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suggestions, of value to those only who | The arguments employed by Mr. Calhoun feel satisfied from a general view, that are directed against the total fabric of the slavery will not overrun the whole of the Constitution, nay, against the very idea of new territories. Hence it is probable that liberty itself. He treats the principles of the anxiety of the North will not be wholly the Declaration with a contemptuous ridiabated by the adoption of the bill. cule ; he strikes at the very heart of De
On the other hand, it was agreed by the mocracy. majority of the committee, that some re He condemns and derides the Declaragions require slave labor : which seems to tion of our fathers, that “all men are crebe an additional argument against referring ated equal.” Against the opinions exthe matter to the Supreme Court
. For if pressed by the Senator, it seems proper to the Court decides against the legality of protest at the outset, though in the order slavery, those regions wbich require slave of his argument they should be mentioned labor will be injured by the decision. Had last. a committee been appointed to investigate.The Republic was established by its the nature and present condition of the founders, on the idea of Man as he should new territories, with a view to set their be. economical arguments in a clearer light, If, then, it falls, it falls by the elevation the idea of a geographical line would not of its principles. “All men," says Jefferhave so much excited the animosity of son, in the Declaration, are created parties : for the committee could have equal :” declaring that men, as they are marked out upon the map those countries gradually moulded by the creative hand, upon which slavery would be injurious and arrive by nature and Providence at and unprofitable; and, after that, no man adult perfection, attain to the glorious would object to an act of Congress “to equality of freedom. prevent an injurious and unprofitable exten We
oaks and elms that sion of slavery” beyond what Mr. Calhoun they are created to be the monarchs of the and the committee regard as its “natural forest, just as we say that man is created
for freedom. Of a million acorns only one The North, it is feared, will be disturbed comes to be an oak, and of a thousand by a decision of the Supreme Court, oaks only one becomes one of the equal which excludes them from all influence sons of the forest; and so of men. over the territory to which they claim an This idea of human destiny, so far from equal right, and over which an equal right being a dogma of philosophy, is the first idea is conceded them by the South ; nor does of the common law; the law deals with it seem to be good policy to throw the all equally: even in the infant, it presupburden of so dreadful a question upon the poses the adult, and protects the hope of court, to the injury, in any event, of its a perfect man in the mere embryo. authority and popularity. We would once Within and above every written constimore call attention to the fact, that the de- tution or body of laws, there stands a syscision, either way, will affect all the terri- tem of principles, more profound in their tories except Oregon, and will of course be origin, and of greater force, than either. a signal for the most furious opposition. This system receives its life, its substanWhatever, therefore, be the difficulties and tial force, from the idea of the destiny of dangers of the policy of a geographical man; be that a base, or a free, destiny. line-an extension of the Compromise sup The form of this system, on the other ported by Mr. Clay in 1820—the plan hand, varies with time and circumsiance ; offered by the Committee does not seem it changes, or seems to change, while the to involve fewer, or less alarming, conse substance remains unchangeable. The quences.
idea of a free and perfect human being, is The retaliation movement against the the eidolon and the palladium, the image compromise policy, led by Mr. Calhoun of Deity in man, which symbolizes and and supported by all the power of his elo- measures both law and liberty, in this quence, should it prevail Through his argu- land. Its place is in the inmost recess ments, and not for other reasons more politic, of the heart of a freeman. From thence it will be a fatal triumph over the Whig Party. I will not be removed by force; the arts
neither of policy nor of superstition can pacity for its exercise: a few nations, only, remove it:
have realized it, and always imperfectly.
Political liberty, imaging the mind of a “It fears not policy, that heretic,
bold, enterprising and intelligent nation, That works on leases of short numbered hours, numerous, able in war, skillful in arts, posBut all alone stands hugely politic.”--Shak. sessing a history, a statute book, and a body
of law and custom ; such liberty is rather Hence the stern countenance and the the fruit of the greatest virtue and suffering, aspect of terror and of threat, which men possible only after a long probation and wear when this sacred topic is invaded. discipline, and is so far from being common It is a fearful topic : the idea of it over or equal, great numbers, indeed, even in whelms and terrifies. Only the severe and free States, are ignorant of its nature and serious mind can approach it ; it involves value, while they live protected by it. As the history of man ; it touches the liberty the state of liberty in the mind is one with of thought; it repels all control; the dif- the state of law, those only can enjoy it to ferences it creates are inexplicable, irreme- the full, who have the principles of diable; the fear of Death has no power law within them ; persons devoid of truth, over it: to comprehend it is to compre- of spirit and of virtue, can of course have hend all law and government: it is to know no appreciation of it. Natural liberty, or right and wrong, to have been familiar rather natural virtue, being extremely with fear, and resistance, and suffering. rare in its perfection, those who possess it
The full accomplished liberty of man is have always constituted a superior order, indeed a hope so dignified, that the gra- either as nations, tribes, classes, or individuvest may entertain it with enthusiasm; all als. Men of free, elevated character, may, the great and solemn wisdom of legislators however, be so numerous in a nation as to in the old republics, sprang from this idea ; shape its institutions ; and these institutions our ancestors entertained it; theology has may so train and educate the many, as to
it ; literature lives by it; the constitute a nation of freemen. laws of free States are its defence; wherever But no free people who have preservit exists in a sufficient number of minds, ed their institutions have granted political and with a sufficient distinctness, laws and liberty to all promiscuously. For the exerprivileges are created to nurture, strength- cise of its first function—the franchise-a en, and maintain it, in all its degrees. In part only are selected, fitted by age, cirfeudalism, in constitutional monarchy, and cumstances and patriotic sympathy, for its in the Republic, we have its grand em- right employment. It is an error to supbodiments. Being the mark, and crown, of pose that liberty is best protected by conhumanity arrived at maturity, it is the first ferring unlimited privileges upon all
. It feature in the idea of man in the Republic; | is necessary that those, only, should exerand we say of the freeman, that he and his cise a function who can use it with disfellows are created free and equal, the cretion and freedom. The appointing Republic knows no other men ; if there power lodged in the people, cannot be be slaves and criminals in it, they do not properly exercised by persons devoid of belong to it; they are classed among its natural or educated freedom. accidents and its imperfections.
Liberty does not consist in every man's The vast machinery of State, the Execu- | having a hand in the government; frantive, the cabinet, Congress, the courts of chise is a regular function of governlaw, the army and navy, the fiscal officers, ment, and we might as well make all men the polls, all have but one purpose, to justices, or governors, as make all voters. maintain and protect liberty.
Nor will it strengthen liberty to make To say, however, that liberty is a crea- sacrifices to abstract principles. As it has tion of the law, is to say too much, for no been established by a gradual process, it law or constitution can, of course, more can be conferred only by one as gradual: than protect it in its privileges. But we if the slave is to be made free, he must know it is not proper to man in his law- be emancipated in such a manner as that less, infantile or ignorant state; nor have he shall not fall back into his original barall men, or races of men, exhibited the ca- barism, deprived of the superior influence
of the white man, by whom he is raised | position of the slaveholding States. It leaves from a horrid and cannibal freedom, to a the territory free and open to all the citizens useful and important servitude. He has of the United States, and would overrule, if been taught the arts of life, but he has not adopted, the act of the self-constituted Territory
of Oregon, and the 12th section, as far as it been taught to live in organized commu
relates to the subject under consideration. We nity. His future amelioration must neces
have thus fairly presented the grounds taken by sarily be by a slow progress, and more by the non-slaveholding and the slaveholding the gradual effect of circumstances than by States, or, as I shall call them for the sake of any sudden or violent efforts, which would brevity, the Northern and Southern States, in end only in his extinction.
their whole extent, for discussion.” Though, therefore, we regard the extinction of slavery, (not of the slave,) as This statement lays the subject of the one of the great and desirable ends of controversy between the slaveholding and statesmanship in this age, as it has been in non-slaveholding States ; whereas it lies all past ages, we admit no violent methods, properly not between the States, which no unconstitutional interference, no fero- are merely governments, and have only an cious denunciations; the work must be interest of guardianship in the matter, but done by those whom nature and the laws between slaveholders and non-slaveholders appoint to do it, and they must be allowed generally, in all parts of the Union. Mr. their own time : liberty in this particular Calhoun and his friends have succeeded in is so absolutely theirs, any attempt to in- giving it a sectional aspect, but a slight fringe upon it is a declaration of war examination of the grounds of this controagainst our institutions.
very shows that it is a contest between the
possessors of a certain kind of property, On the morning of June 27th, when the who are a small minority of the citizens, bill for an establishment of a territoral and non-possessors of the same, who are a government in Oregon came up, “Mr. vast majority. Were the favorite princiBright, of Indiana, gaye notice that he ple of Democracy to be called in aid of a would move the adoption of the Missouri decision, the question would be abruptly Compromise, as an amendment to the bill, settled ; but the South appeals to the conat a proper time in its progress.” Mr. stitutional principle, that the rights of each Calhoun then rose, and in a speech of and of all shall be equally respected. moderate length, as is usual with him, but Non-slaveholders in all parts of the full of matter for reflection, set forth the nation who wish to emigrate into the new position and opinion of the extreme South- territory, claim that this peculiar kind of ern party as he represents it.
property shall be declared contraband by
Congress, and its importation forbidden. " There is a very striking difference between The citizens of Oregon, who, in the absence the position in which the slaveholding and of a protecting power, very properly estabnon-slaveholding States stand in reference to
lished the subject under consideration. The former a government for themselves, until desire no action of the Government. * * *
such time as one should be granted them On the contrary, the non-slaveholding States, by the people of the United States, have instead of being willing to leave it on this declared their wish in this respect by laws broad and equal foundation, demand the in. against the introduction of slaves. Here, terposition of the Government, and the pas- | in the territories of Oregon, the free sage of an act to exclude the slaveholding States laborers, who feared they might be from emigrating with their property into the territory, in order to give their citizens, and those driven from their homes by the introducthey may permit, the exclusive right of settling tion of slaves, have protested against their it , while it remains in that condition, preparatory introduction, and this protest every citizen, to subjecting it to like restrictions and conditions be he slaveholder or not, is bound in honor when it becomes a State. The 12th section of to respect. The free emigrants do not certhis bill in reality adopts what is called the Wil
; tainly wish to injure slaveholders, or, as Mr. mot proviso, not only for Oregon, but, as the bill Calhoun says, to exclude citizens with their now stands, for New Mexico and California. The amendment, on the contrary, moved by property: with their property in any the Senator from Mississippi, near me, (Mr. other shape, citizens would be welcome Davis,) is intended to assert and maintain the nay, joyfully received into the new terri
tory: it is merely against the form of the understand the Constitution and their own property, as being of a kind that will de- rights, are concernd, no such design is enstroy the value of their free labor, that the tertained, nor will it be thought possible emigrants protest. In such a view of the in future to grant constitutions to States, case, it is evident the necessity for the es- endowed with any other than a sovereign tablishment of a free territory for the em power. igrants is an imperative duty, enjoined by The Senator then proceeds : humanity and honor upon Congress, and our confidence in the integrity and justice of
“ The first question which offers itself for Southern Senators will not permit us to consideration is : Have the Northern States the believe that they are not fully sensible of power which they claim, to exclude the South
ern from emigrating freely, with their property, the propriety of such a policy.
into territories belonging to the Unities States, That a policy of non-interference in this and to monopolize them for their exclusive matter would leave slaveholders and free benefit?" emigrants upon " a broad and equal foundation,” as the Senator claims it would, But the question, we repeat it, is not of is obviously not correct. Were the new “States;" States are not to emigrate. territories left free to all kinds of prop- South Carolina is not, surely, about to move erty, the slaveholder, with his band of ne- bodily into the new territory ! It is begroes, has a great advantage over the tween citizens only. But does the Senator free laborer. Slaveholders, therefore, hav answer the question as it really stands, ing certain immunities and privileges, in namely, whether this Government has which they are protected by the military power to declare any species of property and civil force of the United States, all that contraband in the new territory? the non-slaveholders require, is to be de “Has the North the power which it fended against the injurious effects of these claims under the twelfth section of this upon themselves.
bill ?” he continues. Is not this a quesThe question at issue, and which is at tion which involves a wrong supposition ? this moment proceeding to a decision, is It is not the power of the “ North,” but of whether the peculiar privileges and immu- Congress, which is now to be considered. nities of the slaveholder shall be permit-Y We are to inquire whether Congress has ted to deter and prevent the emigration of power to declare contraband any species free laborers from all parts of the Union of property in the territories ; but, as beinto the new territories. If any person fore, giving in to the usual loose and parcan discover injustice or monopoly in this tisan form of statement, he continues : claim of the laboring citizen to be protect- “Not certainly in the relation in which the ed by a declaration of contraband against Northern and Southern States stand to a certain kind of property,'we concede him each other. They are the constituent a more penetrating moral vision than our parts, or members, of a common federal
Slaveholders must maintain their Union; and as such are equals in all reprivileges, and make good their independ-spects, both in dignity and rights." ent rights, but let this charge of a spirit True ; but this statement, like the of grasping and monopoly be repelled from others, leaves so many points uncertain, the non-slaveholding citizen, and let his fair and loose, it falls almost without effect. share, at least, of free territory be reserved The States, it is said, are equal in auto him by the power of the Nation. thority, and weight. How is it then that
And this brings us to another charge, the vote of New York, in the House, is so directed against the secret intentions of much more powerful than that of Delaware those who urge the rights of the emigrant or Rhode Island ? Indeed, except as secto a free territory
tional opinion points them out, the States
do not appear at all in the House: only the • " The non-slaveholding States,” says the people--the nation-appears there. NeiSenator, * " demand the interposition ther do the States appear in the Executive of government, * * preparatory to subjecting -not a shade of State sovereignty appears it to like restrictions when it becomes a State.
in the Executive. The House and the ExAs far as well-informed citizens, who | ecutive standing for the nation, and the
Senate alone standing for the State Govern- | lawful Will, to put the laws in execution. ments, together constitute the Supreme This necessity recognized, is the natural Authority. This declaration of the equal basis of Presidential Authority. ity and independence of the State Govern His election, like that of a Representaments, is quite unnecessary, therefore, and tive, is popular, but with some modificahas no weight in the argument.
tions. For convenience, electors are first It is not necessary to remind any person chosen, who accurately represent the at all read in political affairs, that a power people ; the joint majorities of the citizens derived, like that of the House of Repre- of each State, gives a majority of all the sentatives, by an apportioned representa- citizens of the Nation ; and in case a mation from all the citizens of the Union, is jority is not had, then the choice is thrown greater in degree, and in kind, than one upon the national representation in the established by perhaps a thirtieth part of House. But here the nature of the election the same, met upon a sectional council for is modified; the House voting not by the discussion of provincial business. This members, but by States, and the election power is greater in degree, because it rep- ceasing to be strictly popular. There is resents a greater territory and vaster popu- recognized, therefore, in the Executive lation; it is greater in kind, because its Power, a State, as well as a National elefunctions are imperial, and that it meddles ment; and this necessarily; for the Presinot with domestic or local matters. It is dent is not only a defender of the National, national, being derived, by an equal repre- but of the State sovereignties, and must sentation, from the vote of each independ- support the authority and the rights of ent citizen. By his electoral vote the choice States. for all officers, of nation, state, municipality, Thus far we have considered the nature county, town, district, village, hamlet, pro- and derivation of the Central Power, as it ceeds from the individual citizen; from him proceeds from the people in mass—from as the independent nucleus—the vital point the Nation. It remains now to look at that of power—is derived this ray of choice, of the States, or of the Senate. or of representation.
It is a fundamental necessity for a govUpon this ground of individual freedom ernment based on representation, that every and power, as on a truly equal basis, ma- great political power shall be represented king all men peers, stands the power of in it. the House; and because it does so stand, A government, whatever be its name or it is purely and absolutely national.
power, being a body of men deputed to exThe superior legislative authority of this ecute the laws, and to maintain order in soNational House, in its proper sphere, over ciety, is distinct from society. It is a power that of any one House, of a particular distinct from that of the people. It affects State, is secured, not so much by the Con- them, is feared and respected by them ; it stitution, as by the nature of things. The is affected by them, is swayed by and sways power which establishes it is the same with them: no state can be said to exist, in wbich that which sustains the Constitution,* and a distinct body as government, either elecof which a part, or section only, gives origin tive or hereditary, is not recognized and to the House of each Legislative State. maintained.
Let us consider next, though not in or At the founding of the Constitution, the der, the National Executive, both as to its two great powers recognized in this repuborigin, and the powers especially given by lic, namely, that of the equal Citizen, and that origin ; for it is true of every Consti- that of the equal State, were distinctly tutional authority, that not constitution, recognized. but derivation, both establishes and limits The founders supposed, that if the powit.
ers of the citizen alone were recognized, The Executive power of the Republic is and should predominate, the nation would derived, first, from the necessity recognized fall together into a centralized Democracy, by each citizen, for a commissioned and and end in despotism. The State Gov
ernments, on the other hand, would have * The Constitution expresses only that which is then become disturbing and disorganizing permanently and continually necessary for the liberty of the Nation.
powers, warring against, and embarrassing,