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Opinion of Attorney-General Black | which merchandize is imported, and from whence it is exupon the Powers of the President.


November 20, 1860.

ported. It is created by law. It is not merely a harbor or haven, for it may be established where there is nothing but an open roadstead, or on the shore of a navigable river, or at any other place where vessels may arrive and discharge or take in their cargoes. It comprehends the city or town which is occupied by the mariners, merchants, and others who are engaged in the business of importing and export

provisious. It includes also so much of the water adjacent to the city as is usually occupied by vessels discharging or receiving their cargoes, or lying at auchor and waiting for the purpose.

SIR: I have had the honor to receive your note of the 17th, and I now reply to the grave questious therein proponnded as fully as the time allowed me will permit. Within their respective spheres of action the Federaling goods, navigating the ships and furnishing them with Government and the Government of a State are both of them independent and supreme, but each is utterly powerless beyond the limits assigned to it by the Constitution. If Congress would attempt to change the law of descents, to make a new rule of personal succession, or to dissolve the family relations existing in any State, the act would be simply void, but not more void than would be a State Law to prevent the recapture of fugitives from labor, to forbid the carrying of the nails, or to stop the collection of duties on imports. The will of a State, whether expressed in its constitution or laws, cannot, while it remains in the Confederacy, absolve her people from the duty of obeying the just and constitutional requirements of the Central Government, Nor cau any act of the Central Gov-legally-established port of entry for the district-that right ernment displace the jurisdiction of a State, because the laws of the United States are supreme and binding only so far as they are passed in pursuance of the Constitution. I do not say what might be effected by mere revolutionary force. I am speaking of legal and constitutional right. This is the view always taken by the Judiciary, and so universally adopted that the statement of it may seem common-place. The Supreme Court of the United States has declared it in many cases. I need only refer you to the United States vs. Booth where the present Chief Justice, expressing the unanimous opinion of himself and all his brethren, enunciated the doctrine in terins so clear and fuil that any further demonstration of it can scarcely be required.

The duty which these principles devolve not only upon every officer, but every citizen, is that which Mr. Jefferson expressed so compendiously in his first inaugural, namely, to support the State Governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for their domestic concerns, and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies," combined with the preservation of the General Government, in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet-anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad."

To the Chief Executive Magistrate of the Union is confided the solemn duty of seeing the laws faithfully executed. That he may be able to meet this duty with a power equal to its performance, he nominates his own subordinates and removes them at his pleasure. For the same reason the land and naval forces are under his orders as their commander-in-chief. But his power is to be used only in the manner prescribed by the legislative depart ment. He cannot accomplish a legal purpose by illegal means, or break the laws himself to prevent them from being violated by others.

The acts of Congress sometimes give the President a broad discretion in the use of the means by which they are to be executed, and sometimes limit bis power so that he can exercise it only in a certain prescribed manner. Where the law directs a thing to be done, without saying how, that implies the power to use such means as may be necessary and proper to accomplish the end of the Legislature. But where the mode of performing a duty is pointed out by statute, that is the exclusive mode, and no other can be followed. The United States have no common law to fall back upon when the written law is defective. If, therefore, an act of Congress declares that a certain thing shall be done by a particular officer, it cannot be done by a different officer. The agency which the law furnishes for its own execution must be used, to the exclusion of all others. For instance, the revenues of the United States are to be collected in a certain way, at certain established ports, and by a certain class of officers; the President has no sathority, under any circumstances, to collect the same revennes at other places by a different sort of officers, or in ways not provided for. Even if the machinery furnished by Congress for the collection of the duties should by any cause become so derauged or broken up that it could not be used, that would not be a legal reason for sab-titnting a different kind of machinery in its place. The law requires that all goods imported into the United States within certain collection-districts shall be entered at the proper port, and the duty thereon shall be received by the Collector appointed for and residing at that port. But the functions of the Collector may be exercised any where at or within the port. There is no law which conflues him to the custom-house, or to any other particular spot. If the custom-house were burnt down, he might remove to another building; if he were driven from the shore, Be might go on board a vessel in the harbor. If he keeps within the port he is within the law. A port is a place to

The first section of the act of March 2d, 1833, authorized the President in a certain contingency to direct that the custom-house for any collection district be established and kept in any secure place within some port or harbor of such district, either upon land or on board any vessel. But this provision was temporary, and expired at the end of the session of Congress next afterwards. It conferred upon the Executive a right to remove the site of the custom-house, not merely to any secure place within the he had before-but it widened his authority so as to allow the removal of it to any port or harbor within the whole district. The enactment of that law and the limitation of it to a certain period of time now past, is not therefore, an argument against the opinion above expressed that you can now if necessary, order the duties to be collected on board a vessel inside of any established port of entry. Whether the first and fifth sectious of the act of 1833, both of which were made temporary by the eighth section, should be re-enacted, is a question for the legislative department.

Your right to take such measures as may seem to be necessary for the protection of the public property is very clear. It results from the proprietary rights of the Government as owner of the forts, arsenals, magazines, dockyards, navy-yards, custom-houses, public ships, and other property which the United States have bought, built, and paid for. Besides, the Government of the United States is authorized by the Constitution (Art. I, Sec. 8) to "exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever.. over all places purchased by the consent of the Legislature of the State in which the same shall be for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings." It is believed that no important public building has been bought or erected on ground where the Legislature of the State, in which it is, has not a passed a law consenting to the purchase of it and ceding the exclusive jurisdiction. This Government, then, is not only the owner of those buildings and grounds, but, by virtue of the supreme and paramount law, it regulates the action and punishes the offences of all who are within them. If any one of an owner's rights is plainer than another, it is that of keeping exclusive possession and repelling intrusion. The right of defending the public property includes also the right of recapture after it has been unlaw. fully taken by another. President Jefferson held the opinion, and acted upon it, that he could order a military force to take possession of any land to which the United States had title, though they had never occupied it before, though a private party claimed and held it, and though it was not then needed nor proposed to be used for any purpose connected with the operations of the Governinent. This may have been a stretch of Executive power; but the right of retaking public property in which the Government has been carrying on its lawful business, and from which its officers have been unlawfully thrust out, cannot well be doubted; and when it was exercised at Harper's Ferry in October, 1859, every one acknowledged the legal justice of it.

I come now to the point in your letter which is proba bly of the greatest practical importance. By the act of 1807 you may employ such parts of the land and naval forces as you shall judge necessary for the purpose of causing the laws to be duly executed, in all cases where it is lawful to use the militia for the same purpose. By the act of 1795 the militia may be called forth whenever the laws of the United States shall be opposed or the execution thereof obstructed in any State by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the power vested in the marshals." This imposes upon the President the sole responsibility of deciding whether the exigency has arisen which requires the use of military force; and in proportion to the magnitude of that responsibility will be his care not to overstep the limits of his legal and just authority.

The laws referred to in the act of 1795 are manifestly those which are administered by the judges and executed by the ministerial officers of the courts for the punishment of crime against the United States, for the protection of rights claimed under the Federal Constitution and laws, and for the enforcement of such obligations as come

Our forefathers do not seem to have thought that war was calculated "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common de fence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings liberty to ourselves and our posterity." There was undoubtedly a strong and universal conviction among the men who framed and ratified the Constitution, that military force would not only be useless, but pernicious as a means of holding the States together.

If it be true that war cannot be declared, nor a system of general hostilities carried on by the central government against a State, then it seems to follow that an attempt to do so would be ipso facto an expulsion of such State from the Union. Being treated as an alien and an enemy, she would be compelled to act accordingly. And if Congress shall break up the present Union by unconstitutionally putting strife and enmity, and armed hostility, between different sections of the country, instead of the "domestic tranquillity" which the Constitution was meant to insure, will not all the States be absolved from their Federal obli gations? Is any portion of the people bound to contribute their money or their blood to carry on a contest like that? The right of the General Government to preserve itself in its whole constitutional vigor by repelling a direct and positive aggression upon its property or its officers, cannot be denied. But this is a totally different thing from an offensive war to punish the people for the political misdeeds of their State governments, or to prevent a threatened violation of the Constitution, or to enforce an acknowledgment that the government of the United States is supreme. The States are colleagues of one another, and if some of them shall conquer the rest and hold them as subjugated provinces, it would totally destroy the whole theory upon which they are now connected.

within the cognizance of the Federal Judiciary. To com-
pel obedience to these laws, the Courts have authority to
punish all who obstruct their regular administration, and
the marshals and their deputies have the same powers
as sheriffs and their deputies in the several States in exe-of
cuting the laws of the States. These are the ordinary
means provided for the execution of the laws, and the
whole spirit of our system is opposed to the employment
of any other except in cases of extreme necessity, arising
out of great and unusual combinations against them.
Their agency must continue to be used until their in-
capacity to cope with the power opposed to them shall
be plainly demonstrated. It is only upon clear evidence
to that effect that a military force can be called into the
field. Even then its operations must be purely defensive.
It can suppress only such combinations as are found
directly opposing the laws and obstructing the execution
thereof. It can do no more than what might and ought
to be done by a civil posse, if a civil posse could be
raised large enough to meet the same opposition. On
such occasions especially the military power must be
kept in strict subordination to the civil authority, since it
is only in aid of the latter that the former can act at all.
But what if the feeling in any State against the United
States should become so universal that the Federal officers
themselves (including judges, district-attorneys, and mar-
shals) would be reached by the same influences, and resign
their places? Of course the first step would be to appoint
others in their stead, if others could be got to serve. But,
in such an event, it is more than probable that great diffi-
culty would be found in filling the offices. We can easily
conceive how it might become altogether impossible. We
are therefore obliged to consider what can be done in case
we have no courts to issue judicial process, and no minis-
terial officers to execute it. In that event troops would
certainly be out of place, and their use wholly illegal. If
they are sent to aid the courts and marshals, there must be
courts and marshals to be aided. Without the exercise of
those functions, which belong exclusively to the civil ser-
vice, the laws cannot be executed in any event, no matter
what may be the physical strength which the Government
bas at its command. Under such circumstances, to send a
military force into any State with orders to act against the
people would be simply making war upon them.

The existing laws put and keep the Federal Government
strictly on the defensive. You can use force only to repel
an assault on the public property, and aid the courts in the
of their duty. If the means
fect the revenue and execute the other laws be insufficient
for that purpose, Congress may extend and make them

more effectual to that end.

If one of the States should declare her independence,

your action cannot depend upon the rightfulness of the cause upon which such declaration is based. Whether the

retirement of a State from the Union be the exercise of a right reserved in the Constitution or a revolutionary movement, it is certain that you have not in either case the authority to recognize her independence or to absolve her from her Federal obligations. Congress or the other States in convention assembled must take such measures as may be necessary and proper. In such an event I see no course for you but to go straight onward in the path you have hitherto trodden, that is, execute the laws to the extent of the defensive means placed in your hands, and act generally upon the assumption that the present constitutional rela

tions between the States and the Federal Government con

tinue to exist until a new order of things shall be established, either by law or force.

Whether Congress has the constitutional right to make war against one or more States, and require the Executive of the Federal Government to carry it on by means of force to be drawn from the other States, is a question for Congress itself to consider. It must be admitted that no such power is expressly given; nor are there any words in the Constitution which imply it. Among the powers enumerated in article I. section 8, is that "to declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and to make rules concerning captures on land and water." This certainly means nothing more than the power to commence and carry on hostilities against the foreign enemies of the nation. Another clause in the same section gives Congress the power to provide for calling forth the militia," and to use them within the limits of the State. But this power is so restricted by the words which immediately follow, that it can be exercised only for one of the following purposes: 1. To execute the laws of the Union; that is, to aid the Federal officers in the performance of their regular duties. 2. To suppress insurrections against the States; but this is confined by article IV. section 4, to cases in which the State herself shall apply for assistance against her own people. 3. To repel the invasion of a State by enemies who come from abroad to assail her in her own territory. All these provisions are made to protect the States, not to authorize an attack by one part of the country upon another; to preserve their peace, and not to plunge them into civil war.

If this view of the subject be as correct as I think it is, then the Union must utterly perish at the moment when Congress shall arm one part of the people against another for any purpose beyond that of merely protecting the General Government in the exercise of its proper constitutional functions. I am, very respectfully, yours, etc., J. S. BLACK.

To the President of the United States.

Committee of Thirty-three. December 4th. In the House of Repre sentatives, Mr. BOTELER of Virginia moved that so much of the President's message as relates to the present perilous condition of the country be referred to a special committee of one from each State, which was agreed to-yeas 145, nays 38, as follows:

YEAS-Messrs. Adams of Massachusetts, Adams of Ky., Adrain, Aldrich, Allen, Alley, Anderson of Ky., Anderson, of Missouri, Avery, Babbitt, Barr, Barrett, Bocock, Boteler, Bouligny, Branch, Brayton, Briggs, Bristow, Brown, Burch, Burnett, Campbell, Carter, Clark of N. Y., Clark of Mo., Cobb, John Cochrane of N. York, Colfax, Conkling, Corwin, Covodo, Cox, Curtis, Davis of Md., Davis of Ind., Davis, of Miss., De Jarnette, Delano, Duell, Dunn, Edmundson, Eliot, Ely, English, Etheridge, Ferry, Florence, Foster, Fonke, Frank, French, Gilmer, Gooch, Graham, Gurley, Hale, Hall, Hardeman, Harris of Md., Harris of Va., Haskin, Hatton, Helmick, Hill, Hoard, Holman, Houston, Howard of Ohio, Hughes, Humphrey, Jenkins, Junkin, Kellogg of Illinois, Kenyon, Kilgore, Killinger, Kunkel, Larrabee, Leach of N. Carolina, Leake, Logan, Longnecker, Love, Maclay, Martin of Ohio, Martin, of Va., Maynard, McClernard, Mc Kenty, McPherson, Millson, Moore of Ky., Moorhead, Morrill, Morris of Penn., Morris of Ill.,Nelson, Niblack, Nixon, Noell, Palmer, Pendleton, Pettit, Pej ton, Phelps, Porter, Pryor, Quarles, Reynolds, Rice, Riggs, Robinson of R. I., Robinson of Illinois, Royce, Rust, Sickles, Smith of Va., Smith of N. C., Somes, Spaulding, Spinner, Stevenson, Stewart of Md., Stewart of Pa., Stokes, Stout, Stratton, Thayer, Theaker, Thomas, Train, Trimble, Vollandig ham, Vance, Vandever, Verree, Walton, Washburn of Me, Webster, Whiteley, Windom, Winslow, Wood, Woodruff-145. NAYS-Messrs. Ashley, Beale, Bingham, Blair, Blake, Buffinton, Burlingame, Burnham, Carey, Case, Edgerton, Fenton, Grow, Hickman, Howard of Mich., Hutchins, Ir vine, Kellogg of Mich., Leach of Mich., Lee, Loomis, Lovejoy, McKean, McKnight, Morse, Perry, Potter, Pottle, Sedgwick, Sherman, Stanton, Stevens, Tappan, Tompkins, Wade, Washburn of Wis., Washburne of Ill., Wells-38.

During the vote, Mr. SINGLETON of Mississippi, said he declined to vote because he had not been sent here to make any com.

qromise or patch up existing difficulties, that the people should be true to their constiand that a Convention of the people of Mis- tutional obligations; that as our differences sissippi would consider and decide the sub-had arisen mainly from the acquisition of ject.

new territory, no more territory ought Mr. Hawkins of Florida, said the day of ever to be acquired ; affirming the right of compromise had passed, and that he was self-government in the Territories as indeopposed, and he believed his State was op- pendent of Congress or the President; in posed, to all and every compromise. favor of admission of new States with a pop

Mr. Clopton of Alabama, believed in the ulation equal to the ratio of representation ; right of a State to secede, considered that that the Government of the United States the only remedy for present evils, and would should never own any more territory, and not hold out any delusive hope, or sanction that annexation of territory in the future any temporizing policy.

should only be by consent of the States; Mr. MILES of South Carolina, said their that there should be no Congressional legi:delegation had not voted on the question lation whatever on the subject of slavery, because they conceived they had no inter- and that every Congressional District should est in it. They considered their State as in future be an Electoral District, entitled already withdrawn from the Confederacy in every four years to elect one Presidential every thing except form.

elector. Mr. Pugh of Alabama, said that State in- By Mr. Joan CocHRANE of New York. A tended following South Carolina out of the preamble and resolution to the effect that Union by the 10th of January next, and he the decision of the Supreme Court in the paid no attention to any action taken in this Dred Scott case should be received as a setbody. The Committee consisted of tlement of the questions therein discussed Mr. Corwin of Ohio.

and decided ; also, in favor of amending the Mr. Millson of Virginia.

Constitution so as to give a right to ConMr. Adams of Massachusetts.

gress to establish territorial governments; Mr. Winslow of North Carolina. providing for admission of new States with Mr. Humphrey of New York.

a population equal to the Federal ratio of Mr. Boyce of South Carolina.

representation, with or without slavery, and Mr. Campbell of Pennsylvania. prohibiting Congress and the people of the Mr. Love of Georgia.

territory from impairing the right of propMr. Ferry of Connecticut.

erty in slaves during its existence as a ter. Mr. Davis of Maryland.

ritory. Mr. Robinson of Rhode Island.

Mr. Joan COCHRANE of New York, also Mr. Whiteley of Delaware.

offered amendments to the Constitution in Mr. Tappan of New Hampshire. favor of a division of territory on the line of Mr. Stratton of New Jersey.

thirty-six degrees thirty minutes ; in favor Mr. Bristow of Kentucky.

of admission of new States with or without Mr. Morrill of Vermont.

slavery ; to prohibit Congress from abolish. Mr. Nelson of Tennessee.

ing the inter-State slave-trade ; reaffirming Mr. Dunn of Indiana.

the obligation of the fugitive slave law; Mr. Taylor of Louisiana.

guaranteeing a right of transit in free States Mr. Reuben Davis of Mississippi. of persons with slaves, and declaring void Mr. Kellogg of Illinois.

all nullifying acts of State or Territorial Mr. Houston of Alabama.

Legislatures. Mr. Morse of Maine.

Mr. John CocHRANE of New York, also Mr. Phelps of Missouri.

offered a preamble and resolutions to the Mr. Rust of Arkansas.

saine effect, as regards the question of slaMr. Howard of Michigan.

very in the territories, with his proposition Mr. Hawkins of Florida.

to amend the Constitution, just cited, and Mr. Harailton of Texas.

coupled with a resolution declaring that the Mr. Washburn of Wisconsin.

Constitution of the United States existed Mr. Curtis of Iowa.

only by agreement of sovereign States, and Mr. Burch of California.

that any attempt of the Federal GovernMr. Windom of Minnesota.

ment to coerce a sovereign State into the Mr. Stout of Oregon.

observance of the Constitutional compact, Messrs. Hawkins and Boyce asked to be would be to levy war upon a substantial excused from service on the Committee, but power and precipitate a dissolution of the the House refused.


Mr. HASKIN offered as a substitute to the Propositions Submitted to the Com- above, a resolution directing the Committee mittee.

on the Judiciary to inquire and report as to By Mr. THAYER of Massachusetts. A series what action Congress should take in regard of resolutions to the effect that the repre- to enforcing the Constitution and laws in sentatives of the people should devote South Carolina, and what was the duty of themselves to the cause of the country, in the Executive in this regard. the spirit of the fathers of the Republic; By Mr. Mallory of Kentucky. Instructo


ing the Committee of Thirty-three in favor in the States where it exists, and prohibition of a division of territory on line of thirty- of right of Congress to interfere therewith six degrees thirty minutes, and admis- or with the inter-State slave-trade. sion of new States with a population equal 2d. Expressly requiring Congress to proto the Federal ratio of representation, with tect slavery in the territories, and in all or without slavery, and to prohibit Congress places under its jurisdiction. from abolishing slavery in any places within 3d. For admission of new States, with or its jurisdiction, or from abolishing the inter- without slavery, as their Constitutions State slave-trade.

should provide. By Mr. STEVENSON of Kentucky. To so 4th. "Right of transit for persons with amend the fugitive slave law as to make it slaves through the free States. felony to resist the execution of said law 5th. To prohibit a right of represen.

By Mr. English of Indiana. That said tation in Congress to any States passing committee be instructed to inquire into the laws to impair the obligations of the fugitive expediency of settling all matters of con- slave law until such acts shall have been troversy upon the following basis: 1. Divi- repealed. sion of Territory between the free and slave 6th. Giving the slave States a negative States, with provision for admission of new upon all acts of Congress relating to slavery: States with a population equal to the Fed- 7th. Making the above amendments, and eral ratio of representation. 2. Prohibiting all provisions of the Constitution relative Congress from impairing the right of prop- to slavery unamendable. erty in slaves. 3. Making the city, county, or 8th. Granting to the several States autownship liable in double the value of fugi- thority to appoint all Federal officers within tive slaves forcibly rescued, etc.

their respective limits. By Mr. KILGORE of Indiana. To give the right By Mr. LARRABEE of Wisconsin. Recof trial by jury, where a fugitive slave claims ommending the several States to call a to be free, with right of appeal on writ of Convention of all the States to adopt such error to either party. Monied compensation measures as the existing exigency required. in case of rescue by force, etc., and making By Mr. ANDERSON of Missouri. In fait a criminal offence to resist the enforce- vor of a joint resolution to refer the quesment of the fugitive slave law.

tions at issue between the free and slave By Mr. Holman of Indiana. Resolutions States to the Supreme Court of the United opposing the right of secession, declaring States for their opinion, and when obtained, the duty of the General Government to en- that Congress should pass all necessary force with temperate firmness and in good laws for giving effect to the opinion of said faith the provisions of the Constitution, and court. instructing the Committee of Thirty-three to By Mr. Smith of Virginia. In favor of inquire and report what legislation is needed declaring out of the Union every State to thwart any attempted nullification. which shall aim by legislation to nullify an

By Mr. NIBLACK of Indiana. That the com- act of Congress. mittee be instructed to inquire and report By Mr. SICKLES of New York. To whether Congress has power to provide by amend the Constitution so as to provide, law for a payment of money to the owner of a that whenever a Convention of delegates fugitive slave prevented by violence from re- chosen in any State by the people thereof capturing hiin.

under a recommendation of its Legislature, By Mr. John A. McCLERNAND of Illinois shall rescind its ratification of the ConstiTo same effect, and further to inquire and tution, the President shall appoint, with report as to the expediency of establishing consent of the Senate, three Commissioners a special Federal police to execute the laws to agree with such State regarding the disof the United States, and prevent opposition position of the public property therein, and thereto.

the proportion of the public debt which By Mr. Noell of Missouri. That said such State ought to assume, which being Committee be instructed to inquire and re-approved by the President and two-thirds port as to the expediency of abolishing the of the Senate, he shall by proclamation deOffice of President of the United States, clare the assent of the United States to the and establishing in lieu thereof an Executive withdrawal of any such State from the Council of three members to be elected by Union. districts composed of contiguous States By Mr. Dunn of Indiana. A resolution as nearly as possible-each member to be in favor of a more effectual execution of armed with a veto power; and also as to the 2d Section of the 4th Article of the whether the equilibrium of free and slave Constitution to secure the personal rights States in the United States Senate can be of citizens of any State, travelling or sorestored and preserved, particularly by a journing in any other State. voluntary division of some of the slave By Mr. ADRain of New Jersey. A States into two or more States.

series of resolutions in substance as follows: By Mr. Hindman of Arkansas. In favor Declaring the doctrine of non-intervention of amending the Constitution as follows: of Congress in the territories ; the right of

1st. An express recognition of slavery 'the people to be admitted as a State, either

in pur

with or without slavery, as its Constitution separately given to every act of the Federal should provide; in favor of the repeal of all Government, or whether there should be a enactments of State Legislatures which con- dual Executive or a dual Senate, or the flicted with acts of Congress, or the Con- assent of a majority of the Senators from stitution, affirming the constitutionality of each section necessary to pass any law, or the fugitive slave law; inculcating a kind what other measures were needed for the and fraternal spirit among the people of the protection of the slaveholding States. different States, and deprecating any inter- By Mr. Cox of Ohio. A resolution directference with the domestic institutions of one ing the Committee of Thirty-three to inanother, and declaring that the Constitution quire what additional legislation was necescould only be preserved by the same spirit sary to enforce the provisions of the Conof compromise that had governed its for- stitution relative to rendition of fugitives, mation.

and that such inquiry should be made By Mr. Morris of Pennsylvania. In ) with special reference to punishing all judges, structing the Committee of Thirty-three to attorney-generals, executives, and other report if there are any personal liberty bills State ufficers who should oppose its execution. of any State in conflict with the fugitive By Mr. Hutchins of Ohio. A resolution slave law, and to inquire and report if the directing said committee to inquire what fugitive slave law is not susceptible of amend- legislation was needed to give effect to secment so as to prevent kidnapping, and ren- tion two of article four of the Constitution, der more certain the ascertainment of the granting to “the citizens of each State all true character of the fugitive.

the privileges and immunities of citizens in By Mr. STEWART of Maryland. A lengthy the several States," and to secure to all the preamble reciting to the effect that the States people the full benefit of article four of were sovereign, independent political organi- amendments to the Constitution, which zations originally, and had united from time to guarantees exemption from unreasonable time under such form of association or union searches and seizures, etc. as was deemed expedient—which form of as- By Mr. SHERMAN of Ohio. A series of sociation had been from time to time changed resolutions to the effect that the only remedy peaceably as circumstances required; that for existing dissensions was to be found in a it was the deliberate opinion of many of the faithful observance of all the compromises of people that our present form of government, the Constitution and the laws froin causes either resulting from or in vio- suance thereof; instructing the Committee of lation of the Constitution, was inadequate Thirty-three to inquire whether any State or for the purposes for which it was created; the people thereof have failed of their duty that certain States were threatening to with. in this regard, and if so what remedy should draw their allegiance; and that we had be made therefor, and directing said comreached a crisis in our history which required mittee to divide the remaining Territories an alteration of the present form of govern- into States of convenient size with a view to ment; and he followed with a resolution in their immediate admission into the Union. structing the committee on the President's By Mr. BINGHAM of Ohio. A resolution message to inquire if any measures could be directing the committee to report such addiadopted for preserving the rights of all the tional legislation as might be needed to put States under the Union, and if not, to then down armed rebellion and protect the prop; inquire as to the best mode of adjusting the erty of the United States from seizure, and rights of the several States in a dissolution the citizens thereof from unlawful violence. of the Union.

By Mr. LEAKE of Virginia. A resolution OTHER PROPOSITIONS SUBMITTED TO THE HOUSE. in favor of the amendment of the Constitu- Mr. Etheridge of Tennessee proposed a tion in the following particulars : Making it series of amendments to the Constitution, the duty of Congress to pass laws to protect in substance as follows: slavery where it exists; taking away all terri- That Congress shall not interfere with torial jurisdiction over the matter; guaran- slavery in the States, nor in any forts, teeing the right of transit for persons with arsenals, etc., ceded to the United States their slaves in any State » reaffirming the by a slave State, nor in the District of Col. fugitive slave clause, with additional provi-umbia, without the consent of Maryland, sion for compensation in case of failure to Virginia, and the inhabitants of the District, return the fugitive.

nor without making compensation; nor with By Mr. JENKINS of Virginia. A resolution the inter-State slave-trade. Foreign slavedirecting the Committee of Thirty-three to in-trade prohibited. In regard to slavery in quire into the best mode of amending the Territories, a provision similar to that profugitive slave law so as to adequately punish posed by Mr. Cochrane, before cited. No its infraction and render compensation when foreign territory to be acquired except on a the slave should not be restored; also as to concurrent two-thirds vote of both houses of whether the election of a President hostile to Congress or by a treaty ratified by two-thirds the slaveholding interest was not a sufficient of the members of the Senate; and an amendreason to justify the slaveholding States to re- ment in reference to rendition of fugitives quire that their concurrent sanction should be from justice.

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