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nightly meetings of large numbers of mem-1 from any of the United States at the option
If the citizens of those governments. For California, he recom- territories choose to establish slavery, and mended that having a sufficient popula- if they come here with constitutions estion and having framed a constitution, tablishing slavery, I am for admitting she be admitted as a State into the them with such provisions in their constiC'nion; and for New Mexico and Utah, tutions; but then it will be their own without mixing the slavery question with work, and not ours, and their posterity their territorial governments, they be left will have to reproach them, and not us, for to ripen into States, and settle the slavery forming constitutions allowing the instituquestion for themselves in their State con- tion of slavery to exist among them." stitutions.
Mr. Seward of New York, proposed a With a view to meet the wishes of all renewal of the Wilmot Proviso, in the folparties, and arrive at some definite and lowing resolution: “Neither slavery nor permanent adjustment of the slavery ques- involuntary servitude, otherwise than by tion
, Mr. Clay early in the session in- conviction for crime, shall ever be allowed troduced compromise resolutions which in either of said territories of Utah and were practically a tacking together of the New Mexico;" but his resolution was resereral bills then on the calendar, provid-jected in the Senate by a vote of 23 yeas to ing for the admission of California--the 33 nays. Following this, Mr. Calhoun territorial government for Utah and New had read for him in the Senate, by his Mexico—the settlement of the Texas boun- friend James M. Mason of Virginia, his dary-slavery in the District of Columbia last speech. It embodied the points cov--and for a fugitive slave law. It was ered by the address to the people, preseriously and earnestly opposed by many, pared by him the previous year; the probas being a concession to the spirit of disability of a dissolution of the Union, and union—a capitulation under threat of se- presenting a case to justify it. The tenor cession; and as likely to become the source of the speech is shown by the following exof more contentions than it proposed to tracts from it: “I have, Senators, believed quiet.
from the first, that the agitation of the subThe resolutions were referred to a special ject of slavery would, if not prevented by committee, who promptly reported a bill some timely and effective measure, end in embracing the comprehensive plan of com- disunion. Entertaining this opinion, I promise which Mr. Clay proposed. Among have, on all proper occasions, endeavored to the resolutions offered, was the following: call the attention of each of the two great Resolved, that as slavery does not exist parties which divide the country to adopt by law and is not likely to be introduced some measure to prevent so great a disasinto
of the territory acquired by the ter, but without success. The agitation has L'nited States from the Republic of Mexi- been permitted to proceed, with almost no co, it is inexpedient for Congress to pro- attempt to resist it, until it has reached a vide by law either for its introduction into period when it can no longer be disguised or exclusion from any part of the said teror denied that the Union is in danger. ritory; and that appropriate territorial You have had forced upon you the greatgovernments ought to be established by est and gravest question that can ever Congress in all of the said territory, and come under your consideration: How can assigned as the boundaries of the proposed the Union be preserved? * State of California, without the adoption Instead of being weaker, all the elementos of any restriction or condition on the sub- in favor of agitation are stronger now than ject of slavery.” Mr. Jefferson Davis of they were in 1835, when it first commenced, Mississippi, objected that the measure gave while all the elements of influence on the nothing to the South in the settlement of part of the South are weaker. Unless the question; and he required the exten- something decisive is done, I again ask sion of the Missouri compromise line to what is to stop this agitation, before the the Pacific Ocean as the least that he great and final object at which it aimsma would be willing to take, with the specific the abolition of slavery in the States--is recognition of the right to hold slaves in consummated? Is it, then, not certain that the territory below that line; and that, be- if something decisive is not now done to fore such territories are admitted into the arrest it, the South will be forced to choose Union as States, slaves may be taken there between abolition and secession ? Indeed
as events are now moving, it will not re- fever from exposure to the hot sun at a celoquire the South to secede to dissolve the bration of Independence Day, from which Union,
If the agitation goes he died four days afterwards. He was a on, nothing will be left to hold the States man of irreproachable private character, together except force.” He answered the undoubted patriotism, and established requestion, How can the Union be saved ! putation for judgment and firmness. His with which his speech opened, by suggest- brief career showed no deficiency of poliing. “To provide for the insertion of a tical wisdom nor want of political training. provision in the constitution, by an amend- His administration was beset with difficulment, which will restore to the South in ties, with momentous questions pending, substance the power she possessed of pro- and he met the crisis with firmness and tecting herself, before the equilibrium be- determination, resolved to maintain the tween the sections was destroyed by the Federal Union at all hazards. His first action of the government.” He did not and only annual message, the leading state of what the amendment should con- points of which have been stated, evinces sist, but later on, it was ascertained from a spirit to do what was right among all the reliable sources that his idea .was a dual States. His death was a public calamity. executive-one President from the free, No man could have been more devoted to und one from the slave States, the consent the Union nor more opposed to the slavery of both of whom should be required to all agitation; and his position as a Southern acts of Congress before they become laws. man and a slaveholder~his military repuThis speech of Mr. Calhoun's, is import- tation, and his election by a majority of ant as explaining many of his previous ac- the people as well as of the States, would tions; and as furnishing a guide to those have given him a power in the settsement who ten years afterwards attempted to of the pending questions of the day which carry out : practically the suggestions no President without these qualifications chrown out by him.
could have possessed. Mr. Clay's compromise bill was rejected. In accordance with the Constitution, the It was evident that no compromise of any office of President thus devolved
upon kind whatever on the subject of slavery, Vice-President, Mr. Millard Fillmure, who under any one of its aspects separately, was duly inaugurated July 10, 1858. The much less under all put together, could new cabinet, with Daniel Webster as Sepossibly be made. There was no spirit of cretary of State, was duly appointed and concession manifested. The numerous confirmed by the Senate. measures put together in Mr. Clay's bill The bill for the admission of California were disconnected and separated. Each as a State in the Union, was called up in measure received a separate and inde- the Senate and sought to be amended by pendent consideration, and with a result extending the Missouri Compromise line which showed the injustice of the at- through it, to the Pacific Ocean, so as to tempted conjunction; for no two of them authorize slavery in the State below that were passed by the same vote, even of the line. The amendment was introduced and members of the committee which had even pressed by Southern friends of the late unanimously reported favorably upon them Mr. Calhoun, and made a test question. It as a whole.
was lost, and the bill passed by a twoMr. Calhoun died in the spring of 1850; third vote; whereupon ten Southern Sena. before the separate bill for the admission tors offered a written protest, the concludof California was taken up. His death ing clause of which was : “ We dissent took place at Washington, he having from this bill, and solemnly protest against reached the age of 68 years. A eulogy its passage, because in sanctioning meaupon him was delivered in the Senate by sures so contrary to former precedents, to his colleague, Mr. Butler, of South Caro- obvious policy, to the spirit and intent of lina. Mr. Calhoun was the first great ad- the constitution of the United States, for vocate of the doctrine of secession. He the purpose of excluding the slaveholding was the author of the nullification doc- States from the territory thus to be erected trine, and an advocate of the extreme doc- into a State, this government in effect detrine of States Rights. He was an elo- clares that the exclusion of slavery from quent speaker--a man of strong intellect. the territory of the United States is an obHis speeches were plain, strong, concise, ject so high and important as to justify a sometimes impassioned, and always severe. disregard not only of all the principles of Daniel Webster said of him, that “ he had sound policy, but also of the constitution the basis, the indispensable basis of all itself. `Against this conclusion we must high characters, and that was unspotted now and for ever protest, as it is destrucintegrity, unimpeached honor and char- tive of the safety and liberties of those acter!"
whose rights have been committed to our In July of this year an event took place care, fatal to the peace and equality of the which threw a gloom over the country. States which we represent, and must lead, The President, General Taylor, contracted a lif persisted in, to the dissolution of that
confederacy, in which the slaveholding appearance in national polities in 1840, when States have never sought more than a presidential ticket was nominated by a equality, and in which they will not be party then formed favoring the abolition of content to remain with less.” On objec- Slavery; it had a very slight following tion being made, followed by debate, the which was increased ten-fold at the elecSenate refused to receive the protest, or tion of 1844 when the same party again permit it to be entered on the Journal. put a ticket in the field with James G. The bill went to the House of Representa- Birney of Vichigan, as its candidate for tires, was readily passed, and promptly the Presidency; who received 62,140 votes. approved by the President. Thus was The efforts of the leaders of that faction vistually accomplished the abrogation of were continued, and persisted in to such the Missouri compromise line; and the ex- an extent, that when in 1818 it nominated tension or non-extension of slavery was a ticket with Gerritt Smith for President, then made to form a foundation for future against the Democratic candidate, Martin political parties.
Van Buren, the former received 296,232 The year 1850 was prolific with disunion votes. In the presidential contest of 1852 movements in the Southern States. The the abolition party again nominated a Senators who had joined with Mr. Calhoun ticket, with John P. Hale as its candidate in the address to the people, in 1819, for President, and polled 157,926 votes. united with their adherents in establishing This large following was increased from at Washington a newspaper entitled “The time to time, until uniting with a new Southern Press," devoted to the agitation party then formed, called the Republican of the slavery question; to presenting the party, which latter adopted a platform enadvantages of disunion, and the oryani- | dorsing the views and sentiments of the zation of a confederacy of Southern abolitionists, the great and decisive battle States to be called the “United States for the principles involved, was fought in South." Its constant aim was to influence the ensuing presidential contest of 15.56; the South against the North, and advoca- when the candidate of the Republican tel concert of action by the States of the party, John C. Fremont, supported by the former section. It was aided in its efforts entire abolition party, polled 1,341,812 by newspapers published in the South, votes. The first national platform of the more especially in South Carolina and Abolition party, upon which it went into Mississippi
. A disunion convention was the contest of 1840, favored the abolition actualy held, in Nashville, Tennessee, and of slavery in the District of Columbia and invited the assembly of a Southern Con- Territories; the inter-state slave trade, gress. Two States, South Carolina and and a general opposition to slavery to the llississippi responded to the appeal; full extent of constitutional power. pureed laws to carry it into effect, and the Following the discussion of the subject of former went so far as to elect its quota of slavery, in the Senate and House of RepreRepresentatives to the proposed new sentatives, brought about by the presentaSouthern Congress. These occurrences tion of petitions and memorials, and the are referred to as showing the spirit that passage of the resolutions in 1836 rejecting prevailed, and the extraordinary and un- such petitions, the question was again justifiable means used by the leaders to raised by the presentation in the House, mislead and exasperate the people. The by Mr. Slade of Vermont, on the 20th assembling of a Southern “Congress” was December 1837, of two memorials praying a turning point in the progress of disunion. the abolition of slavery in the District of Georgia refused to join; and her weight as Columbia, and moving that they be rea great Southern State was sufficient to cause ferred to a select committee. Great excitethe failure of the scheme. But the seeds ment prevailed in the chamber, and of the of discord were sown, and had taken root, many attempts by the Southern members only to spring up at a future time when an adjournment was had. The next day a circumstances should be more favorable to resolution was offered that thereafter all the accomplishment of the object. such petitions and memorials touching the Although the Congress of the United abolition of slavery should, when preStates had in 1790 and again in 1836 sented, be laid on the table; which resoluformally declared the policy of the govern- tion was adopted by a large vote. During ment to be non-interference with the States the 24th Congress, the Senate pursued the in respect to the matter of slavery within course of laying on the table the motion to the limits of the respective States, the sub- receive all abolition petitions ; and both ject continued to be agitated in conse- Houses during the 25th Congress continued quence of petitions to Congress to abolish the same course of conduct; when finally slavery in the District of Columbia, which on the 25th of January 1840, the House was under the exclusive control of the fed- adopted by a vote of 114 to 108, an amenderal government; and of movements ment to the rules, called the 21st Rule, throughout the United States to limit, and which provided :-“ that no petition, mefinally abolish it. The subject first made its morial or resolution, or other paper, pray
ing the abolition of slavery in the District The first political parties in the United of Columbia, or any state or territory, or States, from the establishment of the fedethe slave-trade between the States or ter- ral guvernment and for many years afterritories of the United States, in which it wards, were denominated Federalists and now exists, shall be received by this Democrats, or Democratic Republicans, House, or entertained in any way what. The former was an anti-alien party. The ever.” This rule was afterwards, on the latter was made up to a large extent of 3d of December, 181, rescinded by the naturalized foreigners; refugees from EngHouse, on motion of Mr. J. Quincy Adams, land, Ireland and Scotland, driven from by a vote of 108 to 80; and a motion to home for hostility to the government or for re-instate it, on the 1st of December 1845, attachment to France. Naturally, aliens was rejected by a vote of 84 to 121. sought alliance with the Democratic party, Within five years afterwards—on the 17th which favored the war against Great September 1850,—the Congress of the Britain. The early party contests were
United States enacted a law, which was ap- based on the naturalization laws; the first proved by the President, abolishing slavery of which, approved March 26, 1790, rein the District of Columbia.
quired only two years' residence in this On the 25th of February, 1850, there country; a few years afterwards the time was presented in the House of Representa- was extended to five years; and in 1798 tives, two petitions from citizens of Penn- the Federalists taking advantage of the sylvania and Delaware, setting forth that war fever against France, and then being slavery, and the constitution which per- in power, extended the time to fourteen mits it, violates the Divine law; is incon- years. (See Alien and Sedition Laws of sistent with republican principles; that | 1798). Jefferson's election and Demoits existence has brought evil' upon the cratic victory of 1800, brought the period country; and that no union can exist with back to five years in 1802, and re-inforced States which tolerate that institution; and the Democratic party. The city of New asking that some plan be devised for the York, especially, from time to time became immediate, peaceful dissolution of the filled with foreigners; thus naturalized; Union. The House refused to receive and brought into the Democratic ranks; and consider the petitions; as did also the crowded out native Federalists from conSenate when the same petitions were pre-trol of the city government, and to meet sented the same month."
this condition of affairs, the first attempt The presidential election of 1852 was the at a Native American organization was last campaign in which the Whig party made. Beginning in 1835; ending in appeared in National politics. It nomi- failure in election of Mayor in 1837, it was nated a ticket with General Winfield Scott revived in April, 1844, when the Native as its candidate for President. His oppo-American organization carried New York nent on the Democratic ticket was General city for its Mayoralty candidate by a good Franklin Pierce. A third ticket was placed majority. The success of the movement in the field by the Abolition party, with there, caused it to spread to New Jersey John P. Hale as its candidate for Presi- and Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia, it was dent., The platform and declaration of desperately opposed by the Democratic, principles of the Whig party was in sub- Irish and Roman Catholic element, and so stance a ratification and endorsement of furiously, that it resulted in riots, in which the several measures embraced in Mr. two Romish Churches were burned and Clay's compromise resolutions of the pre- destroyed. The adherents of the Amerivious session of Congress, before referred can organization were not confined to to; and the policy of a revenue for the Federalists or Whigs, but largely of native economical administration of the govern- Democrats; and the Whigs openly voted ment, to be derived mainly from duties on with Democratic Natives in order to secure imports, and by these means to afford pro- their vote for Henry Clay for the Presitection to American industry. The main dency; but when in November, 18H4, New plank of the platform of the Abolition York and Philadelphia both gave Native party (or Independent Democrats, as they majorities, and so sapped the Whig vote, were called) was for the non-extension and that both placés gave majorities for the gradual extinction of slavery, The Demo- Democratic Presidential electors, the cratic party equally adhered to the com- Whigs drew off. In 1845, at the April promise measure. The election resulted election in New York, the natives were in the choice of Franklin Pierce, by a defeated, and the new party disappeared popular vote of 1,601,474, and 254 electoral there. As a result of the autumn election votes, against a popular aggregate vote of of 1814, the 29th Congress, which organ1,542,403 (of which the abolitionists polled ized in December, 1845, had six Native 157,926) and 42 electoral votes, for the Representatives ; four from New York and Whig and Abolition candidates. Mr. two from Pennsylvania. In the 30th ConPierce was duly inaugurated as President, gress, Pennsylvania had one. Thereafter March 4, 1853.
for some years, with the exception of a