Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

THURSDAY, December 16, 1819. Agreeably to the order of the day, the House resumed the consideration of the resolutions postponed on the 14th inst., relative to preventing the introduction of Slavery into States hereafter to be admitted into the Union. And on the question, "Will the House agree to the resolution?" the Yeas and Nays were required by Mr. Randall and Mr. Souder, and stood-Yeas 74-(54 Democrats, 20 Federalists); Nays none. Among the Yeas were David R. Porter, late Governor, Josiah Randall of Philadelphia, late Whig, now a leading Democrat, William Wilkins, late minister to Russia, since in the State Senate, Dr. Daniel Sturgeon, late U. S. Senator, etc., etc. William Duane, editor of The Aurora, then the Democratic organ, also voted for the resolutions, as he had prominently advocated the principle they

asserted.

The Senate unanimously concurred, and the Resolves were signed by Gov. William Findlay.

DELAWARE.

In Senate of the United States, early in 1820, Mr. Van Dyke communicated the following Resolutions of the Legislature of the State of Delaware, which were read:

Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware, in General Assembly met: That it is, in the opinion of this General Assembly, the constitutional right of the United States, in Congress

assembled, to enact and establish, as one of the condi

tions for the admission of a new State into the Union, a provision which shall effectually prevent the further introduction of Slavery into such State; and that a due regard to the true interests of such State, as well as of

the other States, require that the same should be done. Resolved, That a copy of the above and foregoing resolution be transmitted, by the Speaker of the Senate, to each of the Senators and Representatives from this State in the Congress of the United States.

Whereas, The Constitution of the United States provides for the admission of new States into the Union, and it is just and proper that all such States should be established upon the footing of original States, with a view to the preservation of State Sovereignty, the prosperity of such new State, and the good of their citizens; and whereas, successful attempts have been heretofore made, and are now making, to prevent the People of the Territory of Missouri from being admitted into the Union as a State, unless trammeled by rules and regulations which do not exist in the original States, particularly in relation to the toleration of Slavery.

Whereas, also, if Congress can thus trammel or control the powers of a Territory in the formation of a State government, that body may, on the same principle, reduce its powers to little more than those possessed by the people of the District of Columbia, and whilst professing to make it a Sovereign State, may bind it in perpetual vassalage, and reduce it to the condition of a province; such State ust necessarily become the dependent of Congress, asking such powers, and not the independent State, demanding rights. And whereas, it is necessary, in preserving the State Sovereignties in their present rights, that no new State should be subjected to this restriction, any more than an old one, and that there can be no reason or justice why it should not be entitled to the same privileges, when it is bound to bear all the burdens and taxes laid upon it by Congress.

port and maintain State rights, which it conceives necessary to be supported and maintained, to preserve the liberties of the free people of these United States, it avows its solemn conviction, that the States already confederated under one common Constitution, have not a right to deprive new States of equal privileges with themselves. Therefore,

Resolved, by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, That the Senators in Congress from this State be instructed, and the Representatives be requested, to use their efforts to procure the passage of a law to admit the people of Missouri into the Union, as a State, whether those people will sanction Slavery by their Constitution or not.

In passing the following resolution, the General Assembly refrains from expressing any opinion either in favor or against the principles of Slavery; but to sup

Resolved, That the Executive of this Commonwealth be requested to transmit this Resolution to the Senators and Representatives of this State in Congress, that it may be laid before that body for its consideration.

KENTUCKY.

In Senate, January 24th, 1820, Mr. Logan-which he accordingly did on the 19th; when communicated the following preamble and Re-it was read and ordered to a third reading. solutions of the Legislature of the State of Kentucky, which were read:

The bill authorizing Missouri to form a constitution, etc.. came up in the House as a special order, Jan. 24th. Mr. Taylor, of N. Y., moved that it be postponed for one week: Lost: Yeas 87; Nays 88. Whereupon the House adjourned. It was considered in committee the next day, as also on the 28th and 30th, and thence debated daily until the 19th of February, when a bill came down from the Senate "to admit the State of Maine into the Union," but with a rider authorizing the people of Missouri to form a State Constitution, etc., without restriction on the subject of Slavery.

The House, very early in the session, passed a bill providing for the admission of Maine as a State. This bill came to the Senate, and was sent to its Judiciary Committee aforesaid, which amended it by adding a provision for Missouri as above. After several days' debate in Senate, Mr. Roberts, of Pa., moved to recommit, so as to strike out all but the admission of Maine; which was defeated (Jan. 14th, 1820)—Yeas 18; Nays 25. Hereupon Mr. Thomas, of Ill., (who voted with the majority, as uniformly against any restriction on Missouri) gave notice that he should

"ask leave to bring a bill to prohibit the introduction of Slavery into the Territories of the United States North and West of the contemplated State of Missouri ;"

[NOTE.-Great confusion and misconception exists in the public mind with regard to the "Missouri Restriction," two totally different propositions being called by that name. The original Restriction, which Mr. Clay vehemently opposed, and Mr. Jefferson in a letter characterized as a "fire-bell in the night," contemplated the limitation of Slavery in its exclusion from the State of Missouri. This was ultimately defeated, as we shall see. The second proposed Restriction was that of Mr. Thomas, just cited, which proposed the exclusion of Slavery, not from the State of Missouri, but from the Territories of the United States North and West of that State. This proposition did not emanate from the original Missouri Restrictionists, but from their adversaries, and was but reluctantly and partially accepted by the former.]

The Maine admission bill, with the proposed amendments, was discussed through several days, until, Feb. 16th, the question was taken on the Judiciary Committee's amendments (authorizing Missouri to form a State Constitu tion, and saying nothing of Slavery), which were adopted by the following vote:

Yeas-Against the Restriction on Missouri, 23. [20 from Slave States; 3 from Free States.] Nays-For Restriction, 21.

[19 from Free States; 2 from Delaware.] Mr. Thomas, of Ill., then proposed his amend

[ocr errors]

ment, which, on the following day, he withdrew | effect, though the more determined champions, and substituted the following: whether of Slavery Extension or Slavery Restriction, did not unite in it.]

engrossed for a third reading by the following The bill, thus amended, was ordered to be Vote:

Messrs.

And be it further enacted, That in all that Territory teded 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 crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall be and is hereby forever prohibited. Provided always, that any person escaping into the same, from where 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.

Mr. Trimble, of Ohio, moved a substitute for this, somewhat altering the boundaries of the regions shielded from Slavery, which was rejected: Yeas 20 (Northern); Nays 24 (Southern).

The question then recurred on Mr. Thomas's amendment, which was adopted, as follows: Yeas-For excluding Slavery from all the Territory North and West of Missouri:

Messrs. Brown of La.,

Mellen of Mass.,
Morrill of N. H.,
Otis of Mass.,
Palmer of Vt.,
Parrott of N. H.,
Pinkney of Md.,
Roberts of Pa.,
Ruggles of Ohio,
Sanford of N. Y.,
Stokes of N. C.,
Thomas of Ill.,
Tichenor of Vt.,
Trimble of Ohio,
Van Dyke of Del.,
Walker of Ala.,
Williams of Tenn.,
Wilson of N. J.-34.

Burrill of R. I.,
Dana of Conn.,
Dickerson of N. J.,
Eaton of Tenn.,
Edwards of Ill.,
Horsey of Del.,
Hunter of R. I.,
Johnson of Ky.,
Johnson of La..
King (Wm. R.) of Ala.,
King (Rufus) of N. Y.,
Lanman of Conn.,
Leake of Miss.,
Lowrie of Pa.,
Lloyd of Md.,
Logan of Ky.,

Nays Against such Restriction:

Messrs. Barbour of Va.,

Elliott of Ga.,
Gaillard of S. C.,
Macon of N. C.,
Noble of Ind.,

Pleasants of Va.,
Smith (Wm.) of S. C..
Taylor of Ind.,
Walker of Ga.,
Williams of Miss.-10.

Yeas-For the Missouri Bill:

Barbour of Va.,
Brown of La.,
Eaton of Tenn.,
Edwards of Ill.,
Elliott of Ga.,
Gaillard of S. C.,
Horsey of Del.,
Hunter of R. I.,
Johnson of Ky.,
Johnson of La.,
King of Ala.,
Leake of Miss.,
Nays-Against the Bill:

Messrs. Burrill of R. I.,
Dana of Conn.,
Dickerson of N. J.,
King of N. Y.,
Lanman of Conn.,
Lowrie of Pa.,
Macon of N. C.,
Mellen of Mass.,
Morrill of N. H.,
Noble of Ind.,

Lloyd of Md.,
Logan of Ky.,
Parrott of N H.,
Pinkney of Md.,
Pleasants of Va.,
Stokes of N. C,
Thomas of Ill.,
Van Dyke of Del.,
Walker of Ala.,
Walker of Ga.,
Williams of Miss.,
Williams of Tenn-24.

Otis of Mass., Palmer of Vt., Roberts of Pa., Ruggles of Ohio, Sanford of N. Y., Smith of S. C., Taylor of Ind., Tichenor of Vt., Trimble of Ohio., Wilson of N. J.-20.

The bill was thus passed (Feb. 18th) without further division, and sent to the House for concurrence. In the House, Mr. Thomas's amendment (as above) was at first rejected by both parties, and defeated by the strong vote of 159 to 18. The Yeas (to adopt) were,

Messrs. Baldwin of Pa.,
Bayly of Md.,
Bloomfield of N. J.,
Cocke of Tenn.,
Crafts of Vt.,
Culpepper of N. C.,
Kinsey of N, J.,
Lathrop of Mass.,
Little of Md.,
Prior to this vote, the House disagreed to
the log-rolling of Maine and Missouri, into one
[We do
not give the Yeas and Nays on this decision;
but the majority was composed of the repre-
sentatives of the Free States with only four ex-
ceptions; and Mr. Louis McLane of Delaware,
who was constrained by instructions from his
legislature. His colleague, Mr. Willard Hall,
did not vote.]

The members from Free States who voted
with the South to keep Maine and Missouri
united in one bill were,
Messrs. H. Baldwin of Pa.,
Bloomfield of N. J.,

Meech, of Vt., Mercer of Va., Quarles of Ky., Ringgold of Md., Shaw of Mass., Sloan of Ohio, Smith of N. J., Smith of Md., Tarr of Pa--18.

[It will here be seen that the Restriction ulti-bill by the strong vote of 93 to 72. mately adopted-that excluding Slavery from all territory then owned by the United States North and West of the Southwest border of the State of Missouri-was proposed by an early and steadfast opponent of the Restriction originally proposed, relative to Slavery in the contemplated State of Missouri, and was sustained by the votes of fourteen Senators from Slave States, including the Senators from Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Louisiana, with one vote each from North Carolina and Mississippi.

Louis McLane, Del.,
Alney McLean, Ky.

Henry Meigs of N. Y., Henry Shaw of Mass., The House also disagreed to the remaining amendments of the Senate (striking out the restriction on Slavery in Missouri) by the strong vote of 102 Yeas to 68 Nays.

[Nearly or quite every Representative of a Free State voted in the majority on this division, with the following from Slave States:

The current assumption that this Restriction was proposed by Rufus King, of New-York, and mainly sustained by the antagonists of Slavery Extension, is wholly mistaken. The truth, doubtless, is, that it was suggested by the more moderate opponents of the proposed Restriction on Missouri-and supported also by Senators from Slave States-as a means of overcoming the resistance of the House to Slavery in Missouri. It was, in effect, an offer from the milder opponents of Slavery Restriction to the more moderate and flexible advocates of that Restriction-" Let us have Slavery in Missouri, and we will unite with you in excluding it from all the uninhabited territories North and West it was decided not to recede from the attachof that State." It was in substance an agreement of Missouri to the Maine bill: Yeas 21; ment between the North and the South to that (19 from Free States and two from Delaware;}

So the House rejected all the Senate's amendments, and returned the bill with a corresponding message.

The Senate took up the bill on the 24th, and debated it till the 28th; when, on a direct vote,

Nelson, Md.,
Trimble, Ky.]

Nays, 23; (20 from Slave States with Messrs.
Taylor of Ind., Edwards and Thomas of Ill.)

The Senate also voted not to recede from its
amendment prohibiting Slavery west of
souri, and north of 36° 30', north latitude.
(For receding, 9 from Slave States, with Messrs.
Noble and Taylor of Ind. against it, 33-22
from Slave States, 11 from Free States.) The
remaining amendments of the Senate were
then insisted on without division, and the
House notified accordingly.

The bill was now returned to the House, which, on motion of Mr. John W. Taylor of N. Y, voted to insist on its disagreement to all but Sec. 9 of the Senate's amendments, by Yeas 97 to Nays 76: (all but a purely sectional vote: Hugh Nelson of Va. voting with the North; Baldwin of Pa., Bloomfield of N. J., and Shaw of Mass., voting with the South).

Sec. 9, (the Senate's exclusion of Slavery from the Territory north and west of Missouri) was also rejected-Yeas 160; Nays, 14, (much as before). The Senate thereupon (March 2nd) passed the House's Missouri bill, striking out the restriction of Slavery by Yeas 27 to Nays 15, and adding without a division the exclusion of Slavery from the territory west and north of said State. Mr. Trimble again moved the exclusion of Slavery from Arkansas also, but was again voted down, Yeas, 12; Nays, 30.

The Senate now asked a conference, which the House granted without a division. The Committee of Conference was composed of Messrs. Thomas of Illinois, Pinkney of Maryland, and Barbour of Va. (all anti-restrictionists), on the part of the Senate, and Messrs. Holmes of Mass., Taylor of N. Y., Lowndes of S. C., Parker of Mass, and Kinsey of N. J., on the part of the House. (Such constitution of the Committee of Conference was in effect a surrender of the Restriction on the part of the House.) John Holmes of Mass., from this Com-William D. Ford, Ezra C. Gross, James Guyon, jr., mittee, in due time (March 2nd), reported that, 1. The Senate should give up the combination of Missouri in the same bill with Maine.

VERMONT.-Samuel C. Crafts, Rollin C. Mallary, Ezra Meech, Charles Rich, Mark Richards, William Strong-6. NEW-YORK.-Nathaniel Allen, Caleb Baker, Robert

Clark, Jacob H. De Witt, John D. Dickinson, John Fay,

Aaron Hackley, jr., George Hall, Joseph S. Lyman,
Robert Monell, Nathaniel Pitcher, Jonathan Richmond,

Randall S. Street, James Strong, John W. Taylor, Albert
H. Tracy, Solomon Van Rensselear, Peter H. Wendover,
Silas Wood-22.

NEW-JERSEY.-Ephraim Bateman, John Linn, Henry

DELAWARE.-Louis McLane-1.

MARYLAND.-Stephenson Archer, Thomas Bayly, Thomas Culbreth, Joseph Kent, Peter Little, Raphael Neale, Samuel Ringgold, Samuel Smith, Henry R. WarMis-field-9.

2. The House should abandon the attempt to restrict Slavery in Missouri.

3. Both Houses should agree to pass the Senate's separate Missouri bill, with Mr. Thomas's restriction or compromising proviso, excluding Slavery from all Territory north and west of Missouri.

The report having been read, the first and most important question was put, viz:

Will the House concur with the Senate in so much of the said amendments as proposes to strike from the fourth section of the (Missouri) bill the provision prohibiting Slavery or involuntary servitude, in the contemplated State, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes?

On which question the Yeas and Nays were demanded, and were as follows: YEAS-For giving up Restrictions on Mis

souri:

MASSACHUSETTS.—Mark Langdon Hill, John Holmes,
Jonathan Mason, Henry Shaw-4.

RHODE ISLAND.-Samuel Eddy-1.
CONNECTICUT.-Samuel A. Foot, James Stephens-2.
NEW-YORK.-Henry Meigs, Henry R. Storrs-2.
NEW-JERSEY-Joseph Bloomfield, Charles Kinsey, Ber-
aard Smith-3.
PENNSYLVANIA.-Henry Baldwin, David Fullerton-2.
Total from Free-States 14.

VIRGINIA.-Mark Alexander, William S. Archer, Philip P. Barbour, William A. Burwell, John Floyd, Robert & Garnett, James Johnson, James Jones, William McCoy, Charles F. Mercer, Hugh Nelson, Thomas Nelson, Severn E. Parker, Jas. Pindall, John Randolph, Ballard Smith, Alexander Smyth, George F. Strother, Thomas Van Swearingen, George Tucker, John Tyler, Jared Williams -22.

NORTH CAROLINA.-Hutchins G. Burton, John Culpep
Fisher, Thomas H. Hall, Charles Hooks, Thomas Settle,
per, William Davidson, Weldon N. Edwards, Charles
Jesse Slocumb, James S. Smith, Felix Walker, Lewis
Williams-12.

Erwin, William Lowndes, James McCreary, James Over-
SOUTH CAROLINA.-Josiah Brevard, Elias Earle, James
street, Charles Pinckney, Eldred Simkins, Sterling
Tucker-9.

GEORGIA.-Joel A. Abbot, Thomas W. Cobb. Joel

Crawford, John A. Cuthbert, Robert R. Reid, William

Terrill--6.

ALABAMA.-John Crowell-1.

MISSISSIPPI.-John Rankin-1.
LOUISIANA.-Thomas Butler-1.

KENTUCKY-Richard C. Anderson, jr., William Brown,
Benjamin Hardin, Alney McLean, Thomas Metcalf, Tun-
stall Quarles, Geo. Robertson, David Trimble-8.
TENNESSEE.-Robert Allen, Henry H. Bryan, Newton
Cannon, John Cocke, Francis Jones, John Rhea-5.

Total Yeas from Slave States, 76; in all 90.
NAYS-Against giving up the Restriction on
Slavery in Missouri:

NEW-HAMPSHIRE.-Joseph Buffum, jr., Josiah Butler, Clifton Clagett, Arthur Livermore, William Plumer, jr., Nathaniel Upham-6.

MASSACHUSETTS (including Maine).-Benjamin Adams, Samuel C. Allen, Joshua Cushman, Edward Dowse, Walter Folger, jr., Timothy Fuller, Jonas Kendall, Martin Kinsley, Samuel Lathrop, Enoch Lincoln, Marcus Morton, Jeremiah Nelson, James Parker, Zabdiel Sampson, Nathaniel Silsbee, Ezekiel Whitman-16.

RHODE ISLAND. -Nathaniel Hazard-1.
CONNECTICUT.-Jonathan O. Moseley, Elisha Phelps,

John Russ, Gideon Tomlinson-4.

Southard-3.

PENNSYLVANIA.-And ew Boden, William Darlington,
George Dennison, Samuel Edwards, Thomas Forrest,
Samuel Gross, Joseph Hemphill, Jacob Hibschman,
Joseph Heister, Jacob Hostetter, William P. Maclay,

David Marchand, Robert Moore, Samuel Moore, John
Murray, Thomas Patterson, Robert Philson, Thomas J.
Rogers, John Sergeant, Christian Tarr, James M. Wal-

lace-21.

OHIO.-Philemon Beecher, Henry Brush, John W. Campbell, Samuel Herrick, Thomas R. Ross, John Sloane

-6.

INDIANA.-William Hendricks-1.
ILLINOIS.-Daniel P. Cook-1.

Total, Nays, 87-all from Free States.

(The members apparently absent on this important division, were Henry W. Edwards of Conn., Walter Case and Honorius Peck of N. Y. and John Condit of N J., from the Free States; Walker of Ky., from the Slave States. Mr. with Lemuel Sawyer of N. C., and David Clay of Ky., being Speaker, did not vote.)

This defeat broke the back of the Northern resistance to receiving Missouri as a Slave

State.

Mr. Taylor, of N. Y., now moved an amend ment, intended to include Arkansas Territory.

under the proposed Inhibition of Slavery west of Missouri; but this motion was cut off by the Previous Question, (which then cut off amendments more rigorously, according to the rules of the House, than it now does), and the House proceeded to concur with the Senate in inserting the exclusion of Slavery from the territory west and north of Missouri, instead of that just stricken out by, 134 Yeas to 42 Nays, (the Nays being from the South). So the bill was passed in the form indicated above; and the bill admitting Maine as a State, (relieved, by a conference, from the Missouri rider,) passed both Houses without a divison, on the following day. Such was the virtual termination of the struggle for the restriction of Slavery in Missouri, which was beaten by the plan of proffering instead an exclusion of Slavery from all the then federal territory west and north of that State. It is unquestionable that, without this compromise or equivalent, the Northern votes, which passed the bill, could not have been obtained for it.

THE THIRD MISSOURI STRUGGLE.

Though the acceptance of Missouri as a State, with a Slave Constitution, was forever settled by the votes just recorded, a new excitement sprang up on her presenting herself to--the existence of the Union. Congress (Nov. 16, 1820),) with a State Constitution, framed on the 19th of July, containing the following resolutions:

The General Assembly shall have no power to pass laws, First, for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of their owners, or without paying them, before such emancipation, a full equivalent for such slaves so emancipated; and, Second, to prevent bona fide emigrants to this State, or actual settlers therein, from bringing from any of the United States, or from any of their Territories, such persons as may there be deemed to be slaves, so long as any persons of the same description are allowed to be held as slaves by the laws of this State. It shall be their duty, as soon as may be, to pass such laws as may be necessary, First, to prevent free negroes and mulattoes from coming to, and settling in, this State, under any pretext

whatever.

64

compromise, which were twice voted down by the Northern members, aided by John Randolph and three others from the South, who would have Missouri admitted without condition or qualification. At last, Mr. Clay proposed a Joint Committee on this subject, to be chosen by ballot-which the House agreed to by 101 to 55; and Mr. Clay became its Chairman. By this Committee, it was agreed that a solemn pledge should be required of the Legislature of Missouri that the Constitution of that State should not be construed to authorize the passage of any Act, and that no Act should be passed, by which any of the citizens of either of the States should be excluded from the enjoyment of the privileges and immunities to which they are entitled under the Constitution of the United States." The Joint Resolution, amended by the addition of this proviso, passed the House by 86 Yeas to 82 Nays; the Senate concurred (Feb. 27th, 1821,) by 26 Yeas to 15 Nays-(all Northern but Macon, of N. C.); Missouri complied with the condition, and became an accepted member of the Union. Thus closed the last stage of the fierce Missouri Controversy, which for a time seemed to threaten -as so many other controversies have harmlessly threatened

The North, still smarting under a sense of its defeat on the question of excluding Slavery from Missouri, regarded this as needlessly defiant, insulting, and inhuman, and the section last quoted as palpably in violation of that clause of the Federal Constitution which gives to the citizens of each State (which blacks are, in several Free States), the rights of citizens in every State. A determined resistance to any such exclusion was manifested, and a portion of the Northern Members evinced a disposition to renew the struggle against the further introduction of slaves into Missouri. At the first effort to carry her admission, the House voted it down-Yeas, 79; Nays, 93. A second attempt to admit her, on condition that she would expunge the obnoxious clause (last quoted) of her Constitution, was voted down still more decisively-Yeas, 6; Nays 146.

The House now rested, until a joint resolve, admitting her with but a vague and ineffective qualification, came down, from the Senate, where it was passed by a vote of 26 to 18-six Senators from Free States in the affirmative. Mr. Clay, who had resigned in the recess, and been succeeded, as Speaker, by John W. Taylor, of New-York, now appeared as the leader of the Missouri admissionists, and proposed terms of

EXTENSION OF MISSOURI.

The State of Missouri, as originally organized, was bounded on the west by a line already specified, which excluded a triangle west of said line, and between it and the Missouri, which was found, in time, to be exceedingly fertile and desirable. It was free soil by the covered by Indian reservations, not to be terms of the Missouri compact, and was also removed without a concurrence of two-thirds of the Senate. Messrs. Benton and Linn, Senators from Missouri, undertook the difficult task of engineering through Congress a bill including this triangle (large enough to form seven Counties) within the State of Missouri; which they effected, at the long session of 1835-6, so quietly as hardly to attract attention. The bill was first sent to the Senate's Committee on the Judiciary, where a favorable report was procured from Mr. John M. Clayton, of Delaware, its Chairman; and then it was floated through both Houses without encountering the perils of a division. The requisite Indian treaties were likewise carried through the Senate; so Missouri became possessed of a large and desirable accession of territory, which has since become one of her most populous and wealthy sections, devoted to the growing of hemp, tobacco, etc., and cultivated by slaves. This is the most proSlavery section of the State, in which was originated, and was principally sustained, that series of inroads into Kansas, corruptions of her ballot-boxes, and outrages upon her people, which earned for their authors the appellation of Border Ruffians.

THE ANNEXATION OF TEXAS.

The name of Texas was originally applied to a Spanish possession or province, lying between the Mississippi and the Rio Grande del Norte, but not extending to either of these great rivers. It was an appendage of the Viceroyalty of

Mexico, but had very few civilized inhabitants | other southwestern States, began to concentrate down to the time of the separation of Mexico itself in Texas. The emigrants carried rifles; from Spain. On two or three occasions, bands many of them were accompanied by slaves; of French adventurers had landed on its coast, and it was well understood that they did not or entered it from the adjoining French colony intend to become Mexicans, much less to relinof Louisiana; but they had uniformly been quish their slaves. When Gen. Sam. Houston treated as intruders, and either destroyed or left Arkansas for Texas, in 1834-5, the Little made prisoners by the Spanish military authori- Rock Journal, which announced his exodus and ties. No line had ever been drawn between destination, significantly added: "We shall, the two colonies; but the traditional line be- doubtless, hear of his raising his flag there tween them, south of the Red River, ran some-shortly." That was a foregone conclusion. what within the limits of the present State of Louisiana.

When Louisiana was transferred by France to the United States, without specification of boundaries, collisions of claims on this frontier was apprehended. General Wilkinson, commanding the United States troops, moved gradually to the west; the Spanish commandant in Texas likewise drew toward the frontier, until they stood opposite each other across what was then tacitly settled as the boundary between the the two countries. This was never afterward disregarded.

In 1819, Spain and the United States seemed on the verge of war. General Jackson had twice invaded Florida, on the assumption of complicity on the part of her rulers and people -first with our British, then with our savage enemies and had finally overrun, and, in effect, annexed it to the Union. Spain, on the other hand, had preyed upon our commerce during the long wars in Europe, and honestly owed our merchants large sums for unjustifiable seizures and spoliations. A negotiation for the settlement of these differences was carried on at Washington, between John Quincy Adams, Mr. Monroe's Secretary of State, and Don Onis, the Spanish embassador, in the course of which Mr. Adams set up a claim, on the part of this country, to Texas as a natural geographical appendage not of Mexico, but of Louisiana. This claim, however, he eventually waived and relinquished, in consideration of a cession of Florida by Spain to this country-our government agreeing, on its part, to pay the claims of our merchants for spoliations. Texas remained, therefore, what it always had been-a department or province of Mexico, with a formal quit-claim thereto on the part of the United States.

The natural advantages of this region in time attracted the attention of American adventurers, and a small colony of Yankees was settled thereon, about 1819-20, by Moses Austin, of Connecticut. Other settlements followed. Originally, grants of land in Texas were prayed for, and obtained of the Mexican Government, on the assumption that the petitioners were Roman Catholics, persecuted in the United States because of their religion, and anxious to find a refuge in some Catholic country. Thus all the early emigrants to Texas went professedly as Catholics, no other religion being

tolerated.

Slavery was abolished by Mexico soon after the consummation of her independence, when very few slaves were, or ever had been, in Texas. But, about 1834, some years after this event, a quiet, but very general, and evidently concerted, emigration, mainly from Tennessee and

Of course, the new settlers in Texas did not lack pretexts or provocations for such a step. Mexico was then much as she is now, misgoverned, turbulent, anarchical, and despotic. The overthrow of her Federal Constitution by Santa Anna was one reason assigned for the rebellion against her authority which broke out in Texas. In 1835, her independence was declared; in 1836, at the decisive battle of San Jacinto, it was, by the rout and capture of the Mexican dictator, secured. This triumph was won by emigrants from this country almost exclusively; scarcely half a dozen of the old Mexican inhabitants participating in the revolu tion. Santa Anna, while a prisoner, under restraint and apprehension, agreed to a peace on the basis of the independence of Texas-a covenant which he had no power, and probably no desire, to give effect to when restored to liberty. The Texans, pursuing their advantage, twice or thrice penetrated other Mexican provinces-Tamaulipas, Coahuila, etc.,--and waved their Lone-Star flag in defiance on the banks of the Rio Grande del Norte; which position, however, they were always compelled soon to abandon--once with severe loss. Their government, nevertheless, in reiterating their declaration of independence, claimed the Rio Grande as their western boundary, from its source to its mouth, including a large share of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Durango, and by far the more impor tant and populous portion of New Mexico. And it was with this claim, expressly set forth in the treaty, that President Tyler and his responsible advisers negotiated the first official project of annexation, which was submitted to the Senate, during the session of 1843-4, and rejected by a very decisive vote: only fifteen (mainly Southern) senators voting to confirm it. Col. Benton, and others, urged this aggressive claim of boundary, as affording abundant reason for the rejection of this treaty; but it is not known that the Slavery aspect of the case attracted especial attention in the Senate. The measure, however, had already been publicly eulogized by Gen. James Hamilton, of S. C., as cal culated to "give a Gibraltar to the South," and had, on that ground, secured a very general and ardent popularity throughout the SouthWest. And, more than a year previously, seve ral northern members of Congress had united in the following:

TO THE PEOPLE OF THE FREE STATES OF THE

UNION.

stituents and our country as members of the 27th ConWe, the undersigned, in closing our duties to our con gress, feel bound to call your attention, very briefly, to the project, long entertained by a portion of the people of these United States, still pertinaciously adhered to, and intended soon to be consummated: THE ANNEXATION oF TEXAS TO THIS UNION. In the press of business inci

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »