Изображения страниц

three of hers. They were worthy. Mr. Webster was worthy; Mr. John Adams was worthy; and Mr. John Quincy Adams was worthy. I think we could enumerate men in our own State equally worthy, but they were not nominated. My proposition was, that this issue had never been presented before.

6th of March, 1820. He voted for this proposition:

"That the eighth section of the Missouri Compromise act, approved March 6th, 1820, be and the same is hereby declared to extend to the 'Pacific ocean; and the said eighth section, together with the Compromise therein effected, is hereby revived and declared to be in full force and binding for the future organization of the Territories of the United States, in the same

which it was originally adopted."

Mr. WILSON. I want to correct the Senator from South Carolina in a matter of history. In 1796, the Federal candidate for the Presidency was John Adams, and for Vice President, Thomassense and with the same understanding with Pinckney. South Carolina was then in Federal hands. There was an intrigue gotten up in the Country to defeat Mr. Adams, and make Mr. Pinckney President, and South Carolina played her part in the intrigue, by voting for Jefferson and Pinckney.

We should rejoice to have found a Southern man of talent, of character and position before the country, who would have taken our platform of principles and accepted our nomination for either President or Vice President, More than one Southern man of high character was consulted in regard to our movement. I will tell the Senator the reason why Southern statesmen did not venture to assume our position and accept of the nomination. They had no faith in our movement, no faith in its power, no faith in the fidelity to Freedom of the people of the North. I remember the words of one Southern statesman who was consulted in relation to this movement. A few weeks before the close of the last session, in conversation with Mr. Clayton, he said: "You Northern people never stand by us when we stand by you. Whenever any Southern statesman has undertaken to stand by the rights of the North, your people have forsaken him, and he has been borne down." When we prove that we will stand by Southern men who will stand by true national" principles, when we establish that character for ourselves in the North, then we shall have South-all combinations, against all compromises." ern men who will stand on a true, broad, and national platform, that comprehends the whole country, including the North. If nominations were to be now made, I believe we could find more than one Southern man ready to stand upon the Philadelphia platform, and to accept our nomination for the Presidency or the Vice Presidency.

The Senator from Virginia, who voted to prohibit Slavery to the Pacific ocean, in Utah, in a portion of New Mexico, and in the larger portion of California, now comes into the Senate, and when we propose in 1856 to do what he voted for in 1848, he tells us that these distinctions are matters of indifference to him and to his State. When we propose to exercise now the power he exercised then, he is ready to stand up to the doctrine of his letter of last autumn; he is ready for the perpetual and eternal separation of these States! Let me inform the Senator from Virginia, that the one million three hundred thousand men of the North who voted for the sacred doctrine embraced in the Ordinance of 1787, will not be deterred from maintaining their principles by any threat of the dissolution of the Union. Our answer to him is in the words of Daniel Webster:

"Our opposition to the further extension of local slavery in this country, or to the increase of slave representation in Congress, is general and universal. It has no reference to limits of atitude or points of the compass. We shall oppose all such extension and all such increase, fin all places, at all times, under all circumstances, even against all inducements, against all supposed limitation of great interests, against

Threats of dissolution have no terror for us. Perhaps they were intended for the latitude of Wheatland. The future will disclose whether they have any effect in that latitude.

The Senator from Texas [Mr. Rusk] told us the other day that we cared for the negro, and he cared for the white man. The Senator from Pennsylvania [Mr. BIGLER] has expressed the The Senator from Virginia [Mr. MASON] claims same idea. We claim the Territories of the Unithat the South has a constitutional right to the ted States for the free laboring men of the counexpansion of Slavery, as a political element, into try, North and South. The extension of Slavery the Territories. He assured the Senate that he into Kansas, into the other Territories, is the cared nothing about the distinctions we make be- exclusion of the free laboring men of the country tween the Garrison Abolitionists, the Radical from those Territories. The Senator from MisAbolitionists, and the Republicans; that he held sissippi [Mr. ADAMS] referred to the census to opposition to the extension of Slavery in the Ter- show that some seven hundred thousand Northritories to be a war upon Slavery in the States, ern men had gone into the slave States. If the because they had a constitutional right to the ex-Senator from Mississippi had read through the pansion of Slavery as a political element. In very page from which he made the quotation, he 1848, the Senator from Virginia, who tells us that would have discovered that the statement is not it is a matter of profound indifference to him and correct. By that very page he would have disthe people of his State whether we claim the pow-covered that, in 1850, less than two hundred er to abolish Slavery in the States or prohibit it in the Territories, voted to prohibit it in three hundred thousand square miles of our Territory. In 1848, this Senator voted to extend to the Pacific ocean the Missouri Compromise, approved the

thousand Northern-born men were in all the slave States. In 1850, more than two millions of the natives of the free States had removed from their own States into other States-less than two hundred thousand of that number had gone

' of Slavery?"

into the slave States. More than two millions' rights-rights incompatible with the existence of immigrants from abroad were in the United States in 1850. Qne million eight hundred thousand of them were in the free States; three hundred and seventy-eight thousand in the slave States. Ninety per cent. of all the emigration from the free States goes to other free States; eighty-five per cent. of all the foreign immigration goes to the free States. While only two hundred thousand free-State men had passed into the slaveholding States in 1850, more than six hundred thousand natives of slave States had removed into free States. In 1850, five hundred and fifty-six thousand men, born in the South, were residents of the five States of the Northwest, saved to Freedom by the Ordinance of 1787. Virginia has sent sixty thousand more emigrants into the free States of the Northwest-States covered by the Ordinance of 1787-than all the free States have sent into the slaveholding portions of the Louisiana purchase, Florida, and Texas. I would remind the Senator from Pennsylvania, [Mr. BIGLER,] that his own State has sent more than three hundred thousand of her sons into the free West-only fifteen thousand to these slave Territories. The laboring men of the South, whose battles we are fighting, seek homes in the free States; and let me remind Senators that to this class of men in southern Indiana and Illinois they are indebted for the votes of those States.

Sir, the Senator from Texas spoke sneeringly of "bleeding Kansas." Throughout the canvass, our efforts in favor of making Kansas a free State, and protecting the legal rights of the people, were sneered at, as "shrieks for Freedom," and for "bleeding Kansas." I remember that on the evening when the news came to New York, that Pennsylvania was carried, in October, the Empire Club came out with cannon, banners, and transparencies. The Five Points, where the waves of Abolition fanaticism have never reached, the inhabitants of that locality, like the people of the lower Egypt of the West, stood fifty to one by the Democracy; the Five Points and the 6th ward were out-and upon a transparency, borne through the streets of the great commercial capital of the western world, was the picture of three scourged black men; and on that transparency were the words, "Bleeding Kansas!" I thought then that it was a degradation which had reached the profoundest depths of humiliation; but even that degradation has been surpassed here in the national capital. In that procession which passed along these avenues but a few evenings before we came here-a procession formed under the iminediate eyes of the chiefs of the Executive Departments of the Government, and filled with their retainers, led by Government officials-was borne upon a transparency the words, "Sumner and Kansas-let them bleed!"

Sir, the free laboring men of the North never did go into the slaveholding States, and they nev The Senator from Texas may sneer, and others er will. Establish Slavery in Kansas and you ex may sneer, at "Bleeding Kansas;" but I tell him clude the entire population of the free States from one thing-that, the next day at ten o'clock after that Territory, with the exception of a few teach the Presidential election, there was an assemblage ers, professional men, and merchants. The farm of men, continuing through two days, in the city ers, the mechanics, the laboring men of the North, of Boston, from several States, and from "Bleednever put themselves on a degrading equality ing Kansas "-men, some of whom you guarded with slaves. In 1850, while five hundred and through the summer months for treason-assemfifty-six thousand Southern men had passed into bled together to take measures to save Kansas; the five Northwestern States, less than ninety and I assure that Senator, and others who may thousand Northern men of all the free States had think this struggle for Kansas is ended with the passed into Florida, Texas, and the whole Lou- election, that more money has been contributed isiana purchase, which was dedicated to Slavery. since that election than daring any three months I tell the Senator from Texas, that the great rea- of the whole controversy. Thousands of garments son why we maintain the doctrine of the prohi- have been sent to protect that suffering people. bition of Slavery in all the Territories of the Uni- We have resolved-and we mean to keep that ted States is, that we want to preserve those Ter-resolution-that if by any lawful effort, any perritories to the free laboring men.

sonal sacrifice, Kansas can be saved to Freedom, I commend to the consideration of Senators it shall be saved in spite of your present Adminwho would open the Territories to Slavery, istration can do. istration, or anything that your incoming Adininthese words of the Hon. C. J. FAULKNER, Of Virginia, concerning the effects of Slavery upon the condition of the farmer, mechanic, and laboring man:


"It banishes free white labor-it exterminates 'the mechanic, the artisan, the manufacturer. It 'deprives them of occupation. It deprives them ' of bread. It converts the energy of a communi" ty into indolence-its power into imbecility'its efficiency into weakness." * * "Must the country languish, droop, die, that the 'slaveholder may flourish? Shall all interests 'be subservient to one? all rights subordinate 'to those of the slaveholder? Has not the me" chanic, have not the middle classes, their

to the allusion made by the venerable Senator I listened the other day with surprise and pain from Michigan [Mr. Cass] to my colleague, [Mr. SUMNER,] whose forced absence from this body for the last seven months must have touched the sensibilities of every honorable man in America. Sir, he is not here to speak for himself. If he were here, his physical condition is such that he could not speak for himself with safety; but he will come here again, if God in his providence shall restore him to health, by the almost unanimous voice of his native State, to whose cherished sentiments and opinions he has been true. He may not come until the seat which now knows the venerable Senator from Michigan shall know


him no more. The venerable Senator retires from this body by the inexorable decree of the people of his adopted State. I know any colleague well enough, however, to know that he is too magnanimous to hurl a shaft at the absent.

But the Senator takes objection to this figure of speech: "The rape of a virgin Territory, compelling it to the hateful embrace of Slavery." The Senator calls this an "unpatriotic metaphor," showing a "prurient imagir ation." I would remind the Senator, that to the pure all things are pure. If this metaphor was not fit to be made, surely it was unfit to be repeate 1, and subjected to that Senator's criticism. But is not the figure true? Was not Kansas a virgin Territory? Was it not free? And has it not been polluted by Slavery? Were not the sacred words, "Slavery shall be, and is, forever prohibited," written upon every foot of its green sods? Every breeze that swept over it bore to the world the words, "Liberty for all." You took this Territory-you took it; and have you not compelled it to the hateful embrace of Slavery? Slavery is there-carried there by an invasion. That invasion has placed it there, and your Administration has sustained it; and the Senator from Michigan and other Senators have supported the Administration in its policy of coercion. Sir, the soil of Kansas has been bathed in the blood of brave men, for the sole offence of loving Liberty.

But we are charged by the President with inculcating a spirit which would lead the people of the North and South to stand face to face as enemies. Sir, I repel that charge as utterly and wholly false. There is no such feeling in the Northern States towards the people of the South. But a few months ago, the Senator from Georgia, [Mr. Toomes,] whose views upon this question of Slavery are known to be extremely ultra, went to the city of Boston, and lectured before one of the most intelligent audiences that ever assembled in that section of our country. He was received by all with that courtesy and that kindness of feeling, which every Southern man who visits that section receives, and to which they bear testimony. Mr. Benton is in the North now, lecturing in favor of the Union-" carrying coals to Newcastle." He is everywhere sought after, everywhere listened to, everywhere treated kindly, although he holds views in regard to Slavery that not one man in ten thousand in that section approves.

Can we utter, in the South, the words which the fathers of the South taught us? Could the Senator from New York, [Mr. FISH,] whose father fought at Yorktown, go to that field, and atter the sentiments which were upon the lips of all the great men of Virginia when Cornwallis Burrendered? Could the Senators from New Hampshire stand on that spot once baptized by the blood of Alexander Scammell, and there utter the sentiments of Henry, or of Jefferson, or of Mason? Could one of us go down to Mount Vernon, which Slavery has converted into a sort of jungle, and there repeat the words of Washington, that

"No man desires more earnestly than I do to see Slavery abolished; there is only one proper

[ocr errors]

way to do it, and that is by legislative action, and for that my vote shall never be wanting." Could we go to Monticello-could we stand by the graves of Jefferson, of Madison, of Henry, of the great men of Virginia, and utter the sublime thoughts which they uttered for the liberty of the bondmen? Could we stand by the grave of Henry Clay, and declare, as he declared, Slavery to be "a curse," "a wrong," a "grievous wrong to the slave, that no contingency could make right?"

In the slaveholding States, free speech and a free press are known only in theory. A slaveholding, Slavery-extending Democracy has established a relentless despotism. We invited you of the South to meet us in national convention, to restore the Government to the policy of the fathers. Mr. Underwood, of Virginia, did go to Philadelphia. He united with us in our declaration of principles; he united with us in the nomination of John C. Fremont; and for this offence he was banished from Virginia. He returned a few days since, and was notified that if he remained, he must run the risk of being dealt with by an indignant community. He has left there, and I believe is now here in the city of Washington. When the Fremont flag was raised in Norfolk, the civil authorities took it down. Mr. Stannard, a merchant of Norfolk, a native of Connecticut, went up to the ballot-box, and quietly handed in his vote for Fremont. It was handed back to him. They would not receive it. He was driven from the polls, and compelled to hide himself for days, until he could find an opportunity to escape from the State to preserve his life.

During the canvass, Professor Hedrick, of North Carolina, was denounced by the Southern press for intending to vote for Fremont. He came out in a moderate, carefully-written letter, declaring his belief that it would be for the interests of North Carolina to keep her slaves at home, to develop her own resources, and that Kansas should be a free State. For that offence, the professors of the North Carolina University came together, and disavowed any sympathy with him. The trustees assembled and removed him. The mob assembled and insulted him. He left, or rather was driven from, his native State. He held a little appointment as a scientific man connected with the publication of your Nautical Almanac, worth $500 a year-an appointment given him by Mr. Secretary Graham. He went to Cambridge, where the Nautical Almanac is made up; but he has been removed from his position in the Government service as a computer, for the crime of having declared, in his own native State, that he believed the interests of North Carolina required that Kansas should be free. Let it go abroad over the world, that a native of North Carolina, a scholar, a man of scientific attainments, has been removed from his professorship— banished from his State, for such an offence; and that this Administration has removed him from the little office, worth $500, as a computer on the Nautical Almanac for the same reason. Let it go abroad over the world. Let the scientific men and the literary men of the Old World un

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

daily labor for their support, feel sorely the competition of non-paid labor; and they do not hesitate to say they would vote for Fremont if they had a chance. As voters, they are three to one of the slaveholders, and they are fast finding out their strength."

derstand that we have a party in power, in repub- | lican America, which lays its iron hand on a man, even from the slaveholding States, who breathes the word "Liberty." That act is a black and damning disgrace to this country; and there is not an American, at home or abroad, who carries a manly heart in his bosom, that Even here, in the National Capitol, that vacant does not look upon it as a degradation to his seat [pointing to Mr. SUMNER'S chair] is an evicountry. Sir, the tyrants of the Old World will dence that freedom of speech is not always tolscoff at it; and the friends of Liberty who turnerated—not always safe. their eyes hopefully to us will hang their heads The Senator from Pennsylvania, [Mr. BIGin very shame, for the infamy your AdministraLER,] not now present, charged upon us the of tion has brought upon the Republic. fence of being opposed to Slavery per se. Well, Mr. PUGH. I would like to ask the Senator a sir, we are opposed to Slavery per se. But is it to question, with his permission. Will he explain be charged upon us that we mean to usurp power to us how it happened that a professor was re-which we have not, and do not claim, because moved from the Cambridge Law School, in Mas-we are opposed to Slavery per se? Mr. Buchansachusetts, simply for acting as a commissioner an declared, more than thirty years ago, that auder an act of Congress, and was also at- he "believed Slavery to be a 'great political, a tempted to be removed from his judgeship under the State laws, by resolution of both branches of the Legislature, and his removal only prevented by the veto of the Governor? It struck me that they are parallel casés.

Mr. WILSON. Perhaps that Senator sees a parallel; I see none. In the one case, it was a professor acting, you say, under the law of Congress called the Fugitive Slave Law. We believe that law to be unconstitutional, inhuman, and unchristian. He was not compelled to act upon it, for he was under no necessity of holding that office. We did not choose that a man who executed that law as he executed it, should teach law to the young men of the country. One professor uttered a word for Liberty, and your Administration crushed him; the other performed a deed for Slavery, and we of Massachusetts condemned him.


. Sir, I have said that you have no freedom of speech at the South. Senators have denounced us as sectional, because we have no votes in the South. That reminds me of the Dutch judge in old Democratic Berks, who kicked the defendant out of doors, locked the door, and then entered a judgment for default. [Laughter.] Your native sons stand on electoral tickets, or vote our principles, at the peril of life. Then, when you are able with your iron despotism to crush out all there who would go with us, you turn round and tell us we are getting up a sectional party. I assure you, there are tens of thousands of men in the South whose sympathies are with us, but they have no opportunity so to vote. In the city of St. Louis, nearly three thousand Germans, to show their devotion to Liberty, went to the ballotboxes, when they could get up no State ticket for Fremont, and voted for Millard Fillmore, the Know Nothing candidate, with the word "Protest" printed on their ballots-an act which illustrates your despotism, and shows that these men, who were true to Liberty in the Old World, will not be false to their cherished convictions in the New. Mr. Moses C. Church-a son of your State, Mr. President, [Mr. STUART in the chair]-was driven from Georgia for writing home to his father these words:

"The working men, non-slaveholding mechan'ics, and others, who are dependent upon their

great moral evil,' and he thanked God that his lot was cast in a State where it did not exist." Does the Senator from Pennsylvania call that warring against Slavery per se? The Senator voted in the Senate of Pennsylvania, in 1847, in favor of the Wilmot Proviso. The Senator from Virginia [Mr. MASON] regards the assertion of that doctrine as a war upon the slave Statesupon Slavery per se. Does the Senator from Pennsylvania now concur in that opinion?

The Senator from Michigan [Mr. CASS] the other day gave us another disquisition upon his doctrine of squatter sovereignty. While he occupied the floor of the Senate in giving us additional notes and comments upon his Nicholson letter, and in illustrating the beauties of his theory-while he was upon the floor, claiming that the people of the Territories, in their Territorial capacity, have the right to exclude Slavery, a distinguished Representative from Kentucky [Mr HUMPHREY MARSHALL] was bringing up the Democratic party to the confessional in regard to this doctrine. The Senator from Virginia [Mr. MASON] was summoned to the House, to explain to his colleagues a casual remark which he had made during the speech of the Senator from Maine, [Mr. FESSENDEN.] The delegation from Virginia proclaimed on the floor of the House their unanimous disagreement with the doctrines the Senator from Michigan was then avowing, and announced, by authority, that the Senator from Virginia had been misunderstood. After the close of that speech, the Senator from Virginia came in here, and asked two minutes for explanation, and then avowed his doctrine to be, that Congress had no right, under the Constitution, to legislate in regard to Slavery in the Territories; that the people of the Territories derived their powers from Congress, and therefore had no right to legislate at all. That was a beautiful illustration of this doctrine of squatter sovereignty, which has been preached all over the North, and by which the people have been cheated, deceived, and deluded. Sir, the people of Kansas have found, that while your motto is, "All by the people," your practice is, "Nothing for the people."

The Senator from South Carolina told us, some days ago, that in the Revolution, when the Government was first framed, they were all patriots

[ocr errors]

they did not quarrel over these sectional questions. The Senator from Texas, I think, held the same language, that we of this degenerate age were raising these sectional questions. I Would ask these Senators, Who forced these issues upon us? In 1774, when the Old Congress met and framed the Articles of Association, the second article was a prohibition of the slave trade, which had been forced upon the Colonies by the policy of the British Government. That prohibition of the slave trade was sustained by the North and by the South; even South Carolina endorsed it. In 1787, when your Constitution was framed, we of the North were not responsible for the existence of a slave anywhere under the authority of Congress. Most of the Northern States had taken measures in favor of, or tending to, emancipation in their States. When the Constitution was framed, there was not a man in America who believed that the idea of property in man, to use the words of Mr. Madison, was embodied in that Constitution. When Washington entered upon his duties as President, there was no action of the National Government which made the people of Massachusetts, or of any State, responsible for Slavery anywhere outside of their own jurisdiction. Were men proscribed then who held the views that we on this side of the Chamber now hold? No, sir; the men who promulgated the Declaration of Independence, who carried us through the Revolution, who framed the Constitution of the United States, and who held the first offices, were all men opposed to Slavery. Washington was President. He had declared that no man in America was more in favor of the abolition of Slavery than himself, and his vote should never be wanting to effect that object. John Adams had declared that conaenting to Slavery was a sacrilegious breach of trust. Thomas Jefferson had proclaimed, over and over again, his views in favor of emancipation, that "the abolition of Slavery was the first object of desire."

Alex. Hamilton was removed from the Presidency of an Abolition Society in New York, to the head of the United States Treasury. John Jay was taken from an Abolition Society in New York, and made Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; yet he had proclaimed to the world that our "prayers to Heaven would be impious" until we abolished Slavery. Iredell, of North Carolina, had declared, that when the abolition of Slavery took place, it would be an act pleasing to all generous minds, and he was made Judge of the Supreme Court. Wilson, of Pennsylvania, in the Convention for the adoption of the Federal Constitution, had avowed the doctrine, that the new States were to be under the authority of Congress, and that Slavery would never go there. He, too, was placed on the bench of the Supreme Court. Gouverneur Morris, who was sent abroad to represent this country, declared Slavery to be a nefarious institution. Madison, Sherman, Ellsworth, Gerry, Patrick Henry-all the great men of the country, North and South, with the exception of a few fire-eaters in South Carolina and Georgia-held the doctrine then that Slavery was a local institution, existing

only by the force of local law; that the National Government had no connection with it; and that it was an institution which would pass away before our higher civilization and our purer Christianity. All we ask of you is, to carry us back and place us where we stood when we made the Constitution and inaugurated the Government. Then we were not responsible for the existence of Slavery anywhere on earth outside of our own Commonwealths.

What have you done? You accepted the grants of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, over Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, on condition that you should not emancipate the bondmen which had been carried into portions of those Territories, thereby making us of the free States responsible for the political power at least of Slavery in those three great States. Then you located the National Capitol here on the banks of the Potomac, and continued the laws of Virginia and Maryland, under which the slave trade and Slavery flourished beneath the protecting folds of the National flag. Sir, within sight of the starry banner of the Union, which now floats over our heads, hundreds of men, for whom Christ died, are held in perpetual bondage, for which we of the North are responsible in the forum of the nations. The permanent interests of the country required the purchase of Louisiana. You purchased it. You took with it forty thousand slaves. You did not make them free. You made the people of Massachusetts and the North responsible for their future slavery, and the slavery of their posterity. Then you purchased Florida, with her slaves. You did not set them free. You linked us with Slavery in that Territory. You made us responsible for its future existence there. Then you annexed the Senator's own State of Texas; and the leading motive why it was forced into the Union at that time, at the risk of a war with Mexico, was to strengthen the cause of Slavery. Mr. Calhoun, the master-spirit in that annexation, avowed this substantially in his letter to Mr. King, then our Minister at Paris. You annexed Texas with her slaves, and you have made us responsible for Slavery there.

In 1807, when you abolished the African slave trade, you passed a law protecting the coastwise slave trade; and from 1807, almost fifty years ago, the slave trade has been carried on upon the. rivers and waters of the United States, under the protection of the National flag. You made us responsible for that traffic, the trophies of which, to use the expressive language of John Randolph, "are the manacle, the handcuff, and the bloodstained cowhide."

When we established the Constitution, when we inaugurated the Government, we reaffirmed the Ordinance of 1787 over every foot of our Territory; we stood as a nation before the world not responsible for Slavery; we had not its guilt or its shame upon us. By sixty years of legislation you have connected and associated us with that system, until you have arrived at this point when you claim it as your right to carry Slavery, under the Constitution, into all the Territories of the United States. If you can carry it there, you

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »