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inclined to offer my opinion also. In doing this, I am not influenced from an anxiety to make a speech before the Senate, nor from the pride of having the event announced in the public papers simply for the perusal of my constituents. I would assure the Senate I am not stimulated either by pleasure or ambition on this occasion; neither will my remarks arise from any peculiar hostility to the admission of Missouri into this Union, on such principles, and with such a constitution, as coincide with the provisions of the Constitution of the United States. I disclaim sinister motives and sectional partialities on this subject, and declare myself actuated by more noble and important views; and, solemnly impelled by a sense of duty I owe to my constituents and my country, I will endeavor to divest myself of preconceived opinions ou the subject of slavery, and avoid any expression which may tend to revive those unpleasant sensations which so evidently prevailed in this body during the last session, and through the country, and examine the subject as involving a great Constitutional question. The inquiry is not, in this case, whether slavery shall exist or be tolerated in Missouri. I am ready to admit, for the moment, that this has been so far settled by the vote of the last session as not to come into the present debate; but the passing of the resolution recognises a principle materially affecting the rights of other States and the privileges of their citizens. This principle, and the consequences of admitting it, will be the subject of my remarks.

Sir, I must be permitted to state that this debate is not courted by Congress; it is from imperious necessity that any are compelled to protest against the adoption of the resolution; to save the Constitution of the nation inviolate, and preserve harmony and union.


isting circumstances of the country, it would not seem strange if a peculiar anxiety were manifest on their application to a case pregnant with doubts and fearful apprehensions.

Sir, the first thing when I entered this chamber, to become a member of the Senate, was, to approach your chair, and take a solemn oath to support the Constitution. This I consider more than a mere formality-an obligation by which I am bound, in my own conscience, to guard with vigilance the general and particular rights guarantied by that instrument to this privileged nation. It is not necessary to refer you to the toils and privations of past periods to show their value. A moment's reflection upon the time that Sir Walter Raleigh visited the banks of the Roanoke; Captain Smith_explored the Eastern shore from Penobscot to Cape Cod, or our ancestors landed upon the Rock of Plymouth, with some of the succeeding events, will furnish the mind with evidence of the estimate we ought to put upon the Constitution, and the blessings it secures to our country. Forty years successful experience of the enjoyment of equal rights, under a free Government, demonstrate the advantages of republican institutions. But, sir, I waive all other considerations, and proceed to examine one point which attracts our attention and merits particular notice.

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Is there any paragraph in the constitution of Missouri which contravenes any provision in the Constitution of the United States? This will be a subject of inquiry.

We find in the Constitution of Missouri that, "it shall be the duty of the General Assembly, as soon as may be, to pass such laws as may be necessary to prevent negroes and mulattoes from ( coming to, and settling in this State, under any pretext whatsoever. No comment upon this can be necessary to render its meaning perfectly intel

To present my view more fully on this subject, it may be useful to recur to the objects of the Čon-ligible. federation. These I discover, in part, in the preamble of the Constitution:

This will lead me to inquire into the duty and power of Congress, and then recur to this provision again.

"We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure do- "The United States, in Congress assembled, shall mestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, guaranty to every State in this Union a republipromote the general welfare, and secure the blessings can form of Government, and protect each of of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and them against invasion." This is necessary, to establish this Constitution for the United States of" insure domestic tranquillity, promote the gen'eral welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty 'to ourselves and our posterity."


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other State." This is essential "to perfect the Union, establish justice," cement the bonds of harmony, and secure the rights and privileges of the existing States.

"Union, justice, domestic tranquillity, common defence, general welfare, and the blessings of lib- It is the duty of Congress to see "that full faith erty secured to posterity," were the grand and pri- and credit are given in each State to the public mary objects in establishing this Constitution, un-acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every der which, and for these purposes, the Government was organized. The guardianship and protection of this, the charter of our rights, is now committed to the people and their representatives in Congress. It is, then, our duty, with vigilance and a watchful eye, to mark the progress of events, and arrest, at the threshold, the unhallowed hand which may be raised to pervert its meaning, misuse its provisions, or tarnish its glory. After reflecting upon the solemn obligations which devolve upon the members of this body, to examine with solicitude the principles and provisions of the Constitution, and faithfully and impartially apply them to the ex

By this, a mutual friendship would be encouraged, a unity of sentiment extended, and a confidence in the whole concentrated.

Congress have power to receive new States into the Confederacy. "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union." In doing this, they are bound to see that the rights and privileges of the individual States are not infringed. They are not only expected to secure inviolate the rights

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of States, but "the privileges and immunities" of their citizens. Among these, the following is a very essential one. "The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States."

Sir, by this I understand that a citizen in any State in the Union may pass into any other State in the Union, and there enjoy "all the privileges and immunities of citizens" in the State to which he removes.

The same principle I find engrafted in the Articles of Confederation; by having recourse to that I find my exposition confirmed, and the same sentiment more fully and particularly expressed.


As I before observed, I must now, for the purpose of comparison, recur to the provision of the constitution of Missouri, which makes it the duty of "the General Assembly to pass laws to prevent 'free negroes and mulattoes from coming to, and settling in, this State, under any pretext whatsoever."

Believing it fully demonstrated, that free persons of color are citizens, and conceiving it equally clear that some States in the Union have citizens of this description, and that the Constitution of the United States secures to all the citizens in all the States the unmolested liberty of migrating to any State in the Union, and there to enjoy unrestrained, the "privileges and immunities" of the citizens of that State, I ask, is this restrictive clause in the constitution of Missouri compatible with the express provisions of the Constitution of the United States?

"The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different States in this Union, the free inhabitants of each of these States shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several States; and the people of each State shall have free ingress and I distinctly answer the question. Sir, it is not. regress to and from any other State, and shall enjoy But, say gentlemen, "we must not examine this therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, sub-subject;" there may be difficulties, and there may ject to the same duties, impositions, and restrictions, as the inhabitants thereof respectively."

not be. If there should be any, submit them to the Judiciary.

The express language of this section so perfectly Sir, I do not accede to this doctrine. Congress coincides with the opinion I have ventured to ad- have the power to examine, and I shall venture to vance, that a comment could add nothing to its exercise it. "New States may be admitted by the perspicuity. Could the term citizen need exposi- Congress into this Union." How? By guess, or tion, I would offer one, which, however, I could by lot, without knowledge or reflection; or by exscarcely have imagined, had it not been for the amination and legislation ? "The United States novel and fallacious remarks of the honorable gen- shall guaranty to every State in this Union a retleman from Maine (Mr. HOLMES.) In the fore-publican form of government." How are the regoing extract we find the terms "inhabitants, cit-publican features of the Constitution to be ascerizens, and people," used as synonymous. tained but by examination? It can be done neither by weight nor by measure.

These are perfectly well understood in our community, and, I will only add, take from the inhabitants slaves and aliens, and the remainder are citizens.

Color does not come into the consideration, and it has no share in characterizing an inhabitant or a citizen. On this exposition I shall rest my argu


I would seriously ask, for what purpose was the constitution of Missouri presented to Congress? We are led to presume, for examination and approbation, as this has been the general practice from the organization of the Government to the present time.

If this were not the case, why did not the conI will now pass to inquire what are the provi-vention of Missouri inform Congress by letter, or sions of the Constitution of the United States re-its delegate, they had made a constitution, and specting the powers of the several States. These must now be admitted into the Union? Surely are all uniform and equal. They have certain this would have been a very summary and novel powers, and are prohibited certain acts. course, but no more exceptionable than to offer a constitution without admitting the liberty of examining it.

"The times, places, and manner of holding elec'tions for Senators and Representatives, shall be 'prescribed in each State by the Legislature there'of;" and, when vacancies occur, the State authority may fill them. But "no State shall enter ' into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; coin 'money, or make any thing but gold and silver 'coin a tender in payment of debts; or grant any title of nobility; or keep troops or ships of war ' in time of peace."

The condition of Vermont was materially different from that of any other State. In consequence of difficulties subsisting between her and New York, respecting territorial limits, her constitution was formed, and her government organized, some years previous to her admission into the Union. But on her application by commissioners, she was admitted by an act of Congress, approved The reason is, by agreement, it is prohibited in February 18, 1791. "The State of Vermont havthe Constitution, and in the same manner by agree-ing petitioned the Congress to be admitted a

ment, it is provided, that "the citizens of each State 'shall be entitled to all the privileges and immuni'ties of citizens in the several States ;" and they "shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other State, and shall enjoy therein all the 'privileges of the inhabitants thereof, subject to no "other restriction than they respectively" endure.


member of the United States, Be it enacted, &c., That, on the 4th day of March, 1791, the said State, by the name and style of the State of Vermont,' shall be received and admitted into this Union, as a new and entire member of the 'United States of America."

The district of Kentucky, being originally a part

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Admission of Missouri.


power of approving or disapproving. For this I contend; and these remarks are made to show the propriety and reasonableness of my claim. This privilege has been claimed, and this power has been exercised by an authority no more competent than that of the present Congress.

But, say gentlemen, you must not examine into this subject, but turn it over to the judiciary.

Sir, I choose to examine for myself. This being my right, I conceive a different course needless and improper. Needless, because Congress have the power and ability. This is delegated to this department of the Government; in the first instance, by the Constitution; and Congress have no right to surrender it. "New States may be admitted by the Congress," and no other body.

of Virginia, applied to that Commonwealth for permission to form herself into a new State, and petitioned Congress for admission into the Union; whereupon an act passed for that purpose. "Where'as the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Virginia, by an act entitled, &c., have consented that 'the district of Kentucky, &c., should be formed into a new State; and whereas a convention of delegates, &c., have petitioned Congress to con'sent, &c., that the said district should be formed 'into a new State, and be received into the Union, by the name of the State of Kentucky'-Be it enacted, &c., That the Congress doth consent 'that the said district of Kentucky, &c., shall, C upon the first day of June, 1792, be formed into a new State; and, upon the aforesaid first day of 'June, 1792, the said new State, by the name and 'style of the State of Kentucky, shall be received ' and admitted into this Union, as a new and en'tire member of the United States of America." Thus we see the formality which has been observed in admitting new States into the Union. In no instance has this diminished, but in all instances it has increased. We will pass the admission of all intermediate States, and come to that of Louisiana, which is directly in point. The Territory of Orleans applied for admission into the Union, and Congress passed an act authorizing them to call a convention and form a constitution, enumerating certain conditions upon which she should be received; among which were the following: "That, in case the convention shall de'clare its assent, in behalf of the people of the 'said territory, to the adoption of the Constitu'tion of the United States, and shall form a con'stitution and State government for the people of This, sir, is distinctly admitted in the report of 'the said territory, the said convention is hereby the committee of the House, to whom the consti' required to cause to be transmitted to Congress tution was referred. They say, "the committee the instrument by which its assent to the Con- are not unaware that a part of the 26th section of "stitution of the United States is thus given and the 3d article of the constitution of Missouri, by 'declared; and also a true and attested copy of which the legislature of that State has been direct'such constitution as shall be formed by said con- 'ed to pass laws to prevent free negroes and mu'vention; and, if the same shall not be disapprov-lattoes from coming to, and settling in, the State,' 'ed by Congress at their next session, the said 'State shall be admitted into the Union upon the 'same footing with the original States."

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Here we distinctly see that Congress required, previous to her admission, and as pre-requisites, that the convention should declare its assent to the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, and transmit the instrument of their assent to them; and, also, an attested copy of their constitution, "and, if the same should not be disapproved by Congress," they should be admitted.

With respect to Missouri the law says, Section 7, "And be it further enacted, That, in case a con'stitution and State government shall be formed 'for the people of the said Territory of Missouri, 'the said convention, or representatives, as soon as may be, shall cause a true and attested copy of 'such constitution or frame of State government, as shall be formed or provided, to be transmitted 'to Congress."

Here, then, we learn Congress prescribed conditions; required the constitution to be presented; reserved the privilege of examination, and the

It is improper, because it would perplex a certain class of proprietors. Apply this to the poor yellow man who owns land in Missouri. They pass a law prohibiting free negroes and mulattoes from settling "in the State, under any pretext whatsoever." This is in force till nullified by the judiciary, which cannot be effected without an action at law. Is he able to endure this excessive burden? Who would undertake it to get into Missouri? The barrier is equal to an armed force, extending around the whole territory of the State. It would keep any citizen in the Union out, and this was the design of it. Surely, if they were to say, (which they could with equal propriety,) that no citizen with a gray head should settle in Missouri, I would never make the attempt. Hence, then, this provision in the constitution of Missouri is in direct hostility to the Constitution of the United States.

has been construed to apply to such of that class as are citizens of the United States; and that 'their exclusion has been deemed repugnant to the Federal Constitution." Here the fact for which we contend is conceded; and, also, that there are some "of that class who are citizens of the United States." If this is not the case, why your provisos? Why submit nothing to the judiciary? Why must there be a protestando introduced?

Mr. President, I proceed to show the consequences of this provision.

Some States have free citizens of color. This is the case in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. In Vermont, there is a mulatto man by the name of Haines, who is a regular ordained minister in Rutland. He is pastor of a church and society of white people; has frequently been moderator of the Theological Association to which he belongs, and also of ecclesiastical councils convened for the ordination of ministers. In fact, his abilities, education, moral character, and standing in society, are such that he has received an honorary degree of Master of Arts from

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the University. But this man and his family, although of high standing in community, and possessing all the faculties of citizens, are proscribed, and, by the constitution of Missouri, are prohibited settling in the State.

In New Hampshire, there was a yellow man by the name of Cheswell, who, with his family, were respectable in point of abilities, property, and character. He held some of the first offices in the town in which he resided, was appointed justice of the peace for that county, and was perfectly competent to perform with ability all the duties of his various offices in the most prompt, accurate, and acceptable manner. But, this family are forbidden to enter and live in Missouri.

In Boston, is a mulatto man by the name of Thomas Paul, a regularly ordained Baptist Minister, pastor of a church of people of color, at whose meeting many white people attend, and who preaches by exchange or otherwise, with all the neighboring ministers of his denomination.

Sir, you not only exclude these citizens from their Constitutional "privileges and immunities," but also your soldiers of color, to whom you have given patents for land. You had a company of this description. They have fought your battles; they have defended your country; they have preserved your privileges, but have lost their own. What did you say to them on their enlistment? We will give you a monthly compensation, and at the close of the year, 160 acres of good land, on which you may settle, and, by cultivating the soil, spend your declining years in peace, and in the enjoyment of those immunities for which you have fought and bled. Now, sir, you restrict them, and will not suffer them to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Where is the public faith in this case? Did they suppose, with a patent in their hand, declaring their title to land in Missouri, with the seal of the nation and President's signature affixed thereto, it would be said to them, by any authority, you shall not possess the premises? This could never have been anticipated.

But, says the honorable gentleman from Maine, (Mr. HOLMES,) "they are perfectly secured by a saving clause in the constitution of Missouri," which must be taken in connexion with that part which prohibits their settling in the State. It must, therefore, be read: "it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to pass laws, to prevent free negroes and mulattoes from coming to and settling in this State, under any pretext whatsoever: Provided, however, The General Assembly shall never interfere with the primary disposal of the 'soil by the United States, nor with any regulation Congress may find necessary for securing the title in such soil to the bona fide purchasers." My humble opinion is, this does not reach the case. Were it to protect patentees of the Government, this would be only a part of that class of citizens who are liable to suffer. But the fact is, it will not do that. The law says, a mulatto man shall not settle in Missouri "under any pretext whatsoever." This provision says, "the Assembly shall never interfere with the primary disposal of the soil." What has this to do with his settling in


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that State? It will afford him no relief. But "the Assembly shall not interfere with any regulation Congress may find it necessary for securing the title in such soil to the bona fide purchasers." What security will this afford to the yellow man desirous of settling in Missouri? They will not destroy his title, but they will not permit him to come into the State. The gentleman's argument goes upon the ground, that a title and possession are the same. This I do not admit. It is a principle laid down in the books, that one person may hold the title and another the possession; and this is proved from daily experience. If this were not the case, what gives origin to a writ of ejectment? It grows out of the very circumstance that one person may hold the title and another the possession; and the title may be good, but possession cannot be obtained without an action at law. The quality of the title in this case may be inferred from the fact, that, although the yellow man may not enter and possess the premises, he can transfer his title to a white citizen, who may, without molestation, enter and enjoy the premises.

Then, on a critical examination of the Constitution, we find no relief, but are compelled to yield to the fact, that free citizens of some States are precluded the privilege of settling in Missouri; by which their rights are abridged, contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of the United States.

Mr. President, can we suffer one, even the meanest of our citizens, to be unconstitutionally deprived of his privileges? No. We are the dians of his rights, and, in the performance of our duty, we cannot permit them to be infringed.


How was it with Mr. Meade, who was unjustly retained in prison in Spain? He was deprived of his liberties and immunities. Congress took notice of the circumstance, and that very justly. Executive interference was exercised, and his liberty was regained. This manifested a suitable regard to the rights of our citizens. When our citizens are taken and retained by the Algerines, you retake or negotiate and redeem them. In this case you make no distinction between the white man and negro-they are both redeemed with your money. When Commodore O'Brien was consul at Algiers, there were six negroes redeemed at the same price as white men; and one slave, who was restored to his owner, but not made free. When your soldiers are captured, black or white, you redeem them. It is proper that you should. These are only the infringement of other rights, than those abridged by the constitution of Missouri. The question is not what privileges may be violated, nor how many, nor to what degree, nor whether the citizen be black or white; but can we tamely suffer one State to deprive any citizen of any of his Constitutional rights and privileges?

If Missouri can do this, why not keep a standing army, enter into a treaty, coin money, and grant titles of nobility? She is a frontier State-the Indians are near; it may be very convenient to keep an army or make a treaty. The reason is, the Constitution of the United States distinctly says she shall not. And in the other case it expressly declares, "the citizens of each State shall be en

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'titled to all the privileges and immunities of the 'citizens of Missouri; and they shall have as free 'ingress and regress as her own citizens now 'have." This is the only consistent construction that can be given to the Constitution of the United States, and the only safe principle which can be adopted to secure the provisions of the Constitution from infraction, and the rights and privileges of the citizens of the several States from the most destructive violation. Admit the contrary principle, and each State becomes a monarchy, or is transformed to despotism. Our dearest privileges are wrested from our hands; and those very rights by which our national union, domestic tranquillity, and general welfare are secured, are forever annihilated. If you can proscribe one class of citizens, you may another. Color no more comes into consideration to decide who is a citizen than size or profession. You may as well say a tall citizen shall not settle in Missouri, as a yellow citizen shall not. If one State can do this all may. The consequence will be, that size, profession, age, shape, color, or any disgusting quality in a citizen, would be a sufficient reason why he should be precluded settling in any State, which, from its pride, caprice, or vanity, are disposed to keep him out. Sir, under such a state of things, where are our liberties and privileges? They are fled. They are absorbed in the caprice of a State. Where is your "free ingress and regress from State to State?" Your national existence is lost; the Union is destroyed; the objects of confederation annihilated, and your political fabric demolished.


honorable Delegate, and one of the gentlemen who appears here as a Senator, that this paragraph would be objectionable. But it is here, not inadvertently nor from necessity. If they had intended to pass a law similar to that directed by this paragraph in the constitution, they could have done it without this provision.

Mr. President: Before I take my seat, I must be permitted to make a few strictures upon some remarks which fell from the honorable gentleman from South Carolina, (Mr. SMITH.) He observed that "negroes and mulattoes are not citizens of the United States." It is not my intention to consume your time to demonstrate the contrary of this; because it would not, in the least degree, vary the subject. Our inquiry is, and it is the point which settles the question, are they citizens of any particular State? This point I have proved, and on the other hand it is admitted; and if they are citizens of any one State in the Union, this is enough for our purpose. I would ask my friend, what is the man in his country who is neither a slave nor an alien? In mine he is a citizen. The gentleman argued largely to show "that slavery was tolerated in Republics." He need not have gone to Rome, Greece, nor Sparta, to have proved this; it is evident from our daily observation, and, of course, admitted. But what is this to the point in debate? What has this to do with the question whether Missouri has a Constitutional right to prohibit free citizens from settling in her Territory? Does it follow, because slavery is tolerated in Republics, therefore Missouri may proscribe free citizens? This reasoning is neither conclusive nor convincing.

The gentleman says: "Missouri is now a State to all intents and purposes." This is not admitted. What has made her a State? What is the language of your resolution? Not that she now is, but that she shall be, a State, when this resolution is passed by both Houses, and approved by the President.

Sir, I have endeavored to point out the objects of the American confederacy; the duty and power of Congress; the duty, power, and privileges of States; who are citizens of some States, and the rights of our citizens, and the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, by which those rights are secured, and the provisions of the constitution of Missouri; and have come to this irresistible conclusion, that the Constitution of the United States secures to the citizens of all the "Be it resolved, &c., that the State of Missouri States in the Union, "the privileges and immu-shall be, and is hereby declared to be, one of the nities of the citizens" of each State in the Union; but Missouri, in her constitution, precludes certain citizens, in certain States, the "privileges and immunities" of her own citizens; therefore, the constitution of Missouri contravenes the express provisions of the Constitution of the United States. For these reasons I vote against the resolution.

Sir, a few more words, and I close my argument. I regret that I feel compelled to offer an opinion of the complexion of this business. I lament that it has the appearance of defiance. I have endeavored to put the most favorable construction possible upon it, and it amounts to a challenge. Oppose us if you dare! I am driven to this result from knowledge and reflection. On examining this constitution, I am sure it was not penned by uninformed men. Aside from a few exceptionable parts, it is one of the best constitutions I have ever seen. The Convention were not unapprized of the feelings excited last session. The particular exceptionable clause was not in the original draught. They were informed by their

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United States of America." But, were it true that she is a State, there is nothing gained by it. Vermont was a State a long time before she was received into the Union. The question is, shall Missouri be admitted with a constitution which conflicts with the Constitution of the United States?


My friend argues, "we are bound by the Treaty of Cession to receive her." Admit this. But in that treaty there are terms and conditions. inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States, and admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of the Federal Constitution." Hence, in her admission, the principles of the Federal Constitution must be observed and maintained inviolate. This was the ground on which Louisiana was received, and Missouri being a part of the same purchase, she must be admitted on the same principles, and in the same way, and no other.

But the gentleman says, "States were admitted

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