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deeply rooted in the minds of men of all sections of the country than perhaps any one other political idea, — no general assertion of human rights can be of any practical value. To change the character of the government at this point is neither possible nor desirable. All that is necessary to be done is to make the government consistent with itself, and render the rights of the States compatible with the sacred rights of human nature.

The arm of the Federal government is long, but it is far too short to protect the rights of individuals in the interior of distant States. They must have the power to protect themselves, or they will go unprotected, spite of all the laws the Federal government can put upon the national statute-book.

Slavery, like all other great systems of wrong, founded in the depths of human selfishness, and existing for ages, has not neglected its own conservation. It has steadily exerted an influence upon all around it favorable to its own continuance. And to-day it is so strong that it could exist, not only without law, but even against law. Custom, manners, morals, religion, are all on its side everywhere in the South; and when you add the ignorance and servility of the ex-slave to the intelligence and accustomed authority of the master, you have the conditions, not out of which slavery will again grow, but under which it is impossible for the Federal government to wholly destroy it, unless the Federal government be armed with despotic power, to blot out State authority, and to station a Federal officer at every cross-road. This, of course, cannot be done, and ought not even if it could. The true way and the easiest way is to make our government entirely consistent with itself, and give to every loyal citizen the elective franchise, a right and power which will be ever present, and will form a wall of fire for his protection.


One of the invaluable compensations of the late Rebellion is the highly instructive disclosure it made of the true source of danger to republican govern

ment. Whatever may be tolerated in monarchical and despotic governments, no republic is safe that tolerates a privileged class, or denies to any of its citizens equal rights and equal means to maintain them. What was theory before the war has been made fact by the


There is cause to be thankful even for rebellion. It is an impressive teacher, though a stern and terrible one. In both characters it has come to us, and it was perhaps needed in both. It is an instructor never a day before its time, for it comes only when all other means of progress and enlightenment have failed. Whether the oppressed and despairing bondman, no longer able to repress his deep yearnings for manhood, or the tyrant, in his pride and impatience, takes the initiative, and strikes the blow for a firmer hold and a longer lease of oppression, the result is the same, ciety is instructed, or may be.


Such are the limitations of the common mind, and so thoroughly engrossing are the cares of common life, that only the few among men can discern through the glitter and dazzle of present prosperity the dark outlines of approaching disasters, even though they may have come up to our very gates, and are already within striking distance. The yawning seam and corroded bolt conceal their defects from the mariner until the storm calls all hands to the pumps. Prophets, indeed, were abundant before the war; but who cares for prophets while their predictions remain unfulfilled, and the calamities of which they tell are masked behind a blinding blaze of national prosperity?

It is asked, said Henry Clay, on a memorable occasion, Will slavery never come to an end? That question, said he, was asked fifty years ago, and it has been answered by fifty years of unprecedented prosperity. Spite of the eloquence of the earnest Abolitionists, poured out against slavery during thirty years, -even they must confess, that, in all the probabilities of the case, that system of barbarism would

have continued its horrors far beyond the limits of the nineteenth century but for the Rebellion, and perhaps only have disappeared at last in a fiery conflict, even more fierce and bloody than that which has now been suppressed.

It is no disparagement to truth, that it can only prevail where reason prevails. War begins where reason ends. The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion. What that thing is, we have been taught to our cost. It remains now to be seen whether we have the needed courage to have that cause entirely removed from the Republic. At any rate, to this grand work of national regeneration and entire purification Congress must now address itself, with full purpose that the work shall this time be thor

oughly done. The deadly upas, root and branch, leaf and fibre, body and sap, must be utterly destroyed. The The country is evidently not in a condition to listen patiently to pleas for postponement, however plausible, nor will it permit the responsibility to be shifted to other shoulders. Authority and power are here commensurate with the duty imposed. There are no cloudflung shadows to obscure the way. Truth shines with brighter light and intenser heat at every moment, and a country torn and rent and bleeding implores relief from its distress and agony.

If time was at first needed, Congress has now had time. All the requisite materials from which to form an intelligent judgment are now before it. Whether its members look at the origin, the progress, the termination of the war, or at the mockery of a peace now existing, they will find only one unbroken chain of argument in favor of a radical policy of reconstruction. For the omissions of the last session, some excuses may be allowed. A treacherous President stood in the way; and it can be easily seen how reluctant good men might be to admit an apostasy which involved so much of baseness and ingratitude. It was natural that they should seek to save him


by bending to him even when he leaned to the side of error. But all is changed Congress knows now that it must go on without his aid, and even against his machinations. The advantage of the present session over the last is immense. Where that investigated, this has the facts. Where that walked by faith, this may walk by sight. Where that halted, this must go forward, and where that failed, this must succeed, giving the country whole measures where that gave us halfmeasures, merely as a means of saving the elections in a few doubtful districts. That Congress saw what was right, but distrusted the enlightenment of the loyal masses; but what was forborne in distrust of the people must now be done with a full knowledge that the people expect and require it. The members go to Washington fresh from the inspiring presence of the people. In every considerable public meeting, and in almost every conceivable way, whether at court-house, school-house, or cross-roads, in doors and out, the subject has been discussed, and the people have emphatically pronounced in favor of a radical policy. Listening to the doctrines of expediency and compromise with pity, impatience, and disgust, they have everywhere broken into demonstrations of the wildest enthusiasm when a brave word has been spoken in favor of equal rights and impartial suffrage. Radicalism, so far from being odious, is now the popular passport to power. The men most bitterly charged with it go to Congress with the largest majorities, while the timid and doubtful are sent by lean majorities, or else left at home. The strange controversy between the President and Congress, at one time so threatening, is disposed of by the people. The high reconstructive powers which he SO confidently, ostentatiously, and haughtily claimed, have been disallowed, denounced, and utterly repudiated; while those claimed by Congress have been confirmed.

Of the spirit and magnitude of the canvass nothing need be said. The

appeal was to the people, and the verdict was worthy of the tribunal. Upon an occasion of his own selection, with the advice and approval of his astute Secretary, soon after the members of Congress had returned to their constituents, the President quitted the executive mansion, sandwiched himself between two recognized heroes, -men whom the whole country delighted to honor, and, with all the advantage which such company could give him, stumped the country from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, advocating everywhere his policy as against that of Congress. It was a strange sight, and perhaps the most disgraceful exhibition ever made by any President; but, as no evil is entirely unmixed, good has come of this, as from many others. Ambitious, unscrupulous, energetic, indefatigable, voluble, and plausible, a political gladiator, ready for a "set-to" in any crowd, he is beaten in his own chosen field, and stands to-day before the country as a convicted usurper, a political criminal, guilty of a bold and persistent attempt to possess himself of the legislative powers solemnly secured to Congress by the Constitution. No vindication could be more complete, no condemnation could be more absolute and humiliating. Unless reopened by the sword, as recklessly threatened in some circles, this question is now closed for all time.

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Without attempting to settle here the metaphysical and somewhat theological question (about which so much has already been said and written), whether once in the Union means always in the Union,-agreeably to the formula, Once in grace always in grace, it is obvious to common sense that the rebellious States stand to-day, in point of law, precisely where they stood when, exhausted, beaten, conquered, they fell powerless at the feet of Federal authority. Their State governments were overthrown, and the lives and property of the leaders of the Rebellion were forfeited. In reconstructing the institutions of these shattered and overthrown States, Congress should begin

with a clean slate, and make clean work of it. Let there be no hesitation. It would be a cowardly deference to a defeated and treacherous President, if any account were made of the illegitimate, one-sided, sham governments hurried into existence for a malign purpose in the absence of Congress. These pretended governments, which were never submitted to the people, and from participation in which four millions of the loyal people were excluded by Presidential order, should now be treated according to their true character, as shams and impositions, and supplanted by true and legitimate governments, in the formation of which loyal men, black and white, shall participate.

It is not, however, within the scope of this paper to point out the precise steps to be taken, and the means to be employed. The people are less concerned about these than the grand end to be attained. They demand such a reconstruction as shall put an end to the present anarchical state of things in the late rebellious States, where frightful murders and wholesale massacres are perpetrated in the very presence of Federal soldiers. This horrible business they require shall cease. They want a reconstruction such as will protect loyal men, black and white, in their persons and property; such a one as will cause Northern industry, Northern capital, and Northern civilization to flow into the South, and make a man from New England as much at home in Carolina as elsewhere in the Republic. No Chinese wall can now be tolerated. The South must be opened to the light of law and liberty, and this session of Congress is relied upon to accomplish this important work.

The plain, common-sense way of doing this work, as intimated at the beginning, is simply to establish in the South one law, one government, one administration of justice, one condition to the exercise of the elective franchise, for men of all races and colors alike. This great measure is sought as ear

nestly by loyal white men as by loyal blacks, and is needed alike by both. Let sound political prescience but take the place of an unreasoning prejudice, and this will be done.

Men denounce the negro for his prominence in this discussion; but it is no fault of his that in peace as in war, that in conquering Rebel armies as in reconstructing the rebellious States, the right of the negro is the true solution of our national troubles. The stern logic of events, which goes directly to the point, disdaining all concern for the color or features of men, has determined the interests of the country as identical with and inseparable from those of the negro.

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Fortunately, the Constitution of the United States knows no distinction between citizens on account of color. Neither does it know any difference between a citizen of a State and a citizen of the United States. Citizenship evidently includes all the rights of citizens, whether State or national. If the Constitution knows none, it is clearly no part of the duty of a Republican Congress now to institute one. The mistake of the last session was the attempt to do this very thing, by a renunciation of its power to secure political rights to any class of citizens, with the obvious purpose to allow the rebellious States to disfranchise, if they should see fit, their colored citizens. This unfortunate blunder must now be retrieved, and the emasculated citizenship given to the negro supplanted by that contemplated in the Constitution of the United States, which declares that the citizens of each State shall enjoy all the rights and immunities of citizens of the several States, so that a legal voter in any State shall be a legal voter in all the States.



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THIS volume of Mr. Bancroft's History, the ninth of the entire work and the third of the narrative of the American Revolution, comprises the period between July, 1776, and April, 1778, including the battles of Long Island and White Plains, the surrender of Fort Washington, the retreat of Washington through the Jerseys, the brilliant military successes of Trenton and Princeton, the capture of Philadelphia by Sir William Howe, and the memorable event which insured the success of the Revolution, the surrender of Burgoyne. This enumeration is enough to show that, in the ground he has traversed, Mr. Bancroft has found

ample scope for the display of those peculiar literary characteristics with which the readers of his former volumes are so familiar, -his rapid and condensed narration, his sweeping and sometimes rather vague generalizations, his brilliant pictures, his pointed reflections, and the sharp, cutting strokes with which he carves rather than paints characters. His usual diligence in the search of materials has not deserted him here; and he has been even more than usually successful in the amount and character of what he has found. In addition to very full collections relating to the war from the archives of England and France, he has obtained large masses of papers from Germany, among which last are many of great importance, especially for the study of military operations in 1777. Very valuable documents from the Spanish have been se

cured, through the courtesy of the Spanish government and the kind offices of that distinguished scholar and most amiable man, Don Pascual de Gayangos.

Investigators of the past are naturally inclined to overestimate the value of any new sources of information opened by their own diligence or sagacity of research, and a little of this feeling is perceptible in Mr. Bancroft's Preface; but, after all, we apprehend that the new evidence he has so diligently collected will not shake the deliberate verdict already passed alike upon men and events. Here and there a gleam is thrown upon some single incident, or the motives and conduct of a particular actor; but the general lights and shadows of the historical landscape remain undisturbed. The statements and the views of Marshall and Sparks are substantially sustained. The patriotic American will not regret to see that Mr. Bancroft's investigations and conclusions lead him to exalt Washington in comparison with the soldiers and civilians who stood around him; and the reader of his pages will have fresh cause to admire,not merely the firmness and self-command of that illustrious man, but his abilities as a commander and a statesman. We have especially to thank Mr. Bancroft for the distinctness with which he shows how much the success of the Northern army was due to Washington's disinterested advice. His high praise of the commanderin-chief sometimes glances aslope, and lights in the form of censure of some of his subordinate officers; and we should not be surprised if some of his strictures provoked replies and led to controversies. Some of those whom he criticises have left descendants, and those who have left no descendants have partisans who are jealous of the fame of their favorites, and will not lightly allow a leaf of their laurels to be blighted.

During the period embraced by this volume the constitutions of several of the States were formed, and the Articles of Confederation were adopted which gave to the several States a semblance of unity, and smoothed the path to the more perfect union which was established ten years later. These events present themes peculiarly congenial to Mr. Bancroft's powers of brilliant generalization and rapid condensation, and tempt him into that field of discursive reflection where he is fond of lingering, and where we follow him always with interest, and generally with assent. We quote with peculiar pleasure the following observations from the fifteenth chap

ter, on the constitutions of the several States of America, as being sound in substance and happy in expression:

"The spirit of the age moved the young nation to own justice as antecedent and superior to the state, and to found the rights of the citizen on the rights of man. And yet, in regenerating its institutions, it was not guided by any speculative theory or laborious application of metaphysical distinctions. Its form of government grew naturally out of its traditions, by the simple rejection of all personal hereditary authority, which in America had never had much more than a representative existence. Its people were industrious and frugal. Accustomed to the cry of liberty and property, they harbored no dream of a community of goods; and their love of equality never degenerated into envy of the rich. No successors of the fifth-monarchy men proposed to substitute an unwritten higher law, interpreted by individual conscience, for the law of the land and the decrees of human tribunals. The people proceeded with self-possession and moderation, after the manner of their ancestors. Their large inheritance of English liberties saved them from the necessity and from the wish to uproot their old political institutions; and as happily the scaffold was not wet with the blood of their statesmen, there was no root of a desperate hatred of England, such as the Netherlands kept up for centuries against Spain. The wrongs inflicted or attempted by the British king were felt to have been avenged by independence. Respect and affection remained behind for the parent land, from which the United States had derived trial by jury, the writ for personal liberty, the practice of representative government, and the separation of the three great co-ordinate powers in the state. From an essentially aristocratic model, America took just what suited her condition, and rejected the rest. Thus the transition of the Colonies into self-existent commonwealths was free from vindictive bitterness, and attended by no violent or wide departure from the past."

A considerable portion of this volume is occupied by a consideration of the relations between Europe and America. Advancing years do not seem to chill Mr. Bancroft's faith in progress, his confidence in democracy, his love of popular institutions, or to check his tendency to throw his speculations into an aphoristic form, and to present his conclusions positively, and with less of qualification and limitation than men of a

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