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[159] citizens are morally bound to recapture fugitive slaves may be good for a lawyer, but it is not good for a man. ... But the Union! Preserve the Union .... We say that it is not in danger Thank God, it does not exist by the pleasure of politicians, but by an overruling necessity of things. It can not be dissolved. It is not only the enactment of Nature and God, but it is fortified by an admirable Constitution, by the whole power of the American people, and by the clear-headed, true-hearted, and strong-handed administration which now guides our destiny.

But Greeley abandoned the vital part of the views he had thus set forth. When, after a debate of three months, a bill, reported by a special committee of which Clay was chairman, and known as the “omnibus bill,” containing the substance of Clay's resolutions, was reported, Greeley went to Washington, and in his correspondence with the Tribune classed himself among the compromisers. This bill was in itself a further compromise, as it omitted Clay's original declaration that “slavery does not exist by law.” The Tribune even abandoned that “tower of strength and safety,” the Wilmot proviso, saying on August 5: “Our opinion of the propriety and legality of the Wilmot proviso has not ”

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Henry Clay (3)
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