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[378]

A white man and an Indian, says the legend, once went hunting in partnership; and the net product of their joint efforts was a turkey and an owl, which were to be divided between them. “I will take the turkey,” said the white man, “and you may have the owl; or you may have the owl, and I'll take the turkey.” “Ah, but,” demurred the Indian, “you don't say ‘turkey’ once to me.”

I. For a generation, the Free North had been struggling against a series of important measures, forming a system of public policy, whereof the purpose and necessary effect were the diffusion and aggrandizement of Slavery. Mr. Crittenden, by cooperating therein, to a certain extent, had clearly affirmed, to that extent, the right and justice of this resistance. He had earnestly opposed the violation of our public faith solemnly plighted to the Creek and Cherokee Indians; he had struggled manfully against the annexation of Texas. True, he had not openly condemned and resisted the repudiation of the Missouri Compact; but his studied silence on that topic, in view of the Southern furor in favor of the Nebraska Bill, proves clearly his tacit concurrence in the Northern repugnance to that measure. So also with regard to the projected purchase or seizure of Cuba. Yet this struggle of the North, its importance and its justice, are utterly ignored in this plan of “ adjustment” and “conciliation;” while the South is proffered guarantees of the perpetuity of Slavery in the District of Columbia as well as in the Slave States, with the utmost facilities and aids to slavehunting ever known in any country. The show of concession, in the foregoing project, to Northern convictions, relates to the ‘mint, anise and cummin’ of the great controversy; it proffers to the Free States no guarantee on a single point ever deemed by them essential. Then as to the territories: Mr. Crittenden's proposition, in substance, is, that the North shall not merely permit, but establish and guarantee, Slavery in all present and future territories of the Union south of 36° 30′. The direct incitement herein proffered, the strong temptation held out, to fillibustering raids upon Mexico, Central America, Cuba, Hayti, etc., could never be ignored. The Slave Power would have claimed this as a vital element of the new compromise — that she had surrendered her just claim to all territory north of 36° 30′ for the conceded right to acquire and enjoy new territory south of that line, and would have insisted on her “pound of flesh” --a rigorous fulfillment of the compact. Her Sam Houstons, William Walkers and Bickleys would have plotted at home and plundered abroad, in the character of apostles, laboring to readjust the disturbed equilibrium of the Union by acquiring for the South that to which she was entitled by the Crittenden Compromise.

II. The essence and substance of Mr. Crittenden's “ adjustment” inhere in his proposition that, of the vast territories acquired by us from Mexico, with all that may be acquired hereafter, so much as lies south of the parallel 36° 30′, shall be absolutely surrendered and guaranteed to Slavery. But this very proposition was made, on behalf of the South, by Gen. Burt, of S. C., in 1847, and was then defeated by the decisive vote of

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