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composing it and governed by it. Neither sacred nor profane history furnishes an example. If inequality in the form and principles of government is therefore to be deemed a violation of the laws of God, and punishable as such, who is to escape ? Under this principle all Christendom is doomed, and no pagan can hope for mercy! Many of these things are, in my opinion, unwise and unjust, and, of course, subversive of Republican principles; but I am not prepared to say that they are either sanctioned or condemned by the divine law. Who can assert that God has prescribed the form and principles of government, and the character of the political, municipal, and domestic institutions of men on earth? This doctrine would annihilate the fundamental principle upon which our political system rests. Our forefathers held that the people had an inherent right to establish such Constitution and laws for the government of themselves and their posterity as they should deem best calculated to insure the protection of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that the same might be altered and changed as experience should satisfy them to be necessary and proper. Upon this principle the Constitution of the United States was formed, and our glorious Union established. All acts of Congress passed in pursuance of the Constitution are declared to be the supreme laws of the land, and the Supreme Court of the United States is charged with expounding the same. All officers and magistrates under the federal and state governments-executive, legislative, judicial, and ministerial-are required to take an oath to support the Constitution before they can enter upon the performance of their respective duties. · Any citizen, therefore, who in his conscience believes that the Constitution of the United States is in violation of a “higher law,” has no right, as an honest man, to take office under it, or exercise any other function of citizenship conferred by it. Every person born under the Constitution owes allegiance to it, and every naturalized citizen takes an oath to support it. Fidelity to the Constitution is the only passport to the enjoyment of rights under it. When a senator elect presents his credentials, he is not allowed to take his seat until he places his hand upon the Holy Evangelist, and appeals to his God for the sincerity of his vow to support the Constitution. He who does this, with a mental reservation or secret intention to disregard any provision of the Constitution, commits a double crime—is morally guilty of perfidy to his God and treason to his country !

If the Constitution of the United States is to be repudiated upon the ground that it is repugnant to the divine law, where are the friends of freedom and Christianity to look for another and a better? Who is to be the prophet to reveal the will of God, and establish a theocracy for us?

Is he to be found in the ranks of Northern abolitionism or of Southern disunion; or is the Common Council of the city of Chicago to have the distinguished honor of furnishing the chosen one? I will not venture to inquire what are to be the form and principles of the new government, or to whom is to be intrusted the execution of its sacred functions; for when we decide that the wisdom of our Revolutionary fathers was foolishness, and their piety wickedness, and destroy the only system of self-government that has ever realized the hopes of the friends of freedom, and commanded the respect of mankind, it becomes us to wait patiently until the purposes of the Latter-Day Saints shall be revealed unto us.

For my part, I am prepared to maintain and preserve inviolate the Constitution as it is, with all its compromises; to stand or fall by the American Union, clinging with the tenacity of life to all its glorious memories of the past and precious hopes for the future.

Mr. Douglas then explained the circumstances which rendered his absence unavoidable when the vote was taken on the Fugitive Bill in the Senate. He wished to avoid no responsibility on account of that absence, and therefore desired it to be distinctly understood that he should have voted for the bill if he could have been present.

He referred to several of our most prominent and respected citizens by name as personally cognizant of the fact that he was anxious at that time to give that vote. He believed the passage of that or some other efficient law a solemn duty, imperatively demanded by the Constitution. In conclusion, Mr. D. made an earnest appeal to our citizens to rally as one man to the defense of the Constitution and laws, and, above all things, and under all circumstances, to put down violence and disorder by maintaining the supremacy of the laws. He referred to our high character for law and order heretofore, and also to the favorable position of our city for commanding the trade between the North and South, through our canals and railroads, to show that our views and principles of action should be broad, liberal, and national, calculated to encourage union and harmony instead of disunion and sectional bitterness. He concluded by remarking that he considered this question of fidelity to the Constitution and supremacy of the laws as so far paramount to all other considerations, that he had prepared some resolutions to cover these points only, which he would submit to the meeting, and take their judgment upon them. If he had consulted his own feelings and views only, he should have embraced in the resolutions a specific approval of all the measures of the compromise; but as the question of rebellion and resistance to the federal government has been distinctly presented, it has been thought advisable to meet that issue on this occasion, distinct and separate from all others.

Mr. Douglas then offered the following resolutions, which were adopted without a dissenting voice:

Resolved, That it is the sacred duty of every friend of the Union to maintain, and preserve inviolate, every provision of our federal Constitution.

Resolved, That any law enacted by Congress, in pursuance of the Constitution, should be respected as such by all good and law-abiding citizens, and should be faithfully carried into effect by the officers charged with its execution.

Resolved, That so long as the Constitution of the United States provides that all persons held to service or labor in one state, escaping into another state, “SHALL BE DELIVERED UP on the claim of the party to whom the service or labor may be due," and so long as members of Congress are required to take an oath to support the Constitution, it is their solemn and religious duty to pass all laws necessary to carry that provision of the Constitution into effect.

Resolved, That if we desire to preserve the Union, and render our great republic inseparable and perpetual, we must perform all our obligations under the Constitution, at the same time that we call upon our brethren in other states to yield impicit obedience to it.

Resolved, That as the lives, property, and safety of ourselves and our families depend upon the observance and protection of the laws, every effort to excite any portion of our population to make resistance to the due execution of the laws of the land should be promptly and emphatically condemned every good citizen.

Resolved, That we will stand or fall by the American Union and its Constitution, with all its compromises, with its glorious memories of the past and precious hopes of the future.

[The following was offered in addition by B. S. Morris, and also adopted :]

Resolved, That we, the people of Chicago, repudiate the resolutions passed by the Common Council of Chicago upon the subject of the Fugitive Slave Law passed by Congress at its last session.

On the succeeding night the Common Council of the city repealed their nullifying resolution by a vote of 12 to 1.



WHATEVER question or doubt may have existed or may now exist as to the authorship of the Compromise Acts of 1850 respecting the Territories, there is not the slightest question as to where the responsibility—the honor or blame, the credit or odium-for the Kansas-Nebraska Act, belongs. No one has denied that to Stephen A. Douglas belongs whatever fame that justly attaches to an act of legislation, which has been more celebrated (for the censure by its enemies, and praise by its friends) than any act of Congress since the foundation of the government. During its pendency it was used as a pretext by the fanatics of the North for the wildest exhibition of ungovernable fury. It drew upon its author the most unbounded abuse and denunciation; while it was pending in Congress a storm, such as has never been known in the political annals of the country was gathering, and it broke with all its force upon his head. Undismayed by threats, he followed the chart that he had laid down, and has lived to see himself the political hero and leader of his own party in all those states where the storm beat fastest and raged the fiercest.

Though Mr. Douglas has gained all the credit and all the opprobrium of the “ Nebraska Bill,” and to a great extent his name is more prominently associated with that, than with any previous act of public interest, the truth is, that the KansasNebraska Act and its repeal of the Missouri restriction was not an original measure. It was but a second volume in the history of the struggle for popular right, commenced in the contest over the Compromise of 1850; it was but another act in the grand drama which in 1850 had ended with a full recog. nition of the freedom of the American people, whether in state or territory, to regulate their own domestic relations without interference by Congress. The Kansas-Nebraska Act was nothing more nor less than an act to extend to the people of Kansas and Nebraska the same rights and privileges which, in 1850, by the advice, by the aid and support of the patriot

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Henry Clay, had been extended to the people of Utah and New Mexico. Search the bill from one end to the other, examine in detail all its provisions, and it will be found to contain no more and no less than that the free, hardy, white American settlers of Kansas and Nebraska shall have the same right to govern themselves that in 1850 was extended to the semi-civilized and amalgamated races that peopled the newly acquired Territories of New Mexico and Utah.

But, it is said, in passing that bill, Douglas repealed the Missouri restriction-repealed the act of Congress which declared that north of the line of 36° 30' slavery should not exist, and that south of it, it might exist. It repealed a guaranty and a prohibition—both wrong in principle, unconstitutional, and wholly inconsistent with any sound rule of justice and propriety. The people north of 36° 30' were as much entitled to have slaves if they desired them as the people south of that line, and the restriction was not upon slavery but upon the freedom and political rights of the people. South of 36° 30' the people were recognized as capable of self government and as safe depositaries of the power to have or reject the institution of slavery, while those living north of that line were bound with the degrading limitation—that if left to govern themselves they would certainly misuse the power to their own injury. It was a restriction which in terms and effect discriminated against the intelligence and capacity of the northern people.

As has been shown in the brief history, given in these pages, of the Compromise measures of 1850, the struggle in those days was over the question whether the people should be allowed to legislate to the exclusion or introduction of African slavery. The struggle took place on the "Omnibus Bill,” and so decisive and complete was the action then, that when that Omnibus broke down, and Mr. Douglas' separate measures came up, the attempt to take that power out of the hands of the people was not renewed, and the bills passed without a question on that point.

In 1854, when it became necessary to establish a territorial government over the western territory—a proposition long pending but never seriously needed until then-Mr. Douglas, as Chairman of the Committee on Territories, regarding the action of the Senate and of Congress upon the Compromise

Acts of 1850, and also the emphatic endorsement of those measures by the people in 1852, as conclusive as to the principles upon which the Territorial question should be governed, so framed his bill as to make it identical in all essential matters with the acts of 1850. On the 4th of January he reported the bill for the establishment of a territorial government for Nebraska, and at the same time made a written report which stated that the bill was designed to carry out in good faith the principle adopted by Congress in the measures of 1850, and the report closed as follows:

From these provisions it is apparent that the compromise measures of 1850 affirm and rest upon the following propositions:

First.—That all questions pertaining to slavery in the territories, and in the new states to be formed therefrom, are to be left to the decision of the people residing therein, by their appropriate representatives, to be chosen by them for that purpose.

Second.-That “all cases involving title to slaves,” and “ questions of personal freedom,” are referred to the adjudication of the local tribunals, with the right of appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Third.—That the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, in respect to fugitives from service, is to be carried into faithful execution in all "the organized territories” the same as in the states. The substitute for the bill which your committee have prepared, and which is commended to the favorable action of the Senate, proposes to carry these propositions and principles into practical operation, in the precise language of the compromise measures of 1850.

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It will be seen by the report that the committee did not recommend the repeal, in express terms, of the Missouri restriction, though they declared that the bill, as reported by them, left the question of slavery in the territory “to the decision of the people residing therein, by their appropriate representatives chosen by them for that purpose.” Their object was to leave the people of Nebraska and Kansas, as the people of Utah and New Mexico had been left, free to act for them,selves in the matter of slavery. That part of the report has

1 been frequently quoted by the enemies of popular right to show that the repeal of the Missouri Compromise was an

after-thought,” and agreed upon afterwards at the dictation of the "slave oligarchy.” The committee stated distinctly that they designed to leave the people of the territory, through their legislature, all the legislative power over slavery, and all other questions, that was conceded by the legislature of 1850 to the Territories of Utah and New Mexico. The committee evidently supposed and intended that the words of the bill

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