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[31] would have sanctioned with alacrity. His inaugural address, with its sophistical argument for the limitation1 of the powers of Congress over slavery in the District, had been preceded by a speech at Richmond repudiating,2 as a native Virginian, the slightest sympathy with abolitionism. Tyler's message, on the other hand, made no3 allusion to the subject. In the confusion caused by an extra session of Congress, the gag-rule was momentarily relaxed, and John Quincy Adams improved the4 opportunity to reopen his inexhaustible budget of anti-slavery petitions. At the regular session in December a new5 gag-rule was promptly applied. Meanwhile, two incidents showed unmistakably the Southern purpose to make ‘pro-slavery’ and ‘national’ (or Federal) synonymous terms. One was the reluctance of the Senate, till the North showed its teeth, to confirm Edward Everett's6 nomination to the court of St. James, on account of his anti-slavery views.7 The other (for no game was too small for this inquisition) was the same body's refusal to confirm the postmaster of Philadelphia unless he discharged Joshua Coffin (newly appointed) from his letter-carriers; Coffin's alleged offence being that he had once assisted in ransoming a kidnapped free person of color.8 The sacrifice demanded was made, and even letter-carriers were taught to know the hand that fed them.

More significant of the nominal character of the socalled Union were the efforts of Georgia and Virginia, on9 account of the refusal of Northern governors to surrender as felons citizens charged with aiding slaves to escape, to establish quarantine against the ships of Maine and New York. More desperately unconstitutional was the proposal of Governor McDonald of Georgia, that even10 packages from New York or any like offending State

1 Lib. 11.43.

2 Lib. 11.46.

3 Lib. 11.62.

4 Lib. 11.97, 98, 102, 106, 125.

5 Lib. 11.206.

6 Lib. 11.146, 149, 150, 154.

7 In response to the abolition catechism of 1837, Gov. Everett had professed his conviction that slavery was an evil, and should be abolished as soon as this could be done peacefully. He asserted the power of Congress over slavery and the slave trade in the District, and opposed the admission of any new slave State. Finally, such progress had he made within two years (ante, 2: 76), he maintained the right of free discussion (Lib. 7: 182).

8 Lib. 11.146, 211.

9 Lib. 10.1, 5, 9; 11.14, 54, 57, 183.

10 Lib. 11.183.

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