« ZurückWeiter »
for the part her leaders forced her to play in "PROPORTION CONTRIBUTED BY STATES, IN SUPPORT the Secession Revolution.
OF THE OLD CONFEDERATION OF 1781. The cost of coast surveys, buoys, light
State which paid more than its quota— NEW YORK. houses, and harbor improvements on the
State which paid nearly the whole — PENNSYLVANIA. coast, from Hatteras to Galveston, has been
State which paid three-fifths --VIRGINIA.
States which pard one-half — MASSACHUSETTS, RHODE enormous, with excessively small returns to
ISLAND, MARYLAND. the General Government. Every dollar's cus
States which paid about one-third-CONNECTICUT, toms collected in all the ports of the South,
DELAWARE. except of New Orleans, has cost the Federal
States which paid NOTHING-GEORGIA, SOUTH CAROGovernment six. Money has been appropri- LINA, NORTH CAROLINA, New Hampshire.” ated, from year to year, since 1832, on South New Hampshire paid nothing, being very ern rivers and harbors, custom-houses, post- sparsely settled, very poor in soil, and very offices, &c., with a lavishness which, when illy able to bear any public burden. North viewed in a merely economical light, must and South Carolina, on the other hand, were be regarded as incredible, considering the rich in population and possessions, and were meagre returns which were inevitable. New vastly more able to contribute to the GovernOrleans being the natural entrepot for all the ment than any of the New England Statesvast country watered by the Missouri and yet they paid nothing. Mississippi rivers, did a large trade, and her The cost of the Revolutionary War was customs' revenues were correspondingly pro- borne, in a preponderating proportion, by fitable to the Government; but, these reven- the New England and Middle States. At ues were paid largely by the Free States, which that time Virginia was the most populous, were heavy consumers of imported goods. and, by far, the richest of the States; yet, The Mississippi river is the great highway even she, with all her ascendancy in the for ten States, and New Orleans has been en-Army, in Congress, and in general influence, riched by acting as the agent for their com- aid far less, in proportion to her ability, than merce.
any of the Northern States. She was the In the matter of mails alone the seceded “Mother of Presidents ;" her views prevailed States owe the General Government an enor- in the Old Confederacy; they obtained precmous sum. The table heretofore given, * edence in the formation of the Federal Conwill show how great that single debt must stitution—in the making of treaties—in the be. The cost of carrying and delivering the organization of the Territories, and in the mails, in the seven States of South Carolina, general legislation of the first sessions of Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Lou- Congress. She paid but three-fifths of her isiana and Texas, has been nearly two millions quota to support the Confederacy, and never of dollars annually, greater than the entire has paid more in support of the Federal Govpostal receipts !
ernment, when her political supremacy is The deficit of these States to the Federal taken into consideration. Government, in customs, in mails, in returns It is an unpalatable task for the historian for monies appropriated and direct benefits to adjust balances of favors rendered and benbestowed, existed from the very first stages efits bestowed, in a family where all should of the old Confederacy. From 1782 to '87, be brotherhood and eager reciprocity of when Congress had no power of taxation, kindness. But, when a portion of that family it could only indicate what sums were re- rises up in arms against .its parent-when quired to sustain the Government, and sig- they charge upon that mother wrong and nify to each State what was the proportion oppression, it is the imperative duty of the due from it. How the obligation was dis- historian to exhibit all the facts in the case charged will be apparent from the following that the responsibility of revolution may be table, given by Judge Story, in his “Com- fixed upon the proper party. mentaries :"
Viewed in all respects the Southern rebel
lion can but be pronounced a monstrous * See page 168.
example of tyranny, ingratitude and wrong.
ACTION OF THE CRISIS COMMITTEE.
TIE FINAL REPORTS.
Monday, January 7th, | adverting to that portion of the Committee of Thirty- Winter Davis's amendment President's Message referred to Mr. Corwin's Majority three.
to the Fugitive Slave law the Committee, it will be seen was under consideration by the Committee that, in his opinion, the causes of the present disconof Thirty-three. The amendment gave to the tents are to be found in the history of our public afalleged fugitive the right of trial by jury in the fairs, dating back to the year 1835, comprehending the State from which he might have escaped. tions of the public mind on the subject of Slavery,
legislative enactments of several States—the agitaMr. Washburn, of Wisconsin, moved an the improper circulation of papers tending to proamendment requiring the trial to take place duce apprehension of domestic insurrection in the in the State where the fugitive was arrested, Slaveholding States, and the forcible opposition to but it failed by two yotes. The resolution of the peaceful execution of the laws of Congress for Mr. Davis was then adopted. Tuesday, the the recovery of fugitive slaves. Committee substantially concluded its labors. " Thé matters here alleged as having given rise to Most of the sitting was devoted to the dis- the present disturbed condition of the public mind cussion of two propositions, submitted by Mr. of the South, are of a character which could only be Dunn-one to prevent armed invasions of the ascertained by a knowledge of the current history
of our politics as exhibited in the newspaper press, States, and the other to protect citizens of in the grounds assumed by the various political parone State, while traveling or sojourning in ties, and manifested by the votes of the people in another. They were referred to a sub-com- electing State and Federal officers. mittee, consisting of Messrs. Dunn, Millson “Publications emanating from the newspaper or and Davis. Bills were to be prepared by the periodical press having a tendency to promote domembers covering their various propositions mestic insurrection in any of the States, and circuas adopted, to be introduced to the House lated with that intent, are, in the judgment of the with the Majority report.
Committee, highly criminal, and should be so treated The Majority Report was not ready to sub- by the laws of the several States. The right of free mit until January 14th, when Mr. Corwin discussion, while it is regarded as absolutely neceslaid the document before the House, as the sary to the maintenance of free government, may be
expected, in times of great excitement, to run into result of the Committee's deliberations. Its
occasional licentiousness. The corrective for this importance as a legislative document requires evil remains with the State Governments, and the its quotation here entire :
Committee do not doubt that the desired corrective
will be promptly applied in all cases when the evil THE MAJORITY REPORT.
shall have assumed a formidable aspect, while the “The Select Committee, to just and rational freedom of speech and of the press Mr. Corwin's Major- whom was referred so much of will be carefnlly preserved. ity Report.
the President's Message as re “ The enactment of laws, by some of the States, lates to the present perilous condition of the coun-tending to oppose or embarrass the execution of try, have instructed their Chairman to report the the acts of Congress for the recovery of fugitives bills and resolutions adopted by them, with such from labor, has been alleged as a prominent comcomments as he may deem proper.
plaint on the part of those States of the Union in “ The terms of the resolution of reference were which Slavery exists. Tne Committee had been such as to advise the Committee of the magnitude impressed with the belief that this was one of those of the subjects referred to them, and were regarded grievances referred to in the President's Message, to as an earnest appeal for their prompt action. By which the Southern States attached great import
MR. CORWIN'S MAJORITY REPORT.
ance. The resolves of popular to some extent, the laws now Mr. Corwin's Majority assemblies in Southern States, in force for the recovery of fug
Mr. Corwin's Majority Report
Keport. the addresses of speakers to itives from labor. After the Southern audiences—the frequent and earnest refer- most careful examination of the subject, the Comences to it, by the newspaper press of the South, as a mittee have framed an amendment to the existing great and flagrant violation of the Constitution, and of laws, which, it is believed, will much improve them. the fraternal relation of the Free to the Slave States, “The law of 1850 was supposed to contain a prothe denunciation of those laws by Southern members vision which positively required any citizen who of Congress, in both branches of the National Legis- might be called on for this purpose, to aid the owner lature, for the last three or four years--have, to- of a fugitive, or his agent, or the Marshal of the gether, given to this subject great, and in the judg. United States, in searching for and capturing such ment of the Committee, undue importance. With fugitive, whether forcible resistance were apprewhatever intent or design such laws may have been hended or not. This idea, whether well or ill-founded, enacted, in any State, they cannot be regarded as has, to a very great extent, become the popular behaving had any effect in preventing or obstructing lief in many of the States, and, in the opinion of the the recapture of fugitives from labor. The laws of Committee, has had the effect to render the law disthe United States for the recovery of fugitive slaves tasteful and offensive. It is obvious that such belief are executed exclusively by the United States Courts, would operate to cripple the efficiency of the law, and Commissioners appointed by them. As a neces- and, to some extent, prevent its prompt and peacesary consequence, it follows that any State law ful execution, where that belief prevailed. It is which offers any obstacle to the full and perfect ex- reasonable to suppose that this odious provision, beecution of the laws of the United States, would be lieved to be a part of the law, has given rise to much void, and of no effect whatever, and would be so of that opposition to it, so much complained of by declared by the United States Courts and Commis- the South. The second section of the bill presented sioners. Such laws, if any there be, are therefore by the Committee, it is believed, will relieve the law. incompetent to do any mischief whatever to any one from all objection of that kind, and tend materially concerned in the recapture of a fugitive slave, and to its easy and speedy execution, thus improving its at most can be considered only as an exhibition of efficiency as a remedy, by making it more acceptable opposition to a law which some of the States regard to the people among whom it is to be enforced, and as containing provisions dangerous to the rights of by whose aid, in case of forcible resistance, it is to free persons residing within their limits. While, be made effectual. therefore, the Committee have not been able to per “The provisions of the first section of the bill, it ceive that the State laws complained of can really is hoped, will secure the fugitive (if he alleges he is affect the rights or interests of Southern people, or free) a fair and impartial trial, more certainly than States, yet from an anxious desire to conciliate the the law as it now stands. The Committee believe feelings, as well as to protect the interests of our that this uncertainty as to the fate of one arrested fellow-citizens of the South, the Committee have as a fugitive, has given rise to the few instances respectfully requested all Non-slaveholding States known to us, of forcible resistance to the law. The carefully to revise their legislative acts, and repeal same objection to the present law has undoubtedly all laws which come in conflict with the Constitution stimulated the passage, in most instances, of what of the United States, or with the laws enacted by are called “ Personal Liberty bills'in some of the Congress for the recapture of fugitives from labor, States. It should be borne in mind, that the objecand have submitted a resolution to that effect for tions urged by the Northern people are not to a law adoption by the House.
for the recovery of fugitives who really owe labor, “We have seen with satisfaction that the Gover-law may and does permit the seizure of persons who
but they are founded in the belief that the present nors of several States, within the last week, have
are free, and subjects them to servitude contrary to brought the subject to the notice of their respective both law and right. The Committee believe it to be Legislatures, and recommended legislative action, in accordance with the views of the Committee, and unjust to the Free States, to assert that any consid
erable number of persons in those States are opposed we entertain no doubt that the feelings, as well as the interests, of all the Non-slaveholding States will
to the reclamation of persons who, by the laws of combine to effect the great object so much desired | any State, owe labor or service to another. If any the restoration of mutual respect and confidence be- This class asserts its opposition to the Constitution,
such class exists, it is that known as Abolitionists. tween all the States of the Union.
because it does authorize the pursuit and re-capture "The Committee deemed it incumbent on them, of fugitive slaves. In whatever light the persons in connection with the foregoing subject, to revise, composing this class may be regarded, it is certain
their numbers are so small, this shall not secure Slavery in • Mr. Corwin's Majority compared with the entire voting the States against the possibility Mr. Corwin's Majo. ty
. population of the Free States, of interference by Federal that no danger can result to the constitutional rights power, we are wholly incapable of conceiving any of any portion of the Union from their peculiar opin- form of Constitutional guaranty which will, or which ions, or their modes of commending them to the gen. will satisfy those who demand further security for eral public. It is certainly true that this class does not their rights. act with any of the great political parties of the day, “ The Committee are well aware that the frequent and that its chief leaders, and most talented orators, agitation of the subject of Slavery, in political conwere most strenuously opposed to the Republican tests, has given rise, in the minds of many, to fearful party in the late Presidential contest, and denounced forebodings of disunion. It has undoubtedly conit and its doctrines in bitter and unsparing terms. tributed to the present alienation of feeling between The great mistake, which is now urging on the pub- the Northern and Western and Southern and Southlie mind to the wildest excesses, consists in con- western sections of the Republic. Investigations founding the class of men known by the name of into the rightfulness or policy of what is properly Abolitionists with the great mass of the Republican called foroed labor, when conducted by thoughtful party of the North and West. Similar to this, and and discreet minds, in calm temper, guided by the growing mainly out of it, is a belief which seems to laws of sound morals and political philosophy, could have obtained very generally in the South, that the scarcely be attended with danger to the peace of people of the Non-slaveholding States, having suc- society, and might be productive of much good. It ceeded in electing a President, entertain a secret is equally true that discussion touching the constitudesign to accumulate political power in both tional powers of the Federal Government and the branches of Congress, until, through Congressional powers of the States over the subject of Slavery, action, it will abolish Slavery in the States where it when properly conducted, would have the effect to may then exist. How this purpose will be accom elicit truth rather than to endanger public tranquilplished, we are not informed. This prediction has ity. But when this subject is brought into the arena been poured into the ears of excited multitudes from of party politics, our experience has shown that it the months of popular orators, and placed before too frequently fails to attain the desired end, without their eyes in the pages of partisan presses, until in disturbing to a dangerous extent the harmony and the Southern mind it seems to have assumed the good will, so much to be desired, between all see. form of a plausible fačt. The party charged with tions of the Republic. The truth of this remark will this purpose when it met in Convention at Chicago be fully shown by a brief reference to our history. to nominate its candidate, previous to the last Pre- In 1821 Missouri was admitted as a Slave State, and sidential election, declared its doctrine on this point Slavery was, at the same time, prohibited in all the in the following words :—That the maintenance in Territory lying North of the parallel 36 deg. 30 min. violate of the rights of the States, and especially the North latitude. At that time, so great was the agiright of each to order and control its domestic insti- tation, that men not at all prone to regard imaginary tutions, according to its own judgment exclusively, in the light of real danger, entertained great fears is essential to that balance of power on which the for the stability of the Government. The public perfection and endurance of our political fabric de- mind, however, became calm, and yielding to the pends; and we denounce the lawless invasion by suggestions of true patriotism, harmony was restorarmed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no ed, and public prosperity advanced with rapid steps. matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of The next event which brought the subject of Slavery crimes.' Notwithstanding the preposterous char- into public consideration was the annexation of acter of this idea, the Committee have deemed the Texas. The Presidential election of 1844 was made belief in it, in some portions of the South, sufficiently to turn almost entirely upon this single question. important to demand a notice at this time.
The great majority of the people of the Free States " That nothing possible should be left unattempt were much dissatisfied with the result; but with ed, in order to efface these false impressions, by the their views of duty as citizens of a free Republic, Committee, they have prepared, and submit, an they submitted with regret, but with no disposition amendment to the Constitution, whereby any power to make improper opposition to the will of the peoto interfere with Slavery in the States is forever de ple expressed in accordance with all the forms of nied to Congress till every State in the Union, by its law. Between this period and that of 1821, the pubindividual State action, shall consent to its exercise. lic mind had not been agitated nor the public peace They entertain a confident belief that this amend at all endangered by discussion or Federal legislament will be approved by the number of States re- -tion touching the subject of slavery. quired by the Constitution to secure its a loption. If " The late war with Mexico resulted in the acquisi