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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 630   View pdf image (33K)
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those that did not at first intend to establish
an independent government, into rebellion ,
it alienated and estranged them, and they de
termined to set up an independent govern
ment for themselves. The same policy has
been tried by other governments, and in
other times. And the very same problem is
now being solved in our country. God
only knows what will be the result. I think,
myself, it was a great mistake. I think that
mild and peaceful measures might have pro-
duced conciliation, and avoided all these
troubles, and that to-day we would have been
a united nation and people, united in the
bonds of interest and of love and of concord.
But force has been used to win back love,
and the end is not. yet. Force cannot win
back affection; it cannot re-establish love.
Where there is a discordant feeling it must
be removed by conciliation. The unity of
our people is worth nothing unless we are
bound together by the strong ties of interest
and affection.
Now, sir, the theory and doctrine here is
that there are people in this State whose in-
terests are opposed to the Government, and
who are in favor of the rebellion. In order to
remedy that, violent measures are to be in-
stituted; this property is to be wrested from
their hands in order to win back their love.
Now, sir, it will not have the desired effect.
If there are such persons, this measure will
but increase their animosity; it will even
make enemies out of friends, and make those
who are now enemies still more bitter in their
enmity. That enmity will not die out with
the present generation, nor in the generation
to come. It will be banded down from
father to son for ages. They will drag their
children to the altar, as was done with Han-
nibal of old, and make them swear by all
the powers above, eternal vengeance and
deadly hate against the people and the power
that thus robbed them of their rights.
" The flesh will quiver when the pincers tear ;
The blood will follow where the knife is
Mr. DANIEL. Mr.' President: The impor-
tance of the subject now under consideration
cannot be well over-estimated. I am aware
that the change proposed will affect seriously
the habits and customs of social life. That
it will cancel the title to what has been here-
tofore a large amount of property, and
has always been recognized and protected by
the Constitution and laws of the State and
nation as such.
I admit, therefore, there is some force in
the arguments of gentlemen on the other
side who speak of this protection, and of the
inducements that may have been held out to
them to invest therein But when gentlemen
insist so strongly upon the fact that because
by the laws of the State this property has
been so carefully guarded and sensitively
legislated for in the past, it is a reason that it
should continue to be thus legislated for in
future, I tell them that it is a sword that
cuts both ways. That it is for that very
reason, in part, that has caused the people
in their majesty to determine that such
partial, and lo a large portion of them, of-
fensive legislation shall no longer exist; and
one of the great objects in sending us here,
is that the State of Maryland shall no longer
tolerate such iniquitous enactments upon her
statute book. They have even essayed, sir,
to come between a man's conscience and his
God, and by a solemn statute, passed a few
years since, determined that there shall be no
more manumission. Thus seeking to per-
petuate the institution of slavery for all
coming time, and to reduce the whole race
ultimately to that condition.
But before I proceed directly with my ar-
gument, I wish to reply to some remarks that
have just fallen from the gentleman (Mr.
Henkle) who has just preceded me. Belore
this, however, I desire to say that I do not
question that good men have and do hold
slaves. Some of the best men I ever knew
were such, men of the most tender and re-
fined feelings and the purest Christian charac-
ters—that the spirit of the laws and cir-
cumstances by which these men were sur-
rounded, in a great measure, necessitated it.
But I hold now that a man's duty is placed
in a very different light from what it wits for-
merly. ''The limes of our former ignorance
God may have winked at, but now commands
every man to repent." livery man is now
called upon to act and to say whether human
bondage or freedom shall be the future con-
dition of the State. And, in my judgment,
it depends upon how gentlemen now take
their positions, how they meet up to the re-
quirements of the duty of the hour, whether
they can longer excuse themselves from
guilt, I take my position unhesitatingly on
the side of freedom.
The gentleman who has just preceded me
seems to have great fears about the elevation
of the negro if this measure should prevail.
It seems to be a spectre continually haunting
him and others on that side of the house.
Yet in another part of his speech he speaks
of their being such a degraded, idle and
mischievous class of being's, even under the
best circumstances, when free, that one can
not well see how he can have any just fears
about their elevation.
Much has also boon said by him and others
of his views, about the Southern counties
aiding so materially in constructing works
of internal improvement, which has made
Baltimore almost all that she is. In reply I
may say, first, that in helping to build up
Baltimore they have only been building up a
great market for their tobacco and other pro-
ducts. When, therefore, due consideration
is given to this, and an account is taken of

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 630   View pdf image (33K)
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