« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or , and Miesissippi States, all of whom were slavedisparage others retained by the people." Mr. holding States, and to each of them this principle S. believed it to be a just rule of interpretation, had been extended. that the enumeration of powers delegated to Con. Mr. S. believed, that the practice under the gress weakened their authority in all cases not constitution had been different from that now enumerated ; and that beyond those powers enu- contended for by gentlemen ; be was unapprised merated they had none, except they were essen. of any similar provision having ever been inade, tially necessary to carry into effect those that or attempted to be made, in relation to any other were given. The second section of the fourth new State heretofore admitted. The argument article of the Constitution, which declared that drawn from the States formed out of the Territory " the citizens of each Stato shall be entitled to all northwest of the river Ohio, he did not consider the privileges and immunities of citizens in the as analogous ; that restriction, if any, was imseveral States," was satisfactory, to his judgment, posed in pursuance of a compact, and only, so that it was intended the citizens of each® State, far as Congress could do, carried into effect the forming a part of one harmonious whole, should disposition of Virginia in reference to a part of have, in all things, equal privileges; the necessary her own original Territory, and was, in every consequences of which was, that every man, in respect, more just, because that provision was his own State, should have the same rights, privi- made and published to the world at a time when leges, and powers, that any other citizen of the but few, if any, settlements were formed within United States had in his own State; otherwise dis- that tract of country; and the children of those content and murmurings would prevail against people of color belonging to the inhabitants then the general government who had deprived him there have been, and still were held iu bondage, of this equality.
and were not free at a given age, as was contemFor example, if the citizens of Pennsylvania, plated by the amendinent under consideration, or Virginia, enjoyed the right, in their own State, nor did he doubt but that it was competent for to decide the question whether they would have any of those States admitted in pursuance of the Slavery or not, the citizens of Missouri, to give ordinance of '87, to call a convention, and so to them the same privileges, must have the same alter their constitution as to allow the introduc. right to decide whether they would or would not tion of Slaves, if they thought proper to do so. tolerate Slavery in their State ; if it were other. To those gentlemen who had in their argument, wise, then the citizens of Pennsylvania and in support of the amendments, adverted to the Virginia would have more rights, privileges, instance where Congress had, by the law author. and powers in their respective states, than izing the people of Louisiana to form a constitu. the citizens of Missouri would have in theirs. tion and State government, exercised the power Mr. S. said he would make another quotation of imposing the terms and conditions on which from the same work he had before been indebted they should be permitted to do so, he would reto, which he believed had considerable bearing commend a careful examination and comparison
this question. “ The powers delegated of those terms with the Constitution of the by the proposed constitution, to the federal gov. United States, when, he doubted not, they would ernment, are few and defined'; those which are to be convinced that these restrictions were only remain in the State Governments, are numerous such as were in express and positive language and indefinite; the former will be exercised prin defined in the latter instrument, and would have cipally on external objects, as war, peace, nego been equally binding on the people of Louisiana tiation, and foreign cominerce, with which last had they not been enumerated in the law giving the powers of taxation will, for the most part, be them authority to form a constitution for themconnected. The powers reserved to the several selves. States will extend to all the objects, which in the Mr. S. said, he considered the contemplated ordinary course of affairs concern the lives, liber-conditions and restrictions, contained in the pro. ties, and properties of the people, and the internal posed amendments, to be unconstitutional and order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” unwarrantable, froin the provisions of the treaty The applicability of this doctrine to the question of cession, by the third article of which it was under consideration was so obvious, that he stipulated, that “the inhabitants of the ceded would not detain the House to give examples, Territory shall be incorporated in the Union of but leave it for gentlemen to make the applica- the United States, and admitted, as soon as postion. He would, however, make one other refer- sible, according to the principles of the Federal ence to the Constitution, before he proceeded to Constitution, to the enjoyment of all the rights, speak of the practice under it; in the second sec. advantages, and immunities of citizens of the tion of that instrument it was provided, that United States, and, in the mean time, they shall
representatives, and direct taxes, shall be ap- be maintained and protected in the free enjoy. portioned among the several States which may ment of their liberty, property, and the religion be included within this Union, according to their which they profess. respective numbers, which shall be determined This treaty having been made by the compeby adding to the whole number of free persons, tent authority of government, ratified by the Senincluding those bound to service for a term of ate, and emphatically sanctioned by Congress in years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three the acts making appropriations to carry it into fifths of all other persons." This provision was effect, became a part of the supreme law of the not restricted to the States then formed, and about land, and its bearings on the rights of the people to adopt the Constitution ; but to all those States had received a practical exposition by the adwhich might be included within this Union, mission of the State of Louisiana, part of the clearly contemplating the adınission of new States same Territory, and acquired by the same treaty thereafter, and providing. that to them, also, of cession, into the Union. It was in vain for should this principle of representation and taxa- gentlemen to tell him that, by the terms of the tion equally apply. Nor could he subscribe to treaty of cession, the United States were not the construction, that as this part of the Constitu- bound to admit any part of the ceded Territory tion was matter of compromise, it was to be lim- into the Union as a State; the evidence of the ited in its application to the original States only, obligation Congress considered they were under, and not to be extended to all those States that to adopt States formed out of that Territory, is might after its adoption become members of the clearly deducible from the fact, that they had Federal Union; and a practical exposition had done so in the instance of Louisiana. But, had been made by Congress of this part of the Consti no State been admitted, formed of a part of the tution, in the admission of Kentucky, Louisiana, Territory acquired by that treaty, the obligation
of the government to do so would not be the less formation of their state constitution, that Slavery
member from New York (Mr. Taylor), he was they suppose that the southern States would subcompelled to suspect that they had their influence mit with patience to a mensure the effect of which upon him.
That gentleman has told us, that if would be to exclude them from all enjoyment of ever he left his present residence, it would be for the vast region purchased by the United States Illinois or Missouri; at all events, he wished to beyond the Mississippi, and which belonged send out his brothers and his sons. Mr. Scott equally to them as to the northern States? He begged that gentleman to relieve him from the ventured to assure them that they would not. awful apprehension excited by the prospect of | The people of the slaveholding States, as they this accession of population. He hoped the are called, know their rights, and will insist House would excuse him while be stated, that he upon the enjoyment of them. He should not now did not desire that gentleman, his sons, or his attempt to go over ground already occupied by brothers, in that land of brave, noble, and inde others, with much more ability, and attempt to pendent freemen. The member says that the show that, by the treaty with France, the people latitude is too far north to admit of Slavery there. of that Territory were secured in the enjoymont Would the gentleman cast his eye on the map of the property which they held in their slaves. before him, he would there see, that a part of That the proposed amendinent was an infraction Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland, were as far of this treaty, had been moet clearly shown. Nor north as the northern boundary of the proposed would he attempt to rescue from slander the State of Missouri. Mr. Scott' would thank the character of the people of the southern States, in gentleman if he would condescend to tell him their conduct towards, and treatment of, their what precise line of latitude suited his conscience, black population. That had also been done his humanity, or his political views, on this sub- with a degree of force and eloquence, to which ject. Could that member be serious, when he he could pretend no claim, by the gentleman made the parallel of latitude the measure of his from Virginia (Mr. Barbour), and the honorable good will to those unfortunate blacks? Or was speaker. He was, however, clearly, of opinion he trying how far he could go in fallacious argu. that Congress possessed no power under the Conment and absurdity, without creating one blush stitution to adopt the principle proposed in the even on his own cheek, for inconsistency? What, amendment. He called upon the advocates of it starve the negroes out, pen them up in the to point out, and lay their finger upon that clause swamps and morasses, confine them to southern of the Constitution of the United States, wbich latitudes, to long, scorching days of labor and gives to this body the right to legislate upon the fatigue, until the race becomes extinct, that the subject. Could they show in what clause or secfair land of Missouri may be tenanted by that tion this right was expressly given, or from which gentleinan, his brothers, and sons ? He ex- it could be inferred?' Unless this authority could pected from the majority of the House a more be shown, Congress would be assuming a power, liberal policy, and better evidence that they if the amendment prevailed, not delegated to really were actuated by humane motives.
them, and most dangerous in its exercise. What Mr. S. said, he would trouble the House no is the end and tendency of the measure proposed? longer ; he thanked them for the attention and it is to impose on the State of Missouri conditions indulgence already bestowed; but he desired to not imposed upon any other State. It is to de. apprise gentlemen, before be sat down, that they prive her of one branch of sovereignty not surwere sowing the seeds of discord in this Union, rendered by any other State in the Union, not by attempting to admit states with unequal privi- even those beyond the Ohio; for all of them had leges and unequal rights ; that they were signing, legislated upon this subject; all of them had desealing, and delivering their own death-warrant;cided for themselves whether Slavery should be that the wenpon they were so unjustly wielding tolerated, at the time they framed their several against the people of Missouri, was a two-edged constitutions. He would not now discuss the sword. From the cumulative nature of power, propriety of admitting Slavery. It is not now a the day might come when the general govern question whether it is politic or impolitic to tolement might, in turn, undertake to dictate to them rate Slavery in the United States, or in a particuon questions of internal policy; Missouri, now lar State. It was a discussion into wbich he weak and feeble, whose fate and murmurs would would not permit himself to be dragged. Admit, excite but little alarm or sensibility, might be however, its moral impropriety : yet there was a come an easy victim to motives of policy, party vast difference between moral impropriety and zeal, or inistaken ideas of power; but other times political sovereignty. The people of New York and other men would succeed ; a future Congress or Pennsylvania may deem it highly immoral might coine, who, under the sanctified forms of and politically improper to permit Slavery, but constitutional power, would dictate to them udious yet they possess the sovereign right and power conditions; nay, inflict on their internal independ to permit it, if they choose. They can to-morrow ence a wound more deep and dreadful than even so alter their constitutions and laws as to admit it, this to Missouri. The House had seen the force if they were so disposed. It is a branch of soveof precedent, in the mistaken application of the reignty which the old Thirteen States never surconditions imposed on the people of Louisiana render in the adoption of the Federal Constituanterior to their admission into the Union. Aud, tion. Now, the bill proposes that the new State whatever might be the ultimate determination of shall be admitted upon an equal footing with the the House, Nr. S. considered this question big other states of the Union. It is in this way only with the fate of Cæsar and of Rome.
that she can be admitted under the Constitution. Mr. CoBB, of Georgia, observed that he These words can have no other meaning than did not rise for the purpose of detaining the at that she shall be required to surrender no more tention of the House for any length of time. He of her rights of sovereignty than the other States, was too sensible of the importance of each mo- into a union with which she is about to be ad. ment which yet remained of the session to ob-mitted, have surrendered. But if the proposed trude many remarks upon th«ir patience. But, amendment is adopted, will not this new State be upon a measure involving the important conse shorn of one brunch of her sovereignty, one right, quences that this did, he felt it to be an imperious which the other States may and have exercised, duty to express his sentiments, and to enter his (whether properly or not, is immaterial,) and do must solemn protest against the principle propos- now exercise whenever they think fit? ed for adoption by the amendment. Were gen- Mr. C. observed, that he did conceive the printlemen aware of what they were about to do? ciple involved in the amendment pregnant with Did they foresee no evil consequences likely to danger. It was one, he repeated, to which he result out of the measure if adopted ? Could believed the people of the region of country
which he represented would not quietly submit. sion, that Slavery is an ill, tolerated only from
not at once be restrained, and which they would
not consent to abandon. But, sir, if we could, Mr. LIVERMORE, of N. H., said, I am in fa. by any process of reasoning, be brought to be vor of the proposed amendment. The object of it is lieve it justifiable to hold others to involuntary to prevent the extension of Slavery over the Ter servitude, policy forbids that we should increase ritory ceded to the United States by France. It it. Even the present slaveholding States have an accoris with the dictates of reason, and the best interest, I think, in limiting the extent of involun. feelings of the human heart; and is not calcula- tary servitude: for, should slaves become much ted to interrupt any legitimate right arising either more numerous, and, conscious of their strength, from the Constitution or any other compact. I draw the sword against their masters, it will be propose to show what Slavery is, and to mention to the free States the masters must resort for an a few of the many evils which follow in its train ; efficient power to suppress servilo insurrection. and I hope to evince that we are not bound to But we have made a treaty with France, wbich, tolerate the existence of so disgraceful a state of we are told, can only be preserved by the charms things beyond its present extent, and that it of Slavery. would be impolitic and very unjust, to let it Sir, said Mr L., until the ceded Territory shall spread over the whole face of our Western Ter have been made into States, and the new ritory. Slavery in the United States, is the con- States admitted into the Union, we can do what dition of man subjected to the will of a master,
we will with it. We can govern it as a province, who can make any disposition of him short of or sell it to any otber nation. A part of it is taking away his life. In those States where it is probably at this time sold to Spain, and the intolerated, laws are enacted, making it penal to in- habitants of it inay soon not only enjoy the comstruct slaves in the art of reading, and they are forts of Slavery, but the blessings of the holy innot permitted to attend public worship, or to hear quisition along with them. The question is on the gospel preached. Thus, the light of science the admission of Missouri, as a State, into the and of religion is utterly excluded from the Union. Surely it will not be contended that we mind, that the body may be more easily bowed are bound by the treaty to admit it. The treaty. down to servitude. The bodies of slaves may, making power does not extend so far. Can the with impunity, be prostituted to any purpose, President and Senate, by a treaty with Great and deformed in any manner by their owners. Britain, make the province of Lower Canada a The sympathies of nature in slaves are disre- State of this Union? To be received as a State garded : mothers and children are sold and into this Union, is a privilege which no country separated; the children wring their little hands, can claim as a right. It is a favor to be granted and expire in agonies of grief, while the bereft or not, as the United States may choose. When mothers commit suicide, in despair. How long the United States think proper to grant a favor, will the desire of wealth render us blind to the they may annex just and reasonable terms : and sin of holding both the bodies and souls of our wbat can be more reasonable than for these States fellow-men in chains ! But, sir, I am admonished to insist that a new Territory, wishing to have of the Constitution, and told we cannot emanci- the benefits of freedom extended to it, should repate slaves. I know we may not infringe that nounce a principle that militates with justice, instrument, and therefore do not propose to morality, religion, and every essential right of emancipate slaves. The proposition before us mankind ? Louisiana was admitted into the goes only to prevent our citizens from making Union on terms. The conditions, I admit, were slaves of such as have a right to freedom. In not very important, but still they recognize the the present slaveholding States let Slavery con- principles for which I contend. tinue, for our boasted Constitution connives at An opportunity is now presented, if not to it; but do not, for the sake of cotton and tobacco, diminish, at least to prevent the growth of a sin let it be told to future ages that, while pretend which sits heavily on the soul of every one of ing to love liberty, we have purchased an exten- us. By embracing this opportunity, we may resive country, to disgrace it with the foulest retrieve the national character, and, in some degree, proach of nations. Our Constitution requires no our own. But if we suffer it to pass unimproved, such thing of us. The ends for which that su- let us at least be consistent, and declare that our preme law was mado, are succinctly stated in Constitution was made to impose Slavery, and its preface. They are first to form a more per- not to establish liberty: Let us no longer tell fect Union, and insure domestic tranquillity. idle tales about the gradual abolition of Slavery; Will Slavery effect this ? Can we, sir, by mingling away with colonization societies, if their debond with free, black spirits with white, like sign is only to rid us of free blacks and turShakespeare's witches in Macbeth, form a more bulent slaves; have done also with bible soperfect Union, and insure domestic tranquillity ? cieties, whose views are extended to Africa and Secondly, to establish justice. Is justice to be the East Indies, while they overlook the deploraestablished by subjecting half mankind to the ble condition of their sable brethren within our will of the other half? Justice, sir, is blind to own borders ; make no more laws to prohibit the colors, and weighs in equal scales the rights of importation of slaves, for the world must see that all inen, whether white or black. Thirdly, to the object of such laws is alone to prevent the provide for the common defense, and secure the glutting of a prodigious market for the flesh and blessings of liberty. Does Slavery add anything blood of man, which we are about to establish in to the common defense ? Sir, the strength of a the West, and to enhance the price of sturdy republic is in the arm of freedom. But, above wretches, reared, like black cattle and horses, for all things, do the blessings of liberty consist in sale on our own plantations. Blavery? If there is any sincerity in our profes.
The House bill thus passed, reached the King of N. Y. Storer of N. H. Senate, Feb. 17th, when it was read twice
Mellen of Mass. Taylor of Ind.
Morrill of N. H. Tichenor of Vt. and sent to a Select Committee already
Morrow of Ohio, Wilson of N.J.-16. raised on a like application from Alabama,
The bill thus amended was ordered to be consisting of Messrs. Tait of Ga., Morrow of Ohio, Williams one of the Session) read a third time, and
engrossed, and was (March 2nd-last day but of Miss., Edwards of III., Williams of Tenn.
passed without a division. The bill was on On the 22nd, Mr. Tait, from this Commit- that day returned to the House, and the tee, reported the bill with amendments, strik- amendments of the Senate read: whereupon, out the anti-slavery restrictions inserted by Mr. Tallmadge of N. Y.moved that the bill be the House. This bill was taken up in Com- postponed indefinitely. Yeas 69 ; Nays 74. mittee of the Whole on the 27th, when Mr.
[The record shows hardly a vote changed from Wilson of N. J. moved its postponement to Yea, on the original passage of the Restriction, to the 5th of March—that is, to the end of the Nay now, but many members who voted then session-negatived : Yeas 14; Nays 23.
were now absent or silent.] The Senate then proceeded to vote on
The vote was then taken on concurring in agreeing to the amendments reported by the the Senate's amendments, as aforesaid, and Select Committee, viz. : 1. to strike out of the the House refused to concur: Yeas 76; House bill the following :
Nays 78. " And that all children of slaves born within (Hardly a vote changed; but more Members the said State, after the admission thereof into voting than on the previous division, and less the Union, shall be free, but may be held to ser than when the Restriction was carried.] vice until the age of twenty-one years.”
The bill was now returned to the Senate, Which was stricken out by the following with a message of non-concurrence; when vote :
Mr. T'ait moved that the Senate adhere to its YEAS— Against the Restriction:
amendment, which was carried without a Messrs. Barbour of Va Leake of Miss.
division. The bill being thus remanded to Crittenden of Ky. Macon of N. C.
the House, Mr. Taylor of N. Y. moved that Daggett of Conn. Otis of Mass. the House adhere to its disagreement, which Eaton of Tenn. Palmer of Vt.
prevailed. Yeas 78; Nays 66. So the Edwards of Ill. Roberts of Penn.
bill fell between the two Houses, and was
of Missouri (organized by separation from
Louisiana in 1812) was excluded from the Lacock of Pa. Williams of Miss. proposed State of Missouri, and organized as Williams of Tenn.-27.
a separate Territory, entitled Arkansas. NAYS— For the Restriction :
The bill being under consideration, Mr. Messrs. Burrill of R. I. Morrill of N. H. Taylor of N.Y. moved that the foregoing re
Dickerson of N. J. Noble of Ind. striction be applied to it also; and the clause,
proposing that slaves born therein after the Wilson of N. J.-7
passage of this act be free at twenty-five The Senate then proceeded to vote on the years of age, was carried (Feb. 17th) by 75 residue of the House Restriction, as follows: Yeas to 73 Nays; but that providing against
" And provided also, That the further introduc- the farther introduction of slaves was lost : tion of slavery or involuntary servitude be pro- Yeas 70 ; Nays 71. The next day, the clause hibited, except for the punishment of crimes, just adopted was stricken out, and the bill whereof the party shall have been duly convicted."
ultimately passed without any allusion to The vote on this clause was as follows:
Slavery. Arkansas of course became a Slave YEAS-For striking out the Restriction :
Territory and ultimately (1836) a Slave
Crittenden of Ky. Macon of N. C.
Stokes of N. C.
THE SECOND MISSOURI STRUGGLE.
A new Congress assembled on the 6th of
Van Dyke of Del.
chosen Speaker. On the 8th, Mr. Scott, Lacock of Pa. Williams of Tenn.-22. delegate from Missouri, moved that the NAYS— Against striking out:
memorial of her Territorial Legislature, as
also of several citizens, praying her admisMessrs. Burrill of R. I. Noble of Ind. Daggett of Conn. Roberts of Pa.
sion into the Union as a State, be referred to Dana of do. Ruggles of Ohio,
a select committee; carried, and Messrs. Dickerson of N.J. Sanford of N. Y. Scott of Mo., Robertson of Ky., Terrell of