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[46] These asserted once more the power of the Federal Government over the District; noticed the insolent exclusion of memorials on this subject emanating from the Legislatures of Massachusetts and Vermont; and (amid immense applause) returned thanks to John Quincy Adams for his bold and indefatigable advocacy of the right of petition. The following may not be summarized:

7. Resolved, That when the Senators and Representatives of1 this Commonwealth, in Congress, find themselves deprived of the liberty of speech on its floor, and prohibited from defending the right of their constituents to petition that body in a constitutional manner, they ought at once to withdraw, and return to their several homes, leaving the people of Massachusetts to devise such ways and means for a redress of their grievances as they shall deem necessary. (Applause.)

8. Resolved, That the union of Liberty and Slavery, in one just and equal compact, is that which it is not in the power of God or man to achieve, because it is a moral impossibility, as much as the peaceful amalgamation of fire and gunpowder; and, therefore, the American Union is such only in form, but not in substance—a hollow mockery instead of a glorious reality. (Applause.)

9. Resolved, That if the South be madly bent upon perpetuating her atrocious slave system, and thereby destroying the liberty of speech and of the press, and striking down the rights of Northern citizens, the time is rapidly approaching when the American Union will be dissolved in form as it is now in fact.

At the moment alike when these resolutions were prepared and were “adopted by an almost unanimous vote and in the most impressive manner,” Lib. 12.18. it is clear from internal evidence that news had not yet been received of closely related proceedings in Congress. That body had, as usual, at its opening, in Edmund Quincy's happy phrase, been “resolved into a national Anti-Slavery Debating Society, with John Quincy Adams as leader” Lib. 12.31.; the petitions of his presenting being (also as usual) flatly not received, or the question of their reception being regularly laid upon the table. On the 24th of January, 1842,2 however, the ex-President offered a petition from Haverhill,

1 Lib. 12.18.

2 Lib. 12.18.

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