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tion, they say they will have no agitation; but when that occasion is past, and they come into Congress, they are the very people to agitate the question. I do not know now but that, when the delegates of the Democratic party go down to Charleston this year, they will again resolve that there shall be no agitation. Most probably they will; and when they return here these questions will be renewed and carried forward.
The speaker here reviewed the progressive steps of the pro-slavery party in regard to the extension of slavery.
You see, Mr. President, how bold this institution has grown -what its practice is now compared to what it was formerly. seeks directly to appropriate the whole territory to itself. It does not seek to divide the territory now as formerly, but it grasps the whole; up the rivers, over the mountains, and down into the valleys; in the sunny South, and in the ice-ribbed North; upon the arid and barren center, or on the fertile slopes; whereever a white man may go slavery seeks to accompany him. Briareus like, with its hundred arms, it grasps the entire territory of the United States Government.
But, Mr. President, not only is the doctrine of this resolution bold, but it is alarming-alarming because it makes another step in the progress of the slave power. At first freedom claimed the whole. Then slavery claimed the half. Now, instead of, as in 1820, taking a portion of the territory, and having it admitted as a slave State, and yielding the rest of the territory to freedom, slavery claims the whole territory. That is the doctrine of this resolution; that there is a constitutional right, on the part of the slave master, to take his slave and go with him anywhere into the territory of the United States, and hold him there as a slave; and, if the laws are not sufficient now for the purpose of holding him there, this Government is bound to provide laws sufficient to hold him there. I say the doctrine is alarming to the free States because the next step will be to provide that the slave goes not only into the Territories of the United States, but that he may be held in the States after they come in as States.
The day is not far distant, in my judgment, when slavery will claim extension into the old States over which the Constitution is the supreme law, and the time may come when the Senator from Georgia [Robert Toombs], as he boasted some two or three or four years ago, may call the roll of his slaves around the monument on Bunker Hill.
SENATOR TOOMBS.-The Senator from New Hampshire [Mr. Clark] made some allusion to me. I want to know where he got that statement? A contradiction has been in the newspapers three times. It seems to be your policy to make such statements, however.
SENATOR CLARK.-I beg the Senator's pardon. I have never seen the contradiction.
SENATOR TOOMBS.-The Senator ought to have some authority for such a statement as he has made.
SENATOR CLARK.—I have seen it several times, and it would not be surprising if I did not now recollect the precise place in which I had seen it.
SENATOR TOOMBS.-You may have seen it in the New York Tribune-a journal which is the general receptacle of all falsehoods.
SENATOR CLARK.—I am glad to hear that the Senator from Georgia did not utter that sentiment. I am glad to be corrected.
But, sir, bold, alarming, and contrary to the policy and history of the legislation of this Government as the doctrine of this resolution is, if it is to be seriously contended for and adopted by the Democratic party, as it will be if the South demand it, I am glad it is here. In the language of one of the Senators from Mississippi [Mr. Brown], "We do not want to cheat or to be cheated." Let us understand each other. The Democracy, at least the Southern wing of it, and a portion of the Northern, declare that the Constitution carries slavery into all of the Territories of the United States, or, what is equivalent, that, under the Constitution, the slave master has a right to take his slave into a Territory of the United States; and if the laws there are not sufficient to protect him in the enjoyment of that so-called right of property, the people of the Territory should pass laws to secure it; and, the people of the Territory failing to do it, Congress should do it unless the courts should have sufficient power; thus making Congress the guardian and protector of slavery in all the Territories of the United States; in fact, establishing it there.
From this construction of the Constitution the Republicans dissent. To prevent the extension of slavery into the Territories of the Federal Government is a cardinal object with the Republican party. The repeal of the Missouri compromise, which had stood as a sentinel for more than thirty years to guard the territory north of 36° 30′ north latitude from the aggressions of the slave power, revealed its design to spread slavery into
all the Territories of the Union, and roused the determination in millions of hearts to prevent it.
From that determination, like Minerva from the head of Jove, fully matured, and armed with unflinching purpose and iron will, the Republican party sprang into existence to prevent the accomplishment of that design. Stigmatizing it as a relic of barbarism, it avows its purpose to confine it in its present limits; and if then it shall become unprofitable, "be smothered, to use the language of the Senator from Illinois [Mr. Douglas], and "die out," it will only the sooner bring the accomplishment of the earnest desires and expectation of the founders of this Government. They will rejoice at it.
To prevent the extension of slavery in the Territories I have said was a cardinal object of the Republican party; but when I say this I deny that it attempts, or seeks to attempt, by any action of the general Government, to interfere with it in the States where it exists. It is a matter beyond the control of such action. But when I say this let it be understood also that vast numbers of those who comprise the Republican party, and of those who sympathize with it, deny the right of any man or body of men to hold or establish property in man; and they will discuss the institution of slavery, and hold it up as a moral, social, and political evil, as ruinous to the prosperity and population of the States where it exists, as a clog to their progress, as an enemy to the Union, and a reproach to free governments; and, therefore, an evil to be excluded from the Territories. They will discuss it because it is sought to be extended. They do not forget nor underrate the force of public opinion; they know that legislatures and States acknowledge its power, and are swayed and controlled by it; that neither Virginia nor Mississippi will long have slaves when public opinion demands their emancipation. They will, therefore, labor to guide and strengthen that public opinion by the school, the pulpit, and the press; by writing and by oral speech; by the public journal and the periodical; by exhibition of the benefits of free labor, and by every proper means, until the master himself, seeing the vast benefits of free labor, and the rapid progress of free States, feeling the force of the fundamental axiom of Jefferson, "that all men are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," and knowing the manifold injustice of a system which is evil, and "that continually" shall remove the "hooks of steel" which have "grappled" slavery to the social and political system.
In the language of Mr. Webster, in 1847, and repeated in his 7th of March speech of 1850:
"We are to use the first, and last, and every opportunity which offers, to oppose the extension of the slave power."
Make slavery extension and protection in the Territories the issue and we will meet you upon it. Take a slave code for your platform, or make it a plank in it, and you will convert it into a plate of red-hot steel, upon which no Northern man can stand. Reveal and publish such to be your purpose and the history of the end of Northern Democracy shall be as short and graphic as that of the Chaldean monarch
"In that night was Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldeans, slain.''
The Senator from Virginia [Mr. Hunter] said in his speech a few days since:
"If I am right, Mr. President, we see here a mass of vast and associated interests which mutually contribute to the support of each other, constituting, if I may use the simile, a mighty arch which, by the concentrated strength and by the mutual support of its parts, is able to sustain such a social superstructure as perhaps is unparalleled in the history of man-and is it not obvious, too, that the very keystone of this arch consists in the black marble cap of African slavery. Knock that out, and the mighty fabric, with all that it upholds, topples and tumbles to its fall."
Mr. President, if this be so, we are committing a great mistake. There now stands in the old Hall of Representatives a female figure of white marble. Her eye is elevated, and her attitude unconstrained and easy. In one hand she holds a shield, and in the other a sword. Upon the pedestal is inscribed the irrepressible-conflict word "Freedom"; and it is designed for the top of the dome of the Capitol. But if the Senator is right it should not be placed there. It should be broken; and her image should be made of black marble or ebony; upon its hands should be manacles; upon the front the brand of a slave; and it should be elevated upon the highest point on the nation's legislative halls; yea, over the very sittings of the Supreme Court, as an index to all who behold, that the "cap-stone,” the “crowning glory" of the mighty fabric of human rights and self-government is this poor miserable victim of "wrong, cruelty, and oppression"-the African slave!
Has it come to this, then, that our fathers counseled and toiled and fought for the inestimable, inalienable rights of man, and that the highest, most valuable of them all-that without which the others would not be worth preserving, and must perish-is the right to hold a negro in slavery?
But, Mr. President, this is not so. The Senator is not right. Slavery is not the key-stone of this arch; it would not fall if it were removed. It may better be compared to an unsteady, rolling cobble-stone admitted into the structure, which causes it sometimes to tremble; but which, skillfully removed, or secured in its place, the whole may stand securely.
Let not, then, the image be broken. Let it rise into its place. Let it surmount the dome of this Capitol. Let it bear the sword and shield. Let the free man look to it with gratitude and mingled shame and admiration; the bondman with hope and faith; and let it symbolize that higher state of civilization and equal self-government, when all nations and all races, each in its proper place, but all free, shall form one mighty, well-adjusted temple, whose crowning glory shall be "equal and exact justice to all men.'
On May 7, 1860, a week following the Charleston [S. C.] Democratic convention (for an account of which see the following chapter), Senator Jefferson Davis [Miss.] said:
"It is well known to those who have been associated with me in the two Houses of Congress that, from the commencement of the question, I have been the determined opponent of what is called squatter sovereignty. I never gave it countenance, and I am now least of all disposed to give it quarter. In 1848 it made its appearance for good purposes. It was ushered in by a great and good man [Lewis Cass]. He brought it forward because of that distrust which he had in the capacity of the Government to bear the rude shock to which it was exposed. His conviction, no doubt, to some extent sharpened and directed his patriotism, and his apprehension led him to a conclusion to which, I doubt not, to-day he adheres as tenaciously as ever; but from which it was my fortune, good or ill, to dissent when his letter [the Nicholson letter] was read to me in manuscript; I being, together with some other persons, asked whether or not it should be sent. At the first blush I believed it to be a fallacy —a fallacy fraught with mischief; that it escaped an issue which was upon us which it was our duty to meet; that it escaped it by a side path, which led to danger. I thought it a fallacy which would surely be exploded. I doubted then, and still more for some time afterward, when held to a dread responsibility for the position which I occupied-I doubted whether I should live to see that fallacy exploded. It has been. Let Kansas speak