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Douglas thought the admission was so clear that he might include all the Republicans in it without
offense. In the course of his remarks he said that the triumph of the Republicans had brought on disunion, and God only knew what consequences were to grow out of it.
Howe inquired whether he understood that the caused a dissolution of the Union.
overwhelming testimony offered by the Republicans of their entire and utter devotion to the Union in its integrity. They believed the best way to preserve the Union and save the country from the calamities of present and future insurrection, was to stand by the Constitution, so wisely framed by the found-election of Mr. Lincoln, or somebody else, had ers of the Government-that amendments of it under compulsion would prove disastrous, unwise and wicked. Therefore, they opposed the amendments proposed, preferring to consider them when the revolutionists were again citizens, instead of men in arms against their country.
The running debate which followed, as briefly reported for the press, was as follows:
Douglas, in reply to Clark, Douglas on the Resaid, no doubt the Senator from publicans. New Hampshire entertained the opinion that, even if disunion was the result of a .refusal to consider amendments, the Republicans would still refuse.
Clark said he could judge of amendments only when they were proposed; he should deprecate
civil war as earnestly as the Senator from Illinois.
Douglas replied: Yet, when the question of war or amendment to the Constitution is proposed, he understood the Senator to be against all compromise.
Clark said distinctly, he believed they could stand
on the Constitution better than anywhere else, and
avoid war by taking that position. Propositions of compromise had demoralized the Union feeling; for, failing to get those, persons had become disunionists. In further response to Mr. Douglas, he said, the time is not far distant when the laws will be enforced all over the Union, without the use of bayonets.
Douglas-Still, nobody can deny that seven States have expelled the Federal authority.
Douglas answered: If he had succeeded in defeating the Republican party, thereby rendering it certain that the policy of that party would not be carried into effect, the Southern people would have rested in security, and the Union would not have been dissolved.
Howe inquired, What policy?
Douglas replied: The sectional policy; because the Republicans make war on the institution of slavery as a great political and moral evil.
Howe denied that the Republicans are a sectional party. They were in favor of maintaining the authority of the whole people of the Union.
Douglas said that depended on what the Senator meant by the word "sections." The Republican party was based on hostility to slavery wherever it
exists, (and, to the extent that where the Constitution does not prohibit, interference.)
Howe, in the course of the debate, wished to
know, if the Douglas principles would have saved the Union, and the Republicans had adopted them,
why there was not peace?
Douglas replied: Because the Republicans would not acknowledge it, and kept the people in the dark.
The reference, by Mr. Douglas, to the question of Slavery in the Territories, which called out the Kentucky Senator, was as follows:
"From the beginning of this Government down to 1859,
Clark inquired whether the Post-office did not run slavery was prohibited by Conthe mails in those States yet?
Douglas believed it did, but with the leave and permission of those States. Those through whose hands the letters go might open or violate them, yet no punishment could be inflicted.
Clark-Suppose Congress shall clothe the President with the power to collect the revenue on shipboard? Could not this be done?
Douglas supposed it could, but he had been speaking of the laws as they are. He regarded this as an admission from the Republicans, that they do not mean to collect the revenue till the laws are
Douglas vs. Breckenridge.
gress, in some portion of the Territories of the United States. But now, for the first time in the history of this Government, there is no foot of ground in America where slavery is prohibited by act of Congress. Yon, of the other side of the Chamber, by the unanimous vote of every Republican in this body, and of every Republican in the House of Representatives, have organized all the Territories of the United States on the principle of non-intervention, by Congress, with the question of slavery-leaving the people to do as they please, subject only to the limitations of the Constitution. Hence, I think the Senator from Kentucky fell into a gross error of fact as well as of law
hanged. Clark did not wish the Senator to take the admis- when he said, the other day, that you had not abated sion as including anybody but himself. one jot of your creed-that you had not abandoned
Douglas vs. Brecken
DOUGLAS VS. BRECKENRIDGE.
your aggressive policy in the Territories, and that you were now pursuing the policy of excluding the Southern people from all the Territories of the United States. *There never has been a time since the Government was founded, when the right of the Slaveholders to emigrate to the Territories, to carry with them their Slaves, and to hold them on an equal footing with all other 'property,' was as fully and distinctly recognized in all the Territories as at this time, and that, too, by the unanimous vote of the Republican party in both Houses of Congress.
The Senator from Kentucky has told you that the Southern States, still in the Union, will never be satisfied to remain in it unless they get terms that will give them either a right, in common with all the other States, to emigrate into the Territories, or that will secure to them their rights in the Territories on the principle of an equitable division. These are the only terms on which, as he says, those Southern States now in the Union will consent to
remain. I wish to call the attention of that distinguished Senator to the fact that, under the law as it now stands, the South has all the rights which he claims. First, Southern men have the right to emigrate into all the Territories, and to carry their Slave property with them, on an equality with the citizens of the other States. Secondly, they have an equitable partition of the Territories assigned by law, viz.: all Slave territory up to the thirty-seventh degree, instead of up to the parallel of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes -a half-degree more than they claim.
"The Senator was, therefore, mistaken, both in law and fact, in supposing that the South has been excluded. He will not say that the Kansas-Nebras ka bill excluded the South; he will not say that the Compromise measures of 1850 excluded them; nor can he say that the Territorial bills passed this
exclude them; for they are all on the same basis, so far as the question of Slavery in the Territories is
* Under the laws as they now stand, in every Territory of the United States, with out any exception, a Southern man can go with his Slave property on equal terms with other property. All persons and all property go into the Territories of the United States subject to the local law. Congress has nothing to do with local legislation for the protection of persons and property in the Territories. All that Congress does is to organize the
Territory, define the jurisdiction of the Territorial
government, allow the people to elect a Legislature, and to make laws for the protection of their own persons and property. Congress has never yet passed a law to protect cattle, horses, or merchandise in the Territories; Congress has never yet
"Instead, therefore, of not having either of the terms prescribed by the Senator from Kentucky, the Southern States have them both. What cause is there of complaint? In view of these facts, I shall expect the Senator from Kentucky to go back to his native State, and, in that language of bril liant oratory which I cannot repeat, from every hill. top, in every valley, upon every smiling plain, rejoice that old Kentucky has at last got 'justice and equality' in the Territories of the Union. So far as legislation is concerned, the Southern States have got all they ever asked."
Breckenridge vs. Douglas.
Breckenridge replied, on Tuesday, to this section of Mr. Douglas' well-argued speech. Recurring to the history of the Kansas bill, and his participation in its passage, he said he had voted for it in the House of Representatives, and defended its principles as they were understood by Southern gentlemen, and a respectable number in the Northern States. The friends of the measure differed on one point-it was the question of Territorial power. He did the Senator from Illinois the justice to say that the latter had uniformly held that a Territorial Legislature, during the Territorial condition, had the power to exclude Slavery. He (Breckenridge) entertained a different opinion. Failing to agree on that point, the friends of the bill agreed to make it the subject of a judicial decision, and not of legislative determination. If any principles were settled, he (Breckenridge) understood them to be these: first, that a Territorial question should be in submission to the Constitution of the United States; second, that the subject of Slavery was to be determined by a judicial decision; and third, that all should acquiesce
in the decision when rendered. (Breckenridge's) opinion, a decision was rendered in accordance with his views. All that he meant to declare was, that while he was the friend of the Kansas bill, he never
calculated to mislead. It seemed to him that the Republican party was hardening and consolidating every day, and one of the calamities of the time was its arraying itself in solid phalanx on its distinctive principles in the face of tremendous events. If it gives up a fort it does so with tears, and declares that it is done not for civil but for "military reasons." For the government, the most radica! and aggressive men have been selected. For the Cabinet, for foreign missions, for Senators and other officers, the most radical men have been chosen. The Senate had been confirming every day men who have trampled the Constitution under their feet, and refused to recognize the obligation to return fugitives from labor-men who have boasted, on the floor of the House of Representatives and elsewhere, that they had been personally concerned in running off Slaves. This evidence looks in any other direction than that of yielding any of the aggressive or distinctive features of the Republican party. This is the cause which had sundered this Confederacy, and if not remedied would sunder it still more.
The Senator from Illinois had committed a great error in saying the Republicans had ever abandoned any of their essential principles. Was it not strange that the Senator alone was aware of such an important fact? Were Virginia and the obstinate Confederate States aware of this fact? and, he might ask, were the Republicans aware of it? It was glorious if it was true; would that it were so! No man would hail it with more delight than himself. What was the evidence of this great conversion? Some weeks ago the Territories of Nevada, Colorado and Dacotah were organized by Congress without saying anything in regard to African Slavery. There was nothing in this to show that the Republicans have abandoned the "essential principles" of their party. They did not possess the power to put anti-Slavery professions into these bills. It was said by Republicans that they have no risk in the omission. If they had supplied it, the President could have vetoed the bills. The Republicans were only anxious to have the Territories organized, that they might have a share of the government property, and make appointments of officers, etc., and this was heralded to the world to show that the Republicans have perfected principles of patriotism and abandoned their "essential principles, " and that the South have obtained more than they ever asked for. He would ask the Republicans here, whether they have abandoned any of the distinctive principles of their platform? Collamer, of Vermont, answered the query: consolidating their power, and have been "Not that we are aware of."
He charged that it was the purpose and design of the Republican organization to exclude, directly or indirectly, from every Territory, every citizen of every Southern State who desired to carry with him there his Slave property. In other words, the Republicans do not intend that Slave property shall be recognized in any Territory of the United States. These are the principles of the Republican party, and unless the people drive them from power they will carry their prin ciples into execution. We have been looking since the 4th of March on a disrupted Confederacy. While seven States have been
looking at the discontents in other States, those of the border had been earnestly endeavoring to bring about a reunion of the States. Yet, he deeply regretted to say, he had seen no evidence on the Republican side to meet these endeavors half-way. The Border Slave States cannot reunite this Confederacy. The majority of the non-Slaveholding States alone have the power to do so, and he expressed the opinion with grief but with a firm conviction, that, unless with
in a short time the Republicans manifest a spirit to give the "equality" which the Border Slave States claim, the question will be solved in one of these ways: we may drift into civil strife, if the people are allowed no opportunity to speak; if we have not civil strife, then a peaceful separation by treaty. If the Republican statesmen and their friends | remain firm, rigid, and determined, there can be no other result than to drive the Border Slave States into a union with the Confederate States, in the belief that the government represents the true principles of the old Federal system. If the Border Slave States hold a Convention, which seemed probable, and the people of the non-Slaveholding States deem it their duty to reject such propositions as may be essential, then, the disruption of the Union will be inevitable to the extent of fifteen States, and at no distant day the new Confederacy will be the largest on this continent.
of Colorado, Nevada, and
He demanded that
To this Mr. Douglas answered, evidently with the design of forcing his old antagonist to the direct question of Union or Disunion. He repeated his former points, and reaffirmed that the Slave-holding States had no complaint to make. They have got their just proportion and just rights in all the Territories of the United States. He could not conceal his surprise that the Senator from Kentucky denied all the positions he had assumed. The Senator, after saying that, if the Border Slave States could not get one of the propositions laid down by him, and having insisted that there was no hope in this particular, remarked "that Kentucky, from mountain peak to mountain peak, and from every valley and smiling plain, would ring forth the cry of justice and equality." His (Douglas') object was to demonstrate that there was no cause for such action, and that Kentucky had justice and equality in the Territories, according to the tests prescribed by the Senator himself, and that there is an equitable division on the line of thirty-seven, a half-degree further North than Breckenridge, being thus Mr. Crittenden's proposition claimed. The pointedly assailed, again Senator from Kentucky had not attempted took the floor for reply. to disprove this. He was too prudent to He reiterated that he had seen no evidence of make the attempt. He knew the Territories the Republicans having abandoned their
from power, in order that these questions might be adjusted on constitutional principles. Douglas retorted saying,
that, although Brecken- Douglas' Last Word.
principles. The Senator-
and tell his constituents that the people of
The Union was broken already, and, unless
Breckenridge suggested that Douglas now ask the Republicans here the reason for omitting, in the Territorial bills, any allusion to, or prohibition of, Slavery. Douglas answered that, as already stated by himself, they had so acted from patriotic considerations to prevent a further disruption of the Union.
He wanted to crush down every Disunionist in Kentucky. He wanted to strengthen his (Breckenridge's) hands. The Senator had told them of his devotion to the Union, and he (Douglas) wanted to save the country and the valuable services of the Senator from Kentucky for the next six years. And, he repeated, that he wanted to strengthen his hands and the hands of every other man, and to show that Kentucky is safe, even under a Republican Administration, and to put down secession in every other State of the Union.
The yeas and nays were finally called on a motion to lay the Douglas resolution of inquiry on the table. It resulted in yeas 23, nays 11. So the resolution was tabled. Breckenridge then asked leave to offer the following:
Resolved, That the Senate recommend and advise the removal of the United States
troops from the limits of the Confederate States." Clingman had also prepared one, covering the same ground, which he offered, viz. :
"Resolved, That, in the opinion of the Senate, it is expedient that the President withdraw all Federal troops from the States of South Carolina, Georgia,