Page images
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

mocratic party. (Applause and laughter.) Yes, sir, the destruction of the Democratic party, consummated by assassins now grinning upon this floor. (Loud cries of "order," "order," "put him out," and great confusion.) DELAWARE WITHDRAWS.


the Convention.



The exact character of their withdrawal is set forth in single paragraph, with their names appended, which 1 desire the Secretary to read before I sit down. There are five others-completing the delegation-who desire for the present to suspend their connection with the action of this Convention. I will add here, that there may be no misunderstanding, that I myself am one of those five, and we have also signed a short paper, which I shall also ask the Secretary to read to the Convention. 2 I am requested by those who withdraw from the Convention, and by those who suspend their action for the present with the Convention, to say that it is their wish that their seats in this Con 7ention shall not be filled or occupied by any others; and that no one shall claim the right to cast their votes. The right of those remaining in the Convention to cast their individual vote, is not by us questioned in any degree. But we enter our protest against any one casting our vote.

I will ask the Secretary to read the papers I have indicated, and also one which a gentleman of our delegation has handed me, which he desires to be read. I ask that the three papers be read.

Mr. Saulsbury did not desire to occupy the attention of the Convention but for a moment. The delegates from his State had done all in their power to promote the harmony and unity of this Convention, and it was their purpose to continue to do so. I am, however, instructed by the delegation to announce that they desire to be excused from voting on any further ballots or votes, unless circumstances should alter this determination. It is our desire to be left free to act or not act, their desire being to leave the question open for the consideration of their constituents after their return home.

Mr. Steele, of North Carolina, briefly addressed the Convention, stating that he, for the present, at least, should not retire.

After explanations and debate, the motion "Shall the main question be now put," (to go into nomination of can didates for President and Vice-President) was carried, and the Convention adjourned.

clare that we will not participate in the meantime in the
deliberations of this Convention, nor hold ourselves or
constituents bound by its action, but leave both at full
liberty to act as future circumstances may dictate.

The first paper read was signed James G. Leach, the writer of which animadverted in rather strong terms upon the action of the Convention, in the matter of the admission and rejection of delegates from certain States. The communication was regarded as disrespectful to the Convention, and, on motion of Mr. Payne, of Ohio, it was returned to the writer. The Secretary then read the other two communications from the Kentucky delegation as follows: To the Hon. Caleb Cushing, President of the National Democratic Convention, assembled in the city of Baltimore:

The Democratic Convention for the State of Kentucky, held in the city of Frankfort, on the 9th day of January, 1860, among others, adopted the following resolution:

Resolved, That we pledge the Democracy of Kentucky to an honest and industrious support of the nominee of the Charleston Convention.

Resolved, That the Chairman of our delegation be
instructed to inform the Convention in our behalf that, in
the present condition of that body, we deem it inconsist-
ent with our duty to ourselves and our constituents to
participate further in its deliberations. Our reasons for
so doing will be given to the Democracy of Kentucky.

Jos. B. BECK,




Mr. Clark, of Missouri, announced as the re

On Saturday (28d), Mr. Caldwell, of Kentucky, in be-sult of a consultation of a portion of the Mishalf of the delegation from that State, said: souri delegation, that two of that delegation had decided to withdraw from the Convention.

The circumstances in which we (the Kentucky Delegation) are placed are exceedingly embarrassing, and we have not therefore been enabled to come to an entirely harmonious conclusion. The result is, however, that nine of the delegates of Kentucky remain in the Convention.

(applause.) There are ten delegates who withdraw from


Mr. Reed, of Ky., spoke briefly in defense of the course of the nine delegates from that State, who remained with the Convention.

Mr. Hill, of N. C., who had refused to retire with his colleagues on the previous day, now announced his intention of withdrawing.

Mr. Cessna, of Pennsylvania, called for the vote upon his resolution to proceed to nominate candidates for President and Vice-President.


Mr. Cushing resigned his post as presiding officer, in a brief speech, and left the chair. Gov. Tod, of Ohio, immediately assumed the chair, and was greeted with enthusiastic and After order was restored, he hearty cheers.


As the present presiding officer of this Convention by common consent of my brother Vice-Presidents, with great diffidence I assume the chair. When I announce to you that for thirty-four years I have stood up in that district so long misrepresented by Joshua R. Giddings, with the Democratic banner in my hand (applause), know that I shall receive the good wishes of this Convention, at least, for the discharge of the duties of the chair. If there are no privileged questions intervening, the Secretary will proceed with the call of the States.


Mr. Butler, of Mass., addressed the chair, and desired Objection was made by Mr. to present a protest. Cavanaugh, of Minnesota, and the States were called on the question of proceeding to a vote for President. When Massachusetts was called, Mr. Butler said: Mr. President, I have the instruction of a majority of the delegation from Massachusetts to present a written protest. I will send it to the Chair to have it read. (Calls to order.) And further, with your leave, I desire to say what I think will be pleasant to this Convention. First, that, while a majority of the delegation from Massachu setts do not purpose further to participate in the doings of this Convention, we desire to part, if we may, to meet you as friends and Democrats again. We desire to part in the same spirit of manly courtesy with which we came together. Therefore, if you will allow me, instead of reading to you a long document, I will state, within parliamentary usage, exactly the reasons why we take the step we do.

Thanking the Convention for their courtesy, allow me to say that though we have protested against the action of this body excluding the delegates, although we are not satisfied with that action

Since the adoption of this resolution, and the assembling of this Convention, er ents have transpired not then contemplated, notwithstanding which we have labored diligently to preserve the harmony and unity of said Convention; but discord and disintegration have prevailed to such an extent that we feel that our efforts cannot accomplish this end. Therefore, without intending to vacate our seats, or to Join or participate in any other Convention or organiza-ground, among others, that there has been a withdrawal tion in this city, and with the intention of again co-in part of a majority of the States, and further (and that, operating with this Convention, should its unity and perhaps, more personal to myself), upon the ground that harmony be restored by any future event, we now de- 'I will not sit in a Convention where the African slave

We have not discussed the question, Mr. President, whether the action of the Convention, in excluding certain delegates, could be any reason for withdrawal. We now put our withdrawal before you, upon the simple

trade-which is piracy by the laws of my country-is approvingly advocated. (Great sensation.)

A portion of the Massachusetts delegation here retired. Mr. Stevens, of Massachusetts, said-I am not ready at this moment to cast the vote of Massachusetts, the delegation being in consultation as to their rights.

The call proceeded, the chairman of each Convention making a speech on delivering the vote of his State; and Mr. Stevens finally stated that, although a portion of the Massachusetts delegation had withdrawn, he was instructed by his remaining colleagues to cast the entire vote of the State.




Mr. Russell, of New York, withdrew the name of Horatio Seymour as a candidate. The following is the result of the ballotings for Presi-gether with the delegations from Louisiana and dent:

The delegates who had withdrawn from the Convention at the Front-Street Theater, to

Alabama, who were refused admission to that Convention, met at the Maryland Institute on Saturday the 28th of June. Twenty-one States were represented either by full or partial dele gations. The States not represented at all were Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, New-Hampshire, New-Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.

The Hon. Caleb Cushing, of Massachusetts, was chosen to preside, assisted by vice-presidents and secretaries.









Rhode Island.... 4
Connecticut...... 3
New-York..... .85
Pennsylvania ...10



North Carolina.






[ocr errors]















| | | | Breckinridge.

| Guthrie.

[ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

tion of the Cincinnati Platform, that, during the existence of the Territorial Governments, the measure of restriction, whatever it may be, imposed by the Federal Consti tution on the power of the Territorial Legislature over the subject of the domestic relations, as the same has been, or shall hereafter be, finally determined by the Supreme Court of the United States, should be respected by all good citizens, and enforced with promptness and fidelity by every

branch of the General Government.

| | | Breckinridge.

| Guthrie,

Mr. Payne, of Ohio, moved the previous ques tion, and this resolution was adopted, with on two dissenting votes.

The Convention adopted a rule requiring a vote of two-thirds of all the delegates present to nominate candidates for President and VicePresident; also that each delegate cast the vote to which he is entitled, and that each State cast only the number of votes to which it is entitled by its actual representation in the Convention.

The delegates from South Carolina and Florida accredited to the Richmond Convention, were invited to take seats in this.

A committee of five, of which Mr. Caleb Cushing was chairman, was appointed to address the Democracy of the Union upon the principles which have governed the Convention in making the nominations, and in vindication of the principles of the party. The Convention the next also decided that Democratic National Convention be held at Philadelphia. Mr. Avery, of N. C., chairman of Committee on Resolutions, reported, with the unanimous sanction of the Committee, the Platform re ported by the majority of the Platform Com inittee at Charleston, and rejected by the Convention, (see page 30) which was unanimously adopted.

The Convention adopted a resolution instructing the National Committee not to issue tickets of admission to their next National Con vention in any case where there is a bona fide

5 10


Total..... .173 1814 71 51 On the first ballot, Henry A. Wise, of Virginia, received a vote from Maryland; Bocock, of Va., received 1 vote from Virginia; Daniel S. Dickinson, vote from Virginia; and Horatio Seymour 1 vote from Pennsylvania.

On the announcement of the first ballot, Mr. Church, of New-York, offered the following:

Resolved unanimously, That Stephen A. Douglas, of the State of Illinois, having now received two-thirds of all the votes given in this Convention, is hereby declared, in accordance with the rules governing this body, and in accord

ance with the uniform customs and rules of former Democratic National Conventions, the regular nominee of the Democratic party of the United States, for the office of

President of the United States.

Mr. Jones, of Pennsylvania, raised the point of order, that the resolution proposed practically to rescind a rule of the Convention (requiring two-thirds of a ul Convention, 202 votes, to nominate), and could ot, under the rules, be adopted without one day's notice.

The Chair ruled that the resolutio.. was in order, and

after a lengthy and animated debate it was withdrawn till after another ballot should be taken. When the result of the second ballot had been announced, Mr. Church's resolution was called up again and passed.

[blocks in formation]






LUST of gold and power was the main impulse of Spanish migration to the regions beyond the Atlantic. And the soft and timid Aborigines of tropical America, especially of its islands, were first compelled to surrender whatever they possessed of the precious metals to the imperious and grasping strangers; next forced to disclose to those strangers the sources whence they were most readily obtained; and finally driven to toil and delve for more, wherever power and greed supposed they might most readily be obtained. From this point, the transition to general enslavement was ready and rapid. The gentle and indolent natives, unaccustomed to rugged, persistent toil, and revolting at the harsh and brutal severity of their Christian masters, had but one unfailing resource-death. Through privation, hardship, exposure, fatigue and despair, they drooped and died, until millions were reduced to a few miserable thousands within the first century of Spanish rule in America.

A humane and observant priest (Las Casas,) witnessing these cruelties and sufferings, was moved by pity to devise a plan for their termination. He suggested and urged the policy of substituting for these feeble and perishing "Indians "the hardier natives of Western Af rica, whom their eternal wars and marauding invasions were constantly exposing to captivity and sale as prisoners of war, and who, as a race, might be said to be inured to the hardships and degradations of Slavery by an immemorial experience. The suggestion was unhappily approved, and the woes and miseries of the few remaining Aborigines of the islands known to "West Indies," were inconsiderably prolonged by exposing the whole continent for unnumbered generations to the evils and horrors of African Slavery. The author lived to perceive and deplore the consequences of his expedient.

us as

The sanction of the Pope having been obtained for the African Slave-trade by representations which invested it with a look of philanthropy, Spanish and Portuguese mercantile avarice was readily enlisted in its prosecution

and the whole continent, North and South of the tropics, became a Slave-mart before the close of the sixteenth century.

Holland, a comparatively new and Protestant State, unable to shelter itself from the reproaches of conscience and humanity behind a Papal bull, entered upon the new traffic more tardily; but its profits soon overbore all scruples, and British merchants were not proof against the glittering evidences of their success. But the first slave ship that ever entered a North American port for the sale of its human merchandise, was a Dutch trading-vessel which landed twenty negro bondmen at Jamestown, the nucleus of Virginia, almost simultaneously with the landing of the Pilgrims of the Mayflower on Plymouth Rock, December 22d, 1620. The Dutch slaver had chosen his market with sagacity. Virginia was settled by CAVALIERSgentlemen-adventurers aspiring to live by their own wits and other men's labor-with the neces sary complement of followers and servitors. Few of her pioneers cherished any earnest liking for downright, persistent, muscular exertion; yet some exertion was urgently required to clear away the heavy forest which all but covered the soil of the infant colony, and grow the tobacco which early became its staple export, by means of which nearly everything required by its people but food was to be paid for in England. The slaves, therefore, found ready purchasers at satisfactory prices, and the success of the first venture induced others; until not only Virginia but every part of British America was supplied with African slaves.

This traffic, with the bondage it involved, had no justification in British nor in the early colonial laws; but it proceeded, nevertheless, much as an importation of dromedaries to replace with presumed economy our horses and oxen might now do. Georgia was the first among the colonies to resist and condemn it in her original charter under the lead of her noble founder-governor, General Oglethorpe; but the evil was too formidable and inveterate for local extirpation, and a few years saw it established, even in Georgia; first evading or defying, and at length molding and transforming the law.


It is very common at this day to speak of our tions on emancipation: Maryland adopted both revolutionary struggle as commenced and hur- of these in 1783. North-Carolina, in 1786, deried forward by a union of Free and Slaveclared the introduction of slaves into that State colonies; but such is not the fact. However" of evil consequence, and highly impolitic," slender and dubious its legal basis, Slavery ex- and imposed a duty of £5 per head thereon. isted in each and all of the colonies that united New-York and New-Jersey followed the example to declare and maintain their independence. of Virginia and Maryland, including the domes Slaves were proportionately more numerous in tic in the same interdict with the foreign slavecertain portions of the South; but they were trade. Neither of these States, however, deheld with impunity throughout the North, ad-clared a general emancipation until many years vertised like dogs or horses, and sold at auction, thereafter, and Slavery did not wholly cease in or otherwise, as chattels. Vermont, then a ter- New-York until about 1830, nor in New-Jersey ritory in dispute between New-Hampshire and till a much later date. The distinction of Free New-York, and with very few civilized inhabi- and Slave States, with the kindred assumption tants, mainly on its Southern and Eastern bor- of a natural antagonism between the North and ders, is probably the only portion of the revolu- South, was utterly unknown to the men of the tionary confederation never polluted by the Revolution. tread of a slave.

Before the Declaration of Independence, but during the intense ferment which preceded it, and distracted public attention from everything else, Lord Mansfield had rendered his judgment from the King's Bench, which expelled Slavery from England, and ought to have destroyed it in the colonies as well. The plaintiff in this famous case was James Somerset, a native of Africa, carried to Virginia as a slave, taken thence by his master to England, and there incited to resist the claim of his master to his services, and assert his right to liberty. In the

The spirit of liberty, aroused or intensified by the protracted struggle of the colonists against usurped and abused power in the mother country, soon found itself engaged in natural antagonism against the current form of domestic despotism. "How shall we complain of arbitrary or unlimited power exerted over us, while we exert a still more despotic and inexcusable power over a dependent and benighted race?" was very fairly asked. Several suits were brought in Massachusetts-where the fires of liberty burnt earliest and brightest-to test first recorded case, involving the legality of the legal right of slave-holding; and the lead-modern Slavery in England, it was held (1677) ing Whigs gave their money and their legal that negroes, "being usually bought and sold services to support these actions, which were among merchants as merchandise, and also generally, on one ground or another, success- being infidels, there might be a property in them ful. Efforts for an express law of emancipation, sufficient to maintain trover." But this was however, failed even in Massachusetts; the overruled by Chief Justice Holt from the King's Legislature, doubtless, apprehending that such Bench (1697,) ruling that "so soon as a negro a measure, by alienating the slave-holders, would lands in England, he is free;" and again, (1702) increase the number and power of the Tories; that "there is no such thing as a slave by the but in 1777, a privateer having brought a lot of law of England." This judgment proving excaptured slaves into Jamaica, and advertised ceedingly troublesome to planters and merthem for sale, the General Court, as the Legis- chants from slave-holding colonies visiting the lative Assembly was called, interfered and had mother country with their servants, the merchants them set at liberty. The first Continental Con- concerned in the American trade, in 1729, progress which resolved to resist the usurpations cured from Yorke and Talbot, the Attorney and oppressions of Great Britain by force, had General and Solicitor General of the Crown, a already declared that our struggle would be written opinion that negroes, legally enslaved "for the rights of human nature," which the elsewhere, might be held as slaves in England, Congress of 1776, under the lead of Thomas and that even baptism was no bar to the masJefferson, expanded into the noble affirmation ter's claim. This opinion was, in 1749, held to of the right of all men to life, liberty, and the be sound law by Yorke (now Lord Hardwicke,) pursuit of happiness," contained in the immor- sitting as judge, on the ground that, if the contal preamble to the Declaration of Independence. trary ruling of Lord Holt were upheld, it would A like averment that "all men are born free abolish Slavery in Jamaica or Virginia as well and equal," was in 1780 inserted in the Massa- as in England; British law being paramount in chusetts Bill of Rights; and the Supreme each. Thus the law stood until Lord Mansfield, Court of that State, in 1783, on an indictment in Somerset's case, reversed it with evident reof a master for assault and battery, held this luctance, and after having vainly endeavored to declaration a bar to slave-holding henceforth in bring about an accommodation between the the State. parties. When delay would serve no longer, and a judgment must be rendered, Mansfield declared it in these memorable words:

A similar clause in the second Constitution of New-Hampshire was held by the courts of that State to secure Freedom to every child, born "We cannot direct the law: the law must direct us. therein after its adoption. Pennsylvania, in The state of Slavery is of such a nature that it is 1780, passed an act prohibiting the further in- incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or troduction of slaves, and securing Freedom to political, but only by positive law, which preserves its all persons born in that State thereafter. Con force long after the reasons, occasion, and time itself whence it was created, is erased from the memory. It is necticut and Rhode-Island passed similar acts so odious that nothing can be sufficient to support it but in 1784. Virginia, in 1778, on motion of Mr. positive law. Whatever inconveniences, therefore, may Jefferson, prohibited the further importation of follow from the decision, I cannot say that this case is allowed or approved by the law of England, and the.e slaves; and in 1782, removed all legal restric-fore the black must be discharged."

The natural, if not necessary, effect of this decision on Slavery in these colonies had their connection with the mother country been continued, is sufficiently obvious.

The report of the committee was in the following words:

THE JEFFERSONIAN ORDINANCE, 1784. Resolved, That the territory ceded, or to be ceded by individual States to the United States, whensoever the same shall have been purchased of the Indian inhabitants and offered for sale by the United States, shall be formed into additional States, bounded in the following manner, as nearly as such cessions will admit: that is to say, northwardly and southwardly by parallels of latitude, so that each State shall comprehend from south to north, two degrees of latitude, beginning to count from the completion of thirty-one degrees north of but any territory northwardly of the forty-seventh degree the equator; [the then southern boundary of the U. S.] shall make part of the State next below. And eastwardly and westwardly they shall be bounded, those on the Mississippi, by that river on one side, and the meridian of the lowest point of the rapids of the Ohio on the other; and those adjoining on the east, by the same meridian on their western side, and on their eastern by Great Kanawha. And the territory eastward of this last the meridian of the western cape of the mouth of the meridian, between the Ohio, Lake Erie, and Pennsyl vania, shall be one State.

chased and offered for sale shall, either on their own That the settlers within the territory so to be purpetition or on the order of Congress, receive authority from them, with appointments of time and place, for their free males of full age to meet together for the purpose of establishing a temporary government, to adopt the constitution and laws of any one of these States, so that such laws nevertheless shall be subject to alteration by their ordinary Legislature, and to erect, subject to a like alteration, counties or townships for the elec tion of members for their Legislature.

That such temporary government shall only continue in force in any State until it shall have acquired twenty thou Congress, they shall receive from them authority, with sand free inhabitants, when, giving due proof thereof to appointments of time and place, to call a convention of representatives to establish a permanent constitution the temporary and permanent governments be estaband government for themselves: Provided, That both lished on these principles as their basis:

1. That they shall forever remain a part of the United States of America.


The disposition or management of unpeopled territories, pertaining to the thirteen recent colonies now confederated as independent States, early became a subject of solicitude and of bickering among those States, and in Congress. By the terms of their charters, some of the colonies had an indefinite extension westwardly, and were only limited by the power of the grantor. Many of these charters conflicted with each other-the same territory being included within the limits of two or more totally distinct colonies. As the expenses of the Revolutionary struggle began to bear heavily on the resources of the States, it was keenly felt by some that their share in the advantages of the expected triumph would be less than that of others. Massachusetts, Con necticut, New-York, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia, laid claim to spacious dominions outside of their proper boundaries; while NewHampshire (save in Vermont), Rhode Island, New-Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and South Carolina, possessed no such boasted resources to meet the war-debts constantly augmenting. They urged, therefore, with obvious justice, that these unequal advantages ought to be surrendered, and all the lands included within the territorial limits of the Union, but outside of the proper and natural boundaries of the several States, respectively, should be ceded to, and held by, Congress, in trust for the common benefit of all the States, and their proceeds employed in satisfaction of the debts and liabilities of the Confederation. This reasonable requisi-States in Congress assembled, and to the Articles of tion was ultimately, but with some reservations, Confederation in all those cases in which the original States shall be so subject. responded to.

2. That in their persons, property, and territory, they shall be subject to the Government of the United

3. That they shall be subject to pay a part of the

4. That their respective governments shall be in republican forms, and shall admit no person to be a citizen who holds a hereditary title.

5. That after the year 1800 of the Christian era, there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servi in any of the suid States, otherwise than in been duly convicted to have been personally guilty. punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have

The IXth Continental Congress, under the Ar- Federal debts, contracted or to be contracted, to be ticles of Confederation, assembled at Philadel-apportioned on them by Congress, according to the same common rule and measure by which apportionments phia, Nov. 3, 1783, but adjourned next day to thereof shall be made on the other States. Annapolis, Md. The House was soon left without a quoruin, and so continued most of the timeof course, doing no business-till the 1st of March, 1784, when the delegates from Virginia, in pursuance of instructions from the Legisla-tude ture of that State, signed the conditional deed of cession to the Confederation of her claims to That whenever any of the said States shall have, of territory northwest of the Ohio River. New free inhabitants, as many as shall then be in any one of York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts had al-State shall be admitted, by its Delegates, into the Conthe least numerous of the thirteen original States, such ready made similar concessions to the Confede-gress of the United States, on an equal footing with the ration of their respective claims to territory said original States; after which the assent of two-thirds westward of their present limits. of the United States, in Congress assembled, shall be Congress requisite in all those cases wherein, by the Confederation, hereupon appointed Messrs. Jefferson of Vir- the assent of nine States is now required, provided the ginia, Chase of Maryland, and Howell of Rhode consent of nine States to such admission may be obIsland, a Select Committee to report a Plan of tained according to the eleventh of the Articles of Confederation. Until such admission by their Delegates Government for the Western Territory. This into Congress, any of the said States, after the establishplan, drawn up by Thomas Jefferson, provided ment of their temporary government, shall have authofor the government of all the Western terri-rity to keep a sitting member in Congress, with a right of debating, but not of voting. tory, including that portion which had not yet been, but which, it was reasonably expected, would be, surrendered to the Confederation by the States of North Carolina and Georgia (and which now forms the States of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi), as well as that which had already been conceded by the more

That the territory northward of the forty-fifth degree, that is to say, of the completion of forty-five degi ees from the equator, and extending to the Lake of the Woods, shall be called Sylvania; that of the territory under the forty-fifth and forty-fourth degress, that which lies westward of Lake Michigan, shall be called Michtgania; and that which is eastward thereof, within the Huron, St Clair, and E. ie, shall be called Chersonesus, peninsula formed by the lakes and waters of Michigan,

northern States

and shall include any part of the peninsula which may

« PreviousContinue »