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Slave States, had not those States resisted and protested, but only to been precipitated into their great be overborne by inexorable logic, and Rebellion. Individuals would have I even more inexorable majorities.

VII.

THE MISSOURI STRUGGLE.

WHEN the State of Louisiana, pre “And provided, That the introduction of viously known as the Territory of Slavery, or involuntary servitude, be prohib

ited, except for the punishment of crimes, Orleans, was admitted into the Un- whereof the party has been duly convicted ion,' the remainder of the Louisiana and that all children born within the said

State, after the admission thereof into the purchase, which had formerly borne Union, shall be declared free at the age of the designation of Louisiana Terri- twenty-five years." tory, was renamed the Territory of On the rising of the Committee, Missouri. The people of a portion the Yeas and Nays were demanded of this Territory, stretching west- in the House on the question of ward from the Mississippi on both agreeing to this amendment; when sides of the river Missouri, peti- a division was called, and so much tioned Congress for admission into of it as precedes and includes the the Union as the State of Missouri; word "convicted” was adopted by and their memorials' were referred 87 Yeas—all from the substantially by the House to a Select Committee, Free States except one of the two whereof Mr. Scott, their delegate, members from Delaware - to 76 was chairman. This Committee re- Nays, whereof ten were from Free ported' a bill in accordance with their States—Massachusetts (then includprayer, which was read twice and ing Maine) supplying three of them, committed; but no further action was New York three, with one each from taken thereon during that session. New Jersey, New Hampshire, Ohio,

The same Congress reconvened for and Illinois. The residue of the its second session on the 16th of the amendment was likewise sustained, following November, and the House by the close vote of 82 Yeas to 78 resolved itself into a Committee of Nays. The bill thus amended was the whole,' and in due time took up ordered to a third reading by 98 the Missouri bill aforesaid, which was Yeas to 56 Nays, and the next day considered throughout that sitting was passed and sent to the Senate, and that of the next day but one, where the restriction aforesaid was during which several amendments stricken out by a vote of 22 to 16, were adopted, the most important and the bill thus amended passed of which, moved by General James without a division, on the last day Tallmadge, of Dutchess County, New but one of the session. Being now York, was as follows:

returned to the House, General Tall

1

April 8, 1812. 9 On the 16th of March, 1818. • February 13, 1819.

: April 3d.

• New York and New Jersey still held a few slaves, but the former had decreed their man. umission,

THE MISSOURI STRUGGLE.

75

madge moved its indefinite post | Committee three members from Slave ponement, which was defeated States, beside Mr. Scott, who was Yeas 69, Nays 74. But the question chairman, with but one from a Free next presented, of concurrence in the State. In the Senate, the legislative Senate's amendment aforesaid, was memorial aforesaid was referred to decided in the negative-Yeas 76, the Judiciary Committee, consisting Nays 78; and the bill returned to of three members from Slave States the Senate accordingly. The Sen- with but two from Free States. ate insisted on its amendment with Upon the conflict which ensued, out a division; and, on the return of the Slave Power entered with very the bill to the House, Mr. John W. great incidental advantages. The Taylor,' of New York, moved that President, Mr. Monroe, though he the House adhere to its disagree took no conspicuous part in the ment; which prevailed-Yeas 78, strife, was well known to favor that Nays 66. And so the bill failed for side, as did a majority of his Cabithat session.

net, so that the patronage of the A bill, organizing so much of the Government and the hopes of aspirTerritory of Missouri as was not in- ants to its favor were powerful makecluded within the borders of the pro- weights against the policy of Restricposed State of that name, to be tion. The two ex-Presidents of the known as the Territory of Arkansas, dominant party, Messrs. Jefferson was considered at this session, and and Madison, still survived, and gave Mr. Taylor, of New York, moved their powerful influence openly in the application thereto of the restric- accordance with their Southern symtion aforesaid. So much of it as pathies rather than their Anti-Slavery required that all slaves born within convictions. Mr. Clay, the popular the Territory after the passage of and potent Speaker of the House, this act should be free at twenty-five though likewise Anti-Slavery in prinyears of age, was carried,' by 75 Yeas ciple, was a zealous and most effito 72 Nays, and the residue defeated cient adversary of Restriction. The by 70 Yeas to 71 Nays. Next day, natural fears of a destruction, or at however, the adopted clause was re- least a temporary prostration, of the considered and stricken out, and the Republican ascendency, through the bill ultimately passed without any rëformation of parties on what were reference to Slavery. Arkansas be called geographical lines, also tended came in consequence a Slave Terri- strongly to defeat the proposed inhitory, and ultimately a Slave State. bition of Slavery. The North, it had

A new Congress convened Decem- by this time come to be understood, ber 6, 1819; and Mr. Scotto moved if beaten in such a struggle, would a reference to a Select Committee quietly submit; while the South, it of the memorials from Missouri, in was very clearly intimated and gencluding that of her Territorial Legis-erally believed, would shiver all party lature, asking admission into the bands, and perhaps even the Union Union. This motion prevailed, and itself, rather than submit to a defeat Mr. Speaker Clay appointed as such on this issue.

"Some years afterward, Speaker of the House. February 17th.

7

* December 8th.

Moreover, the shape and manner | potent voice can say to it, Thus far shalt in which the question was presented thou go and no farther. Slavery engenders

pride and indolence in him who comminands, were exceedingly favorable to the and inflicts intellectual and moral degradaSouthern side. Its advocates, in ac

tion on him who serves. Slavery, in tine, is cordance with their general policy of not stop to deny that Slavery is all this and

unchristian and abominable. Sir, I shall defending and promoting Slavery in more; but I shall not think myself the less the abused name of Liberty, fought authorized to deny that it is for you to stay

the course of this dark torrent, by opposing their battle under the flag of State to it a mound raised up by the labors of this Sovereignty, State Equality, etc. The portentous discretion on the domain of othRight of the People to form and through the instrumentality of a trespass of modify their institutions in accord- no ordinary kind—not the comparatively inance with their own judgment, in- nocent trespass that beats down a few blades

of grass, which the first kind sun or the next terest, feelings, or convictions, was refreshing shower may cause to spring again the burden of their strain. Said Mr. --but that which levels with the ground the William Pinkney,' of Maryland, mortality for the destruction which it in

lordliest trees of the forest, and claims imtheir most pretentious and ornate, if ficts." not their ablest champion:

Throughout the discussion, the ar“Slavery, we are told in many a pamphlet, gument that Missouri, by the adopmemorial, and speech, with which the press has lately groaned, is a foul blot on our oth- tion of this amendment, would be erwise iinmaculate reputation. Let this be subject to unprecedented, invidious, conceded—yet you are no nearer than be- and degrading exactions—that she fore to the conclusion that you possess power which may deal with other objects as effectu- would be brought into the Union ally as with this. Slavery, we are further not as the equal, but as the subject told, with some pomp of metaphor, is a canker at the root of all that is excellent in this of her elder sisters—that the power republican empire, a pestilent disease that thus exercised involved the assertion is snatching the youthful bloom from its of unlimited and utterly irresponsicheek, prostrating its honor and withering its strength. Be it so—yet, if you have ble authority to shape and mold the power to medicine to it in the way pro- institutions of every new State—was posed, and in virtue of the diploma which you claim, you also have the power

, in the pressed with eminent subtlety, pertidistribution of your political alexipharmics, nacity, and vigor. The right to proto present the deadliest drugs to every Ter: hibit Slavery in any or all of the ritory that would become a State, and bid it drink or remain a colony forever. Slavery, Territories, denied by none, was exwe are also told, is now rolling onward pressly admitted by Mr. Philip P. with a rapid tido toward the boundless ro Barbour," of Virginia. But this them to sterility and sorrow, unless some admission, however generally made,

· Speech in the U. S. Senate, February 15, tution, which is in these words: 'New States 1820.

may be admitted by the Congress into this Union.' 10 In the debate of Monday, Feb. 15, 1819, of the same section, Congress has the power

Now, Sir, although by the next succeeding clause Mr. P. P. Barbour, of Va., said:

to make all needful rules and regulations respect“The effect of the proposed amendment is to ing the Territory of the United States;' and prohibit the further introduction of slaves into although, therefore, whilst the proposed State the new State of Missouri, and to emancipate, at continued a part of our Territory, upon the the age of twenty-five years, the children of all footing of a Territorial government, it would those slaves who are now within its limits. The have been competent for us, under the power first objection, said he, which meets us at the expressly given to make needful rules and reg. very threshold of the discussion, is this: that we ulations—to have established the principle noro have no constitutional right to enact the pro-proposed ; yet the question assumes a totally dif. posed provision. Our power, in relation to this ferent aspect when that principle is intended to subject, is derived from the first clause of the apply to à STATE.”— Benton's Abridgment. N. Y, third section of the fourth article of the Consti- | 1858., vol. vi., p. 341.

JOHN W. TAYLOR FOR RESTRICTION

77

did not gain a single Southern vote cising it. And here I might rest satisfied for the policy of Restriction when declarations on the subject of Slavery. How

with reminding my opponents of their own the bill to organize Arkansas Terri- often and how eloquently have they deplored tory was under consideration; where- its existence among them! What willingon Mr. Walker, of North Carolina, manifested to be relieved from this burden!

ness, nay, what solicitude, have they not in opposing that policy, gravely, and How have they wept over the unfortunate without the least suspicion of irony, policy which first introduced slaves into

this country! How have they disclaimed observed: “Let it not be forgotten the guilt and shame of that original sin, and that we are legislating in a free thrown it back upon their ancestors! I country, and for a free people.” have with pleasure heard these avowals of

regret, and confided in their sincerity; I But the champions of Restriction, have hoped to see its effects in the advancethough less agile and skillful of fence ment of the cause of Humanity. Gentlemen

have now an opportunity of putting their than their opponents, were by no principles into practice. "If they have tried means worsted in the argument. Slavery and found it a curse—if they desire Here is a specimen of their logic, their land—I call upon them to exclude it

to dissipate the gloom with which it covers from the speech of John W. Taylor :" from the Territory in question ; plant not its “Gentlemen have said the amendment is children, looking back to the proceedings of

seeds in this uncorrupt soil ; let not our in violation of the treaty, because it impairs this day, say of them, as they have been the property of a master in his slave. Is it constrained to speak of their fathers, Wo then pretended that, notwithstanding the wish their decision had been different; wo declaration in our bill of rights that all regret the existence of this unfortunate popumen are created equal,' one individual can

lation among us; but we found them here; have a vested property, not only in the flesh

we know not what to do with them; it is and blood of his fellow-man, but also in

our misfortune; we must bear it with pagenerations not yet called into existence?

tience.' Can it be believed that the supreme legisla

“ History will record the decision of this ture has no power to provide rules and regu- day as exerting its influence for centuries to lations for meliorating the condition of fu

come over the population of half our contiture ages? And this, too, when the Constitation itself has vested in Congress full fer this evil, now easily eradicated, to strike

nent. If we reject the amendment, and sufsovereignty, by authorizing the enactment its roots só deep into the soil that it can of whatever law it may deem conducive to the welfare of the country? The sovereign- apology for doubting our sincerity when we

never be removed, shall we not furnish some ty of Congress in relation to the States is deplore its existence? Shall we not expose limited by specific grants, but in regard to ourselves to the same kind of censure which the Territories it is unlimited. Missouri was purchased with our money; and, until

was pronounced by the Saviour of mankind incorporated into the family of States, it may the tombs of the prophets, and garnished

on the Scribes and Pharisees, who builded be sold for money. Can it, then, be main the sepulchres of the righteous, and said, if tained that, though we have the power to they had lived in the days of their fathers, dispose of the whole Territory, we have no right to provide against the further increase them in the blood of the prophets, while

they would not have been partakers with of Slavery within its limits ? That, although they manifested a spirit which clearly we may change the political relations of its free citizens by transferring their country to proved them the legitimate descendants of a foreign power, we cannot provide for the filled up the measure of their fathers’ ini

those who killed the prophets, and thus nor establish those civil regulations which quities ?” naturally flow from self-evident truth? No,

The Legislatures of New York, Sir; it cannot: the practice of nations, and the cominon sense of mankind have long New Jersey, and Pennsylvania unanisince decided these questions.

mously adopted and transmitted re" Having proved, as I apprehend, our right to legislate in the manner proposed, I solves in favor of the proposed Reproceed to illustrate the propriety of exer- striction; and like resolves were

11 February 15, 1819.

on

adopted by the Legislature of the as a market for slaves, the Government will Slave State of Delaware. A frank in so many acts, through so many years, it

seem to become a party to a traffic which, and forcible memorial from inhabit has denounced as impolitic, unchristian, ants of

Boston and its vicinity, inhuman. To enact laws to punish the trafdrafted by Daniel Webster," and and avarice by the allurements of an insatia

fic, and at the same time to tempt cupidity signed by the principal citizens of all ble market, is inconsistent and irreconcilable. parties, asserted the complete author- Government, by such a course, would only

defeat its own purposes, and render nugaity of Congress over the subject, and tory its own measures

. Nor can the laws demanded Restriction those derive support from the manners of the peogrounds of expediency, morality, and ple, if the power of moral sentiment be

weakened by enjoying, under the permission justice, with which thoughtful read- of Government, great facilities to commit ers are by this time abundantly fa- offenses. The laws of the United States

have denounced heavy penalties against the miliar. The following extract from traffic in slaves, because such traffic is this memorial is eminently worthy deemed unjust and inhuman. We appeal to of its author:

the spirit of these laws. We appeal to

this justice and humanity. We ask whether “Your memorialists were not without the they ought not to operate, on the present hope that the time had at length arrived occasion, with all their force? We have a when the inconvenience and danger of this strong feeling of the injustice of any toleradescription of population had become appa tion of Slavery. Circumstances have entailed rent in all parts of this country and in all it on a portion of our community, which parts of the civilized world. It might have cannot be immediately relieved of it without been hoped that the new States themselves consequences more injurious than the sufferwould have had such a view of their own ing of the evil. But to permit it in a new permanent interests and prosperity as would country, where, as yet, no babits are formed have led them to prohibit its extension and which render it indispensable, what is it, increase. The wonderful growth and pros- but to encourage that rapacity, and fraud, perity of the States north of the Ohio are and violence, against which we have so long unquestionably to be ascribed, in a great pointed the denunciations of our penal code? measure, to the consequences of the Ordi What is it, but to tarnish the proud fame of nance of 1787; and few, indeed, are the the country? What is it, but to throw susoccasions in the history of nations, in which picion on its good faith, and to render quesso much can be done, by a single act, for the tionable all its professions of regard for the benefit of future generations, as was done rights of Humanity and the liberties of manby that Ordinance, and as may now be done kind ? by the Congress of the United States. We “As inhabitants of a free country-as appeal to the justice and to the wisdom of citizens of a great and rising Republic—as the National Councils to prevent the further members of a Christian community-as liv. progress of a great and serious evil. We ing in a liberal and enlightened age, and as appeal to those who look forward to the feeling ourselves called upon, by the dictates remote consequences of their measures, and of religion and humanity, we have presumed who cannot balance a temporary or trifling to offer our sentiments to Congress on this inconvenience, if there were such, against a question, with a solicitude for the event far bepermanent, growing, and desolating evil. We yond wbat a common occasion could inspire." cannot forbear to remind the two Houses of Congress that the early and decisive mea The House Committee, of course, sures adopted by the American Government for the abolition of the Slave-Trade, are reported the bill without restriction, among the proudest memorials of our and it came up as a special order." nation's glory. That Slavery was Mr. Taylor moved its postponement tolerated in the Republic is, as yet, to be attributed to the policy of another Govern- for a week, which was voted downment. No imputation, thus far, rests on any Yeas 87; Nays 88. It was considerportion of the American Confederacy. The Missouri Territory is a new country.

If its

ed in Committee the next day," as extensive and fertile fields shall be opened also on the 28th, and 30th, and thence

ever

18 Then a recent emigrant to Massachusetts rom the neighboring State of New Hampshire.

13 January 24, 1820.
14 Missouri impatiently awaited admission

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