« ZurückWeiter »
sassinations for money. When we stoop to Union-loving people, and have no idea of enimitate the brute creation, we take the lion, tering into combinations to resist or intimidate not the hyena, for our model. But, while I the legislation of Congress. The General Asmake the admission that we are not altogether sembly of the State had mistaken the sentifree from crime, let me ask how stands the ment of the State, and many members who case with you! The city of New York alone voted for the resolutions, and the Governor furnishes more State prison convicts than the who signed them, have since disavowed and whole fifteen Southern States together. You repudiated them. tear down churches; burn up convents, in- He asserted that the pledge that they conhabited by a few helpless nuns; get up, pro
tained was a mistake, and let Congress do cessions in honor of a brutal prize-fighter; what it might, the people of his State would and raise riots at the bidding of a worthless abide the decision of the ballot box and the player, in which scores of lives are sacrificed, bench. It is only this course that can without dreaming that there is any thing in the Union from the fate of all the Confederaall this unbecoming the descendants of the cies which have successively appeared and pilgrim fathers. Look at home, I say; cor- disappeared in the history of nations. Anarrect your own iniquities, relieve your own suf- chy among its members and not tyranny in ferers, and then, but not till then, you may the head, has been the rock on which all such prate of the crime and misery which slavery Confederacies have split. The authors of our engenders.
present form of government knew the danger I regret, he continued, that this debate has of this rock, and by forming a perfect Union sprung up. I regret still more the course it has they provided against it. They established a taken-not, however, from prudential consid- federal judiciary to execute the federal laws erations ; not because, as the Senator from when found to be constitutional, and popular Kentucky has intimated, it is imprudent to elections to repeal them when found to be discuss matters in relation to slavery, but be- bad. Mr. B. pursued this argument considcause this question must soon be met in ano- erably further, and he quoted from the papers ther form, and I was willing to let it slumber of the Federalist to show the difference betill then. But I may as well now say that the tween the “league,” which was abandoned time for prudential action is past. The dis- and the Union that was formed when the Conease is a desperate one, and requires despe- stitution was adopted. To render the Union rate remedies. For one, sir, I yield no inch as permanent as possible, the States were of ground—no, not one hair's breadth. When- forbid to form compacts or agreements with ever this anti-slavery sentiment shows itself, each other; the Constitution and the laws whatever form it may assume, I am ready tó made in pursuance of it were declared to be do battle against it. The time for half mea- the supreme law of the land; and all authosures has gone by. You must let us alone, or rities, state and federal, legislative, executive, take the consequences.
and judicial, were to be sworn to support it. After a very long debate, much of which The resolutions which have been read contrawas in the same tone, the question was taken dict all this, and the General Assembly mistook and decided in the affirmative by a vote of their own powers as much as they mistook the 33 to 18.
sentiments of the people of Missouri, when On the 3d of January, the slave question they adopted them. was renewed on the presentation by Mr. On the 4th of January, General Cass adATChison of resolutions passed by the gene- dressed the Senate on his proposition to inral Assembly of the State of Missouri
, in quire into the expediency of suspending diplowhich the right of Congress to legislaté in matic relations with Austria, on account of the such manner as to affect the institution of alleged barbarities committed during the war slavery in the States, the District of Colum- in Hungary. Mr. Cass made a very long and bia, or in the Territories, is denied. They de- able speech in support of his resolution. A clare that the right to prohibit slavery in any general debate took place, in which Mr. CLAY Territory belongs exclusively to the people joined. He argued that the resolution was thereof; and they conclude by saying that in inexpedient in every respect. The inquiry the event of the passage of any act conflict- would be useless, and if it was determined to ing with the principles
that they have already suspend our relations with Austria, it would expressed, Missouri will be found in hearty be worse than useless. Instead of withdraw. co-operation with the slave-holding States in ing a mere Chargé, he had expected that the such measures as may be deemed necessary Senator would have proposed to send to that for their mutual protection against the en- country some wise, energetic, and able man croachments of northern fanaticism.
to plead the cause of Hungary, and to remonMr. Benton declared that the resolutions strate in behalf of the unfortunate patriots. did not represent the sentiments of the people We do not send ministers to foreign nations of Missouri, who are a law-abiding, and a on account of the respect we entertain for the country to which they are sent, but to main- | Potter, of Ohio, 1; Linn Boyd, of Ky., 1; tain the rights and interests of Americans. the whole number of votes being 222. Where is this principle to end if we adopt it? The Democrats generally voted for Mr. We may hereafter be called on to pursue the Cobb, and the Whigs for Mr. Winthrop. The same course on account of the religion or free soilers and others who were irreconcilemorals of some other nation. Why not try able to either of the two prominent candidates, Russia by the same rule? Why not include gave their votes as we shall now present Spain on account of the Inquisition ? The them : policy of our government is not to interfere For David Wilmot.—Messrs. Allen, Booth, with European nations in their affairs. Mr. Durkee, Giddings, Howe, Julian, P. King, and FootE replied to Mr. Clay in an animated Root. speech, but the question was left undecided. For A. H. Stephens.-Mr. E. C. Cabell.
For Wm. Strong.--Messrs. Cleveland, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
Doty, and Peck.
For Wm. F. Colcock.--Mr. Holmes. On Saturday, the 22d of December, the bu- For Charles S. Morehead.-Messrs. Morton, siness of the day commenced by an announce- Owen, A. H. Stephens, and Toombs. ment made by Mr. STANTON, of Tennessee, For Charles Durkee.-Mr. Wilmot. that he had a proposition to submit, which For Emery D. Potter.—Mr. Wood. was the result of the deliberations of a Com- For Linn Boyd.-Mr. Woodward. mittee of Conference, appointed by the Whig Mr. COBB having been declared, by a resoand Democratic parties of the House, in the lution submitted by Mr. STANLEY, to be duly hope of effecting an organization. This was elected, he was conducted to the Chair by Mr. a signal for a most tumultuous scene, in Winthrop and Mr. McDowell. After a mowhich Mr. TOOMBS, of Georgia was the prin- ment's pause, he arose and addressed the cipal character. He insisted on his right to House as follows: debate, contrary to a resolution of the members, by which all debate had been precluded. Gentlemen of the House of Representatives : The gentleman continued to talk amidst gen- It would be useless to disguise the fact that eral cries of “order," and during the time I feel deeply embarrassed in taking this Chair that the clerk was calling the yeas and naye under the circumstances attending my election. on a motion.
I am conscious of the difficulties by which Mr. STANTON at length having obtained an this position is surrounded at the present time. opportunity of being heard, rose and called The peculiar organization of this body, as for the reading of the proposition which he exhibited in our proceedings since we first had submitted, viz:
met-the nature and character of the various Resolved, That the House will proceed im- important exciting questions of public policy mediately to the elcction of a Speaker, viva which will engage our attention during the voce, and if, after the roll shall have been present session of Congress, conspire to rencalled three times no member shall have re- der the duties of the office peculiarly embarceived a majority of the whole number of rassing, onerous, and responsible. votes, the roll shall again be called, and the I may be permitted, therefore, to ask in admember who shall then receive the largest vance your generous aid and support in the number of votes, provided it be a majority of effort I shall make, firmly, faithfully, and ima quorum, shall be declared the Speaker. partially, to discharge its duties.
Several motions and amendments were The country has been looking with anxiety made by which to dispose of this resolution, to our efforts to effect an organization. The but all were rejected, and the resolution was people will continue to regard with intense inadopted as it was originally proposed, by a terest every step we take in our legislative vote of 113 to 106-Mr. WINTHROP voting course. Our duties will be laborious, our refor it, and Mr. COBB, of Georgia, against it. sponsibilities great. Let us, then, in view of
The three votings being exhausted without these considerations, invoke, in the discharge effecting an election, the contingency had ar- of these duties, a patriotism as broad as the rived that was contemplated in Mr. Stanton's Union, and as comprehensive as the nature proposition. The House, therefore, proceed and character of her various interests and ined to vote for the sixty-third time, with the stitutions. Guided by this spirit, under the following result:
blessing of Heaven, our action will result in Howell Cobb, of Georgia, 102; Robert C. the continued prosperity of our common Winthrop, of Mass., 100, David Wilmot, of country. Pa., 8; Charles Morehead, of Ky., 4; Wil- Accept, gentlemen, my grateful acknowliam Strong, of Pa., 3; A. H. Stephens, of ledgments for the honor you have conferred Georgia, 1; William F. Colcock, of S. C. 1; on me in selecting me as your presiding officer Charles Durkee, of Wisconsin, 1; Emery D during the present Congress.
The Speaker was then sworn to support the ed the resolution of Mr. STANLEY as his best Constitution of the United States, after which title for the position which he occupied. A the House adjourned to Monday, the 24th, Speaker thus elected might surely be trusted when the formalities of administering the oath with the formation of the Committees. After to all the members were gone through with, making a Speaker by a vote nearly unanimous and the 31st Congress was pronounced organ
--there being about thirty dissenting voices ized for legislative business. Up to this day the House would present itself in a strange no proceedings of this nature had taken place. and ridiculous situation, if they took away The whole time of Congress had been chiefly from him the appointment of the Committees occupied, with the exception of some execu- of the House. tive matters in the Senate, in the struggle Mr. GIDDINGS continued this strain, and between parties and factions. Mr. Bliss, his said that the Speaker held his seat as the rePrivate Secretary, delivered at the Speaker's sult of the plurality rule, which was forced Chair the Annual Message of the President of upon the House by the Whig party, aided by the United States, accompanied with official a small portion of those of the opposite side Reports.
of the House. The Whig party had had it On Thursday, the 27th of December, the in their power at any time to elect a provisoHouse assembled for the dispatch of business, | ist from Pennsylvania. Mr. GIDDINGS next and after adopting a resolution in relation to assailed Mr. WINTHROP, and charged him the Rules, Mr. VENABLE offered a resolution with favoring the interests of slavery in apwhich was substantially as follows:
pointing the Committee on the District of CoThat the President of the United States be lumbia. That Committee, during the last sesrequested to communicate to the House whe- sion of Congress, said he, appeared to have ther, since the last session of Congress any been studiously arranged to preserve the infaperson had been by him appointed either à mous commerce in human flesh carried on in civil or military governor of California or that city. All the revolting scenes that the New Mexico, and if so, his name and com- members of the Committee had witnessed in pensation; and if the duty of a military and the Washington slave market—the voice of civil governor had been united in the same humanity-the sentiment of the North, were person. Also, whether any agent or agents all insufficient to extort from that Committee had been appointed and sent to those Territo- a report against the slave trade, or even a ries, authorized to organize the people of word of reproof against that traffic, for pursaid Territories into a government, or to aid suing which, on the eastern shores of the Atand advise them in such an organization, or to lantic, we hang men as unsuited to human asadvise them as to the formation of a govern- sociation. He never could be brought to susment for themselves. Also, that the Presi- tain the late Speaker after he had made such dent be requested to communicate to the House appointments. It was certain that the present all the instructions given to such governor,
Speaker could do no worse, and there was a civil or military, or to any officers of the army chance that he might do better. of the United States, or any other persons,
Mr. WINTHROP replied, and began by reand the proclamations and communications by marking that he desired to say only a few them made to the people of said Territories,
words. He did not propose enter into an as well as the entire correspondence of such elaborate answer to the remarks of the gentleagents or governors with this Government. man of Ohio, but preferred rather to remind Also, whether any person or persons have the House that a reply had already come from been authorized to appoint and direct elections a gentleman on the other side, (Mr. Johnson, in said Territories, and determine the qualifi- of Tenn.) who had held him up as having, in cations of voters at the same; and whether every respect, gone against Southern views, any census of the citizens of the said Territo- and used the power and patronage of the ries has been made, and that the same, if made, House against them. He was quite willing to be communicated to this House. This reso- let these counter-speeches go out to the lution, according to rule, was ordered to lie country in reply the one to the other. The over one day.
gentleman from Ohio had defended the vote It was moved by Mr. Burt, that the Speak- he had given against him (Mr. WINTHROP) for er do now appoint the Standing Committees of Speaker two years before, by stating in the the House. Mr. SACKETT proposed an amend- public papers that he (Mr. W.) had gone into ment that would give the election of these a Whig caucus at the time the war-bill was Committees to the House.
about to be passed, and made a speech in faMr. Root said to his friend that he was too vor of the war; and he had placed the whole late, and that he should have thought of this course of his action against him (Mr. W.) on proposition when they were deciding on the that ground. The statement was wholly false, plurality vote for Speaker, who was in the and he had testimony which the House would Chair by the votes both of political friends trust, to prove it so. He had already disproved and enemies. The Speaker no doubt regard- | the story; but the gentleman had repeated the
charge in a second letter, and not having with-, sistent advocate of the docrine of the Wilmot drawn it when it had been shown to be untrue Proviso, and had moved to incorporate that he was no longer entitled to respect. Mr. very provision into the Oregon bill. He had WINTHROP continued for some time longer, opposed the annexation of Texas in the twenand made it appear that the Committee he had ty-eighth Congress, from the beginning to the appointed had reported a bill to abolish the end. Mr. SCHENCK proceeded to show the slave trade in the District, and it was admit- inconsistency that the Free Soil Members had ted by gentlemen from the free States to be a displayed in voting for Mr. Brown, who had very great improvement upon any bill which ever been opposed to them, and favorable to had previously been reported to the House. Mr. the slave interests, and in refusing to vote for WINTHROP manifested considerable warmth Mr. WINTHROP whose whole political life had during his remarks, and in concluding he said he been adverse to the extension of the area of had not intended to allow the gentleman from slavery. Mr. Brown had been for the annexOhio to ruffle his feelings, but he trusted he ation of Texas, for stifling debate, for laying should very soon recover his ordinary calm- on the table and smothering resolutions inness. A time might come in the course of the quiring into the propriety of abolishing slavSession when he might feel more at liberty ery in the district of Columbia, and extending than he had ever before felt, or than he now the ordinance of 1787 over all the territories felt to go into this subject, and say something of the United States. Mr. Giddings knew in reply to the gentleman from Ohio and the these facts, yet he chose to vote for the gengentleman from Tennessee. For the present tleman from Indiana upon a pledge of that he would leave them to answer each other. gentleman, vamped up for the occasion, con
Mr. Rockwell continued the dispute, and tradicting the tenor of his whole previous showed how little ground there was for the
Mr. S. averred that he had but little charge of Mr. GIDDINGS respecting the action faith in these sudden conversions, and least of of the Committee on Territories. The fact was all had he faith in them when they seemed to that but three legislative days had passed be- have been made under the strong impulsive tween the appointment of the Committee and influence of a reward just ahead, that was to the passage of a resolution of the House in be given in case pledges were made on the structing it to report bills for the organization other side. He denounced the system of exof territorial governments containing the pro-acting pledges, and said there were persons at visions of the ordinance of 1787, or as it is each end of the Union, who made this a concalled, the Wilmot Proviso. There was, there- dition of support-in the South they would not fore, neither a refusal to report, nor a delay in vote for a candidate because he belonged to reporting. As to the present appointment of the North, and in the North they would not the Committees by the Speaker, he was in fa- vote for a candidate because he lived in a vor of it, because it would cause only great slave State. This amounted to disunion. One confusion and delay to select them in any section, either the North or the South, must other manner. In whatever way Committees have the majority. Disfranchise all on the may be constituted, they cannot entirely con- other side, and the Union could not hold totrol the course of business and the policy of gether a single day—it ought not to hold tothe House. The majority, wherever that may gether a day. The Whig
party and some of be found, will direct its proceedings. Mr. the Democrats believed differently in this reROCKWELL was one of those who had voted spect from Mr. GIDDINGS. They believed for the measure which resulted in the organ- that this Union resulted from a compromise beization of the House. Three weeks had been tween the free and the slave States. He, (Mr. spent in vainly endeavoring to elect a Speaker SCHENCK) was in favor of the ordinance of by a majority vote. The interests of the 1787, and he had always voted with Mr. WINcountry demanded an organization, and there THROP in favor of it, yet he did not feel that was but that one mode left to accomplish such upon this account he must stand here and disan end. It had been in the power of Mr. franchise every man living in the slave States Giddings and his friends to have changed the because he differed from him on that local result and secured the election of Mr. Win- question. It was not so with his colleague,
There stands the unalterable record. (Mr. GIDDINGS.) Like Mr. Toomes, of GeorFor Mr. COBB, one hundred and two yotes; gia, he preferred that there should be no orfor Mr. WINTHROP, one hundred votes. ganization, and that " disorder should reign for
Mr. Schenck expressed the reluctance with ever,” rather than yield upon this point. He which he took part in this extraordinary de- then expressed his regret that gentlemen had bate. He went on to define his position and been heard to declare that they would sooner that of his party, and he defended Mr. Win- dissolve the Union at once than suffer the preTHROP in a very able manner from the charges sent state of things to be enforced on the which Mr. GIDDINGS had made. He showed country. Mr. SHENCK quoted from a speech that Mr. WINTHROP had always been a con- of Wendell Phillips, of Boston, to show that
there were parallels among the Free Soil ad- On Public Lands.--Messrs. Bowlin of Misvocates of the North for the Disunionists of souri, Harmanson of Louisiana, Sheppard of North the South. Here the two extremes met. The Carolina, Albertson of Indiana, Baker of Illinois, Whigs were the conservatives of the country,
Cobb of Alabama, Brooks of New York, Hoagand coming from the north and from the south, land of Ohio, Henry of Vermont. representing every sectional interest, they ac
On the Post Office and Post Roads.-Messrs.
Potter of Ohio, Phelps of Missouri, McKissock of ted together for the general good, for the main
New York, Featherston of Mississippi, Hebard of tenance of the rights and interests of the whole.
Vermont, Alston of Alabama, Powell of Virginia, These rights and interests he was ready to
Stanton of Tennessee, Durkee of Wisconsin. maintain here and elsewhere, wherever his
For the District of Columbia.-Messrs. Brown hand or his voice could do it, against these of Mississippi, Inge of Alabama, Taylor of Ohio, impracticable gentleman.
Fuller of Maine, Morton of Virginia, Hammond of Mr. Holmes, of South Carolina, said that Maryland, Allen of Massachusetts, Williams of one thing at least was certain from the discus- Tennessee, Underhill of New York. sion that was going forward—there was an On the Judiciary.—Messrs. Thompson of Pennemulation among the Northern men to show sylvania, Miller of Ohio, Ashmun of Massachueach, for himself
, the utmost hostility to the setts, Meade of Virginia, Morehead of Kentucky, institutions of the South. In voting for the King of New York, Venable of North Carolina, Speakership, they had shown their sanction of
Stevens of Pennsylvania, Wellborn of Georgia. the Wilmot Proviso, and their opposition to
On Revolutionary Claims.—Messrs. Sawtelle
of Maine, Morris of Ohio, Newell of New Jersey, slavery in the District of Columbia. He was
Bay of Missouri, Butler of Pennsylvania, Millson delighted with the exhibition, because it con
of Virginia, Goodenow of Maine, McWillie of vinced many persons of the South that the Mississippi, Kerr of Maryland. whole North were opposed to their institu
On Public Expenditure.--Messrs. Johnson of tions, and in time would destroy them, unless Tennessee, Bissell of Illinois, Conger of New the South was aroused to maintain its rights. | York, Harlan of Indiana, Bowie of Maryland, He had no apprehensions of distnion, because Sweetser of Ohio, Caldwell of North Carolina, the lords of the loom, if gentlemen choose to Booth of Connecticut, Calvin of Pennsylvania. call them so, were the natural allies of the On Private Land Claims.-Messrs. Morse of lords of the lash”—the interests of the North Louisiana, Brown of Indiana, Rumsey of New were identified with the labor of the slave. He York, Gilmore of Pennsylvania, Campbell of Ohio, ended by saying that the Union, dear as it
Harris of Illinois, Marshall of Kentucky, Whittlewas, rich in its associations, embellished with
of Ohio, Anderson of Tennessee. all that could make it desirable, was nothing Bowdon of Alabama, Houston of Delaware, Cleve
On Manufactures.—Messrs. Peck of Vermont, when compared to the interests which were to them life, without which all that they owned Pennsylvania, Rose of New York, Ore of South
land of Connecticut, Breck of Kentucky, Ross of and which they would transmit to posterity as Carolina, Owen of Georgia. a heritage, would have passed away.
On Agriculture.-Messrs. Littlefield of Maine, The discussion was kept up for some time Deberry of North Carolina, Risley of New York, longer by Messrs. GIDDINGS, Schenck, and McMullen of Virginia, Young of Illinois, Casey VINTON, without presenting any thing further of Pennsylvania, Stanton of Kentucky, Bennet of of general interest. The resolution of Mr. New York, Cable of Ohio. Burt was then adopted.
On Indian Affairs.--Messrs. Johnson of Arkansas, Hall of Missouri, Crowell of Ohio, Mc
Lanahan of Pennsylvania, Outlaw of North CarOf Elections.—Messrs. Strong of Pennsylva- | olina, Hackett of Georgia, Bokee of New York, nia, Harris of Alabama, Van Dyke of New Jersey, Howard of Texas, Sprague of Michigan. Disney of Ohio, Thompson of Kentucky, Harris of
On Military Affairs.—Messrs. Burt of South Tennessee, McGaughey of Indiana, Ashe of North Carolina, Richardson of Illinois, Wilson of New Carolina, Andrews of New York.
Hampshire, Caldwell of Kentucky, Evans of MaOf Ways and Means.—Messrs. Bayley of Vir- ryland, Carter of Ohio, J. A. King of New York, ginia, Thompson of Mississippi, Vinton of Ohio, Ewing of Tennessee, Chandler of Pennsylvania. Green of Missouri, Toombs of Georgia, Hibbard of
On the Militia.-Messrs. Peaslee of New New Hampshire, Duer of New York, Jones of Hampshire, Savage of Tennessee, King of Rhode Tennessee, Hampton of Pennsylvania.
Island, Doty of Wisconsin, Moore of PennsylvaOf Claims.-Messrs. Daniel of North Carolina, nia, Briggs of New York, Robbins of PennsylvaThomas of Tennessee, Root of Ohio, Wilmot of nia, Thompson of Iowa, Meacham of Vermont. Pennsylvania, Nelson of New York, Hubbard of On Naval Affairs.--Messrs. Stanton of TenAlabama, McLean of Kentucky, Dunham of Indi
nessee, Bocock of Virginia, Schenck of Ohio, La ana, Butler of Connecticut.
Sere of Louisiana, White of New York, Gerry of On Commerce.—Messrs. McLane of Maryland, Maine, Cabell of Florida, McQueen of South CarWentworth of Illinois, Grinnell of Massachusetts, olina, Levin of Pennsylvania. Bingham of Michigan, Stephens of Georgia, Col
On Foreign Affairs. Messrs. McClernand of cock of South Carolina, Phænix of New York, Illinois, McDowell of Virginia, Winthrop of MasStetson of Maine, Conrad of Louisiana.
sachusetts, Haralson of Georgia, Hilliard of Ala