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I should like to know who would question, who
would dare to question, the orthodoxy of the honorable Senator
from Ohio, and who dares tell me that this is such a novelty that
it is not to be introduced here as serious, as in earnest? Sir, I
say that I am perfectly in earnest, and I say that if this
amendment be incorporated in this bill I shall vote for it with
all my heart and soul. I beg to be understood that I would not
inaugurate the movement, I would not make the change by my own
mere motion, because I would not venture upon the change
anywhere. That change must rise out of, spring out of, and come
up from society generally. It is that thing which the poet has
called the _vox populi_, and which he likens to the _vox Dei_.
When the community spontaneously demands this call, when the
community spontaneously demands this action, I yield to it. It is
so in this instance. While I yield to the demand for negro
suffrage, I demand at the same time female suffrage; and when I
yield to the question of manhood suffrage, I feel assured I throw
along the antidote to all the poison which I suppose would
accompany the first proposition.

I am not afraid of negro suffrage if you allow female suffrage to
go hand in hand with it. I believe that if there is any one
influence in the country which will break down this tribal
antipathy, which will make the two races one in political harmony
and political action, not in actuality as races by amalgamation,
but which will induce that harmony and that co-operation which
may bring about the highest state, perhaps, of social
civilization and development, it is the fact that woman and not
man must interfere in order to smooth the pathway for these two
races to go along harmoniously together. And it is for that
reason that I insist that when you do make this step, this step
forward which once made can never be retrieved, you must do that
other thing which assures its success after it is made. Let the
negro male vote now, and you open the arena of strife and
contention; let both sexes vote, and then you close that arena of
strife, you bring in that element which subdues all strife, which
has made America what she is, which has made the American
political meeting, which has made the American political
convention, not the scene of strife or angry contention, where
armed men met together to settle political differences, as in the
Polish Diet, but a convention where all were subjected to reason,
influenced, as it might properly be, by eloquence and by that
"feast of reason" which is "the flow of the soul" to those who
enjoy it. And therefore, Mr. President, I beg to assure
everybody, and especially my honorable friend from Rhode Island,
who agrees with me, I know, upon this topic, that I am serious
and in earnest in urging this amendment; in dead earnest, in good
earnest, and why not? I am not so blind as to mistake the signs
of the times.

I might have refused to believe long ago, when my honorable
friend from Ohio [Mr. Wade] predicted that this was coming. I
might have disbelieved when my honorable friend from
Massachusetts [Mr. Wilson] predicted this was coming; when he
blew his bugle-blast and announced what an army was coming behind
to enforce his doctrine and his principles. I might, like Thomas
of old, have doubted; but now I have had my fingers in the very
wounds of which he spoke. I know of a certainty now that this
movement is in progress, and that this movement will go on. I
know of a certainty that black men must vote in the District of
Columbia. Who can doubt it? Those who are in favor of that
measure here are in force sufficient to carry it constitutionally
beyond all question. Well, if it is to be I am reconciled to it,
but at the same time I want to throw about it as many safeguards
as are possible under the circumstances, and among those
safeguards I think that of allowing females suffrage to be not
only the best, but the only one which will be efficacious in this
behalf. Mr. President, I have trespassed a great deal longer upon
the Senate than I intended. I beg to return my thanks for the
indulgence they have exhibited in listening to what I had to say.

Mr. MORRILL: Mr. President, the honorable Senator began by saying
that he was in earnest, and he concludes by affirming the same
thing. Doubtless he had made the impression upon his own mind
that after all he had said, there might be a doubt in the minds
of the Senate on that point. Does any one who has heard the
speech, somewhat extraordinary, of the honorable Senator, suppose
that he is at all in earnest or sincere in a single sentiment he
has uttered on this subject? I do not imagine he believes that
any one here is idle enough for a moment to suppose so. Now, his
attempt at being facetious has not been altogether a failure. I
think he has succeeded in being amusing; he has evidently amused
himself; and if he could afford the sacrifice, I admit he has
amused the galleries and probably the most of us; but that he has
convinced anybody that he was arguing to enlighten the Senate or
the public mind on a question which he says is important, he does
not believe and he does not expect anybody else to believe it. If
it is true, as he intimates, that he is desirous of becoming a
Radical, I am not clear that I should not be willing to accept
his service, although there is a good deal to be repented of
before he can be taken into full confidence. [Laughter].

When a man has seen the error of his ways and confesses it, what
more is there to be done except to receive him seventy and seven
times? Now if this is an indication that the honorable Senator
means to out-radical the Radicals, "Come on, Macduff," nobody
will object provided you can show us you are sincere. That is the
point. If it is mischief you are at, you will have a hard time to
get ahead. While we are radical we mean to be rational. While we
intend to give every male citizen of the United States the rights
common to all, we do not intend to be forced by our enemies into
a position so ridiculous and absurd as to be broken down utterly
on that question, and whoever comes here in the guise of a
Radical and undertakes to practice that, probably will not make
much by the motion. I am not surprised that those of our friends
who went out from us and have been feeding on the husks, desire
to get in ahead; but I am surprised at the indiscretion and the
want of common sense exercised in making so profound a plunge at
once! If these gentlemen desire to be taken into companionship
and restored to good standing, I am the first man to reach out
the hand and say, "Welcome back again, so that you are repentant
and regenerated;" but, sir, I am the last man to allow that you
shall indorse what you call radicalism for the purpose of
breaking down measures which we propose!

So much for the radicalism of my honorable friend. Now, sir, what
is the sincerity of this proposition? What is the motive of my
honorable friend in introducing it? Is it to perfect this bill?
Is it to vindicate a principle in which he believes? Not a bit of
it. It is the old device of the enemy--if you want to defeat a
measure, make it as hateful and odious and absurd as possible and
you have done it. That is the proposition. Does he believe in the
absolute right of women to vote? Not a bit of it, for he has said
here time and again in the beginning, middle, and end of his
discourse that he does not believe a word of it.

Mr. COWAN: And never did.

Mr. MORRILL: He says it is no natural right whatever either to
man or woman, and therefore he does not stand here to vindicate a
right.

Mr. COWAN: I should like to ask the honorable Senator whether he
believes it is a natural right either in man or woman.

Mr. MORRILL: I have said distinctly on a former occasion that I
did not; and therefore I am not to be put in the attitude of so
arguing. The Senator does not believe that; he is not here urging
a principle in which he believes. What is he doing? Trying to do
mischief; trying to make somebody believe he is sincere. That is
labor lost here. It will not succeed, of course. Now, what is his
position? "I do not believe in woman suffrage, and do not believe
in negro suffrage, but if you will insist upon male negro
suffrage I will insist upon woman negro suffrage." That is his
position exactly. "If you insist that the male negro shall vote,
I insist the female shall." That is his attitude, nothing more
nor less. Mr. President, I do not think there is much force in
the position. He has not offered an argument on the subject. He
has read from a paper. He has introduced here the discourse of
some ladies in some section of the country, upon what they esteem
to be their own rights, in illustration; that is all; not as
argument; he does not offer it as an argument, but to illustrate
his theme and to put us in an attitude, as he supposes, of
embarrassment on that subject. He has read papers which are
altogether foreign from his view of this subject, and which he
for a moment will not indorse. He offers these as an illustration
with a view of illustrating his side of the question, and
particularly with a view of embarrassing this measure.

Mr. COWAN: Well, now, Mr. President, I desire to answer a
question of the Senator. He alleges that I am not serious in the
amendment I have moved, that I am not in earnest about it.



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