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Extracts from Inaugural.
abide by the dry legal obligation in both cases, and a few break over in each. This, I think, can not be perfectly cured; and it would be worse in both cases after the separation of the sections, than before. The foreign slave-trade, now imperfectly suppressed, would be ultimately revived without restriction in one section; while fugitive slaves, now only partially surrendered, would not be surrendered at all by the other.
Physically speaking, we can not separate. We can not remove our respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced, and go out of the presence, and beyond the reach of each other; but the different parts of our country can not do this. They cannot but remain face to face; and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous, or more satisfactory, after separation than before? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens, than laws can among friends? Suppose you go to war, you can not fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides, and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon you.
"There is no line, straight or crooked, suitable for a National boundary, upon which to divide. Trace through, from east to west, upon the line between the free and slave country, and we shall find a little more than one-third of its length are rivers, easy to be crossed, and populated, or soon to be populated, thickly, upon both sides; while nearly all its remaining length are merely surveyors' lines, over which people may walk back and forth without any consciousness of their presence. No part of this line can be made any more difficult to pass, by writing it down on paper, or parchment, as a national boundary. The fact of separation, if it comes,
The great Interior Region.
gives up, on the part of the seceding, the fugitive slave clause, along with all other constitutional obligations upon the section seceded from, while I should expect no treaty stipulation would ever be made to take its place.
· But there is another difficulty. The great interior region, bounded east by the Alleghanies, north by the British Dominions, west by the Rocky Mountains, and south by the line along which the culture of corn and cotton meets, and which includes part of Virginia, part of Tennessee, all of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, and The territories of Dakota, Nebraska, and part of Colorado, already has above ten millions of people, and will have fifty million within fifty years, if not prevented by any political folly or mistake. It contains more than one-third of the country owned by the United States—certainly more than one million of square miles. Once half as populous as Massachusetts already is, it would bave more than seventy-five millions of people. A glance at the map shows that, territorially speaking, it is the great body of the Republic. The other parts are but margi. nal borders to it; the magnificent region sloping west from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, being the deepest, and also the richest, in undeveloped resources.
In the production of provisions, grains, grasses, and all which proceed from them, this great interior region is naturally one of the most important in the world. Ascertain from the statistics the small proportion of the region which has, as yet, been brought into cultivation, and also the large and rapidly increasing amount of its products, and we shall be overwhelmed with the magnitude of the prospect presented. And yet this region has no sea-coast, touches no ocean any where. As part of one nation, its people now find, and may forever find, their way to Europe by New York, to South America and Africa by New Orleans, and to Asia by San Francisco. But separate our common country into two nations, as designed
Dividing Line Impossible
by the present rebellion, and every man of this great interior region is thereby cut off from some one or more of these outlets, not, perhaps, by a physical barrier, but by embarrassing and onerous trade regulations.
"And this is true, wherever a dividing or boundary line may be fixed. Place it between the now free and slave country, or place it south of Kentucky, or north of Ohio, and still the truth remains, that none south of it can trade to any port or place north of it, and none north of it can trade to any port or place south of it, except upon terms dictated by a government foreign to them. These outlets, east, west, and south, are indispensable to the well-being of the people inhabiting, and to inhabit, this vast interior region. Which of the three may be the best, is no proper question. All are better than either; and all, of right, belong to that people, and to their successors forever. True to themselves, they will not ask where a line of separation shall be, but will vow, rather, that there shall be no such line. Nor are the marginal regions less interested in these communications to, and through them, to the great outside world. They, too, and each of them, must have access to this Egypt of the West, without paying toll at the crossing of any National boundary.
"Our National strife springs not from our permanent part; not from the land we inhabit; not from our National homestead. There is no possible severing of this, but would multiply, and not mitigate, evils among us. In all its adaptations and aptitudes, it demands union, and abhors separation. fact, it would, ere long, force reunion, however much of blood and treasure the separation might have cost.
"Our strife pertains to ourselves to the passing generations of men; and it can, without convulsion, be hushed forever with the passing of one generation.
"In this view, I recommend the adoption of the fo.lowing resolution and articles amendatory to the Constitution of the United States:
Constitutional Amendments Recommended.
"Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, (twothirds of both Houses concurring,) That the following articles be proposed to the Legislatures (or conventions) of the several States as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which articles, when ratified by threefourths of the said Legislatures (or conventions), to be valid as part or parts of the said Constitution, viz. :
"Article Every State, wherein Slavery now exists, which shall abolish the same therein, at any time, or times, before the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand and nine hundred, shall receive compensation from the United States as follows, to wit:
“ The President of the United States shall deliver, to every such States, bonds of the United States, bearing interest at the rate of per cent. per annum, to an amount equal to the aggregate sum of
for each slave shown to have been therein, by the eighth census of the United States, said bonds to be delivered to such State by installments, or in one parcel, at the completion of the abolishment, accordingly as the same shall have been gradual, or at one time, within sucb State ; and interest shall begin to run upon any such bond, only from the proper time of its delivery as aforesaid. Any State, having received bonds as aforesaid, and afterward re-introducing or tolerating slavery therein, shall refund to the United States the bonds so received, or the value thereof, and all interest paid thereon.
"Article All slaves who shall have enjoyed actual freedom by the chances of the war, at any time before the end of the rebellion, shall be forever free ; but all owners of such, who shall not have been disloyal, shall be compensated for them, at the same rates as is provided for States adopting abolishment of slavery, but in such way, that no slave sball be twice accounted for.
"Article Congress may appropriate money, and other
Points of the Amendments.
wise provide for colonizing free colored persons, with their own consent, at any place or places without the United States.
“I beg indulgence to discuss these proposed articles at some length. Without slavery, the rebellion could never have existed ; without slavery, it could not continue.
"Among the friends of the Union, there is great diversity of sentiment, and of policy, in regard to slavery, and the African race among us.
Some would perpetuate slavery; some would abolish it suddenly, and without compensation; some would abolish it gradually, and with compensation ; some would remove the freed people from us, and some would retain them with us; and there are yet other minor diversities. Because of these diversities, we waste much strength in struggles among ourselves. By mutual concession we should 'harmonize, and act together. This would be compromise; but it would be compromise among the friends, and not with the enemies of the Union. These articles are intended to embody a plan of such mutual concessions. If the plan shall be adopted, it is assumed that emancipation will follow, at least in several of the States.
"As to the first article, the main points are: first, the emancipation ; secondly, the length of time for consummating it-thirty-seven years; and thirdly, the compensation.
“ The emancipation will be unsatisfactory to the advocates of perpetual slavery ; but the length of time should greatly mitigate their dissatisfaction. The time spares both races from the evils of sudden derangement-in fact, from the necessity of any derangement—while most of those whose habitual course of thought will be disturbed by the measure, will have passed away before its consummation. They will never see it. Another class will hail the prospect of emancipation, but will deprecate the length of time. They will feel that it gives too little to the now living slaves. But it really gives them much. It saves them from the vagrant destitution