Imágenes de páginas

the graves for 6,000 of the number. Transportation has been furnished to 1,700 refugees and 1,900 freedmen. In the schools there are 80,000 people that have been instructed by this bureau. And now it is proposed to leave all these children of misfortune to the tender mercies of a people of whom it is true by the Spanish maxim, “Since I have wronged you I have hated you.' I never can. Our authority to take care of them is founded in the Constitution; else it is not worthy to be our great charter. It gives authority to feed Indian tribes, though our enemies, and a just interpretation can not restrain us in clothing and feeding unfortunate friends. In providing schools, we can turn to the same authority which led to the gift of millions of acres of the public domain for the purpose of establishing agricultural colleges in this country."

He referred to Russia for example of what should be done in such an emergency: “We should be worse than barbarians to leave these people where they are, landless, poor, unprotected; and I commend to gentlemen who still cling to the delusion that all is well, to take lessons of the Czar of the Russias, who, when he enfranchised his people, gave them lands and school-houses, and invited school-masters from all the world to come there and instruct them. Let us hush our national songs; rather gird on sack-cloth, if wanting in moral courage to reap the fruits of our war by being just and considerate to those who look up to us for temporary counsel and protection. Care and education are cheaper for the nation than neglect, and nothing is plainer in the counsels

, of heaven or the world's history.” An allusion made by Mr. Grinnell to the speech of Mr. Rosseau, provoked the personal assault to be described hereafter.

Mr. Raymond having the floor for a personal explanation, took occasion to make the following remarks in reference to the bill: “I have no apprehensions as to the practical workings of this law. So far as I have been able to collect information from all quarters—and I have taken some pains to do so—I find that this law, like most other laws. on our statute books, works well where it is well administered. The practical operations of this bureau will depend upon the character of the agents into whose hands its management is intrusted. I certainly have no apprehension in this respect. I do not for one moment fear that the agents who will be appointed to carry this law into execution will not use the powers conferred upon them for the furtherance of the great object which we all have in view.—the reconciliation, the protection, the security of all classes of those who are now our fellow-citizens in the Southern States.

Mr. Phelps, of Maryland, made a speech indorsing the principle of the bill, but objecting to some of its details. His objections were removed by the presentation and acceptance of the following amendment by Mr. Shellabarger, of Ohio: “No person shall be deemed destitute, suffering, or dependent upon the Government for support, within the meaning of this act, who, being able to find employment, could, by proper industry and exertion, avoid such destitution, suffering and dependence.

Mr. Chanler made a long speech in opposition to the bill. He gave particular attention to the speech of Mr. Donnelly, of Minnesota, who had advocated education as a necessity for the South. “The malignant party spirit and sectional hate," said Mr. Chanler, " that runs through this whole statement, needs no illustration.After presenting voluminous extracts from speeches, letters, and public documents, Mr. Chanler summed up his objections to the bill in the following words: “Our people are not willing to live under military rule.

“ This bureau is under military rule. It proposes to perpetuate and strengthen itself by the present bill.

"It founds an 'imperium in imperio' to protect black labor against white labor.

“It excludes the foreign immigrant from the lands given to the native-born negro.

“It subjects the white native-born citizen to the ignominy of surrendering his patrimony, his self-respect, and his right to labor into the hands of negroes, idle, ignorant, and misled by fanatic, selfish speculators."

Mr. Stevens desired to amend the bill by striking out the limitation to three years given the possessory titles conferred by General Sherman, and rendering them perpetual. This amendment the House were unwilling to accept. Mr. Stevens further proposed to strike out the proviso "unless as punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted,” giving as a reason for this amendment, “I know that men are convicted of assault and battery, and sentenced to slavery down there. I have

authentic evidence of that fact in several letters, and, therefore, I propose to strike out those words."

This amendment was adopted. Another important amendment proposed by the committee was the limitation of the operation of the bill to States in which the writ of habeas corpus was suspended on the 1st of February, 1866. Mr. Eliot closed the dehate by answering some objections to the bill, and presenting some official documents proving the beneficent results of the bureau, especially in the State of Kentucky.

On the 6th of February the question was taken, and the bill passed by the following vote:

[ocr errors]

YEAS—Messrs. Alley, Allison, Ames, Anderson, Delos R. Ashley, James M. Ashley, Baker, Baldwin, Banks, Barker, Baxter, Beaman, Benjamin, Bidwell, Bingham, Blaine, Blow, Boutwell, Brandegee, Bromwell, Broomall, Bundy, Reader W. Clarke, Sidney Clarke, Cobb, Conkling, Cook, Cullom, Darling, Davis, Dawes, Defrees, Delano, Deming, Dixon, Donnelly, Driggs, Dumont, Eckley, Eggleston, Eliot, Farnsworth, Farquhar, Ferry, Garfield, Grinnell, Griswold, Hale, Abner C. Harding, Hart, Hayes, Henderson, Higby, Hill, Holmes, Hooper, Hotchkiss, Asahel W. Hubbard, Chester D. Hubbard, Demas Hubbard, John H. Hubbard, James R. Hubbell, James Humphrey, Ingersoll, Jenckes, Julian, Kasson, Kelley, Kelso, Ketcham, Kuykendall, Laflin, Latham, George V. Lawrence, William Lawrence, Loan, Longyear, Lynch, Marston, Marvin, McClurg, McIndoe, McKee, McRuer, Mercur, Miller, Moorhead, Morrill, Morris, Moulton, Myers, Newell, O'Neill, Orth, Paine, Patterson, Perham, Phelps, Pike, Plants, Pomeroy, Price, William H. Randall, Raymond, Alexander H. Rice, John H. Rice, Rollins, Sawyer, Schenck, Scofield, Shellabarger, Smith, Spalding, Starr, Stevens, Stilwell, Thayer, Francis Thomas, John L. Thomas, Trowbridge, Upson, Van Aernam, Burt Van Horn, Robert T. Van Horn, Ward, Warner, Elihu B. Washburne, William B. Washburn, Welker, Wentworth, Whaley, Williams, James F. Wilson, Stephen F. Wilson, Windom, and Woodbridge.-136.

NAys-Messrs. Boyer, Brooks, Chanler, Dawson, Eldridge, Finck, Glossbrenner, Grider, Aaron Harding, Harris, Hogan, Edwin N. Hubbell, James M. Humphrey, Kerr, Le Blond, Marshall, McCullough, Niblack, Nicholson, Noell, Samuel J. Randall, Ritter, Rogers, Ross, Rosseau, Shanklin, Sitgreaves, Strouse, Taber, Taylor, Thornton, Trimble, and Wright-33.

Not VOTING——Messrs. Ancona, Bergen, Buckland, Culver, Denison, Goodyear, Hulburd, Johnson, Jones, Radford, Sloan, Voorhees, and Winfield-13.





[ocr errors]

N the 7th of February the amendments of the House to the .

Freedmen’s Bureau. Bill were presented to the Senate, and

referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. On the following day Mr. Trumbull, chairman of this committee, reported certain amendments to the amendments made by the House of Representatives. Mr. Trumbull said: “The House of Representatives have adopted a substitute for the whole bill, but it is the Senate bill verbatim, with a few exceptions, which I will endeavor to point out. The title of the bill has been changed, to begin with. It was called as it passed the Senate 'A bill to enlarge the powers of the Freedmen's Bureau.' The House has amended the title so as to make it read, ' A bill to amend an act entitled “ An act to establish a Bureau for the Relief of Freedmen and Refugees," and for other purposes. Of course, there is no importance in that.

“ The first amendment which the House has made, and the most important one, will be found to commence in the eighth line of the first section. The House has inserted words limiting the operation of the Freedmen's Bureau to those sections of country within which the writ of habeas corpus was suspended on the 1st day of February, 1866. As the bill passed the Senate, it will be

remembered that it extended to refugees and freedmen in all parts of the United States, and the President was authorized to divide the section of country containing such refugees and freedmen into . districts. The House amend that so as to authorize the President to divide the section of country within which the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus was suspended on the 1st day of February, 1866, containing such refugees and freedmen, into districts. The writ of habeas corpus on the. 1st day of February last was suspended in the late rebellious States, including Kentucky, and in none other. The writ of habeas corpus was restored by the President's proclamation in Maryland, in Delaware, and in Missouri, all of which have been slaveholding States.

“As the bill passed the Senate, it' will be observed it only extended to refugees and freedmen in the United States, wherever they might be, and the President was authorized to divide the region of country containing such refugees and freedmen, and it had no operation except in States where there were refugees and freedmen. The House has limited it so that it will not have operation in Maryland, or Delaware, or Missouri, or any of the Northern States."

After Mr. Trumbull had stated the other and less important amendments made by the House, the Senate proceeded to consider the amendments proposed by the Judiciary Committee, the first of which was to strike out the words "within which the privileges of the writ of habeas corpus was suspended on the 1st day of Feb

ruary, 1866."

Mr. Trumbull said: “I wish to say upon that point that the bill as it passed the Senate can have no operation except in regions of country where there are refugees and freedmen. It is confined to those districts of country, and it could not have operation in most of the loyal States. But it is desirable, as I am informed, and it was so stated by one of the Senators from Maryland, that the operations of this bill should be extended to Maryland. It may be necessary that it should be extended to Missouri, and possibly to Delaware. I trust not; but the authority to extend it there ought to exist, if there should be occasion for it. The only objection I have to limiting the operation of the bill to the late slaveholding States is, that I think it bad legislation, when we are endeavoring to break down discrimination and distinction, to pass a law which is to operate in one State of the Union and

« AnteriorContinuar »