Edward McPherson.

The political history of the United States of America, during the great rebellion, including a classified summary of the legislation of the second session of the Thirty-sixth Congress, the three sessions of the Thirty-seventh Congress, the first session of the Thirty-eighth Congress, with the votes online

. (page 1 of 222)
Online LibraryEdward McPhersonThe political history of the United States of America, during the great rebellion, including a classified summary of the legislation of the second session of the Thirty-sixth Congress, the three sessions of the Thirty-seventh Congress, the first session of the Thirty-eighth Congress, with the votes → online text (page 1 of 222)
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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by


In the Clerk's OfiBce of the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia.

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WMblDgton, D. C.



This volume is intended to be-a Record of the Legislation, and the general Political
History of the United States, for the last four years — a period of unexampled activity
and of singularly deep interest and inportance, whether reference be had to the vast
material interests involved in the stupendous struggle, or the precedents, principles,
and measures vrhich the Convulsion has produced. It is further intended to be a
Kecord rather of those salient facts which embody or illustrate principles, than of
those which relate to men or parties, and hence have transient and inferior sig-

So abundant have been the materials, that compression has been a necessity. Selec-
tion has been made with the purpose of presenting, fully and fairly, the facts as they
are, and the agencies by which they came — viewing all else as subordinate.

The first Ninety pages are devoted to the period of Secession, and contain a narrative
of the successive steps in the movement in each State, in chronological order ; also,
the elaborate justifying papers of the South Carolina Convention, with counter-selec-
tions from other authorities ; together with a condensation of the various propositions
of Adjustment made in or out of Congress and the vote upon each taken in cither
bod}', and the various Official Papers of the day tending to show the relations of the
parties, the wrongs complained of, and the remedies proposed. Closely examining
this Record, it is difficult for a candid person to escape the conviction that Adjust-
ment was hopeless — Revolution having been the pre-determined purpose of the reck-
less men who had obtained control of the State machinery of most of the slaveholding
States. This conviction will be strengthened by study of what has since transpired.

It will be remembered that the Thirty-Sixth Congress proposed permanently to
settle the security of slavery in the slaveholding States by an amendment of the Con-
stitution, which was adopted by a two-thirds vote in each House. And that it com-
pletely disposed of the Territorial feature of the difficulties by agreeing upon, and
almost unanimously passing, bills organizing Territories covering the entire area
owned by the Government. The record of these two important historical facts is
given within. They have great significance in establishing the character of the


The copy of the Constitution of the United States is believed tohe'stricth/ accurate
in text and punctuation, which, it is understood, can be said of only one other copy
in print — that in the work known as Ilickey's Constitution. The statement of the
differences between it and the Rebel Constitution has been made with extreme care.
The common index to the two instruments shows, at a glance, wherein they differ,
and will be found both interesting and convenient — the whole chapter possessing
special value to large classes of persons.

In presenting the fticts upon each subject of legislation, the general plan has been:
first, to state the result reached, with the final votes; and, then, such proceedings, in
the intermediate stages, as are of adequate importance, or necessary to explain tho
position of jMembers. This preparation involved constant selection, concerning which
there may be differences of opinion — some thinking that too much detail on one
subject is given; others, too little of another. In all cases the rule stated, governed.
As far as it has been possible to obtain the Rebel legislation on the same or cor-
responding subjects, it has been added, with such of their orders and proclamations as
were connected with them. A comparison of the two, and the dates of enactment
or issue, will prove of service in dispelling delusions and correcting general miscon-

Besides the legislation proper, the volnme contains, in a classified form, all the
Messages, Proclamations, Orders, Correspondence, and Addresses of the President;
the Diplomacy of the Secretary of State; valuable letters and papers from the Secre-
taries of the Treasury, of War, of the Navy, of the Interior, and from the Postmaster
General; Opinions of the Attorney Qeneral upon commanding public questions; those
of the Orders of Commanding Ofiicers which are within the scope of the work ; the
Decisions of the Courts ; and such other data as properly belong therein — the whole
forming a multitudinous mass of facts, to any one of which the classification adopted,
and the copious index appended, will, it is hoped, make it easy to refer.

The votes by Yeas and Nays have been carefully compared with the Official
Journals of Congress. In preparing these lists, the names of those persons have, for
comparison's sake, been italicised, who were elected by, or were at the time generally
co-operating with, the Democratic party. All others are in roman.

Under " Our Foreign Relations " will be found much of permanent value, as well
as of current interest and dispute.

The chapter on the " Conspiracy of Disunion" contains several very interesting
documents, chief of which are the extract from U. S. Senator Maclay's journal of
1789, recording, probably, the first threat of disunion uttered in Congress, and upon
a subject which remained a matter of complaint in some quarters down to the period
of Sece'ssion ; and the Minutes of the Proceedings of the Police Commissioners of
Baltimore in 18G1, one of the most flagrant as well as one of the latest outbursts of
treason. Other portions of this chapter will richly bear examination. I greatly
regret that want of space has required the omission of many other facts, gathered from
our political history, tending to reveal the true character of this foul conspiracy
against Liberty, this crime against humanity.


The lista of the organization of the Rebel " Provisional " and " Permanent"
Government have been made up from every accessible source, and, though not com-
plete, are more nearly so than any other yet published north of the Potomac, and as
nearly so as present facilities afford. They are the result of careful and extensive
examination. As a matter of interest, the names of those of the conspirators who
were once members of the Congress of the Union have been put in italic.

This work was undertaken a few month's ago without a realizing sense of the labor
it involved. I can scarcely hope to have escaped errors, both of omission and com-
mission, but have striven to make "it fair, impartial, and truthful. It deals with the
most momentous events of this Century, which will be studied while civil Government
exists. I trust that the volume will be of service to those consulting it, and that its
general effect will be. to help strengthen the purpose of the American people to main-
tain their Unity, their Freedom, and their Power.


August 11, '^^QL


I have revised the entire work, and corrected every error ascertained. I'he
Appendix has expanded greatly beyond the original design. Much of the matter in
it is quite inaccessible, and the delays and uncertainties of procuring it led almost
Insensibly to an enlargement, and also somewhat disturbed the methodical arrange-
ment elsewhere preserved. The historic papers of tl^ South Carolina Convention.
as now printed, are from official copies, and differ very suggestively from current
versions, in numerous material points. The votes on Secession Ordinances, and
subsequently on the Extinction of Slavery, in several of the rebellious States, form
a pleasing contrast.

The copious chapter on " The Church and the Rebellion " has been gathered with
great care, and will serve to show their mutual relations and influence, as well as the
singularly diverse views which have prevailed in Church courts. The contributions
from the Bureau of Military Justice illustrate the practical working of the Emanci-
pation policy, and will amply justify attention. To the action of the last session of
Congress, and the record of the Presidential canvass which preceded it — of the result
of which an official tabular statement is furnished — every student of American politics
will have constant occasion to refer. On the great unsettled question of Reconstruc-
tion, the full record is presented.

It would be improper, in issuing this enlarged, and it is hoped improved edition, not
to express my thanks for the kind reception given the first by the Press and the

J/a/r/i 24, 18G5. EDWARD McPHERSOX



The Electoral and Popular Vote for
President, in 1860 1

Development of the Secession Movement 2
Action of Conventions in South Carolina, Geor-
gia, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, Alai.ima,
Arlvunsas, Texas, North Carolina, Tcniu - 'e,
Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri — Injiirrec-
tiouary Proceedings in the State of Maryland
— Intur-State Coniuiissioners— Organization of
a " Southern Congress," and Provisional Gov-
ernment — Address of South Carolina to the
Slaveholding States, her Declaration of Inde-
pendence, and Debates on them — ^Speech of
Alexander H. Stephens before the Georgia Legis-
lature, Nov. 14, ISOO — Extracts from Addresses
by A. II. Stephens, July, 1S59, aud Jan., ISOl;
James H. Ilammond, October, 1S5S ; and R. M.
T. UiintcT, ISCO— Extract from the Appeal for
Recognition, by Yancev, Itust. aud 31ami. aud
Earl Russell's Reply— Seizure ;iii'l Surrenikr uf
Public Property,from Nuvoui' ler 4, l^CO.to .^Lirch
4, 1861— Changes in Pre^id.■Ilt Luchanan-^i Cab-
inet — Correspondence between President Buch-
anan aud the South CaroUna "Commission-
ers " — Demand tor Surrender of I'ort Sumter —
Report on the Transfer of Arms to the South
in 1S59 aud 18C0— Davis's Bill for the Sale of
Government Arms to the States — How the Tel-
egraph iuded Secession — Intrigues for a Pacific
Republic — Maj'or \V oud's Message Recommend-
ing that New York be made a Free City — " Per-
sonal Liberty" Laws.

Proceedings of the Government in Re-
lation to the Action of the Insur-
rectionary States 48

Names of the Senators and Representatives of
the Tliirty-Sixth Congress, Second Session —
Presideut Buchanan's Last Annual Message —
Attorney General Black's Opinion on the Powers
of the President — The House Committee of
Tliirtj'-Three and their Proposition for Adjust-
ment, together with abstracts of all other propo-
sitions, and votes thereon — Votes on Resolutions
respecting the '• Personal Liberty " Laws, the
Union, Major Anderson's Course, Coercion, Non-
interference with Slavery, and on the Bill to
Suppress Insurrection, and to provide for the
Collection of Customs — Report of Committee
upon the Danger of the Capital, and Vote upon
Branch's Resolution to withdraw Troops from
the District of Columbia, with Secretary Holt's
Report — Disposition of the Navy, and Vote of
Censure upon Secretary Toucey — Propositions
in Cougressjjy Mason, Hunter, Clingman,Craige,
and others-^Settlement of the Question of Sla-
very in the Teritories.

The Constitdtion 91

Constitution of the United States — Points of
Difference between It and the "Confederate"
Constitution, with an Index to both — Speech of
Alexander II. Stephens, expounding the " Con-
federate" Constitution.
Administration of Abraham Lincoln.... 105
President Lincoln's Inaugural Address— Secre-
tary Seward and the "Confederate Commis-
Bioners," with Statements of Judge Campbell
and Thurlow Weed — The President's Reply to
the Virginia Delegation — Commencement of hos-

Admtnistration of Abraham Lincoln —

tilities against the United States, and Why—
The '■ War Power " called out— Call for 7.j,(;00
Men, and all subsequent Calls arranged in
Chronological Order— National Legislation on
Military Affairs— " Confederate " Legislation
aud Proclamations and Orders — The Thirty-
Seventh Congress — President's Message of July,
18(il, December, 1801, and December, 1S62— The
Tiiirty-Eighth Congress— Annual Message, 1863
— Amnesty Proclamation, and Circular of the
Attorney General — Proclamations concerning
the Blockade, Non-Intercourse with States in Re-
bellion, and declaring Boundaries of the Re-


The African Slave Trade.


The Seward-Lyons Treaty— Vote in the Senate
upon bill to give it elfect — Action of the " Con-
federate" Congress on Slave Trade— Jeffc!-sou
Davis's Veto thereot^— Intercepted Despatch
from Judah P. Benjamin to L. Q. C. Lamar.

Arrest of Citizens, the Writ of Habeas
Corpus, and Suppression of News-
papers 153

Arrest of Members of the Maryland Legislatiure
and of the Baltimore Police Commissioners —
Orders of Gen. McClellan and Secretary Came-
ron — John Merryman's Case and Chief Justice
Taney's Opinion— Attorney General Bates's
Opinion on the President's Power to Arrest and
to Suspend the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas
Corpus — Views of Horace Biuney and TheopUilus
Parsons — Case of C. L. Vallandigham ; Decision
of the Supreme Court therein; his Letter on
Retaliation ; his return to Ohio, aud Speech at
Hamilton — Proclamaiion of the President Sus-
pending the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas
Corpus— Indemnification of the President— De-
cision of the New York Supreme Court in the
Case of George W. Jones vs. W. H. Seward—
"Confederate" Legislation upon the suspension
of the Writ — Suppressions and Seizures of News-
papers, with the ProceeiUngs of the Courts,
Congress, and the Post Office Department.

Confiscation and Emancipation 195

The Confiscation Bills, and Amendatory Joint
Resolution, and Special Message thereon—
Emancipation in the Thirty-Seventh Congress —
Proposed Repeal of the Joint Resolution afore-
said—Sequestration in the Rebel States-Judi-
cial and SXilitary Proceedings under the Confis-
cation Law — Proclamation thereon — President's
Message, March, 1862, recommending Compen-
sated Emancipation — Congressional Proceedings
thereon — Interview of Border State Congiess-
men with the President — Enumcipation in
the District of Columbia — The President's Ap-
peal to the Border State Congi-essmen, aud their
Reply— Extract from the Presidents Annual
Message, December, 1S62 — Emancipation in
Maryland and Proceedings of the Constitutional
Convention thereof— Emancipation Proclama-
tions — A'otes thereon and Resolutions con-
cerning them — Interview between the Chicago
Deputation and the President — Address iil' tlie
Loyal Governors — Mr. Boutwell's Statement
concerning the Issue of the Proclamation — LeU
tera of Charles Sumner and Owen Lovqjoy.



Repeal op the Fugitive Slave Laws, "Con-
trabands,' AND Kindred Subjects 234

Votes on th' Passage of the Acta of 1793 and
1850 — Rept'iiling Movements in the Thirty-
Second, Thirty-Third, Thirty-Seventh, and
Thirty-Eiglith Congresses— Census Report rela-
ting to the Escajie of Fugitive Slaves from 1S50
to iSGO— The New Article of War— Employment
of Slaves in Government Dock-Yards, &c. — Re-
cognition of Hayti and Liberia— Robert Small-
Proposed Removal of the Disqualification of
Color in Carrying the Mails — Negro Suffrage in
the District of Columbia and Montana Territory
— Exclusion of Colored Persons from Rail -cars —
Colored Persons as Witnesses — Repeal of Laws
regulating the Coastwise Slave Trade— Orders
and Letters concerning " Contrabands," bj
Gens. McClellau and Rutler, and Secretary
Cameron — Fremont's Proclamation of Eman-
cipation, and Correspondence with the President
thereupon — "Contrabands" in the District of
Columbia — Gen. Burnside's Proclamation in
North Carolina — Orders and Proclamations by
Gens. nalle'ck,Buell, Hooker, McDowell, Double-
day and others— General Instructions by the
President concerning "Contrabands" — Gens.
Phelps and Butler on Arming Negroes— Pro-
posed Congressional Censure of Gen. Halleck's
Order No. 3— Prohibition of Slavery in the Ter-
ritories — Amendments to the Constitution, pro-
posed in the Thirty-Eighth Congress, Fust Ses-
Biou — Resolutions on Slavery in the States, in the
same Congress — Bureau of Freedmen's Affairs.
Legislation, Orders, Proclamations and
Propositions, Relative to the War,

AND TO "Peace" 2G1

The Enrollment Acts of 1S63 and lS6i, with the
■votes upon all their leading Features and Char-
acteristics — Resolutions relative to the Enroll-
ment — Orders of the Wai" Department enforcing
the Draft of 1S62— Gen. McClellau's Recommen-
dation of a Draft in 1S61 — Colored Soldiers and
their Pay — Opinion of Attorney General Bates
respecting the pay of Rev. S. Ilarrison, colored
Chaplain of the o4th Mass. Regiment — Rules
and Orders fr the Protection of Colored Sol-
diers, ua.l a. J President's Speech thereon — Use
of Colored Men in the " Cenfederate " Military
Service — Negro Enlistment Act of the Tennes-
Boe Rebel Legislature— " Confederate " Legisla-
tion upon the Treatment of captured Colored
Troops and their Otiicers — Homesteads for Sol-
diers — Unemployed Generals — Resolutions upon
the Objects and" Prosecution of the War, in the
Thirty-Keventh and Thirty-Eighth Congresses —
" Peace " Propositions in the same — Correspond-
ence between the Presidept and Fernando Wood
— The Niagara Falls Conference and Correspond-
ence — Peace Propositions in the Itebel Congress
—Correspondence between Governor Vance and
Jefferson Davis- Reported Statement of Davis
to Gilmore.

Military Orders Respecting Elections... 308

Orders of Gens. BIcClcllan, Dix, and Schenck—
Governor Bradford's Proclamation of 1863, and
the President's Letter to the Governor — Orders
in Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri — Orders
concerning Impressment of Property — Proposed
Legislation upon Military Interference in Elec-

Reconstruction OF States 31'?

The Reconstruction Bill, with the President's
Proclamation thereon, and Statement of Sena-
tor Wade and Representative Davis — Electoral
Vote of Rebel States— Proposed Commission of
Inquiry- Senators from Arkansas— Process of
Keconsti-uction in Arkansas, Louisi:«na, and Vir-
ginia—Resolutions by sundry Senators and Rep-
resentatives concerning the Relations of Rebel'
States to the Governmi^nt— Rebel Views of Recon-
struction, being Resolutions by the First " Con-
federate" Congress, and Legislatures of Rebel
States, with Statements of prominent Rebels.

Miscellaneous Papers and Speeches of
THE President 333

aiessage of May 29, 186-2- Remarks at Union
Meeting in WuBhingtou City, August 6, IbCi-


Miscellaneous Papers and Speeches of
THE President — (Continued.)

Response to a Serenade, July, 1863 — Speech at
the Philadelphia F.air, June 10, 1801— Letters to
Horace Greeley, to the Springfield JIass Conven-
tion, to Col. A. G. Hodges, of Kentucky, and
to the Grant Meeting in New York, June, 1864.

Our Foreign Relations 338

The Trent Affair — Monarchical Intrigues in Cen-
tral and South America — Alleged Foreign En-
Ustuients — Foreign Mediation, being Letters
from Secretary Seward to Governor Hicks and
M. Drouyn de I'Huys. and from Lord Lyons to
Earl Russell, with his Views on those of Now
Y'ork Democrats respecting I'oreign Mediation—
The French in Mexico — Congressional Action
thereon — The Arguelles Case.

The Finances 358

Sunmiary of Financial Legislation from Decem-
ber, 1S60, to June 30, 1864— Special War Income
Tax, and Votes thereon — The "Legal Tender"
Question — Loan Bill of 1804 — National Currency
Acts — Internal Revenue Acts — Proposed Tax
on Slaves— Tariff Acts of 1862 and 1864— Taxes
in Insurrectionary Districts — The Public Credit
in 1860 and 1861- Statements of Public Debt
from June 30, 1860, to June 30, 1864—" Confed-
erate" Finances, with their Tax, Funding, and
Titliing Acts.

Miscellaneous Matters 374

The President's Views on Colonization — Incom-
patibility of Civil and Military Ollice — Fisliing
Bounties — Acts to Prohibit Polygamy; declaring
certain Persons Ineligible to Office; and to Pun-
ish Conspiracy — Letters of Marque — Enabling
Act for Nebraska — Admission of West Virginia
— Opinions of Attoiney General Bates on Citizen-
ship, and on the P.ay of Colored Soldiers — Mc-
Clellau's Letters Recommending a Political
Policy in the Conduct of the War, and Fa-
voring Woodward's Election in Pennsylvania — ■
Proposed Censure of President Lincoln and Ex-
President Buchanan — Censure of Representa-
tives Long and Harris.

The Conspiracy of Disunion 389

Threats of Dissolution in the First Congress,
1789— Prophetic Utterances of Jackson, Benton,
and Claj- — Southern Di::uniou Congressional
Caucus in 18J5 — Early Hopes of the Rebels— Ex-
President Pierce's Letter to Joli'erson Da^is,
18GU— The Disunion Programme — Letter of D.
L. Yulce, January 7, 1861 — Douglas'.s Last
Words — Pi ogress of the Conspiracy in Maryland
— Minutes of the Baltimore Police Commission-
ers during "the Reign of Terror" — Report to
the Baltimore Councils on Expenditure of the
$500,000 appropriated lor Ordnance Purposes —
Legislative Action thereon, and other Proceed-
ings by the Maryland Legislature of 1801 — Sun-
dry Rebel Items.

The Rebel Administration 400

The Provisional President, Cabinet, and Con-
gress, with Memorandum of Changes — The
"Permanent" Administration— The First Con-
gress, and Changes therein — The Second Con-

National Political Conventions in

1864 403

The National Union Convention and Letters of
Acceptance by President Lincoln and Andrew
Johnson — The Cleveland Convention, and the-
Letters of Acceptance of Fremont and Coch-
rane — Col. Cochrane's Address to his Regiment,
November 13, 1861.

Appendix 417.

Democratic National Convention — Numerous
Letters, Orders, .-ind Documents on Politics,
PiMce. Slaverv. tlu^ Draft. Negro Soldiers. i;i. <•■
tion-.&c.— llolfs Report on f'ccr.r ()r.lci>— The.
Chiir.b and ti.e Uebelll,.ii-t;e, ....d ^<■,»iun
Tliirt\-Ki-l.th Con-rcss. ami of Scioi„l K, I,. I
C„i!i:,"..ss-Pr.-si.lent Lii.coln'.s l.asl Pap. r.s a, d
Hea'lh-Pre.sideiilial V.ite of 1^64.




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Online LibraryEdward McPhersonThe political history of the United States of America, during the great rebellion, including a classified summary of the legislation of the second session of the Thirty-sixth Congress, the three sessions of the Thirty-seventh Congress, the first session of the Thirty-eighth Congress, with the votes → online text (page 1 of 222)