not even in the Chicago
, Mr. Seward
, Mr. Caleb B. Smith
, Attorney-General Bates
, Senator Wilson
, and all the chief men of the Republican party repudiate it — none maintain it but professed and extreme Abolitionists, such as Gerritt Smith
, Henry Ward Beecher
, Wm. Lloyd Garrison
, Arthur Tappan
, Charles Sumner
, and Wendell Phillips
, whose fanatical and wicked efforts, backed by all the aid they can enlist from the rank and file of pure Abolitionism, can never any more disturb or harm the institution of slavery in the States than the zephyr's breath can unseat the everlasting hills, and whose impotent assaults upon the constitutional rights of the South
, and on the Constitution
and the Union
, not sympathized in by the great mass of the Northern
people — on the contrary, expressly disavowed by near two millions of conservative voters of the North
at the late Presidential election — should be laughed to scorn by the Southern
people, and heeded only “as the idle wind that passeth by.”
I repeat, there is no such doctrine in the Chicago
platform ; and — what, in my judgment, ought forever to quiet Southern apprehension in regard to slavery in the States, and even elsewhere — at the late session of Congress — in which, by the secession of the Gulf
States, as already stated, the Republicans have the majority — a resolution was adopted by the necessary constitutional majority, recommending an amendment to the Constitution
, whereby, hereafter, interference with slavery in the States by the Federal Government
is to be totally and forever forbidden.
Has the proposition to interfere with the slave trade between the States been ever heard of in Congress, or has it been even talked about except by the worst class of Abolitionists?
Not one, then, of the four things has been done for which Virginia
said she would withdraw from the Union
Why, then, all this hot excitement, and this hot haste to get out of the Union
on her own principles, so far as the question of slavery is concerned, proceed.
hastily to extreme measures of resistance, or to the adoption of the seizure and appropriation proposed by the resolutions before us?
Verily, if her sons in this Hall, who are constituted the special guardians of her honor, regard her consistency as one of her jewels, they will make that jewel glow all the brighter by voting down these shame-bringing resolutions, and repudiating secession until, on her own solemnly avowed principles, the hour for resistance and revolution shall have come.
Beyond all this, I desire to be informed what wrong has been done me, or any citizen of the South
, or the South
at large, by that Federal Government which some regard as accursed, and which they so hurry to destroy.
I, for one am not aware of any. If there be any law on the Federal
statute-book impairing the right of one Southern man, or impeaching the equality of the Southern States
with the Northern
, let it be pointed out. The production of it is defied.
No man has ever shown it, and no man ever can, because it is not on the statute-book.
If it be there, it is easy to show it. If I am wrong, let my colleagues here set me right; and lest, perhaps, I may be in error, I ask them, one and all — I appeal to you, Mr. Speaker
, to the gentleman from Madison
, Gen. Kemper
, to my ardent disunion friend from Stafford
, Mr. Seddon
, to all the confessed secessionists in this body, and to all such outside of this body, to put their finger on one Federal law in the least degree infringing the constitutional rights of the South
. If it exist, let me see it, that I may recant the error.
More than this, there is not only no such statute to be found from 1789 to this moment, but the Federal Government
has been to the South
the most parental of Governments.
It has yielded to the South
all it ever asked or demanded.
In 1793 the South
wanted a fugitive slave law, and, as it was entitled, received it. It demanded afterwards a better and more stringent fugitive slave law, and it was not only granted, but the drafting of it was left to a Virginia Senator
of the United States
, Mr. Mason
In 1820 we made with the Federal Government
a certain compact, the celebrated Missouri Compromise
, with which we were then so well pleased that every Southern Senator
but one voted for it, and a large majority of Southern Representatives.
But in the course of time, when the wave of politics set high, and politics became a trade, we became dissatisfied with the compromise of 1820, and we appealed to the Federal Government
to break up the old, and make a new contract.
The Federal Government — this accursed Federal Government that we are so anxious to annihilate — took us at our word, broke up the old and gave us a new bargain, whereby the Missouri Compromise
was repealed, and the Kansas
pro-slavery act substituted.
The Federal Government, then, has not been unkind or unjust to the South
It has been even especially
kind and parental to our section; and more than this, the South
, by Northern accord, has had the Federal Administration
in its own hands during nearly the whole period of our national existence.
It has not only had the Legislative
and Executive Departments, but the Supreme Judiciary
, the possession of which last is priceless assurance to the South
; for every good citizen, every lover of law and order and good government, will bow willing acquiescence to the decisions of the Supreme Court, and those decisions, whenever involving the delicate subject of slavery, have thus far been all on the side of the South
Why, then, should we of the South
desire to part with such a government?
And why should we make such haste to rid ourselves of it when we know by official returns that we had at the North
at the last election 1,600,000 friends standing fast and faithfully by us?
Some wrongs we are undoubtedly suffering at the