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By WILLIAM H. BARNES, A.M.,
AUTHOR OF THE BODY POLITIC.”
327 TO 335 PEARL STREET.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by PREFACE.
WILLIAM H. BARNES, Is the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the District
M HE history of the Thirty-Ninth Congress is a sequel
to that of the Rebellion. This having been overthrown, it remained for Congress to administer upon its effects. It depended upon the decisions of Congress whether the expected results of our victories should be realized or lost.
Now that the work of the Thirty-Ninth Congress stands forth complete, people naturally desire to know something of the manner in which the rough material was shaped into order, and the workmanship by which the whole was “ fitly joined together.” It can not be said of this fabric of legislation that it went up without “the sound of the hammer.” The rap of the gavel was often heard enforcing order or limiting the length of speeches.
Discussion is the process by which legislation is achieved; hence no history of legislation would be complete without presenting the progress of debate preparatory to the adoption of important measures. The explanation of what our legislators did is found in what they said. Debates, as presented in the following pages, are by necessity much abridged. No attempt has been made to give a summary or synopsis of speeches. That which seemed to be the most striking or characteristic passage in a speech is given, in the words of the orator.
Many things said and done in the Thirty-Ninth Congress, of great importance to the nation, are by necessity omitted. The reader, in forming his opinion of