts. It was always so. Some were terrified, and 
fled ; others, ambitious men, who would secure power dishonorably, 
fled ; but the people, always true to themselves, retired to their 
homes, to their farms and their workshops and their offices, in the 
hour of trial, to commune with their sober thoughts, and they came 
forth at the appointed time, and righted the floundering ship. They 
achieved a victory surprising even to themselves, and perfectly 
astounding to the Abolitionists. 

The railroads, the banks, the telegraph lines, the express com- 
panies, and another element, that had of late defiled itself in the 
land — the Churches — were all arrayed against the people. The pure 
altars of Christianity were defiled, and the disciples had huckstered 
in the political markets. The Churches had departed from the doc- 
trines of Christ and him crucified, and taken up the negro and him 
glorified! There will be no Union, no peace, no hope, no country, 
until you drive out those who have defiled the temple of the Savior 
of mankind, and restore the gospel in its purity. It is time to aban- 
don the Abolition churches. Refuse them support. It is time to 
speak out. 

Mr. Vallandigham said he was the son of a clergyman, but of one 
■who did not disgrace his calling. He had of late quoted freely from 
the Scriptures, in his speeches. Some of his friends remarked it, and 
he told them he had not attended church lately, and consequently he 
had time to examine the Bible. In his closet he could find its 
teachings, but not in the pulpit. 

Proscription had been another means used. Men were proscribed 
in every way. His advice was to meet proscription with proscription. 
We have as much money as they have — at least, honestly. We 
have not as many contractors, nor as heavy amounts of stealings 
hoarded up, but we consume as much as they do, eat as much, wear 
as much, and, by honest toil, can pay for as much. Proscription 
is a game that two can play at, and they will be the first to tire of it. 

Over all these means, freely and unscrupulously used, we behold 
the sublime spectacle of twenty millions of freemen making their 
voices heard, even in the White House. Abraham has heard it, the 
Cabinet have heard it, and the governors of States have heard it. 

Mr. Vallandigham then counseled his Democratic friends to stand 


by the laws, to seek redress through the courts, and administer that 
rebuke to the corrupt — "exclusion from office." We will get satis- 
faction for our wrongs through the law. lie called upon every man 
who had been unlawfully imprisoned in the walls of a Bastile, to seek 
for redress through the forms of law, as he valued himself and the 
liberties of his countrymen. England has given us examples of 
illegal arrest — these usurpers can not even claim the merit of origin- 
ality for their tyranny — she has also given us examples of the pun- 
ishment of the offenders. In England, the person of a subject ia 
inviolate. An Englishman's house or home is his castle. We have 
a notable instance of what an Englishman's liberty for one hour is 
considered worth by an English jury. A secretary of state arrested 
a British subject, and imprisoned him for one hour. At the end of 
that time he was released. He brought suit against " my Lord," and 
recovered a verdict for §5,000. Lord Chief Justice Pratt, afterward 
Lord Camden — the advocate of the cause of the Colonies, the friend 
of America in its youth — made the memorable declaration in this 
case: "None but an English jury can estimate the value of an 
Englishman's liberty for one hour." An Indiana jury may be able 
to make a like estimate. That is the way we should and will have 
satisfaction. The people have spoken — they must be heard, and will 
be heard. " We will have the Union as it was, the Constitution as 
it is, and the negroes where they are." 

Mr. Vallandigham said that the campaign had only just begun. 
It must be kept up. We have a wily and unscrupulous antagonism 
to contend with. The good old times will return. He did believe 
in the possibility, nay, the probability, of the restoration of the Union 
as it was. We have commenced the work here, with the ballot-box ; 
with it we have smitten the Philistines hip and thigh. The people 
of the South, after a little while, will, by the same instrumentality, 
put down the Secessionists there, as we have the Abolitionists here, 
and peace and union will once more smile upon the land. That is 
the sentiment in the ranks of both armies, and if you would to-day 
put ballots in the hands of the private soldiers of the North and 
South, the agitators and leaders, who are forcing streams of blood to 
flow, would be effectually put down. He related several instances of 
this feeling in the army, and concluded with an elegant peroration, 
which was received — as the main parts of his speech had been, 
throughout — by thunders of applause. 

On the 21st of November, at the residence of Judge Morse, near 
Dayton, Mr. Vallandigham was presented with an elegant gold- 
headed cane, a gift from ladies of that city. Mr. Thomas 0. 
Lowe, who, on behalf of the ladies, made the presentation speech, 
alluding to the sentiments of those for whom he was commissioned 
to speak, said : 

There are yet some who, from their very natures, have deprecated 
this war, who desired, as you did, that it should be averted, and who 


now pray that the ruler of heaven and earth, who is the Prince of 
Peace and God of Love, will turn the hearts of men froni all bitter- 
ness and strife, so that bloodshed may be known among us no more 
forever. And if there be a prayer which the '• ministering angels " 
round about us more gladly hear, and more quickly bear to the ear 
of heaven, than any other, it must be theirs. The Savior of men 
Baid " Blessed are the peacemakers," and 

"Gave his life 
To bend man's stubborn will; 
When elements were fierce with strife, 
Said to them 'Peace; be still.'" 

And, describing the estimation those ladies had placed upon the 
services of him to whom this elegant gift was offered, Mr. Lowe said : 

They desire to express to you their belief that if all the men of 
the North and South had but loved this Union as well, and had strug- 
gled as wisely for the best interests of the country as you, this war 
would have been averted ; and that, even now, if the combatants 
could but be imbued with a patriotism as true as yours, this struggle 
would speedily cease, our Union be restored as it was, and every thing 
which has, in days gone by, made Americans proud of their country, 
would come back to us again. They believe, too, that when the his- 
torian shall come to write of the causes of the downfall of this great 
Republic — if, in the providence of God, it be doomed to fall — if he 
write with an unprejudiced pen, " nothing extenuating, naught setting 
down in malice," he will have this to say of you : You hated and 
resisted the fell spirit of Abolitionism, which you knew to be 

" False, deceitful. 
Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin 
That has a name," 

which, invigorated by the blood and carnage of the rebellion, you 
saw endeavoring, under various pretexts, to destroy our dearest lib- 
erties, and for this cause, and this alone, you were made the object 
of a persecution which, for malignity and persistency, has few par- 
allels in history. 

Mr. Lowe closed by saying : 

And we all think, sir, that it is not among the least of the services 
you have rendered to your country, that you have shown that there 
is such a thing as unconquerable devotion to principle — that there is 
one statesman among us who is not to be moved from his conviction 
of right by any danger or threatenings — that if one obeys the exhorta- 
tions of Woolsey, and makes his aims " his country's, his God's and 
truth's," he need not fear. Though storms may be raging all around 
him, he will be " sustained by an unfaltering trust," and have "that 
peace which is above all earthly dignities, a still and quiet con- 


Accepting the beautiful gift, Mr. Vallandiqham said : 

Mr. Lowe : With a grateful heart I receive this cane from the 
ladies for whom you have just spoken. Valuable in itself, it is to 
mc far more valuable because of the kindly motives which have 
induced its presentation ; but especially as a testimony of their 
approbation of my conduct as a public man, in the recent and present 
perilous times of the country. From them I accept it as a large 
recompense for whatever of calumny and reproach I have endured 
for the last eighteen months, because of my adherence to principle 
and a course of public policy which, in my conscience and judgment, 
I believed essential to the restoration of the Union and the best 
interests of my country. Such honors are bestowed commonly upon 
the heroes of military warfare. But if I merit any part of the 
praise which you have so eloquently expressed, it is moral heroism 
which, to-night, is honored by these ceremonies. It is the victories 
of PEACE which you here celebrate. Her triumphs are, indeed, 
grander, and her conquests nobler than any achieved by the military 
hero upon the battle-field. And it is especially fitting that these 
honors should be paid to the cause — though I, myself, may deserve 
them not — by the women of the country ; and, while I lament that 
so many among them should have forgotten the softness of their 
sex, and the mild teachings of a religion, essential, indeed, to man, 
but especially congenial to woman's nature, yet I rejoice that so 
many, also, have laid not aside the ornament of a meek and quiet 
spirit, but remembered and clung yet the more steadfastly to the 
gospel of peace and love, even amid the phrensy of a desolating and 
demoralizing civil war. True to woman's mission, they are, or will 
be, the wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, who, by precept, ex- 
ample, or association, shall bring back yet the present, or educate a 
new generation which shall restore peace, the Union, and constitu- 
tional liberty, with all their virtues and their blessings, once more to 
this bleeding and distracted country. If, indeed, sir, I have exhibited 
any part of the high qualities of courage, fortitude, and immovable 
devotion to the good and the right, which, on behalf of these 
ladies, you have so kindly attributed to me, it is to one of their own 
sex, more than to any other human agency, that I am indebted for 
them — MY MOTHER. In childhood, in boyhood, and in youth, in the 
midst of many trials, from her teachings, and by her example, I 
learned those lessons, and formed the character and habits — if it be 
so — which fitted me, with courage and endurance, and unfaltering 
faith, to struggle with the terrible times in the midst of which we 

Congratulating the ladies on the selection of yourself as their 
representative upon thig occasion, and thanking you cordially for the 
many kind things you have been pleased to say, I accept this beauti- 
ful present, with my most grateful acknowledgments to one and all 
here assembled. 

The next day Mr. Vallandigham addressed, at length, a very 


large Democratic meeting at Springfield, Clark county, Oli'.o. The 
Democrat of that city, speaking of it, said : 

We would like to give a synopsis of his great speech, but will not 
attempt it. We but quote the words of hundred of others when we 
say that for beauty, simplicity, and strength many of the passages 
of the speech were equal to the best periods of Webster. Would to 
God that all his revilers could have heard him ! 

On the 2Gth of November Mr. Vallandigham attended another 
of those Democratic jubilees, held at Chillicothe, Ohio. The day 
was cold and unpleasant, and yet not less than four thousand were 
there. Mr. Vallandigham followed Hon. Wm. Allen, and spoke 
until near dark. The Chillicothe Advertiser says : 

It was a remarkable circumstance — a thing almost unparalleled — 
that so many men and women should stand out there in the cold 
fully four hours after an election, and listen to two political speeches. 
Mr. Vallandigham spoke free from all restraint — free from the 
restraint that weighed many speakers down before the election — and 
yet no one could find in that speech either open or covert treason, 
unless the unvailing of the Republican Mohkanna is obnoxious to 
that charge. 

He believed it possible, since the rendition of the verdict of the 
people through the ballot-bos at the late elections, that the Union 
might be restored ; he believed it would be in time — that when the 
Abolitionists were put down through the ballot-box, then the people 
of the South would put down secession there, and then would com- 
mence the work of restoration. His conviction, from the first, had 
been that the Union could not be restored through the agency of 
arms ; he believed so now more firmly than ever. 

Mr. Vallandigham closed amidst a profusion of bouquets- 
thrown to him by the ladies, who, in addition, presented him a very 
beautiful wreath. 

But the unbounded enthusiasm of the people was not satisfied by 
a four hours' meeting in the open air. They met again, at the court- 
house, in the evening. Mr, Vallandigham, not expecting to speak 
again, came in late, but was "so earnestly called for," says the 
Advertiser^ " that he felt constrained to respond, and did respond in 
a speech of two hours," which is described as fully equal to his 
effort of the afternoon. 

The Advertiser expresses the belief that " the seed thus sown will 
undoubtedly, ripen into a 'butternut' crop by next fall far larger 
than the one that blessed the Democratic husbandmen this last 


This is the man whom some people call a " traitor ;" and such 
were the proud and triumphant receptions with which the people of 
Ohio were delighted to honor a " defeated candidate." 

Immediately after the meeting in Chillicothe, Mr. Vallandigham 
left for Washington city, the day for the reassembling of Congress 
beins: at hand. 




No speech ever heard in the Halls of Congress has made a deeper 
impression on the mind of the American people than the one deliv- 
ered by Mr. Vallandigham on the 1-ith of January, 1863. From 
the day Congress assembled, public expectation had been turned 
toward him, and many were waiting to hear what counsels he would 
give in this most perilous hour of our country's history. The 
highest hopes of his friends, and the worst fears of his enemies were 
realized; for he spoke like a statesman, a patriot, an American. 

Already that speech has found a million of readers, but we will 
repeat it here, revised and corrected, for this purpose, by the author. 
Those who have read it will be glad to have it in a permanent form, 
while they and others will value it more highly in this connection, 
the last of a series of speeches, which, in the aggregate, furnish a 
thorough and complete exposition of the growth, progress, develop- 
ment, and culmination of a most pernicious, deadly, and destructive 

It is right to call attention to the fact that the estimate we have 
formed of this speech is fully sustained by the opinions of the press, 
true index and exponent of popular sentiment. 

The Washington correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette, a bitter 
and malignant political opponent of Mr. Vallandigham, describing 
the speech, and the effect of its delivery, relates that the most busy 


and active members, such as Colfax, Wickliffe, Lovejoy. Olin, and others 
dropped every thing else, and obtained the best positions for hearing. 
An effort was making to get a joint session of the military and naval 
committees to consider a matter to which attention had been called 
by the Secretary of War. Only three out o^ fourteen members could 
be got to the committee-room in the course of an hour. Even the 
reporters in the galleries wake up; the ladies cease their eternal 
chattering, and lean forward to catch every word. 

Such are some of the indications, of deep and unusual interest, as 
described by the correspondent referred to, who says : 

This man is the hero of our Northern rebels ; the most respectable 
in talents, the most honest in declaring his positions, the bravest in 
maintaining them against whatever storm of opposition and obloquy. 

Describing his manner of commencing, the same writer says : 

He begins boldly, defiantly, even ; and is speedily preaching the 
very doctrine of devils. " You can never subdue the seceded States. 
Two years of fearful experience have taught you that. Why carry 
on the war? If you persist, it can only end in final separation 
between the North and South. And in that case, believe it now, as 
you did not my former warnings, the whole North-west will go with 
the South ! " 

He waxes more earnest as he approaches this key-note of his 
harangues, and with au energy and force that makes every hearer — 
as his moral nature revolts from the bribe — acknowledge, all the 
more, the splendid force with which the tempter urges his cause, with 
flashing eye and livid features and extended hand, trembling with 
the passion of his utterance, he hurls the climax of his threatening 
argument again upon the Republican side of the House : " Believe 
me, as you did not the solemn warning of years past, the day which 
divides the North from the South, the self-same day decrees eternal 
divorce between the West and the East!" 

These solemn warnings have, at last, caught the ear of leading 
Republicans. Will they heed them ? 

The group of Republicans standing in the open space before the 
Clerk's desk, increases j they crowd down the aisles among the 
Opposition and cluster around the Speaker. 

Mr. Vallandigham tells them : 

There is not one drop of rain that falls over the whole vast expanse 
of the North-west that does not find its home in the bosom of the 
Gulf. We must and we will follow it, with travel and trade ; not by 
treaty, but by right; freely, peaceably, and without restriction or 
tribute, under the same Grovernment and flag. 


The correspondent, whose unwilling testimony we are quoting, says 
of the above declaration : 

It is eloquently spoken, and none are more willing to concede it 
than his opponents. 

The strongest testimony to Mr. Vallandigham's power as a 
speaker, and to thfe resistless force of the great truths he was utter- 
ing, is given by this writer, in saying : 

He has spoken over an hour and a quarter, and accomplished the 
rare feat of compelling the closest attention of the most disorderly 
deliberative body in the world, from the beginning to the end. 

The speech being ended, the Gazettes correspondent adds : 

There is a gradual relaxation, a sudden humming of conversation 
again on the floor and through the galleries. The Democrats and 
Border-State men, with faces wreathed in smiles, crowd around their 
champion with their congratulations. At a single step, the shunned 
and execrated Vallandigham has risen to the leadership of their 
party. Deny it, as some of them still may, henceforth it is accom- 

The Washington correspondent of the New York Herald said : 

The speech of Mr. Vallandigham in the House, to-day, produced a 
profound sensation. It was bold and able. The Republican side, 
also, listened intently to it. 

The correspondent of the New York Journal of Commerce wrote : 

Mr. Vallandigham's speech of to-day commanded marked attention, 
and those who do not agree with him in policy, give him credit for 
great abilities. He declared himself for the Union as it was, wanted 
Massachusetts to come back where she was in other days, and in the 
event of a final separation, prophesied that the North-west would go 
with the South, leaving the North-east '-in the cold" — but still he 
battled, with great force, for a united country. 

The correspondent of the Boston Herald, describing the speech 
and the efifect of its delivery, says : 

The long-expected speech of Vallandigham was delivered in the 
presence of a large audience iu the galleries, and an unusual attend- 
ance on the floor. As soon as he arose to address the House, a large 
number of members of all parties gathered about him. His method 
of speaking is very attractive. Added to fine appearance of person, 
he has a good voice and gesture, and always speaks without notes. 
To-day he was bold and determined ; and while his views may be 
regarded "as words of brilliant and polished treason," it was univer- 
sally admitted to have been a most able speech from that stand-point. 


He spoke for an hour without interruption of any kind, and had 
most attentive listeners. I might add, that Vallandigham's great 
coolness amid the most heated discussions, is one of his peculiarities, 
and gives him decided advantages over more impassioned antagonists. 

Of a similar character is the notice of the Washington correspond- 
ent of the St, Louis Repuhlican, who writes : 

The peace speech of this Ohio Congressman, in the House, yester- 
day, was received with remarkable and respectful attention by the 
Republicans ; and it is significant, as the first occasion when that 
party in Congress calmly listened to the semi-secession doctrines of 
Vallandigham, or any other peace man. It also attracts attention 
from every other quarter, and, to-day, is the general subject of 
comment in the city. 

The Boston Courier^ one of the ablest and most reliable of the 
Eastern papers, thus certifies its worth : 

This is an extremely able and a very honest speech. No one can 
read it and help believing that Mr. Vallandigham is a brave and 
honest man ; and the speech itself afi"ords irresistible evidence that it 
is his unfaltering devotion to the Union and the Constitution which 
has led those less loyal to stigmatize him as a secessionist and a 
traitor. His opinions will answer for themselves ; but for its histori- 
cal value and its strong grasp of the future, the speech ought to have 
the widest circulation. 

The Philadelphia Constitutional Union has a bold, full, and une- 
quivocal indorsement : 

The speech of this distinguished statesman and heroic defender of 
the Constitution, which we present in full to-day, is the crowning 
effort of his public life. It rises above the mere cant and humbug of 
present popularity, into the clear and comprehensive realm of uniself- 
ish statesmanship, and discusses the exciting and momentous topics 
of the day with that measure of candor which their importance 
demands. While proclaiming that peace is the only road which can 
lead to a satisfactory settlement of this vexed question, Mr. Vallan- 
digham at the same time points out the principles upon which peace 
must rest, in order to make it permanent. He traces with a master- 
hand the causes which have produced our national estrangement, 
shows how the difiiculties have grown to their present gigantic 
proportions, and then appeals to the good sense of the nation to 
apply the remedy before it be too late. The speech should be read 
by every man in the country. 

The above are fair specimens of the opinions of leading newspa- 
pers. Even the Republican press has limited its denunciations to 
the sentiments of the speech ; and no paper whose opinions the public 


respect, has denied its great power and merit as a production of 
eloquence and logical skill. Even Forney, in the Washington 
Chronicle, says it is a " logical and powerful speecJi." 

A few quotations will indicate the general tone of the Democratic 
press of Ohio. The Cincinnati Enquirer says : 

No speech has been made in Congress for years that has produced 
BO great an effect in political circles, has been so universally admired 
for surpassing ability, for genuine and manly patriotism, for its wise 
gtatesmanship, as that of Mr. Vallandigham. It is a valuable and 
undying contribution to American Congressional eloquence, and will 
raise its author to a high place among the greatest men of the 
country. We do not know of a speech made by any of our eminent 
statesmen that has received higher praise or been more sought for. 

The Columbus Crisis, edited by Gov. Medary, says : 

This is no ordinary speech — made by no ordinary man, and under 
circumstances the most remarkable which ever overtook any nation 
or people. It will be well if this nation ponders seriously and with 
judgment over the words of wisdom and burning eloquence which 
run through every paragraph, sentence, and line. 

The speech of Cato, in the Roman Senate, warning the people 
against the designs of C-iESAr upon the liberties of the Roman 
people, contained not more truthful and thrilling interest to that 
great people about to be sacrificed at the shrine of ambition, than 
does this speech of the member from the Dayton district, but the 
true representative of the whole people, of all the States, and the 
nation as it was, collectively. 

The Newark Advocarte calls it " the ablest speech Mr. Vallan- 
digham has ever made," and says: "No higher praise need be 
desired." The Bucyrus Forum says : " Every Democratic paper that 
comes, contains the great master-speech of Vallandigham," whom 
the Forum calls the " coming man." The Marion Mirror pro- 
nounces it " the greatest effort of the age," and says " it reflects 
undying credit upon its author." The Ohio Democrat calls it " the 
most able speech delivered in Congress during the war." The Stark 
County Democrat says : " This speech is in favor of stopping the 
war, and looking to other means for restoring the Union," and adds: 
" That is the right talk." With general agreement, the Democratic 
press everywhere, but especially in Ohio and other Western States, 
has bestowed higher commendations than upon any other speech 
delivered during the late Congressional session. And this is the 
estimate the public, also, are forming of the speech that here 
follows, and which is destined to find a prominent place in the 
literature these perilous times have created. 


Mr. Vallandigham said : 

Mr. Speaker : Indorsed at the recent election, within the same 
district for which I still hold a seat on this floor, by a majority four 
times greater than ever before, I speak to-day in the name and by 
the authority of the people who, for six years, have intrusted me 
with the Office of a Representative. Loyal, in the true and highest 
sense of the word, to the Constitution and the Union, they have 
proved themselves devotedly attached to, and worthy of, the libertiee 
to secure which the Union and the Constitution were established. 
With candor and freedom, therefore, as their Representative, and much 
plainness of speech, but with the dignity and decency due to thia 
presence, I propose to consider the State op the Union to-day, 
and to inquire what the duty is of every public man and every 
citizen in this the very crisis of the Great Revolution. 

It is now two years, sir, since Congress assembled soon after the 
Presidential election. A sectional anti-slavery party had then just 
succeeded through the forms of the Constitution. For the first time 
a President had been chosen upon a platform of avowed hostility 
to an institution peculiar to nearly one half of the States of the 
Union, and who had himself proclaimed that there was an irrepress^ 
ible conflict, because of that institution, between the States; and that 
the Union could not endure " part slave and part free." Congress 
met, therefore, in the midst of the profoundest agitation, not here 
only, but throughout the entire South. Revolution glared upon us. 
Repeated efi"orts for conciliation and compromise were attempted, in 
Congress and out of it. All were rejected by the party just com- 
ing into power, except only the promise in the last hours of the 
session, and that, too, against the consent of a majority of that party 
both in the Senate and House : that Congress — not the Executive — 
should never be authorized to abolish or interfere with slavery in 
the States where it existed. South Carolina seceded; Georgia, Ala» 
bama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas speedily followed. 
The Confederate Government was established. The other slave 
States held back. Virginia demanded a peace congress. The com- 
missioners met, and, after some time, agreed upon terms of final 
adjustment. But neither in the Senate nor the House were they 
allowed even a respectful consideration. The President elect left his 
home in February, and journeyed towards this capital, jesting as he 
came; proclaiming that the crisis was only artificial, and that "no- 
body was hurt." He entered this city under cover of night and in 
disguise. On the 4th of March he was inaugurated, surrounded by 
soldiery ; and, swearing to support the Constitution of the United 
States, announced in the same breath that the platform of his party 
should be the law unto him. From that moment all hope of peace- 
able adjustment fled. But for a little while, either with unstead- 
fast sincerity or in premeditated deceit, the policy of peace was pro- 
claimed, even to the evacuation of Sumpter and the other Federal 
forts and arsenals in the seceded States. Why that policy was sud- 
denly abandoned, time will fully disclose. But just after the spring 


elections, and the secret meeting in this city of the Governors of 
Bevcral northern and western States, a fleet carrying a large number 
of men was sent down ostensibly to provision Fort Sumptcr. The 
authorities of South Carolina eagerly accepted the challenge, and 
bombarded the fort into surrender, while the fleet fired not a gun, 
but, just as soon as the flag was struck, bore away and returned to 
the North. It was Sunday, the 14th of April, 1861 ; and that day 
the President, in fatal haste, and without the advice or consent of 
Congress, issued his proclamation, dated the next day, calling out 
seventy-five thousand militia for three months, to repossess the forts, 
places, and property seized from the United States, and commanding 
the insurgents to disperse in twenty days. Again the gage was 
taken up by the South, and thus the flames of a civil war, the 
grandest, bloodiest, and saddest in history, lighted up the whole 
heavens. Virginia forthwith seceded. North Carolina, Tennessee, and 
Arkansas, followed ; Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri 
were in a blaze of agitation, and within a week from the proclama- 
tion, the line of the Confederate States was transferred from the 
cotton States to the Potomac, and almost to the Ohio and the Missouri, 
and their population and fighting men doubled. 

In the North and West, too, the storm raged with the fury of a 
hurricane. Never in history was anything equal to it. Men, women, 
and children, native and foreign born. Church and State, clergy 
and laymen, were all swept along with the current. Distinction 
of age, sex, station, party, perished in an instant. Thousands bent 
before the tempest ; and here and there only was one found bold 
enough, foolhardy enough it may have been, to bend not, and him 
it smote as a consuming fire. The spirit of persecution for opinion's 
Bake, almost extinct in the old world, now, by some mysterious 
transmigration, appeared incarnate in the new. Social relations 
were dissolved ; friendships broken up ; the ties of family and kin- 
dred snapped asunder. Stripes and hanging were every where threat- 
ened, sometimes executed. Assassination was invoked ; slander 
sharpened his tooth ; falsehood crushed truth to the earth ; reason 
fled; madness reigned. Not justice only escaped to the skies, but 
peace returned to the bosom of God, whence she came. The gospel 
of love perished ; hate sat enthroned, and the sacrifices of blood 
smoked upon every altar. 

But the reign of the mob was inaugurated only to be supplanted 
by the iron domination of arbitrary power. Constitutional limitation 
•was broken down ; habeas corpus fell ; liberty of the press, of speech, 
of the person, of the mails, of travel, of one's own house, and of relig- 
ion ; the right to bear arms, due process of law, judical trial, trial 
by jury, trial at all; every badge and muniment of freedom in re- 
publican government or kingly government — all went down at a 
blow; and the chief law officer of the crown — I beg pardon, sir, but 
it is easy now to fall into this courtly language — the Attorney- 
General, first of all men, proclaimed in the United States the maxim 
of Roman servility : Whatever pleases the President, that is law ! 
Prisoners of State were then first heard of here. Midnight and 


arbitrary arrests commenced ; travel was interdicted ; trade embar- 
goed ; passports demanded ; bastiles were introduced ; strange oathg 
invented ; a secret police organized ; " piping " began ; informers 
multiplied ; spies now first appeared in America. The right to declare 
war, to raise and support armies, and to provide and maintain a 
navy, was usurped by the Executive ; and in a little more than two 
months a land and naval force of over three hundred thousand men 
was in the field or upon the sea. An army of public plunderers 
followed, and curruption struggled with power in friendly strife for 
the mastery at home. 

On the 4th of July Congress met, not to seek peace ; not to re- 
buke usurpation nor to restrain power ; not certainly to deliberate ; 
not even to legislate, but to register and ratify the edicts and acta 
of the Executive ; and in your language, sir, upon the first day of 
the session, to invoke a universal baptism of fire and blood amid the 
roar of cannon and the din of battle. Free speech was had only at 
the risk of a prison ; possibly of life. Opposition was silenced by 
the fierce clamor of " disloyalty." All business not of war waa 
voted out of order. Five hundred thousand men, an immense navy, 
and two hundred and fifty millions of money were speedily granted. 
In. twenty, at most in sixty days, the rebellion was to be crushed 
out. To doubt it was treason. Abject submission was demanded. 
Lay down your arms, sue for peace, surrender your leaders — forfeit- 
ure, death — this was the only language heard on this floor. The 
galleries responded ; the corridors echoed ; and contractors and place- 
men and other venal patriots everywhere gnashed upon the friends 
of peace as they passed by. In five weeks seventy-eight public and 
private acts and joint resolutions, with declaratory resolutions, in 
the Senate and House, quite as numerous, all full of slaughter, were 
hurried through without delay and almost without debate. 

Thus was CIVIL WAR inaugurated in America. Can any man to- 
day see the end of it? 

And now pardon me, sir, if I pause here a moment to define my 
own position at that time upon this great question. 

Sir, I am one of that number who have opposed abolitionism; or 
the political development of the anti-slavery sentiment of the North 
and West, from the beginning. In school, at college, at the bar, in 
public assemblies, in the Legislature, in Congress, boy and man, as 
a private citizen and in public life, in time of peace and in time of 
war, at all times and at every sacrifice, I have fought against it. It 
cost me ten years' exclusion from ofiice and honor, at that period of 
life when honors are sweetest. No matter : I learned early to do 
right and to wait. Sir, it is but the development of the spirit of 
intermeddling, whose children are strife and murder. Cain troubled 
himself about the sacrifices of Abel, and slew him. Most of the 
wars, contentions, litigation, and bloodshed, from the beginning of 
time, have been its fruits. The spirit of non-intervention is the very 
spirit of peace and concord. I do not believe that if slavery 
had never existed here we would have had no sectional controversies. 
This very civil war might have happened fifty, perhaps a hundred years 


later. Other and stronger causes of discontent and of disunion, it 
may be, have existed between other States and sections, and are now 
being developed every day into maturity. The spirit of intervention 
assumed the form of abolitionism because slavery was odious in name, 
and by association to the northern mind, and because it was that 
which most obviously marks the different civilizations of the two 
sections. The South herself, in her early and later efforts to rid 
herself of it, had exposed the weak and offensive parts of slavery to 
the world. Abolition intermeddling taught her at last to search for 
and defend the assumed social, economic, and political merit and 
values of the institution. But there never was an hour from the 
beginning when it did not seem to me as clear as the sun at broad 
noon, that the agitation in any form, in the North and West, of the 
slavery question, must sooner or later end in disunion and civil war. 
This was the opinion and prediction for years of Whig and Dem- 
ocratic statesmen alike ; and after the unfortunate dissolution of 
the Whig party, in 1854, and the organization of the present Repub- 
lican party upon an exclusively anti-slavery and sectional basis, the 
event was inevitable ; because, in the then existing temper of the 
public mind, and after the education through the press, and by the 
pulpit, the lecture and the political canvass for twenty years, of a 
generation, taught to hate slavery and the South, the success of that 
party, possessed, as it was, of every engine of political, business, 
social, and religious influence, was certain. It was only a question 
of time, and short time. Such was its strength, indeed, that I do not 
believe that the union of the Democratic party, in 1860, on any can- 
didate, even though he had been supported also by the entire so-called 
conservative or anti-Lincoln vote of the country, would have availed 
to defeat it ; and if it had, the success of the Abolition party would 
only have been postponed four years longer. The disease had fast- 
ened too strongly upon the system to be healed until it had run its 
course. The doctrine of the "irrepressible conflict" had been taught 
too long, and accepted too widely and earnestly, to die out until 
it should culminate in secession and disunion ; and, if coercion 
were resorted to, then in civil war. I believed from the first that 
it was the purpose of some of the apostles of that doctrine to 
force a collision between the North and the South, either to bring 
about a separation, or to find a vain, but bloody pretext for abolish- 
ing slavery in the States. In any event, I knew, or I thought I 
knew, that the end was certain collision, and death to the Union. 

Believing thus, I have for years past denounced those who taught 
that doctrine with all the vehemence, the bitterness, if you choose — 
I thought it a righteous, a patriotic bitterness — of an earnest and 
impassioned nature. Thinking thus, I forewarned all who believed 
the doctrine, or followed the party which taught it, with a sincerity 
and a depth of conviction as profound as ever penetrated the heart 
of man. And when, for eight years past, over and over again, I have 
proclaimed to the people that the success of a sectional anti-slavery 
party would be the beginning of disunion and civil war in America, 
I believed it. I did. I had read history, and studied human nature, 


and meditated for years upon the character of our institutions and 
form of government, and of the people South as well as North ; and 
I could not doubt the event. But the people did not believe me, 
nor those older and wiser and greater than I. They rejected the 
prophesy, and stoned the prophets. The candidate of the Republican 
party was chosen President. Secession began. Civil war was im- 
minent. It was no petty insurrection; no temporary combination to 
obstruct the execution of the laws in certain States ; but a REVOLUTION, 
systematic, deliberate, determined, and with the consent of a majority 
of the people of each State which seceded. Causeless it may have 
been ; wicked it may have been ; but there it was ; not to be railed 
at, still less to be laughed at, but to be dealt with by statesmen as a 
fact. No display of vigor or force alone, however sudden or great, 
could have arrested it, even at the outset. It was disunion at last. 
The wolf had come. But civil war had not yet followed. In my 
deliberate and most solemn judgment, there was but one wise and 
masterly mode of dealing with it. Non-coercion would avert civil 
war, and compromise crush out both Abolitionism and Secession. The 
parent and the child would thus both perish. But a resort to force 
would at once precipitate war, hasten secession, extend disunion, and, 
while it lasted, utterly cut off all hope of compromise. I believe, 
that war, if long enough continued, would be final, eternal disunion, 
I said it ; I meant it ; and, accordingly, to the utmost of my ability 
and influence, I exerted myself in behalf of the policy of non-coer- 
cion. It was adopted by Mr. Buchanan's Administration, with the 
almost unanimous consent of the Democratic and Constitutional Union 
parties in and out of Congress ; and, in February, with the con- 
currence of a majority of the Republican party in the Senate and 
this House. But that party, most disastrously for the country, refused 
all compromise. How, indeed, could they accept any ? That which 
the South demanded, and the Democratic and conservative parties of 
the North and West were willing to grant, and which alone could 
avail to keep the peace and save the tFnion, implied a surrender of 
the sole vital element of the party and its platform — of the very 
principle, in fact, upon which it had just won the contest for the 
Presidency; not, indeed, by a majority of the popular vote — the 
majority was nearly a million against it — but under the forms of the 
Constitution. Sir, the crime, the " high crime " of the Republican 
party was not so much its refusal to compromise, as its original organ- 
ization upon a basis and doctrine wholly inconsistent with the stability 
of the Constitution and the peace of the Union. 

But to resume : the session of Congress expired. The President 
elect was inaugurated; and now, if only the policy of non-coercion 
could be maintained, and war thus averted, time would do its work 
in the North and the South, and final peaceable adjustment and 
reunion be secured. Some time in March it was announced that the 
President had resolved to continue the policy of his predecessor, and 
even go a step further, and evacuate Sumter and the other Federal forts 
and arsenals in the seceded States. His own party acquiesced ; the 
whole country rejoiced. The policy of non-coercion had triumphed, 


tod for once, sir, in my life, I found myself in an immense majority. 
No man then pretended that a Union founded in consent, could be 
cemented by force. Nay, more, the President and the Secretary of 
State went further. Said Mr. Seward, in an official diplomatic letter 
to Mr. Adams : 

"For these reasons, he (the President) wouUl not be disposed to reject a 
cardinsil dd.cma of theirs, (the Secessionists.) namely, that the Federal Gov- 
ernmcnt eoiild not reduce the seceding States to obedience by conquest, although 
he were disposed to question that proposition. But hi /act the President will- 
ingly acce2>ts it as true. Only an imperial or despotic Government could subjugate 
Viorougldy disaffected and insurrectionary members of the Stated 

Pardon me, sir, but I beg to know whether this conviction of the 
President and his Secretary, is not the philosophy of the persistent 
and most vigorous eiForts made by this Administration, and first of 
all through this same Secretary, the moment war broke out, and ever 
since till the late elections, to convert the United States into an 
imperial Or despotic Grovernment ? But Mr. Seward adds, and I agree 
with him : 

"This Federal Eepublican system of ours is, of all forms of government, 
the very one which is most untitted for such a labor." 

This, sir, was on the 10th of April, and yet that very day the 
fleet was under sail for Charleston. The policy of peace had been 
abandoned. Collision followed; the militia were ordered out; civil 
war began. 

Now, sir, on the 14th of April, I believed that coercion would 
bring on war, and war disunion. More than that, I believed, what 
you all in your hearts believe to-day, that the South could never be 
conquered — never. And not that only, but I was satisfied — and you 
of the Abolition party have now proved it to the world — that the 
secret but real purpose of the war was to abolish slavery in the States. 
In any event, I did not doubt that, whatever might be the moment- 
ary impulses of those in power, and whatever pledges they might 
make, in the midst of the fury, for the Constitution, the Union, and 
the flag, yet the natural and inexorable logic of revolutions would, 
sooner or later, drive them into that policy, and with it to its final 
but inevitable result, the change of our present dcmocratical form 
of government into an imperial despotism. 

These were my convictions on the 14th of April. Had I changed 
them on the 15th, when I read the President's proclamation, and 
become convinced that I had been wrong all my life, and that all 
history was a fable, and all human nature false in its development 
from the beginning of time, I would have changed my public con- 
duct also. But my convictions did not change. I thought that, if 
war was disunion on the 14th of April, it was equally disunion on 
the 15th, and at all times. Believing this, I could not, as an honest 
man, a Union man, and a patriot, lend an active support to the war; 
and I did not. I had rather my right arm were plucked from its 
socket and cast into eternal burnings than, with my convictions, to 
have thus defiled my soul with the guilt of moral perjury. Sir, 1 was 


not taught in that school which proclaims that "all is fair in polities." 
I loathe, abhor and detest the execrable maxim. I stamp upon it. 
No State can endure a single generation whose public men practice 
it. Whoever teaches it is a corrupter of youth. What we most want 
in these times, and at all times, is honest and independent public 
men. That man who is dishonest in politics, is not honest at heart 
iq any thing; and sometimes moral cowardice is dishonesty. Do 
right; and trust to God, and truth, and the people. Perish office, 
perish honors, perish life itself — but do the thing that is right, and 
do it like a man. I did it. Certainly, sir, I could not doubt what 
he must suffer who dare defy the opinions and the passions, not to 
Bay the madness, of twenty millions of people. Had I not read his- 
tory? Did I not know human nature? But I appealed to Time; 
and right nobly hath the Avenger answered me. 

I did not support the war ; and to-day I bless God, that not the 
smell of so much as one drop of its blood is upon my garments. 
Sir, I censure no brave man who rushed patriotically into this war; 
neither will I quarrel with any one, here or elsewhere, who gave to 
it an honest support. Had their convictions been mine, I, too, would 
doubtless have done as they did. With my convictions I could not. 

But I was a Representative. War existed — by whose act no mat- 
ter — not mine. The President, the Senate, the House, and the 
country, all said that there should be war — war for the Union ; a 
union of consent and good-will. Our southern brethren were to be 
whipped back into love and fellowship at the point of the bayonet. 
0, monstrous delusion ! I can comprehend a war to compel a people 
to accept a master ; to change a form of government ; to give up 
territory ; to abolish a domestic institution — in short, a war of 
conquest and subjugation; but a war for union! Was the Union 
thus made ? Was it ever thus presei-ved ? Sir, history will record 
that, after nearly six thousand years of folly and wickedness in every 
form and administration of government — theocratic, democratic, mo- 
narchic, oligarchic, despotic and mixed — it was reserved to American 
statesmanship, in the nineteenth century of the Christian era, to try 
the grand experiment, on a scale the most costly and gigantic in its 
proportions, of creating love by force, and developing fraternal affec- 
tion by war ! And history will record, too, on the same page, the 
utter, disastrous, and most bloody failure of the experiment. 

But to return: the country was at war; and I belonged to that 
school of politics which teaches that when we are at war, the Gov- 
ernment — I do not mean the Executive alone, but the Government — 
is entitled to demand and have, without resistance, such number of 
men, and such amount of money and supplies generally, as may be 
necessary for the war, until an appeal can be had to the people. 
Before that tribunal alone, in the first instance, must the question of 
the continuance of the war be tried. This was Mr. Calhoun's opinion, 
and he laid it down very broadly and strongly* in a speech on the 
loan bill, in 1841. Speaking of supplies, he said: 

"I hold that there is a distinction in this respect between a state of peace 
and war. In the latter, the right of withholding supplies ought ever to be 


held subordinate to the energetic and successful prosecution of the war. I go 
further, and regard the withholding supplies, with a view oj Jorcing the coun- 
try into a dishonorable peace, as not only to be what it has been called, moral 
treason, but very little short of actual treason itself." 

Upon this principle, sir, he acted afterward in the Mexican War. 
Speaking of that war, in 1847, he said : 

"Every Senator knows that I was opposed to the war; but none knows 
but myself the depth of that opposition. With my conception of its char- 
acter and consequences, it was impossible for mo to vote for it." 

And again, in 1848: 

"But, after the war was declared, by authority of the Government, T acqui- 
esced in what I could not prevent, and which it was impossible for me to arrest; 
and I then felt it to be my duty to limit my efibrts to give such direction to the 
war as would, as far as possible, prevent the evils and dangers with which it 
threatened the country and its institutio7is." 

Sir, I adopt all this as my own position and my defense ; though, 
perhaps, in a civil war I might fairly go further in opposition. I 
could not, with my convictions, vote men and money for this war, 
and I would not, as a Representative, vote against them. I meant 
that, without opposition, the President might take all the men and all 
the money he should demand, and then to hold him to a strict 
accountability before the people for the results. Not believing the 
soldiers responsible for the war, or its purposes, or its consequences, 
I have never withheld my vote where their separate interests were 
concerned. But I have denounced, from the beginning, the usurpa- 
tions and the infractions, one and all, of law and Constitution, by 
the President and those under him; their repeated and persistent 
arbitrary arrests, the suspension of habeas corp^is, the violation of 
freedom of the mails, of the private house, of the press and of 
speech, and all the other multiplied wrongs and outrages upon public 
liberty and private right, which have made this country one of the 
worst despotisms on earth for the past twenty months ; and I will 
continue to rebuke and denounce them to the end ; and the people, 
thank God ! have at last heard and heeded, and rebuked them, too. 
To the record and to time I appeal again for my justification. 

And now, sir, I recur to the state of the Union to-day. What is 
it? Sir, twenty months have elapsed, but the rebellion is not crushed 
out; its military power has not been broken; the insurgents have 
not dispersed. The Union is not restored ; nor the Constitution 
maintained ; nor the laws enforced. Twenty, sixty, ninety, three 
hundred, six hundred days have passed ; a thousand millions been 
expended; and three hundred thousand lives lost or bodies mangled; 
and to-day the Confederate flag is still near the Potomac and the 
Ohio, and the Confederate Government stronger, many times, than at 
the beginning. Not a State has been restored, not any part of any 
State has voluntafily returned to the Union. And has any thing 
been wanting that Congress, or the States, or the people in their 
most generous enthusiasm, their most impassionate patriotism, could 


bestow? Was it power? And did not the party of the Executive 
control the entire Federal Government, every State government, every 
county, every city, town and village in the North and West? Was 
it patronage? All belonged to it. Was it influence ? What more? 
Did not the school, the college, the church, the press, the secret 
orders, the municipality, the corporation, railroads, telegraphs, express 
companies, the voluntary association, all, all yield it to the utmost? 
Was it unanimity ? Never was an Administration so supported in 
England or America. Five men and half a score of newspapers made 
up the Opposition. Was it enthusiasm? The enthusiasm was fanati- 
cal. There has been nothing like it since the Crusades. Was it con- 
fidence ? Sir, the faith of the people exceeded that of the patriarch. 
They gave up Constitution, law, right, liberty, all at your demand 
for arbitrary power that the rebellion might, as you promised, bo 
crushed out in three months, and the Union restored. Was credit 
needed ? You took control of a country, young, vigorous, and inex- 
haustible in wealth and resources, and of a Government almost free from 
public debt, and whose good faith had never been tarnished. Your 
great national loan bubble failed miserably, as it deserved to fail ; 
but the bankers and merchants of Philadelphia, New York and 
Boston lent you more than their entire banking capital. And when 
that failed too, you forced credit by declaring your paper promises to 
pay, a legal tender for all debts. Was money wanted ? You had 
all the revenues of the United States, diminished indeed, but still in 
gold. The whole wealth of the country, to the last dollar, lay at 
your feet. Private individuals, municipal corporations, the State gov- 
ernments, all, in their frenzy, gave you money or means with reckless 
prodigality. The great eastern cities lent you $150,000,000. Con- 
gress voted, first, $250,000,000, and next §500,000,000 more in loans; 
and then, first 850,000,000, next $10,000,000, then $90,000,000, and, 
in July last, $150,000,000 in Treasury notes ; and the Secretary has 
issued also a paper "postage currency," in sums as low as five cents, 
limited in amount only by his discretion. Nay, more : already since 
the 4th of July, 1861, this House has appropriated $2,017,864,000, 
almost every dollar without debate, and without a recorded vote. A 
thousand millions have been expended since the 15th of April, 1861; 
and a public debt or liability of $1,500,000,000 already incurred. 
And to support all this stupendous outlay and indebtedness, a system 
of taxation, direct and indirect, has been inaugurated, the most 
onerous and unjust ever imposed upon any but a conquered people. 

Money and credit, then, you have had in prodigal profusion. And 
•were men wanted ? More than a million rushed to arms ! Seventy- 
five thousand first, (and the country stood aghast at the multitude,) 
then eighty-three thousand more were demanded ; and three hundred 
and ten thousand responded to the call. The President next asked 
for four hundred thousand, and Congress, in their generous con- 
fidence, gave him five hundred thousand ; and, not to be outdone, he 
took six hundred and thirty-seven thousand. Half of these melted 
away in their first campaign ; and the President demanded three hund- 
red thousand more for the war, and then drafted yet another three 


hundred thousand for nine montlis. The fabled hosts of Xerxes 
have been out-numbered. And yet victory, strangely, follows the 
standard of the foe. From Great Bethel to Vicksburg, the battle 
has not been to the strong. Yet every disaster, except the last, has 
been iollowcd by a call for more troops, and every time, so far, they 
have been promptly furnished. From the beginning the war has 
been conducted like a political campaign, and it has been the folly 
of the party in power that they have assumed, that numbers alone 
would win the field in a contest not with ballots but with musket 
and sword. But numbers, you have had almost without number — the 
largest, best appointed, best armed, fed, and clad host of brave men, 
well organized and well disciplined, ever marshaled. A Navy, too, 
not the most formidable perhap.s, but the most numerous and gallant, 
and the costliest in the world, and against a foe, almost without a 
navy at all. Thus, with twenty millions of people, and every element 
of strength and force at command — power, patronage, influence, 
unanimity, enthusiasm, confidence, credit, money, men, an Army and 
a Navy the largest and the noblest ever set in the field, or afloat upon 
the sea ; with the support, almost servile, of every State, county, and 
municipality in the North and West, with a Congress swift to do the 
bidding of the Executive ; without opposition anywhere at home ; 
and with an arbitrary power which neither the Czar of Russia, nor 
the Emperor of Austria dare exercise ; yet after nearly two j'ears of 
more vigorous prosecution of war than ever recorded in history ; after 
more skirmishes, combats and battles than Alexander, Caesar, or the 
first Napoleon ever fought in any five years of their military career, 
you have utterly, signally, disastrously — I will not say ignominiously 
— failed to subdue ten millions of " rebels," whom you had taught 
the people of the North and West not only to hate, but to despise. 
Rebels, did I say ? Yes, your fathers were rebels, or your grand- 
fathers. He, who now before me on canvas looks down so sadly 
upon us, the false, degenerate, and imbecile guardians of the great 
Republic which he founded, was a rebel. And yet we, cradled our- 
selves in rebellion, and who have fostered and fraternized with every 
insurrection in the nineteenth century everywhere throughout the 
globe, would now, forsooth, make the word " rebel " a reproach. 
Rebels certainly they are ; but all the persistent and stupendous 
efforts of the most gigantic warfare of modern times have, through 
your incompetency and folly, availed nothing to crush them out, cut 
off though they have been, by your blockade, from all the world, and 
dependent only upon their own courage and resources. And yet, they 
were to be utterly conquered and subdued in six weeks, or three 
months ! Sir, my judgment was made up, and expressed from the 
first. I learned it from Chatham : " My lords, you can not conquer 
America." And you have not conquered the South. You never 
will. It is not in the nature of things possible ; much less under 
your auspices. But money you have expended without limit, and 
blood poured out like water. Defeat, debt, taxation, sepulchers, these 
are your trophies. In vain, the people gave you treasure, and the 
BOldicr yielded up his life. " Fight, tax, emancipate, let these," said 


the gentleman from Maine, (Mr. Pike,) at the last session, " be the 
trinity of our salvation." Sir, they have become the trinity of your 
deep damnation. The war for the Union is, in your hands, a most 
bloody and costly failure. The President confessed it on the 22d 
of September, solemnly, officially, and under the broad seal of the 
United States. And he has nov? repeated the confession. The priests 
and rabbis of abolition taught him that God would not prosper such 
a cause. War for the Union was abandoned ; war for the negro 
openly begun, and with stronger battalions than before. With what 
success ? Let the dead at Fredericksburg and Vicksburg answer. 

And now, sir, can this war continue? Whence the money to carry 
it on? Where the men? Can you borrow? From whom? Can 
you tax more? Will the people bear it? Wait till you have col- 
lected what is already levied. How many millions more of "legal 
tender" — to-day forty-seven per cent, below the par of gold — can 
you float? Will men enlist now at any price? Ah, sir, it is easier 
to die at home. I beg pardon ; but I trust I am not " discouraging 
enlistments." If I am, then first arrest Lincoln, Stanton, Halleck, 
and some of your other generals, and I will retract ; yes, I will 
recant. But can you draft again ? Ask New England — New York. 
Ask Massachusetts. Where are the nine hundred thousand? Ask 
not Ohio — the Northwest. She thought you in earnest, and gave 
you all, all — more than you demanded. 

"The wifo whose babe first smiled that day, 
The fair, fond bride of y ester eve, 
And aged sire and matron gray, 
Saw the loved warriors haste away, 
And deemed it sin to grieve." 

Sir, in blood she has atoned for her credulity ; and now there is 
mourning in every house, and distress and sadness in every heart. 
Shall she give you any more ? 

But ought this war to continue? I answer, no — not a day, not 
an hour. What then ? Shall we separate ? Again I answer, no, 
no, no ! What then ? And now, sir, I come to the grandest and 
most solemn problem of statesmanship from the beginning of time ; 
and to the God of heaven, illuminer of hearts and minds, I would 
humbly appeal for some measure, at least, of light and wisdom and 
strength to explore and reveal the dark but possible future of this 



And why not? Is it historically impossible? Sir, the frequent 
civil wars and conflicts between the States of Greece did not prevent 
their cordial union to resist the Persian invasion ; nor did even the 
thirty years Peloponnesian war, springing, in part, from the abduc- 
tion of slaves, and embittered and disastrous as it was — let Thucidi- 
des speak — wholly destroy the fellowship of those States. The wise 
Romans ended the three years Social War, after many bloody battles 


and much atrocity, by admitting the States of Italy to all the rights 
and privileges of Koman citizenship — the very object to secure 
which those States had taken up arms. The border wars between 
Scotland and England, running through centuries, did not prevent 
the final union, in peace and by adjustment, of the two kingdoms 
under one monarch. Compromise did at last what ages of coercion 
and attempted conquest had failed to efi'ect. England kept the 
crown, while Scotland gave the king to wear it; and the memories 
of Wallace, and the Bruce of Bannockburn, became part of the 
glories of British history. I pass by the union of Ireland with 
England — a union of force, which God and just men abhor; and 
yet precisely "the Union as it should be" of the Abolitionists of 
America. Sir, the rivalries of the houses of York and Lancaster, 
filled all England with cruelty and slaughter ; yet compromise and 
intermarriage ended the strife at last, and the white rose and the red 
were blended in one. Who dreamed a month before the death of 
Cromwell that in two years the people of England, after twenty 
years of civil war and usurpation, would, with great unanimity, 
restore the house of Stuart, in the person of its most worthless 
prince, whose father, but eleven years before, they had beheaded ? 
And who could have foretold, in the beginning of 1812, that within 
some three years, Napoleon would be in exile upon a desert island, 
and the Bourbons restored? Armed foreign intervention did it; 
but it is a strange history. Or who then expected to see a nephew 
of Napoleon, thirty-five years later, with the consent of the people, 
supplant the Bourbon, and reign Emperor of France? Sir, many 
States and people, once separate, have become united in the course 
of ages, through natural causes, and without conquest; but I remem- 
ber a single instance only, in history, of States or peoples once 
united, and speaking the same language, who have been forced per- 
manently asunder by civil strife or war, unless they were separated 
by distance or vast natural boundaries. The secession of the Ten 
Tribes is the exception : these parted without actual war ; and their 
subsequent history is not encouraging to secession. But when 
Moses, the greatest of all statesmen, would secure a distinct nation- 
ality and government to the Hebrews, he left Egypt, and established 
his people in a distant country. In modern times, the Netherlands, 
three centuries ago, won their independence by the sword ; but 
France and the English channel separated them from Spain. So 
did our Thirteen Colonies ; but the Atlantic ocean divided us from 
England. So did Mexico, and other Spanish colonies in America, 
but the same ocean divided them from Spain. Cuba and the Cana- 
daa still adhere to the parent Governments. And who now. North 
or South, in Europe or America, looking into history, shall pre- 
sumptuously say, that because of civil war the reunion of these States 
ia impossible? War, indeed, while it lasts, is disunion, and, if it 
lasts long enough, will be final, eternal separation first, and anarchy 
and despotism afterward. Hence, I would hasten peace now, to-day, 
by every honorable aj)pliance. 

Are there physical causes which reader reunion impracticable? 


None. Where other causes do not control, rivers unite ; but 
mountains, deserts, and great bodies of water — oceani dissociabiles — 
separate a people. Vast forests originally, and the lakes now also, 
divide us — not very widely or wholly — from the Canadas, though we 
speak the same language, and are similar in manners, laws, and 
institutions. Our chief navigable rivers run from North to South, 
Most of our bays and arms of the sea take the same direction. So 
do our ranges of mountains. Natural causes all tend to Union, 
except as between the Pacific coast and the country east of the 
Rocky mountains to the Atlantic. It is " manifest destiny." Union 
is empire. Hence, hitherto we have continually extended our terri- 
tory, and the Union with it, South and West. The Louisiana pur- 
chase, Florida, and Texas all attest it. We passed desert and 
forest, and scaled even the Rocky mountains, to extend the Union to 
the Pacific. Sir, there is no natural boundary between the North 
and the South, and no line of latitude upon which to separate ; and 
if ever a line of longitude shall be established it will be east of the 
Mississippi valley. The Alleghanies are no longer a barrier. High- 
ways ascend them everywhere, and the railroad now climbs their 
summits, and spans their chasms, or penetrates their rockiest 
sides. The electric telegraph follows, and, stretching its connecting 
wires along the clouds, there mingles its vocal lightnings with the 
fires of heaven. 

But if disunionists in the East will force a separation of any of 
these States, and a boundary, purely conventional, is at last to be 
marked out, it must, and it will be either from Lake Erie upon the 
shortest line to the Ohio river, or from Manhattan to the Canadas. 

And now, sir, is there any difi'erence of race here so radical as to 
forbid reunion? I do not refer to the negro race, styled now, in 
unctuous official phrase, by the President, " Americans of African 
descent." Certainly, sir, there are two white races in the United 
States, both from the same common stock, and yet so distinct — one 
of them so peculiar — that they develop different forms of civiliza- 
tion, and might belong, almost, to different types of mankind. But 
the boundary of these two races is not at all marked by the line 
which divides the slaveholding from the non-slaveholding States. 
If race is to be the geographical limit of disunion, then Mason and 
Dixon's can never be the line. 

Next, sir, do not the causes which, in the beginning, impelled to 
Union, still exist iu their utmost force and extent? What were 

First, the common descent — and, therefore, consanguinity — of 
the great mass of the people from the Anglo-Saxon stock. Had 
the Canadas been settled, originally, by the English, they would, 
doubtless, have followed the fortunes of the Thirteen Colonies. 
Next, a common language, one of the strongest of the ligaments which 
bind a people. Had we been contiguous to Great Britain, either the 
causes which led to a separation would have never existed, or else 
been speedily removed; or, afterward, we would long since have been 
reunited as equals, and with all the rights of Englishmen. And 


along •with these were similar, at least not essentially dissimilar, 
manners, habits, laws, religion, and institutions of all kinds, except 
one. The common defense was another powerful incentive, and is 
named in the Constitution as one among the objects of the " more 
perfect Union" of 1787. Stronger yet than all these, perhaps, but 
made up of all of them, was a common interest. Variety of climate 
and soil, and, therefore, of production, implying, also, extent of 
country, is not an element of separation, but, added to contiguity, 
becomes a part of the ligament of interest, and is one of its toughest 
strands. A'ariety of production is the parent of the earliest commerce 
and trade ; and these, in their full development, are, as between for- 
eign nations, hostages for peace ; and between States and people 
united, they are the firmest bonds of union. But, after all, the 
strongest of the many original impelling causes to the Union was 
the securing of domestic tranquillity. The statesmen of 1787 well 
knew that between thirteen independent but contiguous States, with- 
out a natural boundary, and with nothing to separate them, except 
the machinery of similar governments, there must be a perpetual, in 
fact, an '-irrepressible conflict" of jurisdiction and interest, which, 
there being no other common arbiter, could only be terminated by 
the conflict of the sword. And the statesmen of 1863 ought to 
kuow that two or more confederate governments, made up of similar 
States, having no natural boundary either, and separated only by 
different governments, can not endure long together in peace, unless 
one or more of them be either too pusillanimous for rivalry, or too 
insignificant to provoke it, or too weak to resist aggression. 

These, sir, along with the establishment of justice, and the securing 
of the general welfare, and of the blessings of liberty to themselves 
and their posterity, made up the causes and. motives which impelled 
our fathers to the Union at first. 

And now, sir, what one of them is wanting? What one dimin- 
ished? On the contrary, many of them are stronger to-day than in 
the beginning. Migration and intermarriage have strengthened the 
ties of consanguinity. Commerce, trade, and production have im- 
mensely multiplied. Cotton, almost unknown here in 1787, is now 
the chief product and export of the country. It has set in motion 
three-fourths of the spindles of New England, and given employ- 
ment, directly or remotely, to full half the shipping, trade, and 
commerce of the United States. More than that: cotton has kept 
the peace between England and America for thirty years ; and, had 
the people of the North been as wise and practical as the statesmen 
of Great Britain, it would have maintained union and peace here. 
But we are being taught in our first century, and at our own cost, 
the lessons which England learned through the long and bloody 
experience of eight hundred years. We shall be wiser next time. 
Let not cotton be king, but peace-maker, and inherit the blessing. 

A common interest, then, still remains to us. And union for the 
common defense, at the end of this war, taxed, indebted, impover- 
ished, exhausted, as both sections must be, and with foreign fleets 
and armies around us, will be fifty-fold more essential than ever 


before. And finally, sir, ■without union, our domestic tranquillity must 
forever remain unsettled. If it can not be maintained within the Union, 
how, then, outside of it, without an exodus or colonization of the 
people of one section or the other to a distant country? Sir, I repeat, 
that two governments so interlinked and bound together every way, 
by physical and social ligaments, can not exist in peace without a 
common arbiter. Will treaties bind us ? What better treaty than 
the Constitution? What more solemn, more durable? Shall we 
settle our disputes then by arbitration and compromise ? Sir, let us 
arbitrate and compromise now, inside of the Union. Certainly it will 
be quite as easy. 

And now, sir, to all these original causes and motives which 
impelled to Union at first, must be added certain artificial ligaments, 
which eighty years of association under a common Government have 
most fully developed. Chief among these are canals, steam naviga- 
tion, railroads, express companies, the post-ofiice, the newspaper 
press, and that terrible agent of good and evil mixed — " spirit of 
health, and yet goblin damned," if free, the gentlest minister of truth 
and liberty, when enslaved, the supplest instrument of falsehood 
and tyranny — the magnetic telegraph. All these have multiplied the 
speed or the quantity of trade, travel, communication, migration, and 
intercourse of all kinds, between the different States and sections ; 
and thus, so long as a healthy condition of the body-politic contin- 
ued, they became powerful cementing agencies of union. The numer- 
ous voluntary associations, artistic, literary, charitable, social, and 
scientific, until corrupted and made fanatical ; the various ecclesias- 
tical organizations, until they divided ; and the political parties, so 
long as they remained all national, and not sectional, were also among 
the strong ties which bound us together. And yet all of these, per- 
verted and abused for some years in the hands of bad or fanatical 
men, became still more powerful instrumentalities in the fatal work 
of disunion ; just as the veins and arteries of the human body, 
designed to convey the vitalizing fluid through every part of it, will 
carry also, and with increased rapidity it may be, the subtile poison 
which takes life away. Nor is this all. It was through their agency 
that the imprisoned winds of civil war were all let loose at first with 
such sudden and appalling fury ; and, kept in motion by political 
power, they have ministered to that fury ever since. But, potent 
alike for good and evil, they may yet, under the control of the 
people, and in the hands of wise, good, and patriotic men, be made 
the most effective agencies, under Providence, in the reunion of these 

Other ties, also, less material in their nature, but hardly less per- 
suasive in th^ir influence, have grown up under the Union. Long 
association, a common history, national reputation, treaties and diplo- 
matic intercourse abroad, admission of new States, a common juris- 
prudence, great men whose names and fame are the patrimony of the 
whole country, patriotic music and songs, common battle-fields, and 
glory won under the same flag. These make up the poetry of the 
Union ; and yet, as in the marriage relation, and the family, with 


similar influences, they are stronger than hooks of steel. He was a 
wise statesman, though he may never have held an office, who said : 
"Let me write the songs of a people, and I care not who makes their 
laws." Why is the Marseillaise prohibited in France? Sir, Hail 
Columbia and the Star-Spangled Banner — Pennsylvania gave us one, 
and Maryland the other — have done more for the Union than all the 
legislation and all the debates in this capitol for forty years; and 
they will do more yet again than all your armies, though you call 
out another million of men into the field. Sir, I would add " Yan- 
kee Doodle ;" but first let me be assured that Yankee Doodle loves 
the Union more than he hates the slaveholder.* 

And now, sir, I propose to briefly consider the causes which led 
to disunion and the present civil war; and to inquire whether they 
are eternal and ineradicable in their nature, and at the same time 
powerful enough to overcome all the causes and considerations which 
impel to reunion. 

Having, two years ago, discussed fully and elaborately the more 
abstruse and remote causes whence civil commotions in all Govern- 
ments, and those also which are peculiar to our complex and Federal 
system, such as the consolidating tendencies of the General Govern- 
ment, because of executive power and patronage, and of the tariff, 
and taxation and disbursement generally, all unjust and burdensome 
to the West equally with the South, I pass them by now. 

What then, I ask, is the immediate, direct cause of disunion and 
this civil war? Slavery, it is answered. Sir, that is the philosophy 
of the rustic in the play — "that a great cause of the night, is lack 
of the sun." Certainly slavery was in one sense — ver}' obscure, indeed 
— the cause of the war. Had there been no slavery here, this par- 
ticular war about slavery would never have been waged. In a like 
sense, the Holy Sepulcher was the cause of the war of the Crusades, 
and had Troy or Carthage never existed, there never would have 
been Trojan or Carthaginian war, and no such personages as Hector 
and Hannibal; and no Iliad or ^neid would ever have been written. 
But far better say that the negro is the cause of the war ; for had 
there been no negro here, there would be no war just now. What 
then? Exterminate him ? Who demands it? Colonize him? How? 
Where? When? At whose cost? Sir, let us have an end of thia 

But slavery is the cause of the war. Why ? Because the South 
obstinately and wickedly refused to restrict or abolish it at the 
demand of the philosophers or fanatics and demagogues of the North 
and West. Then, sir, it was abolition, the purpose to abolish or 
interfere with and hem in slavery, which caused disunion and war. 
Slavery is only the subject, but Abolition the cause of this civil war. 
It was the persistent and determined agitation in the free States of 
the question of abolishing slavery in the South, because of the alleged 
"irrepressible conflict" between the forms of labor in the two sec- 

• In truth, the song was written in derision by a British officer, and not by 
an American. 


tions, or, in the false and mischievous cant of the day, between free- 
dom and slavery, that forced a collision of arms at last. Sir, that 
conflict was not confined to the Territories. It was expressly proclaimed 
by its apostles, as between the States also — against the institution of 
domestic slavery everywhere. But, assuming the platforms of the 
Republican party as a standard, and stating the case most strongly in 
favor of that party, it was the refusal of the South to consent that 
slavery should be excluded from the Territories, that led to the con- 
tinued agitation, North and South, of that question, and finally to 
disunion and civil war. Sir, I will not be answered now by the old 
clamor about "the aggressions of the slave power." That miserable 
specter, that unreal mockery, has been exorcised and expelled by debt 
and taxation and blood. If that power did govern this country for 
the sixty years preceding this terrible revolution, then the sooner 
this Administration and Government return to the principles and 
policy of Southern statesmanship, the better for the country ; and 
that, sir, is already, or soon will be, the judgment of the people. But 
I deny that it was the " slave power " that governed for so many years, 
and so wisely and well. It was the Democratic party, and its prin- 
ciples and policy, molded and controlled, indeed, largely by Southern 
statesmen. Neither will I be stopped by that other cry of mingled 
fanaticism and hypocrisy, about the sin and barbarism of African 
slavery. Sir, I see more of barbarism and sin, a thousand times, ia 
the continuance of this war, the dissolution of the Union, the break- 
ing up of this Government, and the enslavement of the white race, 
by debt and taxes and arbitrary power. The day of fanatics and 
sophists and enthusiasts, thank God, is gone at last ; and though the 
age of chivalry may not, the age of practical statesmanship is about 
to return. Sir, I accept the language and intent of the Indiana 
resolution, to the full — "that in considering terms of settlement, we 
will look only to the welfare, peace, and safety of the white race, 
without reference to the efi"ect that settlement may have upon the 
condition of the African." And when we have done this, my word 
for it, the safety, peace, and welfare of the African will have been 
best secured. Sir, there is fifty-fold less of anti-slavery sentiment 
to-day in the West than there was two years ago ; and if this war be 
continued, there will be still less a year hence. The people there 
begin, at last, to comprehend, that domestic slavery in the South ia 
a question, not of morals, or religion, or humanity, but a form of 
labor, perfectly compatible with the dignity of free white labor in the 
same community, and with national vigor, power, and prosperity, and 
especially with military strength. They have learned, or begin to 
learn, that the evils of the system affect the master alone, or the 
community and State in which it exists ; and that we of the free 
States partake of all the material benefits of the institution, unmixed 
with any part of its mischief They believe, also, in the subordina- 
tion of the negro race to the white, where they both exist together, 
and that the condition of subordination, as established in the South, 
is far better every way, for the negro, than the hard servitude of 
poverty, degradation, and crime, to which he is subjected in the free 


States. All this, sir, may be " pro-slaveryism," if there be such 
a word. JVrhaps it is ; but the people of the West begin now to 
think it wisdom and good sense. We will not establish slavery ia 
our own midst; neither will we abolish it, or interfere with it outside 
of our own limits. 

Sir, an anti-slavery paper in New York, {the Tribune.^ the most 
influential, and therefore most dangerous, of all of that class — it 
would exhibit more of dignity, and command more of influence, if it 
were always to discuss public questions and public men with a decent 
respect — laying aside now the epithets of "secessionist " and " traitor," 
has returned to its ancient political nomenclature, and calls certain 
members of this House " pro-slavery." Well, sir, in the old sense 
of the term, as applied to the Democratic party, I will not object. 
I said years ago, and it is a fitting time now to repeat it : 

"If to love my country; to cherish the Union; to revere the Constitution; 
if to abhor the madness and hate the treason, which would lift up a sacri- 
legious hand against either; if to read that in the past, to behold it in the 
present, to foresee it in the future of tliis land, which is of more value to us, 
and to the world, for ages to come, than all the multiplied millions who have 
inhabited Africa from the creation to this day ! — if this it is to be pro slavery, 
then in every nerve, fiber, vein, bone, tendon, joint, and ligament, from the 
topmost hair of the head to the last extremity of the foot, I am all over and 
altogether a pro-slavery man." 

And now, sir, I come to the great and controlling question within 
which the whole issue of union or disunion is bound up : Is there 
"an irrepressible conflict" between the slaveholding and non-slave- 
holding States? Must " the cotton and rice fields of South Carolina, 
and the sugar plantations of Louisiana," in the language of Mr. 
Seward, " be ultimately tilled by free labor, and Charleston and New 
Orleans become marts for legitimate merchandise alone, or else the 
rye fields and wheat fields of Massachusetts and New York again be 
surrendered by their farmers to slave culture and the production of 
slaves, and Boston and New York become, once more markets for trade 
in the bodies and souls of men ? " If so, then there is an end of 
all union, and forever. You can not abolish slavery by the sword ; 
still less by proclamations, though the President were to " proclaim " 
every month. • Of what possible avail was his proclamation of Sep- 
tember? Did the South submit? Was she even alarmed ? And yet, 
he has now fulmined another " bull against the comet " — hrutum ful- 
men — and, threatening servile insurrection with all its horrors, has 
yet coolly appealed to the judgment of mankind, and invoked the 
blessing of the God of peace and love ! But declaring it a military 
necessity, an essential measure of war to subdue the rebels, yet, with 
admirable wisdom, he expressly exempts from its operation the only 
States, and parts of States, in the South, where he has the military 
power to execute it. 

Neither, sir, can you abolish slavery by argument. As well attempt 
to abolish marriage, or the relation of paternity. The South is 
resolved to maintain it at every hazard, and by every sacrifice ; and 
if •' this Union can not endure, part slave and part free," then it is 


already and finally dissolved. Talk not to me of "West Virginia." 
Tell me not of Missouri, trampled under the feet of your soldiery. 
As well talk to me of Ireland. Sir, the destiny of those States must 
abide the issue of the war. But Kentucky you may find tougher. 
And Maryland — 

" E'en in her ashes live their wonted fires." 

Nor will Delaware be found wanting in the day of trial. 

But I deny the doctrine. It is full of disunion and civil war. It 
is disunion itself. Whoever first taught it ought to be dealt with as 
not only hostile to the Union, but an enemy of the human race. 
Sir, the fundamental idea of the Constitution is the perfect and 
eternal compatibility of a union of States " part slave and part free ; " 
else the Constitution never would have been framed, nor the Union 
founded ; and seventy years of successful experiment have approved 
the wisdom of the plan. In my deliberate judgment, a confederacy 
made up of slaveholding and non-slaveholding States, is, in the nature 
of things, the strongest of all popular governments. African slavery 
lias been, and is, eminently conservative. It makes the absolute 
political equality of the white race everywhere practicable. It dis- 
penses with the English order of nobility, and leaves every white 
man. North and South, owning slaves or owning none, the equal of 
every other white man. It has reconciled universal suffrage, through- 
out the free States, with the stability of government. I speak not 
now of its material benefits to the North and West, which are many 
and more obvious. But the South, too, has profited many ways by 
a union with the non-slaveholding States. Enterprise, industry, self- 
reliance, perseverance, and the other hardy virtues of a people living 
in a higher latitude, and without hereditary servants, she has learned 
or received from the North. Sir, it is easy, I know, to denounce all 
this, and to revile him who utters it. Be it sO. The p]nglish is, of 
all languages, the most copious in words of bitterness and reproach. 
"Pour on : I will endure." 

Then, sir, there is not an "irrepressible conflict" between slave 
labor and free labor. There is no conflict at all. Both exist 
together in pei'fect harmony in the South. The master and the slave, 
the white laborer and the black, work together in the same field, or 
the same shop, and without the slightest sense of degradation. They 
are not equals, either socially or politically. And why, then, can 
not Ohio, having only free labor, live in harmony with Kentucky, 
which has both slave and free? Above all, why can not Massachu- 
setts allow the same right of choice to South Carolina, separated as 
they are a thousand miles, by other States, who would keep the 
peace, and live in good will? Why this civil war? Whence dis- 
union ? Not from slavery — not because the South chooses to have 
two kinds of labor instead of one — but from sectionalism, always and 
every where a disintegrating principle. Sectional jealousy and hate 
— these, sir, are the only elements of conflict between these States; 
and, though powerful, they are yet not at all irrepressible. They 
exist between families, communities, towns, cities, counties, and 


States; and if not repressed, would dissolve all society and govern- 
ment. They exist, also, between other sections than the North and 
South. Sectionalism East, many years 02:0, saw the South and West 
united by the ties of geographical position, migration, intermarriage, 
and interest, and thus strong enough to control the power and policy 
of the Union. It found us divided only by different forms of labor, 
and, with consummate, but most guilty sagacity, it seized upon the 
question of slavery as the surest and most powerful instrumentality 
by which to separate the West from the South, and bind her wholly 
to the North. Encouraged every way, from abroad, by those who 
were jealous of our prosperity and greatness, and who knew the 
secret of our strength, it proclaimed the "irrepressible conflict" 
between slave labor and free labor. It taught the people of the 
North to forget both their duty and their interests ; and, aided by 
the artificial ligaments and influences which money and enterprise 
had created between the seaboard and the North-west, it persuaded 
the people of that section, also, to yield up every tie which binds 
them to the great valley of the Mississippi, and to join, their political 
fbrtunes especially, wholly with the East. It resisted the fugitive 
slave law, and demanded the exclusion of slavery from all the Terri- 
tories, and from this District, and clamored against the admission of 
any more slave States into the Union. It organized a sectional anti- 
slavery party, and thus drew to its aid as well political ambition and 
interest as fanaticism ; and, after twenty-five years of incessant and 
vehement agitation, it obtained possession, finally, and upon that 
issue, of the Federal Government, and of every State government 
North and West. And, to-day, we are in the midst of the greatest, 
most cruel, most destructive civil war ever waged. But two years 
sir, of blood and debt and taxation, and incipient commercial ruin 
are teaching the people of the AVest, and, I trust, of the North, also 
the folly and madness of this crusade against African slavery, and 
the wisdom and necessity of a union of the States, as our fathers 
made it, " part slave and part free." 

What then, sir, with so many causes impelling to reunion, keeps 
us apart to-day? Hate, passion, antagonism, revenge — all heated 
seven times hotter by war. Sir, these, while Ihey last, are the most 
powerful of all motives with a people, and with the individual man ; 
but, fortunately, they are the least durable. They hold a divided 
sway in the same bosoms with the nobler qualities of love, justice, 
reason, placability ; and, except when at their hight, are weaker than 
the sense of interest, and always, in States, at least give way to it at 
last. No statesman who yields himself up to them can govern wisely 
or well ; and no State whose policy is controlled by them can either 
prosper or endure. But war is both their offspring and their ahi.ient, 
and, while it lasts, all other motives are subordinate. The virtues 
of peace can not flourish, can not even find development in the 
midst of fighting ; and this civil war keeps in motion all the cen- 
trifugal forces of the Union, and gives to them increased strength 
and activity every day. But such, and so many and powerful, in 
my judgment, are the cementing or centripetal agencies impelling us 


together, that nothing but perpetual war and strife can keep us 
always divided. 

Sir, I do not under-estimate the power of the prejudices of section, 
or, what is much stronger, of race. Prejudice is colder, and, there- 
fore, more durable than the passions of hate and revenge, or the 
spirit of antagonism. But, as I have already said, its boundary in 
the United States is not Mason and Dixon's line. The long standing 
mutual jealousies of New England and the South do not primarily 
grow out of slavery. They are deeper, and will always be the chief 
obstacle in the way of full and absolute reunion. They are founded 
in difference of manners, habits, and social life, and different notions 
about politics, morals, and religion. Sir, after all, this whole war is 
not so much one of sections — least of all, between the slaveholding 
and non-slaveholding sections — as of races, representing not difference 
in blood, but mind and its development, and different types of civ- 
ilization. It is the old conflict of the Cavalier and the lioundhead, 
the Liberalist and the Puritan ; or, rather, it is a conflict, upon new 
issues, of the ideas and elements represented by those names. It is 
a war of the Yankee and the Southron. Said a Boston writer, the 
other day, eulogizing a New England officer who fell at Fredericks- 
burg : " This is Massachusetts' war ; Massachusetts and South Caro- 
lina made it." But, in the beginning, the Roundhead outwitted the 
Cavalier, and, by a skillful use of slavery and the negro, united all New 
England first, and afterwards the entire North and West, and finally 
sent out to battle against him Celt and Saxon, German and Knicker- 
bocker, Catholic and Episcopalian, and even a part of his own house- 
hold, and of the descendants of his own stock. Said Mr. Jefferson, 
when New England threatened secession, some sixty years ago : "No, 
let us keep the Yankees to quarrel with." Ah, sir, he forgot that 
quarreling is always a hazardous experiment ; and, after some time, 
the countrymen of Adams proved themselves too sharp at that work 
for the countrymen of Jefferson. But every day the contest now 
tends again to its natural and original elements. In many parts of 
the North-west — I might add, of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and 
New York city — the prejudice against the " Yankee " has always 
been almost as bitter as in the South. Suppressed for a little while 
by the anti-slavery sentiment and the war, it threatens now to break 
forth in one of those great, but unfortunate, popular uprisings, in the 
midst of which reason and justice are, for the time, utterly silenced. 
I speak advisedly, and let New England heed, else she, and the whole 
East, too, in their struggle for power, may learn yet, from the West, the 
same lesson which civil war taught to Rome, that evulgato imperii 
arcano^ posse principcm alibi, qnam RonuB fieri. The people of the 
"West demand peace, and they begin to more than suspect tiiat New 
England is in the way. The storm rages ; and they believe that she, 
not slavery, is the cause. The ship is sore tried; and passengers and 
crew are now almost ready to propitiate the w.xves, by throwing the 
ill-omened prophet overboard. In plain English — not very classic, 
but most expressive — they threaten to "set New England out in the 



And now, sir, I, who have not a drop of New England blood in 
my veins, but was born in Ohio, and am wholly of southern ancestry 
— with a sli<>;ht cross of Pennsylvania Scotch-Irish — would speak a 
word to the men of the West and the South, in behalf of New 
Enslarid. Sir, some years ago, in the midst of high sectional con- 
troversies, and speaking as a western man, I said some things harsh 
of the North, which now, in a more catholic spirit, as a United States 
man, and for the sake of reunion, I would recall. My prejudices, 
indeed, upon this subject, arc as strong as any man's; but in this, 
the day of great national humiliation and calamity, let the voice of 
prejudice be hushed. 

Sir, they who would exclude New England in any reconstruction 
of the Union, assume that all New Englanders are "Yankees" and 
Puritans ; and that the Puritan or pragmatical element, or type of 
civilization, has always held undisputed sway. Well, sir, Yankees, 
certainly, they are, in one sense; and so to Old England we are all 
Yankees, North and South ; and to the South just now, or a little 
while ago, we, of the middle and western States, also, are, or were, 
Y'ankees, too. But there is really a very large, and most liberal and 
conservative non-Puritan element in the population of New England, 
which, for many years, struggled for the mastery, and sometimes held 
it. It divided Maine, New Hampshire, and Connecticut, and once 
controlled Khode Island wholly. It held the sway during the Revo- 
lution, and at the period when the Constitution was founded, and 
for sonic years afterwards. Mr. Calhoun said, very justly, in 18-47, 
that to the wisdom and enlarged patriotism of Sherman and Ells- 
worth, on the slavery question, we were indebted for this admirable 
Government; and that, along with Paterson, of New Jersey, "their 
names ought to be engraven on brass, and live forever." And Mr. 
Webster, in 1830, in one of those grand historic word-paintings, in 
which he was so great a master, said of Massachusetts and South 
Carolina : " Hand in hand they stood around the Administration of 
Washington, and felt his own great arm lean on them for support." 
Indeed, sir, it was not till some thirty years ago that the narrow, 
presumptuous, intermeddling, and fanatical spirit of the old Puritan 
element began to reappear in a form very much more aggressive and 
destructive than at first, and threatened to obtain absolute mastery in 
Church, and School, and State. A little earlier it had struggled 
hard, but the conservatives proved too strong for it ; and so long as 
the great statesmen and jurists of the Whig and Democratic parties 
survived, it made small progress, though John Quincy Adams gave 
to it the strength of his great name. But after their death, it broke 
iu as a flood, and swept away the last vestige of the ancient, liberal, 
and tolerating conservatism. Then every form and development of 
fanaticism sprang up in rank and most luxuriant growth, till abo- 
litionism, the chief fungus of all, overspread the whole of New En- 
gland first, and then the middle States, and finally every State in the 

Certainly, sir, the more liberal or non-Puritan element was mainly, 
though not altogether, from the old Puritan stock, or largely crossed 


with it. But even within the first ten years after the landing of the 
Pilgrims, a more enlarged and tolerating civilization was introduced. 
Roger Williams, not of the Mayflower, though a Puritan himself, and 
thoroughly imbued with all its peculiarities of cant and creed and 
forni of worship, seems yet to have had naturally a more liberal 
spirit ; and, first, perhaps, of all men, some three or more years before 
the Ark and the Dove touched the shores of the St. Mary's, in Mary- 
land, taught the sublime doctrine of freedom of opinion and practice 
in religion. Threatened first with banishment to England, so as to 
"remove, as far as possible, the infection of his principles," and, after- 
ward, actually banished beyond the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, 
because, in the language of the sentence of the General Court, "he 
broached and divulged divers new and strange doctrines against the 
authority of magistrates," over the religious opinions of men, thereby 
disturbing the peace of the colony, he became the founder of Rhode 
Island, and, indeed, of a large part of New Elgland society. And, 
whether from his teachings and example, and in the persons of his 
descendants and those of his associates, or from other causes and 
another stock, there has always been a large infusion throughout New 
England of what may be called the Roger Williams element, as dis- 
tinguished from the extreme Puritan or Mayfiower and Plymouth 
Rock type of the New Englander; and, its influence, till late years, 
has always been powerful. 

The Speaker. The gentleman's hour has expired. 
Mr. Vallandigham. I ask for a short time longer. 
Mr. Potter. I hope there will be no objection from this side of 
the House. 

The Speaker. If there be no objection, the gentleman will be 
allowed further time. 

There was no objection, and it was ordered accordingly. 
Mr. Vallandiguam. Sir, I would not deny or disparage the 
austere virtues of the old Puritans of England or America. But I 
do believe that, in the very nature of things, no community could 
exist long in peace, and no government endure long alone, or become 
great, where that clement, in its earliest or its more recent form, 
holds supreme control. And, it is my solemn conviction, that tyierc 
can be no possible or durable reunion of these States, until it shall 
have been again subordinated to other and more liberal and conserva- 
tive elements, and, above all, until its worst and most mischievous 
development. Abolitionism, has been utterly extinguished. Sir, the 
peace of the Union and of this continent demands it. But, fortu- 
nately, those very elements exist abundantly in New England herself; 
and to her I look with confidence to secure to them the mastery 
within her limits. In fact, sir, the true voice of New England has, 
for some years past, been but rarely heard, here or elsewhere, in 
public afiairs. Men now control her politics, and arc in high places. 
State and Federal, who, twenty years ago, could not have been 
chosen selectmen in old 3Iassachusetts. But, let her remember, at 
last, her ancient renown ; lot her turn from vain-glorious admiration 
of the stone monuments of her heroes and patriots of a former age, 


to generous emulation of the noble and manly virtues wlilch tliey 
were desipjncd to commemorate. Let us hear less from her of the 
Pilgrim Fathers and the Mayflower and of Plymouth Rock, and 
more of Roger Williams and his compatriots, and his toleration. 
Let her banish, now and forever, her dreamers and her sophists and 
her fanatics, and call back again into her State administration, and 
into the national councils, "her men of might, her grand in soul" — 
some of them still live — and she will yet escape the dangers which 
now threaten her with isolation. 

Then, sir, while I am inexorably hostile to Puritan domination in 
religion or morals or literature or politics, I am not in favor of the 
proposed exclusion of New England. I would have the Union as it 
was, and, first. New England as she was. But if New England will 
have no union with slaveholders, if she is not content with " the 
Union as it was," then, upon her own head be the responsibility for 
secession; and there will be no more coercion now; I, at least, will 
be exactly consistent. 

And now, sir, can the central States, New York, New Jersey, and 
Pennsylvania, consent to separation? Can New York city? Sir, the 
txade of the South made her largely what she is. She was the factor 
and banker of the South. Cotton filled her harbor with shipping, 
and her banks with gold. But in an evil hour, the foolish, I will 
not say bad " men of Gotham " persuaded her merchant princes — 
against their first lesson in business — that she could retain or force 
back the southern trade by war. War, indeed, has given her, just 
now, a new business and trade, greater and more profitable than the old ; 
but with disunion, that, too, must perish. And let not Wall street, 
or any other great interest, mercantile, manufacturing, or commercial, 
imagine that it shall have power enough, or wealth enough, to stand 
in the way of reunion through peace. Let them learn, one and all, 
that a public man, who has the people as his support, is stronger 
than tlicy, though he may not be worth a million, nor even one 
dollar. A little while ago the banks said that they were king, but 
President Jackson speedily taught them their mistake. Next, rail- 
roads assumed to be king; and cotton once vaunted largely his king- 
ship. Sir, these are only of the royal family — princes of the blood. 
There is but one king on earth. Politics is king. 

But to return : New Jersey, too, is bound closely to the South, 
and the South to her ; and more and longer than any other State, she 
remembered both her duty to the Constitution and her interest in 
the Union. And Pennsylvania, a sort of middle ground, just between 
the North and the South, and extending, also, to the West, is united 
by nearer, if not stronger ties to every section than any other one 
State, unless it be Ohio. She was — she is yet — the keystone in the 
great but now crumbling arch of the Union. She is a border State ; 
and, more than that, she has less within her of the fanatical or dis- 
turbing element than any of the States. The people of Pennsylvania 
are quiet, peaceable, practical, and enterprising, without being aggress- 
ive. They have more of the honest old English and German thrift 
than any other. No people mind more diligently their own business. 


They have but one idiosyncrasy or specialty — the tariff; and even 
that is really far more a matter of tradition than of substantial interest. 
The industry, enterprise, and thrift of Pennsylvania arc abundantly 
able to take care of themselves against any competition. In any event, 
the Union is of more value, many times, to her, than any local interest. 

But other ties also bind these States — Pennsylvania and New 
Jersey, especially — to the South, and the South to them. Only an 
imaginary line separates the former from Delaware and Maryland. 
The Delaware river, common to both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, 
flows into Delaware Bay. The Susquehanna empties its waters, 
through Pennsylvania and Maryland, into the Chesapeake. And 
that great watershed itself, extending to Norfolk, and, therefore, 
almost to the North Carolina line, does belong, and must ever belong, 
in common, to the central and southern States, under one govern- 
ment; or else the line of separation will be the Potomac to its head 
waters. All of Delaware and Maryland, and the counties of Aceo- 
mac and Northampton, in Virginia, would, in that event, follow the 
fortunes of the northern confederacy. In fact, sir, disagreeable as 
the idea may be to many within their limits, on both sides, no man 
who looks at the map and then reflects upon history and the force of 
natural causes, and considers the present actual and the future prob- 
able position of the hostile armies and navies at the end of this war, 
ought for a moment to doubt that either the States and counties 
which I have named, must go with the North, or Pennsylvania and 
New Jersey with the South. Military force on either side can not 
control the destiny of the States lying between the mouth of the 
Chesapeake and the Hudson. And if that bay were itself made the 
line, Delaware, and the eastern shore of Maryland and Virginia, 
would belong to the North ; while Norfolk, the only capacious harbor 
on the south-eastern coast, must be commanded by the guns of some 
new fortress upon Cape Charles ; and Baltimore, the now queenly 
city, seated then upon the very boundary of two rival, yes, hostile, 
confederacies, would rapidly fall into decay. 

And now, sir, I will not ask whether the North-west can consent 
to separation from the South. Never. Nature forbids. We are 
only a part of the great valley of the Mississippi. There is no line 
of latitude upon which to separate. Neither party would desire the 
old line of 3G° 30' on both sides of the river; and there is no natural 
boundary east and west. The nearest to it are the Ohio and Missouri 
rivers. But that line would leave Cincinnati and St. Louis, as border 
cities, like Baltimore, to decay, and, extending fifteen hundred miles 
in length, would become the scene of an eternal border warfare, with- 
out example even in the worst of times. Sir, we can not, ought not, 
will not, separate from the South. And if you of the East who have 
found this war against the South, and for the negro, gratifying to 
your hate or profitable to your purse, will continue it till a separation 
be forced between the slaveholding and your non-slaveholding States, 
then, believe me, and accept it, as you did not the other solemn warn- 
ings of years past, the day which divides the North from the South, 
that selfsame day decrees eternal divorce between the West and the East. 


Sir, our destiny is fixed. There is not one drop of rain whicli, 
descending from the heavens and fertilizing our soil, causes it to 
yield an abundant harvest, but flows into the Mississippi, and there 
mingling with the waters of that mighty river, finds its way, at last, 
to the Gulf of Mexico. And we must and will follow it with travel 
and trade — not by treaty, but by right — freely, peaceably, and with- 
out restriction or tribute, under the same government and flag, to 
its home in the bosom of that gulf. Sir, we will not remain, after 
separation from the South, a province or appanage of the East, to 
bear her burdens and pay her taxes; nor, hemmed in and isolated 
as we are, and without a sea-coast, could we long remain a distinct 
confederacy. But wherever we go, married to the South or the 
East, we bring with us three-fourths of the territories of that valley 
to the Eoeky Mountains, and it may be to the Pacific — the grandest 
and most magnificent dowry that bride ever had to bestow. 

Then, sir, New England, freed at last from the domination of her 
sophisters, dreamers, and bigots, and restored to the control once 
more of her former liberal, tolerant, and conservative civilization, 
will not stand in the way of the reunion of these States upon terms 
of fair and honorable adjustment. And in this great work the cen- 
tral free and border slave States, too, will unite heart and hand. To 
the West it is a necessity, and she demands it. And let not the 
States now called Confederate insist upon separation and independ- 
ence. What did they demand at first? Security against Abolition- 
ism within the Union: protection from the "irrepressible conflict," 
and the domination of the absolute numerical majority: a change of 
public opinion, and consequently of political parties in the North 
and West, so that their local institutions and domestic peace should 
no longer be endangered. And now, sir, after two years of persist- 
ent and most gigantic effort on part of this Administration to compel 
them to submit, but with utter and signal failure, the people of the 
free States are now, or are fast becoming, satisfied that the price of 
the Union is the utter suppression of Abolitionism or anti -slavery 
as a political element, and the complete subordination of the spirit 
of fanaticism and intermeddling which gave it birth. In any event, 
they are ready now, if I have not greatly misread the signs of the 
times, to return to the old Constitutional and actual basis of fifty 
years ago : three-fifths rule of representation, speedy rendition of 
fugitives from labor, equal rights in the Territories, no more slavery 
agitation anywhere, and transit and temporary sojourn with slaves, 
without molestation, in the free States. Without all these there 
could be neither peace nor permanence to a restored union of States 
"part slave and part free." With it, the South, in addition to all 
the other great and multiplied benefits of union, would be far more 
secure in her slave property, her domestic institutions, than under a 
separate government. Sir, let no man. North or West, tell me that 
this would perpetuate African slavery. I know it. But so does the 
Constitution. I repeat, sir, it is the price of the Union. Whoever 
hates negro slavery more than he loves the Union must demand 
separation at last. I think that you can never abolish slavery by 


fighting. Certainly you never can till you have first destroyed the 
South, and then, in the language, first of Mr. Douglas and after- 
ward of Mr. Seward, converted this Government into an imperial 
despotism. And, sir, whenever I am forced to a choice between the 
loss, to my own country and race, of personal and political liberty, 
with all its blessings, and the involuntary domestic servitude of 
the negro, I shall not hesitate one moment to choose the latter alter- 
native. The sole question, to-day, is between the Union, with slavery, 
or final disunion, and, I think, anarchy and despotism. I am for 
the Union. It was good enough for my fathers. It is good enough 
for us, and our children after us. 

And, sir, let no man in the South tell me that she has been 
invaded, and that all the horrors implied in those most terrible of 
words, civil war, have been visited upon her. I know that, too. But 
we, also, of the North and West, in every State, and by thousands, 
who have dared so much as to question the principles and policy, or 
doubt the honesty, of this Administration and its party, have suflered 
everything that the worst despotism could inflict, except only loss 
of life itself upon the scaffold. Some even have died for the cause, 
by the hand of the assassin. And can we forget? Never, never. 
Time will but burn the memory of these wrongs deeper into our 
hearts. But shall we break up the Union ? Shall we destroy the 
Grovernment, because usurping tyrants have held possession, and per- 
verted it to the most cruel of oppressions ? Was it ever so done in 
any other country? In Athens? Rome? England? Anywhere? 
No, sir ; let us expel the usurper, and restore the constitution and 
laws, the rights of the States, and the liberties of the people • and 
then, in the country of our fathers, under the Union of our fathers, 
and the old flag — the symbol once again of the free and the brave — 
let us fulfill the grand mission which Providence has appointed for 
us among the nations of the earth. 

And now, sir, if it be the will of all sections to unite, then upon 
what terms ? Sir, between the South and most of the States of the 
North, and all of the West, there is but one subject in controversy — 
slavery. It is the only question, said Mr. Calhoun, twenty-five years 
ago, of sufficient magnitude and potency to divide this Union ; and 
divide it it will, he added, or drench the country in blood, if not 
arrested. It has done both. But settle it on the original basis of 
the constitution, and give to each section the pov/er to protect itself 
within the Union, and now, after the terrible lessons of the past two 
years, the Union will be stronger than before, and, indeed, endure 
for ages. Woe to the man, North or South, who, to the third or 
fourth generation, should teach men disunion. 

And now the way to reunion : what so easy ? Behold to-day two 
separate governments in one country, and without a natural dividing 
line ; with two presidents and cabinets, and a double Congress ; and 
yet, each under a constitution so exactly similar, the one to the other, 
that a stranger could scarce discern the difference. Was ever folly 
and madness like this ? Sir, it is not in the nature of things that it 
should so continue lons- 


But why speak of ways or terms of reunion now ? The will is yet 
wantinj^ in both sections. Union is consent, and good will, and IVater- 
nal affection. War is force, hate, revenge. Is the country tired at 
last of war ? lias the experiment been tried long enough ? Has 
sufficient blood been shed, treasure expended, and misery inflicted in 
both th"^ North and the South ? What then ? Stop fighting. Make 
an armistice — no formal treaty. Withdraw your army from the seceded 
States. Keduce both armies to a fair and sufficient peace establish- 
ment. Declare absolute free trade between the North and South. 
Buy and sell. Agree upon a zollvcrein. Recall your fleets. Break 
up your blockade. Bcduce your navy. Restore travel. Open up 
railroads. Re-establish the telegraph. Reunite your express com- 
panies. No more Monitors and iron-clads, but set your friendly 
steamers and steamships again in motion. Visit the North and West. 
Visit the South. Exchange newspapers. Migrate. Intermarry. 
Let slavery alone. Hold elections at the appointed times. Let U8 
choose a new President in sixty-four. And when the gospel of peace 
shall have descended again from heaven into their hearts, and the 
gospel of abolition and of hate been expelled, let your clergy and 
the churches meet again in Christian intercourse, North and South. 
Let the secret orders and voluntary associations everywhere reunite as 
brethren once more. In short, give to all the natural, and all the 
artificial causes which impel us together, their fullest sway. Let 
time do his office — drying tears, dispelling sorrows, mellowing pas- 
sion, and making herb and grass and tree to grow again upon the 
hundred battle-liclds of this terrible war. 

" But this is recognition." It is not formal recognition, to which 
I will not consent. Recognition now, and attempted permanent 
treaties about boundary, travel, and trade, and partition of Territories 
would end in a war fiercer and more disastrous than before. Recog- 
nition is absolute disunion ; and not between the slave and the free 
States, but with Delaware and Maryland as part of the North, and 
Kentucky and Missouri part of the West. But wherever the actual 
line, every evil and mischief of disunion is implied in it. And, for 
similar reasons, sir, I would not, at this time, press hastily a conven- 
tion of the States. The men who now would hold seats in such a 
convention, would, upon both sides, if both agreed to attend, come 
together full of the hate and bitterness inseparable from a civil war. 
No, sir ; let passion have time to cool, and reason to resume its 
sway. It cost thirty years of desperate and most wicked patience and 
industry to destroy or impair the magnificent temple of this Union. 
Let us be content if, within three years, we shall be able to 
restore it. 

But, certainly, what I propose is informal, practical recognition. 
And that is precisely what exists to-day, and has existed, more or 
less defined, from the first. Flags of truce, exchange of prisoners, 
and all your other observances of the laws, forms, and courtesies of 
war, are acts of recognition. Sir, does any man doubt, to-day, that 
there is a Confederate Government at Richmond, and that it is a 
"belligerent?" Even the Secretary of State has discovered it at 


laat, though he has written ponderous folios of polished rhetoric to 
prove that it is not. Will continual war then, without extended and 
substantial success, make the Confederate States any the less a gov- 
ernment in fact? 

"But it confesses disunion." Yes, just as the surgeon, who sets 
your fractured limb in splints, in order that it may be healed, 
admits that it is broken. " But the Government will have failed to 
crush out the rebellion." Sir, it has failed. You went to war to 
prove that we had a Government. With what result? To the 
people of the loyal States it has, in your hands, been the Govern- 
ment of King Stork, but to the Confederate States, of King Log. 
" But the rebellion will have triumphed." Better triumph to-day 
then ten years hence. But I deny it. The rebellion will, at last, 
be crushed out, in the only way in which it ever was possible. " But 
no one will be hung at the end of war." Neither will there be, 
though the war should last half a century, except by the mob or 
the hand of arbitrary power. But, really, sir, if there is to be no 
hanging, let this Administration, and all who have done its bidding 
everywhere, rejoice and be exceeding glad. 

And now, sir, allow me a word upon a subject of very great 
interest at this moment, and most important, it may be, in its influ- 
ence upon the future — foreign mediation. I speak not of armed 
and hostile intervention, which I would resist as long as but one 
man was left to strike a blow at the invader. But friendly media- 
tion — the kindly offer of an impartial power to stand as a daysman 
between the contending parties in this most bloody and exhausting 
strife — ought to be met in a spirit as cordial and ready as that in 
which it is proffered. It would be churlish to refuse. Certainly, it 
is not consistent with the former dignity of this Government to ask 
for mediation, neither, sir, would it befit its ancient magnanimity to 
reject it. As proposed by the Emperor of France, I would accept 
it at once. Now is the auspicious moment. It is the speediest, 
easiest, most graceful mode of suspending hostilities. Let us hear 
no more of the mediation of the cannon and the sword. The day 
for all that has gone by. Let us be statesmen at last. Sir, I give 
thanks, that some, at least, among the Republican party, seem ready 
now to lift themselves up to the hight of this great argument, and 
to deal with it in the spirit of the patriots and great men of other 
countries and ages, and of the better days of the United States. 

And now, sir, whatever may have been the motives of England, 
France, and the other great powers of Europe, in witholding recogni- 
tion so long from the Confederate States, the South and the North 
are both indebted to them for an immense public service. The 
South has proved her ability to maintain herself by her own strength 
and resources, without foreign aid, moral or material. And the North 
and West — the whole country, indeed — these great powers have served 
incalculably, by holding back a solemn proclamation to the world 
that the Union of these States was finally and formally dissolved. 
They have left to us every motive and every chance for reunion ; and 
if that has been the purpose of England especially — our rival so 


long, interested more than any other in disunion, and the consequent 
weakening of our great naval and commercial power, and puffcring, 
too, as she his suflered, so long and severely because of this war — I 
do not hesitate to say that she has performed an act of unselfish 
heroism without example in history. Was such, indeed, her pur- 
pose? Let her answer before the impartial tribunal of posterity. 
In any event, after the great reaction in public sentiment in the 
North and West, to be followed, after some time, by a like reaction 
in the South, foreign recognition now of the Confederate States could 
avail little to delay or prevent final reunion, if, as I firmly believe, 
reunion be not only possible, but inevitable. 

Sir, I have not spoken of foreign arbitration. That is quite 
another question. I think it impracticable, and fear it as dangerous. 
The very powers — or any other power — which have hesitated to aid 
disunion directly or by force, might, as authorized arbiters, most 
readily pronounce for it at last. Very grand, indeed, would be the 
tribunal before which the great question of the Union of these 
States, and the final destiny of this continent, for ages, should be 
heard, and historic, through all time, the ambassadors who should 
argue it. And, if both belligerents consent, let the subjects in con- 
troversy be referred to Switzerland, or Russia, or any other impartial 
and incorruptible power or state in Europe. But, at last, sir, the 
people of these several States here, at home, must be the final arbi- 
ters of this great quarrel in America ; and the people and States of 
the Northwest, the mediators who shall stand, like the prophet, 
betwixt the living and the dead, that the plague of disunion may be 

Sir, this war, horrible as it is, has taught us all some of the most 
important and salutary lessons which a people ever learned. 

First, it has annihilated, in twenty months, all the false and perni- 
cious theories and teachings of Abolitionism for thirty years, and 
which a mere appeal to facts and arguments could not have untaught 
in half a ce^itury. We have learned that the South is not weak, 
dependent, unenterprising, or corrupted by slavery, luxury, and idle- 
ness; but powerful, earnest, warlike, enduring, self-supporting, full of 
energy, and inexhaustible in resources. We have been taught, and 
now confess it openly, that African slavery, instead of being a source 
of weakness to the South, is one of her main elements of strength ; 
and hence the '' military necessity," wc are told, of abolishing slavery 
in order to suppress the rebellion. We have learned, also, that the 
non-slaveholding white men of the South, millions in number, are 
immovably attached to the institution, and are its chief support; and 
Abolitionists have found out, to their infinite surprise and disgust, 
that the slave is not " panting for freedom," nor pining in silent, but, 
revengeful grief over cruelty and oppression inflicted upon him, but 
happy, contented, attached deeply to his master, and unwilling — at 
least not eager — to accept the precious boon of freedom, which they 
have proifered him. I appeal to the President for the proof I 
appeal to the fact, that fewer slaves have escaped, even from Virginia, 
in now yearly two years, than Arnold and Cornwullis carried away ia 


six months of invasion, in 1781. Finally, sir, we have learned, and 
the South, too, what the history of the world ages ago, and our own 
history might have taught us, that servile insurrection is the least of 
the dangers to which she is exposed. Hence, in my deliberate judg- 
ment, African slavery, as an institution, will come out of this conflict 
fifty-fold stronger than when the war began. 

The South, too, sir, has learned most important lessons ; and among 
them, that personal courage is a quality common to all sections, and 
that in battle, the men of the North, and especially of the West, are 
their equals. Hitherto there has been a mutual, and most mischievous 
mistake upon both sides. The men of the South over-valued their 
own personal courage, and under -valued ours, and we, too, readily 
consented ; but at the same time they exaggerated our aggregate 
strength and resources, and under-estimated their own ; and we fell 
into the same error ; and hence, the original and fatal mistake, or vice, 
of the military policy of the North, and which has already broken 
down the war by its own weight — the belief that we could bring 
overwhelming numbers and power into the field, and upon the sea, 
and crush out the South at a blow. But twenty months of terrible 
warfare have corrected many errors, and taught us the wisdom of a 
century. And now, sFr, every one of these lessons will profit us all 
for ages to come ; and if we do but reunite, will bind us in a closer, 
firmer, more durable union than ever before. 

I have finished now, Mr. Speaker, what I desired to say at this 
time, upon the great question of the reunion of these States. I have 
spoken freely and boldly — not wisely, it may be, for the present, or 
for myself personally, but most wisely for the future and for my 
country. Not courting censure, I yet do not shrink from it. My 
own immediate personal interests, and my chances just now for the 
more material rewards of ambition, I again surrender as hostages to 
that GREAT HEREAFTER, the echo of whose footsteps already I hear 
along the highway of time. Whoever, here or elsewhere, believes 
that war can restore the Union of these States ; whoever would have 
a war for the abolition of slavery, or disunion ; and he who demands 
southern independence and final separation — let him speak, for him 
I have ofi"ended. Devoted to the Union from the beginning, I will 
not desert it now in this the hour of its sorest trial. 

Sir, it was the day-dream of my boyhood, the cherished desire of 
my heart in youth, that I might live to see the hundredth anniver- 
sary of our national independence, and, as orator of the day, exult in 
the expanding glories and greatness of the still United States. That 
vision lingers yet before my eyes, obscured, indeed, by the clouds and 
thick darkness and the blood of civil war. But, sir, if the men of 
this generation are wise enough to profit by the hard experience of 
the past two years, and will turn their hearts now from bloody in- 
tents to the words and arts of peace, that day will find us again the 
United States. And if not earlier, as I would desire and believe, at 
least upon that day let the great work of reunion be consummated; 
that thenceforth, for ages, the States and the people who shall fill 
up this mighty continent, united under one Constitution, and in one 


Union, and tho same destiny, shall celebrate it as the birthday both 
of Independence and of the Great Restoration. 

Sir, I repeat it, we are in the midst of the very crisis of this revo- 
lution. If, to-day, we secure peace, and begin the work of reunion, 
we shall yet escape ; if not, I see nothing before us but universal 
political and social revolution, anarchy, and bloodshed, compared with 
which, the Keign of Terror in France was a merciful visitation. 




In the last days of the late Congress, a law was enacted which 
gives the President power to call into the military service every man 
between the ages of eighteen and forty-five. No exceptions on the 
ground of color ; and only a few special exemptions, at the head of 
which is the President. The Bill virtually admits that the war is no 
longer one to which the people give, freely, themselves and their 
substance; but a war whose further prosecution must be enforced by 
arbitrary power. The Constitution makes a distinction between the 
army and the militia ; to the States, it reserves the right to control, 
officer, and discipline the latter, until mustered into the service of 
the United States This reserved right of the States the Conscription 
Bill disregards, and clothes the President with power to convert the 
entire militia into a Federal army, under his immediate direction and 
command ; leaving out those who are able and willing to commute by 
paying three hundred dollars. 

The Bill passed the Senate without much opposition : went through 
at midnight, when Democrats and Conservatives were not there to 
oppose it, or even record their votes against it. On coming to the 
House, the Chairman of the Military Committee gave notice of 
their intention to bring the Bill to a final vote, without debate. Its 
opponents could not muster more than thirty fighting men, but had 
Buch men as Vallandigham and Voorhees for leaders, and deter- 


mined to give all the resistance parliamentary rules would permit. 
By perseverance and management, they brought the majority to a 
discussion of the Bill, and the war opened in earnest. A debate 
ensued which, for power, eloquence, strength of argument, and bold 
defense of constitutional rights, has not often been equalled. In- 
spired with the courage always given to those who are right, Val- 
LANDIGHAM, VooRHEES, Pendleton, and the others, standing un- 
moved against the strong current of despotism, boldly assailed the 
most dangerous and vulnerable features of the Bill. Its friends 
faltered, relaxed their hold upon one after another of their favorite 
despotic measures. They had determined to give the provost marshals 
power to arrest and hold civilians, but were compelled to insert a 
provision that persons arrested should be handed over to the civil 
authorities for trial. All that related to "treasonable practices" waa 
stricken out, though retained in the " Indemnity Bill." Other im- 
portant concessions were made ; thus, by fearless, and manly courage, 
a few sacred constitutional rights were wrested from the hard grasp 
of despotism. At the most exciting moment of the conflict, Mr. V. 
addressed the House. Bingham, of Ohio, thought his " assumptions 
unworthy of any man who had grown to man's estate under the shelter 
of the Constitution." Voorhees replied he " had held the House 
spell-bound with one of the ablest arguments he had ever heard." 
Mr. Vallandigham said : 

Mr. Speaker : I do not propose to discuss this bill at any great 
length in this House. I am satisfied that there is a settled purpose 
to enact it into a law, so far as it is possible for the action of the 
Senate and House, and the President, to make it such. I appeal, 
therefore, from you, from them, directly to the country; to a forum 
where there is no military committee, no previous question, no hour 
rule, and where the people themselves are the masters. I commend 
the spirit in which this discussion was commenced by the chairman 
of the military committee, (Mr. Olin,) and I do it the more cheer- 
fully because, unfortunately, he is not always in so good a temper as 
he was to-day ; and I trust, that throughout the debate, and on its 
close, he will exhibit that same disposition which characterized his 
opening remarks. Only let me caution him that he can not dictate 
to the minority here what course they shall pursue. But, sir, I 
regret that I can not extend the commendation to the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania, (Mr. Campbell,) who addressed the House a 
little while ago. His speech was extremely offensive, and calculated 
to stir up a spirit of bitterness and strife, not at all consistent with 
that in which debates in this House should be conducted. If he, or 
any other gentleman of the majority, imagines that any one here is 
to be deterred by threats, from the expression of his opinions, or 
from giving such votes as he may see fit to give, he has utterly mis- 
apprehended the temper and determination of those who sit on this 


Bide of the Chamber. His threat I hurl back with dcQance into 
his teeth. I .spurn it. I spit upon it. That is not the argument 
to be addressed to equals here ; and I, therefore, most respectfully 
suggest, that hereafter, all such be dispensed with, and that we 
shall be spared personal denunciation, and insinuations against the 
loyalty of men who sit with me here; men whose devotion to the 
Constitution, and attachment to the Union of these States is as 
ardent and immoveable as yours, and who only differ from you as to 
the mode of securing the great object nearest their hearts. 

Mr. C.\MPBELL. The gentleman will allow me — 

Mr. Vall.vndigham. I yield for explanation. 

Mr. Campbell. Mr. Speaker: It is a significant fact, that the 
gentleman from Ohio has applied my remarks to himself, and others 
on his side of the House. Why was this done? I was denouncing 
traitors here, and I will denounce them while I have a place upon 
this floor. It is my duty and my privilege to do so. And if the 
gentleman from Ohio chooses to give my remarks a personal appli- 
cation, he can so apply them. 

Mr. Vallandigham. That is enough. 

Mr. Campbell. One moment. 

Mr. Vallandigham. Not ainother moment after that. I yielded 
the floor in the spirit of a gentleman, and not to be met in the 
manner of a blackguard. (Applause and hisses in the galleries.) 

Mr. Campbell. The member from Ohio is a blackguard. (Re- 
newed hisses and applause in the galleries.) 

Mr. PtOBiNSON. I rise to a question of order. I demand that the 
galleries be cleared. We have been insulted time and again by 
contractors and plunderers of the Government, in these galleries, 
and I ask that they be now cleared. 

Mr. Cox. I hope my friend from Illinois will not insist on that. 
Only a very small portion of those in the galleries take part in these 
disturbances. The fool killer will take care of them. 

The Speaker pro tern. The chair will have to submit the ques- 
tion to the House. 

Mr. Cox. I hope the demand will be withdrawn. 

The Speaker pro tern. The Chair will state, that if disorder is 
repeated, whether by applause or expressions of disapprobation, he 
will feel called upon himself to order the galleries to be cleared, 
trusting that the House will sustain him in so doing. 

Mr. Robinson. I desire the order to be enforced now, and the 
galleries to be cleared, excepting the ladies' gallery. 

Mr. RoscoE CoNKLiNG. I was going to say that I hoped the 
order would not be extended to that portion of the galleries 

Mr. Robinson. The galleries were cautioned this afternoon. 

Mr. Johnson. And it is the same men who have been making this 
disturbance now. I know their faces well. 

Mr. Vallandigham. I think, Mr. Speaker, that this lesson has 
not been lost ; and that it is sufficiently impressed now upon the 
minds of the audience that this is a legislative, and is supposed to 
be a deliberative, assembly, and that no breach of decorum or order 


should occur among them, whatever may be the conduct of any of 
us on the floor. I trust, therefore, that my friends on this side 
will withdraw the demand for the enforcement of the rule of the 

Mr. Robinson. I withdraw the demand. 

Mr. Verree. I raise the point of order, that members here, in 
debating questions before the House, are not at liberty to use lan- 
guage that is unparliamentary, and unworthy of a member. 

The Speaker. That is the rule of the House. 

Mr. Verree. I hope it will be enforced. 

Mr. Vallandigham. And I hope that it will be enforced, also, 
against members on the other side of the Chamber. We have borne 
enough, more than enough of such language, for two years past. 

The Speaker. The gentleman from Illinois withdraws his demand 
to have the galleries cleared. The Chair desires to say to gentlemen 
in the galleries, that this being a deliberative body, it is not becom- 
ing this House, or the character of American citizens, to disturb its 
deliberations by any expression of approval or disapproval. 

Mr. Vallandigham. The member from Pennsylvania (Mr. Camp- 
bell) alluded to-day, generally, to gentlemen on this side of the 
House. There was no mistaking the application. The language 
and gesture were both plain enough. He ventured also, approvingly, 
to call our attention to the opinions and course of conduct of some 
Democrats in the State of New York, as if we were to learn our les- 
sons in Democracy, or in any thing else, from that quarter. I do 
not know, certainly, to whom he alluded. Perhaps it was to a gentle- 
man who spoke, not long since, in the city of New York, and advocated 
on that occasion, what is called in stereotype phrase " the vigorous 
prosecution of the war," and who, but two months previously, 
addressed assemblages in the same State and city, in which he pro- 
posed only to take Kichmond, and then let the " wayward sisters depart 
in peace." Now I know of no one on this side of the Chamber 
occupying such a position ; and I, certainly, will not go to that quar- 
ter to learn lessons in patriotism or Democracy. 

I have already said, that it is not my purpose to debate the general 
merits of this Bill at large, and for the reason, that I am satisfied 
that argument is of no avail here. I appeal, therefore, to the people. 
Before them, I propose to try this great question — the question of 
constitutional power, and of the unwise and injudicious exercise of 
it in this Bill. We have been compelled, repeatedly, since the 4th 
of March, 1861, to appeal to the same tribunal. We appealed to it 
at the recent election. And the people did pronounce judgment 
upon our appeal. The member from Pennsylvania ought to have heard 
their sentence, and I venture to say that he did hear it, on the night 
of the election. In Ohio they spoke as with the voice of many 
waters. The very question, of summary and arbitrary arrests, now 
sanctioned in this Bill, was submitted, as a direct issue, to the people 
of that State, as also of other States, and their verdict was ren- 
dered upon it. The Democratic Convention of Ohio, assembled on 
the 4th of July, in the city of Columbus, the largest and best, ever 


held in the State, among other resolutions, of the same temper and 
spirit, adopted this without a dissenting voice : 

"And we utterly condemn and denounce the repeated and gross violation, 
by the Executive of the United States, of the rights thus scoured by the 
Constitution; and we also utterly repudiate and condemn the monstrous 
dogma, that in time of war the Constitution is suspended, or its power in 
any respect enlarged beyond the letter and true meaning of that instrument. 

"And we view, also, with indignation and alarm, the illegal and unconsti- 
tutional seizure and imprisonment, for alleged pulilical oifenscs, of our citizens, 
without judicial process, in States where such process is unobstructed, but by 
Executive order by telegraph, or otherwise, and call upon all who uphold the 
Union, the Constitution and the laws, to unite with us, in denouncing and 
repelling such flagrant violation of the State and Federal Constitutions, and 
tyrannical infraction of the rights and liberties of American citizens; and that 
the people of this State can not safely, and will not, submit to have the 
freedom of speech and freedom of the press, the two great and essential bulwarks 
of civil liberty, put down by unwarranted and despotic exertion of power." 

On that, the judgment of the people was given at the October 
elections, and the party candidates nominated by the convention 
which adopted that resolution, were triumphantly elected. So, too, 
with the candidates of the same party in the States of Wisconsin, 
Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. And, 
sir, that " healthy re-action," recently, of which the member from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Campbell) affected to boast, has escaped my 
keenest sense of vision. I see only that hand-writing on the wall 
which the fingers of the people wrote against him and his party, and 
this whole Administration, at the ballot-box, in October and Novem- 
ber last. Talk to me, indeed, of the leniency of the Executive ! too 
few arrests ! too much forbearance by those in power ! Sir, it is the 
people who have been too lenient. They have submitted to your 
oppressions and wrongs as no free people ought ever to submit. 
But the day of patient endurance has gone by at last. Mistake them 
not. They will be lenient no longer. Abide by the Constitution, 
stand by the laws, restore the Union, if you can restore it — not by 
force — you have tried that and failed. Try some other method now 
— the ancient, the approved, the reasonable way — the way in which the 
Union was first made. Surrender it not now — not yet — never. But 
unity is not Union ; and attempt not, at your peril — I warn you — 
to coerce unity by the utter destruction of the Constitution and of 
the rights of the States and the liberties of the pco])le. Union is 
liberty and consent : unity is despotism and force. For what was 
the Union ordained? As a splendid edifice, to attract the gaze and 
admiration of the world? As a magnificent temple — a stupendous 
superstructure of marble and iron, like this Capitol, upon whose 
lofty dome the bronzed image — hollow and inanimate — of Freedom 
is soon to stand erect in colossal mockery, while the true spirit, the 
living Goddess of Liberty, veils her eyes and turns away her face in 
sorrow, because, upon the altar established here, and dedicated by 
our fathers to her worship — you, a false and most disloyal priest- 
hood, offer up, night and morning, the mingled sacrifices of servitude 
and despotism? No, sir. It was for the sake of the altar, the 


service, the religion, the devotees, that the temple of the Union was 
first erected ; and when these are all gone, let the edifice itself 
perish. Never — never — never — will the people consent to lose their 
own personal and political rights and liberties, to the end that you 
may delude and mock them with the splendid unity of despotism. 

Sir, what are the bills which have passed, or are still before the 
House ? The bill to give the President entire control of the cur- 
rency — the purse — of the country. A tax-bill to clothe him with 
power over the whole property of the country. A bill to put all 
power in his bauds over the personal liberties of the people. A bill 
to indemnify him, and all under him, for every act of oppression and 
outrage already consummated. A bill to enable him to suspend the 
writ of habeas corpus, in order to justify or protect him, and every 
minion of his, in the arrests which he or they may choose to make 
— arrests, too, for mere opinions' sake. Sir, some two hundred years 
ago, men were burned at the stake, subjected to the horrors of the 
Inquisition, to all the tortures that the devilish ingenuity of man 
could invent — for what? For opinions on questions of religion — of 
man's duty and relation to his God. And now, to-day, for opinions 
on questions political, under a free government, in a country whose 
liberties were purchased by our fathers by seven years' out-pouring 
of blood, and expenditure of treasure — we have lived to see men, the 
born heirs of this precious inheritance, subjected to arrest and cruel 
imprisonment at the caprice of a President, or a secretary, or a 
constable. And, as if that were not enough, a bill is introduced 
here, to-day, and pressed forward to a vote, with the right of debate, 
indeed — extorted from you by the minority — but without the right to 
amend, with no more than the mere privilege of protest — a bill 
which enables the President to bring under his power, as com- 
mander-in-chief, every man in the United States between the ages of 
twenty and forty-five — three millions of men. And, as if not satis- 
fied with that, this bill provides, further, that every other citizen, 
man, woman, and child, under twenty years of age and over forty- 
five, including those that may be exempt between these ages, shall 
be also, at the mercy — so far as his personal liberty is concerned — 
of some miserable "provost marshal" with the rank of a captain of 
cavalry, who is never to see service in the field ; and every Con- 
gressional district in the United States is to be governed — yes, 
governed — by this petty satrap — this military eunuch — this Baba — 
and he even may be black — who is to do the bidding of your Sultan, 
or his Grand Vizier. Sir, you have but one step further to go — give 
him the symbols of his office — the Turkish bow-string and the sack. 
What is it, sir, but a bill to abrogate the Constitution, to repeal 
all existing laws, to destroy all rights, to strike down the judiciary, 
and erect, upon the ruins of civil and political liberty, a stupendous 
superstructure of despotism. And for what? To enforce law? No, 
sir. It is admitted now, by the legislation of Congress, and by the two 
proclamations of the President ; it is admitted by common consent, 
-that the war is for the abolition of negro slavery, to secure freedom 
to the black man. You tell me, some of you, I know, that it is so 



prosecuted because tliis is the only way to restore the Union; but 
others openly and candidly confess that the purpose of the prosecu- 
tion of the war is to abolish slaver}'. And thus, sir, it is that the 
freedom of the negro is to be purchased, under this bill, at the 
sacrifice of every right of the white men of the United States. 

Sir, I am opposed — earnestly, inexorably opposed — to this measure. 
If there were not another man in this Ilouse to vote against it — if 
there were none to raise his voice against it — I, at least, dare stand 
here alone in my place, as a Representative, undismayed, unscduced, 
unterriScd, and heedless of the miserable cry of "disloyalty," of 
sympathy with the rebellion, and with rebels, to denounce it as the 
very consummation of the conspiracy against the Constitution and 
the liberties of my country. 

Sir, I yield to no man in devotion to the Union. I am for main- 
taining it upon the principles on which it was first formed ; and I 
would have it, at every sacrifice, except of honor, which is " the life 
of the nation." I have stood by it in boyhood and in manhood, to 
this hour; and I will not now con.sent to yield it up; nor am I to 
be driven from an earnest and persistent support of the only means 
by which it can be restored, cither by the threats of the party of 
the Administration here, or because of affected sneers and contemptu- 
ous refusals to listen, now, to re-union, by the party of the Admin- 
istration at Richmond. I never was weak enough to cower before 
the reign of terror inaugurated by the men in power here, nor vain 
enough to expect favorable responses now, or terms of settlement, 
from the men in povfer, or the presses under their control, in the 
South. Neither will ever compromise this great quarrel, nor agree 
to peace on the basis of re-union : but I repeat it — stop fighting, and 
let time and natural causes operate — uncontrolled by military influ- 
ences — and the ballot there, as the ballot here, will do its work. I 
am for the Union of these States; and but for my profound convic- 
tion that it can never be restored by force and arms ; or, if so 
restored, could not be maintained, and would not be worth maintain- 
ing, I would have united, at first — even now would unite, cordially 
— in giving, as I have acquiesced, silently, in your taking, all the 
men and all the money you have demanded. But I did not believe, 
and do not now believe, that the war could end in any thing but 
final defeat; and if it should last long enough, then in disunion; or, 
if successful upon the principles now proclaimed, that it must and 
would end in the establishment of an imperial military despotism — 
not only in the South — but in the North and West. And to that I 
never will submit. No, rather, first I am ready to yield up property, 
and liberty — nay, life itself. 

Sir, I do not propose to discuss now the question of the constitu- 
tionality of this measure. The gentleman from Ohio, who preceded me, 
(Mr. White,) has spared me the necessity of an argument on that 
point. He has shown that, between the army of the United States, 
of which, by the Constitution, the President of the United States is 
the commander-in-chief, and the militia, belonging to the States, 
there is a wide, and clearly marked line of distinction. The dis- 


tinction is fully and strongly defined in the Constitution ; and has been 
recognized in the entire legislation and practice of the Government from 
the beginning. The States have the right, and have always exercised it, 
of appointing the officers of their militia, and you have no power to 
take it away. Sir, this bill was originally introduced in the Senate as 
a militia bill, and as such, it recognized the right of the States to 
appoint the officers ; but finding it impossible, upon that basis, to give 
to the Executive of the United States the entire control of the mil- 
lions thus organized into a military force, as the conspirators against 
State rights and popular liberty desire, the original bill was aban- 
doned ; and to-day behold here a stupendous Conscription Bill, for 
a standing army of more than three millions of men, forced from 
their homes, their families, their fields, and their workshops — an 
army organized, officered, and commanded by the servant President, 
now the master Dictator, of the United States. And for what? 
Foreign war? Home defense? No; but for coercion, invasion, and 
the abolition of negro slavery by force. Sir, the conscription of 
Russia is mild and merciful and just, compared with this. And yet, 
the enforcement of that conscription has just stirred again the 
slumbering spirit of insurrection in Poland, though the heel of des- 
potic power has trodden upon the necks of her people for a century. 

Where now are your taunts and denunciations, heaped upon the 
Confederate Government for its conscription, when you, yourselves, 
become the humble imitators of that government, and bring in here 
a Conscription Act, more odious even than that passed by the Con- 
federate Congress at Richmond? Sir, the chairman of the military 
committee rejoiced that for the last two years the army had been 
filled up by voluntary enlistments. Yes, your army has hitherto 
been thus filled up by the men of the North and West. One 
million two hundred and thirty-seven thousand men — for most of 
the drafted men enlisted, or procured substitutes — have voluntarily 
surrendered their civil rights, subjected themselves to military law, 
and thus passed under the command and within the control of the 
President of the* United States. It is not for me to complain of that. 
It was their own act — done of their own free will and accord — unless 
bounties, promises, and persuasion may be regarded as coercion. The 
•work you proposed was gigantic, and your means proportionate to it. 
And what has been the result? What do you propose now? What 
is this bill? A confession that the people are no longer ready to 
enlist: that they are not willing to carry on this war longer, until 
some effort has been made to settle this great controversy in some 
other way than by the sword. And yet, in addition to the 1.237,000 
men who have voluntarily enlisted, you propose now to force the 
entire body of the people, between the ages of twenty and forty-five, 
under military law, and within the control of the President, as com- 
mander-in-chief of the army, for three years, or during the war — 
which is to say "for life ;" aye, sir, for life, and half your army has 
already found, or will yet find, that their enlistment was for life too. 

I repeat it, sir, this bill is a confession that the people of the 
country are against this war. It ia a solemn admission, upon the 


record in the legislation of Congress, that they will not voluntarily 
consent to wage it any longer. And yet, ignoring every principle 
upon which the Government was founded, this measure is an attempt, 
by compulsion, to carry it on against the will of the people. Sir, 
what docs all this mean ? You were a majority at first, the people 
were almost unanimously with you, and they were generous and 
enthusiastic in your support. You abused your power, and your 
trust, and you failed to do the work which you promised. You have 
lost the confidence, lost the hearts of the people. You are now 
in a minority at home. And yet, what a spectacle is exhibited 
here to-night ! You, an accidental, temporary majority, condemned 
and repudiated by the people, are exhausting the few remaining 
hours of your political life, in attempting to defeat the popular will, 
and to compel, by the most desperate and despotic of expedients ever 
resorted to, the subinission of the majority of the people, at home, 
to the minority, their servants, here. Sir, this experiment has been 
tried before, in other ages and countries, and its issue always, among 
a people born free, or fit to be free, has been expulsion or death to 
the conspirators and tyrants. 

I make no threats. They are not arguments fit to be addressed 
to equals in a legislative assembly ; but there is truth, solemn, 
alarming truth, in what has been said, to-day, by gentlemen on this 
side of the Chamber. Have a care, have a care, T entreat you, that 
you do not pressthese measures too far. I shall do nothing to stir up 
an already excited people — not because of any fear of your contemptible 
petty provost marshals, but because I desire to see no violence or revolu- 
tion in the North or West. But 1 warn you now, that whenever, against 
the will of the people, and to perpetuate power and office in a popular 
government which they have taken from you, you undertake to enforce 
this bill, and, like the destroying angel in Egypt, enter every house 
for the first-born sons of the people — remember Poland. You can 
not, and will not be permitted to, establish a military despotism. 
Be not encouraged by the submission of other nations. The people 
of Austria, of Russia, of Spain, of Italy, have never known the inde- 
pendence and liberty of freemen. France, in seventy years, has wit- 
nessed seven principal revolutions — the last brought about in a single 
day, by the arbitrary attempt of the king to suppress freedom of 
speech and of the press, and next the free assembling of the people; 
and when he would have retraced his steps and restored these liberties, 
a voice from the galleries, not filled with clerks and plunderers and 
place-men, uttered the sentiments and will of the people of France, 
in words now historic : " It is too late." The people of England 
never submitted, and would not now submit, for a moment, to the 
despotism which you propose to inaugurate in America. England 
can not, to-day, fill up her standing armies by conscription. Even the 
" press gang," unknown to her laws, but for a time acquiesced 
in, has long since been declared illegal ; and a sweeping conscription 
like this now, would hurl not only the ministry from power, but 
the queen from her throne. 

Sir, 80 far as this bill is a mere military measure, I might have 


been content to have given a silent vote against it; but there are two 
provisions in it hostile, both to the letter and spirit of the Constitu- 
tion, and inconsistent with the avowed scope and purpose of the bill 
itself; and, certainly, as I read them in the light of events which have 
occurred in the past two years, of a character which demands that the 
majority of this House shall strike them out. There is nothing in 
the argument, that we have no time to send the bill back to the Senate, 
lest it should be lost. The presiding officers of both Houses are 
friends of the bill, and will constitute committees of conference of men 
favorable to it. They will agree at once, and can at any moment, 
between this and the 4th of March, present their report as a question 
of the highest privilege ; and you have a two-thirds majority in both 
branches to adopt it. 

With these provisions of the bill stricken out, leaving it simply 
as a military measure, to be tested by the great question of 
peace or war, I would be willing that the majority of the House 
should take the responsibility of passing it without further debate; 
although, even then, you would place every man in the United States, 
between the ages of twenty and forty-five, under military law, and 
within the control, everywhere, of the President, except the very few 
who are exempt; but you would leave the shadow, at least, of liberty 
to all men not between these ages, or not subject to draft under this 
bill, and to the women and children of the country too. 

Sir, these two provisions propose to go a step further, and include 
every one, man, woman and child, and to place him or her under 
the arbitrary power, not only of the President and his cabinet, but 
of some two hundred and fifty other petty officers, captains of cavalry, 
appointed by him. There is no distinction of sex, and none of age. 
These provisions, sir, are contained in the seventh and twenty-fifth 
sections of the bill. What are they ? I comment not on the appoint- 
ment of a general provost marshal of the United States, and provost 
marshals in every Congressional District. Let that pass. But what 
do you propose to make the duty of each provost marshal in carry- 
ing out the draft ? Among other things, that he shall " inquire into, 
and report to the provost marshal general" — what? Treason? No. 
Felony? No. Breach of the peace, or violation of law of any 
kind ? No ; but " treasonable practices ;" yes, treasonable prac- 
tices. What mean you by these strange, ominous words ? Whence 
come they ? Sir, they are no more new or original than any other 
of the cast-ofF rags filched by this Administration from the lumber- 
house of other and more antiquated despotisms. The history of 
European tyranny has taught us somewhat of this doctrine of con- 
structive treason. Treasonable practices ! Sir, the very language is 
borrowed from the old proclamations of the British monarchs, some 
hundreds of years ago. It brings up the old, identical quarrel of the 
fourteenth century. Treasonable practices ! It was this that called 
forth that English Act of Parliament of twenty-fifth Edward III, 
from which we have borrowed the noble provision against constructive 
treason, in the Constitution of the United States. Arbitrary arrests, 
for no crime known, defined or limited by law, but for pretended 


offenses, herded tojrcther under the general and most comprehensive 
name of " treasonable practices," had been so frequent, in the worst 
periods of English history, that in the language of the act of Henry 
the Fourth, " no man knew how to behave himself, or what to do or 
say, for doubt of the pains of treason." The statute of Edward the 
Third, had cut all these fungous, toadstool treasons up by the root; 
and yet, so prompt is arbitrary power to denounce all opposition to 
it as treasonable, that, as Lord Hale observes, 

"Things were so carried by parties and factions, in the succeeding reign of 
Richard the Second, that this statute was but little observed, but as this or 
that party got the better. So the crime of high treason was, in a mnnner, 
arbitrarily imposed and adjudged to the disadvantage of the party vihich was 
to be judged ; which by various vicissitudes and revolutions, niisehiel'ed all 
parties, first and last, and left a great unsettledness and unquietness in the 
minds of the people, and was one of the occasions of the unhappiness of the 

And he adds that, 

" It came to pass that almost every offense that was, or seemed to he, a breach 
of the faitli and allegiance due to the king, was, by construction, consequence, 
and interpretation, raised into the oficnse of high treason." 

Richard the Second, procured an Act of Parliament — -even he did 
not pretend to have power to do it by proclamation — declaring that 
the bare purpose to depose the king, and to place another in his 
stead, without any overt act, was treason ; and yet, as Blackstone 
remarks, so little effect have over-violent laws to prevent crime, that 
within two years afterward this very prince was both deposed and 
put to death. Still the struggle for arbitrary and despotic power 
continued ; and up to the time of Charles the First, at various periods, 
almost every conceivable offense relating to the government, and every 
form of opposition to the king, was declared high treason. Among 
these were execrations against the king ; calling him opprobrious 
names by public writing; refusing to abjure the Pope; marrying 
without license, certain of the king's near relatives; derogating from 
his royal style or title ; impugning his supremacy, or assembling 
riotously to the number of twelve, and refusing to disperse on proc- 
lamation. But steadily, in better times, the people and the Parliament 
of England returned to the spirit and letter of the act of Edward 
the Third, passed by a Parliament which now, for five hundred years, 
has been known and honored as parUamentum hencdictum, the 
" blessed Parliament " — just as this Congress will be known, for ages 
to come, as " the accursed Congress " — and among many other acts, 
it was declared by a statute, in the first year of the Fourth Henry's 
reign, that '• in no time to come any treason be judged, otherwise than as 
ordained by the statute of king Edward the Third." And for nearly 
two hundred years, it has been the aim of the lawyers and judges of 
England to adhere to the plain letter, spirit, and intent of that act, 
" to be extended," in the language of Erskine, in his noble defense 
of Hardy, " by no new or occasional constructions — to be strained 
by no fancied analogies — to be measured by no rules of political 


expediency — to be judged of by no theory — to be determined by the 
wisdom of no individual, however wise — but to be expounded by 
the simple, genuine letter of the law." 

Such, sir, is the law of treason in England to-day ; and so much 
of the just and admirable statute of Edward as is applicable to our 
form of government, was embodied in the Constitution of the United 
States. The men of 1787 were well read in history and in English 
constitutional law. They knew that monarchs and governments, in 
all ages, had struggled to extend the limits of treason, so as to include 
all opposition to those in power. They had learned the maxim that, 
miserable is the servitude where the law is either uncertain or 
unknown, and had studied and valued the profound declaration of 
Montesquieu, that " if the crime of treason be indeterminate, that 
alone is sufficient to make any government degenerate into arbitrary 
power." Hear Madison, in the Federalist : 

"As new-fangled and artificial treasons have been the great engines by 
which violent factions, the natural offspring of free governments, have usually 
wreaked their alternate malignity on each other, the convention have, with 
great judgment, opposed a barrier to this peculiar danger, by inserting a 
constitutional definition of the crime, fixing the proof necessary for convic- 
tion of it, and restraining the Congress, even in punishing it, from extending 
the consequences of guilt beyond the person of its author." 

And Story, not foreseeing the possibility of such a party or 
Administration as is now in power, declared it " an impassahle harrier 
against arbitrary constructions, either by the courts or by Congress, 
upon the crime of treason." " Congress " — that, sir, is the word, for 
he never dreamed that the President, or, still less, his clerks, the 
cabinet ministers, would attempt to declare and punish treasons. And 
yet, what have we lived to hear in America daily, not in political 
harangties, or the press only, but in official proclamations and in 
bills in Congress ! Yes, your high officials talk now of " treasonable 
practices," as glibly "as girls of thirteen do of puppy dogs." Treas- 
onable practices ! Disloyalty ! Who imported these precious phrases, 
and gave them a legal settlement here ? Your Secretary of War, 
He it was who by command of our most noble President, authorized 
every marshal, every sheriff, every township constable, or city police- 
man, in every State in the Union, to fix, in his own imagination, 
what he might choose to call a treasonable or disloyal practice, and 
then to arrest any citizen at his discretion, without any accusing oath, 
and without due process, or any process of law. And now, sir, all this 
monstrous tyranny, against the whole spirit and the very letter of the 
Constitution, is to be'deliberately embodied in an Act of Congress ! 
Your petty provost marshals arc to determine what treasonable 
practices are, and " inrjuire into," detect, spy out, eavesdrop, ensnare, 
and then inform, report to the chief spy at Washington. These, sir, 
are now to be our American liberties under your Administration. 
There is not a crowned head in Europe who dare venture on such 
an experiment. How long think you this people will submit? But 
words, too — conversation or public speech — are - to be adjudged 
'• treasonable practices." Men, women, and children are to be haled 


to prison for free speech. Whoever shall denounce or oppose this 
Administration — whoever may affirm that war will not restore the 
Union, and teach men the gospel of peace, may be reported and 
arrested, upon some old grudge, and by some ancient enemy, it may 
be, and imprisoned as guilty of a treasonable practice. 

Sir, there can be but one treasonable practice, under the Constitu- 
tion, in the United States. Admonished by the lessons of English 
history, the framers of that instrument defined what treason is. It 
is the only offense defined in the Constitution. We know what it 
is. Every man can tell whether he has committed treason. He has 
only to look into the Constitution, and he knows whether he hag 
been guilty of the offense. But neither the Executive, nor Congress, 
nor both combined, nor the courts, have a right to declare, either by 
pretended law, or by construction, that any other offense shall be 
treason, except that defined and limited in this instrument. What 
is treason ? It is the highest offense known to the law — the most 
execrable crime known to the human heart — the crime of Iclscc inajes- 
talis; of the parricide who lifts his hand against the country of his 
birth or his adoption. "Treason against the United States," says the 
Constitution, " shall consist only in levying war against them, or in 
adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort." (Here a 
Republican member nodded several tinier and smiled, and Mr. V. 
said.) Ah, sir, I understand you. But was Lord Chatham guilty 
of legal treason, treasonable aid and comfort, when he denounced 
the war against the Colonies, and rejoiced that America had resisted? 
Was Burke, or Fox, or Barre guilty, when defending the Americans, 
in the British Parliament, and demanding conciliation and peace? 
Were even the Federalists guilty of treason, as defined in the Con- 
stitution, for "giving; aid and comfort" to the enemy, in the war of 
1812? Were the Whigs in 1846? Was the Ohio Senator liable 
to punishment, under the Constitution, and by law, who said, sixteen 
years ago, in the Senate Chamber, when we were at war in Mexico, 
" If I were a Mexican as I am an American, I would greet your 
volunteers with bloody hands, and welcome them to hospitable 
graves?" Was Abraham Lincoln guilty, because he denounced that 
same war, while a llepresentative on the floor of this House ? Was 
all this "adhering to the enemy, giving him aid and comfort," withiu 
the meaning of this provision ? 

A Member. The Democratic papers said so. 

Mr. Vallandiguam. Sir, I am speaking now as a lawyer, and as a 
legislator, to legislators and lawyers acting under oath and the other 
special and solemn sanctions of this Chamber, and not in the loose 
language of the political canvass. And I repeat, sir, that if such 
had been the intent of the Constitution, the whole Federal party, 
and the whole Whig party, and their Representatives in this and the 
other Chamber, might have been indicted and punished as traitors. 
Yet, not one of them was ever arrested. And shall they, or their 
descendants, undertake now to denounce and to punish, as guilty of 
treason, every man who opposes the policy of this Administration, 
or is against this civil war, and for peace upon honorable terms ? I 


hope, in spite of the hundreds of your provost marshals, and all 
your threats, that there will be so much of opposition to the war as 
will compel the Administration to show a decent respect for, and 
yield some sort of obedience to, the Constitution and laws, and to the 
rights and liberties of the States and of the people. 

But to return ; the Constitution not only defines the crime of 
treason, but, in its jealous care to guard against the abuses of tyrannic 
power, it expressly ascertains the character of the proof, and the 
number of witnesses necessary for conviction, and limits the punish- 
ment to the person of the offender, thus going beyond both the 
statute of Edward, and the Common law. And yet every one of 
these provisions is ignored or violated by this bill. 

"No person," says the Constitution, "shall be covicted of treason" — a* 
just defined — " unless on the testimony of two witnesses." 

Where, and when, and by whom, sir, are the two witnesses to be 
examined, and under what oath ? By your provost marshals, your 
captains of cavalry? By the jailors of your military bastiles, and 
inside of forts Warren and Lafayette ? Before arrest, upon arrest, 
while in prison, when discharged, or at any time at all ? Has any 
witness ever been examined in any case heretofore ? What means 
the Constitution by declaring that no person shall be convicted of 
treason " unless on the testimony/ of two ivitnesses ? " Clearly, convic- 
tion in a judicial court, upon testimony openly given under oath, 
with all the sanctions and safeguards of a judicial trial to the party 
accused. And if any doubt there could be upon this point, it is 
removed by the sixth article of the amendments. 

But the Constitution proceeds : 

" Unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act." 

But words, and still less, thoughts or opinions, sir, are not acts ; 
and yet, nearly every case of arbitrai-y arrest and imprisonment, in 
the wholly loyal States, at least, has been for words spoken or written, 
or for thoughts, or opinions supposed to be entertained by the party 
arrested. And that, too, sir, is precisely what is intended by this 

But further : 

" The testimony of two witnesses to tho same overt act, or confession in 
open coic7-t." 

What, court ? The court of some deputy provost marshal at home, 
or of your provost marshal general, or Judge Advocate General, here 
in Washington ? The court of a military bastile, whose gates are 
shut day and night against every officer of the law, and whose very 
casemates are closed to the light and air of heaven? Call you that 
•'open court?" Not so the Constitution. It means judicial court, 
law court, with judge and jury and witnesses and counsel ; and to 
speak of it as any thing else, is a confusion of language, and an insult 
to intelligence and common sense. Yet, to-night, you deliberately 


propose to enact ttc illegal and unconstitutional executive orders, or 
proclamations, of last summer, into the semblance and form of law. 

" To inquire into treasonable practices," says the bill. So, then, 
your provost-marshals are to be deputy spies to the grand spy, hold- 
ing his secret inquisitions here in Washington, upon secret reports, 
sent by telegraph perhaps, or through the mails, both under the 
control of the Executive. What right has he to arrest and hold me 
without a hearing, because some deputy spy of his chooses to report 
me guilty of "disloyalty," or of "treasonable practices?" Is this 
the liberty secured by the Constitution ? Sir, let me tell you, that 
if the purpose of this bill be to crush out all opposition to the 
Administration and the party in power, you have no constitutional 
right to enact it, and not force enough to compel the people, your 
masters, to submit. 

But the enormity of the measure does not stop here. Says the 
Constitution : 

" Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the 

And yet speech — mere words, derogatory to the President, or in 
opposition to his Administration, and his party and policy, have, over 
and over again, been reported by the spies and informers and shad- 
ows, or other minions, of the men in power, to be " disloyal prac- 
tices," for which hundreds of free American citizens, of American, 
not African, descent, have been arrested and imprisoned for months, 
without public accusation, and without trial by jury, or trial at all. 
Even upon pretence of guilt of that most vague and indefinite, but 
most comprehensive of all offenses, "discouraging enlistments," men 
have been seized at midnight, and dragged from their beds, their 
homes, and their families, to be shut up in the stone casemates of 
your military fortresses, as felons. And now, by this bill, you propose 
to declare, in the form and semblance of law, that whoever " coun- 
sels or dissuades" any one from the performance of the military duty 
required under this conscription, shall be summarily arrested by your 
provost marshals, and held, without trial, till the draft shall have 
been completed. Sir, even the " Sedition Law " of '98 was constitu- 
tional, merciful and just, compared with this execrable enactment. 
Wisely did Hamilton ask, in the Federalist^ " What signifies a 
declaration that the liberty of the press (or of speech) shall be 
inviolably preserved, when its security must altogether depend oa 
public opinion, and on the general spirit of the people^ and of the 

But this extraordinary bill does not stop here, 

"No person," says the Constitution, "no person shall be hclJ to answer for 
a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment 
of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land and naval force, or in 
the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor bo 
deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." 

Note the exception. Every man not in the military service, is 
exempt from arrest, except by due process of law ; or, being arrested 


without it, is entitled to demand immediate inquiry and discharge, or 
bail ; and if held, then presentment or indictment by a grand jury 
in a civil court, and according to the law of the land. And yet you 
now propose, by this Bill, in addition to the 1,237,000 men who have 
voluntarily surrendered that great right of freemen, second only to 
the ballot — and, indeed, essential to it — to take it away forcibly, and 
against their consent, from three millions more, whose only crime is 
that they happen to have been so born as to be now between the 
ages of twenty and forty-five. Do it, if you can, under the Con- 
stitution ; and when you have thus forced them into the military 
service, they will be subject to military law, and not entitled to arrest 
only upon due process of law, nor to indictment by a grand jury in 
a civil court. But you can not, you shall not — because the Consti- 
tution forbids it — deprive the whole people, also, of the United 
States, of these rights, " inestimable to them, and formidable to 
tyrants only," under " the war power," or upon pretense of "military 
necessity," and by virtue of an act of Congress creating and defining 
new treasons, new offenses, not only unknown to the Constitution, 
but expressly excluded by it. 
But again : 

"In all criminal prosecutions," — 

and wherever a penalty is to be imposed, imprisonment or fine 
inflicted, it is a criminal prosecution — 

" In all criminal prosecutions," says the Constitution, " the accused shall 
enjoy the rii^ht to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the 
State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district 
shall have been previously ascertained by law; and to be informed of the 
nature and cause of the accusation ; to be confronted with the witnesses 
against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, 
and to have the assistance of counsel, for his defense." 

Do you propose to allow any of these rights? No, sir — none— 
not one ; but, in the twenty -fifth section, you empower these provost 
marshals of yours to arrest any man — men not under military law — 
whom he may charge, or any one else may charge before him, with 
"counseling or dissuading" from military service, and to hold him 
in confinement indefinitely, until the draft has been completed. Sir, 
has it been completed in Connecticut yet? Is it complete in New 
York ? Has it been given up ? If so now, nevertheless it was in pro- 
cess of pretended execution for months. In any event, you propose, 
now, to leave to the discretion of the Executive the time during which 
all per'^ons arrested, under the provisions of this Bill, shall be held 
in confinement upon that summary and arbitrary arrest ; and when 
he sees fit, and then only, shall the accused be delivered over to the 
civil authorities for trial. And is this the speedy and public trial 
by jury, which the Constitution secures to every citizen not in the 
military service ? 

"The State and district wherein the crime" — 


Yes, crime, for crime it must be, known to and defined by law, to 
justify the arrest — 

"Shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously 
EBcertained by law." 

Do you mean to obey that, and to observe State lines, or district 
lines, in arrests and imprisonments? Has it ever been done? Were 
•not Keycs, and Olds, and IMahoney, and Sheward, and my friend here 
to the left, (Mr. Allen, of Illinois,) and my other friend from Mary- 
land, (Mr. May,) dragged from their several States and districts, to 
New York, or Masssachusetts, or to this city ? The pirate, the mur- 
derer, the counterfeiter, the thief — you would have seized by duo and 
sworn process of law, and tried forthwith, by jury, at home ; but 
honorable and guiltless citizens, members of this House, your peers 
upon this floor, were thrust, and may, again, under this bill, be 
thrust into distant dungeons and bastilcs, upon the pretence of some 
crawling, verminous spy and informer, that they have " dissuaded " 
some one from obedience to the draft, or are otherwise guilty of 
some "treasonable practice." 

"And to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation." 

How? By presentment or indictment of a grand jury. When? 
"Speedily," says the Constitution. "When the draft is completed," 
says this bill ; and the President shall determine that. But who is 
to limit and define, "counseling or dissuading" from military serv- 
ice? Who shall ascertain and inform the accused of the "nature 
and cause" of a "treasonable practice?" Who, of all the thousand 
victims of arbitrary arrests, within the last twenty-two months, even 
to this day, has been informed of the charge against him, although 
long since released? Yet even the Roman pro-consul, in a conquered 
province, refused to send up a prisoner, without signifying the crimes 
with which he was charged. 

"To be confronted with the witnesses against him." 

Witnesses, indeed ! Fortunate will be the accused if there be any 
witnesses against him. But is your deputy provost marshal to call 
them? 0, no; he is only to "inquire into, and report." Is your 
provost marshal general? What! call witnesses from the remotest 
parts of the Union, to a secret inquisition here in Washington. Has 
any " pri.'ioner of State," hitherto, been confronted with witnesses, at 
any time ? Has he even been allowed to know so much as the names 
of his accusers? Yet, Festus could boast, that it was not the manner 
of the Romans, to punish any man, " before that he, which is accused, 
have the accusers face to face." 

"To have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor." 

Sir, the compulsory process will be, under this bill, as it has been 
from the first, to compel the absence rather, of not only the wit- 
nesses, but the friends and nearest relatives of the accused ; even the 
wife of his bosom, and his children — the inmates of his own house- 


hold. Newspapers, the bible, letters from home, except under sur- 
veillance, a breath of air, a sight of the waves of the sea, or of the 
mild, blue sky, the song of birds, whatever was denied to the pris- 
oner of Chillon, and more too; yes, even a solitary lamp in the case- 
mate, where a dying prisoner struggled with death, all have been 
refused to the American citizen accused of disloyal speech or opia- 
ions, by this most just and merciful Administration. 
And, finally, says the Constitution : 

"To have the assistance of counsel for his defense." 

And yet your Secretary of State, the "conservative" Seward — the 
confederate of Weed, that treacherous, dissembling foe to constitu- 
tional liberty, and the true interests of his country — forbade hia 
prisoners to employ counsel, under penalty of prolonged imprison- 
ment. Yes, charged with treasonable practices, yet the demand for 
counsel was to be dealt with as equal to treason itself. Here is au 
order, signed by a minion of Mr. Seward, and read to the prisoners 
at Fort Lafayette, on the 3d of December, 1861 : 

"I am instructed, by the Secretary of State, to inform you, that the De- 
partment of State, of the United States, wiU not recognize any one as an 
attorney for political prisoners, and will look with distrust upon all applica- 
tions for release through such channels; and that such applications will be 
regarded as additional reaso7is for declinhig to release the prisoners." 

And here is another order to the same eflFect, dated " Department 
of State, Washington, November 27, 1861," signed by William H. 
Seward himself, and read to the prisoners at Fort W^arren, on the 
29th of November, 1861 : 

"Discountenancing and repudiating all such practices." 

The disloyal practice, forsooth, of employing counsel : 

"The Secretary of State desires that all the State prisoners may understand 
that they are expected to revoke all such engagements now existing, and avoid 
any hereafter, as they can only lead to new complications and embarrassments 
to the cases of prisoners, on whose behalf the Government might be disposed to 
act with liberality." 

Most magnanimous Secretary! Liberality toward men guilty of 
no crime, but who, though they had been murderers or pirates, were 
entitled, by the plain letter of the Constitution, to have " the assist- 
ance of counsel for their defense." Sir, there was but one step further 
possible, and that short step was taken some months later, when tha 
prisoners of State were required to make oath, as the condition of 
their discharge, that they would not seek their constitutional and 
legal remedy in Court, for the wrongs and outrages inflicted upon 

Sir, incredible as all this will seem some years hence, it has hap- 
pened, all of it, and more yet untold, within the last twenty months, 
in the United States. Under executive usurpation, and by virtue of 
presidential proclamations and cabinet orders, it has been done with- 


out law and aprainst Constitution ; and now it is proposed, I repeat, 
to sanction and authorize it all, by an equally unconstitutional and 
void act of Congress. Sir, legislative tyranny is no more tolerable 
than executive tyranny. It is a vain thing to seek to cloak all this 
under the false semblance of law. Liberty is no more guarded or 
secured, and arbitrary power no more hedged in and limited here, 
than under the executive orders of last summer. We know what has 
already been done, and we will submit to it no longer. Away, then, 
with your vain clamor about disloyalty, your miserable mockery of 
treasonable practices. We have read, with virtuous indignation, in 
history, ages ago, of an Englishman executed for treason, in saying 
that he would make his son heir to the crown, meaning of his own 
tavern -house, which bore the sign of the crown ; and of that other 
Englishman, whose favorite buck the king had killed, and who suffered 
death as a traitor, for wishii^g, in a fit of vexation, that the buck, 
horns and all, were emboweled in the body of the king. But what 
have we not lived to see in our own time ? Sir. not many months 
ago, this Administration, in its great and tender mercy toward the 
six hundred and forty prisoner of State, confined, for treasonable 
practices, at Camp Chase, near the capital of Ohio, appointed a com- 
missioner, an extra-judicial functionary, unknown to the Constitution 
and laws, to hear and determine the cases of the several parties 
accused, and with power to discharge at his discretion, or to banish 
to Bull's Island, in Lake Erie. Among the political prisoners called 
before him, was a lad of fifteen, a newsboy upon the Ohio river, 
whose only offense proved, upon inquiry, to be, that he owed 
fifteen cents, the unpaid balance of a debt due to his washer-womaa 
— possibly a woman of color — who had him arrested by the provost 
marshal, as guilty of " disloyal practices." And yet, for four weary 
months the lad had lain in that foul and most loathsome prison, under 
military charge, lest, peradventure, he should overturn the Govern- 
ment of the United States ; or, at least, the Administration of Abra- 
ham Lincoln! 

Several Members on the Democratic side op the House. 
Oh no : the case can not be possible. 

Mr. Vallandigham. It is absolutely true, and it is one only 
among many such cases. Why, sir, was not the hump-back carrier 
of the New York Daily News, a paper edited by a member of this 
House, arrested in Connecticut, for selling that paper, and hurried 
off out of the State, and imprisoned in Fort Lafayette ? And yet, 
Senators and Representatives, catching up the brutal cry of a blood- 
thirsty but infatuated partisan press, exclaim " the Government has 
been too lenient, there ought to have beeu more arrests ! " 

Well did Hamilton remark, that " arbitrary imprisonments have 
been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instruments of 
tyranny ;" and not less truly, Blackstone declares, that they are " a less 
public, a less striking, and therefore a more dangerous engine of arbi- 
trary government," than executions upon the scaffold. And yet, to- 
night., you seek here, under cloak of an act of Congress, to authorize 
these arrests and imprisonments, and thus to renew again that reign 


of terror which smote the hearts of the stoutest among us, last sum- 
mer, as " the pestilence which walketh in darkness." 
But the Constitution provides further, that 

"The right of the people to be secure in their person?, house?, papers, and 
effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and 
no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or aiBrm- 
ation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persona 
or things to be seized." 

Sir, every line, letter, and syllable of this provision has been 
repeatedly violated, under pretence of securing evidence of disloyal 
or treasonable practices ; and now you propose, by this bill, to sanc- 
tion the past violations, and authorize new and continued infractions 
in future. Your provost marshals, your captains of cavalry, are to 
"inquire into treasonable practices." How? In any way, sir, that 
they may see fit ; and of course, by search and seizure of person, 
house, papers or effects ; for, sworn and appointed spies and informers 
as they are, they will be and can be of no higher character, and no 
more scrupulous of law, or right, or decency, than their predecessors 
of last summer, appointed under executive proclamations of no more 
or less validity than this bill, which you seek now to pass into a law. 
Sir, there is but one step further to take. Put down the peaceable 
assembling of the people ; the r;ght of petition for redress of griev- 
ances ; the " right of the people to keep and bear arms ;" and finally, 
the right of suffrage and elections, and then these United States, 
this Republic of ours, will have ceased to exist. And that short step 
you will soon take, if the States and the people do not firmly and 
speedily check you in your headlong plunge into despotism. What 
yet remains ? The Constitution declares that : 

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be coa- 
Btrued to deny or disparage others retained by the people." 

And again : 

" The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor 
prohibited by it to the IStates, are reserved to the States respectively, or to 
the people." 

And yet, under the monstrous doctrine, that in war the Constitu- 
tion is suspended, and that the President as commander-in-chief, not 
of the military forces only, but of the whole people of the United 
States, may, under " the war power," do whatever he shall think 
necessary and proper to be done, in any State or part of any State, 
however remote from the scene of warfare, every right of the people 
is violated or threatened, and every power of the States, usurped. 
Their last bulwark, the militia, belonging solely to the States, when 
not called, as such, into the actual service of the United States, you 
now deliberately propose, by this bill, to sweep away, and to con- 
stitute the President supreme military dictator, with a standing army 
of three millions and more at his command. And for what purpose 
are the militia to be thus taken from the power and custody of the 


States? Sir, the opponents of tlic Constitution anticipated all this, 
and were denounced as raving incendiaries or distempered enthusiasts. 
The Federal Government, said Patrick Henry, in the Virginia Con- 

" Squints towards monarchy. Your Prefidcnt may easily become a king. 
If ever ho violates the hiws, will ?ioi the recollection of his crimes teach him 
to make one bold push for the Americati throne? Will not the immense dif- 
ference between beiiia; master of cvcrytliing, and being ignoniinioiisly tried 
and punished, powerfully excite him to make this bold push ? But, sir, where 
is the existing force to punish him? Can he not, at the head of his army, 
beat down all opposition? What then will become of you and your rights? 
Will not absolute despotism ensue ? "* 

And yet, for these apprehensions, Henry has been the subject of 
laughter and pity for seventy years. Sir, the instinctive luve of 
Jiberty is wiser and more far-seeing than any philosophy. 

Hear, now, Alexander Hamilton, in the Federalist. Summing up 
what he calls the exaggerated and improbable suggestions respecting 
the power of calling for the services of the militia, urged by the 
opponents of the Constitution, whose writings he compares to some 
ill-written tale, or romance full of frightful and distorted shapes, he 
says : 

" The militia of New Hampshire (they allege) is to be marched to Georgia; 
of Georgia to New Hampshire; of New York to Kentucky; and of Ken- 
tucky to Lake Champlain. Nay, the debts due to the French and Dutch, 
are to be paid in militia-meu, instead of Louis d'ors and ducats. At one 
moment, there is to be a large army to l.ny prostrate the liberties of the 
people; at another moment, the militia of Virginia are to be dragged from 
their homes, five or six hundred miles, to tame the republican contumacy of 
Massachusetts ; a7id that of Massachusetts is to be transported an equal distance^ 
to subdue the refractory haughtiness of the aristocratic Virginians. Do persons 
who rave at this rate, imagine that their eloquence can impose any conceits 
or absurdities upon the people of America, for infallible truths?" 

And yet, sir, just three-quarters of a century later, we have lived 
to see these raving conceits and absurdities practiced, or attempted, 
as calmly and deliberately as though the power and the right had 
been expressly conferred. 

And now, sir, listen to the answer of Hamilton to all this — him- 
self the friend of a strong government, a Senate for life, and an 
Executive for life, with the sole and exclusive power over the militia, 
to be held by the National Government ; and the Executive of each 
State to be appointed by that Government: 

" If there should be an army to be made use of as the engine of despotism, 
what need of the militia ? If there should be no army, whither would the mili- 
tia, irritated at being required to undertake a distant and distressing expedition^ 
for the purpose of riveting tfie chains of slavery upon a part of their countrymen, 

* And the reporter, unable to follow the vehement orator of the Revolu- 
tion, adds : 

•' Here, Mr. Henry strongly and pathetically expatiated on the probability 
of the President's enslaving America, and the horrid consequences that must 


direct their course, but to the seats of the tyrants who had meditated 


"Which usurpers stride to dominion over a numerous and enlightened nation?" 

Sir, Mr. Hamilton was an earnest, sincere man, and, doubtless, 
wi'ote what he believed : he was an able man also, and a philosopher ; 
and yet how little did he foresee, that just seventy-five years later, 
that same Government, which he was striving to establish, would, in 
desperate hands, attempt to seize the whole militia of the Union, and 
convert them into a standing army, indefinite as to the time of its 
service, and for the very purpose of not only beating down State 
sovereignties, but of abolishing even the domestic and social institu- 
tions of the States. 

Sir, if your objects are constitutional, you have power abundantly 
under the Constitution, without infraction or usurpation. The men 
who framed that instrument, made it both for war and peace. Nay, 
more, they expressly provide for the cases of insurrection and rebel- 
lion. You have ample power to do all that of right you ought to 
do — all that the people, your masters, permit under their supreme 
will, the Constitution. Confine, then, yourselves within these limits, 
and the rising storm of popular discontent will be hushed. 

But I return, now, again, to the arbitrary arrests sanctioned by 
this Bill, and by that other consummation of despotism, the Indem- 
nity and Suspension Bill, now in the Senate. Sir, this is the very 
question which, as I said a little while ago, we made a chief issue 
before the people in the late elections. You did, then, distinctly 
claim — and you found an Attorney-General and a few other venal or 
very venerable lawyers to defend the monstrous claim — that the 
President had the right to suspend the writ of habeas corpus; and 
that every one of these arrests was legal and justifiable. We went 
before the people with the Constitution and the laws in our hands, 
and the love of liberty in our hearts ; and the verdict of the people 
was rendered against you. We insisted that Congress alone could 
suspend the writ of habeas corpus when, in cases of rebellion or 
invasion, the public safety might require it. And to-day, sir, that is 
beginning to be again the acknowledged doctrine. The Chief Justice 
of the Supreme Court of the United States so ruled in the Merriman 
case ; and the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, I rejoice to say, has 
rendered a like decision ; and if the question be ever brought before 
the Supreme Court of the United States, undoubtedly it will be so 
decided, finally and forever. You yourselves now admit it ; and at 
this moment, your " Indemnity Bill," a measure more execrable thaa 
even this Conscription, and liable to every objection which I have 
urged against it, undertakes to authorize the President to suspend the 
writ all over, or in any part of, the United States. Sir, I deny that 
you can thus delegate your right to the Executive. Even your own 
power is conditional. You can not suspend the writ except where 
the public safety requires it, and then only in cases of rebellion or 
invasion. A foreign war, not brought home by invasion, to our own 


soil, does not authorize the suspension, in any case. And who is to 
judge whether and where there is rebellion or invasion, and whether 
and when the public safety requires that the writ be suspended ? 
Congress alone, and they can not substitute the judgment of the 
President for their own. Such, too, is the opinion of Story : " The 
right to judge," says he, " whether exigency has arisen, must exclu- 
sively belong to that body." But not so under the bill which passed 
this House the other day. 

Nor is this all. Congress alone can suspend the writ. When and 
where ? In cases of rebellion or invasion. Where rebellion ? Where 
invasion ? Am I to be told, that because there is rebellion in South 
Carolina, the writ of habeas corpus can be suspended in Pennsylvania 
and Massachusetts where there is none? Is that the meaning of the 
Constitution? No, sir; the writ can be suspended only where the 
rebellion or invasion exists — in States, or parts of States alone, where 
the enemy, foreign or domestic, is found in arms ; and moreover, the 
public safety can require its suspension only where there is rebellion 
or invasion. Outside of these conditions. Congress has no more 
authority to suspend the writ, than the President — and least of all, 
to suspend it without limitation as to time, and generally all over the 
Union, and in States not invaded or in rebellion. Such an act of 
Congress is of no more validity, and no more entitled to obedience, 
than an Executive proclamation ; and in any just and impartial court, 
I venture to affirm that it will be so decided. 

But, again, sir, even though the writ be constitutionally suspended, 
there is no more power in the President to make arbitrary arrests 
than without it. The gentleman from Pthode Island, (Mr. Sheffield,) 
said, very justly — and I am sorry to see him lend any support to this 
bill — that the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus does not au- 
thorize arrests, except upon sworn warrant, charging some offence 
known to the law, and dangerous to the public safety. He is right. 
It does not ; and this was so admitted in the bill which passed the 
Senate, in 1807. The suspension only denies release upon bail, or 
a discharge without trial, to parties thus arrested. It suspends no 
other right or privilege under the Constitution — certainly not the 
right to a speedy public trial, by jury, in a civil Court. It dispenses 
with no "due process of law," except only that particular writ. It 
does not take away the claim for damages to which a party illegally 
arrested, or legally arrested, but without probable cause, is entitled. 

And yet, everywhere, it has been assumed, that a suspension of 
the writ of habeas corpus, is a suspension of the entire Constitution, 
and of all laws, so far as the personal rights of the citizen are con- 
cerned, and that, therefore, the moment it is suspended, either by the 
President, as heretofore asserted, or by Congress, as now about to be 
authorized, arbitrary arrests, without sworn warrant, or other due 
process of law, may be made at the sole pleasure or discretion of the 
Executive. I tell you no ; and that, although we may not be able 
to take the body of the party arrested from the provost marshal by 
writ of habeas corpus, every other right and privilege of the Consti- 
tution and of the common law remains intact, including the right to 


resist the wrong-doer or trespasser, wlio, without clue authority, would 
violate your person, or enter your house, which is your castle ; and, 
after all this, the right also to prosecute on indictment, or for damages, 
as the nature or aggravation of the case may demand. And yet, 
as claimed by you of the party in power, the suspension of this writ 
is a total abrogation of the Constitution and of the liberties of the 
citizen, and the rights of the States. Why, then, sir, stop with arbi- 
trary arrests and imi^risonments ? Does any man believe that it will 
end here ? Not so have I learned history. The guillotine ! the guil- 
lotine ! the guillotine follows next. 

Sir, when one of those earliest confined in Fort Lafayette — I had 
it from his own lips — made complaint to the Secretary of State of the 
injustice of his arrest, and the severity of the treatment to which he 
bad been subjected in the exercise of arbitrary power, no offence being 
alleged against him, "Why, sir," said the Secretary, with a smilo of 
most significant complacency, "my dear, sir, you ought not to com- 
plain; we might have gone further.'^ Light flashed upon the mind 
of the gentleman, and he replied: "Ah! that is true, sir; you had 
just the same right to behead, as to arrest and imprison me." And 
shall it come to this? Then, sir, let us see who is beheaded first. It 
is horrible enough to be imprisoned without crime, but when it 
becomes a question of life or death, remember the words of the book 
of Job — "All that a man hath will he give for his life." 

Sir, it is this which makes revolutions. A gentleman upon the 
other side asked, this afternoon, which party was to rise now in revolu- 
tion. The answer of the able and gallant gentleman from Pennsyl- 
yania, (Mr. Biddle,) was pertinent and just — " No party, but an 
outraged people." It is not, let me tell you, the leaders of parties 
who begin revolutions. Never. Did any one of the distinguished 
characters of the Revolution of 1776, participate in the throwing 
of the tea into Boston harbor ? Who was it ? Who, to-day, cau 
name the actors in that now historic scene ? It was not Hancock, 
nor Samuel Adams, nor John Adams, nor Patrick Henry, nor 
Washington ; but men unknown to fame. Good men agitate ; obscure 
men begin real revolutioiiis ; great men finally direct and control 
them. And if, indeed, we are about to pass through the usual stages 
of revolution, it will not be the leaders of the Democratic party, not 
I, not the men with me here, to-night — but some man among the 
people, now unknown and unnoted, who will hurl your tea into the 
harbor; and it may even be in Boston once again; for the love of 
liberty, I would fain believe, lingers still under the shadow of the 
monument on Bunker Hill. But sir, we seek no revolution — except 
through the ballot-box. The conflict to which we challenge you, is 
not of arms but of argument. Do you believe in the virtue and 
intelligence of the people ? Do you admit their capacity for self-gov- 
ernment ? Have they not intelligence enough to understand the right, 
and virtue enough to pursue it? Come then: meet us through the 
press, and with free speech, and before the assemblages of the people, 
and we will argue these questions, as we and our fathers have done 
from the beginning of the Government — " Are we right, or you right, 


we wrong or you wrong? " And by the judgment of the people, we 
will, one and all, abide. 

Sir, I have done now with my objections to this bill. I have 
spoken as though the Constitution survived, and was still the supreme 
law of the land. But if, indeed, there be no Constitution any longer, 
limiting and restraining the men in power, then there is none binding 
upon the States or the people. God forbid. We have a Constitution 
yet, and laws yet. To them I appeal. Give us our rights ; give us 
known and fixed laws ; give us the judiciary ; arrest us only upon 
due process of law ; give us presentment or indictment by grand 
juries ; speedy and public trial ; trial by jury and at home ; tell us 
the nature and cause of the accusation ; confront us with witnesses ; 
allow us witnesses in our behalf, and the assistance of counsel for 
our defense ; secure us in our persons, our houses, our papers, and 
our effects ; leave us arms, not for resistance to law or against right- 
ful authority, but to defend ourselves from outrage and violence ; give 
us free speech and a free press ; the right peaceably to assemble ; and 
above all, free and undisturbed elections and the ballot — take our sons, 
take our money, our property, take all else, and we will wait a little, till 
at the time and in the manner appointed by Constitution and law, 
we shall eject you from the trusts you have abused, and the seats 
of power you have dishonored, and other and better men shall reiga 
in your stead. 


Under this head, we add some passages and items of historical value and 
interest. The collection, as will be seen, is gathered from the whole public 
life of Mr. Vallandigham. The design is, to add to the foregoing Spkechks, 
as much as our space will admit of, matter best calculated to give a fair and 
full understanding of what Mr. Vallandigham has said, written, and done, 
bearing upon " Abolitioti, Slavery, and the Civil, ira?'." These questions are now 
before the people, and, in some of their varied aspects, determine the estimation 
of every man, who occupies any public position. By this ordeal eyery man's 
record must be tried. And it helps to assure us of the strength and endurance 
of a man's devotion to the principles held to-day, if, on examining his record, 
we find that the same principles have been consistently held and advocated 
through a long series of years. 

A brief statement in relation to Mr. Vallandioham's parentage and educa- 
tion, may gratify a reasonable curiosity on the part of the public. 

Clement Laird Vallandigham was born in New Lisbon, Columbiana 
county, Ohio, July 29th, 1820. His father, a presbyterian clergyman, was a 
native of Virginia. His grandfather was also a Virginian, born near the 
now classic fields of " Bull Kun." The name, originally, was Van Landeghem; 
the family came from French Flanders. 

Mr. Vallandigham was educated at Jefferson College, Pa. After leaving 
college, he was for some time principal of an academy on the Eastern Shore of 
Maryland. Thence, he returned to his^native county, where, in December, 1842, 
at the early age of twenty-two years, he was admitted to the practice of law. 
Three years later, he was chosen a representative from that county, in the Ohio 
Legislature of 1845-6-7. This was the opening of his political record. 
Additions have been continually made, and the record is not closed. A few 
interesting facts and items here follow, numbered for convenience. 

No. I. Opposition to the "Wilmot Pp.otiso. — The present evil condition 
of the country began more directly with the renewal of the "Missouri con- 
troversy," by the introduction of the " Wilmot Piioviso," in the summer of 
1846. Mr. Vallandigham, while a member of the Ohio Legislature, distin- 
guished himself by his opposition to that measure, and to all the schemes of 
the Abolitionists and semi-abolitionists, then beginning to lift their hydra head 
throughout the country. 

On the 16th of January, 1847, Harrison Q-. Blakk, now a Republican 



member of Congress, moved a joint resolution, in the Ohio House of Repre- 
sentatives, requesting our Senators and Kepresentativcs to vote for "the exclu- 
sion of slavery from the territory of Oregon, and also from any other territory 
that now is, or may hereafter be, annexed to the United States." 

Mr. Yallaxdigiiam moved the resolution be laid on the table, which 
motion prevailed. On the 18th of January, it came up again, and, on motiou 
of Mr. Trimble, of Highland, it was again laid on the table, Mr. Val- 
LANDiGHAM voting in the aflSrmative. On the 21st of January, it was broun^ht 
up again, and after a long parliamentary fight, running late into the night, it 
passed. Mr. Yallandigham opposed it strongly. {House Joitrnal, 1846-7, 
pp. 241, 254, 288, 291, 295.) During the struggle, the following debate took 
place, which we transcribe from the Ohio Statesman, of January 22, 1847 : 

Mr. Ellison, of Brown, moved to add these words: 

"Excepting in those cases where the welfare and safety of the L'NIOn may 
otherwise require." 

Mr. Franklin T. Backus, of Cuyahoga, [late Republican nominee for 
Supreme Judge,] moved to amend, by inserting after the word "Union," the 
words " in the opinion of the chivalr}-." (A laugh.) 

Mr. Yallaxdigiiam rose, and began by rebuking the laughter, and laughing 
gentlemen, and asked them, if they had forgotten the great Missouri Com- 
promise ? That compromise — the principle of concession which was now 
(1847) laughed at — had saved the Union in 1820. But for the respect which 
our fathers felt for this principle, and which was then manifested by none more 
worthily than b}" Mr. Clay himself, i/iis Union u-ould have then been dissolved. 
Mr. Y. declared, for himself, that whenever any question might arise, involving 
the Union in the alternative, he would go with his might o?i that side — ON TUK 
SIDE OF THE Union, " now and forever, one and inseperable.' "Would 
any gentleman relinquish the Union rather than tolerate the existence of 
slavery in the South ? 

Mr. Backus also believed the compromise (1820) to have been necessary to 
the perpetuity of the Union. But such an issue was not likely again to occur. 
The slaveholding States would be the last to secede and dissolve the Union. 
With what face could gentlemen give out their fears on this subject, when 
they remember the treatment which John Quincy Adams received at their 
hands, at the tiyne when he stood up in Congress for a considerate and rational 
report upon a petition to dissolve the Union. What a bluster they made, 
and they were going to expel the old man from the House! Mr. B. affirmed 
again that we had all been deceived — the slaveholders themselves, by their 
acts had manifested the fiict, that the very salvation of their system depends 
upon their remaining in the Union. We had heard enough of these threats 
t© know how to regard them. 

Mr. Yallandigham. The gentleman says that such a portentous issue as 
that involved in the Missouri question was not likely again to arise. Let him 
not lay to his soul that flattering unction. But the gentleman from Cuyahoga 
seems o'er familiar with this talk of dissolving the Union. That gentleman, 
(Mr. B.,) resided in a district claiming that there 7iow existed cause for dissolv- 
ing the Union. He belonged to the district of Joshua R. Giddings, who 
declared of tliem, (hat they were dissolved from all political connection with the 
Southern States, on account of the annexation of Texas. But the mind of the 
House was not to be drawn off from this question by raising a dispute, whether 
Mr. Cla^' ever acted as an honest man. The question was, whether such an 
exigency as that developed in the Missouri question may not happen again. 
What had once happened might happen again; and let us not become wise 
above what comes to us as the lessons of the past. The gentleman from Cuya- 
hoga had not answered the question, " If he were to decide between the exclu- 
flion of slavery, with the dissolution of the Union, and the perpetuation of the 


Union, in connection with that institution, whether he would prefer to go for 
dissolution? He, (Mr. V.,) trusted the amendment would carry without the 
mutilation proposed by the gentleman from Cuyahoga. If toe were to throw a 
firebrand toward the South — if we must needs throw down the gauntlet before 
them, in the shape of these resolutions^ they should, at least, be shaped so as Vot 
TO ENDANGKK THE Union ; they should, by all means, be put in such a guarded 
form as not to endanger our favored institutions. Mr. V. felt that, perhaps, 
he had been too much in earnest upon this question. He had spoken from 
impulse, and, perhaps, with too much freedom and feeling, because he felt 
called upon as a patriot and citizen to resist and expose every measure xohich 
might work incalculable mischief, not only to ourselves, but to generations yet 

Mr. Backus moved to amend the first resolution, by adding thereto the fol- 
lowing: "And strenuously to resist all attempts that may hereafter be made 
to introduce into this Union a7iy new State, by the Constitution of tvhich slavery 
is not forever excluded from the territory of such State;" which motion was lost. 
Yeas 23, nays 37. Among the yeas, Backus, Blake, W. P. Cutler, etc.; among 
the nays, Vallandigham, etc. 

Ko. II. Petitions to Dissolve the Union. — At the same session, on the 
25th of January, 1847, in the House of Representatives: 

Mr. Truesdale, of Trumbull, presented the memorial of thirty-eight 
inhabitants of Lowell, and vicinitj-, in relation to the annexation of Texas, and 
asking the Legislature to declare the Union DISSOLVED, and to withdraw 
our Senators aiid Representatives in Congress. 

Mr. Truesdale moved that said petition be laid upon the table. 

Mr. Smith, of Hamilton, moved that said petition be rejected. 

Upon which motion the yeas and nays being demanded and ordered, 
resulted — yeas 41, nays 24. — House Jour7ial, 1846-7, p. 321. 

Mr. Vallandigham, of course, denounced the petition, and those who sup- 
ported it. He and every other Democrat in the House, except one, also several 
"Whigs, voted to reject the petition. Those who voted to lay it on the table 
were: Beatty, Bennett, Blake, Breck, Clark of Franklin, Cotton, 
Harsh, Hibberd, Hogue, Horton, Johnston, Kiler, Matthews, Moore, 
McGrew, Owen, Park, Poor, Potter, Tallman, Truesdale, "White, 
"Wilson, and the Speaker, Wm. P. Cutler. 

We venture to say that nearly every man among those twenty-four, if alive, 
is to-day supporting the Abolition party. And those traitors are now denounc- 
ing Mr. Vallandigham for his faithful adherence to the constitution and 
laws of our country. He is still standing where he then did, contending for 
the Union of our fathers, while they are battling to destroy it. 

Again, at the same session, on the 1st day of February, 1847, in the House 
of Representatives : 

Mr. Hogue presented the petition of Lot Holmes, and fifty-nine other 
citizens, of Fairfield township, Columbiana county, asking, as a consequence of 
the annexation of Texas, that the Legislature may declare the Union dis- 
60LVED, and the recall of our Senators and Representatives in Congress. 

Mr. Hogue moved to lay said petition on the table. 

Mr. Smith, of Hamilton, moved that said petition be rejected! 

Upon which motion the yeas and nays being demanded and ordered, 
resulted — yeas 33, nays 21. — House Journal^ 1846-7, p. 428. 


Among the j-ens, for rojection, were Vallandiqiiam, .ind every other 
Democrat in the House, and several Whigs; among the nays were the sarao 
niemhers as upon tlie former vote, with two or throe exceptions, and the addi- 
tional names of Backus, Franklin, Cokwin, Cuktiss, and Tkimule of Mus- 

In that same Winter, of 1847, Massachusetts passed a secession resolution, 
■which, to this day, remains unrescinded upon its official records. 

No. III. The Mexican War, 1846-7.— On the 15th of December, 1846, 
in the Ohio House of Representatives, Mr. Vallandiqham offered the fol- 
lowing resolutions, which he supported in two speeches, boldly advocating 
the -'vigorous prosecution" of that foreign war to an honorable peace: 

That the war thus brought about and commenced by the aggressions and 
act of Mexico herself, having been recognized by Congress, according to the 
forms of the Constitution, is a (Jonstitutwnal war, and a war of the whoU 
people of the United States, begun, (on our part,) and carried 07i in pursuance 
of the coyist'dution and laws of the Union. 

That this General Assembly has full confidence in the wisdom and the 
ability of the Executive of the United States to prosecute the war to a. suc- 
cessful and speedy termination by an hoxokable peack; and that wo hereby 
tender the cordial sympathies and support of this commonwealth, to the said 
Executive, in the further prosecution of the war. 

These resolutions were smothered in committee, and never received a single 
"Whig vote. 

No. IV. As Editor of the Dayton Empire. — At the conclusion of his 
term in the Legislature of Ohio, Mr. Vallandigham removed to Dayton, 
and on the 2d of September, 1847, assumed the editorial control of the Day- 
ton Empire. In that position, he distinguished himself as a vigorous and able 
journalist, and as a patriot, who sought to preserve the principles of constitu- 
tional liberty which were born of our Revolution. He took a prominent part, 
among the friends of the Union in Ohio, in favor of the compromise measures 
of 1850, the work of Clay and Webster, and other true men and patriots, 
■who then saved the ship of state from splitting on the rock of Abolitionism. 

The following, from his "Introductory Address," will give an idea of the 
principles to whose advocacy and defense his labors, as editor, were devoted; 

We will support the Constitution of the United States, in its whole 
integrity, as it came to us from "the Fathers," believing it to establish, in 
principle, the very best form of government which the wisdom of man ever 

"VVe will protect and defend, according to our opportunities and abilities, 
THE Union of these States, as in very deed the "Palladium of our polit- 
ical prosperity," "the only rock of our safety," less sacred only than Liberty 
herself; and we will pander to the sectional prejudices, or the fanaticwm, or 
wounded pride, or disappointed ambition, of no man or set of men, whereby that 
Union shall be put in jeopardy. 


To the present Administration (James K. Polk's) we will lend that sup- 
port (whatever it is worth) which an honest and independent man may and 
ought to extend to the administration of the party to which he belongs. 
Above all, and to the verj- uttermost of our energy and abilities, we will 
defend and support it in the war now waged against Mexico, till it shall have 
been terminated by an honokable teack. 

On the 27th of June, 1849, Mr. Vallandigham's connection with the 
E?7ipire, terminated. In his "Valedictory" is the following. Keferring to the 
principles announced by him in his Introductory, he says: 

We would stand or fall by them now as then, and ihroiighout life. Of 
the vital importance to the welfare of the whole country in general, and the 
Democratic party in particular, of two, in an especial manner, to these princi- 
ples, every hour has added to our deep conviction. And we would write them 
as in the rock, upon the hearts of our friends forever: 

First, that which is really and most valuable in our American liberties, de- 
pends upon tlie preservation and vigor of THE Union of these States ; and 
therefore, all and every agitation in one section, necessarily generating coun- 
ter-agitation in the other, ought, from what quarter soever it may come, by 
every patriot and well-wisher of his country, to be '-indignantly frowned upon," 
and ai'resied ere it be " too late." 

No. V. Compromise Measures of 1850. — On the 19th of October, 1850, a 
public meeting was held in the City Hall, Dayton, Ohio, to denounce the 
" Compromise Measures" of 1850. The following is one of the resolutions: 

Resolved, That the Congress which could be so far frightened from its pro- 
priety, by the insolent bluster and bravado of a few slaveholders, as to pass an 
act (the Fugitive Slave Act) so fraught with injustice, and so odious, deserves 
the rebuke of the people of these United States. 

From the official proceedings, we quote the following: 

C. L. Vallandigham, Esq., replied in opposition to the resolutions, and in 
favor of the compromise policy which gave birth to the law. 

From the Dayton Journal, (Whig) editorial, we quote the following: 

C L. Vallandigham, Esq., followed in opposition to the resolutions. His 
speech was ingenuous and eloquent. His objection to the course proposed by the 
resolutions was, that it would lead to further agitation, and tend to endanger 
THE Union. 

The Empire noticed Mr. Vallandigham's speech as follows: 

C. L. Vallandigham, Esq. — The speech of this gentleman, at the meeting 
on Saturday night, is universally spoken of as a most eloquent and patriotic 
effort; and the positions he took in favor of such measures as would tend to 
restrain undue excitement and agitation, rather than increase them, can not but 
receive the approbation of every cool and reflecting mind. 

His remarks were earnest, dignified, and appropriate. He strongly deprecated 
every new attempt to inflame the public mind, while he enforced, in strains of 
lofty and impassioned eloquence, the duty of every good citizen to observe and 
maintain the sanction of law as the only way to secure the peace, order, and 
happiness of society anywhere. The sentiments he uttered were warmly and 
enthusiastically applauded at the time, and are such, we doubt not, as will ba 
approved and sustained by our citizens generally. 


The Secont) "Compromise Meeting." — On the 26th of October, 1850, a 
very large meeting, composed of the first citizens of Dayton, assembled at the 
City Hall. From the committee, Mr. Vallandigham, as chairman, reported 
the following resolutions. In the first will be found the counterpart of tha 
now celebrated motto of the Democratic party : " The Constitution as it is, and 
the Union as it was." 

1. That we are/or the Union as it is, and the Constitution as it is, and that 
we will preserve, maintain, and defend both at every hazard, observing, with 
scrupulous and uncalculating fidelity, every article, requirement, and com- 
promise of the constitutional compact between these States, to the letter, and 
in its utmost spirit, and recognizing no "higher law," between which and the 
Constitution we know of any conflict. 

2. That the Constitution was "the result of a spirit of amity, and of that 
mutual deference and concession which the peculiarity of our politicj^l situa- 
tion rendered indispensable," that by amity, conciliation and compromise 
alone can it, and the Union which it established, be preserved; and tliat it is 
the duty of all good citizens to frown indignantly upon every attempt, where- 
soever or by whomsoever made, to array one section of the Union against the 
other; to foment jealousies and heart-burnings between them, by s\-.~tcmatic 
and organized misrepresentation, denunciation and calumnj', and thereby, to 
render them in feeling and aflection the inheritors of so noble a common patri- 
mony purchased by our fathers at so great expense of blood and treasure. 

3. That as the friends of peace and concord — as lovers of the Union, and 
foes, sworn upon the horns of the altar of our common countrj', to all who seek, 
and all that tends to its dissolution, we have viewed with anxiety and alarm 
the perilous crisis brought upon us b}' j-ears of ceaseless and persevering agita- 
tion of the slavery question in its various forms; and that the Executive and 
Congress of the United States have deserved well of the Kepublic, for their patri- 
otic efforts so to compromise and adjust this vexed question, as to leave no good 
cause for clamor or offense by any portion of the Union. 

4. That a strict adherence in all its parts, to the compromise thus deliberately 
and solemnl}^ affected, is essential to the restoration and maintenance of peace, 
harmony, and fraternal affection between the diflerent sections of the Union, 
and thereby to the preservation of the Union itself; and that good faith 
imperatively demands that adherence at the hands of all good citizens, whether 
of the North or of the South. 

5. That, believing this compromise the very best which, in view of the cir- 
cumstances and temper of the times, could have been attained, we are for it as 
it is, and opposed to all agitation, looking to a repeal or essential modification of 
any of its parts, and that we will lend no aid or comfort to those who, for any 
purpose, seek further to agitate and embroil the country upon these questions. 

6. That "all obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and 
associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, 
control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted 
authorities, are destructive of the fundamental principle of our institutions 
and of fatal tendency ; that all such efforts, wherever made or by whomsoever 
advised, find no answering sympathy in our breast — nothing but loathing and 
contempt — and that we hereby pledge ourselves to the country, that, so far as 
in us lies, the Ukion, tue Constitution and tue Laws, must and shall be 

No. VI. Nominated for Congress. — In 1852, Mr. Yallandiqham waa 
first put in nomination, by the Democracy of the Third District of Ohio, com- 
posed of the counties of 3Iontgomcry, Butler, and Preble. His competitor 
was Hon. Lewis D. Campbell, the candidate of the anti-compromiso or 


Abolition party. Mr. Campbell was elected, which so reioiced the old "Lib- 
erty party" of Ohio, which run John P. Hale, for President, and Georgk 
W. Julian, for Vice-President, that their State committee issued a circular, 
in which they said of Mr. Vallandigham : 

In opposition to ifr. Campbell, the Democratic party had nominated C. L. 
Vallandigham, a lawj-er of high standing, an eloquent and ready debater, of 
gentlemanly deportment and unblemished private character, and untiring 
industry and energy. But he was known, to all, to be an ultra pro-slavery 
man, (anti-Abolitionist;) he undertook, with a relish, to carry the load of the 
Compromise Measures, the Fugitive-Slave Law included, and he broke 
down under the burden. 

No. VII. Election to Congress — Commencement op Congressional 
LABORS. — In 1854, Mr Vallandigham was unanimously renominated by the 
democracy against Mr. Campbell, but was beaten by two thousand five hundred 
and sixty-five votes, his competitor being carried triumphantly through on 
the "Know Nothing" flood. 

In 1856, Mr. Vallandigham was again, by acclamation, the democratic 
candidate against Mr. Campbell. His friends went into the canvas with 
"Vall and the Union" on their banners, while his opponents bore flags, 
•with only sixteen stars on them — ensigns of disunion. The canvas was 
intensely exciting — a hand to hand struggle. Scarcely a voter in the district 
but was secured by one party or the other. The returns showed jiineteen 
majority against Mr Vallandigham. He contested the election on the 
ground that the majority was made up of negro votes, and, after a tedious 
and annoying contest, obtained the seat. On the 22d of May, 1858, arguing 
the contest before the House of Representatives, and speaking of negro suf- 
frage and equality, Mr. Vallandigham said: 

It is enough to know that Ohio has chosen to make citizenship of the 
Utiited States a qualification for her electors. The language of the Constitu- 
tion of 1851 is: "Every white male citizen of the United States." Two 
qualifications are here prescribed — color and citizenship of the United States. 
Were these mulattoes and persons of color "white,'' within the meaning of 
the Constitution? That, sir, is a term of ancient and established signification, 
in constitutional language. It needs no gloss; it has no synonym; it admits 
of no definition. It means white— pure tvhite ! and not any shade, or any 
variety of shades, between white and black. Such it is in philologj', and in 
the arts. White and black are the two extremes, between which there is a 
large variety of colors. No artist ever confounds these terms ; no man in 
ordinary conversation confounds them. He may speak of a dark blue, or a 
light brown, or a bright yellow ; but never of a dark white, or a light black. 

But the term "white," in constitutions, is a designation of race rather than 
color; and it is used in this country to distinguish primarily between the 
African race and all others — between a servile race and races which are free. 
Strictly, indeed, it may refer to the several varieties of the Caucasian race. 
But in constitutions, and in popular language in the United States, it is a 
word of exclusion against the whole negro race, in ever}' degree. Whoever 
has a distinct and visible admixture of the blood of that race is not white; 
and it is an utter confusion of language to call him white. Sir, it is a question 
of vision, of autopsy; it is to be resolved upon actual view, and by personal 
inspection rather than by pedigree. And the Almighty has marked the dis- 
tinguishing characteristics of the race so strong, he has furrowed them so 


deep, that they arc not eradicated in several generations. The Constitution 
of North Carolina has fixed the degree at tlie sixteenth; and this corresponds, 
in fact, with the rule adopted generally by courts, North and South, that jv 
distinct and visible admixture of negro blood, without reference to the exact 
proportions, degrades to the class of persons of color. 

But, apart from all this, the reason of the rule applies, equally, to all of 
the African race, no matter how they may have come to our shores. No 
negro emigrant could be naturalized. CIt is not alone his descent from slaves, 
in this country, that degrades him in the scale of social and political being. 
It is his color and his blood. It is because he is the descendant of a servile 
and degraded race almost from the beginning of time. The curse of Ham 
pursues him in every age, and all over the globe. Bayard Taylor — no 
apologi.-t for slavery — spejiks but the testimony of history, when he writes 
from Nubia, in upper Egypt, that — 

"The only negro features represented in Egyptian sculpture are those of 
slaves and captives taken in Ethiopian wars of the Pharaohs ; and that the 
temples and pyramids throughout Nubia, as far as Daref and Abyssinia, all 
bear the hierogh-phy of monarchs; and that there is no evidence, in all the 
valley of the Nile, that the negro race ever attained a higher degree of civil- 
ization than is at present exhibited in Congo and .A.shantee." 

Sir, no wise people will ever, in any manner, encourage the attempt to 
elevate such a race to social and political equality. And if the question of 
law were here doubtful, I might well demand, upon those high motives of 
public policy, that the doubt should be resolved against the race. Above all, 
I would urge these great considerations now, and in future, against this same 
spurious and mongrel issue, in whose behalf a relaxation of the policy is 
demanded. Look to Spanish America. Look at Mexico. The blood of the 
conquerors was lost in the veins of inferior and outcast races, and Mexico 
has no "people" to-day. With no tyrant strong enough to bind her down, 
and no yeomanry fit for self-government, she is the sport of faction, and the 
prey of anarchy and bloodshed ; and, to-day, the spirit of the murdered 
Guatemozin, wandering three centuries through the halls of the Montezumaa, 
gluts itself with revenge. 

Sir, it is this same spurious and mongrel race who constitute your " free 
negroes," North and South. They will not be slaves, and they are not fit for 
freemen. And when this Government shall be broken up, and the fanaticism 
of the age shall have culminated in the North in red liepublicanism and 
negro equality, and the South shall have driven out her free negroes upon 
you, and j-ou shall have stolen away her slaves, then your troubles with this 
race, which already has plagued America for a century, will but have begun. 
They are your petty thieves now; they rob your larders and your sheep- 
cotes; they do fill up your penitentiaries, and they would fill up your hos- 
pitals and your alms-houses, if you would let them. Then they will be your 
highwaymen, your banditti; they will make up your mobs. With just 
enough of intelligence, derived from a white ancestry, to know, and enough 
of brutishness, inherited from the old African stock, to avenge, in any form, 
the ignominy and degradations of four thousand years; with fetish ideas of 
religion, and fanatic notions of politics, they are the sayis culotte, who, led on 
by the worst of white men, will make your revolutions, and overturn your 
governments. Sir, such things have already occurred in history. They are 
not the baseless fabrics of a vision. No wonder the States of the Northwest 
have begun to erect Constitutioiuil barriers, stronger than ever, against a 
negro population. In all this there is eminent wisdom, and a statesmanlike 

Mr. Vallandiqiiam was admitted to a seat, in the House of Representatives, 
•on the 25th of May, 1858, and soon after. Congress adjourned. At the subse- 
quent session, of 1858-9, he replied to, and refuted, a charge made by a southern 
member, of having voted for the repeal of the "Black Laws" of Ohio. He 
spoke, also, upon the tariff, on the 24th of February, 1859. 


No. VIII. The Ohio Kebellion — 1857. — In the year 1857, the deputies 
of the United States Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio were resisted 
in the execution of regular judicial writs issued under the Fugitive-Slave Act. 
They were pursued by a body of armed men, more than fifty in number, from 
Champaign county, through Clarke, into Greene, and there overpowered, and 
their prisoners rescued. They were, also, themselves arrested on State process. 
To discharge them from imprisonment, a habeas corpxis was issued by Judge 
Leavitt, of the United States District Court. It was heard at Cincinnati, on 
the 25th of June, 1857. Salmon P. Chase, now Secretary of the Treasury, 
but then the Governor of Ohio, sent the Attorney- General of the State, C. P. 
WoLCOTT, now Assistant Secretary of War, to argue against their discharge. 
Mr. Vallandigham, along with Mr. Pugh and Mr. Stanley Matthews, 
argued the case for the Marshals. Maintaining the vital doctrine of State 
Rights to their fullest extent, Mr. V. asserted and upheld the absolute suprem- 
acy of the Federal authority, within its Constitutional limits. He also 
denounced Abolitionism and " personal liberty bills," in language severe 
indeed, but most just. The following are extracts from his argument: 

For sixty-eight years, also, the people of Ohio lived happily, freely, pros- 
perously, and in neighborly intercourse with her sister States and Territories. 
Without slavery in her own limits, she yet had no quarrel, and waged no 
war, with those who had. Slaves repeatedly escaped into her territory, and 
were always peaceably and quietly, and oftentimes without ofiicer or warrant, 
recaptured and remanded. Ohio herself, not many years ago, volunteered to 
enact a "Fugitive-Slave Law," not less stringent, and certainly more odious, than 
the now accursed Act of 1850. But times have changed, and we are changed with 
them. Men, wise above what is written — wiser than the fathers, men of more 
capacity, and a wisdom and sagacity more than ordinary — more than human, 
or of intellects narrowed and beclouded by ignorance, and fanaticism, or 
seduced by a corrupt and most wicked ambition, have discovered that the 
Constitution is all wrong, and its compacts all wrong, or, rather, that there 
is a higher law than the Constitution, and that discord is piety, and sedition 
patriotism. They have resolved to annul, and set at naught, an important 
and most essential part of the Constitution and its compacts, and to compel 
the Government of the United States to succumb to their resolves, or to bring 
the authorities of the State and of the Union into deadly and most destructive 

I concur with the Attorney-General in all that he has said, of the vast 
importance of the case now and hereafter, and the more especially, if the 
menaces which he, the law officer of the State, and her representative in this 
forum, has seen fit to more than insinuate, in case of an adverse decision by 
this tribunal, are, in the hour of madness, to be carried out by her authorities, 
as they are now constituted. But I am confident that this Court is prepared 
-that the whole Government of the United States is prepared ; and I tell 
Mr. Attorney-General, and through him the Executive of the State, whose vain 
defiance he has this day borne here to this presence, that it is not to be awed 
by threats, not to be put down by denunciation, nor to be turned aside from 
Its firm purpose to enforce its laws, and the process of its courts, in any event, 
at all hazards, and without respect to persons or to States, whether those 
States be Rhode Island or Ohio. 

The writ was sustained and the defendants discharged. 

No. IX. The "John Brown Raid" — 1859. — Returning from a visit to 
Washington City, in October, 1859, it was Mr. Vallandiqham's ill-fortuno 

238 CAMPAIGN OF I860. 

to witness the first shedding of blood in the great quarrel between the North 
and the South. Passing through Harper's Ferry a few hours after the cap- 
ture of "old Ossawattaniio Brown," he saw that "first martyr," and asked 
him a few questions about the raid and its purpose, which, being duly reported, 
•with the answers, in the New York Herald, Mr. V. was persistently and 
bitterly assailed and abused for it, by the Abolition orators and press. Tho 
abuse was of the same quality, and came from the same dark fountain with 
that which has been poured upon him for the last two years. 

No. X. Stjppressinq Newspapers in the Post-Office. — In December, 
1859, a postmaster, in Hardy county, Virginia, having suppressed tho 
Religious Telescope, of Dayton, O., at his office, as an Abolition paper, Mr. 
Vallandigiiam, at the request of the editor, addressed a letter to the Post- 
Office Department remonstrating against the act. The Virginia postmaster 
was immediately commanded to obey the law, and the Telescope had no further 
trouble. The following is an extract from Mr. V.'s letter : 

They, at least, whom I have the honor to represent, have always obeyed 

and respected, and ever will respect and obey, every requirement and obliga- 
tion of tlie Constitutional compact. The vast majority of them, certainly, 
regard none of its obligations and requirements as either odious or onerous; 
and they ask only that their rights also, under that compact, shall be, iu like 
manner and fully, protected and enjoyed. 

Publishing the correspondence, the Telescope said : 

We thank Mr. Vallandigham, and our readers, especially those in Vir- 
ginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and other slave States, will thank him, for the 
prompt attention which he has given to this matter. 

No. XL Campaign of I860.— On the 19th of May, 1860, Mr. Vallandio- 
MAM returned home, on a brief visit, from Washington, and addressed the peo- 
ple in front of the Daj'ton Court-House. The following are extracts from 
a condensed report of the speech : 

He was not for the North, nor for the South, hut for ihe whole country ; 
and j^et, in a conflict of sectional interests, he was for the West all the time. 
In a little while — even after the present j'ear, men east of the mountains 
would learn that there was a West, which to them has heretofore been an 
"undiscovered country." He hoped fervently to see the day when we should 
hear no inore of sectio7is; but as long as men elsewhere demanded a "united 
North," and a "united South," he wanted to see a "united West." Still the 
"United States" was a better term, more patriotic, more constitutional, and 
more glorious than any of them. 

Ecferring to Mr. Lincoln's "irrepressible conflict" speech of 1858, 

Mr. Vallandigham proceeded for some time to denounce the sentiment of 
the speech in a vehement and impassionate manner, as revolutionary, disorgan- 
izing, subversive of the government, and ending jiecessarily in disunion. Our 
fathers had founded a government expressly upon the compatibility and 
harmony of a Union of States, " part slave, and part free," and whoever 
aflirmed the contrary, laid the ax at the very root of the Union. 

CAMPAIGN OF 1860. 239 

On the 30tli of June, 1860, Mr. Vallandigham returned home from Con- 
gress, and again addressed the people in front of the Court-House. The 
following is an extract from the speech : 

There are now two extreme sectional parties. Six years ago the Abolition 
sentiments of the free States culminated in the Eepublican organization. In 
the couise of time it has brought forth its inevitable fruit, in the organ- 
ization, especially in the Gulf or Cotton States, of an 'extreme Southern or 
pro-slavery party, the offspring, but the very antipode of the RepubLican party. 
If either of these is suflered to prevail, the Union is at an end. Even now 
it is in peril from mere conflict between them. But the death of the parent 
■will be the death of the child. Kill the Northern and Western anti-slavery 
organization, the Eepublican party, and the extreme Southern pro-slavery, 
"tire-eating" organization of the Cotton States, will expire in three months. 
Continue the Eepublican party — above all, put it in power, and the antago- 
nism, vnll grow till the whole South will become a unit. It is our mission here 
in Ohio, as one of the free States, to conquer and crush out Northern and 
Western sectionalism, as this is the especial enemy in our midst. 

On the 1st of August, 18 GO, Mr. Vallandigham addressed the Democracy 
of Detroit, Michigan. The following is an extract : 

For twenty years the country has been agitated by this subject of slavery. 
Men of the North and West have been taught to hate the men of the South, 
and Southerners have been taught to hate the men of the North and West. 
This Northern sectionalism and fanaticism has been approaching nearer and 
nearer to Mason and Dixon's line, while the Southern fanaticism, starting in 
the Cotton States, has been creeping northwardly, until the two factions have 
nearly met. What will be the inevitable result of the conflict that must 
ensue? They must meet, if the floods of fanaticism be not checked. When 
they meet on the plains of southern Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, how long, in 
God's name, can the country endure? Human nature has been misread, froin 
the time of Cain to this day, if blood, blood, human blood is not the result. But, 
thank God, between the two sections there is a band of national men, patriots, 
■who love their countrj^ more than ^sectionalism, ready to stay this conflict. 
Our mission is to drive this sectionalism of the North back to Canada, whence 
it sprung ; and that of the South back to the Gulf of Mexico. 

No. XTI. After the Election of 1860. — On the 10th of November, 
1860, four days after the Presidential election, Mr. Vallandigham published 
the card in reply to an attack by a Eepublican paper, which see on page 91, 

On the 22d of December, 1860, at a serenade in Washington, at which the 
Hon. John J. Crittenden spoke — also, given to Senator Pugh, of Ohio, for 
bis noble anti-coercion and compromise speech in the Senate — Mr. Vallan- 
digham, among other similar things, said ; 

To-night you are here to indorse the great policy of conciliation, not force ; 
peace, not civil war. The desire nearest the heart of every patriot, in this 
crisis, is the preservation of the Union of these States, as our fathers made it. 
(Applause.) But the Union can be preserved only by nuiintaining the Con- 
stitution and the constitutional rights, and above all, the perfect equality of 
every State and every section of this Confederacy. (Cheers.) That Constitu- 
tion was made in peace ; it has, for now more than seventy years, been pre- 
served by the policy of peace at home, and it can alone be maintained for our 
children, and their children after them, by that same peace policy. 


Wo mean to stand by it. Public sentiment may, indeed, at first be against 
us; the tide ma}' run heavily the other way for a little while; but, thank God, 
vre all have nerve enough, and will enough, and faith enough in the people, to 
know that, at last, it will turn for peace; and though we may be prostrated 
for a time by the storm, yet, upon the gravestone of every patriot who shall 
die now in the cause of peace and humanity and the country, shall be written: 
" Re/turrfom" — I shall rise again. And it will be a glorious resurrection, 
(Loud and continued applause). 

Fellow-citizens, / owi all over, and altogether a Union man. I would pre- 
serve the Union in all its integrity and worth. But, I repeat that this can not 
be done by coercion — by the sword. 

No. XIII. The Anti-Compromise and Secession "Winter of 1860-61. 
— The Presidential election of 1860, having resulted in the choice of Abra- 
ham Lincoln, the whole South was, forthwith, stirred with the most violent 
excitement. Secession of some — if not all — of the Southern States, became 
imminent. Immediately upon the assembling of Congress, on the 3d of De- 
cember, 1860, various propositions looking to compromise and settlement, were 
introduced. One of those propositions was the measure introduced by Mr. 
BoTELER, of Virginia, who proposed " That so much of the Message as relates 
to the peculiar condition of the country, be referred to a Special Committee of 
One from each State." The resolution was adopted; and, two days after, the 
Committee was appointed. Mr. Boteler having expressed a desire to be 
omitted from the Committee — of which he would, by courtesy, have been 
chairman — his request was granted, and Mr. Corwin, of Ohio, appointed to 
that place. The Committee being filled and named, the member appointed for 
Florida (Mr. Hawkins) asked to be excused from serving, saying he "be- 
lieved the time for compromise had passed forever." 

On the question of excusing Mr. Hawkins, an animated discussion arose, in 
which Mr. Vallandigham participated. His remarks on this question, made 
on the 10th of December, contain the following incidental but important 
defense of the rights and interests of the West. He said : 

But, I repeat, sir, there is not, upon your Committee, one solitary Eepresent- 
ative east of the Rocky Mountains, of that mighty host, numbering one 
million six hundred thousand men, which, for so many years, has stood as a 
vast breakwater against the winds and waves of sectionalism; and upon 
whose constituent elements, at least, this country must still so much depend in 
the great events which are thronging thick upon us, for all hope of preserva- 
tion now or of restoration hereafter. Sir, is any man here insane enough to 
imagine, for a moment, that this great Northern and Western Democracy — 
constituting an essential part, and by far the most numerous part, of that great 
Democratic party which, for half a centurj', molded the policy and con- 
trolled the destinies of this Pvepublic; that party which gave to the country 
some of the brightest jewels of which she boasts; that party which placed 
upon your statute-books every important measure of enduring legislation from 
the beginning of the Government to this day — that such a section of such a party 
is to be thus utterly ignored, insulted, and thrust aside as of no value? I tell 
you, you mistake the character of the men you have to deal with. We are in 
a minority, indeed, to-day at the ballot-box, and we bow quietly, now, to the 
popular will thus expressed. We are defeated, but not conquered; and he is a 
fool in the wisdom of this world, who thinks that in the midst of the stirring 


and revolutionary times which are upon us, these sixteen hundred thousand 
men, born free and now the equals of their brethren — men whose every pulse 
throbs with the spirit of liberty — will tamely submit to be degraded to inferior- 
ity and reduced to political servitude. Never — never — while there is but one 
man left to strike a blow at the oppressor. 

Sir, we love this Union ; and more than that, we obey the Constitution. We 
are, here, a gallant little band of less than thirty men, but representing more 
than a millioa and a half of freemen. We are here to maintain the Constitu- 
tion, which makes the Union, and to exact and yield that equality of rights 
•which makes the Constitution worth maintaining. We are ready to do all 
and to suffer all in the cause of our — thank God ! — yet common country ; and 
by no vote or speech or act of ours, here or elsewhere, shall any thing be done 
to defile or impair or to overthrow this the grandest temple of human liberty 
ever erected in any age. But we demand to worship at the very foot of the 
altar; and not, as servants and inferiors, in the outer courts of the edifice. 

Sij; we of the North-ioest have a deeper interest in the preseTvation of this 
Governmeyit in its present form than any other section of the Union. Hemmed 
in, isolated, cut off from the sea-board, upon every side ; a thousand miles and 
more from the mouth of the Mississippi, the free navigation of which, under the 
law of nations, we demand, and will have at every cost; with nothing else but 
our great inland seas, the lakes — and their outlet, too, through a foreign 
country — what is to be our destiny ? Sir, we have fifteen hundred miles of 
southern frontier, and but a little strip of eighty miles or less, from Virginia 
to Lake Erie, bounding us upon the east. Ohio is the isthmus that connects 
the South with the British Possessions, and the East with the West. The 
Kocky Mountains separate us from the Pacific. Where is to be our outlet? 
What are ive to do when you shall have broken up and destroyed this Govern- 
ment? We are seven States now, with fourteen Senators and fifty-one Eepre- 
sentatives, and a population of nine millions. We have an empire equal in 
area to the third of all Europe, and we do not mean to he a dependency or 
province either of the East or of the South; nor yet an inferior or second-rate 
power upon this continent; and if we can not secure a maritime boundary 
upon other terms, we will cleave our way to the sea-coast with the sword. A 
nation of warriors we may be ; a tribe of shepherds never. 


27th of February, 1861, the House proceeded to vote on the various Compro- 
mise Propositions before it. 

Mr. Kellogg, of Illinois, had submitted a proposition similar to the Mis- 
souri Compromise of 1820, but to be embodied in the Constitution. It was 
rejected — yeas 33, nays 158. All the yeas were Democrats and Constitutional- 
Union men, except Mr. Kellogg himself. Mr. VALLANDIGHAM voted 
for the Proposition. — Congressional Globe, p. 1260. 

The question then recurred on the " Crittenden Propositions," offered in the 
House by Mr. Clement, of Virginia, in the form of a motion to submit them 
to the people of the United States. It was these propositions which Mr. 
Davis and Mr. Toombs both declared would be satisfactory to the South and 
avert secession — (^Douglas' speech, January 13, 1861. Ajypendix to Congressional 
Globe, p. 41.) And, as in the Senate, so also in the House, they were rejected, 
and by a vote of yeas 80, nays 113, every Democrat and Southern man, except 
HiNDMAN, of Arkansas, voting for them, and every Republican, without one 
single exception, voting against them. Mr. Vallanijigham voted aye. The 
following is a list of the yeas and nays : 

Teas — Messrs. Adrain, William C. Anderson, Avery, Barr, Barrett, Bocock, 


Bolder, Bonligny, Brnbson, Branch, Briggs, Bristow, Brown, Buroh, Burnett, 
Horace F. Clark, John B. Clark, John Cochrane, Cox, James Craig, Burton 
Craige, John G. Davis, De Jarnette, Diniinick, Edmundson, English, Flor- 
ence, Fouko, Garnett, Gilmer, Hamilton, J. Morrison Harris, John T. Harris, 
Hatton, Hoi man, William Howard, Hughes, Jenkins, Kunklo, Larabee, Jamea 
M. Leach, Leake, Logan, Maclaj-, Mallory, Charles D. Martin, Elbert S. Mar- 
tin, Maynard, McClernand, McKenty, Millson, Montgomery, Laban T. Moore, 
Isaac N. Morris, Nelson, Niblack, Noell, Peyton, Phelps, Pryor, Quarles, 
Riggs, James C. Eobinson, Rust, Sickles, Simms, William Smith, William N. 
H. Smith, Stevenson, James A. Slewai-t, Stokes, Stout, Thomas, Vallandiq- 
HAM, Vance, Webster, Whitely, Winslow, Woodson, and Wright — 80. 

Nays — Messrs. Charles F. Adams, Aldrich, Alley, Ashley, Babbitt, Boale, 
Bingham, Blair, Blake, Brayton, Buffinton, Burlingame, Burnhara, Butter- 
field, Campbell, Carey, Carter, Case, Coburn, Clark B. Cochrane, Colfax, 
Conkling, Conway, Corwin, Covode, H. Winter Davis, Dawes, Delano, Duell, 
Dunn, Edgcrton, Edwards, Elliot, Ely, Etheridge, Farnsworth, Fenton, Ferry, 
Foster, Frank, French, Gooch, Graham, Grow, Hale, Hall, Helmick, Hick- 
man, Hindman, Hoard, William A. Howard, Humphrey, Hutchins, Irvine, 
Junkin, Francis W. Kellogg, William Kellogg, Kenyon, Kilgore, Killinger, 
DeWitt C. Leach, Lee, Longneckcr, Loornis, Lovejoy, Marston, McKean, 
McKnight, McPherson, Moorhead, Morrill, Morse, Nixon, Olin, Palmer, 
Perry, Pettit, Porter, Potter, Pottle, Edwin R. Reynolds, Rice, Christopher 
Robinson, Royce, Scranton, Sedgwick, Sherman, Somes, Spaulding, Spinner, 
Stanton, Stevens, William Stewart, Stratton, Tappan, Thayer, Thoaker, 
Tomkins, Train, Trimble, Vandever, Van Wyck, Verrec, Wade, Waldron, 
Walton, Cadwalader C. Washburne, Eliha B. Washburne, Wells, Wilson, 
Windom, Wood and Woodruff — 113. — Congressional Globe, p. 1261. 

Of the eighty who voted for compromise, nineteen are in either the Federal 
or Confederate army, while of the one hundred and thirteen who voted 
against compromise, only six ; one of them being Hindman, now a Confederate 
general. The other five are in the Federal army. 

No. XV. The Affair at Camp UrroK. — A story to the effect that Mr. 
Vallandigham, when visiting a camp of Ohio soldiers, near Washington, 
■was indignantly repelled, and driven from their lines, has been widely circu- 
lated. The telegraphic dispatch, from the agent of the Associated Press, relat- 
ing to that disturbance, was substantially correct, except that the " disposi- 
tion " referred to, was limited to a single company from Cleveland. But the 
dispatch appeared only in the papers of Washington, Baltimore and Phila- 
delphia. It was suppressed beyond, eastward and westward. Many papers, 
unfriendly to Mr. Vallandigham, supplied the omission, not by copying 
the dispatch from newspapers that received it, but by giving their own version 
for popular use. Hence the perverted and exaggerated form the story assumed. 
The dispatch was as follows : 

Alexandria, July 7, 1861. Mr. Vallandigham, member of Congress 
from Ohio, visited the Ohio regiments to-day. While in the camp of the 
first regiment, a disposition was shown by many to oust him, and, notwith- 
standing the nerve and courage shown by Mr. Vallandigham, it is prob- 
able they would have succeeded, but for the protection afforded him by the 
Dayton companies, and a pass from General Scott. He finally retired to the 
camp of the second regiment, after declaring himself as good a Union man 
a^ any of them, and expressing his scorn for the mob spirit shown by his 


No. XVI. Peace for the Sake of the Union. — On the 20th of 
August, 1861, in reply to the charge that he had said that "he was for peace 
before the Union," Mr. Vallandiqham published a card denying it, in 
which the following statements occur: 

I never, either in my place in the House of Kepresentatives, or any-where 
elfse, said any thing of the kind. 

It is a part of that mass of falsehood created and set afloat so persistently 
for the last few j'ears, in regard to all that concerns me; and is of the same 
coinage as that other falsehood, that I once said that " Federal troops must pass 
over my dead body on their way South " — a speech of intense stupidity, which 
I never, at any time, in any place, in any shape or form, uttered in my life. 

But now, allow me, also, to say that I om for peace — speedy and honorable 
peace — bccanse I am for the Union, and know, or think I know, that every 
hour of warfare by so much diminishes the hopes and chances of its restoration. 
I repeat with Douglas: "War is disunion. War is final, eternal separation;" 
and with Chatham : " My Lords, j'ou can not conquer America." 

No. XVII. Slavery in the District of Columbia. — On the 11th of 
April, 1862, Mr. Vallandiqham spoke and voted against the bill to abolish 
slavery in the District of Columbia. The following is an extract from his 
remarks : 

Had I no other reason, I am opposed to it, because I regard all this class of 
legislation as tending to prevent a restoration of the Union of these States as 
it was, and that is the grand object to which I look. 1 know well, that in a 
very little while the question will be between the old Union of these States — 
the Union as our fathers made it — or some new one, or some new unity of 
government, or eternal separation — disunion. To both these latter I am 
unalterably and unconditionally opposed. It is to the restoration of the Union 
as it was, in 1789, and continued for over seventy years, that I am bound to 
the last hour of my political and personal existence, if it be within the limits 
of possibilit}-, to restore and maintain that Union. 

No. XVIII. Peace Eesolxjtions. — On the 16th of December, 1862, Mr. 
Vallandiqham introduced the following resolutions into the House of 
Kepresentatives; they were postponed for debate: 

Resohed, 1. That the Union as it was must be restored and maintained 
furever, under the Constitution as it is — the fifth article, providing for 
amendments, included. 

2. That no final treaty of peace, ending the present civil war, can be per- 
mitted to be made by the Executive, or any other person in the civil or 
militarj' service of the United States, on any other basis than the integrity 
and entirety of the Federal Union, and of the States composing the same 
as at the beginning of hostilities, and upon that basis peace ought immediately 
to be made. 

3. That the Government can never permit armed or hostile intervention by 
any foreign power, in regard to the present civil war. 

4. That the unhappy civil war in which we are engaged was waged, in the 
beginning, professedlj', "not in any spirit of oppression, or for any purpose 
of conquest or subjugation, or purpose of overthrowing or interfering with 
the rights or established institutions of the States, but to defend and maintain 
the supremacy of the Constitution, and to preserve the Union, with all the 
dignity, equality, and rights of the several States unimpaired," and was so 


understood and accepted by the people, and especially by the army and navy 
of the United Suites; and that, therefore, whoever sliall pervert, or attempt 
to pervert, the same to a war of conquest and siiljusation, or fur the over- 
throwing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of any of 
the States, and to abolish slavery therein, or for the purpose of destroying or 
impairing the dignity, equality, or rights of any of the IStates, will be guilty 
of a flagrant breach of public faith, and of a high crime against the Constitu- 
tion and the Union. ; 

5. That whoever shall propose, by Federal authority, to extinguish any of 
the States of the Union, or to declare any of them extinguished, and to estab- 
lish territorial governments, or permanent military governments within the 
same, will be deserving of the censure of this House and of the countrj'. 

6. That whoever shall attempt to establish a dictatorship in the United 
States, thereby superseding or suspending the constitutional authorities of the 
Union, or to clothe the President, or any other officer, civil or military, with 
dictatorial or arbitrary power, will be guilty of a high crime against the Con- 
Btitution and the Union, and public liberty. 

On the 2 2d of the same month, Mr, Vallakdioham offered the following, 
•which, also, went over for debate : 

Resolved, That this House earnestly desire that the most speedy and effectual 
measures be taken for restoring peace in America, and that no time may be 
lost in proposing an immediate cessation of hostilities, in order to the speedy 
settlement of the unhappy controversies which brought about this unnecessary 
and injurious civil war, by just and adequate security against the return of 
like calamities in time to come ; and this House desire to otfer the most earnest 
assurances to the country, that they will in due time cheerfully co-operate with 
the Executive and the States for the restoration of the Union, by such explicit 
and most solemn amendments and provisions of the Constitution as may be 
found necessary for securing the rights of the several States and sections 
■within the Union, under the Constitution. 

On the next day, Mr. Y. briefly referred to the foregoing resolution, as fol- 

The resolution which I offered yesterday, and which lies over for debate, 
•was originally part of the series submitted by me some time since, and which, 
as afterward modified, were postponed till the 6th of January. I did not 
oflfer it at the same time with the others, because I desired a separate vote upon 
them; and, through the kindness of the member from Illinois (Mr. Lovejoy) 
and his friends upon the other side of the House, my desire was promptly 
gratified, just as I anticipated. The resolutions were laid upon the table by a 
strict party vote, and thus the record for that great iiereafteu made up, 
and I am content. 

And now let me add that the resolution of yesterday is but an almost exact 
transcript of an amendment to the address in answer to the King's speech, 
proposed in the House of Commons, on the 18th of November, 1777, by the 
Marquis of Granbj', and supported by Lord John Cavendish, Mr. Burke, and 
the other British patriots of that day. Had I pressed it to a vote, its fate 
■would, I doubt not, have been just the same as that of the amendment itself, 
■which was rejected by the followers of Lord North, h\ a vote of 243 to 86, in 
the third year of the American war. That war, sir, as we all know, went on 
for four years longer, and ended at last in the eternal separation of the Thir- 
teen Colonies from the British Crown. So far as I am concerned, no similar 
result shall be the issue of our present unhappy war. 

But by speedy, honorable peace, conciliation, and adjustment alone, in my 
deliberate and most solemn judgment, now, as from the very first, can that 
calamity be averted. 


"dead-body" falsehood. 245 

No. XIX. The " Dead-Body " Falsehood. — An apology would be 
Deeded for alluding to so contemptible a matter as " the dead-body lie," were 
it not for its late revival in Congress. 

3Ir. Yallandigham is charged with having said at an Ohio caucus, in 
"Washington, December, 1860, that " before Federal troops should be permitted 
to pass through the Miami Valley, they must march over his dead body," 
Soon after the charge was first made, he denied it, saying in a published 
card, "It is a speech of intense stupidity, which I never, at any time, in any 
place, in any shape or form, uttered in my life." An attempt has since been 
made to prove the charge by the certificates of Abolition members of Con- 
gress, who were at the caucus. On the other hand, Mr. Pendletox and Mr, 
Cox declared in the House, on the 28th of February', 1863, that they heard 
Mr. Vallandigham's remarks, on the occasion referred to, and that he used 
no such language. Mr. V. himself explained, in the same debate, that similar 
language was used about the same time in the Senate, by a Senator, whose 
remarks and his own were some months afterward confounded. — See Con- 
gressional Globe, 1860-61, p. 144. 

We now add conclusive proof of the falsity of the charge from Abolition 
authority. The Washington correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial, 
W. D. BiCKHAM, on the 18th of December, the day after the caucus, telegraphed 
the following to that paper. Mr. B., it should be observed, was not at the 
caucus; he received his information only from those who have since certified to 
the lie. The heading is : 

" Vallandigham re-defines and modifies his position. He is anxioiis that the 
Miami Valley shall not be the battle-ground between the North and the South." 

The correspondent says : 

" Vallandigham said, if South Carolina assailed the Government forts and 
killed troops, he would treat her as he would treat any other foreign nation 
under similar circumstances. But if war was waged on her merely to keep her 
in the Union, Kepublicans might fight the battle, but should not make the 
Miami Valley the battle-grounds 

The next day, the same correspondent wrote a report of the caucus debate, 
which appeared in the Commercial, of December 22, 1860. He says, his 
information was " carefully collated from both sides ;" and it is substantially 
correct, except that Mr. Vallandigham declined to discuss the abstract right 
of secession. He says: 

Our friend Gurley took occasion to run a tilt in warlike vein, and our 
frank friend Vallandigham, who detests any thing like an unfair advantage in 
politics, went to work with the sword, with which the North-west proposes 
" to cleave her way to the sea-shore " — under certain important conditions. 
"Vail" took his peculiar views of the case, and, according to his colleagues, 
on the Democratic side of the House, quite dispassionately reviewed the pre- 
mises, and concluded that a State has a right to secede, and what is com- 
monly called " coercing a State " is not exactly the thing. If South Car- 
olina murdered our troops at Fort Moultrie, he would treat her as a foreign 
enemy, but unless she committed some " overt act," he would not countenance 
war upon her [nobody proposed to do so]; and he gave notice that if there 
was war upon such conditions, the Kepublicans might fight the battle. They 
might have transit through the Miami Valley, provided they would not disturb 
any body; but they should not make the Miami Valley their battle-ground." 


And yet, Edgkrton, Gurley, Blake, Tueakkr, Ashley, Hutchins, 
and BiNfiiiAM, two years afterward, have assumed to "certify" to the false- 
hood. They forgot the old saying, that a certain class of men ought to have 
good memories. 

No. XX. Keception at Home.— On the 13th of March, 1863, Mr. 
Vallandigham returned to his home, in Dayton, Ohio. An immense 
crowd mot and welcomed him at the depot. It seemed as if every man, 
woman and child in the district had come out to do honor to this champion 
advocate of Constitutional rights. A reception speech was made by Hon. 
David A. Houk, in which, addressing Mr. Vallandiquam, he said: 

You, sir, have been a faithful sentinel upon the watch-tower of public lib- 
erty, and in the darkest hour of the night, and when the storms of popular 
fury raged most tiercel_y, have kept the light of hope burning, and have 
promptly, fearlessly, and resolutely, sounded the alarm upon every approach 
to danger. 

An ancient Jewish King, upon a memorable occasion, called all the Princes 
of Israel, the captains, the stewards of all the substance of his household, and 
of his children, and all the valiant men unto Jerusalem. 

And when he had assembled them about him, he stood up and said : "Hear me, 
my brethren and my people; as for me, I had it in my heart to build a house 
of rest, for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God, 
and had made ready for the building — but God said unto me, 'Thou shalt not 
build a house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast 
shed blood.' " 

When the shattered temple of Constitutional liberty shall be recojistructed in 
this country, it \olll not be done by the men of blood. 

You, sir, have not been unmindful of those divine admonitions, and of the 
promises of the gospel of peace, as uttered by Him who said: "Blessed are the 
pe.'ice-makers, for they shall be called the children of God." 

It is the determination of the Democratic party to maintain free speech, a 
free press, and a free ballot, at all hazards. I am for obedience to all laws, 
and for requiring the men in power to obey them. I would try all questions 
of Constitution and law before the Courts, and then enforce the decrees of the 
Courts. I am for trj-ing all political questions by the ballot. I would resist 
no law by force, but would endure almost every other wrong as long as free 
discussion, free assemblages of the people, and a free ballot remain, but the 
moment they are attacked, I would resist. We have a right to change 
Administrations, policies, and parties, not by forcible revolution, but by the 
ballot-box; and this right must be maintained at all hazards. 

Keferring to the Conscription Bill, he said : 

The three-hundred-dollar provision is a most unjust discrimination against 
the poor. 1 propose that the City Council of Dayton appropriate money enough, 
and vote a tax for it, to release the city from the draft, and thus spare the 
lives and limbs of those citizens who are too poor to pay. I would recommend 
the same measure to Cincinnati, Chicago, and other cities of the Xorlh. The 
tax will equalize the burden, and make the rich pay some part of that "last 
dollar." Three hundred dollars, too, is just the price fixed, by an Abolition 
Congress, for the emancipated negroes of the District of Columbia. It is 7iow 
the price of blood. The Admi?iistration says to every mayi between twenty ayid 
forty-five, three hundred dollars or your life. A tax by every city, 
township and county is just the way to meet and equalize the demand. 


No. XXI. Eight to Keep and Bear Arms. — On the 21st of March, 
1863, a very large Democratic meeting was held at Hamilton, Ohio. Mr. 
Vallandigham was one of the speakers, and in the course of his remarks, 
commented, in the following terms, upon a military order recently issued at 
Indianapolis. He said: 

I will not speak disrespectfully of Colonel Carrington. He and I served 
pleasantly together in the militia of Ohio, on the peace establishment (laughter,) 
and I found him always gentlemanly in his deportment. I am glad to learn 
that he is still so regarded at Indianapolis. How could he have issued such 
an order? I know he is "great" on general orders; but such a one passes 
my comprehension. I am sure he can not want to do wrong, for he must 
know that two years hence, under the legislation of the late Congress, a 
Democratic President or Secretary of War — and who knows but I may be 
Secretary myself? (laughter and cheers) — can strike his name from the roll 
without even a why or wherefore. It should be well for all ambitious 
military gentlemen just now to recollect this small fact, and confine them- 
selves strictly to their legal and Constitutional military duties, and to allow 
others to enjoy their opinions and civil rights unmolested. But to the order. 
Here it is: 

" Headquarters United States Torces, "t 
Indianapolis, Ind., March 17, 1863. / 

" General Order No. 15. 

"I. The habit of carrying arms upon the person has greatly increased" — 

Well, 60 it has, and in times of threats and danger like these, it ought to, 
and in spite of all "orders," it will increase — 

"And is prejudicial to peace and good order" — 

Sir, restore to us peace and good order, and we will lay aside all arms, and 
be glad of the chance. (Great applause.) 

"As well as a violation of civil law " — 

I deny it ; but, if so, who gave authority to this gentleman to lecture on 
civil law in a military order? — 

" Especially at this time, it is unnecessary, impolitic, and dangerous." 

Was ever the like heard or read of before? "At this time" — at a time 
when Democrats are threatened with violence everywhere; when mobs are 
happening every day, and Democratic presses destroyed ; when secret societies 
are being formed all over the country to stimulate to violence; when, at hotels 
and in depots, and in railroad cars and on the street corners, Democrats are 
scowled at and menaced, a military order coolly announces that it is unneces- 
sary, impolitic, and dangerous to carry arms ! And who signs this order ? 
"Henry B. Carrington, Colonel 18th U. S. Infantry, Comma ndi7ig " — 

Commanding what? The 18th U. S. Infantry, or at most the United States 
forces of Indiana — but not the people, the free white American citizens of 
American descent, not in the military service. That is the extent of his 
authority, and no more. And now, sir, I hold in my hand a general order 
also— an order binding on all military men and all civilians alike — on colonels 
and generals and commanders-in-chief— State and Federal. (Applause.) 
Hear it : 

" The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" 
By order of the States and people of the United States. George Washington, 
commanding. (Great cheering.) 

That, sir, is General Order No. 1 — the Constitution of the United States. 
(Loud cheers.) Who now is to be obej^ed — Carrington or Washington? 

But I have another " order " yet. 

" The people have a right to bear aryns for their defense and sectcrity, and 
the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power." (Kenewed 

That, sir, is General Order No. 2— the Constitution of Ohio, by order of tho 


people of Ohio. Here, sir, Jire our warrants for keeping and bearing arms, 
and by the blessing of God, we mean to do it ; and if the men in power 
undertake in an evil hour to demand them of us, we will return the ISpartau 
answer, "Come and take them." 

But Colonel Cnrrington's order proceeds: 

"The Major-Gineral commanding the Department of the Ohio." 

Commanding whom, again I ask? Only the military forces of the Depart- 
ment of Ohio, but not a single citizen in it — 

" Having ordered that all sales of arms, powder, lead and percussion caps 
be prohibited until .further orders." 

AVhere, sir, is the law for all that? Are we a conquered province governed 
by a military proconsul? And so then it has come to this, that the Constitu- 
tion is now su.spended by a military General Order, No. 15! 8ir, the Consti- 
tutional right to keep and bear arms carries with it the right to buy and sell 
arms ; and tire-arms are useless without powder, lead and percussion caps. It 
is our right to have them, and we mean to obey Greneral Orders Nos. 1 and 2, 
instead of No. 15. (Loud applause.) 

But I read further — "and that any violation of said order will bo followed 
by the confiscation of the goods sold, and the seizure of the stock of the 

Is the man deranged ? Omfiscation, indeed 1 "Why, sir, the men who are 
clothed now with a little brief authority seem to think of nothing except 
taxation, emancipation, confiscation, conscription, and every other word ending 
in t-i-o-n. (Laughter.) But General Order No. 1 says, "No man shall be 
deprived of property without due process of law|" and General Order No. 1 
says, " Private property shall ever be held inviolate, and every person, for an 
injury done him in his land, goods, person, or reputation, shall have remedy 
by due course of law." And though the writ of habeas corpus may be sus- 
pended, the writs of replevin and injunction can not be. (Cries of " Good, 

But Order No. 15 proceeds: "And said order having been extended, by the 
Major-General, to cover the entire department, is hereby promulged." 

Yes, promulged — " for immediate observance throughout the State." 

Can military insolence go further? Is this the way the military is to be in 
strict subordination to the civil power? And does the colonel commanding the 
18th U. S. Infantry thus undertake to "promulge" a general order suspending 
or abrogating the Constitution of the United iStates and of Indiana? Are we 
living in America or Austria? 

And now the fitting commentary on all this attempt to disarm the white 
man, while public arms are being put into the hands of the negro, is in the 
second section of this General Order No. 15, alluding to the recent destruction 
of a Democratic printing press, by what the colonel commanding the 18th U. 
S. Infantry, drawing it mild after the fashion of Sarey Gamp, calls a "popular 
demonstration ;" and yet nut one of the perpetrators of this outrage, although 
soldiers, and under military law, have been punished, nor ever will be. Yet at 
just such a time of lawless violence, it is proposed that the people shall be dis- 
armed. Never. (Loud cheers.) 

Sir, I repeat now what I believe to be the true programme for these times: 
Try every question of law in your Courts, and every question of politics before 
tlie people, and through the ballot-box; maintain your Constitutional civil 
rights, at all hazards, against military usurpation. Let there be no resistance 
to law, but meet and repel all mobs and mob violence by force and arms on 
the spot. (Great and continued cheering.) 




This work has been carefully edited, and presents fairly and correctly the political record and 
position of a man whose views in regard to the causes of our National troubles, and the right 
remedies for them, are attracting an extraordinary amount of public attention. It contains full 
and accurate copies of Mr. Vail.4.ndigii.vm's principal speeches on Abolition, the Union, and 
THE Civil Wae, also parts of many other speeches, ■with Letters, Incidents, Votes, etc. 


No. I.— HISTORY OF THE ABOLITION MOVEMENT. Speech at a Democratic Meeting 
in Dayton, Ohio, October 29th, 1805. 

FOR HERSELF. Speech in the House of Representatives, December 15th, 1859. 

No. III.— HOW SHALL THE UNION BE PRESERVED ? Speech in the House of Representa- 
tives, February 20th, 18G1. 

No. IV.— EXECUTIVE USURPATION. Speech in House of Representatives, July 10th, 18C1. 



No. VII.— STATE OF THE COUNTRY. Speech in Dayton, August 2d, 1862. 



No. X.— THE GREAT CIVIL WAR IN AMERICA. Speech in the House of Representa- 
tives, January 14th, 1S03. 

No. XI.— THE CONSCRIPTION BILL. Speech in the House of Representatives, I'eb. 23d, 1863. 


1.— Opposition to the Wilmot Proviso. 2.— Petitions to dissolve the Union. 3.— The Mexican 
War, 1846-7. 4. — As Editor of the Dayton Empire. 5.— Compromise Me.isures of 1850. 
The Second Compromise Meetins. fi. — Nominated for Conpress. 7. — Election to Congress- 
Commencement of Congressional L;ibois. 8.— The Ohio Rebellion— 1857. 9.— The "John 
Brown Raid "—1850. 10.— Suj)pre8sing Newsjiapers in the Post-ofRee. 11.— Campaign of 
1860. 12.— After the Election of 18(iO. l.i.—Tlie Anti-Compromise and Secession Winter of 
1860-1. 14. — Votes upon tlie Various Compromise 3leasures 15. — The Affair nt Camp Upton. 
16. — Peace for the sake of tlie Union. 17.— Slavery in the District of Columbia. 18.— Peace 
Resolutions. 19.— The " Dead-Body" Falsehood. 20.— Reception at Home. 21.— Right to 
Keep and Bear Arms. 

The work is on good, stibstantial paper, 248 pages, large 8vo., and contains a very finely execu- 
ted steel-engraved likeness of Mr. Vallandiqham. 

Price, retail, paper covers, 60 cts. Cloth, $1 00. 

Delivered by mail or express, pre-paid, on receipt of price. 

Wholesale, paper, $5 GO a dozen. Cloth, $8 00 a dozen, 

Transportation to be paid by the purchaser. 
Published and sold by 

J. T^ ALTER, & CO., Cineinnati. 


CINCINNATI— Rickey & Carroll; J. P. Walsh & Co. 
COLU.MBUS— J. H. RiLF.Y & Co.; The Crisis Office. 

DAYTtJN— The Empire Office. CHICAGO— The Times Office. 

NEW YORK— D. AiTLETos & Co.; The Mason Brothers. 
And of Booksellers and Periodical Agents generally.