passed by the Democracy of Louisiana
in State Convention at Baton Rouge
, March 5, 1860, in the following words:
Resolved, That the Territories of the United States belong to the several States as their common property, and not to individual citizens thereof; that the Federal Constitution recognizes property in slaves; and, as such, the owner thereof is entitled to carry his slaves into any Territory in the United States; to hold them there as property; and, in case the people of the Territories, by inaction, unfriendly legislation or otherwise, should endanger the tenure of such property, or discriminate against it by withholding that protection given to other species of property in the Territories, it is the duty of the General Government to interpose, by the active exertion of its constitutional power, to secure the rights of the slaveholder.
The two remaining delegates from Louisiana
gave notice that, though they did not personally desire to withdraw front the Convention
, they should be governed by the action of the majority of their delegation.
Mr. W. B. Gaulden
, of Georgia
, made a speech against the course taken by his colleagues, on the following grounds:
I am not in favor of breaking up this Government upon an impracticable issue,--upon a mere theory.
I believe that this doctrine of protection to Slavery in the Territories is a mere theory, a mere abstraction.
(Applause.) Practically, it can be of no consequence to the South, for the reason that the infant has been strangled before it was born.
(Laughter.) You have cut off the supply of slaves; you have crippled the institution of Slavery in the States by your unjust laws; and it is mere folly and madness now to ask for protection for a nonentity — for a thing which is not there.
We have no slaves to carry to these Territories.
We can never make another Slave State with our present supply of slaves.
But, if we could, it would not be wise; for the reason that, if you make another Slave State from your new Territories with the present supply of slaves, you will be obliged to give up another State--either Maryland, Delaware, or Virginia--to Free Soil upon the North.
Now, I would deal with this question, fellow-Democrats, as a practical one.
When I can see no possible practical good to result to the country from demanding legislation upon this theory, I am not prepared to disintegrate and dismember the great Democratic party of this Union. * * *
I would ask my friends of the South to come up in a proper spirit, ask our Northern friends to give us all our rights, and take off the ruthless restrictions which cut off the supply of slaves from foreign lands.
As a matter of right and justice to the South, I would ask the Democracy of the North to grant us this thing; and I believe they have the patriotism and honesty to do it, because it is right in itself.
I tell you, fellow-Democrats, that the African Slave-trader is the true Union man. (Cheers and laughter.) I tell you that the slave-trading of Virginia is more immoral, more unchristian in every possible point of view, than that African Slave-trade which goes to Africa and brings a heathen and worthless man here, makes him a useful man, Christianizes him, and sends him and his posterity down the stream of time to enjoy the blessings of civilization.
(Cheers and laughter.) Now, fellow-Democrats, so far as any public expression of the State of Virginia--the great Slave-trading State of Virginia--has been given, they are all opposed to the African Slave-trade.
Dr. Reed, of Indiana--I am from Indiana, and I am il favor of it.
Mr. Gaulden--Now, gentlemen, we are told, upon high authority, that there is a certain class of men who strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.
Now, Virginia, which authorizes the buying of Christian men, separating them from their wives and children, from all the relations and associations amid whom they have lived for years, rolls up her eyes in holy horror when I would go to Africa, buy a savage, and introduce him to the blessings of civilization and Christianity.
(Cheers arid laughter.)
Capt. Rynders, of N. Y.--You can get one or two recruits from New York to join with you.
The President.--The time of the gentleman has expired.
(Cries of “Go on!
Go on!” )
The President stated that, if it was the unanimous wish of the Convention, the gentleman could proceed.
Mr. Gaulden.--Now, fellow-Democrats, the slave-trade in Virginia forms a mighty and powerful reason for its opposition to the African slave-trade, and in this remark I do not intend any disrespect to my friends from Virginia.
Virginia, the Mother of States and of statesmen, the Mother of Presidents, I apprehend may err as well as other mortals.
I am afraid that her error in this regard lies in the promptings of the almighty dollar.
It has been my fortune to go into