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Stone Collection: Volume 19 - Item 15
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Alfred H. Stone Collection
Volume: 19

15. James. R. Doolittle, Speech of Hon. James R. Doolittle, of Wisconsin, on the Lincoln-Johnson Policy of Restoration; Delivered in the Senate of the United States, January 17, 1866 (Washington, DC: Congressional Globe, 1866). (22 p.)

Speech dealing with the question of whether the seceded states are still in the Union (i.e., that secession was an illegal act without effect) or had reverted to territories (i.e., that secession had taken them out of the Union and consequently had to seek readmission after their reorganization as states). The speaker adheres to the first interpretation. “In conclusion, from the beginning, and from before the beginning, any separation or destruction of the States, was made impossible. Under the old Confederation, the Union of the States was made ‘perpetual.’ And the Constitution was formed to make a more ‘perfect Union.’ To admit, therefore, either the right of the States to secede, or the power of Congress to expel them, would be to admit into our system a principle of self-destruction wholly at war with a perpetual or perfect Union.”