By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Charles Sumner; his complete works, volume 18 (of 20)
Author: Sumner, Charles
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Charles Sumner; his complete works, volume 18 (of 20)" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)

      [Illustration: A. W. Elson & Co., Boston: ULYSSES S. GRANT]

               Statesman Edition             Vol. XVIII

                            Charles Sumner

                          HIS COMPLETE WORKS

                           With Introduction
                       HON. GEORGE FRISBIE HOAR


                            LEE AND SHEPARD

                       COPYRIGHT, 1880 AND 1882,
                      FRANCIS V. BALCH, EXECUTOR.

                           COPYRIGHT, 1900,
                           LEE AND SHEPARD.

                          Statesman Edition.
                           OF WHICH THIS IS
                                No. 320

                            Norwood Press:
                        NORWOOD, MASS., U.S.A.



    in the Senate, February 17, 1870                                 1

    THE FIRST COLORED SENATOR. Speech in the Senate, on the
    Admission of Hon. Hiram R. Revels, a Colored Person, as Senator
    of Mississippi, February 25, 1870                                6

    Senate, March 17, 1870                                           9

    in the Senate, on the Admission of General Adelbert Ames as a
    Senator of Mississippi, April 1, 1870                           11

    before Mr. Sumner’s House in Washington, April 1, 1870          20

    the Senate, April 5, 1870                                       23

    INCOME TAX. Remarks in the Senate, April 7, 1870                40

    MORE WORK TO BE DONE. Letter to the American Antislavery
    Society at its Final Meeting, April 8, 1870                     45

    EDUCATION. Remarks in the Senate, May 9, 1870                   47

    Remarks in the Senate, May 12, 1870                             51

    ARCTIC EXPEDITIONS. Remarks in the Senate, May 27, 1870         54

    Senate, June 10, 1870                                           57

    CHINESE INDEMNITY FUND. Report in the Senate, of the Committee
    on Foreign Relations, June 24, 1870                            115

    TAX ON BOOKS. Remarks in the Senate, June 30, 1870             141

    Remarks in the Senate, July 2 and 4, 1870                      144

    Ratification Meeting in Faneuil Hall, October 15, 1870         169

    CIVILIZATION. Lecture in the Music Hall, Boston, October
    26, 1870                                                       175

    THE PATRIOT DEAD AT ARLINGTON. Speech in the Senate, on a
    Joint Resolution to remove their Remains, December 13, 1870    254

    NABOTH’S VINEYARD. Speech in the Senate on the Proposed
    Annexion of San Domingo to the United States, December
    21, 1870                                                       257

    NEW YEAR’S DAY. Article in the New York Independent, January
    5, 1871                                                        300

    ITALIAN UNITY. Letter to a Public Meeting at the Academy of
    Music in New York, January 10, 1871                            307

    RESPONSE TO A TOAST. Remarks at a Complimentary Dinner to
    Colonel John W. Forney, at Washington, January 28, 1871        310

    DUTY OF THE YOUNG COLORED LAWYER. Address at the Commencement
    Exercises of the Law Department of Howard University at
    Washington, February 3, 1871                                   314

    CHARITY TO FRANCE OR GERMANY? Speech in the Senate, February
    4, 1871                                                        319



    February 8, 1870, Mr. Trumbull, from the Committee on the
    Judiciary, to whom had been referred a bill from the House for
    the admission of Mississippi to representation in Congress,
    with conditions the same as in the case of Virginia, reported
    it back with an amendment striking out all these, and admitting
    the State unconditionally.

    In a speech, February 17th, in reference to the proposed
    amendment, Mr. Sumner said:--

MR. PRESIDENT,--Throughout the long struggle anterior to the Rebellion,
and then throughout the Rebellion itself, Slavery had two voices by
which it was heard in this Chamber and in the country. The first was
that by which its continued existence was vindicated, or, if you
please, the right of Slavery; the other was that of State Rights. By
these two voices was Slavery heard. Happily, the first is silenced; but
the other is still sounding among us, crying out against those generous
efforts by which Human Rights are assured.

I am not wrong in this statement. From the beginning it has been the
same. How often in times past have we heard the cry of State Rights!
At every proposition concerning Slavery, at the presentation of every
petition against this tyrannical wrong, at every allusion to it, the
cry was heard. And when the Rebellion broke forth, the same cry was
raised against those great measures of self-defence by which Slavery,
our real enemy, was assailed; and then at each stage of Reconstruction
it was the same. Not a measure of Reconstruction which has not
encountered this pretension of State Rights. It broke forth in the
Virginia debate. It breaks forth on the present occasion. Again we hear
the voice of Slavery.

This pretension, which is so constantly manifest, finds partisans
naturally on the other side of the Chamber. It is easy for Senators who
have upheld Slavery to uphold that interpretation of the Constitution
which was the constant ally of Slavery; but it is incomprehensible how
Senators fresh from the great battle with Slavery should continue in
dalliance with the constant ally.

The argument for State Rights proceeds on a misapprehension. Nobody
doubts the right of a State to local self-government, through which
are supplied the opportunities of political education, and also of
local administration adapted precisely to local wants. This is the
peculiarity of our national system, wherein it differs especially from
the centralized imperialism of France. But while recognizing the State
as the agency for all matters properly local, it must not be allowed to
interfere with those other matters, being rights and duties, which are
not local, but universal.

Now, Sir, nothing can be clearer than that the Equal Rights of All
must be placed under the safeguard of one uniform law which shall be
the same in all parts of the nation,--the same in Charleston and New
Orleans as in Boston and Chicago. It is absurd to suppose that the
rights of the citizen can differ in different States. They must be
the same in all the States; but this can be consummated only by the
national authority. Therefore, on grounds of reason, I repel that
pretension of State Rights which would take this just prerogative
from the nation. Understand me, Sir, I do not seek to _centralize_,
but to _nationalize_. The partisans of State Rights, in their
efforts to decentralize, would _denationalize_. In the name of local
self-government they would overthrow the nation.

If I am asked where I find these national powers, I answer, that they
are in those two great title-deeds of the Republic, the Declaration
of Independence and the National Constitution. Whether viewed apart
or together, these two are one and the same; but the two reinforce
each other. The Declaration of Independence finds proper machinery for
its great purposes in the National Constitution, while the National
Constitution is explained, invigorated, and elevated by the Declaration
of Independence. By the National Constitution the nation is bound
to assure a republican government to all the States, thus giving to
Congress the plenary power to fix the definition of such a government;
but by the Declaration of Independence the fundamental elements of
this very definition are supplied in terms from which there can be
no appeal. By this Declaration it is solemnly announced, first, that
all men are equal in rights, and, secondly, that just government
stands only on the consent of the governed. Other things may fail, but
these cannot. Whenever Congress is called to maintain a republican
government, it must be according to these universal, irreversible
principles. The power to maintain necessarily implies all ancillary
powers of prevention and precaution, so that republican government may
be assured. All these powers are essentially national, and not local;
they belong to the nation, and not to the State.

So long as Slavery existed, this definition was impossible. State
Rights were set up against Human Rights; but with the death of Slavery,
followed by the extinction of the Rebellion, this definition takes
its just place in our national system. Therefore whatever tends to
maintain a republican government and to place it beyond assault,
whatever tends to maintain the great principles declared at our birth
as a nation,--all this is constitutional. As well deny that the sun
shines,--as well with puny arm attempt to drag the sun from the sky;
still it shines. God be praised! the day has passed when State Rights
can be exalted above Human Rights.

It is for Congress to determine, in its discretion, how republican
government shall be maintained. Whatever it does in this regard,
whether by general law, or by condition or limitation on States, is
plainly constitutional beyond all question. All is in the discretion
of Congress, which may select the “means” by which this great
guaranty shall be performed. It is a guaranty by the express text of
the Constitution, and it must be performed. In selecting the means,
Congress cannot hesitate at any requirement calculated to secure the
beneficent result. By condition-precedent, by condition-subsequent, by
prohibitory legislation, by legislation acting directly on the States
or the people, by each and all of these Congress may act, bearing in
mind always the great definition supplied by our fathers, which must be
maintained at all hazards.

It is vain to say that our fathers did not intend this great power
and foresee its exercise. There it is in the Constitution, clear and
commanding; and there is the great definition in the Declaration of
Independence, clear and commanding. If our fathers did not fully
appreciate their mighty act, neither did the barons at Runnymede,
when they obtained Magna Charta, the perpetual landmark of English
rights. The words of the poet are again fulfilled: “They builded better
than they knew.” But they did build. They built this vast temple of
Republican Liberty, and enjoined upon Congress its perpetual safeguard,
“anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary
notwithstanding”; and, Sir, by the oath which you have taken to support
the Constitution, are you bound to watch and protect this vast temple.

The recent war has had its losses, terrible and afflicting. It has had
its gains also. First among these gains is that interpretation of the
Constitution which makes us a nation, and places the equal rights of
all under the protection of the national power,--being nothing less
than the fulfilment of the early promises of the Fathers. Too slowly
has this been accomplished; but it is accomplished at last; and it is
our duty to see that these promises are in no respect neglected, and
that the Republic, One and Indivisible, dedicated to Human Rights,
and an example to mankind, is upheld in every part of our wide-spread

    The amendment striking out the conditions of admission was
    rejected, and the bill passed in the form in which it came from
    the House,--Yeas 50, Nays 11.



MR. PRESIDENT,--The time has passed for argument. Nothing more need be
said. I doubt if anything more can be said in the way of argument.

For a long time it has been clear that colored persons must be
Senators, and I have often so declared. This was only according to the
irresistible logic of the situation, to say nothing of inherent right.

If I do not discuss the question, it is partly because it is now so
plain, and partly because on other occasions I have considered it at
length. There is not a point in the case which I have not argued long
ago. Nearly a generation has intervened since I insisted at home, in
Massachusetts, that all must be equal before the law, without any
distinction of color.[1] Several years have intervened since here in
this Chamber I insisted on the same truth, and at the same time showed
how, at the adoption of the National Constitution, colored persons
were citizens according to the terms of all the State Constitutions,
except that of South Carolina, and perhaps Virginia and Georgia.[2]
These arguments and authorities were not answered then. They cannot
be answered. It is useless to interpose ancient pretensions. They are
dead beyond resurrection. It is useless to interpose the Dred Scott
decision. Born a putrid corpse, this decision became at once a stench
in the nostrils and a scandal to the Court itself, which made haste to
turn away from its offensive offspring. By the subsequent admission of
a colored lawyer to practise at its bar this decision was buried out of
sight, to be remembered only as a warning and a shame.[3]

The vote on this question will be an historic event, marking the
triumph of a great cause. From this time there can be no backward step.
After prolonged and hard-fought battle, beginning with the Republic,
convulsing Congress, and breaking out in blood, the primal truths
declared by our fathers are practically recognized. “All men are
created equal,” says the great Declaration; and now a great act attests
this verity. To-day we make the Declaration a reality. For a long time
a word only, it now becomes a deed. For a long time a promise only,
it now becomes a consummated achievement. The Declaration was only
half established by Independence. The greater duty remained behind. In
assuring the Equal Rights of All we complete the work.

No man acts for himself alone. What he does, whether for good or evil,
is felt in widening circles, according to the measure of his influence.
This is true of the Senate, whose influence is coextensive with the
Republic, and reaches even beyond its enlarging confines. What the
Senate does now will be followed by other bodies and associations. As
the greater contains the less, so does the Senate contain all these
everywhere throughout the land. In other places there may be a brief
struggle, but the end is certain. Doors will open, exclusions will give
way, intolerance will cease, and the great truth will be manifest in a
thousand examples. Liberty and Equality were the two express promises
of our fathers. Both are now assured. And this is the glory of the
Republic, before whose mighty presence, radiant with justice, kings and
nobles must disappear as the ghosts of night at the morning sun, while
the people, with new-found power and majesty, take their place.

What we do to-day is not alone for ourselves, not alone for that
African race now lifted up. It is for all everywhere who suffer from
tyranny and wrong,--for all everywhere who bend beneath the yoke,--for
all everywhere who feel the blight of unjust power; it is for all
mankind; it is for God Himself, whose sublime Fatherhood we most truly
confess when we recognize the Brotherhood of Man.

    A motion by Mr. Stockton, of New Jersey, to refer the
    credentials of Mr. Revels to the Committee on the Judiciary
    was, after a debate of three days, defeated by a vote of 8 Yeas
    to 48 Nays; and on motion of Mr. Wilson, of Massachusetts, Mr.
    Revels was thereupon, by the corresponding vote of Yeas 48,
    Nays 8, admitted to a seat.



    On a resolution submitted by Mr. Ferry, of Connecticut,
    providing that “any treaty for the annexation to the United
    States of the entire dominion of any foreign power shall be
    considered and the question of its ratification decided in open
    session of the Senate,” Mr. Sumner said:--

From the beginning I have always held that the Senate erred in the
establishment of secrecy, particularly with reference to treaties. I
think the first year that I had the honor of a seat in the Senate the
question of a change of our rule in that regard was presented, and
I voted in its favor. I have seen nothing from that day to this to
change my judgment upon that particular point materially. I think that
the rule of secrecy was a traditional policy which we derived from
the diplomatic usages of the Old World. We came to it naturally, and
it has continued with us down to this day. Now, personally, I incline
to change it; but I have two suggestions to present, applicable to
the pending question. The first is, whether it is advisable to change
it while it is known that an important treaty is actually pending;
whether the change, if such change should be adopted by the Senate,
should not be applicable to the future rather than to any pending
question. I merely present that, without undertaking to determine
it. The other point is, whether a change so important, not to say so
radical, whatever may be the judgment of individual Senators, like the
Senator from Connecticut, or like myself, should not be referred to the
committee having charge of such questions. I would therefore suggest
that the proposition be referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
That committee will meet next Tuesday, and I have no doubt will take it
at once into consideration.

    The resolution was referred accordingly, and, upon the report
    of the Committee, was indefinitely postponed.



MR. PRESIDENT,--I hesitate to say a word in this debate. The question
has been exhausted on both sides, and to me, I must be pardoned for
saying, it is infinitely plain. It is plain in law; it is plain in
fact. When I say it is plain in law, I believe all the Senate on both
sides will concur,--for, indeed, the Senator from Ohio [Mr. THURMAN]
stated the law precisely as I understand it.

We all know that in topography there are what are called water-sheds,
sometimes high, sometimes low, and from these elevations flow in
opposite directions the currents which there find their fountains.
Sir, the water-shed of this debate is found in the intent; and this
water-shed may be high or low. Suffice it that it is a water-shed; this
is enough. Suffice it that the intent appears; and this is all that is
required, in order to determine the character of the residence. Show
me a citizen actually in a State, then the intent to remain fixes his

The Senator from Illinois [Mr. TRUMBULL] substantially admitted this
rule of law. I agree with him that there are but two things to be
shown: first, what the old books call the _factum_, and, secondly,
what the same old books call the _animus_. What is the _factum_? It is
residence. What is the _animus_? It is intent to stay. Now in point of
law you can add nothing to these. You may argue till doomsday, you may
cite authorities without number, but you can add nothing to these two
simple requirements, residence and intent.

    MR. THURMAN. Will the Senator allow me to interrupt him?

MR. SUMNER. Certainly.

    MR. THURMAN. As he has referred to my statement of the law,
    I will say that I did state that those were the two things
    necessary, residence and intention,--that you want to find
    out what is residence that creates inhabitancy, and what is
    intention that creates inhabitancy; and what I said was, and
    I maintain yet, that a residence which is enforced is no
    residence, and an intention that the party has no power to
    execute so long as he remains in the Army is no intention at
    all: an intention that the party has no power to execute has no
    virtue whatever.

MR. SUMNER. Very well,--I will come to that. The Senator and myself
agree that in point of law there are two things to be established,
and only two,--residence and intent. The question that remains is one
of evidence; it is not a question of law. If the Senator were on the
bench, which he once adorned, he would be obliged to charge the jury
in this way. The rule of law is positive. All that remains comes under
the head of evidence. Now I say by law you must show those two things,
residence and intent, and you cannot add to either a tittle.

On this occasion, the most important requirement is that of intent.
This is the requirement that has been most argued. And here I go back
to that original Latin phrase which dominates this case, and which is
in itself an all-sufficient rule: I mean the _animus manendi_. Why is
this phrase, so often repeated, handed down for successive centuries?
Simply because, like maxims of law, or like proverbs, it contains in
one short phrase a rule. You have there a chapter of jurisprudence, if
you please, or a volume. It is the mind, or the intent to remain, which
governs. This is all that the law says. The law does not go forward and
require, as the Senator from Illinois has argued to-day, that there
must be an act. You find no such requirement in the rule. The rule is
explicit, precise; and here I challenge contradiction. It is simply
the intent to remain, the _animus manendi_. Step beyond that and you
are lost, if you undertake to state the law. There is no rule of law
outside of this simple sum-total.

I come, then, to the point that we have before us, simply a question of
intent. I might cite authorities here. I have some of them before me. I
will read one. For instance, here is Vattel, quoted by Judge Story in
his article on DOMICILE in the “Encyclopædia Americana,” which Senators
familiar with this subject know is of authority:--

    “Vattel seems to define it to be a fixed residence in any place
    with an intention of always staying there.”[4]

On this Judge Story very properly remarks:--

    “This is not quite accurate. It would be more correct to say
    that that place is the home or domicile of a person in which
    his habitation is fixed, without any present intention of
    removing therefrom.”

Here are words completely applicable to the case now before us. The
learned author then proceeds to say:--

    “It is often a mere question of intention.”

And then adds:--

    “The mere dwelling or residence in a place is not of itself
    sufficient to make it the domicile of the party. He must be
    there with the intention of remaining, _animo manendi_.”

Mark the old recurring phrase, with its light and limitation. Here
again I say is the rule. You cannot go outside of it. If you go outside
of it, you are lost. I am speaking of the rule of law. I know that
there can be no addition to that, because, if you do undertake to add
to it or to take from it, you must depart from the jurisprudence of
every civilized country,--not only of our own country, not only of
England, but of every civilized nation on the continent of Europe. In
the jurisprudence of every one of those countries you will find this
same distinct, precise, simple rule.

Now, Sir, allow me to say,--I say it with entire respect,--the
confusion in this debate has arisen from confounding the rule of law
with the evidence under that rule. The rule, I say, is precise, that
there must be intent. But how shall the intent be proved? Sometimes
in one way, sometimes in another; sometimes by long-continued
residence,--by purchase of property,--by the establishment of a
home,--by the establishment of a place of business,--by all those
circumstances and incidents which show fixity of purpose. All this
comes under the head of evidence. It does not touch the rule of law

The Senator from Illinois says there must be an act. Allow me to
say that words are sometimes acts, and especially if associated
with important events. It is a familiar phrase of law that language
enters into what we call the _res gestæ_; language is welded into
the transaction and becomes a part of it. Words then become things;
and when were words more things than when the commanding general in
Mississippi distinctly declared his purpose to resign his commission in
the Army of the United States and accept a nomination as Senator? Here
was a declaration constituting part of the _res gestæ_, and in itself
an act.

I am not speaking merely on theory. I have in my hand a case, which I
think, when I read it, you will see is applicable: I refer to Metcalf’s
Reports, volume three, page 200, the case of _Kilburn_ v. _Bennett_. In
the statement of facts is the following passage:--

    “For the purpose of showing with what intent the defendant
    went to Tyngsborough on the 27th of April, he offered to prove
    that about three weeks before that day he told S. Shattuck, in
    whose house he then resided, that he should leave Groton before
    the 1st of May, and remove with his family to Tyngsborough, to
    reside at his brother’s, and make his house a home, until he
    should go to Illinois. But the judge ruled that the evidence
    was inadmissible, and rejected it.”

The case was carried before the full bench, when the ruling of the
judge below was set aside, and the Court observed as follows:--

    “The Court held that this, being the mere declaration of the
    defendant, was not competent evidence in his favor, and it was
    rejected. The general rule undoubtedly is, that a party cannot
    give in evidence his own declarations in his favor, unless they
    accompany some act, and are a part of the _res gestæ_. But it
    appears to us that the declarations offered to be proved are
    within the qualification of the rule. They were made in the
    ordinary course of business, and in relation to the defendant’s
    removal, and they were made to the owner of the house in which
    he was at the time residing. This giving notice of his intended
    removal is to be considered an act which he might prove in any
    case in which it became material; and if so, all that he said
    explanatory of his intention in relation to his removal seems
    to us to be admissible in evidence.”

Now on the authority of this case it seems to me that the declaration
of General Ames, accompanied by the acceptance of candidacy as a
Senator, is clearly an act. But I do not argue that the Senate is now
bound by any technical rule of this kind. It is enough if the Senate is
satisfied with regard to his intent on the evidence adduced. No rule of
limitation or exclusion can prevail. If the Senate believes that he had
at the time the _animus manendi_, it must act accordingly.

Is the Senate, on the evidence before it,--without the application of
any technical rule of evidence, without recognizing his declaration
as part of the _res gestæ_,--is the Senate satisfied that at the time
named he intended to reside in Mississippi? This is the whole case.
On this question of fact each Senator will judge for himself, on the
evidence before him. This evidence I will read in the Report of the
Committee, being the language of General Ames in a written statement to
them, as follows:--

    “A number of persons in Mississippi visited this city to find
    arguments by which I might be influenced to become a candidate.
    I hesitated, because it would necessitate the abandonment
    of my whole military life. Finally, for personal and public
    reasons, I decided to become a candidate and leave the Army. My
    intentions were publicly declared and sincere.”

On which the Committee remark:--

    “The intentions thus declared were not only to become a
    candidate for the Senate, but to remain and reside in

Sir, what more can you ask? On the report of your own Committee you
have explicit evidence of the intent of General Ames to reside in
Mississippi; and where intent is enough, you need add nothing to it.
There is no necessity for any act beyond this declaration, which, as I
have already said, is in itself an act, as the Senator from Michigan
[Mr. HOWARD] says, taken in connection with his personal presence on
the spot,--and I would add, taken in connection with all the necessary
implications from his position, and from his acceptance of the
candidacy. This is not a case in a justice’s court, or even in a county
court. This is the Senate of the United States; and we are considering
the evidence with regard to the declarations of a gentleman already
chosen by a State of this Union to take his seat among us. We cannot
apply to these declarations any technical rule which possibly might
be applied in an inferior tribunal. We are to look at the case in its
essence, and, if satisfied of the intent, we cannot go further. The
Senate does not sit in chains. It may act according to its conscience
on the evidence, without any constraint, except from the rule of law
requiring intent.

Much stress has been laid upon the fact that General Ames held a
commission in the Army of the United States, and was actually the
military commander and provisional governor of Mississippi. What then?
Does this affect his position now? Is a soldier or officer in the Army,
is the commander of an army, shut out from the same privileges that
belong to you, Sir, and to me? Each of us may change his domicile as he
pleases, and to-morrow or next week transfer his home to another State
of the Union, and nobody can say, No. Has the soldier or the officer
fewer rights than you and I have? I think not; and I am sure that both
reason and authority sustain my conclusion. I have in my hands a volume
of the California Reports,--the twenty-eighth volume. I call attention
to the case of _The People_ v. _William Holden_, and I will not trouble
you with anything more than one clause from the marginal note, as

    “_Residence while in the service of the United States._--The
    clause in the Constitution of this State, which declares that
    ‘no person shall be deemed to have gained or lost a residence
    by reason of his presence or absence while employed in the
    service of the United States,’ does not prevent a person who
    removes to a county while in the service of the United States
    from acquiring a residence in that county while in the said
    service, if it is his intention so to do.”

“If it is his intention so to do.” These words are strictly applicable
to the case of General Ames. There was nothing in his service in
Mississippi, nothing in his high military command, to prevent him from
establishing an inhabitancy in that State, if it was his intention so
to do.

Thus at every point are we brought back to the single rule of law and
the evidence under it,--the rule being that there must be an intent to
remain, and the evidence being open to the judgment of the tribunal
before which the question is raised. Especially must this be the case
with the Senate, which will look through all technicalities, all
cobwebs, to find the truth. Nor can the Senate be so unjust to any
class of citizens as to say that a military commander may not acquire
inhabitancy in a State where he is fixed by military duties, provided
he so intends. All the adverse presumptions from military residency
will be overcome at once by the _animus manendi_, so soon as this is

Do you remember, Sir, a pointed remark made by Lafayette in the French
Chamber, shortly after Louis Philippe was crowned King? Astonishment
was expressed that the great defender of Liberty should espouse
the cause of a Bourbon and help him to the throne. Lafayette, with
remarkable condensation of phrase, replied, that he was in favor
of Louis Philippe, not _because_, but _notwithstanding_ he was a
Bourbon,--“not _because_, but _notwithstanding_.” And in this famous
saying of the great French-American you have terms strictly applicable
to this case. General Ames, soldier, officer, military commander
in Mississippi, became an inhabitant thereof, not _because_, but
_notwithstanding_ he was soldier, officer, and military commander.

    A resolution of the Committee on the Judiciary, declaring
    General Ames “not eligible,” was on motion of Mr. Sumner
    amended by striking out the word “not,”--Yeas 40, Nays 12,--and
    thus amended was agreed to without a division.



    The occasion was the promulgation by the Secretary of State
    of the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to the
    Constitution. A large number of citizens, after calling upon
    the President and Vice-President, by whom they were addressed,
    proceeded to the house of Mr. Sumner, who appeared with his
    friend, Mr. James Wormley, and spoke as follows:--

FELLOW-CITIZENS,--I congratulate you upon the great result that
has been accomplished. For years my hope and object have been to
see the great promise of the Declaration of Independence changed
into performance,--to see that that Declaration became a reality.
[_Cheers._] This at last is nearly consummated. I do not say entirely
consummated, for it is not.

It is my nature, fellow-citizens, to think more of what remains to
be done than of what has been done,--to think more of our duties than
of our triumphs; and only to-day I have heard from Philadelphia of a
decision in a court of justice that a person of foreign birth could not
be naturalized in this country because of color. This is in pursuance
of one of those old statutes of the days of Slavery, before the word
“white” was stricken from the laws. Repeatedly, from my seat in the
Senate, I have made appeals for the expunging of that word from the
laws. I have now a bill before the Judiciary Committee to strike this
word from our naturalization laws. What the Committee will do remains
to be seen. I need not say that I shall try to impress upon the Senate
the importance of passing this bill. It remains also, that equal
rights should be secured in all the public conveyances and on all the
railroads in the United States, so that no one shall be excluded by
reason of color.

It further remains that you here in Washington shall complete this
equality of rights in your common schools. You all go together to vote,
and any person may find a seat in the Senate of the United States; but
the child is shut out of the common school on account of color. This
discrimination must be abolished. All schools must be open to all,
without distinction of color. In laboring for this, you will not only
work for yourselves, but will set an example for all the land, and most
especially for the South. Only in this way can your school system be
extended for the equal good of all. And now, as you have at heart the
education of your children, that they may grow up in that knowledge of
equal rights so essential to their protection in the world, it is your
bounden duty here in Washington to see that this is accomplished.

Your school system must be founded on Equal Rights, so that no one
shall be excluded on account of color. In this way Human Rights will be
best established. And I would remind you, although this has not been
effected, the victories already gained are the assurance that all that
should be done will be done.

You have progressed, step by step, until you have reached your present
position; and now it only remains that you should continue to the end
earnest, faithful, and determined; then will the work be completed.

Returning you my sincere thanks, and offering my felicitations on this
occasion, I bid you good night.



    Representatives from Georgia had been admitted to seats
    in Congress in July, 1868, under the Act of June 25th of
    that year; but the subsequent action of her Legislature in
    expelling its colored members and filling their places with
    whites, and the continued outrages upon loyalists, had the
    effect of preventing the admission of her Senators, and
    in the next Congress of excluding her from representation
    altogether,--involving the necessity of measures for her
    reconstruction and admission anew. The first of these was the
    Act of December 22, 1869, providing, among other things, for
    the reorganization of the State Legislature, by reinstating its
    colored members in their seats and purging it of its disloyal
    elements. To this succeeded a bill in the same terms with the
    Acts for the admission of Virginia and Mississippi, which was
    passed in the House with the following amendment, moved by Mr.
    Bingham, of Ohio:--

        “_Provided_, That nothing in this Act contained shall be
        construed to vacate any of the offices now filled in the
        State of Georgia, either by the election of the people or
        by the appointment of the Governor thereof by and with the
        advice and consent of the Senate of said State; neither
        shall this Act be construed to extend the official term
        of any officer of said State beyond the term limited by
        the Constitution thereof, dating from the election or
        appointment of such officer, nor to deprive the people of
        Georgia of the right under their Constitution to elect
        Senators and Representatives of the State of Georgia in
        the year 1870; but said election shall be held in the year
        1870, either on the day named in the Constitution of said
        State or such other day as the present Legislature may
        designate by law.”

    In the Senate, after several days’ discussion of this proviso,
    as in Committee of the Whole, Mr. Wilson, of Massachusetts,
    moved a substitute of opposite character, as follows:--

        “_Provided_, That, in consequence of the failure of the
        General Assembly of Georgia to perfect a legal organization
        for a period of over eighteen months, it be, and hereby
        is, declared that the term of service of the said General
        Assembly shall date from the 26th of January, 1870,
        and shall continue until the persons to be chosen on
        the Tuesday after the first Monday of November, 1872,
        as members of the General Assembly of said State, are
        qualified: _Provided_, That the last clause of the second
        subdivision of the first section of the third article of
        the Constitution of Georgia, in the following words, ‘The
        General Assembly may by law change the time of election,
        and the members shall hold until their successors are
        elected and qualified,’ shall never be by any Legislature
        exercised so as to extend the term of any office beyond the
        regular period named in the said Constitution; and the said
        General Assembly shall by joint resolution consent to this
        fundamental condition before this Act shall take effect.”

    April 5th, Mr. Sumner spoke on the pending question as

MR. PRESIDENT,--Whatever its result, this debate will be ever
memorable. For the first time the African has pleaded in this
Chamber.[6] But the curious observer cannot fail to note that he was
obliged to plead still for his long-oppressed race. The Senator from
Mississippi sits among us, and speaks; but the battle is not yet won.
Slavery still asserts her ancient predominance, finding strange voices.
No longer is the claim made directly. Nothing is said of Slavery, but
the old cause is defended under an _alias_. It is now State Rights
which are invoked, or it may be alleged irregularities,--as if State
Rights or any irregularities could prevail against the sovereign duty
of Congress to see that Georgia is so organized that good people
shall be protected in their rights. To this end all else must be
tributary, while every pretext of State Rights and every allegation of
irregularity are of less consequence than the breath with which they
are urged.

It is sad that the Senator from Mississippi should be doomed to
encounter this spirit. As he entered the Chamber, the evil genius
should have departed; but it is not so. And strange to say, the voices
by which it has spoken have been the voices of friends. But so it has
been always. How often in other days have the opponents of Slavery
been saddened by encountering the voices of friends! The argument of
technicality is always at hand, as the well-seasoned weapon of the
lawyer,--and this debate is no exception.

I had hoped that this question would be decided without debate, at
least on our side,--in short, that all would appreciate the exigency,
and unite harmoniously in applying the remedy. I am disappointed. But I
shall say very little. Feeling as strongly as I do, and seeing the way
as clearly as I do, I cannot be entirely silent.

The case is very simple. From unquestionable evidence it appears that
Georgia, while still in transition from the old to the new, while still
in process of Reconstruction, and before the work is completed, has
lapsed into a condition of insecurity and uncertainty, so that, without
the intervention of Congress, the people cannot be assured in the
enjoyment of their rights.

This is the broad statement, which is confirmed by the present as well
as the past. By an unparalleled audacity colored citizens were expelled
from the Legislature simply on account of color, while the orgies of
the Ku-Klux-Klan prevailed throughout the State. And now this same
Ku-Klux-Klan continues its terrors, while former Rebels threaten to
regain their pernicious power. The State is in peril. I do not use too
strong language. All evidence is at fault, if it be not as I say. To
allow these Rebels to prevail is to sacrifice Reconstruction, and to
offer up the Unionists, white and black. It is to do a deed of shame
and desertion. Are you ready for this degradation? Shall Congress
descend to this vileness?

Again I use strong language; but only in this way can I picture the
enormity which is now proposed. Among national obligations which cannot
be declined or postponed, and which rest primarily on Congress, is
the duty of protecting Reconstruction. _Show that Reconstruction is
in peril, and you must act._ Now that it is in peril there can be no
question. Concurring testimony from opposite quarters, public acts, and
open menace, all attest the condition of Georgia. Others in this debate
have entered into details. I give you the irresistible, unanswerable

And here occurs the Bingham Amendment, which, however intended, is
only an engine of Rebel power. This is its true character, and nothing
else. Howsoever it may seem, it must be regarded in its consequences.
We must look from the word to the thing. It is not enough to see how
it reads; we must see how it works. According to its text, the present
Legislature, whose natural existence has been changed by wrongful
addition and wrongful subtraction proceeding directly from the old
Rebellion, is terminated at a specified day in the coming autumn, and
a new election is ordered, without taking into consideration the past
or the future,--without considering that thus far it has sat as a
provisional Legislature only, although chosen to sit under the State
Constitution,--without considering how it has been despoiled of its
legislative character and just rights by hostile influence, and how a
new election will be a direct appeal to this same hostile influence,
giving to it a letter of license and unloosing the Ku-Klux-Klan. The
Bingham Amendment is in few words, but they are words of despair to the
loyal men of Georgia, and words of cheer to the disloyal.

I have listened to the arguments in its favor. Do I mistake, when I say
that they all resolve themselves into technicality? At one moment we
have allegations of “irregularity,” and at another of “estoppel”; and
such technicalities play their part, while the good people of Georgia
are sacrificed. We are estopped, so it is said, by the Act of December
22, 1869, which, failing to provide for the re-performance of certain
conditions-precedent, recognized the validity of the legislative acts
by which they had been performed. Very well,--suppose the legislative
acts are recognized as valid, what then? Because the ratification
of the Constitutional Amendments is recognized, does it follow that
Congress is thereby “estopped”--such is the word--in completing the
work of Reconstruction? I cannot comprehend this reasoning. It would be
of value in a county court, but it is out of place in the Senate of the
United States, on a question of Reconstruction. To my mind, all this is
a matter of supreme indifference. The powers of Congress are above any
such incident, and nothing has occurred to impair them in any way. They
exist now as at the beginning, awaiting the discretion of Congress.

Do you ask where these powers are found? Of course, in the two
Constitutional Amendments already proclaimed,--being ample sources,
if none others existed. Out of these Congress is authorized to do all
that is needed to enforce Emancipation and to protect the rights of the
citizen. This is plain, very plain.

But there are three other sources, each of which is overflowing. The
first is from the necessity of the case, _ex necessitate rei_. This is
one of the grounds on which Chief-Justice Marshall asserted the power
of Congress over the Territories;[7] but it is equally applicable
in the work of Reconstruction. From the necessity of the case this
power must be in Congress, as without it Reconstruction could not be
completed. You must renounce Reconstruction or recognize this power.

Then comes the “guaranty” clause, which is another bountiful,
all-sufficient fountain. The United States are to guaranty a republican
form of government to the States. But this guaranty can be executed
only through Congress. This clause is at once old and new. It is old
as the Constitution itself, but it is new in its practical exercise.
And the reason is obvious. So long as Slavery prevailed, this mighty
power slept; but it was the sleep of a giant. At last it has awaked,
never again to sleep or slumber. From this time forward the duty of
the nation to guaranty a republican government to all its parts will
be constant and ever-present; and this duty is reinforced by all
needful powers. The guaranty is continuing and perpetual, and it must
be executed at all hazards. In its execution Congress must fix the
definition of a republican government. How often have I said this!--but
I shall not fail to repeat it so long as the occasion requires.
To Congress belongs the duty of determining what is a republican
government, and then it must see that such a government prevails in
every State.

If in any State the existing government fails according to the just
standard, or if it is in any way menaced, then must Congress interfere
to execute the sleepless guaranty. And in this interference it may act
according to its discretion, determining the occasion and the “means”
to be employed. It may act by repression or by precaution, and it may
select any “means” proper for the purpose. To say that it may not act
by precaution as well as by repression is contrary to reason, and I may
say to common sense. Whatever may be done by repression may be done by
precaution also. Such is the experience of life in other things, and
this obligation of guaranty is subject to the universal law. In the
selection of “means” the whole field and the whole arsenal are at its
command. Not an instrument, not a weapon, proper for the purpose, which
it may not grasp. Here the language of Chief-Justice Marshall, so often
quoted, harmonizes with the claim of power which I now make:--

    “The Government which has a right to do an act, and has imposed
    on it the duty of performing that act, must, according to the
    dictates of reason, be allowed to select the means; and those
    who contend that it may not select any appropriate means, that
    one particular mode of effecting the object is excepted, take
    upon themselves the burden of establishing that exception.”[8]

In our recent debates able Senators have denied everything. They
will not concede the “means”; and they even ignore this great clause,
which, as Cicero said of the ancient _Senatusconsultum_, has rested so
long like a sword in its scabbard.[9] But there it is. Senators may
ignore it; they may not see it; but there it is in the Constitution. In
attempting to belittle this clause Senators only show how little they
appreciate the lofty unity of the Republic. Other clauses are important
in the machinery of government; but this guaranty makes the Republic
one and indivisible, being One out of Many, and places the rights of
all under the protecting power of the nation.

Before the extinction of Slavery, State Rights were successful against
this guaranty. To invoke this tyrannical pretension was enough. How
often was it heard on this floor! How completely did it dominate the
Constitution itself! But the habit still continues, and we are still
compelled to hear this same pretension, under which States _played the
turtle_, drawing head, legs, and tail all within an impenetrable shell.
With the overthrow of the Rebellion on the bloody field this pretension
should have been abandoned and forgotten. A State is not a turtle,
which can shut itself within its shell, and enjoy its own separate
animal existence; but it is a component part of this great Republic,
with which it is interlaced and interlocked so as to share with every
other State a common life, subject to one and the same prevailing law.
To insist that a State can play the turtle now, as in the days when
Slavery ruled, is to dishonor the Constitution, and to abandon the
crowning victory over the Rebellion.

Do you ask for the power in the Constitution to enter into a State and
establish republican government? I give it to you in an immortal text.
To question it is to show an ignorance of language which in this case
is clear beyond criticism, and an ignorance also of the true genius
of American institutions, where unity of rights is the Alpha and the
Omega. The national motto, _E Pluribus Unum_, is another expression of
that great unity by which the States are lost in the Nation. And this
guaranty I now invoke for the protection of the good people of Georgia,
and for the protection hereafter of Human Rights, when imperilled
anywhere within the limits of the Republic.

But there are other and exceptional reasons why Georgia is still within
the control of Congress. The process of Reconstruction in this State is
not yet completed; so that the government there is simply provisional,
and nothing else. This is only according to the Reconstruction Act of
March 2, 1867, where it is provided,--

    “That, until the people of said Rebel States shall be BY LAW
    admitted to representation in the Congress of the United
    States, _any civil governments which may exist therein shall
    be deemed provisional only_, and in all respects subject to
    the paramount authority of the United States at any time to
    abolish, modify, control, or supersede the same.”[10]

Nothing can be more explicit. Until the people of the Rebel States
are “by law” admitted to representation, they are under the power of
Congress. Everything done is inchoate, and nothing more. But Georgia is
not yet “by law” admitted to representation, and we are now considering
when and how such admission shall take place. Meanwhile, according to
express language of the Act, the government is “provisional only.”
Nor is this all; for the Act proceeds to declare further that this
government is “in all respects subject to the paramount authority of
the United States at any time to abolish, modify, control, or supersede
the same.” Words cannot be stronger. “Abolish,” “modify,” “control,”
“supersede.” To argue against their plain meaning is simply ridiculous.
To insist that the existing government is beyond the reach of Congress,
to be extended or abridged, to be recognized or superseded in its
discretion, is preposterous. The power is reserved in terms almost
excessive in fulness. Therefore do I say there can be no question of
power on the present occasion. As well question that the sun shines or
the river flows.

There being no question of power, there arises, then, the obligation
of duty. Congress has the power to protect republican institutions in
Georgia, and to protect the good people there; and it has the further
power to superintend the work of Reconstruction to the end. All this
it must do. It cannot abandon the appointed work. Of course it will
ascertain the exact condition of things, and will then apply the
remedy. No excuse of State Rights, no fine-spun technicality, no plea
of irregularity, no argument of “estoppel” can be heard. All these are
trivial and unworthy against the commanding duty. Georgia must be saved
to herself and to the Union, and Congress must supply the means.

Several courses are open to Congress, and all equally within its
powers; for all are derived from the same fountains.

1. Georgia may be remanded for an indefinite period to a condition
like that of the Territories, subordinate in all respects to the
jurisdiction of Congress, which may meanwhile mould it into loyalty and

2. Or the State may be subjected to a military government, until such
time as it is fit in every respect for self-government.

3. Or the existing provisional government may be invested with the
powers of the State, in such form and way and for such term as Congress
in its discretion shall think best.

I doubt not that there are other modes within the jurisdiction of
Congress; but these are all contained substantially in the three I have

It is not now proposed to remand Georgia to a territorial condition,
or to subject the State to a military government. But it is proposed
to place it in charge of the existing provisional government, which is
to continue for a full constitutional term; and this is done as the
best way of guarding against disturbing forces from the late Rebellion.
It is said that this will be sufficient. I hope that it may be. I
am satisfied that it is the least Congress can do in the exigency.
Anything short of this will be the betrayal of those who have a right
to our protection.

Against this simple and moderate proposition is interposed the Bingham
Amendment, which, however plausible in form, is destructive in
consequence. It is enough that it hands over the State to misrule and
violence. Senators, how can you do this thing? How can you hesitate to
take every heed and precaution against even the possibility of such
an occurrence? You have the power. Then must you exercise it. In the
recent history of Georgia nothing can be adduced to make you hesitate.
On the contrary, all things, when properly understood, conspire to
constrain the exercise of this power.

How feeble is the argument, that, _because_ Governor Bullock was
chosen Governor and the Legislature commenced its session at a
given date now past, therefore in this process of Reconstruction
the constitutional term of the Governor and of the Legislature must
be limited to two years from that date! Besides ignoring all the
controlling powers of Congress, this assumption ignores also the
conduct of this very Legislature by which its organization was for a
while defeated. Nothing is clearer than that the termination of the
provisional government in Georgia was contingent on the performance
of certain covenants, express and implied. These covenants have been
outrageously violated. The very form of government underwent a change
when persons clearly ineligible from disloyalty were allowed to take
part in it, while citizens entitled to equal rights, and especially
protected by the Reconstruction Laws, were tyrannically ejected from
the Legislature. There was for the time being a usurpation. Had this
violation of underlying covenants been anticipated, Reconstruction
would have been postponed. No Senator will pretend the contrary.
But Congress, in view of what has occurred, may justly do what it
would have done, had it anticipated the result. It may postpone
Reconstruction,--treating the Legislature meanwhile as provisional, and
recognizing its acts only so far as in the judgment of Congress they
are fit to be recognized.

If instruction be needed on this point, it will be found in the
authoritative words of publicists, showing how even the terms of a
treaty may be disregarded where there has been a change in the form of

Thus, Vattel does not hesitate to say,--

    “It may say, upon a good foundation, that it would not have
    entered into an alliance with that nation, had it been under
    the present form of government.”[11]

One of our own publicists, Alexander Hamilton, has dealt with the same
question in congenial language:--

    “Contracts between nations, as between individuals, must lose
    their force where the considerations fail.

    “A treaty pernicious to the state is of itself void, where no
    change in the situation of either of the parties takes place.
    By a much stronger reason it must become voidable at the option
    of the other party, when the voluntary act of one of the allies
    has made so material a change in the _condition of things_ as
    is always implied in a radical revolution of government.”[12]

We but follow the simple principles of these texts, when we declare
that the outrage perpetrated in Georgia so far changed the condition of
things that the Legislature lost all title to recognition by Congress.
It ceased to be the Legislature contemplated by Congress. Nor was it
the first regular Legislature contemplated by the State Constitution.
It was irregular, abnormal, revolutionary. To recognize such a body as
the first regular Legislature is a fraud on the State Constitution.
To insist that members chosen as the first regular Legislature shall
be treated as provisional only is unjust to them. To insist that such
members shall be despoiled of the regular term is a direct surrender to
the disorganizers, who will rejoice to see Congress sacrifice the true
men to whom it owes protection. To my mind there can be no surer rule
than so to act that these disorganizers shall not rejoice. Especially
will I not please them at the expense of patriot citizens.

In the exercise of this power Congress is acting on principles of
Equity. And here allow me to say, that, in superintending the process
of Reconstruction, Congress is a Court of Equity, bound to supply
deficiencies in the existing law, to enjoin against threatened wrong,
and generally to see justice done in spite of technicalities. Here I
only follow the best definitions of Equity from the earliest times. No
student can forget that profound definition by Aristotle,[13] adopted
by Grotius[14] also,--“Equity is the correction of that wherein the
law by reason of its universality is deficient”; nor can he forget
the phrase of Lord Bacon, when he gives it a higher character still,
namely, “The general conscience of the realm, which is Chancery.”[15]
These two philosophers were each right; for Equity is at once a
correction of law and the voice of conscience. In conformity with these
principles, an ample jurisdiction has been established, under which,
among other things, the powers of ordinary courts are supplemented by
more flexile methods, the rules of law are prevented from becoming
instruments of injustice, persons are restrained from asserting
doubtful rights in a manner productive of irreparable damage, and, in
the absence of positive law, universal justice is maintained. It has
been a constant aspiration to bring Law and Equity into harmony. Lord
Chancellor Eldon relates that on one occasion Lord Chief-Justice De
Grey said, he “never liked Equity so well as when it was like Law”; and
he adds, “The day before I heard Lord Mansfield say he never liked Law
so well as when it was like Equity.”[16] In the same spirit, Bishop
Burnet says of Sir Matthew Hale:--

    “As great a lawyer as he was, he would never suffer the
    strictness of law to prevail against conscience; as great a
    chancellor as he was, he would make use of all the niceties
    and subtilties in law, when it tended to support right and

Such is Equity, and such are the principles which preside in its
courts. No strictness of law can prevail against conscience. The
niceties and subtilties of law are all to be used in support of right
and equity. These noble and authoritative rules are a pathway of light.
Against all strictness of law conscience must prevail. If there are
niceties and subtilties in the law, let them all be employed on the
side of right and equity. That is according to reason and the harmonies
of the Universe. It is Equity.

Am I not right, when I now insist that Congress is a High Court of
Equity with Georgia at its bar? It only remains that it should apply
the principles of Equity, especially supplying deficiencies in the
existing law, enjoining against threatened wrong, and seeing that
justice is done,--all technicalities to the contrary notwithstanding.
Against all strictness of law conscience must prevail; and if there
are niceties and subtilties in the law, they must all minister to the
completion of Reconstruction. To this end, the process of Congress must
go forth in such form as will best establish peace and security in that
State under the safeguard of equal laws. With the execution of this
process Georgia will be a republican government in reality as in name.

The assertion of this power is necessary now, not merely for Georgia,
where it will bring peace and security, but also for the Nation, which
will be elevated in character and strengthened in that unity against
which the Rebellion dashed itself in battle. An ancient sage has left
in perpetual testimony, that the best government is where an injury
to a single citizen is redressed as an injury to the whole nation.
In harmony with the saying of the sage is the fundamental law that
protection and allegiance are reciprocal, so that the Nation owes
protection in exchange for the allegiance it receives. The duties of
the Nation are correlative with the duties of the citizen. Are we a
Nation? Surely we are not, if any State can without correction deny
Equal Rights within its border, or in any way imperil the tranquillity
of the Republic. There was a time when all this might be done with
impunity,--when a State was permitted to exalt itself above the
Nation,--when a State determined for itself the standard of Human
Rights,--when there was one rule of citizenship at Boston and another
at New Orleans, and as many different rules as there were States,--when
State Rights were made the protection for all that a State chose to
do, and the turtle, with its impenetrable shell, was the prototype of
a political community constituting part of the Nation. But this time
has passed. A State can no longer play the turtle; State Rights have
ceased to be a protection for all that a State inclines to do; there
can be but one rule of citizenship in all the States, being the same in
Boston and New Orleans; no State can determine for itself the standard
of Human Rights; no State can exalt itself above the Nation; nor can
any State without correction deny Equal Rights within its borders, or
in any way imperil the tranquillity of the Republic. The judgments of
courts, the arguments of Senators, with all possible learning and all
possible skill, are impotent against that prevailing law which places
the National Unity and the Equal Rights of All beneath the safeguard of
the Nation. There they will remain from this time forevermore, making
the Republic more than ever an example to mankind.

    After various amendments, the bill was finally taken into a new
    draft, leaving the questions presented in the Bingham Amendment
    to the determination of the State Constitution, and in this
    form passed both Houses without a division.



    The Senate having under consideration a Joint Resolution from
    the House, with an amendment by the Committee on Finance,
    declaratory of the meaning and intention of the law relating to
    the Income Tax, Mr. Sumner said,--

I shall make no opposition to the amendment of the Committee on
Finance, as I understand it is to relieve the Department from a
difficulty which has arisen in the interpretation of a statute; but I
desire to say now--and I take this earliest opportunity--that I think
the income tax ought not to be continued any longer.

    MR. CONKLING [of New York]. Reëstablished, you mean.

MR. SUMNER. Very well; I accept the amendment of the Senator from New
York: it ought not to be reëstablished.

    MR. SCOTT [of Pennsylvania]. It has expired.

MR. SUMNER. It has expired. There was an understanding, when it was
established, that it should live only into the year 1870. It has now
reached its natural death, and no resurrection ought to operate upon
it. An income tax is a war tax. It ought not to be made a peace tax.
“The medicine of the Constitution should not become its daily bread.” I
am against the continuance of this tax; and if the occasion required,
I would go forward and assign reasons. But I am unwilling now to enter
into any general discussion of the question, as it is not directly
presented by the proposition before the Senate; but I hope the Senator
from Ohio [Mr. SHERMAN], who has charge of this bill, and is Chairman
of the Finance Committee, will bear in mind the radical objection to
any reëstablishment of this tax, and will also bear in mind another
important proposition,--that the taxes of the country must be reduced.
I have on another occasion, and more than once, said, “Down with the
taxes!”--and I repeat the cry now. We cannot do better than to begin
with a tax inequitable in its operation, and which, according to the
original understanding when first adopted, was to end now.

    After further debate, in which different Senators participated,
    Mr. Sumner spoke again, as follows:--

MR. PRESIDENT,--I should not have said another word but for the
very confident statement made by my friend, the Senator from Ohio,
that at a proper time he will show the fairness of this tax. Sir, if
he can show its fairness, he will do what no person before him has
ever been able to do,--what no speaker in Parliament, no speaker in
Congress, no writer on taxation or political economy has ever been
able to accomplish. The Senator assumes in advance a very considerable
task. Let me commend him to the candid, absolutely impartial, and
authoritative words of Mr. McCulloch, in his work on Taxation and
Funding. We all know the authority of this writer; none better can be
adduced. A committee of this body might be well satisfied, could it
have the sanction of this writer. Now what does he say of the tax on
income? One would think he had listened to my honorable friend on this
question. Of its effects he says:--

    “It would no doubt have the supposed effects, [_i. e._ be
    successful,] could it be fairly assessed. But the practical
    difficulties in the way of its fair assessment are not of a
    sort that can be overcome. And the truth is, that taxes on
    income, though theoretically equal, are in their practical
    operation most unequal and vexatious.”[18]

    MR. SHERMAN. Read the paragraph immediately before that, in
    which he speaks of the theory of an income tax.

MR. SUMNER. I should rather read a paragraph after it, with the
permission of the Senator. [_Laughter._] I have read the chapter, and I
understand it; and there are words here to which I call the attention
of my friend:--

    “After the Legislature has done all that can be done to make it
    equal, it will be most unequal.”

Strong language that!

    “To impose it only on certain classes of incomes, or to impose
    it on all incomes, without regard to their origin, is alike
    subversive of sound principle. Nothing, therefore, remains but
    to reject it, or to resort to it only when money must be had
    at all hazards, when the ordinary and less exceptionable means
    of filling the public coffers have been tried and exhausted,
    and when, as during the late war, Hannibal is knocking at your
    gates, and national independence must be secured at whatever
    cost. An unreasoning necessity of this sort is the only
    satisfactory justification of taxes on property and income.”[19]

This is the voice of Science. It is not the voice of a political
partisan, or of the representative of any Administration anxious to
establish a system of taxation, but it is the voice of Science itself,
speaking by one of its--I may say chosen authorities. How can this
testimony be answered? If you come back to an authority of a different
character, take a statesman. The Senator from California [Mr. CASSERLY]
has referred to Sir Robert Peel, who is known as the modern author
of the income tax; but he has left his testimony behind. I quote
words from different speeches, showing how he has characterized it.
He admitted that it was “a tax which had hitherto been reserved for
time of war”; and that “the question of its imposition was, whether
the political necessity was of such magnitude and urgency as to
justify it”; and then that it “ought to be accompanied by measures
of simultaneous relief.” Then, “he did not deny that it was an
inquisitorial tax”; and again, that “a certain degree of inquisitorial
scrutiny was inseparable from an income tax”; and further, that “a good
deal of inconvenience inevitably arose from the inquiries that must be
instituted into the properties of men, in the imposition of an income
tax”; moreover, that “one great objection to the income tax was, that
it fell with peculiar severity upon those who were determined to act

In harmony with his testimony is that also of Mr. Gladstone, named by
the two Senators who have preceded me. The Senator from Ohio reminds
us that Mr. Gladstone has sustained an income tax. Have we not all
sustained an income tax?

    Mr. SHERMAN. He does it this very year.

MR. SUMNER. This very year, and why? The Senator knows perfectly how
England is pressed by taxation,--how difficult it is to find objects
for taxation in order to meet the great demands upon her exchequer.
He knows that England is obliged now, in time of peace, to meet the
responsibilities of war. It is on account of that terrible war debt
which still hangs over her, the interest of which must be annually
paid, that she is obliged to assume even in a period of peace this
responsibility. I think we are in no such condition. Our war is happily
over, and I know no reason why the responsibilities and obligations
assumed during that period should be prolonged now during the reign of
peace. Sir, let us put an end to the war. And I know no better way to
give our testimony to the end of the war than by stopping that taxation
which was born of the war.


8, 1870.

                                         SENATE CHAMBER, April 8, 1870.

  GENTLEMEN,--You propose to celebrate the triumph of Equal Rights
  at the ballot-box, and at the same time to abandon that famous
  shibboleth by which you once rallied the country against Slavery.

  It was said of Wolfe, the conqueror at Quebec, that he died in
  the arms of Victory; and such will be the fortune of your noble
  Society. “They run!” was the voice that fell on the ears of the
  expiring General. “Who run?” he exclaimed. “The enemy,” was the
  answer. “Now, God be praised, I shall die in peace,” said he, and
  his battle ended.

  The Antislavery Society may now die in peace. Slavery is ended.
  But I do not doubt that the same courage and fidelity which
  through long years warred against this prodigious Barbarism will
  continue determined to the end in protecting and advancing the
  work begun.

  I do not think the work finished, so long as the word “white”
  is allowed to play any part in legislation,--so long as it
  constrains the courts in naturalization,--so long as it rules
  public conveyances, steamboats, and railroads,--so long as it
  bars the doors of houses bound by law to receive people for food
  and lodging, or licensed as places of amusement,--so long as it
  is inscribed on our common schools;--nor do I think the work
  finished until the power of the Nation is recognized, supreme
  and beyond question, to fix the definition of a “republican
  government,” and to enforce the same by the perfect maintenance
  of rights everywhere throughout the land, according to the
  promises of the Declaration of Independence, without any check or
  hindrance from the old proslavery pretension of State Rights. It
  must be understood that every State, while perfectly free in its
  local administration, is subject to the supremacy of the Nation,
  whenever it touches the Rights of Man,--so that, according to
  the ancient words of Demosthenes, the law shall be “a general
  ordinance, _equal and alike to all_.”[21] Let there be Equality
  before the Law, and all rights are assured. In this cause count
  me always as your devoted and grateful fellow-worker.

  Accept my thanks for the invitation with which you have honored
  me, and believe me sincerely yours,





    The question being on an amendment to the Legislative
    Appropriation Bill, reducing the appropriation for the Bureau
    of Education from $14,500 to $5,400, in conformity with a
    previous reduction of the clerical force, Mr. Sumner said:--

MR. PRESIDENT,--I hope there may be no hesitation in refusing to agree
to this amendment. It seems to me that the House of Representatives has
acted wisely in increasing the appropriation, and we shall act very
unwisely, if we fail to unite with the House. We, Sir, are a Republic;
we are living under republican institutions; and, as I understand them,
one of their essential elements is Education. Now, Sir, here is an
agency associated with the National Government, having education for
its object; and what is the appropriation proposed by our excellent
committee? It is $5,400: that is all. Looking on the opposite page of
the bill, I find an appropriation of $9,000 for stationery, furniture,
and books for the Interior Department; I find an appropriation of
$16,000 for fuel and lights for the Interior Department; and yet
we propose to give only $5,400 to create and support a Bureau of
Education! Sir, is that decent? It seems to me, in this age, at this
period of our history, when more than ever we are beginning to see the
transcendent advantage of education, how much we owe to light,--

    “Hail, holy light!”--

it seems to me strange that we should now cut down the appropriation
for the Bureau of Education. Turning on, I come to the Department of
Agriculture, and there I find an appropriation of $72,170; and then I
turn back again to the $5,400 for the Bureau of Education. I think the
House did not go far enough, when it made the appropriation $14,500.
I would make the appropriation as large as that for the Agricultural
Department; and I know full well the period is at hand when all of you
will rejoice to make an appropriation for the Educational Bureau twice
more than that for the Agricultural Department.

As to the question whether there is any existing statute to sanction
this appropriation, I dismiss it entirely. It is merely a technicality;
and it ought not now, on this Appropriation Bill, at this stage, after
the vote of the House, to be allowed to stand in the way.

    Mr. Sherman, of Ohio, supported the amendment as a step toward
    the abolition of the Bureau, which he regarded as useless,--at
    the same time urging the withdrawal, for consideration in a
    full Senate, of a proviso, just voted, for the restoration of
    the original clerical force; and it being thereupon suggested
    that the whole matter be passed over till the next day, Mr.
    Sumner said:--

Before that passes away, I wish to make one comment on a single word of
the Senator from Ohio. The Senator said that he hoped we should take no
backward step; and yet his speech and his proposition were a backward
step. Sir, there is nothing that any State or any nation can do for
education that is not for civilization itself; and now the Senator from
Ohio is against appropriating a paltry sum of $10,000 for education.

    MR. SHERMAN. No,--for two or three clerks.

MR. SUMNER. My friend will pardon me,--for education. He is against
making this paltry appropriation for education; and he reminds us that
in his great State $3,000,000 are set apart for this purpose. Is it
not shameful, that, while $3,000,000 are set apart for this purpose
in his great State, so small a sum as is now proposed is to be set
apart by the Nation? Am I told that the Nation has nothing to do with
this question? Allow me to reply at once, it has everything to do with
it; it has more to do with it than the State of Ohio, inasmuch as in
the Nation are all the States. Ohio is only one State; all the States
compose the Nation; and the Nation is responsible for the civilization
of all the States. The Nation is the presiding genius, not only of
Ohio, but of all the associate States of the Union. Therefore, Sir,
should the Nation by every means in its power, by appropriation, by a
department, by a bureau, by clerks, by officers, do everything possible
to promote the interests of education.

But the question may be asked, What can it do? With the sum proposed,
unhappily, very little,--too little. But let us not give up doing
even that little. A little in such a cause is much. If nothing else,
information may be accumulated, statistics may be gathered, facts may
be brought together, which can be laid before those interested in
education all over our own country and in foreign lands. That may be a
specific object of the Bureau of Education.

Then, again, it may supply a general impulse to education in every
State,--even in Ohio, with its $3,000,000 appropriated to that purpose.
Permit me to say, the State of Ohio, great as it is, is not yet above
the reach of educational influences; and I am sure that this Bureau, if
properly organized, might be of advantage even to the great State which
my friend represents with so much ability on this floor. I therefore
adopt the language of my friend, when he said, “Let us take no backward
step.” I would increase this appropriation, rather than diminish it. I
wish it were $100,000,--ay, Sir, $500,000.

    The amendment was rejected,--Yeas 19, Nays 38.



    The Senate having under consideration a bill for the reduction
    of the Army, reported by Mr. Wilson, of Massachusetts, from the
    Committee on Military Affairs, as a substitute for one from the
    House, and the pending question being on an amendment by Mr.
    Trumbull, of Illinois, restoring to its original form in the
    House bill the provision “That it shall not be lawful for any
    officer of the Army of the United States on the active list
    to hold any civil office,” by striking out the words “on the
    active list,” Mr. Sumner said:--

MR. PRESIDENT,--There is a principle of our institutions, to which
reference is constantly made in this debate, which is worthy of
constant memory. It is the subordination of the military to the
civil power. Mr. Jefferson, in his Inaugural Address, so memorable
as a representation of the fundamental principles of republican
institutions, expressly declares the subordination of the military
to the civil an essential element of a republic. I accept that idea;
and I confess that I have always admired in our system that the Navy
Department and the War Department each is in charge of a civilian; that
neither a naval officer nor a military officer, in the ordinary course
of affairs, takes his place at the head of either of these Departments,
to the end that the Navy and the Army shall see in a civilian the
visible head of each. In that I recognize the genius of the Republic.

But now, Sir, for the application. I confess I agree entirely with
the argument of the Senator from Ohio [Mr. SHERMAN]. I consider that
the demands of republican institutions are completely satisfied, if
we exclude men in active service from taking part in civil life. To
go further is to tie the hands of the appointing power,--to take
from the country the opportunity of securing, it may be, important
service,--and, I think, is to be needlessly hard on men who in their
day have rendered good service to the country. It does seem to me
that cases may occur where it may be important to take into the civil
service a retired officer. Why may not that occur in the natural course
of events? There is talent, there is experience. Are our offices so
well filled, is the public service so completely performed, that we can
afford to exclude talent and experience?

    MR. CONKLING. Is not that much more true in regard to active

MR. SUMNER. There, Sir, you come in conflict with the fundamental
principle of republican institutions. You cannot, as I submit, fill
civil offices from the active service of the Army or Navy without
conflict with that fundamental principle.

    MR. CONKLING. Why?

MR. SUMNER. But I find no such conflict, if you take an officer on the
retired list.

    MR. CONKLING. Will the Senator point out the distinction?

MR. SUMNER. The Senator asks, “Why?” For the obvious reason, that,
when the officer is on the retired list, he has, for all the ordinary
purposes of the service, ceased to be an officer,--he enjoys what I
think has been called a pension, which in reality is a pension under
another name,--and he has ceased to be in the active, practical service
either of Navy or of Army. On that account I see a clear distinction.

Therefore it seems to me, for the sake of the public service, and that
we may not be guilty of hardship to any portion of the community, that
the words introduced by my colleague in the pending bill ought to be
preserved. I hope they will not be struck out.

    The amendment prevailed,--Yeas 34, Nays 22.



    On the question of an appropriation of $100,000 for “one or
    more expeditions towards the North Pole,” moved by Mr. Sumner,
    under a resolution of the Committee on Foreign Relations,--it
    being objected by Mr. Morrill, of Vermont, that “we could not
    afford to embark in such an enterprise,” that “the money was
    needed for purposes altogether more pressing,” Mr. Sumner

The Senator from Vermont has just moved and carried a large
appropriation for the extension and adornment of the Capitol grounds,
and now he opposes a smaller appropriation having for its object the
extension of geographical knowledge in this hemisphere. I voted gladly
for the proposition of the Senator; but he does not favor mine. He is
against the North Pole. His mood is not unlike that of Lord Jeffrey,
when he broke forth against it. Somebody, to whom he had spoken
impatiently on the subject, complained to Sydney Smith of the language
he had employed, being nothing less than “Damn the North Pole!”--when
the great wit endeavored to soothe the injured man, saying, “Do not be
concerned; I have heard him speak disrespectfully of the Equator.” I
presume the Senator from Vermont would do the same thing, if there were
any question of exploration under the Equator.

I doubt not that in former days the Senator has circulated under his
frank Herndon’s “Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon.” Here was an
Equatorial exploration by which our country has gained honor. There is
nothing in our history by which we have acquired a better fame than
what we have done for science. The scientific reports on our Western
territory are much valued where science is cultivated. And the United
States Exploring Expedition, organized by the care of John Quincy
Adams, has given to our Republic a true renown. Who would blot from
our annals this invaluable record? But we, too, may do something not
unworthy of companionship with this early expedition.

Thus far our Government has attempted nothing for Polar exploration.
Kane and Hayes have added to our geographical knowledge, and inscribed
the names of honored countrymen on Arctic headlands; but their
expeditions proceeded from private munificence. The time has come when
the Government should take up this work, nor leave the monopoly to
foreign powers. Perhaps I desire too much; but I would have my country
explore this whole North American Continent, not only in the interest
of science, but for the sake of the near future. It is easy to see
that our Capitol grounds will be broader than anything included in the
amendment of the Senator from Vermont, and I hope we shall not delay
their exploration.

Nor should we be daunted by difficulties. I cannot doubt that the
time will come when every quarter of the globe, with every corner,
every recess, whether at the Equator or the Pole, whether land or sea,
will be brought within the domain of knowledge, and find its place on
the map, so that there shall be no _Terra Incognita_; but we must do
our part in this triumph. Do not say that this knowledge is without
value. Just in proportion as we know the earth can we use and enjoy it.
Therefore, for our own advantage and for our good name----

    THE VICE-PRESIDENT. It is the duty of the Chair to remind the
    Senator from Massachusetts that his five minutes have expired.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The appropriation was voted,--Yeas 28, Nays 25.



    The Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, having under
    consideration the House bill “to abolish the franking
    privilege,” Mr. Sumner said:--

MR. PRESIDENT,--This debate began with a simple proposition to abolish
the franking system, sometimes called “the franking privilege.” The
bill for this purpose rudely terminates the existing system, without
supplying any substitute, and without taking advantage of the proposed
change to reduce the rate of postage. The bill is destructive, but in
no respect constructive. It pulls down, but does not pretend to set up.
It abolishes an old and time-honored, if not beneficent system, under
which the people have grown in knowledge; but it does not attempt to
provide any means by which the original object of the system shall be
accomplished. It is a raw, crude, naked proposition. To adopt it in its
present form would be as if you voted the destruction of this Capitol,
without providing any place for the meeting of Congress, or economizing
the ruins you made.


In England the power to frank was originally conferred as a
“privilege,” and it assumed this character completely with time.
When O’Connell wrote to a young aspirant, who had just been elected
to Parliament, “You can frank to-night,” he announced a privilege.
So far as this power in our country can be regarded as a privilege,
it has no title to favor,--not the least. But whatever may be its
character, nothing is clearer than that it should not be a burden on
the postal service. With regard to the frank there are two obvious
principles: first, so far as it is a privilege, it must be abolished;
and, secondly, so far as it is allowed to remain, it must not be at
the expense of the Post-Office, but, like other national services, be
paid by the National Treasury. Better still, let it all disappear in
a renovated system, where the rate of postage shall render the frank

The franking system in our country cannot be treated alone. It is
part of a larger system, being the postal service of the country, and
must be regarded in its relations to this service. In its most simple
statement it is the freedom of certain letters, documents, pamphlets,
and seeds in the public mails; but its true character is seen only
in its operation. The franking system is that part of the postal
service by which the people are enabled without cost to address their
Senators and Representatives in Congress, and also the Departments of
Government, while these answer without cost, thus bringing all near
together; it is also that part of the postal service by which public
documents are circulated throughout the country, and though much is
distributed to little purpose, yet much is of unquestionable advantage.
Seeds, speeches, and pamphlets are also distributed in the same way;
nor can there be any question of the good influence from this agency.
All these are component parts of the existing postal system. Strike out
these, and the postal system of our country is changed. It is not the
system which has existed from the beginning of our Government, under
which the country has grown in knowledge and power.

To those who speak lightly of the franking system I indicate briefly
what it has done. It has brought the people and the Government
nearer together than people and Government ever were before. It has
distributed innumerable documents by which knowledge in government,
in science, and in the practical arts has been advanced. It has lent
itself to the dissemination of truth, especially in speeches; so that
it has been preacher and schoolmaster, with the whole people to hear
and to learn. During the long tyranny of Slavery it was by the franking
system that the arguments and protests against this wrong were carried
among the people; and when Slavery broke forth in rebellion, the
franking system became the powerful ally of the national cause; and now
in the education of the States lately in rebellion this very franking
system is the same powerful ally. It may be politic, discreet, and
economical to dispense with it, but not, I think, without providing
some substitute or commutation.


To meet the exigency of the pending proposition I have introduced a
bill, whose character may be seen in its title,--being “to simplify
and reduce the rate of postage, to abolish the franking system, to
limit the cost of carrying the mail, and to regulate the payment of
postage.”[22] While abolishing the franking system, I try to provide a
substitute, and at the same time, by associate provisions, to simplify
and reduce the rate of postage. Taking advantage of the proposed
change, I would revise the whole postal service, and bring it into
harmony with the demands of republican civilization. Here the example
of England is an important guide. The franking system there was an
indulgence, or privilege, and little else. The “Quarterly Review,”
while recognizing it as an abuse, likened it to “the concomitant
and greater one which stands on the same ground,--_exemption from
arrest_.”[23] It was not a system important in the relations between
Government and people, and yet it was abolished only in conjunction
with the establishment of a uniform letter-postage at one penny. But
just in proportion as the franking system is important with us should
its abolition be accompanied by a corresponding reduction in postage.

The copper unit of value in England is a penny, and this was adopted as
the rate of postage there. With us the copper unit of value is a cent,
and this I would adopt as the rate of postage here.

There are other provisions in the bill to which I call attention,
especially the new facilities for newspapers and periodicals; also
the requirement that all the business of the Post-Office shall be by
stamps, so that no money shall be collected or received by any clerk in
the office. By this process, at once simple, economical, and efficient,
all postages will be collected, and there will be no necessity for
accounts. The stamp office will be the universal money office, and the
vendor of stamps will be the universal collector.

Do you ask for economy? I show you a way, simple and certain, by which
receipts will be assured, while business is simplified. All dues will
be collected at the minimum of cost, so that there will be no loss from
frauds or supernumerary hands. There will be both security and economy,
besides simplicity; but simplicity is economy as well as convenience,
in the Post-Office as in mechanics.


If we go to foreign countries for example, we shall be obliged to
stop in England. There is nothing in any nation of the European
continent which is not a warning. Everywhere on that continent, from
time immemorial, postage has been exorbitant. The great Revolution
which popularized the institutions of France did not popularize
the Post-Office. Kings and nobles disappeared, while equal rights
prevailed; but France, fruitful in ideas, did not conceive the idea of
the Post-Office as a beneficent agent of civilization and the handmaid
of social life. Nor at that time was England in advance of France.
Everywhere postage was high and the mails were slow. In England the
service had a burden in the circumstance that every peer of the Upper
House and member of Parliament had a defined power of franking,--being
the power to send ten letters daily and to receive fifteen.[24] As
the letters sent and received by each privileged person were limited
in number, the Post-Office was obliged each day to verify every frank
and to count the letters thus sent and received. Here was what may be
justly called “the franking privilege,” while the whole postal service
was costly and cumbersome. Like that of the United States, it was the
growth of accident, and it was administered with a particular eye to
profits, as if this were the first object of a post-office. Economy
there should be always, but profits never. In Great Britain the surplus
of receipts above the cost of administration was carried to the general
treasury. In the United States the surplus received on certain lines
has been employed down to this day in extending mail facilities to the
sparse settlers in other parts of the country, besides defraying the
expense of the franking system; and the letters of the people have been
subjected to this tax.


From a proposition submitted to the King in 1635, and still preserved
in the State-Paper Office, it appears that the postal service was of
the slenderest character: letters, it is said, “being now carried
by carriers or foot-posts sixteen or eighteen miles a day, it is
full two months before any answer can be received from Scotland or
Ireland to London.”[25] But just so soon as it attracted attention
the Post-Office was regarded as a source of revenue. In 1657 a voice
in Parliament declared that it would “raise a revenue”; while a wise
statesman replied, with little effect, “Nothing can more assist trade
than this intercourse.”[26] It was often farmed out for hire. The
posts, both inland and foreign, under the Commonwealth, were farmed for
£10,000 a year.[27] In 1659 the Report on the Public Revenue contains
the following item: “By postage of letters in farm, £14,000.”[28]
Under Charles the Second the same system was continued, and his first
Postmaster-General contracted to pay to the King a yearly rent of
£21,500.[29] A little later we meet the statute of 15 Charles II. c.
14, with the suggestive title, “An Act for settling the profits of the
Post-Office on his Royal Highness the Duke of York and the Heirs male
of his body.” Under Queen Anne, what were called the “cross-posts” were
farmed to Ralph Allen, who made great improvements in their management
upon an agreement that the new profits so created should be his own
during life. The bargain was so excellent for the contractor that
during forty-two years he netted an average annual profit of nearly
twelve thousand pounds,[30] which was enormous for those days. It is
pleasant to think that the money thus obtained was well spent, as will
be confessed when it is known that this contractor was the _Allworthy_
of Fielding, and won from Pope that famous praise,--

    “Let humble Allen, with an awkward shame,
    Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.”[31]

The Post-Office was not only farmed to contractors, but it was
burdened with pensions, sometimes to a royal mistress or favorite.
This system was begun by James the Second, who, in execution of the
wishes of his brother, Charles the Second, granted to Barbara, Duchess
of Cleveland, £4,700 annually, and to the Earl of Rochester £4,000
annually, payable by the Post-Office.[32] Among the rewards lavished
at a later day upon the Duke of Marlborough was an annual pension
of £5,000, charged upon the Post-Office;[33] so that the victor of
Ramillies and of Blenheim was a stipendiary upon the correspondence of
the kingdom, every letter contributing to his annual income.

As the correspondence of the kingdom was charged with pensions, so also
was it called to bear the burden of war. The statute of 9 Anne, c.
10, tells the story in its title: “An Act for establishing a General
Post-Office for all her Majesty’s dominions, and for settling _a weekly
sum out of the revenues thereof for the service of the war_ and other
her Majesty’s occasions.” This statute was not short-lived, and its
success as “war measure” encouraged the imposition of other burdens, so
that the great English commentator, Sir William Blackstone, selected
the Post-Office as a favorite pack-horse. “There cannot be devised,”
says he, “a more eligible method than this of raising money upon the
subject; for therein both the Government and the people find a mutual
benefit. The Government acquires a large revenue; and the people do
their business with greater ease, expedition, and cheapness than they
would be able to do, if no such tax (and of course no such office)
existed.”[34] Here is the rule authoritatively declared which so long
prevailed with regard to the Post-Office.


The English franking privilege was the natural parasite of such a
system, where the true idea of a post-office was entirely forgotten.
Its origin belongs to this argument. It was in 1657, beneath the sway
of the great Protector, while the Postage Act was before the House,
that Sir Christopher Pack is reported as saying, “The design of the
bill is very good for trading and commerce; … as to that of letters
passing free for members, it is not worth putting in an Act”;[35] and
this is the earliest allusion to “letters passing free for members.”
The idea showed itself again just after the Restoration, while the
Act of 12 Charles II., c. 35, was under discussion. The proposition
to frank all letters to or from members of Parliament during the
session was carried on a division and after considerable debate,
in the course of which Sir Heneage Finch, so eminent as lawyer and
judge, characterized it as “a poor mendicant proviso, and below the
honor of the House.” Among its partisans was Sir George Downing, a
graduate in the first class of Harvard College. The Speaker, Sir
Harbottle Grimston, was unwilling to put the question, saying, “I am
ashamed of it.”[36] The Lords struck it out of the bill, ostensibly
for the reasons which had actuated the Opposition in the Commons, but
really because there was no provision that their own letters should
pass free. Although the proposition failed at that time to obtain
legislative sanction, yet the object was accomplished indirectly. In
the indenture with the contractor to whom the Post-Office was farmed
occurred a proviso for the free carriage of all letters to or from the
King, the great officers of State, “and also the single inland letters
only of the members of the present Parliament during the continuance
of this session of this Parliament.”[37] And thus began the “franking
privilege” in England. Defeated in Parliament, it was smuggled into a
Post-Office contract. With such an origin, it became a mere perquisite
of office; and afterward, when sanctioned by statute, it was employed
at the mere will of its possessor, who sometimes distributed his franks
among his friends and sometimes sold them for a price.[38]


The postal service in the Colonies was on a small scale. Authentic
incidents show its beginnings. The Government of New York in 1672
established a post to go monthly from New York to Boston, advertising
“those that bee dispos’d to send letters, lett them bring them to the
Secretary’s office, where, in a lockt box, they shall bee preserved
till the messenger calls for them. All persons paying the post before
the bagg be seal’d up.”[39] Thirty years later this monthly post was
fortnightly.[40] In Virginia the postal service was more simple. The
Colonial law of 1657 required every planter to provide a messenger for
the conveyance of dispatches, as they arrived, to the next plantation,
and so forward, on pain of forfeiting a hogshead of tobacco for each
default.[41] Until after 1704 there was no regular post further East
than Boston, or further West than Philadelphia. In that year Lord
Cornbury, writing to Government at home, says:--

    “If I have any letters to send to Virginia, or to Maryland, I
    must either send an express, who is often retarded for want of
    boats to cross those great rivers they must go over, or else
    for want of horses, or else I must send them by some passengers
    who are going thither. The least I have known any express take
    to go from hence to Virginia has been three weeks.”[42]

Shortly afterward stage-coaches were established between Boston and
New York, and between Boston and Philadelphia; but no post-office was
established in Virginia until 1732; nor did any postal revenue accrue
to Great Britain from the Colonies until 1753, when Benjamin Franklin
became Postmaster-General for the Colonies.[43]

The same genius which ruled in philosophy and in politics was not
wanting in this sphere of duty. The office was remodelled, and the
sphere of its operations extended. But the efforts of Franklin in this
department became tributary to the revenues of the mother country.
On his removal, in 1774, he was able to say, “Before I was displaced
by a freak of the ministers we had brought it to yield _three times
as much clear revenue to the Crown_ as the Post-Office of Ireland.
Since that imprudent transaction they have received from it--not one
farthing.”[44] Revenue! always revenue! Even Franklin shows no sign
of ascending to the true idea of a post-office. The Revolution was
now at hand, when the Crown ceased to receive revenue from any source
in the United States. But in separating from the mother country the
Post-Office was left unchanged in character. It was an undeveloped
agency, with receipts always above expenses.


Meanwhile in the mother country the Post-Office continued to be a
source of revenue; but its natural capacities were impaired by a
defective system, without an animating soul. It was merely a machine
for carrying a few letters and putting money into the public treasury.
Though still on a small scale, its processes were multifarious. The
rates were constantly altered, and generally increased in amount, as
also in number, in each of the three kingdoms, and without uniformity
in either two. From two or three, in 1710, they rose in number until
they reached the climax of absurdity and inconvenience in twelve
different rates for England and Scotland in 1812, and thirteen for
Ireland in 1814.[45] The impracticable system, with rates at once
numerous and high, led to perpetual evasions, while the franking
privilege was a charge without an equivalent. At last the day of
revolution came. After careful inquiry the old system was swept away,
and with it no less than one hundred and fifty Acts of Parliament by
which it was incumbered.[46] The old was succeeded by the new, and the
change was complete. No institution in history ever underwent at once a
transformation so beneficent as that of the British Post-Office.

Next after Benjamin Franklin, Rowland Hill will be enrolled as the
most remarkable character in the history of the Post-Office. The son
of a schoolmaster, of simple life, and without any connection with the
postal service, he conceived the idea of radical reform. It is not too
much to say that he became the inventor or author of cheap postage.
More than all Franklin did for the Colonies Hill did for Great Britain.
Call him inventor or author, there are few on either list more worthy
of honor; and since what is done for one country becomes the common
property of the world, he belongs to the world’s benefactors.

Rowland Hill well observed, that, while population, business, and all
other sources of national revenue had greatly increased during the
preceding twenty years, the revenue of the Post-Office had actually
decreased; that, for instance, the revenue from stage-coaches had
risen from £217,671 in 1815 to £498,497 in 1835, or one hundred
and twenty-nine per cent., while the postal revenue, which at a
corresponding rate of increase should have exhibited a gain of
£2,000,000, in point of fact showed an absolute loss of near £20,000,
having declined from £1,557,291 in 1815 to £1,540,300 in 1835.[47]
Evidently there was something abnormal, when the conveyance of persons
and parcels yielded a revenue so much beyond that of letters. After
showing the loss to the revenue, the generous reformer demonstrated
clearly that the actual cost of carrying a letter by coach in the
mail from London to Edinburgh, being four hundred miles, was only one
thirty-sixth part of a penny,[48]--from which it was properly inferred
that the actual difference of expense between transporting a letter
one mile and delivering it and transporting it four hundred miles
and delivering it did not justify a different rate of postage. His
conclusion was, that the large cost of distributing letters grew out
of a complex and multifarious system, springing especially from many
rates,--that all this would be superseded, if postage were charged,
_without regard to distance, at a uniform rate_, and that this uniform
rate should be one penny; and he did not hesitate to declare that with
this change there would be an increase in correspondence “at least
five and a quarter fold.”[49] In his original proposition, Rowland
Hill relied especially upon a uniform rate at a penny, regardless of
distance,--and from this promised simplicity, economy, and an immense
increase of correspondence. But, offensive as the franking privilege
had become, and burdensome to the postal service, he did not at first
propose its excision.

His plan encountered that honest opposition which improvement of all
kinds is obliged to overcome. The record is most instructive. The
Postmaster-General, Lord Lichfield, said in the House of Lords: “Of
all the wild and visionary schemes which I have ever heard of, it is
the most extravagant.” On another occasion the same high official
assured the House, that, if the anticipated increase of letters
should be realized, “the mails will have to carry twelve times as
much in weight; and therefore the charge for transmission, instead of
£100,000, as now, must be twelve times that amount. The walls of the
Post-Office would burst; the whole area in which the building stands
would not be large enough to receive the clerks and the letters.”[50]
In the same spirit with his chief, Colonel Maberly, the experienced
Secretary of the Post-Office, in his testimony before the Committee,
did not hesitate to say: “It appears to me a most preposterous plan,
utterly unsupported by facts, and resting entirely on assumption.” And
he proceeded to predict a loss of revenue from its adoption, saying,
that, if postage were reduced to one penny, the revenue “would not
recover itself for forty or fifty years.”[51] The London “Quarterly
Review,” with its habitual obstructiveness, set itself against the
new plan and its promised result, saying: “Common sense is astounded
at such a result and refuses to believe it, though it cannot at first
sight discover where the fallacies lie; but a little examination will
show, that, as usual, common sense is right, even against the assumed
accuracy of arithmetic.”[52] I give these as illustrative examples of
the opposition encountered.

Against all these stood Rowland Hill, insisting that the Post-Office,
although now “rendered feeble and inefficient by erroneous financial
arrangements,” in contemplation of the proposed reform “assumes the new
and important character of a powerful engine of civilization, capable
of performing a distinguished part in the great work of national

The proposed reform was vindicated as practical and valuable,
first by witnesses before the Parliamentary Committee, and then in
Parliamentary debate. The Committee examined no less than eighty-nine
witnesses. These were from every rank and nearly every trade and
profession,--peers of the realm, members of the House of Commons,
authors, publishers, merchants, bankers, mechanics, common carriers,
clergymen, solicitors, Post-Office officials, and others. Among the
witnesses were Richard Cobden, Charles Knight, Rowland Hill, Dionysius
Lardner, and Lord Ashburton.[54] The testimony embraced eleven thousand
six hundred and fifty-four questions and answers, and filled three
large folio volumes bound in two, making altogether nearly sixteen
hundred pages. The Index alone makes one hundred and fifty-three pages.

Among the many things testified before the Committee I select the words
of Lord Ashburton, as especially valuable. Experienced in business and
in public life, he pictures truthfully the burden of excessive postage,
when he says:--

    “I think it is one of the worst of our taxes. We have,
    unfortunately, many taxes which have an injurious tendency; but
    I think few, if any, have so injurious a tendency as the tax
    upon the communication by letters.”

And then again:--

    “It is, in fact, taxing the conversation of people who live at
    a distance from each other. The communication of letters by
    persons living at a distance is the same as a communication
    by word of mouth between persons living in the same town. You
    might as well tax words spoken upon the Royal Exchange as
    the communications of various persons living in Manchester,
    Liverpool, and London. You cannot do it without checking the
    disposition to communicate very essentially.”

At the same time Lord Ashburton hesitated to adopt a rate as low as one
penny. He was for twopence or threepence.[55]

The doubts of Lord Ashburton as to the rate were encountered by Mr.
Cobden, who testified:--

    “I consider the only way to produce the greatest possible
    amount of revenue is to charge the lowest possible trading
    profit; and it is in the Post-Office as in steamboats, or
    Paddington coaches, or calicoes, or sugars, or teas, or
    anything else which can be or ought to be an article of
    universal demand and consumption. With that view I have
    regarded Mr. Rowland Hill’s plan of Post-Office Reform; and
    taking the cost of a letter, upon the presumed increase he has
    stated, even at three-fourths of a penny each letter, I should
    say one penny would then be a proper charge ultimately to
    produce the greatest possible amount of revenue. I would reason
    from analogy and experience in every other business, and in
    none more than my own.”[56]

On such a point nobody could speak with more authority than Mr. Cobden.

But nobody showed more comprehension of the moral ground for this
reform than Mr. Jones Loyd, the eminent banker and economist,
afterwards Lord Overstone. Nothing can be better than this:--

    “I think, if there be any one subject which ought not to
    have been selected as a subject of taxation, it is that of
    inter-communication by post; and I would even go a step
    further, and say, that, if there be any one thing which the
    Government ought, consistently with its great duties to the
    public, to do gratuitously, it is the carriage of letters.
    We build national galleries, and furnish them with pictures;
    we propose to create public walks, for the air and health
    and exercise of the community, at the general cost of the
    country. I do not think that either of those, useful and
    valuable as they are to the community, and fit as they are
    for Government to sanction, is more conducive to the moral
    and social advancement of the community than the facility of
    intercourse by post. _I therefore greatly regret that the post
    was ever taken as a field for taxation_, and should be very
    glad to find, that, consistently with the general interests
    of the revenue, which the Government has to watch over, they
    can effect any reduction in the total amount so received, or
    any reduction in the charges, without diminishing the total

In all the voluminous testimony this beautiful passage is like a

At last this important subject was transferred from the Committee to
Parliamentary debate; and here I content myself with a few brief words
from leading speakers. Mr. Goulburn, one of the chiefs of Opposition,
admitted that the plan proposed would “ultimately increase the wealth
and prosperity of the country.”[58] Mr. Wallace declared it “one of
the greatest boons that could be conferred on the human race.”[59] Sir
Robert Peel admitted that “great social and commercial advantages will
arise from the change, independent of financial considerations.”[60]
Viscount Sandon, of the Opposition, struck a higher chord, when he
declared that he “had long been of opinion that the Post-Office
was not a proper source of revenue,” but “ought to be employed to
stimulate other sources of revenue.”[61] In the same strain, and with
higher authority, Mr. O’Connell declared it “one of the most valuable
legislative reliefs that had ever been given to the people”; that it
was “impossible to exaggerate its importance”; and even if it would not
pay the expense of the Post-Office, he held that “Government ought to
make a sacrifice for the purpose of facilitating communication.”[62] I
group these testimonies as important in the history of this reform, and
furnishing a guide for us.


At last victory was assured. The Parliamentary Committee reported
in favor of change. But Parliament hesitated to fix the change in
permanent form. By Act of 17th August, 1839, the Lords of the Treasury
were empowered by warrant under their hands to declare the rates of
postage according to weight, “without reference to the distance or
number of miles the same shall be conveyed,”--and also to suspend,
wholly or in part, “any parliamentary or official privilege of sending
and receiving letters by the post free of postage, or any other
franking privilege of any description whatsoever.” The Lords of the
Treasury were contented with ordering a uniform rate of fourpence, and
without the abolition of the franking privilege. This was not enough.
The people called for more, and the Lords of the Treasury by another
warrant declared the rate at one penny and suspended the franking
privilege.[63] This was followed by the Act of Parliament passed 10th
August, 1840, in which the great change was consummated. The rate was
established at one penny, with stamps; and the franking privilege
was abolished, except in the case of petitions to the Crown or to
Parliament not exceeding thirty-two ounces in weight. The clause of
abolition was as follows:--

    “That, except in the cases herein specified, all privileges
    whatsoever of sending letters by the post free of postage,
    or at a reduced rate of postage, shall wholly cease and

The abolition of the franking privilege was more than Rowland Hill
had proposed. In his testimony before the Parliamentary Committee
he undertook to account for the anticipated increase of letters “in
some measure from the _partial voluntary disuse_ of the franking
privilege,”[65]--thus mildly forecasting, not its abolition, but its
voluntary renunciation. And the Committee, in their recommendations,
treated its abolition as incident to cheap postage. This is their

    “It would be politic, … _if, on effecting the proposed reduction
    of the postage rates_, the privilege of Parliamentary franking
    were to be abolished, and the privilege of official franking
    placed under strict limitation,--petitions to Parliament and
    Parliamentary documents being still allowed to go free.”[66]

Thus was the abolition of the franking privilege announced as
subordinate to the reduction of the postage rates, which was the main

Thus, after inquiry and debate lasting for three years, this great
reform was accomplished, and the English Post-Office assumed an
unprecedented character. The new system was founded on a uniform rate
for uniform weight without regard to distance, and this rate the lowest
unit of coin,--with prepaid stamps, and the abolition of the franking
privilege. The experiment was a prodigious success, although the first
results showed a falling off financially. The Post-Office authorities
had predicted that it would not pay expenses; but the diminished
receipts were more than enough for the expenses, while the number of
letters was more than doubled.[67] There was a smaller net revenue
for the National Treasury, but an infinite benefit to the people. The
surplus of the first year was £500,789, against £1,633,764 of the
previous year.[68] But the improvement financially was constant, so
that here Rowland Hill became a prophet. He had predicted that the
increase of correspondence and the economy of management would in a
reasonable time afford a probable net revenue of £1,278,000.[69] In
1856 the net revenue had reached £1,207,725,--while at the same time
the letters were 478,393,803 in number, with 6,178,982 money orders,
against 75,907,572 letters, with 188,921 money orders, in the last year
of the old system.[70]

The smallest part of the result was in the revenue,--except so
far as this was advanced by the increased activity of the country,
represented by the added millions of correspondence. Commerce and
business were quickened infinitely, while the ties of social life were
brightened and the heart was rejoiced. Here the testimony is complete.
Tradesmen wrote to Rowland Hill, their benefactor, saying how their
business had increased. Charles Knight, the eminent publisher, who did
so much for the literature of the people, wrote that every branch of
bookselling was stimulated, while the country seller was brought into
almost daily communication with the London houses. The publisher of the
Polyglot Bible in twenty-four languages, requiring a peculiar revision,
declared that it could not have been printed but for penny postage.
The Secretary of the Parker Society, composed of Church dignitaries
and influential laymen, which has done so much for ecclesiastical
literature by reprinting the works of the early English Reformers,
stated that without penny postage the Society could not have come into
existence. Secretaries of other societies, literary and benevolent,
wrote how their machinery had been improved; conductors of educational
establishments testified that people were everywhere learning to
write for the first time, in order to enjoy the benefits of untaxed
correspondence, and that night classes of adults for this purpose were
springing up in all large towns. A leading advocate for the repeal
of the Corn Laws gave it as his opinion that this reform must have
waited but for penny postage,--that through this ally it reached its
triumph two years earlier than it otherwise could have done. All this
is easy to believe; for penny postage lends itself to all knowledge
and to every reform. Others wrote with rapture of its operations. The
accomplished naturalist, Professor Henslow, of Cambridge, rejoiced
over its “importance to those who cultivate science,” and pictured
the satisfaction of the humble people about his country parsonage “at
the facility they enjoy of now corresponding with distant relatives,”
together with what he calls “the vast domestic comfort which the penny
postage has added to homes like my own, situate in retired villages.”
Miss Martineau described its social benefits. Rowland Hill himself,
showing how much it had done for the poor, said, “The postman has now
to make long rounds through humble districts where heretofore his
knock was rarely heard.”[71] And from the outlying Shetland Islands
a visitor in May, 1842, reported: “The Zetlanders are delighted with
penny postage. The postmaster told me that the number of letters was
astonishing.”[72] But perhaps the heartfelt exultation was never better
expressed than by the accomplished traveller, Mr. Laing, when, after
describing the Prussian system of education, and giving the palm to
penny postage as “a much wiser and more effective educational measure,”
destined to be “the great historical distinction of the reign of
Victoria I.,” he proceeds to say, that “every mother in the kingdom,
who has children earning their bread at a distance, lays her head upon
her pillow at night with a feeling of gratitude for this blessing.”[73]
Such was the unbought tribute from all quarters,--alike the cottage
of the lowly and the home of the professor, the counting-house of the
merchant and the activities of benevolence, business in its various
forms, and the commanding efforts of the political reformer, all, all
confessing their debt to penny postage.[74]

The benefactor was honored in no common way, but not without tasting
the lot of others who have served Humanity. At first assigned to
a position in the Treasury connected with the Post-Office, then
dismissed, and then, with a change of Administration, not only restored
to the service, but appointed to a high position in the Post-Office
itself, he had the inexpressible satisfaction of witnessing the triumph
of his efforts and receiving the grateful regard of a happy people.
He was not rich, and the considerable sum of £13,000 was presented to
him by a public subscription throughout the country, with an address
declaring the reform he had accomplished “the greatest boon conferred
in modern times on all the social interests of the civilized world.”
The knighthood bestowed by his sovereign was another attestation of
his prevailing merit, destined to be followed by a further gift from
Parliament itself of £20,000.[75] This episode of honor and gratitude
to the benefactor has a peculiar interest for us, as furnishing new
testimony to the cause with which the name of Rowland Hill is forever


Such was the great reform by which the Post-Office became an evangel of
civilization; but all this may be ours. The impediments overcome were
greater than any we are called to encounter, while the object proposed
is in undoubted accord with republican institutions, where simplicity,
harmony, and adaptation to popular needs are acknowledged principles.
This renovation prevailed in England: how can it fail in the United
States? The Republic is the most advanced type of government, as the
human form is the most advanced type of the animal world; but the
Republic is nothing else than an organization to promote the welfare of
men. Whatever makes for human welfare is essentially republican. Nor
can any loss of revenue be set against this transcendent opportunity.
Show me how to promote the welfare of men, and I show you an economy
beyond any revenue; more still, I show you a duty not to be postponed.

The ruling principle in England, from the beginning down to the
triumph of penny postage, was revenue; and this is still the ruling
principle with us, to which all else is subordinated. England was
accustomed to say, and the United States now say, with Shylock, “We
would have moneys.” The abolition of the franking system is proposed on
this ground,--not to lighten the existing burden of correspondence, not
to cheapen postage, not to simplify the postal service, not to provide
the American equivalent of the English penny postage, but simply to
increase the revenue. We are summoned to give up a long-tried system,
educational in its influence, merely for the sake of the Treasury. This
is the object perpetually in view. Even the Postmaster-General, who is
so liberal in all his ideas, says, in words which hardly do justice to
the times, “As far as lay in my power, during my short administration,
I have reduced the expenditures and increased the revenues of the
Department.”[76] Something better than this remains to be done.


The postal system of the United States was kindred in character to
that of England until the latter was transfigured by the felicitous
genius of Rowland Hill. Both had the same incongruities and
incumbrances. The rates in both were complex instead of uniform,
and dear instead of cheap. The Act of Congress, February 20, 1792,
establishing the Post-Office, provided for no less than nine different
rates of postage, viz.,--six, eight, ten, twelve and a half, fifteen,
seventeen, twenty, twenty-two, and twenty-five cents,--according to
distance. In 1799 the number of rates was reduced to six, viz.,--eight,
ten, twelve and a half, seventeen, twenty, and twenty-five cents. In
1816 the number was further reduced to five, viz.,--six, ten, twelve
and a half, eighteen and a half, (in 1825 changed to eighteen and three
fourths,) and twenty-five cents,--and so continued until 1845, when,
yielding partially to the English example, the rates were established
at five and ten cents, with two cents for drop letters; then, in 1851,
at three and six cents for prepaid and five and ten cents for unpaid
letters, with one cent for drop letters; then, in 1855, at three and
ten cents prepaid, and one cent for drop letters; then, in 1863, at
three cents, or, failing prepayment, six cents, with two cents for drop
letters; and finally, in 1865, at three cents prepaid in all cases,
with two cents for drop letters delivered by carriers, or one cent
where there is no delivery.[77]

The difference between a drop letter and what is called a mailed
letter, or letter from post-office to post-office, causes frequent
confusion, as is seen here in Washington, where letters for Georgetown
often have the two-cent stamp, when they should have that of three
cents. The same confusion exists in other places. But this ridiculous
division and subdivision are peculiar to the United States. It is not
known that they are to be found in any other postal service.

The rates on foreign letters were, if possible, more chaotic. It was
different with different countries, according to existing treaties; and
this difference prevailed not only in the rate, but also in the unit
of weight. As late as 1849 the rate on letters to England and Ireland
was twenty-four cents, and was then changed to sixteen cents, and in
1868 to twelve cents; it is now six cents, being two cents for the sea
postage and two cents for the inland postage of each country, allowing
half an ounce of weight.[78] The treaty rate with France is fifteen
cents on one quarter of an ounce.[79] Letters to Canada and other
British North American provinces, when not over three thousand miles,
are six cents for each half-ounce, if prepaid, and ten cents, if not
prepaid; when over three thousand miles, ten cents; to Newfoundland,
ten cents.[80] Then, in the absence of postal international convention,
there is a general provision by Act of Congress establishing the rate
of ten cents for each half-ounce carried to or received from foreign
countries “by steamships or other vessels regularly employed in the
transportation of the mails.”[81]

Such are the complexity and multifariousness of our postal service,--at
least three different rates on inland letters, with an unknown variety
on foreign letters. Here is discord where there should be uniformity,
and out of this discord springs necessarily embarrassment with untold
expense. True, much has been done; but much remains to be done before
the service will have that simplicity without which it is vain to
expect the desired combination of utility and economy. Every departure
from uniformity is an impediment and an expense. It is with the postal
service as with all else in Nature and Art: it is efficient and
economical in proportion as it is simple. The rates of postage should
be uniform. Borrowing a phrase from our political victories, _all
letters should be equal before the law_.

Take by way of illustration the increased perplexity from two rates:
and here I follow an old official of the Post-Office, Pliny Miles, who
puts this very case. “Suppose,” says he, “city or local letters were
two cents, and letters for a distance three or four cents. What a vast
amount of labor and inconvenience in the work of rating and sorting
in the Post-Office, and how perplexing to the citizen!”[82] By the
existing system there is a double perplexity,--first, for the citizen,
and, secondly, for the postal service. Each rate is like an additional
language to be learned, while the unknown rates on foreign letters are
like the confusion of Babel.


In the process of simplification the uniform rate should be the lowest
unit of coin. Beyond the sufficiency of this rate as a protection of
the Post-Office against abuse, and also its obvious convenience, is
its cheapness, reducing the tax on correspondence to its practical
minimum. In England the penny was the lowest unit of coin, being in the
English currency what the cent is in ours. The success of the English
experiment is our best encouragement. There is better reason for the
cent as a proper rate in our country than there was for the penny as a
proper rate in England.

Such a rate will be so near to _free postage_ for all, that it may be
considered such practically. Let it be adopted, and free postage will
become the companion of free school, free lecture, and free library,
constituting the mighty group of republican civilization. The existing
franking system will naturally disappear in this new franking system
for all.

Here we encounter the financial question, What will be the effect
on the Treasury? Will it pay? These are the potential words. This is
the touchstone. That it will pay in beneficent influence tenfold, ay,
Sir, a hundred-fold,--that it will make the Post-Office more than ever
the powerful agent of human improvement, I cannot doubt. What is a
little revenue, compared with such a result? What, even, is a deficit,
with such a compensation? But looking at the financial question, and
forgetting for a moment the incalculable good, it will be found that
there are general laws of profit on small prices applicable to this
proposed reduction, reinforced also by the example of England, and even
of our own country.


Nothing is plainer, as a general rule, than that the reduction of
price tends to increase of consumption. This is illustrated by a
thousand instances. Thus, at one time in England the fall in the price
of soap one eighth increased the consumption one third; the fall of tea
one sixth increased consumption one half; the fall of silks one fifth
doubled the consumption; the fall of coffee one fourth trebled it; and
the fall of cotton goods one half quadrupled it.[83] The circulation
of newspapers and the number of advertisements are governed by the
same law. There is another English instance, not within the range of
ordinary business, which is not without historic interest. Formerly
the admission fee to the famous sights of the Tower of London was two
shillings, at which rate there were, during the year ending April 30,
1838, 11,104 visitors, paying £1110 8_s._ The fee was then reduced to
one shilling, and during the twelve months following (1838-9) there
were 42,212 visitors, paying £2110 12_s._ On the first of May, 1839,
the fee was again reduced to sixpence, and during the ensuing year
(1839-40) there were 84,872 visitors, paying £2121 16_s._,--and the
next year (1840-41) 94,973 visitors, paying £2374 6_s._ 6_d._[84] Thus
at the Tower more people were gratified by the sights and more money
was taken,--so that there was at the same time a larger accommodation
and a larger revenue. A reduction of the fee in the ratio of four to
one was followed by an increase of visitors in the ratio of more than
eight to one. According to a familiar story in our own country, the
exhibitor of a panorama reported to the proprietor that the proceeds at
twenty-five cents a ticket did not pay expenses. “Put it down to ten
cents,” was the reply. This was done, and immediately the receipts rose
so as to give a profit of one hundred dollars a week.

Such instances as these occurring in business and in life led Rowland
Hill to assert that “the increase in consumption is inversely as the
squares of the prices”; and this rule justified the expectation, that,
with the proposed reduction of letter postage from the average of
sixpence to a penny, the number of letters would increase thirty-six
fold.[85] If the number did not increase in this remarkable ratio, yet
it was such as to disappoint the enemies of reform. It appears that
the estimated number of chargeable letters delivered in the United
Kingdom of England, Scotland, and Ireland in 1839, the year immediately
preceding the first general reduction of postage, was 75,907,572,
and in 1840, the first year of penny postage, 168,768,344, showing
an increase in one year of more than 122 per cent. Since then this
large number has dilated year by year, until in 1867 it amounted to

Postal facilities have from the beginning promoted correspondence,
and this was recognized even before the appearance of Rowland Hill.
An old account of the English Post-Office, after describing certain
improvements, exults “that there is no considerable market-town but
hath an easy and certain conveyance for the letters thereof to and from
the Grand Office in the City of London, in the due course of the mails
every post”; and then adds, that, “though the number of letters missive
in England were not at all considerable in our ancestors’ days, yet
it is now prodigiously great, since the meanest people have generally
learnt to write.”[87] This is the language of another age; but it
attests the stimulation which letters receive from opportunity, and
illustrates the value of cheap postage.


The experience of England is reproduced in the United States, so far
as we have ventured upon postage reform. Every reduction of rate has
been followed by a corresponding increase in the number of letters.
There was the law of 1845, by which postage was reduced to two
principal rates of five and ten cents. At this proposition, which erred
only in its feebleness, there was the gloomiest foreboding of utter
loss to the Post-Office. The raven did not croak more hoarsely at the
entrance of Duncan under the battlements of Macbeth. Mr. McDuffie, the
excitable Senator from South Carolina, always sensitive for Slavery,
after expressing regret that bodily infirmity disabled him from
declaring the strength of his convictions in regard to the evils which
would flow from this measure, protested against its adoption as “more
radical and revolutionary than anything ever done in Congress.” The
Senator denounced it as most unjust, and predicted that in ten years
the Post-Office would cost the Treasury $10,000,000.[88] The newspaper
press, though not so fervid, was as skeptical as the South Carolina
Senator; and the Postmaster-General showed the very disposition which
had given to his brother officials in England the designation of
“unwilling horses.” In his first Report after the passage of the law,
he announced a prospective deficiency for the current year exceeding
$1,250,000, and, unless there should be some amendment of the law,
another deficiency the next year of little short of $1,000,000.[89]
Now mark the result of even this too slight reduction. The actual
deficiency for 1845-6 was only $597,097,[90] and for 1846-7 it was
but $33,677,[91] while in 1848-9 there was a surplus revenue of
$226,127.[92] The letters in 1845 were estimated at 39,958,978; and in
1849 at 60,159,862,[93] showing an increase in four years of more than
fifty per cent.

Every reduction of postage in our country exhibits similar results.
According to the ratio of reduction has been the ratio of increase in
the number of letters. It may surprise Senators to know, that, while
the estimated number in 1852 was 95,790,524,[94] it reached in 1868 to
488,000,000, in the estimate of the Post-Office.[95] But this is only
according to the prevailing impulsion from a reduction in price. In
England, where the rate was smaller, the number of letters was much
larger, being in 1867, as estimated, no less than 774,831,000.[96]
This becomes more remarkable, when it is considered that the estimated
population of the United States at the time was more than forty
millions, while that of the United Kingdom was thirty millions,--making
twelve letters annually for each person in the United States, and
twenty-six letters annually for each person in the United Kingdom.


To understand the justice of the proposed reduction in our country, we
must analyze and consider existing obligations of the postal service.
I mention two, through which we may see the unjust operation of the
present tax on correspondence: first, the well-known franking system,
and, secondly, the millions of newspapers, by which an inconceivable
amount of mail matter is made a burden on the Post-Office, tasking its
transportation and its means of delivery. Although printed matter,
unfranked, is charged with postage, it is not in proportion to its
burden on the postal service; so that the letter not only pays for
itself, but contributes to the other. The letter, so small in dimension
and weight, but with its own unseen freight of business or friendship,
is made to carry an additional load. Every letter is a dwarf
shouldering a giant; or stating the case with absolute literalness, it
is a sheet of paper compelled to bear free matter and printed matter
measured by the ton. This little messenger, whose single function
necessarily requires dispatch, is charged with this intolerable mass.
No wonder that it staggers under the load heaped upon it. No wonder
that the people are obliged to pay high postage; for, on receiving a
letter, they not only pay the price of its transportation and delivery,
but they contribute to the transportation and delivery of everything
else carried by the mails.

But even this burden could be borne, if the whole service were
not charged with the cost of transportation and postal facilities
in distant parts of the country, where there is necessarily a
disproportionate expense,--so that a letter in certain States, after
paying for its own transportation and delivery, and contributing to
the transportation and delivery of free matter and printed matter,
contributes still further to those long lines of service by which the
most remote places are supplied and the post-office follows close in
the footsteps of the pioneer. This is beautiful, but it is not just;
in other words, it is beautiful that these opportunities should be
afforded, but it is not just that the correspondence of others should
pay for them. Nor should these extraordinary expenses be charged on
these remote places, or on the pioneer. They belong properly to the
necessary outlay in opening the country, by which the nation, the
great untaxed proprietor, finds a market for its land and new scope
for its growing empire. Obviously this outlay should be charged to the
Treasury, rather than saddled upon the postal service, as it is now.


The last Report of the Postmaster-General shows the operation of the
existing system in this respect. By the Statement of Receipts and
Expenditures for 1868-9, it appears that in no less than sixteen States
and Territories, including the District of Columbia, the Post-Office
was more than self-supporting, there being an excess of receipts over
expenditures of $3,571,315; while in the other States and Territories
there was an excess of expenditures over receipts amounting to
$4,727,175.[97] The self-supporting list, with each surplus, is as

    |                    |              |             |Excess of    |
    |  States and        |  Receipts.   | Expenses.   |receipts over|
    |  Territories.      |              |             |expenditures.|
    |Maine               |   $309,244.35|  $293,667.27|   $15,577.08|
    |New Hampshire       |    198,238.89|   165,370.21|    32,868.68|
    |Massachusetts       |  1,389,731.76|   740,121.42|   649,610.34|
    |Rhode Island        |    149,800.95|    76,046.78|    73,754.17|
    |Connecticut         |    418,048.99|   312,415.28|   105,633.71|
    |New York            |  3,818,667.45| 2,186,196.21| 1,632,471.24|
    |New Jersey          |    343,192.64|   297,402.18|    45,790.46|
    |Pennsylvania        |  1,734,987.75| 1,135,969.06|   599,018.69|
    |Delaware            |     49,291.11|    45,496.69|     3,794.42|
    |Ohio                |  1,185,718.44| 1,166,145.19|    19,573.25|
    |Michigan            |    550,107.68|   537,012.97|    13,094.71|
    |Illinois            |  1,442,300.26| 1,125,034.22|   317,266.04|
    |Iowa                |    438,636.79|   398,381.21|    40,255.58|
    |District of Columbia|    123,422.70|   111,746.40|    11,676.30|
    |Alaska              |        316.72|       150.00|       166.72|
    |Wyoming             |     18,086.09|     7,322.37|    10,763.72|
    |                    +--------------+-------------+-------------+
    |     Total          |$12,169,792.57|$8,598,477.46|$3,571,315.11|

Here I ask confidently, considering the nature of the Post-Office and
the unquestionable importance of encouraging correspondence, if it
is just that the letter-writers in one part of the country should be
constrained to make the large contribution attested by this table, for
the benefit especially of those at a distance, and also of the country
at large. Rejecting again all idea of casting this expenditure upon the
distant places and the pioneer, I insist that it should be borne by the
Treasury rather than by remote letter-writers.

It is easy to exhibit the extent of this charge, and its palpable
injustice. Begin with an illustration. Suppose a common carrier, with
an interest beyond his business in an undeveloped part of the country
at some distance from his daily line, makes a deviation to this
outlying settlement at a daily loss, but looking to the growth of his
interest there for ultimate remuneration. It would not be just for
him to levy on all his customers along the main line for the expense
of this deviation,--making them not only pay for their parcels, but
contribute to the development of the outlying settlement. Nor would
this enforced contribution commend itself, if urged in the name of
charity or as a patriotic service to an infant community. The customers
would insist that their parcels should pay only the legitimate cost of
transportation and delivery; or they would soon find another carrier,
who would charge them simply for their parcels, without adding the cost
of opening new settlements. But the National Government is our common
carrier, turning aside at great expense to develop and supply new
places, to its great ultimate advantage in the sale of public lands,
the growth of population, and increase of the revenue; but it is not
justified in casting this large expense on the correspondence of the

Already the Nation assumes the expenses of the Territories before their
admission as States, paying the salaries of their various officers and
the cost of administration. For equal reason the Nation should assume
the expenses of these outlying post-routes.

By the kindness of the Postmaster-General I am enabled to present from
the records of the Department two authentic testimonies. There is the
post-route from San Antonio to El Paso, a distance of seven hundred
and four miles, with the annual cost of service, $126,601, and the
annual receipts from offices on the route, $3,137. There is also the
post-route from Kelton, Utah, to the Dalles, Oregon, seven hundred and
sixty-five miles, with the annual cost of service, $130,278, and the
annual receipts from offices on the route, $3,822. Other instances
might be adduced, but these are enough to show how seriously the postal
service is burdened by obligations which plainly belong to the Treasury.

In former debates of the Senate, an incident was mentioned by Mr.
Crittenden, of Kentucky,[98] which illustrates the character of these
unproductive lines. During a journey in Tennessee in the summer of
1844, the Senator had occasion to go to an outlying post-office in the
interior of the State, on reaching which, late at night, he found the
postmaster had gone to bed, leaving the mail-bags in the wagons. To his
inquiries concerning this singular circumstance, “Why, Sir,” responded
the official, “we don’t take the bags out at all; we don’t even look
into them; it is so seldom we receive anything, we don’t think it worth
while.” And upon investigation it in fact appeared that there was not a
letter in any one of these bags, and had not been for a month. But this
costly mail-service was at the expense of the correspondence elsewhere.
The letter of the distant seaboard was a contributor.


Sometimes it is supposed that the great distances of our country cause
the large expense; but this is a mistake, founded on superficial
observation. The large expense proceeds from something besides
distance. Here I quote the words of Rowland Hill:--

    “It is not matter of inference, but a matter of fact, that the
    expense to the Post-Office is practically the same, whether a
    letter is going from London to Barnet [eleven miles] or whether
    it is going from London to Edinburgh [four hundred miles]; the
    difference is not expressible in the smallest coin we have.”[99]

I have already mentioned that the actual cost of transportation from
London to Edinburgh was only one thirty-sixth of a penny, and this was
the average for all letters throughout the United Kingdom. With so
small a fraction of a penny representing the cost of the longest line,
it was apparent that the element of distance must be eliminated from
the question. A recent writer thus strongly testifies to this rule:--

    “If Mr. Hill demonstrated one thing more plainly than another,
    it was that the absolute cost of the transmission of each
    letter was so infinitesimally small, that, if charged according
    to that cost, the postage could not be collected. Besides, it
    is not certain that the one letter would cost the Post-Office
    more than the other.”[100]

But this rule is as applicable in our country as in the United Kingdom,
always provided the lines are productive.

This rule, first enunciated by Rowland Hill, was substantially adopted
by the Parliamentary Committee, when they say,--

    “That it is the opinion of this Committee, that that part of
    the inland postage on letters _which consists of tax_ ought
    to be the same on all; that, as the cost of conveyance per
    letter depends more on the number of letters carried than on
    the distance which they are conveyed, the cost being frequently
    greater for distances of a few miles than for distances of
    hundreds of miles, the charge, if varied in proportion to the
    cost, ought to increase in the inverse ratio of the number
    of letters conveyed; but as it would be difficult, if not
    impossible, to carry such a regulation into practice, and as
    the actual cost of conveyance (assuming the charged letters
    to bear the whole expense of the franked letters and of the
    newspapers) forms less than the half of the whole charge
    exclusive of tax, the remaining portion consisting chiefly
    in the charges attendant on their receipt at and delivery
    from the Post-Office, your Committee are of opinion that the
    nearest practicable approach to a fair system would be to
    charge a uniform rate of postage between one post-town and
    another, whatever might be their distance; and your Committee
    are further of opinion that such an arrangement is highly
    desirable, not only on account of its abstract fairness,
    but because it would tend in a great degree to simplify and
    economize the business of the Post-Office.”[101]

All this is plainly reasonable, whether in the United Kingdom or the
United States.

The actual cost of each letter is inversely as the number of letters,
irrespective of distance. The weight enters very little into the
question. Take, for instance, a route of ten miles, at ten cents a
mile, and another of one hundred miles at the same rate. If on the
route of ten miles there is an average of only one letter, as is the
case on some routes, this one letter would cost one dollar, while ten
thousand letters on the route of one hundred miles would cost only
one mill a letter. The Post-Office pays a fixed compensation for the
daily transportation of its mails between certain places, and this
compensation is not varied by any addition to the number of letters.
Therefore on all productive or paying lines, as between Washington and
New York, and then between New York and Buffalo, additional letters may
be received for distant places, without adding to the cost, until the
letters reach St. Louis or New Orleans, or any other place accessible
by a self-supporting line, and the actual cost of a letter for the
longest distance will be no more than for the shortest. It will be the
same alike to New Orleans and to New York. Thus on the assumption of a
continuous self-supporting line the question of distance does not enter
into the cost, and thus again we see the injustice of compelling the
correspondence on such a line to the contributions it is now obliged to


Here I encounter an old-fashioned objection common in England as
well as in the United States, and which has shown itself at every
proposed change in the postal service. It is said that the existing
rate is not oppressive, and that there is no need of its reduction.
Obviously it is not oppressive to Senators and Representatives, who
send and receive unnumbered letters free; nor is it oppressive to their
correspondents; nor again is it oppressive to the rich and thriving,
for they contribute out of their abundance; but plainly and indubitably
it is oppressive to the poor, and it is absurd to say that it is not.
Plainly and indubitably it is oppressive to the widowed mother, whose
best comfort is correspondence with her absent child; it is oppressive
to the child corresponding with mother, sister, or brother; it is
oppressive to all whose scanty means supply only the necessaries of
life. All these are restrained in the gratification of those affections
which contribute so much to human solace and strength.

Do not say that practically there is little difference between three
cents and one cent,--that the difference is hardly appreciable. A great
mistake. Is it not appreciable in the cost of tea, coffee, and sugar?
The reduction of one cent a pound in the tariff on sugar, of two cents
on coffee, or of a few cents on tea, is not treated as trivial.

There is the poor pensioner with eight dollars a month. She, too,
has family and friends; but the postal tax interferes to arrest the
congenial intercourse. Every letter adds to the burden she is obliged
to bear. Her fingers forget the pen, and she finds herself alone. Nor
is this hardship peculiar to the poor pensioner. An eminent citizen and
valued friend, who has given much attention to this subject, states the
case thus: “When one of my children is absent, I write a line every
day. Suppose I were a poor widow, earning barely enough to make the two
ends meet, and had children in the West, to each of whom I should want
to write at least once a week, making in all several dollars a year;
then the cost would be oppressive.” This simple illustration brings
home the operation of the postal tax now imposed by law, and shows how
it troubles those who most need the care and tenderness of the world.
The tax on letters is like the tax on salt. If it must exist, it must
be small, very small.

There are some who think that no existing institution is oppressive.
According to them, Slavery was not oppressive. In the same mood, the
law of 1845, with its two rates of five cents and ten cents, and then
again the law of 1855, by which the rate of five cents was reduced
to three cents, were pronounced unnecessary. The multifarious rates
anterior to 1845 were not oppressive, and in 1855 there was no call
for the reduction of the rate from five cents to three cents. Such
was the argument then, precisely as now. So in the days of Slavery
it was argued that the slaves did not desire freedom, and that their
condition was not oppressive. The great reform of Rowland Hill
encountered the same objection. Even Lord Ashburton, while favoring a
change, was content with twopence or threepence, and, in his testimony,
settled down upon threepence as satisfactory. He shrank from the
penny rate.[102] This question was treated with excellent sense by
Mr. Jones Loyd, whom I have already quoted, whose testimony bears
strongly on this very objection. After saying “that the present rate of
postage does in point of fact produce a prohibition of the use of the
Post-Office to all classes that may be considered as below the higher
classes,”[103] the attention of the witness was called by the Committee
to the allegation “that the laboring classes do not feel the oppressive
rate of postage.” He replied in words of wisdom worthy of memory now,
and completely applicable to the very question now before the Senate:--

    “The habits of a people are in a great degree the result
    of the laws under which they live; the high charges of our
    Post-Office have induced, amongst all but the richer classes,
    a habit of abstaining from epistolary communication, and it
    might take some time to correct that habit. But it appears to
    me very desirable that the impediment should be removed; and
    I have no doubt, that, in the course of a short time, as the
    poorer classes have the common affections of the human breast,
    they would form a taste for the pleasures to be derived from
    intercourse with absent friends and relations. It would be very
    desirable, for the moral interests of the community, that every
    facility should be afforded for that purpose.”[104]

On the “oppression of a tax,” where persons do not use the article
taxed, the intelligent witness testified as follows:--

    “They may not know the loss they sustain; but that does not
    alter the fact that they do sustain a very great loss; and
    it would be highly criminal and cruel voluntarily to inflict
    such a loss upon a person merely upon the ground that he does
    not know it. A child that is born blind does not know the
    advantages of sight; but still it would be a very extraordinary
    thing to inflict blindness upon a child, merely upon the
    ground, that, if you do it, in time he will not know the loss
    he has sustained.”[105]

All this is plain and unanswerable. The oppressiveness of a tax is not
to be measured by the insensibility of the people on whose shoulders it
is laid. It is a curiosity of despotism that the people are too often
unconscious of their slavery, as they are unconscious also of bad laws.
A wise and just Government measures its duties not by what the people
bear without a murmur, but by what is most for their welfare; and it is
to this criterion that I bring the question of cheap postage. Say not
that the people are indifferent and do not ask for this reduction. Is
it not for their good? Is not the advantage so eminent and unequivocal
that the Government can no longer hesitate, especially at this
transitional moment, when our country is passing from the Old to the
New, and the people more than ever are assured in their rights?


After this exhibition of existing burdens, so prejudicial to the
correspondence of the country, I return again to the main postulate of
this argument, that a uniform rate of one cent for a letter of half an
ounce is entirely reasonable, and in a short time, with proper relief
in other directions, would render the Post-Office self-supporting. Here
I introduce the testimony of a gentleman practically conversant with
the operations of our Post-Office, who writes to me as follows:--

    “Taking the weight of the letter mail-matter and the printed
    mail-matter, and charging the expense of transportation upon
    each proportioned to the weight, and one cent is all that would
    be relatively chargeable upon each half-ounce of letter mail.
    I speak from close daily observation in a large office, in a
    region that is a large revenue-paying one to the Department on
    all mail-matter.”

This testimony of an expert is only in harmony with my own conclusion.

This injustice becomes more apparent, when we consider the
disproportion between the cost of other transportation and letter
postage. Take, for instance, the fare of a passenger on a railway in
comparison with that of a letter. The average weight of passengers with
their baggage is supposed to be 230 pounds, which is the weight of
7,360 half-ounce letters, paying, at the present rate of three cents,
$220.80, irrespective of distance. The following table, prepared some
time ago, shows the cost of other transportation:--

    |                               |         |Mills|Express |Mills|
    |         From Boston--         |Passenger| per |freight.| per |
    |                               |fare.    |half |230 lbs.|half |
    |                               |         | oz. |        | oz. |
    |To New York                    |  $4     |  .5 | $1.50  |  .2 |
    |” Philadelphia                 |   7     |  .9 |  3.50  |  .5 |
    |” Baltimore                    |  10     | 1.3 |  5.50  |  .7 |
    |” Cincinnati                   |  25     | 3.4 | 10.50  | 1.4 |
    |” St. Louis                    |  35     | 4.7 | 12.00  | 1.6 |
    |” New Orleans                  |  45     | 6.1 | 14.00  | 1.9 |
    |” Liverpool per Cunard steamers| 120     |16.3 |  7.20  |  .9 |

In other transportation there is a slight increase in proportion to
the distance; but it is difficult to see on what principle a mail-bag
between Washington and New York should pay more than a passenger; and
the same difficulty occurs when we consider ocean postage, where the
disproportion between postage and other transportation is, perhaps,
more conspicuous. Elihu Burritt, who has enforced the importance
of cheap rates on the ocean with admirable comprehension of their
importance, has reminded us that the freight of a barrel of flour,
weighing two hundred pounds, is about fifty cents, while the charge
for the same weight in half-ounce letters, being sixty-four hundred in
number, at the rate of twenty-four cents a letter, would be no less
than $1,536, and at the rate of one cent would be sixty-four dollars.
These instances show that letters have been always overcharged, or
charged out of proportion to their weight.

To my mind it is unjust that the letter everywhere should contribute
so largely to the transportation and delivery of other mail matter,
while in some parts of the country it contributes besides to postal
facilities elsewhere. I think I do not err, when I aver, that, even
with the latter burden, the Post-Office, if it carried nothing but
letters, _and every letter paid one cent_, would be self-supporting.
I put the case in this way so as to exhibit the essential equity of
the proposed reduction, and, I would add, its entire practicability.
Although the Post-Office cannot be relieved of the other mail-matter,
yet the letters can be relieved of the burdensome contribution to which
they are now subjected. One cent postage would give new operation
to the law according to which reduction of price tends to produce
consumption, and there would be a new impulsion to correspondence,
by which in a short time it would be doubled, tripled, quadrupled,
quintupled, and sextupled,--nay, in our growing country it would be
multiplied beyond calculation.

As to this increase, I have already shown something of its progress
in Great Britain, beginning with one hundred and twenty-two per cent.
the first year of penny postage.[106] Why may not the same take place
with us? According to the official table now on our desks, the smaller
population of the United Kingdom sends more letters than ours. It would
be difficult to credit this result, if the figures did not tell the
tale beyond correction. Here is the table:[107]--

    |                         |United States,|United Kingdom,|
    |Proportion of Letters    | year ending  |     year      |
    |    and Revenue to       |   June 30,   |ending Dec. 31,|
    |    Population.          |    1868.     |     1867.     |
    |Population (estimated)   |    40,092,356|    30,305,284 |
    |Number of letters        |              |               |
    |  delivered (estimated)  |   488,000,000|   774,831,000 |
    |Number of letters to     |              |               |
    |  each person            |            12|            26 |
    |Gross revenue            |$16,232,148.16|   $23,341,070 |
    |Amount of revenue to each|              |               |
    |  person of aggregate    |              |               |
    |  population             |      40 cents|      77 cents |

Testimony could not be stronger. The smaller population sends a
larger sum-total of letters, making of course a larger number for each
person, and yielding a larger gross revenue. It is humiliating to
think that the people of this Monarchy send at the rate of twenty-six
letters for each person, while the citizens of our Republic send only
at the rate of twelve for each person. The inverse disproportion of
letters becomes the more remarkable, when it is understood that the
proportion of people who can read and write is greater among us than
in the United Kingdom, so that, all other things being equal, the
number of letters by each person should be greater among us; but we are
obliged to confront the unquestionable fact that the number is less.
How is this? Why is this? I know no way of accounting for it except in
the discouraging cost of correspondence. Here I find unquestionable
reason to conclude that we have not a proper rate of postage. Clearly
something is wanting. It is not education; for the people among us
excel the British people in this respect. It is not business, or
family, or friendship; for are not all these active with us? I submit
that we want nothing but cheap postage, so that the people, finding
their means in harmony with the rates, shall be tempted to write
letters. So it was in England; and so it may be among us.

Against the entire reasonableness of the proposed rate, it will not do
to say that in the wages of English labor a penny is the equivalent of
three cents among us. Even if it be so, there is a twofold answer to
the allegation: first, that convenience and reason concur in favor of
the lowest unit of coin, which with us is the cent, as in England it is
the penny; and, secondly, that with us the general scale of salary and
expenditure is less than in England, beginning with the President as
compared with the Queen, and embracing the functionaries of Government
in the two countries. The penny, which is a larger unit than the cent,
typifies the larger scale of price; so that our postage will be brought
to practical equality with that of England only by the adoption of the
corresponding unit of our country. If this seems refined or technical,
let me add that I adduce it only in answer to an objection, which
forgets not only the beauty of that simplicity found in the lowest unit
of coin, but also that fundamental difference between England and the
United States found in their respective institutions.


Here I am reminded of the possible loss of revenue, and this is set
up as an insuperable barrier; but I confess, that, when I regard the
infinite good from this reform, I am little concerned by any such
prospect. Better any possible loss of revenue than the postponement of
such a good. Nobody can say positively what the loss will be. It is
only an estimate, or, if you please, a guess. Some may make it high,
others low. According to the last Reports of the Postmaster-General,
the actual deficiency, with the rate of three cents, was $5,353,620,
and the estimated deficiency for 1870 is $7,440,413; but in both cases
the expenditures are swollen by illegitimate and extrinsic charges on
the Post-Office properly belonging to the Treasury. For 1871, with
the rate at three cents, the estimated expenditures, swollen by the
illegitimate and extrinsic charges, are $25,581,093, with receipts,
$20,178,961, leaving a deficiency of $5,402,132.[108]

Making the estimate for 1871 with the rate of one cent, and assuming
an increase in correspondence at only one hundred per cent., there
would be a deficiency of $12,128,452, from which should be deducted the
illegitimate and extrinsic charges properly belonging to the Treasury.
Considering these for one moment, you will see how small the deficiency
will be; and here I follow the last Report of the Postmaster-General,
who does not hesitate to estimate the proportion of free matter in
the mails at twenty-five per cent. of the whole, so that, according
to him, “it will appear that the Government is bound in honor and
justice to appropriate $5,000,000, instead of $700,000 [the present
appropriation], for this service.”[109] But with the abolition of the
franking system all this postal matter will pay the ordinary rate, and
thus contribute to the postal service. Deduct also another sum for the
expenditures of outlying routes, justly chargeable upon the Treasury,
like the existing franking system.

Such is the whole case as to any possible loss of revenue, which I
state with entire frankness; but I cannot doubt that a short period
would witness a change, while the people entered into the enjoyment of
their great possession. Letters would daily multiply, and the revenue
would bear witness to the increase.


Only in obedience to traditional usage have I dwelt thus long on
the financial aspect of this question, which to my mind is the least
important of all. Not to make money, but to promote the welfare of the
people, and to increase the happiness of all,--such is the precious
object I would propose; and here I ask no such question as, “Will it
pay?” It may not pay in revenue at once, but it will pay in what is
above price. Unhappily, the Post-Office, whether at home or abroad,
has been from the beginning little more than _a taxing machine_, a
contrivance to raise money, or a “milch cow” with fruitful dugs. In
England it was at times farmed out to a speculator, and then again
it was charged with the support of a royal mistress or favorite.
For its profits only was it regarded, and not for its agency in the
concerns of life. In this respect it was not unlike the Government,
which was simply a usurpation for the benefit of the few. All this
is now changed, at least among us, and Government is the creation
of the people for their good. The Post-Office should share this
transformation. Instead of a mere taxing machine, or contrivance
to raise money, or “milch cow” with fruitful dugs, it should be an
omnipresent beneficent minister, reaching its multitudinous hands with
help and comfort into all the homes of our wide-spread land. Such it
is already in England, to the infinite joy of all. But the omnipresent
beneficent minister belongs to a republic more than to a monarchy.
Cheap postage is a republican institution. If England has anticipated
us, we may at least profit by her example.

It is because Senators see the Post-Office only in its least elevated,
not to say its most vulgar character, that there is any hesitation.
Contemplate for one moment, if you please, its great and beautiful
office. It is the universal messenger of a people, bearing tidings
of all kinds, whether of business, hope, affection, charity, joy, or
sorrow, and articulating them throughout the land. There is nothing
that man can do, desire, or feel, which is not contained in the various
and abounding errand. The letters of a single day are the epitome of
life, and this service is unceasing. Every day this messenger flies
over the land, from city to city, from town to town, from village to
village, from house to house, leaving everywhere the welcome token.
Such a messenger is more than a winged Mercury, with sandalled feet
and purse in hand, whose special care was commerce; it is an angel
in reality, as in name. In the ancient Greek, from which the word
is derived, an angel was a messenger; and is not the office of our
messenger angelic? But by what rule or reason can you tax such a
messenger in his great and beautiful office?

A letter is simply conversation in writing, and therefore, by
strictness of logic, the tax you impose is a tax on conversation.
Reflect a moment on the part performed by conversation in the education
of men and in the economies of life; and here I give you testimony.
Once at Mr. Webster’s table I heard the question discussed, “From
what do men derive most of what they know?” The scholars about him
answered,--one naming “Our Mothers,” another “Schools,” another
“Books,” another “Newspapers,” when the host, who had listened to each,
remarked, very gravely, “You forget Conversation, from which, in my
judgment, we derive the larger part of what we know.” Who shall say
that Mr. Webster was not right? It is clear that conversation is a
wonderful educator and a constant servant. But conversation in writing,
no matter on what subject, whether of business or of the heart, is now
subject to an unrelenting tax, so that persons conversing by letter
must not only pay the cost of the intermediary in their own case, but
must contribute to the expense of other conversations elsewhere.


Custom makes us insensible to folly, and even to injustice. Thus the
tax on letters has gained an undeserved immunity, which is augmented
by a prevailing notion, sometimes supposed to find authority even in
the Constitution, that the Post-Office must support itself. Whether
regarded as rule or maxim or provision of the Constitution, it is
without foundation, and sooner or later will be classed with those
“vulgar errors” which are as disturbing in government as in science.
There is nothing in the Constitution or in reason to distinguish the
Post-Office in this respect from the Army, the Navy, or the Judiciary.
The Constitution confers upon Congress the power “to establish
post-offices and post-roads,” precisely as it confers upon Congress
the power “to raise and support armies,” the power “to provide and
maintain a navy,” and the power “to constitute tribunals inferior to
the Supreme Court”; and in each of these cases it is empowered “to
make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into
execution the foregoing powers.” Nobody suggests that now in peace our
armies shall amplify their commissariat by enforced contributions, that
our navy shall redouble its economies by supplementary piracy, or that
our tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court shall eke out a salary by
requisitions on the suitors, to the end that each of these departments
may be in some measure “self-supporting.” Why, then, should the
Post-Office be subjected to a different rule? Not, surely, because it
is less beneficent; not because it is the youngest child of Government,
a very Benjamin, coming into being long after the others. But such is
the case. The rule for the others is discarded when we come to the
Post-Office, and here for the first time we hear that a Department of
Government must be “self-supporting.”

As there is no ground in the Constitution for this pretension, so
is there none in reason. Of all existing departments, the Post-Office
is most entitled to consideration, for it is most universal in its
beneficence. That public welfare which is the declared object of
all the departments appears here in its most attractive form. There
is nothing which is not helped by the Post-Office. Is business in
question? The Post-Office is at hand with invaluable aid, quickening
and multiplying all its activities. Is it charity? The Post-Office is
the good Samaritan, omnipresent on all the highways of the land. Is
it the precious intercourse of family or friends? The Post-Office is
carrier, interpreter, and handmaid. Is it education? The Post-Office
is schoolmaster, with school for all and with scholars counted by
the million. Is it the service of Government? The Post-Office lends
itself so completely to this essential work, that the national will is
conveyed without noise or effort to the most remote corners, and the
Republic becomes one and indivisible. Without the Post-Office where
would be that national unity, with irresistible guaranty of Equal
Rights to All, which is now the glory of the Republic? Impossible!
absolutely impossible! Therefore, in the name of all these, do I
insist that now, in these days of equality, the Post-Office shall
be admitted to equality with all other departments of Government,
so that it may discharge its own peculiar and many-sided duties,
without being compelled to find in itself the means of support. It has
enough to do without taking thought of the morrow. On every side and
in every direction it is the beneficent helper. To the Army it is a
staff; to the Navy it is a tender; to the Treasury it is a support;
to the Judiciary it is a police; to President and Congress it is an
adjunct; and to all else, public or private, whatever the interest,
aspiration, or sentiment, it is an incomparable ally. Better than two
blades of grass are two letters where was only one before; and when the
precious product is measured by millions, you see the vastness of the


Such is the Post-Office; and nothing is clearer than that here in the
United States it should be of the highest type. Ours should be the best
in the world,--not second to any. So long as Slave-Masters bore sway,
this could not be; for they set their faces against this minister of
Civilization. One of the first legislative acts of the Rebel Government
at Montgomery was to raise the rates.[110] But this hostile obstruction
is now overcome, and we are at last free to act for the good of all.
It is for the welfare of the people that our Republic is founded, and
therefore it should omit nothing by which their condition is improved
and elevated. Other Governments may seek to augment the revenue. Our
aim should be to augment the sum of human happiness, making it the
crown of our whole people; and just in proportion as we fail in this
duty is the Republic a failure. But the best Post-Office is where
letters at the smallest charge are faithfully carried to every door,
thus combining cheapness and efficiency. That ours may fulfil this
condition there must be a change.

Our duty is simple. It is to relieve the Post-Office of present
burdens, including especially the franking system and the expense of
unproductive routes, while at the same time we establish a uniform
rate of one cent. To these cardinal objects may be added others named
in the bill introduced by me, especially the requirement of payment
always by stamps, so as to simplify the accounts and to make peculation
impossible; but the fundamental change is in the rate of postage.

Could my desires prevail, the Post-Office should be like the Common
School, open to all, with this only condition, that the rate should be
sufficient to guard against abuse. But this is accomplished by that now

Let the uniform rate be one cent and you will witness a transformation.
The power to frank, which is now confined to a few, will practically
belong to all, and letters will be multiplied in proportion,--opening
to the people an inexhaustible source of all good influences, whether
of education, wealth, virtue, or happiness, while the Republic rises in
the scale of civilization. Such a rate will be better than a mine of
gold in every State,--better than a band of iron for the Union,--better
than a fortress scowling on uncounted hilltops; for it will be an
angelic power.

And could this rate be extended to international postage, its least
service would be to our commercial relations. Beyond this would be an
inconceivable influence on that immigration to our country which is a
constant fountain of life, while it carried into the homes of the Old
World the most seductive invitations to take part with us in our great
destinies. Republican ideas would be diffused, and the Rights of Man
gain new authority. Every letter from glowing firesides among us, when
read at colder firesides abroad, would be a perpetual proclamation of
the Republic.

More than ever this change is needed now. It is essential in the work
of Reconstruction, which can be maintained only through the national
unity. The very extent of our country, which is superficially urged as
the apology for a high rate, is to my mind an all-sufficient reason
for the proposed reform. Because our country is broad and spacious,
therefore must distant parts be brought into communication and woven
together by daily recurring ties. Because our people are various in
origin and language, therefore must they be enabled to commingle and
become homogeneous. And, lastly, because fellow-citizens have suffered
and been separated by terrible war, therefore must the Post-Office
become a good angel to quicken industry, to remove ignorance, to soothe
prejudice, and to promote harmony. Blessed are the peace-makers; and
in this company the Post-Office, properly reformed, will take an
illustrious place.



  The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred the
      message of the President of March 10, 1870, covering a report
      of the Secretary of State and correspondence concerning the
      Chinese Indemnity Fund, also certain petitions on the same
      subject, have had the same under consideration, and beg leave
      to report.

The origin and history of the Chinese Indemnity Fund are found in
authentic documents, so that little need be done except to state the
case from these authorities.

       *       *       *       *       *

The British and French expeditions of 1858, which, after capturing
Canton, turned their combined forces toward Peking, and ascended the
Pei-ho as far as Tien-tsin, opened the way to the presentation of
claims of our citizens, which were promptly recognized by the Chinese
Government. Though taking no part in the war, our people profited by
the result. The convention that ensued was born of the war.


Claims were brought forward amounting to more than one and a quarter
million of dollars; but Mr. Reed, our Minister in China, concluded,
after examination, that 600,000 taels, or about $840,000, was a
proper estimate for all rightfully due. Accordingly he entered
into an arrangement with the Chinese plenipotentiaries for their
prospective liquidation. At first there was nothing but an agreement
in correspondence, being a sort of executory contract, which was
unsatisfactory in form, incomplete in stipulations, and embarrassed
by the condition that in the adjudication of the claims a Chinese
officer should take part. All this involved delay, at least, if not
more. At last this agreement was embodied in the terms of a convention
between the two governments, dispensing with Chinese coöperation, and
the amount of damages was reduced to 500,000 taels, to be paid from
the maritime revenues of Shanghai, Foo-chow, and Canton, in complete
discharge of all demands.[111]

The original agreement was at Tien-tsin, where the Chinese met the
British, French, and Russian negotiators; but the convention was
finally executed at Shanghai, November 8, 1858. The statement already
made appears in the terms of the convention. After setting forth that
certain maritime revenues were pledged for the payment of American
claims, “to an amount not exceeding 600,000 taels,” the convention
proceeds to declare, “And the plenipotentiary of the United States,
actuated by a friendly feeling towards China, is willing, on behalf of
the United States, to reduce the amount needed for such claims to an
aggregate of 500,000 taels”; and then it is agreed “that this amount
shall be in full liquidation of all claims of American citizens at the
various ports to this date.”[112]

Mr. Reed, in communicating this treaty to the Department of State,
says, under date of November 10, 1858:--

    “Nor has there been any great difficulty in effecting it, the
    Chinese plenipotentiaries showing no disposition to evade the
    agreement they had entered into at Tien-tsin, and being quite
    willing to arrange the details on reasonable grounds.”[113]

The Minister then proceeds to say, that his first duty--“not the
less binding because to the Chinese”--was to revise the claims
themselves, and ascertain whether, after giving credit for such as
had in the mean time been settled and paid, and applying some clear
principle of law, the aggregate could not be reduced; and he adds,
that “the amount assumed at Tien-tsin was an arbitrary one.” In order
to arrive at a more precise result, he called upon the claimants
for a revised statement of their demands. In many instances the
requisition was complied with; in others it was made the occasion for
“all sorts of speculative and contingent claims,--such, for example,
as a vice-consul asking to be remunerated for fees that he might have
made, and the captain of a steamer claiming the profits of a year to
come.” Notwithstanding these instances the claims were revised in a
proper spirit, and were sensibly reduced by the claimants themselves.
Still there were many of a contingent character. On a careful review
of all the evidence before him, the Minister was satisfied that
he could materially reduce the amount to be demanded, which was
accordingly done. In the draught of the convention first submitted to
the Commissioners at Shanghai, the amount stated was 525,000 taels,
with a provision, that, in case of excess beyond the claims and
interest, it should be refunded to the Chinese Government; on which the
Minister remarks: “They preferred, however, the small sum without such
provision, evidently thinking it was their best policy to get rid of
the matter forever.”[114] The language of the Commissioners was:--

    “We acknowledge the consideration and kindness of your
    Excellency in this matter, in that you have, of your own
    accord, reduced the first amount of claims, and now place
    the total at 525,000 taels. We have taken the matter into
    full consultation, and propose, that, if a further reduction
    of 25,000 taels be made, fixing the total amount at 500,000
    taels, then custom-house certificates can be issued at Canton,
    Shanghai, and Foo-chow, dating from the first day of our next
    year, (February 3, 1859,) which can be successively applied to
    the gradual payment of the entire sum.”[115]

These terms were embodied in the final convention between the parties.

After this exposition, the Minister declares that the convention, if
ratified by our Government, and carried into execution by the Chinese,
as he did not doubt it would be, would liquidate every claim on China
by citizens of the United States, principal and Chinese interest at
twelve per cent. per annum, on most of the claims for three years, and
for a longer period on others, among which was one as ancient as 1847,
which had occupied the attention and excited the sympathies of many of
his predecessors.

The Minister appends a tabular statement of claims, with a list of
what he calls “Claims Suspended,” among which is one known as “The
Caldera,” to which reference will be made hereafter. He then says:--

    “A sufficient sum can be reserved to cover these claims, _all
    of which are more or less doubtful_.”

And adds:--

    “If they be recognized, and the principle of paying interest
    be adopted throughout, the fund will be exhausted. If they
    be disallowed, though interest be paid to all the other
    claimants, there will be a surplus at the disposition of the

Thus early was there anticipation of a surplus.

At the same time the Minister suggested that Congress should provide
for the adjudication of the claims and a dividend among claimants. This
was done by the Act of March 3, 1859, entitled “An Act to carry into
effect the Convention between the United States and China, concluded
on the 8th of November, 1858, at Shanghai,”[117] authorizing the
appointment of commissioners “to receive and examine all claims which
may be presented to them under the said convention, according to the
provisions of the same, the principles of justice and International
Law,”--and further providing “that the said commissioners shall report
to the chief diplomatic officer in China the several awards made by
them, to be approved by him,” which are to be paid out of the revenues
set apart for this purpose, in ratable proportion, “according to the
direction of the said diplomatic officer.”

The examination of the claims was completed in January, 1860, and the
payments directed by the Commissioners were duly made. Then occurred
a condition of things almost without precedent in the relations of
nations. After all the payments directed by the Commissioners, a large
surplus was found in the custody of the legation at Peking, which was
subsequently transferred to the United States. This surplus, with
accumulations of interest and gain by exchange, less an amount paid
under authority of an Act of Congress approved February 22, 1869,[118]
has been invested in Ten-Forty bonds, which are now held by the State
Department, amounting at par to $386,000. Another amount of $206.87
in cash is also in the possession of the Department; and about $2,000
remain in the custody of the Minister to China, who has been directed
to make remittance of the same.[119]

The Secretary of State, in his Report on this subject, as late as March
10, 1870, says that he “is not aware of any claims against this fund
which have not been considered by the Commissioners and determined by


This surplus has been the subject of discussion for more than a decade
of years. During all this time it has been before Congress without any
definitive action. As long ago as December, 1860, it was thus noticed
by President Buchanan in his Annual Message:--

    “After the awards shall have been satisfied, there will remain
    a surplus of more than $200,000 at the disposition of Congress.
    _As this will in equity belong to the Chinese Government_,
    would not justice require its appropriation to some benevolent
    object in which the Chinese may be specially interested?”[121]

Nothing was done by Congress, and President Lincoln, in his Annual
Message of December, 1861, thus followed in the footsteps of his

    “I repeat the recommendation of my predecessor, in his Annual
    Message to Congress in December last, in regard to the
    disposition of the surplus which will probably remain after
    satisfying the claims of American citizens against China,
    pursuant to the awards of the Commissioners under the Act of
    the 3d of March, 1859. If, however, it should not be deemed
    advisable to carry that recommendation into effect, I would
    suggest that authority be given for investing the principal,
    over the proceeds of the surplus referred to, in good
    securities, with a view to the satisfaction of such other just
    claims of our citizens against China as are not unlikely to
    arise hereafter in the course of our extensive trade with that

The subject was at this time considered by the Committee on Foreign
Relations, aided by the Secretary of State, who laid before the
Committee all the original papers relating to the proceedings of the
Commissioners. In a communication to the Committee,[123] Mr. Seward
stated the case as he understood it, recognizing “the refunding of
the whole amount to the Chinese” as one of the methods which “suggest
themselves.” This was in the summer of 1862, at the most critical
period of the war for the suppression of the Rebellion, and the
Committee did not feel disposed at that time to make any recommendation
with regard to the fund.

Meanwhile the disposition of this fund was discussed elsewhere. Our
distinguished representative in China, Mr. Burlingame, entered upon it
with characteristic ardor. Regarding the fund as essentially Chinese
in character, if not belonging in equity to China, he urged that it
should be devoted to the foundation of an institution of learning at
Peking, which he proposed to call The American College, or _Ta-Mei Kwoh
Hioh-kung_: first, to teach Americans the language and literature of
China, so as to fit them to be interpreters and consuls; and, secondly,
to educate Chinese in English studies and in their own literature, with
a view to employment by their own rulers or by the United States. The
usefulness and practicability of such a college were developed in two
elaborate dispatches,--one bearing date Shanghai, May 19, 1862,[124]
and the other, Peking, November 18, 1863,[125] in the course of which
Mr. Burlingame said that he was “disposed to urge the adoption of this
proposal more with a reference to the benefit such a college would be
to the Chinese than to ourselves.”[126] Not content with thus declaring
his desire to make this fund of benefit to them, he says, “In equity
the balance appears to belong to the Chinese, but they have no voice
in its disposal.”[127] His eloquent appeal has thus far been without
effect. Nothing has been done to carry out his recommendation, and the
question still remains, What to do with the fund?

It is sometimes proposed that this fund should be reserved for
the satisfaction of possible claims hereafter. But this would be
contrary to the terms of the convention, which expressly provides
for the “claims of American citizens at the various ports _to this
date_,”--thus positively limiting the disposition of the fund. Mr.
Burlingame, without referring to the terms of the convention, objected
to any such reservation as calculated to produce embarrassment in our
relations with China. According to him, “_it would be preferable to
return the whole to them_, or distribute the money, as it accrues, to
the disappointed claimants, and those Chinese in the employ of our
citizens who suffered severe losses in consequence of their connection
with them, than to lay it aside for future contingencies to settle with
a government like the Chinese.”[128] His authority on this proposition
may be considered decisive.

But there is another consideration which leads to the same conclusion.
Any retention of the fund to meet possible future claims is a plain
recognition of the interest, if not the proprietorship of China; and
since there is no authority under the convention for its application
to possible future claims, it will be at least questionable whether
the Chinese Government should not have a voice in the adjudication of
such claims. At all events, we shall assume a peculiar responsibility,
if we undertake to apply this fund to claims not contemplated by the
convention. Nor is there any reason of expediency which can justify
such an assumption on our part. China has evinced no disposition to be
otherwise than just to American citizens. Although twelve years have
elapsed since the date of the convention, there are no outstanding
claims against China which have received the sympathy of our
Government. Should any such claims arise, it were far better that they
should be presented directly, and be satisfied by an award in their
favor. Meanwhile the old account should be closed.

A remark of Mr. Burlingame, already quoted, requires one word of
comment. He mentions, as a possible course, the distribution of the
fund among “disappointed claimants, and those Chinese in the employ
of our citizens who suffered severe losses in consequence of their
connection with them.” Of the Chinese mentioned the Committee know
nothing. No claims in their behalf have been presented. But since the
award of the Commissioners three different cases have occurred, coming
under the head of “Disappointed Claimants.” The disposition of these is
mentioned at the end of this Report.[129] It does not seem advisable
that the fund should be kept to meet such applications. The awards of
the Commissioners have been approved by our Minister in China, and the
proceedings closed. If they were opened in the case of the Neva, it
was because the claimants there had not been heard in China. It is not
supposed that any other occasion can arise to open these proceedings.
The fund in question cannot be regarded as a charity or largess for the
gratification of “disappointed claimants,” nor would it be proper for
the United States to play such a generous part at the expense of China.

Our country has no house for its legation at Peking or for its
consulates in other places, nor does it possess any buildings in China
which it might use as courthouse or jail; and latterly there has
been a strong disposition to apply this fund in this direction. Mr.
Seward seems to have inclined this way, as appears from his Report
to Congress,[130] and Mr. Fish also, as appears from his Report to
Congress.[131] But this disposition proceeds on the admission that the
fund differs materially from other moneys of the United States,--that,
if it does not belong to China, it bears the Chinese earmark so
strongly that it cannot be treated as belonging to our national assets.
In point of fact, all attempts to cover it into the Treasury have
proved unsuccessful.

Petitions from opposite quarters with regard to the disposition of the
fund attest a prevailing interest.

At a meeting of citizens in New York, March 11, 1870, a distinguished
committee was appointed, with Isaac Ferris, Chancellor of the
University, as chairman, with whom as associates were William E.
Dodge, President of the Chamber of Commerce, Frederick S. Winston,
E. D. Morgan, E. C. Benedict, A. A. Low, John C. Green, James H.
Taft, Stewart Brown, and William P. Jones, many of them having large
interests in China, who adopted resolutions on this subject to be
forwarded to Congress. The first resolution declares,--

    “That this Committee is of opinion that the surplus of
    the Indemnity Fund received from the Chinese under the
    Convention of 1858, referred to in the Annual Message of
    President Buchanan to the Second Session of the Thirty-Sixth
    Congress, and of President Lincoln to the Second Session of
    the Thirty-Seventh Congress, with the accumulation thereon,
    _certainly does belong in equity to the Chinese Government_, as
    the Presidents therein declare, and _should be returned to it_.”

The Committee then proceed to say, that, if such surplus shall
be declined by China, it should be expended, according to the
recommendation of Mr. Burlingame, in founding a literary institution
for the equal benefit of Chinese and Americans.

Chicago responded to New York. At a meeting of citizens March
31st, another committee was organized, with R. B. Mason, the
Mayor, as chairman,--and among the members were William Bross,
Lieutenant-Governor of Illinois, Thomas Drummond, Judge of the United
States Circuit Court, James E. McLean, Collector of Customs, N. S.
Davis, Professor of Surgery in the Medical College, Samuel M. Wiseman,
President of the First National Bank, J. C. Burroughs, President of the
University of Chicago, and E. D. Haven, President of the Northwestern
University, with others,--and adopted resolutions, where, after
approving those of New York, they declare,--

    “That it seems to us eminently fitting and fortunate that
    this money, _which distinguished representatives of the
    United States have asserted belongs in equity to the Chinese
    Government_, though that government is disposed to waive its
    right to it, should be employed in some way to the common
    advantage and honor of both nations.”

The committee then proceed to resolve further,--

    “That in view of the impression conveyed by Secretary Seward’s
    Report to the Third Session of the Fortieth Congress, that
    the Chinese authorities are unwilling to receive this money,
    this Committee respectfully memorializes Congress to cover
    it into the United States Treasury as _a special fund, to be
    returned to the Chinese Treasury_, or hereafter appropriated to
    the establishment of the proposed institution of learning at
    Peking, _as the Chinese Government may elect_.”

These two weighty committees concur in recognizing the equity of China,
if not her proprietorship, in this fund. If it be true that the surplus
belongs to China, or that it is hers in equity, it will be difficult
to defend any proposition to return the amount indirectly, as in a
college or buildings for the accommodation of the United States on
Chinese soil. If returned at all, it must be directly, and in the form
of money. What right have we to determine how to expend in China or
for China that which is hers? To do so would not be generous, even if
it were just. It would be ostentatious, and might be offensive. It
would assume that we can employ the money of China, even in China, for
her own benefit, better than she can herself. At all events, it would
recognize an undefined title in China, to which we deferred.


But it cannot be disguised, that, when the two Secretaries of State
concurred in the idea of appropriating this fund to the erection
of buildings, also when Mr. Burlingame made his earnest effort for
its appropriation to a college at Peking, and when two successive
Presidents invited Congress to consider what should be done with it,
there was an impression not only that the Chinese would not allow the
surplus to be returned, but that they had peremptorily declined to
entertain the proposition. Such was the impression when the attention
of the Committee was first called to this fund, now many years ago. And
it cannot be doubted that this impression has exercised an influence in
preventing frank and explicit action on the question, according to the
obvious requirement of justice.

The Committee have endeavored to ascertain the ground for the statement
that the Chinese had refused to receive the surplus. It seems, on
inquiry, to be a report or rumor started nobody knows precisely how or
when. Thus we find Mr. Seward saying, in his Report of February 18,

    “It appears, that, when it was ascertained that this surplus
    would remain, the return of it to the Chinese Government was
    proposed, but that they declined to accept it.”[132]

And Mr. Fish, in a similar Report, under date of March 10, 1870, says

    “The Secretary of State is informed, that, after the awards
    were completed, and it was definitely known that there would
    be a surplus, Mr. Burlingame informally proposed to return
    whatever should be left. The Chinese, however, did not seem
    disposed to accept it.”[133]

But these distinguished Secretaries do not adduce any authority for
their assertion; nor does careful search at the State Department
disclose any dispatch or record sustaining or justifying it. On this
point the Committee are confident. No instruction was ever given to any
Minister authorizing him to tender a return of the surplus, or even
to sound the Chinese Government on the question of receiving it, if
tendered. In fact, no power exists in the State Department to authorize
such a tender. Such an act could proceed only from Congress, which has
never acted on the subject.

The Committee, therefore, dismiss the assumption that there has been
any tender to the Chinese, or any refusal on their part, whether formal
or informal, and they approach the question simply on its merits.


Had this question arisen in our relations with a European power, it
would be only according to an important precedent, if we forbore to
open the transaction. By two separate conventions, one in 1815 and the
other in 1818, France paid to England a large sum, amounting to one
hundred and thirty million francs, on account of English claimants, and
the English Government undertook to dispose of all their claims, as
the United States undertook to dispose of all the claims of American
citizens in China. In 1852 Lord Lyndhurst brought the subject before
the House of Lords, when he stated that there was “an unapplied
balance of upwards of £200,000”;[134] and in 1861 Mr. Denman did the
same in the House of Commons, when he said, that, “after all claims
had been satisfied, there still remained a sum of £200,000 not in any
way to be considered due under the convention.”[135] Nothing was said
of returning this surplus to France. The Baron de Bode, a renowned
litigant, made an ineffectual attempt to obtain something out of it
on account of losses in France, although his case was argued with
consummate ability in the English courts, and awakened the eloquence
of Lord Lyndhurst in the House of Lords. In an appeal for justice,
the Baron declares that out of the amount received by England, only
67,071,301 francs had been paid to claimants, and he insists that
the Crown should account to the claimants, _or to France_, for the
unexpended surplus,--thus recognizing an eventual proprietorship in
France, after the satisfaction of the claims.[136] What has been done
with this surplus since is not known.

But while the importance of doing equity always is a paramount
duty, the Committee feel that there is something in the negotiation
under which this surplus accrued which should make us particularly
careful lest we fail to do equity. It will be observed that the sum
received from China was on account of certain claims of our citizens,
and that it was in no sense a national indemnity; in other words,
the consideration was specific, and not general in character. The
preamble of the convention recites that it was entered into “for the
satisfaction of claims of American citizens,”--thus expressly excluding
any other consideration. With regard to these claims the Chinese had
little or no information, while our Minister saw clearly, that, with
the disallowance of those doubtful, which he regarded as probable,
there would be a surplus. His words were: “If they be recognized, the
fund will be exhausted. If they be disallowed, there will be a surplus
at the disposition of the Government.”[137] The actual surplus was
about thirty-three and a third per cent. of the amount stipulated,
and about fifty per cent. of the amount awarded to claimants. The
considerableness of this sum is another reason why we should hesitate
to take advantage of a transaction where we were so situated as to be
the best informed on the matter in issue. If we did not know everything
bearing on it, we knew much more than the Chinese.

In fact, the Chinese acted in the dark; and here we have the testimony
of Mr. Williams, the interpreter of our Minister in the negotiation,
and still an honored servant of the Government, who has said in a
dispatch: “No list was presented to the Chinese by Mr. Reed”; and
again, “The United States Government was made the sole judge of the
justice of the claims”; and then again, “In reality, they [the Chinese]
paid the demands made upon them by the English and French Ministers,
as well as the American, _under pressure_.”[138] If this were so,--and
one of our own officers is the witness,--the equity of the Chinese
becomes more apparent. Obviously, they were unable to examine the
claims, and did not pretend to examine them. Everything was left to
the United States. And this was done while the ancient empire was torn
by civil war, aggravated by the menacing attitudes of England and
France. It is not too much to say that it was done “under pressure.”
According to well-known authorities, a deed made under _duress_ may be
set aside; and this rule of jurisprudence shows a just sensitiveness
with regard to that absolute freedom which is essential to the life
of a contract. Such a rule, if applied in the intercourse of nations,
would invalidate most of those conventions after war or menace by
which one power has assumed obligations to another, and, indeed, would
strike at war and menace as modes of pursuing a claim. In the present
case the validity of the convention is not called in question; but,
since we assert no right of conquest, it is properly suggested that the
original pressure upon China, attested by one of our own functionaries,
peculiarly intimate with the transaction, is an additional reason why
we should decline to take advantage of the convention beyond the just
satisfaction of our citizens.

And this brings the Committee to the conclusion, that, in equity, this
fund does not belong to us. Whatever may be our technical title, in
conscience the money is not ours.

In returning to China the fund in question and its accretions, the
United States will relieve themselves of an embarrassing trust, while
they render unto the distant Cæsar what is his own, and set an example
by which republican institutions will be elevated. The question of its
application, which has occupied the attention of successive Presidents,
which has been presented to successive Congresses, and is still
undecided, will be at rest. Schemes for the bestowal of the fund in
such a way as to harmonize our sense of justice with our obligations
to China, if not with Chinese proprietorship, will cease. There will
be nothing for “disappointed claimants” to pursue. China will receive
her own,--if with astonishment, it will be only because nations have
so rarely lived according to the Golden Rule. Such an act cannot be
otherwise than honorable to the United States. It will be a victory in
a new field, making us first in a new order of conquerors. China, with
infinite resources, will be more than ever open to American enterprise.
Thus, while doing right, shall we benefit ourselves. So is justice to
others the way to national advantage. But whatever this advantage, it
must not be forgotten that the first inducement is the essential equity
of the case.

The measure now proposed will be valuable in proportion as it is
spontaneous. Thus far China has made no demand, or suggestion even. A
year hence the venerable Empire may appear before the youthful Republic
with a formal claim. The very fact that we deliberate about this fund
will spread the tidings of its existence. Better anticipate a demand
than wait and at last yield an ungracious compliance, urged by a
foreign plenipotentiary in the service of the ancient government whose
money is now in our hands.

    The Report was accompanied by the following Joint Resolution,
    which was read and passed to a second reading:--


Whereas on the 8th day of November, 1858, a convention was entered
into between the United States and China for the settlement of claims
against the latter by citizens of the United States, and in pursuance
thereof an amount of five hundred thousand taels, making seven hundred
thousand dollars in gold, or thereabouts, was paid by China, out of
which sum, after the satisfaction of all claims exhibited by citizens
of the United States, there remains in the hands of the United States
an unappropriated surplus, amounting, with interest and exchange, to
four hundred thousand dollars in currency, or thereabouts, which sum is
now in custody of the Department of State: Now, therefore,

_Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of
the United States of America in Congress assembled_, That the
unappropriated surplus now in the hands of the United States, under
the convention with China, of November 8, 1858, be refunded to the
Government of China; and it shall be the duty of the President of the
United States to see that this is carried into effect.


(A). Page 121.


                        DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON, June 21, 1862.

    SIR,--I duly received your letter of the 3d instant,
    accompanied by a copy of the resolution of the Senate of the
    2d instant, referring to the consideration of the Committee
    on Foreign Relations of that part of the President’s Annual
    Message to Congress, of December last, which adverts to the
    difference between the amount stipulated to be paid by China in
    satisfaction of claims of United States citizens and the gross
    amount of the awards of the Commissioners appointed pursuant to
    the Act of Congress of the 3d of March, 1859.

    In compliance with your request for information and suggestion
    upon the subject, I have the honor to communicate a copy of
    the Convention, a copy of the Act to carry it into effect, a
    copy of all the correspondence on record or on file in the
    Department touching the matter, and all the original papers
    relating to the proceedings of the Commissioners. It is
    desirable that great care should be taken of these last, and
    that they should be returned to the Department as soon as the
    subject shall have been disposed of.

    The circumstance of the complaints against the Chinese, which
    it was the purpose of the convention to adjust, having arisen
    in a peculiar region and among a singular people, probably
    suggested the appointment of Commissioners resident on the
    spot, who were familiar with the scene of their duties. It is
    understood, therefore, that, upon the recommendation of Mr.
    Reed, the Minister who concluded the convention, Mr. Charles
    W. Bradley, who was United States Consul at Ning-po, and
    Mr. Oliver E. Roberts, who had acted in a similar capacity
    elsewhere in China, and both of whom had long resided in that
    country, were appointed Commissioners. The business-like manner
    in which they discharged their trust is manifest from the
    records of the Commission.

    With regard to the disposition of the surplus in question,
    three methods suggest themselves.

    1. The refunding of the whole amount to the Chinese.

    2. Appropriating the whole or a part of it in payment of claims
    supposed to have been unjustly rejected by the Commissioners,
    and of others in which the amounts allowed may not have been
    satisfactory to the claimants.

    3. Retaining the whole surplus in the Treasury of the United
    States, or causing it to be invested toward indemnifying
    citizens who may hereafter be injured by the Chinese

    I will abstain from any remarks on the first head.

    There is but one claim, that of Messrs. Nott & Co., disallowed
    by the Commissioners,--in which case application has been made
    for a part of the surplus referred to. The claimants allege
    that their agents in China were too far from Macao, the place
    where the Commissioners met, to allow them to appeal to the
    Minister in season. The Committee will be enabled to judge of
    the sufficiency of this reason for considering the claim in
    that case an open one.

    The award in the Caldera case is the only one complained of as
    having been inadequate. As all the facts and arguments in the
    case are embraced in the accompanying papers, the Committee can
    form their own opinion upon this point.

    The Minister who concluded the convention pursued a judicious
    course in requiring from the Chinese a sum in gross adequate
    to meet the sums claimed in the several cases. This, however,
    can hardly be allowed to imply, that, even in his opinion, the
    claimants in those cases ought to receive the amounts which
    severally they might expect.

    Congress made it the duty of the Commissioners, by an
    investigation judicial in its character, to ascertain the
    amounts justly due; and if the claimants should be dissatisfied
    with the decisions of the Commissioners, an appeal to the
    Minister was allowed, whose decision was expected to be final.

    The expediency of sanctioning a review of decisions of the
    Commissioners or arbiter may be deemed questionable. They
    were all of high character, peculiarly qualified for the
    trust conferred upon them. It is for Congress to consider the
    conveniences and inconveniences of such a precedent, when the
    Government, in all its branches, may be considered to have
    already fulfilled its duty to the claimants, collectively and

    The whole subject is one of a purely legislative character,
    affecting a fund which, although it came into the Treasury in
    a peculiar manner, seems to me to belong to the United States.
    This Department has no authority to inquire whether there are
    equities existing on the part of any of our citizens which
    Congress ought to consult in directing the disposition of the
    fund. If Congress should impose any inquiry of that nature
    upon the Department, it would undertake the performance of
    it cheerfully and with a purpose only to consult justice and
    the public advantage. But the Department sees no ground for
    recommending such a measure in the present case.

    I have the honor to be, Sir, your very obedient servant,


    _Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations,
    United States Senate_.

(B). Page 454.


It remains to speak of claims which have been brought forward or
renewed since the awards were made.

One of these is that of Matthew Rooney, master of the bark Caldera,
which had been presented to the Commissioners, but was not considered
by them, in the absence of proof of citizenship. In 1864 his
representatives produced to Mr. Burlingame evidence on this head, and
the latter directed that he should be paid in the same manner and
proportion as other persons interested in the same class of claims had
been paid by order of Mr. Ward, our Minister at Peking.[139]

Mr. Burlingame says, in his dispatch reporting the action which he had
taken in this matter: “There is no other demand that can ever come up
for payment out of this Indemnity Fund, which has not been examined and

Other claims have, however, been brought to notice. Some of these are
known as the Caldera claims; another is the Neva or Nott & Co.’s claim.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Caldera was a Chilian bark. On the 5th October, 1854, she sailed
from Hong-Kong for San Francisco. During the ensuing night she
encountered a storm, by which she was so injured as to be obliged to
seek an anchorage. This she found, on the 7th October, between islands
lying off the Chinese coast. Here she was attacked and plundered by
successive piratical bands. The captain escaped and made his way to
Hong-Kong, when, upon his information, steps were taken to recover
the property and punish the pirates. A small portion of the cargo was
found, and summary justice was inflicted upon such of the pirates as
were captured.

The master of the Caldera was an American. An American firm were
shippers by her, and various American insurance offices had taken risks
upon the hull of the vessel and the larger portion of her cargo. These
all appealed to Mr. McLane, then the chief diplomatic officer of the
United States in China, with a view to secure indemnity. Mr. McLane
declined to take action, declaring that our treaty offered “no basis
whatever on which to make a claim against the Chinese Government,”[141]
and referred the subject to Mr. Marcy, then Secretary of State. The
latter responded, under date of October 5, 1855, “that the parties
injured were entitled to indemnification from the Government of
China, if not specially by treaty, at least by general principles of
international right and obligation.”[142] The same matter forms the
subject of a dispatch from Mr. Cass, Secretary of State, to Mr. Ward,
dated May 5, 1859, in which, after declaring that “the decision of the
case will rest with the Commissioners and yourself,” and detailing
certain allegations made to him by the claimants, who appear to have
been very active, he says: “If facts of such a nature be proved, the
responsibility of the Chinese Government and its duty to make indemnity
would seem to be fixed, according to the treaty, as well as according
to the Law of Nations.”[143]

The matter was brought before the Commissioners in 1859, and a patient
hearing seems to have been given by them, the result of which was
a disagreement between them. Both rendered elaborate opinions: one
adjudging that no portion of the claims should be allowed; the other,
an opposite view, and he proceeded to assess the damages sustained by
the claimants. These he estimated at forty per cent. of their claim,
holding that the vessel and her cargo had been injured by the storm to
the extent of sixty per cent. of their value. The case then went before
Mr. Ward, whose conclusion was expressed in the following words:--

    “Under the instructions of Mr. Marcy, thus reaffirmed by Mr.
    Cass, my duty may be discharged by ascertaining, as far as
    possible, what have been ‘the actual losses of our citizens.’
    Satisfied with the award of Mr. Roberts on this point, I have
    approved the same, and ordered the amounts awarded by him to be
    paid to the respective claimants.”[144]

The amounts so paid exceeded $54,000 in coin. This was received by the
several claimants, and it does not appear that they protested against
the awards. Some of them were, however, dissatisfied, and in 1863
addressed Mr. Burlingame, setting forth their views, and asking him to
favor their purpose for a rehearing. Mr. Burlingame, as will be seen
on reference to his dispatch of October 5, 1863,[145] entered on a
thorough examination of their statements, and arrived at the conclusion
that the awards ought not to be disturbed, using strong language in
this sense.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Neva was a British schooner. Messrs. Nott & Co. were American
merchants, residing at Hong-Kong. On the 16th October, 1857, they
shipped by the Neva, then bound for the port of Foo-chow, five packages
containing twenty thousand Mexican dollars. The vessel sailed at 3
o’clock P.M. of the 17th, and the same evening, while at anchor a short
distance beyond the limits of the port of Hong-Kong, five Chinese came
alongside and requested passage to Foo-chow, which was granted. At 11
o’clock that night these Chinese and the Chinese members of the crew
took possession of the vessel; and having murdered the master and some
of the crew and secured the rest, they broke into the hold, seized four
of the packages of silver and removed them to the shore. The efforts
of Messrs. Nott & Co. to recover the treasure were unsuccessful; and
finally, the firm having ceased to exist, the agent representing their
interests placed the claim before the Commissioners, who rejected
it. Correspondence with the State Department ensued, and in 1869 the
representatives of the firm appeared before Congress, declaring that
their agent was absent from the South of China, where the Commissioners
held their sittings, at the time when the awards were made, and that
they had then, innocently, been deprived of their right to appeal from
them to the Minister. The Attorney-General was directed by Congress
to examine their claim, and, if in his judgment it was valid, he
was empowered to award its payment out of the Indemnity Fund. The
Attorney-General decided in favor of the claimants, and directed
payment of a certain sum in gold. Mr. Washburne, then Secretary of
State, held that he was not authorized to make the payment in any other
than current funds of the United States. From this ruling the claimants
have lately appealed to the Court of Claims, which has decided that the
award of the Attorney-General should be complied with. This will make a
small deduction from the fund.



    A bill “to reduce internal taxes and for other purposes” being
    under consideration, Mr. Sumner moved to add to the free list
    of imports “books in foreign or dead languages, of which no
    editions are printed in the United States.” In conclusion of a
    running debate relative to the application of this amendment,
    Mr. Sumner said:--

Senators seem to argue that this is applicable exclusively, or almost
exclusively, to school-books; but we are all aware that outside of
school-books there are works of literature, of instruction generally,
of travels, of romance if you please, interesting in families, and
which thousands who are familiar, for instance, with the German
language, would be glad to have. For example, here is the large German
population of our country,--is it not right that they should have
the means of adding to those innocent recreations that are found in
reading? We shall be doing a real service to them, if we enable them
to import books that they lack, cheap,--not merely school-books, but
I mean the large class of books outside of school-books. I see no
possible objection to this provision, while I see much in its favor.

I have alluded to the large German population. There is also a very
considerable Italian population. Some one told me the other day, who
professed to know, that there are three hundred thousand Italians in
our country. That seemed to me very large; but it was an estimate
made by an Italian. Now should not those Italians be enabled under
our tariff law to import books from their own country, of literature
or of science, without paying a tax? It seems to me that we owe that
gratification to them, when they come here to join their fortunes to
ours. And so you may go through the whole list of European nations.
Take Spaniards; take Swedes; take Danes: I know not why their books
should be taxed, when they come to them from across the sea. It seems
to me that the tax is inhospitable; it is churlish; and of course it is
a tax on knowledge.

    The amendment was rejected.

    Mr. Sumner then moved to add,--“Also books with illustrations
    relating to the sciences and the arts,”--saying:--

On that I wish to read a remark of an intelligent person not belonging
to the class that the Senator from Ohio characterized as rich men
who import books, but one who imports books because he needs them.
Remarking on the works of science and the arts, including books on
architecture and the fine arts, which now pay very heavily at the
custom-house, he says:--

    “Books of this kind are too costly, and the sale of them is
    too limited, for them to be reprinted. To add to their cost
    by a heavy duty is an outrage, for it is depriving men of
    small means of the tools whereby they live. It is a queer
    kind of protection of home industry which seeks to keep out
    of the country by taxation the knowledge which makes industry

Now I put it to Senators whether any injurious consequence can result
from allowing these books to come in free. The duty that you receive
from them is small; it is very little for you to give up; but in
giving facilities to the importation of such books you contribute to
knowledge. I am sure of it. I have no motive in making this motion,
or this succession of motions, except my anxiety for the extension
of knowledge in this Republic. I am for free schools; I am for free
knowledge everywhere; and I wish to beat down all the obstructions
possible, and one of these is the tax which we impose in our tariff. I
hope there can be no question on that amendment.

    The vote being taken by yeas and nays resulted, Yeas 14, Nays
    26; so this amendment was likewise rejected.



    July 2, 1870, the Senate having under consideration a bill “to
    amend the Naturalization Laws and to punish crimes against
    the same,” which had been reported from the Committee on
    the Judiciary as a substitute for one from the House,--the
    particular object of both bills being the prevention of the
    election frauds perpetrated through the instrumentality of
    unnaturalized or illegally naturalized aliens,--Mr. Sumner
    moved to add, as a new section, a bill previously introduced
    by himself, and reported favorably from the same Committee,

        “That all Acts of Congress relating to naturalization be,
        and the same are hereby, amended by striking out the word
        ‘white’ wherever it occurs, so that in naturalization there
        shall be no distinction of race or color.”

    The motion was strenuously resisted, as ill-timed and out of
    place,--Mr. Edmunds, of the Judiciary Committee, remarking,
    that, although he reported the bill in question, and believed
    in it so far as he now understood, yet, under existing
    circumstances, he should vote against it as an amendment to the
    pending bill.

    Mr. Sumner briefly responded:--

MR. PRESIDENT,--The remark of the Senator from Vermont [Mr. EDMUNDS]
renders it necessary for me to make a brief statement. Some time during
the last Congress I had the honor of introducing a bill to strike the
word “white” from our Naturalization Laws. I tried to have it put on
its passage. I was resisted then by the Senator from Vermont, who moved
its reference to the Committee on the Judiciary. There it remained
until near the expiration of that Congress, and was then reported
adversely, too late for further action. During the third week of the
present Congress, now more than a year ago, I introduced the same bill
again. It remained in the room of the Judiciary Committee from March,
1869, until very recently, when it was reported favorably.

Such, Sir, have been my efforts to bring the Senate to a vote on this
question. Never till this moment has it been in my power to have a vote
on a question which I deem of vital importance. I have here on my table
letters from different States,--from California, from Florida, from
Virginia,--all showing a considerable number of colored persons--shall
I say of African blood?--aliens under our laws, who cannot be
naturalized on account of that word “white.”

Now, Sir, here is a practical grievance which needs a remedy. This is
the first time that I have been able to obtain a vote upon it; and I
should be unworthy of my seat here, if, because Senators rise and say
they will vote it down on the ground that it is out of place, I should
hesitate to persevere. Senators will vote as they please; I shall vote
for it. The Senator from Illinois [Mr. TRUMBULL] properly says it is
in place. Never was there a bill to which it was more germane. You are
now revising the naturalization system, and I propose to strike out
from that system a requirement disgraceful to this country and to this
age. I propose to bring our system into harmony with the Declaration
of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. The word
“white” cannot be found in either of these two great title-deeds of
this Republic. How can you place it in your statutes?

    The motion was lost,--Yeas 22, Nays 23.

    Subsequently, on the same day, the pending bill was itself
    defeated, the original bill being preferred,--and the latter
    now coming up, Mr. Sumner renewed his amendment, remarking,--

Now I have to say that that is worth all the rest of the bill put
together. That is a section that is pure gold. It will do more for the
character and honor and good name of this Republic than all the rest of
the bill. I am for the rest of the bill, but this is better than all
the rest. Now I ask for the yeas and nays.

    After further debate the amendment prevailed,--Yeas 27, Nays
    22; whereupon Mr. Williams, of Oregon, moved the following

        “_Provided_, That nothing in this Act shall be construed to
        authorize the naturalization of persons born in the Chinese

    July 4th, the debate on the House bill being resumed, Mr.
    Conkling, of New York, criticized sharply the course of
    Mr. Sumner in pressing his amendment, to the peril of the
    bill,--denominating it “an act of self-will in defeating the
    purpose of a great majority of this body to consummate a
    simple, practical, and urgent measure.” Mr. Sumner replied as

MR. PRESIDENT,--The Senator from New York has chosen to make an assault
on me to-day, because, in the discharge of my duties, I do not see my
duty as he sees his duty,--because on this Fourth day of July I choose
to stand by the Declaration of our fathers. For that I am impeached by
the Senator from New York.

He presses me to postpone this proposition until to-morrow. When, Sir,
will that to-morrow come? Can the Senator tell? Is he adept enough to
indicate the day, or even the week, when a vote can be had on it? The
Senator knows, he must know, that, if not voted on now, it will fail
during the present session. The Senator shakes his head; but he knows
too much of the business now before the Senate not to see that I am
right. What chance is there of getting before the Senate the original
bill containing this proposition? Why, Sir, the bill was introduced
first on the 19th of July, 1867, now three years ago. I tried then to
put it on its passage, deeming it so simple that there was no need of
a reference to any committee. The Senator from Vermont [Mr. EDMUNDS]
prevailed against me by insisting that it should be referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary. It was referred, and there it slumbered
until that Congress was about to close, thus sleeping the long sleep.

On the 22d of March, 1869, which was in the next Congress, I introduced
the same bill again,--I have it before me,--and again it slumbered
in the hands of the Judiciary Committee until a few weeks ago, when
at last it was reported to the Senate. Then it took its place on
the Calendar, with the numerous other bills there, important and
unimportant, some very important, all in competition with it.

What chance have I had for a vote upon it? From the 19th of July, 1867,
down to this hour, Saturday was the first day I was able to have a
vote upon it; and now to-day Senators insist that I shall withdraw it,
and postpone the whole question to some “to-morrow,” some indefinite,
unknown to-morrow.

    “To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow Creeps in this petty
    pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time;
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty

Sir, I am not one of those “fools.” I will not postpone this question
to any “to-morrow.” The Senate will do as they please; but, God
willing, they shall have an opportunity to vote on it. Vote as you
please, Sir, but the time has come for a vote.

Mr. President, this is not the only bill on the Calendar which concerns
the rights of colored persons. There are two on the Calendar, and one
now before the Judiciary Committee. The first on the Calendar was
reported by me from the Committee on the District of Columbia as long
ago as February 8, 1870, and is entitled “A bill to repeal the charter
of the Medical Society of the District of Columbia.” That society has
been guilty of an act which I have no hesitation, on all the testimony
before us, in declaring to be one of infamy, for which they deserve the
promptest judgment of Congress, which shall take from them the power to
inflict indignity on their fellow-man. Enjoying a charter from Congress
which dedicates them and sets them apart to the cultivation of medical
science, they have undertaken to exclude persons otherwise competent
simply on account of color. They have set up a test of membership
founded on color. The evidence is irrefutable; and yet I have been
unable to bring the Senate to a vote on that bill; and meanwhile
colored physicians in this District are subjected to the indignity of
exclusion from the Society, and thus are shut out from opportunities of
medical instruction.

There is another bill, which I reported from the Committee on the
District of Columbia May 6, 1870, entitled “A bill to secure equal
rights in the public schools of Washington and Georgetown.” That, also,
I have tried in vain to press upon the Senate. There is, then, another
bill, which I had the honor of introducing May 13, 1870, entitled “A
bill supplementary to an Act entitled ‘An Act to protect all citizens
of the United States in their civil rights, and to furnish the means
for their vindication,’ passed April 9, 1866.” This important bill
was duly referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, but I have heard
nothing from it since. It slumbers on the table of the Committee.

Of all these measures which concern equal rights, the only one which I
have been able to bring before the Senate is that under consideration;
and I am now pressed to withdraw it so as to avoid a vote. Why, Sir,
again and again in other years have I been pressed in the same way;
again and again in other years have Senators spoken to me and of me
as the Senator from New York was advised to speak to-day: but it
has not been my habit to yield; nor have I been alone, Sir, in such
determination. One of the most beautiful instances in parliamentary
history, familiar, doubtless, to the Chamber, is that motion of Mr.
Buxton in the House of Commons, in 1832, which determined Emancipation.
The Ministry professed to be against Slavery; a large number of the
House of Commons made the same profession; but they were against
declaring it; and when Mr. Buxton gave notice of a motion in favor of
immediate emancipation, Ministry, members of the House, and personal
friends came to him entreating that he would not press his motion,
especially that he would not divide the House. One of his family
records in his Memoirs, which I have in my hands, says:--

    “He was cruelly beset, and acutely alive to the pain of
    refusing them, and, as they said, of embarrassing all their
    measures, and giving their enemies a handle at this tottering

Then it is recorded of his friends in the House:--

    “‘They hated,’ they said, ‘dividing against him when their
    hearts were all for him; it was merely a nominal difference;
    why should he split hairs? He was sure to be beaten; where was
    the use of bringing them all into difficulty, and making them
    vote against him?’ He told us that he thought he had a hundred
    applications of this kind in the course of the evening; in
    short, nearly every friend he had in the House came to him, and
    by all considerations of reason and friendship besought him to
    give way.”[147]

On that occasion he wrote to the leader of the House of Commons, Lord
Althorp, under date of May 22, 1832, as follows:--

    “Allow me, moreover, to remind you, that, however insignificant
    in myself, I am the representative, on this question, of no
    mean body in this country, who would be, to an extent of which
    I believe you have no idea, disappointed and chagrined at the
    suspension of the question.”[148]

Sir, in a humble way I may adopt this language. I, too, am the
representative, on this question, of no mean body in this country, who
I know would be disappointed and chagrined at the suspension of the
question. The English Emancipationist refused to yield; he insisted,
according to the language of Parliament, on dividing the House. He was
left in a minority, but that vote determined Emancipation; and the
Ministry and those personal friends who had advised against his course
complimented him upon that firmness which had at last assured the

I doubt if Senators are aware of the practical bearing of this
proposition on the Atlantic seaboard, and even in California. I said on
Saturday that I had letters from various parts of the country attesting
that there are colored aliens shut out from equal rights by that word
“white” in our Naturalization Laws. I did not then read the letters;
but as this debate now promises to extend, I deem it my duty to lay
some of them before the Senate.

    Mr. Sumner here read four letters,--two from Florida, one from
    California, and another from Virginia.[149]

Such, Sir, is the personal testimony with regard to the importance,
I would say the necessity, of this measure. Here are Africans in our
country shut out from rights which justly belong to them, simply
because Congress continues the word “white” in the Naturalization Laws.
These men are humble, but they are none the less worthy of protection.
Ay, Sir, it is your duty to protect them. Even if few, you cannot
afford to let them suffer wrong; but they are numerous,--in Florida
counted by the hundred, and even the thousand.

Strong as this measure is, as an act of justice, whether to many or
few, it has another title. Its highest importance is found in its
conformity to the requirement of the Declaration of Independence. Sir,
this is the Fourth of July, when our fathers together solemnly declared
as follows:--

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are
    created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with
    certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty,
    and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights
    governments are instituted among men, deriving their just
    powers from the consent of the governed.”

The great, the mighty words of this clause are, that these
self-evident, unalienable rights belong to “all men.” It is “all men,”
and not a race or color, that are placed under protection of the
Declaration; and such was the voice of our fathers on the fourth day of
July, 1776. Sir, such was the baptismal vow of this nation. According
to this vow, _all men_ are created equal and endowed with unalienable
rights. But the statutes of the land assert the contrary,--they
declaring that only all _white_ men are created equal.

Now, Sir, what better thing can you do on this anniversary than to
expunge from the statutes that unworthy limitation which dishonors and
defiles the original Declaration? It is in your power to make the day
more than ever sacred.

How can you hesitate? There are the words. Does any one question the
text? Will any one move to amend the text? Will any one insist that
hereafter, as these great words are read on our great anniversary, the
word “white” shall be inserted to qualify this sublime Declaration? No
one will venture such a suggestion. There they are; there they will
remain as long as this Republic endures. But if you are not ready to
change the original text, you must then change your statutes and bring
them into harmony with the text. The word “white,” wherever it occurs
as a limitation of rights, must disappear. Only in this way can you be
consistent with the Declaration.

Senators undertake to disturb us in this judgment by reminding us of
the possibility of large numbers swarming from China; but the answer
to all this is very obvious and very simple. If the Chinese come here,
they will come for citizenship or merely for labor. If they come for
citizenship, then in this desire do they give a pledge of loyalty
to our institutions; and where is the peril in such vows? They are
peaceful and industrious; how can their citizenship be the occasion of

We are told that they are Imperialists; but before they can be citizens
they must renounce Imperialism. We are told that they are foreigners in
heart; but before they can take part with us they must renounce their
foreign character. Therefore do I say, if they come for citizenship,
there is no peril,--while, if they come merely for labor, then is all
this discussion and all this anxiety superfluous.

Why introduce the topic into debate? Is there a Senator on this
floor who will say that from anything done or said by Chinese at
this moment there is any reason to fear peril to this Republic? Sir,
the greatest peril to this Republic is from disloyalty to its great
ideas. Only in this way can peril come. Let us surrender ourselves
freely and fearlessly to the principles originally declared. Such is
the way of safety. How grand, how beautiful, how sublime is that road
to travel! How mean, how dark, how muddy is that other road which
has found counsellors to-day! Listening to the speech of the Senator
from Nevada [Mr. STEWART], more than once, nay, thrice over, denying
the Declaration of Independence, I was reminded of an incident in the
Gospels. I have the book from the desk of the Secretary, and now read
the pertinent passage: it is in Matthew, chapter twenty-six:--

    “Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto
    him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.

    “But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou

    “And when he was gone out into the porch another maid saw him,
    and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with
    Jesus of Nazareth.

    “And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.

    “And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said
    to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech
    bewrayeth thee.

    “Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the
    man. And immediately the cock crew.

    “And Peter remembered the words of Jesus, which said unto him,
    Before the cock crow thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went
    out, and wept bitterly.”

Sir, thrice has a Senator on this floor denied these great principles
of the Declaration of Independence. The time may come when he will weep

    On a subsequent motion by Mr. Conkling for the reconsideration
    of the vote on Mr. Sumner’s amendment, in consequence of the
    debate ensuing upon Mr. Williams’s proviso, Mr. Sumner said:--

The Senator from Oregon [Mr. WILLIAMS], who spoke with earnestness and
with argumentative force this morning, before the motion to reconsider
was made, has given us reasons why we should not admit the Chinese into
the promised fellowship of the Declaration of Independence. I took down
some of his precious words,--not many.

He says that my proposition gives to millions of heathens and pagans
power to control our institutions. How and when have I made any such
proposition? I wish the Senator were here, that I might ask him to
explain this unjustifiable exaggeration. How and when? I make no
proposition that I do not find in the institutions of my country. I
simply ask you to stand by the Declaration of your fathers. I say
nothing about millions of heathens and pagans. I do not ask to give
them power or control. Full well do I know that there are no millions
of heathens or pagans, and no other millions on this earth, that can
control the institutions of this Republic. I know that we stand too
firm to suffer from any such contact. Fearlessly we may go forward and
welcome all comers, for there can be no harm here; the heathens and
pagans do not exist whose coming can disturb our Republic. Worse than
any heathen or pagan abroad are those in our midst who are false to
our institutions. Millions of heathens and pagans! Whence are they to
come? From China? But if they come for citizenship, then, as I said
this morning, do they give the pledge of loyalty to the Republic; and
how can you fear them, if they enter your courts and with oaths and
witnesses ask to be incorporated with our citizenship?

    MR. STEWART. Allow me to ask the Senator if he knows any way
    in which they can give a pledge that they would understand as
    binding on them?

MR. SUMNER. Precisely as an Englishman, a Scotchman, an Irishman, a
Frenchman, a German, a Swede, a Dane, a Russian, or an African may give
a pledge; precisely as the Senator may give a pledge. I have seen the
Senator go up to that table and take the oath. The Senator is able. He
knows that I know that; but does the Senator suppose that he surpasses
in ability many of the Chinese who might come here? Does the Senator
suppose that he feels more keenly the oath which he took at that desk
than a Chinese might feel it? I am not speaking of those who may come
over here in enforced labor: I join with the Senator in effort to
stop that. But I am speaking of the intelligent Chinese, so well and
satisfactorily described by the Senator from Missouri [Mr. SCHURZ]
this morning, who come voluntarily to join their fortunes with ours.
Suppose they come, where is the peril? Sir, it is against common sense
to imagine peril from such a source.

The Senator from Missouri has shown you how slowly they must come,
according to the natural order of things,--how many decades of years
it must take before there will be a million of them, while meantime
our population is swelling by unknown millions, so that when we have
a solitary million of Chinese we shall have one hundred millions of
intelligent Americans treading this continent. And yet the Senator from
Nevada is afraid. “What! a soldier, and afraid!” What! a Senator of the
United States anxious about a million of Chinese twenty-five or thirty
years from now absorbed in that mighty one hundred millions which will
then compose our population! The Senator is not in earnest; he cannot
be. He was certainly excited in speech, if I may judge from manner; but
I really believe, that, in quiet thought reviewing this whole question,
he will see that he has hastily taken counsel of fear rather than of
reason. Let the Senator put trust in the Republic, and those ideas
which are its strength and glory.

The Senator from Oregon wound up another passage by charging me and
those who voted with me, particularly myself, with an intention, or
with conduct calculated,--I quote now his own words,--“to put the
destinies of this nation into the hands of Joss-worshippers.” Sir,
that is a strong, pungent phrase; but is it true? Who here proposes
any such thing? How can Joss-worshippers obtain control of the
destinies of this nation? Will any Senator be good enough to tell me?
By what hocus-pocus, by what necromancy, by what heathen magic will
these Joss-worshippers obtain the great ascendency? Why, Sir, it is
to disparage this Republic of ours, it is to belittle it, when you
imagine any such thing. The peril exists only in imagination; it is an
illusion, not a reality.

Then the Senator proceeded to denounce the Chinese as Imperialists
and Pagans. Pagans perhaps,--though Senators who have ever looked
into those books which have done so much for the Chinese mind will
hesitate before they use harsh language in speaking of their belief.
Has any Senator read the system of Confucius, uttered before that
of the Saviour, and yet containing truths marvellously in harmony
with those which fell from his lips? Throughout this great, populous
empire the truths of Confucius have been ever regarded as we regard
our Scriptures. They are the lesson for the young and the old, and
the rule for government and for rulers; they are full of teachings of
virtue. And yet the Chinese are called Pagans! Imperialists they may
be while they remain in China, for their ruler is an Emperor. But what
are Frenchmen? Are they not Imperialists? What are Russians? Are they
not Imperialists? And yet will any Senator rise here and say that a
Frenchman, that a Russian, shall not be admitted to naturalization? I
take it not. Of course the Frenchman, the Russian, and the Chinese will
begin by renouncing Imperialism. Therefore it is perfectly idle to say
that he is an Imperialist.

The Senator then blazed forth with a fulmination: “Let the people of
Massachusetts know that her Senator is willing that Chinese should
come to Massachusetts.” Those were his words. Well, Sir, I think the
people of Massachusetts know their Senator well enough to be assured
that he is willing to have justice on this earth. Let the gates of
Massachusetts be open always. God forbid that any system of exclusion
should find place there, such as I have heard vindicated by the Senator
from Oregon to-day! Be just to all men, and all will be safe. The
people of Massachusetts are intelligent, generous, truthful; and they
long to see the great ideas of the Republic established beyond change.
They desire to see the Declaration of Independence no longer a promise,
but a living letter. Therefore it is perfectly vain for the Senator to
flash to Massachusetts that her Senator here is in favor of justice to
the Chinese.

The Senator says again that I am inviting their competition. I make
no invitation. That is not my office. What am I, Sir? I have no power,
as I have no disposition, to speak any such invitation. My office is
entirely different. I stand here on the ancient ways,--those ways
that were laid down by the Fathers of the Republic, and where I wish
forevermore to keep the Republic sure. I stand by the Declaration of
Independence. Sir, these are no ideas of mine; I am speaking nothing
from myself; I am only speaking from the history of my country, and
from the great Declaration of the Fathers. That is all. I insist that
at this day, at this stage of our history, the statutes of the land
shall be brought into harmony with the Constitution of the United
States and the Declaration of Independence.

Now, Sir, I say that in those two great title-deeds of the
Republic,--and that is the term by which I shall always designate
them,--one interpreting the other, there is no single word which can
sanction any exclusion on account of race or color.

Here allow me to mention an incident. You may remember, some of you,
that during the Rebellion the question occurred, whether a colored
officer of the Army was entitled to pay. The question came before
President Lincoln, and, at my suggestion, was by him referred to the
Attorney-General, at that time Mr. Bates, of Missouri. At the request
of President Lincoln, I called on Mr. Bates, to confer with him on his
opinion. I did not know then how strongly he inclined to what I will
call the side of justice. So I began my conversation interrogatively,
when he turned upon me, saying, “Will you allow me to ask you a
question?” “Certainly,” said I. Said he, “Mr. Senator, is there
anything in the Constitution of the United States to prevent a negro
from being President?” The question took me by surprise, coming from
the Attorney-General. I replied, promptly, “Of course, Mr. Attorney,
there is nothing.” “Well, you are right; of course there is nothing in
the Constitution to prevent a negro from being President; how, then,
can there be anything to prevent a negro from being an officer, and
receiving his pay as such?” I replied at once to the Attorney-General,
that I thought he needed no suggestion from me on that question. I left
him; and you may remember the opinion which followed shortly after, in
which he affirmed that colored officers were entitled to pay in the
Army of the United States.[150]

Sir, there is nothing in the Constitution of the United States
to prevent a negro from being President. On the contrary, that
Constitution, interpreted as it must be by the Declaration of
Independence, opens the way to all men without distinction of race or
color. No, Sir, I am not the author of that doctrine. I had nothing to
do with it. I find it, and now simply present it to the Senate. But,
presenting it to the Senate, I insist that you shall see to it that
the existing statutes are brought into conformity with the text of the
Constitution, and with the Declaration of Independence: that is all.
Strike out the word “white,” which nowhere appears in the Constitution,
and which is positively prohibited by the Declaration of Independence.
That is what you are to do. So doing, you will complete the work of

The Senator from Kansas [Mr. POMEROY], in that speech, this evening,
which to my mind was in many respects exquisite with most beautiful
thought and with unanswerable argument, has taught the Senate, what
I have said again and again in debates in this Chamber and in other
places, that nothing can be settled which is not right. And so this
question will never be settled until it is settled according to the
great principles of justice. Vainly you try, you cannot succeed. And
now, Sir, I do entreat Senators,--I hope they will pardon me; I mean to
say only what it belongs to a Senator to say,--I do entreat Senators
not to lose this precious opportunity of completing the harmony of the
statutes of the land with the Constitution of the United States and the
Declaration of Independence. Only in this way can you have peace. Let
us have peace. Sir, I tell you how you may have it. Adopt the amendment
which I have proposed, strike out the word “white,” and the harmony
will begin. The country will straightway accept the result. But reject
that amendment, and you open at once the floodgates of controversy.
From this time the debate will proceed, and what is said here will find
its echoes and reverberations throughout the whole land and be returned
to us from the Pacific coast, never to die out until the good cause
prevails and all the promises of the Fathers are fulfilled.

Why, Sir, the words of the Declaration of Independence were not uttered
in vain. Do you suppose them idle? Do you suppose them mere phrase or
generality? No such thing. They are living words, by which this country
is solemnly bound, and from which it can never escape until they are
all fulfilled. Your statutes cannot contain any limitation which
inflicts an indignity upon any portion of the human family.

Therefore do I entreat you, Senators, do not lose this precious
opportunity. It comes to you now unexpectedly, perhaps; but what is
there in life more golden than opportunity, whether to country, to
community, or to individuals? It is what each of us covets, as he
treads along the highway of the world. It is what we covet for our
country. Here, Sir, you have golden opportunity. Use it. Use it wisely;
use it bravely; use it so that you will secure peace, harmony, and
reconciliation. Beautiful words! All these are within your power, if
you now let it be known that you will stand by the Declaration to the
end. You cannot suffer, there can be no peril, no harm from any such
dedication,--nothing but gain. All our institutions will be assured in
proportion as you respect these great principles. Reconstruction will
have new strength, when you show this homage to human nature.

And yet in the face of all this we are now asked to retreat,--to
retrace the steps already taken,--to reconsider the vote that has
been adopted,--and to confirm in the statutes those words which are
there without any sanction in the Constitution, and in defiance of the
Declaration of Independence. Sir, I will not believe that the Senate
will do any such thing until the vote is recorded. But whatever may
be the result, I give notice that I shall not cease my effort,--I
shall continue it to the end. I am a soldier for the war; and until I
see this great Declaration a living letter, I shall never intermit my
endeavors. I shall go forward, and on every possible occasion I shall
press the Senate to another vote. But I trust the Senate will not
reconsider what they have done, but that they will settle this great
question so that it shall never again disturb our debates.

Something I might say here on the “practical.” Some Senator to-day has
said something about being practical, taking to himself great credit
on this account. Of course I who make this effort am not practical! I
simply strive to bring the statutes into harmony with the Constitution
and the Declaration of Independence; but that is not practical! Our
fathers were not practical, when they put forth the great Declaration!
Our fathers were not practical, when they established the Constitution
without the word “white”! Of course I am not practical, because I
humbly strive to imitate the Fathers! Now, Sir, which is the more
practical,--to allow this word to remain, breeding debate, controversy,
strife, or at once to strike it out and complete our great work of
Reconstruction? This is something to do. Tell me not that it is not
practical. Is there anything in the bill that is equally practical?
There are provisions, as I said this morning, for the safeguard of
naturalization, which I value much; but how small in value, compared
with the establishment of that great principle which fixes forevermore
the fundamental idea of the Republic! Is not that practical? Why, Sir,
the two cannot be compared. Both are important; but the first belongs
to the class of policies or expedients, and not of principles. Adopt
it, and you will help the machinery of naturalization, which I desire
to do. But strike out the word “white” from your statutes, and you will
do an act of justice whose influence will be immeasurable. The Republic
will be exalted, and all our institutions will have new strength and

    The motion for reconsideration prevailed,--Yeas 27, Nays 13.

    The question now recurring on the adoption of the amendment,
    Mr. Sumner rose to speak again,--whereupon a debate sprang up
    as to his right to do so under the rules, finally terminated
    by the withdrawal of an appeal which had been taken from a
    decision of the President _pro tempore_ affirming such right,
    when he was allowed to proceed. Beginning with some remarks
    upon this episode, Mr. Sumner said:--

The appeal is withdrawn; but I believe I have the floor on the
question. We have pending before us the Tax Bill, and during a day
perhaps a dozen or twenty propositions are moved on that bill.
According to the suggestion of the Senator from New York [Mr.
CONKLING], one who had spoken on two of those propositions would be
debarred from speaking on any of the others during that day. As a
Senator suggests to me, if a Senator had spoken about salt or tea,
then he could not speak on sugar, or the income question, or anything
else. I believe the rule of the Senate will not compel us to any such

I do not like to take up the time of the Senate; and I should not speak
now, except for my desire to bring home to the Senate once more the
gravity of the question, and to introduce a new authority, which I had
on my table, but which I forgot to use, when I was up before,--I mean
the late Abraham Lincoln. He, too, had a great controversy in Illinois
with a distinguished representative of the Democratic party (Mr.
DOUGLAS) on the Declaration of Independence. Let Mr. Douglas state his
position in his own words. He said:--

    “I believe that this Government of ours was founded on the
    white basis. I believe that it was established by white men, by
    men of European birth, or descended of European races, for the
    benefit of white men and their posterity in all time to come.
    I do not believe that it was the design or intention of the
    signers of the Declaration of Independence or the framers of
    the Constitution to include negroes, Indians, or other inferior
    races, with white men, as citizens.”[151]

Then, again, in another place, Mr. Douglas said:--

    “The Declaration of Independence only included the white people
    of the United States.”[152]

How like what we have heard in this Chamber on Saturday and to-day!
Senators have been unconsciously repeating these exploded arguments of
the late Mr. Douglas.

How did Abraham Lincoln answer? In a speech at Springfield, while
admitting that negroes are “not our equals in color,” this eminent
citizen, afterward President, thus spoke for the comprehensive humanity
of the Declaration:--

    “I adhere to the Declaration of Independence. If Judge Douglas
    and his friends are not willing to stand by it, let them
    come up and amend it. Let them make it read that all men are
    created equal except negroes. Let us have it decided whether
    the Declaration of Independence in this blessed year of 1858
    shall be thus amended. In his construction of the Declaration
    last year, he said it only meant that Americans in America
    were equal to Englishmen in England. Then, when I pointed out
    to him that by that rule he excludes the Germans, the Irish,
    the Portuguese, and all the other people who have come amongst
    us since the Revolution, he reconstructs his construction. In
    his last speech he tells us it meant Europeans. I press him a
    little further, and ask if it meant to include the Russians in
    Asia; or does he mean to exclude that vast population from the
    principles of our Declaration of Independence? I expect ere
    long he will introduce another amendment to his definition. He
    is not at all particular. He is satisfied with anything which
    does not endanger the nationalizing of negro slavery. It may
    draw white men down, but it must not lift negroes up.”[153]

Then, again, in another speech, made at Alton, the future President
renewed his testimony as follows:--

    “I assert that Judge Douglas and all his friends may search
    the whole records of the country, and it will be a matter of
    great astonishment to me if they shall be able to find that one
    human being three years ago had ever uttered the astounding
    sentiment that the term ‘all men’ in the Declaration did not
    include the negro. Do not let me be misunderstood. I know that
    more than three years ago there were men who, finding this
    assertion constantly in the way of their schemes to bring about
    the ascendency and perpetuation of Slavery, denied the truth
    of it. I know that Mr. Calhoun, and all the politicians of his
    school, denied the truth of the Declaration. I know that it
    ran along in the mouth of some Southern men for a period of
    years, ending at last in that shameful, though rather forcible,
    declaration of Pettit, of Indiana, upon the floor of the United
    States Senate, that the Declaration of Independence was in that
    respect ‘a self-evident lie,’ rather than a self-evident truth.
    But I say, with a perfect knowledge of all this hawking at the
    Declaration without directly attacking it, that three years ago
    there never had lived a man who had ventured to assail it in
    the sneaking way”--

That is not my language; it is the language of Abraham Lincoln--

    “of pretending to believe it and then asserting it did not
    include the negro.”[154]

Lifted by the great cause in which he was engaged, he appealed to his
fellow-countrymen in tones of pathetic eloquence:--

    “Think nothing of me,”--

said he, afterward martyr,--

    “take no thought for the political fate of any man whomsoever,
    but come back to the truths that are in the Declaration of
    Independence. You may do anything with me you choose, if you
    will but heed these sacred principles. You may not only defeat
    me for the Senate, but you may take me and put me to death.
    While pretending no indifference to earthly honors, I do claim
    to be actuated in this contest by something higher than an
    anxiety for office. I charge you to drop every paltry and
    insignificant thought for any man’s success. It is nothing,
    I am nothing, Judge Douglas is nothing; but do not destroy
    that immortal emblem of humanity, the Declaration of American

How apt are these words now! “Do not destroy that immortal emblem of
humanity, the Declaration of American Independence.”

Then, again, as he was on his way to Washington, stopping at
Philadelphia to raise the flag of his country over the Hall of
Independence, he uttered these pathetic, though unpremeditated words:--

    “All the political sentiments I entertain have been drawn, so
    far as I have been able to draw them, from the sentiments which
    originated in, and were given to the world from, this Hall. I
    have never had a feeling, politically, that did not spring from
    the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence.


    “Now, my friends, can this country be saved upon that basis?
    If it can, I shall consider myself one of the happiest men in
    the world, if I can help to save it.… But if this country cannot
    be saved without giving up that principle, I was about to say
    I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender

And yet that is the principle which the Senate is now about to give
up,--that principle which Abraham Lincoln said, rather than give up he
would be assassinated on the spot.

Then, after adding that he had not expected to say a word, he repeated
the consecration of his life, exclaiming,--

    “I have said nothing but what I am willing to live by, and, if
    it be the pleasure of Almighty God, to die by.”[157]

Sir, that is enough.

    Mr. Sumner’s amendment was rejected,--Yeas 14, Nays 30. At a
    later stage of the proceedings he renewed it, when it was again
    rejected,--Yeas 12, Nays 26.

    At the same stages, an amendment in the following words,
    offered by Mr. Warner, of Alabama,--

        “_And be it further enacted_, That the Naturalization Laws
        are hereby extended to aliens of African nativity and to
        persons of African descent,”--

    prevailed, first by Yeas 21, Nays 20, and then by Yeas 20,
    Nays 17, and was adopted. A subsequent amendment, by Mr.
    Trumbull, of Illinois, further extending these laws “to persons
    born in the Chinese Empire,” was defeated, by Yeas 9, Nays
    31. The bill as amended was thereupon passed,--Yeas 33, Nays
    8,--Mr. Sumner voting in the affirmative.



    October 15, 1870, the Republicans of Boston met in Faneuil
    Hall, to ratify the nomination of candidates for State offices.
    The Hall was filled to its utmost capacity, and Mr. Sumner was
    announced as President of the meeting. In its report of the
    proceedings, the “Journal” newspaper of the next day stated
    that Mr. Sumner, on taking the chair, “was greeted with almost
    indescribable enthusiasm, and it was some minutes before the
    audience permitted him to speak.” He spoke as follows:--

FELLOW-CITIZENS,--In opening this meeting to-night I am impressed by
one thought, which I would, if I could, have uppermost in the minds of
the people, so that they could not forget it at the coming election.
It is the necessity of constant, incessant, persevering activity in
support of Republican principles, and of the party which maintains
them. [_Applause._]

And here let me say that I know no way in which Republican principles
can be adequately supported, without supporting the Republican party.
[_Applause._] There is no local issue justifying opposition to the
Republican party, which, if it fails to do all that good men desire,
yet does more than can be accomplished through any other political
organization. Therefore do I say, Stand by the Republican party. Make
it united and vigorous. There must be no hesitation, or listlessness,
or desertion. [_Applause._]

Our majorities in Massachusetts are large, but so are our
responsibilities. From the historic character of the Commonwealth,
from the position it has occupied in the warfare with Slavery, and
from its fame as the home of ideas, we cannot afford to be sluggish
or indifferent; nor can we break up into disjointed squads. It is not
enough, if we give a majority sufficient to elect our candidates; we
must make the majority commanding, controlling, so as to be an example
and a power in the land. Massachusetts ideas and interests are to be
maintained and advanced, not merely here at home, but in the nation.
Besides State officers, we choose at this election members of Congress,
and a Legislature which will elect a Senator of the United States.
Therefore must we regard our duties to the nation, the first of which
is to make Massachusetts the bulwark of the national cause.

I know no good reason why Governor Claflin [_cheers_] should not be
reëlected unanimously, or at least without opposition outside the
Democratic party, which is against him more from force of habit, I take
it, than anything else. As for others, who do not assume the name of
Democrats, they can find no excuse of habit in voting against him. Then
come the Republican candidates for Congress, who, like the Governor,
are entitled to your best support. Faneuil Hall is now thronged with
the constituents of Mr. Hooper and Mr. Twichell, [_renewed cheers_,]
who know their services, so that my testimony is not needed. I will
only say, Fortunate the districts with Representatives having the
character, ability, and business capacity of these gentlemen. In
choosing a Legislature you will not forget my colleague, [Mr. WILSON,]
with his lifelong devotion to the slave, his hard work against the
Rebellion, and his practical labors everywhere. [_Loud and prolonged

I would add one further word in reply to those who insist that the
Republican party has done its work, and therefore may die. Nothing more
absurd. It has done a great and ever-memorable work; but much remains
to be done. It has put down a terrible Rebellion waged by Slavery;
it has secured equal rights at the ballot-box and in courts without
distinction of color; and it has reconstructed the Rebel States on the
solid foundation of the Declaration of Independence. [_Applause._]
Besides these heroic achievements, which cannot be forgotten so long
as men throb in sympathy with human rights, the Republican party has
provided homesteads for the needy; it has built a Pacific Railroad,
binding two oceans together; it has by honest payment reduced the
enormous national debt entailed by the Rebellion, and at the same time
it has reduced taxation. [_Applause._] If a political party is to be
judged by what it has done, then may the Republican party fearlessly
ask your votes.

But there is another reason for your continued support. The whole
work of Reconstruction and the establishment of Equal Rights is
still disputed and assailed by the Democratic party. I might quote
resolutions and words of orators showing how they still hold out.
Repudiators of the National Debt, they would repudiate all that has
been done for the National Union, and for that Equality before the
Law which is one of our greatest triumphs and safeguards. [_Cheers._]
This is enough. Until this new form of Repudiation is extinguished,
there is need of the Republican party. So long as anybody assails the
Declaration of Independence, the Republican party cannot cease its
patriotic labors.

It is foolish to imagine that this great party, consecrated to Human
Rights, can die. It will live as long as people cherish those sublime
truths declared by our fathers, of which it is the representative and
guardian. Its special work will be always to stand by the nation in
its unity, and by the people in their rights. [_Applause._] For such a
party there can be no decay. Men whom I now address may grow old, but
the Republican party will be ever young. [_Applause._]

    In conclusion, Mr. Sumner introduced GENERAL HAWLEY in the
    following terms:--

Let me introduce to your notice at this time General Hawley, (or
Governor Hawley, if you would rather, for both titles belong to him,)
of Connecticut, who has stood by his principles both at home and on the
battle-field. [_Applause._] And now, in introducing him, I am going
to ask him to pardon me for a revelation which I believe will not be
painful to the audience. I want to give you a passage from a letter
addressed to myself by Mr. Hawley, at a time when he was much younger
than he is now, bearing date Hartford, May, 1854. It was written on
receipt of intelligence by telegraph that the life of a Senator was
threatened at Washington by mobs. Mr. Hawley addressed a letter to
that Senator, in which, after setting forth the telegram, he said:
“Please write to me at once, and say if you need any defenders; if you
do, I will be on the spot early.”[158] [_Tremendous applause._] This
was written, Fellow-Citizens, so long ago as 1854; it was seven years
before the war; yet General Hawley was then ready to meet the foe.
[_Applause._] Gentlemen, I have the honor of introducing him to you.



              “When kings make war,
    No law betwixt two sovereigns can decide,
    But that of arms, where Fortune is the judge,
    Soldiers the lawyers, and the Bar the field.”

                               DRYDEN, _Love Triumphant_, Act I. Sc. 1.


MR. PRESIDENT,--I am to speak of the Duel between France and Germany,
with its Lesson to Civilization. In calling the terrible war now waging
a Duel, I might content myself with classical authority, _Duellum_
being a well-known Latin word for War. The historian Livy makes a Roman
declare that affairs are to be settled “by a pure and pious duel”;[159]
the dramatist Plautus has a character in one of his plays who obtains
great riches “by the duelling art,”[160] meaning the art of war; and
Horace, the exquisite master of language, hails the age of Augustus
with the Temple of Janus closed and “free from duels,”[161] meaning at
peace,--for then only was that famous temple shut.


But no classical authority is needed for this designation. War, as
conducted under International Law, between two organized nations, is
in all respects a duel, according to the just signification of this
word,--differing from that between two individuals only in the number
of combatants. The variance is of proportion merely, each nation being
an individual who appeals to the sword as Arbiter; and in each case the
combat is subject to rules constituting a code by which the two parties
are bound. For long years before civilization prevailed, the code
governing the duel between individuals was as fixed and minute as that
which governs the larger duel between nations, and the duel itself was
simply a mode of deciding questions between individuals. In presenting
this comparison I expose myself to criticism only from those who have
not considered this interesting subject in the light of history and of
reason. The parallel is complete. Modern war is the duel of the Dark
Ages, magnified, amplified, extended so as to embrace nations; nor is
it any less a duel because the combat is quickened and sustained by the
energies of self-defence, or because, when a champion falls and lies on
the ground, he is brutally treated. An authentic instance illustrates
such a duel; and I bring before you the very pink of chivalry, the
Chevalier Bayard, “the knight without fear and without reproach,” who,
after combat in a chosen field, succeeded by a feint in driving his
weapon four fingers deep into the throat of his adversary, and then,
rolling with him, gasping and struggling, on the ground, thrust his
dagger into the nostrils of the fallen victim, exclaiming, “Surrender,
or you are a dead man!”--a speech which seemed superfluous; for the
second cried out, “He is dead already; you have conquered.” Then did
Bayard, brightest among the Sons of War, drag his dead enemy from the
field, crying, “Have I done enough?”[162] Now, because the brave knight
saw fit to do these things, the combat was not changed in original
character. It was a duel at the beginning and at the end. Indeed, the
brutality with which it closed was the natural incident of a duel.
A combat once begun opens the way to violence, and the conqueror
too often surrenders to the Evil Spirit, as Bayard in his unworthy

In likening war between nations to the duel, I follow not only reason,
but authority also. No better lawyer can be named in the long history
of the English bar than John Selden, whose learning was equalled only
by his large intelligence. In those conversations which under the name
of “Table-Talk” continue still to instruct, the wise counsellor, after
saying that the Church allowed the duel anciently, and that in the
public liturgies there were prayers appointed for duellists to say,
keenly inquires, “But whether is this lawful?” And then he answers, “If
you grant any war lawful, I make no doubt but to convince it.”[163]
Selden regarded the simple duel and the larger war as governed by
the same rule. Of course the exercise of force in the suppression
of rebellion, or in the maintenance of laws, stands on a different
principle, being in its nature a constabulary proceeding, which cannot
be confounded with the duel. But my object is not to question the
lawfulness of war; I would simply present an image, enabling you to see
the existing war in its true character.

The duel in its simplest form is between two individuals. In early
ages it was known sometimes as the Judicial Combat, and sometimes as
Trial by Battle. Not only points of honor, but titles to land, grave
questions of law, and even the subtilties of theology, were referred
to this arbitrament,[164]--just as now kindred issues between nations
are referred to Trial by Battle; and the early rules governing the duel
are reproduced in the Laws of War established by nations to govern the
great Trial by Battle. Ascending from the individual to corporations,
guilds, villages, towns, counties, provinces, we find that for a long
period each of these bodies exercised what was called “the Right of
War.” The history of France and Germany shows how reluctantly this mode
of trial yielded to the forms of reason and order. France, earlier
than Germany, ordained “Trial by Proofs,” and eliminated the duel
from judicial proceedings, this important step being followed by the
gradual amalgamation of discordant provinces in the powerful unity of
the Nation,--so that Brittany and Normandy, Franche-Comté and Burgundy,
Provence and Dauphiny, Gascony and Languedoc, with the rest, became
the United States of France, or, if you please, France. In Germany
the change was slower; and here the duel exhibits its most curious
instances. Not only feudal chiefs, but associations of tradesmen and of
domestics sent defiance to each other, and sometimes to whole cities,
on pretences trivial as those which have been the occasion of defiance
from nation to nation. There still remain to us Declarations of War by
a Lord of Frauenstein against the free city of Frankfort, because a
young lady of the city refused to dance with his uncle,--by the baker
and domestics of the Margrave of Baden against Esslingen, Reutlingen,
and other imperial cities,--by the baker of the Count Palatine
Louis against the cities of Augsburg, Ulm, and Rottweil,--by the
shoe-blacks of the University of Leipsic against the provost and other
members,--and by the cook of Eppstein, with his scullions, dairy-maids,
and dish-washers, against Otho, Count of Solms.[165] This prevalence of
the duel aroused the Emperor Maximilian, who at the Diet of Worms put
forth an ordinance abolishing the right or liberty of Private War, and
instituting a Supreme Tribunal for the determination of controversies
without appeal to the duel, and the whole long list of duellists,
whether corporate or individual, including nobles, bakers, shoe-blacks,
and cooks, was brought under its pacific rule. Unhappily the beneficent
reform stopped half-way, and here Germany was less fortunate than
France. The great provinces were left in the enjoyment of a barbarous
independence, with the “right” to fight each other. The duel continued
their established arbiter, until at last, in 1815, by the Act of Union
constituting the Confederation or United States of Germany, each
sovereignty gave up the right of war with its confederates, setting an
example to the larger nations. The terms of this important stipulation,
marking a stage in German unity, were as follows:--

    “The members of the Confederation further bind themselves
    under no pretext to make war upon one another, or to pursue
    their differences by force of arms, but to submit them to the

Better words could not be found for the United States of Europe, in the
establishment of that Great Era when the Duel shall cease to be the
recognized Arbiter of Nations.

With this exposition, which I hope is not too long, it is easy to see
how completely a war between two nations is a duel,--and, yet further,
how essential it is to that assured peace which civilization requires,
that the duel, which is no longer tolerated as arbiter between
individuals, between towns, between counties, between provinces, should
cease to be tolerated as such between nations. Take our own country,
for instance. In a controversy between towns, the local law provides a
judicial tribunal; so also in a controversy between counties. Ascending
still higher, suppose a controversy between two States of our Union;
the National Constitution establishes a judicial tribunal, being
the Supreme Court of the United States. But at the next stage there
is a change. Let the controversy arise between two nations, and the
Supreme Law, which is the Law of Nations, establishes, not a judicial
tribunal, but the duel, as arbiter. What is true of our country is true
of other countries where civilization has a foothold, and especially
of France and Germany. The duel, though abolished as arbiter at
home, is continued as arbiter abroad. And since it is recognized by
International Law and subjected to a code, it is in all respects an
Institution. War is an institution sanctioned by International Law, as
Slavery, wherever it exists, is an institution sanctioned by Municipal
Law. But this institution is nothing but the duel of the Dark Ages,
prolonged into this generation, and showing itself in portentous


Therefore am I right, when I call the existing combat between France
and Germany a Duel. I beg you to believe that I do this with no idle
purpose of illustration or criticism, but because I would prepare
the way for a proper comprehension of the remedy to be applied.
How can this terrible controversy be adjusted? I see no practical
method, which shall reconcile the sensibilities of France with the
guaranties due to Germany, short of a radical change in the War System
itself. That Security for the Future which Germany may justly exact
can be obtained in no way so well as by the disarmament of France,
to be followed naturally by the disarmament of other nations, and
the substitution of some peaceful tribunal for the existing Trial by
Battle. Any dismemberment, or curtailment of territory, will be poor
and inadequate; for it will leave behind a perpetual sting. Something
better must be done.


Never in history has so great a calamity descended so suddenly upon
the Human Family, unless we except the earthquake toppling down cities
and submerging a whole coast in a single night. But how small all that
has ensued from any such convulsion, compared with the desolation and
destruction already produced by this war! From the first murmur to the
outbreak was a brief moment of time, as between the flash of lightning
and the bursting of the thunder.

At the beginning of July there was peace without suspicion of
interruption. The Legislative Body had just discussed a proposition
for the reduction of the annual Army Contingent. At Berlin the
Parliament was not in session. Count Bismarck was at his country
home in Pomerania, the King enjoying himself at Ems. How sudden and
unexpected the change will appear from an illustrative circumstance. M.
Prévost-Paradol, of rare talent and unhappy destiny, newly appointed
Minister to the United States, embarked at Havre on the 1st of July,
and reached Washington on the morning of the 14th of July. He assured
me that when he left France there was no talk or thought of war.
During his brief summer voyage the whole startling event had begun and
culminated. Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen being invited
to become candidate for the throne of Spain, France promptly sent her
defiance to Prussia, followed a few days later by formal Declaration of
War. The Minister was oppressed by the grave tidings coming upon him
so unprepared, and sought relief in self-slaughter, being the first
victim of the war. Everything moved with a rapidity borrowed from the
new forces supplied by human invention, and the Gates of War swung wide


A few incidents exhibit this movement. It was on the 30th of June,
while discussing the proposed reduction of the Army, that Émile
Ollivier, the Prime-Minister, said openly: “The Government has no kind
of disquietude; at no epoch has the maintenance of peace been more
assured; on whatever side you look, you see no irritating question
under discussion.”[167] In the same debate, Garnier-Pagès, the
consistent Republican, and now a member of the Provisional Government,
after asking, “Why these armaments?” cried out: “Disarm, without
waiting for others: this is practical. Let the people be relieved from
the taxes which crush them, and from the heaviest of all, the tax of
blood.”[168] The candidature of Prince Leopold seems to have become
known at Paris on the 5th of July. On the next day the Duc de Gramont,
of a family famous in scandalous history, Minister of Foreign Affairs,
hurries to the tribune with defiance on his lips. After declaring for
the Cabinet that no foreign power could be suffered, by placing one
of its princes on the throne of Charles the Fifth, to derange the
balance of power in Europe, and put in peril the interests and the
honor of France, he concludes by saying, in ominous words: “Strong in
your support, Gentlemen, and in that of the nation, we shall know how
to do our duty without hesitation and without weakness.”[169] This
defiance was followed by what is called in the report, “general and
prolonged movement,--repeated applause”; and here was the first stage
in the duel. Its character was recognized at once in the Chamber.
Garnier-Pagès exclaimed, in words worthy of memory: “It is dynastic
questions which trouble the peace of Europe. The people have only
reason to love and aid each other.”[170] Though short, better than many
long speeches. Crémieux, an associate in the Provisional Government
of 1848, insisted that the utterance of the Minister was “a menace of
war”; and Emmanuel Arago, son of the great Republican astronomer and
mathematician, said that the Minister “had declared war.”[171] These
patriotic representatives were not mistaken. The speech made peace
difficult, if not impossible. It was a challenge to Prussia.


Europe watched with dismay as the gauntlet was thus rudely flung
down, while on this side of the Atlantic, where France and Germany
commingle in the enjoyment of our equal citizenship, the interest
was intense. Morning and evening the telegraph made us all partakers
of the hopes and fears agitating the world. Too soon it was apparent
that the exigence of France would not be satisfied, while already her
preparations for war were undisguised. At all the naval stations, from
Toulon to Cherbourg, the greatest activity prevailed. Marshal MacMahon
was recalled from Algeria, and transports were made ready to bring back
the troops from that colony.

Meanwhile the candidature of Prince Leopold was renounced by him.
But this was not enough. The King of Prussia was asked to promise
that it should in no event ever be renewed,--which he declined to
do, reserving to himself the liberty of consulting circumstances.
This requirement was the more offensive, inasmuch as it was addressed
exclusively to Prussia, while nothing was said to Spain, the principal
in the business. Then ensued an incident proper for comedy, if it
had not become the declared cause of tragedy. The French Ambassador,
Count Benedetti, who, on intelligence of the candidature, had
followed the King to Ems, his favorite watering-place, and there in
successive interviews pressed him to order its withdrawal, now, on its
voluntary renunciation, proceeding to urge the new demand, and after
an extended conversation, and notwithstanding its decided refusal,
seeking, nevertheless, another audience the same day on this subject,
his Majesty, with perfect politeness, sent him word by an adjutant
in attendance, that he had no other answer to make than the one
already given: and this refusal to receive the Ambassador was promptly
communicated by telegraph, for the information especially of the
different German governments.[172]


These simple facts, insufficient for the slightest quarrel, intolerable
in the pettiness of the issue disclosed, and monstrous as reason for
war between two civilized nations, became the welcome pretext. Swiftly,
and with ill-disguised alacrity, the French Cabinet took the next
step in the duel. On the 15th of July the Prime-Minister read from
the tribune a manifesto setting forth the griefs of France,--being,
first, the refusal of the Prussian King to promise for the future,
and, secondly, his refusal to receive the French Ambassador, with
the communication of this refusal, as was alleged, “officially to
the Cabinets of Europe,” which was a mistaken allegation:[173] and
the paper concludes by announcing that since the preceding day the
Government had called in the reserves, and that they would immediately
take the measures necessary to secure the interests, the safety, and
the honor of France.[174] This was war.

Some there were who saw the fearful calamity, the ghastly crime,
then and there initiated. The scene that ensued belongs to this painful
record. The paper announcing war was followed by prolonged applause.
The Prime-Minister added soon after in debate, that he accepted the
responsibility with “a light heart.”[175] Not all were in this mood.
Esquiros, the Republican, cried from his seat, in momentous words,
“You have a light heart, and the blood of nations is about to flow!”
To the apology of the Prime-Minister, “that in the discharge of a duty
the heart is not troubled,” Jules Favre, the Republican leader, of
acknowledged moderation and ability, flashed forth, “When the discharge
of this duty involves the slaughter of two nations, one may well have
the heart troubled!” Beyond these declarations, giving utterance
to the natural sentiments of humanity, was the positive objection,
most forcibly presented by Thiers, so famous in the Chamber and in
literature, “that the satisfaction due to France had been accorded
her,--that Prussia had expiated by a check the grave fault she had
committed,”--that France had prevailed in substance, and all that
remained was “a question of form,” “a question of susceptibility,”
“questions of etiquette.” The experienced statesman asked for the
dispatches. Then came a confession. The Prime-Minister replied, that
he had “nothing to communicate,--that, in the true sense of the
term, there had been no dispatches,--that there were only verbal
communications gathered up in reports, which, according to diplomatic
usage, are not communicated.” Here Emmanuel Arago interrupted: “It
is on these reports that you make war!” The Prime-Minister proceeded
to read two brief telegrams from Count Benedetti at Ems, when De
Choiseul very justly exclaimed: “We cannot make war on that ground;
it is impossible!” Others cried out from their seats,--Garnier-Pagès
saying, “These are phrases”; Emmanuel Arago protesting, “On this the
civilized world will pronounce you wrong”; to which Jules Favre added,
“Unhappily, true!” Thiers and Jules Favre, with vigorous eloquence,
charged the war upon the Cabinet: Thiers declaring, “I regret to be
obliged to say that we have war by the fault of the Cabinet”; Jules
Favre alleging, “If we have war, it is thanks to the politics of the
Cabinet; … from the exposition that has been made, so far as the general
interests of the two countries are concerned, there is no avowable
motive for war.” Girault exclaimed, in similar spirit: “We would be
among the first to come forward in a war for the country, but we do
not wish to come forward in a dynastic and aggressive war.” The Duc de
Gramont, who on the 6th of July flung down the gauntlet, spoke once
more for the Cabinet, stating solemnly, what was not the fact, that the
Prussian Government had communicated to all the Cabinets of Europe the
refusal to receive the French Ambassador, and then on this misstatement
ejaculating: “It is an outrage on the Emperor and on France; and if,
by impossibility, there were found in my country a Chamber to bear
and tolerate it, I would not remain five minutes Minister of Foreign
Affairs.” In our country we have seen how the Southern heart was fired;
so also was fired the heart of France. The Duke descended from the
tribune amidst prolonged applause, with cries of “Bravo!”--and at his
seat (so says the report) “received numerous felicitations.” Such was
the atmosphere of the Chamber at this eventful moment. The orators
of the Opposition, pleading for delay in the interest of peace, were
stifled; and when Gambetta, the young and fearless Republican, made
himself heard in calling for the text of the dispatch communicating
the refusal to receive the Ambassador, to the end that the Chamber,
France, and all Europe might judge of its character, he was answered
by the Prime-Minister with the taunt that “for the first time in a
French Assembly there were such difficulties on a certain side in
explaining _a question of honor_.” Such was the case as presented by
the Prime-Minister, and on this question of honor he accepted war “with
a light heart.” Better say, with no heart at all;--for whoso could
find in this condition of things sufficient reason for war was without

During these brief days of solicitude, from the 6th to the 15th of
July, England made an unavailing effort for peace. Lord Lyons was
indefatigable; and he was sustained at home by Lord Granville, who
as a last resort reminded the two parties of the stipulation at the
Congress of Paris, which they had accepted, in favor of Arbitration as
a substitute for War, and asked them to accept the good offices of some
friendly power.[177] This most reasonable proposition was rejected by
the French Minister, who gave new point to the French case by charging
that Prussia “had chosen to declare that France had been affronted in
the person of her Ambassador,” and then positively insisting that “it
was this boast which was the _gravamen_ of the offence.” Capping the
climax of barbarous absurdity, the French Minister did not hesitate
to announce that this “constituted an insult which no nation of any
spirit could brook, and rendered it, much to the regret of the French
Government, impossible to take into consideration the mode of settling
the original matter in dispute which was recommended by her Majesty’s
Government.”[178] Thus was peaceful Arbitration repelled. All honor to
the English Government for proposing it!

The famous telegram put forward by France as the _gravamen_, or chief
offence, was not communicated to the Chamber. The Prime-Minister,
though hard-pressed, held it back. Was it from conviction of its too
trivial character? But it is not lost to the history of the duel.
This telegram, with something of the brevity peculiar to telegraphic
dispatches, merely reports the refusal to see the French Ambassador,
without one word of affront or boast. It reports the fact, and
nothing else; and it is understood that the refusal was only when
this functionary presented himself a second time in one day on the
same business. Considering the interests involved, it would have been
better, had the King seen him as many times as he chose to call; yet
the refusal was not unnatural. The perfect courtesy of his Majesty on
this occasion furnished no cause of complaint. All that remained for
pretext was the telegram.[179]


The scene in the Legislative Body was followed by the instant
introduction of bills making additional appropriations for the Army
and Navy, calling out the National Guard, and authorizing volunteers
for the war. This last proposition was commended by the observation
that in France there were a great many young people liking powder, but
not liking barracks, who would in this way be suited; and this was
received with applause.[180] On the 18th of July there was a further
appropriation to the extent of 500 million francs,--440 millions
being for the Army, and 60 for the Navy; and an increase from 150 to
500 millions Treasury notes was authorized.[181] On the 20th of July
the Duc de Gramont appeared once more in the tribune, and made the
following speech:--

    “Conformably to customary rules, and by order of the Emperor,
    I have invited the _Chargé d’Affaires_ of France to notify the
    Berlin Cabinet of our resolution to seek by arms the guaranties
    which we have not been able to obtain by discussion. This step
    has been taken, and I have the honor of making known to the
    Legislative Body that in consequence a state of war exists
    between France and Prussia, beginning the 19th of July. This
    declaration applies equally to the allies of Prussia who lend
    her the coöperation of their arms against us.”[182]

Here the French Minister played the part of trumpeter in the duel,
making proclamation before his champion rode forward. According to the
statement of Count Bismarck, made to the Parliament at Berlin, this
formal Declaration of War was the solitary official communication from
France in this whole transaction, being the first and only note since
the candidature of Prince Leopold.[183] How swift this madness will be
seen in a few dates. On the 6th of July was uttered the first defiance
from the French tribune; on the 15th of July an exposition of the
griefs of France, in the nature of a Declaration of War, with a demand
for men and money; on the 19th of July a state of war was declared to

Firmly, but in becoming contrast with the “light heart” of France,
this was promptly accepted by Germany, whose heart and strength found
expression in the speech of the King at the opening of Parliament,
hastily assembled on the 19th of July. With articulation disturbed by
emotion and with moistened eyes, his Majesty said:--

    “Supported by the unanimous will of the German governments of
    the South as of the North, we turn the more confidently to the
    love of Fatherland and the cheerful self-devotion of the German
    people, with a call to the defence of their honor and their

Parliament responded sympathetically to the King, and made the
necessary appropriations. And thus the two champions stood front to


Throughout France, throughout Germany, the trumpet sounded, and
everywhere the people sprang to arms, as if the great horn of Orlando,
after a sleep of ages, had sent forth once more its commanding summons.
Not a town, not a village, that the voice did not penetrate. Modern
invention had supplied an ally beyond anything in fable. From all parts
of France, from all parts of Germany, armed men leaped forward, leaving
behind the charms of peace and the business of life. On each side the
muster was mighty, armies counting by the hundred thousand. And now,
before we witness the mutual slaughter, let us pause to consider the
two parties, and the issue between them.

France and Germany are most unlike, and yet the peers of each other,
while among the nations they are unsurpassed in civilization, each
prodigious in resources, splendid in genius, and great in renown. No
two nations are so nearly matched. By Germany I now mean not only the
States constituting North Germany, but also Würtemberg, Baden, and
Bavaria of South Germany, allies in the present war, all of which
together make about fifty-three millions of French hectares, being
very nearly the area of France. The population of each is not far
from thirty-eight millions, and it would be difficult to say which is
the larger. Looking at finances, Germany has the smaller revenue, but
also the smaller debt, while her rulers, following the sentiment of
the people, cultivate a wise economy, so that here again substantial
equality is maintained with France. The armies of the two, embracing
regular troops and those subject to call, did not differ much in
numbers, unless we set aside the authority of the “Almanach de Gotha,”
which puts the military force of France somewhat vaguely at 1,350,000,
while that of North Germany is only 977,262, to which must be added
49,949 for Bavaria, 34,953 for Würtemberg, and 43,703 for Baden, making
a sum-total of 1,105,867. This, however, is chiefly on paper, where it
is evident France is stronger than in reality. Her available force at
the outbreak of the war probably did not amount to more than 350,000
bayonets, while that of Germany, owing to her superior system, was as
much as double this number. In Prussia every man is obliged to serve,
and, still further, every man is educated. Discipline and education are
two potent adjuncts. This is favorable to Germany. In the Chassepot and
needle-gun the two are equal. But France excels in a well-appointed
Navy, having no less than 55 iron-clads, and 384 other vessels of war,
while Germany has but 2 iron-clads, and 87 other vessels of war.[185]
Then again for long generations has existed another disparity, to the
great detriment of Germany. France has been a nation, while Germany
has been divided, and therefore weak. Strong in union, the latter now
claims something more than that _dominion of the air_ once declared
to be hers, while France had the land and England the sea.[186]
The dominion of the land is at last contested, and we are saddened
inexpressibly, that, from the elevation they have reached, these two
peers of civilization can descend to practise the barbarism of war, and
especially that the land of Descartes, Pascal, Voltaire, and Laplace
must challenge to bloody duel the land of Luther, Leibnitz, Kant, and


Plainly between these two neighboring powers there has been unhappy
antagonism, constant, if not increasing, partly from the memory of
other days, and partly because France could not bear to witness that
German unity which was a national right and duty. Often it has been
said that war was inevitable. But it has come at last by surprise,
and on “a question of form.” So it was called by Thiers; so it was
recognized by Ollivier, when he complained of insensibility to a
question of honor; and so also by the Duc de Gramont, when he referred
it all to a telegram. This is not the first time in history that
wars have been waged on trifles; but since the Lord of Frauenstein
challenged the free city of Frankfort because a young lady of the city
refused to dance with his uncle, nothing has passed more absurd than
this challenge sent by France to Germany because the King of Prussia
refused to see the French Ambassador a second time on the same matter,
and then let the refusal be reported by telegraph. Here is the folly
exposed by Shakespeare, when Hamlet touches a madness greater than his
own in that spirit which would “find quarrel in a straw when honor’s at
the stake,” and at the same time depicts an army

    “Led by a delicate and tender prince,
    Exposing what is mortal and unsure
    To all that Fortune, Death, and Danger dare,
    _Even for an egg-shell_.”

There can be no quarrel in a straw or for an egg-shell, unless men have
gone mad. Nor can honor in a civilized age require any sacrifice of
reason or humanity.


If the utter triviality of the pretext were left doubtful in the
debate, if its towering absurdity were not plainly apparent, if its
simple wickedness did not already stand before us, we should find all
these characteristics glaringly manifest in that unjust pretension
which preceded the objection of form, on which France finally acted. A
few words will make this plain.

In a happy moment Spain rose against Queen Isabella, and, amidst
cries of “Down with the Bourbons!” drove her from the throne which
she dishonored. This was in September, 1868. Instead of constituting
a Republic at once, in harmony with those popular rights which had
been proclaimed, the half-hearted leaders proceeded to look about for
a King; and from that time till now they have been in this quest, as
if it were the Holy Grail, or happiness on earth. The royal family
of Spain was declared incompetent. Therefore a king must be found
outside,--and so the quest was continued in other lands. One day the
throne is offered to a prince of Portugal, then to a prince of Italy,
but declined by each,--how wisely the future will show. At last, after
a protracted pursuit of nearly two years, the venturesome soldier who
is Captain-General and Prime-Minister, Marshal Prim, conceives the idea
of offering it to a prince of Germany. His luckless victim is Prince
Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, a Catholic, thirty-five years of
age, and colonel of the first regiment of the Prussian foot-guards,
whose father, a mediatized German prince, resides at Düsseldorf. The
Prince had not the good sense to decline. How his acceptance excited
the French Cabinet, and became the beginning of the French pretext, I
have already exposed; and now I come to the pretension itself.

By what title did France undertake to interfere with the choice of
Spain? If the latter was so foolish as to seek a foreigner for king,
making a German first among Spaniards, by what title did any other
power attempt to control its will? To state the question is to answer
it. Beginning with an outrage on Spanish independence, which the Spain
of an earlier day would have resented, the next outrage was on Germany,
in assuming that an insignificant prince of that country could not be
permitted to accept the invitation,--all of which, besides being of
insufferable insolence, was in that worst dynastic spirit which looks
to princes rather than the people. Plainly France was unjustifiable.
When I say it was none of her business, I give it the mildest
condemnation. This was the first step in her monstrous _blunder-crime_.

Its character as a pretext becomes painfully manifest, when we learn
more of the famous Prince Leopold, thus invited by Spain and opposed
by France. It is true that his family name is in part the same as that
of the Prussian king. Each is Hohenzollern; but he adds Sigmaringen to
the name. The two are different branches of the same family; but you
must ascend to the twelfth century, counting more than twenty degrees,
before you come to a common ancestor.[187] And yet on this most distant
and infinitesimal relationship the French pretension is founded. But
audacity changes to the ridiculous, when it is known that the Prince
is nearer in relationship to the French Emperor than to the Prussian
King, and this by three different intermarriages, which do not go back
to the twelfth century. Here is the case. His grandfather had for wife
a niece of Joachim Murat,[188] king of Naples, and brother-in-law of
the first Napoleon; and his father had for wife a daughter of Stéphanie
de Beauharnais, an adopted daughter of the first Napoleon; so that
Prince Leopold is by his father great-grand-nephew of Murat, and by his
mother he is grandson of Stéphanie de Beauharnais, who was cousin and
by adoption sister of Hortense de Beauharnais, mother of the present
Emperor; and to this may be added still another connection, by the
marriage of his father’s sister with Joachim Napoleon, Marquis of
Pepoli, grandson of Joachim Murat.[189] It was natural that a person
thus connected with the Imperial Family should be a welcome visitor at
the Tuileries; and it is easy to believe that Marshal Prim, who offered
him the throne, was encouraged to believe that the Emperor’s kinsman
and guest would be favorably regarded by France. And yet, in the face
of these things, and the three several family ties, fresh and modern,
binding him to France and the French Emperor, the pretension was set
up that his occupation of the Spanish throne would put in peril the
interests and the honor of France.


In sending defiance to Prussia on this question, the French Cabinet
selected their own ground. Evidently a war had been meditated, and the
candidature of Prince Leopold from beginning to end supplied a pretext.
In this conclusion, which is too obvious, we are hardly left to
inference. The secret was disclosed by Rouher, President of the Senate,
lately the eloquent and unscrupulous Minister, when, in an official
address to the Emperor, immediately after the War Manifesto read by the
Prime-Minister, he declared that France quivered with indignation at
the flights of an ambition over-excited by the one day’s good-fortune
at Sadowa, and then proceeded:--

    “Animated by that calm perseverance which is true force, your
    Majesty has known how to wait; but in the last four years
    you have carried to its highest perfection the arming of our
    soldiers, and raised to its full power the organization of
    our military forces. _Thanks to your care, Sire, France is

Thus, according to the President of the Senate, France, after waiting,
commenced war because she was ready,--while, according to the Cabinet,
it was on the point of honor. Both were right. The war was declared
because the Emperor thought himself ready, and a pretext was found in
the affair of the telegram.

Considering the age, and the present demands of civilization, such
a war stands forth terrific in wrong, making the soul rise indignant
against it. One reason avowed is brutal; the other is frivolous;
both are criminal. If we look into the text of the Manifesto and
the speeches of the Cabinet, it is a war founded on a trifle, on a
straw, on an egg-shell. Obviously these were pretexts only. Therefore
it is a war of pretexts, the real object being the humiliation and
dismemberment of Germany, in the vain hope of exalting the French
Empire and perpetuating a bawble crown on the head of a boy. By
military success and a peace dictated at Berlin, the Emperor trusted
to find himself in such condition, that, on return to Paris, he could
overthrow parliamentary government so far as it existed there, and
reëstablish personal government, where all depended upon himself,--thus
making triumph over Germany the means of another triumph over the
French people.

In other times there have been wars as criminal in origin, where
trifle, straw, or egg-shell played its part; but they contrasted less
with the surrounding civilization. To this list belong the frequent
Dynastic Wars, prompted by the interest, the passion, or the whim of
some one in the Family of Kings. Others have begun in recklessness
kindred to that we now witness,--as when England entered into war
with Holland, and for reason did not hesitate to allege “abusive
pictures.”[191] The England of Charles the Second was hardly less
sensitive than the France of Louis Napoleon, while in each was similar
indifference to consequences. But France has precedents of her own.
From the remarkable correspondence of the Princess Palatine, Duchess
of Orléans, we learn that the first war with Holland under Louis
the Fourteenth was brought on by the Minister, De Lionne, to injure
a petty German prince who had made him jealous of his wife.[192]
The communicative and exuberant Saint-Simon tells us twice over how
Louvois, another Minister of Louis the Fourteenth, being overruled by
his master with regard to the dimensions of a window at Versailles, was
filled with the idea that “on account of a few inches in a window,” as
he expressed it, all his services would be forgotten, and therefore,
to save his place, excited a foreign war that would make him necessary
to the King. The flames in the Palatinate, devouring the works of man,
attested his continuing power. The war became general, but, according
to the chronicler, it ruined France at home, and did not extend her
domain abroad.[193] The French Emperor confidently expected to occupy
the same historic region so often burnt and ravaged by French armies,
with that castle of Heidelberg which repeats the tale of blood,--and,
let me say, expected it for no better reason than that of his royal
predecessor, stimulated by an unprincipled Minister anxious for
personal position. The parallel is continued in the curse which the
Imperial arms have brought on France.


How this war proceeded I need not recount. You have all read the
record day by day, sorrowing for Humanity,--how, after briefest
interval of preparation or hesitation, the two combatants first crossed
swords at Saarbrücken, within the German frontier, and the young Prince
Imperial performed his part in picking up a bullet from the field,
which the Emperor promptly reported by telegraph to the Empress,--how
this little military success is all that was vouchsafed to the man
who began the war,--how soon thereafter victory followed, first on
the hill-sides of Wissembourg and then of Woerth, shattering the army
of MacMahon, to which the Empire was looking so confidently,--how
another large army under Bazaine was driven within the strong fortress
of Metz,--how all the fortresses, bristling with guns and frowning
upon Germany, were invested,--how battle followed battle on various
fields, where Death was the great conqueror,--how, with help of modern
art, war showed itself to be murder by machinery,--how MacMahon,
gathering together his scattered men and strengthening them with
reinforcements, attempted to relieve Bazaine,--how at last, after long
marches, his large army found itself shut up at Sedan with a tempest
of fire beating upon its huddled ranks, so that its only safety was
capitulation,--how with the capitulation of the army was the submission
of the Emperor himself, who gave his sword to the King of Prussia and
became prisoner of war,--and how, on the reception of this news at
Paris, Louis Napoleon and his dynasty were divested of their powers and
the Empire was lost in the Republic. These things you know. I need not
dwell on them. Not to battles and their fearful vicissitudes, where
all is incarnadined with blood, must we look, but to the ideas which
prevail,--as for the measure of time we look, not to the pendulum
in its oscillations, but to the clock in the tower, whose striking
tells the hours. A great hour for Humanity sounded when the Republic
was proclaimed. And this I say, even should it fail again; for every
attempt contributes to the final triumph.


The war, from the pretext at its beginning to the capitulation at
Sedan, has been a succession of surprises, where the author of the
pretext was a constant sufferer. Nor is this strange. Falstaff says,
with humorous point, “See now how wit may be made a Jack-a-lent, when
’tis upon ill employment!”[194]--and another character, in a play of
Beaumont and Fletcher, reveals the same evil destiny in stronger terms,
when he says,--

    “Hell gives us art to reach the depth of sin,
    But leaves us wretched fools, when we are in.”[195]

And this was precisely the condition of the French Empire. Germany
perhaps had one surprise, at the sudden adoption of the pretext for
war. But the Empire has known nothing but surprise. A fatal surprise
was the promptitude with which all the German States, outside of
Austrian rule, accepted the leadership of Prussia, and joined their
forces to hers. Differences were forgotten,--whether the hate of
Hanover, the dread of Würtemberg, the coolness of Bavaria, the
opposition of Saxony, or the impatience of the Hanse Towns at lost
importance. Hanover would not rise; the other States and cities would
not be detached. On the day after the reading of the War Manifesto
at the French tribune, even before the King’s speech to the Northern
Parliament, the Southern States began to move. German unity stood firm,
and this was the supreme surprise for France with which the war began.
On one day the Emperor in his Official Journal declares his object to
be the deliverance of Bavaria from Prussian oppression, and on the very
next day the Crown Prince of Prussia, at the head of Bavarian troops,
crushes an Imperial army.

Then came the manifest inferiority of the Imperial army, everywhere
outnumbered, which was another surprise,--the manifest inferiority of
the Imperial artillery, also a surprise,--the manifest inferiority of
the Imperial generals, still a surprise. Above these was a prevailing
inefficiency and improvidence, which very soon became conspicuous, and
this was a surprise. The strength of Germany, as now exhibited, was a
surprise. And when the German armies entered France, every step was a
surprise. Wissembourg was a surprise; so was Woerth; so was Beaumont;
so was Sedan. Every encounter was a surprise. Abel Douay, the French
general, who fell bravely fighting at Wissembourg, the first sacrifice
on the battle-field, was surprised; so was MacMahon, not only at the
beginning, but at the end. He thought that the King and Crown Prince
were marching on Paris. So they were,--but they turned aside for a few
days to surprise a whole army of more than a hundred thousand men,
terrible with cannon and newly invented implements of war, under a
Marshal of France, and with an Emperor besides. As this succession of
surprises was crowned with what seemed the greatest surprise of all,
there remained a greater still in the surprise of the French Empire.
No Greek Nemesis with unrelenting hand ever dealt more incessantly the
unavoidable blow, until the Empire fell as a dead body falls, while the
Emperor became a captive and the Empress a fugitive, with their only
child a fugitive also. The poet says:--

    “Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy
    In sceptred pall come sweeping by.”[196]

It has swept before the eyes of all. Beneath that sceptred pall is the
dust of a great Empire, founded and ruled by Louis Napoleon; if not the
dust of the Emperor also, it is because he was willing to sacrifice
others rather than himself.


Twice before have French sovereigns yielded on the battle-field, and
become prisoners of war; but never before was capitulation so vast. Do
their fates furnish any lesson? At the Battle of Poitiers, memorable in
English history, John, King of France, became the prisoner of Edward
the Black Prince. His nobles, one after another, fell by his side,
but he contended valiantly to the last, until, spent with fatigue and
overcome by numbers, he surrendered. His son, of the same age as the
son of the French Emperor, was wounded while battling for his father.
The courtesy of the English Prince conquered more than his arms. I
quote the language of Hume:--

    “More touched by Edward’s generosity than by his own
    calamities, he confessed, that, notwithstanding his defeat and
    captivity, his honor was still unimpaired, and that, if he
    yielded the victory, it was at least gained by a prince of such
    consummate valor and humanity.”[197]

The King was taken to England, where, after swelling the triumphal
pageant of his conqueror, he made a disgraceful treaty for the
dismemberment of France, which the indignant nation would not ratify. A
captivity of more than four years was terminated by a ransom of three
million crowns in gold,--an enormous sum, more than ten million dollars
in our day. Evidently the King was unfortunate, for he did not continue
in France, but, under the influence of motives differently stated,
returned to England, where he died. Surely here is a lesson.

More famous than John was Francis, with salamander crest, also King
of France, and rich in gayety, whose countenance, depicted by that art
of which he was the patron, stands forth conspicuous in the line of
kings. As the French Emperor attacked Germany, so did the King enter
Italy, and he was equally confident of victory. On the field of Pavia
he encountered an army of Charles the Fifth, but commanded by his
generals, when, after fighting desperately and killing seven men with
his own hand, he was compelled to surrender. His mother was at the time
Regent of France, and to her he is said to have written the sententious
letter, “All is lost except honor.” No such letter was written by
Francis,[198] nor do we know of any such letter by Louis Napoleon; but
the situation of the two Regents was identical. Here are the words in
which Hume describes the condition of the earlier:--

    “The Princess was struck with the greatness of the calamity.
    She saw the kingdom without a sovereign, without an army,
    without generals, without money, surrounded on every side by
    implacable and victorious enemies; and her chief resource, in
    her present distresses, were the hopes which she entertained of
    peace, and even of assistance from the King of England.”[199]

Francis became the prisoner of Charles the Fifth, and was conveyed to
Madrid, where, after a year of captivity, he was at length released,
crying out, as he crossed the French frontier, “Behold me King
again!”[200] Is not the fate of Louis Napoleon prefigured in the exile
and death of his royal predecessor John, rather than in the return of
Francis with his delighted cry?


The fall of Louis Napoleon is natural. It is hard to see how it could
be otherwise, so long as we continue to

      “assert eternal Providence,
    And justify the ways of God to men.”[201]

Had he remained successful to the end, and died peacefully on
the throne, his name would have been a perpetual encouragement
to dishonesty and crime. By treachery without parallel, breaking
repeated promises and his oath of office, he was able to trample on
the Republic. Taking his place in the National Assembly after long
exile, the adventurer made haste to declare exultation in regaining
his country and all his rights as citizen, with the ejaculation, “The
Republic has given me this happiness: let the Republic receive my oath
of gratitude, my oath of devotion!”--and next he proclaimed that there
was nobody to surpass him in determined consecration “to the defence
of order and to the establishment of the Republic.”[202] Good words
these. Then again, when candidate for the Presidency, in a manifesto to
the electors he gave another pledge, announcing that he “would devote
himself altogether, without mental reservation, to the establishment
of a Republic, wise in its laws, honest in its intentions, great and
strong in its acts”; and he volunteered further words, binding him in
special loyalty, saying that he “should make it _a point of honor_ to
leave to his successor, at the end of four years, power strengthened,
liberty intact, real progress accomplished.”[203] How these plain and
unequivocal engagements were openly broken you shall see.

Chosen by the popular voice, his inauguration took place as President
of the Republic, when he solemnly renewed the engagements already
assumed. Ascending from his seat in the Assembly to the tribune, and
holding up his hand, he took the following oath of office: “In presence
of God, and before the French people, represented by the National
Assembly, I swear to remain faithful to the Democratic Republic One
and Indivisible, and to fulfil all the duties which the Constitution
imposes upon me.” This was an oath. Then, addressing the Assembly, he
said: “The suffrages of the nation and the oath which I have just taken
prescribe my future conduct. My duty is marked out. I will fulfil it
as _a man of honor_.” Again he attests his honor. Then, after deserved
tribute to his immediate predecessor and rival, General Cavaignac, on
his loyalty of character, and that sentiment of duty which he declares
to be “the first quality in the chief of a State,” he renews his vows
to the Republic, saying, “We have, Citizen Representatives, a great
mission to fulfil; it is to found a Republic in the interest of all”;
and he closed amidst cheers for the Republic.[204] And yet, in the face
of this oath of office and this succession of most solemn pledges,
where he twice attests his honor, he has hardly become President
before he commences plotting to make himself Emperor, until, at last,
by violence and blood, with brutal butchery in the streets of Paris,
he succeeded in overthrowing the Republic, to which he was bound by
obligations of gratitude and duty, as well as by engagements in such
various form. The Empire was declared. Then followed his marriage, and
a dynastic ambition to assure the crown for his son.

Early in life a “Charcoal” conspirator against kings,[205] he now
became a crowned conspirator against republics. The name of Republic
was to him a reproof, while its glory was a menace. Against the Roman
Republic he conspired early; and when the rebellion waged by Slavery
seemed to afford opportunity, he conspired against our Republic,
promoting as far as he dared the independence of the Slave States, and
at the same time on the ruins of the Mexican Republic setting up a
mock Empire. In similar spirit has he conspired against German Unity,
whose just strength promised to be a wall against his unprincipled

This is but an outline of that incomparable perfidy, which, after a
career of seeming success, is brought to a close. Of a fallen man I
would say nothing; but, for the sake of Humanity, Louis Napoleon should
be exposed. He was of evil example, extending with his influence. To
measure the vastness of this detriment is impossible. In sacrificing
the Republic to his own aggrandizement, in ruling for a dynasty rather
than the people, in subordinating the peace of the world to his own
wicked ambition for his boy, he set an example of selfishness, and in
proportion to his triumph was mankind corrupted in its judgment of
human conduct. Teaching men to seek ascendency at the expense of duty,
he demoralized not only France, but the world. Unquestionably part of
this evil example was his falsehood to the Republic. Promise, pledge,
honor, oath, were all violated in this monstrous treason. Never in
history was greater turpitude. Unquestionably he could have saved the
Republic, but he preferred his own exaltation. As I am a Republican,
and believe republican institutions for the good of mankind, I cannot
pardon the traitor. The people of France are ignorant; he did not care
to have them educated, for their ignorance was his strength. With
education bestowed, the Republic would have been assured. And even
after the Empire, had he thought more of education and less of his
dynasty, there would have been a civilization throughout France making
war impossible. Unquestionably the present war is his work, instituted
for his imagined advantage. Bacon, in one of his remarkable Essays,
tells us that “Extreme self-lovers will set an house on fire, and it
were but to roast their eggs.”[206] Louis Napoleon has set Europe on
fire to roast his.

Beyond the continuing offence of his public life, I charge upon him
three special and unpardonable crimes: first, that violation of public
duty and public faith, contrary to all solemnities of promise, by
which the whole order of society was weakened and human character was
degraded; secondly, disloyalty to republican institutions, so that
through him the Republic has been arrested in Europe; and, thirdly,
this cruel and causeless war, of which he is the guilty author.


Of familiar texts in Scripture, there is one which, since the
murderous outbreak, has been of constant applicability and force.
You know it: “All they that take the sword shall perish with
the sword”:[207] and these words are addressed to nations as to
individuals. France took the sword against Germany, and now lies
bleeding at every pore. Louis Napoleon took the sword, and is nought.
Already in that _coup d’état_ by which he overthrew the Republic
he took the sword, and now the Empire, which was the work of his
hands, expires. In Mexico again he took the sword, and again paid the
fearful penalty,--while the Austrian Archduke, who, yielding to his
pressure, made himself Emperor there, was shot by order of the Mexican
President, an Indian of unmixed blood. And here there was retribution,
not only for the French Emperor, but far beyond. I know not if there
be invisible threads by which the Present is attached to the distant
Past, making the descendant suffer even for a distant ancestor, but
I cannot forget that Maximilian was derived from that very family of
Charles the Fifth, whose conquering general, Cortés, stretched the
Indian Guatemozin upon a bed of fire, and afterwards executed him on a
tree. The death of Maximilian was tardy retribution for the death of
Guatemozin. And thus in this world is wrong avenged, sometimes after
many generations. The fall of the French Emperor is an illustration
of that same retribution which is so constant. While he yet lives,
judgment has begun.

If I accumulate instances, it is because the certainty of retribution
for wrong, and especially for the great wrong of War, is a lesson of
the present duel to be impressed. Take notice, all who would appeal to
war, that the way of the transgressor is hard, and sooner or later he
is overtaken. The ban may fall tardily, but it is sure to fall.

Retribution in another form has already visited France; nor is
its terrible vengeance yet spent. Not only are populous cities, all
throbbing with life and filled with innocent households, subjected to
siege, but to bombardment also,--being that most ruthless trial of war,
where non-combatants, including women and children, sick and aged,
share with the soldier his peculiar perils, and suffer alike with him.
All are equal before the hideous shell, crashing, bursting, destroying,
killing, and changing the fairest scene into blood-spattered wreck.
Against its vengeful, slaughterous descent there is no protection
for the people,--nothing but an uncertain shelter in cellars, or,
it may be, in the common sewers. Already Strasbourg, Toul, and Metz
have been called to endure this indiscriminate massacre, where there
is no distinction of persons; and now the same fate is threatened to
Paris the Beautiful, with its thronging population counted by the
million. Thus is the ancient chalice which France handed to others now
commended to her own lips. It was France that first in history adopted
this method of war. Long ago, under Louis the Fourteenth, it became a
favorite; but it has not escaped the judgment of history. Voltaire,
with elegant pen, records that “this art, carried soon among other
nations, served only to multiply human calamities, and more than once
was dreadful to France, where it was invented.”[208] The bombardment of
Luxembourg in 1683 drew from Sismondi, always humane and refined, words
applicable to recent events. “Louis the Fourteenth,” he says, “had been
the first to put in practice this atrocious and newly invented method
of bombarding towns, … of attacking, not fortifications, but private
houses, not soldiers, but peaceable inhabitants, women and children,
and of confounding thousands of private crimes, each one of which would
cause horror, in one great public crime, one great disaster, which he
regarded as nothing more than one of the catastrophes of war.”[209]
Again is the saying fulfilled, “All they that take the sword shall
perish with the sword.” No lapse of time can avert the inexorable law.
Macbeth saw it in his terrible imaginings, when he said,--

                    “But in these cases
    We still have judgment here,--that we but teach
    Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
    To plague the inventor.”

And what instruction more bloody than the bombardment of a city, which
now returns to plague the French people?

Thus is history something more even than philosophy teaching by
example; it is sermon with argument and exhortation. The simple record
of nations preaches; and whether you regard reason or the affections,
it is the same. If nations were wise or humane, they would not fight.


Vain are lessons of the past or texts of prudence against that spirit
of War which finds sanction and regulation in International Law. So
long as the war system continues, men will fight. While I speak, the
two champions still stand front to front, Germany exulting in victory,
but France in no respect submissive. The duel still rages, although one
of the champions is pressed to earth, as in that early combat where
the Chevalier Bayard, so eminent in chivalry, thrust his dagger into
the nostrils of his fallen foe, and then dragged his dead body off the
field. History now repeats itself, and we witness in Germany the very
conduct condemned in the famous French knight.

The French Emperor was the aggressor. He began this fatal duel. Let
him fall,--but not the people of France. Cruelly already have they
expiated their offence in accepting such a ruler. Not always should
they suffer. Enough of waste, enough of sacrifice, enough of slaughter
have they undergone. Enough have they felt the accursed hoof of War.

It is easy to see now, that, after the capitulation at Sedan, there
was a double mistake: first, on the part of Germany, which, as
magnanimous conqueror, should have proposed peace, thus conquering in
character as in arms; and, secondly, on the part of the Republic, which
should have declined to wage a war of Imperialism, against which the
Republican leaders had so earnestly protested. With the capitulation
of the Emperor the dynastic question was closed. There was no longer
pretension or pretext, nor was there occasion for war. The two parties
should have come to an understanding. Why continue this terrible
homicidal, fratricidal, suicidal combat, fraught with mutual death
and sacrifice? Why march on Paris? Why beleaguer Paris? Why bombard
Paris? To what end? If for the humiliation of France, then must it be


In arriving at terms of peace, there are at least three conditions
which cannot be overlooked in the interest of civilization, and that
the peace may be such in reality as in name, and not an armistice
only,--three postulates which stand above all question, and dominate
this debate, so that any essential departure from them must end in
wretched failure.

The first is the natural requirement of Germany, that there shall be
completest guaranty against future aggression, constituting what is
so well known among us as “Security for the Future.” Count Bismarck,
with an exaggeration hardly pardonable, alleges more than twenty
invasions of Germany by France, and declares that these must be stopped
forever.[210] Many or few, they must be stopped forever. The second
condition to be regarded is the natural requirement of France, that the
guaranty, while sufficient, shall be such as not to wound needlessly
the sentiments of the French people, or to offend any principle of
public law. It is difficult to question these two postulates, at
least in the abstract. Only when we come to the application is there
opportunity for difference. The third postulate, demanded alike by
justice and humanity, is the establishment of some rule or precedent by
which the recurrence of such a barbarous duel shall be prevented. It
will not be enough to obtain a guaranty for Germany; there must be a
guaranty for Civilization itself.

On careful inquiry, it will be seen that all these can be accomplished
in one way only, which I will describe, when I have first shown what
is now put forward and discussed as the claim of Germany, under two
different heads, Indemnity and Guaranty.


I have already spoken of Guaranty as an essential condition.
Indemnity is not essential. At the close of our war with Slavery we
said nothing of indemnity. For the life of the citizen there could be
no indemnity; nor was it practicable even for the treasure sacrificed.
Security for the Future was all that our nation required, and this was
found in provisions of Law and Constitution establishing Equal Rights.
From various intimations it is evident that Germany will not be content
without indemnity in money on a large scale; and it is also evident
that France, the aggressor, cannot, when conquered, deny liability to
a certain extent. The question will be on the amount. Already German
calculators begin to array their unrelenting figures. One of these
insists that the indemnity shall not only cover outlay for the German
Army,--pensions of widows and invalids,--maintenance and support
of French wounded and prisoners,--compensation to Germans expelled
from France,--also damage suffered by the territory to be annexed,
especially Strasbourg; but it is also to cover indirect damages, large
in amount,--as, loss to the nation from change of productive laborers
into soldiers,--loss from killing and disabling so many laborers,--and,
generally, loss from suspension of trade and manufactures, depreciation
of national property, and diminution of the public revenues:--all of
which, according to a recent estimate, reach the fearful sum-total of
4,935,000,000 francs, or nearly one thousand million dollars. Of this
sum, 1,255,000,000 francs are on account of the Army, 1,230,000,000
for direct damage, 2,250,000,000 for indirect damage, and 200,000,000
for damage to the reconquered provinces. Still further, the Berlin
Chamber of Commerce insists on indemnity not only for actual loss of
ships and cargoes from the blockade, but also for damages on account of
detention. Much of this many-headed account, which I introduce in order
to open the case in its extent, will be opposed by France, as fabulous,
consequential, and remote. The practical question will be, Can one
nation do wrong to another without paying for the damage, whatever
it may be, direct or indirect,--always provided it be susceptible
of estimate? Here I content myself with the remark, that, while in
the settlement of international differences there is no place for
technicality, there is always room for moderation.


Vast as may be the claim of indemnity, it opens no question so
calculated to touch the sensibilities of France as the claim of
guaranty already announced by Germany. On this head we are not left
to conjecture. From her first victory we have been assured that
Germany would claim Alsace and German Lorraine, with their famous
strongholds; and now we have the statement of Count Bismarck, in a
diplomatic circular, that he expects to remove the German frontier
further west,--meaning to the Vosges Mountains, if not to the Moselle
also,--and to convert the fortresses into what he calls “defensive
strongholds of Germany.”[211] Then, with larger view, he declares,
that, “in rendering it more difficult for France, from whom all
European troubles have so long proceeded, to assume the offensive,
we likewise promote the common interest of Europe, which demands the
preservation of peace.” Here is just recognition of peace as the common
interest of Europe, to be assured by disabling France. How shall
this be done? The German Minister sees nothing but dismemberment,
consecrated by a Treaty of Peace. With diplomatic shears he would cut
off a portion of French territory, and, taking from it the name of
France, stamp upon it the trade-mark of Germany. Two of its richest and
most precious provinces, for some two hundred years constituent parts
of the great nation, with that ancient cathedral city, the pride of the
Rhine, long years ago fortified by Vauban as “the strongest barrier of
France,”[212] are to be severed, and with them a large and industrious
population, which, while preserving the German language, have so
far blended with France as to become Frenchmen. This is the German
proposition, which I call the Guaranty of Dismemberment.

One argument for this proposition is brushed aside easily. Had the
fortune of war been adverse to Germany, it is said, peace would have
been dictated at Berlin, perhaps at Königsberg, and France would have
carried her frontier eastward to the Rhine, dismembering Germany. Such,
I doubt not, would have been the attempt. The conception is entirely
worthy of that Imperial levity with which the war began. But the madcap
menace of the French Empire cannot be the measure of German justice. It
is for Germany to show, that, notwithstanding this wildness, she knows
how to be just. Dismemberment on this account would be only another
form of retaliation; but retaliation is barbarous.

To the argument, that these provinces, with their strongholds, are
needed for the defence of Germany, there is the obvious reply, that, if
cut off from France contrary to the wishes of the local population, and
with the French people in chronic irritation on this account, they will
be places of weakness rather than strength, strongholds of disaffection
rather than defence, to be held always at the cannon’s mouth. Does
Germany seek lasting peace? Not in this way can it be had. A painful
exaction, enforced by triumphant arms, must create a sentiment of
hostility in France, suppressed for a season, but ready at a propitious
moment to break forth in violence; so that between the two conterminous
nations there will be nothing better than a peace where each sleeps
on its arms,--which is but an Armed Peace. Such for weary years has
been the condition of nations. Is Germany determined to prolong the
awful curse? Will her most enlightened people, with poetry, music,
literature, philosophy, science, and religion as constant ministers,
to whom has been opened in rarest degree the whole book of knowledge,
persevere in a brutal policy belonging to another age, and utterly
alien to that superior civilization which is so truly theirs?

There is another consideration, not only of justice, but of public
law, which cannot be overcome. The people of these provinces are
unwilling to be separated from France. This is enough. France cannot
sell or transfer them against their consent. Consult the great masters,
and you will find their concurring authority. Grotius, from whom on
such a question there can be no appeal, adjudges: “In the alienation
of a part of the sovereignty it is required _that the part which is
to be alienated consent to the act_.” According to him, it must not
be supposed “that the body should have the right of cutting off parts
from itself and giving them into the authority of another.”[213] Of
the same opinion is Pufendorf, declaring: “The sovereign who attempts
to transfer his kingdom to another by his sole authority does an act
in itself null and void, and not binding on his subjects. To make such
a conveyance valid, the consent of the people is required, as well as
of the prince.”[214] Vattel crowns this testimony, when he adds, that
a province or city, “abandoned and dismembered from the State, is not
obliged to receive the new master proposed to be given it.”[215] Before
such texts, stronger than a fortress, the soldiers of Germany must halt.

Nor can it be forgotten how inconsistent is the guaranty of
Dismemberment with that heroic passion for national unity which is the
glory of Germany. National unity is not less the right of France than
of Germany; and these provinces, though in former centuries German, and
still preserving the German speech, belong to the existing unity of
France,--unless, according to the popular song, the German’s Fatherland

    “Far as the German accent rings”;

and then the conqueror must insist on Switzerland; and why not cross
the Atlantic, to dictate laws in Pennsylvania and Chicago? But this
same song has a better verse, calling that the German’s Fatherland

    “Where in the heart love warmly lies.”

But in these coveted provinces it is the love for France, and not for
Germany, which prevails.


The Guaranty of Dismemberment, when brought to the touchstone of
the three essential conditions, is found wanting. Dismissing it as
unsatisfactory, I come to that other guaranty where these conditions
are all fulfilled, and we find security for Germany without offence
to the just sentiments of France, and also a new safeguard to
civilization. Against the Guaranty of Dismemberment I oppose the
Guaranty of Disarmament. By Disarmament I mean the razing of the French
fortifications and the abolition of the standing army, except that
minimum of force required for purposes of police. How completely this
satisfies the conditions already named is obvious. For Germany there
would be on the side of France absolute repose, so that Count Bismarck
need not fear another invasion,--while France, saved from intolerable
humiliation, would herself be free to profit by the new civilization.

Nor is this guaranty otherwise than practical in every respect, and the
more it is examined the more will its inestimable advantage be apparent.

1. There is, first, its most obvious _economy_, which is so glaring,
that, according to a familiar French expression, “it leaps into the
eyes.” Undertaking even briefly to set it forth, I seem to follow the
proverb and “show the sun with a lantern.” According to the “Almanach
de Gotha,” the appropriations for the army of France, during the year
of peace before the war, were 588,852,970 francs,[216]--or about one
hundred and seventeen millions of dollars. Give up the Standing Army
and this considerable sum disappears from the annual budget. But
this retrenchment represents only partially the prodigious economy.
Beyond the annual outlay is the loss to the nation by the change of
producers into non-producers. Admitting that in France the average
annual production of a soldier usefully employed would be only fifty
dollars, and multiplying this small allowance by the numbers of the
Standing Army, you have another amount to be piled upon the military
appropriations. Is it too much to expect that this surpassing waste
shall be stopped? Must the extravagance born of war, and nursed by
long tradition, continue to drain the resources of the land? Where is
reason? Where humanity? A decree abolishing the Standing Army would be
better for the French people, and more productive, than the richest
gold-mine discovered in every department of France. Nor can imagination
picture the fruitful result. I speak now only in the light of economy.
Relieved from intolerable burden, industry would lift itself to
unimagined labors, and society be quickened anew.

2. Beyond this economy, which need not be argued, is the positive
_advantage, if not necessity_, of such change for France. I do not
speak on general grounds applicable to all nations, but on grounds
peculiar to France at the present moment. Emerging from a most
destructive war, she will be subjected to enormous and unprecedented
contributions of every kind. After satisfying Germany, she will find
other obligations at home,--some pressing directly upon the nation,
and others upon individuals. Beyond the outstanding pay of soldiers,
requisitions for supplies, pensions for the wounded and the families
of the dead, and other extraordinary liabilities accumulating as never
before in the same time, there will be the duty of renewing that
internal prosperity which has received such a shock; and here the work
of restoration will be costly, whether to the nation or the individual.
Revenue must be regained, roads and bridges repaired, markets supplied;
nor can we omit the large and multitudinous losses from ravage
of fields, seizure of stock, suspension of business, stoppage of
manufactures, interference with agriculture, and the whole terrible
drain of war by which the people are impoverished and disabled. If to
the necessary appropriation and expenditure for all these things is
superadded the annual tax of a Standing Army, and that other draft
from the change of producers into non-producers, plainly here is a
supplementary burden of crushing weight. Talk of the last feather
breaking the back of the camel,--but never was camel loaded down as

3. Beyond even these considerations of economy and advantage I put
the transcendent, priceless benefit of Disarmament in the _assurance
of peace_. Disarmament substitutes the constable for the soldier,
and reduces the Standing Army to a police. The argument assumes,
first, the needlessness of a Standing Army, and, secondly, its evil
influence. Both of these points were touched at an early day by the
wise Chancellor of England, Sir Thomas More, when, in his practical and
personal Introduction to “Utopia,” he alludes to what he calls the “bad
custom” of keeping many servants, and then says: “In France there is
yet a more pestiferous sort of people; for the whole country is full of
soldiers, that are still kept up in time of peace,--if such a state of
a nation can be called a peace.” Then, proceeding with his judgment,
the Chancellor holds up what he calls those “pretended statesmen” whose
maxim is that “it is necessary for the public safety to have a good
body of veteran soldiers ever in readiness.” And after saying that
these pretended statesmen “sometimes seek occasion for making war, that
they may train up their soldiers in the art of cutting throats,” he
adds, in words soon to be tested, “But France has learned, to its cost,
how dangerous it is to feed such beasts.”[217] It will be well, if
France has learned this important lesson. The time has come to practise

All history is a vain word, and all experience is at fault, if large
War Preparations, of which the Standing Army is the type, have not
been constant provocatives of war. Pretended protectors against war,
they have been real instigators to war. They have excited the evil
against which they were to guard. The habit of wearing arms in private
life exercised a kindred influence. So long as this habit continued,
society was darkened by personal combat, street-fight, duel, and
assassination. The Standing Army is to the nation what the sword was
to the modern gentleman, the stiletto to the Italian, the knife to the
Spaniard, the pistol to our slave-master,--furnishing, like these, the
means of death; and its possessor is not slow to use it. In stating
the operation of this system we are not left to inference. As France,
according to Sir Thomas More, shows “how dangerous it is to feed such
beasts,” so does Prussia, in ever-memorable instance, which speaks now
with more than ordinary authority, show precisely how the Standing
Army may become the incentive to war. Frederick, the warrior king, is
our witness. With honesty or impudence beyond parallel, he did not
hesitate to record in his Memoirs, among the reasons for his war upon
Maria Theresa, that, on coming to the throne, he found himself with
“troops always ready to act.” Voltaire, when called to revise the royal
memoirs, erased this confession, but preserved a copy;[218] so that by
his literary activity we have this kingly authority for the mischief
from a Standing Army. How complete a weapon was that army may be
learned from Lafayette, who, in a letter to Washington, in 1786, after
a visit to the King, described it thus:--

    “Nothing can be compared to the beauty of the troops, to the
    discipline which reigns in all their ranks, to the simplicity
    of their movements, to the uniformity of their regiments.… All
    the situations which can be supposed in war, all the movements
    which these must necessitate, have been by constant habit so
    inculcated in their heads, that all these operations are done
    almost mechanically.”[219]

Nothing better has been devised since the Macedonian phalanx or the
Roman legion. With such a weapon ready to his hands, the King struck
Maria Theresa. And think you that the present duel between France and
Germany could have been waged, had not both nations found themselves,
like Frederick of Prussia, with “troops always ready to act”? It was
the possession of these troops which made the two parties rush so
swiftly to the combat. Is not the lesson perfect? Already individuals
have disarmed. Civilization requires that nations shall do likewise.

Thus is Disarmament enforced on three several grounds: first,
economy; secondly, positive advantage, if not necessity, for France;
and, thirdly, assurance of peace. No other guaranty promises so much.
Does any other guaranty promise anything beyond the accident of force?
Nor would France be alone. Dismissing to the arts of peace the large
army victorious over Slavery, our Republic has shown how disarmament
can be accomplished. The example of France, so entirely reasonable,
so profitable, so pacific, and so harmonious with ours, would spread.
Conquering Germany could not resist its influence. Nations are taught
by example more than by precept, and either is better than force. Other
nations would follow; nor would Russia, elevated by her great act of
Enfranchisement, fail to seize her sublime opportunity. Popular rights,
which are strongest always in assured peace, would have new triumphs.
Instead of Trial by Battle for the decision of differences between
nations, there would be peaceful substitutes, as Arbitration, or, it
may be, a Congress of Nations, and the United States of Europe would
appear above the subsiding waters. The old juggle of Balance of Power,
which has rested like a nightmare on Europe, would disappear, like
that other less bloody fiction of Balance of Trade, and nations, like
individuals, would all be equal before the law. Here our own country
furnishes an illustration. So long as slavery prevailed among us, there
was an attempt to preserve what was designated balance of power between
the North and South, pivoting on Slavery,--just as in Europe there has
been an attempt to preserve balance of power among nations pivoting
on War. Too tardily is it seen that this famous balance, which has
played such a part at home and abroad, is but an artificial contrivance
instituted by power, which must give place to a simple accord derived
from the natural condition of things. Why should not the harmony which
has begun at home be extended abroad? Practicable and beneficent here,
it must be the same there. Then would nations exist without perpetual
and reciprocal watchfulness. But the first step is to discard the
wasteful, oppressive, and pernicious provocative to war, which is yet
maintained at such terrible cost. To-day this glorious advance is
presented to France and Germany.


Two personages at this moment hold in their hands the great question
teeming with a new civilization. Honest and determined, both are
patriotic rather than cosmopolitan or Christian, believing in Prussia
rather than Humanity. And the patriotism so strong in each keeps
still the early tinge of iron. I refer to King William and his
Prime-Minister, Count Bismarck.

More than any other European sovereign, William of Prussia possesses
the infatuation of “divine right.” He believes that he was appointed
by God to be King--differing here from Louis Napoleon, who in a spirit
of compromise entitled himself Emperor “by the grace of God and the
national will.” This infatuation was illustrated at his coronation
in ancient Königsberg,--first home of Prussian royalty, and better
famous as birthplace and lifelong home of Immanuel Kant,--when the King
enacted a scene of melodrama which might be transferred from the church
to the theatre. No other person was allowed to place the crown on his
royal head. Lifting it from the altar, where it rested, he placed it
on his head himself, in sign that he held it from Heaven and not from
man, and next placed another on the head of the Queen, in sign that her
dignity was derived from him. Then, turning round, he grasped the sword
of state, in testimony of readiness to defend the nation. Since the
Battle of Sadowa, when the Austrian Empire was so suddenly shattered,
he has believed himself providential sword-bearer of Germany, destined,
perhaps, to revive the old glories of Barbarossa. His habits are
soldierly, and, notwithstanding his seventy-three winters, he continues
to find pleasure in wearing the spiked helmet of the Prussian camp.
Republicans smile when he speaks of “my army,” “my allies,” and “my
people”; but this egotism is the natural expression of the monarchical
character, especially where the monarch believes that he holds by
“divine right.” His public conduct is in harmony with these conditions.
He is a Protestant, and rules the land of Luther, but he is no friend
to modern Reform. The venerable system of war and prerogative is part
of his inheritance handed down from fighting despots, and he evidently
believes in it.

His Minister, Count Bismarck, is the partisan of “divine right,”
and, like the King, regards with satisfaction that hierarchical
feudalism from which they are both derived. He is noble, and believes
in nobility. He believes also in force, as if he had the blood of the
god Thor. He believes in war, and does not hesitate to throw its “iron
dice,” insisting upon the rigors of the game. As the German question
began to lower, his policy was most persistent. “Not by speeches and
votes of the majority,” he said in 1862, “are the great questions of
the time decided,--that was the error of 1848 and 1849,--_but by iron
and blood_.”[220] Thus explicit was he. Having a policy, he became its
representative, and very soon thereafter controlled the counsels of
his sovereign, coming swiftly before the world; and yet his elevation
was tardy. Born in 1815, he did not enter upon diplomacy until 1851,
when thirty-six years of age, and only in 1862 became Prussian
Minister at Paris, whence he was soon transferred to the Cabinet at
Berlin as Prime-Minister. Down to that time he was little known. His
name is not found in any edition of the bulky French Dictionary of
Contemporaries,[221] not even its “Additions and Rectifications,” until
the Supplement of 1863. But from this time he drew so large a share
of public attention that the contemporary press of the world became
the dictionary where his name was always found. Nobody doubts his
intellectual resources, his courage, or strength of will; but it is
felt that he is naturally hard, and little affected by human sympathy.
Therefore is he an excellent war minister. It remains to be seen if he
will do as much for peace. His one idea has been the unity of Germany
under the primacy of Prussia; and here he encountered Austria, as he
now encounters France. But in that larger unity where nations will be
conjoined in harmony he can do less, so long at least as he continues a
fanatic for kings and a cynic towards popular institutions.

Such is the King, and such his Minister. I have described them that you
may see how little help the great ideas already germinating from bloody
fields will receive from them. In this respect they are as one.


Beyond the most persuasive influence of civilization, pleading, as
never before, with voice of reason and affection, that the universal
tyrant and master-evil of Christendom, the War System, may cease, and
the means now absorbed in its support be employed for the benefit
of the Human Family, there are two special influences which cannot
be without weight at this time. The first is German authority in
the writings of philosophers, by whom Germany rules in thought; and
the second is the uprising of the working-men: both against war as
acknowledged arbiter between nations, and insisting upon peaceful


More than any other nation Germany has suffered from war. Without
that fatal gift of beauty, “a dowry fraught with never-ending pain,”
which tempted the foreigner to Italy, her lot has been hardly less
wretched; but Germany has differed from Italy in the successful bravery
with which she repelled the invader. Tacitus says of her people, that,
“surrounded by numerous and very powerful nations, they are safe, not
by obsequiousness, but by battles and braving danger”;[222] and this
same character, thus epigrammatically presented, has continued ever
since. Yet this was not without that painful experience which teaches
what Art has so often attempted to picture and Eloquence to describe,
“The Miseries of War.” Again in that same fearless spirit has Germany
driven back the invader, while War is seen anew in its atrocious works.
But it was not merely the Miseries of War which Germans regarded. The
German mind is philosophical and scientific, and it early saw the
irrational character of the War System. It is well known that Henry the
Fourth of France conceived the idea of Harmony among Nations without
War; and his plan was taken up and elaborated in numerous writings by
the good Abbé de Saint-Pierre, so that he made it his own. Rousseau,
in his treatise on the subject,[223] popularized Saint-Pierre. But it
is to Germany that we must look for the most complete and practical
development of this beautiful idea. If French in origin, it is German
now in authority.

The greatest minds in Germany have dealt with this problem, and
given to its solution the exactness of science. No greater have been
applied to any question. Foremost in this list, in time and in fame,
is Leibnitz, that marvel of human intelligence, second, perhaps, to
none in history, who, on reading the “Project of Perpetual Peace” by
the Abbé de Saint-Pierre, pronounced this judgment: “I have read it
with attention, and am persuaded that such a project is on the whole
feasible, and that its execution would be one of the most useful things
in the world.”[224] Thus did Leibnitz affirm its feasibility and its
immense usefulness. Other minds followed, in no apparent concert, but
in unison. I may be pardoned, if, without being too bibliographical, I
name some of these witnesses.

At Göttingen, renowned for its University, the question was opened,
at the close of the Seven Years’ War in 1763, in a work by Totze,
whose character appears in its title, “Permanent and Universal Peace
in Europe, according to the Plan of Henry IV.”[225] At Leipsic,
also the seat of a University, the subject was presented in 1767 by
Lilienfeld, in a treatise of much completeness, under the name of “New
Constitution for States,”[226] where, after exposing the wretched
chances of the battle-field and the expense of armaments in time of
peace, the author urges submission to Arbitrators, unless a Supreme
Tribunal is established to administer International Law and to judge
between nations. In 1804 appeared another work, of singular clearness
and force, by Karl Schwab, entitled “Of Unavoidable Injustice,”[227]
where the author describes what he calls the Universal State, in which
nations will be to each other as citizens in the Municipal State. He is
not so visionary as to imagine that justice will always be inviolate
between nations in the Universal State, for it is not always so between
citizens in the Municipal State; but he confidently looks to the
establishment between nations of the rules which now subsist between
citizens, whose differences are settled peaceably by judicial tribunals.

These works, justly important for the light they shed, and as
expressions of a growing sentiment, are eclipsed in the contributions
of the great teacher, Immanuel Kant, who, after his fame in philosophy
was established, so that his works were discussed and expounded
not only throughout Germany, but in other lands, in 1795 gave to
the world a treatise entitled “On Perpetual Peace,”[228] which was
promptly translated into French, Danish, and Dutch. Two other works
by him attest his interest in the subject, the first entitled “Idea
for a General History in a Cosmopolitan View,”[229] and the other,
“Metaphysical Elements of Jurisprudence.”[230] His grasp was complete.
A treaty of peace which tacitly acknowledges the right to wage war, as
all treaties now do, according to Kant is nothing more than a truce.
An individual war may be ended, but not the _state of war_; so that,
even after cessation of hostilities, there will be constant fear of
their renewal, while the armaments known as Peace Establishments will
tend to provoke them. All this should be changed, and nations should
form one comprehensive Federation, which, receiving other nations
within its fold, will at last embrace the civilized world; and such,
in the judgment of Kant, was the irresistible tendency of nations. To
a French poet we are indebted for the most suggestive term, “United
States of Europe”;[231] but this is nothing but the Federation of the
illustrious German philosopher. Nor was Kant alone among his great
contemporaries. That other philosopher, Fichte, whose name at the time
was second only to that of Kant, in his “Groundwork of the Law of
Nature,”[232] published in 1796, also urges a Federation of Nations,
with an established tribunal to which all should submit. Much better
for civilization, had the King at Königsberg, instead of grasping the
sword, hearkened to the voice of Kant, renewed by Fichte.

With these German oracles in its support, the cause cannot be put
aside. Even in the midst of war, Philosophy will be heard, especially
when she speaks words of concurring authority that touch a chord in
every heart. Leibnitz, Kant, and Fichte, a mighty triumvirate of
intelligence, unite in testimony. As Germany, beyond any other nation,
has given to the idea of Organized Peace the warrant of philosophy, it
only remains now that she should insist upon its practical application.
There should be no delay. Long enough has mankind waited while the
river of blood flowed on.


The working-men of Europe, not excepting Germany, respond to the
mandate of Philosophy, and insist that the War System shall be
abolished. At public meetings, in formal resolutions and addresses,
they have declared war against War, and they will not be silenced. This
is not the first time that working-men have made themselves heard for
international justice. I cannot forget, that, while Slavery was waging
war against our nation, the working-men of Belgium in public meeting
protested against that precocious Proclamation of Belligerent Rights by
which the British Government gave such impulse to the Rebellion; and
now, in the same spirit, and for the sake of true peace, they declare
themselves against that War System by which the peace of nations is
placed in such constant jeopardy. They are right; for nobody suffers in
war as the working-man, whether in property or in person. For him war
is a ravening monster, devouring his substance, and changing him from
citizen to military serf. As victim of the War System he is entitled to
be heard.

The working-men of different countries have been organizing in
societies, of which it is difficult at present to tell the number and
extent. It is known that these societies exist in Germany, France,
Spain, Italy, and England, as well as in our own country, and that they
have in some measure an international character. In France, before
the war, there were 433,785 men in the organization, and in Germany
150,000.[233] Yet this is but the beginning.

At the menace of the present war, all these societies were roused. The
society known as the International Working-Men’s Association, by their
General Council, issued an address, dated at London, protesting against
it as a war of dynasties, denouncing Louis Napoleon as an enemy of the
laboring classes, and declaring “the war-plot of July, 1870, but an
amended edition of the _coup d’état_ of December, 1851.” The address
then testifies generally against war, saying,--

    “They feel deeply convinced, that, whatever turn the impending
    horrid war may take, _the alliance of the working classes of
    all countries will ultimately kill war_.”[234]

At the same time the Paris branch of the International Association put
forth a manifesto addressed “To the Working-Men of all Countries,” from
which I take these passages:--

    “Once more, under the pretext of European equilibrium, of
    national honor, political ambitions menace the peace of the

    “French, German, Spanish working-men! _let our voices unite in
    a cry of reprobation against war!_


    “War for a question of preponderance, or of dynasty, can, in
    the eyes of working-men, be nothing but a criminal absurdity.

    “In response to the warlike acclamations of those who exonerate
    themselves from the impost of blood, or who find in public
    misfortunes a source of new speculations, we protest,--we who
    wish for peace, work, and liberty.


    “Brothers of Germany!… our divisions would only bring about _the
    complete triumph of despotism on both sides of the Rhine_.


    “Working-men of all countries! whatever may be the result
    of our common efforts, we, members of the International
    Association of Working-Men, who know no frontiers, we send you,
    as a pledge of indissoluble solidarity, the good wishes and the
    salutations of the working-men of France.”[235]

To this appeal, so full of truth, touching to the quick the pretence of
balance of power and questions of dynasty as excuses for war, and then
rising to “a cry of reprobation against war,” the Berlin branch of the
International Association replied:--

    “We join with heart and hand in your protestation.… Solemnly
    we promise you that neither the noise of drums nor the
    thunder of cannon, neither victory nor defeat, shall turn us
    aside from our work for the union of the proletaries of all

Then came a meeting of delegates at Chemnitz, in Saxony, representing
fifty thousand Saxon working-men, which put forth the following hardy

    “We are happy to grasp the fraternal hand stretched out to us
    by the working-men of France.… Mindful of the watchword of the
    International Working-Men’s Association, _Proletarians of all
    countries, unite!_ we shall never forget that the working-men
    of all countries are our friends, and the despots of all
    countries our enemies.”[237]

Next followed, at Brunswick, in Germany, on the 16th of July,--the
very day after the reading of the war document at the French tribune,
and the “light heart” of the Prime-Minister,--a mass meeting of the
working-men there, which declared its full concurrence with the
manifesto of the Paris branch, spurned the idea of national antagonism
to France, and wound up with these solid words:--

    “We are enemies of all wars, but above all of dynastic

The whole subject is presented with admirable power in an address from
the Workmen’s Peace Committee to the Working-Men of Great Britain
and Ireland, duly signed by their officers. Here are some of its

    “Without us war must cease; for without us standing armies
    could not exist. It is out of our class chiefly that they are

    “We would call upon and implore the peoples of France and
    Germany, in order to enable their own rulers to realize these
    their peace-loving professions, _to insist upon the abolition
    of standing armies_, as both the source and means of war,
    nurseries of vice, and locust-consumers of the fruits of useful

    “What we claim and demand--what we would implore the peoples
    of Europe to do, without regard to Courts, Cabinets, or
    Dynasties--is _to insist upon Arbitration as a substitute for
    war_, with peace and its blessings for them, for us, for the
    whole civilized world.”[239]

The working-men of England responded to this appeal, in a crowded
meeting at St. James’s Hall, London, where all the speakers were
working-men and representatives of the various handicrafts, except the
Chairman, whose strong words found echo in the intense convictions of
the large assemblage:--

    “One object of this meeting is to make the horror universally
    inspired by the enormous and cruel carnage of this terrible
    war the groundwork for appealing to the working classes
    and the people of all other European countries to join in
    protesting against war altogether, [_prolonged cheers_,] as
    the shame of Christendom, and direst curse and scourge of
    the human race. Let the will of the people sweep away war,
    which cannot be waged without them. [‘_Hear!_’] Away with
    enormous standing armies, [‘_Hear!_’] the nurseries and
    instruments of war,--nurseries, too, of vice, and crushing
    burdens upon national wealth and prosperity! Let there go
    forth from the people of this and other lands one universal
    and all-overpowering cry and demand for the blessings of

At this meeting the Honorary Secretary of the Workmen’s Peace
Committee, after announcing that the working-men of upwards of
three hundred towns had given their adhesion to the platform of the
Committee, thus showing a determination to abolish war altogether,
moved the following resolution, which was adopted:--

    “That war, especially with the present many fearful
    contrivances for wholesale carnage and destruction, is
    repugnant to every principle of reason, humanity, and
    religion; and this meeting earnestly invites all civilized and
    Christian peoples to insist upon the abolition of standing
    armies, and the settlement by arbitration of all international

Thus clearly is the case stated by the Working-Men, now beginning to be
heard; and the testimony is reverberated from nation to nation. They
cannot be silent hereafter. I confidently look to them for important
coöperation in this great work of redemption. Could my voice reach them
now, wherever they may be, in that honest toil which is the appointed
lot of man, it would be with words of cheer and encouragement. Let
them proceed until civilization is no longer darkened by war. In this
way will they become not only saviours to their own households, but
benefactors of the whole Human Family.


Such is the statement, with its many proofs, by which war is exhibited
as the Duel of Nations, being the Trial by Battle of the Dark Ages.
You have seen how nations, under existing International Law, to
which all are parties, refer their differences to this insensate
arbitrament,--and then how, in our day and before our own eyes, two
nations eminent in civilization have furnished an instance of this
incredible folly, waging together a world-convulsing, soul-harrowing,
and most barbarous contest. All ask how long the direful duel will
be continued. Better ask, How long will be continued that War System
by which such a duel is authorized and regulated among nations? When
will this legalized, organized crime be abolished? When at last will
it be confessed that the Law of Right is the same for nations as for
individuals, so that, if Trial by Battle be impious for individuals,
it is so for nations likewise? Against it are Reason and Humanity,
pleading as never before,--Economy, asking for mighty help,--Peace,
with softest voice praying for safeguard,--and then the authority of
Philosophy, speaking by some of its greatest masters,--all reinforced
by the irrepressible, irresistible protest of working-men in different

Precedents exist for the abolition of this duel, so completely in
point, that, according to the lawyer’s phrase, they “go on all fours”
with the new case. Two of these have been already mentioned: first,
when, at the Diet of Worms, in 1495, the Emperor Maximilian proclaimed
a permanent peace throughout Germany, and abolished the “liberty” of
Private War; and, secondly, when, in 1815, the German Principalities
stipulated “under no pretext to make war upon one another, or to
pursue their differences by force of arms.”[242] But first in time,
and perhaps in importance, was the great Ordinance of St. Louis, King
of France, promulgated at a Parliament in 1260, where he says: “_We
forbid battles_ [_i. e._ TRIALS BY BATTLE] _to all persons throughout
our dominions, … and in place of battles we put proofs by witnesses.…_
the time were great words, and they continue great as an example. Their
acceptance by any two nations would begin the work of abolition, which
would be completed on their adoption by a Congress of Nations, taking
from war its existing sanction.


The growing tendencies of mankind have been quickened by the character
of the present war, and the unexampled publicity with which it has been
waged. Never before were all nations, even those separated by great
spaces, whether of land or ocean, the daily and excited spectators of
the combat. The vast amphitheatre within which the battle is fought,
with the whole heavens for its roof, is coextensive with civilization
itself. The scene in that great Flavian Amphitheatre, the famous
Colosseum, is a faint type of what we are witnessing; but that is
not without its lesson. Bloody games, where human beings contended
with lions and tigers, imported for the purpose, or with each other,
constituted an institution of ancient Rome, only mildly rebuked by
Cicero,[244] and adopted even by Titus, in that short reign so much
praised as unspotted by the blood of the citizen.[245] One hundred
thousand spectators looked on, while gladiators from Germany and
Gaul joined in ferocious combat; and then, as blood began to flow,
and victim after victim sank upon the sand, the people caught the
fierce contagion. A common ferocity ruled the scene. As Christianity
prevailed, the incongruity of such an institution was widely felt; but
still it continued. At last an Eastern monk, moved only by report,
journeyed a long way to protest against the impiety. With noble
enthusiasm he leaped into the arena, where the battle raged, in order
to separate the combatants. He was unsuccessful, and paid with life the
penalty of his humanity.[246] But the martyr triumphed where the monk
had failed. Shortly afterwards, the Emperor Honorius, by solemn decree,
put an end to this horrid custom. “The first Christian Emperor,” says
Gibbon, “may claim the honor of the first edict which condemned the
art and amusement of shedding human blood.”[247] Our amphitheatre is
larger than that of Rome; but it witnesses scenes not less revolting;
nor need any monk journey a long way to protest against the impiety.
That protest can be uttered by every one here at home. We are all
spectators; and since by human craft the civilized world has become
one mighty Colosseum, with place for everybody, may we not insist that
the bloody games by which it is yet polluted shall cease, and that,
instead of mutual-murdering gladiators filling the near-brought scene
with death, there shall be a harmonious people, of different nations,
but one fellowship, vying together only in works of industry and art,
inspired and exalted by a divine beneficence?

In presenting this picture I exaggerate nothing. How feeble is
language to depict the stupendous barbarism! How small by its side
the bloody games which degraded ancient Rome! How pygmy the one, how
colossal the other! Would you know how the combat is conducted? Here is
the briefest picture of the arena by a looker-on:--

    “Let your readers fancy masses of colored rags glued together
    with blood and brains, and pinned into strange shapes by
    fragments of bones,--let them conceive men’s bodies without
    heads, legs without bodies, heaps of human entrails attached
    to red and blue cloth, and disembowelled corpses in uniform,
    bodies lying about in all attitudes, with skulls shattered,
    faces blown off, hips smashed, bones, flesh, and gay clothing
    all pounded together as if brayed in a mortar extending
    for miles, not very thick in any one place, but recurring
    perpetually for weary hours,--and then they cannot, with the
    most vivid imagination, come up to the sickening reality of
    that butchery.”[248]

Such a sight would have shocked the Heathen of Rome. They could not
have looked on while the brave gladiator was thus changed into a bloody
hash; least of all could they have seen the work of slaughter done by
machinery. Nor could any German gladiator have written the letter I
proceed to quote from a German soldier:--

    “I do not know how it is, but one wholly forgets the danger
    one is in, and thinks only of the effect of one’s own bullets,
    rejoicing like a child at the sight of the enemy falling like
    skittles, and having scarcely a compassionate glance to spare
    for the comrade falling at one’s side. One ceases to be a human
    being, and turns into a brute, a complete brute.”

Plain confession! And yet the duel continues. Nor is there death for
the armed man only. Fire mingles with slaughter, as at Bazeilles. Women
and children are roasted alive, filling the air with suffocating odor,
while the maddened combatants rage against each other. All this is but
part of the prolonged and various spectacle, where the scene shifts
only for some other horror. Meanwhile the sovereigns of the world sit
in their boxes, and the people everywhere occupy the benches.


The duel now pending teaches the peril from continuance of the present
system. If France and Germany can be brought so suddenly into collision
on a mere pretext, what two nations are entirely safe? Where is the
talisman for their protection? None, surely, except Disarmament, which,
therefore, for the interest of all nations, should be commenced.
Prussia is now an acknowledged military power, armed “in complete
steel,”--but at what cost to her people, if not to mankind! Military
citizenship, according to Prussian rule, is military serfdom, and on
this is elevated a military despotism of singular grasp and power,
operating throughout the whole nation, like martial law or a state of
siege. In Prussia the law tyrannically seizes every youth of twenty,
and, no matter what his calling or profession, compels him to military
service for seven years. Three years he spends in active service in
the regular army, where his life is surrendered to the trade of blood;
then for four years he passes to the reserve, where he is subject to
periodic military drills; then for five years longer to the _Landwehr_,
or militia, with liability to service in the _Landsturm_, in case of
war, until sixty. Wherever he may be in foreign lands, his military
duty is paramount.

But if this system be good for Prussia, then must it be equally good
for other nations. If this economical government, with education for
all, subordinates the business of life to the military drill, other
nations will find too much reason for doing the same. Unless the War
System is abandoned, all must follow the successful example, while the
civilized world becomes a busy camp, with every citizen a soldier, and
with all sounds swallowed up in the tocsin of war. Where, then, are
the people? Where are popular rights? Montesquieu has not hesitated to
declare that the peril to free governments proceeds from armies, and
that this peril is not corrected even by making them depend directly on
the legislative power. This is not enough. The armies must be reduced
in number and force.[249] Among his papers, found since his death, is
the prediction, “France will be ruined by the military.”[250] It is the
privilege of genius like that of Montesquieu to lift the curtain of the
future; but even he did not see the vastness of suffering in store for
his country through those armies against which he warned. For years
the engine of despotism at home, they became the sudden instrument of
war abroad. Without them Louis Napoleon could not have made himself
Emperor, nor could he have hurried France into the present duel. If
needed in other days, they are not needed now. The War System, always
barbarous, is an anachronism, full of peril both to peace and liberal


An army is a despotism; military service is a bondage; nor can
the passion for arms be reconciled with a true civilization. The
present failure to acknowledge this incompatibility is only another
illustration how the clear light of truth is discolored and refracted
by an atmosphere where the cloud of war still lingers. Soon must
this cloud be dispersed. From war to peace is a change indeed; but
Nature herself testifies to change. Sirius, brightest of all the fixed
stars, was noted by Ptolemy as of reddish hue,[251] and by Seneca as
redder than Mars;[252] but since then it has changed to white. To the
morose remark, whether in the philosophy of Hobbes or the apology of
the soldier, that man is a fighting animal and that war is natural,
I reply,--Natural for savages rejoicing in the tattoo, natural for
barbarians rejoicing in violence, but not natural for man in a true
civilization, which I insist is the natural state to which he tends by
a sure progression. The true state of Nature is not war, but peace. Not
only every war, but every recognition of war as the mode of determining
international differences, is evidence that we are yet barbarians,--and
so also is every ambition for empire founded on force, and not on the
consent of the people. A ghastly, bleeding, human head was discovered
by the early Romans, as they dug the foundations of that Capitol which
finally swayed the world.[253] That ghastly, bleeding, human head is
the fit symbol of military power.

Let the War System be abolished, and, in the glory of this
consummation, how vulgar all that comes from battle! By the side of
this serene, beneficent civilization, how petty in its pretensions
is military power! how vain its triumphs! At this moment the great
general who has organized victory for Germany is veiled, and his name
does not appear even in the military bulletins. Thus is the glory of
arms passing from sight, and battle losing its ancient renown. Peace
does not arrest the mind like war. It does not glare like battle. Its
operations, like those of Nature, are gentle, yet sure. It is not the
tumbling, sounding cataract, but the tranquil, fruitful river. Even
the majestic Niagara, with thunder like war, cannot compare with the
peaceful plains of water which it divides. How easy to see that the
repose of nations, like the repose of Nature, is the great parent of
the most precious bounties vouchsafed by Providence! Add Peace to

    “And with that virtue, every virtue lives.”

As peace is assured, the traditional sensibilities of nations will
disappear. Their frontiers will no longer frown with hostile cannon,
nor will their people be nursed to hate each other. By ties of constant
fellowship will they be interwoven together, no sudden trumpet waking
to arms, no sharp summons disturbing the uniform repose. By steam, by
telegraph, by the press, have they already conquered time, subdued
space,--thus breaking down old walls of partition by which they have
been separated. Ancient example loses its influence. The prejudices of
another generation are removed, and the old geography gives place to
a new. The heavens are divided into constellations, with names from
beasts, or from some form of brute force,--as Leo, Taurus, Sagittarius,
and Orion with his club; but this is human device. By similar scheme is
the earth divided. But in the sight of God there is one Human Family
without division, where all are equal in rights; and the attempt to
set up distinctions, keeping men asunder, or in barbarous groups, is
a practical denial of that great truth, religious and political, the
Brotherhood of Man. The Christian’s Fatherland is not merely the nation
in which he was born, but the whole earth appointed by the Heavenly
Father for his home. In this Fatherland there can be no place for
unfriendly boundaries set up by any,--least of all, place for the War
System, making nations as hostile camps.

At Lassa, in Thibet, there is a venerable stone in memory of the
treaty between the courts of Thibet and China, as long ago as 821,
bearing an inscription worthy of a true civilization. From Eastern
story learn now the beauty of peace. After the titles of the two august
sovereigns, the monument proceeds: “These two wise, holy, spiritual,
and accomplished princes, foreseeing the changes hidden in the most
distant futurity, touched with sentiments of compassion towards
their people, and not knowing, in their beneficent protection, any
difference between their subjects and strangers, have, after mature
reflection and by mutual consent, resolved to give peace to their
people.… In perfect harmony with each other, they will henceforth be
good neighbors, and will do their utmost to draw still closer the
bonds of union and friendship. Henceforward the two empires of Han
(China) and Pho (Thibet) shall have fixed boundaries.… In preserving
these limits, the respective parties shall not endeavor to injure each
other; they shall not attack each other in arms, or make any more
incursions beyond the frontiers now determined.” Then declaring that
the two “must reciprocally exalt their virtues and banish forever all
mistrust between them, that travellers may be without uneasiness, that
the inhabitants of the villages and fields may live at peace, and
that nothing may happen to cause a misunderstanding,” the inscription
announces, in terms doubtless Oriental: “This benefit will be extended
to future generations, and the voice of love (towards its authors) will
be heard wherever the splendor of the sun and the moon is seen. The
Pho will be tranquil in their kingdom, and the Han will be joyful in
their empire.”[254] Such is the benediction which from early times has
spoken from one of the monuments erected by the god Terminus. Call it
Oriental; would it were universal! While recognizing a frontier, there
is equal recognition of peace as the rule of international life.


In the abolition of the War System the will of the people must
become all-powerful, exalting the Republic to its just place as the
natural expression of citizenship. Napoleon has been credited with the
utterance at St. Helena of the prophecy, that “in fifty years Europe
would be Republican or Cossack.”[255] Evidently Europe will not be
Cossack, unless the Cossack is already changed to Republican,--as well
may be, when it is known, that, since the great act of Enfranchisement,
in February, 1861, by which twenty-three millions of serfs were raised
to citizenship, with the right to vote, fifteen thousand three hundred
and fifty public schools have been opened in Russia. A better than
Napoleon, who saw mankind with truer insight, Lafayette, has recorded
a clearer prophecy. At the foundation of the monument on Bunker Hill,
on the semi-centennial anniversary of the battle, 17th June, 1825, our
much-honored national guest gave this toast: “Bunker Hill, and the holy
resistance to oppression, which has already enfranchised the American
hemisphere. The next half-century Jubilee’s toast shall be,--_To
Enfranchised Europe_.”[256] The close of that half-century, already
so prolific, is at hand. Shall it behold the great Jubilee with all
its vastness of promise accomplished? Enfranchised Europe, foretold
by Lafayette, means not only the Republic for all, but Peace for all;
it means the United States of Europe, with the War System abolished.
Against that little faith through which so much fails in life, I
declare my unalterable conviction, that “government of the people,
by the people, and for the people”--thus simply described by Abraham
Lincoln[257]--is a necessity of civilization, not only because of that
republican equality without distinction of birth which it establishes,
but for its assurance of permanent peace. All privilege is usurpation,
and, like Slavery, a state of war, relieved only by truce, to be broken
by the people in their might. To the people alone can mankind look for
the repose of nations; but the Republic is the embodied people. All
hail to the Republic, equal guardian of all, and angel of peace!

Our own part is simple. It is, first, to keep out of war,--and, next,
to stand firm in those ideas which are the life of the Republic. Peace
is our supreme vocation. To this we are called. By this we succeed.
Our example is more than an army. But not on this account can we be
indifferent, when Human Rights are assailed or republican institutions
are in question. Garibaldi asks for a “word,”[258] that easiest
expression of power. Strange will it be, when that is not given. To the
Republic, and to all struggling for Human Rights, I give word, with
heart on the lips. Word and heart I give. Nor would I have my country
forget at any time, in the discharge of its transcendent duties, that,
since the rule of conduct and of honor is the same for nations as for
individuals, the greatest nation is that which does most for Humanity.


DECEMBER 13, 1870.

    Mr. McCreery, of Kentucky, asked leave to introduce a Joint
    Resolution, providing for the return of the ground at Arlington
    to the family of General Robert E. Lee, “and if graveyards
    have been established on the land, then the Committee shall
    ascertain and report the number of interments, on what terms
    a suitable spot for a cemetery can be purchased in the
    neighborhood, and the probable cost of removing the bodies to
    the new place of sepulture.”

    On the question, “Will the Senate grant leave to introduce the
    Joint Resolution?” Mr. Edmunds, of Vermont, demanded the yeas
    and nays, when a debate ensued, in which Mr. Sumner spoke as

MR. PRESIDENT,--Being called to vote on the pending motion, I make
haste to say that I wish on this occasion to apply the Parliamentary
Law in its strongest form. Whatever rigors it may have against
propositions inopportune or offensive in character must be applied now,
or never be invoked again; for never before in this Chamber was there
similar occasion for these rigors. Therefore shall I vote for the most
summary disposition of this joint resolution.

Beyond this, perhaps, there is no occasion for remark, especially
when I consider how eloquent Senators have already characterized the
proposition and the traitor it seeks to commemorate. I am not disposed
to speak of General Lee. It is enough to say that he stands high on
the catalogue of those who have imbrued their hands in their country’s
blood. I hand him over to the avenging pen of History.

But there is one practical remark that I would make. I would call
the attention of the Senate to this proposition in another aspect.
We all know the political associations of the honorable Senator who
introduces it. Must we not regard this joint resolution as revealing
the sentiments of his associates? Does it not prefigure the policy they
would establish, should they obtain power, as threatened by the Senator
from Delaware, [Mr. SAULSBURY,] as threatened by other Senators and by
other associates of these Senators? Do we not see here the policy that
would be established,--a policy which would take the old Rebellion by
the hand and install it in the high places of power,--in the Executive
Mansion,--in these Halls of Congress?

Now, Sir, could I make my voice heard from one end of this country
to the other, from Massachusetts to Louisiana, it would be to warn
against that political combination which shows itself now in the
proposition of the Senator from Kentucky. Take warning, I would say
to my fellow-countrymen everywhere, not only at the South, but at the
North, but especially at the South, that the political party with which
the Senator is associated, should it obtain power in this nation, will
establish the policy of which his joint resolution is the expression.
That is the practical remark I have to make.

There is a fact which I think I ought to contribute to this debate.
It so happened that I was with the late Mr. Stanton when he made the
order for the burial of our patriot dead on the grounds of Arlington.
He mentioned it, and disclosed to me his reason. He meant to bury those
dead in perpetual guard over that ground, so that no person of the
family of Lee should ever dare to come upon it, unless to encounter
patriot ghosts counted by the thousand. In such spirit the ground was
set apart. And now we are asked to dig up these dead and give over
their resting-place to the traitor family.

My friend by my side [Mr. NYE] has already used an expression which I
think a happy inspiration, when he said that those dead lying there
are as sacred as the Constitution itself. He was right. We may as well
disturb our sacred text as disturb them. Over every grave are written
words of warning. Do you remember, Sir, that most memorable epitaph
over the remains of William Shakespeare?--

    “Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear
    To dig the dust inclosèd here:
    Blest be the man that spares these stones,
    And curst be he that moves my bones!”

For two centuries and a half these words have guarded the immortal dust
of England’s greatest poet. I write them now over the graves of our
patriot dead, one and all. May they continue for centuries to guard
their repose!

    On the question of giving leave, the vote stood 4 yeas to 54
    nays. The yeas were Messrs. Fowler of Tennessee, Hamilton and
    Vickers of Maryland, and McCreery of Kentucky.



    “And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth, the
    Jezreëlite, had a vineyard, which was in Jezreël, hard by the
    palace of Ahab, king of Samaria.

    “And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that
    I may have it for a garden of herbs, _because it is near unto
    my house_; and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than
    it: or, if it seem good to thee, _I will give thee the worth of
    it in money_.

    “And Naboth said to Ahab, _The Lord forbid it me, that I
    should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee_.”--1
    KINGS, xxi. 1-3.

       *       *       *       *       *

    In his Message at the opening of Congress, December 5, 1870,
    President Grant, adverting to the failure of the treaty for the
    annexion of San Domingo to the United States at the previous
    session, for want of the requisite two-thirds vote of the
    Senate, proceeded to remark:--

        “I was thoroughly convinced then that the best interests
        of this country, commercially and materially, demanded its
        ratification. Time has only confirmed me in this view.
        I now firmly believe that the moment it is known that
        the United States have entirely abandoned the project of
        accepting as a part of its territory the island of San
        Domingo a free port will be negotiated for by European
        nations in the Bay of Samana. A large commercial city will
        spring up to which we will be tributary without receiving
        corresponding benefits, and then will be seen the folly of
        our rejecting so great a prize.”

    After setting forth at much length the great value of this
    prize, the President concluded as follows:--

        “In view of the importance of this question, I earnestly
        urge upon Congress early action, expressive of its views as
        to the best means of acquiring San Domingo. My suggestion
        is, that by joint resolution of the two Houses of Congress
        the Executive be authorized to appoint a commission to
        negotiate a treaty with the authorities of San Domingo for
        the acquisition of that island, and that an appropriation
        be made to defray the expenses of such commission. The
        question may then be determined, either by the action of
        the Senate upon the treaty, or the joint action of the two
        Houses of Congress upon a resolution of annexation, as
        in the case of the acquisition of Texas. So convinced am
        I of the advantages to flow from the acquisition of San
        Domingo, and of the great disadvantages, I might almost say
        calamities, to flow from non-acquisition, that I believe
        the subject has only to be investigated to be approved.”

    As preliminary to action upon this recommendation of the
    President, Mr. Sumner, December 9th, offered the following

        “_Resolved_, That the President of the United States be
        requested to communicate to the Senate, if in his opinion
        not incompatible with the public interest, copies of all
        papers and correspondence relating to the proposed annexion
        of the Dominican portion of the island of San Domingo or
        the purchase of any part thereof, including the original
        and all subsequent instructions to any agent or consul of
        the United States, with the correspondence of such agent
        or consul; also, any protocol or convention signed by
        such agent or consul; also, an account of the debt and
        liabilities of the Dominican Government, especially its
        obligations to the neighboring Republic of Hayti; also,
        the provisions of the existing Constitution of Dominica,
        so far as the same relate to the sale or transfer of
        the national domain; also, any treaty with Hayti or
        France by which Dominica is bound or affected; also, any
        communication from the neighboring Republic of Hayti, or
        from our Minister there, relating to the proposed annexion;
        also, instructions to the commander of our naval squadron
        in the waters of the island since the commencement of the
        late negotiations, with the reports and correspondence of
        such commander; also, any information tending to show what
        European power, if any, proposes to acquire jurisdiction
        of any part of the island, and if so, of what part; also,
        any information with regard to the position of President
        Baez, under whom the treaty of annexion was negotiated,
        and the extent to which he has been maintained in power by
        the presence of United States vessels of war; also, any
        information with regard to the sentiments of the people
        in Dominica and the reported pendency there of civil
        war; also, any information with regard to any claim of
        jurisdiction by the Republic of Hayti over the territory of

    December 12th, in pursuance of the President’s recommendation,
    Mr. Morton, of Indiana, asked, and by unanimous consent
    obtained, leave to introduce “a Joint Resolution authorizing
    the appointment of commissioners in relation to the Republic of
    Dominica,” as follows:--

        “_Resolved, &c._, That the President of the United States
        be authorized to appoint three commissioners, and also
        a secretary, (the latter to be versed in the English
        and Spanish languages,) to proceed to the island of San
        Domingo, and to inquire into, ascertain, and report:--

        “1. The political state and condition of the Republic of

        “2. The desire and disposition of the people of the said
        Republic to become annexed to and to form part of the
        people of the United States.

        “3. The physical, mental, and moral condition of the said
        people, and their general condition as to material wealth
        and industrial capacity.

        “4. The resources of the country; its mineral and
        agricultural products; the products of its waters and
        forests; the general character of the soil; the extent and
        proportion thereof capable of cultivation; the climate and
        health of the country; its bays, harbors, and rivers; its
        general meteorological character, and the existence and
        frequency of remarkable meteorological phenomena.

        “5. The debt of the Government, and its obligations,
        whether funded and ascertained and admitted, or unadjusted
        and under discussion.

        “6. Treaties or engagements with other powers.

        “7. Extent of boundaries and territory; what proportion
        is covered by grants or concessions, and generally what
        concessions or franchises have been granted.

        “8. The terms and conditions on which the Dominican
        Government may desire to be annexed to and become part of
        the United States as one of the Territories thereof.

        “9. Such other information with respect to the said
        Government or its territories as to the said commissioners
        shall seem desirable or important with reference to the
        future incorporation of the said Dominican Republic into
        the United States as one of its Territories.

        “SEC. 2. _And be it further resolved_, That the said
        commissioners shall, as soon as conveniently may be, report
        to the President of the United States, who shall lay their
        report before Congress.

        “SEC. 3. _And be it further resolved_, That the said
        commissioners shall serve without compensation, (except the
        payment of expenses,) and the compensation of the secretary
        shall be determined by the Secretary of State, with the
        approval of the President.”

    December 21st, the latter resolution, to which the precedence
    had been given, being under consideration in the Senate, Mr.
    Sumner spoke as follows:--


MR. PRESIDENT,--The resolution before the Senate commits Congress to
a dance of blood. It is a new step in a measure of violence. Already
several steps have been taken, and Congress is now summoned to another.

Before I proceed with the merits of this question, so far as such
language can be used with reference to it, and as I see the Senator
from Ohio [Mr. SHERMAN] in his seat, I wish to answer an argument of
his yesterday. He said that the resolution was simply one of inquiry,
and that therefore there could be no objection to it. I was astonished
when I heard one of his experience in this Chamber and his familiarity
with legislation characterize the pending proposition simply as
a resolution of inquiry. The Senator is mistaken. It is a joint
resolution creating three offices under the Constitution of the United
States, offices contemplated in the Constitution itself, and specially
mentioned by name in the Act of 1856 to regulate the diplomatic and
consular systems of the United States.[259] I read the first section of
that Act, as follows:--

    “That ambassadors, envoys extraordinary and ministers
    plenipotentiary, ministers resident, _commissioners_, chargés
    d’affaires, and secretaries of legation, appointed to the
    countries hereinafter named in Schedule A, shall be entitled
    to compensation for their services, respectively, at the rates
    per annum hereinafter specified: that is to say, ambassadors
    and envoys extraordinary and ministers plenipotentiary, the
    full amounts specified therefor in said Schedule A; ministers
    resident and _commissioners_, seventy-five per centum.”

Now, Sir, by this joint resolution the President is authorized to
appoint three “commissioners,” and also a “secretary,” the latter to be
versed in the English and Spanish languages, to proceed to the island
of San Domingo, and to inquire into, ascertain, and report certain
things. I say this is a legislative act creating three new offices;
but the Senator says that it is simply a resolution of inquiry. Even
suppose the offices are not diplomatic, they are none the less offices.
Let me put a question to the Senator. Suppose a joint resolution were
brought forward authorizing the appointment of three commissioners to
proceed to England in order to ascertain the condition of United States
securities and the possibility of finding a market there; according to
his assumption it would be a resolution of inquiry only. Would he allow
it to pass without reference to the Committee on Finance? Would he not
insist that it was a legislative act opening a most important question,
which should be considered by the appropriate committee?

The Senator is too experienced to be put aside by the suggestion that
the commissioners shall serve without compensation except the payment
of expenses. Does this alter the case? Without those words in this
joint resolution the general diplomatic law would take effect, and
it would at least be a question if they would not be entitled to the
salary of $7,500 per annum. And yet a joint resolution creating three
new offices is called simply a resolution of inquiry! Sir, the Senator
is mistaken; and his mistake in this matter illustrates other mistakes
with reference to the important subject now before the Senate.

Is it right that these commissioners shall serve without compensation?
Is not the laborer worthy of his hire? If they are proper men, if among
them is that illustrious Professor, my much-honored friend, who has
been referred to already, Mr. Agassiz, is it right to expect him to
give his invaluable services without compensation? The requirement that
the service shall be of this kind will necessarily limit it either to
the rich or to the partisan. It does not open a free field to talent,
to fitness, to those various qualities so important on the commission.

I hope that the Senator will reconsider his judgment, that he will see
that we cannot treat the pending proposition with the levity--he will
pardon me--with which he treated it. Sir, it is something more than a
resolution of inquiry. It is a serious measure, and it begins on its
face by an affront to the Constitution of the United States, which
expressly declares that the President “shall nominate, and, by and with
the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint, ambassadors, other
public ministers, and consuls”; but by this resolution he is to appoint
commissioners without the advice and consent of the Senate; and yet
this resolution is accepted by my honorable friend, the Senator from

The Senator, it seems to me, has not comprehended the object of this
resolution. To my mind it is plain. It is simply to commit Congress to
the policy of annexion. I insist upon this point: the object of the
resolution, and I will demonstrate it, is to commit Congress to the
policy of annexion. Otherwise, why is the resolution introduced? The
President does not need it. Under existing powers he is authorized to
appoint agents, if he pleases, to visit foreign countries, and he is
supplied with a secret-service fund by which their expenses may be
defrayed. The President does not need this resolution. It is an act of
supererogation, so far as he is concerned; and it is also contrary, so
far as I am informed, to the precedents of our history.

Agents of an informal character, informally called Commissioners, and
not acting under any statute, have been appointed in times past by
the Executive. I have a memorandum before me of several occasions. In
1811-12 the President dispatched Mr. Poinsett and Mr. Scott to Buenos
Ayres and Caracas to ascertain the condition of those two countries,
with a view to the recognition of their independence. In 1817 he
dispatched Mr. Bland, Mr. Rodney, and Mr. Graham to Buenos Ayres again,
and also to Chili; and in 1820 he dispatched Mr. Prevost and Mr.
Forbes: all for the same object. The reports of those gentlemen will be
found spread out at length in the State Papers of our country, printed
by the authority of Congress; but you will search in vain through your
statute-book for any act or joint resolution creating the Commission.
It was constituted by the President himself, with the assistance of
the Secretary of State; and it was to the Secretary of State that the
Commission reported, and the President communicated their report to

Therefore do I say, this joint resolution, as it now stands, is
entirely unnecessary. The President has all the power it pretends to
give. He may, if he sees fit, appoint agents,--calling them by any
name that he pleases, calling them commissioners or anything else,--he
may appoint agents to any extent, of any number, to visit this island
and report with regard to its condition. He may give in charge to his
envoys all the matters named in this joint resolution. All these he may
write in their commission; and when they return, he may, as was done in
other days, communicate their report to Congress.

Therefore do I say, the joint resolution is absolutely unnecessary;
and I call the attention of my honored friend, the Senator from
Indiana, [Mr. MORTON,] who champions it, to this special point. I ask
him to show its necessity; I ask him to show any good purpose it can
serve; I ask him to show why it is brought forward on this occasion,
unless to commit Congress to the policy of annexion. Sir, I stand on
this position; and I say, knowing the powers of the President under
this Government, knowing the practice of this Government, that this
resolution is completely superfluous, and that its single purpose, so
far as one can see any purpose in its terms, is to commit Congress to
what I shall show in a very few moments is a most unjustifiable policy.

Sir, others may do as they please; others may accept this policy; I
will not. I have already set myself against it, and I continue now as
firm against it as ever. The information which I have received since
our discussions last year has confirmed me in the conclusions which I
felt it my duty then to announce. In now presenting those conclusions
I beg to say that I shall forbear considering whether the territory
of Dominica is desirable or not; I shall forbear considering its
resources, even its finances, even its debt,--menacing as I know it
is to the Treasury of our country,--except so far as that debt brings
Hayti into this debate. Some other time these other topics will be
proper for consideration; for the present I shall confine myself to
grounds on which there can be no just difference.

I object to this proposition because it is a new stage in a measure of
violence, which, so far as it has been maintained, has been upheld by
violence. I use strong language, but only what the occasion requires.
As Senator, as patriot, I cannot see my country suffer in its good name
without an earnest effort to save it.

       *       *       *       *       *

The negotiation for annexion began with a person known as Buenaventura
Baez. All the evidence, official and unofficial, shows him to be a
political jockey. But he could do little alone; he had about him two
other political jockeys, Cazneau and Fabens; and these three together,
a precious copartnership, seduced into their firm a young officer of
ours, who entitled himself “Aide-de-Camp to the President of the United
States.” Together they got up what was called a protocol, in which
the young officer entitling himself “Aide-de-Camp to the President”
proceeds to make certain promises for the President. Before I read
from this document, I desire to say that there is not one word showing
that at the time this “Aide-de-Camp” had any title or any instruction
to take this step. If he had, that title and that instruction have
been withheld; no inquiry has been able to penetrate it. At least the
committee[260] which brought out the protocol did not bring out any
such authority. The document is called “a protocol,” which I need not
remind you, Sir, is in diplomatic terms the first draught of a treaty,
or the memorandum between two powers in which are written down the
heads of some subsequent convention; but at the time it is hardly less
binding than a treaty itself, except, as you are well aware, that
under the Constitution of the United States it can receive no final
obligation without the consent of the Senate. This document begins as

    “The following bases, which shall serve for framing a
    definitive treaty between the United States and the Dominican
    Republic, have been reduced to writing and agreed upon by
    General Orville E. Babcock, Aide-de-Camp to his Excellency,
    General Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States of
    America, and his special agent to the Dominican Republic, and
    Mr. Manuel Maria Gautier, Secretary of State of the Departments
    of the Interior and of Police, charged with the foreign
    relations of the said Dominican Republic.”[261]

Here you see how this young officer, undertaking to represent the
United States of America, entitles himself “Aide-de-Camp to his
Excellency, General Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States
of America, and his special agent to the Dominican Republic.” Sir,
you have experience in the Government of this country; your post is
high, and I ask you, Do you know any such officer in our Government
as “Aide-de-Camp to his Excellency, the President of the United
States”? Does such designation appear in the Constitution, in any
statute, or in the history of this Republic anywhere? If it does,
your information, Sir, is much beyond mine. I have never before met
any such instance. This young officer stands alone in using the lofty
title. I believe, still further, that he stands alone in the history
of free governments. I doubt whether you can find a diplomatic paper
anywhere in which any person undertaking to represent his Government
has entitled himself Aide-de-Camp of the chief of the State. The two
duties are incompatible, according to all the experience of history.
No aide-de-camp would be appointed commissioner; and the assumption
of this exalted and exceptional character by this young officer shows
at least his inexperience in diplomacy, if not his ambition to play a
great part. Doubtless it had an effect with Baez, Cazneau, and Fabens,
the three confederates. They were pleased with the eminence of the
agent. It helped on the plan they were engineering.

The young aide-de-camp then proceeds to pledge the President as

    “I. His Excellency, General Grant, President of the United
    States, promises, _privately_, to use all his influence, in
    order that the idea of annexing the Dominican Republic to
    the United States may acquire such a degree of popularity
    among members of Congress as will be necessary for its

Shall I read the rest of the document? It is of somewhat the same
tenor. There are questions of money in it, cash down, all of which must
have been particularly agreeable to the three confederates. It finally
winds up as follows:--

    “Done in duplicate, _in good faith_, in the City of San
    Domingo, the 4th day of the month of September, A. D. 1869.


“In good faith,” if you please, Sir.

I have heard it said that Orville E. Babcock did not write
“Aide-de-Camp” against his name at the bottom of the protocol. This was
not necessary. The designation of a person in such documents always
appears at the beginning,--as, for instance, in a deed between two
parties. It is not written against the name.

Therefore we have here a “protocol,” so entitled, signed by a young
officer who entitles himself “Aide-de-Camp to his Excellency, the
President of the United States,” and who promises for the President
that he shall privately use all his influence in order that the idea
of annexing the Dominican Republic to the United States may acquire
such a degree of popularity among members of Congress as will be
necessary for its accomplishment. Such was the promise. Senators about
me know how faithfully the President has fulfilled it, how faithfully
he has labored, privately and publicly, even beyond the protocol,--the
protocol only required that he should work privately,--privately and
publicly, in order that the idea of annexing the Dominican Republic
should be agreeable to Congress.

The young officer, “Aide-de-Camp to the President of the United
States,” with this important and unprecedented document in his pocket,
returned to Washington. Instead of being called to account for this
unauthorized transaction, pledging the Chief Magistrate to use his
influence privately with Congress in order to cram down a measure that
the confederates justly supposed to be offensive, he was sent back with
directions to negotiate a treaty. I would not allude to that treaty, if
it had not been made the subject of discussion by the President himself
in his Annual Message. You know it. The treaty itself is not on your
tables legislatively; it has never been communicated legislatively
to Congress. The other House, which may be called to act upon this
important measure, can know nothing of that treaty, and what we know
of it we cannot speak of even in this debate. We can simply speak of
its existence, for the President himself has imparted that to Congress
and to the country. The treaty exists; and now the practical question
is, By what means was it negotiated? I have described to you the three
confederates who seduced into their company the aide-de-camp of the
President; and now I have to aver, and I insist that the evidence
will substantiate what I say, that at the time of the signature of
the treaty of annexion Baez was sustained in power by the presence of
our naval force in the waters of the Dominican Government. Go to the
documents, and you will find that what I say is true. Confer with naval
officers, confer with honest patriot citizens who know the case, and
they will all testify that without the presence of our ships-of-war in
those waters Baez would have been powerless.

This is not all, Sir; I broaden the allegation. Ever since the
signature of the treaty, and especially since its rejection, Baez
has been sustained in power by the presence of our naval force. Such
I aver to be the fact. I state it with all the responsibility of my
position, and with full conviction of its truth. I ask you, Sir, to
go to the State Department and Navy Department and read the reports
there on file, and I feel sure that what I state will be found to be
substantially true. I ask you also to confer with any naval officer who
has been there, or with any patriot citizen.

Sir, this is a most serious business. Nothing more important to the
honor of the Republic has occurred for long years. How many of us now
are hanging with anxiety on the news from Europe! There stand matched
in deadly combat two great historic foes, France and Germany,--France
now pressed to the wall; and what is the frequent report? That Bismarck
may take Louis Napoleon from his splendid prison and place him again on
the throne of France, there to obtain from him that treaty of surrender
which the Republic never will sign. Are we not all indignant at the
thought? Why, Sir, it was only the other day that a member of the
Cabinet, at my own house, in conversation on this question, said that
nothing could make him more angry than the thought that Bismarck could
play such a part, and that by this device France might be despoiled.
And now, Sir, this is the very part played by the American Government.
Baez has been treated as you fear Bismarck may treat Louis Napoleon.
You call him “President”; they call him there “Dictator”; better call
him “Emperor,” and then the parallel will be complete. He is sustained
in power by the Government of the United States that he may betray his
country. Such is the fact, and I challenge any Senator to deny it. I
submit myself to question, and challenge the Senator from Indiana,
who, as I have already said, champions this proposition, to deny it. I
challenge him to utter one word of doubt of the proposition which I now
lay down, that Baez is maintained in power by the naval force of the
United States, and that, being in power, we seek to negotiate with him
that he may sell his country. It cannot be denied. Why, Sir, the case
has a parallel in earlier days,----

    MR. MORTON rose.

MR. SUMNER. Allow me to give one more illustration, and then the
Senator may interfere.--It has a parallel in earlier days, when the
British Government selected the king of the Mosquitoes as their puppet
on the margin of Central America. They called the Indian chief a
king, and actually sent to him certain “regalia” and other signs of
royal honor, and then, pretending to act under him, they claimed the
jurisdiction of that region. Are we not now treating Baez in some
measure as England treated the Mosquito king?

    MR. MORTON. Will the Senator allow me to ask him a question?

MR. SUMNER. Certainly.

    MR. MORTON. If this Commission go down there, they can return
    an answer to all these broad statements of the Senator, whether
    they are true or not. The Senator understands that; but I wish
    to ask him if he does not know, that, in answer to all this
    that he is talking about, it has been urged that all parties in
    San Domingo, whether they are for Baez or Cabral, or whoever
    they are for, are for annexation? If that is true, all this is
    utterly immaterial, except as something thrown in to obscure
    this subject before the public. I aver--and the Commission will
    show it--that all parties, whether against the Baez Government
    or for it, are equally for annexation; and if that is true, all
    this is frivolous.

MR. SUMNER. Mr. President, I alluded yesterday to the late
Prime-Minister of France, who said that he accepted war “with a light
heart.”[262] The Senator from Indiana speaks in the same vein. He
says that my allegation is “frivolous.” Sir, never was there a more
important allegation brought forward in this Chamber. Frivolous! Is it
frivolous, when I see the flag of my country prostituted to an act of
wrong? Is it frivolous, when I see the mighty power of this Republic
degraded to an act of oppression? Nothing frivolous----

    MR. EDMUNDS. What do you say as to the point, What are the
    wishes of the people of that country?

MR. SUMNER. I was remarking on the charge of frivolity; perhaps the
Senator will let me finish on that head; I had not finished.--I say
that there is nothing frivolous in the suggestion; I insist that it
is grave. It is too grave; it is oppressive to this Government and
this country. The Senator from Indiana asks, Why not send out this
Commission?--he always comes back to his Commission,--Why not send
these men out? I say, Why send them out, when we now have in the
archives of this Republic evidence that this very Baez is sustained in
power by the naval force of the United States, and that he now looks
to this force for protection? Can you send out a commission under such
circumstances without making yourself a party to the transaction?

And now I answer still further. The Senator asks if I am not aware
that all persons there are in favor of annexion,--and the inquiry
is repeated by my friend, the Senator from Vermont. I answer
categorically, No, I am not aware of it; I understand the contrary. I
have at least as good information as any accessible during the last
week, and it is not four days old, just to the contrary. There are
two chieftains in Dominica: one the political jockey with whom our
Government has united, and who is now sustained in power by our naval
force; and the other is Cabral, who, as I have been assured by one who
is bound to be well-informed, represents the people of his country,
besides being _de jure_ its head. Some time ago Cabral favored the
sale of the Bay of Samana to the United States; but I am assured that
he has never favored annexion to the United States. I am assured that
his policy is to bring the two Governments of Dominica and Hayti once
more together, as they were down to the revolution and war which lasted
from 1844 to 1848, terminating in the uncertain independence of the
Dominican part of the island.

Now I have answered categorically the inquiries of my two friends. The
evidence, as I have it, is not that these two chieftains are agreed.
On the contrary, there is between them discord; they differ from each
other,--one seeking unity for these two Governments, the other seeking
to sell his country for a price. But, whatever may be the sentiment of
the people, whether Baez and Cabral agree or disagree, I come back to
the single practical point that Baez has been, and is now, maintained
in power by the naval force of the United States. Deny it, if you
can. All this is still worse, when it is considered that the very
Constitution of Dominica, under which the adventurer professes to hold
rule, provides that there shall be no transfer to any foreign power of
any portion of the country.

Now, Sir, try this again. Suppose during our civil war Louis Napoleon,
in an evil hour, had undertaken to set up Jefferson Davis as the head
of this Government, and then to make a treaty with him by which Texas,
said to have been much coveted by the Emperor, should be yielded and
become part of Mexico, which itself was to become more or less part
of France. Suppose Louis Napoleon had undertaken such an enterprise,
how should we feel? Would not the blood boil? Would it be commended at
all because we were told that there were large numbers in the Southern
States who favored it? And yet this is precisely what the United States
are now doing in the Bay of Samana and the port of San Domingo.

This may be seen in another light. We complain of taxes. Do you know
what we have paid during this year in carrying out this sorrowful
policy? I have here an article which I cut from a New York paper last
evening, being a letter from San Domingo City, dated December 6, 1870,
from which I will read a sentence:--

    “The United States war-steamer Swatara is on a cruise, the
    Yantic is at San Domingo City, and the Nantasket is at Samana.”

Three ships out of the small Navy of the United States occupying these
waters to enforce this policy! If force were not to be employed, why
these three ships? why the necessity of any ship? Tell me. Can there be
good reason?

When I think of all this accumulated power in those waters, those
three war-vessels, with the patronage naturally incident to their
presence, it is not astonishing that there is on the seaboard,
immediately within their influence, a certain sentiment in favor of
annexion. But when you penetrate the interior, beyond the sight of
their smoke, at least beyond the influence of their money, it is
otherwise. There the sentiment is adverse. There it is Cabral who
prevails. So, at least, I am assured. But whether one or the other
prevails, the objection is the same. You violate the first principles
of self-government and of constitutional liberty, when you lend your
power to either.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sir, I have presented but half of this case, and perhaps the least
painful part. I am now brought to another aspect of it. This naval
force to which I have referred has also been directed against the
neighboring Republic of Hayti (the only colored Government now existing
in the world, a republic seeking to follow our great example,)
penetrating its harbors and undertaking to dictate what it should do.
If you will read again the reports at the Navy Department, you will
find that I do not overstate when I say that they have undertaken to
dictate to the Government of Hayti what it should do. Nor is this all.
In an unhappy moment, the commodore of an American fleet, going ashore,
allowed himself to insult and menace the Government there, saying,
that, if it interfered in any way with the territory of Dominica, he
would blow the town down. So I have been informed by one who ought to
know. You look grave, Sir. Well you may. I wish I could give you the
official evidence on this assumption; but I am assured, on evidence
which I regard as beyond question, that this incident has occurred. In
what school was our commodore reared? The prudent mother in the story
cautioned her son to take care never to fight with a boy of his own
size. An American commodore, in the same spirit, undertakes to insult
a sister republic too weak to resist. Of course, if he did this on his
own motion and without instructions from Washington, he ought to be
removed,--and, in my judgment, rather than carry out such instructions,
he ought to have thrown his sword into the sea.

Senators murmur. There is a rule of morals and of honor above all
other rules, and no officer of Army or Navy can consent to do an act
of wrong. This was the voice of our fathers during the Revolution. How
we praised and glorified those British officers who refused to serve
against them, generously sacrificing their commissions rather than
enforce a tyranny! Often have I honored in my heart of hearts that
great man, one of the greatest in English history, Granville Sharp,
foremost of all England’s Abolitionists, because, while an humble
clerk, and poor, in one of the departments in London, he resigned his
post rather than sustain that policy toward the Colonies which he
regarded as wrong.

No naval officer should have allowed himself to use such a menace
toward this weak republic. By its very weakness was it entitled to
kindness; and yet, Sir, its weakness was the occasion for the insult it
received. Think you, Sir, that he would have used such language toward
England or France? I think not.

All this is aggravated, when we consider the relations between Dominica
and Hayti, and bring this incredible transaction to the touchstone
of International Law. Dominica and Hayti became one under President
Boyer in 1822, and the whole island continued as a unit until 1844,
when Dominica rose against Hayti, and, after a bloody conflict of four
years, in 1848 succeeded in securing its independence.

    MR. MORTON. Mr. President,----

    THE VICE-PRESIDENT. Does the Senator from Massachusetts yield
    to the Senator from Indiana?

MR. SUMNER. Yes, Sir.

    MR. MORTON. Will the Senator allow me to suggest that it might
    help to a better understanding of the proposition he is about
    to state, if he will say that they became one by the conquest
    of Hayti,--not by consent, but by force of arms?

MR. SUMNER. I said that they became one in 1822, and that they
continued one till 1844. To what extent arms played a part I have
not said. Suffice it to say that Dominica constituted part of the
Government of Hayti, which was administered under the name of Hayti.
In 1838, while the two constituted one Government, a treaty was made
with France, which I have before me, by which the Haytian Government
agreed to pay, in certain annual instalments, the sum of sixty million
francs. Since the separation of the two, Hayti has proceeded with those
payments, and I think the Senator over the way will not deny that there
is at least ground of claim on the part of Hayti against Dominica for
contribution to those payments.

    MR. MORTON. Will the Senator allow me to ask him a question
    about that?--because I do not desire to take up the time of the
    Senate in answering him,--and that is this: Whether the debt
    for which Hayti agreed to pay France sixty million francs was
    not for spoliations upon the property of French citizens in
    Hayti, and not in Dominica, and with which Dominica never had
    anything to do? That is the fact about it.

MR. SUMNER. Nothing is said in the treaty before me of the
consideration for these payments.

    MR. MORTON. The history of the transaction shows that.

MR. SUMNER. History shows, however, that the two Governments were one
at this time, and I have to submit that there is at least a question
whether Dominica is not liable to Hayti on that account. All will see
the question, while Hayti insists upon the liability of Dominica. I
mention this that you may see the relation between the two Governments.

But this is not all. Besides the treaty with France, there is another
between Hayti and Dominica. I have no copy of it. The resolution which
I introduced the other day calls for it. I became acquainted with it
through the protest which I hold in my hand, made by the Government of
Hayti to Mr. Seward, as Secretary of State, and dated at Washington
the 5th of February, 1868, against the sale and purchase of the Bay of
Samana. In the course of this protest I find the following allegation:--

    “That there is a treaty between the Government of Hayti and
    that of San Domingo to the effect that no part of the island
    can be alienated by either of the two Governments.”

Now the point which I present to the Senate, and seek to impress, is,
that Hayti, having these claims on Dominica, is interdicted from their
pursuit by an American commodore.

But perhaps I may be told--I see my friend, the Senator from Indiana,
is taking notes--that the American commodore was justified under the
Law of Nations. I meet him on that point. How could he be justified?
How could the Law of Nations sanction such a wrong? The only ground
would be, that during the pendency of the negotiation, or while the
treaty was under consideration, the Government of the United States
would protect the territory to be transferred. I have seen that
impossible pretension put forth in newspapers. I call it “impossible.”
It is unfounded in the Law of Nations. Our ships, during the
negotiation of the treaty and during its consideration in the Senate,
had no more right or power in those waters than before the negotiation.
Only when the treaty was consummated by the act of the Senate giving to
it advice and consent, could we exercise any semblance of jurisdiction
there. Every effort at jurisdiction until that time was usurpation. I
read now from Wheaton’s authoritative work on International Law, page
337,[263] being part of the section entitled, “The treaty-making power
dependent on the municipal constitution”:--

    “In certain limited or constitutional monarchies the consent of
    the legislative power of the nation is in some cases required
    for that purpose. In some republics, as in that of the United
    States of America, the advice and consent of the Senate are
    essential, to enable the chief executive magistrate to pledge
    the national faith in this form. In all these cases it is
    consequently an implied condition, in negotiating with foreign
    powers, that the treaties concluded by the executive government
    shall be subject to ratification in the manner prescribed by
    the fundamental laws of the State.”

The Chief Magistrate can pledge the national faith only according to
the Constitution.

Now I turn to another place in this same authoritative work, being page
718,[264] and read as follows:--

    “A treaty of peace binds the contracting parties from the time
    of its signature.”

Then follows an emphatic note from the very able commentator, Mr.

    “It would be more exact to say, ‘from the time at which the
    treaty is concluded.’ If the political constitution of a party
    to the treaty requires ratification by a body in the State, the
    treaty is conditional until so ratified.”

The treaty, therefore, had no effect until ratified by the Senate;
and I repeat, every attempt at jurisdiction in those waters was a
usurpation and an act of violence; I think I should not go too far, if
I said it was an act of war. If a commodore leaves his quarter-deck,
pulls ashore, and, with his guns commanding a town, threatens to blow
it down, is not this an act of war?

In Great Britain the exclusive prerogative of making treaties is in the
Crown, and so in most other countries it is in the Executive; but I
need not remind you that in our country it is otherwise. The exclusive
prerogative here is not in the Executive; it is in the President by and
with the advice and consent of the Senate; and until that advice and
consent have been given he can exercise no power under that treaty.
Those waters were as sacred as the waters about France or about
England. He might as well have penetrated the ports of either of those
countries and launched his menace there as have penetrated the waters
of this weak power and launched his menace.

I have called it an act of war,--war, Sir, made by the Executive
without the consent of Congress. If Congress had declared war against
this feeble republic, then it would have been the part of the Executive
to carry that declaration into effect; but until then what right had
our Executive to do this thing? None which can be vindicated by the
laws of our country, none except what is found in the law of force.

This outrage by our Navy upon a sister republic is aggravated by the
issue which the President of the United States in his Annual Message
has directly made with the President of Hayti. Of course, Sir, the
President of the United States, when he prepared his Message, was
familiar with a document like that which I now hold in my hands,
entitled “The Monitor, Official Journal of the Republic of Hayti,”
under date of Saturday, the 24th of September, 1870, containing the
message of the President of Hayti addressed to the National Assembly.
This message is divided into sections or chapters, with headings, not
unlike a message or document in our own country. And now, Sir, listen
to what the President of Hayti in this annual message says of the
project of annexion, and then in one moment listen to the issue which
the President of the United States has joined with this President: I
translate it literally:--

    “The project of annexion of the Dominican part has been
    rejected by the American Senate. The anxieties which this
    annexion caused to spring up have been dissipated before the
    good sense and the wisdom of the Senate at Washington.”

Of course the President of the United States was intimate with this
document. He could not have undertaken to hurl his bolt against this
feeble republic without knowing at least what its President had said.
I will not do him the wrong to suppose him ignorant. His Secretary of
State must have informed him. He must have known the precise words that
President Saget had employed, when he said that the anxieties caused by
this annexion were dissipated before the good sense and wisdom of the
Senate at Washington. Our President joins issue with President Saget;
he says that the rejection of the treaty was a “folly.” There you have
it. The President of the Black Republic calls the rejection an act of
“good sense” and “wisdom”; the President of the United States calls
it an act of “folly.” Am I wrong? Let me read from the Message of our

    “A large commercial city will spring up, to which we will be
    tributary without receiving corresponding benefits, and then
    will be seen the folly of our rejecting so great a prize.”

So the two stand, President Saget and President Grant,--President Grant
speaking with the voice of forty millions, and this other President,
who has less than six hundred thousand people, all black.

If the President of the United States had contented himself with thus
joining issue with the President of Hayti, I should have left the two
face to face; but, not content with making this issue, the President
of the United States proceeds to menace the independence of Hayti.
Sir, the case is serious. Acting in the spirit of his commodore, he
nine times over makes this menace. I have the Message here, and now I
substantiate what I say. The part relating to this subject begins,--

    “During the last session of Congress a treaty for the
    annexation of the Republic of San Domingo to the United States
    failed to receive the requisite two-thirds vote of the Senate.”

Here he speaks of the rejection of the treaty for the annexion
of Dominica, calling it “the Republic of San Domingo.” This is
distinctive. Then he proceeds to demand the annexion of the whole
island. I read as follows:--

    “I now firmly believe, that, the moment it is known that the
    United States have entirely abandoned the project of accepting
    as a part of its territory _the island of San Domingo_, a free
    port will be negotiated for by European nations in the Bay of

I say nothing of the latter part of the proposition; I leave that to
the judgment of the Senate; but here you have a proposition for the
whole island of San Domingo. The Senate have rejected a treaty for the
annexion of the Republic of San Domingo.

    MR. MORTON. Mr. President,----

MR. SUMNER. The Senator will not interrupt me now. I shall finish this
statement presently, and then he may interrupt me.--Having thus laid
down his basis proposing the annexion of the whole island, which is
called by the geographers sometimes Hayti and sometimes San Domingo,
the President then proceeds to his second menace:--

    “The acquisition of San Domingo is desirable because of its
    geographical position.”

He has already described it as “the island of San Domingo,” and it
is desirable because of its geographical position,--an argument as
applicable to Hayti as to Dominica.

Then he proceeds to the third:--

    “San Domingo, with a stable government, under which her immense
    resources can be developed, will give remunerative wages to
    tens of thousands of laborers _not now upon the island_.”

Mark the words, “not now upon _the island_.” It is the island always
in view.

Then comes the fourth:--

    “San Domingo will become a large consumer of the products of
    Northern farms and manufactories.”

It is the whole island.

Then the fifth:--

    “The acquisition of San Domingo is an adherence to the Monroe

Though nothing in this place is said of the whole island, of course
those words are necessarily associated with the previous words, while
the argument from the Monroe Doctrine is just as applicable to Hayti as
to Dominica.

Then the sixth:--

    “In view of the importance of this question, I earnestly urge
    upon Congress early action expressive of its views as to the
    best means of acquiring San Domingo.”

Referring back, of course, to what he has already said.

Then he proposes,--

    “A commission to negotiate a treaty with the authorities of
    San Domingo _for the acquisition of that island_, and that
    an appropriation be made to defray the expenses of such

Here is the proposition undisguised.

And he winds up with the ninth:--

    “So convinced am I of the advantages to flow from the
    acquisition of San Domingo,” &c.

Thus nine times----

    MR. MORTON rose.

MR. SUMNER. Not quite yet. The Senator will take notice when I have
done with this point, and then he shall have the floor.--Nine times
in this Message has the President, after joining issue first with the
President of Hayti,--nine times has he menaced the independence of the
Haytian Republic. Some remarkable propositions at times are received
with nine cheers. Here is a menace nine times over; and throughout the
whole of that San Domingo column, written with so much intensity, we
are called to consider commercial, financial, material advantages, and
not one word is lisped of justice or humanity, not one word of what we
owe to the neighboring Republic of Hayti, nine times menaced.

    MR. MORTON rose.

MR. SUMNER. I know what my friend from Indiana is about to say,--that
all this is accidental. This is hard to believe. Nine accidents in one
column! Nine accidents of menace against a sister republic! There is a
maxim of law, which I was taught early and have not entirely forgotten,
that we are bound to presume that every document is executed solemnly
and in conformity with rule. Sir, we are bound to believe that the
President’s Message was carefully considered. There can be no accident
in a President’s Message. A President’s Message is not a stump speech.
It is not a Senate speech. It is a document, every line of which must
have been carefully considered, not only by the President himself, but
by every member of his Cabinet.

There are Senators here who have been familiar with Messages in
other years, and know how they are prepared. I have one in my mind
which within my knowledge occupied the consideration of the Cabinet
three full days,--I think four, if not five,--every single sentence
being carefully considered, read by itself, revised, sounded with the
hammer, if I may so express myself, like the wheels of a railroad
car, to see that it had the true ring. Of course the Message of a
President of the United States must go through such an examination.
I will not follow the Senator from Indiana in doing the injustice to
the President of supposing that his Message was ill-considered, that
it was not carefully read over with his Cabinet, that every sentence
was not debated, and that these words were not all finally adopted
as expressing the sentiments of the President. At any rate, there
they stand in the Message. Now any word in a Message, as in a Queen’s
Speech, even loosely or inconsiderately proposing anything adverse
to the independence of a country, is in the nature of a menace. My
language is not too strong. In such a case a word is a blow.

       *       *       *       *       *

History is often said to repeat itself. More or less it does. It
repeats itself now. This whole measure of annexion, and the spirit
with which it is pressed, find a parallel in the Kansas and Nebraska
Bill, and in the Lecompton Constitution, by which it was sought to
subjugate a distant Territory to Slavery. The Senator from Indiana was
not here during those days, although he was acting well his part at
home; but he will remember the pressure to which we were then exposed.
And now we witness the same things: violence in a distant island, as
there was violence in Kansas; also the same Presidential appliances;
and shall I add, the same menace of personal assault filling the air?
All this naturally flowers in the Presidential proposition that the
annexion shall be by joint resolution of the two Houses of Congress;
so that we have violence to Dominica, violence to Hayti, violence to
Public Law, including violence to the Constitution of Dominica, and
also to a Treaty between Dominica and Hayti, crowned by violence to the
Constitution of the United States.

In other days, to carry his project, a President tried to change a
committee. It was James Buchanan.[265] And now we have been called
this session to witness a similar endeavor by our President. He was
not satisfied with the Committee on Foreign Relations as constituted
for years. He wished a change. He asked first for the removal of the
Chairman. Somebody told him that this would not be convenient. He then
asked for the removal of the Senator from Missouri [Mr. SCHURZ]; and
he was told that this could not be done without affecting the German
vote. He then called for the removal of my friend the Senator from New
Hampshire, [Mr. PATTERSON,] who unhappily had no German votes behind
him. It was finally settled that this could not be done.

I allude to these things reluctantly, and only as part of the case.
They illustrate the spirit we are called to encounter. They illustrate
the extent to which the President has fallen into the line of bad

Sir, I appeal to you, as Vice-President. By official position and
by well-known relations of friendship you enjoy opportunities which
I entreat you to use for the good of your country, and, may I add,
for the benefit of that party which has so justly honored you. Go to
the President, I ask you, and address him frankly with the voice of a
friend to whom he must hearken. Counsel him to shun all approach to the
example of Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Andrew Johnson; tell
him not to allow the oppression of a weak and humble people; ask him
not to exercise War Powers without authority of Congress; and remind
him, kindly, but firmly, that there is a grandeur in Justice and Peace
beyond anything in material aggrandizement, beyond anything in war.

Again I return to the pending resolution, which I oppose as a new
stage in the long-drawn machination. Am I wrong in holding up this
negotiation, which has in it so much of violence,--violence toward
Dominica, violence toward Hayti? Of course the proposed treaty assumes
and adopts the civil war pending in the territory annexed. This is the
terrible incumbrance. No prudent man buys a lawsuit; but we are called
to buy a bloody lawsuit. I read now the recent testimony of Mr. Hatch,
who, while in favor of annexion, writes as follows, under date of South
Norwalk, Connecticut, December 12, 1870:--

    “I have not, however, looked with favor upon the project as it
    has been attempted to be effected; and I firmly believe, if
    we should receive that territory from the hands of President
    Baez, while all the leading men of the Cabral party, the
    most numerous, the most intelligent, and the wealthiest, are
    in prison, in exile, or in arms against Baez, without their
    having a voice in the transfer, it would result in a terrible

Be taught by the experience of Spain, when in 1861 this power, on the
invitation of a predecessor of Baez, undertook to play the part we are
asked to play. Forts were built and troops were landed. By a document
which I now hold in my hand it appears, that, when at last this power
withdrew, she had expended forty millions of hard Spanish dollars and
“sacrificed sixteen thousand of the flower of her army.” From another
source I learn that ten thousand Spanish soldiers were buried there.
Are we ready to enter upon this bloody dance? Are we ready to take up
this bloody lawsuit?

Vain to set forth, as the Message does, all manner of advantages,
“commercially and materially.” What are these, if Right and Humanity
are sacrificed? What are these without that priceless blessing,
Peace? I am not insensible to the commercial and material prosperity
of my country. But there is something above these. It is the honor
and good name of the Republic, now darkened by an act of wrong. If
this territory, so much coveted by the President, were infinitely
more valuable than it is, I hope the Senate would not be tempted to
obtain it by trampling on the weak and humble. Admit all that the
advocates of the present scheme assert with regard to the resources
of this territory, and then imagine its lofty mountains bursting
with the precious metals, its streams flowing with amber over silver
sands, where every field is a Garden of the Hesperides, blooming with
vegetable gold, and all this is not worth the price we are called to

       *       *       *       *       *

There is one other consideration, vast in importance and conclusive
in character, to which I allude only. The island of San Domingo,
situated in tropical waters, and occupied by another race, of another
color, never can become a permanent possession of the United States.
You may seize it by force of arms or by diplomacy, where a naval
squadron does more than the minister; but the enforced jurisdiction
cannot endure. Already by a higher statute is that island set apart
to the colored race. It is theirs by right of possession, by their
sweat and blood mingling with the soil, by tropical position, by its
burning sun, and by unalterable laws of climate. Such is the ordinance
of Nature, which I am not the first to recognize. San Domingo is the
earliest of that independent group destined to occupy the Caribbean
Sea, toward which our duty is plain as the Ten Commandments. Kindness,
beneficence, assistance, aid, help, protection, all that is implied
in good neighborhood,--these we must give, freely, bountifully; but
their independence is as precious to them as is ours to us, and it is
placed under the safeguard of natural laws which we cannot violate with

Long ago it was evident that the Great Republic might fitly extend the
shelter of its protection to the governments formed in these tropical
islands, dealing with them graciously, generously, and in a Christian
spirit,--helping them in their weakness, encouraging them in their
trials, and being to them always a friend; but we take counsel of our
supposed interests rather than theirs, when we seek to remove them from
the sphere in which they have been placed by Providence.

       *       *       *       *       *

I conclude as I began. I protest against this legislation as another
stage in a drama of blood. I protest against it in the name of Justice
outraged by violence, in the name of Humanity insulted, in the name
of the weak trodden down, in the name of Peace imperilled, and in the
name of the African race, whose first effort at Independence is rudely

    Later in debate Mr. Sumner spoke in reply as follows:--

MR. PRESIDENT,--So far as the Senator from Michigan [Mr. CHANDLER]
arraigns me as a member of the Republican party I have no reply.
He knows that I am as good a Republican as himself; he knows that
I have had as much to do with the making and support of the party
as himself; and when CHARLES SUMNER finds the Senators over the way
ranging under his banner, as the Senator predicts, this country will be
regenerated,--for the Democratic party will be Republican.

But I do reply to the questions of fact. And now, Sir, I am obliged
to make a statement--the Senator compels me--which I had hoped not
to make. The President of the United States did me the honor to call
at my house,--it was nearly a year ago, during the recess. Shortly
after coming into the room he alluded to certain new treaties already
negotiated, with regard to which I had no information. Sir, you must
expect me to speak frankly. The President addressed me four times as
Chairman of the Judiciary Committee,--adding, that the treaties would
come before the Judiciary Committee, and on this account he wished to
speak with me.

He proceeded with an explanation, which I very soon interrupted,
saying: “By the way, Mr. President, it is very hard to turn out
Governor Ashley; I have just received a letter from the Governor,
and I hope I shall not take too great a liberty, Mr. President, if I
read it. I find it excellent and eloquent, and written with a feeling
which interests me much.” I commenced the letter and read two pages
or more, when I thought the President was uneasy, and I felt that
perhaps I was taking too great a liberty with him in my own house; but
I was irresistibly impelled by loyalty to an absent friend, while I
was glad of this opportunity of diverting attention from the treaties.
As conversation about Governor Ashley subsided the President returned
to the treaties, leaving on my mind no very strong idea of what they
proposed, and absolutely nothing with regard to the character of the
negotiation. My reply was precise. The language is fixed absolutely
in my memory. “Mr. President,” I said, “I am an Administration man,
and whatever you do will always find in me the most careful and candid
consideration.” Those were my words.

I have heard it said that I assured the President that I would support
his Administration in this measure. Never! He may have formed this
opinion, but never did I say anything to justify it; nor did I suppose
he could have failed to appreciate the reserve with which I spoke.
My language, I repeat, was precise, well-considered, and chosen
in advance: “I am an Administration man, and whatever you do will
always find in me the most careful and candid consideration.” In this
statement I am positive. It was early fixed in my mind, and I know that
I am right.

And, Sir, did I not give to the treaties the most careful and candid
consideration? They were referred to the committee with which I am
connected. I appeal to my colleagues on that committee if I did not
do all that I promised. When I first laid them before the committee,
it was very evident that there was a large majority against them.
Indeed, there was only one member of the committee who said anything
in their favor. I then stated that I hoped our conversation would be
regarded as informal, and that there would be no immediate vote, or
any course which could be interpreted otherwise than friendly to the
Administration. Too prompt action might be misconstrued.

My desire was to proceed with utmost delicacy. I did not know then,
what I have learned since, how the President had set his heart upon
the project of annexion. With my experience of treaties, familiar as
I have been with them in the Senate, I supposed that I was pursuing
the course most agreeable to him, and, should the report be adverse,
most respectful and considerate. This I state, Sir, on my conscience,
as my solemn judgment at the time, and my motive of conduct. I wished
to be careful and candid. It was easy to see from the beginning that
annexion had small chance in the committee, whatever might be its fate
in the Senate; but I was determined to say and do nothing by which the
result should in any way be aggravated. Again I appeal to every one of
my colleagues on that committee for their testimony in this behalf. I
know that I am above criticism. I know that I have pursued a patriotic
course, always just and considerate to the President; and I tell the
Senator from Michigan, who has served with me so long in this Chamber,
that he does me great injustice. Some time or other he will see it so.
He may not see it now; but he ought to rise in his place and at once
correct the wrong.

Perhaps I need not say more, and yet there has been so much criticism
upon me to-night that I proceed a little further. Here was my friend at
my right, [Mr. NYE,] who, having shot his shaft, has left. I wish that
he had praised me less and been more candid. His praise was generous,
but his candor certainly less marked than his praise. I might take up
every point of his speech and show you the wrong that he did me. He is
not in his seat. I wish he were. [_Mr. Nye entered the Chamber from one
of the cloak-rooms._] Oh, there he comes. He said that I was against
inquiry. No such thing. I am for inquiry. I wish all the documents now
on the files of the State Department and of the Navy Department spread
before Congress and before the country. To this end I have introduced a
resolution which is now on your table; I wish this information before
any other step is taken in this business. Instead of being against
inquiry, I am for it, and in that way which will be most effective.
But the resolution which I introduced, asking for the most important
testimony, all documentary in character, is left on the table, while
a different proposition, legislative in character and in no respect a
resolution of inquiry, but an act creating three new officers under the
Constitution, is pressed on the Senate, and, as I demonstrated to-day,
for the obvious purpose of associating Congress with this scheme of
annexion. The whole question of annexion was opened, and I felt it my
duty to show at what cost to the good name of this Republic the scheme
has been pursued down to this day. I entered upon this exposure with a
reluctance which I cannot express; but it was with me a duty.

My friend at my right [Mr. NYE] says--I took down his words, I
think--that I saw nothing in the President’s Message except what he
said about San Domingo. I was speaking of San Domingo, and not of
the other topics; nor was I speaking of the President. There again
my friend did me injustice. I was speaking of annexion; and it is my
habit, I think you will do me the justice to say, Mr. President, to
speak directly to the questions on which I undertake to address the
Senate. At any rate, I try to confine myself to the point; and the
point to-day was annexion, and nothing else. I was not called to go
to the right or to the left, to enter upon all the various topics of
the Message, whether for praise or censure. The Message was not under
discussion, except in one single point. Nor was I considering the
merits of the Administration, or the merits, whether civil or military,
of the President, but the annexion of San Domingo, on which I felt it
my duty to express myself with the freedom which belongs to a Senator
of the United States.

The Senator here [Mr. NYE] says, and the Senator over the way, [Mr.
MORTON,] I think, said the same thing, that I have assailed the
President. I have done no such thing. I alluded to the President as
little as possible, and never except in strict subordination to the
main question. On this question of annexion I feel strongly,--not as
the Senator [Mr. NYE] has most uncandidly suggested, from any pride of
opinion, or because I have already expressed myself one way and the
President another, but because for long years I have felt strongly
always when human rights were assailed. I cannot see the humble crushed
without my best endeavor against the wrong. Long ago I read those
proud words by which Rome in her glory was described as making it her
business to spare the humble, but to war down the proud.[266] I felt
that we had before us a case where the rule was reversed, and in an
unhappy hour our Government was warring down the humble. So it seemed
to me on the evidence.

Do I err? Then set the facts before the people, that they may judge;
but, as I understand those facts, whether from official documents or
from the testimony of officers or citizens who have been in that island
latterly, Baez has been maintained in power by the arms of the United
States. So I understand it. Correct me, if I am wrong; but if the facts
be as I believe, you must leave me to my judgment upon them.

Both my honorable friends, the Senator on my right [Mr. NYE] and the
Senator over the way [Mr. MORTON], have said that I sought to present
an unfavorable comparison between the President of Hayti and the
President of the United States; and the Senator over the way went
into an elaborate arraignment of the Haytian President. Sir, I had no
word of praise for that President. The Senator is mistaken. From his
Message, which I now hold in my hand, I read his congratulation that
the project of annexion had been defeated by “the good sense and the
wisdom” of the Senate at Washington; and I then read from the Message
of the President of the United States what I supposed was the issue
he intended to join with the Haytian President, characterizing this
very rejection of annexion on the part of the Senate as “folly”; and
I put the two Messages on that point face to face, and there I left
them. I said nothing to praise Saget or to arraign Grant. Sir, I have
no disposition to do either. I only wish to do my duty simply and
humbly, pained and sorry that I am called to differ from so many valued
friends, but then still feeling that for me there is no other course to

    The Joint Resolution was passed the same day,--Yeas 32, Nays 9:
    30 Senators being absent, or refraining from voting.

    January 4, 1871, Mr. Sumner’s resolution was taken up, and
    passed without a division: also, February 15th, another,
    calling on the Secretary of the Navy for “a copy of the
    instructions to the commander of the Tennessee on her present
    cruise; also, the names of the United States ships-of-war in
    the waters of the island of San Domingo since the commencement
    of the recent negotiations with Dominica, together with the
    armaments of such ships.”



The Old Year is dead. Hail to the New! How alike! How unlike! Each is
a measure of time,--the Old belonging to the infinite Past, the New to
the infinite Future. But each has its own trials and its own triumphs.
Be it our aspiration to smooth the trials and assure the triumphs
before us!

Sorrow and grief there must be. May they be tempered with mercy, and
may we bear them with submission! Work and effort there must be; for
such is the condition of life. And then there is Duty always, which we
are justly told is “more than life.” What is life where duty fails?
Companion with all is Hope, with too flickering sunshine. All these
will be surely ours in the New Year, as they were during the year that
has passed.

Looking beyond the microcosm of individual life to the macrocosm of
the world, other trials and triumphs are before us. God grant that the
triumphs may surpass the trials, making the New Year an epoch in human

Unhappily, we are not yet relieved from anxiety on account of the
Rebellion. Though Reconstruction is in our statute-book, it is not
yet established in the universal heart of the Nation, as it must be
before peace can be permanently assured. There are painful reports from
States lately in rebellion, showing that life is unsafe and society
disorganized. North Carolina is always considered less mercurial and
violent than her Southern neighbor, with whom the Rebellion began; but
this slow and staid State is now disturbed by bad spirits, menacing
revolution and blood. A private letter says: “I am assured, by men who
know, that blood will be spilt, if Congress does not interfere. The
excitement of ’61 bore no comparison to this.” In certain counties the
Ku-Klux-Klan so far dominates that to be a Unionist is to brave death.
Nor is this evil spirit confined to North Carolina. It shows itself
in other States, and threatens to extend. Alas, that, after all the
terrible sacrifices of these latter days, we should be called to this
new experience!

And yet the Rebellion is said to be suppressed. This is a mistake.
So long as men are in peril whose only offence is that they love the
Nation, or that their skins are not “white,” the Rebellion still
exists. Force is needed; nor is this the time to remove political
disabilities. Our first obligation is to those who stood by the Nation,
and those others whom the Nation has rescued from bondage. These two
classes must be protected at all hazards. Here is a sacred duty. And
not until this is completely performed can we listen to the talk of

Amnesty! Tempting and most persuasive word! Who would not be glad to
accord it? Who would not delight to behold all in equal citizenship?
But the general safety is the supreme law. The people must be secure
in their homes; especially must the Unionist and the Freedman be safe
against all assault, while dear-bought rights are fixed beyond recall.
When this is done, how happy will all be to remove every bar and ban!
Nought in vengeance, nought even in punishment; but all for the sake of
that peace which is the first condition of national welfare.

If Reconstruction and Amnesty perplex us still, it is because we did
not begin to deal with them sooner. Promptly on the surrender of Lee
the just system should have been declared,--being Reconstruction on the
principles of the Declaration of Independence, with a piece of land for
every adult freedman, to be followed by Amnesty and Reconciliation. Our
present embarrassments proceed from failure to comprehend the case,
or from perverse sympathy with Rebels,--all of which we inherit from
the misrule of Andrew Johnson. It is for us to apply the corrective.
Too late it may be for the piece of land; but it is not too late for
the vigorous enforcement of Reconstruction, involving necessarily the
adjournment of Amnesty.

Specie Payments should accompany the completion of Reconstruction. Both
have lingered too long. Not only did we err at the surrender of Lee
in postponing Reconstruction, but also in postponing all effort for
Specie Payments. The time has come for the consummation of each. May
the year we now greet witness these two triumphs! Peace and security
are the specie of Reconstruction, as gold and silver are the specie of
Currency. We must have both.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is hard that these questions should now be complicated with a
machination to annex a West India island by violence, and without
any popular voice in its favor. Ships of the National Navy uphold an
unprincipled pretender, thus enabled to sell his country. This is
violence, as much as if a broadside were fired. It is according to the
worst precedents. To this crushing fact add an unknown expenditure from
the cost of our navy engaged in enforcing the capitulation; also the
debt to be assumed, the money to be paid down; and then the climax of
war on a tropical island where already Frenchmen and Spaniards have
succumbed. The whole story is painful, and forms a melancholy chapter
of the national history. At a moment when there should be unity among
good men for the sake of peace, it is strange and incomprehensible that
this project should be pressed for adoption. Better far bestow our
energies in the guardianship of Reconstruction and the establishment of
civil order within our borders, including specie payments.

This attempt is aggravated, when it is considered how it proceeds in
grievous indifference to the African race. Not content with setting
up an adventurer in Dominica, it menaces the Republic of Hayti. An
American Commodore was found who did not resign rather than do this
thing. What are fairest fields with golden harvests as compensation
for such an act? But, if indifferent to the means of annexion, and
content even with violence, there remains another question, overtopping
all others: Whether the whole Island of San Domingo is not set apart
by Providence for the African race?--nay, more, Whether the whole
Caribbean Sea must not be African? A private letter from New Jersey
gives expression to humane sentiments:--

    “As a great people, instead of swallowing up small republics,
    we should encourage their growth, and, above all, leave a
    small portion at least where the African and his descendants
    may work out the problem of self-government.… I speak to you in
    behalf of the colored Sabbath School of this city, numbering
    one hundred and eighty-one members, from seven years of age up
    to ninety-five,--I speak in behalf of our colored citizens,
    (we are all agreed upon it,)--I speak in behalf of myself, a
    sufferer and a laborer amongst them for ten years past, when I
    say we are _all opposed_ to the annexation of San Domingo.”

This is natural. It is not easy to comprehend how it can be otherwise.
Colored persons, unwilling to see their race sacrificed, will make a
stand against an ill-omened measure. New Year’s Day will be elevated
by vows to keep our Republic true to her great mission, as benefactor,
rather than conquering annexer.

Not without anxiety can we see how, contrary to the promise of his
Inaugural, the President proclaims a “policy,” and insists upon its
enforcement, even to the extent of disregarding the treaty power of the
Senate, and menacing annexion of a foreign nation by Joint Resolution.
Is Congress to be coerced? All this may make us reflect with more than
usual solemnity at the beginning of a New Year.

Such an effort is adverse to the Republican Party, with which are
associated the best interests of the country. Every Republican must
do his best to keep the party strong. Questions calculated to divide
must not be pressed. The party must be a unit; but it cannot be such
at any mere word of command. No one man by _ipse dixit_ can establish
the test of fidelity to the party. Its strength is in its principles,
and especially in the Declaration of Independence, which is its
corner-stone. Let us stand by these, without any new shibboleth,
unknown to the party, and which many can never utter. General Jackson’s
great words for the Union should be adopted now: “The Republican Party;
_it must be preserved!_” And may every project inconsistent with its
harmony be allowed to slumber! This is a fit vow for the New Year.

       *       *       *       *       *

On this day the thoughts cannot be confined to our own country.
Wherever man exists, there must our good wishes travel, with the
precious example of our Republic, making Liberty everywhere an
inspiration. To the whole human family must the benison go,--adding
especially that most precious of all, the benison of Peace. Humanity
stands aghast at the barbarous conflict yet prolonged between two
most civilized nations. Who can gauge the mighty dimensions of the
fearful sacrifice? Soon must it end, and out of its consuming fires
may a new civilization arise! The time has come when the War System,
which is still the established arbiter for the determination of
international differences, must give place to peaceful substitutes
and the disarming of nations. Let this be done, and there will be a
triumph with glory serene and lasting, undimmed by a single tear.
Forbear, at least on this day of aspiration, to insist that such a
good cannot be accomplished. You wrong Human Nature, when you proclaim
that the colossal barbarism bestriding nations must be maintained.
You wrong Justice, when you degrade it to the condition of successful
force, making _Might_ the substitute and synonym for _Right_. You wrong
Charity, with all the virtues in her train, when you put them under
the hoof of Violence. International War, like Slavery, is a monster
chartered by Law. Why not repeal the charter? That this may be done is
another vow worthy of the year we begin.


10, 1871.

                                      SENATE CHAMBER, January 10, 1871.

  DEAR SIR,--Though not in person at your great meeting to
  commemorate what you happily call the completion of Italian
  unity, I shall be there in heart and soul. A lover of Italy and
  anxious for her independence as a nation, I have for years longed
  to see this day. Italy without Rome was like the body without
  its head. Rome is the natural head of Italy, and is now at last
  joined with the body to which it belongs, never again to be

  How many hearts have throbbed with alternate despair and hope,
  watching the too tardy fulfilment of the patriot aspiration for
  that United Italy which shall possess once more the Capitoline
  Hill and the ancient Forum, the Colosseum and its immense
  memories of grandeur, together with the later dome of Michel
  Angelo, in itself the emblem of all-embracing unity! This was the
  aspiration of Cavour. I remember the great man well, at the very
  beginning of the war for Independence, in a small apartment which
  was bed-room and office, while he conversed on the future of the
  historic Peninsula, and with tranquil voice declared that all
  must be free to the Adriatic, with Rome as the national capital.
  I need not say that I listened with delight and sympathy. He died
  before all was free to the Adriatic, and while Rome was yet ruled
  by the Papal autocrat. At last his desires are accomplished.
  Naturally the liberation of Venice was followed by the liberation
  of Rome, and both, when free, helped complete the national unity.
  No longer “merely a geographical expression,” according to the
  insulting phrase of Metternich, Italy is now a nation whose lofty
  capstone is Rome.

  Besides the triumph of the nation, I see in this event two other
  things of surpassing value in the history of Liberty. First, the
  union of Church and State is overthrown in its greatest example.
  The Pope remains the pastor of a mighty flock, but without
  temporal power. Here is a precedent, which, beginning at Rome,
  must be followed everywhere, until Church and State are no longer
  conjoined, and all are at liberty to worship God according to
  conscience, without compulsion from Man. The other consequence
  is hardly less important. The Pope was an absolute sovereign for
  life. In the overthrow of his temporal power Absolutism receives
  a blow, and the people everywhere obtain new assurance for the
  future. Here is occasion for joy and hope. There is no Italian
  who may not now repeat the words of Alfieri without dooming
  himself to exile:--

      “Loco, ove solo UN contra tutti basta,
      Patria non m’ è, benchè natío terreno.”[267]

  The poet who loved Liberty so well was right, when he refused to
  recognize as his country that place “where _one alone_ sufficed
  against all.” But this was the condition of Rome under the Papal

  Therefore, not only in sympathy with Italy, but in devotion to
  human rights, do I rejoice in this day.

  Full of good wishes for Italy, happy in what she has already
  accomplished, and hopeful for the future, I remain, dear Sir,
  very faithfully yours,





    The occasion was one of farewell to Colonel Forney by his
    brother journalists, on his retirement from the editorship of
    the “Chronicle” and removal from Washington,--Mr. Sumner being
    one of a few invited guests.

    After the toast to Colonel Forney, and his response, Mr. L. A.
    Gobright, of the Associated Press, at the call of the Chair
    rose and said:--

        “GENTLEMEN,--The glory of a free people is the possession
        of a government founded upon justice. It is their duty
        at all times to defend it against assaults from without
        and the causes of ruin within. Education is an essential
        principle with a view to the elevation of morals. The
        political superstructure being a social necessity,
        controversies as to the architecture and materials to
        be employed only excite comment, and thus quicken the
        interest in the great results. The people, however, select
        the workmen: Congress to make the laws; the Judiciary to
        expound them; the President to administer them; and the
        Press to record them with comments, either of censure
        or favorable, as the public interests may demand. We
        have heard from the Press; it is but just that we should
        now hear from Congress,--from one who is a native and a
        resident of a part of the country the people of which have
        long been familiar with the subject of Constitutions for
        the purpose of securing religious and political freedom. I
        therefore, in the name of this Society and at the command
        of our President, respectfully call upon the Hon. Charles
        Sumner to respond to--

        “‘The Government of the United States: The Press records
        with pride the acts of the executive and legislative
        branches to secure the honor of the nation abroad and its
        prosperity at home.’”

    Mr. Sumner, responding, said:--

Really, Mr. President, when I listened to the remarks of our excellent
Mr. Gobright upon Education, Architecture, and various other important
topics, I could not see how he could land on me. [_Laughter._] By
what process I am to-night in that line is past my comprehension. I
am still further mystified when called to respond for the Government.

Mr. President, do I represent the Government? [_Laughter and
applause._] I wish I did, but I fear that I do not. I do represent
Massachusetts,--[“_That’s so!_”]--the venerable Commonwealth who gives
me permission to speak for her. And yet, as I am called to speak of the
Government, I am reminded of an incident which may not be familiar to
all, as I do not remember to have seen it in print, of what occurred
to Joseph Bonaparte, when, after the overthrow of his family, leaving
France, he sought a home on this side of the ocean, and reaching New
York, he looked about for a soldier or _gendarme_, or at least a
policeman, to whom he could exhibit his passport. There was none within
sight or call, when, at last, he exclaimed: “This is the first country
where I ever found myself in which I could not find the Government.” I
believe that you are not more fortunate to-night, when you call upon
me to speak for the Government, than was Joseph Bonaparte, ex-King of
Spain, when he landed in New York. [_Laughter and applause._] We are
of course talking confidentially here,--[“_Oh, yes, of course!_”]--and
yet, if you will allow me to allude to the Government, I will say that
I do wish this Government of ours may be so good and great, so true and
brave, that it may become an example of republican institutions, by
which they may be commended throughout the world. [_Applause._] I am a
believer in republican institutions, and I do earnestly wish that my
country should be a most persuasive example.

But you are thinking more of your guest than of the Government, and,
however I may be addressed, I am only a witness here to-night. I
witness the honors bestowed and received. The two parties are the
gentlemen of the press in Washington, of the first part, and my honored
friend, John W. Forney, of the second part. [_Applause._] The rest are
witnesses only.

If a witness might speak, I would declare the pleasure I feel in this
instance of fellowship and harmony, as honorable to the many hosts as
to the single guest. Such an example will do something to smooth those
differences which, unhappily, are too often the incident of public
life. And yet this token is natural. Are we not told that we shall
reap as we have sown? And has not your guest sown always the seeds of
kindness and goodwill? [_Applause, and cries of “That’s so!”_] And,
therefore, should he not now reap his reward? My own friendly relations
began when there were many differences between us; but I remember
continually the personal amenity, superior to all differences, by which
I was won to him.

In leaving Washington, he goes from one circle of friends to another
circle, of which we have honored representatives here to-night. I
cannot wish for him more than that he may be as happy and welcome with
them as he has been with you.

Our guest, only a moment ago, in conversation alluded to this Saturday
evening, which so peculiarly belongs to gentlemen of the Press, as
reminding of the “Cotter’s Saturday Night,” the exquisite poem of
Burns. He will allow me to quote words peculiarly applicable:--

    “The toil-worn cotter frae his labor goes;
      This night his weekly moil is at an end;
    Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes.”


Such is your case to-night, unless you are connected with a Sunday
paper. [_Laughter._] Your weekly moil is at an end. Allow me to wish
that when it is again renewed, it may be with heart strengthened and
soul refreshed by the social enjoyment of to-night.




I am glad in listening to the exercises on this interesting occasion.
They carry me back to early life, when I was a student at the Law
School of Harvard University, as you have been students in the Law
School of Howard University. I cannot think of those days without
fondness. They were the happiest of my life. Nor do I doubt that
hereafter you will look back with something of the same emotion to your
student days.

There is happiness in the acquisition of knowledge, which surpasses
all common joys. The student who feels that he is making daily
progress, constantly learning something new, who sees the shadows
by which he was originally surrounded gradually exchanged for an
atmosphere of light, cannot fail to be happy. His toil becomes a
delight, and all that he learns is a treasure,--with this difference
from gold and silver, that it cannot be stolen or lost. It is a
perpetual capital at compound interest. Therefore do I say, for the
sake of happiness, and also for worldly good, must the young man be
faithful in study.

Pardon me, if, while congratulating you upon the career you now
commence, I make one or two practical suggestions, which I hope may not
be without value.

In the first place, you must not cease your studies, now that you
leave the Law School. You must be students always. Some there are who
content themselves with what is called “an education,” and then cease
their studies. This is a mistake. At college or school we acquire
the elements of knowledge, and we learn also _how to study_,--but
very little more. If to this be added the love of study, this is the
beginning of success.

But your studies must not be confined to the Law; you must study other
things. Your minds must be refined and elevated by Literature; your
knowledge must be extended by Science. All great lawyers testify to the
importance of these acquisitions. Probably most persons familiar with
the law would recognize the venerable Horace Binney, of Philadelphia,
as the living head of the profession in our country; but while he was
engaged in practice, he was not more remarkable for profound learning
in the Law than for various attainments in scholarship and science. The
necessity of literature to the lawyer is illustrated by an anecdote
of Lord Brougham, who, when Chancellor of England, was visited by the
father of a young man just commencing his law studies, and asked what
books he would especially recommend to the beginner. “Tell him to read
Dante,” was the prompt reply. “But,” said the astonished father, “my
son is beginning law.” “Yes,” said the Chancellor, “and I say tell him
to read Dante. If he would be a good lawyer, he must be at home in

There is one other possession without which science, literature, and
law, all in amplest measure, will be of small avail: it is Character.
Would you succeed, you must deserve success; and this can only be by
character. Cicero, in his work describing the orator, says that he must
be a good man; that otherwise he cannot be a true orator.[268] This
is heathen testimony worthy of constant memory. But the same may be
said of the lawyer. Remember well, do not forget, you cannot be a good
lawyer unless you are a good man. Nothing is more certain.

If to these things be added health, there is no success which will not
be within your reach.

There is one other remark which I hope you will allow me to make.
Belonging to a race which for long generations has been oppressed and
despoiled of rights, you must be the vigilant and sensitive defenders
of all who suffer in any way from wrong. The good lawyer should
always be on the side of Human Rights; and yet it is a melancholy
fact in history that lawyers have too often lent learning and subtle
tongue to sustain wrong. This you must scorn to do. In the sacred
cause of Justice be faithful, constant, brave. No matter who is the
offender,--whether crime be attempted by political party, by Congress,
or by President,--wherever it shows itself, whether on the continent or
on an island of the sea, you must be ready at all times to stand forth,
careless of consequences, and vindicate the Right. So doing, you will
uphold your own race in its unexampled trials.

Each of you is a unit of the mass. Therefore, sustaining the rights
of all, you will sustain your own. Be not satisfied with anything less
than the Rights of All. But while generously maintaining the rights
of others, I venture to say that you will be entirely unworthy of
the vantage-ground on which you now stand, if you do not insist at
all times on those Equal Rights which are still denied to you. Here
particularly is a duty. The poet has said that

    “Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow.”

You are all free, God be praised! But you are still shut out from
rights which are justly yours. Yourselves must strike the blow,--not
by violence, but in every mode known to the Constitution and Law.
I do not doubt that every denial of Equal Rights, whether in the
school-room, the jury-box, the public hotel, the steamboat, or the
public conveyance, by land or water, is contrary to the fundamental
principles of Republican Government, and therefore to the Constitution
itself, which should be corrected by the Courts, if not by Congress.
See to it that this is done. The Constitution does not contain the word
“white”; who can insert it in the Law? Insist that the common-school,
where the child is prepared for the duties of manhood, shall know no
discrimination unknown to the Constitution. Insist, also, that the
public conveyances and public hotels, owing their existence to Law,
shall know no discrimination unknown to the Constitution, so that
the Senator or the Representative in Congress, who is the peer of
all at the National Capitol, shall not be insulted and degraded on
the way to his public duties. Insist upon equal rights everywhere;
make others insist upon them. Insist that our institutions shall be
brought into perfect harmony with the promises of the Declaration
of Independence, which is grand for its universality. I hold you to
this allegiance,--first, by the race from which you are sprung, and,
secondly, by the profession you now espouse.



    February 4, 1871, Mr. Pomeroy, of Kansas, brought forward a
    Joint Resolution authorizing the President “to cause to be
    stationed at the port of New York, if the same can be done
    without injury to the public service, one or more of our naval
    vessels, to be there held in readiness to receive on board for
    transportation such supplies as may be furnished by the people
    of the United States for the destitute and suffering people of
    France and Germany.” The resolution was passed, after debate,
    in which Senators Howard of Michigan, Conkling of New York,
    Morton of Indiana, Casserly of California, Schurz of Missouri,
    and others, made brief speeches. Mr. Sumner spoke as follows:--

MR. PRESIDENT,--If I were compelled to determine our comparative
obligation to France and Germany, I should hesitate; and what American
could do otherwise? I look at the beginning of our history, and I see,
that, through the genius of our greatest diplomatist and greatest
citizen, Benjamin Franklin, France was openly enlisted on our side. She
gave us the Treaty of Alliance, and flung her sword into the trembling
scale. Through France was independence assured; without France it must
have been postponed. Such, Sir, is our obligation to France, infinite
in extent, which, ever paying, we must ever owe.

But is our obligation to Germany less? I cannot forget that this
great country, fertile in men as in thought, has contributed to ours
a population numerous and enlightened, by which the Republic is
strengthened and our civilization elevated. France contributed to
national independence; Germany to national strength and life. How shall
I undertake to determine the difference between these two obligations?
We owe infinitely to France; we owe infinitely to Germany. It is within
my knowledge,--indeed, I have learned it within a very few days,--that,
during this last year, Count Bismarck, in conversation with a personal
friend of my own, said, with something of pride, that Germany had in
the United States her second largest State after Prussia.

    MR. WILSON. What did he mean by that?

MR. SUMNER. The German statesman had encouraged emigration, by which
Germans come here; so that there is a German population among us larger
than that of any other German State after Prussia. Such, to my mind, is
the natural meaning of his language. Some of the largest German cities
are in our country; and all this population together is itself a State.

But, Sir, why consider this comparison? Here is simply a question
of charity. Now charity knows no distinction of persons, knows no
distinction of nations; especially does it know no distinction of
friends. I will not undertake to hold the balance between these two
mighty benefactors, to whom we are under such great and perhaps
equal obligations. Let us do all that we can for each, with this
understanding,--that, where there is the most suffering, there must our
charity go.


[1] Equality before the Law,--Argument before the Supreme Court of
Massachusetts, December 4, 1849: _Ante_, Vol. III. pp. 51, seqq.

[2] The Equal Rights of All,--Speech on the proposed Amendment of the
Constitution fixing the Basis of Representation, February 5 and 6,
1866: _Ante_, Vol. XIII. pp. 190-4.

[3] See article entitled “Admission of a Colored Lawyer to the Bar of
the Supreme Court of the United States,” February 1, 1865: _Ante_, Vol.
XII. pp. 97, seqq.

[4] “Le domicile est l’habitation fixée en quelque lieu, dans
l’intention d’y demeurer toujours.”--_Le Droit des Gens_, Liv. I. ch.
19, § 218.

[5] Senate Reports, 41st Cong. 2d Sess., No. 75, p. 2.

[6] March 16th, Mr. Revels, the recently admitted colored Senator from
Mississippi, made an eloquent speech in opposition to the Bingham

[7] American Insurance Co. _v._ Canter: 1 Peters, S. C. R., 542.

[8] M’Culloch _v._ The State of Maryland: 4 Wheaton, R., 409.

[9] “Habemus … Senatusconsultum, verumtamen inclusum in tabulis,
tanquam gladium in vagina reconditum.”--_Oratio I. in Catilinam_,
Cap. 2.

[10] Statutes at Large, Vol. XIV. p. 429.

[11] Law of Nations, Book II. ch. 12, § 197.

[12] Hamilton to Washington, April, 1793,--Cabinet Papers: Works, ed.
J. C. Hamilton, (New York, 1851,) Vol. IV. p. 368.

[13] Nicomachean Ethics, Book V. ch. 10, § 7.

[14] De Æquitate, Cap. 3.

[15] Reading on the Statute of Uses: Works, ed. Spedding, (London,
1859,) Vol. VII. p. 401.

[16] Dursley _v._ Berkeley: 6 Vesey, Ch. R., 260.

[17] Life and Death of Sir Matthew Hale, (London, 1682,) p. 106.

[18] Treatise on the Principles and Practical Influence of Taxation and
the Funding System, (2d edit., London, 1852,) p. 120.

[19] Treatise on the Principles and Practical Influence of Taxation and
the Funding System, (2d edit.,) p. 134.

[20] Hansard, Parliamentary Debates, 1842, 3d Ser., Vol. LXI. coll.
909, 913; LXII. 158, 169, 1077.

[21] Contra Aristogeitonem Oratio I., ed. Reiske, (Lipsiæ, 1770,) p.
774. 15.

[22] Senate Bill, No. 793,--introduced April 15, 1870.

[23] Vol. LXIV. p. 559, October, 1839.

[24] 35 Geo. III. c. 53, § 3. Lewins, Her Majesty’s Mails, (2d edit.,
London, 1865,) p. 100.

[25] Encyclopædia Britannica, (8th edit.,) Vol. XVIII. p. 404, art.

[26] Burton’s Diary, (London, 1828,) Vol. II. p. 156.

[27] Encyclopædia Britannica, (8th edit.,) Vol. XVIII. p. 405.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid., p. 407.

[31] Epilogue to Satires, Dial. I. 136-7. Lewins, Her Majesty’s Mails,
(2d edit.,) p. 111.

[32] Encyclopædia Britannica, (8th edit.,) Vol. XVIII. p. 407. Lewins,
Her Majesty’s Mails, (2d edit.,) p. 53.

[33] Encyc. Brit., _ubi supra_.

[34] Commentaries, Vol. I. p. 323.

[35] Burton’s Diary, Vol. II. p. 156.

[36] Hansard’s Parliamentary History, Vol. IV. col. 163, December 17,

[37] Encyclopædia Britannica, (8th edit.,) Vol. XVIII. p. 405. Lewins,
Her Majesty’s Mails, (2d edit.,) p. 97.

[38] Lewins, p. 100.

[39] Barber and Howe’s Historical Collections of New York, p. 290.

[40] Encyc. Brit., (8th edit.,) Vol. XVIII. p. 406.

[41] Statutes at Large, ed. Hening, Vol. I. p. 436. Encyc. Brit., (8th
edit.,) Vol. XVIII. p. 406.

[42] Lord Cornbury to the Lords of Trade, June 30, 1704: Documents
relative to the Colonial History of New York, ed. O’Callaghan, Vol. IV.
p. 1113.

[43] Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. XVIII. (8th edit.,) pp. 406, 408.

[44] Autobiography: Works, ed. Sparks, Vol. I. p. 174.

[45] Miles, History of the Post-Office: Bankers’ Magazine, (New York,
1857-58,) Vol. XII. pp. 342-3.

[46] Ibid., p. 343.

[47] Post-Office Reform, (4th edit.,) pp. 2-4.

[48] Post-Office Reform, (4th edit.,) pp. 12-14.

[49] Ibid., p. 44.

[50] Debates, June 15 and December 18, 1837: Mirror of Parliament,
cited in Encyclopædia Britannica, (8th edit.,) Vol. XVIII. p. 411.

[51] Second Report from Select Committee on Postage, p. 349,--Minutes
of Evidence, Nos. 10908, 10911: Parliamentary Papers, 1837-8, Vol. XX.
Part 2.

[52] Vol. LXIV. p. 541, October, 1839.

[53] Post-Office Reform, (4th edit.,) p. 6.

[54] See the full list in Appendix (A) to Second Report.

[55] Second Report, pp. 147, 148, 149,--Minutes of Evidence, Nos. 8126,
8130, 8134.

[56] Ibid., p. 52,--Minutes of Evidence, No. 6728.

[57] Second Report, p. 305,--Minutes of Evidence, No. 10378.

[58] Debate on the Budget, July 5, 1839: Hansard, 3d Ser., Vol. XLVIII.
col. 1373.

[59] Ibid., col. 1384.

[60] Speech on the Postage Duties Bill, July 22, 1839: Hansard, 3d
Ser., Vol. XLIX. coll. 638-9.

[61] Speech on Uniform Penny Postage, July 12, 1839: Hansard, 3d Ser.,
Vol. XLIX. col. 304.

[62] Debate on the Budget, July 5, 1839: Hansard, 3d Ser., Vol. XLVIII.
coll. 1408, 1409.

[63] Treasury Warrants, November 22 and December 27, 1839:
Parliamentary Papers, 1840, Vol. XLIV. No. 17.

[64] Section LVI.

[65] First Report from Select Committee on Postage, p. 16,--Minutes of
Evidence, No. 135: Parliamentary Papers, 1837-8, Vol. XX. Part 1.

[66] Third Report from Select Committee on Postage, p. 62:
Parliamentary Papers, 1837-8, Vol. XX. Part 1.

[67] In 1839, 75,907,572; in 1840, 168,768,344: First Report of
Postmaster-General, Appendix (D), p. 65: Parliamentary Papers, 1854-5,
Vol. XX.

[68] Ibid., Appendix (F), p. 68.

[69] Post-Office Reform, (4th edit.,) pp. 26, 44.

[70] Third Report of Postmaster-General, Appendix (B), (D), (G), pp.
36, 38, 47: Parliamentary Papers, 1857, Vol. IV.

[71] Results of the New Postage Arrangements: Journal of the
Statistical Society of London, Vol. IV. p. 96, July, 1841.

[72] Fraser’s Magazine, September, 1862,--Vol. LXVI. p. 335.

[73] Notes of a Traveller, (London, 1842,) pp. 169, 170.

[74] For this testimony, besides the works cited above, see Lewins,
Her Majesty’s Mails, (2d edit.,) pp. 198-201; and Report of Select
Committee on Postage, August, 1843, pp. 12-15: Parliamentary Papers,
1843, Vol. VIII.

[75] Lewins, Her Majesty’s Mails, (2d edit.,) pp. 191-4.

[76] Report, November 16, 1869, p. 23: Executive Documents, 41st Cong.
2d Sess., H. of R., No. 1, Part 1.

[77] Statutes at Large, Vol. I. pp. 235, 734; III. 264; IV. 105; V.
733; IX. 588; X. 641-2; XII. 705-6; XIII. 505, 507.

[78] Ibid., Vol. V. p. 749; XVI. 783, 833, 869.

[79] Ibid., Vol. XVI. p. 872. Report of Postmaster-General, Nov. 15,
1869, p. 14.

[80] Statutes at Large, Vol. XIII. p. 337; XVI. 1096. Report of the
Postmaster-General, December 3, 1868, p. 18.

[81] Act, July 1, 1864, Sec. 8: Statutes at Large, Vol. XIII. p. 337.

[82] History of the Post-Office: Bankers’ Magazine, (New York,)
December, 1857, Vol. XII. p. 443.

[83] Hill, Post-Office Reform, (4th edit.,) p. 70.

[84] Tower Armories: Parliamentary Papers, 1837-8, No. 478, Vol.
XXXVI.; 1839, No. 209, Vol. XXX.; 1840, No. 185, Vol. XXIX.; 1841, No.
243, Vol. XIII.; 1845, No. 576, Vol. XLV.

[85] Post-Office Reform, (4th edit.,) p. 70.

[86] First Report of Postmaster-General, App. (D), p. 65; Fourteenth
ditto, p. 5: Parliamentary Papers, 1854-5, Vol. XX.; 1867-8, Vol. XXII.

[87] Gentleman’s Magazine, April, 1815, Vol. LXXXV. Part I. p. 310: Of
the Office of Postmaster-General, 1677.

[88] Speech in the Senate, February 8, 1845.

[89] Report of Postmaster-General, December 1, 1845: Executive
Documents, 29th Cong. 1st Sess., H. of R., No. 2, p. 855.

[90] Report, December 7, 1846: Ex. Doc., 29th Cong. 2d Sess., H. of R.,
No. 4, p. 682.

[91] Report, December 6, 1847: Ex. Doc., 30th Cong. 1st Sess., H. of
R., No. 8, p. 1314.

[92] Report, December 3, 1849: Ex. Doc., 31st Cong. 1st Sess., H. of
R., No. 5, p. 776.

[93] Miles, Postal Reform, (New York, 1855,) § 34, pp. 25-27; also,
History of the Post-Office,--Bankers’ Magazine, (New York,) November,
1857, Vol. XII. p. 364.

[94] Miles, _ubi supra_.

[95] Letters from Postmaster-General, February 26 and May 21, 1870:
Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 2d Sess., Senate, No. 53, p. 8, and No.
86, p. 2.

[96] See, _ante_, p. 88.

[97] Report of Postmaster-General, November 15, 1869, pp. 104-5:
Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 2d Sess., H. of R., No. 1.

[98] Speech on the Postage Bill, February 7, 1845: Congressional Globe,
28th Cong 2d Sess., p. 258.

[99] First Report from Select Committee on Postage, p. 13,--Minutes of
Evidence, No. 114: Parliamentary Papers, 1837-8, Vol. XX. Part 1.

[100] Lewins, Her Majesty’s Mails, (2d edit.,) p. 172, note.

[101] Third Report from Select Committee on Postage, p. vi:
Parliamentary Papers, 1837-8, Vol. XX. Part 1.

[102] Second Report of Select Committee on Postage, p. 149,--Minutes of
Evidence, Nos. 8134, 8135: Parliamentary Papers, 1837-8, Vol. XX. Part

[103] Second Report of Select Committee on Postage, p. 303,--Minutes of
Evidence, No. 10362: Parliamentary Papers, 1837-8, Vol. XX. Part 2.

[104] Ibid., Minutes of Evidence, No. 10363.

[105] Second Report of Select Committee on Postage, p. 303,--Minutes of
Evidence, No. 10364.

[106] _Ante_, p. 87.

[107] Letters of Postmaster-General, February 26 and May 21, 1870:
Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 2d Sess., Senate, No. 53, p. 8, and No.
86, p. 2.

[108] Reports of Postmaster-General, December 3, 1868, p. 2, and
November 15, 1869, p. 3: Executive Documents, H. of R., No. 1, 40th
Cong. 3d Sess., and 41st Cong. 2d Sess.

[109] Report of the Postmaster-General, November 15, 1869, p. 27.

[110] For example, on letters of one half-ounce weight or under, the
rate for distances not exceeding five hundred miles was made five
cents, and for greater distances ten cents.--_Act to prescribe the
Rates of Postage_, February 23, 1861; Statute I. Ch. 13: Statutes
at Large of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of
America, (Richmond, 1864,) p. 34.

[111] Report of Mr. Fish, Secretary of State, March 10, 1870, with
Copy of Convention, November 8, and Letter from Mr. Reed to Mr. Cass,
November 10, 1858: Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 2d Sess., Senate,
No. 58, pp. 3, 14-17.

[112] Executive Documents, _ut supra_, p. 14. Statutes at Large, Vol.
XII. p. 1081.

[113] Executive Documents, _ut supra_, p. 16.

[114] Executive Documents, _ut supra_, pp. 16, 17.

[115] Ibid., p. 20.

[116] Executive Documents, _ut supra_, p. 18.

[117] Statutes at Large, Vol. XI. p. 408.

[118] Statutes at Large, Vol. XV. p. 440.

[119] Executive Documents, _ut supra_, p. 3.

[120] Ibid.

[121] Executive Documents, 36th Cong. 2d Sess., Senate, No. 1, p. 18.

[122] Executive Documents, 37th Cong. 2d Sess., Senate, No. 1, p. 5.

[123] See Appendix (A).

[124] Diplomatic Correspondence, 1862-3, pp. 843-6: Executive
Documents, 37th Cong. 3d Sess., H. of R., No. 1, Vol. I.

[125] Diplomatic Correspondence, 1864-5, Part 3, pp. 346-8: Executive
Documents, 38th Cong. 2d Sess., H. of R., No. 1, Vol. III.

[126] Mr. Burlingame to Mr. Seward, May 19, 1862: Diplomatic
Correspondence, 1862-3, p. 844.--This disposition of the surplus
appears to have been first suggested as early as November, 1860, in
an informal communication to Mr. Cass from Mr. S. Wells Williams, the
accomplished Chinese scholar, and interpreter to the U. S. Legation in
China. The outlines of the plan there mentioned were afterwards more
fully developed in Mr. Burlingame’s dispatches.

[127] Mr. Burlingame to Mr. Seward, May 19, 1862: Diplomatic
Correspondence, 1862-3, p. 845.

[128] Ibid.

[129] Appendix (B).

[130] Executive Documents, 40th Cong. 3d Sess., H. of R., No. 29, p. 4.

[131] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 2d Sess., Senate, No. 58, p. 3.

[132] Executive Documents, 40th Cong. 3d Sess., H. of R., No. 29, p. 3.

[133] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 2d Sess., Senate, No. 58, p. 3.

[134] Speech, June 11, 1852: Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates, 3d Ser.,
Vol. CXXII. col. 494.

[135] Speech, June 4, 1861: Ibid., Vol. CLXIII. col. 579.

[136] Mémoire à consulter et Consultation concernant l’Indemnité due
au Baron de Bode, Londres, 1845. De Bode _vs._ The Queen, 3 House of
Lords Cases, 449. Reports from Select Committees of House of Lords in
1852 and House of Commons in 1861 on Petitions of the Baron de Bode:
Parliamentary Papers, 1860, Vol. XXII. No. 482, and 1861, Vol. XI. No.

[137] Mr. Reed to Mr. Cass, November 10, 1858: See _ante_, p. 119.

[138] Mr. Williams to Mr. Burlingame, October 1, 1863: Diplomatic
Correspondence, 1865-6, Part 2, pp. 411-12: Executive Documents, 39th
Cong. 1st Sess., H. of R., No. 1.

[139] Mr. Burlingame to Mr. Richardson, September 3, 1864,--Claims
against China, p. 211: Executive Documents, 40th Cong. 3d Sess., H. of
R., No. 29.

[140] Mr. Burlingame to Mr. Seward, May, 1865,--Diplomatic
Correspondence, 1865-6, Part 2, p. 442: Executive Documents, 39th Cong.
1st Sess., H. of R., No. 1.

[141] Claims against China, p. 173: Executive Documents, 40th Cong. 3d
Sess., H. of R., No. 29.

[142] Ibid., p. 10.

[143] Ibid., pp. 9, 10.

[144] Claims against China, p. 13; see also pp. 172-182: Executive
Documents, 40th Cong. 3d Sess., H. of R., No. 29.

[145] Mr. Burlingame to Mr. Seward,--Diplomatic Correspondence, 1865-6,
Part 2, p. 406: Executive Documents, 39th Cong. 1st Sess., H. of R.,
No. 1.

[146] Memoirs of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, edited by his Son, (5th
edit., London, 1852,) p. 243.

[147] Memoirs, (5th edit.,) p. 245.

[148] Ibid., p. 243.

[149] See Congressional Globe, 41st Cong. 2d Sess., Part VI. p. 5155.

[150] Case of Rev. Samuel Harrison, April 23, 1864: Official Opinions
of the Attorneys-General, Vol. XI. pp. 37-43.

[151] Speech at Bloomington, Ill., July 16, 1858: Political Debates
between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas in the
Campaign of 1858 in Illinois, (Columbus, 1860,) p. 35.

[152] Speech at Springfield, Ill., July 17, 1858: Political Debates, p.

[153] Speech at Springfield, Ill., July 17, 1858: Political Debates, p.

[154] Speech at Alton, Ill., October 15, 1858: Political Debates, p.

[155] Crosby’s Life of Lincoln, p. 33.

[156] Ibid., p. 86.

[157] Crosby’s Life of Lincoln, p. 87.

[158] For more of the letter in question, and the circumstances which
gave occasion to it, see, _ante_, Vol. IV. pp. 151-3.

[159] “Puro pioque duello.”--_Historiæ_, Lib. I. cap. 32.

[160] “Arte duellica.”--_Epidicus_, Act. III. Sc. iv. 14.

[161] “Vacuum duellis.”--_Carmina_, Lib. IV. xv. 8.

[162] La tres joyeuse, plaisante et recreative Hystoire, composée par
le Loyal Serviteur, des Faiz, Gestes, Triumphes et Prouesses du Bon
Chevalier sans Paour et sans Reprouche, le Gentil Seigneur de Bayart:
Petitot, Collection des Mémoires relatifs à l’Histoire de France, Tom.
XV. pp. 241, 242.

[163] Table-Talk, ed. Singer, (London, 1856,) p. 47,--_Duel._

[164] Robertson, History of the Reign of Charles V.: View of the
Progress of Society in Europe, Section I. Note XXII.

[165] Coxe, History of the House of Austria, (London, 1820,) Ch. XIX.,
Vol. I. p. 378.

[166] Acte pour la Constitution fédérative de l’Allemagne du 8 Juin
1815, Art. 11: Archives Diplomatiques, (Stuttgart et Tubingue,
1821-36,) Vol. IV. p. 15.

[167] Journal Officiel du Soir, 3 Juillet 1870.

[168] Journal Officiel du Soir, 2 Juillet 1870.

[169] Ibid., 8 Juillet.

[170] Ibid.

[171] Ibid.

[172] Bismarck to Bernstorff, July 19, 1870, with Inclosures:
Parliamentary Papers, 1870, Vol. LXX.,--Franco-Prussian War, No. 3,
pp. 5-8. Gerolt to Fish, August 11, 1870, with Inclosures: Executive
Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., H. of R., Vol. I. No. 1, Part
1,--Foreign Relations, pp. 219-221. The reader will notice that the
copy of the Telegram in this latter volume is the paper on p. 221, with
the erroneous heading, “_Count Bismarck to Baron Gerolt_.”

[173] Bismarck to Bernstorff, July 18, and to Gerolt, July 19, 1870:
Parliamentary Papers and Executive Documents, Inclosures, _ubi supra_.

[174] Journal Officiel du Soir, 17 Juillet 1870.

[175] “De ce jour commence pour les ministres mes collègues, et pour
moi, une grande responsibilité. [“Oui!” _à gauche_.] Nous l’acceptons,
le cœur léger.”

[176] For the full debate, see the _Journal Officiel du Soir_, 17
Juillet 1870, and _Supplément_.

[177] Earl Granville to Lords Lyons and Loftus, July 15,
1870,--Correspondence respecting the Negotiations preliminary to the
War between France and Prussia, p. 35: Parliamentary Papers, 1870, Vol.

[178] Lord Lyons to Earl Granville, July 15, 1870,--Correspondence
respecting the Negotiations preliminary to the War between France and
Prussia, pp. 39, 40: Parliamentary Papers, 1870, Vol. LXX.

[179] See references, _ante_, p. 19, Note 1. For this telegram in the
original, see Aegidi und Klauhold, _Staatsarchiv_, (Hamburg, 1870,) 19
Band, s. 44, No. 4033.

[180] Journal Officiel du Soir, 17 Juillet 1870.

[181] Ibid., 20 Juillet.

[182] Ibid., 23 Juillet.

[183] Substance of Speech of Bismarck to the Reichstag, [July 20,
1870,] explanatory of Documents relating to the Declaration of
War,--Franco-Prussian War, No. 3, p. 29: Parliamentary Papers, 1870,
Vol. LXX. Discours du Comte de Bismarck au Reichstag, le 20 Juillet
1870: Angeberg, [Chodzko,] Recueil des Traités, etc., concernant la
Guerre Franco-Allemande, Tom. I. p. 215.

[184] Aegidi und Klauhold, Staatsarchiv, 19 Band, s. 107, No. 4056.
Parliamentary Papers, 1870, Vol. LXX.: Franco-Prussian War, No. 3, pp.

[185] For the foregoing statistics, see _Almanach de Gotha_, 1870,
under the names of the several States referred to,--also, for Areas and
Population, _Tableaux Comparatifs_, I., II., III., in same volume, pp.

[186] “So wie die Franzosen die Herren des Landes sind, die Engländer
die des grössern Meeres, wir die der Beide und Alles umfassenden Luft
sind.”--RICHTER, (Jean Paul,) _Frieden-Predigt an Deutschland_, V.:
Sämmtliche Werke, (Berlin, 1826-38,) Theil XXXIV. s. 13.

[187] Conversations-Lexikon, (Leipzig, 1866,) 8 Band, art.
HOHENZOLLERN. Carlyle’s History of Friedrick II., (London, 1858,) Book
III. Ch. 1, Vol. I. p. 200.

[188] Antoinette, daughter of Étienne Murat, third brother of
Joachim.--_Biographie Générale_, (Didot,) Tom. XXXVI. col. 984, art.
MURAT, note.

[189] Almanach de Gotha, 1870, pp. 85-87, art. HOHENZOLLERN-SIGMARINGEN.

[190] Address at the Palais de Saint-Cloud, July 16, 1870: Journal
Officiel du Soir, 18 Juillet 1870.

[191] Hume, History of England, Ch. LXV., March 17, 1672.--The terms
of the Declaration on this point were,--“Scarce a town within their
territories that is not filled with abusive pictures.” (Hansard’s
_Parliamentary History_, Vol. IV. col. 514.) Upon which Hume remarks:
“The Dutch were long at a loss what to make of this article, till it
was discovered that a portrait of Cornelius de Witt, brother to the
Pensionary, painted by order of certain magistrates of Dort, and hung
up in a chamber of the Town-House, had given occasion to the complaint.
In the perspective of this portrait the painter had drawn some ships
on fire in a harbor. This was construed to be Chatham, where De Witt
had really distinguished himself,” during the previous war, in the way
here indicated,--“the disgrace” of which, says Lingard, “sunk deep into
the heart of the King and the hearts of his subjects.”--_History of
England_, Vol. IX. Ch. III., June 13, 1667.

[192] Briefe der Prinzessin Elisabeth Charlotte von Orleans an die
Raugräfin Louise, 1676-1722, herausg. von W. Menzel, (Stuttgart,
1843,)--Paris, 31 Mertz, 1718, s. 288.

[193] Mémoires, (Paris, 1829,) Tom. VII. pp. 49-51; XIII. pp. 9-10.

[194] Merry Wives of Windsor, Act V. Sc. 5.

[195] Queen of Corinth, Act IV. Sc. 3.

[196] Milton, Il Penseroso, 97-98.

[197] History of England, (Oxford, 1826,) Ch. XVI., Vol. II. p. 407.

[198] Sismondi, Histoire des Français, Tom. XVI. pp. 241-42. Martin,
Histoire de France, (4ème édit.,) Tom. VIII. pp. 67, 68.

[199] History of England, (Oxford, 1826,) Ch. XXIX., Vol. IV. p. 51.

[200] Sismondi, Tom. XVI. p. 277. Martin, Tom. VIII. p. 90.

[201] Paradise Lost, Book I. 25-26.

[202] Séance du 26 Septembre 1848: Moniteur, 27 Septembre.

[203] A ses Concitoyens: Œuvres, Tom. III. p. 25.

[204] Séance du 20 Décembre 1848: Moniteur, 21 Décembre.

[205] A member of the secret society of the _Carbonari_ in Italy.

[206] Of Wisdom for a Man’s Self: Essay XXIII.

[207] Matthew, xxvi. 52.

[208] Siècle de Louis XIV., Ch. XIV.: Œuvres, (édit. 1784-89,) Tom. XX.
p. 406.

[209] Histoire des Français, Tom. XXV. pp. 452-53.

[210] Circular of September 16, 1870: Foreign Relations of the United
States,--Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., H. of R., Vol. I.
No. 1, Part 1, pp. 212-13.

[211] Circular of September 16, 1870,--_ubi supra_, p. 49, Note 1.

[212] Voltaire, Siècle de Louis XIV., Ch. XIV.: Œuvres, (édit.
1784-89,) Tom. XX. p. 403.

[213] De Jure Belli et Pacis, tr. Whewell, Lib. II. Cap. 6, § 4.

[214] De Jure Naturæ et Gentium, Lib. VIII. Cap. 5, § 9.

[215] Le Droit des Gens, Liv. I. Ch. 21, § 264.

[216] Almanach de Gotha, 1870, p. 599.

[217] Utopia, tr. Burnet, (London, 1845,) Book I. pp. 29, 30.

[218] Brougham, Lives of Men of Letters, (London and Glasgow, 1856,) p.
59,--_Voltaire_. See also Voltaire, _Mémoires pour servir à la Vie de,
écrits par lui-même_, (édit. 1784-89,) Tom. LXX. p. 279; also Frédéric
II., _Histoire de mon Temps_, Œuvres Posthumes, (Berlin, 1789,) Tom. I.
Part. I. p. 78.

[219] Mémoires, Tom. II. p. 133.

[220] “Nicht durch Reden und Majoritätsbeschlüsse werden die grossen
Fragen der Zeit entschieden,--das ist der Fehler von 1848 und 1849
gewesen,--sondern durch Eisen und Blut.”--_Aeusserungen in der
Budgetkommission_, September, 1862.

[221] Vapereau, Dictionnaire Universel des Contemporains.

[222] “Plurimis ac valentissimis nationibus cincti, non per obsequium,
sed prœliis et periclitando tuti sunt.”--_Germania_, Cap. XL.

[223] J. J. Rousseau, Extrait du Projet de Paix Perpétuelle de M.
l’Abbé de Saint-Pierre; avec Lettre à M. de Bastide, et Jugement sur la
Paix Perpétuelle: Œuvres, (édit. 1788-93,) Tom. VII. pp. 339-418.

[224] Observations sur le Projet d’une Paix Perpétuelle de M. l’Abbé de
Saint-Pierre: Opera, ed. Dutens, (Genevæ, 1768,) Tom. V. p. 56.

[225] Der ewige und allgemeine Friede in Europa, nach dem Entwurf
Heinrichs IV.

[226] Neues Staatsgebäude.

[227] Ueber das unvermeidliche Unrecht.

[228] Zum ewigen Frieden.

[229] Idee zu einer allgemeinen Geschichte in weltbürgerlicher Absicht.

[230] Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der Rechtslehre.

[231] Victor Hugo, Discours d’Ouverture du Congrès de la Paix à Paris,
21 Août 1849: Treize Discours, (Paris, 1851,) p. 19.

[232] Grundlage des Naturrechts.

[233] La Solidarité, 25 Juin 1870,--as cited by Testu,
_L’Internationale_, (7ème édit.,) p. 275.

[234] The General Council of the International Working-Men’s
Association on the War, (London, July 23, 1870,) p. iv.

[235] Testu, L’Internationale, pp. 279-80. The General Council of the
International Working-Men’s Association on the War, p. ii.

[236] Testu, pp. 284-85. The General Council, etc., p. iii.

[237] The General Council of the International Working-Men’s
Association on the War, p. iii.

[238] Ibid.

[239] Herald of Peace for 1870, September 1st, pp. 101-2.

[240] Ibid., October 1st, p. 125.

[241] Herald of Peace for 1870, October 1st, p. 125.

[242] See, _ante_, p. 181.

[243] “Nous deffendons à tous les batailles par tout nostre demengne,
… et en lieu des batailles nous meton prüeves de tesmoins.… Et ces
batailles nous ostons en nostre demaigne à toûjours.”--_Recueil Général
des Anciennes Lois Françaises_, par Jourdan, etc., (Paris, 1822-33,)
Tom. I. pp. 283-90.

[244] “Crudele gladiatorum spectaculum et inhumanum nonnullis videri
solet: et haud scio an ita sit, ut nunc fit.”--_Tusculanæ Quæstiones_,
Lib. II. Cap. XVII. 41.

[245] Suetonius: _Titus_, Cap. IX. Merivale, History of the Romans
under the Empire, (London, 1862,) Ch. LX., Vol. VII. p. 56.

[246] St. Telemachus, A. D. 404. Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire, ed. Milman, (London, 1846,) Ch. XXX., Vol. III. p. 70. Smith,
Dict. Gr. and Rom. Biog. and Myth., art. TELEMACHUS.

[247] Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, _ubi supra_.

[248] Scene after the Battle of Sedan: Herald of Peace for 1870,
October 1st, p. 121.

[249] De l’Esprit des Lois, Liv. XI. Ch. 6.

[250] “La France se perdra par les gens de guerre.”--_Pensées
Diverses_,--_Variétés_: Œuvres Mélées et Posthumes, (Paris, 1807,
Didot,) Tom. II. p. 138.

[251] Almagest, ed. et tr. Halma, (Paris, 1816-20,) Tom. II. pp. 72, 73.

[252] Naturales Quæstiones, Lib. I. Cap. 1.

[253] Dionysius Halicarnassensis, Antiquitates Romanæ, Lib. IV. Capp.

[254] Travels of the Russian Mission through Mongolia to China, and
Residence in Peking, in 1820-21, by George Timkowski, Vol. I. pp.

[255] See the _New York Times_ of August 11, 1870, where the reputed
prophecy is cited in these terms, in a letter of the 27th July from
the London correspondent of that journal, with remarks indicating an
expectation of its fulfilment in the results of the present war. This
famous saying has been variously represented; but the following are
its original terms, as recorded at the time by Las Cases, to whom it
was addressed in conversation, and as authenticated by the Commission
appointed by Louis Napoleon for the collection and publication of the
matters now composing the magnificent work entitled “Correspondance de
Napoléon Ier”:--

“_Dans l’état actuel des choses, avant dix ans_, toute l’Europe
_peut être_ cosaque, ou toute en république.”--LAS CASES, _Mémorial
de Sainte-Hélène_, (Réimpression de 1823 et 1824,) Tom. III. p.
111,--Journal, 18 Avril 1816. _Correspondance de Napoléon Ier_, (Paris,
1858-69,) Tom. XXXII. p. 326.

[256] Columbian Centinel, June 18, 1825.

[257] Address at the Consecration of the National Cemetery at
Gettysburg, November 19, 1863: McPherson’s Political History of the
United States during the Great Rebellion, p. 606.

[258] “The cause of Liberty in Italy needs the _word_ of the United
States Government, which would be more powerful in its behalf than that
of any other.”--_Message to Mr. Sumner from Caprera_, May 24, 1869.

[259] Statutes at Large, Vol. XI. pp. 52-65.

[260] The Select Committee appointed to investigate the Memorial of
Davis Hatch.--See Senate Reports, 41st Cong. 2d Sess., No. 234.

[261] Senate Reports, _ut supra_, p. 188.

[262] Ollivier: Debate in the Corps Législatif, July 15, 1870, previous
to the Declaration of War against Prussia.--_Journal Officiel du Soir_,
17 Juillet 1870.

[263] Dana’s edition. Lawrence, 2d edit., pp. 455-56.

[264] Dana’s edition. Lawrence, 2d edit., p. 884.

[265] See Message to the House of Representatives, March 28, 1860, and
the Report thereon: House Journal, p. 620; Reports of Committees, 36th
Cong. 1st Sess., No. 394.

[266] “Parcere subjectis, et debellare superbos.”--_Æneid_, VI. 853.

[267] Sonetto XXXVII.

[268] De Oratore, Lib. II. Cap. 20.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Charles Sumner; his complete works, volume 18 (of 20)" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.