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Anti-slavery: Speech Of John P Hale: Upon The Slavery Resolu...

Anti-slavery: Speech Of John P Hale: Upon The Slavery Resolu... image Anti-slavery: Speech Of John P Hale: Upon The Slavery Resolu... image
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The resolutions concerning Slavery, &c, proposed by Mr. Low, of Dover, being the order of the day, and Mr. Hadley's substitute therefor having been rejected, the question recurred upon the adoption of the following amendment offered by Mr. Hala : "Whereas the government of the U. States of America, by ïts recently avowed policy of extending their territory, and annexing a foreign nation for the express purpose of strengthening and perpetuating human slavery have placed usas a people before the world in the humiliating and disgraceful attitude of supporters and defenders of a system of oppression. odious to every friend of liberty, and abhorrent to every principie of humanity and religión - and Whereas, the constant, progressive and increasing encroachments of the slave power have become so formidable and imperious, that forbearance ceases ío be a virtue, and to be silent is to be false to the great interests of liberty : Therefore, Resoloed hy ihc Senate and House of Represenlatives in General Courl con vencd, That New Hampshire solemnl) and deliberately announces and reiterates her abiding and unchanging adhcrence to the grent principies of the Declaration o] our Revolutionary fathers, that "all men are created equal," re-asserted in the first article of the bill of rights of our own constitution ; that she declares her iirm determination that in the great contest now wag -d between slavery and freedom, her voice shall be heard on the side of the fvee; that she pledges her cordial sympathy, and, within the limits of her constitutional action, her co-npera tion with the friends of civil liberty throughout the land, in every just and well directed effort for the suppression and extermination of that terrible scourge of our race, human slavery." Mr. Marston fWhig) moted to strike out the preamble. Upon this question Mr. Hale took the floor and addressed the House as follows :Mr. Speaker : - I have waited in the liope that some other gentleman would favor the House with the expression of :iis views upon this question. It was not my intention, sir, again to have tres:ased on your time and patience in regard to this matter, but as a moíion has been made to strike ouf the preamble of the resolution I have had the honor to submit, and as the gentleman from E.eter, (Mr. Maston) hns expressed a doubt of the truthfulness of the statements in that prenffible - which indeed have more decidedly been called in question by other gentlemen - l am induced, however unwillingly, once more to ihrow m}rsrlf on the indulgence of the House. - And bebre I proceed, permitmë to express my exceeding gratificaron at the manner in vhich the gentleman from Wenre (Mr. iadléy) and from Sandbornton ('Mr. Sanborn) have borne themselves in the discussiön of this matter. It givés me great leasure to assure therh of my unfeigned gratitude for the candid, libernl, manly and dignified manner - devoid of slang and free from degrading personal ties - in vhich they have treatéd it I rejoice hat the day has at last arrivêd when such a subject demands, comraands and roceives sucb treatment from such men. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Sandbornton says he is au. anti-slavery man. I don't doubt iL But he also says hat ho wants to romaia in his party and be an anti-slavery man at tiro same time. Ie can't do it - he cannot do it, sir. He says he is ademocrat, I don't doubt that --not in the least ! But I wish he wouHgo further, and while asserting his democracy, assert also his manhood. I wish that he would remember that he is something higher and nobler than a democrat - a man - an honest man- and that he would throw off the party harness and speak out likea man ! But hc can't, because he wants to stay in his party. I wanted to stay in the party too. But I couldn't, because it seemed proper for me to speak my sentiments on one particular topic. There was a feeling in my hcart in relation to slavery and its extensión which I desired to expresa. It was uncomfortable to keep it bosomed up I did express it ; the experiment was fried f and the result was - I could not stay in the party. Thepaity cry of "throw him overboard" - beginning with me and going till at last tbey had not hands enough to man the ship. Sir, I sincerely sym pathize with my friend. He will soon be at issue with the party and cast out of the ranksf unless they have learned something from the past. What was it the gentleman said - experientia doect? i iave nearly forgotten my Latin, sir, but [ suppose the plain English of thet is tbat experience doses ƒ and truly, unless the sarty have had doses enough of experience lately, my friend cannot long stay with them ! So much for thaLButthe gentleman frora Iíxeíer d'oea not like the preamble, though assenting to the resolution. He is like tha mart who found no fault with the entertainment ata public table, but could not relish the trimmings; The statements of thi3 preamble are the trimmings - .nd are they not all true ? The gentleman objected to the declaration that the purpose of government in annexing Texas, was ter perpetúate and strengthen human slavery. Is it not true 1 Thero are some things, sir, to be taken for granted - so obvious as to necd no attempt at proof. Circles for instance. are not squares, and squares are not circles ; and, ifthis be an axiom in mathematics, there are in ethics and politics other things equally axioms. - This declaration is one such Ihing. and I really had not supposed that one man cuuld bo found with mind sufficient to comprehend the position, who would venture to doubt ïts entire truth. Is all that to be gone' over again 1 Has it come to this, that in the Legislature of New Hampshire, on the 25th of June, 1846, we are called upon to prove that the cxpress purpose - not the soté purpose 03 has been erroneously quoted, - though the statement would be entirely correct even to that exfent - that the express purpose of government in the annexation of Texas was to extend and perpetúate slavery ? If it has, then 1 don't know what we shall not be called upon to prove l Whjr, sir, - will gentlemen admit the existence of Texas ? Will they allow that there is any such country ? - That slavery exista there 1 That there are different shades of color among its inhabitants ? They may deny it if they choose, but it is true for all that, nnd the assertion in this preamble is just as true. How, Mr. Speaker, does government act in any question, except through its regular constiiutional organs ? Ánd when the Secretary of fhe United States spcaks by direction of the President, and when Congress bases its official action upon the Secretary's Communications, then, I say, that government speaks and acts - or else we have no action of the government. The resolution does not say that Mr. Woodbury, or Mr. Buchanan, or Mr. any one else sought this annexation. "or that purpose, but that the government so sought it. It speaks of the government. Government desired to havo Texas for the sake of extending siavery ! And let any gentleman stand up if he dare, and deny the truth of this ! Why, -ir ! this extensión and perpetuaron of negro slavery was the prominent feature he great mèrit of the whole affair. It was avowed, and declared plainly, boldïy, baldïy and unequivocally - and, til! to-day, [ had supposed the matter too plain to be questioned. Look at what is said by Mr. Upshur, then Secretary of State, in a letter to Mr. Murphy, datéd August 8th, 1843. 'Few calamities could betal the counry more to be deplored, than the estabishmenj of a predominant British influence, and the a9blition of domestic slavery in 'Texas. Here we have it. greatest cnamities the United States could experience are, says Mr. Upshur, lst - "the esablishmönt of a predominating British nfluence," and 2d - "the abolition of domestic slavery in Texas." Can this be misunderstood 1 And again the samo Secretary says, January 16, 1844 - ♦Iwili only ndd, that if Texas should not be attached to the Uniied State, si-.o cannot ruaintain that irisfitution [slavervl en years, and probably npt hajf that time." Is that plain? Po gentlemen undeiv stand that Í Unless Texas were annexeJ to this ountrv, she cculd no't