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Full text of "Speech of Hon. John L. Dawson, of Pennsylvania, on the state of the Union. Delivered in the House of Representatives, January 31, 1866"

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T!ie House being in Committee of the Wliole on the state of the Unioa — Mr. 
DAWS(,)N said : 

Mr. Speaker: In venturirig to claim the attcnsion of the House 
and speak to the state of the nation, I feel it a circumstance de- 
manding my first and most grateful recognition that we are here 
once more to legislate for a united country. Next to the over- 
throw of the Government and the ruin of "the country, the great- 
est of national calamities is a great civil war, . AVith the legions of 
miseries which hang around the march of hostile armies four 
years of carnage had made us so familiar that we had begun to 
grow callous under the repeated exhibition. Death on the most 
extended scale, numbereng its victims by thousands, inflicted by 
the bullet, by disease, and by famine ; mutilation in every horrid 
form; households stricken by the loss of, friends, and under the 
dark shadow of inconsolate grief — these are but a few of the sad 
incidents to war, and most of all to war between brethren. 

For this propitious result I deem it proper to render, w^ith 
prompt and unfaltering heartiness, my tribute of praise to that 
valor, skill, aud endurance of our armies which have been ex- 
hibited since the outbreak of the rebellion. It is a matter of 
'common pride, and not of party triumph, that through all the 
trials of the war order in general prevailed in the North. Sup- 
ported by the love of country, the people of the North have pa- 
tiently borne, in the invasion of their rights of person andjjroperty, 
and in new modes of trial, flagrant abuses of power. 

In common with the great party to which I belong, I have 
differed from the directors of our national councils as to the orig- 
inal necessity for the war ; as to its purposes when undertaken ; as 
to the measures adopted for securing the proposed results ; and 
to the necessity of protracting the struggle, at such frightful ex- 
penditure of blood aud treasure, to its recent close. I have 

heretofore declared my faith in the efficacy of a different policy, 
in securing, at an early day, e%^ery legitimate and proper result ; 
and I am still of opinion that, if the policy of peace upon the con- 
stitutional basis had been assented to, peace might have been 
had two years eailier, with a saving of the horrible bloodshed 
which we have witnessed since, involving a quarter of a million of 
lives ; with a saving of one half the war debt, and of that terrible 
and almost irreparable destruction of property, and that political 
and social disorganization which are the legacies entailed by the 
war upon the statesmen of to-day. But peace, though gained even 
at such tremendous sacrifices, is yet not the less precious, not the 
less grateful. But now that the war has reached its close, it ap- 
pears to me that the country, with a view to the preservation of 
everything valuable in our institutions, had never more need of 
calm and enlightened action on the part of its rulers. In returning 
to that normal condition from which we were so rudely jostled 
by late occurrences, it is incumbent on us to meet the new con- 
dition of things with a spirit alike tenacious of established p)rin- 
ciples, and averse to precipitate change under the imputed 
character of reform. We must see to it that the grand features 
of our political system, conceived in such wisdom by the fathers, 
and the liberties of the American citizen, inherited mainly from 
our ancestors, may be preserved in their purity and vigor, with- 
out any taint of feebleness or stain upon their luster. 

I do not say that it is entirely practicable to rid ourselves of 
partisan prejudice, but we must do so if we would see our con- 
clusions verified by time. The petty passions of the hour must be 
discarded, when our deli1)eratioos are to affect not only the pres- 
ent, but unborn generations. We may all concede to our ex- 
tremest opponents the merit of upright intentions ; but we are 
equally to remember, that well intentioned ignorance has tilled 
the world with suffering. This is a truth emblazoned, in melan- 
choly characters, upon every page of history. Plence the necessity, 
in a great juncture like the present, of obtaining fall and correct 
information upon the issues which we have to settle; of contem- 
plating with such breadth of vision, the material facts of the 
situation, as shall enable us truly to apprehend their bearings 
and relations. For the views which I now advance I assume no 
other merit than that of a careful, earnest, and, so far as I am- 
conscious, of a disinterested examination of the subjects which 
are now the center of the common interest. 

The close of the war, then, finds us surrounded with a set of 
questions of the highest importance. The true theory of our 
Government often announced, and often, alas ! lost sight of, must 
be pcrseveringly reasserted and maintained. A solution must 
be found for the problem of our national debt and finances, so 
that the country may be relieved of its burdens, and again enjoy 
a currency of intrinsic value, as contemplated by the Constitu- 
tion. Our domestic and foreign trade must be settled upon the 
basis of sound economical principles, and restored to those bar- 

monizing and frnctifyina: channels from which nnhappy events 
have diverted them. The privileges and immunities of the 
American citizen must be bo clearly defined that they may be 
secure from usurpation in war as well as in peace. The limits of 
martial law must be settled with such distinctness that it may 
not be permitted to supplant the civil, and that it may not be 
stretched by the hand of power to Y>artisan purposes and individ- 
ual oppression. The Union must be restored upon the constitu- 
tional basis of absolute and perfect equality of the States. The 
restoration should be immediate and the reunion cordial. The 
dignity of the country, as well as its safety, must further be sup- 
ported by the unqualified re-assertion of the Monroe doctrine. 

It would be a fatal error to suppose that now that the war has 
been concluded under a Republican Administration the popular 
seal has been set upon the Federal theory of consolidation. Those 
who entertain this idea must remember that the popular support 
of the war was prompted by the determination to preserve the 
integrity of the Union. No sanction was thereby intended of 
any change in the Constitution, either in letter or by construction. 

I maintain, sir, and it has ever been maintained by the Demo- 
cratic party, that the State-rights doctrines, properly stated, pre- 
sent the true theory of the Government. The question arose in 
the contest between Jeiferson and Adams in 1801, and the elec- 
tion of Mr. Jefi"erson was a popular vindication of these doctrines 
as against the Hamiltonian theory of centralization supported by 
Mr. Adams. 

TJie Federal idea, which it was attempted to realize by a lat- 
itudinarian construction of the Constitution, was that of a consol- 
idated system of government, in which the nndeligated powers 
of the States were to be absorbed, and the spirit of monarchy to 
be thus infused into our democratic forms. The assumption by 
the central power of the disposition of those details which the 
Constitution left to the States was to operate, as far as the Statee 
were concerned, as a consolidated despotism. It was the favorite 
tenet of the Federal faith that force or interest were the only 
successful means of governing men. Force being excluded by 
the nature of the case, the resort was necessarily to the influences 
of corruption ; and Government patronage in its multifarious 
branches and details, was to crown the execution of the plan. 
As far as Hamilton's influence extended, and it was very potent, 
this turn had been given to the policy of the first Administration 
under Washington. Hence the bitterness with which they con- 
tested every inch of debatable ground. Historically, and in the 
light of the simple facts, there could be no doubt of the correct- 
ness of the Democratic view. 

The States or colonies had been independent of each other be- 
fore the Revolution, each owing allegiance only to the British 
Crown. When by the success of the Revolution, that allegiance 
became severed, the sovereignty, which before resided in the 
monarch, reverted to each independent community or State. 

In acceding to the new Government, the States acted upon their 
own separate responsibilities as sovereignties, and not by a sim- 
ultaneous act of the people of all the States as individuals. 
When, then, we seek to ascertain tlif^ kind of Government which 
they adopted, we have only to turn to the provisions of the char- 
ter by which they agreed to be bound. We there find that they 
surrendered the control, as separate communities, over certain 
subjects, the disposition of which they determined to be more 
wisely vested in a central Government. In so doing, the sover- 
eignty of the peoples of the several States, and their allegiance 
became a divided one. The sovereignty, within the sphere of 
the granted powers, was in the central Government, and allegi- 
ance due to it within that sphere. As to the powers not speci- 
fically granted in the charter, they remained with the States, in 
which they had always been, constituting the State sovei-eignty, 
which righttully claims, within the sphere of the reserved or un- 
granted powers, the allegiance and rightful obedience of every 
citizen within their respective territories. 

This was the true Democratic doctrine in the days of Jefferson, 
and it is the true Democratic doctrine now. Extreme men of the 
Federal school, from that day to this, have ignored State rights, 
while extreme men of the opposite view have repudiated the au- 
thority of the central Government in cases where it properly ex- 
ists. Jefferson assumed his position between these two extremes 
of consolidation and secession. In that " golden mean" he planted 
the party of which he was the illustrious founder, and there it 
has ever since remained. His policy was conservative alike of 
the constitutional powers of the central government and of those 
of the States, and opposed to the extreme Federalist and extreme 
State-sovereignty men. 

The Virginia and Kentucky resolutions of 179S, which embody 
the doctrine of State-rights, were commented upon by President 
Johnson in his able speech in the Senate in 1861. He stated 
with fidelity their true history and meaning. 

The views of the extreme State-sovereignty men, as reduced 
to practice in the act of secession, have been suppressed by 
physical force, and the just authority of the Government has 
been successfully and rightfully re-established. But the doctrine 
of State rights is in nowise atiected by the result. It remains 
the only trfie and stable foundation of our republican system. 
State rights comprehend that portion of the State sovereignty not 
delegated by the Constitution to the Federal Government, and 
the two expressions are of co- extensive and identical import. 
That the States are sovereign in this sense ; that is as possessing 
all the undelegated powers of sovereignty; it is late in the day to 
question. The Union was thus the result of mutual concession ; 
and from the testimony of its founders could not have been 
formed in any other way. 

The country, although relieved by the war, is without a reli- 
able currencv. Gold, as the constitutional standard of value, 

has been departed from, and a currency immensely inflated, 
based on the national debt, has taken its place. It has further 
to struggle with the great and galling evils induced by the con- 
traction of a war debt so vast that the mind sinks in tlie effort to 
grasp its magnitude. Instead of adhering to a currency of the 
constitutional standard, the precious metals or paper convertible 
into them at the will of the holder, resort was had to paper which 
represented no value in the possession of the Government, which 
was inconvertible, and represented only so much public indebt- 

It could not have been through ignorance that Mr. Chase, the 
financial minister, inaugurated this expedient at the sacrifice of 
the constitutional currency by the introduction of the legal ten- 
der. It was nt)t only a violation of the Constitution, but confis- 
cation of private estates, an unsettling of all values, and a fatal 
smb at the foundation of finiincial integrity. Our own revolu- 
tionary experience must have been present to his mind. The dis- 
astrous experience of France under Laid, Necker, Turgot, and 
Colonne, was uttering through the voice of history its decisive 
condemnation of the plan. He has then in defiance of such ex- 
perience and constitutional obligation committed the country to 
a scheme calculated long to embarrass his successors, and from 
which the present generation will in vain look for relief. 

In January, 1861, the circulation of all the banks in the Uni- 
ted States was $202,005,000. The amount of specie in the banks 
was 887,674,000. The currency was gold or convertible paper, 
at the will of the holder. The expenditures of the Government 
were at the same time about $83,000,000 per annum, which was 
fully met by the revenue, and there was but about $75,000,000 
of public debt. At the present time the Government debt, on 
the 3l8t October, 1865, is stated at $2,7-10,851,750. Add to this 
$600,000,000, which it wall take to equalize bounties, together 
with the millions that will be required to pay damages to the 
property of loyal men occasioned by the armies, with the addi- 
tional millions to pay pensions, and we have a debt equaled only 
by that of Great Britain, contracted in centuries of foreign wars. 
The estimated expenses for the present fiscal year, as stated in 
the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, are $857,921,717 47. 
To meet these and discharge the interest on the public debt, we 
have only the receipts, actual and estimated, the current fiscal 
year, from customs, of $147,009,583 03, the inconsiderable re- 
ceipts from the public lands amounting to $632,890 63, from di- 
rect tax $31,111 30, and those from internal revenue amounting 
to $271,618,885 65, and from miscellaneous sources to $48,393,- 
729 94. The balance, amounting to $389,377,207 77, is re- 
duced, by the application of $277,182,260 57 of borrowed mo- 
ney, to the sum, as stated by the Secretary of the Treasury, of 
$112,194,947 20, which is still to! be provided for in the method 
adopted by Mr. Chase of Government loans or inconvertible 
promises to pay. 


It is the evil of paper currency, that while the debt of the 
country represented by bonds and bills, is but a substitute for 
capital, in the absence of any check arising from the necessity 
of redemption in specie, it is continually tending to augmentar 
tion. This is because inflation first raises prices, and more in- 
flation is demanded at each step of the progress. With a given 
amount of circulation, prices at once adjust themselves to that 
amount ; but when this is once done, the increase of the circula- 
tion goes no further than the circulation before the inflation. 
Hence the same reason which begot the first inflation, begets a 

It is obvious that under the system which has thus been fas- 
tened on the country there must be a deficit, not only the pres- 
sent year, but for years to come. A regard to sound principles 
iinpcatively requires, that, unless we are content to run along 
the high-road to bankruptcy and ruin and practical repudiation, 
ailequate provision should be made for discharging with cer- 
tainty and promptness, the annual interest upon every addition 
to tlie public indebtedness. It is equally necessary that a ,rigid 
system of retrenchment and economy should be adopted in every 
branch of the public service, that the Government expenditures 
should be reduced to the minimum consistent with the interests 
of the country. 

A sinking fund should also be provided for the gradual extin- 
guishment of the principal of the debt, that the people may have 
some assurance that, though the process may be slow and the end 
remote, the yoke of this terrible burden may not press upon the 
necks of themselves and descendants forever; and yet the agents 
of the government, the especial pets of Mr. Chase, appeal to the 
people for increased loans upon the distinct assertion that the na- 
tional debt is a "national blessing." That public loans should be 
asked on such a plea as this is a marvel. The audacity of the pro- 
positon is without a parallel. In support of this reckless maxim, 
tlie over-zealous agent refers his countrymen to the example of 
England. Instead of being an example of a national debt being 
a national blessing she has been the victim of a national debt. 
V/ith vast advantage in geographical position, girt with oceans 
and channels, she has heretofore controlled the commerce of the 
world. With a sturdy and skillful population, with hills and 
mines of developed minerals, and a Government that has stood 
defiantly the slow evolution of a thousand years, yet her lands 
are monopolized by a population not exceeding thirty thousand 
in number. The great mass of the population of twenty-seven 
millions are but tenantry and operatives. Mr. Gladstone, in May, 
1864, declared in a speech in the British Parliament that less than 
one fiftieth part of the working men in England are in the enjoy- 
ment of the franchise. 

The Chairman of the Ways and Means, and now[of Appropria- 
tions, [Mr. Stevens,] has boldly stated that the present taxes 
must be doubled or the debt repudiated. 


A wise statesmanship, while encouraging, by adjusting oppres- 
sive taxes and inconsiderate restrictions upon our variegated in- 
dustry, and developing our resources, agricultural as well as man- 
ufacturing, may yet lighten, in a very great degree, the burdens 
of the people ; but to double the present tax will be more than the 
straw that breaks the camel's back. As a representative of Pennsyl- 
vania — the greatest of the States in the material from which wealth 
is created and whose industry is largely engaged in manufactures — 
I confess to a just pride in her position. I am proud of her stur- 
dy, intelligent, and enterpising population, and earnestly seek the 
promotion of all her great interests. We cannot, however, shut 
our eyes to the new condition of things which has been forced 
upon us by recent events and by the general progress of the world. 
Slavery having been extinguished in the South, she will demand 
more streneously than ever the abolishment of commercial re- 
strictions by the ISTorth. The West, an empire-within herself, with 
a voice which it will be impossible to deny, will join in the same 
demand. It is therefore our policy to appreciate our natvii-al ad- 
vantages, and to moderate our demands to the realities which are 
before us. The recent experience of other countries appears to 
be decisive in favor of a liberal commerce. It was lately sliown 
by Mr. Gladstone, the enlightened Chancellor of the Englisli Ex- 
chequer, that a wonderful development of the commercial ener- 
gies of that country has taken place since the relaxation of the 
Government restrictions. The masses of England, under tlielead 
of Peel and Cobden, demanded cheap bread. The masses of this 
country demand cheap fabrics as well as cheap bread. 

Similar financial and commercial pil^sperty have been ]>resent- 
ed in France by the policy, carefully modeled after the English 
system, which has been adopted since the accession of the present 
Emperor; her commercial development has outstripped the ex- 
pectations of even the most sanguine; and while yielding a reve- 
nue greater than ever before, the per>ple have been materially re- 
lieved of the burdens of taxation. Commerce, it must be remem- 
bered, has given life and prosperity to every nation to the exact 
extent in which each has enjoyed it. The ships of all civilized 
nations now meet, more than ever, in friendly rivalry upbn every 
sea. The share of trade, however, which will fall to each nation 
will be determined by the natui'al resources, the development, 
and enliglitened and liberal policy of each. England has grown 
preeminentely great by her commerce. The commerce (^f India, 
probably the oldest of all countries in civilzation, the most numer- 
ous in population, and the -greatest in the value of its products 
for exchange, has enriched, successively, Tyre and Sidon and 
Alexandria, Byzantium and Carthage, and in modern times has 
poured its rich streams into Portugal, Holland and Venice, Lon- 
don and Paris and New York. 

Etigand, we shall not soon forget, sowed the seeds of our dis- 
content, with the view of annihilatng our republican example 
and our commercial importance. She pursued her object with 



sncli zenl and eiu>rgy thtit slavery, the app]e of discord, has dis- 
appeared fi'oui our poliiical contests and left us a great and 
powerful nation. In the future our progress will be steady and 
advancing. New York is rapidly attracting to herself tlie im- 
portance of London, must soon become fhe great distributing com- 
mercial center of the world, and the British Government will yet 
be revolutionized by the force of our republican example. 

Now, that the rebellion has been suppressed, we are to look 
with careful solicitude that the genius of our Government is not 
changed in the operation. The growth of the war power, under 
the despotic plea of "necessity," had come to overshadow the 
liberty of the citizen to such an extent that we seemed rather the 
subjects of imperial sway than members of a democratic Republic, 
'whose rights and privileges are defined and guarantied by a Mn-it- 
ten charter in the most solemn form known among men. But 
wdiat avail written charters or established rights when they may 
be set aside by the stroke of a cabinet minister's or a presidential 
pen? What is this but the exercise of the principle of imperial- 
ism ? For that principle, as laid down by Justinian in his Insti- 
tutes, is '"'■ Quod placuit principi habet legis vigoretYir what pleases 
the prince has the force of law. If this kind of administration is 
sanctioned, our written charters will become obsolete. They will 
remain a dead letter in the volume of the fundamental law\ They 
"will have become out-grown and superseded by a new system of 
extra-constitutional practices. Our people have, therefore, to 
"watch narrowly, that in conquering the South we have not con- 
quered our liberties. i 

TIlis constitutional provisions guarantying the liberties of the 
American citizen are those contained in the fourth, fifth, and sixth 
articles of the amendments. They secure him in the possession 
of personal liberty and property, against unwarrantable search 
and seizure, and in the right to a trial by juiy. These are the 
American's birthright and the pillars which support our demo- 
cratic government. They are of such transcenclant importance 
that their violation is not to be tolerated for a moment, under 
whatever circumstances of popular excitement, or upon whatever 
pretext. In the night and storm of civil faction and ferment they 
are to the citizen Avhat the constellations are to the mariner. How- 
ever the tempest may rage, and the clouds obscure the face of the 
heavens, he knows that, so long as his guiding stars are visible, 
he is sure of his i-eckoning and can steer safely for " the haven 
where he would be." , 

There are a few points, which, if we are to remain a free peo- 
ple, must be understood by the humblest citizen. He should 
understand that the Constitution, and the laws made under it, 
are the only law of the land for all who have not voluntarily sub- 
jected themselves to another code. There is no other code ex- 
cept for the military and naval service, and, under certain cir- 
cumstances, nuirtial law. 

Military law is the code established under the authority of the 


Constitution for the government of the land and naval forces ; 
and martial law is that which is exercised by the commander of 
an army, in a state of war, over the territory which it occupies. 
It is the law of arbitrary discretion, of despotic power, and is, 
from the necessity of the case, the only law which can be exer- 
cised in conquered countries, in rebellions districts, in the camp, 
and in the field. Military law, administered upon its proper 
subjects, is a part of the law of the land. Where a party is 
properly subject to be tried by military or martial law, the tri- 
bunal and mode of procedure are those known to those species 
of law respectively. In all other cases, the Constitution declares 
that no person shall be held to answer for an infamous crime, un- 
less upon presentment by a grand jury, nor tried by a jury except 
in certain cases specified. This clause of the Constitution pre- 
vails at all times, and in all places, unless force or armed occu- 
pation set it aside, or unless the party to be tried has resigne'd 
his civil rights by becoming a soldier or a sailor. 

The state of martial law is incident to the locality in which 
armed forces are present in conflict, or on the march, or in prep- 
aration for conflict ; and the eftect is the suspension of civil law 
in that locality. The mere existence of a state of war does not 
supersede the Constitution and civil law anywhere else. Wher- 
ever the civil courts are open, and justice regularly adminis- 
tered, the civil procedure is that alone which is applicable to any 
one charged with an infamous crime. Tho civil law cannot be 
su])erseded or suspended throughout the country — not even by 
the President, as Commaudcr-in-Chief of the Army and Kavy, nor 
by Congress. 

Another of the great palladia of liberty, the hahea-'^ corpus writ, 
was indeed authorized by Congress to be suspended by the Pres- 
ident.' But this did not change the common law in regard to 
illegal arrests. Whoever, holding whatever executive position, 
shall order the arrest of a citizen upon a general warrant — that is, 
a warrant not assigning the cause of arrest, and not upon proba- 
ble cause supported by oath or aftirmation — is a tresspasser ; and 
no ofiicial character, and no imagined necessity, or expediency, 
can shield him from responsibility to the party injured. 

The tendency to abuse, which ever attends the possession of 
power, was the very cause why the great personal guarantees of 
which I have spoken were placed in the Constitution. It is true 
— and I would that every citizen of the laud was duly im- 
pressed with the fact — that the charter of our liberties is amply 
full and clear. But it is in vain that this is so, if we, for whose 
benefit it was intended, fail in the trying hour , to insist on its ob- 
servance. The existence of these aljuses is furnishing the new- 
est and strongest arguments to despotism. We seem to have 
forgotten the lessons of history — of that English history with 
which our fathers were so familiar. Wlien they inserted those 
priceless provisions in the Constitution, they had a vivid memory 
■of the glorious utterances of Magna Charta, sounding through 


centuries a voice to which every British descendant listens with 
an enchanted ear. They had a vivid memory of those engines 
of oppression which hrought the head of Charles I. to the block. 
I believe, sir, that at no time during the war has there been any 
occasion for a resort to instruments of that kind, and that the 
success of the war has not been in any measure due to their em- 

Whatever advantage, for a particular purpose, these methods 
may possess over the constitutional ones, they are against the 
spirit of our people and the nature of their institutions. It was, 
therefore, that the authors of our system made patriotic sacrilices 
for the sake of the greater good of preserving American freedom 
and manhood. 

So great have been the changes in the working of our institu- 
tions under the late Administration, so strong the tendencies to 
imperialism, that they have been commented upon by English 
statesmen, and regarded as conclusive proof that our Republic 
has already faded away as a thing of the ])ast, and that we are 
henceforth to be controlled by an absolute Government. 

Now, sir, it will be the fault and folly of our people, if they 
permit the flagrant abuse of legitimate powers, which character- 
ized the last Admihistration, to settle into established practice 
and permanent change of Government. Yet are the facts upon 
which I have commented sufficient to excite the deep concern 
of every one who loves his country and desires the perpetuity of 
her institutions. 

The war between sections in this country having closed, let us 
hope forever, it is our })art now to maintain our national tradi- 
tions, and seek the unmolested fulfillment of our mission. There 
is greater unanimity, perhaps, upon no one subject among our peo- 
ple, than upon that which claimed this continent for republicanism, 
free from European interposition. It needs no propliet to predict 
at no distant day voluntaiy aid to the Liberal cause from multi- 
tudes of disbanded soldiers, both Federal and confederate. This 
must bring the question of Maximilian's empire to a speedy solu- 
tion, either by the abandonment by Napoleon of his support, and 
the retirement of the Austrian prince, or to a declaration of war 
by Frau-ce to maintain his position. 

•Mr. Jefferson was the father of our policy of expansion. Ever 
since the publication of his views in 1808, and afterwards in his 
letter to Mr. Monroe, it has been the end of Englishmen to baffle 
the object. 

It is an undeniable fact that during the administration of Mr. 
Lincoln, in our diplomatic intercourse with foreign Powers, the 
Anjerican eagle has been made to bow his head and droop his 
plumes in humiliation and shame. 

When the House of liepresentatives assumed the indepen- 
dence to re-assert the Monroe doctrine, was not the full expression 
of congressional opinion upon the subject stifled in the Senate, 
and an apology forthwitli sent to Louis Napoleon? Later still, 


when Mr. Lincoln was rc-nominated at Baltimore, was not the 
nomination accepted bj him, with the exclusion of the resolution 
affirming the Monroe doctrine ? What is all this but a renuncia- 
tion of the favorite policy of expansion ? 

But what is there in ©ur history which makes the assertion of 
that principle less necessary now than at a former day ? The 
Monroe doctrine declared that this continent must be secure for 
the free development of republican institu.tions without European 
interposition. This doctrine, so eminently reasonable and just, 
had been afhrmed by onr most prominent statesmen, without dis- 
tinction of party, prior to 1861. Nor was there any imperative 
necessity for renouncing, or even waiving it; for the elements 
have all the time been in existence for checkmating the preten- 
sions of England and France. These were to be found in the 
friendship of Russia, and in the South American republics. Rus- 
sia has long been the terror of Vv^esteru Euroj)e ; and a league of 
the republics of the western continent would have rendered 
French tenure of Mexico a thing of the past. ,•. 

But the administration of Mr. Lincoln conceded the doctrine ; 
and the incipient step toward crippling, and if events should favor, 
of annihilating, American democracy by the establishment of ab- 
solutism in Mexico, was permitted to become a Gallic success. 

While such are the facts in regard to the Monroe doctrine, as 
presented by recent events, I am gratified to see that the Presi- 
dent, true to his early teachings, has shown a determination to 
maintain the national dignity and our ancient policy. 

It was not long since urged, with his peculiar force and elo- 
quence, by M. Thiers, in the French Chambers, that it was un- 
wise in France to favor the erection of a great independent 
Power on her own borders. He had allusion to the unification 
of Italy, but the remark has an application of strong significance 
for this country in reference to Mexico and Canada, which the 
Powers interested may do well to heed. The existence of a 
monarchy in Mexico on the south and of a monarchy in Canada 
on the north, thus girdling and hampering our republican enei-gies, 
is a restraint and a danger which cannot much longer be tolerated. 

I adhere, Mr. Speaker, to the declaration which I have made 
here before, that the late terrible war could have been avoided. 
But a President had been elected upon a revolutionary platform ; 
and the radical element in the North, stimulated by an unchris- 
tian tirade or appeal from the pulpit, united with an unbridled 
and arrogant element from the South, did the work of desolation 
and death ; and over the sad struggle the tears ot humanity must 
continually tlow. Perhaps it is charity to say that tlie bloody 
drama, in its progress and results, finds corresponding analogy 
in the storms of the physical world, which with divine mystery, 
purify while scattering destruction and death. 

The meddling of one-idea politicians with State institutions and 
property brought on the war ; and now that it is co ncluded the 
continue their agitations in the same mischievous spirit. In obe- 


dience to the teachings of the "higher law"- doctrines, thej post- 
pone all considerations to the realization of a legalized equality 
of races. Time was when the highest law which the good citizen 
could recognize in vol s^ed obedience to the paramount law of his 
country. But with the class of politicians under notice that no- 
tion has long been discarded as an antiquated error. 

It matters not that their principles were repudiated by all 
statesmen of both parties in the country. It raattefs not that 
this Government was made by and for the white race ; that the 
States reserved the right of making their local laws ; and that 
the Union could not otherwise have been formed. It matters 
not that a million of lives have been sacrificed in the effort to re- 
duce their pernicious theories to practice. Still they falter not in 
the contest ; still they hug to their bosoms the phantom of negro 
equality ; still thej claim for one section the right to control the 
local affairs of others. They hold that the white and black race 
are equal. This they maintain involves and demands social equal- 
ity ; that negroes should be received on an equality in white 
families, should b*e admitted to the same tables at hotels, should 
be permitted to occupy the same seats in railroad cars and the 
same pews in churches ; that they should be allowed to hold otH- 
ces ; to sit on juries, to vote, to be eligible to seats in the State and 
national Legislatures, and to be judges, or to make and expound 
laws for the government of white men. Their children are to at- 
tend the same schools with white children, and to sit side by side 
with them. Following close upon this will, of course, be marriages 
between the races, when, according to these philanthropic theo- 
rists, the prejudices of caste will at length have been overcome, 
and the negro, with the privilege of free miscegination accorded 
him, will be in the enjoyment of his true status. 

To future generations it will be a marvel in the history of 
our times, that a party whose tenets were such wild ravings and 
frightful dreams as these should be permitted, in their support, 
to urge the country into the hugest and most destructive of civil 
wars, and should, when war was inaugurated, be permitted to 
shape its policy in furtherance of their peculiar ends. For the 
full realization of tlieir plans, they are ready to sacrifice 
not only our priceless system of government, but even our social 
superiority itself. 

We Jiave to remember, on tlie otlier hand, that negro equality 
does not exist in nature. The African is without a history. He 
has never shown himself capable of self-government by the crea- 
tion of a single independent State possessing the attributes which 
challenge the resjject of others. The past is silent of any negro 
people who possessed military and civil organization, who culti- 
vated the arts at home, or conducted a regular commerce with 
their neighbors. No African general has marched south of the 
desert, from the waters of the Nile to the Niger and Senegal, 
to unite by conquest the scattered territories of barbarous 
tribes into one great and homogeneous kingdom. No Moses, 


Solon, Lycnrojiis, or Alfred, has left them a code of wise and salu- 
tary laws. They have had no builder of cities ; they have no rep- 
resentatives in the arts, in science, or in literature ; they 
have been without even a monument, an alphabet, or a hiero- 

Civilization among the whites has indeed, been a thing of pro- 
gress ; but that progress has been steady and sure. When Ju- 
lius Caesar landed in Britain he found the Britons savages, paint- 
ed warriors.' Four hundred years after, Ilengist and Horsa made 
a lodgement upon the island, and their Saxon followers laid the 
foundation of English civilization. And let it be rcmeml^ered 
that this was by no means the commencement of civilization. 
Before this, Cicero, in the midst of an intelligence transmitted 
from northern Africa to Greece, and from Greece to Kome, had 
electrified the Roman Senate with his eloquence and Cato had dig- 
nified it with his justice. Long before this Plato had taught his 
divine philosophy, and Homer had published his immortal song, 
in that immortal language, too, in which St, Paul gave his reli- 
gion to the world. The African was yet not so far away in his 
Libyan home but he might have heard the clinking of the liam- 
mers upon the walls of Alexandria, as they rose in architectural 
beauty and commercial grandeur at the mouth of the Nile, or of 
Thebes, with her hundred gates, higher up. He might have heard 
of tlie pyramids, those vast structures which have excited tlie 
wonder of the centuries which have rolled over them since their 
erection by the Ptolemies. But the negro is to this day, in Af- 
ca, a savage and a cannibal. 

It is impossible tliat two distinct races should exist harmoni- 
ously in the same country, on the same footing of equality by 
the law. The result must be a disgusting and deteriorating 
admixture of races, such as is presented in the Spanish States 
of x\merica by the crossing of the Castilian with the Aztec 
and the negro. The jiirejudice of color is one of those facts 
implanted b}' Providence for wise purposes. Among others it 
is doubtless for the purpose of preserving a race homogeneous, 
which is the source of its true strength and permanent improve- 
ment. Physiologists instruct us that a race may be improved by 
the union of valuable qualities among the same race or others of 
similar characteristics but not by the indiscriminate amalgamation 
of superior with greatly inferior races. It is the homogeneous ra- 
ces which have controlled the world. The Jew, though without a 
country and everywhere the object of prejudice, yet maintains 
his physical and mental excellence even to the present day ; 
and it is because he intermarries chiefly with his own race. The 
Anglo-Saxon, the dominant and most advanced in civilization 
upon the globe, owes its superiority to its homogeneity or al- 
liance with others of kindred excellence. 

We have, then, to insist upon it that this Government was 
made for tlie white race. It is our mission to maintain it. Ne- 
gro suffrage and equality arc incompatible with that mission. 


We must make our own laws and shape our own destiny. Ise- 
gro suffrage will, in its tendency, force down the Anglo-Saxon 
to the negro level, and result inevitably in amalgamation and 
deterioration of our race. The proud spirit of our people will 
revolt at such certain degradation, while American women, the 
models of beauty and superiority, will indignantly execrate the 
men who advise and dictate the policy. 

The pictures of negro suffering in the Sonth, as a consequence 
of the disorganization of society, are calculated to touch the 
hearts of all not utterly callous to human affliction. These can- 
not be fairly charged upon the former masters of the blacks, 
because the latter are mostly as destitute, save in the naked pro- 
prietorship of the soil, as their former slaves. The condition 
of the southern negro is indeed such as strongly to appeal to 
our sympathies. What, with deep concern, we may inquire, is 
to become of him ? It is certain that no scheme of philanthropy 
can be considered successful or even justifiable, that, under pre- 
tence of bettering the condition of a race, removes the same 
from a competence to a state of destitution and death. 

It requires no great prescience to predict what, as a result of 
the destruction of the labor system of the South, must be the 
fate of the negro. This is already foreshadowed in certain facts 
gathered from the statistics of northern cities. It thus appears 
that, with every advantage of procuring a livelihood possessed 
by the white inhabitants of New York and Boston, and with 
laws which, in the sense of his peculiar friends, eminently favor 
him, his numbers have not increased in those localities, but show 
a remarkable diminution. It is also a fact equally well estab- 
lished, that the mortalit}^ among this people in the South during 
the war has been beyond example, even in those districts from 
which slavery has been expelled by the advance of our armies. 
Thus it is demonstrated that when left to their own control the 
colored population lack the qualities requisite to a provision for 
their own subsistence and the raising of families. The history 
of San Domingo and Jamaica after their emancipation, teaches 
a fruitful yet melancholy lesson of this truth. Thus the doom 
of the negro is written with that of the American Indian, in 
rapid and sure extinction ; and when the future historian shall 
inquire into the cause of his decay, and shall find it in the mis- 
guided efforts of his friends, he will ask the significant question, 
whether it would not have been truer benevolence to permit him 
to continue to live under a gradual emancipation than not to live 
at all. 

The southern people, as a result of the war, have lost their 
property in slaves. Their rights as political communities are, 
however, in other respects unimpaired. They are entitled to con- 
continue State governments — have the exclusive right to deter- 
mine what classes of their p")pulation shall be entitled to vote, 
and their Representatives have tho same rights as others to seats 
upon this floor. Their admission as such cannot rightfuly be 
denied them. 


Mr. Lincoln, in April, 1861, and afterward in February, 1863, 
speaking through Mr. Seward, the present as well as the then 
Secretary of State, to the government of France and to the world 
declared : 

"That there is not even a pretext for the complaint that the disaffected States 
are to be conquered by the United States, if the revolution fail, for the rights of 
the States and the condition of every human being in them will remain subject to 
exactly the same laws ajid forms of administration, whether the revolution shall 
succeed or fail. In the one case the States would be federally connected with the 
new confederacy, in the other they would as now be members of the United States, 
but their constitutions and laws, customs, habits, and institutions in either will re- 
main the same." * * * * "That the Congress of the United States furnishes 
a constitutional forum for debates between the aUenated parties. Senators and Re- 
presentatives from the loyal portion of the people are there already, fully empow- 
ered to confer, and seats also are vacant and inviting Senators and Representatives 
of the discontented party who may be constitutionally sent' there from the States 
involved in the insurrection." 

President Johnson in his message maintains without reserve 
that — 

"The amendment to the Constitution being adopted, it would remain for the 
States whose powers have been so long in abeyance to resume their places in 
the two bi-anches of the national J-,egislature, and thereby complete the work of 

The Democracy stand by the President in his effort to " com- 
plete the work of restoration," and congratulate the country 
that there is a firm, strong hand upon the helm, and a clear eye 
which looks out upon the darkness, and which no order of any 
caucus can turn from the polar star that guides his course. 

"We have subdued the rebel armies, which were the first ob- 
stacle to the restoration of the Union. But the work is not done. 
It is natural that disafiection should exist to some extent in the 
southern mind to the Government of the victors. Unless by 
timely clemency and the liberal pardon of oftenders with a gen- 
eral amnesty at an early day this feeling can be eradicated, the 
Union will "^ be but nominal, and can only be maintained by- 
standing armies and garrisoned towns. That apparatus,^ the pri- 
vation of personal liberty* and the rights of full cidzeuship, 
w^hich are so oflensive to freemen, and which have distinguislied 
Paissia, Austria, and Yenice, will have to be maintained, and if 
maintained for any great length of time, wall pass by easy transi- 
tion into imperialism and over the whole laud. 

Mr. Speaker, I have but a word to add concerning the relation 
of the General Government to the States, and of the States to 
one another. I have listened with respect and attention to the 
principles of international law as they have been discussed witli 
rare ability by the distinguished gentlemen on the other side of 
the House, but I think they have failed to prove out of Grotius 
and Yattel and Puflendorf that America has no laws, no consti- 
tution, and no Union among her great sisterhood of States. We 
must not forget that w^e are considering a question purely oi in- 
ternal administration, which must be settled solely by the muni- 
cipal laws of our own country, and not by the law of nations. 


Tlie question before ns is, what are the rights and obligations of 
our own citizens toward their own Government in time of peace, 
and not what are the relative duties of two foreign countries in 
ti.jpe of open and flagrant war. The law of nations takes no 
cognizance of what is done in time of peace by a single Gov- 
ernment with its own people. 

It is true that wdiere a people divide, and the parties become 
hostile to one another and take up arms and thus make a civil 
war, the common humanity of the world will insist that the con- 
test between them, as long as it continues to be a military con- 
test, shall be carried on according to the rules and 2:)rinciples 
which apply to separate belligerent nations. 

I maintain that when the rebellion was suppressed the law re- 
sumed its authority. The law was suspended during the rebel- 
lion, because it could not be executed ; but it was not repealed, 
destroyed, or abolished. If the sovereign, whose power has been 
opposed by an insurgent' force, is an absolute despot, he may 
wreak his vengeance at will, as Russia did upon Poland, and 
Austria upon Ilungaiy. If he is a limited monarch, he must 
govern after a rebellion as he did before, according to the laws 
of the realm. If the armed opposition was made against a 'con- 
stitutional republic, it is absurd to say that the ofhcers or legis- 
lators of the Government have acquired from the rebellion a 
power which the Constitution did not give them. It is equally 
absurd to say that the laws were abolished by the very war which 
was waged for their preservation. We must remember that this 
Government has not been revolutionized by the southern rebel- 
lion, and I deny that it has added one particle to the power of 
any man who holds office under the United States. 

I believe most devoutly in the Constitution framed by the 
fathers of the Republic, and in that Union whi^jli was the result 
of the Constitution. I have no faith in any other mode of bring- 
ing the States together. We must still look to that Constitution 
and the laws for a justification of all we do, and every citizen 
may still plead that he owes no obedience to mere arbitrary 
power, because there is no arbitrary power in existence. 

I happen to represent a I'egion of country which was once in 
rebellion against the United States. The insurrection was put 
down by superior military force. In those days, under the lead 
of Washington and Hamilton, the monstrous doctrine that as a 
conquered people they and their children had no rights under 
the Constitution, was never thought of. They submitted to the 
law, and the law protected them. 

The people of the South have submitted to tlie authority and 
Government of the United States. What is th^ii Government? 
The Constitution and laws. But our radical friends say their 
submission was made to the will of the dominant party in this 
House and the Senate. 

Did secession destroy the Union ? Certainly not, for secession 
was a nullity. Did the war, which we carried on to enforce the 


laws, destroy the obligation of the laws? A secessionist might 
say so, but in the eyes of a Union m\n there can be nothing 
more absurd or disloyal. Where, then, is the authority to gov- 
ern without law ? It will not be pretended that there is a divine 
right. We must come back, then, to the fundamental law, which 
is the true source of all power, and the true standard of duty for 
all the people who are under our jurisdiction. 

The committee on reconstruction has proposed an amendment 
to the Constitution, excluding from the basis of representation 
all persons denied the franchise on account of race or color. 
This proposition strikes at the Constitution in its most vital par- 
ticular, and has many advocates without much consideration. 
The whole question of representation was settled by our fathers 
with great difficulty, after a most careful and matured delibera- 
tion. It is unwise to disturb it. The policy of amendment once 
introduced will not stop with curtailing the representation of tlie 
southern States. Under the Constitution all legislative powers 
consist of a Senate and House of Representatives, the legislative 
powers of- the Senate being equal to that of the House. In ad- 
dition to this, the Senate is a part of the treaty-making and ap- 
pointing power. If it is intended that representation shall be 
based "upon numbers, then we must remodel that part of the 
Constitution which gives to jSTew England and several of the 
new States a voice so largely dispro]>ortionate to their population. 
The six New England States with a population less than New 
York, and but little greater than Pennsylvania, have twelve 
Senators, while each of the latter have but two. "With this dis- 
proportionate power New England has shaped the policy of the 
Government to her own advantage, in the navigation laws, in 
the fisheries, and in the protective policy. The great agricul- 
tural interests of the country, and especially of those States situ- 
ated in the valley of the Mississippi and around the Gnlf of 
Mexico, have been tolled by her for more than fifty years. The 
instincts of empire, stimulated by the example of amendment 
will arouse this interest to circumscribe a power so full of exac- 
tion and prohibition. Such reform would readily commend it- 
self to the judgment as well as the passions of men, and soon 
become an element of party warfare. Be careful, then, how you 
lay the hand of innovation on this part of the Constitution. 

The idea of a certain class of politicians, of confiscating the 
lands of the South and parceling them out among negroes and 
adventurers, has for its object the extermination of the present 
generation of southern whites, and shows the barbarous aiii- 
mics of that most impracticable party. They would adopt that 
same policy of irritation which was attempted by Elizabeth and 
James in Ireland, and which has been fruitful only of heart- 
burning and discontent to the present hour. 

It is not the policy of the Government to keep it pressed upon 
the minds of the South that they are subject to a galling yoke. 
Neither is it right. The people of the South, when they have 
once given in their adhesion to the Government, are as much 


freemen, as much entitled to protection in the rights of self-gov- 
ernment, as any portion of the North. There is a broad distinc- 
tion between power and right, and while the Government posses- 
ses the power, she should exercise it in subordination to those 
great principles of democracy and republicanism which consti- 
tute the basis of our system. It is a plain violation of these to 
force upon the South any modilication of her social condition, 
any political status not sanctioned by her people through their 
law-making assemblies. 

Such a policy may drive a people to despair, may prepare the 
fuel for alighting anew the flames of insurrection ; but will never 
generate love for the Government which thus seeks to oppress 
them. True statesmanship will not attempt to succeed by such 
means. A strict regard for justice, abatement of extreme pre- 
tensions; a steady effort to show the South that the M-ar was not 
waged out of hatred to her people, but only for the pi-eservation 
of the national territory unfractured; a careful regard for her in- 
terests in common with those of the other States, these, I believe, 
are the only means which will ever succeed in obliterating the 
silent but corroding memories of errors, wrongs, and sufferings; 
of eflacing the deep scars of civil bloodshed and warming the es- 
tranged hearts of our countrymen towards a common Government 
once more. The expressed desire of the South, if conquered, to 
belong to a strong Government, and her readiness to resent the 
imagined injury inflicted upon her by the neutrality of the Eu- 
ropean Powers, should be wisely taken advantage of to revive 
and rivet the Union feeling. 

We ask indemnity from England for the ravages of anglo-rebel 
cruisers. We protest against the establishment of a monarchy 
on the ruins of the Mexican republic, and we are anxious to pre- 
serve the national faith and lessen the evils of a redundant cur- 
rency. A cordial reunion of the States will do more to settle 
our foreign complications than " an army with banners." It 
would stimulate a revival of our industrial pursuits and divert 
into new channels a portion of our paper issues. It w'ould en- 
courage a speedy and active cultivation of the lands of the South, 
add largely to the public revenue, and increase the basis of secu- 
rity for the payment of the public debt. Who can hesitate to 
co-operate for such a purpose — to restore the Union, to reunite a 
people, to re-establish an empire of free Commonwealths, and 
make it irresistible and imperishable ? And yet the caucus of 
the dominant party originated the joint resolution and the com- 
mittee of fifteen, to which is committed without debate whatever 
relates immediately or remotely to the restoration of the Union. 
A policy thus struck out in advance of the message has fore- 
stalled the action of Congress and virtually notified the Presi- 
dent that the "information of the state of the Union" wdiich the 
Constitution requires him to give is immaterial and disregarded. 
It presumed the States in which insurrection lately prevailed to 
be no States, and, as a consequence, that all his acts looking to 
their restoration were simple usurpations. 


In the rise and progress of this war we have seen a frightful 
display of the wild and reckless passions of our nature, manifest- 
ing itself in proscription, conliscation, and an utter disregard of 
the rights of person and property, of freedom of speech and pub- 
lication, and of trial by jury. If we look back to the instructive 
records of that Commonwealth which was the greatest which 
preceded our own, we find that when once a faction which dom- 
inated resorted to proscription and the gratification of malignant 
passion this was the natural excuse for the opposite faction, on 
succeeding to power, of retaliating the same abuses. Sylla was 
the leader in this sanguinary policy. Then it was freely resorted 
to by Marius and by Cinna. Even Cicero, with all his high- 
toned principles, descended to this abuse in the punishment, 
without law, of the Catilinian conspirators. A reaction was the 
natural consequence. The infliction of punishment contrary to 
law excited a sympathy with the vicious, and Cicero himself was 
soon a sufierer by the same code. The event proved the wisdom 
of Julius Ca--sar, who in the Senate counseled moderation as at 
all times the true policy. It does not detract from the value of 
Ctesar's counsel that he was himself assassinated in turn — for cor- 
ruption had become too general and deep-seated to admit of any 
but a forcible remedy— and that through such a horrible high- 
way of blood the republic became merged in the empire. May 
we not ask, do these extra-constitutional and unlawful acts upon 
the part of our rulers mark the steps of a like progress on our 
part toward the repose of absolutism '{ i 

Would it not be far better in this condition of things to repeas 
this sweeping and revolutionary conliscation law? For^ what i 
the end and object of that act f If it is a punishment, then I am 
fortified by the opinion of Montesquieu, that all such punishments 
are unwise. The following is the language which he uses in his 
"Spirit of Laws: " 

"As sooH as a republic baseompassed the d«atru<3tion of tbose who wanted tosub- 
vertit, there shou.d be an end of exitnples, puntshtiieDta and even of rewards. 

"Great punishments, and consequently great changes, cannot take place without 
investing some citizens with loo etreat a power. It is therefore Eicre advisable 
"iu this caps to exceed in lenity than in severity ; to banish but few rather than many; 
and to leave them their estates rather ttiEn to make a great number of confiscations. 
Under pretense of revenging the republic's cause, the avengers would establish ty- 
ranny. The busineas is not to destroy the rebel, but the rebellion. They ought to 
return as quick as possible into the usual track of government, in which every on« 
is protected by the laws, and no one oppressed." 

We must remember that in the struggle through which we have 
passed a million of our people have been slain, and among others 
the Washiugtons, Marehalis, and Monroes ; and that Virginia has 
been desolated and dismem.bered. It was this same Virginia that, 
in the struggle oi 1776, marched to the relief of Massachusetts. 
In that eventful conflict she was to Massachusetts as the shield of 
Achilles to the Greeks, She turnished the author of the Decla- 
ration and the leader of the continental army v/hich carried the 
Revolution to success, and afterwards the statesmen who laid the 
foundation of the Government. 

The Eepublican party has aecomplislaed its mission, which was 


the abolition of slavery. For the rest there is no longer any bond 
of union among its members. The numerous propositions to 
amend the Constitution are but signals of distress, M'hile the 
despairing cry is heard from every portal. Tlie Democracy have 
no changes to make. Their principles are identical with the pros- 
perity of the countrj'^, and are as perpetual as the Government 
itself. They have only to adhere to those principles, in the 
breadth and vigor with which they were thus announced in Mi". 
Jefferson's inaugural : 

" Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or 
political ; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alli- 
ances with none ; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the 
most competent administrators of our domestic concerns, and the surest bulwarks 
against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of the General Government in 
its whole conslitutioual vigor, as the sheet-anchor of our peace at home and safety 
abroad ; a jealous care of the rights of election by the people, a mild and safe cor- 
rective of abuses whicli are lopped by the sword of revolution, when peaceable 
remedies are unprovided ; absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, 
the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to force, the vital 
principle and immediate parent to despotism ; a well-disciplined militia, our beat 
reliance in peace, and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them ; 
the supremacy of the civil over the military authority ; economy in the public ex- 
pense, that labor may be lightly burdened ; the honest payment of our debts, and 
sacred preservation of the public faith ; encouragement of agriculture, and of com- 
merce as ils handmaid ; the diffusion of informaiion, and arraignment of ail abuses 
at the bar of the public reason ; freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and 
freedom of person, under the protection of the habeas co7-pns ; and trial by juries 
impartiallj' selected." 

These, Mr. Speaker, are the immutable principles of eternal 
justice, and must be recognized as the governing law of our 
Vace. The disorganization of society induced by the late strug- 
gle, and the demoralizing spirit of plunder which is abroad in 
the land, may for a time retard their adoption, but their full and 
general recognition cannot long be delayed. In the language of 
Henry Clay, " truth is inevitable and public justice certain." 

In restoring to order the scattered parts of a Government and 
people returning to peace after a terrible civil war, the principles 
of justice must be preserved. With a just sense of right, and 
with comprehensive view, we must not onl}^ forget the past, but 
we must, by an equal distribution of the benefits as well as the 
burdens of Government, make it the interest of all sectionsto 
uphold and defend it. Such interest is the great regulating prin- 
ciple, the true bond of Union ; the cohesive power that holds 
Governments together, and makes a nation truly great and pros- 
perous. For a time the southern States may be denied the priv- 
ileges of a reunion, and of a representation on this floor; the 
writ of haljeas corpus may be suspended ; arbitrary arrests may 
be renewed ; military commissions continued; and the cry of an 
unbridled fanaticism heard over the voice of struggling justice ; 
but so certainly as the waters find their level, or the magnet 
points to the pole, will tliat spirit of liberty and independence, 
which the Almighty blew into oar nostrils with the breath of 
life, conduct our principles to final triumph.