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[196] immediately interested, should see fit to change them. But this was exactly what the majority determined should not be, and were working to prevent. Yet they did not care to make up an issue with the House majority on this point, and go to the country on the defeat of the chief Appropriation bill, and consequent embarrassment of the Government, for no other reason than that the House had refused to unite in opening the Territories to Slavery. And so, after spending most of the night in heated discussion — much of it mere talking against time — the Senate, toward morning, struck out of the Appropriation bill its materially amended amendment, and passed the bill as it originally came from the House — at all events, with no provision for the organization or government of New Mexico and California. And thus ended the Administration of Mr. Polk, along with the XXXth Congress.

the action of the XXIXth and XXXth Congresses respectively with regard to the Territory of Oregon, though proceeding simultaneously with the incidents already recorded in this chapter, and involving essentially identical principles, requires distinct presentation, that the two diverse and somewhat conflicting threads of narrative may not be blended in hopeless entanglement. That action, briefly summed up, was as follows:

At the first session of the XXIXth Congress, Mr. Stephen A. Douglas reported to the House (August 6, 1846) a bill organizing the Territory of Oregon, whereof the northern boundary had just been fixed at latitude 49° by treaty with Great Britain. The bill, as reported, was silent respecting Slavery; but, while under discussion in Committee of the Whole, the following amendment was added:

And neither Slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in said Territory, except for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.

In the House, on coming out of Committee, the Yeas and Nays were demanded on this amendment, which was sustained: Yeas 108; Nays 44--only three or four Northern Democrats and five or six Southern Whigs being found among the Nays, whereof the residue were Southern Democrats. The bill, as thus amended, passed the House, but went to the Senate so near the close of the session that, though referred to and reported by the Committee on Territories, no further action was had thereon.

On the assembling of this Congress for its second session, Mr. Douglas again reported to the House a bill to provide a Territorial Government for Oregon, which was read twice, and sent to the Committee of the Whole; where it was debated through the 11th, 12th, and 14th of January, and ordered to be taken out of Committee on the 15th. On that day, Gen. Armistead Burt, of South Carolina, moved (having already done so in Committee of the Whole) this addition to the clause inhibiting Slavery, as above given:

Inasmuch as the whole of the said Territory lies north of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, known as the line of the Missouri Compromise.

The object of this amendment was to obtain from the House a recognition of the parallel 36° 30′ as a dividing line between Slave and Free territory across the entire continent,

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