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State journal. (Montpelier, Vt.) 1831-1836, January 26, 1836, Image 1

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vor. v. iv. 14.
sin. mlmjk's siEi:oir.
The qucstion bcing tlint dcpcndiiig from
ycstcrdny (Dcc. 22) on thc tnotion of Mr.
l'nttnn for rcconsideration ol'tlio voto rcfer
ring n pctition to nbolisli slitvcry in tlio
District of Coluuibin, to tlic conimittcc on
tlic District
Mr. SLAD10, said ho hnd liccn chargcd
by n largc ind rcspcctnlilo portinn of hu
cnnstitticiits with thc diity of prescnting
incmorinh of n similnr iuiport to thosu un
dcr disctisalon, and for tlmt reason, if for
no other, lio felt botiiid to nsk tho indnl
gence of tlio hoiiso to a fow remnrks.
Jlo nppronclicd tlic sntijcct, lio snid, with
an opprcsivo senso of its niagnitiide, nnd
kliowinc its cxcithiff clmrnctcr, of tlic crcat
datijjcr of bcing bctraycd, in thc progress of
itsdiscussion, into nstnto of fcL'llng unsuit
od to thc placo and thc occnsion. It wns n
subjrct on whicli he, ns wcll as his consii-!
nts, lelt most dccply; nntl lio coiilil neithcr
rcprcscnt tlicir fcclmgs nor cxprcss Ins
own, withont a plniiincss und dirccttiuss
which mighl givo oflbiicc. IIo beggcd
gcntlemen to belicvc. howevcr, that hc
Inhould say nolliins intcudcd to civo tlio
rlightcst personnl oflbnce tpnny; tliough
Jie should, withont lenrol niry, vimlicatc tlic
pctition", nnd nsscrt tln: claiins of thoso in
whosc bclmlf tlicy plcad. Hc rcgrcttcd to
licnr thc mcmoriiilists spoken of in dcbato
ns iiitrudors, nnd thcir rcspcctl'ul pctitions
npon a subjcct ofgrcat iiational importancc
trcatcd ns n vcxatious internieddling wilh
conccrns in which thcy Imvo no intcrcst.
Gcntlnnicn niust havo paticncc. Thcso
petitioncrs, ns far ns he wns ncqunilltcd
with thcm, wcro nniong thc most intclli
ccnt nnd rcspcctablc of thc coniniunity in
Iwhicii tiiey rcsidc ; wlnlc tlio sniijcct oi
tlicir pctitions wasonc of which it wcll bc-
lc-omc thcm to spcak, and tho Congress of
Itlic initcd btntcsto licar.
Thc ercnt nurnosc. snidMr S. of most ofi
Ithofic wlio iiaa nithor to spoken tipon tlns
Fiibjcrt, secms to hc to get rid of tlio prti
tiui'.s. Thc trentluiuan l'roin New York,
jJMr Bcnrdslcv) wishcs to Imvo thcm nll
llnul on tlic taulc, ns lnst ns prescntcil, nnd
P'nnilcd" thcrc : nnd yct hc is exccediugly
h'rmvl fl ll tC tli o lcnfiml vlflit tC iiptltinniiwr '
whicli niust, on no account bc impaircd !
rjlio gentlcmcn Irotn !. Larnhna (Mcssrs.
Ilntiiinonil, J'lckcns nnd 1 Iiompson) nrc
more consistcnt. They profess to rcgard
thc pctitions ns disfrspcctful, nnd tho pcti
ioncrs ns ofTiciou'3 mcddleis with tliat
which docs not conccrn thoin. Tlicy,
here.fore.would havo thc tictiiions rcicctcd.
Iriicrc is, in thiH, thc mciit, nt lcnst, of con-
f istcncy, nnd the gcntloincn Imvo niy tlinnks
br ovincing n disposition to incct thc qucs
inn fniily. Anothcr ircntlemnn, niv hon-
lirnblc friond frotn .'lnssaohnsctts, (Mr.
dnins) woiild havc thc pctitions connnit-
led to thc Coiiiinittec 011 thc Distiict of
rjolmnbin; in other words, to usc his own
icniflcnnt, mul. nnproniiatc lani.'iincc to
linvo thcm consigncd to tho'fainiiy vniilt of;
III tlic l iipiilcts ; nnd yct hc, too, isjcalons
'fthe 'fncred riKht' of pctition ! ThcKncrcd
liclit of pctition! thnt is to sav, tho'Bncrcd
light' of bcing 'nailcd to thc table,' by thc
tcntlcinan Irotn IVuw ork, or tlio 'racrcci
iglit' of bcing gathercd hy thc gontlciimn
rom iilnss. into tlic'Ianiily vanlt ot nll
m Cnpulcts!'
Sir, tlic pctitioncrs well tindcrstnnd tlic
Inturo of both theso rights. The Inst tlicy
nve long cnjoyed, nnd dcsirc to cnjoy it
o longer. Thcy wnnt tlic action of Oon
ress, which, jmlKing from tho nnst. thcy
Ire pnro now to havo, if it is to dcpcnd on
lic ilecisivo nction ot tlic poininittcc on tlic
pistrict of f'olnmbin. I intcnd nodifrespcct
i that comtnittee. J o coiitinno to ilo w iiut
ns necn nonc tnat is, to no nomutK,
I'onld follow of conrsc n coinniitnicnt to
licm, with nn cxprcss iindcr.utnndiiig that
in pctitions wcro consignrd to tlio toniu,
Lilliont tlic nope oi n icMinection,
I sir, eiiid iMr b. niii in lnvor ol tlio prnyer
rthc )ctitioncrs. I belicvotlintJJongres
ns n riirht to lccislatc on tho Ktibicct, and
lint thc tirno has comc whfn it onght to
tgislatc. fc'onicthing has hccn suggrstcd
ith rcgnrd to jiolilirnl objocts connected
itli tho iircscntinjr of tln'M! pctitions.
lir, 1 hnve no snch objcct, nor do I bclicvo
Iiat nny sncli purposc oxists in thc iinnds
I tho iictitionci's, Thcy mo moved by a
iiirit of philnnthropy, nnd dcpirr.nc thc
finglmg ot nny coniiiiicrations with tlns
'icMion which inny tcnd to divert iittcn'ion
nm its rrnl nicrits.
GcntlcniKn. I recrct to snv. sccin willinc
I'ovcrlook tlic rcnl objcct of tho pctition-
Is, nnd to co oit into dcnnncintionR ot
Ibolitionists to tlio cnd thnt tlio odinni
Ihicb hasbccn ntlnched to tlicir inensurcs
r nffccting thc nbolition of slnvcry in thc
Satcs mny no traiislcrred to thc cxorcisoot
i ncknowlcdgcd nght ol nsking Longrcss
nbolisli nlavcry in this distiict. Jlut
lint do tlio pctitioners nsk nt nnr hnnds?
hy, Mr, himply that tncasiircs mny hc
(cn to lint nn"eiid to nlnvcry hcrc, nnd
lnccinlly that horc, whoro tho llnc of free-
Iim flnats ovcr thc I'niiitnl of this grcat
1 ... ...1 . I .1
puuiic, iiiiii wuuru iiic miuiurny oi initi
kjinDiic is miprcmc, tho trailo in liiiman
Ish may nc nnonsncd. Tlirso nro tho
tnctionH whicli gcntlcmcn nro rnllcd on
mcpt, bnt which thcy do not mcct, oithcr
cnllinir tlio pctitioncrs ji'nornnt lanaticf.'
dnionnrinK tlicni ns murdcrnrs nnd in-
Indinrics.' if, in thc fervor of their iihi-
lithrony, nny Imvo ndnptcd mcnsurns of
nro tiinn iioiiiHiin cxiiiMUi-ncy, lur iuu
Irposo of ncting on tlio pnblic sciitiiiiont
i cr I.. r i i! ...
lioncipntion. it siuolv fnrnishcs no ronson
Iliio hiiivo niuit-'H. in wviii 01 iiiiiiiuiiiuiu
iy vo niioum ohftinalcly slmt onr oycn
itno uvnn wnicn uro wiiiim our roniroi,
Jd AVliicli cull londly for our intnrnosition.
I havc, sir, said thnt 1 nm in favor of tlio
layer ot the pctitionnrs. i.ct mo not pn
Uuntjcrstpod,. Tho auolltion of Blnvery
whicli I would ndvocnto is n grndnal nbo
Jilion. 1 bclicvo tho inimcdintc nnd uiupinl
Ificd nbolition of nlnvcry to be iiiconsistcnt
with n just rcgard, both tothobcst intcrcsts
of tho cominu'nity, nnd tho highcst wclfaro
of tho slnvc. Tho jiliilnntln opy vhicli nims
nt siicli nn nbolition, whntcvcr I mny think
of its iiirity, 1 caiinot commcnd, for its
iiitclligenco ordiscrction. IJut though I
woulillmvo nbolition ndvanco by n gradn
nl progress townrds its final consiim
jnation, I would Imvo tlio work bcgin
iniincdiatcly. Sir, I cannot stnnd hcro ns
n freciiian, nnd tlio rcprcscntntivo of frcc
nicii, witlinnt dcclnring, in tho fnco of this
Ilouso nnd of tho world, that tho right to
liold nicn ns goods nnd chnttcls, siibjcct to
salc and transfor, at tho will of n mastor,
should ccasc and bo discontinucd instnnt
ly nnd forcvcr.
Uut whilo I F.iy this, I would not rcndcr
worsc tho coudition of thc slavc, by con-i
ferring tipon hiin rights whicli hc is not
fittoil to cnjoy, nnd which would bccoino to
hiin a curse ratlicrthnna blcs.sing. I would
not, nt oticc, cinancipatc hiin cntircly from
the control o his tnastcr. 15ut it shofild not
bc ns now, nn nrbitrnry, unqualificd control.
For that control, I would substituto thc
nuthorhy of law, whicli should bc supietnc.
In Mying this, sir, I do hut carry out n
irinciplo which has long hccn dcar to nic
ns nn autimnson. 1 havc niaintnincd, nnd
still mnintnin, nml phnll coutinuc to inain
tain, ns n cnrdinal prindplc in my political
crccd thnt in opposition to nll individunl
and nll nssociatcd pclf-constitutcd nuthority,
the laws should bo maintnined in full mul
uncontrollcd supreinacy. Thcrc isno bcing
cntitled to thc nppellation of jian, who
i-hould not find shcltcr undcr thc cgis
of thcir broad nnd ninplo protcction.
In npplyiug this priuciplo to thc
caso of tlio slavc, howevcr, I would not
conlcr iqion hiin tlio samc rights which nro
posscssed by the mastcrjnnd forthc obvi
ous rcnsou, that ho is not lillcd to onjny
thcm. Hut I would placo hiin undcr thc
supcrvision of laws mado fiir his spccial
bcncfit, nnd ndnptcd to his new cnndition
Inws whicli should rescntinlly qualify thc
control of tlio mnstcrovcr hiin laws which
should protect hini in nll thc rights which
ho is fitted to cnjoy, nnd prcpnrc hini for
thc cnjoymcntofthoscto which it would bc
buta hiiicidal philnnthropy immcdiately to
ndmit hiin. Sir, wo owe it to this dcgrnd-
.l . r .1 r....
nitu ui uiL-ti iu piup;iru uii'iii iui iree-
dom; to coninninicnto to thom moral nnd i
rcligious nnd litcrary instruction ; to rc&toro
and protect tho domcstic rdulions nmong ,
thnni ; to tcnch thcm thc dtitics which thcy
owe to Goil, nnd to up, nnd to onc nnotlicr;
and to build upou thc fouudation of a
conscious rcsponsibility to the govcrnmcnt
of Ilcavcn nnd tho nuthority ol" rightcous
hliuian laws. n Rocial strucluro which it
shall ho ourglory to rcar, and thcir highcst j
rarthly linppmcss to cnjoy.
Uut, Mr. Spcakcr, whilo I thusrcpudiaic
tlic doctrinc ofthe imuiediato and unqual-
ilicd ahnlition ot slavcry, 1 contcud lor tlic
duty of immtdialcly mul ubsohtltlij nbolish
iug tho slavc trade withiii thc linuts of this
District. And hcro I comc to a part ofthe
subjcct which gciitlcuicn lo not chooso to
appronch, hut manifcstly dcsirc to nvoid.
In this I commcnd thcir prudcncc. Thc
slavc trade is an ovil for which thcy wcll
know thcrc is no dcfcncc nnd no palliatiou.
I rcgrct, sir, thnt I havc not thc mcans of
asccrtaining its chanictcr aiu: extent witlun
this Digtrict. Itut tho I'act that I havc no
snch nicansurnishcsa &troiigargumcnt for
rcfcrring thc pctition to n sclcct committcc
raiscd for thc purposc of going into a full
invcstigation, aud inakiug n full report of
thc lactsconucctcd with tlns trainc. i cau
nt ircscnt, only say I nm wcll nssurcd that
thc tindo is nctivcly carrcd on in the ritics
both of AVashington nnd Alcxniidrin, cs
pccinlly in tho lattcr, whero is a lnrgo rn
ccptaclo for thosccuiing of slavcs iirchas
cd in this ilistrict nnd tho suiTOimding
coiuitry; from which they nro from timc to
ti'.nc, shipicd to supply the inarketsiii tho
Southcrn and Soutliwcstcrn ports of '.hc
United Stntcs. I nccd not sny that wliat is
usually connected with tho slavc trado clsc
whcrciscoiincctcd with it here the fnrcod
nnd finnl scpnrntion of pnrcnts and children
of broihcrs nnd sisters, of liiishands nnd
wivcs thc ntter nunihilation of nll the
cudcni'ing rclatious of liunian lifc, nnd thc
substitutiou of tln Hiiglo rclation which
proptrty bcnrs toits absolutc proprutor.
.Sir, clmll thc trado in Imman flcsli bo
pcruiittcd to couiinue in tlio vcry Iicart of
this Itcpublic f tehall the law rcmniii tipon
our s'ntuto book, which solcinnly prououn
ci'H tho citizcn of thc United States who is
fouud eugagcd in tho slavc trndc npon the
high seas "a niratc," nnd dooms Iiim to
"sufTor dciith, whilc hcro in thc sight
of thia vcry cnpitol, the sanio trado is cnrri
cd on with iinpunity ? Slmll our citi.cus
whoiiinke mcivhuiidic of nicn npon thc
occnn, bc bimtcd ns nutlaws, whilc hcro,
thc same oflbndcrH against tho liunian rnco
uro suflbrcd to pursuo thc guilty tinflic un-
"The following mHcrllsomrnte appcatd aily in
His princlpal nnw spnpcrii in this citr:
L'ASII I'Ofl 2(K) M'.OHOP.S.
lncliul'mB bntli jfsca, Irnni twclvc to twcnty.fivn
yrarsornpo I'rrconii liavinRcnrvants t iliVpinn
of will flinl it tn tlicir intercit to givo mc n call,
m 1 will givo liiijhor piiccn in catli, than any otlicr
purcliaser vtlm is now in tlio markct. lcanatall
llmcsbo founil nt the Mcdianirs' Ilall now kppt
bv It. O. Sheckf), an'l formcrly kopt by Uanq
lier rs on?ovenlli itrpot, fcw iloors bolnw Mojd's
'J'ayorn, oppojitc tlio C'ontre Markct. Al) cummii
nlcations nromptlr allnndcd to.
jamks umcn.
I)ec. 4 iltf Waihinclnn Citj."
casii ron soo Nicduons.
Includingboth scics, ImmtwelT" to twenty.fiye
)cm ofape. lVron liaving likely Fervanls to
ilitposeofV will finil It tlicir iiilerctt tn rIvo u a
call, we fivc liighrr priccs in cali, tlian n.iy
other pijrc b.if-r wlio i now, or miy lioroalter
r.omc into markct.
Alciandria, April C iliew.
tnolcstcd ? Sii-j this subjcct dcmnnda n
scnrching invcstigation. Will gciitlctncu
dnny fiiiclt invcstigation? ShalTthc pcti
tions whicli nsk for it bo nailcd to tho tn
blo,' or 'buried in tho totnb ofnll tho Cnp
ulcts?' I trust thcy will not bo tlius dis
poscd of, nnd thnt no fear of 'cxcitcincnt'
will dctcr us from probing tho Biibjcct to
tho bottoni, nnd adtuinistcring a prompt
nnd eil'cctual rcmcdy.
I havc, Mr. Sjicakcr, spoken plninly nnd
decidcdly, bccausc it is duc to thc pcoplc
whom I havo tho honor to rcprcscnt thnt
I should thus spcnk. Itsccmstoinc, sir,
thnt thc sciitimcnts of thc pcoplc nt tho
North nrc not fairly uudcrstood hcrc on
this subjcct.
An honorablQ.nicinbcrfroin New Ilamp
shiro (iMrl'icrccihnssnid thnt not ono in flvc
Jiundrcd of his coiistitucnts wcroin favorof
tho objcct of thcsc pctitions; nnd otlicr gcn
tlcmon hnvc hccn uuderstnod to nsscrt that
thc grcat mass of the Noilhern icoplc nrc
opposcd to any action of Congress npon
tlie subjcct. To sustnin this view of tho
mattcr, tho rcsolutions of pulilic incctings
nt thc North, disapproving of ccrtain mcas
urcs ofthe nbolitiouists linvo hccn ndvertcd
to. I nm wcll aware, sir, of tho import of
thoso rcsolutions, and think I undcrstniid
sotncthing of thc natiiro of thnt public
scntimcnt which thcy indicatc. And I
mubt bc pcruiittcd to say, that I bclicvo
gcntlemen aro inucli miS'takcii in suppos
ing that thcy furnish cvidcncc that the gcn
cral scntimeut at tlic North is oppoicd to
tho favorablc action of Congress npon thc
lncmoiials which aro now on yotir tablc.
No, sir; thc incctings whicli ndoptcd thc
rcsolutions in qucstion wcregotup withno
rcfeienco to this subjcct. Vhat nro tho
facts? Thc southcrn country hnd bccn
Kiiddcnly floodcd fromJihclNortli wilh anti
slnvcry imblicntion.? : aud nothcrn mcet-
ings, wcrc thci'ciipon, convcncd to disavow
n pnrlicipation in thc obuoxious mcasiirc,
nnd to oxprct"s tlicir disapprobation of it.
This they diil, iudccd, iu stroug, dccidcd
lnngiingc. lint lct not gctitlcincn mistakc
thc import of all this. It wastho nicasuro
to whicli I havo nlludcd whicli brought
into cxistcnco thcsc incctings, aud it was
this ngninst whicli their procccdings wor
mainly dircctcd. Tlio qucstion of the nb
olition of slavcry and tho slavc trade in this
Di.-trict was not ngitatcd. It is not so inucli
as nlludcd to in tlic rcsolutions ofthe I'hil
ndclphin, New York nnd Jioston incctings ;
bnt the doctrinc of immcdintc nbolition,
nnd tho 'oxtravagant proct.ediiigs' (to usc
the Innguagc of thc New Vork rcsolutions)
of thc nbolitiouists constitutc the burdcn of
thcm nll.
Sir, thcrc nro vcry niany of thosc vho
nro disposcd to prc&F upon Congress thc
duty of grnnting tl.o prnycr of thcsc pcti
tions, who did not tnd do not npiirove the
vicws nnd incasiucs to which I Imvo nd
vertcd ; nnd it is duo to frnnkncss to say,
sir, thnt I nm nnioug that nuinbcr. 1 havc
ncvcr bccn ublo to pcrceivc tho cxpcdicn
cy or propricty of nttcinpting to inundato
tho South with cvcn iiiicxccptionablo pub
licalious on this subjcct, inucli less thosc
liaving n dircct tcndcncy to cxcito the pai
sions ofthe slavc, nnd tcnipt hiin to forcc
thc bondngo whicli is not for hini tojncnk,
but for othcrs to unloosc. I ndinire indi:cd
thc purity of thc philnnthropy which sccks
to ubolisfi the institiitiou of slnvcry, nnd
olcvntc thc degradcd children of Africa
from tho rondition of propcrtv to the privi
lcgcs of nicn, but I ilcploro Its oftcn inis
dirrctcd zcal, nnd deprecato thc rcartion
which it is cnlculatcd to produco. Thc
nbolition of slavcry in thc stntcs niust bo
thcir own work. To convincc thcm that
thc wholo systcin is ruinotis and wrong, is
not tho labor of n dny ov n ycnr. Al) tho
qucstions connected with this subjcct nro
cniincntly prnctical qucstions, nnd nothiiig
cnn bo niorc obvious than tho dangcr ol
failingto nccomilish nny thing by a prc
mature eflbrt to nccomplhdi nt oiice nll that
nn nrdcnt philanthrop' mny dcsirc.
I hnvc said that the public scntimcnt nt
thc North is not undcrstood on this sub
jcct. I bclicve, sir, it is gcncrally liiisun
stood. A largo niajority of tho pcoplu nro
opposcd to ccrtain views nnd mcnsurcs,
connected with tho proposcd nbolition of
slnvcry in tho Stntcs; but tlicy ontcrtniii, nt
thc snmc timc, nn irrcconcilablo nvcrsion
tn thc institiitiou of slnvcry in nll its fornis.
Thc nio?t conclubivo cvidcnco of this is
furuishcd in nll tho piocecdings nt tho
North, which havo bccn advcrtcd to, in this
dcbato ns nu iudcx of public scntiment
thcrc. Thus tho pren ublo to tho lioston
rcsolutions dccIarc,"Vo liold this trutli tn bo
bc iiidisputablc,that thc coudition of slavcry
finds uo ndvocntes among our cllizens.
Our Inwsdo not nutliorizo it; oiirprinriplcs
revolt ngainst ii; our ciii. ns will not tol
crnto its cxistcnco among thcm."
This, sir, exprcsfcs, I bclicvo, thc utiivcr
sal scntitiinnt at tho North on this Biibject.
It is u scntiiiiciit which is not tho prodtic
tion of n inoincntnry cxcitcincnt, but is
dcoply scntcd in tho Fohcr nnd scttlcd con
victions of thc public niind. Aud, sir, lct
mo nssurc thc gentlemcn thnt nn cxprcs-sious
of diKiipprobntion in rcgard to tho niciisurcs
of 'abolitionistx,' or doubts ns to tho prncti
cability oi'immediatc emnucipatioii, nro to bo
tnkcn ns cvidcncc, thnt tho principlcK of tho
Northcrn pcojilo linvo ccnscd to 'revolt I
ngninst slavi'ry ; or thnt thcy will not nvnil !
thcinsclvcs of cvcry suitablo occnsion to dis-
cnss it, ns well ns ofnll rcnsonnblo nnd con
Mitutionnl incnns of remedying tho cvil.
Tlio flnvcry of tht Slatcs thcy know thcy
cnnnot rcach, hut by moral inllucncn ; nnil
thnt influcuc.o thcy think cnn bc nindi' most
cfll'ctunl ithrough kind nnd rcspcctful, tho'
carncst nnd urgeiu nppcnls to tho Southcin
intcrt'Ht nnd tho Southcrn conscictice. Jlut
plavcry hcrc, thcy rcpnrd ns wilhin thorom
petrncy of nntinunt' legislntion, nnd liold
thcmsclvcp, in coinmon with tho vrhola
country, directly rcsponsiblc for its c.ontinu
tinncc. And I nccd hnrdly say thnt thcrc h
n vcry gencral dcsirc that inensiircs may
bo iniinedintely takcn, looking to its linal
nbolition ; nnd cspccially that what has, by
nlmost tho wholc civilizcd world, como to bo
nccoiuitcd piracy upou tho high scas, shall
no longer bo sullbrcd to go uiiiiiuished nnd
unmolcstcd in thc cnpital of this rrpuhlic.
Tho vcncrablc nicinbcr from Mnssuchu
sctts M r Adnms) has said nnd said trnly,
thnt opposition to slavcry is,with tho pcoplc
of tho North, n rcligious principlc. An
honornblo gcntlcnian from Virginin, (Mr
Joucs) lcph'cs, by nsking wilh cinplinsis,
whcthcr it is thc rcligion of thc Snviour of
tr.cn ? Sir, I did not t xjicct to licar snch a
qucstion scriously proiouudcd hcrc. 1 was
not preparr;i for an iiitiiualioti that that rc
ligion jilhtilicd tb'c holdiug of huinau bciiigs
as propcrly. W'hy sir, what is tho grcat
lcading, t'nornl prcccpt put forth by that
Snviour, whosc naiuo is thus invokcd to
sauction thc practico of slavcry?
"All thincs whatsocvcrye would that incn
should do ttnto you, doyocvon so to thcm."
Sir, I will uttchipt uo commcntnry on this
prcccpt. It nceds nonc. 1 will only say
that it contains thc seminal principlc of thc
pure nml clcvatcd tnorality o! tho Christinn
fystcin n morality fco congcnial with the
spirit, nnd so roiistniilly cnforccd by tho
cxamplc of its Diviuo author, wliile "upon
Now, sir, lct gcntlemen show that Afri
cnnsaronot 'nicn', nnd 1 will givc up tho
argiimcnt. liut, until this isdouc; uutil
tho declaration is blottcd from tho book of
Kevclalion, thut "God hath niaile ofonc
blood all uations of iiien, to dwcll on nll the
facc of tho cnrlli," and until this gicnt trutli
ccnscs to find n rcsponso iu cvcry huinan
bnsom, shall slavcry stnnd rebukcd by this
all comprchcusivc aud buljliinu- prcccjit of
tho Snviour ofincn.
liut, sir, thc rcligion which contuins this
prcccpt, also cnjoins Bubniission to thc
" powvrs thnt bc." Thesaino inoiitli which
uttcrcd it said, "rcndcr unto Cicsar thc
things that aro Cn?sar's" a prcccpt coinci
dcnt wilh that which cxhorts, "scrvauts bo
obcdient to yoitr innstciv, not nnsweriiig
again ; not piirloiniiig, but sbowing ollgood
fidelity." Tho Saviour niadc it no pai't of
his busincss, whilo on cnrth, to subvcrt thc
cxisting order of things, or to prcscribc
S)ccilic rcgulations for the adniiiiistration of
civil governmcnt. J5ut hc como to rcdccni
nicn from sin to icritc thc law of i.ovr. np
on thcir hcarl.1 to cstnblisli iriuciplcs nnd
proclaim prcccpts, bcfore whosc scarchinK
nnd nll-pervading influcuco thc timc bunor-
cd systcms ol uijnstico nnd ojijiression shall
mclt away.
l'crniit mo now, Mr Spcakcr, to cxamine,
for n monicut soinn of tho obicctions which
nro urgcd ngninst tho legislntion ofCongress
on this subjcct.
Wo aro told, in tho first plncc, thnt this is
a qucstions which conccrns oxclusivcly tho
pcoplc of this Distiict; thnt tho petioncrs
imvo no intcrcst in it, nnd havo no more
right to ask Congress to nbolisli slavcry hcro
than they havo to pctition tho Lcgislatiire
of Virginin to nbu1ili it within hcr liniits.
Sir, tho pcoplo who havo sigucd thcso
pctitions rcgard thcinsclvcs ns citizcns, not
nloiiool' the iarticular states in which they
rcsidc, but ol thc Rcpuhlic. Kvory intcr
cst within tho scope of tho lcgislation of
Congress is tlicir intcrcst. liivcry thing
which conccrns this Teiritory conccrns
thcm: itspolice; thc valuc nnd sccurity of
the public propcrty within ils limits; nnd
the safoty of tho Jcircscntntivo bodics
niiuunllv usscmblcd hcrc. 'J'his is n grow
ing capital of a grent Kciublic. What may
bc thc absolutc or relativo incrcasc of its
slavo population, or how inucli it nuiyal"
fcct thc liiture coudition of this Distiict,
cannot casily bo foresccn. That popula
tion munuutcd, iu 1830, to more thnu D,000.
Thc timc mny coine wlicn it will atnouut
to ten times that nimibcr. And is it of no
imnortancc to our country whcthcr its cnp
ital shall bosiirrounded by n mass of hardv,
..i i...-. i i.. :i .!...?..
iimcpi.'iiuuiu jrccnicu! iuuiij i peru inuir
livcs in dcfcniling it, as wcll ns thcinsclvcs,
from tho invn-ion of a forcign I'ower, or
whcthcr it slmll bc gunrdcd by 00,000 slavcs
who, instend of rallying in its dclcnce, may
hail tho iuvadcr as an nngel of dclivcranco
from thcir bondngc? Aud is not this sub
jcct invcstcd with ndditional intcrcst, when
it is considcred thnt thc Congress of thc
Unilcd States will bo surroiindcd by biicIi
nu nniount of such n population? Havo
thc pctitioncrs, tlicn, ns n jiart of tho
Amcrican pcoplc, no intcrcst m this quts
tiou? And llicn, too, thcro is tho charactcr of
the country m' it mny liu nllcctccl Iiy tho in
stitutions' within tho Tcrritory, wIhto thc
lcgislntivc powcr ol'thnt couiitry issuprcino
Is slnvcry tolenited iu this District? Tho
pctitioncrs fccl thcmsclvcs, in soino scnsc
rcsponsiblo for it. Is mcrrhandhe mado of
jin.v, wilhin sight of tho Cnpitol iu which
thcir lU'pri'Scnt'ativcs nrc n?siiibled,nud on
whoso t-iuumit wnvo tho stiipcs nml the
stnrs of frccdoin? As Auii'ricniis ti.
kccnly fcll thc rcproach, nnd iiislinctively
rcach foith thcir hands to wipo out tho
Main from tho csciitehcon of tlicir country.
!ut, iu the pocond plnce, it is nsscrtcd
that Congress has no right to legislale on
this suhjcct; that, howevcr grcat mny bo tlio
ovil of slnvcry ortho nlnvo trade within this
District, it is nn ovil whicli niust bo borne,
sinco nuthority to rcmcdy it is nit to bo
fouud iiuinng tho iowers grnntcd iu thu
And whnt nro tho iiowcre of Congress
louching this subjcct? Is it truo that Con
grcssisniithorizcd to cxtcud its legislntion
to tho high scas, cvcn to tho vcry const of
Africa, nnd to proliibit tho -ery trnflic in
slavc, uiiilor tho pcnalty of dialh, whilo it
is powprlcrs to rcach tho snme cvil in tho
vcry hcnrt of tho Rciniblic? If tho giiiut
of powcrs mt bo so construcd if thcrc
h clearly no nuthority by which tlio Govern
mcnt cuu nct iu this mattcr, thcn niust wo
subniit to tlic ovil, nnd wnit an amcndincnt
of tho Cniistitution, wliirli shall nmko it
consistcnt with itself, und savo thc country
from rcproach.
llut sir, fortunntcly for thc country, tho
Conslitution, through which wo dcrivo our
powcrs, is not thus dofoetive. Tho powcr
to legislate tinoti this subjcct is grnntcd;
nnd thnt, not by rcmoto implicntion, but in
ternis of obvious nnd liuniltnr import. Tho
8th scction of tho first nrtiide givcs to Con
grcs3 nuthority "to cxcrciso cxdusivc lcgis
lation, in all cascs whalsoevcr, ovcr such
district (not excccding ten rniles squaro) ns
may, by cession of jinrticnlnr Stntcs, nnd
tho ncfcptiinco of Congrcs, bccoino tho
scat of Governmcnt of th'u United Slatcs."
In tho lirst placo, lct it, hc obscrvcd, the
powcr of Congress to lcgislato iu this Dis
trict is txclusivc. Thcro is no other juris
diction, cithcr conitirrcnt or coiiflictiiiL'.
Tho iurisdiction of Virginin nnd Mnry-
land,froin which this tcrritory wasncqiiircd
by ccssiou, is ns pcrfcctly excliiilcd ns is thu
nuthority nml jtirisiliction of tho ISinpcror
of nll tho Kiis'sias r
Tho excltisivc clmrnctcr of tho jurisdic
tion bcing nppnrenf, tho ncxt (piotion is,
whnt is its crtent? Tho nuswcr is in tho
Inugungo of thc crnnt, that it cxtciuls to
"nli cnscs whntsocvrr." 'i'ho iVainers
the Constitution could have einploycd no
languagc of more roinpirhcnsivc import
thnn tlns ".111 cases ivhalsotvcr." Uut nro
thcro no limitations to this? Ccrtninly.
The grnnt subjcct to the liinitations
which nro incidentto all lcgislntivc powcr.
Thcrc nro innny things which no Lcgisln
ttiro rnii rightltilly do. It cnnnot pass an
crnosl I'arto law. It cannot byn merc nct
.I li.r'ulitwtti ..i.iO.f tli.. . ifr ttift nf rifin '
individunl to nnnthcr. It cannot authorizc
thc coininission of critnc. Thcsc and sucli
liko liniitatious, cxist in tho prcscnt cnsc;
not bccuusc of nny thing in tho hinguago
of thc grnnt, but liccnuso they nro inhcreut
in tho vcry nnture of nll lcgislntivn powcr.
Now, will it bo scriouslv contcndcd thnt
thc nbolition of slaverv nnd the slavc trndc
iscrnbinccd within thcsc iniplicd limitations
of lcgislntivo powcr? Is it not within the
(oinpetcncy ol ordinnry lcgislatinnr llavc
not slavcry and the slavc trado bccn nbol
ishcd by innny Stntcs of this Union; nnd
that, nnt upon the grouiid, as has been sug
gcstcd in ilcbatc, ciCwtcrcst mcrr ly, but be-caiis-c,
whcn thoroughly cxamincd, thoiirc-
tcndcd right to hold nnd trnnslcr mcn ns
propcrty has bccn round to rcst on nosiib
stantial fouudation? Indecd, the opposcrs
of thcso pctitions thcinsclvcs, by laboriug i "no tax or duty shall be laid on articlcs c.x
as thcy do to durivu n prohibition to lcgis- nortcd from nny f-tntc. No prcfcrcnco slmll
lnte on this subject from tlio Constitution, I be givcn by. nny regulation of comiucrco
nnd from tlio rcscrvntions in thc ccssions of or rcvcuuc to the ports ofono Stntc ovcr
this territnrv, innnil'cstly bctray nn unwil-' thosc of anothcr; nor shall vcssels bound
luigncss to tru-t the claini to cxcinption
Ii oin congrcssional lcgislation to tlio tmiit
ral limitntiou of lcgislntivo powcr.
It is said, indecd, by thi? gcntlcmnn from
Virginia (MrWisc) thnt the Slatcs which
have nbolishcd slavcry 'Imvo not violatcd
thc grcat principlc of vcstcd riglits, by tak
ing slavo propcrty ngainst thc conscnt of
tho owncrs nnd withont uonipcnsntion; but
that t' ey havo mcrely 'adoptcd thc post nati
principlc, and dcelnrcd thnt rights which
did not cxistnt tho timc should ncvcr cxist;'
thnt is, thnt tho issue ol slavcs, born nftcr n
certain future timc, should be licc. With
ont stopping to cnquirc into tlic corrcctncss
ofthis, in jpoint of fact, but for thu pur
ioscs of tliisarguincnt, adinitting it, let mc
ask what is tho diiTercneo iu principlu bc
twccn dcpriing nn iudividiial of his slavo
by nct of legislntion, nnd of the right to tho
issue of that slavo by tlic samc nct? I'pon
coinmon principles, an absolutc right to tho
onc as propcrty nccesarily carrics wilh it
a right to tho otlicr; aud n lariner would rc
sist as equal iiifringcmcnts of his rights, an
nttcmpt to tako nwny his cattle, aud a cla'un
to (lepnvc Iiiiii ol thcir ttituro progcny,
It would bc npproprinto hcro to go into
IUI UAUI1I1IIUUUI1 lli IIIU Illll 1 1 il.it 13 Uliiiiii-
cd to hold nicn as propcrty, nnd of tho
riglitful cxtcut of legislntion' on this sub
jcct. llut it opons too brond a field for the
.1 :.a
prrscnt discussion, nnd I will not cntcr it.
Thus it nppcnrs that the right to lcgislato
inaiiifcstly includcd within the ternis ofthe
grant of powcr to Congress, is not oxcliidcd
by operutiou of tho principles whicli form
tho basin of tho ordinury I'xeoptions to tho
liower of legislntion. Whnt is thcro thcn to
..;. ...l..J:....i...i..l ' . .1
excludo from tho Bwci'ping grant of powcr
to IcL'ishito "in all cases whatsoevcr," tho
powcr in qucsunn ?
An houoratilo gcntlcmnn irotn virginin
(Mr Wiso) finds ninny grnuuds of iniplicd
exclusion in tho Coiibtitiilion. JJu suyc
thcic aro ccrtnin ndmiltcd oxcnptioim to the
lcgislntivo power of Congress in rclation to
this district, from tho fart of thcso cxccp-
tionH, that tlio power in qucMiou is also cx
ccptcd. Thus, hc says that Congrcas is prohihilcd
by tho Constitution from suspcnding the
w'rit of hubeas corpus, from jmssing n law
resiici'ling tho .'tahlithnu'iit of loliginn,
nnd from nbridging tho frccdoin of spccch
nnd ofthe pruss, or thc right of tho people
to bc sccuro in tlicir pcrsons, hoi'scs, pn
iiers iiiid cll'ccts, Sir. aud nsks if thcsc pro
iiibitions do not rxtcnd to tho powrr of
Congress to lcgislnto for this ilistrict. Most
ccrtninly thcy do ; but it is for tho obvious
rrusou thnt thcy nro uulimitcil iu thcir
ternis, nml of courso ncccssnrily cxtcud to
tho wholo legislntion of Congrcfis. Ils thcro
nny such liiuitntion of tho powcr in qucr
tion? Why, whcn tho Convcntion wns iu
thc nct of providing liniitntionsto thc pow
crs to Congress, in tho rightli ccrtion of
tho first nrticlo ofthe Cotistilution.did thcy
ninit to liniit pprrificnlly tho powcr oflcg
islntion, "in nll cntcs whatsoevcr," which
hnd bccn grnntcd to Congress in rcfcrciu
to this District?
Again; tho gcntlcmnn from Virginia
says, if 1 rightly undcrstatid his nrgumciit,
tlint thc provisionof tho Constitution, thnt
" thc citizcns of cach Stntc slmll bo cntitlctl
iill the privilcgcs and immuniticsof citizcns
iu tho scvcral stntcs," ncccssarily cxtcnds
to thc District of Columbia, nnd thnt Con
gress niust bo understood to ho prohibited
l'roin disfrnnchising hcrc, thc citizcns of tho
Kovernl states; thnt is, that it cnnnot
dcprivo thcm of tho privilcgcs of tho
citizcns of tho District whcnovcr thcy como
into it. It is truo it cnnnot, bccniise thcro
would bo n gross nnd glnring nbsurdity in
sccuring, ns tho Constitution docs, tho
rights ofcitizenship in cnch Stntc, to tho cit
izcns of cvcry otlicr stntc, nnd nt tho snmo
titne, denying tho rights of citizcuship in
this district thc common propcrty of nll
tho Stntcs to tho citizcns ofl'ioso Stntcs.
And bcsidcs, thc vcry nct of conslitiiting
this ten miles squnro n district ofthe United
Stntcs ncccssarily f givcs to tlic citizcns of
cnch nnd nll thc States comtnon rights in it,
not thc rights whicli tlicy cnch cnjoy in
thcir rcspcclivo stntcs ns tho ternis in
which the gentleman states hfs argument
would sccin to imply ; bccausc that wonld
constitutc twcnty four dinbrent rules of
action, but tlic righf of cach rcsidcnt and
sojourncr hcrc, of beinir protcctcd bv tho
laws niiiilo for tho District, nnd the wholo
Tho exccption thcn, of a right to disfran
rbise n citizcn of Virginia, wlio mny como
hcrc, rosts upon a principlc liaving uo pos
siblo rclation to tho casc in qucstion.
lint furthcr. Tho gcntlcnian from Vir
ginia says that no pnrson held to scrvicc or
labor in n state, undcr thc laws thcreof, es
cnping into this district. can bo disclmrgcd
frotn such scrvice or labor, but inust bo
dclivcrcd up to tho party to wlioin such
scrvicc or labor mny bo duc, aud thnt this
constitutcs nn exccption to thc gcncrnl
liower to lcgislato "in all cascs wlintsocvcr"
for this District. I admit it docs, nnd why?
l'lninly bccnuso tho constitution liaving cx
prcssly sccurcd the right to tho slavo own
erto rcclniin his slavo in any nnd cvcry
I stntc of this ITnion, it would bc n clcnr cva'
ion of it. ns wcll as a mnnifcst absurditr
to dcny hini that right, in n district which
is tho comtnon propcrty of thu vcry stntcs
within which his righ't of rcclnmation is
sccurcd by thc constitution. Thc exccption
iin this caso rcsts, thercfore, substantinlly
upon nn cxprcss provition of tlio constitu
tion, which, by no possibility of construo
tion, can sustain thc exccption in qucstion.
Al'ii'ui thc constitution provides that
to or from ono state be obhgcd to enter,
clcar, or pny iluties in nnotlicr.'' And tho
gcntlcmnn from Virginia contcnds thut this
prohibition niust bc rrgnrdcd as cxtcnding
to the commcrco and tho ports of tho Dis
trict of Columbia; and ifso, hisinferenco
is, that an iniplicd prohibition of thc aboli
tion by Congress of slavcry and thc slavo
trade in tho States niust also bc takcn to
extnd to this district.
Tho first clauso of tho provision of tho
Constitution jutt rcfcrred to wns designeU
to c.vompt the rxports of tho country from
tnxatinn, nnd miist of ncccssity, bo takcn to
cxtcud to all tho ports within it; othcrwiso,
the entirc objcct of tho clauso miglit bo do
fcatcd. The rcinaining clauscs of tho pro
vision, it will bc obscrvcd, Imvo cxchisivo
refcrcncc to tho cquality of privilcgcs of
thc sevcral States, which thcy aim to pro
scive, by prohibiting Congrebs from favor
ing the commercc, or tho jiorts, or tho
tmvigation of onc nt tho cxpcnso of an
othcr. This it might do in cffect, if ths
jiorts, and commercc, and navigation of
tlns ,Distnct nnght bo cxcmptcd from tho
operation ofthe clauscs in qucstion. Thus,
n prcfcrcnco ofthe tiort of Alexnndrin ovcr
r .t:. i. u
thnt of 15alt!i .re would disturb tho cnuali
ty of privil tcs which thc constitution in
tcndcd to i..escn'o bctwccn Virginia cnd
ltilf tvtmt ttne nll tl.ta in in vA tliA biiK-
!juct ,ndu,. .lincussioii ? Tho provisions
ith rcpnrd to commercc, i&c. tlo not
spceificnlly rcnch it, und it is only, thercfore,
irom tlio supiiosen nnaiogy Detwccn tho
iniplicd liiuitntion of tho powcr ofCongres!'
in thccnscs citcd, aud tho liniitntionsought
to bo cstablishcd iu tho prcscut cnsc, thnt
nn urgunicnt cnn bc drnwn in favor of tho
lattcr. llut whero is tho analocy bctwecn
an iniplicd prohibition to nbolisli slavery in
thc Statcs,nnd nn exprcss prohibition of n
prcfcrcnco of tlio ports of onc stntc over
thosc of nnotlicr stntc? Thcrc is, indecd,
a prohibition iu both cases, but hcro tho
ntuilogy ccnscs. If this is sufficicnt to
cstnblisli tho position of gcntlemen, lct us
seo whnt otlicr positions it mny cstnblisli.
I'pon tho snmo grouud thnt Congress is
prohibited from nbolisli'mg Flnvcry in tho
Stnto of Virginin, for o.vainple, it is also
prohibited frnui ubolishing in that State,
tho snle of lottcry tickets nnd tho prnctico
of gntnbling, nnd' tho criiuc of kidnnpning.
llut could it not linvo cnnrtcd n prohibition
of thi'sc pructiccs in tho city of Alexnndrin.
the monicut it wns cedcd to tho United
Stntcs? Could it not, in fnct linvo rcndcrcil
vnluclcss tl.ccstnblishmcnts of cnniintr, nnd
rccrpincIcR of tho kidunpprd, whirh hnd
bccn crcctcd undcr thcsunction of tho Inws
of Virginin, if thoso Inws hnd pcrmittcd
such prncticcs? 'Would tho gentlcmnn
from Virginia havo cxclninied ngninst the
invnsion of vcncd rights, tho tuking of
privnto propcrty for public usc, withont
conipcnsntion ?
Again tliu gcntlcmnn fioni Virginin eays
tho "local lcgislatiire ofthis Diftnct cnnfo
enter into nny trcaty, nllinncc tr (onl'cdtr

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