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Mr. Adams And Slavery

Mr. Adams And Slavery image
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When J. Q. Adams was at Pitisurg, the Liberty men appointed a committee to express their admiration of him, and iavited him to address themon the admission of Texas and Slavery. He dèclined doing so for several reasons, but said he had nothing to conceal on either of those subjects. As to Texas, his sentiments were well known. In reference tosla very the great evil was the represeniation of slaves in Congress. In that body were eighty-eight members, who represented twelve hundred millions of slave property. He thought the Constitution should be altered. He further said: ':As to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, I have said, tl. at I was opposd to it - not because I have any doubts of the power of Congress to aboíish slavery in the District, for I have none. But I regard it as a violation of republican principies to enact laws at the petition of one j)eople which are to opérate upon another people against their consent. As the laws now stand, tho people of the District have property in their slaves. I do not admit that these laws are in accordance with justice, for it can never be truethat one man can rightfully hold property in another man. - Still thess laws have had an existence since before that part of the country bccame the District of Columbia, and was brought under the power of Congress; and I think they should not bc altered without the consent óf the people of the District. This consent I believewill yet be Obtained, and slavery will be abolished there."'mus, gentlemen, you see, that while anti-slavery men are ardently engaged in labors to bring about the abölition of slavery m the slave states, I deern ita matter of as great importance, and one which ánmands of us equal earnestness and vigilance, to act for the protection of our own liberties by resisting the encroachments of slavery and the spirit of the slaveholding power upon the freedom oí the citizens of the norfh. And so long as I shall hold a seat in Congress, I shall exert all the powers I possess to resist these encroachments; to promote the amendment of the Constilution to which I have referred, and for tlie enlire aholiiion of slavery in the country. The subjectson which I differ from the anti-slnvery party, are diiFerences of judgment from the convictions of rny own understanding, over which I have no control. But perbaps I am with the anti-slavery party more nearly than any other in the country"


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