Newspaper Page Text
" -.XI.. - -
Weekly National lutelll gencer. Br GALES & SEATON. JAMES C. WELLING, ASSOCIATE EDITOR. The aubucription price of thin paper for a year is Two Dollars, payable in advance. A reduction of 20 per cent.(one-fifth of the full ehargf will be made to any one who ahail order and pay for, at on#* time, ten oopiea of the Weekly paper ; and a reduction of 2*? per cent, (or one-fourth of the full charge) to any one who willorder and pay for, at oue time, twenty or more oopiea. Nfo accounts being kept for this paper, it will n? t be sent to any one unlet* paid for in advance, nor any longer than the time for which it ia paid. THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 1804. THE FUGITIVE 8LA.VE CLAUSK. In referring, a few days ago, t> tho historical origin of tho olauso in the Constitution relating to fugitive slaves, we stated that we had not then seen the report on the subject made by Mr. Sena tor Sumner, in behalf of " the select committee of tho Senate on slavery and the treatment of frocd men," to whom were referred suudry petitions asking for tho repeal of the fugitive slave act of 1850, and also asking for the repeal ol all acts for fie rendition of fugitive slaves. Since the dnte of our allusioQ to this topic we have had an opportunity of reading this elaborate report of the distinguished Senator. It ia hardly necessary for us to say that, like every thing ema nating from Mr. Sumner's pen, it is marked by great learning, and by an affluence of historical citation, bearing more or less directly on thethemo as it is unfolded to his mind. But when we state that alt this elaboration of argument and all this array of authority are brought to a defence of the proposition that the clause in questiou does not actually or legally embrace the c*sc of fugitive slaves in the scope of its terms, we imagine that most readers will be tempted rather to admire the skill and ingenuity of the essay than to admit its cono'uMve force against the unbroken traditions of histo y and law in the IJuitcd States for the laht eighty years. If *Mr. f umoer had diiected the battery of bis argument again t certain features of the fu gitive slave law of 1850 we conceive that he would have had the almost universal concurrence of generou minds in tho Loyal States. There arc certain feature8 of that law which revolt the natural sen sibility of a humane pcopl -; and it was only be ovuse the law was passed as one in a series of com promise acts tbat it extorted the general acqui escence and procured tho general obedience of the community. Ilarsh as it was in some of its sanc tions, the place it occupied in "the great adjust ment ef 1850" sufficed to screen it from the odium in which it might have been held as a pure and simple measure of statute law. But between just animadversions cn the spirit and terms of the fugitive flave ant of 1850 and a total denial of the constitutional right of the slave holder to reclaim a fugitive from his service there is a wide interval of distaaco. Where the currtnt of testimony and legislation sets in one direction from the days of George Washington, tho first President, down to the days of Abrahr m Lincoln, tho last, it is a case in which the maxim of Vin oentius dc Lcrins, quod temper, quod uLique, quod al omnibus, maybe taken as a test of truth, nppli cablc no less to the articles of the State, as founded by tho fianiers of the Constitution, than to tho ar ticles of the Church, as founded by the Apostles. On topios which have engaged the attention of m^n for generations, novel views labor, at the very out set, under the disadvantage of deserving to be held prima facie unfounded. In such matters it is generally safe to say that the things which are true are not new, and that the things whioh are new arc not true. Wc will give a single illustration of the perils which be?.ct the adventurous thesis of Senator Sumner under this head, notwithstanding the scholarly ability he brings to the support of his proposition. Arguing to prove tbat tho fugitive slave clausc, at the time of its adoption by tho Convention at Philadelphia, must have been re garded, according to receipted rv.Jea of interpreta tion, as having no " positive" charaoter, because there wero eminent members of tho Convention who, according to their declared opinions, could never havi consented to any such proposition, "if it had been supposed for a moment to furn the Re public which they were then organizing into a mighty slave-huntor," he says : " There ?at Gnuvernenr Morria, who only ft abort tiine before ?xH*iin?d, in the Convention: ' lie never irouM concur in upholding iii mmlic tlamy It W?* a nefarioua inatitutn>n. It wna Mm curae of Heaven ad the Btate where it prevailed ' There aat Oliver Kl'aworth, after warda Chief Jnatice, who aaid, iti word* which atnke at all aupport of alavery ty the National Government: ' The morality or wiadom of alavery are conaiderationa belonging to the Mtate* themaelvea.' There nat Rlbridge Gerry, af terward* Vice President, who opetly declared that 4 we had oottiififrtn do with the conductof the Htatea aa toalavery. but v?e ought to hf cartful not to give any sanction to it' Tbeie aat K<ger Hherman, who avowed that he v aa ' op poaed to any ta* on alavea imported, aa making the matter worae, bra.use it implied th,y ictrr property ' And, great ? at of all, there *Ht B.*nj<MBtn Franklin, who hy character and convictiot, in every fibre of hi* moral and intellectual being, um pledged aeain*t any aanelion of alavery. Who can auppoae that theae wiae and illualrioiia patriarch* o( liberty all consented, nem con , not only to aanelion ala very and to recogniao property in man, but to nut a ken nel of bloodhounda into the Ci Datitation, ready to hunt tie flying boudinan T They did no anch thing; or, it it i* inaiated, contrary to received tulct of interpretation, that auch must h< the aigniflotion of tlieir language, clearly they did not underatand it ao." It seems t<? u/i that the argvmenhim ad ivrr cundiam, founded on the known views rim! decla rations of tlieae statesmen aa to the general matter of slavery, can hardly he quoted in support of the deduction that, the Senator draws from it in rela tion to thin particular clause of the Constitution? a clause which, as wc have already shown, h?d horn engrafted on the " ordinance of freodom " adopt ed in 1787 with the entire unanimity of the Con gress of I he Confederation, (if we eioept Mr. Ya?e?,) which was sitting in New York simulta neously with tbe Convention in Philadelphia. And it secmi to us; moreover, that the minority ?????? report of the committee of which Mr. Sumner is the chairman, as drawn by Mr. liuekalew, of Pennsylvania, rebuts this inferenoe most effeetu ally when it says: "The majority quote declarations of Oliver Ellsworth, Elbridge O. rry, and Roger Sherman, hostile to slavery, and argue there'rom that tho constitutional clause relat ing t<> p**r?K?fi? escaping from service and labor did aot relate to slaves, because those statesmen, as meinbera o the Con veiit'on, would not have usseuted to a provision which included *lav. * We cont? ut ourselves with stat ing, in reily, that all those distinguished men were mem b?rn of Connie#- in 1793, and tupportcd tiu fugttiv? slate met of that year It is plain to our minds from the history of this olausc that it was engrafted on the Constitution as ? fitting complement, in the opinion of its framers, to the similar provision mado in the ordinance of 1787, in its sixth section, with regard to the Ter ritories of thp UniUd States. That the terms of the Constitution utider this head were understood to be complementary to those of the ordinance on the same point is apparent from a remark dropped by Mr. Pinckney, of South Carolina, in the Con vention held in that State on the ratification of the instrument in whose formation he had assisted. Commenting on the provision of the Constitution in reference to fugitive slaves, and which, in con junction with his oolleague, Mr. Butler, he had moved in the Philadelphia Convention, he Mid . '< We have obtained a right to recover our slaves in whatever part, of America they may take rt fuye, which is a right we had not bejore. Uy the ordinance of 17B7 it was provided that fugi tive slaves "might be lawfully" recovered in the Northwest Territory; and by the third clause in the second scction of Articlc IV. of the Con stitution, provision was, in like manner, made for the recovery of such fugitives in the States where slavery did not exist, insomuch that Mr. Pinckney was justified in pointing to the Consti tution as securing rights not guarantied before, ind making those rights equally secure in the jommon territory of the Confederacy and in the non-slavr-holding State*. (Elliot's Debates, vol. LV., p. 28G ) Mr. Madison made a similar ob lervation on this point in the Convention held in Virginia on the ratification of the Constitution by ?hat State. (Klliot's Debates, vol. III., p. *153.) Where the records of our history and the tra litions of our legislation are so distinct, it seems to us that the cause of true reform ii to be sought rathi r in the amendment of the laws than in a nullification of the Constitution on which these laws are founded. Or, if the covenants of the Con stitution have bccome repugnant to the moral sense of the people, let them be repealed in the way pointed out, and not repudiated or broken, against what seems to be good faith in the eyes of the great ma?<8 of the nation. It is known that no one has been more emphatic or express than President Lin coln in avowing tho opinion that the Slaveholding States *>re entitled to an (ffioieot statute or the re covery of persons held to service under their laws. He so affirmed in his Inaugural Address on taking his o;ith of office. ()u that ocoa^ion he placed hie opinions on record in the following terms : " There i* mucb controversy about the delivering up of fugitive* front service or labor. The clam* I now read is a* plainly written in tho Constitution m any other of it' provisional No (terpen held to nervine or labor in one State, nnder the lawn thereof, escaping into another, ahull, i'i oonseqnenc? of Any law or regulation therein. l?t! discharged from sncn service or labor, but shall he delivered upon claim of the party to whom bii< b service or labor may be due.' "It is scarcely questioned that this provision was in tended by those who made it for tho reclaiming of what we call fugitive slaves ; and the intention ol the law-giver is the law All members of Congress swear tbeir support to the whole C< nstituton?to this provision as much as any other. To tb* proposition, then, that slaves, whose cases come within the terms of this clause,' shall be deli vered up,'their oaths are unanimous Now, if they would make the effort in good U mp'T, could they not, with near |y equal unanimity, trame and paas a law by means of which to keep good that unanimous oath I " There is some difference of opinion whether this clause should be enforced by national or by State authority; but surely that difference ia not a very material one. If the idavH ia to be surrender d, it can be of but little^ conae queiice to him, or to others, by which authority it ia done And should any one, in any case, be content that bia oath shall go uokept, on a merely unaubstantial controveray aa to how it shall be kept? " Again, in any law upon thia subject, oui^ht not all tne safeguards of liberty known in civilized and humane juris prudenre to be introduced, eo that a free man be not, in ??y cane, surrendered aa a slave? And might it not be well at the same time to provide by law for the enforce ment of that olauae in the Constitution which guaranties that' llie citizens of each S'ate ahatl be entitled to all pri vileges and immunities of citizens in the several States 1 " I tike the official oath to-day with no mental reserva tion", Mid with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws by any hypercritical rules. And while I do not choose now to specify particular acts of Congress as pro per to be enforced, I do suggest that, it will be much safer for all, boih in official and private stations, to conform to and abide by all those act- which stand unrepealed, than to violate any of them, trustn g t ? find impunity in having them held to be unconstitutional." Wo assume that nothing which has since oc curred is held by Mr. Lincoln to have abrogated this light as regards the loyal Slavcholding States. And if his view be disregarded there is still another course, advocated by Mr. Seoretary Chase while he was a member of the " Peace Congress in this city in the winter of 1860-'G1, which avoids the odium of seeming to " break tho cove nant of the Constitution." Not being able to con cur with Mr. Senator Sumner in his view of the meaning and purport of the clause in the Consti tution on this subject, but concurring with him in his wish to avoid its literal fulfilment, Mr. Chase suggested a money commutation for escaped slaves, as sufficing to preserve tho essence of good faith in this matter without wounding tho consciences of those who revolted against remanding an escaped slave to servitude. He spoke in that body on the fifth of Fobruary, 1801, as follows: " Aside from the Territorial question?the question of slavery outside of Slave States?I know of hut one seri ous difficulty. 1 refer to the question concerning fugitives Iroui service. The clause in the Constitution concerning this class of persons is regarded by almust all men, North and South, as a stipulation for the surrender to their nias_ U rs of slaves escaping into Free States. Tho people of tho Free States, however, who believe that slaveholding ia .wrong, cannot and will not ai i In the reclamation, and the st pulatioH becomes therefore a dead letter. You complain of ban faith, and the complaint is retorted by denunciations of tne cruelty which would drag back to bondage the poor slave who has escaped from it. You, thinking slavery right, cla ui the fulfilment of the stipula tion ; we, thinking slavery wr-ng, cannot fulfil the stipu lation wi.bont consciousness of participation in wrong. Hole is a leal difficulty, tut it seems to me not insupera ble It will not do for ns to say to you, io Justification of non-performance, ' tbe stipulation in immoral, and there fore we cauuot execute it;' fur you deny the immorality, and we cannot assume to judge for you On tho other bund, you ought not to exact from us the literal perform a>'ce ol the stipulation when you know ihit wo cannot per form it without oonaoioaa culpability. A true solution of the difficulty aeeuia to be attainable by regarding it a* a mmple cane where a contract, from changed circumatao ees, cannot be fulfilled exactly aa made. A.court of equity in such a caae decrefi execution aa near a* may be It requires tbe party who cannot perform to make compen sation for non-performance, lfcby canoot the aame prin ciple be applied to the rendition of fugitivea from aervice7 We cannot surrender?but we can compensate. Why not then avoid all difficulties on all aides and show re ayectively good faith and good will by providing and ac cepting compensation where master* reclaim escaping* 1 *ervanta and prove their right of reclamation un.ler the I Constitution ? Instead of a judgment lor rendition, let there be a judgment for compensation, determined by tbe true value of the serviees, and let the same judgment an ?jure freedom to tbe fugitive. Tbe co?t to the National 1 reaaury would be aa nothing in nomparinon with the evils of diacord and atrife. All parties would be gainera." Our able weekly contemporary, the New York u Round Table," in one of its recent number.-!, animadverted with muoh pungency, and, as we conceive, with equal justice, on the low tone main tained by most of the so-called "religious newspa pers" in our country, whether regard be had to their moral or intellectual force. In its opinion, " the little religious writing in them" has come to be " perfunotory, aimless, and inane," while their writing upon political and social topics, if more animated than the former, is jet not superior, in general, to that of the secular newspapers belong ing to the second or a still lower olass. There are, of course, some exceptions to this general criticism?exceptions which will present themselves to every reader of the religious press? but that, in the main, it is a just portraiture of .mveh that passes for "religious journalism" in the United States will be admitted by all. Nor is it difficult to discern or state the cau^cH of this mark ed deterioration. l'orcmost among these causes we mu*t assign the largo, and, in many cases, the paramount place given in these papers to purely secular discussions. And this substitution of "profane" for "sacred" ihemes has naturally carried with it into the sphere of such discussions the passions and tendencies which ate " of the earth, earthy." There was a time when the odium, theologieum was a proverb, but if religious controversy then partook too largely of acrimony, it is only just to say that this very acrimony marked the presence of string religious convictions, asserting themselves with vehemence because the men who cherished them were earnest in the belief of their truth and importance. If the comparative absence of theological asperities in the so-called "religious press" of the present day were accompanied by a softened tone of dis I oussion on other topics of vivid interest, werright hope that this mitigition of the controversial tq.irit was symptomatic of a general improvement in the ethics of debate. But, unfortunately for this oon soling deduction, we find that many of these pa pers, whieh are as vapid as dish-water in their t,he> | logical disquisition, arc as aeiid as vitriol in their political disputations. They make it plain that on subjects where they feel keenly, and in which they have something more than a languid interest, they are as roady as ever to fight with trenchant weapons instead of brandishing the foils which they are content to wield in the joust and tourney of theological digladiation. The tl eologians of a former period fed their minds on imperial themes in the world of pious meditation or abstraot speculation. The power of the present world was overshadowed by the powers of the world to oome. The line of demarcation between the secular and the sacred was distinctly marked and recogniscd. Keligious fellowship was then determined by community of religious faith, and was not made to depend on community of cre dence in regard to matters of social reform or political agitation. 1 he church was not called to supplement its recognised creed with annual "de liverances" on the predominant topics of the hour in tho political hustings, or on the rostrum of social reform. It was natural that, with tho in vasion of secular or semi-secular theses of discus sion in the religious oonventicle and in the re ligious press, there should have oome with them a litigious spirit of controversy bearing fruit after its kind. Hence the injurious personality and political invective which disfigure so many of our nominally religious sheets. Tame and spiritless in their treatment of themes which by their majestic grandeur no less than their infinite momont de serve to fill tho mind and fire tho soul, they re solve their best zeal for the petty strifes engondorea by the noxious spirit of party in tho dusty arena of political life. Instead of heeding the injunc tion which bids ns put away "all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking," what journals are more ready than some of the so called religious sheets to indulge jn terms of re proach and calumny against men who, equally virtuous in the walks of private lifcand equally sin. cere in the opinions they hold, differ from the con ductors of these sheets only in their conscientious views of public policy ? It will readily occur to tho thoughtful roader that it is not affirmed by the drift of these remarks that there are no occasions when religious journals not only may properly but when they are in duty bound to discuss tho religious and moral aspect* of secular questions. It is not affirmed that ques tions which are purely secular may not legitimate ly occupy a subordinate place in their eolumns. Hut it is preoist ly because they have this liberty that care should be taken lest it be made an occa sion of offenoe, and lest in giving undue develop ment, to the spirit and temper of secularly they >honld seem to forfeit the distinctive oharaoter under color of which they solicit pnblio pUronngc We could cite the name of profo,s?dly religious journals which, if we may judge from the quality or quantity of their contents, ate muoh more solicitous about the suoeess of certain politioal policies thnn tho edification of tho saint*, and the oon4u,?tors of which are evidently muoh more at homo in the jargon of Aahdod than in (he speeoh of Zion RELIGIOUS JOURNALISM. CONGRESSIONAL. PROCEEDINGS IN THE 110U8E Extract? from Our Daily Reportt. THE GOLD BIIX. The House proceeded to the consideration of the amend ment inserted by tbe Senate in the gold bill. Mr. lllJLBURD offered an amendment U> tba Senate's amendment, providing that the obligation to croate the ?inking fund according to tbe act of February iif?, 1802, abhll not be impaired by the authority of the Secretary of the TreaHUiy to Bell gold. Mr. 8TKVEN8 said that the act of lt#W did not, as it wai claimed, require that tbe sinking fund should be paid in gold ; but that the Government should buy in so much of the public debt an would amount to one per cent. The amendment of Mr. Hulbubv wm agreed to. Mr. HIGBEE opposed the bid. He did not see what difference there watt in principle in the Government going into tbe market with millions of gold in its hand a and in dividual* with thousand*, and engaging in speculations in gold. He was opposed to the Government thin acting, and buyiug up its owu paper at lem than its face value If we have a surplus ol gold, let it be paid to our creditors. By tki* meant* we shall sustain the credit of tbe Govern ment. Let us be fiithful to our pledges, and,apply our coin*as provided by law, to pay the interest on the pub lie debt. Mr. KEI.LEY aaid he was opp-sed to this bill when it was first introduced, fearing it would do harm ; but, on reflection, he had come to the conclusion to support it. By retaining so much gold in the Treasury, we lose the interest on twenty two millions of dollars and increase the price of every commodity, to the detriment of the wives and children of the soldiers w the field and the comma nity at large. By the sale of the gold, tbe effect would be to decrease prices, aod thus conler a substantial good. Mr STEVENS said, by the legislation of Congress, two years ago, whether wise or unwise, gold is no longer money in the actual and practical sense of the. word. The money of tbe nation is that which was made lawful money Gold and otlur coin has been demonetised. He repeated tha> what we have d. elated money is the standard of value Not only gold, but iron and lead, have been inorwased in pi ice. The use of bullion or any metal, when used in the place of what we have deel red to be lawful money, is the exception and not the rule. He then advocated the past ?ag.? of the bill, arguing that it would afford relief. Le the Government make known that it has gold to sell at a reasonable price, and the Shjl^ ck4 on the Iiialto will cease whetting their knives. He desired that overtrading 'tumid c?a?e, lor this made large drains upon our gold. Mr. &TKVKR8 moved the previous question, which wa? seconded ; and, under its operation, the amendment of the Senate, a* amended by the proviso of Mr. HUI.BUHD, agreed to by the following voti: YKAS?Messrs. Alloy, Ann*, Anderson, Arnold, A?hley, John D Baldwin, Baxter Beanmn, Kraucis P. Blair, jr., Ja^b B. Blair, Blow, Boiitwell, Boyd, liruiidefree, Ambrose W. Clark, Cobb, Cole, Cwswcll, Henry Winter Davis, Dawea, Dawson, Donnelly, Drlitirs, Dnniont, K.klev Eli?t, Farnswoitb, Veil ton, Uarttald. (looeh, (Hinnell, Ortt wold il-mi? r, Itoti liki-H, J. II lluhbard, llulbunl. Jfnckus. Juli;?a, K:f,s<>n. KeMey, Orlando KrlloRg. Francis W. Keltojyj, l^an. !>>ntf vesr. Marvin. McBride. Mi-Tlnr*. flamnel F. Millar, Uoorh?ut, Mor. rill, Ihinifl Muni*. Amos Myers. i.-onur-i Myers. Nortori. Well, (Mi irlfH O'Noill, Orlli. Patterfiun. IVrlmni, AhxHiitler II. W*. John II. Rlra, Brltunck, gcoflsld, Shannon. Smith, Spuldlnir. Starr. rtti'hbiiiK John It. Steele, 8teveua, lhaver, Upson, Vau VtUkcnbnr?b, Wad? worth. Kllihu H WaNhb.irne, William It Waahburn, Webster, Wlialev. Wilder, W ilson, Wiudoro, and Woodbriilg.?8:1. NAYS MrHNid. James C. Allen, Anouna, Bally, Auiru?tus C Bald will Btlos' Broomall, Clay, Coffroth. Co*, Thomas T. Davis, Dentin;;, Deiini-ou, Men. Kldiid^o, Tlale, Hall, Hsrrin(?ton. Cbarl. H M. Har ris Derrick, lligby, Uoliusn, llutcbius,, Kernan, Kimpp. Ij?w. Look. Mallorv Marry Mr Alli-ter, McDowell. Mcl ndoe. MrKinmy Middle too, William' II. Miller, James K. Morris. Mirrrinon. Noble, John Q'Xeill*, Pendleton Price, Pruyn, Radford, Samuel J. tUuUalt. ttouers, James K Rollins, Boas. William Q. aieido. Stilts. Stroiise. Sweat, Thomas, Tracy, Voorbeea, Wlieeler, Joseph W. White, Williams, and Yin man?07. UNEMPLOYED OP.NF.ItAI. OFF1CEB8. The House resumed the consideration of the bill report ed fri'tn the Committer < n Military Affairs, to drop from the rolls of the army unemployed genera1 < fficers Mr. COX i flered an amendment, ill the form of a pro viae, that whenever any officer comprehended in tljs act shall demand a hoard of inquiry, and who shall he willing to serve, such board shall be convened, and if said hoaid shall find kirn competent to command in the rank to which he is entitled he shall b ? at once restored to aotive service, with foil pay ; and provided, further, that all officers who have received t be thanks of Co fig re as during the present war shall b? exempted f-om the operation of thia act. Mr. KKRNAN also ?.ff.-r- d an amendment providing for aboard to determine as to the efficienc y of unemployed | officers, tVc. Mr COX opposed the bill. He aaid that since it was last considered some of the officers whom it proposed to aff ot have been asrigued to active duty, leaving not more than twelve or thirteen major and brigadier generals un employed. If the bill passed in its original form, and these general officers were dismissed, it would be a stain on their character*. By hi* amendment Gen. McClellan would be retained, because h < h>d received (he thank* of Congress That gentleman, he said, had sacrificed his private interests for the good of the country, but had no favors to a^k from the Republican side of the House. Mr. Cox allu-'ed to the story that Generals McClellan and Lee had a private interview afer the battle of Anti.-tam, and pronounced the statement to be a foul -lander, which had been refuted. He charged that it was started to in fluence the New Hampshire election*. Gen. McClellan never had any communication with Gen. T-.ee, except as to prisoners anil wounded men, all ot which had been sent to the Department Mr FAKNSWORTH said that nothing pera mal waa intended by the'hil] We have a number of general offi cer* unemployed, t*nd it \*a* not just they should dtaw pay from ?he Treasuiy. It waa a disgrace for them to do so The Preeident mad- these g-nerala ; Congress did not paa* a law to make them. He did not underatand that once a general, always a general. It was proposed to hint to the President to unmake them. He was for mak ing the President to deal with general officers as with subordinates If the service* of men were not required by the Government, tbey should be dispensed with. Mr KKRNAN \"a? in favor of dropping the incompe tent rfficera but would have this f?ct determined by a board of rtficer*. Men, he *aid, had been appointed, not because of peculiar fitness, but because of party aervices lie t-aid the dropping of general officers, as proposed by this bill, would be u- just He did not au*t*in Fremont, but that i tficer had friends who had confidence in him And as to McCb llan be had friend* who wnuljj rally a* they had heretofore rallied aronnd him to beat back the progress of the enemy. He asked whether tbe dropping of these men thus summarily would not have a bad effect upon th" amiy Ho was in lavor of relieving men who make spoerhes about crushing rebels at the North, bnt. who take gitod car" not to faee ihe enemy in the field, lfe continued hi* remarks at some length. Mr OAK FIELD wished to state very briefly what wis the is?ue now before them We ought bv some means to provide a reoo dy for unburdening the Treasury, which was piying officers who were rendering no public service. And this wa* not the strongest argument. As a matter of clear and sheer justice to officer* in the field, th? road to i heir promotion should not be blocked up by thoa* who sre p.-rforming no dut e*. All would admit there was a grievou* evil. He had no hesitation in declaring that the President and War Department, and the officers under them are responsible f .r ttio non-employment of these officers. The responsibility ought to rest thore and no w here els i Congress do riot command the aruues or manage brigades. They do not assign captaina, lieuten ants, or sergeants toduty. Congress cannot post a picket or rrgulate a skirmish. If men are employed, or nnetnployed, it is because it is so ordered by the military commander Connress cannot say to the President, you shall assign Me Cle'lan or t- reinont to a command, or relieve such a gene ral. Conurea* has no r ght to interfere with such matters. Considering the condition of the country at tbe time the war commenced, he expressed h i surprise that so few j i fficers had been appointed wh ? proved to be failures. | Tbe President hail the discretion to appoint or relieve i officers from command, and he sustained him in using the j power As to a botrd for the examination of tho?e officers, I he oonsidcred it impracticable, as decision* on their (quali fication* might be prompted by p.^itio-al or personal infill- I ence*. I Without, action on th ? bill, the Houae, at five o'clock adjourned On the next day? Mr. AHHLKY moved that the joint resolution, reported fr> m the l/'iiiumiitfs on Military Affair*, to drop certain uneinplo)Cd army officers Irom the rolls, he postponed for three weeks; and tbe question was decide I in the affir mative?yeas 62, naya 4:t. NKVAtta, ClU.MHADI), AND NfnHA?KA. The House, in accordance with tbe special order, pro ce> ded to the consideration of Territorial business. The bill finm the Renate enabling the people of Nevada to form a Constitution and State Government, and pro viding for her admission into the Union on an eaual foot ing with the original Srate*, wa* con^ltlere<l and passed without debate The House next took up the Senate hill enabling the Territory of Colorado to form a Conatit it inn and State Oil vei n iivnt as'a prelimm-iry to her adiiiit-nni into the I' iiiou i O l an equal footing with the origl ial St tt -s | Mr. I'RNDLKtON desired the bill to be referred to tbe Committeo of tbe Wbolo on the state of the Union for diseustioQ, Mr. ASHLEY objects. He said a similar bill bad heretofore panned the House, and Ibis one had passed the Senate without opposition. ? Mr. COX said he had not had an opportunity to ex amine the bill, and would lik ' to ofler ail amendment p.o vidiiik that the State shall not be admittfd until Congress >h satisfied she ban the population equal to that required for the election of a member of the House of Represen tatives, according to the Federal ratio under the last Cf*DHU8. Mr ASHLEY replied that the population of Colorado in larger than Oregon has to-day. Mr COX would not disju'e that, but desired the inner turn of it Round principle. He scarcely need ?rk whether, by the provision* of tliM bill, slavery is excluded Mr. MALLOKY remarked that it had been said on the R publican aide that slavery is deal. It so, why prohibi: Us exi tetice in Colorado and the other Territories? Mr. STEVENS. We want to bury it [Laug ter ] Mr ASHLEY said he Dover made the remark that sla very is dead, but if bis colleague (Mr Cox) is anted si1 opportunity to offer an amendment establishing slavery he would have no objection to giving hiui that opportunity. Mr. COX responded that, his colleague knew that he never proposed either to establish or prohibit slavery, but left the decision of that question to the people themselves^ The reinafH did not come with a Rood grace from lhat quarter, considering the antecedents of his colleague. Mr. MALLORY moved to strikeout that part of the bill prohibiting slavery, so as to leave Congress uncommit ted on the subject. He afterward asked leave to with draw the amendment, but The SPEAKER decided this could not be done, as the previous question bad been seoon'ed ou Ike passage of the bill. , . . . The House voted on Mr. MALLORY'a amendment, and rejected it?yeas 13, nays 87. The y> as are Messrs James C. Allen, Aneona, Chanler, Cox, Dawson, Denison, Eldridge, Hall, Harding, K'^PP; Long, Mnllory, Miller of Pennsylvania, Morrison, O Neiil of Ohio, Randall of Pennsylvania Ross, and Stiles. The Coluralo bill was then passed. Mr. ASHLEY, from the Committee on Territories, re ported a b.ll euabliug Nebraska to form a constitution and State government, preliminary to her admission into the Union. . . ? Mr COX off red an amendment, requiring Congress to be satisfied that Nebraska has a sufficient population, ac cording to the Federal ratio, lor the election of a member of the House J he amendment whs rejected?^eas 4d ; nays 7V?. The bill was then passed. Th" enabling bills mentioned above, for Nevada, Colo rado, and Nebraska, require, each, the election of dele gates to a convention, which shu 11 submit the constitution agreed upon to tin- people, for their ratification or re jectioii, on the second 1 uesday of October. I he constitu tion shall be republicau and not repugnant to the Consti tution of the United States and the principle* of the L>e. c'ara'ii n of Iudepeuoenre Slavery shall be prohibit, d therein, by an ordinance forever irrevocable without the consent of Congress. When the constitution shall be rati- ( fied by the people, the President is to declare, by procla mation, Hit aduiiBniou of these -tates on an equal tooUtig I witti the original Sta es. each of which is to be enti?'- a to one member of the HoU-e uutil 'he u^x* apportionment, and two Senators in the Coojtrc* ?f the United States. All MY APPROPRIATION?TUB I.ATK BLECTIONB On motion ol Mr. STEVENS, the House we it into Committee "1 the Whole and took up the military appm priaiii n bill . , ... .. . Mi. KERNAN offered an amendment providing that no part ol the mouey appropriated for army transportation shall be expended for the transportation of civilians em ployed in the departments of the Government, to or from their homes, at the public expense Mr. Kkknan stat> d as a reason for offering the am.'-nd uieut, that ho had been informed that thousands had been transported over the railroads to vote at the elections Committers had been appointed to ascertain how clems and other Government employ4s would vote, nnd If Ihey indicated that they would vote the Republican ticket, they were eonveyed thither at the public expense. Btr STEVENS said there wag no necessity for Ue umenduient, unkss its design was to imply censure The bill did not authorize any such expenditure The tra::s portation pertaiue-i to the military. The gentleman was evident'y misled, as he (Mr Stkvkns) knew the informa tion wi-Hot correct. '1 he gentleman unglit hunt tbr. ugh all the Depaitments and he could not tind a sing e case. He was aware lhat so far as Peunsylvauia was cone-rued, transportation was paid for either by th- w.ters themselves rcr by their friends. Tne money was not taken from the Treasury. , .. , Mr KERNAN said he obtained hi* information from a cleik iu the transportation department, who gave huu to understand tint the pa-sns to the civilian* wsre similar t. those furnished to soldiers. He did not make the state ment of his nwu knowledge Mr STEVENS replied he did not think such a slander ous rumor should g>> forth unnoticed, and he pledged hiui tell to introduce a resoluti m to refer the investigation to Ihe Committee ou the Cot.duct of the War Mr. KELtNAN i-aid that if a committee should be u\ stiiuted to rxamioe into the subj ?cl he would name Wit "^mT STEVENS. A Committee on tie Conduct of the War has already been raised I call on the gentleman, as a man of houor, to give the name of his author. 1 pio nounoe the whole thing false. Mr KERNAN I cannot say the statement is true, but repeated what I heard Giv? me another than a white washing committee, and I will furnish witnesses. Mr STEVENS. If the gentleman will not give us the name of bi* informant I will h< Id hi.u responsible for the ca'uiuuy, and so will the c nntry. The Administration cannot too scandalised in this way. It cannot be excused Utiles* the B-ntl?maii gives his authority, and deserves the severest censure 1 again call upon the geutlemsn to furnish the uerne of bis informant. Mr. KKRNAN said lie would not be plaoed in a fatse position The Information he had received led him to be li-ve the charge to be true L ?t a fair committee be ap pointed to inquire at whose expense the transportation was paid If the charge did not prove true, no man would he more ready than h mself to say he was mi-led The geQ- , lit man fr. m Pennsylvania knew very well that the cletk, if Ins name should be exposed, wo?ld be subjected to great I persecution. ,, . .. Mr. STEVENS replied there would be no persecution when a man told the truth, but th* liar and tbe perjurer would be punished It did not become the gentleman to reuitrk that t'ie Coiimntu** <?o tie CwuluOt of ib* >V ar would not act impartially. The charge came t? his asten ishment from that quarter. Unless the naui? of the infor mant be gnen, the charge must, be put down a? a slander Mr. HARRIS, of Maryland, did not believe the Admin istiation to be incapable of doing what It was ch*rge with An investigation should be made to ascertain tne facts in the case Who.be asked, furnished tran-p-r a tion for the women and children ot negro soldiers, stolen from St Mary's c unty t Government vcs*.-ls came at d robbed the eitiiens there of their property. There v a' no law for skich robbery aa was committed by th ? infamous Gen. Butler. He believed a (loverome.it tbat sanct oned I such rokhery c- uld he guilty ol any crime Mr KK.LLEY ??'d that tbe fjoveinifient had sent no voters W? Philadelphia or the State of P.-nii sylvn.ia I tie people knew the great issue involved m the recent e e.v tions; ti ey knr-w ? ur atunea in the field were either to > sustained by the patriots at home, or overthrown by a ji y fo. in the rear; and they did not mean that the results ot a three yeats' hlcaidy war should be lost lor the want of th^ expenditur. of a tew tens of thousands of dollar*- He asked the gentleman .rem New York to indicate the name of the employee who had ihu* uttered a slander, and was ttyjnjr to bring tbe Government into disrepute among tbe ,OVMr^fTf IL.ES said that if Government did not furtiish transportation to ts? g > home to control the elec tions the amendment eon Id do no barm, lie did1 n-t Know the truth or lal-ity of the charge; but he did know Uat thirty thousand more votes weie cast at thatelectirm than in any pr#*viuO# Mr OOOCH (a member of the Committee the Con duct of the War ; said he had been informed by gentlemen having charge of th? Civilians who went to r'ew Hauip ahire to vote lhat not a single dollar was paid by the Gov eminent for transportation. Every civilian thither paid his own expense-, or it they wer- unab'e to do so, ptovi aioo was m d. by th.-ir fr He understood th* gen tleman trom New York (Mr Kkknan) to charge thatth> Committee on tbe Conduct of 'he War, composed of gen tleinen on both sides of the House, was a whitewashing committee. 4 , Mr K i4.KNAN explained lie desired to have a eom mittee appointed to investigate, and did not want to see the subject sent to a whitewashing committee He did not rcl? r to th-? Committee on the Conduct of the War m I a disrespectful sense. . | Mr GOOClI remark, d that the gentleman bad as nine authority for charging that piivate transportation was paid for hy the Government as he had for st gma *-? g Committee ou Ihe (Waet ot the VV ar as a wh . wa, ,ng .-,.int11 tt. o And be had no au'hoiitv ' 'r ' ' gentleman from I'ennsylvaini (Mr. ,s" ^ the foil posed to refer this subject to the Committeenm the Imn duct ol the War. But that committee had not asktd thai the subject be aent to it for inve?tigi?tirtn. The gentleman j from Now Yoik, without a particle of proof, charged iti j directly thai Ihe Committee on the Conduct of the Wir ; is u whitewasbng nouimiUeo. The gentleman's explaria i tion instead of h'-lpiug ba<i liur him. Mr K.KKNAN reminded the gentleman tint the gen i tU iuuu Irom Missouri, (Mr. Hi.aiii,) who had charged cor ruptions on the Treasury Department as to trad>? ami truffle, Maid be could prove bin til It gatlons to be true if the House would give him a committee. Thin wan refused. Hud the res lutiou wt? referred to the Committee > U Ihe Conduct of ti e War. The gentleman fr<-in Missouri said lie wished to see how many would stand up for the white washing committee When a pinpoaitioii whs referred to it' friend, it wa* alw?ys understood to be sent to a white washing comma tee. Mr OOOCH replied if be bad been present on that oc casion be should have made th- shme point < ir the gentle man from Missouri. If the gentleman takes the gentleman from Missouri as his authority, he is following a bad example. Mr. CHANLER maintained that his c< lit ague was en titled to an investigation of certain fraudulent and impro per traitsacti.-im, and sought nothing more than what wn< proper, lie was met on the threshold of the inquiry by assertions of the gentleman from Pennsylvania of frauds and claudtr?yes, by the chairman of the C. mmittee of Ways and Means, who n-ver failed to vent his ill-huaior and sneers on others Instead of a full investigation, the other aid* of ihe House wanted to smut the matter over, and thus cover up their d^eds of wrong. They dare not bring them to the liuht. In the course of the debate a great deal was said. pro and Con, in reference to the position and sentiments pri >r to the war of Judge Woodward, the late D mocra ic can didate for Governor of Pennsylvania The amendment of Mr. Kkunan was ultimately re jected?veiiB 4'J nays (53 Mr. HARDING offered an amend merit, that no part of the money appropriated by this bill aliall be applied or used f. r t!ie purpose of raising negro troop i, or paying negro g ildiers now in una< This amendment was rejected?yeas 1H, nays 81. The yeas ;;re: Messrs. Ancona. Dawson, Denison, Kl dridge, Harding, Harrington. Harris of Marj land, L >ng, Mall try, Marcy, Miller of Pennsylvania, Morrison, Ran dall of Pennsylvania, R dlius of Missouri, Ross, St ies, Stuart, and Wadswoitb Mr. DAWSON t (tared un auieuduieot to pay the sol diers in gold or its equivalent. This ivn< aUo rejected The commit!ee rose and reported the bill to the Ilous-t, ai.tl it, waa passed. The House then adjourned. TAX ON GOVERNMENT SECURITIES. Tiic following decision iu reference toth<: income tax on Uuitttl States securities baa juMi'lie^-n made publiu: 1 Thka^ijky Department, OJjjicr. Interna! lltrciuc, Washington. March, ii?4. Holders of United State* securities will ba assessed ft r an income tax of 14 p r centum upon income d rived from such securities, Wnere interest upon such securities is paid iu gold, Mily the amount actu lly received is to bo treated ii* ner ved fr<>m such tecuri cs. It the gold .a subsequently sold at a premium, the amount of profit thus realized must bo returned as income fr.itn business, and the fhi will be thiee or five per c.'iitum, as the case n.ay be. TI1E COURT OF CLAIMS. We have some valuable information, obtained from official sources, touching the business disposed of by the Court of Claims during its present session, and also as to the amount ai d nature of the claims tbat have been filed within the year commencing on the :$d of M-ircb, lrtf.;}, tbo date of the reorginizstion of the Court. There have been dismi-sed from the docket seven hun dred and nne case, covei iiig claims to the amount of several millions of dollais. Many of the cases dismissed were brought by c titens of States row in rebellion ; and in many oiher rases the claimants, though froui loyal States, allowed their cases to be dismissed, knowing that they eould not bet,r tiie scrutiny of a judicial investigation If these cla ms had been before Congress, where the claim ants coa'd make up their cases upon tx parte testimony, and where, owing t" the necessarily hasty ami cursory in vestigation that a committee could only give to them, we> do not doubt that they would have been pressed from year to year, and ultimately many of them paid. All these claim ants are now est' pped by iheir own default in m t bring ing up their cares to trial before the Court of Claims. In six'y-nine enses broight to recover back dut.es alleged to have been improperly paid, the Court rend red judgments in favor ot the United Ntates. One of these cas s, we presume, will be earricd to tho Supreme Court, to test the correctness of the decision of the Court of Claims Numerous other cas-a have been finally disposed of by the judgment of the Court. The judgments ren dered against the United .States, up to this dale, amount to the sum of forty-siX thousand niue hundred and twenty four dollars aud forty-four cents. This includes the judg ment rendered in favor of Wtn. S. Urant, f?r over forty thousand dollars, and in which cisa the Solicitor has taken an sppeal to the Supr'mi) Court. Eotue cases are now under consideration by the Court in which possibly judg m^nts may be rendered for the elaimants. Hut we fe< 1 confident tbat seventy five thousand dollars will cover all the judgments rendered and t > be rendered by the Court at its present session. This is not ten per cent, upon the claims adjudicated. There have b-en filed within the year one hundred and thirty one claims, amounting to $'.2,280,048, which cases may be cla?sifiad as followsS War claims "1,27.1 Floyd actep nrce? ........... Ii6 ,'<Wl Miscellaneous claim*...................... 778,'/fc Total $-2,'>9,51* We have g ven this exhibit of the busines* of Ihe Court of Claims that the public may he disabused a? to th* I'tri tint of claims before that Court. Certainly the Trea sury is iu no pies>'Ut dang r of bankruptcy, either from the amount of claims filed or from the judgments rendered by the Court. I!a se.-smn opened la t October; the trial docket has been twice ci?l!e-I. In every ease, except three ot four, in which the Solicitor asked for a continuance, when the claimant was prepared for trial, a trial w is had, hnd a decisn.n reacned. '! he C< urt ha? about finished its docket for the present term, and will sunn adjourn But two more cases remain for arguu ent Thus, while the G venitneut has exhibited that high sense of jus.ice worthy of a great nation, sub mitting to he impleaded n coiut, and to an op n and fair trial, and while no man's ..ruse has been delayed, the small sii'u that has b-en adjudge I nVinstit proves that the financial evils so confidently pra lict-d front this -"oirce are unfounded M jor Oen. Peck, iu an official > rtler just published, sttt-s tbat while the negro children in Nor h ( .trolina are Carpfuily educated by wh te teachers from the North, th white children witbiu our lines art'growing up in iguorauco and vice. To rectify ths anomalous state of a/fairs, ami in order to place the po >r white cbildr-< i nn a:i equality with the more fsvored blacks, Oen Peck has v. ry prop erly ordered the organ ration at Newbern ot schools for tho former. II the Federal Government is to charge it <eili with the duty of establishing common schools as a part of the " war power of the nation," it will be admitted tbat (Jen Ptck hss dene well not to overlook the interests of white children in the South. TIIK ARMY OF THE POTOMAC. A Washington letter says : "The question of the com mand of the Army of the Potomac is understood to be set tled in this wise : Oen Meade will rem un in th- nominal minman.l, while Lieutenant-General Unnt will personally oir cf. the mutements in the fittltl, w.th Hen W. P. Sm th at his chiol ot stafl'. so ih,tt the latter wiil nvtaoll/ bo lLo [aupoxivC vf Gen. Meade. '