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where, manufactures, business, income, tea, coffee, books, all pay tribute. The tax-gatherer is everywhere except on the Canadian frontier. At home there is not an interest, hardly a sentiment, free from taxation. Surely there is nothing in the recent conduct of Canadians to make us treat them better than we treat ourselves.
There is another consideration which is decisive, even if others fail. In view of existing Public Opinion, and considering the criticisms of the treaty, it is important that our relations with Canada should be carefully revised in the light of experience. The treaty, in authorizing its termination at the end of ten years, has anticipated this very exigency. But such revision cannot be made advantageously without the proposed notice. In the case of a lease, with a right to terminate it at the end of ten years on a year's notice, the landlord, if the character of the lease had been called in question, would not hesitate to give the notice, if for no other reason, that he might revise the terms anew on a footing of equality. For like reason we must give the notice to Great Britain. We must untie ourselves now, even if we would tie ourselves again for the future. The notice will leave us “master of the situation” to this extent at least, that we shall be free to act according to the requirements of the public good. Without this notice there will be no foothold for diplomacy or legislation; but the notice will be a foothold from which we may accomplish whatever is proper and just. The treaty may be reconsidered and then adopted anew, or it may be entirely changed, and we shall have a year for this purpose, --so that, when the Old expires, the New may begin.
The joint resolution directing the notice was adopted in the Senate, Yeas 33, Nays 8, -- and was at once adopted by the House of Representatives, and approved by the President January 18, 1865. It was then communicated by Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams, our minister at London, who, under date of March 17th, addressed a note to Earl Russell, “giving formal notice of the termination of the Reciprocity Treaty, and inclosing at the same time a certified copy of the resolution expressing the sense of both Houses of Congress on that subject.” Mr. Adams adds, in his letter to Mr. Seward : “This note was delivered by the messenger of this Legation at the Foreign Office at 2 P. M., notice of which was entered by him on the envelope, and also reported to me on his return. Not long afterwards I received from his Lordship his own acknowledgment of the reception of it.”1
1 Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward, March 23, 1865 : Papers relating to Foreign Affairs, 89th Cong. Ist Sess. : Diplomatic Correspondence, 1865 - 66, Part I. p. 258.
THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION AND
LETTER TO A PUBLIC MEETING IN PHILADELPHIA, DECEMBER 26, 1864.
SENATE CHAMBER, December 26, 1864. EAR SIR, — It will not be in my power to be
present at the celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation by the Banneker Institute. But, wherever I may be, I shall not forget this great and good deed.
That proclamation has done more than any military success to save the country. It has already saved the national character. The future historian will confess that it saved everything.
It remains for us to uphold it faithfully, so that it may not be impaired a single jot or tittle.
In the spirit of the Proclamation, and taught by its example, we must press forward in the work of justice to the colored race, until abuse and outrage have ceased, and all are equal before the law.
The astronomer, Banneker, whose honored name you bear, would be shut out of the street cars in some of our cities; but such petty meanness cannot last long.
Accept my best wishes, and believe me, dear Sir, faithfully yours,
CHARLES SUMNER. The COMMITTEE, &c.
FREEDOM OF WIVES AND CHILDREN OF COLORED
SPEECH IN THE SENATE, ON A Joint RESOLUTION FOR THIS PURPOSE,
JANUARY 5, 1865.
As early as January 8, 1864, Mr. Wilson, of Massachusetts, embodied in a bill to promote enlistments a clause declaring, that, when any man or boy of African descent, owing service or labor in any State, under its laws, shall be mustered into the military or naval service of the United States, he and his mother, wife, and children shall be for. ever free. This bill was considered from time to time. March 18th, Mr. Sherman, of Ohio, moved to postpone the bill, "with a view that we may act upon the main proposition, the Amendment to the Constitution to abolish Slavery in the United States." Mr. Sumner replied : “ The Senator speaks about acting on the main proposition.' The main proposition, Sir, is to strike Slavery wherever you can hit it." That session closed without final action on the question.
December 13, 1864, Mr. Wilson brought it forward again, in a joint resolution to encourage enlistments and promote the efficiency of the military and naval forces, by making free the wives and children of persons who had been or might be mustered into the service of the United States.
January 5, 1865, in the debate which ensued, Mr. Sumner said :
R. PRESIDENT, - Only a few days ago there
troops. The country needs them, and it is the duty of Congress to supply them. To this end there must be no difficulty, impediment, or embarrassment in the way. All these must be removed. This is not all. There
must be encouragement of every kind; and such is the character of the present proposition.
There can be no delay. The country cannot wait the slow action of Constitutional Amendment, as proposed by the Senator from Wisconsin [Mr. DOOLITTLE). Congress must act to the extent of its power, and any neglect of power on this question would be injurious to the public interests.
All will confess the humanity of the proposition to enfranchise the families of colored persons who have borne arms for their country. All will confess the hardship of continuing them in Slavery.
But the question is asked by many, and even by the Senator from Wisconsin, What power has Congress to set the families free?
Mr. DoolittLE. I did not ask that question.
MR. SUMNER. The question has been put again and again, and the purport of the speech of the Senator vas in that sense.
He argued that we were about to have a Constitutional Amendment which would supersede everything; that therefore this proposition was unnecessary, if not injurious. I so understood the argument of the Senator, and that it pointed directly to the question of power, - because I know the patriotism of the Senator too well to suppose, that, if in his opinion the power of Congress was beyond doubt, he would hesitate. I do not do the Senator injustice. I say, then, the question is asked, What power has Congress to set the families free? This is the single point on which I shall express an opinion.
My answer is, that Congress has precisely the same power to enfranchise the families that it has to enfran