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The national era. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]) 1847-1860, June 27, 1850, Image 4

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and fanatics." Sir, I do not understand the terms <
in such connection. There can be no fanatics in |
the cause of genuine Liberty. Fanaticism ir tx- i
cesuve ztal. There ma v be, and hare been, fanat- ?
ic9 iu false religion; in the bloody religion of '
the heathen There are fanatic* in superstition. <
But there can be no fanatics, however warm their
zed. in true religion, eveu although you sell your t
goods, and bestow your money on the poor, and 1
go and follow your Master. There may be, and <
every hour shows around me, fanatics in the cause I
of false liberty?that infamous liberty which jus- '
titles hum in boudage, that liberty whose corner- i
stone is slavery." But there can be no fanaticism,
however high the enthusiasm, in the cause
r?f rut iitiin I uiiivfrndl I .i hi-rt v? t h ? lihcrt v nf I
" * ' J V. .J
Declaration of Independence.
This is the same censure which the Egyptian
tyrant cast upon those old abolitionists, Moses
and Aaron, when they "agitated1' for freedom,
and, in obedience to the command of God, bade
him let the people go.
Bnt we are told by these pretended advocates
of Liberty in both branches of Congress, that
those who preach Freedom here and elsewhere
are the ulavr's worst enemies; that it makes the
slaveholder increase their burdens, and lighten
their chains; th .t more cruel laws are enacted
since this agitation began in 1S35 Sir, i am not
satisfied that this is the fact. I will send to the
Clerk, and ask hitn to read a law of Virginia,
~ \~v**begau.
it is to be found in the 6th volume of
Hcuicg's S i.tutes at Large of Virginia, published
in 1819, ' pursuant to an act of th* General
Asstmbly of Virginia, prised on the 5th <lay of
February, 1808"
Sec xxiv. " Ami that hthru any slave shall bt notoriously
guilty of going abroad in the night, or
running away and laying out, and cannot be reclaimed
from such disorderly courses by common methods of
punishment, u shall be lawful for the County Court,
upon complaint and psjrof the reof to them made by the
owner of .such slave, to order ami direct such punishment
by dismkmbbrino, or any other way, not touching
life, an the Court shall ikiuk fit. And if suth
slave shall die by means of suoh Msmkmbkrino, no
forfeiture or punishment shall b>. thereby incurred."
I have had that law read, to see if any gentle
man can turn me to any more cruel laws passed
6?nce the "agitation." 1 did not read it myself,
though found on the pages of Old Virginia's law
books, lest it should make the modest gentleman
from Virginia [Mr. Million] and the gentleman
from Worth Carolina [Mr. Stanly] and his
gray-headed negro, blush!
[Mr. Bayly of Virginia. That law is repealed,
or not now in force ]
Mr. Stevens. Then I am glad that the ngitoLtion
has produced some amelioration of your laws, I
_ . although f still fled it ou youc statute-book *
But suppose it were true that the masters had I
becc*" with, t v- >
F rants in every age7 The nearer the oppressed is
to freedom, and the more hopeful his struggles,
the tighter the master rivets his chains. Moses
and A ron urged the emancipation of the enslaved
Jews. Their master hardened his heart.
Those fanatical abolitionists, guided by Heaven,
agitated anew. Phiraoh increased the burden
of the slaves. Fie required the same quantity
of brick from them without etraw, as when the
straw had been found them. They were seen
dispersed and wandering to gather stubble, to
make out their task They failed, and were
beaten with stripes. Moses was their worst enemy,
according to these philanthropic gentlemen.
Did the Lord think so, and command him to desist,
lest he should injure them ? No; he directed
him to agitate agaiu. and demand the abolition
of slivery from the King himself. That great
slaveholder Mill hardened his heart, and refused
The Lord visited him with successive plagues?
lice, frogs, locusts, thick darkness?until, as the
agitation grew higher,and the cbaius were tighter
drawn, he smote the first-born of eviry house in
Egypt; nor did the slaveholder relax the grasp
on his victims, until there was wailing throughout
the whole land, over one dead in every family.
from the, Kiuii that sat on the throne to the
captive in the dungeon. So I fear it will ho in j
this land of wicked slavery. You have already !
among you what is equivalent to the lice and the I
locusts, that wither up every green thing where I
the foot of slavery treads. Beware of the final |
plague. And you, in the midst of slavery, who |
are willing to do justice to the people, take care
that your works testify to the purity of your intentions.
even at some oost. Take care that your
door-posts are spriukled with the blood of sacrifice,
that when the destroying angel goes forth, as
go forth he will, he may pass you by.
Aside from the principle of Kternul Bight, I
!will never consent to the admission of another
slave State into the Union, (unless bound to do so
by some constitutional compact, and I know of
none such,) on eocouut of the injustice of slave
representation By the Constitution, not only the
States now in tho Union, but all that may hereafter
he admitted, are entitled to have their slaves
represented in Congress, five sluves being counted
equal to three white freemen. This is unjust to
the free States, unless you allow them a representation
in the compound ratio of persons and
property. There are twenty-five gentlemen on
this floor who are virtually the representatives of
slaves alone, having not one free constituent.
This is an outrage on every representative principle,
which supposes that representatives have
constituents, whose will they are bound to obey,
and whose interest they protect.
The slave representation should not be increased,
for it already possesses a power dangerous
to the Constitution In the Senate, slavery
has the power to reject all nominations to oflice
who are not obedient to the institution. That
power is exercised The real leader of that body,
a Senator from Mississippi, not long since, frankly
declared in debate, that he would vote for no
nominee who was tinctured with anti-slaveTy doctrines,
or who had active friends that were. This
power w is notoriously and successfully brought
to bear, several years since, against a distinguished
and worthy gentleman, who was nominated to
an office tar below his merits, bees use he had
spoken evil of the ' dark spirit of slavery." Thus
are Northern men held in duress!
This power demands from Congress "compromises"
which shad increase its influenco Sir, this
word "compromise," when applied to human
rights, aud constitutional tights, I abhor. We
are not asked, but commatulrd, to .compromise
away the Constitution It is well known that,
when Congress assembled here, a large majority
of its members, aa well as a large majority of the
people, were in favor of prohibiting slavery in all
the Territories,and adiui'ting nonew slave States
into the Union. It is a vital principle of the Constitution,
that the will of a majority shall govern.
But terror, treason, threats, are used to compel
the msjority to yield to a turbulent minority.
The violenoe of passion, tho recklessness of ambition,
and the corruption of party, are all used to
bring about this "compromise" of constitutional
right. He who regards his oath to support the
Constitution cannot thus surrender
I shall not now particularly refer to the features
of the most extraordinary conspiracy
agaimst liberty in the Senate, called the Compromise
bill. If it should survive its puerj?eral fever,
we shall have another opportunity of knocking
the monster in the head. I pass over what is ftmiliurly
known as the "ten million bribe," which
was evidently inserted for no other purpose than
to create public opinion on 'change and carry the
bill.
But it is proposed to propitiate Virginia by
giving her $200 000.000 out of tho public Treasury,
the proceeds ot the puhlio lands. If this
sum were to bo given for the purpose of purchasing
the freedom of her slaves, large as it i*, it
Bhould w hearty support. It is,
least fifty llllllllllWrtlWWdidMl > till III pay for them
all at a fair market prioe. But it is designed for
no purpose of emancipation. The cool-hcaded,
cool-hearted, philosophic author had no such
"transcendental" object. It is to be specifically
appropriated to exile her free people of color,
and transport them from the land of their birth
to the land of the stranger ! Sir, this is a proposition
not " fit to be made "
[Mr. Avkkrtt of Virginia here asked, Pid not
New England sell slaves?)
Mr. Stkve?s. Yes, she sold, she imported
slaves; she w is very wicked ; she has long since
repented Go ye and do likewise.
It is my purpose nowhere in these remarks to
make personal reproaches; I entertain no ill-will
towards any human bciug, uor any brute, that I
know of, uot even the skunk ucross the way to
which I referred Least ofull would I reproach the
South. 1 honor her courage and fidelity. Even
in a bad, a wicked cause, she shows a united
front. All her sous are faithful to the cause of
human bondage, because it is thru cause. But the i
North?the poor, timid, mercenary, drivelling
North ? has no such united defenders of her
cause, although it is the cause of human liberty. 1
None of the bright lights of the nation shine
upou her section. Even her own great men have
turned ber accusers. She is the victim of low
ambition?an ambition which prefers Belf to
country, personal aggrandisement to the high
cause of human liberty She is otfered up a sacrifice
to propitiate Southern tyranny?to conciliate
Southern treason.
We are told that she has not done her duty in
restoring fugitive slaves, and that more stringent
laws must be panned to secure that object. A distinguished
Senator from Kentucky [Mr Olav)
nays it Is the duty, not only of oftioera in tbo free
States, but of all the people who happen to be
present, to give active aid to the slave-owner to run
down, arrest, and restore the man who is fleeing
* I do not Hod that tbl* law ii rtpcalod. Hut it U moot
Eobil.ly not ofUn executed, elnre, u shown by tbo M<ai
r. Moade, Virginia has become a breeding Stats.
*
I
from slavery. An equally distinguished Senator
from Massachusetts [Mr Wkbstir] unites with I
bim in denouncing the aggressions of the North
in thin particular ; and they both declare their
ietermination to tote for the bill, with its amend- j
aients, now on file, and which has become a part j
>f the *' Compromise."
it may be well to look a little at the lsw as it j
cow stands on the subject, and then at the one |
which has enlisted such powerful support. By
the Constitution alone, without any legislation,
the slaveholder may go into a free State, take
with him such foroa us he pleases, and take his
slave and carry him back. If the fact of his slavery
is disputed either by the alleged slave or'
any one for him, the claimant may issue his writ
il' h >min< r'jtliguinilo, and unless the defendant ,
gives ample bail for his forthcoming on the final
issue, and tor the payment of all oosts and damages,
(which include the value of his services in
the mean time.) the plaintiff may take him into
his possession, and retain him until final trial by
a court and jury. Is not this sufficient? It is all
the right which he would have if he claims
property in a horse, or other property which he
might allege had strayed over the line. Why
should he have any greater right when he claims
' " """" ' "" ? " "" ?""VU " ID
than a borne, that he should be deprived of the
ordinary protection of the law ? Sir, in my
judgment, the remedy-ought to he left where the
Constitution plao-a it, without uny legislation,
that the odious law of 1793 ought to be repealed
by that l>tw,f?ie ?\ave\ioVdr? vow} ?,?> ^\}
his slave and drag him b.vrlt, hut he may command
the aid of all the officers of the United States
Court, take his alleged slave before tho judge,
snd after summary examination, without trial by
jury tnay obtain a certificate of property ; which,
for the purpose of removal, is conclusive of his
slavery, takes away the writ of habtai corpus and
the right of trial by jury, and sends the victim to
hopeless bondage If ?n inhabitant of a free State
se.s a wretched fugitive, who he learns is fleeing
ft oin bondage, and gives him a meal of victuals to
keep him from starving, snd allowa hiui to sleep
in his out-house, although his master is not in
pursuit of him, he is liable tn the penalty
of five hundred dollars A judge in Pennsylvania
lately held that a worthy citizen of
Indiana county incurred such penalty by giving a
cup of water and a crust of bread to a famishing
man whom he knew to be fleeing from bondage.
A slave family escape I from Maryland; went into
Cumberland county, Pa, ami obtained the reluctant
consent of a worthy farmer to sleep in his
hay-loft. 'I'heir owner did Dot pursue them for a
week afterwards. It was held by a State court
! that the fsrmcr was liable for the full value of
j (he slaves, beside the S500 penalty, and a jury re- i
| turned a verdict for <9,000 snd costs. Sach are
some of the provisions of the law of 1793 now in
force, which these great expounders of constitutional
freedom hold to be too mild f And tno#e
j't'fge"1 ?.*+ to be nissed to punish Northern
men who have a heart!
The law which they propose to support doubles
All these penalties. But that is not its most obnoxious
feature. It expressly recognises slavery in
the Territories.
la section 1 it provides, " That when a person
held to service or labor in any Slate or Territory
shall escape into any other of said States or Territories,"
&c.
We have no Territories except New Mexico
and California, both of which are free by their
present laws. This bill reoognises slaves capable
of fleeing from "Territories," and extends the
fugitive laws to them. This settles the Wilmot
Proviso most effectually, and seems to render it
necessary somewhat to strengthen and "reenact
the will of God "
ft provides that the claimant may arrest such
alleged fugitive, "and take him or her before
nuyjudge of the Circuit or District Court of the
United States, or before any marshal, commissioner,
or clerk of such court, or any postmaster
of the United States, or collector of the customs
residing or b-ing within such State where such
seizure or arrest shall be made; and upon proof
to the satisfaction of such judge, commissioner,
clerk, marshal, postmaster, or collector, as the case
may be, either by oral testimony or ofularit takni
hrjore ami certified by any jnrson author iz>d to administer
an oath, that the person so seized owes service
or labor, kr., it shall bo the duty of such judge,
marshal, postmaster, &cc, to give a certificate to
such claimant, his or her agent or attorney, which
shall be sufficient warrant tor removing such fugitive
to the State or Territory from which he or she
may have fled."
An amendment proposed by the Committee of
Thirteen provides, that the claimant may make
.. - I K..tV.n a I,;* ?i.v.
out notice to the nlleged fugitive, proving his slavery
and absconding; and, on producing thin before
the High Court of Tide Waiters or Postmasters,
it shall he taken to be conclusive evidence of the
facts ; nnd on the production of which, those officers
are rtquittd to give the certificate of slavery.
These are most extraordinary tribunals. These
aro awful trials. Clerks of courts, marshals, collectors,
nnd township postmasters, are transformed
into high justiciaries, whose signature to a prepared
certificate is to be conclusive of the liberty of
huwun beings! They are the sole judges of the
law and the evidence ; nnd from their judgment
there is no appeal. The habtas coryus is annulled;
the trial by jury denied. The evidence, which
they are bound to hold conclusive, may bo made
up tx jxirte, by affidavit or record, a thousand
miles from the party whose safety is involved in
it. If, on hiB arrest, he should be ablo to prove
that he was born free, and had resided in a free
State all his life, he is not permitted to do it.
These m: juifie records close his mouth, and stop
up judicial ears. These learned judges?these
tide waiters and country postmasters, who make
no pretensions to legal learning, are compelled,
not to juJge, but to decide without judging, that
the affidavit of a distant soul-dealer is evideoce of
slavery, wfiich cinnot fie gainsaid. The slavehunter
uiuy bring his post master-judge, as well as
his proof, with him ; for the law gives jurisdiction
uot only to one residing but btiitf in the
Stale where the arrest is made Kohold this
court and jury to pass on human liberty !?an
overseer, with a power of attorney ; the affidavit
of a professional slave-trader; an itinerant postmaster
from Virginia signing judgment in a barroom
; the defendant, a h ind-cuffed negro, without
counsel, witnesses, or judge. Verily, a second
I>aniel tins com.' to judgment.
A decree thus obtained, without a jury to pass
on the facta, in to conclude the right* of nun, and
silence the law.
'l'be distinguished Senator from Kentucky [Mr
Cj.ayJ wishes further to make it the duty of all
hy-sfanders to aid in the capture of fugitives i 'o
join the ohase and run down the prey. This is
asking more than my constituents will ever grant.
They will strictly abide by the Constitution
The slaveholder may pursue his slave among
them with his own foreign myrmidons, unmolested,
except by their frowning scorn Rut no law
that tyranny can pass will ever induce them to
join the hue and cry after the trembling wretch
who has esciped from unjust bondage. Their
fair land, made by nature aud their own honest
toil as fertile and as lovely as the vale of Tatnpe,
shall never become the hunting grouud on which
the bloodhounds of Slavery shall course their
prey, and command them to join the hunt.
Sir, this tribunal would be more odious thau the
Star Chamber?these ottioers more hateful thau
the Familiars of the Inquisition.
Can the free North stand this? Can New
Fnglaud stand it I Can Massachusetts stand it!
If she can. she has but one step further to take
in degradation, and that is to deliver her own sons
in chains to Southern masters 1 What would the
bold Rarous of Kunnymede have said to such defenders
of Liberty.? What would the advocates
of kugliaiT freedom, at auy iWTfl Xb
those who would strike down the writ of habeas
corpus and the right of trial by jury, those vital
principles of Motiiui Charta and the Rill of Rights 1
They would have driven them forth as enemies
in disguise
Sir, I am aware of the temerity of these remarks.
I know bow little effect they will have,
coming from ho obscure a quarter, and being
op|?os*??l by the mighty iotloenoee tUat crente put>lie
opinion. 1 was struck with the sound seine of
the remark made to-day by the gentlemnn from
Tennessee |Mr. Gkntby] He anid that the
" Compromise'' bill was winning favor with the
People, most of whom had uever read it, merely
because it is advocated by great names in whom
they are accustomed to confide.
Late events have oouviuced me that it were
better in republican, representative Governments,
where the People are to judge and decide ou every
meusure, if there were no great, overshadowing
names, to give factitious force to their views,
aud lesd the public mind captive. If the People
were to put faith iu no tutu's argument, they
would eiamine every <pieetion for themselves, and
decide according to their intrinsic merit. The
prrorsof the Small Jo but little harm; those of the
Ureal are fatal. Had Lucifer beeu but a common
augel, instead of the Chief of the morning stars,
he had not taken with him to perdition the third
of the he ivenly hosts, and spread disunion and
discord in celestial, and sin and misery in earthly
places.
Sir, so long as man ia vaiu and fallible; so long
hh great men have like (uiaaions with others and,
as iu republics, are surrounded with stronger
tempUtiona.it were better for tbemeelvee if their
fauio acquired no inordinate height, until the
grave had precluded error. The errors of obscure
men die with thnn, and cast no shame on
their posterity. How different with the Great I
How much better had it been fur Lord Baoon,
that greatest of huuun intellects, had he never,
during hie life, acquired glory, ami risen to high
honors in ths State, than to be degraded from them
THE NATIONAL Eb
by the judgment of bis peers. How much better
for him and his, had he lived and died unknown, j
than to be branded through all future time as
the
? brightest, meanest of mankind 1"
So now, in this crisis of the fate of liberty, if any
of the renowned men of this nation should betray
her cause, it were better that they had been unknown
to fame. It need not be hoped that the
brightness of their paet glory will dazxle the eyes
of posterity, or illumine the pages of impartial history.
A few of its raye may still linger on a
fading sky ; but they will soon be whelmed in the
blackness of darkness. For unites progressive
civilization, and the increasing love of freedom
throughout the Christian and civilized world, are
fallaci >ub, the si'n of Liberty, of universal liberty,
is already above tbe horizon, and fast coursing to
his meridian splendor, when no advocate of slavery.
no apologist of slavery, can look upon bi9
face and live.
Nors.?Since this speech was delivered, 1 have
read a very able work by Rev. Moses Stuart,
lately theological professor at Andover He
speaks of the " tsUsswgs and comfortsof slavery.
He says, " Christ doubtless felt that slavery might
be made a wry tolerable condition?nay, tv>n a hi**sing
to sveh as were shiftless and helpless??Page 46.
This is flattering to the poor ! His work is able,
and coutains a very glowing eulogy on the Hon.
Daniel Webster, and rather a faint one on the
JBihJe. His object mmhz to be i= r-.-cr; rrern
Scripture the lawful ami just; ana me uuiawim
hu'1 unjust character of slavery, lie proves that
its soon as Moses and bis people bad got out of
bondage, they turned kidnappers. The first hundred
pages of the book prove, by numerous Scripturul
texts, that slavery being instituted by God
in old times, And sanctioned by Paul and the
Apostles, is not sinful?not malum in se; and he
lectures the North, and exhorts them to forbearance
towards their Southern brethren, many of
whom he knows to be true Christians, as he once
visited Charlestou, and was treated with great
kindness. respect, and hospitality.
After having fully proved the divine nature of
slavery, an I the unchristian character of those
who revile Mr Webster and the South, and send
him anonymous letters, he takes a look at the
other side, and addresses himself to slaveholders;
and with great clearness and ability,
( hough in a short space,) demonstrates from tbf*
New Tostnment that slavery is n most sinful and
wicked institution, malum in te, and opposed to the
fundamental law of God ! lie clearly proves, not
only from Scripture, but aliunde, that "all men
are of one blood," and equal. Page 103, he says
of slavery, "It is a glaring contradiction of the
first and fundamental principle, not only of the
Bible, which declares that all men are of one
blood, but of our Declaration of Independence,
which avers that all men are born with an inherent
and inalienable right to life, liberty s and property.
The -sdacribcd to y-'
well as the North *
Same page?" And if all this be true, then for
one part of mankind to enclave another, stands on
the single ground of might prTmting orrr right?
neither the law of love, nor doing as we would be
done by, permits any man to act on such ground
and ht guihl'si before. God." (Malum in u )
He speaks of the immoral tendency of slavery;
declares it to be a virtual state of concubinage.
WuiCQ im encouragru lur tor sane oi increMiD^
slave property. Me proceeds to illustrate thin
from wh.it he saw in the South, the mixed colors
&c. Says it pervades married as well us single
life; and, turning sharp upon his Southern
friends, eiclaims?" Retribution begins here in
this life; but, O! what will it be in the life to
come ?" " Whoremongers and adulterers, God will
judgeV?Heb. xiii, 4.
Fie! friend Stuart! "Spkak evil of no man,"
as you say to Northern Abolitionists. Mow impartial
! Verily, this Moses is a fair man.
8PGECM
OP
HON. JOHN W. HOWE, OK PENNSYLVANIA
on
THE CALIFORNIA QUESTION.
Mount of Kepresentativen, Nigfit Session Juie- 4, 1850.
Mr. Chairman: Since we came together, six
months ago, the views of members upon this floor
seem to have undergone material and most remarkable
changes. It would not be easy to assign
all the cioses for the uncertain state of opinion
here upon these great questions which are agitating
the country. The People, however, do not
appear to change; they remaia as steady and
true as the needle to the pole. What they thought
a year ago, and two and three years ago, upon
this subject of Bettiug metes and bounds to the
alarming spread of the institution of eluvery, they
think to-day; and nothing which can be said
here, or in the other wing of the Capitol, how-'
ever eloquently urged or atrongly enforced by
party discipline, is likely to change that opinion,
or put out the lights which the experience of
the past few years has furnished them upon this
subject. Whatever otheis may choose to do, they
arc however alone responsible for. 1 desire, for
myself, that my constituents should understand
that my opinions have undergone no change, and
I shall act in conformity to these opinions whenover
1 have an opportunity to vote. The question
stands upon the broad, well-defined, and well
understood platform or 1848?the Whig ana r roe
Soil platform. The free soil feature iu thin platform
in what it clung to with unyielding tenacity.
We shall regard it ae the apple of our eye?as a
principle never to he surrendered, never to be
"compromisednever to be given up upon any
miserable pretext, that God has so constructed
those territories with particular reference to doing
away with the necessity of its application ;
that it would not only be totally needless and
ridiculous, tiut next, to blasphemous, to insist upon
it. God has never enacted the Wilrnot Proviso
for these Territories ; and if not enacted by man,
the leprous curso of slavery will spread over
them, as it has over all other Territories acquired
by this Government, excepting those to which
man has taken the precaution to apply the Ordinance
of 1787. This is a fact?a great and important
fact?at which we should look long and
carefully, when taking into consideration any
proposition to recede from the position taken by
the North. All the Territories which the United
States h ive acquired since the foundation of the
Government to which the Ordinance of 1787 was
not applied, have come into the Union as slave
States It is pretended that a portion of what
was included in the Louisiana purchase obtained
the benefit of the Missouri Compromise, but it
would be difficult to tell how, since Missouri herself
absorbed an area of greater extent than New
England, and taking nearly as far north as the
original boundaries of that Territory
Sir, what was the platform of 1848? Did we
not subscribe most emphatically to tho doctrine
that slavery should go no further? Did we not
1-l.n lt,A I that T k.,1 K...H I Kir
it schemo of territorial aggrandizement which has
no parallel in modern, if it hat in ancient history ;
ami that we had hccn dragged into a war with
Mexico for purposes inconsistent with the honor
and dignity of the nation ; and that, under such
circumstances, we should insist upon applying the
Ordinance of 1757 to such portion of the territory
acquired as hail not been swallowed np in
the capacious maw of Texas ? Did we not conteud
that the North had a right (leaving the
moral question out of the issue) to a fair proportion
of these vast territories lying hotwoen Louisiana
and the Pacific, which had been "acquired at
the expense of the common blood and treasure of
the Nation " and that thev should be forever consecrated
to h'reedotn ? Every man. woman, mid
from NLv.ufi 1$ Jfl*% iiuWf frU JUmiid.
Everybody knows that we promised to Miami by
that Ordinance Whigs and Democrats pledged
themselves to stand by it; nnd we are not now to
be frightened by the cry of disunion I which has
beeu used to "frighten the North1' for the last
sixty years; and which, to tell the truth, has
lost some of its potency?for we find .Southern
gentlemen now resorting to other means, calling
the yeas and nays on frivolous motions, nnd withholding
the appropriation bills, and probably,
before wc get through, we shall find thein resorting
to other equally ingenious methods of producing
"discord" and " confusion," for which the
people will hold thein to account hereafter. Many
Southern gentlemen even left the Hall some years
since in a body, but they were very glad to return.
Soutb Carolina nullified?though that was
on another question (the taritf)?and nothing
very alarming came of it. We had a constitutional
discussion, almost a "States rights" war,
upou one or two little items in the Census Hill
this session, and I was momentarily expecting
some chivalric gentleman to rise nnd announce,
in tones of solemn warning, a dissolution of the
Union in the event that certain sections of that
bill were retained
I should not like to ask Europeans how we ap- j
pear to them, legislating upon the most important I
national affairs in this somewhat peculiar and
extraordinary manner. I should fear they would
ay, "Y ou Americans are much better in furu
than tragedy."
Hot, Mr. Chairman, this is what we pledged
ourselves to do when we came here secure to
Freedom a portion of that territory by applying
the Ordinance of 1787, that righteous Ordinance,
sanctioned by Washington. We promised to use
every endeavor in our power to have it passed by
Congress, and to restrict slavery within ita present
limit*. We did not propose to interfere with
slavery in the State*, within the Ntaie* we all
know it is berond our reach We do not intend
to interfere with it there. We hold the Const U
tution a acred We mean to live by it, and we
mean that it ahall be regarded by all. but where
nIA,
WASHINGTON, I
it exist* under the authority of the Federal Goteminent,
ve mean to annihilate it, and to rid
ourselves of all responsibility in connection with
it; and thia was part of our platform of 1948.
We went for the abolition of slavery and the
slave trade in the District of Colombia, and, if
we could not get the South to consent to it, then
we were in favor of the removal of the seat of
Government; and prospectively we were in favor
of abolishing it in all places where it exists under
the authority of the Federal Government. We
claim that, having deprived ourselves of the profits,
" blessings," and advantages of slavery, the South
ought not to ask us to continue it under our joint
sanction. We ought to be permitted to relieve
ourselves of the responsibility and sin at once and
forever.
Mr. Chairman. 1 do not feel disposed to abandon
any one of these positions. Neither can I
commit myself to the admission of any more slave
States. I do not know whether these can bo considered
the principles of the " Progressive Democracy,"
of which we heard so much this morning
from the gentleman from Mississippi, [Mr.
Thompson 1 I have never had the honor of belonging
to that party; it has been my good fortune
to belong to the Whig party, and that is an honor
which I shall continue to enjoy. But 1 do not
understand that there are any differences upon
this subject between the body of the people of the
free North. The Northern people are honest;
they are not arrogsnt, as the gentleman has said;
they are peaceable,quiet, rather timid than other^
^
own srrengtn, ami nave voo unca ijunuru nui
cowered before the threatenings of the puny
South; they are unsuspecting, and it happens
almost invariably that they are betrayed, too
often by their own friends, and I fear they will
be now.
Mr. Chairman, i entertain the highest sentiments
of respect for General Taylor; his honesty
and integrity commends itself to me as it does to
the People. Bat, Whig and Free-Soiler as I am,
I cannot agree with the recommendation of the
President, upon these subjects. I cannot subscribe
to i he policy of the order of the Secretary of War,
which consigned the New Mexicans to the tender
mercies of Texas. It may be said that orders
still more favorable to Texas had been given by
the previous Administration, and that Mr. Polk
had recognised, in terms, the claims of Texas, in
his official letter to the Governor of that State;
and that there was danger of civil war with Texas.
All this may be true, and yet I oannot see why
this Administration should not have maintained
the "statu quo? as between Texas and New Mexioo,
until, by judicial or legislative decision, the
question of boundary had been disposed of Texas
might at least have been restrained from extending
her jurisdiction at a delicate period of the dispute,
when these questions were so soon to be
submitted, as they now are, to the consideration
! at Congress.
The nr.otrction of the military authorities, un"fler
Whtcn tne cTvu vottrniueni exiSiw, w \right
which the New Mexicans had every possible
reason to expect would not be denied them
This state of things, however, only increases the
necessity for speedy action by Congress, and the
immediato application of a remedy. But the
action of Congress about these days seems to partake
something of the nature of a suit in chancery?tardy.
1 have another strong objection to the plan of
the Administration. General Taylor proposes to
compromise the differences between the North
ami SIaiiIK with vafawnnna fn tkoan TVrritnriP?
" *" .VIViV-VV . ? -?v ? ")
by admitting California, and leaving New Mexioo
and Utah to adopt State Constitutions when
they get ready. I cannot consent to this, because
we are determined to secure those Territories to
freedom, beyond the porsi/nlity of a doubt; and hecause
I oannot vote for the admission of those
Territories as slave States, should they hereafter
apply, as I should consider myself bound to do
should we adopt the President's plan. Vet we
expect to abide by this plan, rather from necessity
than ohoioe.
Texas was secured to slavery by the South and
her Northern allies of the " progressive Democracy"
(!) beyond even the possibility of a doubt; and
they made arrangements, moreover, to cut her up
into five slave States, and they left her all of the
public domain in her bord era to pay her debts with ;
a privilege no other State enjoys. The main feature
in this glorious example of the clean manner
in which "progressive Democracy" and the
South protect and guard the slave interest, 1
propose to follow. It is a bright and illustrious
example, and I intend to take pattern of it. I
propose to secure as strongly, as firmly, as irrevocably,
the three remaining States which are to
come out of the Territories we have acquired of
Mexico, to freedom. The/ have done so bj legislative
enactment, i propose to carry out Northern
policy by the same process?by the enactment
of a reportable law?as binding in one oase
as the other, and no mere so. The Houth hare
no objection to prof Taos when they are to benefit
themselves, but they ha re other names for their
measures, which we never hear subjected to the
Veen shaft of ridicule? and they are not nt all
modest in the extent of the application of their
provisos. A war at an expense of a hundred
millions is a trifle, and their provisos cover five
good States at one sweep. Now, I am proposing
only to follow their excellent example. 1 am in
favor of securing those Territories to freedom by
a Proviso. I am in favor of Territorial Governments
for Utah and New Mexico with a "Proviso."
I care not whether you oall it the Dane,
the "Wilmot," the Webster, or Winthrop, the
Jetfersonian Ordioanoe of 1787, or John Smith's
Proviso?I am in favor of this policy, "at all harards
and to the lust extremity." If we would secure
those Territories as Irrevocably as that famous
proviso which "sticks out" in the Texan
resolutions of Annexation secured the soil of that
State to slavery, we must be prepared to vote it
in without stopping to consider its political effect.
There was no outcry then about provisos. Slavery
seems to be so much superior in its moral
aspect to freedom, that a slavery proviso is swallowed
at once, while we are kept here six months
before we can persuade men to answer it to their
consciences to touch a proviso for freedom, and
than if ia ilnnn with tlm mnut niiitiaffiiiaeal ru!n.>
tance, ami only fur fear of the people whose
frowns are apt sometimes to trouble the dreams
of ambitious politicians, For aught I know, we
may he here sit month* longer, before that power
which controls Congress, and is omnipotent in
the Government, and has been for the last fifty
yoars, will allow us to record our votes upon
these measures.
Mr. Chairman, 1 suppose we shall have a thing
here shortly, called the "Compromise,'' designed
by its manufacturers as a sort of pitch-plaster to
apply to the wounds, uloers, and sores of the body
poiitio, of which there are said to be five. I
think this is a wrong count; my memory recalls
several not set down in this bill of particulars
There is one small sore, if I recollect right, which
certain people living in a small district called
Pennsylvania would like to have these skilful
political doctors prescribe for. The old doctors
of the " progressive Democracy'' (!) have attempted
it once or twice, but have as often hepn prosecuted
for mal-practioe. One cause of their failure
probably is their too close attention to their
colored patients, which leaves them no time for
the irkt" I have a remote suspicion that
this is the difficulty with those who are attempting
to apply this "Compromise" pitch-plaster?
they atteud too closely to the black population.
California is the first item in this impracticable
hoilz'-podititf a " Compromise." The trouble
about her ia, that the people of that State don't
want negroe?; they object ui totp- Jkr * black
nnnnU A n 'I'll n Av I-b-.aJi). I.. ?>.. V. IA I
mt*ke slftVb of them to minister to a sordid lust
-?rJS0W?f?r undeserved, because unpurchased,
wealth; and they prefer leaving them with their
Southern friends to receiving them upon any
other terms, which might involve the ultimate
risk of slavery. Had she presented herself an a*
slave State, does anybody upon this floor believe
that there would have been the least difficulty
about her admission 1 She would have been received
by the "progreasive Democracy " with acclamations,
as the 'Mono star" wan upon a certain
other occasion?there would have been no trouble
about it.
Not long since, the doctrine was loudly urged
In this Hall, that the people should he left to take
care of themselveo?they should be left to frame
such institutions as they pleased? " non-interference,"
" non-intervention," was the cry. Then
it was supposed that the people, when thus left to
take oare of themselves, would frame institutions
which would be pleasing to the South. It was j
supposed that the Texans and the Southwestern i
Staioi would gradually spread themselves over j
the new Territoriaa; but it so happened that
gold mines were disooverod on the shores of the
Pacific, and a nation of freem<'D gathered together
there, to enjoy M the spoils " of viotory This
altered the caee materially. There were many
of them foreigner*, who had never breathed the
tainted air of a country where human bondage
existed, and under no oircumetancee, not even
with so great a temptation as the prospect of such
a harvest as n slaveholder with his twenty human
cattle might reap, could they be induoed to touch
the unclean thing. Free Institutions, "free ae ,
the free air of Heaven," have, thank God, grown
up on those shores, where for centuries a mixture
of " mindless, enervate, and besotted " races have
lived but to furnish wealth for the grasping
Spaniard, sad victims for the blood-thirsty and
merciless Indian. This event?the discovery of
these mines?was regarded at the North as the
intervention of the hand of Providence to prevent
the perpetuation of the omnipotence of the slave
power in this Are* Government. It is not now,
it never has been supposed that it was the wish
of the South to lay their grasp upon those Terri
). C., JUNE 27, 1850.
tories, and reduce them to slavery, merely for
the purpose of extending that institution yr se,
but it was a grasp for power?power in the Federal
Government, which they have controlled for
half a century None know better than Southern
men that slavery is wrong; none know better
than they that it is at war with those principles
of justice upon which our Government is foundI
ed, and which have a lodgment in the breast of
every man; none know better than they that it is
merely the question of power which now seems
rocking the Union to its centre It was in this
view that the language of my colleague (Mr
Stevkns) was so strongly excepted to by Southern
gentlemen. They are fearful that the conviction
will grow up in the popular mind, that
slavery as a political power should be destroyed,
as it is at war with the whole spirit of free institutions,
and is checking their advancement at
every step.
Mr. Stevens said:
" I am opposed to the diffusion of slavery, because coufluiug
it within its present limits will brina the States themselves
to its gradual abolition. I.et this disease spread, and
although it will render the whole body leprous aud loathsome,
yet It will long survive, (.'online it, and like the cancer
that is tending to the heart, it must be eradicated, or it
will eat out the vitals The sooner the patient is convinced
of this, the sooner he will procure the healing operation."
" Ves, sir; this admitted result is, to my miud, one of the
most agreeable consequence* of the legitimate restriction of
slavery. C-nflne this malady within its present limits, surround
it by a cordon of freemen that it cannot spread and in
less than twenty-live years, every siiveholding State in this
Union wrUt have on its statute-books a law for the gradual
^.uxvi^Vw .... , ,4. nx r ?
ihiii mated tbefutuleet wlnbeeof every patriot'ebeart itien
?ill oar fair country be glorloue, Indeed; and be to posterity
bright example of tbe erue principle* of government?of
unlvernal freedom."
My colleague has been subjected to not a little
severe criticism from Southern gentlemen for the
expression of these sentiments 1 can tell gentlemen
from the South, that this language is by no
means peculiar to my colleague. They are, as far
as 1 know, the sentiments of the entire North.
That speech has been again and again republished
both in English and German, and circulated
by thousands. This sentiment is of no new
growth. I doubt not that my oolleague himself
learned it at his mother's kites, and these lessons
are seldom forgotten.
It is this fear that slavery, being surrounded by
a cordon of free States, will ultimately adopt
remedies for the evils which provoke the demonstrations
that we daily witness in this 1 Jail. Providence
has pointed out to us this remedy for the
evils of tbe common weal under which we are
suffering. Surround this arrogant and aristocratic
slave power, whieh is now impeding all
legislation, obstructing the wheels of Government
in hopes of carrying out its dark designs?surround
it with a cordon of freemen, and we shall
then have a prospect of peace, of a return to law
and order, to good and regular government.
We do not ask to interfere with slavery in the
States where it exists under their own 'municipal*
Tb^r^spnn/uhilltj^o/ju existence is
with them. We 5o not ask to interfere with it,
and the Constitution gives us no right to do so.
But we have a right to ask that it shall not usurp
nil niibuuruj nuu uuiibrui vi iuv r curni vjrufciument,
and subject the North to a state of political
vassalage! We have a right to ask that it shall
not be made the basis of a power which subjects
the North to a species of political slavery, which
is but the counterpart of that domestic slavery in
which they hold the tawny race of Africa, and a
mixed breed of American and African blood,of all
shades and hues, from ebony black to almost lily
white.
Were the slaves of the B trbary States of Africa
compared to-day with those who are held in
human bondage in this country, we should iind
but little difference in complexion. Their slaves
are ostensibly white, as ours are black, but they
gradually change their hue to a darker shade, as
ours do to a lighter, more delicate complexion,
and European features. Why, there are slaves in
Washington, which we meet at almost every corner
of the street, with straight hair, European features,
and skin almost as white as our own; and this
is the olass which give so much trouble as runaways.
There is an instinct in them which generates
a struggle for freedom ; and that struggle is
sometimes a life-long Btruggle. As this class increases,
as it is increasing every year, new laws
are found to be necessary for their recapture
The old law of 1793, stringent as it is, is found
ineffectual, as we are now told by our Southern
frieuds.
Sir, as I have said, California is the first item
in this " Compromise," which is to heal up all the
nlrt unrcs I do not know whether it is intended
that California shall oome into the Union or not.
1 know that she ought to come in, and I go for her
unconditional admission, without making her a
pack-horse, upon which to lug iu other matters
pertaining to the security of property in their
black people, and the extension of slavery.
When slave States are to he admitted, we oan
do it by wholesale, and Texas is shored in with
an arrangement for fire slave States, withont
scarcely so much as saying to the North, "by
your leave, sir." But when a free State knocks
for admission, she is kept here months, compelled
to listen to frothy speeches upon that everlasting
theme, "dissolution of the Union;" and the
country i? kept in a state of revolutionary excitement
The appropriation bills are kept back, and
the Government menaced with a refusal of the
supplies, uot by a majority, but by a miserable
factious minority. But those terrific speeches
about dissolution of the Union, &<i, like an ofttold
tale, are reiliy becoming wearisome ; and we
are ready to exclaim with Job, our " afflictions are
greater than we can bear "
The next feature in this Compromise is, Governments
for the Territories, without a restriction
of slavery, and annulling the Mexioan law,
which abolishes slavery, by extending the Constitution
over them?thus yielding the whole of the
territory to slavery.
The next is. buying of Texas a large portion
of territory which she claims, and paying her ten
or twelve millions, probably, in addition to what
these territories have already cost, which is about
$125,000,000.
If New Mexioo is to be secured to slavery,
why is the North called upon for this vast sum ?
The public lands ore worth nothing, according to
the showing of New Mexico herself, in the repreMentation
she has officially made to this Government,
pending her implication for admission, snd I
do not relish this proposition for a donation to
Texas We have vielled her a boon enioved bv no
other State in the Union, the possession of all
the public lands within her borders Where is
this demand to end? We shall next be called
upon personally to pay tribute to this slaverypropaganda,
and perhaps to furnish white slaves,
if they cannot get block onos?and ft ran do it.
They next call upon us to stifle our opinions
with regard to slavery. They tell us that we of
the North have no business to have opinions upon
this subject?it is aggressive; and they modeetly
ask us to organize ourselves into one vast police
corps, and emulate each other in a display of our
dexterity in catching their runaway negroes.
The fugitive slave bill, which forms a part of tEis
famous?I was about to say mfumous?compro
tnise, as it is called, details about ten thousand
Northern postmasters to perform this degrading
office of catching runaway negroes ? perhaps
they will neit propose that the North shall furnish,
under t)?e authority of the Federal Government,
a supply of those interesting individuals
who perform the office of Jack Ketch, to bo in
readiness whenever the South shall need them
Such a proposition would be a fitting amendment
to this fugitive slave bill.
Sir, the postmasters of our Northern cities.
U>wjui fc*'.1 ,-uV.ivu.\ dnfgmiitmm. Tk*y wouff
not suffer such degradation as this. You talk of insults
and aggressions upon the South. No such insulins
this was ever offered toaay single Southern
man; and yet you coolly put it upon ten thousand
Northern postmasters, gentleman of standing and
respectability in the communities where th<y
live, (not by virtue of their offices, for none other
than respectable men are appointed to these places
of trust and responsibility ) If this bill shall
oome before this House, I have an ameudment to
offer, to oome in after the word " postmasters," so
as to include in this force to be employed in this
beautiful business of catching runaway negroes.
Northern candidates for the Prtndenty. They might
he located, one In I'ennsyivania, one in me reninsulnr
.State in the Lake regions, one in the
Ray Slate, and another in New York To these,
ami their somewhat diminished corps of Lickspittle
Fusileers, the South are welcome if t hey can
Jo auy service in barricading the way to Canada;
hut, for I leaven's sake, do not subject our respectable
postmasters to so degrading an occupation.
Imagine, Mr. Chairman, a wretched runaway
slave, panting like a liiard, in the grip? of one of
these intensely tealous Northern candidates for
the Presidency. The /ifhi is a glorious one
The native muscular strength of the poor blick,
"iruggling for freedom, proves an equal match
for the superior skill of the white slave oatcher.
and they tug and tweat, and roll over in the dust
and dirt, snd neithsr will givs up the equal comhat,
until both tre luut out with fatigue end eihaustion.
Were 1 a witness of snch a contest, I
might b? disposed to say, as s certain good ludg
once did who aaw her husband in the grim of s
big black boar. " Go it, my dear, I don t care
which whips." 1 am rathsr inclined to believe,
however, that my sympathies would not be on the
side of the oandidsts for the Presidency, notwithstanding
his load professions of Jourlk-froo/ patriotism.
The last of those sores is a smill one, which has
long festered la thia district. The remedy proposed
is quite characteristic it is simply to remove
two or three slave fkctoriaa a dictanos of five
miles from the corporation limits, end even this
immense "oouoceeiou to the North;' which is ths
4b
onlj one in this "omnibus" bill, is spoken of at
the South as good cause for disunion. There is
nothing about the tariff in this list of healing
measures; no endeavor is made to heal up thai
small sore in Pennsylvania and in other portione
of the Uoion. Our Southern friends seem to be
laboring under the hallucination that the small
strip of country set down in some maps ns lying
north of Mason and Dixon's line has been suddenly
blotted out. Let us hope that they will yet
condescend to notice us. Mr. Clay once thought
there was such a country ; but, having decided to
sacrifice it upon the altar of his ambition, he has
doubtless concluded that it may be safely reckoned
among the things that were. Perhaps the
lengthened shadows of the White House rest
upon it, and obecure it from his vision. Mr. Clay,
however, is but a man , he stauds up for his sec
tion, bending every energy to tbe endeavor to secure
perpetuation of power in tbe Federal Government
for tbeelavebolding States?power which
they have enjoyed for half a century, and which
they now endeavor to enlarge by an addition ot
Southern Senators. 1 do not know that we ought
to fiud fault with him for pursuing this purpose
for standing up for his section in this sectional
contest, like a true man , but it does seem a little
unfair that he should use Northern popularity,
and Northern leaders, to defeat Northern policy,
and to prostrate Northern interests.
To recapitulate a little, let us see bow this
stands, and what degree of fairness there is in
Southern demands with reference to these Territories.
and purchase, &u extent of territory lying betdfeen
Louisiana and the Pacific Ocean, equal to about
twenty-seven degrees of longitude. It was acquired
in .obedience to Southern policy, and in
opposition to our Northern feeling, at a vast expense
of blood and treasure. It has cost the
country many thousands of lives, and about
$125,000,000. Of this territory, the South has
obtained irrevocably the best hair in Texas, which
she has arranged, under Legislative guaranties,
to subdivide into live slave States. The other
half, a Urge proportion of which is a mountainous
uninhabitable, and valueless country, the North
insist upon having and dividing into three froe
States. Here is the proposition so mathematically
plain anJ simple, that everybody can understand
it. The North ask three out of eight of the
States ho ncquired, and one of those States is here
with her Constitution, asking for admission. Mr
Clay's Senate Compromise Committee propose,
instead of admitting her, to get around giving the
Noyth these three free States, by sticking together
into one bill, along with California. rl erritorial
Governments for New Mexico and Utah,
without any restriction of slavery ; and he refuses
toallow the Mexio >n law to remain in force, which
does restrict slavery. The operation of Territorial
Governments, as we all know, is this: Under
^ aL- n ii* ?: r.U. IT-.:...A
i W.t l^overnmenis, me oouhiiuiuou ui lut u uucu
States is extended over them, and Territorial
Jadfn arwspji'^ffd tn he c?hfirwed
by the Senate, in which slavery has a majority.
Of course, such judges will be appointed
as have been heretofore, who will decide that slavery
is lawful in the Territories under the Constitution,
whenever a slave is brought before them
upon a suit for his freedom, and thus slavery is
established by judicial decision. Thus we are to
be stripped, under this compromise, of all but California;
and we at e only to be allowed this as an
net of special grace, and by giving the fugitive
slave bill as an equivalent, besides yielding these
Territories.
But there are certain modest Southern gentlemen
who are not satisfied with this. They ask
for the Missouri Compromise line, which would
give them four-fifths of this expensive domain.
1 confess?when 1 look around this Hall and
behold the unnatural and degrading spectacle of
Northern men crouching at the feet of this Slave
Power, and vieiug with each other in their slavish
devotion, when the South is in the very act of
grasping at more power?at an addition of fourteen
Senators, who will of course use their endeavors
to keep the North in subjection, and destroy
their interests?I confess, when I see this, 1 fear
that even the Missouri Compromise may not be
beyond their reach, though 1 hope and trust that
the North will stand firm?firm as the massive
pillars with which we are surrounded. 1 admire
the consistency, firmness, and trna devotion, of
Southern gentlemen to their sectional interests
while I laugh at their threats and their bravado,
(if 1 may use theee expressions) I warn them,
howewer, that there is a point beyond which it ia
not safe to go.
MISCELLANY.
Extract from the Declara'ion oj Independence.
We bold these truths to be self-trident: Th?t all men
are created equal; that thejr are endowed by their Creator
with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life,
liberty, and the pursuit of hepidneee.
Extract from the Constitution of the United States.
No person he'd to eerrlee or labor In one Sta?e, under the
laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of
any law or regulation therein, be discharged front such service
or labor, hot shall be delivered np, on claim of the party
to whom snch service or labor may be due.
Extract, from the Syllabus of the Case of Prigg vs
the Commontceah h of Pennsylvania, reported in
KM Peters1s Reports.
The owner of a fugitive slave has 'he same right to seiie
and take hint in a State towhich he has escaped or tied that
he had in the State from which he escaped; ami it is well
known that this right to seise or recapture is universally
acknowledged in all the slaveholdlng States.
The Conrt have not the slightest hesitation in holding,
that, under and in vlrtur of the Constitution, the owner of
the slave is clothed with the authority, in every State of
the Union, to seise and recapture his slave, whenever he can
do It without any breach of the peace or illegal violence
In this sense, and to this extent, this clanse in theConsti
tution may properly be said to execute itse f, and to require
no aid from legislation, State or National ? Pafe f?18.
Extract from Mr. Clay's Resolutions.
7. Resolretl, That more effectual provision ought to be
made by law, according to the requirement of the Constitution,
for the restitution and delivery of persons bound to
service or labor in any St -te, who may escape into any other
State or Territory of this UnionExtracts
from Mr. Clay's Speech in the Senate of the
United States, of 5'h FeJnuary. 1850.
Well, Mr. President, npon this subject I go with him who
goes farthest in the interpretation of that clause In the
Constitution which relates to this subject. In my humble
opinion, that Is a requirement by the Constitution of the
United States which Is not limited in Its operation to the
Congress of the United States, but whl. h extends to every
State in the Uniou, and to the officer* of every State in the
Union. And 1 go one ste,o further It extends to every man
In the Union, and devolves upon him the obligation to assist
in the recovery of a fugitive s'ure from labor who takes
refuge in or escape* into one of the free States. And I maintain
all this by a flair interpretation of the Constitution.
It will be observed, Mr. President, that this clause in the
Constitution ia not amongat be enumerated power* granted
to Congress?where If It bad been placed It might bare beeu
argued that Congress alone can legislate and carry it into
effrc?but it la one of the general powera, or one of the general
rights secured by the Constitution or Instrument and
it addresses itself to ail who are boond by the Constitution
of the United States, Now, the olhcer* of the Oeaeral tioerrnment
are hound to take an oath to support tbe Constitution
of the United Statee. All State oarers are required by
tbe Constitution to take an oath to support It; and all men
who love I heir country, and are obedient to its laws, art
hound to aselst in the execution of tboee laws, whether fundamental
or derivative.
I do not aay that a private individual is obliged to make
the tonr of hla whole Stats, in order to assist the owner of a
slave to recover his propel ty; but I do say, if he ts present
when the owner of a s ave Is about to assert his rights aud
regain poaaeiaion of hie property, that he, that every man
present, whether officer or agent of the State Governments,
or private individual, Is bound to assist in ths execution of
the laws of their country.
Extract from Mr. Webster's Speech at Spring field,
Massachusetts, ia ih- month of September, 1S47.
We heir much just new of s panacea for tbe dingers and
evils of slavery and slave anuexation, which they call the
" ICiImot Promo " That certainly Is a just sentiment
but It is not a sentiment to found any new party ii|x>n |t is
not a sentiment oa which Massachusetts Whigs differ
I here is auel watl ia Shis hall who holds tn it more firmly
thaa I Jo, UT one whn adhfTw*aw ?w ?< al.an another.
1 feel some little interest In this mstter, sir Pit? .*?> I
commit myself in 1817 to the whole doctrine, fully, entirely I
And I mnst he permitted to say that I cannot quite consent
that more recent discoverers should slsim the merit sud
take out a patent
I deny the priority of their Invention. Allow me to say,
sir. it Is not tbstr thunder
Wears to nse the first and laat anj every occasion which
offers to oppose ths extension of slxvs power.
But I spsak of it hsra, as in Congress, as a polttioal question,
a question for statesman to act upon We must so regard
It I rertairly do not meaa to say that it is less imp
qrtant la a moral point of view, that it Is not more important
in many other points of view; but, as a legislator, or in
any oMrial capacity, I mnst task st It, consider It, and decide
it as a matter of political action.
Extracts from Mr. W>hster,s Speech ia the Senate of
the Umtrd States, March 7, IS.'iO.
I look npnu it, therefore, as a fixed fact to use an expres
siou current at this dav, that both California and New Mrxtoo
are destined to bs free, so fkr as they are settled at all,
whteh i bailee*, especially la regard to New Mexloo, will bs
very little for a great length of time ; free by the arrange
meat of things by the Power above us 1 have therefore to
say, lu this respect also, that this country Is taml for freedom,
to as many parson* as shall ever live la It, by a* lrr?
pealabls and more irrepsalabie a law, thaa the lav that attaches
to the right oi holding slave* Ih Tom ; and 1 will
eey further, that If a refutation, or a law, vera aw be tore
us to provide a Territorial O -verameat far Hew Mexist, I
would m l vote to put eny prohibition tale H whales n The
use of tech a prohibition would he Idle, ae It reepeete any
ellert It would hara upuo the Tarntorr; and I would But
take pain* to retAra an ordinance of Natura, n * to reeuaot
the will of God Aud I would |>n( Id bo Milmot Pro
tIbo for thr nwrr purpaoe of a taunt or a reproach. I would
pot Into It no evldaoea of th? rota* of auprior power, for bo
pnrpooa but to wound tha pride, earn whether a jnat pride,
a rational pride, or an Irrational pride, to wound the pride
of the neat lamas who belonf to Southern SUtee. I hare no
a 10h ofijeet, ne eueh purpose They would think It a taunt,
an Indignity ; they would think it to he an net taking away
from thee* what they regard a proper equality of prirtlege,
an] whether they egpert to real lee any beoeflt froae It or
not, they would think It at leant a plain ibeorttt* wroef,
that nooiethtag autre or laae derogatory to their eharweter
and their righto had fitken plaoe. I propeae telnlintae eueh
wound upon nay body, uuleee * metbiug eeseatially lapoe
taut to tha aeaatry, and eAelent to the mean inlhan af ilk
erty and traodoa. ie to oe effected. Therefore, I
elr, and I repeat It Keeauee I wieh It to be andeiileed, that
I do not prepoee to addreaa the Senate diet a* thta aubJeet.
I de-Ire to pour out all ay heart In aa pWm
paaatbla; and I ?ay or tin, therefore, that If
ware now here for a Uoreraoent for Hew
wae oerad to Inaert a pre Latum for a paahlhltlam of atoreagi
I would net rota for it
?a???t**
Mr Praaiaamt, In tha asattad tteaa to ?biah wa Ura,
VOL. IV.
there is found to fiLot a mi? of crimination ad reerisata,
tion betwaau tho Morth and South There are list* .rgrtev.
mom produced by ??b: uf thoee (dt'iMo, real or supposed,
alienate the minds of c no portion of tb? country fr.m
tho other, iimmtiU the (haling*. tad subdue the tenet of
fraternal aHootkrti, patriotic lore, and mutual regard I eh all
bestow a little attention, air, upon tbeee various grievance,
produced on the one elde, and on the other I begin with the
complaint* ef the South I will not anewer, further than I
have, the general etatemenle of the honorable Senator fruia
South Carolina, that the North baa grown upon the South
In consequence of the manner of administering this Government,
In the collecting of Ite revenue*, and ao forth.
These are disputed topiea, and I have no Inclination to enter
Into them. But I will eta to theee complali.ta, eapeeially
one oomplalnt of the South, which ha* In my opinion juet
foundation; and that It, that there baa been found at the
North, among individual* and among Uglaietors of the
North, a diaincltnatiun to perform, fully, the r constitutional
dutie* In icgard to the return or perrons bound to tervice
who bare escaped into the free Stale* In that reaper t, It la
ay judgment that the South U right, and the North la
wrung. Every member of every N rtberu Legislature la
bound by oath, like every other olUeer in the country,do
support the Conatitntion of the United State* , and ihia article
of the Constitution, which eaya to tbeee Sta'te thry
.hall deliver up fugitive* from aarvlve, ia aa blndlrg In honor
and cooaeiouoe a* any other article. Mo man fultle his
duty tn any Legislature who act* himself to find eaeuses,
evasion*, escapes from tbi* constitutional obligation I have
always thought that the L'oMtitution addressed lleelf to the
Legialature* of the State*, or to the Statea Ihemetlvra It
says that those person* escaping to othar Steles shall le
delivered up, and I confess 1 h.ve alway* been of tb* opinion
that it was an injunction upon the States theiaselve.
When it is said that a person escaping into ar.othi r State,
-wwi- .a. I.._I.ji?. . ?
lut^uiOTicwun wi IDU ?i*(e
(bh.ll be delivered up, it seems to me the imiort of the
passage is, that the State itcelf, in ultedienoe to the t'onstitutiou,
shall cause him to be delivered up. That in ttT
judgment. I have always entertained that opinion, ana I
entertain it now.
But when the subject, some yea'* ago, tu before the
Supreme Court of the United State*, the Du>j >rtty of the
, ** " ttOUl rerrice
l* (h**ot<6. it .. .
authority of thi* Government. I do nut know, on the whole
that it inay not hare been a fortunate decision. My habit
i* to respect the result of judicial deliberation! and the ?oleniuity
of judicial decision*. But, as It now stands, ths
business of seeing that these fugitives are delivered np re
eides in the power of Congress and the national judicature
and my friend at the head of the JndtcUry Committee
has a bill on the subject now before the Senate, with
some amendment* to it, which I propoee to > upport
with all its provisions, to the fullest extent. And I desire'
to call the attention of all sober-minded meu, of all conscientious
men, in the North, of all tuen who are not named awty
by auy fanatical idea or by any false idea w batever, to their
constitutional obligations. I put it to ail the sober and sound
minds at ths North as a question of morals and a question of
conscience What right bare they, in theta legislative capacity,
or any other capacity, to enceavonr to get r->und ihit
Constitution, to embarrass the free exercise of the right*
secured by the Constitution (o the persons whose slsres
?,cape trom them I None at all; none at all Neither in
the forum of conscience, nor before the face uf the Constitution,
arc they justified, in my opinion. Of course it is a
matter for their consideration. They probably, In tbe turmoil
of the times have not stopped to outsider of this; they
hav* followed what seemed to be tbe current of thought and
of motires as tbe occasion arose and they neglected to investigate
fully the real question, and to consider theircunstitntional
obligations; as I am sure, if tbey did consider, they
would fulfil them with alacrity. Therefore, I repeat, sir,
that here is a ground of complaint against tbe North
well founded, which ought to be removed, which it is now iu
tbe power of the different departments of this Government
to remove; which calls for the enactment of proper laws
authorixlig tbe judicature of this Government, in the several
States, to do all that is necessary fir tbe recapture o fugitive
slaves, and for the restoration of them to those who
claim them. Wherever i go,and whenever I speak on the
s ihjret, and when I speak here ( desire to speak uttbt wnMe
North, 1 say that the South has been injured in this respect,
AL,'LlktiS?i (A SMLkyUlii ;*uDd the PUlll lit 'loess Cih(
careless of what I think tbe Constitution peremptorily and
emphatically enjoins upon her as a uuty.
********
I have one other remark to make. In my observations
upon slavery a* it has existed in the country, and as It now
exists, I have expressed no opinion of the mode of its extinguishment
or melioration. I will say, however though I
have uothing to propose, because 1 do unt deem myself so
competent a- other gentlemen to take any lead, that if any gentleman
from tbe south shall propose a scheme of colonisation,
to be carried on by Shis iivveruute t upon a large seals, tor
the transportation of free colored people to any colony or any
plsoein ths worid, I should be quite disposed to iueur almott
any degree of expense to accomplish that object Nay, sir,
following an example set here more than twenty years ago
by a great man, then a Senator from New York, I would return
to Virginia, and through her for tbe benefit of the whole
South, the money received frtm the lands andterritorits ced
cl hj her to ttiiH Government, lor any such purpose as to
relieve, in whole or in part, or in any way to diminish ur
deal benetWa'ly with, the free co'ored population of the
Southern Statea. 1 hare mid that 1 honor Virginia for her
cession of thie territory There hare been received iuto the
Treasury of the United Statea eighty d illionsof dollars the
proceeds of the sales of public lands ceded by her. If the
residue should he sold at the same rate, the whole aggregate
will exceed two hundred millions of dolltrs. It Vireinla
and the South see fit t> adopt any proposition to relieve
themselves from the free people of color among tbem, or
such is may be made free, they have my free consent that
the Government shall pay them any sum of money out of Iff)
proceeds, which may be adequate to the purpose.
Bill of Mr. Webster's friend at the head of the Judiciary
Commute*, to nkich he proposes to ftve his
support "to the fullest extent
A BILL
To provide for the more effectual executlou of the 3d
clause of the 2d section of the 4th article of the Constitution
of the United Mates, & ?
Be is enacted by the Senate and House yf ReprfsenUU til
of the United States yf America in Congress . assembled,
That when a person held to service or labor in pJty Stele or
Territory of the United States, under the laws fit such State
or Territory, shall escape Into any other of the] said Statea
or Territories, the person to whom aueb service or labor nay
be due, his or her agent or attorney, is hereby empowered to
seiae or arr*et auch fugitive from service or labor and take
him or her before any judge of the eiveuit or district courts
of the United States, or before any commission* r, or clerk
of such courts, or marshal Charcot, or any postmaster of ths
United Sta'es, or oolleetor of the customs of the United
Statea, residing or being within such State a herein met
seizure or arrest shall be made, and upon proof to the eatisfactlon
of auoh judge, commUaion?r, clerk, narebal, postmaster,
or collector, as the case may be, either by oral testimony
or aBdavit taken before and eertifled by any person
authorized to administer an oath itnder the (ww# of the
United States, or of any State, that the person so seised or
arrested, under the laws of the State or Territory Irorn
which he or ebe fled, owe service or labor to the person
claiming him or her, It shall be the duty of inch judge, rum
mis> inner, elerk, marshal, postmaster, or c Hector, to give a
certifies'* thereof to sueb claimant, bin i>r tir iftui or attorney,
wnioh certificate shall be a sufficient warrant for
taking and remov ng aucb fugitive from arrvlre or labor to
the Mate or Territory from which be t ?be bed.
Sac. 2. And be U further enacted, That wben a person beid
to service or labor, a* mentioned in tbe first aec'lon of tbla
ant, ihall escape Iroui aucb service or labor, ae therein mentioned,
tbe periioii to whom such service or labor maj I#
due, hie or lier agent or attorney, may apply to any one of
tbe officers of the United State* named in raid portion, other
tban a marshal of the United State*, for a warrant to seiie
an i arrest aueh fugities, and upon affidavit being made before
such officer, (each of whom for the purposes of ibis act
is hereby authorised to administer an oatb or affirmation )
by such claimant his or her agent, that aueh person dvee,
under the iawa of tbe State or Ttrtitory from which be or
ahe fled, owe service or la: or to aucb claimant, it shall be,
and ia hereby made, the duty of each officer, to and before
whom euch application and affidavit la made, to iaaue bis
warrant to any marshal of any of the courts of tbe United
Statea to te'xe and arrest such alleged fugitive, and to bring
biro or her forthwith, or on a day to be namod in such warrant,
before the officer issuing euch warrant, or either of the
officers mentioned in said first section, except the marshal to
whom the said warrant is directed, whi"h said warrant 01
authority tbe sai) marshal is hereby authorised and directed
in all things to obey.
Sbc. 3 Arui be it further enacted, That upon affidavit
made aa aforesaid by the claimant of such fugitive his agent
or attorney, after such certificate has been issued, that ha
has reason to apprehend that such fugitivs will be rescavd
by force from his or their possession, before he etn be tsken
beyond ?be limits of the Slate in which the srrest il made,
it shall lie tbe duty of the officer makiiu the arrest to retain
such fugitive in bis custody,and to remove bira to the State
whence he fled, and there to deliver bim to ?aid claimant,
his ageut or attorney. And to tbia end. the offioer aforesaid
is hereby authorised and reqni ed to employ so many per
eons aa be may deem necessary to overcome euch force, and
to retain them in bis service sc long as circumstance* may
require. Tbe aaid officer and his assistants, while so employed,
to receive tbe aaiue compensation ard to lie allowed
the same expenses as are now allowed by law for transputtatlun
of criminals, to be certified by the judge of the district
within which the arrest is made, and paid ont of the trra*
nry of tbe United States: P oru/e>', That, before snrh
charges are incurred the claimant, his agent or attorney,
shall aeenre to aaid officer payment of tbe same, and In case
no actual fore* be opposed, then they shall be paid by inch
claimant, hie agent or at orney.
Sac. 4. And be it further enucleil, When a warrant shall
ba?e been issue 1 by any of the officers under the second section
of this ant, and there shall la no marshal or deputy
marshal within ten miles of tha place where such warrant is
issued, it shall be the duty of the officer issuing tbe same,
at the request of the claimant, his agent or attorney, to acini.,!
Ill sn.l .llu.ut who shall ha willinff ??
ft ?.< marshal, for the purpose of executing'said vuiIki ,
and each person so appointed shall, to the extent of ex#mting
said warrant, end detaining and transporting the lti?i
ti>e naiar.l therein, have all the power and authority, and
be. with hie aaeietante, entitled to the aarrf compel eat' n
and expenses provided in thie art in case# where the aorfieeo
are |>?rforme<i by the marebale of the ronrta.
fine. 6. And 6e 11 further enacted, That any panos who
eball knowingly and Willingly obstruet or hinder eurh claimant,
hie agent or attorney,or any [>e?u>n or person* teai-tlng
him, her, or them, in eo eerrlng or arreeting eurh fogitiTe
from service or labor, or ahill rear no euch fugitive from
euch claimant, hi* agent or attorney, when eo arreeted. pursuant
to the authority herein given or derlaroo- or shall aid,
*tbet, or assist sneh person so ovtug service er labor te e?-fe,,m-?ivch
claimant his agent or toe'MV, ? et.eW bor
bor or eonneal sued* nerson, after no<i?* 'hat he or ahe was a
fugitive from labor, as ait.,r**a>d, shall, for either of the sad
oil-urea, firleit and pay tthe sum of one thousand dollars,
obleh [penalty way be reooveiV<4 by and tor the beeelU of
such rlt limit, by action of debt hp any oonrt proper to try
the same, laving, moreover, to the pcarson claiming such la
bor or service, his right of artion for, oV.?coo?u>t of, tbem?ld
injuries, or either of them.
Sac fi. Ami be Ufurther rnartfl, That whea said person
is a*ife,| or arrested, under and by virtue of the said warrant
by such marshal, and Is brought before ei'her of the
office re aforesaid, other than said marshal. It shall be'h*
duty of iueh officer to proceed in the ease of ?ooh pan*1j.
the satue way as be is directed and authorised to
nek Mnn, i. U|?,| .nd at retted by 1*0 person ctatmlnr
him, or hjr hi* or her agent or attorney, and I* bruatfci ee
fore rack older under the provisions of tU Sral Met on of
this art.
Rrim ft from ike CemtUution of the U*it*l Stain
The eitlMua of reek hut< *h*ll t>* entitled to aJJ P*l?i
legea and immunities of citiaeua la the Meeral State*.
E ctrna from the Statute Jjne of Stalk Certfiwd.
sbi'tiom II. If any aeeeai ekall mnme vf
bor of Una State, from alj other htato ? > frgjg
fag on hoard aay tree nswrea* e* f-""V'^?f' *
.toward*, mariners, or fa aa yet?*r *?^r" , -V'^
of ftfti-t f fill iu?k frmS iMVlM Of P*'*1?" ~
liable to be ee'iaad and Mmdaed U>|'j ''''^l<^'f
C laar /?*.# mawl elatmrf AfB (kll tDfct VtfQ W'?
v#a??l le readf to sell, ftlV'j.VJl !rf
L,ue* t? narrr a war the eatd free negro or free pervoa of
aatoTaad UwltSetSmf <* kl? *ad la ear*
of toa Malaater refnaal to do en, he shall b. lUble to ha I*
dloLod aad va naortothm thereof, ehall be Hard not Ism lhaa
on* th'oaeaad tdhn, aad Imprisoned not less than two
.a.. u* aaeh tern wegtesa or persona of e<4ar shall
V. - ?'-s aad tab an ae ahaolate alaraa, aad sold in conformity
to the pawriafcae of the aet paaaed December JO, l?9i
|a temi of the 8Uiea, colored men are oititeod,
not alaww or ohftUela.
knoumi vnr.r. i.ibor i him\
A LARGE eeoartmaot, just reeetred by OEOROE V
TAYLOR, northwest corner at fifth aad Cherrf
M. B. This eetabllab maul Is devoted to the product* "f
aimpiaaaliil labor, aad a large variety af Dry Good* aad
GfaeeriM are bat* provided for lb.** who really ?' * u U
aea etareboldere. 6tb mo. Itlb-?Im#
IOMHIHION ITOMC.
WM GUN NINON, UmsraJ fJea.au* nan MtnJUut101
Nam*4I Wkmrf, NaNtoteri, MA. Dee. tt-l>

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