Debates of Congress from 1789 to 1856

Debates of Congress from 1789 to 1856

Debates of Congress from 1789 to 1856

Abridgement of the Debates of Congress from 1789 to 1856 from Gales and Seaton's Annals of Congress; from Their Register of Debates; and from the Official Reported Debates. By John C. Rives - Vol XII covers the debates of the 22nd Congress, 1832-1836. New York: D. Appleton, 1860. Assumed First. There are several entries on slavery – many, many pages on the slavery issues in DC. Also anti-slavery incendiary publications, slavery in Arkansas, slavery memorials, abolition of slavery, etc.. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Full-Leather.
--  The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an appendix, containing important state papers and public documents, and all the laws of a public nature; with a copious index. Volume II, comprising (with volume 1) the period from March 3, 1789, to March 3, 1791, inclusive. Compiled from authentic materials, by Joseph Gales, Senior. Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1834. Volume 2 only which covers February 18, 1790 to March 3, 1791. Also includes the 188 page appendix w/ "reports and other documents". In late 18th/ early 19th century period full leather binding.
-- Supreme Court Reports (1801 - 1882) -- a collection of 98 books of US Supreme Court Reports. They were published in 1903 by the Banks Law Publishing Company. They cover Supreme Court case law from 1801 to 1882. Imagine what has been stated about the Missouri Compromise, the Dred Scott Decision and others relating to the Black experience in America. Important tool in the hands of researchers. Very important and scarce volumes -- that's 98 volumes!

-- An extremely rare bound historical account of the Congress (468 pages), titled APPENDIX TO THE CONGRESSIONAL GLOBE, dated 1859 with the first part being the speech given by Pres. James Buchanan to the Joint Session of the Congress. Excellent historical account of the actual word for word debates that went on just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War., the slavery question, the expansion of slavery into the Territories, the Admission of Kansas to the Union is hotly debated by both slave-holding and free-state supporters. This included the debate concerning the FAMOUS BOOK BY HELPER, called at this time, THE BLACK BIBLE, this book was banned in the south. The southern Congressmen are up in arms over the content of this book depicting the south as barbarians with their slaves, etc.  News of the re-election of Stephen A. Douglas, the Homestead Bill, debates over the marriage of Mormons to many wives, Details of the famous TEXAS REGIMENT, and their action against the frontier Indians.  Much on slavery is debated. The DRED SCOTT DECISION (1857 US Supreme Court, 19 U.S. 393, 407, 15 L.ED. 691, decision said, "No white man was bound to respect the rights of an African".) is debated in detail. Details of ABRAHAM LINCOLN are brought forth by the Senator from Illinois and the newly established Republican Party. Each page printed in three columns for maximum information; foxed throughout.

-- Congressional Globe 1858 debates proceeding US congress. The Congressional Globe: Containing the Debates and Proceedings of the Second Session of the Thirty-Fifth Congress: Also, of the Special Session of the Senate. by John C. Rives. Washington: John C. Rives, 1859. Mid-19th century period 1/2 leather binding. Smooth spine in five gilt-ruled compartments w/ gilt title and date. Blue marbled paper covered boards w/ leather board corners. Binding tight and sound. 1000s of pages of information on the proceedings of Congress. Index for both the US Senate and the US House of Representatives. This covers Dec. 10, 1858 through Feb. 14, 1859. Includes much on the Native Americans and the Slavery Trade bill. VG+ near fine condition, very little wear. Measures 9" x 12." 1040 pp.
-- 1862 Congressional Globe, 960 pages. Containing the debates and proceedings of the Second Session of the Thirty-seventh Congress. Edited by John C. Rives and published at the Congressional Globe Office, Washington, 1862.  very slight occasional foxing, otherwise in remarkably good condition.. Includes many debates on military support, slavery, secession, and other issues relevant to the Civil War. Scarce item.

-- 1854 Congressional Report -- African Slave Trade -- Brazil. 33d Congress, 1st Session - Senate - Ex Doc. No. 47.  14 pages. Titled "Message From The President of the United States, Communicating, In compliance with a resolution of the Senate, the correspondence between Mr. Schenck, United States Minister to Brazil, and the Secretary of State, in relation to the African slave trade."

-- Abraham Lincoln signed 25 copies of the Emancipation Proclamation. In this collection are two copies of the Emancipation Proclamation directly from one of the originals signed by Lincoln in 1863.

BACKGROUND: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates were a series of debates that took place during the 1858 presidential campaign in seven locations across Illinois. Even though Douglas won the election, these debates had launched Lincoln into the national spotlight. These debates are considered a major contributor to the separating of the South from the Union and ultimately leading to the Civil War.

-- "The Emancipation", January 24, 1863 Harper's Weekly. Famous double page engraving by Thomas Nast, the subject of which is Emancipation. Measures 22" x 15 1/2". Condition is very good.

-- 1860 Congressional Report Civil War, 835 pages. A lot of discussion about slavery-related issues.

-- Rare Senate report (March 8, 1860) stating that 7 families are asking for compensation for slaves taken and carried away by the British during the War of 1812.
-- House of Representative Resolution (February 26, 1866) about the "Protection of Emancipated Slaves and Freedmen."

-- Front Cover Portraits of Dred Scott, His Wife, Harriet and Children Eliza & Lizzie!. Multi-Column Details of His Life, Family and The Decision of The Supreme Court! An Original and Complete Issue of LESLIE'S WEEKLY dated June 27, 1857. Fine Illustrations with Reports Including: A Front Cover Series of Portraits with Indepth Report: "VISIT TO DRED SCOTT---HIS FAMILY--INCIDENTS OF HIS LIFE---DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT---ELIZA AND LIZZIE, CHILDREN OF DRED SCOTT, HIS WIFE, HARRIET" Fine Descriptive Report!
-- The Eastern Argus, a very rare historical newspaper, printed in Portland, Maine on September 12, 1858 announcing: "The Death of Dred Scott."
BACKGROUND: Dred Scott (1799 - Sept. 17, 1858), was a slave in the USA who sued unsuccessfully for his freedom in the famous Dred Scott v. Sanford case of 1857. His case was based on the fact that he and his wife Harriet were slaves, but had lived in states and territories where slavery was illegal, including Illinois and Minnesota (which was then part of the Wisconsin Territory). The United States Supreme Court ruled seven to two against Scott, finding that neither he, nor any person of African ancestry, could claim citizenship in the United States, and that therefore Scott could not bring suit in federal court under diversity of citizenship rules. Moreover, Scott's temporary residence outside Missouri did not effect his emancipation under the Missouri  Compromise, since reaching that result would deprive Scott's owner of his property.

CHIEF JUSTICE TANEY: Taney wrote for the majority. In the first section of his opinion, he held that the case must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Scott, being a Negro, could be a citizen of a state–that was a matter of state law –- but he could not be a citizen of the United States, within the meaning of the Constitution, so as to be able to bring a case in federal court. In the course of explaining why members of the black race could not be citizens, Taney argued that representatives of the slaveholding states would never have consented to a Constitution that had the potential to confer citizenship on Negroes. Imagine, he wrote, the consequences:

“It cannot be believed that the large slaveholding States regarded them as included in the word citizens, or would have consented to a Constitution which might compel them to receive them in that character from another State. For if they were so received, and entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens, it would exempt them from the operation of the special laws and from the police regulations which they considered to be necessary for their own safety. It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, and inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State.”

It is impossible, it would seem, to believe that the great men of the slaveholding States, who took so large a share in framing the Constitution of the United States and exercised so much influence in procuring its adoption, could have been so forgetful or regardless of their own safety and the safety of those who trusted and confided in them. It is noteworthy that Taney placed the right to “keep and carry arms wherever they went,” along with the rights of free speech and public assembly, as unquestionable privileges of citizenship.

-- Reports of the Committee on the Conduct of the War: "Fort Pillow Massacre" and also a report titled "Returned Prisoners", no date of publication, but probably May, 1864 just after the reports were made public.  Graphic Eyewitness testimony and question and answer sessions. Four prints of prisoners. In April 1864, the Union garrison at Fort Pillow, a Confederate-built earthen fortification and a Union-built inner redoubt, was overlooking the Mississippi River about forty river miles above Memphis, under the command of Maj. Lionel F. Booth. Confederate Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked the fort on April 12 with a cavalry division of approximately 2,500 men. Approximately 300 African American troops were massacred here. Up to that time comparatively few of our men had been killed; but immediately upon occupying the place the rebels commenced an indiscriminate butchery of the whites and blacks, including the wounded. Both white and black were bayoneted, shot, or sabred; even dead bodies were horribly mutilated, and children of seven and eight years, and several negro women killed in cold blood. Soldiers unable to speak from wounds were shot dead, and their bodies rolled down the banks into the river. The dead and wounded negroes were piled in heaps and burned, and several citizens, who had joined our forces for protection, were killed or wounded. Out of the garrison of six hundred only two hundred remained alive. Three hundred of those massacred were negroes; five were buried alive. Casualties were high and only sixty-two of the U.S. Colored Troops survived the fight. Many accused the Confederates of perpetrating a massacre of the black troops, and that controversy continues today. The Confederates evacuated Fort Pillow that evening so they gained little from the attack except to temporarily disrupt Union operations. The Fort Pillow Massacre became a Union rallying cry and cemented resolve to see the war through to its conclusion. The massacre at Fort Pillow had raised the question in every mind; does the United States mean to allow its soldiers to be butchered in cold blood?

-- Remarkably rare Journal of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Virginia: Begun and Held in the City of Richmond, 1859-1860 (1500 pages!!!). James E. Goode, Senate Printer. This is an enormous volume that includes hundreds of documents including Governor Reports and other state reports, featuring reports from the Generals dealing with the John Brown/Harper’s Ferry situation, information on slavery and many other important documents. Here are some examples:
a. "Communication from the Governor of this State in Respect to His Action on the Harpers Ferry Outrage" (66 pages)
   b. "Communication from the Governor asking Relief For Edward McCabe who was Wounded at Harpers Ferry"  (2 pages)
   c. "Communication from the Adjunct General Relative to Transportation of Troops to Charlestown and Harpers Ferry" (2 pages)
   d. "Communication from the Governor of the State Enclosing the Report of General Taliaferro. Commander at Harpers Ferry (4 pages)
   e. "Report of the Commissioners Appointed to Audit and Pay the Expenses Incurred by the Late Invasion at Harpers Ferry (54 pages)
   f. "Communication from the Governor of Virginia Enclosing Letters from the Gov of Ohio relative to Requisitions for Fugitives From Justice (22 pages)
   g. "Hostile Legislation of the North" This is a 64-page report detailing the legislation hostile to Slavery emanating from the Northern States: Maine, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Indiana, Ohio, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota. This Special Report even shows the legislative response of the Northern States toward the Dred Scott decision, which occurred in 1857 at the Old Court House, St. Louis, MO.
   h. This Journal also includes an 11-page report with "Extracts from the Index of Colonial Records" from 1585 to 1782. Here are some examples: 1585 (Proposals to Inhabit Porte Ferdinand, Discovery from James Forte into the Main), 1607 (State of the Virginia Plantation), 1609 (100 men Planted at the Falls of James River, Memo Relating to the Colony of Virginia), 1610 (250 Persons go out as Planters, Descriptive Letter), 1613 (Suit in Chancery Instituted by Virginia Company to Compel Adventurers to Pay Up), 1705 (1800 Negroes Imported This Year. Sold at 54 Pounds a Pair), 1730 (Proclamation Against Unlawful Meetings of Slaves), 1731 (An Opinion Asked Whether Slaves Baptized into the Christian Church can Continue in Slavery), 1741 (List of Naval Officers Enlisted for the Invasion of Canada), 1749 (Notice of the Trade to Africa), 1782 (Dunmore's Plan to Subdue the Colonies by Means of Indians and negroes. Cruden's Plan for Arming 10,000 Slaves Handed in by Lord Dunmore)...

-- Incredibly rare JOURNAL OF THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BEING THE FIRST SESSION OF THE THIRTY-EIGHTH CONGRESS, BEGUN AND HELD AT THE CITY OF WASHINGTON, DECEMBER 7, 1863, in the Eighty-Eighth Year of the Independence of the United States, 1042 pages (pictured to the right), Washington: Government Printing Office, 1863. This Senate Journal, from the Third Session of the 38th Congress, lasted from December 7, 1863 to July 4, 1864, a crucial time in our nation’s history. Each 19th-century volume of the Journal of the United States Senate provides a record of the Senate’s activities for a particular session of Congress. Unlike the Congressional Globe (later the Congressional Record), that record does not include the words spoken on the floor of the Senate, but rather all the procedural occurrences, and in particular the introduction of proposed legislation and resolutions, along with the decisions and votes of the senators on these items. However, each volume does open with the President’s Annual Message to Congress (now called the State of the Union address), with other important written documents that he may submit to Congress.

In the case of Abraham Lincoln’s annual message, which in this volume occupies pages 8-18, the message is followed immediately by the most famous and significant document that Lincoln ever signed: the Emancipation Proclamation, dated December 8, 1863, the same date as that of his annual message. The annual message naturally deals with the ongoing Civil War, as well as with foreign affairs, Indian matters, the economy, and Lincoln’s plans for eventual reconstruction of the Union. The Emancipation Proclamation (pp. 18-20) lacks an elegant style, being fundamentally a war measure, justified by the exigencies of the conflict and applicable by its terms only to those currently held in slavery beyond the Union’s power of control. Nevertheless, every prescient statesman saw that there would be no turning back, and that slavery was doomed throughout the United States, as soon enshrined constitutionally by the Thirteenth Amendment (probably the least cited, because most effective, of all the amendments to our constitution). The Emancipation Proclamation of course received widespread attention upon its official appearance, which followed the publication of a preliminary version in August 1863, but this volume marks its official publication within a Senate Journal.

In addition, the pages of this volume are chock-full of interesting Civil War items, though they are often buried in the procedural record. For example, on page 233 we find Lincoln’s message to the Senate submitting the decision from the Interior Department fixing the point in Iowa, across the river from Omaha, at which the Union Pacific Railroad would start its construction. Page 362 deals with amendments to a bill to accept only three-year enlistments into the Union Army, and to provide that as of January 1, 1864, “all persons of color who have been or may be mustered into the service of the United States shall receive the same uniform, clothing, arms . . . as other soldiers of the regular or volunteer forces.” The creation and maintenance of the Internal Revenue Service, then a new concept for raising money through taxation, occupies many pages of the record, just as it would today. The actual record ends on page 768, followed by a mammoth Index of the Bills and Joint Resolutions of the Senate and House of Representatives during the session of Congress, and an even longer 175 pages!) index, which makes it easy to look up any particular topic, with, for example, two dozen references to the proposed constitutional amendment to abolish slavery, or, much more quietly, a note of the memorial (i.e., petition) requesting equality of pay for his soldiers from Thomas Wentworth Higginson, the colonel of the 1st regiment of South Carolina volunteers, the first black regiment to fight in the Civil War (see the movie “Glory” for a stunning visual presentation). Messages of various sorts from President Lincoln appear at more than three dozen places, dealing with topics such as the treatment of Kansas troops when captured by the Confederates, the conditions of the people in East Tennessee (who, Lincoln long but vainly hoped, would provide a bastion of support for the Union), Mexican affairs, and the pursuit of hostile bands of Sioux Indians into the Hudson’s Bay territories. All in all, this is a terrific record of the United States at the great cusp of the Civil War, as a Union victory finally seemed near—though not so near, as things turned out, as many hoped during the first half of 1864. The book measures 5 ¾ by 9 inches and is 2 ½ inches thick. It is bound in leather boards, with red and black spine labels, noting that this book once was part of the Office of the Secretary of State. The boards are holding well, though the hinges have grown quite tender, especially in front, and they are in pretty decent shape, only somewhat scuffed and dented at the corners. Inside the pages are in good shape, only slightly browned, still supple and of high quality.

-- REPORT OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE CONDUCT OF THE WAR. IN THREE PARTS. Washington: Government Printing Office. 1863. 37th Congress, 3rd Session. Rep. Com. No. 108. Part III—Department of the West. As the Civil War entered its third year, a feeling arose throughout the country that the Union armies had failed to measure up to their Confederate opponents in organization, not to mention results—a feeling highly reinforced when General Ambrose Burnside so bungled the battle of Fredericksburg that his removal inevitably followed, leaving his only legacy the word “sideburns,” of which Ambrose had a marvelously showy pair. Congress decided to investigate matters, and the three-volume report that appeared in the spring of 1863 related in long detail what had made the situation so dicey in all the theaters of war. This third volume deals with the Department of the West, an area of extreme importance (of course, they all were) because the state of Missouri was closely divided between northern and southern loyalties, and keeping it in the Union was essential, if only to maintain control over the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Unfortunately, the political general John Charles Frémont, the Republican party’s first presidential candidate, had his own ideas about what to do that brooked little interference from his superiors in Washington, Abraham Lincoln in particular. Eventually Frémont had to go, but initially his fame, his well-proclaimed love of the Union, and his interest in eliminating slavery made him too well fixed to oust, even though this last-mentioned attitude risked losing the affections of Union-loyal Missourians, who saw in him a dangerous abolitionist. Basically, the investigatory committee was dominated by hard-line anti-slavery figures, who suspected that Lincoln and his administration were dangerously soft on the slavery question; for their part, as Lincoln well knew from his boyhood in Kentucky and Indiana, this issue had the potential to divide the Union, and he had to move slowly to let public opinion crystallize in favor of abolishing slavery entirely. In its 659 pages, this volume presents the record of testimony taken by the investigatory committee from military and other figures that deals with the military situation in 1861 and 1862, not only in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and neighboring territories, but also, and in contradiction of its title, with matters in Virginia and neighboring states (this material presumably should have gone into the first two volumes, but they were already complete). Of this material from the eastern theater of war, much refers to the debacle of the second battle of Bull Run, apparently so rich in such stories that more remained to be told after the primary treatment in earlier volumes. A typical quotation appears (p. 654) in the testimony of a Colonel McLean: “I have seen privileges granted to secessionists that I think they ought not to enjoy . . . Secessionists were inviting out the rebel prisoners to their residences, and entertaining them at dinners.” This volume measures 6 by 9 inches and is 1 ¼ inches thick, bound in leather boards, with brown tape now covering the spine and extending onto those boards, which are in good shape except at their edges and corners, which are damaged. The book’s binding is holding firmly, and the pages remain clean and supple, though some of them are quite noticeably browned. Those who want to study how the early years of the Civil War unfolded, as presented by Congress in this investigation, will find this book chock-full of variegated information.

- Absolutely rare bas relief copy in miniature of the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE with signatures and a vignette of the Signers at the center.  Done by S H Black in 1859.  Says at bottom "Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1859 by S H Black in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of U S for Southern District of New York".  This Plaque or bas relief is executed in silver over brass with silvering almost completely intact.  Plaque measures 7 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches (complete with original gold frame measures 9 x 9 3/4.  An outstanding example of pre Civil War Americana. This is an original old item, not a reprint, copy or a restrike.

-- Christian Advocate and Journal, New York, December 11, 1862. An 8-page original Civil War Era newspaper in very good condition. Bright, durable and readable. Contents include, Emancipation: The President's Scheme -- The preliminary Emancipation Proclamation to take effect on January 1, 1863. There are extracts of the President's second annual message to Congress given December 1, 1862.

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