The globe. (Huntingdon, Pa.) 1856-1877, December 11, 1867, Image 1

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 1867.
Fellow Citizens of the Senate and House
of Representatives : "
The continued disorganization of the
Union, to which the President has so
often called the attention of Congress,
is yet a subject of profound and patri.
otie concern. We may, however, find
some relief from that anxiety in the
reflection that the painful political sit
uation, although untried by ourselves,
Is not now in the experience of nations.
Political science, perhaps-as highly
perfected in our own time and country
,us in any other, has not yet disclosed
any means by which civil wars can be
absolutely prevented; ail enlightened
nation, however, with a wise aed ben.
eficent Constitution of free government,
may diminish their frequency and mit
igate their severity, by directing all
its proceedingsin accordance with its
fundamental law. When a civil war
bias been brought to a close, it is mani
festly the first interest and duty of the
State to repair the injuries which the
war has inflieted,• and to secure the
benefit of the lessons it teaches, as
fully and as speedily as possible. This
duty was, upon the termination of the
Rebellion, promptly accepted, not only
by the Executive Department but by
th,fs, insurrectionary States themselves,
and restoration in the first moment of
peace, was believed to
.be as easy and
certain as it was impossible.
Disappointed Expectations. -
The-expectations,- however, then so
reasonably and .00nfidently 'entertain
ed, 'were diaappointed - by' legislation
from -which I. felt,constrained, by my
obligations to the Constitution, to with
hold, my assent. It is, therefore, a
source of profound regret that in com
plying with - the obligations imposed
upon the President by . the Constitu
tion, to give to Congress from time to
time information of the state of the
Union, lam unable to communicate
any definitive adjustment satisfactory
to the American people, of the qbes
lions which, since the close of the Re
bellion, have agitated the public mind.
On the contrary, candor compels me
to declare that at this time there is no
Union as our fathers understood the
term; and as they meant it to be un•
derstood by us. The Union which
they established can exist only whore
all the States are represented in both
Houses of Congress, "where one State
is as free as another to regulate its con
cerns according to its own will," and
where the laws of the central govern.
ment, strictly confined to • matters of
national jurisdiction, apply with equal
force to all the people of every section.
That such is not the present "state
of the Union" is a melancholy feet, and
we all must acknowledge that the res
toration of the States to their proper
legal relations with the Federal Gov
ernment, and with ono another, necor
' ding to the terms of the original com
pact, would be the greatest temporal
blessing which God, in Ms kindest
providence, could bestow upon this
Our Duty
It becomes our important duty to
consider whether or not it is impossi
bible to effect this most desirable con
summation. The Union and the Con
stitution are inseparable. As long as
one is obeyed by all parties, the other
will be preserved; and if one is destroy
ed, both must perish together. The
destruction of the Constitution will be
followed by other and still greater
The Constitution
It was ordained not only to form a
more perfect Union between the States,
but to""establisb justice, insure domes
tic tranquility, provide for the common
defense, promote the general welfare,
and secure the blessings of liberty to
ourselves and our posterity." Nothing
but implicit obedience to its require
ments, in all parts of the country, will
accomplish these great ends. Without
that obedience we can look forward
only to continual outrages upon indi
vidual rights, incessant breaches of the
puplic peace, national weakness, finan.
Mal dishonor, the total loss of our pros.
perity, the general corruption of mor
ale, and the deal extinction of popular
freedom. To save our country from
evils so appalling as these,_ we should
renew our efforts again and again.
To me the process of restoration
seems perfectly plain and simple. It
consists merely in a faithful applica
tion of the Constitution and the laws.
The execution of the laws is not now
obstructed or opposed by physical
force; there is no military 9r other
necessity, real or pretended, which can
prevent obedience to the Constitution,
either North or South. All the rights
and all the obligations of States and
individuals can be protected and en
forced by means perfectly consistent
with the fundamental law. The courts
may be everywhere open, and, if open,
their process would be unimpeded.
Crimes against the United States can
he prevented or punished by the prop
er judicial authorities in a manner en•
tirely practicable and legal.
There is, therefore, no reason why
the Constitution should not be obeyed,
unless those who exercise its powers
have determined that it, shall be disre.
garded and violated. The mere naked
will of this government, or of some one
or more of its branches, is the only ob
stacle that can exist to a perfect Union
of all the States. On this momentous
question, and some of the measures
growing out of it, I have had the mis
fortune to differ from Congress, and
have expressed my convictions with
out reserve, though with becoming
deference to the opinions of the Legis
lative Department.
The President's Position trnohango4.
Those convictions are not only un
changed, but strengthened by subsel
ducat eveutA and farther reflection.
.$2 (0
. 1 00
Will. LEWIS, HUGH LINDSAY, Publishers.
The transcendent importance of the
subject will be a sufficient excuse for
calling your attention to some of tho
reasons which have so strongly influ
enced my own judgment. Tho hope
that we may all formally concur in a
mode of settlement consistent at once
with our true interests, and with our
sworn duties to the Constitution, is too
natural and too just to be easily relin
The Late Insurrectionary States.
1 1 It is clear to apprehension that- the
States lately in rebellion aro still mem
bers of the National Union. When
did they cease to be so? The "Ordin
ances of Secession" adopted by a per•
tion—in most of thew —a • very small
portion=of their citizens, wore more
nullities. If wo admit now that they
were valid and effectual for the pur
pose intended by their authors, we
sweep from under ourfeet the whole
groulid upon which we justified the
war. Were those States afterwards
expelled from the Union by the war ?
The direct contrary was averred by
this, government to its purpose, and
was so understood by all who gave
their blood and treasure to aid in its
prosecution. • .
It cannot be that a successful war,
waged for the preseriation of the
Union, had the legal effect of dissolv•
ing it.. The victory of the nation's
arms was not the disgrace of her poli
cy i • the defeat of Secession on the bat
tle-field was not the triumph of its law
less principles; nor could Congress,
with or without the consent of the Ex
ecutive, do anything which would
have .the effect, directly or indirectly,
of separating the States from each
other. To dissolve the Union is to
repeal the Constitution which holds it
togethet‘, and that is a power which
does not belong to any department of
the government, or to all of them uni
This is;(7o;:iYi.ta' it h --- - hOti;11 - -:
knowledged by all branches of the
Federal Government. The Executive,
my predecessor, as roll as myself, and
the heads of all the departments have
uniformly acted upon the principle
that the Union is not only undissolv
ed, bat indissoluble. Congress sub
mitted an amendment to the Constitu
tion to be ratified by the Southern
States, and accepted their acts of rati
fication as a necessary and lawful ex
ercise of their highest function. If
they were not States, or wore States
out of. the Union, their consent to a
change in the fundaMental law of the
Union would have' been nugatory, and
Congress in asking it committed a po
litical absurdity.
The Judiciary has also given the
solemn sanction of its authority to the
same view of the case. The Judges of
the Supremo Court have included the
Southern States in their circuits, and
they aro constantly, in bane and else
whers,exercisingjurisdiction which does
not belong to them, unless those States
are States of the Union. If the South
ern States am component parts of the
Union, the Constitution is the supreme
law for them, as it is for all the other
States. They aro bound to obey it,
and so are we. The right of the Fed
ora/ Government, which is clear and
unquestionable, to enforce the Consti
tution upon them., implies the corela
tivo obligation on our part to observe
its limitations and execute its guaran
ties. Without the Constitution we
are nothing; by, through and under
the Constitution we aro what it makes
We may doubt the wisdom of the
law; we may not approve of its pro- 1
visions, but we cannot violate it mere
ly because it seems to confine our pow
ers within limits narrower than we
could wish. It is not a question of in
dividual, or class, or sectional interests,
much less of party predominance, but
of duty—of high and sacred duty—
whieh we are all sworn to perform. If
we cannot support the Constitution
with the cheerful alacrity of those who
love and believe in it, we must give to
it, at least, the fidelity of public ser
vants who act under solemn obliga
tions and commands which they dare
not disregard. The constitutional du
ty is not the only ono which requires
the States to be restored ; there is an
other consideration, which, though of
minor importance, is yet of great
Object of the Late War.
On the 22d day of July, 1861, Con
gress declared, by an almost unani
mous vote of the Houses, that the war
should be conducted solely fbr the pur
pose of preserving the Union and
maintaining the supremacy of the
Federal Constitution and laws, without
impel' ing the dignity, equality and
rights of the States or of individuals,
and that when this was done the war
should cease. Ido not say that this
declaration is personally binding on
those who joined . in making it, 'any
more than individual members of Con
gress are personally bound to pay a
public debt created under a law for
which they voted. But it was a sol•
emn public official pledge of the nation
al honor, and I cannot imagine upon
what grounds the repudiation - of it is
to be justified.
If it be remembered, this promise
was not made to Rebels only. Thous
ands of true men in the South were
drawn to our standard by it, and hun
dreds of thousands in the North gave
their lives in the belief that it would
be carried out. It was made on the
day after the first great battle of the
war bad been fought and lost. All pa
triotic and intelligeht men then saw
the necessity of giving such an assur
ance, and believed that without it the
war would end in disaster to the cause.
Having given that assurance in the
extremity of our peril, the violation of
it now, in the day of our power, would
be a rude rending of that good faith
which holds the moral world together.
Our country would cease to have any
claim upon the confidence of men. It
would make the war not only a failure
but a fraud.
Opposition to Military Reconstructfon.
Being sincerely convinced that these
views are correct, I would be unfaith
ful to my duty if I did not recom
mend the repeal of the acts of Congress
which place ten of the Southern States
under the domination of military mas
ters. If calm reflection shall satisfy a
majority of your honorable bodies that
the acts referred to are not only a vio
lation of the national faith, but in .di
rect conflict with the Constitution, I
dare not permit myself to doubt that
you will immediately strike them from
the statute hook. To demonstrate the
unconstitutional character of those
acts, I need do no more than refer to
their general provisions.
It must be soon at once that they
aro authorized to dictate what altera
tions shall be made in the constitutions
of the several States; to control the
elections of State and legislators and
State officers, members of Congress
and electors of President and Vice
President by arbitrarily declaring who
shall vote and who shall be excluded
from that privilege; to dissolve State
legislators or prevent them from as
sembling; to dismiss judges and other
civil functionaries of tile State and ap
point others without regard to State
law ; to organize and operate all the
political machinery of the States; to
regulate the whole administration of
their domestic and local affairs accor
ding to the mere will of strange and ir
responsible agents sent among them
for that purpose.
These are powers not granted to the
Federal Government or to any ono of
its branches; not being granted, we
violate in the face of a positive inter
dict, for the Constitution forbids us to
do whatever it does not affirmatively
'Avert by express words or by
clear implication. If ,hew nnthOrity
we desire to use does not come to us
through the Constitution,- wo-.13an..9= ; _,
ercise it only by usurpation, and usur
pation is the most danprous of politi
cal crimes. By that crime the enemies
of free government in all ages have
worked out their designs against pub.
lie liberty and private right. It leads
dircotly and immediately to the estab
lishment of absolute rule, for undele
gated power is always unlimited and
The acts of Congress in question,are
not only objectionable for their as
sumption of ungranted power,but many
of their provisions are in vonfliet- with
the direct prohibitions of the Consti
tution. The Constitution commands
that a republican form of government
shall be guarantied to all the States ;
that no person shall be deprived of
life, liberty or property, without due
process of haw; arrested without a ju
dicial warrant, or punished without a
fail' trial before an impartial jury; that
the privilege of habeas corpus shall not
be denied in the time of peace, and
that no bill of attainder shall be pass
ed oven against a single individual.
Yet the system of measures establish
ed by these acts of Congress does total
ly subvert and destroy the form as well
as the substance of republican govern
ment. In the ten States to which
they apply it binds them hand and
foot in absolute slavery, and subjects
them to a strange and hostile power
more unlimited and more likely to be
abused than any other now known
among civilized men.
It tramples down all those rights in
which the essence of liberty consists,
and which a free government is always
most careful to protect. It-denies the
habeas corpus and trial by jury. Per.
sonal freedom, property and life, if as
saulted by tho passion, the prejudice,
or the racaeity of the ruler, have no
seenrity]whatever. It has the effect
bf a bill of attainder, or bill .of pains
and penalties, upon whole masses,
including the millions who inhabit the
subject States, and even their unborn
children- These wrongs being ex.
pressly forbidden, cannot be constitu
tionally inflicted upon any portion of
our people no matter how they may
have come within our jurisdiction, and
no matter whether they live in States,
Territories, or Districts.
I have no desire to save from the
proper and just consequences of their
great crime, those who engaged in re
bellion against the government; but
as a mod of punishment,the measures
under consideration are the most
unreasonable that could be invented.
Many of those people are perfectly in
nocent. (Many kept their fidelity to
the Union untainted to the last.) Many
were incapable of any legal offense. A
large proportion oven ()f e ttle persons
able to boar arms wore forced into re
bellion against their will, and of those
who aro guilty with their own consent
the degrees'of guilt aro as various as
the shades of their character and tem
But these acts of Congress con
found them all together in ono common
doom. Indiscriminate vengeance upon
classes, sects, and parties, or upon
whole communities, for offenses com
mitted by a portion of them against
the government to which they owed
obedience, was common in the barbar
ous ages of the world. But Christian
ity and civilization have made such
progress that recourse to a punishnient
so cruel and unjust would meet with
the condemnation of all unprejudiced
and right minded men. The positive
justice of this ago, and especially of
this country, does not consist in strip
ping whole States of their liberties,
and reducing all their people, without
distinction, to the condition of shi
very. It deals separately with each
individual; confines itself to the forms
of law, and vindicates its own purity
by an impartial examination of every
ease before a competent judicial tribu
nal. If this does not satisfy all our
k; % *.a. ';WS.IIk, • 4 '
s' -
• -.;s7^
desires with regard to Southern rebels,
let us console ourselves by reflecting
that a free Constitution, triumphant
in war and unbroken in peace, is worth
far more to us and children than the
gratification of any present feeling.
Temporary and Perpetual Evils
lam aware it is assumed that this
system of government for the South
ern States is not to be perpetual. It
is true this military government is to
be only provisional, but it is through
this temporary evil that a greater evil
is to be made, perpetual. if the guar
antees of the - Constitution can be bro
ken provisionally to servo a temporary
purpose, and in a part only of the
country, we can destroy them any
where and for all time. Arbitrary
measures often change, but they gen
erally change far the worse. It is the
curse of despotism that it has no halt
ing place. The intermitted exercise,
of its power brings no sense of security
to its subjects•; for they can never
know what more they will be called
to endure when its red right band. is
armed to plague them again. Nor is
it possible to conjecture how or where
power, unrestrained by law, may sock
its next victims. The States that aro
still free may be enslaved at any mo
ment; for if the Constitution does not
protect,hll, it protects none.
Negro Suffrage
It is manifestly and avowedly the
object of these laws to confer upon ne
groes the privilege of voting, and to
disfranchise such a number of white
citizens as will give the former a clear
majority at all the elections in the South
ern States. This, to the minds of some
persons, is so important, that a viola
tion of the Constitution is justified as a
means of bringing it about. The mor
ality is always false which excuses a
wrong because it proposes to accom•
plish a desirable end. We aro not to
do evil that good may.come. But in
this case the end itself is evil, as_wAlL
nn Th'o''is'aTuBtaio7lof tbv
States to negro domination would, be
worse than the military despotism un
di;riiiiletrtherare-no sulferin
was believed beforehand that the peo
ple would endure any amount of mili
tary oppression, for any length of time,
rather than degrade themselves by
subjugation to the negro race. Thero•
fore they have been left without a
choice. Negro suffrage was establish-
ed by Act of Congress, and the mili
tary-officers were commanded to su
perintend the process of clothing the
negro race with the political privileges
torn from white mon_ _-
Negro Supremacy. -
The blacks in the South are entitled
to be well and humanelygoverned,and
to have the protection of just laws for
all their rights of personal property.
If it wore practicable at this time to
give them a government exclusively
their own, under which they might
manage their own affairs in their own
way, it would become a
,grave question
whether .we ought to do so, 6r wheth
er common humanity would not re
quire us to save them from themselves.
But, under the circumstances, this is
only a speculative point. It is not
proposed merely that they shall govern
themselves; but that they shall rule
the white race, make and administer
State laws, elect Presidents and mem
bers of Congress, and shape to , a great
er or less extent the future destiny of
the whole country. Would such a
trust and power, be safe in such hands?
A White Man's Government.
The peculiar qualities which should
characterize any people who are fit to
decide upon the management of public
affairs for a great State have seldom
been combined. It is the glory of
white "men to know that they have
had those qualities in sufficient meas
ure to build upon this continent a groat
political fabric, and to preserve its sta
bility for more than ninety years,
while in every other part of the world
all similar experiments have failed.
But if anything .can be proved by
known facts—if all reasoning upon ev
idence is not abandoned, it must bo ac
knowledged that in the progress of na
tions negroes have shown less capacity
for government than any other raco
of people. No independent govern•
moot of any form' has wren been suc
cessful in their hands. On the contra
ry, wherever they have been left to
their own devices, they have shown a
constant tendency to relapse into bar
barism. In the Southern States, how
ever, Congress has undertaken to con
fer upon them the privilege of the bal
lot. Yustr,leased from slavery,it may bo
doubted whether, asaelass, they know
more than their ancestors how to or
ganize and regulate civil society. In
deed, it is admitted that the blacks of
the South aro not only regardless of
the rights of. property, but so utterly
ignorant of public affairs that their vo
ting can consist in nothing more than
carrying a ballot to the . place whore
they arc to deposit
importance of the Ballot.
I need not remind you that the ex
ercise of the elective franchise is the
highest attribute of an American citi
zen, and that when guided by virtue,
intelligence, patriotism, and a proper
appreciation of our free institutions, it
constitutes the true basis of a Demo
cratic form of government, in which
the sovereign power is lodged in the
body of the people. A trust artificially
created, not for its own sake, but sole
ly as a means of promoting the gener
al welfare, its influence for good must,
necessarily depend upon the elevated
character and true allegiance of the
elector It ought therefore to be re-.
posed in ,nono except those who aro
fitted morally and, mentally to admin•
istor it well; for if conferred upon per
sons who do not justly estimate its vai
n() ana who aro indifferent as to its re
sults, it will only serve as a means of
placing power in the hands of the un
principled and ambitious, and must
7 . /7 7
eventuate in the complete destruction
of that liberty of which it should be
the most powerful conservator. I have
therefore heretofore urged upon your
attention the groat danger "to be ap
prehended from an untimely extension
of the elective franchise to any new
class in our country, especially when
the largo majority of that class, in
wielding the power thus placed in
their hands,can not bo expected correct
ly to comprehend the duties and re
sponsibilities which pertain to suffrage.
Yesterday, as it were, four millions of
persons were held in condition of sla
very that had existed for generations;
to-day they are freemen, and • assumed
by law to be eitizens.'• It cannot be
presumed, from their previous condi
tion of servitude, that; as a class, they
are as well informed as to the nature
of our Government as the intelligent
foreigner who makes our land the home
of his choice. In the case of the latter,
neither a residence of five years, and
the knowledge of our institutions
which it gives, nor attachment to the
principles of the Constitution, are the
only conditions upon which he can be
admitted to citizenship. He must
prove in addition, a good moral char
acter, and thus give reasonable ground
for the belief that he will he faithful to
the obligations which he assumes as a
citizen of the Republic. Where a peo
ple—the soufte of all political power—
speak by their suffrages, through the
instrumentality of the ballot box, it
must be carefully guarded against the
control of those who are corrupt in
principle and enemies of free institu
tions, for it can only become to our po.
litieal and social system a safe condue
tor.of healthy popular sentiment when
kept free from demoralizing influences.
Controlled, through fraud and usurpa
tion, by the designing, anarchy and
depotism must inevitably follow. In
the hands of the patriotic and worthy
our Government will be preserved up 7,,
on- the , prin el rites-cif th - ti Corie~ifu7inn ice=
herded from our fathers. it follows,
therefore, that in admitting to the bal.
Jui,..ncAa-new-otass-of voters not quali
fied for the exercise of the elective
franchise, we weaken our strength in
stead of adding to its strength and du
The President on Universal Suffrage
1 ,yield to no one in attachment to
that rule of general suffrage which dis•
tinguishes our policy as a nation. But
there is a limit, wisely observed pith•
erto, which makes the ballot a privilege
and a trust, and which requires of some
Classes a time suitable fin• probation
and preparation. To give it indiscrim
inately to a new class, wholly unpre
pared, by previous habits and opportu
nities, to perform the trust which it de
mands, is to degrade it, and finally to
destroy its power; for it may be safely
assumed that no political truth is bet.
ter established than that such indis.
criminate and all embracing extension
of popular suffrage must end at last•in
its overthrow end destruction.
I repeat the expression of my willing
ness to join "in any plan within the
scope of our constitutional authority
which promises to better the condition
of the negroes in the South, by oncour
ar,ing them in industry, enlightening
Sew minds, improving their morals,
and giving protection to all their just
rights as freedmen. - 13ut the transfer
of our political inheritance to them
would, in my opinion, be an abandon
ment of duty which wo owe alike to
the memory of our fathers and the
rights of our children.
The plan of putting the Southern
States wholly, and the General Gov
ernment partially, into the hands of
negroes, is proposed at a time peculiar
ly unpropitious. The foundations of
society. have been broken up by civil
war. Industry must be reorganized,
justice re-established, public credit
maintained and order brought out of
confusion. To accomplish these ends
would require all the wisdom and vir
tue of the groat men who formed our
institutions originally. I confidently
believe that their descendants will be'
equal to the arduous, task before them,
but it is worse than madness to expect
ttha negroes willperform it for us. Cer
tainly we ought not to ask their assis
tance until we. despair of our own com
The great difference between the two
races in physical, mental and moral
eharacteristiesiwill prevent an amalga
mation or fusion of them together in ono
homogeneous mass. Mlle inferior ob
tains the ascendancy over the other, it
Will govern with reference only to its
own interests—for it will recognize no
common interest—and create such a
tyranny as this continent has qevor
yet witnessed. Already, the negroes
are influenced by promises of confisca
tion and plunder. They aro taught to
regard us an enemy every white man
who has any respect for rho' rights of
his own race. If this continues, it must
become worse and worse, until all order
will be subverted, all industry cease,
and the fertile fields of the South grow
up in a wilderness. Of all the dangers
which our nation has yet encountered,
none aro equal to those which must re
sult from the success of the effort now
making to Africanizo the half of our
Cost of Military Reconstruction.
I would not put considerations of
money in competition with justice and
right, but the expenses incident to re
construction under the system adopted
by Congress aggravate what I regard
as the intrinsic wrong of the measure
itself. It has cost uncounted millions
already, and if 'persisted in will add
largely to the weight of taxatidn al
ready too oppressive to be borne with
out just complaint, and may finally re
deco the treasury of the nation to a
condition of bankruptcy.
We must not delude ourselves. It
will require a strong standing army,
and probably more than two hundred
millions of dollars per annum to main-
. ,
-,'..-,- . k
74. 1
Ik .- '? , `:' ,
, . . ... .-.
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TERMS, $2,00 a year in advance.
tain the supremacy of negro govern
ments after they are established. The
sum thus thrown away would, if prop
erly used, form a sinking fund large
enough to pay the whole national debt
in less than fifteen, years. It is vain
to hope that negroes will maintain
their ascendancy themselves. Without
military power they are wholly inca
pable of holding in subjection the white
people of the South. I submit to the
judgment of Congress whether the
public credit may not be injuriously
affected by a - system-of measure§ like
this. With our debt, and the vast pri•
vote interests which are complicated
with it we cannot be too cautious of
a policy which might, by possibility,
impair the confidence of the world in
ours , roverument. That confidence can
only retained by carefully inculca
ting the principles of justice and honor
on the popular mind, and by the most
scrupulous fidelity to all our engage
ments of every sort. Any serious
breach of the organic law, persisted in
for a considerable time, cannot but
create fears for the stability of
. our in
stitutions. "habitual violation of pre
scribed rules, which we bind ourselves
to observe, must demoralize the peo
ple. Our only standard of civil duty
being set at maught, the sheet anchor
of our political - morality is lost, the
public conscience swings from its moor
ings, -and yields to every impulse of
passion and interest. If we repudiate
the Constitution we will not be expec
ted to care much for mere pecuniary
The violation of such a pledge tie was
made on the 22d day ofJuly;lB6l,.will
.assuredly diminish the market value
of our promises; besides, if we now ac
knowledge that the'national debt was
created not to hold the States in the
Union, as the tax-payers were led to
suppose, but to expel them from it and
hand them over to be governed by ne
-STMARIPICHAgI7. 4)- 7 1 nitTligr'
e t ee'm so, for I do not admit that this or
any other argument in favor of repo.
diction can be entertained as sound;
but its influence on some classes of
minds may well be apprehended. The
financial honor of a great commercial
nation, largely indebted, and with a
republican form of gcivernmerikadmin
istered by agents of the popular choice,
is a thing of such deli3ato texture, and
the destruction of it would Ire followed
by such unspeakable 'calamity, that
every true patriot must desire to avoid
whatever might expose it to the'slight
est danger.
The great interests of the country
require immediate relief from those
enactments. Business in the South is
paralyzed by a sense of general inse
curity, by a terror of confiscation and
the dread of negro supremacy.
The Southern Trade
From which tho North would have
derived so great a profit under a gov
ernment of law, still languishes, and
can never bo revived until it ceases
and be bettered by the arbitrary pow.
er which makes all its operations un
safe. That rich country , the richest in
natural resources the world ever saw,'
is worse than "lost, if it be not soon
placed under the protection of a free
constitution. Instead of being as it
ought to,po, a source of wealth and
power it will become an intolerable
burden upon the rest of the nation. "
Another reason fur retracing our
steps will doubtless be seen by Con
gress in the late tnanifestationsiof pub:.
lie opinion upon this subject. Wo live
in a country where popular will al
ways enforces obedience to itself, soon
er or later. It is vain to think of op
posing it with anything short of legal
authority, backed by overwhelming
force. It cannot have escaped your
attention that from the day on which
Congress fairly and formally present
ed the proposition to govern the South.
ern States by military force,. with a
view to the ultimate establishment. of
negro supremacy, every expression of
the general sentiment has been more
or less adverse to it. The affections
of this generation cannot be detached
from the institutions of their ancestors.
Their determination to preserve the
inheritance of free government in their
own hands, and transmit it undivided
and unimpaired to their own posterity,
is too strong to be successfully oppo.
sed. Every weaker passion will dis
appear before that love-of liberty and
law for which the American People
aro distinguished above all others in
the world. .
How far the duty of the President,
"to preserve, protect, and defend the
Constitution," require him to go in op
posing an .unconstitutional act of Con
gress, is a very serious and important
question, on which I havd deliberated
much, and felt extremely anxious to
reach a proper conclusion. Where an
act has been passed according to the
forme of the Constitution by the su
preme legislative authority, and is reg
ularly enrolled among the public stet,
utes of the country, Executive resis
tance to it, especially in times of high
party excitement, would be likely to
produce violent collision between the
respective adherents of the two bran
ches of the Government.' This would
be simply civil war; and civil war
must be resorted to only Is the last
remedy for the worst of evil. What
ever might tend to provoke it should
be most carefully avoided. A faithful
and conscientious Magistrate will con
cede very much to honest error, and
something even to perverse malice, be
fore he will endanger the public peace;
and he will not adopt forcible meas
ures, or snob as might lead to force, as
long as those which are peaceable re
main open to him or to his constitu
ents. It is true that eases may occur
in which the Executive would bo com
pelled to stand on his rights, and main
tain them, regardless of all consequen
ces. -If Congress should pass an act
which is not only in palpable eonfliet
with the Constitution r hitt will certain
ly, if carried out, produce immediate"
and irreparable injury to the organic
structure of. the Government, and if
there be neither judicial remedy for
the wrongs it inflict; nor power in
the people to protect themselves with:-
out the official aid of their elected de
fender; if, for instance, the Legislative
Department should pass an act even
through all the forms of law to abolish
a co-ordinate department of the Gov
ernment—in such a ease the 'President
must take the high responsibilities of
his office, and save the life of the na
tion at all hazards. The so called re+
construction- acts, though as plainly
unconstitutional as any that can be
imagined, were not believed to be with
in the class last mentioned. The peo
ple were not wholly disarmed of the
power of self-defence. In all the North
ern States they still held in'their hands
the sacred right of the ballot,.and it
was safe to believe that, in due time
they would come to the rescue of their
institutions, : It giVes me pleasure to
add that the appeal to our' common
constituents wus not taken in vain, and
that my confidence in their wisdom
and virtue seems not to have been mis
NO. 22.
Enormous Frauds. -
It is well and publicly known that
enormous frauds have been perp#tra
ted on the Treasury, and that colossal t
fortunes have been made at the publio
expense. This species of Corruption
has increased, is increasing; and if not
diminished will soon bring us into total
ruin and disgrace: The public credi
tors and the tax payers are alike inter
ested in an honest administration of
the finances, and neither class will long
endure the arge handed ,robberies of
the recent past. For this discreditable
state of things there are several cau
ses. Some of the taxes are so laid as
as to present an irresistible temptation
to evade payment, The great sums
which officers may win by connivance
at. fraud create a pressure which is
more than the virtue of many can with
stand ; and there can be no doubt that
the open disregard of :constitutional
obligations avowed -by some
. of the
highest and most influential Trio n in-the
country has groatiy weakened the
moral sense of those who serve in sub
ordinate places; The - expenses of the
United States, including interest on -
the publio debt, aro more than six
times as much as they were seven
years ago. To collect and disburse this
vast amount ,requires 'careful superviF
ion as well as systematic vigilance,
The system, never perfected, was much
disorganized by the "Tenure of Office
Bill," which has almost destroyed offi
uu buurouguly euliviuueu - Ouzo, asu
is incapable, dishonest, or unfelt&
ful to the Constitution, but, under the
law which I have named, the utmost
he can do is to complain to the Senate,
and ask the privilege of supplying his
place with a better man. If the Senate
be regarded as personallyor politically
hostile to the President, - it is nature!,
and not altogether - unreasonable,' for
the officer to expect that it will take
his part as far as possible, restore him.
to his place, and give him a triumph
over his Executive superior The offi
eer has other chances et impunity aris
ing from accidental defects of evidence,
the mode of investigating 'it, and the
.secrecy of the hearing. It is not won- -
derful that official malfeasance should
become bold in proportion as the des.
linquents learn to think ;themselves
safe. T am entirely persuaded that
under such a rule the President cannot
perform the great duty assigned to him'
of seeing the i laws faithfully executed,
and that it disables him most especial
ly from enforcing that rigid accounts%
bility which is necessary, to the due ex
ecution of the revenue laws.
Th,o Constitution invests the Presi
dent with authority to decide whether
a removal should be made - in anygiven
case; the act of- Congress declares in
substance that ho shall only accuse
such as he supposes to be, unworthy of
their trust. The Constitution makes
him the sole judge in the premises; but
the statute takes away his jurisdiction,
transfers it t 6 the Senate, and leaves
him nothing but the odious, and some
times impracticable duty of becoming
a prosecutor. The prosecution is to be
conducted before a tribunal, whose
members are not, like him, responsible
-to the whole poople, but to separate
constituent bodies, and who May, hear
his accusation with great disfavor.—
The Senate is absolutely without any
known standarcrof decision applicable
to such a case.. Its judgment cannot
be anticipated, for it is not govetintid
by any rule. -
The law. does not define what shall
be deemed good cause for removal; it
is impossible even to conjecture what
may or may not be so considered by
the Senate. The nature of the subject
forbids clear proof. If the charge be
incapacity, what evidence will support
it? Fidelity to the Constitution may
be understood or misunderstood iu a
thousand different ways;, and by vio
lent party men, in violent party times,
unfaithfulness to the Constitution may
oven come to ho considered meritort.
ous. If the officer be accused Of dis
honesty, bow shall it be made out ?,
Will it be inferred froth ants uncennee
ted with public duty, from priaate
tory, or from general reputation? .Or
must the President avymt. the ,comnals
sion of an actual Misdemeanor in'offiee?
Shall he, in the meantime, risk- the
character and interest, of the nation in
the hands of men to whom be can not
give his confidence? Must he forbear
his complaint until the mischief is done
and cannot be prevented? If hie zeal
in the public service should impel him
to anticipale the overt act, must he
move at the peril of being tried himself
for the offense of slandering his saber.
dinates ?
In the present circumstances of the
country, some one must be held respon
sible for official delinquency of every
kind.' It is extremely difficult to say
where that responsibility should be
thrown,,if. it be not left whore it _bag'
been-placed by the Constitution; bet
all just'men will admit that the Presi
dent Ought to be entirely relieved from
Snob responsibility if he cannot meet it
by reason of restrictions placed by law
upon• his action. . The --unrestricted
power of removal from of f ice is a very
great one to be trusted even to,wmar
istrate chosen by the general suffrage
of the whole people, and accountable
directly to them for his acts. It is un
doubtedly liable to abuse, and at soma
periods of our history, perhaps, linn
been abused.
Continued on Fourth Pagel