« AnteriorContinuar »
Admission of Missouri.
judicial department. It was, however, the first gation to the gentleman for wishing to prevent time he had ever heard it urged as a sound or safe that quarter of the country from this inconveniprinciple that the rights, or even the claims of any ence, by shutting up Missouri, which would leave portion of the people might be abandoned by the them no other resort but the white peopled States. Legislature, because the courts could do them jus- But further, if a colored man may become a free tice. It was, indeed, curious to observe the fluc- citizen, he cannot be sent away; and, if not a cittuations of opinion relative to the judicial power izen, other States are not bound to receive him occasioned by the different circumstances under when he is sent away. Mr. O., however, did not which it was called forth. There was now upon admit that the mere manumission of a slave would the table a resolution declaring pull and void the make him a citizen. This was a very different sedition act, which had received the sanction of question from any which he had considered, and two Congresses and many judicial decisions. In it might be far from true that manumission would this case of Missouri, however, he insisted that the produce any such effect, and yet every principle judiciary could give no adequate relief. The jus- advanced by him remains impregnable. tice here sought was not remedial but preventive- On the whole, he said, he had no ambition to not to restore to an individual violated rights, but be distinguished as a zealot in the cause of emanto place numbers beforehand in a condition to ex- cipation, or an advocate for a sudden change of ercise them. It was to retain (so far as the ex- condition in that unfortunate class of persons who pression of the opinion of Congress could do it) to were held in servitude. Much less was he inclined all free colored citizens the right of going to Mis- to adopt any language or measures tending to souri, if they thought fit, and settling therein, and excite among them a spirit of discontent, or to not to redress the injury of one or more individ-wound the feelings or rouse the irritation or resentuals who might be driven from its limits. Con-ment of their owners. The evil of slavery was gress was to settle a principle, not to try cause, too profoundly rooted for him to indicate or even and if the principle was abandoned, no cause imagine its cure. would ever be tried. What individual would ever No circumstances led him to regret discussions be found to journey through the immeasurable affecting the people of color in the United States wilderness, " with lingering steps and slow," and more than their unavoidable tendency to elicit obset his foot in Missouri with a certainty of being servations which might be misunderstood, and driven back, for the privilege of having recourse aggravate the troubles of slavery by adding disto the courts of the United States, at an expense content and vain hopes of freedom to the number. entirely beyond his compass, and beyond the value. The actual condition of slaves in the old States of the object of his journey? And if such a per- was not a subject for the cognizance of Congress. son could be found, what is the situation of others And until those whom it immediately concerned who might wish to settle there while the cause is could make some discovery whereby the abolition pending? It had, indeed, been often urged, that of slavery could be effecied, he feared that the the Legislature of Missouri might enact laws to efforts of others, however well intended, would be the end provided for in their constitution, even if worse than nugatory. So far was he from wishthat instrument had been silent. Certainly they ing it to be understood by the slaves that the people might do so, but it was equally certain they might of the North would hold them justified in any vioforbear thus to legislate. But, by passing this res- lent measures to attempt the aitainment of freeolution, and thus giving efficacy to their constitu- dom, he was desirous of their realizing, what he tion, you communicate to the State and to its con- believed to be true, that all considerate persons in stitution the whole power of the Union for giving every section of the Union would unite with one effect to this policy, and compel their Legislature accord with their masters in putting down every to pass laws which they might otherwise omit, or species of revolt and insurrection, as pregnant with vhich, if enacted, they might afterwards repeal. dreadful calamities to the whole nation. This had The honorable gentleman from Maine had favored ever been his feeling and his language. But, with the Senate with an exposition of his ideas of the these convictions, he would strenuously and for dem citizen, as found in the Constitution, which ever oppose the extension of slavery, and all mea
O. said he was not able to comprehend, but sures which should subject a freeman, of whatever Xuch, if he did understand it, would enable a color, to the degradation of a slave. Believing, 144 to disfranchise all her citizens of all colors therefore, that every free citizen of color in the complexions.
Union was joint tenant with himself in the public He would not pause to consider that doctrine, lands of Missouri, and of the jurisdiction possessed nor, in deed, to notice all the suggestions of that by the United States in that Territory until it gentleman. There was, however, one topic un- should be elsewhere vested; and that, however folded by him to which he would for a moment humble and disadvantageous might be his sphere, advert. The gentleman contended that our oppo- he was entitled to his protection equally with those sition to the power of the States to exclude persons born to a happier destiny, he could not consent to of color from settlement in their jurisdictions an act which should divest him of his property would operate in favor of the slaveholding States and rights, and interdict him from even passing sending away their freed blacks into other States, into a country of which he was a legitimate coand that the Northern States would be thus over- proprietor with himself. run with their swarms. He could not believe, When Mr. Otis had concludedhowever, that the North would realize their obli- Mr. BARBOUR, of Virginia, presuming that some
16th Con. 2d SE88.-4
Admission of Missouri.
other gentleman might desire to deliver his senti- with the amendments reported thereto by the Comments on the question, moved an adjournment; mittee on Military Affairs, and, having agreed to and the Senate adjourned.
the amendments, the further consideration of the bill was postponed until to-morrow.
The Senate proceeded to consider, as in ComMONDAY, December 11.
mittee of the Whole, the bill, entitled “An act to Mr. Barbour gave notice that, to-morrow, he incorporate the managers of the National Vaccine would ask leave to bring in a bill concerning the Institution in the District of Columbia ;" and the collection of the public moneys.
further consideration thereof was postponed until Mr. PINKNEY submitted the following motion to-morrow. for consideration :
The Senate proceeded to consider, as in ComResolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary be mittee of the Whole, the bill to continue in force instructed to inquire into the expediency of passing a for a further time the act, entitled "An act for law amending or explaining the judiciary laws in such establishing trading-houses with the Indian tribes;"' manner as to authorize, under such restrictions as may and the further consideration thereof was postbe thought proper, the prosecution of writs of error, in poned to Thursday next. criminal cases, from the judgments of the highest court The Senate proceeded to consider, as in Comof judicature in a State, in which any question has mittee of the Whole, the resolution authorizing arisen under the Constitution or laws of the Union, to Mountjoy Bayly to employ a person to attend the the Supreme Court of the United States ; and that the furnace, and no amendment having been proposed said committee report by bill or otherwise.
thereto, the PRESIDENT reported it to the House, A message from the House of Representatives and the resolution was ordered to be engrossed informed the Senate that the House have passed a and read a third time. bill, entitled "An act for the relief of Nicholas Jar- The Senate proceeded to consider, as in Comrott;" a bill, entitled "An act to alter the time of mittee of the Whole, the bill for the relief of John holding the district court in the district of Missis- Holmes, and no amendment having been proposed sippi ;” and a bill, entitled "An act to amend the thereto, the PRESIDENT reported it to the House, act entitled an act to alter the times of the session and it was ordered to be engrossed and read a third of the circuit and district courts in the District of time. Columbia ;'” in which bills they request the con- The Senate proceeded to consider, as in Comcurrence of the Senate.
mittee of the Whole, the bill for the relief of MorThe three last bills brought up for concur- gan Brown, and no amendment having been prorence were read, and severally passed to the second posed thereto, the President reported it to the reading.
House, and it was ordered to be engrossed and Mr. HORSEY, from the Committee on the Dis- read a third time. trict of Columbia, to whom was recommitted the
ADMISSION OF MISSOURI. bill to incorporate the Columbian Society for lite
The Senate then resumed the consideration of rary purposes, reported the same with an amendment.
the resolution declaring the assent of Congress to Mr. HORSEY presented the memorial of Thomas the admission of the State of Missouri into the Law and others, citizens of Washington, praying
Union. that so much of that portion of the public ground
Mr. Eaton, of Tennessee, said, before the Senin the city of Washington, known by the name ate proceeded to a final vote upon the resolution, of “Reservation No. 10," as now remains to the he would ask permission again to offer the amendpublic, may be sold on condition of improvement; ment which had heretofore been submitted, and and the memorial was read, and referred to the rejected. This, he believed, was strictly in order. Committee on the District of Columbia.
The rejection of the proviso being before the SenMr. WALKER, of Alabama, presented the me- ate, in Committee of the Whole, did not prevent morial of the Legislature of the State of Alabama, it from being considered, now that the resolution in behalf of certain petitioners, inhabitants of that was reported to the Senate. Mr. E. then offered State, who are purchasers of public lands, and who, the following amendment to the resolution : from the great diminution of the circulating medi- * Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be um, and the operation of the law reducing the so construed as to give the assent of Congress to any price of the public lands, are unable to comply provision in the constitution of Missouri, if any such with the terms of their purchases, soliciting for there be, which contravenes that clause in the Consaid purchasers such relief as to Congress may seem
stitution of the United States which declares that “the meet; and the memorial was read, and referred to citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges the Committee on the Public Lands.
and immunities of citizens in the several States." The Senate resumed, as in Committee of the Mr. King, of New York, said, as the amendWhole, the consideration of the bill for the relief ment had already been considered, and rejected of Robert Purdy; and, on motion of Mr. Lloyd, by the Senate, he regretted that it had been deemed it was ordered to lie on the table.
expedient to offer it again. I object now, said Mr. The Senate resumed, as in Committee of the K., as I have done before, to this amendment, beWhole, the consideration of the bill for the relief cause it declares that
, in the admission of Misof the officers and volunteers engaged in the late souri, the Senate have not considered, and do not campaign against the Seminole Indians, together pronounce any opinion, concerning the clause of
Admission of Missouri.
the Missouri constitution which makes it the duty to detain the Senate; that if he had entertained a of the Legislature thereof to pass laws to exclude wish to engage in the discussion, the present state free negroes and mulattoes from coming to, and of his health was such, that he could not express settling in, Missouri. This declaration ought not himself so as to be heard by the Senate, nor could to be made, because it would exhibit the Senate in he speak at all without great pain. He rose, he this singular situation, (if his construction of the said, 10 state an objection to the constitution of constitution of Missouri was correct,) that, in Missouri, which had not been alluded to in the passing the act of admission, the Senate omits to debate on this resolution-an objection of more consider and to allow its due weight to the only force, and, in bis view, involving principles more provision in that Constitution upon which the important to the interests of the nation, than the obligation to admit, or not admit, Missouri de provision which had been so much discussed. The pends. Mr. K. said he considered this proposition eighth article of the constitution of Missouri auof much more importance than the mover of it thorizes the establishment of a bank with a capital appeared to do; and he was not willing to decide not to exceed five millions of dollars, at least oneon it instanter at any rate.
half of which shall be reserved for the use of the Mr. Eaton replied at some length. He said he State. Mr. T. said he considered this provision a certainly would be as unwilling as any one to direct and palpable violation of that part of the press the consideration of what he had submitted, tenth section of the Federal Constitution, which before gentlemen had fully made up their minds, provides that "no State shall coin money, emit and were prepared to vote. He doubted not, how- bills of credit, (or] make any thing but gold and ever, but that upon this subject all were prepared. silver coin a tender in payment of debts." This It would be borne in mind by the Senate that this important provision of the Federal Constitution, was not now an original proposition, but one that said Mr. T., was intended to guard against evils had before been considered and voted upon. When which might embarrass the Federal Government, he had first the honor of submitting it, the gentle and prove destructive to the best interests of the man from New York (Mr. King) had urged his people of the United States. Animmaterial change want of preparation, and on an application for in the form did not change the tance. Whepostponement by himself, the postponement had ther a bill of credit is signed by an auditor, a been granted. Under this state of things, Mr. E. treasurer, an officer of a State, or a president of a could not perceive any necessity for further pro- bank created for that purpose, the erils are the crastination, more especially when it seemed to The power to coin money, regulate the be the wish of all to put an end, in some way, to value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the this unpleasant question. Mr. É. said as to the standard of weights and measures, has been exconstitutionality of the subject, however other clusively given to Congress. It was never congentlemen might be fully satisfied, yet with him, templated or anticipated that these important and with others he believed, the fact was other powers should be rendered nugatory by bank mawise. He was not willing either to affirm or to chinery, put in operation either by Federal or deny, that the constitution of Missouri was in strict State power. Mr. T. said it was also his opinion conformity to the Constitution of the United States; that banks, as established in the United States, he should have doubts were he to be required af- are anti-republican institutions, which tend inevifirmatively to vote either way. But of this he did tably to aristocracy, not pretend to doubt that, thus situated, thus doubt- Mr. Smith said he would refer the gentleman ing, it was his duty to lean to the side of the Con- to the journals of the last session, to show that a stitution, and by his vote to support that instru- resolution admitting Alabama into the Union had ment which he and every member had sworn to passed without opposition, and that the constitumaintain in violate. The proviso ventured an opin-tion of Alabama contained a provision for the ion neither way; it was a protestando in the true establishment of a bank. signification of the term-the exclusion of a con- The Senate then divided on the amendment, clusion—a waiver on the part of Congress to give and there rose in its favor twenty-three members, an opinion either one way or the other. This and it was agreed to. being the object which he wished to attain, he The question then being on ordering the resolutrusted the Senate would excuse his again press- tion to a third reading, as amendeding on their consideration that which had been Mr. Morrit, of New Hampshire, arose and before acted and voted upon. Encouraged by the thus addressed the Senate: information that some gentlemen who had before Mr. President: It cannot be said by the honorvoted against the proviso had changed their opin- able Senate that I am in the practice of consuming ions, and were now disposed to vote for it, was much of their time in debate, or of frequently askwith him the inducement for again venturing to ing their attention to my remarks. When the offer it. Time had been afforded to think fully honorable gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. Baron it, and further delay he thought ought not to BOUR,) immediately after this resolution was rebe requested.
ported by your committee, intimated a wish that Mr. Barbour declined engaging in the debate, the question might be taken sub silentio, I was gratnot, he said, that he was unwilling to meet the ified with the hope that the unpleasant subject question, but with a hope and under the expecta- would pass off in that way. But as several gention that the question would be immediately taken. tlemen have occupied your attention, and have
Mr. TRIMBLE, of Ohio, said it was not his wish I presented an unexpected view of the subject, I am
Admission of Missouri.
inclined to offer my opinion also. In doing this, isting circumstances of the country, it would not I am not influenced from an anxiety to make a seem strange if a peculiar anxiety were manifest speech before the Senate, nor from the pride of on their application to a case pregnant with doubts having the event announced in the public papers and fearful apprehensions. simply for the perusal of my constituents. I would Sir, the first thing when I entered this chamber, assure the Senate I am not stimulated either by to become a member of the Senate, was, to appleasure or ambition on this occasion ; neither will proach your chair, and take a solemn oath to supmy remarks arise from any peculiar hostility to port the Constitution. This I consider more than the admission of Missouri into this Union, on such a mere formality-an obligation by which I am principles, and with such a constitution, as coin- bound, in my own conscience, to guard with vigicide with the provisions of the Constitution of the lance the general and particular rights guarantied United States. I disclaim sinister motives and by that instrument to this privileged nation. It is sectional partialities on this subject, and declare not necessary to refer you to the toils and privamyself actuated by more noble and important tions of past periods to show their value. À moviews; and, solemnly impelled by a sense of duty ment's reflection upon the time that Sir Walter I owe to my constituents and my country, I will Raleigh visited the banks of the Roanoke; Capendeavor to divest myself of preconceived opinions tain Smith explored the Eastern shore from Peou the subject of slavery, and avoid any expression nobscot to Cape Cod, or our ancestors landed upon which may tend to revive those unpleasant sensa- the Rock of Plymouth, with some of the succeedtions which so evidently prevailed in this body ing events, will furnish the mind with evidence of during the last session, and through the country, the estimate we ought to put upon the Constituand examine the subject as involving a great Con- tion, and the blessings it secures to our country. stitutional question. The inquiry is not, in this Forty years successful experience of the enjoyment case, whether slavery shall exist or be tolerated in of equal rights, under a free Government, demonMissouri. I am ready to admit, for the moment, strate the advantages of republican institutions. that this has been so far settled by the vote of the But, sir, I waive all other considerations, and prolast session as not to come into the present debate; ceed to examine one point which attracts our atbut the passing of the resolution recognises a prin- tention and merits particular notice. ciple materially affecting the rights of other States Is there any paragraph in the constitution of and the privileges of their citizens. This princi- Missouri which contravenes any provision in the ple, and the consequences of admitting it, will be Constitution of the United States? This will be the subject of my remarks.
a subject of inquiry. Sir, I must be permitted to state that this debate We find in the Constitution of Missouri that, is not courted by Congress; it is from imperious "it shall be the duty of the General Assembly, as necessity that any are compelled to protest against soon as may be, to pass such laws as may be nethe adoption of ihe resolution; to save the Con- cessary to prevent negroes and mulattoes from stitution of the nation inviolate, and preserve har-coming to, and settling in this State, under any mony and union.
pretext whatsoever. No comment upon this can To present my view more fully on this subject, be necessary to render its meaning perfectly intelit may be useful to recur to the objects of the Con- ligible. federation. These I discover, in part, in the pre- This will lead me to inquire into the duty and amble of the Constitution :
power of Congress, and then recur to this
pro“ We, the people of the United States, in order to vision again. form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure do- “The United States, in Congress assembled, shall mestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, guaranty to every State in this Union a republipromote the general welfare, and secure the blessings can form of Government, and protect each of of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and them against invasion." This is necessary, to establish this Constitution for the United States of " insure domestic tranquillity, promote the genAmerica."
eral welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty “Union, justice, domestic tranquillity, common to ourselves and our posterity.” defence, general welfare, and the blessings of lib- It is the duty of Congress to see “ that full faith erty secured to posterity,” were the grand and pri- and credit are given in each State to the public mary objects in establishing this Constitution, un-acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every der which, and for these purposes, the Government other State." This is essential “ to perfect the was organized. The guardianship and protection Union, establish justice," cement the bonds of harof this, the charter of our rights, is now committed mony, and secure the rights and privileges of the to the people and their representatives in Congress. existing States. It is, then, our duty, with vigilance and a watch- By this, a mutual friendship would be encourful eye, to mark the progress of events, and arrest, aged, a unity of sentiment extended, and a confiat the threshold, the unhallowed hand which may dence in the whole concentrated. be raised to pervert its meaning, misuse its provis- Congress have power to receive new States into ions, or tarnish its glory. After reflecting upon the the Confederacy. New States may be admitted solemn obligations which devolve upon the mem- by the Congress into this Union.” In doing this, bers of this body, to examine with solicitude the they are bound to see that the rights and privileges principles and provisions of the Constitution, and of the individual States are not infringed. They faithfully and impartially apply them to the ex- | are not only expected to secure inviolate the rights
SENATE. of States, but “the privileges and immunities” of As I before observed, I must now, for the purtheir citizens. Among these, the following is a pose of comparison, recur to the provision of the very essential one. “ The citizens of each State constitution of Missouri, which makes it the duty shall be entitled to all the privileges and immuni- of“ the General Assembly to pass laws to prevent ties of citizens in the several States."
'free negroes and mulattoes from coming to, and Sir, by this I understand that a citizen in any settling in, this State, under any pretext whatsoState in the Union may pass into any other State' ever." in the Union, and there enjoy all the privileges Believing it fully demonstrated, that free persons and immunities of citizens” in the State to which of color are citizens, and conceiving it equally clear he removes.
that some States in the Union have citizens of The same principle I find engrafted in the Arti- this description, and that the Constitution of the cles of Confederation; by having recourse to that United States secures to all the citizens in all the I find my exposition confirmed, and the same sen-States the unmolested liberty of migrating to any timent more fully and particularly expressed. State in the Union, and there to enjoy unrestrained,
" The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friend- the “privileges and immunities” of the citizens of ship and intercourse among the people of the different that State, I ask, is this restrictive clause in the States in this Union, the free inhabitants of each of constitution of Missouri compatible with the exthese States shall be entitled to all the privileges and press provisions of the Constitution of the United immunities of free citizens in the several States; and States? the people of each State shall have free ingress and I distinctly answer the question. Sir, it is not. regress to and from any other State, and shall enjoy But, say gentlemen, " we must not examine this therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, sub- subject;" there may be difficulties, and there may ject to the same duties, impositions, and restrictions, not be. If there should be any, submit them to as the inhabitants thereof respectively."
the Judiciary. The express language of this section so perfectly Sir, I do not accede to this doctrine. Congress coincides with the opinion I have ventured to ad- have the power to examine, and I shall venture to vance, that a comment could add nothing to its exercise it. “New States may be admitted by the perspicuity. Could the term citizen need exposi- Congress into this Union.” How? By guess, or tion, I would offer one, which, however, I could by lot, without knowledge or reflection; or by exscarcely have imagined, had it not been for the amination and legislation ? "The United States novel and fallacious remarks of the honorable gen- shall guaranty to every State in this Union a retleman from Maine (Mr. Holmes.). In the fore- publican form of government.” How are the regoing extract we find the terms “inhabitants, cit- publican features of the Constitution to be ascerizens, and people,” used as synonymous.
iained but by examination? It can be done neither These are perfectly well understood in our com- by weight nor by measure. munity, and, I will only add, take from the inhab- I would seriously ask, for what purpose was the itants slaves and aliens, and ihe remainder are cit- constitution of Missouri presented to Congress ? izens.
We are led to presume, for examination and apColor does not come into the consideration, and probation, as this has been the general practice it has no share in characterizing an inhabitant or from the organization of the Government to the a citizen. On this exposition 1 shall rest my argu- present time. ment.
If this were not the case, why did not the conI will now pass to inquire what are the provi- vention of Missouri inform Congress by letter, or sions of the Constitution of the United States re- its delegate, they had made a constitution, and specting the powers of the several States. These must now be admitted into the Union ? Surely are all uniform and equal. They have certain this would have been a very summary and novel powers, and are prohibited certain acts.
course, but no more exceptionable than to offer a “The times, places, and manner of holding elec- constitution without admitting the liberty of ex'tions for Senators and Representatives, shall be amining it.
prescribed in each State by the Legislature there- The condition of Vermont was materially dif• of;" and, when vacancies occur, the State au- ferent from that of any other State. In consethority may fill them. But “no State shall enter quence of difficulties subsisting between her and
into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; coin New York, respecting territorial limits, her consti'money, or make any thing but gold and silver tution was formed, and her government organized,
coin a tender in payment of debts; or grant any some years previous to her admission into the * title of nobility; or keep troops or ships of war Union. But on her application by commissioners, in time of peace.”
she was admitted by an act of Congress, approved The reason is, by agreement, it is prohibited in February 18, 1791.' “ The State of Vermont havthe Constitution, and in the same manner by agreeing petitioned the Congress to be admitted a ment, it is provided, that the citizens of each Štate member of the United States, Be it enacted, &c.,
“ shall be entitled to all the privileges and immuni- That, on the 4th day of March, 1791, the said
ties of citizens in the several States ;” and they State, by the name and style of the State of “shall have free ingress and regress to and from Vermont,' shall be received and admitted into
any other State, and shall enjoy therein all the this Union, as a new and entire member of the privileges of the inhabitants thereof, subject to no United States of America." other restriction than they respectively' endure. The district of Kentucky, being originally a part