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THE NATIONAL ERA.
= ===== : -rr-.-.? - -G.
BAILEY, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR; JOHN G. WHITTIER, 0 0 R R ES P O N DI N G EDITOR.
^VOL. IV.-NO 21. WASHINGTON, THURSDAY. MAY 23. I860. WHOLE NO. 177.
The VatUaai Era U Fabiubrd Wukii, an ftevraUs
Straat,apposite odd Fellows' Hall.
terms.
Two d )U?rs per aaaum, payable t? advance
Advertisements not exceeding ten line* inserttd
three times for one dollar; every subsequent insertion
twenty-five cents
All communications to the Era, whether on
business of the paper or for publication, should
be addressed to O. Bailicv, Washington, D C.
mru, * blanchard, fkintfr k i
Slith stroat, a fsw doors soulli of Psnnsylroai* armus.
THE NATIONAL ERA.
WASHINGTON, MAY 20, 1800
NEW DANGERS TO FREEDOM.
and
*ew duties for its defenders.
A Lrtlrr by the Hum. Harare IVIauu. to his fankliiueais,
alar Isitl.
wkkt Nkwtun, May 3, 1850.
Tj thr. Hon. James Richardson, /. Cleveland, and
John Gardner, of Drdhnm ; Hon D A Simmons,
John J. Clarke, Francis Milliard, and George R.
Rnssr.il, of Rojrbury, ?r.
Genti.emkn: Having been called home on account
of sickness in iny family, I hive just received,
at this place, your kind invitation to meet and
address my const itnents of the 8th Congressional
Distriot and to give them my vines ami opinions
upon the i/uestion of thr immediate, admission of Callfornia,
and oth-r ynrstions note hi fore Congress aristai
out of thr a r/insit ion of territory by thetrea'y hit A
Mi rieo."
A rcnuest from so high a source has almost the
force of* a command Yet I dare not promise to
comply. I am li able at any moment-to be recalled,
and. instead ot speaking here, to Tote there, upon
the question to which you refer. I might be
summoned to return on the day appointed for us
to meet. The only sbkmn'ive, therefore, which
is left me. is to address you by letter. This I will
do, if I can find time. I shall thus comply with
,your request, in substance, if not in form.
t?n lAany nasi \ne watrrtneSt reluctance
to appear before the public on the present
occasion. My views, on some vital questions,
differ most mateiially from those of gentlemen for
whom I hare felt the profoundest respect; nnd
for some of whom I cherish the strongest personal
attachment. But 1 feel, on the other hand, that
my constituents, having intrusted to me some of
their most precious interests, are entitled to know
my "views and opinions'' respecting the hopes
and the daugera that encompass them. 1 shall
not, therefore, take the responsibility of declining.
I will premise further, that my relations to
politioai parties, for many years past, have left me
us free from all partisan bias " as the lot of humaDity
will admit." For twelve years I held an office
whose duties required me to abstain from all active
cooperation in political conflicts; and that
duty was so religiously fulfilled, that, to my
knowledge, I whs never charged with its violation.
During the Presidential contest of 1848, those obligations
of neutrality still rested upon me. For
a year afterwards, 1 was not called upon to do any
official act displeasing to any party amongst us.
This interval 1 employed in forming the best
opinion I could of public men and measures, and
their influence upon the moral and industrial inter*
sts of the country. 1 had long entertained
must decided convictions in favor of protecting
American labor, in favor of cheap postage, and of
security to the lives and property of our fellowcitisens
engaged in commerce. But a new ques
tion had arisen,?the great question of freedom or
slavery in our recently acquired territories,?and
this question I deemed, for the time being, to be,
though not exclusive of others, yet paramount to
them. Or rather, I saw that nothing oould be so
favorable to all the last-named interests, as the
proper adjustment of the first. He who would
provide for the welfare of mankind must first
provide for their liberty.
Sympathising, then, on different points with different
parties, bnt exclusively bound to none, I
stood, in reference to the great question of territorial
freedom or slavery, in the position of ths
true mother in the litigation before Solomon, preferring
that the object of my love should be spared
in the hands of any one, rather than perish in my
own.
Our present difficulties, which, as you well
know, have arrested the gaze of the nation, and
almost suspended the legislative functions of Congress,
pertain to the destiny of freedom ?>r of slavery,
to which our neij territories are to be consigned.
After the acquisition of Louisiana, and
Florida, and Texas, for the aggrandiiement and
security of the slave power; after the aboriginal
occupants of the soil of the Southern States have
been slaughtered, or driven from their homes, at an
expeuse of not leas than a hundred millions of dollars,
and at the infinite expense of our national
reputation for justioe and humanity; and after
the area ot the slave States has been made
almost double that of the free States, while the
population of the free is about double that of the
slave, the reasons seem so strong that they can
hardly be made stronger, why the career of our
Uovernment ax a slavery-extending power, snouiu
be arrested. On the other hand, the oligarchy
who rule the South, seeing that, notwithstanding
their rich and almost illimitable domain, they are
rapidly falling behind the North in all the distinctive
elements of civilization and well-being,?
industry, temperance, educition, wealth,?not
only defend the Upas that blaatH their soil, as
though it were the Tree of Life, hut seek to
transplant it to other lands. With but about
three slaves to a square mile,?three millions of
slaves to nearly a million of square miles,?they
ssy they are too crowded, that they feel a sense of
suffocation, and must have more room, when all
their weakness and pain proceed, not from the
limited quantity, but from the bad quality of the
utmosphere they breathe. Hence the war with
Mei ico, commenced and prosecuted to add slave
territory and slave States to the Southern section.
Hence the refusal to accept propositions of peace,
unless territory sovih of latitude 36 deg 'JO inin
(the Missouri Compromise line, so called ) should
be ceded to us. Hence when the Mexican negotiators
proposed to insert a prohibition of slavery
in the treaty of cession, and declared that the
Inquisition would not be more odious to the
Ameriian people than the reinstitution of slavery
to there, our minister, Mr. Trist, told them he
would not consent to such a prohibition, though
they would cover the soil a foot deep with gold.
And hence, also, the determination of a portion of
the Southern members of Congress, to stop the
whole machinery of the Government, to sacrifice
all the great interests of the country, anil assail
even the Union itself, unless slavery shall be permitted
to cross the Rio Grande, and enter the
vast regions of the West, as it heretofore crossed
the Mississippi and the Sabine.
keen in lsdG,when the war against Mexico
was declared, all men of sagacity foresaw the present
conflict. Could that question have been
decided on its merits; or eould the institutions to
be planted upon the territory we might acquire,
he determined by the unbiased suffrages of the
ouivnutu |?x>u|iiCj uo war would D&T6 Dccn (lMUred,
unJ no territory Acquired. But the greet
political leader* of the South expected to roeke
up both for their numerical weakness end for
the injustice of their cense, by connecting the
question of slavery-extension with thet of future
Presidential elections, end with the strife of parties.
They promise I themselves thet they could
drew over lending Northern men to their support,
by offering them the Tantalus eup of Presidential
honors; end then by the force of perty cohesion
and discipline insure the support of ths whole
desoending-scsle of office expectants. Early in
the present session of Congress,"it was distinctly
declared from a high Southern source, thet the
| Mouth must do moat for those Northern men who
would do moat for them A few words will make it
apparent how faithfully this plan has been adhered
to and how suoceasful it is likely to beoome.
No Northern Democrat, oppoeed to slavery
I extension, conld expect the eupport of the
1 -Southern Democracy, licnce, Oen. Caee etept
promptly forward, and declared in his Nicholson
letter, that Congress had no power to exclude
slavery from the territoriee. This has been
technically called his " bid," or his " first bid " It
was deemed satisfactory by ths South, for, according
to their philosophy, the relation of master
and slave lathe natural or normal relation of mankind;
and therefore, where no prohibition of it
exlsta, slavery flows into free territory, as water
runs dowu hill Thia avowal of Oen Cam was
rendered mora eignal and valuable to the South,
because, for ths greater part of his political life,
he had taken oatns, held offices and administered
lews, in undeniable contradiction to the declaration
then made Ths Ordinance of 1767 was
xpresaly reoognised by ths First Coagrsss, held
under the Constitution. [See ch H ] It was modified
in port, and continue I as to the rest; nod in
holdiug offices under this, Gen Cue* had laid the
foundation of his honors and his fortune IIis
declaration, therefi re, againat all interdiction of
slavery, made under circumstances so extraordinary
and in contradiction of the whole tenor of
his past life, was hailed with acclamation by the
South, and he was unanimously declared, at Baltiraore,
to be the accepted candidate of the
Democracy, for the office of President. The commou
notion is that a man shows his love for a
cause by the amount of sacrifice he will make for
it; and as consistency, honor and truth, are the most
precious elements in character, who could sacrifice
more than he I
To the honor of the Whig P?>"ty be it said,
there was not a Northern man to be found, who,
to gain the support of the South, would espouse
its pro-slavery doctrines, or invent any new reading
of the Constitution to give them a semblance
of law. Hence, at the Philadelphia Convention,
uo Northern Whig received even so much as a
complimentary vote. The judicial eminence of
Judge McLean, the military eminence of Gen.
Scott, were passed contemptuously by ; and Mr
Webster, acknowledged to be the greatest statesman
of the sge, received Ih?? fourteen votes, out ?J
almost three hundred; and twelve of these were
from Massachusetts. Mr Webster had spoken
more eloquent words for Liberty than any other
living man. and this distinguished neglect was
doubtless intended to teach him the lesson,
(hat the path to Presidential honors did not lie
through &u advocacy of the rights of man. Gen.
Taylor was nominated and chosen. Ho was unj
derstood to take neutral ground. Discountenanc
ing ttoe veto power; yet, ir me riouso 01 i\epreseutati
ves. who are choeen directly from and by
the people, and the Senate who are chosen by
the States, will pans a territorial bill, either with
or without a prohibition of slavery, he will approve
it. This is the common opinion, and 1 have
no doubt of its correctness.
Uuder these circumstances, a most desperate
effort was made at the close of the last Congress
to provide a Government for the territories, with
no prohibition of slavery. Had Gen. Cass been
elected, no such effort would have been necessary,
for he was pledged to veto a prohibition. Gen.
Taylor was supposed to be pledged to an opposite
course; and hence the struggle. The facts must
be in the recollection ofay ,/W they
hardly need to be recounted. The House performed
its duty to the country and to freedom,
by sending territorial bills to the Senate, containing
the prohibitory clause. The Senate, eq ualling
the Northern by its Southern votes, and far outnumbering
the Whigs by its Democrats, lefc those
bills to sleep the sleep of death upon its table.
But during the closing hours of the session, it
foisted a provision for the Government of the territories,
into the general appropriation bill; and
hell out the menace that this bill should not
pass at all, unless the territorial clause should
pass with it The flagitiousness of this proceeding,
it is difficult to comprehend and impossible
to describe The appropriation bill is one on which
the working, and even the continuance of the
Government depend. Without it the machinery
of the State must cease to move. Contracts by
the Government to pay money must be violated.
Officers cannot obtain their salaries. Families
must be left without subsistence. If long continued,
all judges would resign and courts be
broken up; and when justice should cease to be
administered, violence, robbery, and every form
of crime would run riot through the land.
Besides, an appropriation bill and a bill for the
government of Territories, have no congruity
with each other; they are not relevant; neither
* * ? "nowA tka Won L' wowtr Ana lrnnora it tn
be * common parliamentary rule that when a
proposition is submitted which is susceptible of
division, any one member hits a right to demand
it. All bills, too, for raising revenue, must, by
the Constitution, originate in the House ; and the
House has as much right to interfere to prevent
the Senate from ratifying a treaty, as the Senate
has to obstruct the passage of a revenue bill, by
adding to U extraneous provisions. It was this
effort on the part of the Senate to incorporate
into the appropriation bill a provision most unrighteous
in itself and most odious to the free
sentiments of the North, which led to the protracted
session on the night of the Dd of Maroh,
1819. The course of the pro-slavery leaders, on that
occasion, resembled that of a madman who should
seize a torch, snd stand over the magazine of a
ship, and proclaim that he would send men and
vessel to destruction, unless they would steer for
his port. A portion of the House confederated
with the majority of the Senate in this unprincipled
machination; but the larger number stood
undaunted, and after perils such a* so precious
an interest never before encountered the proslavery
amendment was strickeu out, and its
champions were foiled Through that memorable
night, the friends of freedom wrestled like Jacob
with the angel of God, and though the session did
uot close until the sun of a Sabbath morning
shone full ' o the windows of the Capitol, yet a
holier work uever was done on that holy day.
It was with a joy such as no words oan ever express,
that I saw ths Territories rescued from the
clutch of slivery by the expiration of the Thirtieth
Congress. I felt confident that when the
Thirty-first Congress should assemble, it would
be uuder better auspices, and with a stronger
phtlanx on the side of freedom In regard to
California, those hopes have been fulfilled ; but I
proceed to state bow they have been nearly extinguished
in regard to the roaidue of the territory.
Our first disaster was the election of a most
adroit, talented and zealous pro-slavery Speaker
A better orgau for the accomplishment of the'v
purposes the friends of 81 ivery could not have
found, nor the friends of Freedom a mors formidable
opponent. Whilst the pro-slavery chaos
pious of the South, almost without distinction of
party, exulted over this triumph, it has been the
occasion of most lamentable criminations snd recriminations
at the North. They abandon sll
distinct ions of Whig or Democrat for the cause
' r.. 1 1 a- f* - A A~ c. MMok
or Slavery. WUUIU ID MU>I we wuiu nu M uiu\< <
for the cause of Freedom.
The choice of a pro-slavery Speaker w*? .mm ?distely
followed by the appointment of moat ultra
pro-slavery committees. Some Free Soil members,
it is true, were placed upon these commit
tecs; but in this the Speaker only carried out
more fully his own purposes and those of his
p irty, by putting what they considered as insane
m n into close custody, instead of letting them
run at large. He showed, however, either a want
of oourage in himself, or of confidence in his
chosen guards, for, ou the District of Columbia
Committee he detailed a file of fire, ou the Judiciary
Committee a file of four, and on the Territorial
Committee a file of six strong pro-slavery
men for tho safe keeping of one Free-Soiler.
Within an hour after the House was organized,
Mr. Root of Ohio submitted a resolution, instructing
the Committee on Territories to report Territorial
bills, prohibiting slavery. Many true
friends to ffe edotn believed this movement to be
ill-timed and unfortunate; and though the House
then refused, by a handsome vote, to lay the resolution
on the table, yet when it came up for con'
slderation again, the first derision was reversed
by about the same majority. There is abundant
proof that the latter vote did not express the true
sentiment of the House. Not a few voted against
the resolution avowedly because of its paternity?
thus spiting a noble son on account of its obnoxious
father. Others repented of their votes as
soon as they came to reflect that the record would
po where their explanation could not acoompaDy
Bat unfortunately, it was too late. There
stands the record, to survive through all time, and
to be rsod of all men. The champions of slavery
seixed upon this vote as a propitious omen. They
uenueu itnu bcouicu me itotibu mm uwiio?
unknown before. Thev shouted their threats of
disunion with a more defiant tone, should any attempt
at what they called Its resurrecMon, he
made. A speech was delifered, in which a massacre
of a majority of the House wee distinctly
shadowed forth, so that not "? quorum should he
left to do business." The effect of that rote was
almost as bad as though it meant what it said.
At a later day, when a bill for the admission of
California was presented, the tactics of delay
were resorted to,and midnight found as oatllng the
yeas and nays, for more than the thirtieth time,
on questions whose frisolousness and reiatiousneae
oannot be Indioated by numbers.
The proceedings in the Henate, however, are
those which now threaten the moat dieaetroue
consequences Early in the cession, in order to
bring his Northern friends up to the dmdrios
that it is unconstitutional to legislate upon aleeery
in the Territorial!, General Cass made a
speech, in which he denies that Congress has My
power, under any ci re <i instances, to pass any lew
respecting their inhabitants. According to tbet
speech, the United Rtetee stands In the relation
of a foreign Government to the people of its own
Territoriss ; sod if they set up a king or aetab
lish a religion. we cannot help It; for we hut? uo
more power or right to control them, than we hare
the subject? of Great Britain, or the citizen? of
France. It ho? been ?aid that the doctrine of
General Cane and that of General Taylor, on this
subject, are ideutioal; but there is this all-important
difference between thein: General Tsylor
maintain? the right of Congress to legislate for
the Territories, and ?ill doubtless approve any
bill for the prohibition of slavery in them, but
General Cans, denying this right in Congress,
would, if President, veto such a bill. He, therefore,
would leave the Territories open to be invaded
and possessed by slavery ; and in Southern
law and practioe, possession is more than nine
points.
Neat came Mr.Clay's Compromise resolutions,
so called. By these, California was to be admitted
as a State; the Territories organized without
any restriction upon slavery . the Southwestern
boundary of Texas to be extended to the Rio
Grande; a part of her twelve or tifteen million
debt to be paid by the United States, on condition
of her abandoning her claim to that part of New
Mexioo which lies east of the Kin Grande; the
abolition of the slave trade in the District of Columbia,
and the inviolability of slavery in the
District during the good pleasure of Maryland
and of the inhabitants of the District ; more effectual
provision for the restitution of fugitive
slaves, and free traftio in sl aves forever between
the States, unless forbidden by themselves.
rt uumpruuiioc in a Bnuirinem. ui uiiiiuuiiiid ?
mutual coDct'b?iouH. Let us examine the mutuality
of the concoggiong which Mr Cley'g reeolutions
propose.
In the first place, California is to be permitted
to remain free, if the Territories of New Mexico
and Utah m iy be opened to slavery. But California
is free already ; free by her own act; free
without any concession of theirs, and without
any grace but the grace of God It is mainly occupied
by a Northern population, who do their
own work, with their own hands, or their own
brains. Fifty hardy gold diggers from the North
will never stand all day knee-deep in water, shovel
earth, rock washers, &c, under a broiling sun,
and see & man with his fifty slaves standing under
the shade of a tree, or having an umbrella held
over hits bj?d. with whip in hand, and without
wetting his dainty glove, or soiling bis japanned
boot, pocket as much at night as the whole of
thjpv.toge^be^ Qr rather /hey jrill never suffer
instilutions*toexwt which lolerftttTsueh uhrigW-'
eousnees California, therefore, is free ; as free
as Massachusetts; and Mr. Clay might ns well
have said in terms, that whereas Massachusetts
is free, therefore New Mexico and Utah shall
be slave, or run the haxard of being so.
The next point of Mr. Clay's compromise is, that
Texas shall extend her southwestern boundary
from or near the Nueces to the Bio Grande, and
shall receive, probably, some six or eight millions
of dollars for withdrawing her claim to that part
of New Mexico which lies east of the last-named
river Now, Texas has no rightful or plausible
claim to a foot of all this territory. Rut suppose
it to be a subject of doubt, and therefore of compromise.
The mutuality, then, consists in dividing
the whole territory claimed by Texas, and
then giving her a valid title to one portion of it,
and paying her for all the rest. Texas, or,?what
in this connection is the same thing,?slavery,
surrenders absolutely nothing, gets a good title
to some hundred thousand square miles of territory,
and pay for as much more!
But what renders it almost incredible that any
man could soberly submit such a proposition and
dare to call it a compromise, is this; All that part
of New Mexioo which Texas cl ims. and which
lies between the parallels of 36? 30' and 42?, is,
by the Resolutions of Annexation, to be forever
free. I shall consider the constitutionality of
these resolutions by and by ; I now treat them as
valid. Now the compromise proposes to buy this
territory, so scoured to freedom, and annex it to
New Mexico, whioh is to be left open to slavery.
We are to peril all the broad region between
36? 30' and 42?, and pay Texas some six or eight
millions of dollars for the privilege of doing so !
Mr. Clay la not lees eminent Car his statesmanahin
than for hts waggery Ware ha in succeed in
playing off this practical joke upon the North,
and were it not for the horrible consequences
whieh it would involve, a roar of laughter, like a
feu dejoie, would run down the course of the ages.
As it is, the laughter will be " Elsewhere."
The next point pertains to ths abolition of
the slave trade, and the perpetuity of slavery in
the District of Columbia. This District has an
area of about fifty square miles; and Mr. Clay
proposes, in consideration of transferring its slave
marts to Alexandria, on the Virginia side, or to
some convenient place in Montgomery or Prince
George's oounty, on the Maryland side, to divest
Congress forever of its right of " exclusive legislation"
over it. Should this plan prevail, the
perpetuity of slavery in the District will be defended
by more unassailable and impregnable
barriera than any other institution in Christendom
The President has a veto upon Congress;
bat two-thirds of both houses may still pass any
law, notwithstanding his dissent. Mr. Clay proposes
to give, both to Maryland and to the citizens
of the District, a veto on this subject;?an
absolute veto, not a qualified one, like that of the
President of the United States, but one that will
control, not majorities merely, but au absolute
unanimity in both branches of Congress. By his
plan, therefore, three separate, independent powers
are to have a veto upon the abolition of slavery
in the District of Columbia. And not only
so, but while it will require their joint or concurnm
action to abolish the institution, any one of
them can preserve it. The laws of the Medes
and Persians had uo such guaranties for perpetuity
as this
Mr. Clay's iast point ia really too facetious. So
solemn a subject does not permit such long-contin
urd levity, however it may be masked by sobriety
of countenance. It is that Congress shall make
mere effectual provision for the capture aud delivery
of fugitive slaves; and, as nn equivalent
for this, it shall bind itself never to interfere .
with the inter-State traffic in slaves. We are
to catch their slaves, and, as though that were a
grateful privilege to us, we are to allow them free
commerce in slaves, coastwise or inland. By this
means, slaves can be transported to the mouth of
the Kio Grande, and some hundreds of miles up
that river, towards New Mexico instead of being
driven in oofflee across the country The compromise
is. that for every slave we catch, we are
to facilitate the lomsmre of a hundred into New
Mexico
Such is the mutuality of Mr Clef's compromises
They ere such compromises ?s the wolf
offers to the lamb, or the vulti .he dove.
They make the rightful t lmiMi n of t alifornia
into the Union, with her free Cuastituiiow. contingent
upon opening the new Territoriee to slarery;
they ratify one pert of the predatory
claim of Texas, and propose to give her millions
for the other part; they give an unconditional
veto to the State of Maryland and to the cHiseaa
of the District of Colombia, over a unanimous
vote of both Houses of Congress, even when approved
by the President; in connection with
Mr. Butler's bill and Mr. Mason's amendments
they expose our while citizens to grievous penalties
and imprisonments for not doing what the
Supremo Court of the United States has decided
we ere not bound to do, in relation to fligitive
slaves, and they offer our oolored citizens to be
kidnapped and spirited away into bondage ; and
they foreclose, in favor of the South,the disputed
question of the inter-State commerce in slaves.
In one particular only do they appear to conoede
anything to Northern rights, or Northern convictions,
or Northern feelings. They propose to
transfer the District of Columbia slave trade
acroas an ideal line into Virginia or into Mary
land, eo that the slave planter or elave trader,
when he oomes to our American Congo to replenish
his stock of human cattle, shall he obliged to
go a mile or two, to the slave marts, instead of
walking down Pennsylvania avenue 1 deem this
to be no concession. If it is honorable to produce
corn and cotton, it is honorable to buy and
sell them?and if it is honorable to hold beings
oreated in God's image in slavery, it is honorable
to stand between the producer and consumer,
and to make merchandise of the bodies and the
eouls of men. Let this Light of the Age be net
npon a hill that all nations may behold it.
I will refer to Mr Hell's resolutions no further
than to aay that they propose the formation of
three alave Htales ont of what is now claimed by
Texaa, one of which Is to be admitted into the
Union forthwith as an offset to California.
Mr. Buchanan has not regarded the movemaota
of his rival, General Cass, with indifference. He
hse spent a considerable portion of the winter in
Washington, and it is understood that he holds
out the Missoarl Compromise lias, from the
western boundary of Missouri to the PadAo
ocean, as his lure to the South, for their favorable
regards in the ensuing Presidential oonteet
ia a ehroaologieal order. I must now eonsider
some vitally important views, which have been
submitted by some members ia the House, and by
Mr. Webster and others in the Senate. In mentioning
the name of this great statesman, and
in avowing that I am one among the many whom
his recently expressed opinions have failed to
convince, it is due to myself, however indifferent
it may be to him or to hia friends, that I should
express my admiration of his powers, my gratitude
for his past services, and the diffidence with
which I dissented, at first, from his views. But I
have pondered upon them long, and the longer I
have pondered, the more qoestionahle they appear
I shall therefore venture upon the perilous task of
inquiring into their correctness ; and while I do
it with the deference and respect which l>el<>ngto
hia character, I shall do it also with that fidelity
to conscience and to judgment that belong to
mine. He is great, but truth is greater than us
all
I shall confine rovsclf mainly, ami nerhans
wholly, to Mr. Webster's views, because ho has
argued the cause of the South with vastly more
ability than it has been argued by any one among
themselves. If his conclusions, then, be not tenable,
their case is lost *
Mr. Web9ter casts away the ' Proviso " altogether.
He says: " If a resolution or a I air were
now In fore us to pro'-ide a Territorial Uovrrnmrut for
Nfio Mta iro} I would not tote to put any prohibition
into it whatever71?Pare I t. Ttie reason given la,
i that slavery is already excluded from " Califorj
nia and New Mexico " " by the law ot nature, of
physical geography, the law of the formation of
the earth."?Page 4'2. "California and New
Mexico are Asiatic in their formation and set n< ry.
They are composed of vast ridges of mountains of
enormous height, with broken ridges and deep
valleys."?Page 43.
Now, this is drawing moral conclusions from
physical premises. It is arguing from physics
| to metaphysics. It is determining the law of the
spirit by geographical phenomena. It is undertaking
to settle by mountains and rivers, and not
| by the Ten Commandments, a great question of
human duty. It abandons the second commaudment
of Christ and all Hills of Rights enacted in
conformity thereto, and leaves our obligations to
our " neighbor " to be determined by the accidents
of earth and water and air. To ascertain whether
a people will obey the Divine command, and
do to others as they would be done by, it looks at
the thermometer. What a problem would this
be 7 " Required the height above the level of the
sea at which the oppressor ' will undo the heavy
f o.ftu-cua ami let the cpffreesAi go freehand *.?
every yoke,'?to be determined barometrically."
Alus ! this cannot be done. Slavery depends, not
upon Climate, but upon Conscience. Wherever
the wicked passions of the human heart can go,
there slavery can go. Slavery is an effect. Av..
n?..l ? ?
ns AKiXfy oiwvuj pi iurj nu'i vuo iw?V Ui UWIIIlUikVIUIIj UI C
its cause In ascending mountain sides, at what
altitude do men leave these passions behind them ?
Different vegetable growths are to be found at
different heights, depending also upon the zone
This I can understand. There is the ultitudo of
the palm, the altitude of the oak, the altitude of
the pine, and, far above them all, the line of perpetual
snow. But, in regard to innocence and
guilt, where is the trhite litw* How high up con
a slaveholder go and not lose his free agency 1
At what elevation will the whip fall from the
band of the master, and the fetter from the limbs
of the slave? There is no such point. Freedom
and slavery on the one hand, and climate and geology
on the other, are incommensurable quantities.
We might as well attempt to determine a
question in theology by the cube root, or a question
in ethics by the Black Art. Slavery being a
crime founded upon humnn passions can go wherever
those passions are unrestrained. It has existed
in Asia from the earliest ages, notwithstanding
its " formation nnd scenery." It labors and
groans on the Hanks of the IJral mountains now
There are to-day forty-eight millions of slaves in
Russia, not one rood of which oomes down so
low ns the northern boundary of California and
New Mexico.
Had Mr. Webster's philosophy been correct,
then California was at superfluous pains when
she incorporated the Ordinance of 1787 into her
Constitution. Instead of saying that " slavery
and involuntary servito??, {except ror crime >
shall be forever prohibited,'' she should have said,
" Whereas by a law of nature, of physical geography,
the law of the formation of the earth,"
" slavery cannot exist in California," therefore we
will not"re-jiffirm an ordinanoeof Nature, norrccnact
the will of God."
Should it be said that slavery will not go into
the new Territories, because it is unprofitable, I
am*, wnrre is it prumrtme ? tv aero m i^uurHiirv
mo profitable rm knowledge? Where is unpcodliness
gain, even for the things of this life? I low
little is the hand worth at one end of an nrm, if
there is not a brain at the other? Do not Maryland,
Virginia, North Carolina, and other States,
furnish witnesses by thousands and tens of thousands
that slavery impoverishes ? Yet with wbftt
enthusiasm they cherish it. Generally, ignorance
is a necessary concomitant of slavery. Of
white persons, over twenty years of age, unable
to read and write, there were, according to the
last census, 58,787 in Virginia, 56,600 in North
'Carolina, 58 513 in Tennessee, and so forth. I
have a letter before me, reoelved this morning,
dated in Indiana, in which the writer says he removed
from North Carolina, in 1802, when he
was fourteen years old, and at that time he hud
never seen a newspaper In his life Can there be
genius, the inventive talent, or profitable labor,
where ignorance is so dense ? Can the oppression
that tramples out voluntary industry, intelligence,
enterprise, and the desire of independence,
conduce to riches ? Yet this is done wherever
slavery exists, and is part and parcel of its
working Is any other form of robbery profitable ?
Yet indivi-lufiltt and communities hnve practiced
it and lived by It, and we may aa well rely upon a
" law of physios! geography " to arrest one aa the
other. It la not poetry, hut literal truth, that the
breath of the slave LNnta vegetation, hia tears
poison the earth and hia groans strike it with
sterility. It would he eaay to show why the master
does not abandon slavery, even amid the desolation
with whioh it haa surrounded him There
is a combination of poverty and pride, which slavery
produces, on ike doctrine of natural ajijxttnce}
and which, therefore, it exactly fits. The helplessness
of the tnaa'er in regard to all personal
wants seems to necessitate the slavery that has
begotten it. AH moral and religious principles
are lowered till they oonform to the daily practice
Custom blinds conscience, until, without
any attempt to emancipate or ameliorate their
victim*. men can preach and pray and hold slaves,
as llamlet's grave-digger jests and sings while he
turns up skulls
Hut slavery oanoot go into California or New
Meiioo, because tbeir staple production* are not
" tobacco, core, ootton, or rioc."?Pnt(e 44. These
are agriculture] products. But. is slave labor
confined to agriculture? Suppose that predial
slavery will not become common in the new T?rritoriee.
Cannot menial? If slaves cannot Co
field-work, cannot they do house-work? Tb*<*e
is an opening for a hundred thousand slaves today
in the new Territories, for purposes of domes
tie labor. And beyond this, let me ask, who possesses
aoy such geologic vision that, at a distanoe of a
thousand miles, he can penetrate the valleys and
gorges of New Mexico, and say that gold will
net jfci be found there as it la in California?not
iu sand and gravel only, but in forty-eight pounders
and in Arty-sixes7 This is thg very kind of
lalior on which slaves, in all time, have been no
extensively employed?the very labor on which n
million of slaves in Hisptniola lout tbelr lives,
within s few years after it* discovery by Colurnbua.
Gold depositee are dow worked within twentyfire
miles of Santa Fe. The last account which
I have seen, of a company of emigrants passing
from Santa Fe to California by the river Gila,
announces rich disooveries of gold upon that
river. A fellow-citixen of mine has just returned
home, who says he saw a slave sold at the mines
in California, in September last. As yet, the
distant regions of the Gila and the Colorado cannot
be worked, because of the Apaches, the lltahs,
and other tribes of Indians But admit slavery
there, and the power of the Government will be
Invok-ed to exterminate these Indians, as it was
before to esterminate the Cberokets and Seminoles?not
to drive theui beyond the Mississippi,
but beyond the Styx. A few days since a letter
was pabliabed in the papers, dated on board a
at earner descending the Mississippi, which stated
that a considerable number of slaves were on
board, bonnd for California, under an agreement
with their masters that they should he free after
serving two years at the mines. We know, too,
that the reason assigned for incorporating a provision
in the Constitution of California, authorising
its Legislature to pass laws for the exclusion
of free blacks from the State, wse that slaves
would be brought there under this very form of
agreement, and, ty and by, the country would be
overspread by people of color who bad bought
Ail mt IVMS Mr W?bs??r am takes fr>ia
tb?*4itl<i? ui tie tymftt wUhL k? 4?llc?lel to lb* " Panel
s ?r It *<? t()H MSI VS.* Marob M, IMG. Aiaun* (tit
auaemue rab>.-i *kM bare a?au4, I lappo** 'kii Ui
be tb? and auib?si? ,
their freedom The sagacious men who framed
the California Constitution came from all parts
of the territory, and, being collected on the :;?ot.
having surveyed all its mountains, having breathed
its air at all temperatures, and turned up its
golden soil?these men had never discovered any
''law of physical geography" which the fell
spirit of slavery could not tranagress. Slaves
were carried into Oregon, ten degrees of latitude
higher up Its colonists reenacted the Ordinance
of 1787 before Congress gave them a Territorial
Government lu the Territorial Government
that was given them, the prohibition was inserted ;
and President Polk signed the bill, with an express
protest, that he ratified this exclusion of
slavery only because the country lay north of the
Missouri Compromise line, but declared that,
had it embraced the very region in question, he
would have vetoed the bill.
General Cass never took the ground that slavery
could not exist in the new territories, and no
inconsiderable part of the opposition made to
him in Massachusetts and in other free States,
was placed expressly upon the ground that he
would not prohibit it. Mr. Webster, in his
Marshfield speceh, Sept. 1, 1S4S, opposed the
election of General Case, bectuse, through bis
recreancy to Northern principles, slavery would
invade the territories. This was expressed with
his usual clearness and force, as follows :
"He, (General Cass,| will surely have the Senate;
aud with the patronage of the Government,
with every interest that he, as a Northern man.
cm bri' g to bear, cooperating with every interest
that the South can bring to bear, we cry
safety before we are out of the woods, if ire fed
thai thert is ua danger us to these tieir terrkorvsP c
Vet Mr Webster now says that to support the c
"Proviso," would "do disgrace to his own un- f
derstanding."? Page 46. n
l .1.,. - .i.~ l r ui. c
wUV D'UIV V Bl<7vS, I UC I I VUvl tklflv C
Hufua Choate, one of the moat eloquent men in v
New England, and known to he the personal fi
friend of Mr. Webster, delivered a -perch nt Sa- v
lem. in which the following passage occurs: 1
"It is the passage of a law to say that Califor- y
nia and New Mexico shall remain forever free. c
That is. fellow-citizens, undoubtedly an object of h
great and transceudent importance ; for there is
who will deny that we should go up to the a
very limits of the Constitution itself, and with 1
the wisdom of the wisest, and zeal of the most i
zeelqp* sh/yjty unite to ac^qmpliah this jrreat oh- I
joict. anil to defeat The always detested) 'and Tor-j j
ever to be detested object of the dark ambition of I
that candidate of the Baltimore Convention, who 1
has ventured to pledge himself in advance that i
he will veto the future law of freedom ; and may s
God avert the madnoss of all those who hatesla- 1
very and love freedom, that would unite in put- t
ting him in the place where his thrice accursed f
pledge may be red'emed! * * * Is there ?
a Whig upon this tloor who doubts that the e
strength of the Whig party next March will insure
freedom to California and New Mexico, if g
by the Constitution they are entitled to freedom i
at all 7 Is there a member of Congress that i
would not rote for freedom? You know there t
is not one. Did not every Whig member of t
Congress from the free States vote at the last t
session for freedom 7 You know that every man r
of them returned home covered with the thanks c
of his constituents for that vote. Is there a sin- f
gle Whig constituency, in any free State in this s
country, that would return nny man that would
not vote for freedom ? Do you believe that Daniel s
Webster himself could be returned if there trus the u
bust doubt upon the question f " t
Mr. Choate then adds: "Upon this question *
alone, we always differ from those Whigs of the t
South ; and on that one, we propose simply to vote 6
them don-n" Mr. Webster now says he will not t
join in voting them down. I
Under such circumstances is it frivolous or 1
captious to ask for something more than a dog- <
niatic assertion that slavery cannot impregnate 1
these new regions, and cause them to breed raon- '
sters forever 7 On a subject of such Infinite im- '
portance I caunot be satisfied with a dictum; 1 I
want a demonstration. 1 cannot accept the
prophecy without inquiring what spirit inspired
lilt? Ao #W-v? V* an won If
would be most delightful; but, as it conflicts
with all human experience, it requires at least
one undoubted miraolo to attest the divinity of its
origin.
According to the last census, ther6 were more
than eight thousand persons of African blood in
Massachusetts. Abolish the moral and religious
convictions of our people, let slavery appear to
be iu their sight not only lawful and creditable, i
hut desirable as a badge of aristooratio distinction,
and as a "political, social, moral and religious |
blessing," and what obstacle would prevent, these i
eight thousand persons from being turned into '
slaves, on any day, by the easy, cheap, ami short- <
hand Kidnapping of a legislative act 7 Africans ]
can flint here, for the bent of ail reasons?they <
do exist here. A state of slavery would not stop '
their respiration, nor cause them to vanish " into '
thin air.'' Think, for a moment, of the com- t
pi lints we cons'sntly hear in certain circles, of ?
the difficulty and vexutiousness of commanding '
domestic service. If no moral or religious objec- '
lion existed against holding slaves, would not t
many of those respectable and opulent gentlemen "
who aigned the letter of thanks to Mr. Webster, h
nud huudreds of others iudee<l, instead of apply- '
ing to intelligence otlices, or visiting emigrant ?
ships for domestics, as we call them, go at once to o
the auction-room and buy a man or a woman with T
as little hesitancy or compunction as they now a
send to Brighton for beeves, or go to Tatersall's ?
for a horse 7 If the cold of the higher latitudes g
checks the flow of African blood, or benumbs Af- a
rican limbs, the slaveholder knows very well that sj
a trifling extra expense for whips will makeup w
for the difference. C
But suppose a doubt could be reasonably enter- fi
tained about the invasion of the new territories J
by sluvery. Kven suppose the chances to prepon- 01
derate sgainst it. What then? Are we to submit
a question of human liberty over vast regions m
and for an indefinite extent of time, to the determination
of chance? With all my faculties 1 "
say NoLet me ask any man, let me respect- tl
fully ask Mr. Webster himself, if It were bia own m
father and mother, and brothers and sisters, and It
eons slid daughters, who were in peril of such a hi
fate, whether he would abandon them to chanoo? 01
even to a favorable chance. Would he suffer r<
their fate to be determined by dice or divination, 1?
when positive prohibition was in his power ? o!
And by what rule of Christian morality, or even o<
of enlightened heathen morality, can we deal dif n
ferentlv with the kindred of others from what we d
wotiM with our own 7 He is not a Christian w
whose humanity is bounded by the legal degrees '
of blood, or by general types of foAture. v<
Hut Mr. Webster would not ''taunt" the b
South. Neither would I. I would not taunt any o<
honorable man, much less a criminal. Still w
when the most precious interests of humanity are' u
in peril, I would not be timid. I would not stop u
too long to cull lover's phrases. Standing under ci
the eye of God, in the forum of the world and v
before the august tribunnl of posterity, when the tl
litigants are Freedom and Tyranny, And human b
happinens and human misery the prize they con- tl
test, it should happen to the sworn advocate of a
Liberty, as Uuintilian says it did to Isocrates, d
" not to spenk and to piead, but to thunder and g
to lighten." Mr Webster would not taunt the n
South ; and yet I say the South were never en ti
insulted before as he has insulted them. Com- s.
raou scoffs, jeers, vilifications, are flattery and t!
sycophancy, compared with the indignities be it
hoiped upon them. Look at the Lets The o
South waged war with Meiioo from one and only b
one motive ; for one and only one object?the ei- ti
tension of slavery. They refused peace unless o
it surrendered territory. That territory must I
be south of the Abhorred line of .'10? The ti
same President who abandoned the broad belt of it
country on our Northern frontier, from 49? to n
,rj|? 40', to which we had, in his own words, " an ?
unquestionable title," would allow no prohibition
of slavery to be impoeed upon the territory which 1
M exioo ceded, though the would bury it a foot ii
deep in gold. The Proviso had been resitted in r
nil form*, from the beginning. Southern Whigi o
voted against the ratification of the treaty, fore
teeing the struggle that ?u to follow. Oespe- l
rate efforts were made to smuggle in an unre- Ii
ttricted territorial government, against all par- f
lixaient try rule and all constitutional implication
The whole South, as one man, claimed it at a o
" deacrihable weighable. estimable, tangible " and t
most raluable "right" to carry slaves there a
Calhoun, Herrlen, Hadger, Ma*on, Davit?the n
whole Southern phalanx, Whig and Demo- i
crat, pleaded for it, argued for it, and most of c
them declared themselves reedy to fight for it ; o
and yet Mr. Webster rises in his plaoe, and telle e
them they are all moon-struck, hallucinated, n
fatuous , because " an ordinance of Nature aud o
the will of Ood " hod settled this question from b
the beginning of the world Mr. Calhoun said, p
immediately after thie speech, Give us free scope u
and time enough, and we will take oare of the t
rest
Mr Mason said?
"We have hear! here from various quarters,
and from high quarters, and repeated on all
hands?repeated here again to-day by the honorable
Senator from Illinois, |Mr Shields.) that
there is a law of nature which excludes the
Southern ]>eople from every portion of the State
of California I know of no such law of nature?
none whatever; but I do know thee ntrary, that
if California had b^en organised with a territorial
f.rm of government only, aud for which, at
the last two sessions of Congress, she has obtained
Ihe entire Southern vote, the people of the
Southern States would have gone there freely,
tnd have taken their slaves there in great numbers
1'bey would have done so because the value of
the labor of that class would have been augmented
to them many hundred fold. Why, in
he debates which took place in the convention in
California which formed the Con-dilution, and
rb'ck r rsi ne?w r< ?d for himself, afer
the provision excluding slavery was agreed
ipon, it was proposed to prohibit the African
ace altogether, free as well aa bond. A debate
troseupon it; and the grouud was distinctly taten,
aa shown In throe debates, that if the entire
\frican race was not excluded, their labor would
m? found so valuable that the ownera of slavoe
vould bring thein there, tsen though slavery
vere prohibited. under a contract to manumit
hem in two or three yeara. And it required
ery little roosoning, on the part of those opposed
to this class of papulation, to show that the
productiveness of their labor would be such as
o cause that result. An estimate was gone into
nth reference to the ralue of the labor of this
lass of people, showing that it would be inreased
to such an extent in the mines of Caliorni.p,
that they could not be kept out. It was
greed that the labor of a slave in any one of the
itates froin which they would be taken, was not
torth more than one hundred or one hundred and
ifty dollars a year, and that in California it
rould be worth from four to six thousand dollars
rhey would work themselves free in one or two
ears, and thus the country would be filled by a
lass of free blacks, and their former owners
ave an excellent bargain in taking them there."
Yet Mr.Webster stands up before all this army,
nd sayg. u Gentlemen. you are beside yourselves
fou have eaten helleb re. You would look more
n character should you put on the ' cap and bells.'
o sober sense, jp seein? bjjw?;ect rbtarlr and in
pursuing it directly, Don IZuixote was'l?octor
franklin, compared with you. The dog in the
able, who dropped his meat to snap at its shadow,
s no allegory in your case. I seo two classes
iround me?wise men and fools, you do not bcong
to the former. The Chancellor who keeps
he king's idiots should have custody of you."
Such is a faithful abstract of what Mr. Webster
tnid to Southern Senators, and, through them, to
dl the South.
Here certainly was a reflection upon the underitanding
and intelligence of the South, such as
lever was cast upon them before. But the balm
vent with the sting. They bore the affront to
heir judgments, because it was so grateful to
heir politics and pockets. I think it no injustice
o those Senators to say, that they would have
icarly torn Mr. Webster in pieces for such a
ollectivt" insult, if it had not promised to add
iffy per cent, to their individual property, and to
ecure and perpetuate their political ascendency.
To help our conceptions iu regard to Mr.Webter's
course on this subject, let us imagine a parllel
case?or, rather, an approximate one, for
here can be no parallel Suppose a contest beween
the North and the South, on the subject of
he Tariff, to hare been raging for years. The
lober blood of the North is heuted to the fever
mint. The newspapers treat of nothing else.
Public meetings and private conversations discuss
io other theme Hundreds of delegates wait ujion
Congress to add, if it. be but a feather's weight, to
he scale which holds their interests Petitions
low in in thousands and tens of thousands. It is
tnnounced that Mr. Calhoun will pour out his
great mind on the subject. Expectation is on
tiptoe. AU eyes, from all sides of the oountry,
are turned towards Washington, as the Muezzin's
to Meoca. The Senate chamber is packed, and
the illustrious Senator rises. After an historic
sketch of existing difficulties, after reading from
the speeches which he mode in and in 1S4G,
he proceeds to say that he withdraws all opposition
to a tarifT?to any tariff! He will not offend
the delicate nerves of Northern manufacturers by
further hostility. Were n bill then before him.
he would not oppose it. " Take the schedules,''
savs he, scornfully, to Northern Senators, " and
fill up the blanks from A to '/ with what percentages
you please. For uJ valortm rates, put
in minimums and maximums at your pleasure
I will 'taunt' you no longer. I am for peace and
:he glorious Union I have discovered an irre(icalablo
and irreversible law of nature, wbioh
iverrules all the devices of men. You cannot
nakeone yard of woollens or cottons in Now Engand.
There, water has no gravity, steam has no
orce, and wheels will not revolve. In Vermont
ind New York, wool will not grow on sheens'
>acks I have penetrated the geology of Pennsyl'ania,
ami through all its stratifications, there in
lot a thimble-full of coal, nor an ounce of iron
ire; and, if there were, combustion would not
lelp to forge it; for oiygen and carbon are diorced.
As Massachusetts contributed one-third
f the men and one-third of the money, to oarry
n the Revolutionary War, f am willing to comicnsate
her for her lost blood and treasure, to the
mount of hundreds of millions of dollars, with
rhich she may fertilize the barrenness of her
enius, and indulge her insane lore for churches
nd schools." Ilsd the greitt Southern Senator
poken thus, I think (bat even idolatrous, mrtnorsliipping
South Carolina?a Stale whioh Mr. 1
alhoun has ruled and moved for the last, t wentyve
years, as a puppet-showman plays Punch and !
tidy?would have sent forth, through all her J
rgans, a voice of unanimous dissent.
As much as Freedom is higher than Tariff, bo '
iuch stronger th-m iueir dissent should be ours. 1
Mr. Webster's averment that he would not 1
re-allirm an ordinunoe of Nature, nor reonact 1
te will of God," |p. 44,| has been commented on
iore pungently than I am able or willing to do
. has been said that all law and all volition must 1
e in harmony with the will of the Good Spirit
r with that of the Kvil One; and if we will not 1
tgnact the will of the former, then, either all
gislation ceases, or we must register the decrees
f the latter. Hut one important and pertinent
msideration belongs to this subject, whioh I have
owhero seen developed. It is this: Kndless
oubts and contradictions exist among men, as to
hat is the will of God ; and on no subject is
lere a wider diversity of opinion than on this
ery subject of slavery. Whose law was ret<nacted
y the Ordinance of 1787 7 whose, when the Afritn
slave trade was prohibited 7 whose, when it .
>m declared piracy 7 I rue, it is useless to put
pon our statute-book* an astronomical law, regluting
sunrise. or high tidca ; but that la nhysl*1
and beyond the juriaJiotion of man, while slaery
belong* to morale, and ia within the juriwdioion
of man. Ceane to transcribe upon the statuteook
what our wisest and beat men believe to be
he will of God in regard to our wordly atTaira,
nd the passions which we think appropriate to
evils will soon take possession of society. In reard
to slavery, piracy, and so forth, there are
lultitudcs of men, whose fear of the nonal amnion*
of another life is very much aided by a little
ilutary tine and imprisonment in this. Look at
hat noble Array of principles which is contained
a the Declaration of Rights in the Constitution
f Massachusetts. Is It not a most grand and
eautiful ei position of "the will of God"?a
ranscript, as it were, from the Book of Life? So
f the amendments to the Constitution of the
Jnited Stales Vet our fathers thought it no
Miipering with holy things to enact them, and,
n tiroes of struggle and peril, they have been to
lany a tempted man us an anchor to the soul,
ure and steadfast.
1 approach Mr. Webster's treatment of the
a. it ass# Sean tarSf K nra /il>i list As* w uvit isl V I f laV.
rtg been accustomed from my very boyhood lo
eg'ird Liru a* the almost infallible expounder of
onatilutioual law, it is Impossible to describe the
tragic, the rrvulaion of mind, with which I have
naied from an instructed and joyous n<-<|uieeoence
n his former opinions to unhesitating dissent
rom his present ones.
I must premise that I cannot see any necoeeary
r beneficial connection between the sahjeet of
tew Texan Mutes and the admission of California
ud the government of the Tirritorie*. The forn?*r
refers to some indefinite future, when, from
is fruitful womb of slavery, Texas shall aeek to
ast forth an untimely birth. In this excited slate
f the oountry?st this critical juncture of our
if sirs, when there Is sober talk of maasaoriug a
mjority of the House of Representatives on their
wn floor, and a Senator, instead of threatening
? hang a brother Senator on the highest tree,
rovided he could catch him in his own State,
tow draws a revolver of six barrels on another
irother Senator, on the floor of the Senate, in
aid-session , at such a time, I say, when, however I
few Abel* there may be at work in the political
field, there are Cain* ruore than enough, wool I it
not hare been well io hare said, " Sufficient unto
the d iy i? the e?il thereof ?"
As the basis of hie argument, Mr. Webster
quotes the following resolution
"New Stat?? of convenient atae. n>t tieMdilt fonr in
number, in addition to aaid Stat* of Texan ar.tl having auf
flcient population, mar hereafter, by the emuent of thv aaid
State, t?? torineU out of the territory thereof, which ahali be
eutitied to adiniaaion on Rr lite provialon* of the hederal
I'oflltitution Ami such Statee an nut t* formed out of
that portion of said territory lying noutli of ft <teg *> mtn
n>rth latitude, commonly known a* the Mixaourl l.orrpr*
miae line, etiall te admitted into the Union with or without
slavery, aa the |ieople of each State asking a<iiuia*:oti may
dealre and in eueh State or Statea aa aball be formed out 1
aaid territory north of (aid Miaaonrl t'otupromiae line, sU- <
very or involuntary acrvitude (except for crime) ehali be
prohibited,"
Note here, first, that only "/our" States arc t,>
be admitted in "addition to said State of Texas
and second, that ' su It State or -Va'*.*' (in the
plural) as shall Do rorraeu irom territory north of
36? 30', sttnll U fur. If two, or only on- free
r*iai uu *11*: nvfirw muc 'ii uir utiv, iuru
I how many will be left for the sou'h side? I should
expose myself to ridicule were I to set it down
arithmetically,/??r minus one, e^u?l to thiut. Vet
Mr. Webster says ' the guaranty is, that new
States shall be made out of it, [the Texan territory,)
and that such States as are formed out of
that portion of Texas lying south of 36? 30', may
come in as slave States, to th'nnmt.'r of torn, in
addition to the State then in existence, and ai
mitted at that time by theso resolutions." ? Pag:
29.
Here Mr. Webster gives outright to the South
and to slavery, oua more State than was contracted
for?assuming the contract to be valid. I le m ikes
a donation, a gratuity, of an entire slave State,
larger than many a F.uropean principality. He
transfers a whole State. with all its beating hearts
present and future, with all its infinite suscepti
bilities of weal aud woe, from the side of freedom
to that of slavery, in the leger-book of humanity
What a bridal gift for the harlot of bondage J
Was not the bargain hard enough, according to
its terms? Must we fulfil it, and go beyond it ?
Is a slave State, which dooms our brethren of the
human race, perhaps interminably, to the vassal's
fate, so insignihoaut a trifle, that it may he flung
in. as small change on the settlement of an aeEcuist)
Has the South been ho generous a co
partner, as to deserve this distinguished token of
our gratitude?
Wwy.VJs pibfj dtTwisoBinjft wuM n* nA tafc.' i '
claimed all the four States, " in addition to said
State of Texas," as free States? The resolutions
divide the territory into two parts. one north and
ono south of the line of 116? HO'. Could not Mr
Webster have claimed the four States for Freedom
with as sound Ionic, and with far better humanity
than he surrendered them to Slavery? When
Texas and the South have got their slave States
"to the twrnfter of four " into the Union, whence are
we to obtain our one or more free States? The
contract will have been executed, nnd the consent
of Texas for another State will be withheld.
Notwithstanding all this, Mr. Webster atlirms
the right of slavery to four more States, in the
following words " I know no form of legislation
which can strengthen this. I know no mode of
recognition that can add a tittle of weight to it."
Catching the tone of his asscvomtion, I respond
that I know no form of statement, nor process of
reasoning, which can make it more clear that this
is an absolute and wanton surrender of the rights
of the North and the rights of humanity.
But I hold the Texan resolutions to have been
utterly void ; nnd proceed to give the reasons for
my opinion.
I begin by quoting Mr. Webster against himself
in an Address to the people of the United States,
from the Massachusetts Anti-Texas State Convention,
Jauuary 2'Jtli, 1842, the subjoined pas
sago, which is understood, or rather, I may say, is
now well known, to have been dictated by Mr
Webster himself, may be found:
" But we desire not to be misunderstood. According
to our convictions, there is no power in
any branch of the Government, or all its branches,
to annex foreign territory to this Union
We have made the foregoing remarks only to
show, that, if any fair construction could show
such n power to exist ujrelir.rf, ur to lie exercised
in any form, yet the manner of its exercise
now proposed is destitute of all decent semblance of
t u/utuiu luiuu jnujnuay.
Thus cancelling the authority of Mr. Webster !
in 1850 by the authority of Mr. Webster in 1845,
1 proceed with the argument.
Though the annexation of Texas was in pursuance
of a void Htipulation, yet It is a clear principle
of law thnt when a contract void between
the parties, has heen executed by them, it cannot
then 1)6 annulled. If executed, it becomes ralid,
not by virtue of the oontract, but by virtue of
the execution. I bow to thia legal principle, and
would fulfil it. But any independent stipulation
which remains unexecuted, remains invalid. Such
is that part of the annexation resolutions which
provides for the admission of a brood of Texan
States. The resolutions themselves say in express
terms, that the new States are to be admit
ted " under the provisions of the Federal Constitution
; " and the Constitution says, " New States
mny be admitted by the Connrtu into this Union."
By what Congress I Plainly, by the Congress in
session at the time when application for admission
is nMi; ami by no other. The fourth Texan
State may not be ready for admission for fifty
years to oomo; and could the Congress of 1845 J
hind the Congress of 1900? The Congress of |1
1900 slid all future Congresess, will derive their I
authority from the Constitution of the United J
States, and not from any preceding Congress. i\
Put the case in a negative form. Could the Congress
of 1845 bind all future Congresses not to
admit new States, and thus, jito tanto, annul the
Constitution? Postive or negative, the result Is
the same. No previous Congress, on such a sub
|eot, can enlarge or limit the power of a subsequent
one. Whenever, therefore, the question
jf a new Texan State comes up for consideration,
the Con grits th>n in hunq muit decide it on Its
awn merits, untranimeled by anything their predecessors
have done; and especially free from a
law which, while similar In spirit, is a thousand
times more odious in principle than statutes of
mortmain.
Admitting that a future Congress, on such a
subject, might be bound by a treaty, I answer that
there was no treaty ; while the fact that a treaty
olause was introduced into the resolutions, in the
Senate, for the sake of obtaining certain votes
that would never otherwise have been given in
their favor, and under an express pledge from the
Kiecutive that the method by treaty ehould be
adopted, which pledge was forthwith iniquitously
broken, leaves no element of baseness and fraud
by which this proceeding was not contaminated
In the name of the Constitution, then, and of
justice, let every honeet man denounoe those resolutions
as void alike in the forum of law and in
the forum of conscienoe; and, admitting Texas
herself to be in the Union, yet, when application
is made for any new State from that territory, let
the question bo decided upon the merlte it inay
then poeseee.
And wm not Mr. Webster of the same opinion,
when, in Faneuil I fall, in November, 184.1, after
the Heeolutions of Annexation had passed, he
made the following emphatic, but unprophetic,
declaration ?
" It is thought, It is an idea I do not soy hnfr
well founded, that there may yet be a hope for
resistance to tne consummation of ths act of annexation
I can only say (or one that 1/ a should fall
to my lot to hut*ti vote on such 11 i/uestumt and I vot*
*o* tiik ApMiaaioa isto tiiin Union or ANY
St?tk with a Co**TiTifTion which raoHiniTS
SVSN TIIS Lsdlai.ATirKR TBOU K V K R SETTino TilK
HONI.MKN KKSS, I SHALL NKVEIl HHOW MY
HEAD AGAIN, DEPEND UPON IT, IN
FANEUIL HALL."
There is another objection to any future claim
of Texas to be divided into States, which grows
out of her own neglect to fulfil the terms end
spirit of the agreement. In the u territory north
of the Miieouri Compromise line, slavery or involuntary
servitude, (except for crime,) shall be
prohibited." So roads the bond. But if Texas
suffers slavery to be extended over that part of
# Aaa?I >a?w (Van wtkan Ik KaACmoo VYSVSM11 All 14
""" " '"" /I """* ?
enough tot admission, and in overspread with sla
ry, a new Btate may present a free Constitution,
be admitted by Congress, and before the
slaves have time to escape, or to oarrv the ques
tion of freedom before the judicial tribunals,
Pteno f this free Constitution will be changed
into a slave Constitution, under the alleged right
of a Btate to decide upon its own domtwtlo institutions,
and thus the word of promise which was
kept to the ear, will be broken to the hope. If Texa*
meant to abide by the resolutions of annexation,
and to olaim anything under them, it wan her
clear and imperative doty forthwith to pass a law,
seouriug freedom to evenr Inhabitant north of
(he Compromise line. In this way only can the
resolutions be eiecuted in their true spirit. That
territory is now in the oondltlon of au egg It Is
undergoing ineubation. Front it a Bute is hereafter
to be hatched , but hefbre promising to acl
J

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