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When it was asked where the power was found in the Constitution to appropriate the money of the people to carry out the purposes of the resolution, it was replied that the legislative department of the government was competent, under these words in the preamble of the Constitution, ‘to provide for the general welfare,’ to do anything and everything which could be considered as promoting the general welfare. It was further said that this measure was to be consummated under the war power; that whatever was necessary to carry on the war to a successful conclusion might be done without restraint under the authority, not of the Constitution, but as a military necessity. It was further said that the President of the United States had thus far failed to meet the just expectations of the party which elected him to the office he held; that his friends were to be comforted by the resolution and the message, while the people of the border slave states could not fail to observe that with the comfort to the North there was mingled an awful warning to them. It was denied by the President that it was an interference with slavery in the states. It was an artful scheme to awaken a controversy in the slave states, and to commence the work of emancipation by holding out pecuniary aid as an inducement. In every previous declaration the President had said that he did not contemplate any interference with domestic slavery within the states. The resolution was passed by large majorities in each house.

This proposition of President Lincoln was wholly unconstitutional, because it attempted to do what was expressly forbidden by the Constitution. It proposed a contract between the state of Missouri and the government of the United States which, in the language of the act, shall be ‘irrepealable without the consent of the United States.’ The words of the Constitution are as follows:

No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation, grant letters of marque and reprisal, coin money, etc.1

This is a prohibition not only upon the power of one state to enter into a compact, alliance, confederation, or agreement with another state, but also with the government of the United States.

Again, if the state of Missouri could enter into an irrepealable agreement or compact with the United States, that slavery should not therein exist after the acceptance on the part of Missouri of the act, then it would be an agreement on the part of that state to surrender its sovereignty and make the state unequal in its rights of sovereignty with the other states of the Union. The other states would have the complete

1 Article I, section 10.

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