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Title: Charles Sumner; his complete works, volume 19 (of 20)
Author: Sumner, Charles
Language: English
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    [Illustration: A. W. Elson & Co. Boston: FREDERICK DOUGLASS]

             Statesman Edition                 Vol. XIX

                            Charles Sumner

                          HIS COMPLETE WORKS

                           With Introduction
                       HON. GEORGE FRISBIE HOAR


                            LEE AND SHEPARD

                           COPYRIGHT, 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.



    COLORED SCHOOLS IN WASHINGTON. Speech in the Senate, February
    8, 1871                                                            1

    in the Senate, on his Death, February 10, 1871                    12

    ITALIAN UNITY AGAIN. Letter to a Public Meeting at Pittsburg,
    Pennsylvania, February 21, 1871                                   15

    Speech in the Senate, on his San Domingo Resolutions, March 27,
    1871                                                              16

    AN EXPLANATION IN REPLY TO AN ASSAULT. Statement prepared for
    Presentation to the Senate, March, 1871                           99

    THE KU-KLUX-KLAN. Speech in the Senate, on the Bill to enforce
    the Provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution,
    April 13, 1871                                                   125

    OUR DUTY AGAINST WRONG. Letter to the Reform League, New York,
    May 8, 1871                                                      131

    the Senate, May 18 and 27, 1871                                  132

    THE HAYTIAN MEDAL. Response to the Letter of Presentation, July
    13, 1871                                                         154

    W. Walker, President of the Board of School Directors of
    Jefferson, Texas, July 28, 1871                                  158

    Boston, introducing M. Athanase Coquerel, of Paris, October 9,
    1871                                                             159

    Hall, at a Meeting for the Relief of Sufferers at Chicago,
    October 10, 1871                                                 161

    the National Convention of Colored Citizens at Columbia, South
    Carolina, October 12, 1871                                       164

    ONE TERM FOR PRESIDENT. Resolution and Remarks in the Senate,
    December 21, 1871                                                168

    THE BEST PORTRAITS IN ENGRAVING. Article in “The City,” an
    Illustrated Magazine, New York, January 1, 1872                  175

    in the Senate, on his Supplementary Civil Rights Bill, as an
    Amendment to the Amnesty Bill. January 15, 17, 31, February 5,
    and May 21, 1872                                                 203



    On the motion of Mr. Patterson, of New Hampshire, Chairman of
    the Committee on the District of Columbia, to strike out from a
    bill relative to schools in the District the clause,--

        “And no distinction, on account of race, color, or previous
        condition of servitude, shall be made in the admission of
        pupils to any of the schools under the control of the Board
        of Education, or in the mode of education or treatment of
        pupils in such schools,”--

    Mr. Sumner said:--

MR. PRESIDENT,--My friend, the Chairman of the Committee, says that
this proposition is correct in principle. But to my mind nothing is
clearer than that where anything is correct in principle it must by
inevitable law be correct in practice. Nobody here makes this law,--not
the Senate, not Congress. By a higher law than any from human power,
whatever is correct in principle must be correct in practice.

I stand on this rule. It is the teaching of all history; it is the
teaching of human life; especially is it the teaching of our national
experience during these latter eventful years. How often have
propositions been opposed in this Chamber as correct in principle, but
not practical! And how often what was correct in principle triumphed
over every obstacle! When the proposition for the abolition of Slavery
in the District was brought forward, we were told that it was correct
in principle, but that it would not work well,--that it was not
practical! So when the proposition was brought forward to give the
colored people the right to testify in court, we were assured that it
was correct in principle, but that it would not be practical.

The same objection was made to the proposition that colored people
should ride in the horse-cars; and I was gravely told that white
people would not use the cars, if they were opened to colored people.
The proposition prevailed, and you and others know whether any injury
therefrom has been done to the cars.

Then, again, when it was proposed to give the ballot to all, it was
announced that it might be correct in principle, but that it was not
practical; and I, Sir, was seriously assured by an eminent citizen that
it would bring about massacre at the polls.

Now that it is proposed to apply the same principle to the schools, we
are again assured, with equal seriousness and gravity, that, though
correct in principle, it is not practical. Sir, I take issue on that
general proposition. I insist that whatever is correct in principle is
practical. Anything else would make this world a failure, and obedience
to the laws of God impossible.

The provision which my friend would strike out is simply to carry into
education the same principle which we have carried into the court-room,
into the horse-car, and to the ballot-box: that is all. If there be any
argument in favor of the provision in these other cases, allow me to
say that it is stronger in the school-room, inasmuch as the child is
more impressionable than the man. You should not begin life with a rule
that sanctions a prejudice. Therefore do I insist, especially for the
sake of children, for the sake of those tender years most susceptible
to human influence, that we should banish a rule which will make them
grow up with a separation which will be to them a burden: a burden to
the white; for every prejudice is a burden to him who has it; and a
burden to the black, who will suffer always under the degradation.

With what consistency can you deny to the child equal rights in the
school-room and then give him equal rights at the ballot-box? Having
already accorded equal rights at the ballot-box, I insist upon his
equal right in the school-room also. One is the complement of the
other. It is not enough to give him a separate school, where he may
have the same kind of education with the white child. He will not have
the same kind of education. Every child, white or black, has a right to
be placed under precisely the same influences, with the same teachers,
in the same school-room, without any discrimination founded on his
color. You disown distinctions of sect: why keep up those of color?

A great protection to the colored child, and a great assurance of his
education, will be that he is educated on the same benches and by the
same teachers with the white child. You may give him what is sometimes
called an equivalent in another school; but this is not equality. His
right is to equality, and not to equivalency. He has equality only
when he comes into your common-school and finds no exclusion there on
account of his skin.

Strike out this provision, and you will say to the children of this
District: “There is a prejudice of color which we sanction; continue
it; grow up with it in your souls.” And worse still, the prejudice
which you sanction will extend from this centre over the whole country.
This is a centre, and not a corner. What we do here will be an example
in distant places.

My friend says that this provision will hurt the schools. Pardon me;
he is mistaken. It will help the schools. Everything that brings the
schools into harmony with great principles and with divine truth must
help them. Anything that makes them antagonistic to great principles
and to divine truth hurts them. Strike out this provision, and you hurt
them seriously, vitally,--you stab them here in the house of their
friends. In a bill to promote education you deal it a fatal blow.

Sir, as I cherish education, as I love freedom, as at all times I stand
by human rights, so do I cherish, love, and stand by this safeguard. It
is worth the whole bill. Strike it out, and the bill is too poor to be
adopted. If it should be passed, thus shorn,--I say it, Sir, because I
must say it,--it will bring disgrace upon Congress.

To the colored people here we owe, certainly, equality; we owe to
them the practical recognition of the promises of the Declaration of
Independence; and still further, we must see that the common schools of
this District are an example throughout the country. We cannot afford
to do less. Everywhere throughout the region lately cursed by Slavery
this dark prejudice still lingers and lowers. From our vantage-ground
here we must strike it, and, according to our power, destroy it. But if
the proposition of my friend prevails, you will encourage and foster it.

Now, Sir, against the statement of my friend, the Chairman, I oppose
the statement of experts,--I oppose a statement which, I venture to say
here, cannot be answered. It is not my statement. I should not venture
to say anything like that of anything that I said. I oppose a Report
made by the Trustees of the Colored Schools in Washington, and I ask
the attention of the Senate to what I read. It is a Report made to the
Secretary of the Interior, December 31, 1870, and communicated to the
Senate by the Secretary, January 18, 1871.[1] Under the head of “Need
of Additional Legislation” the Trustees of the Colored Schools express
themselves as follows:--

    “It is our judgment that the best interests of the colored
    people of this capital, and not theirs alone, but those of all
    classes, require the abrogation of all laws and institutions
    creating or tending to perpetuate distinctions based on color,
    and the enactment in their stead of such provisions as shall
    secure equal privileges to all classes of citizens. The laws
    creating the present system of separate schools for colored
    children in this District were enacted as a temporary expedient
    to meet a condition of things which has now passed away.”[2]

How wise is that remark! These are colored men who wrote this. They

    “The laws creating the present system of separate schools for
    colored children in this District were enacted as a temporary
    expedient to meet a condition of things which has now passed

That condition of things was a part of the legacy of Slavery. They then

    “That they recognize and tend to perpetuate a cruel,
    unreasonable, and unchristian prejudice, which has been and
    is the source of untold wrong and injustice to that class of
    the community which we represent, is ample reason for their
    modification. The experience of this community for the last few
    years has fully demonstrated that the association of different
    races, in their daily occupations and civic duties, is as
    consistent with the general convenience as it is with justice.
    And custom is now fully reconciled at this capital to the
    seating side by side of white and colored people in the railway
    car, the jury-box, the municipal and Government offices, in
    the city councils, and even in the Halls of the two Houses of
    Congress. Yet, while the fathers may sit together in those high
    places of honor and trust, the children are required by law to
    be educated apart. We see neither reason nor justice in this
    discrimination. If the fathers are fit to associate, why are
    not the children equally so?”[3]

I should like my honorable friend, the Chairman, to answer that
question, when I have finished this Report: “If the fathers are fit
to associate, why are not the children equally so?” The Report then

    “Children, naturally, are not affected by this prejudice of
    race or color. To educate them in separate schools tends
    to beget and intensify it in their young minds, and so to
    perpetuate it to future generations. If it is the intention of
    the United States that these children shall become citizens in
    fact, equal before the law with all others, why train them to
    recognize these unjust and impolitic distinctions?”[4]

Here I would interpose the further inquiry, Why will you make your
school-house the nursery of prejudice inconsistent with the declared
principles of your institutions? The Report proceeds:--

    “To do so is not only contrary to reason, but also to the
    injunction of Scripture, which says, ‘Train up a child in the
    way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from

And yet, could my friend prevail, he would train up a child in the way
he should _not_ go; but he would not, I know, encourage him in this
prejudice. The Report proceeds:--

    “Objection to the step here recommended has been made on the
    ground of expediency. Every advanced step in the same direction
    has been opposed on the same superficial allegation.

    “The right of the colored man to ride in the railway cars,
    to cast the ballot, to sit on the jury, to hold office, and
    even to bear arms in defence of his country, has encountered
    the same objection. We are confident that it will prove of no
    greater weight in the present case than it has in the others.
    There is no argument for equality at the ballot-box, in the
    cars, on the jury, in holding office and bearing arms, which
    is not equally applicable in the present case. We may go
    further, and insist that equality in the other cases requires
    equality here; otherwise the whole system is incomplete and

Now my friend, the Chairman, would make the system incomplete and
inharmonious. He would continue here at the base that discord which he
would be one of the last to recognize in the higher stages. The Report

    “It is worthy of note in this connection, that some of the most
    distinguished men in literary, social, and political circles in
    this section of the country have recently, in setting forth
    their claims to be considered the best and truest friends of
    the people of color, taken pains to inform the public that they
    were reared with colored children, played with them in the
    sports of childhood, and were even suckled by colored nurses in
    infancy; hence, that no prejudice against color exists on their
    part. If this be so, then with what show of consistency or
    reason can they object to the children of both classes sitting
    side by side in school?

    “That the custom of separation on account of color must
    disappear from our public schools, as it has from our halls
    of justice and of legislation, we regard as but a question
    of time. Whether this unjust, unreasonable, and unchristian
    discrimination against our children shall continue at the
    capital of this great Republic is for the wisdom of Congress to

    “We deem it proper to add, that a bill now before the honorable
    Senate, entitled ‘A bill to secure equal rights in the public
    schools of Washington and Georgetown,’ (Senate, No. 361,
    Forty-First Congress, Second Session,) reported to that body
    May 6, 1870, by Mr. Senator Sumner, meets our approbation.
    It is plain and simple, and prescribes the true rule of
    equality for our schools. This bill is in the nature of a

This Report, so honorable to these Trustees, showing that they have a
true appreciation of principle, also of what they owe to themselves
and their race, and I trust also a true appreciation of what they may
justly expect from Congress, concludes as follows:--

    “In conclusion, the Trustees suggest that those equal
    educational advantages to which all children are entitled,
    in accordance with the great principle of Equality before
    the Law, can be obtained only through the common school,
    where all children meet together in the enjoyment of the
    same opportunities, the same improvements, and the same
    instructions. Whatever then is done for white children will be
    shared by their colored brethren, and all shall enjoy the same
    care and supervision.”[8]

This is signed, “William Syphax, William H. A. Wormley, Trustees of
Colored Schools.”

There is then a Minority Report, signed, “Charles King, Trustee of
Colored Schools of Washington and Georgetown,” dissenting in some
respects from the Majority Report, but coïnciding with it absolutely
on this most important question. From the Minority Report I read as

    “In reference to schools of mixed races I think a difference of
    opinion may exist among the real friends of the colored people;
    but the time is rapidly approaching when this discrimination
    must be obliterated all over our country, and I know of no
    better locality in which to make a beginning than in the
    District of Columbia, and no better time than the present.”[9]

Sir, these are wise words. That is well put; whatever may be the
difficulties elsewhere, they should not be allowed to prevail here.
This member of the Board knows “no better locality in which to make a
beginning than in the District of Columbia, and no better time than the

He then proceeds:--

    “Let all discrimination on account of color be avoided in the
    public schools of Washington, let them be amply provided for in
    respect to funds and teachers, and a very few years will see
    the example followed all over our free country. The colored
    race will feel the stimulating effects of direct competition
    with the white race, their ambition and self-respect will grow
    under its influence and add dignity to their character, and
    rapidly develop a style and type of manhood that must place
    them on an equality with any of the other races of men.

    “We have seen this prejudice die out on the field of battle,
    where white and colored have fought together for the same flag.
    It has been met and conquered at the ballot-box and in the
    halls of our local and general Legislatures, and why should
    it not receive the same fate in our school-rooms? Why educate
    American youth in the idea that superiority exists in the color
    of the skin, when our Declaration of Independence, of which we
    boast so much, flatly contradicts it?”[10]

Now, Sir, I might well leave this whole question on this remarkable
statement by these colored Trustees. They have spoken for themselves,
for their race, and for us. Who can speak better? I know not if
anything can be added to their Reports. I content myself with one
further word, concluding as I began.

The Senator from New Hampshire finds the principle correct, but not
practical. To that I say, Try it. Try the principle, and it will be
found practical. It will work. Never was there any correct principle
that would not work. I know it is sometimes said that white parents
would not send their children to the schools. How long would that be?
One week, two weeks, one month, two months. Some might do so possibly
for a brief time, just as for a brief time white persons refused to
enter the street cars when they were opened to colored persons. It did
not last long. According to my experience, men are not in the habit of
biting off their own noses for any very long time. Life is too short
to prolong this process; and I do not believe that the people of the
District of Columbia would reject for their children the advantages
of the common schools simply because these schools were brought into
harmony with the promises of the Declaration of Independence.



MR. PRESIDENT,--I venture to interpose a brief word of sincere homage
to the late JOHN COVODE. I call him John Covode, for so I heard him
called always. Others are known by some title of honor or office, but
he was known only by the simple name he bore. This familiar designation
harmonized with his unassuming life and character.

During his long service in Congress I was in the Senate, so that I have
been his contemporary. And now that he has gone before me, I owe my
testimony to the simplicity, integrity, and patriotism of his public
life. Always simple, always honest, always patriotic, he leaves a
name which must be preserved in the history of Congress. In the long
list of its members he will stand forth with an individuality not to
be forgotten. How constantly and indefatigably he toiled the records
of the other House declare. He was a doer rather than a speaker; but
is not doing more than speech, unless in those rare cases where a
speech is an act? But his speech had a plainness not without effect,
especially before the people, where the facts and figures which he
presented with honest voice were eloquent.

The Rebellion found this faithful Representative in his place, and
from the first moment to the last he gave to its suppression time,
inexhaustible energy, and that infinite treasure, the life of a son.
He was for the most vigorous measures, whether in the field or in
statesmanship. Slavery had no sanctity for him, and he insisted upon
striking it. So also, when the Rebellion was suppressed, he insisted
always upon those Equal Rights for All, without which the Declaration
of Independence is an unperformed promise, and our nation a political
bankrupt. In all these things he showed character and became a
practical leader. There is heroism elsewhere than on fields of battle,
and he displayed it. He was a civic hero. And here the bitterness which
he encountered was the tribute to his virtue.

In doing honor to this much-deserving servant, I cannot err, if I add
that nobody had more at heart the welfare of the Republican Party,
with which, in his judgment, were associated the best interests of the
Nation. He felt, that, giving to his party, he gave to his country
and to mankind. His strong sense and the completeness of his devotion
to party made him strenuous always for those commanding principles
by which Humanity is advanced. Therefore was he for the unity of the
party, that it might be directed with all its force for the good cause.
Therefore was he against outside and disturbing questions, calculated
to distract and divide. He saw the wrong they did to the party, and,
in the relation of cause and effect, to the country. And here that
frankness which was part of his nature became a power. He was always
frank, whether with the people, with Congress, or with the President.
I cannot forget his frankness with Abraham Lincoln, who, you know,
liked frankness. On more than one occasion, with this good President
his frankness conquered. Honorable as was such a victory to the simple
Representative, it was more honorable to the President.

His honest indignation at wrong was doubtless quickened by the
blood which coursed in his veins and the story which it constantly
whispered. He was descended from one of those “Redemptioners,” or
indented servants, transported to Pennsylvania in the middle of the
last century, being a species of white slaves, among whom was one of
the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The eminence which John
Covode reached attests the hospitality of our institutions, and shows
how character triumphs over difficulties. With nothing but a common
education, he improved his condition, gained riches, enlarged his mind
with wisdom, and won the confidence of his fellow-citizens, until he
became an example.

The death of such a citizen makes a void, but it leaves behind a life
which in itself is a monument.



                                     WASHINGTON, February 21, 1871.

  DEAR SIR,--I cannot be at your meeting, but there will be none
  among you to rejoice in Italian Unity more than I do. Long has it
  been a desire of my heart.

  May it stand firm against all its enemies, especially its
  greatest enemy, the temporal autocracy of the Pope!

      Faithfully yours,


  FELIX R. BRUNOT, ESQ., Chairman.



    The official returns to Mr. Sumner’s resolutions of December
    9, 1870, and February 15, 1871, calling for the documents in
    the State and Navy Departments relative to the case of San
    Domingo,[11] gave occasion to the introduction by him, March
    24, 1871, of a series of resolutions, subsequently amended to
    read as follows:--

        Resolutions regarding the employment of the Navy of the
        United States on the coasts of San Domingo during the
        pendency of negotiations for the acquisition of part of
        that island.

        Whereas any negotiation by one nation with a people
        inferior in population and power, having in view the
        acquisition of territory, should be above all suspicion
        of influence from superior force, and in testimony to
        this principle Spain boasted that the reïncorporation
        of Dominica with her monarchy in 1861 was accomplished
        without the presence of a single Spanish ship on the coast
        or a Spanish soldier on the land, all of which appears in
        official documents; and whereas the United States, being a
        Republic founded on the Rights of Man, cannot depart from
        such a principle and such a precedent without weakening the
        obligations of justice between nations and inflicting a
        blow upon Republican Institutions: Therefore,--

        1. _Resolved_, That in obedience to correct principle, and
        that Republican Institutions may not suffer, the naval
        forces of the United States should be withdrawn from the
        coasts of San Domingo during the pendency of negotiations
        for the acquisition of any part of that island.

        2. _Resolved_, That every sentiment of justice is disturbed
        by the employment of foreign force in the maintenance of
        a ruler engaged in selling his country, and this moral
        repugnance is increased when it is known that the attempted
        sale is in violation of the Constitution of the country
        to be sold; that, therefore, the employment of our Navy
        to maintain Baez in usurped power while attempting to
        sell his country to the United States, in open violation
        of the Dominican Constitution, is morally wrong, and any
        transaction founded upon it must be null and void.

        3. _Resolved_, That since the Equality of All Nations,
        without regard to population, size, or power, is an axiom
        of International Law, as the Equality of All Men is an
        axiom of our Declaration of Independence, nothing can be
        done to a small or weak nation that would not be done to
        a large or powerful nation, or that we would not allow
        to be done to ourselves; and therefore any treatment of
        the Republic of Hayti by the Navy of the United States
        inconsistent with this principle is an infraction of
        International Law in one of its great safeguards, and
        should be disavowed by the Government of the United States.

        4. _Resolved_, That since certain naval officers of the
        United States, commanding large war-ships, including the
        monitor Dictator and the frigate Severn, with powerful
        armaments, acting under instructions from the Executive,
        and without the authority of an Act of Congress, have
        entered one or more ports of the Republic of Hayti,
        a friendly nation, and under the menace of open and
        instant war have coerced and restrained that republic
        in its sovereignty and independence under International
        Law,--therefore, in justice to the Republic of Hayti,
        also in recognition of its equal rights in the Family of
        Nations, and in deference to the fundamental principles of
        our institutions, these hostile acts should be disavowed by
        the Government of the United States.

        5. _Resolved_, That under the Constitution of the United
        States the power to declare war is placed under the
        safeguard of an Act of Congress; that the President alone
        cannot declare war; that this is a peculiar principle
        of our Government by which it is distinguished from
        monarchical Governments, where power to declare war, as
        also the treaty-making power, is in the Executive alone;
        that in pursuance of this principle the President cannot,
        by any act of his own, as by an unratified treaty, obtain
        any such power, and thus divest Congress of its control;
        and that therefore the employment of the Navy without
        the authority of Congress in acts of hostility against a
        friendly foreign nation, or in belligerent intervention
        in the affairs of a foreign nation, is an infraction of
        the Constitution of the United States, and a usurpation of
        power not conferred upon the President.

        6. _Resolved_, That while the President, without any
        previous declaration of war by Act of Congress, may defend
        the country against invasion by foreign enemies, he is
        not justified in exercising the same power in an outlying
        foreign island, which has not yet become part of the United
        States; that a title under an unratified treaty is at
        most inchoate and contingent while it is created by the
        President alone, in which respect it differs from any such
        title created by Act of Congress; and since it is created
        by the President alone, without the support of law, whether
        in legislation or a ratified treaty, the employment of the
        Navy in the maintenance of the Government there is without
        any excuse of national defence, as also without any excuse
        of a previous declaration of war by Congress.

        7. _Resolved_, That whatever may be the title to territory
        under an unratified treaty, it is positive that after
        the failure of the treaty in the Senate all pretext of
        title ceases, so that our Government is in all respects a
        stranger to the territory, without excuse or apology for
        any interference against its enemies, foreign or domestic;
        and therefore any belligerent intervention or act of war
        on the coasts of San Domingo after the failure of the
        Dominican treaty in the Senate is unauthorized violence,
        utterly without support in law or reason, and proceeding
        directly from that kingly prerogative which is disowned by
        the Constitution of the United States.

        8. _Resolved_, That in any proceedings for the acquisition
        of part of the island of San Domingo, whatever may be
        its temptations of soil, climate, and productions, there
        must be no exercise of influence by superior force, nor
        any violation of Public Law, whether International or
        Constitutional; and therefore the present proceedings,
        which have been conducted at great cost of money, under
        the constant shadow of superior force, and through the
        belligerent intervention of our Navy, acting in violation
        of International Law, and initiating war without an Act of
        Congress, must be abandoned, to the end that justice may
        be maintained, and that proceedings so adverse to correct
        principles may not become an example for the future.

        9. _Resolved_, That, instead of seeking to acquire part
        of the island of San Domingo by belligerent intervention
        without the authority of an Act of Congress, it would
        have been in better accord with the principles of our
        Republic and its mission of peace and beneficence, had
        our Government, in the spirit of good neighborhood and
        by friendly appeal, instead of belligerent intervention,
        striven for the establishment of tranquillity throughout
        the whole island, so that the internal dissensions of
        Dominica and its disturbed relations with Hayti might be
        brought to a close, thus obtaining that security which is
        the first condition of prosperity, all of which, being in
        the nature of good offices, would have been without any
        violation of International Law, and without any usurpation
        of War Powers under the Constitution of the United States.

    On these Resolutions Mr. Sumner, March 27th, spoke as follows:--

MR. PRESIDENT,--Entering again upon this discussion, I perform a
duty which cannot be avoided. I wish it were otherwise, but duty is
a taskmaster to be obeyed. On evidence now before the Senate, it is
plain that the Navy of the United States, acting under orders from
Washington, has been engaged in measures of violence and of belligerent
intervention, being war without the authority of Congress. An act of
war without the authority of Congress is no common event. This is
the simplest statement of the case. The whole business is aggravated,
when it is considered that the declared object of this violence is the
acquisition of foreign territory, being half an island in the Caribbean
Sea,--and still further, that this violence has been employed, first,
to prop and maintain a weak ruler, himself a usurper, upholding him
in power that he might sell his country, and, secondly, to menace the
Black Republic of Hayti.

Such a case cannot pass without inquiry. It is too grave for silence.
For the sake of the Navy, which has been the agent, for the sake of the
Administration, under which the Navy acted, for the sake of Republican
Institutions, which suffer when the Great Republic makes itself a
pattern of violence, and for the sake of the Republican Party, which
cannot afford to become responsible for such conduct, the case must be
examined on the facts and the law, and also in the light of precedent,
so far as precedent holds its torch. When I speak for Republican
Institutions, it is because I would not have our great example weakened
before the world, and our good name tarnished. And when I speak for
the Republican Party, it is because from the beginning I have been
the faithful servant of that party and aspire to see it strong and
triumphant. But beyond all these considerations is the commanding rule
of Justice, which cannot be disobeyed with impunity.


The question which I present is very simple. It is not, whether the
acquisition of the island of San Domingo, in whole or part, with
a population foreign in origin, language, and institutions, is
desirable, but whether we are justified in the means employed to
accomplish this acquisition. The question is essentially preliminary
in character, and entirely independent of the main question. On the
main question there may be difference of opinion: some thinking the
acquisition desirable, and others not desirable; some anxious for
empire, or at least a _sanitarium_, in the tropics,--and others more
anxious for a Black Republic, where the African race shall show an
example of self-government by which the whole race may be uplifted;
some thinking of gold mines, salt mountains, hogsheads of sugar, bags
of coffee, and boxes of cigars,--others thinking more of what we owe to
the African race. But whatever the difference of opinion on the main
question, the evidence now before us shows too clearly that means have
been employed which cannot be justified. And this is the question to
which I now ask the attention of the Senate.


Here, Sir, I venture to relate how and at what time I became specially
aroused on this question. The treaty for the annexion of the Dominican
people was pending before the Senate, and I was occupied in considering
it, asking two questions: first, Is it good for us? and, secondly, Is
it good for them? The more I meditated these two questions I found
myself forgetting the former and considering the latter,--or rather,
the former was absorbed in the latter. Thinking of our giant strength,
my anxiety increased for the weaker party, and I thought more of what
was good for them than for us. Is annexion good for them? This was the
question on my mind, when I was honored by a visit from the Assistant
Secretary of State, bringing with him a handful of dispatches from San
Domingo. Among these were dispatches from our Consular Agent there, who
signed the treaty of annexion, from which it distinctly appeared that
Baez, while engaged in selling his country, was maintained in power by
the Navy of the United States. That such was the official report of
our Consular Agent, who signed the treaty, there can be no question;
and this official report was sustained by at least one other consular
dispatch. I confess now my emotion as I read this painful revelation.
Until then I had supposed the proceeding blameless, although
precipitate. I had not imagined any such indefensible transgressions.

These dispatches became more important as testimony when it appeared
that the writers were personally in favor of annexion. Thus, then, it
stood,--that, on the official report of our own agents, we were engaged
in forcing upon a weak people the sacrifice of their country. To me it
was apparent at once that the acquisition of this foreign territory
would not be respectable or even tolerable, unless by the consent of
the people there, through rulers of their own choice, and without force
on our part. The treaty was a contract, which, according to our own
witnesses, was obtained through a ruler owing power to our war-ships.
As such, it was beyond all question a contract obtained under duress,
and therefore void, while the duress was an interference with the
internal affairs of a foreign country, and therefore contrary to that
principle of Non-Intervention which is now a rule of International
Law. As this question presented itself, I lost no time in visiting
the Navy Department, in order to examine the instructions under which
our naval officers were acting, and also their reports. Unhappily,
these instructions and reports were too much in harmony with the other
testimony; so that the State Department and Navy Department each
contained the record of the deplorable proceedings, and still they
pressed the consummation. I could not have believed it, had not the
evidence been explicit. The story of Naboth’s Vineyard was revived.

Violence begets violence, and that in San Domingo naturally extended.
It is with nations as with individuals,--once stepped in, they go
forward. The harsh menace by which the independence of the Black
Republic was rudely assailed came next. It was another stage in
belligerent intervention. As these things were unfolded, I felt that
I could not hesitate. Here was a shocking wrong. It must be arrested;
and to this end I have labored in good faith. If I am earnest, it
is because I cannot see a wrong done without seeking to arrest it.
Especially am I moved, if this wrong be done to the weak and humble.
Then, by the efforts of my life and the commission I have received
from Massachusetts, am I vowed to do what I can for the protection and
elevation of the African race. If I can help them, I will; if I can
save them from outrage, I must. And never before was the occasion more
imminent than now.


I speak only according to unquestionable reason and the instincts of
the human heart, when I assert that a contract for the cession of
territory must be fair and without suspicion of overawing force. Nobody
can doubt this rule, whether for individuals or nations. And where
one party is more powerful than another it becomes more imperative.
Especially must it be sacred with a Republic, for it is nothing but
the mandate of Justice. The rule is general in its application; nay,
more, it is part of Universal Law, common to all municipal systems
and to International Law. Any departure from this requirement makes
negotiation for the time impossible. Plainly there can be no cession of
territory, and especially no surrender of national independence, except
as the result of war, so long as hostile cannon are frowning. The first
step in negotiation must be the withdrawal of all force, coercive or


Here the example of Spain furnishes a beacon-light. Yielding to an
invitation not unlike that of Baez to the United States, this Ancient
Monarchy was induced by Santana, President of Dominica, to entertain
the proposition of reannexion to the Crown. Here let it be remarked
that Santana was legitimate President, while Baez is a usurping
Dictator. And now mark the contrast between the Ancient Monarchy and
our Republic, as attested in documents. Spain boasted, in official
papers, that in the act of reannexion the Dominicans were spontaneous,
free, and unanimous,--that no Spanish emissaries were in the territory
to influence its people, nor was there a Spanish bottom in its waters
or a Spanish soldier on its land. On the question whether this
boast was justified by historic facts I say nothing. My purpose is
accomplished, when I show, that, in self-defence and for the good name
of Spain, it was necessary to make this boast. Unhappily, no such
boast can be made now. American emissaries were in the territory, with
Cazneau and Fabens as leaders,--while American war-ships, including the
Dictator, our most powerful monitor, properly named for the service,
were in the waters with guns pointed at the people to be annexed, and
American soldiers with bayonets glancing in the sun were on the decks
of these war-ships, if not on the land. The contrast is complete. In
the case of Spain the proceeding was an act of peace; in our case it is
an act of war. The two cases are as wide asunder as peace and war.

All must feel the importance of this statement, which, I have to say,
is not without official authority. I now hold in my hand the Spanish
documents relating to the reannexion of Dominica, as published by the
Cortes, and with your permission I will open these authentic pages. And
here allow me to say that I speak only according to the documents. That
Spain made the boast attests the principle.

Omitting particularities and coming at once to the precise point,
I read from a circular by the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs,
addressed to diplomatic agents abroad, under date of Aranjuez, April
25, 1861, which declares the proper forbearance and caution of Spain,
and establishes a precedent from which there can be no appeal:--

    “The first condition, necessary and indispensable, which
    the Government of her Majesty requires in accepting
    the consequences of these events, is that the act of
    reïncorporation of San Domingo with the Spanish Monarchy shall
    be the unanimous, spontaneous, and explicit expression of the
    will of the Dominicans.”

The dispatch then proceeds to describe the attitude of the Spanish
Government. And here it says of the events in Dominica:--

    “Nor have they been the work of Spanish emigrants who have
    penetrated the territory of San Domingo; nor has the superior
    authority of Havana, nor the forces of sea and land at its
    disposition, contributed to them. The Captain-General of Cuba
    has not separated himself, nor could he depart for a moment,
    from the principles of the Government, and from the policy
    which it has followed with regard to them. _Not a Spanish
    bottom or soldier was on the coast or in the territory of the
    Republic_ when the latter by a unanimous movement proclaimed
    its reunion to Spain.”[12]

It will be observed with what energy of phrase the Spanish Minister
excludes all suspicion of force on the part of Spain. Not only was
there no Spanish ship on the coast, but not a single Spanish bottom.
And then it is alleged that “the first condition” of reannexion must
be “the unanimous, spontaneous, and explicit expression of the will of
the Dominicans.” No foreign influence, no Spanish influence, was to
interfere with the popular will. But this is nothing more than justice.
Anything else is wrong.

The Spanish Government, not content with announcing this important rule
in the dispatch which I have quoted, return to it in another similar
dispatch, dated at Madrid, 26th May, 1861, as follows:--

    “The Government of the Queen, before adopting a definitive
    resolution on this question, sought to acquire absolute
    assurance that the votes of the Dominican people had been
    spontaneous, free, and unanimous. The reception of the
    proclamation of the Queen as sovereign in all the villages of
    the territory of San Domingo proves _the spontaneousness and
    the unanimity of the movement_.”[13]

Here again is the allegation that the movement was spontaneous and
unanimous, and that the Spanish Government sought to acquire absolute
assurance on this essential point. This was openly recognized as the
condition-precedent; and I cite it as unanswerable testimony to what
was deemed essential.

On this absolute assurance the Ministers laid before the Queen in
Council a decree of reannexion, with an explanatory paper, under date
of 19th May, 1861, where the unanimity of the Dominican people is again
asserted, and also the absence of any influence on the part of Spain:--

    “Everywhere was manifested jubilee and enthusiasm in a manner
    unequivocal and solemn. The public authorities, following
    their own impulses, have obeyed the sentiment of the country,
    which has put its trust in them. Rarely has been seen such a
    concurrence, such a unanimity of wills to realize an idea, a
    common thought. _And all this, without having on the coast of
    San Domingo a single bottom, nor on the territory a soldier of

Such is the official record on which the decree of reannexion was
adopted. Mark well, Sir,--a unanimous people, and not a single Spanish
bottom on the coast or Spanish soldier on the territory.


And now mark the contrast between the Old Monarchy and the Great
Republic. The recent return of the Navy Department to the Senate, in
reply to a resolution introduced by me, shows how the whole island has
been beleaguered by our Navy, sailing from port to port, and hugging
the land with its guns. Here is the return:--

    “The following are the names of the vessels which have been in
    the waters of the island of San Domingo since the commencement
    of the negotiations with Dominica, with their armaments:--

    “Severn,--14 9-inch and 1 60-pounder rifle.

    “Congress,--14 9-inch and 2 60-pounder rifles.

    “Nantasket,--6 32-pounders, 4,500 pounds; 1 60-pounder rifle.

    “Swatara,--6 32-pounders, 4,500 pounds; 1 11-inch.

    “Yantic,--1 11-inch and 2 9-inch.

    “Dictator,--2 15-inch.

    “Saugus,--2 15-inch.

    “Terror,--4 15-inch.

    “Albany,--14 9-inch and 1 60-pounder rifle.

    “Nipsic,--1 11-inch and 2 9-inch.

    “Seminole,--1 11-inch and 4 32-pounders of 4,200 pounds.

    “Tennessee,--On spar-deck 2 11-inch, 2 9-inch, 2 100-pounders,
    and 1 60-pounder; on gun-deck, 16 9-inch.

    “The ships now [February 17, 1871] in those waters are, as far
    as is known to the Department, the Congress, the Nantasket, the
    Yantic, and the Tennessee.”[15]

Twelve mighty war-ships, including two, if not three, powerful
monitors, maintained at the cost of millions of dollars, being part of
the price of the pending negotiation. Besides what we pay to Baez, here
are millions down. Rarely have we had such a fleet in any waters: not
in the Mediterranean, not in the Pacific, not in the East Indies. It is
in the waters of San Domingo that our Navy finds its chosen field. Here
is its flag, and here also is its frown. And why this array? If our
purpose is peace, why these engines of war? If we seek annexion by the
declared will of the people, spontaneous, free, and unanimous, as was
the boast of Spain, why these floating batteries to overawe them? If we
would do good to the African race, why begin with violence to the Black

Before the Commissioners left our shores, there were already three
war-ships with powerful armaments in those waters: the Congress, with
fourteen 9-inch guns and two 60-pounder rifles; the Nantasket, with six
32-pounders of 4,500 pounds, and one 60-pounder rifle; and the Yantic,
with one 11-inch gun and two 9-inch. And then came the Tennessee, with
two 11-inch and two 9-inch guns, two 100-pounders and one 60-pounder,
on its spar-deck, and sixteen 9-inch guns on its gun-deck, to augment
these forces, already disproportioned to any proper object. The
Commissioners are announced as ministers of peace; at all events, their
declared duty is to ascertain the real sentiments of the people. Why
send them in a war-ship? Why cram the dove into a cannon’s mouth? There
are good steamers at New York, safe and sea-worthy, whose presence
would not swell the array of war, nor subject the Great Republic to the
grave imputation of seeking to accomplish its purpose by violence.


If while negotiating with the Dominicans for their territory, and
what is more than territory, their national life, you will not follow
Spanish example and withdraw your war-ships with their flashing arms
and threatening thunder, at least be taught by the tragedy which
attended even this most propitious attempt. The same volumes of
authentic documents from which I have read show how, notwithstanding
the apparent spontaneousness, freedom, and unanimity of the invitation,
the forbearance of Spain was followed by resistance, where sun and
climate united with the people. An official report laid before the
Cortes describes nine thousand Spanish soldiers dead with disease,
while the Spanish occupation was reduced to three towns on the
seaboard, and it was perilous for small parties to go any distance
outside the walls of the City of San Domingo. The same report declares
that twenty thousand troops, provided for a campaign of six months,
would be required to penetrate “the heart of Cibao,”--more accessible
than the region occupied by General Cabral, who disputes the power of
Baez. At last Spain submitted. The spirit of independence prevailed
once more on the island; and the proud banner of Castile, which had
come in peace, amid general congratulations, and with the boast of not
a Spanish bottom or Spanish soldier near, was withdrawn.


The example of Spain is reinforced by an English precedent, where may
be seen in the light of analogy the true rule of conduct. By a statute
of the last century, all soldiers quartered at the place of an election
for members of Parliament were removed, at least one day before the
election, to the distance of two miles or more;[16] and though this
statute has been modified latterly, the principle is preserved. No
soldier within two miles of a place of election is allowed to go out of
the barracks or quarters in which he is stationed, unless to mount or
relieve guard or to vote.[17] This safeguard of elections is vindicated
by the great commentator, Sir William Blackstone, when he says, “It
is essential to the very being of Parliament that elections should be
_absolutely free_; therefore all undue influences upon the electors
are illegal and strongly prohibited.”[18] In accordance with this
principle, as early as 1794, a committee of the other House of Congress
reported against the seat of a Representative partly on the ground that
United States troops were quartered near the place of election and were
marched in a body several times round the court-house.[19] And now that
an election is to occur in Dominica, where National Independence is the
question, nothing is clearer than that it should be, in the language of
Blackstone, “absolutely free,” and to this end all naval force should
be withdrawn at least until the “election” is determined.


In harmony with this rule, when Nice and Savoy voted on the question of
annexion to France, the French army was punctiliously withdrawn from
the borders,--all of which was in simple obedience to International
Ethics; but, instead of any such obedience, our war-ships have hovered
with constant menace on the whole coast.


All this is preliminary, although pointing the way to a just
conclusion. Only when we enter into details and consider what has been
done by our Government, do we recognize the magnitude of the question.
Unless the evidence supplied by the agents of our Government is at
fault, unless the reports of the State Department and Navy Department
are discredited, it is obvious beyond doubt, most painfully plain and
indisputable, that the President has seized the war powers carefully
guarded by the Constitution, and without the authority of Congress
has employed them to trample on the independence and equal rights of
two nations coëqual with ours,--unless, to carry out this project of
territorial acquisition, you begin by setting at defiance a first
principle of International Law. This is no hasty or idle allegation;
nor is it made without immeasurable regret. And the regret is increased
by the very strength of the evidence, which is strictly official and
beyond all question.


In this melancholy business the central figure is Buenaventura
Baez,--unless we except President Grant, to whom some would accord
the place of honor. The two have acted together as copartners. To
appreciate the case, and especially to comprehend the breach of Public
Law, you must know something of the former, and how he has been enabled
to play his part. Dominican by birth, with much of Spanish blood, and
with a French education, he is a cross where these different elements
are somewhat rudely intermixed. One in whom I have entire confidence
describes him, in a letter to myself, as “the worst man living of whom
he has any personal knowledge”; and he adds, that so must say “every
honest and honorable man who knows his history and his character.”
All his life he has been adventurer, conspirator, and trickster,
uncertain in opinions, without character, without patriotism, without
truth, looking out supremely for himself, and on any side according
to imagined personal interest, being once violent against the United
States as he now professes to be for them.

By the influence of General Santana, Baez obtained his first election
as President in 1849; and in 1856, contrary to a positive provision of
the Constitution against a second term except after the intervention
of an entire term, he managed by fraud and intrigue to obtain
another lease of power. Beginning thus early his violations of the
Constitution, he became an expert. But the people rose against him,
and he was driven to find shelter within the walls of the city. He
had never been friendly to the United States, and at this time was
especially abusive. His capitulation soon followed, and after a year of
usurped power he left for France. Santana succeeded to the Presidency,
and under him in 1861 the country was reincorporated with Spain, amidst
the prevailing enthusiasm of the people. Anxious to propitiate the
different political chiefs, the Spanish Government offered Baez a
major-general’s commission in the Army, on condition that he should
remain in Europe, which he accepted. For some time there was peace in
Dominica, when the people, under the lead of the patriot Cabral, rose
against the Spanish power. During this protracted period of revolution,
while the patriotism of the country was stirred to its inmost depths,
the Dominican adventurer clung to his Spanish commission with its
honors and emoluments, not parting with them until after the Cortes at
Madrid had renounced the country and ordered its evacuation; and then,
in his letter of resignation addressed to the Queen, under date of June
15, 1865, he again outraged the feelings of his countrymen by declaring
his regret at the failure of annexion to Spain, and his “regard for
her august person and the noble Spanish nation,” against whose arms
they had been fighting for Independence. Losing his Spanish honors and
emoluments, the adventurer was at once changed into a conspirator,
being always a trickster, and from his European retreat began his
machinations for power. Are we not told by the proverb that the Devil
has a long arm?

On the disappearance of the Spanish flag, Cabral became Protector,
and a National Convention was summoned to frame a Constitution and to
organize a new Government. The people were largely in favor of Cabral,
when armed men, in the name of Baez, and stimulated by his emissaries,
overwhelmed the Assembly with violence, forcing the conspirator into
power. Cabral, who seems to have been always prudent and humane,
anxious to avoid bloodshed, and thinking that his considerable European
residence might have improved the usurper, consented to accept a place
in the Cabinet, which was inaugurated December 8, 1865. Ill-gotten
power is short-lived; revolution soon began, and in the month of May,
1866, Baez, after first finding asylum in the French Consulate, fled to
foreign parts.

The official journal of San Domingo, “El Monitor,” (June 2, 1866,) now
before me, shows how the fugitive tyrant was regarded at this time. In
the leading article it is said:--

    “The administration of General Buenaventura Baez has just
    fallen under the weight of a great revolution, in which figure
    the principal notabilities of the country. A spontaneous
    cry, which may be called national, because it has risen from
    the depths of the majority, reveals the proportions of the
    movement, its character, and its legitimacy.”

Then follows in the same journal a manifesto signed by the principal
inhabitants of Dominica, where are set forth with much particularity
the grounds of his overthrow, alleging that he became President not by
the free and spontaneous choice of the people, but was imposed upon the
nation by an armed movement; that he treated the chief magistracy as if
it were his own patrimony, and monopolized for himself and his brothers
all the lucrative enterprises of the country without regard to the
public advantage; that, instead of recognizing the merit of those who
had by their sacrifices served their country, he degraded, imprisoned,
and banished them; that, in violation of the immunity belonging to
members of the Constituent Assembly, he sent them to a most horrible
prison,--and here numerous persons are named; that, without any
judicial proceedings, contrary to the Constitution, and in the spirit
of vengeance, he shut up many deserving men in obscure dungeons,--and
here also are many names; that, since his occupation of the Presidency,
he has kept the capital in constant alarm, and has established a system
of terrorism in the bosom of the national representation. All this and
much more will be found in this manifesto. There is also a manifesto
of Cabral, assigning at still greater length reasons for the overthrow
of Baez, and holding him up as the enemy of peace and union; also a
manifesto by the Triumvirate constituting the Provisional Government,
declaring his infractions of the Constitution; also a manifesto from
the general in command at the City of San Domingo, where, after
denouncing the misdeeds of one man, it says, “This man, this monster,
this speculator, this tyrant, is the General Buenaventura Baez.”

Soon after the disappearance of Baez, his rival became legitimate
President by the direct vote of the people, according to the
requirement of the Constitution. Different numbers of the official
journal now before me contain the election returns in September, 1866,
where the name of General José María Cabral appears at the head of the
poll. This is memorable as the first time in the history of Dominica
that a question was submitted to the direct vote of the people. By that
direct vote Cabral became President, and peace ensued. Since then there
has been no election; so that this was last as well as first, leaving
Cabral the last legitimate President.

During his enforced exile, Baez found his way to Washington. Mr.
Seward declined to see him, but referred him to me. I had several
conversations with him at my house. His avowed object was to obtain
money and arms to aid him in the overthrow of the existing Government.
Be assured, Mr. President, he obtained no encouragement from
me,--although I did not hesitate to say, as I always have said, that I
hoped my country would never fail to do all possible good to Dominica,
extending to it a helping hand. It was at a later day that belligerent
intervention began.

Meanwhile Cabral, embarrassed by financial difficulties and a dead
weight of paper money, the legacy of the fugitive conspirator, turned
to the United States for assistance, offering a lease of the Bay of
Samana. Then spoke Baez from his retreat, denouncing what he called
“the sale of his country to the United States,” adopting the most
inflammatory language. By his far-reaching and unscrupulous activity a
hostile force was organized, which, with the help of Salnave, the late
ruler of Hayti, compelled the capitulation of Cabral, February 8, 1868.
A Convention was appointed, not elected, which proceeded to nominate
Baez for the term of four years, not as President, but as Dictator.
Declining the latter title, the triumphant conspirator accepted that of
_Gran Ciudadano_, or Grand Citizen, with unlimited powers. At the same
time his enemies were driven into exile. The prisons were gorged, and
the most respectable citizens were his victims. Naturally such a man
would sell his country. Wanting money, he cared little how it was got.
Anything for money, even his country.


Cabral withdrew to the interior, keeping up a menace of war, while
the country was indignant with the unscrupulous usurper, who for
the second time obtained power by violence. Power thus obtained was
naturally uncertain, and Baez soon found himself obliged to invoke
foreign assistance. “Help me, Cassius, or I sink!” cried the Grand
Citizen. European powers would not listen. None of them wanted his
half-island,--not Spain, not France, not England. None would take it.
But still the Grand Citizen cried, when at last he was relieved by an
answering voice from our Republic. A young officer, inexperienced in
life, ignorant of the world, untaught in the Spanish language, unversed
in International Law, knowing absolutely nothing of the intercourse
between nations, and unconscious of the Constitution of his country,
was selected by the President to answer the cry of the Grand Citizen.
I wish that I could say something better of General Babcock; but
if I spoke according to the evidence, much from his own lips, the
portraiture would be more painful, and his unfitness more manifest. In
closest association with Baez, and with profitable concessions not easy
to measure, was the American Cazneau, known as disloyal to our country,
and so thoroughly suspected that the military missionary, before
leaving Washington, was expressly warned against him; but like seeks
like, and he at once rushed into the embrace of the selfish speculator,
who boasted that “no one American had been more intimately connected
with the Samana and annexation negotiations, from their inception to
their close, than himself,”--and who did not hesitate to instruct Baez
that it was not only his right, but duty, to keep an American citizen
in prison “to serve and protect negotiations in which our President
was so deeply interested,” which he denominates “the great business in

By the side of Cazneau was Fabens, also a speculator and life-long
intriguer, afterwards Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
of Baez in “the great business.” Sparing details, which would make the
picture more sombre, I come at once to the conclusion. A treaty was
signed by which the usurper pretended to sell his country to the United
States in consideration of $1,500,000; also another treaty leasing the
Bay of Samana for an annual rent of $150,000. The latter sum was paid
down by the young plenipotentiary, or $100,000 in cash and $50,000 in
muskets and a battery. No longer able to pocket the doubloons of Spain,
the usurper sought to pocket our eagles, and not content with muskets
and a battery to be used against his indignant fellow-countrymen,
obtained the Navy of the United States to maintain him in his treason.
It was a plot worthy of the hardened conspirator and his well-tried


The case was aggravated by the open infraction of the Constitution of
Dominica with which it proceeded. By that Constitution, adopted 27th
September, 1866, a copy of which is now before me, it is solemnly
declared that “neither the whole nor part of the territory of the
Republic can ever be alienated,” while the President takes the
following oath of office: “I swear by God and the Holy Gospels to
observe and cause to be observed the Constitution and the Laws of the
Dominican People, to respect their rights, and to maintain the National
Independence.” The Constitution of 1865 had said simply, “_No part_ of
the territory of the Republic can ever be alienated”; but now, as if
anticipating recent events, it was declared, “_Neither the whole_ nor
part,”--thus explicitly excluding the power exercised. All this was set
aside while the plot went on. Even if Baez defied the Constitution of
his country, our Government, in dealing with him, could not do so. In
negotiation with another power, the Great Republic, which is an example
to nations, cannot be insensible to the restrictions imposed by the
Constitution of the contracting party; and this duty becomes stronger
from the very weakness of the other side. Defied by the Dominican
usurper, all these restrictions must be sacredly regarded by us. Than
this nothing can be clearer in International Ethics; but the rule of
Law is like that of Ethics. Ancient Rome, speaking in the text of
Ulpian, says: “He who contracts with another either knows or ought to
know his condition,”--_Qui cum alio contrahit vel est vel DEBET esse
non ignarus conditionis ejus_;[21] and this rule has the authority of
Wheaton as part of International Law.[22] Another writer gives to it
this practical statement, precisely applicable to the present case:
“Nevertheless, in order to make such transfer valid, the authority,
whether _de facto_ or _de jure_, must be competent to bind the State.
Hence the necessity of examining into and ascertaining the powers of
the rulers, as the municipal constitutions of different states throw
many difficulties in the way of alienations of their public property,
_and particularly of their territory_.”[23] Thus, according to
International Law, as expounded by American authority, was this treaty

Treaties negotiated in violation of the Dominican Constitution and
of International Law were to be maintained at all hazards, even that
last terrible hazard of war; nor was Public Law in any of its forms,
Constitutional or International, allowed to stand in the way. The War
Powers, so carefully guarded in every Republican Government, and so
jealously defended against the One-Man Power, were instantly seized, in
open violation of the Constitution of the United States, which was as
little regarded as that of Dominica, while the Law of Nations in its
most commanding principles was set at defiance: all of which appears
too plainly on the facts.


When last I had the honor of addressing the Senate on this grave
question, you will remember, Sir, my twofold allegation: first, that
the usurper Baez was maintained in power by our Navy to enable him
to carry out the sale of his country; and, secondly, that further to
assure this sale the neighbor Republic of Hayti was violently menaced
by an admiral of our fleet,--both acts being unquestionable breaches of
Public Law, Constitutional and International. That these allegations
were beyond question, at least by our Government, I knew well at the
time, for I had the official evidence on my table; but I was unable to
use it. Since then it has been communicated to the Senate. What I then
asserted on my own authority I now present on documentary evidence.
My witnesses are the officers of the Government and their official
declarations. Let the country judge if I was not right in every word
that I then employed. And still further, let the country judge if the
time has not come to cry “Halt!” in this business, which already has
the front of war.


War, Sir, is the saddest chapter of history. It is known as “the
last reason of kings.” Alas, that it should ever be the reason of a
Republic! “There can be no such thing, my Lords, as a little war for a
great nation,” was the exclamation of the Duke of Wellington,[24] which
I heard from his own lips, as he protested against what to some seemed
petty. Gathering all the vigor of his venerable form, the warrior
seasoned in a hundred fights cried out, and all within the sound of his
voice felt the testimony. The reason is obvious. War, whether great or
little, whether on the fields of France or the island of San Domingo,
is war, over which hovers not only Death, but every demon of wrath. Nor
is war merely conflict on a chosen field; it is force employed by one
nation against another, or in the affairs of another,--as in the direct
menace to Hayti, and the intermeddling between Baez and Cabral. There
may be war without battle. Hercules conquered by manifest strength the
moment he appeared on the ground, so that his club rested unused. And
so our Navy has thus far conquered without a shot; but its presence in
the waters of Hayti and Dominica was war.


All this will be found under two different heads, or in two different
sources: first, what is furnished by the State Department, and,
secondly, what is furnished by the Navy Department. These two
Departments are witnesses, with their agents, confessing and acting.
From the former we have confession; from the latter we have acts:
confessions and acts all in harmony and supporting each other. I begin
with the confession.


In the strange report of the Secretary of State, responsive to a
resolution moved by me in the Senate, the dependence of Baez upon our
Navy is confessed in various forms. Nobody can read this document
without noting the confession, first from the reluctant Secretary, and
then from his agent.

Referring to the correspondence of Raymond H. Perry, our Commercial
Agent at San Domingo, who signed the treaties, the Secretary presents
a summary, which, though obnoxious to just criticism, is a confession.
According to him, the correspondence “tends to show that the presence
of a United States man-of-war in the port was supposed to have _a
peaceful influence_.”[25] The term “peaceful influence” is the pleonasm
of the Secretary, confessing the maintenance of Baez in his usurpation.
There is no such thing as stealing; “_convey_ the wise it call”; and
so with the Secretary the maintenance of a usurper by our war-ships
is only “a peaceful influence.” A discovery of the Secretary. But in
the levity of his statement the Secretary forgets that a United States
man-of-war has nothing to do within a foreign jurisdiction, and cannot
exert influence there without unlawful intervention.

The Secretary alludes also to the probability of “another revolution,”
of course against Baez, in the event of the failure of the annexion
plot; and here is another confession of the dependence of the usurper
upon our Navy.

But the correspondence of Mr. Perry, as communicated to the Senate,
shows more plainly than the confession of the Secretary how completely
the usurper was maintained in power by the strong arm of the United

The anxiety of the usurper was betrayed at an early day, even while
vaunting the popular enthusiasm for annexion. In a dispatch dated at
San Domingo, January 20, 1870, Mr. Perry thus reports:--

    “The Nantasket left this port January 1, 1870, and we have not
    heard from her since. She was to go to Puerto Plata [a port of
    Dominica] and return _viâ_ Samana Bay [also in Dominica]. _We
    need the protection of a man-of-war very much_, but anticipate
    her return very soon.”[26]

Why the man-of-war was needed is easily inferred from what is said in
the same dispatch:--

    “The President tells me that it is almost impossible to prevent
    the people pronouncing for annexation before the proper time.
    _He prefers to await the arrival of a United States man-of-war
    before their opinion is publicly expressed._”[27]

If the truth were told, the usurper felt that it was almost impossible
to prevent the people from pronouncing for his overthrow, and therefore
he wanted war-ships.

Then under date of February 8, 1870, Mr. Perry reports again:--

    “President Baez daily remarks that the United States Government
    has not kept its promises to send men-of-war to the coast. He
    seems very timid and lacks energy.”[28]

The truth becomes still more apparent in the dispatch of February 20,
1870,--nearly three months after the signature of the treaties, and
while they were still pending before the Senate,--where it is openly

    _“If the United States ships were withdrawn, he [Baez] could
    not hold the reins of this Government._ I have told him

Nothing can be plainer. In other words, the usurper was maintained in
power by our guns. Such was the official communication of the very
agent who had signed the treaties, and who was himself an ardent
annexionist. Desiring annexion, he confesses the means employed to
accomplish it. How the President did not at once abandon, unfinished,
treaties maintained by violence, how the Secretary of State did not
at once resign rather than be a party to this transaction, is beyond

Nor was the State Department left uninformed with regard to the
distribution of this naval force. Here is the report, under date of San
Domingo, March 12, 1870, while the vote was proceeding:--

    “The Severn lies at this port; the Swatara left for Samana
    the 9th; the Nantasket goes to Puerto Plata to-morrow, the
    13th; the Yantic lies in the river in this city. Admiral Poor,
    on board the Severn, is expected to remain at this port for
    some time. Everything is very quiet at present throughout the

Thus under the guns of our Navy was quiet maintained, while Baez, like
another usurper, exclaimed, “Now, by St. Paul, the work goes bravely

What this same official reported to the State Department he afterward
reaffirmed under oath, in his testimony before the committee of the
Senate on the case of Mr. Hatch. The words were few, but decisive,
touching the acts of our Navy,--“committed since we had been there,
_protecting Baez from the citizens of San Domingo_.”[31]

Then, again, in a private letter to myself, under date of Bristol,
Rhode Island, February 10, 1871, after stating that he had reported
what the record shows to be true, “that Baez was sustained and held in
power by the United States Navy,” he adds, “This fact Baez acknowledged
to me.”

So that we have the confession of the Secretary of State, also the
confession of his agent at San Domingo, and the confession of Baez
himself, that the usurper depended for support on our Navy.


This drama of a usurper sustained by foreign power is illustrated by
an episode, where the liberty of an American citizen was sacrificed to
the consummation of the plot. It appears that Davis Hatch, of Norwalk,
Connecticut, intimately known to one of the Senators of that State
[Mr. FERRY] and respected by the other [Mr. BUCKINGHAM], lived in
Dominica, engaged in business there, while Cabral was the legitimate
President. During this time he wrote letters to a New York paper, in
which he exposed the character of the conspirator Baez, then an exile.
When the latter succeeded by violence in overthrowing the regular
Government, one of his first acts was to arrest Mr. Hatch, on the
ground that he had coöperated with Cabral. How utterly groundless was
this charge appears by a letter to Baez from his own brother, governor
of the province where the former resided,[32] and also by the testimony
of Mr. Somers Smith, our Commercial Agent in San Domingo, who spoke
and acted as became a representative of our country.[33] Read the
correspondence and testimony candidly, and you will confess that the
whole charge was trumped up to serve the purpose of the usurper.

Sparing all details of trial and pardon, where everything testifies
against Baez, I come to the single decisive point, on which there can
be no question, that, even after his formal pardon, Mr. Hatch was
detained in prison by the authority of the usurper, at the special
instance of Cazneau and with the connivance of Babcock, in order to
prevent his influence against the treaty of annexion. The evidence
is explicit and unanswerable. Gautier, the Minister of Baez, who
had signed the treaty, in an official note to our representative,
Mr. Raymond H. Perry, dated at San Domingo, February 19, 1870, and
communicated to the State Department, says: “I desire that you will
be good enough to assure his Excellency, the Secretary of State in
Washington, that _the prolonged sojourn of Mr. Hatch here_ has been
only to prevent his hostile action in New York.”[34] Nor is this
all. Under the same date, Cazneau had the equal hardihood to write
to Babcock, then at Washington, a similar version of the conspiracy,
where, after denunciation of Perry as “embarrassing affairs here,” in
San Domingo, by his persistency in urging the release of Mr. Hatch,
he relates, that, on occasion of a recent peremptory demand of this
sort in his presence, Baez replied, that Hatch “would certainly make
use of his liberty to join the enemies of annexation,” and “that _a
few weeks’ restraint_ would not be so inconvenient to him as his
slanderous statements might become to _the success of General Grant’s
policy in the Antilles_,”--and he adds, that he himself, in response
to the simultaneous charge of “opposing the liberation of an innocent
man,” declared, that, in his opinion, “President Baez had the right,
_and ought_, to do everything in his power _to serve and protect
negotiations_ in which our President was so deeply interested.”[35]
All this is clear, plain, and documentary. Nor is there any drawback
or deduction on account of the character of Mr. Hatch, who, according
to the best testimony, is an excellent citizen, enjoying the good-will
and esteem of his neighbors at home, being respected there “as much as
Governor Buckingham is in Norwich,”[36]--and we all know that no higher
standard can be reached.

In other days it was said that the best government is where an injury
to a single citizen is resented as an injury to the whole State. Here
was an American citizen, declared by our representative to be “an
innocent man,” and already pardoned for the crimes falsely alleged
against him, incarcerated, or, according to the polite term of the
Minister of Baez, compelled to a “prolonged sojourn,” in order to
assure the consummation of the plot for the acceptance of the treaty,
or, in the words of Cazneau, “to serve and protect negotiations in
which our President [Grant] was so deeply interested.” The cry, “I
am an American citizen,” was nothing to Baez, nothing to Cazneau,
nothing to Babcock. The young missionary heard the cry and answered
not. Annexion was in peril. Annexion could not stand the testimony of
Mr. Hatch, who would write in New York papers. Therefore was he doomed
to a prison. Here again I forbear details, though at each point they
testify. And yet the Great Republic, instead of spurning at once the
heartless usurper who trampled on the liberty of an American citizen,
and spurning the ill-omened treaty which required this sacrifice,
continued to lend its strong arm in the maintenance of the trampler,
while with unexampled assiduity it pressed the treaty upon a reluctant


But intervention in Dominica is only one part of the story, even
according to the confession of the State Department. Side by side
with Dominica on the same tempting island is the Black Republic of
Hayti, with a numerous population, which more than two generations ago
achieved national independence, and at a later day, by the recognition
of our Government, took its place under the Law of Nations as equal
and peer of the Great Republic. To all its paramount titles of
Independence and Equality, sacred and unimpeachable, must be added its
special character as an example of self-government, being the first
in the history of the African race, and a promise of the future. Who
can doubt that as such this Black Republic has a value beyond all the
products of its teeming tropical soil? Like other Governments, not
excepting our own, it has complications, domestic and foreign. Among
the latter is chronic hostility with Dominica, arising from claims
territorial and pecuniary. To these claims I refer without undertaking
to consider their justice. It is enough that they exist. And here
comes the wrong perpetuated by the Great Republic. In the effort
to secure the much-coveted territory, our Government, not content
with maintaining the usurper Baez in power, occupying the harbors of
Dominica with the war-ships of the United States, sent other war-ships,
being none other than our most powerful monitor, the Dictator, with the
frigate Severn as consort, and with yet other monitors in their train,
to menace the Black Republic by an act of war. An American admiral was
found to do this thing, and an American minister, himself of African
blood, was found to aid the admiral.

The dispatch of the Secretary of State instituting this act of war does
not appear in his Report; but we are sufficiently enlightened by that
of Mr. Bassett, our Minister Resident at Port-au-Prince, who, under
date of February 17, 1870, informs the State Department in Washington
that he had “transmitted to the Haytian Government notification that
the United States asked and expected it to observe a strict neutrality
in reference to the internal affairs of San Domingo”; and then,
with superserviceable alacrity, he lets the Department know that he
communicated to Commander Owen, of the Seminole, reports that “persons
in authority under the Haytian Government were planning clandestinely
schemes for interference in San Domingo affairs.”[37] But a moment of
contrition seems to have overtaken the Minister; for he adds, that he
did not regard these reports “as sufficiently reliable to make them
the basis for a recommendation of _severe or extreme measures_.”[38]
Pray, by what title, Mr. Minister, could you recommend any such
measures, being nothing less than war against the Black Republic? By
what title could you launch these great thunders? The menacing note of
the Minister was acknowledged by the Black Republic without one word of
submission,--as also without one word of proper resentment.[39]

The officious Minister of the Great Republic reports to the State
Department that he had addressed a diplomatic note to the Black
Republic, under date of February 9, 1870, where, referring to the
answer of the latter, he says, “It would nevertheless have been more
satisfactory and agreeable to my Government _and myself_, if you, in
speaking for your Government, had felt authorized to give assurance
of the neutrality asked and expected by the United States.”[40] This
letter was written with the guns of the Dictator and Severn behind. It
appears from the Minister’s report, that these two war-ships arrived at
the capital of the Black Republic on the morning of February 9th, when
the Minister, as he says, “arranged for a formal call on the Haytian
Government the same day.” The Minister then records, and no blush
appears on his paper, that “the Admiral availed himself of this visit
to communicate, _quite pointedly_, to the President and his advisers
the tenor of his instructions.”[41] This assault upon the Independence
and Equality of the Black Republic will appear more fully in the Report
transmitted to the Senate by the Navy Department. For the present I
present the case on the confession of the State Department.


If the Report of the State Department is a confession, that of
the Navy Department is an authentic record of acts flagrant and
indefensible,--unless we are ready to set aside the Law of Nations and
the Constitution of the United States, two paramount safeguards. Both
of these are degraded in order to advance the scheme. If I called it
plot, I should not err; for this term is suggested by the machination.
The record is complete.

The scheme first shows itself in a letter from the Secretary of State
to the Secretary of the Navy, under date of May 17, 1869, informing
the latter that the President deems it “desirable that _a man-of-war_,
commanded by a discreet and intelligent officer, should be ordered _to
visit the several ports of the Dominican Republic_, and to report upon
the condition of affairs in that quarter.” The Secretary adds:--

    “It is also important that we should have full and accurate
    information in regard to the views of the Dominican people
    of all parties in regard to annexation to the United States,
    or the sale or lease of the Bay of Samana, or of territory
    adjacent thereto.”[42]

No invitation from the island appears,--not a word even from any of its
people. The beginning is in the letter of the Secretary; and here we
see how “a man-of-war” formed part of the first stage. A mere inquiry
is inaugurated by “a man-of-war.” Nor was it to stop at a single place;
it was to visit the several ports of the Dominican Republic.

The Secretary of the Navy obeyed. Orders were given, and under date
of June 29, 1869, Rear-Admiral Hoff reports that the Nipsic, with an
armament of one 11-inch and two 9-inch guns, “is to visit all the
ports of the Dominican Republic.”[43] Here again is a revelation,
foreshadowing the future; all the ports are to be visited by this
powerful war-ship. Why? To what just end? If for negotiation, then was
force, _force_, FORCE our earliest, as it has been since our constant
plenipotentiary. Already we discern the contrast with Old Spain.

The loss of a screw occurred to prevent this war-breathing
perambulation. The Nipsic did not go beyond Port-au-Prince; but
Lieutenant-Commander Selfridge, in his report, under date of July 14,
1869, lets drop an honest judgment, which causes regret that he did not
visit the whole island. Thus he wrote:--

    “While my short stay in the island will not permit me to
    speak with authority, it is my individual opinion, that, if the
    United States should annex Hayti _on the representation of a
    party_, it would be found an elephant both costly in money and

The whole case is opened when we are warned against annexion “on the
representation of a party.”

Still the scheme proceeded. On the 17th July, 1869, General Babcock
sailed from New York for San Domingo, as special agent of the State
Department. The records of the Department, so far as communicated
to the Senate, show no authority to open negotiations of any kind,
much less to treat for the acquisition of this half-island. His
instructions, which are dated July 13, 1869, are simply to make certain
inquiries;[45] but, under the same date, the Secretary of the Navy
addresses a letter to Commander Owen, of the Seminole, with an armament
of one 11-inch gun and four 32-pounders, of 4,200 pounds, in which he

    “You will remain at Samana, or on the coast of San Domingo,
    while General Babcock is there, _and give him the moral support
    of your guns_.”[46]

The phrase of the Secretary is at least curious. And who is General
Babcock, that on his visit the Navy is to be at his back? Nothing on
this head is said. All that we know from the record is that he was to
make certain inquiries, and in this business “guns” play a part. To
be sure, it was their “_moral_ support” he was to have; but they were
nevertheless “guns.” Thus in all times has lawless force sought to
disguise itself. Before any negotiation was begun, while only a few
interrogatories were ordered by the State Department, under which this
missionary acted, “the moral support of guns” was ordered by the Navy
Department. Here, Sir, permit me to say, is the first sign of war,
being an undoubted usurpation, whether by President or Secretary. War
is hostile force, and here it is ordered. But this is only a squint,
compared with the open declaration which ensued. And here again we
witness the contrast with Old Spain.

But the “guns” of the Seminole were not enough to support the
missionary in his inquiries. The Navy Department, under date of August
23, 1869, telegraphed to the commandant at Key West:--

    “Direct a vessel to proceed without a moment’s delay to San
    Domingo City, _to be placed at the disposal of General Babcock
    while on that coast_. If not at San Domingo City, to find

Here is nothing less than the terrible earnestness of war itself.
Accordingly, the Tuscarora was dispatched; and the missionary finds
himself changed to a commodore. Again the contrast with Old Spain!

How many days the Tuscarora took to reach the coast does not appear;
but on the 4th September the famous protocol was executed by Orville
E. Babcock, entitling himself “Aide-de-Camp to his Excellency,
General Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States of America,”
where, besides stipulating the annexion of Dominica to the United
States in consideration of $1,500,000, it is further provided that
“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 accomplishment.”[48] Such was the work which needed
so suddenly--“without a moment’s delay”--a second war-ship besides the
Seminole, which was already ordered to lend “the _moral_ support of its
guns.” How unlike that boast of Old Spain, that there was not a Spanish
bottom in those waters!

Returning to Washington with his protocol, the missionary was now
sent back with instructions to negotiate two treaties,--one for the
annexion of the half-island, and the other for the lease of the Bay
of Samana. By the Constitution ambassadors and other public ministers
are appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent
of the Senate; but our missionary held no such commission. How the
business sped appears from the State Department. The Report of the
Navy Department shows how it was sustained by force. By a letter under
date of December 3, 1869, on board the ship Albany, off San Domingo,
addressed to Lieutenant-Commander Bunce on board the Nantasket, the
missionary, after announcing the conclusion of a treaty for the lease
of Samana and other purposes, imparts this important information:--

    “In this negotiation the President has guarantied to the
    Dominican Republic protection from all foreign interposition
    during the time specified in the treaties for submitting the
    same to the people of the Dominican Republic.”

Of the absolute futility and nullity of this Presidential guaranty
until after the ratification of the treaties I shall speak hereafter.
Meanwhile we behold the missionary changed to plenipotentiary:--

    “For this purpose the honorable Secretary of the Navy was
    directed to place _three armed vessels in this harbor, subject
    to my instruction_.”

Why three armed vessels? For what purpose? How unlike the boast of Old
Spain! What follows reveals the menace of war:--

    “I shall raise the United States flag on shore, and shall leave
    a small guard with it.”

Here is nothing less than military occupation. Besides war-ships in the
waters, the flag is to be raised on shore, and soldiers of the United
States are to be left with it. Again the contrast with Old Spain,
boasting not only that there was not a single Spanish “bottom” on the
coast, but not a single Spanish soldier on the land. Then follows an
order to make war:--

    “Should you find any foreign intervention intended, _you will
    use all your force_ to carry out to the letter the guaranties
    given in the treaties.”

Nothing could be stronger. Here is war. Then comes a direct menace by
the young plenipotentiary, launched at the neighboring Black Republic:--

    “The Dominican Republic fears trouble from the Haytian border,
    about Jacmel. You will please inform the people, in case you
    are satisfied there is an intended intervention, that such
    intervention, direct or indirect, will be regarded as an
    unfriendly act toward the United States, _and take such steps
    as you think necessary_.”[49]

The Dominican Republic fears trouble, or in other words the usurper
Baez trembles for his power, and therefore the guns of our Navy are
to be pointed at Hayti. Again, how little like Old Spain! And this
was the way in which our negotiation began. We have heard of an
“_armed_ neutrality,” and of an “_armed_ peace”; but here is an _armed_

The force employed in the negotiation naturally fructified in other
force. Violence follows violence in new forms. Armed negotiation was
changed to armed intervention, being an act of war,--all of which
is placed beyond question. There is repetition and reduplication of

The swiftness of war appears in the telegram dated at the Navy
Department January 29, 1870, addressed to Rear-Admiral Poor, at Key
West. Here is this painful dispatch:--

    “Proceed at once with the Severn and Dictator to
    Port-au-Prince; communicate with our Consul there, and inform
    the present Haytian authorities that this Government is
    determined to protect the present Dominican Government _with
    all its power_. You will then proceed to Dominica, and use
    your force to give the most ample protection to the Dominican
    Government _against any Power attempting to interfere with it_.
    Visit Samana Bay and the capital, _and see the United States
    power and authority secure there_. _There must be no failure in
    this matter._ If the Haytians attack the Dominicans with their
    ships, _destroy or capture them_. See that there is a proper
    force at both San Domingo City and Samana.

    “If Admiral Poor is not at Key West, this dispatch must be
    forwarded to him without delay.”[50]

“Proceed at once.” Mark the warlike energy. What then? Inform the
Haytian Government “that this Government is determined to protect the
present Dominican Government [the usurper Baez] with _all its power_.”
Strong words, and vast in scope! Not only the whole Navy of the United
States, but all the power of our Republic is promised to the usurper.
At Dominica, where the Admiral is to go next, he is directed to use his
force “to give the most ample protection to the Dominican Government
[the usurper Baez] _against any Power attempting to interfere with
it_.” Then comes a new direction. At Samana and the City of San Domingo
“see the United States power and authority secure there.” Here is
nothing less than military occupation. Pray, by what title? Mark again
the warlike energy. And then giving to the war a new character, the
Admiral is told: “If the Haytians attack the Dominicans with their
ships, _destroy or capture them_.” Such is this many-shotted dispatch,
which is like a mitrailleuse in death-dealing missives.

This belligerent intervention in the affairs of another country, with
a declaration of war against the Black Republic, all without any
authority from Congress, or any sanction under the Constitution, was
followed by a dispatch dated January 31, 1870, to Lieutenant-Commander
Allen, of the Swatara, with an armament of six 32-pounders, 4,500
pounds, and one 11-inch gun, where is the breath of war. After hurrying
the ship off to the City of San Domingo, the dispatch says:--

    “If you find, when you get there, that the Dominican Government
    require any assistance against the enemies of that Republic,
    _you will not hesitate to give it to them_.”[51]

What is this but war, at the call of the usurper Baez, against the
enemies of his Government, whether domestic or foreign? Let the usurper
cry out, and our flag is engaged. Our cannon must fire, it may be upon
Dominicans rising against the usurper, or it may be upon Haytians
warring on the usurper for their rights, or it may be upon some other
foreign power claiming rights. The order is peremptory, leaving no
discretion. The assistance must be rendered. “You will not hesitate to
give it to them”: so says the order. On which I observe, This is war.

This was not enough. The Navy Department, by still another order, dated
February 9, 1870, addressed to Commodore Green, of the ship Congress,
with an armament of fourteen 9-inch guns and two 60-pounder rifles,
enforces this same conduct. After mentioning the treaty, the order

    “While that treaty is pending, the Government of the United
    States has agreed to afford countenance and assistance to the
    Dominican people _against their enemies now in the island and
    in revolution against the lawfully constituted Government_,
    and you will use the force at your command to resist any
    attempts by the enemies of the Dominican Republic to invade the
    Dominican territory, _by land or sea_, so far as your power can
    reach them.”[52]

Here again is belligerent intervention in Dominica, with a declaration
of war against the Black Republic, included under the head “enemies of
the Dominican Republic,” or perhaps it is a case of “running amuck,”
according to Malay example, for the sake of the usurper Baez.

Thus much for the orders putting in motion the powers of war. I have
set them forth in their precise words. Soon I shall show wherein they
offend International Law and the Constitution. Meanwhile the case is
not complete without showing what was done under these orders. Already
the State Department has testified. The Navy Department testifies in
harmony with the State Department. And here the record may be seen
under two heads,--first, belligerent intervention in Dominica, and,
secondly, belligerent intervention in Hayti.


In Dominica there was constant promise of protection and constant
appeal for it, with recurring incidents, showing the dependence of the
usurper upon our naval force. And here I proceed according to the order
of dates.

Rear-Admiral Poor, of the flag-ship Severn, reports from the City of
San Domingo, under date of March 12, 1870, that the President--meaning
the usurper Baez--informed him that he was obliged to keep a
considerable force against Cabral and Luperon, and then added, “If
annexation was delayed, it would be absolutely necessary for him
to call upon the United States Government for pecuniary aid.”[53]
Not content with our guns, the usurper wanted our dollars. Next
Lieutenant-Commander Bunce, under date of March 21, 1870, reports from
Puerto Plata that “the authorities think that the excitement has not
yet passed, and that _the presence of a man-of-war here for a time will
have a great moral effect_.”[54] The man-of-war becomes a preacher.
The same officer, under date of March 24, 1870, reports a speech of his
own at Puerto Plata, that Rear-Admiral Poor “had a heavy squadron about
the island, and would drive him [Luperon] out,--probably, in doing so,
_destroying the town and all the property in it_.”[55] And this was
followed, March 26, 1870, by formal notice from Lieutenant-Commander
Bunce to the British Vice-Consul at Puerto Plata, in these terms:--

    “As to my objects here, one of them certainly is, and I desire
    to accomplish it as plainly as possible, to inform the foreign
    residents here, that, if any such league or party is formed
    among them, and, with or without their aid, Luperon, Cabral,
    or any others hostile to the Dominican Government, should get
    possession of this port, _the naval forces of the United States
    would retake it_, and, in so doing, the foreign residents, as
    the largest property-holders, as well as the most interested in
    the business of the port, would be the greatest sufferers.”[56]

Here is the menace of war. The naval forces of the United States will
retake a port.

Meanwhile the work of protection proceeds. Rear-Admiral Poor reports,
under date of May 7, 1870:--

    “Upon my arrival there [at San Domingo City], I found it
    necessary, _properly to protect the Dominican Government_,
    to dispatch one of the sloops I found there to the northwest
    portion of the island and the other to Puerto Plata, intending,
    as soon as able to do so, to dispatch one to Samana Bay and to
    station the other off San Domingo City.”[57]

Here is belligerent protection at four different points.

Meanwhile the treaty for annexion, and also the treaty for the lease
of Samana, had both expired by lapse of time March 29, 1870, while the
treaty for annexion was rejected by solemn vote June 30, 1870,--so that
no treaty remained even as apology for the illegitimate protection
which had been continued at such cost to the country. But this made no
difference in the aid supplied by our Navy. Nor was the Administration
here unadvised with regard to the constant dependence of the usurper.
Commodore Green reports from off San Domingo City, under date of July
21, 1870:--

    “I am inclined to the opinion that a withdrawal of the
    protection of the United States, and of the prospect of
    annexation at some future time, would instantly lead to a
    revolution, headed by Cabral, who would be supported by
    the enemies of the present Government, and assisted by the

This is followed by a report from Lieutenant-Commander Allen at Samana
Bay, under date of August 28, 1870, announcing that he has received
a communication from “his Excellency, President Baez, requesting the
presence of a vessel on the north side of the island, on account of
an intended invasion by Cabral.”[59] In the communication, which is
inclosed, the usurper says that he “deems the presence of a ship-of-war
in the Bay of Manzanillo of immediate importance.”[60] Cabral, it
appears, was near this place. Other points are mentioned to be visited.

Then follow other reports from Commander Irwin of the Yantic, with
inclosures from Baez, where the dependence of the usurper is
confessed. In a letter from the Executive Mansion at San Domingo City,
under date of August 30, 1870, he desires Commander Irwin to “proceed
to Tortuguero de Azua for a few hours, for the purpose of transporting
to this city the rest of the Dominican battalion Restauracion, as it is
thought convenient by the Government.”[61] Upon which Commander Irwin,
under date of September 3, 1870, remarks:--

    “The President was anxious to add to the force at his disposal
    in the City of San Domingo, _as he feared an outbreak_.…
    I acceded to his request, … and on the 2d instant landed
    sixty-five officers and men that we had brought from Azua.”[62]

Here is a confession, showing again the part played by our Navy.
War-ships of the United States dance attendance on the usurper, and
save him from the outbreak of the people.

Then, again, under date of September 2, 1870, the usurper declares “the
necessity at present of a man-of-war in this port, and that none would
be more convenient than the Yantic _for the facility of entering the
river Ozama, owing to her size_.”[63] Thus not merely on the coasts,
but in a river, was our Navy invoked.

But this was not enough. Under date of October 8, 1870, the usurper
writes from the Executive Residence “to reiterate the necessity of the
vessels now in that bay [Samana] coming to these southern coasts.”[64]
And as late as January 8, 1871, Rear-Admiral Lee reports from off San
Domingo City, that delay in accomplishing annexion has, among other
things, “risk of insurrection,”[65]--thus attesting the dependence of
the usurper upon our power. Such is the uniform story, where the cry of
the usurper is like the refrain of a ballad.


The constant intervention in Dominica was supplemented by that other
intervention in Hayti, when an American admiral threatened war to the
Black Republic. Shame and indignation rise as we read the record.
Already we know it from the State Department. Rear-Admiral Poor,
under date of February 12, 1870, reports to the Navy Department his
achievement. After announcing that the Severn, with an armament of
fourteen 9-inch guns and one 60-pounder rifle, and the Dictator, with
an armament of two 15-inch guns, arrived at Port-au-Prince the 9th
instant, he narrates his call on the Provisional President of Hayti,
and how, after communicating the pendency of negotiations and the
determination of the Government of the United States “with its whole
power” to prevent any interference on the part of the Haytian or any
other Government with that of the Dominicans, (meaning the usurper
Baez,) he launched this declaration:--

    “Therefore, if any attack should be made upon the Dominicans
    [meaning the usurper Baez] during the said negotiations, under
    the Haytian or any other flag, it would be regarded as an act
    of hostility to the United States flag, and would provoke
    hostility in return.”

Such was his language in the Executive Mansion of the President. The
Rear-Admiral reports the dignified reply of the President and Secretary
of State, who said:--

    “That, ‘while they were aware of their weakness, they knew
    their rights, and would maintain them and their dignity as far
    as they were able, and that they must be allowed to be the
    judges of their own policy,’--or words to that effect.”[66]

Such words ought to have been to the Rear-Admiral more than a
broadside. How poor were his great guns against this simple reproof!
The Black Republic spoke well. The Rear-Admiral adds, that he learned
afterward, unofficially, “that the authorities were displeased with
what they considered a menace on the part of the United States,
accompanied with force.” And was it not natural that they should be

All this is bad enough from the official record; but I am enabled from
another source, semi-official in character, to show yet more precisely
what occurred. I have a minute account drawn up by the gentleman
who acted as interpreter on the occasion. The Rear-Admiral could
not speak French; the President could not speak English. Instead of
waiting upon the Secretary of State and making his communication to
this functionary, he went at once to the Executive Mansion, with the
officers of his vessel and other persons, when, after announcing to the
President that he came to pay a friendly visit, he said, that, “as a
sailor, he would take the same opportunity to communicate instructions
received from his Government.”

The President, justly surprised, said that he was not aware that
the Rear-Admiral had any official communication to make, otherwise
the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs would have been present,
being the proper party to receive it. The Secretary of State and
other members of the Provisional Government were sent for, when the
Rear-Admiral proceeded to make the communication already reported, and
at the same time pointing to his great war-ships in the outside harbor,
plainly visible from the Executive Mansion, remarked, that it could be
seen he had power enough to enforce his communication, and that besides
he was expecting other forces (and in fact two other war-ships soon
arrived, one of them a monitor); and then he announced, that, “if any
vessels under Haytian or other flags were found in Dominican waters,
_he would sink or capture them_.” Brave Rear-Admiral! The interpreter,
from whose account I am drawing, says that the President felt very
sorry and humiliated by this language, especially when the Rear-Admiral
referred to the strong forces under his command, and he proceeded to

    “That Hayti, having the knowledge of her feebleness and of
    her dignity, had taken note of the communication made in the
    name of the United States; that, under present circumstances,
    the Government of Hayti would not interfere in the internal
    affairs of San Domingo, but the Government could not prevent
    the sympathies of the Haytian people to be with the Dominican
    patriots fighting against annexation.”

Who will not say that in this transaction the Black Republic appears
better than the Rear-Admiral?


Such is the testimony, establishing beyond question the two
propositions, first, that the usurper Baez was maintained in power
by our Navy to enable him to carry out the sale of his country, and,
secondly, that further to assure this sale the neighbor Republic of
Hayti was violently menaced,--all this being in breach of Public Law,
International and Constitutional.

In considering how far this conduct is a violation of International Law
and of the Constitution of the United States, I begin with the former.


International Law is to nations what the National Constitution is to
our coëqual States: it is the rule by which they are governed. As among
us every State and also every citizen has an interest in upholding the
National Constitution, so has every nation and also every citizen an
interest in upholding International Law. As well disobey the former
as the latter. You cannot do so in either case without disturbing the
foundations of peace and tranquillity. To insist upon the recognition
of International Law is to uphold civilization in one of its essential
securities. To vindicate International Law is a constant duty, which is
most eminent according to the rights in jeopardy.

Foremost among admitted principles of International Law is the axiom,
that all nations are equal, without distinction of population, size, or
power. Nor does International Law know any distinction of color. As a
natural consequence, whatever is the rule for one is the rule for all;
nor can we do to a thinly-peopled, small, weak, or black nation what
we would not do to a populous, large, strong, or white nation,--nor
what that nation might not do to us. “Do unto others as you would have
them do unto you,” is the plain law for all nations, as for all men.
The equality of nations is the first principle of International Law,
as the equality of men is the first principle in our Declaration of
Independence; and you may as well assail the one as the other. As all
men are equal before the Law, so are all nations.

This simple statement is enough; but since this commanding principle
has been practically set aside in the operations of our Navy, I proceed
to show how it is illustrated by the authorities.

The equality of nations, like the equality of men, was recognized
tardily, under the growing influence of civilization. Not to the
earlier writers, not even to the wonderful Grotius, whose instinct for
truth was so divine, do we repair for the elucidation of this undoubted
rule. Our Swiss teacher, Vattel, prompted, perhaps, by the experience
of his own country, surrounded by more powerful neighbors, was the
first to make it stand forth in its present character. His words, which
are as remarkable for picturesque force as for juridical accuracy,
state the whole case:--

    “Nations composed of men, and considered as so many free
    persons living together in the state of Nature, are naturally
    equal, and inherit from Nature the same obligations and
    rights. Power or weakness does not in this respect produce
    any difference. A dwarf is as much a man as a giant; a small
    republic is no less a sovereign state than the most powerful
    kingdom. By a necessary consequence of that equality, whatever
    is lawful for one nation is equally lawful for any other, and
    whatever is unjustifiable in the one is equally so in the

Later authorities have followed this statement, with some slight
variety of expression, but with no diminution of its force. One of the
earliest to reproduce it was Sir William Scott, in one of his masterly
judgments, lending to it the vivid beauty of his style:--

    “A fundamental principle of Public Law is the perfect equality
    and entire independence of all distinct states. Relative
    magnitude creates no distinction of right; relative imbecility,
    whether permanent or casual, gives no additional right to the
    more powerful neighbor; and any advantage seized upon that
    ground is mere usurpation. This is the great foundation of
    Public Law, which it mainly concerns the peace of mankind,
    both in their politic and private capacities, to preserve

The German Heffter states the rule more simply, but with equal force:--

    “Nations, being sovereign or independent of each other, treat
    together on a footing of complete equality. The most feeble
    state has the same political rights as the strongest. In other
    terms, each state exercises in their plenitude the rights which
    result from its political existence and from its participation
    in international association.”[69]

The latest English writers testify likewise. Here are the words of

    “The natural equality of states is the necessary companion
    of their independence,--that primitive cardinal right upon
    which the science of International Law is mainly built.… They
    are entitled, in their intercourse with other states, to all
    the rights incident to a natural equality. No other state is
    entitled to encroach upon this equality by arrogating to itself
    peculiar privileges or prerogatives as to the manner of their
    mutual intercourse.”[70]

Twiss follows Phillimore, but gives to the rule a fresh statement:--

    “The independence of a nation is absolute, and not subject to
    qualification; so that nations, in respect of their intercourse
    under the Common Law, are peers or equals.… Power and weakness
    do not in this respect give rise to any distinction.… It
    results from this equality, that whatever is lawful for
    one nation is equally lawful for another, and whatever is
    unjustifiable in the one is equally unjustifiable in the

In our own country, Chancellor Kent, a great authority, gives the rule
with perfect clearness and simplicity:--

    “Nations are equal in respect to each other, and entitled to
    claim equal consideration for their rights, whatever may be
    their relative dimensions or strength, or however greatly they
    may differ in government, religion, or manners. This perfect
    equality and entire independence of all distinct states is a
    fundamental principle of Public Law.”[72]

General Halleck, whose work is not surpassed by any other in practical
value, while quoting especially Vattel and Sir William Scott, says with
much sententiousness:--

    “All sovereign states, without respect to their relative power,
    are, in the eye of International Law, equal, being endowed with
    the same natural rights, bound by the same duties, and subject
    to the same obligations.”[73]

Thus does each authority reflect the others, while the whole together
present the Equality of Nations as a guiding principle not to be
neglected or dishonored.

The record already considered shows how this principle has been
openly defied by our Government in the treatment of the Black
Republic,--first, in the menace of war by Rear-Admiral Poor, and,
secondly, in the manner of the menace,--being in substance and in form.
In both respects the Admiral did what he would not have done to a
powerful nation, what he would not have done to any white nation, and
what we should never allow any nation to do to us.

Hayti was weak, and the gallant Admiral, rowing ashore, pushed to the
Executive Mansion, where, after what he called “a friendly visit,”
he struck at the independence of the Black Republic, pointing from
the windows of the Executive Mansion to his powerful armament, and
threatening to employ it against the Haytian capital or in sinking
Haytian ships. For the present I consider this unprecedented insolence
only so far as it was an offence against the Equality of Nations, and
here it may be tried easily. Think you that we should have done this
thing to England, France, or Spain? Think you that any foreign power
could have done it to us? But if right in us toward Hayti, it would be
right in us toward England, France, or Spain; and it would be right
in any foreign power toward us. If it were right in us toward Hayti,
then might England, France, Spain, or Hayti herself do the same to us.
Imagine a foreign fleet anchored off Alexandria, while the admiral,
pulling ashore in his boat, hurries to the Executive Mansion, and then,
after announcing a friendly visit, points to his war-ships visible from
the windows, and menaces their thunder. Or to be more precise, suppose
the Haytian Navy to return the compliment here in the Potomac. But just
in proportion as we condemn any foreign fleet, including the Haytian
Navy, doing this thing, do we condemn ourselves. The case is clear. We
did not treat Hayti as our peer. The great principle of the Equality of
Nations was openly set at nought.

To extenuate this plain outrage, I have heard it said, that, in our
relations with Hayti, we are not bound by the same rules of conduct
applicable to other nations. So I have heard; and this, indeed, is
the only possible defence for the outrage. As in other days it was
proclaimed that a black man had no rights which a white man was bound
to respect, so this defence assumes the same thing of the Black
Republic. But at last the black man has obtained Equal Rights; and so,
I insist, has the Black Republic. As well deny the one as the other. By
an Act of Congress, drawn by myself and approved by Abraham Lincoln in
the session of 1862, diplomatic relations were established between the
United States and Hayti, and the President was expressly authorized to
appoint diplomatic representatives there. At first we were represented
by a Commissioner and Consul-General; now it is by a Minister Resident
and Consul-General. Thus, by Act of Congress and the appointment of a
Minister, have we recognized the Equal Rights of Hayti in the Family
of Nations, and placed the Black Republic under the safeguard of that
great axiom of International Law which makes it impossible for us to do
unto her what we would not allow her to do unto us. In harmony with the
United States, the “Almanach de Gotha,” where is the authentic, if not
official, list of nations entitled to Equal Rights, contains the name
of Hayti. Thus is the Black Republic enrolled as an equal; and yet have
we struck at this equality. How often have I pleaded that all men are
equal before the Law! And now I plead that all nations are equal before
the Law, without distinction of color.


From one violation of International Law I pass to another. The
proceedings already detailed show belligerent intervention, contrary to
International Law. Here my statement will be brief.

According to all the best authorities, in harmony with reason, no
nation has a right to interfere by belligerent intervention in
the internal affairs of another, and especially to take part in a
civil feud, except under conditions which are wanting here; nor has
it a right to interfere by belligerent intervention between two
independent nations. The general rule imposed by modern civilization
is _Non-Intervention_; but this rule is little more than a scientific
expression of that saying of Philip de Comines, the famous minister of
Louis the Eleventh, “Our Lord God does not wish that one nation should
play the devil with another.” Not to occupy time with authorities,
I content myself with some of our own country, which are clear and
explicit, and I begin with George Washington, who wrote to Lafayette,
under date of December 25, 1798:--

    “No Government ought to interfere with the internal concerns
    of another, _except for the security of what is due to

Wheaton lays down the same rule substantially, when he says:--

    “Non-Interference is the general rule, to which cases of
    justifiable interference form exceptions, _limited by the
    necessity of each particular case_.”[75]

Thus does Wheaton, like Washington, found intervention in the necessity
of the case. Evidently neither thought of founding it on a scheme for
the acquisition of foreign territory.

In harmony with Washington and Wheaton, I cite General Halleck, in his
excellent work:--

    “Wars of intervention are to be justified or condemned
    accordingly as they are or are not undertaken _strictly as
    the means of self-defence_, and self-protection against the
    aggrandizements of others, and without reference to treaty
    obligations; for, if wrong in themselves, the stipulations of a
    treaty cannot make them right.”[76]

Then again Halleck says, in words applicable to the present case:--

    “The invitation of one party to a civil war can afford no
    right of foreign interference, as against the other party. The
    same reasoning holds good with respect to armed intervention,
    whether between belligerent states or between belligerent
    parties in the same state.”[77]

Armed Intervention, or, as I would say, Belligerent Intervention, is
thus defined by Halleck:--

    “Armed intervention consists _in threatened or actual force_,
    employed or to be employed by one state in regulating or
    determining the conduct or affairs of another. Such an
    employment of force is virtually _a war_, and must be justified
    or condemned upon the same general principles as other

Applying these principles to existing facts already set forth, it is
easy to see that the belligerent intervention of the United States
in the internal affairs of Dominica, maintaining the usurper Baez
in power, especially against Cabral, was contrary to acknowledged
principles of International Law, and that the belligerent intervention
between Dominica and Hayti was of the same character. Imagine our Navy
playing the fantastic tricks on the coast of France which it played on
the coasts of San Domingo, and then, still further, imagine it entering
the ports of France as it entered the ports of Hayti, and you will see
how utterly indefensible was its conduct. In the capital of Hayti it
committed an act of war hardly less flagrant than that of England at
the bombardment of Copenhagen. Happily blood was not shed, but there
was an act of war. Here I refer to the authorities already cited, and
challenge contradiction.

To vindicate these things, whether in Dominica or in Hayti, you must
discard all acknowledged principles of International Law, and join
those who, regardless of rights, rely upon arms. Grotius reminds us of
Achilles, as described by Horace:--

                                  “Rights he spurns
    As things not made for him, claims all by arms”;

and he quotes Lucan also, who shows a soldier exclaiming:--

    “Now, Peace and Law, I bid you both farewell.”

The old Antigonus, who, when besieging a city, laughed at a man who
brought him a dissertation on Justice, and Pompey, who exclaimed, “Am
I, when in arms, to think of the laws?”[79]--these seem to be the
models for our Government on the coasts of San Domingo.


The same spirit which set at defiance great principles of International
Law, installing force instead, is equally manifest in disregard of the
Constitution of the United States; and here one of its most distinctive
principles is struck down. By the Constitution it is solemnly announced
that to Congress is given the power “to declare war.” This allotment of
power was made only after much consideration, and in obedience to those
popular rights consecrated by the American Revolution. In England,
and in all other monarchies at the time, this power was the exclusive
prerogative of the Crown, so that war was justly called “the last
reason of kings.” The framers of our Constitution naturally refused to
vest this kingly prerogative in the President. Kings were rejected in
substance as in name. The One-Man Power was set aside, and this kingly
prerogative placed under the safeguard of the people, as represented
in that highest form of national life, an Act of Congress. No other
provision in the Constitution is more distinctive, or more worthy of
veneration. I do not go too far, when I call it an essential element of
Republican Institutions, happily discovered by our fathers.

Our authoritative commentator, Judge Story, has explained the origin of
this provision, and his testimony confirms the statement I have made.
After remarking that the power to declare war is “not only _the highest
sovereign prerogative_, but that it is in its own nature and effects so
critical and calamitous that it requires the utmost deliberation and
the successive review of all the councils of the nation,” the learned
author remarks with singular point, that “it should be difficult in
a Republic to declare war,” and that, therefore, “the coöperation of
all the branches of the _legislative_ power ought upon principle to
be required in this, _the highest act of legislation_”; and he even
goes so far as to suggest still greater restriction, “as by requiring
a concurrence of two thirds of both Houses.”[80] There is no such
conservative requirement; but war can be declared only by a majority of
both Houses with the approbation of the President. There must be the
embodied will of the Legislative and the Executive,--in other words, of
Congress and the President. Not Congress alone, without the President,
can declare war; nor can the President alone, without Congress. Both
must concur; and here is the triumph of Republican Institutions.

But this distinctive principle of our Constitution and new-found
safeguard of popular rights has been set at nought by the President;
or rather, in rushing to the goal of his desires, he has overleaped it,
as if it were stubble.

In harmony with the whole transaction is the apology, which insists
that the President may do indirectly what he cannot do directly,--that
he may, according to old Polonius, “by indirections find directions
out,”--in short, that, though he cannot declare war directly, he may
indirectly. We are reminded of the unratified treaty, with its futile
promise “against foreign interposition,”--that is, with the promise of
the War Powers of our Government set in motion by the President alone,
without an Act of Congress. Here are the precise terms:--

    “The people of the Dominican Republic shall, in the shortest
    possible time, express, in a manner conformable to their laws,
    their will concerning the cession herein provided for; and
    the United States shall, until such expression shall be had,
    _protect the Dominican Republic against foreign interposition_,
    in order that the national expression may be free.”[81]

Now nothing can be clearer than that this provision, introduced on the
authority of the President alone, was beyond his powers, and therefore
_brutum fulmen_, a mere wooden gun, until after the ratification of the
treaty. Otherwise the President alone might declare war, without an
Act of Congress, doing indirectly what he cannot do directly, and thus
overturning that special safeguard which places under the guardianship
of Congress what Story justly calls “the highest sovereign prerogative.”

Here we meet another distinctive principle of our Constitution. As the
power to declare war is lodged in Congress with the concurrence of the
President, so is the power to make a treaty lodged in the President
with the concurrence of two thirds of the Senate. War is declared only
by Congress and the President; a treaty is made only by the President
and two thirds of the Senate. As the former safeguard was new, so
was the latter. In England and all other monarchies at the time, the
treaty-making power was a kingly prerogative, like the power to declare
war. The provision in our Constitution, requiring the participation
of the Senate, was another limitation of the One-Man Power, and a new
contribution to Republican Institutions.

“The Federalist,” in an article written by Alexander Hamilton, thus
describes the kingly prerogative:--

    “The king of Great Britain is the sole and absolute
    representative of the nation in all foreign transactions. He
    can _of his own accord_ make treaties of peace, commerce,
    alliance, and of every other description.… Every jurist of that
    kingdom, and every other man acquainted with its Constitution,
    knows, as an established fact, that the prerogative of making
    treaties exists in the Crown in its utmost plenitude; and that
    the compacts entered into by the royal authority have the most
    complete legal validity and perfection, _independent of any
    other sanction_.”[82]

Such was the well-known kingly prerogative which our Constitution
rejected. Here let “The Federalist” speak again:--

    “There is no comparison between the intended power of the
    President and the actual power of the British sovereign. The
    one can perform alone what the other can only do with the
    concurrence of a branch of the Legislature.”[83]

Then, again, after showing that a treaty is a contract with a foreign
nation, having the force of law, “The Federalist” proceeds:--

    “The history of human conduct does not warrant that exalted
    opinion of human virtue which would make it wise in a nation to
    commit interests of so delicate and momentous a kind as those
    which concern its intercourse with the rest of the world _to
    the sole disposal of a magistrate created and circumstanced as
    would be a President of the United States_.”[84]

Thus does this contemporary authority testify against handing over
to “the sole disposal” of the President the delicate and momentous
question in the unratified treaty.

Following “The Federalist” is the eminent commentator already cited,
who insists that “it is too much to expect that a free people
would confide to a single magistrate, however respectable, _the
sole authority_ to act conclusively, as well as exclusively, upon
the subject of treaties”; and that, “however proper it may be in a
monarchy, there is no American statesman but must feel that such
a prerogative in an American President would be inexpedient and
dangerous,”--that “it would be inconsistent with that wholesome
jealousy which all republics ought to cherish of all depositaries of
power”; and then he adds:--

    “The check which acts upon the mind, _from the consideration
    that what is done is but preliminary_, and requires the assent
    of other independent minds _to give it a legal conclusiveness_,
    is a restraint which awakens caution and compels to

The learned author then dwells with pride on the requirement of the
Constitution, which, while confiding the power to the Executive
Department, “guards it from serious abuse by placing it _under the
ultimate superintendence of a select body of high character and high
responsibility_”; and then, after remarking that “the President is
the immediate author and finisher of all treaties,” he concludes, in
decisive words, that “no treaty so formed _becomes binding upon the
country_, unless it receives the deliberate assent of two thirds of the

Nothing can be more positive. Therefore, even at the expense of
repetition, I insist, that, as the power to declare war is under the
safeguard of Congress with the concurrence of the President, so is the
power to make a treaty in the President with the concurrence of two
thirds of the Senate,--but the act of neither becomes binding without
this concurrence. Thus, on grounds of authority, as well as of reason,
is it clear that the undertaking of the President to employ the War
Powers without the authority of Congress was void, and every employment
of these War Powers in pursuance thereof was a usurpation.

If the President were a king, with the kingly prerogative either to
declare war or to make treaties, he might do what he has done; but
being only President, with the limited powers established by the
Constitution, he cannot do it. The assumption in the Dominican treaty
is exceptional and abnormal, being absolutely without precedent. The
treaty with France in 1803 for the cession of Louisiana contained no
such assumption; nor did the treaty with Spain in 1819 for the cession
of Florida; nor did the treaty with Mexico in 1848, by which the title
to Texas and California was assured; nor did the treaty with Mexico
in 1853, by which new territory was obtained; nor did the treaty with
Russia in 1867 for the cession of her possessions in North America.
In none of these treaties was there any such assumption of power.
The Louisiana treaty stipulated that possession should be taken by
the United States “immediately after the ratification of the present
treaty by the President of the United States, and in case that of the
First Consul shall have been previously obtained.”[87] The Florida
treaty stipulated “six months after the exchange of the ratification
of this treaty, or sooner, if possible.”[88] But these stipulations,
by which possession on our part, with corresponding responsibilities,
was adjourned till after the exchange of ratifications, were simply
according to the dictate of reason, in harmony with the requirement of
our Constitution.

The case of Texas had two stages: first, under an unratified treaty;
and, secondly, under a Joint Resolution of Congress. What was done
under the latter had the concurrence of Congress and the President;
so that the inchoate title of the United States was created by Act of
Congress, in plain contradiction to the present case, where the title,
whatever it may be, is under an unratified treaty, _and is created
by the President alone_. Here is a manifest difference, not to be

During the pendency of the treaty, there was an attempt by John Tyler,
aided by his Secretary of State, John C. Calhoun, to commit the United
States to the military support of Texas. It was nothing but an attempt.
There was no belligerent intervention or act of war, but only what
Benton calls an “assumpsit” by Calhoun. On this “assumpsit” the veteran
Senator, in the memoirs of his Thirty Years in the Senate, breaks forth
in these indignant terms:--

    “As to secretly lending the Army and Navy of the United States
    to Texas to fight Mexico while we were at peace with her, it
    would be a crime against God and man and our own Constitution,
    for which heads might be brought to the block, if Presidents
    and their Secretaries, like Constitutional Kings and Ministers,
    should be held capitally responsible for capital crimes.”[89]

The indignant statesman, after exposing the unconstitutional
charlatanry of the attempt, proceeds:--

    “And that no circumstance of contradiction or folly should
    be wanting to crown this plot of crime and imbecility, it so
    happened, that, on the same day that our new Secretary here was
    giving his written assumpsit to lend the Army and Navy to fight
    Mexico while we were at peace with her, the agent Murphy was
    communicating to the Texan Government, in Texas, _the refusal
    of Mr. Tyler, through Mr. Nelson, to do so, because of its

Mr. Nelson, Secretary of State _ad interim_, wrote Mr. Murphy, our
Minister in Texas, under date of March 11, 1844, that “the employment
of the Army or Navy against a foreign power with which the United
States are at peace is not within the competency of the President.”[91]

Again Benton says:--

    “The engagement to fight Mexico for Texas, while we were at
    peace with Mexico, was to make war with Mexico!--_a piece of
    business which belonged to the Congress_, and which should
    have been referred to them, and which, on the contrary, was
    concealed from them, though in session and present.”[92]

In the face of this indignant judgment, already the undying voice of
history, the “assumpsit” of John C. Calhoun will not be accepted as a
proper example for a Republican President. But there is not a word of
that powerful utterance by which this act is forever blasted that is
not strictly applicable to the “assumpsit” in the case of Dominica.
If an engagement to fight Mexico for Texas, while we were at peace
with Mexico, was nothing less than war with Mexico, so the present
engagement to fight Hayti for Dominica, while we are at peace with
Hayti, is nothing less than war with Hayti. Nor is it any the less “a
crime against God and man and our own Constitution” in the case of
Hayti than in the case of Mexico. But the present case is stronger than
that which aroused the fervid energies of Benton. The “assumpsit” here
has been followed by belligerent intervention and acts of war.

President Polk, in his Annual Message of December, 1846, paid homage
to the true principle, when he announced that “the moment the terms
of annexation offered by the United States were accepted by Texas, the
latter became so far a part of our own country as to make it our duty
to afford protection and defence.”[93] And accordingly he directed
those military and naval movements which ended in war with Mexico. But
it will be observed here that these movements were conditioned on the
acceptance by Texas of the terms of annexion definitively proposed by
the United States, while our title had been created by Act of Congress,
and not by the President alone.

Therefore, according to the precedents of our history, reinforced
by reason and authority, does the “assumpsit” of the treaty fail. I
forbear from characterizing it. My duty is performed, if I exhibit it
to the Senate.

But this story of a violated Constitution is not yet complete. Even
admitting some remote infinitesimal semblance of excuse or apology
during the pendency of the treaty, all of which I insist is absurd
beyond question, though not entirely impossible in a quarter unused
to constitutional questions and heeding them little,--conceding that
the “assumpsit” inserted in the treaty by the Secretary of State had
deceived the President into the idea that he possessed the kingly
prerogative of declaring war at his own mere motion,--and wishing
to deal most gently even with an undoubted usurpation of the kingly
prerogative, so long as the Secretary of State, sworn counsellor of
the President, supplied the formula for the usurpation, (and you
will bear witness that I have done nothing but state the case,)--it
is hard to hold back, when the same usurpation is openly prolonged
after the Senate had rejected the treaty on which the exercise of
the kingly prerogative was founded, and when the “assumpsit” devised
by the Secretary of State had passed into the limbo of things lost
on earth. Here there is no remote infinitesimal semblance of excuse
or apology,--nothing,--absolutely nothing. The usurpation pivots on
nonentity,--always excepting the kingly will of the President, which
constitutionally is a nonentity. The great artist of Bologna, in a much
admired statue, sculptured Mercury as standing on a puff of air. The
President has not even a puff of air to stand on.

Nor is there any question with regard to the facts. Saying nothing of
the lapse of the treaty on the 29th March, 1870, being the expiration
of the period for the exchange of ratifications, I refer to its formal
rejection by the Senate, June 30, 1870, which was not unknown to the
President. In the order of business the rejection was communicated to
him, while it became at once matter of universal notoriety. Then, by
way of further fixing the President with this notice, I refer to his
own admission in the Annual Message of December last, when he announces
that “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 of the Senate,” and then, after denouncing the
rejection as “folly,” he proceeds as follows:--

    “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.”

Thus by the open declaration of the President was the treaty rejected,
while six months after the rejection he asks for a Commission to
negotiate a new treaty, and an appropriation to defray the expenses of
the Commission; and not perceiving the inapplicability of the Texas
precedent, he proposes to do the deed by Joint Resolution of Congress.
And yet during this intermediate period, when there was no unratified
treaty extant, the same belligerent intervention has been proceeding,
the same war-ships have been girdling the island with their guns, and
the same naval support has been continued to the usurper Baez,--all at
great cost to the country and by the diversion of our naval forces from
other places of duty, while the Constitution has been dismissed out of
sight like a discharged soldier.

Already you have seen how this belligerent intervention proceeded after
the rejection of the treaty; how on the 21st July, 1870, Commodore
Green reported that “a withdrawal of the protection of the United
States and of the prospect of annexation at some future time would
instantly lead to a revolution headed by Cabral”; how on the 28th
August, 1870, Lieutenant Commander Allen reported Baez as “requesting
the presence of a vessel on the north side of the island on account
of an intended invasion by Cabral”; how at the same time the usurper
cries out that he “deems the presence of a ship-of-war in the Bay of
Manzanillo of immediate importance”; how on the 3d September, 1870,
Commander Irwin reported that Baez “feared an outbreak,” and appealed
to the Commander to “bring him some of his men that were at Azua,”
which the obliging Commander did; how under date of September 2, 1870,
the usurper, after declaring the necessity of a man-of-war at the
port of San Domingo, says that “none would be more convenient than
the Yantic for the facility of entering the river Ozama, owing to
her size”; and how again under date of October 8, 1870, the usurper
writes still another letter “to reiterate the necessity of the vessels
now in that bay [Samana] coming to these southern coasts.” All these
things you have seen, attesting constantly our belligerent intervention
and the maintenance of Baez in power by our Navy, which became his
body-guard and omnipresent upholder, and all after the rejection of
the treaty. I leave them to your judgment without one word of comment,
reminding you only that no President is entitled to substitute his
kingly will for the Constitution of our country.

In curious confirmation of the first conclusion from the official
document, the letter of Captain Temple to Mr. Wade should not be
forgotten. This letter has found its way into the papers, and if not
genuine, it ought to be. It purports to be dated, Tennessee, Azua Bay,
February 24, 1871. Here is the first paragraph:--

    “I understand that several of the gentlemen belonging to the
    expedition are to start to-morrow overland for Port-au-Prince.
    It may not have occurred to these gentlemen that by so doing
    they will virtually place themselves in the position of spies,
    and if they are taken by Cabral’s people, they can be hung to
    the nearest tree by sentence of a drum-head court-martial,
    according to all the rules of civilized warfare. _For they
    belong to a nation that, through the orders of its Executive
    to the naval vessels here, has chosen to take part in the
    internal conflicts of this country_; they come directly from
    the head-quarters of Cabral’s enemies; they are without arms,
    uniform, or authority of any kind for being in a hostile
    region. They _are_, in fact, spies. They go expressly to learn
    everything connected with the enemy’s country, and their
    observations are intended for publication, and thus indirectly
    to be reported back to President Baez. Surely Cabral would have
    a right to prevent this, if he can.”

It will be seen that the gallant Captain does not hesitate to recognize
the existing rights of Cabral under the Laws of War, and to warn
against any journey by members of the Commission across the island
to Hayti,--as, if taken by Cabral’s people, they could be hung to
the nearest tree by sentence of drum-head court-martial, “according
to all the rules of civilized warfare”; and the Captain gives the
reason: “For they belong to a nation that, through the orders of its
Executive to the naval vessels here, has chosen to take part in the
internal conflicts of this country.” Here is belligerent intervention
openly recognized by the gallant Captain, and without the authority of
Congress. If the gallant Captain wrote the letter, he showed himself
a master of International Law whom Senators might do well to follow.
If he did not write it, the instructive jest will at least relieve the
weariness of this discussion.


Mr. President, as I draw to a close, allow me to repeat the very deep
regret with which I make this exposure. Most gladly would I avoid it.
Controversy, especially at my time of life, has no attraction for me;
but I have been reared in the school of duty, and now, as of old, I
cannot see wrong without trying to arrest it. I plead now, as I have
often pleaded before, for Justice and Peace.

In the evidence adduced I have confined myself carefully to public
documents, not travelling out of the record. Dispatches, naval orders,
naval reports,--these are the unimpeachable authorities. And all these
have been officially communicated to the Senate, are now printed by
its order, accessible to all. On this unanswerable and cumulative
testimony, where each part confirms the rest, and the whole has the
harmony of truth, I present this transgression. And here it is not I
who speak, but the testimony.

Thus stands the case. International Law has been violated in two of
its commanding rules, one securing the Equality of Nations, and the
other providing against Belligerent Intervention,--while a distinctive
fundamental principle of the Constitution, by which the President
is deprived of a kingly prerogative, is disregarded, and this very
kingly prerogative is asserted by the President. This is the simplest
statement. Looking still further at the facts, we see that all this
great disobedience has for its object the acquisition of an outlying
tropical island, with large promise of wealth, and that in carrying
out this scheme our Republic has forcibly maintained a usurper in
power that he might sell his country, and has dealt a blow at the
independence of the Black Republic of Hayti, which, besides being a
wrong to that Republic, was an insult to the African race. And all this
has been done by kingly prerogative alone, without the authority of
an Act of Congress. If such a transaction, many-headed in wrong, can
escape judgment, it is difficult to see what securities remain. What
other sacred rule of International Law may not be violated? What other
foreign nation may not be struck at? What other belligerent menace may
not be hurled? What other kingly prerogative may not be seized?

On another occasion I showed how these wrongful proceedings had been
sustained by the President beyond all example, but in a corresponding
spirit. Never before has there been such Presidential intervention
in the Senate as we have been constrained to witness. Presidential
visits to the Capitol, with appeals to Senators, have been followed by
assemblies at the Executive Mansion, also with appeals to Senators;
and who can measure the pressure of all kinds by himself or agents,
especially through the appointing power, all to secure the consummation
of this scheme? In harmony with this effort was the Presidential
Message, where, while charging the Senate with “folly” in rejecting the
treaty, we are gravely assured that by the proposed acquisition “our
large debt abroad is ultimately to be extinguished,”--thus making San
Domingo the pack-horse of our vast load.

Then, responding to the belligerent menace of his Admiral, the
President makes a kindred menace by proposing nothing less than the
acquisition of “the island of San Domingo,” thus adding the Black
Republic to his scheme. The innocent population there were startled.
Their Minister here protested. Nor is it unnatural that it should be
so. Suppose the Queen of England, in her speech at the opening of
Parliament, had proposed in formal terms the acquisition of the United
States; or suppose Louis Napoleon, in his speech at the opening of
the Chambers, during the Mexican War, while the French forces were
in Mexico, had coolly proposed the acquisition of that portion of
the United States adjoining Mexico and stretching to the Atlantic,
and, in support of his proposition, had set forth the productiveness
of the soil, the natural wealth that abounded there, and wound up by
announcing that out of this might be paid the French debt abroad,
which was to be saddled upon the coveted territory. Suppose such a
proposition by Louis Napoleon or by the English Queen, made in formal
speech to Chambers or Parliament, what would have been the feeling in
our country? Nor would that feeling have been diminished by the excuse
that the offensive proposition crept into the speech by accident.
Whether by accident or design, it would attest small consideration for
our national existence. But the Haytians love their country as we love
ours; especially are they resolute for national independence. All this
is shown by the reports which reach us now, even if their whole history
did not attest it.

The language of the President in charging the Senate with “folly” was
not according to approved precedents. Clearly this is not a proper term
to be employed by one branch of the Government with regard to another,
least of all by the President with regard to the Senate. Folly, Sir!
Was it folly, when the Senate refused to sanction proceedings by
which the Equal Rights of the Black Republic were assailed? Was it
folly, not to sanction hostilities against the Black Republic without
the authority of Congress? Was it folly, not to sanction belligerent
intervention in a foreign country without the authority of Congress?
Was it folly, not to sanction a usurpation of the War Powers under the
Constitution? According to the President, all this was folly in the
Senate. Let the country judge.

Thus do we discern, whether on the coasts of San Domingo or here at
Washington, the same determination, with the same disregard of great
principles, as also the same recklessness toward the people of Hayti,
who have never injured us.


In view of these things, the first subject of inquiry is not soil,
climate, productiveness, and possibilities of wealth, but the
exceptional and abnormal proceedings of our own Government. This
inquiry is essentially preliminary in character. Before considering the
treaty or any question of acquisition, we must at least put ourselves
right as a nation; nor do I see how this can be done without retracing
our steps, and consenting to act in subordination to International Law
and the Constitution of the United States.

Beside the essential equity of such submission, and the moral dignity
it would confer upon the Republic, which rises when it stoops to Law,
there are two other reasons of irresistible force at this moment. I
need not remind you that the Senate is now occupied in considering how
to suppress lawlessness within our own borders and to save the African
race from outrage. Surely our efforts at home must be weakened by the
drama we are now playing abroad. Pray, Sir, with what face can we
insist upon obedience to Law and respect for the African race, while
we are openly engaged in lawlessness on the coasts of San Domingo
and outrage upon the African race represented by the Black Republic?
How can we expect to put down the Ku-Klux at the South, when we set
in motion another proceeding kindred in constant insubordination to
Law and Constitution? Differing in object, the two are identical in
this insubordination. One strikes at national life and the other at
individual life, while both strike at the African race. One molests a
people, the other a community. Lawlessness is the common element. But
it is difficult to see how we can condemn, with proper, whole-hearted
reprobation, our own domestic Ku-Klux, with its fearful outrages,
while the President puts himself at the head of a powerful and costly
proceeding operating abroad in defiance of International Law and the
Constitution of the United States. These are questions which I ask with
sorrow, and only in obedience to that truth which is the requirement
of this debate. Nor should I do otherwise than fail in justice to the
occasion, if I did not declare my unhesitating conviction, that, had
the President been so inspired as to bestow upon the protection of
Southern Unionists, white and black, one half, nay, Sir, one quarter,
of the time, money, zeal, will, personal attention, personal effort,
and personal intercession, which he has bestowed on his attempt to
obtain half an island in the Caribbean Sea, our Southern Ku-Klux would
have existed in name only, while tranquillity reigned everywhere within
our borders. [_Applause in the galleries._]

    THE VICE-PRESIDENT. The Senator from Massachusetts will
    suspend.--The Chair cannot consent that there shall be
    manifestations of approval or disapproval in the galleries;
    and he reprehends one as promptly as the other. If they are
    repeated, the Chair must enforce the order of the Senate.--The
    Senator from Massachusetts will resume.

MR. SUMNER. Another reason for retracing the false steps already
taken will be found in our duty to the African race, of whom there
are four millions within our borders, recognized as equal before the
Law. To these new-found fellow-citizens, once degraded and trampled
down, are we bound by every sentiment of justice; nor can we see
their race dishonored anywhere through our misconduct. How vain are
professions in their behalf, if we set the example of outrage! How
vain to expect their sympathy and coöperation in the support of the
National Government, if the President, by his own mere will, and in the
plenitude of kingly prerogative, can strike at the independence of the
Black Republic, and degrade it in the Family of Nations! All this is
a thousand times wrong. It is a thousand times impolitic also; for it
teaches the African race that they are only victims for sacrifice.

Now, Sir, as I desire the suppression of the Ku-Klux wherever it shows
itself, and as I seek the elevation of the African race, I insist
that the Presidential scheme, which instals a new form of lawlessness
on the coasts of San Domingo, and which at the same time insults the
African race represented in the Black Republic, shall be arrested. I
speak now against that lawlessness on the coasts of San Domingo, of
which the President is the head; and I speak also for the African race,
which the President has trampled down. Is there any Senator in earnest
against the Ku-Klux? Let him arrest the present lawlessness on the
coasts of San Domingo. Is there any Senator ready at all times to seek
the elevation of the African race? Here is the occasion for his best

On the question of acquisition I say nothing to-day, only alluding to
certain points involved. Sometimes it is insisted that emigrants will
hurry in large numbers to this tropical island when once annexed, and
thus swell its means; but this allegation forgets, that, according to
the testimony of History, peaceful emigration travels with the sun
on parallels of latitude, and not on meridians of longitude, mainly
following the isothermal line, and not turning off at right-angles,
whether North or South. Sometimes it is insisted that it will be
better for the people of this island, if annexed to our Republic;
but this allegation forgets the transcendent question, Whether it is
better for them, better for the African race, better for Civilization,
that the Black Republic should be absorbed out of sight, instead of
being fostered into a successful example of self-government for the
redemption of the race, not only on the Caribbean islands, but on the
continent of Africa? Then, again, arises that other question, Whether
we will assume the bloody hazards involved in this business, as it has
been pursued, with the alternative of expenditures for war-ships and
troops, causing most painful anxieties, while the land of Toussaint
L’Ouverture listens to the constant whisper of Independence? And there
is still that other question of debts and obligations, acknowledged
and unacknowledged, with an immense claim by Hayti and an unsettled
boundary, which I have already called a bloody lawsuit.

Over all is that other question, Whether we will begin a system, which,
first fastening upon Dominica, must, according to the admission of
the plenipotentiary Fabens made to myself, next take Hayti, and then
in succession the whole tropical group of the Caribbean Sea,--so that
we are now to determine if all the islands of the West Indies shall
be a component part of our Republic, helping to govern us, while the
African race is dispossessed of its natural home in this hemisphere. No
question equal in magnitude, unless it be that of Slavery, has arisen
since the days of Washington.

These questions I state only. Meanwhile to my mind there is something
better than belligerent intervention and acts of war with the menace
of absorption at untold cost of treasure. It is a sincere and humane
effort on our part, in the spirit of peace, to reconcile Hayti and
Dominica, and to establish tranquillity throughout the island. Let
this be attempted, and our Republic will become an example worthy of
its name and of the civilization which it represents, while Republican
Institutions have new glory. The blessings of good men will attend such
an effort; nor can the smile of Heaven be wanting.

And may we not justly expect the President to unite in such a measure
of peace and good-will? He that ruleth his spirit is greater than
he that taketh a city; and so the President, ruling his spirit in
subjection to the humane principles of International Law and the
Constitution of his country, will be greater than if he had taken all
the islands of the sea.

    The Commission appointed under the Joint Resolution visited San
    Domingo, and their Report, which was favorable to the proposed
    annexion, the President communicated to Congress; but no
    further action was taken to carry the scheme into effect.



    Si rixa est, ubi tu pulsas, ego vapulo tantum.
    Stat contra, starique jubet; parere necesse est.
    Nam quid agas, cum te furiosus cogat, et idem

                       JUVENAL, _Sat._ III. 289-92.


    This statement was prepared in March, shortly after the
    debate in the Senate, but was withheld at that time, from
    unwillingness to take part in the controversy, while able
    friends regarded the question of principle involved as above
    every personal issue. Yielding at last to various pressure, Mr.
    Sumner concluded to present it at the recent called session of
    the Senate, but the Treaty with Great Britain and the case of
    the Newspaper Correspondents were so engrossing as to leave no
    time for anything else.

                                           WASHINGTON, June, 1871.


    With the failure of an opportunity for the presentation of the
    proposed statement in the Senate Mr. Sumner’s indisposition
    to appeal to the public returned with increased strength,
    manifested, after printing, by limiting the communication
    of copies to personal friends, with the inscription,
    “Unpublished,--private and confidential,--not to go out of Mr.
    ----’s hands.”

    Says one to whom it was thus confided: “I frequently urged him
    afterwards to make it public. His reply was, in substance, that
    he should not do it for personal vindication merely; that, so
    far as Mr. Motley was concerned, he thought the matter stood
    well enough before the public; but if the time should come when
    the ends of justice required its publication, he should remove
    the injunction of secrecy. While he lived I respected his
    injunction. After his death I felt that justice to his memory
    not only justified, but required me to make the ‘Explanation’
    public.… Accordingly, after conferring with Mr. Whitelaw
    Reid, of the ‘New York Tribune,’ I sent it to him, and it was
    published in that journal of April 6, 1874.”--F. W. BIRD,
    _Introductory_ to his pamphlet edition, Boston and New York,

    The seal having been thus broken, there can obviously no longer
    be question as to the propriety of including an article of such
    high interest and importance in a collection of Mr. Sumner’s
    Works; and it accordingly here follows in due course.

       *       *       *       *       *

    As one consequence of the leading part taken by Mr. Sumner in
    opposition to the scheme for the annexation of San Domingo
    to the United States, the friends of that scheme formed the
    determination to depose him from the influential position long
    held by him as Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations.
    In pursuance of this determination, at the opening of the
    Session of 1871, on a vote, March 10th, to proceed to the
    election of the Standing Committees, Mr. Howe, of Wisconsin, as
    the organ of a Senatorial Caucus on the subject, sent to the
    Chair a list which had been agreed upon, with the name of Mr.
    Cameron, of Pennsylvania, substituted for that of Mr. Sumner,
    at the head of the Committee in question,--alleging, as the
    reason for this change, “that the personal relations existing
    between the Senator from Massachusetts and the President of the
    United States and the head of the State Department were such
    as precluded all social intercourse between them.” Thereupon
    ensued the debate referred to in the prefatory note to the
    following paper, and characterized in the text as Mr. Sumner’s
    “trial before the Senate on articles of impeachment.”[94]


While I was under trial before the Senate, on articles of impeachment
presented by the Senator from Wisconsin, [Mr. HOWE,] I forbore taking
any part in the debate, even in reply to allegations, asserted to be
of decisive importance, touching my relations with the President and
Secretary of State. All this was trivial enough; but numerous appeals
to me from opposite parts of the country show that good people have
been diverted by these allegations from the question of principle
involved. Without intending in any way to revive the heats of that
debate, I am induced to make a plain statement of facts, so that the
precise character of those relations shall be known. I do this with
unspeakable reluctance, but in the discharge of a public duty where the
claims of patriotism are above even those of self-defence. The Senate
and the country have an interest in knowing the truth of this matter,
and so also has the Republican party, which cannot be indifferent to
pretensions in its name; nor will anything but the completest frankness
be proper for the occasion.

In overcoming this reluctance I am aided by Senators who are determined
to make me speak. The Senator from Wisconsin, [Mr. HOWE,] who appears
as prosecuting officer, after alleging these personal relations as
the _gravamen_ of accusation against me,--making the issue pointedly
on this floor, and actually challenging reply,--not content with the
opportunity of this Chamber, hurried to the public press, where he
repeated the accusation, and now circulates it, as I am told, under
his frank, crediting it in formal terms to the liberal paper in
which it appeared, but without allusion to the editorial refutation
which accompanied it. On still another occasion, appearing still as
prosecuting officer, the same Senator volunteered, out of his own
invention, to denounce me as leaving the Republican party,--and this
he did, with infinite personality of language and manner, in the very
face of my speech to which he was replying, where, in positive words,
I declare that I speak “for the sake of the Republican party,” which I
hope to save from responsibility for wrongful acts, and then, in other
words making the whole assumption of the Senator an impossibility, I
announce, that in speaking for the Republican party it is “because from
the beginning I have been the faithful servant of that party and aspire
to see it strong and triumphant.”[95] In the face of this declared
aspiration, in harmony with my whole life, the Senator delivered his
attack, and, assuming to be nothing less than Pope, launched against
me his bull of excommunication. Then, again playing Pope, he took back
his thunder, with the apology that others thought so, and this alleged
understanding of others he did not hesitate to set above my positive
and contemporaneous language that I aspired to see the Republican party
strong and triumphant. Then came the Senator from Ohio, [Mr. SHERMAN,]
who, taking up his vacation pen, added to the articles of impeachment
by a supplementary allegation, adopted by the Senator under a
misapprehension of facts. Here was another challenge. During all this
time I have been silent. Senators have spoken, and then rushed into
print; but I have said nothing. They have had their own way with regard
to me. It is they who leave me no alternative.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is alleged that I have no personal relations with the President.
Here the answer is easy. I have precisely the relations which he has
chosen. On reaching Washington in December last, I was assured from
various quarters that the White House was angry with me; and soon
afterward the public journals reported the President as saying to a
Senator, that, if he were not President, he “would call me to account.”
What he meant I never understood, nor would I attribute to him more
than he meant; but that he used the language reported I have no doubt,
from information independent of the newspapers. I repeat that on this
point I have no doubt. The same newspapers reported, also, that a
member of the President’s household, enjoying his peculiar confidence,
taking great part in the San Domingo scheme, had menaced me with
personal violence. I could not believe the story, except on positive,
unequivocal testimony. That the menace was made on the condition of his
not being an Army officer I do not doubt. The member of the household,
when interrogated by my excellent colleague, [Mr. WILSON,] positively
denied the menace; but I am assured, on authority above question, that
he has since acknowledged it, while the President still retains him in
service, and sends him to this Chamber.

During this last session, I have opposed the Presidential policy on an
important question,--but always without one word touching motives, or
one suggestion of corruption on his part, although I never doubted that
there were actors in the business who could claim no such immunity. It
now appears that Fabens, who came here as plenipotentiary to press the
scheme, has concessions to such amount that the diplomatist is lost
in the speculator. I always insisted that the President was no party
to any such transaction. I should do injustice to my own feelings,
if I did not here declare my regret that I could not agree with the
President. I tried to think as he did, but I could not. I listened to
the arguments on his side, but in vain. The adverse considerations
multiplied with time and reflection. To those who know the motives
of my life it is superfluous for me to add that I sought simply the
good of my country and Humanity, including especially the good of the
African race, to which our country owes so much.

Already there was anger at the White House when the scheme to buy and
annex half an island in the Caribbean Sea was pressed upon the Senate
in legislative session under the guise of appointing a Commission, and
it became my duty to expose it. Here I was constrained to show how, at
very large expense, the usurper Baez was maintained in power by the
Navy of the United States to enable him to sell his country, while at
the same time the independence of the Black Republic was menaced,--all
of which was in violation of International Law, and of the Constitution
of the United States, which reserves to Congress the power “to declare
war.” What I said was in open debate, where the record will speak for
me. I hand it over to the most careful scrutiny, knowing that the
President can take no just exception to it, unless he insists upon
limiting proper debate, and boldly denies the right of a Senator to
express himself freely on great acts of wrong. Nor will any Republican
Senator admit that the President can impose his own sole will upon the
Republican party. Our party is in itself a Republic with universal
suffrage, and until a measure is adopted by the party no Republican
President can make it a party test.

       *       *       *       *       *

Much as I am pained in making this statement with regard to the
President, infinitely more painful to me is what I must present with
regard to the Secretary of State. Here again I remark that I am driven
to this explanation. His strange and unnatural conduct toward me, and
his prompting of Senators, who, one after another, have set up my
alleged relations with him as ground of complaint, make it necessary
for me to proceed.

We were sworn as Senators on the same day, as far back as 1851, and
from that distant time were friends until the San Domingo business
intervened. Nothing could exceed our kindly relations in the past. On
the evening of the inauguration of General Grant as President, he was
at my house with Mr. Motley in friendly communion, and all uniting in
aspirations for the new Administration. Little did Mr. Motley or myself
imagine in that social hour that one of our little circle was so soon
to turn upon us both.

Shortly afterward Mr. Fish became Secretary of State, and began his
responsible duties by appealing to me for help. I need not say that I
had pleasure in responding to his call, and that I did what I could
most sincerely and conscientiously to aid him. Of much, from his
arrival down to his alienation on the San Domingo business, I possess
the written record. For some time he showed a sympathy with the scheme
almost as little as my own. But as the President grew in earnestness
the Secretary yielded, until tardily he became its attorney. Repeatedly
he came to my house, pleading for the scheme. Again and again he urged
it, sometimes at my house and sometimes at his own. I was astonished
that he could do so, and expressed my astonishment with the frankness
of old friendship. For apology he announced that he was the President’s
friend, and took office as such. “But,” said I, “you should resign
rather than do this thing.” This I could not refrain from remarking, on
discovery, from dispatches in the State Department, that the usurper
Baez was maintained in power by our Navy. This plain act of wrong
required instant redress; but the Secretary astonished me again by his
insensibility to my appeal for justice. He maintained the President, as
the President maintained Baez. I confess that I was troubled.

At last, some time in June, 1870, a few weeks before the San Domingo
treaty was finally rejected by the Senate, the Secretary came to my
house about nine o’clock in the evening and remained till after the
clock struck midnight, the whole protracted visit being occupied in
earnest and reiterated appeal that I should cease my opposition to
the Presidential scheme; and here he urged that the election which
made General Grant President had been carried by him, and not by
the Republican party, so that his desires were entitled to especial
attention. In his pressure on me he complained that I had opposed
other projects of the President. In reply to my inquiry, he named the
repeal of the Tenure-of-Office Act, and the nomination of Mr. Jones as
Minister to Brussels, both of which the President had much at heart,
and he concluded with the San Domingo treaty. I assured the Secretary
firmly and simply, that, seeing the latter as I did with all its
surroundings, my duty was plain, and that I must continue to oppose it
so long as it appeared to me wrong. He was not satisfied, and renewed
his pressure in various forms, returning to the point again and again
with persevering assiduity that would not be arrested, when at last,
finding me inflexible, he changed his appeal, saying, “Why not go to
London? I offer you the English mission. It is yours.” Of his authority
from the President I know nothing. I speak only of what he said. My
astonishment was heightened by indignation at this too palpable attempt
to take me from my post of duty; but I suppressed the feeling which
rose to the lips, and, reflecting that he was an old friend and in my
own house, answered gently, “We have a Minister there who cannot be
bettered.” Thus already did the mission to London begin to pivot on San

I make this revelation only because it is important to a correct
understanding of the case, and because the conversation from beginning
to end was official in character, relating exclusively to public
business, without suggestion or allusion of a personal nature, and
absolutely without the slightest word on my part leading in the most
remote degree to any such overture, which was unexpected as undesired.
The offer of the Secretary was in no respect a compliment or kindness,
but in the strict line of his endeavor to silence my opposition to the
San Domingo scheme, as is too apparent from the facts, while it was
plain, positive, and unequivocal, making its object and import beyond
question. Had it been merely an inquiry, it were bad enough, under the
circumstances; but it was direct and complete, as by a plenipotentiary.

Shortly afterward, being the day immediately following the rejection of
the San Domingo treaty, Mr. Motley was summarily removed,--according
to present pretence, for an offending not only trivial and formal, but
condoned by time, being a year old: very much as Sir Walter Raleigh,
after being released from the Tower to conduct a distant expedition
as admiral of the fleet, was at his return beheaded on a judgment
of fifteen years’ standing. The Secretary, in conversation and in
correspondence with me, undertook to explain the removal, insisting
for a long time that he was “the friend of Mr. Motley”; but he always
made the matter worse, while the heats of San Domingo entered into the

At last, in January, 1871, a formal paper justifying the removal and
signed by the Secretary was laid before the Senate.[96] Glancing
at this document, I found, to my surprise, that its most salient
characteristic was constant vindictiveness toward Mr. Motley, with
effort to wound his feelings; and this was signed by one who had sat
with him at my house in friendly communion and common aspiration on the
evening of the inauguration of General Grant, and had so often insisted
that he was “the friend of Mr. Motley,”--while, as if it was not enough
to insult one Massachusetts citizen in the public service, the same
document, after a succession of flings and sneers, makes a kindred
assault on me; and this is signed by one who so constantly called me
“friend,” and asked me for help. The Senator from Missouri [Mr. SCHURZ]
has already directed attention to this assault, and has expressed his
judgment upon it,--confessing that he “should not have failed to feel
the insult,” and then exclaiming, with just indignation, “When such
things are launched against any member of this body, it becomes the
American Senate to stand by him, and not to attempt to disgrace and to
degrade him because he shows the sensitiveness of a gentleman.”[97] It
is easy to see how this Senator regarded the conduct of the Secretary.
Nor is its true character open to doubt, especially when we consider
the context, and how this full-blown personality naturally flowered out
of the whole document.

Mr. Motley, in his valedictory to the State Department, had alluded to
the rumor that he was removed on account of my opposition to the San
Domingo treaty. The document signed by the Secretary, while mingling
most offensive terms with regard to his “friend” in London, thus turns
upon his “friend” in Washington:--

    “It remains only to notice Mr. Motley’s adoption of a rumor
    which had its origin in this city in a source bitterly,
    personally, and vindictively hostile to the President.

    “Mr. Motley says it has been rumored that he was ‘removed from
    the post of Minister to England’ on account of the opposition
    made by an ‘eminent Senator, who honors me [him] with his
    friendship,’ to the San Domingo treaty.

    “Men are apt to attribute the causes of their own failures
    or their own misfortunes to others than themselves, and to
    claim association or seek a partnership with real or imaginary
    greatness with which to divide their sorrows or their mistakes.
    There can be no question as to the identity of the eminent
    Senator at whose door Mr. Motley is willing to deposit the
    cause of his removal. But he is entirely mistaken in seeking
    a vicarious cause of his loss in confidence and favor; and
    it is unworthy of Mr. Motley’s real merit and ability, and
    an injustice to the venerable Senator alluded to, (_to whose
    influence and urgency he was originally indebted for his
    nomination_,) to attribute to him any share in the cause of his

    “Mr. Motley must know, or, if he does not know it, he stands
    alone in his ignorance of the fact, that many Senators opposed
    the San Domingo treaty _openly, generously, and with as much
    efficiency as did the distinguished Senator to whom he refers,
    and have nevertheless continued to enjoy the undiminished
    confidence and the friendship of the President_,--than whom no
    man living is more tolerant of honest and manly differences of
    opinion, is more single or sincere in his desire for the public
    welfare, is more disinterested or regardless of what concerns
    himself, is more frank and confiding in his own dealings, _is
    more sensitive to a betrayal of confidence, or would look
    with more scorn and contempt upon one who uses the words and
    the assurances of friendship to cover a secret and determined
    purpose of hostility_.”[98]

The eulogy of the President here is at least singular, when it is
considered that every dispatch of the Secretary of State is by order of
the President; but it is evident that the writer of this dispatch had
made up his mind to set all rule at defiance. If, beyond paying court
to the President, even at the expense of making him praise himself, the
concluding sentence of this elaborate passage, so full of gall from
beginning to end, had any object, if it were anything but a mountain of
words, it was an open attempt to make an official document the vehicle
of personal insult to me; and this personal insult was signed “HAMILTON
FISH.” As I became aware of it, and found also that it was regarded by
others in the same light, I was distressed and perplexed. I could not
comprehend it. I knew not why the Secretary should step so far out of
his way, in a manner absolutely without precedent, to treat me with
ostentatious indignity,--especially when I thought that for years I had
been his friend, that I had never spoken of him except with kindness,
and that constantly since assuming his present duties he had turned
to me for help. This was more incomprehensible when I considered how
utterly groundless were all his imputations. I have lived in vain, if
such an attempt on me can fail to rebound on its author.

Not lightly would I judge an ancient friend. For a time I said nothing
to anybody of the outrage, hoping that perhaps the Secretary would
open his eyes to the true character of the document he had signed
and volunteer some friendly explanation. Meanwhile a proposition to
resume negotiations was received from England, and the Secretary, it
seems, desired to confer with me on the subject; but there was evident
consciousness on his part that he had done wrong,--for, instead of
coming to me at once, he sent for Mr. Patterson, of the Senate, and,
telling him that he wished to confer with me, added, that he did not
know precisely what were his relations with me and how I should receive
him. Within a brief fortnight I had been in conference with him at the
State Department and had dined at his house, besides about the same
time making a call there. Yet he was in doubt about his relations with
me. Plainly because, since the conference, the dinner, and the call,
the document signed by him had been communicated to the Senate, and
the conscience-struck Secretary did not know how I should take it. Mr.
Patterson asked me what he should report. I replied, that, should the
Secretary come to my house, he would be received as an old friend,
and that at any time I should be at his service for consultation on
public business, but that I could not conceal my deep sense of personal
wrong received from him absolutely without reason or excuse. That
this message was communicated by Mr. Patterson I cannot doubt,--for
the Secretary came to my house, and there was a free conference. How
frankly I spoke on public questions, without one word on other things,
the Secretary knows. He will remember if any inquiry, remark, or
allusion escaped from me, except in reference to public business. The
interview was of business and nothing else.

On careful reflection, it seemed to me plain, that, while meeting the
Secretary officially, it would not be consistent with self-respect
for me to continue personal relations with one who had put his name
to a document, which, after protracted fury toward another, contained
a studied insult to me, where the fury was intensified rather than
tempered by too obvious premeditation. Public business must not suffer,
but in such a case personal relations naturally cease; and this rule I
have followed since. Is there any Senator who would have done less? Are
there not many who would have done more? I am at a loss to understand
how the Secretary could expect anything beyond those official relations
which I declared my readiness at all times to maintain, and which, even
after his assault on me, he was willing to seek at my own house. To
expect more shows on his part grievous insensibility to the thing he
had done. Whatever one signs he makes his own; and the Secretary, when
he signed this document, adopted a libel upon his friend, and when he
communicated it to the Senate he published the libel. Nothing like it
can be shown in the history of our Government. It stands alone. The
Secretary is alone. Like Jean Paul in German literature, his just title
will be “The Only One.” For years I have known Secretaries of State
and often differed from them, but never before did I receive from one
anything but kindness. Never before did a Secretary of State sign a
document libelling an associate in the public service, and publish it
to the world. Never before did a Secretary of State so entirely set at
defiance every sentiment of friendship. It is impossible to explain
this strange aberration, except from the disturbing influence of San
Domingo. But whatever its origin, its true character is beyond question.

As nothing like this state-paper can be shown in the history of our
Government, so also nothing like it can be shown in the history of
other Governments. Not an instance can be named in any country, where
a personage in corresponding official position has done such a thing.
The American Secretary is alone, not only in his own country, but in
all countries; “none but himself can be his parallel.” Seneca, in the
“Hercules Furens,” has pictured him:--

          “Quæris Alcidæ parem?
    Nemo est, nisi ipse.”

He is originator and first inventor, with all prerogatives and
responsibilities thereto belonging.

I have mentioned only one sally in this painful document; but the
whole, besides its prevailing offensiveness, shows inconsistency with
actual facts of my own knowledge, which is in entire harmony with the
recklessness toward me, and attests the same spirit throughout. Thus,
we have the positive allegation that the death of Lord Clarendon, June
27, 1870, “_determined the time_ for inviting Mr. Motley to make place
for a successor,”[99] when, in point of fact, some time before his
Lordship’s illness even, the Secretary had invited me to go to London
as Mr. Motley’s successor,--thus showing that the explanation of Lord
Clarendon’s death was an after-thought, when it became important to
divert attention from the obvious dependence of the removal upon the
defeat of the San Domingo treaty.

A kindred inconsistency arrested the attention of the London “Times,”
in its article of January 24, 1871, on the document signed by the
Secretary. Here, according to this journal, the document supplied the
means of correction, since it set forth that on the 25th June, two
days before Lord Clarendon’s death, Mr. Motley’s coming removal was
announced in a London journal. After stating the alleged dependence
of the removal upon the death of Lord Clarendon, the journal, holding
the scales, remarks: “And yet there is at least one circumstance,
appearing, _strange to say_, in Mr. Fish’s own dispatch, which is _not
quite consistent_ with the explanation he sets up of Mr. Motley’s
recall.” Then, after quoting from the document, and mentioning that
its own correspondent at Philadelphia did on the 25th June “send us a
message that Mr. Motley was about to be withdrawn,” the journal mildly
concludes, that, “as this was two days before Lord Clarendon’s death,
which was unforeseen here and could not have been expected in the
States, _it is difficult to connect the resolution to supersede the
late American Minister with the change at our Foreign Office_.” The
difficulty of the “Times” is increased by the earlier incident with
regard to myself.

Not content with making the removal depend upon the death of Lord
Clarendon, when it was heralded abroad not only before the death of
this minister had occurred, but while it was yet unforeseen, the
document seeks to antedate the defeat of the San Domingo treaty, so
as to interpose “weeks and months” between the latter event and the
removal. The language is explicit. “The treaty,” says the document,
“_was admitted_ to be practically dead, and was waiting only the formal
action of the Senate, _for weeks and months_ before the decease of the
illustrious statesman of Great Britain.”[100] Weeks and months! And yet
during the last month, when the treaty “was admitted to be practically
dead,” the Secretary who signed the document passed three hours at my
house, pleading with me to withdraw my opposition, and finally wound up
by tender to me of the English mission, with no other apparent object
than simply to get me out of the way.

Then again we have the positive allegation that the President embraced
an opportunity “to prevent any further misapprehension of his views
through Mr. Motley by taking from him the right to discuss further
the ‘Alabama claims’”;[101] whereas the Secretary in a letter to me
at Boston, dated at Washington, October 9, 1869, informs me that the
discussion of the question was withdrawn from London “_because_” (the
Italics are the Secretary’s) “we think, that, when renewed, it can be
carried on here with a better prospect of settlement than where the
late attempt at a convention which resulted so disastrously and was
conducted so strangely was had”; and what the Secretary thus wrote he
repeated in conversation when we met, carefully making the transfer
to Washington depend upon our advantage here from the presence of the
Senate: thus showing that the pretext put forth to wound Mr. Motley was
an after-thought.

Still further, the document signed by the Secretary alleges, by way of
excuse for removing Mr. Motley, the “important public consideration of
having a representative in sympathy with the President’s views”;[102]
whereas, when the Secretary tendered the mission to me, no allusion was
made to “sympathy with the President’s views,” while Mr. Motley, it
appears, was charged with agreeing too much with me: all of which shows
how little this matter had to do with the removal, and how much the San
Domingo business at the time was above any question of conformity on
other things.

In the amiable passage already quoted[103] there is a parenthesis which
breathes the prevailing spirit. By way of aspersion on Mr. Motley and
myself, the country is informed that he was indebted for his nomination
to “influence and urgency” on my part. Of the influence I know nothing;
but I deny positively any “urgency.” I spoke with the President on
this subject once casually on the stairs of the Executive Mansion, and
then again in a formal interview. And here, since the effort of the
Secretary, I shall frankly state what I said and how it was introduced.
I began by remarking, that, with the permission of the President, I
should venture to suggest the expediency of continuing Mr. Marsh in
Italy, Mr. Morris at Constantinople, and Mr. Bancroft at Berlin, as
all these exerted a peculiar influence and did honor to our country.
To this list I proposed to add Dr. Howe in Greece, believing that he,
too, would do honor to our country, and also Mr. Motley in London,
who, I suggested, would have an influence there beyond his official
position. The President said that nobody should be sent to London who
was not “right” on the Claims question, and he kindly explained to me
what he meant by “right.” From this time I had no conversation with
him about Mr. Motley, until after the latter had left for his post,
when the President volunteered to express his great satisfaction in the
appointment. Such was the extent of my “urgency.” Nor was I much in
advance of the Secretary at that time; for he showed me what was called
the “brief” at the State Department for the English mission, with Mr.
Motley’s name at the head of the list.

Other allusions to myself would be cheerfully forgotten, if they were
not made the pretext to assail Mr. Motley, who is held to severe
account for supposed dependence on me. If this were crime, not the
Minister, but the Secretary, should suffer; for it is the Secretary,
and not the Minister, who appealed to me constantly for help, often
desiring me to think for him, and more than once to hold the pen for
him. But, forgetting his own relations with me, the Secretary turns
upon Mr. Motley, who never asked me to think for him or to hold the pen
for him. Other things the Secretary also forgot. He forgot that the
blow he dealt, whether at Mr. Motley or myself, rudely tore the veil
from the past, so far as its testimony might be needed in elucidation
of the truth; that the document he signed was a challenge and
provocation to meet him on the facts without reserve or concealment;
that the wantonness of assault on Mr. Motley was so closely associated
with that on me, that any explanation I might make must be a defence
of him; that, even if duty to the Senate and myself did not require
this explanation, there are other duties not to be disregarded,
among which is duty to the absent, who cannot be permitted to suffer
unjustly,--duty to a much-injured citizen of Massachusetts, who may
properly look to a Senator of his State for protection against official
wrong,--duty also to a public servant insulted beyond precedent, who,
besides writing and speaking most effectively for the Republican party
and for this Administration, has added to the renown of our country by
unsurpassed success in literature, commending him to the gratitude and
good-will of all. These things the Secretary strangely forgot, when he
dealt the blow which tore the veil.

The crime of the Minister was dependence on me: so says the
state-paper. A simple narrative will show who is the criminal. My
early relations with the Secretary have already appeared, and how he
began by asking me for help, practising constantly on this appeal.
A few details will be enough. At once on his arrival to assume his
new duties, he asked my counsel about appointing Mr. Bancroft Davis
Assistant Secretary of State, and I advised the appointment,--without
sufficient knowledge, I am inclined to believe now. Then followed
the questions with Spain growing out of Cuba, which were the subject
of constant conference, where he sought me repeatedly and kindly
listened to my opinions. Then came the instructions for the English
mission, known as the dispatch of May 15, 1869. At each stage of
these instructions I was in the counsels of the Secretary. Following
my suggestion, he authorized me to invite Mr. Motley in his name to
prepare the “memoir” or essay on our claims, which, notwithstanding its
entirely confidential character, he drags before the world, for purpose
of assault, in a manner clearly unjustifiable. Then, as the dispatch
was preparing, he asked my help especially in that part relating to
the concession of belligerent rights. I have here the first draught of
this important passage in pencil and in my own handwriting, varying
in no essential respect from that adopted. Here will be found the
distinction on which I have always insisted,--that, while other powers
conceded belligerent rights to our Rebels, it was in England only that
the concession was supplemented by acts causing direct damage to the
United States. Not long afterward, in August, 1869, when the British
storm had subsided, I advised that the discussion should be renewed
by an elaborate communication, setting forth our case in length and
breadth, but without any estimate of damages,--throwing upon England
the opportunity, if not the duty, of making some practical proposition.
Adopting this recommendation, the Secretary invited me to write the
dispatch. I thought it better that it should be done by another, and
I named for this purpose an accomplished gentleman whom I knew to be
familiar with the question, and he wrote the dispatch. This paper,
bearing date September 25, 1869, is unquestionably the ablest in the
history of the present Administration, unless we except the last
dispatch of Mr. Motley.

In a letter dated at Washington, October 15, 1869, and addressed to me
at Boston, the Secretary describes this paper in the following terms:--

    “The dispatch to Motley (which I learn by a telegram from him
    has been received) is a calm, _full_ review of our entire
    case, making no demand, no valuation of damages, but I believe
    covering all the ground and all the points that have been made
    on our side. I hope that it will meet your views. I _think_ it
    will. It leaves the question with Great Britain to determine
    when any negotiations are to be renewed.”

The Secretary was right in his description. It was a “_full_ review of
our entire case,” “covering all the ground and all the points”; and it
did meet my views, as the Secretary thought it would, especially where
it arraigned so strongly that fatal concession of belligerent rights
on the ocean, which in any faithful presentment of the national cause
will always be the first stage of _evidence_,--since, without this
precipitate and voluntary act, the Common Law of England was a positive
protection against the equipment of a corsair ship, or even the supply
of a blockade-runner for unacknowledged rebels. The conformity of this
dispatch with my views was recognized by others besides the Secretary.
It is well known that Lord Clarendon did not hesitate in familiar
conversation to speak of it as “Mr. Sumner’s speech over again”; while
another English personage said that “it out-Sumnered Sumner.” And yet,
with his name signed to this dispatch, written at my suggestion, and in
entire conformity with my views, as admitted by him and recognized by
the English Government, the Secretary taunts Mr. Motley for supposed
harmony with me on this very question. This taunt is still more
unnatural when it is known that this dispatch is in similar conformity
with the “memoir” of Mr. Motley, and was evidently written with
knowledge of that admirable document, where the case of our country is
stated with perfect mastery. But the story does not end here.

On the communication of this dispatch to the British Government, Mr.
Thornton was instructed to ascertain what would be accepted by our
Government, when the Secretary, under date of Washington, November
6, 1869, reported to me this application, and then, after expressing
unwillingness to act on it until he “could have an opportunity of
consulting” me, he wrote, “When will you be here? Will you either note
what you think will be sufficient to meet the views of the Senate and
of the country, or _will you formulate such proposition_?” After this
responsible commission, the letter winds up with the earnest request,
“Let me hear from you _as soon as you can_,” (the Italics are the
Secretary’s,) “and I should like to confer with you at the earliest
convenient time.” On my arrival at Washington, the Secretary came to my
house at once, and we conferred freely. San Domingo had not yet sent
its shadow into his soul.

It is easily seen that here was constant and reiterated appeal to me,
especially on our negotiations with England; and yet, in the face of
this testimony, where he is the unimpeachable witness, the Secretary is
pleased to make Mr. Motley’s supposed relations with me the occasion of
insult to him, while, as if this were not enough, he crowns his work
with personal assault on me,--all of which, whether as regards Mr.
Motley or me, is beyond comprehension.

How little Mr. Motley merited anything but respect and courtesy from
the Secretary is attested by all who know his eminent position in
London, and the service he rendered to his country. Already the London
press, usually slow to praise Americans when strenuous for their
country, has furnished its voluntary testimony. The “Daily News” of
August 16, 1870, spoke of the insulted Minister in these terms:--

    “We are violating no confidence in saying that all the hopes
    and promises of Mr. Motley’s official residence in England
    have been amply fulfilled, and that the announcement of his
    unexpected and unexplained recall was received with extreme
    astonishment and unfeigned regret. The vacancy he leaves
    cannot possibly be filled by a Minister more sensitive to the
    honor of his Government, more attentive to the interests of
    his country, and more capable of uniting the most rigorous
    performance of his public duties with the high-bred courtesy
    and the conciliatory tact and temper that make those duties
    easy and successful. Mr. Motley’s successor will find his
    mission wonderfully facilitated by the firmness and discretion
    that have presided over the conduct of American affairs in this
    country during too brief a term, too suddenly and unaccountably

The London press had not the key to this extraordinary transaction.
It knew not the potency of the San Domingo spell, nor its strange
influence over the Secretary, even breeding insensibility to
instinctive amenities, and awakening peculiar unfriendliness to Mr.
Motley, so amply certified afterward in an official document under
his own hand,--all of which burst forth with more than the tropical
luxuriance of the much-coveted island.

       *       *       *       *       *

I cannot disguise the sorrow with which I offer this explanation.
In self-defence and for the sake of truth do I now speak. I have
cultivated forbearance, and hoped from the bottom of my heart
that I might do so to the end. But beyond the call of the public
press has been the defiant challenge of Senators, and also the
consideration sometimes presented by friends, that my silence might
be misinterpreted. Tardily and most reluctantly I make this record,
believing it more a duty to the Senate than to myself, but a plain
duty, to be performed in all simplicity without reserve. Having nothing
to conceal, and willing always to be judged by the truth, I court the
fullest inquiry, and shrink from no conclusion founded on an accurate
knowledge of the case.

If this narration enables any one to see in clearer light the injustice
done to Mr. Motley, then have I performed a further duty too long
postponed; nor will it be doubted by any honest nature, that, since the
assault of the Secretary, he was entitled to that vindication which
is found in a statement of facts within my own knowledge. Anything
short of this would be a license to the Secretary in his new style of
state-paper, which, for the sake of the public service and of good-will
among men, must be required to stand alone, in the isolation which
becomes its abnormal character. Plainly without precedent in the past,
it must be without chance of repetition in the future.

Here I stop. My present duty is performed when I set forth the simple
facts, exhibiting those personal relations which have been drawn in
question, without touching the questions of principle behind.



MR. PRESIDENT,--The questions presented in this debate have been
of fact and of Constitutional Law. It is insisted on one side that
a condition of things exists in certain States affecting life,
liberty, property, and the enjoyment of Equal Rights, which can be
corrected only by the national arm. On the other side this statement
is controverted, and it is argued also that such intervention is
inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States. On both
questions, whether of fact or law, I cannot hesitate. To my mind,
outrages are proved, fearful in character; nor can I doubt the power
under the Constitution to apply the remedy.

The evidence is cumulative. Ruffians in paint and in disguise seize
the innocent, insult them, rob them, murder them. Communities are
kept under this terrible shadow. And this terror falls especially
upon those who have stood by the Union in its bloody trial, and those
others of different color who have just been admitted to the blessings
of Freedom. To both of these classes is our nation bound by every
obligation of public faith. We cannot see them sacrificed without
apostasy. If the power to protect them fails, then is the National
Constitution a failure.

I do not set forth the evidence, for this has been amply done by
others, and to repeat it would be only to occupy time and to darken
the hour. The Report of the Committee, at least as regards one
State,[104] the testimony of the public press, the stories of violence
with which the air is laden, and private letters with their painful
narrations,--all these unite, leaving no doubt as to the harrowing
condition of things in certain States lately in rebellion,--not the
same in all these States or in all parts of a State, but such as to
show in many States the social fabric menaced, disturbed, imperilled in
its very foundations, while life, liberty, property, and the enjoyment
of Equal Rights are without that security which is the first condition
of civilization. This is the case simply stated. If such things can be
without a remedy, applied, if need be, by the national arm, then are we
little more than a bundle of sticks, but not a nation. Believing that
we are a nation, I cannot doubt the power and the duty of the National
Government. Thus on general grounds do I approach the true conclusion.

So long as Slavery endured a State was allowed to play the turtle, and,
sheltered within its shell, to escape the application of those master
principles which are truly national. The Declaration of Independence
with its immortal truths was in abeyance; the Constitution itself was
interpreted always in support of Slavery. I never doubted that this
interpretation was wrong,--not even in the days of Slavery; but it
is doubly, triply wrong now that the Declaration of Independence is
at last regarded, and that the Constitution not only makes Slavery
impossible, but assures the citizen in the enjoyment of Equal Rights.
I do not quote these texts, whether of the Declaration or the
Constitution. You know them by heart. But they are not vain words.
Vital in themselves, they are armed with all needful powers to carry
them into execution. As in other days Slavery gave its character to
the Constitution, filling it with its own denial of Equal Rights, and
compelling the National Government to be its instrument, so now do
I insist that Liberty must give its character to the Constitution,
filling it with life-giving presence, and compelling the National
Government to be its instrument. Once the Nation served Slavery, and in
this service ministered to State Rights; now it must serve Liberty with
kindred devotion, even to the denial of State Rights. All this I insist
is plain, according to rules of interpretation simple and commanding.

In other days, while the sinister influence prevailed, the States were
surrounded by a Chinese wall so broad that horsemen and chariots could
travel upon it abreast; but that wall has now been beaten down, and
the citizen everywhere is under the protection of the same Equal Laws,
not only without distinction of color, but also without distinction of

What makes us a Nation? Not armies, not fleets, not fortifications, not
commerce reaching every shore abroad, not industry filling every vein
at home, not population thronging the highways; none of these make our
Nation. The national life of this Republic is found in the principle of
Unity, and in the Equal Rights of all our people,--all of which, being
national in character, are necessarily placed under the great safeguard
of the Nation. Let the National Unity be assailed, and the Nation will
spring to its defence. Let the humblest citizen in the remotest village
be assailed in the enjoyment of Equal Rights, and the Nation must do
for that humblest citizen what it would do for itself. And this is only
according to the original promises of the Declaration of Independence,
and the more recent promises of the Constitutional Amendments, the two
concurring in the same national principles.

Do you question the binding character of the Great Declaration? Then
do I invoke the Constitutional Amendments. But you cannot turn from
either; and each establishes beyond question the boundaries of national
power, making it coextensive with the National Unity and the Equal
Rights of All, originally declared and subsequently assured. Whatever
is announced in the Declaration is essentially National, and so also
is all that is assured. The principles of the Declaration, reinforced
by the Constitutional Amendments, cannot be allowed to suffer. Being
common to all, they must be under the safeguard of all. Nor can any
State set up its local system against the universal law. Equality
implies universality; and what is universal must be national. If each
State is left to determine the protection of Equal Rights, then will
protection vary according to the State, and Equal Rights will prevail
only according to the accident of local law. There will be as many
equalities as States. Therefore, in obedience to reason, as well as
solemn mandate, is this power in the Nation.

Nor am I deterred from this conclusion by any cry of Centralism, or it
may be of Imperialism. These are terms borrowed from France, where this
abuse has become a tyranny, subjecting the most distant communities,
even in the details of administration, to central control. Mark, if
you please, the distinction. But no such tyranny is proposed among
us,--nor any interference of any kind with matters local in character.
The Nation will not enter the State, except for the safeguard of rights
national in character, and then only as the sunshine, with beneficent
power, and, like the sunshine, for the equal good of all. As well
assail the sun because it is central, because it is imperial. Here
is a just centralism; here is a generous imperialism. Shunning with
patriotic care that injurious centralism and that fatal imperialism
which have been the Nemesis of France, I hail that other centralism
which supplies an equal protection to every citizen, and that other
imperialism which makes Equal Rights the supreme law, to be maintained
by the national arm in all parts of the land. Centralism! Imperialism!
Give me the centralism of Liberty! Give me the imperialism of Equal
Rights! And may this National Capitol, where we are now assembled, be
the emblem of our Nation! Planted on a hill-top, with portals opening
North and South, East and West, with spacious chambers, and with
arching dome crowned by the image of Liberty,--such is our imperial
Republic; but in nothing is it so truly imperial as in that beneficent
Sovereignty which rises like a dome crowned by the image of Liberty.

Nor am I deterred by any party cry. The Republican party must do
its work, which is nothing less than the regeneration of the Nation
according to the promises of the Declaration of Independence.
To maintain the Republic in its unity, and the people in their
rights,--such is this transcendent duty. Nor do I fear any political
party which assails these sacred promises, even if it falsely assume
the name of Democrat. How powerless their efforts against these
immortal principles! For myself, I know no better service than that
which I now announce. Here have I labored steadfastly from early life,
bearing obloquy and enmity; and here again I pledge the energies which
remain to me, even if obloquy and enmity survive.



    This was read by the President of the League at its first
    anniversary in Steinway Hall, and reported in the papers.

                                           WASHINGTON, May 8, 1871.

  MY DEAR SIR,--It is not in my power to be at your meeting; but
  when I think that it will be held on the anniversary of the good
  old Antislavery Society, which was always so apostolic, I pay
  homage to the day, and thanks to you for remembering me among its

  Happily, Slavery is abolished; but, alas! wrong is not banished
  from the earth, nor has it ceased to be organized in human
  institutions, or to be maintained by governments.

  In considering the question of San Domingo, I am sure you will
  not forget our duty to the Haytian people, counting by the
  hundred thousand, who now seek peace with the rest of the island,
  and would gladly accept our good offices. “Blessed are the
  peacemakers!” Here is our opportunity to obtain this blessing;
  but we must begin by stopping our war-dance about the island,
  kept up at immense cost for more than a year.

      Faithfully yours,





    May 18, 1871, Z. L. White and H. J. Ramsdell, newspaper
    correspondents, having been taken into custody by order of
    the Senate, for refusing to disclose, on the requisition of
    a committee appointed to investigate the matter, the source
    whence a copy of the Treaty of Washington had been obtained
    which they had communicated for publication while under
    consideration in Executive Session, and Mr. White, whose case
    was first presented, on arraignment at the bar of the Senate
    persisting in his refusal, a resolution was thereupon offered
    for his commitment to the common jail until he should answer.
    Mr. Sumner immediately moved an amendment substituting for the
    common jail the custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms, remarking;--

In support of that amendment I will say that the only precedent we have
in our history known to me for this case is that of Nugent,[105] and he
was committed to the custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms. It appears from
the newspapers of the time that there was a perpetual menace, as the
excitement increased, that the custody should be changed to the common
jail; but it does not appear that it was so changed. He continued
for some two months in the custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms. We all
know, also, that after the Impeachment Trial a witness was taken into
custody; but it was simply the custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms of the

There is one other precedent to which I ought to allude, and it will be
for the Senate to say whether they will follow it. It is the resolution
of the Senate in the spring of 1860, on the motion of Mr. Mason,
chairman of the committee raised especially to persecute the supposed
associates of John Brown, and taking one of them into custody, bringing
him into this Chamber, propounding to him certain interrogatories which
he refused to answer. Mr. Mason finally brought forward a resolution
that he should be committed to the common jail.[107] That, Sir, is the
precedent which it is now proposed to follow. The Senate will consider
whether they will follow the lead of Mr. Mason, author of the Fugitive
Slave Bill, Chairman of the Harper’s Ferry Investigating Committee,
and afterward a Rebel, in committing a citizen to the common jail, or
whether they will follow the better precedent of the Senate at a better
day and under better auspices.

On this motion I ask for the yeas and nays.

    The yeas and nays were ordered, with the result, for the
    amendment, Yeas 31, Nays 27.

    A second resolution, containing a provision for the continuance
    of the Committee, with a view to holding the witness in
    custody after the close of the session until he should answer
    as required, which Mr. Sumner denounced as contrary to all
    parliamentary precedent, prevailed against a motion to strike
    out this part by Yeas 20, Nays 30.

    Corresponding resolutions were subsequently adopted in the case
    of Mr. Ramsdell, who had likewise persisted in refusing to

       *       *       *       *       *

    May 27th, on a resolution submitted by Mr. Wilson, of
    Massachusetts, for the discharge of these persons from custody
    “immediately upon the final adjournment of the session,” Mr.
    Sumner spoke as follows:--

MR. PRESIDENT,--This question is important, primarily, as it concerns
the liberty of the citizen; but it is made important also by the
attempt, to which we have just listened, to establish for the Senate a
prerogative which on history and precedent does not belong to it.

Some days ago I took the ground, which I shall take to-day, that on
the close of the session of the Senate any imprisonment founded on its
order must cease. Of that conclusion, whether on history or law, I have
not the least doubt. I have listened to the argument of the Senator
from New York, [Mr. CONKLING,] and to his comment upon the authorities
adduced. The answer, to my mind, is obvious. It will be found simply in
stating one of those authorities and calling attention to its precise
language. The Senator from Ohio [Mr. SHERMAN] has already presented
to-day what I had the honor of quoting on the first day of this
discussion, the authoritative words of May in his work on Parliamentary
Law, and also the solemn judgment of Lord Denman, Chief-Justice of
England. May says, speaking of prisoners committed by order of the
House of Commons, that they

    “are immediately released from their confinement on a
    prorogation, whether they have paid the fees or not. If they
    were held longer in custody, they would be discharged by the
    courts, upon a writ of _Habeas Corpus_.”[108]

This statement, coming as it does from the well-known Clerk of the
House of Commons, as familiar with the usages of that body as any
living man, is of itself authority. But he adduces the weighty words
of Lord Denman in the most remarkable case of privilege that has ever
occurred in English history, being that of Stockdale and Hansard,
which, it is well known, was discussed day by day in Parliament, week
by week in Westminster Hall. I have before me the opinions of all the
judges on that case, but the words that are particularly pertinent now
are quoted by May as follows:--

    “However flagrant the contempt, the House of Commons can only
    commit till the close of the existing session,”--

Mark, Sir, if you please, how positive he is in his language,--

    “can only commit till the close of the existing session. Their
    privilege to commit is not better known than this limitation
    of it. Though the party should deserve the severest penalties,
    yet, his offence being committed the day before a prorogation,
    if the House ordered his imprisonment but for a week, every
    court in Westminster Hall and every judge of all the courts
    would be bound to discharge him by _Habeas Corpus_.”[109]

These were the words of the Lord Chief-Justice of England in a
most memorable case as late as 1839. This is no ancient authority,
but something modern and of our day. It is not expressed in vague
or uncertain terms, but in language clear and positive. It is as
applicable to the Senate of the United States as to the House of
Commons. It is applicable to every legislative body sitting under a
constitutional government.

An attempt has been made to claim for the Senate prerogatives which
belong to the House of Lords. How so? Is the Senate a House of Lords?
Is it an hereditary body? Is it a perpetual body in the sense that
the House of Lords is a perpetual body? We know that the House of
Lords is in session the whole year round. We know, that, according to
a rule of the Civil Law, “_Tres faciunt collegium_,”[110] three make
a quorum in the House of Lords. So that the presence of three peers
at any time, duly summoned to the chamber, constitutes a sufficient
quorum for business. Therefore the House of Lords has in it an
essential element enabling it to come together easily and to continue
in perpetual session. It is in its character, in the elements of its
privileges, clearly distinguishable from the Senate, as it is clearly
distinguishable from the House of Commons. Such privileges as the
Senate has are derived from the House of Commons rather than from the
House of Lords, so far as they are derived from either of these bodies.

Another attempt has been made, by criticizing the word “prorogation,”
to find a distinction between the two cases; but a note to May’s
work on Parliamentary Law, which I now have in my hand, meets that
criticism. After saying in the text that the prisoners committed by the
House of Commons “are immediately released from their confinement on a
prorogation,” the note says:--

    “But this law never extended to an adjournment, even when it
    was in the nature of a prorogation.”[111]

Take, for instance, the adjournments which habitually occur in the
British Parliament at the Christmas holidays, at the Easter holidays,
at the Whitsuntide holidays. You saw in the papers, only the other
day, that Mr. Gladstone gave notice that the House of Commons would
adjourn over several days on account of the Whitsuntide holidays;
but nobody supposes that that is in the nature of a “prorogation,”
or that a committal by order of the House of Commons would expire on
such an adjournment, as it would not expire on our adjournment for our
Christmas holidays.

Therefore do the very precedents of the British Parliament answer
completely the case put by the Senator from New York, who imagined a
difficulty from occasional adjournments at the Christmas holidays.
Sir, we are to look at this precisely as it is. The prorogation of the
House of Commons is an adjournment without day, corresponding precisely
to our adjournment without day. I believe in Massachusetts, down to
this moment, when the Legislature has agreed upon the time of its
adjournment, it gives notice to the Governor, who sends the Secretary
of the Commonwealth to prorogue it, and the Legislature is declared to
be prorogued,--thus following the language so familiar in England.

Then it is argued that this power to commit may be prolonged by a
Committee to sit during the vacation. But how so? The Committee has no
power to commit. The power to commit comes from the Senate. How does
the sitting of the Committee in the vacation add to its powers? It has
no such power while the Senate is in session. How can it have any such
power when the Senate has closed its session? But the power to protract
the imprisonment of a citizen must be kindred with that to imprison.

I dismiss the whole argument founded upon the prolongation of the
Committee as entirely irrelevant. Prolong the Committee, if you please,
till doomsday; you cannot by that in any way affect the liberty of the
citizen. The citizen is imprisoned only by the order of the Senate,
and the power to imprison or to detain expires with the session. Such,
Sir, is the rule that we have borrowed from England. Nor am I alone in
thus interpreting it. I cited, the other day, the authentic work of the
late Judge Cushing on the Law and Practice of Legislative Assemblies. I
will, with your permission, read again his statement, as follows:--

    “According to the Parliamentary Law of England there is a
    difference between the Lords and Commons in this respect: the
    former being authorized, and the latter not, to imprison for a
    period beyond the session.”

That is the testimony of Judge Cushing, who had devoted his life to the
study of this subject. He then goes on:--

    “In this country the power to imprison is either incidental to
    or expressly conferred upon all our legislative assemblies;
    and in some of the States it is also regulated by express
    constitutional provision.”

Then he gives his conclusion:--

    “Where it is not so regulated, it is understood that the
    imprisonment terminates with the session.”[112]

Mark, if you please, “terminates with the session.”

Here you have the authentic words of this special authority,
interpreting the English Parliamentary Law, and also declaring our
law. Who is there that can go behind these words? What Senator will set
up his research or his conclusion against that of this exemplar? Who
is there here that will venture to claim for the Senate a prerogative
which this American authority disclaims for legislative bodies in our
country, unless expressly sanctioned by Constitutional Law?

I have shown that this power to commit beyond the session does not
exist in the House of Commons, from which we derive such prerogatives
or privileges as we have. But the stream cannot rise higher than the
fountain-head. How, then, if the power does not exist in the House of
Commons, can you find it here? You cannot trace the present assumption
to any authentic, legitimate fountain. If you attempt it, permit me to
say you will fail, and the assumption will appear without authority,
and therefore a usurpation. I so characterize it, feeling that I cannot
be called in question when I use this strong language. If you undertake
to detain these prisoners beyond the expiration of this session, you
become usurpers, the Senate of the United States usurps power that
does not belong to it; and, Sir, this is more flagrant, when it is
considered that it usurps this power in order to wield it against the
liberty of fellow-citizens.

When I state this conclusion, I feel that I stand on supports that
cannot be shaken. I stand on English authorities sustained by American
authorities. You cannot find any exception. That in itself is an
authority. If you could mention an exception, I should put it aside as
an accident or an abuse, and not as an authority. The rule is fixed
and positive; and I now have no hesitation in declaring that it will
be the duty of the judge, on a writ of _Habeas Corpus_, as soon as
this Senate closes its session, to set these prisoners at liberty,
unless the Senate has the good sense in advance to authorize their
discharge. I do not doubt the power and the duty of the Court. I am
sure that no judge worthy of a place on the bench will hesitate in this
judgment. Should he, I would read to him the simple words of the Lord
Chief-Justice of England on the very point:--

    “If the House ordered his imprisonment but for a week, every
    court in Westminster Hall and every judge of all the courts
    would be bound to discharge him by _Habeas Corpus_.”[113]

There is no way of answering those words. They are as commanding on
this occasion as if they were in the very text of our Constitution.
When I say this, I do not speak vaguely; for I am sure that every
student of this subject will admit that a judgment like that which I
have adduced on a question of Parliamentary Law, and in favor of the
rights of the subject, is of an authority in our country equal to the
Constitution itself.

       *       *       *       *       *

This brings me, Sir, to an important point which I had hoped not to be
called to discuss, but which the argument of the Senator from New York
seems to press upon the consideration of the Senate and of the country;
and therefore I shall open it to your attention, even if I do not
discuss it. It is this: that, whatever may be the power even in England
by Parliamentary Law, it by no means follows that the Senate of the
United States has that power.

What is the Senate? A body created by a written Constitution, enjoying
certain powers described and defined in the Constitution itself. The
Constitution says nothing about contempt or punishment for contempt. In
order to obtain this power you must go into inference and deduction;
you must infer it or imply it. In the case of impeachments the Senate
becomes a judicial body, and it is reasonable to infer that it may have
the power to compel the attendance of witnesses,--in short, the powers
of a court. The Senate also, by express terms of the Constitution, has
the power to expel a member. There again is an inquiry in its nature
judicial; and should the Senate on such occasion examine witnesses and
proceed as a court, it may be inferred that it is so authorized by the
Constitution. There is also a third power which the Senate possesses,
judicial in character: it is to determine the election of its members.
Beyond these every power that the Senate undertakes to exercise on
this subject is derived by inference. It does not stand on any text of
the Constitution. It is a mere implication, and, being adverse to the
rights of the citizen, it must be construed strictly.

Now I am not ready to say, I do not say, that the Senate has not
the power to institute a proceeding like that now in question. I am
very clear that it has not the power by compulsory process to compel
witnesses to testify in aid of legislation, as was once attempted in
what was known familiarly as the Harper’s Ferry Investigating Case. But
I do not undertake to say that it may not institute a proceeding like
that in which we are now engaged; yet I admit its legality with great
hesitation and with sincere doubt. I doubt whether such an assumption
can stand an argument in this Chamber; I doubt whether it can stand
a discussion before a court of justice. How do you arrive at such a
power? The Senator from Wisconsin [Mr. CARPENTER] said, the other day,
the Senate, according to the arguments of certain Senators, has not the
power of a justice of the peace. The Senator never spoke truer words:
the Senate has not the power of a justice of the peace. A justice of
the peace is a court with the powers of a court. The Senate of the
United States is not a court, except in the cases to which I have
already referred. It is a serious question whether it is a court in the
proceeding which it has now seen fit to institute. Were it a court,
then the argument of the Senator from Wisconsin might be applicable,
and it might then claim the privileges of a court. It might proceed, if
you please, to fine as well as to commit. The Senate in its discretion
forbears to fine; it contents itself with imprisonment. But if it can
imprison, why not fine? Why is not the whole catalogue of punishment
open to its grasp?

I have reminded you, Sir, that our powers, whatever they may be, are
under a written Constitution, and in this important respect clearly
distinguishable from the powers of the House of Commons, which are the
growth of tradition and immemorial usage. I am not the first person
to take this ground. I find it judicially asserted in most authentic
judgments, to which I beg to call the attention of the Senate.

I have in my hands the fourth volume of Moore’s Privy Council Cases,
cases argued in the Privy Council of England, many of them being cases
that have come up from the Colonies,--and here is one, being an appeal
from the Supreme Court of the island of Newfoundland. I will read the
marginal note:--

    “The House of Assembly of the island of Newfoundland does not
    possess, as a legal incident, the power of arrest, with a view
    of adjudication on a contempt committed out of the House,--but
    only such powers as are reasonably necessary for the proper
    exercise of its functions and duties as a local Legislature.

    “_Semble._--The House of Commons possess this power only
    by virtue of ancient usage and prescription, the _Lex et
    Consuetudo Parliamenti_.

    “_Semble._--The Crown, by its prerogative, can create a
    Legislative Assembly in a settled colony, subordinate to
    Parliament, but with supreme power within the limits of the
    colony for the government of its inhabitants; but,

    “_Quære._--Whether it can bestow upon it an authority, namely,
    that of committing for contempt, not incidental to it by

I will not take time in reading extracts from the opinion of the Court,
which goes on the ground that the Legislature of the Colony is acting
under a commission from the Crown in the nature of a Constitution,
being a written text, and that it could not therefore claim for itself
those vast, immense, unknown privileges and prerogatives which by long
usage are recognized as belonging to the House of Commons.

But the question was presented at a later day in another case before
the Privy Council, which came from the Supreme Court of Van Diemen’s
Land. I cite now Moore’s Privy Council Cases, volume eleven. This case
was decided in 1858. It is therefore a recent authority. The marginal
note is as follows:--

    “The _Lex et Consuetudo Parliamenti_ applies exclusively to
    the House of Lords and House of Commons in England, and is
    not conferred upon a Supreme Legislative Assembly of a colony
    or settlement by the introduction of the Common Law of England
    into the colony.

    “No distinction in this respect exists between Colonial
    Legislative Councils and Assemblies whose power is derived by
    grant from the Crown or created under the authority of an Act
    of the Imperial Parliament.”[115]

You will see, Sir, that by this decision the powers of a Legislative
Assembly created by a Charter are limited to the grants of the Charter,
and that the mere creation of the legislative body does not carry with
it the Law and Custom of Parliament. In the course of his opinion
Lord Chief-Baron Pollock uses the following language. Alluding to the
decision of the Privy Council in the Newfoundland case, he says:--

    “They held that the power of the House of Commons in England
    was part of the _Lex et Consuetudo Parliamenti_; and the
    existence of that power in the Commons of Great Britain did
    not warrant the ascribing it to every Supreme Legislative
    Council or Assembly in the Colonies. We think we are bound
    by the decision of the case of Kielley _v._ Carson.… If the
    Legislative Council of Van Diemen’s Land cannot claim the power
    they have exercised on the occasion before us as inherently
    belonging to the supreme legislative authority which they
    undoubtedly possess, they cannot claim it under the statute
    as part of the Common Law of England (including the _Lex et
    Consuetudo Parliamenti_) transferred to the Colony by the 9th
    Geo. IV. c. 83, sect. 24. The _Lex et Consuetudo Parliamenti_
    apply exclusively to the Lords and Commons of this country,
    and do not apply to the Supreme Legislature of a Colony by the
    introduction of the Common Law there.”[116]

Now the question is directly presented by these decisions, whether
under the written text of the Constitution of the United States you
can ingraft upon our institutions the Law and Custom of Parliament. So
far as these cases are applicable, they decide in the negative; but I
will not press them to that extent. I adduce them for a more moderate
purpose,--simply to put the Senate on its guard against any assumption
of power in this matter. I do not undertake to say to what extent the
Senate may go; but with these authorities I warn it against proceeding
on any doubtful practices. If there be any doubt, then do these
authorities cry out to you to stop.

I have said, Sir, that our powers here are limited by the Constitution:
I may add, also, and the Law in pursuance of the Constitution. And now
I ask you to show me any text of the Constitution, and to show me any
text of Law, which authorizes the detention of these witnesses by the
Senate. The Senate, be it understood, is not a court. Certainly, for
this purpose and on this occasion, it is not a court. Show me the law.
Does it exist? If it exists, some learned Senator can point it out. But
while Senators fail to point out any law sanctioning such a procedure,
I point out an immortal text in the Constitution of the United States,
borrowed from Magna Charta, which it is difficult to disobey:--

    “No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise
    infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a
    Grand Jury, … nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property,
    without due process of law.”

“Without due process of law.” What is the meaning of that language?
Judge Story[117] tells us, as follows:--

    “Lord Coke[118] says that these latter words, _per legem
    terræ_, (by the law of the land,) mean _by due process of
    law_: that is, without due presentment or indictment, and
    being brought in to answer thereto by due process of the
    Common Law. So that this clause in effect affirms the right of
    trial according to the process and proceedings of the Common

There, Sir, is a living text of the Constitution of the United States,
binding upon this Senate. Where do you find any other text authorizing
you to institute this proceeding? or if you institute the proceeding,
must it not come within the limitations of this prohibition?

But I may be reminded that there are precedents. How many precedents
are there for such a proceeding? We are familiar with all of them.
The latest, the most authentic, is that of Thaddeus Hyatt, proceeded
against because he refused to testify before the Harper’s Ferry
Investigating Committee. Is that a precedent which you are disposed to
follow? I am sure you would not, if you read the weighty argument in
that proceeding made by the late John A. Andrew, and Samuel E. Sewall,
of Massachusetts, the accomplished jurist, who still survives to us.
Go still further back and you have the case, entirely like that before
us, of Nugent,--who was not pursued, I was going to say, as ferociously
as the present witnesses have been pursued, for his custody was simply
that of the house of the Sergeant-at-Arms, and it was recognized at
that time that even that mild custody would expire with the session of
the Senate. You have also the earlier precedent of 1800 in the case
of Duane, which, I think, Senators would hesitate now to vindicate.
Let them look at it and see whether they would sanction a similar
proceeding at this day,--whether such a tyranny could go on without
shocking the public conscience, and being recognized universally as an
assault upon the liberty of the press.[120]

Those are the cases furnished by the history of the Senate. Lord
Denman, in the case of _Stockdale_ v. _Hansard_, the famous case to
which I have referred, gives an answer to them as follows: I quote from
the ninth volume of Adolphus and Ellis’s Reports, page 155:--

    “The practice of a ruling power in the State is but a feeble
    proof of its legality. I know not how long the practice of
    raising ship-money had prevailed before the right was denied
    by Hampden; general warrants had been issued and enforced for
    centuries before they were questioned in actions by Wilkes
    and his associates, who, by bringing them to the test of law,
    procured their condemnation and abandonment. I apprehend that
    acquiescence on this subject proves, in the first place, too
    much; for the admitted and grossest abuses of privilege have
    never been questioned by suits in Westminster Hall.”

This proceeding has analogy with one well known in English history,
that of the Star-Chamber Court, which you will find described by Mr.
Hallam in his “Constitutional History of England,” in chapter eight,
and I refer to it merely for the sake of one single sentence which I
cite from this great author:--

    “But precedents of usurped power cannot establish a _legal
    authority_ in defiance of the acknowledged law.”[121]

But where is the _legal authority_ for the imprisonment of these
witnesses? Only in mere inference, mere deduction,--the merest
inference; but surely you will not take away the liberty of the citizen
on any such shadowy, evanescent apology, which is no apology, but a
sham, and nothing else. I have already called attention to the argument
of Governor Andrew and Hon. S. E. Sewall, which will be found in the
Congressional Globe under date of March 9, 1860. Did time permit, I
should quote from it at length; but I commend it to the Senate and all

As an illustration of the doubts which environ this question, I
call attention to the case of _Sanborn_ v. _Carleton_,[122] where
Chief-Justice Shaw, of Massachusetts, gave the opinion of the Court.
The Senator from Wisconsin [Mr. CARPENTER] will not question his
character. After stating that “it is admitted in the arguments that
there is no express provision in the Constitution of the United States
giving this authority in terms,”--that is, the alleged authority of
the Senate,--he proceeds to say that there are questions on this
subject “manifestly requiring great deliberation and research.” And
yet Senators treat them as settled. The Chief-Justice then proceeds
to announce that a warrant issued by order of the Senate of the
United States for the arrest of a witness for contempt in refusing to
appear before a Committee of the Senate, and addressed only to the
Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate, cannot be served in Massachusetts by a
deputy. But this very question arises in the present proceedings. The
managing editor of the “Tribune,” Mr. Whitelaw Reid, was summoned by
a deputy, and not by the Sergeant-at-Arms. Gracefully yielding to the
illegal summons, he appeared before the Committee; but the question of
power still remains; and this very question adds to the embarrassments
of the subject.

The extent of the abuse now in question will be seen, if I call
the attention of the Senate to the last Report of the Committee of
Investigation. By that Report it appears that they undertook to examine
two agents of the Telegraph Company, who, finally, at the last moment,
when asked to make a definitive statement with regard to the copy of
the Treaty lodged with them for communication to New York, declined to
answer. And you have now in this usurpation of the Senate an attempt
to break into the telegraph-offices of the United States. You raise,
for the first time in this Chamber, one of the great questions of the
times. Can you do any such thing?

    MR. NYE [of Nevada]. I should like to ask the Senator
    from Massachusetts if the courts have not broken into the

MR. SUMNER. I am not speaking about the courts. I am speaking about the
Senate of the United States.

    MR. NYE. I ask the Senator if the Senate of the United States,
    in this investigation, as long as it exists, has not all the
    authority of a court?

MR. SUMNER. I have already stated that it has not,--that it has not the
authority of a justice of the peace. The Senate proposes to break into
the telegraph-offices of the United States. In the guise of privilege,
it enters those penetralia and insists that the secrets shall be
disclosed. What is the difference between a communication by telegraph
and a communication by letter? Is there not a growing substitution of
the telegram for the letter? Has not this taken place to an immense
extent in England? Is it not now taking place to an immense extent in
our own country?

Now, Sir, mark the limitation of my language. I do not mean to say
that the telegram is entitled to all the sacredness of the letter;
but I do insist that the Senate, before it undertakes to break into
the telegraph-offices of the United States, shall calmly consider
the question, and see to what end the present disposition will carry
them. Senators who have not entirely forgotten the recent history of
England know that the powerful Cabinet of Sir Robert Peel for a time
trembled under the imputation that one of its ablest members, Sir
James Graham, who, Mr. Webster told me, in his judgment, was the best
speaker in Parliament, had authorized the opening of the letters of
Mazzini at the Post-Office. The subject was brought before Parliament
night after night. You shall see how it was treated. The Liberal member
from Finsbury, Mr. Duncombe, in presenting it first,--I read from
Hansard,--after inveighing against the opening of letters, said:--

    “That was a system which the people of this country would
    not bear, which they ought not to bear; and he hoped, after
    the exposure which had taken place, that some means would
    be adopted for counteracting this insidious conduct of her
    Majesty’s ministers. It was disgraceful to a free country that
    such a system should be tolerated. It might do in Russia, ay,
    or even in France, or it might do in the Austrian dominions, it
    might do in Sardinia; but it did not suit the free air of this
    free country.”[123]

Lord Denman, always on the side of Freedom, at the time Chief-Justice
of England, in the House of Lords said:--

    “Could anything be more revolting to the feeling than that any
    man might have all his letters opened in consequence of some
    information respecting him having been given to the Secretary
    of State, and that the contents of those letters, which he
    might have never received, might be made use of for the purpose
    of proceeding against him in a court of justice? The letters
    of a man might be opened, and he might not have the slightest
    intimation that he was betrayed. Now is such a state of things
    to be tolerated in a civilized country? He would say, without
    the slightest hesitation, that it ought not to be borne with
    for a single hour.”[124]

Lord Brougham observed that--

    “He had not expressed any approval of the system; on the
    contrary, he distinctly stated that _nothing but absolute
    necessity for the safety of the State would justify it_.”[125]

I might occupy your time till evening in adducing the strong language
of reprobation which was employed at that time. I will conclude with an
extract from a speech of that remarkable Irish orator, Mr. Sheil, as

    “That which is deemed utterly scandalous in private life
    ought not to be tolerated in any department of the State; and
    from the Statute-Book, which it dishonors, this ignominious
    prerogative ought to be effaced forever.”[126]

That brings me to the point, Sir, that there was an old statute of
Queen Anne which authorized the opening of letters at the Post-Office
under the order of a Secretary of State;[127] but, notwithstanding that
old statute, the system was reprobated. And now it is proposed, in the
maintenance of the privileges of the Senate, not in the administration
of justice before any court, but in the enforcement of the privileges
of the Senate, to penetrate the secrets of the Telegraph. I will not
undertake to say that you cannot do it. I content myself now with
calling attention to the magnitude of the question, and adducing it
as a new reason why you should hesitate in this whole business. You
see to what it conducts. You see in what direction you are travelling.
You see how, if you persevere, you will shock the conscience and the
sensibilities of the American people.

I do not believe that the American people will willingly see the
Telegraph rifled, any more than they will see the Post-Office rifled,
in order to maintain medieval, antediluvian privileges of the
Senate,--especially when those privileges cannot be deduced from any
text of the Constitution, but are simply inferred from the ancient,
primeval Law and Usage of Parliament. Not only the orators, but the
wits of the time, denounced the attempt in England to open letters.
Punch caricatured the Secretary who attempted it as “Paul Pry at
the Post-Office.”[128] But is not the Senate in the Report of our
Committee “Paul Pry at the Telegraph-Office?”

I make these remarks with a view of opening to the Senate the
importance of the question before them, that they may once more
hesitate and withdraw to the safe ground of the Constitution and the
Law; for there is nothing in the Constitution or in the Law that can
sanction the continued imprisonment of these witnesses. Even suppose
your proceedings have been from the beginning in all respects just and
proper, even suppose that you can vindicate them, in regard to which I
beg leave to express a sincere doubt, you cannot vindicate the attempt
to continue these witnesses in custody when you go away. Then they are
as free as you. If they are detained in prison, it is only because you
yourselves are imprisoned here in the discharge of your responsible
duties. When your imprisonment comes to an end, theirs comes to an end
also. You cannot go home and leave them captives. The Law will step in
and take them from your clutch. Better, then, in advance, by a proper
and generous resolution, to order their discharge, so that the Law will
not be compelled to do what you fail to do.

    The resolution was agreed to,--Yeas 23, Nays 13.



    The Medal was placed in Mr. Sumner’s hands July 13, 1871,
    by General Preston, the Haytian Minister, together with
    the following letter, signed by the President and several
    distinguished citizens of the Republic:--


        “_To the Hon. Charles Sumner, Senator of Massachusetts_:--

        “HONORABLE SENATOR,--The independence of Hayti has been
        our object. To affirm the aptitude of the black race for
        civilization and self-government, by your eloquence and
        your high morality you have made free four millions of
        blacks in the United States. In defending our independence
        on two solemn occasions, you have protected and defended
        something more august even than the liberty of the blacks
        in America. It is the dignity of a black people seeking to
        place itself, by its own efforts, at the banquet of the
        civilized world. Hayti thanks you. She will be able to
        justify your esteem, and to maintain herself at the height
        of her mission, marching in the path of progress. In the
        name of the Haytian people, we pray you to accept, as a
        feeble testimony of its gratitude, this medal, which will
        perpetuate in ages to come the recollection of the services
        which you have rendered to us as citizens of the world, and
        to black Humanity.”

    Mr. Sumner at the time expressed his gratitude, and said that
    he would communicate with the signers in writing. That same
    evening he sent an informal note to the Minister, saying that
    he feared he should feel constrained to decline the present,
    and subsequently replied to the letter of presentation as

                                         WASHINGTON, July 13, 1871.

  GENTLEMEN,--I have received to-day, by the hands of your
  Minister at Washington, the beautiful medal which you have done
  me the honor of presenting to me in the name of the Haytian
  people, together with the accompanying communication bearing
  so many distinguished names, among which I recognize that of
  the estimable President of the Republic. Allow me to say, most
  sincerely, that I do not deserve this token, nor the flattering
  terms of your communication. I am only one of many who have
  labored for the enfranchisement of the African race, and who yet
  stand ready to serve at all times the sacred cause; nor have I
  done anything except in the simple discharge of duty. I could not
  have done otherwise without the rebuke of my conscience.

  In this service I have acted always under promptings which with
  me were irresistible. Like you, I hail the assured independence
  of Hayti as important in illustrating the capacity of the
  African race for self-government; and I rejoice to know that
  distinguished Haytians recognize the necessity of clinging to
  national life, not only for the sake of their own Republic, but
  as an example for the benefit of that vast race over which the
  white man has so long tyrannized. Your successful independence
  will be the triumph of the black man everywhere, in all the
  isles of the sea, and in all the unknown expanse of the African
  continent, marking a great epoch of civilization. In cultivating
  a sentiment of nationality, you will naturally insist upon that
  equality among nations which is your right. Self-government
  implies self-respect. In the presence of International Law all
  nations are equal. As well deprive a citizen of equality before
  the law as deprive a nation. You will also insist upon that
  Christian rule, as applicable to nations as to individuals, of
  doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. Following
  it always in your own conduct, and expecting others to follow it
  towards you, will you ever forget that sentiment of Humanity by
  which all men are one, with common title, with common right?

  I rejoice, again, in the assurance you give that Hayti is
  prepared to advance in the path of Progress. Here I offer my best
  wishes, with the ardent aspiration that the two good angels,
  Education and Peace, may be her guides and support in this happy
  path. With education for the people, and with peace, foreign and
  domestic, especially everywhere on the island, the independence
  of Hayti will be placed beyond the assaults of force or the
  intrigues of designing men, besides being an encouragement to the
  African race everywhere.

  I trust that you will receive with indulgence these frank words
  in response to the communication with which you have honored me:
  they will show at least my constant sympathy with your cause.

  And now, Gentlemen, I throw myself again on your indulgence,
  while expressing the hope that you will not suspect me of
  insensibility to your generous present, if I add, that,
  considering the text of the Constitution of the United States
  and the service you have intended to commemorate, I deem it my
  duty to return the beautiful medal into your hands. To this
  I am constrained by the spirit, if not by the letter of the
  Constitution, which forbids any person in my situation from
  accepting any present of any kind whatever from a foreign State.
  Though this present is not strictly from the State of Hayti, yet,
  when I observe, that, according to the flattering inscription,
  it is from the Haytian people, and that the communication
  accompanying it is signed by the President and eminent
  magistrates of Hayti, and still further that it is in recognition
  of services rendered by me as a Senator of the United States,
  I feel that I cannot receive it without acting in some measure
  contrary to the intention of the Constitution which I am bound to
  support. In arriving at this conclusion I have been governed by
  that same sense of duty which on the occasions to which you refer
  made me your advocate, and which with me is a supreme power.
  While thus resigning this most interesting token, I beg you to
  believe me none the less grateful for the signal honor you have
  done me.

  Accept for yourselves and for your country all good wishes, and
  allow me to subscribe myself, Gentlemen,

      Your devoted friend,


    The medal was subsequently presented by the Haytian Government
    to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and deposited in the
    State Library.



    Mr. Walker having written to Mr. Sumner, asking his views in
    regard to the management of public schools, &c., the latter
    replied as follows:--

                                        WASHINGTON, 28th July, 1871.

  DEAR SIR,--As in Europe there will be no durable tranquillity
  until Republican Government prevails, so among us there will be
  a similar failure until Equality before the Law is completely
  established,--at the ballot-box,--in the court-house,--in
  the public school,--in the public hotel,--and in the public
  conveyance, whether on land or water. At least, so it seems to me.

  I doubt if I can add materially to the argument which you have
  already received, but, with your permission, I ask attention to
  the point that _equality_ is not found in _equivalents_. You
  cannot give the colored child any equivalent for equality.

  Accept my best wishes, and believe me, dear Sir,

      Faithfully yours,




    At the first of two lectures entitled “The Two Sieges of
    Paris,” by M. Coquerel, Mr. Sumner, being called to preside,

I cannot forget, Ladies and Gentlemen, that in other years the
enjoyments of Paris were heightened for me, as I listened, more than
once, to an eloquent French preacher, on whose words multitudes hung
with rapture while he unfolded Christian truth. The scene, though
distant in time, rises before me, and I enjoy again that voice of
melody, and that rare union of elegance with earnestness, of amenity
with strength, which were so captivating; nor do I know that I have
since witnessed in any pulpit or assembly, or on any platform, more
magnetic power visibly appearing as the orator drew to himself the
listening throng, and all commingled into one.

It is now my grateful duty to welcome the son of that orator, who, with
his father’s genius, visits us on an errand of charity.

He will speak to you of Paris the Beautiful, and of the double tragedy
only recently enacted, where the bursting shells of a foreign foe were
followed by the more direful explosions of domestic feud. The story is
sad, among the saddest in history; but it is a wonderful chapter, with
most instructive lesson.

Knowing our honored guest by his life, I am sure that to him war is
detestable, while Republican Government is his aspiration for France.
Were all Frenchmen of his mind, the deadly war-fever would disappear,
and the Republic would be established on a foundation not to be shaken;
and then would France rise to glories which she has never before
reached. Plainly, at this epoch of civilization, there are two Great
Commandments which this powerful nation cannot disobey with impunity.
The first is Peace; and the second, which is like unto the first, is
the Republic. But the Republic is Peace,--most unlike the Empire, which
was always war in disguise.

It is sometimes said, somewhat lightly, that France is a Republic
without Republicans. A great mistake. Was not Lafayette a Republican?
And I now have the honor of presenting to you another.



    The meeting was at noon, and the chair taken by the Mayor, Hon.
    William Gaston. Hon. Alexander H. Rice introduced resolutions,
    and spoke, when Mr. Sumner followed:--


I come forward to second the resolutions moved by my friend Mr. Rice,
and to express my hope that they may be adopted unanimously, and then
acted upon vigorously.

Fellow-Citizens, I had expected to be elsewhere to-day; but, thinking
of the distress of distant friends and countrymen, my heart was too
full for anything else, and, putting aside other things, I have come
to Faneuil Hall, as a simple volunteer, to help swell this movement of
sympathy and beneficence.

This is a meeting for action; but are we not told that eloquence
is _action, action, action_? And most true is it now. Help for the
suffering is the highest eloquence. The best speech is a subscription.
And he is the orator whose charity is largest.

“Thrice he gives who quickly gives.” This is a familiar saying from
the olden time. Never was it more applicable than now. Destruction
has been swift; let your gifts be swift also. If the Angel Charity
is not as quick of wing as the Fire-Fiend, yet it is more mighty and
far-reaching. Against the Fire-Fiend I put the Angel Charity.

According to another saying handed down by ancient philosophy, that is
the best government where a wrong to a single individual is resented as
an injury to all. This sentiment is worthy of careful meditation. It
implies the solidarity of the community, and the duty of coöperation.
There is no wrong now, but an immense calamity, in which individuals
suffer. Be it our duty to treat this calamity of individuals as the
calamity of all.

Who does not know Chicago? Most have visited it, and seen it with the
eye; but all know its pivotal position, making a great centre, and also
its immense growth and development. In a few years, beginning as late
as 1833, it has become a great city; and now it is called to endure
one of those visitations which in times past have descended upon great
cities. Much as it suffers, it is not alone. The catalogue discloses
companions in the past.

The fire of London, in September, 1666, raged from Sunday to Thursday,
with the wind blowing a gale, reducing two-thirds of the city to
ashes. Thirteen thousand two hundred houses were consumed, and
eighty-nine churches, including St. Paul’s, covering three hundred
and seventy-three acres within and sixty-three without the walls. The
value of buildings and property burned was estimated at between ten and
twelve millions sterling, which, making allowance for difference of
values, now would be more than one hundred million dollars. I doubt if
the population of London then was larger than that of Chicago. And yet
an English historian, recounting this event, says, “Though severe at
the time, this visitation contributed materially to the improvement of
the city.”[129]

Ancient Rome had her terrible conflagration, hardly less sweeping, when
populous quarters were devoured by the irresistible flame; and history
records that out of this destruction sprang a new life.

Is there not in these examples a lesson of encouragement for Chicago
sitting now in ashes? A great fire in other days was worse than a
great fire now; for then it was borne in solitude by the place where
it occurred; now the whole country rushes forward to bear it, making
common cause with the sufferers. I cannot doubt that out of this great
calamity, which we justly deplore, will spring improvement. Everything
will be bettered. The city thus far has been a growth; it will become
at once a creation. But future magnificence, filling the imagination,
will not feed the hungry and clothe the naked, nor will it provide
homes for the destitute. The future cannot take care of the present.
This is our duty, and it is all expressed in Charity.

    Other speakers followed. The resolutions were adopted, and a
    subscription was commenced at once.



    This letter was read in the Convention October 24th, the sixth
    day of its sitting, and received a vote of thanks.

                                         BOSTON, October 12, 1871.

  DEAR SIR,--I am glad that our colored fellow-citizens are to
  have a Convention of their own. So long as they are excluded
  from rights or suffer in any way on account of color, they will
  naturally meet together in order to find a proper remedy; and
  since you kindly invite me to communicate with the Convention, I
  make bold to offer a few brief suggestions.

  In the first place, you must at all times insist upon your
  rights; and here I mean not only those already accorded, but
  others still denied, all of which are contained in Equality
  before the Law. Wherever the law supplies a rule, there you must
  insist on Equal Rights. How much remains to be obtained you know
  too well in the experience of life.

  Can a respectable colored citizen travel on steamboats or
  railways, or public conveyances generally, without insult on
  account of color? Let Governor Dunn of Louisiana describe his
  journey from New Orleans to Washington. Shut out from proper
  accommodation in the cars, the doors of the Senate Chamber
  opened to him, and there he found that equality which a railroad
  conductor had denied. Let our excellent friend, Frederick
  Douglass, relate his melancholy experience, when, on board the
  mail-boat of the Potomac and within sight of the Executive
  Mansion, he was thrust back from the supper-table, where his
  brother Commissioners were already seated. You know the outrage.

  I might ask the same question with regard to hotels, and even
  the common schools. A hotel is a legal institution, and so is a
  common school, and as such each must be for the equal benefit
  of all. Nor can there be any exclusion from either on account
  of color. It is not enough to provide separate accommodations
  for colored citizens, even if in all respects as good as those
  of other persons. Equality is not found in any pretended
  equivalent, but only in equality; in other words, there must be
  no discrimination on account of color.

  The discrimination is an insult, a hindrance, a bar, which not
  only destroys comfort and prevents equality, but weakens all
  other rights. The right to vote will have no security until
  your equal rights in the public conveyances, hotels, and common
  schools are at last established; but here you must insist for
  yourselves by speech, by petition, and by vote. Help yourselves,
  and others will help also.

  The Civil Rights Law needs a supplement to cover these cases.
  This defect has been apparent from the beginning, and for a
  long time I have striven to remove it. A bill for this purpose,
  introduced by me, is now pending in the Senate. Will not colored
  fellow-citizens see that those in power no longer postpone
  this essential safeguard? Surely here is an object worthy of
  effort. Nor has the Republican party done its work until this is

  Is it not better to establish all our own people in the enjoyment
  of equal rights before we seek to bring others within the sphere
  of our institutions, to be treated as Frederick Douglass was on
  his way to the President from San Domingo? It is easy to see that
  a small part of the means, the energy, and the determined will
  spent in the expedition to San Domingo, and in the prolonged
  war-dance about that island, with menace to the Black Republic of
  Hayti, would have secured all our colored fellow-citizens in the
  enjoyment of equal rights. Of this there can be no doubt.

  Among cardinal objects is Education, which must be insisted on;
  here again must be equality, side by side with the alphabet. It
  is vain to teach equality, if you do not practise it. It is vain
  to recite the great words of the Declaration of Independence, if
  you do not make them a living reality. What is a lesson without

  As all are equal at the ballot-box, so must all be equal at the
  common school. Equality in the common school is the preparation
  for equality at the ballot-box. Therefore do I put this among the
  essentials of education.

  In asserting your rights, you will not fail to insist upon
  justice to all, under which is necessarily included purity in
  the Government. Thieves and money-changers, whether Democrats
  or Republicans, must be driven out of our Temple. Let Tammany
  Hall and Republican self-seekers be overthrown. There should
  be no place for either. Thank God, good men are coming to the
  rescue. Let them, while uniting against corruption, insist upon
  Equal Rights for All,--also the suppression of lawless violence,
  whether in the Ku-Klux-Klan outraging the South, or illicit
  undertakings outraging the Black Republic of Hayti.

  To these inestimable objects add Specie Payments, and you will
  have a platform which ought to be accepted by the American
  people. Will not our colored fellow-citizens begin this good
  work? Let them at the same time save themselves and save the

  These are only hints, which I submit to the Convention, hoping
  that its proceedings will tend especially to the good of the
  colored race.

  Accept my thanks and best wishes, and believe me faithfully yours,





MR. PRESIDENT,--In pursuance of notice already given, I ask leave to
introduce a Joint Resolution proposing an Amendment of the Constitution
confining the President to one term. In introducing this Amendment I
content myself with a brief remark.

This is the era of Civil Service Reform, and the President of the
United States, in formal Message, has already called our attention
to the important subject, and made recommendations with regard to
it.[130] It may be remembered that I hailed that Message at once, as
it was read from the desk. I forbore then to observe that I missed one
recommendation, a very important recommendation, without which all the
other recommendations, I fear, may be futile. I missed a recommendation
in conformity with the best precedents of our history, and with the
opinions of illustrious men, that the Constitution be amended so as to
confine the President to one term.

Sir, that is the initial point of Civil Service Reform; that is
the first stage in the great reform. The scheme of the President
is the play of “Hamlet” without Hamlet. I propose by the Amendment
that I offer to see that Hamlet is brought into the play. I send the
resolution to the Chair.

        MR. BAYARD. I should like to have that paper read for the
        information of the Senate.

        THE PRESIDENT _pro tempore_. The Joint Resolution will be
        read at length.

    The Chief Clerk read as follows:--

Joint Resolution proposing an Amendment of the Constitution, confining
the President to One Term.

Whereas for many years there has been an increasing conviction among
the people, without distinction of party, that one wielding the vast
patronage of the President should not be a candidate for reëlection,
and this conviction has found expression in the solemn warnings of
illustrious citizens, and in repeated propositions for an Amendment of
the Constitution confining the President to one term:

Whereas Andrew Jackson was so fully impressed by the peril to
Republican Institutions from the temptations acting on a President,
who, wielding the vast patronage of his office, is a candidate for
reëlection, that, in his first Annual Message, he called attention
to it;[131] that, in his second Annual Message, after setting forth
the design of the Constitution “to secure the independence of each
department of the Government, and promote the healthful and equitable
administration of all the trusts which it has created,” he did not
hesitate to say, “The agent most likely to contravene this design
of the Constitution is the Chief Magistrate,” and then proceeded to
declare, “In order particularly that his appointment may as far as
possible be placed beyond the reach of any improper influences; in
order that he may approach the solemn responsibilities of the highest
office in the gift of a free people uncommitted to any other course
than the strict line of constitutional duty; and that the securities
for this independence may be rendered as strong as the nature of power
and the weakness of its possessor will admit, I cannot too earnestly
invite your attention to the propriety of promoting such an Amendment
of the Constitution as will render him ineligible after one term of
service”;[132] and then, again, in his third Annual Message, the same
President renewed this patriotic appeal:[133]

Whereas William Henry Harrison, following in the footsteps of Andrew
Jackson, felt it a primary duty, in accepting his nomination as
President, to assert the One-Term principle in these explicit words:
“Among the principles proper to be adopted by any Executive sincerely
desirous to restore the Administration to its original simplicity and
purity, I deem the following to be of prominent importance: first,
to confine his service to a single term”;[134] and then, in public
speech during the canvass which ended in his election, declared, “If
the privilege of being President of the United States had been limited
to one term, the incumbent would devote all his time to the public
interest, and there would be no cause to misrule the country”; and he
concluded by pledging himself “before Heaven and Earth, if elected
President of these United States, to lay down, at the end of the term,
faithfully, that high trust at the feet of the people”:[135]

Whereas Henry Clay, though differing much from Andrew Jackson, united
with him on the One-Term principle, and publicly enforced it in a
speech, June 27, 1840, where, after asking for “a provision to render
a person ineligible to the office of President of the United States
after a service of one term,” he explained the necessity of the
Amendment by saying, “Much observation and deliberate reflection have
satisfied me that too much of the time, the thoughts, and the exertions
of the incumbent are occupied during his first term in securing his
reëlection: the public business consequently suffers”;[136] and then,
again, in a letter dated September 13, 1842, while setting forth what
he calls “principal objects engaging the common desire and the common
exertion of the Whig party,” the same statesman specifies “an Amendment
of the Constitution, limiting the incumbent of the Presidential office
to a single term”:[137]

Whereas the Whig party, in its National Convention at Baltimore, May
1, 1844, nominated Henry Clay as President and Theodore Frelinghuysen
as Vice-President, with a platform where “a single term for the
Presidency” is declared to be among “the great principles of
the Whig party, principles inseparable from the public honor and
prosperity, to be maintained and advanced by the election of these
candidates”;[138] which declaration was echoed at the great National
Ratification Convention the next day, addressed by Daniel Webster,
where it was resolved that “the limitation of a President to a single
term” was among the objects “for which the Whig party will unceasingly
strive until their efforts are crowned with a signal and triumphant

Whereas, in the same spirit and in harmony with these authorities,
another statesman, Benjamin F. Wade, at the close of his long
service in the Senate, most earnestly urged an Amendment of the
Constitution confining the President to one term, and in his speech
on that occasion, February 20, 1866, said, “The offering of this
resolution is no new impulse of mine, for I have been an advocate of
the principle contained in it for many years, and I have derived the
strong impressions which I entertain on the subject from a very careful
observation of the workings of our Government during the period that
I have been an observer of them; I believe it has been very rare that
we have been able to elect a President of the United States who has
not been tempted to use the vast powers intrusted to him according to
his own opinions to advance his reëlection”; and then, after exposing
at length the necessity of this Amendment, the veteran Senator further
declared, “There are defects in the Constitution, and this is among the
most glaring; all men have seen it; and now let us have the nerve, let
us have the resolution to come up and apply the remedy”:[140]

Whereas these testimonies, revealing intense and wide-spread
convictions of the American people, are reinforced by the friendly
observations of De Tocqueville, the remarkable Frenchman to whom our
country is under such great and lasting obligations, in his famous
work on “Democracy in America,” where he says, in words of singular
clearness and force, “Intrigue and corruption are vices natural to
elective Governments; but when the chief of the State can be reëlected,
these vices extend themselves indefinitely, and compromise the very
existence of the country: when a simple candidate seeks success by
intrigue, his manœuvres can operate only over a circumscribed space;
when, on the contrary, the chief of the State himself enters the
lists, he borrows for his own use the force of the Government: in the
first case, it is a man, with his feeble means; in the second, it
is the State itself, with its immense resources, that intrigues and
corrupts”:[141] and then, again, the same great writer, who had studied
our country so closely, testifies: “It is impossible to consider the
ordinary course of affairs in the United States without perceiving that
the desire to be reëlected dominates the thoughts of the President;
that the whole policy of his Administration tends toward this point;
that his least movements are made subservient to this object; that,
especially as the moment of crisis approaches, individual interest
substitutes itself in his mind for the general interest”:[142]

Whereas all these concurring voices, where patriotism, experience, and
reason bear testimony, have additional value at a moment when the
country is looking anxiously to a reform of the civil service, for the
plain reason that the peril from the Chief Magistrate, so long as he is
exposed to temptation, surpasses that from any other quarter, and thus
the first stage in this much-desired reform is the One-Term principle,
to the end that the President, who exercises the appointing power,
reaching into all parts of the country and holding in subserviency
a multitudinous army of office-holders, shall be absolutely without
motive or inducement to employ it for any other purpose than the public

And whereas the character of Republican Institutions requires that the
Chief Magistrate shall be above all suspicion of using the machinery
of which he is the official head to promote his own personal aims:

_Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, &c._,
That the following Article is hereby proposed as an Amendment to
the Constitution of the United States, and, when ratified by the
Legislatures of three-fourths of the several States, shall be valid, to
all intents and purposes, as part of the Constitution; to wit:


SEC. 1. No person who has once held the office of President of the
United States shall be thereafter eligible to that office.

SEC. 2. This Amendment shall not take effect until after the 4th March,

    On motion of Mr. Sumner, the resolution was ordered to lie on
    the table, and be printed.



Engraving is one of the Fine Arts, and in this beautiful family has
been the especial hand-maiden of Painting. Another sister is now
coming forward to join this service, lending to it the charm of color.
If, in our day, the “Chromo” can do more than Engraving, it cannot
impair the value of the early masters. With them there is no rivalry
or competition. Historically, as well as æsthetically, they will be
masters always.

Everybody knows something of engraving, as of printing, with which
it was associated in origin. School-books, illustrated papers, and
shop-windows are the ordinary opportunities open to all. But, while
creating a transient interest, or perhaps quickening the taste, they
furnish little with regard to the art itself, especially in other days.
And yet, looking at an engraving, like looking at a book, may be the
beginning of a new pleasure and a new study.

Each person has his own story. Mine is simple. Suffering from
continued prostration, disabling me from the ordinary activities of
life, I turned to engravings for employment and pastime. With the
invaluable assistance of that devoted connoisseur, the late Dr. Thies,
I went through the Gray Collection at Cambridge, enjoying it like a
picture-gallery. Other collections in our country were examined also.
Then, in Paris, while undergoing severe medical treatment, my daily
medicine for weeks was the vast cabinet of engravings, then called
Imperial, now National, counted by the million, where was everything to
please or instruct. Thinking of those kindly portfolios, I make this
record of gratitude, as to benefactors. Perhaps some other invalid,
seeking occupation without burden, may find in them the solace that I
did. Happily, it is not necessary to visit Paris for the purpose. Other
collections, on a smaller scale, will furnish the same remedy.

In any considerable collection Portraits occupy an important place.
Their multitude may be inferred, when I mention that in one series of
portfolios in the Paris Cabinet I counted no less than forty-seven
portraits of Franklin and forty-three of Lafayette, with an equal
number of Washington, while all the early Presidents were numerously
represented. But in this large company there are very few possessing
artistic value. The great portraits of modern times constitute a very
short list, like the great poems or histories; and it is the same
with engravings as with pictures. Sir Joshua Reynolds, explaining
the difference between an historical painter and a portrait-painter,
remarks that the former “paints man in general; a portrait-painter a
particular man, and consequently a defective model.”[143] A portrait,
therefore, may be an accurate presentment of its subject without
æsthetic value.

But here, as in other things, genius exercises its accustomed sway
without limitation. Even the difficulties of “a defective model” did
not prevent Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Velasquez, or Van Dyck
from producing portraits precious in the history of Art. It would be
easy to mention heads by Raphael yielding in value to only two or
three of his larger masterpieces, like the Dresden Madonna. Charles
the Fifth stooped to pick up the pencil of Titian, saying, “It becomes
Cæsar to serve Titian!” True enough; but this unprecedented compliment
from the imperial successor of Charlemagne attests the glory of the
portrait-painter. The female figures of Titian, so much admired under
the names of Flora, La Bella, his Daughter, his Mistress, and even
his Venus were portraits from life. Rembrandt turned from his great
triumphs in his own peculiar school to portraits of unwonted power;
so also did Rubens, showing that in this department his universality
of conquest was not arrested. To these must be added Velasquez
and Van Dyck, each of infinite genius, who won fame especially as
portrait-painters. And what other title has Sir Joshua himself?

Historical pictures are often collections of portraits arranged so
as to illustrate an important event. Such is the famous _Peace of
Münster_, by Terburg, just presented by a liberal Englishman to the
National Gallery at London. Here are the plenipotentiaries of Spain
and the United Provinces joining in the ratification of the treaty
which, after eighty years of war, gave peace and independence to the
latter.[144] The engraving by Suyderhoef is rare and interesting.
Similar in character is _The Death of Chatham_, by Copley, where
the illustrious statesman is surrounded by the peers he had been
addressing,--every one a portrait. To this list must be added the
pictures by Trumbull in the Rotunda of the Capitol at Washington,
especially _The Declaration of Independence_, in which Thackeray took a
sincere interest. Standing before these, the author and artist said to
me, “These are the best pictures in the country,”--and he proceeded to
remark on their honesty and fidelity; but doubtless their real value is
in their portraits.

Unquestionably the finest assemblage of portraits anywhere is that of
the artists occupying two halls in the Uffizi Gallery at Florence,
being autographs contributed by the masters themselves. Here is
Raphael, with chestnut-brown hair, and dark eyes full of sensibility,
painted when he was twenty-three, and known by the engraving of
Forster,--Giulio Romano, in black and red chalk on paper,--Masaccio,
one of the fathers of painting, much admired,--Leonardo da Vinci,
beautiful and grand,--Titian, rich and splendid,--Pietro Perugino,
remarkable for execution and expression,--Albert Dürer, rigid,
but masterly,--Gerard Dow, finished according to his own exacting
style,--and Reynolds, with fresh English face: but these are only
examples of this incomparable collection, which was begun as far back
as the Cardinal Leopoldo de’ Medici, and has been happily continued to
the present time. Here are the lions, painted by themselves,--except,
perhaps, the foremost of all, Michel Angelo, whose portrait seems the
work of another. The impression from this collection is confirmed by
that of any group of historic artists. Their portraits excel those
of statesmen, soldiers, or divines, as is easily seen by engravings
accessible to all. The engraved heads in Arnold Houbraken’s biographies
of the Dutch and Flemish painters, in three volumes, are a family of
rare beauty.[145]

The relation of engraving to painting is often discussed; but nobody
has treated it with more knowledge or sentiment than the consummate
engraver Longhi, in his interesting work “La Calcografia.”[146]
Dwelling on the general aid it renders to the lovers of Art, he claims
for it greater merit in “publishing and immortalizing the portraits
and actions of eminent men as an example to the present and future
generations,” and, “better than any other art, serving as a vehicle for
the most extended and remote propagation of a deserved celebrity.”[147]
Even great monuments in porphyry and bronze are less durable than
these light and fragile prints, subject to all the chances of wind,
water, and fire, but prevailing by their numbers where hardness and
tenacity succumb. In other words, it is with engravings as with books;
nor is this the only resemblance between them. According to Longhi, an
engraving is not a copy or an imitation, as is sometimes insisted,
but a translation.[148] The engraver translates into another language,
where light and shade supply the place of colors. The duplication of
a book in the same language is a copy, and so is the duplication of a
picture in the same material. Evidently an engraving is not a copy;
it does not reproduce the original picture, except in drawing and
expression: nor is it a mere imitation; but, as Bryant’s Homer and
Longfellow’s Dante are presentations of the great originals in another
language, so is the engraving a presentation of painting in another
material, which is like another language.

Thus does the engraver vindicate his art. But nobody can examine a
choice print without feeling that it has a merit of its own, different
from any picture, and inferior only to a good picture. A work of
Raphael, or any of the great masters, is better in an engraving of
Longhi or Morghen than in any ordinary copy, and would probably cost
more in the market. A good engraving is an undoubted work of Art;
but this cannot be said of many pictures, which, like Peter Pindar’s
razors, seem made only to sell.

Much that belongs to the painter belongs also to the engraver, who must
have the same knowledge of contours, the same power of expression, the
same sense of beauty, and the same ability in drawing with sureness of
sight, as if, according to Michel Angelo, he had “a pair of compasses
in his eyes.” These qualities in a high degree make the artist, whether
painter or engraver, naturally excel in portraits. But choice portraits
are less numerous in engraving than in painting, for the reason that
painting does not always find a successful translator.

The earliest engraved portraits which attract attention are by
Albert Dürer, who engraved his own work, translating himself. His
eminence as painter was continued as engraver. Here he surpassed his
predecessors,--Martin Schoen in Germany, and Mantegna in Italy,--so
that Longhi does not hesitate to say that “he was the first who carried
this art from infancy, in which he found it, to a condition not far
from flourishing adolescence.”[149] But while recognizing his great
place in the history of engraving, it is impossible not to see that
he is often hard and constrained, if not unfinished. His portrait of
Erasmus is justly famous, and is conspicuous among the prints exhibited
in the British Museum. It is dated 1526, two years before the death
of Dürer, and has helped to extend the fame of the universal scholar
and approved man of letters, who in his own age filled a sphere not
unlike that of Voltaire in a later century. There is another portrait
of Erasmus by Holbein, often repeated; so that two great artists have
contributed to his renown. That by Dürer is admired. The general
fineness of touch, with the accessories of books and flowers, shows the
care in its execution; but it wants expression, and the hands are far
from graceful.

Another most interesting portrait by Dürer, executed in the same
year with the Erasmus, is Philip Melanchthon, the Saint John of the
Reformation, sometimes called “The Teacher of Germany,”--_Preceptor
Germaniæ_. Luther, while speaking of himself as rough, boisterous,
stormy, and altogether warlike, says, “But Master Philippus moves
gently and quietly along, ploughs and plants, sows and waters with
pleasure, according as God hath given him His gifts richly.”[150]
At the date of the print he was twenty-nine years of age, and the
countenance shows the mild reformer.

Agostino Caracci, of the Bolognese family, memorable in Art, added
to considerable success as painter undoubted triumphs as engraver.
His prints are numerous, and many are regarded with favor; but in the
long list not one is so sure of that longevity allotted to Art as his
portrait of Titian, which bears date 1587, eleven years after the
death of the latter. Over it is the inscription, “_Titiani Vecellii
Pictoris celeberrimi ac famosissimi vera effigies_,”--to which is added
beneath, “_Cujus nomen orbis continere non valet_.” Although founded on
originals by Titian himself, it was probably designed by the remarkable
engraver. It is very like, and yet unlike, the familiar portrait of
which we have a recent engraving by Mandel, from a repetition in
the Gallery of Berlin. Looking at it, we are reminded of the terms
by which Vasari described the great painter: “_Giudizioso, bello e
stupendo_.”[151] Such a head, with such visible power, justifies these
words, or at least makes us believe them entirely applicable. It is
broad, bold, strong, and instinct with life.

This print, like the Erasmus of Dürer, is among those selected for
exhibition at the British Museum; and it deserves the honor. Though
only paper with black lines, it is, by the genius of the artist, as
good as a picture. In all engraving nothing is better.

Contemporary with Caracci was Heinrich Goltzius, at Haarlem, excellent
as painter, but, like the Italian, preëminent as engraver. His prints
show mastery of the art, making something like an epoch in its history.
His unwearied skill in the use of the burin appears in a tradition
gathered by Longhi from Wille,--that, having commenced a line, he
carried it to the end without once stopping, while the long and bright
threads of copper turned up were brushed aside by his flowing beard,
which at the end of a day’s labor so shone in the light of the candles,
that his companions nicknamed him _The Man with the Golden Beard_.[152]
There are prints by him which shine more than his beard. Among his
masterpieces is the portrait of his instructor, Dirk Coornhert,
engraver, poet, musician, and vindicator of his country, and author
of the National air, “William of Nassau,” whose passion for Liberty
did not prevent him from giving to the world translations of Cicero’s
“Offices” and Seneca’s treatise on Beneficence. But the portrait of the
engraver himself, as large as life, is one of the most important in the
art. Among the numerous prints by Goltzius, these two will always be

In Holland Goltzius had eminent successors. Among these were Paulus
Pontius, designer and engraver, whose portrait of Rubens is of great
life and beauty, and Rembrandt, who was not less masterly in engraving
than in painting, as appears sufficiently in his portraits of the
Burgomaster Six, the two Coppenols, the Advocate Tolling, and the
goldsmith Lutma, all showing singular facility and originality.
Contemporary with Rembrandt was Cornelis de Visscher, also designer
and engraver, whose portraits were unsurpassed in boldness and
picturesque effect. At least one authority has accorded to this artist
the palm of engraving, hailing him as “Coryphæus of the Art.”[153]
Among his successful portraits is that of a Cat; but all yield to what
are known as _The Great Beards_, being the portraits of Willem de
Ryck, an ophthalmist at Amsterdam, and Gellius de Bouma, the Zutphen
ecclesiastic. The latter is especially famous. In harmony with the
beard is the heavy face, seventy-seven years old, showing the fulness
of long-continued potations, and hands like the face, original and
powerful, if not beautiful.

In contrast with Visscher was his countryman Van Dyck, who painted
portraits with constant beauty, and carried into etching the same
Virgilian taste and skill. His aquafortis was not less gentle than his
pencil. Among his etched portraits I would select that of Snyders,
the animal-painter, as supremely beautiful. M. Renouvier, in his
learned and elaborate work, “Des Types et des Manières des Maîtres
Graveurs,” though usually moderate in praise, speaks of these sketches
as possessing “a boldness and a delicacy which charm, being taken at
the height of the genius of the painter who best knew how to idealize
portrait painting.”[154]

       *       *       *       *       *

Such are illustrative instances from Germany, Italy, and Holland. As
yet, power rather than beauty presided, unless in the etchings of Van
Dyck. But the reign of Louis the Fourteenth was beginning to assert a
supremacy in engraving as in literature. The great school of French
engravers which appeared at this time brought the art to a splendid
perfection, which many think has not been equalled since; so that
Masson, Nanteuil, Edelinck, and Drevet may claim fellowship in genius
with their immortal contemporaries, Corneille, Racine, La Fontaine, and

The school was opened by Claude Mellan, more known as engraver than
painter, and also author of most of the designs he engraved. His
life, beginning with the sixteenth century, was protracted to nearly
ninety years, not without signal honor; for his name appears among the
“Illustrious Men” of France, in the beautiful volumes of Perrault,
which is also a homage to the art he practised. One of his works, for a
long time much admired, was described by this author:--

    “It is a head of Christ, designed and shaded with his crown of
    thorns, and the blood that trickles on all sides, by one single
    stroke, which, beginning at the tip of the nose, and continuing
    always in a curve, forms very exactly all that is represented
    in the plate, merely by the different thickness of this stroke,
    which, according as it is more or less broad, makes the eyes,
    nose, mouth, cheeks, hair, blood, and thorns; the whole so well
    represented, and with such expression of pain and affliction,
    that nothing is more sad or more touching.”[155]

This print is known as _The Sudarium of Saint Veronica_. Longhi records
that it was thought at the time “inimitable,” and was “praised to the
skies,”--adding, “But people think differently now.”[156] At best it is
a curiosity among portraits. A traveller reported some time ago that it
was the sole print on the walls of the room occupied by the Director of
the Imperial Cabinet of Engravings at St. Petersburg.

Morin was a contemporary of Mellan, and less famous at the time.
His style of engraving was peculiar, being a mixture of strokes and
dots, but so harmonized as to produce a pleasing effect. One of the
best engraved portraits in the history of the art is his Cardinal
Bentivoglio; but here he translated Van Dyck, whose picture is among
his best. A fine impression of this print is a choice possession.

Among French masters Antoine Masson is conspicuous for brilliant
hardihood of style, which, though failing in taste, is powerful in
effect. Metal, armor, velvet, feather, seem as if painted. He is also
most successful in the treatment of hair. His immense skill made him
welcome difficulties, as if to show his ability in overcoming them.
His print of Henri de Lorraine, Comte d’Harcourt, known as _Cadet à
la Perle_, from the pearl in the ear, with the date 1667, is often
placed at the head of engraved portraits, although not particularly
pleasing or interesting. The vigorous countenance is aided by the gleam
and sheen of the various substances entering into the costume. Less
powerful, but having a charm of its own, is that of Brisacier, known as
_The Gray-Haired Man_, engraved in 1664. The remarkable representation
of hair in this print has been a model for artists, especially for
Longhi, who recounts that he copied it in his head of Washington.[157]
Somewhat similar is the head of Charrier, the Criminal Judge at Lyons.
Though inferior in hair, it surpasses the other in expression.

Nanteuil was an artist of different character, being to Masson as
Van Dyck to Visscher, with less of vigor than beauty. His original
genius was refined by classical studies and quickened by diligence.
Though dying at the age of forty-eight, he had executed as many as two
hundred and eighty plates, nearly all portraits. The favor he enjoyed
during life has not diminished with time. His works illustrate the
reign of Louis the Fourteenth, and are still admired. Among these are
portraits of the King, Anne of Austria, Johan Baptist van Steenberghen,
called _The Advocate of Holland_, a Heavy Dutchman, François de la
Mothe-Le-Vayer, a fine and delicate work, Turenne, Colbert, Lamoignon,
the poet Loret, Maridat de Serrière, Louise-Marie de Gonzague, Louis
Hesselin, Christina of Sweden,--all masterpieces; but above these
is the Pomponne de Bellièvre, foremost among his masterpieces, and
a chief masterpiece of Art, being, in the judgment of more than one
connoisseur, the most beautiful engraved portrait that exists. That
excellent authority Dr. Thies, who knew engraving more thoroughly and
sympathetically than any person I remember in our country, said, in a
letter to myself, as long ago as March, 1858,--

    “When I call Nanteuil’s Pomponne the handsomest engraved
    portrait, I express a conviction to which I came when I studied
    all the remarkable engraved portraits at the royal cabinet
    of engravings in Dresden, and at the large and exquisite
    collection there of the late King of Saxony, and in which I was
    confirmed, or perhaps to which I was led, by the director of
    the two establishments, the late Professor Frenzel.”

And after describing this head, the learned connoisseur proceeds:--

    “There is an air of refinement (_Vornehmheit_) round the mouth
    and nose as in no other engraving. Color and life shine through
    the skin, and the lips appear red.”

It is bold, perhaps, thus to exalt a single portrait, giving to it the
palm of Venus; nor do I know that it is entirely proper to classify
portraits according to beauty. In disputing about beauty, we are too
often lost in the variety of individual tastes; and yet each person
knows when he is touched. In proportion as multitudes are touched,
there must be merit. As in music a simple heart-melody is often more
effective than any triumph over difficulties or bravura of manner, so
in engraving, the sense of the beautiful may prevail over all else; and
this is the case with the Pomponne, although there are portraits by
others showing higher art.

No doubt there have been as handsome men, whose portraits were
engraved, but not so well. I know not if Pomponne was what would be
called a handsome man, although his air is noble and his countenance
bright; but among portraits more boldly, delicately, or elaborately
engraved, there are very few to contest the palm of beauty.[158]

And who is this handsome man to whom the engraver has given a lease
of fame? Son, nephew, and grandson of high dignitaries in Church
and State,--with two grandfathers Chancellors of France, two uncles
Archbishops, his father President of the Parliament of Paris and
Councillor of State,--himself at the head of the magistracy of France,
First President of Parliament, according to an inscription on the
engraving, _Senatus Galliarum Princeps_, Ambassador to Italy, Holland,
and England, charged in the last-named country by Cardinal Mazarin with
the impossible duty of making peace between the Long Parliament and
Charles the First, and at his death great benefactor of the General
Hospital of Paris, bestowing upon it riches and the very bed on which
he died. Such is the simple catalogue; and yet it is all forgotten.

A Funeral Panegyric pronounced at his death, now before me in the
original pamphlet of the time,[159] testifies to more than family or
office. In himself he was much, and not of those who, according to the
saying of Saint Bernard, “give out smoke rather than light.”[160] “Pure
glory and innocent riches”[161] were his; and he was the more precious
in the sight of all good men, that he showed himself incorruptible,
and not to be bought at any price. It were easy for him to have turned
a deluge of wealth into his house; but he knew that gifts insensibly
entangle,--that the specious pretext of gratitude is the snare in
which the greatest souls allow themselves to be caught,--that a man
covered with favors has difficulty in setting himself against injustice
in all its forms,--and that a magistrate divided between a sense of
obligations received and the care of the public interest, which he
ought always to promote, is a paralytic magistrate, a magistrate
deprived of a moiety of himself. So spoke the preacher, while he
portrayed a charity tender and effective for the wretched, a vehemence
just and inflexible toward the dishonest and wicked, and a sweetness
noble and beneficent for all; dwelling also on his countenance, which
had nothing of that severe and sour austerity that renders justice
to the good only as if with regret, and to the guilty only in anger;
then on his pleasant and gracious address, his intellectual and
charming conversation, his ready and judicious replies, his agreeable
and intelligible silence,--even his refusals being well received and
obliging,--while, amidst all the pomp and splendor accompanying him,
there shone in his eyes a certain air of sweetness and majesty, which
secured for him, and for justice itself, love as well as respect. His
benefactions were constant. Not content with merely giving, he gave
with a beautiful manner, still more rare. He could not abide beauty
of intelligence without goodness of soul; and he preferred always the
poor, having for them not only compassion, but a sort of reverence. He
knew that the way to take the poison from riches was to let the poor
taste of them. The sentiment of Christian charity for the poor, who
were to him in the place of children, was his last thought,--as witness
especially the General Hospital endowed by him, and represented by the
preacher as the greatest and most illustrious work ever undertaken by
charity the most heroic.

Thus lived and died the splendid Pomponne de Bellièvre, with no other
children than his works. Celebrated at the time by a Funeral Panegyric
now forgotten, and placed among the Illustrious Men of France in a
work remembered only for its engraved portraits,[162] his famous life
shrinks in the voluminous “Biographic Universelle” of Michaud to the
sixth part of a single page, and in the later “Biographic Générale”
of Didot disappears entirely. History forgets to mention him. But
the lofty magistrate, ambassador, and benefactor, founder of a great
hospital, cannot be entirely lost from sight so long as his portrait by
Nanteuil holds a place in Art.

Younger than Nanteuil by ten years, Gerard Edelinck excelled him
in genuine mastery. Born at Antwerp, he became French by adoption,
occupying apartments in the Gobelins, and enjoying a pension from Louis
the Fourteenth. Longhi says that he is “the engraver whose works, not
only in my opinion, but in that of the best judges, deserve the first
place among exemplars of the art”; and he attributes to him, “in a high
degree, design, chiaroscuro, aërial perspective, local tints, softness,
lightness, variety, in short everything which can form the most exact
representation of the true and beautiful without the aid of color.”
Others may have surpassed him in particular things, but, according to
the Italian teacher, “he still remains by common consent the prince of
engraving.”[163] Another critic calls him “king.”

It requires no remarkable knowledge to recognize his great merits.
Evidently he is a master, exercising sway with absolute art, and
without attempt to bribe the eye by special effects of light, as on
metal or satin. Among his conspicuous productions is _The Tent of
Darius_, a large engraving on two sheets, after Le Brun, where the
family of the Persian monarch prostrate themselves before Alexander,
who approaches with Hephæstion. There is also a _Holy Family_, after
Raphael, and _The Battle of the Standard_, after Leonardo da Vinci. But
these are less interesting than his numerous portraits, among which
that of Philippe de Champagne is the chief masterpiece; and there
are others of signal merit, including especially Madame Helyot, or
_La belle Religieuse_, a beautiful French coquette praying before a
crucifix; Martin van den Bogaert (Des Jardins,) the sculptor; Frédéric
Léonard, Printer to the King; Mouton, the Lute-Player; Nathanael
Dilgerus, with a venerable beard white with age; Jules Hardouin
Mansart, the architect; also a portrait of Pomponne de Bellièvre, which
will be found among the prints of Perrault’s “Illustrious Men.”

The Philippe de Champagne is the head of that eminent French artist
after a painting by himself, and it contests the palm with the
Pomponne. Mr. Marsh, who is an authority, prefers it. Dr. Thies, who
places the latter first in beauty, is constrained to allow that the
other is “superior as a work of the graver,” being executed with all
the resources of the art in its chastest form. The enthusiasm of Longhi
finds expression in unusual praise:--

    “The work which goes most to my blood, and of which Edelinck
    himself was justly proud, is the portrait of Champagne. I
    shall die before I cease often to contemplate it with ever new
    wonder. Here is seen how he was equally great as designer and

And he then dwells on various details,--the bones, the skin, the flesh,
the eyes living and seeing, the moistened lips, the chin covered with a
beard unshaven for many days, and the hair in all its forms.

Between the rival portraits by Nanteuil and Edelinck it is unnecessary
to decide. Each is beautiful. In looking at them we recognize anew
the transient honors of public service. The present fame of Champagne
surpasses that of Pomponne. The artist outlives the magistrate. But
does not the poet tell us that “the artist never dies”?

As Edelinck passed from the scene the family of Drevet appeared,
especially the son, Pierre Imbert Drevet, born in 1697, who developed a
rare excellence, improving even upon the technics of his predecessor,
and gilding his refined gold. The son was born engraver, for at the age
of thirteen he produced an engraving of exceeding merit. Like Masson
he manifested a singular skill in rendering different substances by
the effect of light, and at the same time gave to flesh a softness and
transparency which remain unsurpassed. To these he added great richness
in picturing costumes and drapery, especially in lace.

He was eminently a portrait engraver, which I must insist is the
highest form of the art, as the human face is the most important object
for its exercise. Less clear and simple than Nanteuil, and less severe
than Edelinck, he gave to the face individuality of character, and made
his works conspicuous in Art. If there was excess in the accessories,
it was before the age of _Sartor Resartus_, and he only followed the
prevailing style in the popular paintings of Hyacinthe Rigaud. Art in
all its forms had become florid, if not meretricious; and Drevet was a
representative of his age.

Among his works are important masterpieces. I name only Bossuet,
the famed _Eagle of Meaux_; Samuel Bernard, the rich Councillor of
State; Fénelon, the persuasive teacher and writer; Cardinal Dubois,
the unprincipled minister and favorite of the Regent of France; and
Adrienne Le Couvreur, the beautiful and unfortunate actress, linked
in love with Marshal Saxe. The portrait of Bossuet has everything to
attract and charm. There stands the powerful defender of the Catholic
Church, master of French style, and most renowned pulpit orator of
France, in episcopal robes, with abundant lace, which is the perpetual
envy of the fair who look at this transcendent effort. The ermine of
Dubois is exquisite; but the general effect of this portrait does not
compare with the Bossuet, next to which, in fascination, I put the
Adrienne. At her death the actress could not be buried in consecrated
ground; but through Art she has the perpetual companionship of the
greatest bishop of France.

       *       *       *       *       *

With the younger Drevet closed the classical period of portraits
in engraving, as just before had closed the Augustan age of French
literature. Louis the Fourteenth decreed engraving a Fine Art, and
established an Academy for its cultivation. Pride and ostentation in
the king and the great aristocracy created a demand, which the genius
of the age supplied. The heights that had been reached could not be
maintained. There were eminent engravers still, but the zenith had been
passed. Balechou, who belonged to the reign of Louis the Fifteenth,
and Beauvarlet, whose life was protracted beyond the Reign of Terror,
both produced portraits of merit. The former is noted for a certain
clearness and brilliancy, but with a hardness as of brass or marble,
and without entire accuracy of design; the latter has much softness of
manner. They were the best artists of France at the time, but none of
their portraits are famous. To these may be added another contemporary
artist, without predecessor or successor, Étienne Ficquet, unduly
disparaged in one of the dictionaries as “a reputable French engraver,”
but undoubtedly remarkable for small portraits, not unlike miniatures,
of exquisite finish. Among these the rarest and most admired are La
Fontaine, Madame de Maintenon, Rubens, and Van Dyck.

Two other engravers belong to this intermediate period, although not
French in origin,--Georg Friedrich Schmidt, born at Berlin, 1712, and
Johann Georg Wille, born near the small town of Königsberg, in the
Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt, 1717, but, attracted to Paris, they
became the greatest engravers of the time. Their work is French, and
they are the natural development of that classical school.

Schmidt was the son of a poor weaver, and lost six precious years as a
soldier in the artillery at Berlin. Owing to the smallness of his size
he was at length dismissed, when he surrendered to a natural talent for
engraving. Arriving at Strasburg, on his way to Paris, he fell in with
Wille, who joined him in his journey, and eventually in his studies.
The productions of Schmidt show ability, originality, and variety,
rather than taste. His numerous portraits are excellent, being free
and life-like, while the accessories of embroidery and drapery are
rendered with effect. As an etcher he ranks next after Rembrandt. Of
his portraits executed with the graver, that of the Empress Elizabeth
of Russia is usually called the most important, perhaps on account
of the imperial theme,--and next, those of Count Rasoumowsky, Count
Esterhazy, and Mounsey, Court Physician, which he engraved while in
St. Petersburg, whither he was called by the Empress, founding there
the Academy of Engraving. But his real masterpieces are unquestionably
Pierre Mignard and La Tour, French painters, the latter represented

Wille lived to old age, not dying till 1808. During this long life he
was active in the art to which he inclined naturally. His mastery of
the graver was perfect, lending itself especially to the representation
of satin and metal, although less happy with flesh. His _Satin Gown_,
or _L’Instruction Paternelle_, after Terburg, and _Les Musiciens
Ambulants_, after Dietrich, are always admired. Nothing of the kind
in engraving is finer. His style was adapted to pictures of the Dutch
school, and to portraits with rich surroundings. Of the latter the
principal are Comte de Saint-Florentin, Marquis Poisson de Marigny,
Jean de Boullongne, and Cardinal de Tencin.

       *       *       *       *       *

Especially eminent was Wille as a teacher. Under his influence the art
assumed new life, so that he became father of the modern school. His
scholars spread everywhere, and among them are acknowledged masters.
He was teacher of Bervic, whose portrait of Louis the Sixteenth in his
coronation robes is of a high order, himself teacher of the Italian
Toschi, who, after an eminent career, died as late as 1858; also
teacher of P. A. Tardieu, himself teacher of the brilliant Desnoyers,
whose portrait of the Emperor Napoleon in his coronation robes is the
fit complement to that of Louis the Sixteenth; also teacher of the
German, J. G. von Müller, himself father and teacher of J. F. W. von
Müller, engraver of the Sistine Madonna, in a plate whose great fame is
not above its merit; also teacher of the Italian Vangelisti, himself
teacher of the unsurpassed Longhi, in whose school were Anderloni and
Jesi. Thus not only by his works, but by his famous scholars, did the
humble gunsmith gain sway in Art.

Among portraits of this school deserving especial mention is that of
King Jerome of Westphalia, brother of Napoleon, by the two Müllers
above named, where the genius of the artists is most conspicuous,
although the subject contributes little. As in the case of the Palace
of the Sun, described by Ovid, “_materiam superabat opus_.”[165] This
work is a beautiful example of skill in representation of fur and lace,
not yielding even to Drevet.

Longhi was a universal master, and his portraits are only part of
his work. That of Washington, which is rare, is evidently founded on
Stuart’s painting, but after a design of his own, which is now in the
possession of the Swiss Consul at Venice. The artist particularizes
the hair, as being modelled after the French master Masson.[166] The
portraits of Michel Angelo and Dandolo, the venerable Doge of Venice,
are admired; so also is the _Napoleon_ as King of Italy, with the
iron crown and finest lace. But his chief portrait is that of Eugène
Beauharnais, Viceroy of Italy, full length, remarkable for the plume in
the cap, which is finished with surpassing skill.

       *       *       *       *       *

Contemporary with Longhi was another Italian engraver of
widely extended fame, who was not the product of the French
school,--Raffaello Morghen, born at Portici in 1761. His works have
enjoyed a popularity beyond those of other masters, partly from the
interest of their subjects, and partly from their soft and captivating
style, although they do not possess the graceful power of Nanteuil and
Edelinck, and are without variety. He was scholar and son-in-law of
Volpato, of Rome, himself scholar of Wagner, of Venice, whose homely
round faces were not high models in Art. The _Aurora_ of Guido and the
_Last Supper_ of Leonardo da Vinci stand high in engraving, especially
the latter, which occupied Morghen three years. Of his two hundred
and fifty-four works no less than eighty-five are portraits, among
which are the Italian poets,--Dante, Petrarc, Ariosto, Tasso, also
Boccaccio,--and a head called Raphael, but supposed to be that of Bindo
Altoviti, the great painter’s friend,[167] and especially the Duke of
Moncada on horseback, after Van Dyck, which has received warm praise.
But none of his portraits is calculated to give greater pleasure than
that of Leonardo da Vinci, which may vie in beauty even with the famous
Pomponne. Here is the beauty of years and of serene intelligence.
Looking at that tranquil countenance, it is easy to imagine the large
and various capacities which made him not only painter, but sculptor,
architect, musician, poet, discoverer, philosopher, even predecessor of
Galileo and Bacon. Such a character deserves the immortality of Art.
Happily, an old Venetian engraving, reproduced in our day,[168] enables
us to see this same countenance at an earlier period of life with
sparkle in the eye.

Raffaello Morghen left no scholars who have followed him in portraits;
but his own works are still regarded, and a monument in Santa Croce,
the Westminster Abbey of Florence, places him among the mighty dead of

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus far nothing has been said of English engravers. Here, as in Art
generally, England seems removed from the rest of the world,--“_Et
penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos_.”[169] But though beyond
the sphere of Continental Art, the island of Shakespeare was not
inhospitable to some of its representatives. Van Dyck, Rubens, Sir
Peter Lely, and Sir Godfrey Kneller, all Dutch artists, painted the
portraits of Englishmen, and engraving was first illustrated by
foreigners. Jacob Houbraken, another Dutch artist, born in 1698, was
employed to execute portraits for Birch’s “Heads of Illustrious Persons
of Great Britain,” published at London in 1743; and in these works may
be seen the æsthetic taste inherited from his father, (the biographer
of the Dutch artists,[170]) and improved by study of the French
masters. Although without great force or originality of manner, many
of these have positive beauty. I would name especially the _Sir Walter
Raleigh_ and _John Dryden_.

Different in style was Bartolozzi, the Italian, who made his home in
England for forty years, ending in 1805, when he removed to Lisbon.
The considerable genius which he possessed was spoiled by haste in
execution, superseding that care which is an essential condition of
Art. Hence sameness in his work, and indifference to the picture he
copied. Longhi speaks of him as “most unfaithful to his archetypes,”
and, “whatever the originals, being always Bartolozzi.”[171] Among
his portraits of especial interest are several old wigs, as Mansfield
and Thurlow; also the _Death of Chatham_, after the picture of Copley
in the Vernon Gallery. But his prettiest piece undoubtedly is _Mary,
Queen of Scots, with her little Son, James the First_, after what Mrs.
Jameson calls “the lovely picture by Zuccaro at Chiswick.”[172] In the
same style are his vignettes, which are of acknowledged beauty.

Meanwhile a Scotchman, honorable in Art, comes upon the scene,--Sir
Robert Strange, born in the distant Orkneys in 1721, who abandoned
the law for engraving. As a youthful Jacobite he joined the Pretender
in 1745, sharing the disaster of Culloden, and owing his safety from
pursuers to a young lady dressed in the ample costume of the period,
whom he afterwards married in gratitude, and they were both happy. He
has a style of his own, rich, soft, and especially charming in the
tints of flesh, making him a natural translator of Titian. His most
celebrated engravings are doubtless the _Venus_ and the _Danaë_ after
the great Venetian colorist; but the _Cleopatra_, though less famous,
is not inferior in merit. His acknowledged masterpiece is the Madonna
of St. Jerome, called “_The Day_,” after the picture by Correggio in
the Gallery of Parma; but his portraits after Van Dyck are not less
fine, while they are more interesting,--as Charles the First, with a
large hat, by the side of his horse, which the Marquis of Hamilton is
holding; and that of the same monarch standing in his ermine robes;
also the three royal children, with two King Charles spaniels at their
feet; also Henrietta Maria, the Queen of Charles. That with the ermine
robes is supposed to have been studied by Raffaello Morghen, called
sometimes an imitator of Strange.[173] To these I would add the rare
autograph portrait of the engraver, being a small head after Greuzé,
which is simple and beautiful.

One other name will close this catalogue. It is that of William Sharp,
who was born at London in 1746, and died there in 1824. Though last in
order, this engraver may claim kindred with the best. His first essays
were the embellishment of pewter pots, from which he ascended to the
heights of Art, showing a power rarely equalled. Without any instance
of peculiar beauty, his works are constant in character and expression,
with every possible excellence of execution: face, form, drapery,--all
are as in Nature. His splendid qualities appear in the _Doctors of the
Church_, which has taken its place as the first of English engravings.
It is after the picture of Guido, once belonging to the Houghton
Gallery, which in an evil hour for English taste was allowed to enrich
the collection of the Hermitage at St. Petersburg; and I remember
well that this engraving by Sharp was one of the few ornaments in
the drawing-room of Macaulay when I last saw him, shortly before his
lamented death. Next to the _Doctors of the Church_ is his _Lear in
the Storm_, after the picture by West, now in the Boston Athenæum, and
his _Sortie from Gibraltar_, after the picture by Trumbull, also in
the Boston Athenæum. Thus, through at least two of his masterpieces
whose originals are among us, is our country associated with this great

It is of portraits especially that I write, and here Sharp is truly
eminent. All he did was well done; but two are models,--that of
Mr. Boulton, a strong, well-developed country gentleman, admirably
executed, and of John Hunter, the eminent surgeon, after the
painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds, in the London College of Surgeons,
unquestionably the foremost portrait in English Art, and the coëqual
companion of the great portraits in the past; but here the engraver
united his rare gifts with those of the painter.

       *       *       *       *       *

In closing these sketches I would have it observed that this is no
attempt to treat of engraving generally, or of prints in their mass or
types. The present subject is simply Portraits, and I stop now just as
we arrive at contemporary examples, abroad and at home, with the gentle
genius of Mandel beginning to ascend the sky, and our own engravers
appearing on the horizon. There is also a new and kindred art, infinite
in value, where the Sun himself becomes artist, with works which mark
an epoch.

                                           WASHINGTON, 11th Dec., 1871.

       *       *       *       *       *

    NOTE.--When Mr. Sumner began the publication of his Works in
    1870, he engaged Mr. George Nichols, of Cambridge, to read the
    proofs editorially. This Mr. Nichols did, with great care and
    ability, until about ten days before his death, which occurred
    on the 6th of July, 1882. His work of supervision ended on p.
    334 of this volume.


21, 1872.

    Brave Theseus, they were MEN like all before,
    And human souls in human frames they bore,
    With you to take their parts in earthly feasts,
    With you to climb one heaven and sit immortal guests.

                         STATIUS, _Thebaïd_, tr. Kennett, Lib. XI.

       *       *       *       *       *

    I was fully convinced, that, whatever difference there
    is between the Negro and European in the conformation of
    the nose and the color of the skin, there is none in the
    genuine sympathies and characteristic feelings of our common
    nature.--MUNGO PARK, _Travels in the Interior Districts of
    Africa_, (London, 1816,) Vol. I. p. 80, Ch. 6.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The word MAN is thought to carry somewhat of dignity in its
    sound; and we commonly make use of this, as the last and the
    most prevailing argument against a rude insulter, “I am not
    a beast, a dog, but I am a Man as well as yourself.” Since,
    then, human nature agrees equally to all persons, and since
    no one can live a sociable life with another who does not own
    and respect him as a Man, it follows, as a command of the
    Law of Nature, that _every man esteem and treat another as
    one who is naturally his equal, or who is a Man as well as
    he_.--PUFENDORF, _Law of Nature and Nations_, tr. Kennett, Book
    III., Ch. 2, § 1.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Carrying his solicitude still farther, Charlemagne recommended
    to the bishops and abbots, that, in their schools, “they should
    take care to make no difference between the sons of serfs
    and of freemen, _so that they might come and sit on the same
    benches to study grammar, music, and arithmetic_.”--GUIZOT,
    _History of France_, tr. Black, (London, 1872,) Vol. I. p. 239.


    May 13, 1870, Mr. Sumner asked, and by unanimous consent
    obtained, leave to bring in a bill “Supplementary to an
    Act entitled ‘An Act to protect all persons in the United
    States in their civil rights, and furnish the means of their
    vindication,’ passed April 9, 1866,” which was read the
    first and second times by unanimous consent, referred to the
    Committee on the Judiciary, and ordered to be printed.

    July 7th, only a few days before the close of the session, Mr.
    Trumbull, Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, reported
    a bundle of bills, including that above mentioned, adversely,
    and all, on his motion, were postponed indefinitely.

    January 20, 1871, Mr. Sumner again introduced the same bill,
    which was once more referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

    February 15th, Mr. Trumbull, from the Committee, again reported
    the bill adversely; but, at the suggestion of Mr. Sumner, it
    was allowed to go on the Calendar. Owing to the pressure of
    business in the latter days of the session, he was not able to
    have it considered, and the bill dropped with the session.

       *       *       *       *       *

    At the opening of the next Congress, March 9, 1871, Mr. Sumner
    again brought forward the same bill, which was read the first
    and second times, by unanimous consent, and on his motion
    ordered to lie on the table and be printed. In making this
    motion he said that the bill had been reported adversely twice
    by the Committee on the Judiciary; that, therefore, he did not
    think it advisable to ask its reference again; that nothing
    more important could be submitted to the Senate, and that it
    should be acted on before any adjournment of Congress. In reply
    to an inquiry from Mr. Hamlin, of Maine, Mr. Sumner proceeded
    to explain the bill, which he insisted was in conformity
    with the Declaration of Independence, and with the National
    Constitution, neither of which knows anything of the word
    “white.” Then, announcing that he should do what he could to
    press the bill to a vote, he said: “Senators may vote it down.
    They may take that responsibility; but I shall take mine, God

    At this session a resolution was adopted limiting legislation
    to certain enumerated subjects, among which the Supplementary
    Civil Rights bill was not named. March 17th, while the
    resolution was under discussion, Mr. Sumner warmly protested
    against it, and insisted that nothing should be done to prevent
    the consideration of his bill, which he explained at length.
    In reply to the objection that the session was to be short,
    and that there was no time, he said: “Make the time, then;
    extend the session; do not limit it so as to prevent action
    on a measure of such vast importance.” An amendment moved by
    Mr. Sumner to add this bill to the enumerated subjects was
    rejected. The session closed without action upon it.

       *       *       *       *       *

    At the opening of the next session, Mr. Sumner renewed his

    December 7, 1871, in presenting a petition from colored
    citizens of Albany, he remarked: “It seems to me the Senate
    cannot do better than proceed at once to the consideration of
    the supplementary bill now on our Calendar, to carry out the
    prayer of these petitioners”; and he wished Congress might
    be inspired to “make a Christmas present to their colored
    fellow-citizens of the rights secured by that bill.”

    December 20th, the Senate having under consideration a bill,
    which had already passed the House, “for the removal of the
    legal and political disabilities imposed by the third section
    of the Fourteenth Article of Amendment to the Constitution of
    the United States,” Mr. Sumner, insisting upon justice before
    generosity, moved his Supplementary Civil Rights Bill as an
    amendment. A colloquy took place between himself and Mr. Hill,
    of Georgia, in which the latter opposed the amendment.

        MR. SUMNER. I should like to bring home to the Senator that
        nearly one half of the people of Georgia are now excluded
        from the equal rights which my amendment proposes to
        secure; and yet I understand that the Senator disregards
        their condition, sets aside their desires, and proposes
        to vote down my proposition. The Senator assumes that the
        former Rebels are the only people of Georgia. Sir, I see
        the colored race in Georgia. I see that race once enslaved,
        for a long time deprived of all rights, and now under
        existing usage and practice despoiled of rights which the
        Senator himself is in the full enjoyment of.

        MR. HILL. … I never can agree in the proposition that,
        if there be a hotel for the entertainment of travellers,
        and two classes stop at it, and there is one dining-room
        for one class and one for another, served alike in all
        respects, with the same accommodations, the same attention
        to the guests, there is anything offensive, or anything
        that denies the civil rights of one more than the other.
        Nor do I hold, that, if you have public schools, and you
        give all the advantages of education to one class as you do
        to another, but keep them separate and apart, there is any
        denial of a civil right in that. I also contend, that, even
        upon the railways of the country, if cars of equal comfort,
        convenience, and security be provided for different classes
        of persons, no one has a right to complain, if it be a
        regulation of the companies to separate them.…

        MR. SUMNER. Mr. President, we have a vindication on this
        floor of inequality as a principle and as a political rule.

        MR. HILL. On which race, I would inquire, does the
        inequality to which the Senator refers operate?

        MR. SUMNER. On both. Why, the Senator would not allow a
        white man in the same car with a colored man.

        MR. HILL. Not unless he was invited, perhaps. [_Laughter._]

        MR. SUMNER. The Senator mistakes a substitute for equality.
        Equality is where all are alike. A substitute can never
        take the place of equality. It is impossible; it is absurd.
        I must remind the Senator that it is very unjust,--it is
        terribly unjust. We have received in this Chamber a colored
        Senator from Mississippi; but according to the rule of
        the Senator from Georgia we should have put him apart by
        himself; he should not have sat with his brother Senators.
        Do I understand the Senator as favoring such a rule?

        MR. HILL. No, Sir.

        MR. SUMNER. The Senator does not.

        MR. HILL. I do not, Sir, for this reason: it is under the
        institutions of the country that he becomes entitled by law
        to his seat here; we have no right to deny it to him.

        MR. SUMNER. Very well; and I intend, to the best of
        my ability, to see that under the institutions of the
        country he is equal everywhere. The Senator says he is
        equal in this Chamber. I say he should be equal in rights
        everywhere; and why not, I ask the Senator from Georgia?

        MR. HILL. … I am one of those who have believed, that,
        when it pleased the Creator of heaven and earth to make
        different races of men, it was His purpose to keep them
        distinct and separate. I think so now.…

        MR. SUMNER. The Senator admits that in the highest
        council-chamber there is, and should be, perfect equality
        before the law; but descend into the hotel, on the
        railroad, within the common school, and there can be no
        equality before the law. The Senator does not complain
        because all are equal in this Chamber. I should like to ask
        him, if he will allow me, whether, in his judgment, the
        colored Representatives from Georgia and South Carolina in
        the other Chamber ought not on railroads and at hotels to
        have like rights with himself? I ask that precise question.

        MR. HILL. I will answer that question in this manner: I
        myself am subject in hotels and upon railroads to the
        regulations provided by the hotel proprietors for their
        guests, and by the railroad companies for their passengers.
        I am entitled, and so is the colored man, to all the
        security and comfort that either presents to the most
        favored guest or passenger; but I maintain that proximity
        to a colored man does not increase my comfort or security,
        nor does proximity to me on his part increase his, and
        therefore it is not a denial of any right in either case.

        MR. SUMNER. May I ask the Senator if he is excluded from
        any right on account of his color? The Senator says he
        is sometimes excluded from something at hotels or on
        railroads. I ask whether any exclusion on account of color
        bears on him?

        MR. HILL. I answer the Senator. I have been excluded from
        ladies’ cars on railroads. I do not know on what account
        precisely; I do not know whether it was on account of my
        color; but I think it more likely that it was on account of
        my sex. [_Laughter._]

        MR. SUMNER. But the Senator, as I understand, insists that
        it is proper on account of color. That is his conclusion.

        MR. HILL. No; I insist that it is no denial of a right,
        provided all the comfort and security be furnished to
        passengers alike.

        MR. SUMNER. The Senator does not seem to see that any rule
        excluding a man on account of color is an indignity, an
        insult, and a wrong; and he makes himself on this floor the
        representative of indignity, of insult, and of wrong to
        the colored race. Why, Sir, his State has a large colored
        population, and he denies their rights.

        MR. HILL. If the Senator will allow me, I will say to him
        that it will take him and others, if there should be any
        others who so believe, a good while to convince the colored
        people of the State of Georgia, who know me, that I would
        deprive them of any right to which they are entitled,
        though it were only technical; but in matters of pure
        taste I cannot get away from the idea that I do them no
        injustice, if I separate them on some occasions from the
        other race.…

        MR. SUMNER. The Senator makes a mistake which has been
        made for a generation in this Chamber, confounding what
        belongs to society with what belongs to rights. There is no
        question of society. The Senator may choose his associates
        as he pleases. They may be white or black, or between the
        two. That is simply a social question, and nobody would
        interfere with it. The taste which the Senator announces
        he will have free liberty to exercise, selecting always
        his companions; but when it comes to rights, there the
        Senator must obey the law, and I insist that by the law of
        the land all persons without distinction of color shall be
        equal in rights. Show me, therefore, a legal institution,
        anything created or regulated by law, and I show you what
        must be opened equally to all without distinction of color.
        Notoriously, the hotel is a legal institution, originally
        established by the Common Law, subject to minute provisions
        and regulations; notoriously, public conveyances are common
        carriers subject to a law of their own; notoriously,
        schools are public institutions created and maintained by
        law; and now I simply insist that in the enjoyment of these
        institutions there shall be no exclusion on account of


        MR. HILL. I must confess, Sir, that I cannot see the
        magnitude of this subject. I object to this great
        Government descending to the business of regulating the
        hotels and the common taverns of this country, and the
        street railroads, stage-coaches, and everything of that
        sort. It looks to me to be a petty business.…

        MR. SUMNER. I would not have my country descend, but
        ascend. It must rise to the heights of the Declaration of
        Independence. Then and there did we pledge ourselves to
        the great truth that all men are equal in rights. And now
        a Senator from Georgia rises on this floor and denies it.
        He denies it by a subtilty. While pretending to admit it,
        he would overthrow it. He would adopt a substitute for


        MR. HILL. With the permission of the Senator, I will ask
        him if this proposition does not involve on the part of
        this Government an inhibition upon railroad companies of
        first, second, and third class cars?

        MR. SUMNER. Not at all. That is simply a matter of price.
        My bill is an inhibition upon inequality founded upon
        color. I had thought that all those inequalities were
        buried under the tree at Appomattox, but the Senator digs
        them up and brings them into this Chamber. There never can
        be an end to this discussion until all men are assured in
        equal rights.…

        MR. HILL. … I do not know, that, among the guests that the
        Senator entertains of the colored race, he is visited so
        often by the humble as I myself am. I think those who call
        upon him are gentlemen of title and of some distinction;
        they may be Lieutenant-Governors, members of the two Houses
        here, members of State Legislatures, &c. My associations
        have been more with the lower strata of the colored people
        than with the upper.

        MR. SUMNER. Mr. President, there is no personal question
        between the Senator and myself--

        MR. HILL. None whatever.

        MR. SUMNER. He proclaims his relations with the colored
        race. I say nothing of mine; I leave that to others. But
        the Senator still insists upon his dogma of inequality.
        Senators have heard him again and again, how he comes round
        by a vicious circle to the same point, that an equivalent
        is equality; and when I mention the case of Governor
        Dunn travelling from New Orleans to Washington on public
        business, I understand the Senator to say that on the cars
        he should enjoy a different treatment from the Governor.

        MR. HILL. No, Sir; I have distinctly disclaimed that. When
        he pays his money, he is entitled to as much comfort and as
        much convenience as I am.

        MR. SUMNER. Let me ask the Senator whether in this world
        personal respect is not an element of comfort. If a person
        is treated with indignity, can he be comfortable?

        MR. HILL. I will answer the Senator, that no one can
        condemn more strongly than I do any indignity visited upon
        a person merely because of color.

        MR. SUMNER. But when you exclude persons from the comforts
        of travel simply on account of color, do you not offer them
        an indignity?

        MR. HILL. I say it is the fault of the railroad companies,
        if they do not provide comforts for all their passengers,
        and make them equal where they pay equal fare.

        MR. SUMNER. The Senator says it is the fault of the
        railroad company. I propose to make it impossible for the
        railroad company to offer an indignity to a colored man
        more than to the Senator from Georgia.

        MR. HILL. Right there the Senator and I divide upon this
        question.… I confess to having a little _penchant_ for the
        white race; and if I were going on a long journey, and
        desired a companion, I should prefer to select him from my
        own race.

        MR. SUMNER. The Senator comes round again to his taste. It
        is not according to his taste; and therefore he offers an
        indignity to the colored man.

        MR. HILL. No, Sir.

        MR. SUMNER. It is not according to his taste; that is
        all. How often shall I say that this is no question of
        taste,--it is no question of society,--it is a stern,
        austere, hard question of rights? And that is the way that
        I present it to the Senate.


        In old days, when Slavery was arraigned, the constant
        inquiry of those who represented this wrong was, “Are you
        willing to associate with colored persons? Will you take
        these slaves, as equals, into your families?” Sir, was
        there ever a more illogical inquiry? What has that to do
        with the question? A claim of rights cannot be encountered
        by any social point. I may have whom I please as friend,
        acquaintance, associate, and so may the Senator; but I
        cannot deny any human being, the humblest, any right of
        equality. He must be equal with me before the law, or the
        promises of the Declaration of Independence are not yet

        And now, Sir, I pledge myself, so long as strength remains
        in me, to press this question to a successful end. I
        will not see the colored race of this Republic treated
        with indignity on the grounds assigned by the Senator.
        I am their defender. The Senator may deride me, and may
        represent me as giving too much time to what he calls a
        very small question. Sir, no question of human rights is
        small. Every question by which the equal rights of all are
        affected is transcendent. It cannot be magnified. But here
        are the rights of a whole people, not merely the rights of
        an individual, of two or three or four, but the rights of a
        race, recognized as citizens, voting, helping to place the
        Senator here in this Chamber, and he turns upon them and
        denies them.

        MR. HILL. The Senator is not aware of one fact, … that
        every colored member of the Legislature of my State, even
        though some of them had made voluntary pledges to me,
        voted against my election to this body. I was not sent
        here receiving a single vote from that class of men in the

        MR. SUMNER. I am afraid that they understood the Senator.

        MR. HILL. That may be, Sir. I would not be surprised, if
        they had some distrust. [_Laughter._]

        MR. SUMNER. And now, Mr. President, that we may understand
        precisely where we are, that the Senate need not be
        confused by the question of taste or the question of
        society presented by the Senator from Georgia, I desire to
        have my amendment read.

    The Supplementary Civil Rights Bill was then read at length, as

        SEC.--That all citizens of the United States, without
        distinction of race, color, or previous condition of
        servitude, are entitled to the equal and impartial
        enjoyment of any accommodation, advantage, facility, or
        privilege furnished by common carriers, whether on land
        or water; by innkeepers; by licensed owners, managers, or
        lessees of theatres or other places of public amusement;
        by trustees, commissioners, superintendents, teachers,
        or other officers of common schools and other public
        institutions of learning, the same being supported or
        authorized by law; by trustees or officers of church
        organizations, cemetery associations, and benevolent
        institutions incorporated by National or State authority:
        and this right shall not be denied or abridged on any
        pretence of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

        SEC.--That any person violating the foregoing provision,
        or aiding in its violation, or inciting thereto, shall
        for every such offence forfeit and pay the sum of $500
        to the person aggrieved thereby, to be recovered in an
        action on the case, with full costs and such allowance for
        counsel fees as the court shall deem just, and shall also
        for every such offence be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor,
        and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not less than
        $500 nor more than $1,000, and shall be imprisoned not
        less than thirty days nor more than one year; and any
        corporation, association, or individual holding a charter
        or license under National or State authority, violating
        the aforesaid provision, shall, upon conviction thereof,
        forfeit such charter or license; and any person assuming
        to use or continuing to act under such charter or license
        thus forfeited, or aiding in the same, or inciting thereto,
        shall, upon conviction thereof, be deemed guilty of a
        misdemeanor, and shall be fined not less than $1,000 nor
        more than $5,000, and shall be imprisoned not less than
        three nor more than seven years; and both the corporate and
        joint property of such corporation or association, and the
        private property of the several individuals composing the
        same, shall be held liable for the forfeitures, fines, and
        penalties incurred by any violation of the ---- section of
        this Act.

        SEC.--That the same jurisdiction and powers are hereby
        conferred and the same duties enjoined upon the courts and
        officers of the United States, in the execution of this
        Act, as are conferred and enjoined upon such courts and
        officers in sections three, four, five, seven, and ten
        of an Act entitled “An Act to protect all persons in the
        United States in their civil rights, and furnish the means
        of their vindication,” passed April 9, 1866, and these
        sections are hereby made a part of this Act; and any of the
        aforesaid officers failing to institute and prosecute such
        proceedings herein required shall for every such offence
        forfeit and pay the sum of $500 to the person aggrieved
        thereby, to be recovered by an action on the case, with
        full costs and such allowance for counsel fees as the court
        shall deem just, and shall on conviction thereof be deemed
        guilty of a misdemeanor, and be fined not less than $1,000
        nor more than $5,000.

        SEC.--That no person shall be disqualified for service as
        juror in any court, National or State, by reason of race,
        color, or previous condition of servitude: _Provided_, That
        such person possesses all other qualifications which are by
        law prescribed; and any officer or other persons charged
        with any duty in the selection or summoning of jurors, who
        shall exclude or fail to summon any person for the reason
        above named, shall, on conviction thereof, be deemed guilty
        of a misdemeanor, and be fined not less than $1,000 nor
        more than $5,000.

        SEC.--That every law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or
        custom, whether National or State, inconsistent with this
        Act, or making any discriminations against any person on
        account of color, by the use of the word “white,” is hereby
        repealed and annulled.

        SEC.--That it shall be the duty of the judges of the
        several courts upon which jurisdiction is hereby conferred
        to give this Act in charge to the grand jury of their
        respective courts at the commencement of each term thereof.

    Objection was at once raised to the admission of any amendment
    whatever, as imperilling the pending bill,--Mr. Alcorn, of
    Mississippi, while pressing this, objected further, urging the
    hazard to the measure embraced in the proposed amendment from
    attachment to a bill requiring for its passage a two-thirds’
    vote instead of the usual simple majority.

       *       *       *       *       *

    December 21st, Mr. Thurman, of Ohio, objected to the amendment
    of Mr. Sumner, on the ground suggested by Mr. Alcorn,--raising
    the point of order, that, “being a measure which, if it stood
    by itself, could be passed by a majority vote of the Senate,
    it cannot be offered as an amendment to a bill that requires
    two-thirds of the Senate.” The objection being overruled, and
    Mr. Thurman appealing from the decision of the Chair, a debate
    ensued on the question of order,--Mr. Thurman, Mr. Bayard of
    Delaware, Mr. Trumbull of Illinois, Mr. Davis of Kentucky, and
    Mr. Sawyer of South Carolina sustaining the objection, and Mr.
    Conkling of New York, Mr. Carpenter of Wisconsin, Mr. Edmunds
    of Vermont, and Mr. Sumner opposing it. In the course of his
    speech Mr. Sumner remarked:--

Does not the Act before us in its body propose a measure of
reconciliation? Clemency and amnesty it proposes; and these, in my
judgment, constitute a measure of reconciliation. And now I add justice
to the colored race. Is not that germane? Do not the two go together?
Are they not naturally associated? Sir, can they be separated?

Instead of raising a question of order, I think the friends of amnesty
would be much better employed if they devoted their strength to secure
the passage of my amendment. Who that is truly in favor of amnesty will
vote against this measure of reconciliation?

Sir, most anxiously do I seek reconciliation; but I know too much
of history, too much of my own country, and I remember too well the
fires over which we have walked in these latter days, not to know that
reconciliation is impossible except on the recognition of Equal Rights.
Vain is the effort of the Senator from Mississippi [Mr. ALCORN]; he
cannot succeed; he must fail, and he ought to fail. It is not enough
to be generous; he must learn to be just. It is not enough to stand by
those who have fought against us; he must also stand by those who for
generations have borne the ban of wrong. I listened with sadness to
the Senator; he spoke earnestly and sincerely,--but, to my mind, it is
much to be regretted, that, coming into this Chamber the representative
of colored men, he should turn against them. I know that he will say,
“Pass the Amnesty Bill first, and then take care of the other.” I say,
Better pass the two together; or if either is lost, let it be the
first. Justice in this world is foremost.

The Senator thinks that the cause of the colored race is hazarded
because my amendment is moved on the Act for Amnesty. In my judgment,
it is advanced. He says that the Act of Amnesty can pass only by a
two-thirds vote. Well, Sir, I insist that every one of that two-thirds
should record his name for my measure of reconciliation. If he does
not, he is inconsistent with himself. How, Sir, will an Act of Amnesty
be received when accompanied with denial of justice to the colored
race? With what countenance can it be presented to this country? How
will it look to the civilized world? Sad page! The Recording Angel will
have tears, but not enough to blot it out.

    The decision of the Chair was sustained by the vote of the
    Senate,--Yeas 28, Nays 26,--and the amendment was declared in
    order. On the question of its adoption it was lost,--Yeas 29,
    Nays 30.

    Later in the day, the Amnesty Bill having been reported to
    the Senate, Mr. Sumner renewed his amendment. In the debate
    that ensued he declared his desire to vote for amnesty; but he
    insisted that this measure did not deserve success, unless with
    it was justice to the colored race. In reply to Mr. Thurman,
    he urged that all regulations of public institutions should
    be in conformity with the Declaration of Independence. “The
    Senator may smile, but I commend that to his thoughts during
    our vacation. Let him consider the binding character of the
    Declaration in its fundamental principles. The Senator does not
    believe it. There are others who do, and my bill is simply a
    practical application of it.”

    Without taking any vote the Senate adjourned for the holiday
    recess, leaving the Amnesty Bill and the pending amendment as
    unfinished business.

       *       *       *       *       *

    January 15, 1872, the subject was resumed, when Mr. Sumner made
    the following speech.


MR. PRESIDENT,--In opening this question, one of the greatest ever
presented to the Senate, I have had but one hesitation, and that was
merely with regard to the order of treatment. There is a mass of
important testimony from all parts of the country, from Massachusetts
as well as Georgia, showing the absolute necessity of Congressional
legislation for the protection of Equal Rights, which I think ought
to be laid before the Senate. It was my purpose to begin with this
testimony; but I have changed my mind, and shall devote the day to a
statement of the question, relying upon the indulgence of the Senate
for another opportunity to introduce the evidence. I ask that the
pending amendment be read.

    The Chief Clerk read the amendment, which was to append to the
    Amnesty Bill, as additional sections, the Supplementary Civil
    Rights Bill.

    Mr. Sumner resumed:--

MR. PRESIDENT, Slavery, in its foremost pretensions, reappears in
the present debate. Again the barbarous tyranny stalks into this
Chamber, denying to a whole race the Equal Rights promised by a just
citizenship. Some have thought Slavery dead. This is a mistake. If not
in body, at least in spirit, or as a ghost making the country hideous,
the ancient criminal yet lingers among us, insisting upon the continued
degradation of a race.

Property in man has ceased to exist. The human auction-block has
departed. No human being can call himself master, with impious power to
separate husband and wife, to sell child from parent, to shut out the
opportunities of religion, to close the gates of knowledge, and to rob
another of his labor and all its fruits. These guilty prerogatives are
ended. To this extent the slave is free. No longer a chattel, he is a
man,--justly entitled to all that is accorded by law to any other man.

Such is the irresistible logic of his emancipation. Ceasing to be a
slave, he became a man, whose foremost right is Equality of Rights.
And yet Slavery has been strong enough to postpone his entry into the
great possession. Cruelly, he was not permitted to testify in court;
most unjustly, he was not allowed to vote. More than four millions of
people, whose only offence was a skin once the badge of Slavery, were
shut out from the court-room, and also from the ballot-box, in open
defiance of the great Declaration of our fathers, that all men are
equal in rights, and that just government stands only on the consent
of the governed. Such was the impudent behest of Slavery, prolonged
after it was reported dead. At last these crying wrongs are overturned.
The slave testifies; the slave votes. To this extent his equality is


But this is not enough. Much as it may seem, compared with the past,
when all was denied, it is too little, because all is not yet
recognized. The denial of any right is a wrong darkening the enjoyment
of all the rest. Besides the right to testify and the right to vote,
there are other rights without which Equality does not exist. The
precise rule is Equality before the Law, nor more nor less; that is,
that condition before the law in which all are alike,--being entitled,
without discrimination, to the equal enjoyment of all institutions,
privileges, advantages, and conveniences created or regulated by law,
among which are the right to testify and the right to vote. But this
plain requirement is not satisfied, logically or reasonably, by these
two concessions, so that when they are recognized all others are
trifles. The court-house and the ballot-box are not the only places for
the rule. These two are not the only institutions for its operation.
The rule is general; how, then, restrict it to two cases? It is, _All
are equal before the law_,--not merely before the law in two cases, but
before the law in all cases, without limitation or exception. Important
as it is to testify and to vote, life is not all contained even in
these possessions.

The new-made citizen is called to travel for business, for health, or
for pleasure; but here his trials begin. His money, whether gold or
paper, is the same as the white man’s; but the doors of the public
hotel, which from the earliest days of jurisprudence have always
opened hospitably to the stranger, close against him, and the public
conveyances, which the Common Law declares equally free to all
alike, have no such freedom for him. He longs, perhaps, for respite
and relaxation at some place of public amusement, duly licensed by
law; and here also the same adverse discrimination is made. With the
anxieties of a parent, seeking the welfare of his child, he strives to
bestow upon him the inestimable blessings of education, and takes him
affectionately to the common school, created by law, and supported by
the taxation to which he has contributed; but these doors slam rudely
in the face of the child where is garnered up the parent’s heart.
“Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me”: such
were the words of the Divine Master. But among us little children are
turned away and forbidden at the door of the common school, because
of the skin. And the same insulting ostracism shows itself in other
institutions of science and learning, also in the church, and in the
last resting-place on earth.

Two instances occur, which have been mentioned already on this floor;
but their eminence in illustration of an unquestionable grievance
justifies the repetition.


One is the well-known case of Frederick Douglass, who, returning home
after earnest service of weeks as Secretary of the Commission to report
on the people of San Domingo and the expediency of incorporating them
with the United States, was rudely excluded from the table, where his
brother commissioners were already seated, on board the mail-steamer
of the Potomac, just before reaching the President, whose commission
he bore. This case, if not aggravated, is made conspicuous by peculiar
circumstances. Mr. Douglass is a gentleman of unquestioned ability
and character, remarkable as an orator, refined in manners, and
personally agreeable. He was returning, charged with the mission of
bringing under our institutions a considerable population of colored
foreigners, whose prospective treatment among us was foreshadowed on
board that mail-steamer. The Dominican Baez could not expect more than
our fellow-citizen. And yet, with this mission, and with the personal
recommendation he so justly enjoys, this returning Secretary could not
be saved from outrage even in sight of the Executive Mansion.


There also was Oscar James Dunn, late Lieutenant-Governor of
Louisiana. It was my privilege to open the door of the Senate Chamber
and introduce him upon this floor. Then, in reply to my inquiry, he
recounted the hardships to which he had been exposed in the long
journey from Louisiana,--especially how he was denied the ordinary
accommodations for comfort and repose supplied to those of another
skin. This denial is memorable, not only from the rank, but the
character of the victim. Of blameless life, he was an example of
integrity. He was poor, but could not be bought or bribed. Duty with
him was more than riches. A fortune was offered for his signature; but
he spurned the temptation.

And yet this model character, high in the confidence of his
fellow-citizens, and in the full enjoyment of political power, was
doomed to suffer the blasting influence which still finds support
in this Chamber. He is dead at last, and buried with official pomp.
The people, counted by tens of thousands, thronged the streets while
his obsequies proceeded. An odious discrimination was for the time
suspended. In life rejected by the conductor of a railway because of
his skin, he was borne to his last resting-place with all the honors
an afflicted community could bestow. Only in his coffin was the ban of
color lifted, and the dead statesman admitted to that equality which is
the right of all.


These are marked instances; but they are types. If Frederick Douglass
and Oscar James Dunn could be made to suffer, how much must others be
called to endure! All alike, the feeble, the invalid, the educated,
the refined, women as well as men, are shut out from the ordinary
privileges of the steamboat or rail-car, and driven into a vulgar
sty with smokers and rude persons, where the conversation is as
offensive as the scene, and then again at the roadside inn are denied
that shelter and nourishment without which travel is impossible. Do
you doubt this constant, wide-spread outrage, extending in uncounted
ramifications throughout the whole land? With sorrow be it said, it
reaches everywhere, even into Massachusetts. Not a State which does
not need the benign correction. The evidence is on your table in
numerous petitions. And there is other evidence, already presented by
me, showing how individuals have suffered from this plain denial of
equal rights. Who that has a heart can listen to the story without
indignation and shame? Who with a spark of justice to illumine his soul
can hesitate to denounce the wrong? Who that rejoices in republican
institutions will not help to overthrow the tyranny by which they are

I do not use too strong language, when I expose this tyranny as a
degradation to republican institutions,--ay, Sir, in their fundamental
principle. Why is the Declaration of Independence our Magna Charta? Not
because it declares separation from a distant kingly power; but because
it announces the lofty truth that all are equal in rights, and, as a
natural consequence, that just government stands only on the consent
of the governed,--all of which is held to be self-evident. Such is
the soul of republican institutions, without which the Republic is a
failure, a name and nothing more. Call it a Republic, if you will, but
it is in reality a soulless mockery.

Equality in rights is not only the first of rights, it is an axiom of
political truth. But an axiom, whether of science or philosophy, is
universal, and without exception or limitation; and this is according
to the very law of its nature. Therefore it is not stating an axiom to
announce grandly that only white men are equal in rights; nor is it
stating an axiom to announce with the same grandeur that all persons
are equal in rights, but that colored persons have no rights except to
testify and vote. Nor is it a self-evident truth, as declared; for no
truth is self-evident which is not universal. The asserted limitation
destroys the original Declaration, making it a ridiculous sham, instead
of that sublime Magna Charta before which kings, nobles, and all
inequalities of birth must disappear as ghosts of night at the dawn.


All this has additional force, when it is known that this very axiom or
self-evident truth declared by our fathers was the real issue of the
war, and was so publicly announced by the leaders on both sides. Behind
the embattled armies were ideas, and the idea on our side was Equality
in Rights, which on the other side was denied. The Nation insisted that
all men are created equal; the Rebellion insisted that all men are
created unequal. Here the evidence is explicit.

The inequality of men was an original postulate of Mr. Calhoun,[174]
which found final expression in the open denunciation of the
self-evident truth as “a self-evident lie.”[175] Echoing this
denunciation, Jefferson Davis, on leaving the Senate, January 21, 1861,
in that farewell speech which some among you heard, but which all may
read in the “Globe,” made the issue in these words:--

    “It has been a belief that we are to be deprived in the Union
    of the rights which our fathers bequeathed to us, which has
    brought Mississippi into her present decision. _She has heard
    proclaimed the theory that all men are created free and
    equal, and this made the basis of an attack upon her social
    institutions; and the sacred Declaration of Independence has
    been invoked to maintain the position of the equality of the

The issue thus made by the chief Rebel was promptly joined. Abraham
Lincoln, the elected President, stopping at Independence Hall, February
22d, on his way to assume his duties at the National capital, in
unpremeditated words thus interpreted the Declaration:--

    “It was that which gave promise that in due time the weight
    should be lifted from the shoulders of all men, _and that all
    should have an equal chance_.”

Mark, if you please, the simplicity of this utterance. All are to have
“an equal chance”; and this, he said, “is the sentiment embodied in the
Declaration of Independence.” Then, in reply to Jefferson Davis, he

    “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. If it cannot be saved
    upon that principle, it will be truly awful. 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 it.”

Giving these words still further solemnity, he added:

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

And then, before raising the national banner over the historic Hall, he

    “It is on such an occasion as this that we can reason together,
    and reaffirm our devotion to the country and the principles of
    the Declaration of Independence.”[177]

Thus the gauntlet flung down by Jefferson Davis was taken up by Abraham
Lincoln, who never forgot the issue.

The rejoinder was made by Alexander H. Stephens, Vice-President of the
Rebellion, in a not-to-be forgotten speech at Savannah, March 21, 1861,
when he did not hesitate to declare of the pretended Government, that--

    “Its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon _the
    great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man_.”

Then, glorying in this terrible shame, he added:--

    “This, our new Government, is the first, in the history of the
    world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral

    “This stone, which was rejected by the first builders, is
    become the chief stone of the corner.”[178]

To this unblushing avowal Abraham Lincoln replied in that marvellous,
undying utterance at Gettysburg,--fit voice for the Republic, greater
far than any victory:

    “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth
    on this continent a new Nation, _conceived in Liberty, and
    dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal_.”

Thus, in precise conformity with the Declaration, was it announced
that our Republic is dedicated to the Equal Rights of All; and then
the prophet-President, soon to be a martyr, asked his countrymen to
dedicate themselves to the great task remaining, highly resolving

    “that this Nation, under God, shall have a new birth of
    Freedom; and that Government of the people, by the people, and
    for the people shall not perish from the earth.”[179]

The victory of the war is vain without the grander victory through
which the Republic is dedicated to the axiomatic, self-evident truth
declared by our fathers, and reasserted by Abraham Lincoln. With this
mighty truth as a guiding principle, the National Constitution is
elevated, and made more than ever a protection to the citizen.

All this is so plain that it is difficult to argue it. What is the
Republic, if it fails in this loyalty? What is the National Government,
coextensive with the Republic, if fellow-citizens, counted by the
million, can be shut out from equal rights in travel, in recreation, in
education, and in other things, all contributing to human necessities?
Where is that great promise by which “the pursuit of happiness” is
placed, with life and liberty, under the safeguard of axiomatic,
self-evident truth? Where is justice, if this ban of color is not
promptly removed? Where is humanity? Where is reason?


The two excuses show how irrational and utterly groundless is this
pretension. They are on a par with the pretension itself. One is,
that the question is of society, and not of rights, which is clearly
a misrepresentation; and the other is, that the separate arrangements
provided for colored persons constitute a substitute for equality in
the nature of an equivalent,--all of which is clearly a contrivance, if
not a trick: as if there could be any equivalent for equality.


Of the first excuse it is difficult to speak with patience. It is
a simple misrepresentation, and wherever it shows itself must be
treated as such. There is no colored person who does not resent the
imputation that he is seeking to intrude himself socially anywhere.
This is no question of society, no question of social life, no question
of social equality, if anybody knows what this means. The object is
simply Equality before the Law, a term which explains itself. Now,
as the law does not presume to create or regulate social relations,
these are in no respect affected by the pending measure. Each person,
whether Senator or citizen, is always free to choose who shall be his
friend, his associate, his guest. And does not the ancient proverb
declare that “a man is known by the company he keeps”? But this assumes
that he may choose for himself. His house is his “castle”; and this
very designation, borrowed from the Common Law, shows his absolute
independence within its walls; nor is there any difference, whether it
be palace or hovel. But when he leaves his “castle” and goes abroad,
this independence is at an end. He walks the streets, but always
subject to the prevailing law of Equality; nor can he appropriate the
sidewalk to his own exclusive use, driving into the gutter all whose
skin is less white than his own. But nobody pretends that Equality in
the highway, whether on pavement or sidewalk, is a question of society.
And permit me to say that Equality in all institutions created or
regulated by law is as little a question of society.

In the days of Slavery it was an oft-repeated charge, that Emancipation
was a measure of social equality; and the same charge became a cry at
the successive efforts for the right to testify and the right to vote.
At each stage the cry was raised, and now it makes itself heard again,
as you are called to assure this crowning safeguard.


Then comes the other excuse, which finds Equality in separation.
Separate hotels, separate conveyances, separate theatres, separate
schools and institutions of learning and science, separate churches,
and separate cemeteries,--these are the artificial substitutes. And
this is the contrivance by which a transcendent right, involving a
transcendent duty, is evaded: for Equality is not only a right, but a

How vain to argue that there is no denial of Equal Rights when this
separation is enforced! The substitute is invariably an inferior
article. Does any Senator deny it? Therefore, it is not Equality;
at best it is an equivalent only. But no equivalent is Equality.
Separation implies one thing for a white person and another thing
for a colored person; but Equality is where all have the same alike.
There can be no substitute for Equality,--nothing but itself. Even if
accommodations are the same, as notoriously they are not, there is no
Equality. In the process of substitution the vital elixir exhales and
escapes: it is lost, and cannot be recovered; for Equality is found
only in Equality. “Nought but itself can be its parallel”; but Senators
undertake to find parallels in other things.

As well make weight in silver the equivalent for weight in diamonds,
according to the illustration of Selden in his famous “Table-Talk.”
“If,” remarked the learned interlocutor, “I said I owed you twenty
pounds in silver, and you said I owed you twenty pounds of diamonds,
which is a sum innumerable, ’tis impossible we should ever agree.”[180]
But Equality is weight in diamonds, and a sum innumerable,--which is
very different from weight in silver.

Assuming--what is most absurd to assume, and what is contradicted by
all experience--that a substitute can be an equivalent, it is so in
form only, and not in reality. Every such assumption is an indignity to
the colored race, instinct with the spirit of Slavery; and this decides
its character. It is Slavery in its last appearance. Are you ready
to prolong the hateful tyranny? Religion and reason condemn Caste as
impious and unchristian, making republican institutions and equal laws
impossible; but here is Caste not unlike that which separates the Sudra
from the Brahmin. Pray, Sir, who constitutes the white man a Brahmin?
Whence his lordly title? Down to a recent period in Europe the Jews
were driven to herd by themselves, separate from the Christians; but
this discarded barbarism is revived among us in the ban of color. There
are millions of fellow-citizens guilty of no offence except the dusky
livery of the sun appointed by the Heavenly Father, whom you treat as
others have treated the Jews, as the Brahmin treats the Sudra. But,
pray, Sir, do not pretend that this is the great equality promised by
our fathers.

In arraigning this attempt at separation as a Caste, I say nothing
new. For years I have denounced it as such; and here I followed good
authorities, as well as reason. Alexander von Humboldt, speaking
of the negroes of New Mexico when Slavery prevailed, called them a
Caste.[181] A recent political and juridical writer of France uses
the same term to denote not only the discrimination in India, but
that in our own country,--especially referring to the exclusion of
colored children from the common schools as among “the humiliating and
brutal distinctions” by which their Caste is characterized.[182] The
principle of separation on the ground of hereditary inferiority is the
distinctive essence of Caste; but this is the outrage which flaunts in
our country, crying out, “I am better than thou, because I am white.
Get away!”


Thus do I reject the two excuses. But I do not leave the cause here.
I go further, and show how consistent is the pending measure with
acknowledged principles, illustrated by undoubted law.

The bill for Equal Rights is simply supplementary to the existing Civil
Rights Law, which is one of our great statutes of peace, and it stands
on the same requirements of the National Constitution. If the Civil
Rights Law is above question, as cannot be doubted, then also is this
supplementary amendment; for it is only the complement of the other,
and necessary to its completion. Without this amendment the original
law is imperfect. It cannot be said, according to its title, that all
persons are protected in their civil rights, so long as the outrages I
expose continue to exist; nor is Slavery entirely dead.

Following reason and authority, the conclusion is easy. A Law
Dictionary, of constant use as a repertory of established rules and
principles, defines a “freeman” as “one in the possession of _the civil
rights_ enjoyed by the people generally.”[183] Happily, all are freemen
now; but the colored people are still excluded from civil rights
enjoyed by the people generally,--and this, too, in the face of our new
Bill of Rights intended for their especial protection.

By the Constitutional Amendment abolishing Slavery Congress is
empowered “to enforce this article by appropriate legislation”; and in
pursuance thereof the Civil Rights Law was enacted. That measure was
justly accepted as “appropriate legislation.” Without it Slavery would
still exist in at least one of its most odious pretensions. By the
Civil Rights Law colored persons were assured in the right to testify,
which in most of the States was denied or abridged. So closely was
this outrage connected with Slavery, that it was, indeed, part of this
great wrong. Therefore its prohibition was “appropriate legislation”
in the enforcement of the Constitutional Amendment. But the denial or
abridgment of Equality on account of color is also part of Slavery. So
long as it exists, Slavery is still present among us. Its prohibition
is not only “appropriate,” but necessary, to enforce the Constitutional
Amendment. Therefore is it strictly Constitutional, as if in the very
text of the National Constitution.

The next Constitutional Amendment, known as the Fourteenth, contains
two different provisions, which augment the power of Congress. The
first furnishes the definition of “citizen,” which down to this time
had been left to construction only:--

    “_All persons_ born or naturalized in the United States, and
    subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are _citizens_ of the
    United States, and of the States wherever they reside.”

Here, you will remark, are no words of race or color. “_All_ persons,”
and not “_all white_ persons,” born or naturalized in the United
States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are “citizens.” Such
is the definition supplied by this Amendment. This is followed by
another provision in aid of the definition:--

    “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge
    the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;
    nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or
    property without due process of law, _nor deny to any person
    within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws_.”

And Congress is empowered to enforce this definition of Citizenship and
this guaranty, by “appropriate legislation.”

Here, then, are two Constitutional Amendments, each a fountain of
power: the first, to enforce the Abolition of Slavery; and the second,
to assure the privileges and immunities of citizens, and also the equal
protection of the laws. If the Supplementary Civil Rights Bill, moved
by me, is not within these accumulated powers, I am at a loss to know
what is within those powers.

In considering these Constitutional provisions, I insist upon that
interpretation which shall give them the most generous expansion, so
that they shall be truly efficacious for human rights. Once Slavery
was the animating principle in determining the meaning of the National
Constitution: happily, it is so no longer. Another principle is now
supreme, breathing into the whole the breath of a new life, and filling
it in every part with one pervading, controlling sentiment,--being
that great principle of Equality which triumphed at last on the
battle-field, and, bearing the watchword of the Republic, now supplies
the rule by which every word of the Constitution and all its parts
must be interpreted, as much as if written in its text.

There is also an original provision of the National Constitution, not
to be forgotten:--

    “The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges
    and immunities of citizens in the several States.”

Once a sterile letter, this is now a fruitful safeguard, to be
interpreted, like all else, so that human rights shall most
prevail. The term “privileges and immunities” was at an early day
authoritatively defined by Judge Washington, who announced that they
embraced “protection by the Government, the enjoyment of life and
liberty, with the right to acquire and possess property of every
kind, and _to pursue and obtain happiness and safety_, … the right
of a citizen of one State to pass through or to reside in any other
State, for purposes of trade, agriculture, professional pursuits, or
otherwise.”[184] But these “privileges and immunities” are protected by
the present measure.

No doubt the Supplementary Law must operate, not only in National
jurisdiction, but also in the States, precisely as the Civil Rights
Law; otherwise it will be of little value. Its sphere must be
coextensive with the Republic, making the rights of the citizen uniform
everywhere. But this can be only by one uniform safeguard sustained
by the Nation. Citizenship is universal, and the same everywhere. It
cannot be more or less in one State than in another.

But legislation is not enough. An enlightened public opinion must be
invoked. Nor will this be wanting. The country will rally in aid of the
law, more especially since it is a measure of justice and humanity.
The law is needed now as a help to public opinion. It is needed by the
very people whose present conduct makes occasion for it. Prompted by
the law, leaning on the law, they will recognize the equal rights of
all; nor do I despair of a public opinion which shall stamp the denial
of these rights as an outrage not unlike Slavery itself. Custom and
patronage will then be sought in obeying the law. People generally are
little better than actors, for whom it was once said:--

    “Ah, let not Censure term our fate our choice:
    The stage but echoes back the public voice;
    The drama’s laws the drama’s patrons give;
    For we that live to please must please to live.”[185]

In the absence of the law people please too often by inhumanity, but
with the law teaching the lesson of duty they will please by humanity.
Thus will the law be an instrument of improvement, necessary in precise
proportion to existing prejudice. Because people still please by
inhumanity, therefore must there be a counteracting force. This precise
exigency was foreseen by Rousseau, remarkable as writer and thinker, in
a work which startled the world, when he said:--

    “It is precisely because the force of things tends always to
    destroy equality that the force of legislation should always
    tend to maintain it.”[186]

Never was a truer proposition; and now let us look at the cases for its


I begin with Public Hotels or Inns, because the rule with regard to
them may be traced to the earliest periods of the Common Law. In the
Chronicles of Holinshed, written in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, is a
chapter “Of our Inns and Thoroughfares,” where the inn, which is the
original term for hotel, is described as “builded for the receiving
of such travellers and strangers as pass to and fro”; and then the
chronicler, boasting of his own country as compared with others, says,
“_Every man_ may use his inn as his own house in England.”[187] In
conformity with this boast was the law of England. The inn was opened
to “every man.” And this rule has continued from that early epoch,
anterior to the first English settlement of North America, down to
this day. The inn is a public institution, with well-known rights and
duties. Among the latter is the duty to receive all paying travellers
decent in appearance and conduct,--wherein it is distinguished from a
lodging-house or boarding-house, which is a private concern, and not
subject to the obligations of the inn.

For this statement I might cite authorities beginning with the infancy
of the law, and not ending even with a late decision of the Superior
Court of New York, where an inn is defined to be “a public house of
entertainment _for all who choose to visit it_,”[188]--which differs
very little from the descriptive words of Holinshed.

The summary of our great jurist, Judge Story, shows the law:--

    “An innkeeper is bound to take in _all travellers and wayfaring
    persons_, and to entertain them, if he can accommodate them,
    for a reasonable compensation.… If an innkeeper improperly
    refuses to receive or provide for a guest, he is liable to be
    indicted therefor.”[189]

Chancellor Kent states the rule briefly, but with fulness and

    “An innkeeper cannot lawfully refuse to receive guests to the
    extent of his reasonable accommodations; nor can he impose
    unreasonable terms upon them.”[190]

This great authority says again, quoting a decided case:--

    “Innkeepers are liable to an action if they refuse to receive a
    guest without just cause. The innkeeper is even indictable for
    the refusal, if he has room in his house and the guest behaves

And Professor Parsons, in his work on Contracts, so familiar to lawyers
and students, says:--

    “He cannot so refuse, unless his house is full and he is
    actually unable to receive him. And if on false pretences he
    refuses, he is liable to an action.”[192]

The importance of this rule in determining present duty will justify
another statement in the language of a popular Encyclopædia:--

    “One of the incidents of an innkeeper is, that _he is bound
    to open his house to all travellers, without distinction,
    and has no option to refuse such refreshment, shelter, and
    accommodation as he possesses_, provided the person who applies
    is of the description of a traveller, and able and ready to pay
    the customary hire, and is not drunk or disorderly or tainted
    with infectious disease.”

And the Encyclopædia adds:--

    “As some compensation for this _compulsory hospitality_, the
    innkeeper is allowed certain privileges.”[193]

Thus is the innkeeper under constraint of law, which he must obey;
“bound to take in all travellers and wayfaring persons”; “nor can he
impose unreasonable terms upon them”; and liable to an action, and even
to an indictment, for refusal. Such is the law.

With this peremptory rule opening the doors of inns to all travellers,
without distinction, to the extent of authorizing not only an action,
but an indictment, for the refusal to receive a traveller, it is plain
that the pending bill is only declaratory of existing law, giving to it
the sanction of Congress.


Public Conveyances, whether on land or water, are known to the law as
common carriers, and they, too, have obligations, not unlike those of
inns. Common carriers are grouped with innkeepers, especially in duty
to passengers. Here again the learned Judge is our authority:--

    “The first and most general obligation on their part is to
    carry passengers, whenever they offer themselves and are ready
    to pay for their transportation. _This results from their
    setting themselves up, like innkeepers and common carriers of
    goods, for a common public employment, on hire._ They are no
    more at liberty to refuse a passenger, if they have sufficient
    room and accommodation, than an innkeeper is to refuse suitable
    room and accommodations to a guest.”[194]

Professor Parsons states the rule strongly:--

    “It is his duty to receive _all passengers_ who offer; to
    carry them the whole route; to demand no more than the usual
    and established compensation; _to treat all his passengers
    alike_; to behave to all with civility and propriety; to
    provide suitable carriages and means of transport; … and
    for the default of his servants or agents in any of the
    above particulars, or generally in any other points of duty,
    the carrier is directly responsible, _as well as for any
    circumstance of aggravation which attended the wrong_.”[195]

The same rule, in its application to railroads, has been presented by a
learned writer with singular force:--

    “The company is under a public duty, as a common carrier of
    passengers, to receive all who offer themselves as such and
    are ready to pay the usual fare, and is liable in damages to
    a party whom it refuses to carry without a reasonable excuse.
    It may decline to carry persons after its means of conveyance
    have been exhausted, and refuse such as persist in not
    complying with its reasonable regulations, or whose improper
    behaviour--as by their drunkenness, obscene language, or vulgar
    conduct--renders them an annoyance to other passengers. _But
    it cannot make unreasonable discriminations between persons
    soliciting its means of conveyance, as by refusing them on
    account of personal dislike, their occupation, condition in
    life_, COMPLEXION, RACE, _nativity, political or ecclesiastical

It has also been affirmed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, where,
on account of color, a person had been excluded from a street car in

The pending bill simply reinforces this rule, which, without Congress,
ought to be sufficient. But since it is set at nought by an odious
discrimination, Congress must interfere.


Theatres and other places of Public Amusement, licensed by law,
are kindred to inns or public conveyances, though less noticed by
jurisprudence. But, like their prototypes, they undertake to provide
for the public under sanction of law. They are public institutions,
regulated, if not created, by law, enjoying privileges, and in
consideration thereof assuming duties, kindred to those of the inn
and the public conveyance. From essential reason, the rule should be
the same with all. As the inn cannot close its doors, or the public
conveyance refuse a seat, to any paying traveller, decent in condition,
so must it be with the theatre and other places of public amusement.
Here are institutions whose peculiar object is “the pursuit of
happiness,” which has been placed among the Equal Rights of All. How
utterly irrational the pretension to outrage a large portion of the
community! The law can lend itself to no such intolerable absurdity;
and this, I insist, shall be declared by Congress.


The Common School falls naturally into the same category. Like the
others, it must open to all, or its designation is a misnomer and a
mockery. It is not a school for whites, or a school for blacks, but
a school for all,--in other words, a common school. Much is implied
in this term, according to which the school harmonizes with the other
institutions already mentioned. It is an inn where children rest
on the road to knowledge. It is a public conveyance where children
are passengers. It is a theatre where children resort for enduring
recreation. Like the others, it assumes to provide for the public;
therefore it must be open to all: nor can there be any exclusion,
except on grounds equally applicable to the inn, the public conveyance,
and the theatre.

But the common school has a higher character. Its object is the
education of the young; and it is sustained by taxation, to which all
contribute. Not only does it hold itself out to the public by its name
and its harmony with the other institutions, but it assumes the place
of parent to all children within its locality, bound always to exercise
a parent’s watchful care and tenderness, which can know no distinction
of child.

It is easy to see that the separate school, founded on an odious
discrimination, and sometimes offered as an equivalent for the common
school, is an ill-disguised violation of the principle of Equality,
while as a pretended equivalent it is an utter failure, and instead of
a parent is only a churlish step-mother.

A slight illustration will show how it fails; and here I mention
an incident occurring in Washington, but which must repeat itself
often on a larger scale, wherever separation is attempted. Colored
children, living near what is called the common school, are driven
from its doors, and compelled to walk a considerable distance--often
troublesome, and in certain conditions of the weather difficult--to
attend the separate school. One of these children has suffered from
this exposure, and I have myself witnessed the emotion of the parent.
This could not have occurred, had the child been received at the common
school in the neighborhood. Now it is idle to assert that children
compelled to this exceptional journey to and fro are in the enjoyment
of Equal Rights. The superadded pedestrianism and its attendant
discomfort furnish the measure of Inequality in one of its forms,
increased by the weakness or ill-health of the child. What must be the
feelings of a colored father or mother daily witnessing this sacrifice
to the demon of Caste?

This is an illustration merely, but it shows precisely how impossible
it is for a separate school to be the equivalent of the common school.
And yet it only touches the evil, without exhibiting its proportions.
The indignity offered to the colored child is worse than any compulsory
exposure; and here not only the child suffers, but the race to which he
belongs is degraded, and the whole community is hardened in wrong.

The separate school wants the first requisite of the common school,
inasmuch as it is not equally open to all; and since this is
inconsistent with the declared rule of republican institutions,
such a school is not republican in character. Therefore it is not a
preparation for the duties of life. The child is not trained in the
way he should go; for he is trained under the ban of Inequality. How
can he grow up to the stature of equal citizenship? He is pinched
and dwarfed while the stigma of color is stamped upon him. This is
plain oppression, which you, Sir, would feel keenly, were it directed
against you or your child. Surely the race enslaved for generations has
suffered enough without being doomed to this prolonged proscription.
Will not the Republic, redeemed by most costly sacrifice, insist upon
justice to the children of the land, making the common school the
benign example of republican institutions, where merit is the only
ground of favor?

Nor is separation without evil to the whites. The prejudice of color
is nursed, when it should be stifled. The Pharisaism of race becomes
an element of character, when, like all other Pharisaisms, it should
be cast out. Better even than knowledge is a kindly nature and the
sentiment of equality. Such should be the constant lesson, repeated
by the lips and inscribed on the heart; but the school itself must
practise the lesson. Children learn by example more than by precept.
How precious the example which teaches that all are equal in rights!
But this can be only where all commingle in the common school as in
common citizenship. There is no separate ballot-box: there should be
no separate school. It is not enough that all should be taught alike;
they must all be taught together. They are not only to receive equal
quantities of knowledge; all are to receive it in the same way. But
they cannot be taught alike, unless all are taught together; nor can
they receive equal quantities of knowledge in the same way, except at
the common school.

The common school is important to all; but to the colored child it is
a necessity. Excluded from the common school, he finds himself too
frequently without any substitute. But even where a separate school
is planted, it is inferior in character, buildings, furniture,
books, teachers: all are second-rate. No matter what the temporary
disposition, the separate school will not flourish as the common
school. It is but an offshoot or sucker, without the strength of the
parent stem. That the two must differ is seen at once; and that this
difference is adverse to the colored child is equally apparent. For him
there is no assurance of education except in the common school, where
he will be under the safeguard of all. White parents will take care not
only that the common school is not neglected, but that its teachers
and means of instruction are the best possible; and the colored child
will have the benefit of this watchfulness. This decisive consideration
completes the irresistible argument for the common school as the equal
parent of all without distinction of color.

If to him that hath is given, according to the way of the world, it
is not doubted that to him that hath not there is a positive duty in
proportion to the necessity. Unhappily, our colored fellow-citizens are
in this condition. But just in proportion as they are weak, and not
yet recovered from the degradation in which they have been plunged,
does the Republic owe its completest support and protection. Already a
component part of our political corporation, they must become part of
the educational corporation also, with Equality as the supreme law.


It is with humiliation that I am forced to insist upon the same
equality in other public institutions of learning and science,--also in
churches, and in the last resting-places of the dead. So far as any of
these are public in character and organized by law, they must follow
the general requirement. How strange that any institution of learning
or science, any church, or any cemetery should set up a discrimination
so utterly inconsistent with correct principle! But I do not forget
that only recently a colored officer of the National Army was treated
with indignity at the communion-table. To insult the dead is easier,
although condemned by Christian precept and heathen example. As in
birth, so in death are all alike,--beginning with the same nakedness,
and ending in the same decay; nor do worms spare the white body
more than the black. This equal lot has been the frequent occasion
of sentiment and of poetry. Horace has pictured pallid Death with
impartial foot knocking at the cottages of the poor and the towers of
kings.[198] In the same spirit the early English poet, author of “Piers
Ploughman,” shows the lowly and the great in their common house:--

    “For in charnel at chirche
    Cherles ben yvel to knowe,
    Or a knyght from a knave there.”[199]

And Chaucer even denies the distinction in life:--

    “But understond in thine entent
    That this is not mine entendement,
    To clepe no wight in no ages
    Onely gentle for his linages:
    Though he be not gentle borne,
    Than maiest well seine this in sooth,
    That he is gentle because he doth
    As longeth to a gentleman.”[200]

This beautiful testimony, to which the honest heart responds, is from
an age when humanity was less regarded than now. Plainly it shows
how conduct and character are realities, while other things are but

Among the Romans degradation ended with life. Slaves were admitted to
honorable sepulture, and sometimes slept the last sleep with their
masters. The slaves of Augustus and Livia were buried on the famous
Appian Way, where their tombs with historic inscriptions have survived
the centuries.[201] “Bury him with his niggers,” was the rude order of
the Rebel officer, as he flung the precious remains of our admirable
Colonel Shaw into the common trench at Fort Wagner, where he fell,
mounting the parapets at the head of colored troops. And so was he
buried, lovely in death as in life. The intended insult became an
honor. In that common trench the young hero rests, symbolizing the
great Equality for which he died. No Roman monument, with its _Siste,
viator_, to the passing traveller, no “labor of an age in pilèd
stones,” can match in grandeur that simple burial.


MR. PRESIDENT, against these conclusions there is but one argument,
which, when considered, is nothing but a prejudice, as little rational
as what Shylock first calls his “humor” and then “a lodged hate and
a certain loathing,” making him seek the pound of flesh nearest the
merchant’s heart. The prejudice of color pursues its victim in the long
pilgrimage from the cradle to the grave, barring the hotel, excluding
from the public conveyance, insulting at the theatre, closing the
school, shutting the gates of science, and playing its fantastic tricks
even in the church where he kneels and the grave where his dust mingles
with the surrounding earth. The God-given color of the African is a
constant offence to the disdainful white, who, like the pretentious
lord, asking Hotspur for prisoners, can bear nothing so unhandsome
“betwixt the wind and his nobility.” This is the whole case. And shall
those Equal Rights promised by the great Declaration be sacrificed to
a prejudice? Shall that Equality before the Law, which is the best
part of citizenship, be denied to those who do not happen to be white?
Is this a white man’s government or is it a government of “all men,”
as declared by our fathers? Is it a Republic of Equal Laws, or an
Oligarchy of the Skin? This is the question now presented.

Once Slavery was justified by color, as now the denial of Equal Rights
is justified; and the reason is as little respectable in one case as in
the other. The old pretension is curiously illustrated by an incident
in the inimitable Autobiography of Franklin. An Ante-revolutionary
Governor of Pennsylvania remarked gayly, “that he much admired the idea
of Sancho Panza, who, when it was proposed to give him a government,
requested it might be a government of _blacks_, as then, if he could
not agree with his people, he might sell them”; on which a friend said,
“Franklin, why do you continue to side with those damned Quakers? Had
you not better sell them?” Franklin answered, “The Governor has not yet
_blacked_ them enough.” The Autobiography proceeds to record, that the
Governor “labored hard to _blacken_ the Assembly in all his Messages,
but they wiped off his coloring as fast as he laid it on, and placed it
in return thick upon his own face, so that, finding he was likely to
be _negrofied_ himself, he grew tired of the contest and quitted the
Government.”[202] To negrofy a man was to degrade him.

Thus in the ambition of Sancho Panza, and in the story of the British
governor, was color the badge of Slavery. “Then I can sell them,” said
Sancho Panza; and the British governor repeated the saying. This is
changed now; but not entirely. At present nobody dares say, “I can sell
them”; but the inn, the common conveyance, the theatre, the school, the
scientific institute, the church, and the cemetery deny them the equal
rights of Freedom.

Color has its curiosities in history. For generations the Roman circus
was convulsed by factions known from their liveries as _white_ and
_red_; new factions adopted _green_ and _blue_; and these latter colors
raged with redoubled fury in the hippodrome of Constantinople.[203]
Then came _blacks_ and _whites_, Neri and Bianchi, in the political
contentions of Italy,[204] where the designation was from the accident
of a name. In England the most beautiful of flowers, in two of its
colors, became the badge of hostile armies, and the white rose fought
against the red. But it has been reserved for our Republic, dedicated
to the rights of human nature, to adopt the color of the skin as the
sign of separation, and to organize it in law.

Color in the animal kingdom is according to the Law of Nature. The ox
of the Roman Campagna is gray. The herds on the banks of the Xanthus
were yellow; on the banks of the Clitumnus they were white. In Corsica
animals are spotted. The various colors of the human family belong
to the same mystery. There are white, yellow, red, and black, with
intermediate shades; but no matter what their hue, they are always
MEN, gifted with a common manhood and entitled to common rights. Dr.
Johnson made short work with the famous paradox of Berkeley, denying
the existence of matter. Striking his foot with mighty force against
a large stone, till he rebounded from it, “I refute it _thus_,” he
exclaimed.[205] And so, in reply to every pretension against the equal
rights of all, to every assertion of right founded on the skin, to
every denial of right because a man is something else than white, I
point to that common manhood which knows no distinction of color, and
thus do I refute the whole inhuman, unchristian paradox.


Observe, if you please, how little the word “white” is authorized to
play the great part it performs, and how much of an intruder it is
in all its appearances. In those two title-deeds, the Declaration
of Independence and the Constitution, there are no words of color,
whether white, yellow, red, or black; but here is the fountain out of
which all is derived. The Declaration speaks of “all men,” and not of
“all _white_ men”; and the Constitution says, “We the people,” and
not “We the _white_ people.” Where, then, is authority for any such
discrimination, whether by the nation or any component part? There
is no fountain or word for it. The fountain failing, and the word
non-existent, the whole pretension is a disgusting usurpation, which is
more utterly irrational when it is considered that authority for such
an outrage can be found only in positive words, plain and unambiguous
in meaning. This was the rule with regard to Slavery, solemnly declared
by Lord Mansfield in the famous Somerset case; and it must be the same
with regard to this pretension. It cannot be invented, imagined, or
implied; it must be found in the very text: and this I assert according
to fixed principles of jurisprudence. In its absence, Equality is “the
supreme law of the land; and the judges in every State shall be bound
thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the
contrary notwithstanding.”[206]

This conclusion is reinforced by the several Constitutional Amendments;
but I prefer to dwell on the original text of the Constitution, in
presence of which you might as well undertake to make a king as to
degrade a fellow-citizen on account of his skin.

There is also, antedating and interpreting the Constitution, the
original Common Law, which knew no distinction of color. One of the
greatest judges that ever sat in Westminster Hall, Lord Chief-Justice
Holt, declared, in sententious judgment, worthy of perpetual memory,
“The Common Law takes no notice of Negroes being different from other
men.”[207] This was in 1706, seventy years before the Declaration of
Independence; so that it was well known to our fathers as part of that
Common Law, to which, according to the Continental Congress, the
several States were entitled.[208] Had these remarkable words been
uttered by any other judge in Westminster Hall, they would have been
important; but they are enhanced by the character of their illustrious
author, to whom belongs the kindred honor of first declaring from the
bench that a slave cannot breathe in England.[209]

Among the ornaments of English law none has a purer fame than Holt,
who was emphatically a great judge,--being an example of learning
and firmness, of impartiality and mildness, with a constant instinct
for justice, and a rare capacity in upholding it. His eminent merits
compelled the admiration of his biographer, Lord Campbell, who does
not hesitate to say, that, “of all the judges in our annals, Holt has
gained the highest reputation, merely by the exercise of judicial
functions,”--and then again, in striking words, that “he may be
considered as having a genius for magistracy, as much as our Milton
had for poetry or our Wilkie for painting.”[210] And this rarest
magistrate tells us judicially, that “the Common Law takes no notice
of Negroes being different from other men,”--in other words, it makes
no discrimination on account of color. This judgment is a torch to
illumine the Constitution, while it shows how naturally our fathers
in the great Declaration said, “All men,” and not “All _white_ men,”
and in the Constitution said, “We the people,” and not “We the _white_

In melancholy contrast with the monumental judgment of the English
Chief-Justice are judicial decisions in our own country, especially
that masterpiece of elaborate inhumanity, the judgment of our late
Chief-Justice in the Dred Scott case. But it is in the States that the
word “white” has been made prominent. Such learned debate on the rights
of man dependent on complexion would excite a smile, if it did not
awaken indignation. There is Ohio, a much-honored State, rejoicing in
prosperity, intelligence, and constant liberty; but even this eminent
civilization has not saved its Supreme Court from the subtilties of
refinement on different shades of human color. In the case of _Lake_
v. _Baker et al._,[211] this learned tribunal decided that a child of
Negro, Indian, and white blood, but of more than one-half white, was
entitled to the benefits of the common-school fund; yet in a later case
the same court decided that “children of three-eighths African and
five-eighths white blood, but who are distinctly colored, and generally
treated and regarded as colored children by the community where they
reside, are not, _as of right_, entitled to admission into the common
schools set apart for the instruction of white youths.”[212] Unhappy
children! Even five-eighths white blood could not save them, if in
their neighborhood they were known as “colored.” But this magic of
color showed itself yet more in the precedent of _Polly Gray_ v. _The
State of Ohio_,--a case of robbery, in the Court of Common Pleas, where
the prisoner appearing on inspection “to be of a shade of color between
the mulatto and white,” a Negro was admitted to testify against her,
and she was convicted; but on grave consideration by the Supreme Court,
on appeal, it was decided that the witness was wrongly admitted, and
the judgment was reversed; and the decision stands on these words: “A
Negro is not an admissible witness against a quadroon on trial charged
with a crime”![213] Into this absurdity of injustice was an eminent
tribunal conducted by the _ignis-fatuus_ of color.

These are specimens only. To what meanness of inquiry has not the
judicial mind descended in the enforcement of an odious prejudice? Such
decisions are a discredit to Republican Government; and so also is the
existing practice of public institutions harmonizing with them. The
words of the Gospel are fulfilled, and the Great Republic, “conceived
in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created
equal,”[214] becomes “like unto _whited_ sepulchres, which indeed
appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones
and of all uncleanness.”[215] Are not such decisions worse than dead
men’s bones or any uncleanness? All this seems the more irrational,
when we recall the Divine example, and the admonition addressed to the
Prophet: “But the Lord said unto Samuel, _Look not on his countenance_,
… for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward
appearance, _but the Lord looketh on the heart_.”[216] To the
pretension of looking at the skin and measuring its various pigments
in the determination of rights, I reply, that the heart, and not the
countenance, must be our guide. Not on the skin can we look, though
“white” as the coward heart of Macbeth, according to the reproach of
his wife,--but on that within, constituting character, which showed
itself supremely in Toussaint L’Ouverture, making him, though black
as night, a luminous example, and is now manifest in a virtuous and
patriotic people asking for their rights. Where justice prevails, all
depends on character. Nor can any shade of color be an apology for
interference with that consideration to which character is justly

Thus it stands. The word “white” found no place in the original Common
Law; nor did it find any place afterward in our two title-deeds of
Constitutional Liberty, each interpreting the other, and being the
fountain out of which are derived the rights and duties of the American
citizen. Nor, again, did it find place in the Constitutional Amendment
expressly defining a “citizen.” How, then, can it become a limitation
upon the citizen? By what title can any one say, “I am a white lord”?
Every statute and all legislation, whether National or State, must be
in complete conformity with the two title-deeds. To these must they
be brought as to an unerring touchstone; and it is the same with the
State as with the Nation. Strange indeed, if an odious discrimination,
without support in the original Common Law or the Constitution, and
openly condemned by the Declaration of Independence, can escape
judgment by skulking within State lines! Wherever it shows itself,
whatever form it takes, it is the same barefaced and insufferable
imposture, a mere relic of Slavery, to be treated always with indignant
contempt, and trampled out as an unmitigated “humbug.” The word may
not be juridical; I should not use it if it were unparliamentary; but
I know no term which expresses so well the little foundation for this


That this should continue to flaunt, now that Slavery is condemned,
increases the inconsistency. By the decree against that wrong all
semblance of apology was removed. Ceasing to be a slave, the former
victim has become not only a man, but a Citizen, admitted alike within
the pale of humanity and within the pale of citizenship. As man he is
entitled to all the rights of man, and as citizen he becomes a member
of our common household, with Equality as the prevailing law. No longer
an African, he is an American; no longer a slave, he is a common part
of the Republic, owing to it patriotic allegiance in return for the
protection of equal laws. By incorporation with the body-politic he
becomes a partner in that transcendent unity, so that there can be no
injury to him without injury to all. Insult to him is insult to an
American citizen. Dishonor to him is dishonor to the Republic itself.
Whatever he may have been, he is now the same as ourselves. Our rights
are his rights; our equality is his equality; our privileges and
immunities are his great freehold. To enjoy his citizenship, people
from afar, various in race and complexion, seek our shores, losing here
all distinctions of birth,--as into the ocean all rivers flow, losing
all trace of origin or color, and there is but one uniform expanse
of water, where each particle is like every other particle, and all
are subject to the same law. In this citizenship the African is now

Not only is he Citizen. There is no office in the Republic, from lowest
to highest, executive, judicial, or representative, which is closed
against him. The doors of this Chamber swing open, and he sits here
the coëqual of any Senator. The doors of the other Chamber also swing
open. Nay, Sir, he may be Vice-President, he may be President; but he
cannot enter a hotel or public conveyance, or offer his child at the
common school, without insult on account of color. Nothing can make
this terrible inconsistency more conspicuous. An American citizen,
with every office wide open to his honorable ambition, in whom are all
the great possibilities of our Republic, who may be anything according
to merit, is exposed to a scourge which descends upon the soul as the
scourge of Slavery descended upon the flesh.

In ancient times the cry, “I am a Roman citizen,” stayed the scourge of
the Lictor; and this cry, with its lesson of immunity, has resounded
through the ages, testifying to Roman greatness. Once it was on the
lips of Paul, as appears in the familiar narrative:--

    “And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the
    centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man
    that is a Roman, and uncondemned?

    “When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief
    captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest; for this man is a


    “And the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he
    was a Roman, and because he had bound him.”[217]

Will not our “Chief Captain,” will not Senators, take heed what they
do, that the scourge may not continue to fall upon a whole race, each
one of whom is an American and uncondemned? Is our citizenship a
feebler safeguard than that of Rome? Shall the cry, “I am an American
citizen,” be raised in vain against perpetual outrage?

In speaking of the citizen as of our household, I adopt a distinction
employed by a great teacher in Antiquity. Aristotle, in counsels to
his former pupil, Alexander, before his career of Asiatic conquest,
enjoined a broad distinction between Greeks and Barbarians. The former
he was to treat as friends, and of the household; the latter he was to
treat as brutes and plants.[218] This is the very distinction between
Citizenship and Slavery. The Citizen is of the national household; the
Slave is no better than brute or plant. But our brutes and plants are
all changed into men; our Barbarians are transformed into Greeks. There
is no person among us now, whatever his birth or complexion, who may
not claim the great name of Citizen, to be protected not less at home
than abroad,--but always, whether at home or abroad, by the National
Government, which is the natural guardian of the citizen.


MR. PRESIDENT, asking you to unite now in an act of justice to
a much-oppressed race, which is no payment of that heavy debt
accumulated by generations of wrong, I am encouraged by the pending
measure of Amnesty, which has the advantage of being recommended in
the President’s Annual Message. I regretted, at the time, that the
President signalized by his favor the removal of disabilities imposed
upon a few thousand Rebels who had struck at the life of the Republic,
while he said nothing of cruel disabilities inflicted upon millions
of colored fellow-citizens, who had been a main-stay to the national
cause. But I took courage when I thought that the generosity proposed
could not fail to quicken that sentiment of justice which I now invoke.

Toward those who assailed the Republic in war I have never entertained
any sentiment of personal hostility. Never have I sought the punishment
of any one; and I rejoice to know that our bloody Rebellion closed
without the sacrifice of a single human life by the civil power. But
this has not surprised me. Early in the war I predicted it in this
Chamber.[219] And yet, while willing to be gentle with former enemies,
while anxious not to fail in any lenity or generosity, and while always
watching for the moment when all could be restored to our common
household with Equality as the prevailing law, there was with me a
constant duty, which I could never forget, to fellow-citizens, white
and black, who had stood by the Republic; and especially to those large
numbers, counted by the million, still suffering under disabilities
having their origin in no crime, and more keenly felt than any imposed
upon Rebels. Believing that duty to these millions is foremost, and
that until they are secured in equal rights we cannot expect the
tranquillity which all desire,--nay, Sir, we cannot expect the blessing
of Almighty God upon our labors,--I bring forward this measure of
justice to the colored race. Such a measure can never be out of order
or out of season, being of urgent necessity and unquestionable charity.

There are strong reasons why it should be united with amnesty,
especially since the latter is pressed. Each is the removal of
disabilities, and each is to operate largely in the same region of
country. Nobody sincerely favoring generosity to Rebels should hesitate
in justice to the colored race. According to the maxim in Chancery,
“Whoso would have equity must do equity.” Therefore Rebels seeking
amnesty must be just to colored fellow-citizens seeking equal rights.
Doing this equity, they may expect equity.

Another reason is controlling. Each is a measure of reconciliation,
intended to close the issues of the war; but these issues are not
closed, unless each is adopted. Their adoption together is better
for each, and therefore better for the country, than any separate
adoption. Kindred in object, they should be joined together and never
put asunder. It is wrong to separate them. Hereafter the Rebels should
remember that their restoration was associated with the equal rights of
all, contained in the same great statute.

Clearly, between the two the preëminence must be accorded to that
for the equal rights of all, as among the virtues justice is above
generosity. And this is the more evident, when it is considered, that,
according to Abraham Lincoln, the great issue of the war was Human

       *       *       *       *       *

In making the motion by which these two measures are associated, I
seize the first opportunity since the introduction of my bill, nearly
two years ago, of obtaining for it the attention of the Senate. Beyond
this is with me a sentiment of duty. In the uncertainties of life, I
would not defer for a day the discharge of this immeasurable obligation
to fellow-citizens insulted and oppressed; nor would I postpone that
much-desired harmony which can be assured only through this act of
justice. The opportunity is of infinite value, and I dare not neglect
it. My chief regret is that I cannot do more to impress it upon the
Senate. I wish I were stronger. I wish I were more able to exhibit the
commanding duty. But I can try; and should the attempt fail, I am not
without hope that it may be made in some other form, with increased
advantage from this discussion. I trust it will not fail. Earnestly,
confidently, I appeal to the Senate for its votes. Let the record
be made at last, which shall be the cap-stone of the reconstructed

I make this appeal for the sake of the Senate, which will rejoice to
be relieved from a painful discussion; for the sake of fellow-citizens
whom I cannot forget; and for the sake of the Republic, now dishonored
through a denial of justice. I make it in the name of the Great
Declaration, and also of that Equality before the Law which is the
supreme rule of conduct, to the end especially that fellow-citizens
may be vindicated in “the pursuit of happiness,” according to the
immortal promise, and that the angel Education may not be driven
from their doors. I make it also for the sake of peace, so that at
last there shall be an end of Slavery, and the rights of the citizen
shall be everywhere under the equal safeguard of national law. There
is beauty in art, in literature, in science, and in every triumph
of intelligence, all of which I covet for my country; but there
is a higher beauty still in relieving the poor, in elevating the
down-trodden, and being a succor to the oppressed. There is true
grandeur in an example of justice, making the rights of all the same
as our own, and beating down prejudice, like Satan, under our feet.
Humbly do I pray that the Republic may not lose this great prize, or
postpone its enjoyment.

    Mr. Vickers, of Maryland, on the same day, made an elaborate
    effort on the position of the South and Amnesty, which he
    opened by saying:--

        “It is not my purpose to follow the Senator from
        Massachusetts [Mr. SUMNER] in the remarks which he has
        made, because his amendment is not only not germane to
        the subject-matter properly before the Senate, but is so
        palpably unconstitutional that I consider it unnecessary to
        make any comment upon it.”

    January 17th, Mr. Sumner spoke again at length, introducing
    testimony, being letters, resolutions, and addresses from
    various parts of the country, and especially from the South,
    showing the necessity of Congressional action for the
    protection of Equal Rights, and that such protection was
    earnestly desired by colored fellow-citizens.

    At the close he remarked on the importance of equality in the

One of the most important aspects of the pending measure is its
operation on the common school, making it what is implied in its name,
a school open to all. The term “common” explains itself. Originally,
in England, under the law, it designated outlying land near a village
open to all the inhabitants; and the common school is an institution of
education open to all. If you make it for a class, it is not a common
school, but a separate school,--and, as I have said frequently to-day,
and also before in addressing the Senate, a separate school never can
be a _substitute_ for the common school. The common school has for its
badge _Equality_. The separate school has for its badge _Inequality_.
The one has open doors for all; the other has open doors only for those
of a certain color. That is contrary to the spirit of our institutions,
to the promises of the Declaration of Independence, and to all that
is secured in the recent Constitutional Amendments. So long as it
continues, the great question of the war remains still undecided;
for, as I explained the other day, that transcendent issue, as stated
by Jefferson Davis, and then again accepted by Abraham Lincoln, was
Equality. Only by maintaining Equality will you maintain the great
victory of the war.

Here in Washington this very question of separate schools has for some
time agitated the community. The colored people have themselves acted.
They speak for Equal Rights. I have in my hand a communication to
the Senate from the Secretary of the Interior, under date of January
18, 1871, covering a report from the trustees of the colored schools
of Washington and Georgetown, in which they make most important and
excellent recommendations. How well at last the colored people speak!
Who among us can speak better than they in the passages I am about to

    After reading these passages,[220] which he pronounced
    “unanswered and unanswerable,” Mr. Sumner proceeded:--

Sir, I bring this testimony to a close. I have adduced letters,
resolutions, addresses from various States, showing the sentiments of
the colored people. I have adduced them in answer to allegations on
this floor that the pending measure of Equal Rights is not needed,
that the pending measure is for social equality. Listening to these
witnesses, you see how they all insist that it is needed, and that it
is in no respect for social equality. It is a measure of strict legal

I adduce this testimony also in answer to the allegation, so loftily
made in debate the other day, that the colored people are willing to
see the former Rebels amnestied, trusting in some indefinite future to
obtain their own rights. I said at the time that such an allegation was
irrational. I now show you that it is repudiated by the colored people.
They do not recognize the Senators who have undertaken to speak for
them as their representatives. They insist upon their rights before you
play the generous to Rebels. They insist that they shall be saved from
indignity when they travel, and when they offer a child at the common
school,--that they shall be secured against any such outrage before you
remove the disabilities of men who struck at the life of this Republic.

Now, Sir, will you not be just before you are generous? Or if you do
not place the rights of the colored people foremost, will you not at
least place them side by side with those of former Rebels? Put them
both where I seek now to put them, in the same statute,--so that
hereafter the Rebels shall know that generosity to them was associated
with justice to their colored fellow-citizens,--that they all have a
common interest,--that they are linked together in the community of a
common citizenship, and in the enjoyment of those liberties promised by
the Declaration of Independence and guarantied by the Constitution of
the United States.

    Mr. Frelinghuysen, of New Jersey, followed with remarks
    chiefly in criticism of the form of the bill, and made several
    suggestions of amendment. Mr. Sumner stated that his object was
    “to get this measure in the best shape possible,” and that he
    should welcome any amendment from any quarter; that he did not
    feel as strongly as the Senator “the difference between his
    language and the text,” but that he was anxious to harmonize
    with him. Mr. Sumner afterwards modified his bill in pursuance
    of Mr. Frelinghuysen’s suggestions.

    The debate was continued on different days,--Mr. Sawyer, of
    South Carolina, Mr. Thurman, of Ohio, Mr. Morrill, of Maine,
    Mr. Saulsbury, of Delaware, Mr. Davis, of Kentucky, speaking
    strongly against the bill of Mr. Sumner. Mr. Sawyer objected
    to it as an amendment to the Amnesty Bill. Mr. Nye of Nevada,
    and Mr. Flanagan of Texas spoke for the bill. The latter, after
    saying that he had read the Constitution for himself, and was
    “satisfied that the proposed amendment was constitutional,”
    added other reasons:--

        “One is, that I discover, that, if we should remain here,
        as we certainly shall do, for a very considerable period,
        petitions will come in to such a degree, requiring so much
        paper, that really the price will be vastly enhanced, and
        it will thereby become a considerable tax to the Government
        of the United States; for the Senator is receiving, I might
        almost say, volumes--I know not what the quantity is; it is
        immense, however--from all parts of the nation.”

    And then again:--

        “Again I am reminded that it is best to try to get rid of
        the imposing Senator [Mr. SUMNER] on that subject, just
        as the lady answered her admirer. The suitor had been
        importuning her time and again, and she had invariably
        declined to accept the proposition. At length, however,
        being very much annoyed, she concluded to say ‘yes,’
        just to get rid of his importunity. I want to go with
        the Senator to get rid of this matter, [_laughter_,]
        because, really, Mr. President, we find his bill here as
        a breakwater. A concurrent resolution was introduced here
        for the adjournment of Congress at a particular day. Well,
        you saw that bill thrust right on it. ‘Stop!’ says he, ‘you
        must not adjourn until my bill is passed.’ There it was
        again; here it is now; and we shall continue to have it;
        and I am for making peace with it by a general surrender at
        once. [_Laughter._] I stop not there, Mr. President; I go
        further, and I indorse the Senator to the utmost degree in
        his proposition.”[221]

    Mr. Morrill, in an elaborate argument, denied point-blank the
    constitutionality of the bill,--insisting, and repeating with
    different forms of expression, that “the exercise of this power
    on the part of Congress would be a palpable invasion of the
    rights of the people of the States in their purely domestic
    relations.… This Constitution has given us no such authority
    and no such power.”[222]

    January 31st, Mr. Sumner replied to Mr. Morrill.


MR. PRESIDENT, before this debate closes, it seems to me I shall be
justified in a brief reply to the most extraordinary, almost eccentric,
argument by my excellent friend, the Senator from Maine [Mr. MORRILL].
He argued against the constitutionality of the pending amendment,--you
all remember with how much ingenuity and earnestness. I shall not
follow him in the details of that speech. I shall deal with it somewhat
in the general, and part of the time I shall allow others to speak for

But before I come upon that branch of the case, I feel that in justice
to colored fellow-citizens I ought to see that they have a hearing.
Senators whom they helped elect show no zeal for their rights. Sir,
they have a title to be heard. They are able; they can speak for
themselves; but they are not here to speak. Therefore they can be heard
only through their communications. Here is one from a member of the
Virginia House of Delegates. It came to my hands yesterday, and is
dated “Richmond, January 29, 1872.” I wish the Senate would hear what
this member of the Virginia House says on the pending amendment.

    The letter, as read by Mr. Sumner, concluded as follows:--

        “We all, Sir, the whole colored population of Virginia,
        make this appeal through you to a generous Senate, and
        pray, for the sake of humanity, justice, and all that is
        good and great, that equal common rights may be bestowed
        on a grateful and loyal people before disabilities shall
        have been stricken from those who struck at the very
        heart-strings of the Government.”

Can any Senator listen to that appeal and not feel that this Virginian
begins to answer the Senator from Maine? He shows an abuse; he
testifies to a grievance. Sir, it is the beginning of the argument. My
friend seemed almost to ignore it. He did not see the abuse; he did not
recognize the grievance.

    MR. MORRILL. I certainly did see it, and I certainly recognize
    it. The only difference between the Senator and myself, so far
    as the argument is concerned, is one simply of power.

MR. SUMNER. I shall come to that. But first is the point, whether the
Senator recognizes the grievance; and here let me tell my excellent
friend, that, did he see the grievance as this colored citizen sees it,
did he feel it as this colored citizen feels it,--Sir, did he simply
see it as I see it,--he would find power enough in the Constitution to
apply the remedy. I know the generous heart of the Senator; and I know
that he could not hesitate, did he really see this great grievance.
He does not see it in its proportions. He does not see how in real
character it is such that it can be dealt with only by the National
power. I drive that home to the Senator. It is the beginning of the
argument in reply to him, that the grievance is such that it can be
dealt with adequately only by Congress. Any other mode is inefficient,
inadequate, absurd. I begin, therefore, by placing the Senator in that
position. Unhappily he does not see the grievance. He has no conception
of its vastness, extending everywhere, with ramifications in every
State, _and requiring one uniform remedy, which, from the nature of the
case, can be supplied only by the Nation_.

And now I come to the question of power; and here I allow a colored
fellow-citizen to be heard in reply to the Senator. I read from a
letter of E. A. Fulton, of Arkansas:--

    “I have seen and experienced much of the disabilities which
    rest upon my race and people from the mere accident of color.
    Grateful to God and the Republicans of this country for our
    emancipation and the recognition of our citizenship, I am
    nevertheless deeply impressed with the necessity of further
    legislation for the perfection of our rights as American

This colored citizen is impressed, as the Senator is not, with the
necessity of further legislation for the perfection of his rights as an
American citizen. He goes on:--

    “I am also thoroughly persuaded that this needed legislation
    should come from the National Congress.”

So he replies to my friend.

    “Local or State legislation will necessarily be partial and
    vacillating. Besides, our experience is to the effect that the
    local State governments are unreliable for the enforcement or
    execution of laws for this purpose.

    “In Arkansas, for example, a statute was enacted by the General
    Assembly of 1868 for the purpose of securing the equal rights
    of colored persons upon steamboats, railroads, and public
    thoroughfares generally. The provisions of the statute were
    deemed good, if not entirely sufficient; yet to the present
    time gross indignities continue to be perpetrated upon colored
    travellers, men and women, while those charged under oath to
    see the laws faithfully executed look on with seeming heartless
    indifference while the law remains a dead letter on the

    “With a care and anxiety which one vitally interested alone can
    feel I have examined and weighed this subject.”

Here, Sir, he replies again to my friend. I should like the Senator to
notice the sentence:--

    “With a care and anxiety which one vitally interested alone can

as, of course, my friend cannot feel, since he has not that vital

    “I have examined and weighed this subject.”

What does he conclude?

    “I am fully persuaded that nothing short of national
    legislation, and national authority for its enforcement, will
    be found sufficient for the maintenance of our God-given rights
    as men and women, citizens of this great and free country.”

       *       *       *       *       *

    MR. MORRILL. As my honorable friend emphasizes that particular
    point, will he be kind enough to say whether he reads that
    letter as an authority showing that Congress has the power to
    do what he asks, or whether it is simply an individual opinion
    that some such legislation is necessary?

MR. SUMNER. I think my friend must know that I do not read the letter
as an authority, according to his use of the term. By-and-by I shall
come to the authority. I read it as the opinion of a colored citizen--

    MR. MORRILL. As to the necessity of legislation?

MR. SUMNER. Who has felt the grievance, and testifies that the remedy
can only be through the Nation. There is where he differs from my

    MR. MORRILL. It is not necessary to read evidence to me that
    the colored people think there ought to be legislation by
    Congress. The question between the Senator and myself is
    precisely this: What is your authority?

MR. SUMNER. I am coming to that. This is only the beginning.

    MR. MORRILL. When you come to that, and make an issue with me,
    I shall be ready to answer.

MR. SUMNER. I shall come to that in due season, and give the Senator
the opportunity he desires. I shall speak to the question of power.
Meanwhile I proceed with the letter:--

    “I have read with joy your recently presented Supplementary
    Civil Rights Bill. It meets my hearty approval. In the name of
    God and down-trodden humanity, I pray you press its enactment
    to a successful consummation.

    “Such a law, firmly enforced, coupled with complete amnesty”--

You see the point, Mr. President,--“coupled with complete amnesty”--

    “for political offences to those who once held us in
    bondage, will furnish, as I believe, the only sound basis of
    reconstruction and reconciliation for the South.”

Now my friend will not understand that I exaggerate this letter. I do
not adduce it as authority, but simply as testimony, showing what an
intelligent colored fellow-citizen thinks with regard to his rights on
two important points much debated: first, as to the necessity of remedy
through the National Government; and, secondly, as to the importance of
uniting this assurance of Equal Rights with Amnesty, so that the two
shall go together.

Before coming directly to the authority on which my friend is so
anxious, I call attention to another communication, from the President
of the Georgia Civil Rights Association, which I think should be read
to the Senate. It is addressed to me officially; and if I do not read
it, the Senate will not have the benefit of it. There is no Senator
from Georgia to speak for the Civil Rights Association. I shall let
them speak by their President, Captain Edwin Belcher:--

    “I realize more and more, every day, the necessity of such a
    measure of justice as your ‘Supplementary Bill.’ When that
    becomes a law, the freedom of my race will then be complete.”

I call attention to that point. This writer regards the pending measure
essential to complete the Abolition of Slavery; and I hope you will not
forget this judgment, because it will be important at a later moment in
vindicating the constitutional power of Congress. “When that becomes a
law, the freedom of my race will then be complete,”--not before, not
till then, not till the passage of the Supplementary Civil Rights Bill.
Down to that time Slavery still exists. Such, Sir, is the statement
of a man once a slave, and who knows whereof he speaks; nor can it be
doubted that he is right.

    After reading the letter at length, Mr. Sumner proceeded:--

This instructive letter is full of wise warnings, to which we cannot be
indifferent. It is testimony, but it is also argument.

The necessity of this measure appears not only from Georgia, but
even from Pennsylvania. I have in my hands an article by Richard T.
Greener, the principal of the Colored Institute at Philadelphia, where
he vindicates the pending bill. I read a brief passage, and simply
in reply to the Senator from Maine, on the necessity of Congressional
action. Mr. Greener is no unworthy representative of his race. He knows
well how to vindicate their rights. Here is what he says:--

    “Not three weeks ago, the Committee which waited on the
    President from this city, in behalf of Mr. Sumner’s bill, were
    refused accommodations at the dépôt restaurant in Washington,
    and only succeeded in being entertained by insisting upon
    just treatment. It has scarcely been three months since the
    secretary of the American legation at Port-au-Prince, Rev. J.
    Theodore Holly, with his wife and three children, was refused
    a state-room on the steamer running between New Haven and New
    York city.”

Then he shows the necessity:--

    “Should Minister Bassett himself, indorsed by the Union League,
    return home and arrive late at night, there are probably not
    two hotels, such as a gentleman of his station would wish to
    stop at, where he could be accommodated,--not a theatre or
    place of amusement which he could visit without insult or
    degrading restrictions,--not a church, except it be a Quaker
    or Catholic one, where he would not be shown into the gallery,
    or else be made to feel uncomfortable: so outrageous are the
    current American ideas of common hospitality and refinement;
    so vindictive is this persecution of a humble class of your

Lastly he vindicates the pending measure, and asks for a two-thirds

    “The Supplementary Bill ought to pass by a two-thirds vote.
    If it passes by a simple majority, we shall, of course, be
    satisfied, and understand the reason why. If Republican
    Senators, elected by colored votes, give their influence and
    votes against this measure, it might be well for them to
    remember that Negroes, along with instinct, have ‘terrible

And now, Sir, after these brief illustrations, where our colored
fellow-citizens have spoken for themselves, showing the necessity of
legislation by the Nation, because only through the Nation can the
remedy be applied, I come to the precise argument of the Senator. He
asks for the power. Why, Sir, the National Constitution is bountiful
of power; it is overrunning with power. Not in one place or two places
or three places, but almost everywhere, from the Preamble to the last
line of the latest Amendment; in the original text and in all our
recent additions, again and again. Still further, in that great rule of
interpretation conquered at Appomattox, which, far beyond the surrender
of Lee, was of infinite value to this Republic. I say a new rule of
interpretation for the National Constitution, according to which, in
every clause and every line and every word, it is to be interpreted
uniformly and thoroughly for human rights. Before the Rebellion the
rule was precisely opposite. The Constitution was interpreted always,
in every clause and line and word, for Human Slavery. Thank God, it is
all changed now! There is another rule, and the National Constitution,
from beginning to end, speaks always for the Rights of Man. That, Sir,
is the new rule. That, Sir, is the great victory of the war; for in
that are consummated all the victories of many bloody fields,--not
one victory, or two, but the whole,--gleaming in those principles of
Liberty and Equality which are now the pivot jewels of the Constitution.

My excellent friend from Maine takes no notice of all this. He goes
back for his rule to those unhappy days before the war. He makes the
system of interpretation, born of Slavery, his melancholy guide. With
such Mentor, how can he arrive at any conclusion other than alien to
Human Rights? He questions everything, denies everything. He finds no
power for anything, unless distinctly written in positive and precise
words. He cannot read between the lines; he cannot apply a generous
principle which will coördinate everything there in harmony with the
Declaration of Independence.

When I refer to the Declaration, I know well how such an allusion is
too often received on this floor. I have lived through a period of
history, and do not forget that I here heard our great title-deed
arraigned as “a self-evident lie.” There are Senators now, who, while
hesitating to adopt that vulgar extravagance of dissent, are willing
to trifle with it as a rule of interpretation. I am not frightened.
Sir, I insist that the National Constitution must be interpreted by the
National Declaration. I insist that the Declaration is of equal and
coördinate authority with the Constitution itself. I know, Sir, the
ground on which I stand. I need no volume of law, no dog-eared page,
no cases to sustain me. Every lawyer is familiar with the fundamental
beginning of the British Constitution in Magna Charta. But what is
Magna Charta? Simple concessions wrung by barons of England from an
unwilling monarch; not an Act of Parliament, nothing constitutional
in our sense of the term; simply a declaration of rights: and such
was the Declaration of Independence. And now, Sir, I am prepared to
insist, that, whenever you are considering the Constitution, so far
as it concerns human rights, you must bring it always to that great
standard; the two must go together; and the Constitution can never
be interpreted in any way inconsistent with the Declaration. Show me
any words in the Constitution applicable to human rights, and I invoke
at once the great truths of the Declaration as the absolute guide to
their meaning. Is it a question of power? Then must every word in the
Constitution be interpreted so that Liberty and Equality shall not fail.

My excellent friend from Maine takes no notice of this. He goes back to
days when the Declaration was denounced as “a self-evident lie,” and
the Constitution was interpreted always in the interest of Slavery.
Sir, I object to this rule. I protest against it with all my mind
and heart and soul. I insist that just the opposite must prevail,
and I start with this assumption. I shall not make a long argument,
for the case does not require it. I desire to be brief. You know the

    “SECTION 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except
    as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been
    duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any
    place subject to their jurisdiction.

    “SECTION 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article
    by appropriate legislation.”

Here is an Amendment abolishing Slavery. Does it abolish Slavery half,
three-quarters, or wholly? Here I know no half, no three-quarters; I
know nothing but the whole. And I say the article abolishes Slavery
entirely, everywhere throughout this land,--root and branch,--in
the general and the particular,--in length and breadth, and then in
every detail. Am I wrong? Any other interpretation dwarfs the great
Amendment, and permits Slavery still to linger among us in some of
its insufferable pretensions. Sir, I insist upon thorough work. When
I voted for that article, I meant what it said,--that Slavery should
cease absolutely, entirely, and completely. But, Sir, Congress has
already given its testimony to the true meaning of the article. Shortly
after its adoption, it passed what is known as the Civil Rights Law, by
which the courts of justice throughout the country, State as well as
National, are opened to colored persons, who are authorized not only to
sue and be sued, but also to testify,--an important right most cruelly
denied, even in many of the Northern States, making the intervention of
the Nation necessary, precisely as it is necessary now. That law was
passed by both Houses of Congress, vetoed by the President, and passed
then by a two-thirds vote over the veto of the President, and all in
pursuance of these words:--

    “Congress shall have power to enforce this article by
    appropriate legislation.”

Remark, if you please, the energy of that expression; I have often
had occasion to call attention to it. It is a departure from the old
language of the Constitution:--

    “The Congress shall have power to make all laws which shall be
    necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing

It is stronger,--more energetic:--

    “Congress shall have power to _enforce_”--

Mark, Sir, the vitality of the word--

    “to _enforce_ this article by appropriate legislation.”

The whole field of apt legislation is open to be employed by Congress
in enforcing Abolition. Congress entered upon that field and
passed the original Civil Rights Act. And who among us now, unless
one of my friends on the other side of the Chamber, questions the
constitutionality of that Act? Does any one? Does any one doubt it?
Does any one throw any suspicion upon it? Would any one have it dropped
from the statute-book on any ground of doubt or hesitation? If there
is any Senator in this category, I know him not. I really should like
to have him declare himself. I will cheerfully yield the floor to any
one willing to declare his doubts of the constitutionality of the Civil
Rights Act. [_After waiting a sufficient time._] Sir, there is no
Senator who doubts it.

Now, how can any Senator, recognizing the constitutionality of the
original Civil Rights Act, doubt the present supplementary measure?
Each stands on the same bottom. If you doubt one, you must doubt the
other. If you rally against that Amendment, your next move should
be to repeal the existing Civil Rights Act as inconsistent with the
Constitution. Why does not my excellent friend from Maine bring
forward his bill? Why does he not invite the Senate to commence the
work of destruction, to tear down that great remedial statute? Why is
he silent? Why does he hang back, and direct all his energies against
the supplementary measure, which depends absolutely upon the same
constitutional power? If he is in earnest against the pending motion,
he must show the same earnestness against the preliminary Act.

When I assert that Congress has ample power over this question, I rely
upon a well-known text often cited in this Chamber, often cited in our
courts,--the judgment of the Supreme Court pronounced by Chief-Justice
Marshall, in the case of _McCulloch_ v. _State of Maryland_, from which
I will read a brief extract:--

    “But the argument on which most reliance is placed is drawn
    from the peculiar language of this clause. Congress is not
    empowered by it to make all laws which may have relation to
    the powers conferred on the Government, but such only as may
    be ‘_necessary and proper_’ for carrying them into execution.
    The word ‘_necessary_’ is considered as controlling the whole
    sentence, and as limiting the right to pass laws for the
    execution of the granted powers to such as are indispensable,
    and without which the power would be nugatory,--that it
    excludes the choice of means, and leaves to Congress in each
    case that only which is most direct and simple.”

These words show how the case was presented to the Court. Here is the
statement of John Marshall:--

    “We admit, as all must admit, that the powers of the Government
    are limited, and that its limits are not to be transcended.
    But we think the sound construction of the Constitution
    must allow to the National Legislature that discretion with
    respect to the means by which the powers it confers are to be
    carried into execution which will enable that body to perform
    the high duties assigned to it in the manner most beneficial
    to the people. Let the end be legitimate, let it be within
    the scope of the Constitution, and _all means which are
    appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are
    not prohibited, but consist with the letter and spirit of the
    Constitution, are constitutional_.”[223]

In other words, the Supreme Court will not undertake to sit in judgment
on the means employed by Congress for carrying out a power which exists
in the Constitution. Now the power plainly exists in the Constitution;
it is to abolish Slavery, and it is for Congress in its discretion to
select the means. Already it has selected the Civil Rights Law as the
first means for enforcing the abolition of Slavery. I ask it to select
the supplementary bill now pending as other means to enforce that
abolition. One of the letters that I have read to-day from a leading
colored citizen of Georgia said: “When that becomes a law, the freedom
of my race will then be complete.” It is not complete until then; and
therefore, in securing that freedom, in other words in enforcing the
Constitutional Amendment, Congress is authorized to pass the bill which
I have felt it my duty to introduce, and which is now moved on the
Amnesty Bill.

I might proceed with this argument. But details would take time, and
I think they are entirely needless. The case is too strong. It needs
no further argument. You have the positive grant of power. You have
already one instance of its execution, and you have the solemn decision
of the Supreme Court of the United States declaring that it is in the
discretion of Congress to select the means by which to enforce the
powers granted. How, Sir, can you answer this conclusion? How can my
excellent friend answer it?

Were I not profoundly convinced that the conclusion founded on the
Thirteenth Amendment was unanswerable, so as to make further discussion
surplusage, I should take up the Fourteenth Amendment, and show how,
in the first place, we have there the definition of a Citizen of the
United States, and then, in the second place, an inhibition upon the
States, so that they cannot make or enforce any law which shall abridge
the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, nor
deny to any person within the jurisdiction of the United States the
equal protection of the laws. And here again Congress is empowered
to enforce these provisions by appropriate legislation. Surely, if
there were any doubt in the Thirteenth Amendment, as there is not,
it would all be removed by this supplementary Amendment. Here is the
definition of Citizenship, and the right to the equal protection of
the laws,--in other words, Citizenship and Equality, both placed under
the safeguard of the Nation. Whatever will fortify these is within the
power of Congress by express grant. But if these are interpreted by the
Declaration of Independence, as I insist, the conclusion is still more

Add the original text of the Constitution, declaring that “the citizens
of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of
citizens in the several States.” These words, already expounded by
judicial interpretation,[224] are now elevated and inspired by the new
spirit breathing into them the breath of a new life, and making them
yet another source of Congressional power for the safeguard of equal

But I have not done with my friend. I am going to hand him over to be
answered by one of his colored fellow-citizens who has no privilege
on this floor. I put George T. Downing face to face with my excellent
friend, the Senator from Maine. The Senator will find his argument
in one of the papers of the day. I shall read enough to show that he
understands the question, even constitutionally:--

    “But I come directly,” says he, “to ‘misconception,’--to
    thwarting justice. The Senator”--

Referring to the Senator from Maine--

    “opposes Senator Sumner’s amendment; he says it invokes an
    implication of some principle or provision of the Constitution
    somewhere, or an implication arising from the general fitness
    of things possibly, to enable it to invade the domiciliary
    rights of the citizens of a State.”

These were the precise words of the Senator; I remember them well;
I was astonished at them. I could not understand by what delusion,
hallucination, or special _ignis-fatuus_ the Senator was led into
the idea that in this bill there is any suggestion of invading the
domiciliary rights of the citizens of the States. Why, Sir, the Senator
has misread the bill. I will not say he has not read it. He certainly
has misread it. And now let our colored fellow-citizen answer him:--

    “I do not speak unadvisedly, when I declare that no such end
    is desired by a single intelligent colored man; no such design
    can be gleaned from any word ever spoken by Charles Sumner; his
    amendment cannot by any reasonable stretch of the imagination
    be open to the implication.”

Not a Senator, not a lawyer says that; it is only one of our colored
fellow-citizens whom the Senator would see shut out of the cars, shut
out of the hotels, his children shut out from schools, and himself
shut out from churches; and seeing these things, the Senator would do
nothing, because Congress is powerless! Our colored fellow-citizen

    “The amendment says that all citizens, white and black,
    are entitled to the equal and impartial enjoyment of any
    accommodation, advantage, facility, or privilege furnished
    by common carriers, by innkeepers, by licensed theatres, by
    managers of common schools supported by general taxation or
    authorized by law. Does any of the same invade the domiciliary
    rights of a citizen in any State?”

That is not my language, Sir; it is Mr. Downing’s.

    “Could any man, white or black, claim a right of entrance into
    the domicile of the poorest, the humblest, the weakest citizen
    of the State of Maine by virtue of Mr. Sumner’s amendment, when
    it shall become a law? Certainly not; a man’s private domicile
    is his own castle: no one, with even kingly pretensions, dare
    force himself over its threshold. But the public inn, the
    public or common school, the public place of amusement, as
    well as common carriers, asking the special protection of law,
    created through its action on the plea and for the benefit of
    the public good, have no such exclusive right as the citizen
    may rightfully claim within his home; and it seems to me to be
    invoking the aid of an unholy prejudice in attempting to force
    the idea that Mr. Sumner desires, or that the colored people
    in petitioning for civil rights are designing, to break into
    social circles against the wish of those who compose them.”

It is difficult to answer that. The writer proceeds:--

    “I have the testimony of Senator Morrill, this same Senator,
    to the fact ‘that equality before the law, without distinction
    of race or color,’ is a constitutional right,--for we have his
    declaration to that effect recorded, and further setting forth
    that it is ‘the duty of the Circuit Court of the United States
    to afford a speedy and convenient means for the arrest and
    examination of persons charged with a disregard of the same.’
    (See proceedings of Senate, April, 1866.)”

I have not verified this reference; I read it as I find it. The Senator
will know whether he has heretofore employed such generous language,
in just conformity with the Constitution. Assuming now that he has
used this language, I think, as a lawyer, he will feel that George T.
Downing has the better of him. I ask my friend to listen, and perhaps
he will confess:--

    “If equality before the law be a constitutional right, as
    testified to by Mr. Morrill, and if it be the duty of the
    Federal courts to protect the same, as he further affirms, is
    not all conceded as to the right of Congress to act in the case
    in question, when it is shown that the public inn, the public
    school, the common carrier, are necessary institutions under
    the control of law, where equality without regard to race or
    color may be enforced? Can there be any question as to the same?

    “I further invoke the letter of the Constitution _in behalf
    of Congressional action_ to protect me in the rights of an
    American citizen; for instance,”--

Again I say, this is not the argument of a Senator, nor of a lawyer,
but only of one of those colored fellow-citizens for whom my friend can
find no protection,--

    “for instance, that article which says, ‘The judicial power
    shall extend to all cases in law and equity arising under this
    Constitution.’ If equality before the law be, as Mr. Morrill
    has declared, a constitutional right, the judicial power of
    the United States reaches the same. Another section says, ‘The
    citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and
    immunities of citizens in the several States.’”

The writer is not content with one clause of the Constitution:--

    “Another section says, ‘No State shall make or enforce
    any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of
    citizens of the United States.’ Another section says, ‘The
    United States shall guaranty to every State in this Union
    a republican form of government.’ The section last cited
    contemplates a case where a controlling power shall strive
    to have it otherwise, and the subordinated individuals need
    protection. Congress is left the judge of what constitutes a
    republican form of government, and consequently of the rights
    incidental thereto.”

Then again:--

    “Another section says, ‘This Constitution, and the laws of
    the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof,
    shall be the supreme law of the land.’ Another section says,
    ‘The Congress shall have power to make all laws which shall be
    necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers
    vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United
    States.’ Will it be said that the power is not vested in the
    Government of the United States to protect the rights of its
    citizens, and that it is not necessary and proper to do so?

    “The Senator admits that there is a constitutional inhibition
    against proscribing men because of their race or color in
    the enjoyment of rights and privileges, but he denies the
    existence of a constitutional right on the part of Congress to
    act in defence of the supreme law, when a State may disregard
    the Constitution in this respect. I read the Constitution
    otherwise. I conclude, that, when the supreme law says of right
    a thing shall not be, Congress, which has that supreme law as
    its guide and authority, has the power to enforce the same.”

That, Sir, is the reply of a colored fellow-citizen to the speech of my
excellent friend. I ask Senators to sit in judgment between the speech
and the reply. I ask if my excellent friend is not completely answered
by George T. Downing? If the latter has been able to do this, it is
because of the innate strength of his own cause and the weakness of
that espoused by the Senator. Our colored commentator places himself on
the texts of the Constitution, and interprets them liberally, justly,
for the equal rights of his race. The Senator places himself on
those same texts, but in an evil moment surrenders to that malignant
interpretation which prevailed before the war and helped to precipitate
the Rebellion.

Sir, I ask, Is not the constitutionality of this measure vindicated?
Does any one really doubt its constitutionality? Can any one show a
reason against it? Sir, it is as constitutional as the Constitution
itself. You may arraign that great charter; you may call it in doubt;
you may say that it is imperfect, that it is wrong; but I thank God it
exists to be our guide and master, so that even my excellent friend,
the able and ingenious Senator, snatching reasons, if not inspiration,
from _ante bellum_ arguments, when State Rights were the constant cry,
and from speeches in other days, cannot overturn it. The Constitution
still lives, and as long as it lives it must be interpreted by the
Declaration of Independence to advance human rights.

This is my answer to the Senator on the question of power, to which he
invited attention. I have spoken frankly, I hope not unkindly: but on
this question I must be plain and open. Nor is this all.

Sir, there is a new force in our country. I have alluded to a new rule
of interpretation; I allude now to a new force: it is the colored
people of the United States counted by the million; a new force with
votes; and they now insist upon their rights. They appear before you
in innumerable petitions, in communications, in letters, all praying
for their rights. They appeal to you in the name of the Constitution,
which is for them a safeguard,--in the name of that great victory over
the Rebellion through which peace was sealed; and they remind you that
they mean to follow up their appeal at the ballot-box. I have here an
article in the last “New National Era,” of Washington, a journal edited
by colored persons,--Frederick Douglass is the chief editor,--and
devoted to the present Administration. What does it say?

    “Here, then, is a measure, just and necessary, the embodiment
    of the very principles upon which the Government is founded,
    and which distinguish it from monarchical and aristocratic
    Governments,--a measure upon which there should be no division
    in the Republican Party in Congress, and of which there is
    no question as to its being of more importance than Amnesty.
    Without this measure Amnesty will be a crime, merciless to the
    loyal blacks of the South, and an encouragement of treason
    and traitors. We have met colored politicians from the South
    who think that the Amnesty proposition is an attempt to gain
    the good-will of the white voters of the South at the expense
    of the colored voters. Should this feeling become general
    among the colored people, there is danger of a division of the
    colored vote to such an extent as to defeat the Republican
    Party. Give us the just measure of protection of our civil
    rights before the pardoning of those who deny us our rights and
    who would destroy the nation, and the colored people can feel
    assured that they are not to be forced into a back seat, and
    that traitors are not to be exalted.”

Is not this natural? If you, Sir, were a colored citizen, would you
not also thus write? Would you not insist that you must doubt any
political party, pretending to be your friend, that failed in this
great exigency? I know you would. I know you would take your vote in
your hand and insist upon using it so as to secure your own rights.

The testimony accumulates. Here is another letter, which came this
morning, signed, “An Enfranchised Republican,” dated at Washington,
and published in the “New York Tribune.” It is entitled, “President
Grant and the Colored People.” The writer avows himself in favor of
the renomination of General Grant, but does not disguise his anxiety
at what he calls “the President’s unfortunate reply to the colored
delegation which lately waited on him.”

Now, Sir, in this sketch you see a slight portraiture of a new force
in the land, a political force which may change the balance at any
election,--at a State election, at a Presidential election even. Take,
for instance, Pennsylvania. There are colored voters in that State
far more than enough to turn the scale one way or the other, as they
incline; and those voters, by solemn petition, appeal to you for their
rights. The Senator from Maine rises in his place and gravely tells
them that they are all mistaken, that Congress has no power to give
them a remedy,--and he deals out for their comfort an ancient speech.

Sir, I trust Congress will find that it has the power. One thing I
know: if it has the power to amnesty Rebels, it has the power to
enfranchise colored fellow-citizens. The latter is much clearer than
the former. I do not question the former; but I say to my excellent
friend from Maine that the power to remove the disabilities of colored
fellow-citizens is, if possible, stronger, clearer, and more assured
than the other. Unquestionably it is a power of higher necessity and
dignity. The power to do justice leaps forth from every clause of
the Constitution; it springs from every word of its text; it is the
inspiration of its whole chartered being.

Mr. President, I did not intend to say so much. I rose to-day merely to
enable the absent to speak,--that colored fellow-citizens, whose own
Senators had failed them, might be heard through their written word. I
did not intend to add anything of my own; but the subject is to me of
such incalculable interest, and its right settlement is so essential to
the peace of this country, to its good name, to the reconciliation we
all seek, that I could not resist the temptation of making this further

    February 1st, Mr. Carpenter, of Wisconsin, in an elaborate
    speech, replied to Mr. Sumner, and criticized his bill,
    especially so far as it secured equal rights in churches and

    February 5th, in pursuance of the opposition announced in
    his speech, Mr. Carpenter moved another bill as a substitute
    for Mr. Sumner’s. Mr. Norwood, of Georgia, sustained the
    substitute; Mr. Wilson of Massachusetts, Mr. Frelinghuysen of
    New Jersey, and Mr. Morton of Indiana predicated the earlier
    proposition. Mr. Sumner then replied to Mr. Carpenter.

Before the vote is taken, I hope the Senate will pardon me, if I
explain briefly the difference between the two amendments.

First let me say a word in regard to the way in which the amendment
moved by me comes before the Senate. Even this circumstance has been
dwelt on in this debate, and I have been criticized--I think not always
justly--on that account. Here is a memorandum made for me at the
desk from the Journal of the Senate, which shows the history of this
amendment. I will read it.[225]


At last, during this session, before the holidays, when the present
measure of Amnesty was under consideration, I found for the first time
a chance. Twice had I introduced the bill, and on my motion it was
referred to the Judiciary Committee, who had twice reported against
it. Sir, was I to be discouraged on that account? No committee enjoys
higher authority on this floor than the Judiciary Committee; but I
have been here long enough to know that its reports do not always find
favor. Have we not during this very session, within a very few days,
seen that committee overruled on the Apportionment question?


Therefore, Sir, I am not without precedent, when I bring forward an
important measure and ask your votes, even though it have not the
sanction of this important committee. I wish it had their sanction;
but I do not hesitate to say that this bill is more important to the
Judiciary Committee than that committee is important to the bill. In
this matter the committee will suffer most. A measure like this, which
links with the National Constitution, and with the Declaration of
Independence, if the Senator from Wisconsin will pardon me--

    MR. CARPENTER. I rise to ask why that inquiry is made of me.
    Have I criticized allusions to the Declaration of Independence?

MR. SUMNER. I feared the Senator would not allow allusion to the
Declaration, except as a “revolutionary” document. I say, this measure,
linked as it is with the great title-deeds of our country, merits the
support not only of the Judiciary Committee, but of this Chamber. The
Senate cannot afford to reject it.

Sir, I am weak and humble; but I know that when I present this measure
and plead for its adoption I am strong, because I have behind me
infinite justice and the wrongs of an oppressed race. The measure is
not hasty. It has been carefully considered already in this Chamber,
much considered elsewhere, considered by lawyers, by politicians,--ay,
Sir, and considered by our colored fellow-citizens, whose rights it
vindicates. But at the eleventh hour the Senator comes forward with a
substitute which is to a certain extent an emasculated synonym of the
original measure, seeming to be like and yet not like, feeble where the
original is strong, incomplete where the original is complete, petty
where the original is ample, and without machinery for its enforcement,
while the original is well-supplied and most effective.

That you may understand the amendment introduced by me, I call
attention to the original Civil Rights Act, out of which it grows and
to which it is a supplement. That great statute was passed April 9,
1866, and is entitled, “An Act to protect all persons in the United
States in their civil rights, and to furnish the means of their
vindication.”[226] It begins by declaring who are citizens of the
United States, and then proceeds:--

    “Such citizens, of every race and color, without regard to any
    previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude, except
    as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been
    duly convicted, shall have the same right, in every State and
    Territory in the United States,”--

To do what?

    “to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, and give
    evidence, to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey
    real and personal property, and to full and equal benefit
    of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and
    property, as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject
    to like punishment, pains, and penalties, and to none other,
    any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, to the
    contrary notwithstanding.”

The Senate will perceive that this Act operates not only in the
National but in the State jurisdiction. No person will question that.
It operates in every National court and in every State court. The
language is, “in every State and Territory in the United States.”
Every State court is opened. Persons without distinction of color are
entitled to sue and be sued, especially to be heard as witnesses, and
the colored man may hold up his hand as the white man.…

Now I ask the Senator from Wisconsin to consider what is the difference
in character between the right to testify and the right to sit on a

    MR. CARPENTER. Or on the bench.

MR. SUMNER. The Senator will allow me to put the question in my own
way. I say nothing about the bench, and the Senator is too good a
lawyer not to see why. He knows well the history of trial by jury;
he knows that at the beginning jurors were witnesses from the
neighborhood,--afterward becoming judges, not of law, but of fact.
They were originally witnesses from the vicinage; so that, if you go
back to the very cradle of our jurisprudence, you find jurors nothing
but witnesses: and now I insist that they must come under the same
rule as witnesses. If the courts are opened to colored witnesses, I
insist by the same title they must be opened to colored jurors. Call
the right political or civil, according to the distinction of the
Senator. No matter. The right to be a juror is identical in character
with the right to be a witness. I know not if it be political or civil;
it is enough for me that it is a right to be guarded by the Nation.
I say nothing about judges; for the distinction is obvious between
the two cases. I speak now of colored jurors; and I submit, as beyond
all question, that every reason or argument which opens the courts
to colored witnesses must open them to colored jurors. The two go
together, as natural yoke-fellows.

But do not, Sir, forget the necessity of the case. How can justice be
administered throughout States thronging with colored fellow-citizens,
unless you have them on the juries? Denying to colored fellow-citizens
their place on the juries, you actually deny them justice. This is
plain, and presents a case of startling wrong. I am in the receipt of
letters almost daily, complaining of the impossibility of obtaining
justice in State courts because colored fellow-citizens are excluded
from juries. I say, therefore, from the necessity of the case, and also
from the analogy of witnesses, the courts should be opened to colored
jurors. The Senator makes a mistake, when he deals his blow in the very
Temple of Justice. He strikes down the safeguards of justice for the
whole colored race; and what is the excuse? That to sit on the jury is
a question of politics,--that it is a political right, and not a civil
right. Sir, I cannot bring myself to make any question whether it is a
civil right or a political right; it is a right. It is a right which
those men have by the Law of Nature, and by the National Constitution
interpreted by the National Declaration.

But, Sir, not content with striking at the colored race even in
the very Temple of Justice, the Senator, finding an apology in the
Constitution, insists upon the very exclusion from churches which the
famous Petroleum V. Nasby had set up before. From juries I now come to
churches. The Senator is not original; he copies, as I shall show, from
a typical Democrat, who flourished during the war. But before I come to
his prototype, let us consider the constitutional question presented by
the Senator with so much gravity, without even the smile that plays so
readily on his countenance. He seemed in earnest, when he read these
words of the National Constitution:--

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
    religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

And still without a smile he argued that the application of the
great political principles of the Declaration and of the recent
Constitutional Amendments to a church organization incorporated by
law was a violation of this provision, and he adduced the work of the
much-venerated friend of my early life, and my master, the late Judge
Story, expounding that provision. I do not know if the Senator read
these words from the commentary of that great jurist:--

    “The real object of the Amendment was not to countenance, much
    less to advance, Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by
    prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among
    Christian sects,”--

Observe, Sir, what it is,--

    “but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects, and to
    prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment, which should
    give to a hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the National

How plain and simple! The real object was to exclude all rivalry
among Christian sects, and to prevent any national ecclesiastical
establishment. Such was the real object.

But the Senator says, if Congress decrees that the Declaration of
Independence in its fundamental principles is applicable to a church
organization incorporated by State or National authority, we violate
this provision of the Constitution! You heard him, Sir; I do no
injustice to his argument.

Our authority, Judge Story, continues in another place:--

    “It was under a solemn consciousness of the dangers from
    ecclesiastical ambition, the bigotry of spiritual pride, and
    the intolerance of sects, thus exemplified in our domestic as
    well as in foreign annals, that it was deemed advisable to
    exclude from the National Government all power to act upon the

To act upon what? The subject of a religious establishment. No pretence
here of denying to Congress the establishment of police regulations,
if you please, or the enforcement by law of the fundamental principles
of the Declaration of Independence. There is nothing in this text
inconsistent with such a law. The Constitution forbids all interference
with religion. It does not forbid all effort to carry out the
primal principles of republican institutions. Now, Sir, here is no
interference with religion. I challenge the Senator to show it. There
is simply the assertion of a political rule, or, if you please, a
rule of political conduct. Why, Sir, suppose the manners and morals
which prevailed among the clergy of Virginia during the early life
of Mr. Jefferson, and recently revealed by the vivid pen of one of
our best writers, should find a home in the churches of Washington.
You have read Mr. Parton’s account in a late number of the “Atlantic
Monthly.”[229] Suppose Congress, taking into consideration the peculiar
circumstances, should give expression to public sentiment and impose
a penalty for such scandalous conduct here under our very eyes; would
that be setting up an Established Church? Would that be a violation of
the National Constitution, in the provision which the Senator invokes,
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”?
And yet, in the case I suppose, Congress would enter the churches;
it might be only in the District of Columbia; but the case shows how
untenable is the position of the Senator, according to which the effort
of Congress to preserve churches from the desecration of intemperance
would be kindred to setting up an established religion. There is a
desecration as bad as intemperance, which I now oppose. I introduce the
case of intemperance only as an illustration.

And now, Sir, I come to the question. Suppose Congress declares that no
person shall be excluded from any church on account of race, color, or
previous condition; where is the interference with the constitutional
provision? Is that setting up a church establishment? Oh, no, Sir! It
is simply setting up the Declaration of Independence in its primal
truths, and applying them to churches as to other institutions.

    MR. CARPENTER. Will my friend allow me,--not for the purpose of
    interrupting him, but to come to the point? Suppose Congress
    should pass a law that in no church in this country should the
    Host be exalted during divine service.

MR. SUMNER. The Senator knows well the difference. This is a religious

Congress cannot interfere with any religious observance. Congress can
do nothing to set up a religious establishment. It can make no law
respecting an establishment of religion. But the Senator must see
that in the case he puts, the proposed law would be the very thing
prohibited by the Constitution. I thank him for that instance. I
propose no interference with any religious observance,--not in the
least: far from it.

Sir, the case is clear as day. All that I ask is, that, in harmony with
the Declaration of Independence, there be complete equality before the
law everywhere,--in the inn, on the highway, in the common school,
in the church, on juries,--ay, Sir, and in the last resting-place
on earth. The Senator steps forward and says: No,--I cannot accept
equality in the church. There the Constitutional Amendments interpreted
by the Declaration are powerless; there a White Man’s Government
shall prevail. A church organization may be incorporated by National
or State authority, and yet allowed to insult brothers of the human
family on account of the skin. In the church this outrage may be
perpetrated,--because to forbid it would interfere with religion and
set up an establishment.

Such, Sir, is the argument of the Senator; and he makes it in the name
of Religious Liberty! Good God, Sir! Religious liberty! The liberty
to insult a fellow-man on account of his skin! You listened to his
eloquent, fervid appeal. I felt its eloquence, but regretted that such
power was employed in such a cause.

I said, that, consciously or unconsciously, he had copied Petroleum V.
Nasby, in the letter of that renowned character entitled, “Goes on with
his Church,” from which I read a brief passage:--

                                        “CHURCH OF ST. VALLANDIGUM,
                                            “_June the 10th, 1863_.

    “We hed a blessid and improvin time yisterday. My little flock
    staggered in at the usual hour in the mornin, every man in a
    heavenly frame uv mind, hevin bin ingaged all nite in a work
    uv mercy, to wit: a mobbin uv two enrollin officers. One uv
    em resisted, and they smote him hip and thigh, even ez Bohash
    smote Jaheel. (Skriptooral, wich is nessary, bein in the
    ministry.) He wuz left for dead.

    “We opened servis by singin a hym, wich I writ, commencin ez

        “Shel niggers black this land possess,
          And mix with us up here?
        O, no, my friends; we rayther guess
          We’ll never stand that ’ere.”[230]


I ask if that is not the Senator’s speech? [_Laughter._] I know not
whether it is necessary for me to go further. Something more, I might
say. Very well, I will; the Senator rather invites me.

The Senator becomes here the representative of Caste; and where, Sir?
In a Christian church; and while espousing that cause, he pleads the
National Constitution. Now, Sir, I have to repeat--and here I am
determined not to be misunderstood--we have no right to enter the
church and interfere in any way with its religious ordinances, as
with the raising of the Host; but when a church organization asks the
benefit of the law by an act of incorporation, it must submit to the
great primal law of the Union,--the Constitution of the United States,
interpreted by the Declaration of Independence. The Senator smiles
again; I shall come to that by-and-by. Whenever a church organization
seeks incorporation, it must submit to the great political law of the
land. It can have the aid it seeks only by submitting to this political
law. Here is nothing of religion; it is the political law, the law of
justice, the law of Equal Rights. The Senator says, No; they may do as
they please in churches, because they are churches, because they are
homes of religion, of Christianity; there they may insult on account
of the skin. I call that a vindication of Caste, and Caste in one of
its most offensive forms. You all know, Sir, the history of Caste. It
is the distinction of which we first have conspicuous record in the
East, though it has prevailed more or less in all countries; but it
is in the East that it showed itself in such forms as to constitute
the type by which we describe the abuse. It is an offensive difference
between persons founded on birth, not unlike that maintained among us
on account of a skin received from birth.

And now pardon me, if I call attention to the way in which this
discrimination has been characterized by the most eminent persons
familiar with it. I begin with the words of an estimable character
known in religion and also in poetry,--Bishop Heber, of Calcutta, who
pictured Caste in these forcible terms:--

    “A system which tends, more than anything else the Devil has
    yet invented, to destroy the feelings of general benevolence,
    and to make nine-tenths of mankind the hopeless slaves of the

Then comes the testimony of Rev. Mr. Rhenius, a zealous and successful
missionary in the East:--

    “I have found Caste, both in theory and practice, to be
    diametrically opposed to the Gospel, which inculcates love,
    humility, and union; whereas Caste teaches the contrary. It is
    a fact, in those entire congregations where Caste is allowed,
    the spirit of the Gospel does not enter; whereas in those from
    which it is excluded we see the fruits of the Gospel spirit.”

       *       *       *       *       *

    MR. CARPENTER. Will the Senator allow me to interrupt him to
    ask whether these commentaries are read for the purpose of
    construing the Constitution of the United States? That is the
    only point of difference between us.

MR. SUMNER. The Senator will learn before I am through. I shall apply

    After quoting other authorities, Mr. Sumner proceeded:--

These witnesses are strong and unimpeachable. In Caste, Government is
nurturing a tremendous evil,--a noxious plant, by the side of which the
Graces cannot flourish,--part and parcel of Idolatry,--a system which,
more than anything else the Devil has yet invented, tends to destroy
the feelings of general benevolence. Such is Caste,--odious, impious,
accursed, wherever it shows itself.

Now, Sir, I am ready to answer the inquiry of the Senator, whether
I read these as an interpretation of the Constitution of the United
States. Not precisely; but I do read them to exhibit the outrage
which seems to find a vindicator in the Senator from Wisconsin,--in
this respect, at least, that he can look at the National Constitution,
interpreted by the National Declaration, proclaiming the Equal Rights
of All, and find no word empowering Congress to provide that in
churches organized by law this hideous outrage shall cease. I think I
do no injustice to the Senator. He finds no power. He tells us that
if we exercise this power we shall have an Established Church, and he
invokes the National Constitution. Sir, I, too, invoke the National
Constitution,--not in one solitary provision, as the Senator does, but
from its Preamble to its last Amendment,--and I invoke the Declaration
of Independence. The Senator may smile. I know how he treats that great
charter. I know how in other days he has treated it. But, Sir, the
Declaration survives. It has been trifled with, derided, insulted often
on this floor, but it is more triumphant now than ever. Its primal
truths, announced as self-evident, are more commanding and more beaming
now than when first uttered. They are like the sun in the heavens, with
light and warmth.


Sir, is not the Senator answered? Is not the distinction clear as
noonday between what is prohibited by the Constitution and what is
proposed by my amendment? The difference between the two is as wide
as between the sky and the earth. They cannot be mingled. There is
no likeness, similitude, or anything by which they can be brought
together. The Senator opposes a religious amendment. I assert that
there shall be no political distinction; and that is my answer to his
argument on churches.

And now, Sir, may I say, in no unkindness, and not even in criticism,
but simply according to the exigencies of this debate, that the Senator
from Wisconsin has erred? If you will listen, I think you will see the
origin of his error. I do not introduce it here; nor should I refer to
it, if he had not introduced it himself. The Senator has never had an
adequate idea of the Great Declaration. The Senator smiles. I have been
in this Chamber long enough to witness the vicissitudes of opinion on
our Magna Charta. I have seen it derided by others more than it ever
was by the Senator from Wisconsin.

    MR. CARPENTER. I should like to ask the Senator from
    Massachusetts when he ever heard me deride it.

MR. SUMNER. The Senator will pardon me; I am coming to that. The
Senator shall know. The person who first in this Chamber opened assault
upon the Declaration was John C. Calhoun, in his speech on the Oregon
Bill, June 27, 1848. He denounced the claim of equality as “the most
false and dangerous of all political errors”; and he proceeded to say
that it “has done more to retard the cause of Liberty and Civilization,
and is doing more at present, than all other causes combined.” He then
added, that “for a long time it lay dormant, but in the process of time
it began to germinate and produce its poisonous fruits,”[232]--these
poisonous fruits being that public sentiment against Slavery which was
beginning to make itself felt.

This extravagance naturally found echo from his followers. Mr. Pettit,
a Senator from Indiana, after quoting “We hold these truths to be
self-evident, that all men are created equal,” proceeded:--

    “I hold it to be a self-evident lie. There is no such thing.
    Sir, tell me that the imbecile, the deformed, the weak, the
    blurred intellect in man is my equal, physically, mentally, or
    morally, and you tell me a lie. Tell me, Sir, that the slave
    in the South, who is born a slave, and with but little over
    one-half the volume of brain that attaches to the northern
    European race, is his equal, and you tell what is physically a
    falsehood. There is no truth in it at all.”[233]

This was in the Senate, February 20, 1854. Of course it proceeded on a
wretched misconstruction of the Declaration, which announced equality
of rights and not any other equality, physical, intellectual, or moral.
It was a declaration of rights,--nor more nor less.

Then, in the order of impeachment, followed a remarkable utterance
from a much-valued friend of my own and of the Senator, the late Rufus
Choate, who, without descending into the same particularity, seems
to have reached a similar conclusion, when, in addressing political
associates, he characterized the Declaration of Independence as “that
passionate and eloquent manifesto of a revolutionary war,” and then
again spoke of its self-evident truths as “the glittering and sounding
generalities of natural right.”[234] This was in his letter to the
Maine Whig State Central Committee, August 9, 1856. In my friendship
for this remarkable orator, I can never think of these too famous words
without a pang of regret.

This great question became a hinge in the memorable debate between
Mr. Douglas and Mr. Lincoln in the contest for the Senatorship of
Illinois, when the former said, in various forms of speech, that “the
Declaration of Independence only included the white people of the
United States”;[235] and Abraham Lincoln replied, that “the entire
records of the world, from the date of the Declaration of Independence
up to within three years ago, may be searched in vain for one single
affirmation, from one single man, that the negro was not included in
the Declaration.”[236] This was in Mr. Lincoln’s speech at Galesburg,
October 7, 1858. Elsewhere he repeated the same sentiment.

Andrew Johnson renewed the assault. After quoting the great words of
the Declaration, he said in this Chamber, December 12, 1859:--

    “Is there an intelligent man throughout the whole country, is
    there a Senator, when he has stripped himself of all party
    prejudice, who will come forward and say that he believes that
    Mr. Jefferson, when he penned that paragraph of the Declaration
    of Independence, intended it to embrace the African population?
    Is there a gentleman in the Senate who believes any such
    thing?… There is not a man of respectable intelligence who will
    hazard his reputation upon such an assertion.”[237]

All this is characteristic of the author, as afterward revealed to us.

Then, Sir, in the list we skip to April 5, 1870, when the Senator
from Wisconsin ranges himself in the line, characterizing the great
truths of the Declaration as “the generalities of that revolutionary
pronunciamento.” In reply to myself, he rebuked me, and said that it
was my disposition, if I could not find a thing in the Constitution,
to seek it in the Declaration of Independence,--and if it were not
embodied in “the generalities of that revolutionary pronunciamento,”
then to go still further.[238]

I present this exposition with infinite reluctance; but the Senator
makes it necessary. In his speech the other day, he undertook to state
himself anew with regard to the Declaration. He complained of me
because I made the National Constitution and the National Declaration
coëqual, and declared, that, if preference be given to one, it must be
to the Declaration. To that he replied:--

    “Now the true theory is plain.”

Mr. President, you are to have the “true theory” on this important

    “If the Senator from Massachusetts says, that in doubtful
    cases it is the duty of a court, or the duty of the Senate, or
    the duty of any public officer, to consider the Declaration
    of Independence, he is right. So he must consider the whole
    history of this country; he must consider the history of the
    Colonies, the Articles of Confederation, all anterior history.
    That is a principle of Municipal Law. A contract entered into
    between two individuals, in the language of the cases, must
    be read in the light of the circumstances that surrounded
    the parties who made it. Certainly the Constitution of the
    United States must be construed upon the same principle; and
    when we are considering a doubtful question, the whole former
    history of the country, the Declaration of Independence, the
    writings of Washington and of Jefferson and of Madison, the
    writings in ‘The Federalist,’--everything that pertained to
    that day and gives color and tone to the Constitution, must be

Plainly, here is improvement. There is no derision. The truths of the
Declaration are no longer “the generalities of that revolutionary

    MR. CARPENTER. Oh, yes, it is; I stand by that.

MR. SUMNER. The Senator stands by that. Very well.

    MR. CARPENTER. I glory in it. I glory in all the history of
    that revolutionary period, our revolutionary fathers, our
    revolutionary war. It is the Revolution that I make my stand

MR. SUMNER. Then, as the Senator from Vermont [Mr. EDMUNDS] remarks,
the Senator should give some effect to what he glories in. I hope he
will not take it all out in glory, but will see that a little of it is
transfused into Human Rights.

    MR. CARPENTER. All that is consistent with the express
    provisions of the Constitution.

MR. SUMNER. I shall come to that. The point is, that the Senator treats
the Declaration of Independence as no better than the writings of
Washington, of Jefferson, of Madison, “The Federalist,” and everything
that pertains to that day. It is only part and parcel of contemporary
history,--of no special consequence, no binding character, not
supreme, but only one of the authorities, or at least one of the
witnesses, by which we are to read the Constitution. Sir, is it so
regarded by Congress,--or at least is it so regarded by the committee
of this body under whose direction is printed what is known familiarly
as “The Constitution, Rules, and Manual”? Here is the little volume,
to which we daily turn. I find that the first document is the National
Declaration, preceding the National Constitution. Sir, it precedes
the Constitution in time, as it is more elevated in character. The
Constitution is a machine, great, mighty, beneficent. The Declaration
supplies the principles giving character and object to the machine.
The Constitution is an earthly body, if you please; the Declaration is
the soul. The powers under the Constitution are no more than the hand
to the body; the Declaration is the very soul itself. But the Senator
does not see it so. He sees it as no better than a letter of Jefferson
or Madison, or as some other contemporary incident which may help us
in finding the meaning of the Constitution. The Senator will not find
many ready to place themselves in the isolation he adopts. It was not
so regarded by the historian who has described it with more power and
brilliancy than any other,--Mr. Bancroft. After setting forth what it
contains, he presents it as a new and lofty Bill of Rights:--

    “This immortal state-paper, which for its composer was the
    aurora of enduring fame, was ‘the genuine effusion of the soul
    of the country at that time,’ the revelation of its mind,
    when, in its youth, its enthusiasm, its sublime confronting of
    danger, it rose to the highest creative powers of which man is
    capable. _The bill of rights which it promulgates_ is of rights
    that are older than human institutions, and spring from the
    eternal justice that is anterior to the State.”[240]

The vivid presentment of this state-paper, in its commanding character,
like an ordinance for mankind, above all other contemporary things,
shows its association with our great national anniversary.

    “The nation, when it made the choice of a day for its
    great anniversary, selected not the day of the resolution
    of independence, when it closed the past, but that of the
    declaration of the principles on which it opened its new

Shall I remind you, Sir, of that famous letter by John Adams to his
wife, written the day after the Resolution of Independence, and pending
the Declaration? Of this epoch he predicts, in words quoted with
annual pride, that it “will be the most memorable in the history of
America,--celebrated by descending generations as the great anniversary
festival,--commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts
of devotion to God Almighty,--solemnized with pomp and power, with
cheers, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations,
from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward
forevermore.”[242] And yet this Declaration, annually celebrated,
having the first pages of our statute-book, placed in the fore-front of
the volume of rules for our guidance in this Chamber, this triumphant
Magna Charta, is to be treated as “the generalities of a revolutionary
pronunciamento,” or at best as of no more value than the letter of a
contemporary statesman. Sir, the Senator misconceives the case; and
there, allow me to say, is his error.

    MR. CARPENTER. The Senator understood me to say, at least I
    said, in construing the Constitution you must undoubtedly
    look to the Declaration of Independence, as you must look to
    all the contemporary history of that day. Did I say there
    was no difference in the different documents? Did I say that
    no more importance was to be attached to the Declaration of
    Independence than to a letter of Madison or Washington? No,
    Sir,--I said no such thing.

MR. SUMNER. The Senator shall speak for himself. He has spoken now, and
you shall hear what he said before:--

    “Certainly the Constitution of the United States must be
    construed upon the same principle.”

That is, as “a contract entered into between two individuals.”

    “And when we are considering”--


    “a doubtful question, the whole former history of the country,
    the Declaration of Independence, the writings of Washington and
    of Jefferson and of Madison, the writings in ‘The Federalist,’
    everything that pertained to that day and gives color and tone
    to the Constitution, must be considered.”

I am happy in any word of respect for the Declaration,--because the
claim of Equal Rights stands on the Constitution interpreted by the

This brings me again to the main question. We have the National
Constitution from the Preamble to the signature of George Washington,
and then we have the recent Amendments, all to be interpreted by the
National Declaration, which proclaims, as with trumpet:--

    “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.”

Unquestionably the Constitution supplies the machinery by which these
great rights are maintained. I say it supplies the machinery; but I
insist, against the Senator, and against all others, that every word
in the Constitution must be interpreted by these primal, self-evident
truths,--not merely in a case that is doubtful, as the Senator says,
but constantly and always, so that the two shall perpetually go
together, as the complement of each other; but the Declaration has
a supremacy grander than that of the Constitution, more sacred and
inviolable, for it gives the law to the Constitution itself. Every word
in the Constitution is subordinate to the Declaration.

Before the war, when Slavery prevailed, the rule was otherwise,
naturally; but, as I have already said, the grandest victory of the
war was the establishment of the new rule by which the Declaration
became supreme as interpreter of the Constitution. Take, therefore,
any phrase in the Constitution, take any power, and you are to bring
it all in subordination to those supreme primal truths. Every power
is but the agent by which they are maintained; and when you come to
those several specific powers abolishing slavery, defining citizenship,
securing citizens in their privileges and immunities, guarding them
against any denial of the equal protection of the laws, and then again
securing them the right to vote, every one of these safeguards must be
interpreted so as best to maintain Equal Rights. Such I assert to be
Constitutional Law.

Sir, I cannot see it otherwise. I cannot see this mighty Magna Charta
degraded to the level of a casual letter or an item of history. Why,
Sir, it is the baptismal vow of the Republic; it is the pledge which
our fathers took upon their lips when they asked the fellowship of
mankind as a free and independent nation. It is loftier than the
Constitution, which is a convenience only, while this is a guide.
Let no one smile when it is invoked. Our fathers did not smile on
the great day. It was with them an earnest word, opening the way to
victory, and to that welcome in the human family with which our nation
has been blest. Without these words what would have been the National
Declaration? How small! Simply a dissolution of the tie between the
Colonies and the mother country; a cutting of the cord,--that is all.
Ah! it was something grander, nobler. It was the promulgation of primal
truths, not only for the good of our own people, but for the good
of all mankind. Such truths can never die. It is for us to see that
they are recognized without delay in the administration of our own

    Mr. Carpenter replied at some length. Mr. Sumner followed.


The Senator insists that I am willing to disregard the Constitution. On
what ground can the Senator make any such assertion? Does he suppose
that his oath is stronger with him than mine with me?

    MR. CARPENTER. Will the Senator allow me to answer him?

MR. SUMNER. Certainly.

    MR. CARPENTER. I assume that, for the reason that when we
    come here to discuss a constitutional question, the power of
    Congress to do a certain thing, the Senator flies from the
    Constitution and goes to the Declaration of Independence, and
    says that is the source of power.

MR. SUMNER. The Senator ought to know very well that I have never said
any such thing. The Senator proclaims that I fly from the Constitution
to the Declaration, which I insist is the source of power. I now yield
the floor again, and ask the Senator when I said what he asserts.

    MR. CARPENTER. The Senator said that the Declaration was
    coördinate in authority with the Constitution. What did he
    mean by that? I supposed he used the word in the ordinary
    acceptation; and if he did, he meant to say that the
    Declaration was a coördinate grant of power.

MR. SUMNER. Just the contrary, Mr. President. Senators will bear me
witness. I appeal to you all. I said just the contrary. Repeatedly
I said that in my judgment the Declaration of Independence was not
a grant of power, but coëqual with the Constitution,--the one being
a grant of power, and the other a sovereign rule of interpretation.
That is what I said. And now the Senator, in the face of my positive
words, not heeding them at all, although they are found in the “Globe,”
vindicates himself by putting into my mouth what I never said or
suggested, and then proceeds to announce somewhat grandly that I set
the Constitution at nought. I challenge the Senator again to point
out one word that has ever fallen from my lips, during my service in
this Chamber, to sustain him in his assertion. I ask him to do it. He
cannot. But why this imputation? Is the oath we have all taken at
that desk binding only on him? Does he assume that he has a monopoly
of its obligations; that other Senators took it with levity, ready
to disregard it,--or at least that I have taken it so? Such is the
assumption; at least it is his assumption with regard to me.

Now I tell the Senator, and I beg him to understand it for the future,
that I shall not allow him to elevate himself above me in any loyalty
to the Constitution. Willingly do I yield to the Senator in all he can
justly claim of regard and honor. But I do not concede precedence in
that service, where, if he does not magnify himself, he degrades me.

I have served the National Constitution longer than he has, and with
such fidelity as I could command. I have served it at moments of peril,
when the great principles of Liberty to which I have been devoted were
in jeopardy; I have served it when there were few to stand together.
In upholding this Constitution, never did I fail at the same time to
uphold Human Rights. That was my supreme object; that was the ardent
aspiration of my soul. Sir, I know how often I have failed,--too often;
but I know that I never did fail in devotion to the Constitution,
for the true interpretation of which I now plead. The Senator speaks
without authority, and, he must pardon me if I say, with levity, when
he makes such an allegation against one whose record for the past
twenty years in this Chamber is ready to answer him. I challenge him to
point out one word ever uttered by me to justify his assault. He cannot
do it. He makes his onslaught absolutely without one tittle of evidence.

Sir, I have taken the oath to support the Constitution, but it is that
Constitution as I understand it. In other days, when this Chamber was
filled with intolerant slave-masters, I was told that I did not support
the Constitution, as I have been told to-day by the Senator, and I
was reminded of my oath. In reply I borrowed the language of Andrew
Jackson, and announced, that, often as I had taken that oath, I had
taken it always to support the Constitution as I understood it; and
it is so now. I have not taken an oath to support the Constitution as
the Senator from Wisconsin understands it, without its animating soul.
Sir, my oath was to support the National Constitution as interpreted
by the National Declaration. The oath of the Senator from Wisconsin
was different; and there, Sir, is the precise divergence between us.
He swore, but on his conscience was a soulless text. I am glad that my
conscience felt that there was something more.

The Senator must hesitate before he assaults me again for any failure
in devotion to the Constitution. I put my life against the life of the
Senator; I put my little service, humble as it is, against the service
of the Senator; I put every word uttered by me in this Chamber or
elsewhere against all that has been said by the Senator,--and the world
shall pronounce between us on the question he has raised. If I have
inclined in favor of Human Rights, if I have at all times insisted that
the National Constitution shall be interpreted always so that Human
Rights shall find the greatest favor, I have committed no error. In
the judgment of the Senator I may have erred, but I know that in the
judgment of the American people I have not erred; and here I put myself
upon the country to be tried.

Sir, on that issue I invoke the sentiments of mankind and posterity
when all of us have passed away. I know that it will be then written,
that the National Constitution is the Charter of a mighty Republic
dedicated to Human Rights, dedicated at its very birth by the Great
Declaration, and that whoever fails to enlarge and ennoble it by the
interpretation through which Human Rights are most advanced will fail
in his oath to support the Constitution: ay, Sir, fail in his oath!

    The debate was continued successive days: Mr. Thurman of Ohio,
    Mr. Ferry of Connecticut, Mr. Corbett and Mr. Kelly, both of
    Oregon, Mr. Hill of Georgia, Mr. Stevenson of Kentucky, and
    Mr. Tipton of Nebraska speaking against Mr. Sumner’s bill; Mr.
    Harlan, of Iowa, in favor of it; and Mr. Frelinghuysen, of New
    Jersey, declaring his support, if Mr. Sumner would modify its
    provisions as to “churches.”

    The substitute of Mr. Carpenter was rejected,--Yeas 17, Nays
    34. A motion of Mr. Frelinghuysen to make the bill inapplicable
    to “churches” was carried,--Yeas 29, Nays 24. The next
    question was on a motion of Mr. Carpenter to strike out the
    clause relating to “juries.” This was earnestly debated by Mr.
    Edmunds, of Vermont. Before the vote was taken, Mr. Sumner

There is a famous saying that comes to us from the last century,
that the whole object of government in England--of King, Lords, and
Commons--is to bring twelve men into a jury-box. Sir, that is the whole
object of government, not only in England, but in every other country
where law is administered through popular institutions; and especially
is it the object of government here in the United States; and the
clause in this bill which it is now proposed to strike out is simply to
maintain that great principle of popular institutions.

    This amendment was rejected,--Yeas 12, Nays 42. Other
    amendments were moved and rejected.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The question was then taken on Mr. Sumner’s bill as an
    amendment to the Amnesty Bill, and it was adopted by the
    casting vote of Vice-President Colfax,--the Senate being
    equally divided, Yeas 28, Nays 28, as follows:--

    YEAS,--Messrs. Ames, Anthony, Brownlow, Cameron, Chandler,
    Clayton, Conkling, Cragin, Fenton, Ferry of Michigan,
    Frelinghuysen, Gilbert, Hamlin, Harlan, Morrill of Vermont,
    Morton, Osborn, Patterson, Pomeroy, Ramsey, Rice, Sherman,
    Spencer, Sumner, West, Wilson, Windom, and Wright,--28.

    NAYS,--Messrs. Blair, Boreman, Carpenter, Cole, Corbett, Davis
    of West Virginia, Ferry of Connecticut, Goldthwaite, Hamilton
    of Texas, Hill, Hitchcock, Johnston, Kelly, Logan, Morrill of
    Maine, Norwood, Pool, Robertson, Saulsbury, Sawyer, Schurz,
    Scott, Stevenson, Stockton, Thurman, Tipton, Trumbull, and

    ABSENT,--Messrs. Alcorn, Bayard, Buckingham, Caldwell,
    Casserly, Cooper, Davis of Kentucky, Edmunds, Flanagan,
    Hamilton of Maryland, Howe, Kellogg, Lewis, Nye, Pratt,
    Sprague, and Stewart,--17.

    The announcement of the adoption of the amendment was received
    with great applause in the galleries.

    The provisions relating to Amnesty were then taken up, and
    after some modification of them Mr. Sumner declared his purpose
    to vote for the Bill as amended,--that it was now elevated and
    consecrated, and that whoever voted against it must take the
    responsibility of opposing a great measure for the assurance of
    Equal Rights.

    The question was then taken on the passage of the bill as
    amended, when it was rejected,--Yeas 33, Nays 19,--two-thirds
    not voting in the affirmative. Democrats opposed to the Civil
    Rights Bill voted against Amnesty with this association.

    The attention of the Senate was at once occupied by other
    business, so that Amnesty and Civil Rights were for the time

       *       *       *       *       *

    May 8th, another Amnesty Bill, which had passed the House,
    being under consideration, Mr. Sumner moved to strike out
    all after the enacting clause and insert the Civil Rights
    Bill. Mr. Ferry, of Connecticut, promptly objected that the
    amendment was not in order; but Vice-President Colfax overruled
    the point, and was sustained by the Senate. The next day Mr.
    Ferry moved to strike out of Mr. Sumner’s bill the words
    applicable to “common schools and other public institutions
    of learning,” which was rejected,--Yeas 25, Nays 26. Mr.
    Blair, of Missouri, then moved that “the people of every city,
    county, or State” should “decide for themselves the question
    of mixed or separate schools,” and this was rejected,--Yeas
    23, Nays 30. Mr. Carpenter moved to strike out the section
    relating to “juries,” and this was rejected,--Yeas 16, Nays
    33. On a motion by Mr. Trumbull, of Illinois, to strike out
    the first five sections of Mr. Sumner’s bill, the votes being
    Yeas 29, Nays 29, the casting vote of Vice-President Colfax
    was given in the negative, amidst manifestations of applause
    in the galleries. The question was then taken on the motion to
    substitute the Civil Rights Bill for the Amnesty Bill, and it
    was lost,--Yeas 27, Nays 28. Mr. Sumner at once moved the Civil
    Rights Bill as an addition, with the result,--Yeas 28, Nays 28,
    and the adoption of the amendment by the casting vote of the
    Vice-President. This amendment as in Committee of the Whole
    was then concurred in by the Senate,--Yeas 27, Nays 25. On the
    passage of the bill thus amended, the vote stood, Yeas 32, Nays
    22; so that, two-thirds not voting in the affirmative, the bill
    was rejected.

    Again there was a lull in the two measures.

       *       *       *       *       *

    May 10th, Mr. Sumner introduced another Supplementary Civil
    Rights Bill, being his original bill with such verbal changes
    and emendations as had occurred during its protracted
    consideration, and the bill was placed on the calendar of the
    Senate without reference to a committee.

       *       *       *       *       *

    May 21st, the Senate having under consideration a bill to
    extend the provisions of the Enforcement Act in the Southern
    States, known as the Ku-Klux Act, and entering upon a “night
    session” in order to pass the bill, Mr. Sumner, who was an
    invalid, contrary to his habit left the Chamber. In the early
    morning the bill was passed, when the Senate, on motion of Mr.
    Carpenter, of Wisconsin, took up Mr. Sumner’s Civil Rights
    Bill, and, striking out all after the enacting clause, inserted
    a substitute, imperfect in machinery, and with no allusion
    to schools, institutions of learning, churches, cemeteries,
    juries, or the word “white.” The bill thus changed passed the
    Senate in Mr. Sumner’s absence. Meanwhile Mr. Spencer, of
    Alabama, had moved an adjournment, saying, “It is unfair and
    unjust to take a vote upon this bill during the absence of the
    Senator from Massachusetts.… I insist on the motion to adjourn,
    as the Senator from Massachusetts is not here.” The motion
    was rejected. A messenger from the Senate informed Mr. Sumner
    of the effort making, and he hurried to the Chamber; but the
    bill had been already acted on, and another Amnesty Bill on
    the calendar taken up, on motion of Mr. Robertson, of South
    Carolina, and pressed to a final vote. Mr. Sumner arrived in
    season to protest against this measure, unless associated with
    Equal Rights. At the first opportunity after reaching his seat,
    he said:--

MR. PRESIDENT, I understand that in my absence, and without any notice
to me from any quarter, the Senate have adopted an emasculated Civil
Rights Bill, with at least two essential safeguards wanting,--one
concerning the Common Schools, and the other concerning Juries. The
original bill contains both, and more; and I now ask the Senate, most
solemnly, to consider whether, while decreeing equal rights for all
in the land, they will say that those equal rights shall not prevail
in the common school and in the jury. Such I understand to have been
the vote of the Senate. What will ensue, should it be confirmed by
the other House? The spirit of Caste will receive new sanction in the
education of children; justice will find a new impediment in the jury.

Sir, I plead for the colored race, who unhappily have no representative
on this floor. I ask the Senate to set its face against the spirit of
Caste now prevailing in the common schools, against the injustice now
installed in the jury. I insist that the Senate shall not lose this
great opportunity. You recognize the commanding principle of the bill.
Why not, then, apply it throughout, so that hereafter there shall be no
question? For, Sir, be well assured, there is but one way of settling
this great cause, and that is by conceding these equal rights. So long
as they are denied you will have the colored people justly complaining
and knocking at your doors,--and may I say, so long as I remain in this
Chamber you will have me perpetually demanding their rights. I cannot,
I will not cease. I ask, Sir, that this terrible strife be brought
to an end, and the cause settled forever. Now is the time. But this
cannot be, except by the establishment of equal rights absolutely and
completely wherever the law can reach.

Sir, early in life I vowed myself to nothing less than the idea of
making the principles and promises of the Declaration of Independence
a living reality. This was my aspiration. For that I have labored. And
now at this moment, as its fulfilment seems within reach, I appeal to
my fellow-Senators that there shall be no failure on their part. Make,
I entreat you, the Declaration of Independence in its principles and
promises a living letter; make it a practical reality.

One word more. You are about to decree the removal of disabilities
from those who have been in rebellion. Why will you not, with better
justice, decree a similar removal of disabilities from those who have
never injured you? Why will you not accord to the colored race the
same amnesty you offer to former Rebels? Sir, you cannot go before
the country with this unequal measure. Therefore, Sir, do I insist
that Amnesty shall not become a law, unless at the same time the Equal
Rights of All are secured. In debate this winter I have often said
this, and I repeat it now with all the earnestness of my nature. Would
I were stronger, that I might impress it upon the Senate!

    A motion by Mr. Sumner to append his bill was rejected,--Yeas
    13, Nays 27,--and the question returned on the Amnesty Bill.

    Mr. Sumner then declared his purpose to vote against the
    Amnesty Bill:--

MR. PRESIDENT, I long to vote for amnesty; I have always hoped to vote
for it; but, Sir, I should be unworthy of my seat as a Senator if I
voted for it while the colored race are shut out from their rights,
and the ban of color is recognized in this Chamber. Sir, the time has
not come for amnesty. How often must I repeat, “Be just to the colored
race before you are generous to former rebels”? Unwillingly I press
this truth; but it belongs to the moment. I utter it with regret; for
I long to record my name in behalf of amnesty. And now let it not go
forth that I am against amnesty. I here declare from my seat that I am
for amnesty, provided it can be associated with the equal rights of
the colored race; but if not so associated, then, so help me God, I am
against it.

    The Amnesty Bill was then passed, with only two dissenting
    votes,--Mr. Sumner, and Mr. Nye, of Nevada.

    Mr. Sumner then made an ineffectual effort to obtain a
    reconsideration of the votes just taken, so that on another
    day, in a full Senate, he could be heard. Here he said:--

MR. PRESIDENT, I had supposed that there was an understanding among the
friends of civil rights that the bill for their security should be kept
on a complete equality with that for amnesty,--which could be only by
awaiting a bill from the House securing civil rights, precisely as we
have a bill from the House securing amnesty. The two measures are not
on an equality, when the Senate takes up a House bill for amnesty and
takes up simply a Senate bill for civil rights. I will not characterize
the transaction; but to me it is painful, for it involves the sacrifice
of the equal rights of the colored race,--as is plain, very plain.
All this winter I have stood guard here, making an earnest though
unsuccessful effort to secure those rights, insisting always that they
should be recognized side by side with the rights of former Rebels.
Many Senators agreed with me; but now, at the last moment, comes the
sacrifice. The Amnesty Bill, which has already prevailed in the House,
passes, and only awaits the signature of the President; while an
imperfect Civil Rights Bill, shorn of its best proportions, which has
never passed the House, is taken up and rushed through the Senate. Who
can tell its chances in the other House? Such, Sir, is the indifference
with which the Senate treats the rights of an oppressed people!

Sir, I sound the cry. The rights of the colored race have been
sacrificed in this Chamber, where the Republican Party has a large
majority,--that party, by its history, its traditions, and all its
professions, bound to their vindication. Sir, I sound the cry. Let it
go forth that the sacrifice has been perpetrated. Amnesty is adopted;
but where are the equal rights of the colored race?--still afloat
between the two Houses on an imperfect bill. And what is their chance?
Pass the imperfect bill and still there is a denial of equal rights.
But what is the chance of passing even this imperfect measure? Who can
say? Is it not a sham? Is it not a wrong which ought to ring through
the land?

Sir, I call upon the colored people throughout the country to take
notice how their rights are paltered with. I wish them to understand,
that here in this Chamber, with a large majority of Republicans, the
sacrifice has been accomplished; and let them observe how. They will
take note that amnesty has been secured, while nothing is secured
to them. Now, Sir, would you have your work effective, you should
delay amnesty until a bill for civil rights has passed the House, and
reaching this Chamber the two measures will then be on a complete
equality. Anything else is sacrifice of the colored race; anything else
is abandonment of an imperative duty.

    The Senate then adjourned at ten o’clock and twenty minutes on
    the morning of May 22d.

    Nothing further occurred on this interesting subject during
    the remainder of the session. The Amnesty Bill became a law.
    The Civil Rights Bill was not considered in the House; so that
    even this imperfect measure failed. At the next session of
    Congress Mr. Sumner was an invalid, under medical treatment,
    and withdrawn from the Senate, so that he was unable to press
    his bill; nor did any other Senator move it.

       *       *       *       *       *

    December 1, 1873, on the first day of the session, Mr. Sumner
    again brought forward his bill in the following terms:--

        A Bill supplementary to an Act entitled “An Act to protect
        all persons in the United States in their civil rights, and
        furnish the means of their vindication,” passed April 9,

        _Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
        of the United States of America in Congress assembled_,
        That no citizen of the United States shall, by reason
        of race, color, or previous condition of servitude,
        be excepted or excluded from the full enjoyment of
        any accommodation, advantage, facility, or privilege
        furnished by innkeepers; by common carriers, whether on
        land or water; by licensed owners, managers, or lessees
        of theatres or other places of public amusement; by
        trustees, commissioners, superintendents, teachers, or
        other officers of common schools and public institutions of
        learning, the same being supported by moneys derived from
        general taxation or authorized by law; also of cemetery
        associations and benevolent associations supported or
        authorized in the same way: _Provided_, That private
        schools, cemeteries, and institutions of learning,
        established exclusively for white or colored persons,
        and maintained respectively by voluntary contributions,
        shall remain according to the terms of their original

        SEC. 2. That any person violating any of the provisions
        of the foregoing section, or aiding in their violation,
        or inciting thereto, shall, for every such offence,
        forfeit and pay the sum of five hundred dollars to the
        person aggrieved thereby, to be recovered in an action
        on the case, with full costs, and shall also, for every
        such offence, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and,
        upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than
        five hundred nor more than one thousand dollars, or shall
        be imprisoned not less than thirty days nor more than
        one year: _Provided_, That the party aggrieved shall not
        recover more than one penalty; and when the offence is a
        refusal of burial, the penalty may be recovered by the
        heirs-at-law of the person whose body has been refused

        SEC. 3. That the same jurisdiction and powers are hereby
        conferred, and the same duties enjoined upon the courts
        and officers of the United States in the execution of this
        Act, as are conferred and enjoined upon such courts and
        officers in sections three, four, five, seven, and ten
        of an Act entitled “An Act to protect all persons in the
        United States in their civil rights, and furnish the means
        of their vindication,” passed April 9, 1866, and these
        sections are hereby made a part of this Act; and any of
        the aforesaid officers, failing to institute and prosecute
        such proceedings herein required, shall, for every such
        offence, forfeit and pay the sum of five hundred dollars to
        the person aggrieved thereby, to be recovered by an action
        on the case, with full costs, and shall, on conviction
        thereof, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and be fined
        not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five
        thousand dollars.

        SEC. 4. That no citizen, possessing all other
        qualifications which are or may be prescribed by law,
        shall be disqualified for service as juror in any court,
        National or State, by reason of race, color, or previous
        condition of servitude; and any officer or other person
        charged with any duty in the selection or summoning of
        jurors, who shall fail to summon any citizen for the reason
        above named, shall, on conviction thereof, be deemed guilty
        of a misdemeanor, and be fined not less than one thousand
        dollars nor more than five thousand dollars.

        SEC. 5. That every discrimination against any citizen on
        account of color, by the use of the word “white,” or any
        other term in law, statute, ordinance, or regulation,
        National or State, is hereby repealed and annulled.

    On the reïntroduction of this bill, the original clause
    relating to “churches” was omitted, in order to keep it in
    substantial harmony with the votes of the Senate.


[1] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 20.

[2] Ibid., p. 7.

[3] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 20, p. 7.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 20, p. 7.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 20, pp. 7-8.

[8] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 20, p. 10.

[9] Ibid., p. 34.

[10] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 20, pp.

[11] See, _ante_, Vol. XVIII. pp. 259, 299.

[12] Sesiones de Cortes, 14 Nov., 1861, Vol. I. Apend. VI. al Núm. 4,
p. 7.

[13] Sesiones de Cortes, 14 Nov., 1861, Vol. I. Apend. VI. al Núm. 4,
p. 11.

[14] Ibid., p. 8.

[15] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 45, p. 3.

[16] 8 Geo. II. c. 30.

[17] 10 & 11 Vict. c. 21.

[18] Commentaries, I. 178.

[19] Triggs _v._ Preston: Clarke and Hall, Cases of Contested Elections
in Congress, pp. 78-80.

[20] Letters to Perry and Babcock,--Report on the Memorial of Davis
Hatch, pp. 90, 136: Senate Reports, 41st Cong. 2d Sess., No. 234.

[21] Digest. Lib. L. Tit. xvii.: _De diversis regulis juris antiqui_,

[22] Elements of International Law, Part III. Ch. 2, § 6, ed. Lawrence;
§ 266, ed. Dana.

[23] Halleck, International Law, Ch. VI. § 9.

[24] Speech in the House of Lords, February 5, 1839: Times, Feb. 6th.

[25] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 17, p. 12.

[26] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 17, p. 104.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Senate Reports, 41st Cong. 2d Sess. No. 234, p. 63.

[29] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 17, p. 105.

[30] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 17, p. 107.

[31] Senate Reports, 41st Cong. 2d Sess., No. 234, p. 195.

[32] Senate Reports, 41st Cong. 2d Sess., No. 234, p. 186.

[33] Ibid., pp. 1-3; 7-19; 148-163; 165.

[34] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 17, p. 106.

[35] Senate Reports, 41st Cong. 2d Sess., No. 234, pp. 135-36.

[36] Ibid., p. 181.

[37] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 17, p. 108.

[38] Ibid.

[39] Ibid., pp. 109-10.

[40] Ibid., p. 111.

[41] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 17, p. 109.

[42] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 34, pp. 2, 3.

[43] Ibid., No. 34, p. 3; No. 45, p. 3.

[44] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 34, p. 5.

[45] Ibid., No. 17, p. 79.

[46] Ibid., No. 34, p. 6.

[47] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 34, p. 8.

[48] Senate Reports, 41st Cong. 2d Sess., No. 234, p. 188.

[49] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 34, p. 9.

[50] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 34, p. 11.

[51] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 34, p. 15.

[52] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 34, p. 12.

[53] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 34, p. 17.

[54] Ibid., p. 19.

[55] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 34, p. 19.

[56] Ibid., p. 20.

[57] Ibid., p. 22.

[58] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 34, p. 23.

[59] Ibid., pp. 23-24.

[60] Ibid., p. 24.

[61] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 34, p. 31.

[62] Ibid., p. 26.

[63] Ibid., p. 31.

[64] Ibid., p. 32.

[65] Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 34, p. 27.

[66] Executive Documents, 41st Cong., 3d Sess., Senate, No. 34, p. 14.

[67] Law of Nations, (London, 1797,) Preliminaries, §§ 18, 19.

[68] Le Louis: 2 Dodson, R., 243.

[69] Le Droit International, (Berlin et Paris, 1857,) § 27.

[70] Commentaries upon International Law, (London, 1855,) Vol. II. pp.

[71] Law of Nations: Rights and Duties in Time of Peace, § 12, p. 11.

[72] Commentaries, Vol. I. p. 21.

[73] International Law, pp. 97-98.

[74] Writings, ed. Sparks, Vol. XI. p. 382.

[75] Elements of International Law, ed. Dana, p. 120; ed. Lawrence, p.

[76] International Law, p. 338.

[77] International Law, p. 339.

[78] Ibid., p. 335.

[79] See Grotius, De Jure Belli et Pacis, tr. Whewell, (Cambridge,
1853,) Prolegomena, pp. xxxix-xl.

[80] Commentaries on the Constitution, § 1166. See also § 1512.

[81] Treaty, Art. IV.: Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess.,
Senate, No. 17, p. 99.

[82] Federalist, No. LXIX.

[83] Federalist, No. LXIX.

[84] Ibid., No. LXXV.

[85] Commentaries on the Constitution, § 1506.

[86] Ibid., § 1507.

[87] Treaty, Art. V.: Statutes at Large, Vol. VIII. p. 202.

[88] Treaty, Art. VII.: Ibid., p. 258.

[89] Thirty Years’ View, Vol. II. p. 642.

[90] Ibid., p. 643.

[91] Senate Documents, 28th Cong. 1st Sess., No. 349, p. 10.

[92] Thirty Years’ View, Vol. II. p. 643.

[93] Executive Documents, 29th Cong. 2d Sess., H. of R., No. 4, p. 15.

[94] For this debate, and the attendant proceedings, see Congressional
Globe, 42d Cong. 1st Sess., pp. 33-53.

[95] Speech in the Senate, March 27, 1871,--_ante_, p. 19.

[96] Mr. Fish to Mr. Moran, December 30, 1870; Recall of Minister
Motley: Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 11, pp.
27, seqq.

[97] Debate of March 10, 1871: Congressional Globe, p. 36, col. 2.

[98] Mr. Fish to Mr. Moran, December 30, 1870: Executive Documents,
41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 11, pp. 36-37.

[99] Mr. Fish to Mr. Moran: Ex. Doc., _ut supra_, p. 37.

[100] Mr. Fish to Mr. Moran: Ex. Doc., _ut supra_, p. 37.

[101] Ibid., p. 32.

[102] Mr. Fish to Mr. Moran: Ex. Doc., _ut supra_, p. 34.

[103] _Ante_, p. 111.

[104] Report of Select Committee to investigate the alleged Outrages
in the Southern States,--North Carolina: Senate Reports, 42d Cong. 1st
Sess., No. 1.

[105] A case in Executive Session of the Senate, March and April, 1848,
relative to the surreptitious procurement and publication of a copy of
the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. For some particulars of this case, see
speech entitled “Usurpation of the Senate in imprisoning a Citizen,”
June 15, 1860,--_ante_, Vol. VI. p. 90, note.

[106] Case of Woolley: Congressional Globe, 40th Cong. 2d Sess., House
Proceedings, May 25 to June 11, 1868.

[107] Case of Hyatt: Ibid., 36th Cong. 1st Sess., Senate Proceedings,
February 21 to June 15, 1860.

[108] Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings, and Usage of
Parliament, (6th edition, London, 1868,) p. 105.

[109] Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings, and Usage of
Parliament, _ut supra_. Stockdale _v._ Hansard, 9 Adolphus & Ellis, R.,

[110] Digest., Lib. L. Tit. XVI. Cap. 85.

[111] Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings, and Usage of
Parliament, and Stockdale _v._ Hansard, 9 Adolphus & Ellis, _ut supra_.

[112] Law and Practice of Legislative Assemblies in the United States,
(Boston, 1863,) § 677, p. 267.

[113] Stockdale _v._ Hansard, _ut supra_.

[114] Kielley _v._ Carson et als.: 4 Moore, Privy Council Cases, 63.

[115] Fenton et al. _v._ Hampton: 11 Moore, Privy Council Cases, 347.

[116] Ibid., 396-97.

[117] Quoting Magna Charta,--“Nec super eum [liberum hominem] ibimus,
nec super eum mittemus, nisi per legale judicium parium suorum, vel per
legem terræ.”

[118] 2 Inst., 50-51.

[119] Commentaries on the Constitution, § 1783, Vol. III. p. 661.

[120] For the proceedings in this case, see Annals of Congress, 6th
Cong. 1st Sess., Senate, at the pages referred to in the Index, under
the title _Aurora_. On the cases of Hyatt and Nugent, see, _ante_, pp.
132, 133, and the references there named.

[121] Vol. I. p. 448, 6th edition, London, 1850.

[122] 15 Gray’s Reports, 399.

[123] Speech, June 14, 1844: Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates, 3d
Series, Vol. LXXV. col. 898-99.

[124] Speech, June 17, 1844: Ibid., col. 980-81.

[125] Ibid., col. 981.

[126] Speech, June 24, 1844: Hansard, 3d Series, Vol. LXXV. col. 1292.

[127] 9 Ann., cap. 10, § 40.

[128] Vol. VII. p. 7, cartoon.

[129] Encyclopædia Britannica, (8th edition,) arts. BRITAIN and LONDON:
Vols. V. pp. 424-25; XIII. 659.

[130] Annual Message, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., December 5, 1870.

[131] Annual Message, 21st Cong. 1st Sess., December 8, 1829.

[132] Annual Message, 21st Cong. 2d Sess., December 7, 1830.

[133] Annual Message, 22d Cong. 1st Sess., December 6, 1831.

[134] Letter to Harmer Denny, December 2, 1838, cited in Letter of
Acceptance, December 19, 1839: Niles’s Register, Vol. LV. p. 361; LVII.

[135] Speech at the Dayton Convention, September 10, 1840: Niles’s
Register, Vol. LIX. p. 70.

[136] Speech at Taylorsville, Hanover County, Virginia, June 27, 1840:
Works, Vol. VI. p. 421.

[137] Letter to the Young Men of Philadelphia: National Intelligencer,
September 26, 1842.

[138] National Intelligencer, May 2, and Boston Daily Advertiser, May
6, 1844.

[139] National Intelligencer, May 4, 1844.

[140] Congressional Globe, 39th Cong. 1st Sess., p. 932.

[141] De la Démocratie en Amérique, Tom. I. Ch. VIII., _De la
Réélection du Président_.

[142] Ibid.

[143] Discourse IV.

[144] On the subject of this picture, see Wornum, _Descriptive and
Historical Catalogue of the Pictures in the National Gallery, Foreign
Schools_, p. 288; also, Larousse, _Dictionnaire Universel_, Tom. IV. p.

[145] De Groote Schouburgh der Nederlantsche Konstschilders en
Schilderessen. Gravenhage, 1753.

[146] La Calcografia propriamente detta, ossia L’Arte d’incidere in
Rame coll’ Acqua-forte, col Bulino e colla Punta: Ragionamenti letti
nelle adunanze dell’ I. R. Istituto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arte
del Regno Lombardo-Veneto. Da Giuseppe Longhi. Vol. I. Concernénte
la Teorica dell’ Arte. Milano, 1830.--The death of the author the
following year prevented the completion of his work; but in 1837
a supplementary volume on the Practice of the Art, by Carl Barth,
appeared in connection with a translation by him of Longhi’s volume,
under the title, _Die Kupferstecherei oder die Kunst in Kupfer zu
stechen und zu ätzen_. (No translation has been made into French or
English.) This rare volume is in the Congressional Library, among the
books which belonged originally to Hon. George P. Marsh, our excellent
and most scholarly Minister in Italy. I asked for it in vain at the
Paris Cabinet of Engravings, and also at the Imperial Library.

[147] La Calcografia, p. 31.

[148] La Calcografia, pp. 8-13.

[149] La Calcografia, p. 71.

[150] “Ich bin dazu geboren, dass ich mit den Rotten und Teufeln muss
kriegen und zu Felde liegen; darum meine Bücher viel stürmisch und
kriegerisch sind. Ich muss die Klötze und Stämme ausreuten, Dornen und
Hecken wegbauen, die Plätzen ausfüllen, und bin der grobe Waldrechter,
der Bahn brechen und zurichten muss. Aber M. Philipps fahret säuberlich
und stille daher, bauet und pflanzet, säet und begeusst, mit Lust,
nachdem Gott ihm hat gegeben seine Gaben reichlich.”--_Vorrede auf
Philippi Melanchthonis Auslegung der Epistel an die Colosser_:
Sämtliche Schriften, (Halle, 1740-53,) 1 Theil, coll. 199-200.

[151] Vite, (Firenze, 1857,) Vol. XIII. p. 39.

[152] La Calcografia, pp. 99-100, note.

[153] “Se cieca fede prestarsi dovesse alle decisioni dell’Enciclopedia
metodica, noi dovremmo ammirare in Cornelio Wisscher il corifeo
dell’arte nostra, dicendo essa, che gli artisti s’accordano in
aggiudicargli la palma dell’incisione.”--_La Calcografia_, p. 144.

[154] XVIe et XVIIe Siècles, p. 122.

[155] Les Homines Illustres, Tom. II. p. 97.--The excellent copy of
this work in the Congressional Library belonged to Mr. Marsh. The
prints are early impressions.

[156] La Calcografia, p. 116.

[157] Ibid., p. 165, note.

[158] Something in this success is doubtless due to Le Brun, whom
Nanteuil translated,--especially as an earlier portrait of Pomponne by
him is little regarded. But it is the engraver, and not the painter,
that is praised,--thus showing the part which his art may perform.

There is much in this portrait, especially in the eyes, to suggest the
late Sir Frederick Bruce, British Minister at Washington, who, when
a youth in the diplomatic suite of Lord Ashburton, was called by Mr.
Choate “the Corinthian part of the British Legation.”

[159] Panegyrique Funebre de Messire Pomponne de Bellièvre, Premier
President au Parlement. Prononcé à l’ Hostel Dieu de Paris le 17
Avril 1657, au Service solennel fait par l’ordre de Messieurs les
Administrateurs. Par un Chanoine Regulier de la Congregation de France.
A Paris, M. DC. LVII.--The Dedication shows this to have been the work
of F. L. Alemant.

[160] “Jettent plutost de la fumée que de la lumière”: “magis de
sublime fumantem quam flammantem.”--_Præfat. in vit. S. Malach._

[161] An application by the preacher, of the first clause of his text:
“_Gloria et divitiæ in domo ejus, et justitia ejus manet in sæculum
sæculi_.”--Ps. cxi. 3, Vulg.

[162] _Les Hommes Illustres_, par Perrault,--cited _ante_, p. 337. See,
Tom. II. p. 53, a memoir of Bellièvre, with a portrait by Edelinck.

[163] La Calcografia, pp. 172, 177.

[164] La Calcografia, p. 176.

[165] Metam. Lib. II. 5.

[166] La Calcografia, pp. 165, 418.

[167] See Quatremère De Quincy, Histoire de la Vie et des Ouvrages de
Raphaël, (Paris, 1833,) pp. 193-97.

[168] Les Arts au Moyen Age et à l’Epoque de la Renaissance, par Paul
Lacroix, (Paris, 1869,) p. 298.

[169] Virgil, Ecl. I. 67.

[170] Arnold Houbraken, De Groote Schouburgh der Nederlantsche
Konstschilders en Schilderessen. Cited, _ante_, p. 331.

[171] La Calcografia, p. 209.

[172] Visits and Sketches at Home and Abroad, (London, 1834,) Vol. II.
p. 188, note.

[173] Longhi, La Calcografia, p. 199.

[174] Speech in the Senate, on the Oregon Bill, June 27, 1848:
Speeches, Vol. IV. pp. 507-12.

[175] Speech of Mr. Pettit, of Indiana, in the Senate, on the Nebraska
and Kansas Bill, February 20, 1854: Congressional Globe, 33d Cong. 1st
Sess., p. 214.

[176] Congressional Globe, 36th Cong. 2d Sess., p. 487.

[177] Crosby’s Life of Lincoln, (Philadelphia, 1865,) pp. 86, 87.
Philadelphia Inquirer, February 23, 1861.

[178] Rebellion Record, Vol. I., Documents, pp. 45, 46.

[179] Address at the Consecration of the National Cemetery at
Gettysburg, November 19, 1863.--“Copied from the original.” Arnold’s
History of Abraham Lincoln and the Overthrow of Slavery, (Chicago,
1866,) pp. 423-46.

[180] Table-Talk; _The King_.

[181] Essai Politique sur le Royaume de La Nouvelle Espagne, Liv. II.
ch. 6.

[182] Charles Comte, Traité de Législation, Tom. IV., pp. 129, 445.

[183] Bouvier, Law Dictionary, (3d edit.,) art. FREEMAN.

[184] Corfield _v._ Coryell, 4 Washington, C. C. R., 381.

[185] Johnson: Prologue spoken by Mr. Garrick at the opening of the
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, 1747.

[186] Du Contrat Social, Liv. II. ch. 11.

[187] Chronicles, (London, 1807,) Vol. I. p. 414: Description of
England, Book III. ch. 16.

[188] Wintermute _v._ Clarke, 5 Sandford, R., 247.

[189] Law of Bailments, § 476.

[190] 2 Commentaries, 592, note.

[191] 2 Commentaries, 597, note.

[192] 2 Law of Contracts, 150.

[193] Chambers’s Encyclopædia, art. INN and INNKEEPER.

[194] Story, Law of Bailments, § 591.

[195] 2 Law of Contracts, 225-29.

[196] Pierce, American Railroad Law, 489.

[197] West Chester and Philadelphia Railroad Co. _v._ Miles; 55
Pennsylvania State R., 209 (1867).


    “Pallida Mors æquo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas,
    Regumque turres.”--_Carm._ I. iv. 13-14.

[199] This sentiment of Equality appears also in the “Roman de la
Rose,” an early poem of France, where the bodies of princes are said to
be worth no more than that of a ploughman:--

    “Car lor cors ne vault une pomme
    Oultre le cors d’ung charruier.”--vv. 18792-3.

[200] Romaunt of the Rose, 2187-97: Poetical Works, ed. Tyrwhitt
(London, Moxon, 1843).

[201] Smith’s Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, art. SERVUS.

[202] Works, ed. Sparks, Vol. I. p. 180.

[203] Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Ch. XL.

[204] Sismondi, History of the Italian Republic, (London, 1832,) p. 115.

[205] Boswell’s Life of Johnson, (London, 1835,) Vol. II. p. 263.

[206] Constitution, Article VI.

[207] Smith _v._ Gould, 2 Lord Raymond, R. 1274.

[208] Declaration of Rights, October 14, 1774: Journal of Congress,
1774-89, (1st edit.,) Vol. I. pp. 27-30.

[209] Campbell, Lives of the Chief-Justices of England, (London, 1849,)
Vol. II. p. 138.

[210] Ibid., pp. 118, 135.

[211] 12 Ohio Rep., 237.

[212] Van Camp _v._ Board of Education of Logan: 9 Ohio State Rep., 406.

[213] 4 Ohio Rep., 354.

[214] Address of President Lincoln at Gettysburg: _Ante_, p. 378.

[215] Matthew, xxiii. 27.

[216] 1 Samuel, xvi. 7.

[217] Acts, xxii. 25, 26, 29.

[218] Plutarch. De Alexandri Magni sive Fortuna sive Virtute,--Orat.
I.: Moralia, ed. Reiske, p. 302.

[219] Speech in the Senate, May 19, 1862: Congressional Globe, 37th
Cong. 2d Sess., pp. 2190, 2195; _ante_, Vol. IX. pp. 27, 70.

[220] The first seven paragraphs under the head of “Need of Additional
Legislation”: Executive Documents, 41st Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 20,
pp. 7, 8.

[221] Congressional Globe, 42d Cong. 2d Sess., p. 587.

[222] Ibid., Appendix, p. 4.

[223] 4 Wheaton, R., pp. 413, 421.

[224] See, _ante_, p. 234.

[225] For this history, see Introduction, _ante_, p. 205.

[226] Statutes at Large, Vol. XIV. pp. 27-29.

[227] Commentaries on the Constitution, (2d edit.,) § 1877.

[228] Ibid., § 1879.

[229] See No. for February, 1872, Vol. XXIX. pp. 189-191. Also,
Parton’s Life of Jefferson, pp. 55-58.

[230] The Struggles, (Social, Financial, and Political,) of Petroleum
V. Nasby, p. 71.

[231] Journey through the Upper Provinces of India, (London, 1829,)
Vol. III. p. 355.

[232] Works, Vol. IV. pp. 507, 511, 512.

[233] Speech in the Senate, on the Nebraska and Kansas Bill, February
20, 1854: Congressional Globe, 33d Cong. 1st Sess., Appendix, p. 214.

[234] Works, Vol. I. pp. 214, 215.

[235] Political Debates between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen
A. Douglas in the Campaign of 1858 in Illinois, pp. 35, 37, 52, 116,
155, 175.

[236] Ibid., p. 178.

[237] Speech on Mr. Trumbull’s Amendment to Mr. Mason’s Resolution
relative to the Invasion of Harper’s Ferry by John Brown: Congressional
Globe, 36th Cong. 1st Sess., p. 100.

[238] Speech on the Admission of Georgia to Representation in Congress:
Congressional Globe, 41st Cong. 2d Sess., p. 243-45.

[239] Speech, February 1, 1872: Congressional Globe, 42d Cong. 2d
Sess., p. 761.

[240] Bancroft, History of the United States, Vol. VIII. p. 472.

[241] Ibid., p. 475.

[242] Works, Vol. IX. p. 420.

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