Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][merged small]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

JEWETT, PROCTOR, & WORTHINGTON.
NEW YORK: SHELDON, BLAKEMAN & CO.

1856.

8396.18

[ocr errors]

aug:

22

US 5321, 42, 2 John J. may

J. may, boy.. мау Dorchester.

IN the Senate, 13th March, 1856, Mr. DOUGLAS, from the Committee on Territories, presented and read a very long Report on affairs in Kansas. Mr. COLLAMER also presented and read a Minority Report. As soon as the reading was completed, Mr. SUMNER took the floor, and made the following remarks:

MR. SUMNER. In those two reports, the whole subject is presented characteristically on both sides. In the report of the majority, the true issue is smothered; in that of the minority, the true issue stands forth as a pillar of fire to guide the country. The first report proceeds from four senators; but against it I put, fearlessly, the report signed by a single senator [Mr. COLLAMER], to whom I offer my thanks for this service. Let the two go abroad together. Error is harmless, while reason is left free to combat it.

I have no desire to precipitate the debate on this important question, under which the country already shakes from side to side, and which threatens to scatter from its folds civil war. Nor, indeed, am I disposed to enter upon it until I have had the opportunity of seeing, in print, the elaborate documents which have been read to us to-day. But I cannot allow the subject to pass away, even for this hour, without repelling, at once, distinctly and unequivocally, the assault which has been made upon the Emigrant Aid Company of Massachusetts. That company has done nothing for which it can be condemned under the laws and constitution of the land. These it has not offended in letter or spirit; not in the slightest letter, or in the remotest spirit. It is true, it has sent men to Kansas; and had it not a right to send them? It is true, I trust, that its agents love Freedom, and hate Slavery; and have they not a right to do so? Their offence has this extent, and nothing more. Sir, to the whole arraignment of that Company, in the report of the Committee on Territories, I now for them plead "Not Guilty!" and confidently appeal to the country for that honorable acquittal which is due to their patriot services. The outrages in Kansas are vindicated, or extenuated, by the alleged misconduct of the Emigrant Aid Company. Very well, sir; a bad cause is naturally staked on untenable ground. You cannot show the misconduct. Any such allegation will fail. And you now begin your game with loaded dice.

Afterwards, 19th March, Mr. DOUGLAS introduced "A Bill to authorize the people of the Territory of Kansas to form a Constitution and State Government, and to provide for their admission into the Union, when they have the requisite population." Subsequently, Mr. SEWARD moved, by way of substitute, another Bill, providing for immediate action, and entitled "A Bill for the admission of the State of Kansas into the Union." Debate ensued, and was continued, by adjournment, from time to time. In the course of this debate, on the 19th and 20th of May, Mr. SUMNER made the following speech.

SPEECH.

MR. PRESIDENT:

You are now called to redress a great transgression. Seldom in the history of nations has such a question been presented. Tariffs, army bills, navy bills, land bills, are important, and justly occupy your care; but these all belong to the course of ordinary legislation. As means and instruments only, they are necessarily subordinate to the conservation of government itself. Grant them or deny them, in greater or less degree, and you will inflict no shock. The machinery of government will continue to move. The State will not cease to exist. Far otherwise is it with the eminent question now before you, involving, as it does, liberty in a broad Territory, and also involving the peace of the whole country, with our good name in history for

evermore.

Take down your map, sir, and you will find that the Territory of Kansas, more than any other region, occupies the middle spot of North America, equally distant from the Atlantic on the east, and the Pacific on the west; from the frozen waters of Hudson's Bay on the north, and the tepid Gulf Stream on the south, constituting the precise territorial centre of the whole vast continent. To such advantages of situation, on the very highway between two oceans, are added a soil of unsurpassed richness, and a fascinating, undulating beauty of surface, with a health-giving climate, calculated to nurture a powerful and gene

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »