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THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE.

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

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

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of the State contemplated by this act, Slavery and involuntary servitude, otherwise than in the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall be and is hereby forever prohibited. Provided always, That any person escaping into the same, from whom labor or service is lawfully claimed in any State or Territory of the United States, such fugitive may be lawfully reclaimed and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labor or service as aforesaid."

The Senate adopted this proposition by 34 Yeas to 10 Nays, and passed the Missouri bill, thus amended, by 24 Yeas to 20 Nays-the minority embracing both advocates and opponents of Restriction. The House at first rejected Mr. Thomas's amendment by the overwhelming vote of 159 Yeas to 18 Nays. The Senate refused to recede from its amendments, and the House decisively insisted on its disagreement to them; whereupon the Senate asked a conference, and the House granted it without a division. The Committee of Conference was framed so as to give the anti-Restrictionists a decided preponderance; and John Holmes, of Massachusetts, reported" from said Committee, that the Senate should give up its combination of Missouri with Maine; that the House should abandon its attempt to restrict Slavery in Missouri; and that both Houses should concur in passing the bill to admit Missouri as a State, with Mr. Thomas's restriction or proviso, excluding Slavery from all Territory North and West of the new State. Fourteen members, in all, from the Free States voted to adopt this Com"And be it further enacted, That in all that Territory ceded by France to the United promise, with 76 from the Slave States, under the name of Louisiana, which States, making 90 in all; while 87 lies north of thirty-six degrees thirty min-members from the Free States, and utes north latitude, excepting only such part thereof as is included within the limits none from the Slave States, voted

14 February 17, 1820. 15 March 2, 1820.

"The names of the fourteen members from

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the Free States, thus voting with the Anti-Restrictionists, are as follows:

against the Compromise. So the bill passed both Houses, as did that for the admission of Maine on the same day.

This virtually ended the Missouri struggle;" though, at the next Session, when Missouri presented herself for admission as a State, with a Constitution denying to her Legislature any power to emancipate slaves or to prevent their immigration, and requiring said Legislature to pass laws to prevent the immigration of free negroes or mulattoes at any time or under any circumstances, the Northern members for the moment revolted. They keenly felt that this was not the "liberty" and "equality" which had been so stoutly demanded and eulogized by the opponents of Slavery Restriction; and they further objected that this arbitrary and irrevocable prohibition of free colored immigration was in palpable violation of that clause of the Federal Constitution which guarantees to the citizens of each State the rights of

MASSACHUSETTS.-Mark Langdon Hill, John Holmes, Jonathan Mason, Henry Shaw-4. RHODE ISLAND.-Samuel Eddy-1. CONNECTICUT.-Samuel A. Foot, James Ste

phens-2.

NEW YORK.-Henry Meigs, Henry R. Storrs 2. NEW JERSEY.-Joseph Bloomfield, Charles Kinsey, Bernard Smith-3.

PENNSYLVANIA.-Henry Baldwin, David Ful

lerton-2.

17 Some idea of the state of feeling in Missouri, as well as of that in some of the original States, at this period of the Missouri struggle, may be gathered from the following extract:

"IMPRUDENCE OR WORSE.-The St. Louis Enquirer, intimating that the Restrictionists intend to renew their designs at the next session of Congress, says-Missouri will then appear as a sovereign State, according to the law of Congress, and not as a Territorial orphan;' that her people will, in that case, 'give fresh proof to the world that they know their rights, and are able to defend them.' What signifies such

| citizens in every State. Her admission was at first voted down in the House by 93 Nays to 79 Yeas; but, finally, a fresh Compromise, concocted by a select Joint Committee, whereof Mr. Clay" was chairman, was adopted. By this Compromise, Missouri was required to pledge herself that no act should be passed by her Legislature, "by which any of the citizens of either of the States should be excluded from the enjoyment of the privileges and immunities to which they are entitled under the Constitution of the United States." With this added as a proviso, the joint resolve admitting Missouri finally passed the House by 86 Yeas to 82 Nays; and the Senate concurred " by 26 Yeas to 15 Nays. Missouri, through her legislature, complied with the condition, and thereby became an admitted State. And thus closed the memorable Missouri controversy, which had for two years disturbed the harmony, and threatened the peace of the Union."

language as this? All things considered, we wish that the Missouri question may be suffered to rest where it is, as the lesser evil; but, if Congress pleases to take it up again, and refuses to admit the Territory under the Constitution which its Convention has formed, and is without power to enforce its determination, it is high time, indeed, that a new organization of affairs should take place."-Niles' Register, August 26, 1820, vol. xviii., p. 451.

18 Colonel William H. Russell, of Missouri, a distant relative and life-long friend of Mr. Clay, in a letter (1862) to Hon. James S. Rollins, M. C., from his State, says that Mr. Scott, the Delegate from Missouri at the time of her admission, told him that Mr. Clay, at the close of the struggle, said to him: "Now, go home, and prepare your State for gradual Emancipation."

19 February 27, 1821.

20 Even John Adams's faith in the Union was somewhat shaken in this stormy passage of its

THE UNION NOT A MERE LEAGUE.

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VIII.

STATE RIGHTS-NULLIFICATION.

So long as the people of any State withheld their assent from the Federal Constitution, it was represented and reprobated by its adversaries as a scheme of absolute and undisguised consolidation. They pointed to its sweeping provisions, whereby all power with regard to war, to treaties, and to diplomatic or commercial intercourse with foreign nations, to the currency, to naturalization, to the support of armies, etc., etc., was expressly withdrawn from the States and concentrated in the Federal Government,' as proof irresistible of the correctness of their position. The express inhibition of any alliance, compact, or treaty between two or more of the States, was even more conclusive on this head. They point

history. In a letter to Thomas Jefferson, December 18, 1819, he said:

"The Missouri question, I hope, will follow the other waves under the ship, and do no harm. I know it is high treason to express a doubt of the perpetual duration of our vast American empire, and our free institutions; and I say as devoutly as father Paul, esto perpetua : and I am sometimes Cassandra enough to dream that another Hamilton, another Burr, may rend this mighty fabric in twain, or perhaps into a leash, and a few more choice spirits of the same stamp might produce as many nations in North America as there are in Europe."-Adams's Works, vol. x., p. 386.

11. No State shall enter into any treaty, or confederation; grant letters of marque or reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, expost-facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts; or grant any title of nobility.

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ed to the fact, that the very preamble to this instrument proclaimed it the work of "the people of the United States," and not a mere alliance or pact between the States themselves in their capacity of separate and sovereign political communities. Patrick Henry urged this latter objection with much force in the Virginia ratifying Convention. These cavilers were answered, frankly and firmly: "It is the work of 'the people of the United States,' as distinguished from the States in their primary and sovereign capacity; and why should not the fact be truly stated?" General Washington did not hesitate to assert, in his plain, earnest, practical way, that the end sought by the new framework was the "consolidation of

ion and control of the Congress. No State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty on tonnage, keep troops or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another State or with a foreign power, or engage in war unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.”— The Constitution, Art. I., sec. 10.

In the Virginia Convention (Wednesday, June 4, 1788, and the day following) Mr. Henry spoke as follows:

"That this is a consolidated government is demonstrably clear; and the danger of such a government is, to my mind, very striking. I have the highest veneration for those gentlemen [who formed the Constitution]; but, Sir, give me leave to demand, What right had they to say, We, the people? My political curiosity, exclusive of my anxious solicitude for the public welfare, leads me to ask, Who authorized them to say, We, the people, instead of We, the States? "2. No State shall, without the consent of States are the characteristics and the soul of a the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on im- confederation. If the States be not the agents ports or exports, except what may be absolutely of this compact, it must be one great, consolidanecessary for executing its inspection laws; and ted, national government, of the people of all the net produce of all duties and imposts laid by the States. *** I need not take much pains any State on imports or exports, shall be for to show that the principles of this system are the use of the treasury of the United States; extremely pernicious, impolitic, and dangerous." and all such laws shall be subject to the revis--Elliot's Debates, vol. iii., pp. 22, 44.

They

any desire to return to the chronic feebleness and anarchy of the supplanted Confederation, and consecrated their energies to battling against the measureless ills of an unbalanced and centralized despotism. generally rejected the appellation of Anti-Federalists, and chose to be distinctively known as Republicans. Thomas Jefferson, who had been absent as embassador to France throughout the five or six preceding years, and who had therefore taken no conspicuous or decided part either for or against the Constitution in its incipiency, became the leader, and was for many years thereafter the oracle, of their party.

our Union,” which he never ceased | tion. They vehemently disclaimed to regard as of the highest importance and the greatest beneficence. History teaches scarcely anything more clearly than that it was the purpose of the framers of the Constitution to render the inhabitants of all the States substantially and perpetually one people, living under a common Government, and known to the rest of mankind by a common national designation. The advantages secured to the people of all the States by the "more perfect Union" attained through the Constitution, were so striking and manifest that, after they had been for a few years experienced and enjoyed, they silenced all direct and straightforward opposition. Those who had originally opposed and denounced the Constitution became at least in profession-its most ardent admirers and vigilant guardians. They volunteered their services as its champions and protectors against those who had framed it and with difficulty achieved its ratification. These were plainly and persistently accused of seeking its subversion through the continual enlargement of Federal power by latitudinous and unwarranted construc

3 In the address of the Federal Convention to the people, signed by Washington as its President, September 17, 1787.

4 "Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you in your National capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations."-Washington's Farewell Address.

In the Federal Convention of 1787 (Debate of Monday, June 18th):

Mr. HAMILTON, of New York, said: "The General power, whatever be its form, if it preserves itself, must swallow up the State Governments. Otherwise, it would be swallowed up by them. It is against all the principles of good government to vest the requisite powers in such

The Federalists, strong in the possession of power, and in the popularity and influence of their great chief, Washington, were early misled into some capital blunders. Among these was the passage of the acts of Congress, famous as the Alien and Sedition laws. The aliens, whom the political tempests then convulsing Europe had drifted in large numbers to our shores, were in good part turbulent, restless adventurers, of desperate fortunes, who sought to embroil

a body as Congress. Two sovereignties cannot exist within the same limits."

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Mr. WILSON, of Pennsylvania (June 20th), 'was tenacious of the idea of preserving the State Governments." But in the next day's debate: "Taking the matter in the more general view, he saw no danger to the States from the General Government. On the contrary, he conceived that, in spite of every precaution, the General Government would be in perpetual danger of encroachments from the State And Governments."

Mr. MADISON, of Virginia, "was of the opinion, in the first place, that there was less danger of encroachment from the General Government than from the State Governments; and, in the second place, that the mischiefs from the encroachments would be less fatal, if made by the former, than if made by the latter."-Madison's Papers, vol. ii., pp. 884, 903, 921.

THE RESOLUTIONS OF '98.

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was far easier to libel a hated opponent than to refute his arguments. The best newspapers of that day would hardly maintain a comparison, either for ability or decorum, with the third class of our time; and personalities largely supplied the place of learning and logic. Hence, many prosecutions under the Sedition law; some of them, doubtless, richly deserved; but all tending to excite hostility to the act and its authors. No other contributed half so palpably to the ultimate overthrow of the Federal ascendency.

When John Adams became President, in 1797, the South had become the stronghold of the Opposition. Mr. Madison had dissolved his earlier association with the great body of the framers of the Constitution, and become the lieutenant of Mr. Jefferson. Kentucky-a Virginia colony and

us in the contest then devastating the Old World. Washington, and the Federal magnates who surrounded him, were inflexibly averse to this, and baffled all attempts to involve us in a foreign war. This very naturally offended the European refugees among us, who looked anxiously to this country for interference to reëstablish them in power and prosperity in their own. Hence, they generally took the lead in reprobating and stigmatizing the negotiation and approval of Jay's treaty with Great Britain, whereby our past differences and misunderstandings with that power were adjusted. They were in good part politicians and agitators by trade, instinctively hostile to a government so cold-blooded and unimpulsive as ours, and ardently desired a change. Regarding them as dangerous and implacable enemies to the established policy of non-inter-offset-was ardently and almost vention, and to those who upheld it, the Alien law assumed to empower the President to send out of the country any foreigner whose further stay among us should be deemed by him incompatible with the public safety or tranquillity. The Sedition law provided for the prosecution and punishment of the authors of false, malicious, and wicked libels on the President, and others high in authority. The facts that no one ever was sent away under the Alien act, and that the Sedition law was hardly more than the common law of libel applied specially to those who should venture to speak evil of dignities, proved rather the folly of such legislation than its necessity or its accordance with the Constitution. Party spirit and party feeling ran high. It

unanimously devoted to the ideas and the fortunes of Jefferson; and he was privately solicited to draft the manifesto, through which the new State beyond the Alleghanies proclaimed, in 1798, her intense hostility to Federal rule. The famous "Resolutions of '98" were thus originated; Mr. Jefferson's authorship, though suspected, was never established until he avowed it in a letter more than twenty years afterward. These resolutions are too long to be here quoted in full, but the first is as follows:

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Resolved, That the several States composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government, but that, by a compact under the style and title of a

amendments thereto, they constituted a Constitution for the United States, and of General Government for special purposes

6 Signed November 19, 1794; ratified by Washington, August 14, 1795:

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