First,--That all questions pertaining to Slavery in the Territories, and the new States to be formed therefrom, are to be left to the decision of the people residing therein, by their appropriate representatives, to be chosen by them for that purpose.
The bill thus reported was soon after, on Mr. Douglas
's motion, recommitted, and on the 23d reported again by him from his Committee on Territories, with material alterations.
For, meantime,1 Mr. Archibald Dixon
, had given due notice that, whenever this bill should come up, he would offer the following amendment:
Sec. 22. And be it further enacted, That so much of the 8th section of an act approved March 6, 1820, entitled “An Act to authorize the people of the Missouri Territory to form a constitution and State government, and for the admission of such State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, and to prohibit Slavery in certain territories,” as declares “That, in all that territory ceded by France to the United States, under the name of Louisiana, which lies north of 36 degrees 30 minutes north latitude, Slavery and involuntary servitude, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall be forever prohibited,” shall not be so construed as to apply to the Territory contemplated by this act, or to any other Territory of the United States; but that the citizens of the several States or Territories shall be at liberty to take and hold their slaves within any of the Territories or States to be formed therefrom, as if the said act, entitled as aforesaid, and approved as aforesaid, had never been passed.
This blunt proposition that the Missouri Compromise
, in so far as its stipulations favored the consecration of the Territories
to Free Labor, be utterly repudiated, now that so much of it as strengthened Slavery had taken full and vigorous effect, was received with more surprise than satisfaction by the engineers of the original measure.
, then the Democratic
organ at Washington
, promptly denounced it as a Whig device to divide and disorganize the Democratic party.
It received no hearty welcome from any quarter — certainly none from Mr. Douglas
, or any supporter of his Presidential aspirations.
It had evidently been expected by them that his proposal to organize these territories, so expressly contemplated and covered by the inhibition of bondage contained in the Missouri
act, in blank silence on the subject of Slavery, would be deemed a concession to Southern prejudices, if not to Southern interests.
Yet, in the presence of this bolder, stronger, larger, and more practical concession, that of Mr. Douglas
dwindled by contrast into insignificance.
, thus outbid, resolved to start afresh.
On the 23d aforesaid, he reported from his Committee a bill so different from its predecessor as hardly to resemble it, save that it contemplated the same region.
Instead of one Territory, to be called Nebraska
, and stretching from the parallel of 36° 30!
north latitude on the south to that of 43° 30‘ on the north, and from the western boundary of Missouri
on the east to the crests of the Rocky Mountains
on the west, he now proposed to create two
Territories, one to be composed of so much of said region as was directly west of the State of Missouri
, to be known as Kansas
; the other to comprise the residue, and be known as Nebraska
(The south line of Kansas
was moved northward from latitude 36° 30‘ to latitude 37°, in order to make it conform to the boundary between the lands of the Cherokees and those of the Osages.) And, with reference to Slavery, the new bill contained these provisions: