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Fortunately, we had as Governor, Richard Yates, who, although Kentucky bred and born, was an ardent patriot, a believer in liberty, and in his message to this Legislature, he alluded to the policy of emancipation by saying: "It is not to be overlooked that there exists a degree of prejudice in the minds of the people upon the subject of giving freedom to the slave, to which politicians appeal with fatal injury to the cause of that enlightened progress which has been so providentially placed within the reach of the present generation. A grand opportunity is presented to us by the logic of events. By a wise and Christian policy we blot out a mighty wrong to one class of people now in bondage, and secure lasting peace and happiness to another. I am sure of two things. First, that when slavery is removed, this rebellion will die out and not before. Second, I believe and predict and commit the prediction in this State paper to meet the verdict of my successors in office and of posterity that the change brought about by the policy of emancipation will pass off in a way so quietly and easily that the world will stand amazed that we should have entertained such fears of its evils."

This message fell upon deaf ears. The House proceeded to appoint a Committee on Federal Relations and the majority of this committee brought in a report which was as follows:

“WHEREAS, The Union has no existence separate from the federal Constitution, but being created solely by that instrument, it can only exist by virtue thereof; and when the provisions of that Constitution are suspended, either in time of war or in peace, whether by the North or the South, it is alike this Union, and,

“WHEREAS, The federal government can lawfully exercise no power that is not conferred upon it by the federal Constitution, the exercise, therefore, of other powers not granted by that instrument in time of war, as well as in time of peace, is a violation of the written will of the American people, destructive of their plan of government and of their common liberties, and,

“WHEREAS, The Constitution cannot be maintained, nor the Union preserved in opposition to public feeling by a mere exercise of the coercive powers confided to the general government, and that in case of differences and conflicts between the states and the federal government, too powerful for adjustment by the civil departments of the government, the appeal is not to the sword by the State or by the general government, but to the people peacefully assembled by their representatives in convention, and,

“WHEREAS, The allegiance of the citizen is due alone to the Constitution and laws made in pursuance thereof—not to any man or officer or administration—and whatever support is due to any officer of this gov-. ernment is due alone by virtue of the Constitution and laws, and,

“WHEREAS, Also, the condition of the whole .republic, but more especially the preservation of the liberties of the people of Illinois, imperatively demands that we, their representatives, should make known to our fellow countrymen our deliberate judgment and will,

“We, therefore, declare, that the acts of the federal administration, in suspending the writ of habeas corpus, the arrest of citizens not subject to military law, without warrant and without authority-transporting them to distant states, incarcerating them in political prisons, without charge or accusation-denying them the right of trial by jury, witnesses in their favor or counsel for their defense; withholding from them all knowledge of their accusers and the cause of their arrest—answering their petitions for redress by repeated injury and insult-prescribing in many cases as a condition of their release, test oaths, arbitrary and illegal; in the abridgement of freedom of speech and of the press by imprisoning the citizen for expressing his sentiments, by suppressing newspapers, by military force and establishing a censorship over others, wholly incompatible with freedom of thought and expression of opinion, and the establishment of a system of espionage by a secret police to invade the sacred privacy of unsuspecting citizens; declaring martial law over states not in rebellion, and where the courts are open and unobstructed for the punishment of crime; in declaring the slaves of loyal as well as disloyal citizens in certain states and parts of states free; the attempted enforcement of compensation emancipation; the proposed taxation of the laboring white man to purchase the freedom and secure the elevation of the negro; the transportation of negroes into the State of Illinois in defiance of the repeatedly expressed will of the people; the arrest and imprisonment of the representatives of a free and sovereign State; the dismemberment of the state of Virginia, erecting within her boundaries a new state without the consent of her legislature, are each and all arbitrary and unconstitutional, a usurpation of the legislative functions, a suspension of the judicial departments of the state and federal government, subverting the Constitution state and federal invading the reserved rights of the people and the sovereignty of the states, and if sanctioned, destructive of the Union-establishing upon the common ruins of the liberties of the people and the sovereignty of the states a consolidated military despotism.

“And we here solemnly declare that no American citizen can, without the crime of infidelity to his country's constitutions and the allegiance which he bears to each, sanction such usurpations.

"Believing that our silence would be criminal, and may be construed into consent, in deep reverence for our Constitution which has been ruthlessly violated, we do hereby enter our most solemn protest against these usurpations of power, and place the same before the world, intending thereby to warn our public servants against further usurpation; therefore,

"Resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring herein, That the army was organized, confiding in the declaration of the President in his inaugural address, to wit: "That he had no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it existed, and that he believed he had no lawful right to do so, and that he had inclination to do so,' and upon the declaration of the federal congress, to wit: "That this war is not waged in any spirit of oppression or subjugation or any purpose of overthrowing any of the institutions of any of the states, and that, inasmuch as the whole policy of the administration since the organization of the army has been at war with the declarations aforesaid, culminating in the Emancipation Proclamation, leaving the facts patent, that the war has been diverted from its first avowed object to that of subjugation and the abolition of slavery, a fraud both legal and moral has been perpetrated upon the brave sons of Illinois who have so nobly gone forth to battle for the Constitution and the laws. And while we protest against the continuance of this gross fraud upon our citizen soldiers, we thank them for that heroic conduct on the battlefields that sheds imperishable glory on the State of Illinois.

"Resolved, That we believe the further prosecution of the present war cannot result in the restoration of the Union and the preservation of the Constitution as our fathers made it, unless the President's Emancipation Proclamation be withdrawn.

Resolved, That while we condemn and denounce the flagrant and monstrous usurpation of the administration and encroachments of abolitionism, we equally condemn and denounce the ruinous heresy of secession as unwarranted by the Constitution and destructive alike of the security and perpetuity of our government and the peace and liberty of our people; and fearing as we do that it is the intention of the present Congress and administration at no distant day to acknowledge the independence of the Southern Confederacy and thereby sever the Union, we hereby solemnly declare that we are unalterably opposed to any such severance of the Union and that we never can consent that the great northwest shall be separated from the southern states comprising the Mississippi Valley. That river shall never water the soil of two nations, but from its source to its confluence with the Gulf shall belong to one great and united people.

"Resolved, That peace, fraternal relations and political fellowship should be restored among the states; that the best interests of all and the welfare of mankind require that this should be done in the most speedy and effective manner; that it is to the people we must look for a restoration of the Union and the blessings of peace, and to these ends we should direct our earnest and honest efforts; and hence, we are in favor of the assembling of a national convention of all the states to so adjust our national difficulties that the states may hereafter live together in harmony, each being secured in the rights guaranteed to all of our fathers; and which convention we recommend shall convene at Louisville, Ky., or such other place as shall be determined upon by Congress or the several states at the earliest practical period.

Resolved, further, Therefore, that to attain the objects of the foregoing resolutions, we hereby memorialize the Congress of the United States, the administration at Washington and the executive and legislatures of the several states to take such action as shall secure an armistice in which the rights and safety of the government shall be fully protected for such length of time as will enable the people to meet in convention aforesaid, and we therefore earnestly recommend to our fellow citizens everywhere to observe and keep all their lawful and constitutional obligations, to abstain from all violence and to meet together and reason, each with the other, upon the best mode to attain the great blessings of peace, unity and liberty; and be it further,

Resolved, That to secure the coöperation of the states and the general government, Stephen T. Logan, Samuel S. Marshall, H. K. S. Omelveny, William C. Goudy, Anthony Thornton and John D. Caton are hereby appointed commissioners to confer immediately with Congress and the President of the United States, and with the legislatures and executives of the several states and urge the necessity of prompt action to secure said armistice and the election of delegates to and the early assembling of said convention, and to arrange and agree with the general government and the several states upon the time and place of holding said convention; and that they report their action in the premises to the General Assembly of this State.

Resolved, That the Speaker of the House of Representatives be requested to transmit a copy of the foregoing preamble and resolutions to the President of the United States, to each of our senators and representatives in Congress and to each of the governors and speakers of the House of Representatives of the several states."

These resolutions were simply carrying out the program outlined by the southern statesmen, looking forward to detaching Illinois from the cause of the Union and annexing it with its fortunes to the south. The resolutions were said to have been drawn up by a member from Cook County, a young lawyer who never obtained more than a third-class position at the bar of his home city; but who for his part in this transaction attained sufficient notoriety to be afterwards appointed to the position of chief justice of the supreme court. At the time of his appointment, he was so poor that it was currently reported that the question of fare from Chicago to Washington was a matter of considerable importance to him. Twenty-two years afterwards, he died, leaving a fortune of a million dollars. When public attention was attracted to this fact, his family published a statement that this wealth was the result of successful real estate investments in Chicago, but, as a matter of fact, only $200,000 of his estate was in real estate. The rest was in securities paying a handsome dividend. Republics are not always ungrateful.

A minority report was prepared, but this was voted down and the above preamble and resolutions were adopted by a vote of fifty-two “yeas” to twenty-eight “nays.” They would undoubtedly have passed the Senate at once, but on the 13th of February Senator Rodgers, a democrat, died and left the Senate a tie, so that the General Assembly took a recess until the 2d of June.

When these resolutions were reported, they excited the greatest commotion throughout the State, but the democratic force was so strong in the General Assembly that the opposition was cowed until Senator Isaac Funk of McLean County rose to his feet. He was born in old Virginia, but when a boy had crossed the mountains and sought a new home on the prairies of Illinois. He had been a successful farmer and was known as a man of probity and honor, and now, in his old age, he had been selected by his fellow citizens to represent them in the State Senate. When the original draft of the resolution was published and read in the Senate, his soul boiled within him. Then he made the following speech:

"Mr. Speaker, I can sit in my seat no longer and see such boys' play going on. These men are trifling with the best interests of the country.

They should have ass's ears to set off their heads, or they are secessionists and traitors at heart.

"I say there are traitors and secessionists at heart in this Senate. Their actions prove it; their speeches prove it; their jibes and laughter and cheers here nightly when their speakers get up in this hall and denounce the war and administration prove it.

“I can sit here no longer and not tell these traitors what I think of them, and, while so telling it, I am responsible myself for what I say. I stand upon my own bottom; I am ready to meet any man on this floor in any manner, from a pin's point to the mouth of a cannon, upon this charge against these traitors. (Tremendous applause from the gallery.) I am an old man of sixty-five. I came to Illinois a poor boy. I have made a little something for myself and family. I pay $3,000 a year in taxes. I am willing to pay $6,000—aye, $12,000—(great cheering) aye, I am willing to pay my whole fortune and then give my life to save my country from these traitors that are seeking to destroy it. (Tremendous cheers and applause.)

“Mr. Speaker, you must please excuse me. I could not sit longer in my seat and calmly listen to these traitors. My heart that feels for my poor country would not let me. My heart that cries out for the lives of our brave volunteers in the field that these traitors at home are destroying by thousands would not let me. My heart that bleeds for the widows and orphans at home would not let me. Yes, these villains and traitors and secessionists in this Senate are killing my neighbors' boys now fighting in the field. I dare to tell this to these traitors to their faces and that I am responsible for what I say to one or all of them. Let them come on right here. I am sixty-five years old, and I have made up my mind to risk my life right here on this floor for my country.

“These men sneered at Colonel Mack a day or two ago. He is a little man; but I am large man. I am ready to meet any of them in place of Colonel Mack. I am large enough for them and I hold myself ready for them now and at any time. (Cheers.)

"Mr. Speaker, these traitors on this floor should be provided with hempen collars.

They deserve them! They deserve them! They deserve hanging, I say! The country would be better off to swing them up. I go for hanging them and I dare to tell them so right here to their traitors' faces. Traitors should be hanged and it would be the salvation of the country to hang them, and for that reason I would rejoice at it. (Tremendous cheering.)

"Mr. Speaker, I beg pardon of the gentlemen in the Senate who are not traitors, but true, loyal men, for what I have said.

I only intend it and mean it for secessionists at heart. They are here in this Senate. I see them .joke and smirk and grin at a true Union man, but I defy them. I stand here ready for them and dare them to come on. (Great cheering.) What man with a heart of a patriot could stand this treason any longer? I have stood it long enough. I will stand it

(Cheers.) I denounce these men and their aiders and abettors as rank traitors and secessionists. Hell itself could not spew out a more traitorous crew than some of the men who disgrace this Legis

no more.

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