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Texas to the United States, approved March 1, 1845, contains the following condition and guaranty-that is to say: "New States of convenient size, not exceeding four in number, in addition to said State of Texas, and having sufficient population, may hereafter, by the consent of said state, be formed out of the territory thereof, which shall be entitled to admission under the provisions of the Federal Constitution; and such States as may be formed out of that po. tion of said Territory lying south of thirty-six deg. ees thirty minutes north latitude, commonly known as the Missouri Compromise line, shall be admitted into the Union with or without Slavery, as the people of each State, asking admission may desire; and in such State or States as shall be formed out of said territory north of said Missouri Compromise line, Slavery, or involuntary servitude (except for crime),
shall be prohibited:" Therefore,
1. Resolved, That the obligation to comply with the condition and guaranty above recited in good faith be distinctly recognized, and that, in part compliance with the same, as soon as the people of Texas shall, by an act of their legislature, signify their assent by restricting the limits thereof, within the Territory lying east of the Trinity and south of the Red River, and when the people of the residue of the territory claimed by Texas adopt a constitution, republican in form, they be admitted into Union upon an equal footing in all respects with the original States.
2. Resolved, That if Texas shall agree to cede, the United States will accept, a cession of all the unappropriated domain in all the Territory claimed by Texas, lying west of the Colorado and extending north to the forty-second parallel of north latitude, together with the jurisdiction and sovereignty of all the territory claimed by Texas, north of the thirty-fourth parallel of north latitude, and to pay therefor a sum not exceeding millions of dollars, to be applied in the first place to the extinguishment of any portion of the existing public debt of Texas, for the discharge of which the United States are under any obligation, implied or otherwise, and the remainder as Texas shall require.
3. Resolved, That when the population of that portion of the Territory claimed by Texas, lying south of the thirty-fourth parallel of north latitude and west of the Colorado, shall be equal to the ratio of representation in Congress, under the last preceding apportionment, according to the provisions of the Constitution, and the people of such Territory shall, with the assent of the new State contemplated in the preceding resolution, have adopted a State Constitution, republican in form, they be admitted into the Union as a State, upon an equal ooting with the original States.
Resolved, That all the Territory now claimed by Texas, lying north of the thirty-fourth parallel of north latitude, and which may be ceded to the United States by Texas, be incorporated with the ferritory of New-Mexico, except such part thereof as lies east of the Rio Grande and south of the thirty-fourth degree of north latitude, and that the Territory so composed form a State, to be admitted into the Union when the inhabitants thereof shall adopt a State Constitu.ion, republican in form, with the consent of Congress; but in the mean time, and until Congress shall give such consent, provision be made for the government of the inhabitants of said Territory suitable to their condition, but without any restriction as to Slavery.
5. Resolved, That all the Territory ceded to the United States, by the Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo, lying west of said Territory of New Mexico, and east of the contemplated new State of California, for the present, constitute one Territory, and for which some form of government suitable to the condition of the inhabitants be provided, without any restriction as to Slavery.
6. Resolved, That the Constitution recently formed by the people of the western portion of California, and presented to Congress by the President, on the 13th day of February, 1850, be accepted, and that they be admitted into the Union as a State, upon an equal footing in all respects with the original States.
Resolved. That, in future, the formation of State Constitutions, y the inhabitants of the Territories of the Un ted States, be regulated by law; and that no such Constitution be hereafter formed or adopted by the inlabitants of any Territory belonging to the United Blates, without the consent and authority of Congress. 8. Resolved, That the inhabitants of any Territory of
the United States, when they shall be authorized by Congress to form a State Constitution, shall have the sole and exclusive power to regulate and adjust all questions of internal State policy, of whatever nature they may be, controlled only by the restrictions expressly imposed by
the Constitution of the United States.
9. Resolved, That the Committee on Territories be
instructed to report a bill in conformity with and principles of the foregoing resolutions.
A debate of unusual duration, earnestness, and ability ensued, mainly on Mr. Clay's Resolutions. They were regarded by uncompromis ing champions, whether of Northern or of Southern views, but especially of the latter, as conceding substantially the matter in dispute to the other side. Thus,
January 29th.-Mr. Clay having read and briefly commented on his propositious, seriatim, he desired that they should be held over without debate, to give time for consideration, and made a special order for Monday or Tuesday following. But this was not assented to. Mr. Foote, of Mississippi, spoke against them generally, saying:
If I understand the resolutions properly, they are objectionable, as it seems to me,
1. Because they only assert that it is not expedient that Congress should abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia; thus allowing the implication to arise that Congress has power to legislate on the subject of Slavery in the District, which may hereafter be exercised, if it should become expedient to do so; whereas, I hold that Congress has, under the Constitution, no such power at all, and that any attempt thus to legislate would be a gross fraud upon all the States of the Union. that Slavery does not now exist by law in the Territories recently acquired from Mexico; whereas, I am of opinion that the treaty with the Mexican republic carried the Constitution, with all its guaranties, to all the Territory obtained by treaty, and secured the privilege to every Southern slaveholder to enter any part of it, attended by his slave-property, and to enjoy the same the ein, free from all molestation or hindrance whatso
2. The Resolutions of the honorable Senator assert
3. Whether Slavery is or is not likely to be introduced into these Territories, or into any of them, is a proposition too uncertain, in my judgment, to be at present positively affirmed; and I am unwilling to make a solemn legislative declaration on the point. Let the future provide the appropriate solution of this interesting question.
4. Considering, as I have several times heretofore formally declared, the title of Texas to all the Territory embraced in her boundaries, as laid down in her law of 1836, full, complete, and undeniable, I am unwilling to say anything, by resolution or otherwise, which may in the least degree draw that title into question, as I think is done in one of the resolutions of the honorable Senator from Kentucky.
6. As to the abolition of the slave-trade in the District of Columbia, I see no particular objection to it, provided it is done in a delicate and judicious manner, and is not
a concession to the menaces and demands of factionists
and fanatics. If other questions can be adjusted, this one will, perhaps, occasion but little difficulty.
7. The resolutions which provide for the restoration of fugitives from labor or service, and for the establishment of territorial governments, free from all restriction on the subject of Slavery, have my hearty approval. The last resolution-which asserts that Congress has no power to prohibit the trade in slaves from State to State-I equally approve.
8. If all other questions connected with the subject of Slavery can be satisfactorily adjusted, I see no objec tion to admitting all California, above the line of 36 degrees 30 minutes, into the Union; provided another new Slave State can be laid off within the present limits of Texus, so as to keep the present equiponder
ance between the Slave and Free States of the Union: and provided further, all this is done by way of compromise, and in order to save the Union, (as dear to me as to any man living.)
Mr. Mason, of Virginia, after expressing his deep anxiety to go with him who went furthest, but within the limits of strict duty, in adjusting these unhappy differences," added:
Sir, so far as I have read these resolutions, there is and that is the resolutior which proposes to organize but one proposition to which I can give a hearty sesent, Territorial governments at once in these Territories, without a decla. ation one way or the ouer as to their
of the Territory acquired by us from Mexico. He holds a directly contra y opinion to mine, as he has a perfect right to do; and we will not quarrel about that difference of opinion.
domestic institutions. But there is another which I deeply regret to see introduced into this Senate, by a Senator from a slavehold ng State; it is that which assumes that Slave.y does not now exist by law in those countries. I understand one of these propositions to Mr. William R. King, of Alabama, was in. declare that, by law, Slavery is now abolished in NewMexico and California. That was the very proposition clined to look with favor on Mr. Clay's proadvanced by the non-slaveholding States at the last positions, and assented to some of them; but session; combated and disproved, as I thought, by gen-he objected to the mode in which California had tlemen from the slavehold ng States and which the formed what is called a State Constitution. He Compromise bill was framed to test. So far, I regarded the question of law as disposed of, and it was very preferred the good old way of first organizing clearly and satisfactorily shown to be against the spirit Territories, and so training up their people "for of the resolution of the Senator from Kentucky. If the the exercise and enjoyment of our institutions." contrary is true, I presume the Senator from Kentucky would declare that if a law is now valid in the Territories Besides, he thought there was not that kind abolishing Slavery, that it could not be introduced there, of population there that justified the formation even if a law was passed creating the institution, or re- of a State Government." On the question of pealing the statutes already existing; a doctrine never assented to, so far as I know, until now, by any Senator Slavery in the new Territories, he said: representing one of the slaveholding States. Sir, I hold the very opposite, and with such confidence, that at the last session I was willing and did vote for a bill to test this question in the Supreme Court. Yet this resolution assumes the other doctrine to be true, and our assent is challenged to it as a proposition of law.
Mr. Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, objected specially to so much of Mr. Clay's propositions as relates to the boundary of Texas, to the slave-trade in the Federal district, and to Mr. Clay's avowal in his speech that he did not believe Slavery ever would or could be established in any part of the Territories acquired from Mexico. He continued:
But, sir, we are called upon to receive this as a measure of compromise! As a measure in which we of the minority are to receive nothing. A measure of compromise! I look upon it as but a modest mode of taking that, the claim to which has been more boldly asserted by others; and, that I may be understood upon this question, and that my position may go forth to the country in the same columns that convey the sentiments of the Senator from Kentucky, I here assert, that never will I take less than the Missouri Compromise line extended to the Pacific Ocean, with the specific recognition of the right to hold slaves in the Territory below that line; and that, before such Territories are admitted into the Union as States, slaves may be taken there from any of the United States at the option of the owners. never consent to give addit.onal power to a majority to commit further agg.essions upon the minority in this Union; and will never consent to any proposition which will have such a tendency, without a full guaranty or unteracting measure is connected with it.
Mr. Clay, in reply, said:
ted by the Senator from Mississippi to carry Slavery anyWe ask no act of Congress-as has been properly intimawhere. Sir, I believe we have as much Constitutional power to prohibit Slavery from going into the Territories of the United States, as we have to pass an act carrying Slavery there. We have no right to do either the one or the other. I would as soon vote for the Wilmot Proviso as I would vote for any law which required that Slavery should go into any of the Territories.
Mr. Downs, of Louisiana, said:
I must confess that, in the whole course of my life, my astonishment has never been greater than it was when I saw this (Mr. Clay's) proposition brought forward as a compromise; and I rise now, sir, not for the purpose of discussing it at all, but to protest most solemnly against it. I consider this compromise as no compromise at all. What, sir, does it grant to the South? I can see nothing at all. Mr. Butler, of South Carolina, said:
As I understand it, the Senator from Kentucky's whole proposition of compromise is nothing more than this: That California is already disposed of, having formed a State Constitution, and that Territorial Governments shall be organized for Deseret and New-Mexico, under which, by the operation of laws already existing, a slaveholding population could not carry with them, or own slaves there. What is there in the nature of a compromise here, coupled, as it is, with the proposition that, by the existing laws in the Territories, it is almost certain that slaveholders cannot, and have no right to, go there with their property? What is there in the nature of a compromise here? I am willing, however, to run the risks, and am ready to give to the Territories the governments they require. I shall always think that, under a Constitution giving equal rights to all parties, the slaveholding people, as such, can go to these Territories, and retain their property there. But, if we adopt this proposition of the Senator from Kentncky, it is clearly on the basis that Slavery shall not go there.
The debate having engrossed the attention of the Senate for nearly two months
March 25.-Mr. Douglas, from the Committee on Territories, reported the following bills:
Senate, 169.-A bill for the admission of California into the Union.
Senate, 170.-A bill to establish the Territorial Governments of Utah and New-Mexico, and for other pur
These bills were read, and passed to a second reading.
I am extremely sorry to hear the Senator from Mississippi say that he requires, first, the extension of the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific; and also that he is not satisfied with that, but requires, if I understood him correctly, a positive provision for the admission of Slavery south of that line. And now, sir, coming from a Slave State, as I do, I owe it to myself, I owe it to truth, I owe it to the subject, to state that no earthly power could induce me to vote for a specific measure for the introduction of Slavery where it had not before existed, either south or north of that line. Coming as I do from a slave State, it is my solemn, deliberate, and well-matured determination that no power-no earthly power-poses. shall compel me to vote for the positive introduction of Slavery either south or north of that line. Sir, while you reproach, and justly, too, our British ancestors for the introduction of this institution upon the Continent of America, I am, for one, unwilling that the posterity of the present inhabitants of California and New-Mexico shall reproach us for doing just what we reproach Great Britain for doing to us. If the citizens of those Territories choose to establish Slavery, I am for admitting them with such provisions in their Constitutions; but then, it will be their own work, and not ours, and their posterity will have to reproach them, and not us, for forming Constituti ns allowing the institution of Slavery to exist among them These are my views, sir, and I choose to express them; and I care not how extensively and universally they are known. The honorable Senator from Virginia has expressed his opinion that Slavery exists in these Territories, and I have no doubt that opinion is sincerely and honestly entertained by him; and I would say with equal sincer ty and honesty, that I
believe that Slavery nowhere exists within any portion
April 11.-Mr. Douglas moved that Mr. Bell's resolves do lie on the table. Lost: Yeas, 26; Nays, 28.
April 15.-The discussion of Mr. Clay's recolutions still proceeding, Colonel Benton moved tha: the previous orders be postponed, and that the Senate now proceed to consider the bill (S. 169) for the admission of the State of California.
Mr. Clay moved that this proposition do lie on the table. Carried: Yeas. 27 (for a Com. promise); Nays, 24 (for a settlement without compromise).
The Senate now took up Mr. Bell's resolves,
aforesaid, when Mr. Benton moved that they lie on the table. Lost: Yeas, 24; Nays, 28. Mr. Benton next moved that they be so amended as not to connect or mix up the admission of California with any other question. Lost: Yeas, 23; Nays, 28.
Various modifications of the generic idea were severally voted down, generally by large majorities.
On motion of Mr. Foote, of Miss., it was now Ordered, That the resolutions submitted by Mr. Bell or the 28th February, together with the resolutions submitted on the 29th of January, by Mr. Clay, be referred to a select Committee of thirteen; Provided, that the Senate does not deem it necessary, and therefore declines, to express in advance any opinion, or to give any instruction, either general or specific, for the guidance of the said Committee.
April 19.-The Senate proceeded to elect by ballot such Select Committee, which was composed as follows:
Mr. Henry Clay, of Ky., Chairman.
Messrs. Dickinson, of N. Y.
Phelps, of Vt.
Bell, of Tenn.
Cass, of Mich.
Webster, of Mass. Berrien, of Ga.
Cooper, of Pa. Downs, of La. King, of Ala. Mangum, of N. C. Mason, of Va. Bright, of Ind.
May 8.-Mr. Clay, from said Committee, reported at length, the views and recommendations of the report being substantially as follows:
1. The admission of any new State or States formed out of Texas to be postponed until they shall hereafter present themselves to be received into the Union, when it will be the duty of Congress fairly and faithfully to execute the compact with Texas, by admitting such new State or States.
2. The admission forthwith of California into the Union, with the boundaries which she has proposed.
8. The establishment of Territorial Governments, without the Wilmot Proviso, for New-Mexico and Utah, embracing all the territory recently acquired by the United States from Mexico, not contained in the boundaries of California.
4. The combination of these two last mentioned measures in the same bill;
5. The establishment of the western and northern boundaries of Texas, and the exclusion from her jurisdiction of all New-Mexico, with the grant to Texas of a pecuniary equivalent; and the section for that purpose to be incorporated in the bill admitting California and establishing Territorial Governments for Utah and New-Mexico.
6. More effectual enactments of law to secure the prompt delivery of persons bound to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, who escape into another State; and,
7. Abstaining from abolishing Slavery; but, under a heavy penalty, prohibiting the slave-trade in the District of Columbia.
The Senate proceeded to debate from day to day the provisions of the principal bill thus reported, commonly termed the Omnibus."
June 28.-Mr, Soulé, of Louisiana, moved that all south of 36° 30' be cut off from California, and formed into a Territory entitled South California, and that said Territory "shall, when ready, able, and willing to become a State, and deserving to be such, be admitted with or without Slavery, as the people thereof shall desire, and make known through their Constitution."
This was rejected: Yeas, 19 (all Soutnern); Nays, 36.
July 10.-The discussion was interrupted by the death of President Taylor. Millard Fillmore succeeded to the Presidency, and William R. King, of Alabama, was chosen President of the Senate, pro tempore.
July 15.-The bill was reported to the Senate and amended so as to substitute "that Congress
shall make no law establishing or prohibiting' Slavery in the new Territories, instead of respect to " it. Yeas, 27; Nays, 25.
Mr. Seward moved to add at the end of the 37th section:
But neither Slavery nor involuntary servitude shall be allowed in either of the Territories of New-Mexico or Utah, except on legal conviction for crime.
Which was negatived; Yeas and Nays not taken.
July 17.--The Senate resumed the consideration of the "Omnibus bill."
Mr. Benton moved a change in the proposed boundary between Texas and New-Mexico. Rejected: Yeas, 18; Nays, 36.
Mr. Foote moved that the 34th parallel of north latitude be the northern boundary of Texas throughout. Lost: Yeas, 20; Nays, 34.
July 19-Mr. King moved that the parallel of 35° 30′ be the southern boundary of the State of California. Rejected: Yeas, 20; Nays,
Mr. Davis, of Mississippi, moved 36° 30'. Rejected: Yeas, 23; Nays, 32.
July 23d.-Mr. Turney, of Tenn., moved that the people of California be enabled to form a new State Constitution. Lost: Yeas, 19; Navs, 33.
Mr. Jeff. Davis, of Mississippi, moved to add : And that all laws and usages existing in said Territory, at the date of its acquisition by the United States, which deny or obstruct the right of any citizen of the United States to remove to, and reside in, said Territory, with any species of property legally held in any of the States of this Union, be, and are hereby declared to be, null and void.
This was rejected: Yeas, 22; Nays, 33.
Baldwin, Conn. Benton, Mo.
Greene, R. I.
Hale, N. H.
Miller, N. J.
Norris, N. H.
Seward, N. Y.
Bright, Ind. Cass, Mich. Chase, Ohio. Clarke, R. I. Clay, Ky. Cooper, Pa. Davis, Mass. Dayton, N. J. Dickinson, N. Y. Dodge, Wisc. Dodge, Iowa. Felch, Mich.
Shields, Ill. Smith, Conn. Spruance, Del Sturgeon, Pa. Upham, Vt. Wales, Del.
Aug. 10.-The California bill was now taken Mr. Yulee,, of Fla., moved a substitute, remanding California to a territorial condition, and limiting her southern boundary. Rejected: Yeas, 12 (all Southern); Nays, 35.
Mr. Foote moved a like project, cutting off so much of California as lies south of 36 deg. 30 min., and erecting it into the Territory of Colorado. Rejected: Yeas, 13 (ultra Southern); Nays, 29.
Aug. 12.-Still another proposition to limit
California southwardly, by the line of 36 deg. | Messrs. Baldwin, Conn.,
30 min., was made by Mr. Turney, and rejected: Yeas, 20 (all Southern); Nays, 30. After defeating Southern motions to adjourn, postpone, and lay on the table, the bill was engrossed for a third reading: Yeas, 33 (all the Senators from Free States, with Bell, Benton, Houston, Spruance, Wales and Underwood); Nays, 19 (all from Slave States). Mr. Clay still absent, endeavoring to restore his failing health.
Aug. 13.-The California bill passed its third reading: Yeas, 34; Nays, 18 (all Southern).
Aug. 14.-The Senate now took up the bill organizing the Territories of New Mexico and Utah (as it was originally reported, prior to its inclusion in Mr. Clay's "Omnibus").
Mr. Chase, of Ohio, moved to amend the bill by inserting :
Nor shall there be in said Territory either Slavery or involuntary servitude, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted to have been personally guilty.
Which was rejected: Yeas, 20; Nays, 25. The bill was then reported complete, and passed to be engrossed.
Aug. 15.-Said bill had its third reading, and was finally passed: Yeas, 27; Nays, 10. [The Senate proceeded to take up, consider, mature, and pass the Fugitive Slave bill, and the bill excluding the Slave-Trade from the District of Columbia; but the history of these is but remotely connected with our theme]. We return to the House.
Aug. 28.-The California bill was taken up, read twice, and committed.
The Texas bill coming up, Mr. Inge, of Ala. objected to it, and a vote was taken on its rejection: Yeas, 34; Nays, 168; so it was not rejected. Mr. Boyd, of Ky., moved to amend it so as to create and define thereby the Territories of New-Mexico and Utah, to be slaveholding or not as their people shall determine when they shall come to form State governments. [In other words, to append the bill organizing the Territory of New Mexico to the Texas bill.]
Sept. 7.-The California bill now came up. Mr. Boyd moved his amendment already moved to the Texas bill. Mr. Vinton, of Ohio, declared it out of order. The Speaker again ruled it in order. Mr. Vinton appealed, and the House overruled the Speaker: Yeas (to sustain), 87; Nays, 115.
Mr. Jacob Thompson, of Miss., moved to cut off from California all below 36° 30'. Rejected: Yeas, 76; Nays, 131.
So all the bills originally included in Mr. Clays "Omnibus were passed-two of them in the same bill-after the Senate had once voted to sever them.
THE KANSAS-NEBRASKA STRUGGLE.
Out of the Louisiana Territory, since the admission first of Louisiana and then of Missouri
as Slave States, there had been formed the Territories of Arkansas, Iowa, and Minnesota; the first without, and the two others with, Congressional inhibition of Slavery. Arkansas, in due course, became a Slave, Iowa and Minnesota Free States. The destiny of one tier of States, fronting upon, and westward of, the Mississippi, was thus settled. What should be the fate of the next tier ?
The region lying immediately westward of Missouri, with much Territory north, as well as a more clearly defined district south of it, was long since dedicated to the uses of the Aborigines
not merely those who had originally inhabited it, but the tribes from time to time removed from the States eastward of the Mississippi. Very little, if any, of it was legally open to settlement by Whites; and, with the exception of the few and small military and trading posts thinly scattered over its surface, it is probable that scarcely two hundred white families were located in the spacious wilderness bounded by Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota on the east, the British possessions on the north, the crest of the Rocky Mountains on the west, and the settled portion of New-Mexico and the line of 36o 30' on the south, at the time when Mr. Douglas first, at the session of 1852-3, submitted a bill organizing the Territory of Nebraska, by which title the region above bounded had come to be vaguely indicated.
This region was indisputably included within. the scope of the exclusion of Slavery from all Federal Territory north of 36° 30', to which the South had assented by the terms of the Missouri compact, in order thereby to secure the admission of Missouri as a Slave State. Nor was it once intimated, during the long, earnest, and searching debate in the Senate on the Compromise Measures of 1850, that the adoption of those measures, whether together or separately, would involve or imply a repeal of the Missouri Restriction. We have seen on a former page how Mr. Clay's original suggestion of a Compromise, which was substantially that ultimately adopted, was received by the Southern Senators The Senate bill organizing the Territory of who spoke on its introduction, with hardly a Utah (without restriction as to Slavery) was qualification, as a virtual surrender of all that then taken up, and rushed through the same the South had ever claimed with respect to the day: Yeas, 97; Nays, 85. [The Nays were new Territories. And, from the beginning to mainly Northern Free Soil men; but some the close of the long and able discussion which Southern men, for a different reason, voted with them].
The bill was now ordered to a third reading: Yeas, 151; Nays, 57, and then passed: Yeas, 150; Nays, 56 (all Southern).
Sept. 9.-The House having returned the Texas Boundary bill, with an amendment (Linn Boyd's), including the bill organizing the Territory of New Mexico therein, the Senate proceeded to consider and agree to the same: Yeas, 31; Nays, 10, namely:
followed, neither friend nor foe of the Compromises, nor of any of them, hinted that one effect of their adoption would be the lifting of the Missouri restriction from the Territory now covered by it. When the Compromises of 1850 were accepted in 1852 by the National Conven tions of the two great parties, as a settlement of the distracting controversy therein contem
plated, no hint was added that the Nebraska | I am willing now that the question shall be taken. region was opened thereby to Slavery. whether we will proceed to the consideration of the bill
Several petitions for the organization of a Territory westward of Missouri and Iowa were presented at the session of 1851-2, but no decisive action taken thereon, until the next session, when,
The meaning is here diplomatically veiled, yet is perfectly plain. Gen. Atchison had been averse to organizing this Territory until he could procure a relaxation of the Missouri Restriction as to Slavery; but, seeing no present organ-hope of this, he was willing to waive the point, and assent to an organization under a bill silent with respect to Slavery, and of course leaving the Missouri Restriction unimpaired.
Dec. 13th.-Mr. W. P. Hall, of Mo., pursuant to notice, submitted to the House a bill to ize the Territory of Platte, which was read twice, and sent to the Committee on Territories. From that Committee,
Feb. 2d, 1853.-Mr. W. A. Richardson, of Ill., reported a bill to organize the Territory of Nebraska, which was read twice and committed.
Feb. 9th.-The bill was ordered to be taken out of Committee, on motion of W. P. Hall.
Feb. 10th.-The bill was reported from the Committee of the Whole to the House, with a recommendation that it do not pass.
Mr. Richardson moved the previous question, which prevailed.
Mr. Letcher, of Va., moved that the bill do lie on the table. Lost: Yeas, 49 (mainly Southern); Nays, 107.
The bill was then engrossed, read a third time, and passed. Yeas, 98; Nays, 43, (as before.)
Feb. 11th.-The bill reached the Senate and was referred to the Committee on Territories.
Feb. 17th. Mr. Douglas reported it without amendment.
March 2d.-(Last day but one of the session), Mr. Douglas moved that the bill be taken up Lost: Yeas, 20; (all Northern but Atchison and Geyer, of Mo.;) Nays, 25; (21 Southern, 4 Northern.)
March 3rd.-Mr. Douglas again moved that the bill be taken up.
Mr. Borland, of Ark., moved that it do lie on the table. Carried: Yeas, 23; (all Southern but 4;) Nays, 17; (all Northern but Atchison and Geyer.) So the bill was put to sleep for the session.
On the motion to take up--Mr. Rusk of Texas objecting-Mr. Atchison said:
I must ask the indulgence of the Senate to say one word in relation to this matter. Perhaps there is not a State in the Union more deeply interested in this question than the State of Missouri. If not the largest, I will say the best, portion of that Territory, perhaps the only portion of it that in half a century will become a State, lies immediately west of the State of Missouri. It is only a question of time, whether we will organize the Territory at this session of Congress, or whether we will do it at the next session; and, for my own part, I acknowledge now that, as the Senator from Illinois well knows, when I came to this city, at the beginning of the last session, I was perhaps as much opposed to the proposition, as the Senator from Texas now is. The Senator from Iowa knows it; and it was for reasons which I will not now mention or suggest. But, sir, I have f.om reflection and investigation in my own mind, and from the opinions of others-my constituents, whose opinions I am bound to respect-come to the conclusion that now is the time for the organization of this Territory. It is the most propitious time. The treaties with the various Indian tribes, the titles to whose possessions must be extinguished, can better be made now than at any future time; for, as the question is agitated, and as it is understood, white men, speculators, will interpose, and interfere, and the longer it is postponed the more we will have to fear from them, and the more difficult it will be to extinguish the Indian title in that country, and the harder the terms to be imposed. Therefore, Mr. President, for this reason, without going into detail,
Gen. Pierce was inaugurated President on the 4th March, 1853.
The XXXIIId Congress assembled at Washington, Dec. 5th, 1853, with a large Administration majority in either House. Linn Boyd of Ky., was chosen Speaker of the House. The President's Annual Message contained the following allusion to the subject of Slavery:
It is no part of my purpose to give prominence to any subject which may properly be regarded as set at rest by the deliberate judgment of the people. But, while the present is bright with promise, and the future full of de
mand and inducements for the exercise of active intelligence, the past can never be without useful lessons of admonition and instruction. If its dangers serve not as beacons, they will evidently fail to fulfill the object of a wise design. When the grave shall have closed over all, who are now endeavoring to meet the obligations of duty, the year 1850 will be recurred to as a period filled with anxious apprehension. A successful war had just terminated. Peare brought with it a vast augmentation of territory. Disturbing questions arose, bearing upon the domestic institutions of one portion of the confederacy,
and involving the constitutional rights of the States. But, notwithstanding differences of opinion and sentiment
which then existed in relation to details, and specific provisions, the acquiescence of distinguished citizens, whose devotion to the Union can never be doubted, has given renewed vigor to our institutions, and restored a sense of repose and security to the public mind throughout the confederacy. That this repose is to suffer no shock during my official term, if I have power to avert it, those who placed me here may be assured.
Dec. 15.-Mr. A. C. Dodge of Iowa submitted to the Senate a bill (No. 22) "To organize the Territory of Nebraska," which was read twice, and referred to the Committee on Territories.
Jan. 4-Mr. Douglas, from said Committee, reported said bill with amendments, which were printed. He said in his Report:
The principal amendments which your committee deem it their duty to commend to the favorable action of the Senate, in a special report, are those in which the principles established by the Compromise Measures of 1850, so far as they are applicable to territorial organiza. tions, are proposed to be affirmed, and carried into practical operation within the limits of the new Territory.
With a view of conforming their action to what they regard as the settled policy of the Government, sanctioned by the approving voice of the American People, your Committee have deemed it their duty to incorporate and perpetuate, in their territorial bill, the principles and spirit of those measures. If any other consideration were necessary to render the propriety of this course imperative upon the Committee, they may be found in the fact that the Nebraska country occupies the same relative position to the Slavery question, as did New Mexico and Utah, when those Territories were organized, It was a disputed point, whether Slavery was prohibited by law in the country acquired from Mexico. On the one hand, it was contended, as a legal proposition, that Slavery having been prohibited by the enactments of Mexico, according to the laws of nations, we received the country with all its local laws and domestic institutions attached to the soil, so far as they did not conflict with the Constitution of the United States; and that a law either protecting or prohibiting Slavery, was not repugnant to that instrument, as was evidenced by the fact that one-half of the States of the Union tolerates,