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thing. The opportunity must not be lost of helping so many persons now helpless, and of aiding the cause of Reconciliation, without which peace cannot be assured."
Here again Reconciliation is announced as an everpresent object.
In the same spirit, I deemed it my duty to oppose the efforts made in the winter of 1865 to authorize Retaliation, differing from valued friends. The proposition for Retaliation was met by the following declaration, moved by me, January 24th:
"The United States. ... call upon all to bear witness that in this necessary warfare with Barbarism they renounce all vengeance and every evil example, and plant themselves firmly on the sacred landmarks of Christian civilization, under the protection of that God who is present with every prisoner, and enables heroic souls to suffer for their country."
Then came the effort, favored by President Lincoln, to receive Louisiana with a Constitution which failed to recognize the equal rights of colored fellow-citizens. Here again, February 25th, I encountered the proposition by a resolution, where it is declared:
"That such an oligarchical government is not competent at this moment to discharge the duties and execute the powers of a State; and that its recognition as a legitimate government will tend to enfeeble the Union, to postpone the day of Reconciliation, and to endanger the national tranquillity." s
Ante, Vol. VIII. p. 494. Congressional Globe, 38th Cong. 1st Sess.,
2 Ante, Vol. IX. p. 208. Congressional Globe, 38th Cong. 2d Sess., p. 381.
8 Ibid., p. 331. Congressional Globe, ut supra, p. 1091.
Mark, if you please, "the day of Reconciliation."
Then came the question of perpetuating the memory of our victories. February 27th, the Senate having under consideration an appropriation for a picture in the National Capitol, I moved as an amendment,
"That in the National Capitol, dedicated to the National Union, there shall be no picture of a victory in battle with our own fellow-citizens.":
Mr. Wilson again made haste to announce that he "disagreed with his colleague altogether," saying, according to the "Congressional Globe," 2 "I do not believe in that doctrine."
In the eulogy on President Lincoln, pronounced before the municipal authorities of Boston, June 1, 1865, the great object of Reconciliation was presented as dependent on the establishment of our ideas. After insisting upon Emancipation and the Equal Suffrage, these words occur:
"Such a vengeance will be a kiss of reconciliation, for it will remove every obstacle to peace and harmony. The people where Slavery once ruled will bless the blow that destroyed it. The people where the kindred tyranny of Caste once prevailed will rejoice that this fell under the same blow. They will yet confess that it was dealt in no harshness, in no unkindness, in no desire to humiliate, but simply and solemnly, in the name of the Republic and of Human Nature, for their good as well as ours, ay, for their good more than ours.
"By ideas, more than by armies, we have conquered. The sword of the Archangel was less mighty than the mission he bore from the Lord. But if the ideas giving us the victory are now neglected, if the pledges of the Declaration, which
1 Ante, Vol. IX. p. 335. Congressional Globe, ut supra, p. 1126.
the Rebellion openly assailed, are left unredeemed, then have blood and treasure been lavished for nought."
Then I proceeded to ask:
"How shall these ideas be saved?
How shall the war
waged by Abraham Lincoln be brought to an end, so as to assure peace, tranquillity, and reconciliation ?" 1
In the speech at Worcester, before the Republican State Convention, September 14, 1865, I insisted upon guaranties for the national freedman and the national creditor; and until these were accomplished, proposed to exclude the Rebel from political power:
"I ask not his punishment. I would not be harsh. There is nothing humane that I would reject. Nothing in hate. Nothing in vengeance. Nothing in passion. Nothing in passion. I am for gentleness. I am for a velvet glove; but for a while I wish the hand of iron. I confess that I have little sympathy with those hypocrites of magnanimity whose appeal for the Rebel master is only a barbarous indifference towards the slave; and yet they cannot more than I desire the day of Reconciliation.” 2
Thus constantly did this idea return.
And yet again, in a letter to the "Evening Post" of New York, dated September 28, 1865, after insisting upon "supplementary safeguards" for the protection of the freedman, I used these words:
"Without this additional provision, I see small prospect of that peace and reconciliation which are the objects so near our hearts." 8
Again it appeared in a telegraphic dispatch to President Johnson, dated November 12, 1865, and afterwards
1 Ante, Vol. IX. pp. 423, 424. 2 Ibid., p. 471. 8 Ibid., p. 492.
published. Asking the President to suspend his "policy towards the Rebel States," I said:
"I should not present this prayer, if I were not painfully convinced that thus far it has failed to obtain any reasonable guaranties for that security in the future which is essential to peace and reconciliation. . . . . The Declaration of Independence asserts the equality of all men, and that rightful government can be founded only on the consent of the governed. I see small chance of peace, unless these great principles are practically established. Without this, the house will continue divided against itself." 1
Here Reconciliation is associated with Reconstruction on the basis of the Equality of All Men.
Shortly afterwards, in the "Atlantic Monthly" for December, 1865, p. 758, I pleaded again :
"The lesson of Clemency is of perpetual obligation. . . . . Harshness is bad. Cruelty is detestable. Even Justice may relent at the prompting of Mercy. Fail not, then, to cultivate the grace of Clemency. . .
"There must be no vengeance upon enemies; but there must be no sacrifice of friends. And here is the distinction never to be forgotten: Nothing for vengeance; everything for justice. Follow this rule, and the Republic will be safe and glorious," 2
Then again in the Senate speech, February 5 and 6, 1866, while dwelling at length upon Equal Suffrage without distinction of color, I thus spoke for the Southern people:
"The people there are my fellow-citizens, and gladly would I hail them, if they would permit, as no longer a section, no
1 Ante, Vol. XI. p. 24.
2 Ante, Vol. IX. pp. 538-39.
longer the South, but an integral part of the Republic, under a Constitution which, knowing no North and no South, cannot tolerate sectional pretension. Gladly, in all sincerity, do I offer my best effort for their welfare. But I see clearly that there is nothing in the compass of mortal power so important to them in every respect, morally, politically, and economically that there is nothing with such certain promise to them of beneficent result - that there is nothing so sure to make their land smile with industry and fertility, decree of Equal Rights I now invoke. retaliation. This is our only revenge."
as the This is our
In an address at the Music Hall, in Boston, October 2, 1866, entitled "The One-Man Power vs. Congress," I declared that the Reconstruction I sought was one where "the Rebel region, no longer harassed by controversy and degraded by injustice, will enjoy the richest fruits of security and reconciliation," and then added, "To labor for this cause may well tempt the young and rejoice the old." 2
Then, in the same address, I said:
"Our first duty is to provide safeguards for the future. This can be only by provisions, sure, fundamental, and irrepealable, fixing forever the results of the war, the obligations of the Government, and the equal rights of all. Such is the suggestion of common prudence and of self-defence, as well as of common honesty. To this end we must make haste slowly. States which precipitated themselves out of Congress must not be permitted to precipitate themselves back. They must not enter the Halls they treasonably deserted, until we have every reasonable assurance of future good conduct. We must not admit them, and then repent our folly. . . . .
1 Ante, Vol. X. pp. 228-29. Congressional Globe, 39th Cong. 1st Sess., p. 686.
2 Ante, Vol. XI. p. 5.