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330 CONG....20 Sess.
Territorial Policy—Mr. Goodwin.
Ho. OF REPS.
and climate are favorable to the existence and they did not consider it worthy the eulogy bestowed as the Whig presidential candidate, while I was growth of that institution; the prices current of | upon it by the honorable member. In this respect, elected by three hundred majority. They have men and women are published, ranging from Mr. Chairman, though an humble individual, now claimed their right, and sent a Whig to repre$800 to $1,500, as evidence of the state of the am proud to stand on the same platform with sent them. market and the demand for human chattels. If, | George Washington, the Father of his Country, Mr. GOODE. I understand the gentleman from sir, all of the Representatives from the free States with Thomas Jefferson, with James Madison; a New York to say, I hope I misunderstood himwho supported this measure, and without whose platform composed of the principles of all those that he and the great body of northern Repreaid it could not have become a law, could have great apostles of human freedom, who were bap- sentatives in this Hall represent a constituency realized, what seemed so apparent, that its chief rized in the blood of the Revolution, and whose who mean to press to its passage a law prohibitend and aim was to exclude freedom from, and locks were sprinkled with the waters of that polit- | ing slavery from Kansas and Nebraska. plant slavery in, these Territories; if they could | ical Jordan through which they passed to the (Cries of “ · Certainly.''] have seen the results that have followed, and || promised land of freedom.
Mr. GOODE. They mean to pass a law that others that are foreshadowed, it would, perhaps, I fear, Mr Chairman, that I am consuming too slavery shall not be extended into the area of Terbe unjust to suppose that a sufficient number much of the time of the committee. (Cries ofritories belonging to the United States. could have been found so recreant and subser- “No!"'"Go on!'']
Mr. GOODWIN. Yes, sir, where it does not vient as to have secured by their votes its passage. Mr. FLORENCE. I will ask the gentleman a now exist. And now that there is no longer concealment, | question. While the gentleman is speaking of Mr. GOODE. I understand the gentleman to now that the form and shape it has assumed is what he chooses to call freedom, it occurs to me say that slavery shall not be extended into any of familiar to all, Congress should awaken to the that the opponents of what has been called the || the Territories of the United States; and that the disgrace and infamy of planting, by the legislation “Nebraska iniquity,"the gentlemen from New northern Representatives will oppose the admisof a free Government, slavery, the guiltiest of all | York, (Messrs. Hughes, Hastings, and others,] sion of Kansas as a slave State. despotisms, with its long train of blighting influ- were not remarkably successful before the people. Mr. GOODWIN. If I were to be here I should ences, in territory where, but for that legislation, || How was it that they were stricken down? I do vote against Kansas coming in as a slave Slate. the soil would never be cursed with its presence. not want to interfere in New York politics, but, Mr. GOODE. Do the body of northern mem
It is not my purpose to enter into a full discus- || inasmuch as the gentleman made a sweepingbers represent a constituency of a like feeling? I sion of the issues involved in the repeal of the charge, I thought it best to make the suggestion | wish it to be known. Let the southern people Missouri compromise. The history of this legisla - || which I have made.
know the issue which is to be presented, which is tion, its tendency, and purposes are yet fresh in the Mr. HUGHES. I ask my colleague tu yield | presented in the United States Congress. recollections of all; they are engraven on the pub- the floor to me to reply to the gentleman from Mr. GIDDINGS. I will answer, if my friend lic mind in characters that will not be easily | Pennsylvania.
from New York will permit me. Ohio has spoken effaced. As the bill I propose to introduce seeks Mr. GOODWIN. Certainly, sir.
her sentiments by eighty thousand majority. to restore " the slavery restrictions” to the Terri- Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I had no Mr. GOODE. I do not care what is the ma. tories of Kansas and Nebraska, I shall briefly intention of entering into the debate this evening. I jority. glance at some of the main features of the contro. Mr. FLORENCE. I put the question to the Mr. GIDDINGS. Ohio will stop slavery from versy. In 1819, Missouri, a Territory organized | gentleman from New York, (Mr. Goodwin,) and going into Kansas, Nebraska, or any other Terfrom that vast area known as the Louisiana pur- would like the answer from himself.
ritory of the United States, chase, which our Government had acquired by a Mr. CAMPBELL. I call the gentleman from Mr. GOODE. Do it! We defy you ! treaty with France, applied for admission into the | Pennsylvania to order.
Mr. GOODWIN. I ask, Mr. Chairman, why in Union as a slave Slate. This at once brought to Mr. FLORENCE. I am not out of order, and the name of justice, of right, of humanity, should an issue the question of applying the principles do not intend to be called to order by the gentle. not the North demand that slavery shall be exof the ordinance of 1787 to this and the other man from Ohio.
cluded from Kansas and Nebraska-from all the Territories of the United States. The House of Mr. CAMPBELL. I call the gentleman to Territories of this Union where it does not now Representatives insisted that Missouri should not order, and shall keep calling him to order so long exist? It is my belief that the principle of this be admitted except on the condition of the pro- as he is out of order.
exclusion was involved in the compromises which hibition of slavery; the Senate took the opposite Mr. FLORENCE. I should like to know how went before and prepared the way for the framing ground; thus the doors of the Union were closed the gentleman gets the foor to call me to order. of the Constitution, that if the adoption of this against Missouri as a slave State. The whole Mr. GOODWIN. I yield the floor to my col- || principle had not been acceded to by the South, country was shaken by the bitter and exciting league, (Mr. Huglies.]
and established by a solemn ordinance in the nature contest that ensued.
Mr. FLORENCE. I put the question to the of a compact between the States, the clauses in In this crisis a compromise was proposed. It gentleman; and would rather have the answer regard to the reclamation of fugitives from service, was warmly urged by the South, and reluctantly from him. I do not ask his colleague lo confess. and in regard to slave representation, concessions assented to by the North. That compromise pro- I am not a father confessor.
so favorable to the South would never have found vided that Missouri should be admitted as a slave Mr. GOODWIN. I am quite ready to answer a place in that instrument, and although th: State, and practically, that in all territory south the honorable member, but, at the request of my | grounds of this compromise are not set forth ir, of 360 30 slavery should be free to enter, but colleague, vield the floor to him.
the letter of the Constitution, yet it was to that that in all territory north of that line slavery Mr. HUGHES. Inasmuch as the gentleman | concession that it, in a great measure, owed its should be forever prohibited. This was, in effect, from Pennsylvania has put himself in the position existence. That concession to northern sentiment at that time, a southern triumph. Ann ng its a catechist, he certainly ought to allow those was the main, if not the only, substantial considadoption, Charles Pinckney said:
to respond who have been called by name. He eration for allowing the slave power to deform the " At this moment we (the Sonth) have carried the ques.
ought not to insist on an answer from my col- Constitution with those two obnoxious provisions, tion to admit Missouri, and all of Louisiana south of 36°
league in a matter of which, perhaps, he knows for a slave representation and for the reclamation 30', free of the restriction of slavery. It will give the South nothing.
of fugitive slaves. It was thus one of the corner in a short time six and perbaps eight members of the Uni- But to the point, Mr. Chairman; in pursuance stones on which the Constitution and Unionrested, ted States Senate. It is considered here, by the slavehold
of what I believed to be the wish of my constit- one of the original compromises that entered into ing States, as a great triumph.”
uents I did oppose to the utmost the passage of their formation. It has given the South six Senators and thir- | the bill to organize the Territories of Kansas and Mr. MAXWELL. The remark just made by teen members of this House, while lowa is as yet Nebraska. My action was from an honest con. the gentleman from New York is one which I canthe only free State formed from this whole Terri- || viction that I was truly representing the people not understand without a more specific reference tory. This is the compromise that was annulled, who had confided their interests to me.
to the compromise to which he alluded than he has this the compact that was violated by the legisla- I returned, was a candidate for reëlection, but made. I should like to inquire of him, what is the tion of last session-leaving the South in the full was not reëlected. There were four candidates in particular character of that compromise to which enjoyment of the fruits of that compromise, and the district; and I can assure the committee, that he refers, and which forbids the southern people wresting from the North the sole consideration at the next session there will be seen in the seat to come into any territory-common territory of that had been guarantied to her—the exclusion of which I now occupy a gentleman who will oppose, || the United States with whatever property they slavery from those Territories—and leaving them inch by inch, step by step, and to the extremity, may possess, making a distinction between our an easy prey to this institution. The compro- every effort made for the extension of slavery over right to go to such territory and the right of the mise of 1820, public honor, and good faith, real any of the fair domain of the country. (Cries of northern people to go to such territory with what. quire Congress to restore the prohibition of sla- "Good !” “Good !”') Sir, if called on to repeal ever property they may possess. Sir, I should very to those Territories.
the enactment of this Congress, to which I have like to inquire what is the character of that comSir, the bill which I propose not only seeks to already referred, he will go boldly to his object. I promise which contains such a proposition, and restore the ordinance of freedom to the Territories Thinking that I have represented my people, I what part of the proceedings of the convention of Kansas and Nebraska, but to exclude slavery have acted as I have; but, sir, I am as sand in the which framed the Constitution, recognizes the right from all the other Territories of the Union. This balance to what that gentleman will do, and to the of the northern people, and denies the same right was the policy of the fathers of the Republic. They | lengths which he will go. He is a warm, ardent to the southern people? did not, like the honorable member from North Seward Whig; when I have said thus much, I Mr. GOODWIN. It is not proposed to deny to Carolina (Mr. RUFFIN) regard the institution of presume that I have clearly defined his position. the southern people any right enjoyed by northern slavery as a great political, social, and moral bless. So far as the people are concerned it is, perhaps, due people. It gives you the same right to carry the ing. The honorable member sneeringly denounces to them to say, that I believe they had the fullest same property into the Territories which northern the northern abhorrence for this institution which confidence in their representative. The district | people are allowed to carry there. The North ; dethrones manhood, puts out the light of intellect, which I have had the honor to represent upon this seeks to exclude slavery from the Territories, and and reduces to the level of brute beasts and creeping floor for two years, is politically opposed to me. the prohibition excludes equally North and South things, beings created in the Almighty's image 1l It gave eleven hundred majority for General Scott II from such power. When honorable members talk
330 CONG....1st Sess.
Territorial PolicyMr. Goodwin.
Ho. or REPS.
of a common right to carry property to the com- Mr. GOODE. Name him.
individual were the only men from the South who mon Territories, they are seeking to do more than Mr. GOODWIN. I think it was Mr. Nicholas. cast their votes in the Continental Congress in that, they propose to transplant there, a peculiar, Mr. GOODRICH. Ifthe gentleman from New favor of that provision of the ordinance of 1787. social, and political institution essentially local in York will yield to me for a moment, I desire to Is not that true? its character, and which the public law which read a paragraph, which I have in my desk, upon Mr. GOODWIN. I am speaking of its final obtains among States and sovereignties does not this point, for the information of the gentleman adoption by that Congress. recognize. Beyond the force of the local law, | from Florida, (Mr. MAXWELL.) During the dis- Mr. GOODE. Is not that the truth? which, by a notorious abuse of power transforms cussion in the United States Senate, while the Mr. GOODWIN. Let me slate what I undera man to a chattel, he ceases to be property. The compromise measures were under consideration, stand to be the facts. possession and ownership of that which may be Mr. Webster, on the 7th of March, made a speech Mr. GOODE. Search the record. Search the rightfully held as property, may be vindicated by upon that subject, in which, after referring io the Journal. That is the fact.. principles of universal law, but this idea of prop-sitting at the same time of the Congress of the Mr. GOODWIN. The honorable member erty in man depends upon the statutes of 'slave Confederation and the Convention which framed seems to be excited. States. The character of property does not go with the Constitution, he says:
Mr. GOODE. Well, sir, I ought to be excited the person upon the free soil of a free Republic, " There was a perfect concurrence of opinion between (Cries of " Order !" "Order!''] under a Constitution formed under a compromise these respective bodies, (the Congress Ulat passed the ordi- Mr. GOODE. Nobody can call me to order by which slavery was to be excluded from all the nance and the Convention that framed the Constitution,)
about a matter of this sort. and it resulted in this ordinance of 1787." common soil of the Republic.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Vir. But to return to my argument upon that com
When Mr. Webster sat down, Mr. Calhoun
ginia is out of order. Does the gentleman from rose, and here is what he said: promise. And, sir, I will tell you upon what
New York yield further to the gentleman? I base that compromise, and upon whai the ordi.
“ lle (Mr. Webster) states very correctly that it (the Mr. GOODWIN. No, sir; the gentleman does
ordinance) commenced under the old Confederation; that nance of 1787 rests. I have not time to enter into Congress was sitling in New York at the time, while the
not want me to do so, as I understand it. I am a minute historical argument, but I believe this Convention sat in Philadelphia, and that there was concert speaking of the vote on the passage of this ordi. great fact, viz: the exclusion of slavery from all of action."
nance of 1787, and I declare that my recollection the territory of the Confederacy as a condition for Concert of action in regard to the question of sla- || is that not a single Representative in Congress, blave representation and slave reclamation — is very. Mr. Calhoun added:
either from the North or from the South, save one, clearly deducible from the history of the Congress “ When it [the ordinance) was proposed, as I have good voted against it. of the Confederation, and from that of the conven
reason to believe, it was upon a principle of compromise, Mr. GOODE. Mr. Jefferson voted in favor of tion that framed the Constitution. I shall merely
first, that the ordinance should contain a provision similar
that provision of the ordinance of 1787 which present a condensed statement of some of the
slaves, and next, that it should be inserted in the Constitu- excluded slavery from the Territory, and so did a principal facts which authorizes this conclusion. tion; and this was the compromise upon which the pro. Representative from North Carolina, but the body In 1784, Virginia and other States ceded to the bibition of slavery was inserted in the ordinance of 1787." of the slaveholding States voted against that pro General Government the vast extent of territory These are Mr. Calhoun's words. You will vision when the question came up on inserting it lying north west of the river Ohio, this comprised | find them in his speech.
in the ordinance of 1787, as a form of government all of the territory that was in the possession, or Mr. GOODWIN. Yos, Mr. Chairman, that for the Territory. under the jurisdiction of the United States at the exhibits the idea I wish to express. The ordi- Mr. GOODWIN. I think I have yielded suffiperiod of the formation of the Constitution, as nance provided that there should be neither sla- ciently now. early as 1784. Indeed, on the very day of the very or involuntary servitude in said Territory, Mr. GOODE. We of the South have yielded cession, Thomas Jefferson-whose doctrines and except as punishment for crime,'&c. Thus this sufficiently, God knows ! ideas I would commend to those who believe measure which had been defeated when introduced Mr. GOODWIN. I trust you will have to slavery to be a great political, moral, and social | by Jefferson three years before, which was voted yield still more. blessing—introduced in Congress a plan for the || down when presented by Rufus King two years Mr. GOODE. Well, I do not think we will. government of said territory, providing, among before, and the consummation of which had been Mr. GOODWIN. I have given my recollec.. other things, that slavery should be excluded there- || successfully withstood for three years, was now tion of the vote on the passage of the ordinance of from after the year 1800, but the measure was adopted by the votes of all the Representatives 1787, which included this provision. I may be defeated. In 1785, Rufus King, of New York, | North and South, save only Robert Yates. I mistaken, My recollection does not partake of proposed in Congress a similar act of legislation, ask why this sudden change? Before, for three infallibility: which that body also refused to adopt. It was years, the South had continually defeated it, now Mr. UPHAM. If I may be allowed to make then claimed by Representatives from slave Slates, they are unanimous in its favor. Without a dis- a statement which I think all gentlemen who are that the citizens of their States should have the senting voice they accept the ordinance proclaim- || familiar with the records of that period will affirm right to settle in said territory with their slave || ing that slavery should be forever excluded from to be correct, I will make it briefly, in reference property, while a large majority of the people | the Northwest Territory, then all the territory to the point at issue between the gentlemen. It is were determined that slavery should be excluded, || that our legislation could affect. Immediately true that the southern Representatives in the old and the question remained unadjusted.
upon this, the Convention proceeded with its Congress did vote almost unanimously against the It is to be observed that the session before re- work, and at once agreed to do, and did, what it restriction clause when introduced by Mr. Jefferferred to constituted all the public territory in the before had been unable to do, namely, provided son, and when introduced by Mr. King. But, possession of the United States, or within its juris- for the reclamation of fugitives from service, and sir, when, on the 9th of July, 1787, a committee diction. It was all that was expected to be had for a representation in Congress for slaves, and was appointed, of which Mr. Carrington of Vire in all time, for the idea was not then entertained of upon this basis, in consideration of the freedom of ginia was chairman, for the purpose, and under acquiring territory by purchase or treaty. Neither the Territories, the Constitution, as regards these instructions, forth with to bring in an ordinance under the Constitution, or by any other act, had | clauses, was adopted.
for the establishment of a civil government in the they provided for any territorial extension, and in These proceedings in these two bodies, founded Northwestern Territory, that committee did bring the settlement of the then pending question they on mutual considerations and concessions, want in a report two days afterwards, on the 11th of applied a principle which they supposed would || nothing of the elements of a solemn compact | July, and that report was precisely the ordinance cover all the territory that would ever be within between the contending States; and one of the of 1787 as it passed the next day, with the excepthe limits of the Union.
sections of the ordinance provides that it shall be tion of the sixth article. The committee made Well, sir, what were the next steps towards a regarded as in the nature of a compact between the no report on the 11th in reference to the question solution of these difficulties? We find that in several States, and the States and Territories to of slavery; and if gentlemen will go to the library May, 1784, the third year after the cession of their which it was applicable. The Constitution of the of Colonel P. Force in this city, they will see in lands by the States, a convention met at Philadel- United States, recognizing the obligation of the print-printed at the time-the report which that phia to reorganize the Government, and perfect compact formed in the Congress of the Confeder- ommittee made. He will show you the original ihe union of these States. The old Congress of the ation, gave to it a further approbation and sanc. document which was laid on the table of the memConfederation was at the same time in session in tion. From this concurrence of circumstances I bers, and you will there find attached to that the city of New York. In the convention, also, claim for this ordinance a validity and solemnity | printed document, by a wafer, a fly-leaf some two the subject of slavery, and questions arising there- equal to those of the provisions of the Constitution or three inches square, on which the sixth article from, prevented cordial union among the members | itself.
is found in the hand-writing of Nathan Dane, of of that body upon any plan of a Constitution. The Mr. GOODE. I understand the gentleman from Massachusetts; and that sixth article is substanSouth demanded the right to reclaim fugitive | New York to say, that the ordinance of 1787 met tially Mr. Jefferson's restrictive clause with a proslaves, and the North insisted, not only that sla- with universal approbation at the South.
viso, which proviso is the obligation to submit to very should not be recognized by the Constitution, Mr. GOODWIN. I state that it received every the reclamation of fugitive slaves. That proviso but that slaves should not be taken into account in southern vote in that Congress.
was offered by Nathan Dane that day as a comapportioning the Representatives of the different Mr. GOODE. The Continental Congress which promise, as a make-weight. The offer was at once States. Here we behold a striking coincidence, adopted the ordinance of 1787 is the body of which accepted, and every member of that Congress from and the circumstances compel the conclusion that the gentleman speaks?
the southern States and from the northern States there was a full understanding between the two Mr. GOODWIN. Yes, sir.
save one, on the 12th of July, recorded his vote bodies convened at Philadelphia and New York. Mr. GOODE. Then I wish the gentlenian to on the Journal in favor of that restrictive clause. The Congress of the Confederation was consider- have the candor to state that, whilst the southern The whole proceeding is exhibited in the most ining plans for the proper government of the north- States voted for the ordinance of 1787 as a form teresting form and shape; and what is most pecuwestern territory, and on the 9th of July, 1787, a of government for the territory northwest of the liar and really striking and affecting in the case, is committee was appointed to report thereon, and Ohio river, they voted against that provision of that that very document--printed, not in the style on the 11th of that month the committee reported. the ordinance which contains the prohibition of in which we print our bills now, but in a style Its chairman was a Virginian.
slavery; and that Mr. Jefferson and one other II adapted to the simple habits of the revolutionary
age—that original document, which Colonel Force that they had the power no one will deny-was | settled. We seek not to penetrate the limits of
Until these “covenants of the fathers,' Mr. GOODWIN. As I before said although | cessary and rightful use of it. An unbroken line expressed and implied, are observed and executed, the doctrine that slavery shall be excluded from of precedents, from the first foundation of the Gov- || there will be strife and agitation and the continued the Territories is not declared in express words ernment down to the present time, also establishes unrest of the public mind and excitement of the in the body of the Constitution, ii essentially the existence of this power.
people, awakened by the fresh aggressions of forms part and parcel of it; it is one of the corner Others, sir, while they admit that Congress may slavery, are as the unquiet heavings of the “ bilstones upon which it rests. To establish the other
possess this power, insist that its exercise would lows gathering on the ocean's breast," and the cry compromises it was necessary to express them be a usurpation of the rights of the people, and wrung from outraged humanity, the wail of the in the instrument, as it created the rights and with the cry of non-intervention and popular sov- sea-bird that tells the coming of the storm. privileges which constituted them, and they had | ereignty-quack phrases used as a garb to conceal Sir, this question, by the force of its importance no existence aside from the Constitution, but this the enormily and wickedness of the designs of and the magnitude of the interests at issue, demands great principle of exclusion had to be established || slavery propagandists--demand that the walls of the attention of Congress; involving great ques(and unalterably, as was supposed) before the circumvallation, which our fathers, fresh from the tions of human rights, the fundamental principles Constitucion could come into existence. The Revolution, inspired by that spirit that was with of Government, and the honor and welfare of the fathers of the Constitution intended to give it a and upheld them, in those days that “tried men's || only Republic upon the face of the earth, it rises permanency equal to that of the provisions of the souls, had sought to erect around this institution, in its proportions to a grandeur and sublimity, by Constitution, as their action and its language should be overthrown; that all compromises or the side of which other questions of Government shows:
covenants, however solemn and binding, that place policy are dwarfed into insignificance. It cannot be "It is hereby ordained and declared by the authority obstacles in its pathway, should be violated; that evaded. Like the fabled sphinx of old, it stands aforesaid, that the following articles shall be considered slavery should be left unrestricted to acquire new by the way side that leads to our country's future, as articles of compact between the original States and the
power and possessions. Disguise it as you may, and the riddle it propounds must be solved by the people and the states in the said Territory, and forever remain unalterable unless by common consent."
ihis is practical intervention against freedom, and legislation of Congress. May that legislation be Then fo.iows the clause prohibiting slavery, and
in behalf of slavery. The sham non-intervention such as becomes a people upon whom a beneficent the Constitution, when subsequently adopted, I like the silver veil" 'which the false prophet | the rich blessings of well regulated and enlightened
and popular sovereignty of this policy are used | Providence has showered with so prodigal a hand seemed, as before noticed, to have in view the
“ Mokanna," as described in the
“ Veiled Prophet of Khorasson," had flung over
6 to hide from mortal sight under the Confederation. Neither the Constitu
His dazzling brow, till man could bear ils light.” SPEECH OF HON. JOHN LETCHER, tion or laws provided for, nor did the fathers
But, in fact, to conceal their terrible deformity
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
February 27, 1855. the States where it already existed. The simple
betray, for there was
The House being in the Committee of the whole fact alone of the application of the ordinance of On the white flag Mokanna's host unfurl'd
on the state of the Union-
Mr. LETCHER said:
this mocking fiend had lured his followers to de- | deal of attention, and no small degree of surprise, therefor in the advantages secured to her by the
struction-involved in common ruin, from which to the speech just delivered by the gentleman from compromises in the Constitution. Therefore it
there was no escape-he raised the veil and, "as New York, (Mr. Goodwin.) We are all citizens follows, as a matter of justice and right, that
in death's agony they gazed," they beheld, not of the same Government; we all have a common this policy, so long as the South is enjoying the the promised light of a beaming brow that was to interest in this Union, and it is well enough for benefits secured to her by these considerations, save them from the terrors of death,
us, coming from different sections of the country, should be extended over all of the territory subse
« But features horribler than hell e'er traced
to understand the precise position which each is quently acquired by the United States, especially On its own brood ;-no demon of the waste;
to occupy for the future. The gentleman comover that portion wherein slavery did not exist at No church yard Ghole caught lingering in the light
menced his remarks by stating to the committee the time it was acquired. To admit slavery into
of the bless'd sun e'er blasted human sight free territory; to break down the barriers that
With lincamcnts so foul, so fierce as those.
that he meant to speak candidly and frankly
Tho' imposter now, in grinning mockery, shows"- that he meant to give us of the South notice of arrest its progress, is to destroy one of the com- “There ye wize saints, behold your light, your star, the position which the North occupied, that we promises on which the Constitution rests, and Ye would be dupes and victims, and ye ure.”
might understand hereafter the course of events. would violate the spirit of a compact interwoven So this policy, adopted at the last session of this | Now, sir, I desire to know, in order to a correct with the existence of the Constitution. I hold; body, beneath these " popular phrases, "exhibits, I understanding, whether it is the national sentitherefore, that the prohibition of slavery should
when the veil is raised, the deformed and horrid ment of the North, so far as that gentleman is not only be restored to Kansas and Nebraska, but features of slavery, exulting over its triumph and aware, that, at the next Congress, an attempt is be applied to all of the Territories of the United the delusion of its "dapes and victims." Unless to be made to repeal the fugitive slave law, or to States.
Congress exercises its vested powers to exclude modify that law in such a manner as to annex to POWER OF CONGRESS TO EXCLUDE SLAVERY FROM slavery from the Territories, “those features" it the condition of a jury trial in the place in which THE TERRITORIES.
will become impressed upon all the institutions of the absconding slave may be arrested ? Mr. Chairman, I am aware that it is claimed by our country:
Mr. GOODWIN. I cannot tell what the decissome that Congress has not the power to exclude Mr. Chairman, to show the necessity of con- ion of the whole North would be on that quesslavery from the Territories of the Union. Now, I gressional legislation to exclude slavery from tion, but I, for one, speaking for myself, should the Constitution authorizes Congress to “make the Territories, I had intended to speak of the be very happy, indeed, to see it done. all needful rules and regulations" respecting the Ter- | political, social, and moral evils of that institution, Mr. 'LETCHER. As I understood the gentleritories of the United States. When we remem- as portrayed by Washington, Jefferson, Madison, man from New York, awhile ago, he undertook ber that rules and laws are synonymous terms; and all of the early statesmen of the South-as to speak, not only for himself, but for the Empire that the comnientators define law to be a rule of exhibited in the experience of the past, and as State. He undertook to declare what the public action, and thus give to the clause the same force evidenced by its present influences—of its destruc- sentiment of that State was on the great question in as if the word rules was changed for that of laws, I tion of the righis of free labor, making honest which the South was interested, and in which the it seems very clear that the power to legislate for industry a badge of degradation and dishonor; | existence of the Union itself was concerned. the Territories is expressly delegated to Congress. thus rendering it impossible for free and slave Mr. GOODWIN. The gentleman did not underThis would, of necessity, include the right to pro- labor to exist together; of its confining the advant. stand me correctly. In speaking of the sentiment hibit slavery therein.
ages of education and knowledge to che few, and of the North, and the sentiment of the State of But if the Constitution was silent, there is an- withholding them from the many; of its baneful New York, I spoke of the decision they had renother source from which Congress derives the effects in exhausting the soil, dwarfing the ener- dered in reference to the repeal of the Missouri right to legislate for the government of the Ter- gies, and paralyzing the enterprise of the people compromise, and that there was a great majority ritories. The power to acquire territory, by con- who dwell underneath its dark shadow, but time there in favor of the restoration of the restriction quest or treaty, carries with it the right to govern will not permit, and I must draw my remarks to of the Missouri compromise, excluding slavery and control it when acquired. The territory ceded a close.
from these Territories. to the United States by other nations, was ceded Sir, it is only by fulfilling the purposes and Mr. LETCHER. I will come to that question "in full property and sovereignty" upon the ces pledges of the fathers of the Republic in excluding | in due time. Let us get back to the point. I sion; all the power these nations possessed over slavery from the Territories, and by divorcing the want to ascertain, and it is due to that section of these territories became vested in our Government, National Government from all connection with, the country from which I came, that it should subject only to the restrictions of the Constitution and responsibility for, this institution, that peace know, whether it is the settled and fixed purpose their power to exclude slavery therefrom-and' and quiet can be restored, and this vexed question 1 of the North to undertake to interfere with the
330 CONG....20 Sess.
Territorial Policy-Mr. Letcher.
Ho. OF REPS.
fugitive slave law, either by a repeal or by such a defense of 'the rights, institutions, and honor of represent. I am pleased to say that the gentleman modification of its provisions as shall render the the glorious South. The Union has its benefits from Virginia and myself can talk over this matter law no longer a safe and efficient protection for us and blessings. I acknowledge them all; but a like men, as become statesmen, without undue in the recovery of our slave property.
Union based upon other principles than those excitement. I am willing-having held a seat here So far as that point is concerned, let it pass, as of equality has no charms for me. I come from for some time, and expecting to continue here for the gentleman finds difficulty in answering my a State which has maintained her rights in times some two years more-to say to this House and question, and let me come to another point. 1 past, and which will stand by them in all time to the country what I understand to be the northern desire to know whether it is the settled 'policy of come, with equal firmness. Whenever an attempt sentiment prevailing in the free States, so far as I New York, or whether it is the settled policy of is made to strike down her institutions, and inter- understand it; and I wish to do it in a dispassionate the North, in a future Congress, to attempt to re- fere with the rights of her citizens, the North will manner, that all shall explicitly comprehend my vive the Missouri restriction.
find that Virginia can and will exhibit a spirit of | views. I do understand that, in the convention Mr. GOODWIN. I understand that a great stern resistance, that she will stand by her rights which framed the Constitution, it was understood, majority of the electors of the State of New York and institutions to the death.
most distinctly and explicitly, that slavery was are in favor of restoring the slavery restriction to Mr. HUGHES. If the people of the State of a State institution, confined io State jurisdiction, the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska, and are Virginia, or, more particularly, of the district | with which the Federal Government neither had opposed to the introduction of slavery therein. which the gentleman represents so ably upon this nor should have any power to interfere.
Mr. LETCHER. That is frank, and I under- | Door, felt it to be for their interest, and ihat the Mr. LETCHER. I want the gentleman to come stand exactly what the position of the gentleman right belonged to them to do it, to ask for the abo- to the present issue. I want to know what we may is. I understand it to be openly proclaimed that, lition of slavery in the District of Columbia, would expect now, not what has occurred heretofore. at the next session of Congress, an attempt is to the gentleman then.vote for such a proposition?
Mr. GIDDINGS. I will do so. Mr. Gerry be made to bring about this result; and I imagine, Mr. LETCHER. I hold that we have no right declared in that Convention that slavery was a from the manner in which the gentleman speaks, to meddle with it at all; that Congress has no State instilution; that while the Federal Government and from the sentiments which have been uttered business to pass a law interfering with it; that it had no jurisdiction over it we should be careful by the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Giddings) to- is an usurpation of power, which can lead to to lend it no sanction. To this that body lent an night, that this is their fixed and settled purpose, nothing but mischief.
implied approval, no member dissenting from it, and even the sanctity of the Union or the preser- Let me say another thing to the gentleman from but all apparently coinciding with the view of Mr. vation of the Government will not prevent them New York. God knows the gentleman went far Gerry: Now, sir, I say to the honorable gentlefrom making the effort,
enough last year with the anti-Nebraska party in man from Virginia, and to the House, that the I desire to know, upon the third point, what is this war against the institutions of the South; yet | freemen of the free States intend to carry out in the settled policy of the State of New York, or the it seems that he did not go far enough for his con- practice this doctrine of the Constitution and of the northern portion of this Confederacy, in regard to stituents, and he was thrown, therefore, over- fathers of our Republic. We intend to separate the exclusion of slavery, by congressional prohib- | board, and a regular Seward Whig sent here in this Government and the people of the free States ition, from the Territories—the common property his place. It seems that the gentleman did not from all responsibility and all guilt of sustaining of the nation. A gentleman suggests here, that go far enough. Out of the Democrats sent here to oppression, of upholding slavery, and direct its this necessarily embraces the point to which I have this Congress how many are left to tell the tale? | action to the encouragement of liberty, virtue, and already referred. I will ask, then, whether it is Is there a solitary one sent to the next Congress the elevation of our race. Our people intend to be the settled policy of the North to resort to northern who voted for the Nebraska bill?
purified from the crimes and iniquities of slavery power in this House, for the purpose of excluding,
Mr. HUGHES. Not one.
and the slave trade. While we leave the instituin all time to come, by the exercise of congres
Mr. LETCHER. There is the evidence of tion with the slave States, untouched by our legissional power, slavery from the Territories of what is the feeling of the Empire State, to which lation; while we guard all the States in the enjoy. Kansas, Nebraska, or any other, which has been the gentleman over the way (Mr. Goodwin), re- ment of their privileges, we will protect our own acquired by the common blood and common treas- ferred, and this is one of the States where they | rights with equal assiduity. ure of this country?
say a great national party has sprung up, that is Now, sir, in order to do this-for I only rose to Then, upon the fourth point, I desire to know to preserve the Union, that is to keep off'agitation state to my friend what I understand to be the how the Empire State and the North stand. Are so far as the question of slavery is concerned. issues involved in the present conflict as to slavery they in favor of passing a law here at a future ses- Here is the evidence—a solid column of anti- || in the District of Columbia, to which the gentlesion of Congress abolishing slavery in the District | Nebraska men, prepared to vote for a repeal of man last alluded – I will first reply, that we will of Columbia?
the fugitive slave law, to resist the introduction of secure to the people here" popular sovereignty. Mr. GOODWIN. I cannot speak, of course, || slavery into the Territory of Kansas, even if the We will repeal the laws which we have enacted, in relation to the action of the North upon this people of that Territory wish it; and, if I under. | which now sustains slavery and the slave trade subject.
stand their sentiments, they are ready to vote here, and leave the people of this District to mainNr. LETCHER. Well, of the Empire Slate, || against the admission of Kansas, if it shall apply tain their " popular sovereignty," of which we then.
for admission into this Union as a slave State. Is heard so much from my friend and his party at Mr. GOODWIN. I have no doubt that the it not so? What member from the North on this the last session of Congress. I mean all the people, State of New York would be in favor-I certainly floor will deny that such are the opinions of the black and white, permitting each to be sovereign am-of submitting the proposition to the people people he represents on this foor?
of his own conduct, so long as he interferes with of this District to determine whether they would Mr. HAMILTON. I have the floor, I believe, the rights of no other person. That we will noi, abolish slavery therein or not.
but I merely wish to say now that it is not my by the law of Congress, rivet the chains, nor put Mr. LETCHER. It will be recollected by purpose to interrupt this general debate. I wish hand-cuffs upon our fellow-men here; that we will every gentleman who has recurred to the history io say something io-morrow on the Army appro- withdraw our power from the support of slaof past events, that, upon one occasion, a Repré- priation bill.
very, and leave the whole people of this District to sentative from the State of New York introduced Mr. HUGHES. I only wish to say that there l enjoy their popular sovereignty. I do not think upon this floor a proposition, which was adopted is an election coming off in Virginia.
we shall ask the people of the District whether by this House, to abolish slavery in the District Mr. LETCHER. I feel very little concern we may separate ourselves from the support of slaof Columbia.
about it, so far as my own election is concerned; / very here; we will do it of our own emotion, our I have now obtained the answers to the ques- || for my friends, both'Whigs and Democrats, who own judgment. We will not share the guilt, nor tions I proposed, and these answers are pregnant have always shown me so much kindness, assure the disgrace, of upholding the slave trade here, of with meaning to the South. It is important to me that I will have no opposition.
sustaining the practice of rearing boys and girls us that we should understand the purposes and Mr. GIDDINGS. Will the gentleman from for the market in this city. We are not going to objects of the northern people. It is important to Maryland yield the floor a few minutes, as I wish interfere with slavery here; we will cease to us, for the reason that the South should come here to reply to the gentleman from Virginia ?
interfere with that institution; but we will encourat the next session with a spirit of determination The CHAIRMAN. The Chair will remind age freedom, not slavery. We do not intend to prepared to resist any effort of this sort on the the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hamilton] say that men here shall be free. God and nature part of the North, be the consequences what they
that he obtained the floor fifteen minutes before have said that-and we will protect the rights may. If this Union cannot be preserved upon
ten o'clock. Does he yield to the gentleman from which our Creator has conferred on mankind. terms of equality, and if the territory of this coun- Ohio? (Mr. Gidding.)
And I further say to the gentleman, that, in the try, acquired by the common blood and common Mr. LETCHER. If I am taking the time of | next place, we will take good care to follow in treasure, is not to be open alike to the North and my friend from Maryland, I shall resign the floor the footsteps of Jefferson, and of the Congress the South, then we desire to be informed of the
of 1787, and exclude slavery from every foot of fact; and whenever the crisis comes, the Union Mr. CAMPBELL. I suggest that, by unan- || territory belonging to this Government by law of must be dissolved, whatever may be the regret that I imous consent, the gentleman from Maryland | Congress. will attend its dissolution. !, for one, regarded shall be allowed to take the floor for as much time I say again, I have had some experience here, as one of the most conservative men in my own as he wants, within an hour, after this running and expect to be a member of the next Congress; State, and unwilling to believe that there was a fire is concluded.
and I do expect, as I expect to live and get back settled purpose of this kind anywhere, am yet (Cries of " Agreed !" " Agreed !"),
here, to see the next Congress bring in a bill, prepared for the result, whenever these issues The CHAIRMAN. The Chair will not decide and pass it through this body, that shall strike shall be forced upon us by the people of the North. that that can be done until to-morrow morning. the chains from every slave within the territory I shall stand by the rights of the land in which I Mr, GIDDINGS. I will express to the com- 1) of the Federal Government. This, sir, is the great was born, and in which, I trust, my bones shall | mittee my gratification at having the privilege of and principal issue on which nearly all men of all repose. I ask nothing here but what I am willing exchanging sentiments with the able gentleman | parties at the North unite, which no party can to accord to others; and so long as I have life, or | from Virginia, (Mr. LETCHER,] who represents a | withstand. Some may hesitate on other points, voice, or an arm to raise, they will be raised in Il different section of the country from that which I ll but this is one on which we intend to unite in all
elections, making it a test with all candidates for let me ask the gentleman from Virginia whether Mr. GIDDINGS. I ask the gentleman to allow office; but we will do it without excitement. he would turn out, run after, and catch a slave for me to correct him in one particular. The gentle(Laughter.) With this, however, is connected an- any other man under Heaven?
man speaks of my proposing to prevent the interother, the exclusion of any slave State which may Mr. LETCHER. Go on.
State slave trade. That is not precisely my posiseek admission to the Union. We will never give Mr. GIDDINGS. Will you answer? I will tion. So far as the transportation of slaves from to another State the odious superiority over our: reply to any question propounded to me on this one slave State to another internally, is concerned, selves of holding an influence over the free States | important subject. But as the gentleman from I have nothing to do. It is the coastwise slave proportioned to the number of their slaves, allow- || Virginia does not answer, I will ask the gentleman | trade upon the high seas that I propose to prevent. ing five slaves to be equal to three of our freemen. from Pennsylvania, (Mr. Witte,) whether he Congress have the right to make regulations for The man who would thus degrade the freemen of would run after, chase down, and catch a slave for the navigation of the high seas, and I desire that the North will be regarded as a traitor to northern a slaveholder?
this shall be one of them. honor and northern interests. We intend doing Mr. LETCHER. I have not surrendered the Mr. LETCHER. Very well; take it as it is this, and I would respectfully say that no threats floor to the gentleman. I want him to go on. now stated, and it presents a point which it is of dissolving the Union will deter us. That modeWhen he concludes I intend to comment on the utterly impossible for the South to yield. It is of frightening our people has been too often, and revelations which he has made, and may yet make | pushing this interference to an issue where it too long resorted to. It has lost its prestige. It before he concludes.
would be disgraceful for the South to attempt to has ceased to frighten our school girls. We hope Mr. GIDDINGS. I am commenting on the last shun it, and she will not attempt to shun it. To to act like statesmen, like men who have their point. We will live up to all our constitutional accede to the terms thus dictated to her by the country, and their country's good at heart, who obligations; there we stop: If you can catch your North, is basely to surrender all claim to her prop, labor for freedom, for the happiness of mankind. slaves when they get away into our northern States, erty, and to admit that wherever it goes beyond We expect to maintain the rights which we our- do it; we will not catch them for you; we will not the limits of a slave State and enters a free State, selves hold under this Government. We intend appoint officers for the purpose of catching them; it becomes, in the language of the gentleman from that freedom, the liberty of man shall be the ob- we will not pay for catching them. The Consti- | Ohio, “ sovereign" in the State to which it may jects of this Government, and not slavery. Under- || cution imposes no such obligation upon us. Catch flee for the time being. stand-for I have been misrepresented for twenty your slaves as you can, but do not ask us to lay Mr. Chairman, under such circumstances as years—I have never thought of interfering with aside our feelings of manhood, our moral princi- | these, the gentleman from Ohio says he has no idea ihe rights of the slave States; I have never main- ples, our independence, and self-respect to catch that !, or any one who comes from the South, tained upon this floor, by the way side, by the them for you.
would be inclined to sever the bonds of the Union fire side, nor have I, in public or in private, inti- Mr. Chairman, I can just here give an illustra- -that we have talked too much upon that subject mated that we possess the power to interfere with tion. A fugitive slave came to me and asked my -and that we will submit hereafier, as we have slavery in the States. On the contrary, I repeat, advice as a lawyer. It was when we were under | always submitted heretofore. In other words, that that while we protect the Constitution, and assid- the old law; and I did not hesitate to advise and there is not spirit enough in the South--that there uously maintain it in its full force, we will take counsel those who called on me. Looking the is not manliness enough in the South--to stand care to maintain the rights which it confers upon man full in the face, I said: "Do you believe, sir, | by southern rights, to uphold southern interests, the North, as well as the privileges of the South; || that God created you with the soul and feelings of to protect southern property, and to defend slavery we will maintain the rights of the free States, as a man? That He endowed you with the inalien. whenever it shall be assailed by our enemies, from well as those of the slave States. Our rights in able right to life, liberty, and happiness?" " I do," any quarter whatever! Sir, do northern gentleOhio are equal to those of the other States. We was his prompt and earnest reply. “Have you men entertain this opinion of us? Do they believe mean to wield the Government for the purpose of the manhood io assert and defend those rights:” 1 that we have been reduced to so abject a position, maintaining the freedom of every foot of soil sub- “ I have,” said he. “ Then do it," was my reply. || that we have not the courage to assert our rights, jected to the laws of Congress, and against the “I cannot defend you; but, were I in your place, nor the power to defend our property? If such is extension of the slave power by admitting any | I would defend my liberty while I could wield a their opinion, then their conduct in endeavoring to new slave State.
weapon." I do not hesitate to tell them that they bring about a dissolution of the Union, by forcing The next point, Mr. Chairman, is that of pro- are men; that we shall not stop them. We let them upon us the measures indicated to.night, is prehibiting the sale of any human being under pro- || know that we can do nothing; that they are left to cisely what might have been expected. They cess issued from the Federal courts. We will their own manhood for protection.
ought not to desire a longer connection with us. not prostitute the process of the Federal courts to I wish, Mr. Chairman, no misunderstanding in They will find, sooner or later, if these questions the purpose of selling men and women at public this matter. We will not be catchpoles for south- are pressed, that they have been sadly mistaken. auction. I want my friend to understand this ern slaveholders. We will stand purified from the If we cannot be considered as the equals of the issue in its full length and breadth.
institution. No law will, no law can, compel us gentleman from Ohio, and the equals of those Next, we will repeal the law of 1807, authorizing to catch the slaves. There is, there can be, no whom he represents upon this foor; if the North the coast-wise slave trade. We will not protect law which will force northern men, elevated and are determined that we shall not have peace on the slave trade on our southern coast, nor will we intelligent freemen, to turn out and give chase this vital subject; if they are determined to press lend our power to encourage men while dealing | after runaway slaves. We have had demonstra- it at all hazards; regardless of consequences 10 in slaves. The pirate that hangs at the yard-arm on tion of what I say lately in Wisconsin. There | themselves and to us, be it so. We shall have the coast of Africa is less guilty, in our opinion, || it was attempted to involve freemen in this slave- the agreeable reflection of knowing that we are than the man who deals in Christian slaves in this catching policy: You have seen the result. Pop- not to blame; that the evil results cannot be city. We will, therefore, tepeal the law referred ular sentiment is opposed to it. Our feelings of charged upon us; that the North, and the North to, which authorizes the transportation of slaves humanity, our principles of Christianity forbid it; | alone, are to blame. If the Union shall be disunder the flag of the United States. It is our flag, our constitutional rights are opposed to it. solved, they cannot say we did it. and it shall not be prostituted to such dampable Mr. LETCHER. The gentleman has got But the gentleman from Ohio says the North and disgraceful purposes. We will purify it, and through with all my queries to him, and he is will not submit to have her rights interfered with. leave slave-dealers io take care of their slaves in now branching off on other subjects.
Sir, will the gentleman be good enough to tell us their own manner. We will not suffer our moral Mr. Chairman, I am very well satisfied that I when and where the South has ever interfered, purity to be contaminated by this infamous traffic gave the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. GIDDINGS) the either directly or indirectly, with the rights of the in human flesh. We will lustrate ourselves from opportunity for the interruption which he has North? When have we of the South endeavored it. We will purify the Government from it. Do | made. He has stated, with that frankness and to take away-to steal, by the aid of "underground not talk about the dissolution of the Union; we that candor which he has uniformly, exhibited railroad,” by force or fraud, or by any
other mean to elevate the people of the southern as well when discussing this question, the sentiment and means—the property of the citizens of the North? as those of the northern States. Our object is the purposes of the North, so far as he has been able Have we ever malle such an attempt upon the increase of intelligence, virtue, and happiness of to learn it. We all know that he is well posted constituents of the gentleman from Ohio? Never, all the people.
up as to the sentiment of the northern people, as sir, never! I believe the gentleman professes to Mr. Chairman, besides all this we are of the to their purposes and objects, 80 far as any action, hold to the doctrine of State rights, as declared in opinion that we shall let the slaveholders catchy present or future, connected with slavery is con- the resolutions of 1798 and 1799. I think the their own slaves. We will not go one step beyond cerned. He says they are for repealing the fugi. | declaration he has made to-night is very much the law of 1793. That law gave no process, but tive slave law; that they are in favor of allowing the same, in substance, with that made a few days allowed the slaveholder to catch his slave if he lohe South to recover, as they best can, the slaves ago by Mr. Wilson, the Massachusetts Senator, could, and permitted the slave to escape if he could, who have run away from their owners when they in the other end of the Capitol. These two genThat law was signed by Washington. It was an have reached a free State. He says, also, that he tlemen hold very much the same opinions in enactment of those who had framed the Constitu- || is for that sort of legislation that will remove reference to State rights, slavery, the fugitive slave tion in part. That law gave no process, author- slavery from the District of Columbia, the navy, law, the Nebraska bill, and other questions of a ized no officer to issue process, made it the duty | yards, and all other territory owned by the United kindred character. They both hold to the docof no officer to arrest a slave; nor did it require States. He says that he is in favor of preventing trine that the North shall declare the law, and the northern men to aid in such arrest, nor to pay the the inter-State slave trade, and for confining slavery South shall have the glorious privilege of submisexpense of taking such slave back to servitude. to the States where it now exists; that he is not sion. The North is to make its demands, and the
The law of 1850 is, in all these points, unconstitu- disposed to allow slavery to go into any of the South is to yield a prompt obedience to those decional. Our feelings revolt at these provisions || Territories of the United States; but that, on the mands. The North is to prescribe its rules, and we will not carry them out, nor will we ebey contrary, he is determined, and the North are de- the South are to comply with them promptly and hem. I therefore say that the furthest extent to termined, to restore the Missouri compromise line, without a murmur. vhich we will go will be to restore the law of 1793. || and to prohibit slavery forever from the Territory Now, let me tell the gentleman from Ohio that, We will not catch your slaves for you. It is hu- of Kansas, even though the people of that Territory || whatever he may think of the spirit of the South, niliating, degrading to our natures. Why, sir, Il may be unanimously in favor of its introduction. he will find that there is a spirit there that will