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Mr. Calhoun rose afterwards and said that he was for the Union, but, if that could not be preserved, he was for taking care of the South. If the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Morehead) should insist on a vote on his resolutions, he would offer an amendment to them, declaring "that disunion was preferable to emancipation in the States."

As the whole matter was re-committed to the general committee, no vote on the address or the resolutions was taken.

Mr. Berrien, of North Carolina, also issued an address, of much the same character as Mr. Calhoun's, but of a different tenor. He set forth the wrongs done the South with a strong and masterly hand, but protested against disunion as a remedy, and appealed to the patriotism and justice of the whole people.

A few days after this Convention, Mr. Calhoun, whose feelings had been wrought up to the highest pitch of excitement, believing that the only safety for the South lay in the united action of her people, and, having failed in securing this action, was engaged in vehement conversation on the subject, when he fell senseless and was with much difficulty restored to consciousness.

Mr. Calhoun's Southern address called forth very different responses from the different sections of the Union.

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The Anti-Slavery Society of Massachusetts passed resolutions commending in the highest terms "the earnestness, intrepidity, consistency, and self-sacrifice" which distinguished Hon. John C. Calhoun in his efforts to bring about a dissolution of the Union,' whilst the New Orleans Times, on the contrary, declared the most ardent devotion of the South to the Union, and that "Mr. Calhoun is, in this, as many other cases, the maker of the crisis he so lamentably bemoans." "His prophesies are vagaries worthy only of ridicule or the severest form of reprobation." "For ourselves we have

no fears of the future, at least no such fears as those expressed in the Southern address. And as for the sentiment of the Southern people, we believe there is not a man among us who does not re-echo in the depths of his soul the immortal words, "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable.""

1 New Orleans Times, republished in Louisville Journal, February 26,

1849.

CHAPTER X.

1849-Mr. Clay's Emancipation Letter, February, 1849-Decadence of the Whig Party in Kentucky-Archibald Dixon opposes emancipation in the Constitutional Convention of the State-It is defeated in the new Constitution.

Whilst all this excitement prevailed at the Capitol and spread thence over the whole country, Kentucky was agitating the question of a Convention for the purpose of making a new Constitution. Many new and important reformations in the organic law were presented for the consideration of her people, and among these was the proposition for the gradual emancipation of the slave population. Mr. Richard Pindell, of Lexington, addressed a letter to Mr. Clay (who had been elected to the Senate by a large majority of the Legislature on February 1st), asking his views on the subject. As a matter of historical interest, his reply, hitherto unpublished in any work reparding his life, so far as the author is aware, is given in full:

[From the Lexington Observer of Saturday.]

LETTER FROM MR. CLAY.

"NEW ORLEANS, February 17, 1849. "Dear Sir:-Prior to my departure from home in December last, in behalf of yourself and other friends, you obtained from me a promise to make a public exposition of my views and opinions upon a grave and important question which, it was then anticipated, would be much debated and considered by the people of Kentucky during this year in consequence of the approaching Convention summoned to amend their present Constitution. I was not entirely well when I left home, and, owing to that cause and my confinement several weeks during my sojourn in this city from the effects of an accident which

befell me, I have been delayed in the fulfillment of my promise, which I now proceed to execute.

"The question to which I allude is, whether African slavery, as it now exists in Kentucky, shall be left to a perpetual or indefinite continuance, or some provision shall be made in the new Constitution for its gradual and ultimate extinction?

"A few general observations will suffice my present purpose without entering on the whole subject of slavery under all its bearings and in every aspect of it. I am aware that there are respectable persons who believe that slavery is a blessing, that the institution ought to exist in every well-organized society, and that it is even favorable to the preservation of liberty. Happily, the number who entertain these extravagant opinions is not very great, and the time will be uselessly occupied in an elaborate refutation of them. I would, however, remark that, if slavery be fraught with these alleged benefits, the principle on which it is maintained would require that one portion of the white race should be reduced to bondage to serve another portion of the same race when the black subjects of slavery could not be obtained, and that in Africa, where they may entertain as great preference for their color as we do for ours, they would be justified in reducing the white race to slavery in order to secure the blessings which that state is said to diffuse.

"An argument in support of reducing the African race to slavery is sometimes derived from their alleged intellectual inferiority to the white races, but, if this argument be founded in fact (as it may be, but which I shall not now examine), it would prove entirely too much. It would prove that any white nation which had greater advances in civilization, knowledge, and wisdom than another white nation would have a right to reduce the latter to a state of bondage. Nay, further, if the principle of subjugation, founded upon intellectual superiority, be true, and be applicable to races and to nations, what is to prevent it being applied to individuals?

And then the wisest man in the world would have a right to make slaves of all the rest of mankind!

"If, indeed, we possess this intellectual superiority, profoundly grateful and thankful to Him who has bestowed it, we ought to fulfill all the obligations and duties which it imposes, and these would require us not to subjugate or deal unjustly by our fellow-men who are less blessed than we are, but to instruct, to improve, and to enlighten them.

"A vast majority of the people of the United States, in every section of them, I believe, regret the introduction of slavery into the Colonies under the authority of our British ancestors, lament that a single slave treads our soil, deplore the necessity of the continuance of slavery in any of the States, regard the institution as a great evil to both races, and would rejoice in the adoption of any safe, just, and practicable plan for the removal of all slaves from among us. Hitherto, no such satisfactory plan has been presented. When, on the occasion of the formation of our present Constitution of Kentucky, in 1799, the question of the gradual emancipation of slavery in that State was agitated, its friends had to encounter a great obstacle in the fact that there then existed no established colony to which they could be transported. Now, by the successful establishment of flourishing colonies on the western coast of Africa, that difficulty has been obviated. And I confess that, without indulging in any undue feelings of superstition, it does seem to me that it may have been among the dispensations of Providence to permit the wrongs under which Africa has suffered to be inflicted, that her children might be returned to their original home, civilized, imbued with the benign spirit of Christianity, and prepared ultimately to redeem that great continent from barbarism and idolatry.

"Without undertaking to judge for any other State, it was my opinion, in 1799, that Kentucky was in a condition to admit of the gradual emancipation of her

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