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quarters, or lose his slaves, should the settlement be declared a free State; whereas the latter may continue in it even after its being declared a slaveholding State. And he may do so with the less reluctance, as he is accustomed already to live in the same place with a slaveholder:-not to mention that the establishment of a slaveholder is vaster and more difficult to move and transplant than ordinary farmers'.
But these are minor matters, not to be minded here: your pleading is far from solving the knot. Whence comes to the majority of the people in the settlement the right of excluding the slaveholder at the time when it becomes a State? Who can, or does, impose on him such a condition when he first enters the Territory? The Constitution does not; nor does that condition appear to be imposed on him otherwise. His right of settling in the Territory being once ascertained, there is no power that can deprive him of it afterward. He himself may renounce it; but there is nothing in your statement from which we might presume that he does. Not the whole people of the Union could do that, much less a majority of his co-settlers at any time. By way of fact, they may exclude him, of course; but our present inquiry is whether they exclude him justly.
BOST.-No: it is not a condition imposed on him by anybody; it is rather a tacit agreement or understanding that he must quit the place if a majority of the people, who have settled in it, vote slavery down, when it becomes a State.
WASH.-This seems to be unintelligible language and past, indeed, all understanding. With whom does he tacitly agree, or how is such an agreement entered into and made to appear? It is even impossible to be made.
At the moment of entering the Territory, the slaveholder does agree with nobody. He settles in it, because he has the right to do so, and his purpose is to remain there. He should lose his senses to intend otherwise. Nor does he agree with anybody while he continues in the Territory.
On the contrary, all that he does during his stay is only a series of proofs and an uninterrupted evidence to confirm us in the belief that he persists in the same mind and resolution to remain there.
But this tacit agreement is simply impossible. Could he make it with anybody, he should with those future voters who will declare the place a free State: for they it is who, it is supposed, may exclude him thence. But these very voters, at the time of his entering the Territory and his continuing in it, do not even exist; and, if they did, they could have as yet no will of their own; this depending, as it is alleged, upon their number when the Territory is to become a State.
The truth of it is, the slaveholder settles in the Territory, because he has the right to do so, and intends his settlement should be permanent; but with time he finds himself in the midst of people who are opposed to Slavery, and who, being the greater number, vote it down: and, as he is unable to breast the opposition, he must abandon the place for quiet living, or living at all. To give, then, the case the mildest name, we will say that his exit is the effect of the force of circumstances. As our inquiry, however, is to ascertain, whether anybody, or number of bodies, may justly cause those circumstances to compel him to quit his place, it appears evident that nobody may. No tacit agreement, even if true, can destroy rights expressly agreed upon, and guaranteed by the Constitution. Nor has any force of circumstances ever been the measure of right; and much less can it be the principle on which right is founded.
This imagined power in the people of the settlement, may, perhaps, be traced to this origin: Congress having assumed to legislate against Slavery in the Territories, their power has been, it seems, successfully opposed upon the principle that the people themselves in the settlement have the inherent right of making their own laws and determining on their domestic institutions in their own way. Hence it is concluded that, when the settlement is on the point of
becoming a State to be admitted into the Union, a legal majority of the people, as they may resolve on other matters that concern them, may also declare it a free State. Their power, then, is founded upon the absence of the same power in Congress. Because Congress cannot, therefore a majority of the settlers can. This would seem a strange way of reasoning; for, neither of them might have such power. In new things, and upon the consent of the interested parties, the people in the Territory may legislate as they please for its government; but can they, under the Constitution, deprive a single settler of those rights which have been secured to him by that instrument, and in the lawful exercise of which he finds himself there? If the slaveholder has the right to settle, and does settle, in the Territory, once there, he never can be rightly excluded from his place either by Congress or any majority of his co-settlers.
The just way of proceeding appears to be that, as during the territorial condition the freesoiler and the slaveholder have occupied the same place and in a manner lived together, so might they continue in it afterward when the Territory is become a State. The laws may protect them both, as both may observe, or be made to observe, them.
It must be owned, however, that if matters are left to work for themselves, as they should be, the above contemplated case does rarely, if ever, occur. The slaveholder never will go but where the climate is fit for the physical constitution of slaves, and the soil adapted to those peculiar, almost exceptional, productions in which slave-labor is employed: in other words, he never will go but where he calculates that slave-labor is profitable. Into places naturally adapted to productions requiring ordinary culture, and whose climate does not agree with the African race, he will not move. And the same reasons which invite the slaveholder, the same dissuade and deter the freesoiler. To do otherwise, they should, beside other considerations, forget their own interests; which neither of them can be supposed willing to do. Whenever they do, it must be from jealousy
and party strife, with a view of annoying their political adversaries. In this case, they cannot but repent it afterward: and when they reap the harvest to be expected from the seed they have sown, each one of them must say: "It was my fault; I deserve it."
But whenever such an event should take place (for it is possible, though it is improbable), then, in defect of proper laws, or their due enforcement, in the Territory, as this is within the Union and its inhabitants are mostly from the United States, we would say that it is the General Government who should provide for the emergency and remedy the evil: not by expelling any of the settlers, but by repressing or punishing the agitators and disturbers of the public peace. To this extent may perhaps be stretched the power of Congress to make rules and regulations respecting the Territory belonging to the United States; a stretching which deprives nobody of his rights, and seems moreover commanded by the necessity of maintaining the public order within the Union.
BOST.--But, on being assured of our determination to let slavery remain where it is in the States, and exclude it from the Territories, even now that one of our party, animated by these principles, has been legally elected President, a large number of the slaveholding States have, one after the other, seceded from the Union.
WASH.-To judge from your own statement, we only wonder they have not seceded sooner. This is a good evidence to prove that they were truly attached to the Union, having clung to it so firmly until you have, as it were, snatched them from it. Their separation, being caused by your confessed will to deny them the use of their right in the Territories, a will repeatedly declared in words, and embodied in facts which admit of no doubt, we believe it is chargeable to you rather than to them: and, indeed, it is you that part with them, not they with you. In the same manner, and by the same reason, as, when in private business one partner withdraws from the association, because
the other breaks the terms on which it was entered into, the disrupter of the partnership is not he who retires, but he who by his acts or usurpations forces him to retire.
But much more do we wonder at the very existence of your party, if abolition or restriction of slavery, or any interference with it in States or Territory, enters in its organization; as the account you give of it makes us believe. The formation, and much more the action, of a party in which such purposes are embodied, is nothing less than open treason to the Federal government under the Constitution. Political parties may well be allowed to exist in a republic, especially one like ours; and, when kept within proper bounds, they may even be of use to promote its advantages. They serve also to check each other's progress, lest any of them, if suffered to overgrow, should deviate from the principles of its original institution, and, taking advantage of its strength, attempt innovations and prove a scourge to the community, instead of a benefit, as it should intend to be. For, though there may be some difference in the forms and views of these parties, yet the principal, nay, the only aim of all should be the support of the government and the increase of the common welfare of the whole people. They never should in action, and much less on principle, aim at encroaching on the rights of any portion of the community, let it be never so small. This would evidently be to seek to destroy a part of the principles on which the government itself is founded; and any such party could be called by no other name than that of conspiracy, or rather open revolt.
BOST.-But they cannot secede. The last article of the confederation expressly forbids it, saying: "The articles of this confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual."
WASH.-And you take advantage of.these words to turn them to your own account. Because you think yourself sure of your number, and reckon that the Slaveholding States cannot get out of the Union, but must remain in it,