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a long Abolition frontier, for the benefit of the cotton States; and after a while, perhaps, if you do good service, and so act as to be entitled to his respect and confidence, then he will admit you into this Southern confederacy of the cotton States!
Mr. Yancey tells us of the "well-digested plan." It was not to be executed at once; and in the meantime all the men in the plan must preserve their relations in the Democratic party, so as to influence public men and public measures, and thus be ready to have some influence by precipitating this result on the party, and breaking it up. Part of the plan was to pretend still to be members, keep in the party, go into fellowship with us, seem anxious to preserve the organization, and at the proper time plunge the cotton States into revolution. What was the auspicious moment, that proper time, to which he alluded? Was it at the Charleston convention? Was that the proper time? The history of the event shows that Mr. Yancey there acted up to his program announced in his letters to Slaughter and Pryor. He preserved his relations with his party with a view of exercising influence on public men and measures, over Northern as well as Southern men, and finally proposed an intervention platform, reversing the creed of the party, and "at the proper time" he did precipitate the cotton States into revolution, and led them out of the convention. The program was carried out to the letter! and he did leave in the convention those unsound States that he could not trust, such as Virginia and Tennessee and Kentucky and Missouri and North Carolina and Delaware and Maryland. Part of Delaware, I believe, followed him; but they came to the conclusion that Delaware was not big enough to divide. [Laughter.] Her champion returned back into the Northern confederacy. Was it to keep watch, and guard an Abolition frontier for the benefit of the cotton States? Is Delaware to be received into Mr. Yancey's Southern confederacy after a while? Will he consent to allow Virginia to come? Will North Carolina be accepted by him? Will Tennessee be permitted to come in now that she has got rid of her Free-Soil Senator? Will he allow Kentucky to join when such Abolitionists as Clay and Crittenden have ceased to represent her? I beg the pardon of the Senator from Kentucky for repeating his name in this connection. The gallant Senator from Kentucky an Abolitionist! A Free-Soiler! A man whose fame is as wide as civilization, whose patriotism, whose loyalty to the Constitution was never questioned by men of any party! [Applause in the galleries.] Oh, with what devotion could I thank God if every man in America was just such an Abolitionist as
Henry Clay and John J. Crittenden! [Renewed applause in the galleries.]
THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Foot).-Order!
SENATOR DOUGLAS.—I wish to God that the whole American people were just such Abolitionists as Clay and Crittenden. [Applause in the galleries.] I do not say that Mr. Yancey and his associates at Charleston mean disunion. I have no authority for saying any more than appears in the publication of his matured plan. Sir, it was said with truth that the order of battle issued at Cerro Gordo by General Scott a day before the battle was a complete history of the triumph after the battle was over, so perfect were his arrangements, so exact was the compliance with his orders. The program of Mr. Yancey, published two years ago, is a truthful history of the secession movement at Charleston. I have not the slightest idea that all those who came under his influence in maturing his measures concurred in the ends to which these measures inevitably led; but what were Mr. Yancey's measures? He proposed to insist upon a platform identical in every feature with the caucus resolutions which we are now asked to adopt. The Yancey platform at Charleston, known as the majority report from the committee on resolutions, in substance and spirit and legal effect was the same as the Senate caucus resolutions; the same as the resolutions now under discussion, and upon which the Senate is called upon to vote.
I do not suppose that any gentleman advocating this platform in the Senate means or desires disunion. I acquit each and every man of such a purpose; but I believe, in my conscience, that such a platform of principles, insisted upon, will lead directly and inevitably to a dissolution of the Union. This platform demands congressional intervention for slavery in the Territories in certain events. What are these events? In the event that the people of a Territory do not want slavery, and will not provide by law for its introduction and protection, and that fact shall be ascertained judicially, then Congress is to pledge itself to pass laws to force the Territories to have it. Is this the non-intervention to which the Democratic party pledged itself at Baltimore and Cincinnati? So long as the people of a Territory want slavery, and say so in their legislation, the advocates of the caucus platform are willing to let them have it, and to act upon the principle that Congress shall not interfere. They are for non-interference so long as the people want slavery, so long as they will provide by law for its introduction and protection; but the moment the people say they do not want it, and will not have it, then Congress must intervene and force the institution
on an unwilling people. On the other hand, the Republican party is also for non-intervention in certain contingencies. The Republicans are for non-intervention just so long as the people of the Territories do not want slavery, and say so by their laws. So long as the people of a Territory prohibit slavery the Abolitionists are for non-intervention, and will not interfere at all; but whenever the people of the Territories say by their legislation that they do want it, and provide by law for its introduction and protection, then the Republicans are for intervening and for depriving them of it. Each of you is for intervention for your own section, and against it when non-intervention operates for your section. There is no difference in principle between intervention North and intervention South. Each asserts the power and duty of the Federal Government to force institutions upon an unwilling people. Each denies the right of self-government to the people of the Territory over their internal and domestic concerns. Each appeals to the passions, prejudices, and ambition of his own section, against the peace and harmony of the whole country.
Sir, let this doctrine of intervention North and intervention South become the rallying point of two great parties, and you will find that you have two sectional parties, divided by that line that separates the free from the slaveholding States. Whenever this shall become the doctrine of the two parties you will find a Southern intervention party for slavery, and a Northern intervention party against slavery; and then will come the "irrepressible conflict" of which we have heard so much.
We are told that the necessary result of the doctrine of nonintervention, which gentlemen, by way of throwing ridicule upon it, call squatter sovereignty, is to deprive the South of all participation in what they call the common Territories of the United States.
That was the ground on which the Senator from Mississippi [Mr. Davis] predicated his opposition to the compromise measures of 1850. He regarded a refusal to repeal the Mexican law as equivalent to the Wilmot proviso; a refusal to recognize by an act of Congress the right to carry a slave there as equivalent to the Wilmot proviso; a refusal to deny to the territorial legislature the right to exclude slavery as equivalent to an exclusion. He believed at that time that this doctrine did amount to a denial of Southern rights; and he told the people of Mississippi so; but they doubted it. Now, let us see how far his theory and suppositions have been verified. I infer that he told the people of Mississippi so, for as he makes it a charge in his
bill of indictment against me that I am hostile to Southern rights, because I gave those votes.
Now, what has been the result? My views were incorporated into the compromise measures of 1850, and his were rejected. Has the South been excluded from all the territory acquired from Mexico? What says the bill from the House of Representatives now on your table, repealing the slave code in New Mexico established by the people themselves? It is part of the history of the country that under this doctrine of non-intervention, this doctrine that you delight to call squatter sovereignty, the people of New Mexico have introduced and protected slavery in the whole of that Territory. Under this doctrine they have converted a tract of free territory into slave territory, more than five times the size of the State of New York. You asked only up to 36° 30′, and non-intervention has given you slave territory up to 38°, a degree and a half more than you asked; and yet you say that that is a sacrifice of Southern rights!
These are the fruits of this principle, which the Senator from Mississippi regards as hostile to the rights of the South. Where did you ever get any other fruits that were more palatable to your taste, or more refreshing to your strength? What other inch of free territory has been converted into slave territory on the American continent, since the Revolution, except in New Mexico and Arizona, under the principle of non-intervention affirmed at Charleston? If it be true that this principle of non-intervention has conferred upon you all that immense Territory; has protected slavery in that comparatively 'northern and cold region where you did not expect it to go, cannot you trust the same principle further south when you come to acquire additional territory from Mexico? Are you not satisfied with these practical results? Do you desire to appeal from the people of the Territories to the Congress of the United States to settle this question in the Territories? When you distrust the people and appeal to Congress, with both Houses largely against you on this question, what sort of protection will you get? Whenever you ask a slave code from Congress to protect your institutions in a Territory where the people do not want it you will get that sort of protection which the wolf gives to the lamb; you will get that sort of friendly hug that the grizzly bear gives to the infant. Appealing to an anti-slavery Congress to pass laws of protection, with a view of forcing slavery on an unwilling and hostile people! Sir, of all the fatal schemes that ever could be devised by the South or by the enemies of the South, that which recognizes the right of Congress to touch the
institutions of slavery, either in States or Territories, beyond the single case provided in the Constitution for the rendition of fugitive slaves, is the most fatal.
Mr. President, this morning, before I started for the Senate Chamber, I received a newspaper containing a letter written by one of Georgia's gifted sons upon this question of non-intervention. I allude to one of the brightest intellects that this nation has ever produced; one of the most useful public men; one whose retirement from among us created universal regret throughout the whole country. You will recognize at once that I mean Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia. Since the adjournment of the Charleston convention Mr. Stephens has responded to a letter from his friends, giving his counsel-the counsel of a patriotto the party and the country in this emergency. In the letter he reviews the doctrine of non-intervention, and shows that he was originally opposed to it, but submitted to it because the South demanded it; that it had a Southern origin; is a Southern doctrine; was dictated to the North by the South; and he accepted it because the South required it. He shows that the same doctrine was incorporated in the Kansas-Nebraska bill, that it formed a compact of honor between Northern and Southern men by which we were all bound to stand. He gives a history of the Kansas-Nebraska bill identical with the one I gave to you yesterday, without knowing that he had written such a letter. Mr. Stephens has a right to speak as to the meaning of the Kansas-Nebraska bill. No man in the House of Representatives exerted more power and influence in securing its passage than Alexander H. Stephens. I ask that the whole of his letter, long as it is, be read, for it covers the entire ground, and speaks in the voice of patriotism, counseling the only course that can preserve the Democratic party and perpetuate the union of these States.
The letter of Mr. Stephens was then read. It closed as follows:
There is a tendency everywhere, not only at the North, but at the South, to strife, dissension, disorder, and anarchy. It is against this tendency that the sober-minded and reflecting men everywhere should now be called upon to guard.
My opinion, then, is that delegates ought to be sent to the adjourned convention at Baltimore. The demand made at Charleston by the seceders ought not to be insisted upon. Harmony being restored on this point, a nomination can doubtless be made of some man whom the party everywhere can support, with the same zeal and the same ardor with which they entered and waged the contest in 1856, when the same principles were involved.