Press enter after choosing selection

Debate In The Senate

Debate In The Senate image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

(COKCLCDED.) Mr. BüTLBR, From tlie course which tliis tiiscussion luis taken, is clearly indicateil tlio apprunc'iiog storm which wit] ere long hurst upon llii.t country. I mr. persmided that. the part of tliu country wluch I represent is destined lo be in a minority - a donmed minority. I fecl gatíah'ed that all that we have to look to isa prolection are the guarantees uf the Conttituiion, and the compromises made under it; and I feel as well assured as I do of any sentiment I ever uttered, that these guarantees will lie violated - as well assurcd as 1 am lliat the compromises which have been made have been disregarded. I feel that the sentiment of the Nni-th ngainst the institulion of slavery is aüvancing wilh the certainty of the malaria from the Pontine marslies - with the certainty of all progressive movements ; and there is 110 disguising it. W'hy.'on all occasions, whether of domestic nr t'oreiirn consideraron, the ilavfl quostion is olitruded npnn ns. Whcn a resulnlion was offorej in this body, in the name of the nation, to congratúlate tlie French people upon the conimencement of'thcir rfforta in favor of the establishment of republiein principies, an aniendment was offeren, to congratúlale them upon ;!' ■ i rmfisoation of sotoe of ihe property lo tlio people - to espi'cially rungrilnUiie them on the pmancipntion of their West lndian alavés, Let it be proposed to . 1) y tlie joint arrns, the united exertions. i !■ f tlio whole Union, nnd intli are foi-ced to submit to thè.ini ivinor it proposed that the soil ised and enric.hed by the blood ofSouthe-n tntops vvoofd be pollitted by thi'ir occupaT ton uf il, afier a treaty of poace, wlten bro't int. comparison with (lioso who claim superiority over thetn by virtiie of their instiintions. Sir, we are tlms insri'lted evêry morning of ou r live bv the presentmion of petkions of in dividual', and resolulions of States, sfigmatizing Southern institiiiiiMi as unwonhily connected with thi Conft'ileritcy, ring to show tlmt guarantpes of l hei Constirution will bc, as tlio eoTnpromisea have been, dire jarded . 13 u t brf no I npproach 'his p-irt of the subject, I lieg to Biljress to vntl a t'ew remarks upon the bül which is oflfered for onr consideration. - What i the bül, sir] It propones to rqnir fi'om '!ie inhabitanfs of tl is District to enter in'o bonils - for it amounta to tliat - to indemrify all pemoira who s'iall suffer losses by means of a molí - lo iiideinniíy all persons foanv posfiible trospass thai msiy be commitied upon them b. irri'sponsiljle vio'enre. Now.l must be periiiilteil to snv, 'hat lliis is a sort of logixlatiofl tlmt is not to be fnnnd in that part of tin: country in wliich I live. I think it is uiiknovvn in ihe States south of the Potomac. Whv shoiild we be called on to pass a law, at tlith time, to give indemnity for trespass coinmitted byamobi If I wei-e satisfied tlmt the existiría lawi of the District, were inadequate to tlie pfoteei'ion of the property of the Citizen, ] d-i not know that I shnuld be averse U) the adoptir.n ofsome calculated to control the movemenls of a moh, - Kut whal is the facti WliJ-, that the laws are inadequate to the protection of t'ie owrers of siaves Bgningt ihose who are iKspoged to interfere with that. species if property, whilst oth er species of propertv has adequate proteciion. I PMt the (piestion to tlie honorable Senator from New Hampshire, whether ho will agree il w to biiiiir in a law to give nddiliona'. security to slaveho!der, by the enactment o( pennlties, and L arn told by that gentleman, "Xo ; the law l wonld introduce wou ld beof'en"irely u dilK'ient character; one to confíscate their propertv by the emancipation of their slaves in the District of Columbia." And to destroy and undermiiie the institulion, al! irifluences nre left to effect their silent work ; the prese, private counsel, influeuce of opinión. Here, in the District of Columbia, a paper, addressed 'o glaves as well as to others, is issued, inculcaling in the minds of the slaves the ng'it to rebel - a more than right., a duty - leadniu' them to acts that are inconsistent wilh their peuce anil happiness, and such as will certamly inflict cruelty upon deluded human beings, !y seducing them into a condilion which compels iheir masters lo uso ihem with great severiiy. This is like kihdling n fire in the tnidilu; of a dry prairie, and expecting it not to burn wilh cernun destruclion. I asklhegenlleruan if he is witling to afpord protection to the boilers of (lave properiy, and 1 am anëVfmrod, that slaveholders are entilled to no protection. Am I e_pected to stand here, '"' ili" forros of consiitulional legislaive rny support to measures which must v one uf ihp nisril nlions under which '■ liellevo that the genllethe Norih are not sensible of the icieá of snch measures as thev are VVhen the Constitution was form■:-ions were iidop!el in ood failh, ■ i some portion of the same RCtiinted ihe frumera of ilint instrunnilil bn Eüurid prevading this body i t iii tiin. Tliúl giimj faith, if' it uere to be fouiiJ, would preserve to us the gUHranteea which are providiïd in the Coustitütion ; and [ teil gentlemen that our f.ithers never would have consented to corno into the Confüderacy, il'they believeil that these encroachmenta would ever hnvc bon made, an] that, too uiitier the nulhority of their joint Conslitulion The s[iint of (anaticivm nevor com uifiiced lo previiil umil il was aícertüined that the liiin was runnin Bgninst uu ; but from that nin nerit, about 1S20, tin; time f ihe Misgouri Cumpromise, it bas gone on with acceleraied rnpidTy, and il no.v fortns one of the dangornas elements of geczionnl ambition. My collegue has alluded to some of the evidencs of ihis. Wijf n the Constitution was ndoptod. il was one of its provisions, not impliéd, but j expressed in terms suífícienlly expliti:, that if alavés etcaped, tlierc sliould be i co operatinn on the part of tlio authorities of tlic State to whieh ihey fled, to deliver them np ; and as the understanding of thu lerms, sucli until recently was the practica. In 1793, an act was i passed makiiiff rt penul for nny mie, in any of tlie non slave holding States, tl) Imrhor or c-onceal a slave; and ihi're is anotlu-r important commentary conta'ned in tliat law - ihat ly that very act. provisión is malie that Stale courts shall use their autboiiiy to aid and deliver up ftrgitive slaveq. Tiiat act was made to provide for delivering up runiwny sluves. It was made on the assumption tluitlliey slio'd be delivered up, under the provisión of an extradition treaty. The measure roeeived the general concurrence of Congress and the FYople. This act looked to gnod firith for its execution and enforcement. It had the sanction of tlie wisi-st iiion of al! sections, not as ! specula.tive llieorisis, but as praclical ! men, who look to actual and (I must be , mitted to say) mutual interests. When the law was proposed, what would Southern men ! have thmght, if tliey had been told that the í courts should afford no such relief, and that it would be criminal for State officers to give assisiance"! Why, sir, they would have gone on further witli compromisp, but, bping tlie Stronger party, they would have looRpd out for their own securiiy. The act was made in good faith to coerce the provisions of a compromise, to procuro the dehvery of a slave to ( I hÍ9 master. How has that act been treated 1 '■ A law has been enncted in the State of New , i York, one in Massachuselts, (and l believe I could name a dozen other States where simibir Imws havebeeri passed.) declaring that the State courts huve no jurisdiction over tliat : malter, nnd that it belonjrs exclusively to the Federal jurisdiction. Hre, then is one of ' the empromises of the Const.ilution entirely 't disregnrded ; and laws have been passed inteiposing obslacles to the rt-capture of slaves, i such as would make it nugatory and ; ous for the owner to make the altempt lo re claim hisown property. In Massachusetts it is made criminal, under high peralties, for con9tal)les to aid in appreheuding a fugutive slave ; and for jailors tn nllow their [irisons to be used for safe , ing - a !av of precisely the same import was passed in Rhode Island, and of similar import ! in nearly all the states north of Mnryland. - j To the North we can look for no aid in apprebending this species of property. Sa far f rom fultiling the nrovisions and compromisos of the Conslitution, it is mude criminal for zens fi ml office ''S of min-sluveholding Slaies to . iulfil the diitics of good cilizens; and yet we. ; ure tnld ihat the compromises of the Constitution, and ns express guarantees. entered ilito IV our nncestors, w 1 1 1 he observed in good faith. And ihut is to ba nur security - the secnrity of good ini'li; and ly ihnst' who liavu sliowu that they cannol re-sist the temprntiong of ungenerous jcalousv r criminal nmhition, This ;s worse than rcsutig on a hroken reed, or lo fiiid h swonl where you expected ashield. In all cases where controversies have arisen u tuier B'jch liius, the Supreme Court has decided them to he tinconsiitiitinnal. Do thcy stop the re f Would to God I could say tliey did ! What is onr condition when our propI erty of this kind - property recognized by the Constitütion - is taken away from us 1 Can we appeal to tlieir tribunal 1 Why, we are treated by thi'in with scorn. Can we appeal to tlieir municipal offleers ? Tney pnint to the act, and say, we are prohiliitrd. But, worse than all, it is made the interest of prilitical aspirants to excito a feeling of aversión j to sl'iveholders. They bayo constilutional rights, bnt ikv power to enfnree them. Yet 1 am told, rely on compromise, and, at any riite, "that it is unbecoming in He South to m-.inifest excilemenl ; that we must keep perfecilv quiet; not lie alarmed ; it ïsall perfectly right." Wlien the fire is burning aroom] me. I am told that 1 must keep cool - tluit I must not discuss the matter with anytliing hke heat. We have H nght to discuss it. It is proper fcir us to vindícate our rights ; aiui I wish there was an adequate issue to put them to a full trial. I say to gentlemen, that the crisis is approaching - not by any action of the South, but is forced upon us ; and f' the horrors of civil war do come, vhch God forbid - " Thou canst not say T tlid it - Shako uot thy gni-y locks at me." I declare solemnly befo re Henven, tliat I helieve that we are in a doomed rninoritv.and tliat it is the duty of tlie South lo take sume moasure to avert tlie evil. I hnv no cnnfidence tliat tlie ginnftta of tlie Constituiion will he regarded. I llave no confidi'iico in thosi: who clmose to preftoh lo me of good faith, while 1 liave examples of its flagitious violations, and teil me all is well, wlien I sec ruin pending over me. I wisli I could have confidencc. I am told, that vvheri a moasure of ihis kind is proposed, it is nur duty to give it uil llie fnrms of legislation. I sliould he glad, indeed, f I could discoverin itarrylhing calculatV'd to defend tlie rig-lits of tlie people whom I reprosent. The issue must come. - Ambition will avail itself of it. tlie elements of its developments and of mischief are coutnined in it. J believe, from the course which this discussion has taken, tliat many gentlemen will vote for this liill; liut it'they do, they will do an act the eft'octs of which they do lipt appreciate. Gentlemen do not undnrstarul the feelïngs oftho .South. 1 have no fuar of itisurrt"'.tion, nor the dangers of slave proporly. lf we are in the midsl of a war to-morrov, I teil gentlemen, that ivc of the South would foei as safe in the midst of a slave population as in the midst of a frce. We will see more of this in ollier forma. I make the prediciion, that sho'd any pi.rt of Mexico como into the acquisition of this Uuion, tliero will Ije provisions ititroduccd to prohiliit Slavery. The wtiolo torritory of the South is to le put into the power of those who will teil me that " in. medio tut issim'is ibis, ' as they expresa it. Oh, yes ! they are very gopd jiiilg(;s oflhc middio course hut, as Ejimd jirIlíos as thoy are, when lliev uudertake to pui-sul! the middle courst1, they keep it so long as it. is thoir interest, and no toiiger, Wliat B si'cunty for modoration on our part - and confident reliance on the good faith of those who have never kept it ! I hai e oxpressed inyself wit.h some warrnth, hut I hope the Senator from New Hampshire will at least do me the justico to say that ít has nnt been i :ut provnciiiion. 1 liiive nvoided epithets and violei.t denunciations, bccause I am prepnred i Cor grave iísnes, wlien solemn determinatio, i md not. violence. musí he regnrted to. T am i willing to wisli the Union rm fe ; lint to lio so, i it must preserve right. and mamtiiin I liorral obligoüi ns. I cannot res.ime my seat without px[ressinLr 1 1 1 - high crrmificaticin with i whicli I have Hsicned to tlie elocfuent lommks of tlio honorable Senator ('rom Indiana. [Mr. I Hanneyun,] He has laken the high minded and independent course wliich his ohanu'eientitled us to expert. I am confident llmt he ] will be rully sustained by al! true-héarted patriots throughout the Union. Mr. CMi:noN. I rise merely to defend my own State - that great State which 1 hnve the honor to reprpsent - on a sin pie point which has been alluded to by the distingnislied Senator f rm South Carolina, [Mr. Cnllinun.J Thal Senntor has done injustice. lo Pennsylvania, i (iinintenMon'v no doubt) in comparing a recent taw of hers wilh an act of the Inte Legislature of New York. The New Vork statute, ii is said, makes it a penal offence for any of her j citizens to aid in the arrest or resfnration of : fngil'.ve shives to their owners. The law of Pennsylvania is a widely different afluir. Her j act of 1826 made it the duty of ihe State cers to atd in the arrest of slaves ; which net, as has been slated by the collengue of the I ator, was rendered nuil by the. decisión of the ! couris. The last act, therefore, is merely a declaratory one, setting forth the fact tliat thnse officers we re not reqmred ly the State laws to render sne.h aid. The duty of the citizens remain unohanged, anJ is in no way ed. No attempt has been made by Pennsylvania to interfere, in any way, with the power or atithprity of the General Government, nor ' the duty of the cilizens of the Government. - j The marshal or his deputy can cali to his aid a sufficient posse at any time, wlien it. may be ' necessary 'to sustain the lnws of tho Union ; ! and no act in the history of Pennsylvania can be pointed to, which will show that she has, in a ! single instance, been wanting in a due regard j for tho guarantees of the Constitution, and the compromises under it. Nor will she ever be. j The senator alluded, also, tu a disturbance at ' Carlisle. Undne importance has been attnch ed to that affair ; the persons concerned in it I were tned, and those found guiltv were ' erly, and, I may add, severely punished. They I are still incareernt.ed within tlie walls ofii Í itentiary. As to the deaih ofacitizen from anotlier State, I am )osiiively issured tbat he was the victim of disense, and that his death was not at all atinbuted to this disturbance. Pennsvlvaniu has no smpnthv wilh the i tra Ahoiiiionists. She luis ithin her borders no (malíes as a body. She may have, and ' diiubtless has, a few individuáis who join in ! llu'se tiiovc'inents of tlie ultra Aboliiioiii-is ; l)!i; ihi'y !vi"c no ;'ii or con ntenanoe from ihe giejit body of hor intelligent people. A verv í'fv men - honest nnd well-meaning, no doubt I - sympnthizo wilh the Senator from New Hampshire in doctrine and feeling; but the masses of tl.e )eople are entirely wilhng to leava the domestic institutiotve nf oiher States where they properly belong - in their own hands. They feel that they have no ripht whatever, under the Constitution, to inteifere wi:h them. What thev claim for themselves, they cheerfully accord to others - the right, to regúlate their own afluirá. The y are opposed to slavery in the abstract, and have long since iibolishecl it wilhiu their borders. They are willi Mg, as they shotild be, to let other States act for themselves in this and other domestic j matiers. 1 am hot surprised at tlie feeling evinced j npnn tliis subject ly Southern Senators. Il is natural, and not to le wondered at. We have sen á vpgsel come wiihin sightcif tliU Capital, apon which floitts tlio roud ñus; which.I irnst, will ever remain as tlie ernlilem of' onr happv Uniim, and, in the dead of niglit, dccov Bnd cany off nearly a Imn.lcd negroes, the prop erty of citizens of the District. Thoy feel, that ifsuch a state of ihings is tolerated here, in the very presence of the Government, to i tliem the gnarantoes of die Constitution are j utterly useless - tlie safegimrds and compromises upon which they have leen relying are onJy rnockcry. I differ, in toto, from the Senator from Illinois, with regard to the effect of the agitatinn of ibis question. lf ony body is injiiii'd liy it, it muit be the Senator from N. Hampsliire and his friends. Nor do I believe thiu this body should he deterred from sitiii any qiiPítiou, ('rom a fear of its effect Í on the l'icsicli'iicy. The South, as vvell as the Nortli, have nti'rcsts which they valne i finitely nbóve the mere n nest ion as to wlio i shall (ill the Presidenlial chiiir. And wliv shall I they, tlierefore, not be excited ? In the excitement growing ont of the recent outrage, to which l have alltided, the Senator from New Hampsliire has gravely introtluoed a bilí, p'irporiing tobe a'l'ill to protect ihe property of citizens of this District ; bnt, rightly viewcd, it is a bilí calculjited to encourage üinnlar outrages. What coulj liave induced him to j troduce snch n measnre at this moment of i citement? He has brought forward this tion today, as he does nften, for his own ; amusement. It can do no gfood, except, perhaps, to extend his popularity, Mr. Hlf.. I cali the gentleman to order. The Pkesiding ÜFFiQEit. Will the Senator reduce to writing his point of order 1 Mr.Hai.f.. Certainly. The words are these: " The gentleman from New Hampshiro has introduced this measnre, as he has many others, for his amusement." Tha Prrsiding Okficf.r. In the opinión oí' the Chair the Senator is not out of order. Mr. Hale. I must take an appeal from that decisión. [The qnostion boing put upon the appeal, the decisión of the Cliuir wassustuined - uyes 23, noes ij.] Mr. Cambrón. The bill itself is wliolly tincalled for. No citizen of the District has cali ed for it ; and it would be unjust to force npon tliem n luw for wli'ch they had not isked, to say nothing ofthe inapplicahility of its pro visions to the circumstances of the District.- Whenever any snch measnre is noeded, tlio peoplo of llie District will ask fur it ; and, when properly digesled by the commii'eo througli which thoy are represented here, it will receive the duo consideration of Congress. But I raso only for the pnrpoee of putting my State right on a point or two on wliich lier position aeemed to le misapprehendeti - not to (iisciiss iliis question at length. She needs no vindication at my hands. Her citizens aro ' in intelligent niid refiVcting people, Urongly ttached ti) llio Canfcdeney undor wliicli tln-y hve pruspered ro gri'atly. Tliey will iibide liy ili Constiiiiiiiin ti) tlie lust. An mconi(nLii excirement mny for a mnrnent have misled a few of lier citizens; hut it has ever liecn inlv mornentarv end lias passed away vvitli the occasiiuj. Mocli of tlie recent excitement on] tliis subject mny lx: fairly altributable to ihe far fnmetl Wiltnot Proviso. Tlial ia now numhered amnnar tlie things are passrd, and j its resulta will soon le forgottnn. Famnus as it was for a timp, ibera are none now in Penusylvunia so [iour as to duit reverence. An occcasional occurrence may pive il a ■ ry importance. Some mie may take liold of it, as lierctofore, to giv! Inmself a local ! lariiv nr a ueneral nntoriety. He inay be eni-i! hy a recent appointment liere, wliioli ïcettis like a reward for liaving agitated ihisi qnestion, and procuring ('ie instructions y a Legislature 10 her .Senators to vote for il in this body. But that will amount to very little in tlie end, and will die forgotten asa dream. 1 move that tlie Sonate adjonrn. Tlie motion being temporarilv withdrawn - . Mr. Cai.iiuUN said : I rise simply to slate upon what grounds I made tlie assertion that the act of Pennsylvania was similar to the act. of New Vork, but did not go so far. The act of New York makes it penal even for the citizens of New York to aid the Federal officers. Now, the provisions of the Constitution of the United States requiivs an active co operation, ! on ihe part nf the State, its citizens, and magistrales, in the delivery of fugitive slaves ; and anything short of that is a violation of the Constitution, and calculated to destroy tlie efficacy of the law of tlie United Slates in rcference to the subject. To that exient, ihe law of Pennsylvania, as vell as that of New York, is unconi-titutional. Mr. Crittknden. What is the motion pen ding] The Presidixg Opficer. Thr Senator from Pennsylvania made a motion to adjourn, but gave way to the Senator from South Carolina. ■ Mr. Crittexdf.n. I inlended to renew that mntinn. I think, after the excitement wc have all witnessed tndny, we will be better prepared to decide, with the dehberation which usually marks the proceedings of this body, at a fuiure session. I move, therefore, that we now adjourn. Mr. Bknton. Will the gentleman withdraw the motion for a moment ï I move that the paper be pril) led. Ordered, That tlie Lili be printed for the use of ihe Senate. Mr. .Toiixso.v, of Maryland, tlien Lnve notice, that should t lio Senator ÍYnm New Hnmpslsir have lenve to introduce liis bil!, he wo'd move the following resolution : Resolved, That tlie commútee to whom was rcferred the " Bill relnting to riols and . ful assi-mblies ín ihe District of Columli;i,"!ie, and they are heroby, insiructed to amend the : said bilí by inserling a section in the same íbr ttie efTectnal protection, by penal provisions or j ritherwise, of the citizens oí' thís District, and O.her citizenS of the United States, in the i distiirbed pnssession and ownership of their ! property in sliives in sucli District. ün inution the Senate then adjourned.