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And still the debate went on, I passed-Yeas 150; Nays 564all hardly interrupted by the death Southern); and then the Utah bill (July 10th) of Gen. Taylor, and the was in like manner passed-Yeas 97; accession of Vice-President Fillmore Nays 85—(mainly Northern Free to the Presidency. Repeated efforts Soil). The bills providing more to cut off from California all her effectually for the recovery of fugiterritory south of 36° 30'; to send tive Slaves, and abolishing the Slaveback her constitution to a new con- trade in the District, were likewise vention of her people, etc., etc., were passed by decided majorities; and made by Southern ultras, but defeat the Senate” concurred in the House ed; and finally 19 the bill to admit amendment, whereby two of its meaCalifornia passed the Senate by 34 sures had been welded togetherYeas to 18 Nays--all Southern- Yeas 31; Nays 10 (Northern Free and the bill organizing the Territo- Soil). So all the measures originally ries of New Mexico and Utah, as included in Mr. Clay's proposition proposed, likewise passed two days of compromise became laws of the thereafter : Yeas 27; Nays 10. The land. other measures embraced in the proposition of compromise were in like The propelling force, whereby manner successively carried with lit- these acts were pushed through Contle serious opposition.
gress, in defiance of the original con
victions of a majority of its members, When these measures reached the or at least the lubricating oil whereHouse, they encountered a spirited with the ways were rendered passaresistance ; but the bill organizing ble, was contained in that article the Territory of New Mexico was of the bill proposing to the State added as an amendment or “rider” of Texas the establishment of her to the bill defining the Northern Northern boundary, which reads: boundary of Texas, and paying her
" Fourth. The United States, in considerten millions for assenting to such de
ation of said establishment of boundaries, markation. This was moved by Mr. cession of claims to territory, and relinLinn Boyd (Democrat), of Kentucky, quishment of claims, will pay to the State
of Texas the sum of ten millions of dollars, and prevailed by Yeas 107, Nays
in a stock bearing five per cent. interest, 99. The bill, as thus amended, and redeemable at the end of fourteen years; was first defeated-Yeas 99; Nays
the interest payable half-yearly, at the Trea
sury of the United States." 107; but Mr. Howard, of Texas, who had voted in the negative, now By this article, the public debt of moved a reconsideration, which Texas, previously worth in market was carried-Yeas 122; Nays 84; but some twenty to thirty per cent. whereupon the Previous Question of its face, was suddenly raised nearwas seconded-Yeas 115 ; Nays ly or quite to par, to the entire satis97; and the bill passed 20 as amended faction of its holders--many of them
-Yeas 108; Nays 97. The Califor- members of Congress, or their very nia bill was next” taken up and intimate friends. Corruption, thinly
19 August 13th. 20 September 4th. 21 September 7th. 22 September 9th.
The bin by
POLITICAL COMPROMISES-THEIR ABUSE.
disguised, haunted the purlieus and sures essential to the existence of the stalked through the balls of the Capi- Government. The attempt, theretol; and numbers, hitherto in needy fore, of the Senate of Februarycircumstances, suddenly found them- March, 1849, to dictate to the House, selves rich. The great majority, of “You shall consent to such an orcourse, were impervious to such in-ganization of the territories as we fluences; but the controlling and prescribe, or we will defeat the Civil controllable minority were not. This Appropriation bill, and thus derange, was probably the first instance in if not arrest, the most vital machinwhich measures of vital consequence ery of the Government," was utterly to the country were carried or de- unjustifiable. Yet this should not feated in Congress under the direct blind us to the fact that differences spur of pecuniary interest.
of opinion are at times developed on
questions of decided moment, where Political compromises, though the rights of each party are equal, they have been rendered unsavory and where an ultimate concurrence by abuse, are a necessary incident of in one common line of action is esmixed or balanced governments— sential. Without some deference to that is, of all but simple, unchecked adverse convictions, no confederation despotisms. Wherever liberty exists, of the insurgent colonies was attainthere diversities of judgment will be able—no Union of the States could developed ; and, unless one will domi- have been effected. And where the nates over all others, a practical Executive is, by according him the mean between widely differing con- veto, clothed with a limited power victions must sometimes be sought. over the making of laws, it is ineviIf, for example, a legislature is com- table that some deference to his posed of two distinct bodies or houses, views, his convictions, should be and they differ, as they occasionally evinced by those who fashion and will, with regard to the propriety or mature those laws. Under this asthe amount of an appropriation re- pect, compromise in government is quired for a certain purpose, and sometimes indispensable and laudaneither is disposed to give way, a ble. partial concession on either hand is But what is known in State legisoften the most feasible mode of prac lation as log-rolling is quite another tical adjustment. Where the object matter. A. has a bill, which he is contemplated is novel, or non-essen intent on passing, but which has no tial to the general efficiency of the intrinsic worth that commends it to public service—such as the construc- his fellow-members. But B., C., D., tion of a new railroad, canal, or other and the residue of the alphabet, have public work—the repugnance of each his "little bill;” not, perhaps, either house should suffice entirely specially obnoxious or objectionable, to defeat, or, at least, to postpone it; but such as could not be passed on for neither branch has a right to ex- its naked merits. All alike must act from the other conformity with fail, unless carried by that reciproci
price of its own concurrence in mea- | mon need and peril. An understand
ing is effected between their several | therefor. But why Texas should be backers, so that A. votes for the bills paid Ten Millions of dollars for relinof B., C., D., etc., as the indispensable quishing her pretensions to territory means of securing the passage of his never possessed by, nor belonging to, own darling; and thus a whole litter her--territory which had been first of bills become laws, whereof no sin- acquired from Mexico by the forces gle one was demanded by the public and then bought of her by the moninterest, or could have passed without ey of the Union - is not obvious; the aid of others as unworthy as it- and why this payment, if made at all, self. Such is substantially the pro- should be a make-weight in a bargain cess whereby our statute-books are covering a variety of arrangements loaded with acts which subserve no with which it had no proper connecend but to fill the pockets of the few, tion, is still less explicable. And at the expense of the rights or the when, on the back of this, was piled interests of the many.
an act to provide new facilities for It was entirely proper that Con- slave-catching in the Free States, osgress should provide at once for the tensibly balanced by another which temporary government of all the ter- required the slave-traders of Washritories newly acquired from Mex- ington to remove their jails and aucico; and there was no radical objection-rooms across the Potomac to that tion to doing this in one bill, if that dull old dwarf of a city which had reshould seem advisable. As the estab-cently been retroceded to Virginia, as lishment of a definite boundary be- if on purpose to facilitate this arrangetween New Mexico and Texas was ment, the net product was a corrupt essential to the tranquillity and monstrosity in legislation and morals security of the Territory, that object which even the great name of Henry might fairly be contemplated in the Clay should not shield from lasting act providing a civil government opprobrium.
But, whatever theoretic or practi- | general joy the announcement that cal objections may be justly made to all the differences between the diverse the Compromise of 1850, there can be sections' had been adjusted and setno doubt that it was accepted and rati- tled. The terms of settlement were, fied by a great majority of the Ameri- to that majority, of quite subordinate can People, whether in the North orin consequence; they wanted peace and the South. They were intent on busi prosperity, and were nowise inclined ness — then remarkably prosperous to cut each other's throats and burn -on planting, building, trading, and each other's houses in a quarrel conTHE SOUTH SUSTAINS THE COMPROMISE OF 1850. 211
status of negroes. The Compromise ry S. Foote for Governor-Mr. Foote, had taken no money from their pock- as Mr. Davis's colleague, though he ets; it had imposed upon them no demurred to Mr. Clay's programme pecuniary burdens; it had exposed at the outset, having supported the them to no personal and palpable Compromise to the extent of his abildangers: it had rather repelled the ity. The election occurred early in gaunt specter of Civil War and Dis- November, 1851; when the “Union” union (habitually conjured up when party won a complete triumph--the Slavery had a point to carry), and vote being the largest ever yet polled, increased the facilities for making and Mr. Foote elected by over 1,0001 money, while opening a boundless majority. The rest of the “Union” vista of National greatness, security, State ticket, with a strongly “Union” and internal harmony. Especially Legislature, succeeded by still larger by the trading class, and the great majorities. Alabama, likewise, chose majority of the dwellers in seaboard a “Union” Legislature, and a “Unicities, was this view cherished with on" majority of Congressmen. Louiintense, intolerant vehemence. siana, this year, elected a “ Whig.
The Compromise had been violent- Auditor and Legislature - meaning ly opposed, alike from the South much the same thing. And even and from the North-of course, on South Carolina—having been sumopposite grounds. The “Fire-Eat moned by her chieftains (Mr. Calers,” or disciples of Mr. Calhoun, houn being now dead) to elect a regarded it as surrendering the substance of all that was in dispute- the exigency should be determinedthe newly acquired territories — to gave a “Coöperation” majority of the North, while amusing the South over 7,000 on the popular? vote, with a mere shadow of triumph in electing 114 “ Coöperationists” to 54 the waiver of any positive, peremp- unqualified “Secessionists." In othtory exclusion of Slavery therefrom. er words, she voted not to attempt They resolved not to submit to it, but Secession without the concurrence to rouse their section at first to the and support of her Southern sisters— oretical, ultimately to forcible, resist- | this being the shape wherein she could, ance. To this end, a direct issue was with least sacrifice of pride or consismade against the Compromise in Mis- tency, indicate her disposition not to sissippi-next to South Carolina, the rush madly upon the perils of Dismost intensely Pro-Slavery State in union and Civil War. Thus the trithe Union-by nominating a “State umph of the Compromise in the Slave Rights” ticket, headed by Jefferson States was complete; for it was felt Davis for Governor-Mr. Davis hav- to be preposterous to make the issue ing opposed the Compromise in the in any other States if it could not be Senate with determined pertinacity. upheld in these. His adversaries accepted the chal- In the North, likewise, the acquilenge, and nominated a “Union" escence in the Compromise was genticket in opposition, headed by Hen- eral and decisive; though here, too,
| 17,796. These totals are obtained by adding up a Vis, 27,729 cm 19,796. 2 For Coöperation, 25,098; for Secession, | the votes for delegates in the several “parishes.”
some of its cardinal provisions pro- I was ordered to a third reading by voked strenuous opposition. The 109 Yeas to 75 Nays—every member new Fugitive Slave Law proved from a Slave State who voted at all, especially obnoxious, both in prin- voting Yea, with 28 Democrats and ciple and practice, to a large and 35 Whigs from Free States. From earnest minority. It had been ori- the Free States 33, from the Slave ginally drafted by Senator Mason, States 15 members were absent, or of Virginia—a man conspicuously withheld their votes; and, as the charged with that pro-Slavery venom vote in the Senate stood 27 for to 12 which has since made him a leading against it, with 21 absent, it is noteRebel—and who had already signal-worthy that it passed either House ized himself by his efforts to render by the votes of a decided minority the maintenance of the Union impos- of the members thereof. Still, it is sible on any other terms than those hardly probable that, had every of the most utter and abject devotion, member been present and voted, it on the part of the North, to the most extreme Pro-Slavery aspirations and This measure, so inconsiderately policy of the South. He opposed, as adopted, was specially objectionable we have seen, Mr. Clay's programme of to the humaner instincts of the Free compromise, as entirely too favorable States in these particulars : : to the North; he had been among 1. It directed and provided for the the foremost of the Southern ultras surrender to the claimant of each in defeating that programme in its alleged fugitive from Slavery withprimitive shape; and he had stub-out allowing such alleged fugitive a bornly resisted the admission of Cali- | trial by jury; though the Federal fornia as a Free State, unless and Constitution expressly provides that until paid for by concessions on the
"In suits at common law, where the part of the North. Yet his draft of | value in controversy shall exceed twenty a Fugitive Slave Law was adopted dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be by the great Compromise Committee,
preserved :" and ultimately rushed through the So that, while any person, of whom two Houses with little consideration damages are claimed to the amount and less scrutiny. When it was of twenty dollars, is entitled to a reached in its order in the lower, trial of the issue by jury, he whose Judge James Thompson ; obtained liberty, or whose wife and children, the floor 4— doubtless by prëarrange- are in jeopardy, is especially denied ment with Speaker Cobb--and spoke that right by this act. He may be in favor of the measure as just and entirely and unimpeachably whitenecessary, closing his remarks by a for this act knows nothing of color; demand of the Previous Question. he may be the Governor of a State, This was sustained by a majority; the Bishop of a great Church; he and the bill with all its imperfec may be General-in-Chief of the armtions on its head, and without afford- ies of the Union, engaged in a moing any opportunity for amendment- mentous war ; but, if any one chooses 3 Democrat, of Erie, Pa. 4 September, 12th. Taylor, Ohio, Edward W. McGaughey, In5 Samuel A. Eliot, Massachusetts, John L. | diana. 6 Amendments Article VII,