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The national era. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]) 1847-1860, April 11, 1850, Image 1

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the Natieaal Km ia FublUl.rd Weekl), an Savantta
Street, api?a?ite Odd Feliawn' Mull.
Two d >llara per annum, payable ?* advance.
Advertisements not exceeding ten lines inserted
three timea for one dollar, every subsequent Inaer*
tion. twenty-flee eenta.
All oommunio&tions to the Era, whether on
business of the paper or for publication, ehould
be addressed to O. Bailiy, Washington, Z>. C.
Sixth Hreet, a few door* south of P*nnfylv?ni? at. lu*
Icurr aioHT sbcobbd.)
" I
TLe mountains' the uiouutklnfc! amidst Ihfin is tnj huuie,
To thalr pure tod sparkling fount iin? exultiugly I rune ;
Wtiera bleak anJ towering eumuiiU invade the dark blue
And o'er their rudest ridges upon my steel 1 fly "
Dick ton.
The Monday succeeding Ihe marriage of Britannia
and the General was a glorious day. The
sun rose in cloudless splendor, gilding the summits
of the Alleghanies and throwing their shadows
broad und black upon the valleys. And all
this sublime beauty of earth and sky was reflected
and duplicated in the diamond-clear
The songs of myriads of birds mingled with
the laugh of a thousand rivulets and the shouts
of many cataracts. And all this grand harmony
was repeated and reechoed from cavern, rock,
and glen !
It was a glorious, jubilant morning !
Above all this thunder of music was sometimes
heard a clear, strong, riqgiDg note! It was the
passing shout of Gertrude Lion, as she cleared
au awful chasm, or gained a lofty peak !
The passage of the Mad river through a defile
of the Alleghanies is one of the roost sublime
ani terrific scenes in nature. Upon this allglorious
morning the travelling carriage of young i
I'robisher wound slowly up the ascent of this 1
most fearful pass. The young man had left The
sle of Rays on Saturday?had reached the ham- |
1-t of the Peaks, from whence he had set out i
this morning, with the intention of continuing \
his journey. He had left the village of the Peaks ,
some miles behind, when his horses began to ,
struggle up this steep, rugged, and perilous ;
ascent. Frobisher looked out upon this wild '
scene with all an artist's enthusiasm, thought- '
less of danger. ,
Here the rocks seemed to have yawned apart
to admit the passage of the river, or, rather, to '
have started apart, aghast at the frenzy of the
torrent that tore a passage through their crags, ,
and hurried, howling, leaping, and rebounding, 1
into the abyss far below ! f
More and more difficult and dangerous became
the ascent of this pass, until, having gained the ^
t ?*?- !
racts, came a cry : ]
"Stop, on your Lives ! You have missed the
road ! " *
The young man put his head from the carriage
window, and caught a glimpse, high upon the 1
precipice across the torrent, of a golden-haired
Amazon in a blue riding-dress, upon a gigantic
white horse.
"Stop on your Livls! Death ts before 1
you!" she shouted again, with frantic gesture*,
it was too late! With rapidly accelerating velocity
the carriage, rolling, pitching, and rebounding.
thundered down tbe precipice, and was dashed
to atoms on the rocks of the abyss!
Clearing the chasm by a dying bound, Gertrude
Lion sprang from her horse, and, leaping
from peak to peak, precipitated herself down to
the scene of death below.
With scowling precipices above, and overhanging
cliffs around, and jagged rocks below, pitch
dark was the cavernous ubyss but'for one strong
gleam of sunlight, that, striking through a cleft
in the rocks, fell red upon the ghastly wreck, a
mingled heap of broken shafts and wheels, crushed
and writhing horses, and dead and dying
One instant, aghast with horror, Gertrude
stood, then she sprang to the spot! The horses
were convulsed in their last death throes. The
coachman lay with his bead crushed. The form
of the valet was shattered out of every resemblance
to humanity. She saw all this at a glance.
A second look showed her the form of a young
man. with his head, shoulders, and arms, drooping
backwards over the broken windows of the
carriage. He hung there, pallid, still, and rigid.
This might be from a concussion or a swoon?
there was no proof of death, at least. She saw
that, and hastened to reudcr assistance where
alone it could be available, if any, to him. She
took hold of his shoulders and tried to draw
him out of the carriage. Finding that a part
of the timbers had been crushed upon his form,
she let him go, and went to work with her
strong hands &nd hunting-knife until she had
cut, torn, and wrenched an opening lurge enough
to draw him through. She took him in her powerful
arms, and laid his helpless head over her
ruboat shoulders, and her fine, fierce eyes rolled
from precipice to peak, and from rock to torrent,
in search of a dry, smooth spot on which to lay
the mangled form. She saw nothing of the sort
until her eyes fell upon the spot near her feet,
where the valet and the coachman lay in a heap
with the horses?all still in death.
She laid her burden gently down, ani with ft
" Poor fellows!" beatowed impftrtially upon men
and horses, she stooped, and, with her gTeat
strength, succeeded in stretching them out, aud
arranging them into a eort of bed, to keep the
bruised form of the living invalid from the sharp
rocks and foaming water. Then she lifted her
patient, and laid him on the heap, arranging him
as tenderly as possible?a wounded and insensible
man, resting on a couch formed of the dead !
Seizing a crushed hat from the ground, she
stooped to the water, and dipped it full. Kneeling
on the sharp rocks, unmindful of the pain,
she laved his head and face, the while gaziog
with a savage admiration at the pale, aristo<yatic
features, surrounded by their frame of black
filky hair and whiskers. " How beautiful be is!
Low beautiful P she said, lifting the delicate hand,
and examining with n half savage, half childish
curiosity the white and tapering fingers, one of
which was encircled with a rich seal ring. 44 Beautiful
as a sun-gilded cloud 1 beautiful as a mountain
rainbow ! Oh! I hops ha will not die P And
she renewed her efforts to recover him. 44 What
shall I do? Oh! what shall I do? What do
people do for dead people 7 I mean drowned people?no,
kilUii people 7 Oh ! they bleed them !
The dootor bled Brutus when he was thrown from
his horse, and had his head broken?atop"? she
took her huntiug kuire, and felt its point?then
flying to n reek, the sharpened it?then running
back to her patient, the ripped up hta coat sleeva,
aud bared his arm, eneireliug It with her tkumh
and finger, and oompresetng it, she started up
the vein Then gazing on 'h" L'r transparent
skin, %ith the blue vtius meandering beneath, |
she paused. For the very first time in her life
the rock of her heart tea* smitten, and a fount of !
pity and tenderness gushed forth into a flood of |
tears, that rolled flashing down her fhee, like one ,
ot the sparkling waterfalls of her native moun- j
tains. "Oh! what shall I do? losnnot! No, I
eAnnot stick thia ghastly hludc into that fair arm!
Oh! (oannot! it would give him so much pain!
But if t do not, he will die! Yes, he will dissoivo
sway from me, beautiful and evanescent as the
rainbow of this morning!'' She opened the vein, .
and, as the blood begun to flow, the young man
slowly unclosed his eyes. " How do you feel ?
Do you know ?n? ? (Yes, that was what the doctor
said to Brutus, when k* opened his eyes after
the bleeding) How do you feel ? Do you know
me ?" But a spasm convulsed the young man's
face, and he fainted again. "Oh! Heavens! what
shall 1 do nott ?" exclaimed Gertrude, as she cut
off the linen sleeve of his shirt, stripped it up,
and bound up his arm. " I must get him home to
the Lair; but Qh ! 1 am fearful tbat he cannot
)>e?r th? She dashed water in his
f ee. He revived again " Do you know me *>ir f" t
sue uieu, uxiBK tier eyes riirumiy on tih coun!
teuance. He looked at her with a troubled ex- *
| preasiun, and otoaM his eyes, ha if iu weariness, e
I while spasms of pain traversed bis countenance t
| 1 Oh! if I could get a doctor here! but that is
impossible?neither man uor beast but myself, or
some poor, hunted, desperate fugitive slave, could
reach this frightful wild. 1 must try to get him
home to the Liir." She attempted to raise him,
but spasms of agouv convulsed his whole frame r
on being moved. "Ob! I could carry him home,
hut the removal would kill him. What shall I
do with him ( Let's see?these rocks are full of t
caverns, the occasional retreats of runaway slaves
I must find one, as a temporary shelter." And
laying the wounded man down gently, she started s
off, diligently searching among the rocks. At h
last she came to the opening of a cavern. Enter- v
ing it, she saw that it was smooth, though not s<
level, and quite dirk. Stripping off her blue *
cloth pelisse, she laid it down as a pallet; return- T
ing to th- side of her invalid, she gently drew ti
hint away front the body of the coachman, strip- a
ped the clothes from the dead man, and cirrying
them off to the cavern, laid a part of tbera ou the u.
pelisse, to make it softer, and rolled up a part of
them as a pillow, and placed it at the head. Theu
tefurning to her patient, she raised him in her
arms, laid his head gently over her shoulder, j
and bore him carefully along till she reached the i
cavern. Here she laid him down tenderly, and j
going to a waterfall close by. she filled the hat, I
and, returning, made him drink a portion, and
bathed his face, head, and hands, with the rest.
Suddenly a noise in the darkest recesses of the
cavern startled her Thinking of a wolf, she
drew her hunting-knife, and stood upon her de- tic
feoce. The animal came out from his lair, and
stood before her, amazed, us ooe startled from <d
sleep?a wild, haggard, half-famished festive i"
slave, in tattered garments. Gertrude stoTO ou
her defence with the raised knife. The man uj
glared at her, a very wolf of desperation and fe- I
rocity. He seemed to measure ber size and
strength, and then made a step towards her. tit
1 Stop!'' commanded ^he Amazon; and the man w
stood, arrested ss by a shook. " Advance another pu
step, and this knife is sheathed in your heart, and "b
Kou are hnrled to the bottom of these precipices.
I am Gertrude Lion, and you koow me! But "f
pause, snd listen, and I m iy do you good." !",r
The haggard and wolfish features of the slave ra',
relaxed a little, as he said, in a hoarse voice? rri
"And you'll not set the constables on me, Miss U<
Jertrude?" j?
" Explode the constables! no, I'd do you good, 1 I'1*
mid. Listen; J know you, Antony you are Mrs rnl
Armstrong's fugitive slave. Now. I don't adore I'1'
VIrs. Armstrong myself, and if you will do me a 1",
avor, I will assist yflhr escape from the State." VVI
" What is it, then, Miss Gertrude? " jty
"You see this wounded boy 7 He was hajf by
nlled by the breaking of his earriage : he is too
'acc. add naaorsrtrto *iep ufc vrifw^St^r rf-nyw ?'" fiJJ
n J water down his throat, while 1 return to the qU
L,air to fetch necessaries for him." J
" But if you should bring a posse with you to nn
ake me, Miss Gertrude." all'
41 Why should I ? Besides, would any venture ""
heir neck in this terrible descent ?"
44 That is true enough." ^
44 And I am true." B,'i
44 And so you are, Miss Gertrude."
"Certainly ; reassure yourself; and here, take ?l;
my knife. Now nurse your patient tenderly, its
while I am gone, and when 1 return 1 will not "P
forget you ; 1 will bring you f >od, clothing, and a 1"
pass that will enable you to leave the State."
Then kneeling, ami placing her hand once more ^
upon the pallid brow of her patient, and arranging Rj|
his rude couch, she arose and hurried from the
cavern, clambered up the rugged ascent, and pi
sprang from peak to peak, until she had gained vt
the spot where she had left her horse, lie was w
no longer there Placing her fingers to her lips, rel
she blew a clear, shrill call, and soon her white fr(
horse came ambling up the side of a precipice to* ca
w .rds her. She placed her hand upon his neck,
leaped into the saddls, and sped like an arrow ,vj
from the bow towards the Lair. f"
It was late in the morning before she returned, ve
with linen, wine, and food. She found Antony
faithfully watching bis patient Witfi the aiJ of ^
the restoratives she had brought, the young man j
revived. pj
44 Now, Antony," she said,41 we must move him ; R,
but first, here is the pass 1 wrote for you." dc
She took it out and read it? be
" Antony Burgess has my permission to pass and ^
re-pass from Peakville to Alexandria, free of molestation,
between the first of Juoe and the first of 01J
July, inclusive Gkkikcdk Lion. ca}
" Tim Lai*, Co., Va.,} ar
" There, A ntony, that is exactly the p ih that 1
give to my own men when they want to go to town
Now, it is true that you are not my own man, but f*
that ia no renann why I should not give you my lri
consent to go where you please. since I have no ex
objection to it ; and so, when you present that, ot
people will naturally think it cornea from your br
owner And even if it fails, it Cannot get you or e*
me into trouble, since 1 only express my consmr
Now, Antony, since he cannot be removed from '
this abyss, first inter that poor dead coachman
and valet, then take their clothes, dress yourself, t|
t.ike this food and wine, and this purse, and God ci
bless you " ai
"Shan't I help you to tote the young gentleman fr
up the rocks, Miss Gertrude?"
"Oh, no; two carrying one burden could not ^
I climb the ascent, you know." 1
"Sure enough, miss; but can't I tote him my- ({
" No, no, you could not do it tenderly enough ; o
besides, I doubt whether you are now strong '
enough. No, do you attend to what is left behind ; J,
bury the poor dead coachmen, and don't forget to t
recite the ten commandments over their graves J1
Now good bye" And. shaking hands with him. d
Gertrude turned, and lifted up her ptticnt.
"No, no, do not; you cannot," muttered the ''
young man, in a feeble mice?now seeming, for the
first time, to note what w is going on ,
" Hush," replied Gertrude, laying his head ,
-III..L. UI 1,1. arai
tenderly orer her snouiuer, *ou? >uc ?v? u.o .? ,
rest upon his bosom, sod drooped her own head i
unconsciously, caressingly, orer his silky curls. t
She left tne cirern, and carefully picking her
way among the rocks, not to jolt her patient, be- {
gan to climb the ascent. i
"Oh, do not, do not, you will hurt yourself.'
rery faintly murmured the young man, feebly J
struggling to get down.
"Hush, hush! there, there, be still I that's a |
dear boy ; be easy, that's a good boy."
He wat still, from exhaustion, until they had |
nearly reached the ascent, when the youth again
grew realise.
" Come, come, lie still; he quiet, or I'll get
mad, and I amdingerons when I'm msd: ask any- j
one if I'm not," eaid Gertrude, ss, resting a moment i
with her burden, eheraerol her fingers to her lips, ,
and blew the shrill, clear call, that brought her ,
white horse bounding towards her L tying the I
youth on the horee's neck, and holding him there 1
by one hand, she sprang into the saddle, and,
gathering him to her bosom agaiu, she set off in a
alow and easy g.it to the Lair.
Going down the oppoeits descent of this ridge,
and paaslng through a defile, and olimbing up
another ridge of rocks, and passing down it, a tall :
and thickly wooded mountain olsft, open near the
summit, like the open crater of an extinguished
Toloano, stood before them The opening near this '
mountain-top waa shaped like a mammoth tea-cup j
with a piece broken out of its side, tho break being
in front; or, as i said, like the partly oaved-in ora- |
1 Ur of a burnt out eolcano This crater wss thiokly
and richly grown with oopss wood, and might in.
deed hare sereed as the lair of some fabolons '
giant In the midst of this lofty green hollow. 1
' lurked a sky, half rained, old building of red
1 oandstone, looking like a wild beast in his hole,
1 gloomy enough to growl at you. Up this moun- |
(aid, and towards this house, scrambling over
rocks, broken walla, und through tangled hushes 1
ttu<1 briers, Gertrude here her charge.
44 Who??the? Maz'i?are you doing, Gertrude P
exclaioied Brutus Lion, enteriug the stone-pared ,
kitchen of the I^air that evening The Gerfalcon t
had swoped down before the great fireplace, and c
hotered there before a bright blase that cast her
shadow to the ceiling. 4
"What the d*wii are you doing, Gertrude?" J,
again he asked, thruatiug his hands into his
breeches pockets, and pdking his head >o> ward. 1
Gertrude started to her feet like a guilty thing,
i saucepan in oue hand and a spoon in the other, '
her s anguine blood crimsoning ber brow.
"Ha ha ha ha ha-a-a-r!'' shouted Brutus ^
What! tou cooking; you! 1'ou a 'coffeehrewing,
cake-baking little fool '?" r
"Hush!" muttered the giant'-ss, in a deep, c
ttrotig tone ^
"4 Hush '' why, what in thupder am 1 to hush
'or ?" ~ t
u Be still, I say, or, please Hearer, I'll gag jot, (
llrutos1" ercl??>n?^.l noting dowo the v
uucepan. and stepping towards him
"Hum! "I'll roar >ou softly an it ware a <*
tuckiug down .' but what's it all ulxxit. that thews J'
itone walls, that usually resound with noise, must h
tow he silent as 'the cushat's downy rest'?" <
" The doctor says he must he kept quiet." *'
" W%it doctor ??trho kept quiet?"
" The poor boy?the beautiful boy up stairs." b
" Boy up stsirs! " ?
" Yes, that was killed almost by Laving his car- (
iage dashed to pieces." r<
"When?where?how?" ?
"This morning, at Mad River Pass, by taking
he wrong road down the precipice "
' And he has been brought here?" il
" Yea; and the doctor has been here, and pre- b
cribed rest, and bandages, and salves, for his 11
ruises?and wheys, and custards, and jellies, and 81
that not, that I know nothiog about. See, I've
salded myself already, trying to make this wine f,
rhey. Won't you he so good as to go over to the ^
fovecofe, and fetch Ztt, and the schoolmaster, |\
so, if he cannot he left behind ; she knows how tl
II these things ought to be got up' Vl
"Oh, the little 'coffee-brewing fool' can be
lade useful in ? case of eoiergeDov." j
| co ue co.mls i 'to ] 11
os ?'
In Senate, March 2G, 1850
The Senate having under consideration the resolu- r?
>ns submitted by Mr. Clay? ,lJ
Mr.CHASE. 1 rise, Mr. President, with unsfTect- hi
diffidence, to offer to the Senate my views of the
iportunl questions present'd by the resolutions of
e honorable Senator from Kentucky. d<
Coming from the private walks of file, without the si
vantage of previous public position, and with- <h
it experience in legislative debate, I speak from no pi
inence which will entitle ine to command atten- pi
in. 1 claim for what 1 say that consideration only b<
tiiclt is due to sincerity of belief, to directness of
irpose, and to whatever force of agumenl I may be t>?
le to bring to the support of my positions. "I
It has been said, Mr. President, and suid in a tone
complaint, hv Southern ffeiitlcmen thm this (Ja?.
ntnenl Is rapidly becoming a mere bdvermnent of ^
e majority?becoming a groat consolidated detnoc- < <
cy. Now, t it, if by this it be meant lhat this Gov- <;
rinient of ours has become, or Is to become, the AI
ivernnient of the American people, administered ev
conformity with the will of a majority of the peot?if
it be meant that the democratic principle ia ,*
rried, or is likely to be carried, into practical ap- ru
< ation in its adminiatrution and legislation, I aec Pr
the fact, it fact it be, no ground of complaint, but m'
Iter ground of congratulation and satisfaction y"
by, sir, what is this democratic principle ? Kuual- !!!!
ol natural rights, guarantied and secured to all cir
the laws ol a just popular Government. For ? *
to j i. g vm
tons now Cetore~ttie*Senate, and to every other "r
hut our responsibilities art; limited by our powers ; "4
d however clear it may be that we are bound by **
egiance to democratic principle to condemn, to J 1
tigate, to abolish slavery, wherever we can constu "I1
lionully do ??, it ia equa ly clear that we are not
und, and that we have no right, to interfere with y1
ivery by legislation beyond the sphere of our contutional
We have no power to legislate on the subject of
ivery in the Stales. We have power to prevent Kr
extension, and to prohibit its existence within the ''
here ot the exclusive jurisdiction of lint General ru
ovcrnnunt. Our duty, therefore, is toahstainfroin '
terference with it in the States. It is also ourduty
prohibit its extension into national territories, and
i continuance where we are constitutionally respun- 111
>le for its existence. w
Such, Mr. President, is my position; and for the
trpose of show ing that I am sustained in it by the vil
ry highest authority, I propose to review, some- }*
hat at large, the history of this Government in its j,f,
lations to slavery. tie
It was said yesterday by the honorable Senator in
mi Virginia [Mr. Hi'kteh] that the South had no
use of complaint against the North in regard to
ivery until the year lb'JO, the date of the Missouri
itnpromise. However that may be, we must go
rther back in time, if we wish to trace the contro- .
rsy Is-1 ween slavery and freedom in this country '
its source. We must go Iivj hundred yeura furerback.
It wasln 1621) that a Dutch shipascended .r,'
e James river, bringing the first slaves into Virnia.
In that same yeur the Mnvllower b ought tlie 'J'
ilgrim founders of New Kngiund to Plymouth P
ock. Slavery was introduced into Virginia. Free)in
was pluntcd in New Kngiund. The contest
iween the despotic principle?the element and | v
laranly of slavery and the democratic principle?
e element and guaranty of liberty ?commenced. (J'
Hut slavery was not established in Virginia withit
remonstrance and resistance. The colonists ^
implained vehemently of the iniroduclion of slaves,
id resorted to various expedients of prevention. '
at the desire of the mother country to benefit the ^
ivigator and to stimulate production led the British
overnmenl to disregard every complaint, and In .
gativc uli colonial legislation against the slave 'J
tide. Slaves continued to be imported. The traffic
;tended to other colonies, until at length slavery '
it,'lined a too'hold in every one of them. At the "
caking out ot the Revolution, slaves were held in u
ery colony, from Massachusetts to Georgia.
Well, sir, how was slavery regarded at that period! Jf
i September, 1774, the first Congress of the colo- J.
es met in Philadelphia. Had the opposition to 1
avery which had been previously manifested, and L'J
ii desire for its extinction which hail been so gen- '.
ally cherished, now become extinct 7 A decisive ,
mwer to this inquiry may he fiund in an" ex true!
oin a singtilnrly mI.Jc exposition of the Rights of
ritish America, prepared by Mr. Jefferson, nnd laid
afore the Convention of Virginia, which assembled ''
a August, 1774, for the purpose of appointing dele- L|
ales to the proposed Congress. 1 w ill read this ex- T
ract: ft
" Tht Iiliolilum of r/?tne*/ir */urery is tlie greatest object
f desire in these minim h, wliere It ?u utilisppily intra- *
ueed in tlieir uitsiit stale Hut, previous to the enfrmu- *
liiHenient of the slaves, it is necessary to exelude flintier "
mporlaliotis from Africa. Vet our repeated attempts to
fT'-ct this by prohibition*. ami by Imposing duties wliicli (
night amount to prohibition, bavr tieen lullo-rlo defeated j
y his Majesty's negative; thus preferring the immediate .
I vantage ol s few African corsairs to the h.sling interests ,
f the American States, and I lie rights of human nature, '
eepty wounded by this infamous practice." -Am. Airhix", ?
/A sen's*, vol. 1, p. (JW> c
The Congress, which soon after assembled, shared '
bcae scniitycntM. Among Its first nets was the *
rattling of the celebrated Articles of Association
vhich composed the non-imporiation, non-exporia- I
ion, nnd non-consumption ugrccment. 1 will read r
he second of those articles:
-That w will neitlier ini|*<rt nor ptireha <e soy slave im
Iiirteil alter the first day of December liext, after which j
tine we will wholly discontinue (he slave trade, slid will liei ,
tier lis concerned iu it ourselves, nor will we tore our vra, f
h Is, or sell oik commodities or manufactures, to those <
..... concerned ill it "? A in A rchlvr'. 4III series, vol. t
i,/#.' ?1Y i
Thero waa another article in thin agreement, which
I will read :
"Art II Aid a- i > farther axrce and p-wlvr that wr will I
liave no trade, cummrirc, dealings, or interrounie whatever. t
w tilt any colony or urov iinf hi North Ann rtri which aliall t
lint accede In in which almll hereafter violate Una aaanrla i
Inili, hot wiU liol'l iIimii as unworthy of the right* of freemen,
ami a? Ciiiinir.il to lice liberties of tlnacountry," Am.
Anhirm, 4/A aerin, rut. I. // 9lf?.
Will, air, thia solemn covenant, thua pledging
every colony and every citizen to an entire abandon- J
inent and suppression of the slave trade, wan signed 1
by every delegate In Congress SoulW-rn and Northern
i'ublic Matimrnt on iliia subject waa then
unanimous, or next to unanimous, throughout the
rountry. Among thrne signers we find trie namea
of Rodney, Mi Kean, and Read, of Delaware ; < 'hnae
and Pacs, of Maryland; Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia;
Hooper arid Hewm. of North f-arolina ; and
Middh-ion, Rutledge, and Lynch, of South Carolina;
all i>f whom aubaequcntly sttbsentw-d the DacUruilon
of Independence. We alao find the names of
George Washington and Patrick Henry.
Now, Mr. President, let it be ran'ttnhered that
these Articlea of Aaaociaiion, en'-.ed inio as a mess
ure for obtaining a redress of grievances from the
People and Government of Great Brttttfti, and tr, the
faithful obaervance of which, in all their stipulations
the delegates of the colonies pledged themselves and
their constituencies, " under the aacred lis# of virtue,
honor, and love of eountry ;" let It be remembered, I
ay, that these articlea oooatiluted the first hood of
American Union. The Union thua constituted waa,
to be sure, imperfect, partial, Incomplete ; hut It was
still a uniou, a union of the colonies and of the people,
for the great objects aat th in the articles.
And lot it bo remembered also Hi at prominent in the
list of measure* agreed on in ti-ae artirles, was the
liscontimianceof the alave tra*-, with a view to the
ultimate extinction of slavery feetf.
I say with a view to the tftimate extinction of
davery, and I have autho ity for saying so. 1 ask
mention to an extract from the proceeding* of a
own meeting at D.inbury, Cotfiectlcut, htld on 12lh
>f December, 1775:
' It is with sing-ilar pleasure wr |olre the second article
if lh? Association, in whi< h It la aj-ro4 to im|>?rt no news
lesro slaves, as wr cannot Out thiol ill palpatde absurdity
o loir I It to complain of attempt* rsaiave ui while we
ire arniallv enslaving otkeri t>? ArtKirm. 4ih
uM. 1,;> lUto
This waa the Northern view. What was the
Southern! We find it upon rcrord in the proceedings
of the Congress of the Ke|rt?entnlives of I);tien,
in the colony of Cveor^ia. Acceding to the As
ociation, thay declared their views in these words :
"We, trie representatives of the extensive district ..f l?i
irn, In the colony of Georgia, beaig now a?wnil>ie0 in
'ougreas. by the authority and fret moire ul (lie inhale
lanta of said district, now 4n*d frttn their frtlrra, do reolvs."
Then follow aeve al resolutive setting forth the
'rounds of complaint against the oppressions of
a cat Hriiuin, closing with the Ituphatic declaration
rhich 1 wiU nef -rzzS;
44 To thow til lli* thai ^
w* . nm ..... iiiuuriK cu ov any
i.iitracied or interested motives. bttby a general pl'illan
?r?|>v for all mankind, of wt-aiOUr "lib. U-fcuage, or
nmplrxioti. we hereby declare our disapprobation anil ab
wrHKf of llie unnatural practice ol slavery In America,
however lit" uncultivated stair ol our couulrjr or other
perioua arguments may plaad for il)?a practice foitmlrj
I injustice ami erarity, ami highly ilainrroiia to our libnira
a? writ aa lives, tl< basing part ol our lellow creatures
rlow men, ami corrupting tbr virtue and morals ol the
rat. and laying the basis of that libr-ty ?< ronlruil for,
ml which we pray the Almighty to contiuar to the lateal
oaterity, upon a very wrong founda'.iun We therefore
solve al all timra to uar our ulnuiti rnjrurum for the
umumitoion of our slaves in this colony, upon (lie most
ile ami equitable looting lor the mastersayl llu-ms. hea."
A in Arrhirn, 4lh series, \ol. 1, /). 1115.
That, sir, was the Southern view, it least it was
he view of a large and intelligent and influential
ody of Southern men. And with thip understaudjg
of their effects and tendency, the ,Vtiel< s of As[H'iatton
were udopted by colonial conventions,
utility meetings, and leaser assemblsgt* throughout
te eountry, und herame the law of America?the
induinetiial Constitution, so to speak, of the first
merlean Union. It Is needless to citu many resoitions
of these meetings. They can (?' found in
le American Archives oy those who desire to inestigate
the subject. 1 will quote but two.
The first is u resolution of the Convention of
luryhnd, h< Id in November, 1774, rcjdoptfd by a
tbnequenl Convention, ttiore fully 4UenJed, in
lecember of the same year :
" llroolrrj, Thai every tnemlier ol tins m.diug will, ami
ery person in tit" province should, strictly Aid inviolably
>srr\ " anil carry into rirrution the Asscchlloit anient
t by th" Cuiititicutal Congress."
The other is the declsrution adopted by a general
lecting of the freeholders of James CitV county,
irginia, in November, 1774, in these wort*:
' The Association entered into by Congress ttnig publy
read, the Ireehohlers and other iiiliabitati* of tit >
iiiuty, that they might testify to flic world the .f concuriter
and hearty approbation of the measure* adopted by
at rrspeeinblc body, very cordially acceded thfreto, and
d hitn 1 and oblige themselves, by the sacred lief of virtue,
inor. anil love to their country, strictly ami infiolahlv to
serve Bud keep llie unir in every particular "
These, sir, are specimens of the formal a?d Bolnnn
'ciiirations and engagements of public bodies. To
low the aent<inent which pervaded the masses of
le people, 1 will read an extract from an eloquent
ipcr, entitled " Obaervaiions addressed to the Peoe
of America," printed at Philadelphia in Novum r,
1774 :
"Tlie least deviation from die resolves of Congress will
i treason ; such treason a* lew villains have ner had au
>|M)rliinity of committing It will be treason against the
sent Inhabitants of the colonies, against the millions <>l
it.orn generations who are to exist hereafter in America,
.aiustthe only liberty and happiness which remain to
ankinil. against the last hopes of die wretched in every
iruer of die world; In a word, it w ill be treason against
? Ambhican Constitution I.et ns, therefore, hold up
erythiag we do to die eye of posterity Tliej will most
obsbly measure their liberties and happiness by the most
reless of our footsteps Let no unhallowed hand
itch the precious seed of liberty. Let us form die gto.
ins tree in such a manner, and impregnate it witli such
uiriple* of life, dial it shall last forever I al
ml trith to lire to hear the triumphs uf the jubilee, is the
ir 1V74 ; to see the mislela, pictures', fragments of w ri
ga, that shall be displayed to revive the memory of die
oc tradings of the Congress of 1774. If sny adveslltious
cumslance shall give preeedeuey oil thai day, it shall
Iti iiiticrit llie blood, or even to m" ?# t vsiicnt,
'vi'o huve tfte ItVsl uxptr*sRis*a Of the pubsentiment
and will of the American people upon
ia subject of alavery. The earliest action of the
sociatcd colonies waa nnli alnvery action. The
nion which they then formed waa indeed, ns I
ive said, incomplete i but It waa complete enough
warrant the Congress which repreaented it in deiring
independence, in waging war, in contracting
bis; in anauntlng, In short, many of the functions
nationality and sovereignty.
Well, air, nearly two years pasted by, nnd the
tevaneea of the colonies remained unredressed,
he war of the Revolution had begun, and the Declution
of Independence was promulgated. Thai Inriiment
breathed the same spirit na rhr Artlclcg of
saociatlon. The original draught, ns il fume from
c hand* of Jsflbrson, contained a clause reprobntg
in the strongest Icrnia (hu trattic in men. I
ill rt'ud it:
" Ifr ban wag"! cruel war against human nature itaell,
dating ita nuiat wirrtil rigbta of lite ami liberty in tbe
rannaiif a ilialaiit people wlui never ulfeudeil In in, cap
ring ami carrying ihem Into slavery in another herniairrr,
or l<> iucur a miserable ilralli in their iranaporta
>n thither. Thia piratical warfare, the opprobrium of
tidrl Powera. ih the warlare of the Chrmliun Km* ul
real Britain Determined in keep ojien a market wlure
ti ahoiild he boticht and aolil, he haa proaliiuieil hia negive
for auppreaain* every legislative atleiupt lo prohibit
restrain thia execrable commeire." *
Thia clause whs indeed omitted from the Declnrain,
not because t did not express the sentiments
the majority of Congress, but, as .Mr. Jefferson
forms us, in compliance to South Carolina and
eorgia. Ho Inltinalc* also that some tenderness
dor these censuree was manifested by Northern
nllcnien. whose constituents had been aomewhnt
rgely engaged in tho slave trade. But atill the
eat fundamental truth, which constitutes the basis
all Jim! government, and which condemns equally
ery form of oppression, was retained in the Dcclution.
and announced to the world as self-evident :
e truth that "all men arc created equal; that they
c endowed by their Creator with certain inalicnae
rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the
irauit of happiness; that to secure these rights
jvernmcnts were instituted among men, deriving
eir just powers from the consent ol the governed.
Thus we see that, in this aecond great act of the
merican people, the fundamental truth upon which
*1 Articles of Assoeintion were based was reili ra
d ; not as a " rhetorical flourish," not as an ad>ruction
ineapable uf practical application in human
fairs, but as a living principle, not to be disregard I
without fatal consequences, in the structure or
ic administration of government. That such was
ir view aetuully talflgi of the Declaration at that
I?w? ! Inrf hi-r fvidi-nf fmm lhf* liifu/h.'i iff of lhf* dfH
itch** transmitting it to the uufhorltlea of the difrent
colonic*, and to the commander-in-chief of
to army. 1 will quote a patagntph from tite loiter
r the 1'reaident of Congrens, John Hancock, to the
otiventlon of New Jersey.
" I "hi myself the honor to encloae, In obedience ( > the
iinmaiids of f.'uligrras. * cop* of Itir l>rrhirali<>n , f hide,
rndence, which you will pleaae to have proclaimed in
our colon* in Bitch w?f and manner as you judge lie*',
he im|H>rtaut conai quencea r< Bulling to Ihe American
late* from lhi? Declaration of Indepeiulenre, ronndtrtd
i the ground ami foundation of a future liorernmeul,
ill naturally auggeia the propriety of prorlainimg It In
Lirh h mode nb thai the |ieoplr may be universally informed
I it Arner Arch ,.V/? series, rof l,p II.
8uch were the principle*. Mr. '1*re*idont, of the
lovernment and the |ieo|de during the atrugglo for
ndepeodence. They were reiterated at the clute of
I. Very nhorlly after the treaty of peace waa rallied
in 1733, Congteea iaaurd an addrea* to the
(tati a, drawn up by Mr. Mndiaon, the main purpose
it which waa to persuade to the provtaton of a lund
or the di*eh:irge of the public engagement*. That
iddresa contain* the rlatiae which 1 will now read :
'* l.et it ba remembered, finally, that It haa ever been the
iridt- and boaat of America that the righla for which ahe
oiitendeil were Ihe rights of human nature By Ihe h>a*
ii* of lha Author of these rights oil Ihe noan* acrtr.l Im
hair defence, they have prevailed agalliet all oppneition,
Hid form Ike basis tf thirteen inrt'fiemtenl Stales No
iiataoce ha* heretofore occurred, nor can any Instance he
XjMcted hereafter to occur, In which the unadulterated
or me of repuhlicaa government can pretend to ao lair an
ipportunit* of justify in* th'meelvaa by their fruits In
liia view , the cilisena of Die United Htatee are reBponalhla
or I lie git alert m ml *?r contH-l la ? political ?>. in?
1 Maihtvn Paper*, Ap II
Thl*, air war the acknowledgment of 1783. That
ho war of thu Jtcvolutiori waa wagt-d not lo vindi:ate
privilegi a, but right*; not the nghla of any part
jr < In** of the people, but the righta of all men ?
" the right* of human nature."
It was not long before an occaaion aroae to teat
the alneerity of Congrea* In theae varioua declaration*;
to determine whether or not Congrraa waa
prepared to carry the principle* *o aolemnly recognoted
into practical applu-ation. without reaped lo
pcraon* or aectlon*. Nor waa Congreaa wanting to
the ocraaion.
On the I at of Mnrch, 1734, Virginia ceded to the
United Ntatre nil her claim lo tTie territory northweat
of the Ohio. Much praiac baa been awarded
to Virginia for thin ceaaion. 1 drain* lo detract
nothing from It. Virginia, doubtle*#, confided fully
in the validity of her title to the territory which aht
ceded. It la true that, acting under her authority
and In anticipation of an eipeditlori ordered hy Con
greaa, the gallant Oeorge Roger* ?'bike, at the h ail
of a handful of brave Katitui kiana, dlapoaauaaed ih<
Britlah authoritiea of that portion of the terrltorj
which they had occupied on the VVabaah and Mia
aiaaippi. But it la right to aar, and 1 am bound t<
aay, that the validity of the Virginia title waa nev*
recognlwd, waa always contest* 1, by Congree*
Other Mute* claimed inierente in the aame territory
New York claimed tha who!*; Connecticut cbiinei
a part, and Maaaar huaeti* alao advanced a rlaiiii
Agalnat all thenr demand*. Con .:>* * asserted a right
In behalf of the United Statee, to the entire Iran*
* 3 MuUttm Poiait, at tha rpwa u( itm volume, where
tec tonic ui Jfr Jefferaou a liewiwriuiig will be juuinl.
Allcghnnian region, as crown lands, acquired fron
Great liritian by the common blood and treasure o
all the States, and appealed to the claimant Stale
to relinquish their pretensions. New York was thi
first to respond to this appeal, and her cession wai
accepted by Congress in 1792. Virginia had pre
vloindy proposed to cede all her claim northwest a
the Ohio on certain conditions; but, the condiiioni
not being admitted, the cession was not accepted
Subsequently the contest was terminated by a satisfactory
cession, made by Virginia and accepted by
Congress. It was an arrangement, in fact, which
involved concessions on both sides. Virginia yield
ed to the United Stntcs all her claims to territory
northwest of the Ohio, and the United States tacitly
surrendered to Virginia nil elaim to the territory
southeast of that river, alleged to be within her
chartered limits. 1 have thought It my duty to
make these observations, as a Senator of a State
whose rights and interests, us well as the rights and
interests of her sister States of Pennsylvania, Indiana,
and Illinois, are affected to some extent, by the
claim of exclusive title to the Western country
which has been advanced in behalf of Virginia.
Whatever the title of Virginia may have been,
however, it is certain that upon her cession, made,
.. i ? ?-- i - ' *?
?? . "ii inr mi iii aiurcn, wen, in<' i nihil
States came into ou'a^nhin y>? 4 a^v.
ereignty of the vast region northwest of the Ohio.
To dispose of the soil and to determine the political
institution* ol the Territory, now became the Htifr
oi Congress; and the duty was promptly performed.
On the very day of the cession, Defore the sun went
down, Thomas Jefferson, in tiehulf of a committee,
consisting of himself, Mr. Howell of Rhode Island,
| and Mr. Chase ol Maryland, reported a plan for the
I govt rnmenl of tho Western Territory?not that lying
! north of the Ohio merely, hut of aft, front the north
line of Klorida to the north line of the United States.
This, sir, is a memorable document of ouf early history,
and I propose to read portions of it to the Senate
' The territory rejrd, or to It* cfdrrf, hy the individual
Slates to the United Slates, * * * shall he formed into
distinct States. * * The settler? * shall,
either on their own petition or on the order of Congress,
receive authority, with appointments of time and place,
for their free males, of full age, to meet together for the
purpuMof establishing a trmpurary Government ' * *
" Such tem|x>rary G iverument shall only eoniimie
in force, in anv Sinle, until it shall have aripiired twenty
lliousauil inhabitants; when, giving due proof thereat lo
Congress, tliev shall receive from them authority, with up i
IMiiiiliiieuiK of lime and place, to call a convention of rep- !
reerutailves to establish a permanent Constitution and
(iovrriimeut for themselves : I'roriJnl. That both the
leui|Hirsry slid permanent Coveromenta be established
upon these principles as their basis.'
Here follow sundry provisions, the last of which in
as follows :
" That after th* ynr leSSI of I In Christian Kra thru
shall hr v'ithrr storei y ton iutulaaiai y servitude in any yf
th' mini Stale*, nlhri iri.it Ihnn in the eranishmrnt ofrtiinrs.
whereof th' 101 rly shall htitf bftn July conciiled to hurt
hern personally guilty
Thin, sir, was Ihc plan nnd proviso of Jefleraon.
It met the approbation of the American People. It
proved that the declaration of 1776 was not an empty
profession, but a true faith. It proved that the spirit
of the covenant of 1774 yet animated the heart of the
nation. According to this grand and comprehensive
scheme, the commencement of the nineteenth century
was to witness the inauguration of freedom, as
the fundamental and perpetual law of the transmontune
half"of the American Republic.
Had this plan and proviso been adopted, we should
not now be discussing the questions which embarrass
us. The extension of slavery would have been limited
hy the Alleghanies No slave could ever have
trodden a foot of the soil beyond. Unhappily, however,
the proviso was not adopted ; and, ns I have
already said that it tnet the approval of the people, I
ask attention to iImproceedings which resulted in its
_.l II.. . I.? IO, I. ~r i_.ll u - o 1-1. r I
I< ju null. V/II tuc ii/n? ??i ifir. Ojiui^lll, (H
North Cnrollnn, moved that the proviso be stricken
out. Under the Articles of Confederation, which
governed the proceedings of Congress, h majority of
the thirteen States was necessary to an aliirmative
decision of any question ; and the vote of no State
could Is; counted, unless rcnresettled bv at len*i iw?
The question upon Mr. Spaighl'a motion was put
in this form:
"Shull the words moved to be struck out stand 7 '
The vote stood ?
For the Proriso, six Stntes, viz : \cw Hampshire,
Massachusetts, Khode Island, Connecticut, New
York, und Pennsylvania.
A/tainsi the Pronto, three States, viz : Virginia,
Maryland, and South Carolina.
ettftsra; te'." age?"s:?sL
Virginia stood- Mr. Jctbrbun, aye, Messrs. Hardy
and Mercer, no. Of the twenty-throe delegate* present
i nnd voting, sixteen voted for, and seven against, the
proviso. Thus was the proviso defeated by a minority
vote. The (ample were for it, the States were for
It ; but it failed in consequence of a provision which
enabled the minority to control the majority. 7t so
happened that Mr. Heutty, the colleague of Mr. I>ick,
hod left Congress a day or two before, und returned
n day or two after. Had ho been present, or had one
of Mr. Jefferson's colleagues voted with him. the result
would have been changed.* How vu*t the consequences
which, in this instance, depended on a
single VUig.
Well, sir, the Ordinance oflTRJ, tbus inarmed nnd
otherwise mutilated, hecamo the law of the land on
the 23d of April following In 1705, Mr. Jefferson
went abroad as Minister to Krunce, and was out of
the country until after the adoption of the Constitution.
The agitation of the proviao, however, did not
cease in ronaeoucnce of hit} absence. In I fiat same
year, (1785,) Mr. King, of Massachusetts, ugain
moved the prov iso in Congress, in a slightly modified
form, as follows:
I " That there shall he neither slavery m>r involuntary
servitude in any of the Stat'* described in the resolve* of
Congress of the 23d of April, I7i*l, otherwise than in the
punishment ol Crimea, whereof the party shall have been
personally guilty ; anil thai this regulation Khali tie an artiele
of compact,' nnd remain ? lunilamen'al principle of
the constitutions between the thirteen original Slates, aiol
each ol the Stales described in (lie said resolve of the ?id
ol April, 17H4.? 4 Juur. <Md Cong , 4H|
The resolution was ordered to lie committed by
the votes of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Connecticut,
Khode Island, New York, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, und Maryland eight; against the
votes of Virginis, North Carolina, .South Carolina,
and Georgia?four. Delaware was not represented.
The vote of Maryland waa determined by two ayes
against one no, while that of Virginia waa determined
by two noes against one aye. The decided favor
shown to this resolution by the vole for its commitment
was the more romnrknble, inasmuch as it proposed
the immediate prohibition of slavery, instead
of prohibition after 1000, In all territory acquired, and
to t>e acquired.
No further action was had at this time; but in n
little more than two yesra aflerwurds, the stibjert
was brought for tho third time before Congress, in
connection, as before, with the government of tho
Western Territory. The Ordinance of 1704, from
cause* into which it is not material to inquire, had
tui?n .-I.rri.'.t Into nractical operation. Settle
ment* were about lo commence in lliu Northwest,
and the settlers needed protection und government.
Congress, therefore, in 1787, resumed lite considerstion
of the auhject of Western Territory. These deliberation*
resulted in the crlebrated Ordinance of
1787, the last great act, and among the greoteat aria
of the Congress of the Confederation ; un uct which
received tlie unanitnoua votea of the Slates j and,
with a aingle exception from New Vork, of oil the
delegutra. Tina Ordinance, in its sixth article of
compact, expressly prohibited slavery and involun
tary servitude, except for crime, throughout the
Territory. It abolished existing slavery, and It forbade
future slavery. It covered with this prohibition
every Inch of territory then belonging lo the United
States. It expressly declared the national policy
which this prohibition and kindred provisions contained
In the articles of compact were meant to indicate
and estaidish. Thia is its language ;
"For kxtkndino til' fumlmmtntal piinri/Jn <J rlril
ami rrhgtmu liberty, whereon these republics, Itieir Us*
anil constitutions, are erected j lufit ami nlublinh those
principle* ? tb' b?*t* "/ oH loie*. lontliluliimt, ami far
rmtmnlM, wldcli fvrevtr hereafter sliall be formed in the
as id territory: ' ' lie it ordained and declared,
To guard ngainet possible future departure from
this policy, il was ordained that these articles should
"forever r<muin unalterable," unless altered by the
"common consent of the originnl States, and the
people and States In the Territory."
It ia iisrdly possible to conceive of s more explicit
declaration of governmental policy than this. The
state of public sentiment in regard to slavery, which
resulted in this positive and unanimous exclusion ol
it from national territory, Is w<-H described In a lettct
of Mr. Jefferson to l?r. Price, who pulilislicd atioui
that time s book in favor of emancipation. The 1st
tcr bears date Paris, August 7th, 178T>. 1 will rcsd ur
extract :
" Sioiitliwanl of Ibe <;li*aa|>*?ke, It will And but I**
reader* rniirurriiig with It (l>r P '? hook) hi sentiment ?i
Itie subject ul slavery From the inuiiih lo tlie bead of I Ik
(.'lieaapeak*, the bulk of tlie (s oph- will approve il is the
or*, slid It will And a rea|>eeiahle minority ready to edop
II in practice; a minority which, for weight and wortli o
chsrseter, pre|>oiidera(ea against 'lie gnati-r number W||>
have ins tli* courage to dlveat tb*tr families of a |>w>p?rij
wbir.li. however. keeo* their ri sseieui * iiuesay North
war I of the <'liraatwakr, you may And lirrr ?in I there ?i
opponent tn your rloctrm*, n? you may Ami here auil tli?r
a robber or a murderer; toil in no erraor number li
thai |wrt?f Aoirrica, there beiuj but few alavea, they rai
CaMltr diaeiu umber lliemaclvee of lliem; ami rmancipe
lion is |>ut Into atirh a train that in a few v-.r. tin-re ail
be no alavea nortliwanl of Maryland. In Maryland I il
not And am li a diapoadlon lo begin the rrdreaaof tin- mot
Ma aa III Virginia Tina la I III- neat Stair to wMl h ?
1 aiay turn our eye fur thr ml* omnii aim larlr of jualir
, la ronfl rl with avarice and oaprraaion , a roiiAwl when
in thr aarrrd aide ia falniug daily re.rinta from the inAu
| into ofllca of yruing mru, frown an/1 frowina ?p "
1 Tin; fftittal atate of opinion la also well expreaar
' t>y Mr. Jelleraon In Ilia Notes on Virginia, where li
My. i
' " I think a I lunge already j>rive|Hdilr mire the orlfl
r of our prcaeui revolution The apirit ol tlie maalrr
abating , lliat of Ilia alavc ia rialiif from the dual, Ina col
dilion aioliifvinf.andllie way I lio|>a preparing. undat ti
j auspu.ee ol llesveu, for a total euiau<ipatiou "
In another plate, dec luring lile own acnti/uenii
I, he aaid t
" NotMMly wialtca mora ardently than I to aaa aa abol
a ' Journals Old f .'oug., 374, eer Vlao t'ong Globe l(Mff-'
Appro , SH, Speech of Hon JotlA A Die
1 lion no) only of flit trade, t>m ol the condition of alaverv ,
y and rertaiufy nohojy will be more willing lo encounter
^ mrrifire lor that obj'CI."
? These tu nnim nta were shared by nearly every
, diatingi iahed character ?>f thai lime.
In a letti r lo Robert Morria, dated Mount Vernon,
f April 1/, I78t>, George' Washington aaul :
I "lean only ?ay that there t* not a man living who
walien more sincerely tliaat I do to aee a plan adopted for
the anohtion of it. (alatrriy ;) but there la ouly one proper
and effectual mode in which it ran he acromplmlie I. ant
that ia by legislative authority . aud thin, an far a* my
I suffrage will gn, ahall never be wanting "?9 SparkI I
WiukiitflvH. I5H
In a letter to John F Mercer, Septembers, 1796,
he reiterated thia sentiment:
"I never mean, uuleaa some particular cirriimstatirea
should compel me to it. lo iMoseaa another alave by pur
rioter, it h ma ani<mg my first wishes to we some plan
ailuiHril by which alavery iu Una roontry may he aholiahed
by law."?/bid
And, in a lelier lo Sir John Sinclair, he further
aaid :
"There are in Pennsylvania laws lor lha gradual a boblion
of alavery, which neither Virginia nor Maryland have
at prrwut, but which nothing in morr ccrtaiu tiiaii they
timid have, and at a |*riod m>( temulr "
li is unnecessary to multiply these extracts. So
universal were these sentiment*. that Mr. Leigh, 111
\ne \ onvtmiun 01 v uginia, in toii, Giu not nranaxo
to My :
" I lIuNialil, tilt xsrv lalrly, ilalit au knowa tu everyhotly
lhat, duriua (lie Rex otmlnn. and for many year* alter,
the abolition of alaxery xxas a favorite topic with many ol
our ahlrat statesmen, who entertained with respect all the
schemes which xviadom or ingenuity could snagest lor tla
accomplishniciit "
1 think, Mr. President, that two fnetn inav now
be regarded a a . alablisht d . First, that in I7?7 the
national policy in respect t > slit very was one of re
strietlon, limitation, and discouragement. Secondly,
that it was generally ex|w?cted that under the action
ol lite S.ate Governments slavery would gradually
disappear Irom the States.
Such was the state ol the country when the Con
vention nict to frame the Constitution of the United
i StattN. That Convention was sitting In l'hilndcl
| phia w Idle Congress was framing the Ordinance In
New York.
it has been said, in the course of thi? debate, that
there was some understanding between Congress
and the Conv? n'ion in regard to the question of ,
slavery. That may be so. Thero is, however, ,
nothing in history which proves it, though circumstances
do rertainly scent to wurrant sttcn a eonjec- <
lure. Hut, if there was an understanding, to what (
did It relate I Not certainly to the whole subject .
of slavery ; for, up to the time of the promulgation
of the Ordinance, r.o discussion had taken plare In
the Convention on Urt^l suluect. except in rcapoct to ,
the qitestioii ot repf. senlulloa und taxation That |
question had been discussed with considerable heat; ,
so much, indeed, that some memberH declared themselves
ready to break up the Convention rather than
consent to the representation of slaves. The exclusion
of slavery from the Territories by the Ordinance
itiiiv have hati, and may have l>een intended to have, i
some influence upon this discussion. It may be {
that members from the free States, s eing slavery |
excluded from national territory, and supposing its
extension to be thereby forever interdicted, were the (
more willing to consent to a representation of slaves .
as a teinpornry arrangement, which would cease of J
itself when slavery itself should cease or run out, j
at some period " not remote." Hilt there is not a j
particle of foundation for any supposition that thero (.
wus any understanding between Congress and the K
Convention, based upon (lie idea that slavery and ?
| im aom were i milieu to eijuai regard in (lie action 0
of the Govi rnmcnt. Far from it. Whatever nn- c
derstanding (here wa?, if there was any, must liuve
been bust J upon the idea of slavery restriction ; upon a
the fact tiiot it* extension was prohibited, and that
its final disappearance was expected.
The fratnera of the Conatitution acted under the ?
Influence of the general sentiment of the country. (l
Some of them had contributed in no small measure {
to form that sentiment, het tia examine the tnatrtt- |
ment in its light, and uscertuin the originul import ?
of itn language. s
What, then, shall we find in ill The guaranties
so much talked of I Recognition of property in 8
men I Stipulated protection for tit t property in
national territories and by national law"! No, air; t
nothing like it. f
We find, on the contrary, extreme care to exclude v
these ideas from the Constitution. Neither the ?
word " slave" nor "slavery" Is to be found in nnv j
provision. There is not a single expression which
cliurgt s the. Nutionui Government with any respon- g
, jiliility in regard to slavery. No power is conferred ,
ilie Constitution, whether in the clause providing
for the apportionment of representation and direct
taxation, or in that stipulating for the cxtraditio i of j
lllgll I VIS Ill/Ill IVl?UO,Ui ill mux CBIIIVUII^ wwi^.vpo
hn 10 the prohibition oi importation or migruiinn,
I hey rire spoken of, not n? persons held ns nroperty,
but us persons held to Her vice, or having tneir condition
determined under State laws. We learn, indeed,
from the debates in the Constitution Convention,
that the idea of property in men was excluded
with special solicitude.
Mr. Madison declared, he " thought it wrong to
admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be
property in men."?3 Mail. Pap., 1429.
Mr. Gerry thought the Convention "had nothing
to do with the conduct of the Stales as to 'laves,
hut ought to be careful not to give any sanction to
it."?3 Mad. Pap., 1394.
Similar expressions were used by other members.
Hut 1 need go no further. Multiplied words will
not convince those who wdl not retard the language
of the Constitution Itself, or the plain declarations
of its franiers.
It may, however, be worth while to refer briefly to '
the views expressed In the State Conventions which
convened for the purpose ol considering the Constitution
with a view to its ratification. Did they expert
the extension or continuance of shivery through
the action or under the protection of the Govern
ment which (hey were called on to establish I Not
at all.
James Wilson, of Pennsylvania, had been a leading
member ol the Convention, and in the Ratification
Convention of Ids State, when speaking of the
clause relating to the power of Congress over the
slave-trade nf'er twenty yenrs, he said :
" I consider Ibis cIsIIHP as laving the fouiitbidou for ban
ialuiui slavery out of this country . and though the period
it more distant ttisn I could witli it, It will produce the
same kind, gradual change as was .'induced in I'i iilisylva
ilia Tt,c neic Slates which are to be formed
will be under the eomtru/ of Cuugrtas iu Una ittiflcuiar,
ami slavery will never be uilrodui ed among ilicm "
2 EUiot'i Dehatrt, if/J
lu another place, speaking of this clause, he suid :
' It prtsenls us Willi Die pleasing prospect llial the
rights of mankind will lie scknowlsdgeil and established
throughout the Union If there was tin stlter feature in
the Cotislilulion hut this one, it Would itirfiiiM- a beauty nvrr
its whole counlensnce Yet the labor of a few years, and "
Congress will have power to exterminatr slavery from
within our borders 2 Dlhul'e Debutr*, 4Hi
lit the Ratification Convention of Muaaachusctis, |
Gen. Heath suid :
"The nog rat ion or importation, Ac., it confined lo the
Stales now existing only , new Matr* cannot claim it
OdUf rrnv by their ordinance for cresting new Simih woine
time since declared that ilir new Si ties ahull be republican,
mill tluil there ahall be no slavery in tlirm J HUvi't
lh /??/<?, 115. i
Nor were thine views nnd anticipations confined
lo tin; free Stub*. In the Ratification Convention
of Virginia, Mr. Johnson said:
" They tell us that they a progreaalve danger of bring
line atiout emancipation Tlie principle haa begun mi.re
Hie Revolution l.it ii? do what we will, It will route
round. Slavery tins been the Inundation of murli of that
Impiety ami diMU|iation which have bseit an much illwentminalwt
among our countrymen. II it were totally a hot
lalied, it woiilililo much good."?3 ArV/mr'a Ihhtuts, 0 4H
And Governor Randolph, while denying, and
justly denying, the power of the Generul Government,
under the Constitution, lo interfere with slavery
in the Slates. rebuked thoae who expressed apprehension*
that Its influence might be exerted on
the side of freedom, 1>y saying :
"I liojx- iliat there aie none here wlio. Considering the
subject in I lie rtlin I ig lit of philosophy, will advanee an
objection dlstionorslilr to Virginia, lli.il, at lbs moment
they are seeurinx the rights of Ihalr citizens, there is a
spark of Impe that those unfortunate men now held in
bondage may. hy trie npemtfwroffhe fjenerslftovernment,
he uiads d Kuiul't DtOuIn, Criie.
i Hut the people: were not satisfied with the fact
i that no power to evade personal freedom was conferred
on Congress hy the Constitution. Tliey demand)
d direct and positive guaranties of personal
i rights. In compliance with these demands, several
of the Ratification Conventions proposed to Conr
gres* such amendments as were desired by their
' respective .Stales.
t Virginia proposed n bill of rights, omitting, aingu
Inrly enough, the firm umt tiimliuni'nial provinlon oi
i In r own ''ill wi right*, namely, that " oil men arc
born fcjually free and iudcprndenl," but containing
i tliia provinlon:
1 " No freeman ought lit b# taken, imprlaolieil, or ilia1
ariaril ol Inn freehold, Idierttea, privilege*, ur hmwloee*, or
outlawed, or t-nlol ?ir hi any manner ileal rnyed or deprived
1 hi lii* hie, I in-rlr, or properly, hui by the law the lund "
' 3 miot'i Ifrbulu, Sin
' North Carolina and Rhode Inland each prnpowd
the aama cliuac. (4 KUioti Deb, 213 I lb., AM.)
i New V ur It propom d a different provialon :
r No pei*.? ought to be taken, Imprisoned, or illaaciaad
1 ol Iiii Irtrhutl, hi Ik tilled, or il*pri?*fl >( hi* privileges,
' liaiu Ihm*. dt. liti'ity, i.-i proparly, but by due pri* i * of
law "?J EUtut't Debates, XJH
? Thoaa varloua proposition* came befora Congress,
and ihat body, at Ha lira) ecaston, agreed upon eeve"
rnl aniendmcnia to ikn Constitution. wtiii-li were aub*
artjuenlly rntifu d by the Mime*. Thai whleh rotated
t to peraonal librrty wat aapreaaud in these comprehensive
. *< No person Rhali be deprived of life, lib"
erty, or property, without due priiraia vf law "-(Wu ,
10 Antend , Art b.
In my judgment, air, if this amendment had never
" been made Congress would have had no power to
" inaiiiute alavery; that in to aiy, to enforce, by ita
,'e law*, ilie subjection ot one inaa to Ih# absolute control
and diapoaal of another man i for no auch power
, la conferred by the Conatilutlon, arid the action of
' Congress muat ba raatralned within ita delegated
powara. Hut the amendment ia an express guaranty
of personal liberty. It la an eipr*as prohibition
a, against ita invaaion. 8o long aa it reiuaine a part of
ilia L'ouatiiuuoo, and ia obayed, alavery cannot ba
constitutionally introduced nnywht re or maintained
anywhere hy the legislation of Congress. It must
depend, and depend wholly, upon S ate law, both
for existence and support. H< yond Slate limits,
within the boundaries of the United State*. there can
be constitutionally no slate.
Here I may pause I have raptdlv sketched ths
rise of the American Government and the American
Union, so far as their relations to American slavery
are involved, from their origin in the Association in
1774 to the establishment of the Constitution in 17^7
One spirit pervaded, one principle controlled all this
action a spirit of profound reverence for the rights
of man as man?the- principle of perfect equality of
men before the law.
Animated by this spirit and guided by this principle,
the Association hound all its members to disc-ontinue
the slave-trade If any ol them continued t,
and some of thein did, the guilt was on their own
heads only, f >r the Association had no power to enforce
the covenant. When the American Congress
resolved on independence, they solemnly announced
the great doctrine of inalienable rights as the basis
of tnc national political faith and the foundation of
?ll " ' ' ' "
.... j ...1 Ku.iiiiin< in. m nen me waroi me tlcvolu
lion wan over, they renewed the declaration thai the
contest which they had wagi d was in deft nee of the
right* of human nature. When the ac(|ui*i(ion of
me norinweatern t erritory presented an opportunity
of carrying into practical application their exalted
principle*, the) did uot hesitate, but established them
l-rever a* the busts of nil laws, constitutions, and
governments, within its limits. When the Confod
eration proved inadequate to the exigencies of the
Republic, und the people undertook the work of re
forming their political system, they constituted the
now Government and established the new Constitution
upon principles which made the enslavement of
men by the Government under the Constitution a
legul impossibility. Let those wtio ate inclined to
murmur because no more was done, ask themselves
by what people, in w hat age besides, has so inurh
been done for the cause of freedom and right ! Up
to the time of the adoption of the Constitution, there
was not a single slave in America, made such or held
such, under any luw of the United Stales. Had the
policy of the founders of the Republic been pursued,
and had the principles which they established been
fuitiilully carried out in legislation and administration,
there would have been now no slave any where under
exclusive national jurisdiction?probably no slavtt
within the boundaries of the Republic.
Unhappily, however, the original policy of the
Government and the original principles of the Gov
rnment In respect to slavery did not permanently
ontrof its aetion. .4 change occuired - almost Im
xuceplibl.; at first, but becoming more and more
uutked and decided, until nearly total. The honorsMe
.s*'"i8(or A " ""iwhtwHs In the courstvov'.. 4
Us late speech noticed this change, and ascribed it
to the rat id increase in the production of cotton.
Doubtless sir, this was a leading cause. The pro
iluction of cotton, in consequence of the invention
?t the cotton gin, merensed from 487,000 pounds in
1794, to 6,'J76,30U pounds in 1796, and continued to
increase vi rv rapidly afterwards. Of course the
market value of slaves advanced, and masters were
less inclined to emancipation.
But the Increase of the cotton crop was not the
jnly, nor, In my judgment, the chief cause of altered
julihe sentiment and governmental action. The
'hange in the structure of the Government which
ntroduced into one branch of the Legislature, and
nto the electoral college, a representation lor slaves,
onstituted, I think, u lar inure potent cause. I will
ketch the progress of the power derived from this
ource, lor I think it Important that Its practical
Iteration should he understood. I admit tnat It is
inferred by the t '.institution ; batMr.
BORLAND. VVill the honorable Senator
llow me to usk him a question I
Mr. ("HASH. (Yrtainly.
Mr. BORLAND. I think I understood the Sen
tor ns giving a reason for adhering to the institution
I slavery on the part of Southern statesmen, that the
'(institution allowed the slave population to form a
lasts of representation. Does the Senator give that
s a re son why they adhered to the institution of
luvcry, and became more attached to ill
Mr. CHASE. I believe that was one of the rea
Mr. UOULAND. Then 1 can Hay to the 8enat(>r
hut hit* argument, it seems to tne, confutes itself;
or the reason thut if the slaves were liberated, each
could be counted ; whereas, being retained uh slaves,
inly three filths of their number Hre brought into
tie computation, und we lose two-fifths.
Mr. CHASE. Undoubtedly, Mr. President, if the
laves were free they would be reckoned at their full
lumber In the busts of representation; but theinfln
Mr. CHASE I am obliged to the Senator from
Arkansas tor the information he gives me; I hud
learned the (act lie states from the Constitution.
Why, sir, Is it not quite obvious that In a district
whi te the number of slaves is considerable, even if
siitliuge be universal, tint number if votes must lie
propoilionubly reduced ? And, inasmuch as slave
holders arc usually the chief landholder* and properly
holders, ami have n common interest, is it not
i|iiite obvious thut they will generally be able to wield
the political power of (lie district ? Destroy the
slave representation, and their power is gone. En
franchise the sluves, and there are no slaveholders,
und of course no slave power. Enfranchisement
will, doubtless, increase the political power of the
Stutc, hut it will annihilate the aluve power. 1 re
peat, Mr. President, und they who think nut wrong
may refute what I say, if they can, that there must
have been some adequate cause or causes for the remarkable
change ol feeling and action in repaid to
tlavciy which began to niunifest itself shout this
lime, and that these cuuses, in my judgment, were
irtl, the political power derived by slaveholders from
he representation of three-filths of their slaves; and,
itconafy, the augmented value of slaves arising from
he sudden Incrcuse of the rotton culture. The Inst
>f these causes requires no further consideration;
jut I wislt to direct attention somewhat more purIcnlarly
to the first.
The mat apportionment was made hy the Constituent
Convention. Regard was had, doubtless, to the
hree-fiflhs rulo in determining the number of Reprelentntivcs
assigned to each State, but we rnnnot now
iscertain how tunny were allowed for the slaves
I'he census supplies the means of ascertaining the
jrerise quantum of slave representation in earh detrnnlal
period since the first apportionment. I now
tropnse to submit to the Sencte a table which eshib
ts nt one view each decennial period since the adopion
of lite Constitution ; the number of Inhabitants
equired for one R"jpr tentative; the number of slaves
cekuncd at three-fifths of their actual number; and
he number of Rcprearntativaa for slaves during each
iJtcsnnial Keprsseuta- Ttirss-flfths KapretsiiUpsrlol.
ti?? uuiiiImt aud of slaves tlvss fir slaves
7M0 ? IHIIt 3ll is II 4CH,737 13
i?tn_l8iu 33,nun ra>M2i in
1810?18311 .V. Kit 714.810 un
I<WI ? |Mi?l VU??I mi
inai?iHio ) 7<?i i,?tMi? as
l?40 - 1SG?I 47,two 1,4413,013 21
From this table it appear* (hat in the very first
Congress, If tho Convention based their original
apportionment upon anything like a correct estimate
of the population, there inuat have been at least ten
Representative* ol slaves, and that In tho aeeond
Congress there were thirteen. It was Impossible
that the influence of this representation should not
be felt. It was natural, though it does suetn to havs
been anticipated, that the unity of the slave interest,
strengthened by this accession of political power,
should gradually wcuken the public sentiment and
modify the national policy against slavery.
Well, sir, occasion was not long wanting to test
the dispositions of Congress in this reaped. At an
early |iorl<>d of (lie second session of the 1 at Congress,
petitions were presented from the Noctety of Friend*
in Philadelphia, New York, and from the Pennsylvania
Abolition Society, of which Benjamin Franklin
wus thu President, praying Congress to take such
measures a* the Constitution would permit to discountenance
und discourage slavery and the slave
trade. A similar address had been made by a deputation
of Frienda to the Congress of the Confederation,
In r?ni, wtvo wuu received and heard with
great respect, though Congress, having no power
over the subject, wus obliged (o decline taking iuch
action a? was desired.* The petition* now presented
were not treated with similar consideration. They
were, however, received and referred, and In due
time a report was made. In this report, the limits of
the powers of Congress over the subjects of oUvary
and the slave-trade mi re carefully defined. In regard
to aluvery in the Ntalea, It expressed the lullcst
"confidence in the wisdom and humanity of the
Legislatures, that they would revise their laws from
time to time, when neeessary.and promote the ubjteh
mentioned in the memoruilt and everv other measure
that may tend to the happiness of staves t" and, in
regard tu slavery within the sphere of the legitimate
action of Congress, It concluded with the following
" That lit* fhrniorlaltel* bs ioformeil that, is all casts to
winch lb* auitiorrly of Congress vitriols, lh*y will firr
cis* it hit the human* object* of tlte memorialists, so tar
?? llu-y itu be promoted on (he priiMtplce of justu e, hu
mainly, ami good policy."?a Drb Cong., OU Ntr , Ub?.
Thlt report woe a mulled with great vehemence,
eepectally be the members from South Caroline and
Georgia, who denounced the petitioners and then
object a, not sparing even iho venerable Franklin,
very much in the atyle of later daya. The African
alave-trade itarll came in for a altera of approval and
It tea* apparent that there waa a large majority in
favor id the report; but a desire to satiety even uoreasonable
objectora, induced the concession of one
point after another, until tha report waa reduced to
three propoei lone: First, that migration or importation
could out be prohibited prior te I8UH- Second,
that Congreaa had not power to interfere in the
emancipation or treatment of alaves in the States.
Third, that Congress could prohibit tha sbtve-irade
by the citisena of tha United States for the supply of
foreigners, and provide lor humane treatment on
the passage of thorn imported la to the States.
Tha last resolution of the ucigtntl report, which
Journal Ctoagrees Coaled , M-A-l Bab Congress,
> O'd Heliaa, 12*.
[>u rounru reus.]

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