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demand of the country, — whether, instead of being taxed, it is not to have Slavery abolished everywhere. (Laughter.]
MR. SUMNER. Unquestionably there is a great demand to have Slavery abolished everywhere, thank God! I present petitions daily with this prayer. But another demand at this moment is to make the war practical and efficient by all needed supplies; and, as I have said, the people, for the first time in history, ask to be taxed.
MR. Davis. Where are your petitions from the people for it?
MR. SUMNER. Petitions ! They will be found in the public press, and in the communications of constituents. Formal documents are not needed. Gentlemen have arrived here to-night, fresh from the people, who are in themselves more than “petitions." They insist that there must be more taxation. Here, also, is a telegraphic despatch, received this very evening, signed by the first business men of Massachusetts:
“ To Hon. CHARLES SUMNER.
“It will be simply an act of madness for Congress to adjourn without passing bills for large additional taxes, and such other measures as the existing financial crisis demands.”
Language could not be stronger. Surely I am right in saying that Congress ought not to turn a deaf ear to this unprecedented prayer. At least, the prayer ought to be considered. For myself, I wish not only to consider it, but to supply the desired taxation, and I ask that Congress shall continue in these seats until the good work is done. Nay, more, Sir,- I protest against any desertion until that work is done.
The great contest in which we are engaged depends not only upon General Grant in the field, but upon
Congress also. If Congress fails to supply the needed means, vain is victory, vain are all the toils of many hard-fought fields. It is through these means supplied by Congress that the future will be secure. Do not deceive yourselves by saying that you have already taxed the country. The late distinguished Secretary of the Treasury, in an authoritative communication, insists that more means are needed. Do not set him aside without at least considering his recommendation. On such an occasion, when perhaps the life of the country is in question, when surely the national credit is at stake, err, if err you must, on the side of prudence.
Mr. President, it is natural that Senators who have been engaged for months in the labors of an anxious session should be glad to escape from the confinement and heat of Washington. I sympathize with them. I wish to be away. I long to leave the capital. Did I allow myself to take counsel of personal advantage, I should be among the most earnest of those now crying for adjournment. Born on the sea-shore, accustomed to the sea air, I am less prepared than many of my friends to endure the climate here. I feel sensibly its sultry heats, and I pant for the taste of salt in the atmosphere. Nor am I insensible to other influences. What little remains to me of home and friendship is far away froin here, - where I was born. But home, friendship, and sea-shore must not tempt me at this hour. Lord Bacon tells us, in striking and most suggestive phrase, “The duties of life are more than life.” But if ever there was a time when the duties of a Senator were supreme above all other things, so that temptation of all kinds should be trampled under foot, it is now.
An earnest debate ensued, in which Mr. Sumner spoke again.
I TAKE it, Sir, that the proceedings to-night are utterly without precedent in the history of the Senate. It is now more than two hours into Sunday morning. The Senate has on former occasions sat Sunday morning, but it was under the exigency of the Constitution, which brought the session to a close on the 4th of March. There is no such exigency now, and this Sunday morning debate is instituted simply to secure an adjournment of Congress on Monday. That is the single object of all done here to-night, — all these strange proceedings, making a sort of Walpurgis night of Sunday. But I say nothing of incidental matters. I bring home the fact that you now extend your session into Sunday merely that you may hasten away on Monday. It is not for any public exigency; it is not to pass any great measure; it is not to comply with any requirement of the Constitution; but simply to satisfy your own desires or predilections to leave Washington on Monday.
And now, Sir, as to leaving Washington on Monday, we are told that the other House wish to leave, and that it has already disposed of the question of taxation by sending us a proposition for an income tax, and the Senator over the way [Mr. LANE, of Kansas], who tells us he has kept such sharp look-out on the House tonight, announces that all other propositions are discarded, that there is to be no tax on tobacco, no tax upon whiskey on hand, no tax on anything else, for the House has come to its conclusion. Does the Senator know, that, if Congress continues in session twenty-four hours longer, or forty-eight hours longer, the House will not be wiser and more patriotic? Does the Senator who has kept such sharp look-out know that the House will not rise at last to the requirements of the hour?
Here Mr. Sumner was called to order by Mr. Richardson, of Illinois, as reflecting on the other House, and the call was sustained by the presiding officer, who said: “It has been practised too often on the part of Senators to allude to the House of Representatives."
MR. SUMNER. I hope I shall proceed in order. I certainly did not intend to proceed out of order. was not aware that I was making any reflection on the House of Representatives. We criticize very freely each other; the members of one House criticize the proceedings of the other House; and we criticize the country, and the country criticizes us.
Now, Sir, we are told that the House has disposed of the question of taxation. I am in order when I allude to that. May we not hope, then, that, if the session is extended a little longer, they will see the necessity of increased taxation ?
He proceeded to develop again the necessity of taxation for the sake of our finances, and especially of the national debt, “to the payment of which the country is pledged.”
Mr. Sumner moved to substitute Tuesday, July 5th, at noon, for Monday, July 4th, at noon. This was lost, - Yeas 11, Nays 22. The resolution of adjournment was then adopted, – Yeas 20, Nays 11.
July 4th, shortly before adjournment at noon, the Senate acted on the House bill imposing a special income tax of five per cent, which was adopted, – Yeas 29, Nays 7.
REJOICING IN THE DECLINE OF THE REBELLION.
REMARKS AT A Public MEETING IN FANEUIL Hall,
SEPTEMBER 6, 1864.
At this meeting Governor Andrew presided and spoke. He was followed by Hon. Alexander H. Rice, Hon. George S. Boutwell, Hon. Henry Wilson, and General Cutler of the Army, when Mr. Sumner was introduced. The report says:
“He was received with great cheering and the waving of hats and handkerchiefs for a considerable time.” He at length spoke as follows.
MR. MAYOR AND FELLOW-CITIZENS :
ISTENING to the gallant soldier now taking his
seat, I was reminded of the saying from the far East,“ Words are the daughters of Earth, but deeds are the sons of Heaven.” [Loud applause.] A noble officer comes before you, fresh from the Army of the Potomac; but he gives words also which in themselves are deeds [renewed applause], for he tells you plainly, truly, how to meet the great issue before us. Sir, what has been said so well, so bravely, and so eloquently by the speakers who have addressed you leaves little for me. I have not come to make a speech. The summons was to assemble for congratulation upon those great victories which have given assurance of the integrity of the Union, and I am here for this purpose. [Applause.]
We celebrate to-night two victories, - each a heavy blow, under which the Rebellion reels and staggers to