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as it has not become the property of But the peace of society, and the liberty individuals, the people, by their Con- and prosperity of citizens, which govern gress, exercise certain rights, limited only ments are intended to maintain, is not esby the common rules of ownership, and tablished by the sole power of isolated and of purchase and sale.

independent States. Single States, whether It appears by this examination, that the free or despotic, standing alone, exist orly authority of the government of this nation in a condition of perpetual war, or perpetis perfect, over the territory which they ual alarm. have acquired, within the guarantees of For the same reason, therefore, that: the Constitution; for it includes the three- is necessary for individuals to combine and fold power of imperial control, of state form States, it is necessary for States sovereignty, and of ownership.

to combine and form EXPIRES. TO: These three powers of imperial control, perfection of any empire, or imper of state sovereignty, and of ownership, government, is when the separate fræ as they were vested in the nation by a States or kingdoms maintain their liber process of law, and are made good by the ties, without detriment to the Constituprinciples that lie at the foundation of all tion under which they live, be that s governments, may, by the same principles, free or a despotic Constitution. The be transferred to other powers ; the prin- lives of the great lawgivers have bet ciples of law and the rule of salutis populi spent in efforts to devise the most perier: presiding over such transactions in as strict, systems of union, for groups of indepen. though in a nobler sense, than over those ent states or kingdoms. of individuals.

So far, the form of empires and Thus, if the Congress see fit by treaty state unions is one and the same, bet

1 to cede the imperial control over any por- systems of their government monarchia tion of their unoccupied territory to an- or free.

or free. But in their internal organizati other republic, they can do so; for as they we find them affected by various and op acquired, so they may dispose of the right. posite principles.

Or if government think best to sell the In monarchical empires, as in that of: territory which they have in trust for the East under Justinian, founded origira nation, they can do so without diminution upon force, all power was supposed of their imperial and state rights. flow from the monarch, and his will, ori

And when a certain portion of the na- the form of a decree, became and coetional territory is settled by emigrants, able tuted the law. to constitute a governm«nt, they can recog- The reason of this derivation is not in nize in such persons, and acknowledge by to find; for in the formation of des charter or by grant of a constitution, certain states we observe that the law of con rights of franchise and jurisdiction constitu- lies at the root of the Constitution; rin ting a territorial government, with or with and franchises are but allowed, and out representation in Congress, and limited be resumed, at the pleasure of the imp in such a manner as may seem best; but will. never with such conditions or limitations In free empires, on the contrary, iz affixed, as shall violate rights guaranteed they are usually styled, United Price: by the Constitution.

States, or Leagues, the rights of p's Finally, if it be shown to Congress that State are supposed to be inherent sa those in whom they did recognize certain inviolable. In our own system, berri rights by granting them franchise and ju- with the individual, we concede to ailrisdiction, have so organized their society zens a necessary and inherent liberty: as to be fully able to protect the inherent in other Leagues and Unions, or cubstis liberty of individuals among themselves, to Empires, an inherent and inviolables" maintain public and private credit, and to eignty and liberty has been conceded to administer justice with the requisite author- separate States or members of the less ity, Congress may then cede to them in full, The imperial system of the l'ai that sovereignty which was formerly ceded established on a singular, and hitherit : 'o the nation, and so constitute them, in known principle ; namely, the izbomu ery sense of the word, a State.

liberty of the individual, and his in

bility by any power not flowing out of the In conclusion, we are obliged distinctly direct necessity for preserving and main- to disallow what Mr. Calhoun contends, taining rights and liberties in all. - that the system and spirit of this GovernEvery law, under this system, restraining ment limits its power over its territory in the liberty of any person, is supposed to the instance before us. be necessary to the safety of all. Thus, Mr. Calhoun asserts that the North are if it be shown that the unconstitutional in error in supposing that slave territory freedom of any person endangers the lives, will be closed to the white labor of the properties, and libèrties of citizens, the South; that “there is no part of the spirit of our system requires that such world where agricultural, mechanical, and person be not allowed his liberty. And if other descriptions of labor, are more a territory petition to become a free sover- respected than in the South, with the exeignty, and it be shown, that the petition- ception of two descriptions of employ. ers are not powerful or numerous enough, ment—that of menial and body servants." or sufficiently trained and organized, to To this we reply, that it does not affect maintain credit and justice, a Constitution the question. The facts are that freemen cannot justly be granted them ; for the will not work on farms, or any employment, power of the Union was established for the in company with slaves. And that is the maintenance of order and liberty, and it reason why it is necessary that territories cannot resign or cede its power into incom- adapted to free labor be guarded. If petent bands.

slavery will not naturally extend itself For, while the Declaration and the Con-above 36° 40', then the South will be stitution are founded on the general idea no loser by that exclusion; but as it of an inherent right to liberty in every in- has extended itself much farther, and dividual, and of an inherent right to might, for aught that is known to the consovereignty in every freely organized body trary, take strong root in regions farther of citizens, living under a regular form of north to the ruin of territories unfitted by law; necessity, and the nature of things nature (like Kentucky) for its existence, -necessity for maintaining liberty and it was a measure of safeguard to propose ustice in the whole, and the imperfect na- a line of division. As this question can ure of man, which often disables him from never be “settled," but by the greatest using and enjoying bis equal and inherent forbearance on both sides, -and, as Mr. ights as man—require that great caution Calhoun argues, that if it be not settled ind reserve be used, in recognizing these once for all, ruin must ensue; let us then, deal rights; and that in no case they be in some equitable way, make a good enddmitted in practice, until their reality and ing of the business, and leave each side apability appears in fact; for by acknowl- to work out its own destiny undisturbed dging rights merely ideal, we do but force by jealousy of the other. ature, and destroy that necessary order Mr. Calhoun's next argument im order nd gradation by which society is main. is derived from the clause granting “exained.

clusive legislation " to Congress over the No territory, therefore, can be made a dockyards, arsenals, &c., and other proovereignty until it be proved capable, and perty belonging to the United States ;" otwithstanding all demonstration of inhe- which clause he says does not confer what ent rights, no liberties can be conceded; he calls “governmental powers”—a new or, indeed, the inherent rights of all are phrase, and here used in a peculiar sense,

be considered, and the greater necessity in fact, starting a new distinction of powers. xtinguishes the less, according to a maxim Congress,” says the Constitution, “shall -Salus, et libertas, Populi suprema lex. exercise exclusive legislation, in all cases

Whether, therefore, the Constitution whatsoever, over the District, &c., and over pecify or not that the nation shall have all places purchased, &c." says

the ower over its own territory, is a question Senator, Congress may not exercise “ gov{ subordinate interest. Such power is ernmental powers over places so purTherent in the nature of all government, chased or ceded. Now of the powers of nd, in this particular instance, there is no government there are three kinds, legislamit imposed upon it by the Constitution. tive, executive, judicial; they are necessarily exercised together: for the legislative the nature of things, and the nature of all is the first and necessitates the others; honestly acquired power; and in this argubut of any class of powers called govern- ment we set aside as useless and exploded, mental we find no record or description. the ancient doctrine of “right acquired

In regard to the District of Columbia, by conquest;" though if we chose to resort some doubt still rests in the minds of con- to that doctrine, it would reduce the ques. scientious legislators whether Congress tion to a point that the narrowest underhas full power over it. “But the case standing might grasp at once. is very different in reference to territories,” We now come to the very heart of this says Mr. C., “ lying as they do beyond the subject, to the very policy against which limits and jurisdiction of all the States. the Senator from South Carolina has opThe United States possess not simply the posed this broken chain of suggestion, right of ownership over them, but that of which he is pleased to regard as a demonexclusive dominion and sovereignty.” A stration. By an ordinance of the Confedfearful admission ! but then on a sudden eration in 1787, slavery was excluded from the Senator recovers his former ground, the territory ceded by Virginia. The orand starts a new distinction. • It may be dinance, said Mr. Madison, had no constiproper to remark,” says he, “in this con- tutional authority; it serves, therefore, nection, that the power of exclusive only as a landmark to show the opinion of legislation conferred in these cases must the Congress at that time. It established not be confounded with the power of a precedent for policy only, and not for absolute legislation. Absolute power of legal decisions. We regard it only as legislation is always, indeed, exclusive, but the first step in the line of a particular it does not follow that exclusive legislation policy. By that first step, slavery was is always absolute. Congress has exclusive excluded from the temperate climates power of legislation as far as this govern. Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and W ! ment is concerned, and the State legisla- consin, and the territory north-west. That tures as far as their respective governments exclusion was the result of the first step are concerned, but we all know that both a certain line of policy. It was a compreare subject to many and important restric- mise, says Mr. Calhoun, conditioning for tions and conditions, which the nature of the delivery of fugitive slaves, as a set-ef absolute power excludes.” Which places against the freedom of the territory : ani the governments of the States and of the yet he somewhat unguardedly quotes : 1 Union upon the same footing, as far as Madison to prove it valueless; by whis “absolute” power is concerned ; the idea procedure he does the slaveholder materia of absolute power being thus very justly injury in removing one of the ancient land excluded from that of republican govern- marks of his rights. The history of Ibu ment in any shape; but this does not transaction does not much help or biad: touch the question whether the nation the arguments on either side. We thereban may not abolish slavery from its territory. pass it over. He adds, for all that, that the On the contrary, if the States have this South acquiesced in the ordinance and power in their dominions, though they be served it strictly; which is a strong pro: not "absolute,” much more should the of its expediency; and now, at this les general government, which, though not day, a South Carolina Senator condemes absolute in any case, being, like the State Now follows the Missouri Comprom governments, under the Constitution, is The entrance of Missouri as a State *** yet vested with the twofold power of State severely contested through the years 1815 sovereignty and of imperial control over 20, when Henry CLAY ended the war its territory ; and in such a view of the moving the compromise. It was observed matter, Mr. Calhoun's third distinction, of this statesman, by John Quincy Adams like his first and second, falls useless to that in negotiation, and in all difficult the ground. He has not yet proved that fairs where opposite interests and nigha the Constitution, either directly or by were involved, he discovered a peas close construction, forbids the general and almost infallible tact: his remedy government to exercise those powers which always the best that offered. Вт it has acquired over its territory, both by compromise he reconciled the two interes


of slaveholders and non-slaveholders. He neither hold him nor let him go. Justice is was himself a slaveholder, and he knew in the one scale, and self-preservation in that slavery, at least in temperate climates the other.” Then follows the remark and northern latitudes, could only prove

that the diffusion of slaves over a greater curse and keep landlords poor, as it does territory will better their condition and on the south banks of the Ohio. This hasten their emancipation. He justifies compromise was carried, says Mr. Calhoun, Mr. Holmes in voting for the compromise by the almost united vote of the North rather than for the total exclusion of slaagainst the South. By it a line was very from the territory, and recommends drawn, separating the northern and south- that every means be taken to allay the ern territories. “The South,” he adds, jealousy of the South, of the interference of · has never given her sanction to it.” The Congress in their domestic affairs. He warns act was done by the non-slaveholders as an his country against stirring up angry pasact of mere self-protection; and could sions upon this terrible question, and presouthern gentlemen understand how neces- dicts ruin from its agitation.* sary it is to the emigrant to be removed from the neighborhood of a rich and aristocratical planter, to enable him to carry

*Mr. Holmes, of Maine, said Mr. Calhoun, long a on unshamed his honest but humble in

member of this body, who voted for the measure, ad

dressed a letter to Mr. Jefferson, inclosing a copy of dustry, and finally, by humility, to rise into his speech on the occasion. It drew out an answer independence, wealth, and refinement, the from him which ought to be treasured up in the heart

of every man who loves the country and its institugenerosity of their nature at least, if not ions. It is brief. I will send it to the secretary to the justice of it, would be moved with a be read. The time of the Senate cannot be better sacred regard; and however jealous they | To John Holmes,

occupied than in listening to it.

MONTICELLO, APRIL 12, 1820. might be of their own rights and privileges, I thank you, dear sir, for the copy you have been in which no man will dare disturb them

so kind as to send me of the letter to your constitu

enis on the Missouri question. It is a perfect justiwhile the UNION stands, they would not fication to them. I had for a long time ceased 10 with so ambitious a grasp, clutch at all the read newspapers, or pay any attention to public afterritory. No, indeed ; not at all the ter- fairs, confident they were in good hands, and con

tent to be a passenger in our bark to the shore from ritory!

which I am not distant We respect the ordinance, therefore, and tion, like a fire-bell in the night, awakened and fillthe Compromise, and can say that our knell of the Union. It is hushed, indeed, for the greatest desire is, that the present difficul- moment. But this is a reprieve only, not a final ty be as wisely met as were those which marked principle, moral and political, once concei.

A geographical line, coinciding with a prompted those measures.

ved and held up to the angry passions of men, will So much for the measures of compro

never be obliterated: and every new irritation will

mark it deeper and deeper. I can say, with conmise, which Mr. Calhoun laments that they scious truth, that there is not a man on earth who were ever passed. Mr. Jefferson's letter, would sacrifice more than I would to relieve us from

this heavy reproach, in any practicable way: The which he quotes, contains no argument. cession of that kind of property, (for so it is misIt only expresses a very just fear. Why named) is a bagatelle which would not cost me a he chose to quote it, it is difficult to guess. tion and expatriation could be effected: and gradual.

second thought, if in that way a general emancipaIt does not condemn the compromise, ly, and with due sacrifices, I think it might be. Bat and while it admits it to be an uncertain, him nor safely let him go. 'Justice is in one scale, dangerous, and temporary expedient, a and self-preservation in ihe other. Of one thing I am mere palliative, it offers no other. It certain, inat as the passage of slaves from one State

to another would not make a slave of a single husays in regard to slavery, “there is not a

man being who would not be so without it, so their man on earth who would sacrifice more diffusion over a greater surface would make them than I would to relieve us from this heavy individually happier, and proportionally facilitate reproach, in any practicable way. The viding the burden on a greater number of coadjucession of this property, (for so it is mis

An abstinence, too, from this act of power,

would remove the jealousy excited by the undertanamed !!) is a bagatelle which would not king of Congress to regulate the condition of the cost me a second thought, if, in this way, different descriptions of men composing a State. a general emancipation and expatriation which nothing in the constitution has taken from could be effected ; and gradually, and with them, and given to the General Governmentdue sacrifices, I think it might be. But as Could Congress, for example, say that the non-free

men of Connecticut shall be freemen, or that they it is, we have the wolf by the ears, and can shall not emigrate into any other Siale ?



After disposing of the compromises, Mr. | cluded from emigrating with their property into Calhoun repeats at large his former argu- any of them.” ments and distinctions in regard to the

But now, allowing that all may not be power of Congress over the territories. He convinced that Congress has not the porassumes that he has completely established

ers contended for, Mr. Calhoun appeals to the point, that Congress cannot forbid any equity and expediency. Is it equitable

, citizen from taking any kind of property and, for fear of consequences, is it politic he may please into the territory, when, in for non-slaveholders to attempt to exclude fact, he has merely asserted that the power slaveholders from a territory purchased by of Congress is limited, and has not proved the money, and defended by the arms of the particular limitation. On this point all citizens alike? To this we answer, as it is, perhaps, unnecessary to argue fur- before, that if there be a real joint ownerther. ' If the point be proved for the ter- ship in the thirty States, any one, or any ritory that Congress has not this power, number of them, may demand a divisiva much more is it proved for States ; and of the property. But we have shown that States have then no longer that power the States, as such, have no distinct night which they claim of excluding and freeing or title to the territories : it belongs to the slaves, within their own limits. If Congress Nation as a whole. If then a division line and the several states have not this power, is to be established, it must be from moit follows that all laws, ordinances, and tives of Public Economy, and not in aecompromises, whatsoever, against slavery, cordance with, or by arguments deduced in all the States and in all the territo- from, the doctrines of extreme factions of ries, are null and void. To what follows, the North or South. We do not wish w all that we need offer, therefore, is simply hurry on the inevitable crisis by any artw a denial.

ments of ours. We wish only that the

minds of all men may be tempered for the “ I have now concluded the discussion, so

issue. far as it relates to the power, and have, I trust,

The bill containing clauses which proestablished beyond controversy, that the territories are free and open to all of the citizens of tect the citizens of Oregon against slavery. the United States, and that there is no power, and throw the whole responsibility for the under any aspect the subject can be viewed in, other territories upon the Supreme Court by which the citizens of the South can be ex- has once passed the Senate, and its puis

sage is predicted through the House." I:

the Court decide that slavery is not lasta the useless sacrifice of themselves by the genera | And if the contrary, then how will 15

I regret that I am now to die in the belief that in the territories, how will the South fa!' ness to their country, is to be thrown away by the North feel? Was not this measure, afe unwise and unworthy passions of their sons, and all, only a shifting of the responsiburt that my only consolation is to be that I live not to weep over it. If they would bui dispassionately upon shoulders less able to bear it? weigh the blessings they will throw away against if the Supreme Court is to be used for to an abstract principle, more likely to be effected by decision of political questions, will si would perpetrate this act of suicide on themselves, | future Presidents extend such an intueet and of treason against the hopes of the world. To and so fill the bench as to leave its = yourself, as the faithful advocate of the Union, I iender the offering of mv high esteem and respect. ions on such questions no longer doubt THOMAS JEFFERSON.


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