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So the question was lost, and the words were struck out.

Lost-although six States voted ay to only three nay; and though of the members present,sixteen voted for, to seven against, Mr. Jefferson's proposition. But the Articles of Confederation required a vote of nine States to carry a proposition; and, failing to receive so many, this comprehensive exclusion of Slavery from the Federal Territories was defeated.

The Ordinance, thus depleted, after undergoing some further amendments, was finally approved April 23rd-all the delegates, but those from South Carolina, voting in the affirmative.

In 1787 the last Continental Congress, sitting in New York simultaneously with the Convention at Philadelphia which framed our Federal Constitution, took up the subject of the government of the Western Territory, raising a Committee thereon, of which Nathan Dane, of Massachusetts, was Chairman. That Committee reported (July 11th), "An Ordinance for the government of the Territory of the United States, Northwest of the Ohio"-the larger area contemplated by Mr. Jefferson's bill not having been ceded by the Southern States claiming dominion over it. This bill embodied many of the provisions, originally drafted and reported by Mr Jefferson, but with some modifications, and concludes with six unalterable articles of perpetual compact, the last of them as follows:

"There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, in the said territory, otherwise than in punishment of crimes, whereof the parties

shall be duly convicted.”

tives from labor or service, soon after embo died in the Federal Constitution; and in this shape, the entire ordinance was adopted (July 13th) by a unanimous vote, Georgia and the Carolinas concurring.

To this was added, prior to its passage, the stipulation for the delivery of fugi



THE old Articles of Confederation having proved inadequate to the creation and maintenance of a capable and efficient national or central authority, a Convention of Delegates from the several States, was legally assembled in Philadelphia, in 1787-George Washington President; and the result of its labors was our present Federal Constitution, though some amendments, mainly of the nature of restrictions on Federal power, were proposed by the several State Conventions assembled, to pass upon that Constitution, and adopted. The following are all the provisions of that instrument, which are presumed to bear upon the subject of Slavery:

(Preamble): "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

granted, shall be vested in a Congress of the "Art. I. § 1. All legislative powers herein United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

§ 2. *** Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined, by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to servitude for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons. "$9.

§ 9. The migration or importation of such persons as any of the States now existing, shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year 1808; but a tax or on each person. duty may be imposed, not exceeding ten dollars

"The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

"No bill of attainder, or ex post facto laws shall be passed.

"Art. III. § 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving

them aid and comfort.

"Art. IV. § 2. The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges of citizens, in the several States.

"No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.

Congress into this Union; but no new State shall "3. New States may be admitted by the be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the junction of two or more States, or parts of States,

without the consent of the legislatures of the States concerned, as well as of the Congress. "The Congress shall have power to dispose of, and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property, belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

"§ 4 The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union, a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive when the legislature cannot be convened, against domestic violence. Art. VI. This Constitution, and the laws of the United States, which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all the treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."

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The above are all--and perhaps more than all—the clauses of the Constitution, that have been quoted on one side or the other as bearing upon the subject of Slavery.

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It will be noted that the word "slave," or 'slavery" does not appear therein. Mr. Madison, who was a leading and observant member of the Convention, and who took notes of its daily proceedings, affirms that this silence was designed-the Convention being unwilling that the Constitution of the United States should recognize property in human beings. In passages where slaves are presumed to be contemplated, they are uniformly designated as "persons," never as property. Contemporary history proves that it was the belief of at least a large portion of the delegates that Slavery could not long survive the final stoppage of the slave trade, which was expected to (and did) occur in 1808. And, were Slavery this day banished forever from the country, there might, indeed, be some superfluous stipulations in the Federal compact or charter; but there are none which need be repealed, or essentially


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sary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. "Art. V. No person shall be* * *** deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due procass of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation."


CESSIONS OF SOUTHERN TERRITORY. THE State of KENTUCKY was set off from the State of Virginia in 1790, by mutual agreement, and admitted into the Union by act of Congress, passed February 4th, 1791; to take effect June 1st, 1792. It was never a territory of the United States, nor under Federal jurisdiction, except as a State, and inherited Slavery from the Old Dominion.'

The State of North Carolina, like several others, claimed, during and after the Revolution, that her territory extended westward to Alleganies resisted this claim, and a portion the Mississippi. The settlers west of the of them assumed to establish (1784-5) the Tennessee; but North Carolina forcibly reState of Frankland, in what is now East sisted and subverted this, and a considerable portion of the people of the embryo State derided its authority, and continued to act and vote as citizens of North Carolina. A delegate (William Cocke) was sent from Frankland to the Continental Congress, but was not received by that body. On the 22nd of December, 1789, however-one month after her ratification of the Federal Constitution— North Carolina passed an act, ceding, on certain conditions, all her territory west of her present limits to the United States. Among the conditions exacted by her, and agreed to, by Congress, (Act approved April 2nd, 1790) is the following:

to be made, by Congress shall tend to emancipate "Provided always, that no regulations made, or


Georgia, in like manner, ceded (April 2nd, 1802) the territories lying west of her present limits, now forming the States of Alabama and Mississippi. bama and Mississippi. Among the conditions exacted by her, and accepted by the United States, is the following:

"Fifthly. That the territory thus ceded shall become a State, and be admitted into the Union as ants, or, at an earlier period, if Congress shall soon as it shall contain sixty thousand free inhabitthink it expedient, on the same conditions and restrictions, with the same privileges, and in the same manner, as is provided in the ordinance of Congress of the 13th day of July, 1787, for the government of the Western territory of the United States; which ordinance shall, in all its parts, extend to the territory contained in the present act of Cession, the article only excepted which forbids slavery."



WHEN Ohio (1802-3) was made

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'Art. II. A well-regulated militia being neces- State, the residue of the vast regions.

This Report, having been made at the close of the Session, was referred at the next to a new Committee, whereof Cæsar Rodney, a new Representative from Delaware, was Chairman. Mr. Rodney from this Committee reported (February 17th, 1804),

"That, taking into their consideration the facts induced to believe that a qualified suspension, for a limited time, of the sixth article of compact beStates west of the river Ohio, might be productween the original States and the people and tive of benefit and advantage to said Territory.',

topics embraced in the Indiana memorial, and The Report goes on to discuss the other concludes with eight resolves, of which the first (and only one relative to Slavery) is as


originally conveyed by the ordinance of '87, was continued under Federal pupilage, by the name of "Indiana Territory," whereof Wm. Henry Harrison (since President) was appointed Governor. An earnest though quiet effort was made by the Virginia element, which the location of her military bounty warrants on the soil of Ohio had in-stated in the said memorial and petition, they are fused into that embryo State, to have Slavery for a limited term authorized in her first Constitution; but it was strenuously resisted by the New England element, which was far more considerable, and defeated. The Virginians either had or professed to have the countenance of President Jefferson, though his hostility to Slavery, as a permanent social state, was undoubted. It was quite commonly argued that, though Slavery was injurious in the long run, yet, as an expedient while clearing away the heavy forests, opening settlements in the wilderness, and surmounting the inevitable hardships and privations of border life, it might be tolerated, and even regarded with favor. Accordingly, the new Territory of Indiana made repeated efforts to procure a relaxation in her favor of the restrictive clause of the Ordinance of '87, one of them through the instrumentality of a Convention assembled in 1802-3, and presided over by the Territorial Governor; so he, with the great body of his fellow-delegates, memorialized Congress, among other things, to suspend temporarily the operation of the sixth article of the Ordinance aforesaid. This memorial was referred in the House to a select committee of three, two of them from Slave States, with the since celebrated John Randolph as chairman. On the 2nd of March, 1803, Mr. Randolph made what appears to have been a unanimous report from this Committee, of which we give so much as relates to Slavery-as follows:

"The rapid population of the State of Ohio sufficiently evinces, in the opinion of your committee, that the labor of slaves is not necessary to promote the growth and settlement of colonies in that region. That this labor-demonstrably the dearest of any can only be employed in the cultivation of products more valuable than any known to that quarter of the United States; that the Committee deem it highly dangerous and inexpedient to impair a provision wisely calculated to promote the happiness and prosperity of the northwestern country, and to give strength and security to that extensive frontier. In the salutary operation of this sagacious and benevolent restraint, it is believed that the inhabitants of Indiana will, at no very distant day, find ample remuneration for a temporary privation of labor, and of emigration."

The Committee proceed to discuss other subjects set forth in the prayer of the memorial, and conclude with eight resolves, whereof the only one relating to Slavery is as follows:

"Resolved, That it is inexpedient to suspend, for a limited time, the operation of the sixth article of the compact between the original States and the people and States west of the river Ohio."

dinance of 1787, which prohibited Slavery "Resolved, That the sixth article of the Orwithin the said Territory, be suspended in a qualified manner, for ten years, so as to permit the introduction of slaves, born within the United vided, that such individual State does not permit States, from any of the individual States; prothe importation of slaves from foreign countries and provided, further, that the descendants of all such slaves shall, if males, be free at the age of twenty-five years, and, if females, at the age of twenty-one years.

The House took no action on this Report. The original memorial from Indiana, with several additional memorials of like purport, was again, in 1805-6, referred by the House to a select committee, whereof Mr. Garnett of Virginia was chairman, who, on the 14th of February, 1806, made a report in favor of the prayer of the petitioners as follows:

That, having attentively considered the facts stated in the said petitions and memorials, they limited time, of the sixth article of compact beare of opinion that a qualified suspension, for a tween the original States, and the people and States west of the river Ohio, would be beneficial to the people of the Indiana Territory. The suspension of this article is an object almost universally desired in that Territory.

It appears to your committee to be a question entirely different from that between Slavery and Freedom; inasmuch as it would merely occasion the removal of persons, already slaves, from one part of the country to another. The good effects of this suspension, in the present instance, would be to accelerate the population of that Territory, hitherto retarded by the operation of that article of compact, as slave-holders emigrating into the Western country might then indulge any preference which they might feel for a settlement in the Indiana Territory, instead of seeking, as they are now compelled to do, settlements in other States or countries permitting the introduction of slaves. The condition of the slaves themselves would be much ameliorated by it, as it is evident, from experience, that the more they are separated stowed on them by their masters-each proprietor and diffused, the more care and attention are be having it in his power to increase their comforts and conveniences, in proportion to the smallness of their numbers. The dangers, too, (if any are to be apprehended) from too large a black population existing in any one section of country, would certainly be very much diminished, if not entirely removed. But, whether dangers are to be feared from this source or not, it is certainly an obvious dictate of sound policy to guard against

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Resolved, That the sixth article of the Ordinance of 1787, which prohibits Slavery within the Indiana Territory, be suspended for ten years, so as to permit the introduction of slaves, born within the United States, from any of the individual States.

This report and resolve were committed and made a special order on the Monday following, but were never taken into consideration.

At the next sessión, a fresh letter from Gov. William Henry Harrison, inclosing resolves of the Legislative Council and House of Representatives in favor of suspending, for a limited period, the sixth article of compact aforesaid, was received (Jan. 21st, 1807) and referred to a Select Committee, whereof Mr. B. Parke, delegate from said Territory, was made chairman. The entire Committee (Mr. Nathaniel Macon of N. C. being now Speaker) consisted of

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it would not augment the number of slaves, but merely authorize the removal to Indiana of such as are held in bondage in the United States. If Slavery is an evil, means ought to be devised to render it least dangerous to the community, and by which the hapless situation of the slaves would be most ameliorated; and to accomplish these objects, no measure would be so effectual as the one proposed. The Committee, therefore, respectfully submit to the House the following reso lution:

Resolved, That it is expedient to suspend, from and after the 1st day of January, 1808, the sixth article of compact between the United States and the Territories and States northwest of the Ohio, passed the 13th day of July, 1787, for the term of ten years."

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This report, with its predecessors, was committed, and made a special order, but never taken into consideration.

The same letter of Gen. Harrison, and re solves of the Indiana Legislature, were sub mitted to the Senate, Jan. 21st, 1807. They were laid on the table "for consideration, and do not appear to have even been referred at that session; but at the next, or first session of the fourth Congress, which convened Oct. 26th, 1807, the President (Nov. 7th) submitted a letter from Gen. Harrison and his Legislature whether a new or the old one does not appear-and it was now referred to a select committee, consisting of Messrs. J. Franklin of N. C., Kitchel of N. J., and Tiffin of Ohio.

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Nov. 13th, Mr. Franklin, from said committee, reported as follows:

"The Legislative Council and House of Rep resentatives, in their resolutions, express their sense of the propriety of introducing Slavery into their Territory, and solicit the Congress of the United States to suspend, for a given number of years, the sixth article of compact, in the ordinance for the government of the Territory north

Mr. Parke, from this Committee, made (Feb. 12th,) a third Report to the House in favor of granting the prayer of the meino-west of the Ohio, passed the 13th day of July, rialists. It is as follows:

"The resolutions of the Legislative Council and House of Representatives of the Indiana Territory, relate to a suspension, for the term of ten years, of the sixth article of compact between the United States and the Territories and States northwest of the river Ohio, passed the 13th July, 1787. That article declares that there shall be neither Slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said Territory.

1787. That article declares: There shall be nei
said Territory.'
ther Slavery nor involuntary servitude within the

"The citizens of Clark County, in their remon strance, express their sense of the impropriety of the measure, and solicit the Congress of the United States not to act on the subject, so as to permit the introduction of slaves into the Territory; at least, until their population shall entitle them to form a constitution and State govern


"The suspension of the said article would ope"Your Committee, after duly considering the rate an immediate and essential benefit to the Ter-matter, respectfully submit the following resoluritory, as emigration to it will be inconsiderable for many years, except from those States where Slavery is tolerated.


"Resolved, That it is not expedient at this time to suspend the sixth article of compact for the "And although it is not considered expedient to force the population of the Territory, yet it is de-government of the Territory of the United States northwest of the River Ohio." sirable to connect its scattered settlements, and, in admitted political rights, to place it on an equal footing with the different States. From the interior situation of the Territory, it is not believed that slaves could ever become so numerous as to endanger the internal peace or future prosperity of the country. The current of emigration flow ing to the Western country, the Territories should all be opened to their introduction. The abstract question of Liberty and Slavery is not involved in the proposed measure, as Slavery now exists to a considerable extent in different parts of the Union;

And here ended, so far as we have been able to discover, the effort, so long and earnestly persisted in, to procure a suspension of the restriction in the Ordinance of 1787, so as to admit Slavery, for a limited term, into the Terrritory lying between the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, now forming the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.



THE vast and indefinite territory known as Louisiana, was ceded by France to the United States in the year 1803, for the sum of $15,000,000, of which $3,750,000 was devoted to the payment of American claims on France. This territory had just before been ceded by Spain to France without pecuniary consideration. Slaveholding had long been legal therein, alike under Spanish and French rule, and the Treaty of Cession contained the following stipulation:

“Art. III. The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States, and admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of the Federal Constitution, to the enjoyment 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."

The State of Louisiana, embodying the southern portion of this acquired territory, was recognized by Congress in 1811, and fully admitted in 1812, with a State Constitution. Those who chose to dwell among the inhabitants of the residue of the Louisiana purchase, henceforth called Missouri Territory, continued to hold slaves in its sparse and small, but increasing settlements, mainly in its southeastern quarter, and a pro-slavery court-perhaps any courtwould undoubtedly have pronounced Slavery legal anywhere on its vast expanse, from the Mississippi to the crests of the Rocky Mountains, if not beyond them, and from the Red River of Louisiana to the Lake of the Woods.

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The XVth Congress assembled at Washington, on Monday, Dec. 1st, 1817. Henry Clay was chosen Speaker of the House. Mr. John Scott appeared on the 8th, as delegate from Missouri Territory, and was admitted to a seat as such. On the 16th of March following, he presented petitions of sundry in'habitants of Missouri, in addition to similar petitions already presented by him, praying for the admission of Missouri into the Union as a State, which were, on motion, referred to a Select Committee, consisting of

Messrs. Scott of Mo. Poindexter of Miss. Robertson of Ky. Hendricks of Ind. Livermore of N. H. Mills of Mass. Baldwin of Pa,

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April 3rd, Mr. Scott, from this Committee, reported a bill to authorize the People of Missouri Territory to form a Constitution and State Government, and for the admission of such State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States; which bill was read the first and second time, and sent to the Committee of the Whole, where it slept for the remainder of the session.

for its second session, on the 16th of November, 1818. Feb. 13th, the House went into Committee of the Whole-Gen. Smith, of Md., in the chair-and took up the Missouri bill aforesaid, which was considered through that sitting, as also that of the 15th, when several amendments were adopted, the most important of which was the following, moved in Committee by Gen. James Tallmadge, of Dutchess County, New York, (lately deceased :)

"And provided also, That the further introduction of Slavery or involuntary servitude be prohibited, except for the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall be duly convicted; 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-five years."

On coming out of Committee, the Yeas and Nays were called on the question of agreeing to this amendment, which was sustained by the following vote: [taken first on agreeing to so much of it as precedes and includes the word "convicted.”]

YEAS- For the Restriction:

NEW HAMPSHIRE.-Clifton Clagett, Samuel Hale, Arthur Livermore, Nathaniel Upham-4. MASSACHUSETTS-(then including Maine). Benjamin Adams, Samuel C. Allen, Walter FolLincoln, Elijah H. Mills, Marcus Morton, Jereger, jr.. Timothy Fuller, Joshua Gage, Enoch miah Nelson, Benjamin Orr, Thomas Rice, Nathaniel Ruggles, Zabdiel Sampeon, Nathaniel Silsbee, John Wilson-15.

RHODE ISLAND.-James B. Mason-1. CONNECTICUT.-Sylvester Gilbert, Ebenezer Huntington, Jonathan O. Moseley, Timothy Pitkin, Samuel B. Sherwood, Nathaniel Terry, Thomas S. Williams-7.

VERMONT.-Samuel C. Crafts, William Hunter,

Orsamus C. Merrill, Charles Rich, Mark Richards-5.

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NEW-YORK.-Oliver C. Comstock, John P. Cushman, John R. Drake, Benjamin Ellicott JoHubbard, William Irving, Dorrance Kirtland, siah Hasbrouck, John Herkimer, Thomas H. Thomas Lawyer, John Palmer, John Savage, Philip J. Schuyler, John C. Spencer, Treadwell Scudder, James Tallmadge, John W. Taylor, Caleb Tompkins, Geo. Townsend, Peter H. Wendover, Rensselaer Westerlo, James W. Wilkin, Isaac Williams-23.

NEW-JERSEY.-Ephraim Bateman, Benjamin Bennett, Charles Kinsey, John Linn, Henry


Boden, Isaac Darlington, Joseph Heister, Joseph PENNSYLVANIA.-William Anderson, Andrew Hopkinson, Jacob Hostetter, William Maclay, William P. Maclay, David Marchand, Robert Moore, Samuel Moore, John Murray, Alexander Ogle, Thomas Patterson, Levi Pawling, Thomas J. Rogers, John Sergeant, James M. Wallace, John Whiteside, William Wilson-20.

OHIO.-Levi Barber, Philemon Beecher, John W. Campbell, Samuel Herrick, Peter Hitchcock -5.

INDIANA.-William Hendricks_1.
DELAWARE.-Willard Hall-1.

Total Yeas 87-only one (the last named) from a Slave State.

NAYS-Against the Kestriction: MASSACHUSETTS.-John Holmes, Jonathan

That Congress convened at Washington Mason, Henry Shaw-3.

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