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vanced boldly by the Washington Union editorially and apparently authoritatively, and every man who questions any of them is denounced as an Abolitionist, a Free-soiler, a fanatic. The propositions are, first, that the primary object of all government at its original institution is the protection of person and property; second, that the Constitution of the United States declares that the citizens of each state shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states; and that, therefore, thirdly, all state laws, whether organic or otherwise, which prohibit the citizens of one state from settling in another with their slave property, and especially declaring it forfeited, are direct violations of the original intention of the government and Constitution of the United States; and, fourth, that the emancipation of the slaves of the Northern States was a gross outrage on the rights of property, inasmuch as it was involuntarily done on the part of the owner.

Remember that this article was published in the Union on the 17th of November, and on the 18th. appeared the first article giving the adhesion of the Union to the Lecompton Constitution. It was in these words: "KANSAS AND HER CONSTITUTION.-The vexed question is settled. The problem is solved. The dread point of danger is passed. All serious trouble to Kansas affairs is over and gone,'

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and a column nearly of the same sort. Then, when you come to look into the Lecompton Constitution, you find the same doctrine incorporated in it which was put forth editorially in the Union. What is it?

"ARTICLE 7, Section 1. The right of property is before and higher than any constitutional sanction; and the right of the owner of a slave to such slave and its increase is the same and as inviolable as the right of the owner of any property whatever."

Then in the schedule is a provision that the Constitution may be amended after 1864 by a two thirds vote,

"But no alteration shall be made to affect the right of property in the ownership of slaves."

It will be seen by these clauses in the Lecompton Constitution that they are identical in spirit with this authoritative article in the Washington Union of the day previous to its endorsement of this Constitution, and every man is branded as a Free-soiler and Abolitionist who does not subscribe to them. The proposition is advanced that the emancipation acts of New York, of New England, of Pennsylvania, and of New Jersey, were unconstitutional, were outrages upon the right of property, were violations of the Constitution of the United States. The proposition is advanced that a Southern man has a right to move from South Carolina, with his negroes, into Illinois, to settle there and hold them there as slaves, any thing in the Constitution and laws of Illinois to the contrary notwithstanding. The proposition is, that a citizen of Virginia has rights in a free state which a citizen of a free state can not himself have. We prohibit ourselves from holding slaves within our own limits, and yet, according to this doctrine, a citizen of Kentucky can move into our state, bring in one hundred slaves with him, and hold them as such in defiance of the Constitution and laws of our own state. If that proposition is true, the creed of the Democratic party is false. The principle of the KansasNebraska Bill is, that "each state and each Territory shall be left perfectly free to form and regulate its domestic institutions in its own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States." I claim that Illinois has the sovereign right to prohibit slavery, a right as undeniable as that the sovereignty of Virginia may authorize its existence. We have the same right to prohibit it that you have to recognize and protect it. Each state is sovereign within its own sphere of powers, sovereign in respect to its own domestic and local institutions and internal concerns. So long as you regulate your local institutions to suit yourselves, we are content; but when you claim the right to

override our laws and our Constitution, and deny our right to form our institutions to suit ourselves, I protest against it. The same doctrine is asserted in this Lecompton Constitution. There it is stated that the right of property in slaves is "before and higher than any constitutional sanction."

Mr. President, I recognize the right of the slaveholding states to regulate their local institutions, to claim the services of their slaves under their own state laws, and I am prepared to perform cach and every one of my obligations under the Constitution of the United States in respect to them; but I do not admit, and I do not think they are safe in asserting, that their right of property in slaves is higher than and above constitutional sanction, is independent of constitutional obligations. When you rely upon the Constitution and upon your own laws, you are safe. When you go beyond and above constitutional obligations, I know not where your safety is. If this doctrine be true, that slavery is higher than the Constitution, and above the Constitution, it necessarily follows that a state can not abolish it, can not prohibit it, and the doctrine of the Washington Union, that the emancipation laws were outrages on the rights of property and violations of the Constitution, becomes

the law.

When I saw that article in the Union of the 17th of November, followed by the glorification of the Lecompton Constitution on the 18th of November, and this clause in the Constitution asserting the doctrine that no state has a right to prohibit slavery within its limits, I saw that there was a fatal blow being struck at the sovereignty of the states of this Union, a death-blow to state rights, subversive of the Democratic platform and of the principles upon which the Democratic party have ever stood, and upon which I trust they ever will stand. Because of these extraordinary doctrines, I declined to vote for the editor of the Washington Union for public printer, and for that refusal, as I suppose, I have been read out of the party by the editor of the Union at least every other day from that time to this. Sir, I submit the question: Who has deserted the Democratic party and the Democratic platform-he who stands by the sovereign rights of the state to abolish and prohibit slavery as it pleases, or he who attempts to strike down the sovereignty of the states, and combine all power in one central government, and establish an empire instead of a confederacy?

The principles upon which the presidential campaign of 1856 was fought are well known to the country. At least in Illinois I think I am authorized to state that they were with clearness and precision, so far as the Slavery question is concerned. The Democracy of Illinois are prepared to stand on the platform upon which the battle of 1856 was fought. It was,

First. The migration or importation of negroes into the country having been prohibited since 1808, never again to be renewed, each state will take care of its own colored population.

Second. That while negroes are not citizens of the United States, and hence not entitled to political equality with whites, they should enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities which they are capable of exercising, consistent with the safety and welfare of the community where they live.

Third. That each state and Territory must judge and determine for itself of the nature and extent of its rights and privileges.

Fourth. That while each free state should and will maintain and protect all the rights of the slaveholding states, they will, each for itself, maintain and defend its sovereign right within its own limits to form and regulate their own domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States.

Fifth. That in the language of Mr. Buchanan's letter of acceptance of the presidential nomination, the Nebraska-Kansas Act does no more than give the form of law to this elementary principle of self-government when it de

clares "that the people of a Territory, like those of a state, shall decide for themselves whether slavery shall or shall not exist within their limits."

These were the general propositions on which we maintained the canvass on the Slavery question-the right of each state to decide for itself; that a negro should have such rights as he was capable of enjoying, and could enjoy, consistently with the safety and welfare of society; and that each state should decide for itself the nature, and extent, and description of those rights and privileges. Hence, if you choose in North Carolina to have slaves, it is your business, and not ours. If we choose in Illinois to prohibit slavery, it is our right, and you must not interfere with it. If New York chooses to give privileges to the negro which we withhold, it is her right to extend them, but she must not attempt to force us to do the same thing. Let each state take care of its own affairs, mind its own business, and let its neighbors alone, then there will be peace in the country. Whenever you attempt to enforce uniformity, and, judging that a peculiar institution is good for you, and therefore good for every body else, try to enforce it on every body, you will find that there will be resistance to the demand. Our government was not formed on the idea that there was to be uniformity of local laws or local institutions. It was founded upon the supposition that there must be diversity and variety in the institutions and laws. Our fathers foresaw that the local institutions which would suit the granite hills of New Hampshire would be ill adapted to the rice plantations of South Carolina. They foresaw that the institutions which would be well adapted to the mountains and valleys of Pennsylvania would not suit the plantation interests of Virginia. They foresaw that the great diversity of climate, of production, of interests, would require a corresponding diversity of local laws and local institutions. For this reason they provided for thirteen separate states, each with a separate Legislature, and each state sovereign within its own sphere, with the right to make all its local laws and local institutions to suit itself, on the supposition that they would be as different and as diversified as the number of states themselves. Then the general government was made, with a Congress having limited and specified powers, extending only to those subjects which were national and not local, which were federal and not state.

These were the principles on which our institutions were established. These are the principles on which the Democratic party has ever fought its battles. This attempt now to establish the doctrine that a free state has no power to prohibit slavery, that our emancipation acts were unconstitutional and void, that they were outrages on the rights of property, that slavery is national and.not local, that it goes every where under the Constitution of the United States, and yet is higher than the Constitution, above the Constitution, beyond the reach of sovereign power, existing by virtue of that higher law proclaimed by the senator from New York, will not be tolerated. When the doctrine of a higher law, a law above the Constitution, a law overriding the Constitution, and imposing obligations upon public men in defiance of the Constitution, was first proclaimed in the Senate, it was deemed moral treason in this body; but now I am read out of the party three times a week by the Washington Union for disputing this higher law, which is embodied in the Lecompton Constitution, that slavery, the right to slave property, does not depend upon human law nor constitutional sanction, but is above, and beyond, and before all constitutional sanctions and obligations! I feel bound, as a senator from a sovereign state, to repudiate and rebuke this doctrine. I am bound as a Democrat, bound as an American citizen, bound as a senator claiming to represent a sovereign state, to enter my protest, and the protest of my constituency, against such a doctrine. Whenever such a doctrine shall be ingrafted on the policy of this country, you will have revolutionized the government, annihilated the sovereignty of the states, established a con-·

solidated despotism with uniformity of local institutions, and that uniformity being slavery, existing by Divine right, and a higher law beyond the reach of the Constitution and of human authority.

Mr. President, if my protest against this interpolation into the policy of this country or the creed of the Democratic party is to bring me under the ban, I am ready to meet the issue. I am told that this Lecompton Constitution is a party test, a party measure; that no man is a Democrat who does not sanction it, who does not vote to bring Kansas into the Union with the government established under that Constitution. Sir, who made it a party test? Who made it a party measure? Certainly the party has not assembled in convention to ordain any such thing to be a party measure. I know of but one state convention that has endorsed it. It has not been declared to be a party measure by state conventions, or by a national convention, or by a senatorial caucus, or by a caucus of the Democratic members of the House of Representatives. How, then, came it to be a party measure? The Democratic party laid down its creed at its last national convention. That creed is unalterable for four years, according to the rules and practices of the party. Who has interpolated this Lecompton Constitution into the party platform?


Oh! but we are told it is an administration measure. Because it is an administration measure, does it therefore follow that it is a party measure? Is it the right of an administration to declare what are party measures and what are not? That has been attempted heretofore, and it has failed. When John Tyler prescribed a creed to the Whig party, his right to do so was not respected. When a certain doctrine in regard to the neutrality laws was proclaimed to be a party measure, my friends around me here considered it a grave error," and it was not respected. When the Army Bill was proclaimed an administration measure, the authority to make it so was put at defiance, and the Senate rejected it by a vote of four to one, and the House of Representatives voted it down by an overwhelming majority. Is the Pacific Railroad Bill a party measure? I should like to see whether the guillotine is to be applied to every recreant Democrat who does not come up to that test. Is the Bankrupt Law a party measure? We shall see, when the vote is taken, how many renegades there will be then. Was the Loan Bill an administration measure or a party measure? Is the guillotine to be applied to every one who does not yield implicit obedience to the behests of an administration in power? There is infinitely more plausibility in declaring each of the measures to which I have just alluded to be an administration measure, than in declaring the Lecompton Constitution to be such. By what right does the administration take cognizance of the Lecompton Constitution?

The Constitution of the United States says that "new states may be admitted into the Union by the Congress"-not by the President, not by the cabinet, not by the administration. The Lecompton Constitution itself says, "This Constitution shall be submitted to the Congress of the United States at its next session;" not to the President, not to the cabinet, not to the administration. The convention in Kansas did not send it to the administration, did not authorize it to be sent to the President, but directed it to be sent to Congress; and the President of the United States only got hold of it through the commission of the surveyor general, who was also president of the Lecompton Convention. The Constitution as made was ordered to be sent directly to Congress; Congress having power to admit states, and the President having nothing to do with it. The moment you pass a law admitting a state, it executes itself. It is not a law to be executed by the President or by the administration. It is the last measure on earth that could be rightfully made an administration measure. It is not usual for the

Constitution of a new state to come to Congress through the hand of the President. True, the Minnesota Constitution was sent to the President because the Convention of Minnesota directed it to be so sent, and the President submitted it to us without any recommendation. Because senators and representatives do not yield their judgments and their consciences, and bow in abject obedience to the requirements of an administration in regard to a measure on which the administration are not required to act at all, a system of proscription, of persecution is to be adopted against every man who maintains his self-respect, his own judgment, and his own conscience.

I do not recognize the right of the President or his cabinet, no matter what my respect may be for them, to tell me my duty in the Senate Chamber. The President has his duties to perform under the Constitution, and he is responsible to his constituency. A senator has his duties to perform here under the Constitution and according to his oath, and he is responsible to the sovereign state which he represents as his constituency. A member of the House of Representatives has his duties under the Constitution and his oath, and he is responsible to the people that elected him. The President has no more right to prescribe tests to senators than senators have to the President; the President has no more right to prescribe tests to the representatives than the representatives have to the President. Suppose we here should attempt to prescribe a test of faith to the President of the United States, would he not rebuke our impertinence and impudence as subversive of the fundamental principle of the Constitution? Would he not tell us that the Constitution, and his oath, and his conscience were his guide; that we must perform our duties, and he would perform his, and let each be responsible to his own constituency?

Sir, whenever the time comes that the President of the United States can change the allegiance of the senators from the states to himself, what becomes of the sovereignty of the states? When the time comes that a senator is to account to the executive and not to his state, whom does he represent? If the will of my state is one way and the will of the President is the other, am I to be told that I must obey the executive and betray my state, or else be branded as a traitor to the party, and hunted down by all the newspapers that share the patronage of the government? and every man who holds a petty office in any part of my state to have the question put to him, "Are you Douglas's enemy ?" if not, " your head comes off?" Why? "Because he is a recreant senator; because he chooses to follow his judgment and his conscience, and represent his state instead of obeying my executive behest." I should like to know what is the use of Congresses; what is the use of Senates and Houses of Representatives, when their highest duty is to obey the executive in disregard of the wishes, rights, and honor of their constituents? What-despotism on earth would be equal to this, if you establish the doctrine that the executive has a right to command the votes, the consciences, the judgment of the senators and of the representatives, instead of their constituents? In old England, whose oppressions we thought intolerable, an administration is hurled from power in an hour when voted down by the representatives of the people upon a government measure. If the rule of old England applied here, this cabinet would have gone out of office when the Army Bill was voted down, the other day, in the House of Representatives. There, in that monarchical country, where they have a queen by divine right, and lords by the grace of God, and where Republicanism is supposed to have but a slight foothold, the representatives of the people can check the throne, restrain the government, change the ministry, and give a new direction to the policy of the government, without being accountable to the king or the queen. There the representatives of the people are responAcross the Channel, under Louis Napoleon, it

sible to their constituents.

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