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True American. (New Orleans [La.]) 1835-18??, March 08, 1839, Morning, Image 1

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P 2ium 12a CIN'NTS. _ < w _ -. -l.......
Phicic ~ __ I ~ NEW ORLEANS FRIDAY MORNING, MARC:H 8 1839. -- ----
t, s of ... . e p v r o , Orlean -Wt iI r.... ved ..
s.natni l ul' agree d t t a lisumel .neeti.g oi ... C that I WOuld seriottly invite every consid- I This rovisi recded, oin otttftime relates to t in. th .... of F u h a
the PrhpriReltre, held n the 1th oflrcha Gre, ands impressions upon t crate t i t . . ....... ..... . slavery in the Te itory of Flo- u such a power assumed or usurued.
.. _ ..._..... ....._ .,.ýý-- ^ ý.. . .. ^ strts nin m td Th .. 7 Y power
Terwi b te Nerd a ps Pre of Nenew Oreone.
Ynnite Atlv agreed l t n.- Merchejnuts nd Tra eraof
the Pobprietore, hled on the 13th of Marl, 1837.
sorty dtu o f l nolln aone, ra six for bothe lly pa
per Annt, payable n ,n i.nunolly O ine and atnce teill
dollars ftr tie ti-bkl fy nurs intry ptoer, pnl le one
geer in advancthe, where wo cite rierono ist given. No
tabet.riptin will he di enionted until nrre ngeso are
settled.- k So of e dige otinuoieh, one oeek' anotiae
n ayriffg mue t ona ienierlily given, previouo to le
dlyiratloh of seascriititehn.
Aorartor twaie li en dollor per ustrine fb the firet
oeetioen, andvlrftihs surich r ereh selllactentiett ole:
or hmateril e toratreio fom t the orginalul odrtitnest
wihllhared io otnew ond e .
n AytOi AunIler iecd.-Mlerpeiots tand 'ieon ore,
rty dolle.s fet Eoor tl aloete, and sixnt for t uoth Inn
gte is. Be toetonsuriice Offltbr ,nod othetlr simier
daly instith tison, fifty dhlnri ca Englid 0 o nly, and
pightty for bfltli, igiwgeo; 1hip1 anod Stenioenot Poe
tore, or Commio iio ooehieanot sixty dollars in Englieh
ite, andeighty t1 rboth latng . •ge.
ilg the atre tion of tie, heiaic to nler ai property,
clars of Aaeengoeri, holleft., &e. &L. willReCET,
ol cl per soq are for lthe erst itnwortion in emclo nto.
Ccoonutwcervoee,. or Aertistemos ts, of any person.
Al nature, wlicn ediloihsiein, shall be clnorged dooble,
and ii adrvevoe.
A dedoition of twently-fie pereent. will be made to
Auctloieero, Sloer!c, log eterenof Wills,and Mnarthals
oi vales of rool ottote. petlisned in botto languges,
nodl 50h per cenot. in Eloglielo alone: tL petoceit. onesala
o' other peolerty.
Ateo wtMEMENTseout of the direct line of buriness
of thie advwertier, such as legal, auttion, and plants
jolt tales, runeoioy slnoew, etriy unitiii(l$, &c. &w. will
he hloarged for sepeoately, otld at tlo ordinary tres.
AtoVaRTISEMENTo S toot specified we to time, Will ho
Iintlished one noiwnotb, and chorged aeewroringly
No ndvertiioinollte of lIoobkruptcie will te published
oio y cise, ioinleoe paid liir previiies tointeertion, or
payieontgoioooioterdl toy i reoponseible pernon in town.
l'oentret and otlier placeR of innseooant,niodvertising
daily r thie ieaoio. to tie olitged $100 for Loglieho a.
luicr, and $150 inilothllongnooeea.
All agnoenciehioe iof cetlidatot fer political officee
.eill be ehorged double tho price of ottor adeertiee.
t )Vilig toi tie ininnolloe lnt susrtained by newiapope
jioojiii'ilre, thee booe clene to file conclusii n tha' t rie
DR IleoaeIofiiooillee wobeeoewisoellntebwhce not been eit ill
,avithiill one moito after proeentation, shallow ye M, de
(snoww t t(e for ic pirictieoble) to etch, othoer-t-Ihey ohli
I Itingtle nolRl lno~t tiodIerrItise or printt fuo sucIo
lilnllants, :,coeos ini iene ol edenere pyepeovos.
(sigoed) J. C. Dte. Sr. RtOMEO
J. C. PRENI)ERGAST,
JoHN hlfIfON,
t.U0MS)EN.
lV erkeg Prose.-We, Ott undersigiod, agree to obidle
by tioe alove eoodioiooe, an hor tithey are opplicoble to
ec Iei. A. B. LAWRENCE,
4byýN~tbo h riptions aer taken foe leo tItan 6 mouohli.
leater.totootoin oIl caoes, be Powetinid.
SPEECH OF THE
liON. HENRY CLAY,
ON THE SURJECT OF
ABOLITION PETITIONS,
Delivered in the Senate of the II. States,
February 7, 1839.
Mr. CLAY, of Kentucky, rose to present
a peitition, and said : I have received, Mr.
P'resident, a pe'lition to the Senate and
liouse of Ilepresentatives of the United
States, which I wish to present to the Sen
ate. It is signed by several hundred inhab
ituants of the I)istrict ofColmsbia, and chiefi
ly of the City of Washington. Among them
I recognize the name of the highly esteem
.4 , layor of the city, and other respectable
enames, some of which are iprsonally and
well known to me. They express their .
-re.t that the sublject of the abolition of sla
very within the District of Columbia con
linles to be pressed upon the consideration
oif Congriess by inconsiderate sai misgulidesd
individuals in other "parts of the I'nited
Statet. They state that tlhey o not desire
ith. abolition of slavery withia the I)istrict,
even if Congress psasess the very questiosaL
ble power of ahlishing it. without the con-,
sent of the people whose interests would hex
immtediately anl directly aflicted by the
measure; tatl it. a qplestion solely be
s tween lite pehople oftthi District and their
stlv crrustitutioal Legislature, purely mlu
tiij.pal, and one in which no exterior influ
* 'ic:i, or interests an justly interfere; that,
iti at any future period the people of this
Iistrict should desire the albolition of slave
rv within it, they will doubtless make their
iwishcs known, when it will Iheitne enotugh
toi take the mutter into consieration ; that
they do, not, on this occasion, present them
sclves to Congress Isecause they are slave
hollders-many of them are not-somne of
them are conscientiously opposed to slavery
-but they appear, because they justly re
spect the rights of those who own that de
sc:riptiion of property, and because they en
tertain a deep conviction that the continued
agitation of tlhe question by those who have
no, right to interfere with it. has an injurious
influence'on the peace and tranquillity of the
Community, and upon the well-bcing and
happiness of thoise who are held in subjec
tion;t they finally protest as well against the
unauthorized intervention of which they
complain, as against any legislation 'on the
part of Conglcss in compliance therewith.
But as I wish these respectable petitioners
to lie theriuselves heard, I request that their
petition nay.hle read. [It was read accord
ingly, and Mr. Clay proceeded.] I a:t in
fiormed by the committee which requested
me to offer this'petition, and believe, that it
expresses the almost unanimous senti
nlents of the people of the District of C,
lumbia.
The performance sof this service alilrds
mse, said Mr. C. a legitimate opportunity, of
which, with the permission of the Senate, I
mean now to avail myself, to say something,
not only on the particular objects of the pe
tition, but upon the great and interesting,
subject with which it is intimately associ
at-d.
It is well known to the Senate, said Mr.
C(lay, that I have thought that the most ju
dicious course with abolition petitions has
not been of late pursued by Congress. 1
have believed that it would have been wis
est to have received and referred them,
wilthout opposition, and to have reported
against their object in a calm and dispas
sionate.arhntmentative appeal to the good
sense of the community. It has been sup
posed, however, by a majority of Congress
that it was most expedient either not to re
ceive the petitions at all, or,e if formally re
ceived, not to act definitely upon them.
'There is no substantial difference between
these opposite opinions, since both look to
an absolute rejection of the. petitioners. But
there is a great difference in the form of
proceeding ; and, Mr.- President, some ex
perience in the conduct of human affairs has
taught me to believe that a neglect to obser-ve
established forms is often attended with
mlore mischievouls consequlences than the in
fliction of a positive injury. We all know
that, even in private life, a violation of the
existing usages and ceremonies of society
cannot take place withouf seriotis prejudice.
I fear, sir, that the abolitionists alie acqui
red a cotiaddbrable apparent force by blond
ing with the object which they thave in view
a collateral and totially different question
.arising out of an alleged violation .of the
right of petition. I know full wel , and
take great pleasure.in testifyaing that noth
" ing ivas remote'r from the intehition of the
Smajority of thl. Senate, fom whlich I -difflr
ed, than to violate the right of' petiti6n in
any case is which, according .to its judg
Snent, that right could be constitutionally ex
ercised, or where the object- of.the petition
could he safely.oc properly granted. Still
.itmust he owned that the abolitionists have
-sesizedI hold of the - fact of the treatment
which tleir petitions have received in Coa
gress, and made injurious impressions upol
ithe tinds of a large portion of the commil
nity. This, I think might have beeni avoid
ed by the course which I should have bee
glad to have seen pursued.
And I desire now, Mr. President, to ad
vert to some of those topics which I thin]
Smight have been usefully embodied in a re
it port by a committee of the Senate, an
which, I am persuaded, would have check
ed the progress, if it had not altogethe
r arrested the efforts, of the abolitionists.
am sensible, sir, that this work would hiav
j been accomplished with much greater abili
ty and with much happier effect, under thi
t- auspices of a committee, than it can by me
But, anxious as I always am to contribute
whatever is in my power to the harmony
concord, and happiness of this great people
I feel myself irresistably impelled to d(
whatever is in my power, incompetent as
I feel myself to be, to dissuade the Publi,
from continuing to agitate a subject fraugh
with the most direful consequences.
There are three classes of persons oppo
sed, or apparently opposed, to the contin
ued existence of slavery in the Unite,
' States. The first are those who, fiom sen
I timents of philanthropy and humanity, are
conscientiously opposed to the existence o
slavery, but who are no less opposed, at thi
same time, to any disturbance of the peace
and tranquillity of the UIion, or the infringe
ment of tle po-t.ers of the States composing
the Confi-deracy. In this class may hli
comprehended that laceful and exemprnlalr
it society of" Friends," onlle of whose estalt
lished maxims is, an a)bhorrence of warin al
its forms, and the cultivation of peace aci
good-iwill amongst mankind. The nex
class consists ,ofapparent abolitionists-than
is, those who, having bec- persutade
that the right of petitiiitn has lbeenl violatel
by (oltgress, coi-operate with the aiolition
ists for the sole purpose of asserting anll
vindicatinlg that right. And the the third class
are the real ultra-abolitionists, who are re
solved to persevere in the pursuit of thllei
object at all hazarlls, andl without regard tc
the collsequences, liowever calamitous they
may he. \\itll them the rights ofproperty
are notthiing; the deficiency of the ipoweri
Ifthe (eieural (tivernLment is notlling; the
ackniledged land incontestabll, powers of
tho States are notihing; civil war, a dissolu
tion of the Union, and the overthrow of a
i governmelnt il which are concentlrated the
tndlest hopes of the civilized world are Io
tllhing. A single idea has taken possession
of their minds, and onward they pursue it,
overlooking all larriers, reckless and re
gardless of all cotsequenices. With this
lass, tlhe immnediate albolition of slavery ill
the District of Cohlnia, andl in the Terri
tory of Florida, the prohibition of the remo
val of slaves froilm State to State, tand the re
tfusal to adhnit any new State, comprising
within its limits the institution of domestic
sla\very, arie ,but so manliy mean(ls conducinelg
to the acemu plishnloln t of the ultimate bilt
iperilous end at which they avowedly and
boldly aiml; are hut so uually short stages in
the long aul bloody road to the distant gotal
at which tiey would ftinally arive. Their
purpose is abolition, universal abolition,
ieacenly if Ils y can, brcibly if it I ist.
TIheir ihiect is no lIsonger cinireal lv iy the
thinnest veil; it is avowed and prlclaiimed.
Itterly destitute f consitiitutionil "r other
rightfil power, lis iag it totaflly distinct coam
tumil1ities, as ,f lien to thl le c lltiniiliti-s ini
nich thle subiject In which ltihv wll(, oipr
ate Irsides, si aluas concernl plilicl power
over that suhjet, as it' they lived in Afrtica
or Asia, they nevertlhe.less prnllulgate t
the world their purpose to imanusit tfith
wilth, and without compenjnsat, ati, ad with
ioult moral i eparation, three millions of e
gro slaves, under jturisdictions altogtoher
separated firom those uudet which, theyv live.
I havitsaid that itnmedliatel abolition o<f sla
Ivery inll the District oIf Columblia and in the
Territory of Florida, and the exclusion oi
,new Stutles, were only iluealts towards the
atutainment of a miulch Imore important cid.
Unfitrtunately they are not the only means.
Another, and much mor le lamentable one is
that which this class is enteavouring to em
play, of arraying tione portionl against anoth
er portion of the Union. \Vith that view,
in all their leIding prints and publications,
the horrors of slavery are depicted in glow
ing and exagerated color s, to excite the im
aginations and stimulate the rage of the
people in the ftie States against the people
in the slave States. 'fie slaveiholder is
held up and represented as the most atro
cious of human beings. Advertisements of
fiugitive slaves and of slaves to be sold are
carefully collected and blazoned forth, to
intfse a spirit of detestation and hatred a
gainst one entire and the largest seictionl of
the Unien. And like a notorious agitator
upon another theatre, they would hunt
down and proscribe fiom the pale of civil
ized society the inhablitants of that entire
section. Allow me, Mr. Presidient, to say,
that whilst I recognize in the justly woun,l
ed feelitgofthe linister of the U. States at
the Court of St. James much to excuse the
notice which lie was provoked to take of
that agitator, in my humsble opinion, lihe
would better have consulted the dignity of
his station and of his country in treatintg himt
with contemptuous silence. lie would ex
chiude its firom European society-hlie who
himself can only obtain a contrahand admis
sion, andl is received with scorntfl repg
nance into it! If he le no more desirous ,f
our society than we are of his, he may rest
assited that a state of eternal nou-inter
course will exist between us. Yes, sir, I
think the American Minitster would have
fest pursued the dictates of true diguity by
regarding the language of the member tf
the hhtitish Honse of Ctamons as the ma
lignant ravings of the pltuderer if his own
-.o.,t-,.,~innl ti. ;Vll. . , -.. -... .
kindred people.
But the means to which I have already
adverted are not the only ones which this
third class of ultra-aholitionislts are em
ployingto effect their ultimate end. Theyhe
gan their operations by professing to employ
only persuasive means in appealing to the
humanity and enlightening the understand
ings of the slaveholding portion of the Un
ion. If there were some kindness in this
avowed motive, it must he acknowledged
that there was rather a presumtptuous dis
play also of an assumed superiority in intel
ligence ahd knowledge. For soime time
they continued to make these appeals to
our duty and our interest; but impatient
with the slow influence of their logic upon
our stupid minds, they recently resolved to
chainge their system of action. To the a
gency of their powers of persuasion, they
now propose to suhstitite the powers of the
hballht box; and he mustbe blind to what is
passing before us, who does not perceive
that the inevitable tenideucy of their pro
ceedings is, if these should be found insul;
ficieat, to. invoke, finally, the more t
powers of the bayonet.
.Mr. Iresident, it-is at ilhis alarsrruing stage
of .the p!,rocedings, of the uhlri~tblitioimisti
•~ · fi.-.
that I wauld seriously invite every consi
a erate man in the country solemnly to pans
and deliberately to reflect, not merely (
our existing posture, but upon that dreadf
precipice down which they would hurry u
It is because these ulra-abolitionists haw
ceased to employ the instruments of reasr
and persuasion, having made their caus
political, and have appealed to the ball
box, that 1 am induced, upon tliq occasic
to address you.
r There have been three epochs in the hi
toty of our country at which the spirit ,
abolition displayed itself. The first was in
mediately after the formantion of the presel
Federal Government. Whens the Consi
tution was about going into operation, i
powers were not well understood by tl
community at large, and remained to be a,
curately interpreted and defined At tht
period numerous abolition societies wet
formed, comprising not merely the Sociel
of Friends, but many other good men. Pi
itions were presented to Congress, prayin
for the abolition of slavery. They wer
received without serious opposition, refer
ed, and reported upon by a committee.
The report stated that the General Govern
ment had no power to abolish slavery as
existed in the several States, and that thes
States themselvesliad exclusive jurisdictio
over the subject. The report was generall
acquiesced in,and satisfaction and tranquill
ty ensued; the abolition societies thereaftc
limiting their exertions, in respect to th
black population, to oflices of hmnanit
within the scope of existing law.
T lhe next period when the subject
slavery, a idl abolition incident:allly, we
brought into notice and discussion, was thl
on the memorablel occasion of'the admissio
of the State of Missouri into the Union.s
' The struggle was long, stlretinnstls, aud feat
fil. It is toto rect to miake it necessar
to do more than merely advert to it, and t
say; that it was finally composed by nie c
those compromises characteristic of olt in
slitutions, and of which the Constitution it
self is the moust signal instance.
The third is that. in which we nosw fit
ourselves. Various causes, Mr. President
have contributed to iproduce the existiin
eIxcitement on the subject ofabolition. Til
principle one, perhapis, is the example o
British emancipation of the slaves in the is
lands adjacent to our cruitr\y. Such is tit
similarity in laws, iin langruage, in the insti
tutions, and in common origin, betweet
(reat Britain and the Il ited States, tha
tno great measure of national policy can hb
adopted in the one country withllout produ.
cing a considerable degree of inlthence ii
the other. ('onlfornding the totally difler.
ent cases together, of the powters of thl
British Parliament and tho.,e of the Con.
gress of the lUnited States, and the totally
ditfferent situatios oIf lle British W'est Ii.
dia islands, and the slaves in the sovereigr
and indepenusent States t.fthis Conftderacy
supertfcial nien have intirred frit the usn
decided Britisih experinenti thie Ipracticablili
ty of the altbolition of slavery in these States
The lpowers of the Blritish Parliament arc
unlimited, and are often described to be
imrtlll llll't. The powers if the Americas
Congress, ii1 the iltltrary, tire fisw, cautil
rosly limited, scrupulously excluding al
that are not gr'anted, and, above all, care
flally and absolutely excludings all powei
tver the existence rir contitmancr e of'slavery
is the several States. The slaves, tIo, upoes
which British legislation operated, were not
in the ihosnil of the kiiin'drti, but in semolc
aln feeble couhlies having so, voice in Par
liaIent. And whilst [I irost fervently wish
complete success to the British experiment
of West India emancipation, I conbfsss that
I have f'ariful fbrebodings of a disastrous de
termination ofit. WVhatever it may be, I
think it must be admitted that, if the British
Parliament treated the West India slaves
as freemen, it also treated the West Indlia
fioeemen as slaves. If, instead of these slaves
being separated by a wide ocean fruom the
parent country, three or ftur millions of Af-t
rican negro slaves had been dispersed over
England, Scotland, \ales and Ireland, and
their owners had been members ofthe Brit
ish Parliament-a case which would lhave
presented some analogy to that of our own
country-does any one believe that it would
have been expedient or practicable to have
emancipated them, leaving them to remain,
with all their embittered feelings, in tl.e
United Kingdom, boundless as the powers
of the British Parliament arel
Other causes have conspired with the Brit
ish example to produce the existing excite'
ment firom abolitiosn. I say it with profoumid
regret, but with no initerntiou to occasion it.
ritation here or elsewhere, that there are
persons ii both parts ofthe Union who have
sought to mingle abolition with politics, aurl
to array one portion of the Union against
tihe other. It is the imisfortunie in frtee coun
tries that, ins high party times, a disposition
too often prevails to seize hold of every
thiing which can strengthens the one side or
weaken the other. Charges of fbstering
abolition designs have Ieen heedlessly and
urjustly made by one party againlst the oth
cr. 1rior to the late electionlf thie present
President ft' the United States, lie was
charged witlh being anu abolitionistand abo
lition designs w'ere imputed to manyr- of hi:
supporters. Much us I was opposed to hin
election, and am to his Adniinistration, I
neither shared in making nor believing the
truth of thei charlige. lie was scarcely in=
stalled in ollfice Ihet're the same crharge wri
directed 'Irasinst those whso r ,h.is i.
ection.
A r. President, it is not triue,and I rejoice
that it is not true: that either of the two rea.
parties in this country has any designs or
aim at abolition. I should deeply lament
it if it were true. I should consider, if ii
were true, that the danger to the stability
of our system would be infinitely greatel
than any which does, I hope, actually ex
ist. While neither party can be, I think,
justly accused of arty abolition tendency
or purpose, both have profited, and both
have been injured, in particular localities,
by the accession or abstraction ofaholitionl
support. If the account were fairly stated,
I believe the party to which I am opposed
has profited much more, and been injured
much less. than that to which I belong.
But I am far, for that reason, from beine
disposed to accuse our adversaries ofbein
abolitionists.
And, now, Mr. President, allow me to
consider the several cases in which the au
thority of Congress is invoked by these
abolition petitioners upon the subject of
lomestic slavery. The first relates to it as
it exists in the District ofCColumbia. The
following is the provision of tile Constitu
tion of the United States in reference to
that matter.
"Tp. exeroise-' eXtlusive -legislation iin
if:cases whatsoever over suat .District
-(not exceeding ten miles square) as may
by cession of particular States;and the ac.
ceptanco of Coagress, become thile Seat of
Governinent of the United States."
This provision preceded, in pointoftia
e, the actual cessions which were made by t
"' States of Maryland and Virginia. The
1 jectof the cession was to establish a sM
8- of Government of the United States; and ti
'e grant in the Constitution of exclusive legi
I lation must be understood, and should I
C always interpreted, as having relation
't the object of the cession. It was with
fill knowledge ofthis clause in the Co
stitution thatithose two States ceded to tl
General Government tile ten miles squar
if constituting the District of Columbia. ]
' making the cession, they supposed that
was to he applied, and applied solely,
t the purposes of a seat of Government, fi
which it was asked. When it was mad
slavery existed in both those Commoi
wealths, and in the ceded territory, as
it now continues to exist in all ofthem. Ne
e ther Maryland nor Virginia could have ai
Y ticipated that, whilst the institution remail
ed within their respective limits, its ab,
g lition would be attempted by Congre;
without their consent. Neither of the
would probably have made an unconditis,
al cession, if they could have anticipate
such a result.
it From the nature of the provision in tl
Constitution, and the avowed object of tl
acquisition of the territory, two duties ari,
Y on the part of Congress. The first is, I
render the District available, comfortalbl
and convenient, as a seat of Government<
the whole Union ; the other is, to gover
Y the people within the l)istrict so as best I
romote their haplpiness and prospeity.
These oljects are totally distinct in the
nature, and, in interpreting and execcisin
the grant of the poeower o exclusive legi ;l
tion, that distinction should be costanitl
borne in mind. Is it necessary, in order 1
render this llac.e a comnfirtable seat of tla
General Government, to abolish slaver
within its limits i No one can or will at
vance such a proposition. The (overt
mnent has remained here near tihrty ye:u
without the slightest inconvenience fiot
1 the presence ofdonmestic slavery. Is it ni
cessary to the well being of the people (
the District that slavery should be abolishe
from amongst them ? They not only neo
ther ask nor desire, but are almost unan:
mously opposed to it. It exists here in th
mildest and most mitigated firm. In a pr
pulation of 39,834 there were, at the las
emuneration of the population of the Unite,
States, but 6,119 slaves. The number ha
not probalbly much increased since. The,
are dispersed over the tell miles square, eln
gaged in the quiet pursuits of husbandry
or in menial offices inl domestic life. If i
were necessary to tile efficiency of th:i
place as a seat of the General Govern men
to abolish slavery, which is utterly denied
the abolition should be confined to the tie
cessity which prompts it, that is, to the lim
its of tile city of Washington itself Be
yond those limits, persons conicerined in the
G(overnament of the I'nited States have nt
more to do with the inhabitants of the Dis
trict than they have with the inhabitants o
the adjaccnt counties of Maryland and Vir
gina riwhich lie leyond the District.
To abolish slav ery within the District o
C(oloumbia, whilst it remains in Virginia auS
Maryland, situated, as that I)istrict is, with
in the very heart of those states, would ex
pose them to gralt practical inconveliicilca
and annoyance. The District woul beli
come a place of refuge ald escape fir fuigi
rive slaves fromi the two States, and a Iplae
firon which a spirit of discontent, instluor
dination,. and insurrection, might be fIsterei
and encolluragedil in thee two States. Sup
pose, as was at onlle time unrder considera.
tion, Pennsylviania 1had iraited tell miler
square within its limits fiar the purlose h
as eat df the G eneral Government; c'la
Congerss, without a violati on of good fhith
have introduced and established slavery
within the bostom of that Conmmonwealth
I in the ceded territory, after she ha1d abol.
ished it so long ago as the year 1780 ? Yel
I the inconvenience to Peinsylvania in the
case supposed, woull have been IIuI h less
than that to Virginia and Maryland in the
casce we are argu.rgig.
It was upon this view of the suilject that
the Senate, at its last session, solemnly de
clared that it would be a violation of implied
faith, resulting firom the trausaction of the
cession, to abolish slavery within the Dis
trict of Columbia. And twouhld it not le ?
By implied faith is meant that when a grant
is made for one avowed and declared purl
pose, known to the parties, the grant should
not be perverted to another purpose, una
vowed and, undeclared, and injurious to the
grantor. The grant, in the case we are
considering, of the territory of ('tllmlia,
was tir a se. t of G(:,rern,,i;t. Whatever
power is necessary to accomplish that ohb
ject is carried along'r by the grant. But the
abolition of slavery is Inot necessary to the
enoiyment of this site as a seat ofth'e ( cene
ralG(overnment. The grant in the ('olsti
tution, of exclusive power of legislation
over the District, was made toi ellsutre the
exercise of an exclusive authority of the (e
neral (Govertnment to render this place it
satfe and secure seat oft (overnmetnt, and to
promote the well-being if the inhabitants of
the District. The ipower granted ought to
be interpreted and exercised solely tio the
cnd forwhich it was granted. The language
of the grant was necessarily bIroad, comprelt. -
hensive, and exclusive, hbecause all the exi
gencies which might arise to render this a
secure seat of the (ienleral (novernment
could not have been fiireseen and provided
for. The language may possibly lie suffi
ciently comprehelns:ive to, include a potwer
of aboliti on, but it would not at all thence
follow tlat the power could lie rightfully
exercised. 'lThe case may lie reseimbled to
that of a phnipolentiaryti invested with ai
plenary power, but who, at tlhe same time,
has positive instructions friom his Govern
ment as to the kind of treaty he is to nlego
tiate and conclude. If'le violntes those in
structions, altnd concludes a different treaty,
his (Govertamer t is not bound by it. And if
the fioreign (Govlernment is aware of the vi
olation, it acts in haild thith. Or it may lie
illustrated by an examnlle drawn firom pri
vate life. I am anl endorser fur mly fi-iend
on a note discounted in bank. He applies
to me to endorse another to renew it, which
I do in blank. Now this gives him power
to make any other use of my note which he
pleases. But if, instead of applying it to
the intended purpose, he goes to a broker
and sells it, thereby doubling my responsi
bility for him, he commits a breach of trust,
and a violation of the good faith implied in
the whole, transaction.
But, Mr. President, if this reasoning were
as erroneous as I believe it to lie correct
and conclusive, is the affair of the liberation
of six thousand negro slaves in this District,
disconinected with the three millions of
slaves in the United States, of sufficient
magnitude to agitate, distract, and embitter
, great Confederacy ?
next case in which the petitioners
ask tlf-cxercise of the power of Ciongress,
se relates to slavery inl the Territory of Flo
ie rida.
1b Florida is the extreme southern portiot
at of the United States. It is bounded on all
e its land sides by slave States, and is several
s. hundred miles from the nearest fiee State.
e It almost extends within the tropics, and the
to nearest important island to it on the water
a side is Cuba, a slave island. This simple
n. statement of its geographical position should
oe of itself decide the question. When, by the
e, treaty of 1819 with Spain, it was ceded to
[n the United States, slavery existed within it.
t By the terms of that treaty, the effhicts and
t property of the inhabitants are secured to
ir them, and they are allowed to remove and
. take them away, if they think proper to do
1 so, without limitation as to time. if it were
it xpedient, therefore, to abolish slavery in it,
iit could not be done consistently with the
treaty, without granting to the ancient in
habitants a reasonable time to remove their
slaves. But further. By the compromise
s which took place on the passage of the act
for the admission of Missouri into the Union,
in the year 1820, it was agreed and under
stood that the line of 30 deog. 30 rmin. of
north latitude should mark the lioundary
between the free States and the slave States
iito be created in the territories of the Unii
ted States ceded by the treaty of Loilnsia
na ; those situated south of it being slave
States, and those north of it fire States.
But Florida is south of t'tat line, and, con
sequently, according to the spirit of the un
, derstauding which prevailed at the period
alluded to, should be a slave State. It may
SIe true that the compromise does not iin
terms embrace Florida, and that it is not
absolutely binding and obligatory; linut all
candid aind inmpartial mnen must agree that
it ought not to be disregarded without the
most weighty considerations, and that no
thing could I md rl to de deplrecated than
to open anew the bleeding wounds which
were happily bound up and healed by ll tn
compromise. Florida is the only remainin,
ITerritory to be admitted into the Union
with the institution of domestic slavery,
wf hile \Visconsin and Iowa are now nearly
d ripe for admission without it.
The next instance in which the exercise
of the power of Congress is solicited is that
of prohibiting what is denominated by the
petitioners the slave trade between the
States, or, as it is described in abolition pe
titions, the traffic in human beings betweenu
the States. This exercise of the power of
Congress is claimed under that clause of
tihe Constitution which invests it with au
thority to regulate commerce with foreign
nations, and among the several States, and
with the Indian tribes. The power to re
gulate commerce among the several States,
like other powers in the Constitution, has
hitherto remained dormant in respect to the
interior trade by land between the States.
It was a power granted, like all the other
powers of the General Government, to se
cure peace and harnmony among the States.
Hitherto it has not been necessary to exer
cise it. All the cases in which, during the
lprogress of time, it may become expedient
to exert the general autlhority to regulate
ncommnuerce between the States, cannot be
conceived. 'Ac nmay easily imagine, how
ever, contingencies which, if they were to
happen, might requlire the interposition ofi
the commoni aiuthority. If, for example,'
the State of Ohio were, by law, to prohibit
Sany vessel entering the port of Cincinnati,
from the port of Louisville, in Kentucky, if'
that case be not already provided fir by the
laws which regulate our coasting-trade, it
would ie competent to the General (;o
I vernment to annul the prohilbition emana
tin friom State authority. Or if the State
i of Kentucky were to prollibit the inttroduc
ti on witlhin its limits, of any articles oftrade,
tihe production of the industry iofthe inhab
i'ants of the State of Ohio, the General Go
vernment might, by its authority, supersede
the State enactment. iBut I deny that the
(General Government las any authoritv,
whatever, from the Constitution, to abolish
what is called the slave trade, or, in other
words, to prolhibit the removal of slaves
from one slave State to anotlher slave State.
The grtant in the (ontstitution is of a
power of reg, ulation, and not prohibition,-
it is conservative, not destructive. Regu
lation ex vIi termini implies the continued
existence or prosecution of the thing regu
lated. Prohibition implies total discontin
uance or annihilation. The regulation in
tended was designed to facilitate and accom
modate, not to obstruct and incommonde the
commnerce to le regulated. Can it be pre
tended that, under this power to regulate
commerce among the States, Congress has
tihe power to prohilbit tihe transporl).tation of
live stock which, in ciuntless numbers, are
daily passing firom the WVestern and in
terior States to, the Southern, Southwestern,
and Atlantic States ! The moment the in
contestible filet is admitted, that negro
slaves are property, the law of movable
property irresistablly attaches itselfto themn,
and secures the right of carrying them firom
onel to ianother State, where they are recog
,ised as property, without any hinidrance
whatever from ('ongress.
w.\vllt, v? w i'o11 (ro llogress.
lbit, Mr. President, 1 will not detain the
Senate longer on the subject of slavery
within the District and in Florida, and of
the right of Congress to prohibit the re
moval of slaves friom one State to another.
These, as I have already intimated, with
ultra-abolitionists are but so maty masked
bItteries, concealing the real nlld ultimate
point of attack.. That point of attack is the
Institution of domestic slavery as it exists
in these States. It is to liberate three mil
lions of slaves held in bondage within them.
And inow, allow tme sir, to glance at the in
surmountiable obstacles which lie inl the way
of the accomplislnient of this end, and at
I. some of the cotlseilquences which would en
sue if it were possible to attain it.
The first impediment is the utter and ab
solute want of all power mon the parlt of the
(General (Governmlent to effect the purlpose.
The Co(nstitution of the lUnited States cre
ates a limited (loverment, comprising
oomiparati.vely few powers, and leaving the
residuary mass of political power in the
possession of the several States. It is well
known that the subject of slavery interpo
sed one of tile greatest difficulties in the
fiirmation of the C(ntitutoin. It . s haip
I"iy cnnproi.Imis.t a ..i s ajitiduiu , ioit
iof hiLrmony and p:ttrionism. Accordnl.g to
Sthat t mptnromims. n i )it-a-i rwihates-.- wan
grunted to th4 Geneta, t r. e.ai?-nilen int re
pectt2 d'oadstic slawt, , li tFit ,'!ieh ir.
lhiutes to taxation & 'ript h4titcatti and, ti..
'-'atri tc&.mrestor. fngtr: s "ve to £heir
lawful owners. All other powcer in regard
to the institution of slavery was retained
exclusively by the States, to.be exercised
by them severally, according to their res
pective views of their own pectuliar inter
est. The Constitution of the Uniitet States
never could have been fiormed upon the
principle of investing the General Grovern
ment with authority to abolish the Institu
tlin at its. pleasnie. It never can he con
tinued for a singie day if the exercise of
o- such a power be assumed or usurped.
But it may be contended by these ultra.
otm abolitionists that their object is not to sti
all tmulate the action of the General Govern
"at ment,but to operate upon the States them
te. selves in which the institution of domestic
e slavery exists. If that he their objectwhy
er are these abolition societies and move
,le ments all confined to the fieeStatesl Why
Id are the slave States wantonly and cruelly
ie assailed? Why do the abolition presses
to teem with publications tending to excite
it. hatred and animosity on the part of ilhe in
id habitants of the free States against those
to of the Slave States? Why is C)ngress pe
id titioned'l The free States have no more
lo power or right to interfere with instituti
re ons in the slave States, confided to the ex
it, clusive jurisdiction of those States, than
ie they would have to interfere with institu
t- lions existing in any fireign country.
ir What w -uld be thought of the formation
se of societies in Great Britain, the issue of
ct numerous inflammatotry publications, and
n, the sending out of lecturers throughout the
r- kingdom, denouncing and aiming at the
of d.'struction of any of the institutions of
Y France? WVould they le regarded as pso
Seeedings warranted iby good neiglhblor
I- oo,d? Or what would be thought of the
a- formation of societies in the slave States,
c the issue of violent aind inflammatory
tracts, an1l the deputation of missionasies,
t pouring out impassioned denunciations a
- gainst institutions under tile exclusive
io control of the free State?! Is their pur
cY pose to apipeal to our inderstandins. and
i to actuate our humanity? And dl o thl y
,t xpect to accomplish that purposl e by lhd
II ing s uis Iup t te scorn, anld contempt, and
It detestation oif the peoplt ofthe free States
e and the whole civilized worlld The sla
- very which exists amongst us is our aflhiir,
i not theirs; and they have no more just
rconcern with it than they have with slavery
t as it exists throughout the world. XiWhy
not leave it to us, as the commuron Constitu
tion of our country has left it, to be dealt
Y with, under the guidance of Providence,
Y as best we may or canl?
The next obstacle in the way of aboliti
on arises out of the fact of the presence ini
t the slave States ofthree millions ofslaves.
e They are there, dispersed throughout the
C land, part and parcel of our population.
They were brought into the country origi
nally under the authority of the parent
f Government whilst we were colonies, and
f their importation was continued in spite
of all the remonstrances of our ancestors.
If the question were all original question,
whether, there being no slaves within the
country, we should introduce them, and
incorporate them into our society, that
would be a totally different question. Few,
/ ifaany, of the citizens of the United States
viwould lie found to favour their intrldue
tion. No man in it would oppose, uplon
that supposition, with more determitied re
solution and conscientious lrepugllnance than
I shoitld. But that is not the question.
SIThe slaves are here; no practical scheme
Sfiar their removal or separation from tus
has vet tbeen devised or proposed; and the
true inquiry is; what is best to be done
with them. In human aflairs we are often
constrained, hy the force of circumstances
aindl tile actual state of things, to do what
we would not do if that state of things
did not exist. The slaves are here, and
here must remain, in some condition; and,
I repeat, how are they to be best govern
-ledl What is best ti le done for their
happliness and our own? In the slave
states the alternative is, that the white man
mutt govern the black, or the llack gov
ern the white. In several of those States,
tlihe numbllter of lie slaves is greater tharn
that ofthe white population. An inmme-t
diate abolition of slavery in lthei, as these
I ultra-aholitionists propose, wouil lie fol
loswed by a desperate struggle fir imme
diate ascendancy ofthe black race over tlhe
white race, or rather it would lie fillowed
Sby instantaneous collisions between the
two races, twhich swotldl break out into a
civil war that would end in the extermi
nation orsuljuogation of the one race or '
the otherl. fI such an alternative, who I
can hesitate? Is it not better for both payl
ties that the existing state of thingts should
he preserved, instead of exposing them to
the horrible strifes and contests whlich
would inevitably attend an immediate abo
lititon? Thi's is our true ground of defence
for the continued existence of slavery in I
our country It is that which ouir IRevolu
tionary ancestors assumed. It is that
which, in my opinion, itrms our justifica'
lion in tile eyes of all Christendom.
A third impediment to itnuediate ablli
tion is to be fthundl ill the imlenluse aotilunllt
of' capital which is invested in slave proper
ty. The total unaiber of slaves in the Ulni
ted State-, according ito thie last enumeracs
tion of the lopulatioln, was a little upwards tIs
of two millions. Assuming their increase
at a ratio, whichl it probably is, iof five icr
cent. per annum, tllheir lpresent llnlu l er
woutl be three tmillions. The average val
tic of slaves at this time, is stated lv pel
sons well intfirmed, tio be as high as five
lundred dollars each. To be certainly
within the mark, let us suppose that it is o.
ly fiur hundred dollars. The total value,
then, by that estimate, ofthe slave property
in the lUnited States is twelve hundred mil
liens of dollars. This property is diflhused
throughout all classe.s atndl conditions of so
ciety. It is ownied rby widlows antl orphlans,
Iy flSe agedl and infirm, as well as the soundl
und vigorous. It is the sulijrct of mcrtga
ges, deeds of trust, and fi.nily settlements.
It ihas heen uitle thie hbasis of numerous
ldeblts cuintracted upon tits faith, anti is the I
sole reliance, in many insttances, of creditors
wvithin sld writhout the slave States, tbr the
dehts ;uie to themu. And niow it is rashly
piItiiscd by single fiat otf legislatit,, to atn
nihilate this imnmense amonuit ,f r1,pertv!
To annihilate it without indtlniity atid
withlout comlpensatiutm to its ownCers! IDoes
any considecrate man htelieve it to be possi
blle to eflct suchi anl object without convul
sion, revslutilon and bloodshed l
a sion, revolution and bloodshed I
c I know that there is a visionary dogma
11 which holds that negro slaves cannot be the
t- lbject of property. I shall not dwell long
e with this speculative abstraction. That is
pt"',"ert ylt ich the law '-troa to pr
h oit ,st .·i ci, , .f t),-.p. :,t
0.ý 1pw ' e+, ,, tioueti al- i sod nc%.ito'd tto.riics!'
-r irrý, petj l: ¶A je U all b tsye ob, ofin 4pt
ýý r P 13+'etgint c V7*/I>, .Jstl , h
d C'onstttutions atti Governnents---and under
d the Federal Goiernmeut.itself-they have..
d been deliberately and solneinl,:reotignize d
as the legitimate subjects of property. To
r- the wild speculations of theorists and inuo
is vators stands opposed.the fact, that in:an'
ue uninterrupted period of two hanhdred yeai'.
d- uration, under every form- ofhuman. egis,
1- lation, and by all the depart*ments nfthe hu
a- man government, African negro slaves have"
If heIt held and respectvsd, have descended
and been transferred, as lawful & indispl
table property. They were treated as pr(
poerty in the very. British example which i
so triumphantly appealed to as worthy
our imitation. Although the West Inds
planters had no voice in the United Pearli
ment of the British Isles, an irresistabl
sense of justice extorted from that Legish
ture the grant of twenty millions of pound
s sterling to compensate the colonistas for thel
loss of property.
If, therefire, these ultra-aiolitionistsaar
seriously determined to pursue their.schem
of immediate abolition, they. should at one
set about raising a fund of twelve hundrei
millions of dollars, to indemnify the owner
of slave property. And the taxes trorais
that eilorno ous samount can only be assesse
upon themselves or upon the free States, i
"they can per suade them to assent to such a
assessment ; for it would lie a. mockery c
all justice and an outrage agalust all equit;
to levy any portion of the tax upon th
slave States to pay for their own unquestiot
ed Property.
if relf the considerations to which I have at
thady adverted, are not sufficient to dtssuad
. e abolitionists from fuirther perseveranc
lo their desitgns. the interest of the ver
Cause which they profess to espoutse ongl
to check their career. Instead of advant
11 g by their efforts that cause, they hav
thrown back l fr ha'f' a century the prospec
of any species ofemancilpation of thile Afi
can race, gradual or immediate, in any c
the States. They have done more; the
have increased the rigors of legislatiot
g:ainst slaves in most, jfnot all, of. the slav
States. Forty years ago the'question wea
agitated in the State of'Kentucky of a grad
.anl emancipation of the slaves within it
lhnlits.
ltg r rnti-m cniretion, I i eln ll st Ilowa, bu
.'t lfo auni cautions liberralion of daliav,, which wa
y first adpt I inl Pennsylvania.at the instaanca of Dr
Franklin, in the year 178:), ill, according ti
which, the generaltion in being were to remain in
slavery., but all their ltfapring, blr s after a rpeel
t fled day were to be free at the ago of twenty eight
and, in the mean time, were to receive preparat.ory
instruction to qualify them tar the enjoyment a.
frieedom. That w is mth spceioa of emancination
which, at the epocr In which I allude, was disius.
sdct in Kentucky. No one was assh enogllh to pro.
pose or think of immediate abolition. No onte was
rash enough to think of throwing toese npo a the
commun ty, ignorant land unpreptared, thtiunLttor
ed slaves of the State. M any thounght, and I amonsg
them, that as nasc of tho slave states had a right a.
elusively to judge for itself in respect to the insti.
tation of domeitic slavcery, the proportion of loaves
compared with the white population in that State,
at that lime, was so inconsiderable that a systcm of
gradual neman ipation might have been satily al.
opted without any hazard to the recurity and inteor.
rats of the Commaonwoulth. And I still think tii
question of such emhancipation in the fartming states
is one whose solution depends upon tile relative
numbers oftlhe two races in any given State. It
I had heon a eit zon of the State of Pennsylvania,
when IFranklin's plan was'adopted I should have
voted for it, because by no po sbility could the
hlack race ever aequire tihe ascendancy in that
State. But if I had been then, or were now, a cit.
izen o a of sof athe planting States, ittl Southern or
Southwestern States-I should have opposed, and
Iwould continue to oppose, any scheme whatever
ofe at ncipation, gradual or immediate, hbeccause of
the danger of an ut imate aseendoncy of the black
rac", or of a civil contest which might terminate
in the extinctiona fone ra-e or thle other.
Theit propnsilion in Konitnky for a gradual eman.
cipation did not prevail, but it was sustained by a
large and rerliptahle minority. That minority had
ir creased, and was increasing until the abolitionists
commenced their ,perations. The rffect has been
to dissipate all pr.ospesc: whatever, for the prosent,
of any scheme of gradual or otlher entancipatioa,
T e prop's oflhat State have blcomn shocked and
alarmed by tlhee abol tion movements, antd the
numb'r who would now favor a system even of
of gradnel manci ation is probably less than it
was in the years 1798-'9. At thse eussiol of the
Legislature, held im 1837-'8, Ite question of calling
a conlvetion was rsubI tted to the rutnsideration
of the people by a la ptased in confarmity weith
the Conslti tion of the Slate, Many inotives or.
iated for the pasnge of tihe law. and among threm
that of emancipation had its influance. When the
question wet passed spon by tlte pt ople at their
last annuasl election, only alout one fourth of the
whole voters of tilh State supported a call of a
convention. The appre'-ensiun of the danger of
nhblition was tihe leadipr consideration amongrst
the people fir Opposing the call. Biut for that,
but for the aeitation of the qinetion of abolition in
the States wlhose population had no right, in the
opinion oftha p'epop of Kienlueky. to-instefere is
thie matter, tile vot fur a Convenltin weold hays
been much larger, if it had not been carried. I
felt myself constrained to take inumediate, hold,
and declided ground against it.
Prior is the agitation of this subject of abolition,
there was a prngressivs melioration in tl e onedi
tion of slaves throughout all the slave states. In
sonie of them, sehools of instruction were opened
by himnne and religious persons. These are all
now checked ; & a spirit of insubordinn lo bhaving
thoown itself in some localities, traceable, it is bh
lit rrd,to abolition movements and exertions, the
legislative authority lhas Iound it expedient to in.
fuse fresh vigor into thle police, and laws which
regnlate the conduct of the slaves.
And now, Mr. President, if it wer- porrible to
overcome the insurmountoabl obastacle wthich lie
in tl,e way of immoediate alslition, let ts briefly
crntom o'neca sonte of the e'uioq. tnq-uIcs which would
in,-v itnhly ensle. One of thebre has beon ccurion
illv aoillhdil It in the progrc-s ll these remarks.
it is the strue! le which would inatantaneousrly
arise brtween the two rases in most of the south.
ernl att southwestern statns. And what a dread.
Sflat strgle wonll d it not bh. : Ebittered by all
t'o raeulleetions of the lst, by theto unconquerable
pI.ejuievs which won'd prevail boeween ib- t two
tces, land stitnu'atld by ill tie hopes and frurs of
the future, it wolld Ie a contest in which ti 0 ex.
rminutlaiou of tite blacksr, or their ascendancy over
tie whit s, would 1i tibe st'o alternative. Prior
to the conclusion. or during the progress of such a
cointet, vast nutbers, probably of the black race,
would migrate into the free states; and whet ef.
feet would such a migration hayo upon the labors
ing classes in those States !
Now tile distribution of labor m the United
States is geograpeical; the free laborers occupy.
ing one side of the line, anil tire slave laborers the
othler; uacll clnss ptirsuiltg its own avoeatiolss al
Iogethler, uanmixed wit the other. But on the
slupositioat of itnrediate alolitior itm Jlag cllsa
mtigrating into tie free states, s ei-s
comtpetitios witb the white cla.s , m.m..
site wages of their labor, and augneol 'it thyt sa-it
This in not anll. l'The abolnitionists e...
.ppos all oparatIonn of tho to, raeor. I cofeen
to you, sir, that 1 hove seen with regret, grief
rnd astonishment, their resoauto opposition to the
project of eoloniz tion. No scheme was ever pre
nent, d to the acceptance of man, whielc, whethMr
it be entirely practicahlle or nt., is charncteried
hy nmore unmixed I.umanity and henovloenco than
that of tralnporting, with their own-·onseat; the
free people of rclor ir the United Statens ~o the
land of their nm:ce-tors. It hUo the. powerful i
commenedation llhat whatever it does is gouesj
uad if it effects ndhieg, it insiseUOo.evit..r mis.,
chief upon aoy portion of our sociely. There iheno
necess ry hoisthty Iistweon tle objects o oloei.
nation and abolition. Colonization deals only
with the free man of color, and that with his owo
free, voluntary cotent . li'has nothing to d.rith
olavery It distu bI no mana' properoj, seeks to
imoapi no power in the nhave states, neor to attr uts
any to thoe dvueruI Gvoernment. AlL its p ts.
aid al . itn ways mid ,m.ansare .vnlutary; desd.
ing 'pon tle bles-ing.td' Provadenme, wlt.sih .
nero has greoinonly IrItd. UL it. t e.: -. st ..
ent and harldnles ioie4nan oe4slg sni
a peuople of the Usitea4Sftnk p ,wth
ci much perrsevexeing m.I oh j
hitterreasasn di thj shotatiiaa;iill. .r
) 'iý},rc ina hiouePºInitwvse
hep rr ult ir ubiwlrIi h rI
theeats. l i l p
erorantly hsghiariten pidettite
'Pity'. .They il euotnlo.teodd tf i tv
twe gthei twporqgesstrht tt
ed and disre grded, Ame eiw
u rfsblietia 'bt aoep f p L ey
;wnsld.toalt s 00 'iiS
our nture; and ni toat4, tvi4" ` U y
hord;, tie bacik siawsoeo'wj Mae ihte, nur tl
aine t(i.iig ofn equiol ecia l o at soen. lie th*

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