previous next
[231] were not always the case in compromises — each party conceding something he would gladly retain, in order to secure something else that is otherwise beyond his reach.) But that Mr. Clay deliberately bargained to secure what he greatly desired (the admission of Missouri), knowing that the stipulated consideration was utterly beyond the power of Congress, therefore a blank nullity--that, Mr. Dixon did not assert, nor would any true friend of the great Kentuckian's memory insinuate it. Whatever Mr. Dixon's belief on the subject, it is certain that Mr. Clay deemed the Missouri Compromise a valid contract, and that he never dreamed that it was either unauthorized by the Constitution or superseded by the Compromise of 1850. No champion, no adversary, of this latter arrangement ever suggested, whether as an argument for, or an objection to, this scheme, that one of its effects or incidents would be the repeal of the Missouri Restriction, and a consequent opening to Slavery of the region stretching westward and north-westward from Missouri.

Mr. Douglas, it will be seen, indorses none of Mr. Dixon's assumptions. He had misunderstood Mr. Dixon's original proposition, supposing that it intended to “legislate Slavery into the Territory.” He could mean by this nothing more nor other than that he misunderstood Mr. Dixon's as a proposition to legislate Slave law--that is, law under which slaves could be legally held to service — into said Territory; the act of planting Slavery in fact there, being one which legislation might facilitate and invite, but which individual action must initiate and achieve. And he did not now contend that the legislation of 1850 had even removed the obstacle to such establishment, but only that the action he proposed was “in accordance with the principles of the Compromise measures of 1850” --that is to say, it applied to Kansas and Nebraska--Territories secured, upon due consideration, to Free Labor, by sacred agreement in 1820--a principle which Congress had, under very different circumstances, applied to New Mexico--a most unlike and peculiar region — in 1850.

Mr. Dixon, it will be remarked, had not yet attained to the ultimate orthodoxy of the South with respect to the rights of slaveholders in the Territories. He only held that Congress had no right to exclude them with their human chattels.1 That it was bound to recognize and protect their property in slaves, and that the people of the Territories could have no right, prior to their organization as a State, to exclude or inhibit Slavery, were dogmas as yet confined to the more ardent devotees of Calhounism, and so far from being accepted, that they were scarcely comprehended by the great body of the supporters of the Compromise.

The amended bill, thus reported by Mr. Douglas, was debated at

1 “Is it not hard,” asked Mr. Badger, of North Carolina, during the debate on the Kansas-Nebraska bill, “if I should choose to emigrate to Kansas, that I should be forbidden to take my old mammy [slave-nurse] along with me?” --“The Senator entirely mistakes our position,” responded Mr. Wade, of Ohio. “We have not the least objection, and would oppose no obstacle, to the Senator's migrating to Kansas, and taking his ‘old mammy’ along with him. We only insist that he shall not be empowered to sell her after taking her there.”

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Kansas (Kansas, United States) (3)
Nebraska (Nebraska, United States) (2)
Missouri (Missouri, United States) (2)
Ohio (Ohio, United States) (1)
North Carolina (North Carolina, United States) (1)
New Jersey (New Jersey, United States) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Archibald Dixon (6)
Stephen A. Douglas (2)
Henry Clay (2)
Benjamin F. Wade (1)
Badger (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1850 AD (3)
1820 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: