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immediately interested, should see fit silent respecting Slavery; but, while to change them. But this was exactly under discussion in Committee of what the majority determined should the Whole, the following amendnot be, and were working to prevent. ment was added: Yet they did not care to make up an “And neither Slavery nor involuntary issue with the Ilouse majority on this servitude shall ever exist in said Territory,
except for crime, whereof the party shall point, and go to the country on the la
have been duly convicted.” defeat of the chief Appropriation
In the House, on coming out of bill, and consequent embarrassment
Committee, the Yeas and Nays were of the Government, for no other rea
demanded on this amendment, which son than that the IIouse had refused
was sustained: Yeas 108; Nays 44 to unite in opening the Territories to
—only three or four Northern DemoSlavery. And so, after spending most
crats and five or six Southern Whigs of the night in heated discussion
being found among the Nays, wheremuch of it mere talking against time
of the residue were Southern Demo-the Senate, toward morning, struck
crats. The bill, as thus amended, out of the Appropriation bill its ma
passed the House, but went to the terially amended amendment, and
Senate so near the close of the sespassed the bill as it originally came
sion that, though referred to " and from the House-at all events, with
reported by the Committee on Terno provision for the organization or
ritories, no further action was had government of New Mexico and
thereon. California. And thus ended the
On the assembling of this ConAdministration of Mr. Polk, along
gress for its second session, Mr. with the XXXth Congress.
Douglas again reported to the House
a bill to provide a Territorial GovThe action of the XXIXth and
crnment for Oregon, which was read XXXth Congresses respectively with
twice, and sent to the Committee of regard to the Territory of Oregon,
the Whole; where it was debated though proceeding simultaneously
through the 11th, 12th, and 14th of with the incidents already recorded
January, and ordered to be taken in this chapter, and involving essen
out of Committee on the 15th. On tially identical principles, requires dis
that day, Gen. Armistead Burt, of tinct presentation, that the two diverse
South Carolina, moved (having aland somewhat conflicting threads
ready done so in Committee of the of narrative may not be blended in
Whole) this addition to the clause hopeless entanglement. That action,
inhibiting Slavery, as above given : briefly summed up, was as follows:
“Inasmuch as the whole of the said TerAt the first session of the XXIXth
ritory lies north of thirty-six degrees thirty Congress, Mr. Stephen A. Douglas ininutes north latitude, known as the line reported to the Ilouse (August 6, of the Missouri Compromise." 1846) a bill organizing the Territory The object of this amendment was of Oregon, whereof the northern to obtain from the House a recogniboundary had just been fixed at lati- tion of the parallel 36° 30' as a dividtude 49° by treaty with Great Bri- ing line between Slave and Free tain. The bill, as reported, was territory across the entire continent,
ATTEMPT TO EXTEND THE LINE OF 36° 30'.
or so far as our possessions might ex- | with the majority, which was othertend. The House voted down Gen. wise entirely composed of members Burt's proposition : Yeas 82; Nays from Free States ; eight 1 Democrats 114-every member from the Slave from Free States voted in the minorStates, with four 11 Democrats from ity, otherwise composed of all the Free States, voting in the affirma- members from Slave States present, tive; while every Whiy from the Mr. Houston, of Delaware, excepted. Free States, with every Democrat The bill then passed the House by a from those States but the four afore- “sectional” vote-Yeas 128; Nays said, voted in the negative. The 71. bill thereupon passed the House by In the Senate, Mr. Douglas 13 134 Yeas to 35 Nays-all from Slave promptly (August 5th) reported this States; but, on leaching the Senate, bill with amendments, and a proposiit was referred, reported, sent back tion from Mr. Foote, of Mississippi, again, and finally, on the last day of that it “ do lie on the table,” was dethe session, laid on the table-Yeas feated by 15 (ultra Southern) Yeas to 26; Nays 18—-there to sleep the 36 Nays. Among the amendments sleep of death.
reported by Mr. Douglas was a reproIn the next (XXXth) Congress, duction in substance of Gen. Burt's, Mr. Caleb B. Smith (Whig), of In- defzated the year before in the diana (since Secretary of the Inte- House, which now received but two rior, under President Lincoln), was votes-those of Messrs. Bright and chairman of the Committee on Terri Douglas. Mr. Douglas thereupon tories; and a bill creating a Territo- moved to amend the bill, by insertrial Government for Oregon, and ing as follows: prohibiting Slavery therein, was re
“That the line of thirty-six degrees and ported by him on the 9th of Febru- | thirty minutes of north latitude, known as ary, 1848. This bill was made a the Missouri Compromise line, as defined in special order five weeks thereafter,
the eighth section of an act entitled, “An
Act to authorize the people of the Missouri but was so pertinaciously resisted by Territory to form a Constitution and State the Slavery Extensionists that it Government, and for the adınission of such
State into the Union, on an equal footing could not be got out of Committee till
with the original States, and to prohibit August 1: when an amendment made Slavery in certain Territories, approved in Committee, striking out that clause
March 6, 1820,' be, and the same is hereby,
declared to extend to the Pacific Ocean; of the original bill whereby the provi
and the said eighth section, together with sions of the Ordinance of '87 were the compromise therein effected, is hereby
revived, and declared to be in full force, and extended to this Territory--in other words, Slavery was prohibited there- Territories of the United States, in the in—was negatived; Yeas 88; Nays |
same sense, and with the same understand
|ing, with which it was generally adopted.” 114. On this division, Mr. John W. Houston (Whig), of Delaware, voted This was carried by 33 Yeas-in
11 PENNSYLVANIA.-Charles J. Ingersoll--1. | NOIS.—Orlando B. Ficklin, John A. McClernand, ILLINOIS.-Stephen A. Douglas, Robert Smith | William A. Richardson-3. INDIANA.-John L. -2. IOWA.-S. C. Hastings-l. In all, 4. Robinson, William W. Wick-2.
13 Recently transferred from the House; now 12 NEW YORK.---Ausburn Birdsall-1. OH10.- chairman of the Senate's Committee on Terri, William Kennon, jr., John K. Miller--2. ILLI- | tories.
cluding Messrs. Calhoun, Jefferson the minority. So the bill was reDavis, John Bell, Benton, and every turned to the Senate with its amendmember present from the Slave ment struck out; and that body States, with Messrs. Cameron, of thereupon receded-Yeas 29; Nays Pennsylvania; Douglas, of Illinois; 25—from its amendment, and allowBright, of Indiana; Dickinson, of ed the bill to become a law in the New York ; and Fitzgerald, of Michi- shape given it by the House. On gan, from Free States—to 21 Nays, this memorable division, Messrs. including Messrs. Webster, of Massa- Benton, Bright, Cameron, Dickinson, chusetts, Hamlin, of Maine, Dix, Douglas, Fitzgerald, Hannegan, of New York, and Breese, of Illi Spruance, of Delaware, and Housnois. The bill, thus amended, passed ton, of Texas, voted to yield to the the Senate by 33 Yeas to 22 Nays. · House, leaving none but Senators
But the House, on its return, thus from Slave States, and not all of amended, utterly refused (August them, insisting on the partition de11th) to concur in any such partition manded. So Oregon became a Terof the territories oí the Union, on ritory, consecrated to Free Labor, the line of 36° 30', between Free without compromise or counterbaland Slave Labor. The proposition ance; and the Free States gave of Mr. Douglas, above cited, was re fair notice that they would not divide jected by the decisive majority of with Slavery the vast and hitherto 39: Yeas 82; Nays 121—only three 14 free territories then just acquired members from Free States voting in from Mexico.
THE COMPROMISE OF 1850.
GEN. ZACHARY TAYLOR was inau- Slavery Restriction. It is among gurated as President on the 4th of the traditions of the canvass that he, March, 1849. He had received, as some time in 1848, received a letter we have seen, both an electoral ma- from a planter running thus: “ Sir : jority and a popular plurality, alike I have worked hard and been frugal in the Free and in the Slave States, all my life, and the results of my inmainly by reason of his persistent dustry have mainly taken the form and obstinate silence and reserve on of slaves, of whom I own about a the vexed question of Slavery in the hundred. Before I vote for PresiTerritories. He had written letters dent, I want to be sure that the -not always wise nor judicious candidate I support will not so act during the canvass, mainly in its as to divest me of my property.” early stages; but they were not cal- To which the General, with a dexculated, decisively, to alienate either terity that would have done credit to the champions or the opponents of a diplomatist, and would have proved
14 NEW YORK.---Ausburn Birdsall—-1. PENNSYLVANIA.-Charles Brown, Charles J. Ingersoll—-2. WHIG ZEAL FOR SL A VERY RESTRICTION.
exceedingly useful to Mr. Clay, re- their party, not fully satisfied with sponded : “Sir: I have the honor to Gen. Taylor's position on the Slavery inform you that I, too, have been all question, but trusting that the influmy life industrious and frugal, and ence necessarily exerted over his that the fruits thereof are mainly Administration by the desires and invested in slaves, of whom I convictions of the far greater numown three hundred. Yours," etc. ber of its supporters, whether in or South Carolina did not see fit to out of Congress, led by such derepose her faith in him; no more termined Slavery Restrictionists as did Texas : his own son-in-law, Jef- Mr. Webster and Gov. Seward, ferson Davis, went against him : so would insure his political adhesion did the great body of Slavery Propa to the right side. Many acted or gandists; yet it is, nevertheless, true voted in accordance with this view that he received many more votes at / who were not exactly satisfied with the South than would have been it; and the Whig canvassers were given for Mr. Webster, or even Mr. doubtless more decided and thorough Clay.
in their “Free Soil” inculcations In the Free States, very many than they would have been had their Northern Whigs' had refused to sup- Presidential candidate been one of port him, and given their votes to themselves. Mr. Webster” claimed Van Buren as an open, unequivocal “ Free Soil” as a distinctive Whig champion of Slavery Restriction; doctrine, and declared that, were the and it was by the votes thus diverted Whigs to join the peculiar “Free from Gen. Taylor that Ohio, with Soil” organization, they would only perhaps Indiana and Wisconsin also, make that the Whig party with were given to Gen. Cass. The great Martin Van Buren at its head. body of the Northern Whigs, how Gov. Seward declared the Slavery ever, had supported the nominees of question the great, living, and pre
1 Among those Whigs who took this course in “But the Whigs, and they alone, raised a New York City, the names of Willis Hall, Joseph strong opposition to the measure. I say the L. White, Philip W. Engs, and Wilson G. Hunt,
Whigs alone-for nobody else, either in the
| East, West, South, or North, stirred a finger in are conspicuous.
the cause-or, at least, made so small an effort 2 The following are extracts from Mr. Web- ' that it could not be discerned until the Whios ster's speech at Abingdon, Mass., Oct. 9, 1848: roused the people to a sentiment of opposition
- The gentlemen who have joined this new to the further spread of the Slave Power. Then party, from among the Whigs, pretend that they this portion of the New York Loco-Focos, these are greater lovers of Liberty and greater haters Barnburners, seized upon this Whig doctrine, of Slavery than those they leave behind them. and attached to it their policy, merely to give I do not admit it. I do not admit any such them the predominance over their rivals. *** thing. [Applause.] I think we are as good "In this Buffalo platform, this Collect of the Free Soil men as they are, though we do not set | new school, there is nothing new. * * * up any such great prëeminence over our neigh- Suppose all the Whigs should go over to the bors. * * * There was an actual outbreak, Free Soil party: It would only be a change of years ago, between these two parties of the name; the principles would still be the same. Democracy of New York, and this Barnburn But there would be one change which, I admit, ing party existed long before there was any | would be monstrous-it would make Nir. Van question of Free Soil among them-long before | Buren the head of the Whig party. [Laughter.]" there was any question of the Wilmot Proviso, or any opposition by that party to the extension
3 In his speech at Cleveland, Ohio, October of Slavery. And, up to the Annexation of Texas, every man of the party went straightfor- “A sixth principle is, that Slavery must be ward for that Annexation, Slavery Extension abolished. I think these are the principles of and all.
| the Whigs of the Western Reserve of Ohio. I
dominant issue between the two | alienation of many Northern DemoNational parties, and urged the duty crats from their former devotion to of abolishing Slavery as a reason for Southern ideas and docility to Southsupporting Gen. Taylor. Mr. Wash- ern leadership. This alienation was ington Hunt 4 wrote an elaborate let- further evinced in the coalitions ter to Ohio, urging the duty of stand- formed the next summer between ing. by Whig principles by electing the Democratic and Free Soil parties Gen. Taylor, and by choosing at the of Vermont and Massachusetts, which same time members of Congress who in Vermont proved too weak to overwould inflexibly resist, and legislate come the Whig ascendency, but in to prohibit, the Extension of Slavery. Massachusetts ultimately triumphed At no time previously,5 had Whig in in the election of George S. Boutwell culcations throughout the Free States (Democrat), as Governor, and Charles been so decidedly and strongly hostile Sumner (Free Soil), as Senator. In to the Extension of Slavery, and so New York, a fusion was with diffidetermined in requiring its inhibition culty effected (in 1849) of the parties by Congress, as during the canvass which had in 1848 supported Van of 1848.
Buren and Cass respectively — the Among the results of that canvass nominal basis of agreement being a was--as we have seen-a temporary | resolve of mutual hostility to the
am not now to say for the first time that they thien raging, which was unanimously adopted. are mine. * * *
In the course of it, he said: "There are two antagonistic elements of society in America, Freedom and Slavery. "Fellow Citizens: Disguise the Mexican War Freedom is in harmony with our system of as sophistry may, the great truth cannot be put government, and with the spirit of the age, and down, nor lied down, that it exists because of the is therefore passive and quiescent. Slavery is Annexation of Texas; that from such a cause in conflict with that system, with justice, and we predicted such a consequence would follow; with humanity, and is therefore organized, and that, but for that cause, no war would have defensive, active, and perpetually aggressive. existed at all. Disguise its intents, purposes
“Freedom insists on the emancipation and and consequences, as sophistry may struggle to development of labor; Slavery demands a soil do, the further great truth cannot be hidden, that moistened with tears and blood-Freedom a its main object is the conquest of a market for soil that exults under the elastic tread of man slaves, and that the flag our victorious legions in his native majesty.
rally around, fight under, and fall for, is to be "These elements divide and classify the desecrated from its holy character of Liberty and American people into two parties. Each of Emancipation into an errand of Bondage and these parties has its court and its scepter. The | Slavery. * * * We protest, too, in the name throne of one is amid the rocks of the Alleghany of the rights of Man and of Liberty, against the Mountains; the throne of the other is reared on further extension of Slavery in North America. the sands of South Carolina. One of these The curse which our mother country inflicted parties, the party of Slavery, regards disunion upon us, in spite of our fathers' remonstrances, as among the means of defense, and not always we demand shall never blight the virgin soil of the last to be employed. The other maintains the North Pacific. * * * * We will not the Union of the States, one and inseparable, 1 pour out the blood of our countrymen, if we can now and forever, as the highest duty of the help it, to turn a Free into a Slave soil; we will American people to themselves, to posterity, to not spend from fifty to a hundred millions of dolmankind," etc., etc.,
lars per year to make a Slave market for any “The party of Freedom seeks complete and
portion of our countrymen. * * * The universal emancipation.”
Union as it is, the whole Union, and nothing but
the Union, we will stand by to the last--but No 4 Then a Whig member of Congress; since, More Territory is our watchword--unless it be Governor of New York.
5 Mr. James Brooks, Editor of The New York Express, reported to the New York Whig State Convention of 1847 (October 6th), an Address condemning the objects of the Mexican War
. 6 The last Convention of the Cass Democrats, or "Hunkers," which was held at Syracuse in September, 1849, proposing a conciliatory course toward the "Barnburners," as an overture to