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casuists, but certainly is not one for me. I can freely confess, however, my deep regret that secret societies, for any purpose whatsoever, have obtained a place among political organizations within the republic; and it is my hope that the experience which we have now so distinctly had, that they can be but too easily adapted to unlawful, seditious and dangerous enterprises, while they bring down suspicion and censure on high and noble causes when identified with them, may be sufficient to induce a general discontinuance of them.

Will the senate hesitate even an hour between the alternatives before them? The passions of the American people find healthful exercise in peaceful colonizations, and the construction of railroads, and the building up and multiplying of republican institutions. The territory of Kansas lies across the path through which railroads must be built, and along which such institutions must be founded, without delay, in order to preserve the integrity of our empire. Shall we suppress enterprises so benevolent and so healthful, and inflame our country with that fever of intestine war which exhausts and consumes not more the wealth and strength than the virtue and freedom of a nation? Shall we confess that the proclamation of popular sovereignty within the territory of Kansas, was not merely a failure, but was a pretense and a fraud? Or will senators now contend that the people of Kansas, destitute as they are of a legislature of their own, of executive authorities of their own, of judicial authorities of their own, of a militia of their own, of revenues of their own, subject to disposal by themselves, practically deprived as they are of the rights of voting, serving as jurors, and of writing, printing and speaking their own opinions, are nevertheless in the enjoyment and exercise of popular sovereignty? Shall we confess before the world, after so brief a trial, that this great political system of ours is inadequate either to enable the majority to control through the operation of opinion, without force, or to give security to the citizen against tyranny and domestic violence? Are we prepared so soon to relinquish our simple and beautiful systems of republican government, and to substitute in their place the machinery of usurpation and despotism?

The congress of the United States can refuse admission to Kansas only on the ground that it will not relinquish the hope of carrying African slavery into that new territory. If you are prepared to assume that ground, why not do it manfully and consistently, and

establish slavery there by a direct and explicit act of congress? But have we come to that stage of demoralization and degeneracy so soon? We, who commenced our political existence and gained the sympathies of the world by proclaiming to other nations that we held "these truths to be self-evident: That all men are born equal, and have certain inalienable rights; and that among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness:" we, who in the spirit of that declaration have assumed to teach and to illustrate, for the benefit of mankind, a higher and better civilization than they have hitherto known! If the congress of the United States shall persist in this attempt, then they shall at least allow me to predict its results. Either you will not establish African slavery in Kansas, or you will do it at the cost of the sacrifice of all the existing liberties of the American people. Even if slavery were, what it is not, a boon to the people of Kansas, they would reject it if enforced upon their acceptance by federal bayonets. The attempt is in conflict with all the tendencies of the age. African slavery has, for the last fifty years, been giving way, as well in this country as in the islands and on the mainland throughout this hemisphere. The political power and prestige of slavery in the United States are passing away. The slave states practically gov. erned the Union directly for fifty years. They govern it now, only indirectly, through the agency of northern hands, temporarily enlisted in their support. So much, owing to the decline of their power, they have already conceded to the free states. The next step, if they persist in their present course, will be the resumption and exercise by the free states of the control of the government, without such concessions as they have hitherto made to obtain it. Throughout a period of nearly twenty years, the defenders of slavery screened it from discussion in the national councils. Now, they practically confess to the necessity for defending it here, by initiating discussion themselves. They have at once thrown away their most successful weapon, compromise, and worn out that one which was next in effectiveness, threats of secession from the Union. It is under such unpropitious circumstances that they begin the new experiment of extending slavery into free territory by force, the armed power of the federal government. You will need many votes from free states in the house of represent tives, and even some votes from those states in this house, to send an army with a retinue of slaves in its train into Kansas. Have you counted up your votes in the two

houses? Have you calculated how long those who shall cast such votes will retain their places in the national legislature?

But I will grant, for the sake of the argument, that with federal battalions you can carry slavery into Kansas, and maintain it there. Are you quite confident that this republican form of government can then be upheld and preserved? You will then yourselves have introduced the Trojan horse. No republican government ever has endured with standing armies maintained in its bosom to enforce submission to its laws. A people who have once learned to relinquish their rights, under compulsion, will not be long in forgetting that they ever had any. In extending slavery into Kansas, therefore, by arms, you will subvert the liberties of the people.

Senators of the free states, I appeal to you. Believe Believe ye the prophets? I know you do. You know, then, that slavery neither works mines and quarries, nor founds cities, nor builds ships, nor levies armies, nor mans navies. Why, then, will you insist on closing up this new territory of Kansas against all enriching streams of immigration, while you pour into it the turbid and poisonous waters of African slavery? Which one of you all, whether of Connecticut, or of Pennsylvania, or of Illinois, or of Michigan, would consent thus to extinguish the chief light of civilization within the state in which your own fortunes are cast, and in which your own posterity are to live? Why will you pursue a policy so unkind, so ungenerous, and so unjust, toward the helpless, defenseless, struggling territory of Kansas, inhabited as it is by your own brethren, depending on you for protection and safety? Will slavery in Kansas add to the wealth or power of your own states, or to the wealth, power or glory of the republic? You know that it will diminish all of these. You profess a desire to end this national debate about slavery, which has become for you intolerable. Is it not time to relinquish that hope? You have exhausted the virtue for that purpose, that resided in compacts and platforms, in the suppression of the right of petition and in arbitrary parliamentary laws, and in abnegation of federal authority over the subject of slavery within the national territories. Will you even then end the debate, by binding Kansas with chains, for the safety of slavery in Missouri? Even then you must give over Utah to slavery, to make it secure and permanent in Kansas; and you must give over Oregon and Washington to both polygamy and slavery, so as to guaranty equally the one and the other of those

peculiar domestic institutions in Utah; and so you must go on, sacrificing on the shrine of peace territory after territory, until the prevailing nationality of freedom and of virtue shall be lost, and the vicious anomalies, which you have hitherto vainly hoped Almighty Wisdom would remove from among you without your own concurrence, shall become the controlling elements in the republic. He who found a river in his path, and sat down to wait for the flood to pass away, was not more unwise than he who expects the agitation of slavery to cease, while the love of freedom animates the bosoms of mankind.

If so, pray enlighten leads to that repose.

The solemnity of the occasion draws over our heads that cloud of disunion which always arises whenever the subject of slavery is agitated. Still the debate goes on, more ardently, earnestly and angrily than ever before. It employs now not merely logic, reproach, menace, retort and defiance, but sabres, rifles and cannon. Do you look through this incipient war quite to the end, and see there peace, quiet and harmony on the subject of slavery? me, and show me how long the way is which The free states are loyal, and they always will remain so. Their foothold on this continent is firm and sure. Their ability to maintain themselves, unaided, under the present constitution, is established. The slave states, also, have been loyal bitherto, and I hope and trust they ever may remain so. But if disunion could ever come, it would come in the form of a secession of the slaveholding states; and it would come, then, when the slaveholding power, which is already firmly established on the gulf of Mexico, and extends a thousand miles northward along both banks of the Mississippi, should have fastened its grappling irons upon the fountains of the Missouri and the slopes of the Rocky mountains. Then that power would either be intolerably supreme in this republic, or it would strike for independence or exclusive domination. Then the free states and slave states of the Atlantic, divided and warring with each other, would disgust the free states of the Pacific, and they would have abundant cause and justification for withdrawing from a Union productive no longer of peace, safety and liberty to themselves, and no longer holding up the cherished hopes of mankind.

The continental congress of 1787, on resigning the trust which it had discharged with signal fidelity, into the hands of the authorities elected under the new constitution, and in taking leave of their

constituents, addressed to the people of the United States this memorable injunction: "Let it never be forgotten, that the canse of the United States has always been the cause of human nature." Let us recall that precious monition; let us examine the ways which we have pursued hitherto, under the light thrown upon them by that instruction. We shall find, in doing so, that we have forgotten moral right in the pursuit of material greatness, and we shall cease henceforth from practising upon ourselves the miserable delusion that we can safely extend empire, when we shall have become reckless of the obligations of eternal justice, and faithless to the interests of universal freedom.


I SHALL, with the greatest pleasure in the world, vote for this amendment (Mr. WILSON'S, to abrogate the spurious laws of Kansas). I agree with the honorable mover of it, that the present bill has no other tendency, and can have no other effect, than to crown with success the object of the law of 1854, which abrogated the prohibition of slavery contained in the Missouri compromise act, and thus to form a slave state out of Kansas. Against that I was committed then; I commit myself now; I stand committed forever. I admit that the bill, as it would stand after the adoption of the amendment, would not leave in the territory of Kansas a code of municipal laws. But, in that shape, this bill, if passed, would be only a congressional declaration of what I hold to be a solemn political fact, already established and known, namely: that there is no law, there are no laws, there is no code, there is no legal society in Kansas, otherwise organized or governed, than by the organic act passed by congress in the year 1854.

I hold now, as I have already shown to the senate and to the country on a former occasion, that what is called the legislature of Kansas is a usurpation, and that the code which it has established is

1 Speech in the Senate of the United States, July 2, 1856, against Mr. Douglas' second Enabling Bill, and in favor of the immediate admission of Kansas into the Union.

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