« AnteriorContinuar »
GEN. TAYLOR ON THE NEW TERRITORIES. 201 Extension of Slavery. There were indefensible by the lapse of a year local exceptions; but in the main since the complete restoration of the Democratic party was materially peace. Meantime, the discovery of strengthened by the rapid and gen- gold in California was already ateral disintegration of the Free Soil tracting swarms of adventurers to party, and by the apparent falling that country and rendering its speedy away of the Whigs of the Free States and extensive colonization inevitable. from a decided, open, inflexible main- That it should soon receive a suitable tenance of the principle of Slavery and legitimate civil government was Restriction. Gen. Taylor's election imperative. New Mexico, likewise, had exhausted the personal popular having a population of sixty thouity based on his achievements as a sand, mainly native-born, and divestsoldier; his attitude as a slaveholder, ed by our conquest of a civil governand his tacit negation of the princi- ment substantially of her own choice, ple aforesaid, were awkward facts; had a right to expect an early and and, though the President himself complete deliverance from military could not be justly accused of doing rule. or saying any thing clearly objection- The new Administration appears able, yet each successive State elec- to have promptly resolved on its tion of 1849 indicated a diminished course. It decided to invite and and declining popularity on the part favor an early organization of both of the new Administration.
California and New Mexico (includNeither Mr. Webster nor Gov. Sew- ing all the vast area recently ceded ard had a seat in Gen. Taylor's Cabi- by Mexico, apart from Texas proper) net, though either, doubtless, might as incipient States, and to urge their have had, had he desired it. Mr. admission, as such, into the Union Webster remained in the Senate, at the earliest practicable day. Of where Messrs. Clay and Calhoun still course, it was understood that, being lingered, and Gov. Seward first took thus organized, in the absence of his seat in that body on the day of both slaveholders and slaves, they Gen. Taylor's inauguration.
would almost necessarily become
Free States. The proper organization of the According to this programme, Mr. spacious territories recently acquired Thomas Butler King? was dispatchfrom Mexico necessarily attracted ed to California on the 3d of April, the early and earnest attention of 1849, as a special agent from the Exthe new President and his official ecutive, with instructions to favor the counselors. It could not be justifi- early formation of a State Constituably postponed ; for the military rule tion and Government. The President, that had thus far been endured by in a Special Message to Congress on those territories, exceptional at best, the 21st of January, 1850, replying had been rendered anomalous and to a resolution of inquiry from the
wards a neutral basis of rëunion with them, 1 question, in any form of its agitation, or any adopted the following:
opinion in relation thereto, as a test of political " Resolved, That we are opposed to the exten
faith, or as a rule of party action.” sion of Slavery to the free territories of the For most of the ten years preceding, a Whig United States; but we do not regard the Slavery member of Congress from Georgia.
House, stated that he had sent Mr. in such form, as to them shall seem most King “ as bearer of dispatches," and
| likely to effect their safety and happiness."
“By awaiting their action, all causes of added:
uneasiness may be avoided, and confidence "I did not hesitate to express to the peo- |
and kind feeling preserved. With a view of ple of those territories my desire that each
maintaining the harinony and tranquillity so territory should, if prepared to comply with |
dear to all, we should abstain from the introthe requisitions of the Constitution of the
duction of those exciting topics of a sectionUnited States, form a plan of State consti- | al character which have hitherto produced tution, and submit the same to Congress,
painful apprehensions in the public mind; with a prayer for admission into the Union
and I repeat the solemn warning of the first as a State; but I did not anticipate, suggest,
and most illustrious of my predecessors nor authorize, the establishment of any such
against furnishing any ground for chargovernment without the assent of Congress; |
acterizing parties by geographical discriminor did I authorize any government agent
nations.'' or officer to interfere with, or exercise any It would seem that this programme influence or control over, the election of dele
might have secured the support of a gates, or over any convention, in making or modifying their domestic institutions, or any majority in Congress and commanded of the provisions of their proposed constitu- the assent of the country. It insured, tion. On the contrary, the instructions given by my orders were, that all measures of
almost inevitably, to the champions domestic policy adopted by the people of of Free Labor a practical triumph California must originate solely with them
in the organization and future charsolves; and, while the Executive of the United States was desirous to protect them in acter of the vast territories recently the formation of any government, republican acquired, while according full scope in its character, to be, at the proper time, submitted to Congress, yet it was to be dis
to that “Popular Sovereignty” wheretinctly understood that the plan of such of Gen. Cass, Mr. Douglas, and other government must, at the same time, be the
Democratic chiefs, were such resolute result of their own deliberate choice, and originate with themselves, without the inter- | champions. ference of the Executive.”
But Congress was not disposed to In his Annual Message, transmitted regard with favor any policy recomsome weeks previously, the President mended by the Administration ; had said:
while the Slave Power was fully de“No civil government having been pro termined, maugre any theory or provided by Congress for California, the people fession, to exact a partition of the of that territory, impelled by the necessities
newly acquired territories, or a conof their political condition, recently inet in convention, for the purpose of forming a sideration for surrendering the alconstitution and State government, which, leged right to plant Slavery therein. the latest advices give me reason to suppose, has been accomplished; and it is believed
There was an Opposition majority in that they will shortly apply for the admis the Senate; and the House, after a sion of California into the Union as a sove
tedious contest, wherein the especial reign State. Should such be the case, and should their constitution be conformable to
66 Free Soil” or Buffalo Platform the requisitions of the Constitution of the members refused to support either United States, I recommend their application to the favorable consideration of Congress.
Mr. Winthrop (Whig), or Mr. Cobb "The people of New Mexico will also, it (Democrat), for the speakership, was is believed, at no very distant period, present
tant period, present finally organized under the Plurality themselves for admission into the Union. Preparatory to the admission of California rule, whereby, after taking three and New Mexico, the people of each will more ballots, the highest number of have instituted for themselves a republican form of government, 'laying its foundations
votes was to elect. This rule was in such principles, and organizing its powers adopted, by 113 Yeas to 106 Nays.
8 December 22, 1849.
MR. CL AY'S PLAN OF COMPROMISE IN 1850.
after nearly three weeks' fruitless gress in all the said territory not assigned balloting, and under it Howell Cobb,
as within the boundaries of the proposed
State of California, without the adoption of of Georgia, was chosen Speaker on any restriction or condition on the subject the. 63d ballot, receiving 102 votes of Slavery.13
" 5. Resolved, That it is inexpedient to to 99 for Winthrop, and 20 scattering
| abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia, (mainly on the Buffalo platform). Mr. whilst the institution continues to exist in Cobb was one of the most determined
the State of Maryland, without the consent
of that State, without the consent of the Democratic advocates of Slavery Ex people of the District, and without just comtension, and constituted the Commit pensation to the owners of Slaves within
the District. tees of the House accordingly.
"6. But Resolved, That it is expedient to Gen. B. Riley, the Military Govern | prohibit, within the District, the Slaveor of California, had issued 10 a Proc
Trade in slaves brought into it from States
or places beyond the limits of the District, lamation calling a Convention of the either to be sold therein as merchandise, or People of California to frame a State to be transported to other markets without Constitution. Such Convention was
the District of Columbia.
"7. Resolved, That more effectual proviaccordingly held, and formed a State sion ought to be made by law, according to Constitution whereby Slavery was
the requirement of the Constitution, for the
restitution or delivery of persons bound to expressly prohibited. State officers
service or labor in any State, who may esand members of Congress (all Demo cape into any other State or Territory in cats) were in due course elected un | the Union. And,
58. Resolvedl, That Congress has no der it; and Gen. Taylor communi power to prohibit or obstruct the trade in cated 11 the Constitution to Congress, 1 slaves between the slaveholding States, but
that the admission or exclusion of slaves at whose doors the members elect
brought from one into another of them, defrom the new State stood for many pends exclusively upon their own particular ensuing months patiently awaiting their admission to seats. For, among The debate on this proposition of the various propositions introduced at compromise was opened by Southern this session, looking to the same end, Democrats, all speaking in disparageMr. Clay had already submitted 12 the ment of its leading suggestions, or in following basis of a proposed Com-' scarcely qualified opposition to the promise of all differences relating to whole scheme. Mr. H. S. Foote, of the territories and to Slavery: Mississippi, condemned especially the 61. Resolved, That California, with suita
proposition that it is inexpedient to ble boundaries, ought, upon her application, abolish Slavery in the District of to be admitted as one of the States of this
Columbia,” as implying a right in Union, without the imposition by Congress of any restriction in respect to the exclusion
Congress to legislate on that subject, or introduction of Slavery within those which he utterly denied. He con.boundaries. 42. Resolved, That, as Slavery does not
demned still more emphatically the exist by law, and is not likely to be intro assertion that “Slavery does not now duced into any of the territory acquired by
exist by law in the territories recentthe United States from the Republic of Mexico, it is inexpedient for Congress to provide
ly acquired from Mexico;" insisting by law, either for its introduction into, or that the mere fact of Annexation exclusion froin, any part of the said terri
carried the Constitution, with all its tory; and that appropriate territorial governments ought to be established by Con guaranties, to all the territories ob
9 Since, a Confederate Major-General.
12 January 29, 1850.
tained by treaty, and secured the gentlemen from the Slaveholding States,
and which the Compromise bill 14 was framprivilege to any “Southern slave
ed to test. So far, I regarded the question holder to enter any part of it, attend of law as disposed of'; and it was very ed by his slave property, and to enjoy
clearly and satisfactorily shown to be
against the spirit of the resolution of the the same therein, free from all molest
Senator of Kentucky. If the contrary is ation or hindrance whatsoever.” He true, I presume the Senator from Kentucky also condemned the resolve relating
would declare that, if a law is now valid in
the territories abolishing Slavery, it could to the boundaries of Texas, contend not be introduced there, even if à law was ing that “her right to that part of passed creating the institution, or repealing New Mexico, lying east of the Rio
the statutes already existing-doctrine
never assented to, so far as I know, until Grande, was full, complete, and unde now, by any Senator representing one of niable.” But he did not object to the slaveholding States. Sir, I hold the
very opposite, and with such confidence, abolishing the Slave-Trade in the
that, in the last Congress, I was willing, District, “provided it is done in a and did vote for a bill to test this question delicate and judicious manner; and
in the Supreme Court. Yet this resolution
assumes the other doctrine to be true, and he would consent to the admission our assent is challenged to it as a proposiof California, “above the line of 360 | tion of law." 30%," “ provided another new Slave State can be laid off within the pres
Mr. Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, ent limits of Texas, so as to keep up
with equal energy, objected to so the present equiponderance between
much of Mr. Clay's propositions as rethe Slave and Free States of the
late to the boundary of Texas, to the Union, and provided further, all this
Slave-Trade in the Federal District, is done by way of compromise, and
and to the concession that Slavery in order to save the Unionas dear
does not exist by law in the newly to me as any man living.” Mr. J.
| acquired territories. He added: M. Mason, of Virginia, though anx
"But, Sir, we are called upon to receive ious to do, his utmost for “ adjusting this as a measure of compromise! As a these unhappy differences," still
measure in which we of the minority are to
receive something. A measure of commore pointedly dissented from Mr.
promise! I look upon it as but a modest Clay's scheme. He said:
mode of taking that, the claim to which has
been more boldly asserted by others; and, “Sir, so far as I have read these resolu that I may be understood upon this questions, there is but one proposition to which tion, and that my position may go forth to I can give a hearty assent, and that is the the country in the same columns that conresolution which proposes to organize terri vey the sentiments of the Senator from torial governments at once in these territo Kentucky, I here assert, that never will I ries, without a declaration, one way or the take less than the Missouri Compromise other, as to their domestic institutions. | line extending to the Pacific Ocean, with But there is another which I deeply regret the specific recognition of the right to hold to see introduced into this Senate, by a Slaves in the territory below that line; and Senator from a Slaveholding State; it is that, before such territories are admitted that which assumes that Slavery does not into the Union as States, slaves may be now exist by law in those countries. I un taken there from any of the United States, derstand one of these propositions to de at the option of the owners. I can never clare that, by law, Slavery is now abolished consent to give additional power to a main New Mexico and California. That was jority to commit further aggressions upon the very proposition advanced by the non- the minority in this Union; and I will slaveholding States at the last Session; never consent to any proposition which will combated and disproved, as I thought, by have such a tendency, without a full guar
14 That of Mr. Clayton—laid on the table of the House, on motion of Mr. Stephens, of Georgia.
CLAY AND WEBSTER FOR COMPROMISE.
antee or counteracting measure is connected I could see nothing in Mr. Clay's with it."
proposition that looked like comproMr. Clay, in reply to Mr. Davis,
mise; nothing but concession and spoke as follows:
surrender of all the rights of the "I am extremely sorry to hear the Sena South in the territories. In their tor from Mississippi say that he requires, first, the extension of the Missouri Com
view, it was only a skillful and promise line to the Pacific; and, also, that plausible device for reconciling the he is not satisfied with that, but l'equires, if South to the sacrifice of its rights, I understand lim correctly, a positive provision for the arlinission of Slavery south of
and to a concession of all the new that line. And now, Sir, coming from a territories to Free Labor. They Slave State, as I do, I owe it to myself, I owe it to truth, I owe it to the subject, to
were, therefore, utterly averse to it. state that no earthly power could induce The most remarkable speech elime to vote for a specific measure for the in cited by these resolves was that of troduction of Slavery where it had not before existed, either south or north of that
Mr. Webster, 15 wherein he took line. Coining, as I do, from a Slave State, ground against the Abolitionists ; it is my solemn, deliberate, and well-matured determination that no power-no earthly
against the assumed Right of Instrucpower shall compel me to vote for the tion; against further legislation propositive introduction of Slavery, either hibitory of Slavery in the Territories; south or north of that line. Sir, while you repro:ch, and justly, too, our British ances
against Secession or Disunion ; tors, for the introduction of this institution against whatever seemed calculated upon the continent of America, I am, for
to produce irritation or alienation one, unwilling that the posterity of the present inhabitants of California and New between the North and the South; Mexico shall reproach us for doing just and in favor of liberal grants by what we reproach Great Britain for doing
Congress in aid of the colonization to us. If the citizens of those territories choose to establish lavery, I am for ad by Slave States of their free colored mitting them with such provisions in their
population. His reasons for opposConstitutions; but then it will be their own work, and not ours; and their posterity
ing any prohibitive legislation with will have to reproach them, and not us, for regard to Slavery in the new terforming Constitutions allowing the institu
ritories were set forth as follows: tion of Slavery to exist anong them. These are iny views, mir; and I choose to express
“Now, as to California and New Mexico, them; and I care not how extensively and I hold Slavery to be excluded from tho universally they are known. The honora | territories by a law even superior to that ble Senator from Virginia (Mr. Mason) has which admits and sanctions it in Texas. I expressed his opinion that Slavery exists in mean the law of nature, of physical geograthese territories; and I have no doubt that phy, the law of the formation of the earth. opinion is sincerely and honestly entertained | That law settles forever, with a strength by him; and I would say, with equal sin- | beyond all terms of luman enactment, that cerity and honesty, that I believe that Slavery cannot exist in California or New Slavery nowhere exists within any portion Mexico. Understand me, Sir; I mean of the territory acquired by us from Mexico. | Slavery as we regard it; the Slavery of the He holds a directly contrary opinion to colored race as it exists in the Southern mine, as he has a perfect right to do; and | States. I shall not discuss the point, but we will not quarrel about that difference of leave it to the learned gentlemen who have opinion.”
undertaken to discuss it; but I suppose
there is no Slavery of that description in Messrs. William R. King, of Ala
California now. I understand that peonism, bama, Downs, of Louisiana, and a sort of penal servitude, exists there, or Butler, of South Carolina, swelled
a rather a sort of voluntary sale of a man and
| his offspring for debt-an arrangement of a the chorus of denunciation. They ' peculiar nature known to the law of Mexico.
15 March 7, 1850.