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that constitutional checks cannot stand for any time against the progress of Northern opinion, but,
"Free labor," says Mr. Seward, "has at last apprehended its rights and its destiny, and is organizing itself to assume the government of the Republic. It will henceforth meet you boldly and resolutely here (Washington;) it will meet you everywhere, in the Territories and out of them, wherever you may go to extend Slavery. It has driven you back in California and in Kansas; it will invade you soon in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Missouri and Texas. It will meet you in Arizona, in Central America, and even in Cuba."
Not content with confining it to the Territories, he adds:
That is the condition of affairs, and that is the condition 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 labor 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 consumma- tions of one half of the States of the Union. Gradually tion shall be allowed to take effect, 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 arin 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 long 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 tracted, before freedom shall enjoy her already assured 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 animate the friends of free-lican party of the No th, 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 gentleConstitution 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 public press, what do they say of it? That they regret it-they deplore it-they even condemn it--they say, because it was against law, and they stand for law. These are the honeyed and qualified phrases with which they characterize the most atrocious act of treason, rapine, and murder comb.ned, that was ever known in the Republic, and then, as though afraid of what they have said, they immediately go on to eulogize the man and his motives, maen as they regret the act.
I tell you again, fellow-citizens, this is not the opinion of Mr. SEWARD alone. It is Mr. SEWARD and, with one or two exceptions, the other Republican Senators in the Senate of the United States, and nine-tenths of the Republican members of the House of Representatives. Could that language have been uttered with impunity or been sustained at the epoch of 1779, when the Constitution was formed? Did not the Constitution languish and stop just because there was some question about inserting these checks about the institution of the Southern States? Were they not put into the Constitution by the great men who formed it, and are not all the citizens of all the States bound to respect the relations that exist
between them, and to give the Southern States peace in this Union? How do you receive the declaration that there is an irrepressible conflict waging-that there shall be no peace? There is no use attempting to turf over the volcano, there is no use crying peace when there is no peace. It is the avowed purpose of the Republican party to agitate, agitate; to overturn the Constitution itself, until they succeed not only in drawing a cordon around you, and shutting you within your present limits, but to put you in a position where you were about, for peace sake, to emancipate your slaves.
Well might we say, as was once said in France, "Oh, Constitution! what crimes are committed in thy sacred name!"
But, gentlemen, I hold in my hand another book, which is of no consequence as the opinions of its individual author, but is of consequence as indorsed by the distinguished gentleman from whose productions I have read, and as indorsed also by sixty-eight or nine Republicans of the House of Representatives, who represent a constituency of seven millions of people. This, then, may be considered as the declaration of near seven millions of men. What is it? It is a book called the "Impending Crisis of the South," by a person called Helper, who professes to be a North Carol.n.an. Whether he is or not I am unable to say. (I will read very little, gentlemen.) In this book, thus indorsed by nearly seventy members of the House of Representatives, representing nearly seven millions of the people, this sentiment is declared:
The slaveholding oligarchy say we cannot abolish Slavery without infringing on the right of property. Again we tell them we do not recognize property in
But the Constitution does; the bond of our Union does, and the Supreme Court of the United States has decided that it does. Our fathers so considered it. It has been so admitted all the time, until the apostles of the new doctrine spoke. At another point he says:
crops of cotton, and a trifle over, to do it. That was indorsed, I tell you again, by sixty-eight or sixty-nine members of the House of Representatives, and the very gentleman who they are running for Speaker of that body indorsed it. It is true, his friends say that he indorsed it without having read it.
Admit that to be
true, he has again and again, when called upon, refused to disavow those sentiments, hence the excuse is paltry. HARPER'S FERRY.
For the services of the blacks from the 20th of August, 1620, up to the 4th of July, 1869-an interval of precisely two hundred and forty-eight years, ten months and fourteen days-their masters, if unwilling, ought, in our judgment, to be compelled to grant them their freedom, and to pay each and every one of them at least sixty dollars cash in hand.
He goes on to remark that it would only take two
A VOLLEY OF COMPLAININGS.
Gentlemen, have we no complaints in other respects? Are laws passed for the purpose of punishing those who make inroads into the border States and rob us of our property? Suppose a Kentuckian should go into the State of Ohio and rob a citizen of that State, does any one doubt that we would pass a law to punish him and to prevent the recurrence of the outrage? So far from this being their course, they are encouraged, and we are subject to constant secret predatory incursions by which we lose annually hundreds of thousands of dollars, these people availing themselves of the bond of amity
between us, to perpetrate the outrage.
That is not all! About one half of the Northern States have passed laws and made it a criminal and penal offence for their citizens to give any assistance in the rendition of fugitive slaves. Massachusetts has passed laws closing her jails to us, and making it a penal offence to aid in the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave law, or to appear as council to try such a case, thus nullifying the laws of Congress, and of the United States, distinctly, and some seven or eight States have passed similar laws refusing all remedy and making it penal in their citizens to obey the behests of the Constitution.
I have not uttered these things for the purpose of arousing any spirit of disloyalty to the Constitution and the Union. I hope I love them as reverently as any man within the sound of my voice, but let us look and see the facts as they are. What may be set down as the unquestioned purpose of this organization? It is avowed that it is to exclude all and any Slave States from the Union hereafter. It is to give us no fugitive slave law, declaring that the States under the Constitution must States; it is to pass no laws for the purpose of preventprovide for that, and then to give no remedy in the ing the robbery of our property but, on the contrary, in many States to make it penal to enforce the law; it is to abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia; to abolish the internal slave-trade and the coastwise slavetrade, and then to agitate and agitate, giving us no peace as long as we retain this relic of barbarism" and crime, as they call it.
This is the purpose. Are you ready for it? Are you your Constitutional rights? I think you are not! Yet ready to say we will make no stand in any form for that is the present condition of affairs-but what are we to do?
I know they will consider the consequences, and carefully consider the consequences of any serious collisions
the circumstances then? Andrew Jackson was President of the United States, and he was a native of South Caro lina; the question was a mere question of policy; few of the other States sympathized with the movement of that little State. Henry Clay was alive, and Calhoun was ready to give the benefit of his influence to peace and harmony, and yet that little question, when Jackson, a native son of that State, was President, and Clay and Calhoun were in the Senate, brought on a struggle that shook this Union to its centre, and imperilled it in the estimation of the wisest and best of men. Look at it as it may be, with disaffection. spread all over the South, with a very different state of feelings in the North to what existed then, with Clay dead, and Calhoun dead, and none to take their places, with such a man as Seward, not only not native, but hostile to the South, in the Chair of State. Cannot a child read the result? Cannot we see that one State falling away, our Union will be like an arch with two or three stones dropped out, the whole fabric may fall in pieces.
in this Union. I know we duly appreciate the position of our own State, not only a border State, but an interior border State having no ocean outlet. I know that we have read history to some purpose, and that we have seen what have been the consequences of the disruption of amicable relations between those who have banded themselves together as a confederation of States. We need but go back and see the consequence upor the Greeks when they carried on the Peloponnesian war, until at last exhausted, they fell into the lap of desposi The same fate might meet us. What would be our condit.on? War! War! Inevitable war, in all human pobability, would be our position, and then in tame we might be driven into degrading alliances with fo. eign powers-the most degrading position for American citizens.
Then the spectacle would be presented of America falling back under the control of Europe, and American liberty sinking down under European despotism. Besides this, could we ever hope that a fairer state of things would arise? Could we ever hope that Providence itself would ever exercise its omnipotent power to create a State, or Union of States, under more favorable auspices than in these? Would it not be worse than impiety itself, to presume that the Almighty would ever attempt to sustain a confederation of Free States under circumstances more bright or favorable than in our system? I know that the State of Kentucky is devoted to the Union, not only cause of her interests, but from that feeling of affection and of loyalty, and that sentiment of love that have always marked her people from the earliest period of her history. I do not believe there is a man under the sound of my voice who would not view as the last, the greatest of all 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 price.
These are facts which it becomes the people of Kentucky, with all their loyalty to the Union, to observe, to know, to see, to think of, and then to act upon, with the dignity and moderation which marks and so well becomes them.
But, gentlemen, what is the mode that occurs to any man -because no man, I take it, in Kentucky, will back on this subject, except as a friend of the Union of the States be--what is the mode? I see none, except it be the union of all the conservative elements of the country, North and South. The South must first be united, and I am sure she will, for I take it there is not a citizen of Kentucky that would associate himself with an organization whose march to triumph would be over the ruins of our rights.
MEND OUR MANNERS DOWN SOUTH.
WHAT IS TO BE DONE.
Ought we not first to put ourselves right in Court? Some little there is to complain of us. I say to you, in 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 which 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 Constitution 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 largest organization I see is the Democratic Party of the North. As a historical fact, it is undisputed; as a current fact of the day, it is undisputed, that you do not find these declarations of hostility issuing from the Northern Democracy; you do not find these attempts to overturn the laws coming f.om Democratic sources; you do not find these denunciations of you and your institutions coming from Democratic lips and Democratic Presses. On the contrary, you find them at home, and in most cases in the minority, sustaining with unfaltering courage your rights and institutions, at odds and risks that you little think of.
Gentlemen, the condition of affairs existing here, and existing generally, I am happy to say, throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is not a fair indication of the feeling in many parts of the Union. I have seen the evi dence growing within a few years, and culminating during the last few weeks, of a determined purpose in the South to attain and maintain the complete power in Union, and I have seen, upon the other hand, in the representatives of the lower Southern States, a most resolute and determined spirit of resistance. The representatives from Georgia-from Alabama-from South Carolina-from Mississippi, not to speak of other Southern States, say that they represent their constituents-nay, say that they do not go so far as their constituents, and they declare that they are ready at any moment for a separate organization. God forbid that such a thing should take place. God forbid the overt act should ever be done; but we know enough of our political institutions, that when once done the subject becomes involved in inexplicable distress. If one were to fall upon Washington and see the state of feeling there, he would think that the President of your country was the Executive of two hostile countries. The feeling of alienation seems to be almost complete from the expression of the public press and public men. (I mean not your inflammatory, furious speakers, but men of thought and reflection.) They are alarmed, other men are alarmned, we all are alarmed. It is not a craven fear, but it is the ennobled tear that patriots feel for an imperilled country. Suppose this should occur-do you not remember, in 1832 when South Carolina arrayed herself against the Federal Government, upon a mere question of policy connected with the collection of taxes, that it did shake the Union to its centre. Such is the nature of our system, that it did shake the Union to the very centre. What were
I want them all. We need them all. We need every Southern State, and every honest man everywhere not willing to enter into he crusade against us.
There is another element No.th, not large but noble and true. They are the scattered and wandering cohorts of the old Whig party, who have refused to alloy themselves with the Republicans of the North-men of whom EVERETT and CHOATE and others are illustrious examples. There are thousands of them in the Northern States. When this great crisis comes upon us, I have confidence that men like these will be found to unite with the Democratic party in maintaining the laws and the Constitution. These are the elements upon which we are to rely. When you get them togethe., let us see if there cannot be a general revolt of the intelligence, virtue, and loyalty of the country, against these pernicious isms, and if not, let us see how far these pernicious isms control society.
Besides these, there are many thousands of men in the Northern States who, silent, are not heard in the midst of the clamor that surrounds them--men who seldom attend the polls. Let us hope that that feeling will be in our favor. Fellow-citizens, I have uttered these things because I
believe we are standing to-day not in the presence of spectres and shadows, but in the presence of terrible realities. There is a mode by which we can have peace-a permanent peace-and that is by an utter and absolute Surrender of all our rights upon the subject to which I have referred, at the call of this Republican Party. If we do not make this surrender, we will have no peace until the Republican Party is destroyed, which can only be done by producing a reaction upon the public mind of the North. As it is, without our being aware of it, things are getting worse every day. I had almost intended to say, that we were absolutely dissolving month by month, and year by year. I see no mode-wiser men than I see no mode to avoid this, except to produce a reaction in the public mind, and to bring up sharply, in some form, the question, Can we not, North and South, live in peace with our several State institutions, after the manner of our fathers? For myself, I yet believe in, and I have an abounding hope of, the ultimate destiny of our common country. I believe a reaction will take place; and I believe that out of this commotion is destined to come for us an era of tranquillity and peace. Of this I am quite certain, that this Commonwealth of Kentucky will pursue a course answerable to her
character and history; she will stand by the union of the States as long as there is a thread of the Constitution t hold it together. We know that if madness, and folly, and fanaticism shall succeed in tearing down the fairest fabrie ever erected to liberty among men-we know that ou honored State will conduct herself with so much modera tion and prudence that she shall stand justified for he acts before men and in the eye of Heaven.
Fellow-citizens, I do not propose to detain you by more extended observations. I have trespassed too far upon your time already. I think, if you will allow me to say so, that I know something of the temper, and spirit, and interest of this people; and, as far as my humble abilities extend, I propose, in the sphere to which you have devoted me, to serve you with all the fidelity of a grateful heart. At all times, and under all circumstances, I owe my alle giance to the State, and I am ready, and willing, and anxious to devote whatever faculties of mind and body I possess to serve you, and to serve you with the uncalculating devotion of a man who loves the green mountains and smiling plains, the clear running streams and the generous people of the State, and with one who loves all her infirmities with the affection of a son.
SPEECH OF SENATOR DOUGLAS.
Delivered at Springfield, Ill., June 12, 1857.
MR. PRESIDENT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I appear before you to-night, at the request of the grand jury in attendance upon the United States Court, for the purpose of submitting my views upon certain topics upon which they have expressed a desire to hear my opinion. It was not my purpose when I arrived among you, to have engaged in any public or political discuss.on; but when called upon by a body of gentlemen so intelligent and respectable, coming from all parts of the State, and connected with the administration of public justice, I do not feel at liberty to withhold a full and frank expression of my opinion upon the subjects to which they have referred, and which now engrosses so large a share of the public attention.
The points which I am requested to discuss are: 1st. The present condition and prospects of Kansas. 2d. The principles affirmed by the Sup.eme Court of the United States in the Dred Scott case.
of whose leaders they act, let the blame be visited of fastening upon the people of a new State, institutions repugnant to their feelings and in violation of their wishes. The organic act secures to the people of Kansas the sole and exclusive right of forming and regulating their domestic institutions to suit themselves, subject to no other limitation than that which the Constitution of the United States imposes. The Democratic party is determined to see the great fundamental principles of the organic act carried out in good faith. The present election law in Kansas is acknowledged to be fair and just the rights of the voters are clearly defined-and the exercise of those rights will be efficiently and scru pulously protected. lience, if the majority of the people of Kansas desire to have it a Free State (and we are told by the Republican party that nine-tenths of the people of that Territory are Free State men), there is no obstacle in the way of bringing Kansas into the Union as a Free State, by the votes and voice of her own people, and in conformity with the principles of the KansasNebraska act; provided all the Free State men will go to the polls, and vote their principles in accordance with their p ofessions. If such is not the result let the cousequences be visited upon the heads of those whose policy it is to produce strife, anarchy and bloodshed in Kansas, that their party may profit by Slavery agitation in the Northern States of this Union. That the Democrats in Kansas will pe form their duty fearlessly and nobly, according to the principle they cherish, I have no doubt, and that the result of the struggle will be such as will gladden the heart and strengthen the hopes of every friend of the Union, I have entire confidence.
3d. The condition of things in Utah, and the appropriate remedies for existing evils.
Of the Kansas ques ion but little need be said at the present time. You are familiar with the history of the question, and my connection with it. Subsequent reflection has strengthened and confirmed my convictions in the soundness of the principles and the correctness of, the course I have felt it my duty to pursue upon that subject. Kansas is about to speak for herself through her delegates assembled in Convention to form a Constitution, preparatory to her admission into the Union on an equal footing with the original States. Peace and prosperity now prevail throughout her borders. The The Kansas question being settled peacefully and satislaw under which her 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 mem and thus securing a Pro-Slavery Constitution in opposi ber of a common brotherhood. tion to the wishes of a majority of the people living under it, let the responsibility rest on those who, for partisan purposes, will sac ifice the principles they profess to cherish and promote. Upon them, and upon the political party for whose benefit and under the direction
That we are steadily and rapidly approaching that result, I cannot doubt, for the Slavery issue has already dwindled down to the narrow limits covered by the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Dred Scott case. The moment that decision was pro
the merits of the case, as they are now denounced and abused for not having don, the result would have been to remand Dred Scott and his children to perpetual Slavery under the decisions which had already been pronounced by the Supreme Court of Missouri, as well as by the Circuit Court of the United States, with ut obtaihing a decision on the merits of his case by the Supreme Court of the United States. Suppose Chief Justice Taney and his associates had thus remanded Dre Scott and his children back to Slavery on a plea į abatement or any mere technical point, not touching the merits of the question, and without deciding whether under the Constitution and laws as applied to the facts of the case Dred Scott was a free man or a slave, would they not have been denounced with increased virulence and bitterness on the charge of having remanded Dred Scott to perpetual Slavery without first examining the merits of his case and ascertaining whether he was a slave or not?
If the case had been disposed of in that way, who can doubt that such would have been the character of the denunciations which would have been hurled upon the devoted heads of those illustrious Judges with much more plausibility and show of fairness than they are now denounced for having decided the case fairly and honestly upon its merits?
nounced, and before the opinions of the Court could be published and read by the people, the newspaper press in the interest of a powerful political party in this country, began to pour forth torrents of abuse and misrepresentations, not only upon the decision, but upon the character and motives of the venerable Chief Justice and his illustrious associates on the bench. The character of Chief Justice Taney and the associate Judges who concurred with him, require no eulogy-no vindication from me. They are endeared to the people of the United States by their eminent public services-venerated for their great learning, wisdom and experience and beloved for the spotless purity of their characters and their exemplary lives. The poisonous shafts of partisan malice will fall harmless at their feet, while their judicial decisions will stand in all future time, a proud monument to their greatness, the admiration of the good and wise, and a rebuke to the partisans of faction and lawless violence. If, unfortunately, any considerable portion of the people of the United States shall so far forget their obligations to society as to allow partisan leaders to array them in violent resistance to the final decision of the highest judicial tribunal on earth, it will become the duty of all the friends of order and constitutional government, without reference to past political differences, to organize themselves and marshal their forces under the glorious banner of the Union, in vindication of the Constitution and the supremacy of the laws over the advocates of faction and the champions of violence. To preserve the Constitution inviolate, and vindicate the supremacy of the laws, is the first and highest duty of every citizen of a free Republic. The peculiar merit of our form of government over all others, consists in the fact that the law, instead of the arbitrary will of a hereditary prince, prescribes, defines and protects all our rights. In this country the law is the will of the people, embodied and expressed according to the forms of the Constitution. The Courts are the tribunals prescribed by the Constitution, and created by the authority of the people to determine, expound and enforce the law. Hence, whoever resists the final decision of the highest judicial tribunal, aims a deadly blow to our whole republican system of government a blow which, if successful, would place all our rights and liberties at the mercy of passion, anarchy and violence. I repeat, therefore, that if resistance to the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, in a matter like the points decided in the Dred Scott case, clearly within their jurisdiction as defined by the Constitution, shall be forced upon the country as a political issue, it will become a distinct and naked issue between the friends and the enemies of the Constitution-the friends and the enemies of the supremacy of the laws.
The material and controlling points of the case-those which have been made the subject of unmeasured abuse and denunciation-may be thus stated:
1. The Court decided that under the Constitution of the United States a negro descended from slave parents is not and cannot be a citizen of the United States.
2. That the act of the 6th of March, 1820, commonly called the Missouri Compromise act, was unconstitutional and void before it was repealed by the Nebraska act, and consequently did not and could not have the legal effect of extinguishing a master's right to his slave in that Territory. While the right continues in full force under the guaranty of the Constitution, and cannot be divested or alienated by an act of Congress, it necessarily remains a barren and a worthless rig t, unless sustained, protected and enforced by appropriate police regulations and local legislation, prescribing adequate remedies for its violation. These regulations and remedies must necessa rily depend entirely upon the will and wishes of the people of the Territory, as they can only be prescribed by the local Legislatures. Heuce the great principle of popular sovereignty and self-government is sustained and firmly established by the authority of this decision. Thus it appears that the only sin involved in the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska act consists in the fact of having 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 fundamental principle of self-government, which recognizes the rights of the people of such State and Territory to control their own domestic concerns.
I will direct attention to the question involved in the first proposition, to wit: That the negro is not and cannot be a citizen of the United States.
THE DRED SCOTT DECISION.
The case of Dred Scott was an action of trespass, vi et armis, in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Missouri, for the purpose of establishing his claim to be a free man, and was taken by writ of error on the application of Scott to the Supreme Court of the United States, where the final decision was pronounced by Chief Justice Taney. The facts of the case were agreed upon and admitted to be true by both parties, and were in substance, that Dred Scott was a negro slave in Missouri, that he went with his master, who was an officer in the army, to Fo.t Armstrong, on Rock Island, and thence to Fort Snelling on the west bank of the Mississippi River, and within the country covered by the act of Congress known as the Missouri Compromise: and then he reaccompanied his master to the State of Missouri, where he has since remained a slave. Upon this statement of facts two important and material questions arose, besides several incidental and minor ones, which it was 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 la 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 princiCourt 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 jurisdiction, without first examining into and deciding from the slaveholding States to settle upon our prairies,
We are told by a certain political organization that that decision is cruel-is inhuman and infamous, and should neither be respected nor obeyed. What is the objection to that decision? Simply that the negro is not a citizen. What is the object of making him a citizen? Of course to give him the rights, privileges and immuni ties of a citizen, it being the great fundamental law in our Government, that under the law, citizens are equal in their rights and privileges. It is said to be inhuman-to be infainous-to deprive an African negro of these privileges of citizenship, which would put him on an equality with the other citizens of the country
and turn Illinois into a negro colony, rather than into a State of white men, still you have not secured to the negro the rights of citizenship on an equality with the white man. You must then strike the word "white" out of the constitution of our own State, and allow the negro to come to our polls and vote on an equality with yourselves, You must also change the Constitution in that respect that declares, that a negro shall not be eligible to office, and declare that a negro shall be eligible to your Legislature, to the bar, bench, and gubernatorial chair. And still you have not reached that point to which we are told we must go, of placing the negro on an equality with other citizens. You must admit him to the jury-box, and license him by law to marry a white woman. And then you will have secured nearly all the privileges that the decision of the Supreme Court has denied him. (Applause.)
alienate them. They did not mean the negroes and Indians-they did not say we white men and negroes were born equal; but they were speaking of the race of people who colonized America, who ruled America, and who were declaring the liberties of Americans, when they proclaimed the self-evident truth that those men were born free and equal. And if you will examine the journal of the Conti nental Congress you will find this great principle carried out. No one of the colonies would then consent to the De claration of Independence until they had placed on the record the express reservation, that each colony reserved and retained to itself the sole and exclusive right of regu lating its own domestic concerns and police regulation. It was inade a fundamental condition of the Declaration, that this right should be forever reserved beyond the power of Congress or other Confederation or power ou I submit to you, fellow-citizens, whether any man can earth, except the free will of their own people. The artipronounce the decision inhuman and infamous, without cles of confederation were based upon the same great funresorting to that great principle, which, carried out, damental 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 sympathizerying into effect the same grand principle that made us so much with the poor African that they are not willing to one people for one specified object, 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 that 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 negro 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 Chiristianity 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, my 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 necessary 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 submit 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 that the Constitution of Illinois 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 States abolished Slavery during the whole period of the Revolutionary war. I have already stated, and I challenge contradiction, that to this day no one of them has put the negro on an equality with the white man in all the laws touching on the relations of life. And yet, if they honestly believed the Declaration of Independence meant negroes as well as white men, they were bound to advocate every law so as to carry out their principle. Their position on this subject would charge the signers of that Declaration with hypocrisy in making it to the world, and going on to fight battles on the principle thus asserted. But no vindication is needed from me of those immortal men who drafted, and signed, and proclaimed to the world 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 races him only, when they declared all men were created equal. brings their posterity down to the lower level of the infe They were in a struggle with Great Britain. The principle rior, but never elevates them to the high level of the su 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 broody 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 of the pr» that their rights were inalienable, and hence that Parlia-position that amalgamation is degradation, demorada ment, whose power was omnipotent, had no power to ❘ tion, disease and death? Is it true that the aegro is our
Our fathers, when they framed this Government, had witnessed the sad and melancholy results of the mixture of the races in Mexico, South America and Central America, where the Spanish, from motives of policy, had admitted the negro and other inferior races to citizenship and, consequently, to political and social amalgamation, The demoralization and degradation which prevailed in the Spanish and French colonies, where no distinctions on account of color or race were tolerated, operated as a warning to our revolutionary fathers to preserve the purity of the white race, and to establish their political, social and domestic institutions upon such a basis as would forever exclude the idea of negro citizenship and negro equality. (Applause.)