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That presents a fair question, one
that we have a perfect right to pass upon; and I have only said
what I have in order to show that we had not better run crazy
over the idea that we were dealing with natural and inalienable
rights, and that we were violating human rights if we happened to
say no, or that we were vindicating human rights in the sense now
spoken of if we should say yes. We are merely considering a
question of political expediency, as confessedly we have the
power in governing the Territories to let anybody vote we choose.
We can put the whole concern in Pembina, if we think it wise,
into the hands of the madmen up there, and I do not know but that
they are in the majority, for I certainly know nothing about
it.... If no other Senator wishes to make any remarks, I move to
lay the bill upon the table.

Mr. SARGENT: I ask for the yeas and nays on that motion.

Mr. HAGER: I hope the Senator from Vermont will withdraw his
motion. I desire to make a few remarks.

The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Clayton in the chair). The motion is
not debatable.

Mr. HAGER: I ask the Senator to withdraw the motion for a few
minutes.

Mr. EDMUNDS: If the Senator will renew it when he finishes his
remarks, I will do so.

Mr. HAGER: Very well.

Mr. EDMUNDS: I withdraw the motion.

Mr. HAGER: Mr. President, it seems to me strange that a question
of so much importance as that raised by this amendment appears to
be, from the positions taken by Senators on the floor, should be
presented upon this bill, which, if amended as proposed, will not
confer the right of suffrage upon females throughout the country;
and for us to undertake to legislate upon this question in regard
to a distant Territory where perhaps there are few or no women,
unless they be of the Indian race, is to me a very astonishing
thing.... If suffrage should be extended to females let it come
up as a distinct, independent proposition by itself, and then
every Senator can take his position in regard to a question which
affects the whole country, and not a distant Territory merely.
That is the way, in my opinion, to get at it.... Inasmuch as in
the wisdom of the Government and people of the United States the
right to the elective franchise has been conferred upon the black
race in this country, I see no reason on the ground of
qualification why it should not be conferred upon females.... But
I am unwilling to legislate by piecemeal in this manner. If there
is any good in it; if, as the Senator from Indiana says, as a
matter of right women should be entitled to the franchise, that
right should be co-extensive with the whole country, and not be
limited to the little Territory of Pembina, which is not yet
organized.

Mr. EDMUNDS.--I renew the motion to lay the bill on the table.

Mr. SARGENT.--On that motion I ask for the yeas and nays. The
yeas and nays were ordered.

Mr. RAMSEY.--I should like to appeal to the Senator from Vermont
to withdraw the motion for five minutes.

Mr. STEWART.--We will not lay it on the table.

Mr. RAMSEY.--Very well; let the vote be taken. The question being
taken by yeas and nays, resulted--yeas, 24; nays, 24; as follows:

YEAS--Messrs. Bayard, Buckingham, Conkling, Conover, Cooper,
Davis, Edmunds, Frelinghuysen, Hager, Hamilton of Maryland,
Howe, Ingalls, Johnston, Jones, MeCreery, Merrimon, Morrill
of Maine, Norwood, Ransom, Scott, Sherman, Wadleigh,
Washburn, and Wright--24.

NAYS--Messrs. Bogy, Boreman, Boutwell, Carpenter, Chandler,
Clayton, Ferry of Michigan, Flanagan, Gilbert, Harvey,
Hitchcock, Logan, Mitchell, Morton, Patterson, Pratt,
Ramsey, Sargent, Spencer, Sprague, Stewart, Tipton, West,
and Windom--24.

ABSENT--Messrs. Alcorn, Allison, Anthony, Brownlow, Cameron,
Cragin, Dennis, Dorsey, Fenton, Ferry of Connecticut,
Goldthwaite, Gordon, Hamilton of Texas, Hamlin, Kelly,
Lewis, Morrill of Vermont, Oglesby, Pease, Robertson,
Saulsbury, Schurz, Stevenson, Stockton, and Thurman--25.

So the motion was not agreed to.

The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. CLAYTON in the chair.)--The question
is on the amendment of the Senator from California [Mr.
SARGENT], upon which the yeas and nays have been ordered.

Mr. BAYARD.--Mr. President, it would seem scarcely credible that
in the Senate of the United States an abrupt and sudden change in
so fundamental a relation as that borne by the two sexes to our
system of Government should be proposed as an "experiment," and
that it should be gravely recommended that a newly organized
Territory under act of Congress should be set aside for this
"experiment," which is in direct, grossly irreverent disregard of
all that we have known as a rule, our great fundamental rule, in
organizing a government of laws, whether colonial, State, or
Federal, in this country.

I frankly say, Mr. President, that which strikes me most forcibly
is the gross irreverence of this proposition, its utter disregard
of that Divine will by which man and woman were created
different, physically, intellectually, and morally, and in
defiance of which we are now to have this poor, weak, futile
attempt of man to set up his schemes of amelioration in defiance
of every tradition, of every revelation, of all human experience,
enlightened as it has been by Divine permission. It seems to me
that to introduce so grave a subject as this, to spring it here
upon the Senate without notice in the shape of an amendment to a
pending measure, to propose thus to experiment with the great
laws that lie at the very foundation of human society, and to do
it for the most part in the trivial tone which we have witnessed
during this debate, is not only mortifying, but it renders one
almost hopeless of the permanence of our Government if this is to
be the example set by one of the Houses of Congress, that which
claims to be more sedate and deliberate, if it proposes in this
light and perfunctory way to deal with questions of this grave
nature and import. Sir, there is no time at present for that
preparation which such a subject demands at the hands of any
sensible man, mindful of his responsibilities, who seeks to deal
with it.

This is an attempt to disregard laws promulgated by the Almighty
Himself. It is irreverent legislation in the simplest and
strongest sense of the word. Nay, sir, not only so, but it is a
step in defiance of the laws of revealed religion as given to
men. If there be one institution which it seems to me has
affected the character of this country, which has affected the
whole character of modern civilization, the results of which we
can but imperfectly trace and but partly recognize, it is the
effect of the institution of Christian marriage, the mysterious
tie uniting the one man and the one woman until they shall become
one and not two persons. It is an institution which is
mysterious, which is beyond the reach and the understanding of
man, but he certainly can best exhibit his sense of duty and
proper obligation when he reverently shall submit to and
recognize its wisdom. All such laws as proposed by this amendment
are stumbling-blocks, and are meant to be stumbling-blocks in the
way of that perfect union of the sexes which was intended by the
law of Christian marriage.

Suffrage is a political franchise; it is not a right; because the
word "right" is used in reference to voting in the XIV. Amendment
to the Constitution, that does not make it a right. It is in the
very nature of government a political privilege confided,
according to the exigency, the expediency, by the wisdom of
those who control the government, to a certain class. If this
right to vote be what the Senator from Indiana declares it to be,
a natural and inalienable right, then you have no more right to
deny it to a person who is under the age of twenty-one than you
have to deny it to a person who is over the age of twenty-one
years. Sir, the difference is radical. Voting is no right; it is
a privilege granted, a franchise which is granted to certain
classes, more or less extended according to the supposed
expediency which shall control the minds of those who frame the
constitution of government for a people. There is no wrong done,
so far as the abnegation of a right is involved, by denying this
to certain classes of a community, whether on account of age or
sex or any other supposed causes of disqualification. In this
country the whole foundation of our institutions has been that
the male sex when arrived at years of supposed discretion alone
should take part in the political control of the country.

It is not necessary for me to speak now of other influences than
those that come from politics; it is not necessary for me to
dwell upon the actual and potential influences that control the
fate of men and of nations. We all know they are not those most
apparent. We all know it is the passions, the affections, the
sympathies, and desires of the human heart and human ambition
that control the vote, and not the vote that controls them. And
now you propose to try an "experiment" upon a community composed
of your own fellow-citizens, which is in defiance of all human
experience, all suggestions of philosophy, of your own laws, and
of every lesson you should have drawn from every civilized nation
that has preceded you.

Under the operation of this Amendment, what will become of the
family hearthstone around which cluster the very best influences
of human education?



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