« AnteriorContinuar »
not like to answer.
question ! This question is very ingeniously and cun- bust burst and be rent agunder, or the child must dia. ningly pul.
So it would it with this great nation With our natural The Black Republican creed lays it down expressly, inrrease, growing with a rapidity unknown in any other that under no circumstances shall we acquire any more part of the globe, with the tide of enuigration that is flee territory unless Slavery is first prohibited in the country. ing from despotism in the old world to seek refuge in I ask Mr. Lincoln whethet: .e is in favor of that proposi- our own, there is a constant torrent pouring into this
A.e you (addressing Mr. Lincoln) opposed to the country that requires more land, more territory upon acquisition of any more territory, under any ci cum- which to settle, and just as fast as our interests and our stances, unless Slavery is prohibited in it! That he does destiny require add.tional territory in the North, in the
When I ask him whether he stands South, or on the Islands of the ocean, I am for it, and up to that article in the platform of his party, be turns, when we acquire it, will leave the people, according to Yankee-fashion, and without answering it, asks me the Neb aska bill, free to do as they please on the subwhether I am in favor of acquiring territory without re-ject of Slavery and every other question. ga d to how it may affect the Union on the Slavery ques- I trust now that Mr. Lincoln will deem himself antion. I answer that whenever it becomes necessary, in swered on his four points. He racked his brain so much our growth and progress, to acquire more teritory, that in devising these four questions that he exhausted himI am in favor of it, without reference to the question of self, and had not strength enough to invent the others. Slave.'y, and when we have acquired it, I will leave the As soon as he is able to hold a council with his advisers, people free to do as they please, either to make it slave Lovejoy, Fa nsworth, and Fred Douglass, he will f ame or free territory, as they prefer. It is idle to tell me or I and propound others. (“Good, good.") You Black you that we have territory enough Our fathers sup- Republicans who say good, I have no doubt think that posed that we had enough when our ter.itory extended they are all good men. I have reason to recollect that to the Mississippi River, but a few years' growth and ex- some people in this country think that Fred Douglass is pansion satisfied them that we needed more, and the a very good man.
The last time I came here to make & Louisiana territory, from the west branch of the Missis- speech, while talking from the stand to you, people of sippi to the British possessions, was acquired. Then we Freeport, as I am doing to-day, I saw a carriage, and a acquired Oregon, then California and New Mexico. We magnificent one it was, drive up and take a pusition on have enough now for the present, but this is a young the outside of the crowd; a beautiful young lady was and a growing nation It swarms as often as a hive of sitting on the box-seat, whilst Fred Douglass and her bees, and as new swarms are tu. ned out each year, there mother recl ned inside, and the owner of the carriage must be hives in which they can gather and make their acted as driver. I saw this in your own town
(“ What honey. In less than Afteen years, if the same progress of it?') All I have to say of it is this, that if you, Black that has distinguished this country for the last fifteen Republicans, think that the negro ought to be on a social years continues, every foot of vacant land between this equal.ty with your wives and daughters, and ride in a and the Pacific Ocean, owned by the United States, will carriage with your wife, whilst you drive the team, you be occupied. Will you not continue to incrcase at the have perfect iight to do so. I am told thai oue of Fred end of fifteen years as well as now! I tell you, increase,, Dougluss's kinsmen, another rich black negro, is now and multiply, and expand, is the law of this nation's ex. traveling in this part of the State making speeches for istence. You cannot limit this g eat Republic by mere his friend Lincoln as the champion of black men. boundary lines, saying, "thus far shalt thou go, and no ("What have you to say against it ?') All I have to say further." Any one of you gentlemen might as well say on that subject is, that those of you who believe that the to a son' twelve years old that he is big enough, and negro is your equal and ought to be on an equality with must not grow any larger, and in order to prevent his you socially, politically, and legally, have a right to en growth put a hoop around him to keep him to his pre- tertain those opinions, and of course will vote for Mr dent size. What would be the result ? Either the hoop Lincoln.
POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY IN THE TERRITORIES.
BY STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS.
From Harper's Magazine, 1859. UNDER our complex system of government it is the first free labor and slave labor, Free States and Slave States, duty of American statesmen to mark distinctly the divi- ' which is irreconcilable, and must continue to rage with ding line between Federal and Local Authority. To do increasing fury until the one shall become universal by this with accuracy involves an inquiry, not only into the the annihilation of the other. In the language of the most powers and duties of the Federal Government under the eminent and authoritative expounder of their political Constitution, but also into the rights, privileges, and im- ; faith, munities of the people of the Territories, as well as of
“It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and endur the States composing the Union. The relative powers ing forces; and it means that the United Staies nust and will, and functions of the Federal and State governments have sooner or later, become either entirely a slave holding nation become well understood and clearly defined by their or entirely a free-labor nation. Either the cotton and rice practical operation and harmonious action for a long fields of South Carolina, and the sugar plantations of Louisiana ser es of years; while the disputed question-involving New-orleans become marts for legitimate merchandise alone, the right of the people of the Territories to govern them.
or else the rye fields and wheat fields of Massachusetts and selves in respect to their local affairs and internal poli y- New-York must again be surrendered by their farmers to remains a fruitful source of partisan strife and sectional slave culture and to the production of slaves, and Boston and controversy. The political organization which was formed New-York become once more markets for trade in the bodies in 1834, and has assumed the name of the Republican and souls of men.” Party, is based on the theory that African Slavery, as it In the Illinois canvass of 1858 the same proposition exists in this country, is an evil of such magnitude was advocated and defended hy the distinguished Repubsocial, mo al, and political-as to justify and require the lican standard-bearer in these words : exertion of the entire power and influence of the Fede.
“In my opinion it (the Slavery agitation) will not cease until ral Government to the full extent that the Constitution, a crisis shall have been reached and passed. 'A House divided according to their interpretation, will permit for its ulti- against itself cannot stand. I believe this government can. mate extinction. In the platform of principles adopted not endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not at Philadelphia by the Republican National Convention expect the House to fall, but I do expect it will cease to be
divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either in 1856, it is affirmed:
the opponents of Slavery will arrest the further spread of it, "That the Constitution confers upon Congress sovereign and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that power over the Territories of the United States for heir gov. it is in the course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will ernment, and that in the exercise of his power it is both the push forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States right and the duty of Congress to prohibit in the Territories -old as well as new, North as well as South.” those iwin relics of barbarism, polygamy and Slavery.".
Thus it will be seen, that under the auspices of a poAccording to the theory of the Republican party there litical party, whico claims sovereignty in Congress over is an irrepressibie conflict betweeu Freedom and slavery, i the subject of Slavery there can be no peace on the Slavery question-no truce in the sectional strife-no fra- the creator; and that Congress, not possessing the power ternity between the North and South, so long as this Union to legislate in respect to African Slavery in the Territories, remains as our fathers made it---divided into free and cannot delegate to a Territorial Legislature any power slave States, with the right on the part of each to retain which it does not itself possess." Slavery so long as it chooses, and to abolish it whenever This proposition is as plausible as it is fallacious. But it pleases.
the reverse of it is true as a general rule. Congress canOn the other hand, it would be uncandid to deny that, not delegate to a Territorial Legislature, or to any other while the Democratic party is a unit in its irreconcilable body of men whatsoever, any power which the Constituopposition to the doctrines and principles of the Repub- tion has vested in Congress. In other words : Every lican party, there are radical differences of opinion in power conferred on Congress by the Constitution respect to the powe.s and duties of Congress, and the must be exercised by Congress in the mode prescribed rights and immunities of the people of the Territories in the Constitution. under the Federal Constitution, which seriously disturb Let us test the correctness of this proposition by refer. its harmony and threaten its integrity. These differen- ence to the powers of Congress as defined in the Constituces of opinion arise from the different interpretations tion: placed on the Constitution by persons who belong to one "The Congress shall have powerof the following classes :
“To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises," First.-'Those who believe that the Constitution of the etc.; United States neither establishes nor prohibits Slavery in "To borrow money on the credit of the United States ;" the States or Territories beyond the power of the people
"To regulate commerce and foreign nations,” etc.;
“To establish a uniform rule of naturalization," etc.; legally to control it, but • leaves the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions
To coin money, and regulate the value thereof;"
" To establish post offices and post-roads;" in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the “To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;" United States."
“To declare war," etc. Second.-Those who believe that the Constitution es- “To provide and maintain a navy." tablishes Slavery in the Territories, and withholds from
This list might be extended so as to embrace all the Congress and the Territorial Legislature the power to power conferred on Congress by the Constitution; but control it; and who insist that, in the event the Territo- enough has been cited to test the principle.
Will it be rial Legislature fails to enact the requisite laws for its contended that Congress can delegate any one of these protection, it becomes the imperative duty of Congress powers to a Territorial Legislature, or to any tribunal to interpose its authority and furnish such protection. Third.—Those who, while professing to believe that to "regulate commerce,
whatever? Can Congress delegate to Kansas the power
or to Nebraska the power “to the Constitution establishes Slavery in the Territories be establish uniform rules of naturalization," or to Illinois the yond the power of Congress or the Territorial Legisla-power" to coin money and regulate the value thereof," ture to control it, at the same time protest against the
or to Virginia the power “to establish post-offices and duty of Congress to interfere for its protection; but insist that it is the duty of the Judiciary to protect and
The mere statement of the question carries with it the maintain slavery in the Territories without any law upon emphatic answer, that Congress cannot delegate any the subject.
power which it does not possess; but that every power conBy a careful examination of the second and third pro- ferred on Congress by the Constitution must be exercised positions, it will be seen that the advocates of each agree by Congress in the manner prescribed in that instrument. on the theoretical question, that the Constitution estab
On the other hand, there are cases in which Congress lishes Slavery in the Territories, and compels them to may establish tribunals and local governments, and invest have it whether they want it or not; and differ on the them with powers which Congress does not possess, and practical point, whether a right secured by the Constitu
cannot exercise under the Constitution. For instance, tion shall be protected by an act of Congress when all Congress may establish courts inferior to the Supreme orber remedies fail.
The reason assigned for not pro: Court, and confer upon them the power to hear and dotecting by law a right secured by the Constitution is, that termine cases, and render judgments affecting the life, it is the duty of the Courts to protect Slavery in the Ter liberty, and property of the citizen, without itself having ritories without any legislation upon the subject. How the power to hear and determine such causes, render the Courts are to afford protection to slaves or any other judgments, or revise or annul the same.
In like manner property, where there is no law providing remedies and Congress may institute governments for the Territories, imposing penalties and conferring jurisdiction upon the composed of an executive, judicial, and legislative departcourts to hear and determine the cases as they arise, rement; and may confer upon the Governor all the execumains to be explained
tive powers and functions of the Territory, without having The acts of Congress, establishing the several Territo- the right to exercise any one of those powers or functions ries of the United States, provide that: “The jurisdiction itself. of the several Courts herein provided for, both appellate
Congress may confer upon the judicial department all and original, and that of the Probate Courts and Justices the judicial powers and functions of the Territory, without of the Peace shall be limited by law"-meaning such laws having the right to hear and determine a cause, or render as the Territorial Legislatures shall from time to time a judgment, or to revise or annul any decision made by
It will be seen that the judicial tribunals of the the courts so established by Congress. Congress may also Territories have just such jurisdiction, and only such, in confer upon the legislative department of the Territory respect to the rights of persons and property pertaining certain legislative powers which it can not itself exercise, to the citizens of the Territory as the Territorial Legisla- and only such as Congress cannot exercise under the ture shall see fit to confer; and consequently, that the Constitution. The powers which Congress may thus con Courts can afford protection to persons and property no for, but cannot exercise, are such as relate to the dofurther than the Legislature shall, by law, confer the mestic affairs and internal polity of the Territory, and do jurisdiction, and prescribe the remedies, penalties, and not affect the general welfare of the Republic. modes of proceeding.
This dividing line between Federal and Local authority It is difficult to conceive how any person who believes was familiar to the framers of the Constitution. It is that the Constitution confers the right of protection in clearly defined and distinctly marked on every page of his. the enjoyment of slave property in the Territories, regard- tory which records the great events of that immortal less of the wishes of the people and of the action of the struggle between the American Colonies and the British Territorial Legislature, can satisfy his conscience and Government, which resulted in the establishment of our his oath of fidelity to the Constitution in withholding such national indepenc ence. In the beginning of that strug. Congressional legislation as may be essential to the en- gle the Colonies neither contemplated nor desired indejoyment of such right under the Constitution. Under pendence. In all their addresses to the Crown, and to the this view of the subject it is impossible to resist the con- | Parliament, and to the people of Great Britain, as well as clusion that, if the Constitution does establish Slavery in to the people of America, they averred that as loyal British the Territories, beyond the power of the people to con subjects they deplored the causes which impelled their setrol it by law, it is the imperative duty of Congress to paration from the parent country. They were strongly supply all the legislation necessary to its protection; and and affectionately attached to the Constitution, civil and if this proposition is not true, it necessarily results that political institutions and jurisprudence of Great Britain, the Constitution neither establishes nor prohibits Slavery which they proudly claimed as the birthright of all Englishanywhere, but leaves the people of each State and Terri
men; and desired to transmit them unimpaired as a pretory entirely free to form and regulate their domestic cious legacy to their posterity. For a long series of years affairs to suit themselves, without the intervention of they remonstrated against the violation of their inalien. Congress or any other power whatsoever.
able rights of self-government under the British ConstituBut it is urged with great plausibility by those who have tion, and humbly petitioned for the redress of their griev. entire faith in the soundness of the proposition, that "a Territory is the mere creature of Congress ; that the crea- They acknowledged and affirmed their allegiance to turc cannot be clothed with any powers not possessed by the Crown, their affection for the people, and their devo
Mon to the Constitution of Great Britain; and their only always considered this as one of the questions affecting complaint was that they were not permitted to enjoy the her " internal polity,”' over which she, in common with rights and privileges of self-government, in the manage the other colonies, claimed the right of exclusive legislament of their internal affairs and domestic concerns, in ac- tion in their provincial legislatures” within their respeccordance with the guaranties of that Constitution and of the tive limits. Some of these acts, particularly those which colonial charters granted by the Crown in pursuance of it. were enacted prior to the year 1699, were evidently in. They conceded the right of the Imperial Government to tended to foster and encourage, as well as to regulate and make all laws and perform all acts concerning the Colo-control, African Slavery, as one of the domestic institutions nies, which were in their nature Imperial and not Colo- of the colony. The act of 1699, and most of the enactniul-which affected the general welfare of the Empire, ments subsequent to that date, were as obviously designed and did not interiere with the "internal polity" of the to restrain and check the growth of the institution, with Colonies. They recognized the right of the Imperial Go- the view of confining it within the limit of the actual neces vernment to declare war and make peace; to coin money sities of the community, or its ultimate extinction, as and determine its value; to make treaties and conduct in- might be deemed most conducive to the public interests, tercourse with foreign nations; to regulate commerce be by a system of unfriendly legislation, such as imposing a tween the several colonies, and between each colony and tax on all slaves introduced into the colony, which was the parent country, and with foreign countries; and in increased and renewed from time to time, as occasion regeneral they recognized the right of the Imperial Govern quired, until the period of the Revolution. Many of these ment of Great Britain to exercise all the powers and au- acts never took effect, in consequence of the king withthority which, under our Federal Constitution, are dele- holding his assent, even after the governor had approved gated by the people of the several States to the Govern- the enactment, in cases where it contained a clause susment of the United States.
pending its operation until his majesty's pleasure should Recognizing and conceding to the Imperial Government be made known in the premises. all these powers, including the right to institute govern- In 1772, the provincial legislature of Virginia, after luments for the colonies, by granting charters under which posing another tax of five per cent. on all slaves imported the inhabitants residing within the limits of any specified into the colony, petitioned the king to remove all those territory might be organized into a political community, restraints which inhibited his majesty's governors assentwith a government consisting of its appropriate depart- ing to such laws as might check so very pernicious a comments, executive, legislative, and judicial; conceding all merce as Slavery. Of this petition Judge Tucker says: these powers, the Colonies emphatically denied that the “The following extract from a petition to the Throne, preImperial Government had any rightful authority to impose sented from the House of Burgesses of Virginia, April 1st, taxes upon them without their consent, or to interfere 1772, will show the sense of the people of Virginia on the subwith their internal polity; claiming that it was the birth-ject of Slavery at that period : right of all Englishmen—inalienable when formed into a of Africa hath long been considered as a trade of great inhu
“The importation of slaves into the colony from the coast political community-to exercise and enjoy all the rights, manity;
and under its present encouragement we have too privileges, and immunities of self-government in respect to much reason to fear will
endanger the very existence of you all matters and things which were local and not general Majesty's American dominions." -internal and not external-colonial and not imperial
Mark the ominous words! Virginia tells the king of as fully as if they were inhabitants of England, with a fair England in 1772, four years prior to the Declaration of representation in Parliament.
Independence, that his Majesty's American dominions Thus it appears that our fathers of the Revolution were
are in danger : not because of the Stamp duties, not contending, not for independence in the first instance, but because of the tax on tea-not because of his attempts for the inestimable right of local self-government under to collect revenue in America! These have since been the British Constitution; the right of every distinct political deemed sufficient to justify rebellion and revolution. community dependent colonies, territories, provinces, But none of these are referred to by Virginia in her as well as sovereign States—to make their own local laws, address to the Throne-there being another wrong which form their own domestic institutions, and manage their in magnitude and enormity, so far exceeded these and own internal affairs in their own way, subject only to the all other causes of complaint, that the very existence of Constitution of Great Britain as the paramount law of the his Majesty's American dominions depended upon it! empire.
That wrong consisted in forcing African Slavery upon a The government of Great Britain had violated this ina dependent colony without her consent, and in opposition lienable right of local self-government by a long series of 1 to the wishes of her own people ! Rcts on a great variety of subjects. The
first serious point
The people of Virginia at that day did not appreciate of controversy arose on the Slavery question as early as the force of the argument used by the British merchants, 1699, which continued a fruitful source of irritation until who were engaged in the African slave-trade, and which The Revolution, and formed one of the causes for the sepa- was afterward indorsed, at least by implication, by the ration of the Colonies from the British crown.
king and his ministers; that the Colonies were the comFor more than forty years the provincial legislature of mon property of the empire-acquired by the common Virginia had passed laws for the protection and encourage- blood and treasure and therefore all British subjects had ment of African Slavery within her limits. This policy the right to carry their slaves into the colonies, and hold was steadily pursued until the white inhabitants of Virgi-them in defiance of the local law and in contempt of the pia became alarmed for thei own safety, in view
the wishes and safety of the Colonies. numerous and formidable tribes of Indian savages which
The people of Virginia not being convinced by this surrounded and threatened the feeble white settlements, process of reasoning, still adhered to the doctrine which while ship-loads of African savages were being daily landed they held in common with their sister colonies, that it in their midst. In order to check and restrain a policy was the birthright of all freemen—inalienable when which seemed to threaten the very existence of the colony, formed into political communities—to exercise exclusive the provincial legislature enacted a law imposing a tax legislation in respect to all matters pertaining to their upon every slave who should be brought into Virginia. internal polity-Slavery not excepted; and rather than The British merchants, who were engaged in the African surrender this great right, they were prepared to withslave-trade, regarding this legislation as injurious to their draw their allegiance from the crown. interests and in violation of their rights, petitioned the
Again referring to this petition to the king, the same King of England and his majesty's ministers to annul the learned judge adds : obnoxious law, and protect them in their right to carry their slaves into Virginia and all other British colonies clause of our (Virginia) Constitution, where, among other
“This petition produced no effect, as appears from the first which were the common property of the empire-ac- acts of misrule, the inhuman use of the royal negative in quired by the common blood and common treasure-and refusing us (the people of Virginia) permission to exclude from which a few adventurers, who had settled on the im- Slavery from us by law, is enumerated among the reasons perial domain by his majesty's sufferance, had no right to or separating from Great Britain.” exclude them, or discriminate against their property by a This clause in the Constitution of Virginia, referring to mere provincial enactment. Upon a full consideration of the inhuman use of the royal negative, in refusing the the subject, the king graciously granted the prayer of the Colony of Virginia permission to exclude Slavery from her petitioners; and accordingly issued peremptory orders to limits by law, as one of the reasons for separating from the royal governor of Virginia, and to the governors of all Great Britain, was adopted on the 12th day of June, the other British colonies in America, forbidding them to 1776, three weeks and one day previous to the DeclaraBign or approve any colonial or provincial enactment inju- tion of Independence by the Continental Congress; and rious to the African slave-trade, unless such enactment after remaining in force as a part of the Constitution should contain a clause suspending its operation until his for a period of fifty-four years, was re-adopted, without majesty's pleasure should be made known in the premises. alteration, by the Convention which franied the new
Judge Tucker, in his Appendix to Blackstone, refers to Constitution in 1830, and then ratified by the people as a thirty-one acts of the provincial legislature of Virginia, part of the new Constitution; and was again re-adopted passed at various periods from 1662 to 1772, upon the sub- 1 by the Convention which amended the Constitution in ject of African Slavery, showing conclusively that Virginia 1830, and again ratified by the people as a part of the
amended Constitution, and at this day remains a portion Jopportunity of annulling the acts of the colonial legisla of the fundamental law of Virginia-proclaiming to the tures by the “inhuman use of the royal negative.” world and to posterity that one of the reasons for separa- Thus the policy of the Colonies on the Slavery question ting from Great Britain was “the inhuman use of the had assumed a direct antagonism to that of the British royal negative in refusing us (the Colony of Virginia), Government; and this antagonism not only added to the permission to exclude Slavery from us by law !"
importance of the principle of local self-government in the The legislation of Virginia on this subject may be taken Colonies, but produced a general concurrence of opinion as a fair sample of the legislative enactments of each of and action in respect to the question of Slavery in the the thirteen Colonies, showing conclusively that slavery proceedings of the Continental Congress, which assembled was regarded by them all as a domestic question to be at Philadelphia for the first time on the 5th of September, regarded and determined by each colony to suit itself, 1774. without the intervention of the British Parliament or On the 14th of October the Congress adopted a Bill of "the inhuman use of the royal negative." Each colony Rights for the Colonies, in the form of a series of resolu. passed a series of enactments, beginning at an early tions, in which, after conceding to the British Government period of its history and running down to the commence the power to regulate commerce and do such other things ment.of the Revolution, either protecting, regulating, or as affected the general welfare of the empire, without inrestraining African Slavery within its respective limits, terfering with the internal polity of the Colonies, they deand in accordance with their wishes and supposed clared "That they are entitled to a free and exclusive interests. North and South Carolina, following the ex. power in their several provincial legislatures, where their ample of Virginia, at first encouraged the introduction right of representation can alone be preserved in all cases of slaves, until the number increased beyond their wants of taxation and internal polity." Having thus defined the and necessities, when they attempted to check and principle for which they were contending, the Congress restrain the further growth of the institution, by imposing proceeded to adopt the following “Peaceful Measures,” a high rate of taxation upon all slaves which should be which they still hoped would be sufficient to induce combrought into those colonies; and finally, in 1764, South pliance with their just and reasonable demands. These Carolina passed a law imposing a penalty of one hundred "Peaceful Measures" consisted of addresses to the king, pounds (or five hundred dollars) for every negro slave to the Parliament, and to the people of Great Britain, subsequently introduced into that colony.
together with an association of non-intercourse to be ob The colony of Georgia was originally founded on strict served and maintained so long as their grievances should anti-slavery principles, and rigidly maintained this policy remain unredressed. for a series of years, until the inhabitants became con- The second article of this association, which was adopted vinced by experience that, with their climate and produc- without opposition, and signed by the delegates from all tions, slave labor, if not essential to their existence, would the Colonies, was in these words : prove beneficial and useful to their material interests. Maryland and Delaware protected and regulated African ported after the first day of December next; after which time
“That we will neither import nor purchase any slave im Slavery as one of their domestic institutions. Pennsylva- we will wholly discontinue the slave-trade, and will neith: nia, under the advice of William Penn, substituted fourteen be concerned in it ourselves, nor will we hire our vessels. years' service and perpetual adscript to the soil for here- nor sell our commodities or manufactures to those who are ditary Slavery, and attempted to legislate, not for the total engaged in it" abolition of Slavery, but for the sanctity of marriage This Bill of Rights, together with these articles of assoamong slaves, and for their personal security. New-jer-ciation, were subsequently submitted to and adopted sey, New-York, and Connecticut recognized African Slavery by each of the thirteen Colonies in their respective pro as a domestic institution lawfully existing within their re-vincial Legislatures. spective limits, and passed the requisite laws for its con- Thus was distinctly formed between the Colonies and trol and regulation.
the parent country that issue upon which the DeclaRhode Island provided by law that no slave should serve ration of Independence was founded, and the battles of more than ten years, at the end of which time he was to the Revolution were fought. It involved the specific be set free; and if the master should refuse to let him go claim on the part of the Colonies denied by the King free, or sold him elsewhere for a longer period of service, and Parliament-to the exclusive right of legislation he was subject to a penalty of forty pounds, which was touching all local and internal concerns, Slavery supposed at that period to be nearly double the value of inchided. This being the principle involved in the the slave.
contest, & majority of the Colonists refused to perMassachusetts imposed heavy taxes upon all slaves mit their delegates to sign the Declaration of Indebrought into the colony, and provided in some instances pendence except upon the distinct condition and exfor sending the slaves back to their native land; and finally press reservation to each colony of the exclusive right prohibited the introduction of any more slaves into the to manage and control its local concerns and police recolony under any circumstances.
gulations without the intervention of any general ConWhen New-Hampshire passed laws which were designed gress which might be established for the United Colonies. to prevent the introduction of any more slaves, the British Let us cite one of these reservations as a specimen of Cabinet issued the following order to Governor Wentworth: all, showing conclusively that they were fighting for the “You are not to give your assent to, or pass any law im- inalienable right of local self-government, with the clear posing duties upon negroes imported into New-Hamp- understanding that when they had succeeded in thropp shire."
ing off the despotism of the British Parliament, no ConWhile the legislation of the several colonies exhibits gressional despotism was to be substituted for it : dissimilarity of views, founded on a diversity of interests, “We, the Delegates of Maryland, in Convention assembled, on the merits and policy of Slavery, it shows conclusively do declare that the King of Great Britain has violated his that they all regarded it as a domestic question affecting compact with this people, and that they owe no allegiance to their internal polity in respect to which they were entitled him. We have therefore
thought it just and necessary to em. to a full and exclusive power of legislation in the several power our Deputies in Congress to join with a majority of provincial legislatures. For a few years immediately pre Statos, in framing such further confederation between them, ceding the American Revolution, the African slave-trade in making foreign alliances, and in adopting such other mea was encouraged and stimulated by the British Government, sures as shall be judged necessary for the preservation of their and carried on with more vigor by the English merchants, liberties : than at any other period in the history
of the Colonies; internal polity and government of this Colony be reserved to
“Provided, The sole and exclusive right of regulating the and this fact, taken in connection with the extraordinary the people
thereof. claim asserted in the memorable preamble to the act re- “We have also thought proper to call a new Convention for pealing the stamp duties, that “Parliament possessed the the purpose of establishing a government in this Colony, right to bind the Colonies in all cases whatever," not only “No ambitious views, no desire of independence, induoed in respect to all matters affecting the general welfare of the people of Maryland to form a union with the other Colothe empire, but also in regard to the domestic relations nies. To procure an exemption from Parliamentary taxeand internal polity of the Colonies—produced a powerful sole and exclusive right of regulating their Interna. Polity, impression upon the minds of the colonists, and imparted was our original and only motive. To maintain, inviolate our peculiar prominence to the principle involved in the con- liberties, and to transmit themunimpaired to posterity, was troversy.
our duty and first wish; our next, to continue connected with Hence the enactments by the several colonial legisla- and dependent on Great Britain. For the truth of these tures calculated and designed to restrain and prevent the assertions we appeal to that Almighty Being who is emphati increase of slaves; and, on the other hand, the orders cally styled the Searcher of learts, and from whose omni.
science none is concealed. Relying on this Divine protection issued by the Crown, instructing the colonial governors and assistance, and trusting to the justice of our cause, we not to sign or permit any legislative enactment prejudicial exhort and conjure every virtuous citizen to join cordially in or injurious to the African slave-trade, unless such enact- defense of our common righ's and in maintenance of the free ment should contain a clause suspending its operation dom of this and her sister colonies." until the royal pleasure should be made known in the The first plan of Federal Government adopted for the premises; or, in other words, until the king should have an United States was formed during the Revolution, and is usually known as “ The Articles of Confederation.” By Second.-"That the settlers within the Territory so to bo these Articles it was provided that “Each State retains purchased and offered for sale shall, either on their owe its Sovereignty, Freedom, and Independence, and everythem, with appointments of time and place, for their free males
petition or on the order of Congress, receive authority from power, jurisdiction, and right which is not by this Con of full age to meet together for the purpose of establishing a federation expressly delegated to the United States in I temporary government to adopt a Constitution and laws of Congress assembled."
any one of these States (the original States), so that such laws At the time the Articles of Confederation were nevertheless shall be subject to alteration by their ordinary adopted—July 9, 1778—the United States held no lands Legislature; and to erect, subject to like alteration, counties or territory in common. The entire country—including ynships for the election of members for their Legisla. all the waste and unappropriated lands--embraced within or pertaining to the Confederacy, belonged to and was
Having thus provided a mode by which the first inhabithe property of the several states within wbose limits tants or settlers of the territory may assemble together
and choose for themselves the Constitution and laws of the same was situated. On the 6th day of September, 1780, Congress “recom
some one of the original thirteen States, and declare the mended to the several states in the Union having claims to same in force for the government of their territory tem. waste and unappropriated lands in the Western country, porarily, with the right on the part of the people to a liberal cession to the United States of a portion of their change the same, through their local Legislature, as they respective claims for the common benefit of the Union." may see proper, the Plan then proceeds to point out the
On the 20th day of October, 1783, the Legislature of mode in which they may establish for themselves“ a perVirginia passed
an act authorizing the Delegates in Con- manent Constitution and government” whenever they gress from that State to convey to the United States shall have twenty thousand inhabitants, as follows: " the territory or tract of country within the limits of Third.—“That such temporary government only shall conthe Virginia Charter, lying and bearing to the northwest tinue in force in any State until it shall have acquired
twenty of the river Ohio "-which grant was to be made upon Congress, they shall receive from them authority, with ap. the "condition that the territory so ceded shall be laid pointments of time and place, to call a Convention of Repre. out and formed into States ;” and that “the States so sentatives to establish a permanent Constitution and governformed shall be distinct republican States, and admitted ment for themselves." members of the Federal Union, having the same rights
Having thus provided for the first settlers "a tempo of Sovereignty, Freedom, and Independence as the other rary government" in these “additional States," and for States."
a “permanent Constitution and government" when they On the 1st day of March, 1784, Thomas Jefferson and shall have acquired twenty thousand inhabitants, the Plan his colleagues in Congress executed the
deed of cession contemplates that they shall continue to govern them. in pursuance of the act of the Virginia Legislature, selves as States, having, as provided in the Virginia deed which was accepted and ordered to be recorded of session, “the same rights of sovereignty, freedom, and and enrolled among the acts of the United States in independence,” in respect to their domestic affairs and Congress assembled. This was the first territory ever internal polity, “ as the other States," until they shall acquired, held, or owned, by the United States.
On the have a population equal to the least numerous of the same day of the deed of cession, Mr. Jefferson, as chair-original thirteen States; and in the meantime shall keep man of a committee which had been appointed, consist- a sitting member in Congress, with a right of debating ing of Mr. Jefferson of Virginia, Mr. Chase of Maryland, but not of voting, when they shall be admitted into the and Mr. Howell of Rhode Island, submitted to Congress Union on an equal footing with the other States, as fol
a plan for the temporary government of the territory lows : ceded or to be ceded by the individual States to the United States."
Fourth.-" That whenever any of the said States shall have
of free inhabitants as many as shall then be in any one of the It is important that this Jeffersonian plan of govern, least numerous of the thir een original States, such State shall ment for the Territories should be carefully considered be admitted by its delegates into the Congress of the United for many obvious reasons. It was the first plan of States on an equal fooiing with the said original States." .... government for the Territories ever adopted in the
AndUnited States. It was drawn by the author of the Declaration of Independence, and revised and adopted by of the said Stutes, after the establishment
of their temporary
“Until such admission by their delegates into Congress any those who shaped the issues which produced the Revo- government, shall have authority to keep a sitting member in lution, and formed the foundations upon which our Congress, with the right of debating, but not of voting." whole American system of government rests.
It was not intended to be either local or temporary in its char.
Attached to the provision which appears in this paper acter, but was designed to apply to all“ territory ceded under the “third” head is a proviso, containing five proor to be ceded," and to be universal in its application positions, which, when agreed to and accepted by the and eternal in its duration, wherever and whenever we people of said additional States, were “to be formed might have territory requiring a government. It ignored into a charter of compact,” and to remain forever "unalthe right of Congress to legislate for the people of terable," except by the consent of such States as well as the Territories, without their cinsent, and recognized of the United States—to wit: the inalienable right of the people of the Territories,
“Provided, That both the temporary and permanent gor. when organized into political communities, to govern ernments be established on these les as their basis: themselves in respect to their local concerns and in: States of America."
1st, -- " That they shall forever remain a part of the United ternal polity. It was adopted by the Congress of
21.-"That in their persons, property, and Territory they the Confederation on the 23d day of April, 1784, and shall be subject to the government of the United States in stood upon the Statute Book as a general and perma. Congress assembled, and to the Articles of Confederation in all nent plan for the government of all territory which we those cases in which the original States shall be so subject." then owned or should subsequently acquire, with a pro
3d.-" That they shall be subject to pay a part of the federal vision declaring it to be a "Charter of Compact," and debts contracted, or to be contracted—to be apportioned on
them by Congress according to the same common rule and that its provisions should “stand as fundamental con
measure by which apportionments thereof shall be made on ditions between the thirteen original States and those the other states." newly described, unalterable but by the joint consent 4th.--"That their respective government shall be in repub of the United States in Congress assembled, and of the lican form, and shall admit no person to be a citizen who holds particular State within which such alteration is proposed any hereditary title." to be made." Thus this Jeffersonian plan for the gov.
The fifth article, which relates to the prohibition of ernment of the Territories—this “ Charter of Compact
Slavery, after the year 1800, having been rejected by -“these fundamental conditions," which were declared Congress, never became a part of the Jeffersonian Plan to be“ unalterable" without the consent of the people of Government for the Territories, as dopted Ap 1 28, of "the particular State [territory) within which such 1784. alteration is proposed to be made," stood on the Statute Book when the Convention assembled at Philadelphia which emphatically ignores the right of Congress to bind
The concluding paragraph of this Plan of Government, in 1787, and proceeded to form the Constitution of the the people of the Territories without their consent, and United States. Now let us examine the main provisions of the Jeffer- legitimate power in respect to their internal polity, is in
recognizes the people therein as the true source of all son Plan :
these words : First.-" That the territory ceded or to be ceded by the “That all the preceding articles shall be formed into a char. Individual States to the United States, whenever the same shall ter of compart, shall be duly executed by the President of the have been purchased of the Indian inhabitants and offered for United States, in Congress assembled, under his hand and the sale by the United States, shall be formed into additional seal of the United States, shall be promulgated, and shall stand States, etc., etc.
as fundamental conditions between the thirteen original States The Plan proceeds to designate the boundaries and and those newly described, unalterable but by the joint conterritorial extent of the proposed "additional States," and particular State within which such alteration is proposed to sben provides :