the Territorial Legislature has no power to abolish Slavery in the Territories, nor to prohibit the introduction of slaves therein, nor any power to destroy or impair the right of property in slaves by any legislation whatever.
Mr. Henry B. Payne
, of Ohio
, on behalf of the members of said Committee from all the Free States
, and Massachusetts
--States entitled to choose 172 Electors, while those represented in the majority report were entitled to but 127 Electors — reported a platform, which, as finally modified, was presented by Mr. Samuels
, of Iowa
, in the following shape:
1. Resolved, That we, the Democracy of the Union, in Convention assembled, hereby declare our affirmance of the resolutions unanimously adopted and declared as a platform of principles by the Democratic Convention at Cincinnati, in the year 1856, believing that Democratic principles are unchangeable in their nature, when applied to the same subject-matters; and we recommend, as the only further resolutions, the following:
Inasmuch as differences of opinion exist in the Demoeratic party as to the nature and extent of the powers of a Territorial Legislature, and as to the powers and duties of Congress, under the Constitution of the United States, over the institution of Slavery within the Territories:
2. Resolved, That the Democratic Party will abide by the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States on the questions of Constitutional law.
3. Resolved, That it is the duty of the United States to afford ample and complete protection to all its citizens, whether at home or abroad, and whether native or foreign.
4. Resolved, That one of the necessities of the age, in a military, commercial, and postal point of view, is speedy communication between the Atlantic and Pacific States; and the Democratic Party pledge such constitutional government aid as will insure the construction of a railroad to the Pacific coast, at the earliest practicable period.
5. Resolved, That the Democratic party are in favor of the acquisition of the Island of Cuba, on such terms as shall be honorable to ourselves and just to Spain.
6. Resolved, That the enactments of State Legislatures to defeat the faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave Law, are hostile in character, subversive of the Constitution, and revolutionary in their effect.
's report from the majority was ultimately modified by him so as to read as follows:
Resolved, That the platform adopted by the Democratic party at Cincinnati be affirmed, with the following explanatory resolutions:
First. That the government of a Territory organized by an act of Congress, is provisional and temporary; and, during its existence, all citizens of the United States have an equal right to settle with their property in the Territory without their rights, either of persons or property, being destroyed or impaired by congressional or territorial legislation.
Second. That it is the duty of the Federal Government, in all its departments, to protect, when necessary, the rights of persons and property in the Territories, and wherever else its constitutional authority extends.
Third. That when the settlers in a Territory having an adequate population form a State Constitution, the right of sovereignty commences, and, being consummated by admission into the Union, they stand on an equal footing with the people of other States; and the State thus organized ought to be admitted into the Federal Union, whether its constitution prohibits or recognizes the institution of Slavery.
Fourth. That the Democratic party are in favor of the acquisition of the Island of Cuba, on such terms as shall be honorable to ourselves and just to Spain, at the earliest practicable moment.
Fifth. That the enactments of State legislatures to defeat the faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave Law, are hostile in character, subversive of the Constitution, and revolutionary in their effect.
Sixth. That the Democracy of the United States recognize it as the imperative duty of this Government to protect the naturalized citizen in all his rights, whether at home or in foreign lands, to the same extent as its native-born citizens.
Whereas, one of the greatest necessities of the age, in a political, commercial, postal and military point of view, is a speedy communication between the Pacific and Atlantic coasts: Therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Democratic party do hereby pledge themselves to use every means in their power to secure the passage of some bill, to the extent of the constitutional authority of Congress, for the construction of a Pacific Railroad, from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, at the earliest practicable period.
[The report concludes with resolves 5 and 6 of the Douglas platform, for which see preceding column.]