previous next
[370] stuff not good enough to wear in rainy weather, though bright enough in sunshine. I conjectured your reason for not speaking, although I think I should have done differently. The opportunity was too good to remind Douglas and the country that he was alienating the best friends of the great Compromise of 1850 by his assault upon these clergymen. Even my minister's name1 is upon the paper, in spite of his sermon which earned for him so many laudations at Washington a couple of years ago. . . . Never mind, one of the best things about the business is, that it has put you in a strong place. This will materially enlarge your sphere of usefulness.

The passage of the bill in the Senate by a well-nigh unanimous South, and the body of the Democratic senators from the North, was assured from the beginning; but its fate in the House was uncertain. A vote in the latter body, March 21, referring the Senate bill to the committee of the whole, indicated a majority of fifteen against it; but roll-calls, May 8 and 9, disclosed a change of front on the part of several Northern Democrats. The Administration brought a pressure to bear upon its Northern supporters, and secured a majority. A mass of business having precedence stood in the way of reaching the Senate bill; and another bill identical nearly in terms was introduced and finally passed, just before midnight, May 22, by thirteen majority, after stubborn resistance, under the resolute and skilful management of Alexander H. Stephens. The bill, only changed by striking out Clayton's amendment, which confined suffrage to citizens, was promptly sent to the Senate, where Sunmer's objection stopped it for a day. Other business being laid aside, it occupied the Senate during the 24th and 25th till an hour after midnight, when it passed finally by a vote of thirty-five to thirteen. The two days debate ran largely on incidental and personal matters. The result was predetermined, and on neither side was there a disposition to go over the ground already traversed. Bell held the floor for hours with a wordy explanation, extended from one day to the next, of his embarrassment in separating himself by his vote from the body of Southern Whig senators and representatives. Wade, Seward, Chase, and Sumner, standing alone for the free States in the debate, renewed in earnest speeches their protests against the bill, and each found cause of hope in an awakened North. Sumner spoke last of the four at midnight, just before Douglas was to close the debate. The galleries were crowded to the end. Sumner offered as he

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 Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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.
Charles Sumner (3)
Douglas (2)
Benjamin F. Wade (1)
Alexander H. Stephens (1)
William H. Seward (1)
William P. Lunt (1)
J. M. Clayton (1)
Salmon P. Chase (1)
L. V. Bell (1)
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.
1850 AD (1)
May 22nd (1)
May 8th (1)
March 21st (1)
March 9th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: