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mise. Upon this, action was at once had, the Compromise was rejected, and the bill left in its original condition. This was done by large votes. Even the prohibition of Slavery was thrown out by 159 yeas to 18 nays, both the North and the South uniting against it. The Senate, on receiving the bill back from the House, insisted on their amendments. The House, in turn, insisted on their disagreement. According to parliamentary usage, a Committee of Conference between the two Houses was appointed. Mr. THOMAS, of Illinois, Mr. PINKNEY, of Maryland, and Mr. JAMES BARBOUR, of Virginia, composed this important committee on the part of the Senate; and Mr. HOLMES, of Maine, Mr. TAYLOR, of New York, Mr. LowNDES, of South Carolina, Mr. PARKER, of Massachusetts, and Mr. KINSEY, of New Jersey, on the part of the House.

tutional law, his course as a Senator from Maryland | the Maine bill, embodying the Missouri Comprowas calculated to produce a profound impression. In a speech which drew to this chamber an admiring throng for two days, and which at the time was fondly compared with the best examples of Greece and Rome, he first authoritatively proposed and developed the Missouri Compromise. His masterly effort was mainly directed against the restriction apon Missouri, but it began and ended with the idea of compromise. "Notwithstanding," he says, occasional appearances of rather an unfavorable description, I have long since persuaded myself that the Missouri question, as it is called, might be laid to rest, with innocence and safety, by some conciliatory Compromise at least, by which, as is our duty, we might reconcile the extremes of conflicting views and feelings, without any sacrifice of constitutional principles." And he closed with the hope that the restriction on Missouri would not be passed, but that the whole question "might be disposed of in a manner satisfactory to all, by a prospective prohibition of Slavery in the Territory to the north and west of


Meanwhile, the House had voted on the original Missouri bill. An amendment, peremptorily inter dicting all Slavery in the new State, was adopted by 94 yeas to 86 nays; and thus the bill passed the House, and was sent to the Senate, March 1st. Thus, after an exasperated and protracted discussion, the two Houses were at a dead-lock. The double-headed Missouri Compromise was the ulti matum of the Senate. The restriction of Slavery in Missouri-involving, of course, its prohibition in the unorganized Territories-was the ultimatum of the House.

At this stage, on the 2d of March, the Committee of Conference made their report, which was urged at once upon the House by Mr. LOWNDES, the distinguished Representative from South Carolina, and one of her most precious sons, who objected to a motion to print, on the ground" that it would imply a determination in the House to delay a decision of the subject to-day, which he had hoped the House was fully prepared for." The question then came, on striking out the restriction in the Missouri bill. The report in the National Intelligencer says:—

This authoritative proposition of Compromise, from the most powerful advocate of the unconditional admission of Missouri, was made in the Senate on the 21st of January. From various indications, it seems to have found prompt favor in that body. Finally, on the 17th of February, the union of Maine and Missouri in one bill prevailed there, by 23 yeas to 21 nays. On the next day, Mr. Thomas, of Illinois, who had always voted with the South against any restriction upon Missouri, introduced the famous clause prohibiting Slavery north of 36 deg. 30 min., which now constitutes the eighth section of the Missouri act. An effort was made to include the Arkansas Territory within this prohibition; but the South united against this extension of the area of Freedom, and it was defeated by 24 nays to 20 yeas. The prohibition, as moved by Mr. Thomas, then prevailed. by 34 yeas to only 10 nays. Among those in the affirmative were both "Mr. LOWNDES spoke briefly in support of the Com the Senators from each of the slave States, Louisi-promise recommended by the Committee of Conference, ana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Delaware, Maryland, and urged with great earnestness the propriety of a decis and Alabama, and also one of the Senators from ion which would restore tranquillity to the country, which each of the slave States, Mississippi and North Caro-eration, of wisdom, and of virtue. was demanded by every consideration of discretion, of modlina, including in the honorable list the familiar names of William Pinkney, James Brown, and William Rufus King.

This bill, as thus amended, is the first legislative embodiment of the Missouri Compact or Compromise, the essential conditions of which were, the admission of Missouri as a State, without any restriction of Slavery, and the prohibition of Slavery in all the remaining Territory of Louisiana north of 36 deg. 30 min. This bill, thus composed, containing these two propositions-this double measure-finally passed the Senate by a test vote of 24 yeas to 20 nays. The yeas embraced every Southern Senator, except Nathaniel Macon, of North Carolina, and William Smith, of South Carolina. The nays embraced every Northern Senator, except the two Senators from Illinois, and one Senator from Rhode Island, and one from New Hampshire. And this, sir, is the record of the first stage in the adoption of the Missouri Compromise. First openly announced and vindicated on the floor of the Senate, by a distinguished Southern statesman, it was forced on the North by an almost unanimous Southern vote.

While things had thus culminated in the Senate, discussion was still proceeding in the other House on the original Missouri bill. This was for a moment arrested by the reception from the Senate of

"Mr. MERCER, of Virginia, followed on the same side with great earnestness, and had spoken about half an hour, when he was compelled by indisposition to resume his seat."

In conformity with this report, this disturbing question was at once put at rest. Maine and Missouri were each admitted into the Union as indepen dent States. The restriction of Slavery in Missouri was abandoned by a vote in the House of 90 yeas to 87 nays; and the prohibition of Slavery in an Territories north of 36 deg. 30 min., exclusive of Missouri, was substituted by a vote of 134 yeas to 42 nays. Among the distinguished Southern names in the affirmative are Louis M'Lane, of Delaware, Samuel Smith, of Maryland, William Lowndes, of South Carolina, and Charles Fenton Mercer, of Virginia. The title of the Missouri bill was amended in conformity with this prohibition, by adding the words, "and to prohibit Slavery in certain Ter ritories." The bills then passed both Houses without a division; and, on the morning of the 3d March, 1820, the National Intelligencer contained an exulting article, entitled, "The Question Settled."

Another paper, published in Baltimore, immediately after the passage of the Compromise, vindicated it as a perpetual compact, which could not be dis

turbed. The language is so clear and strong that I will read it, although it has been already quoted by my friend from Ohio [Mr. CHASE]:

"It is true the Compromise is supported only by the letter of the law, repealable by the authority which enacted it; but the clrcumstances of the case give this law a MORAL FORCE equal to that of a positive provision of the Constitution; and we do not hazard anything by saying that the Constitution exists in its observance. Both parties have sacrificed much to conciliation. We wish to see the COMPACT kept in good faith, and we trust that a kind Providence will open the way to relieve us of an evil which every good citizen deprecates as the supreme curse of the country."-Niles's Register.

The distinguished leaders in this settlement were all from the South. As early as February, 1819, LOUIS M'LANE, of Delaware, had urged it upon Congress, "by some compact binding upon all subsequent legislatures." It was in 1820 brought forward and upheld in the Senate by WILLIAM PINKNEY of Maryland, and passed in that body by the vote of every Southern Senator except two, against the vote of every Northern Senator except four. The Committee of Conference, through which it finally prevailed, was filled, on the part of the Senate, with inflexible partisans of the South, such as might fitly represent the sentiments of its President, pro tem., JOHN GAILLARD, a Senator from South nated by HENRY CLAY, the Speaker, and RepreCarolina; on the part of the House, it was nomisentative from Kentucky. This committee, thus constituted, drawing its double life from the South, was unanimous in favor of the Compromise. A private letter from Mr. PINKNEY, written at the time, and preserved by his distinguished biographer, shows that the report made by the committee came from him:

"The bill for the admission of Missouri into the Union (without restriction as to Slavery) may be considered as past. That bill was sent back again this morning from the House, with the restriction as to Slavery. The Senate voted to amend it by striking out the restriction (27 to 15), and pro

posed, as another amendment, what I have all along been the advocate of, a restriction upon the vacant territory to the north and west, as to Slavery. To-night the House of Representatives have agreed to both of these amendments, in opposition to their former votes, and this affair is settled. To-morrow we shall (of course) recede from our amendments as to Maine (our object being effected), and both States will be admitted. This happy result has been accomplished by the Conference, of which I was a member on the part of the Senate, and of which I proposed the report which has been made."

And now the South refuses to perform the par
which it originally proposed and assumed. With
the consideration in its pocket, it repudiates the
bargain which it forced upon the country. This
sir, is a simple statement of the present question.
A subtle German has declared, that he could find
heresies in the Lord's Prayer-and I believe it is
only in this spirit that any flaw can be found in the
existing obligations of this compact. As late as
1848, in the discussions of this body, the Senator
from Virginia who sits behind me, [Mr. MASON,]
while condemning it in many aspects, says:
for the sake of the Union, I would be the last to disturb it."-
"Yet as it was agreed to as a Compromise by the South
Congressional Globe, Appendix, 1st Session, 30th Congress,
vol. xix., p. 887.

Even this distinguished Senator recognised it as an
obligation which he would not disturb. And, though
disbelieving the original constitutionality of the ar
rangement, he was clearly right. I know, sir, that
it is in form simply a legislative act; but as the Act
of Settlement in England, declaring the rights and
liberties of the subject, and settling the succession
of the Crown, has become a permanent part of the
British Constitution, irrepealable by any common
the complete performance of its conditions by one
legislation, so this act, under all the circumstances
attending its passage, also by long acquiescence and
party, has become a part of our fundamental law,
irrepealable by any common legislation. As well
might Congress at this moment undertake to over
tutional, and now, on this account, thrust away that
haul the original purchase of Louisiana, as unconsti
magnificent heritage, with all its cities, States, and
Territories, teeming with civilization. The Missouri
Compact, in its unperformed obligations to Freedom,
stands at this day as impregnable as the Louisiana

I appeal to Senators about me, not to disturb is I appeal to the Senators from Virginia, to keep inviolate the compact made in their behalf by James Barbour and Charles Fenton Mercer. I appeal to the Senators from South Carolina, to guard the work of John Gaillard and William Lowndes. I appeal to the Senators from Maryland, to uphold the Compromise which elicited the constant support of Samuel Smith, and was first triumphantly pressed by the unsurpassed eloquence of Pinkney. I appeal to the Senators from Delaware, to maintain the landmark of Freedom in the Territory of Louisiana, early espoused by Louis McLane. I appeal to the Senators from Kentucky, not to repudiate the pledges of Henry Clay. I appeal to the Senators from Alabama, not to break the agreement sanctioned by the earliest votes in the Senate of their late most cher ished fellow-citizen, William Rufus King.

Thus again the Compromise takes its life from the South. Proposed in the committee by Mr. PINKNEY, it was urged on the House of Representatives, with great earnestness, by Mr. LOWNDES, of South Carolina, and Mr. MERCER, of Virginia; and here again is the most persuasive voice of the South. When passed by Congress, it next came before the President, James Monroe, of Virginia, for his approval, who did not sign it till after the unanimous opinion of his Cabinet, in writing, com- Sir, Congress may now set aside this obligation, posed of John Quincy Adams, William H. Craw-repudiate this plighted faith, annul this compact; ford, Smith Thompson, John C. Calhoun, and William Wirt-a majority of whom were Southern men-that the prohibition of Slavery in the Territories was constitutional. Thus yet again the Compromise takes its life from the South.

and some of you, forgetful of the majesty of honest dealing, in order to support Slavery, may consider it advantageous to use this power. To all such let me commend a familiar story: An eminent leader in antiquity, Themistocles, once announced to the As the Compromise took its life from the South, Athenian Assembly, that he had a scheme to proso the South, in the judgment of its own statesmen pose, highly beneficial to the state, but which could at the time, and according to unquestionable facts, not be expounded to the many. Aristides, surnamed was the conquering party. It gained at once its the Just, was appointed to receive the secret, and darling object, the admission of Missouri as a Slave to report upon it. His brief and memorable judg State; and subsequently the admission of Arkansas, ment was, that, while nothing could be more advanalso as a Slave State. From the crushed and hum- tageous to Athens, nothing could be more unjust; bled North, it received more than the full consider and the Athenian multitude, responding at once, reation stipulated in its favor. On the side of thejected the proposition. It appears that it was North the contract has been more than executed. proposed to burn the combined Greek fleet, which

then rested in the security of peace in a neighboring | self-evident," says our country, speaking by the voice sea, and thus confirm the naval supremacy of Athens. of JEFFERSON, "that all men are created equal; A similar proposition is now brought before the that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights; American Senate. You are asked to destroy a safe- that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of guard of Freedom, consecrated by solemn compact, happiness." And again, in the Congress of the under which the country is now reposing in the se- Confederation, he brought forward, as early as 1784, curity of peace, and thus confirm the supremacy of a resolution to exclude Slavery from all the TerriSlavery. To this institution and its partisans it may tory "ceded or to be ceded" by the States of the seem to be advantageous; but nothing can be more Federal Government, including the whole territory unjust. Let the judgment of the Athenian multi- now covered by Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabatude be yours. Lost at first by a single vote only, this measure was substantially renewed at a subsequent day, by a son of Massachusetts, and in 1787 was finally confirmed in the Ordinance of the Northwestern Territory, by a unanimous vote of the States.

This is what I have to say on this head. I now pass to the second branch of the argument.

II. Mr. President, it is not only as an infraction of solemn compact, embodied in ancient law, that I arraign this bill. I arraign it also as a flagrant and extravagant departure from the original Anti-Slavery | policy of our fathers.

And here, sir, bear with me in a brief recital of admitted facts. At the period of the Declaration of Independence there were upwards of half a million colored persons held in Slavery throughout the United Colonies. These unhappy people were originally stolen from Africa, or were the children of those who had been stolen, and, though distributed throughout the whole country, were to be found in largest number in the Southern States. But the spirit of Freedom then prevailed in the land. The fathers of the Republic, leaders in the war of Independence, were struck with the inconsistency of an appeal for their own liberties, while holding in bondage their fellow-men, "guilty of a skin not colored like their own." The same conviction animated the hearts of the people, whether at the North or South. At a town meeting, at Danbury, Connecticut, held on the 12th December, 1778, the following Declaration was made:

"It is with singular pleasure we note the second article of the Association, in which it is agreed to import no more Negro Slaves, as we cannot but think it a palpable absurdity so loudly to complain of attempts to enslave us, while we are actually enslaving others."-American Archives, Fourth Series, vol. i., p. 1038.

At a

The South responded in similar strains. meeting in Darien, Georgia, in 1775, the following important resolution was put forth:

"To show the world that we are not influenced by any contracted or interested motives, but by a general philanthropy for all mankind, of whatever climate, language, or complexion, we hereby declare our disapprobation and abhorrence of the unnatural practice of Slavery (in however the uncultivated state of the country, or other specious arguments, may plead for it)-a practice founded in injustice and cruelty, and highly dangerous to our liberties as well as lives, debasing part of our fellow-creatures below men, and corrupting the virtue and morals of the rest, and laying the basis of that liberty we contend for, and which we pray the Almighty to continue to the latest po terity, upon a very wrong foundation. We, therefore, resolve at all times to use our utmost endeavors for the manumission of our Slaves in this Colony, upon the most safe and equitable footing for the masters and themselves."-American Archives, Fourth Series, vol. i., p. 1135.

The soul of Virginia, during this period, found also fervid utterance through JEFFERSON, who, by his precious and immortal words, has enrolled himself among the earliest Abolitionists of the country. In his address to the Virginia Convention of 1774, he openly avowed, while vindicating the rights of British America, that "the abolition of domestic Blavery is the greatest object of desire in these Colonies, where it was unhappily introduced in their infant state." And then again, in the Declaration of Independence, he embodied sentiments which, when practically applied, will give freedom to every Slave throughout the land. "We hold these truths to be


Thus early and distinctly do we discern the AntiSlavery character of the founders of our Republic, and their determination to place the National Government, within the sphere of its jurisdiction, openly, actively, and perpetually, on the side of Freedom.

77 66

The Federal Constitution was adopted in 1788. And here we discern the same spirit. The emphatic words of the Declaration of Independence, which our country took upon its lips as baptismal vows, when it claimed its place among the nations of the earth, were not forgotten. The preamble to the Constitution renews them, when it declares its object to be, among other things, "to establish justice, to promote the general welfare, and to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and posterity." Thus, according to undeniable words, the Constitution was ordained, not to establish, secure, or sanction Slavery-not to promote the special interest of slaveholders-not to make Slavery national in any way, form, or manner-not to foster this great wrong, but to "establish justice," promote the general welfare," and " secure the blessings of Liberty." The discreditable words Slave and Slavery were not allowed to find a place in this instrument, while a clause was snbsequently added by way of amendment, and, therefore, according to the rules of interpretation, particularly revealing the sentiments of the founders, which is calculated, like the Declaration of Independence, if practically applied, to carry Freedom to all within the sphere of its influence. It was specifically declared that "no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;" that is, without due presentment, indictment, or other judicial proceeding. Here is an express guard of personal Liberty, and an express interdict upon its invasion anywhere within the national jurisdiction.

It is evident, from the debates on the National Constitution, that Slavery, like the slave-trade, was regarded as temporary; and it seems to have been supposed by many that they would both disappear together. Nor do any words employed in our day denounce it with an indignation more burning than those which glowed on the lips of the Fathers. Early in the Convention, Gouverneur Morris, of Pennsylvania, broke forth in the language of an Abolitionist: "He never would concur in upholding domestic Slavery. It was a nefarious institution. It was the curse of Heaven." In another mood, and with mild, juridical phrase, Mr. Madison "thought it wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea of property in man." And WASHINGTON, in letters written near this period-which completely describe the aims of an Abolitionist-avowed that "it was among his first wishes to see some plan adopted by which Slavery may be abolished by law," and that to this end "his suffrage should not be wanting."

In this spirit was the National Constitution adopt

ed. In this spirit the National Government was first practical and humane, was embodied-who knew organized under Washington. And here there is a intimately the purposes and aspirations of the foundfact of peculiar significance, well worthy of perpet-ers-this veteran statesman, then eighty-four years ual remembrance. At the time that this great chief of age, appeared at the bar of that Congress, whose took his first oath to support the Constitution of the powers he had helped to define and establish, and, United States, the national ensign nowhere within by the last political act of his long life, solemnly enthe national territory covered a single slave. On the treated "that it would be pleased to countenance sea an execrable piracy, the trade in slaves, was still, the restoration of liberty to those unhappy men, to the national scandal, tolerated under the national who alone, in this land of Freedom, are degraded flag. In the States, as a sectional institution, be- into perpetual bondage,” and “that it would step to neath the shelter of local laws, Slavery unhappily the very verge of the power vested in it for DISCOURfound a home. But in the only Territories at this AGING every species of traffic in the persons of our time belonging to the Nation, the broad region of fellow-men." Only a short time after uttering this the Northwest, it had already, by the Ordinance of prayer, the patriot statesman descended to the tomb; Freedom, been made impossible, even before the but he seems still to call upon Congress, in memor adoption of the Constitution. The District of Co- able words, to step to the very verge of the powers lumbia, with its fatal dowry, had not yet been ac- vested in it to discourage Slavery; and in making quired. this prayer, he proclaims the true national policy of the Fathers. Not encouragement, but discouragement of Slavery, was their rule.

There was,

The memorial of FRANKLIN, with other memorials of a similar character, was referred to a Committee, and much debated in the House, which finally sanctioned the following resolution, and directed the same to be entered upon its journals, viz. :

"That Congress have no authority to interfere in the emancipation of slaves, or in the treatment of them within any of the States; it remaining with the several States to provide any regulations therein, which humanity and true policy may require."

This resolution, declaring the principle of nonintervention by Congress with Slavery in the States, was adopted by the same Congress which had solemnly affirmed the prohibition of Slavery in all the existing territory of the Union. And it is on these double acts, at the first organization of the Government, and the recorded sentiments of the founders, that I take my stand, and challenge all question.

Entering upon his high duties, WASHINGTON himself an Abolitionist, was surrounded by men who, by their lives and declared opinions, were pledged to warfare with Slavery. There was JOHN ADAMS, the Vice-President, who had early announced that 66 consenting to Slavery is a sacrilegious breach of trust." There was ALEXANDER HAMILTON, who, as a member of the Abolition Society of New York, had only recently united in a solemn petition for those who, "though free by the laws of God, are held in slavery by the laws of the State." also, another character of spotless purity and commanding influence, JOHN JAY, President of the Abolition Society of New York, until by the nomination of WASHINGTON he became Chief-Justice of the United States. In his sight Slavery was an "iniquity"-"a sin of crimson dye," against which ministers of the Gospel should testify, and which the Government should seek in every way to abolish. "Were I in the Legislature," he wrote, "I would present a bill for the purpose with great care, and I At this time there was, strictly, no dividing line would never cease moving it till it became a law or in the country between Anti-Slavery and Pro-Slavery. I ceased to be a member. Till America comes into The Anti-Slavery interest was thoroughly national, this measure, her prayers to Heaven will be impi- pervading alike all parts of the Union, and having ous. By such men was WASHINGTON surrounded, its source in the common sentiment of the entire while from his own Virginia came the voice of PAT- people. The Pro-Slavery interest was strictly local, RICK HENRY, amid confessions that he was a master personal, and pecuniary, and had its source simply in of slaves, crying, "I will not, I cannot justify it. the individual relations of slaveholders. It contemHowever culpable my conduct, I will so far pay my plated Slavery only as a domestic institution-not devoir to Virtue as to own the excellence and recti- as a political element-and merely stipulated for its tude of her precepts and lament my want of conform-security where it actually existed within the States. ity to them." Such words as these, fitly coming Sir, the original policy of the country is clear and from our leaders, belong to the true glories of the unmistakeable. Compendiously expressed, it was country:

"While we such precedents can boast at home, Keep thy Fabricius and thy Cato, Rome!" The earliest Congress under the Constitution adopted the ordinance of Freedom for the Northwestern Territory, and thus ratified the prohibition of Slavery in all the existing Territories of the Union. Among those who sanctioned this act were men fresh from the labors of the Convention, and therefore familiar with its policy. But there is another voice which bears testimony in the same direction. Among the petitions presented to the first Congress, was one from the Abolition Society of Pennsylvania, signed by BENJAMIN FEANKLIN, as President. This venerable votary of Freedom, who, throughout a long life, had splendidly served his country, at home and abroad-whose name, signed to the Declaration of Independence, gave added importance even to that great instrument, and then again, signed to the Constitution of the United States, filled it with the charm of wisdom-in whom, more than in any other man, the true spirit of American Institutions, at once

non-intervention by Congress with Slavery in the States, and its prohibition in all the national domain, In this way the discordant feelings on this subject were reconciled. Slave-masters were left at home. in their respective States, to hug Slavery, under the protection of local laws, without any interference from Congress, while all opposed to it were exempted from any responsibility for it in the national domain. This, sir, is the common ground on which our political fabric was reared; and I do not hesitate to say that it is the only ground on which it can stand in permanent peace.

It is beyond question, sir, that our Constitution was framed by the lovers of Human Rights; that it was animated by their divine spirit; that the institution of Slavery was regarded by them with aversion, so that, though covertly alluded to, it was not named in the instrument; that, according to the debates in the Convention, they refused to give it any "sanction," and looked forward to the certain day when this evil and shame would be obliterated from the land. But the original policy of the Gov

particular territory acquired from France, has been accepted as final down to the present session of Congress; but now, Sir, here in 1854, Freedom is suddenly summoned to surrender even her hard-won moiety of this territory. Here are the three stages: at the first, all is consecrated to Freedom: at the second, only half; while at the third, all is to be opened to Slavery. Thus is the original policy of the Government absolutely reversed. Slavery, which, at the beginning, was a sectional institution, with no foothold anywhere on the national territory, is now exalted as a national institution, and all our broad domain is threatened by its blighting shadow.

ernment did not long prevail. The generous senti- | ments which filled the early patriots, giving to them historic grandeur, gradually lost their power. The blessings of Freedom being already secured to themselves, the freemen of the land grew indifferent to the freedom of others. They ceased to think of the slaves. The slave-masters availed themselves of this indifference, and, though few in numbers, compared with the non-slaveholders, even in the slave States, they have, uuder the influence of an imagined self-interest, by the skilful tactics of party, and especially by an unhesitating, persevering union among themselves-swaying, by turns, both the great political parties—succeeded through a long succession of years, in obtaining the control of the Federal Government, bending it to their purposes, compelling it to do their will, and imposing upon it a policy friendly to Slavery, offensive to Freedom only, and directly opposed to the sentiments of its found-gress over the national domain is derived-whether Our Republic has grown in population and power; but it has fallen from its early moral greatness. It is not now what it was at the beginning-a Republic merely permitting, while it regretted Slavery; tolerating it only where it could not be removed, and interdicting it where it did not exist-out invalidating a large portion of the legislation of but a mighty Propagandist openly favoring and vindicating it; visiting, also, with displeasure all who oppose it.


But the prohibition of Slavery in the Territories is assailed as unconstitutional, and on this account the Missouri Compromise is pronounced void and of no effect. Now, without considering minutely the sources from which the power of Confrom the express grant in the Constitution to make rules and regulations for the government of the Territory, or from the power necessarily implied to govern territory acquired by conquest or purchase-it seems to me impossible to deny its existence with

the country, from the adoption of the Constitution down to the present day. This power was asserted before the Constitution. It was not denied or prohibited by the Constitution itself. It has been exercised from the first existence of the Government, and has been recognized by the three departments of the Government-the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial. Precedents of every kind are thick in its support. Indeed, the very bill now before us assumes a control of the Territory clearly inconsistent with those principles of sovereignty which are said to be violated by a Congressional prohibition of Slavery.

and to the people the election of the Legislatureordaining the qualifications of voters, the salaries of the public officers, and the daily compensation of the members of the Legislature. Surely, if Congress may establish these provisions, without any interference with the rights of territorial sovereignty, it may also prohibit Slavery.

The extent to which the original policy of the Government has been changed can be placed beyond question. Early in our history no man was disqualified for public office by reason of his opinions on this subject; and this condition continued for a long period. As late as 1821, JOHN W. TAYLOR, of New York, who had pressed with so much energy, not merely the prohibition of Slavery in the Territories, but its restriction in the State of Missouri, was elected to the chair of HENRY CLAY, as Speaker of the other House. It is needless to add, that no deter- Here are provisions, determining the main feamined supporter of the Wilmot Proviso at this day tures in the Government-the distribution of powers could expect that eminent trust. An arrogant and in the Executive, the Legislative, and Judicial deunrelenting ostracism is now applied, not only to partments, and the manner in which they shall be all who express themselves against Slavery, but to respectively constituted-securing to the Presievery man who will not be its menial. A novel dent, with the consent of the Senate, the appointLest for office has been introduced, which would havement of the Governor, the Secretary, and the Judges, excluded all the Fathers of the Republic-even WASHINGTON, JEFFERSON, and FRANKLIN. Yes, Sir, startling it may be, but indisputable. Could these illustrious men descend from their realms above, and revisit the land which they had nobly dedicated to Freedom, they could not, with their well-known and recorded opinions against Slavery, receive a nomination for the Presidency from either But there is in the very bill an express prohibiof the old political parties. Nor could JOHN JAY, tion on the Territory, borrowed from the Ordinance our first Chief Justice, and great exampler of judi- of 1787, and repeated in every act organizing a Tercial virtue who hated Slavery as he loved justice-ritory, or even a new State, down to the present be admitted to resume those duties with which his time, wherein it is expressly declared that " name on earth is indissolubly associated. To such should be imposed upon the property of the United extent has our Government departed from the an- States." Now, here is a clear and unquestionable cient ways. restraint upon the sovereignty of Territories and States. The public lands of the United States, situated within an organized Territory or State, cannot be regarded as the instruments and means necessary and proper to execute the sovereign powers of the nation, like fortificatious, arsenals, and navy-yards. They are strictly in the nature of private property of the nation; and as such, unless exempted by the foregoing prohibition, would clearly be within the field of local taxation, liable, like the lands of other proprietors, to all customary burdens and incidents. Mr. Justice WOODBURY has declared, in a well-considered judgment, that "where the United States own land situated within the limits of particular

These facts prepare us to comprehend the true character of the change with regard to the Territories. In 1787, all the existing national domain was promptly and unanimously dedicated to Freedom, without opposition or criticism. The interdict of Slavery then covered every inch of soil belonging to the National Government. Louisiana, an immense region beyond the bounds of the original States, was afterwards acquired, and, in 1820, after a vehement struggle, which shook the whole land, discomfited Freedom was compelled, by a dividing line, to a partition with Slavery. This arrangement, which, in its very terms, was exclusively applicable to a

no tax

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