Harper's Weekly 01/27/1866


CONGRESS.

January 9:

In the Senate, Mr. Sumner presented a memorial ask-
ing for the donation of public lands for educational pur-
poses in the States lately in rebellion.—Mr. Foot offered a
resolution, which was adopted, appointing Wm. J. M`Don-
ald, Chief Clerk of the Senate, vice Hickey deceased.—A
resolution offered by Mr. Sumner was adopted, inquiring
if any legislation is needful to prevent the kidnapping of
freedmen and their transportation as slaves to Brazil or
Cuba.


In the House, Mr. Washburne of Illinois introduced a
letter published in the Worcester Spy. by Mr. Baldwin, of
Massachusetts, declaring that the real purpose of the New
York and Washington Air Line Bill was not to operate
against the Camden and Amboy monopoly, but to relieve
the Central Illinois Railroad Company from its obligations
to carry United States mails and troops free of charge. A
discussion of the subject disclosed the fact that the bill
had been hastily passed under a call for the previous ques-
tion, thus suppressing debate, and that therefore many
members who voted for the bill had done so misunder-
standing its real purport. It was finally agreed that the
bill should be returned back from the Senate for discus-
sion.—Mr. Broomall, of Pennsylvania, introduced a reso-
lution, which was referred to the Committee of Fifteen,
to the effect that, before Congress conferred the necessary
power to enable the rebellious States to form State govern-
ments the rights of those among them always true to
their allegiance should be guaranteed and protected.—Mr.
Voorhees, of Indiana, then called up the resolutions here-
tofore submitted by him, commending the President's Mes-
sage as an able, judicious, and patriotic state paper; re-
solving that States can not sunder their relations to the Fed-
eral Union; and pledging Congress to uphold the President's
policy. He made a long speech against the refusal by Con-
gress to immediately admit the Southern representatives;
and was followed by Mr. Bingham, of Ohio, who reminded
him of his former attitude against Federal coercion. Mr.
Bingham repelled every intimation that the Representa-
tives here have manifested the slightest disposition to in-
terfere with the just prerogatives of the President, or to
make up a conflict with him. “If the day ever comes when
he will find no supporters except among those who in 1864
were buried so deep that the hand of resurrection can
never find them, then God help the President and save
him from his friends.” In conclusion he offered the fol-
lowing as a substitute for the resolution of the gentleman
from Indiana: “Resolved—That this House have an
abiding confidence in the President: that in the future as
in the past he will co-operate with Congress in restoring
to equal position and rights with the other States in the
Union all the States lately in insurrection.” Under the
call for previous question Bingham was supported 107 to
32.


January 10:

In the Senate, Mr. Wilson offered a petition of the col-
ored citizens of Savannah, asking for suffrage, which pe-
tition was referred to the Committee of Fifteen.—Mr. Fes-
senden reported the House bill authorizing the Secretary
of the Treasury to appoint Assistant Assessors of Internal
Revenue. Mr. Sumner said he would vote for the bill on
the understanding that Mr. M`Culloch would not on his
own authority, as he had done heretofore, relieve the of-
ficers he appointed from taking the oath imposed by Con-
gress. The bill was laid over.—Mr. Wilson introduced a
bill to increase and fix the military peace establishment
of the United States. It provides that the military peace
establishment of the United States shall hereafter consist
of seven regiments of artillery, ten regiments of cavalry,
sixty regiments of infantry, and such other forces as shall
be provided for by this act. Section 2 provides that, in ad-
dition to the five regiments of artillery now organized,
there shall be added one regiment, to be composed of
white persons, and one regiment to be composed of colored
persons—the officers of which shall be selected from among
the volunteer officers of artillery who have served not less
than two years during the war, and who have been dis-
tinguished for capacity and good conduct in the field. Sec-
tion 3 provides that in addition to the six regiments of
cavalry now in the service, there shall be two regiments
to be composed of white persons. Section 8 provides that
there shall be one Lieutenant-General, five Major-Gener-
als, and ten Brigadier-Generals, who shall have the same
pay and emoluments and be entitled to the same staff of-
ficers in number and grade as are now provided by law.—
Mr. Howe, of Wisconsin, introduced a joint resolution to
institute provisional governments for the late rebellious
States, and made a long speech in favor of the bill.


In the House, Mr. Hale offered a resolution declaring
that the previous question was for the regulation of debate
and not for its entire suppression. The resolution was re-
ferred to the Committee on rules.—A resolution was adopt-
ed that the Committee on Ways and Means should in-
quire into the expediency of revising the system of in-
come taxes and if desirable to dispense with the system;
if not, that they provide that the tax on incomes shall be
for amounts over $1200, and that the percentage on all
incomes shall be reduced.—On motion of Mr. Conkling, of
New York, it was resolved that the President of the Unit-
ed States be requested, if not incompatible with the pub-
lic interests, to communicate any report made by the
Judge-Advocate-General as to the grounds, facts, and ac-
cusation on which Jefferson Davis, Clement C. Clay, Ste-
phen R. Mallory, and David S. Yates, or either of them,
are held in confinement.


January 11:

In the Senate, Mr. Sumner presented the petition of the
Colored Baptist Convention, asking for universal suffrage.
—The bill for the appointment of Assistant Assessors by
the Secretary of the Treasury was passed without Mr.
Sumner's admonitory amendment.—Mr. Trumbull, from
the Judiciary Committee, reported the bill to enlarge the
powers of the Freedmen's Bureau; also the bill to protect
the inhabitants of the United States in their civil rights.
—The resolution in regard to the Industrial Exhibition
at Paris was passed.—The resolution offered by Mr. Howe
the day before to institute provisional government over
the rebellious States came up, and Mr. Johnson, of Mary-
land, opposed it, taking substantially the ground previ-
ously taken by Mr. Raymond in the House.


In the House, the credentials of James Farron and John
D. Kennedy were referred to the Committee of Fifteen.—
On motion of Mr. Ingersoll, of Illinois, the Committee on
Territories was instructed to inquire into the expediency
of reporting a bill to repeal the act organizing the Terri-
tory of Utah, and to divide said Territory, attaching one
part thereof to Nevada and the other to the Territories
contiguous.


January 12.

In the Senate, Mr. Trumbull's bill to enlarge the powers
of the Freedmen's Bureau was taken up. It provides that
the Bureau, approved March 3, 1865, shall continue in
force until otherwise provided by law, and shall extend to
refugees and freedmen in all parts of the United States.
It organizes the Bureau into districts and sub-districts,
and authorizes the Secretary of War to issue provisions,
fuel, clothing, etc., to the freedmen and refugees, and also
authorizes the President to set apart for the use of freed-
men and loyal refugees unoccupied lands in Florida, Mis-
sissippi, and Arkansas, not exceeding in all 3,000,000 acres
of good land. No action was taken.


In the House, on motion of Mr. Raymond, it was re-
solved that the President of the United States be request-
ed, if not deemed by him incompatible with the public
interest, to communicate to this House copies of all mes-
sages, proclamations, and other documents, issued by the
Provisional Governors of any States that may have been
proclaimed at any time to be in rebellion; of all acts, or-
dinances, resolutions, and proceedings of conventions or
of legislatures held in such States under the authority or
at the call of said Provisional Governors; of all returns of
elections for members of such conventions and legisla-
tures, together with the qualifications required for voters
at such elections, and for members when elected, together
with such other information concerning the public action
of such States tending to throw light upon their political
condition as may be in his possession, and to communicate
further copies of all proclamations issued by the President
or his immediate predecessor, relating to this subject,
whether issued by him directly or through the Secretary
of State, and the papers accompanying the same.


January 15:

In the Senate, Mr. Wilson's bill on the peace military
establishments was referred to the Committee on Military
Affairs.—Mr. Sumner presented the petition of the colored
Methodist Episcopal Church of Missouri, praying for uni-
versal suffrage.—Mr. Chandler, of Michigan, offered a
resolution, which was laid over, that until Great Britain
settled our claims for damages done to our commerce by
her privateers we should withdraw our Minister from the
Court of St. James and proclaim national non-interourse.


In the House, the credentials of Arkansas members
were referred to the Committee of Fifteen.—Mr. Stevens
offered a resolution, which was adopted, 82 to 77, that at-
torneys-at-law be relieved from taking the test-oath, as a
condition of carrying on their profession.



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