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The South Carolina Bill

The South Carolina Bill image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

It is not possible that this bill unpnralelled in lts atrocity ! nnd destroying'overy vestage of personal liberty, will be sanctioned bj an American Congress in 1848. We thiok bette? of our countrymen of the South, than to believe that any considerable nnmber. even among the slaveholding part of comnmniry, will favor tliis measure, which is within itself, such an ontrnge upon liumanity and civilizaion, as Slnvery alone, that sum of all iniqnities, could have produced. It is liteially converting every pelty office eonimissioned by a depnrtnient of the Federal Government, nnd tlreir clerks liowever rresponsible, or ignorant of judicial forma, or process, iuto a Suprema Judge or arbiter between men ; the one actuated by that most powerful incentive, selfishncss; and tho other, lmviny at stake, his right (o possess himself. Why, tho vory coutemplntion of such enactments, malie one's blood chili. Truly this is nearly nllied to the Spauish and Roman Inquisition, and in the langujge of the Era ' oisgraces the Clerk's table, in the Senate of the United States." In view of this, there is ono eucouraging idea, which is the hope, that thora aro candid ininds at the South, to whom this Hydni Monster will show its deformity in so conspicuous i mnnner as to nwiken their indignation against it. With reference to this Bill, tho Richmond [Va.] Whig says : " Bnt we we Mtutsd thnt any new net of ConiraH oa the subject will bo as porfectly a dend letter aa thut slready on tho statute-bonk ; nnd we can soe no wisdom in urging ts adoption, therefore, which, if ever cffected at all. mut lead to an exeiti:i" iind irritating discussion - Just such nn ono na we of the Snuth hnvr nU-nys professed to deprécate, and which the fiinatics delight to engage in." A Bill to providefor the more tffectual excrut'wn olhe thinl vlause of the stecond section f f'"1 fourth artïch of the Conslitution of the Uaited State. " Be it onncteil liy the Spnnto nnd House of Hopresentalives of tha U';tetl States of America in Cong'ess nssemlilod, Thnt when a peraon held to service orlnbor in iiny State or Territory " tho U. States, under the laws of such Stnte or Territory, ■hall escape into any other of Raid Status or Territorial, the peí-son tu whom such service or labor mar be due. hi= "r hor agent or attoroey, ia hereby empoworod to seize or nrrest. sucli fugitire fram service or labor, ntid lo Jake him or hr beiore uiy julsooftho circuit or district couru pf fhe Uu'itwd StiiVcs, or befo re nny commiesioner, or clcrk of guch couitR. or marihal fheïeof, ornny poetmnster of' the Uftited States, or collector of tlio customs of the United States, residing or beirig witbin sucli Stnto wherein sucli seizure or arrest shull bc innde, nd upon prooí to tle satilfnction of such judge. commlwioner, clerk, innrshn!. postmntter, or collector, ns the case mny be, ritlier Ijv oral testimony omiridavit ruken befbre nd cerlificd by nny person nutliorizcd to üdmÍBÍstor h ontli uii'li-r tho laws of the United tütcs, or di'iii.y Stal.p, thattlio peñón si) selzed or arrestad under the huvs of tho Stato or Tenitory from which lic ur she (led, owe service or labor to tlie person elainiing him or hor, it símil be tho duty of such judge, commiesioner, clerk, marshal, postmnster, or collector, to give a certificnto therof to such clnimnnt, Us or hor ngent or attornoy, which cortificate shall l)e a sufllciont warrant lor tnking and rcinoving such fusfitive from service or labor to tho State oiTcrritory from which he or sho fled. " Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, Tlmt when a person held to service or labor, ns montioned in the fir.'t scction ot tliis act, shall escupe froni such service or labor, ns therein mentioned, the person to wliom such servico or labor muy be due, bis or hor agent or attorney, may apply to nny ono of tha officersof the United States named in said aection, order than n marshall of the United States, for n warrant to seize and arrest such fugitivo; and upon affidavit being made before such officers, (cach of whom for tlio purposes of this act is hereby authorized to administer au oath of niTirinntion,) by such claimant, his or her RfjeOt, that such person does, under the law? of the State or Territory fiom which he or she fled, owe service or labor to such claiinant, it shall be, and is hereby, made the duty of sucli officer, to auil before whom such npplication and affidavit ís made, to issue his warrant to any marshal of any of the courls of the U. States to seize and arrest such alleged fugitivo, and to bring him or her forthwith, or on a day to be naméd in such warrant, before the officer issuing such warrant, or either of the othev officera mentioned in said first section, exce()t tho marsbal lo whom tlio said warrant is directeoS which said warrant or iiulhority the said marslial is hereby authorized and directed ju all things to obey. Skc. 3. Anr] be it ftirther cnacted, Thnt nny person who shiill willingly nnd knowingly ohstruct hinder such claiinnnt, his agent or nttorney, or iny person or persona assisting him, her, or thom, n so serving or arresting such fugitive froin service or labor, or shal] rescue such fugitivo f rom such claimant, hia agent or attorney, whon so nrrested, pursimnt to iha nulhority bereis given or declnred, or shall nid, ilet, or nssist such person, so owing service or labor, to escape f rom such claimant, his agent or attorney, or shall harbor or conceal such person, nfter notice that he or she was n fugutive from labor, as nforesnid, shall, for either of the snid oflences, forfait and pay the sum of one thousand dollars, which penalty may bf; recovered by and fdr the benefit of such claimant. by nction of debt in any court proper to try the saine, saving moreover, to the person cliiiming such labor or service, his right of nction for, ou account of, the said injuries, or either of thein. Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That when said person is seized or arrested, under nd by virtue of said warrant, by such marshnl, and is brought before oither of the officers aforesuid, other than said marshal, it slwll be the duty of such officerto proceod in the case of such person, in the same way as he is directed and tuithorized to do when such persnn is seized nnd arresttod by the person claiming him, or by his or her agent or attornoy, and is brought beforo such ofitcer under the provisions of the first sections of thU act."