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Certainly, sir, I am, and ever had been, of slave trade for the purpose of supplying that opinion. The gentleman, indeed, foreign countries. On this proposition, our argues that slavery in the abstract is no early laws against those who engage in that evil. Most assuredly I need not say I dif- traffic are founded. The third proposition, fer with him altogether and most widely and that which bears on the present queson that point. I regard domestic slavery tion, was expressed in the following as one of the greatest evils, both moral and terms :political. But, though it be a malady, and " Resolved, That Congress have no auwhether it be curable, and if so, by what thority to interfere in the emancipation of means; or, on the other hand, whether it slaves, or of the treatment of them in any be the culnus immedicabile of the social of the states; it remaining with the several system, I leave it to those whose right and states alone to provide rules and regulations duty it is to inquire and to decide. And this therein, which humanity and true policy I believe, sir, is, and uniformly has been, may require.” the sentiment of the north. Let us look a This resolution received the sanction of little at the history of this matter. the House of Representatives so early as
When the present constitution was sub- March, 1790. And, now, sir, the honorable mitted for the ratification of the people, member will allow me to remind him, that there were those who imagined that the not only were the select committee who repowers of the government which it pro- ported the resolution, with a single excepposed to establish might, perhaps, in some tion, all northern men, but also that of the possible mode, be exerted in measures members then composing the House of tending to the abolition of slavery. This Representatives, a large majority, I believe suggestion would, of course, attract much nearly two-thirds, were northern men also. attention in the southern conventions. In The house agreed to insert these resoluthat of Virginia, Governor Randolph tions in its journal; and, from that day to said :
this, it has never been maintained or con" I hope there is none here, who, consi- tended that Congress had any authority to dering the subject in the calm light of phi-regulate or interfere with the condition of losophy, will make an objection dishonora- slaves in the several states. No northern ble to Virginia—that, at the moment they gentleman, to my knowledge, has moved are securing the rights of their citizens, an any such question in either house of Conobjection is started, that there is a spark of gress. hope that those unfortunate men now held The fears of the south, whatever fears in bondage may, by the operation of the they might have entertained, were allayed general government, be made free.” and quieted by this early decision; and so
At the very first Congress, petitions on remained, till they were excited afresh, the subject were presented, if I mistake without cause, but for collateral and indinot, from different states. The Pennsylva-rect purposes. When it became necessary, nia Society for promoting the Abolition of or was thought so, by some political per. Slavery, took a lead, and laid before Con- sons, to find an unvarying ground for the gress a memorial, praying Congress to pro- exclusion of northern men from confidence mote the abolition by such powers as it and from lead in the affairs of the republic, possessed. This memorial was referred, in then, and not till then, the cry was raised, the House of Representatives, to a select and the feeling industriously excited, that committee, consisting of Mr. Foster, of the influence of northern men in the public New Hampshire, Mr. Gerry, of Massachu-councils would endanger the relation of setts, Mr. Huntington, of Connecticut, master and slave. For myself, I claim no Mr. Lawrence, of New York, Mr. Dickin- other merit, than that this gross and enorson, of New Jersey, Mr. Hartley, of Penn-mous injustice towards the whole north has sylvania, and Mr. Parker, of Virginia; all not wrought upon me to change my opin. of them, sir, as you will observe, northern ions, or my political conduct. I hope I men, but the last. This committee made a am above violating my principles, even report, which was committed to a commit- under the smart of injury and false impu. tee of the whole house, and there consid- tations. Unjust suspicions and undeserved ered and discussed on several days; and reproach, whatever pain I may experience being amended, although in no material from them, will not induce me, I trust, respect, it was made to express three dis- nevertheless, to overstep the limits of continct propositions on the subjects of slavery stitutional duty, or to encroach on the and the slave trade. First, in the words rights of others. The domestic slavery of of the constitution, that Congress could not, the south I leave where I find it in the prior to the year 1808, prohibit the migra- hands of their own governments. It is tion or importation of such persons as any their affair, not mine. Nor do I complain of the states then existing should think of the peculiar effect which the magnitude proper to admit. Second, that Congress of that population has had in the distribuhad authority to restrain the citizens of the tion of power under this federal govern. United States from carrying on the African ment. We know, sir, that the representa
tion of the states in the other house is not we have seen, adopted into the reformed equal. We know that great advantage, in constitution of Virginia, restraining legisthat respect, is enjoyed by the slaveholding lative power, in questions of private right, states; and we know, too, that the intended and from impairing the obligation of conequivalent for that advantage—that is to tracts, is first introduced and established, say, the imposition of direct taxes in the as far as I am informed, as matter of exsame ratio-has become merely nominal; press written constitutional law, in this orthe habit of the government being almost dinance of 1787. And I must add, also, in invariably to collect its revenues from other regard to the author of the ordinance, who sources, and in other modes. Nevertheless, has not had the happiness to attract the I do not complain; nor would I counte- gentleman's notice heretofore, nor to avoid nance any movement to alter this arrange- his sarcasm now, that he was chairman of ment of representation. It is the original that select committee of the old Congress, bargain, the compact-let it stand; let the whose report first expressed the strong a lvantage of it be fully enjoyed. The sense of that body, that the old confederaUnion itself is too full of benefit to be tion was not adequate to the exigencies of hazarded in propositions for changing its the country, and recommending to the original basis. I go for the constitution as states to send delegates to the convention it is, and for the Union as it is. But I am which formed the present constitution. resolved not to submit, in silence, to accu An attempt has been made to transfer sations, either against myself individually, from the north to the south the honor of or against the north, wholly, unfounded this exclusion of slavery from the Northand unjust-accusations which impute to western territory. The journal, without us a disposition to evade the constitutional argument or comment, refutes such atcompact, and to extend the power of the tempt. The session of Virginia was made government over the internal laws and do- March, 1784. On the 19th of April folmestic condition of the states. All such lowing, a committee, consisting of Messrs. accusations, wherever and whenever made, Jefferson, Chase and Howell, reported all insinuations of the existence of any such a plan for a temporary government of purposes, I know and feel to be groundless the territory, in which was this article: and injurious. And we must confide in "That after the year 1800, there should be southern gentlemen themselves; we must neither slavery nor involuntary servitude trust to those whose integrity of heart and in any of the said states, otherwise than in mignanimity of feeling will lead them to punishment of crimes, whereof the party a desire to maintain and disseminate truth, shall have been convicted." Mr. Speight, and who possess the means of its diffusion of North Carolina, moved to strike out with the southern public; we m'ist leave this paragraph. The question was put acit to them to disabuse that public of its cording to the form then practiced: ‘Shall, prejudices. But, in the muan time, for my these words stand, as part of the plan? own part, I shall continue to act justly, &c. New Hampshire, Massachusetts, whether those towards whom justice is ex- Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New ercised receive it with candor or with con- Jersey and Pennsylvania-seven statestumely.
voted in the affirmative; Maryland, VirginHaving had occasion to recur to the or- ia and South Carolina, in the negative. dinance of 1787, in order to defend myself North Carolina was divided. As the consent against the inferences which the honorable of nine states was necessary, the words could member has chosen to draw from my not stand, and were struck out accordingly. former observations on that subject, I am Mr. Jefferson voted for the clause, but was not willing now entirely to take leave of it overruled by his colleagues. without another remark. It need hardly In March of the next year (1785) Mr. be said, that that paper expresses just sen- King, of Massachusetts, seconded by Mr. timents on the great subject of civil and Ellery, of Rhode Island, proposed the religious liberty. Such sentiments were formerly rejected article, with this addicommon, and abound in all our state papers tion: “And that this regulation shall be an of that day. But this ordinance did that article of compact, and remain a fundawhich was not so common, and which is mental principle of the constitution between not, even now, universal; that is, it set the thirteen original states and each of the forth and declared, as a high and binding states described in the resolve," &c. On duty of government itself, to encourage this clause, which provided the adequate schools and advance the means of educa- and thorough security, the eight Northern tion; on the plain reason that religion, States, at that time, voted affirmatively, morality and knowledge are necessary to and the four Southern States negatively. good government, and to the happiness of The votes of nine states were not yet ohmankind. One observation further. The tained, and thus the provision was again important provision incorporated into the rejected by the Southern States. The perconstitution of the United States, and sev- severance of the north held out, and two eral of those of the states, and recently, as years afterwards the object was attained.
It is no derogation from the credit, what- | bold though uneasy and laboring air of ever that may be, of drawing the ordi- confidence, as if he had detected in me an nance, that its principles had before been inconsistency. Judging from the gentleprepared and discussed, in the form of man's manner, a stranger to the course of resolutions. If one should reason in that the debate, and to the point in discussion, way, what would become of the distin- would have imagined, from so triumphant guished honor of the author of the decla- a tone, that the honorable member was ration of Independence? There is not a about to overwhelm me with a manisentiment in that paper which had not fest contradiction. Any one who heard been voted and resolved in the assemblies, him, and who had not heard what I had, and other popular bodies in the country, in fact, previously said, must have thought over and over again.
me routed and discomfited, as the gentleBut the honorable member has now man had promised. Sir, a breath blows found out that this gentleman, Mr. Dane, all this triumph away. There is not the was a member of the Hartford Convention. slightest difference in the sentiments of However uninformed the honorable mem- my remarks on the two occasions. What ber may be of characters and occurrences I said here on Wednesday is in exact acat the north, it would seem that he has at cordance with the opinions expressed by his elbows, on this occasion, some high- me in the other house in 1825. Though minded and lofty spirit, some magnani- the gentleman had the metaphysics of mous and true-hearted monitor, possessing Hudibras—though he were able the means of local knowledge, and ready to supply the honorable member with
" to sever and divide
A hair 'twixt north and north-west side," every thing, down even to forgotten and moth-eaten twopenny pamphlets, which he could not yet insert his metaphysical may be used to the disadvantage of his scissors between the fair reading of my reown country. But, as to the Hartford marks in 1825 and what I said here last Convention, sir, allow me to say that the week. There is not only no contradiction, proceedings of that body seem now to be no difference, but, in truth, too exact a less read and studied in New England similarity, both in thought and language, than farther south. They appear to be to be entirely in just taste. I had myself looked to, not in New England, but else- quoted the same speech; had recurred to where, for the purpose of seeing how far it, and spoke with it open before me; and they may serve as a precedent. But they much of what I said was little more than will not answer the purpose—they are a repetition from it. In order to make quite too tame. The latitude in which finishing work with this alleged contradicthey originated was too cold. Other con- tion, permit me to recur to the origin of ventions, of more recent existence, have this debate, and review its course. This gone a whole bar's length beyond it. The seems expeơient, and may be done as well learned doctors of Colleton and Abbeville now as at any time. have pushed their commentaries on the Well, then, its history is this: the honHartfor collect so far that the original ora member from Connecticut moved a text writers are thrown entirely into the resolution, which constituted the first shade. I have nothing to do, sir, with the branch of that which is now before us; that Hartford Convention. Its journal, which is to say, a resolution instructing the comthe gentleman has quoted, I never read. mittee on public lands to inquire into the So far as the honorable member may dis- expediency of limiting, for a certain pecover in its proceedings a spirit in any riod, the sales of public lands to such as degree resembling that which was avowed have heretofore been offered for sale; and and justified in those other conventions to whether sundry offices, connected with the which I have alluded, or so far as those sales of the lands, might not be abolished proceedings can be shown to be disloyal to without detriment to the public service. the constitution, or tending to disunion, In the progress of the discussion which so far I shall be as ready as one arose on this resolution, an honorable memto bestow on them reprehension and cen- ber from New Hampshire moved to amend
the resolution, so as entirely to reverse its Having dwelt long on this convention, object; that is to strike it all out, and inand other occurrences of that day, in the sert a direction to the committee to inquire hope, probably, (which will not be grati- into the expediency of adopting measures fied,) that I should leave the course of this to hasten the sales, and extend more nadebate to follow him at length in those ex- pidly the surveys of the lands. cursions, the honorable member returned, The honorable member from Maine (Mr. and attempted another object. He re- Sprague) suggested that both these propoferred to a speech of mine in the other sitions might well enough go, for considerahouse, the same which I had occasion to tion, to the committee; and in this state allude to myself the other day; and has of the question, the member from South quoted a passage or two from it, with a Carolina addressed the Senate in his firs
speech. He rose, he said, to give his own by the arms of England, would not grudge free thoughts on the public lands. I saw their mite to relieve the mother country him rise, with pleasure, and listened with from the heavy burden under which sho expectation, though before he concluded groaned. The language of Colonel Barre, I was filled with surprise. Certainly, I in reply to this, was, “They planted by was never more surprised than to find him your care? Your oppression planted them following up, to the extent he did, the sen- in America. They fled from your tyranny, timents and opinions which the gentleman and grew by your neglect of them. So from Missouri had put forth, and which it soon as you began to care for them, you is known he has long entertained. showed your care by sending persons to spy
I need not repeat, at large, the general out their liberties, misrepresent their chartopics of the honorable gentleman's speech. acter, prey upon them, and eat out their When he said, yesterday, that he did not substance.” attack the Eastern States, he certainly And does this honorable gentleman mean must have forgotten not only particular to maintain that language like this is apremarks, but the whole drift and tenor of plicable to the conduct of the governhis speech; unless he means by not at- ment of the United States towards the tacking, that he did not commence hostili- western emigrants, or to any representaties, but that another had preceded him in tion given by me of that conduct? Were the attack. He, in the first place, disap- the settlers in the west driven thither by proved of the whole course of the govern- our oppression ? Have they flourished only ment for forty years, in regard to its dis- by our neglect of them ? Has the governpositions of the public land; and then, ment done nothing but prey upon them, turning northward and eastward, and fan- and eat out their substance? Sir, this fercying he had found a cause for alleged vid eloquence of the British speaker, just narrowness and niggardliness in the " ac- when and where it was uttered, and fit to cursed policy” of the tariff, to which he remain an exercise for the schools, is not a represented the people of New England as little out of place, when it was brought wedded, he went on, for a full hour, with thence to be applied here, to the conremarks, the whole scope of which was to duct of our own country towards her exhibit the results of this policy, in feelings own citizens. From America to England and in measures unfavorable to the west. it may be true; from Aniericans to their I thought his opinions unfounded and erro own government it would be strange lanneous, as to the general course of the gov-guage. Let us leave it to be recited and ernment, and ventured to reply to them. declaimed by our boys against a foreign
The gentleman had remarked on the nation; not introduce it here, to recite and analogy of other cases, and quoted the con- declaim ourselves against our own. duct of European governments towards But I come to the point of the alleged their own subjects, settling on this conti- contradiction. In my remarks on Wednesnent, as in point, to show that we had been day, I contended that we could not give harsh and rigid in selling when we should away gratuitously all the public lands; that have given the public lands to settlers. I we held them in trust; that the governthought the honorable member had suf- ment had solemnly pledged itself to disfered his judgment to be betrayed by a pose of them as a common fund for the false analogy; that he was struck with an common benefit, and to sell and settle them appearance of resemblance where there as its discretion should dictate. Now, sir, was no real similitude. I think so still. what contradiction does the gentleman find The first settlers of North America were to this sentiment in the speech of 1825 ? enterprising spirits, engaging in private He quotes me as having then said, that we adventure, or fleeing from tyranny at home. ought not to hug these lands as a very When arrived here, they were forgotten by great treasure. Very well, sir; supposing the mother country, or remembered only me to be accurately reported in that exto be oppressed. Carried away again by pression, what is the contradiction? I have the appearance of analogy, or struck with not now said, that we should hug these the eloquence of the passage, the honor- lands as a favorite source of pecuniary inable member yesterday observed that the come. No such thing. It is not my view. conduct of government towards the western What I have said, and what I do say, is, emigrants, or my representation of it, that they are a common fund-to be disbrought to his mind a celebrated speech posed of for the common benefit—to be sold in the British Parliament. It was, sir, at low prices, for the accommodation of the speech of Colonel Barre. On the ques- settlers, keeping the object of settling the tion of the stamp act, or tea tax, I forget lands as much in view as that of raising which, Colonel Barre had heard a member money from them. This I say now, and on the treasury bench argue, that the peo- this I have always said. Is this hugging ple of the United States, being British them as a favorite treasure? Is there no colonists, planted by the maternal care, difference between hugging and hoardnourished by the indulgence, and protected ing this fund, on the one hand, as a great
treasure, and on the other of disposing of the honorable gentleman, on what ground it at low prices, placing the proceeds in the it is that I consent to give them away in general treasury of the Union ? My opin- particular instances. How, he inquires, ion is, that as much is to be made of the do I reconcile with these professed sentiland, as fair and reasonably may be, selling ments my support of measures appropriit all the while at such rates as to give the ating portions of the lands to particular fullest effect to settlement. This is not roads, particular canals, particular rivers, giving it all away to the states, as the gen- and particular institutions of education in tleman would propose, nor is it hugging the west? This leads, sir, to the real and the fund closely and tenaciously, as a fa- wide difference in political opinions bevorite treasure; but it is, in my judgment, tween the honorable gentleman and mya just and wise policy, perfectly according self. On my part, I look upon all these with all the various duties which rest on objects as connected with the common government. So much for my contradic- good, fairly embraced in its objects and its tion. And what is it? Where is the terms; he, on the contrary, deems them all, ground of the gentleman's triumph? What if good at all, only local good. This is inconsistency, in word or doctrine, has he our difference. The interrogatory which been able to detect? Sir, if this be a sam- he proceeded to put, at once explains this ple of that discomfiture with which the difference. “What interest," asks he,“ has honorable gentleman threatened me, com- South Carolina in a canal in Ohio?" Sir, mend me to the word discomfiture for the this very question is full of significance. rest of my life.
It develops the gentleman's whole political But, after all, this is not the point of the system; and its answer expounds mine. debate; and I must bring the gentleman Here we differ toto cælo. I look upon a back to that which is the point.
road over the Alleghany, a canal round the The real question between me and him falls of the Ohio, or a canal or railway is, Where has the doctrine been advanced, from the Atlantic'to the western waters, as at the south or the east, that the popula- being objects large and extensive enough tion of the west should be retarded, or, at to be fairly said to be for the common least, need not be hastened, on account of benefit. The gentleman thinks otherwise, its effect to drain off the people from the and this is the key to open his construction Atlantic States? Is this doctrine, as has of the powers of the government. He been alleged, of eastern origin? That is may well ask, upon his system, What inthe question. Has thegentleman found any- terest has South Carolina in a canal in thing by which he can make good his ac- Ohio? On that system, it is true, she has cusation? I submit to the Senate, that he no interest. On that system, Ohio and has entirely failed; and as far as this de Carolina are different governments and bate has shown, the only person who has different countries, connected here, it is advanced such sentiments is a gentleman true, by some slight and ill-defined bond from South Carolina, and a friend to the of union, but in all main respects separate honorable member himself. This honor- and diverse. On that system, Carolina has able gentleman has given no answer to no more interest in a canal in Ohio than his; there is none which can be given. in Mexico. The gentleman, therefore, This simple fact, while it requires no com-only follows out his own principles; he ment to enforce it, defies all argument to does no more than arrive at the natural refute it. I could refer to the speeches of conclusions of his own doctrines; he only another southern gentleman, in years be announces the true results of that creed fore, of the same general character, and to which he has adopted himself, and would the same effect, as that which has been persuade others to adopt, when he thus quoted; but I will not consume the time declares that South Carolina has no interof the Senate by the reading of them. est in a public work in Ohio. Sir, we nar.
So then, sir, New England is guiltless of row-minded people of New England do the policy of retarding western population, not reason thus. Our notion of things is and of all envy and jealousy of the growth entirely different. We look upon the states of the new states. Whatever there be of not as separated, but as united. We love that policy in the country, no part of it is to dwell on that Union, and on the mutual hers. If it has a local habitation, the honor- happiness which it has so much promoted, able member has probably seen, by this and the common renown which it has so time, where he is to look for it; and if it greatly contributed to acquire. In our connow has received a name, he himself has templation, Carolina and Ohio are parts of christened it.
the same country-states united under the We approach, at length, sir, to a more same general government, having interests important part of the honorable gentle common, associated, intermingled. In man's observations. Since it does not ac- whatever is within the proper sphere of the cord with my views of justice and policy, constitutional power of this government, to vote away the public lands altogether, we look upon the states as one. We do as mere matter of gratuity, I am asked, by not impose geographical limits to our patri