Изображения страниц

'the admission of new States, and when exercised | latitude, and not to the States to be formed out of 'with reference only to that end, the power of Congress is clear and explicit; but beyond that point the authority cannot extend."

in the estimation of some gentlemen; but, like the word "hereafter," or any other word used in a law in reference to a Territory, it ceases to have effect whenever the Territory ceases to exist. After the Territory is admitted into the Union as a State, the laws providing for its government while a Territory become nugatory, unless some provision be made for their continuance.

it. I have not the provision before me, but I know that it provides, substantially, that "in all that territory" north of 30° 30', Slavery shall be The proposition is here broadly laid down, that, forever prohibited. The word "forever" occurs beyond the point of providing the means of carry-in it; and that word seems to be very potent, ing into effect the provision for the admission of new States, the power to govern the Territories does not exist. Is that true? Can it be maintained? Is it one of the necessary means, in order to admit a Territory into the Union as a State, that Congress should govern it before it comes in? Is the exercise of the power conferred by the Kansas-Nebraska act necessary for the admission of those Territories as States into the Union? What is that act? A long law, containing thirty-seven sections, and providing for those Territories Governors and Legislatures, judges and marshals; defining the jurisdiction of justices of the peace, and providing all the machinery for the Territorial Governments. I desire to know what the jurisdiction of a justice of the peace, or any of these provisions, have to do with the admission of Kansas into the Union as a State? Can the position be maintained for a moment, that it is necessary or proper, as preliminary to the admission of a State into this Union, that Congress should declare that a Territorial justice of the peace should not have jurisdiction in cases exceeding $100, or relating to real estate? If the assumptions of this report are correct, such is the case; for we are told that it is only when the power of Congress is exercised in reference to the admission of a new State, that it has any right to legislate for a Territory, and of course it will not be contended that the Kansas-Nebraska act is not constitutional. Again, it is said:

It is conceded by all, that any of the old States may abolish or establish Slavery at pleasure; and, as a new State is admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, it has, when admitted, the same right, whether there had been an inhibition against Slavery while it was a Territory or not. The Missouri Compromise would therefore have an end as fast as the Territory north of 36° 30′ was formed into States and admitted into the Union. The provision applies in terms to the "territory," and not to the States which might afterwards be formed out of that territory. The constant attempt to make prominent the equality of the States, as if somebody doubted it, and to assimilate States to Territories, is only calculated to confuse the mind. It is desirable that the people of the South should understand that there is no disposition in the North to interfere with the rights of the people in any State of this Union in reference to Slavery. They should cease to believe that there is any considerable number of persons entertaining such a sentiment; for I leave out of my remarks that little fraction of fanatics, some of whom may be found "The act of Congress for the organization of both North and South, who are hostile to the the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska was Union of the States, who bear no considerable designed to conform to the spirit and letter of proportion to the people of this Union, North or the Federal Constitution, by preserving and South, and with whose disorganizing schemes the * maintaining the fundamental principle of equal- great mass of those who are to-day opposing the ity among all the States of the Union, notwith-spread of Slavery have no more sympathy than standing the restriction contained in the eighth the slaveholders themselves. section of the act of the 6th of March, 1820, preparatory to the admission of Missouri into 'the Union."

I would like to know from the committee what under heaven the organization of a Territorial Government in Kansas has to do with equality among all the States? What has it to do with the equality of right between New York and Ohio, Illinois and Georgia? Still, that is the object which is avowed, to preserve equality among the States, and that "notwithstanding the restriction * contained in the eighth section of the act of the 6th of March, 1820, preparatory to the admission of Missouri into the Union, which assumed to deny to the people forever the right to settle the question of Slavery for themselves, provided they should make their homes and organize States 'north of 36° 30′ north latitude." Did the eighth section of the act preparatory to the admission of Missouri into the Union assume what is here charged? That provision, in my judgment, has been very much misunderstood. It is a provision relating to the "territory" north of 36° 30′ north

Mr. TOUCEY. Will the Senator allow me to ask him a question for information?

Mr. TRUMBULL. Certainly.

Mr. TOUCEY. I wish to ask the Senator whether, in his opinion, a restriction of that kind can be imposed on a new State, as a condition of admission into the Union?

Mr. TRUMBULL. I shall be very happy to answer the Senator. The propriety of admitting a State into the Union is to be determined when that State makes application for admission. It is not an absolute right. Congress is not bound to admit into the Union every new State which presents a republican Constitution, whether tolerating Slavery or containing a provision prohibiting it. It is a matter to be decided under the circumstances existing at the time; and if ever an application shall be made, while I have the honor to hold a seat here, either by a State presenting a free or a slave Constitution, and I shall believe that the admission of such State into this Union will seriously endanger its existence, I will never give my vote for its admission. If Utah with ker

plurality wife system, and other obnoxious provisions in her Constitution, tending in my judgment to sap the foundations of our institutions if admitted to an equal heritage with us, should ask admission, Congress would have the right, as I conceive, to refuse it until the obnoxious provisions were stricken out.

a clause, that Slavery shall not exist in Kansas while a Territory?

The assumption, then, that the clause which I have cited, and which was inserted in the Territorial acts of 1850, is inconsistent with the Missouri Compromise, is not maintainable, unless you say that the Missouri Compromise, prohibiting Slavery in a Territory, is to have effect after that Territory becomes a State, which I deny. This report proceeds to quote further from the Kansas-Nebraska act, as follows:

"It being the true intent and meaning of this

Territory, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States."

In advocating these views, I am committing nobody but myself, for I am not speaking for any political organization in the country. I would not undertake to speak for Senators on the opposite side of this Chamber, although from childhood up I have always maintained, to the extentact, not to legislate Slavery into any State or of my ability, Democratic principles, and sustained Democratic men. I have done so on principle, believing the policy of the Democratic party best for the interests of the country. I never was one of those, however, who supported a measure without examination, merely because it was proposed by political friends; or condemned it without investigation, simply because it came from a political opponent. Having, myself, been united with none of the new parties of the day, whether they be called Republican or American, or by any other name-having been associated with no political organization in my life, public or private, except the Democratic party, it will not be understood that, in the views which I advance, I profess to speak for anybody except for myself, and the constituency I in part represent.

Another branch of this report, to which I desire o call attention, is in these words:

"In obedience to the Constitution, the Kansas'Nebraska act declared, in the precise language ' of the Compromise Measures of 1850, that 'when 'admitted as a State, the said Territory, or any 'portion of the same, shall be received into the Union with or without Slavery, as their Constitution may prescribe at the time of their ad'mission.'"

[ocr errors]

Why thrust into this provision the word State? as if there were somebody in the country who wanted Congress to legislate Slavery into a State or out of a State? No person, as far as I know, maintains such a position; and it is well known that this clause in the Kansas-Nebraska act, couched in the language in which it is, has given rise to various constructions in different parts of the Union. I believe it is the universal understanding with Southern men, that under this provision they have a right to go with their slaves into the Territory of Kansas, and hold them there as such. A majority of those who voted for the Kansas-Nebraska act, and who carried it through Congress, understand that the moment the Missouri Compromise was repealed, those Territories were open to the admission of Slavery. This has been the practical operation of the law. I have in my possession the proceedings of a mass meeting held in the Territory of Kansas, as early as September, 1854, before any Territorial Legislature convened, and of course before there was any legislative action in the Territory on the subject of Slavery. Among their resolutions I find these, endorsing the principles of the Kansas Squatter Society:

"That Kansas Territory, and as a consequence the State of Kansas, of right should be, and therefore shall be, Slave Territory.

"We hereby declare that, as this [Squatters'] society embraces nine-tenths of the present settlers of this Territory, we are entitled to and will exercise the right of expelling from the Ter

or individuals who may come among us, and by act, conspiracy, or other illegal means, entice away our slaves, or clandestinely attempt in any way or form to affect our rights of property in the same."

From this clause, which has no practical effect whatever, either in the Conpromise Measures of 1850 or the Kansas-Nebreska act, it has been contended that the Compromise Measures of 1850 were inconsistent with the Compromise of 1820. I deny the position. There is no inconsistency between them. The Missouri Compromise, as already shown, did not prevent the admission of a State into the Union with or without Slavery,' as its Constitution might prescribe at the time ofritory, or otherwise punishing, any individual its admission. The clause incorporated into the Kansas-Nebraska act does not have the effect to bring a State into the Union, either with or without Slavery, or to bind any future Congress to do so. Congress will act on that question when it arises. When Kansas shall present herself, with a Constitution either establishing or prohibiting Slavery, is there any Senator who will consider himself bound by a declaratory provision inserted in the act organizing her Territorial Government? I presume not. This report concludes with the recommendation of the passage of a bill to enable the people of Kansas to form a State Government. Is it not competent for Congress, if it should think proper, to insert in that bill a provision that this particular clause shall be repealed, or to insert |

[ocr errors]

How did it happen that there were slaves in the Territory at that early day, and that ninetenths of the settlers should resolve to expel from the Territory any individual who should attempt to affect their right of property in the same, unless, in the absence of any local law on the subject, the pro-slavery party supposed they had a right to hold slaves in the Territory? This action of the Squatters' Society took place before the first emigrants who went to Kansas under the patronage of the Emigrant Aid Society had ar

rived in the Territory, and shows, not only the construction the Squatters' Society put on the Kansas-Nebraska act, but a fixed determination, from the outset, to force Slavery into Kansas by violence.

in the Union, and upon which opposite constructions may be put with equal plausibility, to suit the peculiar views of each locality, is the law which is so much extolled in this report, which, however, omits to explain the meaning of the principle it so much eulogizes, and about which so much controversy has arisen; but its author, [Mr. DOUGLAS,] in a speech delivered in this body, in 1850, showed the fallacy of the positions now assumed by the South, and that to prohibit Slavery in a Territory was no violation of Southern rights. He then said:

I am aware that the Kansas act was differently understood in some other parts of the Union. The distinguished Senator from Michigan [Mr. CASS] believes, if I understand his position correctly, that Slavery cannot exist without a municipal law to protect it; and that, in the absence of any local law on the subject, Slavery cannot legally exist in any of our Territories. That was the doctrine of the whole country a few years ago. The committee have not thought proper to'ion unknown to the Constitution? I answer, tell us, in this lengthy report, whether it is the doctrine now. Such was formerly the law, South as well as North. I wish to read an extract, not however from this report, which I have taken upon this subject. It is this:

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"What share had the South in the Territories? or the North? or any other geographical divis

none; none at all. The Territories belong to the United States as one people, one nation, and are to be disposed of for the common benefit of all, according to the principles of the Constitu'tion. Each State, as a member of the Confederacy, has a right to a voice in forming the rules and regulations for the government of the Territories; but the different sections-North, South, East, and West-have no such right. It is no violation of Southern rights to prohibit Slavery,

The relation of owner and slave is, in the 'States of the Union in which it has legal existence, a creature of municipal law. Although, 'perhaps, in none of them a statute introducing it as to the blacks can be produced, it is believed that in all, statutes were passed for reg-nor of Northern rights to leave the people to 'ulating and dissolving it."

Here is a direct assertion that Slavery, in the States where it exists, is a creature of municipa law; and from what source do you suppose comes? Probably the "New England Emigrant Aid Society" have advanced that opinion. No, sir; it is the doctrine promulgated in the State of Louisiana, by its Supreme Court, (14 Martin's Louisiana Reports, 401.) Again, I read from another decision:

Slavery is condemned by reason and the laws ' of nature; it exists, and can only exist, through 'municipal regulations."

Whence do you suppose this sentiment comes, which, if promulgated in Kansas, would subject its author to punishment? It was proclaimed as law by the courts of Mississippi, and is to be found in 1 Walker's Mississippi Reports, at page 86. I could detain the Senate for hours in reading from the opinions of courts, in various sections of the Union, establishing this same principle; but a change has occurred. The entire South, so far as I know, and some even in the North, now repudiate the doctrine, and those who still adhere to it are stigmatized by many as Abolitionists. This is an evidence of the advance which pro-slavery sentiments are making in the country.

But, sir, the Kansas-Nebraska act is understood differently in different sections of the Union, in another respect. In the North, it is very generally insisted, that under that act the Territorial Legislature has the right to establish or abolish Slavery; but in the South, that position is controverted. The assumption is now put forth, that Slavery, by virtue of the Constitution of the United States, may lawfully exist in the Territories, and that the Territorial Legislatures have no power to exclude it.

The Kansas-Nebraska act, having, as has been shown, no fixed and certain principle, but subject to as many different versions as there are sections

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

'decide the question for themselves."

Again, in the same speech, my colleague said: "Some species of property are excluded by law in most of the States, as well as Territories, as being unwise, immoral, or contrary to the 'principles of sound public policy. For instance, the banker is prohibited from emigrating to Minnesota, Oregon, or California, with his bank. The bank may be property by the laws of New York, but ceases to be so when taken into a 'State or Territory where banking is prohibited by the local law. So, ardent spirits, whisky, 'brandy, all the intoxicating drinks, are recog'nised and protected as property in most of the States, if not all of them; but no citizen, ' whether from the North or South, can take this species of property with him, and hold, sell, or use it at his pleasure, in all the Territories, because it is prohibited by the local law-in Oregon by the statutes of the Territory, and in the 'Indian country by the acts of Congress. Nor can a man go there, and take and hold his slave, These laws, and many for the same reason. others involving similar principles, are directed ' against no section, and impair the rights of no State of the Union. They are laws against the 'introduction, sale, and use, of specific kinds of property, whether brought from the North or 'the South, or from foreign countries."


[ocr errors]

The distinguished Senator from Michigan, in his speech when the Kansas-Nebraska act was under consideration, devoted a large portion of it to this question, and proved conclusively that the exclusion of slaves from a Territory was no encroachment upon the equal rights of the people of the South.

Now, sir, I assert that the boasted principle of the Kansas-Nebraska act, which is claimed to be of such vital moment, has no sort of importance except for evil, in consequence of its vagueness and uncertainty; that it is a principle which is

not understood alike in the North and in the South; and that, while much pains is taken in the report to discuss constitutional questions, it does not inform us whether, under the Constitution and the Kansas act, slaves may rightly be taken to and held in that Territory, in the absence of any municipal law on the subject. Nor are we told distinctly, in the report, whether the Territorial Legislature has a right to prohibit or to establish Slavery. I admit it does tell us that the people of the Territory are to regulate their own domestic institutions in their own way; but when, is not said.

This clause is understood by some to apply to the people of a Territory when they come to form a State Government, and that they are to be permitted then, and not before, to regulate their own domestic institutions in their own way. That I believe to be the Southern understanding of the bill. But the author of the report has not thought proper to tell us distinctly whether it is his understanding or not.

from the remarks of ten or a dozen Senators, in which they stated in the strongest language that the question of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise was of no practical importance, and that Slavery could never go to Kansas. It was then asserted, by some of the advocates of the bill, that every sensible man knew, and every candid man would admit, that soil and climate forbade the introduction of slaves into the Nebraska-Kansas region, which is all above 36° 30'. This opinion was sustained, as the Senator from New Hampshire proved, by Mr. Pettit, of Indiana; Mr. Hunter, of Virginia; Mr. Toucey, of Connecticut; Mr. Thomson, of New Jersey; Mr. Brodhead, of Pennsylvania; Mr. Badger, of North Carolina; Mr. Everett, of Massachusetts, (who quotes, as sustaining him in his opinion, "what everybody knew;") Mr. Douglas, of Illinois; Mr. Dixon, of Kentucky; Mr. Jones, of Tennessee; and Mr. Cass, (who quotes all these.) All these Senators, except Mr. Everett, were advocates of the bill; and it was proclaimed on all sides of the I come next to that portion of the report which Senate that no practical importance attached to assails the Emigrant Aid Society. Sir, I am not the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, because the apologist of that society. There are Sena- Kansas was not intended to be a slave Territory, tors here much better acquainted with its opera-and Slavery would never go there One Senater, tions, and much more capable of defending it, if it needs defence, than I am; but I wish to look at it in the light in which it is presented in this report. I will not travel out of the record after rumors, as has sometimes been charged, but will take the statements of the report itself, and then call the attention of the Senate to the doctrines which were promulgated when the Kansas-Nebraska act was passed, and ask whether there be anything in the action of the Emigrant Aid Society, as set forth, not as argued, in the report, at all inconsistent with the doctrines which were promulgated on all sides of the Senate when that act was under consideration. The report


[ocr errors]

"Although the act of incorporation does not distinctly declare that the company was formed 'for the purpose of controlling the domestic in'stitutions of the Territory of Kansas, and forcing it into the Union with a prohibition of Slavery in her Constitution, regardless of the rights and wishes of the people, as guarantied by the Constitution of the United States, and secured by their organic law, yet the whole history of 'the movement, the circumstances in which it ' had its origin, and the professions and avowals ' of all engaged in it, render it certain and unde'niable that such was its object."

Thus the charge is distinctly made, that the object of the Emigrant Aid Society was, "regard'less of the rights and wishes of the people, as 'guarantied by the Constitution of the United 'States, and secured by their organic law," "to 'force Kansas into the Union with a prohibition ' of Slavery in her Constitution." Let us see how that charge compares with the declarations of Senators at the time the bill was under consideration. The Senator from New Hampshire [Mr. HALE] took the trouble, a few days since, to read to the Senate the opinions of Senators, both from the North and the South, delivered when that bill was pending; and I think he read

on a previous occasion, had said, "I know of no man who advocates the extension of Slavery over country now free." This was very strong anguage, and it is to be found in a speech deivered in the Senate, in 1849, by the author of the report upon which I am commenting, and afterwards reported in the Congressional Globe. It was proclaimed to the world, by the advocates of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, that Kansas was to be a free Territory. It was said on the face of the bill that its intention was "not to legislate Slavery into" the Territory. Then, let me ask, how did the Emigrant Aid Society, as is charged in this report, act "regardless of the rights and wishes of the people," as secured by the organic act, in aiding to settle Kansas with a Free State population? It was proclaimed to the citizens of Massachusetts, that Kansas was to be a free State. Gentlemen from the South said they expected nothing else. Still, when a society is formed for the purpose of aiding emigrants to settle in it as a free Territory, and to make it a free State, they are charged with acting “regardless of the principles" of the Kansas-Nebraska act!

Again, the report states that the society secured the color of legal authority to sanction their proceedings, and acted "in perversion of the plain provisions of an act of Congress." The objects of the Emigrant Aid Society, as set out in the report, are said to be, to aid emigrants going to Kansas, with the expectation that it will be a free State. Was not that your expectation here? Now, it is charged upon those who went to work to accomplish the very object which you yourselves said was to be brought about, that they acted "in perversion of the plain provisions of an act of Congress." A plain statement of facts is all that is necessary to expose the unfairness of this part of the report. Let the people the candid and the considerate, those not led by impulse and prejudice, but by their reason and

judgmeat-look at the facts, and ask themselves if the persons assisted on their way to Kansas by the Emigrant Aid Society did anything wrongif they violated any provision of the organic act when they went there to do that which, upon all sides, it was admitted was to be done?

Again, this report, after admitting the right of persons from any quarter to go to the Territory and settle as independent freemen, says:

"But it is a very different thing where a State creates a vast moneyed corporation for the purpose of controlling the domestic institutions of a distinct political community, fifteen hundred miles distant, and sends out the emigrants only as a means of accomplishing its paramount 'political objects. When a powerful corporation, with a capital of $5,000,000 invested in 'houses and lands, in merchandise and mills, in cannon and rifles, in powder and lead, in all the 'implements of art, agriculture, and war, and ' employing a corresponding number of men, all under the management and control of non-resident directors and stockholders, who are authorized by their charter to vote by proxy to the extent of fifty votes each, enters a distant and sparsely-settled Territory with the fixed purpose of wielding all in its power to control the domestic institutions and destinies of the 'Territory":

And so it would be a very different thing; but has any such thing occurred? Never. The proceedings of the Emigrant Aid Socieey, which are incorporated in the report, do not set forth any such state of fact. They do not show that the Emigrant Aid Society has invested a capital of $5,000,000, or one cent, in powder and ball, in cannon and rifle. Oh, no! The report is very far from charging that. Such a charge, if made, could be met and refuted. What is charged? It is alleged in the report that an Emigrant Aid Society was incorporated, &c.; and then it declaims against a society that should invest its means in powder and cannon, rifle and ball, to control the domestic institutions of a distant Territory. This is not charged directly upon the Emigrant Aid Society, but by inference only. When a society shall be found so engaged in fact, I will unite with the committee in opposition to its insurrectionary movements; but I am not Quixotic enough to combat with windmills and shadows.

A society relying upon force and ammunition for its success would more nearly resemble those which were organized in western Missouri; and the mistake on the part of the author of this elaborate report seems to have been in assigning the formation and existence of the society he described to a wrong locality.

We might take up the charter of the Colonization Society, and, after reading it, proceed to declaim against the abomination of getting up an organization to produce insurrection among the negroes; but the Colonization Society and insurrection would have no more to do with each other than good and evil. They are as far apart as the poles and so is the real action of the Emigrant Aid Society and that action which is argued


against in this report. It is against assumptions of this kind in the report that I am speaking. Here is another specimen of its fairness : "When the emigrants sent out by the Massa'chusetts Emigrant Aid Company, and their af'filiated societies, passed through the State of Missouri, in large numbers, on their way to Kansas, the violence of their language, and the un'mistakable indications of their determined hostility to the domestic institutions of, that Statę, 'excited apprehensions that the object of the company was to abolitionize Kansas."


[ocr errors]


What! "abolitionize Kansas!" It was said, on all sides of the Senate Chamber, that it was never meant to have Slavery go into Kansas. What is meant, then, by abolitionizing Kansas? Is it abolitionizing a Territory already free, and which was never meant to be anything but free, for Free State men to settle in it? I cannot understand the force of such language; but they were to abolitionize Kausas, according to this report; and for what purpose? "As a means for prosecuting a relentless warfare on the institution of Slavery 'within the limits of Missouri." Where is the evidence that such was the design? I would like to see it. It is not in this report; and if it exists, I will go as far as the gentleman to put it down. I will neither tolerate nor countenance, by my action here or elsewhere, any society relentless warfare upon the institution of Slawhich is resorting to means for prosecuting a very, within the limits of Missouri," or any other State. But there is not a particle of evidence of any such intention in the document which professes to set forth the acts of the Emigrant Aid Society, and which is incorporated into this report. But the report goes further, and says:

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

"The natural consequence was, that immediate steps were taken by the people of the western counties of Missouri to stimulate, organSize, and carry into effect, a system of emigration similar to that of the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company, for the avowed purpose of counteracting the effects, and protecting themselves ' and their domestic institutions from the consequences of that company's operations.


The material difference in the character of 'the two rival and conflicting movements con'sists in the fact, that the one had its origin in an aggressive, and the other in a defensive pol'icy; the one organized in pursuance of the pro⚫ visions and claiming to act under the authority ' of a legislative enactment of a distant State, 'whose internal prosperity and domestic security 'did not depend upon the success of the move

ment; while the other was the spontaneous 'action of the people living in the immediate 'vicinity of the theatre of operations, excited by a sense of common danger to the necessity ' of protecting their own firesides from the apprehended horrors of servile insurrection and in'testine war."

I could bring the President of the United States as a witness against these assumptions; for he has told us, in his special message on Kansas affairs, in alluding to the action of the Emigrant Aid Society, that its action was far from justi

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »