covered with slavery-Ohio is entirely free from it. What made that difference?
Was it climate?
No! A portion of Kentucky
was further north than this portion of Ohio
Was it soil?
No! There is nothing in the soil of the one more favorable to slave labor than the other.
It was not climate or soil that caused one side of the line to be entirely covered with slavery and the other side free of it. What was it?
Study over it. Tell us if you can, in all the range of conjecture, if there be any thing you can conceive of that made that difference, other than that there was no law of any sort keeping it out of Kentucky
while the Ordinance of 87 kept it out of Ohio
It there is any other reason than this, I confess that it is wholly beyond my power to conceive of it. This, then, I offer to combat the idea that that ordinance has never made any State free.
I don't stop at this illustration.
I come to the State of Indiana
; and what I have said as between Kentucky
I repeat as between Indiana
; it is equally applicable.
One additional argument is applicable also to Indiana
In her Territorial condition she more than once petitioned Congress to abrogate the ordinance entirely, or at least so far as to suspend its operation for a time, in order that they should exercise the “Popular Sovereignty” of having slaves if they wanted them.
The men then controlling the General Government
, imitating the men of the Revolution, refused Indiana
And so we have the evidence that Indiana
supposed she could have slaves, if it were not for that ordinance ; that she besought Congress to put that barrier out of the way ; that Congress refused to do so, and it all ended at last in Indiana
being a Free State.
Tell me not then that the Ordinance of ‘87 had nothing to do with making Indiana
a free state, when we find some men chafing against and only restrained by that barrier.
Come down again to our State of Illinois
The great North-west Territory, including Ohio
, was acquired first, I believe, by the British Government
, in part at least, from the French
Before the establishment of our independence, it becomes a part of Virginia
; enabling Virginia
afterward to transfer it to the General Government
There were French settlement in what is now Illinois
, and at the same time there were French settlements in what is now Missouri
--in the tract of country that was not purchased till about 1803.
In these French settlements negro slavery had existed for many years-perhaps more than a hundred if not as much as two hundred years--at Kaskaskia, in Illinois
, and at St. Genevieve
, or Cape Girardeau
, perhaps, in Missouri
The number of slaves was not, very great, but there was about the same number in each place.
They were there when we acquired the Territory
There was no effort made to break up the relation of master and slave, and even the Ordinance of 1787 was not so enforced as to destroy that slavery in Illinois
; nor did the ordinance apply to Missouri
What I want to ask your attention to, at this point, is that Illinois
came into the Union
about the same time, Illinois
in the latter part of 1818, and, Missouri
, after a struggle, I believe sometime in 1820.
They had been filling up with American people about the same period of time ; their progress enabling them to come into the Union
about the same.
At the end of that ten years, in which they had been so preparing (for it was about that period of time), the number of slaves in Illinois
had actually decreased ; while in Missouri
, beginning with very few, at the end of that ten years, there were about ten thousand.
This being so, and it being remembered that Missouri
are, to a certain extent, in the same parallel of latitude — that the northern halt of Missouri
and the southern half of Illinois
are in the same parallel of latitude-so that climate would have the same effect upon one as upon the other, and that in the soil there is no material difference so far as bears upon the question of slavery being settled upon one or the other — there being none of those natural causes to produce a difference in filling them, and yet there being a broad difference in their filling up, we are led again to inquire what was the cause of that difference It is most natural to say that in Missouri
there was no law to keep that country front filling up with slaves, while in Illinois
there was the Ordinance of ‘87.