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For The Liberty Press

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Parent Issue
Public Domain
Letter to the Editor
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May 10, 1848. In my commquication üf the 4;h instant, I noticed the Expounder's editorial so fnr ns related to h9 rejoicing tbat, ns he assuinud, the Liberty pnrty has abandonad the ground heretofere urged, that Congress has power under the Consiitiition to prohibit the inler-slave trade. I now proceed to notice what it would scem the Expounder inteuded as a soit of exposé - a pronunciamcnto of his viewa of the powers conforred on Congrcsa hy the Constitution - or rnthor, what he deoma not to be the powers of Congress uuder that instrument with regard to Ihis or some other matter - for on ro-perus:il, I imagine the Expounder will find it excoedingy diflficult to fix any dcfinite meaoing to tlio setitence ; indeed, it is peculiarly a In Tnlynuiüisli. - Read it : " The Constitution of the United States was not formed for the governmcnt of Stntes and Territories, nor by States and Territorios, but by States, for tho benefit of the States, whether having a temporary or n permanent form of goveriiment. Under onr Constitution we have no Territories." Now, if the Consiitution of lbo Unitei} Stutei was not formeel for the govornment of States and Territories, what was ts object ? Answers tho Expounder, " by States, for the benefit of thn States, whether having a teinpornry or permanent form of governraent." If this be true, then the Prenmble of tho Constitution is n mistake - " We, the People of the United States, in order, icc, do Drdain and estabüsh this Constitution for the nited Stiltes of America." Thus it would 6eem by the instrument tself, it had nu object nnd powerg, far bpyond the mere overseership of a number of independent souIIpss nonentities, in the simpe of State Governments. And most certninly no lnnruage can be plaiaer than those portions of that Constitution which confer tlie exclusive power of legialatioa and goveriiment upon Oongress nd the Executive, in referenco to our relations to foreign Governments, Anny, Navy, Foreign Commerce, ititer-State and Indian Commerce, (as alrendy noticed in my Inat,) Post-Offices and Post-Roads, and tho' last, uot least, in regard to the Territorios of the United States. On this subject Pee Art. 4, Sec. 3. of tho United States Constitution, Clause 1 - " New States mny be admitted by the Congres into this Union but no new Stato shall bo formed or created witliin tlie juvisdiction of any other State, nor any Stato be formod by the juuction of two or more States, without the consent of the Legisliimros of the States ooneónted, as well as of the Consress." Now here is a definito power of Congrees, nnd one in-which it is very evident Congress havo the power of govfu-iitnent - in ona alternativo, absolute. in another, modified. Whero more States nre to be fonned out of old ones, orby iho junctionof two or more, tho power of Congross is modified. But. wliero new States are created out of Unitod Stntes Terrkory, Congress possesses the sole and exelus'.vo authority. And tliis nppears moro clfarly by consiüormg the 2d Clauso - " Tho Congross slinll have power to disposo of, nnd mnko nll nèodful rules and rpgulations respecfing tlio territory or other property bi longing to the United States." - Two thinsjs, in this clause stand out in bold relief. lst, Thnt territory may helong to tho U. Stat'.. 2d. Congress lins power to mnko all needful rules and regtilalions respecting it, Thon certainly the Expounder must be mistaken 'when he says " undor onr Constitution we have no Territories."- For fust as a matter of fact, we hnve never been a mumont without Territories - second, ns a matter of fact and history those Territories have ahvnys ! beein govrned by 1ia United Stntps fongfess, ei ther directly or through a Territorial Lfglslnture. But before lenving tliis topic 1 would respectfully ■ inquirci what State of thia Union has, or ever had, a lempurary form of governmont. Niiy, I would with duo resprct inquire, n what Chineo, Section, or Articlo of the United Status Cunstitutiun, is ihero any provisión for i"eceiving into tho Union, Statos witl tomporary tórms of government? - Perinit me to say, the proposition is preposterous, mul absurd. I would beforo concluding, say to our friend of the Expounder, thut although it miglü hsve been, and might be, in some instances, e.vpedient and proper, uay, ndvisable, for " moral preachcrs" to "nddress the nudienccs directly Rflfected" - it by no means follows, that it would be expedient, proper or ndvisable, for those who wish, and whose du ty it is, to put down batiditti, break up a nest of blacklegs, or hunt out and punish a gang of robbers and thieveg, (no matter of what clmracter,) to go and personnlly nddress them upoa the enormity of their crimes, and thoir duty to abandon those crimes, and turn to virtue, righteousness, benevolence and oqual rights and liberty. If tho Expounder editor thiuks otherwise, let him follow out his own suggc8tion : For if we have understood liis position on the subject of America.v Slavcry, he by no means npproves of it " in the abstract." And as he seems peculiarly in fuvor of moral suasion, we would, with all enrrcestuess and candor urgp him to go and address personally those wlio are guilty of the abstract enormity, upon the heinousness of their abstract wickedness; while we, believing in both "moral," political, imd legal suasiou will continue in iur duties here, where Providence seems