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disloyal man. I do hope the friends of this bill will not so far outrage the laws of this District as to authorize slaves or free negroes to be witnesses in cases of this kind.” Mr. Stevens said, "I trust that this committee will not so far continue an outrage as not to allow any man of credit, whether he be black or white, to be a witness ;” and the amendment was rejected.
Mr. Wickliffe moved to strike out all after the enacting clause, and insert the bill moved in the Senate by Mr. Wright of Indiana. Mr. Holman (Rep.) of Indiana would amend the amendment by striking out the fifth section, requiring the authorities of Washington and Georgetown to provide active and efficient means to arrest fugitive slaves. Mr. Cox (Dem.) of Ohio opposed the motion, " because, if the bill is to pass
in any shape at all, I should like to see this substitute passed in its entirety.” Mr. Vallandigham (Dem.) said that "there were not ten men in the Thirty-sixth Congress of the United States who would have recorded their votes in favor of the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. There are many on that side of the House who believe and know that assertion to be true; and yet behold, to-day, what is before the Congress of the United States ! In the language of the distinguished gentleman from Kentucky, 'availing themselves of the troubles of the times,' we have this bill brought forward as the beginning of a grand scheme of emancipation; and there is no calculation where that scheme is to end." Mr. Holman's motion to amend the amendment was rejected ; and Mr. Wickliffe's amendment was lost,
ayes 34, noes 84.
Mr. Menzies (Union) of Kentucky moved to amend by striking out all after the enacting clause, and inserting as follows : " That the children of persons held to service for life in the District of Columbia, who may be born after the first day of May, 1862, shall be free; and, at the age of eighteen years, may assert their freedom against all persons. Any person who may be brought into said District after the first day of May, 1862, for the benefit of his or her owner or hirer, shall thereby become free. Any person who may deprive a person entitled to freedom, according to the first section of this act, of the power and means of asserting such freedom, shall be guilty of felony, and shall be punished, on conviction thereof in any court of competent jurisdiction, by confinement in the penitentiary not less than five nor more than twenty years." The amendment was disagreed to.
The committee, on motion of Mr. Stevens, rose; and Mr. Dawes reported that the Committee of the Whole on the State of the Union had instructed him to report the bill back to the House, without amendment. Mr. Stevens demanded the previous question; and it was ordered, — yeas 92, nays 39. Mr. Holman demanded the yeas and nays on the passage of the bill. They were ordered ; and the question was taken, yeas 92, nays 38.
The bill thus passed the House, and was approved by the President on the sixteenth day of April, 1862. By the enactment of this bill, three thousand slaves were instantly made for ever free, slavery made impossible in the capital of the United States, and the black laws and ordinances concerning persons of color repealed and abrogated. The enfranchised bondmen, grateful for this beneficent act of national legislation, assembled in their churches, and offered up the homage and gratitude of their hearts to God for the boon of personal freedom.
THE PRESIDENT'S PROPOSITION TO AID STATES IN
THE ABOLISHMENT OF SLAVERY.
THE PRESIDENT'S SPECIAL MESSAGE. – MR. ROSCOE CONKLING'S RESOLU
TION. - MR. RICHARDSON'S SPEECH. - MR. BINGHAM'S SPEECH. - MR. VOORHEES' SPEECH. - MR. MALLORY'S SPEECH. MR. WICKLIFFE'S SPEECH. - MR. DIVEN'S SPEECH. - MR. THOMAS'S SPEECH. - MR. BIDDLE'S SPEECH. - MR. CRISFIELD'S SPEECH. - MR. OLIN'S SPEECH. MR. CRITTENDIN'S SPEECH. — MR. FISHER'S SPEECH. — MR. HICKMAN'S SPEECH. — PASSAGE OF THE BILL IN THE HOUSE. — IN THE SENATE, THE RESOLUTION REPORTED WITHOUT AMENDMENT BY MR. TRUMBULL. - MR. SAULSBURY'S SPEECH. — MR. DAVIS'S AMENDMENT. — MR. SHERMAN'S SPEECH. - MR. DOOLITTLE'S SPEECH. - MR. WILLEY'S SPEECH.-MR. BROWNING'S SPEECH. — MR. MÓDOUGALL'S SPEECH. — MR. POWELL'S SPEECH. - MR. LATHAM'S SPEECH. - MR. MORRILL'S SPEECH. -MR. HENDERSON'S AMENDMENT. -- MR. SHERMAN'S SPEECH. — PASSAGE OF THE RESOLUTION.
the 6th of March, 1862, the President sent to
Congress a special message, in which he said, "I recommend the adoption of a joint resolution by your honorable bodies, which shall be substantially as follows :
“ Resolved, That the United States ought to co-operate with any State which may adopt gradual abolishment of slavery ; giving to such State pecuniary aid, to be used by such State in its discretion, to compensate for the inconveniences, public and private, produced by such change of system.
"If the proposition contained in the resolution does not meet the approval of Congress and the country, there is the end ; but, if it does command such approval, I deem it of importance that the States and people immediately interested should be at once distinctly notified of the fact, so that they may begin to consider whether to accept or reject it. The Federal Government would find its highest interest in such a measure, as one of the most efficient means of self-preservation. The leaders of the existing insurrection entertain the hope, that this Government will ultimately be forced to acknowledge the independence of some part of the disaffected region, and that all the slave States north of such part will then say, 'The Union for which we have struggled being already gone, we now choose to go with the Southern section.' To deprive them of this hope, substantially ends the Rebellion; and the initiation of emancipation completely deprives them of it as to all the States initiating it. The point is, not that all the States tolerating slavery would very soon, if at all, initiate emancipation, but that, while the offer is equally made to all, the more Northern shall, by such initiation, make it certain to the more Southern that in no event will the former ever join the latter in their proposed confederacy. ... While it is true that the adoption of the proposed resolution would be merely initiatory, and not within itself a practical measure, it is recommended in the hope that it would soon lead to important practical results. In full view of my great responsibility to my God and to my country, I earnestly beg the attention of Congress and the people to the subject.”