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justice! In 1859, WILLIAM M. Gwin, senator from the State of California, declared Stephen A. Douglas to be a political outcast, who had been displaced from the chairmanship of a committee because he had expressed an opinion that the people of a Territory might exclude slavery by the action of their Territorial Legislature; and in 1850 the same WILLIAM M. Gwin selected from the sixty members of the United States Senate the same Stephen A. Douglas as the most appropriate person to present his credentials to the United States Senate, notwithstanding he had, in the hearing of said Gwin, a few weeks previously, in the speeches we have quoted, expressed the same opinions most unequivocally, broadly, and distinctly. Wonderful change of opinion I Remarkable falling of the scales!
THE DESTRUCTION OF “THE OMNIBUs.”
On the 31st of July, after the adoption of Mr. Norris's motion, Mr. Pearce, of Maryland, desiring to get rid of the proviso of Mr. Dawson, attached to the proposition of Mr. Bradbury, moved to strike out all those sections of the bill relating to the establishment of a territorial government for New Mexico, intending, when that motion was agreed to, to move to reinsert all of them again except the Dawson amendment, in lieu of which he said he would offer a proviso to the effect that the territorial government provided for New Mexico by the bill should not go into effect until March, 1851. Under this proposition, if the Texas Boundary was not settled by March, '51, the government of New Mexico would go into operation on both sides of the Rio Grande, extending over, of course, the territory claimed by Texas. The motion to strike out was agreed to—yeas 33, nays 22. Mr. Pearce then moved to insert as above stated. A motion to postpone the bill indefinitely was made and lost—yeas 27, nays 32. A long debate ensued, and another motion to postpone indefinitely resulted—yeas 29, nays 30; the senators from Texas voting in the affirmative.
Mr. Yulee, of Florida, moved to strike out of Mr. Pearce's amendment all that related to Texas, being the Bradbury proposition, and this motion was agreed to—yeas 29, nays 28. A motion to indefinitely postpone was again made, and lost by a majority of one.
The question was, after much debate and many rejected motions to adjourn, etc., taken on Mr. Pearce's motion to restore the sections of the bill relating to New Mexico, and was decided in the negative—yeas 25, nays 29. So Texas and New Mexico were both put out of the omnibus. Mr. Walker moved to strike out all relating to Utah, leaving California alone in the bill, but that motion failed. Mr. Atchison then moved to strike out all of the bill relating to California, or, as he expressed it, “to turn her out of the omnibus.” This was rejected by a tie vote, 29 to 29. Motions to adjourn, to postpone indefinitely, etc., etc., were made in rapid succession, but all failed; the Senate was determined to finish the bill that night. At last the Senate reconsidered the vote rejecting Mr. Atchison's motion, and then, by a vote of 34 to 25, struck out all that related to California. And Utah was the only passenger left in the omnibus! An incident took place at this time which has derived a peculiar significance from events that have occurred in the legislative history of Congress since that time. It being necessary to alter the proposed boundaries of Utah, in order to include some settlement whose exact locality had to some extent been more definitely ascertained since the original framing of the bill, Mr. Douglas moved to fix the southern boundary upon the line of 37° north latitude. Mr. Davis, of Mississippi, moved to insert 36° 30' in lieu of 37°. Mr. Douglas accepted the amendment as a modification of his own. Mr. Hale, of New Hampshire, said: “I wish to say a word as a reason why I shall vote against the amendment. I shall vote against 36°30' because I think there is an implication in it. (Laughter.) I will vote for 37°, or 36° either, just as it is convenient, but it is idle to shut our eyes to the fact that here is an attempt in this bill—I will not say it is the intention of the mover—to pledge this Senate and Congress to the imaginary line of 36° 30', because there are some historical recollections connected with it in regard to this controversy about slavery. I will content myself with saying that I never will, by vote or speech, admit or submit to anything that may bind the action of our legislation here, to make the parallel of 36° 30' the boundary-line between slave and free territory. And when I say that, I explain the reason why I go against the amendment.” The amendment of Mr. Douglas was rejected, yeas 26, nays 27, and among those voting in the negative—voting never to admit or submit to any thing that might bind the action of Congress to make the Missouri Compromise line of 36° 30' the boundary between slave and free territory—were Chase of Ohio, Dayton of New Jersey, Hale of New Hampshire, Hamlin of Maine, and Seward of New York, who, five years thereafter, denounced the repeal or removal of that “imaginary line” when proposed by the same senator who now moved its recognition In 1850 these abolitionists refused to vote to make it the southern boundary of a territory, lest doing so might, by implication, be an admission of the “historical recollections” of that line. In 1854, no men were more loud or more vehement than these same men in glorifying the “historical recollections” of the “sacred compact” and “time-honored compromise!” The amendment having been rejected, the following remarks were made: Mr. Douglas. “It is necessary to make some change of boundary in order to include the Mormon settlements. Thirty-seven degrees will include them as well as 36° 30'. I move to insert, ‘37°.’” Mr. Hale. “Agreed. I have no objection.” Mr. Mason. “I move to amend the amendment of the senator from Illinois by inserting “36° instead of ‘37°.’” Mr. Hale. “I have no objection.” Mr. Mason's amendment was rejected, and “37°,” as proposed by Mr. Douglas, was adopted. The struggle to defeat the bill was protracted some time longer, but at last the question was put on ordering it to a third reading, and the yeas and nays stood as follows:
Yeas—Atchison of Missouri, Badger of North Carolina, Benton of Missouri, Berrien of Georgia, Bradbury of Maine, Bright of Indiana, Butler of South Carolina, Cass of Michigan, Davis of Mississippi, Dawson of Georgia, Dickinson of New York, Dodge of Iowa, Douglas of Illinois, Downs of Louisiana, Felch of Michigan, Houston of Texas, Hunter of Virginia, Jones of Iowa, King of Alabama, Mason of Virginia, Morton of Florida, Norris of New Hampshire, Pratt of Maryland, Sebastian of Arkansas, Shields of Illinois, Soulé of Louisiana, Spruance of Delaware, Sturgeon of Pennsylvania, Turney of Tennessee, Underwood of Kentucky, Wales of Delaware, Yulee of Florida—Total, 32. Nays—Baldwin of Connecticut, Bell of Tennessee, Chase of Ohio, Clarke of Rhode Island, Davis of Massachusetts, Dayton of New Jersey, Dodge of Wisconsin, Ewing of Ohio, Greene of Rhode Island, Hale of New Hampshire, Hamlin of Maine, Miller of New Jersey, Pearce of Maryland, Seward of New York, Smith of Connecticut, Upham of Vermont, Walker of Wisconsin, Winthrop of Massachusetts—Total, 18.
The next day the bill was passed without a division. The title was amended to read, “A Bill to establish a Territorial Government for the Territory of Utah;” and the bill was sent to the House.
ON the 1st of August, the Senate, on motion of Mr. Douglas, after debate, proceeded to the consideration of the bill and amendment reported by him for the admission of California. An amendment was proposed to limit her southern boundary by the line of 36° 30', which was rejected. The bill was debated daily until the 12th, when it was ordered to a third reading, and on the next day was passed—yeas 34, nays 18. On August 7th Mr. Pearce introduced a bill making proposals to Texas for the establishment of her northern and western boundaries, its general features and objects being the same as those contained in that part of the Omnibus Bill relating to this question; and, after discussion and amendment, the bill, on August 9th, passed the Senate by yeas 30, nays 20. As soon as the bill for the admission of California had passed, Mr. Douglas moved to take up the bill to establish a Ter- | ritorial Government for New Mexico. The motion prevailed, and that bill was considered by the Senate, and on the 15th of August was read a third time and passed—yeas 27, nays 10. The Fugitive Slave Bill was taken up on August 15th; was ordered to a third reading on the 23d by a vote of yeas 27, nays 12, and passed on the 26th without a division. On the 28th of August the Bill to Suppress the Slave-trade in the District of Columbia, being the last of the series of measures recommended by Mr. Clay's committee of thirteen, was taken up in the Senate. During its consideration Mr. Seward moved as a substitute a bill abolishing slavery in the
District of Columbia, which proposition was debated at great length. The amendment was rejected, but five senators voting for it, viz., Chase, Dodge of Wisconsin, Hale, Seward, and Upham.
THE EXCLUSION OF FREE NEGROES BY THE STATES.
During this debate, the powers and authority of South Carolina and Louisiana to prohibit immigration and residence of negroes within their respective limits was elaborately discussed, the debate at times becoming animated, and frequently very personal. Upon that point Mr. Douglas said:
“My own state has been frequently referred to in this debate as containing a provision in her Constitution similar to the one complained of in South Carolina, Louisiana, and other states. Illinois has a provision in her Constitution making it the duty of the Legislature to provide efficient means for keeping all negroes from coming into the state who were not natives of or residents in the state at the time of the adoption of that instrument. Here, then, is a clear case of legislation of this description in a free state. We, too, have a constitutional provision upon this subject; and, before that constitutional provision was adopted by an overwhelming majority of our people— it having been submitted to the people separately, and independent of the balance of the Constitution, so as to get an expression of the popular voice on the subject—even before that provision was adopted, our laws provided that if a negro came into the state he was required to procure a white man to go his security for good behavior, and in the event of his failing to give the security he was hired out to service for one year; if, at the end of the year, he still failed to give it, he was hired out for another year; and so on until he could find some white person to go security for his good behavior, and that he would not become a charge upon the public. Such has been the legislation of my own state from the time she was first admitted into the Union, and I presume it has been the same in other free states. Those provisions were rigidly enforced; and now, when I hear that Massachusetts can not get a trial of the constitutional question involved in that legislation, I will assure the senators from that state that, if they will come to Illinois, we will furnish them all the facilities to test the constitutional question. We are willing to have the right tested so far as we are concerned. The trial, then, can take place between two free states of the Union, where there will be no sectional prejudices, no hostile feelings incited, and where we can have a fair trial upon the constitutional questions involved. We believe that we have a right to pass all those laws that we deem necessary to the quiet and peace of our own community. These laws are passed among us as police regulations; they are executed as such. There is no difficulty in having a trial there, and an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States; and then we can see whether we have the right or not. We believe that we have the right. We border upon slave states upon two sides. We do not wish to make our state an asylum for all the old, and decrepit, and broken down negroes that may be sent to it. We desire every other state to take care of her own negroes, whether free or slave, and we will take care of ours. That law was adopted for the purpose of preventing other states inundating and colonizing Illinois with free negroes. We do not believe it to be wise and politic to hold out inducements for that class of people to come and live among us. Those who have been born in the state, or who were resident there at the time of the