Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

where the marshal, or other officer whose duty it was to arrest such fugitive, was prevented from doing so by violence or intimidation, from mobs or other riotous assemblages, or when, after arrest, such fugitive was rescued by like violence or intimidation, and the owner thereby deprived of the same; and the acceptance of such payment shall preclude the owner from further claim to such fugitive. Congress shall provide by law for securing to the citizens of each State the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.

The vote on this section was as follows:–

AYEs—Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Kan8ās—12. v. ors—Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, North Carolina, Vermont, irginia—7.

Thus the last section was adopted. New York was divided.

The adoption of the following resolution was then moved by Mr. Frank. lin, of Pennsylvania:—

Resolved, As the sense of this Convention, that the highest political duty of every citizen of the United States is his allegiance to the Federal Government created by the Constitution of the United States, and that no State of this Union has any constitutional right to secede therefrom, or to absolve the citizens of such State from their allegiance to the Government of the United States.

It was moved to lay the resolution on the table. The vote was as follows:—

AYES.—Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia-9.

Noos.-Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts,

New York, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Kansas–12.

Some amendments were then offered and laid on the table, when its indefinite postponement was moved and carried by the following vote:–

AYES.–Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia—10.

NoFs—Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania—7.

New York was divided. The following preamble was then offered by Mr. Guthrie, and agreed to:

To the Congress of the United States:
The Convention assembled upon the invitation of the State of Virginia,

to adjust the unhappy differences which now disturb the peace of the

Union and threaten its continuance, make known to the Congress of the United States that their body convened in the City of Washington on the 4th instant, and continued in session until the 27th.

There were in the body, when action was taken upon that which is here submitted, one hundred and thirty-three commissioners, representing the following States: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas.

They have approved what is here with submitted, and respectfully request that your honorable body will submit it to conventions in the States as an article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

In the Senate, on the 2d day of March, a communication was received from the President of the Peace Congress, communicating the resolutions thus adopted in that body. They were at once referred to a committee consisting of Messrs. Crittenden, Bigler, Thomson, Seward, and Trumbull. The next day they were reported to the Senate for its adoption, Messrs. Seward and Trumbull, the minority of the Committee, dissenting from the majority, and proposing the adoption of a resolution calling on the legislatures of the States to express their will in regard to calling a Convention for amending the Constitution.

The question then came up on adopting the resolutions of the Peace Conference. Mr. Hunter, of Virginia, moved to substitute the first of Mr. Crittenden's resolutions for the first of those reported by the committee. Mr. Crittenden opposed it, and urged the adoption of the propositions of the Peace Conference in preference to his own. Mr. Mason, of Virginia, opposed the resolutions of the Peace Conference, on the ground that it would not satisfy the South. Mr. Baker, of Oregon, advocated it. Mr. Green, of Missouri, opposed it, as surrendering every Southern principle, in which he was seconded by Mr. Lane, of Oregon.

At this stage of the proceedings, Mr. Douglas gave a new turn to the form of the proceedings of the Senate, by moving to take up the resolution adopted by the House to amend the Constitution so as to prohibit forever any interference with slavery in the States. This motion was

[ocr errors][merged small]

carried. Mr. Pugh moved to amend by substituting for this resolution the resolutions of Mr. Crittenden. This was rejected—ayes 14, noes 25. Mr. Brigham, of Michigan, next moved to substitute a resolution against any amendment of the Constitution, and in favor of enforcing the laws. This was rejected—ayes 13, noes 25. Mr. Grimes, of Iowa, then moved to substitute the resolution of Messrs. Seward and Trumbull, as the minority of the Select Committee, calling on the State Legislatures to express their will in regard to calling a Convention to amend the Constitution. This was rejected—ayes 14, noes 25. The propositions of the Peace Conference were then moved by Mr. Johnson, of Arkansas, and rejected—ayes 3, noes 34. Mr. Crittenden's resolutions were then taken up, and lost by the following vote :

Ayes.—Messrs. Bayard, Bright, Bigler, Crittenden, Douglas, Gwie, Hunter, Johnson of Tennessee, Kennedy, Lane, Latham, Mason, Nicholson, Polk, Pugh, Rice, Sebastian, Thomson, and Wigfall—19.

Nors-Messrs. Anthony, Bingham, Chandler, Clark, Dixon, Doolittle, Durkee, Fessenden, Foote, Foster, Grimes, Harlan, King, Morrill, Summer, Ten Eyck, Trumbull, Wade, Wilkinson, and Wilson—20.

The resolutions were thus lost, in consequence of the Withdrawal of Senators from the disaffected States. The question was then taken on the House resolution to amend the Constitution so as to prohibit forever any amendment of the Constitution interfering with slavery in any State, and the resolution was adopted by a two-thirds vote— ayes 24, nays 12. -

This closed the action of Congress upon this important subject. It was strongly Republican in both branches, yet it had done every thing consistent with its sense of justice and fidelity to the Constitution to disarm the apprehensions of the Southern States, and to remove all provocation for their resistance to the incoming Adminis. tration. It had given the strongest possible pledgo that it had no intention of interfering with slavery in any State, by amending the Constitution so as to make such interference forever impossible. It created governments for uronew Territories, Nevada, Dakotah, and Colora

do, and passed no law excluding slavery from any one of them. It had severely censured the legislation of some of the Northern States intended to hinder the recovery of fugitives from labor; and in response to its expressed wishes, Rhode Island repealed its laws of that character, and Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin had the subject under consideration, and were ready to take similar action. Yet all this had no effect whatever in

changing or checking the secession movement in the Southern States.

CHAPTER W.
FROM SPRINGFIELD TO WASHINGTON.

SPEECH At INDIANAPolis.--ARRIVAL AND SPEECH At CINCINNAT1.--SPEEcm At Columbus.-SPEECH At Pittsburg.—ARRIVAL AND SPEECH at CLEveLAND.—ARrival. At BUFFALo.—At RochestER AND Syracuse. —AT ALBANY.—SPEECH At Pough KEEPsie.--IN NEw York.-REPLY To The Mayor of New York.-IN NEw Jersey.—ARRival. At PHILADELPHIA.— SPEECH IN PHILADELPnLA.—AT HARRISBURG.—ARRival AND Reception AT WAshingtoN.

FROM the date of his election, Mr. LINcoLN maintained silence on the affairs of the country. The Government was to remain for three months longer in the hands of Mr. Buchanan, and the new President did not deem it becoming or proper for him to interfere, in any way, with the regular discharge of its duties and responsibilities. On the 11th of February, 1861, he left his home in Springfield, Illinois, accompanied to the railroad dépôt by a large concourse of his friends and neighbors, whom he bade farewell in the following words:—

My FRIENDs:—No one not in my position can appreciate the sadness I feel at this parting. To this people I owe all that I am. Here I have lived more than a quarter of a century; here my children were born, and here one of them lies buried. I know not how soon I shall see you again. A duty devolves upon me which is, perhaps, greater than that which has devolved upon any other man since the days of WashingtoN. He never would have succeeded except for the aid of Divine Providence, upon which he at all times relied. I feel that I cannot succeed without the same Divine aid which sustained him, and on the same Almighty Being I place my reliance for support; and I hope you, my friends, will all pray that I may receive that Divine assistance, without which I cannot succeed, but with which success is certain. Again I bid you all an affectionate farewell.

As the train passed through the country, the President was greeted with hearty cheers and good wishes by the thousands who assembled at the railway stations along

« AnteriorContinuar »