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Weekly American. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1858-1858, April 24, 1858, Image 1

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We can hardly think it necessary to urge
upon those who hold that Americans ought to
rule America, the importance of having a paper
at the seat of the Federal Government, which
shall enunciate and advocate the doctrines o
the American party.
A paper issued from any of the great centres
of a nation, but especially from the political
Metropolis, in the present age, not in this
country only, but in Great Britain, France, and
wherever there is the least freedom of discussion,
is a medium through which those holding
similar sentiments in regard to public affairs
and public policy, may make known, discuss
and defend their views, and expose the
impropriety of the principles, and the impolicy
of the measures of their antagonists. It should
earnestly labor to give a proper direction to
public opinion by enlightening the public
The American is the only paper published
at the seat of the Federal Government which
advocates Americon doctrines; the only sentinel
of the party stationed where a near and
clear view can be had of the movements and
doings of their oppononts at their headquarters.
Here political information concentrates, and
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; here party measures and movements are
determined, and political campaigns planned;
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and here at certain seasons of the year politicians
most do congregate; here, in sl^ort, is
I the centre of the great political maelstrom in
which so many thousands are constantly plunging
and forever gyrating.'
If the American party is desirous of being a
national party, it Bhould not be without a
paper here through which it can make known
to all people its views, aims and opinions, and
which shall also refute the calumnies that are
from time to time uttered against it through
Snorance or a less excusable motive; and we,
erefore, take hope that the American, standing,
as it will stAnd, upon the platform of the
I American party, advocating, as it a ill advocate,
the paramount rights of native-born citizens,
eschewing, as it will eschew, all interference
with slavery as a national concern, and
maintaining, as it will maintain, perfect freedom
of opinion and of conscience in religion,
will find favor in the eyes of all truly patriotic
citizens in the land, and commend itself to their
generous support
Lest we may not have been specific enough
in declaring our principles, we add, that the
Farewei.l Address of the Father of his country,
as illustrated by the broad light of his administration,
is our political text-book and rode
mecum ; and shall be our compass and chart
Of Ik* American Party, adopted at the eeeeion of Ms
Kational Council, Jane 2, 1867.
1st. An humble acknowledgment to the Supreme
Being, for His protecting care vouchsafed
to our fathers in their successful Revolutionary
struggle, and hitherto manifested to us, their deccenaants,
in the preservation of the liberties, the
independence, and the union of these States.
2d. The perpetuation of the Federal Union, as
the palladium of our civil and religious liberties,
and I he only sure bulwark of American Independence.
8d. American* mutt rule America, and to this
end tta/ive-born citisens should be selected for all
State, Federal, and municipal offices or governinert
employment, in preference to all others:
t tn. Persons born of American parents residing
temporarily abroad, should be entitled to all the
rights of native-born citisens ; but
Oth. No person should be selected for political
station, ( whether of native or foreign birth,) who
recognises any allegiance or obligation of any description
to any foreign prince, potentate or power,
or who refuaea to recognise the Federal and Bute
(constitutions (each within its sphere) as paramount
to all other laws, aa rules of political action.
(Ith. The unqualified recognition and mainteranee
of the reserved rights of the several Slutes,
and the cultivation o< harmony and fraternal good
will, between the citisens of the several States, and
to this end, non-interference by Congress with
questions appertaining solely to the individual
t tatee, and non-intervention by each State with
the affairs of any other State.
7th. The recognition of the t'.ghtof the nativeborn
and naturalised citisens ol the Unitedr8tates,
permanently residing in any Territory thereof, to
frame their constitution and laws, and to r gulatc
their domestic and social affairs in their own mode,
subject only to the provisions of the Federal Oous.itution,
with the privilege of admission into the
Union wnenever they have the requisite population
for one Representative in Congress. I'rovidttl
always, that none but those who are citisens of
the United Statos, nnder the constitution and laws
thereof, and who have s fixed residence in any
suatfTerritory, ought to participate in the formation
of the constitution, or in the enactment of
laws for said Territory or 8tate.
8th. An enforcement of the principle that no
State or Territory ought to admit others than citisens
of the United States to the right of suffrage,
or of holding political office.
8th. A change in the laws ol naturalisation,
< making a continued res.denoe ol twenty-one years,
of all not hereinbefore piovided tot, n indispensable
requisite /or citisenship hereaiicr, and excluding
all paup) and persona convicted of crime,
j* from landing upon our shores ; but no interference
with the vested righ a of foreigners.
10th. Opposition to a iy union between Church
and State; no intur>erenoe with religious faith, or
w nship, and no test catha for office.
11 th. Free and thorough investigation into any
snd all alleged abuses of public functional-) aa, and
r st^'ct economy in public expenditures.
12th. The maintenance and enforcement of all
law* oonsti a tonally enacted, until said laws shall
!>e repealed, or shall be declared null tnd void by
oompetent judicial authority.
pj(8th. A free and open discussion of all political
principles embraced in our platform.
H '
ML^' .
" ?
5 1 ? J!
of * <
On the Admission of Kansas under the 1
Lecompton Constitution, I
In tue Senate of the United States, ,
. March 20, 1868. (
Mr. SIMMONS. Mr. President, I always feel .
some embarrassment in attempting to address the
Senate upon any question ; but the importance of ,
this, and the protracted discussion it has already ,
undergone, make this one increasingly embar- ,
rassing. There is nothing connected with it ,
which has not already been commented upon with |
so much ability that an endeavor to add more (
appears to be an act of temerity. I have no disposition
to repeat what has been said upon the |
topics Involved in this question of the admission ,
of Kansas into the Union as a State, and shall ,
therefore, find the most difficulty, in what I have j
to say, in trying to avoid a repetition of what has
been said by others; and I should not address the
Senate at all, but for the fact that the question is
one of deep interest in the State I, in part, represent
here; and our Legislature having passed resolutions
of instruction, may expect some remarks
as an accompaniment to the vote I shall give in
accordance with those instructions.
I may here say, that the difficulties surrounding
this question, although seemingly so threatening,
are all, in my judgment, capable of a peaceful
and satisfactory solution. We have only to
act?as I trust all of us are disposed to do?honestly
and right, and the matters can easily be
settled. I can add uothing to the powerful appeals
made to the Senate to do this, by the distinguished
Senator from Kentucky, [Mr. Okittknden,]
and the distinguished Senator from
Tennessee, [Mr. Bkll.] This question involves
the American doctrine of self government; upon
which I regret to witness a diversity of opinion
in this Chamber. A number of Senators on the
other side only admit that the people have a right
to bo well governed; and to secure this, they contend
that the forms of law only are to be observed
and regarded : while on this side, it is contended
that the people have the right to govern themselves,
and that they Bhall enjoy this right substantially,
viewing the forms of law as tho means
of securing that end; and that if the end be not
accomplished, the forms are worthless. There is
great diversity of opinion, and equal unanimity
of votes, with the advocates of this measure as to
the meaning of "popular sovereignty." The .Senator
from South Carolina [Mr. Hammond] denounces
it as populous; or populace sovereignty,
a kind of mob-rule, with which ho will have nothing
to do.
The true doctrine upon which our institutions
rest, as laid down by the Father of his Country,
is, the will of the majority authentically expressed.
I ask Senators to examine all the proceedings
in relation to the formation of the instrument
veiuru unf aim uie uuiisuiuuuu useii, tutu
then say if, in their judgment, there is, in the
whole series of acts, a single expression of the
will of the people of Kansas authentically made.
There is nothing authentic about these proceedings,
from the origin of the Territorial Legislature
to the last act of this Kansas Convention.
The fountain was corrupted at the outset, and it
has sent forth nothing but bitter waters ; and the
sooner we dismiss it, and remit it to the people
of Kansas, for settlement, under a Legislature
now cboeen, and admitted to be the first elected
by the people of the Torritory, the sooner peace
will be restored to the country.
The Senator from Missouri [Mr. Polk] said
that, by the first census taken in Kansas, there
was a majority there from the Southern States,
which showed there was no necessity for an invasion
from Missouri to carry the first election,
and furnished strong presumptive evidence that
no such invasion was made. That Senator must
recollect that Mr. (or General) Atchison, of Missouri,
in a letter to the people of the Southern
States, complained that the emigrants they had
induced to enter Kansas from the South, when
there, nearly all turned against the project of
making Kansas a slave State. These emigrants
were not slaveholders ; and if not, although from
the South, it was their interest to have Kansas free.
Exciting as political questions are, they will not
entirely control men, and induce them to vote
against their interests; and if it be true that a
majority of the first settlers were from the South,
the ltnowledge of the fact that these very Southern
emigrauts were in favor of making Kansas a
free Territory, may have been the occasion for the
invasion ; for the Missourians saw it would not
answer their purpose to lot even Southern emigrants
settle the question for themselves.
I have listened to this protracted debate, And
still am unable to see what authority this first
Territorial Legislature had to take the sense of the
people as to whether they wanted a State constitution
or not. The Senator from South Carolina
has said that this body was elected merely to organize
a territorial government: all have said that
it was contemplated that when there should be
sufficient inhabitants they should apply for admission
as a State. Does any one -pictend that by
the act authorizing territorial governments in
Kansas and Nebraska, which are said not then to
have contained four hundred American citizens,
the first Legislature of Kansas had any power,
either by that statute, or by the common law of
this country, to take steps for forming a constitution
and State government at its very first session?
If that Legislature had been legally chosen, it
would have been an act of usurpation, on their part,
thus to attempt to control the future population of
that vast region, considering the few men then in it.
It is insulting the common sense and understanding
of the people to contend that the first band
who should hop into the Territory could at ouce
mould and determine the institutions for the future
people of that Territory when there should come
to be sufficient to make a State government and
ask admission into the Union. I believe their proceedings
began without authority; have been carried
on in all stages without precedent, or authority
of law; and, what is still worse, in nty
opinion, without the slightest intention to do right.
I know that this Lecompton constitution, establishing
slavery in Kansas, is made tbo exciting
question now in this country; but there is a question
underlying this, which gives it its importance?that
is, a question of power, always an
angry one. It is a question whether power can
be continued in the hands of the few at the expense
of the many, in this country, and in defiance
of the will of the many. Such a question must be
an exciting one.
The question of slavery has been debated in
Congress and the country from the origin of the
jlovernment?nay, from the origin of tho Revolu;ion;
never angrily, except when political power
vas connected with the decision. I had occasion,
jleven years ago, to participate in such a debate
tere, although I never allude to the subject unless
t is introduced by others; for, from my expeience,
it has not proved a profitable one of discussion
in Congress, and but for that experience I
ihould not now address the Senate.
Mr PpooiHonf vkon T IaaIt awak tliio KaiIb nawl
im unable to recognize a single individual here
who was a member of it the first year of my service
here, I am taught a profitable lessou. I look
tgain, and find but one whose service here dates
prior to my own, and I turn naturally to him for
sounsel and for guidance.
What are the recommendations of that Senator
[Mr. Crittimdim] to us? Do they breathe any
spirit of ill-will? Do they regard this question as
too difficult to be surmounted by the wisdom and
patriotism of the Senate ? No, sir. The course
he points out is as obvious as tho path at noon
day; do right, that is all that is wanted. We have
had difficulties from the outset on this question of
slavery; but they have always been surmounted.
It was brought into discussion when the Declaration
of Independence was made in 1770. It was
presented to the convention of Virginia, which
sent delegates to the Congress of 1774; and was
never prcseuted to a Congress of the Colonies or
States of the Union, without eliciting some difference
of opinion, if not dissatisfaction; and yet, for
more than eighty years, those difficulties have been
overcome by a fraternal and liberal regard to tho
interests of the whole country.
The Senator from Virginia [Mr. Mason] invited
us, the other day, to go back to the course of the
fathers of the Republic; to deal with this subject
in their fraternal spirit, and according to their
teachings. I am willing to meet him on that
ground, and to meet Senators from the South on
the precise ground, to deal with the question as it
has been dealt with, in a spirit of candor and
frankness, with no desire to excite unkind feeling
in any one. It has become environed with difficulties,
which did not originally exist. I desire
the Senate to recollect the history of this controversy.
It has been made to embrace some points
which arc contained in a recent decision of the
Supreme Court of the United States, often referred
to in this debate, as to who arc citizens; and also
the power of this Government over the Territories
of the United States?questions which originated
before the Constitution was formed, and
which, in my judgment, was settled either before
the Constitution was made, or when it was established.
If Senators will consult the record, they will be
in no doubt as to who were made citizens, and
none as to the powers of this Government in the
Territories. I will read as to the first introduction
of slavery into these colonies. I do not find the
ap.r.nunt in hp. ha rttaipd hv ihn &>nntnr from Vir
ginia, [Mr. Mason,] in 1620. Mr. Jefferson, one
of the fathers, says:
" The first establishment in Virginia which be1
came permanent was made in 1607. I have
4 found no mention made of negroes in the colony
' until about 1650. The first brought here as
' slaves were by a Dutch ship; after which the
4 English commenced the trade, and continued it
4 until the Revolutionary war."
Mr. Jefferson is pretty good authority as to the
early history of Virginia, and he says slavery !
was first introduced in 1650, by the Dutch. Ef
forts are now made to show that the trade was !
commenced by England, and that slavery existed '
by the common law. I do not know how that |
may be, or that it is material; but the court in the
^Dred Scott case say, that at
?"this day it is difficult to realise the state of
' public opinion in relation to that unfortunate race j
' which prevailed in the civilized and enlightened
4 portions of the world at the time of the Declsra'
tion of Independence, and when the Constitution
' of the United States was framed and adopted.".
They had for more than a century before been
regarded as so far inferior as to have " no rights
which the white man was bound to re'pect, and
that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced
to slavery for his benefit," Ac.; that up to
the time of the adoption of the Constitution this
right had not been called in question, or words to
that effect; and that all public acts and records are
to be oonstrued in reference to the opinions prevailing
at the time they were written, and not as
if written in our day, with our enlightened and
hnmane opinions of that unfortunate race, An.
But to return to the history of African slavery in
the colonies, which was introduced into Virginia
in 1650. I find in the annals of Rhode Island
that in 1652 the government there passed this
" Whereas, there Is a common course practiced
' amongst English men to buy negers, to that end
* they may have them for service or slaves for4
ever; for the preventinge of such practices
4 among us, 1st it be ordered, that no blacke man4
kind or white, being forced by covenant, bond,
4 or otherwise, to serve any man or his assignees
4 longer than ten yeares, or until they come to be
4 twentie four yeares of age, if they beo taken in
4 under 14 from tha time of their comingn within
4 the liberties of this eollonic. And at the end
4 or tonne of ten yeares to sett them free, as the
manner is with the English servants.' ?
That does not look much as if by the common
law of England, they were hcldwngcr.
?" And that man that will not let them goe free,
or shall sell them away elsewhere, to that end
' that they may bee enslaved to others for a long
' time, bee or they shall forfeit to the collbnie forty
I suppose that is about as enrly a law for the
prevention of slavery as can be found upon record.
The next law, I suppose, was made against
the Dutch slave trade, and was in this form:
" Ordereti, That all Dutchmen, except inhabi'
tants amongst us, are prohibited to trade with
the Indians in this collonie; and in case they be
' found to transgress herein, they shall forfeit to
' the collonie goods and vessell if proved ; and this
'order to be in foroe two months after the dite
' hereof; and if this ease corno to be tried, it
' shall be tried In the Generall Court of Tryalls.
" The President, Mr. John Smith, is chosen
' Moderator of the Assembly this 20th of May,
" Ord'red, That the President shall give notice
to the Dutch Governor of the Menadoes touching
1 the laws of prohibition of trade with the In'
I suppose Menadoes means Manhattan Island,
on which the city of New York is now situated.
I do not recollect any other placo on our coast
where there was a Dutch Governor.
This legislation, (which is probably the earliest
to be found on this continent to prevent slavery,)
was before we had a charter from England ; and 1
read it to show that in the earliest history of the
people of this country, when uncontrolled by the
power of England, or other commercial nations,
they bad the same just notions of the rights of
men to hold others in slavery that at this later
day they have in England. I call attention to
these old records on account of what is said here
in debate by Senators, who seem to think these
are new doctrines, and that to act upon them, or
believe in them, is an aggression upon the South.
They may be too old for present use, and I come
to the history of the times, referred to by the
court, and to the acts of the fathers of the Republic.
I read from a paper written by Mr. Jef
erson, and laid before the Convention of Virginia
in 1774, from which Instructions were to be drawn
I or the members from that State to the Congress
to be held in reference to our difficulties with
Great Britain, and to petition the King ;
" The abolition of domestic slavery is the great
' object of desire in those colonies where it was
' unhappily introduced in their infant state. But
' previous to the enfranchisement of the slaves we
' hare, it is necessary to exclude all further itnpor'
tutions from Africa. Tet our repeated attempt
'1 to effect this, by prohibition, and by imposing
'duties which might amount to a prohibition, have
' been hitherto defeated by his Majesty's negative:
1 thus preferring the immediate advantages of a
1 few British corsairs, to the lasting interests of the
' American States, and to the rights of hnman na'
ture, deeply wounded by this infamous practice."
In this paper it is declared that the abolition of
slavery is " the great object of desire in tho colonies."
The next paper I will call tha attention
of the Senate to, is the original draft of the Declaration
of Independence, as reported by tho
committee to Congress. I refer to the clause in
that instrument which, Mr. Jefferson says, " was
stricken out in complaisance to Sooth Carolina
and Georgia ; who had never attempted to restrain
the importation of slaves, and who, on the
contrary still wished to continue it." That stricken
out was in these words :
" He has incited treasonable insurrections of
' our fellow-citizens with the allurements of forfeit*
uro and confiscation of our property.
" He has waged cruel war against humnn na'
ture itself, violating its most sacred rights of life
' and liberty in the persons of a distant people
' who never offended liirn, captivating and carry'ing
them into slavery in another hemisphere, or
' to incur miserable death in their transportation
' thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium
' of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian
' King of Great Britain. Determined to keep open
' a market where men should l*e bought and sold,
' he has prostituted his negative for suppressing
' every legislative attempt to prohibit or to re'
strain this execrable commerce. And that this
' assemblage of horrors might want no fact of dis
tinguished die, he is now exciting those very
'people to rise in arms among us, and to pur'
chose that liberty of which he has deprived them,
'by murdering the people on whom he also ob*
' traded them : thus paying off former crimes com'
mitted against the liberties of one people, with
' crimes which he urges them to commit against
' the live* of another,"
It ia proper to say that although thla was stricken
out, for the reasous asaigued, ita substance was
declared in another form, by aaying, " he baa refused
his assent to lawa the most wholesome and
necessary for the public good which may hare
included the one referred to by the Senator from
Louisiana [Mr. Binjajuh] as having been passed
' by South Carolina in 1760, for suppressing the
(lave trade, which he said the King refused his
assent to. At thia period of our history there
seems to have been a stronger feeling against
slavery than at any time since the adoption of the
Constitution. Not only in Congress, but in the
primary assemblies of the people, were such feelings
expressed, as was natural, and often declared
that whereas we were about to assert our rights
to liberty, it was proper to recognize and assert
the right of all men to it. During the war of the
Revolution, Rhode Island passed a law giving to
every slave his freedom wlio would enlist in the
service and serve for a term of three rears. Many
did so; and thus secured their own freedom,
and that of their former owners. The court
must have forgotten, or overlooked, all these
facts, so prominent in our revolutionary history,
or they would not hare felt it necessary to put a
a construction upon instruments written at this
period of intense lore of liberty, and be compelled
to restrict the application of liberal doctrines to a
single class of men, when they declare if they
had been written in our time, they should hare
considered them aa embracing all classes.
I mean, however, to hare no dispute with the
Supreme Court, although their decision has involved
this question in most of the difficulties
that surround it.
I ask the attention of Senators to these facts, to
show that this ques'ion of slavery, and the beat
means to prevent its further increase in this coun
their Representatives in Centre <s, and in the convention
which framed the Constitution upon which
our Government rests. In the convention there
were hut two States that threatened not to unitu
with the rest if power was Riven to Congress to
prohibit the slavo trade before 1808?the same
two in complaisance to whom the clause about
slaves was stricken from the Declaration of Independence
; but the convention was more successful
than Congress was, for after they had altered
the Declaration, South Carolina voted against it;
and Georgia was divided, and did not vote for it;
whereas, the convention, hy Inserting a clause in
the Constitution, that Congress should not prohibit
the importation of such persons as any of the
States then existing should think proper to admit
prior t> the year 1808, induced both these States
to adopt the instrument. By inserting and adopting
this clause in the Constitution, the importation
of slaves was not sanctioned or authorised by the
convention or people; for if the Constitution had
cither authorized or sanctioned t, being the supreme
law, no State could havo prohibited it until
1808, nor even then; for at that time, this power,
which had been in abeyance, so far as Congress
was concerned, became theirs to exercise, and was
exercised by them, and the States ocaaed to have
anything to do in the matter, though moet of them
had prohibited the traffic before Congress acted.
I think, therefore, the court have used a little unsound
reasoning in trying to show that the people
committed this Government to tho support of slavery
by adopting this clanse of the Constitution,
which simply postponed tho time when Congress
should prevont its further increase. This post
aMMHWMMMMHi WW * *1 if i Mi > ? .* ? *
RIL 24, 1858.
ponemeut was Dot readily agreed to, as I had occasion
to show in a debate here eleven years ago,
when this same question was before the Senate. I
then read the remarks made iu the convention by
the distinguished ancestors of the Senator from
Virginia, who urged us the other day to go back
to t)ie ways of " the fathers" upon this slavery
question. Upon this demand of South Carolina
and Georgia to withhold the power from Congress
for twenty years, Virginia then said, by Colonel
14 This Infernal traffic originated in the avarice of
4 British merchants. The British Government constantly
checked the attempts of Virginia to put
4 a stop to it. The present question concerns not
the importing States alone, but the whole Union.
4 The evil of having slaves was experienced during
4 the late war. Had slaves been treated as thev
' might have boeu by the enemy, they would hnve
' proved dangerous instruments in their hands.
' But their folly dealt by the slaves as it did by
4 the Toriep. Ilo mentioned the dangerous insur'
rections of the slaves in Greece and Sicily; and
' the instructions given by Cromwell to the corn'
missioners scut to -Virginia, to arm the servants
' and slaves, in case other means of obtaining Its
4 submission should fail. Maryland and Virginia,
' he said, had already prohibited the importation
of slaves expressly. North Carolina has done
' the same in substance. All this would be in vain
4 if South Carolina and Georgia be at liberty to ira\'
port. The Western people are already calling
4 out for slaves for their new lands, and will fill
' that country with slaves, if they cau be got
1 through South Carolina and Georgia. Slavery
14 discourages arts and manufactures. The poor
| 4 despise labor when performed by slaves. Thoy
4 prevent the emigration of whites, who really en.
' rich and strengthen a country. They produco
' the most pernicious effects on manners. Every
' master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They
4 bring the judgment of Heaven upon a country.
4 As uations cannot bo rewarded or punished in
4 the next world, they must be in this. By an in4
evitable chain of causes and effects, Providence
4 punishes national sins by national calamities. He
4 lamented that some of our Eastern brethren had,
4 as from a lust of gain, embarked in the nefarious
4 traffic. As to the States being, in possession of
4 the right to import, this was the case with many
4 other rights, now to be properly given up. He
4 held it essential, in every point of view, that the
4 General Government should have power to pre4
vent the increase of slavery."
This argument, as well as all other extracts I
have made from revolutionary documents, shows
the determination of our ancestors that the 44 General
Government should have power to prevent
the increase of slavery." No arguments in this
Senate, or reasoning in the court below us, can
conceal tbese facts. The feeling against slavery,
instead of being stronger now than whon the Constitution
was framed, as the oourt have argued, I
think is just the reverse; for slavery has become
much more profitable since the adoption of the
Constitution than it was before; and internet has
a powerful influence upon the mindB of men, even
in such questions. It is from interest that the emigrants
from Southern States who are not slaveholders
desire Kansas to be a free State. The
slaveholder, from the same calculation of interest,
wants the uncultivated lands to be withheld from
the free laborers, and reserved for the profitable
employment of his slaves, when, by their growth
or importation, he may have sufficient slaves to
cultivate them. The difference between the two
classes of men is, that the free laborer is here now,
and wants the land for cultivation; the slave labor
is subject to all the contingencies of a distant future.
The moral aspects of the question should
be considered elsewhere; the Senate is sot the
place to discuss or decided such questions. I will
say a single word in answer to the repeated
charges from the other side of the Chamber, that
Senators on this side are all rabid Abolitionists.
I do not believe there is one here who can truthfully
be called a rabid Abolitionist. I know I am
not one, never was, and never expect to be, in the
sense in which that term is used by Senators of
the Democratic side of the Chamber.
So far as ray vote in this body may contribute
to affect the measures of this Government, it shall
be given in the spirit of the Constitution under
which we live?interfering with no questions designed
to be left with the States. I believe this
will best promote the happiness of all classes and
races of men among us: and, while I bclisvc that
slaves are held in some Stales where the people
would be better off without them, it is their business,
and not mine. I shall not interfere with
such questions myself, or act with any party who
may propose such interference, if any such should
ever exist.
I can see no real cause of irritation between
the two sections, if thoso living upon the borders
between the slave and free States will observe the
bligations of good neighborhood in their intercourse
with each other. With such a disposition
to observe the obligations imposed by the Constitution,
I can see no reason why the South should
be annoyed with the sentiments qf the people of
distant States. What could the people of Rhode
Island do to annoy them ? They could not mo
lest them if they would, and would not if they
could. Why this denunciation of the Northern
States?distant States?for any opinions they may
entertain on the qnestion of slavery ? They are
not responsible for the irritation which aris?s between
the people In the immediate neighborhood
of slaves. I see no disposition at home, and have
seen none for thirty years, to produce irritation
at the South. As to this controversy about Kansas,
it is made by the South itself.
I* this a suitable place to try the ezperimect of
forcing slavery into a Territory, a country without
laws, and where the only power which has a
right to govern has abdicated government ? for I
ineiat, whatever may be Mid about " popular sovereignty"
that this government has the constitutional
power to govern the Territories. We may, as
we have done, authorizo a Territorial Legislature
to participate, when a given number of inhabitants
have settled there ; but this KansasNebraska
act is the fiist instance in our history
where power was delegated to a Legislature without
reference to the popultaion, and without control
on the part of this Government over their legislation.
Under the Constitution we have no
right to abdicate government anywhere, if that
instrument imposes upon us the duty of government
Under the Articles of Confederation nine
States had a right to establish a new government,
and abdicate government in the other fonr, if they
should not adopt it snd come Into the Union ; hut
when adopted, the Constitution has no provision
for abdicating government anywhere within the
territorial limits over which its jurisdiction extends.
You ^cannot constitutionally withdraw
your authority from the States or the Territories.
So far as that instrument imposes upon you the
duties and obligations to govern, if laws exist in
Territories, this Government must see them faithfully
executed. They cannot place themselves or
be placed by this Government beyond its jurisdiction.
Mr. President, I regret that there is a design
here to make this Kansas question, not the cause,
for that lies deeper, but the occasion, for a separation
of these States. There are those who affect
to believo that the Union is a disadvantage to
them?those who havo " calculated its value."
This was aaid by tho Senator from Georgia, [Mr.
Toomob,] but he did uot say he had calculated its
coal, lor uo figures can represent the ooet or thia
Union; and, lightly as he may apeak or think of
it, I believe it to be worth more than it coat to
the whole country, although the patriotic blood
and treasure sacrificed to secure it were enough
to enrich an empire. Let it be preserved; it lias
blessings in store for us and our posterity, if we
but act according to its injunctions.
I do not propose to enlarge upon this topic; but
I do say that, wHar as I know the objects of those
with whom I now act, they have no motive or
purpose to disturb the institutions of the South,
or to create auy ill-feeling between the different
sections of this country; and, having lived somewhat
longer than most of the Senators here, I will
tell them all that I will act with no party, at any
time, that entertains or proposes any such measures.
Sir, the warmest and closest party ties that
have existed with mo have been severed. I do
not know where the party is to which I was proud
to beloog. I do not kuow how, or by whom, it
was destroyed; but its principles will endure as
long as this Government lasts. Most of the great
men who upheld them have passed away ; but they
have left a history, and we shall leave its piiucipies,
which will yet be acted upon, to the prosperity
and renown of our common country. Others
may have the honors, but that will make no difference
to you [Mr. Siwaro, who was in the chair]
or to me.
Mr. President, I have made these references to
our early records to show what were the doctrines
of the fathers of the Republic. And these show
conclusively thai the same "opinions were held by
them that arc now acted upon by Senators upon
this side of the Chamber; and what may appear
singular, they are met by the same kind of complaints
and threats which have been used in this
"infected district," embraced in tho States of
South Carolina and Georgia, from the Congress of
1776 down to the present time. These States
were not suited with the Declaration of Independence
as originally reported; they threatened the
convention, in 1787, not to unite with the other
States unless the Constitution was altered; and
both instruments were altered to suit their views
about slavery; and since this discussion com|
menced, every Senator who has spoken upou it
from the four States now occupying the original
territory of the two referred to, have threatened
us with secession unless this question is settled to
suit them; no other States seem so ready with estimates
of the value of the Union, with plans for
peaceable secession, and inquiries of how it is to
be prevented, aud extravagant estimates of the resources
and power of the new Republic. Such
things would be alarming, if now made for the
A est lima1 Knt fKaw Kauo Kaan ?Ka *uo?nlU? r> ?
acteriatics of the tame region for more than eighty
years; and yet they have been got alorg with in
some way or other, without much real danger to
the Union. It is hut justice to these States to say
that they hare furnished many patriots, many
sound and able statesmen, and have been regarded
as banner States, for the high quality of their distinguished
men. To all these threats of secession
and disunion, I have only to say that, in my judg
ment, we can get along better together than we
can separately. It does not alter my mind about
this to hear the Senator from Sonth Carolina
sound, in tones of triumph, that " cotton is king,"
and rules the commercial world; that the South
have only to fold their arms, and all nations most
come to their terms; that they need no sonnection
with the rest of the United States, and very little
intercourse with the world. Well, air, it is well
Iq feel pleasantly, and the South is a pleasant region:
they have a good country and profitable
productions, and I rejoice with them at that; but
this idea that a State can isolate itself and livo
alone, is a mistake.
I recollect to have read somewhere that a man
who thinks he can get along without the rest of
the world is very much mistaken ; but that he
who thinks the world cannot get along without
him is much more mistaken. It would be still
more strikingly the case with States than with individuals.
The Senator supposes, if they should
refuse to plant cotton for three years, the thrones
of Europe would topple and fWII. This reminds
one of the tone of the English press just before
our war with that country in 1812. They demonstrated
that we ahould come to a dead lock if wo
undortook to get along without them ; and as to
maintaining a war with them, that was only ridiculous.
But we fought them about three years,
and were just beginning to learn the art of. war,
when pence was made. If we had fought them
three years more it would have been of little consequence
to us whether we renewed our trade with
her people or not; wc should have made ourselves
independent. I am, however, in favor ol
commerce, if reciprocal ; but with no degrnd.ng
inequality or dependence ; and I have no notion
of acknowledging any such relation between this
country and England, or any other country, as
was set u(f by them before 1812. I think the cot
ton planters are imbibing this English notion I
havo rforred to, in supposing that their staple
rules; instead of this, I think it likely, that if they
stopped planting cotton for five rears, instead of
overturning all governments and all creation, as
they fancy, mankind would learn to go along without
cotton ; and just beforo everybody bowed to
them, they would forget that there had ever been
such ii thing as cotton used for their convenience
It is withiri my life time that this material has
been extensively cultivated in thiajioniitry. It is
a very valuable crop, and ministers greatly to the
profit and comfort of man ; and it is because of this
that the connection of the growers and workers
of it is most beneficial ; two customers are better
than one for them. If we at the North did not
consume six or seven hundred thousand balea of
their annual crop, it would be difficult to find aa
good a market for this, in sddltion to what thay
now send to Europe for sale. I do not wish to
see tho South dependent upon one market for the
sale of their great staples, and that market a for
f 'fif
NO. 18.
sign one. I watch the prices of their products U
closely as they do, and appreciate their influence
iu our iatercoursu with the rest of the world ;
and I never have and never shall support a policy
that gives to other nations a control of the market
and the prices of the leading productions of this
It it for those reasons, as well as others, that
we can do better together titan we could without
the aid oi each other. But if our pecuniary interests
wero not improved by our Union, there
are others which cannot be forgotten. Wo shall
always remember the past; we shell always have
the history of our revolutionary struggle, the fame
of our ancestor*, the prosperity, the liberty, and
glory of a common country, and these are the
strongest and happiest ties that bind societies and
States together. Sir. I could say more of the advantages
of our Uuion, but 1 do not regard it as in any
immediate danger: though I regret to have one of
the cords weakened by any unkind expressions.
Mr. President, much has been said of the right
of the people of a State to change their constitution
without regard to the provisions it contains
for making such change. The President has said
that if we admiMCansas under this constitution,
it may bo modified whenever it may suit the people
of the State to do it, notwithstanding the action
of the people may conflict with its provisions ;
and many Senators have expressed the same opin ion.
The Senator from Virginia [Mr. Mason]
does not concur in this ; uor does the Senator
from South Carolina, [Mr. Hammond;] but the
Senators from Missouri give the doctrine a qualified
approval, and others unreservedly approve
the views of tho President, as the true vorsiou of
their party's creed.
There are two modes by which the people can
change their constitutional form of government, j
which are in accordance with the American idea j
of popular rights : one is a constitutional mode, I
and is to be exercised in conformity with the pro- I
visions of their own agreement, or constitution ;
the other, an inherent right, not controlled by
compacts or laws?a revolutionary right, which
may be a peaceful one, or may come to be a right,
to fight in order to reform abuses and wrongs.
This last governments do not give, and cannot
take away.
The Senator from Louisiana [Mr. BnnjaminJ
showed us the other day, by an exhibit of bis
researches into history and law, that tho British
Government had imposed slavery upon their colonies,
the Old Thirteen States, against the will of
the people of the colonies; and made an application
of tho facts to sustain the positions of the
court in their reasoning in the Dred Scott cose.
In reference to the iniquity of introducing slavery
> into this country, it may be admitted that the
whole belouged to the mother country; and what
did "the fathers" say of it? They enumerated
this as among the acts of tyranny whieh justified
revolution ; and, by fair analogy, we must admit
that if we impose slavery upon the people of Kan
sis against their will, by adopting for them this
Lecompton constitution, we shall justify rebellion
and revolution on their part, to rid themselves of
j a tyranny as odious to them as the similar crimes |
I against liberty were, which caused the revolution
{ of 1776. If the President refers to such s right
] lu the people of Kansas to remedy the wrong he
j recommends us to inflict upon them, nobody will
I question the soundness of his position ; but that
i will not excuse us for doing a deed so unreasonHK1?
tnH nnnAOAUllrT
la any one to gain by producing such a state
of things in Kansas? Are not the people there
' already excited, nay, exasperated, by attempts
to impose slavery upon the Territory against the
will of the majority ? The question has ceased to
be one about slavery, and has become the more
serious one of the right of a majority to govern.
Can you expect a people, educated as Americans
are, peaceably to surrender such a right?
According to the doctrine of the Kansas-Nebraska
act, as expounded by the party in the Cincinnati
convention, this attempt to legalize slavery
by a Territoriel Legislature is clearly a usurpation.
They say Congress cannot legislate upon slavery
in the Territories, and the act itself says tbey do
not intend thereby to carry slavery Into the Territories,
or exclude it therefrom. The power of
Congress to legislate upon alsvsry is denied. It
will not be pretended that Congress can delegate
a power to a Territorial Legislature to do what it
has no power to do itself. It hss been said in
this Chamber that slavery is not established in the
States by positive enactment to that effect, but by
laws protecting the owners of slaves in the right
to the labor of slaves, and their control over them,
Ac., by jnst such laws ss hsve been passed by the
Territorial Legislature in Kansas. If it is by this
species of legislation that slavery is established,
and if without such laws it could not exist, as it
appears it could not, it follows that Congress has
delegated a power to the Territorial Legislature of
Kansas, which, according to the doctrine of the
party w ho did it, Congress itself could not exercise.
These laws were made before they formed
this constitution, which Included the result of
them within it, and required men to swear to export
it, in order to vote upon it as to whether they
would have a further importation of staves or not.
No freeman would take such an oath; none should
be required to take any test oath to secure tho
right of franchise. You, sir, would not take it; I
would not. I would not take one either to support
this Lecompton constitution, or to do as I pleased
about it.
The Senator from Missouri, who reported this
bill, asked what harm there was in requiring a
man to swear to snpport the constitution or a Certain
code of laws, before he was allowed to vote ?
I answer, it is an insult to his understanding to
require it. There is no such test oath anywbero
else, and there was no right to establish it in Kansas.
This test existed when the rote w teb.n
to determine whether or not they wished to form
State constitution, and from this cause ibis constitution
with slavery is here against the will of
the majority of the people of KansasSir,
I believe, as the Senator from Kentucky
[Mr. CairrtNoicN] has said he did, that Congress
had power to prohibit slavery north of thirty-six degrees
thirty minutes; and I also think that it has
been made to appear by the very doctrines asserted
by the court in the case of Drcd Scott, in which it
is attempted to be denied, fn this case, the
court would seem to here decided a great many
question* ; and It wonld be strange if soroo of
them were not decided right. There are but two
that werodlrectlv connected with the question of
the freedom of the plaintiff, and In some way with
the question before ns, and they are all I ahal!
, notice now ; one that the plaintiff was not a eiti[Continued
on the Fourth Page ]

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