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MR. BRECKINRIDGE ON NATIONAL POLITICS.
SPEECH AT FRANKFORT, KY.
The Hon. Jony C. BRECKINRIDGE delivered pealed, and we passed the act known as the Kansas-ve. the following speech on the general political the United States were constantly contending that it was
. The Abolition, or quasi Abolition party of topics of the day before the Legislature of Ken- the right of Congress to prohibit Slavery in the common tucky at Frankfort in Dec. 1859. Mr. Breckin- Territories of the Union. The Democratic party, aided by ridge had been recently elected to the United most of the gentlemen from the South, took the opposite
view of the case. States Senate, by the Kentucky Legislature; that question from the Halls of Congress, and place it
Our object was, if possible, to withdraw and after returning his thanks for the distin- where it could no longer risk the public welfare and the guished honor, and promising to serve the State public interest. In the Congress of the United States it to the best of his ability, he continued as South ; accordingly (I have not a copy of the bil before
had been agitated all the time, to the disadvantage of the follows:
me now, but I remember its leading provisions), a bill was The election took place on Monday. The day before passed, repealing the Missouri line, and leaving those TerI received a letter signed by a number of gentlemen in ritories upon the contract and the assertion that the bill
made. the Legislature, asking my opinion in reference to the
Did we intend by it to legislate Slavery into Kan.
sas and Nebraska ? DREN Scorr decision, in reference to Territorial Sover
We denied that, and denied it upon eignty, and the power of Congress to protect the property the face of the bill itself. The settlement thus made, afof citizens within the Territories. I received that letter terward received the approval of the people of the whole with profound respect, and only regret it did not come country. The bill said within itself, not that we intend to to my hands in time, that I might answer it before the legislate Slavery into the Territories, but to leave the peoelection. But yet I am glad that I could not answer it ple free to form their own domestic institutions, subject
That was before that day, for your choice is a sort of indorsement only to the Constitution of the United States. of my soundness upon those questions. I confess I was
as much as we could agree upon.
There was a point upon somewhat gratified that the election took place before which we could not agree. A considerable po of the I had those questions to answer. It was utterly impossi- Northern Democracy held that Slavery was in derogation ble for me to have returned an answer before the time of common right, and could only exist by force of positive fixed by your law for the election, but, I never intended law. They contended that the Constitution did not furnish to fail in this answer. I never should have failed.
Had that law, and that the slaveholder could not go into the it been one who signed it, instead of twenty, the result Territories with his slaves with the Constitution to author. would have been precisely the same.
ize him in holding his slaves as property, or to protect him, Besides this, it would have been of but little conse - The South, generally, without distinction of party, held the quence, be the answer before or after. I belong to that opposite view. They held that the citizens of all the school of politics that believes in instruction, and when States may go with whatever was recognized by the Con. ever I am not ready to receive the instructions of the stitution as property, and enjoy it. That did not seem to State, I stand ready to give back the trust confided in be denied to any article of property except slaves. Ac
cordingly, the bill contained the provision, that any ques.
tion in reference to Slavery should be referred to the court THE DRED SCOTT DECISION.
of the United States, and the understanding was, that whatGentlemen, I bow to the decision of the Supreme Court
ever the judicial decision should be, it would be binding of the United States upon every question within its upon all parties, not only by virtue of the agreement, but proper jurisdiction, whether it corresponds with my pri- under the obligation of the citizens to respect the authorvate opinion or not; only, I bow a trifle lower when it ity of the legally constituted courts of the country. happens to do so, as the decision in the Dred Scott case
WHAT HE SAID IN 1856. does. I approve it in all its parts as a sound exposition It was under these circumstances, while the Territory of vi the law and constitutional rights of the States, and Kansas was in a state of commotion, and when that quescitizens that inhabit them. (Applause.) It may not be tion had not been determined by the courts, that the can. inproper for me here to add that so great an inierest did vass of 1856 came on. It became my duty, by the reI take in that decision, and in its principles being sus- quest of my friends, to visit the States of Ohio, Indiana, tained and understood in the commonwealth of Ken. Michigan and Pennsylvania. In all those States I made tucky, that I took the trouble, at my own cost, to print speeches. In all those States I uttered the same opinions or have printed a large edition of that decision to scat- and declared the same principles that I have ever done in ter it over the State, and unless the mails have miscar- the commonwealth of Kentucky, and am ready to do agair. ried, the e is scarcely a member elected to the Legisla. None other ! ture who has not received a copy with my frank.
It has been charged that the Democratic party of the To approve the decision of the Supreme Court in the country, and particularly of the South, desired to employ Dred Scott case would seem to settle the whole question the Federal Government for the purpose of propagating of Territorial Sovereignty, as I think will presently ap. Slavery and slave legislation in the Territories. I denied pear; but, in order that no one may misunderstand that the Democratic party desired to use the Federal Gov. my views on that question, I will, with your leave, de ernment for the propagation of Slavery, and I never conlain you with a brief review of what was done as to the ceded what we believed to be our constitutional right to its Slavery question up to the time of that decision, refer- protection, and what the decision of the Supreme Court ruug also to the duties imposed by it.
has allowed to be our right, I said-yes! I did say that the
Democratic party of this country, in its federal aspect, THE MISSOURI LINE.
was neither a Pro-Slavery nor an An i-Slavery party, but I was in the Congress of the United States when that a constitutional party, and I repeat it here to-night. (ApMissouri line was repealed. I never would have voted for plause.) I do not believe it is. I do not believe that the any bill organizing the Territory of Kansas as long as that Federal Government was organized for either purpose, but ulious stigma upon our institutions remained upon the to protect the rights adjudicated by the courts. AI statute-book. I voted cheerfully for its repeal, and in do- these belong to the States themselves. ing that I cast no reflection upon the wise patriots who
These were the declarations that I made, of which somencquiesced in it at the time it was established. It was re- thing has been heard in all the States. I made tho
declarations that I am willing to make before my own And whatever the political department of the Government constituents ; I made the declarations that I am willing shall recognize as within the limits of the United States, the to stand here and repeat. (Applause.) We had confi
Judicial Department is also bound to recognize, and to addence in our own view of our own rights.
minister in it the laws of the United States, so far as they apply,
Our northern and to maintain in the territory the authority and rights of the friends had their views. It was a paradoxical question, Government, and also the political right and rights of property and we gave it to the Courts.
of individual citizens as secured by the Constitution. All we Well, the Courts did decide the very question, which mean to say on this point is, that as there is no express regehad been submitted to them, not upon a case from Kan-lation in the Constitution defining the power which the General sas, but in another case. Without going into the argu. citizen in a territory thus acquired, the Court must necessarily
Government may exercise over the person or property of a ment, for time does not permit of that, let me give you look to the provisions and principles of the Constitution and ii. the conclusion. In the opinion of the Court in the case distribution of powers, for the rules and principles by which of Dred Scott, it is said :
its decision must be governed.'' “Upon these considerations, it is the opinion of the Court
So that in regard to slave property, as in regard to any that the act of Congress which prohibits a citizen from holding other property recognized and guarded by the Constitu and owning property of this kind in the Territory of the tion, it is the duty, according to the Supreme Court, of ad United States, north of the line herein mentioned. is not the Courts of the country to protect and guard it by their warranted by the Constitution, and is therefore void ; and that decision, whenever the question is brought before them neither Dred Scott himself nor any of his family were made to which I will only add this, that the 'judicial decisione free by being carried into this Territory, even if they had in our favor must be maintained—these judicial decision. been carried there by the owner, with the intention of becoming a permanent resident."
in our favor must be sustained. (Applause.) Again:
SLAVE CODE. “The powers over person and property of which we speak, are not only not granted to Congress, but are in express terms cisions, I would have nothing more done, I, with many
If present remedies are adequate to sustain these dedenied, and they are forbidden to exercise them. And this prohibition is not confined to the States, but the words are
other public men in the country, believe they are able general, and extend to the whole territory over which the If they are not if they cannot be enforced for want of Constitution gives it power to legislate, including those por- the proper legislation to enforce them, sufficient legislations of it remaining under Territorial government, as well as tion must be passed, or our Government is a failure. that covered by States. It is a total absence of power every(Applause.) Gentlemen, I see no escape from that conwhere within the dominion of the United States, and places
clusion, the citizen of a Territory, so far as those rights are concerued, on the same footing with citizens of the States, and guards At the same time, fellow-citizens, I make no hesitation them as firmly and plainly against any inroads which the in saying to you that I trust the time will never comem General Government might attempt, under the plea of implied | I trust the line will never come when it may be deemed or incidental power. And if Congress itself cannot do this, necessary for the Congress of the United States in any if it is beyond the powers conferred on the federal Govern: frin to interfere with this question in the Territories. so ment-it will be admitted, we presume, that it could not far it has been only productive of evil to us, and it would authorize a Territorial government to exercise them. It could confer no power on any local governineat, established portend only evil in the future. At present there is no by its authority, to violate the provisions of the Constitusion." question before Congress. No Southern Representative
or Senator proposes legislation on that point-no com. Thus the highest court in the United States settled the plaint comes from any territory—there is no evidence very question referred to it as the disputed point, not leg- that the existing laws and decisions of the Courts are not islative in its character, on which Congress could not adequate to protect every description of property recogagree when the Kansas-Nebraska bill passed. The view nized by the several States. None whatever. Therefore, that we in the Southern States took of it was sustained, in my opinion, and I submit it humbly and with defe. that in the Ter«itories, the common property of the rence, our true policy is not to anticipate trouble, but to Union, pending their Territorial condition, Congress let the matter rest upon the Executive, upon the existing itselt nor the Territorial Government had the power to laws, and upon the decisions of the Courts. (Applause.) confiscate any description of property recognized in the I will add this : we must never give up the principle, we States of the Union. The Court drew no distinction be must never give up the question that has been judiciously tween slaves and other property. It is true some foreign decided, that this constitutional right exists. We must philanthropists and soine foreign writers do undertake to stand by that decision. We must hold to our constitudraw this d.stinction, but these distinctions have nothing tional rights, but I would never prematurely raise the to do with our system of Government. Our Government question to distract the country, when there is no voice rests not upon the speculations of philanthropic writers, calling for it, North, East, South or West. (Applause. but upon the plain understanding of a written constitution I say we must hold to the principle-we must stand by it. which determines it, and upon that alone. It is the we stand in a good position. We have the Executive, result of positive law; therefore we ae not to look to we have the laws, we have the decisions of the Courts, and the analogy of the supposed law of nations, but to regard that is a great advance from where we stood ten years the Constitution itself, which is the written expression of
ago. the respective powers of the Government and the rights I am glad-although we did not succeed as we desired of the States.
in Kansas-I am glad that the territorial questi is
nearly fought out. It is nearly fought out. I know of UNFRIENDLY LEGISLATION.
no existing Territory where this question can arise. As Well, that being the case, and it having been authorita. to the territory south of the line, where slave labor is tively deterinined by the very tribunal to which it was re. really profitable, I have not a doubt but that the climate ferred that Congress had no power to exclude slave and interest, and the proximity of slaveholders, and the property from the Territory, and judiciously determined Constitution and laws, and the decision of the Court, ihat the Territorial Legislatures, authorities created by will sustain and protect us there in the full enjoyment of Congress, had not the power to exclude or confiscaid our rights, and in making Southern territory out of slave property, I confess that I had not anticipated that Southern soil. While I would not give up the principle, the doctrines of unfriendly legislation would be set up.
I never have believed, and I do not believe now, in the Hence, I need not say to you that I do not believe in the possibility of Slavery planting itself in a territory against doctrine of unfriendly legislation; that I do not believe in the determined opposition of the inhabitants, any more the authori'y of Territorial Legislatures to do by indirec
than I believe the institution of Slavery could continue in tion what they cannot do directly I repose upon the existence iu Kentucky for three years against the desire decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, as to
of the voters of the Commonwealth, even with the conthe point that neither Congress nor the Territorial Legis- stitutional restictions that are here thrown around it. lature has the right to obstruct or confiscate the property
Still, I would save the question and the principle, and of any citizen, slaves included, pending the territorial
never let go the constitutional right, because our proteccondition. (Applause.)
tion in the Union consists in a strict adherence to the I do not see any escape from that decision, if you provisions of the Constitution. When we allow an infracadmit that the question was a judicial one; if you admit tion of the Constitution on any one point, we lose our the decision of the Supreme Court, and if you stand by claim to the observance of the whole. "We should insist the decision of the highest Court of the country.
to the last that the Constitution of the country shall be The Supreme Court seems to have recognized it as the sustained in every particular. (A voice" Good.") duty-as the duty of the Courts of this Union in their proper sphere to execute this constitutional right, thus
THE PERIL OF THR COUNTRY. adjudicated by the Supreine Court, in the following lap. Fellow-citizens, if you will allow me, I will offer you guage.
In speaking of the acquisition of territory, they some observations upon another aspect of public affairs. pronounce it a political question for Congress to deter- We have been talking of things that concern us no more mine what territory they acquire and how many. Now than they concern others, but we have questions to deter. mark the words of the Court:
mine that come nearer home-questions that come to our
Iresides. According to my huinble judgment, the con. | Save, dominance in the Northern States of the Union, hand dition of our couuiry was never so perilous as it is at say of an institution of their Southern relatives they are this hour; and if things go dristing on as they have of harboring a relic of barbarism ? That shows you, fellow 'ate, we shall have to determine questions of far nearer citizens, their indomitable purpose, their deep-seated vitali:y than the territorial question,
hate. I am sorry that it exists, but it is true. How can I nope I do not speak in the spirit o: an alarmist or a you expect a great political organization that obtains demagogue, but since I have been acquainted with public | power, to fail to exercise that power when in its opinion affairs and men older and wiser than myself say the this Uniou is stained or defiled as to ope-balf, perhaps, same thing) there never was a time when the interests of of its inhabitants, by a relic of barbarism, which it class. this Union were in so much peril, and when the feelings of I es with the crime of polygamy. our people were so much alienated as at this hour. Certainly if the aspect of affairs at Washington is in the
SEWARD QUOTED. slightest degree indicative of the feeling elsewhere, that remark is truth,
This is not all. I could have brought here the declan
ations of its representative and leading men from ale ITS CAUSE.
parts of the Northern States, going infinitely further than Fellow-citizens, the danger arises, in the opinion of is contained there. Allow me, however, to read one or our wisest and best men, froin the character and purpose two of the most striking from the most eminent of their and aim of an organization in the country called the Re. | leaders. I beg you, fellow-citizens, though they may be publican party,
familiar, not to weary with a few extracts, for these us I do not think we fully realize what are the objects, terances are the rallying cry of millions of men. I hol6 purposes and aims of the Republican party, what it in my hand a speech delivered by a Senator of the State intends, and what would be the consequences to us of of New-York, who is to-day the most influential publie their success and dominion in the United States. If you man in this Union, on whose words millions hang, and will allow me, therefore, I have gathered together three by whose direction millions move. Is this the Constitu or four facts-mere expressions-mere illustrations or tion and Union that our fathers founded ? examples, from many thousands of kindred characters, Last year, in a speech delivered at Rochester, tha for the purpose of showing what its objects are-to show gentleman uttered the following language : what we may expect to follow their success.
"Our country is a theatre which exhibits, in full operation
two radically different political systems; the one resting op HIS VIEWS OF REPUBLICANISM.
the basis of servile or slave labor, the other on the basis of First is their platform, made three years ago, but voluntary labor of freemen. beyond which they have far advanced. Like all aggres. But they are more than incongruous. They are incompat
“The iwo systems are at once perceived to be incongruous. sive organizations, the rear rank of the Republican ible. They never have permanently existed together in one party marches up and comes upon the ground that the country, and they never can. advanced guard occupied months before, while the ad- “ Hitherto the two systems have existed in different States, vanced guard is going ahead. The Republicans are far but side by side within the American Union. This has hap. in advance of their platform, but we have there enough pened because the Union is a confederation of States. But on to put us on our guard.
another aspect the United States constitute only one nation.
Increase of population which is filling the States out to their What are our rights? Have we not a right to have our
very borders, together with a new and extended net-work of fugitives returned ? If there is a plainer provision than railroads and other avenues, and an internal c'mmerce which that in the instrument, what is it? Have we not a right daily becomes more intimate, is rapidly brin ying the states to live in peace in this Union ? What was the Constitu- into a higher and more perfect social unity or consolidation. tion formed for? When the Constitution was made, was
Thus these antagonistic systems are constitutionally coming
into close contact and collision results." it not made by brethren? Was it not made that this political organization should be carried on in peace and Yes, “ collision ensues," and his prophecy was furt harmony ? Have we not a right to demand of our sister filled in less than twelve months after it was made. States, that we may live together in peace with our respective State institutions, with our whole domestic
"Shall I tell you what this collision means? It is an irrepolicy? And is it not a gross violation of the Constitu
pressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces ; aud
it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, tion not to allow us to live in peace, as to refuse to return
become entirely a slaveholding nation, or entirely a free-labor our fugitives from labor that have escaped into other nation. Either the cotton and rice fields of South Carolina, States ? Do they intend to do it ? No, they do not. and the sugar plantations of Louisiana will ultimately be tilled They begin by declaring the Declaration of Independence by free labor, and Charleston and New-Orleans become marts is a rule of our political action. Here is the declaration
for legitimate merchandise alone; or else the rye-fields and of the Republican platform, adopted three years ago, surrendered by their farmers to slave culture, and to ihe pro
wheat-fields of Massachusetts and New-York must again be beyond which they have now far advanced :
duction of slaves, and Boston and New-York become once “Resolved, That with our Republican fathers we hold it to
more markets for trade in the bodies and souls of men.
It is be a self-evident truth that all men are endowed with the in
the failure to apprehend this great truth that induces so many alienable right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,
unsuccessful attempts at final compromise between the Slave and that the primary object and ulterior design of our Federal
and Free States, and it is the existence of this great fact that Government were to secure these rights to all persons under
renders all such pretended compromises, when made, vain Its exclusive jurisdiction ; that as our Republican fathers,
and ephemeral." when they had abolished Slavery in all our national territory, These things would have no consequence if they were ordained that no person should be deprived of life, liberty and the individual opinions of their author, but they are the property, without due process of law, it becomes our duty to opinions of a large and formidable and growing party in maintain this provision of the Constitution against all attempts this Union ; of a party that now claims a majority in the to violate it for the purpose of establishing Slavery in the Territories of the United States by positive legislation, prohibiting distant day, to have a majority in the Senate. I ask
House of Representatives, and which looks, at no very its existence or extension therein.
This is a positive pledge, that as soon as that party you if that was the Union formed by our fathers ? Did obtains power, it will recognize the equality of the negro they anticipate such a political party would arise to de
clare that there “is an irrepressible conflict between opwith the white man. Its object will be to give him those rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To posing and enduring forces” in the United States ?
It is not my purpose to characterize or stigmatize this maintain that equality what follows ? Everybody knows that when they obtain the power in the District of Co- doctrine now, but to set forth what we are to expect and
what we are to meet. lumbia, they will abolish Slavery there; when they ob
At a later period, in the Senate of the United States, tain the power, they will undertake to abolish it in the
that same distinguished Senator uttered the following forts, arsenals, and dock-yards of the United States throughout the South ; they will undertake to abolish the language, (I well remember the occasion and the internal slave-trade. Already they declare that not
speech :) another Slave State shall be admitted into the Union, all its constitutional checks, cannot long resist and counieraci
“ A free Republican Government like this, notwithstanding and they will go beyond that. How can we expect to live in peace and harmony, when declarations of this the progress of society.” sort are uttered:
They don't expect the provisions of the Constitution “Resolved, That the Constitution confers upon Congress and its checks to prevent them from taking their onward sovereign power over the Territories of the United States for progress Indeed, they have a facility of construing their government, and that, in the exercise of this power, it is that instrument, which makes it as dust in the balance. both the right and the imperative duty of Congress, to prohibit They construe it to authorize them not to return fugitive in the Territories those iwin relics of barbarism-polygamy slaves; to authorize them to make a war upon one half and Slavery."
of the nation. There is no provision of the Constitution Is that in the spirit of our revolutionary ancestors ? which has stood in their way as to any right of ours Is it in the spirit of our revolutionary ancestors for a that we have claimed upon this great question. Not great and growing party, that now claims, and perhaps 'only did he announce in the Senate of the United States, that constitutional checks cannot stand for any time crops of cotton, and a trifle over, to do it. That was against the progress of Northern opinion, but,
indorsed, I tell you again, by sixty-eight or sixty-nine “ Free labor,” says Mr. Seward, “ has at last apprehended members of the House of Representatives, and the very its rights and its destiny, and is organizing itself to assume the gentleman who they are running for Speaker of that goverainent of the Republic. It will henceforth ineet you body indorsed it. It is true, his friends say that he
oluly and resolutely here (Washington: it will meet you indorsed it without having read it. Admit that to be everywhere, in the Territories and out of them, wherever you may go to extend Slavery. It has driven you back in Califor: true, he has again and again, when called upon, refused wa aud in Kansas ; it will invade you soon in Delaware, to disavow those sentiments, hence the excuse is paltry. Maryland, Virgiuia, Missouri and Texas. It will meet you in
HARPER'S FERRY. Arizona, in Central America, and even in Cuba."
Not content with confining it to the Territories, he That is the condition of affairs, and that is the conaddo:
dition of the Republican organization of this country, "You may, indeed, get a start under or near the tropics. if any reliance is to be placed in their record, in their and seem safe for a time, but it will be only a short time, declarations, in their public attitude, in 'the attitude Even there you will found States only for free labor to main- which they defiantly assume before the country. Their tain and occupy. The interest of the white race demands the purpose is to make war, eternal war, upon the instituultimate emancipation of all men. Whether that consumina- tions of one half of the States of the Union. Gradually tion shall be allowed to take eifect, with needful and wise precautious against sudden change and disaster, or be hurried on
we approach the crisis until at last is not the legitimate by violence, is all that remains for you to decide. The while result of the irrepressible conflict of which they speak, inan needs this continent to labor upon. His head is clear, his of the crime of which they say we are guilty, to put arm is strong, and his necessaries are fixed. It is for your down these relics of barbarism ? The ignorant and selves and not for us to decide how long and through what fanatical throw off thre obligations of the Constitution further mortifications and disasters the contest shall be proil and invade by violence the Southern States of the tracted, before freedom shall enjoy her already assured triumph! You may refuse to yield it now, and for a short Union, and although I am far from holding the Repubperiod, but your refusal will only animate the friends of free-lican party of the North, or any large portion of them, doin with the courage and the resolution, and produce the responsible for the late atrocious proceedings in Virunion among them, which alone are necessary on their part, ginia, I do say that that proceeding was the carrying to allain the position itself, simultaneously with the impending out of the logical result of their teachings-carrying it overthrow of the exciting Federal Administration, and the into execution. How did they receive it? Why gentleConstitution of a new and more independent Congress,"'--and they think they have that Congress.
men, the conservative portion of the North abhors it;
but, in the Senate and House, in the great body of their I tell you again, fellow-citizens, this is not the opinion public press, what do they say of it? That they regret of Mr. ŠKWARD alone. It is Mr. SEWARD and, with one it—they deplore it—they even condemn it--they say, or two exceptions, the other Republican Senators in the because it was against law, and they stand for law. Senate of the United States, and nine-tenths of the These are the honeyed and qualified phrases with which Republican members of the House of Representatives. they characterize the most atrocious act of treason, Could that language have been uttered with impunity or rapine, and inurder combined, that was ever known in been sustained at the epoch of 1779, when the Constitu; the Republic, and then, as though afraid of what they tion was formed ? Did not the Constitution languish and have said, they immediately go on to eulogize the man 8:0p just because there was some question about insert and his motives, much as they regret the aot. ing these checks about the institution of the Southern Statex? Were they not put into the Constitution by the
A VOLLEY OF COMPLAININGS, great men who formed it, and are not all the citizens of all the States bound to respect the relations that exist
Gentlemen, have we no complaints in other respects ? between them, and to give the Southern States peace in
Are laws passed for the purpose of punishing those who this Union? How do you receive the declaration that makt inroads into the border States and rob us of our there is an irrepressible conflict waging—that there shall property ? Suppose a Kentuckian should go into the
State of Ohio and rob a citizen of that State, does any be no peace? There is no use attempting to turf over the volcano, there is no use crying peace when there is
one doubt that we would pass a law to punish him and no peace.
It is the avowed purpose of the Republican to prevent the recurrence of the outrage? So far from party to agitate, agitate ; to overturn the Constitution this being their course, they are encouraged, and we are itself, until they succeed not only in drawing a cordon subject to constant secret predatory incursions by which around you, and shutting you within your present limits, we lose annually hundreds of thousands of dollars, but to può you in a position where you were about, for these people availing themselves of the bond of amity
between us, to perpetrate the outrage. peace sake, to emancipate your slaves.
That is not all! About one half of the Northern Well might we say, as was once said in France, States have passed laws and made it a criminal and “Oh, Constitution! what crimes are commitied in thy penal offence for their citizens to give any assistance in sacred name !"
the rendition of fugitive slaves. Massachusetts has HELPER'S CRISIS.
passed laws closing her jails to us, and making it a penal
offence to aid in the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave But, gentlemen, I hold in my hand another book, law, or to appear as council to try such a case, thus which is of no consequence as the opinions of its indivi- nullifying the laws of Congress, and of the United dual author, but is of consequence as indorsed by the States, distinctly, and some seven or eight States have distinguished gentleman from whose productions I have passed similar laws refusing all remedy and making it read, and as indorsed also by sixty-eight or nine Repub-penal in their citizens to obey the behests of the Constilicans of the House of Representatives, who represent atution. constituency of seven millions of people. This, then, I have not uttered these things for the purpose of may be considered as the declaration of near seven arousing any spirit of disloyalty to the Constitution and millions of men. What is it? It is a book called the the Union. I hope I love them as reverently as any man “Impending Crisis of the South," by a person called
within the sound of my voice, but let us look and see the Helper, who professes to be a North Carolin an. Wether facts as they are. What may be set down as the unhe is or not I am unable to say. (I will read very little, questioned purpose of this organization? It is avowed gentlemen.) In this book, thus indorsed by nearly that it is to exclude all and any Slave States from the seventy members of the House of Representatives, Union hereafter. It is to give us no fugitive slave law, representing nearly seven millions of the people, this declaring that the States under the Constitution must sentiment is declared :
provide for that, and then to give no remedy in the The slaveholding oligarchy say we cannot abolish States ; it is to pass no laws for the purpose of prevent. Slavery without infringing on the right of property. ing the robbery of our property but, on the contrary, Again we tell them we do not recognize property in in many Siates to make it penal to enforce the law; it
is to abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia ; to But the Constitution does; the bond of our Union abolish the internal slave-trade and the coastwise slavedoes, and the Supreme Court of the United States has trade, and then to agitate and agitate, giving us no decided that it does. Our fathers so considered it. It peace as long as we retain this relic of barbarism ”. has been so admitted all the time, until the apostles of and crime, as they call it. the new doctrine spoke. At another point he says: This is the purpose. Are you ready for it? Are you
For the services of the blacks from the 20th of August, ready to say we will make no stand in any form for 1620, up to the 4th of July, 1869-an interval of precisely your Constitutional rights ? I think you are not! Yet two hundred and forty-eight years, ten months and lihat is the present condition of affairs—but what are we fourteen days—their masters, if unwilling, ought, in our to do? judgment, to be compelled to grant them their freedom,
PRACTICAL REMEDIES. and to pay each and every one of them at least sixty dollars cash in hand.
I know they will consider the consequences, and careHe goes on to remark that it would only take two fully consider th· consequences of any serious collisions
in this Union. I know we duly appreciate the position the circumstances then? Andrew Jackson was President of our own State, not only a border State, but an in- of the United States, and he was a native of South Caro terior border State having no ocean outlet. 1 know that i lina; the question was a mere question of policy ; few of we have read history to some purpose, and that we have the other States sympathized with the movement of that seen what have been the consequences of the disruption little State. Henry Clay was alive, and Calhoun was ready of amicable relations between those who have banded to give the benefit of his influence to peace and harmony, themselves together as a confederation of States. We and yet that little question, when Jackson, a native son of need but go back and see the consequence upor. the that State, was President, and Clay and Calhoun were in Greeks when they carried on the Peloponnesian war, the Senate, brought on a struggle that shook this Union tro until at last exhausted, they fell into the lap of des- its centre, and imperilled it in the estimation of the wisest potism The same fate might meet us. What would be and best of men. Look at it as it may be, with disaffection. our condition ? ar War! Inevitable war, in all spread all over the South, with a very different state of human probability, would be our position, and then in feelings in the North to what existed then, with Clay dead, time we might be driven into deg: ading alliances with and Calhoun dead, and none to take their places, with foreign powers—the most degrading position for Ameri- such a man as Seward, not only not native, but hostile to can citizens.
the South, in the Chair of State. Cannot a child read the Then the spectacle would be presented of America fallo | result? Cannot we see that one State falling away, our ing back under the control of Europe, and American lib- Union will be like an arch with two or three stones dropped erty sinking down under European despotism. Besides out, the whole fabric may fall in pieces. this, could we ever hope that a fairer state of things would These are facts which it becomes the people of Kenarise ? Could we ever hope that Providence itself would tucky, with all their loyalty to the Union, to observe, to ever exercise its omnipotent power to create a State, or know, to see, to think of, and then to act upon, with the Union of States, under more favorable auspices than in dignity and moderation which marks and so well becomes these? Would it not be worse than impiety itself, to pre- them. sume that the Almighty would ever attempt to sustain a But, gentlemen, what is the mode that occurs to any man confederation of Free States under circumstances more - because no man, I take it, in Kentucky, will back on bright or favorable than in our system? I know that the this subject, except as a friend of the Union of the States State of Kentucky is devoted to the Union, not only be- —what is the mode? I see none, except it be the uniun cause of her interests, but from that feeling of affection of all the conservative elements of the country, North and and of loyalty, and that sentiment of love that have South. The South inust first be united, and I am sure she always marked her people from the earliest period of her | will, for I take it there is not a citizen of Kentucky that history. I do not believe there is a man under the sound would associate himself with an organization whose inarch of my voice who would not view as the last, the greatest to triumph would be over the ruins of our rights. of all evils, the wreck of the Union I do not believe there is the man in the State that would compete to enjoy
MEXD OUR MANNERS DOWN SOUTH. the highest honors within the State, purchased at such a Ought we not first to put ourselves right in Court ? price.
Some little there is to complain of us. I say to you, in WHAT IS TO BE DONE.
my opinion, those who appeal to the Constitution and
the laws should obey the Constitution and the laws. I At the same time steps must be taken, something must would have the South, if I might venture, as one of her be done. I do not believe that if the Constitution is al-humblest but truest sons, to advise her to obey the laws lowed to remain permanently violated in its important pro- of our country. (Applause.) I would have the South visions, we can have hope under it. None whatever ! first obey the laws of the Union which prohibit the forBroken in one particular, it will soon fall to pieces in all. eign slave-trade. (Applause.) That is the law of the I recollect when I was a boy, to have read that great land. It rests not with us to complain of the violation speech of Demosthenes, for the crown, where the real of law by others, when in a portion of our Sates the citi. question at issue was the charge that he was the author
zens violate the laws themselves. Let us f.own down of the public misfortunes, because he had advised the any attempt to violate those laws upon the part of our Greeks to make a last stand for their country, against States.
Let us do more. Let us do more, by preventing Philip of Macedon. He was arraigned, and on trial and the titting out of filibustering expeditions upon our in his great defence, he says: “ What, though we did fail? | shores, to invade feeble sister countries. That is the law, We did our duty. We responded in the temper and char- and we live by the Constitution and the law, and let us acter of our forefathers." The result is such as God gives i obey it, and whatever expansion of territory we make, to each; and even those degenerate Greeks acquitted let us make it in a manner becoming the uignity of this him, and crowned the world's great orator as a benefac- glorious Confederacy under our own flag. Then et us tor; debased as they were in national character, they did call to our aid the pure elements of cunservatism and this, and from that day have never known or read of the wruth that we can find in the northern States. What a. e success of him who would be deterred from the assertion they? I did not intend to introduce any party question of fundamental rights for fear of offence.
to-night, but the largest organization I see is the DemoGentlemen, the condition of affairs existing here, and cratic Party of the North. As a historical fact, it is un. existing generally, I am happy to say, throughout the disputed; as a current fact of the day, it is undisputed, Commonwealth of Kentucky, is not a fair indication of the
that you do not find these declarations of hostility issufeeling in many parts of the Union. I have seen the evi. ing from the Northern Deinocracy; you do not find these dence growing within a few years, and culminating during attempts to overturn the laws coming f.om Democratic the last few weeks, of a determined purpose in the South sources ; you do not find these denunciations of you and to attain and maintain the complete power in Union, and your institutions coming from Democratic lips and DemoI have seen, upon the other hand, in the representatives cratic Presses. On the contrary, you find them at of the lower Southern States, a most resolute and deter- home, and in most cases in the minority, sustaining with mined spirit of resistance. The representatives from unfaltering courage your rights and institutions, at odds Georgia—from Alabama-from South Carolina-from Mis- and risks that you little think of. sissippi, not to speak of other Southern States, say that
I want them all. We need them all. We need every they represent their constituents—nay, say that they do Southern State, and every honest man everywhere not not go so far as their constituents, and they declare that willing to enter into he crusade against us. they are ready at any moment for a separate organization.
There is another element Noith, not large but noble God forbid that such a thing should take place. God and true. They are the scattered and wandering cohorts forbid the overt act should ever be done; but we know of the old Whig party, who have refused to alloy themenough of our political institutions, that when once done selves with the Republicans of the North--men of whum the subject becomes involved in inexplicable distress. If EVERETT and Choate and others are illustrious examples. one were to fall upon Washington and see the state of
There are thousands of them in the Northern States, feeling there, he would think that the President of your When this great crisis comes upon us, I have confidence country was the Executive of two hostile countries. The that men like these will be found to unite with the Demofeeling of alienation seems to be almost complete from the cratic party in maintaining the laws and the Consutution. expression of the public press and public men. (I mean
These are the elements upon which we are to rely. not your inflammatory, furious speakers, but men of When you get them together, let us see if there cannot thought and reflection.) They are alarmed, other men are be a general revolt of the intelligence, virtue, and loyalalarmed, we all are alarmed. It is not a craven fear, but ty of the country, against these pernicious isms, and if it is the ennobled lear that patriots feel for an imperilled not, let us see how far these peruicious isms control socountry. Suppose this should occur—do you not remem- ciety. ber, in 1832 when South Carolina arrayed herself against Besides these, there are many thousands of men in the the Federal Governinent, upon a mere question of policy Northern States who, silent, are not heard in the midst of connected with the collection of taxes, that it did shake
the clamor that surrounds them--men who seldom atvend the the Union to its centre. Such is the nature of our system, polls. Let us liope that that feeling will be in our favor. that it did sha e tue Union tu the very centre. What were
fellow-citizens, I have uttered these things because I