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houn himself voting for it at the urgent insistence of his friends.

The sixth resolution, on motion of Mr. Preston, was laid on the table. Mr. Calhoun regarded this as the most important of all, having for its basis the equality of the States, but he was outvoted by 35 to 9, Mr. Pierce and Mr. Clay both voting in favor of Mr. Preston's motion.1

Mr. Pierce's position in respect to these resolutions is especially interesting, and specially noted by the writer, for the reason that the election in 1852, to the Presidency, of a man who held the views herein expressed by him, certainly would seem indicative of a disposition on the part of the majority of the Northern people to do that justice to the South which had been denied them in 1820, and which was only granted them in appearance and on an equivoque in 1850. For while the compromise of 1850 was based on non-interference by Congress with slavery in the States, yet it is very certain that although California lay in great part south of 36° 30', and so within that region in which, according to the ground taken by Mr. Clay in 1837, slavery was admitted by the the Compromise of 1820-yet had she desired to admit slavery instead of forbidding it, non-interference would have been a non-entity. The election of Mr. Pierce in 1852, however, seemed decisive of the sincerity of intent on the part of the majority of the North to carry out that principle in good faith and to its full and legitimate extent. It was to this purpose, and in view of this apparent intent, that Mr. Dixon, in 1854, offered to repeal that act of intervention, of 1820, which was so utterly at variance, not only with the principle of nonintervention as adopted in 1850, but also with every principle of justice to the South and of equality between the States.

1

1 App. to Cong. Globe, 25th Cong., Sess. 2, p. 109.

CHAPTER VII.

1840-'44-Congress adopts "21st Rule "-Petition to dissolve the Union presented by John Quincy Adams-Annexation of Texas a Jacksonian measure-Defeat of Henry Clay for the Presidency.

In the debates on Mr. Calhoun's Resolutions, the lines of divergence in opinion were clearly drawn; lines which, followed to their logical sequence, would inevitably lead, sooner or later, to war between the States.

Mr. Calhoun's voice rang out, high and clear, like a clarion call, in defense of rights that were threatened, to all appearance at no distant day; claiming the protection of the Constitution for the property of the people in their slaves, in the Territories as well as in the States, and declaring that Congress had no right under the Constitution to set the slaves free, either in the Territories or in the District of Columbia.

Mr. Webster, on the contrary, declared that slavery was only a local institution, and that the Constitution had no power to transfer it to the Territories, and therefore no power to protect slave property in them, and that slaves removed to the Territories would become free for lack of the laws to make them slaves. (Of course all territory of the United States would, by this method of reasoning, be forever closed to the slave States; and they would be hemmed in on all sides, with no outlet whatever for the increase of their slave population.)

Whilst Mr. Clay maintained that, although Congress had the undoubted right to set the slaves free in the Territories and the District, it would yet be inexpedient, a violation of good faith toward the South, and would endanger the Union of the States. He sounded the

trumpet for parley always, and endeavored by mutual concession to preserve the Union and peace.

Meantime, the Abolitionists grew apace, like mushrooms in the night. When the religious element became involved, as it soon did, all hope of permanent peace was but a dream, and a dream never to be realized. Not only was religion invoked-but envy also, that most potent factor in the destruction of Paradise itself, was brought to bear upon the Northern people. Of the South they were told that, "Few nobles in Europe can command so great a retinue of servants, and no king on earth possesses more absolute authority. Indeed, such is their dignity, wealth and influence, that although but half a million, they are able to control twelve and a half millions, and do in fact govern the Union; and the plan is now laid to keep up and increase their dignity, wealth and power to future generations.""

The literature of the North, too, was drawn into the general excitement, and there were now but "few newspapers or magazines, scarcely a school-book or common geography published, that did not contain something, by inuendo or insinuation, of prejudice" against the people of the South.2

Texas had been anxious to be annexed to the United States from the day that she conquered her independence from Mexico in 1836, and Gen. Jackson, then President, had been most strongly in favor of it, declaring that if she were not annexed, England might secure her allegiance or alliance to herself. The Northern people, however, were violently opposed to the annexation, as it would add another slave State to the Union, and by resolutions of legislatures, public meetings, and other demonstrations of opinion, endeavored to prevent it.

2

Thousands of memorials from the North against

1 Anti-slavery Circular-1835. App. 24th Cong., Sess. 1, p. 567.

1 Mr. Pickens, of South Carolina, App. 24th Cong., Sess. 1. p. 287.

slavery, opposing the annexation of Texas at all, and especially as a slave State, continued to pour into Congress at every session. In January of 1840, in selfdefense, Congress adopted what was known as the 21st Rule, which was as follows: "That no petition, memorial, resolution, or other paper, praying the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia or any State or Territory, or of the slave-trade in the States or Territories of the United States in which it now exists, shall be received by this House or entertained in any way what

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All attempts, however, of reasonable men to keep this fire-brand out of Congress were rendered nugatory by the persistent and determined efforts of John Quincy Adams. Able, vindictive, vituperative, exasperating to the last degree; sharp, acrid, quick, shrewd, arrogant, insulting; pertinacious, selfish, jealous, and ambitious, without even the excuse of an honest fanaticism, he seems to have been an open victim of his own pestilent hate; which, centering on Gen. Jackson and radiating thence, embraced the entire South and every thing else connected with him, and appears, to the reader of his course and speeches in Congress, to have been the pivot upon which turned the whole aim and career of this extraordinary man after his defeat by Jackson for the Presidency in 1828.

When he himself was President, Mr. Adams had taken measures to procure the annexation of Texas from Mexico; but, when Jackson was President, he insisted that it must not be annexed, though Texas had meanwhile conquered her independence from Mexico, even going so far as to declare that "Great Britain would not suffer the United States to annex the independent State of Texas, above all to acquire it by conquest and the reestablishment of slavery.""

1 26th Cong., Sess. 1, January 28, 1840. 2 App. 24th Cong., Sess. 1, p. 449.

He declared he was not an Abolitionist, and that he would not set the slaves in the District free if he could, and in this he no doubt was sincere. For then the firebrand would no longer exist which he expected to fan into the flame that should light his way to the White House. But he made attempt after attempt to have the 21st Rule rescinded; failing in this, he amused himself by offering every variety of petition that could be imagined, which really violated the spirit and intent of the rule, but did not come within the letter of it, as, for instanee, a petition to have duty taken off foreign cotton; to be protected from wearing clothes made of cotton grown by slaves; to remove the Capitol to a nonslave-holding State, etc., ad libitum. His ready resources, his learning, his sarcasms, his gibes and savage thrusts, all made him interesting if not amiable; and Henry A. Wise, of Virginia, was always anxious that Mr. Adams be allowed to speak, that he might answer him, Mr. Wise being one of those impracticable men sufficiently hot-headed to gratify Mr. Adams by getting "exasperated to the last degree," which was exactly what Mr. Adams was aiming at. Thos. F. Marshall, of Kentucky, being a new member, was also in favor of allowing him "full swing" just for "the fun of the thing." So in consideration, partly, of his age and high position, partly, of his own persistence, and, partly, because of his intense and whimsical personality which made him always interesting even when most disagreeable, Mr. Adams was suffered to speak often and long on the forbidden subject.

He finally introduced a petition from the citizens of Haverhill, Massachusetts, for the dissolution of the Union. This was more than even Tom Marshall's sense of humor could accept. And in connection with Mr. Gilmer, of Virginia, he offered resolutions of censure of Mr. Adams, which he supported by one of the most eloquent pleas for the Union on record, and spoken as only Tom Mar

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