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[79] debated daily, until the 19th of February, when a bill came down from the Senate “to admit the State of Maine into the Union,” with a rider, authorizing the people of Missouri to form a State Constitution, etc.--the connection being intended to force the Missouri measure through the House upon the strength of the other proposition.

The Maine bill had passed the House weeks before, without serious opposition. Reaching the Senate, it was sent to its Judiciary Committee, which appended to it the provision for organizing Missouri. An attempt to shake this off was defeated by 25 Nays to 18 Yeas, and the bill returned to the House accordingly. The House refused to concur by the decisive vote of 93 to 72--only four members from the Free States voting in the minority. The House further disagreed, by the strong vote of 102 to 68, to the Senate's amendment striking the Restriction out of the Missouri bill. Hereupon, what is known in history as the Missouri Compromise was concocted. It was the work, not of the advocates, but of the opponents, of Slavery Restriction, intended solely to win votes enough from the majority in the House to secure the admission of Missouri as a Slave State. It was first proposed in the Senate by Mr. Thomas, of Illinois--a uniform opponent of Restriction on Missouri--and introduced by him1 in this shape:

And be it further enacted, That in all that Territory ceded by France to the United States, under the name of Louisiana, which lies north of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, excepting only such part thereof as is included within the limits of the State contemplated by this act, Slavery and involuntary servitude, otherwise than in the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall be and is hereby forever prohibited. Provided always, That any person escaping into the same, from whom labor or service is lawfully claimed in any State or Territory of the United States, such fugitive may be lawfully reclaimed and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labor or service as aforesaid.

The Senate adopted this proposition by 34 Yeas to 10 Nays, and passed the Missouri bill, thus amended, by 24 Yeas to 20 Nays — the minority embracing both advocates and opponents of Restriction. The House at first rejected Mr. Thomas's amendment by the overwhelming vote of 159 Yeas to 18 Nays. The Senate refused to recede from its amendments, and the House decisively insisted on its disagreement to them; whereupon the Senate asked a conference, and the House granted it without a division. The Committee of Conference was framed so as to give the anti-Restrictionists a decided preponderance; and John Holmes, of Massachusetts, reported2 from said Committee, that the Senate should give up its combination of Missouri with Maine; that the House should abandon its attempt to restrict Slavery in Missouri; and that both Houses should concur in passing the bill to admit Missouri as a State, with Mr. Thomas's restriction or proviso, excluding Slavery from all Territory North and West of the new State. Fourteen members, in all, from the Free States3 voted to adopt this Compromise, with 76 from the Slave States, making 90 in all; while 87 members from the Free States, and none from the Slave States, voted

1 February 17, 1820.

2 March 2, 1820.

3 The names of the fourteen members from the Free States, thus voting with the Anti-Restrictionists, are as follows:

Massachusetts.--Mark Langdon Hill, John Holmes, Jonathan Mason, Henry Shaw--4.

Rhode Island.--Samuel Eddy--1.

Connecticut.--Samuel A. Foot, James Stephens--2.

New York.--Henry Meigs, Henry R. Storrs 2.

New Jersey.--Joseph Bloomfield, Charles Kinsey, Bernard Smith--3.

Pennsylvania.--Henry Baldwin, David Fullerton--2.

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