Thomas V. (Thomas Valentine) Cooper.

American politics (non-partisan) from the beginning to date. Embodying a history of all the political parties, with their views and records on all important questions. Great speeches on all great issues, the text of all existing political laws. Also a complete federal blue book online

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Online LibraryThomas V. (Thomas Valentine) CooperAmerican politics (non-partisan) from the beginning to date. Embodying a history of all the political parties, with their views and records on all important questions. Great speeches on all great issues, the text of all existing political laws. Also a complete federal blue book → online text (page 31 of 210)
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will not be so reluctant to go.

"I am pressed with a difficulty not yet
mentioned, one which threatens division
among those who, united, are none too
strong. An instance of it is known to
you. General Hunter is an honest man.
He was, and I hope still is, my friend. I
valued him none the less for his agreeing
with me in the general wish that all men
everywhere could be freed. He proclaimed
all men free within certain States, and I
repudiated the proclamation. He expected
more good and less harm from the measure
than I could believe would follow. Yet,
in repudiating it, I gave dissatisfaction, if
not ofience, to many whose support the
country cannot afford to lose. And this is
not the end of it. The pressure in this
direction is still upon me, and is increas-
ing. By conceding what I now ask you
can relieve me, and, much more, can re-
lieve the country in this important point.

" Upon these considerations I have
again begged your attention to the mes-
sage of March last. Before leaving the
Capitol, consider and discuss it among
yourselves. You are patriots and states-
men, and as such I pray you consider this
proposition ; and at the least commend it
to the consideration of your States and
people. As you would perpetuate popular
government for the best people in the
world, I beseech you that you do in no-
wise omit this. Our common country is
in great peril, demanding the loftiest



138



AMERICAN POLITICS.



[book I.



views and boldest action to bring a speedy
relief. Once relieved, its form of govern-
ment is saved to tbe world, its beloved
history and cherished memories are vin-
dicated, and its happy future fully assured
and rendered inconceivably grand. To
you, more than to any others, the privi-
lege is given to assure that happiness and
swell that grandeur, and to link your, own
names therewith forever."

At the conclusion of these remarks
some conversation was had between the
President and several members of the
delegations from the border States, in
■which it was represented that these States
could not be expected to move in so great
a matter as that brought to their notice in
the foregoing address while as yet the
Congress had taken no step beyond the
passage of a resolution, expressive rather
of a sentiment than presenting a substan-
tial and reliable basis of action.

The President acknowledged the force
of this view, and admitted that the border
States were entitled to expect a substantial
pledge of pecuniary aid as the condition
of taking into consideration a proposition
so important in its relations to their social
system.

It was further represented, in the con-
ference, that the people of the border
States were interested in knowing the
great importance which the President
attached to the policy in question, while it
was equally due to the country, to the
President, and to themselves, that the
representatives of the border slave-holding
States should publicly announce the mo-
tives under which they were called to act,
and the considerations of public policy
urged upon them and their constituents by
the President.

With a view to such a statement of their
position, the members thus addressed met
in council to deliberate on the reply they
should make to the President, and, as the
result of a comparison of opinions among
themselves, they determined upon the
adoption of a majority and minority an-
swer.

EEPLY OF THE MAJORITY.

The following paper was yesterday sent to
the President, signed by the majority of
the Representatives from the border slave
holding States : —

Washington, July 14, 1862.
To the President :

The undersigned. Representatives of
Kentucky, Virgmia, Missouri, and Mary-
land, in the two Houses of Congress, have
listened to your address with the profound
sensibility naturally inspired by the high
source from which it emanates, the earn-
estness which marked its delivery, and
the overwhelming importance of the sub-



ject of which it treats. W« have given it
a most respectful consideration, and now
lay before you our response. We regret
tliat want of time has not permitted us to
make it more perfect.

We have not been wanting, Mr. Presi-
dent, in respect to you, and in devotion to
the Constitution and the Union. We
have not been indifferent to the great dif-
ficulties surrounding you, compared with
which all former national troubles have
been but as the summer cloud ; and we
have freely given you our sympathy and
support. Repudiating the dangerous here-
sies of the secessionists, we believed, with
you, that the war on their part is aggressive
and wicked, and the objects for which it
was to be prosecuted on ours, defined by
your message at the opening of the pres-
ent Congress, to be such as all good men
should approve. We have not hesitated
to vote all supplies necessary to carry it on
vigorously. We have voted all the men
and money you have asked for, and even
more ; we have imposed onerous taxes on
our people, and they are paying them
with cheerfulness and alacrity; we have
encouraged enlistments and sent to the
field many of our best men ; and some of
our number have ofiered their persons to
the enemy as pledges of their sincerity and
devotion to the country.

We have done all this under the most
discouraging circumstances, and in the
face of measures most distasteful to us
and injurious to the interests we repre-
sent, and in the hearing of doctrines
avowed by those who claim to be your
friends, must be abhorrent to us and our
constituents. But, for all this, we have
never faltered, nor shall we as long as we
have a Constitution to defend and a Gov-
ernment which protects us. And we are
ready for renewed efibrts, and even greater
sacrifices, yea, any sacrifice, when we are
satisfied it is required to preserve our
admirable form of government -and__the
priceless blessings of constitutional li-
berty.

A few of our number voted for the
resolution recommended by your message
of the 6th of March last, the greater por-
tion of us did not, and we will briefly
state the prominent reasons which in-
fluenced our action.

In the first place, it proposed a radical
change of our social system, and was hur-
ried through both Houses with undue
haste, without reasonable time for consid-
eration and debate, and with no time at
all for consultation with oui- constituents,
whose interests it deeply involved. It
seemed like an interference by this Gov-
ernment with a question which peculiarly
and exclusively belonged to our respective
States, on which they had not sought ad-
vice or solicited aid. Many of us doubted



BOOK I.]



COMPENSATED EMANCIPATION.



139



the constitutional power of tliis Govern-
ment to make appropriations of money for
the object designated, and all of us thought
our finances were in no condition to bear
the immense outlay which its adoption
and faithful execution would impose upon
the national Treasury. If we pause but
a moment to think of the debt its accept-
ance would have entailed, we are appalled
by its magnitude. The proposition was
addre.ssed to all the States, and embraced
the whole number of slaves.

According to the census of 1860 there
were then nearly four inillion slaves in the
country ; from natural increase they exceed
that number now. At even the low average
of $300, the price fixed by the emancipa-
tion act for the slaves of this District, and
greatly below their real worth, their value
runs up to the enormous sum of $1,200,-
,000,000 ; and if to that we add the cost of
deportation and colonization, at $100 each,
which is but a fraction more than is ac-
tually paid by the Maryland Colonization
Society, we have $400,000,000 more. We
were not willing to impose a tax on our
people sufficient to pay the interest on that
sum, in addition to the vast and daily in-
creasing debt already fixed upon them by
the exigencies of the war, and if we had
been willing, the country could not bear it.
Stated in this form the proposition is noth-
ing less than the deportation from the
country of $1,600,000,000 worth of produc-
ing Labor, and the substitution in its place
of an interest-bearing debt of the same
amount.

But, if we are told that it was expected
that only the States- we represent would
accept the proposition, we respectfully
submit that even then it involves a sum
too great for the financial ability of this
Government at this time. According to
the census of 1860 —

i3laves.

Kentucky had 225,490

Maryland 87,188

Virginia 490,887

Delaware 1,798

Missouri 114,965

Tennessee 275,784

Making in the whole 1,196,112

At the same rate of valuation

these would amount to... .$358,933,500

Add for deportation and colo-
nization $100 each 118,244,533

And we have the enormous
sum of $478,038,133

"We did not feel that we should be justi-
fied in voting for a measure which, if car-
ried out, would add this vast amount to
our public debt at a moment when the
Treasury was reeling under the enormous
expenditure of the war.



Again, it seemed to us that this resolu-
tion was but the annunciation of a senti-
ment which could not or was not likely to
be reduced to an actual tangible proposi-
tion. No movement was then made to
provide and appropriate the funds required
lo carry it into effect ; and we were not en-
couraged to believe that funds would be
provided. And our belief has been fiilly
justified by subsequent events. Not to
mention other circumstances, it is quite
sufficient for our purpose to bring to your
notice the fact that, while this resolution
was under consideration in the Senate, our
colleague, the Senator from Kentucky,
moved an amendment appropriating $500,-
000 to the object therein designated, and it
was voted down with great unanimity. What
confidence, then, could we reasonably feel
that if we committed ourselves to the
policy it proposed, our constituents would
reap the fruits of the promise held out ;
and on what ground could we, as fair men,
approach them and challenge their sup-
port?

The right to hold slaves is a right apper-
taining to all the States of this Union.
They have the right to cherish or abolish
the institution, as their tastes or their in-
terests may prompt, and no one is autho-
rized to question the right or limit the en-
joyment. And no one has more clearly
affirmed that right than you have. Your
inaugural address does you great honor in
this respect, and inspired the country with
confidence in your fairness and respect for
the law. Our States are in the enjoyment
of that right. We do not feel called on to
defend the institution or to affirm it is one
which ought to be cherished ; perhaps, if
we were to make the attempt, we might
find that we differ even among ourselves.
It is enough for our purpose to know that
it is a right ; and, so knowing, we did not
see why we should now be expected to
yield it. Wo had contributed our full
share to relieve the country at this terrible
crisis ; we had done as much as had been
required of others in like circumstances ;
and we did not see why .sacrifices should
be expected of us from which others, no
more loyal, were exempt. Nor could we
see what good the nation would derive
from it.

Such a sacrifice submitted to by us
would not have strengthened the arm of
this Government or weakened that of the
enemy. It was not necessary as a pledge
of our loyalty, for that had been mani-
fested beyond a reasonable doubt, in every
form, and at every place possible. There
was not the remotest probability that the
States we represent would, join in the re-
bellion, nor is there now, or of their elect-
ing to go with the southern section in the
event of a recognition of the independence
of any part of the disaffected region. Our



140



AMERICAN POLITICS.



[book I.



States are fixed unalterably in their reso- 1
lution to adhere to and support the Union. |
They see no safety for themselves, and no
hope for constitutional liberty but by its
preservation. They will, under no cir- j
cumstances, consent to its dissolution ; and 1
we do them no more than justice when we ■
assure you that, while the war is conducted '
to prevent that deplorable catastrophe, ;
they will sustain it as long as they can
muster a man or command a dollar. Nor
will they ever consent, in any event, to
unite with the Southern Confederacy. The
bitter fruits of the peculiar doctrines of
that region will forever prevent them from
placing their security and happiness in the
custody of an association which has incor-
porated in its organic law the seeds of its
own destruction.
****** **

Mr. President, we have stated with frank-
ness and candor the reasons on which we
forbore to vote for the resolution you have
mentioned ; but you have again presented
this proposition, and appealed to us with
an earnestness and eloquence which have
not failed to impress us, to " consider it,
and at the least to commend it to the con-
sideration of our States and people." Thus
appealed to by the Chief Magistrate of our
beloved country, in the hour of its greatest
peril, we cannot wholly decline. We are
willing to trust every question relating to
their interest and happiness to the con-
sideration and ultimate judgment of our
own people. While differing from you as
to the necessity of emancipating the slaves
of our States as a means of putting down
the rebellion, and while protesting against
the propriety of any extra-territorial inter-
ference to induce the people of our States
to adopt any particular line of policy on a
subject which peculiarly and exclusively
belongs to them, yet, when you and our
brethren of the loyal States sincerely be-
lieve that the retention of slavery by us is
an obstacle to peace and national harmony,
and are willing to contribute pecuniary aid
to compensate our States and people for
the inconveniences produced by such a
change of system, we are not unwilling
that our people whall consider the propriety
of putting it aside.

But we have already said that we re-
garded this resolution as the utterance of
a sentiment, and we had no confidence
that it would assume the shape of a tangi-
ble, practical proposition, which would
yield the fruits of the sacrifice it required.
Our people are influenced by the same
want of confidence, and will not consider
the proposition in its present impalpable
form. The interest they are asked to give
up is to them of much importance, and
they ought not to he expected even to en-
tertain the proposal until they are assured
that when tney accept it their just expect-



ations will not be frustrated. We regard
your plan as a proposition from the Nation
to the States to exercise an admitted con-
stitutional right in a particular manner
and yield up a valuable interest. Before
they ought to consider the proposition, it
should be presented in such a tangible,
practical, efficient shape as to command
their confidence that its fruits are contin-
gent only upon their acceptance. We can-
not trust anything to the contingencies of
future legislation.

If Congress, by proper and necessary
legislation, shall provide sufficient funds
and place them at your disposal, to be ap-
plied by you to the payment of any of our
States or the citizens thereof who shall
adopt the abolishment of slavery, either
gradual or immediate, as they may deter-
mine, and the expense of deportation and
colonization of the liberated slaves, then
will our State and people take this propo-
sition into careful consideration, for such
decision as in their judgment is demanded
by their interest, their honor, and their
duty to the whole country. We have the
honor to be, with great respect,

C. A. WiCKLiFFE, Ch'n,
Gakeett Davis,
E. Wilson,
J. J. Chittenden,
John S. Caelile,
J. W. Crisfield,
J. S. Jackson,
H. Grider,
John S. Phelps,
Francis Thomas,
Chas. B. Calvert,
C. L. Leary,
Edwin H. Webster,
E. Mallory,
Aaron Harding,
James S. Eollins,
J. W. Menzies,
Thomas L. Price,
G. W. Dunlap,
Wm. a. Hall.

Others of the minority, among them Sen-
ator Henderson and Horace Maynard, for-
warded separate replies, but all rejecting
the idea of compeiisated emancipation.
Still Lincoln adhered to and advocated it
in his recent annual message sent to Con-
gress, Dec. 1, 1862, from which we take
the following paragraphs, which are in
themselves at once curious and interesting :

" We have two million nine hundred and
sixty-three thousand square miles. Europe
has three million and eight hundred thou-
sand, with a population averaging seventy-
three and one-third persons to the square
mile. Why may not our countiy, at some
time, average as many? Is it less fertile?
Has it more waste surface, by mountains,
rivers, lakes, deserts, or other causes ? Is
it inferior to Europe in any natural ad-



BOOK I.]



EMANCIPATION.



141



vantage ? If, then, we are at some time to
be as populous as Europe, how soon? As
to when this may be, we can judge by the
past and the present ; as to when it will be,
if ever, depends much on whether we
maintain the Union. Several of our States
are already above the average of Europe
— seventy-three and a third to the square
mile. Massachusetts has 157 ; Rhode
Island, 133 ; Connecticut, 99 ; New York
and New Jersey, each, 80. Also two other
great states, Pennsylvania and Ohio, are
not far below, the former having 63 and
the latter 59. The states already above
the European average, except New York,
have increased in as rapid a ratio, since
passing that point, as ever before ; while
no one of them is equal to some other parts
of our country in natural capacity for sus-
taining a dense population.

"Taking the nation in the aggregate,
and we find its population and ratio of in-
crease, for the several decennial periods, to
be as ibllows :

1790 3,929,827 Ratio of increase.

1800 5,305,937 35.02 per cent.

1810 7,239,814 36.45 "

1820 9,638,131 33.13 "

1830 12,866,020 33.49 "

1840 17,069,453 32.67 "

1850 23,191,876 35.87 "

1860 31,443,790 35.58 "

This shows an annual decennial increase
of 34.69 per cent, in population through
the seventy years from our first to our last
census yet taken. It is seen that the ratio
of increase, at no one of these seven periods
is either two per cent, below or two per
cent, above the average ; thus showing how
inflexible, and, consequently, how reliable,
the law of increase in our case is. Assum-
ing that it will continue, gives the follow-
ing results :

1870 42,323,341

1880 56,967,216

1890 76,677,872

1900 103,208,415

1910 138,918,626

1920 186,984,335

1930 251,680,914

"These figures show that our country
may be as populous as Europe now is at
some point between 1920 and 1930 — say
about 1925 — our territory, at seventy-three
and a third persons to the square mile, be-
ing of capacity to contain 217,186,000.

" And we will reach this, too, if we do
not ourselves relinquish the chance by the
folly and evils of disunion, or by long and
exhausting war springing from the only
great element of national discord among
us. While it cannot be foreseen exactly
how much one huge example of secession,
breeding lesser ones indefinitely, would re-
tard population, civilization, and prosperity



no one can doubt that the extent of it
would be very great and injurious.

The proposed emancipation would short-
en the war, perpetuate peace, insure this
increase of population, and proportionately
the wealth of the country. With these, we
should pay all the emancipation would cost,
together with our other debt, easier than
we should pay our other debt without it.
If we had allowed onr old national debt to
run at six per cent, per annum, simple in-
terest, from the end of our revolutionary
struggle until to-day, without paying any-
thing on either principal or interest, each
man of us would owe less upon that debt
now than each man owed upon it then ;
and this because our increase of men
through the whole period has been greater
than six per cent. ; has run faster than the
interest upon the debt. Thus, time alone
relieves a debtor nation, so long as its popu-
lation increases faster than unpaid interest
accumulates on its debt.

"This fact would be no excuse for de-
laying payment of what is justly due ; but
it shows the great importance of time in
this connection — the great advantage of a
policy by which we shall not have to pay
until we number a hundred millions, what,
by a different policy, we would have to pay
now, when we number but thirty-one mil-
lions. In a word, it shows that a dollar
will be much harder to pay for the war
than will be a dollar for emancipation on
the proposed plan. And then the latter
will cost no blood, no precious life. It will
be a saving of both."

Various propositions and measures re-
lating to compensated emancipation, were
afterwards considered in both Houses, but
it was in March, 1863, dropped after a
refusal of the House to suspend the rules
for the consideration of the subject.



ESmanclpation as a War Necessity.

Before the idea of compensated emanci-
pation had been dropped, and it was con-
stantly discouraged by the Democrats and
Border Statesmen, President Lincoln had
determined upon a more radical policy,
and on the 22d of September, 1882, issued
his celebrated proclamation declaring that
he would emancipate " all persons held as
slaves within any State or designated part
of a State, the people whereof shall be in
rebellion against the United States" — by
the first of January, 1863, if such sections
were not " in good faith represented in
Congress." He followed this by actual
emancipation at the time stated.



Proclamatlonof Sept. 32, 1862.

I, Abeaham Lincoln, President of the
United States of America, and Commander-
in-Chief of the army and navy thereof, do



142



AMEEICAN POLITICS.



[book



hereby proclaim and declare that hereafter,
as heretofore, the war will be prosecuted
for the object of practically restoring the
constitutional relation between the United
States and each of the States and the peo-
ple thereof, in which States that relation
IS or may be suspended or disturbed.

That it is my purpose, upon the next
meeting of Congress, to again recommend
the adoption of a practical measure tender-
ing pecuniary aid to the free acceptance or
rejection of all slave States, so called, the
people thereof may not then be in rebellion
agamst the United States, and which States
may then have voluntarily adopted, or
thereafter may voluntarily adopt, imme-
diate or gradual abolishment of slavery
within their respected limits; and that the
effort to colonize persons of African descent
with their consent upon this continent or
elsewhere, with the previously obtained
consent of the Governments existing there,
will be continued.

That on the first day of January, in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hun-
dred and sixty-three, all persons held as
slaves within any State or designated part
of a State, the people whereof shall then be
in rebellion against the United States, shall
be then, thenceforward, and forever free ;
and the Executive Government of the
United States, including the military and
naval authority thereof, will recognize and
maintain the freedom of such persons, and
will do no act or acts to repress such per-
sons, or any of them, in anj' efforts tney
may make for their actual freedom.

That the Executive will, on the first day
of January aforesaid, by proclamation, de-
signate the States and parts of States, if
any, in which the people thereof respective-
ly, shall then be in rebellion against the
United States ; and the fact that any State,
or the people thereof, shall on that day be,
in good faith, represented in the Congress
of the United States by members chosen
thereto at elections wherein a majority of
the qualified voters of such State shall have
participated, shall, in the absence of strong
countervailing testimony, be deemed con-
clusive evidence that such State, and the
people thereof, are not in rebellion against
the United States.

That attention is hereby called to an act
of Congress entitled " An act to make an
additional article of war," approved March
13, 1862, and which act is in the words and
figures following :

"jBc it enactedhy fJie Senate and House
of Representatives of the United States
nf America in Congress assembled, That
liereafter the following shall be promulga-
ted as an additional article of war, for the
government of the army of the United
States, and shall be obeyed and observed



Online LibraryThomas V. (Thomas Valentine) CooperAmerican politics (non-partisan) from the beginning to date. Embodying a history of all the political parties, with their views and records on all important questions. Great speeches on all great issues, the text of all existing political laws. Also a complete federal blue book → online text (page 31 of 210)