It is as easy to prove that the framers of the Constitution of the United States
expected that slavery should be prohibited from extending into the new Territories
, as it is to prove that it was expected that the slave-trade should be abolished.
Both these things were expected.
One was no more expected than the other, and one was no more a compromise of the Constitution
than the other.
There was nothing said in the Constitution
in regard to the spread of slavery into the Territory
I grant that, but there was something very important said about it by the same generation of men in the adoption of the old Ordinance of ‘87, through the influence of which you here in Ohio
, our neighbors in Indiana
, we in Illinois
, our neighbors in Michigan
are happy, prosperous, teeming millions of free men. That generation of men, though not to the full extent members of the Convention
that framed the Constitution
, were to some extent members of that Convention, holding seats at the same time in one body and the other, so that if there was any compromise on either of these subjects, the strong evidence is that that compromise was in favor of the restriction of slavery from the new Territories
says that he is unalterably opposed to the repeal of those laws; because, in his view, it is a compromise of the Constitution
You Kentuckians, no doubt, are somewhat offended with that!
You ought not to be!
You ought to be patient!
You ought to know that if he said less than that, he would lose the power of “lugging” the Northern States
to your support.
Really, what you would push him to do would take from him his entire power to serve you. And you ought to remember how long, by precedent, Judge Douglas
holds himself obliged to stick by compromises.
You ought to remember that by the time you yourselves think you are ready to inaugurate measures for the revival of the African slave-trade, that sufficient time will have arrived, by precedent, for Judge Douglas
to break through that compromise.
He says now nothing more strong than he said in 1849 when he declared in favor of the Missouri Compromise
— that precisely four yours and a quarter after he declared that compromise to be a sacred thing, which “no ruthless hand would ever dare to touch,” he, himself; brought forward the measure, ruthlessly to destroy it. By a mere calculation of time it will only be four years more until he is ready to take back his profession about the sacredness of the Compromise abolishing the Slave-trade.
Precisely as soon as you are ready to have his services in that direction, by fair calculation, you may be sure of having them.
But you remember and set down to Judge Douglas
's debt, or discredit, that he, last year, said the people of Territories can, in spite of the Dred Scott
decision, exclude your slaves from those Territories ; that he declared by “unfriendly legislation,” the extension of your property into the new Territories
may be cut off in the teeth of the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States
He assumed that position at Freeport
on the 27th of August, 1858.
He said that the people of the Territories
can exclude slavery, in so many words.
You ought, however, to bear in mind that he has never said it since.
You may hunt in every speech that, he has since made, and he has never used that expression once.
He has never seemed to notice that be is stating his views differently from what he did then; but, by some sort of accident, he has always really stated it differently.
he has always since then declared that “the Constitution
does not carry slavery into the Territories
of the United States
beyond the power of the people legally to control it, as other property” . Now, there is a difference in the language used upon that former occasion and in this latter day. There may or may not be a difference in the meaning, but it is worth while considering whether there is not also a difference in meaning.
What is it to exclude?
Why, it is to drive it out. It is in some way to put it out of the Territory
It is to force it across the line, or change its character, so that as property it is out of existence.
But what is the controlling of it “as other property?”
Is controlling it as other property the same thing as destroying it, or driving it away?
I should think not. I should think the controlling of it as other property would be just about what you in Kentucky
I understand the