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that several gentlemen are desirous of speaking on this subject, I would suggest that it be postponed to some future day, when we may proceed to the consideration of these two bills. I would suggest that it be postponed till Monday week.
Mr. Foote. I would say to the honorable Senator from Illinois that, as he has suggested this as his own wish, I am willing that it shall be postponed till Monday week.
Mr. Douglas. I was going to remark, that I desire, and I presume the whole Senate desire, that these two bills be acted upon at the earliest practicable day. I would suggest, therefore, the propriety of fixing Monday week as the day for their consideration and discussion.
Mr. Foore. I will withdraw my motion.
Mr. DICKINSON. I hope the Senator from Mississippi will not withdraw the motion.
Mr. Foote. If the Senator from New York objects, I will not withdraw it.
Mr. Douglas. I merely suggest that, for the purpose of taking up the census bill, which has been postponed on various occasions, and discussing it, we postpone this subject.
Mr. Benton. The Senator from New York made a motion, or intimated his wish to make one, that this subject lie on the table for the present.
The Vice-PRESIDENT. He made a motion, which was not understood by the Chair.
Mr. Benton. He made a motion, or intimated it, that for the present the subject lie on the table. I wish it may lie on the table, and that it may be taken up at a proper time.
The question to lay the motion upon the table was then taken and agreed to.
PERSONAL AND EXPLANATORY.
Mr. Benton—There being a gap at this moment in the business of the Senate, I will call the attention of the Senate to what I read in one a the morning papers——the National Intelligencer. It purports to be an a count of what was said here yesterday in a certain case in which my own voice was heard. So far as I am represented in that paper, sir, the report is substantially correct. So far as another is concerned, it is not correct Now, Mr. President, I have to say, what every Senator well knows, that it is not only the right but the duty of a Senator to revise his speechesimprove the style and improve the argument, if it relates to argument
: but where there is something of a different character—someting persona
- there can be no alteration of the words. This is parliamentary law, and it is the law, I will not say of honor, but of civilized man.
Now, after the scene which occurred yesterday, the reporter (for the Union] came to me, and laid on my table the notes of what I had said and asked me to revise them. I refused even to read them. I did not and would not read them. I told him it was his business to make it correct, and I expected he had made it correct. And why would not I read them, sir? Because it should not be said that I had meddled with a word privately. I intended then, as I always intend, and as the only way that honor can ever do, to let the reporter make his report of personal scenes; and if there is anything wrong in the report, correct it in the Senatecorrect it in the face of those who heard everything, and who know what is right and what is wrong. A public correction of public personalities, is the only thing that can be endured in a land of civilized men. I refused then even to read the notes of the reporter, and he carried them away, asking me, to fill up the blank in the first sentence, of two or three words which he did not catch. I filled up these two or three words in the opening sentence. That was all. I never read one word more. Now, sir, I find in the Intelligencer this morning-and it may be in the Union aiso, for anything I know—what purports to be a report of what was said yester. day. It is a lying account from beginning to end. It is an exemplification of all the modes of falsehood known to the law-suppressio veri et suggestio falsi—and that in a material point, which would make it perjury, if it had been sworn to.
Sir, in what is personal in this chamber, there can be no alteration of words—there can be no substitution of equivocal or convertible phrases. The words spoken, so far as character or feeling is concerned, are to stand. They are to stand, sir, and he is to abide what is to result from them in public opinion or in any other way. There is to be no made-up case there is to be no alteration in a single phrase ; and yet, in this case, the alterations are systematic from the beginning to the end, and I say the reporter did not make them. I absolve the reporters.
The report omits many things that were said, and says many things that were not said, and that were absolutely false, and this any Senator can see who heard what was said yesterday, and could have the stomach to read the filthy stuff that appeared in the papers this morning. I am not going to nauseate the Senate by reading it; but I have demanded from the reporter the original notes of the debate. I find the report correct in the Republic. I have demanded from the reporter his notes, for the purpose of justifiying him at all events.
And now, sir, I will read to the Senate, merely as an exemplification of the kind of abuse which I have spoken of, but a single phrase ; and I take it out of the paper which is the regular authorized reporter of the Senate, from which it is to go into our parliamentary law, and stand there. I mean to brand it as false, before it leaves this chamber-to brand it from beginning to end, giving an exemplification whereof there are many of a like character. It says:
" At present he is shielded by his age, his open disavowal of the obligatory force of the laws of honor, and his senatorial privileges."
Now, in the first place, no such thing was said here yesterday; and in the second place, if it had been said, it would have been false. So there are two falsehoods there together. I am remarking on an article in a newspaper, and I cannot be called to order.
Mr. Foote (in his seat.) I hope he will not be called to order by any one.
Mr. BENTON. “At present he is shielded by his age, his open disavowal of the obligatory force of the laws of honor, and his senatorial privileges." Shielded by his age ! by his age! Sir, let any person insult me, where an appropriate chastisement can be employed, and inflicted upon blackguardism, and he will find out whether I am not young enough to resist ; he will find out my age without consulting any calendar at all.
“ His open disavowal of the obligatory force of the laws of honor." Take that in any sense, and it is false. Take it in the sense in wbich it is perhaps intended, and it is false. I am not a man to make avowals except when there is a case pending, and then the avowal goes to the single case. It is not true that I ever made such an avowal It is a false excuse—an after-thought; it is an invention of after-time—an invention of cowardice-to shield itself from infamy. That is what it is. Sir, I never made such an avowal-I avow neither one thing nor the other. When any person puts a case, they will get an answer; but there will be no avowals before that to go before the country.
“ His senatorial privileges." Sir, I claim no senatorial privileges.I claim no privilege of attacking any person on this floor. 'I claim no privilege of insulting anybody here. I have never done it in the thirty years
I have been here; 'I have never begun to insult any one ; but, if it is begun with me, although, I may bear with insults a long time, yet when I once take notice of it, there shall be an end, one way or the other
. And if the Senate does not know that it is a Senate-if this Senate does not protect itself from scenes which would disgrace the veriest brothelif this Senate permits language to be used here which cannot be used in the filthiest brothel in the Five Points, or in the suburbs of the city; if they permit such language to be used here, and to be used here with re. spect to me, I mean from this time forth to protect myself, cost what it may
Now, sir, I merely give this as a specimen of the falsehood-malicious and systematic-which pervades what I find in this newspaper. I am speaking about a newspaper, sir, and cannot be called to order. And perhaps hereafter it may be well to wait for the newspaper, and then I can speak of the newspaper. I have given this as an example of the falsehood which pervades that report of what took place here yesterday, and which is to go into the permanent debates of the Congress of the United States—which is to stand in the register of these debates as true and permanent history! I brand it with falsehood before it goes there, and shall hold myself ready, upon any appropriate occasion that may require it, to prove the falsehood from beginning to end.
Mr. Foote. It will not surprise any one, I am sure, that I feel ambitious this morning to utter a few words in my own defence. The newspaper has been attacked—I have not been attacked. The course of the Senator is in character with himself. He makes no direct attack-his attack is insidious and covert; and yet you know, Mr. President, and all honorable Senators know, that I was the only object of assailment. This course of hostility-for hostility it is, and must be so considered by all now present, and by the twenty millions of enlightened freemen whom we recognise as countrymen, and by posterity, too, if posterity shall take account of such a scene as this—this course of hostility is one that I never had the least taste for, and never expect to have the least taste for. I am a plain man
a direct man. I feel that I can say that, without incurring suspicion of undue egotism. If I have anything to say of any man, I say it to his face, and in his hearing, and in as plain language as conceive to comport with the rules of decorum which apply to the case.
Now, sir, it is suggested and charged that the report of my speech of speeches, in the Intelligencer and Union of this morning—for they are both the same report, for a cause which I shall mention presently—is a
false report of what occurred yesterday. Well, sir, it is' certainly not exactly, I presume, as the debate progressed, for an obvious reason. Our reporters are certainly as accurate as reporters generally are ; but they are badly located, and they have complained to us that they have but poor opportunity to hear distinctly and satisfactorily what is said by honorable Senators. Yesterday presented an occasion very unfavorable to accurate reporting. A most stormy debate-an exciting, tempestuous discussion occurred and there was much confusion in this Hall. The reporters were certainly unable to perform their duty as fully and as satisfactorily to themselves as is customary. I state what honorable Senators very well know, that I have been in the habit of taking the notes of the reporters, and writing out my remarks. Many honorable Senators are not reported at all. The history of the honorable Senator who has spoken this morning, is known to harmonize with this particular course of procedure. I believe the reports of the Senator's speeches are understood to be presented to the country pretty much as he writes them out himself. Such has been understood to have been his former uniform practice, and I presume it is so yet.
Now, sir, the reporter [for the Union) yesterday presented me with notes, not of a few remarks, such as fell from other gentlemen, who could be very well heard, and set down, with but few and slight inaccuracies, and leaving, as he confesses, one or two chasms which, being supplied, there was an end to his task, but I spoke at length, I spoke rapidly. I spoke certainly with great heat and with much more rapidity than the Senator from Missouri is in the habit of exhibiting In other words, I always speak more rapidly than the Senator from Missouri, as you all know. "My voice is perhaps not so distinct as his—my enunciation may not be quite so clear--.I am not so much in the habit of speaking for the ear of reporters, as the Senator from Missouri and some others, and I find it very difficult indeed for any reporters here to report me correctly. Honorable Senators who know my usual mode of speaking, can understand this matter. The notes of the reporter which were handed to me, contained many chasms, which I had to supply ; and it did so happen that a considerable number of those vacant places in the notes of the reporter, covered the spaces referred to this morning, of personal altercation between the honorable Senator and myself. What did I do? Why, sir, here at this table, in the presence of various Senators, I corrected some twenty pages of notes ; I simply took the notes as written, and corrected them as they were written out, supplying sometimes a word, and sometimes three or four words, sometimes four or five lines, and sometimes a whole paragraph—for such was the state of the notes. I corrected, in this way, some twenty pages of the notes before the Senate adjourned. Was this systematic ? Was this cold-blooded ? Was this deliberate ? Was there any deliberate attempt at fraud here? And, sir, I pursued the same course at home. This was the first part of the publication, in our papers this morning, of the debates that occurred yesterday, and necessarily I had to write out what I did write, as hastily as possible, to let it take the proper place in the paper. I do not vouch for the exact language of the whole. I confess, I am willing to acknow. ledge, there was one omission, and one which may be considered by some gentlemen an important omission : but I have good authority for that omission. In the course of the rapid discussion in which I was proceeding, in the course of a very fervid speech, I happened to allude to an affair of honor, now adjusted, between the Senator from Missouri and a friend of mine on this floor. I alluded to it, in terms of great harshness, certainly, but it is no great matter of surprise, if after having been assailed in language of scurrility, I used language of great harshness. Well, sir, the honorable Senator from Alabama, who sits near me, (Mr. King], sug. gested that I had indiscreetly alluded to that affair ; perhaps I might say, the gentleman who was referred to in the case, entertained the same opinion, and expressed it here to me, that it was unfortunate that I had referred to that affair. What did I say? I said at once to my friend, I will admit that it was indelicate, and I will omit it in the published speech; and I did omit it. Now, that was, perhaps, the harshest thing that I said, with perhaps one exception, which I will not now refer to
. I give my reason for omitting what I did; I believe the reason to be a good one; but if it is desired, it shall appear in print, as reported by the reporter, with such efforts on my part to supply actual omissions in the notes as I am capable of making. Il it will avail the Senator anything he shall have it.
Now, sir, I undertake to assert that the report, which the Senator from Missouri acknowledges is substantially correct in the Republic, is substantially harmonious with the report which appears in the Union and Intelligencer, with this difference, chiefly, (and I regard that as the only diflerence in fact,) that the reporter for the Republic necessarily condenses all our debates, and so condenses, that a long speech, of four or five columns in the Intelligencer, is found sometimes in the Republic in half a column or a single column. Such is the case in this instance. I spoke, as Senators well know, long enough to have occupied two or three columns in either the Intelligencer or the Union, and yet, what I said, and what was said in reply to me, when published in the Republic, is found not to overspread more than a column and a quarter. I will say, then, that the report in the Republic is substantially accurate, except in the respect alluded to that the report is condensed necessarily, so that the remarks I made are found in a very narrow compass, and much that I said is left out, which I endeavored to supply in the Intelligencer and Union. The gentleman says he will take the notes of the two reporters—the notes of the reporters of the Intelligencer, and those of the reporters of the Union. The Intelligencer in this case relied upon the notes taken by the reporters of the Union.* For that reason, the reports in these two papers will be found to be precisely similar. This is very often found to be the case. The customary exchange of printed slips takes place between them, in conse
• It is due to the reporters for this paper to state, that the honorable Senator has here been led into error, of which he is doubtless unconscious. Our reporters prepared a ful report of the debate alluded to, and handed it into the office at an early hour on Tuesday evening. It was not submitted to the examination of either of the honorable Senators who took part in that discussion, because delicacy forbade consultation on a subject much to be regretted. At a subsequent period of the night, the foreman received a mes sage from the office of the Union, stating that Mr. Foote (as is usual with that gentle man,) was revising his remarks, and desired that the same version of them should appear in the Intelligencer. This being a privilege which is always accorded to Senators when they will undergo the labor which is excercise necessarily imposes, the foreman supposing the matter to be substantially the same, did not hesitate to comply with the request made in the name of Mr. Foote, and substituted the printed copy sent from the Union for the manuscript of the reporters, which had been previously put in his posses sion. These are the facis of the case
. No part of the report of 10-day has undergone revision by the speakers.-National Intelligencer.