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HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
brought forward several proposals of slavery extension and formulations of fundamental ideas which clearly indicated their aggressive designs for the future. Of these, the measure most truly representative of the spirit and intentions of the south was a series of resolutions presented in the Senate (February, 1847) by John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, which declared that the Territories belonged to the States in common; that a law depriving any citizen of his right to emigrate with his property (i. e., slaves) to any Territory would be violative of the Constitution; and that no condition should be imposed on new States except that they should have a republican form of government-meaning that the Constitution of its own force carried slavery into the Territories. Although these resolutions were not acted on by the Senate, it soon became well understood that the doctrine they proclaimed was considered vital by the south and likely ultimately to prove its last word in the whole disputation.
Various attempts were made to secure action by Congress permitting the entrance of slavery into the region to be taken from Mexico, which at that period was tentatively divided into two Territories with the names of New Mexico and California. But all of them proved abortive, and up to the Presidential election, as well as the end of the Polk administration, there was no conclusive result respecting slavery in those Territories.
Oregon, meantime, was established as a Territory without slavery (August, 1848), but not until after much debate and several votes in both branches of
Congress; on the final division twenty-five southern Senators opposed the bill because of its anti-slavery provision.
Concerned in the discussion about Oregon was the very important question of projecting the Missouri Compromise line (36° 30') to the Pacific. The projection was chiefly favored by the south on account of the associated principle of slavery recognition and the sure gain for the slave States to a large extent. Senator Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois, was the proponent of the leading measure on the subject, which the Senate passed but the House overwhelmingly rejected in compliance with the strong northern feeling against any new territorial concession whatever to slavery.
The momentous national events and Congressional proceedings of the four years 1845-48, which we have succinctly reviewed in the preceding pages, formed the foundation of the entire political history of the next two decades; there was not a question or development leading to or connected with the Civil War that did not trace its origin immediately to them. The basic idea of Douglas's great "popular sovereignty" panacea was propounded and explicated in the Congressional transactions of this period; and the same may be said of the favorite device of many perplexed people for leaving all questions as to the rightful existence or extent of slavery in the Territories to the decision of the United States Supreme Court. Only the formative stage of the conflict was reached; but the inevitable issues on each side were plainly defined in principle, with the certainty that the politi
HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
cal adjustments necessary to their settlement would involve the most positive and critical differences.
National convention held in Baltimore, May 22-26, 1848; temporary chairman, J. S. Bryce, of Louisiana; permanent chairman, Andrew Stevenson, of Virginia. The two-thirds rule was readopted. This convention appointed the first national committee ever constituted in the history of American parties.
Nominations:-Lewis Cass, of Michigan, was nominated for President on the fourth ballot by 179 votes to 33 for James Buchanan, of Pennsylvania; 38 for Levi Woodbury, of New Hampshire; 1 for W. J. Worth, of Tennessee, and 3 for William O. Butler, of Kentucky. For Vice-President, William O. Butler received a unanimous nomination on the third ballot after a struggle in which five other candidates were voted for.
An incident of sensational character, and destined to have notable consequences, was the appearance before the convention of two rival delegations from New York-one representing the Hunker faction of conservatives, opposed to the Wilmot Proviso and in favor of accepting any Presidential candidate upon whom the party should decide; the other representing the Barnburners or radicals, who were supporters of the Wilmot Proviso and reserved to their own judgment the question of endorsing the nominee to be chosen. Not wishing to antagonize any party element in the great State of New York, the convention voted to
John Quincy Adams, 6th president; born at Baintree, Mass., July 11, 1767; lawyer; elected to state senate 1802; defeated for congress, 1802; elected to U. S. senate, serving from March 4, 1803, to June 8, 1808; resigned; minister to Russia, 1809-14; minister to England, 1815-17; secretary of state under Monroe, 1817-25; chosen president of United States by house of representatives, 1825; term ended, 1829; defeated for governor of Massachusetts, 1834; representative in congress from March 4, 1831 until his death, which took place in the capital at Washington, February 23, 1848.