length, and ably, by Messrs. Douglas
and several others in favor and by Messrs. Chase
, and others, in opposition.
But the disparity in numbers between its supporters and its opponents was too great — nearly three for to one against it — to allow much interest to attach to the successive discussions and divisions, save as they serve to cast light on the real character of the measure, especially with respect to Slavery.
A few of these will here be noted.
, having attempted1
to strike out so much of the clause last quoted as declares the Restriction of 1820 “superseded” by the Compromise of 1850, and been beaten by 30 Nays to 13 Yeas, Mr. Douglas2
himself moved that said clause be stricken out, and replaced by the following:
Which being inconsistent with the principle of Non-Intervention by Congress with Slavery in the States and Territories, as recognized by the legislation of 1850 (commonly called the Compromise measures), is hereby declared inoperative and void; it being the true intent and meaning of this act not to legislate Slavery into any Territory or State, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States.
This, of course, prevailed: Yeas 35; Nays 10: whereupon Mr. Chase
to add thereto as follows:
Under which, the people of the Territory, through their appropriate representatives, may, if they see fit, prohibit the existence of Slavery therein.
This touchstone of the true nature and intent of the measure was most decisively voted down; the Yeas and Nays being as follows:
Yeas — Fessenden and Hamlin, of Maine; Sumner, of Massachusetts; Foot, of Vermont; Smith, of Connecticut; Fish and Seward, of New York; Chase and Wade, of Ohio; Dodge (Henry), of Wisconsin--10.
Nays — Norris and Williams, of New Hampshire; Toucey, of Connecticut; Brodhead, of Pennsylvania; Clayton, of Delaware; Stuart,4 of Michigan; Pettit, of Indiana; Douglas and Shields, of Illinois; Dodge (A. C.) and Jones, of Iowa; Walker, of Wisconsin; Hunter and Mason, of Virginia; Pratt, of Maryland; Badger, of North Carolina; Butler and Evans, of South Carolina; Dawson, of Georgia; Fitzpatrick and C. C. Clay, of Alabama; Adams and Brown, of Mississippi; Benjamin and Slidell, of Louisiana; Morton, of Florida; Houston and Rusk, of Texas; Dixon, of Kentucky; Bell and Jones, of Tennessee; Atchison, of Missouri; Sebastian and Johnson, of Arkansas; Gwin and Weller, of California--36.
So the Senate decisively voted that the people of the new Territories
, formed by this act from the region shielded from Slavery by the Compromise of 1820, should not
have the right, under this organization, to prohibit Slavery, should they see fit.
On motion of Mr. Badger
, of North Carolina
, it was further (Yeas 35, Nays 6)
Provided, That nothing herein shall be construed to revive or put in force any law or regulation which may have existed prior to the act of 6th of March, 1820, either protecting, establishing, prohibiting, or abolishing Slavery.
On motion of Mr. Clayton
, of Delaware
, it was further provided that immigrants from foreign countries who had merely declared their intention to become naturalized citizens should not be voters in these Territories.
On this proposition, the Yeas were 23 (all from Slave States); the Nays 21 (all from Free States).
now moved an amendment fixing a day of election, appointing commissioners to lay off Counties, etc., etc., and enabling the