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printed addresses, and you will find that if I have spoken only for the negro, as the gentleman says, it is because he considers you and all other working men negroes; for I have steadily spoken of and for the laboring man and woman.
Gentlemen, if I am too fond of the negro, it is because I am a Democrat and stand by the early teachings of the Democratic party. The last Democratic State Convention, which I attended, and which was held at Pittsburg, on the 4th of July, 1849, adopted this resolution :—
'* Resolved, That the Democratic party adheres now, as it ever has done, to the Constitution of the country. Its letter and spirit they will neither weaken nor destroy; and they declare that slavery is a local domestic institution of the South, subject to State law alone; and with which the general Government has nothing to do. Wherever the State law extends its jurisdiction, the local institution can continue to exist. Esteeming it a violation of State rights to carry it beyond State limits, we deny the power of any citizen to extend the area of bondage beyond its present dominion; nor do we consider it a part of the compromise of the Constitution, that slavery should forever travel with the advancing column of our territorial progress."
That was the platform of the Democratic party in 1849. Now, why was this war made? It was because the Constitution of the UnitiKi States did restrict slavery to the States; it was because the slaveholders could no longer control the country; it was because they feared that white immigration might come into the South, and that under our naturalization laws and under the clause of the Constitution which makes a citizen of one State a citizen of every State, slavery might be interfered with by the free laborers who would thus become citizens of slave States, and have the right to interfere with it. Therefore they began to foster and disseminate the idea of a Southern Empire; and they did this solely for the purpose of excluding from the limits of the Southern States the right of the laborer to pay.
I have shown you where the Democratic party stood in 1849. In confirmation of the theory I announce, let me turn your attention to a little fact in our history and a little paragraph in Abraham Lincoln's Inaugural Address. When the men of the South threatened to secede, to establish a Confederacy and to make war, the men of the North—Eepublicans, Conservaties, Bell-Everetts, all sorts of men except the Democratic leaders (and even some of them united in it)—tried to effect a compromise. They said to the men of the South, "We do not want to interfere with your institution of slavery in the States. When you wanted to import more slaves into the country, we, by a Constitutional provision, agreed that you should do it for twenty years. We have arrested your fugitive slaves and sent them back, unpalatable to us as it has been; we have scarcely ever asked for a President of the United States, allowing the South to fill the office nearly all the time. We have scarcely ever had a Yice President, allowing the South to have that office too. Of the Presidents pro. tern, of the Senate, you have had more than two-thirds. During the whole history of our Government you have had, without a single intermission, a majority of the Judges of the Supreme Court. Of the clerks, auditors, controllers, etc., at Washington, you have always had two-thirds. Now, we will go farther than this. We will agree to so amend the Constitution of the United States that the people of the United States shall never be able to interfere with slavery—that it shall be left exclusively to the people of each State, so that if all the States but one want to abolish it, they cannot force that one to do it." The Southern leaders had professed to be afraid that by-and-by the Northern or non-slaveholding States would get a two-thirds vote and would alter the Constitution so as to abolish slavery. Here was a proposition to prevent by constitutional amendment the possibility of any such occurrence. The proposition was prepared and offered by Mr. Thomas Corwin (a very Black Republican from Ohio!), providing for such an amendment, and it passed both Houses of Congress by a more than two-thirds vote—very largely more. In the Senate the vote was 24 to 12; and in the House it was, I think, 133 to 65. But even this would not do. They went out. They said that the incoming President would not approve it, or something of that sort. Well, when Mr, Lincoln, having been duly elected President, came to make his Inaugural Address, he said:—
"I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution (which amendment, however, I have not seen) has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service. To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose not to speak of particular amendments so far as to say that, holding such a provision now to be implied Constitutional law, I have no objection to it being made express and irrevocable."
In the face of such action as this there could be no pretence that the people of the United States would interfere with slavery in the States. What, then, was their fear? It was, as I have said, that the flowing tide of emigration from Europe and from our great cities might come into their States; that the great mass of white people who might thus go .there would become impatient of slavery; and that, being Virginians, they would demand that Virginia abolish slavery; being Mary landers, they would demand that Maryland abolish slavery; and that thus slavery would gradually be extinguished. Therefore, in order effectually to shut out Northern men from those States—in order effectually to prevent immigration—in order effectually to get rid of the naturalization laws, by which the emigrant from foreign lands becomes a citizen of the State in which he settles—they made war upon us. Their hope and wish was that their whole great empire might, as Mr. Stephens, the Yice President of the Confederacy, said, "rest on the corner-stone of human slavery."
Now, can I regard the truth and escape from saying that this war is about wages? I have never said that it was about the negro. I deny that it is exclusively about the negro. It is about wages; and every man who lives by the sweat of his brow and the cunning of his good • right hand—every man who expects to train sons to mechanical labor that by their ingenuity, skill, and industry they may make honorable livelihoods—has an interest in the question involved—in keeping open more than half our country to the enterprise, the industry, the ingenuity of those children of his. It is the white man's question. It is the white man's war. It is a war for the twenty-six millions of white men of this country and for the countless millions in Europe who look to this land of ours as a refuge from poverty, despotism, and oppression; and the negroes, blessed by it as they are to be, being but four millions, are but a drop in the bucket.
I now turn to the only one of the gentleman's questions which I have not fairly, and I believe fully answered: "Did you vote for and are you in favor of the act of March 3, 1863, entitled ' an act relating to the habeas corpus and regulating judicial proceedings in certain cases,' which allows the President's order to be an answer to any proceeding at any time?" I answer that I did vote for an act of that date relfting to the habeas corpus, and will, so long as this war lasts, if I remain in Congress, oppose its repeal. It is a law for the protection of General McClellan for what he did, as well as of every other general who has served his country faithfully at anytime. While Gen. McClellan was yet true to the great cause confided to him, it became his duty to arrest the Legislature of Maryland. They were about passing an act of secession. There were many thousands of the citizens of that State who held the same doctrine as old Twiggs and my distinguished competitor in relation to State sovereignty; they would stand by their State, if she should remain in the Union, and would go against the Union, with their State, if she should pass an ordinance of secession. It became known at a certain time that an ordinance of secession was to be sprung upon the Legislature the next day; and General McClellan, like a soldier, following a score of precedents of Washington and the one precedent of Jackson, to which I have referred, arrested the whole Legislature and sent them to a fort, and so prevented the passage of the ordinance of secession. Now, every member of that Legislature, on his release, might have gone before some Democratic judge of Maryland and sued Gen. McClellan for damages, and had him tried before a packed jury of Marylanders and mulcted in more than he was worth; and as there is imprisonment for debt in Maryland, they might have taken the commander-in-chief of our armies and put him in jail—the military power being, according to the gentleman's theory, subordinate to the civil power even in time of war.
We have a townsman, General George Cadwalader. His grandfather was a general in the Revolutionary war; his father was a general in the late war. He himself won the brevet of Major-General on the bloody field of Chepultepec. Doing his duty like a patriot-soldier, when he was in command at Baltimore, he arrested John Merriman, the man who fired the bridges between here and Baltimore and endangered our capital. That miscreant sued General Cadwalader, in a distant Maryland court, for damages to the amount of $50,000 for that act, and they would have seized General Cadwalader as they would have seized General McClellan, and taken him to their court. Then we should have sent an army to release eith&r of them, and there would have been such a conflict as Horatio Seymour has been trying to get up between the State of New York and the General Government. We passed a bill, the one in question, by which all such suits should be transferred from the State courts into the courts of the United States. That is the great point of that bill. Now, were we right in saying that General McClellan should not be tried in some obscure county court in Maryland, where there were none but Secessionists to sit on the jury? Were we right in saying that Gen. Cadwalader should have the highest court known to our laws to vindicate him, or to punish him if he had violated the law? To provide for this is the great characteristic of that act; and an additional provision is that, in any suit of this kind, the order of the President shall be a sufficient answer. And why not? Is not every general in the army bound to obey the Commander-in-chief? Would not any general be liable to be shot if he should refuse to obey such an order? And should we leave General McClellan or General Cadwalader, or any other General to be mulcted in damages for obeying, like a good and faithful officer, the order of his Commander-in-chief? Would we allow a policeman of Philadelphia to be fined and imprisoned for obeying an order of the Mayor? or should we make the Mayor responsible for his orders? The very clause which the gentleman read has simply this effect—that if the President of the United States gives an illegal order of that kind, he shall be responsible for it at the end of his term of office. The Constitution making him responsible by impeachment at any day during his official term.
Now, gentlemen, what was there improper, unjust, or tyrannical in that law? Yet the gentleman is going round cackling like a hen that cannot lay her egg, over the wrongs and tyrannies of the Government in protecting his candidate for the Presidency from as great an outrage as ever was sought to be perpetrated. Perhaps, however, he thinks that if the mad secessionists were to "bag" McClellan it would bring Mr. Pendleton into the Presidency at an early day, and thus suit his purpose as well. Now, gentlemen, there is the whole of that act, and there is my answer. I did vote for the act, and I will stand by it so long as the war lasts if I remain in Congress. I will stand by every general that performs his duty; and I will hold the President responsible for his official acts to the last dollar of his estate and to the last letter of the Constitutional provision that enables us to impeach him for any violation of either the law or the Constitution.
I close as I began. I am for peace—perpetual, enduring, honorable peace—peace that shall extend from one end of the country to the other—a peace, in the enjoyment of which each one of us may travel on foot, in carriage or on rail-car through every town, city and State of our country—a peace under which you will be citizens, not of the nineteen Northern States, but of the whole thirty-five States of the Union—a peace at the end of a war so grand that the nations of Europe will say, "It will not do for us to trifle with that great people who in a civil war have evinced a power that Europe combined cannot display"—a peace that will forever teach ambitious men that they can make nothing by treason, and will limit their aspirations to the honorable avenues to fame—a peace that shall bless every man, woman, and child in the country. And while I am for all this, I charge unhesitatingly and unequivocally upon my friend, that the only conclusion to be deduced from his argument to-night and on the six preceding nights, is that he desires, prays for, and labors for the success of the Southern Confederacy, the division of our country, the striking of fifteen stars from our flag, the denial to you of your rights of citizenship in fifteen States, and the establishment over that vast empire of a system of labor under which the laborer shall have no wages save his rentless hut, the food his master may provide, and clothing such as we give to the pauper and the felon —a system under which the husband shall have no right to his wife, and the wife no right to her husband—under which the laboring man or laboring woman shall not have the right even to testify as a witness in court. In other words, that over that vast region embracing more than a million of square miles, he would reduce the men and women who follow the avocations which you, your wives and daughters follow, to the condition of things, to be sold upon the auction-block, and to be enumerated in the bills of executor's sales in phrases such as "horses, cows, slaves, and other cattle."
In proof of my assertions, that the Democratic leaders have been engaged in a conspiracy to overthrow free labor and nationalize slavery as the condition of the laborer whether white or black, I submit a few extracts from their most eminent orators and writers.
"The theory of free labor is a delusion. Slavery is the natural and normal condition of the laboring man, white or black."—De Bow's Southern Review.
"The enslavement of the laborer is right in itself, and does not depend on difference of complexion. Experience shows the universal success of slave labor and the universal failure of free labor."—Richmond Enquirer.
"Slave labor, black or white, is right. Nature has made the weak in mind and body for slaves."
"Make the laboring man a slave, and he would be far better off."
"Two hundred years of liberty have made white laborers a pauper banditti."—George FitzhugMs Sociology.
"The enslavement of the laborer alone can saVe society against the dangerous vice of legislative intermeddling between the laborer and the capitalist.''''—George McDuffie, Governor of South Carolina.
"The laws of all the Southern States justify the holding of white men in slavery."—Richmond Enquirer.
il Men are not born to equal rights. It would be far nearer the truth to say that some were born with saddles on their backs and bits in their mouths, and others born booted and spurred to ride them; and the riding does them good. They need the rein, the bit, and the spur. Life and liberty are not inalienable. The Declaration of Independence is exuberantly false and arborescently fallacious."— Richmond Enquirer.
"In all social systems there must be a class to do the menial duties, to perform the drudgery of life; a class requiring but a low order of intellect and little skill. This class constitutes the Mudsills of society, and of political government. The manual, hired laborers of the North—the operatives, as they are called—are mere slaves."—Hammond, of South Carolina.
"There must be a class of men whose business is to dig the soil and tend the herds, and who must not be allowed to have any real or personal property of their own. This class never will, never can, and never ought to take any part in the political affairs of the country."—Ron. B. Watkins Leigh, of Virginia.
"Free labor has failed, and that which is not free must be substituted."—Senator Mason, of Virginia.
"Policy and humanity alike forbid the extension of the evils of free labor to new peoples, and coming generations."—Richmond Enquirer.
"Slave labor should be allowed to pour itself abroad without restraint, and find no limit but the Southern Ocean. I would introduce it into the very heart of the North."—Hon. Henry A. Wise, of Virginia.
"I would spread the blessings of slave labor, like the religion of our Divine Master, to the utmost ends of the earth. Wicked and rebellious as the Yankees are, I would extend it even to them."—Senator Brown, of Mississippi,
"We will call the roll of our slaves on Bunker Hill."—Hon. Robert Toombs, of Georgia.
"The slave laborers of the South are far better off than the free laborers of the North. Our slave laborers are not only better off as to physical comforts than the free laborers, but their moral, social and domestic condition is better."—Richmond Enquirer^
11 The condition of the slave laborers of the South is heaven on earth compared with that of the free laborers of the North."—Rev. J. C. Pot sell, South Carolina.
"The Northern States, in rejecting slave labor, have destroyed order, and rejected the strongest argument to prove the existence of Deity."—Richmond Enquirer.
"Free labor is impracticable, and is everywhere starving, demoralizing, and insurrectionary."—Richmond Enquirer.
(i The establishment of the Confederacy is a distinct reaction against the whole course of the mistaken civilization of the age. For ' Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,' we have deliberately substituted Slavery, Subordination, and Government."—Richmo?id Enquirer.
"Free society! We sicken at the name. What is it but a conglomeration of greasy mechanics, filthy operatives, and small-fisted farmers? All the Northern States are devoid of society fitted for a well-bred gentleman. The prevailing class is that of mechanics struggling to be genteel, and small farmers who do their own drudgery, and yet who are not fit for association with a gentleman's body-servant."—The Muscogee Herald, Alabama.
"Many in the South once believed that slaveholding was a moral and political evil, but that folly and delusion are gone. We now see it in its true light, and regard it as the most safe and stable basis»for free institutions."—John C. Calhoun, 1838.
"The hand that is familiar with the plough-handle should never be permitted to touch a ballot."—John C. Calhoun.
"We are told that men are not only born equal, but free. The very reverse of this is true."—Southern Christian Herald, Columbia, S. C.
"I repudiate, as ridiculously absurd, that much lauded, but nowhere accredited dogma of Mr. Jefferson, that ' all men are born equal.' "—Gov. Hammond, of South Carolina.
"Mechanics For Sale.—The subscriber has on hand two excellent carpenters, three blacksmiths, and one wheelwright, all excellent mechanics in their line; young, strong, and healthy, of quiet and peaceable dispositions, and several of them are quite pious; all of which will be sold at moderate rates. Persons in want of mechanics are invited to call and examine these, as they are all desirable workmen."— W. G. Vennymaker, No. 50 Canal Street, Savannah, Ga.
Closing Speech of Hon. W. B. Kelley, in the
DELIVERED AT WEST PHILADELPHIA HALL, FRIDAY EVENING,
OCTOBER, .7, 1864.
PHONOGRAPHIC REPORT BY D. WOLFE BROWN.
We close to-night, my fellow-citizens, the first discussion of this kind that, to my know. ledge, has been held in Philadelphia or Pennsylvania. The contest was not of my seeking. On my return from Maine; I was invited by my distinguished competitor to meet him before the people of the District, that, after having heard us, they might judge between us with reference to our principles; and while I recognized the superiority of his mental endowments, and appreciated his more varied and elegant attainments, I did not feel at liberty to decline the invitation, but having confidence in my good cause, to borrow a phrase from his letter, I "at once" accepted the invitation, and am here to do my part in closing the controversy.
My distinguished friend concluded the discussion of last night by asking whether the Confederate States were in the Union or out of it. It seemed to me that that question ought not to be put to me at so late a day as this; but I proceed to answer it for your satisfaction, as it was propounded in your presence.
Are those States in the Union or out of it? That seems to be a very simple question, and it is so to my mind. They were in the Union. According to my judgment and my very publicly expressed faith, they are out of the Union, and are not at present States of the Union, In order to know precisely the condition of that country, and the duty of the Government, be it in the hands of what administration it may, toward the Confederate States and the people of those States, we must examine more than one question. First, to whom does the territory they occupy of right belong? and next, to whom do the people occupying the territory of right owe allegiance? When we shall have answered these questions, and examined in connection with them the question of government or political institutions, I think none of you will dissent from the opinion that the Confederate States are out of the Union.
The United States extended, at the beginning of Mr. Buchanan's administration, from the Aroostook, away there to the East, to the Rio del Norte, away beyond Texas; and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The territory had been acquired by the right of settlement by our ancestors, and, as I have often reiterated in this discussion, by the right of purchase so far as concerns the States that were carved out of the Louisiana territory; by the same right, so far as concerns the Florida territory; and by the double right of purchase by money, and by the incidents of war, so far as concerns Texas. Having been thus acquired, it was your property and mine. It belonged as well to the people of Maine and Minnesota, as to those of Texas and Florida. It was the property of their Government in trust for the people under the Constitution and laws. It belonged to our Nation; and when the geographer, whether he was American, British, or Continental, drew the map of our country, he embraced all that territory. That territory still belongs to the United States. It has never been ceded by our Government to State, Kingdom, or Nation. The people of the United States would never have consented to its cession; for all the reasons which induced the* acquisition of Louisiana, Florida and Texas exist as powerfully—nay, more powerfully to-day than they did at the respective seasons of acquisitions.
True it is that Mr. Buchanan, the head of the Democratic Administration, announced in formal message in the beginning of December, 1860, that, as President of the United States, he would not and could not defend our right to any portion of this territory, if the people occupying it should determine to steal it; and he enforced that announcement by accompanying his message with the opinion of his Attorney General, that the Government of the United States could not maintain its right to its own domain, if the people on it should determine to claim it as theirs. That is the doctrine of the Democratic party. From that doctrine I beg leave to dissent.
So much for the territory. It belongs to-night, every acre and every foot of it, to us, and "we the people of the United States," to borrow the first phrase of the preamble to our Constitution, own it.
Now, as- to the people occupying that territory. On one proposition laid down by my distinguished friend, he and I agree thoroughly. I stand by it. He, though he announced it,