Page images

330 CONG.... 20 Sess.

Execution of United States Laws-Debate.


and if he fails under the legislation of Congress to cause from the State to the Federal court. At a provisions with other provisions of existing laws, protect himself, in the assertion of that right- || subsequent period, when the officers of the Federal and having satisfied myself, to go into the quesif by any chance, or by any perjury, or by any | Government, in the exercise of their duties in the tion; but I am satisfied that it is going to lead to perversion of the law, ihese state tribunals, paid || collection of revenues, were harassed by suits in a great deal of debate, and I shall be obliged if the from the State treasury, governed by the State State courts, you passed just such a law as this, Senate will postpone it until to-morrow, and let officers in which the laws are executed, in oppo- directing that the State court should transfer such us take up and pads some two or three bills of sition, as the Senator from Ohio tells us, to Fede- cases to the Federal courts whenever the Federal great public importance which are on our table. ral legislation say if the southern claimant, officer desired the removal. Now, when in the move that the further consideration of the subunder these circumstances, shall fail in proving execution of a constitutional and admitedly bind- || ject be postponed until tomorrow. his property, he is to be punished by imprison- | ing law of the Federal Congress, the officers of Mr. PETTIT. Mr. President, I voted against ment of not less than three nor more than five the United States, who endeavor to assert the ma- taking up this bill. I voted in committee for it. years in the jail of the State. This, sir, too, may | jesty of the law, to vindicate it, to assist in its I entertained no doubt about its constitutionality, be produced by perjured witnesses. May it not execution, are set upon by mobs, and their lives about its propriety, and about the importance of be that some man, who holds allegiance to that are not only threatened but absolutely taken in its passage; but at the late period of the session I higher law which we are told binds us all in de open day; when the blood of the slaughtered vic- did entertain a doubt as to the propriety of taking spite of that oath by which we are sworn to obey tims still smoke in the streets of Boston; when it up: I believed, when that motion was made, the Constitution and laws of the country, may the officers of the United States, while so engaged that it would consume all the time from that hour become so conscientious as to believe that that in the execution of the laws of tho country, are

until the close of the session. It will be recollected higher law requires him to make false oaths in slaughtered in cold blood, the appeal is made that that the enemies of this bill, every one, to a man, behalf of liberty as he terms it? Then, if by your | you shall remove such causes from jurisdictions and some of its friends, have voted to limit the perjured witnesses, paid at the expense of the where they are prejudged, and where your officers session twelve hours short of its constitutional Staie, a man can be thus defrauded of his right, are condemned before being heard. And when duration. I voted against that, for I wished to not satisfied with driving him from your courts of we answer this appeal we are told it will be violat. prolong it to its furthest hour. justice without remedy, without relief, he is to being northern prejudices, and inflaming northern But, sir, I have not risen to discuss the quesimprisoned in the State jail for endeavoring to passion: that we are the aggressors that we are tion at length, as there is a motion pending to vindicate his constitutional right. always the aggressors.

postpone it until to-morrow; but mainly to say Pursuing this course, or as the honorable Sen- We are told that the North does not deprecate that I shall vote against that postponement. ator from Ohio says, this “glorious example,” | the contest; that the North is strong enough to am willing now, believing that it will consume when State tribunals in opposition to decision after || crush us, to put us down. Sir, the North is the entire residue of this session, to lay the bill decision of every Federal court in the country, || strong enough. We feel it, and we know it; and upon the table, much as I desire that it should maintaining and proving, beyond the possibility | though we feel that the North has been strong become a law. I believe thoroughly that a fixed of a doubt or cavil, to every candid man the con- enough at all times to injure us; although we feel purpose exists not to allow it to become a law; stitutionality of the enactments of Congress that this discussion which is going on this day, but to spend the entire time of the session in its when, I say, State tribunals are found asserting and the discussions which have at all times taken discussion, and I therefore say now, that if the their power to declare that that legislation of Con- | place upon this subject, never have had any other | motion to postpone until to-morrow bepressed with gress is unconstitutional, and maintaining the effect than injuring our prosperity and depreciating the intention to take it up again, I will first move right in the States to nullify that legislation by its value, and shaking our rights; and, sir, permit to lay the subject on the table to end the discussion State jurisprudence, we are told here that it is the me to say, undermining our attachment to that upon this occasion; but if the Senator will withSouth which is constantly invading northern rights noble structure of which we were once so proud draw his motion, and we can go on with it now, I

that we are now wantonly violating northern to be members. When we feel this, and know will sit one hour, two hours, ten hours, to hear prejudices, and inflaming northern feelings. Mr. this, we do not feel the disposition to make any || the further discussion of it. If we are to take it President, the condition of the South is now what answer to this taunt of superior power, or superior || up day after day, and spend an hour or two upon it ever has been. Never has the South asked Con- numbers. We but defend ourselves when invaded. | it, we shall see this session closed without any gress to legislate on any occasion, or under any | But, sir, if the time is to come, if the time must valuable business being done. If the Senator provocation upon this subject matter, except when come, when southern men shall be driven into || presses his motion to postpone until to-morrow, 1 its rights were directly violated, or intended to be their last intrenchments before the superior power intervene the motion to lay the bill upon the

table. violated. We have never brought the subject into of a numerical majority that listens to no reason, Mr. TOUCEY. I hope the Senator from MichCongress, except in answer to some attack like that admits of no discussion, that uses for its rule || igan will withdraw the motion, and allow the bill this. Are we liable to the reproach with which nothing but brute power; if the time must come, to be disposed of to-day. It is a bill which apo we have been taunted this morning, that we are when, driven into their last intrenchments, southern | plies to all officers of this Government, in all cases, again inflaming the passion of the North which men and southern States shall be condemned to and there is opposition to the whole bill because will not be put down, which will continue, which dishonorable submission to that majority, or a of one law to which its opponents take exception. will grow in strength and power until we are separation, painful as it may be, peaceful if it may I do not propose to discuss it. I hope the Senacrushed under it? Sir, we have done no such be, but a separation, under all aspects, and at tor will withdraw his motion, and permit the subthing. We deprecate it. We beg, in the language whatever consequences that separation may pro- | ject to be disposed of of the Trojan hero, that we may not be “ drawn | duce, I believe the South will, with one voice, and I appeal to the friends of the measure not to into such contests," for the most that we can do as one man, say, “In good and in ill report we consume time in its discussion, unless in what is to save ourselves harmless. All triumphs that have lived with you as brethren; we have fully they believe to be indispensably necessary, so far we can gain will result but in the simple right to endeavored to do our duty under the Constitution as their own views may be concerned. The bill remain just where we were before the battle was and laws of our country. The bargain that was is a plain one. It is nothing but what has been fought. What interest have we then; what imago | made with you by our fathers, was made at a time done over and over. It is in conformity with the inable motive can actuate Southern men to desire when you fall well knew that we owned slaves, | established law. There is in it nothing new; and the agitation of the question? What Southern and could not consent to give them up, when you as to its necessity, this debate shows that there is man has ever provoked it? A candid retrospect | knew, as well as we did, that it was not in our a necessity for it. Sir, it is my duty, as well as of the history of the country will satisfy every power to get rid of an institution that did not that of every other Senator, to look into the future. man that the charge is not the truth.

originate with us. If you believe yourselves I regard the issue, as presented upon this bill, beMr. President, what is the bill now pending? | degraded by being members of the same Govern- tween those who will oppose the Constitution and Since the foundation of the Federal Government ment with us, let us part in peace."

the laws of this Government and those who will it has been an admitted constitutional principle The South will one day and I regret that my not. Sir, I am bound to declare the conviction that (though now denied by my honorable friend from short experience in this body has persuaded me is fastened upon my mind, that if we are not preOhio (Mr. WADE)-I will still call him my friend, that that day will soon comembe driven to hold || pared here to uphold the Constitution as it is, and for I believe him sincere, though most misguided that position. God grant that day may be de- the laws that are passed in pursuance of it, this in his opinions.) Nay, sir, thero is an express | layed till after I have ceased to occupy a seat here. Union cannot continue to exist. I think our peril clause in the Constitution, requiring its exercise, I hope to take no part in such scenes. I hope to was never greater than it is at this moment; and that every question arising under the Federal legis- assist in averting that last, lamentable catastrophe while I have a seat in this body, on all occasions, lation, arising under the Constitution and laws of to the remotest possible time; but, sir, every day and under all circumstances, I shall feel it my the United States, is embraced within the juris. || I am more and more persuaded it is becoming duty to pursue the liberal and patriotic course of diction of the Federal Courts. From the origin inevitable; and unless that kind Providence which strengthening and upholding the constitutional of your Government you have provided that, in has hitherto watched over our institutions with powers of this Government as essential to the questions of land title, in questions of any kind paternal care; unless that Power which guided | peace and happiness of the country; and, I may, where a right is set up under the law of Congress, our fathers in the Revolution shall now guide us, say, essential to the success of the experiment of or any treaty, and the State tribunals in the last || inspire us with wire counsels, breathe into us thé the capacity of man to govern himself. I hope, sir, resort—the supreme courts of the States-make spirit of peace and good will, and above all, gov- that we shall sit here to-night until we dispose of decisions adverse to the right set up on the prop- crn and guide the conduct of the people of the this bill, and if the postponement is to be pressed erty claimed under the legislation of Congress, North, of our sister States, as we are still happy by the honorable Senator, I beg leave to call for an appeal shall lie from that State tribunal to the and proud to call them; unless this shall be the the year and nays. Supreme Court of the United States. From the case, good bye to this glorious Union of States; Mr. COOPER. I desire to say a very few origin of the Government, where the citizen of good bye to all hopes of the successful attempt of words upon this bill before the question is taken one State sued the citizen of another State, in the mankind at self-government, the last, the great, | upon it; but I do not desire to do it while a motion State under circumstances entitling the defendant the decisive experiment will have failed.

to postpone is pending. If my honorable friend to Federal jurisdiction, there has been a law on Mr. STUART. I should be very glad, before ) from Michigan intends to withdraw that motion, the blatute-books authorizing the removal of the Il the vote is taken upon this bill, to compare its || I will wait until the bill is again regularly before

330 CONG....20 Sess.

Execution of United States Laws-Debate,


the Senate. I shall occupy but a very few mo- our fathers in days long past. It was for this of that State, I believe, have been mainly satisments of their time.

reason, sir, that more than a year ago I raised my || factory everywhere. So it would be generally Mr. STUART. If the honorable Senator from voice against the passage of what was called the throughout the country. I think, therefore, that Pennsylvania will allow me, I would like to say Nebraska bill. I thought I foresaw that, instead | the bill conveys an unjust reflection on the intega very few words, and I will make them very few. of ministering to peace, harmony, and brother-rity of the State tribunals. I do not wish to see I agree with what has been said by the honorablo hood amongst the people of this Union, it would such suspicion cast upon their integrity, and I Senator from Indiana. I thought the action of the serve a different purpose-that it would produce know very well that it was not the intention of Senate this morning in limiting the session, was, agitation, engender discord, and sunder those who the Senator who is the author of this bill to cast under the circumstances, unwise, but a very decided ought to be bound together in the bonds of fellow such a suspicion upon them, but that such will be majority of the Senate thought otherwise, and of ship. Standing where I now stand, I then ven- the effect of the measure is not to be doubted. course I am bound to submit to that decision. I tured to predict that the legislation of Congress These, sir, are the main reasons which induce do not mean to intimate, even, a censure upon the on that subject would be met by countervailing me to record my vote against this bill, and having course pursued; but, sir, we are within some eight | legislation on the part of the States, and that we stated them, I have done my duty and shall leave or nine days of the close of the session; we have || should find the Legislatures of the States enacting the floor to whoever chooses to occupy it. important appropriation bills unacted upon; we laws calculated to prevent the carrying into effect Mr. BAYARD. Mr. President, it was not my have them not moved to be taken up, except when of acts of Congress passed for the purpose of paci- || intention to engage in this discussion, nor even to certain public measures are before ihe Senate, and | fication, and comprising at the time they were open my lips in reference to the subject, for I bewhen those public measures are before the Senate | passed, a part of a general system of adjustment || lieved the measure could well vindicate itself in the appropriation bills are moved and those im- and pacification. That prediction has been veri- the common sense of the country, but after the portant public measures are set aside.

fied. We have seen in Vermont, Michigan, Con. remarks which have been made, I deem it proper I have a very great desire that the measures necticut, and other States, the kind of legislation to say a few words. As a member of the Comthat are in the Senate, before it for action, vitally to which I have referred. I am not standing here mittee on the Judiciary, I approved of the bill affecting the commercial and agricultural interests either to condemn or to vindicate that legislation; | as being within the terms of the Constitution. I of the country, should receive attention. That it is no part of my business.

believed the necessity for it had arisen in consolicitude, on my part, does not arise on account But, sir, my opposition to the bill which is now sequence of the action of several States of the of my preference for this bill, or my prejudice pending, is not because I am unwilling to see all Union, unless we were prepared to abandon the against it, for I have neither; but I only moved to ihe provisions of the Constitution of the United enforcement of the laws of the United States. I do postpone the consideration of the bill until to- States observed in my own State, in every other not mean now to go into the discussion, except to morrow, in the hope that the Senate would come State. I have always, so far as it has been in my make a reply to the closing suggestion of the honto the conclusion, by that time, that it was useless power, advocated and used such influence as 1 | orable Senator from Pennsylvania, (Mr. COOPER,) to expend the remainder of the session in its dis- | possessed to enforce the observance of the laws of which, if true, is really a strong objection to the cussion. That is my opinion to-day; but it is Congress, and the provisions of the Constitution. bill. evident that a very decided majority of the Senate | And, sir, I am not to be held up as an enemy to He supposes that the bill is objectionable on think otherwise. They think that they can sit the Constitution, as an enemy to the South, or as the ground that it is derogatory to, and evinces a this question out; that they can make it a ques- an enemy to any section of the country, because I want of confidence in, the State tribunale. The tion of physical endurance. Sir, I am abundantly choose to record my vote against the bill which is answer is an obvious one: It is not mandatory on willing that they should try it. For myself, I do now pending. I do it because I believe that the a party that he shall be obliged to take advantage not intend to participate in it. I intend to remain bill is in itself improper, that it contains provisions of the provisions of the bill,

and remove the jurishere until a proper hour for adjournment, and then which will operate as a hardship upon those on diction from one court to the other, when he is to abandon this question of physical endurance. | whom it is to act.

sued in a State court. It gives him the option to I mean, as often as the opportunity shall arise Sir, have you looked carefully into the provis- do so. It does not require him to do it. He may during the remainder of the session, to urge upon ions of this bill, and considered their consequences let his case go on and be tried in the State court, the attention of the Senate the passage of these upon suitors in the courts? The first and main if he sees fit so to do. Now, in what respect is highly important bills. Sir, there is lying upon || provision of the bill is, that in any suit arising | this more derogatory to the jurisdiction of the your table a bill which concerns the whole com- under a law of the United States, which may here- | courts of the States, and the fair exercise of their mercial interest of this country; it concerns the after be brought, or which is now pending, against | jurisdiction, than the provision which exists in the lives of millions of persons who are now emigra- an officer of the United States, or any other person | Federal Constitution, and has existed in the laws ting to this country. It has been passed by the acting under the authority of the United States, || from the origin of the Government, which enables House of Representatives, and lies upon your the party defendant may, by filing a petition in a citizen of one State, when sued in the courts of table for action. There is another one which con. the court in which the suit is pending, or may another, to transfer it to a Federal tribunal? You cerns a very large portion of the people of the bor. be brought, remove it to the circuit court of the might, under the same plea that it was derogatory der, and it lies upon your table now. There are United States, there to be disposed of. Now, to the character of the State judiciary, avoid the others upon the Calendar. Theappropriation bills will not this operate harshly in many cases? Does | entire Federal jurisdiction.* are in a similar condition; and all I mean to do at it not violate the rights of the citizens of the States Sir, I cannot see the force of this objection of this moment is simply, so far as any personal in a most essential manner? Suppose some officer my honorable friend from Pennsylvania, and it responsibility rests upon me, to wash my hands or agens in the arrest of a fugitive slave should seems to me to be really the only objection which of the failure which any of those great measures commit a wanton aggression on some citizen, has been made to the bill that has even plausibility. may experience at the hands of Congress. If it abuse his person, and that citizen seeking redress | It is no reflection upon any State, because if the should turn out that I am mistaken; if it should || should institute a suit against the officer for the case be tried in the Federal court before the district turn out that a majority of the Senate are right in trespass committed on him before some State tri- || judge, it must be tried before a citizen of the State; consuming time, day after day, upon measures bunal, has he not a right to be heard there, and to it must be tried as a civil suit is tried, before a jury that are inferior in their consequence, and in their have the injury that has been inflicted on him of that State, whether tried in the Federal or State present importance, why, sir, no man will be redressed there? Surely, sir, there are few who court. All that the bill secures is this; We have more gratified than myself. I shall be happy, will deny to the citizens of the States a right of || practical evidence before us that some of the States when iwelve o'clock on the right of the 3d of such inestimable value. What will be the conse- of this Confederacy have so far forgotten their allem March arrives, to see the whole Calendar disposed quence of this bill in such a case? The citizen will giance to the Union as to pass laws with the intenof, and disposed of properly. Sir, the Senator be dragged to a distance in order that the question tion of putting the laws of the Union at defiance. from Georgia, (Mr. Dawson,) who had two hours | between him and his adversary may be tried before ) A high tribunal of at least one State has, (in defiassigned to him the other day for the consideration a distant tribunal, thus increasing the expense, and ance of the express opinion of nearly every Judge of important bills relating to this District, has not virtually to him a redress for the injury which he l of the Supreme Court, and some of the ablest State yet been able to get one of them acted on. So it has suffered. This is one of the consequences tribunals of the country, even in those States which has been with other cases.

which will flow from the passage of this bill. are most deeply infected with Abolition feelings,) Mr. President, I beg to have it understood by Another objection to it is, that it reflects unjustly determined to put the laws of the United States at the Senate, that all I desire, and all I wish, is upon the integrity of the State tribunals, and will defiance. Such being the case, this bill provides simply to discharge my duty, as I think, and to be followed by no good result. Let me assure that, when men acting under the laws of the United rid myself of personal responsibility. I do not my southern friends that I know something of the || States, or those who aid them, shall be found in mean io intimate that the action of the Senate, or state of feeling in the North, and I know that the such circumstances that they cannot be fairly of any individual Senator, is in the least degree passage of this bill will be attended by just such tried in the courts of a State, they may remove inexpedient or improper. Therefore, as a majority | effects as attended the passage of the Nebraska | the jurisdiction, not out of the State, but to the of the Senate evidently desire it, I withdraw the act a year ago. Instead of subduing agitations, Federal tribunals of that State. There is nothing,

preventing feuds and controversies, it will stir up therefore, reflecting upon the tribunals of any State Mr. COOPER. I do not rise to reply to any ill-blood, engender discord anew, and hasten the whatever. The transfer of the forum is left to the of the speeches that have been made in support of time adverted to so eloquently and feelingly by option of the defendant. The jurisdiction of the this measure, but only for the purpose of stating my friend from Louisiana, (Mr.

BENJAMIN. Sir, State does not cease; the right to sue is not taken the reasons which induce me to vote against this in your State and in mine, and in a large majority away; but if, under particular circumstances aris. bill.

of the States of the Union, is there any danger ing from the fact that either by the legislation of I have no pleasure in agitation, and I shall not that the courts will not do justice! I will not say the State, or by the influence of popular passion deal in arguments calculated to excite sectional all

, but in a very large majority of the States of on the judiciary, the defendant, who is sued for controversy or ill-blood. I have never done so. the Union, is there any danger that the State tri- an act done under a law of the United States has 1

prefer to see harmony prevailing between the bunals will not do justice? In my own State this no chance for justice in that State, then, and then different sections

of the Union, and I would be question is no longer a matter of controversy. It alone, it will be necessary for him to remove the glad to see the old

accord restored which animated l has been settled, and the judgment of the tribunals || jurisdiction from the one court to the other. All

[ocr errors]

motion to postpone.

330 CONG.... Ist Sess.

Execution of United States Laws-Debate.



the poor privilege asked, is that it shall go before indorsed by your so called Democratic Conven- is to be, and who ought to be, the arbiter between a court composed of citizens of the same State, | tions? Was not the President whom you last the General Government and a State? He who and be tried by a jury of the State, but freed from elected nominated upon the very platform on contends that the Federal Government, in the last the local excitement which would otherwise im- which I oppose this bill? Did not your own con- resort, under complaints like these, is to determine pair the chance of justice in the decision of the vention which nominated him indorse without ob- in her courts such questions, is an enemy to that

jection the resolutions of 1798, passed, sir, by your freedom which was guaranteed to us by the Con. I submit, then, Mr. President, that this is noth- own State (and you, no doubt, are proud of it) in stitution of the United States as interpreted by ing more than a law proposed to carry out effect. order to resist a law infinitely less objectionable | the greatest statesmen whoever adorned the annals ually the provisions of other laws of the United than this. Sir, those who went before you in of this country. Here, sir, I am denounced beStates. Its necessity is shown by the fact, not that | that old State of Virginia, invoked the principle cause 1 invoke this great principle to my aid, and all-God forbid that even a majority of the States of those resolutions in opposition to the infamous to the aid of my Slate, when you seek to crowd of this Union should descend so low-but that alien and sedition law. Do I claim any more her to the wall by a most objectionable and unsome of the States have determined by their laws than they did? The Senator from Illinois said I constitutional law, which deprives the citizen of that they will put at defiance the legislation of was the advocate of dissolution and nullification; his rights without trial by jury, denying him Congress, adjudicated to be constitutional; and that but when I asked him whether he subscribed to even that great writ of right, habeas corpus; for they will, by their legislation, provide that a man the doctrine contained in those great resolutions, l you so penned the law that you said, in substance, whose slave escapes from one State into another, I must say that he ignominiously dodged the that no process issuing from any judge, court, or though the Constitution of the United States guar- | question. (Laughter.] Surely a Democrat, a man || jurisdiction whatever, should interfere with your anties the rights of property to him, shall not be who stands ostensibly before the country on that | summary proceeding. What did you mean when permitted to claim his property without the peril, | ground, ought to be the last to rise here and charge you penned that law?. Did you not intend to if his proof fails, of standing convicted of felony a Senator with nullification because he appeals to strike at the habeas corpus ? Did you not do it by the laws of the State where he may make the the great resolutions of Virginia in vindication of in terms so plain as to avoid all doubt? I say it claim.

the rights of his own State against an impending is unconstitutional, and my State will adjudge so Mr. WADE. Mr. President, it is not my pur- | danger. The sophistry of that Senator shall not whenever it comes to the point; and glory to Wispose to enter into debate on this subject, for the avail him.

consin, for her courts, in the last resort, have de bill has been so recently introduced that I confess It will not do for the Senator from Illinois to termined it to be so. There is one sovereign Stato it escaped my observation that any such bill was get up here and rail against me, and those who which has asserted the great doctrine which your before us, until the Senator from Connecticut called act with me, as violating our oaths, trampling on State, sir, (Mr. Mason in the chair) invoked in it up. I believe it has not been reported more the just laws of the Government, and opposing || 1798 to free yourselves from the exercise of power than two or three days, and among the multipli- || laws passed in accordance with the Constitution that threatened to reduce you to slavery. Your city of business which challenged my attention, I of the United States. Such statements evince a great ancestors rose against it, and made the declar. had failed to see that there was any such proposi- | degree of sophistry unworthy of the intelligence || ation of the platform on which I stand to-day, and tion as this pending before us, or likely to come of that gentleman. He knows he did not meet on which you who are honest Democrats stand, and up for action during this session. I had begun to the case; nay, sir, he did not intend to meet the from which you will not shrink in the day of trial, congratulate myself upon the idea that at least one case which I put. I could not wring it from him unless you mean to indorse them at Baltimore and session was to pass away without further agita- to-day, whether he stood upon your resolutions of deny them at Washington. (Laughter.) Then I tion of this great subject. But, sir, in that I have | 1798 or upon some other doctrine. He told you am not to be condemned as a nullifier, or as a been disappointed. I am not now prepared to say that I was one of those who always stood up to disunionist, unless I fall with the great Democratic all that ought to be said. I am not prepared to go ridicule the doctrine of those great resolutions, party upon the main plank in the last platform into a full discussion of this great subject, which and, therefore, had no right to invoke them now in which they erected. Wisconsin has availed heris more interesting to the American people than favor of the principles which I advocate. This self of those great principles that Virginia asany other that has, or probably ever will, come was a miserable, sophistical, shrinking from the serted in times of danger, and here now a northern before them, for he is blind who does not see that true question which I put to him.. But the state- man stands forth to be my censurer. this question overrides all others. Perhaps there ment was not true, in fact. Where did I stand, Sir, I have said that I am condemned by a are those who deprecate this state of things, and except upon those very resolutions ? I have northern man. I wish it had been a southern man. who wish this great subject were thrown into the looked for them in the brief period which I have I could have borne it from him with more patience. background, and that it had never made itself had to prepare on this subject, but I have not I can bear almost anything from that quarter; for known here; but that is absolutely impossible. It | been able to lay my hands upon them, though I | I know southern men feel a strong interest on is here, and we must meet it.

should be glad to do so. They form part and this subject, which excuses almost any degree of I said before that I was no agitator. I believe parcel of your own Baltimore platform, and you zeal which they may see fit to exercise. I can you will all bear witness that, while I have had the ought to be acquainted with them, and no doubt || appreciate it and understand it well. But when a honor of a seat here, I have, of all men, been the you are. Now, let me ask any man if those northern man comes forward with a proposition last to provoke a discussion on this question; but resolutions do not sustain the doctrine which I like this, and a northern man stands forth as its not because I was adverse to it if those equally in- | have maintained here to-day? I never ridiculed | advocate, I confess that, as a son of the North, my terested with my constituents should see fit to bring them. I always believed it was necessary to face burns with an unusual glow, which I dare it forward. Far otherwise; I regard it as my duty || invoke their principle in the last resort to defend not name. to come armed to the teeth with arguments to de- the liberty of the citizen who was to pass his days The Senator from Illinois has undertaken to fend the views of my constituents on all occasions in freedom, beneath the protection of the laws of make a halting defense for the course he has taken and under all circumstances. I have risen now his own State, and prevent the controlling and on the subject of slavery. He plumes himself more to answer some arguments that have been centralizing power of this great Government, and upon being the advocate of all pro-slavery moremade since I took my seat before, than for the || I believe in it to-day. It is not my habit to refer ments in and out of Congress. I do not believe purpose of reopening the general discussion of the to such matters on every little bill that may come the free people of his great and glorious State bequestion.

before us; but when great questions like this arise, | lieve that it is his proper business to be the especial I have already said that I believe the bill to be upon which the very, vitality of our republican advocate of what he may consider the rights of most objectionable, that I believe it trenches on the institutions depend, it is a fit occasion for the the South on this subject. They possibly think rights of the States, that it is an implied insult to the exercise of the principle of those resolutions; and that the South is amply able to defend itself; but integrity of the States and the courts of the States I shall fearlessly invoke it to my aid.

the Senator volunteers to be its advocate. Why of this Union. I know it will be received in that What did the Virginia resolutions of 1798 set is it? What is the reason for it? Have the people spirit, whether it be so intended or not. I know forth? You, no doubt, recollect, Mr. President, of Ilinois forgotten that injunction of more than that the law which it is the purpose of this bill to what it was that they sought to attain. You re- heavenly wisdom, that " Where a man's treasure carry out was couched in terms most odious and member, or at any rate you know from history, || is, there will his heart be also." objectionable. I fear, sir, (Mr. Mason in the what strange doctrines had been incorporated into The Senator from Illinois has endeavored to chair,) and no man knows the fact better than || judicial decisions, what false constructions of the break the force of the great northern sentiment yourself, that it was drawn up and penned in a Constitution had been made by that court which which has broken out in condemnation of the measvindictive spirit, in a desire to punish those whom is now so much revered; for the alien and sedition ures of last winter, by ascribing it to all others you considered as making unreasonable objection | law was upheld by that tribunal. Mr. Lyon, than the true cause. It was my fortune to stand to your institutions. I fear that was the fact. At and some others, were pining away their lives in here on the dark and gloomy night when the nefaany rate no bill on earth could be more calculated northern prisons by the judgments of the Supreme | rious Nebraska act was passed. Its passage was to stir a free people, who had any spirit left in them, || Court of the United States when these resolutions followed by the boom of your cannon as we left than that bill which it is the purpose of this to were passed for their overthrow, and for the re- this place in the early hours of the morning. ! carry out; and in order to carry it out, you now vindication of the rights of the States, and the recollect it well. I thought then your triumph propose to take away from the State courts the liberties of the citizen; and, sir, I invoke them must be short. You recollect that I told you ! power and the jurisdiction of protecting their own now for the same purpose.

would take an appeal from you to the people. ! citizens.

I am no advocaie for nullification; but in the told you I would go home and prosecute this great Sir, I have been charged here with being a nulli- | nature of things, according to the true interpreta- causé before the assembly of the people themfier. It has been said that I stand upon the floor of tion of our institutions, a State in the last resort, selves, and not confide it to judges here in whom the Senate of the United States an advocate for dis- || crowded to the wall by the General Government I had not the utmost confidence on such a ques. union and nullification. Well, sir, I care but little seeking by the strong arm of its power to take tion. I did go home to the State of Ohio, and I how I am charged here. It sits easier upon no away the rights of the State, is to judge of whether there prosecuted the appeal. I told the people man's mind than upon mine. But how stands | she shall stand on her reserved rights. I differ what you had done. I told them of the measures the fact? Have I invoked, in opposition to this with the Senator from Illinois on the question which had been concocted here to extend the area detestable bill, any principle that has not been ll whether this be constitutional; but now I ask who Il of slavery, and send it, if you could, all over the 330 CONG....20 Sess.

Ececution of United States Laws--Debate.


[ocr errors]

continent. For the consolation of the Senator | restored, and that was all they proclaimed. Not yourselves that it was brought about by Knowfrom Mlinois, let me tell him that he then had one a word did they say about Know-Nothingism. || Nothingism, but I say it is no such thing; and if advantage which he will never have again. It was Not a syllable was lisped in that convention in it was, it is all the same; and even Know-Nothingthen said, in and out of Congress, that the Ne- reference to the rights of foreigners. Look at ism, if it has the least sentiment of justice in it, braska bill was only a mere abstraction; that the their resolutions; read their proceedings, and you will repudiate and denounce the legislation of last South claimed nothing from it, because slavery can find no mark of what you call Know-Noth- winter I know not whether this be go; but if would never go into the interior of this great conti- ingism. Though, formerly of all parties, they the Know-Nothings are just men, they will do it. nent in consequence of what you did.

You your

assembled together, and dropped their old party Mr. DOUGLAS. That is Abolition ground. selves denied it; and even some who advocated distinctions in a great movement to preserve the Mr. WADE. Well, sir, Abolition ground is our side of the question were weak enough to honor of the free States, and especially of the very different from what it formerly was. I suppose that slavery was not of a grasping nature, || State of Ohio. They resolved that every man remember the day when, even in the free States, it and would not go just as far as the law would whose whole soul had not shown itself in oppo- was dangerous for a man to say what I have been permit it to go. I remember him (Mr. EverETT} sition to the Nebraska bill, should be politically saying here to-day. I can remember that men who made that soothing declaration; and I know executed and buried. On that principle they were mobbed in the free States for using language that for making it, and for partially shrinking from proceeded, and the Senator from Illinois might || much more measured than I have pretended to use the responsibilities which he ought boldly to have have known it if he had looked at the facts, for before you. I have seen members of the party assumed, able as he was, and old statesman as he is shrewd, and understands the whole political resting under this odium now elevated io be he was, possessing ability hardly equaled in the field very well,

Governors of Slat to be Representatives in country, he has been driven by the intelligent How was it in Cincinnati, where there are per- | Congress, to be filling all the offices of honor and people of Massachusetts into private life, there to haps as many foreigners as native American citi- profit of sundry sovereign States of this Union. remain forever; and, sir, the verdict is most just. zens? Those men who had belonged previously to And now, when the cause for such revolutions of

The Senator from Illinois, however, is entirely the Democratic party, and that party had been per- public sentiment exists in a ten-fold degree more wrong in ascribing the overthrow which he and fectly invincible in all elections, carrying that city than ever before, is it philosophical to suppose his measure have met, to Know-Nothingism or and county by majorities of thousands, and some- that it will cease? When the danger is imminent any other ism except the nefarious Nebraska bill. times many thousands. How was the result and impending, that the interior of this great conThat is the cause, and it will be proved. I told || there? Why, sir, if they hated foreigners less, tinent is to be subverted to the nefarious purposes you then that your tables literally groaned beneath || they hated your Nebraska bill more; for the vote 1 of slavery, do you suppose the people of the the number of petitions sent in imploring you shows that the people of that city, irrespective North will retire from the position which they Democrats, who professed to have a regard for of any issue of Know-Nothingism, came up and have taken? I think not, Mr. President. I have the public will, to stay your hand in time to save vindicated the rights of freedom. Foreigners no fears of any such retrogression; it is impossible. the country from the necessities which have since and those you call Native Americans, or Know-) You have driven the North against the wall; she devolved upon it. I say that during the whole Nothings, stood side by side, voting for the same has been forced, reluctantly, to take her stand existence of this Government, there never has candidates. Your overthrow was not more signal there, but she will defend her rights. I know she been a time when the people were moved with and complete in any portion of the State than in has been charged with aggression by my friend such deep feeling as on that occasion, when they the city of Cincinnati, where foreigners most from Louisiana, (Mr. BENJAMIN,] for, as he said implored their Senators from the North to stay abound. The same remark is true of Cleveland, ll of me, I will call him a friend; I have no reason their hands, and withhold them from the ignominy 1 where they have for many years held the balance to call him anything else, for I have received of the Nebraska bill. I said so then. I told you of power when they would wield it. Forgetting nothing but kindness and respect at his hands. that a free people, who, by resolutions and peti- that they were foreigners, but recollecting well He being a southern man, I am the last one to tions, had implored their representatives to stay that they were freemen, and that their rights were assail him for defending his institutions. I have their hands from the enactment of the most objec- in jeopardy, they voted with those you have no doubt that if my habits and education had been tionable measure, would not fail to meet your dis- called Know-Nothings to the discomfiture and like his, our positions would have been reversed obedience with a signal and fatal overthrow, and overthrow of your party. Does not that prove to to-day. I can understand that very well, and would cause you to feel that you had made a poor l you that the bold and confident assertion you have make all allowances for it. But I will say to that use of your brief authority. It was impossible made is entirely without foundation? No, sir; no friend, that he is mistaken when he says the North that it could be allowed to be done with impunity. transient or permanent principle or sentiment of have been the aggressors. When he makes that

The result has shown that all I claimed, yea, Know-Nothingism was connected with that great assertion, he has mistaken and misread the history more than I claimed, has taken place, although issue, nor will it be henceforth. The result in of his Government. I wish to ask the Senator 10 you had the advantage of declaring that you were Ohio was brought about by abhorence of a meas- be more particular, and to specify wherein the only the advocates of an abstract principle from ure for extending slavery over a Territory which North have been the aggressors upon this subject which no practical evil could possibly result. And was made free by a sacred compact, and the free- of slavery. I deny that they have ever been the the people themselves believed, at the time, that it || dom of which had been purchased, and the price aggressors; but, on the other hand, their patience was impossible that the old Missouri compromise, was in your own pockets.

has not been exceeded by the patience of some time-honored as it was, which had received the But, Mr. President, can the gentleman draw | long-eared animals with which you do your sanction of every department of the Government, consolation from what has followed? I have told drudgery. (Laughter.) You have goaded them which had been slumbering in security for one you that during the last canvass you had this almost to desperation. You have compelled them third of a century, could be overthrown for the advantage over those who were opposing your ne- to rise; yea, sir, if they had the spirit of men in bare purpose of carrying slavery into the territory | farious measures; that it was impossible then to them, the ascendency which you now wield in the from which that compromise excluded it, particu- | convince the free people of the North that you Halls of Congress would not be suffered to remain; larly after they, who were the parties to the com- really did contemplate bringing that great country but the whole question would have been quieted, promise, had received the price, and had in their into the Union as slave country. You told them, because every man on this floor coming from a pockets the full benefits of the bargain. In con- then, that you were the advocates of popular sov- free State, believing in the traditions of his ancessequence of your action last winter, in breaking || ereignty-ihat that was the basis on which you

tors, the advocate of universal freedom, would, at down that sacred compromise, men in the State of proceeded to pass that hateful act; you told us least, have possessed the influence here which a Ohio ceased to be either Whigs, Democrats, or that your object was to vindicate the rights of the man has in this great Republic because he is the Free-Soilers. The old parties crumbled to the people in the Territories. You said they should advocate of abject slavery. dust, as though stricken with the palsy. Freemen be allowed to form just such institutions as they Who, sir, does not know that we are not now became alarmed at your invasion of their rights. pleased--a right uiterly denied by the whole ad- regarded on this floor as equals, though we repreThey saw that if these things were not nipped in ministration of this Government from its founda- sent sovereign States? Look at the great State of the bud the whole continent was to be sold out, tion to this time, and even denied in your bill, Ohio. Do you permit her representatives on this they themselves not excepted, to the grasp of | except on this one question. Now, sir, how have floor to occupy a position upon any committee slavery. The result was an overwhelming major- ll you carried it out? * How have you magnified this where they can have a voice, or a scintilla of judg. ity, in that State, in opposition to your Nebraska issue? How have you driven the free States

moulding the policy of this country? bíll.

almost to madness? And now you undertake, in No, sir; not at all. My colleague, (Mr. Chase,) The Senator from Illinois has said that Know- \ furtherance of your usurpations, to pass this bill. I whom you will admit with me, is, in point of Nothingism brought about that result, that men, Do we not know-are we blind to the fact-that, l talent, in moral qualities, in everything that makes however they differed on everything else, when on the borders of a slave State adjoining one of the true man and the republican, inferior to no they got into secret councils, agreed that they the Territories over which the so called principle one on this foor, where is he placed? What did would punish the traitors who had inflicted this of popular sovereignty was extended, there have you do with him when he first came here? You injury upon them. If that were true, nothing been meetings resolving that those who they dare told him that he belonged to an unhealthy organiwould have been more natural than that the pre- to call Abolitionists should never be allowed to go zation, and you banished him from all participa

which overrode everything else, into that Territory, and that they themselves lion in the business of any committee. At the should prevail. The fact, however, was not so. would go there with bowie-knives and pistols and next session, thinking, perhaps, that you had Know.Nothingism scarcely had a local habitation put down all sentiment except their own? Do taken a ground which was a little too strong, you or a name within the State of Ohio when you you think the people will look with more com- banished him to the Committee on Claims. That, passed your Nebraska bill. What did the people placency now on your proceedings than they did to be sure, is a useful committee; but it has no do in consequence of that measure? They assem. when you had the advantage of saying that all political influence whatever. On that one combled in mass conventions at the capital of the you contended for was a mere abstraction, because mittee you put both the representatives of Ohio, State, and, merging every other question in a great | slavery would never gain a foothold in Nebraska although it is unusual to put two Senators from movement for the vindication of the rights of man and Kansas? I tell you, nay; but the verdict the same State on the same committee. You and their own rights against threatened aggres- | rendered by the people last fall is to be a final have so arranged your committees that no man sions, they determined that freedom should be li verdict; you never will repeal it. You may flatter Il can look at the list, no man can look at your

[merged small][ocr errors]


dominant cause,

[ocr errors]

330 CONG....20 Sess.

Execution of United States Laws--Debate.


was all.

measures, and fail to see that you have so or- but I am sure the honorable Senator from Ohio | to-though I did not intend to take part in this dered it here, that those who have no more than does not wish to state anything inconsistent with discussion-I suppose justice at least requires me one third of the votes of the Government shall historical truth.

to interpose, and I hope the honorable Senator will mould every measure, and you suffer nothing to Mr. WADE. Not if I know it.

allow me to do so. pass here except what is palatable to that one Mr. BUTLER. Now, with regard to Mr. Cal. Mr. WADE. Certainly, sir. section. I do not accuso southern men of doing || houn, whose name is frequently quoted as author- Mr. BUTLER. I venture to say that there is wrong in that. Undoubtedly they do very much ity on these subjects, I will say, that I think he nothing in any of the legislative resolutions or as I would do myself. It is human nature, and I was opposed to the acquisition of territory from || anything connected with that fearful controversy accuse you not. You are good fellows, so far as Mexico. He was certainly opposed to the Mex- of 1849 and 1850, at all looking to the fact that I am concerned, for you advocate what you con

ican war.

I am not aware of anything in the California was to be excluded because she was a sider your own rights, and your own principles; || history of the past to authorize the statement of free State. I do not know how the gentleman has but, sir, what shall I say of those who permit the honorable Senator from Ohio, that Mr. Cal. got that idea into his head. We have always you to bring ignominy and inferiority upon the houn wrote to Mr. Pakenham in reference to the taken the ground in South Carolina and Georgia, representatives of the North? It is done, and acquisition of any Mexican territory. And allow (and I think that every other southern State has every man sees it and feels it.

me to say to the honorable Senator from Ohio, | taken the ground,) that the people of each State This measure, if it has any vitality, is gotten | (whatever may have been the aim, and I do not have the right to do as they think proper upon up for the benefit of the South, and yet it is believe there was any such aim,) it is very certain that subject. What we did complain of was that brought forward by a man from the North. How that not one inch of the territory acquired from California was brought in by a process unknowa does this happen? Why are all the rest silent | Mexico, so far as I know, has been occupied by to the previous history of the country, and that upon it? Why was it that the great and enor. a slave population, so that his own statement is mous megoure of the Nebraska bill, repealing the refuted by the facts before him.

Mr. WADE. I understand it. Missouri compromise, was also brought in by a Mr. WADE. I was speaking of the avowed Mr. BUTLER. Now, mind, Mr. President, northern man: These things make an impression object of the acquisition, not of its result. I think what the honorable Senator has said on this floor, on my mind which is never produced by what I have not misread that most extraordinary docu- | and he has said it on the responsibility of a Sena. falls from any of my southern friends in advocal- ment to which I have alluded, nor the reply of Mr. tor. I repeat, that it may go forth to the public, ing their doctrines.

Pakenham to it, nor the rejoinder of Mr. Calhoun. || he said Georgia and South Carolina passed resoBut, sir, the Senator from Louisiana said that Mr. BUTLER. To be fair to the gentleman, Ilutions that California should not come into this the North were the aggressors. Let me ask him will state that I have no doubt his remark is refer- | Union otherwise except as a slave State, or, in if there is not a law in his State by which a man able to Texas, and not to Mexico.

other words, that the door wouid be shut against going there from other States, if his color, like Mr. WADÉ. I think I said Texas.

her if she applied as a free State. Now, sir, is mine, is a little darker than it ought to be, (laugh- Mr. BUTLER. No, sir; you did not.

that the truth? ter,] is seized upon and put in prison, though he Mr. WADE. Well, I said Mexican war, and Mr. WADE. Mr. President, of course we may be the citizen of a free State, entitled, under the acquisition of Texas brought on that war. are taken here by surprise. I have had to rely the Constitution of the United States, to the same Mr. BROWN, (jocularly.) Now you have it upon my memory for all these transactions which privileges and immunities as the citizens of any right.

are past, and I cannot now refer to the documents. State?

Mr. WADE. I am glad to know that I have I have no desire to do any injustice to either of Mr. BENJAMIN. I will answer the Senator || it right now.

those States, or to misrepresent a single point of from Ohio, if he will permit me to do so.

Mr. BUTLER. But it took about four trials that controversy. I certainly understood their Mr. WADE. Ceriainly, sir. to get it so.

position to be what I have stated. I did not, of Mr. BENJAMIN. It is true that the free Mr. WADE. Mr. Calhoun asserted, when he course, mean to say that the objection was open, blacks coming to Louisiana are confined until the made his apology to England, that the necessity | avowed, and manifest that the opposition was vessel in which they come goes out again, when of the acquisition was in order to get room for because California applied as a free State, but the they are sent out with it. I am told, however, 1 slavery. I am not mistaken about that. It was opposition was made to her coming in when sho that when they go to certain noso hern States, they the avowed purpose for which you wanted that knocked at your door for admission, and I have are met on the frontiers, and not allowed to come acquisition, with a full knowledge that it would said that that was the real cause. in at all.

give rise to war, and that it would be a just cause Mr. DAWSON. I did not interrupt the Sen. Mr. WADE. I do not think there is any law of war on the part of Mexico; and, in this way, ator to correct him in relation to the State of to support that practice, if it prevails in the north- you made the free North pay an immense sum in Georgia, although I might properly have done so. ern States; but I do not think it does.

order to get that acquisition, which Mr. Calhoun, 1 abstained from it, because the impression was Mr. PETTIT. The Senator will allow me to then your Secretary of State, said was for that made on my mind by the course of this discussay that we have not only in Indiana a constitu- || very purpose. There was an aggression, I think, | sion, that the great object of the Senator from tional provision, but a law carrying out that pro- of some considerable importance.

Ohio was to create prejudice in one section of the vision, positively prohibiting any free black, or In the next place, when the territory thus ac- country against the other, and I had come to the mulatio, from coming in and settling in the State. quired from Mexico came to be admitted into the conclusion that the period was rapidly arriving One word further: we have imposed a penalty for Union, what was done! The controversy in when it would be unnecessary for either section to a violation of that law: we have not barbarously regard to the whole of it has not yet been determ- | try to correct the errors of the other. I can see imposed that penalty on the black man, but on the ined, but you have provided that it may come in no good that this discussion is to lead to. I can white man who dares to harbor and dares to either with or without slavery, and you have re- see nothing to result from it, except the creation of employ him.

served the right, as in the case of Kansas and excitement in one section against the other. I do Mr. WADE. I will ask that Sepator if he was Nebraska, to use all your influence to procure it not intend to limit, by any act of mine, the extent an advocate of that law? to be brought in as slave country.

of any observations which any Senators may Mr. PETTIT. I was.

Mr. BENJAMIN. California ?

desire to make. I will say, however, that Georgia Mr. WADE. I supposed so; and I say it does Mr. WADE. Yes, sir, California I refer to; || never has, from her foundation to the present not elevate its advocates in my estimation.

and recollect that Georgia and, I believe, some hour, assumed any other principle then that each Mr. PETTIT. I would like to enforce the law other southern States, but at all events Georgia Stalo has the right to come into the Union with against the man who would violate it.

and South Carolina resolved that it was a good such institutions as she pleases, with or without Mr. WADE. I understand the gentleman, per cause for a dissolution of this Union, if that Stato slavery. No such issue as was stated by the Senfectly; but I say, in my judgment, it is a law most came in free.

ator from Ohio has ever been presented in our infamous and disgraceful to that free State.

Mr. BUTLER. It is not so.

public meetings or the Legislature of the State. Mr. PETTIT. We choose to judge of the breed Mr. DOUGLAS. Never.

It is undoubtedly true that there was some dissatof dogs we want

Mr. WADE. Yes, sir; Georgia resolved it. isfaction with the manner in which California Mr. WADE. I only give my opinion of the Mr. DOUGLAS. 1 undertake to say that no came into the Union, and in which it was made a law; but, sir, I was speaking of a certain law of State in this Union ever resolved thai the ad. Stato. The only objection was to the mode. Louisiana. It is of no consequence, at present, | mission of a new free State was a cause of dis- Mr. WADE.' Well, sir, of course I stand corwhether we have such a law as was alluded to; union. The Senator can produce no authority, rected by the remarks of gentlemen from those but it is a matter of consequence whether Louisi- | record or otherwise, for any such statement. States, who ought to know the facts better than I ana, which stands here the accuser of those who Mr. WADE. I think I can.

do. I was barely relying on my recollection. I have laws in their own vindication, has herself a Mr. DOUGLAS. I undertake to say he can. had not investigated the point. "I never regarded law by which she claims to deprive a citizen of not, and the Senators from Georgia will tell him that as so fearful a controversy as gentlemen mag. another State of his constitutional rights. I say

nify it to here. I was far distant from this Hall a Senator from that State ought not to stand forth Mr. WADE. I do not believe they will. at that time; and the noise reached us, but we had as the accuser until he has washed his hands by Mr. DOUGLAS. Yes, sir; they will.

no idea that the controversy was so foarful as gen. wiping out such an odious law. But it is said Mr. DAWSON. I will.

tlemen now represent. It arrested my attention that the North are the aggressors. When did we Mr. WADE. Will the Senator from Georgia sufficiently to look into the proceedings of Con. aggress? What did we do? I remember full well tell me what they did resolve?

gress, and I think that some southern States did that you plunged us into the war with Mexico in Mr. DOUGLAS. That is a different question. pass resolutions stating the grounds which would order to get territory for slavery. You avowed I only said the statement of the Senator is without | justify them in going out of the Union. This that you did it for that purpose. Mr. Calhoun, | foundation, and is contradicted by the records may be a misrecollection on my part, but it is cer. in his letter to Mr. Pakenham, openly avowed the || and the history of the country.

tainly my memory. I undertake to slate it only necessity of acquiring territory for that very pur. Mr. WADÉ. I think I cannot be mistaken in as a matter of recollection. But what was the pose. thiga

object of the compromise made in 1850? Was it Mr. BUTLER. I should not say anything, Mr. BUTLER. As my Stato has been alluded Il not said to be, by its advocates, to save the Union

rith us.


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »