yet with the air of conceding something.
To organize the Territories
acquired from Mexico
without raising the question of slavery—virtuously resisting the Southern
demand for the prolongation of the Missouri Compromise
parallel (because, said he, that would be to vote for the positive introduction of slavery, which Heaven forbid Henry Clay
should do either north or south of 36° 30′— and because slavery would have an advantage in putting1
up no fences!). To bribe Texas
to relinquish her preposterous claims to New Mexican territory.
Northern sentiment, not by abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia, or the slave-traffic within it, but by excluding adjacent slave-breeders from the Washington3
Finally, to satisfy the claims of the South
by a more stringent law for the reclaiming of fugitive slaves.
In summing up, he showed that the South
the practical abandonment of the Wilmot Proviso
, and prevent a Texan invasion of New Mexico
, which President Taylor
would resist with Federal troops, even though the other Southern States sided forcibly with Texas
would surely happen—in a civil war. Moreover, the Free Soilers
would have the ground cut from under them.
‘As certain as that God exists in heaven,’ he cried to6 John P. Hale
with passionate blasphemy, ‘your business, your avocation is gone! . . . There is California
— she is admitted into the Union
; will they [the Free Soilers
] agitate about that?
Well, there are the Territorial governments establishedwill they agitate about them?
There is the settlement of the Texan
boundary question— upon what can they agitate? . . . Then, will they agitate about the [abolition of the] slave-trade in the District of Columbia?
That is accomplished.’
There remained the abolition disunionists, the Garrisonians, of whom Senator Toombs
had said: ‘In my7
judgment, their line of policy is the fairest, most just,8
most honest and defensible of all the enemies of our institutions—and such will be the judgment of impartial history’—they
might, indeed, agitate, but impotently.