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come forward with a proposition to do what? Why we will give the soldier $50 bountyyour attention to this-if he has served two years, and $100 if he has served three years. Now, mark you, the colored man that served two years can get his $100 bounty, but the white man must serve three years before he can get his. [Cheers.] But that is not the point. While they were tickling and attempting to please the soldiers, by giving them $300 for two years' service, they took it into their heads to give somebody else about [laughter], and they voted themselves not fifty dollars, two years' service. Your attention: I want to make a lodgment in your minds of the facts, because I want to put the nail in; and having put it in, I want to clinch it on the other side. [Cheers.] The brave boys, the patriotic young man who followed his gallant officers, slept in the tented field, and perilled his life and shed his blood, and left his limbs behind him, and came home mangled and maimed, he can get fifty dollars bounty, if he has served two years; but the members of Congress, who never smelt gunpowder, can get $1.000 extra pay. Great cheering.] This is a faint picture, my countrymen, of what has transpired. [A voice, Stick to that question."]
Fellow-citizens, you are all familiar with the work of restoration. You know that since the rebellion collapsed, since the armies were suppressed in the field, that everything that could be done has been doue by the executive department of the Government for the restoration of the Government; everything has been done with the exception of one thing, and that is the admission of members from eleven States that went into the rebellion; and after having accepted the terms of the Government-having abolished slavery, having repudiated their debt and sent loyal representatives-everything has been done excepting the admission of representatives, to which all the States are entitled. [Cheers.]
When you turn and examine the Constitution of the United States, you find that you cannot even amend that Constitution so as to deprive any State of its equal suffrage in the Senate. (A voice, "They have never been out."] It is said before me they have never been out. I say so too. That is what I have always said. They have never been out, and they cannot go out. [Cheers.] That being the fact, under the Constitution they are entitled to equal representation in the Congress of the United States without violating the Constitution, [cheers :] and the same argument applies to the House of Representatives.
How, then, does the matter stand? It used to be one of the arguments, that if the States withdraw their Representatives and Senators, that was secession-a peaceable breaking up of the Government. Now the radical power in this Government turn round and assume that the States are out of the Union, that they are not entitled to representation in Congress. [Cheers.] What is to say, they are dissolutionists, and their position now is to perpetrate a disruption of the Government; and that, too, while they are denying the States the right of representation, they impose taxation upon them, a principle upon which, in the Revolution, you resisted the power
of Great Britain. We deny the right of taxation without representation; that is one of our great principles.
Let the Government be restored; let peace be restored among this people. I have labored for it; I am for it now. I deny this doctrine of secession, come from what quarter it may, whether from the North or froin the South. I am opposed to it, and am for the union of the States. [Voices, "That's right," and cheers.] I am for the thirty-six States, representing thirtysix States, remaining where they are under the Constitution as your fathers made it and handed it down to you; and if it is altered or amended, let it be done in the mode and manner pointed out by that instrument itself, and in no other. [Cheers.] I am for the restoration of peace. Let me ask the people here to-night if we have not shed enough of blood. Let me ask, Are you prepared to go into another civil war? Let me ask this people here to-night, Are they prepared to set man upon man, and in the name of God lift his hand against the throat of his fellow? [Voice," Never!"] Are you prepared to see our fields laid waste again, our business and our commerce suspended, and our trade stopped? Are you prepared to see this land again drenched in our brothers' blood? Heaven avert it is my prayer. [Cheers.] I am one of those who believe that man does sin, and having sinned, I believe he must repent, and, sometimes, having repented makes him a better man than he was before. [Cheers.]
I know it has been said that I have exercised my pardoning power. Yes, I have. [Cheers, and What about Drake's constitution?"] Yes I have; and don't you think it is to prevail? I reckon I have pardoned more men, turned more men loose, and set them at liberty that were imprisoned, I imagine, than any other living man on God's habitable globe. [Voice, "Bully for you!" cheers.] I turned forty-seven thousand of our men loose who engaged in this struggle, with the arms we captured with them, and who were then in prison. I turned them loose. [Voice,
Bully for you!" and laughter.] Large num bers have applied for pardon, and I have granted them pardon; yet there are some who condemn, and hold me responsible for doing wrong. Yes, there are some who staid at home, who did not go into the field, that can talk about others being traitorous and being treacherous. There are some who can talk about blood and vengeance and crime and everything to make treason odious, and all that, who never smelt gunpowder on either side [Cheers.] Yes, they can condemn others, and recommend hanging and torture, and all that. If I have erred, I have erred on the side of mercy. Some of these croakers have dared to assume they are better than was the Saviour of men himself-a kind of over-righteous
better than anybody else; and, although wanting to do Deity's work, thinking He cannot do it as well as they can. [Laughter and cheers.]
Yes, the Saviour of men came on earth and found the human race condemned and sentenced under the law; but when they repented and believed, He said Let them live. Instead of executing and putting the whole world to death, He went upon the cross, and there was nailed by
I tell you here to night that the Constitution of this country is being encroached upon. I tell you here to-night that the citadel of liberty is being endangered. [A voice, "Go it, Andy!"] Say to them, "Go to work; take the Constitution as your palladium of civil and religious liberty; take it as your chief ark of safety." Just let me ask you here to-night to cling to the Constitution, in this great struggle for freedom and for its preservation, as the shipwrecked mariner clings to the mast when the midnight tempest closes around him.
unbelievers, there shed his blood that you might you can teach them through the President? live. [Cheers.] Think of it: to execute and Congress says he shall not turn them out, and hang and put to death eight millions of people. they are trying to pass laws to prevent it being Never! It is an absurdity. Such a thing is im- done. Well, let me say to you, if you will stand practicable, even if it were right; but it is the by me in this action, [cheers,] if you will stand violation of all law, human and divine. [Voice, by me in trying to give the people a fair chance 'Hang Jeff Davis. You call on Judge Chase-soldiers and citizens-to participate in these to hang Jeff Davis, will you?" Great cheering.] offices, God being willing, I will kick them out. I am not the court, I am not the jury, nor the I will kick them out just as fast as I can. Let judge. Before the case comes to me, and all me say to you, in concluding, that what I have other cases, it would have to come on application said I intended to say. I was provoked into as a case for pardon. That is the only way the this, and I care not for their menaces, the taunts case can get to me. Why don't Judge Chase, and the jeers. I care not for threats. I do not the Chief Justice of the United States, in whose intend to be bullied by my enemies nor overdistrict he is-why don't he try him? [Loud awed by my friends. But, God willing, with cheers.] But perhaps I could answer the ques- your help, I will veto their measures whenever tion, as sometimes persons want to be facetious any of them come to me. I place myself upon and indulge in repartee. I might ask you a the ramparts of the Constitution when I see the question, Why don't you hang Thad Stevens and enemy approaching; so long as I have eyes to Wendell Phillips? [Great cheering.] A traitor see, or ears to hear, or a tongue to sound the at one end of the line is as bad as a traitor at alarm, so help me God, I will do it, and call on the other. I know that there are some who the people to be my judges. [Cheers.] have got up their little pieces and sayings to repeat on public occasions-talking parrots that have been placed in their mouths by their superiors-who have not the courage and the manhood to come forward and tell them themselves, but have their understrappers to do their work for them. [Cheers.] I know there are some that talk about this universal elective franchise, upon which they wanted to upturn the Government of Louisiana and institute another, who contended that we must send men there to control, govern, and manage their slave population because they are incompetent to do it themselves. And yet they turn round, when they get there, and say they are competent to go to Congress and manage all the affairs of State. [Cheers.] Before you commence throwing your stones you ought to be sure you don't live in a glass house. Then why all this clamor? Don't you see, my countrymen, it is a question of power; and being in power, as they are, their object is to perpetuate their power, since, when you talk about turning any of them out of office, oh, they talk about bread and butter. [Laughter.] Yes, these men are the most perfect and complete bread and butter party that has ever appeared in this Government. [Great cheering.] When you make an effort or struggle to take the nipple out of their mouths, how they clamor. They have stayed at home here five or six years, held the offices, grown fat, and enjoyed all the emoluments of position; and now, when you talk about turning one of them out, oh, it is proscription; and hence they come forward and propose, in Congress, to do what? To pass laws to prevent the Executive from turning anybody Dut. [Voice, "Put 'em out.] Hence, don't you see what the policy was to be? I believe in the good old doctrine-advocated by Washington, Jefferson, and Madison-of rotation in office These people who have been enjoying these offices seem to have lost sight of this doctrine. I believe that one set of men have enjoyed the emoluments of office long enough. They should let another portion of the people have a chance. [Cheers.] How are these men to be got out [Voice, "Kick 'em out!" Cheers and laughter.] unless your Executive can put them out, unless
So far as my humble life has been advanced, the people of Missouri, as well as other States, know that all my efforts have been devoted in that direction. Why, where is the speech, where is the vote to be got of mine but which has always had a tendency to elevate the great working classes of this people? When they talk about tyranny and despotism, where is one act of Andy Johnson's that ever encroached upon the rights of a freeman in this land? But because I have stood, as a faithful sentinel, upon the watch-tower of freedom to sound the alarm, hence all this traducing and detraction that has been heaped upon me. [Cries of "Bully for Andy Johnson!"]
I now, in conclusion, my countrymen, hand over to you the flag of your country with thirtysix stars upon it. I hand over to you your Constitution, with the charge and responsibility of preserving it intact. I hand over to you to-day the Union of these States, the great magic circle which embraces them all. I hand them all over to you, the people, in whom I have always trusted in all great emergencies. I hand them over to you, men who can rise above party, who can stand around the altar of a common country with their faces uplifted to heaven, swearing by Him who lives forever and ever, that the altar and all shall sink in the dust, but that the Constitution of the Union shall be preserved.
Let us stand by the Union of these States; us fight the enemies of the Government, come from what quarter they may. My stand has been taken. You understand what my position is. And parting with you now, I leave the Government in your hands, with the confidence I
have always had, that the people will ultimately | lord and vassal; it has no intimate social and redress all wrongs and set the Government right. domestic ties, and no such strong bond of selfThen, gentlemen, in conclusion, for the cordial interest with the people as existed of necessity welcome you have shown me in this great city between the extinct slaveholders of our country of the South, whose destiny none can foretell, and their slaves. To an aristocracy existing on now, in bidding you good night, I leave all in the annual interest of a national debt, the peoyour charge and thank you for the cordial wel-ple are only of value in proportion to their come you have given in this spontaneous out-docility and power of patiently bleeding golden pouring of the people of your city.
Interview with Chas. G. Halpine, March 5, 1867. And now, apart from the directly political, [continued the President,] what is the main issue loming up in the immediate future? What issue is clearly foreshadowed to be the Aaron's rod which must swallow up all minor questions? It is the great financial issue, the issue of the national debt; whether it shall be paid or repudiated. This issue has fibres extending into the pockets of every citizen; for wherever a man has a dollar, or can earn a dollar, the Government is now compelled to go for its portion of his substance; and with the vast machinery under its control, the money is fetched.
There were four millions of slaves in the southern States before the rebellion, representing a capital of three, or possibly four billions of dollars; but let us calf it three billions, or three thousand millions, as you may please. These slaves represented that amount of property, men put their savings into purchasing or raising them, and they represented as property whatever were the surplus profits of their labor, after due allowance for food, clothing, medicine, and interest on the capital invested.
On this property in slaves gradually grew up that slave oligarchy or aristocracy, against which the leaders of the anti-slavery party so successfully thundered during the twelve years preceding the rebellion; and after the first mad plunge into rebellion, the fate of that aristocracy was sealed. It is now a thing of the past. With its virtues-for it had virtues, courage, and hospitality eminently-and with its crimes of pride and lawless revolution, it has entered into history, and is a thing of the past.
But what do we find? The aristocracy based on $3 000,000,000 of property in slaves south of Mason and Dixon's line has disappeared; but an aristocracy, based on over $2,500,000,000 of national securities, has arisen in the northern States, to assume that political control which the consolidation of great financial with political interests formerly gave to the slave oligarchy of the late rebel States. The aristocracy based on negro property disappears at the southern end of the line, but only to reappear in an oligarchy of bonds and national securities in the States which suppressed the rebellion.
We have all read history, and is it not certain that of all aristocracies, that of mere wealth is the most odious, rapacious, and tyrannical? It goes for the last dollar the poor and helpless have got; and with such a vast machine as this Government under its control, that dollar will be fetched. It is an aristocracy that can see in the people only a prey for extortion. It has no political or military relations with them, such as the old feudal system created between liege
blood under the tax-gatherer's thumb-screw.
To the people the national debt is a thing of debt to be paid; but to the aristocracy of bonds and national securities it is a property of more than $2,500,000,000, from which a revenue of $180,000,000 a year is to be received into their pockets. So we now find that an aristocracy of the South, based on $3,000,000,000 in negroes, who were a productive class, has disappeared, and their place in political control of the country is assumed by an aristocracy based on nearly $3,000,000,000 of national debt-a thing which is not producing anything, but which goes on steadily every year, and must go on for all time until the debt is paid, absorbing and taxing at the rate of six or seven per cent. a year for every $100 bond that is represented in its aggregation.
Now, I am not speaking of this to do anything but deprecate the fearful issue which the madness of partisan hatred and the blindness of our new national-debt aristocracy to their own true interests is fast forcing upon the country. But is it not clear that the people, who have to pay $180,000,000 a year to this consolidated moreyed oligarchy, must, sooner or later, commence asking each other "How much was actually loaned to our Government during the eivil war by these bondholders, who now claim that we owe them nearly $3,000,000,000?" You know what the popular answer must be-I do not say the right answer-"Less than half the amount they claim, for gold ranged at an average of one hundred premium while this debt was being incurred."
Just think of the annual tax of $180,000,000 for payment of interest on our national debt! This Government we have, with its enormous machinery, is a pretty hefty business in itself, costing more per capita to the people than the Government of England, which we always heretofore regarded as the most tax-devouring on earth. But over and beyond the expenses of the Government proper, as it should stand in the scale of peace at about $60,000,000 a year, we have, in the $180,000,000 of interest paid yearly on our national debt, enough to support three such Governments as this, with all their vast machinery and disbursements! We have not only, under the present system, one Government for the people to support, but, over and beyond this, we have to raise by taxation from the people sufficient to support three similar establishments every year!
All property is based upon and can only be sustained by law; and it is for a return to law and the guide of fixed constitutional principles that my whole course has been contending. But so short-sighted is this aristocracy of bonds and paper currency, this Plutocracy of the national debt, that my efforts in behalf of their true interests (which are certainly involved in the maintenance of law and the Constitution) have been every where encountered, and almost everywhere
tine without remorse in nearly every instance. And whither is all this drifting? To intelligent men there can be but one answer. We are drifting towards repudiation, and the moneyed aristocracy of the national debt, the very men whose interests are most jeopardized, are so blind that they are practically helping to accelerate, not check our course in this downward direction. We need the industry and enormous possible products of the lately revolted States to help us in bearing our heavy burden; we need confidence and calm; we need internal harmony; and above all, we need a return to the unquestioned supremacy of the civil laws and constitutional restraints, if our debt is not to be repudiated within the next
overwhelmed, by the preponderating influence so patriotic, so loyal, that it "can refuse our galwhich they have acquired from the natural force lant soldiers nothing." But you must have seen of capital and the agency of our national banks. how promptly it rejected the names of nearly And what has been the course of that Con- every gallant veteran sent in by me for confirmgress which has just ended, and which this blind ation to any civil office, a majority of our exaristocracy of national debt sustained in over-tremely "loyal Senators" using their guillo riding my efforts for a return to sound principles of internal government? Look at the bill giving from $480,000,000 to $600,000,000, nominally for back bounty, or as an equalization of bounties to the soldiers, but really, as all intelligent men must be aware, to be parcelled out as a prey among the bounty sharks and claim agents, who are the most reckless and clamorous adherents of the dominant majority in Congress. Then look at appropriations amounting to another $100,000.000, for internal improvements, which should properly be left to the laws governing private industry and the progress of our national development. Look also at the increase of all salaries with a prodigal hand, this virtuous Congress first setting an example against retrench-half score of years. ment by voting to themselves an increase of Financial prosperity was secured up to within salaries. Everywhere, and in an ever-increasing a recent period; but already the delicate fabric ratio, the motto seems to be, "Always spend and never spare," a fresh issue from the paper-mill over yonder [slightly pointing his pencil to the Treasury Department] being the panacea pre-cently exploited on the floors of Congress. Who scribed for every evil of our present situation.
Every effort to increase our acnual taxation is resisted, for increased taxes might help to awaken the people from their false dream of prosperity under the sway of revolutionary and radical ideas; but no addition to the national debt can be proposed, no further inflation of our inflated currency, which the preponderating votes of the western States will not be certain to favor. The war of finance is the next war we have to fight; and every blow struck against my efforts to uphold a strict construction of the laws and the Constitution is in reality a blow in favor of repudiating the national debt. The manufacturers and men of capital in the eastern States and the States along the Atlantic seaboard -a mere strip or fringe on the broad mantle of our country, if you will examine the map-these are in favor of high protective, and, in fact, prohibitory tariffs, and also favor a contraction of the currency. But against both measures the interests and votes of the great producing and non-manufacturing States of the West stand irrevocably arrayed, and a glance at the map and the census statistics of the last twenty years will tell every one who is open to conviction how that war must end.
of public credit-a house of cards at best-begins to totter under the concussion of the various revolutionary ideas which have been re
now talks of the Constitution with respect? Who is not now made a laughing stock in the papers and speeches of the violent revolutionary party, if he shall be so hardy as to claim that, being again at peace, the sway of civil over military law should be immediately resumed, if we desire to maintain our liberties? "The Constitution is played out," we hear on every hand; and every effort to advocate the just ascendency of the civil law only furnishes fresh food for ridicule.
No party as yet, and possibly no party for some years, will openly hoist the banner of repudiation. But a majority of those who shaped the legislation of this last Congress must know, unless they deceive themselves, or are too ignorant to appreciate their own acts, that we are drifting in that direction, and that it is by their votes we have been swung out into the downward stream. Doubtless, some of them would either be, or affect to feel, horrified if to-day branded as repudiationists, just as, in the infancy of the free-soil agitation, it was considered a bitter slander if the "freesoiler" should be styled an "abolitionist." There are steps in everything, and the term of reproach to-day will be worn as a feather in the cap some years from now, unless the true conservative wisdom of the country can be awakened, and rapidly, from its asphyxiating dream that our "national debt is a national blessing."
The history of the world gives no example of a war debt that has ever been paid; but we have an exceptional country, and present an exceptional case. Our debt might easily be paid, provided the brakes against excessive expenditures And look at the effect of the reconstruction could be turned on quickly enough; but now is bill just passed over my unavailing veto. I mean the appointed time, and now or never the work its peculiar effect as a step in the direction of must be commenced. If that debt is ever to be repudiation, and not its general effect as a highpaid we need economy in every branch of the handed measure of congressional usurpation, public service-the reduction, not an increase of striking out of existence so many States, and salaries to Congressmen and other officials; the establishing a military despotism over more than systematic reduction of our national debt; and one-third of our geographical Union. This bill not its increase by such monstrous bills as this suddenly adds four millions of ignorant and penlast demagogue measure for the pretended equali-niless negroes to the voting force of the country, zation of bounties. The Congress, forsooth, is an accession of just so much strength to the
party whose interest it is, and must increasingly become, o favor repudiation as a policy. To secure the public creditor, our efforts should be, if that were possible, to restrict rather than to extend the right of suffrage; for money rapidly aggregates in a few hands; and whenever the men who have an interest in seeing that our national debt is paid shall have become out of all proportion few, compared with those who have an interest in its repudiation, the votes of the many will carry it, and the debt of $3,000,000,000 will be struck out of existence by ballots, just as rapidly and utterly as the similar amount invested in southern negroes has been abolished during the recent war under showers of bullets. At least, this is possible.
That we are to have a great financial crash this year I hold to be inevitable, though deprecating it, and having used every effort for its avoidance. To say that it can be staved off by any legislation, if the violated laws of trade and public economy call for it, is to assert that water can be made to run up hill, or shall cease to seek its own level under the compulsion of a congressional enactment. Perhaps, for so violent a discase, this violent cure may be the only remedy. It is like a man sustaining his strength on brandy; so long as he can increase the dose daily, he may get along in high good humor, just as we have been prospering on an irredeemable paper currency and fresh issues of public securities. But sooner or later, the day will come in which brandy no longer can stimulate; nor can irredeemable promises to pay pass current as a circulating medium forever To the man will come a severe fit of sickness, teaching him that the laws of temperance can only be violated under fearful penalties, and to the na tion will come a financial crash, teaching it that paper is only a representative of value, not value itself; and that the only true securities for our
public credit must be looked for in a system of rigidly exacted obedience to all constitutional restraints, and a thorough system of economy in all branches of the public service.
For the slights and indignities, the unconstitutional curtailments and dishonors which the recent Congress has attempted to cast upon me for my unflinching and unalterable devotion to my constitutional oath, and to the best interests of the whole country, according to my best judgment and experience, I am only sorry as regards the indignities sought to be imposed on my high office, but unmoved as regards myself. Conscious of only having executed my duty, conscious of being denounced for “usurpation" only because refusing to accept unconstitutional powers and patronage, and satisfied that the day of wiser thought and sounder estimate cannot now be far distant, I look with perfect confidence for my vindication to the justice of that future which I am convinced cannot long be delayed. Unless all the senses are deceptive, unless all truth be a lie, unless God has ceased to live, I tell you that the folly and fraud now dominating the councils of this distracted country in Congress cannot endure for
It is, perhaps, but right to add that the foregoing is a report from memory of remarks made by Mr. Johnson in an extended conversation yesterday afternoon, and that the original did not take the form of a set speech, here unavoida bly given to it. It should also be added that a few points embraced in the report, and attributed exclusively to the President, may have been, more or less, suggested by interjectional remarks of the person to whom he was speaking; but nothing has been here set down to which the full assent of Mr. Johnson was not given, always provided, of course, that his listener understood him, and remembers correctly.
PRESIDENT JOHNSON'S MESSAGES.
The Annual Message, December 4, 1866.
are maintaining their governments in full activity The following portions relate to reconstruc-laws is no longer "obstructed in any State by comand complete operation. The enforcement of the tion, and kindred subjects: binations too powerful to be suppressed by the Fellow-citizens of the Senate and House of Repre-ordinary course of judicial proceedings;" and the
animosities engendered by the war are rapidly After a brief interval the Congress of the Uni-yielding to the beneficent influences of our free ted States resumes its annual legislative labors. institutions, and to the kindly effects of unreAn all-wise and merciful Providence has abated stricted social and commercial intercourse. An the pestilence which visited our shores, leaving its entire restoration of fraternal feeling must be the calamitous traces upon some portions of our coun- earnest wish of every patriotic heart; and we try. Peace, order, tranquillity, and civil author-will have accomplished our grandest national ity have been formally declared to exist through-achievement when, forgetting the sad events of out the whole of the United States. In all of the the past, and remembering only their instructive States civil authority has superseded the coercion lessons, we resume our onward career as a free, of arms, and the people, by their voluntary action, prosperous, and united people.