Fifthly. That the territory thus ceded shall become a State, and be admitted into the Union as soon as it shall contain sixty thousand inhabitants, or at an earlier period, if Congress shall think it expedient, on the same conditions and restrictions, with the same privileges, and in the same manner, as is provided in the ordinance of Congress of the 13th day of July, 1787, for the government of the western territory of the United States; which ordinance shall, in all its parts, extend to the territory contained in the present act of cession, the article only excepted which forbids Slavery.Congress was thus precluded, by the unprecedented and peremptory conditions affixed to their respective sessions of their western territory by North Carolina and Georgia, from continuing and perfecting the Jeffersonian policy of fundamental and imperative Slavery inhibition in the Federal Territories. Had Mr. Jefferson's Ordinance of 1784 been passed as he reported it, this beneficent end would have been secured. Accident, and the peculiar requirements of the Articles of Confederation, prevented this. Mr. Dane's Ordinance of 1787 contemplated only the territories already ceded to the Confederation, leaving those still to be ceded to be governed by some future act. The assumption, however, that there was between the North and the South an original and subsisting compact, arrangement, understanding, or whatever it may be called, whereby so much of the common territories of the Republic as lay south of the Ohio, or of any particular latitude, were to be surrendered to Slavery, on the condition that the residue should be quitclaimed to free labor, is utterly unfounded and mistaken. The author of the original restriction was himself a slaveholder; yet he contemplated and provided for (as we have seen) the consignment of every acre of those territories, north as well as south of the Ohio, and down to the southernmost limit of our domain, to Free Labor evermore. A majority of the States which sustained that proposition were then slaveholding, and had taken no decided steps toward Emancipation. Yet they none the less regarded Slavery as an evil and a blunder,1 to be endured,
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1 The Rev. Jonathan Edwards (son of the famous Jonathan Edwards, who was the greatest theologian, and one of the greatest men whom New England has ever produced), preached a sermon against the African Slave-Trade, September 15, 1791, at New Haven, Connecticut, then a Slave State. Text: The Golden Rule; Matthew VII., 12.It is so commonly urged that the Abolitionists condemn a relation whereof they are grossly ignorant, that the following extract from that sermon is of interest, as the testimony of one living amid Slavery, and as proving how essentially identical are the objections urged to human chattelhood at all times, and under whatever circumstances. Mr. Edwards said:
African Slavery is exceedingly impolitic, as it discourages industry. Nothing is more essential to the political prospect of any State than industry in the citizens. But, in proportion as Slaves are multiplied, every kind of labor becomes ignominious; and. in fact, in those of the United States in which slaves are the most numerous, gentlemen and ladies of any fashion disdain to employ themselves in business, which in other States is consistent with the dignity of the first families and the first offices. In a country filled with negro slaves, labor belongs to them only, and a white man is despised in proportion as he applies to it. Now, how destructive of industry in all of tile lowest and middle class of citizens such a situation, and the prevalence of such ideas will be, you can easily conceive. The consequence is that some will nearly starve, others will betake themselves to the most dishonest practices to obtain a means of living. As Slavery produces an indolence in the white people, so it produces all those vices which are naturally connected with it, such as intemperance, lewdness, and prodigality. These vices enfeeble both the body and the mind, and unfit men for any vigorous exertions and employments, either external or mental. And those who are unfit for such exertions are already very degenerate; degenerate, not only in a moral, but a natural sense. They are contemptible too, and will soon be despised, even by their negroes themselves. Slavery tends to lewdness, not only as it produces indolence, but as it affords abundant opportunity for that wickedness, without either the danger or difficulty of an attack on the virtue of a woman of chastity, or the danger of a connection with one of ill fame. A planter, with his hundred wenches about him, is, in some respects at least, like the Sultan in his seraglio: and we learn too frequently the influence and effect of such a situation, not only from common fame, but from the multitude of mulattoes in countries where slaves are very numerous. Slavery has a most direct tendency to haughtiness also, and a domineering spirit and conduct in the proprietors of slaves, and in their children, and in all who have control of them. A man who has been brought up in domineering over negroes can scarcely avoid contracting such a habit of haughtiness and domination as will express itself in his general treatment of mankind, whether in his private capacity, or any office, civil or military, with which lie may be vested. Despotism in economics naturally leads to despotism in politics, and domestic Slavery in a free government is a perfect solecism in human affairs. How baneful all these tendencies and effects of Slavery must be to the public good, and especially to the public good of such a free country as ours, I need not inform you. --Sermons, 1775-99, p. 10.
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