Wyoming democrat. (Tunkhannock, Wyoming Co., Pa.) 1867-1940, December 11, 1867, Image 1

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Business Notices.
LAW Office on Tioga Street Tunkhannock Pa
• Newton Centre, LuierncCounty Pa.
• Ofti-c at the Court House, in Tuukh.inuock j
Wyoming Co. Pa.
\ fiee :n Stark's Brick Block Tioga St., Tunk !
naunock. Pa.
• will attend promptly to all calls in his pro- |
tension. May be found at bis Office at the Drug
Store, or at his residence on Putiu.iu Sreet, formerly
occupied by A. K. Peckh.nu L'-;.
~-V" • -.7^5--" 'A,. -A A
DR. T. T. BURNS has permanently located in
Tunkhannock Borough, and respectfully tenders !
his professional services to its citizens.
Office on second Boor, formerly occupied by Dr. ,
Wit man.
&y ?r. HUG EH, Artist.
Rooms over the Wyoming National bank,in Stark's
Brick Block,
Life-size Portraits painted from Ainb'otvpes or I
Photographs —Photographs Painted in OiK'clors— |
All orders for paintings executed according to or- i
der, or nocbsrge made.
nr Instructions given in Drawing, Sketching,
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Colors, and in all branches of the art.
Tuck , July 31, '(;7-vgrioO-tf.
The Subscriber having had a sixteen years prac ;
tlcal experience in cutting and making clothing
now offers bis services in this line to the citizens of
KICHOLSON and vicinity.
Those wishing to get Fits will find his shop the
place to get them.
The undersigned having lately purchased the
" RT'EHLER HOUSE " property, has already com
menced such alterations and improvements as will
render this old and popular House equal, if not supe
rior, to any Hotel in the City of llarrisburg.
A continuance of the public patronage is refpeet
fully solicited.
rifts establishment has recently been refitted an
furnished in the latest style Every attention
•ill be given to the comfort and convenience ol those
wio patronise the House
T. B W ALL, Owner and Proprietor .
_Tunkhannock, September 11, 1861.
fTAY INQ resumed the proprietorship of the above
*- j Hotel, the undersigned will spare no efforts
fender the h<>uae an agreeable piece ot eqjoari to
el) who may favor it with theircußtum.
June, 3rd, 1M
J>. 13. HALT LET,
and BEST ARRANGED Houses in the country—lt
•s fitted up in the most modern and improved style,
end no pains are spared to make it a pleasant and
•greeable steppngi piaoe for all.
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and Jloase
of Representatives:
The continued disorganization of the Un
ion, to which the President has so often
called the attention of Congress, is yet a
subject ot profound and patriotic concern.
We may, however, find some relief from
that anxiety in the reflection tnat the pain
ful political situation, although before un
tried by ourselves, is not new in the expe
rience of nations. Political science, per
haps as highly perfected in our own time
and country as in any other, has not yet
disclosed any means by which civil wars
can be absolutely prevented. An enlight
ened nation, however, with a wise and be
neficent constitution of free government,
may diminish their frequency and mitigate
their severity, by directing all its proceed
ings in accordance with its fundamental
When a civil war has been brought to a
close, it is manifestly the first interest and
duty of a State to repair the injuries which
the war has inflicted, and to secure the
benefit of the lesson it teaches as fully and
speedily as possible. This duty was, upon
the termination of the rebellion, promptly
accepted, not only by the Executive De
partment, hut by the insurrectionary Slates
themselves, and restoration, in the first mo
ment of peace, was believed to be as easy
and certain as it was indispensable. The
expectations, however, then so reasonably
and confiJently entertained, were disap
pointed by legislation from which I felt
constrained, by ruy obligations to the Con
stitution, to withhold rny assent.
It is, therefore, a source of profound re
gret that, in complying with the obligation
imposed upon the President by the Consti
tution. to give to Congress from time to
time information of the state of the Union,
1 am unable to communicate any definite
adjustment, satisfactory to the American
people, of the questions which, since the
close of the rebellion, have agitated the
public mind. On the contrary, candor
compels me to declare that at this time
there is no Union as our Fathers under
stood the term, aud as they meant it 10 be
understood by us. The Union which they
established can exist only where all the
States are represented in botli Houses of
Congress; where one State is as free as
anothei to regulate its internal concerns
according to its own will; where laws of
the central Government, strictly confined to
matters of national jurisdiction, apply with
equal force to all tiie people of every sec
tion. That such is not the present "state
of the Union" is a melancholy fact; and
we all must acknowledge that the restora
tion of the States to their proper legal re
lations with the Federal Government and
with one another, according to ( the terms
of the original compact, would be the great
temporal blessing which God, in his
his kindest providence, could bestow upon
this nation. It* becomes our imperative
duty to consider whether or not it is im
possible to effect this most most desirable
The Union and the Constitution are in
separable. As long as one is obeyed by
all parties, the other will be preserved, and
if one is destroyed both must perish to
gether. The destruction of the Constitu
tion will be followed by other and still
greater calamities. It was ordained not
only to form a more perfect union between
the States, but to "establish justice, insure
domestic tranquility, provide for the com
mon defence, promote the general welfare,
and secure the blessings of liberty to our
selves and our posterity." Nothing but
implicit obedience to its requirements in
all parts of the country will accornpli.-h
these great end-. Without that obedience,
we cau look forward only to continual out
rages upon individual rights, incessant
breaches of the public peace, national weak
ness, financial dishonor, the total loss of
our prosperity, the general corruption of
morals, and the dual 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 application of the Con
stitution and laws. The execution of the
laws is not now obstructed or opposed by
physical force There is no military or
other necessity, r<-al or pretended, which
can prevent obedience to the Constitution,
cither North or South. All the rights and
all the obligations of States and individu
als can be protected and enforced by means
perfectly consistent with the fundamental
law. The courts may be everywhere open,
and, if open, their process would be unim
peded. Crimes against the Unit'd States
can be prevented or punished by the prop
er judicial authorities, in a manner entirely
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 dis
regarded and violated. The mere naked
will of this Government, or of some one
or more of its branches, is the only obstacle
that can exist to a perfect Union of all the
On this momentous question, and some
of the measures growing out of it. I have
had the misfortune to differ from Congress,
and have expressed my convictions with
out reserve, though with bocomitig defer
ence to the opinion of the Legislative De
partment. Those cenvictions are not only
unchanged, but strengthened by subsequent
events and further reflection. The trans
cendent in portance of the subject will be
a sufficient excuse for calling your atten
tion to some of the reasons which have so
stroDgly influenced my own judgment.—
The hope that we may all finally concur
in a mode of settlement, consistent at once
with our true interests and with our 6worn
duties to the Constitution, is too natural
and too just to he easily relinquished.
It is clear to my apprehension that the
States lately in rebellion are still members
of the National Union. When did they
cease to be so! The "ordinances of ce
cession," adopted by a portion (in most of
them a very small portion) of their citi
zens, were mere nulities. If we admit now
that they were valid and effectual for the
purposes intended by their authors, we
sweep from under our feet the whole
ground upon which we justified the war.—
Were those States afterwards expelled
from the Union by the war■? The direct
contrary was avered by this Government
to be its purpose, and was so understood
by all those who gave their blood and
treasure to aid in its prosecution. It can
not be that a successful war, waged for the
preservation of the Union, bad the legal
effect of dissolving it. The victory of the
nation's arms was not the disgrace of her
policy ; the defeat of ceeession on the bat
tle field was not the triumph of its lawless
principle. Nor could Congress, with or
without the consent of the Executive, do
anything which would have the effect, di
rectly or indirectly, of separating the States
from each other. To dissolve the Union is
to repeal the Constitution which holds it
together, and that is a power which does
not belong to any Department of this Gov
ernment, or to all of them united.
I This is so plain that it has been acknowl
' edged by all branches of the Federal Gov
j eminent. The Executive (my predecessor
as well as myself) and the heads of all the
' Departments have uniformly acted upon
the principle that the Union is not only
undissolved, but indissoluble Congress
submitted an amendment of the Constitu
tion to be ratifiid by the Southern States,
and accepted their acts of ratification as a
necessary and lawful exercise of their high
est function. If they were not States, or
were States out of the Union, their consent
to a change in the fundamental law of the
Union would have been nugatory,and Con
gress in asking it, committed a political ab
surdity. The Judiciary has also given the
solemn sanction of its authority to the same
view of the case. The Judges of the Su
preme Court have included the Southern
States tn their circuits, and they are con
stantly, in banc and elsewhere, exercising
jurisdiction which does not belong to them
unless these States are States ol the Union.
It the Southern States are component '■
parts of the Union, the Constitution is the
supreme law tor them, as it is for all the
other States They are bound to obey it,
and so are we. The right of the Federal
Government, which is ctear and unques
tionable, to enforce the Constitution upon
them, implies the correlative obligation on
our pait to observe its limitations and ex
ecute its guarantees. Without the Consti
tution we are nothing; by, through, and;
under the Constitution we are what it j
makes us. We may doubt the wisdom of |
the aw, we may not approve ol its pro
visions, but we cannot violate it merely
because it seems to confine our powers
within limits narrower than we could wish.
It is not a question of individual or class,;
or sectional interest, much less of party j
predominance, but of duty—of high and
sacred duty which we are all sworu to
perform. If we cannot support the Consti
witli the cheerful alacrity of those who love
and believe in it. we must give it at least
the fidelity of public servants who act uri- ;
der solemn obligations and commands
which thev dare not disregard.
The Constitutional duty is not the only j
one which requires the States to be re- j
stored, There is another consideration
which, though of minor importance; is vet
of great weight. On the 22d day of July,
1861, Congress declared, by an almost
unanimous vote of both Houses, that the
war should be conducted solely for the pur
pose of preserving the Union, and main- '
taining the supremacy of the Federal Con- i
stitution and laws, without impairing the !
dignity, equality, and rights of the States '
or of individuals, and that when this was
done the war i-hould cease. Ido not say ;
that this declaration is personally binding
on those who joined in making it, any more \
than individual members of Congress are j
personally bound to pay a public debt ere-1
ated under a law for whicb they voted.—
But it was a solemn, public, official pledge ,
of the nations' honor, and 1 cannot imagine j
upon what grounds the repudiation of it is j
to be justified. If it be said that we are :
not bound to keep faith with the rebels, let
{ it be remembered that this promise was not
made to rebels only. Thousands of true
I men in the South were drawn toourstand
| ard by it, and hundreds 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
i had been fought and lost. AH patriotic
j and intelligent men then saw the necessity
of giving such an assurance, and believed
: that without it the war would end in dis
j aster to our cause. Having given that as
| surance in the extremity of our peril, the
| violation of it now, in the day of our pow-
I er, would be a rude rending of that good
faith which holds the moral world togetb
ier ; our country would cease to have any
i claun upon the confidence of men ; it would
make the war not ouly a failure, but a
Being sincerely convinced that fhese
views are comet, I would be unfaithful to
' my duty if I did not recommend the repeal
of the acts of Congress which places ten of
, the Sonthern States under the domination
I of military masters, If calm refection shall
• To Speak his Thoughts is Every Freeman's Right. "
satisfy a majority of your honorable bodies
that the acts referred to arc not only a vio
lation of the national faith, but in direct
conflict with the Constitution, I dare not
permit myself to doubt that you will intra—
diatelv strike them from the statute book.
To demonstrate the unconstitutional
character of those acts, I need do no more
than refer to their general provisions. It
must be seen at once that they are not au
thorized, To dictate what alterations shai!
be made in the Constitutions ot the several
States ; to control the elections of State
legislators and State officers, members of
Congtess and electors of President and
Vice President, by arbitrarily declaring
who shall vote and who shall be excluded
from that privilege ; to dissolve State leg
islatures or prevent them from assembling;
to dismiss judges and other civil function
aries of the State, and appoint others with
out regard to State law; to organize and
operate all the political machinery of the
States ; to regulate the whole administra
tion of their domestic and local affairs ac
cording to the mere will of strange and ir
responsible agents, sent among them for
that purpo-e—these are powers not grant
ed to the Federal Government or to any
one of its branches. Not being granted,
we violate our trust by assuming them as
palpably as we would by acting in the face
of a positive interdict; for the Constitution
forbids to do whatever it dors not affirma
tively authoiize either by expressed words
or by clear implication. If the authority
we desire to use does not come to us thro'
the Constitution, we can exercise it only
by usurpation ; and usurpation is the most
dangerous of political crimes. By that j
crime the enemies of free government in all j
ages have worked out their designs against;
public liberty and private right. It leads j
directly and immediately to the establish- j
ment of absolute rule; for undelegated j
power is always unlimited and unrestrained, j
The acts of Congress in question are not j
only objectionable for their assumption of
ungranted power, but many of their pro
visions are in conflict with the direct pro
hibitions of the Constitution. The Consti-j
tution commands that a republican form of j
government shall be guaranteed to all the j
States; that no person shall be deprived of j
life, liberty, or property without due pro j
cess of law, arrested without a judicial war- j
warrant, or punished without a fair trial :
before an impartial jury ; that the privi
lege of habeas corpus shall not he denied
in time of peace; and that no bill of at
tainder shall be passed even against a sin
gle individual. Yet the system of measures
established by these acts of Congress does
totally subvert and destroy the form as
well as the substance of republican govern
merit in the ten States to which they apply.
It binds them hand and foot in absolute
slavery, and sul j cts them to a strange and
hostile power, more unlimited and more (
likely to be abused tfian any other now !
known among civilized men. It tramples
down all those rights in which the essence
of liberty consists, and which a free govern
ment is always most careful to protect. It
denies the habeas corpus and trial by jury.
Personal freedom, property, and life, if as
sailed by the passion, the prejudice, or the
rapacity of the ruler, have no security
whatever. It has the effect of a bill of at
tainder, or bill of pains and penalties, not
upon a few individuals, but upon whole
masses, including the millions who inhabit
the subject States, and evert their unborn
children. These wrongs, being expressly
forbidden, cannot be constitutionally in
flicted 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 fiom the prop
er and just consequences of their great
crime those who engaged 111 rebellioh
against the government; but as a mode of
punishment, the measures under consider
ation are the most unreasonable that could
be invented. Many of those people are
are perfectly innocent; many kept their
fidelity to the Union untainted to the la-t;
many were incapable of any legal offence ;
a large proportion even of the persons able
to bear arms were forced into rebellion
against their will; and of those who are
guilty with their own consent, the degrees
of guilt are as various as the shades of their
ehara'ter and temper. But these acts of
Congress confound them all together in
one common doom, Indiscriminate ven
geance upon classes, sects, and parties, or
upon whole communities, for offences com
mitted by a portion of them against the
governments to which they owed obedi
ence, was common in the barbarous ages
of the world. But Christianity and civili
zation have made such progress that re
course to a punishment so cruel and un-
I just would meet with the condemnation of
all unprejudiced and right-minded men.—
| The primitive justice of this age, and espe
-1 cially of this country, does not consist in
stripping whole States of their liberties,
and reducing all their people, without dis
; tinction, to the condition of slavery. It
1 deals separately with each individual, con-'
fines itself to the forms of law, and vindi
■ cates its own purity bv an impartial ex
! animation of everv case before a competent
| judicial tribunal. If this does not satisfy
j all our desires with regard to Southern reb-
I els, let us console ourselves by reflecting |
! that a free Constitution, triumphant in war
and unbtoken in peace, is worth far more
to ns and our children than the gratiflca
tion of any present feeling.
I lam aware it is assumed that this sys
! tem of government for the Southern States
is not to be perpetual. It is true this mil
itary government is to be only provisional,
but it is through this temporary evil that a
greater evil is to be made perpetual. If
the guaranties of the Constitution can be
j broket provisionally to serve a temporary
pnrpose, and in a part only of the country,
we can destroy them everywhere and tor
all time. Arbilrary measures often change,
hut they generally change for the woiae.
It is the curse of despotism that it has no
halting place. The intermitted cxcicisc '
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 hand is armed to plague them
again. Nor is it possible to conjecture
how or where power, unrestrained by law,
tnay seek its next victims. The States that j
are still free may be enslaved at any mo- >
ment; for if the Constitution does uot pro-,
tect all, it protects none.
It is manifestly and avowedly the object
of these laws to confer upon negroes the j
privilege of voting, aud to disfranchise such j
a number of white citizens as will give the j
former a clear majority at all the elections 1
in the Sou the to States. This, to the minds '
of some persons, is so important,that a vi
olations of the Constitution is justified as a
means of bringing it about. The morality
is always false which excuses a wrong be
cause it proposes to accomplish a desirable ,
end. We are not permitted to do evil that !
good may come. But in this case the end
itself is evil, as well as the means. The
subjugation of the States to negro domina
tion would be worse than the military des
potism under whicb they are now suffering.
It was believed beforehand that the peo
ple would endure any amount of military
oppression, for any length of time rather
than degrade themselves by subjection to
the negro race. Therefore they have been
left without a choice. Negro suffrage was
established by act of Congress, and the
military officers were commanded to super
intend the process of clothing the negro
race with the political privileges torn from
white men.
The blacks in the South are entitled to
be well and humanely governed, and to
have the protection ofjust laws for all their
rights of person aud property. If it were
practicable at this time to give them a gov
ernment exclusively their own, under which
they might manage their own affairs in
their own way. it would become a grave
questiou whether we ought to do so or
whether common Immunity would not re
quire us to save them from themselves.
But under the circumstances, this is only
a speculative point. It is not pioposed
merely that tliey shall govern themselves
but that they shall rule the white race,
make and administer State laws, elect'
IV. sidents and numbers of Congress, and !
shape to a greater or less extent the future '
destiny ot ttie whole country. Would such
a trust and power he safe in siiel) hands ? j
The peculiar qualities which should char I
acterise any people who are fit to dtctde
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 these qualites in sufficient
mesurc to build upon this continent a great
political fabric, and to preserve its stability
for more than 90 years, while in every oth
er part of the world all similar experiments I
have failed. But if anything can be prov
ed by known facts if all reasoning upon
evidence is not abandoned, it must be ac
knowledged that in the progress of nations
negroes have shown less capacity for gov
ernment than any other race ot people. No
independent government has been success
ful in their hands. On the contrary wherev
er they have been left to their own devices
they have shown a constant tendency to
relapse into barbarism. In the Southern
States however. Congress has undertaken
to confer upon thern the privilege of the
ballot, Just rtb-ased from slavery, it may
be doubted whether, as a class, they know
more than their ancestors bow to organize
and.regulate civil society. Indeed.it is admit
ted that the blacks of South the are not only
regardless of the rights of property, but so
utterly ignorant of public affairs that their
vottDg can consist in nothing more than
carrying a ballot to the place where tbey
are directed to deposit it. I need not remind
you that the exercise of the elective fran
chise is the highest attribute of an American
citizen, and that when guided by virtue,
intelligAce, patriotism, and a proper appre
ciation of our free institutions, it constitutes
the true basis a Democratic fotm of govern
ment in which the sovereign power is lodged
in the body of the people. A trust
art tfically created, not for its own sake, bnt
solely as a means of promoting the gener
al welfare, its influence for good must nec
essarily depend upon the elevated charac
ter and the true allegiance of the elector.
It ought, therefore, to be reposed in none
except those who ate fitted morally and
mentally to administer it well, for if con
ferred upon persons who do not justly esti
mate its value, and who are indifferent as to
| its result, it will only serve as a means of
placing power in the hands of unprinci
pled and ambitious men, and must eventu
ate in the complete destruction of that lib
l erty of which it should be the most pow
i erl'ul conservator. I have, therefore, here
tofore urged upon your attention the great
danger to be apprehended from an untimely
extension of the elective franchise to any
nfcw class in our country, especially when
the large majority of that class, in wielding
the power thas placed in their hands, can
not be expected correctly to comprehend
the duties and responsibilities whicb per
tain to suffrage.
Yesterday, as it were, four millions of
' persons were held in a condition of slavery
1 that had existed lor generations ; to-day
they are freemen and are assumed by law
to be citizens. It canuot be presumed
ftom their previous condition of servitude,
as a class, they are as well informed as to
the nature of our Government as the intel
j bgeut foreigner who makes our land the
home of his choice. 111 the case of the
latter neither a residence of Ave years and
a knowledge of oir institmions which it
gives; nor attachment to the principles ot
the Constitution, are the only conditions
upon which he can be admitted to citizenship,
lie mut prove in addition a good moral char
acter, and thin gite reasonable ground fur
be'ief that he will be faithlul to the obliga
tions which he assumes aa a citizen ol the
Republic. Where a people, the source of all
political power, speak by tfceir suffrages tbro'
the instrumentality of the ballot-box, it uiust
' t be carefully guarded against the control of
1 those who are corrupt in principle and ene
j tuies of.free institutions, for it can only be
! come to our poll ileal and social ay stem a safe
1 conductor of healthy popular sentiment when
j kept free from all demoralizing influences
I Controlled through fraud and usurpation by
; tHe designing, anarchy and despotism must
| inevitably foil iw. In the hands of the patri
; otic and worthy, our Government will be
' preserved upon the principles of the Consti
| tution inherited from oar fathers. It follows
I therefore, that in admitting to the ballot box
! a new class of voters not qualified for the ex
ercise of the elective franchise, we weaken
our system of government instead of adding
to its strength and durability. I yield to no
one in attachment to that rule of general suf
frage which distinguishes our policy as a
j nation, but there is a limit wisely observed
hitherto which makes the ballot a privilege
and trust, and whicb requires of some classes
a lime suitable for probation and preparation.
To give it indiscriminately to a new clais,
wholly unprepared by previous habits and
opportunities to perform the trust which it
demands, is to degrade it, and finally to do
-1 strov its power ; for it may be safely assum
ed that no political tiuth is better established
than that such indiscriminate and all embra
cing exiention of popular suffrage must end
at last in its overthrow and destruction. 1
repeat the expression of my willingness to
join in any plan within the scope of our con-
I stitutional authority, which promises to bet
-1 ter the condition of the negroes in the South
by encouraging them in industry, enlighten
ing their minds, improving their morals, sod
giving protection to all their just rights as
freedmen ; but the transfer of our political
inheritance to them would, in my opinion, be
an abandonment of a duty which we owe
alike to the memory of our fathers and the
rgbts of our children. The plan of putting
the Southern States wholly, and the General
Government partially, into the hands of ne
groes is proposed at a time peculiarly unpro
pitious. The foundations of society have
been broken up by civil war. Industry must
be re-organized, justice re-established, public
credit maintained, and order brought out of
confusion To accomplish these ends would
require all the wisdom and virtue of thegreat
inen who formed our institutions originally.
I confidentially believe that their de-cendants
wdl be equal to the arduous task before them;
but it it is worse than madness to expect
that the negroes will perform it for us. Cer
tainly we ought not to ask their* assistance
until we despair of our own competency. The
ureal difference between the two races in
physical, mental, and moral characteristics
will prevent an amalgamation or fusion of
them together in one homogeneous mass. If
the inferior obtain ascendancy over the other,
tt wdl govern with reference only toils own
interest, for it will recognixe no coroou inter
est, and create such a tyranny as this conti
nent has never yet witnessed. Already the
negroes are influenced bv promises of Confis
cation and plunder. They are taught to re
gard as an enemy evefy white man who has
any te-pect for the rights of his OWD race—
If this continues, it tuust become worse and
worse, until a.I order will he subverted, all
industry cease, and the fertile fields of the
South will grow up into a wilderness. Of all
the dangers which our nation has yet encoun
tercd, none are equal to those which must
re-ult from the success of the effort now ma
king to Africanize one half of our eoantry.
I would not put considerations of money
in competition with justice and right, but the
expenses incident to "reconstruction" under
the system adoplad by Congress aggravate
what I regaid as the intrinsic wrong of the
measure itself. It has cost uncounted mil
lions alraad), and, if persisted in, will add
largely to the weight of taxation, alteady teo
oppressive to he borne without just complaint
and uiay finally reduce the Treasury of th
natron to ■ 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 an
num. to maintain the supremacy of negro
governments after they are established. The
sums thus thrown away would, if properly !
used, form a sinking fund large enough to
pay the whole national debt in less thin fif
teen years. It is vain to hope the negroes
will maintain their ascendency themselves.—
Without military power they are wholly in
capable of holding in •subjection the white
people of the South. I submit to the judg
ment of Congress whether the public credit
may not be injuriously affected by a 6ytem
of measures like this. With our debt and
the vast private interests which are compli
cated with it, we cannot be too cautious of a
policy which might by possibility impair
the confidence of the world in our Govern
ment. That confidence caD only be retained by
carefully inculcating the principles of justice
anckhonnr in the popular mind and by the
most tcrupulous fidelity to all our engage
ments of every sort. Any serious breach of
the organic law persisted in for a considera
ble time cannot but create fears for the sta
bility of our institutions. Habitual violation
of prescribed rules which we bind ourselves
to observe most demoralize the people. Our
only standard of civil duty being set at naught
the sheet anchor of our political morality is
lost, public conscience swings from its moor
ings and yields to every impulse of passion
and interest. If we repudiate the Constitu
tion, we will not be expected to care much
fore mere pecuniary obligations. The viola
tion of such a pledge as we made on the twen
ty-second of July, 1861, will assuredly di
minish the market value of our other prom
ises. Besides, if we now acknowledge that
the national debt was created not to
hold States >n the Union as the tax-payers
were led to suppose, but to expel them from
it, and hand them over to be governed by
negroes, the moral duty to pay it may seem
much less clear. I sav it may seem so, for 1
do not admit that this, or any other argu
ment in favor of repudiation can be entertain
as sound, but its influence on some classes
of ininds may well. be apprehended. The
financial honor of a great commerdai nation.
TERMS, $2.00 Per. ANNUM, in Advance.
largely indebted, and wbii a republican Inrm
<i( government, administered by the agentd
of (mpular choice, is a thing of such delicate
■ ieSture; and destruction of it would be fol
lowed bv such unspeakable calamity, that
every true patriot must desire to avoid what
| ever might exouse it to the slightest danger
I The great interests of the c ejntry requite im
mediate relief from these enactments. Hflsl
; ness in the South is paraly zed by a sense of
I general insecurity, by the terror of cnnfj-ca
i lion, atltl dread of negro supremacy. South
ern trade, from which the North would havo
deriVed ao great a profit under A government
of law, still languishes and can never be re
vived until it ceases to be fettered by the ar
bitrary jjdwer which makes all its operations
unsafe. 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. In
stead of being, as it cught to be, a source of
wealth and power, it will become an intolera
ble burden upon the rest of the nation.
Another reason for retracing our steps will
doubtless be seen by Congress in the late
manifestations of public opinion upon this
subject. We live in a country where popular
will always enforces obedience to itself, soon
er or later. It is vain to think of opposing it
with anything short of legal authority, back
ed by overwhelming force. It cannot have
escaped our attention that, from tke day on
which Congress fairly and formally presented
the proposition to govern the Southern States
by military force with a view to the ultimate
establishment of negro supremacy, every ex
pression of the general sentiment has been
more or less adverse to it. The aff.ctione of
this generation caanot be detached from the
institutions of their ancestors. Their deter
mination to preserve the inheritance of free
gotefnment in their own hands, and transmit
it undivided and unimpaired to their own
posterity, is too strong to be successfully op
posed* Every weaker passion will disappear
before that love of liberty and law for which
the American people are distinguished above
all others iu the world
How far the duty of the President to pre*
serve, protect, and defend the Constitution
requires hira to go on in opposing an uncon
stitutional act of Congress, is a very seriouS
and Important question, on which I have de
liberated much and felt extremely anxious to
reach a proper conclusion. Where an act
has been passed according to the forms of the
Constitution by the supreme legislat.ve au
thority, and is regularly enrolled among the
public statuteß of the country, Executive re
sistance to it, especially in times of high par*
ty excitement, would be likely to produce
violent collision between the respective ad
herents of the 1 wo branches ihe Government.
This would be simply civil war, and civil war
must be resorted to only as the last remedy
for the worst of evils. Whatever might tend
to provoke it,should be most careluiiy avoid
ed. A faithful and conscientious magistrate
will concede very much to honest error, and
something even to pertersc malice, before he
will endanger public peace, and he will not
adopt furcible measures, or such as might
lead to force, as long as those which are
peaceable remain open to him, or to his con*-
stituents. It is true that cases may occur in
which the executive would be compelled to
stand on its rights and maintain them, re
gardless of consequences. If Congress should
pass an act which iff not only in palpable con
flict with the Constitution, hut will certain
ly, if carried out, produce mimed ate and ir
reparable injury to the organic structure of
the government, and if there be neither judi
cial remedy for the wrongs it inflicts, nor
power in the people to protect themselves,
without the official aid of their elected de
fender ; If, for instance, the Legislative De
partment should pass an act, eveu through
all forma of law, to abolish a co-ordinate de
partment of the Government, in such a case
the President must take the high responsi
bilities of his office and save the life of the
nation at all hazards. The so-called Recon
struction Acts, though as plainly*- unconstitu
tional as any tbat can imagined, were not
believed to be within theclass last mentioned.
The people were not wholly disarmed of the
power of self-defence. In all tlie N rthero
States they still held iu their bauds the sa
cred right of the hallot, and it was safe to be
lieve that in due time they wotrW come to
the rescue of their own institutions. It gives
mc pleasure to add that the appeal to our
common constituents was not taken in vain,
and that my confidence in their wisdom and
virtue seems not to have been misplaced.
It is well and publicly known that cnnr
mous frauds have-been perpetrated on the
Treasury, and that colossal fortunes have
been made at the public expense. J his spe
cies of corruption has increased, is increasing;
and if not diminished will Roon brine us into
total ruin and disgrace. Public creditors and
tax payers are alike interested in an honest
administration of the finances, as neither
class will long endure the large-handed rob
beriea of the recent past. For this discredit
able state of things there are several causes.
Some of the taxes are so laid as to present an
irresistable temptation to evade payment
The great sums which officers may win by
connivance at fraud create a pressure which
is more than the virtue ol 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 men in the country has greatly
weakened the morel sense of those who serve
in subordinate places.
The expenses of the United Slates, inclu
ding the interest on the public debt, aro
more than six times as much as they werq
seven years ago. To collect and disbutsa
this vast aaiouDt requires careful supervision
as well as stetaaiatic vigilance. The system,
never perfected, was much d sorginixed by
the "Tenure-of Office Bill. I 'which ha ahno*t
destroyed official accountability. The Pres
ident may be thoroughly convinced that an
officer is incapable, dishonest, or unfaithful U
the Constitution, but,under the law which I
have named, the utu>st he can do is to com*
plain to the Senate and ask the privilege of
supplying hia place with a Wtter loan. If
the Senate be regarded as personally or polit*
ically hostile to the President, it is nutuml
and not altogether unreasonable for that of
fioer to expeet that it will take hi part as
far as possible, restore him to h's [lace, amfc
give bira a triumph over his execut ve superi
or. An officer has other chaqcct of unyoni-
NO. 19;