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who have died in defence of the Constitution of your country? Unless you are in favor of doing this, and can show how it may be done, your first question is as preposterous as your last proposition. You ask whether I am in favor of doing that which Omnipotence itself cannot do. The All-Powerful One may arrest the sun. but he cannot recall the last four years, and turn us., who are now getting to be old men, back into the vigor of life.
I am in favor of establishing a Union of American States under the Constitution; and whenever the people of Virginia, or any other State, will lay down their arms and present themselves with a State Constitution to Congress, T shall be prepared to vote upon the question. The constitution of Virginia is gone. The people met in Convention and abolished it. The ligaments that bound them to the United States Government were their Senators, their members of Congress, the Judges of the District Court of the United States, their United States custom officers, postmasters, and marshals; and the State of Virginia turned these all out. For four years, she has not elected Senators or Representatives to the Congress at Washington, but has elected both Senators and Representatives to the Congress at' Richmond. She has expelled from her limits the Judiciary of the United States. Though Abraham Lincoln, in his inaugural, promised that the mails would be sent there as long as she would receive them, she has not permitted the receipt of the United States mails within her limits. She has abolished the State of Virginia which Washington helped to form. When her people, tired of the war, resume their peaceful avocations, adopt a Constitution providing for the election of Senators and Representatives to the Congress of the United States and ask the United States Government again to put her in a judicial district, and to establish custom houses and post offices within her limits, I shall be ready to vote to admit her. She cannot come back with slavery, not because I say so, but because her people hold no slaves. Abraham Lincoln, by his proclamation, has enfranchised the slaves, and called them to our banner to sustain our country, on the ensanguined field of battle. I admit here, with the gentleman, that it will be a question for the courts of the United States to decide, whether that proclamation makes them free or not. But in the meanwhile, they are learning to read and Write; they are acquiring the habits of freemen; they are learning to use arms; and the slave that can read and write is more dangerous than the slave that can shoot. It is mental, not muscular power, that exalts the slave into the freeman. Our Philadelphia Quakers, in organizing schools in Northern Virginia, and at Norfolk, and wherever our victorious armies establish a post, are making the re-enslavement of those laboring people an impossibility under the providence of God.
I take up now the gentleman's third question, instead of the second, so that he may reply to me this evening. That question is in these words: "Do you approve of the twenty-three acts of Congress, each having for its object the declared 'purpose of giving to the negro all the rights, immunities, and privileges heretofore enjoyed by the white man only?" I answer by saying that no such act has been passed. I answer by saying that if such an act had been presented to Congress of the United States it would have been rejected as ridiculously absurd. The question as to who shall be citizens belongs to the State, and not to the United States government. In Massachusetts the negro is a citizen. In Pennsylvania he was a citizen and had the right to vote until 1838, when in the Convention to amend the Constitution the word " white" was (on motion of Mr. Benjamin Martin, from the first district of Philadelphia) inserted in the clause prescribing the qualifications of voters, so as to make it read " every white freeman." Our State Constitution does not deny citizenship to the negro, but it restricts the privilege of voting to the free white citizens. So the State of New York allows- part of her colored people to vote, and denies suffrage to the remainder; that is, every colored man who is a freeholder to the amount of $250 has the right to vote. An act of Congress proposing to prescribe who should vote and who should not vote in any State of the Union, would be ridiculed from the doors of the room of the Judiciary Committee. The man who would introduce into Congress such a bill would be laughed at with a universal and loud guffaw; for Congress has no more to do with this subject than the British Parliament or the French Senate. I therefore ask the gentleman to point to any one such act as his question describes, and I will give him a couple of minutes of my hour, to enable him to indicate it when he shall have looked over his digest and found it.
iMr. Northrop followed in a speech of one hour and a half.] udge Kelley replied thus—A very distinguished clergyman once said, "I can never paint a great scoundrel in any of my sermons, but, at the close of it, some fool jumps up and says, 'He means me.'" Because the supporters of the Administration, in procession, carried a banner with the maxim, "A free ballot for loyal men, and a free fight for traitors," the gentleman and his friends jump up and say, "that means us; and therefore," say they, "These Sons of Liberty in Indiana, whose Grand Commander is to command the military forces of all the States when in actual service, were organized." Thus they understand the sentiment—a free ballot for the men of the North, and a free fight with the traitors who burned Chambersburg and fought us at Gettysburg. Must the gentleman and his friends assume that they are uimed at whenever the word " traitor" is uttered?
I have a little cause to complain of the gentleman, that he will not listen to me. The other evening he denied that I had answered his third proposition, or said anything about it; yet the report made by the gentleman who sits at the table has shown that I had answered it somewhat elaborately. He says now that I said I had looked at the dictionary to find that a revolution means the turn of a wheel. I treated his propositions with more respect than that. I said that Worcester defined a political revolution as "an extensive change in the political organization of a country, accomplished in a short time, whether by legal or by illegal means." I read that definition which contains nothing about a wheel. I did not say that I had derived the idea of a wheel from a dictionary. I spoke of seeing a tire make a revolution with the wheel that it bound together.
These are but trivial complaints—not half so grave as those which we have sometimes made against each other at the bar, when we have parted good friends, or left the Court-room to eat a steak together. Our differences are all political.
I again recur to the gentleman's interrogatory which I was discussing when I took my seat, and which he has undertaken to vindicate by an appeal to a law book. That interrogatory is in these words: "Do you approve of any or all of the twenty-three acts of Congress, each having for its object the declared purpose of giving to the negro all the rights, immunities, and privileges which have hitherto been enjoyed by the white man only?" The proposition does not state that those acts give to the negro some of the immunities and privileges of the white man, as my friend .has argued. It states as a fact that Congress has passed twentythree acts, each of which has for its declared purpose the giving to the negro "all the rights, privileges, and immunities hitherto enjoyed by the white man only." I renew my challenge to the gentleman to point to one such act. I say boldly that he cannot do so, for none such exists; and I say that the assertion contained in that question is utterly incorrect, and without foundation. There is the statute-book; let the gentleman point to the first of them.
The gentleman referred to three acts, and, in God's name, I ask him whether he objects to any one of them. The rebel masters of more than a million of slaves have run away and left them in the ignorance and poverty to which their inhumanity had doomed them. The man, woman, or child who had under their infernal code attempted to teach one of the slaves to read the Lord's Prayer would have been liable, in every one of the slave States, to imprisonment as a felon. They have never been allowed to own a dollar's worth of property. Without knowing one letter or figure from another, without having a change of clothing, having been trained by their masters to the most menial occupations only, they are turned adrift upon the world by the war made by the rebels upon the best government with which God ever blessed man. And in proof of the fact thatxthere are twenty-three acts of Congress giving to the negro all the rights which the white man has heretofore possessed, the gentleman points to an act incorporating a body of white men and women into an association for the relief of destitute women and children! Good God! is it a crime to relieve the sons and daughters of slaveowners, because they were not born in wedlock and were begotten of black women? Is it a crime before God or man, in this America of ours, to charter benevolent people to take care of poor old women and children, and is that investing the negro with " all the rights, privileges, and immunities heretofore enjoyed by the white man only"? Where, where, sir [addressing Mr. Northrop], is that Christianity to which you have so often appealed—the religion of the Prince of Peace, of whom you have spoken? Where dwells his influence in your heart, when you can censure those who, finding destitute, ignorant, stricken women and children, friendless, homeless, and without a guide, charter a few good people to care for them in their misery and give them guidance for the future? I did vote for that act;, and may God grant that you and your party may not have the power to repeal it, and cast those stricken ones again upon the world I
The second act to which the gentleman referred, was to incorporate an association to educate colored youth! As I heard the gentleman denounce that act, I remembered a visit which I once made to your county prison, when I was, by virtue of my position, an official visitor. I was accompanied by three ladies, one of whom was Mrs. Tyndale, then the chief of the china store in Chestnut street, above seventh. When we stood before one of the cell doors, a large negro came to it, who, after looking at the ladies, turned on me and said: "Mr. Kelley, you oughtn't to have convicted me for stealing that coat. I didn't steal it." "Yes, you did," replied I, "or the jury would not have convicted you." "No, sir," he answered, "I didn't steal that coat." "Well," said I, "satisfy me of that, and I will appeal to Governor Shunk, and get you a pardon." For I then held office under that Democratic Governor, and enjoyed his confidence. We were both staunch Wilmot Proviso men, and in favor of restricting slavery within its Constitutional limits. The Democratic party had not yet fallen down before the false god of human slavery, a system of labor without wages. "I don't want to be pardoned," said the negro. "Why, have you no wife ?" asked Mrs. Tyndale. "Yes, ma'm, I have a wife." "Have you children?" "Yes, ma'm, two; and I love my wife and children just as well as Mr. Kelley loves his." "How long have you to stay here?" "Nine months more, ma'm." "And yet you don't want a pardon! I c'annot understand it." "No, ma'm, I don't want a pardon, and'I will show you why." He ran across his cell, and picking up a blue-covered book of about twenty-four pages, he brought it to the door of his cell. "There, ma'm," said he, is the reason why I don't want to go out. When I come in here, I didn't know one letter from another; and now I can read all the way through that book, every word of it; I can read a newspaper when a gemman gives me one. To-day, Mr. Woolston (the moral instructor) is going to bring me a new book. In nine months more I can write and cipher some; and when I go out I can read the names on the signs, and I can read what is on the letters and bundles, and I can make an honest living for my wife and children as a porter. I couldn't do that before, because I just come out of slavery, and didn't know one letter." Then turning to me with a smile thai made the negro's face almost beautiful, he said, "Mr. Kelley, I did steal that coat; but with reading and writing, and being able to earn an honest living, I trust to God I'll never steal another coat."
Yet the gentleman has denounced us for having incorporated an association of white men to educate colored youth! I ask the gentleman whether we were not blessing our country by aiding to give the simple power of elementary knowledge to four millions of our people, or so many of them as might come within the influence of such associations. Is ignorance a blessing to our country? If it is, my Democratic laboring man, why do you send your children to school? Are the ignorant and the depraved and those who are shut out from intellectual enjoyments and employment good citizens? Is it not such, whether white or black, that swarm into your alms-houses, and jails? Were we not, then, when we incorporated an association to educate the poor youth of the District of Columbia, doing a service to civilization and exalting the character of the American people? If you want a black servant, is it not better that he should be able to read and write, that he may carry your parcels correctly— that he may, as that poor fellow in jail said: "Read the signs over the doors,and upon the street corners?" Yet an act by which white men are authorized to teach colored boys to read is denounced by the gentleman as one of the Lincoln outrages upon the Constitution.
My friend referred to a third act—and when he got to that he-staggered. Devoted as he is to his party, he said to himself, "My God! this won't do, this is proclaiming our inhumanity too plainly," and shut up the book and left the other twenty acts behind. The third act to which he objected was "An act to incorporate the St. Ann's Infant Society." If the gentleman and his party get into power, I suppose they will let the infants die in the street and the gutter, and not allow them to go into the institution of the St. Ann's Society, where they may be cared for.
These are the three horribly criminal enactments which the gentleman recites to prove that we have passed twenty-three acts designed to confer on the negro "all the rights, privileges, and immunities hitherto enjoyed by the white man only." Oh, my honest Democratic friend, let me tell you this is the way in which your leaders are deceiving and humbugging you. They attempt to make you believe that when we speak of. the traitors of the South, we mean you; that when we make provision for orphan and destitute infancy and childhood, we are trying to reduce you to an equality with the Southern slave. Think of these things, think of them prayerfully. , Reason with yourselves as to what is your duty to your country and to mankind. Remember that in the veins of these poor negroes flows the very best blood of the white men of the South. Remember that 81 per cent, of the free negroes of Louisiana have white blood in their veins. Remember that 78 per cent, of the free negroes of Alabama have white blood in their veins. Remember that more than one out of every ten of the four million Southern slaves has had a white father, if not a white grandfather. The Yankees from New England have not gone down there to spend a night in injecting that white blood into their veins. It has been the slaveholder, and the overseer, and the distinguished Democratic visitor to the head of the plantation that have done it. Remember that that eminent Yirginia Democrat, but whilom leader of the New York Democracy, John A. Andrews, who seconded Seymour's motion to his "friends" in the midst of the riot, was, when arrested by the officers of the law, to be conveyed to Fort Lafayette, wrenched from the embrace of a negro woman with whom he was living, while his white wife and their children, abandoned by him, lived elsewhere.
My friend's question which I was considering was this: "Do you approve of any or all of the twenty-three acts of Congress, each having for its object the declared purpose of giving to the negro all the rights, immunities, and privileges which have heretofore been enjoyed by the white man only?" I say to him again, show me the first act of the kind described, or withdraw your assertion. Admit your mistake, or let me prove it. I voted for every act that the Lincoln party passed, and if you can show one of them that goes as far as you allege, hold me responsible for it. I went to Congress determined to sustain the government, and I voted for every act that a majority of its friends adopted; and in so far I am responsible for all those acts which go to ameliorate the condition of the negroes, abandoned by their masters, and all those who, under our flag, are helping us whip the rebels who involved us in war by invading our country. There are 200,000 stalwart negroes fighting our battles. I voted to enlist them; I voted to equip them; I voted to pay them; and I do not see now, my fellow citizens, that it is not better for each of you that those colored men should be there fighting than that you should be. I do not. see why you, young man, should be dragged from your home, your profitable employment, and the girl of your heart, to save the rebel's slave from death. I do not see, father, why you should surrender ycmr son, when there is a stalwart negro, now digging and ploughing for the rebellion, who is willing to take his musket and fight to save your son's life and our country. Yes, I voted to put the negroes under arms; I voted to pay and clothe them. I voted for orphans' asylums and for infants' homes, and for schools for youth, that history might not point at us as a nation who had used a race of men to light our battles, and permitted their neglected wives and children to starve or freeze to deaths upon the public highway.
The second question is in these words: "Do you regard as constitutional, and do you approve of, the exercise of the military and civil power of the Federal Government, to create and establish new States out of parts of the old ones 1"
The military power has never been so used. The military power has never been so attempted to be used. When the people of any large body of territory—large enough for a State, and having on it sufficient population for a State—determine to come back into the Union, I do believe in allowing them to organize a State government, to elect United States Senators and Eepresentatives in the usual mode; and if there should come before the next Congress a State made up of a part of South Carolina, a part of Georgia, a part of North Carolina, and if it were possible, a part of Yirginia, embracing territory upon which there were half a million of people living, who had succeeded in establishing their freedom from the rebellion, as the people of West Yirginia have done—if such a body of people thus situated should come and ask us to accept them as a State and accept their constitution as a constitution, I would vote for the admission of that State. I would not say to the people who lived in that part of South Carolina, "No, you must go back and enjoy the tender mercies of your old masters, the tyrants of South Carolina." I would not say to the people of the other States, "No, we won't take you until you can coax all the rebels to come in." I am for reconstructing just as rapidly as possible, until we get the whole territory that belongs to us covered by States—States made up of loyal men, who will stand by the flag, the Constitution and the unity of the country; and I will not, to gratify a few aristocratic South Carolinians, or Yirginians, or Mississippians, say to five hundred thousand loyal people, " No; you are the slaves of those rebels; and for fear of offending them we will not recognize you." I will not do it, sir, and I do not believe that the people of the Fourth District would approve of the act of their representative who might do it.
I am for reconstruction by the free volition of the people, and I care not whether they maintain old State lines or make new ones; whenever the people want to come back, lay down their arms, organize a State Government, adopt a Constitution, elect Senators and Eepresentatives to the Congress of the United States, invite us to send our custom system and our postal system into their territory, I am in favor of readmitting them; and God send that at the next session all of them may come back in that way! And if Grant goes on as he has been doing, if Sheridan goes on as he has been doing, if Sherman goes on as in the letter I have read to-night he declares his purpose to do, I believe, so help me God, that before the next session of Congress rises more than half of the rebel territory will be organizing for peaceful reconstruction. The only hope that is sustaining the rebels is a pledge that, if McClellan be elected, they are to have, for a period of months or a year, what McClellan gave Lee's army at Antietam—an armistice. When the sun went down, Lee was whipped, and in a position from which he could not escape. Fitz John Porter's corps of thirty thousand men had not fired a gun; their ammunition was intact; no one of them was wearied by a day's fighting; and had that corps been brought into action, Lee's whole army must have surrendered. But the General at the head of our forces gave them an armistice for twenty-four hours; and when he came to look for them at the end of that time, they were like that flea of which my friend spoke—they were not there. They had gone. Yes, the only hope that the rebels have sustaining them in this hour of trial is that McClellan may be elected, that his partisans may be elected to Congress in October, and that then, as the leaders promised Lord Lyons more than two years ago, there will be an armistice, which is equivalent to the recognition of the independence of the Southern Confederacy.
Under certain circumstances, I say, I do approve of the exercise of the civil power of the Federal Government to admit into tie Union States established by the people out of part of the territory of any one State, or part of the territory of several States. The military power has never attempted to organize a State, and I therefore protest against the clause of the question that contains such an assertion.
The fourth question is in these words: "Are you prepared to declare yourself in favor of the military power as superior to the civil power, on the plea of military or any other necessity?" v
I have already answered that question very fully. I am unwilling, except in cases of necessity, to supplant the civil by the military power. Where the civil power is adequate to meet the difficulty, I am in favor of meeting the difficulty by the civil power. But I remember that Washington suspended the civil power over and over and over again. I remember that, by his authority, many of the most distinguished people of Philadelphia were sent seventy miles into the interior (not by railroad), because they were believed to be in sympathy with Great Britain. Washington suspended the habeas corpus, and suspended civil rights time and time and time again; and he expelled from Philadelphia, sending them seventy miles into the interior, the grandfathers of some of the leading Peace Democrats of to-day, because they were peace men in that day, and wanted to go back into subjection to the British Government. Jackson, as I have shown you, suspended the civil power. Douglas defended that act, and I will make no argument in its defence. I will simply urge you to read the thrilling sentences of Douglas in the remarks which I addressed to you, the other night, and which are now in pamphlet. There has never been a patriot in a country involved in war, who did not believe that, under "necessity," the civil power must at times be suspended.
The gentleman did not give me any additional light on his proposition in reference to "revolution." He says that resistance to the Government is revolution. I tell him that resistance to the Government is rebellion, and it never becomes revolution until the Government is overturned. Revolution means going round; and, until a rebellion is successful, it is rebellion, and not revolution.
(i Treason never prospers, What's the reason?
"When it prospers it is revolution; and, until it does prosper, it is rebellion. With a rebellion we are fighting; and that rebellion, if we want peace, honorable and lasting peace, we must crush.