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pour charge of destructiveness against us, are based on | ago, "It is still in our power to direct the process of emadthe most clear and stable foundations,
cipation, and deportation, peaceably, and in such slow Again, you say we have made the Slavery question degrees, as that the evil will wear off insensibly; and theft more prominent than it formerly was. We deay it. We places be, pari passu, filled up by free white laborers. admit that it is more prominent, but we deny that we is, on the contrary, it is left to force itself on, human namade it so. It was not we, but you, who discarded the ture must shudder at the prospect held up." old policy of the fathe. 8. We resisted, and still resist, Mr. Jefferson did not mean to say, nor do I, that the your innovation; and thence comes the greater proni power of emancipation is in the Federal Government. He nence of the question. Would you have that question re- spoke of Virginia ; and, as to the power of emancipation, duced to its former proportions? Go back to that old I speak of the slaveholding States only. policy. What has been will be again, under the same The Federal Government, however, as we insist, has the conditions. If you would have the peace of the old power of restraining the extension of the institution-tbc times, re-adopt the precepts and policy of the old times. power to insure that a slave insurrection shall never occur
You charge that we stir up insurrections among your on any American soil which is now free from Slavery. slaves. We deny it; and what is your proof? Harper's John Brown's effort was peculiar. It was not a slave inFerry! John Browo! John Brown was no Republican; surrection. It was an attempt by white men to get up a and you have failed to implicate a single Republican in revolt among slaves, in which the slaves refused to particihis Harper's Ferry enterprise. If any member of our pate. In fact, it was so absurd that the slaves, with all party is guilty in that matter, you know it, or you do not their ignorance, saw plainly enough it could not succeed. know it. If you do know it, you are inexcusable to not That affair, in its philosophy, corresponds with many atdesignate the man, and prove the fact. If you do not tempts related in history, at the assassination of Kings and know it, you are inexcusable to assert it, and especially Emperors. An enthusiast broods over the oppression of a to persist in the assertion after you have tried and failed people till he fancies himself commissioned by Heaven to to make the proof. You need not be told that persisting liberate them. He ventures the attempt, which ends in in a charge which one does not know to be true, is sim little else than in his own execution. Orsini's attempt on ply a malicious slander.
Louis Napoleon, and John Brown's attempt at Harper's Some of you admit that no Republican designedly Ferry, were, in their philosophy, precisely the same.
The aided or encouraged the Harper's Ferry affair ; but still gerness to cast blame ou ol England in the one case, insist that our doctrines and declarations necessarily and on New England in the other, does not disprove the lead to such results. We do not believe it. We know sameness of the two things. we hold to no doctrine, and make no declarations, which And how much would it avail you, if you could, by the were not held to and made by our fathers who framed use of John Brown, Helper's book, and the like, break up the Government under which we live. You never dealt the Republican organization? Human action can be modfairly by us in relation to this affair. When it occurred, ified to some extent, but haman nature cannot be changed. some important State elections were near at hand, and There is a judgment and a feeling against Slavery in this you were in evident glee with the belief that, by charg- nation, which cast at least a million and a half of votes. ing the blame upon us, you could get an advantage of us You cannot destroy that judgment and feeling-that senin those elections. The elections came, and your ex. timent-by breaking up the political organization which pectations were not quite fulfilled. Every Republican rallies around it. You can scarcely scatter and disperse man knew that, as to himself at least, your charge was a an army which has been formed into order in the face of blander, and he was not much inclined by it to cast his your heaviest fire, but if you could, how much would you vote in your favor. Republican doctrines and declara- gain by forcing the sentiment which created it out of the tions are accompanied with a continual protest against peaceful channel of the ballot box, into some other chanany interference whatever with your slaves, or with you nel? What would that other channel probably be? Would about your slaves. Surely, this does not encourage them the number of John Browns be lessened or enlarged by the to revolt. True, we do, in common with our fathers, who operation ? framed the Government under which we live, declare But you will break up the Union rather than submit to a our belief that Slavery is wrong; but the slaves do not denial of your constitutional rights. hear us declare even this. For anything we say or do, That has a somewhat reckless sound; but it would be the slaves would scarcely know there is a Republican palliated, if not fully justified, were we proposing, by the party. I believe they would not, in fact, generally know mere force of numbers, to deprive you of some right, it but for your misrepresentations of us, in their hearing. plainly written down in the Constitution. But we are proIn your political contests among yourselves, each fac- posing no such thing. tion charges the other with sympathy with Black Re- When you make these declarations, you have a specific publicanism; and then, to give point to the charge, and well-understood allusion to an assumed constitutional defines Black Republicanism to simply be insurrection, right of yours, to take slaves into the federal territories, blood and thunder among the slaves.
and to hold them there as property. But no such right is Slave insurrections are no more common now than specifically written in the Constitution. That instrument they were before the Republican party was organized. is literally silent about any such right. We, on the conWhat induced the Southampton insurrection, twenty. trary, deny that such a right has any existence in the Coneight years ago, in which, at least, three times as many stitution, even by implication. lives were lost as at Harper's Ferry! You can scarcely Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is, that you will stretch your very elastic fancy to the conclusion that destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to con. Southampton was got up by Black Republicanism. In strue and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all the present state of things in the United States, I do not points in dispute between you and us.
You will rule or think a general, or even a very extensive slave insurrec- ruin in all events. tion, is possible. The indispensable concert of action This, plainly stated, is your language to us. Perhaps cannot be attained. The slaves have no means of rapid you will say the Supreme Court has decided the disputed communication; nor can incendiary free men, black or Constitutional question in your favor. Not quite so. white, supply it. The explosive materials are every. But waiving the lawyer's distinction between dictum and where in parcels ; but there neither are, nor can be sup- decision, the Courts have decided the question for you plied, the indispensable connecting trains.
in a sort of way. The Courts have substantially said, it Much is said by Southern people about the affection of is your Constitutional right to take slaves into the slaves for their masters and mistresses; and a part of it, federal territories, and to hold them there as property. at least, is true. A plot for an uprising could scarcely be When I say the decision was made in a sort of way, devised and communicated to twenty individuals before mean it was made in a divided Court by a bare majority some one of them, to save the life of a favorite master or of the Judges, and they not quite agreeing with one mistress, would divulge it. This is the rule; and the another in the reasons for making it; that is so made slave-revolution in Hayti was not an exception to it, but a as that its avowed supporters disagree with one another case occurring under peculiar circumstances. The gun about its meaning, and that it was mainly based upon a powder plot of British history, though not connected with mistaken statement of fact-the statement in the opinion slaves, was more in point. In that case, only about twenty that “the right of property in a slave is distinctly and were admitted to the secret; and yet one of them, in his expressly affirmed in the Constitution." anxiety to save a friend, betrayed the plot to that friend, An inspection of the Constitution will show that the and, by consequence, averted the calamity. Occasional right of p:operty in a slave is not distinctly and expressly poisonings from the kitchen, and open or stealthy assassi- affirmed in it. Bear in mind the Judges do not pledge nations in the field, and local revolts extending to a score their judicial opinion that such is right is impliedly ator so, will continue to occur as the natural results of Sla-firmed in the Constitution; but they pledge their veracity very ; but no general insurrection of slaves, as I think, can that it is distinctly and expressly affirmed there--"dishappen in this country for a long time. Whoever much tinctly," that is, not mingled with anything else—"exfears, or much hopes, for such an event, will be alike dis- pressly,” that is, in wo:ds meaning just that, without the appointed.
aid of any inference, and susceptible of no other meaning. In the language of Mr. Jefferson, uttered many years If they had only pledged their judicial opinion that
such right is affirmed in the instrument by implication, These natural, and apparently adequate means all fait It would be open to others to show that geither the word ing, what will convince them? This, and this ouly: "slave" nor " Slavery" is to be found in the Constitu- cease to call Slavery wrong, and join them in calling it tion, nor the word property” even, in any connection right. And this must be done thoroughly-done in acts with the language alluding to the things slave. or Slavery, as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerited-we and that wherever in that instrument the slave is alluded must plave ourselves avowedly with them. Douglas'y to, he is called a “person ;" and wherever his master's new sedition law inust be enacted and enforced, suppresslegal right in relation to him is alluded to, it is spoken of ing all declarations that Slavery is wrong, whether made as "service or labor due," as a "debt" payable in in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must service or labor. Also, it would be open to show, by arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy contemporaneous history, that this mode of alluding to pleasure. We must pull down our Free State constitutions. slaves and Slavery, instead of speaking of them, was eu- The whole atmospliere must be disinlected from all taint ployed on purpose to exclude from the Constitution the of opposition to Slavery, before they will cease to believe idea that there could be property ic man.
that all their troubles proceed from us. To show all this is easy and certain.
I am quite aware they do not state their case precisely When this obvious mistake of the Judges shall be in this way. Most of thein would probably say to us, brought to their notice, it is not reasonable to expect "Let us alone, do nothing to us, and say what you please that they will withdraw the mistaken statement, and about Slavery.” But we do let them alone-have never reconsider the conclusion based upon it ?
disturbed them-so that, after all, it is what we say, And then it is to be remembered that our fathers, who which dissatisfies them. They will continue tu accuse us framed the Government under which we live"-the men of doing, until we cease saying. who made the Constitution -decided this same Constitu- I am also aware they have not, as yet, in terms, tional question in our favor, long ago - decided it without demanded the overthrow of our Free State Constitutions. a division among themselves, when making the decision; Yet those constitutions declare the wrong of Slavery, without division among themselves about the meaning with more solemn emphasis, than do all other sayings of it after it was made, and so far as any evidence is against it; and when all these other sayings shall have left, without basing it upon any mistakeu statement of been silenced, the overthrow of these constitutions will facts.
be demanded, and nothing be left to resist the deinand. Under all these circumstances, do you really feel It is nothing to the contrary, that they do not demand the yourselves justified to break up this Government, un- whole of this just now. Demanding what they do, and less such a court decision as yours is shall be at once for the reason they do, they can voluntarily stop nowhere submitted to as a conclusive and final rule of political short of this consummation. Holding, as they do, that action?
Slavery is morally right, and socially elevating, they can. But you will not abide the election of a Republican not cease to demand a full national recogniuon of it, as President. In that supposed event, you say, you will a legal right, and a social blessing. destroy the Union; and then, you say, the great crime of Nor can we justifiably withhuid this, on any ground bav.ng destroyed it will be upon us ?
save our conviction that Slavery is wrong. If Slavery is That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, right, all words, acts, laws, and constitutions against it, and mutters through his teeth, “ stand and deliver, or I are theinselves wrong, and should be silenced, and swept shall kill you, and then you will be a murde. er !"
away. If it is right, we cannot justly object to its nationTo be sure, what the robber demanded of me—my ality—its universality; if it is wrong, they cannot justly money-was my own; and I had a clear right to keep insist upon its extension—its enlarge nent. All they ask, it; but it was no more my own than my vote is my own; we could readily grant, if we thought Slavery right; all and the threat of death to me to extort my money, and we ask, they could as readily grant, if they thought it the threat of destruction to the Union, to extor my ag Their thinking it right, and our thinking it vote, can scarcely be distinguished in principle.
wrong, is the precise fact upon which depends the whole A few words now to Republicans. It is exceedingly controversy. Thinking it right, as they do, they are not desirable that all parts of this great Confederacy shall to blame for desiring its full recognition, as being right; be at peace, and in harmony, one with another. Let us but, thinking it wrong, as we do, can we yield to them? Republicans do our part to have it so. Even though Can we cast our votes with their view, and against our much provoked, let us do nothing through passion and own? In view of our moral, social, and political responill temper. Even though the southern people will not so sibilities, can we do this? much as listen to us, let us calmly consider their Wrong as we think Slavery is, we can yet afford to let demands, and yield to them if, in our deliberate view of it alone where it is, because that much is due to the our duty, we possibly can. Judging by all they say and necessity arising from its actual presence in the nation ; do, and by the subject and natura of their controversy but can we, while our votes will prevent it, allow it to with us, let us determine, if we can, what will satisfy them? spread into the National Territories, and to overrun us
Will they be satistied if the Territories be unconditione here in these Free States ? ally surrendered to them ? We know they will not. In If our sense of duty forbids this, then let us stand by all their present coinplaints against us, the Territories are our duty, fearlessly and effectively. Let us be diverted hy scarce y mentioned. Invasions and insurrections are the none of those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are rage now. Will it satisfy thein if, in the fuiure, we have so industriously plierl and belabored-contrivances such nothing to do with invasions and insurrections ? as groping for some middle ground between the right and know it will not. We so know because we know we never the wrong, vain as the search for a man who should be had anything to do with invasions and insurrections ; neither a living man nor a dead man-such as a policy and yet inis total abstaining does not exempt us from the of " don't care" on a question about which all true men charge and the denunciation.
do care-such as Union appeals beseeching true Union The question recurs, what will satisfy them! Simply men to yield to Disunionists, reversing the divine rule, this: We inust not only let thein alone, but we must, and cal.ing, not the sinners, but the righteous to repentsomehow, convince them that we do let them alone. This, | ance-such as invocations to Washington, in ploring wen we know by experience, is no easy task. We have been to unsay what Washington said, and uudo what Washing. 80 trying to convince them, from the very beginning of con did. our organization, but with no success. In all our plat- Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false forins and speeches we have constantly protested our pur accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces pose to let thein alone ; but this has had no tendency to of destru. tion to the Government, nor of dungeons to convince them. Alike unavailing to convince them is ourselves. Let us have 'aith that right makes might, and the fact that they have never detecied a man of us in in that faith, let us, ta ihe end, dare to do our duty, as any attempt to disturb them.
we understand it.
MR. BRECKINRIDGE ON NATIONAL POLITICS.
SPEECH AT FRANKFORT, KY.
THE Hon. JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE delivered | pealed, and we passed the act known as the Kansas-Ne. the following speech on the general political braska bill. The Abolition, or quasi Abolition party of topics of the day before the Legislature of Ken- the right of Congress to prohibit Slavery in the common tucky at Frankfort in Dec. 1859. Mr. Breckin- Territories of the Union. The Democratic party, aided by ridge had been recently elected to the United most of the gentlemen from the South, took the opposite States Senate, by the Kentucky Legislature ; that question from the Halls of Congress, and place it and after returning his thanks for the distin- where it could no longer risk the public welfare and the guished honor, and promising to serve the State had been agitated all the time, to the disadvantage of the to the best of his ability, he continued as South ; accordingly (I have not a copy of the bill before follows:
me now, but I remember its leading provisions), a bill was The election took place on Monday. The day before passed, repealing the Missouri line, and leaving those TerI received a letter signed by a number of gertiemen in ritories upon the contract and the assertion that the bih the Legislature, asking my opinion in reference to the
Did we intend by it to legislate Slavery into KanDRAI SCOTT decision, in reference to Territorial Sover- sas and Nebraska.?. We denied that, and denied it upon eignty, and the power of Congress to protect the property the face of the bill itself. The settlement thus made, afof citizens within the Territories. I received that letter terward received the approval of the people of the whole with profound respect, and only regret it did not come country. The bill said within itself, not that we intend to to my hands in time, that I might answer it before the legislate Slavery into the Territories, but to leave the peo. election. But yet I am glad that I could not answer it ple free to form their own domestic institutions, subject before that day, for your choice is a sort of indorsement only to the Constitution of the United States. of my soundness upon those questions.
as much as we could agree upon. I confess I was
There was a point upon somewhat gratified that the election took place before which we could not agree. A considerable portion of the I had those questions to answer.
It was utterly impossi- Northern Democracy held that Slavery was in derogation ble for me to have returned an answer before the time of common right, and could only exist by force of positive fixed by your law for the election, but, I never intended law. They contended that the Constitution did not furnish to fail in this answer. I never should have failed. Had that law, and that the slaveholder could not go into the it been one who signed it, instead of twenty, the result Territories with his slaves with the Constitution to authorwould have been precisely the same.
ize him in holding his slaves as property, or to protect him. Besides this, it would have been of but little conse. The South, generally, without distinction of party, held the quence, be the answer before or after. I belong to that opposite view. They held that the citizens of all the School of politics that believes in instruction, and when States may go with whatever was recognized by the Conever I am not ready to receive the instructions of the stitution as property, and enjoy it. That did not seem to State, I stand ready to give back the trust confided in be denied to any article of property except slaves. Acmy hands.
cordingly, the bill contained the provision, that any question in reference to Slavery should be referred to the court
of the United States, and the understanding was, that whatGentlemen, I bow to the decision of the Supreme Court upon all parties, not only by virtue of the agreement, but
ever the judicial decision should be, it would be binding of the United States upon every question within its proper jurisdiction, whether it corresponds with my pri- under the obligation of the citizens to respect the authorvate opinion or not; only, I bow a trifle lower when it ity of the legally constituted courts of the country. happens to do so, as the decision in the Dred Scott case
WHAT HE SAID IN 1856. does. I approve it in all its parts as a sound exposition It was under these circumstances, while the Territory of of the law and constitutional rights of the States, and Kansas was in a state of commotion, and when that quescitizens that inhabit them. (Applause.) It may not be tion had not been determined by the courts, that the canimproper for me here to add that so great an inierest did vass of 1856 came on. It became my duty, by the reI take in that decision, and in its principles being sus- quest of my friends, to visit the States of Ohio, Indiana, tained and understood in the commonwealth of Ken. Michigan and Pennsylvania. In all those States I made lucky, that I took the trouble, at my own cost, to print speeches. In all those States I uttered the same opinions or have printed a large edition of that decision to scat- and declared the same principles that I have ever done in ber it over the State, and unless the mails have miscar- the commonwealth of Kentucky, and am ready to do again ried, there is scarcely a member elected to the Legisla- None other! ture who has not received a copy with my frank.
It has been charged that the Democratic party of the To approve the decision of the Supreme Court in the country, and particularly of the South, desired to employ Dred Scott case would seem to settle the whole question the Federal Government for the purpose of propagating of Territorial Sovereignty, as I think will presently ap- Slavery and slave legislation in the Territories. I denied pear; but, in order that no one may misunderstand that the Democratic party desired to use the Federal Gov. my views on that question, I will, with your leave, de ernment for the propagation of Slavery, and I never contain you with a brief review of what was done as to the ceded what we believed to be our constitutional right to its Slavery question up to the time of that decision, refer- protection, and what the decision of the Supreme Court ring also to the duties imposed by it.
has allowed to be our right, I said-yes! I did say that the Democratic party of this country, in its federal aspect,
was neither a Pro-Slavery nor an An i-Slavery party, but I was in the Congress of the United States when that a constitutional party, and I repeat it here to-night. (Ap. Missouri line was repealed. I never would have voted for plause.) I do not believe it is. any bill organizing the Territory of Kansas as long as that Federal Government was organized for either purpose, but odious stigma upon our institutions remained upon the to protect the rights adjudicated by the courts. statute-book. I voted cheerfully for its repeal, and in do- these belong to the States themselves. ing that I cast no reflection upon the wise patriots who These were the declarations that I made, of which someacquiesced in it at the time it was established. It was re- I thing has been heard in all the States. I made the
THE DRED SCOTT DECISION.
THE MISSOURI LINE.
I do not believe that the
declarations that I am willing to make before my own “And whatever the political department of the Government constituents ; I made the declarations that I am willing shall recognize as within the limits of the United States, the to stand here and repeat. (Applause.) We had confi
Judicial Department is also bound to recognize, and to ad
minister in it the laws of the United States, so far as they apply, dence in our own view of our own rights. Our northern and to maintain in the territory the authority and rights of the friends had their views. It was a paradoxical question, Government, and also the political right and rights of property and we gave it to the Courts.
of individual citizens as secured by the Constitution. All we Well
, the Courts did decide the very question, which mean to say on this point is. what is there is no express rege had been submitted to them, not upon a case from Kan-lation in the Constitution defining the power which the Geners sas, but in another case. Without going into the argu- citizen in a territory thus acquired. the
Court must necessarily
Government may exercise over the person or property of a ment, for time does not permit of that, let me give you look to the provisions and principles of the Constitution and it the conclusion. In the opinion of the Court in the case distribution of powers, for the rules and principles by which of Dred Scott, it is said:
its decision must be governed." “Upon these considerations, it is the opinion of the Court
So that in regard to slave property, as in regard to any that the act of Congress which prohibits a citizen from holding other property recognized and guarded by the Constitu and owning property of this kind in the Territory of the tion,
it is the duty, according to the Supreme Court, of a United States, north of the line herein mentioned, is not the Courts of the country to protect and guard it by thei warranted by the Constitution, and is therefore void ; and that decision, whenever the question is brought before them neither Dred Scott himself nor any of his family were made to which I will only add this, that the judicial decisions free by being carried into this Territory, even if they had in our favor must be maintained—these judicial decision: been carried there by the owner, with the intention of becoming a permanent resident."
in our favor must be sustained. (Applause.) Again :
SLAVE CODE. "The powers over person and property of which we speak, If present remedies are adequate to sustain these deare not only not granted to Congress, but are in express terms cisions, I would have nothing more done. I, with many denied, and they are forbidden to exercise them. And this prohibition is not confined to the States, but the words are
other public men in the country, believe they are able general, and extend to the whole territory over which the If they are not if they cannot be enforced for want of Constitution gives it power to legislate, including those por the proper legislation to enforce them, sufficient legislations of it remaining under Territorial government, as well as tion must be passed, or our Government is a failure. that covered by States. It is a total absence of power every. (Applause.) Gentlemen, I see no escape from that conwhere within the dominion of the United States, and places clusion. the citizen of a Territory, so far as those rights are concerned, on the same footing with citizens of the States, and guards
At the same time, fellow-citizens, I make no hesitatica them as firmly and plainly against any inroads which the in saying to you that I trust the time will never come General Government might attempt, under the plea of implied I trust the time will never come when it may be deemed or incidental power. And if Congress itself cannot do this, necessary for the Congress of the United States in any if it is beyond the powers conferred on the Federal Govern form to interfere with this question in the Territories. So ment-it will be admitted, we presume, that it could not authorize a Territorial government to exercise them. It
far it has been only productive of evil to us, and it would could confer no power on any local government, established portend only evil in the future. At present there is no by its authority, to violate the provisions of the Constitution." question before Congress. No Southern Representative
or Senator proposes legislation on that point-no comThus the highest court in the United States settled the plaint comes from any territory—there is no evidence very question referred to it as the disputed point, not leg- that the existing laws and decisions of the Courts are not islative in its character, on which Congress could not adequate to protect every description of property recog. agree when the Kansas-Nebraska bill passed. The view nized by the several States. None whatever. Therefore, that we in the Southern States took of it was sustained, in my opinion, and I submit it humbly and with defethat in the Territories, the common property of the rence, our true policy is not to anticipate trouble, but to Union, pending their Territorial condition, Congress let the matter rest upon the Executive, upon the existing itselt nor the Territorial Government had the power to laws, and upon the decisions of the Courts. (Applause.) confiscate any description of property recognized in the I will add this : we must never give up the principle, we States of the Union. The Court drew no distinction be- must never give up the question that has been judiciously tween slaves and other property. It is true some foreign decided, that this constitutional right exists. We must philanthropists and some foreign writers do undertake to stand by that decision. We must hold to our constitudraw this distinction, but these distinctions have nothing tional rights, but I would never prematurely raise the to do with our system of Government. Our Government question to distract the country, when there is no voice rests not upon the speculations of philanthropic writers, calling for it, North, East, South or West. (Applause.) but upon the plain understanding of a written constitution I say we must hold to the principle-we must stand by it. which determines it, and upon that alone. It is the We stand in a good position. We have the Executive, result of positive law; therefore we are not to look to we have the laws, we have the decisions of the Courts, and the analogy of the supposed law of nations, but to regard that is a great advance from where we stood ten years, the Constitution itself, which is the written expression of
ago. the respective powers of the Government and the rights I am glad-although we did not succeed as we desired of the States.
in Kansas-I am glad that the territorial question is
nearly fought out. It is nearly fought out. I know of UNFRIENDLY LEGISLATION.
no existing Territory where this question can arise. As Well, that being the case, and it having been authorita to the territory south of the line, where slave labor is tively determined by the very tribunal to which it was re. really profitable, I have not a doubt but that the climate ferred that Congress had no power to exclude slave and interest, and the proximity of slaveholders, and the property from the Territory, and judiciously determined Constitution and laws, and the decision of the Court, that the Territorial Legislatures, authorities created by will sustain and protect us there in the full enjoyment of Congress, had not the power to exclude or confiscate our rights, and in making Southern territory out of slave property, I confess that I had not anticipated that Southern soil. While I would not give up the principle, the doctrines of unfriendly legislation would be set up.
I never have believed, and I do not believe now, in the Hence, I need not say to you that I do not believe in the possibility of Slavery planting itself in a territory against doctrine of unfriendly legislation ; that I do not believe in the determined opposition of the inhabitants, any more the authority of Territorial Legislatures to do by indirecthan I believe the institution of Slavery could continue in tion what they cannot do directly. I repose upon the existence in Kentucky for three years against the desire decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, as to
of the voters of the Commonwealth, even with the con. the point that neither Congress nor the Territorial Legis-stitutional restictions that are here thrown around it. lature has the right to obstruct or confiscate the
Still, I would save the question and the principle, and
property of any citizen, slaves included, pending the territorial never let go the constitutional right, because our proteocondition. (Applause.)
tion in the Union consists in a strict adherence to the I do not see any escape from that decision, if you provisions of the Constitution. When we allow an infracadmit that the question was a judicial one; if you admit tion of the Constitution on any one point, we lose our The decision of the Supreme Court, and if you stand by to the last that the Constitution of the country shall be
claim to the observance of the whole. We should insist the decision of the highest Court of the country.
The Supreme Court seems to have recognized it as the sustained in every particular. (A voice—“Good.")
THR PERIL OF TIR COUNTRY. adjudicated by the Supreme Court, in the following lan. Fellow-citizens, if you will allow me, I will offer you guage. In speaking of the acquisition of territory, they some observations upon another aspect of public affairs. pronounce it a political question for Congress to deter- We have been talking of things that concern us no more mine what territory they acquire and how many. Now than they concern others, but we have questions to deter. mark the words of the Court:
mine that come nearer home--questions that come to our
tresides. According to my humble judgment, the con- have, dominance in the Northern States of the Union, no dition of our country was never so perilous as it is at say of an institution of their Southern relatives they are this hour; and if things go drifting on as they have of harboring a relic of barbarism? That shows you, fellow 'ate, we shall have to determine questions of far nearer citizens, their indomitable purpose, their deep-seated vitality than the territorial question.
hate. I am sorry that it exists, but it is true. How can I nope I do not speak in the spirit of an alarmist or a you expect a great political organization that obtains demagogue, but since I have been acquainted with public power, to fail to exercise that power when in its opinion affairs (and men older and wiser than myself say the i this Union is stained or defiled as to one-half, perhaps, same thing) there never was a time when the interests of of its inhabitants, by a relic of barbarism, which it class. this Union were in so much peril, and when the feelings of es with the crime of polygamy. our people were so much alienated as at this hour. Certainly if the aspect of affairs at Washington is in the
SEWARD QUOTED slightest degree indicative of the feeling elsewhere, that
This is not ali. remark is truth.
I could have brought here the declan
ations of its representative and leading men from all ITS CAUSE.
parts of the Northern States, going infinitely further that Fellow-citizens, the danger arises, in the opinion of is contained there. Allow me, however, to read one or our wisest and best men, from the character and purpose two of the most striking from the most eminent of thet and aim of an organization in the country called the Re- leaders. I beg you, fellow-citizens, though they may be publican party:
familiar, not to weary with a few extracts, for these us I do not think we fully realize what are the objects, terances are the rallying cry of millions of men. I holt purposes and aims of the Republican party, what it in my hand a speech delivered by a Senator of the State intends, and what would be the consequences to us of of New-York, who is to-day the most influential publie their success and dominion in the United States. If you man in this Union, on whose words millions hang, and will allow me, therefore, I have gathered together three by whose direction millions move. Is this the Constito or four facts-mere expressions--mere illustrations or tion and Union that our fathers founded ? examples, from many thousands of kindred characters, Last year, in a speech delivered at Rochester, tham for the purpose of showing what its objects are-to show gentleman uttered the following language: what we may expect to follow their success.
“Our country is a theatre which exhibits, in full operation DIS VIEWS OF REPUBLICANISM.
two radically different political systems; the one resting on
the basis of servile or slave labor, the other on the basis of First is their platform, made three years ago, but voluntary labor of freemen. beyond which they have far advanced. Like all aggres. But they are more than incongruous. They are incompat
“The iwo systems are at once perceived to be incongruous. sive organizations, the rear rank of the Republican ible. They never have permanently existed together in one party marches up and comes upon the ground that the country, and they never can. advanced guard occupied months before, while the ad- “Hitherto the two systems have existed in different States, vanced guard is going ahead. The Republicans are far but side by side within the American Union. This has hap in advance of their platform, but we have there enough pened because the Union is a confederation of States. But on
another aspect the United States constitute only one nation. to put us on our guard.
Increase of population which is filling the States out to their What are our rights ? Have we not a right to have our very borders, together with a new and extended net-work of fugitives returned ? If there is a plainer provision than railroads and other avenues, and an internal commerce which that in the instrument, what is it? Have we not a right daily becomes more intimate, is rapidly bringing the States to live in peace in this Union ! What was the Constitu- into a higher and more perfect social unity or consolidation. tion formed for? When the Constitution was made, was
Thus these antagonistic systems are constitutionally coming it not made by brethren? Was it not made that this
into close contact and collision results." political organization should be carried on in peace and Yes, “collision ensues," and his prophecy was fulbarmony? Have we not a right to demand of our sister filled in less than twelve months after it was made. States, that we may live together in peace with our respective State institutions, with our whole domestic
“Shall I tell you what this collision means? It is an irrepolicy? And is it not a gross violation of the Constitu- pressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces ; and
it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, tion not to allow us to live in peace, as to refuse to return become entirely a slaveholding nation, or entirely a free-labor our fugitives from labor that have escaped into other nation. Either the cotton and rice fields of South Carolina, States? Do they intend to do it? No, they do not. and the sugar plantations of Louisiana will ultimately be tilled They begin by declaring the Declaration of Independence by free labor, and Charleston and New-Orleans become marts is a rule of our political action. Here is the declaration for legitimate merchandise alone; or else the rye-fields and of the Republican platform, adopted three years ago, surrendered by their farmers to slave culture, and to the pro.
wheat-fields of Massachusetts and New-York must again be beyond which they have now far advanced :
duction of slaves, and Boston and New-York become once "Résoloed, That with our Republican fathers we hold it to
more markets for trade in the bodies and souls of men. It is be a self-evident truth that cll men are endowed with the in
the failure to apprehend this great truth that induces so many alienable right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and Free States, and it is the existence of this great fact that
unsuccessful attempts at final compromise between the Slave and that the primary object and ulterior design of our Federal Government were to secure these rights to all persons under
renders all such pretended compromises, when made, vain is exclusive jurisdiction ; that as our Republican fathers,
and ephemeral." when they had abolished Slavery in all our national territory, These things would have no consequence if they were ordained that no person should be deprived of life, liberty and the individual opinions of their author, but they are the property, without due process of law, it becomes our duty to opinions of a large and formidable and growing party in maintain this provision of the Constitution against all attempts this Union ; of a party that now claims a majority in the ritories of the United States by positive legislation, probibiting distant day, to have a majority in the Senate. I ask
House of Representatives, and which looks, at no_very its existence or extension therein.
This is a positive pledge, that as soon as that party you if that was the Union formed by our fathers ? Dia obtains power, it will recognize the equality of the negro they anticipate such a political party would arise to dewith the white man. Its object will be to give him those
clare that there “is an irrepressible conflict between oprights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To posing and enduring forces” in the United States ? maintain that equality what follows ? Everybody knows
It is not my purpose to characterize or stigmatize this
doctrine now, but to set forth what we are to expect and that when they obtain the power in the District of Columbia, they will abolish Slavery there; when they ob. what we are to meet.
At a later period, in the Senate of the United States, tain the power, they will undertake to abolish it in the
that same distinguished Senator uttered the following forts, arsenals, and dock-yards of the United States throughout the South ; they will undertake to abolish the language, (I well remember the occasion and the
speech :) internal slave-trade. Already they declare that not another Slave State shall be admitted into the Union, all its constitutional checks, cannot long resist and counteract
“A free Republican Government like this, notwithstanding and they will go beyond that. How can we expect to
the progress of society.' live in peace and harmony, when declarations of this sort are uttered:
They don't expect the provisions of the Constitution
and its checks to prevent them from taking their onward "Résolved, That the Constitution confers npon Congress sovereigo power over the Territories of the United States for progress Indeed, they have a facility of construing their government, and that, in the exercise of this power, it is that instrument, which makes it as dust in the balance. both the right and the imperative duty of Congress, to prohibit They construe it to authorize them not to return fugitive in the Territories those twin relics of barbarism-polygamy slaves ; to authorize them to make a war upon one hall and Slavery."
of the nation. There is no provision of the Constitution Is that in the spirit of our revolutionary ancestors ? which has stood in their way as to any right of ours Is it in the spirit of our revolutionary ancestors for a that we have claimed upon this great question. Not great and growing party, that now claims, and perhaps only did he announce in the Senate of the United States,