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THE Senate (Monday, December 24th) re- | principle is laid down that denies the title of ceived propositions of settlement from Messrs. Pugh, Douglas, Bigler, &c., which were severally referred to the Committee of Thirteen. Mr. Nicholson, of Tennessee, having the floor, proceeded to address the Senate in reply to his colleague, Andrew Johnson, as well as to Mr. Wade. He charged upon the Republican party all responsibility for the enmity felt at the South against the Norththe Democrats of the North were in no manner censurable. The feeling commenced, in 1856, with the nomination of Fremont, when the first vital stab was given to the Union. He quoted from the platform of the Republican party in regard to Slavery in the Territories, to show that it was the basis of all sectionalism. He then quoted Mr. Fillmore's prediction that the success of such a party must cause disunion. The Republicans concede that in the States the South have a right to hold slave property, but establish a principle, in places where they have the power, which affixes a stigma on Southern men. All that the South has to rest upon is the professions of a party, whose general principle is to disregard the rights of the South outside their own States. Suppose that this party gets a majority in both Houses of Congress, they will abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia and in all the arsenals and dockyards, &c., of the South, and they will also refuse to admit new Slave States. Is it strange, then, that Southern men should begin to look out for their own interests, when, if this sectional power has dominion, it will surely progress towards the extinction of Slavery. The trouble is not so much that the Fugitive Slave law is not enforced, or the equality of the States denied, but that a
Southern men to property which they claim under the Constitution-a principle which strikes at the very root of a system identifled with the interest, prosperity and safety of the South. In view of this he claimed that the only safety for the South in the Union, was in Constitutional guarantees against encroachments, and a protection to Slavery in Slave sections. He would do all he could to obtain proper guarantees, but if all failed he would choose secession or revolution rather than acquiesce. He regretted hasty action in the South, and he thought it better to have counsel and concerted action in the Senate. He thought that an appeal from the whole South, with unanimity of sentiment, could not be resisted by the North. He regarded the policy of the extreme Southern States as dictated by a desire to awaken the sentiment of the North rather than a love of disunion per se. He thought that it was the duty of the Border States to meet in solemn consultation and present their demands to the North. But from the course of the Republican organs he had scarcely a ray of hope that their demands would be granted. The chief points in our demand would be the recognition of the right of property in slaves, and the right to hold them in the Territories. Although he had not much hope left, yet he preferred to try if a solemn appeal from the South to the North would not produce a good effect. Mr. Nicholson then referred to the ordinance of secession of South Carolina. as the act of a sovereign State, saying that he should only allude to it as a fact, not argue whether it was right or wrong. He argued that any resort to force by the Federal Government was equivalent to a declaration of war by South Carolina. She had absolved
her citizens from all allegiance to the United | suspension of the rules for that purpose, to States, and the government could not make save a reference to the Select Committee of war rightfully upon them. He drew a pic- Thirty-three. Upon a motion for its referture of the horrors of civil war, and urged ence, Mr. Cochrane withdrew the resolution. calmness and consultation on the part of The two Houses took a recess until Decemthe Southern States. He concluded by ex-ber 27th. pressing the hope of a more perfect Union at no distant day.
This speech elicited some remark, as foreshadowing the course of the Conservatives in Tennessee, and proved that the issue of Union or Disunion was to be forced upon Congress, in the demand for a constitutional recognition and protection of Slavery. The attitude of the Republicans against any such guarantees gave small hope, therefore, of any adjustment and, day by day, the impassibility of the gulf, widening between the Slave and Free States, became more apparent.
In the House, John Cochrane, (Dem.,) of New York, again sought to press his views. He offered a preamble setting forth the dangers which menaced the country, suggesting the removal of the Slavery question from Congress as a remedy, and concluded with a resolution expressive of the opinion of Congress that Slavery shall not exist in the Territory north of 36 deg. 30 min., and that the States formed therefrom shall be admitted with or without Slavery, as their Constitutions may prescribe; and that, south of that line, Slavery shall not be prohibited by Congress or Territorial legislation. The next resolution asserts the sovereignty of each State, and that any attempt to compel them by force to subserve the Federal compact would be to levy war, and precipitate a revolution.
Thursday, Dec. 27th, Mr. Doolittle, (Rep.,) of Wisconsin, addressed the Senate in a very elaborate and able argument, defending the Northern States, the Republican party, and Mr. Lincoln. As the speech met the points raised by Mr. Nicholson and others, and expressed the leading sentiment of the North-western States on the crisis, we may give place to some of the Senator's arguments and declarations.
Peace, he said, was based on two ideas- · one that neither the Federal Government nor
citizens of Non-Slaveholding States should make any aggression on Slavery in the States, and the other that neither the Federal Government nor the citizens of Slaveholding States should make any aggressions or undertake to overthrow Freedom in the Territories. If these conditions were broken, there cannot be peace. He said the Constitution was the supreme law of the land and of every State, and if the Constitution contains any language which would abolish Slavery in a Territory, it would abolish it in a State. He then referred to the Dred Scott decision, and claimed that there was nothing in that decision to lead any one to infer that the Constitution establishes Slavery in any Territory; nothing that justifies men in saying that the Constitution enters the Territory acquired from Mexico, and abolishes Mexican law, and Mr. Haskin, (Dem.,) of New York, pro- establishes a law guaranteeing the right to posed, as a substitute, that the Judiciary take and hold slaves in this Territory. He Committee inquire into the relations now ex- urged that, if we should annex Canada, the isting between the Federal Government and Constitution had no power, of its own force, the State of South Carolina; the duty of the to repeal the law there in regard to Slavery Executive Department in view of the attempt- which had been in force a hundred years. ed withdrawal of that State from the United He said the Senator from Tennessee (NichStates, and the threatened seizure of the Fed- olson) had said there was a great alarm at eral property within the limits of that State; the South, from the Free States, and said and what action Congress should take to ex- he apprehended the time would come when ecute the Constitution, and enforce the laws, the Free States would attempt to amend and protect the property from seizure, and the Constitution, so as to extinguish Slavery. that the Committee report at any time. Why did not the Senator from Tennessee, if Mr. Cochrane wanted a vote, and desired a he wished to allay the alarm, quote in his
MR. DOOLITTLE'S SPEECH.
speech part of the Republican platform, which | slaves, worth, on an average, $800—at least, declares an essential principle to be the main- before the panic-making $400,000,000. The tenance of State rights, in order to maintain loss of $100,000 is only one-fortieth of one the balance of power, and denounced the in- per cent., or about one-quarter of a mill on a vasion of any State on whatever pretext. dollar. This is less than the risk incurred in Why did not the Senator quote from the any other species of property in the United speeches of the President elect, when he had States. Suppose the people of the Border declared over and over again that he did not States resolve themselves into an insurance intend or wish to interfere with Slavery in company, how small would be the premium the States? He then read from Mr. Lincoln's to cover the loss? This special property has speeches, where he had declared he had no special advantages. It has advantages of purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere representation, and is it strange that such with Slavery in the States. He believed he property should be subjected to peculiar had no lawful right to do so, nor had he any risks? What will those gentlemen gain by inclination to do so. The Constitution, he severing the bond of the Union? If they run averred, was formed by men who knew the this slight risk now, what will they run then, meaning of the words they employed. They when the Northern States will be under no recognized the right of Slaveholding States obligations to return their property? Would to persons held to service, and made it the ten per cent cover the loss of the State? Let duty of the Free States to deliver up such the bond of union be broken, and slave propersons; but left each State perfectly sover-perty would of necessity retire from the Boreign over its own laws. The law of the der. I declare that those men at the North Slave States makes slaves property. The who are called Abolitionists, stand looking law of the Free States does not make them on to-day, with an anxiety you cannot conproperty. The Constitution does neither.ceive of, and their prayers are going up toUpon the idea that the Constitution establishes Slavery, we cannot have peace on the Slavery question, and we may as well know it first as last. The people of the United States will never consent that the Constitution be so altered as to become by its own force a Slavery-extending Constitution. But they do not ask a construction put upon it which will make it abolish Slavery in any State or Territory. We simply ask-let the Constitution stand as our fathers made it, neither affirming or denying; then we can have peace. He said Mr. Lincoln was in favor of giving the South the Fugitive Slave law, and read speeches to support the assertion. The South complain that they lose a great deal by fugitives, and few are reclaimed. This arises from the fact that they possess a species of property with a will of its own, and legs of its own, and desire of its own to get away. This is no fault of ours, and the North are not responsible for that. The Senator from Virginia (Mr. Mason) told us that, a few years ago, Virginia lost annually $100,000, and he believed she lost the He would concede that, for the sake of argument, Virginia had about 500,000
night that this Union may be broken up;
pursuance of it is a supreme law of that State, and
citizen must act at his peril. Now if this doctrine is binding upon every citizen of that State, and every true, that a State by its own mere motion can assemble in convention a mass of its citizens, by resolutions dissolve its connection with the Federal Government, and put an end to the supremacy of the Constitution and laws of the United States, several other consequences must follow. If one State can secede from all the rest, I suppose the Senator from Louisiana will not deny but that all the rest can secede from one, and that of necessity gives to this right of secession involves the right of expulsion. Government the power to expel a State. Your
Let us go a little further, and see how this doctrine would apply in time of war. We were engaged in a war with Great Britain in 1812, and the New England States, it is said, were rather disaffected, and met in Convention at Hartford. Now, if the doctrine of the gentleman is correct, any of the New England States
Louisiana was admitted, she would never have been admitted. I tell you, sir, if any such doctrine had been asserted, her people would never have been permitted to take possession of the swamps of Louisiana. They will not willingly consent that she should hold the mouths of the Mississippi, and thus control the commerce that goes out into the Gulf. How has it been with Texas? The Federal Government admitted Texas at a time when she had a sparse population, and there were many debts against her treasury, and her credit was impaired and broken. We took her, as one of the States, into this Confederacy. The result of her annexation brought the Mexican war, which cost us 40,000 lives and nearly $100,000,000. Now, when we have made her a good State, built fortifications, paid her debts and raised her to a position of a State in this Confederacy, with prospects as glorious, perhaps more so than any other Southern State, is she now, in a single hour or moment of passion, to resolve herself out of the Union and become a foreign power? Suppose we had paid $200,000,000 for Cuba, and acquired her, with all her fortifications, she could now go out, and turn our own guns against us? What is all our great boasted nationality? Is it a farce and a delusion? Gentlemen sometimes complain that the Republican party are disposed to do injustice to the citizens of the South, and to their social institutions especially. But what has been the history of the Government since it was formed under the Constitution? We have acquired Florida, Lousiana, Texas and the Territory from Mexico. We have surrendered a part of Maine, and given up our claim to a large part of Oregon. Florida cost us $40,000,000. It has been given up to the social institutions of the South. We purchased Louisiana Territory, and two-thirds of the good land has been given up to the social institutions of the South. The annexation of Texas, the war with Mexico, and the acquisition of all those territories from Mexico, may be regarded as one transaction. Now I ask you, gentlemen, in all fairness and candor, to say whether we have not surrendered to your social institutions, your full share, comparing the number of persons who are employed in your system of labor, with the free white citizens of the United States? When you speak of injustice, it is without foundation. You have had your full share, and more than your share, of the Territories we have acquired from the beginning up to this hour. I am sick and tired of hearing gentlemen stand up here and complain of the injustice done to this institution of the South. There is no foundation for it in our
could have resolved itself out at its pleasure and gone over to the enemy. Our fortresses in Boston Harbor, which we had manned, built, and filled with munitions and guns, they might have withdrawn from and surrendered to the enemy, and turned our own guns upon us. This is the consequence of this doctrine. But, again, take it in time of peace. Apply the doctrine to Pennsylvania, that she, by a simple resolution of her people, can withdraw from the United States. She could cut off all the mail routes going across Pennsylvania, and we could not go from Virginia to New York without going across a foreign country. So, too, with Illinois; if this doctrine is correct, we of the North-West could be cut off entirely from the East; and especially if the Union is to be broken up, we could not go to New York except by leave of Illinois, or without going through the State of Kentucky; and you propose to make that a foreign jurisdiction. Apply this doctrine further. How is it with Florida, a little State of the Gulf that has 50,000 white inhabitants almost as many as some of the counties in the State where I live? We purchased this peninsula, and paid for it, to get rid of the foreign jurisdiction over it also to get possession of the Key, and command the entrance to the Gulf. We paid $35,000,000 to take the Seminoles off from it, and now these 50,000 people, whom the good people of the United States permitted to go there and settle their territories they had hardly population enough to be admitted as a State, but we have admitted them to full fellowship-and Florida now attempts, by mere resolution of her people gathered together, to resolve herself out of the Union, and take all those fortresses, which we have spent thousands of dollars to make, with all our own guns, and turn them against us. How is it with Louisiana? The Government of the United States upon wise national principles of great national policy, purchased from the Emperor of France, or the first Consul, the Territory of Louisiana, at an expense of $15,000,000. We purchased it to obtain possession of the great valley of the Mississippi, and above all things, to hold the mouth of that River which controls all its commerce, and discharges it upon the high seas of the world. Now, can it be contended here that because the people of whom the Federal Government has permitted to go in there, and occupy its lands, and permitted to be introduced into the family of this reunion, that she, in a moment of passion aud excitement, by the mere resolution of her citizens, can resolve herself outside of the confederacy, declare that she is a foreign power, and take with her the control of the mouths of the Mississippi. I tell you, Mr. Presi-history-none whatever. *** What do we deny to dent, and I tell the Senator from Louisiana, that if any such doctrine had been understood when
you that we do not deny to ourselves? What single right have I in New Mexico that you have not? You
THE COMMITTEE OF THIRTEEN.
say this law excludes your social institution. So it excludes our banking institutions and our manufacturing corporations. Your social institution is a kind of close corporation, existing under the laws of your States, not existing by the common law of the country. We deny you no right which we do not deny ourselves. *** If we acquire Territory, you are asking too much when you ask us to convert it to Slave Territory. It is impossible that we can have peace upon any such doctrine as that. You must allow the Free Territories to remain free. We will not interfere with your institution where it exists, Sir, that is peace. I repeat, that non-interference by the General Government or by the Free State meu, with Slavery in the States, and non-interference by the General Government or by the Slaveholders, against freedom in the Territories, is peace. Mr. Doolittle was frequently interrupted by Mr. Benjamin of Louisiana, Wigfall of Texas, and Brown of Mississippi-all of whose inquiries he answered with decision and candor. Mr. Brown made a brief Mr. Brown's Reply. reply, declaring that Northern Senators would overlook the main point at issue. We claim that there is property in slaves, and they deny it. Until we can settle on some basis this question, it is idle to talk of peace. He claimed that the doctrine of non-recognition of property in slaves was a new doctrine. He said the South had $400,000,000 in this kind of property. Is it to be supposed that the South would consent to live under a Government outlawing this kind of property? Can millions at the South consent to live under a Government as outlaws, only recognized when the Government wants tribute? If the Government continue to outlaw the South, there is only two ways-separate in peace or by force. He said the South could not take less than justice, and asked no more. They recognized the right of the Government to protect the property of the North, but the North would not recognize the right of protection to the property of the South. If they persisted in the idea that the Government would not recognize property in slaves, and protect it, then, standing in the high presence of and before Almighty God, he declared the Union could not last ninety days.
This day's proceedings did not bring the discordant elements into closer harmony. The spirit of Mr. Doolittle's speech was emi
nently kind and candid; and, if it failed to make any impression on the points at issue, its circulation among the people served to strengthen the confident and determined spirit of the vast mass of Northern people. It unquestionably had the endorsement of four-fifths of the voters in the North-western States.
No further proceedings of this week's (the 4th) session particularly related to the "question of questions." It was understood that Mr. Benjamin, of Louisiana, would address the Senate on Monday, January 1st. All looked forward with interest to that specch, as Mr. B. would unquestionably define the course which the united Southern States were to pursue.
The Committee of Thirty-three.
The Committee of Thirty-three having adjourned December 21st to December 27th, accomplished little during their sessions of Thursday and Friday, December 27th-28th. On Thursday the propositions of Mr. Rust [See page 103,] were urged to a vote, and were rejected by 12 to 15. On Friday the Committee considered Mr. Adams' proposition. It proposed an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting Congress from passing a law interfering with slavery in the States where it exists. It was agreed to by nearly an unanimous vote, the several dissents considering that the Constitution already gives that security.