William D. (William Darrah) Kelley.

Speeches of Hon. William D. Kelley. Replies of the Hon. William D. Kelley to George Northrop, Esq., in the joint debate in the Fourth Congressional District online

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Online LibraryWilliam D. (William Darrah) KelleySpeeches of Hon. William D. Kelley. Replies of the Hon. William D. Kelley to George Northrop, Esq., in the joint debate in the Fourth Congressional District → online text (page 4 of 20)
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; ■. ;7; ;: z 'i;; hlr ; f u, - r \ e r ,K,w r ,,; McCle]lan - -» d ° »*£ ^ ™i ™S

K B t Sftta.££„& S - HeWalked : '"" thC C0UF< r00m aS thG ~ns was served.

i appeared in court attended bya prodigious concourse of excited people.

.;',,''' ,z ''"' 'Undiscovered amidst the crowd,' Major Eaton re-

houi« of h , ; ml • u '• \ heD r." " L ""' room iDSta ntly rang with the

silence a pause ensue J £ it ""n ''""T '•"" "? be «ch, and moving his hand to procure

t 't ,. pul i« ul es- • 1 ;'V'' l,U ' , - M ' ,llimb;, ' ll,, ' ,h '' , ' , ' , ' Wll ^'» l ' l1l ' ! ™'''-1^clu.vdue

urged ' i , .'. ' ■""■', ""I'^Pnt'tv of theirs would be imputed to him and


e 4; " i ,V i w. " m, Hi Sll r c . e bemg restored - the j ud ^ e ^ *»« ^ *»*, ^

.a ■ h d m en' u n n i '""' '5% t0 J raQ « aCt busineSS a1 such ; ' momeQ t, and under

ESS ^^^JrtfK^^ ta ^2^!^

-u/c unm' w ll'w ;T,I U that - 1US b T 6 hearl :, " ,1 Wiae head aow en S a ged in pre-

du ml r ; ;i Sft WaT l 1 0Ver aS il wil1 be [D ;l f ew months, if Phil. Sheri-

JeaclTnd everfcTtaTn.^ °' J " ^ h ™ ,1 "" , ' tat *>' P reserve Ulld defend ^ Hb,,-

1 -Par'^'and m^w m. a^V 1 1' 1 ^f C ? Urt P roceeded to business. The district attorney

I d n o, , " I • ■ SS '" QXneteen M'^.ions to be answered by the prisoner

he wn f ,,! L "" :ll!l "' 1 ';, • "Jjdyon not arrest the judge of this court?' 'Did you not

' These nteteenSS , ' ' "' ' ■" ' " ' "> y a Variet » v of ^respectful things" of the

receive I , 1 1 ,"f! "?" ^ Gener&1 uU "^' refused to answer " to 1isten to '

• xphi i vl ,! : ° 1,; ' V" :l pap ^ r P revi0 « sl y presented by Ins counsel he had

couia add nothing to that paper. ' Under these circumstances,' said he, ' I

appear before you to receive the sentence of the court, having nothing further in my defem e
to offer.'

" Whereupon, Judge Hall pronounced the judgment of the court. It is recorded in the
words following: 'On this day appeared in person Major-General Andrew Jackson, and being
duly informed l>y the court thai an attachment had issued against him for the purpose of
bringing him into court, and the district attorney having filed interrogatories, the court
informed General Jackson that they would be tendered to him for the purpose of answering
thereto. The said General Jackson refused to receive them, or to make any answer to the
said interrogatories. Whereupon the court proceeded to pronounce judgment, which was
thai Major-General Jackson do pay a fine of one thousand dollars to the United Slates.'

"Upon reaching his quarters, Jackson sent hack an aid-de-camp to the court-room, with. a
check on one of the city bunks for a thousand dollars ; and thus the offended majesty of the
law was supposed to be avenged."

It does, in spite of all the suggestions of my competitor, seem thai courts are of some use.
even in countries where the habeas corpus may be suspended in order to maintain the military
power. While war continued, the military power was maintained. When the war ceased, the
most popular and successful general of the war walked into court a prisoner, in the custody
of the Deputy Marshal of the District. And while this war continues, with armed rebellion
in the South, and hundreds of thousands of men in the North are aiding the rebels by dis-
couraging enlistments, destroying confidence in the Government, and by every means in their
power embarrassing military movements, the habeas ccrpus must a1 times be suspended, to
maintain the Constitution, which provides for its suspension in just such limes.

Now. my friends, begging the Democratic party no longer to desecrate the grave and memory
of Jackson, imploring its leaders to lake their vile tongues off the fame of thai great chieftain
of our country and of their party, I pass to the new-made grave of Stephen A. Douglas.

In 1844, Charles J. Ingersoll, a Democratic representative in Congress from the city of
Philadelphia, whose kinsmen and descendants still live among us, introduced a bill to refund
the amount of that fine to Gen. Jackson. It had been paid in 1815; and during the first
session of the Twenty-eighth Congress, in .January, 1844, Mr. Ingersoll, wishing to vindicate
the Constitution and the people of the United States from the wrong that had been done
them by Judge Hall, introduced a bill to refund the amount of that fine to Andrew Jackson.
Among the ablest advocates of the bill was Stephen A. Douglas ; and on January 6, 18 1 1. he
made a speech, from which I am about to read you some extracts, lie said: —

"He was not one to admit that General Jackson violated the Constitution, or the law. at
New Orleans. He denied that he violated either. He insisted that the General rightfully
performed every act that his duly required, and that his right to declare martial law and
enforce it resulted from the same source, and rested on the same principle, thai the gentleman
from New York (.Mr. Barnard) asserted, from which Judge Hall derived the authority lo
punish for contempt without trial, without witnesses, without jury, and without anything but
his own arbitrary will. The gentleman asserted that the power to punish for contempt was
not conferred by the statute, or by the common law. but was inherent in every judicial tribunal
and legislative body; and he cited the authority of the Supreme Court to support the asser-
tion, lie said that this power was necessary to the courts, to enable them to perform the
duties which the laws intrusted to them, and arose from the necessity of the case."

The modern peace men, who stand on Arnold's premises, tell you that there is no such thing
as "necessity" -" military necessity.'' Now. here you have Judge Douglas arguing that the
judge on the bench must issue the writ to punish for contempt, because the power to do so
springs from necessity; otherwise he could not execute many of his orders. Mr. Douglas
continues : —

"It was from the same source that the -power to declare martial law was derived — its
necessity in time of war for the defence of the country."

Douglas believed in "military necessity;" so does every Democrat that has not yielded to
Calhoun and become the pliant tool of the Southern rebels. Mrs. Nickleby said that Smike
was "the most biddablest creature in the world." and after the Democratic parly yielded to
the dictation of the Southern slave-drivers, it became just, about as biddable a creature as
Smike: it did whatever the Southern Nieklebys told it to do. And thus ii has taken to
denouncing all the doctrines held by the great founders and leaders of the party. Douglas's
whole argument was to show the constitutionality of Jackson's conduct under the plea of
military necessity. He continued :—

"The defence of the lives and liberties of the people, as well as their property, being all
intrusted to the discretion of the commanding general, it, became his dutj to declare martial
law. if the necessity of the case required it. if it became necessary to blow up a fort, he was
authorized to do it ; if it became necessary to sink a vessel, he was authorized to do ii. The
n ■<■ issity of the case was the law to govern him ; and he. on his responsibility, must judge of
the existence of that necessity. It was the first law of nature which authorized a man to
defend his own person, and his wife and his children, at all hazards."

1 n conclusion, let me ask if I have not shown that the Democratic peace party of to-day are
on the grounds of Arnold, and vindicated, however humbly, the memories of Jackson and

Douglas against the aspersions cast upon them by the so-called but false Democratic leaders
of our country.

[Mr. Northrop followed in a speech of one hour and a half.]
Judge KLelley was then again introduced and said: —

A word or two, that there may lie no misunderstanding. I say to my friend that I mean
to answer all his propositions and all his questions ; but he will pardon me if I charge him
with a little want of candor, not intentional, but casual. I hold in my hand his challenge, and
it reads thus : —

"You and I have been nominated, by the respective political parties to which we belong,
as candidates for Congress in the Fourth District of Pennsylvania. Of course we ask the
support of the voters of the District on account of the principles which we severally represent.
"In order, therefore, that the people of the District may judge between us in this respect,
I propose to yon that- the citizens of both political parties should be called together, and
that we should together address them."

His seven questions I never heard until he had addressed yon ; and it would have been but
frank, if he expected to bind me to them, that he should have given me some intimation of
them, and he has no right to harp upon the fact that I do not do what I never agreed to do.

But, my friends. I am now but laying the broad foundations of my side of this discussion.
He will find that I will answer all his questions before he has done with me. Small credit I
gel from him, however, for doing it; for he told you that, 1 had noticed but two of las propo-
sitions, and when 1. as courteously as I could, suggested that 1 had dissented from the third,
he said he had not heard me. Yet here in the Bulletin, as the gentlemen of the press have
reported me. I find that 1 took it up and filled nearly a column in commenting upon it. Allow
me to request that he will at least do me the honor to listen to what 1 may hereafter say in
reply to him.

And now. my friends, see " how plain a tale shall put him down. - ' Instead of dwelling
upon the infamy of the war commenced and continued by the South, which has filled our
ities with widows and with orphans, which has maimed I know not how many of you, as well
as hundreds and thousands all over the land — which has fattened the soil of the country with
the blood of American citizens, he turns and scolds like a very drab at New England, and
tells you that Governor Andrew, before he would furnish the quota of Massachusetts, made
stipulations. The rebels; for whom the gentleman has no unkind word, fired on Sumter on
the kith of April ; on the 15th, your President called for troops ; and on the lsth the men of
Massachusetts, from two hundred and fifty miles beyond here, marched through our city,
taking hasty refreshment at the Girard House, and on the morning of the next day some of
them were assassinated in the streets of Baltimore. But three days from the date of the
President's proclamation, a regiment, gathered from the plains of Lexington, went through
our streets, loyal men cheering them on, to die in Baltimore on behalf of our flag.

The gentleman says that Judge Douglas died too soon to make a record on this question.
Judge Douglas lived* long enough to pledge his support to the present Administration, and
to announce that in a great war like this "there is room for but two parties — patriots and
traitors." So he made his record ami then died. He does .fudge Douglas injustice who
that, he died making no sign in the hour of his country's agony.
My friend says that " Banks still retains a foothold in Louisiana." That is lucky ; he might
have been driven to a gunboat. I have not heard that he has; nor have I heard that he lias
even called for the Galena to be sent to that quarter of the country. Yes. he retains a foot-
hold; and over that foothold, the proud Queen City of the Gulf, floa< the Stars and Stripes,
one of those stars representing Pennsylvania and' six of them representing despised New

Now, what answer has the gentleman made to my quotation from Mr. Buchanan's mes
which was an official document — to my quotation from Attorney-General Black's opinion,
which was sent in with that message, and to the fact that the Democratic partyplanted them-
selves so firmly upon the doctrines of that message ami that opinion that they ostracized any
man who dissented from the views therein expressed ? What answer has the gentleman made'.'
Why, that New England lias been making mouths a1 the South ever since the government
was organized, and that a lot of what he is pleased to denounce as fanatical preachers have
Baid sorts of queer and 'foolish things! The gentleman has not pointed you to an instance
in which a New England State has organized an army to resisl the Government, tie has not
pointed you to a single instance in which any New England State has built fortifications
around any of the forts that protect their harbors, from which to assail them. He has not
ted you to an instance in which a New England State has find upon your flag; and. oil
•' lod ! is it not a shame that he should have forgotten that on every field on which a Pennsyl-
vania soldier fighting in behalf of the country, lias been wounded or killed, his blood lias
! . d with that of the bravesoiis of New England, who rushed promptly, as 1 have reminded
you. to the defence of his country, the whole country, its constitution, and its flag the proudest
of the. world. He can plagiarize from Fernando wood's speech what New England men are
said to have said, but 1 can mention a fact which is probably not within the gentleman's
knowledge, that when Mr. Wood sent to the clerk's desk in the House of Representatives the

pamphlet from which are taken those alleged extracts from Phillips arid Garrison and others,
the clerk, in reading, came upon pretended citations of the Language of members of the
House then present, each of whom in turn arose in his seat and denounced the quotations
attributed to him as fabrications, and challenged the man who was having them read to
show when or where the Language imputed to him had been uttered. Rufus Spalding, of
Ohio, whom the gentleman professed to quote, was specially severe on Mr. Wood for having
an oft-refuted lie republished. And Mr Wood uttered apologetic words on the floor of the
House. Yet he seems to have permitted the alleged quotation to go ou1 in his printed speech.
Mr. Northrop. — I never saw that speech.

Judge Kelley. — You happened to hit upon the same ([notations thai Fernando made.
Mr. Northrop. — That may be.

Judge Kelley. — And they were thus denounced one after another.

My friend says that Arnold was a New Englander ; audi told you the other nighl that
Isaac Toucey, who handed over the better part of your navy to the rebels, was a New Eng-
lander. So I put the one against the other. They each tried with all (heir abilitj to use the
powers conferred upon them by the Government, to break it up. I am not here to advi
New England; but do not let us forget that she is fighting shoulder to shoulder with us to
maintain that magnificent patrimony of ours which lies between the Potomac and the Gulf — •
the Atlantic and the western line of Missouri and Arkansas— that she is fighting to transmil
to our posterity even distant Texas; and letus have no more side-winded compliments for
Preston S. Brooks, or any other supporter of dames Buchanan, Jefferson Davis, and George
B. McClellan, at her expense.

He tells you that .Fudge Douglas excused the suspension of the habeas corptts by Jackson
under the special circumstances and under a necessity which then existed. In the extracts
which 1 read to you to-night, Judge Douglas said. "The general alone must be the judj
the necessity." I shall not read you that passage again; but 1 refer to another portion of
the same speech, in which the ground taken by Judge Douglas is still more elaborately and
forcibly stated.

" lie cared not whether General Jackson suspended all civil authority or not. Ji' his ad
were necessary to the defence of the country, that necessity was above all law. General
Jackson hazarded everything ; he hazarded both life and reputation on that step, which might
render him immortal if he saved the country, or on the contrary, make him ignominious, and
a by-word, and a reproach; and the man that dared to do thai deserved the protection and
plaudits of his country, lie did not, envy the feelings of that man. that would get up and talk
calmly and coolly, under such circumstances, about rules of court ami technicalities of pro-
ceeding and the danger of example, when the city might be in flames ami the utmosl barbarity
might be committed. What were rules of court but mere cobwebs when they found an enemy
with his cannon at the doors of their courts, and they saw the flames encircling the cupola?
Talk then about rules of courts, and the formality of proceedings ! The man that would do
this would liddle while the Capitol was burning. He envied not any man the possession of
such stoical philosophy. Talk about illegality ! Talk about formalities! Why, there was
one formality to be observed, and that was the formality of directing the cannon, and destroy-
ing the enemy, regardless of the means, whether it lie by the seizure of cannon-bags, or the
seizure of persons, if the necessity of the case required it. The God of nature had conferred
this right on men and nations, and therefore let him not be told that it was unconstitutional.
To defend the country, let him not be told that it was unconstitutional to use the necessary
means. The Constitution was adopted for the protection of the country; and under that
Constitution, trie nation had the right to exercise all the powers that were necessary for the
protection of the country. If martial law was necessary to the salvation of the country, mar-
tial law was legal for that purpose. If it was necessary for a judge, for tin' preservation of
order, to punish for contempt, he thought it was necessary for a general to exercise a i
over his cannon, to imprison traitor.-, and to arrest spies, and to intercept communication with
the enemy, li' this was necessary, ail this was legal."

Thus it is seen that Judge Douglas did not simply excuse the specific act of General .lack-
son, but made an argument that, will even vindicate lieu. MeClellan's high-handed acts while
a military commander.

.My friend asks whether Mr. Seward, when the war is over, will walk into court, and snbrnit
to the process of the law. Why, certainly; every man who has been serving his country will
do so, and 1 have no doubt that if any of the Maryland secessionists whom < reneral M c< Jlellan
imprisoned under a suspension ol' the habeas c< rpus should sue him, he will go into court and
meet the responsibility; because he has read the doctrines of Mr. Douglas, and he knows
what Gen. Jackson did under similar circumstances, and how the nation honored him for it.

My friend probably does not know that General McClellan was the first to indulge in what
the leaders of the McClellan party are pleased to call "interference with elections." Poor
Little Mac must feel very badly when assailed in this way at his own meetings. General
McClellan became the Commander of the. Army of the Potomac on the 26th of duly. 1861.
He did not become the Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the United States until the first

of November. On October 20th, when he had been about three mouths in office as Com-
mander of the Army of the Potomac, he issued the following order : —

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, "Washington, October 29, 1861. — General : There
is an apprehension among Union citizens in many parts of Maryland of an attempt at inter-
ference with their rights of suffrage by disunion citizens on tne occasion of the election to
take place on the 6th of November next.

In order to prevent this the Major-General commanding directs that you send detachments
of a sufficient number of men to the different points in your vicinity where the election-; are
to be held, to protect the Union voters, and to see that no disunionists are allow*, d to intimi-
date them, or in any way to interfere with their rights.

He also desires you to arrest and hold in confinement till after the election all disunionists
who are known to have returned from Virginia recently, and who show themselves at the polls.
and to guard effectually against any invasion of the peace and order of the election. For the
purpose of carrying out these instructions you are authorized In suspend the habeas carpus.
General Stone has received similar instructions to these. You will please confer with him
as to the particular points that each shall take control of.

1 am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff.

Major-Gen. N. P. BANKS, Commanding Division, Muddy Branch, Md.

These Marylanders were to be arrested if they merely showed themselves at the polls ; it was
not that they should be armed ; they need not try to vote ; they were not to be arrested if
they made a disturbance or committed a breach of the peace; but any man who was obnox-
ious to George B. McClellan's views, and who showt d himself al /he polls, was to be arrested
and imprisoned, and the habeas corpus was to be suspended for that purpose. Yet my com-
petitor, who denounces such conduct as illegal, unconstitutional, tyrannical, &c. &c, when he
is on an electioneering trip, attempts to persuade men that it is their duty to vote for George
B. McClellan, because — of something or another, I do not know exactly what. But 1 will
venture my life; that after the war is over, General McClellan will respond to any of the people
who, for showing themselves perhaps on their own steps in the neighborhood of an election
poll, were cast into prison under his order and suspension of the habeas corpus, lie will
step freely into court to answer them, not because he is fond of going into danger, but
because he knows that the American people will say that his act was done in pursuance of a
general's discretion, at a time when there was great danger, and that that will be his vindica-
tion. And my friend here would walk into court, with or without a fee, and would show any
court in America that such orders were constitutional, were sanctioned by the express terms
of the Constitution, were legal, were based on a continued line of Democratic precedents, and
that when he and other Democratic orators had been denouncing them before the meetings of
the party, they only did it in a Pickwickian sense, and did not mean anything by it.

They cither believe these acts to be unconstitutional, tyrannical and oppressive, or they do
not. George B. M c< Jlellan either stands on that record, or he disavows it, and I ask my friend
how the fact is ? There is his order, not as Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy of
the United States — not as Commander-in-chief of the Army, but as Commander of the Army
of the Potomac — ordering that people who may simply show themselves at the polls, shall be
arrested, incarcerated, and denied the writ of habeas corpus. If you can show any act paral-
lel to that in the conduct of Abraham Lincoln, I will say that there is a drawn-game between
us. You will not find among all the acts of the President any one so recklessly arbitrary as

What do you see exhibited in the country at this time ? A large portion of the party that
stood by James Buchanan and his administration, and saw our forts surrounded with fortifica-
tions, manned with heavy guns stolen from the government — saw our arsenals denuded of arms.
which were uiven to the rebels — the party who, speaking through the President's message and
the Attorney General's opinion of December, 1860, notified the loyal men of the South that if
they stood up for the Union they would do so at their own peril, for the government would not
protect them — I say that a large part of that party which stood by that administration, and
sanctioned and approved its doings, belong to a sworn association under the head of a mili-
tary commander, and have hundreds of thousands of arms to drive voters away from the polls
at the coming election. This is a broad and bold charge, but it is not made without full war-
rant. Lieutenant-Colonel John II. Gardner, of the Invalid Corps, who is well known to many
of you, and who was in command at Indianapolis, and to whom was confided the order to
search the premises of Dodd, the commander of the "Sons of Liberty," in Indiana, to whose;
premises boxes of arms had just gone, sent me a copy of the "Constitution and Laws of the
S. G. C." 1 do not know exactly what those letters mean; but this copy was found along
with hundreds of others in the rooms of Dodd, the chief commander. Section 8th provides
that " the Supreme Commander shall take an oath to observe and maintain the principles of
the Order, before entering upon the duties of his office, said oath to be prescribed by law.
He shall be the presiding officer of the Supreme Council, and charged with the execution

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Online LibraryWilliam D. (William Darrah) KelleySpeeches of Hon. William D. Kelley. Replies of the Hon. William D. Kelley to George Northrop, Esq., in the joint debate in the Fourth Congressional District → online text (page 4 of 20)