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testimony of a Senator of South Carolina, in a speech in the Senate, January 22, 1872:
"The last of the Southern States is admitted to its full privileges as a member of the brotherhood of States; the Constitutional Amendments intended to secure the principles established by the war and subsequent events have been accepted as valid. There can be no fear or danger of their being disturbed." 1
But these things are forgotten; the Sermon on the Mount is forgotten also; the Beatitudes are put aside. A great writer of the Middle Ages, after dwelling on what is best for us, says:
"Hence it is that not riches, not pleasures, not honors, not length of life, not health, not strength, not comeliness, was sung to the shepherds from on high, but peace."
The supporters of reelection will not hearken to this song, and the proffered hand is rejected. If not war, they would preserve at least the passions of war, and instead of peace would scatter distrust and defiance. The old fable is renewed:
"Emboldened now on fresh attempt he goes,
Makes the snake's teeth a human crop produce." 3
For me there can be but one course on this issue, and the moment it was presented I seemed to behold, for the first time, the dawn of that better era in our country
1 Speech of Mr. Sawyer, of South Carolina, on the Supplementary Civil Rights Bill as an Amendment to the Amnesty Bill: Congressional Globe, 42d Cong. 2d Sess., p. 490.
2 Dante, De Monarchia, Lib. I. cap. 4.
8 Ovid, Metamorphoses, ed. Garth, Book VII.: The Dragon's Teeth transformed to Men, vv. 31-34.
when the Equal Rights of All should be placed under the safeguard of assured Peace and Reconciliation. Had I failed to sympathize with this endeavor, I should have been false to the record of my life. My first public utterance, as far back as July 4, 1845, was to commend the cause of Peace, which from that early day, amidst the contentions of public duty and the terrible responsibilities of war, has never been absent from my mind. While insisting on the Abolition of Slavery, while urging Enfranchisement, while vindicating the Equal Rights of All, and while pressing Reconstruction, I have constantly declared that all these were for no purpose of vengeance or punishment, but only for the security of the citizen and the establishment of government on just foundations, and that when this was done nobody should outdo me in those generosities that become the conqueror more than his conquest.
HERE the testimony is complete. If I open it now, it is less to show the obligations which constrain me personally than to make these witnesses plead again the cause which from the beginning I have had at heart. I follow the order of time, letting each speak in a few words.
There are some among us who may remember that early speech before the Republican State Convention at Worcester, October 1, 1861, which excited at the time. so much discussion, when, after calling for Emancipation, I united this cause with Peace:
"Two objects are before us, Union and Peace, each for the sake of the other, and both for the sake of the country; but without Emancipation how can we expect either?" 1
1 Ante, Vol. VI. p. 28.
Thus at the beginning was I mindful of Peace.
Then again, in the same strain, at the Cooper Institute, New York, November 27, 1861, after showing Slavery to be the origin and main-spring of the Rebellion, I pleaded for Emancipation, and at the same time first sounded the key-note of Reconciliation:
Perversely and pitifully do you postpone that sure period of reconciliation, not only between the two sections, not only between the men of the North and the men of the South, but, more necessary still, between slave and master, without which the true tranquillity we all seek cannot be permanently assured. Believe it, only through such reconciliation, under sanction of freedom, can you remove all occasions of conflict hereafter." 1
Thus early was reconciliation associated with my most earnest efforts; nor did I at any moment hesitate in this work.
The same spirit was manifest in opposition to perpetuating the memory of victories over fellow-citizens. The question arose on a dispatch of General McClellan, where, after announcing the capture of Williamsburg, he inquired whether he was "authorized to follow the example of other generals, and direct the names of battles to be placed on the colors of regiments." This being communicated to the Senate, I felt it my duty to move, May 8, 1862, the following resolution:
Resolved, That in the efforts now making for the restoration of the Union and the establishment of peace throughout the country, it is inexpedient that the names of victories obtained over our fellow-citizens should be placed on the regimental colors of the United States." 3
1 Ante, Vol. VI. p. 111.
2 Congressional Globe, 37th Cong. 2d Sess., p. 1982.
8 Ante, Vol. VI. p. 499. Congressional Globe, ut supra, p. 2010.
Here again was anxiety for peace. Mr. Wilson, my colleague, did not agree with me, and he made haste to introduce a counter-resolution; but no further action was had upon it. The usage of civilized nations is against placing on regimental colors the names of victories gained over fellow-countrymen. In France, the most military country of the world, the principle was carefully discarded by King Louis Philippe, when, in preparing the Museum at Versailles, he excluded every picture or image of civil war. Everything to arouse and gratify the patriotic pride of Frenchmen, of all Frenchmen, is there, but nothing to exhibit Frenchmen warring with each other.
Then came the bills for Confiscation, which I supported chiefly with a view to Emancipation. enforcing this object, May 19, 1862, I said:
"People talk flippantly of the gallows as the certain doom of the Rebels. This is a mistake. For weal or woe, the gallows is out of the question. It is not possible as a punishment for this rebellion."
Then declaring our supreme object to be Peace, I said:
"In this work it is needless to say there is no place for any sentiment of hate or any suggestion of vengeance. There can be no exaction and no punishment beyond the necessity of the case, - nothing harsh, nothing excessive. Lenity and pardon become the conqueror more even than victory. 'Do in time of peace the most good, and in time of war the least evil possible: such is the Law of Nations.' These are the admirable words of an eminent French magistrate and statesman. In this spirit it is our duty to assuage the calamities of war, and especially to spare an inoffensive population."2
1 Congressional Globe, ut supra, p. 2083.
2 Ante, Vol. VII. pp. 70, 73, 74, and note. Congressional Globe, ut supra, pp. 2195, 2196.
Shortly afterwards, June 27th, while the same subject was under consideration, I returned to it again:
"But I confess frankly that I look with more hope and confidence to Liberation than to Confiscation. To give freedom is nobler than to take property, and on this occasion it cannot fail to be more efficacious, for in this way the rearguard of the Rebellion will be changed into the advanceguard of the Union. There is in Confiscation, unless when directed against the criminal authors of the Rebellion, a harshness inconsistent with that mercy which it is always a sacred duty to cultivate, and which should be manifest in proportion to our triumphs, mightiest in the mightiest.' But Liberation is not harsh; and it is certain, if properly conducted, to carry with it the smiles of a benignant Providence."
At last the country was gladdened by the Proclamation of Emancipation, which here in Faneuil Hall, October 6, 1862, I vindicated as a measure of peace; and then I said:
"In the old war between King and Parliament, which rent England, the generous Falkland cried from his soul, Peace! Peace! and History gratefully records his words. Never did he utter this cry with more earnestness than I do now. But how shall the blessing be secured?" 2
By Emancipation, was my answer.
Then came the bill creating the Freedmen's Bureau. In opening the debate on this interesting subject, June 8, 1864, I said :—
"It is for the Senate to determine, under the circumstances, what it will do. My earnest hope is that it will do some
1 Ante, Vol. VII. p. 146. Congressional Globe, ut supra, p. 2965. 2 Ibid., p. 208.