Page:Lincoln's Suspension of Habeas Corpus.djvu/13

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The President's message was read to the Houses on the afternoon of July 5 at two o'clock.[1] Its contents do not appear to have been made public before that time.[2] Nevertheless, a most important part of the work of the extra session had already been outlined to the Senate by Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts, who had been, in the session of March, 1861, chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia—the leading committee in time of war. July 4, even before the Senate was fully organized or the standing committees were appointed. Wilson gave notice that he would the next day ask leave to introduce six bills, the titles of which he read. The first bill was entitled, "A bill to ratify and confirm certain acts of the President for the suppression of insurrection and rebellion." The others made provision for drawing out the military strength of the Union.[3] The Senate almost immediately adjourned.

  1. Globe, 1st. S. 37th Cong. pp. 11, 13; N. Y. Daily Tribune, July 6.
  2. "The President's Message suffers sadly in style and diction from being transmitted to us by telegraph. Some of the more obvious blunders we have been able to correct. . . Had private copies of the Message been dispatched by mall or express on the evening of the 4th to the President's most trusted agent or friend in each of the great cities, with instructions to deliver them to each daily newspaper only upon notice by telegraph that the reading in Congress had been commenced, his most important document would have appeared in the regular evening editions of yesterday's journals. . ." Editorial note in N. Y. Daily Tribune of July 6, 1861. See also N. Y. Herald and N. Y. Times of same date.
  3. The titles of these five bills were: "A bill to authorize the 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 militia force, to be called the National Guard of the United States." Globe, 1st. S. 37th Cong. p. 2.