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Washington on the 4th of February, in pursuance of a recommendation of the State of Virginia, embodied in resolutions adopted by the General Assembly of that State on the 19th of January. It consisted of delegates, 133 in number, from 21 States—none of those which had seceded being represented. John Tyler, of Virginia, was appointed president, and a committee, consisting of one from each State, was appointed, with authority to “report what they may deem right, necessary, and proper to restore harmony and preserve the Union." On the 15th of February the committee reported a series of resolutions, in seven sections, which were discussed and amended, one by one, until the afternoon of the 26th, when the vote was taken upon them as amended, in succession, with the following results :
SECTION 1. In all the present territory of the United States, north of the parallel of thirty-six degrees and thirty minntes of north latitude, involuntary servitude, except in punishment of crime, is prohibited. In all the present territory south of that line, the status of persons held to involuntary service or labor, as it now exists, shall not be changed; nor shall any law he passed by Congress or the Territorial Legislature to hinder or prevent the taking of such persons from any of the States of this Union to said territory, nor to impair the rights arising from said relation;
but the same shall be subject to judicial cognizance in the Federal Courts, according to the course of the commou law. When any territory north or south of said line, within such boundary as Congress may prescribe, shall contain a population equal to that required for a member of Congress, it shall, if its form of government be republican, be admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, with or without involuntary servitude as the constitution of such State may provide.
The vote on the adoption of the section was as follows:
AYES.-Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee-8.
NOES. -Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia-11.
So its adoption was not agreed to.
A reconsideration of this vote was called for by the delegates from Illinois and agreed to, 14 to 5. On the next day the question was again taken on the adoption of the section, with the follo'ving result:
Ares.-Delaware Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee-9.
Noes. ---Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia,&
Thus the section was adopted
It was stated by the members from New York, when the State was called, that one of their number, D. D. Field, was absent, and the delegation was divided. Thus New York, Indiana, and Kansas were divided.
The adoption of the second section was then moved; it was as follows:
SECTION 2. No territory shall be aequired by the United States, except by discovery, and for naval and commercial stations, depots, and transit routes, without the concurrence of a majority of all the Senators from States which allow involuntary servitude, and a majority of all the Senators from States which prohibit that relation; por shall territory be acquired by treaty, unless the votes of a majority of the Senators from each class of States hereinbefore mentioned be cast as a part of the two-thirds majority necessary to the ratification of such treaty.
The vote on this section was as follows: ATES.-Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Marylind, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia—11.
Noes.Conneeticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Vermont-8.
New York and Kansas were divided.
The adoption of section three of the report, with the amendments, was next moved. The amended section was as follows:
SECTION 3. Neither the Constitution nor any amendment thereof shall be construed to give Congress power to regulate, abolish, or control, within any State, the relation established or recognized by the laws thereof touching persons held to labor or involuntary service therein, nor to interfere with or abolish involuntary service in the District of Columbia without the consent of Maryland and without the consent of the owners, or making the owners who do not consent just compensation; por the power to interfere with or prohibit representatives and others from bringing with them to the District of Columbia, retaining and taking away, persons so held to labor or service; nor the power to interfere with or abolish involuntary service in places under the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States within those States and Territories where the same is established or recognized; nor the power to prohibit the removal or transportation of persons held to labor or involuntary service in any State or territory of the United States to any other State or
territory thereof where it is established or recognized by law or usageand the right during transportation, by sea or river, of touching at ports, shores, and landings, and of landing in case of distress, shall exist; but not the right of transit in or through any State or territory, or of sale or traffic, against the law thereof. Nor shall Congress have power to authorize any higher rate of taxation on persons held to labor or service than on land.
The vote on the adoption of the section was as follows: AYES.-Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey; North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vir. ginia—12.
Noes.—Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont-7.
So the section was adopted. Kansas and New York were divided.
The adoption of the fourth section of the report, as amended, was then moved; it was as follows:
SECTION 4. The third paragraph of the second section of the fourth article of the Constitution shall not be construed to prevent any of the States, by appropriate legislation, and through the action of their judicial and ministerial officers, from enforcing the delivery of fugitives from labor to the person to whom such service or labor is due.
The vote on the adoption of this section was as follows:
Noes.-Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire-4.
The adoption of the fifth section of the report as amended was then moved; it was as follows:
SECTION 5. The foreign slave-trade is hereby forever prohibited, and it shall be the duty of Congress to pass laws to prevent the importation of slaves, coolies, or persons held to service or labor into the United States and the Territories from places beyond the limits thereof.
The vote on the adoption of this section resulted as follows:
AYES.-Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Kansas-16.
Noes.-Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Virginia_5.
A motion was next made to adopt the sixth section as amended; it was as follows:
SECTION 6. The first, third, and fifth sections, together with this section of these amendments, and the third paragraph of the second section of the first article of the Constitution, and the third paragraph of the second section of the fourth article thereof, shall not be amended or abolished without the consent of all the States.
The vote on this section was as follows:
AYES.-Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Kansas-11.
Noes.-Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia—9.
New York was divided. So this section was adopted.
The motion was then made to adopt the seventh and last section as amended; it was as follows:
SECTION 7. Congress shall provide by law that the United States shall pay to the owner the full value of his fugitive from labor, in all cases where the marshal or other officer whose duty it was to arrest such fugi. tive, was prevented from doing so by violence or intimidation, from mobs or other riotous assemblages, or when, after arrest, such fugitive was rescued by like violence or intimidation, and the owner thereby deprived of the same; and the acceptance of such payment shall preclude the owner from further claim to such fugitive. Congress shall provide by law for securing to the citizens of each State the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.
The vote on this section was as follows:
AYES.—Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Kansas—12.
Noes.-Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, North Carolina, Vermont, Virginia—7.
Thus the last section was adopted. New York was divided.
The adoption of the following resolution was then moved by Mr. Franklin, of Pennsylvania :
Resolved, As the sense of this Convention, that the highest political duty of every citizen of the United States is his allegiance to the Federal Government created by the Constitution of the United States, and that no State of this Union has any constitutional right to secede therefrom, or to absolve the citizens of such State from their allegiance to the Government of the United States.
It was moved to lay the resolution on the table. The vote was as follows:
AYES.-Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia—9.
NOES.-Connecticut, niinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, KanSome amendments were then offered and laid on the table, when its indefinite postponement was moved and carried by the following vote:
AYES.-Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia—10.
Noes.-Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania—7.
New York was divided.
The following preamble was then offered by Mr. Guthrie, and agreed to: To the Congress of the United States :
The Convention assembled upon the invitation of the State of Virginia to adjust the unhappy differences which now disturb the peace of the Union and threaten its continuance, make known to the Congress of the United States, that their body convened in the city of Washington on the 4th instant, and continued in session until the 27th.
There were in the body, when action was taken upon that which is here submitted, one hundred and thirty-three commissioners, representing the following States: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas.
They have approved what is herewith submitted, and respectfully request that your honorable body will submit it to conventions in the States as an article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
In the Senate, on the 2d day of March, a communication was received from the President of the Peace Congress, communicating the resolutions thus adopted in that body. They were at once referred to a committee consisting of Messrs. Crittenden, Bigler, Thomson, Seward, and Trumbull. The next day they were reported to the Senate for its adoption, Messrs. Seward and Trumbull, the minority of the Committee, dissenting from the majority, and proposing the adoption of a resolution calling on the Legislatures of the States to express their will in regard to calling a Convention for amending the Constitution.
The question then came up on adopting the resolutions of the Peace Conference. Mr. Hunter, of Virginia, moved to substitute the first of Mr. Crittenden's resolutions for the first of those reported by the Committee. Mr. Crittenden opposed