says Popular Sovereignty don't pertain to them then.
Can they exclude it then?
No, Popular Sovereignty :don't pertain to them then.
I would like to know, in the case covered by the Essay, what condition the people of the Territory
are in before they reach the number of ten thousand?
But the main point I wish to ask attention to is, that the question as to when they shall have reached a sufficient number to be formed into a regular organized community, is to be decided “by Congress.”
says so. Well, gentlemen, that is about all we want.
No, that is all the Southerners want.
That is what all those who are for slavery want.
They do not want Congress to prohibit slavery from coming into the new Territories
, and they do not want Popular Sovereignty to hinder it; and as Congress is to say when they are ready to be organized, all that the South
has to do is to get Congress to hold off. Let Congress hold off until they are ready to be admitted as a State, and the South
has all it wants in taking slavery into and planting it in all the Territories
that we now have, or hereafter may have.
In a word, the whole thing, at a dash of the pen, is at last put in the power of Congress ; for if they do not have this Popular Sovereignty until Congress organizes them, I ask if it at last does not come from Congress?
If, at last, it amounts to any thing at all, Congress, gives it to them.
I submit this rather for your reflection than for comment.
After all that is said, at last by a dash of the pen, every thing that has gone before is undone, and he puts the whole question under the control of Congress.
After fighting through more than three hours, if you undertake to read it, he at last places the whole matter under the control of that power which he had been contending against, and arrives at a result directly contrary to what he had been laboring to do. He at last leaves the whole matter to the control of Congress.
There are two main objects, as I understand it, of this Harper
's Magazine essay.
One was to show, if possible, that the men of our revolutionary times were in favor of his Popular Sovereignty ; and the other was to show that the Dred Scott
decision had not entirely squelched out this Popular Sovereignty.
I do not propose, in regard to this argument drawn from the history of former times, to enter into a detailed examination of the historical statements he has made.
I have the impression that they are inaccurate in a great many instances.
Sometimes in positive statement, but very much more inaccurate by the suppression of statements that really belong to the history.
But I do not propose to affirm that this is so to any very great extent ; or to enter into a very minute examination of his historical statements.
I avoid doing so upon this principle — that if it were important for me to pass out of this lot in the least period of time possible, and I came to that fence and saw by a calculation of my known strength and agility that I could clear it at a bound, it would be folly for me to stop and consider whether I could or not crawl through a crack.
So I say of the whole history, contained in his essay, where he endeavored to link the men of the Revolution to Popular Sovereignty.
It only requires an effort to leap out of it-a single bound to be entirely successful.
If you read it over you will find that he quotes here and there from documents of the revolutionary times, tending to show that the people of the colonies were desirous of regulating their own concerns in their own way, that the British Government
should not interfere ; that at one time they struggled with the British Government
to be permitted to exclude the African slave-trade ; if not directly, to be permitted to exclude it indirectly by taxation sufficient to discourage and destroy it. From these and many things of this sort, Judge Douglas
argues that they were in favor of the people of our own Territories excluding slavery if they wanted to, or planting it there if they wanted to, doing just as they pleased from the time they settled upon the Territory
Now, however his history may apply, and whatever of his argument there may be that is sound and accurate or unsound and inaccurate, if we can find out what these men did themselves do upon this very question of slavery in the Territories
, does it not end the whole thing?
If after all this labor and effort to show that the men of the Revolution were in favor of his Popular Sovereignty and his mode of dealing with slavery in the Territories
, we can show that these very men took hold of that subject, and dealt with it, we can