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fr. from the Cadmus bookshape,
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by
DIX, EDWARDS & CO.,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Purchase of Louisiana-Missouri Territory-Applies for Admission as a State-Gen. Tall-
Mr. Collamer's Minority Report,
Congress resumed-Mr. I. P. Walker's proposition-Mr. R. W. Thompson's amend-
XII. Oregon (Bill to organize as a Territory)
Ordinance of '87 applied-Mr. Douglas moves to extend Missouri Compromise Line to
XIII. The Compromise of 1850
President Taylor's Message-Gen. Houston's Resolves-Mr. Clay's-Mr. John Bell's-
The Acts of 1850 concerning California, Texas, New-Mexico, and Utah,
The Toombs Douglas bill,
The Senate on Kansas-Douglas's new proposition-Various amendments rejected-
HISTORY OF THE QUESTION
SLAVERY EXTENSION OR RESTRICTION.
MAINLY BY DOCUMENTS.
SLAVERY IN THE COLONIES.
HUMAN Slavery, as it existed in the pagan world, and especially in the infancy, vigor, and decline of Greek and Roman civilization, gradually died out in the advancing light of Christianity. When Columbus opened the New World to European enterprise and settlement, the serfdom of Russia and Hungary, and the mild bondage of Turkey -each rather an Asiatic or Scythian than a European power-were the last remaining vestiges of a system which had pervaded, and mastered, and ruined, the vast empires of Alexander and the Cæsars. The few ignorant and feeble dependents elsewhere held in virtual bondage by force rather of custom than of positive law, serve rather to establish than disprove this general statement.
Africa, whom their eternal wars and maraud-
The sanction of the Pope having been obtained for the African slave-trade by representations which invested it with a look of philanthropy, Spanish and Portuguese mercantile avarice was readily enlisted in its prosecution, and the whole continent, north and south of the tropics, became a slave-mart before the close of the sixteenth century.
Lust of gold and power was the main impulse of Spanish migration to the marvelous regions beyond the Atlantic. And the soft Holland, a comparatively new and Proand timid Aborigines of tropical America, testant state, unable to shelter itself from the especially of its islands, were first compelled reproaches of conscience and humanity beto surrender whatever they possessed of the hind a Papal bull, entered upon the new trafprecious metals to the imperious and grasp-fic more tardily; but its profits soon overbore ing strangers; next forced to disclose to those strangers the sources whence they were most readily obtained; and finally driven to toil and delve for more, wherever power and greed supposed they might most readily be obtained. From this point, the transition to general enslavement was ready and rapid. The gentle and indolent natives, unaccustomed to rugged, persistent toil, and revolting at the harsh and brutal severity of their Christian_masters, had but one unfailing resource-death. Through privation, hardship, exposure, fatigue and despair, they drooped and died, until millions were reduced to a few miserable thousands within the first century of Spanish rule in America.
all scruples, and British merchants were not proof against the glittering evidences of their success. But the first slave-ship that ever entered a North American port for the sale of its human merchandise, was a Dutch trading-vessel which landed twenty negro bondmen at Jamestown, the nucleus of Virginia, almost simultaneously with the landing of the Pilgrims of the Mayflower on Plymouth rock, Dec. 22d, 1620.
The Dutch slaver had chosen his market with sagacity. Virginia was settled by CAVALIERS-gentlemen-adventurers aspiring to live by their own wits and other men's labor -with the necessary complement of followers and servitors. Few of her pioneers cherA humane and observant priest (Las Casas,) ished any earnest liking for downright, perwitnessing these cruelties and sufferings, was sistent, muscular exertion; yet some exmoved by pity to devise a plan for their ter- ertion was urgently required to clear away mination. He suggested and urged the poli- the heavy forest which all but covered the cy of substituting for these feeble and perish- soil of the infant colony, and grow the Toing "Indians" the hardier natives of Western | bacco which easily became its staple export,
by means of which nearly everything required by its people but food was to be paid for in England. The slaves, therefore, found ready purchasers at satisfactory prices, and the success of the first venture induced others; until not only Virginia but every part of British America was supplied with African
This traffic, with the bondage it involved, had no justification in British nor in the early colonial laws; but it proceeded nevertheless, much as an importation of dromedaries to replace with presumed economy our horses and oxen might now do. Georgia was the first among the colonies to resist and remand it in her original charter under the lead of her noble founder-Governor, General Oglethorpe; but the evil was too formidable and inveterate for local extirpation, and a few years saw it established, even in Georgia; first evading or defying, and at length molding and transforming the law.
It is very common at this day to speak of our revolutionary struggle as commenced and hurried forward by a union of free and slave colonies; but such is not the fact. However slender and dubious its legal basis, Slavery existed in each and all of the colonies that united to declare and maintain their independence. Slaves were proportionately more numerous in certain portions of the South; but they were held with impunity throughout the North, advertised like dogs or horses, and sold at auction, or otherwise, as chattels. Vermont, then a territory in dispute between NewHampshire and New-York, and with very few civilized inhabitants, mainly on its southern and eastern borders, is probably the only portion of the revolutionary confederation never polluted by the tread of a slave.
had them set at liberty. The first Continent-
A similar clause in the second Constitution
The spirit of liberty, aroused or intensified by the protracted struggle of the colonists against usurped and abused power in the mother country, soon found itself engaged in natural antagonism against the current form of domestic despotism. "How shall we complain of arbitrary or unlimited power Before the Declaration of Independence, exerted over us, while we exert a still more but during the intense ferment which preceddespotic and inexcusable power over a de- ed it, and distracted public attention from pendent and benighted race?" was very fair- everything else, Lord Mansfield had rendered ly asked. Several suits were brought in his judgment from the King's Bench, which Massachusetts-where the fires of liberty expelled Slavery from England, and ought to burnt earliest and brightest-to test the legal have destroyed it in the colonies as well. right of slaveholding; and the leading Whigs The plaintiff in this famous case was gave their money and their legal services to James Somerset, a native of Africa, carsupport these actions, which were generally, ried to Virginia as a slave, taken thence on one ground or another, successful. Efforts by his master to England, and there infor an express law of emancipation, however, cited to resist the claim of his master to failed even in Massachusetts; the Legislature, his services, and assert his right to liberty. doubtless, apprehending that such a measure, by alienating the slaveholders, would increase the number and power of the Tories; but in 1777, a privateer having brought a lot of captured slaves into Jamaica, and advertised them for sale, the General Court, as the legislative assembly was called, interfered and
In the first recorded case, involving the