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a single sentence or word which can be construed to sanction the stupendous wrong. Let us now, to-day, in the name of liberty, justice, and of God, consummate this grand revolution. Let us to-day make our country, our whole country,' the home of the free.'
“I conclude in the language of the President: “So much good has not been done by one effort in all past time, as in the providence of God, it is now your high privilege to do. May the vast future not have to lament that you have neglected it.'” "
Mr. Pendleton of Ohio, in a closing speech, rallied the democratic party against the amendment. The vote was ninety-three in favor of the amendment, sixty-five against itnot voting, twenty-three. Not having a majority of twothirds, the resolution failed. The democratic party voted nearly solid against it. Messrs. Bailey of Pennsylvania, Colonel Cobb of Wisconsin, Griswold and Odell of New York, were exceptions.
Before the vote was announced, James M. Ashley of Ohio, changed his vote from the affirmative to the negative, for the purpose of entering a motion to reconsider. The subject went over to the next session. Meanwhile, the adoption of the amendment, and the longer existence of slavery passed into an issue to be decided at the approaching Presidential election.
During the struggle on the Constitutional amendment, the President manifested the utmost anxiety that it should pass. On the 1st of January, 1864, he received his friends, and many congratulations were expressed, on account of the improved prospects of the country. The decisive victories in the West, and the successes in the East, gave a more buoyant tone to all visiting the White House. One of the most devoted friends of Mr. Lincoln calling upon him, after exchanging congratulations over the progress of the Union armies during the past year, said:
"I hope Mr. President, one year from to-day, I may have the pleasure of congratulating you on the consummation of three events which seem now very probable. “What are they?” said Mr. Lincoln.
“First, That the rebellion may be completely crushed. Second, That slavery may be entirely destroyed, and prohibited forever throughout the Union. Third, That Abraham Lincoln may have been triumphantly reelected President of the United States."
“I would be very glad" said Mr. Lincoln, with a twinkle in his eye. "I think I would compromise, by obtaining the first two propositions."
A democratic member had a brother mortally wounded at Chancellorsville. Mr. Lincoln's kindness to him while in the hospital at Washington, visiting him, and relieving every want, won the heart of the Congressman, and sometime afterwards he expressed his gratitude so warmly, that the President during the debate in the House on the Constitutional amendment, and while the result was doubtful, at a reception, said to the member, “ your brother died to save the Republic from death by the slaveholders' rebellion. I wish you could see it to be your duty to vote for the Constitutional amendment ending slavery.”
No selfish consideration was suggested; but the appeal to duty coming from the President to an honest and grateful heart, was successful. Party ties were broken, and the vote given for the amendment.
RECONSTRUCTION-FREEDMEN'S BUREAU-CENSURE OF HARRIS
RECONSTRUCTION—AMNESTY-HENRY WINTER Davis' BILL
QUESTION OF ADMISSION OF SENATORS FROM ARKANSAS-FREEDMEN'S BUREAU_SPEECH OF Brooks—EXPULSION OF LONG
CENSURE OF HARRIS–SPEECH OF WINTER Davis. The subject of reconstruction had been presented to Con
gress by the President in his annual Message of December 1863. He said that looking to the present and the future, with reference to a resumption of the National authority within the States wherein that authority had been suspended, he had thought fit to issue a proclamation in which he thought nothing was attempted but what was justified by the Constitution. This proclamation proffered a full pardon, with the restoration of all rights of property except as to slaves, and when the rights of third persons had intervened, on condition of an oath of fidelity to the Constitution of the United States, and support to all acts of Congress passed during the rebellion on the subject of slavery, and also the Proclamation of Emancipation.* From the persons to whom this offer of pardon was extended, were excepted, all officers of the Confederate Government, all who left judicial stations under the United States to aid the rebellion, military and naval officers of the rebel government above the rank of col. onel in the army and lieutenant in the navy, and all who had been engaged in treating white or colored persons otherwise than as prisoners of war.
* Thus it will be seen, that from the beginning, Mr. Lincoln determined that reconstruction should have for its basis universal freedom.
In this proclamation Mr. Lincoln manifested his fixed determination that slavery should cease in the reconstructed Union, and that the faith of the Nation pledged to the colored race should be fully and scrupulously kept. Fidelity —fidelity to the freedmen, breathed through every paper Mr. Lincoln ever issued on the subject. In regard to the reorganization of States he said : “In some States the elements for resumption seems ready for action, but remain inactive for the want of a plan of action. By the proclamation, a plan is presented which the people are assured will not be rejected by the Executive.” The plan suggested was, that when one tenth of the voters in any State who had voted in 1860, should take the required oath, and organize and reestablish a State government which should be republican in form, and no wise contravening said oath, it would be recognized by the Executive as the government of the State. He further sug
. gested that in constituting a loyal State government, the names and boundaries of the old States might be properly and conveniently retained. This would avoid inconvenience and confusion.
Does not such a suggestion negative the idea that the State as such still existed as a State in the Union, and a component part of the Government, and could of itself resume its former relations to the Union ? He added, in presenting the subject to Congress, “ to avoid misunderstanding, that in saying reconstruction will be accepted, if presented in a specified way, is not saying it would be rejected if presented in any other way.”
There was a wide difference of opinion among the friends of the President in regard to the Amnesty Proclamation. In the midst of the fierce passions and animosities growing out of the war, many thought the terms much too favorable to the rebels. But the conviction of the President was clear that when there was sincere repentance manifested by action, it was the duty of the Executive to pardon. He said, “when a man is sincerely penitent for his misdeeds, and gives satisfactory evidence of it, he can safely be pardoned.”
It is known that he was very anxiously seeking the restoration of some one
or more of the seceded States. He
earnestly desired to make a beginning in this direction. He desired a model for the seceded states to follow, and he looked impatiently for the day when a slave and rebellious State might return as a free and loyal member of the Union.
The mode of governing the rebellious States, and the manner of their resuming their former relations to the government, had been the subject of discussion in Congress in 1861 and 1862, but no definite action was taken. The President's Message on the subject was, on the 15th of December 1863, referred to a select committee, of which Henry Winter Davis was Chairman. In the discussion on the subject of reconstruction at this session of Congress, began those differences of opinion which have since been promoted by bad temper, intemperate and violent language, and ambition, and have finally resulted in the alienation which has grown into open hostility between Congress and the Executive during the administration of Mr. Johnson.
As has been stated, the relations of the rebel States to the National Government, and in what way they should be governed during the period which should intervene before their restoration to their former relations, and the manner in which those relations should be restored, early became a subject of anxious consideration by the thoughtful statesmen of the republic. As early as December 1861, Senator Harlan introduced a bill to establish a provisional government in the rebellious States. Mr. Sumner, in February 1862, introduced a series of resolutions declaratory of his views of the relations between the United States and the territory thus “usurped by pretended governments without legal or constitutional rights.” Various bills were reported to the House, and introduced into the Senate, to establish provisional governments over the territory in rebellion. No final action was had upon these measures. They were generally regarded as premature, and it was thought that while in the condition of war, military governments were perhaps the most convenient form in which proper governmental control could be exercised. The "President, under the military power had appointed provisional governors in North Carolina, Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas.