« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
that constitutional checks cannot stand for any time crops of cotton, and a trifle over, to do it. That was against the progress of Northern opinion, but,
indorsed, I tell you again, by sixty-eight or sixty-nine i “Free labor,” says Mr. Seward, “ has at last apprehended members of the House of Representatives, and the very its rights and its destiny, and is organizing itself to assume the gentleman who they are running for Speaker of that government of the Republic. It will henceforth meet you body indorsed it. It is true, his friends say that he boldly and resolutely here (Washington :) it will meet you , indorsed it without having read it. Admit that to be may go to extend Slavery. It has driven you back in Califor: true, he has again and again, when called upon, refused nia and in Kansas; it will invade you soon in Delaware, to disavow those sentiments, hence the excuse is paltry. Maryland, Virginia, Missouri and Texas. It will meet you in Arizona, in Central America, and even in Cuba.”
HARPER'S FERRY. Not content with confining it to the Territories, he That is the condition of affairs, and that is the conadds:
dition of the Republican organization of this country, "You may, indeed, get a start under or near the tropics. if any reliance is to be placed in their record, in their and seem safe for a time, but it will be only a short time, declarations, in their public attitude, in the attitude Even there you will found States only for free lavor to main which they defiantly assume before the country. Their tain and occupy. The interest of the white race demands the purpose is to make war, eternal war, upon the instituultimate emancipation of all men. Whether that consummations of one half of the States of the Union. Gradually tion shall be allowed to take eifect, with needful and wise precautions against sudden change and disaster, or be hurried on
we approach the crisis until at last is not the legitimate by violence, is all that remains for you to decide. The white result of the irrepressible conflict of which they speak, man needs this continent to labor upon. His head is clear, his of the crime of which they say we are guilty, to put arın is strong, and his necessaries are fixed. It is for your: down these relics of barba.ism? The ignorant and selves and not for us to decide how loug and through what fanatical throw off the obligations of the Constitution further mortifications and disasters the contest shall be pro; and invade by violence the Southern States of the triumph! You may refuse to yield it now, and for a short Union, and although I am far from holding the Repubperiod, but your refusal will only aniinate the friends of free lican party of the No in, or any large portion of them, dom with the courage and the resolution, and produce the responsible for the late atrocious proceedings in Virunion among them, which alone are necessary on their part, ginia, I do say that that proceeding was the carrying to attain the position itself, simultaneously with the impending out of the logical result of their teachings-carrying it overthrow of the exciting Federal Administration, and the into execution. How did they receive it? Why gentle. Constitution of a new and more independent Congress,”-and they think they have that Congress.
men, the conservative portion of the North abhors it;
but, in the Senate and House, in the great body of their I tell you again, fellow-citizens, this is not the opinion public press, what do they say of it? That they regret of Mr. ŠEWARD alone. It is Mr. SEWARD and, with one it-they deplore it—they even condemn it--they say, or two exceptions, the other Republican Senators in the because it was against law, and they stand for law. Eenate of the United States, and nine-tenths of the These are the honeyed and qualified phrases with which Republican members of the House of Representatives. they characterize ihe most atrocious act of treason, Could that language have been uttered with impunity or rapine, and murder comb.ned, that was ever known in been sustained at the epoch of 1779, when the Constitu; the Republic, and then, as tnough afraid of what they tion was formed ? Did not the Constitution languish and have said, they immediately go on to eulogize the man stop just because there was some question about insert- and his mouves, much as they regret the act. ing these checks about the institution of the Southern States ? Were they not put into the Constitution by the
A VOLLEY OF COMPLAININGS. great men who formed it, and are not all the citizens of all the States bound to respect the relations that exist
Gentlemen, have we no complaints in other respects ? between them, and to give the Southern States peace in Are laws passed for the purpose of punishing those who this Union? How do you receive the declaration that make inroads into the border States and rob us of our there is an irrepressible conflict waging—that there shall property ? Suppose a Kentuckian should go into the
State of Ohio and rob a cit.zen of that State, does any be no peace? There is no use attempting to turf over the volceno, there is no use crying peace when there is one doubt that we would pass a law to punish him and no peace. It is the avowed purpose of the Republican to prevent the recurrence of the outrage? So far from party to agitate, agitate; to overturn the Constitution this being their course, they are encouraged, and we are itself, until they succeed not only in drawing a cordon subject to constant secret predatory incursions by which around you, and shutting you within your present limits, we lose annually hundreds of thousands of dollars, but to può you in a position where you were about, for thuse people availing theinselves of the bond of amity
between us, to perpetrate the nutrage. peace sake, to emancipate your slaves.
That is not all! About one half of the Northern Well might we say, as was once said in France, states have passed laws and made it a criminal and “Oh, Constitution ! what crimes are committed in thy penal offence for their citizens to give any assistance in sacred name !"
the rendition of fugitive slaves. Massachusetts has HELPER'S CRISIS.
passed laws closing her jails to us, and making it a penal
offence to aid in the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave But, gentlemen, I hold in my hand another book, law, or to appear as council to try such a case, thus which is of no consequence as the opinions of its indivi- nullifying the laws of Congress, and of the United dual author, but is of consequence as indorsed by the States, distinctly, and some seven or eight States have distinguished gentleman from whose productions I have passed similar laws refusing all remedy and making it read, and as indorsed also by sixty-eight or nine Repub- penal in their citizens to obey the behests of the Constilicans of the House of Representatives, who represent a tution. constituency of seven millions of people. This, then, I have not uttered these things for the purpose of may be considered as the declaration of near seven arousing any spirit of disloyalty to the Constitution and millions of men. What is it? It is a book called the the Union. I hope I love them as reverently as any man “Impending Crisis of the South,” by a person called within the sound of my voice, but let us look and see the Helper, who professes to be a North Carolin an. Whether facts as they are. What may be set down as the un. he is or not I am unable to say. (I will read very little, questioned purpose of this organization? It is avowed gentlemen.) In this book, thus indorsed by nearly that it is to exclude all and any Slave States from the seventy members of the House of Representatives, Union hereafter. It is to give us no fugitive slave law, representing pearly seven millions of the people, this declaring that the States under the Constitution must sentiment is declared :
provide for that, and then to give no remedy in the The slaveholding oligarchy say we cannot abolish states ; it is to pass no laws for the purpose of preventSlavery without infringing on the right of property. ing the robbery of our property but, on the contrary: Again we tell them we do not recognize property in in many States to make it penal to enforce the law; men,
is to abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia; to But the Constitution does ; the bond of our Union abolish the internal slaye-trade and the coastwise slave. does, and the Supreme Court of the United States has trade, and then to agitate and agitate, giving us no decided that it does. Our fathers so considered it. It peace as long as we retain this relic of barbarism " has been so admitted all the time, until the apostles of and crime, as they call it. the new doctrine spoke. At another point he says: For the services of the blacks from the 20th of August, ready to say we will make no stand in any form for
This is the purpose. Are you ready for it? Are you 1620, up to the 4th of July, 1869-an interval of precisely your constitutional rights ? I think you are not! Yet two hundred and forty-eight years, ten months and that is the present condition of atfairs—but what are wo fourteen days—their masters, if unwilling, ought, in our to do? judgment, to be compelled to grant them their fieedom,
PRACTICAL REMEDIES. and to pay each and every one of them at least sixty dollars cash in hand.
I know they will consider the consequences, and care He goes on to remark that it would only take two fully consider the consequences of any serious collisions
MEND OUR MANNERS DOWN SOUTH.
in this Union. I know we duly appreciate the position
the circumstances then Andrew Jackson was President of our own State, not only a border State, but an in. ol the United States, and he was a native of South Caro. terior border State having no ocean outlet I know that lina; the question was a mere question of policy ; few of se have read history to some purpose, and that we have the other states sympathized with the movement of that seed what have been the consequences of the disruption little State. Henry Clay was alive, and Calhoun was ready of amicable relations between those who have banded to give the benefit of his influence to peace and harmony, theniselves together as a confederation of States. We, and yet that little question, when Jackson, a native son of feed but go back and see the consequence upor. the that State, was President, and Clay and Calhoun were in treeks waen they carried on the Peloponnesian war, i the Senate, brought on a struggle that shook this Union to uatil at last exhausted, they fell into the lap of des- its centre, and imperilled it in the estimation of the wisest Polisin
The same fate might meet us. What would be and best of men. Look at it as it may be, with disaffection. our condition ? War! War! Inevitable war, in all spread all over the South, with a very ditferent state of huan p obability, would be our position, and then in feelings in the North to what existed then, with Clay dead, wide we might be driven into degiading alliances with and Calhoun dead, and none to take their places, with fo.eign powers—the most degrading posit.on for Ameri- such a man as Seward, not only not native, but hostile to can citizens.
the South, in the Chair of State. Cannot a child read the Then the spectacle would be presented of America fall- i result? Cannot we see that one State falling away, our ing back under the control of Europe, and American lib- Union will be like an arch with two or three stones dropped aty siuking down under European despotism. Besides out, the whole fabric may fall in pieces. this, could we ever hope that a fairer state of things would These are facts which it becomes the people of Kenarise ? Could we ever hope that Providence itself would tucky, with all their loyalty to the Union, to observe, to ever exercise its omnipotent power to create a State, or know, to see, to think of, and then to act upon, with the Union of States, under more favorable auspices than in dignity and moderation which marks and so well becomes
Would it not be worse than impiety itself, to pre- them. sume that the Almighty would ever attempt to sustain a But, gentlemen, what is the mode that occurs to any man oonfederation of Free States under circumstances more --because no man, I take it, in Kentucky, will back on bright or favorable than in our system? I know that the this subject, except as a friend of the Union of the States State of Kentucky is devoted to the Union, not only be --what is the mode? I see none, except it be the union Cause of her interests, but from that feeling of affection of all the conservative elements of the country, North and and of loyalty, and that sentiment of love that have South. The South must first be united, and I am sure she always marked her people from the earliest period of her will, for I take it there is not a citizen of Kentucky that history. I do not believe there is a man under the sound would associate himself with an organization whose marcb of my voice who would not view as the last, the greatest to triumph would be over the ruins of our rights. of ail evils, the wreck of the Union I do not believe there is the man in the State that would compete to enjoy the highest honors within the State, purchased at such a Ought we not first to put ourselves right in Court ? price.
Some little there is to complain of us. I say to you, WHAT IS TO BE DONE.
my opinion, those who appeal to the Constitution and
the laws should obey the Constitution and the laws. I At the same time steps must be taken, something must would have the South, if I might venture, as one of her be done. I do not believe that if the Constitution is al- humblest but truest sons, to advise her to obey the laws lowed to remain permanently violated in its important pro- of our country. . (Applause.). I would have the South visions, we can have hope under it. None whatever ! first obey the laws of the Union wbich prohibit the forBroken in one particular, it will soon fall to pieces in all. eign slave-trade. (Applause.) That is the law of the I recollect when I was a boy, to have read that great land. It rests not with us to complain of the violation speech of Demosthenes, for the crown, where the real of law by others, when in a portion of our S.ates the citiquestion at issue was the charge that he was the author zeus violate the laws themselves. · Let us f.own down of the public misfortunes, because he had advised the any attempt to violate those laws upon the part of our Greeks to make a last stand for their country, against States.
Let us do more. Let us do more, by preventing Philip of Macedon. He was arraigned, and on trial and the fitting out of filibustering expeditions upon our in his great defence, he says: “ What, though we did fail? shores, to invade feeble sister countries. That is the law, We did our duty. We responded in the temper and char- and we live by the Coustitution and the law, and let us acter of our forefathers.' The result is such as God gives obey it, and whatever expansion of territory we make, to each; and even those degenerate Greeks acquitted let us make it in a manner becoming the dignity of this him, and crowned the world's great orator as a benefac- glorious Confederacy under our own flag. Then let us tor; debased as they were in national character, they did call to our aid the pure elements of conservatism and this, and from that day have never known or read of the truth that we can find in the northern States, success of him who would be deterred from the assertion they? I did not intend to introduce any party question of fundamental rights for fear of offence.
to-night, but the la gest organization I see is the DemoGentlemen, the condition of affairs existing here, and cratic Party of the North. As a historical fact, it is un. existing generally, I am happy to say, throughout the disputed; as a current fact of the day, it is undisputed, Cominonwealth of Kentucky, is not a fair indication of the that you do not find these declarations of hostility issu. feeling in many parts of the Union. I have seen the evi ing from the Northe. n Democracy; you do not find these dence growing within a few years, and culminating during attempts to overturn the laws coming f.om Democratic tue last few weeks, of a determined purpose in the South sources ; you do not find these denunciations of you and to attain and maintain the complete power in Union, and your institutions coming from Democratic lips and Demo. I have seen, upon the other hand, in the representatives cratic Presses. On the contrary, you find them at of the lower Southern States, a most resolute and deter- home, and in most cases in the minority, sustaining with mined spirit of resistance. The representatives from unfaltering courage your rights and institutions, at odds Georgia—from Alabama-from South Carolina--from Mis- and risks that you little think of. sissippi, not to speak of other Southern States, say that
I want them all. We need them all. We need every they represent their constituents-nay, say that they do Southern State, and every honest man everywhere not not go so far as their constituents, and they declare that willing to enter into he crusade against us. tiey are ready at any moment for a separate organization. There is another element No.th, not large but noble God forbid that such a thing should take place. God and true. They are the scattered and wandering cohorts forbid the overt act should ever be done; but we know of the old Whig party, who have refused to alloy themenough of our political institutions, that when once done selves with the Republicans of the North-men of whom ble subject becomes involved in inexplicable distress. If EVERETT and Choate and others are illustrious examples. one were to fall upon Washington and see the state of
There are thousands of them in the Northern States. feeling there, he would think that the President of your When this great crisis comes upon us, I have confidence country was the Executive of two hostile countries. The that men like these will be found to unite with the Demofeeling of alienation seems to be almost complete from the cratic party in maintaining the laws and the Constitution. Expression of the public press and public men. (I mean
These are the elements upon which we are to rely. but your inilamm:tory, furious speakers, but men of When you get them togethe. , let us see if there cannot twugit and rellection.) They are alarmed, other men are
be a general revolt of the intelligence, virtue, and loyalislarined, we all are alarmed. It is not a craven fear, but ty of the country, ayainst these pernicious isms, and if it is the ennobled near that patriots feel for an imperilled not, let us see how far these perdicious isms control socountry. Suppose this should occur-do you not remem- ciety. bar, in 1832 when South Carolina arrayed herself against Besides these, there are many thousands of men in the die Federal Government, upon a mere question of policy Northern States who, silent, are not heard in the midst of connected with tine collection of taxes, that it did shake the clamor that surrounds them--men who seldom atvend the the Union to its peatre. Such is the nature of our system, polls. Let us hope that that feeling will be in our favor. that it dui soldke ise Union to the very centre. What were
Fellow-citizens, I have uttered these things because I
believe we are standing to-day not in the presence of character and history; she will stand by the union of the spectres and shadows, but in the presence of terrible reali- States as long as there is a thread of the Constitution ties. There is a mode by which we can have peace-a hold it together. We know that if inadness, and folly, and permanent peace-and that is by an utter and absolute fanaticism shall succeed in tearing down the fairest fabrit surrender of all our rights upon the subject to which I have ever erected to liberty among men—we know that ou referred, at the call of this Republican Party. If we do honored State will conduct herself with so much moderanot make this surrender, we will have ns peace until the tion and prudence that she shall stand justified for her Republican Party is destroyed, which can only be done by acts before men and in the eye of Heaven. producing a reaction upon the public mind of the North. Fellow-citizens, I do not propose to detain you by more As it is, without our being aware of it, things are getting extended observations. I have trespassed too far upon worse every day. I had almost intended to say, that we your time already. I think, if you will allow me to say so, were absolutely dissolving month by month, and year by that I know something of the temper, and spirit, and inte year. I see no mode-wiser men than I see no mode to rest of this people; and, as far as my humble abilities ex avoid this, except to produce a reaction in the public mind, tend, I propose, in the sphere to which you have devoted and to bring up sharply, in some form, the question, Can me, to serve you with all the fidelity of a grateful heart. we not, North and South, live in peace with our several At all times, and under all circumstances, I owe my alleState institutions, after the manner of our fathers ? For giance to the State, and I am ready, and willing, and anxmyself, I yet believe in, and I have an abounding hope of, ious to devote whatever faculties of mind and body I posthe ultimate destiny of our common country. I believe a sess to serve you, and to serve you with the uncalculating reaction will take place; and I believe that out of this com- devotion of a man who loves the green mountains and motion is destined to come for us an era of tranquillity smiling plains, the clear running streams and the generous and peace. Of this I am quite certain, that this Common people of the State, and with one who loves all her infirmi. wealth of Kentucky will pursue a course answerable to her ties with the affection of a son.
SPEECH OF SENATOR DOUGLAS.
Delivered at Springfield, II., June 12, 1857.
MR. PRESIDENT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN : I appear of whose leaders they act, let the blame be visited of before you to-night, at the request of the grand jury in fastening upon the people of a new State, institutions attendance upon the United States Court, for the pur repugnant to their feelings and in violation of their pose of submitting my views upon certain topics upon wishes. The organic act secures to the people of Kansas which they have expressed a desire to hear my opinion. the sole and exclusive right of forming and regulating It was not my purpose when I arrived among you, to their domestic institutions to suit themselves, subject to have engaged in any public or political discuss.on; but no other limitation than that which the Constitution of when called upon by a body of gentlemen so intelligent the United States imposes. The Democratic party is and respectable, coming from all parts of the State, and determined to see the great fundamental principles of connected with the administration of public justice, I do the organic act carried out in good faith. The present not feel at liberty to withhold a full and frank expres election law in Kansas is acknowledged to be fair and sion of my opinion upon the subjects to which they have just—the rights of the viiters are clearly defined-and referred, and which now engrosses so large a share of the exercise of those rights will be efficiently and scruthe public attention.
pulously protected. Tience, if the majority of the The points which I am requested to discuss are : people of Kansas desire to have it a Free State (and we 1st. The present condition and prospects of Kansas. are told by the Republican party that nine-tenths of the
2d. The principles affirmed by the Sup.eme Court of people of that Territory are Free State inen), there is no the United States in the Dred Scott case.
obstacle in the way of bringing Kansas into the Union 3d. The condition of things in Utah, and the appropri- as a Free State, by the votes and voice of her owr peoate remedies for existing evils.
ple, and in conformity with the principles of the Kansas.
Nebraska act; provided all the Free State men will go KANSAS.
to the polls, and vote their principles in accordance with Of the Kansas quies ion but little need be said at the their p. ofessions. If such is not the result let the consepresent time.
You are familiar with the history of the quences be visited upon the heads of those whose policy question, and my connection with it. Subsequent re- it is to produce strife, anarchy and bloodshed in Kansas, Aection has strengthened and confirmed my convictions that their party may profit by Slavery agitation in the in the soundness of the principles and the correctness of Northe n states of this Union. That the Democrats in the course I have felt it my duty to pursue upon that Kansas will pe.form their duty fearlessly and nobly, subject. Kansas is about to speak for herself through according to the principle they cherish, I have no doubt, her delegates assembled in Convention to form a Consti- and that the result of the struggle will be such as will tution, preparatory to he: adınission into the Union on gladrien the heart and strengthen the hopes of every an equal footing with the original States. Peace and friend of the Union, I have entire confidence. prosperity now prevail throughout her borders. The The Kilusas q .estion being settled peacefully and satislaw under which hier delegates are about to be elected, factorily, in accordance with the wishes of her own people, is believed to be just and fair in all its objects and pro- Slavery agitation should be banished from the halls of visions. There is every reason to hope and believe that Congress, and cease to be an exciting element in our the law will be fairly inte. preted and impartially exe- political struggles. Give fair play to that principle of cuted, so as to insure to every bona fide inhabitant the self-government which recognizes the right of the people free and quiet exercise of the elective franchise. If any of each State and Territory, to form and regulate their portion of the inhabitants, acting under the advice of own domestic institutions, and sectional strife will be political leaders in distant States, shall choose to absent forced to give place to that fraternal feeling which themselves from the polls, and withhold their votes, with animated the fathers of the Revolution, and made every a view of leaving the Free State Democrats in a minority, citizen of every State of this glorious confederacy a meme and thus securing a Pro-Slavery Constitution in opposi- ter of a common brotherhood. tion to the wishes of a inajority of the people living That we are steadily and rapidly approaching that re. under it, let the responsibility rest on those who, for sult, I cannot doubt, for the slavery issue has already partisan purposes, will sac: itice the principles they pro- dwindled dowu to the narrow limits covered by the less to cherish and promoie. Upon them, and upon the decisions of the Supreine Court of the United States in the pulitical party for whose benefit and under the direction Dred Scott case. The moment that decision was pro
nounced, and before thọ opinions of the Court could be the merits of the case, as they are now denounced and published and read by the people, the newspaper press in abused for not having don 4, the result would have been the iuterest of a powerful political party in this country, to remand Dred Scott and his children to perpetual began to pour forth torrents of abuse and misrepresenta Slavery under the decisions which had already been tions, not only upon the decision, but upon the character pronounced by the Supreme Court of Missouri, as well and motives of the venerable Chief Justice and his illus. as by the Circuit Court of the United States, with ut trions associates on the bench. The character of Chief obtaining a decision on the merits of his case by the SuJustice Taney and the associate Judges who concurred preme Court of the United States. Suppose Chief Juswith him, require no eulogy-no vindication from nie. tice Taney and his associates had thus remanded Drea They are endeared to the people of the United States by Scott and his children back to Slavery on a plea i their eminent public services-venerated for their great abatement or any mere technical point, not touching tha learning, wisdom and experience and beloved for the merits of the question, and without deciding whethez spotless purity of their characters and their exemplary under the Constitution and laws as applied to the facts of lives. The poisonous shafts of partisan malice will fall the case Dred Scott was a free man or a slave, would they harmless at their feet, while their judicial decisions will not have been denounced with increased virulence and stand in all future time, a proud monument to their great. bitterness on the charge of having remanded Dred ness, the admiration of the good and wise, and a rebuke Scott to perpetual Slavery without first examining the to the partisans of faction and lawless violence. If, merits of his case and ascertaining whether he was a unfortunately, any considerable portion of the people of slave or not? the United States shall so far forget their obligations to If the case had been disposed of in that way, who can society as to allow partisan leaders to array them in doubt that such would have been the character of the deviolent resistance to the final decision of the highest nunciations which would have been hurled upon the judicial tribunal on earth, it will become the duty of all devoted heads of those illustrious Judges with much the friends of order and constitutional government, with more plausibility and show of fairness than they are now out reference to past political differences, to organize denounced for having decided the case fairly and hon. themselves and marshal their forces under the glorious estly upon its merits? banner of the Union, in vindication of the Constitution The material and controlling points of the case-those and the supremacy of the laws over the advocates of which have been made the subject of unmeasured abuse faction and the champions of violence. To preserve the and denunciation-may be thus stated : Constitution in violate, and vindicate the supremacy of 1. The Court decided that under the Constitution of th: the laws, is the first and highest duty of every citizen of a United States a negro descended from slave parents is free Republic. The peculiar merit of our form of govern. not and cannot be a citizen of the United States. ment over all others, consists in the fact that the law, 2. That the act of the 6th of March, 1820, commonly instead of the arbitrary will of hereditary prince, pre- called the Missouri Compromise act, was unconstitutional scribes, defines and protects all our rights. In this and void before it was repealed by the Nebraska act, and country the law is the will of the people, embodied and consequently did not and could not bave the legal effect expressed according to the forms of the Constitution. of extinguishing a master's right to his slave in that The Courts are the tribunals prescribed by the Constitu. Territory. While the right continues in full force under tion, and created by the authority of the people to deter the guaranty of the Constitution, and cannot be divested mine, expound and enforce the law. Hence, whoever or alienated by an act of Congress, it necessarily remains resists the final decision of the highest judicial tribunal, a barren and a worthless rigt, 'unless sustained, proaims a deadly blow to our whole republican system of tected and enforced by appropriate police regulations and government-a blow which, if successful, would place all local legislation, prescribing adequate remedies for its our rights and liberties at the mercy of passion, anarchy violation. These regulations and remedies must necessaand violence. I repeat, therefore, that if resistance to | rily depend entirely upon the will and wishes of the the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, people of the Territory, as they can only be prescribed by iu a matter like the points decided in the Dred Scott case, the local Legislatures. Hence the great principle of clearly within their jurisdiction as defined by the Cono popular sovereignty and self-government is sustained stitution, shall be forced upon the country as a political and firmly established by the authority of this decision. issue, it will become a distinct and naked issue between Thus it appears that the only sin involved in the passage
enemies of the Constitution—the of the Kansas-Nebraska act consists in the fact of having friends and the enemies of the supreinacy of the laws. removed from the statute-book an act of Congress which
was unauthorized by the Constitution of the United States, and void because passed without constitutional
authority, and constituted in lieu of it the great fundaThe case of Dred Scott was an action of trespass, vi et mental principle of self-government, which recognizes the armis, in the Circuit Court of the United States for the rights of the people of such State and Territory to coutrol District of Missouri, for the purpose of establishing his their own domestic concerns. claim to be a free man, and was taken by writ of error
I will direct attention to the question involved in the on the application of Scott to the Supreme Court of the first proposition, to wit: That the negro is not and canUnited States, where the final decision was pronounced not be citizen of the United States. by Chief Justice Taney. The facts of the case were We are told by a certain political organization that agreed upon and admitted to be true by both parties, that decision is cruel-is inhuman and infamous, and and were in substance, that Dred Scott was a negro slave should neither be respected nor obeyed. What is the in Missouri, that he went with his master, who was an objection to that decision! Simply that the negro is not officer in the army, to Fo.t Armstrong, on Rock Island, a citizen. What is the object of making him a citizen ? and thence to Fort Snelling on the west bank of the Mis. Of course to give him the rights, privileges and immuni. sissippi River, and within the country covered by the act ties of a citizen, it being the great fundamental law in of Congress known as the Missouri Compromise : and then our Government, that under the law, citizens are equal in he reaccompanied his master to the State of Missouri, their rights and privileges. It is said to be inhuman-10 where he has since remained a slave. Upon this state- be infamous—to deprive an African negro of these priviment of facts two important and material questions arose, leges of citizenship, which would put him on an equality besides several incidental and minor ones, which it was with the other citizens of the country incumbent upon the Court to take notice of and decide. Now, let me ask my fellow-citizens, are you prepared to The Court did not attempt to avoid responsibility by dis- resist the constituted authorities of this country, in order posing of the case upon technical points without touch to secure citizenship, and, through citizenship, equality ing the merits, nor did they go out of their way to decide with the white man. (Voices, “No! no !") If you are, you questions not properly before them and directly present- must reverse the whole policy of this state-the organic lan ed by the record." Like honest and conscientious judges, of our own State. In order to carry out that principle of as they are, they met and decided each point as it arose, negro citizenship and negro equality under the law, you and faithfully performed their whole duty and nothing must not only reverse the organic law in our own State, but their duty to the country by determining all the but of every other State in this Union. But you have not questions in the case, and nothing but what was essen- accomplished it then; you must make furious war upon tial to the decision of the case upon its merits. The State the slaveholding States, to compel them to emancipate and Courts of Missouri had decided against Dred Scott, and set at liberty their three millions of slaves. When that declared him and his children slaves, and the Circuit shall be done, before you have secured that great princi. Court of the United States for the district of Missouri ple of equality to the son of Africa, you must strike out had decided the same thing in this very case which had of the constitution of Illinois that provision which prevents thus been removed to the Supreme Court of the United a negro, whether free or slave, from crossing the Ohio or States by Scott, with the hope of reversing the decision the Mississippi, and coming into Illinois to reside. When of the Circuit Court and securing his freedom. If the you shall have made that change in our organic law, and Supreme Court had dismissed the writ of error for want turned loose all the Africans that may choose to come of jur.sdiction, without first examining into and deciding from the slaveholding States to settle upon our prairies,
the friends and the
THE DRED SCOTT DECISION.
and turn Jlinois into a negro colony, rather than into a alienate them. They did not mean the negroes and InState of white men, still you have not secured to the negro dians—they did not say we white men and negoes were the rights of citizenship on an equality with the white man born equal; but they were speaking on the race of people You must then strike the word "white" out of the consti- who colonized America, who ruled America, and wilo were tution of our own State, and allow the negro to come to declaring the liberties of Americans, when they proclaimed our polls and vote on an equality with yourselves. You the self-evident truth that those men were born free and must also change the Constitution in that respect that de equal. And if you will examine the journal of the Conticlares, that a negro shall not be eligible to office, and de- ' nental Congress you will find this great principle carried clare that a negro shall be eligible to your Legislature, to out. No one of the colonies would then consent to the De. the bar, bench, and gubernatorial chair. Aud still you claration of Independence until they had placed on the
reached that poiut to which we are told we must record the express reservation, that each colony reserved go, of placing the negro on an equality with other citizens. and retained to itself the sole and exclusive right of rent You must admit him to the jury-box, and license him by lating its own domestic concerns and police regulatio:e. law to marry a white woman. And then you will have It was inade a fundamental condition of the Declaratior, secured nearly all the privileges that the decision of the that this right should be forever reserved beyond the Supreme Court has denied him. (Applause.)
power of Congress or other Confederation or power ou I submit to you, fellow-citizens, whether any man car: earth, except the free will of their own people. The artipronounce the decision inhuman and infamous, without cles of contederation were based upon the same great funresorting to that great principle, which, carried out, Jameptal principle, and the Constitution of the United puts the negro on an equality with other citizens. But States was adopted for the purpose of preserving and carlisten to the speeches of any one of those who sympathize rying into effect the same grand principle that made us 80 much with the poor African that they are not willing to one people for one specified ubject, but reserved to each allow him to occupy an inferior position, and you will find State and each locality the sole and exclusive privilege of that they all adhere to the position of negro equality. For managing its own domestic concerns. instance, did you ever hear any of them make a public At inal day the negro was looked upon as a being of an speech in which he did not quote the Declaration of Inde infer or race. All history had proved that in no part of pendence, that " we hold all men are born free and equal,” the world, or of the world's history, had the negru ever and then appeal to you to know whether Slavery could be shown himself capable of self-government, and it was not justified or palliated by any man who believed in the De the intention of the founders of this Government to claration of Independence. Do they not argue that by violate that great law of God, which made the distinction this instrument negroes were declared to be born equal to between the white and the black man. That distinction is white men; and hence, any man who is opposed to carry- plain and palpable, and it has been the rule of civilization ing out that great dear principle of theirs, of negro and of Christianity the world over, that whenever any equality with the white man, is opposed to the Declaration one man, or set of men, were incapable of taking care of of Independence.
themselves, they should consent to be governed by those Now, iny friends, permit me to reply to this assumption, who were capable of managing their affairs for them. It that the Declaration of Independence declared the negro is on that principle that your courts of justice appoint to be equal with white men, by a few historical facts re- guardians to take charge of the idiot, the lunatic, the corded in our school-books, and familiar to our children. insane, blind, dumb, the unfortunate, whatever may be his By reference to the History of the United States, you will condition. And if history had proved that the negro race, find that on the Fourth of July, 1776, when the Declara- as a race, were incapable of self-government, it was not tion of Independence was put forth, the thirteen colonies only the right but the duty of those who were capable to were then, each and all of them, slaveholding colonies. provide for them. It did not necessarily follow that they Each signer of the Declaration, without an exception, re- were to be reduced to Slavery. The true principle is that presented a slaveholding constituency. Every battle of the inferior race should be allowed to enjoy all their the Revolutionary War, from Lexington and Bunker Hill rights, which their nature is capable of exercising and to King's Mountain and Yorktown, was fought in a slave enjoying, consistently with the good of society. I would holding constituency. The treaty of peace with Great not advocate that the negro should be treated harshly or Britain which acknowledged our independence, was made unkindly. Far from it. I would extend and secure to on the part of Great Britain on the one side and the thir-him every right, privilege and immunity he was capable teen original slaveholding States on the other. Passing of enjoying consistent with the highest welfare of society. from that to the formation of the Constitution of the The Constitution is founded on that great principle, and United States, you will find that instrument was framed, leaves to each State, as the articles of confederation did and adopted, and put into operation with the immortal to each colony, the right to determine for itself what Washington at the head, by twelve slaveholding States these principles were, and the extent of them, in order and one free State, or one State about to become free. In that they might adopt their laws to their actual condition. view of these facts, I subinit to you whether any sane man
Under that great provision, Illinois has chosen to say, can assert that the founders of our institutions intended to that the negro shall not come here to reside-that a negro put the negro and the white man on an equality in the sys.shal. not vote-shall not hold office-shall not serve in the tem of government which they adopted ? If the signers of the jury-box-shall not marry white women-and I think Declaration had intended to declare the negro equal to the thai the Constitution of Mlinois is wisely framed as to this white man, would not they, on that very day, have abolished provision. On the other hand, Kentucky goes further, Slavery in every one of the States of the Union in order to and deprives the negro of his right over his person, have conformed to that Declaration ? If any one of these Kentucky, under the Constitution, had a right to make States had thus understood the Declaration of Indepen- that provision. We have no right to complain of her, dence, would not that State then immediately have abol. nor can she complain of us. Each has the right to do as ished 'Slavery, and put the negro on an equality with the it pleases, and each must mind its own business and not white man in conformity with that Declaration ? Did they interfere with its neighbor's concerns. (Applause.) do so? I have already shown you that no one of those Our fathers, when they framed this Governent, had States abolished Slavery during the whole period of the witnessed the sad and melancholy results of the ruixture Revolutionary war. I have already stated, and I challenge of the races in Mexico, South America and Central contradiction, that to this day no one of them has put America, where the Spanish, from motives of policy, bad the negro on an equality with the white man in all the admitted the negro and other inferior races to citizenship laws touching on the relations of life. And yet, if they and, consequentiy, to political and social amalyaw.ition, honestly believed the Declaration of Independence meant The deinoralization and degradation which prevailed in negroes as well as white men, they were bound to advocate the Spanish and French colonies, where no distinctions on every law so as to carry out their principle. Their posi. account of color or race were tolerated, operated as a tion on this subject would charge the signers of that De- warning to our revolutionary fathers to preserve the claration with hypocrisy in making it to the world, and purity of the white race, and to establish their political, going on to fight battles on the principle thus asserted. social and domestic institutions upon such a basis as But no vindication is needed from me of those immortal would forever exclude the idea of negro citizenship and men who drafted, and signed, and proclaimed to the world negro equality. (Applause.) the Declaration of Independence. They did what they They understood that great natural law which declares professed. They had reference to the white man, and to that amalgamation between superior and inferior racer him only, when they declared all men were created equal. brings their posterity down to the lower level of the infeThey were in a struggle with Great Britain. The principle rior, but never elevates them to the high level of the sea they were asserting was that a British subject, born on perior race. I appeal to each of those gallant young American soil was equal to a British subject born in Eng. men before me, who won immortal glory on the bivaly land--that a British subject here was entitled to all the fields of Mexico, in vindication of their country's rig..! rights, and privileges, and immunities, under the British and honor, whether their information and observation a Constitution, that a British subject in England enjoyed; that country does not fully sustain the truth if he forstuat their rights were inalienable, and hence that Parlia. position that amalgamation is degradation, demoraviaiucnt, whose power was ownipoteut, bad no power to I tion, disease and death? Is it true that the segro is uur