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Anti-slavery bugle. [volume] (New-Lisbon, Ohio) 1845-1861, August 22, 1845, Image 2

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Ltrrr.n mom Mn. Caliiuvn. In a lato Mobile I
llogister hi published loner from Mr. Calhoun to
fome cilizensof. Mobile, in reply to one inviting bim
to visit that city und accept a puGlic dinner. Mr. Cal
houn in his reply refers to the Texas and Oregon
questions. In relation to the latter he says:
"The absorbing character of the negotiation in ref
erence to Texas, did not bo engross my attention as
in neglect that of Oregon. As soon as the former
was sufficiently despatched and the business of the
department brought up, I entered on that. 1 left it
in an unfinished state; and as it is still pending, i am
not at Irberiy tn speak of the course 1 took in refer
once to iii but 1 trust when it conies to be made pub
lic, it will uoibe lesg successful in meeting your ap
probation and that of the country generally-. It is
u subject noi wilhoHt great difliculiieti, and I feel
ussiired I shall bo pardoned for expressing a hope
that it may be so conducted by those to whose hands
it is entrusted to finish the negotiation, at to bring
it to a successful and satisfactory termination, and
thusavo!dnn oppea! to arms. Neither country can
gain any thing by such an appeal, or can possibly de
wire it if it can be honorably avoided."
"I love agitation when 'there is cause for it the alarm
"hell which startles the inhabitants of a city, saves them
"from being burned in their beds."- Edmund Burke.
"The Disunion Pledge."
There have appeared two articles
ttiropisi under this caption, and we understand there
is a third which we have no! yet been able to procure.
After defining the difference in the position of the
Liberty party and the Disunionisis in relation to tho
U. S. Constitution, the Editor introduces the follow
"Discnion Pledge. Whereas, in the formation
and adoption of the Constitution of the United States,
tho following crimiual and dangerous concessions
wcr made to the slaveholding power, namely: that
the foreign slave trade should be eafoly prosecuted
tinder the national flag, as a lawful branch of Ameri
can commerce, for a period of not less than twenty
year!); that fugitive slaves should find no protection
from their pursuers on any portion of the American
soil; that slave insurrections should be suppressed by
the cor&biited military and naval power of the coun
try, if needed in any emergency; and that a slave
hi'ldirg oligarchy, created by allowing tbreo liflhs of
the whole slave population to be represented as prop
i rty hy their masters, should be alluwod a place in
"Therefore, regarding that Constitution as a 'cove
unnt with death and an agreement with hell, the
mighty prop that sustains the entire slavesystem, we,
the undersigned, to signify our abhorrence of injus
. lice and oppression, and to clear our skirts from inno
cent blood, do hereby pledge ourselves not to elect,
or in any way aid or countenance the election of any
candidate for any office, the entrance upon which re
quires an oatb or affirmation to support the Constitu
tion of the United Stales; but in all suitable ways to
strive for the peaceable dissolution of the Union, as
the most consistent, feasible and efficient means of
abolishing; slavery."
He then briefly slates bis views of it, and gives
the reasons which lod him to adopt them. lie say 6
"If, in our judgment, an oath or affirmation to sup
port the Constitution of the United States, hound all
tflicsrs under it to commit any immoral act, we
would vote for no candidate for office under that Con
"If there be any provisions in the Constitution re
quiring the incumbent of a particular office under it to
aid in supporting slavery, no anti-slavery man ought
to be a candidate for that office nnr, if elected, could
' he clear himself, by env mental reservation, from
guilt, either in violating his oath, or violating his
"On accepting office, what does an oath or affirms
tion on my part to support the Constitution of the Uni
led States, fairly and reasonably imply? That I
should abstain from any attempt to awaken public
sentiment against a part or the whole of it, with n
viow to its amendment or substitution? That I should
nnerate or co-operato in carrying out all its precepts?
' Common Bense answers, No. What then ? Simply, that
in iho exercise of the functions of my office, I should
be guided and controlled by the instrument which
created tho office and defined its functions; and that I
should use my influence to prevent violence designed
to subvert the Constitution. We can conceive of no
other reasonable construction of an oath or eiT.rma.
tion to support tho Constitution."
It is certainly proper for us to know, lo what an
rflico holdoris bound when lie promises to support ihe
Constitution of the United Stales, inasmuch as he is
our representative, our cgont, if we are a voter un
dcr it.
The Constitution does not require it at he shall de
fend tho wisdom of every, or any of its provisions,
but that he shall sustain them, anti execute such of the
laws based upon them, as como within the sphere of
his Ultce, resorting lo force and arms if need bo. It
also exacts from him a promise, that be will "preserve,
protect and defend the Constitution of the U. States."
Wc believe that this obligation is involved in the bal
lot of every citizen, but there are those who deny it;
to such we would say, that if Iho citizenship of the
office holder does not require him to support the Con
dilution in all its parts, vet his oath of office most
clearly demands it. It cirrcs not in what light the
office-holder may regard it, is even willing he should
consider it "a covenant with death, and en agree
ment with hell,1' provided ho will swear to keep that
covenant, to abido by that agreement. It does not
rcquirc that ho shall abstain from constitutionally
striving to procure its amendment, for tho liberty thus
to act is clearly defined in the terms of the contract;
but it doet require that ho shall support it as it if, ex
ecuting the duties of his office in conformity with its
provisions; sustaining it, not as he may choose lo un
derstand it, but as interpreted by the Supreme Court,
that tribunal from whose decision he cannot, in the
character of a citizen, make any appeal.
But the question upon which as a matter of jrtnei-
pic, we are willing to rest the whole controversy
so far as office holding is concerned between the
Bisunionis'.s, and a party professing to abolish slavery
by acting thtough, and by the U. S. Constitution, is
this: Does the Constitution require of those holding
office under it, to maintain, or aid in maintaining Ihe
system of slavery? The Dr. says, that if there ex
ists such obligation, it must be found ia one or all f
the four provisions referred lo in the Disunion Pledge,
The clauses are those in relation to the foreign
slave trade, tho surrender of fugitive slaves, the
crushing of the insurgents, and the three fifths repre
sentation. ,
In relation to the first provision referred lo, the Dr,
admits, that it necessarily involved the sanction and
support of the Union to the slave trade for twenty
years. Was not this to use the language of the
pledge- "a criminal and daagarous concession to the
slaveholding power?"' Bnl he says that this clause
which was,pro stavory in 1S0S, became anti slavery
in 1S09, and why ? Because "every act for the sup
pression of the slave trade has been in virtue of the
power it confers." Let us examine tuis matter a
little more closely and seo how it stands. The Fed
eral government possesses no power but that which
it derives from the States. Prior lo the adoption of
the Constitution, each state had a legal right to car
ry on, or suppress, so far as it was concerned, tho
foreign slave trade. This he admits. Subsequent
to the adoption of the Constitution, we find the Feder
al government invested wi:h the same power, with
this difference, l!iat it should not act to suppress the'
trade prior to the year 1603. The clause which pro
hibits Congress abolishing it prior to that time, as
clearly and unquestionably gives the rigbt to contin
ue it as long afterwards as it shall aie fit. It should
be borne in mind, and the distinction clearly made,
that the article in question did not make it obligato
ry upon Congress to abolish that trade in 1808, but
prohibited its action before that lime, and then loft it
optional. Had Congress chosen, it could have been
continued up to tho presont day, and can now Be re
vived, under the power granted them by that anti-
slavery article, as the Dr. contends it has now be
come, whenever it sees fit so to do.
Indeed its revival bas been strongly urged by some
of the planters of the far South and southwest, as
measure which would promote the interests of the
sugar rakers and cotton growers of our laud; and
now that the former lone star of Texas has become
one of the Union constitution, we may confidently
anticipate its re-esiablishment. But the Dr. says
this clause is anti-slavery, inasmuch as Congress does
not choose to make it pro slavery, and thorofore we
may innocently promise lo sustain it. Let us sup
pose a case.
The crcwe of thirteen merchant vessels, each hav
ing a separate and distinct form of government, con
clude to enter into certain general articles of agree
ment, each crew appointing a delegate lo see that
these articles are faithfully observed these delegates
to constitute a general government. One article pro
vides that the murdering of those Africans whom
they meet upon tho high senc shall nol be prohibited
before the expiration of one year. At the end
thai lime tho genoral government has Ihe power
prohibit it; but the prohibition, i but the exercise
a certain way, of the power of life and death over
certain of their fellow men. Take away this power
of life and death, and it has no power to prohibit mur
der. Now the question which arises is this. Have
I, os a port of ihe crew of one of these merchant ves
sels, a right to give to tbat government, a .power
life and death over any of my fellow men or promise
to sustain it in its posession and exerciso, even though
I deem it may be used for good? We answer most
emphatically, No! Aod we as decidedly aver, that
the clause in Ihe U. S. Constitution which we have
been considering, is pro slavery, inasmuch as it gives
to Congress the power to traffic in slaves whenever
is disposed so to do. Hence the necessity of the Dis
union Pledge, even on this point.
The next clause which is noticed is thai in relation
to tho three fifths representation. We ibink the Dr.
quibbles a little in relation lo this point; but perhaps
wo do him injustice, and thai that which seems quib
b'ing to us, appears fair argument lo bim. There
truth in the saying that "a rose by any other name
will smell as sweet," and it is a (rue that a slave
a slave, by whatever turns he may be designated,
whatever language he may be described. In tho let
tcra of the slave traders upon the African coast,
slaves sre sometimes spoken of as "lugs of ebony,"
in that claiita of ihe Consultation wc are considering,
;hey nre referred to as 'ibrce fifihc of ullvi,(.r persons';
to j "The simple fact of
in UAWor one fifth, or
but ebony, persons, and slaves, Die in these severs)
cases convertible terms. We again quote from the
"The language of the Constitution is: Represen
tatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among
Ihe several States, which may be includod wiihin this
Union, according to their respective numbers, which
shall be determined, by adding to ihe whole number
of free persons, including those bound to serve fur
a term of years, and excluding Indians, not taxed,
three fifths of all other persons." There is no as
sumption here, no implication, that the other persons
are jtropcrly, or that Ihe framers of ihe Constitution
thus regarded them. "Ah! but ihey meant slaves,
and slaves wore regarded ns property !" As property
by whom? Not by iheFedoral Convention, for Ihe
nature of the relation sustained by the "other per
sons," was not the subject of discussion: tho Conven
tion did not pretend to pass any judgment one way
or the other, upon the character of the relation. Thev
were recorded as property by the States, in which
they were slaves, but Ihe framers of the Constitution,
in every case where reference is made to them, nam
ed them as persons.'1
We care nothing about legal technicalities, an! al
though we may not be able lo show that the word
slave or slavery is contained in the Constitution, yet
we can prove thai in the debates upon its adoption
slaves were frequently referred to, and referred to as
property; and that while the provisions of the Con
stitution were framed with a view lo avoid Ihe ap
pearance of evil, they were designed lo uphold and
guarantee the system of American slavery.
When the quesiion of direct taxation and represen
tation was before the Convention, the plan proposed
and adopted, was objected to by some upon anti sla
very grounds t'uey regarded it as a compromise
with slavery, and some who advocated it, considered
it a bonus upon slaveholding. Take a few sentiments
uttered in the debates upon this clause, and see in
what light the framers of the constitution viewed it.
"Mr CnAfiE (of Md.) observed that negroes are
property, and as such cannot be distinguished from
the lands or personalities held in those States where
there aro lew slaves
"Mr. Gerrt (of Mass) thought property not ihe
rule of representation. Whv, then, should the blacks
who were property in the South, be in the rule ol
representation more than the cattle and horses of the
North r'
"Ala. Patterson (of N. Jersey) said, he could
regard slaves in no unlit but as properly. 1 hey era
no free agents, have no personal liberty, no fncnltv ol
acquiring property, but on the contrary are them
selves property, and like other property entirely st
the will or the master.
"Mr. Madis 'N (of Va.) added, as worthy of re
mark, that the Southern States have this peculiar
tpecies of property, over and above the ither species
ut prnpertv common loall the btaies.jp
Gen. Pincknlv (of S. Carouua) denied Ibat the
rule of wealth should be ascertained, and mil left tn
Ihe pleasure of the Legislature; and that property iu
slaves should not be exposed to danger, under a iov
ernmeni instituted for the protection of properly."
"Mr. Randolph (of va.) lamented that such a snc
cics of property existed. But as it did exist the hold
er of it would require this security "
'Mr. Gocveuneur Mounts (of Pa ) said, -the nd
mission of slaves into the representation, when fairly
explained, comes to this, that the inhabitant of ieor
gia and South Carolina who goes tn the roast of Afri
ca, and in defiance of the most sacred laws of human
ity, tears away nis fellow creatures from their dear
est connections, and damns them to the most cruel
bondage, shall have riore votes in a government in
stituted for protection of the rights of mankind, than
the citizen of 'Pennsylvania nr New Jersey, who
views with a laudable horror so ni'larinos a nrneiire
He would add, that domestic slavery is the ttw.jirom
went feature in the aristocratic countenance of the
proposed constitution."11
So much for the fnctsin (be case co much for ihe
testimony of Ihe fathers who probkbly knew as well
what they were about, as does the editor of ihe Philan
thropist. In continuation of -Ins remarks upon this
subject he says:
connling them all, or as three-
not at all, in the ra-tio of rep
resenlation, implied no approbation hy the Onven
tion, of their condition, no judgment en -its part re
specting it, nu sanction whnisuever ui the ivlutioos
ihey sustained to the Status."
Suppose thai South Carolina hud -built up a some
what different kind of aristocracy -from that which
ehe had at the lime the Constitution was framed an
arietooracy which recognized ten of the inhabitant
as freemen and nobles, and all the others as subjects
sod serfu. Would it imply sanction of that relation,
if in fixing the ralioof representation, the convention
had conferred upoo -the nobles a degree of political
power commensurate with the number of serfs? We
answer in ihe affirmative; and we arrive at the same
conclusion in the case of slave representation. And
we would add, in relation to a case which the editor
presents, that i( political power were given to the
fathers of illegitimate children in proportion to Ihe
number of such offspring, while at the eame lime
il wat a notorious fact that the bastards were
not themselves permitted to exercise any portion of
that power, it would most certainly be a sanction to
fornication, a premium on, its commission. D ies the
Dr. deny it?
The concluding paragraph of bis second article is
as follows:
"If there be any person whom these views fail to
convince, there is another consideration which may
induce them not to abandon all their political rights
uii'iHf ihe Loocwhition
This clause of liie Consii-1
lotion, from its verv terms, iinp.iscs djtici upon the
representative in Congress only once in every ten
years as the apportionment is to be made every ten
years. In the intermediate Congress, it imposes no
duty upon bim, and he may urge with all the power
has, its complete amendment. If this view fail in
relieve his conscience, we have nothing more in soy."
We do not think it probable that the above consid
eration will have very great weight with any one who
gives the subject a few moments thought; but a word
two in reply, however.
It is true that the apportionment is made but once
" ten years, but the law delormiiing the ratio of rep-
reservation is an ever living law. II a vacancy
should occur in Congress, it is filled according lo tho
provisions of that law, and eery other member is
bound lo receive the newly elected, anC thus ac
knowledge the rightfulness of the law under which
he was returned. If any state or district should send
mote representatives than it is entitled lo, they are
rejected, not simply because tho lule of apportion
ment uas uf n certain character in 1840, but bceause
it now i'.?, and even if it were dead or slumbrring, ilia
necessary action cf Congress would rc-animdte or
awakon it. Then in relation lo new states. If a
stale should come into the union every year, is not
the rule to be applied every year? Was it not ap
plied last year to Florida and Iowa? Will it not bo
applied this year to Tex ts?
It nppcars to us that the Dr. makes another and
greater mistake, and confounds a provision of ihe
Consti'ulion which declares who thai! bo com t. d in
i!eterminiii iho ratio of representation, with the law
declaring how many it shall require to give a repre
lentative. The first, is not ns he sipos s. changed
every len years, but if changed at all, il musi bedonv
as is any other Constiiii'intial provision; while the lat
ter, may be altered ovcrv ten h year by a vo'a of
We have made ibis article longer than w intended,
and il is perhaps well for our readers thai we havo
not yet been able to obtain (he -Id article of the
Philanthropist. We hope however lo procure it soon,
and will then havo more lostty upon the Constitution.
Whether we obtain it or not, we e-httll endeavor lo
show ihnt the two remaining clauses referred lo in
(his article, are essentially pro slavery, und thuteve
ry voter under the Constitution, ruber ignorantly or
intelligently, promises to suppoil slavery by piums
ing in support the Coosiiuttoii.
New-Jersey a Slave State.
This is the caption of an article which wc have seen co
pied into several papcrs.aud which rulers to a recent suit iu
the Supreme court of New-Jersey, in relation to a colored
man William, who was ucld as a sluvc by a citizen of that
In 1 830, the Legislature adopted a plan for the gradual
abolition of slavery, but which it appears did not affect tho
condition of the slave William. lo IU44 a new State Con.
sttlution was adopted, and in It l.j the question was brought
before the court, whether the first section in the Bill of
Rights did not immediately and f rever destroy the relation
previously existing between master and slave. The sec
tion reads as tolluws:
"All men aro by nature free aiv5 indepen tlr-nt. and bave
certain inalienable rights, among which arc those nf enjoy"
ing und defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing
and (protecting property, and of pursuing uud obtaining
safely and happiness."
The opinion of the court was given upon the following
points, throe of the judges agreeing but tho Chief Justice
"1st, That the relation of ma-Jtcr and slivn existed by
law at ti'.e adoption of the Const it if; ion in I'il-t.
";d. That that constitution has not destroyed that rela
tion or abolished slavery.
"3d, That the colored man, William, should be renirr
ded to the custody of the defendant.-'
Judge Neviua, who delivered ihe opinion of the court,
affirmed that the decisions of Misachuscits and Virginia in
cases somewhat resembling tnia, were different eonstrtic
ions of a similar provision: "Aod in this conflict of opin
ions among judges, the present case must rest on what this
court shall consider the fair, legal and safe construction."
This is no more than we expected, for wo did not believe
that the people of New-Jersey wore ready for the abolition
of slavery; and this experiment shows thai the tune and
means spent in trying to forco the law to do w hat public
opinion will not sustain il in doing, i" a waste of energy
and labor. When the New-Jersey legislature laid down
its plan for gradual abolition, it bo left the slave code, that
although the citizens of that state were not permitted to
huldtnenas slaves for life, except those whom the laws
regarded an too aged to be free, yet citizsns of other states
were allowed to bring their slaves upon the soil of New
Jersey, knd to hold them in conformity with New-Jersey
laws. Thus making the stote a City of Refugo, not to tho
innocent shedder of blood, but to the wilful and deliberate-
man-stealer, who gorges himself upon human prey. Mer
statutes too, in relation to the free colored man, arc such
as any pagan nation would be ashamed of, and infinitely
more outrageous than the restrictions of which travellers
complain in the despotic countries of Europe. In New
Joracy, before a colored man can feel that he is in compar
ative safety, if he is the citizen of another state, or if ho is
passing from one county to another, he must haveliis hu
manity certified to by a Justice of the Peace, as though the
testimony of a New-Jersey or Pennsylvania Justice with
the great seal of his State attached, was more worthy
orcredence than the testimony of God, with bis soul-impress.
Wo do not look for much from Now-Jersey in tho way
ot numaniiy, inougli doubtless we might obtain from her
any quantity of religion wo desired. So long as such a
tremendous influence goes forth from her ureal thcobHii.t.-il
seminary at. Princeton, humanity will be turned owav from

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