Page images
PDF
EPUB

duct necessarily exasperating the South, and the natural compact, to separate from us and to dissolve it? Why effect of whose teachings renders the Southern people inse- gentlemen, the greatness and glory of the American namo cure in their property and their lives, making it a matter will then be a thing of yesterday. The glorious Revoof doubt each night whether they can safely retire to their lution of the thirteen States will be a Revolution not slumbers without sentries and guards to protect them | achieved by us, but by a nation that has ceased to exist. against incursions from the North. I say the effect has The name of Washington will be, to us at least at the been to elevate, on the strength of this sentiment, such | North (cheers), but as the name of Julius Cæsar, or of men to power. And what is the result--the condition of some other great hero who has lived in times gone by, things at this day? Why, gentlemen, the occasion that whose nation has perished and exists no more.

The calls us together is the occurrence of a raid upon the Declaration of Independence, what will that be? Why, State of Virginia by a few nisguided fanatics--followers of the declaration of a State that no longer has place these doctrines, with arms in their hands, and bent upon among the nations. All these bright and glorious recolrapine and murder, I called them followers, but they lections of the past must cease to be our property, and should be deemed leaders. They were the best, the bravest, become mere memorials of a by-gone race and people. and the most virtuous of all the abolition party. (Ap: A line must divide the North from the South. What will plause.) On the Lord's day, at the hour of still repose, be the consequences ? Will this mighty city-growing they arned the bondman with pikes brought from the as it now is, with wealth pouring into it from every porNorth, that he might slay his master, his master's wife, and tion of this mighty empire-will it continue to flourish as his master's little children. And immediately succeeding to it has done ? (Cries of "No, no !") Will your marble Ihat this very instant—what is the political question pend- palaces that line Broadway, and raise their proud tops ing before Congress ?

toward the sky, continue to increase, until, as is now A book substantially encouraging the same course of promised under the Union, it shall present the most provocation toward the South which has been long pur- glorious picture of wealth, prosperity, and happiness, sued, is openly recommended to circulation by sixty-eight that the world has ever seen? (Applause.) No! genmembers of your Congress. (Cries of “Shame, on them,' tlemen, no! such things cannot be. I do not say that applause, and hisses.)--Recommended to circulation by we will starve, that we will perish, as a people, if we sixty-eight members of your Congress, all elected in North- separate from the South. I admit, that if the line be ern States (hisses and applause) every one, I say, elected drawn between us, they will have their measure of prosfrom non-slaveholding States. And with the assistance of perity, and we will have ours; but meagre, small in the

3 their associates, some of whom hold their offices by your extreme, compared with what is existing and promised votes, there is great danger that they will elect to the under our Union, will be the prosperity of each. highest office in that body, where he will sit as a repre- Truly has it been said here to-night, that we were sentative of the whole North, a man who united in causing made for each other; separate us, and although you that book to be distributed through the South, carrying may not destroy us, you reduce each to so low a scale poison and death in its polluted leaves. ("Hang him !" that well might humanity deplore the evil courses that and applause.). Is it not fair to say that this great and brought about the result. True, gentlemen, we would glorious Union is menaced when such a state of things is have left, to boast of, our share of the glories of the Revofound to exist? when such an act is attempted ? Is it lution. The Northern States sent forth to the conflict reasonable to expect that our brethren of the South will their bands of heroes, and shed their blood as freely as calmly sit down (“No") and submit quietly to such an those of the South. But the dividing line would take outrage? (Cries of " No, no.") Why, gentlemen, we i away from us the grave of Washington. It is in his own greatly exceed them in numbers. The non-slaveholding beloved Virginia. (Applause and cheers.). It is in the States are by far the more populous; they are increasing State and near the spot where this treason that has been daily in numbers and in population, and we may soon growing up in the North, so lately culminated in violence overwhelm the Southern vote. If we continue to fill the and bloodshed. We would lose the grave-we would halls of legislation with abolitionists, and permit to occupy lose all connection with the name of Washington. But the executive chair men who declare themselves to be en- our philanthropic and pious friends who fain would listed in a crusade against Slavery, and against the pro- lead us to this result, would, of course, comfort us with visions of the Constitution which secure that species of the consoling reflection that we had the glorious memory property, what can we reasonably expect from the people of John Brown in its place. (Great laughter and cheers.) of the South but that they will pronounce the Constitution, Are you, gentlemen, prepared to make the exchange ? with all its glorious associations, with all its sacred memo (Cries of "No, no."') shall the tomb of Washington, ries--this Vuion, with its manifold present and promised that rises upon the bank of the Potomac, receiving its blessings-an unendurable evil, threatening to crush and tribute from every nation of the earth-shall that become to destroy their most vital interests—to make their coun- the property of a foreign State---a State hostile to us in try a wilderness. Why should we expect them to submit its feelings, and we to it in ours ? Shall we erect a monuto such a line of conduct on our part, and recognize us as ment among the arid hills at North Elba, and deem the brethren, or unite with us in perpetuating the Union ? privilege of making pilgrimages thither a recompense

For my part I do not see anything unjust or unreason- for the loss of every glorious recollection of the past, able in the declaration often made by Southern members and for our severance from the name of Washington ! on this subject. They tell us : “If you will thus assail He who is recognized as Father of his Country ? us with incendiary pamphlets, if you will thus create a (Cries of “No, no," and cheers.) No, gentlemen, we spirit in your country which leads to violence and blood- are not prepared, I trust, for this sad exchange, this shed among us, if you will assail the institution upon fatal severance, We are not prepared, I trust, either to

I which the prosperity of our country depends, and will ele- part with our glorious past or to give up the advantages vate to office over us men who are pledged to aid in such of our present happy condition. We are not prepared transactions, and to oppress us by hostile legislation, we to relinquish our affection for the South, nor to involve cannot-much as we revere the Constitution, greatly as our section in the losses, the deprivation of blessings we estimate the blessings which would flow from its and advantages necessarily resulting to each from dis faithful enforcement-we cannot longer depend on your union. Gentlemen, we never would have attained the compliance with its injunctions, or adhere to the Union.” wealth and prosperity as a nation which is now ours, For my part, gentlemen, if the North continues to con- but for our connection with

these very much reviled and duct itself in the selection of representatives to the injured slaveholders of the Southern States. And, gen. Congress of the United States as, from, perhaps a certain tlemen, if dissolution is to take place, we must part with degree of negligence and inattention, it has heretofore the trade of the South, and thereby surrender our particonducted itself, the South is not to be censured if it cipation in the wealth of the South. Nay, more we are withdraws from the Union. (Hisses and applause. A told from good authority that we must not only part voice-"that's so." Three cheers for the Fugitive Slave with the slaveholding States, but that our younger sister Law.) We are not, gentlemen, to hold a meeting to say with the golden crown-rich, teeming California, she that “ We love this Union; we delight in it; we are who added the final requisite to our greatness as a proud of it; it blesses us, and we enjoy it; but we shall nation- will not come with us. She will remain with fill all its offices with men of our own choosing, and, our the South, brethren of the South, you shall enjoy its glorious past; Gentlemen, if we allow this course of injustice, ioward you shall enjoy its mighty, recollections, but it shali the South to continue, these are to be the consequencestrample your institutions in the dust." 'We have no evil to us, evil also to them. Much of all that we are right to say it. We have no right to exact so much, most proud of; much of all that contributes to qur prog. and an opposite and entirely different course, fellow- perity and greatness as a nation, must pass away from citizens, must be ours-must be the course of the great us. North, if we would preserve this Union. (Applause, The question is should we permit it to be continued, and cries of " Good.")

and submit to all these evils? Is there any reason to And, gentlemen, what is this glorious Union? What justify such a course! There is a reason preached to us must we sacrifice if we exasperate our brethren of the for permitting it, We are told that Slavery is unjust; We South, and compel them, by injustice and breach of | are told that it is a inatter of conscience to put it down;

[ocr errors][merged small]

and that whatever treaties or compacts, or laws, or con- trine. There are some principles well known, well under stitutious, have been made to sanction and uphold it, it stood, universally recognized and universally acknow is suil unholy, and that we are bound to trample upon ledged among men, that are not to be found written in coutreaties, compacts, laws, and constitutions, and to stand stitutions or in laws.

The people of the United States, at by what these men arrogantly tell us is the law of God the formation of our Government, were, as they still are, in and a fundamental principle of natural justice. Indeed, some sense, peculiarly and radically distinguishable from gentlemen, these two things are not distinguishable. The other nations. We were white men, of—what is commonly law of God and natural justice, as between man and man, called, by way of distinction-the Caucasian race. We are one and the same. The wisest philosopher of ancient were a monogamous people ; that is to say, we were not times—heathen philosophers-said, The rule of conduct Mohammedans, or followers of Joe Smith—with half a dobetween man and man is, to live honestly,

to injure no zen wives apiece. (Laughter.) It was a fundamental man, and to render to every man his due. In words far i principle of our civilization that no State could exist or be more direct and emphatic, in words of the most perfect tolerated in this Union, which should not, in that respect, comprehensiveness, the Saviour of the world gave us the resemble all the other States of the Union. Some other same rule in one short sentence-"Love thy neighbor as distinctive features might be stated which serve to mark thyself.(Applause.). Now, speaking between us, people us as a people distinct from others, and incapable of assoof the North and our brethren of the South, I ask you to ciating on terms of perfect political equality, or social act upon this maxim-the maxim of the heathen-the equality, as friends and fellow-citizens, with some kinds of command of the living God: “ Render to every man his people that are to be found upon the face of the earth. due,"

" "Love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Applause.) Thus As a white nation, we made our Constitution and our laws, we should act and feel toward the South. Upon that vesting all political rights in that race. They, and they maxim which came from Him of Nazareth we should act alone, constituted, in every political sense, the American toward the South, but without putting upon it any new people. (Applause.) As to the negro, why, we allowed fangled, modern interpretation. We should neither say him to live under the shadow and protection of our laws. nor think that any Gospel minister of this day is wiser

than We gave him, as we were bound to give him, protection God himself-than He who gave us the Gospel. These against wrong and outrage; but we denied to him political maxims should govern between us and our brethren of the rights, or the power to govern, We left him, for so long a South. But, gentlemen, the question is this: Do these period as the community in which he dwelt should so order, maxims justify the assertion of those who seek to invade in the condition of a bondsman. (Applause.) Now, genthe rights of the South, by proclaiming negro Slavery tlemen, to that condition the negro is assigned by nature. unjust ? That is the point to which this great argument, (Cries of "Bravo," and "That's so," and applause.) Exinyolving the fate of our Union, must now come. Is perience shows that this race cannot prosper-that they negro Slavery unjust? If it be unjust, it violates the become extinct in any cold, or in any very temperate clime; first rule of human conduct, " Render to every man his but in the warm, the extremely warm regions, his race can due." If it be unjust, it violates the law of God, which be perpetuated, and with proper guardianship, may prossays, "Love thy neighbor as thyself,” for that law requires per. He has ample strength, and is competent to labor, that we should perpetrate no injustice. Gentlemen, if it but nature denies to him either the intellect to govern or could be maintained that negro Slavery is unjust, is thus the willingness to work. (Applause.) Both were denied in conflict with the law of nature and the law of God, him. That same power which deprived him of the will to perhaps I might be prepared-perhaps we all ought to be labor, gave him, in our country, as a recompense, a master prepared to go with that distinguished man to whom to coerce that duty, and convert him into a useful and valallusion is frequently made, and say, there is a " higher uable servant. (Applause.) I maintain that it is not inlay" which compels us to trample beneath our feet, as a justice to leave the negro in the condition in which nature wicked and unholy compact, the Constitution established placed him, and for which alone he is adapted. Fitted by our fathers, with all the blessings it secures to their only for a state of pupilage, our slave system gives him a children. But I insist—and that is the argument which we master to govern him and to supply his deficiencies : in must meet, and on which we must come to a conclusion this there is no injustice. Neither is it unjust in the master that shall govern our action in the future selection of re- to compel him to labor, and thereby afford to that master presentatives in the Congress of the United States-Ia just compensation in return for the care and talent eminsist that negro Slavery is not unjust. (Long con. ployed in governing him. In this way alone is the negro tinued applause.) It is not unjust; it is just, wise, and enabled to render himself useful to himself and to the so beneficent. (Hisses, followed by applause, and cries of ciety in which he is placed. “ Put him out.") Let him stay, gentlemen.

These are the principles, gentlemen, which the extreme PRESIDENT.-Let him stay there. Order.

measures of abolitionism compel us to enforce. This is Mr. O'Conor.-Serpents may hiss, but good men will the ground that we must také, or abandon our cherished hear. (Cries again of “ Put him out;" calls to order; Union. We must no longer favor political leaders who talk confusion for a time.)

about negro Slavery being an evil; nor must we advance THE PRESIDENT.-If anybody hisses here, remember that the indefensible doctrine that negro Slavery is a thing every one has his own peculiar way of expressing him- which, although pernicious, is to be tolerated inerely beself, and as some birds only understand 'hissing, they cause we have made a bargain to tolerate it. We must must hiss. (Applause.)

turn away from the teachings of fanaticism. We must MR. O'Conor.—Gentlemen, there is an animal upon look at negro slavery as it is, remembering that

nowhere known in any other way than by a hiss. I am for equal condemns the bondage of those who are fit only for bondrights. (Three cheers were here given for Mr. O'Conor, age. Yielding to the clear decree of nature, and the dicthree for Gov. Wise, and three groans for John Brown.) tates of sound philosophy, we must pronounce that instiI beg of you, gentlemen, all of you who are of my mind at tution just, benign, lawful and proper. The Constitution least, to preserve silence, and leave the hissing animal in established by the fathers of our Republic, which recogthe full enjoyment of his natural privileges. (Cries of nized it, must be maintained. And that both may stand "Good, good," laughter and applause.) The first of our together, we must maintain that neither the institution race that offended was taught to do so by that hissing itself, nor the Constitution which upholds it, is wicked or animal. (Laughter and applause.) The first human unjust; but that each is sound and wise, and entitled to society that was ever broken up through sin and discord, our fullest support. had its happy union dissolved by the entrance of that We must visit with our execration any man claiming our animal. (Applause.) Therefore I say it is his privilege to suffrages, who objects to enforcing, with entire good faith, hiss. Let him hiss on. (Cries of "Good, good,” laughter the provisions of the Constitution in favor of negro Slavery, and applause) Gentleinen, I will not detain you much or who seeks, by any indirection, to withhold its protection longer. (Cries of "Go on, go on.") I maintain that from the South, or to get away from its obligations upon negro Slavery is not unjust-(a voice "No, sir,” ap- the North. Let us henceforth support no man for public plause,) that it is benign in its influence upon the white office whose speech or action tends to induce assaults upon man and upon the black. (Voices" That's so, that's the territory of our Southern neighbors, or to generate in80," applause.) I maintain that it is ordained 'by na surrection within their borders. (Loud applause.) These ture; that it is a necessity of both races ; that, in cli- are the principles upon which we must act. This is what mates where the black race can live and prosper, nature we must say to our brethren of the South. "If we have sent herself enjoins correlative duties on the black man and men into Congress who are false to these views, and are on the white, which cannot be performed except by the seeking to violate the compact which binds us together, we preservation, and, if the hissing gentleman please, the must ask to be forgiven until we have another chance to m.in. perpetuation of negro Slavery.

iest our will at the ballot-buixes. We must tell them that I am fortifiea in this opinion by the highest tribunal in these men shall be consigned to privacy (a pplause), and our country, that venerable exponent of our institutions, that true men, men faithful to the Constitution, men and of the principles of justice--the Supreme Court of the loying all portions of the country alike, shall be elected United States. That court has held, on this subject, what in their stead And, gentlemen, we must do more than wise men will ever pronounce to be sound and just doc- I promise this-we must perform it. (Loud'applause, fol.

[graphic]

lowed by three cheers for Mr. O'Conor, and a tiger.) But Siates, and the negra badman in the Southern States a word more, gentlemen, and I have done. (Cries of " Go The white man is to be emancipated at twenty.one. on.") I have no doubt at all that what I have said to because his God-given intellect entitles him to emancipayou this evening will be greatly misrepresented. It is tion and fits him for the duties to devolve upon him. very certain that I have not had time enough properly to The negro, to bę sure, is a bondman for life. He may be enlarge upon and fully to explain the interesting topics on sold from one master to another, but where is the ill in which I have ventured to express myself thus boldly and thats-one may be as good as another. If there be laws distinctly, taking upon myself the consequences, be they with respect to the mode of sale, which by separating man what they may. (Applause.) But I will say a few words and wife do occasionally lead to that which shocks by way of explanation. I have maintained the justice of humanity, and may be said to violate all propriety and slavery; I have maintained it, because I hold that the all conscience-f such things are done, let the South pegro is decreed by nature to a state of pupilage under the alone and they will correct the evil. Let our brethren of dominion of the wiser white man, in every clime where the South take care of their own domestic institutions God and nature meant the negro should live at all. and they will do it. (Applause.) They will so govern (Applause.) I say a state of pupilage; and, that I may themselves as to suppress acts of this description, if they be rightly understood, I say that it is the duty of the are occasionally coinmitted, as perhaps they are, and we white man to treat him kindly; that is the interest of the must all admit that they are contrary to just conceptions white man to treat him kindly. (Applause.) And further, of right and humanity. I have never yet heard of a it is my belief that is the white man, in the States where nation conquered from evil practices, brought to the Slavery exists, is not interfered with by the fanatics who light of civilization, brought to the light of religion or the are now creating these disturbances, whatever laws, knowledge of the Gospel by the bayonet, by the penal whatever improvements, whatever variations in the con laws, or by external persecutions of any kind. It is not duct of society are necessary for the purpose of enforcing by declamation and outcry against a people from those in every instance the dictates of interest and humanity, abroad and outside of their territory that you can improve as between the white man and the black, will be faith-their manners or their morals in any respect. No; it, fully and fairly carried out in the progress of that’im. standing outside of their territory, you attack the errors provement in all these things in which we are engaged. of a people, you make them cling to their faults. From It is not pretended that the master has a right to slay his a sentiment somewhat excusable-somewhat akin to self. slave; it is not pretended that he has a right to be guilty respect and patriotism-they will resist their nation's of harshness and inhumanity to his slave. The laws of enemy. Let our brethren of the South alone, gentlemen, all the Southern States forbid that; we have not the right and if there be any errors of this kind, they will correct here at the North to be guilty of cruelty toward a horse. them. It is an indictable offence to commit such cruelty. The There is but one way in which you can thus leave them same laws exist in the South, and if there is any failure to the guidance of their own judgment—by which you can in enforcing them to the fullest extent, it is due to this retain them in this Union as our brethren, and perpetuate external force, which is pressing upon the Southern this glorious Union; and that is, by resolving-without States, and compels them to abstain perhaps from many reference to the political party or faction to which any acts beneficent toward the negro which otherwise would one of you may belong, without reference to the name, be performed. (Applause.) In truth, in fact, in deed, political or otherwise, which you may please to bear the white man in the slaveholding States has no more resolving that the man, be he who he may, who advocates authority by law of the land over his slave than our laws the doctrine that negro Slavery is unjust, and ought to allow to a father over his minor children. He can no be assailed or legislated against, or who agitates the submore violate humanity with respect to them, than a father ject of extinguishing negro Slavery in any of its forms as in any of the free States of this Union can exercise acts a political hobby, that that man shall be denied your suf. violati of humanity toward his own son under the age frages, and not only denied your suffrages, but that you of twenty-one. So far as the law is concerned, you own

will select from the ranks of the opposite party, or your your boys, and have a right to their services until they own, if necessary, the man you like least, who entertains are twenty-one. You can make them work for you ; you opposite sentiments, but through whose instrumentality bave the right to hire out their services' and take their you may be enabled to defeat his election, and to secure earnings; you have the right to chastise them with judg. | in the councils of the nation men who are true to the ment and reason if they violate your commands; and Constitution, who are lovers of the Union-men who canthey are entirely without political rights. Not one of not be induced by considerations of imaginary benevothem at the age of twenty years and eleven months even, lence for a people who really do not desire their aid, to can go to the polls and and give a vote. Therefore, gen. sacrifice or to jeopard in any degree the blessings we temen, before the law, there is but one difference between enjoy under this Union. May it be perpetual. the free white man of twenty years of age in the Northern (Great and continued cheering.)

THE REAL QUESTION STATED.

LETTER FROM CHARLES O'CONOR TO A COMMITTEE OF MERCHANTS.

NEW YORK, Dec. 20, 1859. drawn to the true issue, and steadily fixed upon it. To CRAS. O'CONOR, ESQ. : The undersigned, being desirous of

effect this object was the sole aim of my address. circulating as widely as possible, both at the North and at the Though its ministers can never permit the law of the South, the proceedings of the Union Meeting held at the land to be questioned by private judgment, there is, never. Academy of Music last evening, intend publishing in pamphlet theless, such a thing as natural justice. Natural justice form, for distribution, a correct copy of the same.

Will you be so kind as to inform us whether this step meets has the Divine sanction; and it is impossible that any lių. your approval; and if so, furnish us with a corrected report man law which conflicts with it should long endure. pyour speech delivered by you on that occasion. Yours is professed by all, where the mind

is free, speech is free,

Where mental enlightenment abounds, where morality respectfully, LEITCH, BURNET & CO.,

and the press is free, is it possible, in the nature of GEO. W. & JEHIAL READ,

things, that a law which is admitted to conflict with natų. BRUFF, BROTHER & SEA VER, C. B. HATCH & CO.,

ral justice, and with God's own inandate, should long enDAVIS, NOBLE & Co.,

dure? (Formerly FURMAN, DAFI$ & Co.)

You all will admit that, within certain limits, at least, WESSON & COX,

our Constitution does contain positive guaranties for the CRONIN, HURKTHAL & SEARS, preservation of negro Slavery in the old States through all ATWATER, MULFORD CO.

time, unless the local legislatures shall think fit to abolish GENTLEMEN : The measure you propoge meets my entire ito And, consequently, if negro Slavery, however hu. approval

manely administered or judiciously regulated, be an insti. i have long thought that our disputes concerning pegro tution which contlicts with natural justice and with God's Flavery would soon terminate, if the public mind could be l law, surely the most vehement and extreme adnirers of John Brown's sentiments are right; and thei: denun- It is in vain to say that this could be endured; it is sim ciations against the Constitution, and against the most ply impossible. hallowed names connected with it, are perfectly justifia- What, then, remains to be discussed ? ble.

The negro race is upon us. With a Constitution whic! The friends of truth-the patriotic Americans who would held them in bondage, our Federal Union might be pre sustain their country's honor against foreign rivalry, and served; but if so holding them in bondage be a thing for defend their country's interests against all assailants, err bidden by God and Nature, we cannot lawfully so hok greatly when they contend with these men on any point them, and the Union must perish. but one.

Their general principles cannot be refuted; This is the inevitable result of that conflict which is their logic is irresistible; the error, if any there be, is in now reached its climax. their premises. They assert that negro Slavery is unjust. Among us at the north, the sole question for reflection, This, and this alone, of all they say, is capable of being study, and friendly interchange of thought should be-Ls fairly argued against.

negro Slavery unjust? The rational and dispassionate If this proposition cannot be refuted, our Union cannot inquirer will find no difficulty in arriving at my concluendure, and it ought not to endure.

sion. It is fit and proper; it is, in its own nature, as an Our negro bondmen can neither be exterminated nor institution, beneficial to both races; and the effect of this transported to Africa. They are too numerous for either assertion is not diminished by our admitting that many process, and either, if practicable, would involve a viola- faults are practised under it. Is not such the fact in retion of humanity. If they were emancipated, they would spect to all human laws and institutions relapse into barbarism, or a set of negro states would I am, gentlemen, with great respect, yours truly, arise in our midst, possessing political equality, and enti

CHARLES O'CONOR. tled to social equality. The division of parties would soon To Messrs. Leitch, Burnet & Co.; Geo. W. & Jehial Read; Brur, make the negro members a powerful body in Congress

Brother & Seaver ; C. B. Hatch & Co. ; Davis, Noble & Co. would place some of them in high political stations, and Wesson & Cox; Cronin, Hurxthal & Sears; Atwater, Mulford occasionally let one into the executive chair,

& Co.

HERSCHEL V. JOHNSON

ON SLA VERY IN THE TERRITORIES.

On the 7th of July, 1848, while the bill to Hence Congress has, in all cases since the foundation of establish the Territorial Government of Oregon the territorial governments; it is absolutely necessary,

our government, reserved a veto upon the legislation of was under consideration in the United States in order to restrain them from violations of the ConstituSenate, the Hon. Herschel V. Johnson, then a tion and infringements of the rights of the States, as joint member of the Senate, from Georgia, and now Territorial Government, prohibiting Slavery, should be sent

owners of the public lands. If, therefore, the act of the a candidate for Vice-President on the ticket up to Congress for approval, they would be bound to with. with Mr. Douglas, made a lengthy speech from hold it, upon the ground of its being an act which Congress

themselves could not pass. which we extract the following:

But suppose the right of legislation for the Territory be It remains now to consider the question involved in in its inhabitants, can they prohibit Slavery ? Surely not; the amendment proposed by the Senator from Missis. and for reasons similar to those which show that Congress sippi (Mr. Davis). That question is, whether it is the cannot. duty of Congress to guarantee to the slaveholder, who The Territories are not independent of, but subordinate shall remove with his salves into the territory of the to, the United States; and therefore their legislation must United States, the undisputed enjoyment of his property be subordinate. Let us look at some of the limitations in them, so long as it continues to be a Territory. Or, which this condition imposes. Under the Constitution, in other words, whether the inhabitants of a Territory, "No title of nobility shall be granted by the United during their Territorial condition, have the right to pro- States ;” “ Congress shall make no law respecting the eshibit Slavery therein.

tablishment of religion, or pertaining to the free exercise For the purpose of this question, it matters not where thereof; no religious test shall be required as a qualifica the power of legislating for the Territory resides— tion to any office or public trust under the United States," whether exclusively in Congress, or jointly in Congress etc. It is true, these restrictions do not apply in terms and the inhabitants, or exclusively in the inhabitants of to the Territories ; but will it be contended for a moment the Territory; the power is precisely the same—no that they would have the right by legislation to lay these greater in the hands of one than the other. In no event, impositions upon citizens of the States who emigrate can the slaveholder of the South be excluded from thither for settlement ? settling in such Territory with his property of every Sovereignty follows the ownership of the domain, and description. If the right of exclusive legislation for the therefore the sovereignty over the Territories is in the Territories belongs to Congress, then I have shown that States in their confederated capacity; hence the reason they have no Constitutional power, either expressed or that the legislation of Congress, as the agent of the States implied, to prohibit Slavery therein. But suppose that respecting the Territories, must be limited by the object Congress have the right to establish a Territorial Gov: of the trust, the situation and nature of the property to ernment only, and that then, all further governmental be administered, and the respective rights of the proper control ceases ; can the Territorial Legislature pass an owners. Now, if the sovereignty over the Territories in act prohibiting Slavery ? Surely not. For the mo- in the States, and the right of legislation not in Congress, ment you admit the right to organize a Territorial Gov- but in the inhabitants of the Territories, it is evident that ernment to exist in Congress, you admit, necessarily they can have no higher right of legislation than Congress he subordination of the people of the Territory--their could have; they must be bound by limitations just menlependence on this Government for an organic law to tioned; and if the prohibition of Slavery in the Territories give them political existence. Hence all their legisla- by Congress be inconsistent with these limitations, its protion must be in conformity with the organic law; they hibition by the territorial legislature would be so likewise, can pass no act in violation of it-none but such as per. If possessing the right of legislation, the inhabitants of mits. Since, therefore, Congress has no power, as I the Territories are bound by the limitations to which I have shown, to prohibit Slavery, they cannot delegate have alluded, it may be asked, who holds the check upon such a power to the inhabitants of the Territo'y; they their action! I reply, that it is indispensable for concannot authorize the Territorial Legislature to do that gress to exercise the veto upon their legislation. Who which they have no power to do. The stream cannot else shall prevent their passing laws in violation of the rise higher than its source. This is as true in govern. equal rights of the States in the Territory, which is the ments as in physics.

common property of all? Without the retention of a veto It is idle, however, to discuss this question in this form. upon the legislation of the Territorial Governments, it For if Congress possess the power to organize temporary would make the inhabitants of the Territory independent governments, it must then possess the power to legislate of Congress; aye, it would establish the proposition, that for the Territories. If they may perform the greater, they the moment you conquer a people they rise superior to may the less; the major includes the minor proposition. the government that conquers. New Mexico and Califor.

[ocr errors]

.

nla are ours by treaty; but for all the purposes of this ar- a majority one by twenty members of the gument, we have acquired them by conquest... To assert; Committee, and a minority one by four memtherefore, that they have the right to legislate over all subjects—to prohibit Slavery, despite the consent of the bers. which latter division included Herschel United States—is to say that, by our conquest of them, ¡ V. Johnson who, as chairman, introduced the they become invested with rights superior to those of Con. minority report. gress. The institution of Slavery is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, and it has the same

The two reports were discussed by various protection thrown around it which guards our citizens persons, Mr. Johnson defending his, and Howell against the granting of titles of nobility or the establish: Cobb, Secretary of the Treasury, acting as pacifiment of religion; therefore Congress would be ax much bound to veto an act of Territorial legislation prohibiting cator. The latter gentleman stated that there it, as an act violating these rights of every citizen of the was“ no difference in the principles enunciated Republic, Mr. Mangum. This is a free Territory (New-Mexico) 1 There were only two minor differences; one

in both the majority and minority reports. am now speaking about. Suppose a North Carolinian emlgrates to New-Mexico with his slaves ? they must either be was, that the majority report indorsed the recognized as property, or not; who has the right to deter. secession from the Charleston Convention mine that question ?

Mr. Johnson. I think that question has already been while the minority neither indorsed nor comdecided by the late treaty (with Mexico). . . Now, is not mended the action of the Georgia delegates Slavery in the United States a political as well as a muni- there." cipal institution? It is municipal, in that its entire control

The result was, that the majority report was and continuance belong to the State in which it exists; and it is political, because it is recognized by the organic law adopted by a vote of 299 to 41, when the of the Confederacy, and cannot be changed or altered by minority, under the lead of Mr. Johnson, seCongress, without an amendment to the Constitution; and ceded, organized another Convention and apbecause it is a fundamental law, that three-fifths of the slaves are represented in the National Legislature. Being pointed a full delegation to Baltimore, who, political, upon the execution of the Treaty of Cession with after demanding their seats, withdrew their Mexico, it extended eo instanti, over the Territories of claims, and retired from the contest before the New Mexico and California. Then, I say, if a fellow-citi. zen of the Senator from North Carolina (Mr. Mangum) Convention had decided the question. were to remove with his slaves into New-Mexico, his right The following is the report presented to the reto their use and service is guaranteed by the Constitution gular Milledgeville Convention by Mr. Johnson: of the United States, and no power on earth can deprive him of them, It is a misapplication of terms to speak

MINORITY REPORT. of prohibiting Slavery in the territory of the United States. It already exists in contemplation of law, and the legisla

Resolced, That we reaffirm the Cincinnati Platform, tion proposed (prohibition) amounts to abolition.

with the following additional propositions: But suppose, Mr. President, you have the right to pro

1st. That the citizens of the United States have an equal hibit Slavery in the Territories of the United States, what right to settle with their property of any kind, in the high political consideration requires you to exercise it? organized Territories of the United States, and that under All must see, that it cannot be effected without producing the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in a popular conculsion which will probably dissolve the case of Dr Scott, which we recognize as the correct this Union.

exposition of the Constitution in this particular, sluve

property stands upon the same footing as all other CAPITAL SHOULD OWN LABOR."

descriptions of property, and that neither the General

Government, NOR ANY TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENT, can Mr. Herschel V. Johnson made a speech at a

destroy or impair the right to slave property in the

common Territories, any more than the right to any other Democratic meeting in Philadelphia on the 17th description of property; that property of all kinds, of September, 1856, in which the newspapers Territories, stand upon the same equal and broad Consti

slaves as well as any other species of property, in the report him as having said, among other things: tutional basis, and subject to like principles of recognition

“We believe that capital should own labor ; is there and protection in tho LEGISLATIVE, judicial and execuany doubt that there must be a laboring class every:

tive departments of the Government. where? In all countries and under every form of social

2d. That we will support any man who may be nomiorganization there must be a laboring class-a class of nated by the Baltimore Convention, for the Presidency, men who get their living by the sweat of their brow; and who holds the principles set forth in the foregoing prothen there must be another class that controls and di- position, and who will give them his indorsement, and rects the capital of the country.”

that we will not hold ourselves bound to support any man,

who may be the nominee, who entertains principles in UR. JOHNSON'S VIEWS ON POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY.or who denies that slave property in the Territories

consistent with those set forth in the above proposition, After the adjournment of the Democratic does stand on an equal footing, and on the same Consti

tutional basis of other descriptions of property. National Convention from Charleston to Balti

In view of the fact that a large majority of the delegates more a Democratic State Convention met at from Georgia felt it to be their duty to withdraw from the Milledgeville, Ga., on the 4th of June, to take late Democratic Convention at Charleston, thereby deaction in regard to the secession of most of the priving this State of her vote therein, according to the

decision of said Convention. Georgia delegates at Charleston. It seems that Resowed, That this Convention will appoint twenty a Business Committee of 24 was appointed, of delegates--four from the State at large, and two from which- Herschel V. Johnson was one. This

each Congressional District-to represent the Democratic

party of Georgia, in the adjourned Convention at Balti Committee disagreed as to the propriety of ap- more, on the 18th inst., and that said delegates be and pointing new delegates to Baltimore, the friends they are hereby instructed to present the foregoing pro of the Seceders opposing and a few who pre- Democratic Conoention.

positions, and ask their adoption by the National

HERSCHEL V. JOHNSON, ferred to see Douglas elected to a dissolution

Thos. P. SAFFOLD, of the party, favering that step; and the conse

H. K. McCay,

A. COLVARD, quence was, that two reports were presented

« PreviousContinue »