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ity of letters patent, and thus quiet the title of the inventor. The scire facias has been supposed to be a fit proceeding for that purpose. But its adoption in the shape presented by the present bill would be attended with this difficulty—that while the patentee stands alone, he is opposed by combinations of all the infringers of his patent throughout the United States. He cannot maintain his title and secure just protection for his property without incurring the expense and the delay of litigation with the infringer in all the judicial districts of the thirty states; and the scire facias being a remedy available to the same infringers, in the same courts, it would be resorted to by them throughout all the same judicial districts, and thus double litigation already ruinous. In other words, the patentee prosecutes now, as plaintiff, the infringers throughout the United States at ruinous cost and expense. Pass this bill, and give the defendants severally a scire facias, and they would bring suits against him as numerous as those he is now maintaining against them. The consequence would be that patents which are now unprofitable, by reason of excessive hazards and losses of litigation, would be rendered tenfold more worthless by the increase of that litigation. And if we can so modify the system that the litigation shall be arrested and confined to a single issue, in which all parties may participate, and which shall be confined to one place, we shall perhaps secure the objects we all have in view. Whether this can be done or not, is a question which ought to engage the attention of the committee if the bill should be recommitted, as I trust it may be.

With a view to justify my own vote against this bill in its present shape, or my vote for recommitting it for further consideration, I have drawn up an amendment, which I do not claim to be perfect or complete, but which will suggest certain considerations to the attention of the committee. I propose, then, to insert at the close of the sixth section these words :

" But only one such proceeding for the repeal of letters patent shall be pending at one time; and until the letters patent shall have been judicially repealed. they shall be held conclusive evidence in all cases of the question of the originality of the invention therein described."

My object is to suggest the institution of one judicial proceeding or trial to determine the validity of any one patent. This will give the patentee only one place at which to appear for the maintenance of his rights; and the bill should be so amended as to summon and invite all persons opposing the patent to appear

and arrest it if they can, and until it should be arrested the letters patent should be deemed to convey and assure to the inventor just that title which they import on their face—the exclusive use of the invention.

It is right that they should have this under our present system of patent legislation, if it be honestly and effectually administered, because it prohibits the granting of any letters patent until it has been ascertained by the government itself, upon due examination, and under the highest responsibilities, that the invention claimed is truly original on the part of the applicant. The object should be to make the title absolute until it is repealed, and to make it absolutely void when it has been repealed. I am aware, as I have already said, of the difficulty which attends this subject. I am by no means willing to say that this amendment is practicable in all respects, or that it would obviate the difficulties complained of; but if it shall suggest for consideration the points which I have indicated, it will effect the purpose for which it is submitted.

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I SHALL with great cheerfulness and pleasure record my vote in favor of the original proposition to abolish peon slavery. As it was said by the honorable Senator from Kentucky, [Mr. Clay] we have been six months here engaged in endeavoring to admit California, and I have spent all the days of those six months endeavoring to arrest African slavery. Failing in that, to my profound regret, I do not think it ought to be unworthy of our care to prevent the enslaving of Indians or of any other class or caste of men.

We are told that we know nothing or not enough about this peon slavery to legislate upon it. Sir, we have known enough to subvert the constitution of New Mexico and to undertake to give it another, and to subvert the constitution of Utah and to

* Remarks, during the debate on the Compromise Bill, on a proposition to abolish peon slavery.

attempt to give it another; and we know, therefore, that we ought to understand the systems which have prevailed there, and the systems which ought to be substituted, if any, in their place. Now, we know this in regard to peon servitude—that it is SLAVERY, and that it is slavery that is created there either by law or by contract. If it is created by law, and without the consent and will of the slave, then it is void, or ought to be, and ought to be abolished. If it be created there by contract, then, sir, I have nevertheless no difficulty in regard to the proposition; for I hold this truth to be self-evident, that "all men are created equal," and that they have inalienable rights, and that among those rights is LIBERTY.


JUNE 13, 1850.

I SHALL vote to strike out, and for this amongst other reasons : that I hold the whole bill most unfortunate in its conception, most injurious in its operations thus far, and tending to most unhappy results.

The bill has brought the business of the Senate and of the country to a dead stand-still. After the lapse of six long months, California is yet at the bar of the Senate waiting admission ; whereas, if she had been indulged in the separate consideration of her claim to which she was entitled, she would have been admitted long ago.

If the motion to strike out shall prevail, I think it will strike out one very cogent reason from the argument in favor of the bill; that is, the earnest desire of Texas for the territory lying west of the Nueces, and northward, up to a point twenty miles within the ancient line of the province of New Mexico.

It would be attended by another consequence. I cannot exactly measure that consequence without knowing what is the amount which we are to pay to Texas to buy our peace at her hands, in addition to the district about twenty miles broad, along the whole southern border of the province of New Mexico. That suni may be one million, it may be two millions, it may be five, it may be even fifteen millions of dollars. If it be fifteen millions of dollars,

I think we shall strike out fifteen millions of sympathies and desires which are engaged in influencing the action of the country in favor of this bill—a bill which might be properly called “an act to hinder, delay, and defeat the admission of California,” and to deprive New Mexico not only of a portion of her territory, but also to involve that territory in the surrender of the constitution which she brought into this country from Mexico—a constitution of impartial freedom, as opposed to slavery.

Now, what reason is given for this? The reason assigned is, that it would be better to surrender twenty miles along the southern border of New Mexico to Texas, together with all the country lying between the Nueces and the lower Rio Grande, and thus to save what would remain of New Mexico, than to leave the whole to be wrested from us by Texas.

Sir, I apprehend that Texas will, in the end, get just exactly so much of New Mexico as she is entitled to and no more ; and : think, for one, that that is just no portion at all. It is true, that Texas is reported to us as having sent an agent to hold and so as having held an election in the territory of New Mexico, or in that part of it which it is proposed now to bestow upon Texas by this

What was the election for ? Nobody tells us. What magistrate or other officer was to be elected ? Nobody answers. But it was an election. Was it, then, a legal one, a constitutional one, one conducted in due form, by competent electors? Still we have no information. All that is vouchsafed to us is that there was an election, and seven hundred votes were given. Manifestly, then, it was an election got up by Texas for the purpose of effect, in aid of the claim of Texas to the territory where it was held. The election, then, is only a proof of an aggression by Texas, of an invasion, a usurpation. The announcement of such an event invites Congress not to surrender the territory invaded and usurped, but to protect and defend it.

Well, it is said that this is the easiest way to protect and defend it; that is to say, to protect and defend it by giving it up. I think differently, sir. I think if this bill were withdrawn, it would be perfectly easy for Congress, by a separate act, in accordance with the recommendation of the President of the United States on this very subject, either to draw the line between Texas and New Mexico, or to provide for the adjustment of this boundary by com


missioners, or to refer the subject to the Supreme Court of the United States.

I am surprised to hear that the government of the United States 's thought so feeble that it cannot protect New Mexico in its rights. The reason assigned is, that although New Mexico has magistrates or alcaldes, there is no political government in or over New Mexico, which is capable of maintaining and defending its rights. Sir, there is a political government over New Mexico, which is bound to maintain and defend its rights, and New Mexico has vehemently appealed to that government to do its duty. Tha. government is the United States itself. That duty is the same, whether we regard the title or interest of New Mexico as paramount, or whether we regard New Mexico as a mere dependency of the United States. The matter comes back in both cases to precisely the same thing. Yet it is proposed that the United States, with Congress in session, with its legislative powers in actual operation, and with the civil and military powers of the government in full vigor, shall surrender at discretion to the first act of usurpation committed by one of the states of the Union, upon an unorganized portion of the territory of the United States.

Sir, if such a precedent shall be adopted, I know not what other measure would have so pernicious a tendency. It is nothing less than to invite aggression, to point out the way to anarchy, to instruct the members how to rend the central power in pieces.

Sir, I should prefer any other way to settle this difficulty rather than this. Before I consent to it, I want to know the ground upon

which the claim of Texas rests. The claim extends to the forty-second parallel of north latitude. Now, to say nothing of the country on the lower Rio Grande, it is absolutely certain that in regard to the whole country above El Paso, and up to the fortysecond parallel, it was always included in the province of New Mexico, or in that and other provinces in the republic of Mexico, and never in the province or state of Texas, nor was Texan authority ever exercised in it, or pretended to be exercised in it, before the election last year, which is made so conspicuous on this occasion.

If that territory now belongs to Texas, she must have got it from somebody, she must have got it somehow, she must have got it at some time. I have sat here, willing to hear and learn from whom Texas got it, and in what way. She produces no treaty

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