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have declared that a right exists to interfere with the institution within the States. What I want to declare here in my place on this floor is, that to the South such distinctions are matters of immaterial concern. If the Federal Government assumes a right, or if those should get into power who assume a right with a purpose to exercise it to interfere with the institution anywhere where it exists within the United States, it is a matter perfectly indifferent to us, whether it is to be done within the States or outside of the States. I take not the slightest interest in the distinction which is sought to be drawn.

Mr. MASON. Mr. PRESIDENT: The constant | Mississippi, that others at the North, perhaps a and obstinate agitation of questions connected few, and perhaps of those who may be styled with the institution of Slavery has brought, I am the fanatical portion, have assumed a right or satisfied, the public mind, in those States where the institution prevails, to the conviction that the preservation of that institution rests with themselves, and with themselves only. Therefore, at this day, when it is the pleasure of Senators again to bring that institution under review upon this floor, in any connection whatever, as one of the representatives of the South I take no further interest in the discussion, or in the opinion which is entertained at the North in relation to it, than as it may confirm the hope that there is a public sentiment at the North yet remaining, which unites with the South in the desire to perpetuate the Union, and that, by the aid of that public sentiment at the North, the Union will be preserved. But further than that, as a statesman, and as one representing a Southern State where that institution prevails more largely than in any other, the public sentiment of the North is a matter indifferent to me, because I say again, we have attained the conviction that the safety of that institution will rest, must rest, and should rest, with the people of the States only where it prevails.

I should have taken no part in this debate, but that I am indisposed to allow any opinion to go abroad, that we of the South entertain a very great interest in the lines of discrimination or the shades of distinction which may be drawn as to the extent of the alleged power on the part of the Government of the United States to interfere with the institution at all, in any form or shape, or to have it supposed that we take an interest in having it narrowed down to the question whether that interference, when it is exerted, is to be confined to the institution outside of the States, and is not to affect it within the States. I know, as has been said by the Senator from New Hampshire, in the course of the last canvass, occasionally in public discussions, or in the newspapers, a disclaimer has been made of any purpose to interfere with Slavery in the States. I know, as has been said by the honorable Senator from

Sir, I hold this to be the constitutional doctrine: The institution of Slavery existed when the Constitution was formed; it is recognised there as an existing social institution. It is not only protected by the duty imposed upon the Federal Government to see to the rendition of fugitives from it, but it is elevated into the element of political power by the Constitution; it is represented and made an element of political power. That is the contract into which we entered. I say, then, that being so under the Constitution, and in the spirit and tone of the Constitution, we have a right to the just and legitimate expansion of the institution; and if there were a power in the Federal Government to restrict or limit that expansion, it would be perfectly indifferent to us whether it should be exercised by prohibiting its expansion within the States where it exists, or outside their limits.

It was guarantied to the States retaining it as an element of power, for which full equivalents were exacted and conceded; and its capacity for expansion, fully to be enjoyed, is a necessary part of the contract.

I say again, therefore, for myself, and as far as I know the opinions of my people, we take no interest in Northern opinion on this subject, as to any lines of demarkation beyond which Federal power over the institution may not extend, except so far as respect and loyalty to the contract

ity, to be, that it shall be kept toward the minority, in honorable faith, and that every element of political power it guarantied to them shall be fairly and honorably conceded.

will lead them, in union with the South, to pre- | keep it. I hold the most essential part of that serve and perpetuate the Constitution, which contract to the South, now falling into a minorotherwise must be destroyed. It is only because of the earnest and anxious hope which I entertain, that a fabric of Government which has had no predecessor in the world, which, if honestly and legitimately administered, would make us the greatest people that has ever yet existed, both in moral and physical power, should be preserved and perpetuated, that I have said thus much

The honorable Senator from New Hampshire felicitates himself that this is the last message which is to emanate from the present Executive, and therefore he is disposed to let it pass with less severity of comment. He may well felicitate himself; for, if I do not mistake humanity, the bold truths, the patriotic and manly tone of that message, will penetrate the Northern heart, and cause it to throb with pulsations and purposes not exactly in unison with those of the Senator and the party with which he is acting. I do not doubt, and avail myself of the occasion to declare it as my judgment, that the sentiments and the reasoning of that message will find a responsive yea" wherever, throughout the world, the great principles of civil liberty are known and appreciated.


Now, sir, I have said not one word of disrespect, or of discourtesy, toward the party which has been arrayed against the South in the late election. I do not mean to do so; it would not become me. They constitute a part of the American people, with whom we are in bonds of association, and I have no right to question their motives. I do not question them; but I do question their political purposes. I say that, when the passions of the day have subsided, this country, and the world looking on, will pay a tribute of just applause to the eminent author of this message, and to the great principles which he has there propounded.

Mr. TRUMBULL. Mr. PRESIDENT: If I supposed that this message was aimed simply at a few Abolitionists in the North, who wish, as it is said, to interfere with the existing institution of Slavery, I certainly should not give it any of my attention. Not only the President, but Senators here, may abuse the Abolitionists as roundly as they please, and they will never find me defending them on any occasion. But this document, emanating from the Chief Magistrate of the

thrust upon us the Slavery question, the agitation of which the Senator from Virginia seems to deprecate. He speaks of Senators agitating this question. Could he expect otherwise than that Senators would agitate the question which the President of the United States makes the promi

Sir, I am inspired with new hope in the result of the late election, to find that the Northern mind in four of the most important States of the Union, where this institution does not prevail, concurring with the views now given in the mes-nation, here on the first days of the session, has sage, did unite with the South in keeping out of power a party whose success must necessarily have torn this Union into fragments. Two Middle States, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and two Western States, Indiana and Illinois, repudiated, upon a direct issue in the canvass made, naked, uncovered, open, any power in the Fed-nent and leading question of his message? Did eral Government to interfere with the extension of Slavery into Territory the common property of all the States, by majorities which carried the Presidential election against that party. I trust there will be found on all future occasions, if we are ever to undergo the ordeal from which we have recently emerged, a Northern sentiment sound upon this question of constitutional powersound as we of the South esteem it, who, in union with the South, will have it in their power for ages to come to perpetuate a Union that must otherwise be destroyed.

he expect that we should sit still here, when a message was read professing to give a historical account of the recent canvass and the recent election, which misrepresented them totally? I shall not go into an argument to prove here that the great party which has swept the North, and I say has swept the States which the gentleman has designated as having sustained Mr. Buchanan, entertain no views hostile to the Union or the Constitution, or that they do not wish to interfere with Slavery in any of the States of this Union. They adopted a platform; they inI can well understand, therefore, why the hon-scribed upon it their principles; they published orable Senator says, as a matter of gratulation to it to the world, and every man can read it. A those who think with him, that this is the last message which is to emanate from its source. I should hope that the truths which emanate from that paper will reach the Northern mind, and that they will unite, in a common, patriotic interest and purpose, to come back to the Constitution which our fathers framed, and to which we are parties to come back to that Constitution, and to administer it legitimately, and give to the South what the South is entitled to, while the North and West obtain what they are entitled to. Or if it be that they really entertain an honest and conscientious conviction that they cannot remain in union with us, let them propose a separation fairly and openly; but while the contract is there,

part of that platform is, that the rights of the States, the Union of the States, and the Constitution of the country, must and shall be preserved. That is our creed. Will you tell us that we want to interfere with the rights of the States? You impute to us that which we have solemnly declared we are opposed to.

I think it is just such remarks as those to which we have now listened from the Senator from Mississippi, that are alienating one section of this Union from the other. He is arguing here to show that the Northern sentiment wishes to interfere with the institutions of the South. Does the Senator desire that state of things? Why does he seek to fasten on us sentiments and opin-"

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'the shelter of this great liberty, and protected by the laws and usages of the Government they

ions which we disclaim and disavow? He asks why we did not disavow this at the time in the North? We did it at the outset; we did it every-'assailed, associations have been formed in some where, and on all occasions.

But, sir, this message-and I shall not now take time to discuss its various positions-contains the most unwarranted assumptions as to fact, and it states conclusions of law not sustained by the authorities. The President of the United States undertakes to say that the Missouri Compromise, the act of 1820, under which Missouri came into the Union, was obsolete and was unconstitutional. Where did he get the authority for saying so? The Supreme Court of the United States has said, in so many words, that in regard to the Territories of the United States, Congress possesses all the powers both of the Federal and State Governments as to a State. That is the language of the Supreme Court of the United States. Is it denied by anybody that the Federal and State Governments together have authority to keep Slavery out of a State?

Mr. CASS. I should like to hear that decision read. I never saw it.

' of the States, of individuals who, pretending to 'seek only to prevent the spread of the institution ' of Slavery into the present or future inchoate 'States of the Union, are really inflamed with a 'desire to change the domestic institutions of existing States."

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How did he find that out? Where is the evidence of it? Sir, I assert that, so far as I know, there is no foundation for the accusation. It is untrue.

My friend from Connecticut has found the decision to which I made allusion. In the case of the American Insurance Company and others us. Canter, 1st Peters, p. 546, the opinion of the Supreme Court was pronounced by Mr. Chief Justice Marshall In that opinion is this sentence in regard to the Territories: "In legislating for them, Congress exercises the combined powers of the General and of a State Government." I commend it and the whole case to the careful examination of my distinguished friend from Michigan.

Mr. CASS. The honorable Senator will perceive that it asserts no power. It does not say how the Constitution limits their action.

Mr. TRUMBULL. It is in the first volume of Peters's Reports. I desire the pages to bring it to me from the Library. Never has it been said by the Supreme Court-no such decision can be found that Congress had not authority Mr. TRUMBULL. It does not assert any to exclude Slavery from the Territories. I have power, further than this: it says expressly that, now the book for which I sent. I do not know, as to a Territory, Congress exercises the combined however, that I shall be able to turn to the decis-powers of the General and of a State Governion at once. I ask my friend from Connecticut ment. If Congress has the combined powers of [Mr. FOSTER] to oblige me by looking for it. the General Government and of a State GovernWhen it is found, I shall furnish it to the Senator ment, in regard to Territory, I ask if it has not from Michigan, and shall be very glad to have power sufficient to keep Slavery out of a Terrihim read and ponder on it; I hope it will con- tory? vince him.

Much of the President's message is taken up with a discussion as to the equality of the States, and the rights of the States. The Senator from New Hampshire has well exposed this portion of the message, in commenting on that part of it which professes to set forth what was settled by the recent election. The President says: "The 'people of the United States have asserted the 'constitutional equality of each and all of the 'States of the Union, as States."

Did anybody dispute it? The message proceeds to say: "They have affirmed the constitu'tional equality of each and all of the citizens of 'the United States, as citizens-[Who ever dis'puted it? Was any such question in issue 'before the American people?]-whatever their ' religion, wherever their birth or their residence, they have maintained the inviolability of the 'constitutional rights of the different sections of the Union-[Who proposed to interfere with 'them?]-and they have proclaimed their devo'ted and unalterable attachment to the Union ' and to the Constitution-[I trust they have]'as objects of interest superior to all subjects of 'local or sectional controversy, as the safeguard ' of the rights of all, as the spirit and the essence "of the liberty, peace, and greatness of the Re'public."

The President makes the same charge here, which is reiterated in the Senate, that "Under

Mr. CASS. No; unless the Constitution gives it. The power that is exercised must be a power within the Constitution, or there is no authority for it.

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Mr. TRUMBULL. Let us follow that up. There is no such escape for the distinguished Senator. There is no quibbling in this opinion about "under the Constitution." The declaration is broad and unqualified, that in regard to a Territory Congress exercises all the powers both of the General and of a State Government. Now, the Senator tells me, that even that being so, you cannot under the Constitution prevent Slavery. Will he deny the right of the State of Michigan to keep Slavery out of her limits? According to the decision of Chief Justice Marshall, all the power which the State of Michigan has in regard to its own citizens is possessed by Congress in regard to the Territories of the United States; and if the State of Michigan can exclude Slavery from its borders, then, if the Supreme Court of the United States be any authority, Congress can exclude it from one of the National Territories, because it possesses in a Territory all the power which a State possesses over its inhabitants, and possesses also the power which the Federal Government exercises over the States. When it is said that Congress cannot exercise this power unless the Constitution gives it, that is begging the question. The decision of the Court, the language of the Judge, is, that


and prepared to execute them, it would necessarily result in a dissolution of the Union, and then, so far as the South was concerned, it should be immediate and eternal.

Congress has the power. He could not say that, if the Constitution did not give it. If the Constitution denied the power, how could the Judge say that Congress possessed it? He had the Constitution in view when writing this opinion. Mr. TRUMBULL. I wish to examine that posiSir, the doctrine now advanced is a new and tion. It is this-I will endeavor to state it in modern discovery. Congress formerly possessed the language of the Senator-that if the Reand exercised this power, and nobody doubted publican party came into power with the princiit. For the first fifty years of the Government, ples which they avowed, it would necessarily the power was undisputed. It is a new discov-result in the dissolution of the Union, and that, ery that Congress does not now possess it.

But, sir, let me resume the consideration of the message. The President tells us that "it was imputed" that the measure of which he is speaking, the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, "originated in the conception of extending the 'limits of slave labor beyond those previously as'signed to it; and that such was its natural as 'well as intended effect; and these baseless assump'tions were made in the Northern States the ground ' of unceasing assault upon constitutional right." Here the President informs us that the charge made against those who repealed the Missouri Compromise, that it was intended or conceived with the purpose of extending the limits of Slavery beyond those previously assigned to it, was a baseless assumption.

Now, what does the Senator from Virginia tell us? He says that under the Constitution the South has a right to a legitimate expansion of Slavery, and it is the right to expand the institution upon which he insists. When we charge that the design was to extend Slavery into the free Territories of Kansas and Nebraska, the President says it is a baseless assumption. The Senator from Virginia informs us that he insists on the right to the expansion of Slavery. Who is right? He tells us, further, that the people in four of the Northern States united in keeping out of power that party which would have severed the Union into fragments. How would they have severed it into fragments, I should like to know? Did they propose to dissolve it? Did they propose to encroach on the rights of the States? They declared that the rights of the States should be preserved. How were they going to dissolve the Union? Was it in any other way than this: It has been stated here, to-day, in the Senate, that if Colonel Fremont were elected, the Union must be and ought to be dissolved! Because a particular man is elected President of the United States, is that any reason for dissolving the Union?

Mr. MASON. Will the Senator allow me to interrupt him for a moment?

Mr. TRUMBULL. Certainly.

Mr. MASON. What I said was this: that if that party came into power avowing the purposes which they did avow, it would necessarily result in a dissolution of the Union, whether they desired it or not. It was utterly immaterial who was their President; he might have been a man of straw; I alluded to the purposes of the party. What I said in the letter to which one of the Senators has alluded, and what I said substantially in the remarks which I have made in this debate, was merely that if the party came into power avowing the purposes which they avowed,

so far as he and the South were concerned, it should be immediate and eternal. Now, what principles did we avow? Is there any one hostile to the South? I say we avow no principle upon this subject about which we are now speaking, except those avowed by Thomas Jefferson himself, by Washington, and by Monroe. Is it any cause for a dissolution of the Union, that a particular man is elected President? Manifestly not; and the Senator from Virginia does not contend for that.

Mr. RUSK. Will the Senator from Illinois allow me to ask him a question?

Mr. TRUMBULL. Certainly.

Mr. RUSK. He and others have attributed the sentiment on which he is now commenting so eloquently, to the Southern States. I desire to ask him if he does not know that it had its origin in the Northern States with one of the candidates for the Presidency? Did he not first make the declaration that the event alluded to would dissolve the Union?

Mr. TRUMBULL. I am not the defender of any third party, whose candidate may have made declarations as to the dissolution of the Union. I say that the great Fremont party entertain and avow no such sentiment.

Mr. RUSK. The Senator misunderstands me. I do not ask him to defend Mr. Fillmore; but I ask him to make the charge, not against the South, but against the individual who committed the offence.

Mr. HALE and Mr. SEWARD. That is fair.

Mr. TRUMBULL. I do not care who makes the charge that the election of Colonel Fremont to the Presidency would dissolve the Union. I say it is a baseless charge; and manifestly it could not prevail, come from what party it may. The Senator from Virginia does not put himself now on the fact of any particular man being elected, but on the principles avowed. To that I will pay attention in a moment; but I wish first to dispose of the clamor which has been raised in some parts of the country, that the election of a particular man is a cause for a dissolution of the Union.

Why, sir, neither Colonel Fremont nor any other person can be elected President of the United States except in the constitutional mode; and if any individual is elected President in the mode prescribed by the Constitution, is that cause for a dissolution of the Union? Assuredly not. If it be, the Constitution contains within itself the elements of its own destruction. The great principle lying at the bottom of the institutions of the country, and of the Constitution itself, is, that we must acquiesce in the decision of the majority, constitutionally expressed, in the selection of

officers; and until the person elected does some overt act violating the Constitution, until he sets on foot some measure destructive of the Government, the fact that he is elected President in the constitutional mode affords no reason whatever for the dissolution of the Union. Then would there have been any reason for its dissolution, if the Republican party had succeeded with its avowed sentiments?

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united to keep out of power this party, and among them the State of Illinois is named. Sir, the State of Illinois endorses no such sentiments as those avowed by the Senator from Virginia. You could not get the friends of Mr Buchanan in Illinois to discuss the question of the expansion of Slavery. They said that Kansas would be a free State; that it was a libel on them, when we charge that the effect, the purpose, the object, of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, was to open Kansas to Slavery. They said, "Slavery

Now, what were its avowed sentiments on the subject of Slavery? Opposition to its extension; opposition to the spread of Slavery into the Ter-will not go there; Kansas will be a free State;" ritories, and a declaration of the right of Congress 'to prohibit Slavery in the Territories of the United States. Is that a cause for a dissolution of this Union? I know that the Senator has said that it matters not to him whether the interference is with Slavery outside of the States or within the States; but I think the cases are very different. I think we have no right, and that there is no intention, on the part of the great body of the people of the North, to interfere with Slavery in the States; but I think there is an intention to prevent its extension outside of States into free Territories; and there is a very great difference between these positions.

and they discussed other questions, and were very far from discussing this question of the expansion of Slavery. The great party which it is said has triumphed, was not willing to put itself on that issue; but we find it at Cincinnati overturning and casting aside all the veterans who had done service in the Kansas-Nebraska fight, and taking up another gentleman, simply because he had not been mixed up with it-a gentleman who had been abroad, who had nothing to do with the repeal of the Missouri Compromise and the opening of Kansas to Slavery. He was nominated for that reason; and it is as apparent as the noonday sun, that if he had been identified with that measure, he could not have been elected. Take the State of Illinois, which Mr. Buchanan has carried, but not by a majority vote; he is in a minority in that State of nearly thirty thousand. Thirty-seven thousand votes were cast in that State for Mr. Fillmore. The speakers in his favor denounced the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, denounced the extension of Slavery into Kansas, as openly, as strongly, and as boldly, as did any supporter of Colonel Fremont; but they insisted that Mr. Fillmore was the better man for the Presidency. They cast their votes for him under that impression.

Well, sir, if the prevalence of these opinions be a cause for a dissolution of the Union, which should be immediate and eternal, why, I ask, was not this Government dissolved the year of its formation? How did it happen that the very first Congress which ever met under the Constitution of the United States adopted and reaffirmed that ordinance excluding Slavery from the whole Northwest? Why was not the Union then dissolved? If it is a cause in 1856 for a dissolution of the Union to exclude Slavery from Kansas and Nebraska, was it not a cause in 1789, when Slavery was excluded from the Territory now covered by the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, But how was it when a man was brought up, Wisconsin, and Michigan? Why, I ask again, identified with the repeal of the Missouri Comin 1820, when Mr. Monroe was President of the promise, and the opening of Kansas to Slavery? United States, was not the Union dissolved im- How was it when Colonel Richardson came mediately and eternally? Slavery was then by before the people of Illinois as the nominee of act of Congress excluded from the free Territory the Buchanan party for Governor-a man who from which we now wish to exclude it. If this had taken an active part in the repeal of the be a reason for dissolving the Union now, was it Missouri Compromise and there came up in not a reason for dissolution then? How did Mr. opposition to him a gentleman who was opposed Monroe, from the State of Virginia, himself to the Kansas-Nebraska bill? The respective approve a bill excluding it from that Territory? conventions which nominated these gentlemen Why, sir, it is manifest that the public sentiment passed resolutions on this subject. The one of this country has very much changed, if this is nominating Colonel Richardson endorsed the a cause for dissolution of the Union now. In Nebraska bill; the other nominating Colonel former times, these acts of Congress excluding Bissell denounced and condemned it. Who is Slavery from the Northwest and from the Terri-elected? Colonel Bissell triumphantly, and the tories of Kansas and Nebraska were deemed whole Republican State ticket; and that, too, judicious and proper acts of legislation, voted for notwithstanding the fact that there was a Fillmore by the South, and carried by Southern votes. ticket voted for. Now we are told that the same legislation is cause for a dissolution of the Union. This shows how the Constitution, which our fathers made, and understood, and have put into operation, is proposed to be changed and subverted in these modern times. Sir, it was no cause for a dissolution of the Union in 1789; it was none in 1820; it is none to-day, and, in my judgment, it would lead to no such consequences.

But it is said that four of the Northern States

Do you claim Illinois as endorsing the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and sustaining the administration of Franklin Pierce? If he had been the candidate, or any man identified with him in his policy, he would have been beaten as badly as was the man in the instance where there were but two persons in Illinois running for a State office, that of State Treasurer. It so happened that we had but two candidates for that office. One was Mr. Moore, "honest John

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