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ported on it. (1)On the 19th of February, 1803, Congress passed a law "to provide for the due 'execution of the laws of the United States within the State of Ohio." In this last law it is declared that, by the law of 30th April, 1802, authorizing the people of the Territory of Ohio to form a constitution and State government, Ohio had become one of the United States of America. This law says nothing about her being admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States; but simply says, "whereby the said State has become one of the United States of America."

Louisiana was authorized, by an act of Congress of the 20th of February, 1811, to form a constitution and State government, and formed her constitution on the 28th January, 1812. (2) On the 8th of April, 1812, was admitted into the Union by a law. This was the first State admitted with formality. The new mode of declaring this State to be admitted, by law, seems to have been dictated from motives of interest. Louisiana had within her limits the Mississippi and other valuable navigable rivers. By that law, which admits her into the Union, the free navigation of all those rivers is secured forever to all the old States, free from "any tax, duty, impost, or toll;" whilst the old States retain the right to these exactions, and some of them do actually exact it. The State of New York now exacts, as a toll, one dollar upon every passenger in the steamboats that go up the North river, and derives from that source an immense revenue, laying the whole United States under contribution; whilst her own citizens are navigating the Mississippi and its waters, under the act of Congress, without being subjected to any such duty. And this is what they have been pleased to call admitting her "into the Union upon an equal footing with the original States, in all respects whatsoever."

Indiana was admitted into the Union by a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress, on the 11th of December 1816; but its history proves beyond a doubt that it was considered a State, to all intents and purposes, before the resolution passed. An act in the usual form had passed for its admission; and it had, by a convention, formed a constitution on the 20th of June, 1816. Congress assembled on the 2d of December, 1816; on that day the House of Representatives admitted Mr. Hendricks, the member elect, to take the oath of office, and take his seat in the House. On the 4th, the resolution originated in the Senate; on the 6th it passed; was sent to the House on the 9th, and passed that day-eight days after the member had been admitted to his seat; nor had the House of Representatives ever taken up the subject at all. On the 11th, the resolution was approved. Here, it is evident there was a great falling off in vigilance; but, it is to be remarked, we were going north about. Louisiana could not be admitted by any thing less solemn than a law. Indiana did not require a resolution, for the House of Repre

(1) Laws U. S. page 524. (2) Laws U. S. vol. 4, page 402.


sentatives at least. On the 12th of February, 1817, the Presidential votes were counted in the Representatives' Chamber, whither the Senate, in a body, had gone for that purpose. All the votes of the several States were counted, except the votes of Indiana. Here Mr. S. said, he would read from the Journals of the House of Representatives, what passed on that occasion, as there were several gentlemen of the Senate who had taken their seats since. (1)

Mr. S. said, in consequence of this proceeding, the Senators had a very solemn procession down the stairs and up again, and there it ended; for they unanimously concurred in considering it so frivolous that they forbid it a place on the Journals. The Electors of President and Vice President were elected by the State of Indiana, and the electoral votes given before the resolution was offered for its admission into the Union. This act was solemnly sanctioned by both Houses of Congress. It was the highest act which a State, in its political capacity, can perform. Who, then, can doubt for a moment that Indiana was a State, as perfect as it is possible for this Government to make? If Indiana was so, why should not Mis souri be so, under the same circumstances? It cannot be doubted. She is a State, and you cannot disfranchise her. But, it is said she cannot be admitted into the Union, because her constitution is repugnant to the Constitution of the United

(1) Journal H. R. 2d session, 14th Congress, pages 385, 386, 387.

"When the President of the Senate was about to open the votes of that State, for the purpose of having the same counted,

"Mr. Taylor, one of the Representatives from the State of New York, rose, and objected to the same, and stated that, in his opinion, the votes of the Electors of Indiana, for President and Vice President, ought not to be received.

motion of one of its members, withdrew; and, being "Upon which objection being made, the Senate, on absent, a resolution was then submitted by Mr. Sharp, in the following words:

"Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives, &c., That the votes of the Electors for the State of Indiana for President and Vice President of the United States, were properly and legally given, and ought to be counted.

A motion was made by Mr. Taylor, of New York, to amend the said resolution, by striking out all thereof after the enacting clause, and inserting the following: That the votes of the Electors of the State of Indiana, for President and Vice President of the United States, having been given previous to the admission of that State into the Union, ought not to be received and made by Mr. Ingham, that the resolution be postponed counted.' And debate arising thereon, a motion was indefinitely. And the question being taken thereon, it passed in the affirmative.

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The Senate again attended, &c. And the President of the Senate, in the presence of both Houses, proceeded to open the certificates of the Electors of the State of Indiana, which he delivered to the tellers, by whom it was read, and who took lists of the votes therein enclosed."

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States, and is not republican; and that Congress, by the Federal Constitution, is to guaranty to every State a republican form of Government; therefore, it is the province of Congress to examine for this quality in the constitution of any State which applies for admission into the Union.


power to do this as it has to reject the constitution of Missouri.

If Congress has the power to guaranty the republican form of government, and it can only be exercised when a State presents itself for admission into the Union, there ought to be an uniformity in its course. The same State of Rhode Island refused to adopt the Federal Constitution for some time after the organization of this Government. Then Rhode Island stood precisely on the ground on which Missouri now is said to stand. Missouri is a State, but it is said is not in the Union; Rhode Island was a State, and acknowledged on all hands to be out of the Union at that time. Why did not Congress exercise this salutary

If, sir, Congress has to decide upon the republican form of government of the new States, it has also to decide upon it for all the old States. The language of the Constitution is, "the United States shall guaranty to every State in this Union a republican form of government." This applied immediately to the old States; and, if it is the duty of Congress, why did not Congress examine all the constitutions of the several States? Why not require each State, when it alters or new-control when Rhode Island came into the Union; models its constitution, to submit it to that tribunal to decide whether it is republican? Nine of the States have altered their constitutions since the adoption of the Constitution of the United States. New Hampshire, in February, 1792; Connecticut, in September, 1818; Vermont, in July, 1793, or rather formed one; Pennsylvania, in September, 1792; Delaware, in June, 1792; Maryland, at sundry times; South Carolina, in June, 1790; Georgia, in May, 1798; and Kentucky, in August, 1799. None of these States have ever submitted their renewed constitutions to Congress for its approbation. It is the duty of Congress, under the term "guaranty," to look into any constitution. Who will be bold enough to say it is not its duty to see that no State shall alter its constitution, but by its permission and authority? It would be to little purpose to say the United States shall guaranty the republican form of government, unless its control can be continued. Every State has the power to revise its constitution whenever it shall think proper. And, if you look at the constitution of Missouri to-day, and pass it as republican, and that State should alter it to-morrow, and destroy its republican features, and defy your control, this power has been given to very little purpose, and had much better been withheld.

Mr. S. said, upon looking into the constitution of the thirteen original States, he had discovered that Rhode Island had no constitution; nor had she ever any. She has what the good people of that State call the "charter of Rhode Island," granted by King Charles the Second; in which he has made certain reservations, as an acknowledgment of his sovereignty. And throughout the whole instrument, the people are treated of, and called subjects. They can have no claim to a republican form of government under such a char


Why, then, does not Congress issue its writ of quo warranto to the Governor or the Legislature of Rhode Island, calling on them to show by what authority they claim to be one of the United States? Or to show cause, if any they can, why that State should not be disfranchised for holding her government under a foreign Prince? Or else issue some process to compel her to form such a constitution as shall guaranty to her a republican form of government? Congress has as much

and abrogate her English charter, and give her a constitution, with at least some semblance of a republican form of government in it, and blot out the odious words, sovereign and subject, monarchical vestiges which still characterize it? It is evident, to a demonstration, that Congress is not the tribunal to decide this Constitutional question. It must be left to the judicial department, whose province alone it is to judge the private rights of individuals. There are no governmental rights to be involved, but the rights of persons only, if any; and shall Congress erect itself into a tribunal to investigate whether by chance some free negro or mulatto, fifty years hence, might suffer, and put this whole Union in jeopardy? He viewed such a crisis with awe. Mr. S. said he would be amongst the last to invoke it, but we could not shut our eyes upon what was going on in the northern section of this Union. At the time they were fulminating their threats to dissolve the Union, if Missouri should be admitted into it, they were declaring to the world that the Southern States were endeavoring to intimidate, but would not dare to disturb the Confederacy. One printer, of Philadelphia, tired of waiting for some post of honor or profit under the old government, has divided the Union on paper, and laid out a snug government for himself and his friends, under which, perchance, he may be better provided for. Another fellow has called himself Patrick Henry, and writes as if it belonged to him to dissolve this empire, if he should so will it. He intends to bring about in this country a succession of Patrick Henrys, in imitation of the Caesars of the Roman world; and he is to be Patrick Henry the second. This Patrick Henry the second has declared if Missouri with her constitution is received, it is of itself a dissolution of the Union. If ever this Union is disturbed, it will be by such monsters as these. It is not here that revolution is to commence; it is to begin with the people, by means of misrepresentations. By imposing on their honesty. Let those who are fanning this flame beware of the consequences. If the torrent begins to roll, there is no telling where it is to stop.

We are told this constitution is not republican; therefore it cannot be sanctioned, because it is the duty of the Government to guaranty to every State of this Union a republican form of government. The evidence of this, it is said, is man

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ifested in the third and fourth clauses of the twenty-sixth section of the third article of the constitution of Missouri, which authorizes the Legislature to pass laws "to prevent free negroes and mulattoes from coming to and settling in this State under any pretext whatsoever."

The Convention, which formed our Federal Constitution, has not been as explicit as we could wish in defining what a republican form of government is. But we have always understood that sort of government which is administered by the people to be a republican form of government, and does not obtain nor lose this form when the free negroes and mulattoes are excluded from a participation. This is a case sui generis. The history of the ancient world furnishes no precedent. The Grecian Republics abounded in slaves; but they had no share in the political concerns of the nation. Sparta was said to approach nearer to a pure democracy than any other Government that ever existed. Yet they had slaves in thousands and hundreds of thousands, who had no share in political affairs. They were white, and what of them were not sold to foreign nations, or butchered by their masters, who had the absolute control over their persons and lives, without account, were finally suffered to mingle with the free men, and became one people. But the difference of color forbids that course with us, and will operate as a perpetual barrier, until time shall overcome it. Although they are not slaves themselves, who were prohibited by this constitution to settle in Missouri; yet they are the late offspring of slaves, and have been placed and considered in the body politic upon the same footing and no other. Their parents were slaves during the Revolutionary war. They were in a state of slavery from Boston to the St. Mary's, laboring in your fields. It was not then slaveholding States and non-slaveholding States, but all were slaveholding States. It is true since that time the Northern States, finding it their interest to do so, have sold the greater part of them to the Southern people, and have freed the rest. These freed negroes and mulattoes are now, for the first time, called citizens of the United States; and are, it is said, by the Constitution of the United States, entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens of the several States.


pation in your political institutions; not in the Southern States, but in the Eastern States, the Northern States, and the Western States. Almost all the States in the Union have excluded them from voting in elections. There is no State that admits them into the militia. Very few States admit them to give evidence. No State had passed any law constituting them citizens. Mr. S. said he would not inquire in what department the power existed, if it existed anywhere, whether in the State governments or in the General Government, to naturalize them; but at present neither the one nor the other had done so; and, until some supreme power should do so, they could not claim "the privileges and immunities of citizens of the several States." He would now ask the Senate for their further indulgence, till he could examine this subject more minutely, from the written documents themselves, which he would beg leave to read severally. In doing so, he would begin with the Declaration of Independence itself. This sacred instrument says: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created 'equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happi'ness."

If this was a declaration of independence for the blacks as well as the whites, why did you not all emancipate your slaves at once, and let them join you in the war. But we know this was not done. We know that slavery was as much cherished in Massachusetts, and the other New England States, as it was anywhere else in the Union. In fine, there was an universal consent, at that day, that these people were slaves, and were our personal property, and had no share in the body politic. No gentleman will now be bold enough to say otherwise. New York is yet seeking for remuneration from the British Government for their slaves, by that name, which were plundered from that State during the Revolutionary war. The very Constitution under which we are now assembled, which was formed for the better cementing the Government, derived from that Declaration of Independence, has not only sanctioned the slavery which then existed in the United States, but, by the ninth section of the first article, expressly permitted the whole of the States, twelve years after this Declaration of Independence, to open their ports to the African slave trade for a succession of

As no example is to be found in the history of any other nation, and this being the first time which this question has occurred in our own Gov-twenty years. But it is said these free negroes ernment, whether free negroes and mulattoes are, as such, citizens, must be ascertained by such evidences as, from the nature of things, we are compelled to give the highest credence to. Mr. S. said this was to be found in the Constitution and laws of the United States, and in the constitutions or laws of the several States. They furnish a mass of evidence, which nobody could doubt but a sceptic, that free negroes and mulattoes have never been considered as a part of the body politic; neither by the General Government nor the several State governments. All their laws, and all their constitutions, contain marked distinctions by which this class of people are excluded from all partici

and mulattoes are citizens. The most of them were born slaves, and the act of manumission by the masters could not constitute them citizens. If the master can make a citizen, it must be by some other process than his sign manual on paper. By the act of Congress, passed on the 14th of April, 1802, to establish an uniform rule of naturalization, the Congress itself has guarded against naturalizing any but white population. The first clause of the act is these words: * "That any alien, being a free white person, may be admitted to 'become a citizen of the United States, or any of

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Laws of the United States, 3d volume, page 475.

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them, on the following conditions," &c. The Government of Hayti was then an independent Empire; and why were they excluded this privilege, if all men were created equal?

Mr. SMITH said he would now examine the constitutions of those States which had been admitted into the Union since the adoption of the Federal Constitution. The most of which had passed under the eye of Congress, and had their solemn sanction; and would show how assidu-' ously they had kept up the distinction between the white and black population, and how carefully the colored people were excluded from all share in the affairs of the body politic in the State govern


In the eighth section of the second article of the constitution of Kentucky, are these words: "In 'all elections for Representatives, every free male 'citizen, (negroes, mulattoes, and Indians, ex'cepted,) &c., shall enjoy the right of an elector." In the first section of the seventh article of that constitution it is said: "The General Assembly 'shall have no power to pass laws for the eman'cipation of slaves without the consent of their owners, or without paying their owners a full 'equivalent in money for the slaves so emanci'pated."

In the first section of the fourth article of the constitution of Ohio, it is said: "In all elections, 'all white male inhabitants, &c., shall enjoy the right of an elector."


prevented the desirable work of emancipation. When the constitution of Mississippi was before the Senate, only three years ago, there was not a dissenting voice, nor a murmur in the community. In the constitution of Indiana, which passed the scrutiny of the Senate only four years ago, in the 1st section of the 1st article, it is said, "That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and inalienable rights; among which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty, and of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety."

How very incompatible would these two clauses of that constitution appear, if it were not for that universal assent which prevails throughout the Union, that free negroes and mulattoes are not known in your political institutions. This is a more marked distinction than any of the preceding. They, for the most part, say, "free white male,' &c., but this is simply a distinction between white and black, with the utter exclusion of the colored man. What citizen of the United States would prefer this degrading distinction to exile? The people of Indiana had been eulogized by a gentleman of the Senate, (Mr. KING, of New York,) on this very question, at the last session of Congress, and, Mr. S. said he believed, very deservedly, as a wise and prudent people. These people could have had no prejudices from habitual slavery. They had been nursed in the lap of freedom. When that territory was ceded by Virginia to the United States, there was a stipulation to exclude slavery; notwithstanding which, their men of color are excluded from any portion of political rights. As a This constitution was submitted to Congress, further evidence of the degraded condition of free and was examined with more than ordinary vigi- negroes and mulattoes, in Indiana, below that of lance. So much so, that the State could not gain a citizen, he would beg leave to read a law of that admittance into the Union without passing a very State, passed about two years after it was elevated special and a very rigid law; in which Louisiana from its territorial government. He read as follows: was laid under injunctions imposed on no other "No negro, mulatto, or Indian, shall be a witness, State, before or since. Yet, with all this vigi- except in pleas of the State against negroes, lance, she is suffered to exclude from the right of mulattoes, or Indians, or in civil cases where nerepresenting the State, all colored people. If there'groes, mulattoes, or Indians, alone, shall be parties." are black and yellow citizens, how could Congress They have, by another clause of the same law, permit that constitution to exclude from so valua- graduated the mulatto. It says, "Every person ble a privilege men who, perhaps, had all the re- other than a negro, of whose grandfathers or grandquisites of a representative except that of color? mothers any one is, or shall have been a negro, Who can estimate the difference between being although all his other progenitors, except that denied a residence in a State, or denied the valua-descending from a negro, shall have been white ble privilege of being a representative, or even the right of being represented.

In the constitution of Louisiana, it is said: "No person shall be a Representative who, at the time of his election, is not a free white male citizen ' of the United States."

In the 1st section of the 3d article of the constitution of the State of Mississippi, you find the same in substance. The words are, "Every free white male person, &c., shall be deemed a qualified elector."

In the 1st section of the 2d division, of the 6th article of the same constitution, are the words: "The General Assembly shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of their owners." Mr. S. observed, that he read this last part of that constitution because it was nearly in the same words as the 26th section of the 3d article of the constitution of Missouri, to which he had heard great objections because it

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persons, shall be deemed a mulatto, and so every person who shall have one-fourth part or more of negro blood, shall in like manner be deemed a mulatto." Can any possible doubt exist that the people of Indiana consider that free negroes and mulattoes are not citizens?

Mr. S. said he would now beg leave to advert to some laws of Congress, of recent dates, which would show, as strongly as can be shown, that Congress has not only believed them to be degraded below the level of citizens, but have actually placed them there, by their laws. Congress required all territorial laws to come under its revision, and particularly so the laws of the Territory of Orleans, before it became the State of Louisiana. By one of the territorial laws of Orleans, of the 7th

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of June, 1806, it is enacted, (1) "That free people ' of color ought never to insult or strike white peo'ple, nor presume to conceive themselves equal to 'the white; but, on the contrary, that they ought to yield to them on every occasion, and never speak or answer to them but with respect, under 'the penalty of imprisonment, according to the 'nature of the offence." This is a law which passed under the immediate inspection of Congress.

He would now turn to the act of Congress, of last session, which passed on the 15th of May, 1820, and not long after the heated debate upon the bill for admitting Missouri into the Union, when the minds of all the members were filled with this subject, for incorporating the inhabitants of the City of Washington, &c., by which they were continued to be a body politic and corporate. In this act is to be found these words :(2) "Any person shall be eligible to the office of Mayor who is a free white male citizen of the United States." In another part of the same act it says, "That no person shall be eligible to a seat in the Board of Aldermen, or Board of Common Council, unless he shall be more than twenty-five years of age, a 'free white male citizen of the United States, &c. In another part of that act, in enumerating the powers of the corporation, it is said it shall have full power and authority "to prescribe the terms and conditions upon which free negroes and mulattoes may reside in the city."


specially licensed by the corporation, be considered, by that same Congress, if he will only emigrate to the State of Missouri, entitled to all the privileges and immunities of the most distinguished citizens of the United States?

He supposed gentlemen who contended for the rights of these sable brethren in Missouri, and who had denied them a residence at Washington, could have no objection to see one of them returned as a member of this honorable body. And if they are entitled to all privileges and immunities of the citizens of the several States, wheresoever they would go, it would be infringing much upon the republican principle to refuse them this honor. Had Christophe, the famous chief of Hayti, came to some sections of our country, before he blew his own brains out, if he could have obtained the naturalization which our free negroes and mulattoes have done, by a residence merely, he might, under the spirit of these times, soon have found his way here. He had seen in this morning's paper some high encomiums on his rival and successor Boyer, his present Majesty of Hayti, by a correspondent of his, in the State of Connecticut, who seems to invite an alliance with his Excellency. This correspondent thinks it would be very useful to this country.

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In the very law which authorized Missouri to elect the convention which formed the constitution now before you, is the following provision, (1) Mr. SMITH observed, that, when this law was "that all free white male citizens of the United before the Senate, it was thoroughly investigated States, &c., shall be qualified to be elected, and by an honorable gentleman from the East, (Mr. they are hereby qualified and authorized to vote BURRILL.) Seeing it in such hands, he paid but and choose representatives to form a convention." little attention to it himself; but he found, upon We find nothing in that law for the tree negroes examining it, free negroes and mulattoes were not and mulattoes. Mr. S. said he had not been able only excluded from all share in the offices, but to obtain the statute laws of Ohio and Illinois, but were placed under the inspection of the corporation, was informed that both those States had laws imto prescribe the terms and conditions upon which posing penalties upon, and degrading free negroes they may reside in the city. Giving power to pre- and mulattoes. So far he had confined his obserscribe the terms, is, in effect, giving power to vations and references to the Declaration of Indeexpel. This is an unanswerable proof of the de-pendence, the Constitution and laws of the United graded condition in which Congress consider free negroes and mulattoes ought to be placed. With this strong and peculiar example before their eyes, well might the people of Missouri conceive they had a right to provide against this evil. The example is peculiar, because Congress have sat here for the last twenty years; during which time, he had understood, a swarm of mulattoes had been reared in the city; many of whom, no doubt, had as illustrious fathers as any in the nation. These mulattoes have been under the parental care of Congress, until some of them have nearly arrived to the years of maturity; and, if their education has been equal to their parentage, might, in a few years, fill the mayoralty with great dignity. Instead of which, they are now to be placed at the disposal of a petty corporation. All their hopes are blasted, and themselves drove to seek their fortunes in the wilds of Missouri, on account of their color. And shall a mulatto to whom Congress will deny a residence in the City of Washington, unless he is

(1) Territorial Laws of Orleans, vol. 1, p. 188 190. (2) Acts 1st session 16th Congress, page 14.

States, and to the constitutions and laws of such of the separate States as had been formed, under the authority, and since the adoption, of the Federal Constitution. He had done so for the purpose of showing the uniformity of sentiment and of action, which had so invariably prevailed, on every political occasion, to give a decisive character to the degraded condition of free negroes and mulattoes. He had, as yet, offered no evidence derived from the laws and constitutions of the original States. He would now do so, and see how far they maintained the arguments of the gentleman from Rhode Island (Mr. BURRILL) that the constitution of Missouri is repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, and wants the republican form, which it is the duty of Congress to guaranty; because it provides for prohibiting free negroes and mulattoes from going to, and settling in that State. We were taught to believe that no State in the Union, besides Missouri, had had the boldness to restrain the ingress or egress of any citizen; or that any distinction had been made between the white citi

(1) Laws 1st session 16th Congress, page 14.

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