previous next
[267] Question, without a call of the Yeas and Nays. It received the President's signature on the 21st. Bills making further and better provision for the education of colored children were matured and enacted in the course of that and the two following sessions.

A treaty between the Great Powers of Western Europe, intended to provide for the more effectual suppression of the African Slave-Trade, was matured and signed at Paris in 1841. It necessarily accorded a qualified reciprocal right to search suspected cruisers to the National vessels of the subscribing parties. Gen. Cass, then our Envoy at Paris, and a prospective candidate for President, resisted and defeated the accession of our Government to this most righteous and necessary increase of power to the international police of the ocean, and earned thereby the qualified approbation of the Slave Power; as was evinced in the Presidential election of 1848. A similar treaty was now negotiated between the United States and Great Britain; and a bill designed to give effect to its provisions was reported1 to the Senate by Mr. Sumner, considered, and passed:2 Yeas 34; Nays 4. The House concurred;3 and the bill became a law.4

The first proposition looking to a repeal of the Fugitive Slave act of 1850 by the XXXVIIth Congress was made5 by Mr. Howe, of Wisconsin, to the Senate; whereby it was read twice, referred to the Judiciary Committee, and reported6 against by Mr. Ten Eyck, of New Jersey. That report killed it. But Mr. Wilmot, of Pa., soon revived7 the proposition, by a bill which required every person, who should apply for the legal process required for the arrest of a fugitive slave, to take a stringent oath of loyalty. The bill further provided that each alleged fugitive shall have compulsory process against witnesses deemed essential to his defense, and that such witnesses should be sworn and heard, irrespective of their color. Mr. Wade promptly reported8 this bill; but it shared the fate of its predecessor.

Mr. Wilson, of Mass., proposed9 to amend the bill of 1850 aforesaid, so as to secure to every one claimed as a fugitive slave a trial by jury; which, though once taken up10--Yeas 25; Nays 10--failed to command the attention of the Senate.

Soon after the meeting of the next Congress, Mr. Stevens, of Pa., submitted11 to the House a bill contemplating an absolute repeal, not only of the act of 1850, but also of the Fugitive Slave act of 1793. Messrs. Ashley, of Ohio, and Julian, of Ind., introduced bills of like tenor. Mr. Julian further proposed that the Judiciary Committee be instructed to report a bill to repeal the most obnoxious provisions of the acts in question; but this was, on motion of Mr. Holman, of Ind., laid on the table: Yeas 82; Nays 73.

In the Senate, Mr. Sumner next introduced12 a bill sweeping away all slave-catching by statute; which was referred to a Select Committee of seven, whereof he was Chairman, which had been raised to consider all propositions affecting Slavery. He

1 June 12, 1862.

2 June 16.

3 July 7.

4 July 11.

5 Dec. 26, 1861.

6 Feb. 11, 1862.

7 May 23.

8 May 21.

9 May 24.

10 June 10.

11 Dec. 14, 1863.

12 Feb. 8, 1864.

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 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.
Edwin V. Sumner (2)
George W. Julian (2)
T. F. Wilson (1)
Wilmot (1)
Benjamin F. Wade (1)
Isaac I. Stevens (1)
A. P. Howe (1)
W. S. Holman (1)
Eyck (1)
Chairman (1)
George W. Cass (1)
Ashley (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: