previous next
[245] caucus of Southern delegates to take this menacing1 position, Calhoun's influence was paramount, and his Address2 in their name to their constituents was put forth, in the vain hope, by working upon Northern fears, to force the3 organization of California without the Proviso. It was, however, but a feeble document even in a rhetorical point of view, and did not march boldly up to the remedy of secession. As to slavery, it affirmed that the free and servile races at the South “cannot be separated, and cannot live together in peace and harmony, or to their mutual advantage, except in their present relation” Lib. 19.18.; for suffrage would follow in the train of emancipation, and the white race then become subject.

The closing of the Thirtieth Congress, with the prayer of California for a free constitution unheeded, but also4 with no legislation to the contrary, leaving the situation5 unchanged, was not calculated to allay the excitement at the South. Armed immigration to that Territory was6 set on foot. In May a practical disunion convention was7 held at Columbia, S. C., and gave its approval to Calhoun's8 Address. In November a similar body assembled at9 Jackson, Miss.; and, in advance of the opening of the Thirtyfirst Congress, the Governors of Tennessee, Georgia, and10 Alabama took, in their messages, corresponding ground as representatives of Southern sentiment. A little later, joint committees of the legislatures of Georgia and South11 Carolina applied the secession screw to Northern doughfaces, in resolutions fit to precipitate a crisis if the new Congress should not prove more subservient than the last.

Another cause helped to keep the South fretful and heated: the escape of slaves to the North was reaching alarming proportions, and recovery was blocked by the ‘personal liberty’ laws whose passage, at the instance of12 the abolitionists, has been noticed in the several States. This was particularly felt along the border, in Maryland,13 Virginia, and in the Ohio Valley. In the Virginia Legislature, Pennsylvania's withdrawal of State aid to kidnappers 14

1 Ante, p. 236.

2 Lib. 19.2, 10, 14, 18.

3 Lib. 19.41.

4 Lib. 19.2.

5 Lib. 19.41.

6 Lib. 19.77.

7 May 14, 15.

8 Lib. 19.86.

9 Nov. 1, 1849; Lib. 19.185.

10 Lib. 19.181, 193.

11 Lib. 20.5.

12 Ante, pp. 59, 92, 216; Lib. 18.23.

13 Lib. 19.1, 153.

14 Lib. 19.1.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
W. L. G. Lib (13)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
November 1st, 1849 AD (1)
November (1)
May 15th (1)
May 14th (1)
May (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: