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Original First Edition of 1861 Congressional Globe Includes Proceedings of Congress Called Into Special Session by Abraham Lincoln to Deal with Outbreak of Civil War

First Civil War Congress: Presidential Documents, Debates, Resolutions and Laws and Reports of the Treasury, War and Navy Departments On Status of Finances and Military Readiness

Includes President Lincoln's Long Justification for Suppressing the Southern Rebellion By Force

“And this issue embraces more than the fate of these United States. It presents to the whole family of man the question, whether a constitutional republic or democracy – a Government of the people by the same people – can or cannot maintain its territorial integrity against its own domestic foes"

37th Congress Covers Period After Fort Sumter and Before Battle of Bull Run Until After Union Disaster at Bull Run (July 4 - August 6, 1861)

This wonderful historic volume of the Congressional Globe contains the proceedings of the first Civil War Congress which was specially convened by Abraham Lincoln to pass the necessary measures to suppress the rebellion of the Southern states. This volume contains the original publication of one of the most underrated works of Abraham Lincoln, his message to Congress explaining why he believed the secession of the Southern states should be suppressed by force. It contains the first use of Lincoln phraseology ("whether a constitutional republic or democracy – a Government of the people by the same people – can or cannot maintain its territorial integrity.") that recurs more famously and succinctly in his Gettysburg address ("that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.") It contains a detailed historic, economic and Constitutional analysis of the rights of states and their ability to secede from the Union. 

The session was dominated by preparation for war and includes a complete record of the debates and documents, including the laws and resolutions passed during the first Civil War Congress. On the first day of the session Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts (later Ulysses S. Grant’s Vice President)  announced his intention of filing bills which would form the basis for the primary work of the Congress:

“A bill to ratify and confirm certain acts of the President for the suppression of the insurrection and rebellion;
A bill to authorize employment of volunteers to aid in enforcing the laws and protecting public property;
A bill to increase the present military establishment of the United States;
A bill providing for the better organization of the military establishment;
A bill to promote the efficiency of the Army; and
A bill for the organization of a volunteer military force, to be called the National Guard of the United States.”

Below are pictures of some of the pages of the volume starting with the first page which show that the 37th Congress proceedings covered in this volume were convened by President Lincoln and the proclamation of the President explaining his reasons for calling up troops to battle the South and call Congress into Special Session.

President Lincoln's long message describes the state of the Union as he became President with the secession movement well advanced and the efforts he took to resolve is peacefully as well as protect federal property.  Then after the Southern seizure of Fort Sumter, which he treats at length, he describes the efforts to suppress the rebellion. As previously noted, he also justifies in great detail the use of force and explains his view of the rights of states to secede. Later in the appendix are lengthy reports by Lincoln's Secretary of Treasury, Salmon B. Chase, Secretary of War, Simon Cameron, and Secretary of Navy, Gideon Welles, explaining the financial and military state of the Union at the start of the Civil War. Below is a picture of the end of Secretary of War Gideon Welles' report and the beginning of the report by the Secretary of War, Simon Cameron.


Below is the start of President Lincoln's message.

Abraham Lincoln spent a long time in his Message explaining what happened at Fort Sumter to make clear that is was the Southern Confederacy that started the Civil War by the use of force. Below is the last paragraph of that part of the message.

Lincoln then immediately launched into an explanation of what was a stake in the conflict and made clear that he believed universal values and global freedom were in issue:

“And this issue embraces more than the fate of these United States. It presents to the whole family of man the question, whether a constitutional republic or democracy – a Government of the people by the same people – can or cannot maintain its territorial integrity against its own domestic foes. It present the question, whether discontented individuals, to few in numbers to control administration, according to organic law, in any case, can always, upon the pretenses made in this case, or on any other pretenses, or arbitrarily, without any pretense, break up their Government, and thus practically put an end to free government upon the earth.”

The appendix also contains detailed speeches for and against the Civil War by two Senators. Border state Senator J. A. Bayard of Delaware in a speech entitled "Executive Usurpation," makes many analogies to the British loss of the American colonies in urging conciliation rather than war. Here he quotes British conservative friend of America Edmund Burke:

"Much as I deplored the loss of the Gulf States, I was then willing -- to use the language of Burke, in 1777, in relation to our own Revolution,

'To part with them as a limb, bat as a limb to save the body; and I would have parted with more, if more had been necessary' anything rather than a fruitless, hopeless unnatural civil war.'"

California Senator M. S. Latham takes the other side in his speech entitled "Defense of the Union." Latham details the history of the insurrection and dwells  on the fact that South Carolina and other states had already voted to secede before President Lincoln took office, that no law existed harming slavery in the Southern states and that they had been totally unreasonable in attempts at conciliation. He concludes that "it was a deliberate, willful design, on the part of some Representatives of southern States, to seize upon the election of Mr. Lincoln merely as an excuse to precipitate this revolution upon the country."

The volume is in decent shape as shown accurately by the pictures of the cover and text above.The three column text of each page is completely readable, with 459 pages, plus 52 pages of appendices, plus indexes.

Price: $250

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