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The President's Message and Proclamation

Brownson's Quarterly Review, January, 1864

Art. V.Third Annual Message of President Lincoln to both Houses of Congress, December 9, 1863. Washington, D. C.

All will agree that this Message, including the Proclama­tion appended to it, is one of great importance, perhaps the most important that has ever been sent to Congress by a President of the United States. It tells us plainly the Ex­ecutive Plan for reorganizing the rebellious States as States in the. Union, and the terms on which the Rebels may be restored to their rights of property and citizenship. The plan of reorganization in its outlines, however, has been well understood to be that of the Administration since the first advance of our army into Tennessee, and was criticised in this Review in April, 1862, and has been uniformly opposed by us ever since. It will be found discussed at length in the article on The Federal Constitution in our present number, written and in type before the Message was delivered. We find nothing in the President's reasoning in his Message, or in the details of the plan as set forth in his Proclamation, to induce us to change our opinion of the plan. We honestly believe the plan unconstitutional, and fraught with hardly less danger to our Republican institutions than the Southern Rebellion itself, and all the more dangerous because it is not unlikely to enlist in its support a large portion of the most fearless and most devoted friends of the Union.

The Executive Plan is ingenious; it is astute, but it seems to us the plan of the politician, rather than of the statesman, and to look more to the next Presidential election than to the real welfare of the nation. If accepted by Congress it secures Mr. Lincoln's renomination, and re-election to the Presidency; no serious objection in itself, indeed, for it mat­ters not who administers the Government if it is well admin­istered ; and our rule is to retain the present incumbent so long as he faithfully and efficiently discharges the duties of his office. It is better to put up with evils that we know than fly to others that we know not of. There are many reasons why we should prefer the re-election of Mr. Lincoln to the election of a new man. He has acquired experience, and knows the ropes. He is far better qualified to admin­ister the Government for a second term than he was for the first. We do not, therefore, object to the Executive Plan on account of its probable bearing on the next Presidential election. We object to putting forth so important a plan with such a view, and for such a reason.

We object primarily to the plan of reorganization pro­claimed, because it is an Executive plan, and as an Executive plan without the sanction or acquiescence of Congress can­not be carried into effect. If the President had simply recommended the measure to Congress, with his reasons for wishing it to be adopted, he would have done his duty, and whether Congress approved the plan or not, he would have been free from all blame. What we object to is the attempt by Executive action to forestall the action of Congress, or to place the whole question in such a position as to render it next to impossible for Congress to refuse its sanction.

The President proceeds on the supposition that he is clothed with the whole war power of the Nation, and as the war power is unlimited, while the war lasts he may do any thing he judges proper. Judge Trumbull, of Illinois, in his speech in the Senate early in the session of 1861-62, corrects this error into which thePresident and many others appear to have fallen, and proved, what we all ought to have understood, that the war power is vested by the Constitu­tion in Congress, and in Congress alone. It was that able speech that set us right on the question, and showed us that we had written our essay on Slavery and the War, with a wrong impression as to the constitutional powers of the President. The President is the Chief Executive of the Na­tion, and has the executive branch of the war power, but only that branch. As Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy, he has authority to make such disposition of the land and naval forces placed by Congress at his command, as he judges most proper to gain the military ends Congress lias designated. He can issue such orders and do such things as are allowed by the laws of war to commanders-in ­chief, and are of strict military necessity. He can take en­emy's property and enemy's slaves, or declare them eman­cipated, appoint military governors for conquered territory, where no civil government is acknowledged, and govern it by military law. But he cannot organize such territory under a civil government, or say on what terms its inhabit­ants may or may not regain a civil organization, for that, under our system, is the prerogative of Congress alone.

The civil organization of government cannot be done even hy Congress under the war power, and if done at all, must be done under its peace powers, as specified in the Constitution. The seceded States are still States, that is, civil and political organizations in the Union, or they are not. If they are, the Executive, neither under the war power, nor any other power, has any authority to establish military or any other governments within their limits. If they are not, their reorganization is the work of Congress under its peace powers. The Executive has then, in either case, nothing to do with their civil reorganization till Con­gress has acted, and then only to carry out the law of Congress. Congress is competent to reorganize them under the peace powers of the Government, or it is not; for under the war power only military governments can be instituted. The institution or reorganization of civil government is always the act of the supreme political power, of the sovereign authority of the State or Nation, and is the work of peace, not of war. The President, then, when he tells Congress it must hold on to the war power, as the power under which the rebellious States are to be reorganized, forgets that neither he nor Congress can reorganize them under that power. The moment we come to the civil re­organization of conquered territory, the belligerent rights have ceased, and only the rights of peace are in operation.

The President, in his Proclamation, tells the Rebels on what condition or terms they may escape the penalties of their treason and resume the exercise of their political and civil rights. He has, unquestionably, the right to except from the confiscation and emancipation laws of Congress, to the extent that those laws give him power to do so, but it may be questioned if he has not, in the amnesty and general pardon he has proclaimed, exceeded his powers. He claims, by virtue of his power to pardon, a general dispensing power, for daring to exercise which, James II of England lost the crown of three kingdoms. We are the last man in the world who would deprive the President of the power to pardon, of mercy, but we do not wish to see it very grossly abused. The terms of the amnesty should have been settled by Congress, and the Proclamation would have been more in order, and had more weight, if it had been issued in obedience to an act of Congress. An am­nesty, general pardon, and restoration to civil rights are not proclaimed under the war powers, but under the peace powers of the Government, and when proclaimed on certain conditions they are null, if the conditions are not complied with. And also when the authority proclaiming them is not competent to fix the conditions, which the Executive is not. Congress may tomorrow, if it chooses, overrule the Proc­lamation, or pass a law prescribing entirely different conditions. Nothing the President has done beyond what the acts of Congress authorize, binds Congress in the slightest degree. It would, then, have been much better to have submitted the whole matter to Congress, with such suggestions and recommendations as the Executive judged proper. It would have been far more in consonance with the Constitution which distributes the functions of govern­ment in three departments, instead of concentrating them in one alone, and that the Executive.

We have, we admit, no grave objections to the terms on which the Executive proposes amnesty and pardon to the Rebels. We have no vindictive feelings to gratify, and we ask not for vengeance. The terms the President proposes are as severe as we have ever contemplated, perhaps severer. But we would offer no terms at all to Rebels till they have submitted. Submission first, is our rule. When rebels have submitted and thrown themselves on the mercy of the government, we will then offer terms, and treat them humanely, liberally. The submission of rebels at discretion, is the homage they owe to the authority they have unlaw­fully and wickedly resisted, and it is needed to vindicate the honor of authority, the majesty of the State. The Rebels had, in the beginning, liberal terms enough offered them, and this Proclamation looks like an act of weakness on the part of the Government, and will be taken as such by the Rebels themselves. It is an exhibition of Northern doughfacedness, and want of manliness.. The Rebels are still in arms against the Government, and it is folly to pretend that their military strength is not still formidable. They have large armies still confronting us, and our Army of the Potomac hesitates to attack their army of Northern Virginia, on equal terms. We have but just barely escaped the greatest disaster of the war in Northern Georgia and East­ern Tennessee. The Rebels have suffered, and suffer much, but their spirit is not broken nor their resources exhausted. Is this a time to proclaim an amnesty, and attempt to coax them back to their allegiance? We feel that the Proclama­tion belittles the nation, and throws away the opportunity the Government might soon have to gain some credit for real magnanimity.

We are surprised that after his experience, the President should still continue to place reliance on the oath of allegiance. All he asks of the Rebels, of any Rebel, while the war is still raging, while Rebel corsairs are driving our merchant ships from the ocean, and Rebel gangs go aboard our steamers in our own harbors, and overpower and murder their peaceful crewsall he asks of any Rebel, as the condi­tion of a full pardon and a full restoration to his political and civil rights, is that he take the oath of allegiance.  All the prisoners of war we now hold, under the rank of Colonel, have the right, under the President's Proclamation, to demand the oath, and to be treated as free and loyal citizens as soon as they have taken it. They would then be free to go where they please, to return to their homes, if they can get through our lines,no difficult matter,and to re-enter the Rebel Army; that is, just as free as they were before taking the oath. All citizens are bound by an express or tacit oath of allegiance, and every Rebel breaks it, and does so either because he does not believe in the sanctity of oaths, or because he does not believe in the right of the government to impose an oath that conflicts with his allegiance to his particular State. In either case the oath of allegiance to the Union has no binding force on the Rebel conscience. Political oaths have never offered any real security for political fidelity. In all ages and countries they have been found worthless, as weak as cords made of burnt flax. The only men they would bind, who would not be bound without them, are precisely the men who refuse to take them. They are, as a rule, worse than worthless, and yet the President places his whole reliance upon them,and he has been a practising lawyer! If the Rebels could be bound by oaths of allegiance to the Union, they would never have been rebels. The oath is only a profanation, and the Rebels who have taken it, or may hereafter take it, will keep it no longer than they are forced to do so, or than it suits their convenience. In the summer of 1861, as the story goes, a company of New York troops, sent out as a scouting party, captured a rattlesnake, which they brought with them into camp, where they kept his snakeship a day or two, as a plaything. But growing tired of him, they held a council of war to determine what they should do with him. Some proposed to cut his head off, others said hang him, but one, who had made a little too free with commissary whiskey, exclaimed, "Swear him, and let him go." The President is fond of a good story, and we tell this for his benefit: " Swear him and let him go," is the Executive way of disposing of traitors and rebels, on whom an oath has about as much influence as on a rattlesnake.

But does the President really hold that to determine the conditions on which the seceded States may return as States to the Union is within the province of the Executive? We confess we read with some surprise the following extract from his Proclamation:
" And I do further proclaim, declare, and make known, that whenever, in any of the States of Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mis­sissippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South. Carolina, and North Carolina, a number of persons, not less than one-tenth in number of the votes cast in such States, at the Presidential election of the year of our Lord 1860, each, having taken the oath afore­said, and not having; since violated it, and being a qualified voter by the election law of the State existing immediately before the so-called act of Secession, and excluding all others, shall re-establish a State Government, which shall be republican, and in nowise con­travening said oath, such shall be recognized as the true Govern­ment of the State, and the State shall receive thereunder the benefit of the constituional provision which declares that

'"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this "Union a Republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion, on application of the Legislature, or of the Exec­utive, when the Legislature cannot be convened, against domestic violence.'

" And I do further proclaim, declare, and make known, that any provision which may be adopted by such State Government in re­lation to the freed people of such State, which shall recognize and declare their perfect freedom, provide for their education, and which may yet be consistent, as a temporary arrangement, with their present condition as a laboring, landless, and houseless class, will not be objected to by the National Executive. 

" And it is engaged as not improper that, in constructing a loyal State Government in any State, the name of the State, the boundary, the subdivisions, the Constitution and the general code of laws as before the Rebellion, be maintained, subject only to the modifica­tions made necessary by the conditions herein before stated, and such others, if any, not contravening said conditions, and which may be deemed expedient by those framing the new State Govern­ment.

" To avoid misunderstanding, it may be proper to say that this Proclamation, so far as it relates to State Governments, has no ref­erence to States wherein loyal State Governments have all the while been maintained. And for the same reason it may be proper to further say, that whether members sent to Congress from any State shall be admitted to seats constitutionally, rests exclusively with the respective Houses, a-nd not to any extent with the Executive.

" And still further, that this Proclamation is intended to present the people of the States wherein the national authority has been suspended, and loyal State Governments have been subverted, a mode in and by which the national authority and loyal State Governments may be re-established within said States, or in any of them.

" And, while the mode presented is the best the Executive can suggest with his present impressions, it must not be understood that no other possible mode would be acceptable."

Here, it strikes us, is an extraordinary assumption of power. Where in the Constitution does the President find it? Does he claim it under the war power? But we have already shown that under the war power Congress can establish military governments for conquered territory, that neither he nor Congress can under that power organize civil government, or determine the conditions on which it may be organized or recognized. If the rebellious States are still States in the Union, the President violates their Con­stitutions, and wars against the essential principle of every State organization in the Union ; if they are not States in the Union, but, as we maintain, population and territory belonging to the Union, then he transcends his province as the executive branch of the government, and undertakes to do on executive authority alone what only Congress can do. By what right, then, does the President issue his proclama­tion prescribing on what conditions the rebellious population and territory may reorganize themselves and be recognized as States in the Union ?

We said we objected primarily to the Executive plan, be­cause it is an Executive plan. Every feature of it is marked by what seems to us an extraordinary assumption of power on the part of the Executive. The President prescribes the oath, prescribes on what conditions the States in rebellion may reorganize State governments, and be recognized and represented in Congress as loyal States in the Union. Any one of them, with not less than one-tenth of the num­ber of persons who voted in the Presidential election of 1860, may reorganize themselves as the State, and have the full Federal representation in Congress to which the State under the census of 1860 was entitled! Why, the Presi­dent could easily, by the distribution of Federal offices and patronage in any seceded State, unless there are fewer Union men than is pretended, induce at least one in ten, if assured of Federal protection, to swallow, without scruple the pre­scribed oath, or any number of oaths he might prescribe, and elect State and Federal officers, whom he may choose to prescribe. With the Federal representation of eleven States, who would be his nominees and creatures, and the number from the other States he could always command by the dis­tribution of the patronage of the Government, the Executive could easily grasp for himself the whole power of the Union, reign as an absolute prince, perpetuate by re-elections his reign during life, and reduce the fu'nctions of Congress to that of simply registering his edicts; or, if it should now and then show a disposition to demur, he could, after the manner of Louis XV., hold a lit de justice.

We are far from pretending or from believing that the President has concocted his scheme with a view of practi­cally concentrating the whole power of the Government in the hands of the Executive. His motives are no doubt un­selfish and patriotic, and he seeks power only as the means of doing good, and settling in the easiest and readiest way possible the terrible difficulties of the Nation. But his scheme is only the more dangerous on. that account. All dangerous usurpations of power are made from good mo­tives, for desirable ends, by men in whom the public con­fide. The scheme is cunningly devised, and admirably fitted to make the Executive practically the Government, even the State, and to open the door to wholesale political corruption, and to force the people to cheat themselves out of their hon­esty and their liberty. Nobody imagines for a moment that the President has adopted his scheme for the sake of the evil sure to flow from it. He adopts it for the good he hopes to effect by it. We hope we shall be pardoned if we say the President seems to have inherited something of the doctrine of his old English Whig ancestry, that  govern­ment can be carried on only by trickery and corruption ; also that he seems to have confused the peace powers and the war powers of the government, to have supposed that in time of war the peace functions of the government are in abeyance, or absorbed in its war functions.    So, holding that he has the war power, he sees no impropriety in assum­ing that he can settle by his own  authority any questions growing out of the Rebellion, and settle them in any way that seems to him advisable, without seeking any legislative authority, or legislative sanction.    In no other way can we explain or account for that part of his Proclamation under review.    Our friends of the Times, in this city, the organ of the Secretary of State, claim the Message and Proclama­tion as decisively discarding the doctrine of State suicide ; but will they tell us on what principle the President author­izes one-tenth of the legal voters under the old Constitution to organize and assume to be the State, if the old State is still a State in the Union?    If the State is still in the Union, it is in it with its old Constitution, its old organization and laws, and neither the President nor Congress can authorize a reorganization, or treat one-tenth of its voters as the State. To do so would be in the last degree revolutionary.    The assumption of power on the part of the President to pre­scribe the conditions of reorganization and the qualifica­tions of voters, can be defended only on the ground that the old State is dead, and that the population and territory have ceased to be a State.    If the Presidential scheme for the return of the rebellious States has any sense, any principle, it must  assume  that  the States  by their  secession   have ceased to be States; and  what is this but the assumption that State secession is  State suicide ?    They who can ap­prove the President's Message and Proclamation, and still reject Mr. Sumner's doctrine, and which we after him have defended, that the territory and population in rebellion are not States in the Union, but simply population and territory belonging to the Union, have minds very differently constituted from ours, and are capable of maintaining, in spite of the logicians, that of contradictories both may be true;- and they who suppose that they can palm off such an absurdity upon the public must count largely upon popular ignorance, popular stupidity, or popular credulity.    The General Gov­ernment cannot interfere in the internal affairs of a State recognized to be a State in the Union, and is as much bound to respect the State Constitution and laws not repugnant to the Constitution and laws of the United States, as the State is bound to respect the Constitution and laws of the Gen­eral Government. If the President denies the seceded States have ceased to exist, he has no right to institute either mil­itary governments or civil governments for them, or te prescribe the conditions on which they may become States again, and be restored to their rights as States in the Union, for they are, on the supposition, already States in the Union. So much must be clear to the veriest tyro, and ought to be clear even to our radical-conservative friends of the Times. But if the seceded States have ceased to be States, and be­come simply population and territory belonging to the Union, then, again, the President has no authority either to reorganize them, or to prescribe by proclamation or other­wise the conditions on which they may reorganize and be recognized as States. In either case the Executive action is revolutionary and indefensible, as much so as the act of secession itself. There is no principle known to our Con­stitution, written or unwritten, on which the action of the Executive can be justified or even palliated.

The President, no doubt, calculates that his extraordinary assumption of power will be overlooked by those who might otherwise oppose it, because in the test oath which he pre­scribes, he requires adhesion to his Proclamation emanci­pating the slaves in certain States and parts of States. But it should be remarked that he requires an oath to adhere to it only in case it is not set aside, or till it is set aside by Congress or the Supreme Court. If Congress can set aside the Emancipation Proclamation, as the President clearly con­cedes that it may, he cannot suppose that his Proclamation really frees the slaves he declared to be free, for nobody can pretend that Congress has the right to reduce freemen to slavery, unless it be for crime. That the Supreme Court will sustain the freedom of slaves under the proclamation, un­less they have become free in fact before the conclusion of the war, we suppose nobody expects. For ourselves, we do not believe a single person can sustain his freedom in the courts under that proclamation; and more than this, we have, and all along have had doubts whether it was ever intended that any one should. Moreover, this new Proclamation as­serts, in terms somewhat obscure indeed, but still intelligi­ble enough, that, should the revived States see proper to hold the persons declared free by the Emancipation Proclamation as slaves for an indefinite period, no objection will be offered by "the National Executive." If the President believes that his Proclamation really freed the slaves, how can he proclaim that he will not object should they for any reason whatever even for one moment be detained in servi­tude? We have always regarded the Emancipation Proclamation as intended not so much to free the slaves as to silence the clamor of the anti-slavery men at home, and to amuse the philanthropists abroad, and by so doing guard against foreign intervention.

Mr. Lincoln, as everybody knows, however much in gen­eral thesis he may be opposed to slavery, is invincibly op­posed to any and every scheme of immediate emancipation, and in no sense will he willingly or cordially favor it. . In this we might ourselves agree with him, if we were consid­ering emancipation as a peace, and not as a war measure ; but certain it is that he is no immediate emancipationist, and we have no doubt that he has sought to prescribe himself the mode of reorganizing the rebellions States instead of leaving it to Congress, lest Congress should insist on imme­diate emancipation. His whole course with regard to Mis­souri, if not also to Maryland, proves that he is determined to use all his power and influence to prevent immediate, and in favor of what is called gradual emancipation. Here is the trouble. The emancipation of the slaves as a mili­tary necessity is and must be immediate. Having issued a Proclamation emancipating the slaves immediately and for­ever, the problem came up, how to prevent it from taking immediate effect? The only valid reason for proclaiming emancipation was military necessity, to deprive the Rebels of the labor of their slaves, which enabled them to draft nearly the whole able-bodied free white population into their army ; and yet it will be remembered that the President, in the very Proclamation in which he declares them free, exhorts them to remain peaceably where they were, and to continue laboring for their masters as before ! Now he is­sues a proclamation telling the Rebels how they can reor­ganize their States and recover their lost rights in the Union, aud adds, that if they choose to retain their slaves, that is, the men he had professed to free, in bondage for a time, he shall make no objection !  The key to this singu­lar inconsistency is in the fact that the President is opposed to immediate emancipation, and is determined to do what he can to prevent it. Mr. Lincoln is an able man, a shrewd man, and no man is less likely to commit a blunder, or to act without deliberation. He has a logical mind, and never does any thing without knowing what he is doing, and in­tending it. He knew perfectly well why he emancipated the slaves by proclamation instead of by a military order to his Generals commanding Military Departments and is lawyer enough to know that the latter would hold good in the courts, and that the former would not, unless in the case of those who became actually free during the war.

We do not doubt in the least that the President is op­posed to slavery, and intends that this Rebellion shall be made use of for its ultimate abolition. He did not so in­tend in the beginning; he hoped, as he himself says, that the Rebellion might be suppressed without emancipation, but finding the public opinion of the only party he could rely on to sustain his administration too strong to be resisted, he, after long deliberation and with evident reluctance, yielded in appearance, not because he believed the emanci­pation would in itself aid his military operations, but be­cause without it he saw he could not carry on the war. We presume he is now in earnest to secure the ultimate aboli­tion of slavery, but only gradually, and by what may seem to be the action of the Slave States themselves. Such, we suppose, to be the actual facts in the case, and such the true explanation of the extraordinary acts and apparent in­consistencies of the course of the Executive on this momen­tous subject. We find no fault with him, for, given the man and the circumstances, we see not how he could have done better or differently. Yet we personally have a great dislike to a tortuous course, and we like a man, whether in public or private, to act openly, in a straightforward man­ner. We want him to tell us plainly and without ambi­guity what he means. We will not ascribe what displeases us in Mr. Lincoln's policy, to the subtle advice of Mr. Seward, for we believe the President the abler man and the shrewder politician. Besides, Mr. Lincoln is the principal, and we hold the principal, not the agent, responsible. The Convention organized the government with a single responsible Executive head. The President has no cabinet min­isters, he has only clerk, or Heads of Departments, re­sponsible to him and removable at his will. The journals speak of his constitutional advisers; but he has no consti­tutional advisers. The Heads of Departments or Secre­taries are no more the President's constitutional advisers than we are, and no more responsible for the advice they give him, than we are for the advice we give him, and he is no more constitutionally bound to follow their advice than he is ours. In Great Britain the ministry are respon­sible, and may be impeached for the advice they give the Sovereign, but it is not so here. We ought to bear this in mind, and place the responsibility where the Constitution, places it. The President is responsible for all the acts of his Secretaries.

The Executive plan does not appear to us to give any adequate security even for the ultimate abolition of slavery. It will, if the States are restored, and still hold their slaves even temporarily, be easy for them to alter their Constitu­tions, prescribed by the Executive, and make slavery per­petual. When once recognized as States they are compe­tent to do it. The States will then be perfectly competent to take off the restriction from suffrage and eligibility, in State matters at least, restore the disloyal population ex­cluded by the President's test oath, and in ten or a dozen years slavery, in all the States, may be re-established as firmly as ever, perhaps more firmly than ever. Slavery is now more flourishing in Kentucky than it was before the Rebellion. That State has become the grand slave mart of the Union, whence the slave masters from localities where slave property is insecure send their slaves to be sold, at a low price. Kentucky alone, after peace, will be able in a very few years to restock a large portion of the South. The President, by the exceptions he inserted in his proc­lamation, secured plenty of nest-eggs for slavery.

But the President's plan of reviving the seceded States would, in many respects, be objectionable, even if proposed and adopted by Congress. We do not think a tenth of the votable population of a seceded State, while the other nine-tenths are in rebellion, or at least opposed to the Union, ought to have the whole Federal representation of the State. It is neither just nor fair to the loyal States who have borne the whole .burden of suppressing the rebellion. A State with nine-tenths of its population disloyal and excluded from the ranks of its political people, evidently could not sustain itself and discharge its proper functions as a State in the Union. It would have to be held up and nursed by the Government, and thus would be opened the door to political intrigue and corruption, exceeding any thing we have yet known, even in this city. Its representatives in Congress would be virtual nominees of the Administration, and the Congressional Districts would be only bo many " rotten boroughs" owned by the Government. No election would or could be free. Besides, with here and here an individual exception, the men who would take the oath and be allowed to vote, would be the weakest and least energetic portion of the population The portion of he Southern people who have the most character and are the best fitted to govern and look after the interests of the State or the Union are precisely those who would be excluded by the test oath. The majority of. the voters would be composed of government employes, adventurers from other States with very little honesty or principle ot any sort, and without any permanent interest in the State, or connection with it. Here is a grave consideration.

We know there has been some talk about changing the population of the Rebellious States, of getting rid of the  present population, and supplying their place with Yankees or emigrants from Europe. We contemplate, we wish nothing of the «ort   We wish to save and keep the present Southern population, with most of its characteristics.   It has elements that the North has not, and with which the nation cannot dispense without great loss ; and we look forward to the time when the seceded States will be restored, and then- politics will be in the hands of the  very population now in arms against us.   We are neither for exterminating nor changing the Southern people.    After they have been well whipped they will abandon their disloyalty,  and become the most loyal people of the Union, and the most politically honest and trustworthy.    We are a New  Englander and like New England, but we have no wish to see the South New Englandized     We want it free ; we want slavery abolished, but we do not want to see disappear the simplicity of manners, the warmth of feeling, and the hospitality we were accustomed to find in Southern homes.   We should be sorry to see even plantation life disappear, or the large plantations cut up into small farms, cultivated either by black  or white owners. A nation is nothing without families, and family soon dis­appear without estates, without homesteads, transmitted from father  to  son, through generation  after generation.  We demand  political  equality,   in the  sense   secured by our institutions ; but we regard equality of property and of social position   as neither  practicable nor desirable.    It is long since we had faith in La EepiMique democrahmie etsociale. We do not believe the whole past has been simply a blunder, and that nothing that has been approved of by those who went before us deserves to stand. We have not to begin the world anew; we have only to develop and perfect what we have received from onr fathers. We want the conser­vatism of the South to balance the radicalism of the North, as we want the radicalism of the North to balance the con­servatism of the South. We want both sections to make a complete nation, a full and rounded national character.

The Executive Plan would transform the South for the worse. We think ours, though less favorable to speculators, political jobbers, and Jewish Yankees or Yankee Jews, is far more favorable to the Southern people, and likely much sooner to reinstate them in their rights as an integral portion of the political people of the United States. Our plan is given in the article on The Federal Constitution, in the present number of our Review. It is simply for Congress to establish in each of the seceded States a Territorial Govern­ment, and then as soon as any one of them gives satisfactory evidence of its ability to maintain itself as a loyal State in the Union, with simple protection by the General Govern­ment from exterior invasion and disturbance, for Congress to enable it to form a State government and enter the Union with a Federal representation and electoral vote, determined by its actual population. That this plan supposes that the seceded States have lapsed, we grant; but so does the Executive plan. The President and all loyal men hold that all legal government in the Rebellious States has been subverted, and therefore there is, unless the doctrine of com­plete original State sovereignty be conceded (and if it is, the Secessionists are not rebels), no State remaining. They who oppose Mr. Sumner's doctrine that State secession is State suicide, and contend that the seceded States are still States in the Union, are at best contending for the veriest abstrac­tion, for an airy nothing, to which not even the poet, of imagination all compact, and his eye in a fine frenzy rolling, can give a local habitation and a name. The President himself concedes that to all practical purposes the seceded States are dead, and he proposes, as we have seen, to deal with them as such. We have heard no one ever pretend that the governments now in rebellion against the Union are legitimate State governments, or that they are to be rein­stated in the Union. Mr. Winter Davis, iu his speech elsewhere alluded to, while denouncing rather flippantly Mr. Sumner's doctrine about State suicide, scouted the idea that these disloyal concerns were legitimate governments, or that they would ever be recognized as such. Well, what then are he and his friends righting for, or quarrelling about ? The States have lapsed as actually living States in the Union by their own concession, and can be living States in the Union only by being reorganized as such; and the President, in his Proclamation, points out the mode in which they may be reorganized. Practically, then, all we contend for is conceded, and asserted by all loyal men, if, as we suppose they do, they understand themselves.

The difficulty which some honestly feel on the point grows out of the fact that they well understand that a real sovereign State may be disorganized or lose its entire gov­ernment, and yet retain its existence and all its rights as a State. It is a sovereign State still, and has in itself the power to reorganize its government. The government is gone, but the Convention remains. All this is true, and is assumed in the distinction we have made in the foregoing article on The Federal Constitution, between the state or civil society and the government, between the constitution of the gov­ernment and the constitution of civil society or the state. Every half-fledged politician knows, or ought to know this much ; for if we did not concede it we should recognize in a nation no recuperative power, no power when its govern­ment has once been subverted to reorganize and re-establish legitimate government. But this applies to a State proper, to a complete, sovereign State, but not to a State in the Union, unless we hold the States in the Union are severally complete States, States proper, possessing all the attributes and faculties of free, independent, sovereign States. In an independent sovereign State, the sovereignty, in the absence of government, or any constitution of government, vests in the national territory and population. But to assume that it vests in the territory and population of one of the American States, when its organization and gov­ernment are gone, have been subverted, destroyed7, is plainly and undeniably to assume that these States are each a sovereign State, a full and complete State in itself. But assume this, and you have no right to make war on the Seceders as Insurgents or Rebels. Here is the dilemma in which these good people place themselves. They can con­tend that the seceded States are still States in the Union, only on the assumption of full and independent State sov­ereignty ; and they cannot make that assumption without denying the right of the General Government to prosecute the war against the seceders. They must either condemn the war as a war of invasion and conquest, or they must reject State sovereignty, as we do. Then they must concede that the State under our system is not population and terri­tory, but is population and territory organized as a State and admitted into the Union. Then they must concede that the lapse of the State organization is the lapse of the State; and as they admit that the State organization has been sub­verted or destroyed by secession, and therefore lapsed, they must, whatever wry faces they may make, concede that they have lapsed as States, and accept the doctrine that " State secession is State suicide." Mr. Sumner's phrase will live.

By the concession of the President and the so-called con­servative Republicans themselves, the State organization is gone, and nothing but population and territory, as a prac­tical fact, remains. What we ask of Congress is, that it deal with the practical fact as it is, and establish for this population and territory regular Territorial governments, in like manner that it is accustomed to do for any other unor­ganized population and territory belonging to the Union. This it can do under the exercise of its ordinary or peace powers. It requires no assumption of extraordinary pow­ers, and no resort to the war power. It is simply the sover­eign exercising his civil power, in establishing a civil gov­ernment, not exercising his belligerent rights.

But we are told that this is to reduce the seceded States to provinces, and to place them under provincial govern­ments. That is something terrible, we suppose. But how much better off are they now, placed as they are under military governors appointed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, and governed by military law, so far as by any law at all? They would, under our plan, be placed at least under a civil government, a civil administration, and the protection of civil law, which we regard as an advantage of no slight moment. Then, again, under our system, the Territorial organization is provisional, and is never intended to be final or permanent. It is merely preparatory to a State organization, and looks to the transformation of the Territory into a State at the earliest practicable moment. Nobody dreams that the population and territory of the seceded States are to be held for any considerable length of time under Territorial governments, and the territo­rial people will always have it in their power, by returning loyalty, to abridge the period of their probation, and hasten the day of their reinstatement in the Union. In some eases it may be only a few months before the trans­formation may be safely effected, and in no case will the territorial government need to be continued beyond the period of the complete military suppression of the Rebellion. When the Southern people once find that they are really whipped, that they have not the slightest chance of securing separation and independence, they will cease resistance, and, if permitted, return to their allegiance. They may then be safely intrusted with the powers of self-government. There is, no doubt, humiliation for a people once a State in being placed under a Territorial government, but less, in our judgment, in being placed under a civil than under a mili­tary government, and the transformation from the civil Territorial, government is easier, more regular, and more speedy than from a military Government. We cannot sympathize, then, with the men who affect such a holy hor­ror at treating the rebel population and territory as Territo­ries, and yet are quite willing to see them treated as Military Departments, under Military Governors, and subjected to military law.

No objections can be made to this simple and constitu­tional way of restoring the rebellious States that do not bear with far greater force against the Executive scheme, and, unless there are, as is not unlikely, some political inter­ests, party or personal, at stake, we can understand no rea­son why that scheme should be preferred. Its adoption would, indeed, enable a few thousands of voters in each of the eleven States to cast in the next Presidential election the entire electoral vote of those eleven States, representing a population of some twelve millions, nine-tenths of whom are in hearty sympathy with the Rebellion. This, suppos­ing Mr. Lincoln to be a candidate for re-election, would ren­der his election well-nigh certain, even should a Republican as well as a Democratic competitor run against him. But we cannot suppose a thought of that sort could influence in the least our honest and high-minded Chief Magistrate, or the high-souled and patriotic admirers of the Secretary of State. Such a scheme, adopted for such a purpose, would be an outrage, and a death-blow to honest constitutional government. And yet, for the life of us, we cannot under­stand why else the especial friends of the Secretary of State should persist so strenuously against law, fact, and common sense, in maintaining that the seceded States are States still in the Union. They know, as well as we do, that there is no truth or reason in maintaining that those States are still States in the Union. Mr. Lincoln knows they are not, for his very scheme, while it assumes that they are, denies it.

We are utterly opposed to allowing one-tenth of the popu­lation of a seceded State, while the other nine-tenths are in rebellion, to cast the whole electoral vote to which the State would be entitled if loyal and in the Union, under the United States census of 1860.    We are not opposed because we fear it would secure the defeat of our candidate for the next Presidency, for it would be very sure to elect him; but be­cause we do not believe that so small a number as one-tenth of the assumed voters in a State have the right to a Fed­eral representation and an electoral vote, based on a census that gives ten times their number.    If the Union men are to be treated as the State, be it so; but let, at least, their electoral vote and Federal representation be no more than their actual number under the census entitles them to.    We cannot understand why one Union man in South Carolina, Tennessee, or Louisiana, should count for ten in Massachu­setts, New York, or Pennsylvania.    We know no reason why they should have any vote at all, while the great, the overwhelming majority of the population are in rebellion. "But that majority are politically dead."   Then do riot count them as a basis of representation.    Abstract them from the whole population given by the census of 1860, and take only the remainder as the representative population.    You can­not do that legally?    The State is the State, and you must count its whole population or none ?    Then do you not see the gross inequality and absurdity of pretending that they are States in the Union, with all their Federal rights unim­paired?  Moreover, the Union men in the eleven seceded States are not citizens of the United States.    They are ene­mies, and are declared to be so by the Supreme Court in the Hiawatha case, and have been since the 13th of July, 1861, and their territory is enemy's territory, otherwise the Presi­dent could never have placed it under Military Governors, or blockaded the Southern ports.    The Supreme Court have decided that the war we are carrying on is not a simple war against insurgent  individuals, but a territorial  civil war, which makes every man, woman, and child in the rebellious territory an enemy.    The interdict must be removed from that territory before these Union men cease to be enemies; and that cannot be removed so long as the law of Congress of the 13th of July, 1861 remains unrepealed,. and the great majority are still hostile, without a gross abuse of executive power. We do not know that even these Union men in the seceded States are any better than the Union men in the organized Territories under the Government of the United States. And why should they, any more than these, have a Federal representation and an electoral vote ? But happily the Executive scheme is naught unless sanc­tioned or acquiesced in by Congress. Congress has the supervision of the whole matter, and nothing is concluded but by its will, unless it be the exceptions from the confis­cation and other penal laws, which the President was authorized by Congress to make. Congress has clothed the Executive with too large a discretion in the case, and we hope it will be more cautious for the future. But it has not yet given up to the Executive its authority to say on what conditions the Rebels may return and resume their political rights as States in the Union; at least we hope not. There are good men and true in Congress, and we count on their vigilance and fidelity to the Constitution. The last Congress, in the novelty of the questions and the confusion of the times, set one or two very bad precedents, but the present Congress need not follow them. If Congress will but assort its independence, and do its own work, no harm can come from the Executive scheme. Even the scheme itself, though still objectionable, would be shorn of some of its dangerous features, if adopted by Congress along with the establishment of civil Territorial governments for the lapsed States, till such times as they are able to organize State governments in accordance with the con­ditions prescribed by the President in his proclamation. But what we insist on is, that the reorganization of the seceded States, whether under State governments or Terri­torial governments, is a thing that neither the President nor Congress can do under the war power, and must be done by the simple exercise of the ordinary peace powers of the government. It is not a thing which needs or admits a resort to the war power, in whose hands soever that power may be vested; for it is not necessary to military opera­tions, and is determined not by international law, but by the national law, the Constitution and laws of the national government. The rights of war, however extensive they may be, are yet restricted to the legitimate object and purposes of the war, and never exceed what is necessary to gain and secure that object and those purposes. This under­stood, it is certain that the subject is one for Congressional action, not for the Executive action.

We insist, perhaps to wearisomeness, on the importance of proceeding constitutionally, and of each branch of the government confining itself to its own department and to its strictly constitutional functions. We are and always have been a constitutionalist of the strict constructionist school, and we believe the constitutional way the best and safest. Yet we have never urged the Constitution in any way to impede the Government in doing any thing neces­sary to suppress the Rebellion or to save the life and in­tegrity of the nation. We have no sympathy with those who can see in the Constitution only a restriction on power, and appeal to it only when they want to prevent some very useful and necessary thing from being done. The Consti­tution grants powers, as well as imposes restriction on power, and we believe it confers on the Government all the powers that in any emergency it needs or can find useful. We have never complained of what are called "arbitrary arrests," for we see them provided for in the Constitution, when the public safety requires them. We have been much more disposed to complain of arbitrary discharges from ar­rest and imprisonment. We have never complained of the suspension of the writ of Habeas Corpus, because we find the Constitution allows it to be suspended in certain con­tingencies which obviously now exist; and as the object of that writ in our jurisprudence is not to restrain the Execu­tive from making necessary arrests, "but to compel the courts to bring the person arrested to a speedy trial, or to grant him his discharge, we believe the power to suspend it in times of war, invasion, or insurrection, is vested in the President."   It may often be necessary to suspend it when Congress is not in session and cannot be assembled in sea­son. We have given great extension to the war power, not as an extra-constitutional power, for the Constitution con­fers it on Congress. Under it Congress and even the Presi­dent can do legally and constitutionally many things in time of war, foreign or domestic, which neither can do under the peace powers of the government, or in times of peace, when the higher law of public safety does not come in. Congress has the ordinary .peace right to prescribe the terms of the reorganization and restoration of fallen States to their status of States in the Union, but the President lias not, because the Convention did not see proper to confer it on him; and he cannot do it under the war power, for it is not one of the ends of the war, is not necessary to the suc­cess of our arms, or to his military operations as Commander-in-Chief. He has in regard to it in time of war all the power that he has in time of peace, and no more. The Constitution gives to no branch of the government under the rights of peace the right to abolish slavery within the limits of any State in the Union, but it gives to Congress, perhaps even to the President, the right, under the war power, to abolish it everywhere in the Union and in the territories of the Union, if judged necessary as a military measure, or to obtain indemnity for the past or security for the future. A military order of the Commander-in-Chief, or an act of Congress abolishing slavery for such reasons, if correct in form, would be valid, and repealable only by the Convention, for Congress has no more right to establish slavery than it has to abolish it. We were among the first, except the Abolitionists, to urge the abolition of slavery as a war measure, and' we are proud of it. It is a legacy we leave to our children. Our complaint of the President has been, not that he issued his Proclamation, but that he did not in his Proclamation adopt, in our judgment, the proper legal form. We think it should have been by military order to his Generals commanding Military Departments. We have always preferred, however, emancipation by act of Congress, because Congress has more freedom in the case, and there could be no doubt of the validity of its act. It is true, the Proclamation cites an act of Congress emanci­pating certain classes of slaves, and professes to be based upon it, but it is not merely executory of it, but goes be­yond it, and it may be a question in the courts whether in the respect that it transcends that act, or goes beyond what is necessary to its execution according to its true intent and meaning, it has any legal force. We hope Congress in its present session will remove all doubts on the subject by passings or the purposes we have named, an act emancipat­ing forever, not only in the States and parts of States in­cluded in the Proclamation, but in those States and parts of States not so included. We have not a doubt of its consti­tutional right to do it as a military measure, or as a meas­ure necessary to guarantee the nation against a new out­break of the Rebellion. 

It is idle to expect peace and union, henceforth, between Free States and Slave States ; and, as we cannot be forced to become all Slave States, we must look to it that all be­come Free States, and let the value of the slaves, as prop­erty, be set off as an indemnity to the United States, for the expenses they have been obliged to incur in the sup­pression of the slaveholders' Rebellion, and for which the Union has the right to indemnify itself, by levying on any property belonging to Rebels it can find. They ought to feel that they are let off' easily, if they are let off with sim­ply the loss of their slaves. The few really loyal slavehold­ers in the non-seceding States may receive a reasonable compensation ; the others deserve and should receive none. The seceded States may adjust the matter with their own citizens as they see proper. The Proclamation relieves them, with very few exceptions, if they choose to return to their allegiance, of all other penalty for their treason and mur­ders. The people of these States rebelled as States, and they deserve to lose their slaves ; for, if they had remained loyal, they might have enjoyed their property in slaves, and " wallopped their own nigger," with nobody to disturb them. Let the dispossessed slaveholders seek redress from their own States,- when those States are restored.

The President, we have said, is evidently opposed to im­mediate emancipation, and so are we ; he favors gradual emancipation, and so should we, so that the transition from slavery to freedom should disturb society as little as possible, though we do not understand the same thing by gradual emancipation that the President does. If the Government had had under its peace powers the constitutional right to deal with the question of slavery, we should not have favor­ed immediate emancipation. But such was not the case. It could deal with it only under the war power, and under that power emancipation must be immediate or not at all. We cannot understand, then, why in Maryland and Mis-.souri, where slavery can be abolished without any serious social shock, the President should set his face against im­mediate emancipation. As the slaves in all the Rebel States, with the exception of Tennessee, and parts of two other States, have had their immediate emancipation declared, the Federal Executive might, we should think, prudently suffer the people of the loyal slaveholding States to adopt immediate emancipation, if they saw proper.

We see Mr. Wilson, of Iowa, has given notice, in Congress, of his intention to move an Amendment to the Consti­tution of the United States, abolishing and prohibiting forever involuntary servitude, in the Union and the territories thereof, except for crime, and empowering Congress to carry it into effect by the requisite legislation. Seeing the turn things are taking, we withdraw our former objections to such an Amendment. It would be the shortest, and most effectual way of disposing of the slavery question at once and forever. The supreme political power is in the Conven­tion ; the Convention is composed of the political people of the United States, and is as complete and as sovereign with the States now in the Union, as it would be were all the seceded States restored. An amendment passed by the requisite majority of both houses of Congress, and ratified by three-fourths of all the States actually in the Union, would be, to all intents and purposes, a part of the Consti­tution. It would always remain such, for there would al­ways be at least over one-fourth of the States that would never consent to its being changed. If such an amendment could be carried, it would be a grand thing; whether it can be or not, can never be known till the experiment is made. We hope Mr. Wilson may succeed, for our mind is made up on this slavery question. We demand the utter extinction of negro-slavery. The nation has recognized the negro as a man. It has done more: it has put arms in his hands; in­corporated him into its armies; bid him fight manfully as an American, for the life and integrity of the nation, in doing so, it has naturalized and nationalized him. Never will we consent to see a man who has shed his blood for our country, for the maintenance of national right, lib­erty, and law, held in slavery, and counted, not as a per­son, but as a chattel; and never will we consent to enslave a race that has produced such a man. The Government, by arming the negroes, has made them our countrymen; and never shall our countrymen, whatever their complexion, be held as slaves, without our doing every thing in our power to prevent it. To so much we solemnly pledge what re­mains to us of life. That flag, under which the freedman and the freeman have mounted the parapet side by side, side by side met death from rebel fire, and side by side been laid iii the same soldier's grave, must henceforth wave only over the free, and never again be profaned to protect the slaveowner, or the trafficker in human flesh.

" Liberty," said Mr. Calhoun, in a letter to us in 1838 "we consider a boon  which they only are entitled to, who are able to take it." It is a harsh, Pagan doctrine, and overlooks the obligation of the strong to help the weak, and the powerful to defend the defenceless. But the negro is fast proving that he is entitled to the boon, even on Mr. Calhoun'a hard conditions. Nothing sooner calls out one's manhood, than to make him a soldier, and to lot him feel that he is counted worthy to bear arms and do a man's work. Yet, we are far from feeling that the battle for aboli­tion is over. The Rebellion is not yet suppressed, and the war is not yet ended ; nor, in our judgment, so near being ended as many of our friends flatter themselves. The President's Proclamation, we do not believe, will have much effect on the Rebel population, one way or another. They do not look upon their cause as we look upon it, and they fight for it with all the determination, ardor, and desper­ate bravery of patriots. Not easily or speedily will such a people succumb, and give over the struggle. They will hope against hope, and yield only when they find that all possi­ble chances are against them. Nearly one-half of the peo­ple of the loyal States are bent on preserving slavery, as essential to their political combinations and influence; even in the ranks of the professedly loyal, there are large numbers who have little or no manliness or pluck, and are ready for almost any compromise that will secure peace, and not deprive them of their political importance. So we do not yet feel sure that a reconciliation will not be effected, without obtaining sufficient guaranties that slavery shall cease, and cease forever. Even the President's Proclama­tion weakens, instead of strengthening our assurance. We have so few politicians that place right as the measure of expediency, justice above interest, or their country's good before their own, that we always are in doubt till the thing is done, and so done that it cannot be undone.

We have taken up so much space in commenting on the Executive plan for restoring the fallen States, that we have left ourselves no room for commenting on the other important matters in the Message,the ablest and best written Message Mr. Lincoln has ever sent to Congress. It has more dignity, and more the character of an official document, than its predecessors. We have criticised freely, but honestly and conscientiously, the Executive scheme for reorganizing the Rebellious States, or transforming them into loyal States; but, we hope, with becoming respect for our Chief Magistrate, and without any gratuitous offence. "We may have misconceived its intent and what is likely to be its practical bearing, and we are led to distrust, in some measure, our own judgment, by finding the Message and Proclamation cordially endorsed by some of our most earnest and judicious political friends. We are never above acknowledging and correcting our errors when we detect them, or when they are pointed out. Better that we should suffer in public estimation than that the truth should.

We have, in the course of our remarks, twice alluded to the next Presidency. We are no President makers or President breakers. We voted for Mr. Lincoln in I860, and we shall vote for him in 1864, if he is the candidate of the loyal Union party, and with less reluctance, for though not, as we need not say, precisely a man after our own heart, he is an abler man, and has made a better President than we had looked for. We have expected him to be a candidate for re-election as a matter of course. In 1860, Mr. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, was our first choice, and if he is the candidate we shall cheerfully support him. We have heard the names of two eminent loyal military men mention­ed in connection with the next Presidency, either of whom would meet our wishes. We recorded years ago our conviction that a real military man, other things being equal, should be preferred for President. A military train­ing is better than a mere civilian training^ to fit a man for the executive duties of the Presidential office. He who has led the life of a soldier, acquired the discipline of the army, and learned to command men in the battle-field, is likely to have a more manly character, a better judgment of men, and more promptness and energy in emergencies. Wellington was England's greatest soldier, but he lives almost entH^ely in the memory and affections of his country­men, as her noblest, greatest, and most disinterested statesman. No man as President would be more likely to keep the nation out of war, or to help it in case it was unhappily involved'in a war, than a real soldier. Personally our preferences are for the soldier, and our only hesitancy is the fear that the soldier we should prefer will he required for active service in the field ; for we by no means expect the war to end this year, or even the next. But, be this as • it may, we shall support the candidate of the loyal Union party, be he soldier or civilian ; and the present incumbent will' have the advantage of four years of valuable experience. 

Since writing the foregoing, we have seen the Bill reported to the House by General Ashley for organizing the Rebellious States under Military Governors, and providing for their reorganization as States, on the basis of the scheme set forth in the President's Proclamation.   Should Congress pass the Bill, it would relieve the scheme of our objections to it on the ground of unconstitutionally, and of its being purely an Executive measure.   We, however, still object to the "one-tenth" provision, and should demand a decided majority, for reasons we have already given. The President's proposition is unfair, and it is unjust to the other States to give   to   so   small  a  number   the   whole   representative and electoral  vote of the former  State.     The Military Governments, may be instituted under the war power, but the civil reorganization of seceded States can be effected only under the peace powers of the Government, and there­fore the  scheme, whether   congressional  or  executive, is unconstitutional and revolutionary, if the seceded States are held to be still States in the Union. It is only on the supposi­tion that they are not, that Mr. Ashley's Bill is defensible; and if they are not, there is no del'ence of the one-tenth provision,   which   allows   a  Federal   representation   and electoral vote, due only to ten times their number.   It is all very well to get over difficulties by way of compromise when  one  can,  but here is   a  question   of law, and  an unconstitutional mode of proceeding even by Congress may vitiate the whole.    It is folly to assume in one part of the act the nullity of the seceded States, and in the other their legal existence and vitality.   We suppose then that the Bill, as it evidently does, assumes the legal nullity of the seceded States.   We ask Congress to provide for a larger percentage. Kegarded as a new State organization, it has no right, and Congress can give it no right to count as a portion of its population, the disloyal population of the old State ; and if it does not regard it as a new organization or the creation of a new State, it has no right to effect or authorize it.    The whole difficulty we see in the way of Mr. Ashley's new Bill is precisely here, in the matter of Federal representation and the electoral vote.    If the Bill, before it passes, can be so modified as to obviate this difficulty, we shall heartily ap­prove it.   We are willing and even anxious that Congress should make the Executive plan the basis of its own legis­lation, for we want no quarrel between Congress and the Executive that can be avoided; but we presume the President himself will consent to such modifications as are necessary to save its consistency and constitutionality.

We see also, with great pleasure, that Mr. Lovejoy lias introduced a Bill giving effect to the President's Emanci­pation Proclamation. If it becomes a law it will settle all disputes as to the legality or illegality of the Proclamation, and fix the status as freemen of the persons professed to be liberated by it. Let Congress do its duty on these great questions, and it will soon be able to rally all Union men around it and the Executive, and secure with the hearty good-will of the nation there-election of Mr. Lincoln, which is on many accounts desirable, for there will questions come tip in the next four years which can be much better settled under a second Presidential term than under the first.