north of 36° 30′ thus withdrawing it from the jurisdiction of a slave State.
5. An Act was passed to abolish the domestic slave trade within the District of Columbia.1
These five Acts constituted the famous Compromise of September, 1850.
At the first, this Compromise was condemned both by extreme abolitionists at the North
and by extreme secessionists in the South
By the abolitionist, because it tolerated slavery in New Mexico
, and provided for the due execution of the Fugitive Slave Law
; and by the secessionists, because it admitted the great State of California
as a free State into the Union
, and this notwithstanding a considerable part of it lies south of the Missouri
Nevertheless, it gradually made its way to public favor, and was hailed by the conservative masses, both North and South, as a wise and judicious arrangement.
So far had it enlisted the general approval, that in June, 1852, the National Conventions
of both the Democratic
and Whig parties bestowed upon it their approbation, and expressed their determination to maintain it. They both resolved, to employ the language of the Democratic
platform, that they would ‘resist all attempts at renewing, in Congress or out of it, the slavery agitation, under whatever shape or color the attempt maybe made.’2
On this subject the Whig
platform is specific and emphatic.
Its eighth and last resolution is as follows:3
‘That the series of Acts of the thirty-second Congress, the Act known as the Fugitive Slave Law
included, are received and acquiesced in by the Whig party of the United States
as a settlement in principle and substance of the dangerous and exciting questions which they embrace; and, so far as they are concerned, we will maintain them and insist upon their strict enforcement, until time and experience shall demonstrate the necessity of further legislation to guard against the evasion of the laws on the one hand, and the abuse of their powers on the other —not impairing their present efficiency; and we deprecate all further agitation of the question thus settled, as dangerous to ’