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Mr. R. W. Thompson of Ind. moved that the House concur with the Senate, with an Committee on Territories, reported to the
Aug. 6, 1846.—Mr. Douglas, from the amendment, which was a substitute, extend
House a bill organizing the Territory of ing the laws of the United States over said
Oregon. Territories, but leaving them unorganized,
Said bill was discussed in Committee of as follows:
the Whole, and the following amendment “ That the President of the United States be, agreed to: and he hereby is, authorized to hold possession of “And neither Slavery, nor involuntary servi. and occupy ihe Territories ceded by Mexico to tude shall ever exist in said Territory, except for the United States, by the treaty of the 2nd of Feb., crime whereof the party shall have been duly eighteen hundred and forty-eight, and that he be, convicted.” and hereby is, authorized for that purpose, and in order to maintain the authority of the United On coming out of Committee, this amendStates, and preserve peace and order in said Ter. ment was agreed to--Yeas 108; Nays 44. tory, to employ such parts of the army and wavy [The Nays are all Southern, but Charles J. of the United States as he may deem necessary, and that the Constitution of the United States, so Ingersoll, Orlando B. Ficklin, and possibly far as the same is applicable, be extended over one or two others; and all Democrats, but said Territories.
some half a dozen from the South, of whom “ Sec. 2nd. And be it further enacted, That, Robert Toombs has since turned Democrat.] until the fourth day of July, eighteen hundred and fifty, unless Congress shall sooner provide Stephen A. Douglas did not vote. The birl for the government of said Territories, the exist. passed the House without further opposition, ing laws thereof shall be retained and observed, was read twice in the Senate, and referred ; and that the civil and judicial authority hereto: and Mr. Westcott of Florida made a report fore exercised in said Territories shall be vested thereon from the Committee on Territories ; in, and exercised by, such person or persons as the President of the United States shall appoint but the Session closed without further action and direct, to the end that the inhabitants of said on the bill. Territories may be protected in the full and free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and religion : provided, nevertheless, that martial law shall not This Congress reassembled, Dec. 7th, be proclaimed or declared in suid Territories, or 1846. On the 23d, Mr. Douglas again reeither of them, nor any military court established ported his bill to provide a territorial govor instituted, except ordinary courts martial for the trial of persons belonging to the army and ernment for Oregon, which was read twice navy of the United States ; and the imprisonment and committed : Jan. 11th, 1847, was disof any citizen of said Territories for debt is here. cussed in Committee, as also on the 12th by forbidden.
and 14th, when it was resolved to close the "" Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That, to debate. On the 15th, it was taken out of enable the President to carry into execution the provisions of this act, the sum of two hundred Committee, when Gen. Burt of S. C. moved thousand dollars is hereby appropriated out of the following addition (already moved, deany money in the Treasury not otherwise appro- bated, and voted down in Committee) to priated."
the clause forbidding Slavery in said Terri
tory: The question being reached on amending
“Inasmuch as the whole of said Territory lies the Senate's proposition as proposed by Mr.
north of thirty six degrees thirty minutes north Thompson, it was carried : Yeas 111; Nays latitude, known as the line of the Missouri Com105.
promise." [All the Southern Members in the nega
The purpose of this is clear enough. It tive, with Levin and a few of the Northern Democrats; the residue with all the North- was intended to recognize the Missouri line,
not as limited to the territories possessed ern Whigs in the affirmative.] Senate's amendment, as amended; Yeas that had since been, or hereafter should be, The House now proceeded to agree to the by the United States at the time said line
was established, but as extending to all 110 ; Nays 103, (the same as before ; the acquired, so as to legalize Slavery in any friends of the Senate's proposition voting territory henceforth to be acquired by us against it, as amended, and vice versa, on south of 36° 30'. the understanding that Mr. Thompson's
Mr. Burt's amendment was negativedamendment would exclude Slavery.]
Yeas 82 ; Nays 114. The bill as thus amended being returned
The vote was very nearly sectional ; but to the Senate, it refused to agree to the the following Members from Free States House's amendment, and receded from its voted in the minority: own proposition ; so the bill was passed and the session closed, with no provision for
PENNSYLVANIA.-Charles J. Ingersoll-1. the government of the newly-acquired Ter
ILLINOIS-Stephen A. Douglas, Robt. Smith-2.
Iowa.-S. C. Hastings_1. ritories.
In all, 5.
the majority. The bill then passed-Yeas! The bill continued to be discussed, and 134; Nays 35 (all Southern).
finally (Aug. 1st) was got out of Committee ; Jan. 15th.— The bill reached the Senate, when Mr. C. B. Smith moved the Previous and was sent to the Judiciary Committee, Question thereon, which was ordered. consisting of
August 2d.—The House came to a vote Messrs. Ashley, Ark. Berrien, Ga. on an amendment made in Committee, whereBreese, Ill.
Dayton, N. J. by the following provision of the original Westcott, Fla.
bill was stricken out: Jan. 25.—Mr. Ashley reported the Oregon " That the inhabitants of said Territory shall bill with amendments, which were ordered to be entitled to enjoy, all and singular, the rights, be printed.
privileges, and advantages granted and secured 29th.--Said bill, on motion of Mr. West- to the people of the Territory of the United States cott, was recommitted to the Judiciary Com-northwest of the river Obio, by the articles of
compact contained in the ordinance for the gov. mittee.
ernment of said Territory, passed the 13th day Feb. 10th.—Mr. Ashley again reported it of July, seventeen hundred and eighty-seven ; with amendments.
and shall be subject to all the conditions, and reMarch 3d.-It was taken up as in Com- strictions, and prohibitions in said
articles of committee of the Whole, when Mr. Evans of pact imposed upon the people of said territory
and—” Me. moved that it be laid on the table. Defeated-Yeas 19, (all Whigs but Cal
The House refused to agree to this amend. houn of S. C., and Yulee of Florida); Nays ment-Yeas 88; Nays 114.
The Members from the Free States who 26 ; (24 Dem., with Corwin of Ohio, and Johnson of La.).
voted with the South to strike out, were
NEW-YORK-Ausburn Birdsall-1. Mr. Westcott of Fla. immediately moved
Qh10—William Kennon, jr., John K. Milthat the bill do lie on the table, which pre- ler2. vailed—Ycas 26 ; Nays 18, (a mixed vote, ILLINOIS–Orlando B. Ficklin, John A. Mcevidently governed by various motives) ; but Clernand, William A. Richardson—3.
INDIANA John L. Robinson, William W. the negatives were all Democrats, but Cor
Wick-2. win and Johnson aforesaid. This being the Mr. John W. Houston of Delaware voted in last day of the session, it was evident that the majority. the bill, if opposed, as it was certain to be,
The bill was then passed : Yeas 128; could not get through, and it was, doubtless, Nays 71. in behalf of other pressing business that many [This vote was almost completely sectionSenators voted to lay this aside. It was, of al. Mr. Houston of Delaware voting in course, dead for the session.
the majority as before : otherwise, Mem
bers from Free States in the affirmative; Dec. 6th, 1847.—The XXXth Congress as- those from Slave States in the negative.] sembled ; Robert C. Winthrop (Whig) of
Aug. 3rd.—This bill reached the Senate, Mass. was chosen Speaker of the House. President Polk, in his Annual Message, re- finite postponement : negatived, 47 to. 1,
when Mr. Badger of N. C. moved its indegretted that Oregon had not already been organized, and urged the necessity of action (Yulee). It was then sent to the Committee
on Territories. on the subject. Feb. 9th.-Mr. Caleb B. Smith of Indiana
The Senate had had under consideration, reported to the House a bill to establish the from time to time through the Session, a bill territorial government of Oregon ; which, by
of its own, reported by Mr. Douglas, which a vote of two-thirds, was made a special or
was finally referred to a Select Committeeder for March 14th. It was postponed, by said committee reported some days before
Mr. Clayton of Delaware, Chairman and however, to the 28th ; when it was taken up the reception of the House bill. It was and discussed, as on one or two subsequent then dropped. days. May 29th, it was again made a special order next after the Appropriation bills.
Aug. 5th.-Mr. Douglas reported the The President that day sent a special mes House Bill, with amendments, which were sage, urging action on this subject. July printed. 25th, it was taken up in earnest ; Mr. Aug. 10th. After some days' debate, the Wentworth of Illinois moving that debate Senate proceeded to vote. Mr. Foote of on it in Committee cease at two o'clock Miss. moved that the bill do lie on the
table. Defeated : Yeas 15 (Southern) ; Mr. Geo. S. Houston of Ala, endeav- Nays 36. ored to put this motion on the table. De- On the question of agreeing to this feated-Yeas 85; Nays 89, (nearly, but amendment: not fully, a sectional division). Mr. Geo. “Inasmuch as the said Territory is north of W. Jones of Tenn. moved a reconsidera- thirty-six deg. thirty min., usually known as the tion, which was carried-Yeas 100; Nays (line of the] Missouri Compromise.” 88; and the resolution laid on the table- It was rejected : Yeas 2 (Bright and Yeas 96; Nays 90.
Douglas); Nays 52.
Mr. Douglas moved to amend the bill, by as it came from the House : Yeas 29; Nays inserting after the word "enacted":
25, as follows : “ That the line of thirty-six degrees and thirty
YEAS— For Receding : minutes of north latitude, known as the Missouri
Douglas, Compromise line, as defined in the eighth section
Felch, of an act entitled, “An Act to authorize the peo.
Fitzgerald, ple of the Missouri Territory to form a Constitu. tional and State Government, and for the admis
Hale, sion of such State into the Union, on an equal
Hamlin, footing with the original States, and to probibit
Hannegan, Slavery in certain Territories, approved March
Houston, 6th, 1820,' be. and the same is hereby, declared to
Miller, extend to the Pacific Ocean; and the said eighth
Davis of Mass., Niles, section, together with the compromise therein
Phelps, effected, is hereby revived, and declared to be in
Spruance, full force and binding, for the future organiza
Upham, tion of the Territories of the United States in the
Walker, same sense, and with the same understanding
Webster-29. with which it was originally adopted; and—”
NAYS--Against Recedin: Which was carried—Yeas 33; Nays 21 Messrs. Atchison,
Johnson of La., -as follows:
Johnson of Ga., Bell,
Lewis, YEAS--For recognizing the Missouri line Berrien,
Mangum, as rightfully extending to the Pacific:
Johnson of Md., Westcott,
(All from Slave States.)
So the bill became a law, and Oregon a
Territory, under the original Jefferson or Douglas,
Dane Proviso against Slavery.
THE COMPROMISE OF 1850. NAYS— Against recognizing suid line : THE XXXIst Congress commenced it Messrs. Allen,
first Session at Washington, Dec. 3d, 187 Atherton,
but the House was unable to organize Baldwin,
person receiving a majority of all the Breese,
for Speaker-until the 22nd, when,' Clarke,
rality rule having been adopted Corwin,
of 113 to 106, Mr. Howell Cobb or Ga. was Davis of Mass., Phelps, Dayton,
elected, having 102 votes to 100 for Robert Dix,
C. Winthrop of Mass., and 20 scattering. Webster--21.
It was thereupon resolved — Yeas 149; The bill was then engrossed for a third Nays 35—“That Howell Cobb be declared reading : Yeas 33; Nays 22 (nearly same
duly elected Speaker ;” and on the 24th as the above--Westcotť of Florida, added President Zachary Taylor transmitted to to the Nays—and thus passed).
both Houses his first Annual Message, in
the course of which he says : Aug. 11th.-— The bill, thus amended, having been returned to the House, the amendment by Congress for California, the people of that
"No civil government having been provided of Mr. Douglas, just recited, was rejected : Territory, impelled by the necessities of their Yeas 82 ; Nays 121.
political condition, recently met in Convention, Yeas from Free States :
for the purpose of forming a Constitution and
State Government; which, the latest advices give NEW YORK-Ausburn Birdsall_1.
me reason to suppose, has been accomplished ; PENNSYLVANIA—Charles Brown, Charles J. and it is believed they will shortly apply for the Ingersoll.—2.
admuission of California into the Union, as a Total --3.
Sovereign State. Should such be the case, and
should their constitution be conformable to the Otherwise, from Slave States, all Yeas ; requisitions of the Constitution of the United from Free States, all Nays.
States, I recommend their application to the faAug. 12th.-- The Senate, after voting vorable consideration of Congress. down various propositions to lay on the
“The people of New Mexico will also, it is
believed, at no very distant period, present them. table, etc., finally decided to recede from its selves for admission into the Union. Preparatory amendments to the Oregon bill, and pass it to the admission of California and New Mexico,
the people of each will have instituted for them- , length, which may elapse before the admission selves a republican form of government, laying of the Territories ceded by Mexico, as States, it its foundation in such principles, and organizing appears probable that similar excitement will its power in such form, as to them shall seem prevail to an undue extent. most likely to effect their safety and happiness. “ Under these circumstances, I thought, and
" By awaiting their action, all causes of un- still think, that it was my duty to endeavor to easiness may be avoided and confidence and put it in the power of Congress, by the admission kind feeling preserved. With a view of main- of California and New Mexico as States, to retaining the harmony and tranquillity so dear to move all occasion for the unnecessary agitation all, we should abstain from the introduction of of the public mind. those exciting topics of a sectional character “It is understood that the people of the Western which have hitherto produced painful apprehen- part of California have formed the plan of a State sions in the public mind; and I repeat the solemn Constitution, and will soon submit the same to warning of the first and most illustrious of my the judgment of Congress, and apply for admispredecessors, against furnishing any ground for sion as a State. This course on their part, though characterizing parties by geographical discri- in accordance with, was not adopted exclusively minations."
in consequence of, any expression of my wishes, Jan. 4th.—Gen. Sam. Houston of Texas been promoted by officers sent there by my pre
inasmuch as measures tending to this end had submitted to the Senate the following pro- decessor, and were already in active progress of position :
execution, before any communication from me " Whereas, The Congress of the United States, reached California. If the proposed constitution possessing only a delegated authority, have no shall, when submitted to Congress, be found to power over the subject of Negro Slavery within be in compliance with the requisitions of the the limits of the United States, either to prohibit Constitution of the United States, I earnestly or interfere with it, in the States, Territories, or recommend that it may receive the sanction of District, where, by municipal law, it now existe,
Congress.” or to establish it in any State or Territory where
He adds it does not exist; but, as an assurance and guarantee to promote harmony, quiet apprehension, “Should Congress, when California shall preand remove sectional prejudice, which by possi- sent herself for incorporation into the Union, bility might impair or weaken love and devotion annex a condition to her admission as a State to the Union in any part of the country, it is affecting her domestic institutions contrary to hereby
the wishes of her people, and even compel her " Resolved, That, as the people in Territories temporarily to comply with it, yet the State could have the same inherent rights of self-government change her constitution at any time after admisas the people in the States, if, in the exercise of sion, when to her it should seemn expedient. Any such inherent rights, the people in the newly attempt to deny to the people of the State the acquired Territories, by the Annexation of Texas right of self-government, in a matter which pecuand the acquisition of California and New Mexico, liarly affects themselves, will infallibly be resouth of the parallel of 36 degrees and 30 minutes garded by them as an invasion of their rights ; of north latitude, extending to the Pacific Ocean, and, upon the principles laid down in our own shall establish Negro Slavery in the formation of Declaration of Independence, they will certainly their state governinents, it shall be deemed no be sustained by the great mass of the American objection to their admission as a State or States people. To assert that they are a conquered into the Union, in accordance with the Constitu- people, and must, as a State, submit to the will of tion of the United States."
their conquerors, in this regard, will meet with no
cordial response among American freemen. Great Jan. 21st.-Gen. Taylor, in answer to a numbers of them are native citizens of the United resolution of inquiry, sent a message to the States, and not inferior to the rest of our countryHouse, stating that he had urged the forma- men in intelligence and patriotism; and no lantion of State Governments in California and guage of menace to restrain them in the exercise of
an undoubted right, substantially guarantied to New Mexico. He adds :
them by the treaty of cession itself, shall ever be “In advising an early application by the uttered by me, or encouraged and sustained by people of these Territories for admission as States, persons acting under my authority. It is to be I was actuated principally by an earnest desire expected that, in the residue of the territory ceded to afford to the wisdom and patriotism of Con- to us by Mexico, the people residing there will, at gress the opportunity of avoiding occasions of the time of their incorporation into the Union as a bitter and angry discussions among the people State, settle all questions of domestic policy to of the United States.
suit themselves." “ Under the Constitution, every State has the right to establish, and, from time to time, alter
Feb. 13, 1850.-Gen. Taylor communiits municipal laws and domestic institutions, in- cated to Congress the Constitution (free) of dependently of every other State and of the the State of California. General Government, subject only to the prohibitions and guarantees expressly set forth in the submitted to the Senate the following pro
Jan. 29th, 1850.—Mr. Henry Clay of Ky. Constitution of the United States. The subjects thus left exclusively to the respective States, positions, which were made a special order were not designed or expected to become topics and printed : of National agitation. Still as, under the Consti- “1. Resolved, That California, with suitable tution, Congress has power to make all needful boundaries, ought, upon her application, to be adrules and regulations respecting the Territories mitted as one of the States of this Union, without of the United States, every new acquisition of the imposition by Congress of any restriction in territory has led to discussions on the question respect to the exclusion or introduction of Slavery whether the system of involuntary servitude, within those boundaries. which prevails in many of the States, should
or “2. Resolved, That as Slavery does not exist by should not be prohibited in that Territory. The law, and is not likely to be introduced into any of periods of excitement from this cause, which the territory acquired by the United States from the have heretofore occurred, have been safely Republic of Mexico, it is inexpedient for Congress passed; but, during the interval, of whatever to provide by law either for its introduction into,
or exclusion from, any part of the said territory; 1 tended for, and that mutual concessions upon and that appropriate territorial governments ought questions of mere policy, not involving the violato be established by Congress in all the said ter- tion of any constitutional right or principle, must ritory, not assigned as within the boundaries be the basis of every project affording any assurof the proposed State of California, without the ance of a favorable acceptance ; adoption of any restriction or condition on the “ And, whereas, The joint resolution for ansubject of Slavery.
nexing Texas to the United States, approved *3. Resolved, s'hat the western boundary of the March 1, 1845, contains the following condi. State of Texas ought to be fixed on the Rio del tion and guarantee-that is to say: New States Norte, commencing one marine league from its of convenient size, not exceeding four in num. mouth, and running up that river to the southern ber, in addition to said State of Texas, and baving line of New Mexico; thence with that line east sufficient population, may hereafter, by the conwardly, and so continuing in the same direction sent of said State, be formed out of the territory to the line as established between the United thereof, which shall be entitled to admission under States and Spain, excluding any portion of New the provisions of the Federal Constitution ; and Mexico, wheiber lying on ihe east or west of that such States as may be formed out of that portion river.
of said territory lying south of thirty-six degrees “4. Resolved, That it be proposed to the State thirty minutes north latitude, commonly known of Texas, that the United States will provide for as the Missouri Compromise line, shall be admitthe payment of all that portion of the legitimate ted into the Union with or without Slavery, as the and bona fide public debt of that State contracted people of each State asking admission may desire; prior to its amexation to the United States, and and in such State or States as shall be formed out for which the duties on foreign imports were of said territory north of said Missouri Compro. pledged by the said State to its creditors, not mise line, Slavery, or involuntary servitude (ex. exceeding the sum of dollars, in consider cept for crime), shall be prohibited: Therefore, ation of the said duties so pledged having been no "1. Resolved, That the obligation to comply with longer applicable to that object after the said an- the condition and guarantee above recited in nexation, but having thenceforward become pay good faith be distinctly recognized; and that, in able to the United States; and upon the condition, part compliance with the same, as soon as the also, that the said State of Texas shall, by some people of Texas shall, by an act of their legsolemn and authentic act of her legislature, or of a islature, signify their assent by restricting the convention, relinquish to the United States any limits thereof, within the territory lying east of claim which she has to any part of New Mexico. the Trinity and south of the Red River, and
“5. Resolved, That it is inexpedient to abolish when the people of the residue of the territory Slavery in the District of Columbia whilst that claimed by Texas adopt a constitution, republiinstitution continues to exist in the State of Mary: can in form, they be admitted into the Union land, without the consent of that State, without upon an equal footing in all respects with the orithe consent of the people of the District, and ginal States. without just compensation to the owners of Slaves "2. Resolved, That if Texas shall agree to within the District.
cede, the United States will accept, a cession of " 6. But Resolved, that it is expedient to pro all the unappropriated domain in all the terrihibit, within the District, the slave trade in slavestory claimed by Texas, lying west of the Colorado brought into it from States or places beyond the and extending north to the forty-second parallel limits of the District, either to be sold therein as of north latitude, together with the jurisdiction merchandise, or to be transported to other markets and sovereignty of all the territory claimed by without the District of Columbia.
Texas, north of the thirty-fourth parallel of north “7. Resolved, That more effectual provision latitude, and to pay therefor a sum not exceeding ought to be made by law, according to the re. millions of dollars, to be applied in the quirement of the Constitution, for the restitution first place to the extinguishment of any portion and delivery of persons bound to service or labor of the existing public debt of Texas, for the disin any State, who may escape into any other State charge of which the United States are under any or Territory in the Union. “And,
obligation, implied or otherwise, and the remain“8. Resolved, That Congress has no power to der as Texas shall require. prohibit or obstruct the trade in slaves between
“3. Resolved, That when the population of the Slaveholding States, but that the admission that portion of the territory claimed by Texas, or exclusion of Slaves brought from one into lying south of the thirty-fourth parallel of north another of them, depends exclusively upon their latitude and west of the Colorado, shall be equal own particular laws.
to the ratio of representation in Congress, under
the last preceding apportionment, according to Feb. 28th.—Mr. John Bell of Tenn. sub- the provisions of the Constitution, and the people mitted to the Senate the following propo- of such territory shall, with the assent of the new sitions :
State contemplated in the preceding resolution,
have adopted a State Constitution, republican in “Whereas, Considerations of the highest inter- form, they be admitted into the Union as a State, est to the whole country demand that the existing upon an equal footing with the original States. and increasing dissensions between the North and " 4. Resolved, That all the territory now the South, on the subject of Slavery, should be claimed by Texas, lying north of the thirty-fourth spoedily arrested, and that the questions in con- parallel of north latitude, and which may be troversy be adjusted upon some basis which shall | ceded to the United States by Texas, be incorportend to give present quiet, repress sectional ani ated with the Territory of New Mexico, except mosities, remove, as far as possible, the causes such part thereof as lies east of the Rio Grande of future discord, and secure the uninterrupted and south of the thirty-fourth degree of north enjoyment of those benefits and advantages which latitude, and that the Territory so composed form the Union was intended to confer in equal measure a State, to be admitted into the Union when the upon all its members ;
inhabitants thereof shall adopt a State Constitu“ And, whereas, It is manifest, under present tion, republican in form, with the consent of Concircumstances, that no adjustment can be effected gress; but, in the mean time, and until Congress of the points of difference unhappily existing be- shall give such consent, provision be made for tween the Northern and Southern sections of the the government of the inhabitants of said TerriUnion, connected with the subject of Slavery, tory suitable to their condition, but without any which shall secure to either section all that is con- restriction as to Slavery.