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[229]

Sec. 21. And be it further enacted, That, in order to avoid all misconstruction, it is hereby declared to be the true intent and meaning of this act, so far as the question of Slavery is concerned, to carry into practical operation the following propositions and principles, established by the Compromise measures of one thousand eight hundred and fifty, to wit:

First. That all questions pertaining to Slavery in the Territories, and in the new States to be formed therefrom, are to be left to the decision of the people residing therein, through their appropriate representatives.

Second. That ‘all cases’ involving title “to slaves,” and “questions of personal freedom,” are referred to the adjudication of the local tribunals, with the right of appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Third. That the provisions of the Constitution and laws of the United States, in respect to fugitives from service, are to be carried into faithful execution in all the “organized Territories,” the same as in the States.

Proceeding to that section which provides for the election of a delegate to Congress from Kansas, instead of the original stipulation--

“That the Constitution, and all laws of the United States which are not locally inapplicable, shall have the same force and effect within the said Territory as elsewhere in the United States” --

The following important reservation was now added:

Except the section of the act preparatory to the admission of Missouri into the Union, approved March 6, 1820, which was superseded by the principles of the Legislation of 1850, commonly called the Compromise measures, and is declared inoperative.

The section which authorized Nebraska to send a delegate was amended in precisely the same manner.

Mr. Douglas called up his new bill for consideration next morning; when not only Messrs. Chase and Sumner, but Mr. Norris, of New Hampshire, Gen. Cass, and other Democrats, desired that time be given to consider the grave changes which had just been made in the vital character of the measure. On the other hand, Messrs. Dawson, of Georgia, and Dixon, of Kentucky, were ready to sustain Mr. Douglas throughout. Mr. Dixon, expressing entire satisfaction with the new shape given to the bill, said:1

I think it due to the Senate that they should have an opportunity of understanding precisely the bearings and the effect of the amendment which has been recently incorporated into the bill, as originally reported by the Committee — I mean that portion of the amendment which alludes to Slavery within the Territories to be organized--Nebraska and Kansas. So far as I am individually concerned, I am perfectly satisfied with the amendment reported by the Senator from Illinois, and which has been incorporated into the bill. If I understand it, it reaches a point which I am most anxious to attain — that is to say, it virtually repeals the act of 1820, commonly called the Missouri Compromise act, declaring that Slavery should not exist north of the line of 36° 30‘ north latitude.

I here take occasion to remark, merely with a view of placing myself right before the Senate, that I think my position in relation to this matter has been somewhat misunderstood.

I have been charged, through one of the leading journals2 of this city, with having proposed the amendment which I notified the Senate I intended to offer, with a view to embarrass the Democratic party. It was said that I was a Whig from Kentucky, and that the amendment proposed by me should be looked upon with suspicion by the opposite party. Sir, I merely wish to remark that, upon the question of Slavery, I know no Whiggery, and I know no Democracy. I am a pro-Slavery man. I am from a slaveholding State; I represent a slaveholding constituency; and I am here to maintain the rights of that people whenever they are presented before the Senate.

The amendment which I notified the Senate that I should offer at the proper time, has been incorporated by the Senator from Illinois into the bill which he has reported to the Senate. The bill, as now amended, meets my views, and I have no objection to it. I shall, at the proper time, as far as I am able to do so, aid and assist the Senator from Illinois, and others who

1 January 24, 1854.

2 The Union.

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