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say, the impudent assertions of the gentleman, excited in my bosom nothing more than a feeling of sovereign contempt. He has undertaken to arraign me before this House-to hold me up to the House and to the country as derelict of duty. He says that I have remained here for five or six months, and done nothing. He asks why I have not procured the adoption of measures to fortify the harbors of Florida, to protect her coast, to regulate the land system, and to do various other things, which I do not at this moment remember, but which will, no doubt, be in the recollection of this House. Sir, this is a matter between myself and my constituents; it is not an argument to address to this House. Has it come to this, that because, in the opinion of one individual, a member of this House has not been diligent in the discharge of his duties, therefore his right to represent the people who sent him here is to be taken from him? I might, with equal justice, demand of every member of this House what he has done? what bill he has caused to be passed ? what he has done for the protection and defense of the country, in the state of imminent peril of war which now threatens her. Sir, if the gentleman's argument is good as to one member, it is equally applicable to others; and, according to his rule, we should see many vacant seats here. I should blush to listen to such remarks and such arguments, even on the stump. I will only say, further, that I have not thrust myself forward upon the discussion of every question that has come before this House. I may have been, in some degree, ignorant of the rules of parliamentary proceeding. Probably, when I have been longer a member of this body, I shall have it in my power to accomplish more in a short time than I can now. But I say to the gentleman, and to my constituents, that I have diligently and faithfully attended to every matter of business that has been intrusted to 'me. Nothing committed to my charge has been neglected, and, if I have not done so much as I could desire, or as, perhaps, was expected from me, it is to be attributed to the difficulties thrown in my way by the attempt of the gentleman to deprive me of that right which I claim that the people of Florida have conferred. upon me.”
On the following day, January the 24th, 1846, the house ejected Mr. Cabell from his seat by a vote of one hundred and five
against seventy-nine, and forthwith gave it to Mr. Brocken. brough by a vote of one hundred against eighty-four ; Mr. Chipman, one of the majority of the Committee on Elections, voting against both these proceedings. An examination of the votes will show a comminglement of parties; and so little sat. isfied did the House itself appear to be with its own decision, that a motion to reconsider the last vote, with the design, also, of reconsidering the first, for purposes of further investigation, failed by four votes only.
Mr. Cabell returned, therefore, to his people, but carried with him, as we had reason to know, the respect and consider. ation of the very body which had thrust him beyond its bar. Confident in the justice of his cause, but singularly modest and unaffected in his manners, he had won rapidly upon the good feeling of the House, not less by his personal deportment than by the manly, yet well-tempered independence with which he defended a right that he sincerely believed to be his.
Mr. Brockenbrough retained the seat during the residue of the twenty-ninth Congress. But on the 1st of October, 1816, a representative in the thirtieth Congress having to be chosen, Mr. Cabell was, as a matter of course, the candidate of the Whig party. A Democratic Convention, setting aside the name of Mr. Brockenbrough, nominated Mr. William A. Kain, a gen. tleman who, it was believed, could unite the entire vote of his party. Mr. Cabell was again elected, and took his seat as the representative from the State of Florida.
The accompanying letter from him concerning the election of Speaker of the thirtieth Congress (see title, R.C. WINTHROP), contains matter of public interest, which entitles it to a place here: “ To the Editors of the National Intelligencer:
House of REPRESENTATIVES, January 13, 1818. “GENTLEMEN,—Since the election of Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Southern Democratic papers have been filled with denunciations of Southern Whigs who cast their votes for the Honorable Robert C. Winthrop. The last mail brought me a budget of these papers from my own state, containing the most illiberal and abusive articles of myself, with such choice expressions as “ Traitor to the South,'· False to his own country,' &c., for voting for THE ABOLITIONIST WinthiROR" " The editorial corps in other states have probably had more regard for propriety, decency, and truth, than some of the Democratic editors in Florida ; but there are certain facts connected with the election of Speaker of the House of Representatives which are of sufficient general interest to justify me in asking a place for this communication in the columns of your paper.
“I yield to no man in devotion to the rights and interests of the South. As a Southern man, I most cheerfully gave my vote for Mr. Winthrop, and mean to make no apology for it. All admit his fitness for the office of speaker. No member of the House is perhaps better qualified to discharge its duties.
“By far the greater number of the speakers of the House of Representatives have been Southern men. At the commencement of the present session, the Northern Whigs presented a candidate peculiarly qualified, from his talents, high character, gentlemanly deportment, and parliamentary experience. He was elected, not one Southern Whig voting against him. To have opposed his election because he represented a constituency whose institutions do not tolerate slavery, would have been an act of madness and criminal folly. It would have been suicidal -fatal to the South. By so doing, Southern representatives would indeed have shown themselves TRAITORS TO THE SOUTH.'
“It is well known that the South is in a minority in the Congressional and electoral representation. What would be our condition if we take the position that we will not support a man for even a secondary office who does not come from our own section of country? Will not the North retaliate? Can it be expected that the people of the free states will give to us the monopoly of all the offices of government? They can control all of our important elections, and will not submit to such unreasonable exactions on the part of the South. Is it wise in us to forget the admonitions of the Father of his Country, who counseled us to beware of sectional issues ? Shall we wantonly seek to involve ourselves in angry strife and bitterness of feeling with our Northern brethren, and court a geographical contest, in which every advantage will be on the side of those We would make our enemies? The true policy of the South is to be firm in the maintenance of its rights, but to be just.
“ The Whig party, North and South, is characterized by a
spirit of conservatism. It embraces in its comprehensive view the whole country. It is not influenced by a narrow, contract. ed, selfish, sectional policy. At this moment, it is well known that most of the Northern Whigs are willing to cast their vote for a Southern man for President of the United States. And shall it be said that we of the South should force upon them a geographical issue, and compel our Northern friends to vote for a Northern man, and thus elect a Northern president, Northern speaker, Northern clerk, Northern officers of all kinds, and establish a Northern government?
" The accomplished Speaker of the House of Representatives, in his own state, resisted successfully the adoption of the principle upon which Southern Democrats insist that Southern Whigs should have acted. At the Springfield (Massachusetts) Convention, held in September last, a resolution was offered
that the Whigs of Massachusetts will support no man for the office of President and Vice President but such as are known, by their acts or declared opinions, to be opposed to the exten. sion of slavery.' Mr. Winthrop opposed and prevented the pas sage of this resolution, avowing his determination to support a slaveholder for the presidency, should he be the candidate of the Whig party.
“It was the duty of Southern Whigs to sustain such a man. I could not reconcile it to myself to adopt a false principle of action which this gentleman had repudiated, and make him the first victim to Southern selfishness, by refusing to vote for him as presiding officer of the House of Representatives, after he had pledged himself to vote for the Whig candidate as presid. ing officer of the nation, should he come from the section of the country I represent.
" The unpardonable sin which Mr. Winthrop has committed was in offering a proviso to the Oregon Bill, at the second ses sion of the twenty-eighth Congress, to the effect that there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory otherwise than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.' For this, any language fails to furnish words strong enough to express the indig. nant feelings of the Richmond Enquirer and other Democratio papers in my own and other Southern States. What will the country think of the affected indignation and pretended devotion of these journals to Southern rights, when it is told that Mr. John W. Davis, the late Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, voted for this same iniquitous proviso,' and that the name of Mr. Davis is found recorded with that of Mr. Winthrop throughout the whole of the proceedings of the House on the said Oregon Bill? And what can exceed the impudence of these exclusive friends of the South in their present hypocritical professions ? Every Democratic representative of the last Congress voted for Mr. Davis. If these Democratic edi. tors really believe that the Southern Whigs who voted for Mr. Winthrop have, by so doing, proved themselves traitors to the South,' what term, according to their own confessions, should be applied to them for their support of a man for the identical office whose votes are identical with those of Mr. Winthrop ?..
“ The Richmond Enquirer, speaking of this subject, says: • But this did not satisfy Mr. Winthrop. On the 1st of February, 1845, when the bill was under consideration, he moved, as a section to the bill, the identical proviso which is at this time called the Wilmot Proviso. This assertion has been made and repeated in most of the Southern papers. I hold them to it, and out of their own mouths will I condemn them.' Mr. John W. Davis voted for this proviso. The Democrats of the last Congress stand self-convicted of having elected to the speak. ership an advocate of the “identical proviso' introduced by Mr. Wilmot. I do not regard Mr. Winthrop's proviso identical? with Mr. Wilmot's. The Democrats say they do, and, so believing, voted for its advocate.
“ The offense which the Southern Whigs of the present Con. gress have committed is, not that they have voted for a gentleman who sustained the anti-slavery proviso to the Oregon Bill, but that they have elected a Whig speaker of a Whig House of Representatives. Had Mr. Winthrop been a Democrat, he would have been eulogized by his present revilers as 'a Northern man with Southern principles.
" After this infamous proviso' had been appended to the Oregon Bill, every Southern Democrat but THREE voted for it, Mr. Winthrop voting against the bill with the proviso, and Mr. Davis voting for it. (See House Journal, second session, twenty-eighth Congress, pages 318 to 322 inclusive.)
"I make no apology for Mr. Winthrop for having introduced