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And even what was called a Union convention, a few months later, entered its protest against negro suffrage, denying that the Thirteenth Amendment gave to Congress the power "to pass any law granting the right of suffrage to persons of African descent." In Maryland, in 1867, the legislature, while resolving that "we regard the abolishment of negro slavery as a fact achieved, to which the peace and quiet of the country require that we should bow in submission," did "most solemnly and earnestly protest against any action by the Congress of the United States to assign the negro a social status or endow him with the elective franchise." It also declared "that the loss of private property occasioned by the emancipation of slaves constitutes a valid claim upon the Federal government for compensation, and that the General Assembly ought to provide for ascertaining the extent of such loss, with a view of pressing the claim at an early day."

It was also proposed to give a somewhat detailed account of the trial of President Johnson on articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives, March 2, 1868. The original motion, made by Mr. Ashley of Ohio, January 7, 1867, charging him with "high crimes and misdemeanors" specified that "he has corruptly used the appointing power; that he has corruptly used the pardoning power; that he has corruptly used the veto; that he has corruptly disposed of public property of the United States; that he has corruptly interfered in elections, and committed acts, and conspired with others to commit acts, which, in contemplation of the Constitution, are high crimes and misdemeanors." The articles were read to the Senate sitting as Court of Impeachment, March 4, 1868. The trial proceeded till the 16th of May, when a vote was taken, thirty-five voting Guilty, and nineteen, Not Guilty; and judgment of acquittal was entered. Although a somewhat striking episode, and, for the time being, exciting a widespread interest, this trial cannot be regarded as having any very direct bearing on the history of slavery. That the President's course was utterly indefensible, that he proved himself false to his promises and loudly promulgated opinions as well as to the party which elected him,

besides aggravating and greatly increasing the difficulties of reconstruction, is matter of record, and has been referred to in previous chapters of this volume. Himself a product of slavery, which was itself a "gigantic lie," how could he be true to a party or cause based on the grand verities enunciated in the Republican platform, and made the dominating forces of its history? And yet the trial itself was of local and temporary interest and importance, and hardly deserves a very large space or mention in a general history of the Slave Power.

Another chapter was to have been devoted to the presidential election of 1868. But, though occupying, no doubt, a commanding position in the work of reconstruction, —an important link in the chain of events now under review, its main significance and the chief contribution it affords for history appear in the exceedingly disloyal attitude in which it presents the Democratic party. Without even an attempt to conceal its purpose by words,-words that cost and often mean so little, and are indeed so often used by men to "disguise their thoughts"-it proclaimed not only its bitter hostility to the defenders of their country, but its too manifest sympathy with those who would destroy it. Both in the platform adopted and in the utterances of its candidates little short of the baldest treason was presented, not in mealy words, but in those most objurgatory and defiant. In its platform and in its arraignment of the Republican party, it spoke of "the unpar alleled oppression and tyranny which have marked its career," having subjected "ten States to military despotism and negro supremacy," and of its substituting "secret star-chamber inquisitions for constitutional tribunals"; pronounced "the reconstruction acts (so called) of Congress, as such, as usurpations, and unconstitutional, revolutionary, and void"; and demanded


amnesty for all past political offences, and the regulation of the elective franchise in these States by their citizens." But the most significant event of the canvass was the letter of Frank P. Blair, the Democratic candidate for Vice-President. On the 30th of June he wrote what became the famous "Brodhead letter," in which he indulged in the most violent and inflammatory language and recommendations. Beside accus

ing the Republican party of the most heinous political offences, and suggesting the most violent remedies, he said unequivocally: "There is but one way to restore the government and the Constitution, and that is for the President elect to declare these acts null and void, compel the army to undo its usurpations at the South, disperse the carpet-bag State governments, and elect Senators and Representatives." For this frank avowal of his treasonable and revolutionary opinions and purposes he was honored with a unanimous vote of the convention on the first ballot for the office of Vice-President, while it required twenty-three ballotings to secure the nomination of Horatio Seymour for the Presidency on the same electoral ticket; so well did the former represent the principles and purposes of the Democratic party. The Republican party simply reaffirmed the principles already enunciated in its platforms, proclaimed its inflexible purpose to maintain them in their entirety, and placed in nomination the distinguished soldier that had led the national forces to victory, with Schuyler Colfax for Vice-President. It triumphed by decisive majorities at the polls, and revealed the welcome fact that the people had not yet forgotten the lessons of the war, and were not quite ready to restore the defenders of the "lost cause to seats they had so traitorously vacated for the destruction of the government. With this the record must close, though the conflict still rages, and the final issue remains in doubt.

With no formal attempt to deduce the lessons this history was written to inculcate, excepting a simple reference to what has been noted, the dangers of all compromises of moral principles, the prolific and pestiferous nature of national as well as individual sinning, the deteriorating and depressing influence of unrighteous laws on the morality of a people and the grave perils in a republic of "careless citizenship" and the presence of an unfaithful Church, which, instead of faithful testimony borne against wrong-doing, consents thereto and throws around it the sanctions of religion,-it only remains to notice briefly the present posture of affairs and the outlook disclosed thereby. That there have been great and marvellous changes none deny. The abolishment of slavery, the entire

repeal or abrogation of the infamous slave-codes, the summary and sudden transformation of four million chattels personal into freemen and enfranchised citizens, with everything that legislation and constitutional amendments can do to maintain their freedom and protect them in its enjoyment, do certainly constitute great and memorable achievements that find few parallels in human history. All admit the greatness of the change, but men differ as to its extent. Nor are these differences mere matters of opinion, or of abstract theories simply, inconsequential and harmless, like views that neither demand nor lead to corresponding action. On the contrary, they enter largely into the purposes and policies of the hour. Thus large numbers, including the whole Democratic party, contend that emancipation and the constitutional amend ments, even if accepted as accomplished facts, justify no further infringement on State prerogatives, and that the freedmen, still amenable to State authority, must be remanded to the State governments alone for protection. Even so able and astute a statesman as Mr. Bingham, the reputed author of the Fourteenth Amendment, opposed the Civil Rights bill because, he said, in times of peace "justice is to be administered under the Constitution, according to the Constitution, and within the limitation of the Constitution."

The large majority of the Republicans, however, instructed by the sad history of Mr. Johnson's administration, deemed it both unsafe and unpardonable thus to remand the freedmen for protection to those whose tender mercies are cruel. In the pledge of the Proclamation of Emancipation to "maintain" the freedom it proclaimed they see something more than a word. Regarding it a solemn pledge to be fulfilled, they recognize the obligation to provide appropriate legisla tion therefor, though, as the debates have disclosed, not altogether clear that by so doing they have not transcended limits prescribed by both the letter and spirit of the Constitution. And it still remains an open question, as yet unsettled by any general agreement, where State sovereignty ends and the Federal prerogative begins. Though, as Mr. Frelinghuysen said, in his opening speech on the Civil Rights

bill, "the whole struggle in field and forum is between national sovereignty and State sovereignty, a struggle between United States citizenship and State citizenship, and the superiority of allegiance due to each," opinions are as divergent as ever on the answer to be given. It still remains a question not yet answered by those with whom alone rests the authority, whether this is a nation of people or a mere federation of States.

But more serious than constitutional difficulties remain. For, granting that all constitutional differences had been composed, that all questions of government had been answered to mutual satisfaction, and that everything that law, organic or other, can do had been done, there remains the far more serious difficulty of constituency. As never before, the question of man's ability to govern himself stares the nation in the face, and arrests attention by its sudden and startling distinctness. The numbers are increasing who cannot repress their doubts nor silence their misgivings as they contemplate the new dangers that loom up not only in the distant, but in the more immediate future. Manhood suffrage, with all that is involved therein, the figures of the census-tables, and their startling revelations of growing illiteracy, especially in the late slaveholding States, where the large per cent of voters can neither read nor write the ballots they cast, are facts to excite the gravest apprehensions. The fact, too, that the South, though defeated, with "sullen intensity and relentless purpose" still bemoans and defends the "lost cause"; though accepting the destruction of slavery, still believes it to be the proper condition of an inferior race, and the corner-stone of the most desirable civilization; though accepting negro enfranchisement because imposed by a superior force, still contends that this is a white man's government, in which the freedmen have no legitimate part, and from which they shall be excluded, even if violence and fraud be needful therefor, may well excite alarm in the most sanguine and hopeful. Conjoined with these is that alarming but correlated fact the pregnant fault and the vulnerable heel of American politics-that good men can stand aloof from active participation in the work of the government,

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