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the section is clear and explicit in imposing a penalty upon the party making the exclusion, and that is all the bill proposes. The other consequences may be, will be, for the determination of the courts. The question belongs to them; I doubt if it belongs to us. But the bill is open to amendment. Let the Senator move such as he thinks the case requires : I shall welcome it.
When the Senator interrupted me I was about to address myself to him ; for I should not have risen this time but for the remarks which he made. I know not, Sir, why my position on this question should justify the personalities which the Senator from Vermont considers so essential to debate. I certainly made no allusion to him, nor do I claim anything for myself. I am an humble worker in this Chamber, and in this cause I have been laborious for years; but not on that account do I claim anything, nor do I make any pretence. I know not why the Senator should, with personality of manner and allusion, undertake to taunt me for the position that I occupy. Do I deserve it? I represent humbly the sentiments of the people of Massachusetts, who have sent me here now for many years. Always loyal to these sentiments I hope to be, even though it brings upon me the displeasure of the Senator. Sir, I am anxious to harmonize with that Senator. I know, too, his loyalty to this cause, – I do not doubt it; but I now appeal to that Senator to unite with me in speeding this great measure. Let him join sincerely, with his large intelligence, to hasten this bill before the Senate and make it the law of the land ; so would he become a benefactor to a much-oppressed people.
Possibly he has his doubts in regard to the Jury provision. I know other lawyers have expressed doubts
before; and from the inquiry that he made a moment ago it is perhaps fair to infer that those doubts haunt his mind. To that I simply answer, Happily they do not haunt mine. I know the Constitution of my country, and I know that under that Constitution, unless my judgment fails entirely, the provision with reference to juries is absolutely valid and constitutional. I challenge the discussion. Let the Senator make his objections. The original Civil-Rights Bill, which passed over the veto of the President, solemnly declares that no evidence shall be excluded from any court of justice, National or State, on account of color. The nation has undertaken to regulate the testimony, not only in its own Courts but in State Courts; and will any one pretend that it may not regulate the jury in State Courts, when it may regulate the testimony in State Courts? Why, Sir, there is nothing in the Constitution touching testimony, but there are no less than three distinct provisions relating to trial by jury; and among other terins employed is “an impartial jury,” which is among the privileges and immunities of the citizen. And is it wrong for Congress, in the plenitude of its powers, anxious to do justice to all, to declare that there shall be an impartial jury in all tribunals, whether National or State, without regard to color ? Having begun by regulating the testimony, where is the argument which is to prevent us from regulating the jury? I need not remind my excellent friend that originally the witnesses and the jury were almost one and the same.
MR. EDMUNDS. They were precisely the same.
. the Senator knows that there is a phrase handed down
to us from English courts by which we are reminded constantly of the “witness-box” and the “jury-box.” So closely were they together that they come under a common nomenclature. Now I insist that they shall come under a common safeguard. We have already provided that there shall be no exclusion in testimony on account of color: we must also provide that there shall be no exclusion from the jury on account of color; and until that provision is made by supreme national law, not to be set aside, justice is not fully done.
But, Sir, I had no intention to discuss the character of this bill; and I have only been led into it by the allusion of the Senator, who, holding the bill in his hand, signalizes that section as open to criticism. Let him proceed with his criticism. But then I hope for better things. I hope my friend, instead of criticism, will give us that generous support which so well becomes him. He sees full well, that, until this great question is completely settled, the results of the war are not all secured, nor is this delicate and sensitive subject banished from these Halls. Sir, my desire, the darling desire, if I may say so, of my soul, at this moment, is to close forever this great question, so that it shall never again intrude into these Chambers, - so that hereafter in all our legislation there shall be no such words as "black" or “white,” but that we shall speak only of citizens and of men. Is not that an aspiration worthy of a Senator? Is such an aspiration any ground for taunt from the Senator of Vermont? Will he not, too, join in the aspiration and the endeavor to bring about that beneficent triumph? Let this be omitted now, let any part of this bill be dropped out now, and you leave the question for another Congress, to be pursued by other petitions, to
be pressed by other Senators and Representatives; for, so long as injustice remains without redress, so long will there be men to petition, and so long, I trust, will there be Senators and Representatives to demand a remedy. I ask for all now.
At length, on the representation of Mr. Frelinghuysen, of New Jersey, that, “by acquiescing with the other friends of the measure in its reference to the Committee on the Judiciary, the Senator from Massachusetts has it in his power to take froin every opponent of the bill 'any apology, reason, or excuse for opposing it,” followed by the declaration, “I think we can give the Senator the assurance that a fort. night will not pass without the bill being reported,"
Mr. Sumner inquiring, —"The Senator is a member of the Judiciary Committee, I believe ?"
MR. FRELINGHUYSEN, Yes, Sir.
MR. SUMNER. I accept his assurance and consent to the reference.
Mr. Edmunds, Chairman of the Committee, demurring to the proposed agreement to report the bill within two weeks, suggested as a substitute, “its consideration with the promptness that the business of the Committee will allow," which Mr. Frelinghuysen pronouncing “equally satisfactory,” it was tacitly so settled, — Mr. Howe, of Wisconsin, thereupon observing, “I think the assurances we have froin the Senator from New Jersey and the Senator from Vermont are a sufficient guaranty that the bill will get back here in good season.
MR. SUMNER. And in good condition. (Laughter.)
MR. EDMUNDS. Much better than it is now.
Mr. Morton of Indiana subsequently remarking,
I do not myself feel that there is any great importance in referring this bill to a committee, for the reason that the question has been so long before the Senate and has been so amply discussed. But still that is the usage of the Senate; we do that with regard to all bills unless under some very strong emergency; and if the Senator hail consented in the first place to the reference of the hill, we shonld have had it back long ago. So, I think, he has nobody to blame but himself that this bill is not now before the Senate to be acted upon. But I may be allowed to express the hope, and I have no reason to doubt that it will be gratified, that the Judiciary Committee will promptly examine this bill, and report back a Civil-Rights Bill upon which the Senate can take action before long. I think that ought to be done for very many considerations,
Mr. Sumner replied :
MR. PRESIDENT, - I should not say another word, except for the ardor with which my friend from Indiana comes forward to throw a little blame on me. He thinks, that, if I had consented to an earlier reference of this bill, it would now be in order before the Senate; but he says that in a case of strong emergency bills are not referred to committees. Now I ask the Senator from Indiana if this is not a case of strong emergency? The bill has been pending nearly four solid years, during all which time a portion of our fellow-citizens, counted by the million, have been exposed to indignity; and because I tried to speed the result, hoping to bring the Senate to a generous conclusion of the whole measure without a reference to the Committee, the Senator from Indiana thus tardily seeks to rebuke me. If I erred at all, it was because I trusted the Senate. I felt, that, with this bill on the Calendar and within reach, it could not hesitate. I was unwilling to see the bill in a committee-room, where the Senate, in a generous moment, could not take it up any day, and, so far as the Senate was concerned, make it the law of the land. I put too much faith in this body, which I ought to know well. I did, Sir, have
I generous trust. I did believe that at some early day the bill would be considered and adopted. I have been disappointed. More than once I have tried to reach it, I have tried to bring it before the Senate; but you know well the impediments; you know that other important matters have occupied attention, so that I could