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THE NATIONAL ERA.
r 1
<?. BAILEY, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR; JOHN G. WHITTIER, CORRESPONDING EDITOR.
VOl.. IV-NO. 36. WASHINGTON, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER^ 1850 WHOLE NO 192.
ft, ttiuul Krm to PnMtono* Weekly, en Seventh
Street, iffMlto M4 rMUm^Umll.
TDM.
1 wo J )llsre per snmim, payable ni adnaut.
\ i vert memento not ezoeeding ten line* inserted
tltree times for one dollar; every enbenqnent Innertioa
twenty-ive ointo.
All oommnniostione to tko Era, wkether on
butinen of the paper or for publication, ekould
be vUreesed to O. Baii.et. Waskimytaa, V. C.
HUKLL fc BLANCH A ZD, MIWTKR8,
Sixth ?tr#et, t few deore tenth of feoMylvmie tr?ta?.
VHE NATIONAL ERA.
WASHINGTON, SEPTEMBER t, 1850
Krm
I IPS'
*?> - . y. j si
Bl < MA ILEA LIST.
The kiN that ta the flower shiwe
wtttmiiiiiii i i> r-t?r '
Like pOgrisas kneeling rumd aahrine
Called bp lt? anrtlty alone.
No' searching mlnao and cavee with vow*
Those rem their fadeless beauty find,
That power arraye on kingly brows
To flatter pride and awe mankind
Not by some dark and cunning scheme
Pursued with wearyiug toll and thought,
Not fancying in the idlest dream
That fortune such a gift had brought,
That hill received ite piny crest,
That sunset cloud its purple robe,
Its dark blue veil the ocean e breast,
Its silver armor yonder globe.
No finny Mentor need* the flab
That, aeeking food and pleasure, roves
Where nature grants bim every w'sb,
In eunuv streams or coral groves
The bird in all its tasks how skilled.
Taught by no sage the use of spring,
w "yjVvsey Angelo to build,
No warbling Mendelssohn to sing.
tint not an easy task is life
TeWim who s?e? in nAtusels {Wan,
With blessings half completed rife,
The duty and the power of man ;
t hat he to error's dark abyss,
Or to the rays of wisdom's sun,
May sink in pain or rise in bliss,
That life and universe are one.
When learning opens all her strolls,
Kx plaining each obecure device,
He sees bow many worthy sonls
Have been deineion'e sacrifice;
When science sets with stars his sky,
And reason's lamp his pafh illumes,
He sees what gulfs around him lie,
Of bright and cheriahed hopei the tombe Yet
knowe that love will turn to light,
And geuerous deeds to costly gems,
To clothe ns all in robes of white,
And crowu our brows with dindeme;
That bards who sing in eestasy
Of happier homee in lands divine,
Tell faintly what tha earth would be
If man conformed to Heaven'i design.
Then may he enlmly eeek his wsy
Though thorny doobte before htm riee,
And truth's obscure and struggling ray
old and the disabled of their sex to guard their
choicest treasures. The dsy of their departure
passed as idly and as tediously as days in the
crowded fort were wont to pass. The sun at last
sank lazily down the western slope of the sky,
throwing shadow-mantles upon the forest trees
that circled the fort around, at a safe distance.
The women were sauntering languidly within
or about the barricades; and a group of boys and
girls, the only things that seemed to retaio the
spirit of life, were playing at " hide and seek"
among the unnumbered old ehests, barrels, baskets,
and bundles, that made np the joint stock of
the community.
In a turreted, stuffed, arm chair, at one end of
the principal room, sat a girlish-looking matron,
whom you would have marked nt ones as an exotic
fluwer in that hard soil. She was not wondrously
beautiful, but slight, graoefal,and fairylike
in face snd figure, wearing that indefinable
something that envelopes the true lady everywhere,
be she crowned with a sun-bonnet or a
coronet. As respects externals, she was dressed
in the same coarae robes those around her wore ;
but a babe lay sleeping on her arm, and its 'broidered
muslin frock was scarcely whiter than the
h\nd (hat pressed it to its mother's breast. Lily
?f Massachusetts as she was, ws will oall her
Lilian.
fn a high bench by the window towered a perfect
contrast to our lowly lily- The sunflower
would have been fittest emblem of the tall, brownfeatured
and brown-haired woman, who sat wield
Ri?nt needle-?it could not be oalled sewing?
sg.iinst a bugs rent in some soldier's habiliment,
''eggy W (you could never have convinced her
?f a claim to tha swan-like name of Margaret)
had a pair of eyes that flashed, rather than looked.
They glaneed always sidelong from n bristll0f
array of guardian lashes, shaded by n brow
dark as a hill-top against the twilight sky. Ont
of these glasses fleshed apeu Lilian,as aha panned
to knot her thread. The young mother waa leantog
upon the hard cushions of her chair, gating
With feeble aid hie feet eupplie*:
Angela hie weary etepe ehall count,
Hie thought* and hope* 'hall heuvouly grow,
Hi* heart become a crystal fount
Whence streams of joy shall erer How.
For the National Kra
THR MASQUKRADE OF X FORT.
A srrOIIV e?wrHB weterwee **? INDIAN W AH.
V Mtlf IRVING.
In glancing over the quaint chronicles of the
Indian ware, it is pleasant to turn from gory tales
of savage cruelly, to the few instances where that
cruelty was battled. Pleasantest is suck a story,
heard by the fading coals of a winter fire, from
the lips of some good old grandmamma. 1 have
a friend, who is neither grandmother nor aunt;
yet she tells me many a tale of the olden time.
The incidents of the following story she heard
from the lips of the principal heroine, who died at
an advanced age, some thirty or forty years ago.
The Massachusetts colony, as it suffered first,
also suffered most severely from the depredations
of the savHges. In the hill-country of its western
frontier, their frequent surprisals and skirmishes
left the settlers little quiet or peace of
mind. Every town Lad its " fort," and for some
years scarcely a season passed, when some alarm
did not drive the inhabitants within its walls.
The "getting into fort," as it used to be termed
in letters of that day, oame to be anticipated and
provided lor. almost as naturally as tne " getting
in" of the crops.
At one time, the settlers of the now pleasant
village of S , on account of some menacing
demonstrations, h id left their log-cabined farms,
and intrenched themselves within their stronghold.
There seemed no imminent danger; but
it was a time of war, and they knew too well the
risk of carelessness. They had remained there
for several months, however, without being seriously
molested, when their stock of provisions
began to fall short. A council ,ypon the affairs of
the larder was forthwith held. The nearest point
at which flour could be obtained was a fort distant
a journey of a day and a half. To reach it,
they must thread dark forests filled with hostile
Indians It was decided that the men should go
in a body on the hazardous expedition, leaving
the women and children unprotected for three
days, but, as they trusted, safe. Accordingly they
stole out, with muffled tread, just before the dawn
of day, and marched off in solid phalanx, leaving,
besides the boys and one trusty sentinel, only the
.
i
dreamily through th?> port-hols of a window, on
the thin cloud* that scaled its " spot of sky."
u You're kind o' lonesome hey V' intfeired Miss
W , in a condescending tons, as though she were
addressing a child.
Lilian shook back a stray lock, and smiled a
little anxiously.
" I could almost conjure up skulking Indians
out of the shadows among those gnarled old trees
yonder," she answered.
"Never speak of the Evil One, and he won't
appear, child ! You're scary?not used to being
left without your husband. Now I?when father
lieed up country"?
She was going on to " wind a yarn," as sailors
say, from her own tough experience; but the
l thread was snapped {5 the V? ?V? nM sentinel,
who just then stepped to the done, calling J
! > /
u Mrs. L., here is old Fire-Arrow, for his tobacco
again "
OJd Fire-Arrow?his oepreeowweenbiw Indian
name uau oecn mu? u iiunumi?on* ? , thy
friend to the whiter, and cherished a peculiarly
grateful attachment toward Colonel L, the
husband of Lilian
Lilian laid her nursling carefully into its crib,
stepped to a closet above the high mantel shelf,
and taking down a sort of horn ponch, carved off
with her delicate hand a huge quid of the precious
weed.
" Don't let him in,'' added she, as she gave the
parcel into the soldier's hand. Walking along
to the wicker crib, she took her babe's tiuy hand,
and stood watching its lips, parting to every
breath.
Suddenly Miss W. sprang up from her bench,
dropping her work, with a half-suppressed scream
of surprise or terror.
Before she could open her lips again, the door
was burst ajir, and fbe old sentinel-stagge/cd in,
with a fear-blanched face. "Oh God! have
?fw *yhe ejaculate^,^nsteadil^.
An electric shock of terror shot through the
bosom of every timid listener, and all sprang up,
pale and quivering?all but Peggy W, who, having
recovered her momentarily lost self possession,
stepped before him with arms a-kimbo.
" Well what are vou shakinc here for 1" she
demanded, Hashing her leopard-like glance on his
bleaching countenance.
"The Indians!''
" I know it! 1 spied the dastardly skulkers behind
yonder bush clump t But what said that
copper-face outside ?"
"We are the victims of a deep-laid plot," returned
the old soldier. "The savages have
wailed for this opportunity. They have tracked
our men, and they are to attack us to-night! Ood
beat knows our doom or our defence. I mast not
stay here!"
Sobs and shrieks drowned his departing footsteps.
None heeded another in the first moment
of that oonfused anguish.
" My God ! my husband !" faltered Lilian, tottering
to the cradle of her child. She sank to
the floor with clasped hands, bowing her head
upon them in a mother's agony and hopelessness.
"Hush! every mother's ohild of you!" rang
out Miss W.'s shrill voice; and Lilian looked instinctively
up to the only undaunted eye in the
room.
"Silence, and up with you ! You've something
else to do than to sob away your senses in hysterics,
to-night I Mrs L, are you going to ait there
and see your baby's brains dashed out against
that oblwtney piece 1 I've wsithevahmk nor child.
iaank lleavau! but if I had fort*, they should
see to-morrow's aun shine, please umJP'
" God 1 our only hope is in Him!" gasped poor
Lilian.
" Our hope is in the common sense He has
given ua, 1 tell you! We have not one moment to
loae now. Friends, follow me !"
She sprang into the guard room with an elastic
bound, whose echo seemed to galvanize the whole
throng of fainting ones behind her. This room (
waa a small apartment, stocked with arms, and
tapestried with the regimentals and clotbea, new
and old, of the garrison. A great part of its furniture
had absented itself with its lawful owners,
still a goodly array of garments and guns, such
as they were, remained.
"Throw down the regimentals!" she cried,
suiting the notion to the word. All the old
clothes, too?quick !" They obeyed her mechanioally
and wonderingly.
Now, jm' th-m on/" she commanded, briefly.
" Miu Ppitikv what do von mean?"
- ? OW I ?
441 mean to save our scalps/' retorteJ the Jaunt,
less woman, while-she buttoned the first officer's
second best coat over her own broad cheat.
"'Slow enough of understanding, are ye all!'
Do you not comprehend, that if the e fiends incarnate
can be chatted into the belief that a part
of our garrison has been left here, they will he
likely to let us alone ? Yon are to rig up instantly,
and show yourselves in and about the fort.
There is light enough yet to make ourselves visi- 1
ble to watching eyes"
Silently every woman fitted herself to the
strange garments, it was not an hour for hesitation
or for debate Miss W who strode about
in the capacity of amateur valet, tossed a suit of a
sailor's " 8uuday wearing " to Lilian. " They'll *
do you"?9he commented, with a measuring '
glance.
Timid Lilians fingers trembled too violently
to fasten the brass buttons of the sea-green jacket
; and an instinctive blush bloomed in her white
cheek, as Miss Peggy rudely seized her to assist
" Follow me!"' again spoke the intrepid leader.
The old sentinel started, as the strange troop *
emerged from the inner room He hail been lean- *
ing on his firelock, in bewildered despair; ami .
now he looked as though a new bewilderment
had stricken him dumb.
"Throw your drum over your shoulders, and ,
throw open the gates !" commanded the Colonel
pro. torn., in a short, sharp tone.
"This is folly, madness!" he ejaculated.
" You are not?you cunnot march out against .
the enemy !"
" I am taking my garrison out to parade, do yon
comprehend, sir ? and 1 am not in a mood to be
triflei with!"
"But Miss Peggy, Miss W, if I understand
vou. why not show yourselves on the battlements ;
It would be safer and better "
"We will niouut tbrm uft'-i we have shown
ourselves before the gateway. Lieut. L ! bring up
the rear 1 Heads up! hearts firm, comrade*! forget
that you are women /Am hour! Now!"
She stepped outside the gate, and flourishing
her rusty sword above her head, watched with
piercing glance her out coming troop. A toot ley
assemblage it was indeed, a caricature of a masquerade,
which, at any other time and place
might have provoked a monk of L% Trappe to a
roar of merriment. "Tattered and torn garment*,"
a " world to wide," hung loosely on the
delieate figures they shrouded Here a swordleas
scabbard heaved over a quick-beating side, there
a trembling hand held up a Aimless fire-lock.
Stuffed soldiers ctps shielded strsying locks from
betrayal, end slouched old hats drooped over
faces loo pale. Lilian L. stepped last over the
threshold, with a glance behind her, and a second
to the wood-circle around them. Her lips paled
again, she reeled, and lowered her head.
'Fair lady and faint heart I" muttered the
desperate leader, in a tone of smothered thunder
j " will you betray all our scalps by fainting
*etc f In with you !"
Lilian wavered an mutant net wen far ana
hame. The latter conquered; and, with head
proudly raised and steps apparently Arm, she followed.
Vet that death-like faintneaa again ebbed
to her heart as the shadows by the tree trunks
seemed to taks fresh life. Tbey marched in as
they had gone out, wilh beat of drum.
" Now to the battlements," added the conductor.
" How many of you oan Are off a gun 7"
' Oh, dear! not 11'
" Oh, mercy I no I" eiclaimed one and another,
shrinkiDgly, as their General commenced loading
a formidable-looking rifle.
" 1 can I" chirped a peony-cheeked lassie of
fourteen, springing to her side. " I hare shot a
squirrel with my brother's musket!"
" And I," added an elderly lady, 14 have shot a
wolf in the sheep pea when my husband was 111
ami ailing; but that was years ago "
, 4'You oan all do it," returned Miss W ,putting
her own weapon on the oock, and ordering all
.the scrvioeable arms to be takea down. u It is a
matter of necessity now ; ws must givs their ears
; a ooaaonadiiif "
Hut any of my lady readers erer attempted to
bundle gun rtollti loaded 1 And does she re
member the thrill which the first touch of auch
deadly weapon pourad oyer her nerves, before
she ventured to actually pull the trigger, and
etart back in horror at her own audacity ? Then
can the realise the trembling of hand and limb,
and the wavering of heart and nerve, when the
discharge of a dozen guns pealed from the logpillared
battlements of that fort. It whs enough
Twilight was fading, and night coming on. Woman's
skill had done what human skill oou'd do,
and now to wait the ieeuel Tbey went down.
"We must keep on this gear," remarked Miss
W. " If we entertain unwelcome compHuy to
night, it will do no hhrm in life, nnd it may bring
us a world of good. Lie down about?those that
can ; for my own part 1 watch to-night."
"I'm sure none of us '11 think of sleeping!''
moaned one and another.
" i...H I Aon't fret vnnr nerves you mav
nfted them before aow'og, though i trmt ??ot i
a rnAwmm fr* the sentinel ) are the runs all loaded ]
WgMW k.Kv ?. -
" Yes'iSt ftod cocked "
" Is there not a barrel of tar in the out-room ?
Good."
" YeVm "
" Have it ready to heat in a trice. Andrea!''
"Aye, aye, ma'am'' He turned to go, but
paused. " I hope it's no offence to you, ma'am,
but I'd warn you that our dependence ia not on
any arm of flesh to-night There's One on high
who ctn hear and help 7"
"You are right, good Andrew; we will commit
oureelres to Him fiwtAnd all bent the
knee, while she breathed up to Heaven such a
prayer as the hour of datger teaches.
The night wore away Its hours, intolerably,
agrouiiingly long as they srere, still passed at last
The moon rose soon nftir midnight, and looked
in like an angel comforer upon the eyes that
glared eagerly from eve*y port hole. Had the
savages awaited her signti torch 7 It was feared;
hut no, she continued to pour down unwavering
shadows on the still grass
The dawn of day lifted the dreadful burden of
suspense?their lives weie safe for long hours yet
to come, and the reactim of feeling left most
hearts weaker than in tie first pioments of terror.
They thanked Uod wept, prayetf, ctasped
their children, and at ength scattered themselves
here and there, to relax their overstrained
nerves in repose. Alias 1? -f a. little vigilant <
band, among whom was <ur physically weak, but
mentally courageous Liiau. kept watch and
guard-mounted the barricades, and discharged
their weapons occasional y with great firmness
Thus passed the day, ant another night came on
In the first watch of tk&t night, nearly aII the
weaiy eyes had closed in slumber. Peggy W.sat
alone, on the seat where we first saw her. straining
her eyes to penetrati the dim veil of starlight
; for the moon was oot yet up. She had not
closed those eyes for nearly forty hours; still their
fire was not quenched, though the brow above
them looked haggard with watching. Her cheek
leaned upon the rough sleeve of the coarse coat she
wore, her arm resting 01 the iron bars of the window.
"Aunt Peggy!" exclaimed an urohin with a
hpAil fl.4 whit* na th*lnanr vnvn hpwnro khimKlirin
along from the inner room ; " Aunt Peggy, 1 want
a drink of water 1"
"Shut your head !" growled the amiable individual
addressed. " Oo back to bed I"
"I don't want to I'm thirsty?my throat
aches."
" BleBS yourself that you have yet a throat to
ache! In with you!"
The incipient "lord of creation" seemed in no
haste to obey; for he rubbed his sleepy eyes with
tbe sleeve of his night-gown, and " took an observation
by the dim light of the tallow candle
" I say," observed he, " you talk curious and
you look funny en?ugh. I think." he added, deliberately,
" I shall call you uncle Peggy instead of
Aunty!"
" Be off?young one?you !"
"But," persisted the provoking youngster,
" when will you put on ?nu cap again,
ana i?e a uuiy ?"
A well-aimed stroke of the arm was hero dodged
by the skilful young gentleman, whom it frightened
into a precipitate fit of obedience, if making
the desired use of his heels might thus be construed.
His aunt was in no haste to pursue him.
however. Her ear had caught an ominous rustling
in the woods.
" M s'nml" spoke the sentinel under the win- I
dew, In a mntHed whisper.
" I hear J" she returned, in the same tone.
" Shall I wake them 7"
" It may be foes, and it may be friends. If it's
our men, they'll march straight up to us. Wait
t bit."
And wait, they did, breathlessly. Tbe night
sras breeselessly still, the fall of a chesnut or the
thirp of a squirrel in the forest might have been
letected by their ears The rustling grew more
listinct, the trampling of many feet, but a
itealthy trampling followed. Oh I for one gleam
)f moonlight,! Miss W. turned to lay her hand
ipon the gun beside her, and stood like a statue.
Dark shadows now loomed up from the shadowy
light; they increased in number?they seemed
o form a line before the very gate?there they
ikueed.
"I must hail them." murmured the sentinel.
' Do so," breathed Miss W.
"Friend or foe 7" resolutely rang out his
itrong voice.
" Old boy, is that you!" responded the quick,
igitated voice of one who sprang forwsrd, while a
I..or, ?r.,1 n III. <1 TU.I, O..I IV i _ I.... L> II.I.
,v^r K1 v/riU* ??? uiui viuu i in MUC (^ugiinu
icoents. ran through the now broken line.
Col. L , for it was no other, darted pant the
lentinel, and stumbled against Miss W. iu the
limly-lighled passage
" How's thia!" He started back at the appariion.
"Where's my brother?" cried our heroine,
wildly.
" Your brother! where is my wife!"
They awaited no mutual answer, but each mshtd
onward to stem the living torrent that waa
>ouring in from opposite directions, into that nar ow
passage. The awakened women, utterly
teedlesMof their apparel, in the fremy of their sudlen
safety, were rushing to meet their husbands,
>rothera, end fathers, who could ill recoguiaethem.
2o\. L shook every clinging hand away, and burst '
nto the inner-room.
Lilian had lain down beside her babe, upon a
draw pallet on the floor. The rhrieks of surprise
had just aroused and but half awakened her.
She was lifting herself upon one elbow, with a
oounten inoe full of bewildered terror. The seablue
sailor's jacket (for the night gave it a deeper
hue) loosened, fell back from her white arm
and neck ; and her unbraided locks were falling in
disorder over it.
The officer cast a sweeping glance over the
apartment?he scarcely comprehended the whole;
but she did. With a quick, incredulous cry, like
one dreaming; she sprang forward, and fell at his
feet.
"What?what's this I" he oried, "The voice
is the voice of Lilian, but by all that is? A glass
of water, somebody 1 ho there."
The whole throng poured into the apartment;
the women laughing and sobbing hysterically;
their sterner husbands not a whit more unmoved
Strong men sat down like children, and wiped
away big drops from their br?wn cheeks.
" But what is the matter?" exclaimed Miss W.
" Pretty floe, this I If you're making women of
yourselves, I'm thinking we'll keep on the regimentals
I What is all this flummery about?"
" Was it flummery to drearn thai you were all
murdered, butchered in cold blood, or carried
into a oaptirify worse?" exclaimed Col. W., lookinn
"P 'rom I'i" ohsrge. " The old Indian FireArrow
inrt on early on our return, with tiding*
of your peril, which he had risked hie head to
bring me."
" You might ba' known we could have taken
care of ourselves!"
" We knew that Mearen alone oould take oare
of you," solemnly replied the officer.
"And to Mearen gire all the glory," added
the rich roioe of the minister, who stood beside
him
"What put this luoky disguise into your
heads 1"
" It was MirsW 's thought," murmured Lilian
from her husband's arm, her colorless cheek
kindling into a w?rm glow, an she glanced from
Col. L's. eye to her page like array. " She has
the whole credit of the idea."
" We owe you mors than our hearts can repay
in words, Miss W f" eiclaimed the officer, seising
her hand with a vice-like grasp.
"You owe me?nothing at all! How yon
queese a body's Angers! I was onhr taking
proper care of my own precious sslf. The worst
fright wss when you halted there before the gate.
What possessed youtosaeak along so like fuses?"
" What oould ws think, but that lbs enemy had
garrisoned instead of buruiog our fort, whon we
foand its walls yet standing' It seemed hoping
%
against reason to dream of your successful resistance
for an hour. It was running a perilous risk
to venture here in the darkness; but we were desperate
men last eve!"
' Well, we have kept the premises clear for
you. you see!"
' What nerved you to such heroism?"
" Why, only a little common sense and, moreover,
I bad a pretty stout mil to live a while long
er in this sinful world !"
' Thnt is the 1 lever that moves the world V "
smilingly spoke the minister.
" Aye, sir! a right hearty irill always hods its
way!" ,
Rest came down like a mantle upon relieved
hsarts that night, when the moon again climbed
from the forest tops, up the clear, brightening
heaven.
It was afterwards ascertained that the Indians
had actually assembled from three different
points, to make an attack upon the fort doring the
nm mem. pinvutf nm vtmiyiwuij j
hv iKp muttiitifr^iinct h#*rnin?*? into tfek# that 1
bad been larger than their calculation* Accord,
ingly, they deferred, as we hare seen, their deadly
attempt.
" Aunt Peggy W * fbr she nwver changed
name which had won no much honar lived topaaa
a good old age in oar qaiet times of " unromantic
civilization." Somewhat of the romantic
love of hazard lingered about her, however, for
ahe persevered in tenanting, to the last, an old
house whose timbers would scarcely told together
above her head, and which she vas forced to
leave in nights of violent wind or sUrm. for the
safety of life and limb.
She went to her rest in the old kirt-yard, with
the bnrden of more than eighty yean bowing her
once erect form; and peace to her memory.
Forth* National Kra.
" DARE TO STAND ALONK."'
BY FRANCES D. GAGE.
lis nru, be bold, b? strong, be true,
" And dare to stand alon*; "
Striv* for tb? right, what?'er 7* do,
, TV-*-1 ' '- vtihw ta iww
Nay? bond not to the swelling surge
Of popular sneer and wr, ng;
'Twill hare *i~rdT.r-CVa
With ourrent wild and strong
Staniljmr Ik* right. Humanity
implores with groans and tears,
Thiue aid to break tbe festering links
That hind her toiling years.
Stand for the right. Though falsehood rail,
And proud lips coldly sneer,
A poisOntd arrow cannot wound
A conscience pure and clear.
Stand for the right, and with clean hands
Kaalt the truth on high ;
Tbou'lt And warm, sympathising hearts
Among the passers by.
Afro who have srrn, and thought, aud felt,
Yet oould not boldly dare
Tbe battle's brunt, but by thy side
WUl svery danger share.
Stand for the right; proclaim it loud,
Thon'lt find an auswerlng tone
In horest hearts, and thou no more
Ht doomed to tland alone.
* (.'banning.
SPEECH OF ll()>. J. CROWELL,
OK OHIO,
IN THK HOUSK OK KKPKKSKN TATIVhK,
JI nk 3, 18.r>0,
In Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union,
On the. President''s Message relutuig to California.
Mr CROWELL raid:
Mr. Chaikman : My desire to progress with
the public hu?ine*ft. ^ ^
upon the various propositions before us, forbade
me at an early day to take part in- the discussion
which has consumed so much of our time since
the commencement of the present sees ion. And
after I hal changed my original purpose, and
made up my mind to be hesrd upon "the great
question of the day," the difficulty of obtaining
the floor among such a multitude of competitors
has been so disheartening, that I have more than
once resolved to eeaee all further efforts to address
the Committee. Hut not having been
wholly unobservant of the fruit which perseverance
yields, and having been early taught to cultivate
the grace of patience, I have held out to
the present moment; and now, Mr. Chairman,
through your kindness, I have secured the floor,
and will prooeed at once to the immediate subject
under consideration. And that is, as I understand
it, the Message of the Rreeident of the
United States oommunioatiDg to this House the
Constitution of California.
I do not cherish the vain hope that anything I
may say will have the slightest influence upon (he
vote of a single member of this House. To give
the reasons of my own vote, and vindioate the
course which I deem it just to pursue, will be the
main purpose of my remarks. If the Constitution
of California shall be found to be in oom
pliance with the requisitions of the Constitution
of tho TTnit.orf sStRfi-M thft PrMifiiont
recommend* that it may rt-ceive the (Motion of
Congre*s. In thin recommendation, air, it ia
hardly neoesutrv for me to tQjr loordially concur.
I am in furor of the immediale admiaaion of California
into the Union, unembarraaaed with any
other subject of legislation, with its present ample
boundaries and ita glorious free Constitution
There ia no limit #r qualification in the Constitut
ion of the Unitrd State* to the power granted
to Congress to admit new 8tates into the Union,
and when in the Union, the United States guaranty
to every State a republioan form of Government.
But an unexpected and, permit me to add, an
unjustifiable opposition,, has lately made ita appearance,
and vurioua enactions have reoently
been invented and urged in a certain quarter,
sgalnat I be admission of California as one of the
State# of this Union. Whatever form thw objections
may assume, and whatever disguise they
may be made to wear, it is plain to my mind, and
truth obliges me to say, that they are aotnated
by a kindred motive, and all spring from a common
origin?a determined, but most unjustifiable
hostility to the provisions of her Constitution interdioting
slavery within her limits.
The first section of her Bill of Rights declares,
"that all men ara, by nature, free and independent,
and have oertain inalienable rights, among
which are those of enjoying and defending life
and liberty; acquiring, posseesing, and protecting
property, and pursuing and obtaining safety
and happiness;" and as a corollary drawn from
these great and fundamental trut ha, the eighteen! h .
section provides that " neither slavery nor involuntary
servitude, unless for the punishment of
crimes, shall ever be tolerated in this State"
These are the provisions in the Constitution of
California which awaken so much hostility in the
American Congress, in the year eighteen hundred
and fifty, and the sanction of which, we
are told by some, would be sufficiently offensive
to call for and to justify a disruption of this
Union.
aim I am VIA# ts> Km)Ista witkenti fsas*.
i ? v-r?
I her proof, that madness mid foil/ bare gained
auoh dominion, hare achiered ao complete a triumph
orer any considerable portion, aren of the
Southern people, notwithstanding the late ooour*
reooee in thin Hall, m a aentiment ao diacrrdituhle
would aeetn to imply. I am incredulous, and
must wait for further derelopuienta before I am
oonrinoed.
But let ua oon-ider the objections which the application
of California to become one of the States
of this Union has encountered, and weigh them
candidly and impartially. And though they are
numerous, and nrged with an appearanoe of seal
and esmestnemi, I think it will be found an easy
matter to remove them The first is, that no aot
of Congreaa was passed authorising lbs people of
the Territory to form a State Constitution. This
is true, and if the previous act! n of Congress
ware neoeaaary to give this power to the people,
the ohjeolioa would be fatal But it is not necessary
Congress ha* lbs power to admit ntw States,
ami it is perfectly competent, in the eiercise of
this power, to dispense with all preliminary
forma, and we And that it baa been done repeatedly
during the threeeoore years that have eta peed
sinee the adoption of the Federal Constitution
Kight States have been admitted in thin way,
being a majority of the whole number ever admitt*
d, and es tending over the whole period of the
existence of the Union?-Vermont in 171*1; Kentucky
in 17DU; Tennessee in I7M; Maine in
lhVOj Arkansas in 1 *.'??i Michigan in 1*37;
Florida in 1U43, and Iowa in 1*44. it mar be
eonveoieut, it is trus, for ths people sf n Territory
to aot nnder the authority of Congreaa la
a-gemhling a constitutional convention, and if not,
unreasonably delayed, would perhaps be desiraMe;
but auch authority ia not necessary, aa tb<i
practice of the Government haa clearly demonat
rated If it was now a question. however. o(
the first impression. and were without precedent
to guide ua, I for one ahould maintain that tht
preliminary action of Congress would he more
regular and more conformable to the dignity and
importance of the aubjeot. Such preliminary ao?
tion would be viewed aa an invitation to the people
of the Territory to come forward and form a
State Government, and take their position as it
member of the Federal Union, which could no!
fail of being highly appreciated hy thoeeto whom
it would be addressed. But, air. I am not at liberty
to view it in that light, and interpose this
objection It is enough for me that the question
has been settled by competent authority. 1 stand
by the decision?I acquiesce in the former usage
of the Government.
worthy or tnuch reapeot, and may be diaregftrdea j
mav I>a trim in -At..* '? ?? >- v ^
?-v ?M DVUIV *?ocn. Il UvpniHH IDUCD UJ)on
the character of the legislators and the influenoes
which surround them. If they are wise,
upright, and honest men. pus*easing a sharxter
for purity and integrity, like those in the' Congress
of 1791, of 1792, and 1796, that elevates
them above corrupting influences and the suspicion
of selfish and impure motives, we bow-with
respectful deference to their decisions, as we do
to those of respectable judicial tribunals. Objections,
however, to following legislative precedents
in the present instance, come with an
exceedingly ill grace from those who aided in
establishing them, and by whose votes and othir
official acts they have frequently been sanctioned
There is another reason, independent of those
already advanced, justifying the course of California?
I refer to the shameful neglect of Congress
at its last session, in fulfilment of solemn
treaty obligations, to provide a Government for
her. The Territory was left without any legal
protection, except that of a mere military Government.
Her condition was a peculiar one. The
wealth of the country was beyond computation,
and the published accouuls of it struck the world
with amazement. Her mountain*, lifting their
' . "Swskiea, were filled wlii. iWyreJhous
metals, and her rivers literally and without a figure
of speech rolled over golden sands to the
ocean - krth *** "'A igstf,
was rapidly increasing, and impelled by a necessity
that almost forbid waiting to look up precedents,
the people proceeded nt once, and very
wisely, in my judgment, to form a State Government.
The Constitution is before us, and it evidences
a degree of statesmanship, snd is imbued
with a spirit of devotion to republican liberty,
that would he creditable to the oldest State in this
Union With all tho earnestness with which 1
am able to give utterance to the feelings and
wishes of tny heart, I for one bid our young sister
on the Pacifio coast a hearty and cordial welcome
to the family circle.
uui anotner onjeotion is urgea. ttua mat is, me
want of sufficient population; and thi*ia as frivolous
as the one already considered. It is impossible,
of course, to state definitely, and with entire
accuracy, the number of inhabitants in California
when the constitutional convention assembled.
We do know, however, the number of
votes cist at the recent election, nnd from them
the number of inhabitants may he estimated with
sufficient certainty for all practical purposes On
the first of Jaunary last, the population, it is believed,
exceeded one hundred thousand, and at
the present time it is probably more than one
hundred and fifty thousand.
The popular vote on the adoption of the Constitution
was 12,til, and at the election of Governor,
14,213?a larger vote than has ever been
given by any of the new State# at the time of admission
into the Union, with a single exception,
the State of Wisconsin, as facts will show,
Louisiana wusndmitted into the Union in 1812,
sod the first popular vote given was 4,748. in
diana was admitted in 181(1, and the same year
l*ive o, i.w tines. r?l l?elncn,.r; waK ?,|miu<>-a I"
1H17, and Illinois in 1818, and four years afterwards
the former gave only 8,075 votes, and the
latter 7,4(15. Arkansas and Michigan were admitted
in 1836, and at the Presidential election of
that year the former gave 3,038 votes, and the
latter 11,360 Under the fourth census of 1820,
the ratio of representation was 35,000; under the
fifth, 47,700; and under the sixth and present It is
70,080. it remains to be seen what it will be
uuder the one which is about to 1st lakeen. Mince
the present ratio of representation was established,
Florida and Iowa have been admitted, the former
in 1845, and the latter in 1846. At the first election
Htterwards, Florida gave 5,301 votee, and
Iowa 13,271 votes, and at this eleotion, with a less
popular vote than California has exhibited, Iowa
elected two members to this House, and tbey
were both admitted to seats without opposition.
Wisconsin was also admitted in 1848, and with a
popular vote of 22,590 at the first election under
her Constitution ; she is now represented on this
floor by three mean hers
But if this objection is not available, another is
offered to supply its place The State, we are
told, is too large, and its limits ought to be diminished.
The memorial of the 8eDators and Representatives
elect from California places this matter
in I's true light. I give an extract from that document
" Objections have been urged against the boundaries
of California, tas fixtd by her Constitution.
1'he convention which settled upon the existing
boundairy was eng ged during three days in debate
upon that subject. There were two parties, or
rather two propositions 1. To take In the whole
caf California as it existed when a department of
Mexico, but with a Proviso that Congress and
heSiate Legislature might limit the boundsof the
State to the summit of the Sierra Nevada, and
eating it to Congress to establish Territorial
uiovernments over such portions of the country as
it might see fit. 4. To divide the whole territory
>n the 116th degree of west longitude from southern
bound iry of Oregon to the northern boaandary
jf Mexioo. that portion of saaid territory lying
west of said 110th degree of west longitude, and
between that litae arid the Pacific ooesn, to oonati....
ii.. 'la. ,.r .v.. 1
;onvrmion wan no nearly divided between three
iwo proposition*, that both were supported by a
ruxjority at different times during the informal
itages ; and, on the final' pusage, the present
boundary was adopted as a species of oompronine
"This question called out the most vehement
ind angry debate which was witnessed during the
lilting or the convention. The project of Using
he southern boundary of ths State on the parallel
?f .'t(t? :i0' was never entertained by that body,
ndeed, when it it recollected that eleven of the
Delegates silting in the Convention represented
i large constituency south of that line, it is at
ince apparent that it would have been a moat unust
and discourteous set to have listened to such
i proposition, unless it oime from them. The
people of the southern portion of California most
jertainly did not wish, and probably never would
Mmscut to, suoh a separation. In former years
Lbey constituted the great msjority of the populs!ion;
they have always keen governed by the same
laws; and they would be the last to sanction a division
of California, as they have always known
it. In a politiosl point of view, too, it would seem
iesirable that these original Mexican citizens
ibould become, aa speedily as possible, Americans
o sentiment and language; and there oertainly
3an be no more effectual mode of accomplishing
ibis, than by bringing them into thst daily contact
which an existence under the same laws and
the same social, political, and commercial regulations
must inevitably produce. In the extrerm
North, also, the adventurous miners had oroseed
he coast range, and penetrated to ths headwaters >f
ne i riniiT river, wnicn nnue tu w^y through an
ineiplored and dangerous Indian country to the
PaoiAo ocean. Aa the abundance of gold fouad
here rendered it probable that a Urge community
rould eoou beoome permanently eatebli?had In
hat region, the convention felt that it could not
>efoae them the benelite and protection of a Government,
by circumacribing the limitt of the Ntate
n that direction. The eaatern boundary of the
jtate, to far aa explored and known, runa through
t deeert A email portion of the eaatern alopee of
.he Sierra Nevada ia aaid to be adapted to agricultural
and grating purpoeea ; and aa that country,
when nettled, in net neoceeaarily And an outet
aorcea the mountains into the valleys of the
Sacmmento end Kan Joaquin river*, and aa it
>ould never have any natural connection with the
jountrv to the eastward of It, by reaaon of the
[real desert, it waa thought ad viaabla and proper
to inolud# that strip of territory ia the bounde of
the State. That portion of lha State lying to the
wuthward and eastward of tha Sierra Nevada and
tha ooast range, and between those mountain* and
the Colorado river, la baliavad to ba an arid
Jsaert. So muoh as lie* upon tha usual emigrant
trail from the Colorado to Han I'iego, and that
further north, in the vicinity of the explorations
of John C. Fremont, is known to he of that character.
The general irnpr esse ion, therefore, is that
that part of the territory included in the 8tate
boundaries is of little or no value. The superficial
area of the State of California, according to
the boundaries prescribed in her Constitution,
is 155.550 square miles, or'.*9,352 000 square acres,
eiclusive of the islands adjicent to her coast. A
glance at the map prepared by order of the United
States Senate, from the surveys of John Charles
Fremont, and other authorities, upon which the
above calculation is based, will at once satisfy all
that the topographiaal characteristics of that ooun
try are peculiar and novel. Two great chains of
mountains, the Sierra Nevada and the coast range,
traverse it in nearly its whole extent from north |
to south The large valleys that lie between those
two ranges, and the small lateral valleys that pieroe
their rugged sides in every direction, are the valuablearnble
portion of the land of California. Assuming,
then that two-fourths of the whole superficial
w #J?? X?
nuoiuvr fvurin ?? uc?rit Wiotf, nut! wi Utc
>??n-#o?i?dV oa* dm/d) fnp ntrr?/ ;>Ijt>)r?) PglfKKh
e?; that Is, 38.887>, square miles, or 21,888,000 |
square acres of arable and productive land. This '
estimate, in the opinion of the underpinned, is fully
borne out by the topographical surrey* of the
country , Uul, anxious m they are
statemrut, they do not hesitate to assert their belief
that it ia quite apparent, after afl due allowances,
that three fifths of the whole territory embraced
in the State or California will nerer be susceptible
of cultiration or useful to man. This,
then, would gire, as the remaining two-fifths,
62,220 square miles, or 39,820,800 square acres,
which would constitute the aum total of raluable
arable and grazing land embraced within the
boundary fixed by the Constitution of the State
of California, and distributed at intervals over the
whole surface of the oountry, from its extreme
northern to its extreme southern limits. The foregoing
are believed to be substantially the reasons
which led to the establishment of the present
boundary of California."
To the full and candid exposition of the motives
and reasons that governed the oonvention '
in settling the question of boundaries contained |
in the foregoing extract, 1 deem it unnecessary to J
odd a tingle word. They ought to be satisfactory >
to every unprejudiced mind ??<* ' - ^ xuiit <
myself to doubt they will be If this ia a valid
objeotion, and would justify us in driving Califor- '
jrip from our doors when she respectfully asks for J
admission, and refusing her application to become i
a member of the Union,a great outrage was per- i
pertrated, which has not yet been atoned for, by '
the admission of Texas with a territory nearly
three timeB as large. The friends of Texas will
surely not withhold thar votes on this account.
Another objection to California rests upon the
assumption of Presidential interference with the
people of the territory, to persuade them to form
a State Government. If this be true, it is not
perceived how it could impair the constitutional
rights of the new States, and prevent her admission
into the Union. The alleged intermeddling
of the President with the people of the territory
might be a just cause of oomplaint against him, if
extended beyond the scope of his appropriate duties
; but it could work no injury to the just rights
of California. Let us inquire iuto the facts, how
ever, and ascertain whether the rharge hna any
foundation in truth, or is not the offspring merely
of hatred and ill will to the Kxccutive: for in my
efforts to obviAte objections to the admission of
California, it is only the naked truth which I seek,
and intend to present to the Committee Soon
after the inauguration of the present Chief Magistrate,
an accusation was put in circulation against
I him in the Western and Northern States, for
mischievous purposes, us many believed at the time
that he had exerted, and would continue to exert,
the influence which his offioial position gave him.
to secure the extension of slavery into the newlyacquired
territories, and especially in California
And after the failure of the Walker amendment,
which he was charged with persuading members of
Congress to support, he had sent, it was asserted,an
emissary from a slave State to secure that object.
This storv. 1 am awape. yras considered by many
and denounced, as a fabrication It was uevsrahelesn
repeated, and not without success, by the original
inventors, and all others who could he enlisted
in the enterprise, and industriously ciroulsted
through all the channels of oonimunioationopen to
the public ear, during the season and up to the close
of the fall elections. This was done, no doubt,
upon the principle which it is said governs a certain
class of politicans when in straitened circumstances?that
a falsehood, however ridiculous and
absurd, perscverlngly adhered to, and constantly
reiterated, is as good as the truth. The public
mind, then in a state of feverish excitement, was
eisily intlimed hi the non-slaveholding Slates on
this subject. It was known that the Mexican
war had been provoked and prosecuted for the
purpose of adding new realms to the domains of
slavery, and it was easy to make the people believe
that evt ry thing would be done to consummate
the original iniquitous design.
But when California had adopted a free Constitution,
by which the hopes of the slavery extensionists
were blasted, and whs about to apply
fur admission as s member of the Federal Union,
the President wua accused by iidversHries in another
quarter, who were vexed with disappointment,
and not willing to be outdone in the business of
sluDdsr and detraction, of prostituting the powers
of his high office for the inexcusable and nefltrious i
purpose of excluding slavery from the new State
And to this end, it was said, he had sent his agent,
clothed with an <iflini.il chnructer anil armixl with
secret instructions, to overawe mid intimidate
the people on the Pacific const, and worry them
into compliance with his wishes This (trs?e and
imposing charge, directly conflicting with the
former one, and branding it in tact with falsehood,
was manufactured for Southern circulation, ana
put forth with an air of confidence and assuranoe
that could hare been inspired only by the success
which attended its predecessor in the Northern
States.
And to give color and character to this device,
it has been repeated in debate on this floor, and
resolutions, at an early day, were offered in both
branches of Congress, of a most commanding and
formidable length, calling on the President for the
proof to work his conviction. With characteristic
and praiseworthy prpmptness. the call was obeyed.
And, as a response to the resolutions, we have an
impoaiug volume of one thousand pagea laid on
our desks. Prom this immense mass of printed
matter, not the least particle of proof can be gathered
or gleaned to convict the President of any
interference whatever in regard to the domestic
institutions of California.
But this is not all. The Presideut himself denies,
in the most emphatic manner, the alleged interference
; and in the abaence of any proof, thla
certainly ought to be satisfactory to all candid and
unprejudiced minds. The Government sgent,
| Mr. Kinh.] who was accused of being the iustruutrai
of tho Kareutiva in oowauimmttiwg Ma da
signs in California, has denied it; and the members
of Congress elect from that Btate, in their
memorial to this House, have also drnird it; and
tewspapers recently received from Han Kranclsco
indignantly deny lit; and eurely the enemies of
California will not be to unoandid and nnjust as to
insist upon an objection that we have shown has
no foundation whatever in fact
Mr. Chairman, I have thus given sn inventory,
and briefly noticed the principal objections brought
forward against the admission of California, and
I have endeavored to rernova them?with what
success let others determine?by auch considerations
ns my own nfleotlons have suggested, and
my information supplied. And here, if I yielded
to my own inclination, and consulted my own
wishes, I should dismiss the subject aud resume
my seat. Hut the occasion has been seised upon
by (Southern gentlemen to go into a general discussion
of American slavery, and Ite connection
with the Federal Government. Claims have been
advanced lor the institution by its advocates that
are not only new and startling, but wholly inadmissible
and highly dangerous. Prom throe
claims I take this, the only ooeasion which I have
tnul to entires* hit diaaent and abhorrem-a ami f
ugainst these audacious novelties I here euter my ?
protest. And, air, I should fail to discharge the t
whole duty which the eeit I occupy In thia <
flail imposes upon ma, if I were to remain silent, t
and thereby give them an implied acquiescence. t
I ahull not do it. 8ir, if slavery baa improperly r
bean made the theme of discussion uponthequaa- i
tion pending in thii Committee, the frianda of the I
ad in anion of California are not reeponaible for it. i
They have Bought to avoid it, aa wholly diaoon- <
nected with the subjeot, and ware willing to give *
their votes ailently, without delay and without I
debate. But it haa bean forced upon ua, and now
let it lie distinctly understood, wa are ready to i
meet it. Wa do not shrink from U, we stand up
to it. For one, air, I prefer the turbulence of i
freedom, if that la a necessary condition to its en- I
joyment, to the oalm and quiet of despotism. I
It has boon announosd upon this floor, with a 1
boldne*e, and, if U be not unparliamentary, with 1
an effrontery that oan flud no parallsl, and tvan
beggars and defies invective, that st.aviev?mmam
bondage, is a blessing. and not a curse; and
that it is the duty of this Government to protect,
sustain, and extend it. The Constitution of the
United States, we are told, requires it, and we are
summoned to the faithful performance of our
duty.
Sir, I deny it, and will not obey aiysuch summons,
nor acknowledge any such obligations of
duty. They do not exist, and if they were imposed
by any human laws, I would disregard them
and trample them under foot. IC we were shivering
under the heartless and remorseless despotism
of the Emperor Nicholas, instead of standing
in this Hall and giving utterance to our thoughta
in the manly tonee of freemen, and basking in the
sunshine of free institutions and republican liberty,
we could not be treated with more earnest
and eloquent arguments in favor of the assumed
right of one part of mankind to trample upon
oppress, and enslave the other, than this debate
1-. ->r__4 ?I I VCll.J .it). fiatMMK t
at the temper tsd chsrcctcr cf this discasefee,
*vJ tb? nriarifdes vtowpA hy rvrmbrrp of this
House
In fact, sir, I am not able to discern any very
ensibledifference between the principle*, or perhaps,
1 should say, the platform, on which bis 1?- p?ri?l
Lao pWW L?t <?* -oarr; 'up .a
? kivmvixro? nai iin v n^niuov uuiu ui ' UJT
Ike side of his remorseless and blood-thirsty accomplice
of Austria, and that occupied hy the advocates
of human bondage, slavery. and oppreseion,
on this aide of the Atlantic. The rights of
man are held by the same title under European
skiea that they are here, and the power, whether
wielded by odc or by many, whether claimed by
an imperial despot or a legislative assembly, that
robs man of hia inalienable rights, and makes him
or continues him a slave, is no more inexcusable and
despotic there than it is here. All men are created
equal.' The same love of liberty that fires our
hearts and nerves our arms against the oppressor,
glows in the bosoms and animates the bearts of
our crushed and down-trodden European brethren
And the Almighty has engraven upon the
tablets of the enslaved African's heart, whether
groaning in hopelees bondage in our own or in
Jther countries, the same love of freedom that
Dspires us and the struggling sons of liberty
very where. ,
It is not too much, therefore, to say, that tears
bed for opprcased Hungary, and Greeoe, and
!t?lyv *nd other distant countries, by rcruhliosn#
nthVory and patriots by pY>ifcssioo.xreirSwJI. ?
are in fact nothing but " iron tears down Pluto'a
cheek,if no sympathy is felt and expressed by
them for the enelaved in our country, to whom
liberty is as dear as it is to them A reference to
historical facts will show the error into which
honorable members have fallen, who have ventured
to maintain that we are under an implied
obligation to permit the existence of slavery in
the Territories, and to extend protection to that
species of property wherever the General Government
lias jurisdiction. Nothing can Vie further
from the truth thnn this assumption. When the
Constitution of the United States was adopt
ru, inc omy territory netongmg to tne untied
States was the Northwestern Territory, and
that was protected and secured against the introduction
of slavery by the celebrated Ordinance of
Freedom of 17N7. This Ordinance was passed by
the Congress of the Confederation, and when, two
years afterwards, the Constitution was adopted,
its binding force was recognised in that Instrument.
The sixth section provides " there shall lie neither
slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said Ter
ritory, otherwise than in punishment of crimes
whereof the party shall have been duly convict
d." Thus was evrry inch of territory over which
the.^ongrees of the Confederation had jurisdic
tion'or power to legislate, carefully guarded from
the encroachments of slavery by a provision
which it was solemnly declared should forntr remain
unalterable, exoept by common consent.
And further to illustrate the sleepless jealousy
of the institution of slavery, cherished by (be
emiosat statesmen of that day, and as conclusive
proof of their fixed and unchangeable determinsliou
to chain it down and confine it to its existing
limits, allow we to remind this Commits**, that the
first Congress under the Constitution passed a
law in August, 1789, which was approved by
Freaident Washington, to continue aud secure the
provisions of this Ordinance in full operation and
t ffect in the Territories. The declared purpose
of paaa ng the act of Congress wss avowed to he
"Id order that the Ordinance of the United States
in Congress assembled, for the government of the
territory northwest of the river Ohio, tuny con
tiuue to have full effect, it is requisite that certain
provisions should be made, so as to adapt the same
to tbeConstitution of the United States;" and the
necessary provisions were incorporated in the
bill, and it became a law. All the Territories
were thus secured to freedom snd consecrated to
libe rty, ami slavery wasconflned within the limits
and left to the municipal regulations of the States
where it then existed. There it was permitted
to linger, and left to perish umj-r the operation
of onuses which have already driven it frotu
several of the nrlarlniil Hlnlau n?wt utiiol. it...
judgment of ninny good men, were sufficiently
(wtiutial to work out its oomplete and speedy extermination.
As a mark of subjection to h foreign
Government, and as a Indge of colonial Tanas
lag* that remained after the close of the struggle
lor independence, it was loathsome and offensive
to those who laid the foundations of our republican
institutions upon the firm basis of Ltakktv
and EufAMTY. And for this reason It was
not permitted to extend into the Territories or
I be new States that were to be formed out of
hem It wits forever prohibited by an unalterable
deoree of the supreme legislative power in the
flute, and the importation of slaves was to cease
tfter the year I80M. Nothing was omitted that
toiiId he doue to restrain and confine It within ita
irigina) boundaries, and to secure free soil from
ts blighting and polluting footsteps. And If it
ie not profane, it may be truthfully said, that the
ray of the tree of life was not more carefully
;uarded by the Almighty, after the disobedience
ud expulsion of Adain from the garden of Kden,
>y cherubims and a turning sword, than was the
recdom of the Territories by the wise, discreet,
Jul patriotic legislation of those who achieved
ur independence and established our free lostiutions.
The Conatitution of the United States centered
no express power to enlarge the boundaries of
he country by the Acquisition or annexation of
u-ighhoring nations This dangerous power, the
zeroise of whioh has so often proved fatal to
>ther countries, was wisely withheld. Sohetnes
f territorial aggrandizement were not entertaind
or over thought of by the great and good men
rho formed the Constitution. They made ample
irovision for the government of the States and
Territories then under the jurisdiction snd withn
the acknowledged limits of the United States,
teyond this tbey did not go. The Constitution
vhlcti tbrjf adopted was ordsined and established
to use their own language) in order to form a
nore perfect union, establish justice, insure doueatio
tranquillity, provide for the common derence,
promote the general welfare, nod to secure
he blessings of liberty?not the continuance or
extension of slaverv?to ourselves and our noa
terity.
These are its avowed objects, and thme the
rods which it was designed to secure And they
ire expressed io language so plain, in terms so
easily comprehended, that " the wavfaring man,"
though not half as wiae and learned as some honorable
members on Ibis floor, need not misunderitand
it. 8til|, it is maintained by some of the
llacinles ofthe Southern school of politicians, with
i seal and earneetneaa that might eaaily be mistaken
fbr sincerity by those not conversant with proceedings
In this i lall, tb.U thia language is without
practical meaning; and that " to secure the blea ings
of liberty,'' if uot wholly innocent in that
respect, is a simple announcement that this is a
pro-slavery Government, and that slavery is
itampsd upon its heart, and is an object of its paernal
reg ird, nslt is oosof Us principal supporta.
I'he error and absurdity of this argument are
asily exposed, and a rsference to th?- preamble
ilready quoted will convince any one, not wholly
leyond the dominion of reason, that it is entirely
ritkout any foundation to rest upou. Evtu
he term slavery, as has often been remarked, is
tot to be found in the Constitution The franers
of that Instrument, fresh from the battleislds
of the Revolution, on which they had broten
the oppressor's erm, and won glory for themwives
and liberty for their oeuntry, oarefully exsluded
the odious and h-tteful word, and this ex:luslon
was not the rbsult of socident, but of oarefully-considered
end deliberate design.
Hlr, it is a mistaken notion that ikls ia a proilavcry
Government, as some have imagined. I
know there ia a class of earnsst and lealoua, but,
xa I think, misguided man in the free Htstes, who,
like soma honorable members on this floor, maintain
that it la, and denounce it as a covenant with
death, and a league with hell. And as a oonse
jueuce of thia error?and It oertainly ia a moat
[skb rouBTa rxsa.]

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