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regularity as slave and free. Kentucky and Vermont had come in at about the same time; then Tennessee and Ohio; next Louisiana, and some years after Indiana: then Mississippi and Illinois had wheeled into line. Alabama as a slave territory, and Maine as free, were ready to enter as States; and Arkansas and Michigan were in sight. But there was no other northern or free territory ready to enter the Union as an offset to Missouri, and her entrance as a slave State would not only break the routine as it had been heretofore kept up, but might at no distant time turn the scales in favor of the slaveholding States, and give the South that majority in the House which the North now enjoyed.

This fact decided the Northern majority in the House not to admit her, except with a prohibition of slavery, although her people were composed almost entirely of slaveholders from the States of Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina, who had emigrated to Missouri and carried their slave property along with them; whilst her former inhabitants had owned their slaves both under Spanish and French dominion, and it was well understood that she desired to enter the Union with her slave property untouched by Federal interfer


But there was another point in the matter which 'weighed perhaps equally with the political aspect of the case, and which the South may not have fully appreciated in its relation to the action of the North in opposing the entrance of Missouri. Slavery precluded the laboring white man of the North, quite as effectually from emigrating to any State where it existed, as did any law of Congress preclude the slaveholder from taking his slave property to any territory in which slavery had been prohibited.

And now this beautiful and fertile Territory of Missouri was preparing to enter the Union with an institution that would shut out from her borders the freemen of the North, who scorned to compete with slave labor.

To the two causes above recited, the desire for political power and for the Territory, on the part of the North, was due the intense opposition by the Northern majority in Congress to the entrance of Missouri into the Union. as a Slave State, although every principle of the Constitution demanded that the local and domestic affairs of each State should be controlled by itself, whilst the treaty of purchase, and every principle of honor and good faith in regard to that treaty, as well as justice to the inhabitants of Missouri, demanded that she should be given admission as soon as she was entitled to it under the established practice of the government and "according to the principles of the Constitution."

Missouri, through her delegate, Mr. Scott, petitioned Congress, in January, 1818, that she might be erected. into a State and admitted into the Union "on an equal footing with the original States.' The petition was referred as usual, but not until the 13th of February, 1819, was the bill for her admission taken up for consideration by the House.

Mr. Tallmadge (of New York) then at once moved an amendment to limit the existence of slavery in the new State and providing for gradual emancipation.'

This motion gave rise to a wide debate in which Mr. Clay and others opposed the proposition.

On the 15th, Mr. Clay, then Speaker of the House, again spoke in opposition to Mr. Tallmadge's amendment. His speech is not reported, but he is quoted by Mr. Taylor (of New York) quite extensively: "One of the gentlemen from Kentucky (Mr. Clay) has pressed into his service the cause of humanity. He has pathetically urged us to withdraw our amendment and suffer this unfortunate population to be dispersed over the country. He says they will be better fed, clothed, and sheltered, and their whole condition will be greatly

1 Annals of 15th Congress, Sess. 2, Vol. 1, p. 1166.

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improved.' After referring to the character of the people who, coming "from the Eastern hives with a rapidity never before witnessed, have changed the wilderness between the Ohio and Mississippi into fruitful fields,' Mr. Taylor says, "Will these people settle in a country where they must rank with negro slaves?" "He (Mr. Clay) is governed by no vulgar prejudices, yet with what abhorrence did he speak of the performance, by your wives and daughters, of those domestic duties which he was pleased to call 'servile?' What comparison did he make between the 'black slaves' of Kentucky and the 'white slaves' of the North, and how instantly did he strike a balance in favor of the condition of the former? If such opinions and expressions, even in the ardor of debate, can fall from that honorable gentlemen, what ideas do you suppose are entertained of laboring men by the majority of slaveholders?''

In another debate on the same question, Mr. Scott, delegate from Missouri, quotes Mr. Taylor as saying, "If ever he left his present residence, it would be for Illinois or Missouri; at all events he wished to send out his brothers and his sons." And then Mr. Scott, after commenting on this, "hoped the House would excuse him while he stated that he did not desire that gentleman, his sons, or his brothers in that land of brave, noble, and independent freemen. What! starve

the negroes, pen them up in the swamps and morasses, confine them to Southern latitudes, until the race becomes extinct, that the fair land of Missouri may be tenanted by that gentleman, his brothers, and his sons?'' 2

In the remarks of these two speakers, we discern the key-note to the whole struggle.

The debate was continued with unremitting violence, Mr. Cobb (of Georgia) declaring, "If you persist, the

1 Annals of 15th Congress, Sess. 2, Vol. 1, pp. 1175–77.

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Union will be dissolved," and Mr. Tallmadge (of New York) retorting, "Sir, if a dissolution of the Union must take place, let it be so! If Civil War, which gentlemen so much threaten, must come, I can only say, let it come.""

Mr. Tallmadge's amendment consisted of two propositions, one for "the prohibiting the further introduction of slavery," and the other that "all children born within said State after the admission thereof into the Union shall be free at the age of twenty-five years.' Both passed, but by only small majorities, some of the Northeners voting with the Southern minority.2

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Mr. Storrs (of New York) "moved to strike out so much of the bill as says that the new State shall be admitted into the Union-'on an equal footing with the original States.""

After the vote just taken, Mr. S. said: "there was a manifest inconsistency in retaining this provision.""

This motion was negatived. The Annals here say: "Mr. Scott (Missouri delegate), and Mr. Anderson, of Kentucky (Richard C.), greatly as they had been opposed to the insertion of the provision which had been so much debated, yet preferred taking the bill as it stood, to rejecting it."

The bill was then passed by 97 to 56 and sent to the Senate for its concurrence. The Senate struck out both clauses restricting slavery and returned it to the House. The House refused to concur with the action of the Senate, and the bill was of course lost.

The excitement on the subject was intense; the North being fully determined to appropriate for her own people, and as free territory, this beautiful, fertile and great State, already settled up, well opened to cultivation, and most tempting in its fairness of scenery, of soil and of climate; whilst the South resented deeply


1 Annals of 15th Congress, Sess. 2, Vol. 1, p. 1204. ' Idem, p. 1214.

' Idem, p. 1215.

and bitterly the open statements of the North that slavery should never go beyond the Mississippi River— that the South was to be deprived of the use of all that territory purchased equally with her money as with that of the North, and more than equally with her blood; that Missouri, a territory which had been settled up by Kentuckians, Tennesseans, Virginians and North Carolinians, should be deprived of her sovereign right to hold her slaves if she chose, when that right belonged to every other State in the Union; Mr. Cobb (of Georgia) declaring that "they were kindling a fire which all the waters of the ocean could not extinguish. It could be extinguished only in blood."

The Arkansas Territory had meantime been taken off from the Territory of Missouri, and on Feb. 17th, the day after the passage by the House of Mr. Tallmadge's amendment, the bill to provide a territorial government for Arkansas being before them, Mr. Taylor (of New York) moved to amend it by inserting a paragraph prohibiting the existence of slavery therein, similar to Mr. Tallmadge's amendment.

This motion gave rise to another wide and long continued debate in which Mr. Clay must again have left the Speaker's chair to take part, as Mr. Taylor quotes from his speech:

"The gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Clay) has asked," said Mr. T., "what the people of the South have done, that they are to be proscribed, and had expressed his deep regret at the introduction of this amendment."

"The gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Clay) has charged us," said Mr. T., "with being under the influence of negrophobia." "The honorable Speaker,' said Mr. Taylor, "has asked us if we wish to coop up our brethren of the Slave-holding States, and prevent the extension of their population and wealth.""

On the next day the vote was taken on the amendment

1 Annals of 15th Congress, Sess. 2, Vol. 1, pp. 122-23-24.

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