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necessity, let us not, while we feel that ill, shun the cure, which consists only in an honest avowal that liberty and equal rights are the end and aim of all our institutions, and that to tolerate Slavery beyond the narrowest limits prescribed for it by the Constitution, is a perversion of them all.
which he represented would not quietly submit. | sion, that Slavery is an ill, tolerated only from He might, perhaps, subject himself to ridicule, for attempting the display of a spirit of prophecy which he did not possess, or of zeal and enthusiasm for which he was entitled to little credit. But he warned the advocates of this measure against the certain effects which it must produce. Effects destructive of the peace and harmony of the Union. He believed that they were kindling a fire which all the waters of the ocean could not extinguish. It could be extinguished only in blood!
Sir, said Mr L., until the ceded Territory shall have been made into States, and the new States admitted into the Union, we can do what we will with it. We can govern it as a province, or sell it to any other nation. A part of it is probably at this time sold to Spain, and the inhabitants of it may soon not only enjoy the comforts of Slavery, but the blessings of the holy inquisition along with them. The question is on the admission of Missouri, as a State, into the Union. Surely it will not be contended that we are bound by the treaty to admit it. The treatymaking power does not extend so far. Can the President and Senate, by a treaty with Great Britain, make the province of Lower Canada a State of this Union? To be received as a State into this Union, is a privilege which no country can claim as a right. It is a favor to be granted or not, as the United States may choose. When the United States think proper to grant a tavor, they may annex just and reasonable terms: and what can be more reasonable than for these States to insist that a new Territory, wishing to have the benefits of freedom extended to it, should renounce a principle that militates with justice, morality, religion, and every essential right of mankind? Louisiana was admitted into the Union on terms. The conditions, I admit, were not very important, but still they recognize the principles for which I contend.
Slavery, sir, I repeat, is not established by our Constitution: but a part of the States are indulged in the commission of a sin from which they could not at once be restrained, and which they would not consent to abandon. But, sir, if we could, Mr. LIVERMORE, of N. H., said, I am in fa- by any process of reasoning, be brought to bevor of the proposed amendment. The object of it is lieve it justifiable to hold others to involuntary to prevent the extension of Slavery over the Ter-servitude, policy forbids that we should increase ritory ceded to the United States by France. It it. Even the present slaveholding States have an accords with the dictates of reason, and the best interest, I think, in limiting the extent of involun. feelings of the human heart; and is not calcula- tary servitude; for, should slaves become much ted to interrupt any legitimate right arising either more numerous, and, conscious of their strength, from the Constitution or any other compact. I draw the sword against their masters, it will bo propose to show what Slavery is, and to mention to the free States the masters must resort for an a few of the many evils which follow in its train; efficient power to suppress servile insurrection. and I hope to evince that we are not bound to But we have made a treaty with France, which, tolerate the existence of so disgraceful a state of we are told, can only be preserved by the charms things beyond its present extent, and that it of Slavery. would be impolitic and very unjust, to let it spread over the whole face of our Western Territory. Slavery in the United States, is the condition of man subjected to the will of a master, who can make any disposition of him short of taking away his life. In those States where it is tolerated, laws are enacted, making it penal to instruct slaves in the art of reading, and they are not permitted to attend public worship, or to hear the gospel preached. Thus, the light of science and of religion is utterly excluded from the mind, that the body may be more easily bowed down to servitude. The bodies of slaves may, with impunity, be prostituted to any purpose, and deformed in any manner by their owners. The sympathies of nature in slaves are disregarded mothers and children are sold and separated; the children wring their little hands, and expire in agonies of grief, while the bereft mothers commit suicide, in despair. How long will the desire of wealth render us blind to the sin of holding both the bodies and souls of our fellow-men in chains! But, sir, I am admonished of the Constitution, and told we cannot emancipate slaves. I know we may not infringe that instrument, and therefore do not propose to emancipate slaves. The proposition before us goes only to prevent our citizens from making slaves of such as have a right to freedom. In the present slaveholding States let Slavery continue, for our boasted Constitution connives at An opportunity is now presented, if not to it; but do not, for the sake of cotton and tobacco, diminish, at least to prevent the growth of a sin let it be told to future ages that, while pretend which sits heavily on the soul of every one of ing to love liberty, we have purchased an exten- us. By embracing this opportunity, we may resive country, to disgrace it with the foulest re-trieve the national character, and, in some degree, proach of nations. Our Constitution requires no such thing of us. The ends for which that supreme law was made, are succinctly stated in its preface. They are first to form a more perfect Union, and insure domestic tranquillity. Will Slavery effect this? Can we, sir, by mingling bond with free, black spirits with white, like Shakespeare's witches in Macbeth, form a more perfect Union, and insure domestic tranquillity? Secondly, to establish justice. Is justice to be established by subjecting half mankind to the will of the other half? Justice, sir, is blind to colors, and weighs in equal scales the rights of all men, whether white or black. Thirdly, to provide for the common defense, and secure the blessings of liberty. Does Slavery add anything to the common defense? Sir, the strength of a republic is in the arm of freedom. But, above all things, do the blessings of liberty consist in Elavery? If there is any sincerity in our profes
our own. But if we suffer it to pass unimproved, let us at least be consistent, and declare that our Constitution was made to impose Slavery, and not to establish liberty. Let us no longer tell idle tales about the gradual abolition of Slavery; away with colonization societies, if their design is only to rid us of free blacks and turbulent slaves; have done also with bible societies, whose views are extended to Africa and the East Indies, while they overlook the deplorable condition of their sable brethren within our own borders; make no more laws to prohibit the importation of slaves, for the world must see that the object of such laws is alone to prevent the glutting of a prodigious market for the flesh and blood of man, which we are about to establish in the West, and to enhance the price of sturdy wretches, reared, like black cattle and horses, for sale on our own plantations.
The House bill thus passed, reached the Senate, Feb. 17th, when it was read twice and sent to a Select Committee already raised on a like application from Alabama, consisting of
Messrs. Tait of Ga., Morrow of Ohio, Williams of Miss., Edwards of Ill., Williams of Tenn.
On the 22nd, Mr. Tait, from this Committee, reported the bill with amendments, strikout the anti-slavery restrictions inserted by the House. This bill was taken up in Committee of the Whole on the 27th, when Mr. Wilson of N. J. moved its postponement to the 5th of March-that is, to the end of the session-negatived: Yeas 14; Nays 23.
The Senate then proceeded to vote on agreeing to the amendments reported by the Select Committee, viz.: 1. to strike out of the House bill the following:
"And that all children of slaves born within the said State, after the admission thereof into the Union, shall be free, but may be held to service until the age of twenty-one years." Which was stricken out by the following vote :
YEAS-Against the Restriction:
Messrs. Barbour of Va
Crittenden of Ky.
Lacock of Pa.
Leake of Miss.
Palmer of Vt. Roberts of Penn. Sanford of N. Y. Tait, of Ga. Talbort of Ky. Taylor of Ind. Thomas of Ill. Trichenor of Vt. Van Dyke of Del. Williams of Miss.
The bill thus amended was ordered to be engrossed, and was (March 2nd--last day but one of the Session) read a third time, and passed without a division. The bill was on that day returned to the House, and the amendments of the Senate read: whereupon, Mr. Tallmadge of N. Y. moved that the bill be postponed indefinitely. Yeas 69; Nays 74.
[The record shows hardly a vote changed from Yea, on the original passage of the Restriction, to Nay now, but many members who voted then were now absent or silent.]
The vote was then taken on concurring in the Senate's amendments, as aforesaid, and the House refused to concur: Yeas 76; Nays 78.
[Hardly a vote changed; but more Members voting than on the previous division, and less than when the Restriction was carried.]
The bill was now returned to the Senate, with a message of non-concurrence; when Mr. Tait moved that the Senate adhere to its amendment, which was carried without a division. The bill being thus remanded to the House, Mr. Taylor of N. Y. moved that the House adhere to its disagreement, which prevailed. Yeas 78; Nays 66. So the bill fell between the two Houses, and was lost.
The southern portion of the then Territory of Missouri (organized by separation from Louisiana in 1812) was excluded from the proposed State of Missouri, and organized as a separate Territory, entitled Arkansas.
The bill being under consideration, Mr. Taylor of N.Y. moved that the foregoing restriction be applied to it also; and the clause, proposing that slaves born therein after the passage of this act be free at twenty-five years of age, was carried (Feb. 17th) by 75 Yeas to 73 Nays; but that providing against the farther introduction of slaves was lost: Yeas 70; Nays 71. The next day, the clause just adopted was stricken out, and the bill ultimately passed without any allusion to Slavery. Arkansas of course became a Slave Territory and ultimately (1836) a Slave State.
THE SECOND MISSOURI STRUGGLE.
A new Congress assembled on the 6th of December, 1819. Mr. Clay was again chosen Speaker. On the 8th, Mr. Scott, delegate from Missouri, moved that the memorial of her Territorial Legislature, as also of several citizens, praying her admission into the Union as a State, be referred to a select committee; carried, and Messrs. Scott of Mo., Robertson of Ky., Terrell of
ia., Strother of Va., and De Witt of N. Y. (all but the last from the slave region), were appointed said committee.
Mr. Strong of N. Y. that day gave notice of a bill" To prohibit the further extension of Slavery in the United States."
On the 14th, Mr. Taylor of N. Y. moved a select committee on this subject, which was granted; and the mover, with Messrs. Livermore of N. H., Barbour (P. P.) of Va., Lowndes of S. C., Fuller of Mass., Hardin of Ky., and Cuthbert of Ga., were appointed such committee. A majority of this committee being Pro-Slavery, Mr. Taylor could do nothing; and on the 28th the Committee was, on motion, discharged from the further consideration of the subject.
On the same day Mr. Taylor moved : "That a Committee be appointed with instructions to report a bill prohibiting the further admission of Slaves into the Territories of the United States west of the river Mississippi."
On motion of Mr. Smith, of Md., this resolve was sent to the Committee of the Whole, and made a special order for Jan. 10th; but it was not taken up, and appears to have slept the sleep of death.
In the Senate, the memorial of the Missouri Territorial Legislature, asking admission as a State, was presented by Mr. Smith of S. C., Dec. 29th, and referred to the Judiciary Committee, which consisted of, Messrs. Smith of S. C., Leake of Miss., rill of R. I., Logan of Ky., Otis of Mass.
cannot be retraced; and it appears to us that the happiness of unborn millions rests on the measure which Congress on this occasion may adopt. Considering this as no local question, nor a question to be decided by a temporary expediency, but as involving great interests of the whole United States, and affecting deeply and essentially and the perpetuation of the blessings of liberty, those objects of common defense, general welfare, for which the Constitution itself was formed, we have presumed, in this way, to offer our sentiinents and express our wishes to the National Legislature. And as various reasons have been suggested against prohibiting Slavery in the new States, it may perhaps be permitted to us to state our reasons, both for believing that Congress possesses the constitutional power to make such prohibition a condition, on the admission of a new State into the Union, and that it is just and proper that they should exercise that power.
"And in the first place, as to the constitutional authority of Congress. The Constitution of the United States has declared that 'Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful other property belonging to the United States: rules and regulations respecting the territory or and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice the claims of the United States or of any particular State.' It is very well known, that the saving in this clause of the claims of any particular State, was designed to apply to claims by the then existing States, of territory which was also claimed by the United States as their own property. It has, therefore, no bearing on the present question. The power, then, of Congress over its own territories, is, by the very terms of the Constitution, unlimited. It may make all' needful rules and regulations,' which of course include all such regulations as its own views of Bur-policy or expediency shall, from time to time, dictate. If, therefore, in its judgment it be needful for the benefit of a territory to enact a prohibition of Slavery, it would seem to be as much within its power of legislation as any other act of local policy. Its sovereignty being complete and universal as to the territory, it may exercise over it the most ample jurisdiction in every respect. It possesses, in this view, all the authority which any State Legislature possesses over its own territory; and if any State Legislature may, in its discretion, abolish or prohibit Slavery within its own limits, in virtue of its general legislative authority, for the same reason Congress also may exercise the like authority over its own territories. And that a State Legislature, unless restrained by some constitutional provision, may so do, is unpractice. questionable, and has been established by general
DANIEL WEBSTER ON SLAVERY EX-
The following "Memorial to the Congress of the United States, on the subject of restraining the increase of Slavery in New States to be admitted into the Union," in pursuance of a vote of the inhabitants of Boston and its vicinity, assembled at the State House on the 3rd of December, 1819, was drawn up by Daniel Webster, and signed by himself, George Blake, Josiah Quincy, James T. Austin, etc. It is inserted here instead of the resolves of the various New England Legislatures, as a fuller and clearer statement of the views of the great body of the people of that section during the pendency of the Missouri question :
"To the Senate and House of Representatives of
"The creation of a new State, is, in effect, a compact between Congress and the inhabitants of the proposed State. Congress would not probbitants of Missouri to form a Constitution of their ably claim the power of compelling the inhaown, and come into the Union as a State. It is as plain, that the inhabitants of that territory have no right of admission into the Union, as a State, without the consent of Congress. Neither party is bound to form this connection. It can be formed only by the consent of both. What, then, prevents Congress, as one of the stipulating parties, to propose its terms? And if the other party assents to these terms, why do they not effectually bind both parties? Or if the inhabitants of the Territory do not choose to accept the proposed terms, but prefer to remain under a Territorial Government, has Congress deprived them of any right, or subjected them to any restraint, which, in its discretion, it had no authority to do? If the admission of new States be not the discretionary exercise of a constitutional power, but in all cases an imperative duty, how is it to be per
formed? If the Constitution means that Congress shall admit new States, does it mean that Congress shall do this on every application and under all circumstances? Or if this construction cannot be admitted, and if it must be conceded that Congress must in some respects exercise its discretion on the admission of new States, how is it to be shown that that discretion may not be exercised in regard to this subject as well as in regard to others?
admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of the Federal Constitution, to the en ́joyment of all the rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the United States; and in the mean time they shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and the religion which they profess.'
Although the language of this article is not very precise or accurate, the memorialists conceive that its real import and intent cannot be "The Constitution declares, 'that the migration mistaken. The first clause provides for the ador importation of such persons as any of the States mission of the ceded territory into the Union, now existing, shall think proper to admit, shall and the succeeding clause shows this must be not be prohibited by the Congress, prior to the according to the principles of the Federal Con year 1808. It is most manifest that the Constitu- stitution; and this very qualification necessarily tion does contemplate, in the very terms of this excludes the idea that Congress were not to be at clause, that Congress possesses the authority to liberty to impose any conditions upon such adprohibit the migration or importation of slaves; mission which were consistent with the principles for it limits the exercise of this authority for a of that Constitution, and which had been, or specific period of time, leaving it to its full opera- might justly be, applied to other new States. tion ever afterward. And this power seems ne- The language is not by any means so pointed as cessarily included in the authority which belongs that of the Resolve of 1780; and yet it has been to Congress, to regulate commerce with foreign seen that that Resolve was never supposed to nations and among the several States.' No person inhibit the authority of Congress, as to the introhas ever doubted that the prohibition of the foreign duction of slavery. And it is clear, upon the slave trade was completely within the authority plainest rule of construction, that in the absence of Congress since the year 1808. And why? Cer- of all restrictive language a clause, merely protainly only because it is embraced in the regula viding for the admission of a territory into the tion of foreign commerce; and if so, it may for Union, must be construed to authorize an admisthe like reason be prohibited since that period sion in the manner, and upon the terms, which between the States. Commerce in slaves, since the Constitution itself would justify. This conthe year 1808, being as much subject to the regu-struction derives additional support from the next lation of Congress as any other commerce, if it clause. The inhabitants shall be admitted as should see fit to enact that no slave should ever soon as possible, according to the principles of be sold from one State to another, it is not per- the Federal Constitution, to the enjoyment of all ceived how its constitutional right to make such the rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens provision could be questioned. It would seem to of the United States.' The rights, advantages, be too plain to be questioned, that Congress did and immunities here spoken of, must, from the possess the power, before the year 1808, to pro- very force of the terms of the clause, be such as hibit the migration or importation of slaves into are recognized or communicated by the Constithe territories (and in point of fact it exercised tution of the United States; such as are common that power) as well as into any new States; and to all citizens, and are uniform throughout the that its authority, after that year, might be as United States. The clause cannot be referred to fully exercised to prevent the migration or import- rights, advantages, and immunities derived exation of slaves into any of the old States. And clusively from the State Government, for these if it may prohibit new States from importing do not depend upon the Federal Constitution. slaves, it may surely, as we humbly submit, make Besides, it would be impossible that all the rights, it a condition of the admission of such States into advantages, and immunities of citizens of the the Union, that they shall never import them. different States, could be at the same time enjoyed In relation, too, to its own Territories, Congress by the same persons. These rights are different possesses a more extensive authority, and may, in in different States; a right exists in one State various other ways, effect the object. It might, which is denied in others, or is repugnant to other for example, make it an express condition of its rights enjoyed in others. In some of the States, grants of the soil, that its owners shall never hold a freeholder alone is entitled to vote in elections; slaves; and thus prevent the possession of slaves in some a qualification of personal property is from ever being connected with the ownership of sufficient; and in others, age and freedom are the sole qualifications of electors. In some States, no citizen is permitted to hold slaves: in others, he possesses that power absolutely; in others, it is limited. The obvious meaning, therefore, of the clause is, that the rights derived under the Federal Constitution, shall be enjoyed by the inhabitant of Louisiana in the same manner as by the citizens of other States. The United States, by the Constitution, are bound to guarantee to every State in the Union a republican form of government; and the inhabitants of Louisiana are entitled, when a State, to this guarantee. Each State has a right to two Senators, and to Representatives according to a certain enumeration of population, pointed out in the Constitution. The inhabitants of Louisiana, upon their admission into the Union, are also entitled to these privileges. The Constitution further declares,
"As corroborative of the views which have been already suggested, the memorialists would respectfully call the attention of Congress to the history of the national legislation, under the Confederation as well as under the present Constitution, on this interfering subject. Unless the inemorialists greatly mistake, it will demonstrate the sense of the nation, at every period of its legislation, to have been, that the prohibition of Slavery was no infringement of any just rights belonging to free States, and was not incompatible with the enjoyments of all the rights and immunities which an admission into the Union was supposed to confer.
"The memorialists, after this general survey, would respectfully ask the attention of Congress to the state of the question of the right of Congress to prohibit Slavery in that part of the former Territory of Louisiana which now forms the Missouri Territory. Louisiana was purchased of France by the Treaty of the 30th April, 1803. The third article of that Treaty is as follows: The inhabitants of the ceded Territory shall be incorparated into the Union of the United States, and
that the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.' It would seem as if the meaning of this clause could not well be misinterpreted. It obviously applies to the case of the removal of a citizen of one State to another State; and in such a case it secures to the migrating citizen all
the privileges and immunities of citizens in the State to which he removes. It cannot surely be contended, upon any rational interpretation, that it gives to the citizens of each State all the privileges and immunities of the citizens of every other State, at the same time, and under all circumstances. Such a construction would lead to the most extraordinary consequences. It would at once destroy all the fundamental limitations of the State constitutions upon the rights of their own citizens; and leave all those rights to the mercy of the citizens of any other State, which should adopt different limitations. According to this construction, if all the State constitutions, save one, prohibited slavery, it would be in the power of that single State, by the admission of the right of its citizens to hold slaves, to communicate the same right to the citizens of all the other States within their own exclusive limits, in defiance of their own constitutional prohibitions; and to render the absurdity still more apparent, the same construction would communicate the most opposite and irreconcilable rights to the citizens of different States at the same time. It seems, therefore, to be undeniable, upon any rational interpretation, that this clause of the Constitution communicated no rights in any State which its own citizens do not enjoy; and that the citizens of Louisiana, upon their admission into the Union, in receiving the benefit of this clause, would not enjoy higher or more extensive rights than the citizens of Ohio. It would communicate to the former no right of holding slaves except in States where the citizens already possessed the same right under their own State Constitutions and laws.
"Upon the whole, the memorialists would most respectfully submit that the terms of the Constitution, as well as the practice of the Governments under it, must, as they humbly conceive, entirely justify the conclusion that Congress may prohibit the further introduction of Slavery into its own territories, and also make such prohibition a condition of the admission of any new State into the Union.
deep and earnest feeling of its importance, and we respectfully solicit for it the full consideration of the National Legislature.
"Your memorialists were not without the hope that the time had at length arrived when the inconvenience and the danger of this description of population had become apparent in all parts of this country, and in all parts of the civilized world. It might have been hoped that the new States themselves would have had such a view of their own permanent interests and prosperity as would have led them to prohibit its extension and increase. The wonderful increase and prosperity of the States north of the Ohio is unquestionably to be ascribed, in a great measure, to the conse quences of the ordinance of 1787; and few, indeed, are the occasions, in the history of nations, in which so much can be done, by a single act, for the benefit of future generations, as was done by that ordinance, and as may now be done by the Congress of the United States. We appeal to the justice and to the wisdom of the National Councils to prevent the further progress of a great and serious evil. We appeal to those who look forward to the remote consequences of their measures, and who cannot balance a temporary or trifling convenience, if there were such, against a permanent, growing, and desolating evil. We cannot forbear to remind the two Houses of Congress that the early and decisive measures adopted by the American Government for the abolition of the slave-trade, are among the proudest memorials of our nation's glory. That Slavery was ever tolerated in the Republic is, as yet, to be attributed to the policy of another Government. No imputation, thus far, rests on any portion of the American Confederacy. The Missouri Territory is a new country. If its extensive and fertile field shall be opened as a market for slaver, the Government will seem to become a party to a traffic which, in so many acts, through so many years, it has denounced as impolitic, unchristian, inhuman. To enact laws to punish the traffic, and, at the same time, to tempt cupidity and avarice by the allurements of an insatiable market, "If the constitutional power of Congress to is inconsistent and irreconcilable. Government, make the proposed prohibition be satisfactorily by such a course, would only defeat its own purshown, the justice and policy of such prohibition poses, and render nugatory its own measures. seem to the undersigned to be supported by plain Nor can the laws derive support from the manand strong reasons. The permission of Slavery ners of the people, if the power of moral sentiin a new State, necessarily draws after it an ex- ment be weakened by enjoying, under the pertension of that inequality of representation, which mission of Government, great facilities to comalready exists in regard to the original States. mit offenses. The laws of the United States have It cannot be expected that those of the original denounced heavy penalties against the traffic in States, which do not hold slaves, can look on slaves, because such traffic is deemed unjust and such an extension as being politically just. As inhuman. We appeal to the spirit of these laws: between the original States the representation We appeal to this justice and humanity: We rests on compact and plighted faith; and your ask whether they ought not to operate, on the memorialists have no wish that that compact present occasion, with all their force? We have should be disturbed, or that plighted faith in the a strong feeling of the injustice of any toleration slightest degree violated. But the subject as- of Slavery. Circumstances have entailed it on sumes an entirely different character, when a new a portion of our community, which cannot be imState proposes to be admitted. With her there is mediately relieved from it without consequences no compact, and no faith plighted; and where is more injurious than the suffering of the evil. But the reason that she should come into the Union to permit it in a new country, where yet no habwith more than an equal share of political im-its are formed which render it indispensable, what portance and political power? Already the ratio of representation, established by the Constitution, has given to the States holding slaves twenty members of the House of Representatives more than they would have been entitled to, except under the particular provision of the Constitution. In all probability, this number will be doubled in thirty years. Under these circumstances, we deem it not an unreasonable expectation that the inhabitants of Missouri should propose to come into the Union, renouncing the right in question, and establishing a constitution prohibiting it for ever. Without dwelling on this topic, we have still thought it our duty to present it to the consideration of Congress. We present it with a
is it, but to encourage that rapacity, and fraud and violence, against which we have so long pointed the denunciations of our penal code? What is it, but to tarnish the proud fame of the country? What is it, but to throw suspicion on its good faith, and to render questionable all its professions of regard for the right of humanity and the liberties of mankind?
"As inhabitants of a free country-as citizens of a great and rising Republic-as members of a Christian community-as living in a liberal and enlightened age, and as feeling ourselves called upon by the dictates of religion and humanity, we have presumed to offer our sentiments to Congress on this question, with a solicitude for