Repeal of the Northern Liberty Bills.
The conservative portion of the Republican party in Massachusetts
are making movements towards the repeal of the unconstitutional "liberty bills" which have been passed by those States.
In the Vermont Legislature a bill for the repeal of the law of that State has been introduced, and the Boston Post has no doubt it will be followed by a similar movement in the Legislature of every State whose statute book is disgraced by a similar law.
In connection with this subject, we quote the following paragraph from the Salem (Mass.)
"The conservative Republicans of Massachusetts
are now beginning to feel the effects of the teachings of the fanatical portion of their leaders, and as an evidence that they are not prepared to follow them longer, we are glad to learn that a petition is now in circulation in Boston
, numerously signed by many of the leading Republicans of that city, calling for a repeal of the odious 'Personal Liberty Bill.' This is right.
Such a petition should be in circulation in every city, town and village in Massachusetts
We hope Salem
will immediately follow the example of Boston
It is only by a faithful compliance with all our constitutional obligations that harmony and peace will be restored to the Union
, and that fraternal regard and respect which should always characterize the States of our Confederacy again take the place of jealousy and distrust."
The Springfield Republican acknowledges:
That the Republican party are wrong in passing Personal Liberty Bills.
- 2. That these bills are ‘"pernicious,"’ and ‘"in violation of the Constitution,"’ and ‘"unjust to the slave States."’
That these Republican enactments ‘"mean nullification,"’ are ‘"unconstitutional in spirit,"’ and only fail to be boldly and squarely unconstitutional on Garrison's ground, because ‘"we (the Republicans) have not the courage to go the whole and nullity the Constitution boldly and squarely."’
That these Personal Liberty Laws ought to be repealed.
The Boston Courier, in alluding to these "Liberty laws," says:
The Republican party, in the States where these laws exist, have the power to expunge them from their statute books.
They owe it to their new President to do so, promptly, and before he is likely to be called upon to resist: their attempted execution.
Two things may be anticipated with the utmost certainty.
will be required to execute the Fugitive Slave Law
. Opportunities will be sought, and easily found, to test the character of his administration in this respect.
was so tested, from the same motives, and those motives have lost none of their force.
Now, it cannot be doubted that Mr. Lincoln
will fulfill his official oath.
He will execute the act of Congress, if required, and if he does execute it, he must give orders to his Marshals, be they whom they may, not to permit the interference of State processes.
He will have no choice between this and a surrender of his plain official duty.
If he fails to execute the Fugitive Slave Law
in the North
, exactly according to its requirements, how is he to execute the laws against the slave trade in the South
, or to enforce the revenue laws against any attempted nullification?