Harper's Weekly 02/17/1866


CONGRESS.

January 30:

In the Senate, a joint resolution was adopted, authoriz-
ing the payment of $10,000 to defray the expenses of the
Committee of Fifteen.—Mr. Doolittle offered a resolution
which was adopted, calling upon the President for a copy
of the report of General Sherman of his observations in
the States within his department in his recent tour of in-
spection.—Mr. Trumbull, from the Judiciary Committee,
reported that John C. Stockton, of New Jersey, had been
duly elected Senator, and was entitled to a seat from the
4th of March, 1865.—There was a long debate on the Civil
Rights bill.


In the House, the Constitutional Amendment on repre-
sentation and taxation was recommitted to the Committee
of Fifteen without instructions.—A resolution was agreed
to instructing the Committee on Claims to reject all claims
referred to them for examination by citizens of any of the
States lately in rebellion until otherwise ordered.


January 31:

In the Senate, a joint resolution of Thanks to Admiral
Farragut and his men was adopted.


In the House, a new rule was adopted forbidding the
use of the Hall of Representatives for any other than leg-
islative purposes.—Mr. Stevens, from the Committee of
Fifteen, reported back the Constitutional Amendment re-
lating to representation. As thus reported, the amend-
ment has no allusion to taxation. It reads as follows:
“Representatives shall be apportioned among the several
States which may be included within this Union, accord-
ing to their respective numbers, counting the whole num-
ber of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed,
provided whenever the elective franchise shall be denied
or abridged in any State on account of race or color, all
persons therein of such race or color shall be excluded
from the basis of representation.” The resolution to sub-
mit this amendment to the States was adopted, 120 to 46.
Messrs. Hale, Davis, Raymond, Eliot, Baldwin, Jenckes,
and other Union members voted in the negative, not be-
cause opposed to the principle, but because they objected
to its present shape, and to the power exercised by the
Committee in reporting it.


February 1:

In the Senate, Mr. Trumbull's amendment to the bill of
Civil Rights was adopted, 31 to 10. The amendment de-
clares all persons born in the United States not subject to
foreign Powers, except Indians not taxed, to be citizens
of the United States without distinction on account of
color.


In the House, the bill was passed providing that no ship
originally registered as an American vessel, and which
during the rebellion sailed under a foreign flag, shall be
deemed or registered as an American vessel, except by
special provision of Congress. According to the statement
of the Secretary of the Treasury, 800,000 tons had been
transferred to foreign flags during the war, leaving 110,000
tons in the hands of our citizens, and we are now in want
of vessels to do our carrying trade on the ocean.


February 2:

In the Senate, Mr. Saulsbury offered an amendment to
the bill of Civil Rights, making the right to vote an ex-
ception. The amendment was rejected by a vote of 39
against 7. The bill was then passed—33 to 12. The bill
is very similar in its provisions to some of the sections in
the bill for enlarging the Freedmen's Bureau.


In the House, nearly the whole session was occupied in
debate on the question of reconsidering the vote allowing
Mr. Brooks's evidence in the case of the election contested
between him and Mr. Dodge to go before the Committee.
The motion to reconsider was withdrawn.


February 3:

The Senate was not in session.

In the House a somewhat excited discussion took place
on the bill for the enlargement of the Freedmen's Bureau.


February 5:

In the Senate, the Constitutional Amendment in regard
to representation came up. Mr. Sumner occupied nearly
the whole session in a speech upon a substitute for the
Amendment, the provisions of the substitute being that in
the lately rebellious States “there shall be no oligarchy,
aristocracy, caste, or monopoly, invested with peculiar
privileges and powers, and there shall be no denial of
rights, civil or political, on account of color or race; but
all persons shall be equal before the laws, whether in the
court-room or at the ballot box; and this statute, made in
pursuance of the Constitution, shall be the supreme law of
the land, any thing in the Constitution or laws of any
such State to the contrary notwithstanding.” Mr. Sumner
objected to the proposed amendment as a compromise of
human rights, and as inflicting taxation, directly or indi-
rectly, where there was no representation. He thought
Congress had it in its power to make the rights of all men
equal before the law. He predicted the borrows of San Do-
mingo as in store for us if we denied the political fran-
chise to the negro.


In the House, several amendments to the Constitution
were offered and referred to the Judiciary Committee.
There was some debate on the Freedmen's Bureau bill,
but no action was taken.



Website design © 2000-2004 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content © 1998-2004 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to webmaster@harpweek.com