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VIEWS OF PATRICK HENRY AND J. Q. ADAMS.

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ratification, assailed the Constitution by that power? There is no ambiguous

The as a measure of thorough, undis- implication or logical deduction.

paper speaks to the point. They have the guised, all-absorbing consolidation, power, in clear, unequivocal terms, and will and, though himself a professed con- clearly and certainly exercise it. "As much

as I deplore Slavery, I see that prudence temner of Slavery, sought to arouse forbids its abolition. I deny that the the fears of the Virginia slaveholders General Government ought to set them

free, because a decided majority of the as follows:

States have not the ties of sympathy and Among ten thousand implied powers fellow-feeling for those whose interest which they may assume, they may, if we be would be affected by their emancipation. engaged in war, liberate every one of your The majority of Congress is to the North, slaves, if they please ; and this must and and the slaves are to the South." will be done by men, a majority of whom have not a common interest with you. Gov. Edmund Randolph—who beThey will, therefore, have no feeling of your came Washington's Attorney-Geneinterests. It has been repeatedly said here, that the great object of a National Governo ral—answered Mr. Henry: denying ment was national defense. That power, most strenuously that there is any which is said to be intended for security and safety, may be rendered detestable and power of abolition given to Congress oppressive. If they give power to the by the Constitution ; but not alluding

. General Government to provide for the to what Henry had urged with regeneral defense, the means must be commensurate to the end. All the means in the gard to the War power and the right possession of the people must be given to of Congress to summon every slave the Government which is intrusted with the to the military defense of the counpublic defense. In this State, there are 236,000 Blacks; and there are many in try.

Nor does this view of the subseveral other States : but there are few or ject appear to have attracted much none in the Northern States; and yet, if the attention elsewhere—at least, it does Northern States shall be of opinion that our slaves are numberless, they may call forth not appear to have been anywhere every national resource. May Congress not controverted.' say that edery Black man must fight? Did we not see a little of this last war? We

In 1836,Mr. John Quincy Adams, were not so hard pushed as to make eman- having been required to vote Yea or cipation general; but acts of Assembly Nay, in the House, on a proposition passed, that every slave who would go to the army should be free. Another thing reported by Mr. H. L. Pinckney, of will contribute to bring this event about: South Carolina, in these wordsSlavery is detested; we feel its fatal effects; we deplore it with all the pity of humanity.

" Resoloed, That Congress possesses no Let all these considerations, at some future constitutional power to interfere in any way period, press with full force on the minds of with the institution of Slavery in any of Congress—let that urbanity, which I trust the States of this confederacy"will distinguish America, and the necessity of national defense-let all these things voted Nay, in company with but operate on their minds: they will search eight others; and, obtaining the floor that paper, and see if they have the power of | in Comunittee soon afterward, on a manumission. And have they not, Sir? Have they not power to provide for the proposition that rations be distributed general defense and welfare? May they from the public stores to citizens of not think that these call for the abolition of Georgia and Alabama who have been Slavery? May they not pronounce all slaves free? and will they not be warranted driven from their homes by Indian

'In closing the argument in favor of ratifying us do what we will, it will come around. Slavthe Federal Constitution, Mr. Zachariah John. ery has been the foundation of that impiety and son said:

dissipation, which have been so much dissemin. * They tell us that they see a progressive abolished, it would do much good." .

ated among our countrymen. If it were totally danger of bringing about emancipation. The principle has begun since the Revolution. Let * May 25,

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depredations, proceeded to show that to interfere with the institution of Slavery such distribution (which he advocat- the importation of slaves into the United

in the States. The existing law prohibiting ed) was justifiable only under the con- States from foreign countries is itself an institutional power of Congress “to pro- terference with the institution of Slavery in mote the general welfare,” which founders of the Constitution of the United Southern statesmen habitually repu- States, in which it was stipulated that Condiated, or under the still more sweep the institution, prior to the year 1808

gress should not interfere, in that way, with ing War power. In the course of “During the war with Great Britain, the his argument, he said:

military and naval commanders of that na

tion issued proclamations inviting the slaves “Sir, in the authority given to Congress by to repair to their standard, with promises the Constitution of the United States to de- of freedom and of settlement in some of the clare war, all the powers incidental to war British colonial establishments. This, sureare, by necessary implication, conferred upon ly, was an interference with the institution the Government of the United States. Now, of Slavery in the States. By the treaty of the powers incidental to war are derived, peace, Great Britain stipulated to evacuate not from their internal municipal source, all the forts and places in the United States, but from the laws and usages of nations. without carrying away any slaves. If the

There are, then, Mr. Chairman, Government of the United States had no in the authority of Congress and of the power to interfere, in any way, with the Executive, two classes of powers, altogether institution of Slavery in the States, they different in their nature, and often incoin- would not have had the authority to require patible with each other—the War power this stipulation. It is well known that this and the Peace power. The Peace power is engagement was not fulfilled by the British limited by regulations, and restricted by naval and military commanders; that, on provisions, prescribed within the Constitu- the contrary, they did carry away all the tion itself. The War power is limited only slaves whom they had induced to join them; by the laws and usages of nations. This and that the British Government inflexibly power is tremendous; it is strictly constitu- refused to restore any of them to their mastional ; but it breaks down every barrier so ters; that a claim of indemnity was conseanxiously erected for the protection of lib- quently instituted in behalf of the owners erty, of property, and of life. This, Sir, is of the slaves, and was successfully mainthe power wlich authorizes you to pass the tained. All that series of transactions was resolution now before you ; and, in my opin- an interference by Congress with the instiion, there is no other. * There are, tution of Slavery in the States in one way indeed, powers of Peace conferred upon Con

--in the way of protection and support. It gress which also come within the scope and was by the institution of Slavery alone that jurisdiction of the laws of nations; such as the restitution of slaves, enticed by proclathe negotiation of treaties of amity and mations into the British service, could be commerce; the interchange of public minis- claimed as property. But for the instituters and consuls; and all the personal and tion of Slavery, the British commanders social intercourse between the individual could neither have allured them to their inhabitants of the United States and foreign standard, nor restored them, otherwise than nations, and the Indian tribes, which re- as liberated prisoners of war. But for the quire the interposition of any law. But institution of Slavery, there could have been the powers of War are all regulated by no stipulation that they should not be carried the laws of nations, and are subject to no away as property, nor any claim of indemniother limitation.

It was upon ty for the violation of that engagement. this principle that I voted against the reso- “But the War power of Congress over lution reported by the Slavery Committee, the institution of Slavery in the States is 'that Congress possesses no constitutional yet far more extensive. Suppose the case authority to interfere, in any way, with the of a servile war, complicated, to some ex. institution of Slavery in any of the States tent—as it is even now—with an Indian of this confederacy; to which resolution war; suppose Congress were called to raise most of those with whom I usually concur, armies, to supply money from the whole and even my own colleagues in this House, Union to suppress a servile insurrection: gave their assent. I do not admit that would they have no authority to interfere there is, even among the Peace powers of with the institution of Slavery? The issue Congress, no such authority; but in war, of a servile war may be disastroas; it may there are many ways by which Congress become necessary for the master of the not only have the authority, but are bound, slave to recognize his emancipation by a

MR. ADAMS ON SLAVERY IN WAR.

235

treaty of peace : can it, for an instant, be aware that it is touching upon a sore place; pretended that Congress, in such a contin- and I would gladly get over it if I could. gency, would have no authority to interfere It has been my effort, so far as was in my with the institution of Slavery, in any way, power, to avoid any allusion whatever to in the States? Why, it would be equiva- that question which the gentleman from lent to saying that Congress has no con- Virginia tells us that the most lamb-like disstitutional authority to make peace.” position in the South never can approach Mr. Adams proceeded to show that without anger and indignation. Sir, that is

my sorrow. I admit that the fact is so. Texas was then [prior to her annex- We can not touch that subject without raisation] the arena of a war concerning

ing, throughout the whole South, a mass of

violence and passion, with which one might Slavery—a war based on an effort to

as well reason as with a hurricane. That, I rëestablish Slavery where it had been know, is the fact in the South; and that is abolished by Mexico; and that our why members coming from a Free State are

the fact in this Ilouse. And it is the reason country was powerfully incited to silenced as soon as they rise on this floor; take part directly therein, on the why they are pronounced out of order;

made to sit down; and, if they proceed, are side of Slavery; and might yet be censured and expelled. But in behalf of impelled to do so. In view of this the South and of Southern institutions, a probability, he asked

man may get up in this IIouse and expatiate

for weeks together. On this point, I do "Do you imagine that while, in the very complain ; and I must say I have been nature of things, your own Southern and rather disappointed that I have not been ..South-western States must be the battle-field put down already, as speaking out of order. upon which the last great conflict must be What I say is involuntary, because the subfought between Slavery and Emancipation ject has been brought into the House from

- do you imagine that your Congress will another quarter, as the gentleman himself have no constitutional authority to interfere admits. I would leave that institution to with the institution of Slavery in any way, the exclusive consideration and managein the States of this confederacy? Sir, they ment of the States more peculiarly intermust and will interfere with it—perhaps ested in it, just so long as they can keep it to sustain it by war; perhaps to abolish it within their own bounds. So far, I adinit by treaties of peace: and they will not only that Congress has no power to meddle with possess the constitutional power so to inter- | it. So long as they do not step out of their fere, but they will be bound in duty to do own bounds, and do not put the question to it, by the express provisions of the Consti- the people of the United States, whose peace, tution itself. From the instant that your welfare, and happiness, are all at stake, so slaveholding States become the theater of long I will agree to leave them to themwar-civil, servile, or foreign—from that selves. But when a member from a Free instant, the War powers of Congress extend State brings forward certain resolutions, for to interference with the institution of Slav- which, instead of reasoning to disprove his ery in every way by which it can be inter- positions, you vote a censure upon him—and fered with, from a claim of indemnity for that without hearing—it is quite another slaves taken or destroyed, to the cession of affair. At the time this was done, I said the State burdened with Slavery to a for- that, so far as I could understand the resoiegn power."

lutions proposed by the gentleman from In 1842, when the prospective them for which I was ready to vote, and

Ohio (Mr. Giddings), there were some of annexation of Texas, and a conse- some which I must vote against; and I will quent war with Mexico, first loomed now tell this House, my constituents, and above the horizon, Mr. Adams re- against which I would have voted was that

the world of mankind, that the resolution turned to the subject; and, with ref- in which he declares that what are called erence to certain anti-Slavery resolves the Slave States have the exclusive right of

consultation on the subject of Slavery. For recently offered by Mr Giddings, of that resolution, I never would vote; beOhio, and the action of the House cause I believe that it is not just, and does thereupon, said:

not contain constitutional doctrine. I be

lieve that, so long as the Slave States are “What I am now to say, I say with great able to sustain their institutions, without

" relactance and with great pain. I am well going abroad or calling upon other parts of

April 15.

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the Union to aid them or act on the sub-1 law of nations. I say that the military ject, so long I will consent never to inter- authority takes, for the time, the place of fere. I have said this; and I repeat it: all municipal institutions, and of Slavery but, if they come to the Free States and say among the rest ; and that, under that state to them, “You must help us to keep down of things, so far froin its being true that the our slaves; you must aid us in an insurrec- States where Slavery exists have the exclution and a civil war ;' then I say that, with sive management of the subject, not only that call, comes a full and plenary power the President of the United States, but the to this House and to the Senate over the commander of the army, has power to order whole subject. It is a War power. I say it is the universal emancipation of the slaves. I a War power; and when your country is ac- have given here more in detail a principle tually in war, whether it be a war of invasion which I have asserted on this floor before or a war of insurrection, Congress has power now, and of which I have no more doubt to carry on the war, and must carry it on ac- than that you, Sir, occupy that chair. I cording to the laws of war; and, by the laws give it in its development, in order that any of war, an invaded country has all its laws and gentleman from any part of the Union may, municipal institutions swept by the board, if he think proper, deny the truth of the and martial law takes the place of them. position, and may maintain his denial-not

“This power in Congress has, perhaps, by indignation, not by passion and fury, but never been called into exercise under the by sound and sober reasoning from the laws present Constitution of the United States. of nations and the laws of war. And, if my But, when the laws of war are in force, position can be answered, and refuted, I what, I ask, is one of those laws? It is shall receive the refutation with pleasure; I this: that when a country is invaded, and shall be glad to listen to reason, aside, as I two hostile armies are set in martial array, say, from indignation and passion. And if, the commanders of both armies have power by the force of reasoning, my understanding to emancipate all the slaves in the invaded can be convinced, I here pledge myself to territory. Nor is this a mere theoretic recant.what I have asserted. statement. The history of South America “Let my position be answered ; let me be shows that the doctrine has been carried told, let my constituents be told, let the peointo practical execution within the last ple of my State be told-a State whose soil thirty years. Slavery was abolished in tolerates not the foot of a slave-that Colombia, first by the Spanish General they are bound by the Constitution to Murillo ; and, secondly, by the American a long and toilsome march under burning General Bolivar. It was abolished by virtue Summer suns and a deadly Southern clime, of a military command, given at the head of for the suppression of a servile war; that the army; and its abolition continues to be they are bound to leave their bodies to rot law to this day. It was abolished by the upon the sands of Carolina-to leave their laws of war, and not by municipal enact- wives widows and their children orphans

The power was exercised by mili- that those who can not march are bound to tary commanders, under instructions, of pour out their treasure, while their sons or course, from their respective Governments. brothers are pouring out their blood, to sup

" And here I recur again to the example press a servile, combined with a civil or & of Gen. Jackson. What are you now about foreign war; and yet that there exists no in Congress? You are about passing a grant power, beyond the limits of the Slave State to refund to Gen. Jackson the amount of a where such war is raging, to emancipate the certain fine imposed upon him by a judge slaves! I say, let this be proved-I am under the laws of the State of Louisiana. open to conviction; but, till that conviction You are going to refund him the money, comes, I put it forth not as a dictate of feelwith interest; and this you are going to do, ing, but as a settled maxim of the laws of nabecause the imposition of the fine was un- tions, that in such a case the military superjust. And why was it unjust? Because sedes the civil power; and on this account Gen. Jackson was acting und the laws of I should have been obliged to vote, as I have war; and because, the moment you place a said, against one of the resolutions of my er. military commander in a district which is cellent friend from Ohio (Mr. Giddings), or the theater of war, the laws of war apply to should at least have required that it be that district.

I might furnish a amended in conformity with the Constituthousand proofs to show that the preten- tion of the United States." sions of gentlemen to the sanctity of their municipal institutions, under a state of actual

Hon. Joshua R. Giddings, while a invasion and of actual war, whether servile, member of the House of Represencivil, or foreign, is wholly unfounded; and tatives, thirteen years prior to the that the laws of war do, in all such cases, take precedence. I lay this down as the appearance of Mr. Lincoln's Procla

Inents.

*

*

VIEWS OF MR. GIDDINGS AND GOV. SEWARD.

237

THEY STRIKE OFF TIIE SIIACKLES FROM HIS
LIMBS.

mation of Freedom, in reply to slave unfeigned reluctance, in a paper

a holding threats of a dissolution of designed to modify the ideas and inthe Union, said:

fluence the action of a foreign Gov"When that contest shall come; when the ernment–indeed, of all foreign govthunder shall roll and the lightnings flash; ernments-argued that the Rebellion when the slaves of the South shall rise in had no pretext that did not grow

out the spirit of Freedom, actuated by the soulstirring emotion that they are men, destined of Slavery, and that it was causeless, to immortality, entitled to the rights which objectless, irrational, even in view of God bestowed upon them; when the masters shall turn pale and tremble; when their Slavery, because of the “incontestadwellings shall smoke, and dismay sit on each ble” fact set forth by him, as follows: countenance; then, Sir, I do not say we will laugh at your calainity, and mock when

“Moral and physical causes have deteryour fear cometh, but I do say, the lover of mined inflexibly the character of each one our race will then stand forth and evert the of the Territories over which the dispute legitimate powers of this Government of bas arisen; and both parties, after the elecfreedom. We shall then have constitutional tion (of Lincoln to the Presidency), harmopower to act for the good of our country, niously agreed on all the Federal laws and to do justice to the slave. WE WILL

reguired for their organization. The Ter

ritories will remain in all respects the same, The Government will then have

whether the revolution shall succeed or fail. power to act between Slarery and Freedom ;

The condition of Slavery in the several and it can best make peace by giving liberty States will remain just the same, whether it to the slares. And let me tell you, Mr.

succeed or fail. There is not even a pretext Speaker, that time hastens; the President for the complaint that the disatfected States is exerting a power that will hurry it on;

are to be conquered by the United States, and I shall hail it as the approaching dawn if the revolution fail; but the rights of the of that Millennium which I know must come

States, and the condition of every human upon the earth."

being in them, will remain subject to the

same laws and forms of administration, Our great Civil War was opened whether the revolution shall succeed or

whether it shall fail. In the one case, the on the part of the Union, not States would be federally connected with only with an anxious desire, but the new confederacy; in the other, they with a general expectation, that it would, as now, be members of the United

States; but their constitutions and laws, would be prosecuted to a successful customs, habits, and institutions, will in issue without seriously disturbing the either case remain the same.” foundations and buttresses of Slav- Our regular Army officers, educaery.

ted at West Point in a faith that Mr. Lincoln's solicitude on this identified devotion to Slavery with head, as evinced in his Inaugural Ad- loyalty to the Federal Constitution dress," was deepened by the dubious, and Government, were of course imvacillating attitude of the Border bued with a like spirit. Gen. McSlave States, especially of his native Dowell, in his General Order govKentucky, which he was particularly erning the first advance from the anxious to attach firmly to the cause Potomac into Virginia, was as proof the Union, while she seemed fran- foundly silent respecting Slavery and tically wedded to Slavery.

slaves as if the latter had no modern Gov. Seward, in his elaborate ini- existence; while Gen. McClellan, on tial dispatch to Mr. Dayton, our new making a like advance into Western Minister to the Court of France, ap- Virginia, issued' an address to the proaching the topic of Slavery with people thereof, wherein he said: * Vol I., pp. 422-6. Dated April 22, 1861. • June 20. See Vol. I., pp. 534-5. May 26

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