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Sec. 37. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the attorneys for said Territories, respectively, on the complaint of any person held in involuntary servitude therein, to make application in his behalf in due form of law, to the court next thereafter to be holden in said Territory, for a writ of habeas corpus, to be directed to the person so holding such applicant in service as aforesaid, and to pursue all needful measures in his behalf; and if the decision of such court shall be adverse to the application, or if, on the return of the writ, relief shall be denied to the applicant, on the ground that he is a slave held in servitude in said Territory, said attorney shall cause an appeal to be taken therefrom, and the record of all the proceedings in the case to be transmitted to the Supreme Court of the United States as speedily as may be, and to give notice thereof to the Attorney General of the United States, who shall prosecute the same before said Court, who shall proceed to hear and determine the same at the
first term thereof.
Yeas, 15 (all Northern, except Benton); Nays, 31.
Mr. Davis, of Mass., moved to strike out section 12, and insert as follows:
So Mr. Clayton's project of Compromise was defeated.
The next session of the same Congress opened under very different auspices. The Mexican War had been terminated, so that none could longer be deterred from voting for Slavery Exclusion by a fear that the prosecution of hostilities would thereby be embarrassed. General Taylor had been elected President, receiving the votes of Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Florida-a moiety of the Slave States-over Gen. Cass, now the avowed opponent of Slavery Restriction. Many of the Northern Democrats considered themselves absolved by this vote from and voted accordingly. all extra-constitutional obligations to the South,
the following: Dec. 13.-Mr. J. M. Root, of Ohio, offered
Resolved, That the Committee on Territories be instructed to report to this House, with as little delay as practicable, a bill or bills providing a Territorial Government for each of the Territories of New Mexico and California, and excluding Slavery therefrom.
The Civil and Diplomatic Appropriation bill having passed the House in the usual form, came up to the Senate, where it was debated several days.
Feb. 21st.-Mr. Walker, of Wisc., moved an amendment, extending all the laws of the United States, so far as applicable, to the Territories acquired from Mexico.
Mr. Bell, of Tenn., moved to add further sections organizing the State of California, to be admitted into the Union on the 1st of October next. This was rejected: Yeas, 4 (Bell, Dodge of Iowa, Douglas, Davis); Nays, 39.
Feb. 26th.-Mr. Dayton, of N. J., moved that the President be vested with power to provide a suitable temporary government for the Territories. Rejected: Yeas, 8; Nays, 47.
OHIO-William Kennon, jr., William Sawyer-2.
William A. Richardson-8.
Total, thirteen from Free States; eighty-eight from Slave States. (Only two from Slave States absent or silent.)
Nays-all the Whigs from Free States, and all the Democrats from Free States, except those named above.
So the House refused to concur in this amendment, and the bill was returned to the Senate accordingly.
The Senate resolved to insist on its amendment, and ask a conference, which was granted, but resulted in nothing. Messrs. Atherton, of
N. H., Dickinson, of N. Y., and Berrien, of Ga., were managers on the part of the Senate, and insisted on its amendment, organizing the Territories without restriction as to Slavery: Messrs. Vinton, of Ohio, Nicoll, of N. Y., and Morehead, of Ky., were appointed on the part of the House. These, after a long sitting, reported their inability to agree, and were discharged.
On coming out of Committee, this amendment was agreed to-Yeas, 108; Nays, 44. (The
PENNSYLVANIA-Samuel A. Bridges, Richard Brod
head, Charles Brown, Charles J. Ingersoll, Lewis C. Nays are all Southern, but Charles J. Ingersoll, Orlando B. Ficklin, and possibly one or two others; and all Democrats, but some half a dozen from the South, of whom Robert Toombs has since turned Democrat.) Stephen A. Douglas did not vote. without further opposition, was read twice in The bill passed the House the Senate, and referred; and Mr. Westcott, of mittee on Territories; but the session closed Florida, made a report thereon from the Comwithout further action on the bill.
The bill being now returned to the House, Mr. McClernand, of Ill., moved that the House do recede from its disagreement. Carried: Yeas, 111; Nays, 106.
Mr. R. W. Thompson, of Ind., moved that the House concur with the Senate, with an amendment, which was a substitute, extending the laws of the United States over said Territories, but leaving them unorganized,
And that, until the fourth day of July, eighteen hundred and fifty, unless Congress shall sooner provide for the government of said Territories, the existing laws thereof shall be retained and observed.
The question being reached on amending the Senate's proposition as proposed by Mr. Thompson, it was carried: Yeas, 111; Nays, 105.
(All the Southern members in the negative, with Levin and a few of the Northern Democrats; the residue, with all the Northern Whigs, in the affirmative.)
The House now proceeded to agree to the Senate's amendment, as amended: Yeas, 110; Nays, 103, (the same as before; the friends of the Senate's proposition voting against it, as amended, and vice versa, on the understanding that Mr. Thompson's amendment would exclude Slavery.)
The bill as thus amended being returned to the Senate, it refused to agree to the House's amendment, and receded from its own proposition; so the bill was passed and the session closed, with no provision for the government of the newly-acquired Territories.
Aug. 6, 1846.-Mr. Douglas, from the Committee on Territories, reported to the House a bill organizing the Territory of Oregon.
Said bill was discussed in Committee of the
Whole, and the following amendment agreed to:
And neither Slavery, nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in said Territory, except for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.
On the 23d, Mr. Douglas again reported his This Congress reassembled, Dec. 7th, 1846. bill to provide a Territorial government for Jan. 11th, 1847, was discussed in Committee, Oregon, which was read twice and committed: as also on the 12th and 14th, when it was resolved, to close the debate. On the 15th, it was taken out of Committee, when Gen. Burt, of S. C., moved the following addition (already moved, debated, and voted down in Committee) to the clause forbidding Slavery in said Terri
Inasmuch as the whole of said Territory lies north of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, known as the line of the Missouri Compromise.
The purpose of this is clear enough. It was intended to recognize the Missouri line, not as limited to the Territories possessed by the United States at the time said line was established, but as extending to all that has since been, or hereafter should be, acquired, so as to legalize Slavery in any Territory henceforth to be acquired by us south of 36° 30'.
Mr. Burt's amendment was negatived: Yeas, 82; Nays, 114.
The vote was very nearly sectional; but the following members from Free States voted in the minority:
PENNSYLVANIA-Charles J. Ingersoll-1.
No member from a Slave State voted in the majority. The bill then passed: Yeas, 134; Nays, 35, (all Southern).
Jan. 15.-The bill reached the Senate, and was sent to the Judiciary Committee, consisting of Messrs. Ashley, Ark. Berrien, Ga. Westcott, Fla. Breese, Ill. Dayton, N. J. Jan. 25.-Mr. Ashley reported the Oregon bill with amendments, which were ordered to be printed.
29.-Said bill, on motion of Mr. Westcott, was recommitted to the Judiciary Committee. Feb 10.-Mr. Ashley again reported it with amendments.
March 3.-It was taken up as in Committee of the Whole, when Mr. Evans, of Maine, moved that it be laid on the table. Defeated: Yeas,
19, (all Whigs but Calhoun, of S. C., and Yulee of Florida); Nays, 26, (24 Dem., with Corwin of Ohio, and Johnson of Louisiana.)
Aug. 3.-This bill reached the Senate, when Mr. Badger, of N. C., moved its indefinite postponement: negatived, 47 to 1, (Yulee). It was then sent to the Committee on Territories.
Mr. Westcott, of Fla., immediately moved that the bill do lie on the table; which prevailed: Yeas, 26; Nays, 18 (a mixed vote, evidently governed by various motives); but the negatives were all Democrats, but Corwin and Johnson aforesaid. This being the last day of the The Senate had had under consideration, session, it was evident that the bill, if opposed, from time to time through the Session, a bill as it was certain to be, could not get through, of its own, reported by Mr. Douglas, which was and it was, doubtless, in behalf of other press- finally referred to a select Committee-Mr. Claying business that many Senators voted to lay ton, of Delaware, Chairman--and by said comthis aside. It was, of course, dead for the ses-mittee reported some days before the reception sion. of the House bill. It was then dropped.
Dec. 6, 1847.--The XXXth Congress assembled; Robert C. Winthrop (Whig) of Mass. was chosen Speaker of the House. President Polk, in his Annual Message, regretted that Oregon | had not already been organized, and urged the necessity of action on the subject.
Feb. 9.-Mr. Caleb B. Smith, of Indiana, reported to the House a bill to establish the territorial government of Oregon; which, by a vote of two-thirds, was made a special order for March 14th. It was postponed, however, to the 28th; when it was taken up and discussed, as on one or two subsequent days. May 29th, it was again made a special order next after the Appropriation bills. The President that day sent a special message, urging action on this subject. July 25th, it was taken up in earnest; Mr. Wentworth, of Illinois, moving that debate on it in Committee cease at two o'clock this day.
Mr. Geo. S. Houston, of Ala., endeavored to put this motion on the table. Defeated: Yeas 85; Nays 89, (nearly, but not fully, a sectional division). Mr. Geo. W. Jones, of Tenn., moved a reconsideration, which was carried: Yeas, 100; Nays, 88; and the resolution laid on the table: Yeas, 96; Nays, 90.
The bill continued to be discussed, and finally (Aug. 1) was got out of Committee; when Mr. C. B. Smith moved the Previous Question thereon, which was ordered.
Aug. 2.--The House came to a vote on an amendment made in Committee, whereby the following provision of the original bill was stricken out :
That the inhabitants of said Territory shall be entitled to enjoy all and singular, the rights, privileges, and advantages granted and secured to the people of the Territory of the United States northwest of the river Ohio, by the articles of compact contained in the ordinance for the government of said Territory, passed the 18th day of July, seventeen hundred and eighty-seven; and shall be subject to all the conditions, and restrictions, and probibitions in said articles of compact imposed upon the people of said territory, and
Mr. Houston, of Delaware, voting in the majority
NEW YORK.-Ausburn Birdsall-1.
OHIO.-William Kennon, jun., John K. Miller-2. ILLINOIS.-Orlando B. Ficklin, John A. McClernand, William A. Richardson-3.
INDIANA.-John L. Robinson, William W. Wick-2.
Mr. John W. Houston of Delaware voted in the majority.
The bill was then passed: Yeas, 128; Nays,
That the line of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes of north latitude, known as the Missouri Com
promise line, as defined in the eighth section of an act
Yeas For recognizing the Missouri line as rightfully extending to the Pacific: Messrs. Atchison,
Foote of Miss.,
The House refused to agree to this amendment: Yeas, 88; Nays, 114.
The Members from the Free States who voted Messrs. Allen,
with the South to strike out, were
Johnson of Md.,
Davis of Mass.,
Johnson of La.,
Johnson of Ga.,
Nays-Against recognizing said line:
The bill was then engrossed for a third read[This vote was almost completely sectional. |ing: Yeas, 33; Nays, 22; (nearly the same as
No civil government having been provided by Congress for California, the people of that Territory, impelled by the necessities of their political condition, recently met in Convention, for the purpose of forming a Constitution and State Government; which, the latest advices give me reason to suppose, has been accomplished; and it is believed they will shortly apply for the admission of California into the Union, as a Sovereign State. Should such be the case, and should their constitution be conformable to the requisitions of the Constitution of the United States, I recommend their application to the favorable cor deration of Congress.
The people of New Mexico will also, it is believed, at no very distant period, present themselves for admission into the Union. Preparatory to the admission of California and New-Mexico, the people of each will have instituted for themselves a republican form of government, laying its foundation in such principles, and organizing its power in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
By awaiting their action, all uneasiness may be avoided and confidence and kind feeling preserved. With a view of maintaining the harmony and tranquillity so dear to all, we should abstain from the introduction of those exciting topics of a sectional character which have hitherto produced painful apprehensions in the public mind; and I repeat the solemn warning of the first and most illustrious of my predecessors, against furnishing any ground for characterizing parties by geographical
Jan. 4.-Gen. Sam. Houston, of Texas, submitted to the Senate the following proposition;
Resolved, That, as the people in Territories have the same inherent rights of self-government as the people in the States, if in the exercise of such inherent rights the peo
ple in the newly-acquired Territories, by the Annexation of Texas and the acquisition of California and New-Mexico, south of the parallel of 36 degrees and 30 minutes of
north latitude, extending to the Pacific Ocean, shall establish Negro Slavery in the formation of their state governments, it shall be deemed no objection to their admission as a State or States into the Union, in accordance with the Constitution of the United States.
THE COMPROMISE OF 1850.
The XXXIst Congress commenced its first Session at Washington, Dec. 3, 1849; but the House was unable to organize-no person re- 2. Resolved, That as Slavery does not exist by law, ceiving a majority of all the votes for Speaker and is not likely to be introduced into any of the terri-until the 22nd, when, the Plurality rule hav-tory acquired by the United States from the Republic of Mexico, it is inexpedient for Congress to provide by law ing been adopted by a vote of 113 to 106, Mr. either for its introduction into, or exclusion from, any Howell Cobb, of Ga., was elected, having 102 part of the said Territory; and that appropriate terrivotes to 100 for Robert C. Winthrop of Mass., in all the said Territory, not assigned as within the bountorial governments ought to be established by Congress, and 20 scattering. It was thereupon resolved daries of the proposed State of California, without the -Yeas, 149; Nays, 35-" That Howell Cobb be adoption of any restriction or condition on the subject of declared duly elected Speaker ;" and on the Slavery. 24th President Zachary Taylor transmitted toboth Houses his first Annual Message, in the course of which he says:
in the District of Columbia, whilst that institution con5. Resolved, That it is inexpedient to abolish Slavery tinues to exist in the State of Maryland, without the consent of that State, without the consent of the people of the District, and without just compensation to the owners of slaves within the District.
Whereas, The Congress of the United States, possessing only a delegated authority, have no power over the subject of Negro Slavery within the limits of the United States, either to prohibit or interfere with it, in the States, Territories, or District, where, by municipal law, it now exists, or to establish it in any State or Territory where it does not exist; but, as an assurance and guaranty to promote harmony, quiet apprehension and remove sectional prejudice, which by possibility might impair or weaken love and devotion to the Union in any part of the country, it is hereby
Jan. 21.-Gen. Taylor, in answer to a resolution of inquiry, sent a message to the House, stating that he had urged the formation of State Governments in California and NewMexico.
Feb. 13, 1850.-Gen. Taylor communicated to Congress the Constitution (free) of the State of California.
Jan. 29, 1850.-Mr. Henry Clay, of Kentucky, submitted to the Senate the following propositions, with others, which were made a special order and printed:
1. Resolved, That California, with suitable boundaries, ought, upon her application, to be admitted as one of the States of this Union, without the imposition by Congress of any restriction in respect to the exclusion or
introduction of Slavery within those boundaries.
6. But Resolved, That it is expedient to prohibit, within the District, the slave-trade in slaves brought into it from States or places beyond the limits of the District, either to be sold therein as merchandise, or to be transported to other markets without the District of Columbia.
7. Resolved, That more effectual provision ought to be made by law, according to the requirement of the Constitution, for the restitution and delivery of persons bound to service or labor in any State, who may escape into any other State or Territory in the Union. And,
8. Resolved, That Congress has no power to prohibit or obstruct the trade in slaves between the slaveholding States, but that the admission or exclusion of slaves brought from one into another of them, depends exclusively upon their own particular laws.
Feb. 28.-Mr. John Bell, of Tennessee, submitted to the Senate the following propositions:
Whereas, Considerations of the highest interest to the whole country demand that the existing and increasing dissensions between the North and the South, on the subject of Slavery, should be speedily arrested, and that the questions in controversy be adjusted upon some basis animosities, remove, as far as possible, the causes of which shall tend give present quiet, repress sectional future discord, and secure the uninterrupted enjoyment of those benefits and advantages which the Union was intended to confer in equal measure upon all its mem
And, whereas, It is manifest, under present circumstances, that no adjustment can be effected of the points of difference unhappily existing between the Northern and Southern sections of the Union, connected with the subject of Slavery, which shall secure to either section all that is contended for, and that mutual concessions upon questions of mere policy, not involving the violation of any constitutional right or principle, must be the basis of every project affording any assurance of a favorable acceptance;
And, whereas, The joint resolution for annexing
Texas to the United States, approved March 1, 1845, con-, tains the following condition and guaranty-that is to say: "New States of convenient size, not exceeding four in number, in addition to said State of Texas, and having sufficient population, may hereafter, by the consent of said State, be formed out of the territory thereof, which shall be entitled to admission under the provisions of the Federal Constitution; and such States as may be formed out of that portion of said Territory lying south of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, commonly known as the lissouri Compromise line, shall be admitted into the Union with or without Slavery, as the people of each State, asking admission may desire; and in such State or States as shall be formed out of said territory north of said Missouri Compromise line, Slavery, or involuntary servitude (except for crime),
shall be prohibited:" Therefore,
1. Resolved, That the obligation to comply with the condition and guaranty above recited in good faith be distinctly recognized, and that, in part compliance with the same, as soon as the people of Texas shall, by an act of their legislature, signify their assent by restricting the limits thereof, within the Territory lying east of the Trinity and south of the Red River, and when the people of the residue of the territory claimed by Texas adopt a constitution, republican in form, they be admitted into Union upon an equal footing in all respects with the original States.
2. Resolved, That if Texas shall agree to cede, the United States will accept, a cession of all the unappropriated domain in all the Territory claimed by Texas, lying west of the Colorado and extending north to the forty-second parallel of north latitude, together with the jurisdiction and sovereignty of all the territory claimed by Texas, north of the thirty-fourth parallel of north latitude, and to pay therefor a sum not exceeding millions of dollars, to be applied in the first place to the extinguishment of any portion of the existing public debt of Texas, for the discharge of which the United States are under any obligation, implied or otherwise, and the remainder as Texas shall require.
3. Resolved, That when the population of that portion of the Territory claimed by Texas, lying south of the thirty-fourth parallel of north latitude and west of the Colorado, shall be equal to the ratio of representation in Congress, under the last preceding apportionment, according to the provisions of the Constitution, and the people of such Territory shall, with the assent of the new State contemplated in the preceding resolution, have adopted a State Constitution, republican in form, they be admitted into the Union as a State, upon an equal footing with the original States.
Resolved, That all the Territory now claimed by Texas, lying north of the thirty-fourth parallel of north latitude, and which may be ceded to the United States by Texas, be incorporated with the Territory of New-Mexico, except such part thereof as lies east of the Rio Grande and south of the thirty-fourth degree of north latitude, and that the Territory so composed form a State, to be admitted into the Union when the inhabitants thereof shall adopt a State Constitution, republican in form, with the consent of Congress; but in the mean time, and until Congress shall give such consent, provision be made for the government of the inhabitants of said Territory suitable to their condition, but without any restriction as to Slavery.
5. Resolved, That all the Territory ceded to the United States, by the Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo, lying west of said Territory of New Mexico, and east of the contemplated new State of California, for the present, constitute one Territory, and for which some form of government suitable to the condition of the inhabitants be provided, without any restriction as to Slavery.
6. Resolved, That the Constitution recently formed by the people of the western portion of California, and presented to Congress by the President, on the 13th day of February, 1850, be accepted, and that they be admitted into the Union as a State, upon an equal footing in all respects with the original States.
Resolved, That, in future, the formation of State Constitutions, by the inhabitants of the Territories of the United States, be regulated by law; and that no such Constitution be hereafter formed or adopted by the inhabitants of any Territory belonging to the United States, without the consent and authority of Congress. 8. That the inhabitants of any of the United States, when they shall be authorized by Congress to form a State Constitution, shall have the sole and exclusive power to regulate and adjust all questions of internal State policy, of whatever nature they may be, controlled only by the restrictions expressly imposed by the Constitution of the United States.
9. Resolved, That the Committee on Territories be
jectionable, as it seems to me, If I understand the resolutions properly, they are ob
1. Because they only assert that it is not expedient that Congress should abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia; thus allowing the implication to arise that Congress has power to legislate on the subject of Slavery in the District, which may hereafter be exercised, if it should become expedient to do so; whereas, I hold that Congress has, under the Constitution, no such power at all, and that any attempt thus to legislate would be a gross fraud upon all the States of the Union.
2. The Resolutions of the honorable Senator assert
that Slavery does not now exist by law in the Territories opinion that the treaty with the Mexican republic carried recently acquired from Mexico; whereas, I am of the Constitution, with all its guaranties, to all the Territory obtained by treaty, and secured the privilege to every Southern slaveholder to enter any part of it, attended by his slave-property, and to enjoy the same therein, free from all molestation or hindrance whatso
into these Territories, or into any of them, is a proposi3. Whether Slavery is or is not likely to be introduced tion too uncertain, in my judgment, to be at present positively affirmed; and I am unwilling to make a solemn legislative declaration on the point. Let the future provide the appropriate solution of this interesting question.
4. Considering, as I have several times heretofore formally declared, the title of Texas to all the Territory embraced in her boundaries, as laid down in her law of 1836, full, complete, and undeniable, I am unwilling to say anything, by resolution or otherwise, which may in is done in one of the resolutions of the honorable Senathe least degree draw that title into question, as I think tor from Kentucky.
of Columbia, I see no particular objection to it, provided 6. As to the abolition of the slave-trade in the District it is done in a delicate and judicious manner, and is not a concession to the menaces and demands of factionists and fanatics. If other questions can be adjusted, this one will, perhaps, occasion but little difficulty.
7. The resolutions which provide for the restoration of fugitives from labor or service, and for the establishment the subject of Slavery, have my hearty approval. The of territorial governments, free from all restriction on last resolution-which asserts that Congress has no power equally approve. to prohibit the trade in slaves from State to State-I
8. If all other questions connected with the subject of tion to admitting all California, above the line of 36 Slavery can be satisfactorily adjusted, I see no objecdegrees 30 minutes, into the Union; provided another new Slave State can be laid off within the present limits of Texas, so as to keep the present equiponderance between the Slave and Free States of the Union: and provided further, all this is done by way of compromise, and in order to save the Union, (as dear to me as to any man living.)
Mr. Mason, of Virginia, after expressing his deep anxiety to go with him who went furthest, but within the limits of strict duty, in adjusting these unhappy differences," added:
but one proposition to which I can give a hearty assent, Sir, so far as I have read these resolutions, there is and that is the resolution which proposes to organize Territorial governments at once in these Territories, without a declaration one way or the other as to their