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Whereas, A crisis has arrived in the public affairs of the Nation, which requires the free and full expression of the people, through their legal representatives; and Whereas, The United States is at war with the Republic
of Mexico, occasioned by the Annexation of Texas, with a view to the addition of Slave Territory to our country, and the extending of Slave power in our Union; and Whereas, In the opinion of the General Assembly, such
acquisitions are hostile to the spirit of our Free Institutions, and contrary to sound morality; therefore be it Resolved, By the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met, That our Senators and Representatives in Congress are hereby requested to vote against the annexation of any Territory to our Union, which shall not thereafter be forever free from Slavery.
MASSACHUSETTS AGAINST SLAVERY.
The following resolution was passed by the Legislature of Massachusetts in 1847, in connection with others on the subject of the Mexi
Resolved, That our attention is directed anew to the wrong and enormity" of Slavery, and to the tyranny and usurpation of the "Slave Power," as displayed in the history of our country, particularly in the annexation of Texas, and the present war with Mexico, and that we are
impressed with the unalterable condition, that a regard for the fair fame of our country, for the principle of morals, and for that righteousness that exalteth a nation, sanctions and requires all constitutional efforts for the destruction of the unjust influence of the Slave power, and for the abolition of Slavery within the limits of the
The Massachusetts State Convention, held at Springfield, in the latter part of the month of September, 1847, and at which Daniel Webster was nominated as a candidate for the Presidency, passed the following among other solutions:
MR. WEBSTER AGAINST SLAVERY EXTENSION.
In the United States Senate, in Aug., 1848, Mr. Webster, in speaking on the bill to organize the Territory of Oregon with a clause prohibiting Slavery, said:
Congress, in the exercise of a fair and just discretion, to
3d. Are you in favor of Congress exercising all the power it possesses to abolish the Internal Slave-trade between the States?
4th. Are you in favor of immediate legislation for the Abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia?
Answer.-I am much engaged, and have no time to re-enter into argument, or explain at length my reasons for my opinions. I shall therefore content myself, for the present, by answering all your interrogatories in the affirmative, and leave for some future occasion a more ex
Resolved, That the war with Mexico-the predicted, if not the legitimate offspring, of the annexation of Texas-tended discussion on the subject. begun in a palpable violation of the Constitution, and the usurpation of the powers of Congress by the President, and carried on in reckless indifference and disregard of the blood and treasure of the Nation-can have no object which can be effected by the acquisition of Mexican territory, under the circumstance of the countryunless under adequate securities for the protection of human liberty-can have no other probable result than the ultimate advancement of the sectional supremacy of the Slave Power.
After recommending "Peace with Mexico, without dismemberment," and "No addition of Mexican Territories to the American Union," the Convention
I would, however, take this occasion to say, that in thus frankly giving my opinion, I would not desire to have it understood in the nature of a pledge. At the same time that I seek no disguise, but freely give my sentiments on any subject of interest to those for whose suffrages I am a candidate, I am opposed to giving any pledge that shall deprive me hereafter of all discretionary power. My own character must be the guaranty for the general correctness of my legislative deportment. On every important subject I am bound to deliberate before I act, and espe cially as a legislator, to possess myself of all the informa
tion, and listen to every argument that can be adduced by my associates, before I give a final vote. If I stand pledged to a particular course of action, I cease to be a responsible agent, but I become a mere machine. Should subsequent events show, beyond all doubt, that the course Resolved, That if this course should be rejected and the I had become pledged to pursue was ruinous to my conwar shall be prosecuted to the final subjection or dismem-stituents and disgraceful to myself, I have no alternative, berment of Mexico, the Whigs of Massachusetts now de- no opportunity for repentance, and there is no power to clare, and put this declaration of purpose on record, that absolve me from my obligation. Hence the impropriety, Massachusetts will never consent that Mexican Territory, not to say absurdity, in my view, of giving a pledge. however acquired, shall become a part of the American Union, unless on the unalterable condition that "there shall be neither Slavery nor Involuntary Servitude therein, otherwise than in the punishment of crime."
Resolved, That in making this declaration of her purpose, Massachusetts announces no new principle of action in regard to her sister States, and makes no new application of principles already acknowledged. She merely states the great Ar principle embodied in our Declaration of Independence-the political equality of persons in the civil state; the principles adopted in the legislation of the States under the Confederation, and sometimes by the Constitution-in the admission of all the new States formed from the only Territory belonging to the Union at the adoption of the Constitution-it is, in short, the imperishable principle set forth in the ever memorable Ordinance of 1787, which has for more than half a century been the fundamental law of human liberty in the great valley of the Lakes, the Ohio, and the Mississippi, with what brilliant success, and with what unparalleled results, let the great and growing States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, answer and declare.
I am aware that you have not asked my pledge, and i believe I know your sound judgment and good sense too well to think you desire any such thing. It was, however, to prevent any misrepresentation on the part of others, that I have felt it my duty thus much on this subject. I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. Mills, Esq., chairman.
MR. FILLMORE'S ALBANY SPEECH OF 1856. The following is Mr. Fillmore's speech, delivered at Albany, in July, 1856:
Mr. Mayor and Fellow-Citizens: This overwhelming demonstration of congratulation and welcome almost deprives me of the power of speech. Here, nearly thirty years ago, I commenced my political career. In this building I first saw a legislative body in session; but at that time it never entered into the aspirations of my heart that I ever should receive such a welcome as this in the capital of my native State.
You have been pleased, sir, to allude to my former services and my probable course if I should again be
called to the position of Chief Magistrate of the nation. I
The agitation which disturbed the peace of the country in 1850, was unavoidable. It was brought upon us by the acquisition of new territory, for the government of which it was necessary to provide territorial organization. But it is for you to say whether the present agitation, which distracts the country and threatens us with civil war, has not been recklessly and wantonly produced, by the adoption of a measure to aid personal vancement rather than in any public good.
Sir, you have been pleased to say, that I have the Union of these States at heart; this, sir, is most true, for if there be one object dearer to me than any other, it is the unity, prosperity, and glory of this great republic; and I confess frankly, sir, that I fear it is in danger. I say nothing of any particular section, much less of the several candidates before the people. I presume they are all honorable men. But, sir, what do we see? An exasperat feeling between the North and the outh, on the most exciting of all topics, resulting in bloodshed and organized military array.
But this is not all, sir. We see a political party senting candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency, selected for the first time from the Free States alone, with the avowed purpose of electing these candidates by suffrages of one part of the Union only, to rule over the whole United States. Can it be possible that those who are engaged in such a measure can have seriously reflected upon the consequences which must inevitably follow, in case of success? Can they have the madness or the folly to believe that our Southern brethren would submit to be governed by such a Chief Magistrate? Would he be required to follow the same rule prescribed by those who elected him, in making his appointments? If a man living south of Mason and Dixon's line be not worthy to be President or Vice-President, would it be proper to select one from the same quarter as one of his cabinet council or to represent the nation in a foreign country? Or, indeed, to collect the revenue, or administer the laws of the United States? If not, what new rule is the President to adopt in selecting men for office, that the people themselves discard in selecting him? These are serious, but practical questions, and in order to appreciate them fully, it is only necessary to turn the tables upon ourselves. Suppose that the South, having a majority of the electoral votes, should declare that they would only have slaveholders for President and Vice-President, and should elect such by their exclusive suffrages to rule over us at the North. Do you
think we would submit to it? No, not for a moment. And do you believe that your Southern brethren are less sensitive on this subject than you are, or less jealous of their rights? If you do, let me tell you that you are mistaken. And, therefore, you must see that if this sectional party succeeds, it leads inevitably to the destruction of this beautiful fabric reared by our forefathers, cemented by their blood, and bequeathed to us as a priceless inheritance.
I tell you, my friends, that I feel deeply, and therefore I speak earnestly on this subject (cries ofyou're right!") for I feel that you are in danger. I am deterI will wash my mined to make a clean breast of it. hands of the consequences, whatever they may be; and I tell you that we are treading upon the brink of a volcano, that is liable at any moment to burst forth and overwhelm the nation. I might, by soft words, inspire delusive hopes, and thereby win votes. But I can never consent to be one thing to the North and another to the South. I should despise myself, if I could be guilty of such duplicity. For my conscience would exclaim, with the dramatic poet:
"Is there not some chosen curse, Some hidden thunder in the stores of heaven, Red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man Who owes his greatness to his country's ruin ?” In the language of the lamented, but immortal Clay : "I had rather be right than be President!"
It seems to me impossible that those engaged in this can have contemplated the awful consequences of success. If it breaks asunder the bonds of our Union, and spreads anarchy and civil war through the land, what is it less than moral treason? Law and common sense hold a man responsible for the natural consequence of his acts, and must not those whose acts tend to the destruction of the Government, be equally held responsible?
And let me also add, that when this Union is dissolved, it will not be divided into two republics, or two mon archies, but be broken into fragments, and at war with each other.
MR. FILLMORE'S LETTER TO A NEW-YORK UNION
The following is an extract from a letter of Mr. Fillmore, (dated Dec. 16, 1859), in reply to an invitation to attend a Union Meeting at Cooper Institute, New-York.
But it seems to me that if my opinions are of any imad-portance to my countrymen, they now have them in a much more responsible and satisfactory form than I could give them by participating in the proceedings of any meeting. My sentiments on this unfortunate question of slavery, and the constitutional rights of the South in regard to it, have not changed since they were made manifest to the whole country by the performance of a painful duty in approving and enforcing the Fugitive Slave Law. What the Constitution gives I would cor cede at every sacrifice. I would not seek to enjoy its benefits without sharing its ens and its responsibili ties. I know of no other rule of political right or expediency. Those were my sentiments then-they are my pre-sentiments now. I stand by the Constitution of my country at every hazard, and am prepared to maintain it at every sacrifice.
Here I might stop; but since I have yielded to the im pulse to write, I will not hesitate to express, very briefly, my views on one or two events which have occurred since I retired from office, and which, in all probability, have given rise to your meeting. This I cannot do intelligibly, without a brief reference to some events which occurred during my administration.
All must remember that in 1849 and 1850, the country was severely agitated on this disturbing question of Slavery. That contest grew out of the acquisition of new territory from Mexico, and a contest between the North and South as to whether Slavery should be tolerated in any part of that Territory. Mixed up with this, was a claim on the part of the slaveholding States, that the provision of the Constitution for the rendition of fugitives from service should be made available, as the law of 1793 on that subject, which depended chiefly on State officers for its execution, had become inoperative, because State officers were not obliged to perform that duty.
After a severe struggle, which threatened the integrity of the Union, Congress finally passed laws settling these questions; and the Government and the people for a time seemed to acquiesce in that compromise as a final settlement of this exciting question; and it is exceedingly
to be regretted that mistaken ambition or the hope of promoting a party triumph should have tempted any one to raise this question again. But in an evil hour this Pandora's box of Slavery was again opened by what I conceive to be an unjustifiable attempt to force Slavery into Kansas by a repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and the floods of evils now swelling and threatening to overthrow the Constitution, and sweep away the foundation of the Government itself, and deluge this land with fraternal blood, may all be traced to this unfortunate act. Whatever might have been the motive, few acts have ever been so barren of good, and so fruitful of evil.
is a great curse-one of the greatest evils that could have been interwoven into our system. I, Mr. Chairman, am one of those whom these poor wretches call master; I do not task them; I feed and clothe them well; but yet, alas! sir, they are slaves, and Slavery is a curse in any shape. It is, no doubt, true that there are persons in Europe far more degraded than our slaves, worse fed, worse clothed, etc.; but, sir, this is far from proving that negroes ought to be slaves.
John Randolph, of Virginia.-Sir, I envy neither the head nor heart of that man from the North who rises here to defend Slavery upon principle.
EDWARD EVERETT'S OPINIONS ON SLAVERY.
MR. CAMBRELENG'S VIEWS.
Churchill C. Cambreleng, of N. Y., (formerly of N. C.)
THE following is an extract of a speech of Mr. Everett, delivered in the House of Represen-The gentleman from Massachusetts has gone too far. tatives, March 9, 1826. (See Benton's Abridg-out animadversion. I heard them with equal surprise and He has expressed opinions which ought not to escape withment of Congressional Debates, vol. 8, page regret. I was astonished to hear him declare that Slavery 711.) -domestic Slavery-say what you will, is a condition of life, as well as any other, to be justified by morality, religion, and international law; and when at the close of his opinion he solemnly declared that this was his confession of faith, I lamented, sincerely lamented, that
Having touched upon this point, I ought, perhaps, to add that, if there are any members in this House of that class of politicians to whom the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Saunders) alluded, as having the disposition, though not the power, to disturb the compromise contained in the Constitution on this point, I am not of the number. Neither am I one of those citizens of the North, to whom another honorable gentleman referred, in a publication to which his name was subscribed, who would think it immoral and irreligious to join in putting down a servile insurrection at the South: I am no soldier, sir; my habits and education are very unmilitary, but there is no cause in which I would sooner buckle a knapsack to my back, and put a musket on my shoulder, than that. I would cede the whole continent to any one who would take it to England, to France, to Spain; I would see it sunk in the bottom of the ocean before I would see any part of this fair America converted into a continental Hayti, by that awful process of bloodshed and desolation, by which alone such a catastrophe could be brought on. The great relation of servitude, in some form or other, with greater or less departure from the theoretic equality of man, is inseparable from our nature. I know of no way by which the form of this servitude shall be fixed, but political institution. Domestic Slavery- -though, I confess, not that form of servitude which seems to be the most beneficial to EDWARD EVERETT ON GEOGRAPHICAL PARTIES. the master-certainly not that which is most beneficial to But, sir, I am not prepared to admit that geographical the servant is not, in my judgment, to be set down as an parties are the greatest evil this country has to fear. immoral and irreligious relation. I cannot admit that religion has but one voice to the slave, and that this voice Party of all kinds, in its excess, is certainly the bane of our institutions; and I will not take up the time of this is, "Rise against your Master." No, sir; the New Testa- Committee by disputing which is most deleterious, arsenic ment says, "Slaves, obey your Masters ;" and, though I or laudanum. It is enough that they are both fatal. The know full well that, in the benignant operation of Chris- evil of geographical parties is, that they tend to sever the tianity, which gathered master and slave around the same Union. The evil of domestic parties is, that they render communion-table, this unfortunate institution disappeared the Union not worth having. I remember the time, sir, in Europe, yet I cannot admit that, while it subsists, and though I was but a boy, when under the influence of dowhere it subsists, its duties are not presupposed and sanc-mestic parties, near neighbors did not speak; when old tioned by religion. I certainly am not called upon to acquaintances glared at each other as they passed in the meet the charges brought against this institution, yet truth streets; when you might wreak on a man all the bitterness obliges me to say a word more on the subject. I know of your personal and private enmity, and grind him into the condition of working classes in other countries; I am the dust, if you had the power, and say, he is a Democrat, intimately acquainted with it in some other countries, and he is a Federalist; he deserves it. Yes, sir, when party I have no hesitation in saying that I believe the slaves in spirit pursued its victim from the halls of legislation, from this country are better clothed and fed, and less hardly the forum, from the market-place, to what should be the worked, than the peasantry of some of the most prosper- sanctuary of the fireside, and filled hearts that would have ous States of the continent of Europe. Consider the bled to spare each other a pang, with coldness and eschecks on population. What keeps population down? trangement. Talk not to me of your geographical parties. Poverty, want, starvation, disease, and all the ills of life; There does not live the man, I thank God, on earth, toit is these that check population all over the world. Now, ward whom I have an unkind emotion-one whose rights the slave population of the United States increases faster I would invade, whose feelings I would wound. But if than the white, masters included. What is the inference there ever should be a man to whom I should stand in as to the physical condition of the two classes of society? that miserable relation, I pray that mountains may rise, These are opinions I have long entertained, and long that rivers may roll between us-that he may never cross since publicly professed on this subject, and which I here repeat in answer to the intimations to which I have al- my path, nor I his, to turn the sweetness of human nature into bitterness and gall in both our bosoms.-Speech in ready alluded. But, sir, when Slavery comes to enter the House of Representatives, 1826.-Benton's Deinto the Constitution as a political element-when it comes bates, vol. 8, p. 713. to affect the distribution of power amongst the States of the Union, that is a matter of agreement. If I make an agreement on this subject, I will adhere to it like a man; but I will protest against any inferences being made from it like that which was made by the honorable mover of these resolutions. I will protest against popularity, as well as votes, being increased by the ratio of three-fifths
of the Slaves.
"Star-eyed Science should have wandered there To bring us back the message of despair."
If, sir, among the wild visions of German philosophy I had ever reached conclusions like this; if in the Aula of Gottingen I had ever persuaded myself to adopt a political maxim so hostile to liberal institutions and the rights of mankind, I would have locked it up forever in the darkest chambers of my mind. Or if my zeal had been too ardent for my discretion, this place, at least, should never have been the theatre of my eloquence. No, sir, if such had been my doctrines I would have turned my back forever on my native land. Following the course of "the dark rolling Danube," and cutting my way across the Euxine, I would have visited a well-known market of Constantinople, and there preached my doctrine amidst the rattling chains of the wretched captives. Nay, sir, I would have gone from thence, and laid my forehead upon the footstool of the Sultan, and besought him to set his foot upon my neck, as the recreant citizen of a recreant Republic.
MR. EVERETT'S VIEWS IN 1837 and 39. Oct. 14th, 1837, Hon. Wm. Jackson, of Newton, Mass., wrote to Mr. Everett a long letter containing the following questions:
Do justice, humanity, and sound policy, alike require that the slaves of this country should be emanci pated?
Is it the right and duty of the citizens of the nonslaveholding States to require of the General Government the abolition of Slavery in the District of Co
MR. MITCHELL'S VIEWS.
Mr. Mitchell, of Tennessee.-Sir, I do not go the length of the gentleman from Massachusetts, and hold that the existence of Slavery in this country is almost a blessing. On the contrary, I am firmly settled in the opinion that it | lumbia?
Is it just or safe, with regard to our foreign relations | it. I will only say, that if, at this moment, when an alland domestic compact, to admit Texas into the Union?
important experiment is in train, to abolish Slavery by peaceful and legal means in the British West Indies, the United States, instead of imitating their example, or even awaiting the result, should rush into a policy of giving an indefinite extension to Slavery over a vast region incorporated into their Union, we should stand condemned before the civilized world. It would be vain to expect to gain credit for any further professions of a willingness to be rid of Slavery as soon as possible. No extenuation of its existence, on the ground of its having been forced upon the country in its colonial state, would any longer avail us. It would be thought, and thought justly, that lust of power and lust of gold had made us deaf to the voice of humanity and justice. We should be self-convicted of the enormous crime of having voluntarily given the greatest possible enlargement to an evil, which, in concert with the rest of mankind, we had affected to deplore, and that at a time when the public sentiment of the civilized world, more than at any former period, is aroused to its magnitude.
MR. EVERETT'S REPLY.
BOSTON, 81st October, 1837. SIR: I have duly received your communication of the 14th inst., in which you desire to be furnished with my views on certain questions therein propounded. Under other circumstances, I should deem it proper to preface my answer with some preliminary remarks, but my engagements at the present time compel me to reply as concisely as possible.
In answer to the first question, I observe, that Slavery being, by universal admission, a social, political, and moral evil of the first magnitude, it is required by justice, humanity, and sound policy that the slaves should be emancipated by those having constitutionally the power to effect that object, as soon as it can be done peacefully, and in a manner to better the condition of the emancipated. I believe the most considerate portion of the people of the United States, in every quarter, unite in this sentiment; and you are aware that the most eminent Southern names can be cited in its support.
In reply to the second question, I would remark, that all the considerations in favor of emancipation in the States, apply with equal force to the District of Columbia. My opinions on this subject are fully expressed in the resolution adopted by the legislature last winter, with a near approach to unanimity, in the following terms: "Resolved, That Congress having exclusive legislation in the District of Columbia, possesses the right to abolish Slavery in the said District, and that its exercise should only be restrained by regard to the public good."
I know that the slave-trade is carried on to a shocking extent in the District of Columbia. There is no part of the South, where it is reputable to be engaged in this traffic; and no Southern State, I am persuaded, would permit its existence in its own capital, as it exists at the national capital. The South and the North ought to unite in prohibiting it, by act of Congress-which is the local legislature of the District. This has been loudly called for, from the District itself. I have before me a copy of a petition, couched in very strong language, against both Slavery and the slave-trade in the District of Columbia, which was presented to Congress in 1824, signed by nearly seven hundred and fifty names of citizens of Washington, several of whom were known to me to be of the first consideration. I may observe in this connection, that at the same session, I voted in the
negative on a motion to lay upon the table the petition of the American Anti-Slavery Society for the abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia, and on two other motions, intended, in like manner, to deprive this class of petitions of a respectful reception and consideration.
The last question propounded by you refers to the annexation of Texas. It presents the subject of Slavery, in most of its bearings, in a new light. In the States, its introduction was the result of a legislation forced upon the colonies, and in many cases, in despite of acts passed by their legislators, for the prohibition of the slave-trade, and regulated by the crown. Its existence is recognized by the Constitution of the United States. The rights of property growing out of it are in some degree protected by law in the non-slaveholding States (see the opinion of Chief Justice Shaw in the case of the Commonwealth vs. Aves-an opinion in the doctrines and principles of which I fully concur); and morality and religion frown on all attempts to put an end to it by violence and bloodshed. But none of these principles countenance a voluntary extension of Slavery; and as the question of annexing Texas is one of volun tary, and almost boundless extension, it presents the subject, as I have said, in a new light. It has been officially stated by the Texan Envoy that the region so called contains two hundred thousand square miles. In other words, it might form twenty-five States large as Massachusetts. In this vast region, Slavery was prohibited by Mexico; it has been restored, and is rapidly spreading itself under the new government; and no one denies, that the independence of Texas is sustained, Slavery will be indefinitely extended throughout its ample borders.
The Executive Government of the United States has promptly recognized this independence, and by so doing, has discharged the whole duty that could be required by the law of nations. Whatever step we take toward annexation is gratuitous. This whole subject has been so ably discussed by Dr. Channing, in his recent letter to Mr. Clay, that it would be superfluous to enlarge upon
There are other objections to the measure drawn from its bearing on our foreign relations; but it is unnecessary to discuss them.
I am, sir, respectfully,
HON. WILLIAM JACKSON,
In 1839, the following questions were put to Mr. Everett by Hon. A. Borden, of Massachu
1. Are you in favor of immediate abolition by law of Slavery in the District of Columbia and of the slave traffic between the States of this Union?
2. Are you opposed to the admission into the Union of any new States the constitutions of which tolerate domestic Slavery?
The following was Mr. Everett's reply: WASHINGTON, Oct 24, 1889. ter of the 18th, propounding to me certain interrogatoDEAR SIR: On Saturday last I only received your letries, and earnestly requesting an early answer. aware that several resolves on the subject of these inquiries and their kindred topics, accompanied by a report, were introduced into the Senate of the Commonhouses, of which the lamented Mr. Alvord was chairwealth, year before last, by a joint committee of the two
amendment, were adopted by the legislature. They apThose resolves, after having been somewhat enlarged by pear to cover the whole ground of your two interrogatories. Having cheerfully coöperated in the passage of the resolves, and concurring in the general reasoning by which they are sustained in the powerful report of the chairman of the committee, I respond to both your inquiries in the affirmative.
The first of the three subjects in your inquiry is the only one of them which came before Congress while I to lay upon the table the petition of the American Antiwas a member. I voted in the negative on the motion Slavery Society for the abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia, and on other motions of the like char
acter introduced to cast off the consideration of this class of petitions.
I am, dear sir, very respectfully, your friend and ser
HON. NATHANIEL A. BORDEN.
The "several resolves" to which Mr. Everett refers in the above letter, in the passage of which he "cheerfully coöperated," as Governor of Massachusetts, are as follows:
Resolved, That Congress has, by the Constitution, power to abolish Slavery and the slave-trade in the District of Columbia, and that there is nothing in the terms or circumstances of the acts of cession by Virginia and Maryland, or otherwise, enforcing any legal or moral restraint on its existence.
Resolved, That Congress ought take measures to effect the abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia. Resolved, That the rights of humanity, the claims of justice, and the common good alike, demand the suppression by Congress of the slave-trade carried on in and through the District of Columbia.
Resolved, That Congress has, by the Constitution, power to abolish Slavery in the Territories of the United States.
[For later views of Mr. Everett, see his letter | a fusion of the Republicans with the other Opposition eleaccepting the nomination for the Vice-Presi- ments in the campaign of 1860, has been received. dency in 1860.]
Massachusetts is a sovereign and independent State, and I have no right to advise her in her policy. Yet, if any one is desirous to draw a conclusion as to what I would do, from what she has done, I may speak without impro
Re-priety. I say, then, that so far as I understand the Massachusetts provision, I am against its adoption, not only in Illinois, but in every other place in which I have the right to oppose it. As I understand the spirit of our inI am, therefore, hostile to anything that tends to their de
stitutions, it is designed to promote the elevation of men.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN ON THOMAS JEFFERSON.
Mr. Lincoln having been invited by the publicans of Boston, to attend a Festival in honor of the anniversary of Jefferson's birthday, on the 13th of April, 1859, replied as follows: SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 6, 1859. GENTLEMEN : Your kind note, inviting me to attend a festival in Boston, on the 13th inst., in honor of the birthday of Thomas Jefferson, was duly received. My engagements are such that I cannot attend. Bearing in mind that about seventy years ago two great political parties were first formed in this country; that Thomas Jefferson was the head of one of them and Boston the headquarters of the other, it is both curious and interesting that those supposed to descend politically from the party opposed to Jefferson, should now be celebrating his birthday in their own original seat of empire, while those claiming political descent from him have nearly ceased to breathe his name everywhere.
Remembering, too, that the Jefferson party was formed upon its supposed superior devotion to the personal rights of men, holding the rights of property to be secondary only, and greatly inferior; and then assuming that the so-called Democracy of to-day are the Jeffer-swered your questions substantially. son, and their opponents the anti-Jefferson parties, it will be equally interesting to note how completely the two have changed ground as to the principle upon which they were originally supposed to be divided.
The Democracy of to-day hold the liberty of one man to be absolutely nothing, when in conflict with another man's right of property. Republicans, on the contrary, are both for the man and the dollar, but in case of conflict the man before the dollar.
I remember being once much amused at seeing two partially intoxicated men engaged in a fight with their great-coats on, which fight, after a long and rather harmless contest, ended in each having fought himself out of his own coat and into that of the other. If the two leading parties of this day are really identical with the two in the days of Jefferson and Adams, they have performed the same feat as the two drunken men.
But soberly, it is now no child's play to save the principles of Jefferson from total overthrow in this nation.
These expressions, differing in form, are identical in object and effect-the supplanting the principles of free government, and restoring those of classification, caste, and legitimacy. They would delight a convocation of crowned heads plotting against the people. They are the vanguard, the sappers and miners, of returning despotism. We must repulse them, or they will subju
This is a world of compensations; and he who would be no slave must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, cannot long retain it.
All honor to Jefferson-to the inan who, in the concrete
Your obedient servant,
It is well known that I deplore the oppressed condition for me to look with approval upon any measures that inof the blacks; and it would, therefore, be very inconsistent fringes upon the inalienable rights of white men, whether language from my own. or not they are born in another land, or speak a different
In respect to a fusion, I am in favor of it whenever it can be effected on Republican principles, but upon no other condition. A fusion upon any other platform would be as insane as unprincipled. It would thereby lose the whole North, while the common enemy would still have the support of the entire South. The question in relation to men is different. There are good and patriotic men and able statesmen in the South, whom I would willingly support if they would place themselves on Republican ground; but I shall oppose the lowering of the Republican standard even by a hair's breadth.. I have written in haste, but I believe that I have an
ABRAHAM LINCOLN ON NATURALIZATION.
SPRINGFIELD, May 17, 1859.
DR. THEODOR CANISIUS:
NEW-YORK FOR THE WILMOT PROVISO.
In January, 1847, Col. Samuel Young introduced the following resolve into the New-York State Senate, and on the 27th of that month it was adopted by a vote of 22 to 6:
One would state with great confidence that he could convince any sane child that the simpler propositions of Euclid are true; but nevertheless, he would fail, with one who should deny the definitions and axioms. The principles of Jefferson are the definitions and axioms of free society. And yet they are denied and evaded, with no
NEW-YORK FOR FREEDOM IN 1858.
The following preamble and resolutions were
small show of success. One dashingly calls them "glit-adopted by the Assembly of the State of New
tering generalities." Another bluntly styles them "self
evident lies." And others insidiously argue that they apply only to "superior races."
York on the 10th day of January, 1848, by a vote of 108 to 5, and by the Senate, a few days later, by a majority nearly as emphatic as that of the Assembly:
Resolved, That if any Territory is hereafter acquired by the United States, or annexed thereto, the act by which such Territory is acquired or annexed, whatever such act may be, should contain an unalterable, fundamental article or provision whereby Slavery or involuntary servi tude, except as a punishment for crime, shall be forever excluded from the Territory acquired or annexed.
This resolve subsequently passed the Assembly by a vote which was almost unanimous.
Whereas, The President of the United States, in his last annual message, has recommended the establishment by Congress of territorial government over the conquered provinces of New Mexico, and the Californias, and the retention thereof as an indemnity, in which said Territories the institution of Slavery does not now exist, therefore
Resolved (if the Senate concur), That our Senators in Congress be instructed, and our Representatives requested, to use their best efforts to insert into any act or ordinance, establishing any or all such provisional or territorial government or governments, a fundamental article or provision, which shall provide, declare, and guaranty, that Slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been first duly convicted, shall be prohibited therein, so long as the same shall remain a Territory.
Resolved, That the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the Assembly, be requested to transmit a copy of the foregoing resolutions and preamble to each of the said Senators and Representatives.
NEW-YORK AGAIN for FREE TERRITORIES IN 1849.
The following preamble and resolves were introduced into the New-York Senate on the 2d of January, 1849, passed that body by a unanimous vote on the 4th, and were concurred in