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rule of action in all time to come. It will have the effect to destroy all sectional parties and sectional agitations. If, in the language of the report of the committee, you withdraw the slavery question from the halls of Congress and the political arena, and commit it to the arbitrament of those who are immediately interested in and alone responsible for its consequences, there is nothing left out of which sectional parties can be organized. It never was done, and never can be done on the bank, tariff, distribution, or any other party issue which has existed, or may exist, after this slavery question is withdrawn from politics. On every other political question these have always supporters and opponents in every portion of the Union-in each state, county, village, and neighborhood—residing together in harmony and goodfellowship, and combating each other's opinions and correcting each other's errors in a spirit of kindness and friendship. These differences of opinion between neighbors and friends, and the discussions that grow out of them, and the sympathy which each feels with the advocates of his own opinions in every other portion of this wide-spread republic, adds an overwhelming and irresistible moral weight to the strength of the confederacy.

Affection for the Union can never be alienated or diminished by any other party issues than those which are joined upon sectional or geographical lines. When the people of the North shall all be rallied under one banner, and the whole South marshaled under another banner, and each section excited to frenzy and madness by hostility to the institutions of the other, then the patriot may well tremble for the perpetuity of the Union. Withdraw the slavery question from the political arena, and remove it to the states and territories, each to decide for itself, such a catastrophe can never happen. Then you will never be able to tell, by any senator's vote for or against any measure, from what state or section of the Union he comes.

- Why, then, can we not withdraw this vexed question from politics? Why can we not adopt the principle of this bill as a rule of action in all new territorial organizations? Why can we not deprive these agitators of their vocation, and render it impossible for senators to come here upon bargains on the slavery question? I believe that the peace, the harmony, and perpetuity of the Union require us to go back to the doctrines of the Revolution, to the principles of the Constitution, to the principles of the compromise of 1850, and leave the people, under the Constitution, to do as they may see proper

in respect to their own internal affairs.

Mr. President, I have not brought this question forward as a northern man or as a southern man. I am unwilling to recognize such divisions and distinctions. I have brought it forward as an American senator, representing a state which is true to this principle, and which has approved of my action in respect to the Nebraska Bill. I have brought it forward not as an act of justice to the South more than to the North. I have presented it especially as an act of justice to the people of those territories, and of the states to be formed therefrom, now and in all time to come.

I have nothing to say about northern rights or southern rights. I know of no such divisions or distinctions under the Constitution. The bill does equal and exact justice to the whole Union, and every part of it; it violates the rights of no state or territory, but places each on a perfect equality, and leaves the people thereof to the free enjoyment of all their rights under the Constitution.

Now, sir, I wish to say to our southern friends, that if they desire to see this great principle carried out, now is their time to rally around it, to cherish it, preserve it, make it the rule of action in all future time. If they fail to do it now, and thereby allow the doctrine of interference to prevail, upon their heads the consequence of that interference must rest. To our northern friends, on the other hand, I desire to say, that from this day henceforward, they


must rebuke the slander which has been uttered against the South, that they desire to legislate slavery into the territories. The South has vindicated her sincerity, her honor, on that point, by bringing forward a provision, negativing, in express terms, any such effect as a result of this bill. I am rejoiced to know that, while the proposition to abrogate the eighth section of the Missouri act coines from a free state, the proposition to negative the conclusion that slavery is thereby introduced comes from a slaveholding state. Thus, both sides furnish conclusive evidence that they go for the principle, and the principle only, and desire to take no advantage of any possible misconstruction.

Mr. President, I feel that I owe an apology to the Senate for having occupied their attention so long, and a still greater apology for having discussed the question in such an incoherent and desultory manner. But I could not forbear to claim the right of closing this debate. I thought gentlemen would recognize its propriety when they saw the manner in which I was assailed and misrepresented in the course of this discussion, and especially by assaults still more disreputable to some portions of the country. These assaults have had no other effect upon me than to give me courage and energy for a still more resolute discharge of duty. I say frankly that, in my opinion, this measure will be as popular at the North as at the South, when its provisions and principles shall have been fully developed and become well understood. The people

the North are attached to the principles of self-government; and you cannot convince them that that is self-government which deprives a people of the right of legislating for themselves, and compels them to receive laws which are forced upon them by a Legislature in which they are not represented. We are willing to stand upon this great principle of self-government everywhere; and it is to us a proud reflection that, in this whole discussion, no friend of the bill has urged an argument in its favor which could not be used with the same propriety in a free state as in a slave state, and vice

But no enemy of the bill has used an argument which would bear repetition one mile across Mason and Dixon's line. Our opponents have dealt entirely in sectional appeals. The friends of the bill have discussed a great principle of universal application, which can be sustained by the same reasons, and the same arguments, in every time and in every corner of the Union.

PRESIDENT PIERCE AND THE NEBRASKA BILL. A strong effort was made at the time the Kansas Nebraska Bill was introduced to withhold from President Pierce the full measure of justice touching his support of that measure, particularly that provision repealing the Missouri restriction. The enemies of the bill sought every means to sow discord among its friends, and the most wretched slanders were industriously circulated. These continued long after the bill had become a law. As late as October 6, 1855, the New York Post, speaking of the repeal of the Missouri restriction, repeated a whole series of them, condensed into the following paragraph :

"Douglas was at first hostile to the scheme. He refused, as chairman of the Committee on Territories, to propose Atchison's repealing amendment to the Nebraska Bill. Cass was opposed to it; and when introduced at last by Douglas, who surrendered to Atchison, Čass admitted in his speech, prefatory to his voting for it, that it was dangerous and unnecessary. The President was opposed to it, as was disclosed by the Union, which opposed the repeal of the Missouri Compromise when first broached in Douglas' am. biguous bill, although the editor is, and was known at the time to be, zealous for the repeal. His holding back was merely in respect to the President's scruples, who was doubly committed against the resurrection of the slave struggle, first by his inaugural address, and then in his maiden message to Congress.”

On the 9th of October, 1855, the Washington Union contained the following authentic denial of the slanders, and an equally authoritative exposition of the position of President Pierce :

This is a total perversion of the history of the Nebraska Bill and of the introduction into it of the clause repealing the Missouri restriction. It is not true that either Senators Douglas or Cass, or President Pierce, was ever opposed to the repeal of the Missouri restriction. These statesmen were the early, the earnest, and the consistent advocates of the principle of con. gressional non-intervention in the territories, and of necessity were opposed to the recognition by act of Congress of the Missouri restriction, which was in direct conflict with that principle. The only question that presented itself to Senator Douglas, as chairman of the Committee on Territories, was whether the Nebraska Bill should be drawn in the language of the Compromise of 1850, and be a litteral copy of the New Mexico and Utah Bills, so far as the slavery question was concerned, and therefore be a repeal of the Missouri restriction by necessary implication, or whether, in addition to the language of the Compromise of 1850, there should be a clause expressly repealing the Missouri restriction."

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“After the bill was introduced the abolition leaders in Congress denounced it with violence as violation of the Missouri compact; moreover, doubts were suggested by southern men as to whether the repeal of the Missouri Compromise was so clear as to satisfy slave-owners that they might settle in the territory and risk a judicial decision as to their property with safety. On the other hand it was suggested by northern men that there was no doubt about the repeal of the Missouri Compromise; but there was doubt whether the legal effect thereof was not to revive the Louisiana law of 1803, by which Nebraska was slave territory. To remove all room for doubt, and to free the question of non-intervention in Nebraska from all controversy, Senator Douglas himself brought forward the amendments which placed the bill in the shape in which it passed.

“It is due to the truth of history to state, also, that the amendments were seen and approved by President Pierce and General Cass before they were offered in the Senate by Senator Douglas. These three gentlemen were the earnest and consistent advocates of the Nebraska Bill, from its inception to its final passage, and we are entirely certain that its legal effect in the shape in which it passed is identically that which they attributed to it in the shape in which Mr. Douglas first introduced it. We go further, and affirm, with entire confidence in our ability to maintain the assertion, that tho bill as it finally passed does not differ in the slightest degree in principle from the Compromise of 1850."

We have thought this much due to Gen. Pierce. The Nebraska Bill was not forced upon his administration. He was not a man to submit to a wrong, or to acquiesce in a wrong. It was his measure-having his full approval before it was proposed to Congress.


KNOW-NOTHINGISM AND ANTI-NEBRASKAISM. WAEN the bill passed Congress, the storm of hostility to its enactment was in full progress. The vote in the House upon its passage was classified as follows:

For. Against. Democrats, non-slaveholding states...


43 slaveholding states


4 Whigs, non-slaveholding states..

44 slaveholding states..........


5 Free-soilers .......

4 113


The action upon this bill separated the Northern and Southern Whigs. During the winter and spring there had been organizing, under the powerful appliances of secrecy and mystery, a new party. At first it was known as the “Know-nothing" party, under which style it continued to be known as long as it was successful, after which it adopted the general title of the “ American” party.

The Nebraska Bill had a very large number of opponents among the Democracy of the Northern States. The Abolition leaders at the North proposed a union of men of all parties, having for its object the exclusion from Congress of every Northern man who had voted for the bill. Into this unfortunate movement a very large number of Democrats thoughtlessly plunged. The new party was styled the “ Anti-Nebraska” or “Fusion" party, being a combination of the Abolitionists, Free-soilers, Anti-Nebraska Democrats, Whigs, and Knownothings. It was under the deluding misrepresentations of the real terms and objects of the Nebraska Bill, and not because of any affection for the proscriptive doctrines of the Know-nothings, that thousands of Democrats were eventually led on step by step, until they found themselves sworn members of the dark-lantern order. The combination was soon a powerful one. It controlled cities, states, and sections. Every where the new party pledged itself to the most ultra doctrines upon the subject of slavery. The hostility toward Catholics and foreigners was revived in a new and most bitter spirit. It was no longer the open and fearless hostility such as culminated in 1844 in the church-burning riots in Philadelphia. The operations were in secret. Its members were unknown; no man could tell whether his neighbor in the councils of his own party was or was not a member of the secret order. Men and parties were paralyzed. Who would dare encounter the new political monster, whose organization was extended to all parts of the country, and embraced men of all parties? It sprung up rapidly. In May the Know-nothings, aided by the Anti-Nebraska men, elected their candidate for mayor in Philadelphia by six thousand majority. This election demonstrated its political power. Political leaders counseled conciliatory measures ; others favored an acquiescence in its rule. The Whig party was swallowed up in the capacious portals of the mysterious lodges. Necessarily acting with it, if not indeed actually enrolled as members, were the Anti-Nebraska Democrats, Abolitionists, and Free-soilers. Who was to encounter this new and formidable political party? It was to be crushed by the Democratic party, or it would soon crush the latter. But who in the Democratic party would undertake the task of denouncing a party of whose principles so little was known, and whose organization and membership were so mysterious ? Though Congress was in session, not a speech was made upon the subject. Every day it became more evident that the Democratic party alone would have to encounter the Know-nothing party and its allies, yet there were but few willing or sufficiently posted to open the contest.

Mr. Douglas was at the North on a business visit, and stopped, on his return to Washington, in Philadelphia to pass the 4th of July. It has been an immemorial custom for the Democracy in that city to celebrate the 4th of July by an oration in Independence Square. The committee of arrangements, hearing of Mr. Douglas's presence in the city, called on him with a request to address the meeting. He consented, but frankly told them that if he spoke he would necessarily touch upon the Nebraska Bill and Know-nothingism—the two “delicate questions" which timid men at that day did all in their power to avoid. After some conversation upon this matter, it was agreed that Mr. Douglas should be allowed to speak his

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