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in prisons outside of the limits of said State, and who have been released, what were the charges against each of them, bv whom the charges were made, also by whose order said arrests were made, and the authority of law for such arrests.
It was laid on the table. Yeas, 74; nays, 40.
In the Senate, on December '2, Mr. Powell, of Kentucky, offered the following joint resolution, which was read and laid over:
Whereas, mauy citizens of the United States have been seized by persons acting, or pretending to be acting, under the authority of the United States, and have been carried out of the jurisdiction of the States of their residence and imprisoned in the military prisons and camps of the United States, without any public charge being preferred aguinst them, and without any opportunity being allowed to learn ordisprovcthe charges made, or alleged to be made, against them; and whereas, it is the sacred right of every citizen that he shall not be deprived of liberty without duo process of law, aud when arrested shall have a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury ; therefore,
Re it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the ignited States of America in Congress assembled'. That all such arrests are unwarranted by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, and a usurpation of power never given bv the people to the President or any other official. All such arrests are hereby condemned and declared palpable violations of the Constitution of the United States; and it is hereby demanded that all such arrests shall hereafter cease, aud that all persons so arrested and yet held should have a prompt and speedy public trial according to the provisions of the Constitution, or should be immediately released.
Mr. Davis, of Kentucky, offered tho following joint resolution, which was also laid over:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, <(•?., That it be and is hereby recommended to all the States to choose as many delegates, severally, as they are entitled to Senators and Representatives in Congress, to meet in convention in Louisville, Kentucky, on the first Monday in April next, to take into consideration the condition of the United States, and the proper means for the restoration of the Union; and that the legislatures of the several States take such action on this proposition as they may deem tit at the earliest practicable day.
On the s.imo day, Mr. Sumner, of Massachusetts, offered the following resolution, which was adopted:
Resolved, That the Secretary of War be requested to furnish to the Senate any information which he may possess with reference to the sale into slavery of colored freemen, captured or seized by the rebel forces, and to state what step3 have been taken to redress this outrage upon human rights.
Mr. Clark, of New Hampshire, introduced a joint resolution, approving the policy of the President in setting slaves free in insurrectionary districts, which was read twice, and laid over.
In the LTouse, on the 4th, Mr. Wickliffe, of Kentucky, offered tho following resolution:
Resolve/, That the Committee on the Judiciary be instructed to inquire and report to this House on the following subjects: First. Under what law there has been appointed a military governor for the District of Columbia. Second. What powers does he possess or exercise, and by and under what law has he derived his power. Third. What salary or compensation is paid him, and out of what appropriation. Fourth. What is the entire annual expense of such military
governor, including all sums paid for quarters, guaruouses, and prisons, and for house rent, servants, sol
diers, and assistants under his control. Fifth. Whether the said office of military governor has interfered with und obstructed the administration of justice and law by the civil or judicial tribunals within the District of Columbia. State the case and facts of such obstruction. And if, in the opinion of the committee, such officer is not provided for by law, that they report a bill prohibiting his existence and the exercise of power by him.
It was moved to add to the second inquiry the words, "in tho said District, or in the State of Pennsylvania, or in any of the United States." The resolution and amendment were laid over. Yeas, 85; nays, 46.
Mr. Stevens, of Pennsylvania, offered the following resolutions, aud moved their postponement:
Resolved, That this Union must be and remain one and indivisible forever.
Resolved, That if any person in the employment of the United States, in cither the legislative or executive branch, should propose to make peace, or should accept, or advise trie acceptance, of any such proposition on any other basis than the integrity and entire unity of the United States and their Territories as thev existed at the time of the rebellion, he will be guilty of a high crime.
Resolved, That this Government can never occept the mediation or permit the intervention of any foreign nation in this rebellion in our domestic affairs.
Resolved, That no two governments can ever be permitted to exist within the territory now belonging to the United States, and which acknowledged their jurisdiction at the time of the insurrectiou.
Mr. Wickliffe: "If in order now to amend the resolutions, I offer to add the following words:"
That any officer of the United States, either executive, legislative, or judicial, who is opposed to close the present war upon preserving the Constitution as it is, with all its guarantees and privileges, and the union of the States as established by said Constitution, is unworthy to hold such office, and should be dismissed or removed from the same.
The Speaker: "After a motion to postpone, it is not in order to move an amendment.''
The motion to postpone was agreed to.
On the next day Mr. Yallandigham, of Ohio, proposed tho following resolutions as amendments to those of Mr. Stevens:
1. Resolved, That the Union ns it was must be restored and maintained one and indivisible forever under the Constitution as it is—the fifth article, providing for amendments, included.
2. Resolved, That if any person in the civil or military service of the United States shall propose terms of peace, or accept or advise the acceptance of any such terms, on any other basis than the integrity and entirety of the Federal Union, and of the several States composing the same, and the Territories of the Union, as at the Deginning of the civil war, he will be guilty of a high crime.
3. Resolved, That this Government can never permit the intervention of any foreign nation iu regard to the present civil war.
4. Resolved, That the unhappy civil war in which we are engaged was waged iu the beginning, professedly, not in any spirit of oppression or for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, or purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and to preserve the Union with alf the dignity, equality, and rights of the several States unimpaired, and was s<
so understood and acceptca Dy tne people, ana especially by the Army and >avy of the United States; aud that, therefore", whoever shall pervert, or attempt to perrcrt, the same to a war of cooquest and subjugation, or for the overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of any of the States, and to abolish slavery therein, or for the purpose of destroying or impairing the dignity, equality, or rights of any ol the States, will be guilty'of a flagrant breach of public faith and of a high crime against the Constitution and the Union.
5. Rexohed, That whoever shall propose by Federal authority to extinguish any of the States of this Union, tr to declare any of them extinguished, and to establish territorial governments within the same, will be guilty of a high crime against the Constitution and the I'oion.
6. Etsoltei, That whoever shall affirm that it is competent for this House or any other authority to establish a dictatorship in the United States, thereby superseding or suspending the constitutional authorities of the Union, and shall proceed to make any move toward Jhe declaring of a dictator, will be guilty of a high crime against the Constitution and the Union and public liberty.
The resolutions wero laid on the table. Teas, 79; nays, 50. On the same day, Mr. iforrill, of Vermont, offered the following resolution:
fetched. That at no time since the commencement of the existing rebellion, have the forces and materials in the hands of the executive department of the Government been so ample and abundant for the speedy and triumphant termination of the war as at the present moment; and it is the dutv of all loyal American citizens, regardless of minor differences of opinion, and especially the duty of every officer and soldier in the field, as well aa the duty of every department of the Government—the legislative branch included—as a unit, to cordially and unitedly strike down the assassins, at once and forever, who have conspired to destroy our Constitution, our nationality, and that prosperity and freedom of which we arc justly proud at name and abroad, and which we stand pledged to perpetuate forever.
This resolution was adopted by the following vote: Yeas, 105; nay, 1—W. J. Allen.
Subsequently, Mr. Cox, of Ohio, offered the following explanatory resolution:
Betolteil, That the word" assassins," used in the resolution this day offered by the member from Vermont, [Mr. Morrill], is intended by this House to include all men, whether from the North or the South, who havo been instrumental in producing the present war, and especially those in and out of Congress who havo been guilty of'fiagrant breaches of the Constitution, and who i.re not in favor of the establishment of the Uuiou as it was and the Constitution as it is.
This resolution was laid on the table. Yeas, 85; nays, 41.
In the Senate on the 8th of December, Mr. Saulsbury, of Delaware, offered the following resolution:
Raolted, That the Secretary of War be, and he is hereby directed to inform the Senate whether Dr. John Laus and Whitelv Meredith, or either of them, citizens of the State of Delaware, have been arrested and imprisoned in Fort Delaware; when they were arrested and so imprisoned; the charges against them: by whom made; by whoso orders they were arrested and imprisoned; and that ho communicate to the Senate all papers relating to their arrest and imprisonment
Mr. Saulsbury, in calling for the consideration of the resolution, said: "These two gentlemen, one of whom resides in my own county, and the other not far off, in the adjoining county, are
known to mo personally, and have been for a number of years; and as their friends do not know of any just cause why they should be imprisoned in Fort Delaware or elsewhere, I havo felt it my duty to call for this information. I hope the Senate will not perceive any reason for refusing to comply with this request. If they are there properly, if they havo been guilty of any attempt to subvert the Government, if they have acted traitorously in any respect, their friends do not know it; I do not know it, and I do not believe it. They havo been in Fort Delaware now for some time, and neither themselves nor their friends havo been apprised of any cause for their arrest, or of the reasons upon which the arrests were made.''
Mr. Wilson, of Massachusetts, opposed the adoption of the resolution, saying: "I think the Senate of the United States ought not to bo engaged during this brief session in calling upon the Government for this kind of information, or in arraigning the administrators of the Government. We have had some arrests made, and it is possible there may have been some mistakes made; but I believe that instead of the few hundred arrests we havo had, we ought to have had several thousand, and that not one man in ten who ought to have been arrested, has been arrested. I know the Government of this country has forborne a great deal. Adopting this resolution at this time looks to mo as a sort of arraignment of the Government of tho country for making these arrests—arrests that have done much toward maintaining the just authority of this Government. Never since tho dawn of creation has any Government menaced by insurrection or rebellion been so considerate, so forbearing, so just, so humane, so merciful. While spies and traitors are skulking around us, ready to destroy tho life of the nation, I am unwilling to censure the Government of my country for protecting the nation menaced by assassins."
Mr. Bayard, of Delaware, thus urged the resolution: liI always supposed that the great value of this Government consisted in the fact that it afforded, beyond all other Governments, the best guardianship to the liberty of the individual citizen. Sir, what is the state of things now? Tho honorable senator from Massachusetts tells us that, in.his opinion, tho Government havo forborne; that some mistakes may have been mado in making arrests, but that they ought to have gone further than they have gone. The question does not lie there. Tho question lies in the great principle that the liberty of tho citizen ought to be protected against tho Government, except by public judicial inquiry on facts prima facie established by affidavit in order to justify his incarceration, because incarceration is imprisonment, it is punishment. In no free Government can the citizen bo arrested at the will of an officer—I do not care who the officer is, whether a Secretary of War or a Secretary of the Navy, or any subordinate to whom a Secretary chooses to delegate the power; and it is impossible to call the Government where such a power exists a free Government."
Mr. Doolittle, of Wisconsin, thus objected: "Mr. President, this complaint of the great oppression of this Government because, in time of war, men have been arrested under circumstances to raiso suspicious of their loyalty, it seems to me is not very well founded, so long as the prison door is open to all arrested upon suspicion only, if they will simply take the oath of allegiance and to support the Government. I think, sir, I am not misinformed in this respect. There has been some complaint, and with more reason, perhaps, made against the Government because it has been too lenient toward men who have been notoriously engaeed, in sympathy and in act too, with tho traitors against the Government; and the complaint has been, not because suspected parties have been arrested, but because the guilty have not beon shot or hung; that tho prison door has been opened too easily to many of these men."
Mr. Saulsbury, in further urging the adoption of the resolution, stated as follows: "Wo do hold that a State situated as we are, where there has never been any attempt to resist Federal authority, should have some consideration in the American Senate. But, sir, I tell the Senate that at our last general election armed soldiery were sent to every voting place in the two lower counties of the State of Delaware. I am informed that this soldiery consisted of men from New York, from Pennsylvania, and from Maryland. When I went to voto myself, I had to walk between drawn sabres in order to deposit my ballot. Peaceable, quiet citizens, saying not a word, on their way to the polls, and before they had got to the election ground, were arrested and dragged out of their wagons and carried away. Peaceable, quiet citizens were assaulted at tho polls. I do not, however, propose to discuss these matters now; I may do so hereafter. I simply wish to call tho attention of Senators to this fact, which distinguishes us from States that are in revult: wo liavo offered no resistance to Federal authority."
Mr. Bayard, in reply to Mr. Doolittle, said: "lie tells us he thinks the Government lias been too forbearing; that men ought not only to have been arrested and imprisoned, but that they ought to have been shot or hung. Shot or hung in this country without a trial? Shot or hung, according to the generality of his language, "for sympathy?" Is that the state of things throughout the United States? Is that what wo are to expect to see established in this country—that sympathy is to be the ground on which a man is to be hung? You may charge sympathy on a man because he differs from you in opinion. Suppose a man believes that tho restoration of the Government of this country over the revolted States cannot be effected by war; the Administration
may say that is an evidenco of sympathy with rebellion, and hang a man for that! That is the doctrine, as I understand it. It seems to me that there could not possibly be a form of Government more despotic in its character— and I might use a mucli stronger term—than a Government that would carry out such a principle as that in action."
Mr. Doolitflo immediately rose to explain, saying: "I did not intend to be understood that men who arc arrested should be either shot or hung without trial. If anything that I said led the gentleman from Delaware to suppose such was my meaning, I did not express myself as I intended. I simply say that the complaint against the Government is that they have not been cither shot or hung. I ought to have said, perhaps, tried, shot, and hung."
Mr. Ilale, of New Hampshire, thus expressed his views: "I have regretted the exercise of this power from first to last; but, sir, I will say that where tho emergencies of the country are such, and tho condition of things is such, as to justify a resurt to extraordinary proceedings lor tho safety of the Government, I am willing that the Executive should act upon that old maxim, which, translated into plain English, is, "The safety of the republic is the supreme law." I confess, for myself, that nothing in tho whole history of the war has so embarrassed inc, has left me in such doubt what course to take and pursue, as questions of this character. I have as earnest a desire for the preservation of the Constitution in all its intregrity as anybody else; and it matters not to me whether victory or defeat attends our arms, if, when tho war is over, it does not leave us a constitutional Government. We are at war for that, sir; and I hope we shall make every sacrifice that is necessary to sustain it. That being our object, and our end and our aim, I would not now, while the enemy is in the field, and while the contingencies of battle are pending, and the issues of life or death are suspended upon the result, impede or hinder those who are charged with the execution of the laws by inquiries which arc not vital to the Government. I do not look upon this as so, because I believe it is one that belongs to the judiciary to examine and settle; and if anybody has made an attempt to apply th.'it remedy and has failed, it will be time enough then to look to some ulterior course."
Mr. Bayard, of Delaware, in reply said: "The President of the United States—rightly or wrongly is immaterial; I am not going to enter into that discussion—has asserted the right to dispense with tho law which reqviircs the habeas corpus to be issued in any case of judicial arrest. He has claimed that right; he has exercised that right. He has openly, through the Secretary of War, issued a proclamation which virtually subverts this Government, if carried out in practice; because the Secretary of War is authorized to appoint an indefinite number of men, constituting a corps of provost marshals, who aro to have the right, in addition to their military duties, to arrest any citizen throughout the country on indefinite charges, and to call in military aid to sustain their action; and they are to report to the central authority at Washington, and hold the party in custody subject to the orders of that central authority. There is no law which authorizes such an organization as that. If the judiciary attempt to intervene, as in the case of the prisoner at Fort Warren, the bayonet of the soldier prevents the service of the writ upon the military commandant who has possession of the prisoner. The judiciary, then, are powerless for redress; and nnder this asserted right on the part of the President, that feeblest department of tho Government being powerless to redress individual wrong, if the legislative branch, which is eiually powerful with the eiecntire, are not to interpose by calling for the information, the facts, nnd by the expression of their opinion, if it be necessary, when the facts are returned to them, what protection has the citizen against the aggressions of executive power? Can a Government be a free Government, where, when the judiciary is set at defiance, the legislature unites in saying to the citizen: 'You shall have no investigation; you may he arrested by officers unknown to the law, indefinite in numbers, on offences unknown to the laws, not described, for disloyal practices, which may mean anything that an eiecntive officer pleases; you may be arrested not only by the order of a functionary at Washington, who, from his position, may be supposed to have ability to exercise some discretion, but you mny be arrested at the discretion of any one of his subordinate deputies, and an investigation is not to be made by any other tribunal fian by an et parte return made in yoar absence, and without any power of investigation on your part, to the central authority at Washington?' If the proclamation of the President of the 26th of September be carried oat, and the general facts that have occurred taken as matters of history, that is the state of things and the power claimed by the executive. Sir, I consider that power a subversion »f this Government. I consider it also unnecessary; and though the honorable senator says that whilo wo are engaged in war he wo:iIJ not call for any account from the executive department for its actions, I submit there a a wide distinction there. I am asking noth115 in reference to a continuation of the war. I am seeking not to ombarrass the Government in reference to tho prosecution of tho war; but 'var certainly can bo in the present, as it has been in the past, prosecuted without trampling apon the rights of the individual citizen at home, md in S ates which are entirely untainted by snythino; like resistance to the authorityf othe Federal Government."
Hr. Sherman, of Ohio, expressed the follow m? views on the arrests which had been made: 'I say to my political friends that wo cannot
afford these arrests; they should not bo made except where the facts are so glaring that when they are stated to us hero by tho Secretary of War, every one of us will say he did right in making the arrest. Wo ought, in justice to ourselves and to our constituents, to demand of tho Secretary of War a reason in every case for tho arrest made. I havo that confidence in tho President of the United States, who I believe is thoroughly honest and patriotic, and who would deprive no man of his liberty without good cause, and I havo that confidence in tho Secretary of War to believe, especially since this subject has been mado the object of public inquiry, that they will not make any arrest except for cause that in tho opinion of every loynl senator would justify the arrest. Congress neglected its duty in not, at the first session after the opening of this robellion, authorizing in terms, by law, tho suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and imposing conditions upon arrests, requiring tho cause of the arrest to be reported to Congress in each case, and requiring an examination by a military or other court. Tho power to suspend tho writ of habeas corpus should only be exercised with all the guards that can be thrown by wiso legislation around it. Such a power uncurbed, unregulated, and unchecked, would make this Government a despotism worso than England ever saw, worse than France was in the timo when lettrcs de cachet were used for tho arrest of citizens, and they were confined in dungeons for forty years. The power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, while it must bo exercised in certain cases for the public safety, ought to be so guarded by legislation that no oppressive act to the citizen can be done, and in every case of an unlawful arrest the legislation of Congress ought to require that tho person making the arrest should make a formal report to Congress, so that we and our constituents might judge whether the necessity justified the arrest." Mr. Powell, of Kentucky, followed in favor of the resolution. He said: "Taking it for granted that the writ of habeas corpus is suspended by competent constitutional authority, then I hold that they have no right to make these arrests. The writ of habeas corpus has nothing to do with the arrest of an individual. The whole scope, verge, and object of the writ of habeas corpus is to relieve a man, when arrested, from illegal imprisonment. The object is to open the prison doors, and to bring him before the court, to inquire whether he is lawfully detained or not; and if he has been lawfully lodged in the prison, it is the duty of'the judge before whom he is brought to remand him to prison, and if it is a bailable case, to allow him bail, and if ho is illegally imprisoned, to let him go free. That is tho only object of tho writ of habeas corpus. It ii a great remedial writ. The suspension of that writ confers no authority on any officer in this Government to make an arrest. Tho arrest and the discharge are separate and distinct things.
"I hold that there is no authority vested by the Constitution of the United States in the President or any of his cabinet ministers to make theso arrests; and whenever they exercise such a power it is an act of usurpation and an overthrow of the Constitution of the country. The Constitution defines what are the duties of the various departments of this Government. The duties of the executive are plainly marked out in the instrument. So it is with the legislative power; so it is with the judicial power. Upon each and every one of these distinct bodies of the magistracy are conferred separate and distinct powers which they can legitimately exercise; and whenever they go beyond the powers prescribed in the Constitution, they usurp an authority not given to them by the law, and deserve and should receive the honest censure of every loyal mart in the country—I mean of every man loyal to the Constitution of the country.
"Now, sir, I ask senators who claim that the President and his cabinet ministers have exercised this power rightfully, to point me to the clause in the Constitution or the law that authorizes thoso officials to arrest a citizen, a civilian. The President, as commander-in-chief of the army and navy, may have the right, by virtue of the laws passed to regulate the army and navy, to make arrests of persons employed in land and naval service; but I ask senators to show tho law that authorizes him to make an arrest of a citizen not connected with either service. Why, sir, even suppose the position of the senator from New Jersey were true, that the President has a right to suspend tho writ of habeas corpus, does it necessarily follow, after that suspension, that he has a right to arrest whom he pleases? If so, I would not give a fig for the liberties of this people. If it be so, any President who is wicked enough and abandoned enough to do it, may, ad libitum, overthrow the liberties of this country."
Mr. Fessenden, of Maine, rose to ask a question of tho senator, saying: "My question is this: If he were at the head of the Government, and he were satisfied in his own mind that an individual, in a time like this, was about to commit a crime, tho consequence of which would be exceedingly injurious to the Government itself, and would strengthen the arm of the rebellion, and there was no other way in which he could prevent it, would he not prevent it, would he not arrest the individual without law, and hold him by tho strong hand, for the safety of the people?"
Mr. Powell, in reply said: "I will say to the senator, that if I were the President (which is not a supposable case) I would by no act violate the Constitution and laws of my country. If I thought that a man was about to do anything wrong, and there was a law of die land by which I could have him arrested and punished, or placed under bonds for good behavior, I would have the law executed. If thero was no law to reach the case, and I
thought tho man meditated very great injury, I think I would have a watch kept on him, and prevent his committing the act, and then, at tho next session of Congress, I would recommend the passage of a law for the punishment of just such an offence. I would adhere to tho law."
Mr. Fessenden replied: "The senator forgets one clause of my question, and that is that there was no other way to prevent it."
Mr. Powell, in answering, said: "The senator is supposing a state of facts that could not exist."
Mr. Collamer, of Vermont, now rose to ask a question: "If a man cannot be unlawfully imprisoned while the habeas corpus is in force, when it is suspended may ho not be imprisoned unlawfully?"
Mr. Powell in reply said: "If the writ of habeas corpus is suspended, the party may lie held in prison either lawfully or unlawfully. If he is in prison, having been put there lawfully or unlawfully, the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus only denies him tho great remedial process by which he is taken before the court, and tho legality of his imprisonment inquired into by the court. That is nil it does.''
Mr. Collamer: "Does the gentleman wish to be understood that the habeas corpus can only be used for the purpose of inquiring whether tho process was legal?"
Mr. Powell: "No, sir; it may bo used to inquire whether he is rightfully deprived of his liberty; whether he is confined by virtue of legal process or not."
Mr. Collamer answered: "No, sir; questions of guilt or innocence are never tried on a writ of habeas corpus."
Mr. Powell continued: "In some classes of cases, the guilt or innocence may bo inquired into. So far as the record shows guilt or innocence, it is a proper inquiry."
Mr. Collamer: "They require a jury."
Mr. Powell: "Upon a habeas corpus, the facts in the record which go to show the guilt or innocence of tho party are before the court, and upon them they may decide whether he is rightfully or wrongfully imprisoned. If from tho facts in the record it appears he is guilty, he is rightfully imprisoned; if innocent, he is wrongfully imprisoned, and is let go free. In the inquiry arising upon habeas corpus, the guilt or innocence of the party, to some extent in n certain class of cases, is necessarily looked into."
Mr. Collamer: "If a habeas corpus is brought to relievo a man charged with murder, does that habeas corpus enable the judge or court, before whom it is brought, to try in any way whether that man is guilty of the murder or not?"
Mr. Powell: "I am astonished that so good a lawyer as tho senator from Vermont should ask such a question. AVe know that it is not the function of a judge, before whom a prisoner is brought on a writ of habeas corpus, to try