OCR Interpretation


The southern press. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]) 1850-1852, July 08, 1850, Image 1

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PRIXTFD BT O. k. SAOK,
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3 i and 41 straoU. . t .. < SLAVERY
Iff THE TEKR1T0RIKS. W
SPEECH OP
Mr. A W. VENABLE, of North Carolina,
1m Tftc Iiovta or Iti:par.teNT4,Tivs?f . t
Junt 1, 1H4S.
In Committee etf the Mole, upon the jtoteer qf Concrete
to legislate upon the. subject of slavery in the
Territories.
Mr. \ ENABLE said:
Mr. CiiAfaauti: The extent to which Congress
may exercise legislative authority over
the Territories of the United States, has be-'
conic a subject of most absorbing interest. It
is felt to be so in every portion of our country
?has been the source of deep feeling and agitating
debate, ami will continue to excite and
disturb the renose of the country until definite
action shall fix a conclusion for the popular
* mind. 1 am not one of those who belive that
^
jAl; +
1>AILY .
. * ' t| .
Vol. 1. Washington, Monday, July 8, IS50. Ho. 18.
ff.i! , , _J i . - ., . , ?, . . II! ,| , ' . ? ? .. i u , . .i ?
evil must grow out of full and fair discussion
amongst statesmen, on great constitutional questions
involving our rights; nor shall I be deterred
from a thorough investigation, bv a clamor
about abstractions, often raised to prevent
the analysis of the principles which are contained
in an important line of policy. Every fundamental
truth is an abstraction, and he only is a
great statesman who can first analyze a question,
und then, by his mental balance, weigh the result
of the operation, and ascertain the proper
force and value of the elements wliieh couqtose
it. Facts often mislead us, because we assign
wrong causes for their existence; and when this
is done, the most plausible array of facts, the
most ingenious deductions therefrom, are delusive,
for the same reason. Truth reduced to its
elementary principles, affords the only safe guide
to investigation, and the only satisfactory conclusions
are those which are formed from such a
development
This subject, Mr. Chairman, has become one
of great practical importance, and I avail myself
of this occasion to present my views to the committee
and the country?to assert the rights of
my constituents and the State which I In part
represent, to the common property of all the
people of ail the States. A convention recently
held at Raleigh, speaking the sentiments of .the
Democracy of North Carolina, most distinctly
asserted their opposition to thp doctrines recently
made prominent, by their tendency to restrict
the occupation of the territorial possessions of
the United States to those citizens who reside
in States where slavery does not exist. The
clear and temperate but decided manner in
wliich their determination to resist such opinions
is expressed, admonish me of the propriety of
urgimr their wishes upon this House; whilst I
assure you that their conclusions are not- referable
to impetuosity in action, nor have they been
rash in their adoption. Their history is that of
a quiet, reflecting people, never involved in the
vortex of high party impulse?patient of wrongs,
when the remedy was to be seen in the fundamental
laws of the country?devoted to the
Union and the Constitution?ready to make
sacrifices where" prudence or patriotism required
them, but never willing to abandon either their
principles or their rights; always ready to assert
them as patriots should, but always expecting
that enlightened statesmanship, and the high
sense of justice, which should characterise their
fellow-citizens who were c .lied to legislate for
our common country, would accord to them
what was due, and remedy or remove any cause
of compl int.
In asking the indulgence of the committee
whilst I endeavor to argue this question, I sincerely
hope that I may be believed when I declare
that my purpose is not to agitate but to
compose?to pour oil on the waters wlueh have
been troubled?to present no useless, and distracting
issues, nor to place our friends in the
IVorth and West in a false position before their
constituents. We desire no sacrifices of the
kind ; \vr> rmlv nslr for t.hn nf
Constitution; and wo feel assured that we shall
** not ask in vain. I trust, sir, that I shall be able
to present such a view of this question that all
of us may at least acquiesee in biking a position
which secures the honor of all, and does
equ. 1 justice to all; that a good understanding
may be established, and peace and good-will be ,
restored to our deliberations. The heirs of a
common inheritance, won by the sacrifices and
the valor of our ancestors, or accumulated by
the progress of our own greatnoss, should never
descend from their high station to wrangle
about the position, or permit folly to estrange
those who ought to be bound together by the
most sacred bonds.
""With this view, sir, I declare that we are content
to abide the Missouri Compromise; not that
we believe that Congress had any right to annex
any such condition, or to enact any such
law; but the compromise having been made and acquiesced
in for near thirty years, there is no
purpose entertained by any Southern statesman
to disturb it now. If this compromise would. <
adjust this difference, if it would cdropose this i
troubleT we are content to abide it and the re- i
newal of its operation recognized by the laws
admitting Texas into the Union, and adjusting
its territorial limits. In doning this, and enter* . i
ing our protest as to the power of Congress to
make the compromise, we say to our fellowcitizens
of the non-slaveholding States, We
have made large concessions; we have given up
a large territory, to which our slaveholders can
not remove; we*nave consented to maKcrtcx-i
clusivcly yours; whilst we have placed uo restriction
to prevent you from the occupation of
the territories to which we are permitted
- come. This concession abridges our rights,
without the promise of a consideration; it
enlarges yours, without any equivalent being,
paid by you; yet. lor peace, harmony, and goodwill.
we have acquiesced, and will continue to
acquiesce; and are now willing that the same
parallel of latitude may be recognized until it
reach the Pacitic shore, if that is the hist con*
cession which shall be demanded. And here lot
me ask gentlemen, when, in the history of our
mitional progress, did any Southern statesman j
invade the institutions of the North ? \Vhcn
were demands made for peculiar or exclusive i
privileges, from which any other citizens of our i
common country were excluded? If this be <
true, we ask that the offensive doctrines of the i
Wilniot Proviso be withdrawn from the Oregon 1
bill; that this obstruction be removed from the
progress of that measure. The whole country i
is above the parallel of 36 dcg. 30 min., and is 1
within the spirit and meaning of the Missouri ]
Compromise. Why do they seek to annex tliis ;
feature to the bill? Is it to obtain another pre- 1
cedent?to shake the chains in our luces, and j 1
tench the South the humiliating truth that tb?y j
are powerless whenever a bare majority of votes i
c in be obtained here ? Can any good resnlt <
from this policy, either in the advance of na- 1
tional prosperity or the cultivation of kind and J
patriotic feeling* in our great family ? Permit <
mes sir, to say, with all respect, that in such a .1
work aa this, demagogue* find their proper occu- i
pition, agitators their appropriate employment <
The petty politician, whose horiron ta ctreum- 1
scribed by the events of a single enmp:dgn, 1
whose little heart is filled to overflowing wrth 1
but small success, may labor it) such a cause '
with ardor and with 2eal; but the elevated .1
ss iteaman, the high-souled patriot, whose enter- J
prise is his country's glory, whose vision, extending
to fatureagve,looks through the vista,1
and realises sU of happinem, prosperity mid rw I
powp, wfcfcb hA Jove.M cwiHIHhWif U
V
hi* countrymen shall secure, will frown upon
the first cilint to mar the harmony and destroy
the confidence of bit countrymen in each other.
Iii* reward wdl be rich: it will i?e the gratitude
of jvMrterity. I trust, air, that the Oregon hill
will be passed; tiwi it-will not be delayed by
this unnecessary proviso; that the <JTV of distress,
wftfcb reaches us from the miseries ol'savage
warfare, may be forever hushed, bv sending
promptly & territorial government and a military
forte to their immediate relief.
! hare said thus mueh, sir. in passing, in relation
to the Missouri Compromise aud its legitimate
results, as tendering one-platform on which
We all can stand, both North and South: the
South, indeed, shorn of some of her privileges,
but willing to concede thein for tranquility and
repose: yielding, but with a pi-otctfnndo; acquiescing
in, but not approving, the means, or Acknowledging
the right to enact it. But, sir, the
consummation of a peace with Mexico, (which,
I suppose, may now be considered a fixed fact,)
presents this question in an interesting and
practical jmsltion before us, involving most im-1
portant results, una leading direct I v to the development
of the policy to be adopted in relation to
the territories of the United States. We are
culled upon to meet the question directly, and to
decide whether the Wilniot Proviso shall In
brought to bear upon the territorial acquisitions
of the Mexican war, or in what other manner
this vexed question is to be settled.
-And here, sir, permit me to say, that I adopt
the doctrine of non-intervention on the port of
Congress in its fullest extent. As 1 deny the
right of Congress to legislate slavery into existence
in anv territory of the UnitedStates, so
I also dei\v the riglrt to forbid it. I adopt the
language .of the resolution of the late Baltimore
Convention, as meeting niy approbation : 44 That
all efforts of the Aboftionists, or others, to induce
Congress to interfere wifh questions of
slavery, of to take incipient steps thereto, aro calculated
to lead to the most alarming and dangerous
consequences, and thfit all such efforts have
an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness
of the people, and to endanger the stability and
permanence of the Union, and ought .apt to be
countenanced by any friend of our political institutions
Lauguage which most strikingly
illustrates the folly, as well us the deplorable
consequences of assuming the right of Congress
to interfere with this relation,?a declaration
which, if adopted and sustained in good faith,
in all its intent and meaning, must forever re
move from all our deliberation and intercourse
this exasperating difficulty. If the right of Congress
to legislate in the premises be granted
then the whole question is settled. There is no
limit but their discretion, no safety but thoelem
oncy of a majority. But, sir, the'framers of that
instrument were wise men. whose urofound so
gjcity and immaculate virtue, combined with a
patriotism unsurpassed in all human history,
qualified them to guard tfio infancy of the nation
whieh sprung into existence by their prowess, as
well as to provide for the development of that
greatness wliich they distinctly foresaw. No
aspect of the future escaped their observation,
no contingency which might arise was omitted
in their provisions; and It is to this Constitution
that we refer to adjust this question and
fix the principles on wliich, I trust, we may
agree.
The extent of legislative power over the territories
of the United States, whieh may be constitutionally
exercised by Congress, is to be
Found in the third section of tin) fourth article of
the Constitution, which provides that " Congress
shall have power to dispose of and make all needful
rnles and regulations respecting the territory and
other property of the TJnitoif "Htntes; and nothing
in tiiis Constitution shall be so construed as
to prejudice the claims of the United States or
of any particular State." The clear and. unquestionable
meaning of which must be, tluit
territory is regarded as property, and the rules
and regulations referred to are such as shall
be necessary to make the territories and other
property available. Any rule needful for this
purpose, is coutrary to the intent and meaningof
the provision. No person can suppose that the
words "disposeof can have any meaning by
which Congress shall have power to waste, to
cede away, or otherwise render the territories of
the United States unavailable for the great purpose
of supplying the national treasury and
ministering to the wants of the people of the
United States. Any other construction of
those words might transfer the treaty-making
power to Congress, and give authority to cede
awav the public domain. It is true, that the
power to acquire territory implies the power to
govern it when acquired; but it is also true, that
such government must be in accordance with the
Constitution^ But Congress does not acquire
territory. The people of the United States acquire
it, and have the right to govern it, and have
limited Congress, as their trustee, in the name
of Government, by the Constitution. Congress
oould have no power to establish religion or to
create titles of nobility in the territories, because
expressly denied by the Constitution; and when
the laws of the United States are extended over
a tefritory. it must be understood that, the Constitution
and laws are so extended, and that
nothing repugnant to the Constitution can be
in force as a law. I know that it is asserted, and j
that by Southern statesmen, that Congress has
unlimited-power of legislation over the territories
; but it" this be true, thejt Congress may, by
law, cpnunit (lie entire government of tin- per- i
sons and property iri the territories to the will of'
a single individual, and thus present the anomaly
of a despotism created and sustained by the
Constitution itself.?a conclusion so-monstrous
as only to require the annunciation to carrv homo !
the conviction of its fid lacy to every mind.
There can be no doubt of the proposition,'
that whatever was property when toe Fed- j
eral Government came into existence, under i
our Constitution, so far as that Government is |
concerned, must ever remain property. The |
States, as sovereigns, alone can alter the j
rights of tilings within their own jurisdiction.1
and that by virtue of their sovereignty. The i
Federal Government is therefore bound to eon-j
sider as property all that was so considered at its i
adoption, and the Constitution guaranties the ;
enjoyment of that jiroperty fn tranquility and ^
Heeivrity to ah the holders, so* far as the laws of j
the United States arc operative in the premises, j
And this is true whenever that property is pin-;
led under the jurisdiction of the laws of the I
United States. Now, the territories ary the public
domain, the common property of nil the citizens
of the States?acquired by the expenditure
of the common purse, or purchased by lis- j
valor of our people, without reference to geo
graphical distinctions, or domestic municipal regulations.
It follows, then, that in the territories '
,/ tk, a, i j. . , I
i/i ?n viiiwQ cones, even oeiore an oigat)i2c<i
Snernment ia instituted, the Constitution and
ws recognise the right of property; for none
tin for a moment assume thLt toe territories of
the United States, are without law, or tb .t it is
necessary that s temporary government should
exist to 'bring them under the operation of thu
[aw. The Government is bound to protect
them from invasion and injury,, Wctuse
they are the property of the United States.?
Then the question arises?wh ,t is the Qjfeot ef
the organiz .tion of a territorial government upon
the rights of property amongst the inhabituita
of the territory so pLced under organic law <
If the previous reasoning be correct, before such
fcfsrardxation all the citizens of the United States
bad fight to go law the territories, ?ad
^ * r
carry with them those subjects recognised as
property by the Constitution. If this right be
t either weakened or destroyed, it must be from
the effort of territorial organization. In order
to ertve that effort, the organization must communicate
tiio attribute of sovereignly, or bo
itaoif the Mt of a so\orcigo?*wor. We then
inquire, is the Congress of toe United States
sovereign ? or as to wh^t aubjecU is it sovereign?
rCo one can claim sovereignty, prr se, for
a delegated authority. Sb fir as power ia delegated,
so far is its operation dual and complete,
asm no further. The Constitution, with aixiiidaut
caution, guards Una point* by declaring,
that whatever power ia r.ot expressly ceded bye I
tiie States in tlutt instrument, is reserved to the
Stales respectively and the people of the States;
thus declaring that the Pcderal Government is a
lucre trusted for the sovereign State? of this
Confederacy,-witli wetl-dcfincd and strictly limited
powers. If, then, all the citizens of all the
States had a right to go with tlieir property upon
tliepublic domain before territorial organization:
if Congress must regard ns property whatever
was so regarded by the States adopting it, then
it follows that a territorial organization can give
Congress no powers whfeh it did not before
possess under the Constitution. If Congress I
does not possess the"i>bwor, then no relatiou '
created by law with the habitant of a territory 1
does communicate thiit power to either party. 1
It Juis been said, with much plauaibitfyt that, ,J
territorial legislatures have exorcised powers de- ?j
nied to Congress under tlic Constitution; that 1
thqy have granted bank charters and created cor- |
poratfous; that they havo borrowed-monef Upon i
the faith of the territorial government, and ex-M
ercieed other acta of sovereignty. Conceding |
the accuracy of this statement of facts, nothing is <
proved but that the territorial government did <
what Congress disapproved of, and that which ?
they were not authorized to do. The creation ?
of a corporation is one of the highest acts of sove- i
reignty, for it is creating a legal ow ner to pro- i
perty invested with the rights of a jwrson?an 1
authority denied to Congress, because not spe- 1
cilicd in the powers of which this Federal Gov- i
eminent is a trustee. It assumes that luider the j
effect of an organic law extended to a territory ]
and accepted by the inhabitants, the powers of )
Congress are enlarged, and that by the approbv '
tlon of such an act of territpral legislature, Con- <
gross may, by implication, charter a bank, Which i
it could not do directly by its own action. Debts
contracted by a territory upon its faith and credit 1
are of no legal obligation upon the people of that J
Territory after it has become a State. And if 1
Congress have transcended their power in legislating
for any territory, the argument derived
from this usurpation is met bv the maxim, that
an evil usage must be abolished. I am aware
there must arrive a time wheu the power of
complete sovereignty sliall be exorcised; which
time, I sliall.be able to show, is fixed by the Constitution
itself. Much, sir, may be learned by
a reference to facts, as well as the practice of the
Government. Our whole policy in territorial organization,
has been with a view to the most
prudent disposition of the public domain with
reference to its profitable sale.
. When settlers occupied so much-of the public
domain as to rehder it manifest that there would
be ft demand for the lands, ah organic law has
been tendered to the habitant, in order that, under
a civil organization, land offloes and other facilities
for the sale of land and tranfer of title? should
be made. In these organic laws, Congress haa
repudiated the idea ol' sovereignty in the Terri
tones, by reserving the right of revie'.v iny, and
repealing if necessary, the law s enacted By the
territorial legislature. When the inhabitants of
a territory accept, the organic law with all its
conditions, the government is then organized
and continues until it expire*, ex ti termini,
in the sovereignty of the State to be form-1
ed out of said Territory. Now, the creation of
this territorial organization and the existence of
tliis temporary government gave no jus accre.scendum
either to this local legislature, the people
of the territory, or to Congress. The laws
of the United States, for the protection of persons
and property, were extended over them:
but it was a government consistent with and according
to the Constitution?a government limited
by the Constitution, and possessing no authority
beyond its grants. "So that the right to
govern is not in flu's case a right of absolute
sovereignty, but of sovereignty qualified by the 1
provisions of fundamental law. The decision of J i
the Supreme Court, declaring that the right to i <
acquire territory implies the light to govern it j i
when acquired, is predicated upon the aaaiunp- 1
tion that the government to be administered ] <
must beaccording to tho Constitution of the i
United States. They sustain rather tjian conflicts
with the conclusion to which I have arrived.
The question then arises, at what time
does the right iicerne, and to whom, to decide
upon and fix the domestic institutions and the ;
municipal Jaw of tlie territories I And who is j
invested with that authority ? It will be seen, j
by reference to.tlie same section of the Constitin- i
tion referred to, as controlling the power over j
territories, that "Congress may admit new
.States into this Union."
A reference to the Madison Pnpers will enlighten
us as to this provision. A proposition was made j
to authorize Congress to form new States out |
of the territories belonging to tlie United States.;
which was rejected, ^nd the pro\ ision above quo- j
ted was adopted. Nothing could lufve been |
wiser and more consistent with tlie principle*" of
the trainers of the Constitution. The United j
States arc sovereign States, and the Constitution
is a compact, of sovereign States; and inasmuch '
as Congress Could not confer sovereignty upon tr
territory, it was left to the people of the territory
to assert their own sovereignty, and then,
as sovereign, come into the rcueruT Union.
They wisely concluded tliat an act of Congress
declaring n territory a sovereign State would in
f.ir.t invesl it with no attribute of severe! irntv
but thnt the people of the territory, at a proper
time, Itetng tie* only source of sovereignty. could
make the doclaration for themselves. According!
v, whenever a i" itc has been admitted into
the Vuion, it h:i? been after their constitution
has been adopted iind their sovereignty announced;.-ind
then, as one of our i/lorioug sisterhood,
she lr:s been welcomed smongst ns. Tbis power
was withheld (Vom Coogi. ss, and left with
tlie people. Naris tl>e Constitution silent as to
tike time .vb' ivthis event shall take place. The
indications in t}?c Constilt.tion arc so.clearly
ioiarkcd, Mr. Chairman, as io leave no room fc?r
conjecture. In the a-vona section of the first
article it is provld'd that there shall be an apporttdnrttent
of r-pr.. sanation to population, and ;
that each State shall Imve at least one roprcsen-!
Urtive. It was distinctly foreseen that Kentucky,.
Tennessee, and the gryst Aorthv.estern Territory
was eoun to be tilled with inhabitants?soon
to demand admission into the Confederation; and
with the forecast which marked all their acts, it.
was fured when such a demand might be made,
and when it would be the duty of Congress to
moot it and comply. The Constitution, was made
with reference to the extension of our institutions,
sod the increase la the number of the
State*. When, therefore, the minority of the
territory shall have ceased?when the residents,
who hove made their hemes upon the public domain,
now transferred by safe to the occupants
thereof shall havcamounted to a sufficient number
to give them a right to claim a representation on
thjs floor?thep tbey have reached a position in
their owaUnce on which to oaaert their sovereignty
by adopting fmtdevMBta) law for Owosejv*.,
fixing their own domestic policy, admitting or
excluding slavery, and doing anv other thing
which U not inconsistent with republican government
When tills constitution is ud<q>U*l, they
have a right to ask, and Congress is bound to admit,
the sovereign State into the Confederacy.
Itcartnotbe gravely asserted that the sovereignty
accrues to the State by the acknowledgment or
expression of consent on the part of Congrca.
As well might the independence of a government
be ascertained by its recognition by other
Governments. Independence must exist before |
it is recognized, and sovereignty must spring
from its proper source, the action of the jieople, i
and its acknowledgment by Congress admits its
previous existence.
When the people of a territory grow into
numbers sutfu ient to constitute a State under
the Constitution, and slutll abolish or establisli
slavery in their constitution, no ouc lias a right
to question their authority so to do. I do not
iiwoke the authority of Congress to protect slaves
as property in the territories. 1 ask for no legislation
upon the subject. They are ulready
recognized as property "by the Constitution and
laws, and the courts ail'ord ample protection to
the rights of pro|>orty. Legal riguts must of
necessity be decided by the courts. A mere territorial
government owing its existence to an act
of Congress, subjecting its laws to the veto of
Congress, ami leaning tor the expenses of Hs administration
upon Congress, can surely lay no
ilniiu to the attributes of sovereignty. The
Constitution and laws which bind Congress bind
them, and -they can neither create nor destroy
institutions recognized and guarantied . by* that
Constitution. If I am asked why any particular
[hhiii 01 nine anoum oe denoted as uiul in w indi
i territory may acquire and assert the sovoreignty
of n State, I reply, that the reason is the same
ts that which centers the right of self-dm>ction |
md self-control upon an individual who has
reached the age of twenty-one years. A time
must be designated, and tlmt decision must be
the result of prndence and sound reason. The
iibject of our system is to extend republican
institutions; and when a territory shall have
passed the years of its minority, and acquired a
population sullieieutly numerous to ontiUe it to u
representative on this tloor, it has all the elements
of sovereignty, and can perfect it by the proper
combination and concentration of those elements.
' '
But this question ts presented in a most practical
and important aspect when we consider tite
results of the Mexican war. New Mexico una
California are integral portions of our territory
by the treaty of peace, w.iich we, luive reason to
believe has been ratified between the countries.
They will require a territorial organization at
our hands, and we are already tohi by a gentleman
from New York, [Mr. Mtntgrnr,] that inasmuch
as the laws t>f those provinces already
forbid .slavery, it cannot exist witnin their limits
without legislative enactments. To sustain this
position, he has referred to the opinion ol" Lord
Mansfield in the case of Campbell against Hall,
(1 Cowper's Reports,) where Lord Manslielu
lays down the doctrine tliat the laws of a conquered
country continue iii force until they are
altered by the conqueror; a doctrine which, if
taken in its full extent, secnis' subversive of alt
the received principles of the law of conquest
and which, however applicable to toe English
Government, is totally repugnant tn our inntitu
tions arid our fundamental law Tnere can be
no civil dominion over any territory of the United
States, which is not fotuided upon tlie Constitution.
From this source it must emanate,
and as soon- as either by treaty or by tlie sworn
u territory is incorporate-I within the limits of
the United States, tne Constitution immediately
attaches to it and is operative upon it, nnd whatever
is repugnant to, or subversive of, its pro
visions must fall before its power. This must
bo manifest; for, if otherwise, we might have an
established religion in those provinces, against
the express provisions of tie Constitution, and
the security of persons and of property might be
utterly lost against all the guarantees provided
for tneir protection. The conquered nation
would give 1 iw to their conquerors, nnd the result
of victory would be the subjection of the
victors. It is true, that the laws of nations do
repoguize the force of all laws, even in conquered
countries, which are nocessury for peace and
tranquillity, until repealed or altered by the conqueror*.
But it is only of such laws as are not
in conflict With the conquered Power. Whenever
the laws in California and New Mexico conflict
with, and are repugnant to, the Constitur?f
the United States, that Constitution at once
overrides such laws, and by the very act of cession
or of conquest, becomes the supreme law
of the land.
It would be a monstrous conclusion at which
to arrive, that after all the costs and sacrifices of
war, the population of the conquered territory
have the power to dictate the terms on which
their conquerors shall occupy their country. It
would be equally repugnant to the principles of
right and justice so to adjust the matter, that a
large portion of the citizens of the United States,
aven the very men whose lives were periled in
the war, should be excluded from occupying the
land that they bad won witli their swords. We
ieny the right of Congress to legislate u|>on the
subject, eitlier to extend or to forbid slavery;
we ask for no legislation at the hands of Congress
in the premises: neither are we willing
that tlie Mexican population, confessedly inferior
in all the elements of civilization and capacity
for self-government, should erect a barrier
to the emigration of the citizens of fifteen States
>f this Republic. No, sirwe invoke neither
the aid of Congress to legislate slavery into existence
there, nor will we admit t in: authority of
the present population to control ft, unless in a
lonclttion to be erected into a State government
?nd ready to purfeet such, an organization. The
Constitution recognizes slaves as property.
Whenever territory' is acquired, it is the i?roper,y
of all the people of all the States, and the
Constitution sis;ures to every citizen the right to
>ceupy tlwt territory on equal terms with any
ithcr citizen of any of our confemted Statos.
Gentlemen sometimes appear astonished that
his subject excites so much interest with the
eprcsentatives of the Southern States. I think
hat this surprise will cease when they are adiscd
that in ull the phases of this matter, as preentcd
in the shape of alternatives, the South
uust be loser and cannot gain. If tho Missouri
Compromise extended to the 1'acific prevails, (and
o this we consent,) the slavcholding States snr onih'r
miii'H nnA rrot midline in rohirn If I ho
tVilmot Proviso is .adopted, all this lost to those
States, and all the territories of the United States
ire monopolized by the citizens of fifteen States
o the exclusion of the other fifteen. Should it
>e determined that as soon as a territorial govirnment
is formed, the people of tiie territory
an settle this question legislatively, the seme
esult will most probably follow, inasmuch as
migration is muca greater from the free States
ban from the others. And lastly, shoo id the
loctrine that the laws of tho portion of Mexico
;edcd to us by the treaty are in force until re
>ealed ly the conquering Power, all that tdrriory
is forever closed to the citizens of those
states which recognize slaves ss property. 1
un sure that no person supposes that the
Southern people or their Representatives are so
egardless of their rights m to admit the pro
priety of such concessions. I could never, s'.r,
return to my constituents after approving of such
measures, without a deep conviction that I deserved
their contempt a?d an sMuwice thatI?Md
yXftaw t* to ledTpiJrW'L
t
ecoive their?exoeratiou. Neither can I be iu?
duced to believe, that any considerable number
of our fellow-citizens in any portion of the
(J nion, desire such a state of things. A demand
so unreasonable, and the operation of which
would beso glaringly unjust, eaunevur.be made
by those who regard the rights of others, or
properly estimate the great object* of tjto union
of the Htatea. ' y? v. h.osjisa
The wliolo of the difficulty in this vexed qliertion
seems to me to be the result of a doubt
which has arisen whether slaves be property under
the Constitution. In these days or progress,
it seems to have been discovered that they
are not to be so regarded, and a philanthropic
crusade is set on foot to prevent what is deemed
the extension of a groat evil. So far as this
Government la concerned, sir, it is a dry matter
of law, and not a subject of transcendental
rodomontade. Gentlemen may indulge in the
recreation of philanthropic declamation, either
for their own or the editioation of others. But,
surely, ascertained and guarantied rights ure not
to bo hazarded or questioned upon any such
pretence. 1 arraign no man's motives for his
opiiiious on the abstract question of slavery; it
is snfficient for mo that 1 am satisfied with an
institution which existed in my State before ray
birth, and w ill continqe long after my death?an
institution, the practical evils of Vrjiicn I have not
been able to' discern, to which 1 refer much of
tlve peculiar excellence of our institutions, and
the absence of which would at once determine
me In the choice of a residence, f have never j
lived, and never expect to live, in auv portion of I
tlio United States where this institution does not
| ixist.
Such, sir, are my opinions. It mav be that.
| they are not the opinions of others. 1 arraign
1110 man for lih* taste or his conscientious convictions
; but i huvu said thus much because 1
think all rant and declamation on the general
subject of slavery out of place in this discussion.
Slaves were regarded as property at the formation
of this Government, arid have. been so regarded
by Congress whenever it was necessary
to raise money by a direct tax. Even Mr. Jus
tiee McLean, whose authority has been' invoked
to prove that they are not property, belonged to
the Congress which passed the direct-tax law,
immediately at or about the close of the late
war with Great Britain. . 1 presume lie voted
for that law, us there is no evidence to the contrary.
Skives are therein declared to ho uro
pcrty, ordered to be treated as aueh, taxed aa
such, and the tax declared to be a Hon on the
slave until paid. The marshal was authorized
to sell and convey the slave under a sale for
t ixes. Slaves are now and ever liave been sold
by tlte tnurslutl under executions at the instance
of the United States, and no one has questioned
the title thus acquired by the purchaser.
Whence, then, can- the power arise, by which
Congress may forbid the settlement of any of
the citizens of the United States on our common
inheritance with that which in recognized
as property?
With H'nal show of justice can discriminations
be made in favor of one species of property and
against another? or how can u right which looks
for its origin to the exercise of State sovereignty,
unimpaired by surrender to the General Goveminent
be brought under the control of Congress ?
Sir, it is a most serious, a most responsible undertaking,
to determine that any portuni of our fellow-citizens
are to be excluded from the inheritance
of their fathers. You ask much, indeed, !
from us when you require us to consent to see
our children disinherited?to register our approbation
of the decree whicli illegitimates them as
American citizens. Much more is asked than
will ever be granted. If this reproach is to be
upon us, it must never be by our own consent.
The broad lands won by our fhthers of right belong
to us all. The blood which flowed upon
the plains of every battle-field from Saratoga to
C-uniden, come from the woundBof patriots who,
from the North and South, buckled on their armor
to do battle for liberty?whose bold and
manly hearts were never uuder the influence of
unpatriotic feelings?who sought no local or sectional
advantages, but regarded all this broad
land as u common treasure to enrich themselves
and their posterity. Happily for them, the delusion
(if one) lasted long enough to save their
honored faces from a blush at our degeneracy, i
Happy whs his lot who slept on the field of his
glory; thrice happy those who saw in the distance
their country's prosperity, and left tha world before
dissensions ana distrust threatened to bring
distress where they looked for happiness, and
dishonor where they looked for glory.
Let it not be reserved for us, now that the family
or etates nan increased from thirteen to thirty?
when Heaven has rained prosperity itpon us in
golden showers?when the eyes of a world struggling
for their rights are turned to us with ngonizmg
anxiety?when theconsummation of our glory
and our power as a people can scarcely be conceived
by the most vivid imagination?when the obedient
lightning, coursing along on the wires of communication,
will ere long place our kindred on the
Pacific and Atlantic shores again in the family
circle, and carry in a moment Hue ta|e of joy or of
sorrow over rivers, and forests, and prairies, and
plains?when distance shall no longer forbid association,
and light and knowledge shull make their
aggressive advance on darkness and barbarism?
when the resources of our territories, developed
under the creative energies of our wonderful people,
shall, year after year, greet us with the organization
of a new State, and the introduction of
a new sister into the family, bright with all the
paraphernalia of virgin sovereignty; let it not, sir,
be reserved for us, in an unworthy struggle for
political ascendency, or a more unworthy grasping
for exclusive privileges, founded on sectional
claims, to create and awake the elements of a
storm which shall sweep over our bright and happy
country, like the angel of destruction, leaving
nothing but the wreck of liberty and the ruin of
social institutions; which shall show to the world
the tomb of liberty, the fragments of its temples;
where the friends of our race shall weep, and the
: i .1 i ^i ?i ? \T_
uiieiiiius (H nun in (j an vniincmtriit sunn rejoice. *.> u,
sir; let a more enlightened policy prevail, a more
generous impulse give direction to our measures;
let the heaven-born spirit influence us which influenced
the patriarchs, who, ascending to the
mountain top, agreed to divide their wealth and
divide their territories, the cider giving the younger
one the choice, for " it was not meet for them to
differ, fbr they were brethren." L*-t the lines of
the Missouri Compromise extend to the Pacific.
Tuke that invaluable territory, including the richest
and the bent which the sun shines upon ; but
leave us our rights; shorn indeed of mucn of their
extent; and although you hold in your hands the
aword of the law to exclude us, we will pluco no
obstruction to emigration from your portion of this
great Republic.
Mr. Chairman, I present to the committee the
resolution of the Baltimore Convention, which
denounces, in the strongest terms, the interference
of Congress with the institution of slavery, or even 1
the taking of incipient steps thereto. I oner to our
Northern and Western brethren the Missouri
Compromise, onerous and exacting as it is upon
the South extending its provisions to the Pacific,
including the fine soil, the magnificent harbors,
and all the looal advantages which nature baa appropriated
to these geographical limits. I admit
the right of the inhabitants of the territories to
make their own municipal institutions, whentver
they shall reach that amount of population which
entitle them to a representative on this floor. I
shall welcome them, whether forbidding or recognising
slavery, into the Union.' I am contented to 1
leave the question in the territories up to that time, :
to the learning and purity of our courts. Bat I j
protest against the right of a few habit**? of a territory
to exclude the citixene of fifteen States of
this Union from the occupancy of the common
public domain. 1 protest against the authority of
a law which they may enact, which shall override '
thm PrtnatifntiAn anri ]?AVf 111 hilt thf tmDiV DSRli '
iiiiiiAiiniifiiii'iiii
protect, to extent], <>r to limit slavery. Satisfied
with the guarantees already existing, coeval with
the Constitution, and coextensive in their operation,
in the qaqne of the South, I ask yop to keep
ydur hands off of this subject?leave ft where the
Constitution ha* placed it, and we oak no more.
We are satisfied, that whilst the Constitution overrides
any law enacted by Congress which conflicts
with its provisions} it will certainly override any
law equating in a conquered territory equally repugnant
to Us reouireaieuu.
In the spirit or compromise, in the temper of
patriots, let us avoid exasperating and unnecessary
contests, and leach those who succeed us that all
this magnificent country is their own. From the
reefs of Florida to the snores of our mighty lakes
?from the beach lashed by the Atlantic wave to the
broad and tranquil Pacific?from the cold regions
of the North to the soft climate of our Southern
boundary; the citizen of this republic has his home
wherever he may choose to select it, secure in the
enjoyment of hie rights, guarantied by a Constitution
which is venerated and revered by millions of
freemen. We, sir, are admonished thstour personal
iptcrest, though great, is much smaller than that of
those we shall leave behind us. Let ua who have
enjoyed the inheritance which our fhthers only
suw in the distance, inasmuch aa that we have ascended
higher, have a more extended horizon?let
us tell our children that, with counsels calm, wise,
Datriotic. measures iuat. and tinu .
there is a yet brighter and more glorious future for
them. I speak for my own Carolina?who first
gave utterance to a declaration of independence?
whose hardy sons have found wealth, honor, and
distinction in all the South and West?whose colonibts,
penetrating her wilderness, tamed it, and called
into life and sovereignty her noble daughter,
Tennessee?for her and her sons 1 speak, when 1
declare that she recognizes no authority on the
part of Congress or the inhabitants of the territories
to expel them from their common inheritance,
the public domain. She asks no favors but such
as all may claim. She seeks no advantages but
such an intelligence, energy, and industry will secure.
In this noble competition sbe will contend
with her sister Stales; in the glories of such a victory
all will equally partake.
But, sir, we meet with embarrassments on this
Gubject which are exceedingly annoying. We find
Southern statesmen, surrendering this great constitutional
question, in the admission of the right
of Congress to legislate authoritatively and without
limit upon the admission of slavery into the territories.
We find among ourselves those who
give up the last hopes of the South, and surrender
the citadel to the besiegers. Precedent is
invoked to establish the right to disinherit us.
The evil not only of being disinherited, but the
penalty of crime, the forfeiture of felony, is fixed
upon us, And we are required, as suppliants, to
ask that as mercy which we should claim as a
right. A distinguished Senator of my own State,
[Mr., Badger,] a gentleman of high attainments
and extended reputation, in a recent speech on
the Oregon hill, admitted thej-jght of Congress to
legislate for the exclusion of slavery in the territories,
but placed the South upon the principle of
expediency, and the sense of justice of the Federal
Legislature. Gracious Heaven! are we reduced
to this? Is our only, our last hope, the
verdict of a jury whose interest, whose feelings,
and whosevtrgnnizulion fix that verdict against
us ? Can any man close his eyes to the fast that
the progress both of opinion and of power is
uiv uyu.il . u.vui y WU8 HlUlie
to Southern interests?even the slave trade was
legalized and protected by the Constitution?
wnen the power and the interest of the South
were indispensable; and never till the Missouri
question arose was J.Ue power of Congress on
this subject regarded as a matter of much moment.
Hut the scene is changed. The rich, the
lovely lands ceded by Virginia, the great mo hsr
of commonwealths, have been organized into
Suites, nnd she stands overshadowed, her broad
disc diminishing, and, Unlike the setting sun,
does not even retain her relative size, to compensate
for the loss of the influence of her
noonday splendor. Tlip lion's sljJlre of the
| territory has been already awarded Wthe States
whose municipal law does not recognize slavery.
And are we left to the mere refuge of expediency,
in this effort' to secure our rights? And do
Southern statesmen sound the first note of retreat ?
Does the flag fall first in their hands ? Are we to
look, as our last'resort, to Congress, with no
safeguard but expediency ? Alrendy has a Senator
[Mr. Nii.es] announced that this is a question
of power, and of power only. The horse-leech,
and the grave may say, Enougfi; but the lust of
power can never be satisfied. Gaining strength*
and increasing in influence, it .will never concede
the ndvnntuges attained, nor moderate its demands
for those in prospect. And Southern statesmen
yield the question! The best blood of the South
nas flowed like water. Side by side have thev
fallen, in the fiercest of the battle, with the soldiers
of every Suite in the Union. And before
the requiem is chanted over the clod which covers
them,, their fathers and brothers and children are
told, The prize is not for you; the soldier's lands
cannot be inhnbited by his relatives nnd friands,
because the domestic institutions n( their States
differ from those who control a majority of votes
in Congress. The emigrant from every portion I
of the world?the convicts, the pauners. the loaf-1
eis, mid the felons of all Europe?may come and
stand upon the lauds red with the blood of our
bravest und our best, and turn them and their
property away. They may say, It ia good land,
indeed, and won with your blood, but there is a
dispensation.which gives it to ua, who have no
kindred feelings, no common sympathy with you.
Our own children are cast out, una the stranger is
admitted. Sir, I hail the emigrant to our shores.
May our broad and fertile prairies, and our
boundless and uncultivated domain, yield them
abundance?our institutions, liberty. Let their
tears of sorrow be dried, nnd the gaunt genius of
famine forever depart from them. Let them become
rich, and free, and happy. But cast not
out the children of the soil; disown not the descendants
of revolutionary fathers. Shall Southern
statesmen concede the power, but deny the
expediency? I remind gentlemen that those
who possess power, " constrain the times to their
necessities." Our constituents will hold us to a
strict reckoning. It may lie true that fortune
and the South part here?even here do they shake
hands." We may be regarded as the receding
Slates. We must bear it us we may; but we will,
with dignified remonstrance, make continual claim
of our rights.
Par serving Gathered Flowers.?For the benefit
of our lady readers, we copy from an Eastern
paper the following receipt for preserving the
beauty of gathered flowers: Procure a flat dish of
porcelain, into which pour water *, place upon a
vase of flowers, and over the vase a bell glass,
with its rim in the water. The air that surrounds
the flowers, being confined beneath
the bell glass, is constantly moist with water,
that rises into it in the form of vapor. As
n? tli a iii a toe knoAiYioa ?*/\nfi<?riaAs4 it rnnu Hnurn
the aide of the bell glass into the dish ; and if
means be taken to enclose the water on the outside
of the bell plana, no as to prevent it evaporating
into the air of the Bitting room, the atmosphere
around the flowers is continually damp.
The plan ia design ited the Hopern Apparatus."
The experiment may be tried on a small scale
by inverting a tumbler over a rose-bud in a saucer
of water.
Touching Incident.?A lady, who arrived here
from the South, Saturday evening, found when
she left New Haven, that her nurse, a colored
woman and slave, was missing. She could not
account for it, and her friends suggested Uut
the woman had availed herself of the opportunity
to secure her freedom ; hot she did not believe it,
and thought the train on Monday would bring
her. And sure enough, on Monday she appeared,
[t seems that in changing cars at Now Haven, she
went back after something that on# of the children,
tad forgotten. and so was left behind- And the
laitbftd creeture, finding herself left, and only intent
on reaching her mistress, immediately started
tJT, foil owing the rails ad track as her guide, and
deeping out that night, pushed on all day Sunlay,
and slept out the next nieht, and reached
tore Monday morning about if o'clock, Assiar
(TfllliU tkl whole 60 IHUiM Mi fool.?S or in* klid
N wv*ww "vrvvta W tiTtSva Vf* W "TP# I
i^ I
W9 fJii .-t; tattw -i Jz $ j qj J&J sow
* ^ i
TU *KU*8aJBw, _Tn.w??j
up?bu.hrt -? *?*,.
"The Southern Ptom,"?Weekly,
' It published every Saturday. '
ADVBBTUUI0 IUTII. (\
For am square aC 10 ttaec, three insertions, fl Qr?
? every subsequent insertion, Si
Liberal deduction# Bade an yearly advertising.
?' ypp". ip f 'yi f. vrfi'',
CP Individuate aaav (urward the neon at of tbeir
Mibeciipuuue at ourriak Address, (| wet-paid)
ELLWOOD FISHER,
Wellington City.
Tennyaon has given the world a new poem,
entitled In Menwrimn, which is just published in
London, by the bookseller, Moxon. The follow- .? ^
ing passages are from it:
Ptaoe.
Calm is the morn without a eound,
Calm as to suit a calmer grief,
And only thro' the laded leaf
The chesnut pattering to the ground;
Calm and deep peace on this high world,
Aed on these dews that drench the furze,
And all the silvery gossamers
That twinkle into green and gold:
Calm and still light on yon great plain
That sweeps with all its autumn bowers
And crowded farm# and lessening lowers,
To mingle with the bounding mam;
Calm and deep peace in tbia wide air,
These leaves that redden tp the fell:
Ana in my neart, u aim ai au,
If any calm, a calm despair:
Calm on the seas, and slhrsr aleep,
t And waves that away thernaelvea in rest,
And dead calm in that noble breast
Which heaves but with the heaving deep.
fteith.
The unth by which we twain did eo,
Which led by tracts that pleased ua well
Thro* four sweet'years arose and fell,
From flower to flower, from snow to snow:
And we with aingjng cheer'd the way,
And crown'd with all the season lent,
From April ouv)o April went,
And glad at heart from May to May:
But where the path we walk'd began
To slant the nflh autumnal slope,
Aa we descended following Hope,
There sat the Shadow fear'd of man;
Who broke our flair companionship,
And sDroad his mantle dark and cold;
And wrapped thee formless in the fold,
And dull'd the murmur on thy Hp;
And bore thee where I could not see
Nor follow, tho' I walk in haste;
And think that, somewhere in the waste,
The Shadow sits and waits for me.
Havana, June 19, 1850.
Everything is quiet, apparently, but there ia a
great military fever?volunteer* are constantly
drilling in all the plazas and public grounds.
We were rather unexpectedly permitted to land
without passports, though we had to procure permits
costing fifty cents. 1 and four others, owing
to some alleged informality, were taken to the
guard-house on our arrival on ahore and aent
back to the ship?ft?r no other reason that 1 could *
understand (and I was the best Spaniard in the
lot) except that we failed to give the sentinel at
the landing a half dollar. This was the explanation
of the affair by a resident of the city.
The two prizes are anchored about 800 yards
off from us, with all the prisoners on board. It
is understood that they are to be liberated next
week. Generally accredited rumors are in circulation
that ^negotiations for the purchase of Cuba
by our Government are nearly concluded. A
lawyer (Foulhouze) from New Orleans, who has
been somewhat conspicuous in Cuban affairs, is
mud to be here in connexion with that purchase.
We are indebted to him, I believe, fbr the permission
granted to land. He seems, and in fact
claims to be, upon the most intimate and confidential
terms with the Conde de Alcoy. That
the Government fears us, no one who lands here
can doubt. Any one who observes the large
military force in and around the city, and the
heights bristling with cannon, must necessarily
arrive at the conclusion that the Conde de Alcoy
is equally distrustful of his own people. For it
is not to be suppoiied that he would deprive Havana
of the advantage of the money scattered
about by some 1000 or 1200 passengers, eager to
" gaatar el diuero," merely from an apprehension
of civil commotion created by those passengers
unassisted by the people. To my certain knowledge
employees of the Government were sent off
to the ship to examine the appearance of the
passengers, in order to form some opinion as to
their motives for going ashore, before permission
' >was granted to them to do so. There is a large
Spanish naval fbrce. One 80-gun ship, a frigate,steamer,
and sloop-of-war. None of our national
vessels are in port. One sloop-of-war, the Albany,
1 believe, is constantly cruising off the harbor.
Post Office Statistics.?The following table,
compiled from official records kept at the post
office, will prove interesting to the general reader,
and convey a correct idea of the amount of business
transacted in the foreign department of that
establishment:
During the quarter ending June 30, there have
been received from Europe 387.048 letters,
I viz:
Dy British steamers, 251,213
By Bremen, " 33,909
By United States, (Collins* line,) 1,926
During the same time there were sent to Europe:
By British steamers, 266,694
By Bremen " 38,064
By United States, (Collins' line,) 39,814
Total, 346,572 Jjjflik
The number of California letters received 9
during the quarter, has been 95,314
The number of letters sent to California
during the same poriod 108,991
Making a grand total of 455,563 letters sent to
Europe and California, and 382,362 received from
the same place.
To this must be added 50,000 ship letters received
and sent, making a grand total of 887,925
letters received and sent in the foreign department
aione of the post office.
During the month of June there were received
from California 23,875 letters, and .there were
sent to the same place 40,925. There were received
.rom Europe 87,857 letters, and there were
sent 108,997, making a total of foreign letters sent
and received of 261,754.
During the quarter there have been sent fr>m
the dead letter office, to the post office here, 164
dead letters, of which 53 have been restored to
their writers, and in four cases out of every seven
the cause of the non-reception of letters has been
that they ware improperly addressed. The sums
in the dead letters thus restored have varied from
f 11o |14,000.?wV. Y. Com.
' "
What h Dhit.?Old Doctor Cooper, of South
Carolina, used to say to his students, ? Don't be
afraid of a little dirt, young gentleman. What
ia dirt/ ]Yhy. nothing at all offensive, when
chemically viewed, Rob a btde alkali upon that
'dirty grease spaa,' ort your coat, and it under,
goes a chemical change, and becomes soap. Now
rub it with a little water, and it disappears; it is
neither grease, soap, water, nor dirt. 'That is
not a very odorous pile of dirt,' you observe
there. Well, scatter a little gypsum over it, and
it is no longer dirty. Everything you call dirt is
worthy your notice m students of chemistry.
Analyze it! It will all separate into very dean
elements.
"Dirt makes corn, corn makes bread and
meat, and that makes a very sweet young lady
that I saw ons of you kissing last night.?So
after all you were kissing dirt, particularly if she
whitens nsr skin with chalk or fltHsrV earth.
There is no telling, young gasman, what is
dirt. Though I must say that rubbing such muff
vat waafi
moth?othing but diet," Vr . ..
Jhmiciutiov.?The number "tit passengers arrived
here from fbrsign ports during the month of
Juns was 11,690- During June of 1849 the arrivals
were 31,375?decree* this year, 19,685. In
the first six months of 1849 the arrivals were
190,390; of 1650, 98,508. Decrees* ? 1850,
onsToJ a-.A.T J hxt.' stvr1" '

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