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vindicated the hostile action of the South, assuming that it was prompted by these apprehensions; but went on to show that there was no right on the part of any State to secede from the Union, while at the same time he contended that the General Government had no right to make war on any State for the purpose of preventing it from seceding, and closed this portion of his Message by recommending an amendment of the Constitution which should explicitly recognize the right of property in slaves, and provide for the protection of that right in all the territories of the United States. The belief that the people of South Carolina would make an attempt to seize one or more of the forts in the harbor of Charleston, created considerable uneasiness at Washington; and on the 9th of December the Representatives from that State wrote to the President expressing their "strong convictions" that no such attempt would be made previous to the action of the State Convention, “provided that no re-enforcements should be sent into those forts, and their relative military status shall remain as at present." On the 10th of December Howell Cobb resigned his office as Secretary of the Treasury, and on the 14th Gen. Cass resigned as Secretary of State. The latter resigned because the President refused to re-enforce the forts in the harbor of Charleston. On the 20th the State of South Carolina passed the ordinance of secession, and on the 26th Major Anderson transferred his garrison from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter. On the 29th John B. Floyd resigned his office as Secretary of War, alleging that the action of Major Anderson was in violation of pledges given by the Government that the military status of the forts at Charleston should remain unchanged, and that the President had declined to allow him to issue an order, for which he had applied on the 27th, to withdraw the garrison from the harbor of Charleston. On the 29th of December, Messrs. Barnwell, Adams, and Orr arrived at Washington, as Commissioners from the State of South Carolina, and at once opened a


Senators generally treated the election of the previous November as having been a virtual decision against the equality and rights of the slaveholding States. The Republican members disavowed this construction, and proclaimed their willingness to adopt any just and proper measures which would quiet the apprehensions of the South, while they insisted that the authority of the Constitution should be maintained, and the constitutional election of a President should be respected. At the opening of the session Mr. Powell, of Kentucky, in the Senate moved the reference of that portion of the President's Message which related to the sectional difficulties of the country, to a select committee of thirteen. This resolution being adopted, Mr. Crittenden immediately afterwards introduced a series of joint resolutions, embodying what came to be known afterwards as the Crittenden Compromise-proposing to submit to the action of the people of the several States the following amendments to the Constitution:

1. Prohibiting slavery in all the territory of the United States north of 36o 30', and protecting it as property in all territory south of that line; and admitting into the Union, with or without slavery as its Constitution might provide, any State that might be formed out of such territory, whenever its population should be sufficient to entitle it to a member of Congress.

2. Prohibiting Congress from abolishing slavery in places under its exclusive jurisdiction within Slave States.

3. Prohibiting Congress from abolishing slavery within the District of Columbia, so long as slavery should exist in Virginia or Maryland; or without the consent of the inhabitants or without just compensation to the owners.

4. Prohibiting Congress from hindering the transportation of slaves from one State to another, or to a territory in which slavery is allowed.

5. Providing that where a fugitive slave is lost to his owner by violent resistance to the execution of the process of the law for his recovery, the United States shall pay to said owner his full value, and may recover the same from the county in which such rescue occurred.

6. These provisions were declared to be unchangeable by any future


Corwin of Ohio.

Millson of Virginia.

Adams of Massachusetts.
Winslow of North Carolina.
Humphrey of New York.
Boyce of South Carolina.
Campbell of Pennsylvania.
Love of Georgia.
Ferry of Connecticut.
Davis of Maryland.

Robinson of Rhode Island.
Whitely of Delaware.
Tappan of New Hampshire.
Stratton of New Jersey.
Bristow of Kentucky.

Morrill of Vermont.

Nelson of Tennessee.

Dunn of Indiana.

Taylor of Louisiana.
Davis of Mississippi.
Kellogg of Illinois.
Houston of Alabama.
Morse of Maine.
Phelps of Missouri.
Rust of Arkansas.
Howard of Michigan.
Hawkins of Florida.
Hamilton of Texas.
Washburn of Wisconsin.

Curtis of Iowa.

Birch of California.
Windom of Minnesota.
Stark of Oregon.

A great variety of resolutions were offered and referred to this committee. In a few days the committee reported the following series of resolutions, and recommended their adoption :

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all attempts on the parts of the Legislatures of any of the States to obstruct or hinder the recovery and surrender of fugitives from service or labor, are in derogation of the Constitution of the United States, inconsistent with the comity and good neighborhood that should prevail among the several States, and dangerous to the peace of the Union.

Resolved, That the several States be respectfully requested to cause their statutes to be revised, with a view to ascertain if any of them are in conflict with or tend to embarrass or hinder the execution of the laws of the United States, made in pursuance of the second section of the fourth article of the Constitution of the United States for the delivering up of persons held to labor by the laws of any State and escaping therefrom; and the Senate and House of Representatives earnestly request that all enactments having such tendency be forthwith repealed, as required by a just sense of constitutional obligations, and by a due regard for the peace of the Republic; and the President of the United States is requested to communicate these resolutions to the

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