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Early in June, the administration and the country, sustained a great loss in the death of Douglas. He died at Chicago, on the 3d; his death, hastened by the zeal and energy he exerted to aid and strengthen the Government to meet the dangers surrounding it.
Mr. Lincoln was deeply grieved by the death of his great rival, who had become one of his most valued advisers. Douglas had caused the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and thereby precipitated the conflict between freedom and slavery; but for this repeal, probably the resort to arms might have been delayed for a generation; possibly by the influence of moral and peaceful agencies prevented; but as has been stated, he did all in his power to redeem the past, by giving all his influence to the Government when the conflict came. The moment the flag of the insurgents was raised, he tried to hush the voice of party strife, and rallied his friends to the support of his country. He died at a moment when he had the opportunity and the disposition to have rendered the greatest service to his country. Had he lived, his energetic, determined, positive character would have continued him a leader, and there would have been no voice louder, more emphatic than his, demanding prompt, vigorous, and decisive measures. The Nation will not forget him, and Illinois will cherish his memory, and as the early opponent, and later, the friend of Lincoln, his name will live as long as Lake Michigan shall roll her blue waves upon the shore where rest his remains.
EXTRA SESSION OF CONGRESS - CIVIL POLICY AND MILITARY
EVENTS TO THE CLOSE OF 1861.
CONGRESS - PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE — ACTION OF CONGRESS-BA
KER'S REPLY TO BRECKINRIDGE- ANDREW JOHNSON-DENOUNCES Davis — THE REBEL LEADERS — PROMINENT SENATORS, AND MEMBERS --SUMNER, BAKER, FESSENDEN AND OTHERS-STEPHENS, COLFAX, LOVEJOY AND OTHERS — BILL TO CONFISCATE THE PROPERTY AND FREE THE SLAVES OF REBELS—THE ARMY NOT TO RETURN FUGITIVE SLAVES—CRITTENDEN'S RESOLUTION - BULL RUN— McCLELLAN IN COMMAND—FREEMONT-His EMANCIPATION ORDER — LETTER OF HOLT- PRESIDENT MODIFIES THE ORDER— His REASONS — CAMERON'S INSTRUCTION TO SHERMAN IN S. C. — MILITARY MOVEMENTS IN THE FALL OF 1861
- DEATH OF LYON-BALL'S BLUFF — DEATH OF BAKER — BELMONT-THE TRENT AFFAIR — ARREST
THE special session of the 37th Congress met at the Capital
on the Fourth of July, agreeably to the call of the President. Hannibal Hamlin, Vice President, presided over the Senate, Galusha A. Grow of Pennsylvania was elected Speaker of the House, and Emerson Etheridge of Tennessee, Clerk.
In the Senate, twenty-three States, and in the House twenty-two States were represented. There were forty Senators, and one hundred and fifty-four Representatives, on the first day of the session. No Representatives appeared from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, or Arkansas. Andrew Johnson, “ faithful among the faithless," represented Tennessee in the Senate, and Horace Maynard and Andrew
J. Clements appeared and took their seats at the second session, in the House. Among the more prominent Senators of New England, who had already secured a National reputation, were Fessenden and Morrill of Maine, Hale and Clark of New Hampshire, Sumner and Wilson of Massachusetts, Collamer and Foote of Vermont, and Anthony of Rhode Island. New York was represented by Preston King and Ira Harris.
Mr. Hale, from New Hampshire, had been the leader of the old Liberty party. “Solitary and alone" in the United States Senate, by his wit and humor, his readiness and ability, he had maintained his position against the whole Senatorial delegation of the Slave States, and their numerous allies from the Free States.. From Vermont, the dignified, urbane, and somewhat formal, Solomon Foote ; his colleague was Jacob Collamer, a gentleman of the old school who had been a member of Cabinets, and was one of the wisest jurists and statesmen of our country. Preston King had been the friend and confidant of Silas Wright and Thomas H. Benton, and a leader at the Buffalo Convention; genial, true and devoted to the principles of democracy as enunciated in the Declaration of Independence. From Pennsylvania, was David Wilmot, who, while a member of the House, introduced the “Wilmot Proviso," which connects forever his name with the Anti-Slavery contest.
From Ohio, John Sherman, a brother of General Sherman, and late a distinguished Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chairman of the Com.mittee on Finance; and Benjamin Wade, staunch, rude, earnest and true.
From Illinois, Lyman Trumbull and 0. H. Browning, both distinguished lawyers, and competitors at the bar with Douglas and Lincoln. From Iowa, Senators Grimes and Harlan; from Wisconsin, Doolittle and Howe; from Michigan, Bingham and Chandler; from Indiana, Jesse D. Bright and Henry S. Lane; the latter of whom had presided over the Philadelphia Convention of 1856.
But many vacant chairs in these council chambers, impressed the spectator with the magnitude of the impending struggle. The old Chiefs of slavery were absent; some at
Richmond, others in arms against their country. The chair of their leader, Davis; that of the blustering Toombs; the accomplished, cautious Hunter; the polished Benjamin ; the haughty, pretentious Mason; the crafty, unscrupulous Slidell, and their compeers, were all vacant. The seat of the “Little Giant” of Illinois, the ambitious but true patriot, Douglas, was vacant-not, thank God, from treason, but by death. Lifelong opponents gazed sadly upon his unoccupied seat.
Well had it been for the fame of Breckenridge if his chair had been made vacant by early death. But still conspicuous among the Senators of this Congress, was the late Vice President, now the Senator from Kentucky. As the representative of one of the historic families of that State, no young man of the Nation, until 1860, had prouder prospects.
Entering into the conspiracy to divide the Union, he first permitted, as a preliminary step, his name to be used at Charleston for the Presidency,
for the Presidency, to divide the Democratic party. He came to the United States Senate in July, 1861, with no loyalty to the Union. He had on the 25th of April preceding, denounced the call of the President for troops, and advised, that in the event of the failure to arrest what he called coercion, Kentucky should unite with the South. He entered the Senate with the avowed determination to arrest, if possible, the efforts of the Administration to protect and maintain the Government by force. He had now few friends or sympathizers in Washington, and was regarded with distrust by his loyal associates. Dark and gloomy, he could be daily seen, without companions, wending his way to the Senate Chamber, where his voice and his votes were constantly exerted to thwart the measures introduced for maintaining the authority of the Constitution. He soon came to be looked upon as a spy as well as a traitor. It was obvious that his heart was with his old associates at Richmond.
As soon as the special session closed, he threw off all disguise, entered the Secession Camp, and joined his fortunes with the insurgents.
President Lincoln, in his message to this Congress, calmly reviews the situation. He calls attention to the fact, that at his inauguration, the functions of the Federal Government
had been suspended in the States of Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Florida. All the National property, in these States had been appropriated by the insurgents. They had seized all the forts, arsenals, &c., except those on the Florida coast, and Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, and these were then in a state of siege by the rebel forces. The National arms had been seized and were in the hands of hostile armies. Large numbers
. of officers of the United States Army and Navy, had resigned and taken up arms against their Government. He reviewed the facts in relation to Fort Sumter, and showed that by the attack upon it, the insurgents began the conflict of arms, thus forcing upon the country immediate dissolution or war. No choice was left but to call into action the war powers of the Government, and to resist the force employed for its destruction, by force for its preservation. The call for troops was made, and the response was most gratifying. Yet no slave State except Delaware, had given a regiment through State organization. He then reviewed the action of Virginia, including the seizure of the National armory at Harper's Ferry and the Navy-yard at Gosport, near Norfolk. “ The people of Virginia had permitted the insurrection to make its nest within her borders, and left the Government no choice but to deal with it, where it found it.” He then reviews the action of the Government, the calls for troops, the blockade of the ports in the rebellious States, and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. He asked Congress to confer upon him the power to make the conflict short and decisive. He asked to have placed at his disposal, 400,000 men, and 400 millions of money. Alluding to the desire of the people to furnish the men and money necessary to maintain the Union, he said, “the people will save their Government, if the Government itself will do its part only indifferently well.”
He calls attention to the fact, that ours is a Government of the people, and they appreciate it; that while large numbers of the officers of the army and navy had proved “ false to the hand which had pampered them, not one common soldier or common sailor is known to have deserted his flag."
It is worthy of note, that the President in this, his first