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Illinois, a week later declared that “Andy Johnson will go down to posterity, not only as the betrayer of his party, but as an ingrate, infamous in all time to come to all honorable men." In the same speech he says: "No rights of the South that were lost by the rebellion were revived or repossessed by traitors on the cessation of hostilities. War destroys all rights but the rights of war." Mr. Baldwin, of Massachusetts, described the attitude of the Southern States as follows: "It is undeniably the aim of the old pro-slavery spirit to reduce them (the freedmen] to a condition as nearly like that of slavery as circumstances will admit; a condition that would yield all the advantages of slavery without any of its incumbrances. The hatred which has declared the freedom of these people a calamity conspires diligently to make it so; the government is angrily forbidden to interfere with its operations; and if there be an epithet of contumely and reproach that has not been hurled at those who would allow these people the protection they need, it must be some blackguard epithet not yet invented.”+

But the policy of the President was not without its vigorous supporters, although they generally were found among the Democrats. Thus Voorhees, on January 9, eulogized of the South ought never again to be trusted with power, for they would inevit. ably unite with the Northern Copperheads' and control the government. The only sound policy was to confiscate the lands and divide them among the negroes, to whom, sooner or later, suffrage must be given. Touching the matter in hand, Johnson was a fool to have captured Davis, whom it would have been wiser to assist in escaping. Nothing would be done with him, as the Executive had only pluck enough to hang poor devils, such as Wirz and Mrs. Surratt. Had the leading traitors been promptly strung up, well; but the time for that had passed. (Here, I thought, he looked lovingly at my neck, as Petit André was wont to do at those of his merry-go-rounds.)”

Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, ist Session, p. 1476. ? Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, ist Session, p. 1616. 3 Ibid., p. 1617. * Ibid., p. 1828.


Johnson's policy as having “cleared away the wreck of a gigantic fraternal war, laid anew the foundation of government throughout an extent of country more vast than the most powerful kingdoms of Europe, revived confidence and hopes in the breasts of a despairing people, and won for its author the respect and admiration of the civilized nations of both hemispheres." He also introduced a series of resolutions endorsing the policy of the President, and expressing confidence in him ;? but these, together with an amendment by Bingham, expressing confidence that the President would co-operate with Congress, were referred to the Committee on Reconstruction, from which they were never reported.

Mr. Thornton, of Illinois, thought that “if those States are ever to be bound together in an equal and enduring union by us, we must rise to the high dignity of true manhood and Christian charity, and bury forever the feelings of distrust which now haunt the mind. The charge is constantly made that the Southern people are perfidious; that they will keep no pledges; that no oath will bind them. Can they accept your conditions precedent tendered in such a spirit ? Never !"3 Mr. Harding, of Kentucky, declared that the Republican party“ with the cry of liberty on its tongue, is earnestly striving to subvert the foundations of republican government, laboring to centralize, consolidate and build up a frightful Federal despotism, under whose dark and deadly shadow self-government and all state rights would utterly sink and perish.”+

4. The objectionable “black laws" of the Southern States, and the many tales of the oppression and cruel treatment of negroes, brought about a strong sentiment in

Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, ist Session, p. 155.

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* Ibid., p. 150.

* Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, ist Session, p. 1169. * Ibid., p. 2256.

favor of legislation by Congress giving additional protection to the freedman.' The Act of March 3, 1865, had established in the War Department a “Bureau for the relief of Freedmen and Refugees,” which was "to continue during the present war of rebellion, and for one year thereafter."? This bureau was to assume control of all abandoned or confiscated lands in the insurrectionary States, and to assign tracts not to exceed forty acres each to freedmen and refugees at an annual rent of not more than six

er cent. of the value. The occupants were to be allowed to purchase the land at any time within three years. The bureau was also authorized to supervise all matters that might concern freedmen and refugees from any of the rebel States or from districts occupied by the army, and to furnish supplies to such as were in need.

To extend the powers of this bureau and to continue it in operation until affairs had resumed their normal course, appeared to be a practicable way to protect the emancipated race. A bill to this effect was introduced in the Senate by Mr. Trumbull on January 5, 1866,3 and the Senate proceeded

1 Gillet's Democracy in the United States, pp. 309-13, discusses the Freedmen's Bureau from the Northern Democratic standpoint.

? The first bill creating a Freedmen's Bureau was introduced in the House during the 37th Congress by Mr. Eliot, of Massachusetts, who during the 39th Congress was chairman of the Select Committee on Freedmen. It was not reported, but the same bill was presented in the first session of the 38th Congress, and passed the House by a vote of 69 to 67. It was returned from the Senate on June 30, 1864, amended so as to attach the Bureau to the Treasury Department. A committee of conference agreed upon a new bill creating a department of freedmen's affairs, reporting to the President. This passed the House, but failed in the Senate. The next attempt succeeded. Congressional Globe, 2d Session, 38th Congress, p. 1307. See Cox's Three Decades of Federal Legislation for an account of the Freedmen's Bureau; also Wilson, Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, iii, 472-485; Wilson (Woodrow), Division and Reunion, 263.

Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, ist Session, p. 1299. Mr. Doolittle on the 19th of December, 1865, had introduced a bill relative to the Bureau of Freedmen, but when reported from the Committee on Military Affairs, to which it had been referred, it was indefinitely postponed.

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to its consideration on the 12th. With certain amendments the bill passed the Senate on the 25th by a vote of 37 to 10. The Select Committee on Freedmen'to which the Senate bill had been referred by the House, reported on January 30 a substitute bill. This passed the House on the 6th of February by a vote of 136 to 33; it was amended by the Senate on the 7th, the House concurring on the 9th. It was vetoed by the President on the roth, and the Senate on the 20th attempted to pass the bill over the veto. The result showed 30 votes in favor, 19 against, less than a two-thirds majority, and the bill thus falied to become a law.?

The bill as presented to the President for his signature was entitled “An Act to amend an act entitled 'An act to establish a Bureau for the relief of Freedmen and Refugees,' and for other purposes.”3 It continued in force the act of March 3, 1865, and extended the jurisdiction of the bureau to freedmen and refugees in all parts of the United States. The President was authorized to “divide the section of country containing such refugees and freedmen into districts, each containing one or more States, not to exceed twelve in number, and, by and with the consent of the Senate, appoint an assistant commissioner for each of said districts;" or in the discretion of the President “the bureau might be placed under

This committee had been established by a resolution introduced by Mr. Eliot, of Massachusetts, on December 6, 1865. So much of the President's message as related to freedmen, and all papers relating to the same subject, were to be referred to it. The following were appointed members of the committee: T. D. Eliot of Massachusetts, W. D. Kelley of Pennsylvania, G. S. Orth of Indiana, J. A. Bingham of Ohio, Nelson Taylor of New York, B. F. Loan of Missouri, J. B. Grinnell of Iowa, H. E. Paine of Wisconsin, and S. S. Marshall of Illinois.

? Cox confuses this act with the act passed over the veto on July 16, declaring that it was passed over the veto on February 21. Three Decades of Federal Legislation, p. 444.

3 See Wilson (Henry), Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, iii, 490-97; Wilson, History of Reconstruction, 148–184; Blaine, Twenty Years of Congress, ii, 164-170; Wilson (Woodrow), Division and Reunion, 264.

a commissioner and assistant commissioner to be detailed from the army.” Districts when necessary were divided into sub-districts under agents. Military jurisdiction and protection were to extend over all connected with the bureau. Unoccupied public lands in the Southern Stases, not to exceed three million acres, were to be set apart for freedmen. Military protection was to be extended over all persons denied civil rights on account of race, color or previous servitude, and punishment was provided for those who deprived such parties of their civil rights.

The debates on this bill, occurring as they did before the President's speech of February 22, which will hereafter be noticed, lacked the great bitterness which was frequently manifested in the later days of the session. The fact that the veto message was received before the 22d accounts for the failure of the attempt to override it.'

The bill itself was moderate, the freedmen obviously needed the legislation, but the President considered the principles at stake of sufficient importance to justify him in further antagonizing Congress. His veto message cited a number of reasons for withholding the executive approval. In the first place he claimed that there was no immediate necessity for the measure. Then it also contained provisions which were unconstitutional and unsuited to accomplish the desired end. His chief objection, of course, was based upon the continuance of military jurisdiction into a time of peace. This he declared clearly unconstitutional, a violation of the right of habeas corpus and of trial by jury; and he added that "for the sake of a more vigorous inter


Congressional Globe, ist Session, 39th Congress. McPherson, History of the Reconstruction, pp. 73-4.

2 The veto messages of the Presidents of the United States, from Washington to Cleveland, inclusive, have been compiled by Ben: Perley Poore by order of the Senate,

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