Mr. WADE. I hope we shall continue with the business regularly before the Senate. This is entirely out of order.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. It is in order only by common consent; the Senator having the floor, in the first place, yielding it for that purpose, and no other Senator objecting. The Chair takes care to put the question distinctly whether there is unanimous consent for these irregular proceedings.
Mr. GRIMES. There has been no unanimous consent given to the consideration of this bill.
Mr. WADE. Not that I know of.
Mr. CHANDLER. It will lead to no discussion, and will save from sixteen to eighteen thousand dollars annually to the Government. I hope it will be allowed to pass.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Does any Senator object?
Mr. WADE. I do. It may save money to the Government, but I think it should be looked into, and should not be passed in this irregular way.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Then the Senator from Virginia will proceed with his remarks on his amendment to the amendment of his colleague on Senate bill No. 365.
Mr. POWELL. With the permission of the Senator from Virginia, I desire to move to take up Senate bill No. 358.
Mr. WADE. I will not give my consent to it.
Mr. CARLILE. I trust the Senator from Kentucky will excuse me. I think I had better go on with my remarks.
Mr. POWELL. It will take but a moment, and if the Senator will allow me, I will state the object.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. There can be no discussion upon it. A single objection prevents these proceedings.
The Senate resumed the consideration of the bill (S. No. 365) providing for the admission of the State of West Virginia into the Union.
Mr. CARLILE. Mr. President, keeping in view the great object which I have avowed in my remarks, to be attained by this proposed separation, to wit, unanimity and the disappearance of divisions in our midst, I desire to call the attention of Senators to the fact which they have seen, if they have taken the trouble to examine the memorial, that the convention which formed this constitution included within the proposed boundaries a larger number and other counties than were included and specified in the ordinance calling the convention together. Among these counties included, which were not included in the original ordinance summoning the convention to organize a constitution for the new State, are the counties of - which have never been represented in any of the conventions or of the Legislature of the State under the reorganized State government - Logan, Calhoun, Nicholas, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Webster, Morgan, and Pendleton, containing a white population of fifty-five thousand four hundred and sixty-six. When it is borne in mind that here are eleven counties that have never been represented either in the convention that authorized a vote of the people to be taken upon the question of a new State, or in the Legislature of the State, or in the convention that formed the constitution of the State, that never had an opportunity to give expression to their sentiments on this subject as far as it has gone; when it is remembered that the counties of Hampshire, Hardy, and Morgan, which are also included within the proposed boundaries have only been represented through a senator from that district, never having a single member of the House of Delegates in the General Assembly - with these facts before the Senate, I submit, if there is not an obvious propriety in the adoption of the amendment I have proposed, so that these people may have an opportunity of giving their assent and of acting upon the proposed conditions.
Now, sir, what would be the effect? I desire Senators to bear in mind that I am looking to a cessation of hostilities upon the admission of this new State. I am looking to a restoration of harmony among its people. I will not by my act do anything that tends to sow the seeds of discord and to perpetuate division of sentiment among them. Well may these people say, if you refuse to them the right to pass upon these conditions, that they are not morally, neither are they legally, bound to regard these stipulations; and if they are admitted upon an equal footing with the rest of the States, they will have the right after their admission to change their organic law. I will not say that they would do so; but I ask, why upbraid them if they chose to disregard your stipulations, never having been consulted at all as to them, and many of them never having been consulted at all upon the subject in any manner, shape, or form, either directly or through representation in any of the bodies which originated this proceeding and have acted upon it. I have in my eye one county that polls from eight hundred to a thousand votes, that was represented in this convention by a man upon seventy-six votes alone. I have in my eye another county that polls from twelve to fifteen hundred votes, that was represented in this convention by a man receiving less than four hundred votes. I give these as instances. There are others to which I can refer. When these facts are considered, is it not but policy, to say nothing of justice, is it not demanded, does not the Senate owe it to itself, when it comes to the conclusion to reject the application for immediate admission, and to exact of the people of West Virginia certain stipulations, to give that people an opportunity to pass upon those stipulation by which they are expected to be for all time to come bound?
Mr. WILKINSON. I should like to ask the Senator from Virginia if he means to intimate or assert that the convention in Western Virginia did not represent the people and the whole people of that section?
Mr. CARLILE. I mean nothing further than I have said. I have said that that convention had in it representatives who did not receive one vote in ten in the counties which they proposed to represent.
Mr. WILLEY. I will put this question, with the leave of my colleague: whether he does not know that in these counties no more votes than those were given because they were partially and sometimes wholly overrun by the forces of the enemy?
Mr. CARLILE. To some extent that may have been so, but not in all, for if I recollect aright, in the county of Ohio, where the usual vote is upwards of three thousand, one of the delegates to the convention, and the leader of the emancipation party, received but a little over six hundred votes.
Mr. WILLEY. And if a fair expression of opinion could have been taken there, there would not only be a larger vote, but they are eagerly and anxiously desirous for a new State.
Mr. CARLILE. If my colleague will just bear with me a little while he will find that I will nothing keep back or ought set down in malice. It is for the purpose that I have avowed that I felt it incumbent on me to detain the Senate with the remarks I have made; and which I should not have made if my colleague had allowed, and it had been the pleasure of the Senate to have voted on the amendment offered without discussion. My colleague remarks that I submitted that amendment without saying anything why I submitted it. I therefore felt it was my duty to explain the reason. I was willing and content that the vote should be taken without discussion; but when called upon, and the attention of the country being called to the fact of my not detaining the Senate by remarks upon it, I felt it due to myself and to the Senate to explain it. It never entered into my mind that there would be a single opposing vote to the amendment I proposed. It cannot delay the admission of the State; it cannot have any injurious effect. All the consequences following from it must be to harmonize and to conform to our republican form of Government. It is in accordance with the letter and the spirit of our institutions. The very reason which my colleague assigns, by way of answer to the remark that I made, that men represented in the convention people from whom they did not receive one vote in ten, is an argument, I think, irresistibly in favor of the adoption of the amendment. I grant that in many of those counties the people were prevented from voting. I have no doubt whatever that they would all have been represented if they had been free from military terror; but if Senators have paid attention to the memorial upon this subject before this body they will see - what? That the Legislature and the convention that organized this proceeding contemplated - and I call the attention of Senators to this clause of the ordinance - that there might be counties upon the day named that were in a condition note to vote upon this constitution; and they expressly provided that at a subsequent period, when they were in a condition to vote, they should be allowed to do so. It is right that these people should be consulted. I have no doubt myself, although I should not allow it to govern my action, as to what would be the action of that people. I have no doubt, furthermore, that if they are refused the opportunity to pass upon it, we shall have more bitterness and greater division in our community than we have yet seen. It is because of that fact that I desire that these conditions shall not be considered as obligatory and binding upon them until they have the opportunity to be consulted. The convention that organized this convention adopted in that very ordinance this provision:
"If on the day herein provided for holding said election there shall be in any of the said counties any military force or any hostile assemblage of persons, so as to interfere with a full and fair expression of the will of the voters, they may assemble at any other place within their county, and hold an election as herein provided for."
There are counties still included within this boundary which, at least up to a very recent period, have been occupied by the enemy, and the people have had no opportunity as yet to be heard either at the polls or through their representatives in any of these assemblages. Taking these facts into consideration, with the further fact that the convention that called into existence the body that formed the constitution of West Virginia contemplated that the rebellion in Virginia would have been subdued before the 26th day of December last, the day fixed for the submission of the constitution to the people, and the justice of my amendment will strike every mind; taking into consideration also the further fact that even at the vote upon the constitution, out of forty-seven thousand voters but nineteen thousand were cast - taking all these facts together, I put it to the Senate if it is not only a duty we owe to that people, but one that we owe to ourselves, that we should give them an opportunity to pass upon these conditions? I ask again, how could we hold them up to a faithful regard of these stipulations if they were imposed upon them without their consent?
But, Mr. President, if I know those people, they will never submit to congressional dictation or control in matters relating to their own internal government. Anxious as they may be for a separate State organization, convinced as they are that their interests demand it, they will forego these advantages rather than submit to encroachments upon their rights by the central Government. Great as the loss of their proposed State would be to them, they would count it as nothing when compared with the loss that would be sustained by them and their posterity if the great truth established by the founders of our Government, and the great right secured to them by our Constitution, to wit: the right of each State to form and regulate, free from the dictation, interference, or control of the Federal Government, for itself its own domestic institutions, should be voluntarily surrendered by them. A people who could consent to a compliance with such a congressional mandate are already enslaved, and the fact of their enslavement will soon manifest itself even to them.
Mr. President, it is my sincere belief that this disposition to interfere with the rights of the States exhibited by this Congress has prolonged the war; that, if persisted in, the war becomes a war of indefinite duration, and that the constitutional Union our fathers formed will be lost to us and our posterity forever.
Mr. ANTHONY. It is apparent that it is impossible to get a vote on this bill to-day, and as the House has concurred in the resolution for an adjournment, and we all know there is very pressing business awaiting our action, I hope we shall lay this bill on the table. I make that motion.
Mr. WILLEY. I hope not. Let us have a vote on the amendment.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Rhode Island moves that the bill, with the pending amendments, be laid on the table.
Mr. WADE. I know that motion is not debatable; but I do not believe the Senator intends to cut us off right here.
Mr. ANTHONY. No, sir; I do not intend to cut off debate, if the Senator wishes to reply.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. I suggest to the Senator from Rhode Island to make a motion to postpone the bill until the beginning of the next session. That will not be a test question on the measure itself, but simply leave it as a question to be acted on next session. Laying on the table cuts off all debate.
Mr. ANTHONY. I will withdraw the motion, and rely on the Senator from Ohio, when he concludes his remarks, to renew it.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The motion is withdrawn, and the question recurs on the amendment of the Senator from Virginia [Mr. CARLILE] to the amendment offered by his colleague.
Mr. CARLILE. Upon that I ask for the yeas and nays.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
Mr. WADE. I certainly did not intend to take any time in debating this bill; but the very extraordinary course the Senator from Virginia has seen fit to take has so entirely disappointed me that I almost owe an apology to the Senate itself for urging this measure with the zeal that I did upon its consideration this morning. I did so at the request of some of the best men of that State, not only one but many, almost supplicating that we should take it up and get through with it today. When I saw a Senator from the State itself rise, so evidently with no other purpose than to talk against time, and thus to defeat the bill, I was disappointed beyond measure. We have had a new proposition, a long argument, and a recurrence to old speeches that had been made on former occasions, that must be read here, all coming from a man pretending to be a friend of this proposition. Any man knows that if anything was calculated under these circumstances to defeat this measure, it was precisely the course he has seen fit to take with it. He tells us that he still is in some shape a friend to it; but what has been the purport of his speech, except to shake the confidence of the Senate itself in the constitution convention that framed the constitution which we have been asked to ratify? He has gone back of their appointment; he has not only undertaken to find fault with what they have done, but he has undertaken to say that they were not really organized to do anything; and it is the first I have heard of any such thing. We have sat in committee with that gentleman; we have heard his arguments and illustrations on this subject; we have had many men of the proposed State before us, in council with us upon it; and here for the first time to-day we hear that the convention who framed this constitution really did not represent the people whom they professed to represent! After all the discussions in committee and out of committee and in the Senate, to-day, for the first time we hear a deliberate, premeditated attack made upon the convention that framed this constitution. I do not believe that the people of Western Virginia expected any such arguments from that quarter. I do not believe they would have implored me almost to use what influence I might have to bring this matter before Congress at this late period of the session, if they believed that one of their own representatives was to rise here and talk by the hour to endeavor to shake the confidence of the Senate in the competency of the convention that had framed their constitution. Sir, there is something wrong in this matter. I do not profess to know where it is, but it is unusual; it is not what we have heard before. I takes us all by surprise, and it jeopardizes the measure. I hope that from the perversity of any man, the people of Western Virginia, who are worthy of our favor, will not cease to receive it because one of their own number takes a very different view of this subject from what we expected he would take.
I hope we shall view it as we always have before, that the people of Western Virginia were sincere and are sincere, and when they have acted in their convention upon this subject, that it was a convention that met the approbation of the people, that they have been entirely satisfied with its actions, that the people are even more earnest than the convention that what they have done shall be carried out. Of all this there is no doubt or question, and here we are with the ability to-day to give them what they so anxiously demand, unless we are prevented by the interposition of new and unheard of questions by one of their own representatives.
Now, Mr. President, this proposition to my mind is not necessary. That convention, to meet all such questions as are now got up here by us, anticipating that we might perhaps undertake to revise their constitution in some particulars, provided for reassembling. The convention did not cease at the time they framed this constitution, but they were to be kept in being, subject to be reconvened again to meet any emergency that the exigencies of their case might give rise or render necessary. Then why not submit this constitution to the reconvened body, as they expected to be reconvened for that purpose? We want no amendments. That convention to-day represents, undoubtedly, the will of that people, as it ever has done, and it is retained there for the purpose. Why, the, undertake to get it up anew? If you want to come in speedily, you can.
I will not prolong the discussion. I did not intend to say a word, and I should not, but for this extraordinary course which has really jeopardized the case, and, perhaps, will destroy it, for motions are already made to cut the whole proceeding off in limine, and postpone it indefinitely. I hope the Senate will not weakly yield, as I said before, to the perversity of any one of the representatives, or to the new-fangled doctrine he has brought in here at the eleventh hour, but let us steadily go on and carry into effect the well known will and wishes of the worthy people for whom we have undertaken to act.
Mr. CARLILE. One word only; I do not intend to detain the Senate, nor shall I use expressions of surprise at the extraordinary course of the Senator from Ohio, as he has at mine. He has alluded to what has occurred in committee heretofore on this subject. I will say to the Senator from Ohio that nothing ever occurred in committee, according to my knowledge, by which important fundamental provisions were to be inserted in an organic law for these people, as to which they were not to be consulted; and it was for the first time when this amendment was proposed this morning, that my attention was called to the important fact that these conditions, these stipulations, three in number, of the importance that is attached to them by the Senate, were to be imposed upon this people, and they were to be held bound by them without their ever having consented to them, when their constitution itself under which they sought admission would not be worth the paper upon which it is written, under the ordinance convening the convention, if it had not been submitted to and ratified at the polls by the people.
Mr. WILKINSON. As a member of the Committee on Territories, I had some objections to the admission of the State of West Virginia, but my objections were overcome by what I supposed to be the unanimous wish of the people of that State. The Senator from Virginia [Mr. CARLILE] is also a member of that committee, and I never supposed there was the least particle of doubt but that the convention which framed the constitution expressed the almost unanimous wish of the entire people of Western Virginia. While I had some objections to it, the peculiar situation of affairs in Western Virginia, as was represented in our committee by a large number of delegates composed of what I should judge to be the most respectable men of that country - for they would be the most respectable men in any State where they resided - who appeared before the committee and induced us to favor the bill, especially as they appeared unanimously to join in carrying out the objects and purposes of the convention which framed the constitution.
Now, sir, having had some feeling against the admission of West Virginia, if such an argument as has just been adduced here on the floor this morning had been urged by the Senator from Virginia in committee, I should, for one, have never assented to it, and I am utterly surprised that he should get up here in the Senate and make such an argument as he has introduced this morning. It seems to me that it was due to the Committee on Territories that he should have urged that argument there.
Mr. CARLILE. Allow me to interrupt the Senator a moment. A proposition of this sort was never moved in committee according to my recollection, that three fundamental conditions should be annexed to the admission, and they merely assented to by the convention that formed the constitution, and of course I could not have made any allusion in committee to that which was never before us.
Mr. WILKINSON. Who ever doubted but that that convention represented the entire population of Western Virginia?
Mr. HALE. I wish to make a report from a committee of conference.
CHANGE OF TOPIC
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The business before the Senate is the bill (S. No. 365) for the admission of the State of West Virginia into the Union, upon which the Senator from Minnesota is entitled to the floor.
Mr. WILKINSON. Mr. President -
Mr. DOOLITTLE. If the honorable Senator from Minnesota, my colleague on the Committee on Indian Affairs, will allow me to make a report -
Mr. WADE. I must take the helm in my own hands. I believe I got up the bill under consideration, and I protest against anything else being interjected until it is through.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. No other business can be taken up except by unanimous consent. None has been, none will be. The Senator from Minnesota is entitled to the floor.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. The Senator from Minnesota will allow me to say a word to my honorable friend from Ohio.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the Senator from Minnesota yield?
Mr. WILKINSON. It strikes me that I have yielded too often already. I cannot yield any more.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota is entitled to the floor.
Mr. WILKINSON. Mr. President, I hope the Senate will follow the advice and recommendation of the Committee on Territories in regard to this bill. I believe that the people of Western Virginia are earnest and sincere and devoted in their advocacy of this measure; I believe that it is almost a case of life or death with them; and for that reason I have yielded my assent tot he proposition that is now before the Senate, and I am a little surprised at the course which the Senator from Virginia has taken; but I hope that his course will not deter the Senate from passing this measure as has been recommended by the Committee on Territories. That is all I have to say.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is the Senate ready for the question on the amendment to the amendment?
Mr. CARLILE. It is suggested to me by my colleague that the amendment as it stood originally required a majority of all the persons entitled to vote within the boundary, and I have amended it so that it will be a majority of those persons voting, provided the vote is taken in each county.
Mr. WILLEY. It is with inexpressible pain that I have taken the position in regard to my colleague that I have. I have determined, however, not to discuss the matter, but I have the bill here offered by my colleague in the other House, [Mr. W. G. BROWN,] modified so as to cover this state of things here, which, if it will suit the chairman of the committee, and the members of the committee and my colleague here, will be acceptable to me as another compromise under the circumstances, and without argumentation I will read it. After the usual preamble, it goes on to provide:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the State of West Virginia be, and is hereby, declared to be one of the United States of America, and admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever, and until the next general census, shall be entitled to three members in the House of Representatives of the United States: Provided always, That this act shall not take effect until after the proclamation of the President of the United States hereinafter provided for.
SEC. 2. It being represented to Congress that since the convention of the 26th of November, 1861, that framed and proposed the constitution for the State of West Virginia, the people thereof have expressed a wish to change the seventh section of the eleventh article of said constitution by striking out the same, and inserting the following in its place, namely: "The children of slaves born within the limits of this State after the 4th day of July, 1863, shall be free, and no slave shall be permitted to come into the State for permanent residence therein:" Therefore, Be it further enacted, That whenever the people of West Virginia shall, through their said convention, and by a vote to be taken at an election to be held within the limits of the said State at such time as the convention may provide, make and ratify the change aforesaid, and properly certify the same under the hand of the president of the convention, it shall be lawful for the President of the United States to issue his proclamation stating the fact, and thereupon this act shall take effect and be in force from and after sixty days from the date of said proclamation.
I am willing to go one step further, and do that for the sake of peace and harmony, and I do it with this view especially. I am sorry to believe that - my colleague will take no offense, I hope, when I say it - the extraordinary speech he has made will be an additional firebrand cast into our midst. I am a man of peace. I know that the almost universal sentiment of that people is for division. I know there is not a loyal man in Northwestern Virginia, whether represented in the convention or not, who is not this day life and soul for a division of the State. To prevent discord, to compose strife, I am willing, as a peace offering here upon this floor, and with a view of preventing distraction in our midst, to submit this proposition, if it will satisfy my colleague. It embraces essentially his proposition, and I hope the Senate will be willing to take it under the circumstances. It will put us to some expense; it will put us to a good deal of unnecessary trouble in taking the sense of a people who have but one opinion and one view on the subject; but in order to prevent discord and preserve peace, I am willing, if the Senate be willing, and my friends on the committee, to whom I am under lasting obligations, are willing, to accept it.
Mr. WADE. How does this differ from your amendment as amended by myself?
Mr. CARLILE. My colleague has referred to me. I am perfectly willing he shall withdraw his amendment.
Mr. WILLEY. I was out of the Senate when, as I understand, the amendment of the Senator from Ohio was adopted. I did not know it was adopted. I am willing that it shall be incorporated in here.
Mr. WADE. I have no objection to this amendment, only I wish to insert the amendment which was already agreed to as an amendment to the proposition of the Senator from Virginia. I want to insert in the proper place in this proposition a clause to the same effect, and with that modification I should have no objection.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question before the Senate now is on an amendment to an amendment, on which the yeas and nays have been ordered, and it can only be withdrawn by unanimous consent.
Mr. WILLEY. With the leave, then, of my colleague and the Senate, I will withdraw my original amendment.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair repeats the inquiry, whether the withdrawal of the amendment is objected to? An amendment to it having been proposed, and the yeas and nays ordered, it requires unanimous consent of the Senate to withdraw it. The Chair hears no objection. The amendment is withdrawn.
Mr. WILLEY. I now offer this as a substitute for the whole bill, striking out all after the word "whereas" in the preamble, and substituting this in lieu of the committee's bill.
Mr. LANE, of Kansas. I desire to offer an amendment to the amendment of the Senator from Virginia, to be substituted for the amendment of the Senator from Ohio, if acceptable to him.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the Senator from Ohio offer an amendment to the amendment of the Senator from Virginia?
Mr. WADE. Yes, sir; but I will hear the proposition of the Senator from Kansas, and may agree to accept it as a modification; I do not know.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The amendment of the Senator from Virginia will be read.
The Secretary read the amendment of Mr. WILLEY, to strike out all after the enacting clause of the bill, and insert:
That the State of West Virginia be, and is hereby, declared to be one of the United States of America, and admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever; and until the next general census shall be entitled to three members in the House of Representatives of the United States; Provided always, That this act shall not take effect until after the proclamation of the President of the United States hereinafter provided for.
SEC. 2. It being represented to Congress that since the convention of the 26th of November, 1861, that framed and proposed the constitution for the said State of West Virginia, the people thereof have expressed a wish to change the seventh section of the eleventh article of said constitution by striking out the same, and inserting the following in its place, namely, "The children of slaves born within the limits of this State after the 4th day of July, 1863, shall be free and no slave shall be permitted to come into the State for permanent residence therein:" Therefore,
Be it further enacted, That whenever the people of West Virginia shall, through their said convention, and by a vote to be taken at an election to be held within the limits of the State at such time as the convention may provide, make and ratify the change aforesaid and properly certify the same under the hand of the president of the convention, it shall be lawful for the President of the United States to issue his proclamation stating the fact, and thereupon this act shall take effect, and be in force from and after sixty days from the date of said proclamation.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kansas proposes to amend the amendment by inserting, after the word "free," the words:
And that all slaves within the said State who shall at the time aforesaid be under the age of ten years shall be free when they arrive at the age of twenty-one years, and all slaves over ten and under twenty-one years shall be free when they arrive at the age of twenty-five years.
Mr. KENNEDY called for the yeas and nays, and they were ordered; and being taken, resulted - yeas 25, nays 12; as follows:
YEAS - Messrs. Anthony, Clark, Collamer, Doolittle, Foot, Foster, Grimes, Harlan, Harris, Howard, Howe, King, Lane of Indiana, Lane of Kansas, Morrill, Pomeroy, Sherman, Simmons, Sumner, Ten Eyck, Trumbull, Wade, Wilkinson, Wilmot, and Wilson of Massachusetts - 25.
NAYS - Messrs. Browning, Carlile, Davis, Henderson, Kennedy, McDougall, Powell, Saulsbury, Stark, Willey, Wilson of Missouri, and Wright - 12.
So the amendment was agreed to.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on the amendment of the Senator from Virginia, [Mr. WILLEY,] as amended.
Mr. CARLILE. I propose now to amend the amendment by striking out all after the word "whatever," in the sixth line of the first section, so as to test the sense of the Senate upon the admission of the State without conditions, and upon that proposition I ask for the yeas and nays.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
Mr. WILLEY. Although, as I have already stated, that would be more acceptable to me, yet having proposed the amendment in good faith to meet my friends on the other side, I shall vote against the motion to strike out.
The question being taken by yeas and nays, resulted - yeas 11, nays 25; as follows:
YEAS - Messrs. Carlile, Cowan, Davis, Henderson, Kennedy, McDougall, Powell, Saulsbury, Stark, Wilson of Missouri, and Wright - 11.
NAYS - Messrs. Anthony, Browning, Clark, Doolittle, Foot, Foster, Grimes, Harlan, Harris, Howard, King, Lane of Indiana, Lane of Kansas, Morrill, Pomeroy, Sherman, Simmons, Sumner, Ten Eyck, Trumbull, Wade, Wilkinson, Willey, Wilmot, and Wilson of Massachusetts - 25.
So the amendment to the amendment was rejected.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question recurs on the amendment of the Senator from Virginia, [Mr. WILLEY,] as amended.
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. SUMNER. The bill is still in committee, I understand, and will be open to amendment when it comes into the Senate.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. It will be.
The bill was reported to the Senate, as amended; and the amendment was concurred in.
Mr. SUMNER. I had proposed to offer in the Senate the amendment which I offered in the committee. I do not like to take up the time of the Senate, but I thought the Senate acted on the amendment hastily, perhaps without full consideration, without considering the bearing of the proposition. The amendment was simply the old Jeffersonian proviso. It will be remembered that when the proviso was passed for the Northwest Territory, it operated upon slavery already there, and absolutely forbade it from that time forward. In point of fact, slaves were freed by the operation of that proviso. It seems to me only just -
Mr. COLLAMER. I desire to ask what is the gentleman's amendment.
Mr. SUMNER. The Jeffersonian proviso.
Mr. COLLAMER. As I understand, the Senate have concurred in the amendment made in committee, which is a substitute for the whole bill. It regulates the whole subject of slavery, and the Senator's amendment is inconsistent with the amendment we have made.
Mr. SUMNER. I have not offered the amendment in the Senate.
Mr. COLLAMER. I asked you what it was, and you stated.
Mr. SUMNER. I offered in committee that amendment.
Mr. COLLAMER. We have adopted in the Senate the committee's amendment.
Mr. SUMNER. We have not yet taken the vote on the final passage of this bill. If the Senator would have the kindness to listen to me until I close - I shall not occupy three minutes - he would see the bearing of what I have to say.
Mr. SHERMAN. I suggest to the Senator that his amendment cannot be adopted unless the Senate strike out what is already in the bill.
Mr. SUMNER. If Senators will have the kindness to listen to the close, they will hear what I have to say. I was speaking of the amendment which I offered, and of its importance, and that it was borrowed from Thomas Jefferson; that it was regarded by him as practical; that it had been recognized in the history of our country as one of its honors. I proposed it on this occasion. I thought it well that this production of Virginia's son should help to redeem Virginia. It has been voted down, and now the question recurs whether the Senate will vote for the bill which proposes to recognize a new slave State. I may be that the slavery will be for a short term of time, for twenty-one years, if you please, but that is a long term for slavery. I cannot consent to admit a new State into the Union with slavery for twenty-one years. We all know, as I have said before, that it takes a very little slavery to make a slave State. We know that with seventeen hundred slaves in Delaware, that State sends two Senators of slavery to this Chamber. Shall we have two other representatives of slavery in this Chamber hereafter from a State newly created by ourselves? Never, sir, by my vote; and as the Senate has seen fit to discard the proposition which I have made, I shall deem it my duty to vote against the bill.
Mr. LANE, of Kansas. I desire to make a statement in answer to the remarks made by the Senator from Massachusetts. So far as I am concerned, I propose to legislate upon the subject of slavery as upon all other subjects, practically. I voted with the Senator for his ordinance of 1787 as an amendment to this bill. I am assured by members of the House of Representatives that if that amendment be affixed to this bill, it will fail in the House; I am assured by the Senators from this State that if it be affixed to the bill it will fail before the people. Therefore, as the best thing that I can do, I vote for the bill as amended, being willing to take from a slave State slavery in twenty-one years, if we cannot get rid of it earlier.
Mr. CARLILE. For the purpose of making every effort that is in my power within the rules of the senate, and in accordance with the request of the Legislature, I merely - I shall not ask for the yeas and nays upon it - move to strike out all after the word "States," beginning with the proviso, so as to get rid of the conditions.
The amendment was rejected.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. If no further amendment be moved, the preamble will be read.
The Secretary read the preamble.
Mr. WILLEY. In place of the preamble, I propose to offer the following, which is the preamble to the House bill already adopted as a substitute for the Senate bill:
Whereas the people inhabiting that portion of Virginia known as West Virginia did, by a convention assembled in the city of Wheeling, on the 26th of November, 1861, frame for themselves a constitution, with a view of becoming a separate and independent State; and whereas at a general election held in the counties composing the territory aforesaid, on the 3d day of May last, the said constitution was approved and adopted by the qualified voters of the proposed State; and whereas the Legislature of Virginia, by an act passed on the 13th day of May, 1862, did give its consent to the formation of a new State within the jurisdiction of the said State of Virginia, to be known by the name of West Virginia, and to embrace the following named counties, to wit: Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Taylor, Tyler, Pleasants, Ritchie, Doddridge, Harrison, Wood, Jackson, Wirt, Roane, Calhoun, Gilmer, Barbour, Tucker, Lewis, Braxton, Upshur, Randolph, Mason, Putnam, Kanawha, Clay, Nicholas, Cabell, Wayne, Boone, Logan, Wyoming, Mercer, McDowell, Webster, Pocahontas, Fayette, Raleigh, Greenbrier, Monroe, Pendleton, Hardy, Hampshire, and Morgan; and whereas both the convention and Legislature aforesaid expressed a strong desire that the new State should be admitted into the Union, and the constitution aforesaid being republican in form, Congress doth hereby consent that the said forty-eight counties may be formed into a separate and independent State: Therefore.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on ordering the bill to be engrossed for a third reading.
Mr. TRUMBULL. Before taking the final vote on this bill, as it seems now to be brought to that stage where a vote is proposed to be taken upon it, I desire to say that I am utterly opposed the admission of a new State at this time from Western Virginia. I do not think, in the present unsettled condition of the country, till we see how we are to come out of this struggle, we ought to be admitting another State. We need the present organization of Western Virginia, which is the State of Virginia. It was upon the principle that that organization represented the whole State of Virginia, not simply the western part of it, that the Senators were admitted upon this floor. Now, in point of fact, we know that the jurisdiction of the State of Virginia, as at present organized and loyal to the Government, does not extend over the whole territory of Virginia, but only a portion of it. We are making some progress in reclaiming other parts of Virginia that were not embraced in the portion originally acknowledging the authority of the organization in the western portion of the State, and we need the organization that now exists to help us to reclaim the remainder of the State. As we take possession of a county now, the jurisdiction of the State government already in existence is extended over it; but suppose that all that part of the State of Virginia which acknowledges its allegiance to the Federal Government is organized into a State by itself, what are you to do with the rest of it? We have, then, no nucleus for the loyal people to rally around. We have lost the benefit of this organization, which would help us very materially in reclaiming the rest of the State.
Mr. WADE. How?
Mr. TRUMBULL. Here is the county adjoining us across the river which is not proposed to be embraced in the State of West Virginia. The local laws of the State of Virginia are now extended over it. We need the administration of local law in Alexandria to punish crime and to administer upon estates. How can you enforce the local law there without tribunals? Now, the government which holds its sessions at Wheeling may provide for justices of the peace, judges of courts, and other officers in the county which embraces Alexandria; but suppose you take that away, what local law is left at Alexandria? Have you got a judge of probate? Have you any tribunal before which you can bring a suit to enforce a private right? Not at all. And how are you going to have one? You have got military supremacy there for the time being, but the military authority cannot establish courts. That is a power reserved by Congress; and it was so decided by the Supreme Court in questions which arose in regard to California. By creating this new State, we lose the benefit of the existing organization in Western Virginia. That is one objection, and I think a very serious objection, to acting upon it at this time.
Again: it is needless to disguise the fact that we are creating and admitting into the Union another slave State. It is said a provision is made for gradual emancipation, but not during our day. I believe the bill provides that children under ten years of age shall be free when they arrive at twenty-one, and those between ten and twenty-one when they arrive at twenty-five. Whether, in the amendment which has been proposed, there is any provision for freeing those who are now over twenty-one, I am not prepared to say. There have been so many amendments that I have been unable to keep up with them. I do not know whether a person who is now twenty-two is to be a slave for life or not. I am told that he is to be a slave as long as he lives. Then, as long as any of us live, this is to be a slave State. Now, sir, I am not prepared to admit into the Union a State that is to be a slave State as long as we live. We have just passed a confiscation bill by which the slaves of rebels are to be freed. I trust the effect of that bill may be to bring about the freedom of most of the slaves in the rebellious States; and if so, it will probably lead to the emancipation by the loyal owners of their slaves, and making them entirely free. I hope such may be the effect; but here we are admitting a State where slavery is to be fixed on its inhabitants as long as any of us shall live, admitting into the State two more Senators from a slaveholding State.
I object to it upon that ground. I do not say that under no circumstances would I vote to admit into the Union a State which tolerated slavery. I will decide that question when it arises; but I am not prepared to admit this State at this time, and in this condition of the country, as a slave State into the Union. I do not know that I should be prepared to vote for the admission of West Virginia if there was no slavery there, and it its constitution provided for freedom. I question very much whether we should divide these old States and admit portions of them as new States until we can see over the whole ground, and come to a point where we can effect a final settlement of the questions which are now upon us.
And, sir, what reason is there for this? One of the Senators from Virginia said that unless they were admitted as a new State, the inhabitants must make up their minds to abandon the country and go somewhere else. I cannot see why. How is the formation of Western Virginia into a new State to help the citizens of Western Virginia? They are maintaining their loyalty to this Government now by force of arms. It is by the power of the United States and the arms of the United States that they preserve their loyalty at this time. Will they be any more powerful to do this when they shall be set off from the other part of Virginia? They have to-day an organized government; they have a Governor and judges and sheriffs and marshals and Representatives in Congress, and a State Legislature, and they are the State of Virginia. Will they be stronger if you take from them a part of what they now have? Is a part greater or stronger than the whole? How are they to be any better off, or how are the loyal men to be protected any better, by setting off from them a portion of the State of Virginia, some of the other counties? Will the other counties of Virginia cease to war upon you because you set them off? Do you expect that the armies of the rebels will cease to cross the line when you declare that you are a separate State down to a certain boundary? Will that make any difference? Will they pay any respect to this line, or will they march their armies wherever they have the power to go? I cannot conceive how it is that these people are to be any better protected after they are organized into a State embracing a half or a third of Virginia, than when they embrace the whole. Do these other counties of Virginia embarrass your organization? In no respect whatever. The counties which are unfriendly to your organization do not send representatives to your Legislature; you have it all your own way; and how are you to be benefited, how are you to be protected better, when you have only a part of the State of Virginia under your control, than when you have the whole of it within your jurisdiction?
If it be said that by and by at some future period, when the rebellion shall have been suppressed and the whole State of Virginia shall have been brought to acknowledge its loyalty, then the western portion of the State will be overborne by the eastern portion; I answer, not so. When the rebellion is put down in Eastern Virginia, it is to be put down by driving into exile, or killing upon the battle-field, or hanging upon the gallows the traitors who would overrun and oppress Western Virginia; and what shall be left in Eastern Virginia will be like you in Western Virginia, loyal and true to the State and the Union, and you may all act harmoniously together. Or then will be the time, if you shall think it best, to divide the State and have two States out of what was formerly Virginia. Then perfect that organization, and there will be no objection probably to the division. But make the division now, and who can foresee its consequences? When this war shall have subsided, and we shall have a settlement of the controversies which are now pending, who can tell the embarrassments that will arise out of our having divided Virginia at this time? Sir, it will be too late then to put Virginia together again. The Constitution of the United States makes provision for dividing States; it makes no provision for uniting two States into one.
So, sir, in every point of view in which I am able to look at this question, I think it inopportune to attempt to force Western Virginia at this time as a separate State into the Union, or to attempt to divide the State of Virginia, and I trust this bill may not pass. I move that it be postponed until the first Monday of December next, and on that motion I ask for the yeas and nays.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
Mr. CARLILE.At the risk, sir, of misconstruction, I propose to vote for the motion of the Senator from Illinois; and in order that my reasons may go forth with the vote, I shall detain the Senate but a moment. It will be observed, and I desire to call the attention of the people interested in this proposition to the fact, that under this bill we cannot be admitted as a State any earlier than we can be admitted if the bill shall not pass. We have ascertained now the wishes of the Senate, and if our people are willing to submit to congressional dictation, they can, of their own motion, between this and the next session of Congress, frame a constitution, if such shall be their wish, in accordance with the proposition that is now pending; and we can come with that constitution to Congress, upon its assembling here on the first Monday of December, and be admitted into the Union without difficulty, and assume our position as a separate State just as early as we can under this bill. For one, I never would consent to have the organic law of a State framed for its people by the Congress of the United States. When this right is surrendered to the central Government it becomes a despotism, and the people no longer free because its subjects and slaves.
Looking, therefore, to the good of the country, seeing that there is no injury to be inflicted upon the people whom I immediately represent by the refusal to pass this bill, and denying to Congress all power to dictate to a people within a certain territorial limit upon what terms they shall come into the Union, other than merely ascertaining if the constitution which they present is republican in form, and seeing no benefit that can result to the people interested in this proposition by the passage of the bill in its present shape, I shall vote, as I believe it to be a duty I owe to the whole country, for the motion submitted by the Senator from Illinois.
Mr. HOWARD. I do not wish to detain the Senate; I rise chiefly to make an inquiry of the Senators from Virginia. Not long since, upon the recommendation of the President of the United States, both Houses of Congress passed a joint resolution suggesting to the so-called border slave States to take some action in reference to the final emancipation of their slaves. It is not necessary further to state the contents of that resolution. The Senators from Virginia know its contents quite well. I desire to ascertain from either of the Senators from Virginia whether the Legislature of that State, now organized and sitting at Wheeling, have taken any action upon the subject of that joint resolution; whether they have made any response to it either the one way or the other; and if they have made no such response, what are the anticipations of the Senators from Virginia in reference to the final action of their State upon the question submitted in that joint resolution? I do not know that any such action has been taken; I fancy there has been none.
Mr. WILLEY. Mr. President, I was anxious to secure the adoption of a proposition which would save the people of Western Virginia, among whom there is not a scintilla of difference in regard to this question - I mean the loyal people - the great expense and trouble of another convention and another submission; and when I yielded to my colleague what he regarded as a sine qua non, and when it was accepted apparently with cordiality as acceptable to him, I hoped that I should have his cooperation in this matter of vital importance to the constituency we represent. But, sir, from point to point, and from step to step, he misrepresents three fourths of the loyal people of Virginia on this floor. He misrepresents the will of the Legislature that sent him here, with scarcely a dissenting voice; and he interposes to-day an objection which is calculated and designed to thwart this whole movement.
Sir, it is with pain that I am compelled to take this stand, but I am justified in doing it. These people have looked for sixty long years to this day. Time and again have the sections of Virginia been upon the eve of an outbreak, of an insurrection. Criminations and recriminations have sounded in our legislative halls at every session of the Legislature for the last thirty or forty years. Threats of violence have been hurled by one section at the other. And to-day, when the loyal people come with a united voice, having fulfilled all the requisitions of the Constitution and all the forms of the law, and I stand here, where my colleague does not stand, representing the voice of the people of Virginia, who ask for freedom, who ask for severance from the eastern section of the State to whom we have been in bondage in a great degree for fifty or sixty years, he gets up here on the very eve, as I have reason to believe, of the passage of the bill, when the Senate of the United States is about to bestow upon us the long prayed for boon, and he interposes an objection, to postpone and defer our long-cherished hopes and desires.
Now, sir, I wish to make another remark in answer to the Senator from Illinois. He seems to have fallen into the mistake, common to almost every person, that this movement was conceived in a desire to separate ourselves from the disloyal portion of the State of Virginia, that it grew out of our national difficulties, out of the secession of Virginia from the Federal compact. No, sir; no. These circumstances may have precipitated action upon it; they may have given us the opportunity to effect the long-cherished desire of our section of the State; but this controversy is older than I am; I have heard it ever since I can remember anything. It grows not out of these national dissensions; it grows not out of loyalty or disloyalty to the Government; it grows not out of this question of secession; but it grows out of the social, geographical, commercial, industrial distinction and antagonisms that never can be reconciled by the power of man. The almighty, with His own eternal hand, has marked the boundary between us. We live upon waters that flow into the valley of the Mississippi; our eastern brethren live upon waters that flow into the Potomac and the Chesapeake; and there is a chain of impassable mountain barriers between us that prevent, and will forever prevent, all connection, all social relations, all interchange of traffic and commodities by any convenient means of transportation. Owing to these facts, we ask this separation, and we place it upon these large national grounds; not upon the questions of secession and disloyalty. If those were the only questions at issue, I would say to the western people, as I have hitherto said to them, stand fast, not only until the Union is restored, but until all Virginia again is made loyal to the national flag, and until we all dwell together again beneath its ample folds in peace and in security. But, sir, we never can dwell in harmony, not because now we are separated by principles of secession and anti-secession, or loyalty and disloyalty, but because the Almighty, with His own hand, has placed barriers between us that separate our trade and our intercourse, because our social relations are different, because our places of market are different, because our industrial interests are different, and because, on account of these facts, our internal resources have never been developed, and never can be developed while we are connected with Eastern Virginia.
This new proposed State contains within its towering hills and mountains, treasures richer, perhaps, than can be found within the limits of any other State within this Confederacy, and there they have lain, ever since the establishment of this Government, undeveloped, unworked, valueless, and they must continue to remain so unless a different policy be pursued. Is it just to the people there? Is it just to the loyal people of Virginia that they shall be thus trampling under their feet treasures which, if developed, would be of untold value, but are valueless beneath their feet in consequence of the antagonisms of State policy which must ever exist until there is a separation between the sections?
Upon these grounds, then, we place this issue; not upon those other grounds. If those other grounds were alone the consideration which moved us, I, for one, would cast my fortunes in the common bark, and when Virginia went down, if she did, I would go down with her, as I intend to do any how, so far as our natural fortunes are concerned.
But the Senator from Illinois takes occasion to say that a division of the State will operate against the reorganization of the eastern section of Virginia; that the Wheeling government, as he calls it, is a nucleus around which the other counties, as they are relieved of the pressure that is upon them, can be brought under State authority. Sir, where is the county east of the Blue Ridge to-day that can be reorganized by any other power than that of military authority? Not one. You tell me of Alexandria. How long would Alexandria acknowledge the authority of the government at Wheeling if you were to withdraw your soldiers? How long would any other county east of the Blue Ridge do it? There is not, in my estimation, a county, and much as I regret to have to say it, let me tell the Senator from Illinois that the only mode by which Virginia can be brought into subjection again to the State and national authorities is by the stern power of the military arm. If this new State is established it leaves the laws of Virginia as they now exist, both in the new State and in the old State precisely the same as before. There is the revised code, there are all the officers, there is all the machinery of the law. What are they worth in a civil point of view? Nothing. You have to-day to enforce authority by the sword, and you will have to do it still if you continue with the old State, and you will have this embarrassment, you will have a civil authority in the western part of the State incapable of exercising any power in the eastern part of the State, and it will be obligatory upon the United States, before this rebellion is subdued in Eastern Virginia, to appoint a military Governor, and therefore you will have in the State of Virginia a military Governor and a civil Governor. Separate the sections and each can govern itself according to the civil laws, and you will not be embarrassed by the civil government in one section of the State, and you may be left free to exercise the necessary military authority in the other portions of the State. All this matter about granting letters of administration can be done about as well in the State after the division as it can be now under the existing state of affairs.
Again: the Senator undertakes to say, and urges as another reason why this State should not be divided, and the new State received into the Union, that it would be the admission of another slave State. So far as the slaves themselves are concerned, what is the fact? If you do not admit the State, what is the fact? Every one of them will remain in perpetual bondage. I am arguing the case now on his own principles; I am not saying whether slavery is right or wrong; but I am speaking gratia argumenti. Taking his own premises as true, and his views of slavery as true, what will be the result of his policy? If you do not divide the State, it follows that every slave within the limits of the proposed new State will remain in bondage forever. And yet the people who desire to become a new Commonwealth make a proposition here to-day that all slaves born after the 4th of July next shall be freed, and that all slaves over ten years of age shall be free at twenty- five. With that proffer to the honorable Senator from Illinois, he would rather have no State at all, because it would bring in a slave State, and keep these slaves forever in bondage. There is an old maxim, a homely one, but it is very true, that half a loaf is better than no bread sometimes.
There is another remark which I wish to answer. I happened to say the other day, and I reiterate it now, upon the authority of personal communication with a great many citizens of Northwestern Virginia, and upon the authority of a great many letters which I have received within the last fortnight, that unless the relief is granted to the people of that section of the State which this bill will afford, thousands upon thousands of them will take up the little all they have and find a home elsewhere. Such is my information, and I believe it. But when the honorable Senator inquired, how will the erection of that section of the State into a new State relieve us from the difficulties of which we complain, how will it bring about security and peace that will retain those citizens within its limits? So far as the enemy abroad are concerned, they can invade us as well if we are erected into a new State as they can without it; but we do not fear the enemy, we do not fear the national foe, we fear the guerrillas in our midst, we fear the slumbering secessionism that remains there, as my colleague has stated; but give us this new State, and you destroy at once that singular sentiment of State pride, and the new State having once been established, those people will go with the State, acknowledging, singular as it may seem, a supreme allegiance to the State rather than to the United States.
These are some of the reasons, but I want to show to the honorable Senator from Illinois how this thing will operate. Suppose the rebellion is put down all over Eastern Virginia; suppose, as I hope will be the case, that his prediction will be fulfilled and that those secessionists may be driven out; will our condition be any better? Our difficulties are geographical; they are sectional. Look at the state of facts in Eastern Virginia. The State of Virginia is indebted to almost every man east of the Blue Ridge; almost every man has scrip for a horse, or a wagon, or a bag of wheat furnished to the confederate troops. Carry us back to Eastern Virginia, and what is the result? This people to whom the State government is thus indebted will send to the Legislature men who will reflect their will; and what will that be? They will enact laws not only to prevent our receiving any benefit of the State revenues for improvements in our western section, as we have always been prevented, but we shall have imposed upon us, through the overwhelming majority, through the influence of the popular will, the payment of the debts which Eastern Virginia has contracted in sending men across our borders to murder our citizens and burns our houses, besides having furnished ten thousand men in resisting them, and paying our proportion of the national debt. That will be our condition if we are carried back into Eastern Virginia; and it is no wonder our people are excited; it is no wonder that by scores they have been beseeching the members of the Committee on Territories, coming here from their homes at their own expense, beseeching that now when they may, they may have a separate and independent existence. It will injure no one; it will not injure Virginia; it will not injure the Union. It will give to this Union, and to those who desire it, in due time a free State.
Mr. CARLILE. I merely wish to notice a personal allusion to myself by my colleague. I have no intention to detain the Senate, but his remarks call for a reply from me. I will not say that my colleague misrepresents three fourths of the people that sent him here. He may suppose that I do. That is a question which time will settle. It is not my habit, never has been, to proclaim the position that I stand in with those whose representative I am. Certain it is, that I endeavor to take that course which I believe sincerely will best subserve the interests of that people. Now, I desire it to be borne in mind that no additional expense will be imposed upon the people of Northwestern Virginia, who desire this separation, if this bill shall be postponed until December, than will be imposed if it passes now. Does not the bill itself contemplate the assemblage of the convention? Does it not contemplate the adoption, on the part of that convention, of the conditions contained in the bill?
Mr. WILLEY. Allow me to suggest that I made the remark in regard to expense, in reference to my yielding to my colleague's other proposition.
Mr. COLLAMER. I wish to ask the Senator from Virginia [Mr. CARLILE] a question. Suppose that between now and December the progress of our arms should be such that old Virginia submits again to the Union, would this new State ever get the consent of old Virginia to its erection?
Mr. CARLILE. The Legislature has given its assent. It is not six months until Congress meets again. No Legislature, I will say to the Senator from Vermont, can be assembled, unless it is assembled in extra session, under our constitution, until next December a year. By our constitution our Legislature meets biennially. Its regular session was last December. It has been convened since in extra session, and unless convened in extra session there can be no session of the Legislature until December one year from this time. Now, does the Senator suppose that if we should take possession of Richmond to-morrow, with our force, the civil government would be so reorganized throughout the State that a Legislature composed of representatives from the various counties of the State, now within the confederate power, could be assembled by the reassembling of Congress in December? Sir, it is a violent presumption to be made. There is no fear, therefore, that we shall lose the assent which our Legislature has already given, by the repeal of the act giving the assent.
And, sir, further, if you will postpone this bill until December, you allow us of our own motion to frame our own constitution, and we can, if we shall deem it worth while to do so, come here at the next session with a constitution emanating from ourselves. Therefore, as it will not delay us, as it will not add one dollar to the expense to be incurred by our people, I think there is an obvious propriety in the motion submitted by the Senator from Illinois. If we were to be admitted unconditionally, as we proposed to be, and as the Legislature has requested us to ask for admission, it would be another and a very different question. Now, sir, I have at heart as much as any man this separation, but I have other things at heart, too. I have the peace and quiet of my section, and I have the desire to afford to those who are engaged in rebellion against the Government nothing like an argument for its prolongation or its continuance.
But furthermore, Mr. President, my colleague says that when he yielded to me and submitted the proposition which he did in lieu of the one which he first presented, he supposed he would have my hearty cooperation. Sir, I supposed I was yielding to my colleague. I supposed I was doing for him that which I believed he would do for me; relieving him from a dilemma that I did not think he would like to be placed in. When the yeas and nays were called on my amendment, I did not want to place my colleague in the position of having to vote against giving the privilege to the people he represents on this floor to pass on these conditions, and therefore I yielded that he should withdraw his amendment; and I was willing that mine should be withdrawn, and that he should substitute another in its stead that would place him in a much better condition before his people than he would be otherwise. I assented to it out of kindness to him.
Now, Mr. President, my colleague says that this question of the separation of the State is older than he is. So it is; but it is not by the boundaries here proposed, and the quotation to which he alluded, from Mr. Webster was looking and addressed to the men west of the Blue Ridge. His language is, "ye men west of the Blue Ridge of mountains," as he opens the paragraph to which my colleague has referred, and always heretofore, up to May one year ago, we have looked to a separation by the line of the Blue Ridge; and the convention - I acting in harmony with them - confined the first proposition, and the original proposition, to the counties of northwestern Virginia alone, because we knew that we were in no condition to get a fair or open expression of the people elsewhere upon the proposition. But, sir it was not because we would not like to have our boundaries enlarged. That fact is evidenced by the very papers now before the Senate. The very convention, the very Legislature, which gave its assent, gave an opportunity, and hoped that an opportunity would be presented to the counties in the valley - Jefferson, Berkeley, and Frederick - to come in, and contemplated their addition to our boundaries; but contrary to our expectations, these counties were, at the time the vote was taken, in the possession of the confederate armies, and therefore could not vote.
Now, sir, if we let this thing alone, and let our people act, we shall secure I believe an addition of territory, we shall run our southern boundary as it now is still further east, going across and including the counties in the valley, which properly belong, in a commercial aspect, to the same trading community that we do. But we can at least do this: we can secure the counties through which the Baltimore and Ohio railroad passes, which has been a very desirable object from the very beginning with our people. The Baltimore and Ohio railroad enters the State of Virginia at Harper's Ferry; it continues in that State, if the new State shall be made under the proposition, until it enters the county of Morgan, and under this bill if we act we shall be confined to the counties named in the bill, whereas if we are let alone and assemble a convention of our own, we may attain that desirable object, the placing of the entire line of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad within loyal States , to say the least, if we do not get the other counties named in the bill of the committee, and which would give us a natural mountain boundary between us and the old State.
Furthermore, the convention that originated the convention that framed this constitution, and under which this proposition has been brought before the Senate, contemplated in the first place a natural boundary, a boundary by the Alleghany mountains. Now, sir, we are bounded by this bill alone by imaginary lines. Take your map and look, and tell me why the county of Highland should not be in our State as well as the county of Pendleton. She is more with us in interest, more directly connected, and much easier of approach; she has fewer of that peculiar population than has the county of Pendleton or the county o Greenbrier that are taken in with us. There is no natural separation under this proposition between us and the old State. We cross the Alleghany mountains to take in the counties of Hampshire, Hardy, and Morgan, as proposed under this bill, with no natural separation between them and county of Berkeley and adjoining counties. And when we speak of loyalty there is not within the limits of the State of Virginia, not upon the banks of the Ohio river to-day, a more loyal people than the people in the county of Berkeley. I will inform my colleague, who says there is no loyalty east of the mountains, if he does not know it, that Berkeley county weeks ago went on and organized under our Government, elected their clerks, elected their sheriff, elected their prosecuting attorney, elected their justices of the peace. I am informed also that even down here on the Eastern Shore, the county of Accomac and probably the county of Northampton have proceeded in the same way. But, sir, if we are in a condition to do it, we desire the addition of the counties through which the Baltimore and Ohio railroad runs; and, therefore, as nothing can be gained by the passage of this bill now, as the people can suffer no delay whatever, I prefer that we should be left alone to act without being confined to the forty-eight counties named in the amendment submitted by my colleague. Will it not be prejudicial to the Union cause in the valley of Virginia if the loyal people there see that they are denied all opportunity of giving expression to their wish to unite their destiny with their fellow-citizens west of the mountains, and does not the imposition of these conditions contained in this amendment at this time tend to confirm the charge that it is the purpose of some to have two governments if they cannot bring back the States shorn of the constitutional right of regulating for themselves their own internal policy?
Mr. WADE. I want to say one word, and only one word, because I understand a motion has been made to postpone this bill until the next session. There is no gentleman who knows exactly when human nature is weak, just exactly the time to strike, like my friend from Illinois. He understands the weakness of human nature, and the persuasive argument towards dinner time of a motion for delay; and how arguments, otherwise without weight and without much reason, press upon men when they are pretty sure that they do no harm to anybody, when they have done no positive act. In accordance with our natural indolence, such an argument is very apt to have weight, and yet it is the most dangerous in a legislative assembly that is ever made. Nobody knows it better than my friend from Illinois.
Gentlemen say that I have said enough. I suppose I have, and am not going to say much more. Gentlemen ought not to admonish me much, for I believe I never make long speeches. This is a very easy way for us to rid ourselves of this question, but it will not be so satisfactory to those who feel such a vital interest in it as the people of West Virginia, who have sent their population here almost en masse to urge it upon this Congress to pass this measure and relieve them from the alarm that they are under in consequence of the uncertainty that they may be left in the hands of their enemies. That there is to be a separation is a foregone conclusion, and no man has urged it upon the committee more strongly than the Senator who now opposes immediate action [Mr. CARLILE.] He, of all the men in the committee, is the man who penned all these bills and drew them up. He is the man who has investigated all the precedents to see how far you could go in this direction. It was to his lucid mind that we were indebted for the fact that there were no legal or constitutional barriers in the way of this proposition. He submitted to the labor; he did it cheerfully; he did it backed by the best men of his State and section, and what did they say? They said, "we cannot live any longer with Eastern Virginia. Independent of the great controversy that has sprung up in the nation, we have a controversy of old standing that renders our connection with Eastern Virginia absolutely impossible." He is the gentleman who impressed their opinions upon the committee as strongly as anybody else, and what change has come over the spirit of his dream I know not. His conversion is great than that of St. Paul. He has persuaded us that the measure was right; he has appeared side by side with his able Governor, who urged this upon us as a measure vital to the interests of the State that he represents. All at once, after persuading us to bring the question before Congress, and when we expected his powerful aid to help us to push it through, we are brought up all standing by his powerful opposition. Why did he write, why did he investigate, why did he persuade the committee that all was right? Why did he persuade us that there was scarcely a dissenting voice in all that part of Virginia, if now he has discovered that it is all wrong? Why did he resort to books, why did he go back to the old Missouri compromise, and discover there the steps that were taken to initiate that State? Why did he go back to the Rhode Island case, and to other cases, and point them out to us? No gentleman urged the measure upon us more strongly than he, in connection with his distinguished associates, he acting as their chief and their spokesman, and yet all at once, when we become earnest and see that the people want this done, we have to encounter his violent, determined, persistent opposition. Sir, it is sheer trifling.
There is no reason on God's earth why, if Western Virginia is ever to be a State, she should not be admitted now. The Senator from Illinois spoke of the present confused and turbulent state of affairs. Sir, amist that turbulence is the very time to organize it. When we have lost State after State going out from the Union, and making war upon it, is it not good policy for us to seize upon the first State that offers her friendly hand to come back to us into the Union? Does he want them still to go, and never to hold out encouragement that they shall return? Is that good policy? He says many States have gone out, and, therefore, he argues, that when they want to come in, we should keep the rest of them out. That is about the argument he has made use of.
If there is anything in such an argument as that, it is that this people, believing with us, being with us in sentiment, being with us in principle, being a powerful barrier between our enemies and our friends, should not be erected into a noble free State as a breakwater between the secessionists of the South and the great Northwest. Is there any time more favorable than this for the measure? If all was calm, if all was peace, if all was just as it should be, then to tear old Virginia asunder might cause a commotion that would induce men to hesitate. Now it is one of those things that the exigencies of the times most eminently demand, and it does not make a rippple upon the waters. You can do justice now easier than you can begin to contemplate it in other times. Now is the time for great events, when you see that a commotion in the land has brought it within the compass of your power to do a great and mighty good, to perform it. To treat the fact of that commotion as a reason why you should not do it, is the narrowest statesmanship in the world. Sir, this is the time when you can do it without exciting passion. It is a time when you can do ample justice to this people, for which they have been laboring for years. They have been almost the slaves of their eastern oppressors, and in ordinary times we should not have the hardihood to do them justice. They could not appeal to us then, because there stood powerful Eastern Virginia with her heel upon their necks, and we were without the courage to help them to rectify and to adjust their grievances. Now things are reversed. Their long-crying grievances are at our doors, easy to be redressed. Let us not postpone that redress. The task will be no lighter at the next session than now. Those who oppose it now will oppose it then. The whole subject is understood. After going as far as we have gone, to yield now to the argument of the Senator from Illinois would be trifling with the feelings and the cause of these Union men, who have sacrificed everything to maintain the integrity of the Union and maintain the principles which we all avow. Let us stand by them; let us not be carried away by this argument and be deterred from coming up to the work of doing justice, and doing it boldly; not shrinking in a cowardly manner, and saying "although I see it is just, I would a little rather postpone it to some more convenient season." Sir, that is not the way for a statesman to act. That meed of justice which the exigencies of the times demand should be done here now. We are able to do it now. What time may bring forth we know not. It is wisdom for a Legislature, when they have the justice of the case before them, when they have the facts before them, when they see that nothing but good can result, to act promptly. Nothing but mere cowardice will drive a man from the exercise of the godlike principle of justice. Let us do it now and at once; let us reject this motion to postpone.
Mr. WILSON, of Massachusetts. I move that the further consideration of this subject be postponed until to-morrow at twelve o'clock.
The PRESIDING OFFICER, (Mr. FOSTER.) The motion now is to postpone to the first Monday of December next. The question must be taken on the longer time first.
Mr. WILLEY. I hope we shall have the vote now.
Mr. POWELL. I desire to say a few words on this bill, but I give way to the Senator from Massachusetts to make his motion.
Mr. WILSON, of Massachusetts. I am very anxious to get the Senate to take up a bill and pass it through to-night. I have waited patiently all day for an opportunity. I am sure the vote cannot now be taken on this bill. To-morrow at twelve o'clock we shall have a full Senate, and can vote on it then just as well. I hope, therefore, the question will be put and the bill postponed until twelve o'clock to-morrow.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The motion now is to postpone the bill until the first Monday of December next. A motion to postpone until to-morrow is not now in order.
Mr. TEN EYCK. I shall not say that I want to say only a word, but I am sure I shall not utter more than twenty words; I just wish to give my reasons. This question presents two aspects, one a matter of law, and the other a matter of policy. A year ago I voted with joy to admit the two Senators from Virginia to seats upon this floor. They had been appointed by the Legislature of Virginia, and this Senate recognized the legality of their appointment. The same power has agreed to the division of the State. I apprehend the Senate by the vote which it gave on that occasion has fixed the legality of the action of the Legislature of Virginia. That settles the legal question.
Now, with regard to the policy. I understand and believe that a vast majority of the people of Western Virginia are looking here with tears in their eyes, if men shed tears, anxiously hoping that Western Virginia will be admitted as a State. I am not willing to postpone, and run the risk of having the whole of Virginia, by their Legislature, when this rebellion shall have been crushed out, repeal this act, and subjecting the free people, the freedom-disposed people of Western Virginia, to any further dictation and tyranny exercised over them by the people of Eastern Virginia. Having said thus much, I shall vote against the proposition to postpone.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on the motion of the Senator from Virginia, to postpone the further consideration of the bill until the first Monday of December next.
The question being taken by yeas and nays, resulted - yeas 17, nays 23; as follows:
YEAS - Messrs. Bayard, Browning, Carlile, Chandler, Cowan, Davis, Doolittle, Howard, Kennedy, King, Powell, Saulsbury, Stark, Sumner, Trumbull, Wilson of Missouri, and Wright - 17.
NAYS - Messrs. Clark, Collamer, Fessenden, Foot, Foster, Grimes, Hale, Harlan, Harris, Henderson, Howe, Lane of Indiana, Lane of Kansas, McDougall, Morrill, Pomeroy, Sherman, Simmons, Ten Eyck, Wade, Wilkinson, Willey, and Wilson of Massachusetts - 23.
So the motion to postpone did not prevail.
Mr. POWELL. I desire to assign very briefly the reasons why I shall vote against this bill. I discover by reference to the bill that there are forty-eight counties that ask admission into the Union as a new State. Ten of these counties, I understand, were not represented in the Legislature that inaugurated the proceedings to form this territory into a new State, to wit, the counties of Mercer, McDowell, Webster, Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Monroe, Hardy, Hampshire, Pendleton, and Morgan. That leaves only thirty-eight counties that were represented in that Legislature. The State of Virginia is composed of about one hundred and sixty counties. Here we have less than one-fourth of the counties assuming to act for the entire State. We have, perhaps, not more than one fourth of the population, provided all the people within those boundaries were in favor of forming this new State. I do not believe that the action of the limited number of people that I have named in Western Virginia can by any fair construction come within the meaning of that clause of the Constitution which declares that -
"New States may be admitted by Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State, nor any State be formed by the juction of two or more States or parts of States, without the consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned, as well as of the Congress."
I know that something may be said so far as the precedent is concerned, as indicated by the Senator from New Jersey, but I do not believe it was ever contemplated by the Constitution of the country; that less than one-fourth of the people constituting a State should in revolutionary times like these form themselves into a Legislature and give their consent to themselves to form a new State within the limits of one of the States of this Union. It is inaugurating a principle that, in my judgment is dangerous, that is radically destructive of the great principles of the Constitution of our country, and one I never can assent to. The Senator from Virginia [Mr. WILLEY] says the people of Western Virginia are very unanimous in favor of this new State. I am informed that in the last presidential election they cast something like fifty thousand votes, and that when this question was submitted, only eighteen thousand three hundred voted in favor of this new State.
Mr. WILLEY. With the leave of the Senator I will state that the Legislature and convention represented three-fourths of, or almost unanimously, the loyal people of Western Virginia; and the Senator will remember that in addition to the eighteen or nineteen thousand votes cast, there were ten thousand men in the field away from their homes, and it was a foregone conclusion, and many of the people in the populous counties did not come out, knowing it would be carried overwhelmingly anyhow.
Mr. POWELL. That may be, but we know from the votes cast that largely more than one half the voters within the boundaries of this new State declined to cast their votes, and that is a test. If they were at home and declined to vote, the presumption is that they were not in favor of the new government or they would have voted. I do not believe that we should act in this radical manner, particularly in times like the present. If the cities of New York and Brooklyn and the counties in which they are, were to get up a little bogus legislature and say they were the State of New York, and ask to be admitted and cut off from the rest of the State, I would as soon vote for their admission as for the admission of this new State. No Senator pretends to claim that a majority, that even a third of the people of the State of Virginia, have ever had anything to do with rendering their assent to the making of this new State within the territorial limits of that ancient Commonwealth. Suppose this revolutionshould extend to one of the free States of the Union, to Pennsylvania for instance, and less than one third or one fourth of her counties should get together and assume to set up a new government or the government of the State, calling it if you please the State of Pennsylvania, and were to demand admission here as an independent state, and present the act of that legislature, constituted of less than one third of her people and less than one fourth of her counties, as the act of the people of Pennsylvanis, should we think that that was really the act of the people of Pennsylvania yielding their assent within the meaning of the Constitution? I certainly should not. It is a dangerous precedent, one that is radical, one that, in my judgment, overthrows the Constitution of my country, and one that perhaps, in after time, may be fraught with the most dire consequences.
I have very briefly, in the briefest possible manner, stated the outline of the reasons why I shall vote against the admission of this new State. Here are nine counties that had but little if any agency in forming this government; they too are to be dragged into this new State, and perhaps against their will. The whole thing, Mr. President, in my judgment, is radically wrong.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is, "Shall the bill be ordered to be engrossed for a third reading?"
The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read the third time. It was read for the third time.
Mr. POWELL. I ask for the yeas and nays on the passage of the bill.
The yeas and nays were ordered, and being taken; resulted - yeas 23, nays 17; as follows:
YEAS - Messrs. Anthony, Clark, Collamer, Fessenden, Foot, Foster, Grimes, Hale, Harlan, Harris, Howe, Lane of Indiana, Lane of Kansas, Morrill, Pomeroy, Rice, Sherman, Simmons, Ten Eyck, Wade, Wilkinson, Willey, and Wilson of Massachusetts - 23.
NAYS - Messrs. Bayard, Browning, Carlile, Chandler, Cowan, Davis, Howard, Kennedy, King, McDougall, Powell, Saulsbury, Stark, Sumner, Trumbull, Wilson of Missouri, and Wright - 17.
So the bill was passed.
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