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THE SOUTHERN TERRITORIES.
in which he dwelt with reasonable and among the considerations which sejustifiable complacency on the advan- cured its ratification, by that body, by tages secured to Slavery by the Consti- a vote of 149 to 73. Other Southern tution ;" and these, doubtless, were | States may
States may have been thus affected.
SLAVERY UNDER THE CONSTITUTION.
It has been plausibly argued that | voice was raised in dissent from this the constitutional provision for the action. On the other hand, the next surrender of fugitive slaves, and the Congress proceeded to enact, with inhibition of Slavery in the Territo- very little opposition, a stringent and ries simultaneously embodied in the comprehensive fugitive slave law.' Ordinance of 1787, were parts of an North Carolina, on the 22d of Deimplied, rather than clearly expressed, cember, 1789—one month after raticompact, whereby Slavery in the old fying the Federal ConstitutionStates was to be protected, upheld, passed an act ceding, on certain conand guaranteed, on condition that it ditions, her western territory—now should rest content within its existing constituting the State of Tennesseeboundaries. In seeming accordance to the Federal Union. She exacted with this hypothesis, the first Federal and required Congress to assent to Congress, which met at New York this, among other conditions: on the first Wednesday in March,
“ Provided always, that no regulation 1789, proceeded forthwith to adopt made, or to be made, by Congress, shall tend and reënact the prohibition of Slavery to emancipate slaves.” in the Territories, already contained Georgia, likewise, in ceding to the in the Ordinance of '87 aforesaid, Union (April 2, 1802) her outlying and to adapt that Ordinance in all re- territories, now forming the States: spects to the new state of things cre- of Alabama and Mississippi, imposed ated by the Federal Constitution. No upon the Union, and required Con
10 The following is an extract from General States was appointed in order to accommodate Chas. C. Pinckney's speech, delivered in the this matter; and, after a great deal of difficulty.,, South Carolina ratification convention, January By this settlement, we have secured an unlimit
it was settled, on the footing of the Constitution.. 17, 1788 :
ed importation of negroes for twenty years. "I am of the same opinion now as I was Nor is it declared when that importation shalls two years ago—that, while there remained one
be stopped; it may be continued. We have a acre of swamp land uncleared in South Carolina, right to recover our slaves in whatever part of I would raise my voice against restricting the America they may take refuge. In short, conimportation of negroes. **** The Middle sidering all circumstances, we have made the States and Virginia were for an immediate and
best terms for the security of this species of total prohibition. We endeavored to obviate property it was in our power to make.
Wethe objections which were urged in the best
would have made better if we could; but, on the manner we could, and assigned reasons for our
whole, I do not think them bad."-Elliot's Debates,, insisting on the importation, which there is no
vol. iv., p. 285. occasion to repeat, as they must occur to every gentleman in the House: a committee of the 1 For this act, see Brightley's Digest, p. 294..
gress to accede to, the following con- | Confederation, leaving those still to dition :
be ceded to be governed by some "Fifthly. That the territory thus ceded future act. The assumption, howshall become a State, and be admitted into the Union as soon as it shall contain sixty ever, that there was between the thousand inhabitants, or at an earlier North and the South an original and period, if Congress shall think it expedient, subsisting compact, arrangement, unon the same conditions and restrictions, with the same privileges
, and in the same derstanding, or whatever it may be manner, as is provided in the ordinance of called, whereby so much of the comCongress of the 13th day of July, 1787, for
mon territories of the Republic as the government of the western territory of the United States ; which ordinance shall
, lay south of the Ohio, or of any parin all its parts, extend to the territory contained in the present act of cession, the arti-dered to Slavery, on the condition
ticular latitude, were to be surrencle only excepted which forbids Slavery.”
Congress was thus precluded, by that the residue should be quitthe unprecedented and peremptory claimed to free labor, is utterly unconditions affixed to their respective founded and mistaken. The author cessions of their western territory by of the original restriction was himNorth Carolina and Georgia, from self a slaveholder; yet he contemcontinuing and perfecting the Jeffer- plated and provided for (as we have sonian policy of fundamental and seen) the consignment of every acre imperative Slavery inhibition in the of those territories, north as well as Federal Territories. Had Mr. Jef south of the Ohio, and down to the ferson's Ordinance of 1784 been southernmost limit of our domain, to passed as he reported it, this benefi- Free Labor evermore. A majority cent end would have been secured of the States which sustained that Accident, and the peculiar require proposition were then slaveholding, ments of the Articles of Confedera- and had taken no decided steps tion, prevented this. Mr. Dane's Or- toward Emancipation. dinance of 1787 contemplated only none the less regarded Slavery as an the territories already ceded to the evil and a blunder,' to be endured,
: The Rev. Jonathan Edwards (son of the fa comes ignominious; and, in fact, in those of the mous Jonathan Edwards, who was the greatest
United States in which slaves are the most nu. theologian, and one of the greatest men whom
merous, gentlemen and ladies of any fashion New England has ever produced), preached a
disdain to employ themselves in business, which
in other States is consistent with the dignity of sermon against the African Slave-Trade, Septem- the first families and the first offices in a ber 15, 1791, at New Haven, Connecticut, then country filled with negro slaves, labor belongs a Slave State. Text: The Golden Rule; Mat
to them only, and a white man is despised in thew vii., 12.
proportion as he applies to it. Now, how de
structive of industry in all of the lowest and midIt is so commonly urged that the Abolitionists
dle class of citizens such a situation, and the condemn a relation whereof they are grossly igno- prevalence of such ideas will be, you can easily rant, that the following extract from that ser conceive. The consequence is that some will mon is of interest, as the testimony of one living nearly starve, others will betake themselves to amid Slavery, and as proving how essentially the most dishonest practices to obtain a means identical are the objections urged to human chat
of living. As Slavery produces an indolence in
the white people, so it produces all those vices telhood at all times, and under whatever circum
which are naturally connected with it, such as stances. Mr. Edwards said:
intemperance, lewdness, and prodigality. These “ African Slavery is exceedingly impolitic, as vices enfeeble both the body and the mind, and it discourages industry. Nothing is more essen unfit men for any vigorous exertions and em. tial to the political prospect of any Stato than ployments, either external or mental. And industry in the citizens. But, in proportion as those who are unfit for such exertions are Slaves are multiplied, every kind of labor be: already very degenerato; degenerate, not only in
VIEWS OF THE REVOLUTIONARY PATRIOTS.
perhaps, for a season where already as to the evils and dangers of arbiestablished, rather than to invoke trary, despotic, irresponsible power, greater mischiefs and perils by its too they were too upright and too logicsudden and violent extirpation than al to seek to fasten for all time on a were likely to flow from its more helpless and inoffensive race chains patient and gradual extinction. But far heavier and more galling than to plant Slavery on virgin soil—to those they had just shaken off. Most consecrate vast and yet vacant terri- of them held slaves, but held them tories to its extension and perpetua- under protest against the anomaly tion—to conquer and annex still presented to the world by republican further domains expressly to increase bondage, and in the confident hope its security and enlarge its power--that the day would soon dawn that are guilty dreams which never trou would rid themselves of the burden bled the repose of the great body of and their country of the curse and our Revolutionary sages and patriots. shame of human chattelhood.' Had Enlightened by their own experience they been asked to unite in any of a moral, but a natural sense. They are con a striking evidence of the benevolence of your temptible too, and will soon be despised, even heart. I shall be happy to join you in so laudby their negroes themselves.
able a work; but will defer going into a detail “Slavery tends to lewdness, not only as it of the business until I have the pleasure of seeproduces indolence, but as it affords abundant ing you."-Sparks's Washington, vol. viii., p 414. opportunity for that wickedness, without either the danger or difficulty of an attack on the vir
Again, in a letter to the same, of May 10,
1786; connection with one of its fame. A planter, with
“The benevolence of your heart, my dear Marhis hundred wenches about him, is, in some re quis, is so conspicuous upon all occasions, that I spects at least, like the Sultan in his seraglio; and never wonder at any fresh proofs of it; but your we learn too frequently the influence and effect late purchase of an estate in the colony of Cayof such a situation, not only from common fame, enne, with a view to emancipate the slaves on but from the multitude of mulattoes in countries it, is a generous and noble proof of your humanwhere slaves are very numerous.
Would to God a like spirit might diffuse * Slavery has a most direct tendency to haugh. itself in the minds of the people of this country! tiness also, and a domineering spirit and conduct
But I despair of seeing it. Some petitions were in the proprietors of slaves, and in their children, presented to the Assembly at its last session, for and in all who have control of them. A man the Abolition of Slavery, but they could scarcely who has been brought up in domineering over obtain a reading."--Ibid., vol. ix., p. 163. Degroes can scarcely avoid contracting such a habit of haughtiness and domination as will ex
In a remarkable and very interesting letter press itself in his general treatment of mankind, written by Lafayette in the prison of Magdeburg, whether in his private capacity, or any office, he said : civil or military, with which he may be vested. Despotism in economics naturally leads to deg
"I know not what disposition has been made potism in politics, and domestic Slavery in a free
of my plantation at Cayenne; but I hope Madam
De Lafayette will take care that the negroes government is a perfect solecism in human
who cultivate it shall preserve their liberty.” affairs.
* How baneful all these tendencies and effects The following language is also Lafayette's, in of Slavery must be to the public good, and espe a letter to Hamilton, from Paris, April 13, 1785 : cially to the public good of such a free country
“In one of your New York Gazettes, I find as ours, I need not inform you."-Sermons, 1775 an association against the Slavery of the negroes, 99, p. 10.
which seems to me worded in such a way as to • The opinion of the Father of his Country give no offense to the moderate men in the respecting the “ peculiar institution" of the Southern States. As I have ever been partial to South may be perceived from the following ex my brethren of that color, I wish, if you are one tracts. In a letter to Lafayette, bearing date
in the society, you would move, in your own April 5, 1783, he says:
name, for my being admitted on the list."-- Works
of Alex. Hamilton, N. Y., 1851, vol. i., p. 423. " The scheme, my dear Marquis, which you propose as a precedent to encourage the emanci
John Adams, in a letter to Robert J. Evans, pation of the black people in this country from June 8, 1819, expresses himself as follows: that state of bondage in which they are held, is "I respect the sentiments and motives which
the projects of the Sam Houstons, / with the since famous John Randolph William Walkers, Quitmans, and of Roanoke, then a young member, as Slidells of our day, they would have its chairman. On the 2d of March, retorted as indignantly as the aston- 1803, Mr. Randolph made a unani ished Syrian to the Hebrew prophet mous report from this Committee, _“Is thy servant a dog, that he recommending a denial of the prayer should do this thing ?” Oh that they of the petitioners, for these reasons : had but known and realized that the
“The rapid population of the State of wrong which to-day is barely tole- Ohio sufficiently evinces, in the opinion of rated for the moment, is to-morrow your Committee, that the labor of slaves is
not necessary to promote the growth and cherished, and the next day sustain settlement of colonies in that region; that ed, eulogized, and propagated !
this labor-demonstrably the dearest of any -can only be employed in the cultivation
of products more valuable than any known When Ohio was made a State, in to that quarter of the United States; that 1803, the residue of the North-West the Committee deem it highly dangerous and Territory became Indiana Territory, calculated to promote the happiness and with William Henry Harrison— prosperity of the North-Western Country, since President of the United States tensive frontier. In the salutary operation
and to give strength and security to that ex-as Governor. Its earlier settle of this sagacious and benevolent restraint, it ments were mainly on the banks of is believed that the inhabitants of Indiana
will, at no very distant day, find ample the Ohio and of its northern tributa- remuneration for a temporary privation of ries, and were principally by emi- labor, and of emigration. grants from Virginia, Kentucky, and The session terminated the next other Slave States. These emigrants, day; and the subject was, the next realizing an urgent need of labor, and winter, referred to a new committee, being accustomed to supply that need whereof Cæsar Rodney, of Delaware, by the employment of slaves, almost was chairman. This committee reunanimously memorialized Congress, ported in favor “ of a qualified susthrough a Convention assembled in pension, for a limited time," of the 1802, and presided over by their inhibition aforesaid.
But Congress Governor, for a temporary suspension took no action on the report. of the sixth article of the Ordinance The people of Indiana Territory of '87, whereby Slavery was expressly persisted in their seemingly unaniprohibited. Their memorial was re mous supplication to be allowed, for ferred by the House of Representa a limited period, the use of Slave tives to a Select Committee of three, Labor; and Mr. Garnett, of Virginia, two of them from the Slave States, on the 14th of February, 1806, made have prompted you to engage in your present United States.
I have, through my occupation so much, that I feel an esteem and whole life, held the practice of Slavery in such affection for your person, as I do a veneration abhorrence, that I have never owned a negro or for your assumed signature of Benjamin Rush. any other slave, though I have lived for many The turpitude, the inhumanity, the cruelty, and years in times when the practice was not disthe infamy of the African commerce, have been graceful when the best men in my vicinity 80 impressively represented to the public by the thought it not inconsistent with their character; highest powers of eloquence, that nothing that I and when it has cost me thousands of dollars could say would increase the just odium in which for the labor and subsistence of free men, which it is, and ought to be, held. Every measure of I might have saved by the purchase of negroes, prudence, therefore, ought to be assumed for the at times when they were very cheap."- Works cuentual' tolal extirpation of Slavery from the l of John Adams, Boston, 1856, vol. x., p. 386.
another report from a Select Com- | Wisconsin, appears to have ended. mittee in favor of granting their re- By this time, emigration from the quest. But Congress never took this Free States into that Territory had report into consideration. At the next begun. But it is probable that, at session, a fresh letter from Governor any time prior to 1818–20, a majority Harrison, inclosing resolves of the of the white settlers actually resident Legislative Council and House of in that Territory would have voted in Representatives in favor of suspend- favor of the introduction of slaves. ing temporarily the inhibition of Slavery, was received, and referred For a counter-revolution had been (January 21, 1807) to a Select Com- silently proceeding for some years mittee, whereof Mr. B. Parke, Dele- previous, and had almost eradicated gate from said Territory, was made the lessons and the principles of the chairman. This Committee, com- Revolution from the hearts of the posed mainly of members from South, saving, of course, those porSlave States, made (February 12th) a tions wherein they seem to have third report in favor of the petition- never been learned. The bases of this ers; but Congress never acted upon revolution are the acquisition of the subject.
Louisiana and the invention of the At the next session, the matter was Cotton Gin;"events for which Thomas brought before the Senate, on the appa. Jefferson and Eli Whitney-neither rently unanimous prayer of Governor of them pro-slavery—are primarily Harrison and his Legislature for per-responsible
. The acquisition of Loumission temporarily to employ slaves; isiana, though second in occurrence but there was now, for the first time, and in importance, first attracted and & remonstrance of citizens of the fixed the attention of mankind, and Territory against the measure. The shall, therefore, be first considered. Senate referred the subject to a Select Committee of three, whereof Mr. The river Mississippi was first disJesse Franklin, of N. C., was chair- covered in 1541, by the Spanish man; and Mr. Franklin, on the 13th adventurer De Soto, in the course of of November, 1807, reported briefly his three or four years' fantastic against the petition, closing as fol- wanderings and fightings throughout lows:
the region which now constitutes the “ Your Committee, after duly considering Gulf States of our Union, in quest of the matter, respectfully submit the following the fabled Eldorado, or Land of Gold. resolation:
" Resolted, That it is not expedient at this He left Spain in 1538, at the head of time to suspend the sixth article of compact six hundred ambitious and enthusiasfor the government of the Territory of the tic followers, all eager and sanguine United States North-West of the river Ohio."
as himself in their quest of the founAnd here the long and fruitless tain of perpetual youth and life. He struggle to fasten Slavery upon the died of a malignant fever on the bank vast Territory now forming the States of the Mississippi, in the spring or of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and early summer of 1542; and his body,
*This word is merely a corruption of engine.