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Cheraw gazette. [volume] (Cheraw, S.C.) 1835-1838, May 31, 1836, Image 1

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CHER AW GAZETTE. t j
m. maclean editor & proprietou. CIIERAW, S. C., TUESDAY, MAY 31, 1836. . toe. r. no. a?. .
?
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?????
1?R. PIXCKNEVS REPORT. 1
? i!
In the House or Representatives. , i
February 8, 1835.
Resolved, That all the memorials which ; ]
have been offered, or may hereafter be pre-!?
sented to this House, praying for the aboli- i
tion of slavery, in the District of Colombia; ' <
and, also, the resolutions ottered nv an non-; i
omble member from Maine, (Mr. Jarvis,) j (
with the amendment thereto proposed by an t
honorable member from Virginia (Mr. 1
Wise;) together with every other paper or ;
proposition tliat may be submitted in relation ! i
to the subject, be referred to a Select Com-j 1
mittce, witli instructions to report: j <
That Congress possesses no constitu-' <
tional authority to interfere, in any way, with J <
the institution of slavery in any oftiie States j
of this Confederacy; and ! t
That, in the opinion of this House, Con-1 <
gross ought not to interfere, in any way,, i
with slavery in the District of Columbia, be- <
cause it would be a violation of the public i i
laith, unwise, impolitic, and dangerous to j 1
the Union. Assigning such reasons for <
these conclusions as, in the judgement of : i
the committee, may be best calculated to en-j 1
lighteu the public mind, to allay excitement, 11
to repress agitation, to secure and maintain j t
thejust rights of the slaveholding States, and ; i
of the people ofthis District, and to restore (
harmony and tranquility among the various I
-~-tt.no /xfl k?c T 'nlAll j }
scl"llu"3 VJi\ iiio vuivik , .
Mr. Pinckhey of South Carolina, | j
Mr. Hamer ofOhio, j;
Mr. Pierce of New Hampshire, j <
Mr. Hardin of Kentucky, i
Mr. Jarvis of.Maine, 11
Mr. Owens of Georgia, j i
Mr. Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania, j j
Mr. Dromgoole of Virginia, and ' <
Mr. Turrill of New York, ]
were appointed a committee in pursuances
of the resolution. ' <
Attest: w. s. franklin, Clerk. i
Mr. Piticknev, from the Select Committee ; i
to which the subject had been referred, made j i
the following ><
REPORT:
Tho Select Committee, appointed under ' ]
the following resolution of the f louse of Rep- j
resentatives of the United States, of the j;
8th of February, 1836, viz: "Resolved,: j
That all the memorials which have been of- j <
fered, or may hereafter be presented to this
House, praying for the abolition of slavery i ]
in the District of Columbia; and also the j i
resolutions offered by an honorable member j j
from Maine, (Mr. Jhrvis,) with the amend- j i
ment thereto proposed by an honorable mem-j i
ber from Viiginia(Mr. \Vise;) together with ; ]
every other paper or proposition that may j <
be submitted in relation to this subject, be ; ]
referred to a Select Committee, with instruc- j <
tions to report: That Congress possesses <
no constitutional autliority to interfere, in 1
any way, with the institution of slavery in <
any of the States of this Confederacy; and '
that, in the opinion of this House, Congress i
ought not to interfere, in any way, with <
slaver}* in the District of Columbia, because <
it would be a violation of the public faith, i
unwise, impolitic, and dangerous to the Un- '
ion: assigning such reasons for these con- j j
elusions, as, in the judgment of the commit- j i
tee, may be best calculated to enlighten the !:
?infl ollav prcifpmpnt. tri renPGSS
pUUUU IlllliU) IU WIMJ V.W..V.M ? , ? .-J I
agitation, to secure and maintain the just, i
rights of the slaveholdingStatcs, and of the ;;
pcopleof litis District, and to restore harmony
and tranquility amongst the various ,
sections of this Union respectfully submit
the following report, in which they have ;
unanimously concurred :
The subject referred is one of grave im- <
port. Your committee approach it with a i
deep sense of its magnitude and absorbing j
interest. They have long considered the :
movemerfts in relation to this matter as
fraught with incalculable evils, :ut only to
^ the slaveholding States, but to every portion
of our common country. They rejoice,
therefore, that the great body of the people j
of the non-slaveholding States have come !
forward, as they have done in the true spirit |
of American patriotism, to sustain their ;
constitutional obligations to their Southron j
brethren, and to arrest the disturbance of the j
public peace. They rejoice particularly, \
that the Federal Legislature, acting under |
a deep sense of its responsibility to the na- .
tion, has also interposed its warning voice, I
and given a solemn expression of its judgment
upon this exciting subject; and they
feel assure^ that us the Representatives have i
responded to the people, so the people will
firmly and patriotically sustain the position
now taken by their Representatives.
As moderation is essential to the discov.
cry of truth, your committc will carefully
abstain from any thing that may cause of. |
fence, or inflame excitement, in any section j
of the Union. But while they would make j
even* allowance for the motives of individ. |
uals, where the objects contemplated are;
utterly destructive to society, they cannotI
too Strongly express their condemnation of;
the conduct of the abolitionists, and their j
otter ahlrorrenee of th6 consequences to' p
which, if persisted in, it must inevitably lead. | p
They feel assured that no man, or set of men, | i!
will "be permitted to put the country and the j p
Government at defiance, bv persevering in ! ?i
machinations which threaten to bring the! ti
citizens of tiie different States into collision,; c
and to overthrow the whole system of civil a
society itself, in the slaveholding portions of i p
the Union. Your committee believe that! a
the strength of the agitators had been great-; v
iy exaggerated, by themselves and others; t<
but whether their number be small or great, tl
there can be rio doubt that they have done, J s
and are doing, incalculable evil; and every j o
true patriot must be aware that a crisis has j S
aow arrived in the political condition of the , tl
country, in which neutrality would be crini- J q
inal, and m which fie must determine between c
the suppression of abolition, and the destrue- j I
lion of the Union, and take his stand accord- e
ingly, for or agaiiftt his country. \ o
Your committee have learned with sur- j tl
pri'se, that the reference of this subject lias ! '1
caused dissatisfaction in certain portions of a
:l?e ?Soutii. While they deeply regret this tl
circumstance, they beg leave to remark, that s<
t is not only abundantly justified by prece- j ti
Jent, but in entire accordance with the es-j tc
;ablislied usage and invariable policy, in re-1 tl
ution to matters of tfcis character; tnemori- j tl
lis praying for the abolition of slavery in i P'
;he States, or in the District of Columbia, | ?
laving always been either referred or laid J ci
311 the table. On the present occasion, the I h
subject was referred for the express purpose (ti
:?fhaving a report "calculated to sustain the s?
ust rights of the slaveliolding States, and of i pi
lie people of this District, and "by allaying 1 ui
excitement, and repressing agitation, to j fii
nsure the future repose and permanent tran- c;
]uilitv of the country. The House was un- p:
villing, on the one side, to invade what was i e<
relieved to be the right of petition, [a right i d<
jqually dear to every portion of our people,! 1'
uid which,^it is thought, could not have j ti
recn denied in this instance, without cstab-! el
I
ishing a precedent at least as hazardous to rc
he South, as to any other section ot the Un- i ti'
on;] and it was desirous, on the other, to ac-1 d<
jornplish for the South, what could not have ! di
reen effected bv refusing to receive the me-1 In
* ^ s t a
Tiurials, the union of an overwhelming ma-1 tl
ority, in a solemn and determined stand) k
igainstthe views and objects of the oppli- j c
?ants. Whilst Hie denial of the right of pe-, si
itlon could have produced none other than j c
the most mischievous etfects, your commit-; s
tee are thoroughly* satisfied that the course I s;
idoptell by the House will produce a state p
3f public opinion and feeling in the lion-slave- n
jolditig IStafes, eminently favorable to the j o
constitutional rights and interests of the ! i>
slavehoiding sections of the Union. j u
The resolution under which your com- . v
nittee were appointed, naturally divides itself j li
into several branches or propositions, each I tl
of which shall be considered in its order. j c
They are instructed to report, fn the first j f<
place? \ ti
That Congress possesses no constitution- j b
il authority to interfere in any way with the j 1
institutution of slavery, in any of the States c
afthis Confederacy. ! e
Your committee will merely allude to this o
r??/?r?/-woIt!rvr? in nK/vt ir?i fA tlir? fVnn'SS ill. I
rection given them by the House, nhd not ii
for the purpose of entering into any argu- i
ment respecting ir. Unquefttionably, if g
there is any political or consitutional princi- v
pie, which the people of the I nited States 1
consider as settled beyond all possibie drs- I t!
putoor controversy,it is that the institution '
of slavery, as it exists in the States of this ! ii
Confederacy, is municipal, not national, and j ii
that it belongs exclusively to the States, and ! t<
can only be affected by State legislation. {t
The power to regulate or act upon it, is one : tl
of the reserved powers of the Slates; a power c
which was not only not given, or ever inten- 1
ded to be given, bv the franiers of the con- j s
stitution, to the General Government, but | r
which the States expressly and carefully n
guarded and retained to themselves, by that t
amendment of that instrument, (article 10) tl
in which it is declared that "all powers not tl
delegated by the constitution to the United j t?
States, nor prohibited bv it to the States, are ' tl
.i _ . . a.? '
reserveu 10 uie oiaxes respoou>wv, or iu mo v
people." Tlie subject of slavery in the j s
Suites, then, is not an open question or mat- ! 1<
ter ofdebate. The fact that Congress pos- jtl
sesses no authority whatever to legislate res- j t<
peeling it, is one that can neither be strength- '( a
ed by argument, nor made clearer by dis- j ti
cussion. And your committee consider it . fi
most fortunate for the peace of the country,. 1
that it is so. He is indeed but little acquain- j ii
tod with the human lieart, and has derived r
but little advantage from the lessons ofliistory \ rJ
who can imagine for a moment, if he knows ; a
any thing of the general character, or consi- t
dcrsthe political and physical strength of the s
people of the South, that even if the power of t
legislation on this subject liad been express- , I
!v conferred on Congress by the constitution,. c
it could not be exercised against the consent u
of the States interested, without the certainty i g
of civil war, and the probable dissolution of; r
the I "nion. The declaration, however, j *
which the House Iras solemnly and decis- ; t
ively made upon this point, cannot tail, as 11
your commtuee believe, to produce the most 1 "beneficial
results. As the abolitionists care j i
little for emancipation in the District, except j s
as the precursor of a far more extended and j I
general scheme, the presumption is, that hav- i t
ing now no possible hope of Government ' v
interference with the States, and seeing the c
mcrre than probable consequences of the 1 n
exercise of such a power, if it were possess- c
cd, they will discontinue their machinations j C
in relation to the District; a consummation I.
devoutly to be wished bv evcrv patriot, in , c
every section of the Union, fiut be tine is- i e
sue what it may, the House of Represemn-. _
tives has done its duty by placing this sol- :
emn declaration upon record. It is riot only
peculiarly proper in itself, considering the
resent state of the abolition question, but,
f any justification were necessary, it is am ly
justified by precedent. In 1790, (and
roin that period jo the present, the aboli- i
ionists have steadily aimed at generai eman- j
ipation) several petitions, praying for the
.bolttion ofslavely in the States, having been
resented and referred, the House finally
dopted a resolution, amongst others, in
rhich it announced to the petitioners* and
j the country, ''That Congress has no aulority
to interfere in the emancipation of
laves, or in the treatment of them, in any j
f the States, it remaining with the several \
itates alone to provide any regulations j
icrein, which humanity or policy may re-,
uire.,? Upon the whole, your committee j
onsider the instruction given them by the
louse upon this point, rather as a decisive (
xpression of a great fundamental principle j
fa constitutional law, than as a call upon |
K-II1 1<J SU51UU1 a IJUCSUUliai/lU JJVOIUWU. j
'iiey are aware that some members, voted i
gainst the instruction upon this point, under '
ic impression that, whilst the principle as-!
erted is unquestionable in itself, its asser- (
on by the House, in this form, might seem j
j imply douht, but to countenance the idea |
lat it is really dobateabie. In this view,
ic members who thus voted, may be joined '
erhaps by many intlligent and worthy citi- J
ms of the slaveholding States; but your ,
ommittee cannot believe that the as:- tion, J
i any form, by the House of Reprcscnta- i
ves, of a principle so important, and at the j
mietimeofso strong a local bearing, nnd :
articularly by a vote so nearly approaching .
nanimity as is recorded on its journal in
-? ?A? ?i- - ? l*n ,?r, n 4
ivuurui uus instruction, can iujuuii- i
v to weaken that principle, or its binding and \
aramount influence upon Congress and the j
auntry in all time to come. The prece-|
sntobove quoted lrom the Congress of /
790, shows that the House of Rupresenta-1
ves of that day, so far from fearing the j
feet of such action upon its part, sought to :
jcord its solemn conviction upon this ques
on of power in themselves, and has handed
own to us its judgment, in precise accor
ance with our own. That House was j
irgcly, if not entirely, composed of men ofj
ie revolution, and many of the members are i
nown to have been also members of the j
onvention which formed the Federal Con- j
titution. Since tliat period, nearly half aj
entmy has rolled away, and now that the
uecessors of that House, acting under the
ame considerations, solemnly reaffirm the
rinciple laid down by those great and good
ien, and avow it to he not only the settled
pinion of this Congress, but of the great
ody of the people of the United States, may
re not hope, and indeed conclude, that it
ill be hereafter deemed a solemn and deberate
exposition of the constitution, and
mt all attempts in future to violate those sared
compromises, which lie at the very
Diuidation of our constitutional compact, or
j excite apprehension on this subject, will
e effectually counteracted and defeated.
V?iir mnrmt hut indiilfrfi a most
c_
onfident and animated hope that these pood
fleets will bo produced by the present action
ftlie House.
Your committee are instructed to report,
1 the second place?
That, in the opinion of this House, Conress
ought not to interfere, in any way,
k*ith slavery in the District of Columbia.
1st. Because it would be a violation of
he public faith.
To obey this instruction of the House
1 the manner pointed out by the resolution, I
; will b? necessary to examine, to some ex?nt,
the relations between the Federal j
J overrun cut and the District of Columbia; !
he probable objects of the provision in the j
nnifMnit.in ?iutlirkri^inrr thf. pp??jinn r?f* ]
./UOlllUllV/ll, * "- ~~~ ]
district to the United States; and the con- ,
equcnt expectations which may have been I
ationally entertained, by the States that!
jade the cession, as to the exercise, by j
longress, of the powers granted to it over J
tie ceded territory. Before entering upon j
liis examination, however, it may be well j
d remark, that the powers ofCongrcss over
tiis District involved in this discussion, are ]
i bylly independent of, and derived from a
ourcc entirely separate from the general j
?gis!ative powers granted to Congress by
lie constitution. As the legislature of con-1
^derated States, the powers of Congress
ro equal, and of universal application,
iiroughout all the States and they were
;ivcn to Congress before the cession of the
)istrict, and were held and exercised inlependently
thereof. This will be made j
nanifest by a brief statement of facts, i
IVwn nnrlnr tlin o.nnstitiltion. !
ssembled on the 4th of March, 1789, and i
he Government provided for by the contitution
was organized on that day. The
general powers conferred on the different
ranches of the Federal Government were .
xcrcised from that day forward; and the i
in ion of the States, under constitutional j
government, was then perfected and put in i
racti?al operatibn. The cession from j
Virginia, of that portion of the District of
Joltftnbia that belonged to her, was not
nadc until the 3d of December of that year'
?nine months after the Federal Governnent
had been in operation ;* and the cesion
by Maryland of that portion of the
district that belonged to her,(and in which
he Seat of Government is in fact located,)
ras not made until the 19th day of De:ernber,
1791 f?more than two years and
line months after the existence of the Gov- j
rnment in its present constitutional form. I
Congress did not, in fact, remove to the
district thus ceded, nor did the district thus j
eded become practically the seat of Gov-1
rnment until the year 1800; and the laws ;
Iawc r>i-??rict of Columbia, p. 59.
t l.v.vs District of Columbia, p. 61.
of the States by which the District was ri
oeded were declared, by an act of Congress 01
of the 16th of July, 1790,* to " be in tbrce b(
within the District until the removal of the
Government to it, and until Congress shall G
otherwise by law direct." j in
It appears, then, that the Federal Government
was in operation under the constitu- gi
tiou nearly a year before Congress posses- in
sed any power of local legislation over any ac
portion of the District of Columbia, and
nearly three years before that power be- gi
came as extensive as the present bounds of fo
the District, or included that portion of the pi
ten miles square in which the .Scat of Government
is in fact located. It also appears, C<
that the first act of the Federal legislature ty
, in reference to its jurisdiction tlieii partly ac- 0
quired, and partly to be acquired, was to ci
provide for the continuance, in all their force di
anu in every particular, within the instrict, tn
of thelaws of the States that made the ces- ol
sion, until December, 1800; a period of te
nine years after the time when the powers al!
of Congress, as a local legislature tor the F<
District, were perfected by the State .of se
Maryland. Nor is this all; by the act of pi'
1790 it was declared, as has been already 01
shown, that the laws of Maryland and Vir- pc
ginia should be the laws of the District, not er
only " until the time fixed for the removal tir
of the Government thereto," but also " until cli
Congress shall otherwise provide by law." cd
No alteration, however, to any considerable nc
extent, has yet been made; and the laws of th
Virginia and Maryland which were in force ; to
of tliA 4?tvt,r\ r iLnCu nn/1 I T*K
lit. me umc ux iiiuix ius^ltwuvu uuu *.
in force respectively in the portions of the se
District ceded by each, still continue to be, in;
in almost every particular, the local laws of I St
the District of Columbia! 1 th
Such are the relations at present existing w]
between the Federal Government and the th
District, so far as local legislation is con- Di
corned. The wopers of onCgress, as the gr
local legislature of the District, were derived ed
from the cessions by Virginia and Maryland, ra
and the special grant of exclusive legislation nc
and not from the general powers conferred ac
upon it by the constitution; and these gc
special and local powers which Congress so
has now possessed for nearly half a century th
have been exercised only to the extent ni
above described; and, from the best in- p<
formation your committee have been able di
to obtain, to no other or greater extent. th
The right of Congress to accept the c:
cession of the territorv from the States of! hi
| Virginia and Maryland, is found in the eighth ai
; section of the first article of the Constitu- ti<
I tion of the United States, which gives it b<
i power " to exercise exclusive legislation in b;
all cases whatsoever over such District, not S
exceeding ten miles square, as may by ces- w
sion of particular States and the acceptance si
| of Congres, become the Seat of Govern- *c
! msnt of the United States." The cession, C
| therefore, was to be made for this purpose, a
I and ior no other; and as regards its use by tl
the Federal Government, the object of this n
provision evidently was simply to autlK,T,ize 1
Congress to accent the grant, and to exer- tl
cise the powers of legislation therein pro- p
viewed for. tl
I* will be conceded by the committee, for hi
! the purpose of this report, that the cession y
! \vas made in conformity with the power of ?r
! Congress to receive, and that, therefore, by j
j the cession from Virginia and Maryland, j it
| Congress is in possession of the powers j w
j which the constitution intended it should c<
possess over the district intended to be tc
! ceded. ol
I This brings us to tiie inquiry, as to the ! ci
! probable objects of the grant of "exclusive ; a
I legislation in all cases whatsoever," over ! al
! the territory which was to constitute the i tl:
| seat of Government of the United States. c<
I In consulting the commentators upon the th
j constitution* it will be found that the old j te
Congress encountered inconveniences, and 1 fr
even dangers, from holding their sessions ! ri,
! where State legislatures had exclusive w
local jurisdiction, and where Stnte au- th
thoiities alone were to be depended on in in
I matters of police and personal protection, sc
' Indeed, an adjournment of that Congress n<
i from the State of Pennsylvania to New Jer-; w
; sev, for a cause of this description, which | v(
| occurred at the close of the revolutionary j fl<
war, no doubt contributed greatly to the in- gi
| troduetion of this clause into the constitu- j at
tion of the Union. The proceedings of the j at
old Cnnorosss show distinctly, that the ac- . sii
~ 0
quiremcnt of a territory for the seat of the w
Federal Legislature, over which it should ! te
have exclusive or special jurisdiction, was j bj
; a favorite idea with that body, as early as . fa
the year 1~83, and that it continued up to ; re
; the time of the formation of the constitution, i cc
| Upon this point your committee will only i to
detain the House with a few of the resolu- j it
tions adopted by the old Congress that go to tli
establish it. On the 7th of October, 1763,
a resolution was passed, "that buildings for s?
the use of Congress be erected on or near | p<
the banks of the Delaware,f provided a suit- i oi
; able district can be procured on or near j gi
| the banks of the said river for a federal town, J sc
i and that the right of soil, and exclusive, or ) cc
i such other jurisdiction as Congress may j cc
i direct, shall be vested in the United States." j pi
j On the 21st of the same month (October, p<
I 1783) another resolution was passed, pre- e:
J ceded by a preamble as follows: "Wlieroas th
i there is reason to expect that the providing ol
| buildings for the alternate residence of Con-; S
[ gress in tuo places will be productive of the | C
i most salutary effects, by securing the mu- pi
j tual confidence and affections of the States, i ri
I Resolved, That buildings be provided for j tli
I the use of Congress at or near the lower falls 1 tli
of the Potomac,^: or Georgetown, provided si
I a suitable district on the banks of the river rr
can be procured for a federal town, and the ai
* Jiiws United States, vol. ii, p- 113. p,
t Journals of the Oid Congress, vol. iv. p. 288. .r
i t Journals of *hc OM Congress, p. 290.
glit of soil, and an exclusive jurisdiction, tc
r such other as Congress may direct shall S
? vested in the United States/' c<
On the 20th of December, 1734, the old tl;
ongress passed, among others, the follow, g
g resolutions: tc
Resolved, That it is expedient that Con- b<
ess proceed to take measures for procur- c<
g suitable buildings to be created for their p:
:commodation. L
Resolved, That it is expedient for Con- b<
ess, at this time, to erect public buildings et
r their accommodation at more than one te
ace."
These resolutions by the continental" as
angress. as to the expediency and necessi-: G
for a territory for the seat of the Federal fe
overament, over which it should have pe. w
iliar if not exclusive jurwdrctioe,. are pro- be
iced to sfiow the origin of the provision in gi
e constitution upon that subject, and the tei
ijcct for which the acquisition of sucli a vi:
rritory was desired. That object, beyond
I euestion. was to secure a sent fiir the w<
ederal Government, where the power of G
If-protcction should be ample and com- ry
etc, and where it might be exercised with- gr
it collision or conflict with the legislative
> wers of any of the States, so far as its ex- uf
cise should be required for the great na- \vj
>nal puq>oses for which the peculiar or ex- j t!c
asive jurisdiction was sought to be obtain- j jui
i. The jurisdiction was made exclusive, ! su
>t as your committee believe, and as they 1 de
ink every considerate citizen will admit, rc
change the object of the grant of the ju- he
aliction when it should be made, but to cc
cure that object more effectually by mak- m
g the Federal Government independent of tei
ute interference, and of protection, within lie
e district where it was to be located, and cc
here its deliberations should be held. Had of
e legislative power of Congress over the Si
istrict not been made exclusive, one of the or
eat and wise objects intended to be secur- D
I !>/% rM-m-ftnfmiS r\f rtrtnfllrtf Krtfw.oon l'Vftp. til
1) HIV |/1 V? VUUVii VI WtUiiW lyvkll Wii mm ?M
1 and State legislation, would have been si<
icessorily defeated. Every statesman will fr<
Imit the extreme inconvenience and dan- re
u* of granting powers of legislation of the tu
.me character, and to be exercised within m
c same territory (powers of local and mucipal
legislation), to two distinct and inde- gi
;ndent legislative bodies; and the extreme er
fficulty, if not impossibility, of so defining at
ie portions of power to be exorcised by gi
ich, as to prevent constant conflict and col- is
don. This must have been the result, if it
ly division of the powers of local legislaDn,
within the District of Columbia, had ' S
:en made between Congress and the States . tli
y which the territory was ceded to the U. je
tatcs. uongress requireu an tnai power u
hich, through all time, would be indispen- o
ibly necessary for its protection; and also c.
> render all the departments of the Federal v
Government independent of State authority, p
nd entirely dependent on, and obedient to, a
le Federal Legislature, and it alone, in all u
latters of police or municipal legislation, si
'lie adoption of the Federal Constitution by ir
le people of the several States with this tl
rovision in it, shows that the attainment of d
icse objects was considered of paramount b
nportance: and hence, in the judgment of p
our committee, the power in question was v?
lade exclusive. ?
Assuming the correctness of these pre- si
lises, the next inquiry is, what expectations g
ere the States by which the District was a
sded, as well as their States, authorized ti
> entertain as to the exercise by Congress ti
fthe legislative powers derived from these p
2ssions? The cessions included not only S
nArtinn rifllio torritrn-v StntfVC- hilt I tl
J/U1UVU V/* UIW bVl A ?I.V' J V? ? ? - -!so
a portion of their citizens. To secure ir
ic great national objects intended by the ti
jssion, the jurisdiction of the States over L
ic territory of the District, was transferred si
i the Federal Legislature. This transfer, si
om the necessity of the case, abridged the e?
ghts of the citizens within the territory, p<
ho had been formerly entitled to vote for n<
leir legislators and other rulers, by subject- tl;
g them to a Government composed of[>cr- ri
>ns in whose election they were to have 01
} choice. Their governance however, st
as confided to those entrusted with the go- v<
irnment of all the States; and when were- c<
xt upon the confidence reposed in Con- is
ess by the States that made the transfer, a<
id by the citizens transferred, it accounts in
once for the readiness with which the ces- ll]
011 was effected. Still, the question recurs, cc
* ' - t A l.|.. U
nat expectations migni rcosouauiy uu cu- iu
rtained by the States making the cession, u;
j the other States of the Confederacy, so in
r as their interests were directly or indi- tli
otly involved, and by the citizens thus plant
under the peculiar care of Congress, as pi
its exercise of the powers conferred upon ei
by this cession of territories for a seat of o
e Federal Government? 01
Your committee have no hesitation to fa
ty, in answer to this inquiry, that those ex- t\
?ctalions, by all the parties interested, not vi
ily might, but must have been, that Con- w
rcss would exercise the powers conferred, si
) lar as their exercise should be found ne- ! ui
issary for the great national objects of the j e<
jssion, with strict reference to the accom- j S[
ishment of those objects; anil that all other tc
iwers conferred by the cession would be j p<
cercised with an equally strict reference to i ci
te interests and welfare of the inhabitants j hi
fthe District?those citizens of two free st
tates who had been made dependent on i ji
ongress for their local legislation, for the j e{
rotection oflile, liberty, and property?j at
glits guarantied by the constitution to all | o
ie citizens of the Confederacy?in order i ci
tat a seat for the Federal Government,; tl
lbject to the exclusive control ofCongress, j ir
light be granted to it. If these positions | ai
re correct, it follows necessarily that the I th
istitutions, the customs, the rights, the pro- ci
erty, and every other incident pertaining to ai
lose citizens, end municipal in it3 cbnrac- k
?r, which they enjoyed as citizens of1 0 djj
tatcs to which they belonged before
sssion of the District, and which did
len, and have not yet, interfered with
reat national rights and privileges intend?**- i
> be secured bv the cession* should hav&
aen hitherto, and should be ir? all.time to
>me, guarded and preserved with tbp same
itcrnal care and kindness with whtcli the- 'A
egislatures of the States, to which they ^
donged, would have guarded and protect.
1 them if they had continued lo bo intrusd
to their respective jurisdictions.
Your committee rely confidently upou this>
the great rule-for the faithful action of \
angress in reference to this subject They
el assured that no rational man will differ
ith thenH Two auestions^then. remain to.
% 1 " t ym
i considered", to- determine whether Con- j
ess should or should Let attempt to interre
with slavery in the District of Columbia,. v
7.:
1. Do the great national object^ which
ere iutended to be seeufred to the Federrtt ^
overnmcnt by the cesssion of the territorequire
such action on the part of Con- *^j
ess? j
Your committee will make no., argument
)on so plain a proposition. No individual
ithin their knowledgs not even the most
'luded fanatic, ever asked, or attempted to - *
stify, a measure of this description upon
cli a pretext. The security and indepen.
wee of Congress, from the moment of its
moval to tliis District to the present hour,
ive been as perfect as the framers of the
institution could have desired. No intiation
has ever been heard that the exis- a
nee of slavery in the District of Columbia jt
is ever produced the slightest danger or in- ,y^8
AltliAW f/-* lt>4<V?*OC*4o AW IA tKlk
H1VCI1IVUVC ^HHUl (V IUC IllLVlV-Ol^ VI IV iiiv -i
ficcrs of the Federal Government within ifirely,
then, Congress cannot be calledupi
to interfere with that institution within the
istrict as one of its duties growing out of
e national objects connected with the cesDn;
and if such interference is demanded
Dm it, the demand must grow out of ita
lations to the District as a locfil legislate.
This brings the committee to the re- ;
aiuing question. * :
2. Would the States of Maryland and' Vir- v 'j
nia,ifthe cession of this territory to tho Fedal
Government had not been made, from
ly thing which has been shown to Con- ^
ress, be induced to interfere with, or aboU
h*the institution of domestic slavery within
? ' - - v -' ' ;4>a
At the time of the cession from those A
fates, slavery* existed in every portion of V
icir territory, in the same degree, and sub.
ct to the same laws & regulations,by-which ?
was authorized & regulated in the territoiy
eded to the Federal Government. It- still
xisls in those States, without any material
ariation or modification of their laws resecting
it. As those States then, have not
bolishcd it within the territories remaining
nder their jurisdiction, is it reasonable to
uppose that they would have abolished it ?
1 tho territory comprising the District, had
?ey continued to retain their original jurisiction
over it ? Can any reason whatever
e given for the abolition of slavery in this
articular District, which does not apply
ith equal force to every other slaveholdtag
action of the country ? Can any cause be
tiown why the States of Maryland and Yir- i
inia would have abolished, or would bow
in <!> ? ni??MAt ha<t it
UUIJ&II dltlVCljr HI into JL/lOUlVby uuva j% vv??niKxl
to form a part of those States re^peevely,
which would not have warrantee ?f
roduced general abolition throughout those
tates ? Most unquestionably not! As
lose States then, have not abolished slavery
i the residue of their territory, it is evident
lat they would not have abolished it in tbe
h'strict of Columbia, if it had continued ^
jbjeet to their action. It follows cooeluvely,
therefore, that Congress, as the local
?islature of the District, and acting inde*
endently of the national consideration? con- j
ected with its powers over h, is bound for
te preserv ation of the public faith, and the
ghts of all the parties interested, to act upn
the same reasons, and to exercise the
irae paternal regard which would have go.
srned tlie States by which the District was
sded to the Federal Government. And it
unnecessary*to add, that Congress has
:ted wisely in treating the institutions found - i
existence at the time of tho cession, as 'i
le institutions ofthe people of the District; in
jntinuing their laws and customs, as the
ws and customs to which they bad been
scd, and which should never be altered, or
iterfered with, except where the people
icmsclves may be desirous of a change.
Your committee must go further, and, exress
their full conviction, that any interferlce
by Congress with the private interests
r rights of the cittizens of this District, with-.
lit their consent, would be a breech of the
titli reposed in the Federal Government by
ic States that made the cession, and as
iolent an infraction of private rights as it
ould have been if those States themselves.
ipposing their jurisdiction had remained
limpaired over their territory, had abolish*
i sloven*, within those portions oftbeir re)ective
limits, and had continued its exisnce,
upon its present basis, in every other
jrtion of them. And surely there is. no
'tizen, in any quarter of the country, who
as the smallest regard for our laws and in*
itutions, State and national, or for equal ?^
istice, and an equality of rights and privil*
*es among citizens entitled to it, who would
ttempt to justify such an outrage on the part
fthose States. The question then is, Are tho
itizens of the District desirous of a change
lemselves? Has any request or move*
lent been made by them that would justify
n interference with their private rights on
le part ofCodgrcss? None, whatever! Tho
itizens of the District have not solicited any
ction on tho part of Congress, but it is well
Sown that they earnestly deprecate gjich
v< % ~

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