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The Oregon Debate

The Oregon Debate image
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We invite the att'iilion of our rendéis to theexpnsition on oor firsf page of llie hite protrncted discussion in tlie United States' Semite dn the Orrgnn Territorial Bill, by Dr. Bailey of th National Eré, who wns present nnd has given n careful delineation of the clinrncter of th dobate. A " protrnctod struggle" indeed it was! Whnt un oppcirtuuity was tfaere ofïered, if there had been a single vestige of the principie of Liberty among thrin, for the Cass men to hnve come boldly forvvard and taken the vnntnge-ground they had gained over Cnlhoun and his extreme ultra slnve-holding, slavery-oxtension party, by the ineoiporntion of the " Cass creed" into the Bill - thnt " Territories should have the privilege of regulnting their own inlernal concerns in their own way " But no, they servilely nbnndoned their professed creed and conspired wiih the more openly-nvowed, and demanding-slnvery party of South Carolina, tliat thpy, together üke Pílate and Herod of old, mightthe more easily accomplish their nefarious work. And where were the higlily professing Liberty-loving Whigs at this crisis? - Did they not come to the rescue 7 Was there no voice among them for freedom, when n precedent was about to be established which would banish her from the Territories of this Republie ? By the ratification of the T;enty with Mexico, the United States has a large extent of territory, of the value of which there isa difference of opinión; some have represented a grent portion of it to be worthless, and not likely ever to be settled ; others thnt they are mostly good and vnluable lands. But in all probability the time is not far distnnt, when this Territory, which has cost the Uuitéd States, at the lowest estímate, the Iivps of 30.000 of he' citizens, and one hundred million of dolhira, will be orgnnized with afree, happy government, securing to its inhabitants civil and religious liberty, or be cursed by the bnneful influence of Slavery, from which it is now free. Of this, the advocates of the institution, both North and South, me well aware. They also begin to realize thatthe spirit of Liberty and hntred of Slnvery is gaining ground among the great mass of the people, even at the South, and it is the knowledge of this fact which has stimiilated them t.o such enrreetic effbrts with referonce to the Oregon question, not thnt they anticípate ifansporting 9laves to thnt country, but this would be a precedent. If Oregon was admitted as afree Territory - if the slave power was overruled and put down in this instance, it might be in another similar onp. Why, in the blessed name of Liberty, which they profess to chprish, did not more of our Northern men, (who must have seen the true position of the case,) act in accordnnce with its principies? We confess we cannot comprehend how Northern members of Congress, to whom a free people have delegated the power to maintain their rights aud dignity in the councils of the Nution, can conscientiously compromiso both, in the manner they did in this instance, some by their .ndifference, and others by their servility to Southern despotism. Let the friends of Liberty, of every name, both North and South, and Kast and West, see to it - concéntrate all their forces, and elévate -nen to officp, whose principies upon this great suhject now at issue in every part of the civilized world, are thoroughly known and estnblished. Let them remember and mark the eourse of those noble chanipions of " Humiin Rihtg" who have luid the moral courage boldly and firinly to udvoente this impopular doctrine ; yes. the doctrine ot Equal Righls may truly be said to be impopular in the Senate of the United States, and those who advocate it have need of great dignity and self-respect, with a large amount of firmness and principie with the ability to maintain them. Hear what E. L. S., of the Cleveland True Democrat says of J. P. Hale, with referenne to his eourse on the Oregon question : " Calhoun, Benton. Butler and others used every argument and epithet possible to defeat the measnre, and enst odium on it and upon Mr. Hale. But there he stood, as firni as the Granito Hills of his own state, with armor on, wielding his heaviest blows at these constitutionnl exponnders, unmoved by the tannts of Hannegnn, or the Billmgsgate slang of the duellist. Foote. There may bebravery and courage manifestad in the warrjor who faces the cannon's mouth, which will commend itself to the mimi rat ion of a portion of mankind, but whnt is this n comparison to the courage and noble daring of the moral Iiero, who, like ríale, in the inidst of a multitude of opponents, dufends his country, tiie Constitution, and himself ngninst the most violent nssnults of its opponents. nnd by his own single efforts drives thom from nll their strong holds and becoine mnster of the field." And J. R% Giddings, how glorious has been his career in the House . His speeches, during the recent debutes on the Slave qnestion,nre decidedly the most eloquent and powerfuj nrtillery of langunge which lias been discharged this session against the enemies of free institutions - free Territory, and freedom of speech nnd of the Press. In short, he is a bold, able nnd most fenrless advocate of Liberty, nnd we cannot believe he will stain hisgaiinents with Slavery hy supporting for the highest office in this nation a slavehulder or an advocate of the iustitution. But we do not think Giddings' position in the House, whore his venerable colleague, the late lamented J. Q. Adnms, hns trinmphed for yen rs nnd paved the way for hiin. nnd such as him, and where the genius of Liberty pxists to a greater extent thnn in the Senate ; we say we do notconsider his position as difficult, and demandingas mach sngacity and moral courage as that of J P. H#le, who hns the Calhoun intrigues, and the Cnss servilities, and the npathy and want of fidelity to profussod principie, in the Whigs, to contend with. Did he not poasess more thnn an ordinary sliaro of principie and persevernnce he would, in this last contest hnve beconie disheartened. But for him, while Üiere was the least vital spark of liberty remnining, tliere wns hope. Tlianks to Senator Niles for his tiinely 'sid. It must have been chering indeed to him who had b.-en struggling alone and uuaided in s cause where tbere was eo much at stake. _,