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Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 1., Chapter 8: attitude of the Border Slave-labor States, and of the Free-labor States. (search)
r the South, as they are right in the principles and possess the Constitution. If the public mind will bear it, the seat of Government, the Government itself, and the Army and Navy, ought to remain with the South and the Constitution. I have been promulgating the above sentiment, although it is rather revolutionary. A Provisional Government should be established at Washington to receive the power of the outgoing President, and for the President elect to take the oath of office out of Slave Territory. . . . If the Slave States would unite and form a convention, they might have the power to coerce the North into terms to amend the Constitution so as to protect Slavery more effectually. --Extract of a Letter from John Reynolds, of Belleville, Illinois, to Jefferson Davis and ex-Governor William Smith, of Virginia, dated December 28, 1860. Many influential public journals in the Free-labor States advocated the right of secession and the wrong of coercion. One of these, more widely
of New York, moved the application thereto of the restriction aforesaid. So much of it as required that all slaves born within the Territory after the passage of this act should be free at twenty-five years of age, was carried, February 17th. by 75 Yeas to 72 Nays, and the residue defeated by 70 Yeas to 71 Nays. Next day, however, the adopted clause was reconsidered and stricken out, and the bill ultimately passed without any reference to Slavery. Arkansas became in consequence a Slave Territory, and ultimately a Slave State. A new Congress convened December 6, 1819; and Mr. Scott December 8th. moved a reference to a Select Committee of the memorials from Missouri, including that of her Territorial Legislature, asking admission into the Union. This motion prevailed, and Mr. Speaker Clay appointed as such Committee three members from Slave States, beside Mr. Scott, who was chairman, with but one from a Free State. In the Senate, the legislative memorial aforesaid was ref
orth emerged from the Missouri struggle chafed and mortified. It felt that, with Right and Power both on its side, it had been badly beaten, through the treachery of certain of its own representatives, whom it proceeded to deal with accordingly. Few, indeed — hardly one--of those Northern members who had sided with the South in that struggle were reflected. That lesson given, what more could be done? Missouri was in the Union, and could not be turned out. Arkansas was organized as a Slave Territory, and would in due time become a Slave State. What use in protracting an agitation which had no longer a definite object? Mr. Monroe had just been reflected President, and the harmony of the party would be disturbed by permitting the feud to become chronic. Those who perpetuated it would be most unlikely to share bounteously in the distribution of Federal offices and honors. Then a new Presidential contest began to loom up in the distance, and all manner of speculations were current,
rtion of the country, interested in the continuance of Domestic Slavery and the Slave-Trade in these United States, have solemnly and unalterably determined that it shall be speedily carried into execution; and that, by this admission of new Slave territory and Slave States, the undue ascendancy of the Slave-holding Power in the Government shall be secured and riveted beyond all redemption. That it was with these views and intentions that settlements were effected in the province, by citizeof several new Slaveholding States, were originally the policy and design of the Slaveholding States and the Executive of the Nation. The same references will show very conclusively that the particular objects of this new acquisition of Slave territory were the perpetuation of Slavery and the continued ascendancy of the Slave Power. * * We hold that there is not only no political necessity for it, no advantages to be derived from it, but that there is no constitutional power delegated
orth as well as south from the point where the Kansas or Kaw river enters the Missouri; but in 1836 a considerable section lying west of this line, and between it and the Missouri, was quietly detached from the unorganized territory aforesaid and added to the State of Missouri, forming in due time the fertile and populous counties of Platte, Buchanan, Andrew, Holt, Nodaway, and Atchison, which contained in 1860 70,505 inhabitants, of whom 6,699 were slaves. This conversion of Free into Slave territory, in palpable violation of the Missouri Compromise, was effected so dexterously and quietly as to attract little or no public attention. At the first session of the XXXIId Congress (1851-2) petitions were presented for a territorial organization of the region westward of Missouri and Iowa; but no action was had thereon until the next session, when Mr. Willard P. Hall, of Missouri, submitted December 13, 1852. to the House a bill organizing the Territory of Platte, comprising this r
at limited to States. No; the thing is impossible. The owner cannot carry his Slave State law with him into the Territory; nor can he carry it into another Slave State, but must take the law which he finds there, and have his property governed by it; and, in some instances, wholly changed by it, and rights lost, or acquired, by the change. To the same effect, Mr. Webster, when resisting, in 1848, the attempt, on a bill organizing the Territory of Oregon, to fasten a rider extending the Slave line of 36° 30′ to the Pacific, refuted this doctrine as follows: The Southern Senators say we deprive them of the right to go into these newly acquired territories with their property. We certainly do not prevent them from going into those territories with what is, in general law, called property. But these States have, by their local laws, created a property in persons; and they cannot carry these local laws with them. Slavery is created and exists by a local law, which is limited t
her to execute it )--it is not impossible so to expound and apply the original, organic, fundamental right of a people to form and modify their political institutions, as to justify the Free States in consenting to the withdrawal from the Union of the Slave, provided it could be made to appear that such was the deliberate, intelligent, unconstrained desire of the great body of their people. And the South had been so systematically, so outrageously, deluded by demagogues on both sides of the Slave line, with regard to the nature and special importance of the Union to the North--it being habitually represented as an immense boon conferred on the Free States by the Slave, whose withdrawal would whelm us all in bankruptcy and ruin — that it might do something toward allaying the Southern inflammation to have it distinctly and plainly set forth that the North had no desire to enforce upon the South the maintenance of an abhorred, detested Union. Accordingly — the second day after Mr. Lin
y were defying. It was, in fact, to justify their past treason, and incite them to perseverance and greater daring in the evil way they had chosen. IV. Our conservative Supreme Court, by its Dred Scott decision, had denied to Congress all power to exclude Slavery from a single acre of the common territories of the Union; it had held the Missouri Compromise invalid on this very ground; and now, the North was called to reenact and extend that very line of demarcation between Free and Slave territory which the Court had pronounced a nullity. True, Mr. Crittenden proposed that the new compromise should be ingrafted upon the Constitution; but that only increased the difficulty of effecting the adjustment, without assuring its validity. For, if the new Southern doctrines respecting property, and the rights of property, and the duty of protecting those rights, and the radical inability of the Government to limit or impair them, be sound, then the guarantee to Free Labor of the territo
of it. If they come to my house for it, they will not find it. I concede nothing. * * * No matter what may be said at the Syracuse Convention, or any other assemblage of insane persons. I never would consent that there should be one foot of Slave Territory beyond what the old Thirteen States had at the time of the formation of the Union. Never, never The man can't show his face to me, and prove that I ever departed from that doctrine. He would sneak away, or slink away, or hire a mercenary Hly offered, See page 381. in the Senate, to unite in the immediate admission of New Mexico (which then included Arizona) as a State, under such Constitution as her people should see fit to frame and adopt-New Mexico being at that moment a Slave Territory by act of her Legislature — to say nothing of the Dred Scott decision. That would have given the South a firm hold on nearly every acre of our present territory whereon she could rationally hope ever to plant Slavery--provided the people of
says, those Southern States now in the Union will consent to remain. I wish to call the attention of that distinguished Senator to the fact that, under the law as it now stands, the South has all the rights which he claims. First, Southern men have the right to emigrate into all the territories, and to carry their Slave property with them, on an equality with the citizens of the other States. Secondly, they have an equitable partition of the territories assigned by law, viz.: all is Slave Territory up to the thirty-seventh degree, instead of up to the parallel of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes--a half degree more than they claim. for two weeks, persisted in doing — whether Mr. Lincoln intended peace or war, was a sore trial to human patience. A government which cannot uphold and vindicate its authority in the country which it professes to rule is to be pitied; but one which does not even attempt to enforce respect and obedience is a confessed imposture and sham, and deserves t
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