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[274] 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. To gratify2 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 market. 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 would secure4 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—as5 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 of Georgia 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.

1 Lib. 2c:[22].

2 Lib. 20.74.

3 Lib. 20.146, 170.

4 Lib. 20.125.

5 Cf. Lib. 21.93.

6 Lib. 20.125.

7 Robert Toombs.

8 Lib. 20.49.

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