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Admission of Missouri.
of Virginia, applied to that Commonwealth for power of approving or disapproving. For this I permission to form herself into a new State, and contend ; and these remarks are made to show the petitioned Congress for admission into the Union; propriety and reasonableness of my claim. This whereupon an act passed for that purpose. "Where- privilege has been claimed, and this power has
as the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Vir- been exercised by an authority no more competent 'ginia, by an act entitled, &c., have consented that than that of the present Congress.
the district of Kentucky, &c., should be formed But, say gentlemen, you must not examine into into a new State; and whereas a convention of this subject, but turn it over to the judiciary. delegates, &c., have petitioned Congress to con- Sir, I choose to examine for myself. This being sent, &c., that the said district should be formed my right, I conceive a different course needless and into a new State, and be received into the Union, improper. Needless, because Congress have the by the name of the State of Kentucky'—Be it power and ability. This is delegated to this deenacted, &c., That the Congress doth consent partment of the Government; in the first instance, that the said district of Kentucky, &c., shall, by the Constitution; and Congress have no right upon the first day of June, 1792, be formed into to surrender it. “New States may be admitted by a new State; and, upon the aforesaid first day of the Congress,” and no other body. June, 1792, the said new State, by the name and It is improper, because it would perplex a cer6 style of the State of Kentucky, shall be received tain class of proprietors. Apply this to the poor and admitted into this Union, as a new and en- yellow man who owns land in Missouri. They tire member of the United States of America."
pass a law prohibiting free negroes and mulattoes Thus we see the formality which has been ob- from settling "in the State, under any pretext served in admitting new States into the Union. whatsoever.". This is in force till nullified by the In no instance has this diminished, but in all in- judiciary, which cannot be effected without an acstances it has increased. We will pass the admis- tion at law. Is he able to endure this excessive bursion of all intermediate States, and come to that den? Who would undertakeitto get into Missouri ? of Louisiana, which is directly in point. The The barrier is equal to an armed force, extending Territory of Orleans applied for admission into the around the whole territory of the State. It would Union, and Congress passed an act authorizing keep any citizen in the Union out, and this was them to call a convention and form a constitution, the design of it. Surely, if they were to say, enumerating certain conditions upon which she (which they could with equal propriety,) that no should be received; among which were the fol- citizen with a gray head should settle in Missouri, lowing: “That, in case the convention shall de- I would never make the attempt. Hence, then, clare its assent, in behalf of the people of the this provision in the constitution of Missouri is said territory, to the adoption of the Constitu- in direct hostility to the Constitution of the United tion of the United States, and shall form a con- States. stitution and State government for the people of This, sir, is distinctly admitted in the report of the said territory, the said convention is hereby the committee of the House, to whom the constirequired to cause to be transmitted to Congress tution was referred. They say, "the committee • the instrument by which its assent to the Con- ' are not unaware that a part of the 26th section of
stitution of the United States is thus given and the 3d article of the constitution of Missouri, by * declared; and also a true and attested copy of which the legislature of that State has been directsuch constitution as shall be formed by said con- ed to pass laws 'to prevent free negroes and muvention; and, if the same shall not be disapprov- lattoes from coming to, and settling in, the State,' ed by Congress at their next session, the said has been construed to apply to such of that class • State shall be admitted into the Union upon the 'as are citizens of the United States; and that same footing with the original States."
( their exclusion has been deemed repugnant to the Here we distinctly see that Congress required, Federal Constitution.” Here the fact for which previous to her admission, and as pre-requisites, we contend is conceded ; and, also, that there are that the convention should declare its assent to the some “ of that class who are citizens of the United adoption of the Constitution of the United States, States.” If this is not the case, why your provisos ? and transmit the instrument of their assent to them; Why submit nothing to the judiciary? Why and, also, an attested copy of their constitution, must there be a protestando introduced ?
and, if the same should not be disapproved by Mr. President, I proceed to show the conseCongress," they should be admitted.
quences of this provision. With respect to Missouri the law says, Section Some States have free citizens of color. This 7, “And be it further enacted, That, in case a con- is the case in Vermont, New Hampshire, and stitution and State government shall be formed Massachusetts. In Vermont, there is a mulatto for the people of the said Territory of Missouri, man by the name of Haines, who is a regular the said convention, or representatives, as soon as ordained minister in Rutland. He is pastor of a may be, shall cause a true and attested copy of church and society of white people; has frequentsuch constitution or frame of State government, ly been moderator of the Theological Association as shall be formed or provided, to be transmitted to which he belongs, and also of ecclesiastical to Congress.”
councils convened for the ordination of ministers. Here, then, we learn Congress prescribed condi- In fact, his abilities, education, moral character, tions; required the constitution to be presented ; and standing in society, are such that he has rereserved the privilege of examination, and the Iceived an honorary degree of Master of Arts from
Admission of Missouri.
the University. But this man and his family, al- that State? It will afford him no relief. But " the though of high standing in community, and pos- Assembly shall not interfere with any regulation sessing all the faculties of citizens, are proscribed, Congress may find it necessary for securing the and, by the constitution of Missouri, are prohibited title in such soil to the bona fide purchasers.” settling in the State.
What security will this afford to the yellow man In New Hampshire, there was a yellow man by desirous of settling in Missouri ? They will not the name of Cheswell, who, with his family, were destroy his title, but they will not permit him to respectable in point of abilities, property, and come into the State. The gentleman's argument character. He held some of the first offices in goes upon the ground, that à title and possession the town in which he resided, was appointed jus- are the same. This l'do not admit. It is a printice of the peace for that county, and was perfectly ciple laid down in the books, that one person may competent io perform with ability all the duties of hold the title and another the possession; and this his various offices in the most prompt, accurate, is proved from daily experience. If this were not and acceptable manner. But, this family are for the case, what gives origin to a writ of ejectment? bidden to enter and live in Missouri.
It grows out of the very circumstance that one In Boston, is a mulatto man by the name of person may hold the title and another the possesThomas Paul, a regularly ordained Baptist Min- sion; and the title may be good, but possession ister, pastor of a church of people of color, at cannot be obtained without an action at law. whose meeting many white people attend, and The quality of the title in this case may be interwho preaches by exchange or otherwise, with all red from the fact, that, although the yellow man the neighboring ministers of his denomination. may not enter and possess the premises, he can
Sir, you not only exclude these citizens from transfer bis title to a white citizen, who may, withtheir Constitutional privileges and immunities,” out molestation, enter and enjoy the premises. but also your soldiers of color, to whom you have Then, on a critical examination of the Constigiven patents for land. You had a company of tution, we find no relief, but are compelled to yield this description. They have fought your battles; to the fact, that free citizens of some States are they have defended your country; they have pre- precluded the privilege of settling in Missouri; by served your privileges, but have lost their own. which their rights are abridged, contrary to the What did you say to them on their enlistment? provisions of the Constitution of the United States. We will give you a monthly compensation, and Mr. President, can we suffer one, even the meanat the close of the year, 160 acres of good land, on est of our citizens, to be unconstitutionally dewhich you may settle, and, by cultivating the soil, prived of his privileges ? No. We are the guarspend your declining years in peace, and in the dians of his rights, and, in the performance of our enjoyment of those immunities for which you duty, we cannot permit them to be infringed. have fought and bled. Now, sir, you restrict
How was it with Mr. Meade, who was unjustly them, and will not suffer them to enjoy the fruit retained in prison in Spain ? He was deprived of of their labor. Where is the public faith in this case? his liberties and immunities. Congress took noDid they suppose, with a patent in their hand, tice of the circumstance, and thai very justly. declaring their title to land in Missouri, with the Executive interference was exercised, and his libseal of the nation and President's signature affixed erty was regained. This manifested a suitable rethereto, it would be said to them, by any authority, gard to the rights of our citizens. When our citiyou shall not possess the premises ? "This could zens are taken and retained by the Algerines, you never have been anticipated.
retake or negotiate and redeem them. In this case But, says the honorable gentleman from Maine, you make no distinction between the white man (Mr. Holmes,) " they are perfectly secured by a and negro—they are both redeemed with your mosaving clause in the constitution of Missouri,” ney. When Commodore O'Brien was consul at which must be taken in connexion with that part Algiers, there were six negroes redeemed at the which prohibits their settling in the State.' It same price as white men; and one slave, who was must, therefore, be read: "it shall be the duty of restored to his owner, but not made free. When
the General Assembly to pass laws, to prevent free your soldiers are captured, black or white, you renegroes and mulattoes from coming to and settling deem them. It is proper that you should. These ' in this State, under any pretext whatsoever: are only the infringement of other rights, than * Provided, however, The General Assembly shall those abridged by the constitution of Missouri. never interfere with the primary disposal of the The question is not what privileges may be viosoil by the United States, nor with any regula- lated, nor how many, nor to what degree, nor * tion Congress may find 'necessary for securing whether the citizen be black or white; but can we
the title in such soil to the bona fide purchasers.” tamely suffer one State to deprive any citizen of My humble opinion is, this does not reach the case. any of his Constitutional rights and privileges ? Were it to protect patentees of the Government, Íf Missouri can do this, why not keep a standing this would be only a part of that class of citizens army, enter into a treaty, coin money, and grant who are liable to suffer. But the fact is, it will titles of nobility ? She is a frontier State—the Innot do that. The law says, a mulatto man shall dians are near; it may be very convenient to keep not settle in Missouri “under any pretext what- ; an army or make a treaty. The reason is, the soever.” This provision says, “ the Assembly shall Constitution of the United States distinctly says never interfere with the primary disposal of the she shall not. And in the other case it expressly soil.” .What has this to do with his settling in declares, “the citizens of each State shall be en
Admission of Missouri.
titled to all the privileges and immunities of the honorable Delegate, and one of the gentlemen who citizens of Missouri; and they shall have as free appears here as a Senator, that this paragraph ingress and regress as her own citizens now would be objectionable. But it is here, not inadhave." This is the only consistent construction vertently nor from necessity. If they had intended that can be given to the Constitution of the Uni- to pass a law similar to that directed by this pated States, and the only safe principle which can ragraph in the constitution, they could have done be adopted to secure the provisions of the Consti- it without this provision. tution from infraction, and the rights and privi- Mr. President: Before I take my seat, I must be leges of the citizens of the several States from the permitted to make a few strictures upon some remost destructive violation. Admit the contrary marks which fell from the honorable gentleman principle, and each State becomes a monarchy, or from South Carolina, (Mr. Smith.) He observed is transformed to despotism. Our dearest privi- that “negroes and mulattoes are not citizens of the leges are wrested from our hands; and those very United States." It is not my intention to conrights by which our national union, domestic tran- sume your time to demonstrate the contrary of quillity, and general welfare are secured, are for this; because it would not, in the least degree, ever annihilated. If you can proscribe one class vary the subject. Our inquiry is, and it is the of citizens, you may another. Color no more point which settles the question, are they citizens comes into consideration to decide who is a citizen of any particular State ? This point I have than size or profession. You may as well say a proved, and on the other hand it is admitted; and tall citizen shall not settle in Missouri, as a yellow if they are citizens of any one State in the Union, citizen shall not. If one State can do this all may. this is enough for our purpose. I would ask my The consequence will be, that size, profession, age, friend, what is the man in his country who is shape, color, or any disgusting quality in a citizen, neither a slave nor an alien? In mine he is a citiwould be a sufficient reason why he should be zen. The gentleman argued largely to show that precluded settling in any State, which, from its slavery was tolerated in Republics." He need not pride, caprice, or vanity, are disposed to keep him have gone to Rome, Greece, nor Sparta, to have out. Sir, under such a state of things, where are proved this; it is evident from our daily observaour liberties and privileges? They are fled. They tion, and, of course, admitted. But what is this are absorbed in the caprice of a State. Where is to the point in debate? What has this to do with your "free ingress and regress from State to State?" the question whether Missouri has a Constitutional Your national existence is lost; the Union is de- right to prohibit free citizens from settling in her stroyed; the objects of confederation annihilated, Territory? Does it follow, because slavery is toland your political fabric demolished.
erated in Republics, therefore Missouri may proSir, I have endeavored to point out the objects scribe free citizens ? This reasoning is neither of the American confederacy; the duty and power conclusive nor convincing: of Congress; the duty, power, and privileges of The gentleman says: " Missouri is now a State States; who are citizens of some States, and the to all intents and purposes.” This is not admitrights of our citizens, and the provisions of the ted. What has made her a State ? What is the Constitution of the United States, by which those language of your resolution ? Not that she now rights are secured, and the provisions of the con- is, but ihat she shall be, a State, when this resolustitution of Missouri; and have come to this irre- tion is passed by both Houses, and approved by sistible conclusion, that the Constitution of the the President. United States secures to the citizens of all the "Be it resolved, &c., that the State of Missouri States in the Union, "the privileges and immu- shall be, and is hereby declared to be, one of the nities of the citizens" of each State in the Union; /' United States of America.” But, were it true but Missouri, in her constitution, precludes certain that she is a State, there is nothing gained by it. citizens, in certain States, the "privileges and im- Vermont was a State a long time before she was munities" of her own citizens; therefore, the con- received into the Union. The question is, shall stitution of Missouri contravenes the express pro- | Missouri be admitted with a constitution which visions of the Constitution of the United States. conflicts with the Constitution of the United For these reasons I vote against the lution. States ?
Sir, a few more words, and I close my argu- My friend argues, “we are bound by the Treaty ment. I regret that I feel compelled to offer an of Cession to receive her.” Admit this
. But in opinion of the complexion of this business. I la- that treaty there are terms and conditions. “The ment that it has the appearance of defiance. Il inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorhave endeavored to put the most favorable con- porated in the Union of the United States, and struction possible upon it, and it amounts to a admitted as soon as possible, according to the challenge. Oppose us if you dare! I am driven principles of the Federal Constitution.” Hence, to this result from knowledge and reflection. On in her admission, the principles of the Federal examining this constitution, I am sure it was not constitution must be observed and maintained inpenned by uninformed men. Aside from a few violate. This was the ground on which Louisiexceptionable parts, it is one of the best constitu- ana was received, and Missouri being a part of tions I have ever seen. The Convention were not the same purchase, she must be admitted on the unapprized of the feelings excited last session. same principles, and in the same way, and no The particular exceptionable clause was not in other. the original draught. They were informed by their But the gentleman says, “ States were admitted
SENATE. without presenting their constitution.” This may stricted. To maintain this position, he took occa
! have been the case. Circumstances have been i sion to explain the Constitution of the United different, especially with Vermont; and the man- States, and that of Missouri, the incorrectness of ner of this transaction less formal and correct than which will more fully appear in his after remarks, at the present time. Because another State has in the application of the principle. As my former been received, which did not present her constitu- argument had a particular allusion to these opintion, does it follow that Congress must not exam- ions, any further refutation is unnecessary: ine the constitution of Missouri ? It matters not This gentleman says, “ the doctrine that free in this case what has been done; the constitution blacks have a right to enter free States, is danis here presented to Congress. “But you have no gerous." I am a little surprised to hear a gentlepower to control a constitution.”. For what pur-man of so much acuteness in disquisition upon pose, then, is it sent here. To lie on our table? Constitutional law, calculating upon consequences Congress had power to control the constitution of which have no immediate connexion with the Louisiana. Have they less power than they then subject. He might as well argue, that a commerhad ? In this case they said to the Convention, cial enterprise to the Euxine sea, would be detrisend a true and attested copy of your constitution mental to Massachusetts, and therefore Missouri here, and if the same shall not be disapproved by must keep all free citizens of color out of her terCongress at their next session, the said State shall ritory, as to argue that if free blacks may enter be admitted into the Union. This is all the power any free State, Maine will be infested with them; for which we contend ; and this is a privilege and therefore, Missouri must prohibit their settling which Congress has had, and still has, a right to in that State. exercise.
"A State may exclude any person.” Here we “ Louisiana, Ohio, and other States, declare are at issue. I by no means admit the doctrine. how persons coming into them shall obtain a resi- Any State may regulate the terms upon which dence.” This we readily admit; and against emigrants shall become residents ; but no State such regulation have no objection. But does it has any right to exclude them. To utterly profollow, because certain States prescribe condi- bibit, and regulate by law the terms of inhabitancy, tions on which emigrants shall gain a residence, are materially and essentially different ; and one therefore Missouri has a Constitutional right to within the municipal power of every State, the prohibit the citizens of other States from settling other expressly prohibited by the Constitution of in her territory ? Really I do not see the force of the United States. the argument.
But, says the gentleman," the Constitution “States have made a distinction between white means, when they get in, they shall have privileges, people and blacks.” This is very true; so they but they may be kept out." This is a little curious, have between white people. South Carolina has for a gentleman learned in the law. Then, if a distinguished that gentleman in giving him a seat person were to ascend in an air balloon, at a small here, and that very justly; and he has nobly dis- distance from the line of Missouri, and safely land tinguished himself. And what is this to the point? within her territory, the constitution secures to “But in the Eastern States, they whip black peo- him “privileges and immunities;" but it makes no ple—not only once and twice, but ten times, and provision for his crossing the line by land. Under every ten days.” This may be true; and equally this exposition, where is the “free ingress and retrue, that they whip, white people when they vio- gress” of the citizens of each State guarantied by late their laws; and continue to whip, black or the Constitution ? Sir, your constitution is like a white, as long as they continue to violate whole- nose of wax. Your liberties and privileges are a some laws; and I suspect will persevere in the bubble. Your union, domestic tranquillity, and practice until they reform or emigrate to South prospect of common defence, are prostrated to the Carolina, where they may receive better treatment. ground. But, says the gentleman, this doctrine Does this prove any thing with respect to the con- is certainly correct, and to test his principle, he stitutional power of Missouri ?
adds,“ send a mulatto man here, should we not But, says the gentleman, “New Hampshire ex- feel our rights invaded? This has no connexion cludes negroes from training.” This is very true; with the question. It is possible some gentleman and so they excuse many white people. This only might feel his rights invaded. But I would inplaces them among the exempts, generally, the quire, in my turn, what rights are invaded? And first class in society. And from this very circum- I would seriously ask the Senate, if any State in stance, they have the privilege of walking about the Union were duly to elect a yellow man Conwith the other gentlemen and seeing the soldiers stitutionally qualified, commission and send him train. It neither deprives them or any other per- here with his credentials, you can exclude him a son of citizenship or any other privilege.
seat? You have a right to decide on the qualifiBlacks, then, are not degraded in New Hamp- cations of your members; but color is no more a shire. Custom has made a distinction between qualification than height, profession, or nation. them and other men ; but the Constitution and The gentleman observes, “a mulatto, though a laws make none.
citizen in one State, going into Missouri, has po Mr. President, a few words in reply to what has other rights than a mulatto has in Missouri.” Here fallen from the gentleman from Maine, (Mr. we are at issue again. This doctrine 1 fatly deny. Holmes,) and I shall have done. He observed, The salubrious air and fertile soil of Missouri can purchasers under the United States are not re- never metamorphose a free citizen into a slave;
neither can the constitution and law of Missouri reported, and was opposed to the proviso; he theredo it. Were the proposition true, then a black or fore proposed this mode of getting rid of it. yellow free citizen of Maine, going into Virginia, The question on recommitting the resolution would be a slave. As I before intimated, it is cit- was decided in the negative, by yeas and nays, as izen only, and not color, that comes into considera- follows: tion, in deciding this question.
YEAS— Messrs. Burrill, Dickerson, King of New But the gentleman, in a very affecting tone, York, Lanman, Lowrie, Macon, Mills, Morril, Noble, enlists all our sympathies, in view of the conse- Palmer, Roberts, Ruggles, Sanford, Smith, Tichenor, quences of rejecting this unconstitutional instru- | Williams of Tennessee, and Wilson-17. ment from Missouri. For these, sir, I conceive: Nays-Messrs. Barbour, Brown, Chandler, Dana, Congress is not accountable; and, therefore, such Eaton, Edwards, Elliott, Gaillard, Holmes of Maine, imaginary phantoms are not proper subjects of dis- Holmes of Mississippi, Horsey, Hunter, Johnson of cussion, nor suitable beacons to direct our course. Kentucky, Johnson of Louisiana, King of Alabama, Missouri was permitted, under a law of Congress, Lloyd, Parrott, Pinkney, Pleasants, Talbot, Taylor, to form a constitution, “republican, and not re- Thomas, Trimble, Van Dyke, Walker of Alabama, pugnant to the Constitution of the United States,” | Walker of Georgia, and Williams of Mississippi—27. and “transmit an attested copy of such constitu- The question was then taken on ordering the tion to Congress.” It was expected she would resolution, as amended, to be engrossed and read perform this in good faith. If she has utterly a third time, and was decided in the affirmative, failed-formed and presented a constitution re- by yeas and nays, as follows: pugnant to the Constitution of the United States,
YEAS—Messrs. Barbour, Brown, Chandler, Eaton, and unpleasant consequences result, the fault is Edwards, Elliott, Gaillard, Holmes of Maine, Holmes her own. There can be no provision in the con- of Mississippi, Horsey, Johnson of Kentucky, Johnson stitution of Missouri inadvertently introduced; of of Louisiana, King of Alabama, Lloyd, Parrott, Pinkcourse, all the consequences rest upon Missouri. ney, Pleasants, Smith, Talbot, Taylor, Thomas, Van These, however, are not to come into our con- Dyke, Walker of Alabama, Walker of Georgia, Witsideration; the Constitution of the United States liams of Mississippi, and Williams of Tennessee-26. alone is to direct our course.
Nàys— Messrs. Burrill, Dana, Dickerson, Hunter, But the gentleman discovers another difficulty, King of New York, Lanman, Lowrie, Macon, Mills, in case this constitution is rejected: he is unable Morril
, Noble, Palmer, Roberts, Ruggles, Sanford, to determine in what condition Missouri will be, Tichenor, Trimble, and Wilson—18. whether Territory, or State, or neither. With respect to this, sir, I have only to observe, if that gentleman cannot divine, I presume it is within
Tuesday, December 12. the scope of Congress, and merely that circum- Mr. Thomas presented the memorial of the stance would not convince me the object is unat-register of the land office and receiver of public tainable.
moneys at Shawneetown, praying compensation I would also add, that every difficulty of this for extra services rendered in the execution of the kind which could possibly have arisen might have act "granting the right of pre-emption in the been avoided by precautions similar to those ob- purchase of lands to certain settlers in the Illinois served by Maine. She, in the first place, peti- Territory," and of the acts concerning Shawneetioned the Legislature of Massachusetts for leave town; and the memorial was read, and referred to form a constitution and independent State. to the Committee on Public Lands. This was granted. She then formed her consti- Mr. Trimble presented four memorials, signed tution, and fixed her election for State officers by a number of individuals concerned directly or after the probable time of the adjournment of the indirectly as purchasers of public lands prior to then next session of Congress. She presented her the law " making further provision for the sale of constitution for the approbation of Congress and the public lands," stating that said law operates admission into the Union. This was done. After injuriously on them, and praying that they may she became, by an act of Congress, a State in the be permitted to apply the payments already made Union, she elected her officers, and organized her to such portions of their entries as such payments government. If Missouri had pursued the same will cover at two dollars per acre, and that the moderate and consistent course, there could have residue may revert to the United States; and the been no possible difficulty with respect to her memorials were read, and severally referred to the character or condition.
Committee on Public Lands. Mr. President, these being my views of the sub- Mr. Noble presented two memorials, signed by ject, I close my remarks, after presenting my a number of individuals, of the same import and thanks to the honorable Senate for the great can-object as the preceding; which were read, and dor and attention with which they have indulged severally referred to the last mentioned committee. me while I have occupied their time.
On motion by Mr. Williams, of Tennessee, Mr. Macon followed the above speech with a that the Committee on Military Affairs, to whom motion to recommit the resolution to the select was referred the petition of Rebecca Hodgson, be committee which reported it, with instructions to discharged from the further consideration thereof; strike out the proviso adopted to-day on the mo- the said motion was ordered to lie on the table. tion of Mr. Eaton. Mr. N. had no doubt what- The Senate proceeded to consider the motion ever of the propriety of the naked resolution as of yesterday, to inquire into the expediency of