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The southern press. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]) 1850-1852, July 11, 1850, Image 1

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ourselves in the present emergency. The
warfare against African slavery commenced,
as is known, with Great Britain, who, after
having contributed mainly to its establishment
in the New World, devoted her most
earnest efforts, for purposes not yet fully explained,
to its abolition in America. How
wisely this was done, so far as her own colonies
were concerned, time has determined;
and all comment upon this subject on our
part would be entirely superfluous. If,
however, her purpose was to reach and embarrass
us on this subject, her efforts have
not been without success. A common origin
a common language, have made the English
literature ours to a great extent, and the
efforts of the British Government and people
to mould the public opinion of all who
speak the English language, have not been
vain or fruitless. On the coutcary, they I
have been deeply felt wherever the English
language is spoken; and ths more
efficient and dangerous, because, a3 yet,
the South has taken no steps to appear and
plead at the bar of the world, before which |
she has been summoned, and by which she j
has been tried already without a hearing.
Secured by constitutional guaranties, and
independent of all the world, so far as its
domestic institutions were concerned, the
South has reposed under the conciousness
of right and independence, and foreborne to
plead at a bar which she knew had no jurisnvpr
fKia nnrt\r\\lar In this
; "The Southern Psttu,"?Tri-w??kly
1t published on Tuesday*, Thursdays and Saturdays
of each weak.
"The Southern Preaa,"?Weekly,
Is published every Saturday.
advertising RATES.
For one square of 10 lines, three insertions, f 1 Ob
u avery subsequent insertion, - 25
J..ibemi deductions made on yearly advertising.
e> Individuals may forward the amount of their
subscriptions at our risk. Address, (post-paid)
ELLWOOI) FISHER,
Washington City.
Address to the People of the Southern
States.
At a large meeting ol Southern members
of both Houses of Congress, held at the Capitol
on the evening of the 7th ultimo, the
Hon. Hopkins L. Turney, of Tennessee,
having been appointed Chairman at a previous
meeting, took the Chair; and, on motion
of the Hon. David Hubbard, of Alabama,
the Hon. William J. Alston, of Alabama,
was appointed Secretary.
Whereupon, the Hon. A. P. Butler, o
South Carolina, from the committee appointed
at a preliminary meeting, reported an Address
to the Southern people, recommending
the establishment, at Washington City, of a
newspaper, to be devoted to the support and
defence of Southern interests; which was
read, and with some slight modifications,
adopted.
The. following resolution was offered by
the Hon. Thomas L. Clinuman, of JSorth
Carolina, and unanimously adopted by the
meeting.
iUsolvtd, unanimously, That the committee, in
publishing the Address, be instructed to give with it
the names of the Senators and Representatives in
Congress who concur in the proposition to establish
thi. SouLhern Dririn. as manifested bv their subscril)
1 \
BgSSSS?SSBB II II. I. _ _._ - _
THE SOUTHERN PRESS,
' ' , ' i ' , ... , ft#*'c- ' "i<) '?#'*, - *'... < ?. !? ?? i -J'i f .' . . ,
I ???????????????i^?^1????I??-? _ Ill ? ?
/DAILY. . '
Vol. 1. Washington, Tlmrday, July 11, 1S50. Ho. 21.
.-- - ... ? - -
tions to the several copies of the plan in circulation,
or who may hereafter authorise said committee to inelude
their names.
Maryland.?Senator: Thomas G. Pratt.
Virginia.?Senators: R. M. T. Hunter,
J. M. Mason. Representatives: J. A.
Seddon, Thos. II. Averett, Paulus Powell,
R. K. Meade, Alex. R. Holladav, Thos.
S. Bocock, H. A. Edmundson, Jeremiah
Morton.
North Carolina.?Senator: Willie P.
Mangum. Representatives: T. L. Clingin
a n, A. W. Venable, \V. S. Ashe.
South Carolina.?Senators: A. P Butler,
F. H. Elmore. Representatives: John
McQueen, Joseph A. Woodward, Daniel
Wallace, Wm. F. Coloock, James L. Orr,
Armistead Burt, Isaac E. Holmes.
Georgia.?Senators: John McP. Berrien,
William C. Dawson. Representatives: Jo
seph W. Jackson, Alex. H. Stephens, Robert
Toombs, II. A. Haralson, Allen F.
Owen.
Alabama.?Senator: Jeremiah Clemens.
Representatives: David Ilubbard, F. W.
Bowdon, S. W. Inge, W. J. Alston, S.
W. Ha rris. i
Mississippi.?Senator. Jefferson Davis.
Representatives: \V. S Featherston, Jacob
Thompson, A. G. Brown, W. VV. McWillie.
Louisiana.?Senators: S. U. Downs,
Pierre Soule. Representatives: J. H. Harmanson,
Emile La Sere, Isaac E. Morse.
Arkansas.?Senators: Solon Borland, VV.
Sebastian. Representative: R. \V. Johnson.
Texas.?Representatives: Vol. E. Howard,
D. S. Kaufman.
Missouri.?Senator: D. R. Atchison.
Representative: James S. Green.
Kentucky.?Representatives: R. H. Stanton,
James L. Johnson.
Tennessee.?Senator: Hopkins L. Turney.
Representatives: James II. Thomas,
Frederick P. Stanton, C. H. Williams,
John H. Savage.
Florida.?Senators: Jackson Morton, D.
L. Yulee. Representative: E. CarTington
Cabell.
And upon motion, the meeting adjourned.
HOPKINS L. TURNEY, Chairman.
Attest :
Wm J. Alston, Secretary.
t tr it a urtRRSS
The committee to which was rejerred the
duty of preparing an Address to the people
of the slaveholding Stales upon the
subject of a Southern Organ, to be established
in the City of Washington, put
Jorth the following:
Fellow-citizens: A number of Senators
and Representatives in Congress from
the Southern States of the Confederacy deeply
impressed with a sense of the dangers
which beset those States, have considered
carefully our means of sell-defence within
the Union and the Constitution, and have
come to the conclusion that it is highly important
to establish in this city a paper, which,
without reference to political party, shall be
devoted to the rights and interests ol the
South, so far as they are involved in the questions
growing out of African slavery. To
establish and maintain such a paper, your
support is necessary, and accordingly we
address you on the subject.
In the contest now going on, the constitutional
equality of fifteen States is put in
question. Some sixteen hundred millions
worth of negro property is involved directly,
and indirectly, though not less surely, an incalculable
amount of property in other lorms.
But to say this is to state less than half the
doom that hangs over you. Your social
forms and institutions?which separate the
European and the African races into distinct
-1 ?] ?:? * U ~ .i:a?.?* u
ITdSSt'Sj UUU USJjIgU IV CdLil ? U1IIUICI11 npllCIC
in society?are threatened with overthrow
Whether the negro is to occupy the same
social rank with the white man, and enjoy
equally the rights, privileges, and immunities
of citizenship?in short, all the honors
and dignities of society?is a question ot
greater moment than any mere question of
property can be.
Such is the contest now going on?a contest
in which public opinion, if not the prevailing,
is destined to be a most prominent
force ; and yet, no organ of the united inter
ests of those assailed has as yet been established,
nor does there exis: any paper
which can be the common medium for an
interchange of opinions amongst the Southern
States. Public opinion, as it has been
formed and directed by the combined influence
of interest and prejudice, is the force
which has been most potent against us in
the war now going on against the institution
of negro slavery; and yet we have taken
no elfectual means to make and maintain
that issue with it upon which our safety
and perhaps our social existence depends.
Whoever will look to the history of this
question, and to the circumstances under
which we are now placed, must see
that our position is one of imminent danger,
and one to be defended by all the means,
mora) and political, of which we can avail
U.WWW*. V, - V...V,
we have been theoretically right, but practically
we have made a great mista*ke. All
means, political, diplomatic, and literary,
have been used to concentrate the public
opinion, not only of the world at large, but
of our own country, against us; and resting
upon the undoubted truth that our domestic
institutions were the subjects of no Government
but our own local Governments, and
concerned no one but ourselves, we have
been passive under these assaults, until
danger menaces us from every quarter. A
great party has grown up, and is increasing
in the United States, which seems to think
it a duly they owe to earth and heaven to
make war on a domestic institution upon
which are staked our property, our social
organization, and our peace and safety.
Sectional feelings have been invoked, and
those who wield the power of* this Government
have been tempted almost, if not quite,
beyond their power of resistance, to wage a
war against our property, our lights, and
our social system, which, if successfully
prosecuted, must end in our destruction.
Every inducement?the love of power, the
desire to accomplish what are, with less
truth than plausibility, called "reforms"?
all are olfered to tempt them to press upon
those who are represented, and, in iact,
seem to be an easy prey to the spoiler. Our
eqality under the Constitution is, in etlect,
denied; our social institutions are derided
and contemned, and ourselves treated with
contumely and scorn through all the avenues
which have as yet been opened to the public
opinion ol the world. That these
assaults should have had their etiect is not
surprising, when we remember that, as yet,
we have offered no organized resistance to
them, and opposed but little, except the isolated
efforts of members of Congress, who
have occasionally raised their voices against
what they believe to be wrongs and injustice.
It is time that we should meet and maintain
an issue, in which We find ourselves involved
by those who make war upon us in
regard to every interest that is peculiar to
us, and which is not enjoyed in common with
them, however guarantied by solemn compact,
and no matter how vitally involving our
prosperity, happiness, and saiety. It is time
that we should take measures to defend ourselves
against assaults which can end in
nothing short of our destruction, if we oppose
no resistance to them. Owing to accidental
circumstances, and a want of knowledge of
the true condition of things in the Southern
States, the larger portion of the press and of
the political literature of the wotld has been
directed against us. The moral power of
public opinion carries political strength along
with it, and if against us, we must wrestle
with it or fall. If, as we fiimly believe, truth
is with us, there is nothing to discourage us
in such an effort.
The eventual strength of an opinion is to
be measured, not by the number who may
chance to entertain it, but by the truth which
sustains it We believe?nay, we know, that
truth is with us, and therefore we should not
shrink from the contest. We have too much
staked upon it to shrink or to tremble?a
property interest, in all its forms, ofincalcu
la Die amount ana value ; me social organization,
the equality, the liberty, nay, the existence
of fourteen or fifteen States of the Confederacy?all
rest upon the result of the
struggle in which we are engaged. We
must maintain the equality of our political
position in the Union ; we must maintain the
dignity and respectahil.ty of our social position
before the woild ; and must maintain
and secure our liberty and lights, so far as
our united efforts can protect them ; and, if
possible, we must effect all this within the
pale of the Union, and by means known to |
the Constitution. The union of the South I
upon thes?? vital interests is necessary, not
only for the sake of the South, but perhaps
for the sake of the Union. We have great
interests exposed to the assaults, not only ol
the world at large, but of those who, constituting
a majority, wield the power of our
own confederated States. We must defend
those interests by all legitimate means, or
else perish either in or without the effort. To
mcke successful defence, we must unite with
each other upon one vital question, and make
the most of our political strength. We must
do more?we must go beyond our entrenchments,
and meet even the more distant and
indirect, but by no means harmless assaults,
which are directed against us. We, too,
can appeal to public opinion. Our assailants
act upon theory, to their tlieory we can oppose
experience. They reason upon an
imaginary state of things to, this we may
oppose truth and actual knowledge. To do
this, however, we too must open up avenues
to the public mind ; we, too, must have an
organ through which we can appeal to the
world, and commune with each other. The
want of such an organ, heretofore, has been
perhaps one of the leading causes of our present
condition.
There is no paper at the Seat of Government
through which we can hear or be heard
fairly and truly by the country. There is a
paper here which makes the abolition of slavery
its main and paramount end. There
are other papers here which make the maintenance
of political parlies their supreme and
controlling object, but none which consider
the preservation of sixteen hundred millions
of property, the equality and libertv ot fourteen
or fifteen States, the protection of the
white man against African equality, as paramount
over, or even equal to, the maintennance
of some political organization which is
to secure a President, who is an object ot
interest not because he will certainly rule, or
perhaps ruin the South, but chiefly for the
reason that he will po3sess and bestow office
and spoils. The South has a peculiar position,
and her important rights and interests
are objects of continual assault from the majority;
and the party press, dependent as it
is upon that majority lor its means of living,
will always be found laboring to excuse the
assailants, and to paralyze all efforts at resistance.
How is it now? The abolition party
can always be heard through its press at
the Seal of Government, but through what
organ or press at Washington can Southern
men communicate with the world, or with
each other, upon their own peculiar interests?
So far from writing, or permitting
anything to be written, which is calculated
to defend the rights of the South, or state its
case, the papers here are engaged in lulling
the South into a false security, and in maniifn/'fiinnnr
f!iorn an urfifinfil niililm eonfimonf
suitable for some Presidential platform,
though at the expense of any and every interest
you may possess, no matter how dear
or how vital and momentous.
This state of things results from party obligations
and a regard to party success. And
they but subserve the ends of their establishment
in consulting their own interests,
and the advancement of the party to which
they are pledged. You cannot look to them
as sentinels over interests that are repugnant
to the feelings of the majority of the selfsustaining
party.
In the Federal Legislature the South has
some voice and some votes; but over the public
press, as it now stands at the Seat of
Government, the North has a controlling influence.
The press of this city takes its
tone from that of the North. Even our
Southern press is subjected, more or less, to
the same influence. Our public men, yes,
our southern rr en, owe their public standing
and reputation too often to the commendation
and praise of the Northern press. Southern
newspapers republish from their respective
party organs in this city, and in so doing,
reproduce?unconscious, doubtless, in
most instances, of the wrong they do?the
northern opinion in regard to public men
and measures. IIovv dangerous such a state
of things must be to the fidelity ol your representatives
it is needless to say! They
are but men, and it would be unwise to suppose
that they are beyond the reach of temptations
wnich influence the rest of mankind.
Fellow-citizens, it rests with ourselves to
alter this state o( things, so far as the South
is concerned. We have vast interests, which
we are bound, by many considerations, tc
defend with all the moral and political means
in our power. One of the first steps to this
great end is to establish a Southern Organ
here, a paper through which we may commune
with one another and the world at
large. We do not propose to meddle with
political parties as they now exist; we wish
to enlist every southern man in a southern
cause, and in defence of southern rights, be
he Whig or be he Democrat. We do not
propose to disturb him, or to shake him in
his party relations. All that we ask is, that
he shr.ll consider the constitutional rights ol
the South, which are involved in the great
abolition movement, as paramount to all
party and all other political considerations.
And surely the time has come when all
southern men should unite for the purpose ol
self-defence. Our relative power in the
Legislature of the Union is diminishing with
every census; the dangers which menace us
are daily becoming greater; and, the chief instrument
in the assaults upon us is the public
press, over which,owing to oursupineness,the
North exercises a controlling influence. So
lar as the South is concerned, we can change
and reverse this state of things. It is not
to be borne, that public sentiment at the South
should be stifled or controlled by the party
press.
Let us have a press of our own, as the
North has, both here and at home?a press
which shall be devoted to Southern rights,
and animated by Southern feeling; which
shall look not to the North but the South for
the tone which is to pervade it. Claiming
our share of power in Federal Legislation, let
us also claim our share of influence in the
press of the country. Let us organize in
every Southern town and county, so as to
send this paper into every house in the land.
Let us take, too, all the means necessary to
maintain the paper by subscription, so as to
increase its circulation, and promte the
spread of knowledge and truth. Let every
r il. ?i. r. i. r..n ,.i
ponion 01 me ouuui uininii us iuii tjuuia ui
talent and money to sustain a paper which
ought to he supported by all, because it will
be devoted to the interest of every Southern
man. It will be the earnest effort of the
committee who ate charged with these arrangements,
to procure editors of high talent
and standing; and they will also see that the
paper is conducted without oppnsiti in, and
without rejerencc to the political parties of
the day. With these assurances, we feel
justified in calling upon you, the people of
the Southern States?to make the necessary
efforts to establish and maintain the proposed
paper.
A. P. BUTLER,
JACKSON MORTON,
R. TOOMBS,
J. THOMPSON.
The Scotch journals announce that Lord
Cockburn is engaged on a life of his late distinguished
friend nnd brother judge, Lord Jeffrey.
SPEECH OF 1
MR. T. H. AVERETT, of Virginia, J
.On the jiroposilion to admit California as a (
State irUa the Union, delivered in the House |
of Representatives, March 21, 1850. (
Tlie House being in Committee of the Whole ,
on the state of the Union, on the President's i
Message communicating the Constitution of '
California,
Mr. AVERETT said: '
Mr. Chairman: 1 engage in this discussion, *
painfully embarrassed by a distrust of myself, 1
and with but faint hopes of effecting any good j1
by anything that I can say. I have seen the !
habitual restlessness and inattention of a large i
portion of the House during the delivery of 11
much more impressive appeals than any which 1 :
can moke?much more able arguments than any
which I feel able to adduce. From these considerations,
I have hitherto im|H)sed silence upon
myself, determining merely to vole in conformity
to constitutional and representative obligations,
and so to east my votes as to protect and defend
the Constitution as it is written, and the rights
and interests of the people whom 1 serve. But
faint as are my hopes of influencing any portion i
of this House, by anything that 1 can utter, 1
yet feel impelled to take part in this discussion, 1
under a conviction that all has not been said <
that ought to be said, and that there are weighty i
considerations connected with the questions un- ;1
der debate, -which luive been buried under the allabsorbing
question of slavery, and the mere
sectional prejudices and collisions which it has
engendered.
The question whether slavery shall or shall
not be admitted into California, overrides all
other questions. Amid the turmoil and collisions
which have resulted from its discussion,
we have lost sight of the plain line of our duty.
The rights and interests of the United States,
in our newly-acquired territory, our right of
property therein, ami the true functions of Congress
in regard to it, are neglected and repudia- i
ted. 1 desire to direct the attention of this :
House and the country, to a true reading of that
clause of the Constitution, which declares that i
"the Congress shall have power to dispose of,
'and make all needful rules and regulations re- i
'specting the territory or other property of the
' United States." Now, my friend and colleague,
[Mr. Millson,] and others, have exposed the 1
error, in converting the word territory (land,
property) into the plural " Territories^ beginning
with a capital T, not to be found in that i
part of the Constitution, conveying the idea of
organized communities of persons with prop- '
erty. No further exposition of that Executive
mistake, or Cabinet trick, is necessary; but it is
necessary, that when we so clearly perceive the
powers which that clause confers upon us, that
we begin to think of the duties and obligations
which it imposes upon us.
Are we discharging those duties? are we coninrnnnur
tn llutuo i/vnu ? \J/? ?
*? i?u, viinjiman;
no, sir; we have scarcely turned our
thoughts to them. The President has incited
and urged tlic adventurers, mixed breeds, and
alien sojourners in California, to form for themselves
a State government, and assume jurisdicion
over the country, and now urges us to
sanction tluit assumption. Now, sir, 1 maintain
that we cannot do this, without a culpable neglect
of duty, and imminent hazard to, i? not a
total sacrifice of, the rights and interests of the
United States. To secure the rights of all, this
Government, as trustee for all, must exercise
. the rights and functions of a property holder in
California and New Mexico. Those rights cannot
be secure, if we erect a seperate State government
out of the materials now there, with all
of the attributes of State sovereignty. We
must keep the reins of Government in our own
? hands, in conformity to "the general provisions
i of the Constitution," and the uniform usages i:i
i regard to newly-settled territory. We know
> nothing of the land titles in that country. A
State government, organized there in the present
condition of things, will unquestionably assume
' jurisdiction in all disputed cases, and brute force,
1 if organized, however lawlessly, will sway the
destinies of our modern Ophir. J,00k to the debates
in the California convention, and you see
the incipient symptoms of disaffection to this
Government already?look to the scrambles
and assassinations about the gold mines, nnd
you perceive the imperious necessity for the
controlling power of this Government, and that,
too, exerted in some simple, practical form which,
while it shall give peace and security to our own
enterprising adventurers, shall make all, wliethr
er natives, aliens, settlers, or itinerants, of whatever
kind or complexion, feel and acknowledge,
that to this Government are they to look for
governmentel authority and protection, and that
this Government holds in trust the territory as
the property ot the United States. A simple,
efficient territorial government, backed, it" necessary,
by military force, seems indispensable; and,
sir, niuch as I distrust "the powers that be," and
i deeply as I deprecate the tissue of usurpations
and intrigues, sanctioned by the signature of
General Tnylor, by which "it. is attempted to
smuggle California into the Union as a State, I
would be willing?as, indeed, the most of mv
1 party were willing last winter?to arm him with
the power of carrying into practical operation in
. those countries, the Constitution and laws of
this Union : and I venture the confident opinion
that if we do this, the great majority of our own
citizens, who have settled about the gold mines,
and commercial marts of the Pacific const, will
not only acquiesce in the measure, but will
1 tender their services, as minute men, to back
i the Executive with force and arms, if necessary,
i in enforcing the laws. Sir tlie immense mining
and commercial interests in California, demand
. the guardianship of this Government, unembar'
rnssed by the conflicting claims to sovereignty
of any rareripe State government, such as would
be that of California, if now acknowledged and
admitted as a State of this Union. Unembar1
rassed by any such conflict of authority, and divested
of the extraneous slavery question, we
i should still find need for the best exertions of
, our united councils, under the purest impulses
of a patriotism that regards the rights and interests
of the whole Union, properly to dis.
charge the duties incumbent upon us. Must
we go back to our constituents, and t?ll them
that their highest interests have been neglected,
our constitutional obligations disregarded, and
that the slavery question has engrossed all of
our attention ?
In our discussions here, it has been clearly
proved, and by nobody more clearly than by
General Cass, that Congress has no constitutional
power to interfere with that question, in
! Inn.iul.il inr. In mi In liin inrFiinFII n(' Tin.
n ^iniuilll^ 111 IC^UIU IV UJV IVIIimM T VI MIC KJ III"
ted States. Yet he knows?we ail know?that
this House has interfered, and made the exclusion
of slavery and slaveholders a sine qua non,
in legislating upon this territorial question.
We all know that the Northern Whigs, Abolitionists,
and Free-Soilers, on the last night of
the Inst session of Congress, showed a determination
to stop the wheels of this Government,!
rather than allow any law to pass, giving protection
to the citizens of California, and assuming
our rightful jurisdiction over it, unless
[ coupled with a proviso excluding slavery. Under
these circumstances, as a matter of course,
the country has been appropriated exclusively
to non-slave-holders and anti-slavery men. Under
these circumstances, President Taylor, by
lis emissaries, without a shadow of legal or
:onstitntional authority, has urged the people
if California to form a State government, and
ome into the Union as a State. He must luive
known?if he knew anything?and the people
if California knew, from the action of this
House, that they could not come into the Union,
except as an Abolition State. Its admission, as
jneh, will be the triumph of Congressional intervention,
and Executive usurpation. It is already
claimed as an Abolition and Free-Soil
victory. Sir, shall we go home and tell the
Taylor Democrats and Southern Whigs, that
General Taylor has 'surrendered, and lent his aid
to the Free-Soilers and Northern Whigs in their
t'tforts to bring California into the Union as an
Abolition State, ami to divest his own Southern
brethren of their equal rights ? Shall we go
home and tell Southern Democrats, who voted
for General Cass as a non-interventionist and
strict constructionist, that lie has sanctioned
General Taylor's uuauthrised intervention, and
joined the majority in Congress in doing indirectly
that which, with transcendent ability, lie
has demonstrated they have no right to do directly?
Sir, if we must go home with this
startling tale, our |>eople will begin to realize
the solemn truth, that "we are in the midst of
i revolution."
Verily, sir, a revolution has been in progress
for some years past. It lias already jostled this
Uovernment from its constitutional sphere. We
see one after another of our public men, who
had for years struggled against the strides of
Abolitionism, deluded or awed into its schemes,
until now we hardly dure claim any Northern
man as the thorough advocate of the equal constitutional
rights of the South. True, sir, there
are Northern members, both on this tloor and
in the Senate, who at heart are opposed to the
Abolitionists and Freo-Soilers,but who unwittingly,
and perhaps unconsciously, are carried
along in the current which has swept everything
before it, in the non-slaveholding States.
They assure us that they harbor not a single
feeling congenial with those of the Abolitionists,
and denounce the Free-Soilers proper as loudly
as we do. Rut let them not mistake their own
position: let there be no misunderstanding
about mere names, and party associations. How
many can we now number, who are not seeking
tojparry the assaults of the Freo-Soilers and Abolitionists,
by adopting and pleading the dangerous
heresy that slaveholders are already excluded
from our Mexican territory by Mexican
laws, and therefore that the Wilmot l'roviso is a
mere abstraction?a bald humbug ? How many
urc mere who uiire id oppose Mil' r roeSoilers
in tlieir stereotyped catch-words, that
"territory now free, shall remain free?"
[See Note A.] Now, sir, the people of
the South will be constrained to analyze
these doctrines, and are not so blind as not to
perceive that their ultimate results are one and
the same with Freo-Soilism. Those results arc,
the confinement of slavery within the limits of
the present slaveholding States, and a denial to
the slaveholders of the South of any right to
participate in the enjoyment of the territory of
the United States, except upon condition that
they submit to a confiscation of their property.
Sir, this is the result of a fair analysis of the
prevalent doctrines of the North, and furnishes
proof conclusive that we are indeed in the midst
of a revolution. I repeat, let there be no misunderstanding
of the true state of facts. The
admission of California at this time, under present
circumstances, in full view of the manner in
which we have been brought to the present crisis,
will he the triumph of the Abolitionists?the
triumph of a series of revolutionary schemes,
subversive of the Constitution, and destructive
of the rights of one half of the Union.
I be# my Northern Democratic friends to be
assured that I have thus alluded to them in no
unkind spirit. It is due to them?to truth and
justice?to say, that by their votes they have
shown a disposition to discard all mere sectional
consideration, nnd that, if their votes could have
prevailed, this vexed question would long since
have been settled, with justice and fair play to all
sections of the Union. But their votes were
overruled by an undivided Northern Whig vote,
aided by dissenting Northern Democrats, and
upon one occasion, by a few Southern Whigs;
and we are yet at sea, more troubled than ever
by a northern storm, which menaces the wreck of
the ship of State, has already blown many of
our crew over-board, and so bewildered the northern
portion of our crew, that they are for seeking
any port, at whatever sacrifice, rather than
longer weather it. It is not my purpose to " read !
tllelll out of the church I still have tinn??<? flint I
they will yet rally with renewed courage, deter-1
mined to stand by the flag to which they owe
allegiance?the flag of the Constitution and I
equal rights. But, sir, is it not a fact, that such j
is the hostility of the North to the institutions
and people of the South, that any praise from a i
true-hearted Southerner, to a Northern politician,
brings down Northern vengenee upon him ? And
have we not in this facta startling manifestation
of a prevalent revolutionary spirit in the North?
And how, sir, has this revolution been engendered
and fomented ? I answer, by a series of
impostures, "conceived in sin and brought forth
in iniquity." There can he no peace?there can
be no security?for the perpetuity of our institutions,
or for the continuance of the blessings
which we have enjoyed, until patriots North and
South shall acquire moral courage enough to
march up square to the front, to heard the itnposters
in their strongholds, to proclaim the
truth fearlessly, and awaken deluded masses to
a proper sense of the vile system of political
cheatry by which their minds have been poisoned.
The time allowed mc, under the rules of
this House, is too limited to admit of my entering
into a complete exposition and analysis of
the impostures which have been played oft" upon
the voting community. I must content myself
with a brief retrospect of the stealthy devices
by which we have been brought to our present
j'/iiiHit *tt Ail/1 horn oi?* I I
not lay myself liable to the charge of sow ing
the seeds of discord among those who ought to
he united as one man, in resisting Northern aggression
upon Southern rights, wdien I allude to
certain points in the history of past party conflicts.
Truth demands that matters of fact,
bearing upon the grave questions now under
consideration, shall l>e frankly and fearlessly
stated. Be it remembered, then, that in the
year 1832, when .Mr. Van Buren was first brought
forward as a candidate for the Vice Presidency,
he was denounced at the North as "a truckler
to the South," while some of our Southern
friends vehemently opposed him, upon the
ground that he was in sentiment hostile to the
South, and that his silent acquiescence in the
resolutions of the New York legislature, in favor
of the Missouri restriction, and his vote in
fovor of free-negro suffrage, proved his unsoundness
upon the slavery question. The first political
speech which I ever delivered, (paraon
the egotism,) was in his defence. I strenuously
supported him against one of the ablest and
purest republicans of my own State, the late
Judge P. P. Barbour. 1 argued that,tile Missouri
Compromise had settled the slavery question,
(we were weak enough to think so;) that
Mr. Van Buren was a republican, and as such
could not, and would not countenance any attempt
to pervert the action of this (Jovcrnment
to any purposes at war with our rights; thnt it
was manifest that he was preferred by the great
mass of tiiat party opposed to the assumptions,
by the Federal Government, of any unauthori
zed power; and that we ought to unite cordially
upon him as the only means of defeating a candidate
[Mr. Sergeant] known to he opposed
to us upon the shivery question, and upon every
other which distinguished a republican from a
Federalist. Mr. Van Buret! was elected Vice
President, with the aid of Southern votes.
During the term of his services as Vice President
and as President, he and his friends, North
anil South, supported, too, by patriotic Whigs,
set their faces against agitating the slavery question
in Congress, or connecting it with party
politics as dangerous to the public peace, and to
the Union. We are assured by our Northern
friends that the Abolitionists were a lean minority
of moon-struck fanatics. Seeing, however,
that they were organized, and that they continued
to throw their fire-brands into Congress, it
seemed to me to be no less a matter of feeling
and principle, than of calculating policy, to hold
out the right hand of fellowship to our Northern
friends; and I, for one, was not ashamed
(though n private citizen) to he considered a partisan
in support of Northern politicians. 1 shall
ever be proud to he considered a partisan, as
long as I can find a party honestly contending
for the rights of the States, upon constitutional
principles, and for the freedom of the people
from governmental injustice.
[Here, on motion, the committee rose.]
Thi'Rsdav, March 28. 1850.
Mr. AVKRETT continued hi? remarks substantially
as follows : ?
Mr. Chairman : When tlie committee rose on
yesterday, 1 was proceeding to show the existence
and progress of revolution, by pointing to
the history of party politics during the Administration
of Mr. Van Ruren. It is not. my purpose
to deal out their bitter epithets against him, or
any other man. In the last Presidential canvass,
he became emphatically the anti-slavery candidate
of the self-styled Free-Soil party. "Out of his
own mouth he stands condemned." Enough of
him. Rut, sir, since he occupied the Presidential
chair, what a cliange have we witnessed in
the minds and actions of men!
What a revolution do we now behold in the
workings of our political system ! Sir, Northern
members on this floor may pour forth their
anathemas against State legislatures in the
South for daring to resolve to defend the equal
rights of the Southern States. They may sing
hosnnnas to the Union, and with uplifted hands,
and eyes directed to Heaven, implore the Almighty
Ruler of the universe to arrest the progress
of revolutionary movements in the South.
1 proclaim to them, and will proclaim to the
people whom f serve, that a revolution is in progress
here?that darinir and damrerous usuroa
tioiiH in the I legislative and Executive departments
of this Governmeut art* in progress?
which, if not arrested, will destroy the equal
rights of the Southern States. I aeense the
accusers. J charge thein with fomenting all of
this strife, and getting up and fostering revolution.
1 point to the history of their acts in this
Capitol?to the uprovoked insult, offered to the
Southern people, in the Winthrop Proviso to
the Oregon bill, when no Southern man desired
to carry, or dreamed of carrying, slavery to
i Oregon. I point to the Wilmot. Proviso, which
was incontinently thrust forward during the late
war with Mexico, attempted to be fastened upon
almost every bill for raising and supporting our
gallant armies, and even attempted to be lugged
into a treaty with a foreign (+*vernment. I
point to the course of Northern members, on
the bust night of the last. Congress, the history
of whose actings and doings, with the names ot
the actors, ought to be stereotyped ami handed
down as a dark chapter in the history of the
revolution now in progress. They boldly assumed
the responsibility, and now glory in so
doing, of defeating a bill, whose defeat would
have stopped the wheels of Government, rathei
than permit the passage of a measure simply
authorising President Taylor to carry our Constitution
and laws into practical operation in
New Mexico and California. The South did
not usk that slavery should be carried there by
the action of this Government. We simply
asked that the slavery question be let alone,
iniil in tin- In 11 <ri in <r< > nf 11 iiiLti-iotii- N.?niitiir triuii
r? r-. ? I -
the North, tli.it thai question ' lie left to Lite
silent operations of a Constitution."
Unt our claim of equal rights was repudiated.
Every attempt to extend the Constitution and
laws over our Mexican territory was resisted.
The rights, the peace, ami safety of residents
and adventurers in California, for whom is now
claimed the sovereignty over that golden region,
with the broad expanse of its .Pacific coast?the
rights of the. United States ad a property holder
?the duty of this Government to make all needful
rules and regulations us a property holder
therein?were all disregarded?set at naught?
and all legislation in regard to them strenuously
resisted, unless coupled with an express provision,
that the slaveholders of tiie South should
be excluded. All others might go there and
reap golden harvests. The Chilian, the Peruvian,
the Chinese, the Sandwich islander, the Spaniard,
the Englishman, the Frenchman, the Mexican,
with his peon slaves, mixed-breeds and motelv
races, of every cliine and color, except the slaveholder
of the South, might freely settle there,
under the protection of the municipal laws of
Mexico; but the gallant and generous people
of the South, whose blood had freely flowed,
and whose treasure had been expended without
stint, in the acquisition of the country, were denied
any part or lot in it.
Sir, 1 will not consume much time in reiterating
the charge made by other members of the
South?a charge known to be true by everybody
?that our northern brethren have practically
nullified plain provisions of the Constitution,
and laws enacted in pursuance thereof, providing
that runaway slaves shall be restored to their
owners. It is notorious, that absconding slaves
by hundreds have been seduced into the free
States and harbored there, and that the eonstitional
and legal obligations to restore them to
their masters, are set at naught. It is notorious,
that all efforts to recover them are thwarted, in
palpable disregard of the Constitution; and although
there are northern members on this floor,
and in the Senate, who acknowledge this sin of
the North against the South, they know that Unpopular
sentiments of the North will not tolerate
the practical enforcement of this acknowledged
constitutional obligation. Here, then, we
have proof, beyond question, that the North is at
open warfare with the guarantied rights of the
Southern people; and in this, again, we have an
undeniable evidence that the North lias fomented
and fostered revolution.
But, sir, it is needless further to specify. We
have here daily?we see in northern newspapers
daily?developments of this revolutionary spirit;
and although I know that there are good and
true nortliren men, who condemn the course of
our assailants, yet, sir, it is a deplorable fact
that they are a powerless minority. Do they
mean to float with the current, and join in a
crusade against us? or will they not rather place
their reliance upon "the sober Second thought"
of the honest voters of the North, who mean
right, but are going wrong, under the deluisions
of a mistaken and misdirected philaiitlirophy ?
Will they not assail the assailants, and expose
the impostures, by which they have misinform- j
ed and misled so many honest people ?
Sir, this must be done, else we are a divided
and distracted people, and this Government will
ere long become a curse to us. Our public men
-r?our leading politicians?our influential press
1
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en of the Nortli?must put their heads together,
and unite in an honest effort to thwart the
schemes of Abolitionists, self-styled Free Soilers,
and trading politicians in alliance with them.
They must not rely upon conciliating them;
they must not depend upon putting them down,
by beating .them at their own mime : they must
give up the idea of killing off the Wiluiot proviso,
and its advocates, by pleading the validity
of a dead Mexican proviso. I lawyers, who
need an excuse for inexcusable votes, may I
plead that the municipal laws of Mexico arc I
still in force in our dominions; but lawyers I
...E.. .... i. ? ? > - J J 1
I tv iv*# IIVTCVI IIV auoil luin.M'n, IIUVU UfllHMl.^iraU'U
?and plain, honest men, of common sonw, can
readily perceive the fallacy und dangerous heresy
of a doctrine that maintains that the conquered
can {five law to the conquerer, and that the.
property rights of our citizens, upon our soil,
can, in any way, be atlecLed by the obsolete
laws of vanquished Mexico. [See note B.J
It will not do to plead, that the right of
property in slaves does not exist, exeept in the
local limits of the States, whose nmuicipial
laws establish it. That, again, is false and heretical.
The right of property of the owner in
his slave existed before the formation of either
"bur State or Federal Constitutions. It has
never been surrendered in either, but, on the
contrary, was expressly recognized and guaranteed
in both, us a pre-exist'ng right. The slave
may roam through the free States, but the Con
suuiuon uruains i.nni nis owner sun n.is me
right of property in him, (ind imposes a positive
obligation upon the free States to acknowledge
and enforce it The right exists upon the highway
of nations, and has been acknowledged and
enforced by this Government,\ with the concurrence
of northern and aouthernWatesmcn. Foreign
nations have been Compelled to acknowlj
edge it by paying for tjaves who had escaped
into their dominions, or been taken under their
jurisdiction. And if this right lias not been
enforced in the Creole case, and in one or two
other cases, it was not because it was repudiated,
"but was "waived" in consideration of the
vaunted advantages gained by us in the Ashburton
treaty ; and it is a disgrace to the Government,
that it has riot remunerated the suffer- v
ers in those eases, after failing to enforce their
acknowledged rights upon that consideration.
I think, sir, if I had time, I could show olf a
certain Southern Senator, [Mr. Benton,] who has
thrust himself forward as the apologist, if not the
advocate, of Free Soilism, in no enviable light, l>y
contrasting certain ulna-slavery passages in his
ponderous speech against the Asliburton treaty,
with his present position and doctrines. He 1 lie
lieve, is the author of the beautiful catoh-phraise,
" anti-xluvery nro})ugandi.im"?a new trump in Unhands
of the Free Soilers. Does he mean to stop
the generation of negroes? If so, 1 presume the
silvery headed patriarchs of Abolitionism [Messrs.
Giddingss, of Ohio, and Mann of Massachusetts,]
would rebel against his philanthropy. If he means
not that, then everybody must perceive thai lie is
playing the humbugger, for nobody desires to im
port slaves into the country. But I let him pass,
and implore you, my Northern friends, if you really
be friends of the Union, and desire to put down
its enemies, that you cease to rely upon any mere
t'lerAiunccimg ctticu-wuruB or miNe (loctriiies, no
matter how dogmatically urged hy would-be leaera,
whether from North from the South.
I implore you to go to your people, pleading the
true doctrine of the Constitution, and fearlessly
denouncing and exposing the impostures of Abolitionism
and Free soihsm. Why. what sense is
there in the name of free soil ? It is a cheat, got.
up by tricksters ; and it is astounding?ii is humiliating?to
perceive how many thousands have
been deceived and misled by its mere sound, in '
'reality?if there lie any reuiity or sense in it?we
of the South are the true free soilers. Our own
soil is free. Our northern brethren nre freely admitted
among us, without any question as to their
rights of property. We receive them as citizens,
1 in the full enjoyment of all the rights of persons
1 and property, witli our own native citizens. They
swarm around our commercial cities. You find
- them in every neighborhood where money can be
made. They often supplant our regular iner!
chants in their traffic in goods, wares, and innuI
jnerable "Yankee notions." They break down
our native mechanics, by underselling them with
the products of the cheaper labor of the North.
They preach the Gospel to us, and live upon the
, fat of our land, and some of them get rich. They
i teach onr children, and make fortunes by it ; und
: in spite of all the asperities produced by the
warfare of the North against the South, the soil
of old Virginia is free soil to settlers from everV
point of the compass. Men from the North are
not only tVeely admitted upon a perfect equality
of rights, but are invited to become citizens of our
State ; and owners and cultivators of our soil.'--Many
of them are doing so.
Many portions of our State are filling1 up with
people from the North, demonstrating the fallacy
of another vile imposture, to wit, that free white
labor cannot thrive wliere slave labor exists. It
is grossly false ; for although the fact is studiously
concealed from the people of the North, it is a
mutter of fact, which can be attested by every
southern Representative upon this floor, that
white laborers and slave laborers toil together in
our forests, fields, and workshops ; and carp as
hppocrites may, both classes of laborers are exalted
oy the proximity. The white laborer is exulted
by the fact, that the slave is subordinate to
him?ready to ease him off from the more menial
manipulations ; the slave is exalted anil encouraged
in his labors, because he has his master or
overseer toiling with him, and has a certain guar,
antee of sharing in the proceeds of their toil. The
existence of slave labor, then is no bnr to white
labor. Neither is it a bur to the filling up of entire
neighborhoods in the slave States with free
white laborers. The district which I have the
honor to represent, is a large slaveholding district,
and yet they orein my own county, holding more
slaves than any other in the district, lurge and
populous neighborhoods, in which many of tinvoters,
perhaps a majority, are non-slaveholders.
And yet sir, while these non-slaveholders have
perhaps less fellow-feeling for the negroes than
their masters have, they have more than have the
people of the North; but wo to the man who would
dare to go among them, pleading that negreos ought
to bo free, and equal wttn wtme men ana women.
1 repeat, sir, that so far as there is any sense in
the catch-word, free-soil, we of the South are the
free soilers. We contend that our soil in Mexico
shall be free soil. We claim no exclusive rights
there as slaveholders We maintain that our citizens
of every class, nnd from every section, have
equal rights there. Ifslaveholders, with theirslaves,
settle there, non-slaveholders will neither be evcluded
nor injured by it; on the contrary, if the circumstances'of
the country be adapted to slave labor,
the whole Union will be benefitted byudmitting it.
[See note C.] The history of the country sustains
me in this position. New England,' I believe,
has always opposed the acquisition of new
territory, especially of new slave territory, and yet
it is demonstrable, that the Northern States in general,
and the New England States in particular,
owe their prosperity to the very policy which
they have resisted. Trace their prosperity to its
sources, and you find it springing mainly front the
slaveholding regions. Tne acquisition of Louisiana,
of Florida, the reacquisition of Texas, the
extinguishment of the Indian titles to Southern
lands, now growing cotton and sugar, are the
sources whence spring Northern profits and prosperity.
We support their shipping interest, their
mercantile and manufacturing interests?in short,
every class of their people, whether living by the
sweat of their brows, or the sweat of Uieir brains.
I might refer to statistics to prove it, but it is
needless; for every investigating mind knows that
I am speaking the truth. (See note D.]
Sir, the history of the civilized world bears no
r ecord of a mofb cruel, wicked, and heartless warfare
than that now waged by the Northern against
the Southern people. And here, sir, 1 beg leave
to say to the philanthropic gentleman from Penn
sylvania, [Mr. Stevens,] who preached the funeral
of Old Virginia the other day, in a sermon
abounding in obscene slanders, that I do not
mean to defeqd " the mother of States and of
if i.t. . ^ UN ?

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