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[204] Mr. Calhoun's famous resolutions, adopted by the Senate three years ago; and from Mr. Calhoun's I most thoroughly dissent. Thank God! the Constitution of the United States does not recognize man as property. It speaks of slaves as persons. Slavery is a local institution, drawing its vitality from State laws; therefore, when the slave-owner voluntarily takes his slave beyond the sphere of the State laws, he manumits him. This was the case with the owner of the ‘Creole;’ and Mr. Giddings, in asserting the freedom of those slaves under the Constitution of the United States, laid down a constitutional truth. But suppose it were not true in point of constitutional law, still Mr. Giddings had a perfect right to assert it; and the slaveholders, in voting to censure him, have sowed the wind. I fear the reaping of the whirlwind. Dr. Channing has a pamphlet in press, in reply to Webster's despatch on the ‘Creole.’ It is a noble, elevated production. He read it to me a few days since, and I felt glad that such a voice was to be heard in the country, and to cross the sea.

Our Minister in Paris, General Cass, has written a very mischievous pamphlet on the right of search, full of vague suggestions, and introducing harsh and disagreeable recollections of the past with regard to the exercise of the right of search by England. His protest and efforts have prevented thus far the ratification of the Quintuple Treaty by France, and have stimulated an angry discussion in the Chamber of Deputies, wherein much sympathy was expressed for the United States in her present stand. Loving my country, and not yielding to General Cass or any man in attachment to her best interests, I don't wish French sympathy on this occasion. I wish the great moral blockade, with which the South is to be surrounded, to be strengthened and firmly established. . . .

Believe me always with affectionate regard,

To his brother George he wrote, March 29, 1842:—

We differ from General Cass entirely, and regret very much the course he has taken. I have read his pamphlet carefully, and have been pleased with its ready flow, its agreeable style, its patriotic fervor, and its general ability; but I must say to you that its argument seems to me unworthy a statesman and a diplomatist. He has mixed up questions which are not at all related; he has introduced the old questions of impressment and other grievances growing out of the belligerent right of search into the discussion of the late claim of England, which is entirely distinct in its nature from all others. This claim turns upon a nice point in the law of nations, almost technical, certainly juridical in its character. It is simply this: if an English cruiser commits a trespass on board an American vessel, suspecting her not to be an American, and also suspecting her of being engaged in the slave-trade, what is the measure of liability for the commander? He has committed a trespass, unquestionably, in setting his foot, without permission, on any ship with the true American flag; but the maritime law of the civilized world—--a part of

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