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REMARKS OF MR. DOUGLAS,
OF ILLINOIS, Upon the Resolution declaring the OomprontM ures to bt a definitive Adjustment all growing out of Domestic Slaver delivered in the Senate, Tuesday, December 23, 1851. . Mr President: His noi my intention to go into an elabora? discussion of the measures known as the romn om se nor of the resolution presented by the senTr f oni Mississippi, Air. Foote. At.heclose of the lon session which adopted those measures, I revived n"ever to make another speech upon the slave. ry question in the halls of Congress. I regard all discussion of that question here as unwise, mischiev ous, and out of place. Yet in the course of this de bate certain points have been presented to the public view in connexion with my course which require me briefly to respond; and if, in doing so, lam constrained to refer somewhat in detail to myself, my voles, speeches, and general course of conduct, I trust it will be attributed to no spirit of egotism on my part, but to the necessity imposed upon me by others to vindicate my action and character. . The senator from Texas. Mr. Houston, in the course of his speech, took occasion to say that he was the only senator now noiunij: -r y floor who voted for all the measures of compromise. That may be so for aught I know to the contrary. But the inference drawn from that remark, and the distinct idea conveyed by it, do great injustice to me, and perhaps to other senators. 1 voted, sir, for all the measures of the Compromise but one ; and I un dertake to say. in regard to that one. that it was well known to the Senate before the measure passed, and at the time it passed, and has bpen distinctly pro claimed to the country since, that I would have voted for the fugitive-slave law if I could have been in the Senate atlhe time, and that I was anxious to be here for the purpose of casting that vote. I say it was distinctly known, because I had so declared in debate prior to the passage of that act; because every sena tor on both sides of the chamber who conversed with me knew that I was friendly to the measure ; and because when I returned home, before my own con stituents, I assumed the responsibility of an affirma tive vote upon the hill. Yet, sir, the imputation has been repeatedly made by implication on this floor, and in express terms by the partisan journals, thatall those whose names are not recorded on the passage of the bill dodged the question! Whatever political sins I may at any time have committed, I think I may safely assert that no senator ever doubted my willingness to assume the full measure of responsi bility resulting from my official position. The dodg ing of votes the attempt to avoid responsibility is no part of my system of political tactics. And yet, sir, he special organ of the administration has on several occasions accused me, in connexion with the distinguished senator from Michigan, with having the vnta on this bill. In order to put this accusation to rest, once for all, now and forever, I j have concluded to give a detailed account of the c'r- ! cumstancs which occasioned my absence at the time the bill passed, although it may subject me to the mortificat on of exposing my private and pecuniary affairs to the public view. I had a pecuniary obliga tion, maturing in New York, for near four thousand dollars, in payment of property which I had purchased in Chicago. Apprehending that my public duties with reference to these very compromise questions might render it improper to leave the city when the day of payment arrived, I made an arrangement with j Mr. Alaury, president or tne uanK oi me .ueiropous, jo arrange the matter for me temporarily until my official j duties would enable me to give it my personal at-1 tention. Foeling entirely secure under this arrange- j ment, I thought no more of it until, on the day the j debt became due, I received a note from Mr. Maury expressing his deep regret and mortification that, in ; consequence of the unexpected absence of a majori- j ty of the directors of his bank on that day, he was i unable to carry out the arrangement. I thus found myself suddenly placed in the position in which I i was compelled to go to New York instantly, or to ' suffer my note to be protested, and the commercial credit of my endorser to be greatly impaired. I im mediately passed around the chamber, and inquired of several senators on each side friendly to the fugi tive bill whether I could venture to be absent three or four days for the purpose of attending to this item of business, and I received from them the uniform answer that the discussion would continue at least a week, and probably two weeks longer, before the vo ting could begin. Relying implicitly upon this as surance, 1 went from the Senate chamber directly to the cars, and, riding all night, arrived in New York the next day. Meeting several Illinois friends there. I was enabled to meet the obligation, and avoid a protest during the three days' grace allowed me by law. While dining with these friends at the Astor House on the day I had concluded my business, one of them alluded to the fact that the fugitive bill had been ordered to be engrossed for a third reading in the Senate. I expressed my surprise, and doubted the correctness of the statement. He then showed me the paper containing the telegraphic announcement, when 1 immediately rose from the table, and told my friends that I must leave for Washington that after noon, in order to be able to vote for the bill on its final passage the next day. I will take the liberty of men tioning the names of some of the gentlemen to whom this announcement was made. Among them was Judge Dickey, of the northern circuit of Illinois ; Mr. McElroy, the district attorney; Mr. Cook, the sheriff of Cook county ; and, I believe, Mr. Gurnee, the present mayor of the city of Chicago, and seve ral others of the most respectable citizens of my State. I left New York in the five o'clock train that afternoon, and, after riding all night, on my arrival here the next day, I found that the final vote had been taken the day previous. I immediately consulted with my colleague, now present, Mr. Shields, who authorizes me to say that he distinctly recollects the conversation in which I expressed my deep regret that I could not have arrived here in time to vote for the bill, and that I intended then to ask of the Sen ate permission to explain the cause of my absence; in reply to which my colleague suggested that such an explanation would be entirely unnecessary, for the reason that it was well known to the Senate and the country that 1 was in favor of the bill, and for the further reason that in all probability the bill would undergo some amendment in the House of Represen tatives, which would require it to be returned to the Senate for concurrence, when I would have an op portunity not only of speaking but of voting for the bill. I acquiesced in this suggestion of my colleague, and for that reason made no explanation at that time. A few days afterwards, as you well know, (Mr. Shields being in the chair,) and as many other sen ators may recollect, I was taken ill, and rendered in capable of being in the Senate but a few times du ring the residue of the Session. I was confined to my bed for several weeks, extending beyond the ad journment, having been rendered a cripple by a sur gical bperalion on one hip. So soon as I was able to be removed, I was taken home under the care and kind attention of one of my colleagues of the House of Representatives. Everywhere on my route I found the most boisterous and determined opposition to the fugitive law ; but nowhere was the excitement so fierce and terrific as at Chicago, where 1 had re cently taken up my residence. There the press and the pulpit had joined in the work of m'srepresentation and denunciation. A spirit of determined resistance had been incited, and seemed to pervade the whole community. The common council of the city, in its official capacity, had passed resolutions denouncing the fugitive-slave law as a violation of the law of God and the constitution of the United States, call ing upon the police of the city to disregard it, and the citizens not to obey it. The next niiht a meeting of 2,000 people assembled ; and in that meeting, in the midst of the most terrific applause, it was determined to defy "death, the dungeon, and the grave," in resistance to the execution of the law. I walked into that meeting, and from the stand gave notice that on the nest night I would appear there and defend every measure of the Compromise, and ij"icTiiaiii iiw, irom eacn and ev- 1 ery objection urged to'it j and I ealled upon the entire people of the city to come and hear me. I told that body of men there assembled, in the face of their de nunciations and of their threats, that I was right and they were wrong, ind if they would come and hear me, I would prove it to them. The t ext night, in the presence of 4,000 people, in that immense halJ. with the city council and the ab olitionists occupying positions in the front of the stand, which was partially surrounded in the rear by a large body of armed negroes, including many fugi tive slaves, I stood, and made the speech which I now hold ;in my hand, and which I caused to be laid unon the table of every senator and of everv reor. sentative at the opening or the last session of Con gress. In that speech, if any senator will take the trouble to read n, tie win and that I assumed the re jponsibility of an affirmative vote on the passage of the law, and made the same explains" j es of my absence that I have given to-day, and cal ea upon the gentlemen whose names I have stated to the Senate as having been in New York with me when the vole was taken, and who were in the meeting when the Chicago speech v. as made, to confirm my statement in regard to my absence, and my wish at that time to vote for the law. You will also find in that speech that I vind:cate the law in respect to both its constitutionality and necessity ; that J defend it as a whole, and in all its parts ; that I answer every ob jection that has ever been uri-il against it. 1 he ob jections lelatmg to tne rigni i irru ujrju.jr, writ ot habeas corpus, o recoru uum uuiei .., the fees of the commissioners, to the pains and pen alties, to the "higher law " every objection which the ingenuity and fanaticism of aboliiionisin could invent was fully and conclusively answered in that speech at least to the satisfaction of that vast as semblage of people. 1 am extremely reluctant to speak of ihe effect of my own speeches ; but it is a part of the history of that transaction that the meet ing, comprising three-fourths of all the legal voters of the city, a majority of whom had the night previously pledged themselves to open and .violent resistance, !fi.r'tl.(. snepch was concluded, unanimously adopted a series of resolutions in favor if sustaining and car rying into effect every provision of the constitution and laws in respect to the surrender of fugitive slaves. The resolutions were written and submitted to the meet ing by myself, and cover the entire ground. I will onTy detain the Senate while I read one or two of them, and refer to the pamphlet copy of the speech for the whole series: "Resolved, That so long as the constitution of the United States provides thatall persons held to service or labor in one State escaping into another State, shall be delivered up on the claim of the party to whom the service or labor may be due, and so long as members of Congress are required to take an oath to support the constitution, it is their solemn and religious duty to pass all laws necessary to carry that provision of the constitution into effect. "Resolved, That we will stand or fall by the Ame rican Union and its constitution, with all its compro mises, with its glorious memories of the past and pre cious hopes of the future. " The city council having nullified tne law, and de nounced me and oher supporters of it as traitors, Ben edict Arnolds, and J udas Iscariots, Mr. Morris offer ed the following resolution, which was also adopted: " Resolved, That we, the people of Chicago, repu diate the resolutions passed by the common council of Chicago upon the subject of the fugitive-slave law passed by Congress at its last session. " Itonly remains for me to state that the same city coun cil assembled on the next night, and repealed their uullifying tesolutions by a vote of twelve to one. Now, "Mr. President, I have given yo-i a detailed account of my course in relation to the fugitive law. I have no comments to make upon it. I submit the facts, and leave the Senate and the country to draw their own conclusions. These facts are not now sub mitted for the first time. They are contained in the pamphlet copy of the Chicago speech, which 1 hold in my hand, and which, I repeat, was laid on the ta ble ol every senator and representative more than a year ago, and fifty thousand copies were distribu ted by senators and representatives to every portion ot the Union. I may also be permitted to add that, so far as my knowledge or belief extends, this was the first published speech ever made in a free State in de fence of the fugitive-law, and the Chicago meeting was the first public assemblage in any free State that determined to support and sustain it. At Chicago the reaction commenced. There rebellion and treason received their first check, the fanatical and revolution ary spirit was rebuked, and the supremacy of the con stitution and laws asserted and maintained. 1 claim no credit for the part I acted. I did no more than my duty as a citizen and as a senator. I claim to have done my duty, and for that I was entitled to exemp tion from the repeated charges by the special organ of the administration, and other partisan prints, of having dodged the question. 1 never dodge a ques tion. I never shrink from any responsibility which my position and duly justly devolve upon me. I nev er hesitate to give an unpopular vote, or to meet an indignant community, when I know I am right. My political opponents in my own State never made such a charge against me, and I feel that upon this point I can appeal to the Senate with perfect safety for a nnanimous verdict in my favor. Mr. President, while I am engaged in the work of self-defence, I will refer to one other point. I have recently seen it stated in several papers that at some time, and on some occasion, I have been the advocate and supporter of the Wilmot proviso. This charge, upon investigation, will be found to be as unjust and uufounded as that in regard to the fugitive law. In order to put the question at rest and beyond dispute forever, I will take a brief review of my course on the whole slavery agitation, and show clearly and dis tinctly the principles by which my action upon the subject has always been governed. It is no part of my purpose on the present occasion to vindicate ihe correctness of my views and principled, but simply to show what they are, and what my official acts have been, in order that the public may judge for them selves. 1 have always opposed the introduction of the subject of slavery into the halls of Congress for any purpose either for discussion or action except in the cases specified and enjoined by the constitution of the United States, as in the case of the reclama tion of fugitives from labor. The first important vote I ever gave in the House of Representatives was in favor of the rule excluding abolition petitions, and my vote stands recorded against its repeal at the time it was abolished. My action here since I have been a member of the Senate has been governed by the same principle. Whenever the slavery agitation has been forced upon us, I have always met it fairly, di rectly, and fearlessly, and endeavored to apply the proper remedy. Whether the remedy proposed by me has always been the wisest and most appropriate is a fair subject of discussion, and will doubtless give rise to a wide diversity of opinion. When the stor my agitation arose in connexion with the annexation of Texas, I originated and first brought forward the Mis souri Compromise as applicable to that Territory, and had the gratification to see it incorporated in the bill which annexed Te.ias to the United States. I did not deem it a matter of much moment as applicable to Texas alone ; but I did conceive it to be of vast importance in view of the probable acquisition of New Mexico and California. My preference for the Missouri Compromise was predicated on the assump tion that the whole people of the United States would be more easily reconciled to that measure than to any other mode of adjustment; and this assumption rest ed upon the fact that the Missouri Compromise had been the means of an amicable settlement of a fear ful controversy in 1821, which had been acquiesced in cheerfully and cordially by the people for more than a quarter of a century, and which all parties and sections of the Union profess to respect and cherish as a fair, just, and honorable adjustment. I could discover no reason for the application of the Missouri line to all the territory owned by the United States in 1821 that would not apply with equal force to its extension to the Rio Grand and also to the Pacific, so soon as we should acquire the country. In accord ance with these views, I brought forward the Mis souri Compromise at the session of 1841 '45 as ap plicable to Texas, and had the satisfaction to see it adopted. Subsequently, after the war'wilh Mexico had com nenced, and when, in August, 1846, Mr. Wilmot' first introduced his proviso, I proposed to extend the Missouri Compromise to the Pacifio as a substitute for the Wilmot proviso. When the pro viso was voted into the two-million bill in opposition to my vote, I voted against the bill .which I would otherwise have supported-wbecause the proviso was there. Again, in 1817, when the proviso was voted into the three-million bill, I voted against the bill for the same reason. The next time I had the opportuni ty of voting or the proviso was in the spring of 1848, in the Senate, pending the ratification of the treaty oi peace witn mexico, wnen it was oriered as an amendment to the treuy, I believe by -a senator from Uonnecticut, now not a member of this body. The record shows that I here again voted against the pro. viso. This was the last vote ever taken on the Wil mot proviso the last that ever could be taken upon it as applicable to the country acquired from Mexico, for the reason that by this treaty we acquired the coun try without any such condition as that proposed by Mr. Wilmot. It should be borne in mind that the W ilmot proviso not only proposed to prohibit slavery In the Territories while they remained Territories, but also went further, and proposed to insert a stipu lation in the treaty with a foreign power pledging the faith of the nation that slavery should never exist in me country acquired, either while it remained in the condition of Territories, or after it should havn hnon I "u,"w into ins union as Slates on an equal foot ing with the original States. I denounced this pro- viso as beintr unwise, improper, and unconstitutional; I, never voted for it, and publicly declared that 1 nev er would vote for it, even under the pressure of in structions. The Wilmot proviso being thus dispos ed of forever, and California and New Mexico hav ing been acquired without any condition or stipula tion in respect to slavery, the question arose as to what kind of territorial governments should be es tablished for those countries. A domestic affliction suddculy called me from the capital, and detained me several weeks. On my return I found pending be fore the Senate the measure known as the Clayton bill. Its provisions were not such as I would have proposed as chairman ot the Territorial Committee had I been present. Yet it had the high merit of hav ing been reported with great unanimity by a special committee of the most eminent and distinguished members of the Senate, fairly representing all the different sections and interests of the Union. This fact afforded reason for the hope that the bill might receive the sanction of both houses of Congress, and thus put an end to the controversy. Under the influence of these considerations, the bill received my cordial support, and passed the Senate by an ov erwhelming majority, but was promptly rejected in the House of Representatives. The controversy be in" reopened with increased violence, and my posi tion at the head of the Territorial Committee requir ing me to take the initiative in some jlau of fair and just settlement, I brought forward my original propo sition to extend the Miosouri Compromise to the Pa cific in the same sense and with the same understand ing with which it was originally adopted. This pro position met with the approbation of the Senate, and passed this body by a large majority, but was instant ly rejected in the House of Representatives by a still larger majority. The day ol adjournment having ar rived, no further effort was made to adjust the diffi culty during that session. At the opening of the next session, upon consultation with the friends of the measure, it was generally conceded with, perhaps, here and there an individual exception that there was no hope left for the Missouri Compromise, and consequently some other plan of adjustment must be devised. I was reluctant to give up the Missouri Compromise, having been the first to bring it for wrrd, and having struggled for it in both houses of Congress for above five years. But public duty de manded that all considerations of pride oe character or opinion should be made subservient to the public peace and tranquility. I gave it up reluctantly, to be sure and conceived the idea of a bill to admit Cali fornia as a State, leaving the people to form a consti tution and settle the question of slavery afterwards to suit themselves. 1 submitted this bill to the then President of the United States, Mr. Polk, and have the satisfaction of stating that it received his sanc tion, and was introduced by me with his approbation. The great argument in favor of this bill was, that it recognised the rijjht of the people to determine all questions relating to their domestic concerns in their own way, and authorized them to do so uninfluenced by executive dictation, or by the apprehension that, unless they decided the slavery question in a particu lar way, their application for admission would be re- tected by Congress. 1 do not endorse, and never did sanction, the charts aai::st the Lite administration of haviner used imoroaur means, or any means to influ- ence the decision of the people of California upon this quesiion: but I do say, that had this bill become the law of the land no such charge would ever have been made or suspicion entertained. The great misfortune is, that a large portion of the South really believe that improper influences were used to produce the result in California. They do not deny the right of the peo ple of California to make that decision ; but they in sist that the right should have been exercised freely, and uninfluenced by any act of the agents of the ad ministration, or of the apprehension of an adverse de cision by Congress in the event thit they had decided the slavery question otherwise. But, Mr. President, the Judiciary Committee reported against and the Senate refused to pass my bill to admit California as a State, leaving the question of Slavery open to be decided afterwards by the people, and thus cut off all hope of adjustment in that mode. According to my recollection, the next important measure which pro:n- ised the slightest hope ot giving peace to the country was the proposition of the senator from Wisconsin, which is usually known as the " Walker amend ment." All other plans having failed, as a last hope I came warmly in'o the support of that proposition, and struggled for its adoption through that terrible night session, as many senators will recollect. 1 his brief history brings us down to the com-j mencement of that memorable long session when the : late compromise measures were adopted. Mr. Pres- , ideal, I may be permitted here to pause and remark 1 were your votes and not mine. I entered my protest that during the period of five years that I was labor- agaimt thsm at the time beore and after they were ing for the adoption of the Missouri Compromise, I recorded and shall never hold myself responsi iny vote? on the Oregon question, and upon all inci- ; bi.e for them." dental questions touching slavery, were given with J This speech was immediately printed, and circula reference to a settlement on that basis, and are con- ted all over the -State. I at the same time travelled sistent with it. If, therefore, any gentleman has tho 1 over a good portion of the Stale and made many curiosity or wish to understand the meaning of any j speeches of the same tenor, the last of which was or all the votes I had occasion to give during that ; made in the capitol of our State. A few weeks af period on this question, he has only to bear in mind j terwards, the legislature assembled, and one of their the Missouri Compromise, and then observe the j first acts was to repeal the resolutions of instructions perfect harmony between each vote and that measure. ; to which I have referred, and to pass resolutions ap Now, sir, 1 approach the history of the compro-j proving of the course of my colleague and myself on mise measures. My account will be briefand easily j the compromise measures, by a vote of three or four understood. Having again been placed by the Sen- , to one. From that day Illinois has stood firm and ate at the head of the Territorial Committee, it be-; unwavering in support of the compromise measures came my duty to prepare and submit some plan of and of all the compromises of the constitution, adjustment. Early in December, within the first Now, Mr. President, 1 have done with these ex two or three weeks of the session, I wrote, and laid : planations, and I trust forever. If I have said any- before my committee for their examinition and ap proval,two bills one for the admission of California into the Union, and the other containing three dis tinct measures: first, for the establishment of a ter ritorial government for Utah ; second, for the estab lishment of a territorial government for New Mexi co; and, third, for the settlement of the Texas boun dary. These bills remained before the Committee on Territories from the month of December until the 25th of March before I could obtain the consent of the committee to report them. On that day I report ed those bills, each member of the committee reserv ing the right to oppose any portion of ihem his judg ment should disapprove of, and I being the ohly member who was responsible for all the provis ions of those two bills. Those bills were on my motion ordered to be printed, and laid on the table of each member of both houses of Congress. These printed bills having laid on your table about four weeks, the Senate, on motion of Mr. Foote, appoint ed a committee of thirteen, with the distinguished senator from Kentucky Mr. Clay at its head. That committee took my two printed bills, joined them to gether with a wafer, and reported them to the Sen ate as one bill which is well known to the country as the " omnibus bill." If any gentleman has the curiosity to investigate this matter, he can walk to the Secretary's table and inspect the original omni bus bill. He will find that it consists of two print ed bills with a wafer between them, and a black line drawn through the words " Mr. Douglas, from the Committee on Territories," and in lieu of them are inserted these other words: "Mr. Clay, from the Committee of Thirteen," reported the following bill. The committe had also made some slight and com paratively unimportant amendments, nearly all of wnich were disagreed to by the Senate. The Com mittee of Thirteen, therefore, did not originate or write any one measure contained in the omnibus. They availed themselves of the labors of the Committee of Territories, and their distinguished chairman did us the justice so to slate at the time he reported the bill. The Committee of Thirteen put a wafer be tween our bills, and the Senate took out the wafer and passed them separately. I supported the omni bus as a joint measure, J also supported each meas ure separately. I had no pride of opinion that the bills should be passed in the precise form I bad re ported them. I desired to see the controversy ter minated, and was willing to take the measures jointly or separately, or in any form in which they could pass both houses of Congress. I reported then) se parately because I had ascertained the fact from actual count that they oould pass separately, and could nev er pass jointly. Mr. President, I claim no credit for having origi nated and proposed the measures contained in the omnibus. There was no peculiar or remarkable fea ture in them. They were merely ordinary measures of legislation, well adapted to the circumstances, and their sole meiit consisted in the fact that separately they could pass both houses of Congress. Being res ponsible for these bjlls, as they came from the hands of the Committee on Territories, I wish to call the attention of the Senate and of the country to the fact that they contained no prohibition of slavery no provision upon the subject. And now I come to the main point, which explains the object of the de tailed statement which I have just made. The leg islature of Illinois, by a combination of every whig in each house with a few freesoil democrats, had pass- ed a resolution instructing- me to vota for a bill for the government of the territory acquired from Mexi co which should contain an express prohibition of slavery in said territory. The instruction did not so to the extent of the Wilmot proviso, by attempting! to prohibit slavery in the States as well as the Ter- i riiones wnne they remained such, leaving the people io qo as tney pleased when they became a State. Yet the instruction was designed and deemed suffi- ! cient to compel me to resign my seat and give place to a freesoiler, for there could have been no expecta tion of their electing a whig. They knew my inflex ible opposition to the principle asserted in the in struction, at the same time that they knew that the right of instruction was the settled doctrine of both parties in my State, which no man could repudiate with safety. Knowing that this combination of whigs and freesoilers flattered themselves that they had succeeded in a party trick which would drive me from the Senate and give place to a freesoiler who would come here and carry out abolition doctrines, I confess that they would have succeeded in their plot had I been certain that all the measures of the Com promise could have passed without my vote 'and in opposition to the vote of an abolitionist in my place. Notwithstanding these instructions, I wrote the bills and reported them from the Committee on Territories without the prohibitions, in order that the record might show what my opinions were ; but lest the trick might fail, a freesoil sena'.or offered an amend ment in the precise language of my instructions. I knew that the amendment could not prevail, even if my colleague and myself recorded the vole of our State in its favor. But if I resigned my place to an aboli tionist, it was almost certain that the bills would fail on their passage. After consulting with my colleague and with many senators friendly to the bills, I came to the conclusion that duty required that 1 should re tain ray seat. I was prepared to fight and defy abo litionism in all its forms, but ,1 was not willing to re pudiate the settled doctrine of my State in regard to the right of instruction. Before the vote was taken, I made a speech reviewing my course on the slavery question and defining my position. I denounced the doctrine of the amendment, declared my unalterable opposition to it, and gave notice that any vote which might be recorded in my name seemingly in its favor would be the vote of those who gave the instructions, and not my own. Under this protest, I recorded a vote for this and one or two other amendments em bracing the same principle, and then renewed my pro test against them, and gave notice that I should not hold myself responsible for them. Immediately on my return hqme to my constituents, and in that same Chicago speech to which I have referred, I renewed my protest against those votes, and repeated the no tice to that excited and infuriated meeting that they were their votes and not mine. I will detain the Senate a moment while I read a passage from that speech. Speaking of the territorial bills, I say: " These measures are predicated on the great fun damental principle that every people ought to posses the right of forming and regulating their own inter nal concerns and domestic institutions in their own way. It was supposed that those of our fellow citi zens who emigrated to the shores of the Pacific and j to our other Territories were as capable of self-gov- eminent as their neighbors and kindred whom they left behind them ; and there was no reason for believ- ing that they have lost any of their intelligence or patriotism by the wayside, while crossing the isthmus or the nlains. t was also believed that after their arrival in the country, when they had become fami liar with its topography, climate, productions, and resources, and had connected their destiny with it, they were fully as competent to judge for themselves what kind of laws and institutions were best adapted to their condition and interests as we were who nev er saw the country and knew very little about it. j To question their competency to do this was to deny their capacity tor sell-government, it tney nave tne j requisite intelligence and honesty to be intrusted with the enactment of laws for the government of white men, I'know of no reason why they should ' not be deemed competent to legislate for the negro, If they are sufficiently enlightened to make laws for the protection ot life, liberty, and property, of morals and education to determine the relation ot nusoand ;and wife, ot parent and child I am not aware mat it requires aBy higher degree of civilization to regu late the aff.iirs ot master and servant. These things 'are all confided by the constitution to each State to decide for itself, and I know of no reason why the I : i u . i . .k.. 'P....; , 9,11110 principle siiuuiu noi uo CAieuueu iu uio icuuu- nes. My votes and ' acts have been with these views in all cases, except in accordance the instances in which I voted under your instructions. Those thin? which savors of egotism, I know the Senate will pardon me, and at the same time sympathize in the necessity which has imposed it upon me. If I had omitted all that was personal to myself, my de fence would have been incomplete and unsatisfactory. I could not have done justice to myself and to those who are connected with me. In view of all the facts, I submit the question whether the charge or in sinuation that I was at any time favorable to the Wil mot proviso was and is not grossly ungenerous and unjust. I am willing to be held responsible for all my acts; but I wish to be judged by my acts and not by malicious misrepresentations of them. I do not claim to be infallible. I may have committed many errors, and doubtless have ; but when I am convinced of them, 1 will acknowledge thein like a man and promptly correct them I wish to avoid no respon sibility. I do not belong to that school of poli ticians. In taking leave of this subject, I wish to state that I have determined never to make another speech up on the slavery question ; and I will now add the hope that the necessity for it will never exist. Iam hear tily tired of the controversy, and I know the country is disgusted with it. 'In regard to the resolutions of the senator from Mississippi, I will be pardoned for saying that I much doubt the wisdom and expediency of their introduction. The whole country is acqui escing in the compromise measures everywhere, North and South. Nobody proposes to repeal or dis turb them. True, everybody was not for them origi nally,nor would they be sonow were it an open and ori ginal question. But since they have been adopted, and time has been given for a little cool reflection, every body seems to be disposed to treat them as a final settlement of an unprofitable controversy. So lowr as our opponents do not agitate for repeal or modifica tion, why should we agitate for any purpose ? We claim that the Compromise is a final settlement. Is a final settlement open to discussion, and agitation, and controversy, by its friends? What manner of settlement is that which does not settle the difficulty and quiet the dispute 1 Are not the friends of the Compromise becoming the agitators, and will not the country hold us responsible for that which we con demn and denounce in the abolitionists and free-soil-era J These are matters worthy of our consideration. Those who preach peace should not be the first to commanca and re-open an old quarrel. Besides, what good can the passage of these resolutions accomplish ? Will they add any new force or validity to the com promise measures They are already the law of the land, and must forever remain so unless repealed. Would it not be wiser, therefore, for all the friends of these measnres to remain silent, and wait for the abolitionists to redeem their pledges to bring forward their proposition to repeal the fugitive law? When such a proposition shall be brought in, let some sena tor from the North rise and if no one else does it I will rand state that the country regards the Compro mise as a final settlement ; that a final settlement is not open to discussion ; and therefore move to lay the proposition on the table. My word for it, any pro position to repeal or disturb the Compromise would be laid on the table by a vote of five to one. A mo tion to jrepeal the fugitive law would be voted down by a vote of five to one of the northern men, withont counting a southern vote. Let such a test be made, and the moral effect will be a thousand-fold greater than the passage of anv series ol resolutions. I be lieve the course I indicate to be the, true interest of the friends of the Compromise. Besides, any at tempt to keep up the agitation and an organization on the basis of the Compromise after its opponents have abandoned their active opposition and consented to acquiesce in it, although they do not approve of it, will be looked upon as a political movement for ambi tious purposes. I desire to see both the great parties acquiesce in the Compromise as a final settlement, but I do not wish to have a new party organized on the basis of that measure. The democratic party is as good a Union party as I want, and I wish it to triumph upon its old issues. I desire no new tests no interpolations into the old creed. If the Compro mise is to be made the test of faith, the two parties will, of course, be composed of the friends and oppo nents of that measure in battle array against each oth er, and the slavery question must of necessity contin ue the sole topic of discussion and controversy. That is the very thing which we wish to avoid, and which it was the object of the Compromise to prevent. I would therefore say to the friends of those measures, let us cease agitating, stop the debate, and drop the subject. If we do this, the Compromise will be re- cognised as a final settlement ; if we do not, we have gained but little by its adoption. These are my views upon the subject, expressed with great deference to the opinions of others, but with the firmest convic tion of their correctness. DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION. To (he Democratic Parly throughout the Union. Washington, January 1, 1852. A concentration of opinion from all the States, as faras practicable, upon some time and place for hold ing the next National Democratic Convention, is in dispensable to the union and organization of the par ty for the presidential canvass of 1852. With this view the " Democratic National Com mittee," consisting of one from each State, appoint ed by the Democratic National Convention of 1848, " to promote the democratic cause," and with power to fill vacancies, assembled in this city, in pursuance of a well-considered call for that purpose, at which. meeting, on the 29th and 30th of December. 1851, and the 1st of January, 1852, the thirty-one States of the Union were represented. And, upon conference with democratic members of Congress, and consult ing the action of State conventions, as far as they have expressed any wishes on the subject, the com mitteewith entire unanimity, have arrived ataconclu sion, which they respectfully submit for your ratifi cation. The Democratic National Committee accordingly recommend that a Convention of the democratic party throughout the Union, by delegates duly appointed by the democrats of the several States, be held in the city of Baltimore on 1 uesday, the 1st day of June, 18d2, (at 12, m.,) to nominate candidates tor Presi dent and Vice President of the United States, to be supported by the democratic party at the election on Tuesday, the second day ot INovember, 1852. The National Convention of 1848 adopted the fol lowing recommendation as to the number of delegates to be chosen in each State " Resolved, That it be recommended that hereafter each State ba entitleJ to as many delegates in future democratic mtional conventions as it has in the elec toral colleye. and no more." By order of the Democratic National Committee: r. f . llALiL.t.11, Vhairman. VVm. F. Ritchie, ) R. H. Stanton, ) Secretaries. Journal of Proceedings of the Democratic National Vommitlee. In pursuance of a circular call ,f November I, 1851, addressed by thechairman to each of the mem bers of the " Democratic National Committee, 7 to meet at Washington on the 2'Jth day of December, " for the purpose of obtaining a concentration and unanimity of the views of the democratic party as to the tune and place of holding a National Convention to nominate candidates for President and Vice Presi dent of the United States, according to the usages of the party." the committee met in the City ot Wash ington at 1 o'clock on said day. Mr. Croswell, of New York, read a letter from the chairman, Hon. B. F. Hallett, of Massachu setts, ap prizing the committee of his inability to attend the meeting of to-day on account of detension at Phila delphia by sickness, and signifying hi3 expectation of being able to be present on Wednesday, and de siring the committee to proceed with their organiza tion. Thereupon, The Hon. Robert Strange, of North Carolina, was called to the chair, and (neither of the Secretaries being present) R. H. Stanton, of Kentucky, was ap pointed secretary. On motion of the Hon. W.'A. Richardson, of Ill inois, it was voted that a committee of three be ap pointed by the Chair to ascertain what Staes are rep resented by members in person, or by their substi tutes, and to recommend what steps should be taken to supply vacancies, if any. Messrs. Richardson of Illinois, Penn of Louisiana, and Riddle of Delaware, were appointed that com mittee. And the committee adjourned. December, 30, 1851. The committee again met at 7 o'clock, p. m., and acted upon the report of their committee, from which it appeared that the following delegates and substi tutes were present, or in the city : Massachusetts' -B . F. Hallett. Tennessee E. P. Stanton. Louisiana A. G. Penn. New York Edwin Croswell. Maryland .Albert Constable. OhioD. T. Disney. Virg nia Wm. F. Ritchie. iZonneclicul O. S. Seymour. Delaware George Read Riddle. Nev Jersey Isaac Wildrick. Vermont Thomas Bartlett, Jr. Illinois Wm. A. Richardson. Wisconsin B. C. Eastmn. North Carolina Robert Strange. Michigan Chas. E. Stuart. Indiana G. Hathaway. New Hampshire Chas. H. Peaslee. Kentucky R. H. Stanton. Missouri W. P. Hall. Arkansas R. W. Johnston. Maine Charles Andrews. Alabama . R. VV. Cobb. Rhode Island B. B. Thurston. Pennsylvauia John W. Forney. Florida N. P. Bemis. It also appeared that there were two vacancies by death, of the members from Texas and Iowa, and thai no members or substitutes appeared for Georgia and Mississippi. California had no member, not having been a State in 1843. For these States the com mittee reported : Texas V. E. Howard. Iowa G. W. Jones. Georgia Joseph VV. Jackson. Mississippi J. D. Freeman. California E. C. Marshall. On motion of Mr. Seymour, of Connecticut jt wqa voted that the action of the 6ub-committee be ratified by this meeting, and that the substitutes by said coin mi ttee reported be considered membeis of the Demo cratic National Committee, and that the vacancies be filled in conformiy to their report, After taking an informal vote as to the time and place of holding the National Convention the Com mittee adjourned. Note. The appointment of Mr. Freeman, of Mississippi, was made to supply the vacancy from that State, which was supposed to exist so far as the committee were advised. After the final adjournment, the chairman received notification of the appointment in writing, in pursuance of his power of substitution, by Mr. Duncan, the member for Mississippi, of the r t W ta na f . w-r Hon. jonn j. mcitnae, oi tne united States Senate, as his substitute, which appointment had not reached Washington seasonably for Mr. McRhae to take his seat with the committee. Mr. Duncan was at New Orleans when he received the circular that had been directed to hi residence at Grenada. January 1, 1852. The committee met at JO o'clock on Thursday morning -Hon. B. F. Hallett, of Massachusetts, be ing present, and taking the chair. William F. Ritchie, Esq., of Virginia, first secretary of the committee, also appeared Hon. J. S. Barbour having been pre viously appointed to act for him in his absence. The list was called, and it appeared that all the States were represented in the committee, exceptSouth Car olina. The chairman announced the receipt that morning of a letter from Gen. James M. Commander, the member of the committee for South Carolina, re gretting that he should be unable to attend the meet ing of the National Committee, and aqthorizin- the chairman to vote for tVi I .: r ... vuudV In 1.. its uuie, ana uailimore an tlio ru- "una ling of the convention, with the hnna ,L h?aS3em. as eratlons of the inmmitta mirl.t I lT "'thede!:! ... , TV. e "armon brio l0' I hlS comnletprt tho rinc..i..:. ""U3. States. r ,o troin al) ir. croswell, ot iNew York to leave the city for his home, Hon. bavM i bI,W mour W9 authoriTol In. oo Ul u t". Si iw uot 1113 VOIR. 1 ) linn Mr Tl ' u"ua aiao empower k Howard, of Texas, whn ,k ' . red h M. sickness, to vote for him. account , Mr. Hall, of Missouri, offered th r.,n. . ution : ,ow,ng i res. Itesoived, 1 hat this committee recn-nm.. more as the Dlace. and th ."a B, Bilii. the time, for holding the Nat! vention. c",acrjt Co The question being taken on fillinr the hi e States but Texas, Louisiana, New J,.- aH the consin, and South Carolina, when ruesdav. the first dav nf Jnnn ,j . r ' "ani?,! 1 " I 1 1 1 11 L. n iiKil .1 UJ was declared, it was made unanimous inevoS , wnu, ueilkra .L Mr. Hathawnv. nf Indiana J . lialtimore and insert Cincinnati ,u:-l he Ont agreed to. ' "'"Ln not Ihe resolution was then unanimously an The chairman submitted to the coramiUeeT6'1, of notice to the democratii nartw nf ,k ,l,efo:ni tion of the National Convention; which !rrnmenJJ led, and it was ordered that the same be si" thechairman and secretaries, and published democratic newspapers of the Union. In 'fo mr. r reeraan, oi Mississippi, ottered thpfM! . which was adopted : e folloving, Resolved, That the entire proceeding 0f tl mittee be signed by thechairman and secreh i! published in the democratic presses of the V nii The committee then adjourned. n- R. P. H A t.r.Wivn . . Wm. F. Ritcihe, ' 7 R. H. Stanton, setanes. From the London Times, Dec. i0 n Since the day that Columbus set foot 0 world, America has been the land of promise, hope to all who found Europe a house of h!! f Thither the refugees of polities of religl merce, and of fortune, have fled for ten reneiati preferring a clear field to a barren 3truu2Te ' ever the heart sickened at the thought of tvran prejudice, it has always occurred "that beyond1.? western wave their lay a vast continent, with manf hardy settler and many a rising city, that offered? last resource for the expatriated virtues, and that . need be, might one day turn the tables, with o whelming odds, against the old hills of the robber"' and the strongholds of ancient oppression. The old age of the world was on one side but it youth was on the other, and a new Fprinr of'civilb tion had still to blossom and bear fruit'upon a free soil. How far those anticipations have been fulfilU it is needless to say to a nation which beholds 'itself well nigh outnumbered by its offspring across the t. lantic. Whatever has been denied usln this part 0f the world that extension of territory, that predomi nance in European councils, that influence over noli tics or customs, which might appear due to our in dustry and power, has been given us a hundredfold in America. Checkered as our fortunes are in all pirts of the world, and not the least in the newest, we may yet see there the reward of manytoilsand thecons lation of many regrets. Yet at no time, for the last three centuries and a half, has America worn so youth ful and promising an aspect to this country as at this moment ; never has it appeared so much in the light of a friend in need, a land of refuge, and our des tined partner in many labors and many triumphs. Could we suppose these islands suddenly planted in the midst of the Atlantic, or the opposite shores suddenly drawn nearer by some thousand miles; or could we imagine soinfe yet stronger caprice of fnr tune restoring the United States to the dependence they renounced three-quarters of a century since, that would hardly express so great an approximation and so gTeat a convergence of interests, as that we now see brought about by more ordinary methods. Tliisis the splendid theme of Mr. Walker's address at Man chester. It has often been the place or the ambition of stateincn to urge the co-operation of different states, for the purposes of defence or aggression, for the pro tection of their hearthsand their altars, or for theo quest of the world ; and fortunately, there haveneter been wanting reasons why any two nations should love one another ; but there never was shown so sound a c.iuse for amity and mutual assistance, for commu nity of interests and unity of action, as it has been Mr. Walker's good fortune to proclaim. It is his good fortune, because, he is the immediate author of the measure which constitutes the principal advance on the American side towards this happy re-union; and because he is able to discern the signs of the coming times. Beyond the operation of tariff and fin uici.il disputes Mr. Walker casts a prophetic eye at the great con flict between military absolutism and constitutional government, which every day assumes a more serious aspect, which every day draws nearer to this island, and which will one day divide the whole world. Itis not for nothing that we possess a position given us between the New and the Old World, a stepping stone from the Old to the New, and an outpost of the New in the Old. Itis not for nothing that a gigantic state is fast growing up in the New World, inheritin from us the principles of constitutional freedom, somewhat modified to its peculiar circumstances. Thereareno two states in the whole world, and never have been.so bound to one another, so mutually beneficial, and so able to work together, as the British empire and the United States. At present it seems impossible but that the whole of the continent of Europe should fall into the hands of military despots; it seems equally impossible that we, with our American brethren, should lose our in stitutions or our enthusiasm for liberty. Here,then, are the two parties in the great cause that threatens to divide and convulse the whole world. What will be required of us? What attempts will be made onus? What crusades ought we spontaneously to undertake! What assistance in any case are we to expect from America? For our islands we have no fear. Despotism is great on land, but impotent and craven on the sea. Wherever our ships can go, there we have no compeer. As on the former occasion referred to by Mr. Walker, we can protect the Ne World from the tyrannies of the Old. What, then, remains to be done? Are we expected to land on the continent of Europe, and fight single-handed with four huge military monarchies, mustering two or three millions of armed men 1 What degree of as sistance are we to expect from America in marching into the centre of Europe ? None, we should think However, there are many things to be considered. A hundred years ago what was Rnssia? A hundred empire, with not far short of two hundred millm11 souls. Should anything happen to us should V ever he exposed to unmerited indignity and oppres sion, and our services to Europe be forgotten, e have only to pray Exoriare aliquis noslris ex ossio1" ullor, and that the prayer will one day bring across, on occasion, the messengers of a state thatcan app T to its purposes the resources of a continent and tff oceans. The Ccban Prisoners Released. It W)'!A8 seen by the news from Spain, by the steamer Am that the prisoners engaged in the late expedition against Cuba, who may be citizens of the Ul'lle Slates, whether in Spain or in Cuba, have all een pardoned. 0r It. may perhaps be doubted whether the teTIJ,s.j this pardon, strictly construed, cover the oase of it Thrasher. We cannot doubt, however, that he, tw. has beep, or will be immediately, released. own government has already taken the ground n bis offence, even if he he guilty to the whole of the charge against him, is far less grave tharf w that of the associates of Lopez. We will not . etae tain a doubt that the Spanish government will 12 the same view of his oase. , jy While, upon the reasons which we have alrcaoj rendered, we still hold that the policy of our govern ment in this whole matter has been in many jmP tant respects erroneous, we cannot but regard "I" suit as most auspicious in its bearing upon the lu relations ot both countries ; and we hope thaI great cause of our national dignity, and of duepr tion to our citizens within foreign jurisdiction, nj by the fortunate conclusion of this affalr ke re. ur from at least a portion of that detriment which, judgment, it certainly suffered from the polisyf administration in the earlier stages of the case. Richmond Enquirer, V 1 .-ft II fr-u W 1 I L W III 1 IT kIBH I I III LI-TIA HI .'M - Modesty is a quality that highly adorns a worna" and ruins a man.