Leave a comment

Clement Vallandigham, Congressman from Ohio January 14, 1863 U.S. House of Representatives

Lincoln may have stolen the 1864 election by having 100% of the troops recorded as voting for him but he did have opposition.

 First we will present the heavily edited version of this famous speech as presented by TeachingAmericanHistory.org, a project of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University

Soon after the war began the reign of the mob was… supplanted by the iron domination of arbitrary power. Constitutional limitation was broken down; habeas corpus fell; liberty of the press, of speech, of the person, of the mails, of travel, of one’s own house, and of religion; the right to bear arms, due process of law, judicial trial, trial by jury, trial at all; every badge and muniment of freedom in republican government or kingly government–all went down at a blow; and the chief law-officer of the crown–I beg pardon, sir, but it is easy now to fall into this courtly language–the Attorney-General, first of all men, proclaimed in the United States the maxim of Roman servility: Whatever pleases the President, that is law! Prisoners of state were then first heard of here. Midnight and arbitrary arrests commenced; travel was interdicted; trade embargoed; passports demanded; bastiles were introduced; strange oaths invented; a secret police organized; “piping” began; informers multiplied; spies now first appeared in America. The right to declare war, to raise and support armies, and to provide and maintain a navy, was usurped by the Executive….

On the 4th of July Congress met, not to seek peace; not to rebuke usurpation nor to restrain power; not certainly to deliberate; not even to legislate, but to register and ratify the edicts and acts of the Executive…. Free speech was had only at the risk of a prison; possibly of life. Opposition was silenced by the fierce clamor of “disloyalty.”…

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

…I have denounced, from the beginning, the usurpations and the infractions, one and all, of law and Constitution, by the President and those under him; their repeated and persistent arbitrary arrests, the suspension of habeas corpus, the violation of freedom of the mails, of the private house, of the press and of speech, and all the other multiplied wrongs and outrages upon public liberty and private right, which have made this country one of the worst despotisms on earth for the past twenty months; and I will continue to rebuke and denounce them to the end….

And now, sir, I recur to the state of the Union to-day. What is it? Sir, twenty months have elapsed, but the rebellion is not crushed out; its military power has not been broken; the insurgents have not dispersed. The Union is not restored; nor the Constitution maintained; nor the laws enforced. Twenty, sixty, ninety, three hundred, six hundred days have passed; a thousand millions been expended; and three hundred thousand lives lost or bodies mangled; and to-day the Confederate flag is still near the Potomac and the Ohio, and the Confederate Government stronger, many times, than at the beginning….

Thus, with twenty millions of people, and every element of strength and force at command–power, patronage, influence, unanimity, enthusiasm, confidence, credit, money, men, an Army and a Navy the largest and the noblest ever set in the field, or afloat upon the sea; with the support, almost servile, of every State, county, and municipality in the North and West, with a Congress swift to do the bidding of the Executive; without opposition anywhere at home; and with an arbitrary power which neither the Czar of Russia, nor the Emperor of Austria dare exercise; yet after nearly two years of more vigorous prosecution of war than ever recorded in history;… you have utterly, signally, disastrously–I will not say ignominiously–failed to subdue ten millions of “rebels,” whom you had taught the people of the North and West not only to hate, but to despise…. You have not conquered the South. You never will. It is not in the nature of things possible; much less under your auspices. But money you have expended without limit, and blood poured out like water. Defeat, debt, taxation, sepulchres, these are your trophies…. The war for the Union is, in your hands, a most bloody and costly failure. The President confessed it on the 22d of September…. War for the Union was abandoned; war for the negro openly begun, and with stronger battalions than before. With what success? Let the dead at Fredericksburg and Vicksburg answer….

But slavery is the cause of the war. Why? Because the South obstinately and wickedly refused to restrict or abolish it at the demand of the philosophers or fanatics and demagogues of the North and West. Then, sir, it was abolition, the purpose to abolish or interfere with and hem in slavery, which caused disunion and war. Slavery is only the subject, but Abolition the cause of this civil war. It was the persistent and determined agitation in the free States of the question of abolishing slavery in the South, because of the alleged “irrepressible conflict” between the forms of labor in the two sections… that forced a collision of arms at last….

Neither will I be stopped by that other cry of mingled fanaticism and hypocrisy, about the sin and barbarism of African slavery. Sir, I see more of barbarism and sin, a thousand times, in the continuance of this war, the dissolution of the Union, the breaking up of this Government, and the enslavement of the white race, by debt and taxes and arbitrary power. The day of fanatics and sophists and enthusiasts, thank God, is gone at last…. Sir, I accept the language and intent of the Indiana resolution, to the full–“that in considering terms of settlement, we will look only to the welfare, peace, and safety of the white race, without reference to the effect that settlement may have upon the condition of the African.” And when we have done this, my word for it, the safety, peace, and welfare of the African will have been best secured. Sir, there is fifty-fold less of anti-slavery sentiment to-day in the West than there was two years ago; and if this war be continued, there will be still less a year hence. The people there begin, at last, to comprehend, that domestic slavery in the South is a question; not of morals, or religion, or humanity, but a form of labor, perfectly compatible with the dignity of free white labor in the same community, and with national vigor, power, and prosperity, and especially with military strength….

Source: Clement Vallandigham, Speeches, Arguments, and Letters (New York: J. Walter and Company, 1864), pp. 418-437.

And for those who do not like edited versions – and we are among them – we offer the full text here. You will not a good many spelling and other errors but so far as we can tell these are mostly the fault of the book having been scanned with rather primitive OCR software and no corrections having been made thereafter.

SPEECH ON THE GREAT CIVIL WAR IN AMERICA.
In the House of Representatives, Jan. 14, 1863.

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

It is now two years, sir, since Congress assembled soon after the
Presidential election. A sectional anti-slavery party had then just suc-
ceeded through the forms of the Constitution. For the first time a
President had been chosen upon a platform of avowed hostility to an
institution peculiar to nearly one-half of the States of the Union, and
who had himself proclaimed that there was an irrepressible conflict, be-
cause of that institution, between the Slates; and that the Union could
not endure *’ part slave and part free.” Congress met, therefore, in the
midst of the profoundest agitation, not here only, but throughout the
entire South. Revolution glared upon us. Repeated efforts for con-
ciliation and compromise were attempted, in Congress and out of it.
All were rejected by the party just coming into power, except only the
promise in the last hours of the session, and that, too, against the con-
sent of a majority of that party both in the Senate and House : that
Congress — not the Executive — should never be authorized to abolish
or interfere with slavery in the States where it existed. South Carolina
seceded ; Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas
speedily followed. The Confederate Government was established. The
other slave States held bacL Vii^inia demanded a peace congress.
The commissioners met, and, after some time, agreed upon terms of
final a’ljustment. But neither in the Senate nor the House were they
allowed even a respectful consideration. The President elect left his
home in February, aud journeyed towards this capital, jesting as he
came: proclaiming that the crisis was only artificial, and that “nobody
was hurt,” He entered this city under cover of night and in disguise.
On the 4th of March he was inaugurated, surrounded by soldiery ; and,
swearing to support the Constitution of the United States, announced in
the same breath that the platform of his party should be the law unto him.
From that moment all hope of peaceable aiijustraent fled. But for a little
while, either with unsteadfast sincerity or in premeditated deceit, the policy
of peace was proclaimed, even to the evacuation of Sumter and the
other Federal forts and arsenals in the seceded States. “Why that policy
was suddenly abandoned, time will fully disclose. But just after the
spring elections, and the secret meeting in this city of the Governors
of several Northern and Western States, a fleet of eight vessels, carrying
fourteen hundred men, was sent down ostensibly to provision Fort Sum-
ter. Tiic authorities of South Carolina eagerly accepted the challenge,
and bombarded the fort into surrender, while the fleet fired not a gun,
but, just as soon as the flag was struck, bore away ancl returm-d to the
North. It was Sunday, the 14th of April, 1861; and that day the
President, in fatal haste, and without the advice or consent of Con-
gress, issued his proclamation, dated the next day, calling out seventy-
five thousand militia for three months, to repossess the forts, places,
and property seized from the United States, and commanding the in-
surgents to disperse in twenty days. Again the gauge was taken up by
the South, and thus the flames of a civil war, the grandest, bloodiest,
and saddest in history, lighted up the whole heavens. Virginia forth-
with seceded. North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas, followed;
Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri were in a blaze of agita-
tion, and within a week from the proclamation, the line of the Confed-
erate States was transferred from the cotton States to the Potomac, and
almost to the Ohio and the Missouri, and their population and fighting
men doubled.

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

But the reign of the mob was inaugurated only to be supplanted by
the iron domination of arbitrary power. Constitutional limitation was
broken down ; habeas corpus fell ; liberty of the press, of speech, of
the person, of the mails, of travel, of one’s own house, and of religion;
the right to bear arms, due process of law, judicial trial, trial by jury, trial
at all; every badge and muniment of freedom in republican government
or kingly government — all went down at a blow; and the chief law-
officer of the crown — I beg pardon, sir, but it is easy now to fall into
this courtly language — the Attorney-General, first of all men, proclaimed
in the United States the maxim of Roman servility : Whatever pleases
the President, that is law ! Prisoners of state were then first heard of
here. Midnight and arbitrary arrests commenced; travel was inter-
dicted ; trade embargoed ; passports demanded ; bastiles were intro-
duced ; strange oaths invented ; a secret police organized ; ” piping”
began ; informers multiplied ; spies now first appeared in America.
The right to declare war, to raise and support armies, and to provide
and maintain a navy, was usurped by the Executive ; and in a little
more than two months a land and naval force of over three hundred
thousand men was in the field or upon the sea. An army of public
plunderers followed, and corruption struggled with power in friendly
strife for the mastery at home.

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

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

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

Sir, I am one of that number who have opposed abolitionism, or the
political development of the anti-slavery sentiment of the North and
West, from the beginning. In school, at college, at the bar, in public
assemblies, in the Legislature, in Congress, boy and man, as a private
citizen and in public life, in time of peace and in time of war, at all
times anrl at every sacrifice, I have fought against it. It cost me ten
years’ exclusion from office and honor, at that period of life when hon-
ors are sweetest. No matter : I learned early to do right and to wait.
Sir, it is but the development of the spirit of intermeddling, whose
children are strife and murder. Cain troubled himself about the sacri-
fices of Abel, and slew him. Most of the wars, contentions, litigation,
and bloodshed, from the beginning of time, have been its fruits. The
spirit of non-intervention is the very spirit of peace and concord. I do
not believe that if slavery had never existed here we would have had
no sectional controversies. This very civil war might have happened
fifty, perhaps a hundred years later. Other and stronger causes of dis-
content and of disunion, it may be, have existed between other States
and sections, and are now being developed every day into maturity.
The spirit of intervention assumed the form of abolitionism because sla-
very was odious in name and by association to the Northern mind, and
because it was that which most obviously marks the different civilizations
of the two sections. The South herself, in her early and later efforts to
rid herself of it, had exposed the weak and offensive parts of slavery to
tlie world. Abolition intermeddling taught her at last to search for and
defend the assumed social, economic, and political merit and values of
the institution. But there never was an hour from the beginning when
it did not seem to me as clear as the sun at broad noon, that the agita-
tion in any form, in the North and West, of the slavery question, must
sooner or later end in disunion and civil war.

This was the opinion and prediction for years of Whig and Demo-
cratic statesmen alike ; and after the unfortunate dissolution of the
Whig party in 1854, and the organization of the present Republican
party upon an exclusively anti-slavery and sectional basis, the event
was inevitable ; because, in the then existing temper of the public mind,
and after the education through the press, and by the pulpit, the lecture
and the political canvass for twenty years, of a generation, taught to hate
slavery and the South, the success of that party, possessed, as it was,
of every engine of political, business, social, and religious influence, was
certain. It was only a question of time, and short time. Such was its
strength, indeed, that I do not believe that the union of the Democratic
party, in 1860, on any candidate, even though he had been supported
also by the entire so-called conservative or anti-Lincoln vote of the
country, would have availed to defeat it ; and if it had, the success of
the Abolition party would only have been postponed four years longer.
The disease had fastened too strongly- upon the system to be healed
until it had run its course. The doctrine of the ” irrepressible conflict”
had been taught too long, and accepted too widely and earnestly, to die
out until it should culminate in secession and disunion ; and, if coercion
were resorted to, then in civil war. I believed from the first that it
was the purpose of some of the apostles of that doctrine to force a col-
lision between the North and the South, either to bring about a sepa-
ration, or to find a vain, but bloody pretext for abolishing slavery in the
States. In any event, I knew, or I thought I knew, that the end was
certain collision, and death to the Union.

Believing thus, I have for years past denounced those who taught
that doctrine with all the vehemence, the bitterness, if you choose — I
thought it a righteous, a patriotic bitterness — of an earnest and impas-
sioned nature. Thinking thus, 1 forewarned all who believed the doc-
trine, or followed the party which taught it, with a sincerity and a depth
of conviction as profound as ever penetrated the heart of man. And
when, for eight years past, over and over again, I have proclaimed to
the people that the success of a sectional anti-slavery party would be
the beginning of disunion and civil war in America, I believed it. I
did. 1 had read history, and studied human nature, and meditated for
years upon the character of our institutions and form of government,
and of the people South as well as North ; and I could not doubt the
event. But the people did not believe me, nor those older and wiser
and greater than I. They rejected the prophecy and stoned the
prophets. The candidate of the Republican party was chosen President.
Secession began. Civil war was imminent. It was no petty insurrec-
tion ; no temporary combination to obstruct the execution of the laws
in certain States ; but a revolution, systematic, deliberate, determined,
and with the consent of a majority of the people of each State which
seceded. Causeless it may have been ; wicked it may have been ; but
there it was ; not to be railed at, still less to be laughed at, but to be
dealt with by statesmen as a fact. No display of vigor or force alone,
however sudden or great, could have arrested it, even at the outset. It
was disunion at last. The wolf had come. But civil war had not yet
followed. In my deliberate and most solemn judgment, there was but
one wise and masterly mode of dealing with it. Non-coercion would
avert civil war, and compromise crush out both Abolitionism and Seces-
sion. The parent and the child would thus both perish. But a resort
to force would at once precipitate war, hasten secession, extend disunion,
and, while it lasted, utterly cut off all hope of compromise. I believed
that war, if long enough continued, would be final, eternal disunion. I
said it ; I meant it ; and, accordingly, to the utmost of my ability and
influence, I exerted myself in behalf of the policy of non-coercion. It
was adopted by Mr. Buchanan’s Administration, with the almost unan-
imous consent of the Democratic and Constitutional Union parties in
and out of Congress ; and, in February, with the concurrence of a ma-
jority of the Republican party in the Senate and this House. But that
party, most disastrously for the country, rofiised all cotnpromise. How,
indeeil, could tliey accept any? That which the South demanded, and
the Democratic and conservative parties of the North and West were
willinjjj to praiit, and which alone could avail to keep the peace and save
the Union, implied a surrender of the sole vital element of the party
and its platform — of the very principle, in fact, upon which it had just
won the contest for the Presidency ; not, indeed, by a majority of the
popular vote — the majority was nearly a million against it — but under
the forms of the Constitution. Sir, the crime, the ” high crime” of the
Republican party was not so much its refusal to compromise, as its
original organization upon a basis and doctrine wholly inconsistent with
the stability of the ConstitAtion and the peace of the Union.

But to resume : the session of Congress expired. The President elect
was inaugurated ; and now, if only the policy of non-coercion could be
maintained, and war thus averted, time would do its work in the North
and the South, and final peaceable adjustment and reunion be secured.
Some time in March it was announced that the President had resolved
to continue the policy of his predecessor, and even go a step further,
and evacuate Sumter and the other Federal forts and arsenals in the
seceded States. His own party acquiesced ; the whole country rejoiced.
The policy of non-coercion had triumphed, and for once, sir, in ray life,
I found myself in an immense majority. No man then pretended that
a Union founded in consent, could be cemented by force. Nay, more,
the President and the Secretary of State went further. Said Mr. Sew-
ard, in an official diplomatic letter to Mr, Adams :

“For these reasons, he (the President) would not be disposed to reject a cardinal
dogma of theirs (the Secessionists), namely, that the Federal Government could
not reduce the seceding States to obedience by conquest, although he were disposed
to question that proposition. But in fact the President wiUingly accepts it as true.
Only an imperial or despotic government could subjugate thoroughly disaflected
and insurrectionary members of the State.”

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

” This Federal Republican system of ours is, of all forms of government, the very
one which is most unfitted for such a labor.”

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

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

. These were my convictions on the 14th of April. Had I changed
them on the 15th, when I read the President’s proclamation, and be-
come convinced that I had been wrong all ray life, and that all history
was a fable, and all human nature false in its development from the
beginning of time, I would have changed my public conduct also.
But my convictions did not change. I thought that, if war was dis-
union on the 14th of April, it was equally disunion on the 15th, and at
all times. Believing this, I could not, as an honest man, a Union man,
and a patriot, lend an active support to the war; and I did not. I had
rather ray right arm were plucked from its socket and cast into eternal
burnings than, with my convictions, to have thus defiled my soul with
the guilt of moral perjury. Sir, I was not taught in that school which
proclaims that ” all is fair in politics.” I loathe, abhor, and detest the
execrable maxim. I stamp upon it. No State can endure a single gen-
eration whose public men practise it. Whoever teaches it is a corrupter
of youth. AVhat we most want in these times, and at all times, is
honest and independent public men. That man who is dishonest in
politics, is not honest at heart in any thing; and sometimes moral
cowardice is dishonesty. Do right ; and trust to God, and truth, and
the people. Perish office, perish honors, perish life itself — but do
the thing that is right, and do it like a man. I did it. Certainly,
sir, I could not doubt what he must suffer who dare defy the opin-
ions and the passions, not to say the madness, of twenty millions
of people. Had I not read history ? Did I not know human nature !
But I appealed to Time ; and right nobly hath the avenger answered
me.

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

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

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

“I hold that there is a distinction in this respect between a state of peace and •
war. In the latter, the right of withholding supplies ought ever to be lield sub-
ordinate to the energetic and successful prosecution of the war. I go further, and
regard the witholding supplies, with a view of forcing the country into a diihonorahlc
peace, as not only to be what it has been called, moral treason, but. very little
short of actual treason itself.”

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

” Every Senator knows that I was opposed to the war ; but none knows but
myself the depth of that opposition. “With my conception of its character and con-
sequences, it was impossible for me to vote for it.”

And again, in 1848 :

“But, after the war was declared, by authority of the Government, I acquiesced
in what I could not prevent, and which it was impossible for me to arrest: and I then
felt it to be my duty to limit my efforts to give such direction to the war as would,
as far as possible, prevent the evils and dangers with which it threatened the country
and its institutions.”

Sir, I adopt all this as my own position and my defence ; though,
perhaps, in a civil war I might fairly go further in opposition. I could
not, with my convictions, vote men and money for this war, and I
would not, as a Representative, vote against them. I meant that, with-
out opposition, the President might take all the men and all the money
he should demand, and then to hold him to a strict accountability
before the people for the results. Not believing the soldiers responsible
for the war, or its purposes, or its consequences, I have never withheld
my vote where their separate interests were concerned. But I have
denounced, from the beginning, the usurpations and the infractions, one
and all, of law and Constitution, by the President and those under
him ; their repeated and persistent arbitrary arrests, the suspension of
habeas corpus, the violation of freedom of the mails, of the private
house, of the press and of speech, and all the other multiplied wrongs
and outrages upon public liberty and private right, which have made
this country one of the worst despotisms on earth for the past twenty
months ; and I will continue to rebuke and denounce them to the end ;
and the people, thank God ! have at last heard and heeded, and
rebuked them, too. To the record and to time 1 appeal again for my
justification.

And now, sir, I recur to the state of the Union to-day. What is it ?
Sir, twenty months have elapsed, but the rebellion is not crushed out;
its military power has not been broken ; the insurgents have not dis-
persed. The Union is not restored ; nor the Constitution maintained ;
nor the laws enforced. Twenty, sixty, ninety, three hundred, six
hundred days have passed ; a thousand millions been expended ; and
three hundred thousand lives lost or bodies mangled ; and to-day the
Confederate flag is still near the Potomac and the Ohio, and the Con-
federate Government stronger, many times, than at the beginning. Not
a State has been restored, not any part of any State has voluntarily
returned to the Union. And has any thing been wanting that Con-
gress, or the States, or the people in their most generous enthusiasm,
their most impassionate patriotism, could bestow ? Was it power ?
And did not the party of the Executive control the entire Federal Gov-
ernment, every State Government, every county, every city, town, and
village in the North and West ? Was it patronage ? All belonged to
it. Was it influence ? What more ? Did not the school, the college,
the church, the press, the secret orders, the municipality, the corpora-
tion, railroads, telegraphs, express companies, the voluntary association,
all, all yield it to the utmost? Was it unanimity? Never was an
Administration so supported in England or America. Five men and
half a score of newspapers made up the Opposition. Was it enthusiasm ?
The enthusiasm was fanatical. There has been nothinfr like it since
the Crusades. Was it confidence? Sir, the faith of the’ people ex-
ceeded that of the patriarch. They gave up Constitution, law, right,
liberty, all at your demand for arbitrary power that the rebellion might,
as you promised, be crushed uut in three months, and the Union
restored. Was credit needed ? You took control of a country, young,
vigorous, and inexhaustible in wealth and resources, and of a Govern-
ment almost free from public debt, and whose good faith had never
been tarnished. Your great national loan bubble failed miserably, as
it deserved to fail ; but the bankers and merchants of Philadelphia,
New York, and Boston lent you more than their entire banking capital.
And when that failed too, you forced credit by declaring your paper
promises to pay, a legal tender for all debts. Was money wanted ?
You had all the revenues of the United States, diminished indeed, but
still in gold. The whole wealth of the country, to the last dollar, lay at
your feet. Private individuals, municipal corporations, the State gov-
ernments, all, in their frenzy, gave you money or means with reckless
prodigality. The great Eastern cities lent you 1150,000,000. Congress
voted, first, 6250,000,000, and next $500,000,000 more in loans; and
then, first 850,000,000, next $10,000,000, then 890,000,000, and, in
July last, 8150,000,000 in Treasury notes ; and the Secretary has issued
also a paper ” postage currency,” in sums as low as five cents, limited
in amount only by his discretion. Nay, more : already since the 4th
of July, 1861, this House has appropriated 82,01*7,864,000, almost
every dollar without debate, and without a recorded vote. A thousand
millions have been expended since the 15th of April, 1861 ; and a
public debt or liability of 81,500,000,000 already incurred. And to
support all this stupendous outlay and indebtedness, a system of tax-
ation, direct and indirect, has been inaugurated, the most onerous and
unjust ever imposed upon any but a conquered people.

Money and credit, then, you have had in prodigal profusion. And
were men wanted? More than a million rushed to arms! Seventy-
five thousand first (and the country stood aghast at the multitude),
then eighty-three thousand more were demanded ; and three hundred
and ten thousand responded to the call. The President next asked
for four hundred thousand, and Congress, in their generous con-
fidence, gave him five hundred thousand ; and, not to be outdone, he
took six hundred and thirty-seven thousand. Half of these melted
away in their first campaign ; and the President demanded three bun-
dred thousand more for the war, and then drafted yet anotlier three
hundred thousand for nine months. The fabled hosts of Xerxes
have been outnumbered. And yet victory, strangely, follows the
standard of the foe. From Great Bethel to Vicksburg, the battle
has not been to the strong. Yet every disaster, except the last, has
been followed by a call for more troops, and every time, so far, they
have been promptly furnished. From the beginning the war has
been conducted like a political campaign, and it has been the folly
of the party in power that they have assumed, that numbers alone
would win the field in a contest not with ballots but with musket
and sword. But numbers, you have had almost without number — the
largest, best appointed, best armed, fed, and clad host of biave men,
well organized and well disciplined, ever marshalled. A Navy, too,
not the most formidable perhaps, but the most numerous and gallant,
and the costliest in the world, and against a foe, almost without a
navy at all. Thus, with twenty millions of people, and every element
of strength and force at command — power, patronage, influence,
unanimity, enthusiasm, confidence, credit, money, men, an Army and
a Navy the largest and the noblest ever set in the field, or afloat upon
the sea; with the support, almost servile, of every State, county, and
municipality in the North and West, with a Congress swift to do the
bidding of the Executive; without opposition anywhere at home;
and with an arbitrary power which neither the Czar of Russia, nor
the Emperor of Austria dare exercise ; yet after nearly two years of
more vigorous prosecution of war than ever recorded in history ; after
more skirmishes, combats, and battles than Alexander, Cfesar, or the
first Napoleon ever fought in any five years of their military career,
you have utterly, signally, disastrously — I will not say ignominiously
— failed to subdue ten millions of ” rebels,” whom you had taught
the people of the North and West not only to hate, but to despise.
Rebels, did I sny ? Yes, your fathers were rebels, or your grand-
fathers. He, who now before me on canvas looks down so sadly
upon us, the false, degenerate, and imbecile guardians of the great
Republic which he founded, was a rebel. And yet we, craillcd our-
selves in rebellion, and who have fostered and fraternized with every
insurrection in the nineteenth century everywhere throughout the
globe, would now, forsooth, make the word ” rebel” a reproach.
Rebels certainly they are ; but all the persistent and stupendous
eff”orts of the most gigantic warfare of modern times have, thi’ough
your incompetency and folly, availed nothing to crush them out, cut
off though they have been, by your blockade, from all the world, and
dependent only upon their own courage and resources. And yet, they
were to be utterly conquered and subdued in six weeks, or three
months ! Sir, my judgment was made up, and expressed from the
first. I learned it from Chatham : ” My lords, you cannot conquer
America.” And you have not conquered the South. You never
will. It is not in the nature of things possible ; much less under
your auspices. But money you have expended without limit, and
blood poured out like water. Defeat, debt, taxation, sepulchres, these
are your trophies. In vain, the people gave you treasure, and the
soldier yielded up his life. ” Fight, tax, emancipate, let these,” said
the gentleman from Maine (Mr. Pike), at the last session, ” be the
trinity of our salvation.” Sir, they have become the trinity of your
deep danmation. The war for the Union is, in your hands, a most
bloody and costly failure. The President confessed it on the 22d
of September, solemnly, officially, and under the broad seal of the
United States. And he has now repeated the confession. The priests
and rabbis of abolition taught him that God would not prosper such
a cause. ^Yar for the Union was abandoned ; war for the negro
openly begun, and with stronger battalions than before. With what
success? Let the dead at Fredericksburg and Vicksburg answer.

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

” The wife whose babe first smiled that day,
The fair, fond bride of yester eve,
And aged sire and matron gray,
Saw the loved warriors haste away,

And deemed it sin to grieve.”

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

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

CAN THE UNION OF THESE STATES BE RESTORED ? HOW SHALL IT BE DONE?

And why not ? Is it historically impossible ? Sir, the frequent
civil wars and conflicts between the States of Greece did not prevent
their cordial union to resist the Persian invasion ; nor did even ‘the
thirty years Peloponnesian war, springing, in part, from the abduc-
tion of slaves, and embittered and disastrous as it was — let Thucydi-
des speak — wholly destroy the fellowship of those States. The wise
Romans ended the three years Social War, after many bloody battles
and much atrocity, by admitting the States of Italy to all the rights
and privileges of Roman citizenship — the very object to secure
which these States had taken up arms. The border wars between
Scotland and England, running through centuries, did not prevent
the final union, in peace and by adjustment, of the two kingdoms
under one monarch. Compromise did at last what ages of coercion
and attempted conquest had failed to eflfect. England kept the
crown, while Scotland gave the king to wear it; and the memories
of Wallace, and the Bruce of Bannockburn, became part of the
glories of British history. I pass by the union of Ireland with
England — a union of force, which God and just men abhor; and
yet precisely “the Union as it should be” of the Abolitionists of
America. Sir, the rivalries of the houses of York and Lancaster,
filled all England with cruelty and slaughter; yet compromise and
intermarriage ended the strife at last, and the white rose and the red
were blended in one. Who dreamed a month before the death of
Cromwell that in two years the people of England, after twenty
years of civil war and usurpation, would, with great unanimity,
restore the house of Stuart, in the person of its most worthless
prince, whose father, but eleven years before, they had beheaded ?
And who could have foretold, in the beginning of 1812, that within
some three years, Napoleon would be in exile upon a desert island,
and the Bourbons restored ? Armed foreign intervention did it ;
but it is a strange history. Or who then expected to see a nephew
of Napoleon, thirty-five years later, with the consent of the people,
supplant the Bourbon, and reign Emperor of France? Sir, many
States and people, once separate, have become united in the course
of ages, through natural causes, and without conquest ; but I remem-
bcr a single instance only, in history, of States or peoples once
united, and speaking the same language, who have been forced per-
manently asunder by civil strife or war, unless they were separated
by distance or vast natural boundaries. The secession of the Ten
Tribes is the exception ; these parted without actual war ; and their
subsequent history is not encouraging to secession. But when
Moses, the greatest of all statesmen, would secure a distinct nation-
ality and government to the Hebrews, he left Egypt, and established
his people in a distant country. In modern times, the Netherlands,
three centuries ago, won their independence by the sword ; but
France and the English channel separated them from Spain. So
did our Thirteen Colonies ; but the Atlantic ocean divided us from
England. So did Mexico, and other Spanish colonies in America,
but the same ocean divided them from Spain. Cuba and the Cana-
das still adhere to the parent governments. And who now. North
or South, in Europe or America, looking into history, shall pre-
sumptuously say, that because of civil Avar the reunion of these States
is impossible? War, indeed, while.it lasts, is disunion, and, if it
lasts long enough, will be final, eternal separation first, and anarchy
and despotism afterward. Hence, I would hasten peace now, to-day,
by every honorable appliance.

Are there physical causes which render reunion impracticable?
None. Where other causes do not control, rivers unite ; but
mountains, deserts, and great bodies of water — oceani dissociahiles —
separate a people. Vast forests originally, and the lakes now also,
divide us — not very widely or wholly — from the Canadas, though we
speak the same language, and are similar in manners, laws, and
institutions. Our chief naviorable rivers run from North to South.
Most of our bays and arms of the sea take the same direction. So
do our ranges of mountains. Natural causes all tend to Union,
except as between the Pacific coast and the country east of the
Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic. It is ” manifest destiny.” Union
is empire. Hence, hitherto we have continually extended our terri-
tory, and the Union with it. South and West. The Louisiana pur-
chase, Florida, and Texas all attest it. We passed desert and
forest, and scaled even the Rocky Mountains, to extend the Union to
the Pacific. Sir, there is no natural boundary between the North
and the South, and no line of latitude upon which to separate ; and
if ever a line of longitude shall be established it will be east of the
Mississippi valley. The Alleghanies are no longer a barrier. High-
ways ascend them everywhere, and the railroad now climbs their
summits, and spans their chasms, or penetrates their rockiest
sides. The electric telegraph follows, and, stretching its connecting
wires along the clouds, there mingles its vocal lightnings with the
fires of heaven.

But if disunionists in the East will force a separation of any of these
States, and a boundary, purely conventional, is at last to be marked out,
it must, and it will be either from Lake Erie upon the shortest line to
the Ohio River, or from Manhattan to the Canadas.

And now, sir, is there any difference of race here so radical as to for-
bid reunion ? I do not refer to the negro race, styled now, in unctuous
official phrase, by the President, ” Americans of African descent.”
Certainly, sir, there are two white races, in the United States, both from
the same common stock, and yet so distinct — one of them so peculiar —
that they develop different forms of civilization, and might belong,
almost, to different types of mankind. I5ut the boundary of these two
races is not at all marked by the line which divides the slaveholding
from the non-slaveholding States. If race is to be the geographical limit
of disunion, then Mason and Dixon’s can never be the line.

Next, sir, do not the causes which, in the beginning, impelled to
Union, still exist in their utmost force and extent ? What were they ?

First, the common descent — and, therefore, consanguinity — of the
great mass of the people from the Anglo-Saxon stock. Had the
Canadas been settled, originally, by the English, they would, doubtless,
have followed the fortunes of the Thirteen Colonies. Next, a common
language, one of the strongest of the ligaments which bind a people.
Had we been contiguous to Great Britain, either the causes which led
to a separation woQld have never existed, or else been speedily removed ;
or, afterward, we would long since have been reunited as equals, and
with all the rights of Englishmen. And along with these were sinnlar,
at least not essentially dissimilar, manners, habits, laws, religion, and in-
stitutions of all kinds, except one. The common defence was another
powerful incentive, and is named in the Constitution as one among the
objects of the “more perfect Union” of 1787. Stronger yet than all
these, perhaps, but made up of all of them, was a common interest.
Variety of climate and soil, and, therefore, of production, implying, also,
extent of country, is not an element of separation, but, added to con-
tiguity, becomes a part of the ligament of interest, and is one of its
toughest strands. Variety of production is the parent of the earliest
commerce and trade ; and these, in their full development, are, as be-
tween foreign nations, hostages for peace ; and between States and
people united, they are the firmest bonds of union. But, after all, the
strongest of the many original impelling causes to the Union was the
securing of domestic tranquillity. The statesmen of 1787 well knew
that between thirteen independent but contiguous States, without a
natural boundary, and with nothing to separate them, except the ma-
cluncrv of similar fjovcrnmcnts, there must be a perpetual, in fact, an
“irrepressible contiict” of jurisdiction and interest, which, there being
no other common arbiter, could only be terminated by the conflict of
the sword. And the statesmen of 1863 ought to know that two or
more confederate governments, made up of similar States, having no
natural Ixnmdary either, and separated only by different governments,
cannot endure long together in peace, unless one or more of them be
either too pusillanimous for rivalry, or too insignificant to provoke it, or
too weak to resist aggression.

These, sir, along with the establishment of justice, and the securing
of tlic general welfare, and of the blessings of liberty to themselves and
their posterity, made up the causes and motives which impelled our
fathers to the Union at first.

And now, sir, what one of them is wanting? What one diminished?
On the contrary, many of them are stronger to-day than in the begin-
ning. Migration and intermarriage have strengthened the ties of con-
sanguinity. Commerce, trade, and production, have immensely multi-
plied. Cotton, almost unknown here in 1787, is now the chief product
and export of the country. It has set in motion three-fourths of the
spindles of Xew England, and given employment, directly or remotely,
to full half the sliipping, trade, and commerce of the United States.
More than that: cotton has kept the peace between England and Amer
ica for thirty years ; and, had the people of the North been as wise and
practical as the statesmen of Great Britain, it would have maintained
union and peace here. But we are being taught in our first century,
and at our own cost, the lessons which England learned through the
long and bloody experience of eight hundred years. We shall be wiser
next time. Let not cotton be king, but peacemaker, and inherit the
blessing.

A common interest, then, still remains to us. And union for the
common defence, at the end of this war, taxed, indebted, impoverished,
exhausted, as both sections must be, and with foreign fleets and armies
around us, will be fifty-fold more essential than ever before. And
finally, sir, without union, our domestic tranquillity must forever remain
unsettled. If it cannot be maintained within the Union, how, then,
outside of it, without an exodus or colonization of the people of one
section or the other to a distairt country ? Sir, I repeat, that two gov-
ernments so interlinked and bound together every way, by physical and
social ligaments, cannot exist in peace without a common arbiter. Will
treaties bind us? What better treaty than the Constitution? What
more solemn, more durable? Shall we settle our disputes then by arbi-
tration and compromise ? Sir, let us arbitrate and compromise now,
inside of the Union. Certainly it will be quite as easy.

And now, sir, to all these original causes and motives which impelled
to Union at first, must be added certain artificial ligaments, which eighty
years of association under a common Government have most fully
developed. Chief among these are canals, steam navigation, railroads,
express companies, the post-office, the newspaper press, and that ter-
rible agent of good and evil mixed — ” spirit of health, and yet goblin
damned,” if free, the gentlest minister of truth and liberty : when en-
slaved, the sypplest instrument of falsehood and tyranny — the magnetic
telegraph. All these have multiplied the speed or the quantity of trade,
travel, communication, migration, and intercourse of all kinds, between
the diflferent States and sections ; and thus, so long as a healthy con-
dition of the body-politic continued, they became powerful cementing
agencies of union. The numerous voluntary associations, artistic, lite-
rary, charitable, social, and scientific, until corrupted and made fanatical ;
the various ecclesiastical organizations, until they divided ; and the
political parties, so long as they remained all national, and none sec-
tional, were also among the strong ties which bound us together. An^
yet all of these, perverted and abused for some years in the hands of
bad or fanatical men, became still more powerful instrumentalities in the
fatal work of disunion ; just as the veins and arteries of the human body,
designed to convey the vitalizing fluid through every part of it, will carry
also, and with increased rapidity it may be, the subtle poison which
takes life away. Nor is this all. It was through their agency that the
imprisoned winds of civil war were all let loose at first with such sudden
and appalling fury ; and, kept in motion by political power, they have
ministered to that fury ever since. But, potent alike for good and evil,
they may yet, under the control of the people, and in the hands of ^ise,
good, and patriotic men, be made the most effective agencies, under
Providence, in the reunion of these States.

Other ties, also, less material in their nature, but hardly less per-
suasive in their influence, have grown up under the Union. Long asso-
ciation, a common history, national reputation, treaties and diplomatic
intercourse abroad, admission of new States, a common jurisprudence,
great men whose names and fame are the patrimony of the whole coun-
try, patriotic music and songs, common battle-fields, and glory won
under the same flag. These make up the poetry of the Union ; and
yet, as in the marriage relation, and the family, with similar influences,
they are stronger than hooks of steel. He was a wise statesman, though
he may never have held an office, who said : ” Let me write the songs
of a people, and I care not who makes their laws.” Why is the Mar-
seillaise prohibited in France? Sir, Hail Columbia and the Star-
Spangled Banner — Pennsylvania gave us one, and Maryland the other —
have done more for the Union than all the legislation and all the de-
bates in this capital for forty years ; and they will do more yet again
than all your armies, though you call out another million of men into
the field. Sir, I would add ” Yankee Doodle ;” but first let me be as-
sured that Yankee Doodle loves the Union more than he hates the
slaveholder.*

And now, sir, I propose to briefly consider the causes which led to
disunion and the present civil war; and to inquire whether they are
eternal and ineradicable in their nature, and at the same time powerful
enough to overcome all the causes and considerations which impel to
reunion.

Having, two years ago, discussed fully and elaborately the more
abstruse and remote causes whence civil commotions in all govern-
ments, and those also which are peculiar to our complex and Federal
system, such as the consolidating tendencies of the General Govenmient,
because of executive power and patronage, and of the tariff, and taxa-
tion and disbursement generally, all unjust and burdensome to the West
equally with the South, I pass them by now.

“What then, I ask, is the immediate, direct canse of disunion and this
civil war ? Slavery, it is answered. Sir, that is the philosophy of the
rustic in the play — ” that a great cause of the night, is lack of the sun.”
Certainly slavery was in one sense — very obscure, indeed — -the cause of
the war. Had there been no slavery here, this particular war about
slavery would never have been waged. In a like sense, the Holy
Sepulchre was the cause of the war of the Crusades, and had Troy or
Carthage never existed, there never would have been Trojan or Cartha-
ginian war, and no such personages as Hector and Hannibal ; and no Iliad
or -^neid would ever have been written. But far better say that the
negro is the cause of the war; for had there been no negro here, there
would be no war just now. What then ? Exterminate him ? Who
demands it ? Colonize him ? How ? Where ? When ? At whose
cost ? Sir, let us have an end of this folly.

But slavery is the cause of the war. Why ? Because the South
obstinately and wickedly refused to restrict or abolish it at the demand
of the philosophers or fanatics and demagogues of the North and AVest.
Then, sir, it was abolition, the purpose to abolish or interfere with and
hem in slavery, which caused disunion and war. Slavery is only the
subject, but Abolition the cause of this civil war. It was the persistent
and determined agitation in the free States of the question of abolishing
slavery in the South, because of the alleged ” irrepressible conflict” be-
tween the forms of labor in the two sections, or, in the false and mis-
chievous cant of the day, between freedom and slavery, that forced a
collision of arms at last. Sir, that conflict Avas not confined to the Ter-
ritories, It was expressly proclaimed by its apostles, as between the
States also — against the institution of domestic slavery everywhere.
But, assuming the platforms of the Republican party as a standard, and
stating the case most strongly ii. favor of that party, it was the refusal
of the South to consent that slavery should be excluded from the Ter-
ritories, that led to the continued agitation, North and South, of that
question, and finally to disunion and civil war. Sir, I will not be an-
swered now by the old clamor about ” the aggressions of the slave
power.” That miserable spectre, that imreal mockery, has been exor-
cised and expelled by debt and taxation and blood. If that power did
govern this country for the sixty years preceding this terrible revolu-
tion, then the sooner this Administration and Government return to the
principles and policy of Southern statesmanship, the better for the coun-
try ; aud that, sir, is already, or soon will be, the judgment of the
people. But I deny that it was the ” slave power” that governed for
so many years, and so wisely and well. It was the Democratic party,
and its principles and policy, moulded and controlled, indeed, largely by
Southern statesmen. Neither will I be stopped by that other cry of
mingled fanaticism and hypocrisy, about the sin and barbarism of
African slavery. Sir, I see more of barbarism and sin, a thousand times,
in the continuance of this war, the dissolution of the Union, the break-
ing up of this Government, and the enslavement of the white race, by
debt and taxes and arbitrary power. The day of fanatics and sophists
and enthusiasts, thank God, is gone at last ; and though the age of
chivalry may not, the age of practical statesmanship is about to return.
Sir, I accept the language and intent of the Indiana resolution, to the
full — ” that in considering terms of settlement, we will look only to the
welfare, peace, and safety of the white race, without reference to the
effect that settlement may have upon the. condition of the African.”
And when we have done this, my word for it, the safety, peace, and
welfare of the African will have been best secured. Sir, there is fifty-
fold less of anti-slavery sentiment to-day in the West than there was
two years ago ; and if this war be continued, there will be still less a
year hence. The people there begin, at last, to comprehend, that do-
mestic slavery in the South is a question, not of morals, or religion, or
humanity, but a form of labor, perfectly compatible with the dignity of
free white labor in the same community, and with national vigor,
power, and prosperity, and especially with military strength. They
have learned, or begin to learn, that the evils of the system affect the
– master alone, or the community and State in which it exists ; and that
we of the free States partake of all the material benefits of the iustitu-
tion, unmixed with any part of its mischief. They believe, also, in the
subordination of the negro race to the wlute, where they both exist to-
gether, and that the condition of subordination, as established in the
South, is far better every way, for the negro, than the hard servitude of
poverty, degradation, and crime, to which he is subjected in the free States.
All this, sir, may be ” pro-slaveryisin,” if there be such a woixl. Per-
haps it is ; but the people of the West begin now to think it wisdom
and good sense. We will not establish slavery in our own midst;
neither will we abolish it, or interfere with it outside of our own Umits.
Sir, an anti-slavery paper in New York {the Tribune), the most in-
fluential, and therefore, most dangerous, of all of that class — it would ex-
hibit more of dignity, and command more of influence, if it were always
to discuss public questions and public men with decent respect — laying
aside now the epithets of ” secessionist” and ” traitor,” has returned to
its ancient political nomenclature, and calls certain members of this
House ” pro-slavery.” Well, sir, in the old sense of the term, as ap-
plied to the Democratic party, I will not object. I said, years ago, and
it is a fitting time now to repeat it :

” If to love my country ; to cherish the Union ; to revere the Constitution ; if
to abhor the madness, and hate the treason, which would lift up a sacrilegious
hand against either; if to read that in the past, to behold it in the present, to
foresee it in tlie future of this land, which is of more value to us, and to the
world, for ages to come, than ail the multiplied millions who have inhabited Africa, from the creation to this day I — if this it is to be pro-slavery, then in every nerve, fibre, vein, bone, tendon, joint, and ligament, from the topmost hair of the head to the last extremity of the foot, I am all over and altogether a pro-slavery man.”

And now, sir, I come to the great and controlling question, within
which the whole issue of union or disunion is bound up. Is there ” an
irrepressible conflict” between the slaveholding and non-slaveholding
States ? Must ” the cotton and rice fields of South Carolina, and the
sugar plantations of Louisiana,” in the language of Mr. Seward, ” be
ultimately tilled by free labor, and Charleston and New Orleans become
marts for legitimate merchandise alone, or else the rye-fields and wheat-
fields of Massachusetts and New York again be surrendered by their
farmers to slave culture and the production of slaves, and Boston and
New York become, once more, markets for trade in the bodies and
souls of men ?” If so, then there is an end of all union, and forever.
You cannot abolish slavery by the sword ; still less by proclamations,
though the President were to ” proclaim” every month. Of what pos-
sible avail was his proclamation of September ? Did the South sub-
mit ? Was she even alarmed ? And yet, he has now fulrained an-
other ” bull against the comet” — hrutum fulinen — and threatening
servile insurrection, with all its horrors, has yet coolly appealed to the
judgment of mankind, and invoked the blessing of the God of peace
and love ! But declaring it a military necessity, an essential measure
of war, to subdue the rebels, yet, with admirable wisdom, he expressly
exempts from its operation the only States, and parts of States, in the
South, where he has the military power to execute it.

Neither, sir, can you abolish slavery by argument. As well attempt
to abolish marriage, or the relation of paternity. The South is resolved
to maintain it at every hazard, and by every sacrifice ; and if ” this
Union cannot endure, part slave and part free,” then it is already and
finally dissolved. Talk not to me of ” West Virginia.” Tell me not
of Missouri trampled under the feet of your soldiery. As well talk to
me of Ireland. Sir, the destiny of those States must abide the issue
of the war. But Kentucky you may find tougher. And Maryland —

” E’en in her ashes live their wonted fires “

Nor will Delaware be found wanting in the day of trial.

But I deny the doctrine. It is full of disunion and civil war. It is
disunion itself. Whoever first tau2:ht it ought to be dealt with as not
only hostile to the Union, but an enemy of the human race. Sir,
the fundamental idea of the Constitution is the perfect and eternal
compatibility of a union of States, ” part slave and part free ;” else the
Constitution never would have been framed, nor the Union founded ;
and seventy years of successful experiment have approved the wisdom
of the plan. In my deliberate judgment, a confederacy, made up of
slaveholding and non-slaveholding States, is, in the nature of things, the
strongest of all popular governments. African slavery has been, anid is,
eminently conservative. It makes the absolute political equality of the
white race everywhere practicable. It dispenses with the English order
of nobility, and leaves every white man, North and South, owning
slaves or owning none, the equal of every other white man. It has re-
conciled universal suffrage, throughout the free States, with the stability
of government. I speak not now of its material benefits to the North
and West, which are many and more obvious. But the South, too, has
profited many ways by a union with the non-slaveholding States. En-
terprise, industry, self-reliance, perseverance, and the other hardy vir-
tues of a people living in a higher latitude, and without hereditary ser-
vants, she has learned or received from the North. Sir, it is easy, I
know, to denounce all this, and to revile him who utters it. Be it so.
The English is, of all languages, the most copious in words of bitterness
and reproach. ” Pour on : I will endure.”

Then, sir, there is not an ” irrepressible conflict” between slave labor
and free laboi*. There is no conflict at all. Both exist together in per-
fect harmony in the South. The master and the slave, the white laborer
and the black, work together in the same field, or the same shop, and
without tlio slightest sense of degradation. They arc not equals, either
socially or politically. And why, then, cannot Ohio, having only free
labor, live in harmony with Kentucky, which has both slave and free?
Above all, why cannot Massachusetts allow the same right of choice to
South Carolina, separated as they are a thousand miles, by other States,
who would keep the peace, and live in good-will ? Why this civil war?
Whence disunion? Not from slavery — not because the South chooses
to have two kinds of labor instead of one — but from sectionalism, al-
ways and everywhere a disintegrating principle. Sectional jealousy and
hate — these, sir, are the only elements of conflict between these States ;
and, though powerful, they are yet not at all irrepressible. They exist
between families, communities, towns, cities, counties, and States ; and
if not I’epressed, would dissolve all society and government. They
exist, also, between other sections than the North and South. Section-
alism East, many years ago, saw the South and West united by the ties
of geographical position, migration, intermarriage, and interest, and
thus strong enough to control the power and policy of the Union. It
found us divided only by different forms of labor, and, with consum-
mate, but most guilty sagacity, it seized upon the question of slavery as
the surest and most powerful instrumentality by which to separate the
West from the South, and bind her wholly to the North. Encouraged
every way, from abroad, by those who were jealous of our prosperity
and greatness, and who knew the secret of our strength, it proclaimed
the ” irrepressible conflict” between slave labor and free labor. It
taught the people of the North to forget both their duty and their in-
terests ; and, aided by the artificial ligaments and influences, which
money and enterprise had created between the seaboard and the North-
west, it persuaded the-people of that section, also, to yield up every tie
which binds them to the great \alley of the Mississippi, and to join,
their political fortunes especially, wholly with the East. It resisted the
fuQfitive slave law, and demanded the exclusion of slavery from all the
Territories, and from this District, and clamored against the admission
of any more slave States into the Union. It organized a sectional anti-
slavery party, and thus drew to its aid, as well political ambition and in-
terest, as fanaticism ; and, after twenty-five years of incessant and vehe-
ment agitation, it obtained possession, finally, and upon that issue, of
the Federal Government, and of every State government. North and
West. And, to-day, we are in the mid§t of the greatest, most cruel,
most destructive civil war ever waged. But two years, sir, of blood,
and debt, and taxation, and incipient commercial ruin, are teaching the
people of the West, and, I trust, of the North, also, the folly and mad-
ness of this crusade against African slavery, and the wisdom and neces-
sity of a union of the States, as our fathers made it, ” part slave and
part free.”

What then, sir, with so many causes impelling to reunion, keeps us
apart to-day ? Hate, passion, antagonism, revenge — all heated seven
times hotter by war. Sir, these, Avliile they last, are the most powerful
of all motives with a people, and with the individual man ; hut, fortu
nately, they are the least durable. They hold a divided sway in the
same bosoms with the nobler qualities of love, justice, reason, placabil-
ity ; and, except when at their height, are weaker than the sense of in-
terest, and always, in States, at least, give way to it at last. No states-
man Avho yields himself up to them can govern wisely or well ; and no
State whose policy is controlled by them can either prosper or endure.
But war is both their offspring and their aliment, and, while it lasts, all
other motives are subordinate. The virtues of peace cannot flourish,
cannot even find development in the midst of fighting ; and this civil
war keeps in motion all the centrifugal forces of the Union, and gives
to them increased strength and activity every day. But such, and so
many and powerful, in my judgment, are the cementing or centripetal
agencies impelling us together, that nothing but perpetual war and
strife can keep us always divided.

Sir, I do not under-estimate the power of the prejudices of section
or, what is much stronger, of race. Prejudice is colder, and, therefore,
more durable than the passions of hate and revenge, or the spirit of
antagonism. But, as I have already said, its boundary in the United
States is not Mason and Dixon’s line. The long standing mutual jeal-
ousies of New England and the South do not primarily grow out of
slavery. They are deeper, and will always be the chief obstacle in the
way of full and absolute reunion. They are founded in difierence of
manners, habits, and social life, and different notions about politics,
morals, and religion. Sir, after all, this whole war is not so much one
of sections — least of all, between the slaveholding and non-slaveholding
sections — as of races, representing not difference in blood, but mind and
its development, and different types of civilization. It is the old con-
flict of the Cavalier and the Roundhead, the Liberalist and the Puritan;
or, rather, it is a conflict, upon new issues, of the ideas and elements
represented by those names. It is a war of the Yankee and the South-
ron. Said a Boston writer, the other day, eulogizing a New England
officer who fell at Fredericksburg : ” This is Massachusetts’ war ;
Massachusetts and South Carolina made it.” But, in the beginning, the
Roundhead outwitted the Cavalier, and by a skilful use of slavery and
the negro, united all New England first, and afterwards the entire North
and West, ana finally sent out to battle against him Celt and Saxon,
German and Knickerbocker, Catholic and Episcopalian, and even a part
of his owu liousehold, and of the descendants of his own stock. Said.
Mr. JcfferscfH, when New England tlircatencd secession, some sixty-
years ago: ” No, let us keep the Yankees to quarrel with.” Ah, sir, he
forgot that quarrelling is always a hazardous experiment; and, after some
time, the countrymen of Adams proved themselves too sharp at that
work for the countrymen of Jefferson, But every day the contest now
tends agam to its natural and original elements. In many parts of the
Northwest — I might add, of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York
city — the prejudice against the ” Yankee” has always been almost as
bitter as in the South. Suppressed for a little while by the anti-slavery
sentiment and the war, it threatens now to break forth in one of those
great, but unfortunate, popular uprisings, in the midst of which reason
and justice are, for the time, utterly silenced. I speak advisedly, and
let New England heed, else she, and the whole East, too, in their strug-
gle for power, may learn yet, from the West, the same lesson which
civil war taught to Rome, that evulgato imperii arcano, posse principem
alibi, quam Romce fieri. The people of the West demand peace, and
they begin to more than suspect that New England is in the way. The
storm ra<Tes ; and they believe that she, not slavery, is the cause. The
ship is sore tried ; and passengers and crew are now almost ready to
propitiate the waves, by throwing the ill-omened prophet overboard.
In plain English — not very classic, but most expressive — they threaten
to ” set New England out in the cold.”

And now, sir, I, who have not a drop of New England blood in my
veins, but was born in Ohio, and am wholly of Southern ancestry — with
a slight cross of Pennsylvania Seotch-Irisli — would speak a word to the
men of the West and the South, in behalf of New England. Sir, some
years ago, in the midst of high sectional controversies, and speaking as
a Western man, I said some things harsh of the North, which now, in a
more catholic spirit, as a United States man, and for the sake of reunion,
I Avould recall. My projudices, indeed, upon this subject, are as strong
as any man’s ; but in this, the day of great national humiliation and
calamity, let the voice of prejudice be hushed.

Sir, they who would exclude New England in any reconstruction of
the Union, assume that all New Englanders are ” Yankees” and Puritans,
and that the Puritan or pragmatical element, or type of civilization, has
always held undisputed sway. Well, sir, Yankees, certainly, they are,
in one sense; and so to Old England we are all Yankees, North and
South; and to the South just now, or a little while ago, we, of the
Middle and Western States, also, are, or were, Yankees, too. But there
is really a very large, and most liberal and conservative non-Puritan
element in the population of New England, which, for many years,
struggled for the mastery, and sometimes held it. It divided Maine,
New Hampshire, and Connecticut, and once controlled Rhode Island
wholly. It held the sway during the Revolution, and at the period
when the Constitution was founded, and for some years afterwards.
Mr. Calhoun said, very justly, in 1847, that to the wisdom and enlarged
patriotism of Shernlan and Ellsworth, on the slavery question, we were
indebted for this admirable Government, and that, along with Paterson,
of New Jersey, ” their names ought to be engraven on brass, and live
forever.” And Mr. Webster, in 1830, in one of those grand historic
word-paintings, in which he was so great a master, said of Massachusetts
and South Carolina : ” Hand in hand they stood around the Adminis-
tration of Washington, and felt his own great arm lean on them for
support.” Indeed, sir, it was not till some thirty years ago that the
narrow, presumptuous, intermeddling, and fanatical spirit of the old
Puritan element began to reappear in a form very much more aggressive
and destructive than at first, and threatened to obtain absolute mastery
in Church, and School, and State. A little earlier it had struggled
hard, but the conservatives proved too strong for it ; and so long as the
great statesmen and jurists of the Whig and Democratic parties survived,
it made small progress, though John Quincy Adams gave to it the
strength of his great name. But after their death, it broke in as a flood,
and swept away the last vestige of the ancient, liberal, and tolerating
conservatism. Then every form and development of fanaticism sprang
up in rank and most luxuriant growth, till abolitionism, the chief fungus
of all, overspread the whole of New England first, and then the middle
States, and finally every State in the Northwest.

Certainly, sir, the more liberal or non-Puritan element was mainly,
though not altogether, from the old Puritan stock, or largely crossed
with it. But even within the first ten years after the landing of the
Pilgrims, a more enlarged and tolerating civilization was introdiiced.
Roger Williams, not of the Mayflower, though a Puritan himself, and
thoroughly imbued with all its peculiarities of cant and creed and form
of worship, seems yet to have had naturally a more liberal spirit ; and,
first, perhaps, of all men, some three or more years before the Ark and
the Dove touched the shores of the St, Mary’s, in Maryland^ taught the
sublime doctrine of freedom of opinion and practice in religion.
Threatened first with banishment to England, so as to “remove as
far as possible, the infection of his principles,” and, afterward, actually
banished beyond the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, because, in the lan-
guage of the sentence of the General Court, “he broached and divulged
divers new and strange doctrines against the authority of magistrates”
over the religious opinions of men, thereby disturbing the peace of the
colony, he became the founder of Rhode Island, and, indeed, of a large
part of New England society. And, whether from his teachings and
example, and in the persons of his descendants, and those of his asso-
ciates, or from other causes and another stock, there has always been a
large infusion throughout New England of what may be called the
Roger Williams element, as distinguished from the extreme Puritan
or Mayflower and Plymouth Rock type of the New Englauder ; and
its influence, till late years, has always been powerful.

Sir, I would not deny nor disparage the austere virtues of the old
Puritans of England or America. But I do believe that, in the very
nature of things, no community could exist long in peace, and no gov-
ernment endure long alone, or become great, where that element, in its
earliest or its more recent form, holds supreme control. And, it is my
solemn conviction, that there can be no possible or durable reunion of
these States,, until it shall have been again subordinated to other and
more liberal and conservative elements, and, above all, until its worst
and most mischievous development, Abolitionism, has been utterly ex-
tinguished. Sir, the peace of the Union and of this continent demands
it. But, fortunately, those very elements exist abundantly in New Eng-
land herself; and to her I look with confidence to secure to them the
mastery within her limits. In fact, sir, the true voice of New England
has, for some years past, been but rarely heard, here or elsewhere, in
public affairs. Men now control her politics, and are in high places,
State and Federal, who, twenty years ago, could not have been chosen
selectmen in old Massachusetts. But, let her remember, at last, her
ancient renown ; let her turn from vain-glorious admiration of the stone
monuments of her heroes and patriots of a former age, to generous
emulation of the noble and manly virtues which they were designed to
commemorate. Let us hear less from her of the Pilgrim Fathers and
the Mayflower and of Plymouth Rock, and more of Roger Williams and
his compatriots, and his toleration. Let her banish, now and forever,
her dreamers and her sophists and her fanatics, and call back again into
her State administration, and into the national councils, ” her men of
might, her grand in soul” — some of them still live — and she will yet
escape the dangers which now threaten her with isolation.

Then, sir, while I am inexorably hostile to Puritan domination in
religion or morals or literature or politics, I am not in favor of the pro-
posed exclusion of New England. I would have the Union as it was,
and, first, New England as she was. But if New England will have no
union with slaveholders, if she is not content with ” tfie Union as it
was,” then, upon her own head be the responsibility for secession ; and
there will be no more coercion now ; I at least, will be exactly con-
sistent.

And now, sir, can the central States, New York, New Jersey, and
Pennsylvania, consent to separation ? Can New York city I Sir, the
trade of the South made hor largely what she is. She was tlie factor
and banbcr of the South. Cotton filled her harbor with shipping, and
her banks with gold. But in an evil hour, the foolish, I will not say
bad ” men of Gotham” persuaded her merchant princes — against their
first Jesson in business — that she could retain or force back the Southern
trade by war. War, indeed, has given her, just now, a new business
and trade, greater and more profitable than the old ; but with disunion,
that, too, must perish. And let not Wall street, or any other great in-
terest, mercantile, manufacturing, or commercial, imagine that it shall
have power enough, or wealth enough, to stand in the way of reunion
through peace. Let them learn, one and all, that a public man, who
has the people as his support, is stronger than they, though he may not
be worth a million, nor even one dollar. A little while ago the banks
said that they were king, but President Jackson speedily taught them
their mistake. Next, railroads assumed to be king; and cotton once
vaunted largely his kingship. Sir, these are only of the royal family —
princes of the blood. There is but one king on earth. Politics is
king.

But to return : New Jersey, too, is bound closely to the South, and
the South to her; and more and longer than any other State, she re-
membered both her duty to the Constitution and her interest in the
Union. And Pennsylvania, a sort of middle ground, just between the
North and the South, and extending, also, to the West, is united by
nearer, if not stronger ties, to every section than any other one State,
unless it be Ohio. She was — she is yet — the keystone in the great but
now crumbling arch of the Union. She is a border State ; and, moi’e
than that, she has less within her of the fanatical or disturbing element
than any of the States. The people of Pennsylvania are quiet, peace-
able, practical, and enterprising, without being aggressive. They have
more of the honest old English and German thrift than any other. No
people mind more diligently their own business. They have but one
idiosyncrasy or specialty — the tariff; and even that is really far more
a matter of tradition than of substantial interest. The industry, enter-
prise, and thrift of Pennsylvania are abundantly able to take care of
themselves against any competition. In any event, the Union is of
more value, many times, to her, than any local interest.

But other ties also bind these States — Pennsylvania and New Jersey,
especially — to the South, and the South to them. Only an imaginary
line separates the former from Delaware and Maryland. The Delaware
River, common to both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, flows into Dela-
ware Bay. The Susquehanna empties its waters, through Pennsylvania
and Maryland, into the Chesapeake. And that great watershed itself,
extending to Norfolk, and, therefore, almost to the North Carolina line,
does belonof, and must ever belono:, in common, to the central and
southern States, under one government; or else tlie line of separation
will be the Potomac to its head-waters. All of Delaware and Mary-
land, and the counties of Accomac and Northampton, in Virginia,
•would, in that event, follow the fortunes of the northern confederacy.
In fact, sir, disagreeable as the idea may be to many within their limits,
on both sides, no man who looks at the map and then reflects upon
history and the force of natural causes, and considers the present actual
and the future probable position of the hostile armies and navies at the
end of this war, ought for a moment to doubt that either the States and
counties which T have named, must go with the North, or Pennsylvania
and New Jersey with the South. Military force on either side cannot
control the destiny of the States lyinu between the mouth of the Chesa-
peake and the Hudson. And if that bay were itself made the line,
Delaware, and the eastern shore of Maryland and Virginia, would be-
long to the North ; while Norfolk, the only capacious harbor on the
southeastern coast, must be commanded by the guns of some new for-
tress upon Cape Charles ; and Baltimore, the now queenly city, seated
then upon the very boundary of two rival, yes, hostile, confederacies,
would rapidly I’all into decay.

And now, sir, I will not ask whether the Northwest can consent to
separation from the South. Never. Nature forbids. We are only a
part of the great Valley of the Mississippi. There is no line of latitude
upon which to separate. Neither party would desire the old line of
86° 30′ on both sides of the river; and there is no natural boundary
east and west. The nearest to it are the Ohio and Missouri Rivers.
But that line would leave Cincinnati and St. Louis, as border cities,
like Baltimore, to decay, and, extending fifteen hundred miles in length,
would become the scene of an eternal border warfare, without example
even in the worst of times. Sir, we cannot, ought not, will not, sepa-
rate from the South. And if you of the East who have found this war
against the South, and for the negro, gratifying to your hate or profit-
able to your purse, will continue it till a separation be forced between
the slaveholding and your non-slaveholding States, then, believe me,
and accept it, as you did not the other solemn wai’nings of years past,
the dav which divides the North from the South, that self-same day
decrees eternal divorce between the West and the East.

Sir, our destiny is fixed. There is not one drop of rain which,
descending from the heavens and fertilizing our soil, causes it to yield
an abundant harvest, but flows into the Mississippi, and there mingling
with the waters of that mighty river, finds its way, at last, to the Gulf
of Mexico. And we must and will follow it with travel and trade — not
by treaty, but by right — freely, peaceably, and without restriction or
tribute, under the same government and flag, to its home in the bosom
of that gulf. Sir, we will not remain, after separation from the South,
a province or appanage of the East, to bear her burdens and pay her
taxes; nor, hemmed in and isolated as we are, and without a sea-coast,
could we long remain a distinct confederacy. But wherever we go,
married to the South or the East, we bring with us three-fourths of the
territories of that valley to the Rocky Mountains, and it may be to the
Pacific — the grandest and most magnificent dowry that bride ever had
to bestow.

Then, sir, New England, freed at last from the domination of her
sophisters, dreamers, and bigots, and restored to the control once more
of her former liberal, tolerant, and conservative civilization, will not
stand in the way of the reunion of these States upon terms of fair and
honorable adjustment. And in this great work the central free and
border slave States, too, will unite heart and hand. To the West it is
a necessity, and she demands it. And let not the States now called
Confederate insist upon separation and independence. What did they
demand at first ? Security against Abolitionism within the Union :
protection from the ” irrepressible conflict,” and the domination of the
absolute numerical majority : a change, of public opinion, and conse-
quently of political parties in the North and West, so that their local
institutions and domestic peace should no longer be endangered. And
now, sir, after two years of persistent and most gigantic eftbrt on the part
of this Administration to compel them to submit, but with utter and
signal failure, the people of the free States are now, or are fast becom-
ing, satisfied that the price of the Union is the utter suppression of
Abolitionism or anti-slavery as a political element, and the complete
subordination of the spirit of fanaticism and intermeddling which gave
it birth. In any event, they are ready^now, if I have not greatly mis-
read the signs of the times, to return to the old constitutional and actual
basis of fifty years ago : three-fifths rule of representation, speedy ren-
dition of fugitives fi-om labor, equal rights in the Territories, no more
slavery agitation anywhere, and transit and temporary sojourn with
slaves, without molestation, in the free States. Without all these there
could be neither peace nor permanence to a restored union of States
“part slave and part free.” With it, the South, in addition to all the
other great and multiplied benefits of union, would be far more secure
in her slave property, her domestic institutions, than under a separate
government. Sir, let no man, North, or West, tell me that this would
perpetuate African slavery. I know it. But so does the Constitution.
I repeat, sir, it is the price of the Union. Whoever hates negro slavery
more than he loves the Union must demand separation at last. I think
that you can never abolish slavery by fighting. Certainly you never
can till yon have first destroyed the South, and then, in the language,
first of Mr. Douglas and afterward of Mr. Seward, converted this Gov-
ernment into an imperial despotism. And, sir, whenever I am forced
to a ciioice between the loss, to my own country and race, of personal
and political liberty, with all its blessings, and the involuntary domestic
servitude of the negro, I shall not hesitate one moment to choose the
latter alternative. The sole question, to-day, is between the Union,
with slavery, or final disunion, and, I think, anarchy and despotism. I
am for the Union. It was good enough for my fathers. It is good
enough for us, and our children after us.

And, sir, let no man in the South tell me that she has been invaded,
and that all the horrors implied in those most terrible of words, civil
war, have been visited upon her. I know that, too. But we, also, of
the North and West, in every State, and by thousands, who have dared
so much as to question the principles and policy, or doubt the honesty,
of this Administration and its party, have suftered every thing that the
worst despotism could inflict, except only loss of life itself upon the
scaffold. Some even have died for the cause, by the hand of the assas-
sin. And can we forget? Never, never. Time will but burn the
memory of these wrongs deeper into our hearts. But shall we break
up the Union ? Siiall we destroy the Government, because usurping
tyrants have held possession, and perverted it to the most cruel of
oppressions ? Was it ever so done in any other country ? In Athens ?
Rome? England? Anywhere? No, sir; let us ex])el the usurper,
and restore the Constitution and laws, the rights of the States, and the
liberties of the people; and then, in the country of our fathers, under
the Union of our fathers, and the old flaor — the symbol once ajrain of
the free “and the brave — let us fulfil the grand mission which Providence
has appointed for us among the nations of the earth.

And now, sir, if it be the will of all sections to unite, then upon what
terms? Sir, between the South and most of the States of the North,
and all of the West, there is but one subject in controversy — slavery.
It is the only question, said Mr. Calhoun, twenty-five years ago, of suffi-
cient magnitude and potency to divide this Union ; and divide it it
will, he added, or drench the country in blood, if not arrested. It has
done both. But settle it on the original basis of the Constitution, and
give to each section the power to protect itself within the Union, and
now, after the terrible lessons of the past two years, the Union will be
stronger than before, and, indeed, endure for ages. Woe to the man,
North or South, who, to the third or fourth generation, should teach
men disunion.

And now the way to reunion: what so easy? Behold to-day two
separate governments in one country, and without a natural dividing
line; with two presidents and cabinets, and a double Congress; and
yet, each under a Constitution so exactly similar, the one to the other,
that a stranger could scarce discern the ditference. A\as ever folly
and madness like this? Sir, it is not in the nature of things that it
should so continue lonsr.

But why speak of ways or terms of reunion now ? The will is yet
wanting in both sections. Union is consent, and good-will, and frater-
nal atlection. AVar is force, hate, revenge. Is the country tired at last
of war ? Has the experiment been tried long enough ? Has sufficient
blood been shed, treasure expended, and misery inflicted in both the
North and the South ? What then ? Stop fighting. Make an armis-
tice — no foi-mal treaty. Withdraw your Army from the seceded States.
Reduce both armies to a fair and sufficient peace establishment. De-
clare absolute free trade between the North and South. Buy and sell.
Agree upon a Zollverein. Recall your fleets. Break up your blockade.
Reduce your navy. Restore travel. Open up railroads. Re-establish
the telegraph. Reunite your express companies. No more Monitors
and iron-clads, but set your friendly steamers and steamships again in
motion. Visit the North and West. Visit the South. Exchansre
newspapers. Migrate. Intermarry. Let slavery alone. Hold elec-
tions at the appointed times. Let us choose a new President in sixty-
four. And when the gospel of peace shall have descended again from
Heaven into thrir hearts, and the gospel of abolition and of hate been
expelled, let your clergy and the churches meet again in Christian inter-
course, North and South. Let the secret orders and voluntary associa-
tions everywhere reunite as brethren once more. In short, give to all
the natural, and all the artificial causes which impel us together, their
fullest sway. Let time do his office — drying tears, dispelling .sorrows,
mellowing passion, and making herb and grass and tree to grow again
upon the hundred battle-fields of this terrible war.

” But this is recognition.” It is not formal recognition, to which I
will not consent. Recognition now, and attempted permanent treaties
about boundary, travel, and trade, and partition of Territories would
end in a war fiercer and more disastrous than before. Recognition is
absolute disunion ; and not between the slave and the free States, but
with Delaware and Maryland as part of the North, aijd Kentucky and
Missouri p:irt of the West. But wherever the actual line, every evil
and mischief of disunion is implied in it. And, for similar reasons, sir,
I would not, at this time, press hastily a convention of the States. The
men who now would hold seats in such a convention, would, upon both
sides, if both agreed to attend, come together full of the hate and bit-
terness inseparable from a civil war. No, sir ; let passion have time to
cool, and reason to resume its sway. It cost thirty years of desperate
and most wiclfed patience and industry to destroy or impair the mag-
nificent temple of this Union. Let us be content if, within three years,
we sliall be able to restore it.

But, certainly, what I propose is informal, practical recognition.
And that is precisely what exists to-day, and has existed, more or less
defined, iVoni the first. Flags of truce, exchange of prisoners, and all
your other observances of the laws, forms, and courtesies of war, are
acts of recognition. Sir, does any man doubt, to-day, that there is a
Confederate Government at Richmond, and that it is a ” belligerent?”
Even the Secretary of State has discovered it at last, though he
has written ponderous folios of polished rhetoric to prove that it
is not. Will continual war then, without extended and substantial
success, make the Confederate States any the less a government in
fact ?

” But it confesses disunion.” Yes, just as the surgeon, who sets
your fractured limb in splints, in order that it may be healed,
admits that it is broken. ” But the Government will have failed to
crush out the rebellion.” Sir, it has failed. You went to Avar to
prove tliat we had a Government. With what result? To the
people of the loyal States it has, in your hands, been the Govern-
ment of King Stork, but to the Confederate States, of King Log.
” But the rebellion will have triumphed.” Better triumph to-day
than ten years hence. But I deny it. The rebellion will, at last,
be crushed out, in the only way in which it ever was possible. ” But
no one will be hung at the end of war.” Neither will there be,
though tlie war should last half a century, except by the mob or
the hand of arbitrary power. But, really, sir, if there is to be no
hanging, let this Administration, and all who have done its bidding
everywhere, rejoice and be exceeding glad.

And now, sir, allow me a word upon a subject of very great
interest at this moment, and most important, it may be, in its influ-
ence upon the future — foreign mediation. I speak not of armed
and hostile intervention, which I would resist as long as but one
man was left to strike a blow at the invader. But friendly media-
tion — tli# kindly offer of an impartial power to stand as a daysman
between the contending parties in this most bloody and exhausting
strife — ought to be met in a spirit as cordial and ready as that in
which it is proffered. It would be churlish to refuse. Certainly, it
is not consistent with the former dignity of this Government to ask
for mediation ; neither, sir, would it befit its ancient magnanimity to
reject it. As propo*»ed by the Emperor of France, I would accept
it at once. Now is the auspicious moment. It is the speediest,
easiest, most graceful mode of suspending hostilities. Let us hear
no more of the mediation of tlie cannon and the sword. The day
for all that has fjone bv. Let U5 be statesmen at last. Sir, I ffive
thanks, that some, at least, among the Republican party, seem ready
now to lift themselves up to the height of this great argument, and
to deal with it in the spirit of the patriots and great men of other
countries and ages, and of the better days of the United States.

And now, sir, whatever may have been the motives of England,
France, and the other great powers of Europe, in witholding recogni-
tion so long from the Confederate States, the South and the North
are both indebted to them for an immense public service. The
South has proved her ability to maintain herself by her own strength
and resources, without foreign aid, moral or material. And the North
and West — the whole country, indeed — these great powers have served
incalculably, by holding back a solemn proclamation to the world
that the Union of these States was finally and formally dissolved.
They have left to us every motive and every chance for reunion ; and
if that has been the purpose of England especially — our rival so
long, interested more than any other in disunion, and the consequent
weakening of our great naval and commercial power, and suflfering,
too, as she has suffered, so long and severely because of this war — I
do not hesitate to say that she has performed an act of unselfish
heroism without example in history. Was such, indeed, her pur-
pose? Let her answer before the impartial tribunal of posterity.
In any event, after the great reaction in public sentiment in the
North and West, to be followed, after some time, by a like reaction
in the South, foreign recognition now of the Confederate States could
avail little to delay or prevent final reunion, if, as I firmly believe,
reunion be not only possible, but inevitable.

Sir, I have not spoken of foreign arbitration. That is quite
anot^ier question. I think it impracticable, and fear it as dangerous.
The very powers — or any other power — which have hesitated to aid
disunion directly or by force, might, as authorized arbiters, most
readily pronounce !’or it at last. Very grand, indeed, would be the
tribunal before which the great question of the Union of these States,
and the final destiny of this continent, for ag ‘S, should be heard, and
historic, through all time, the ambassadors wlio should argue it. And,
if both belligerents consent, let the subjects in controversy be referred
to Switzerland, or Russia, or any other impartial and incorruptible
power or state in Europe. But, at last, sir, the people of these several
States here, at home, must be the final arbiters of this great quarrel in
America; and the people and States of the Northwest, the mediators
who shall stand, like the prophet, betwixt the living and the dead,
that the plague of disunion may be stayed.

Sir, this war, horrible as it is, has taught us all some of the most
important and salutary lessons which a people ever ‘earned.

First, it has atinihilatcd, in twenty months, all the false and perni-
cious theories and teachings of Abolitionism for thirty years, and which
a mere api)eal to facts and arguments could not have untang!)t in half
a century. Wo have learned that the South is not weaR, dependent,
unenterprising, or corrupted by si. .very, lu.xury, and idleness; but
powerful, earnest, warlike, enduring, self-supporting, full of energy, and
inexhaustible in resources. We have bee;i taught, and now confess
it openly, that African slavery, instead of being a source of weakness
to the South, is one of her main elements of strength ; ahd hence the
” military necessity,” we are told, of abolishing slavery in order to
suppress the rebellion. We have learned, also, that the non-slave-
holding white men of the South, millions in number, are immovably
attached to the institution, and are its chief support ; and Abolitionists
have found out, to their infinite surprise and disgust, that the slave is
not ” panting for freedom,” nor pining in silent, but, revengeful grief
over cruelty and oppression inflicted upon him, but happy, contented,
attached deeply to his master, and unwilling — at least not eager — to
accept the precious boon of freedom, which tliey have proffered him.
I appeal to the President for the proof. I appeal to the fact, that
fewer slaves have escaped, even from Virginia, in now nearly two years,
than Arnold and Cornwallis carried away in six months of invasion, in
1781. Finally, sir, we have learned, and the South, too, what the
history of the world ages ago, and our own history might have taught
us, that servile insurrection is the least of the dangers to which she is
exposed. Hence, in my deliberate judgment, African slaver)^ as an
institution, will come out of this conflict fifty-fold stronger than when
the war began.

The South, too, sir, has learned most important lessons ; and among
them, that personal courage is a quality common to all sections, and
that in battle, the men of the North, and especially of the West, are
their equals. Hitherto there has been a mutual, ancl most mischievous
mistake upon both sides. The men of the South overvaluc^i their
own personal courage, and undervalued ours, and we, too, readily
consented ; but at the same time they exaggerated our aggregate
strength and resources, and underestimated their own ; and we fell
into the same error ; and hence, the original and fotal mistake, or vice,
of the military policy of the North, and which has already broken
down the war by its own weight — the belief that we could bring
overwhelming numbers and power into the field, and upon the sea,
and crush out the South at a blow. But twenty months of terrible
warfare have corrected many errors, and taught us the wisdom of a
century. And now, sir, every one of these lessons will profit us all for
ages to come ; and if we do but reunite, will bind us in a closer, firmer,
more durable union than ever before.

I have finished now, Mr. Speaker, what I desired to say at this
time, upon the great question of the reunion of these States. I have
spoken freely and boldly — not wisely, it may be, for the present, or
for myself personally, but most wisely for the future and for my
country. Not courting censure, I yet do not shrink from it. My
own immediate personal interests, and my chances just now for the
more material rewards of ambition, I again surrender as hostages to
that GREAT HEREAFTER, the ccho of whosc footstcps already I hear
along the highway of time. Whoever, here or elsewhere, believes that
war can restore the Union of these States ; whoever would have a war
for the abolition of slavery, or disunion ; and he who demands Southern
independence and final separation — let him speak, for him I have ofi’end-
ed. Devoted to the Union from the beginning, I will not desert it now
in this the hour of its sorest trial.

Sir, it was the day-dream of my boyhood, the cherished desire of
my heart in youth, that I might live to see the hundredth anniver-
sary of our national independence, and, as orator of the day, exult in
the expanding glories and greatness of the still United States, That
vision lingers yet before my eyes, obscured, indeed, by the clouds and
thick darkness and the blood of civil war. But, sir, if the men of
this generation are wise enough to profit by the hard experience of
the past, two years, and will turn their hearts now from bloody in-
tents to the words and arts of peace, that day will find us again the
United States. And if not earlier, as I would desire and believe, at
least upon that day let the great work of reunion be consummated ;
that henceforth, for ages, the States and the people who shall fill up
this mighty continent, united under one Constitution, and in one Union,
and the same destiny, shall celebrate it as the birthday both of Inde-
pendence and of the Great Restoration.

Sir, I repeat it, we are in the midst of the very crisis of this revolu-
tion. If, to-day, we secure peace, and begin the work of reunion, we
shall yet escape ; if not, I see aothing before us but universal political
and social revolution, anarchy, and bloodshed, compared with which,
the Reign of Terror in France was a merciful visitation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 106 other followers

%d bloggers like this: