Page images


ADOPTED BY THE UNITED STATES SENATE. On the first of March, 1860, Mr. Davis, of pursuance of it, are hostile in character, subversive of Mississippi, submitted to the Senate the follow the Constitution, and revolutionary in their effect. ing Resolutions :

On the 8th May following, Mr. Clingman, of

North Carolina, addressed the Senate at length 1. Tiesolved, that in the adoption of the Federal Con- on these resolutions, niaintaining the position stitution, the states adopting the same acted severally that the Constitution does guarantee the right as free and independent sovereignties, delegating a portion of their powers to be exercised by the Federal Gov- of holding slaves in the Territories of the Uniernment for the increased security of each against ted States, but that the enforcing of that right, dangers, domestic as well as foreign; and that any, in: by Congressional action, was inexpedient, avd termeddling by any one or more States, or by a combination of their citizens, with the domestic institutions of would be of no practical value to the Slave the others, on any pretext whatever, political, moral, States; also, that the South waived that right or religious, with a view to their disturbance or subver- in agreeing to the Compromises of 1850 and the sion, is in violation of the Constitution, insulting to the Kansas-Nebraska Act (repeal of the Missouri States so interfered with, endangers their domestic peace and tranquillity-objects for which the Constitution was compromise) of 1854. Mr. C. also reviewed formed--and by necessary consequence, tends to weaken the proceedings of the National Convention at and destroy the Union itself.

2. Resolved, That negro Slavery, as it exists in fifteen Charleston, and concluded as follows: States of this Union, composes an important portion of Entertaining these views, I have been disposed to abtheir domestic institutions, inherited from their ances- stain as much as possible from the discussion of these tors, and existing at the adoption of the Constitution, þy questions, and I really hope that we shall not press them. which it is recognized as constituting an important ele- I think no advantage can grow out of it. I greatly fear ment in the apportionment of powers among the States; that I have occupied more of the valuable time of the and that no change of opinion or feeling on the part of Senate than I intended. I felt, however, that from me, in the non-daveholding States of the Union, in relation to my position, some explanation was necessary. I think this institution, can justify them, or their citizens, in that the gentlemen on the other side of the Chamber have open or covert attacks thereon, with a view to its over- given us a platform already. We shall have to fight throw; and that all such attacks are in manifest viola-them; we had better make up our minds to go into the tion of the mutual and solemn pledge to protect and de- contest, and meet them on the great issue they tender us. fend each other, given by the States respectively on en- In ten days, we shall probably have their declaration of tering into the constitutional compact

which formed the war from Chicago, and the clash of arms will commence Union, and are a manifest breach of faith, and a viola- very soon. It is time for us to close our ranks. I am tion of the most solemn obligations.

ready to fight under any flag and any standard-bearer 3. Resolved, That the Union of these States rests on that may be given us. I can adopt any of those platforms the equality of rights and privileges among its mem- that were presented at Charleston. I leave all that to bers; and that it is especially the duty of the Senate, our political friends assembled in convention. I know which represents the states in their sovereign capacity, that they will present a platform, and present a man less to resist all attempts to discriminate either in relation objectionable to me than the candidate on the other side. to persons or property in the Territories, which are the I regard them as the deadly political enemies of my sec. common possessions of the United States, so as to give tion; as the enemies of the Constitution of the United advantages to the citizens of one State which are not States. I want to embark in the contest and fight them equally assured to those of every other State.

with closed and serried ranks on our side. I have spoken 4. Resolved, That neither Congress nor a Territorial only in behalf of the Democratic party, of the ConstituLegislature, whether by direct legislation or legislation tion, and the country. of an indirect and unfriendly character, possess power to annul or impair the constitutional right of any citizen MR. BENJAMIN ON POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY. of the United States to take his slave property into the common Territories, and there hold and enjoy the same

Senator Benjamin, of Louisiana, followed: while the Territorial condition remains.

Mr. Benjamin.-Mr. President, I had no intention of 5. Resolved, That if experience should at any time joining in this debate, or of uttering one word on the re, prove that the judicial and executive authority do not solutions now before the Senate; but, sir, I have listened possess means to insure adequate protection to consti- with intense surprise to what has fallen from the Senator tutional rights in a Territory, and if the Territorial Gov- from North Carolina this morning, and I carnot remain ernment should fail or refuse to provide the necessary quiescent and by silence appear to give consent to what remedies for that purpose, it will be the duty of Congress he has said in relation to the action of certain Southern to supply such deficiency.

delegates in the recent Convention at Charleston. 6. Resowed, That the inhabitants of a Territory of The Senator from North Carolina thinks that political the United States, when they rightfully form a con• races can best be run without the load of principles. The stitution to be admitted as a State into the Union, may Senator from North Carolina thinks that the best way to then, for the first time, like the people of a State when get success in a political contest is not to bother yourself forming a dew Constitution, decide for themselves with the baggage of principle, but let your candidate run whether Slavery, as a domestic institution, shall be with nothing on his back, anú probably in that way he maintained or prohibited within their jurisdiction; and may run the faster and reach the goal the sooner, And "they shall be received into the Union with or without again, the honorable Senator thinks that, because the Slavery, as their Constitution may prescribe at the time Cincinnati platform was acceptable to the whole Demo. of their admission."

cracy in 1856, there is and can be no reason why De7. Resolved, That the provision of the Constitu- mocrats who stood on that platform at that time should tion for the rendition of fugitives from service or labor, be dissatisfied with it now. without the adoption of which the Union could not have Mr. President, let us look a little back, behind 1856, in been formed, and that the laws of 1793 and 1850, which relation to that platform, and to the living issue on which were enacted to secure its execution, and the main fear we are separated as regards that platform. We all retures of which, being similar, bear the impress of nearly member, sir-no man can forget that, in the exciting seventy years of sanction by the highest judicial author. contest which took place on the Kansas-Nebraska bill, ity, should be honestly and faithfully observed and those who were the firmest supporters of the bill difered maintained by all who enjoy the benefits of our com- in principle on that one point which now threatens to dipact of Union; and that all acts of individuals or of vide the Democratic party. They differed openly ; they State Legislatures to defeat the purpose or nullify the avowed their differences; they provided for the final requirements of that provision, and the laws made in settlement of those differences. Sir, when we met in cardus, under the lead of the honorable Senator from guide and a pole star by which the Democratic party could Ilissois, who introduced the Kansas-Nebraska bill, it guide the ship of State, a sudden and alarming heresy was found that the Democrats from the North and the sprung up in the North, and something was said about the Democrats from the South could not agree in princi- right of the Legislature of the Territories not to destroy ple. The Denocrats from the South then took the posi- Slavery; not to abolish it; not to confiscate by direct lenon that the Constitution of the United Siate was plain gislation the rights of the citizens of the South who might and clear. The rights of the people of the Suih were find themselves in the Territories with their property, but, placol upon that instrument. I agree with the Senator by a side blow, by indirection, and by failure to perform froin Mississippi (Mr. Davis) that we have nothing to do duty, by “unfriendly legislation,” to do that which constiin this controversy with natural rights or natural princi- tutionally they had no power to do by any direct effort of ples. Those rights and those principles, which lie at the legislative will. Now, sir, the Cincinnati platform, with foundation of social organization and civil government, which the gentleman from North Carolina seems to be so were proper subjects of examination and consideration much in love, and which he thinks is sufficient for the con. with the fathers. They did take them into consideration. stitutional rights of the South, would be sufficient for that They decided them. They have given us a chart by purpose, is sufficient for that purpose properly construed. which now we are bound all to direct our course; and that but when the delegates of a great party, assembled tochart is the Constitution of our country Resting the gether from all portions of the Confederacy, recently met, rights of the South upon that constitution, when the dis- and the proposition was made to them to adopt the Cincussions arose upon the Kansas-Nebraska bill, the Sena- cinnati platform, it was made under what circumstances, tors from the South who met in caucus, or in convention, and with what view? It wu8 made with a knowledge or in primary meeting, if you choose so to say, all agreed, of every man in that Convention that troo distinctly without a dissenting voice, that, by the true construction opposite interpretations were put upon that platform of the Constitution of the United States, the Territories --one at the South, and the other at the North. belonging to the United States were the common pro- Mr. Clingman.-The Senator will allow me to ask him if perty of all; that each State had equal rights in those these two opinions were not upon whether a Territorial Le Territories; that amongst those rights was the right of gislature could legislate for or agaiusi slavery? Are those the citizens of the different states to emigrate to those the opinions to which he refers ? Territiories with their property of every nature and kind; Mr. Benjamin.-The opposite constructions are put in and, when there, we contended that there was no power several points. One point is, whether the Territorial Leunder heaven that could drive us out of those Territories, gislature has a right to abolish Slavery in the Territories or deprive us therein of the protection of the Constitution or not, before forming a State Constitution; and another and the laws, until the people of the Territory should is, whether or not it is the duty of the Federal Government make a constitution and form a State.

to protect the rights of the people of the South in the TerThe Senator from Illinois did not agree with us in ritories. Upon those two points opposite interpretations that. He has been consistent, The Senator from Illi- and opposite principles exist, and were developed in the nois held that there was a power in the people of a Charleston Convention. Territory.; he believed in Popular Sovereignty; he be- Mr. Clingman.-I will answer the gentleman when he is lieved in some inherent right in the people when asser- through, bled, even in the original inchoate shape in which they Mr. Pugh.-Do I understand the gentleman to say that come as emigrants to the Territories, to pass laws to every member of the Convention agreed that the platform govern themselves; to mold their own Institutions, as he had received two interpretations, or that it was susceptible phrised it, and included in that power the right to act of it? against Slavery. We could not agree. Morning after Mr. Benjamin.--I understand that opposite interpremorning we met for the purpose of coming to some tations were plainly and openly given to that platfo;'in understanding upon that very point; and it was finally in Convention, by men whose good faith no man huis understood by all, agreed to by all, made the basis of a ever yet disputed to my lonowled:ge. compromise by all the supporters of that bill, that the Mr. Pugh. - I do not think that was the ground of the Territories should be organized with a delegation by Con- difference of opinion at all. I said there never were tivo gress of all the power of Congress in the Territories, and interpretations that could be fairly given to it; that the Liat the extent of the power of Congress should be deter platform purposely, in the language of the Senator from mined by the courts. Firm in our belief of our rights, North Carolina, referred that question to judicial tribuconscious that in the Constitution we had guaranty nals; that the difference of opinion arose upon the judicial enough; knowing that it was impossible for a judicial tri- question; it did not arise upon the platform; and that bunal tó make other than one decision, we said that we consequently it was a false accusation. I say that cerwould stand by that decision when inade; and if it tainly in no unkind spirit to the Senator ; but I say the should be determined by the Supreme Court of the platform is not susceptible of two interpretations; that it United States that there was a power in this Government referred a controversy to arbitration. There might be i to deprive the people of the douth of their fair share of difference of opinion as to the particular arbitration of it, the coinion Territories of the Union, if that power in this but there was none as to the terms of submission, Goveroment existed in Congress, and if Congress dele- Mr. Benjamin.--I read, Mr. President, with as much gated all its power to the Territories, we would stand by attention as I was capable of, everything that occurred in the decision and agree that we asserted a right that found that convention, and I saw the statement over and over nu warrant in the Constitution; and, on the other hand, again made in the convention, and not controverted, that our brother Democrats of the North, and the Senator different opinions were put upon that platform in different from Ilinois at their head, agreed that if the Supreine parts of the country. Curt of the United States should determine that the Con

Mr. Pugh.--I certainly controverted it for one. I do gress of the United States had no power to interfere not recollect who else inay have stated it. It may have with Southern rights in the Territories, if, consequently, been repeated a great many times; but I did controvert it. we had had not the power that we could delegate at all, Mr. Benjamin.-Now, sir, I say, in relation to that Cinthen the Democrats of the North would join us in showing cinnati platform, which the Senator from North Carolina respect and obedience to that decision, and stand with seems to think ought to have amply suliced the South, and us on the principle that we advocated as the true one. to have sufficed the Democratic party, these two opposite None of us supposed at the time that the decision would interpretations were known to be, intended to be given to come so quick. None of us knew of the existence of a it. Further, I say this: I say it was avowed at Charleston, controversy then pending in the federal courts

over and over again, that if a construction was given to would lead almost immediately to the decision of that that platform by which it should be clearly stated that the question. We provided in the Kansas act itself; we in people of the South were entitled to have their slaves proiroduced an express clause having for its avowed object tected in the Territories against any direct interference, to bring that question before the courts for decision,

either by Congressional or Territorial legislation; if that Well, sir, the question did come before the courts, and was avowed; if the doctrine of the party was asserted to the Supreme Court of the United States, in the decision in be that the Legislature of the Territory, whilst a Territory the Dred Scott case, has determined-gentlemen say it is existed in its inchoate organization, had no right to interno decision-as doctrine, or as opinion, or in some way has fere with Slavery, then it was said, 'again and again, that declared that the Congress of the United States has no

no northern State could be carried upon that ground. power so to legislate as to destroy the rights of the people of Mr. Clingman.-On the question as to whether a Territhe South in their slave property in the Territories, and the torial Legislature could legislate against Slavery or for it, judges have said as a proposition, so clear that it required I ask the Senator whether that would not necessarily no argument, that the Congress possessing no such power, be a question which a curt must determine ; that if the it was plain that it could give none to the Territorial Legisla- Legislature legislated or acted in any way, could we, by ture. I do not understand that the gentlemen from the North, our opinions, settle it; or is it not, from necessity, a judithe members of the Democratic party, controvert that. cial question ?

But at a time when we supposed that we all at length Mr. Benjamin.—The Senator is directing me entirely stood upon one common platform; that we had at last a out of the line of iny argument. I must beg him to allow


me to proceed in my line. That is not at all what I am as he said, had erred more through ignorance than de at., It has no reference at all to my line of argument. sign. Mr. Benjamin then defended the Democrat c Senka.

I say this: I say that distinctly opposite interpreta- tors from the charge of having undertaken to dictate to tations, or distinctly opposite principles, if you choose, in the Charleston Convention what sort of platforin it relation to Southern rights under the Constitution, were should make. When the Kansas bill was before the avowed at Charleston, by meri professing all to be Demo. Senate, the Senator from Illinois called a caucus of crats; and that, in my judgment, it is a branit upon the Democratie Senators every morning to decide on their good faith of the Democratic party, it is an imputation action for the day. The late Senatorial caucus had doue upon their honor, it is unworthy of them, and unworthy no more than that. Yet for this it had been charged of us all, that we should go before the people of this with seeking to diminish the Senator's chance for success, country and ask their votes in favor of one party or an- Mr. Benjamin next examined Mr. Douglas's cha ge that other, with the avowed purpose of presenting opposite seventeen Democratic States had adopted a platfo 19 interpretatious or opposite sets of principles in the two looking to the dissolution of the Union, and had placed sections of the Confederacy, as being the principles of a themselves under the lead of Mr. Yancey, an avowed common party, and forming a common party creed. I disunionist. His State had vcted for that platform, and buy that I will never be a party to any such contest as he should vote for the Senate resolntions, and he denied that. If I go into an electoral contest, I want to know that the Senator from Illinois had correctly stated the the principles of the party with which I act, and I want, meaning of either. Nobody here wanted to make a slave before the people of my State, before the people of the code, a slang term which Mr. Douglas had picked up country, to declare those principles, to stand by them, to from the Republicans, nor to force Slavery on an un. find them written in letters of light, so that no man can willing people. The attacks upon the Democratic Sena. dare misconstrue them, and by them to stand, and with tors were wanton and unprovoked, and he should repel them, if need be, fall.

them. The Senator had defended his consistency at That I understand to have been the position of the dele- great length, which was not the issue between them. gation of Louisiana at Charleston. Taking that position, The issue was that the Senator from Illinois had made a determined that they would not palter to public preju- bargain and had violated it. To prove this he should dices by using words in any double sense; that all they not go further back than 1857, up to which time the Sena. did and all they said must go forth to the country inca- tor from Illinois was looked upon by the Democratic pable of misconstruction; when they found it impossible party with pride and favor. Why was it that a Senator to have the principles upon which alone they could go who had thus been treated with favor should now be into the Presidential contest, stated thus clearly and thus separated from his former associates ? That he had plainly, they withdrew, rightly withdrew, honorably with passed over in his speech, and he (Benjamin) would supdrew. I applaud them; I approve them; I stand by ply the deficiency. thein. I think they did as became high-minded and hon- Mr. Benjamin then went into a history of the Kanzas orable citizens. I think the State will show itself grateful act, pointing out the differences between Democrats and to them for their act.

Republicans and Douglas Democrats. At that time Now, the honorable Senator says he is willing to go the Democrats being unable to agree as to the power of with Democrats upon alınost any platform; that alınost the people of the Territories, it was agreed to refer the any one that we can elect would be preferable to the ad- subject to the Courts and to abide by the decision. lle versaries against whom we are to be opposed.

never had attacked the Senator's consistency. It was his Mr. Clingman.--I said any of those proposed. I alluded consistency that constituted his great crime-adhering to those proposed in the Convention.

still to views which he had agreed to abandon when the Mr. Benjamin.-I suppose so. Now, Mr. President, I Court decided the question, and which the Court had am not willing to go for any man, I do not care whether decided against him. This he charged was bad faith. The his name has been proposed or not, who is not willing to Senator no longer worshipped at the Democratic shrine. stand upon a platform of principle, of constitutional prin- but had wandered forth after strange gods. The Senator ciple. I am willing to go for any man, whether named from Illinois had admitted that he made this bargain, and or not, who will pledge his honor to stand faithfully and yet he had been engaged since 1857 in trying to explain squarely upon a platform of sound principles; and when away, in conjunction with the Republicans, the decision a platform of sound constitutional principles shall be of the Court, and to render it useless in case it should be adopted by a Democratic Convention, satisfactory to me, affirmed. He quoted from the Dred Scott decision to show with my views of constitutional right, and satisfactory to that the principle of right to slave property in the lermy people principles satisfactory to my people, I say; ritories was decided by it. On this point he argued at I care not for men-then you may put upon that platform great length to show that Congress had full power over any man who can stand upon it honorably, and I will the Territories within the limits of its constitutional vote for him; I will maintain him; I will canvass my power; that the Constitution forbid the prohibition of State in his behalf; I will spend all my time and all my Slavery in the Territories by Congress; and as the Territo. breath in his cause, wherever, whenever, and however, I rial Government derived all its powers from Congress, the may be asked by his friends. That far, sir, I am willing Territorial Legislature could not do more than Congress to go; but I have no stomach for a fight in which I am to could. No sooner was this decision made than it was have my choice between a man who denies me all my attacked by the Republicans, and the Chief-Justice rights openly a d fairly and a man who admits my rights assailed as having colluded with the President of the but intends to filch them. I have no choice there.

United States. The Senator from Illinois got over his bar.

gain by saying that he did not agree to abide by the BENJAMIN ON DOUGLAS.

decision in the Dred Scott case; but when the case was After Mr. Douglas's famous speech of May 15th carried up from the Territorial Courts to the Supreme and 16th, on these resolutions, Mr. Benjamin Court, he would obey that. This was an afterthought, addressed the Senate again, speaking of Mr. Mr. Lincoln for a seat in the Senate.

first announced in the canvass of 1858, when pressed by

To save himself Douglas as follows:

from defeat, he introduced his theory as to the power of M:. Benjamin said, when we met here in December, the people in the Territories. [Mr. Benjamin then read the public mind was greatly disturbed by the irruption of from the discussions between Messrs. Lincoln and Doug as à band of fanatics into a State of the Union, with the to show that the former was much more candid in his ans. avowed intent to liberate the slaves. A large number of wers than the latter, and he confessed he was not such an resolutions have been offered, all relating to the relation ultra Anti-Slavery man as he supposed.] Mr. Douglas of the General Government to Slavery in the States and told us here that he would abide the decision of the Court, Territories. The large number and variety of these re- but at home he turns his back on his promise, repudiates solutions, required that those who

to belonging his words, and tells his people that he has so arranged the to the same party should meet, in order to harmonize Kansas bill that in spite of the decision the people of the and act in concert. A meeting of Democratic Senators Territories can keep slaves out. To be twice deceived was therefore held to accomplish this purpose. The by the same man would be to make them dupes and fools. Senator from Illinois, in a speech occupying two days, Even Mr. Lincoln was shocked at his profligacy, and had presented the extraordinary spectacle of advocating charged him with bad faith. The election came off, and his own claims to the Presidency, and denouncing those though Mr. Douglas was successful by the arrangement who had dared to express their views on subjects before of the Legislative Districts, Mr. Lincoln beat him 4,000 on the Senate. The Senator from Illinois assumed that he the popular vote. [Mr. Benjamin next read from Mr. was the embodiment of the Democratic party, and that Douglas's Harper's Magazine article, to show that he had all who opposed him were rebels. He arraigned other absolutely copied Mr. Lincoln's arguments of 1838, and Senators, and charged them and the representatives of claimed them as discoveries of his own. Mr. Benjaseventeen States at Charleston as being on the high road min warned Mr. Douglas that the tendencies of his docto disunion. After having thus assailed everybody, he trines were to drive him back, step by step, to the Black announced that he had only spoken in self-defense, and Republican camp.) We already find him using the argu with princely magnanimit.y ag.eed to forgive those who, 'ments and quoting the language of the Republicen party

[ocr errors]



On the 24th May, the vote was taken on the NAYS. Messrs. Bingham, Chandler, Clark, Collamer, first of Mr. Davis's series of resolutions, which Dixon, Doolittle, Fessenden, Foot, Foster, Hale, Hamlin,

Harlan, Simmons, Sumner, Ten Eyck, Trumbull, Wade, was adopted, 36 to 19, the yeas being all De- and Wilson-18. mocrats, except Messrs. Crittenden, of Ky., and Kennedy, of Md., Americans. The nays were Kennedy ; nays all Republicans,

Yeas all Democrats, except Crittenden and all Republicans. The second resolution was

The fourth resolution was adopted, 35 to 21, then read, when Mr. Harlan (Rep., of Iowa) the negatives being all Republicans, except Mr. offered to add the following as an amendment:

Pugh, Dem., of Ohio. But the free discussion of the morality and expediency Mr. Clingman offered an amendment, in the any State, or of the United States; and the freedom of 4th of Mr. Davis's series : of slavery should never be interfered with by the laws of form of the following resolution, to follow the speech and of the press, on this and every other subject of domestic and national policy, should be maintained in. Resowed, That the exi-ting condition of the Territories violate to all the States,

of the United States does not require the intervention of This amendment was rejected, 20 to 36, as fol-Congress for the protection of property in slaves. lows:

The amendment was debated at considerable Yeas.-Messrs. Bingham, Chandler, Clark, Collamer, length; but, without taking the question, the Dixon, Doolittle, Fessenden, Foot, Foster, Grimes, Hale, Senate adjourned. Hamlin, Harlan, King, Simmons, Suwner, Ten Eyck, On the following day, the amendment was Trumbull, Wade, and Wilson-21).

Nays.--Messrs Benjamin, Bigler, Bragg, Bright, Brown, adopted, 26 to 23, as follows: Chesrut, Clay, Clingman, Crittenden, Davis, Fitzpatrick, YEAS.- Messrs. Bigler, Bingham, Bragg, Chandler, Green, Gwin, Hammond, Hemphill, Hunter, Iverson, Clark, Clingman, Collaner, Criitenden, Dixon, Doolittle, Johnson of Arkansas, Johnson of Tennessee, Kennedy, Foot, Grimes, Hale, Hamlin, Harl n, Johnson of Tennes. Lane. Latham, Mallory, Mason, Nicholson, Pearce, Polk. see, Kennedy, Latham, Polk, Pugh, Simmons, Ten Eyck, Powell, Pugh, Rice, Sebastian, Slidell, Thomson, Toombs, Toombs, Trumbull, Wade, and Wilson-26. Wigfall, and Yulee-36.

Nays — Messrs. 'Benjamin, Briglit, Brown, Chesnut,

Clay, Davis, Fitzpatrick, Green, Hammond, Hunter, IverYeas all Republicans ; nays all Democrats, ex. son, Lane, Mallory. Mason, Nicholson, Pearce, Powell

, cept Crittenden and Kennedy, Americans. Rice, Saulsbury, Sebastian, Slidell, Wigfall, and Yulee

The second resolution was then adopted, 36 to 20, the vote being exactly the reverse of that on

Yeas all Republicans, except Messrs. Bigler, Mr. Harlan's amendment.

Bragg, Clingman, Crittenden, Johnson (Tenn.), The third resolution of the series was adopted, Kennedy, Latham, Polk, Pugh, and Toombs; 36 to 18, as follows:

Nays all Democrats. YEAS.-Messrs. Benjamin, Bigler, Bragg, Bright, Brown,

The fifth resolution of the series was then Chesnut, Clay, Clirgman, Crittenden, Davis, Fitzpatrick, adopted, 35 to 2, Hamlin and Trumbull, the Green, Gwili, l'ammond, Hemphill, Hunter, Iverson, Yeas being all Democrats, except Crittenden an Johnson of Arkansas, Johnson of Tennessee, Kennedy, Kennedy. The seventh and last of the series Labe, Latham, Mallory, Mason, Nicholson, Pearce, Polk, Powell

, Pugh, Rice, Sebastian, Slidell, Thomson, Tcombs, was then adopted, 36 to 6, Mr. Ten Eyck, Rep., Wigsall, aud Yulee-36.

of New Jersey, voting Yea





St. Louis, March, 1860. refuse to answer the following interrogatories, which, in The Hon. EDWARD BATES-Sir: As you may have our judgment, involve all the issues pending between the Learned from the public prints, the Republicans of Missouri two political parties of the country. met in Convention, in this city, on Saturday, the 10th instant, to make a declaration of their principles, elect dele- 1st. Are you opposed to the extension of Slavery? gates to the National Republican Convention, and com

2d. Does the Constitution of the United States carry Slavery plete a State organization. All of this the Convention ex- into the Territories, and, as subsidiary to this, what is the ecuted, in a manner wholly satisfactory to its members. legal effect of the decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred

Scott case ? It also commended you, by resolution, to the National Re

3d. Are you in favor of the colonization of the free colored publican party, as one well worthy to be the standard population in Central America ? bearer of that party in the coming Presidential election, 4th. Do you recognize any inequality of rights among citi. This fact the undersigned have pride and pleasure in com- zens of the United States, and do you hold that it is the duty municating to you, knowing that throughout your life you of the Federal Government to protect American citizens at have carried out, as far as a private citizen might, the home and abroad in the enjoyment of all their constitutional

and legal rights, privileges, and immunities? sentiments contained in the resolutions adopted on Satur

5th. Are you in favor of the construction of a railroad from day, and a copy of which we inclose. But as you have the Valley of the the Pacific Ocean, under the voluntarily remained in private life for many years, your auspices of the General Government ? political opinions are consequently not so well understood 6th. Are you in favor of the measure known as the Homeby the Republican party at large as by the Republicans stead bill? of Missouri,

7th. Are you in favor of the immediate admission of Kansas,

under the Constitution adopted at Wyandot! Inasmuch as the delegation from this State to the Chicago Convention intend to present your name to that body

Yours, respectfully, etc., as a candidate for the Presidency, we, in common with PETER L. FOY,

CHAS L, BERNAYS, many other Republicans of Missouri, desire to procure HENRY T. BLOW,

JNO. M. RICHARDSON, from you an exposition of your views on the engrossing F. A. Dick,

0. D, FILLEY, political questions of the time. We hope that notwith- STEPHEN HOYT,

Wm. McKee, standing your well-known relucta ice to appear before the G. W. F'SHBACK,

BARTON ABLE public in the light of a Presidential aspirant, you will not




The Territories, whether acquired by conquest or St. Louis, March 17, 1860.

peaceable purchase, are subject and subordinate ; not

sovereign like the States. The nation is supreme over To Messrs. P. L. For, Editor of The Missouri Democrat; Dr. ! them, and the National Government has power to perBERNAYS, Editor of the Anzeiger ; and other gentlemen :

mit or foi bid Slavery, within them. Entertaining these Sirs: B. Gratz Brown, Esq., as President of the Mis- views, I am opposed to the extension of Slavery, and in souri State Convention, which sat in St. Louis on the my opinion, the spirit and policy of the Government tenth of this month, has officially made known to me the ought to be against its extension. proceedings of that body, and by them I am enabled to

2. Does the Constitution carry Slavery into the Territories! know some of you as Delegates to the Chicago Conven

I answer no. The Constitution of the nited States tion, representing the Republican party of Missouri. I have received your letter propounding to me certain

does not carry Slavery into the Territories. With much questions (seven in number) which you suppose will

more show of reason may it be said that it carries Sla

very into all the Sates. cover most, if not all, the grounds of controversy, in the anywhere. It only acts upon it, where it finds it estall

But it does not carry Save y approaching Presidential election

lished by the local law. With pleasure I will answer your questions. But before doing so, allow me to glance at the peculiar circum

In connection with this point, I am asked to state stances in which I am placed, and the strangeness of the my views of the Dred Scoti case, and what was really

determined by the Supreme Court in that case. It is fact that I, a mere private man, am called upon to my opinion, carefully considered, that the Court determake avowals and explanations, with any view to take mined one single point of law only, that is, that Scott, me from the shades of private life and place me at the the plaintiff, being a negro of African descent (not neces: head of the nation. I came to this frontier in my youth, sarily a slave), could not be a citizen of Missouri, and and settled in St. Louis when it was a village. All my therefore could not sue in the Federal Court; and that manhood has been spent in Missouri, and during all that for this reason, and this alone, the Circuit Court had time I have followed a profession which left my charac. ter and conduct open to the observation of society. And judgment between the parties. The only jurisdiction

no jurisdiction of the cause, and no power to give while it has been my constant habit freely to express my which the Supreme Court had of the cause was for the opinion of public measures and public men, the people of Missouri, of all parties, will bear me witness that I purpose of correcting the error of the Circuit Court, of official honors. I have held no political office, and setting aside the judgment of the Circuit Court upon have never obtrusively thrust myself forward in pursuit in assuming the power to decide upon the merits of the

This power the Supreme Court did exercise, by sought none, for more than twenty-five years.

Under these circumstances, I confess the gratification the merits, and by dismissing the suit, without any judg. which I feel in receiving the recent manifestations of the Supreme Court did, and all that it had lawful

ment for or against either party. This is all that the

power respect and confidence of my fellow-citizens. First, the

to do. Opposition members of the Missouri Legislature declared their preference for me as a candidate; then followed the learned judges should have thought that their duty

I consider it a great public misfortune that several of my nomination by a Convention composed of all the elements of the Opposition in this state; and, now, the Re- required them to discuss and give opinions upon various publicans of Missouri, in their separate Convention, just questions outside of the case, as the case was actually held in St. Louis, have reaffirmed the nomination, and disposed of by the court. All such opinions are extra proposed, by their delegates, to present me to the Na- to me that several of the questions so discussed by the

judicial and of no authority. But beside this, it appears tional Convention, soon to be held at Chicago, as a candidate for the first office in the nation. These various judges are political questions, and therefore beyond the demonstrations in my own State are doubly gratifying to cognizance of the judiciary, and proper only to be consime, because they afford the strongest proof that my

dered and disposed of by the political departments. If I name has been put forward only in a spirit of harmony is most unfortunate, because it may lead to a dangerous

am right in this, and it seems to me plain, the precedent and peace, and with the hope of preventing all division conflict of authority among the coördinate branches of and controversy among those who, for their own safety the Government. and the public good, ought to be united in the r action. For all this I am deeply grateful, and, as far as con

3. As to the colonization of the free blacks. cerns me personally, I must declare in simple truth, For many years I have been connected with the Amerithat if the movement go no further and produce no can Colonization Society, of which the rising young State national results, still I am paid and overpaid for a life of Liberia is the first fruit. I consider the object both of labor, and for whatever of zealous effort and patient humane and wise, beneficent alike to the free blacks who watching I have been able to bestow in support of a emigrate, and to the whites whom they leave behind. But line of governmental policy which I believe to be for the Africa is distant, and presents so many obstacles to rapid present and permanent good of the country.

settlement, that we cannot indulge the hope of draining And now, gentlemen, I proceed to answer your ques-off in that direction the growing numbers of our free black tions, briefly. indeed, but fully, plainly, and with all pos- population, The tropical regions of America, I think, sible frankness. And I do this the more willingly be offer a far better prospect both for us and for them. cause I have received from individuals many letters 4. As to any inequality of rights among American citizens. (too many to be separately answered), and have seen in many public journals articles making urgent calls such as are expressly laid down in the Constitution.

I recognize no distinctions among American citizens bur

An upon me for such a statement of views.

I hold that our Government is bound to protect all the 1. Slavery-Its extension in the Territories.

citizens in the enjoyment of all their rights, everywhere On this subject, in the States and in the Territories, and against all assailants. And as to all these rights, I have no new opinions-no opinions formed in rela- there is no difference between citizens born and citizens sion to the present array of parties. I am coeval with made such by law. the Missouri question of 1819-20, having begun my 5. Am I in favor of the construetion of a railroad from the political life in the midst of that struggle. At that Valley of the Mississippi to the Pacitic Ocean, under the aus time my position required me to seek all the means of pices of the General Government ? knowledge within my reach, and to study the principles Yes, strongly. I not only believe such a road of vast involved with all the powers of my mind; and I ar. importance as the means of increasing the population, rived at conclusions then which no subsequent events wealth and power of this great valley, but necessary as have induced me to change. The existence of negro the means of national defence, and of preserving the Slavery in our country had its beginning in the early integrity of the Union. time of the Colonies, and was imposed by the mother

6. Am I in favor of the measure called the Homestead bill? country against the will of most of the colonists. At the time of the Revolution, and long after, it was com

Yes; I am for guarding the public lands, as well as monly regarded as an evil, temporary in its nature, possible, from the danger of becoming the subject of comand likely to disappear in the course of time, yet, while mon trade and speculation-for keeping them for the it continued, a misfortune to the country, socially and actual use of the people—and for granting tracts of politically.

suitable size to those who will actually inhabit and imThus was I taught, by those who made our Govern. prove them. ment, and neither the new light of modern civilization,

7. Am I in favor of the immediate admission of Kansas nor the discovery of a new system of constitutional law under the Wyandot Constitution? and social philosophy, has enabled me to detect the I think that Kansas ought to be admitted without error of their teaching.

delay, leaving her, like all the other States, the sole judge Slavery is “a social relation "-a domestic institu- of her own Constitution. tion. Within the States, it exists by the local law, and Thus, gentlemen, I beliave I have answered all your the Federal Government has no control over it there. I inquiries in a plain, intelligible manner, and, 1 lmpe, te

« PreviousContinue »