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Gontents for August.
The OREGON BILL,
A full Memoir of the Hon. Samuel R. Vinton should have accompanied the portrait, but could not be had in time. It is promised for the next month.
PUBLISHED AT 118 NASSAU STREET.
REMARKS ON THE SOUTH CAROLINA DOCTRINE IN REGARD TO TERRITORY.
It will be our endeavor in the following If the Court decides, in the first conpages, to consider the question that is now troversy that may arise and be referred to injuriously dividing the national opinion, in it, that slaves cannot be held in the terria mood more philosophical, and if possi- tories, the Wilmot Proviso principle takes ble more conclusive, than that of sectional effect, and slavery is forbidden in the teror partisan feeling ; and, at the same time, ritories of the United States. to discuss some dangerous doctrines, that If it decides that they can be held, then have passed unnoticed, or at least uncon- the Calhoun principle takes effect, and futed, during its recent agitation in the slavery is fixed upon all territories not proSenate and in the House.
tected by the ordinance of 1787, the Mis
souri Compromise, or the concession to the " In the Senate of the United States, July | citizens of Oregon. 18th, Mr. Clayton of Delaware, chairman of
Thus it appears that the Supreme Court the select committee on the territories of Oregon, California, and New Mexico, reported a
will have to bear up against the whole bill for the organization of territorial govern
South or the whole North. It must dement in each of them."
cide in toto for the whole territory in ques
tion. It is proposed in this bill, to allow the The clauses in the Constitution upon will of the citizens of Oregon, expressed in which the Court will be obliged to ground the temporary system of laws which they its opinion, in regard to the existing law, have adopted, to prevail against the intro- and touching the power of Congress to duction of slaves in their territory, and in make laws, should that be agitated, are regard to other regions, to refer the whole the following: matter to the Supreme Court, to be decided in private controversy.
“1. No person held to service or labor in one
State, under the laws thereof, esca ping into an* National Intelligencer, July 19th, 1848. The other, shall, in consequence of any law or regucommitre consisted of four from the North and lation therein, be discharged from such service four from the South.
or labor ; but shall be delivered up on claim of
the party to whom such service or labor is 4. “ The migration, or importation, of such due."
persons as any of the States shall think proper to
admit, shall not be prohibited by Congress prior The question may arise, whether the to the year 1808 ;'but a tax or duty may be imlaw applies to slaves held in the territories posed on such importation not exceeding ten of the United States.
dollars for each person.”
As this clause confers the extraordinary "2. Congress shall have power to dispose of, power of prohibiting the introduction of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory, or other property, belong
slaves, after the year 1808, into States exing to the United States, and nothing in this isting at the time of the adoption of the Constitution shall be so construed as io preju- Constitution, the question arises, whether dice any claims of the United States, or of any it does not confer the same power in particular State.”
regard to the new States, and, a fortiori,
in regard to territory. The question may arise, whether a law of Respect for the august tribunal of the Congress forbidding slaves to be held in the nation forbids our attempting, in the presterritories in question, does not prejudice ent posture of affairs, to elicit the true the claims of some particular States. And intent of the Constitution. We mean to if any State shall object to such law, on enter only upon the general question of the strength of this clause, in defence of policy, and of the idea of the Constitution, some one of its citizens, then, whether in order to an examination of certain docthe claim of a citizen to hold slaves is trines put forth by Mr. Calhoun in his the claim also of his State; in a word, speech upon the Oregon bill. whether any State can appear in the busi If we admit the opinion of Mr. Calhoun, ness, either as plaintiff or defendant. that there is a joint ownership of the terri
Whether the words “ rules and regula tories in the States, each State maintaining tions” confer the power of making laws its right over them, the most natural against the introduction of any species of course would seem to be a division of the property, or declaring any kind of proper- territories, according to the common rules ty contraband in territories of the United and methods for the division of property States.
held by several owners. A property line By the 14th clause, section viii., of the dividing the portion claimed by the North Constitution, Congress has power “to from that claimed by the South, seems in make rules for the government and regula- that case to be the obvious, and only just, tion of the land and naval forces."
remedy for discontent; a remedy which the It appears
may be made parties might demand ; but we hold the for “government;" and if of army and notion of a joint ownership to be grounded navy, does it apply also to territory? upon a false view of the nature of the
property. “3. Congress shall have power to exercise
The Committee did not, however, adopt exclusive legislation, all cases whatsoerer, this view, at least in
terms. They over such district (not exceeding ten miles only urge, that slavery has its natural square) as may, by cession of particular States boundaries, and would not probably peneand the acceptance of Congress, become the trate north of the latitude of 36° 40'. Mr. exercise
like authority over all places purchased Calhoun urged the same argument against by the consent of the Legislature of the State in the proposition of those which the same shall be, for the erection of
who wished to fix a geographforts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and ical line, beyond which slavery should not other needful buildings.”
be lawful. As slavery continues to exist
at this day in Kentucky, and formerly The question may arise whether the existed in Massachusetts and Connecticut, phrase, " in all cases whatsoever,” confers and will easily extend and maintain itself the power of legislating on the subject of on rich prairie and bottom lands, in temperslavery, in such district, or ceded space, ate climates, even when slaveholders themand whether, by construction a fortiori, the selves are averse to its extension, the power extends to territory.
arguments of the committee pass but as