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Mr. Thomas's amendment reads as follows:
"And be it further enacted, That in all that territory ceded by France to the United States, under the name of Louisiana, which lies north of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, excepting only such part thereof as is included within the limits of the State contemplated by this act, slavery and involuntary servitude, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall be and is hereby for ever prohibited: Provided, always, That any person escaping into the same from whom labor or service is lawfully claimed in any State or Territory of the United States, such fugitive may be lawfully reclaimed, and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labor or service, as aforesaid."
This amendment, was also moved in the House, by Mr. Storrs of New York.
After an ineffectual motion by Mr. Trimble, of Kentucky, to bring the north line of the State of Missouri about half a degree south of the line proposed, with a view to give Missouri a share of the fine valley at the Des Moines, the question was taken on ordering the bill, as amended, to be engrossed and read a third time by the following vote :
AYES-Messrs. Barbour, Brown, Eaton, Edwards, Elliott, Gaillard, Horsey, Hunter, Johnson of Kentucky, Johnson of Louisiana, King of Alabama, Leake, Lloyd, Parrott, Pinkney, Pleasants, Stokes, Thomas,, Van Dyke, Walker of Alabama, Walker of Georgia, Williams of Mississippi, Williams of Tennessee.-24.
NOES-Messrs. Burrill, Dana, Dickerson, King of New York, Lanman, Lowrie, Macon, Mellen, Morril, Noble, Otis, Palmer, Roberts, Ruggles, Sanford, Smith, Taylor, Tichenor, Trimble, Wilson.-20.
So the bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time.
Mr. Macon, of North Carolina, and Mr. Smith, of South Carolina, were the only southern members who voted against this clause.
The bill, including both Maine and Missouri, passed the Senate. The House, however, disagreed to the combination of the two states in one bill, 93 to 72.
Mr. Thomas's amendment was disagreed to at this time 159 to 18. The whole subject then went to a committee of conference consisting of Senators Thomas Pinkney and Barbour : and Messrs. Holmes, Taylor, Lowndes, Parker, of Mass., and Kinsey, of the House. The result was that the admission of Missouri with Mr. Thomas' amendment was put in a separate bill, to the exclusion of Maine. It passed the House March 1, 1820, by a vote of 91 to 82, and the Senate, March 2, without a division. On a test vote, previous to the final passage of the bill, the House divided on the great question at issue, embodied in Mr. Thomas' and Mr. Storr's amendment, substantially as follows: for the prohibition of slavery, forever, north of 36° 30', 134 to 42 Nays.
The main question was taken on concurring with the Senate in inserting in the bill, in lieu of the State restriction, the clause inhibiting slavery in the territory north of 36° 30′, north latitude, and was decided in the affirmative, by yeas and nays, as follows:
For inserting the substitute:-Messrs. Allen of New York, Allen of Tennessee, Anderson, Archer of Maryland, Baker, Baldwin. Bateman. Bayly, Beecher, Bloomfield, Boden, Brevard, Brown, Brush, Bryan, Butler of New Hamp shire, Campbell, Cannon, Case, Clagett, Clarke, Cocke, Cook, Crafts, Crawford, Crowell, Culbreth, Culpepper, Cushman, Cuthbert. Darlington, Davidson, Dennison, Dewitt, Dickinson, Dowse, Earl, Eddy, Edwards of Pennsyl vania, Fay, Fisher, Floyd, Foot. Ford, Forrest, Fuller, Fullerton, Gross of Pennsylvania, Guyon, Hackley, Hall of New York, Hardin, Hazard, Hemphill, Hendricks, Herrick, Hibshman, Hiester, Hill, Holmes, Hostetter, Kendall, Kent, Kinsley, Kinsey, Lathrop, Little, Lincoln, Linn, Livermore, Lowndes, Lyman, Maclay, McCreary, McLane of Delaware, McLean of Kentucky, Mallary, Marchand. Mason, Meigs, Mercer, R. Moore, S. Moore, Monell, Morton, Moseley, Murray, Nelson of Mass., Nelson of Virginta, Parker of Mass., Patterson, Philson, Pitcher, Plumer, Quarles, Rankin, Rich, Richards, Richmond, Ringgold, Robertson, Rogers, Ross, Russ, Sampson, Sergeant, Settle, Shaw, Silsbee, Sloan, Smith of New Jersey, Smith of Maryland, Smith of North Carolina, Southard, Stevens, Storrs, Street, Strong of Vermont, Strong of New York Strother, Tarr, Taylor, Tomlinson, Tompkins, Tracy, Trimble, Tucker of South Carolina, Upham, Van Rensselaer, Wallace, Warfield, Wendover, Williams of North Carolina, Wood-134. Against it-Messrs. Abbot, Adams, Alexander. Allen of Mass., Archer of Virginia, Barbour, Buffum, Burton, Burwell, Butler of Louisiana, Cobb, Edwards of North Carolina, Ervin, Folger, Garnet, Gross of New York, Hall of North Carolina, Hooks, Johnson, Jones of Virginia, Jones of Tennessee, McCoy, Metcalf, Neale, Newton, Overstreet, Parker of Virginia, Pinckney, Pindall, Randolph, Reed, Rhea, Simkins, Slocumb, B. Smith of Virginia, A. Smyth of Virginia, Swearingen, Terrill, Tucker of Virginia, Tyler, Walker of North Carolina, Williams of Virginia-42.
In the Senate it stood 33 Ayes and 11 Nays. Slavery was permitted in Missouri by a vote of 27 to 15 in the Senate, and 90 to 87 in the House. That is, the restriction which originally applied to Missouri was struck out as a compensation for introducing Mr. Thomas' restriction upon territory north and west of Missouri.
Thus the exciting question was ended for the session, and the bill authorizing the people of Missouri to form a Constitution for a State Government became a law on the 6th March, 1820.
The bill for the admission of Maine became a law on the 3d March, 1820, to take effect from the 15th of the same month.
[It will be seen that Mr. Clay had no more agency in this compromise than any other member who voted for it. He had earnestly opposed the restriction on Missouri, as had Mr. Randolph, Mr. P. P. Barbour, and Mr. E. Smyth, of Virginia; Mr. Reid, of Georgia; Mr. Pinckney and Mr. Lowndes, of South Carolina; Mr. Baldwin, of Pennsylvania, and other
In the SENATE the restriction was advocated by Mr. Roberts, of Pennsylvania, Mr. King, of New York, Mr. Otis, of Massachusetts, and other prominent Senators; and it was opposed
by Mr. Barbour, of Virginia, Mr. Johnson, of Kentucky, Mr. Pinkney of Maryland, and Smith, of South Carolina, and others.]
Such is the brief history of the enactment of the so called "Missouri Compromise” whereby slavery was forever excluded from territory lying north of 36° 30′ north latitude, and Missouri admitted into the Union without a restriction as to slavery. The debate was long and exciting. One member remarked that "it had all the marks of eternity about it," so slight was the prospect of its coming to an end. Public meetings were held in all the large towns in the Union, and the Legislatures of almost all the States adopted resolutions touching the matter.
When Missouri had formed her Constitution and came to be admitted into the Union, another distracting question" arose as to whether her Constitution was republican or not, it having a provision in it excluding free colored people from the State. The Senate voted to admit her, with this provision in her Constitution, and the House refused. A Committee of Conference was raised as before, on motion of Mr. Clay.
The following gentlemen were elected a Committee on the part of the House: Messrs. Clay of Kentucky, Cobb of Georgia, Hill of Maine, Barbour of Virginia, Storrs of New York, Cocke of Tennessee, Rankin of Mississippi, Archer of Virginia, Brown of Kentucky, Eddy of Rhode Island, Ford of New York, Culbreth of Maryland, Hackley of New York, S. Moore of Pennsylvania, Stevens of Connecticut, Rogers of Pennsylvania, Southard of New Jersey, Darlington of Pennsylvania, Pitcher of New York, Sloan of Ohio, Randolph of Virginia, Baldwin of Pennsylvania, and Smith of North Carolina.
In the Senate, on the 24th of February, 1821, on the announcement of a message that the House had appointed a committee of Conference, Mr. SMITH, of South Carolina, opposed it, and Mr. BARBOUR, of Virginia, and Mr. HOLMES, of Maine, supported it. The Senate concurred, by a vote of 29 to 7, and a committee was appointed to meet the House committee, and the following gentlemen were appointed :
Messrs. Holmes of Maine, Roberts of Pennsylvania, Morrill of New Hampshire, Barbour of Virginia, Southard of New Jersey, Johnson of Kentucky, and King of New York.
On the 26th February, 1821, Mr. CLAY, from the joint committee, reported a joint resolution for the admission of the State of Missouri, upon condition that the restrictive clause in her constitution should never be so construed as to authorize the passage of any law by which any citizen of any other State shall be excluded from the enjoyment of any of the privileges and immunities to which such citizen is entitled under the Constitution of the United States.
Mr. CLAY briefly explained the views of the committee and the considerations which induced them to report the resolution as being the same in effect as that which had been previously reported by the former committee of thirteen members; and stated that the committee on the part of the Senate was unanimous, and that on the part of the House nearly so, in favor of this resolution.
After further debate, the previous question was ordered, and the main question put, viz. "Shall the resolution be engrossed and read a third time?" It was decided as follows:
The resolution was then ordered to be read a third time that day, but not without considerable opposition.
The resolution was accordingly read a third time, and put on its passage.
Mr. RANDOLPH, in a speech of some twenty minutes, delivered the reasons why he should not vote for the resolution.
The final question was then taken on the resolution, and decided in the affimative, as follows:
YEAS-Messrs. Abbot, Alexander, Allen of Tennessee, Anderson, Archer of Virginia, Baldwin, Ball, Barbour, Bateman, Bayly, Blackledge, Bloomfield, Brevard, Brown, Bryan, Butler of Louisiana, Cannon, Clark, Clay, Cobb, Cocke, Crawford, Crowell, Culbreth, Culpepper, Cuthbert, Davidson, Eddy, Edwards of North Carolina, Fisher, Floyd. Ford Gray, Guyon. Hackley, Hall of North Carolina, Hardin, Hill, Hooks, Jackson, Johnson, Jones of Virginia, Jones of Tennessee, Little, McCoy, McCreary, McLean of Kentucky, Meigs, Mercer, Metcalfe, Montgomery, S. Moore, J. L. Moore, Neale, Nelson of Virginia, Newton, Overstreet, Pinckney, Rankin, Reid, Rhea, Ringgold, Robertson, Rogers, Sawyer. Settle, Shaw, Simpkins, Smith of New Jersey, Smith of Maryland, A. Smyth of Virginia, Smith of North Carolina, Southard, Stevens. Storrs, Swearingen, Trimble, Terrell, Tucker of Virginia, Tucker of South Carolina, Tyler, Udree, Walker, Warfield, Williams of Virginia, and Williams of North Carolina.-87. NAYS-Messrs. Adams, Allen of Massachusetts, Allen of New York, Baker, Beecher, Boden, Brush, Buffum, Butler New Hampshire, Campbell, Case, Clagett, Cook, Cushman, Dana, Darlington, Dennison. DeWitt, Dickinson, Edwards of Connecticut, Edwards of Pennsylvania. Eustis, Fay, Folger, Foot, Forrest, Fuller, Gorham, Gross of New York, Gross of Pennsylvania, Hall of New York, Hemphill, Hendricks, Herrick, Hibsham, Hobart, Hostetter, Hendall, Kinsey, Kingsley, Lathrop, Lincoln, Livermore, Maclay, McCullough, Mallary, Marchand, Meech, Monell, R. Moore. Morton, Moseley, Murray. Nelson of Massachusetts. Patterson, Parker of Mass., Phelps, Philson, Pitcher, Plumer, Randolph, Rich. Richards, Richmond, Ross, Russ, Sergeant. Sillsbee. Sloan, Street, Strong of Vermont, Strong of New York, Tarr, Tomlinson, Tracey, Upham, Van Rensselaer, Wallace, Wendover, Whitman, and Wood.-31. So the resolution was passed, and ordered to be sent to the Senate for concurrence.
On the 26th of February, in the Senate, Mr. Holmes, of Maine, from the joint committee of the two Houses, reported a resolution for the admission of Missouri into the Union, which was read and laid on the table.
On the 27th, the resolution having passed the House, was taken up in the Senate.
After an unsuccessful attempt by Mr. Macon, to strike out the condition and proviso, which was negatived by a large majority, and a few remarks by Mr. Barbour, in support of the expediency of harmony and concession on this momentous subject,
The question was taken on ordering the resolution to be read a third time, and was decided in the affirmative, by the following vote:
YEAS-Messrs. Barbour, Chandler, Eaton, Elliott, Gaillard, Holmes of Maine, Holmes of Mississippi, Horsey Hunter, Johnson of Kentucky, Johnson of Louisiana, King of Alabama, Lowrie, Morril, Parrott. Pleasants, Roberts, Southard, Stokes, Talbot, Taylor, Thomas, Van Dyke, Walker of Alabama, Williams of Mississippi, and Williams of Tennessee.-26.
NAYS-Messrs. Dana, Dickinson, King of New York, Knight, Lanman, Macon, Mills, Noble, Otis, Palmer, Ruggles, Sanford, Smith, Tichenor, and Trimble.-15.
A motion was made to read the resolution a third time forthwith, but it was objected to, and, under the rule of the Senate, of course it could not be done.
On the 28th the resolution from the House of Representatives declaring the admission of the State of Missouri into the Union was read a third time, and the question on its final passage was decided as follows:
YEAS-Messrs. Barbour, Chandler, Eaton, Edwards, Holmes of Maine, Holmes of Mississippi, Horsey, Hunter, Johnson, of Kentucky, Johnson of Louisiana. King of Alabama, Lowrie, Morril, Parrott, Pinckney, Pleasants, Roberts, Southard, Stokes, Talbot, Taylor, Thomas, Van Dyke, Walker of Alabama, Walker of Georgia, Williams of Mississippi, and Williams of Tennessee.-28.
NAYS-Messrs. Dana, Dickerson, King of New York, Knight, Lanman, Macon, Mills, Noble, Ruggles, Sanford, Smith, Tichenor, and Trimble.-14.
So the joint resolution was concurred in by both Houses and became a law, in the following words :
RESOLUTION PROVIDING FOR THE ADMISSION OF MISSOURI INTO THE UNION ON A CERTAIN CONDITION. Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That Missouri shall be admitted into this Union on an equal footing with the original States, in all respects whatever, upon the fundamental condition that the fourth clause of the twenty-sixth section of the third article of the Constitution, submitted on the part of the said State to Congress, shall never be construed to authorize the passage of any law, and that no law shall be passed in conformity thereto, by which any citizen of either of the States in this Union shall be excluded from the enjoyment of any of the privileges and immunities to which such citizen is entitled under the Constitution of the United States: Provided, That the Legislature of the said State, by solemn public act, shall declare the assent of the said State to the said fundamental condition, and transmit to the President of the United States, on or before the fourth Monday in November next, an authentic copy of the said Act; upon the receipt whereof the President, by proclamation, shall announce the fact; whereupon, and without any further proceeding on the part of Congress, the admission of the said State into this Union shall be considered as complete.
Approved, March 2, 1821.
JOHN W TAYLOR,
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
President of the Senate, pro tempore.
Missouri having accepted the condition imposed by the above resolution, the President of the United States, on the 10th August, 1821, issued his proclamation declaring the admission of Missouri complete according to law.
DANIEL WEBSTER ON THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE.
Among the productions of Mr. Webster's pen which do not appear in his collected works, is a pamphlet published by Sewell Phelps, at No. 5 Court st., Boston, in 1819. It is entitled "A Memorial to the Congress of the United States on the subject of restraining the increase of Slavery in new States to be admitted into the Union, prepared in pursuance of a vote of the inhabitants of Boston and its vicinity, assembled at the State House on the 3d of December, A.D. 1819." The memorial is signed by Daniel Webster, George Blake, Josiah Quincy, James T. Austin, and John Gallison.
"To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, in Congress assembled:
which of course include all such regulations as its own views of policy or expediency shall from time to time dictate. If, therefore, in its judg ment it be needful for the benefit of a territory to enact a prohibition of Slavery, it would seem to be as much within its power of legislation as any other act of local policy. Its sovereignty being complete and universal as to the territory, it may exercise over it the most ample jurisdiction in every respect. It possesses in this view all the authority which any State Legislature possesses over its own territory; and if any State Legislature may, in its discretion, abolish or prohibit Slavery within its own limits, in virtue of its general legislative authority, for the same reason Congress also may exercise the like authority over its own territories. And that a State Legislature, unless restrained by some constitutional provision, may so do, is unquestionable, and has been established by general practice. * **
"The undersigned, inhabitants of Boston and no bearing on the present question. The power, its vicinity, beg leave most respectfully and hum- then, of Congress over its own territories is, by bly to represent: That the question of the intro- the very terms of the Constitution, unlimited. It duction of Slavery into the new States to be formed may make all 'needful rules and regulations,' on the west side of the Mississippi River, appears to them to be a question of the last importance to the future welfare of the United States. If the progress of this great evil is ever to be arrested, it seems to the undersigned that this is the time to arrest it. A false step taken now cannot be retraced; and it appears to us that the happiness of unborn millions rests on the measure which Congress on this occasion may adopt. Considering this as no local question, nor a question to be decided by a temporary expediency, but as involving great interests of the whole United States, and affecting deeply and essentially those objects of common defense, general welfare, and the perpetuation of the blessings of liberty, for which the Constitution itself was formed, we have presumed, in this way, to offer our sentiments and express our wishes to the National Legislature. And as various reasons have been suggested against prohibiting Slavery in the new States, it may perhaps be permitted to us to state our reasons both for believing that Congress possesses the constitutional power to make such prohibition a condition, on the admission of a new State into the Union, and that it is just and proper that they should exercise that power.
"The creation of a new State, is, in effect, a compact between Congress and the inhabitants of the proposed State. Congress would not probably claim the power of compelling the inhabitants of Missouri to form a Constitution of their own, and come into the Union as a State. It is as plain that the inhabitants of that territory have no right of admission into the Union as a State without the consent of Congress. Neither party is bound to form this connection. It can be formed only by the consent of both. What, then, prevents Congress,
"And in the first place as to the constitutional authority of Congress. The Constitution of the United States has declared that 'Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States; as one of the stipulating parties, to propose its and nothing in this Constitution shall be so con- terms? And if the other party assents to these strued as to prejudice the claims of the United terms, why do they not effectually bind both parStates or of any particular State.' It is very ties? Or if the inhabitants of the Territory do not well known that the saving in this clause of the choose to accept the proposed terms, but prefer claims of any particular State was designed to to remain under a Territorial Government, has apply to claims by the then existing States of ter- Congress deprived them of any right, or subjected ritory which was also claimed by the United them to any restra States as their own property. It has, therefore, I had not authority
which, in its discretion, it >? If the admission of new
States be not the discretionary exercise of a con- an admission into the Union was supposed to confer. stitutional power, but in all cases an imperative The memorialists, after this general survey, duty, how is it to be performed? If the Consti- would respectfully ask the attention of Congress to tution means that Congress shall admit new States, the state of the question of the right of Congress does it mean that Congress shall do this on every to prohibit Slavery in that part of the former Terapplication and under all circumstances? Or if ritory of Louisiana, which now forms the Missouri this construction cannot be admitted, and if it Territory. Louisiana was purchased of France by must be conceded that Congress must in some re- the Treaty of the 30th April, 1803. The third spects exercise its discretion on the admission of article of that Treaty is as follows: "The inhanew States, how is it to be shown that that dis- bitants of the ceded Territory shall be incorpocretion may not be exercised in regard to this sub-rated into the Union of the United States, and adject as well as in regard to others?
mitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of the Federal Constitution, to the enjoyment of all the rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the United States; and in the meantime they shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and the religion which they profess."
The Constitution declares, "that the migration or importation of such persons as any of the States now existing, shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress, prior to the year 1808!" It is most manifest that the Constitution does contemplate, in the very terms of this clause, that Congress possesses the authority to prohibit Although the language of this article is not the migration or importation of slaves; for it very precise or accurate, the memorialists conceive limits the exercise of this authority for a specific that its real import and intent cannot be misperiod of time, leaving it to its full operation ever taken. The first clause provides for the admisafterward. And this power seems necessarily in- sion of the ceded territory into the Union, cluded in the authority which belongs to Congress, and the succeeding clause shows this must be ac"to regulate commerce with foreign nations and cording to the principles of the Federal Constitution; among the several States." No person has ever and this very qualification necessarily excludes the doubted that the prohibition of the foreign slave idea that Congress were not to be at liberty to impose trade was completely within the authority of Con- any conditions upon such admission which were gress since the year 1808. And why? Certainly consistent with the principles of that Constitution, only because it is embraced in the regulation of and which had been or might justly be applied to foreign commerce; and if so, it may for the like other new States. The language is not by any reason be prohibited since that period between means so pointed as that of the Resolve of 1780; the States. Commerce in slaves, since the year and yet it has been seen that that Resolve was 1808, being as much subject to the regulation of never supposed to inhibit the authority of ConCongress as any other commerce, if it should see gress, as to the introduction of slavery. And it fit to enact that no slave should ever be sold from is clear, upon the plainest rule of construction, one State to another, it is not perceived how its that in the absence of all restrictive language, a constitutional right to make such provision could clause, merely providing for the admission of a be questioned. It would seem to be too plain to territory into the Union, must be construed to aube questioned, that Congress did possess the thorize an admission in the manner, and upon the power, before the year 1808, to prohibit the migra- terms which the Constitution itself would justify. tion or importation of slaves into the territories, This construction derives additional support from (and in point of fact it exercised that power) as the next clause. The inhabitants "shall be adwell as into any new States; and that its authority, mitted as soon as possible, according to the prinafter that year, might be as fully exercised to pre- ciples of the Federal Constitution, to the enjoy vent the migration or importation of slaves into ment of all the rights, advantages, and immunities any of the old States. And if it may prohibit of citizens of the United Siates." The rights, advannew States from importing slaves, it may surely, tages, and immunities here spoken of, must, from as we humbly submit, make it a condition of the the very force of the terms of the clause, be such admission of such States into the Union, that they as are recognized or communicated by the Constishall never import them. In relation, too, to its tution of the United States; such as are common own Territories, Congress possesses a more extensive authority, and may, in various other ways, effect the object. It might, for example, make it an express condition of its grants of the soil, that its owners shall never hold slaves; and thus prevent the possession of slaves from ever being connected with the ownership of the soil.
to all citizens, and are uniform throughout the United States. The clause cannot be referred to rights, advantages, and immunities derived exclusively from the State Government, for these do not depend upon the Federal Constitution. Be sides, it would be impossible that all the rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the dif As corroborative of the views which have been ferent States could be at the same time enjoyed already suggested, the memorialists would re- by the same persons. These rights are different spectfully call the attention of Congress to the in different States; a right exists in one State history of the national legislation, under the Con- which is denied in others, or is repugnant to other federation as well as under the present Constitu- rights enjoyed in others. In some of the States, tion on this interfering subject. Unless the me- a freeholder alone is entitled to vote in elections; morialists greatly mistake, it will demonstrate the in some a qualification of personal property is sufsense of the nation at every period of its legisla- ficient; and in others age and freedom are the tion to have been, that the prohibition of Slavery sole qualifications of electors. In some states, no was no infringement of any just rights belonging citizen is permitted to hold slaves: in others he to free States, and was not incompatible with the possesses that power absolutely; in others it is enjoyments of all the rights and immunities which limited. The obvious meaning, therefore, of the