Page images

California southwardly, by the line of 36 deg. Messrs. Baldwin, Conn., Ewing, Ohio, 30 min., was made by Mr. Turney, and rejected :

Benton, Mo.,

Hamlin. Me.,
Chase, Ohio,

Seward, N. Ý.,
Yeas, 20 (all Southern); Nays, 30. After de

Davis, Mass.,

Upham, Vt., feating Southern motions to adjourn, postpone, Dodge, Wis.,

Winthrop, Mass. and lay on the table, the bill was engrossed for So all the bills originally included in Mr. a third reading : Yeas, 33 (all the Senators from

Clays “ Omnibus were passed-two of them in Free States, with Bell, Benton, Houston, Spru- the same bill--after the Senate bad once voted ance, Wales and Underwood); Nays, 19 (all to sever them. from Slave States). Mr. Clay still absent, endeavoring to restore his failing health.

THE KANSAS-NEBRASKA STRUGGLE. Ang. 13.—The California bill passed its third Out of the Louisiana Territory, since the ad. reading: Yeas, 34; Nays, 18 (all Southern). mission first of Louisiana and then of Missouri

Aug. 14.- The Senate now took up the bill or as Slave States, there had been formed the Terganizing the Territories of New Mexico and Utah ritories of Arkansas, Iowa, and Minnesota ; the (as it was originally reported, prior to its inclu- tirst without, and the two others with, Congression in Mr. Clay's “ Omnibus”).

sional inbibition of Slavery. Arkansas, in due Mr. Chase, of Ohio, moved to amend the bill course, became a Slave, Iowa and Minnesota by inserting :

Free States. The destiny of one tier of States, Nor shall there be in said Territory either Slavery or fronting upon, and westward of, the Mississippi, involuntary servitude, otherwise than in the punishment was thus settled. What should be the fate of of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly con- the next tier ? victed to have been personally guilty.

The region lying immediately westward of Which was rejected : Yeas, 20; Nays, 25. Missouri, with much Territory north, as well as

The bill was then reported complete, and a more clearly defined district south of it, was passed to be engrossed.

long since dedicated to the uses of the Aborigines Aug. 15.—Said bill had its third reading, —not merely those who had originally inhabited and was finally passed : Yeas, 27 ; Nays, 10. it, but the tribes from time to time removed

[The Senate proceeded to take up, consider, from the States eastward of the Mississippi. mature, and pass the Fugitive Slave bill, and Very little, if any, of it was legally open to the bill excluding the Slave Trade from the settlement by Whites; and, with the exception District of Columbia; but the history of these of the few and small military and trading posts is but remotely connected with our theme]. thinly scattered over its surface, it is probable We return to the House.

that scarcely two hundred white families were Aug. 28.—The California bill was taken up, located the spacious wilderness bounded by read twice, and committed.

Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota on the east, the The Texas bill coming up, Mr. Inge, of Ala. British possessions on the north, the crest of the objected to it, and a vote was taken on its rejec- Rocky Mountains on the west, and the settled tion : Yeas; 34; Nays, 168 ; so it was not rejected. portion of New-Mexico and the line of 360 30'

Mr. Boyd, of Ky., moved to amend it so as to on the south, at the time when Mr. Douglas create and define thereby the Territories of first, at the session of 1852–3, submitted a bill New-Mexico and Utah, to be slaveholding or organizing the Territory of Nebraska, by which not as their people shall determine when they title the region above bounded had come to be shall come to form State governments. [In vaguely indicated. other words, to append the bill organizing the This region was indisputably included withir. Territory of New Mexico to the Texas bill.] the scope of the exclusion of Slavery from all

Sept. 7.—The California bill now came up. Federal Territory north of 36° 30', to which the Mr. Boyd moved bis amendment already moved South had assented by the terms of the Misto the Texas bill. Mr. Vinton, of Ohio, declared souri compact, in order thereby to secure the it out of order. The Speaker again ruled it in admission of Missouri as a Slave State. Nor order. Mr. Vinton appealed, and the House was it once intimated, during the long, earnest, overruled the Speaker : Yeas (to sustain), 87; and searching debate in the Senate on the Com. Vays, 115.

promise Measures of 1850, that the adoption of Mr. Jacob Thompson, of Miss., moved to cut those measures, whether together or separately, off from California all below 36° 30'. Rejected: would involve or imply a repeal of the Missouri Yeas, 76 ; Nays, 131.

Restriction. We have seen on a former page The bill was now ordered to a third reading : how Mr. Clay's original suggestion of a ComproYeas, 151; Nays, 67, and then passed: Yeas, mise, which was substantially that ultimately 150; Nays, 56 (all Southern).

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 top mainly Northern Free Soil men ; but some the close of the long and able discussion which Southern men, for a different reason, voted followed, neither friend nor foe of the Comprowith them].

mises, nor of any of them, hinted that one Sept. 9.-The House having returned the effect of their adoption would be the lifting of Toxas Boundary bill, with an amendment (Linn the Missouri restriction from the Territory now Boyd's), including the bill organizing the Ter- covered by it. When the Compromises of 1850 ritory of New Mexico therein, the Senate were accepted in 1852 by the National Conven. proceeded to consider and agree to the same : tions of the two great parties, as a settlement Yeas, 31; Nays, 10, namely:

of the distracting coutroversy thereiu contemplated, 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

or not. Several petitions for the organization of a Territory westward of Missouri and lowa were

The meaning is here diplomatically veiled, presented at the session of 1851-2, but no de- yet is perfectly plain. Gen. Atchison had been cisive action taken thereon, until the next ses

averse to organizing this Territory until he sion, when,

could procure a relaxation of the Missouri Re. Dec. 13th.—Mr. W. P. Hall

, of Mo., pursuant hope of this, he was willing to waive the point,

striction as to Slavery; but, seeing no present to notice, submitted to the House a bill to organ, and assent to an organization under a bill silent ize the Territory of Platte, which was read twice, and sent to the Committee on Territories. with respect to Slavery, and of course leaving From that Committee,

the Missouri Restriction unimpaired. Feb. 2d, 1853.-Mr. W. A. Richardson, of III., reported a bill to organize the Territory of Gen. Pierce was inaugurated President on the Nebraska, which was read twice and com- 4th March, 1853. mitted.

The XXXIIId Congress assembled at WashFeb. 9th.—The bill was ordered to be taken ington, Dec. 5th, 1853, with a large Adminisout of Committee, on motion of W. P. Hall.

tration inajority in either House. Linn Boyd Feb. 10th.—The bill was reported from the of Ky., was chosen Speaker of the House. Committee of the Whole to the House, with a The President's Annual Message contained the recommendation that it do not pass.

following allusion to the subject of Slavery: Mr. Richardson moved the previous question,

It is no part of my purpose to give prominence to any which prevailed.

subject which may properly be regarded as set at rest by Mr. Letcher, of Va., moved that the bill do lie the deliberate judgment of the people. But, while the on the table. Lost: Yeas, 49 (mainly Southern); present is bright with promise, and the future full of de

and and inducements for the exercise of active intelliNavs, 107.

gence, the past can never be without useful lessons of The bill was then engrossed, read a third admonition and instruction. If its dangers serve not as time, and passed. Yeas, 98; Nays, 43, (as beacons, they will evidently fail to fulfil the object of a before.)

wise design. When the grave shall have closed over all,

who are now endeavoring to meet the obligations of duty, Feb. 11th.-The bill reached the Senate the year 1850 will be recurred to as a period filled with and was referred to the Committee on Terri- anxious apprehension. A successful war had just termitories.

nated. Pea e brought with it a vast augmentation of

territory. Disturbing questions arose, bearing upon the Feb. 17th.—Mr. Douglas reported it without domestic institutions of one portion of the confederacy, amendment.

and involving the constitutional rights of the States. March 2d.—(Last day but one of the session), which then existed in relation to details, and specific pro

But, notwithstanding differences of opinion and sentiment Mr. Douglas moved that the bill be taken up: visions, the acquiescence of distinguished citizens, whose Lost: Yeas, 20; (all Northern but Atchison and devotion to the Union can never be doubted, has given Geyer, of Mo.;) Nays, 25; (21 Southern, 4 renewed vigor to our institutions, and restored a sense of

repose and security to the public mind throughout the Northern.)

confederacy. That this repose is to suffer no shock March 3rd.—Jr. Douglas again moved that during my official term, if I have power to uvert it, those the bill be taken up.

who placed me here may be assured. Mr. Borland, of Ark., moved that it do lie on Dec. 15.-Mr. A. C. Dodge of Iowa submitted the table, Carried : Yeas, 23 ; (all Southern but to the Senate a bill (No. 22) “ To organize the 4;) Nays, 17; (all Northern but Atchison and Territory of Nebraska,” which was read twice, Geyer.) So the bill was put to sleep for the and referred to the Committee on Territories. session.

Jan. 4.-Mr. Douglas, from sail Committee, On the motion to take up--Mr. Rusk of Texas reported said bill with amendments, which were objecting--Mr. Atchison said:

printed. He said in his Report: I must ask the indulgence of the Senate to say one The principal amendments which your committeo word in relation to this matter. Perhaps there is not a deem it their duty to cominend to the favorable action of State in the Union more deeply interested in this ques- the Senate, in a special report, are those in which the tion than the State of Missouri. If not the largest, I will principles established by the Compromise Measures of Bay the best, portion of that Territory, perhaps the only 1850, so far as they are applicable to territorial organiza. portion of it that in half a century will become a State, tions, are proposed to be affirmed, and carried into lies immediately west of the State of Missouri. It is practical operation within the limits of the new Terrionly a question of time, whether we will organize the tory. Territory at this session of Congress, or whether we will With a view of conforming their action to what they do it at the next session; and, for my own part, I regard as the settled policy of the Government, sancacknowledge now that, as the Senator from Illinois well | tioned by the approving voice of the American People, knows, when I came to this city, at the beginning of the your Committee have deemed it their duty to incorporate last session, I was perhaps as much opposed to the pro- and perpetuate, in their territorial bill, the principles and position, as the Senator from Texas now is. The Senator spirit of those measures. If any other consideration from lowa knows it; and it was for reasons which I were necessary to render the propriety of this course will not now mention or suggest. But, sir, I have imperative upon the Committee, they may be found in f.on reflection and investigation in my own mind, and the fact that the Nebraska country occupies the same froin the opinions of others-my constituents, whose relative position to the Slavery question, as did New opinions I am bound to respect-come to the conclusion Mexico and Utah, when those Territories were organized. that now is the time for the organization of this Terri- It was a disputed point, whether Slavery was protory. It is the most propitious time. The treaties with hibited by law in the country acquired from Mexico). the various Indian tribes, the titles to whose possessions on the one hand, it was contended, as a legal proposi. must be extinguished, can better be made now than at tion, that Slavery having been prohibited by the enaciany future time; for, as the question is agitated, and as ments of Mexico, according to the laws of nations, we it is understood, white inen, speculators, will interpose, received the country with all its local laws and doinestic and interfere, and the longer it is postponed the more institutions attached to the soil, so far as they did not we will have to fear from them, and the more difficult it copilict with the Constitution of the United Rates; anid will be to extinguish the Indian title in that country, that a law either protecting or prohibiting Slavery, Wax and the harder the terms to be imposed. Therefore, not repugnant to that instruinent, as was evidenced by Mr. President, for this reason, without going into detail, I the fact that one-half of the States of the Vuion tol-ralei,

while the other half prohibited, the institution of Slavery. which prevailed-Yeas, 25; Nays, 10--as fol. On the other hand, it was insisted that, by virtue of the

lows: Constitution of the United States, every citizen had a right to remove to any Territory of the Union, and carry Yeas—For Douglas's new amendment: his property with him under the protection of law, Messrs. Adams,

Gwin, whether that property consisted of persons or things.


Hunter, The difficulties arising from this diversity of opinion were


Johnson, greatly aggravated by the fact that there were many


Jones, of Iowa, persons on both sides of the legal controversy, who were


Jones, of Tenn., unwilling to abide the decision of the courts on the legal


Mason, matters in dispute ; thus, among those who claimed that


Morton, The Mexican lawy were still in force, and, consequently,


Norris, that Slavery was already prohibited in those Territories


Pearce, by valid enactments, there were many who insisted upon


Pettit, Congress making the matter certain, by enacting another


Pratt, prohibition. In like manner, some of those who argued


Sebastian, ihat Mexican law had ceased to have any binding force,

Dodge, of Iowa,

Slidell, and that the Constitution tolerated and protected Slave


Stuart, property in those Territories, were unwilling to trust the


Thompson, of Ky., decision of the courts upon the point, and insisted that


Toombs, Congress should, by direct enactment, remove all legal


Weller, obstacles to the introduction of Slaves into those Territo

Williams-35. ries.

Your Committee deem it fortunate for the peace of Nays—Against said amendment; the country, and the security of the Union, that the con

Messrs. Allen,

Foot, troversy then resulted in the adoption of the Compro


Houston, mise Measures, which the two great political parties,

Dodge, of Wisc.,

Seward, with singular unanimity, have affirmed as a dinal


Sumner, article of their faith, and proclaimed to the world as a


Wade-10., final settlement of the controversy and an end of the agitation. A due respect, therefore, for the avowed [NOTE.-Prior to this move of Mr. Douglas, Mr. Dixon, opinions of Senators, as well as a proper sense of pa- (Whig) of Kentucky, had moved to insert a clause directly triotic duty, enjoins upon your Committee the propriety and plainly repealing the Missouri Restriction. Mr. Dixon and necessity of a strict adherence to the principles, and even a literal adoption of the enactments of that a ljust thought if that was the object, (and he was in favor of its) it ment, in all their territorial bills, so far as the same are should be approached in a direct and manly way. He was not locally inapplicable. These enactments embrace, assailed for this in The Union newspaper next morning ; but among other things, less material to the matters under his suggestion was substantially adopted by Douglas, after consideration, the following provisions :.

a brief hesitation. Mr. Dixon's proposition, having been When admitted as a State, the said Territory, or any portion of the same, shall be received into the Union, made in Committee, does not appear in the journal of the with or without Slavery, as their constitution may pre-, Senate, or it would here be given in terms.] scribe at the time of their admission;

The bill was further discussed daily until That the legislative power and authority of said Territory shall be vested in the Governor and a Legislative March 2nd, when the vote was taken on Mr. Assembly.

Chase's amendment, to add to Sec. 14 the folThat the Legislative power of said Territory shall lowing words : extend to all rightful subjects of legislation, consistent with the Constitution of the United States, and the pro

Under which the people of the Territory, through visions of this act; but no law shall be passed interfering their appropriate representatives, may, if they see with the primary disposal of the soil; no tax shall be fit, prohibit the existence of slavery thereinimposed upon the property of the United States ; nor which was rejected: Yeas, 10; Nay, 36, as shall the lands or other property of non-residents be

follows: taxed higher than the lands or other property of residents.

Yeas-For Mr. Chase's amendment : Jan. 24.-The bill thus reported was con- Messrs. Chase,

Hamlin, sidered in Committee of the Whole and post

Dodge, of Wisc.,


Smith, poned to Monday next, when it was made the


Sumner, order of the day.


Wade-10. The bill was further considered Jan. 31st, Nays—Against Chase's amendment: Feb. 3d, Feb. 5th, and Feb. 6th, wlien an amend. Messrs. Adams,

Hunter, ment reported by Mr. Douglas, declaring the


Johnson, Missouri Restriction on Slavery “inoperative


Jones, of Iowa, Bell,

Jones, of Tenn., and void," being under consideration, Mr. Chase,


Mason, of Ohio, moved to strike out the assertion that Bodhead,

Morton, said Restriction



Pettit, was superseded by the principles of the legislation of

Clay, C. C.,

Pratt, 1850, commonly called the Compromise Measures."


Rusk, This motion was defeated by Yeas, 13; Nays,



Dodge, of lowa,

Feb. 15.-The bill having been discussed daily Douglas,

Stuart, until now, Mr. Douglas moved to strike out of



Walker, his amendment the words above quoted (which


Weller, the Senate had refused to strike out on Mr.


Williamg 36. Chase's motion,) and insert instead the fol

Mr. Badger, of N. C., moved to add to the . lowing:

aforesaid section : Which being inconsistent with the principle of Non-Intervention by Congress with Slavery in the States and

Provided, That nothing herein contained shall / Territories, as recognized by the legislation of 1850, (com- construed to revive or put in force any laro or regnnonly called the Compromise Measures,) is hereby

declared lation which may have existed prior to the act of 611 inoperative and void ; it being the true intent and means of March, 1820, either protecting, establishing, prolag of this act not to legislate Slavery into any Territory or hibiting, or abolishing Slavery. State, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people Carried : Yeas, 35; Nays, 6. thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic

Mr. Clayton now moved to strike oit so much institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States

of said Douglas amendment as permits emigrants


from Europe, who shall have declared their in-| teen at the first, it will be fortunate if, among the ills and tention to become citizens, to vote. Carried : accidents which surround us, we shall maintain that num

ber to the end. Yeas, 23 ; Nays, 21-as follows:

We are on the eve of the consummation of a great naYeas—For Clayton's amendment :

tional transaction-a transaction which will close a cycle

in the history of our country-and it is impossible not to Messrs. Adams,


desire to pause a moment and survey the scene' around Atchison,


us, and the prospect before us. However obscure we may Badger,


individually be, our connection with this great transaction Bell,


will perpetuate our names for the praise or for the cenBenjamin,


sure of future ages, and perhaps in regions far remote. Brodhead,


If, then, we had no other motive for our actions than but Brown,

Jones, of Tenn.,

that of the honest desire for a just fame, we could not be Butler,


indifferent to that scene and that prospect. But individual Clay,


interests and ambition sink into insignificance in view of Clayton,


the interests of our country and of mankind. These interDawson,


ests awaken, at least in me, an intense solicitude. Slidell 28.

It was said by some in the beginning, and it has been Nays Against Clayton's amendment: said by others later in this debate, that it was doubtful

whether it would be the cause of Slavery or the cause of Messrs. Chase,


Freedom that would gain advantages from the passage of Dodge, of Wisc.,


this bill. I do not find it necessary to be censorious, nor Dodge, of Iowa,


even unjust to others, in order that my own course may Douglas,


be approved. I am sure that the honorable Senator from Pessenden,


Illinois (Mr. Douglas) did not mean that the Slave States Fish,


should gain an advantage over the Free States; for he Foot,


disclaimed it when he introduced the bill. I believe in all Gwin,


candor, that the honorable Senator from Georgia, (Mr. Hamlin,


Toombs,] who comes out at the close of the battle as one Jones, of Iowa,


of the chiefest leaders of the victorious party, is sincere in Williams-21.

declaring his own opinion that the Slave States will gain Mr. Chase moved to amend, by providing for no unjust advantage over the Free States, because he disthe appointment of three Commissioners resid- claims it as a triumph in their behalf. Notwithstanding

all this, however, what has occurred here and in the ing in the Territory to organize the Territory, country, during this contest, has compelled a conviction divide it into election districts, notify an election that Slavery will gain something, and Freedom will endure on the first Monday in September then ensuing, a severe, though I hope not an irretrievable, loss. The etc, at which election the people should choose and satisfied with the prospective boon; and the Free

slaveholding States are passive, quiet, and content, their own Governor, as well as a Territorial Legis- States are excited and alarmed with fearful forebodings lature--the Governor to serve for two years, and and apprehensions. The impatience for the speedy pasthe Legislature to meet not later than May, 1855. knowledge that this is the condition of public sentiment in

This extension of the principle of “Squatter the Free States. They thought in the beginning that it Sovereignty” was defeated-Yeas, 10; Nays, 30. was necessary to guard the measure by inserting the

Mr. Douglas's amendment was then agreed to, foreign inhabitants of the Territories from the right of and the bill reported from the Committee of the suffrage. And now they seem willing, with almost perfect Whole to the Senate.

unanimity, to relinquish that safeguard, rather than to The question on the engrossment of the bill was delay the adoption of the principal measure for at most a

year, perhaps for only a week or a day. Suppose that now reached, and it was carried: Yeas, 29; the Senate should adhere to that condition, which so lately Nays, 12.

was thought so wise and so important—what then? The March 3.–The rule assigning Fridays for the bill could only go back to the House of Representatives,

In the one case or in consideration of private bills having been sus- the other, a decision in favor of the bill would be secured; pended, on motion of Mr. Badger, the Senate for even if the House should disagree, the Senate would proceeded to put the Nebraska-Kansas bill on have time to recede. But the majority will hazard noits final passage, when a long and earnest de-thing, even on a prospect so certain as this

. They wil

recede at once, without a moment's further struggle, from bate ensued. At a late hour of the night Mr. the condition, and thus secure the passage of this bill now, Seward, of New York, addressed the Senate, in to-night. Why such haste ? Even if the question were to

go to the country before a final decision here, what would opposition to the bill, as follows:

there be wrong in that? There is no man living who will MR. PRESIDENT: I rise with no purpose of further re- say that the country anticipated, or that he anticipated, sisting or even delaying the passage of this bill. Let its the agitation of this measure in Congress, when this Con. advocates have only a little patience, and they will soon gress was elected, or even when it assembled in Decenreach the object for which they have struggled so earnestly ber last. and so long. The sun has set for the last time upon the Under such circumstances, and in the midst of agita. guaranteed and certain liberties of all the unsettled and tion, and excitement, and debates, it is only fair to say, unorganized portions of the American continent that lie that certainly the country has not decided in favor of the within the jurisdiction of the United States. To-morrow's bill. The refusal, then, to let the question go to the counsun will rise in dim eclipse over them. How long that ob- try, is a conclusive proof that the Slave States, as represcuration shall last, is known only to the Power that di- sented here, expect from the passage of this bill what the rects and controls all human events. For myself, I know Free States insist that they will lose by it-an advantage, only this--that now no human power will prevent its com- a material advantage, and not a mere abstraction. There ing on, and that its passing or will be hastened and se are men in the Slave States, as in the Free States, who in. cured by others than those now here, and perhaps by only sist always too pertinaciously upon mere abstractions. Bu those belonging to future generations.

that is not the policy of the Slave States to-day. They Sir, it would be almost factious to offer further resist- are in earnest in seeking for, and securing, an ob ect, and ance to this measure here. Indeed, successful resistance an important one. I believe they are going to have it. I was never expected to be made in this Hall. The Senate- do not know how long the advantage gained will last, nor foor is an old battle-ground, on which have been fought how great or comprehensive it will be. Every Senator many contests, and always, at least since 1920, with fortune who agrees with me in opinion must feel as I do—that unadverse to the cause of equal and universal freedom. We der such circumstances he can forego nothing that can be were only a few here who engaged in that cause in the done decently, with due respect to difference of opinion, beginning of this contest. All that we could hope to do and consistently with the constitutional and settled rules all that we did hope to do—was to organize and pre- of legislation, to place the true merits of the question bepare the issue for the House of Representatives, to which fore the country. Questions sometimes occur which seem the country would look for its decision as authoritative, to have two right sides. Such were the questions that diand to awaken the country that it might be ready for the vided the English nation between Pitt and Fox-such the appeal which would be made, whatever the decision of contest between the assailant and the defender of Quebec. Congress might be. We are no stronger now. Only four- I The judgment of the world was suspended by its sympa.

On my

thies, and seemed ready to descend in favor of him who dark side has passed. I feel quite sure that Slavery at should be most gallant in conduct. And so, when both most can get nothing more than Kansas; while Nebrasfell with equal chivalry on the same field, the survivors ka—the wider northern region-will, under existing united in raising a common monument to the glorious but circumstances, escape, for the reason that its soil and rival memories of Wolfe and Montcalm. But this contest climate are uncongenial with the staples of slave culture involves a moral question. The Slave States so present it. I-rice, sugar, cotton, and tobacco. Moreover, since the They maintain that African Slavery is not erroneous, not public attention has been so well and so effectually unjust, not inconsistent with the advancing cause of hu- directed toward the subject, I cherish a hope that man nature. Since they so regard it, I do not expect to Slavery may be prevented even from gaining a foothold see statesmen representing those states indifferent about in Kansas. Congress only gives consent, but it does not a vindication of this system by the Congress of the United and cannot introduce Slavery there. Slavery will be States. On the other hand, we of the Free States regard embarrassed by its own overgrasping spirit. No one, I Slavery as erroneous, unjust, oppressive, and therefore am sure, anticipates the possible reëstablishment of the absolutely inconsistent with the principles of the American African Slave-trade. The tide of emigration to Kansas Constitution and Government. Who will expect us to be is therefore to be supplied there solely by the domestic indifferent to the decisions of the American people and fountain of slave production. But Slavery has also other of mankind on such an issue ?

regions besides Kansas to be filled from that fountain. Sir, I am surprised at the pertinacity with which the There are all of New Mexico and all of Utah already honorable Senator from Delaware, mine ancient and hon- within the United States; and then there is Cuba, that orable friend, [Mr. Clayton,] perseveres in opposing the consumes slave labor and life as fast as any one of the granting of the right of suffrage to the unnaturalized for- slaveholding States can supply it; and besides these eigner in the Territories, Congress cannot deny him that regious, there remains all of Mexico down to the right. Here is the third article of that convention by Isthmus. The stream of slave labor flowing from so which Louisiana, including Kansas and Nebraska, was small a fountain, and broken into several divergent ceded to the United States : *

channels will not cover so great a field ; and it is rea“ The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incor- sonably to be hoped that the part of it nearest to the porated in the Union of the United States, and admitted North Pole will be the last to be inundated. But African as soon as possible, according to the principles of the Fede- slave emigration is to compete with free emigration of ral Constitution, to the enjoyment of the rights, privileges, white men, and the source of this latter tide is as ample and immunities of the citizens of the United States; and as the civilization of the two entire continents. The in the meantime they shall be maintained and protected honorable Senator from Delaware mentioned, as if it in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and the were a startling fact, that twenty thousand European religion they profess.”

immigrants arrived in New-York in one month. Sir, he The inhabitants of Kansas and Nebraska are citizens has stated the fact with too much moderation, already, and by force of this treaty must continue to be, return to the capital a day or two ago, I met twelve and as such to enjoy the right of suffrage, whatever laws thousand of these emigrants who had arrived in Newyou make to the contrary. My opinions are well known, York on one morning, and who had thronged the to wit: That Slavery is not only an evil, but a local one, churches on the following Sabbath, to return thanks for injurious and ultimately pernicious to society, wherever it deliverance from the perils of the sea, and for their arrival exists, and in conflict with the constitutional principles of in the land, not of slavery but of Liberty. I also thank society in this country. I am not willing to extend nor to God for their escape, and for their coming. They are permit the extension of that local evil into regions now now on their way westward, and the news of the passage free within our empire. I know that there are some who of this bill, preceding them, will speed many of them differ from me, and who regard the Constitution of the toward Kansas and Nebraska. Such arrivals are not United States as an instrument which sa ons Slavery as extraordinary--they occur most every week; and the well as Freedom. But if I could admit a proposition so in- immigration from Germany, from Great Britain, and congruous with the letter and spirit of the Federal Consti- from Norway, and from Sweden, during the European tution, and the known sentiments of its illustrious found war, will rise to six or seven hundred thousand souls in ers, and so should conclude that Slavery was national, I a year.

And with this tide is to be mingled one rapidly must still cherish the opinion that it is an evil; and swelling from Asia and from the islands of the South because it is a national one, I am the more firmly held and seas. All the immigrants under this bill, as the House bound to prevent an increase of it, tending, as I think it of Representatives overruling you have ordered, will be manifestly does, to the weakening and ultimate over- good, loyal, Liberty-loving, Slavery-fearing citizens. throw of the Constitution itself, and therefore to the Come on, then, gentlemen of the Slave States. Since injury of all mankind. I know there have been States there is no escaping your challenge, I accept it in behalf which have endured long, and achieved. much, which of the cause of Freedom. We will engage in competition tolerated Slavery ; but that was not the slavery of caste, for the virgin soil of Kansas, and God give the victory like African Slavery. Such Slavery tends to vemoralize to the side which is stronger in numbers as it is in right. equally the subjected race and the superior one. It has There are, however, earnest advocates of this bill, who been the absence of such Slavery froin Europe that has do not expect, and who, I suppose, do not desire, that given her nations their superiority over other countries Slavery shall gain possession of Nebraska. What do in that hemisphere. Slavery, wherever it exists, begets they expect to gain ? The honorable Senator from fear, and fear is the parent of weakness. What is the Indiana (Mr. Pettit) says that by thus obliterating the secret of that eternal, sleepless anxiety in the legislative Missouri Compromise restriction, they will gain a tabula halls, and even at the firesides of the Slave States, al rasa, on which the inhabitants of Kansas and Nebraska ways asking new stipulations, new compromises and may write whatever they will. This is the great princi abrogation of compromises, new assumptions of power ple of the bill, as he understands it. Well, what gain is and abnegations of power, but fear? It is the apprehen- there in that? You obliterate a Constitution of Freesion, that, even if safe now, they will not always or long dom. If they write a new constitution of freedom, can be secure against some invasion or some aggression from the new be better than the old ? If they write a Constituthe Free States. What is the secret of the humiliating tion of Slavery, will it not be a worse one? I ask the pa t which proud old Spain is acting at this day, trem- honorable Senator that. But the honorable Senator says bling between alarms of American intrusion into Cuba that the people of Nebraska will have the privilege of on one side, and British dictation on the other, but the establishing institutions for themselves. They have now fact that she has cherished Slavery so long and still the privilege of establishing free institutions. Is it a pricherishes it, in the last of her American colonial posses-vilege, then, to establish Slavery? If so, what a mockery sions ? Thus far Kansas and Nebraska are safe, under are all our Constitutions, which prevent the inhabitants the laws of 1820, against the introduction of this element from capriciously subverting free institutions and estabof national debility and decline. The bill before us, as lishing institutions of Slavery ! Sir, it is a sophism, a sub. we are assured, contains a great principle, a glorious tlety, to talk of conferring upon a country, already secure principle; and yet that principle, when fully ascertained, in the blessings of Freedom, the power of self-destruction, proves to be nothing less than the subversion of that What mankind everywhere want, is not the removal security not only within the Territories of Kansas and of the Constitutions of Freedom which they have, that Nebraska, but within all the other present and future they may make at their pleasure Constitutions of lavery Territories of the United States. Thus it is quite clear or of Freedom, but the privilege of retaining Constituthat it is not a principle alone that is involved, but that tions of Freedom when they already have them, and the those who crowd this measure with so much zeal and ear- removal of Constitutions of Slavery when they have nestness must expect that either Freedom or Slavery them, that they may establish Constitutions of Freedoin shall gain something by it in those regions. The case, in their place. We hold on tenaciously to all existing then, stands thus in Kansas and Nebraska : Freedom Constitutions of Freedom. Who denounces any man for may lose, but certainly can gain nothing; while Slavery diligently adhering to such Constitutions ? Who would may gain, but as certainly can lose nothing.

dare to denounce any one for disloyalty to our existing so far as I am conce. ned, the time for looking on the Constitutions, if they we e Constitutions of Despotism and

« PreviousContinue »