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Wade Hampton

Wade Hampton image
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On Thuraday, June 5th, during the debate in the Senate on the bill repealing the Jurors' test oath. Mr. llamutou (Dem., S. C.) after briefly supporting the bilí spoke upon general politinal Issue. It was trne tho southern unembers for in - ed themajorily of üongress and were rosponsible for what they approved and supported as well as ior what they suggested. Mr. Hampton could not claim to speak as a leader of bis party, but speaking lor himself he wonld nover try to shield hitrjseli froni the eonseqaenoas of his actiou behind anv man or party. It the party supportod by him was revolutionary and treasonable, he was a rovolutionist and traitor, but what policy is before (Jongress worthy of - uch a charge ? Continuing Mr. Hampton said By no vote of mine will theappropriationsnecessaryfor the efficiënt rnaintenance of the arm y be refused. It is competent for Congress to declare under what litnitations and upon what conditions approprialions shall be made. The lorm ia which tbisisdone I regard as immaterial. Inmy judgmentit would have been best to adliére to the general foriri, but as it bas beon deenied advisable to make the necessary apiiropriations in anothor iiihiiner I shall, iu order to secure unatiimity, acquiesce iu tho decisión of the majority ; but in no event can I aid in disbanding the array or impairing its efficiency. It is the armyofthe South as well as of the North. It'is the ariny of the wholo country. In its history, from the days of the revolutiou through its aohievoments of 1812 and glories of the Mexloan war, 1 have some reasen, ly right ofmybirth and blood to be proud. ia tlie lato civil contest on inany a bloody fiolil I teoted its valor, -ind 110 word or act of mine shall deprecíate its valuoor lessen its US8fulness. Becanse iso rogard iL mi act of mino shall tend to degrado it ('rom íih high rank. I will not toleglslate that agaiustits own honorable instincts and tradiliona it shall bo an instrument oí tyranuy in the hands oi any faction, party orauy Kxocutive who may ba so unsorupulout as to desire to uso it. Nor shall I assent because of any differences of opinión betweon the minority and majority, to close the courtnof justiceor etnbiirass the necessary and ordorly lito of the govermneut. The Constitutlon has proviilod a meaus by which an appeal to the country can be deteriiiinod, and it is lor the people to decide whothertho Presidencial veto has been wisely usod to iieieat tho wlll of Congres, which reprosonts a riiHJority of the peoplo. Mr. Hampton proceedod to say that hu had no intemion to embarras the adininistratlon. Whilo Ite'himfielf cuns-idcred thu provisiona of. the Wils as j ust , Uo recognized the ditücnlt position in which the Executive found'himself. Mr. Hamptou's people rerneoaboreü that in a critioal period of thoir Iii-Lory, wlnn any iujudicious action wou ld hive boen fatal, tho President, by a cuiim-'h nli'iin construction ofhis duty, ïcmov'.d lli ;) United States troops from Loujüiana aud South Carolina, thus enabllnrf the peoplöto mstore their local gnvei imients to thosu who represented tlie popular will, as well as the character, intelligonce and property of the two States. Por this wise and patriotic action he was grateful, and while In the necessary party differences which raust arise in a free country it would be bis duty to opposethe policy of which tho President was the representativo, that opposition would not bo captious nor such as to drive the President into a coalition with those who would madly trample on the rights of the people in their struggle to retain power. Mr. Hampton said his party was denounced for wishing to restrict the Federal use of troops, tliough men high ia the Hepublican party, whose words he quoted, had a!so pointed out and deuouuced the abuses and danger in their use. Continuing, he said thoro was a widespread doctrine that the rosult of the war hivl lieen to incroaso the strength and funclions of the goneral government, and that as a natural conseqnence it eonld rightly use the tnachinory ol' thegovernment, ineluding the army, to oonflrtQ such added power. Mr. Hamptou thought the war had not changed iu any way the relativo powers of States and the Union. One oí' the principal factors of oursuc(!688 and growth has been tho policy i f local governmental iniluences. It was nottlio iininediate action of the army tliat lio l'earod, but that the ulliinate eü'euts ol its niisuso would be centralization and despotism, and he would oppose any legislation to givo the general govermnent power to interfero in any way with the elections. It was better to have túrbatenos Ín one or two great cíLíoh tban to have military despotism in tho whole country. It had been complained that Confedérate offlcera had been sent here as legislators. Nearly every min in tho South bore arms, and sbe eould hardly be blamod for trusting ber interestsin paace to those who risked their lives and fortunes for her iu war. He thoughtifthe North had honored in like nianner those who Ibught her battles, the Jeginlaüon of the country would not be einbittored by revivals ol sectional stril'e. When the North invited the Southern States to return to the Union wasshe sincere, ordid she only wish them back lo govern them as rotten boroughs? Il' sincere, sl.e should be glad that they sont their best and most houored men to represunt them. Tho South could not in the naturoof thiogs be long subordlnftted to the mass ot ignorano.e and inoxporienco forced on them by tho uasty sotion of tlio Repu biican party. The South had do :iiology to inake fo tlio past. In ttie heat of conflict hard blows weie BtraclE, uu] hard words spoken, but to recall thein now is not in the interest of Unit harmouy lor which the whole country lonys. The South asks to have stricken frorn the statute books laws aro the product of distrust, as mucli as wee tlie armies and navies. If yon ask ua to come back as States, tako'us as States, .loin Iiands with us to estsblish national liberty asunderstood by our fathers. Mr. Hampton's addrcss arousod frequontapplause in the galleries.


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Michigan Argus