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a defeat. More than any defeat, it will discredit us with posterity, and with the friends of liberal institutions in foreign nations. I have said that Gen. Halleck is reputed to be an able officer ; but most perversely he undoes with one hand what he does with the other. He undoes by his orders the good he does as a general. While professing to make war upon the Rebellion, he sustains its chief and most active power, and degrades his gallant army to be the constables of slavery. Slavery is the constant rebel and universal enemy. It is traitor and belligerent together, and is always to be treated accordingly. Tenderness to slavery now is practical disloyalty, and practical alliance with the enemy. Against these officers to whom I have referred to-day I have no personal unkindness. I should much prefer to speak in their praise; but, sir, I am in earnest. While I have the honor of a seat in the Senate, no success, no victory, shall be any apology or any shield to a general who undertakes to insult human nature. From the midst of his triumphs, I will drag him forward to receive the condemnation which such conduct deserves." Mr. Saulsbury moved to amend the resolution by adding to it, " and what further legislation is necessary to prevent the illegal capture and imprisonment of the free white citizens of the United States.” In support of the amendment, he said, "But, while we are entertained every morning with a narrative of the grievances of the black men of this country, the free negroes and the slaves of this country, thinking equally as much, and

although it may be an infirmity and a weakness at the present time to say it — thinking a little more, of the free white citizens of my country, I will, in my

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place, demand that justice shall be done them, and that free white men, who have done nought to injure their country, to destroy its institutions or its Union, shall be protected, and that inquiry shall be made to see if further legislation is necessary to secure them in their rights.” Pending the question, the President called up the Confiscation Bill, which was the order of the day : the bill went over, and was not again taken up.

4

38

CHAPTER III.

THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY IN THE DISTRICT OF

COLUMBIA.

THE NATIONAL CAPITAL. SLAVERY. - MR. WILSON'S RESOLUTION.

THE DISTRICT COMMITTEE. MR. WILSON'S BILL. – MR. MORRILL'S REPORT, WITH AMENDMENTS. — MR. WILSON'S BILL TO REPEAL THE SLAVE CODE. -- COMMITTEE'S AMENDMENTS ADOPTED.-MR. MORRILL'S AMENDMENTS. - MR. DAVIS'S AMENDMENTS. - MR. DOOLITTLE'S AMEND

MENT. REMARKS BY MR. DAVIS. MR. HALE. — MR. DOOLITTLE.

MR. POMEROY. - MR. WILLEY. - MR. SAULSBURY. --MR. KING. - MR. DAVIS. --MR. WILSON - MR. KENNEDY, MR. SAULSBURY. - MR. HARLAN. — MR. WILKINSON. - MR. SAULSBURY'S AMENDMENT. — MR. SUMNER. - MR. WRIGHT. - MR. FESSENDEN. - MR. DAVIS'S AMENDMENT. -MR. CLARK'S AMENDMENT. MR. WILLEY'S AMENDMENT. - MR. CLARK'S AMENDMENT. — MR. DAVIS. — MR. MORRILL. - MR. MÓDOUGALL. — MR. SUMNER'S AMENDMENT. — MR. WRIGHT'S AMENDMENT. — MR. BROWNING'S AMENDMENT. MR. WILMOT. - MR. COLLAMER'S AMENDMENT. -MR. DOOLITTLE'S AMENDMENT. — MR. POWELL. — MR. BAYARD. — PASSAGE OF THE BILL. - HOUSE. — MR. STEVENS'S MOTION. - MR. THOMAS. - MR. NOXON. — MR. BLAIR. - MR. CRITTENDEN. — MR. RIDDLE. - MR. FESSENDEN. —MR. ROLLINS. - MR. BLAKE. -MR. VAN HORNE. — MR. ASHLEY. - MR. HUTCHINS. - MR. WRIGHT'S AMENDMENT. -MR. HICKMAN. — MR. WADSWORTH. - MR. HARDING'S AMENDMENT. MR. TRAIN'S AMENDMENT. --MR. LOVEJOY. - MR. WICKLIFFE'S AMENDMENT. MR. HOLMAN'S AMENDMENT. - MR. COX. MR. MENZIES'

5 AMENDMENT. - PASSAGE OF THE BILL.

THE

HE first Congress under the Constitution was

deeply absorbed by the question of the permanent location of the seat of the Federal Government. The Eastern States would have been content to let it remain in New York.

Pennsylvania sought to win it back to Philadelphia. Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia would fix it on the Potomac. The conflicting

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claims of sections defeated, in 1789, all propositions for the permanent location of the seat of Government ; but it was determined at the next session, by three majority in the House of Representatives, to locate it on the banks of the Potomac. Clothed by the Constitution with the power to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever” over the District, Congress, instead of providing a code of humane and equal laws for the government of the national capital, enacted, in 1801, that the laws of Maryland and Virginia should continue in force. By this act, the colonial slavecodes of Maryland and Virginia were accepted, reaffirmed, and re-enacted. Washington and Georgetown adopted oppressive and inhuman ordinances for the government of slaves and free persons of color. For half a century the slave-trade was carried on, to the lasting dishonor of the nation; and for two generations the public men of the country were surrounded by an atmosphere tainted by the breath of the slave, and by the blinding and perverting influences of the social life of slaveholding society.

On the 4th of December, 1861, after the announcement of the Standing Committees of the Senate, Mr. Wilson (Rep.) of Massachusetts introduced a resolution, that all laws in force relating to the arrest of

fugitives from service, and all laws concerning persons . of color, within the District, be referred to the Committee on the District of Columbia ; and that the committee be instructed to consider the expediency of abolishing slavery in the District, with compensation to loyal holders of slaves. The committee to whom the resolution was referred consisted of Mr. Grimes (Rep.) of

Iowa, Mr. Dixon (Rep.) of Connecticut, Mr. Morrill (Rep.) of Maine, Mr. Wade (Rep.) of Ohio, Mr. Anthony (Rep.) of Rhode Island, Mr. Kennedy (Dem.) of Maryland, and Mr. Powell (Dem.) of Kentucky. Mr. Grimes, chairman of the committee, Mr. Morrill, and Mr. Wade, were recognized by their associates and by the country as thorough and uncompromising opponents of slavery in every form. Mr. Dixon and Mr. Anthony were fair representatives of the feelings and views of conservative Republicanism. Mr. Kennedy came into the Senate a type of the moderate, conservative, respectable Whigism of the Border slave States ; but was soon borne, like many others of that halting, timid school, by the current of events, into the ranks of Democracy. Mr. Powell was an original Democrat, of the faith and creed of the slaveholding school, and an earnest, bold, and adroit advocate of its policy. In moving the reference of his resolution to this committee, Mr. Wilson expressed the hope that the chairman "would deal promptly with the question.”

Mr. Wilson of Massachusetts, on the 16th of December, obtained leave to introduce a bill for the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia ; which was read twice, and ordered to be printed. The bill provided for the immediate emancipation of the slaves, for the payment to their · loyal owners of an average sum of three hundred dollars, for the appointment of a commission to assess the sum to be paid, and the appropriation of one million of dollars. On the 22d of December, on the motion of Mr. Wilson, the bill was referred to the District Committee.

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