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Mr. MASON. Mr. PRESIDENT: The constant, Mississippi, that others at the North, perhaps a and obstinate agitation of questions connected few, and perhaps of those who may be styled with the institution of Slavery has brought, I am the fanatical portion, have assumed a right or satisfied, the public mind, in those States where have declared that a right exists to interfere with the institution prevails, to the conviction that the the institution within the States. What I want to preservation of that institution rests with them- declare here in my place on this floor is, that selves, and with themselves only. Therefore, at to the South such distinctions are matters of im. this day, when it is the pleasure of Senators again material concern. If the Federal Government to bring that institution under review upon this assumes a right, or if those should get into power floor, in any connection whatever, as one of the who assume a right with a purpose to exercise it representatives of the South I take no further in- to interfere with the institution anywhere where terest in the discussion, or in the opinion which it exists within the United States, it is a matter is entertained at the North in relation to it, than perfectly indifferent to us, whether it is to be done as it may confirm the hope that there is a public within the States or outside of the States. I take sentiment at the North yet remaining, which not the slightest interest in the distinction which unites with the South in the desire to perpetuate is sought to be drawn. the Union, and that, by the aid of that public Sir, I hold this to be the constitutional docsentiment at the North, the Union will be pre-trine: The institution of Slavery existed when the served. But further than that, as a statesman, Constitution was formed; it is recognised there ar and as one representing a Southern State where an existing social institution. It is not only prothat institution prevails more largely than in any tected by the duty imposed upon the Federal other, the public sentiment of the North is a mat. Government to see to the rendition of fugitives ter indifferent to me, because I say again, we from it, but it is elevated into the element of have attained the conviction that the safety of political power by the Constitution; it is reprethat institution will rest, must rest, and should sented and made an element of political power. rest, with the people of the States only where it That is the contract into which we entered. I prevails.
say, then, that being so under the Constitution, I should have taken no part in this debate, but and in the spirit and tone of the Constitution, we that I am indisposed to allow any opinion to go have a right to the just and legitimate expansion abroad, that we of the South entertain a very of the institution; and if there were a power in great interest in the lines of discrimination or the the Federal Government to restrict or limit that shades of distinction which may be drawn as to expansion, it would be perfectly indifferent to us the extent of the alleged power on the part of the whether it should be exercised by prohibiting its Government of the United States to interfere expansion within the States where it exists, or with the institution at all, in any form or shape, outside their limits. or to have it supposed that we take an interest in It was guarantied to the States retaining it as having it narrowed down to the question whether an element of power, for which full equivalents that interference, when it is exerted, is to be con- were exacted and conceded; and its capacity for fined to the institution outside of the States, and expansion, fully to be enjoyed, is a necessary part is not to affect it within the States. I know, as of the contract. has been said by the Senator from New Hamp- I say again, therefore, for myself, and as far as shire, in the course of the last canvass, occasion- | 'I know the opinions of my people, we tako no ally in public discussions, or in the newspapers, interest in Northern opinion on this subject, as to a disclaimer has been made of any purpose to any lines of demarkation beyond which Federal interfere with Slavery in the States. I know, as power over the institution may not extend, exhas been said by the honorable Senator from Icept so far as respect and loyalty to the contract will lead them, in anion with the South, to pre- I keep it. I hold the most essential part of that serve and perpetuate the Constitution, which contract to the South, now falling into a minorotherwise must be destroyed. It is only because ity, to be, that it shall be kept toward the of the earnest and anxious hope which I enter- minority, in honorable faith, and that every eletain, that a fabric of Government which has had ment of political power it guarantied to them no predecessor in the world, which, if honestly shall be fairly and honorably conceded. and legitimately administered, would make us Now, sir, I have said not one word of disrethe greatest people that has ever yet existed, both spect, or of discourtesy, toward the party which in moral and physical power, should be preserved has been arrayed against the South in the late and perpetuated, that I have said thus much: election. I do not mean to do 80; it would not
The honorable Senator from New Hampshire become me. They constitute a part of the Amerfelicitates himself that this is the last message ican people, with whom we are in bonds of aswhich is to emanate from the present Executive, sociation, and I have no right to question their and therefore he is disposed to let it pass with motives. I do not question them; but I do quesless severity of comment. He may well felicitate tion their political purposes. I say that, when himself; for, if I do not mistake humanity, the the passions of the day have subsided, this counbold truths, the patriotic and manly tone of that try, and the world looking on, will pay a tribute message, will penetrate the Northern heart, and of just applause to the eminent author of this cause it to throb with pulsations and purposes message, and to the great principles which he not exactly in unison with those of the Senator has there propounded. and the party with which he is acting. I do not doubt, and avail myself of the occasion to declare Mr. TRUMBULL. Mr. PRESIDENT: If I supit as my judgment, that the sentiments and the posed that this message was aimed simply at a reasoning of that message will find a responsive few Abolitionists in the North, who wish, as it is “ yea" wherever, throughout the world, the said, to interfere with the existing institution of great principles of civil liberty are known and Slavery, I certainly should not give it any of my appreciated. fr
attention.' Not only the President, but Senators Sir, I am inspired with new hope in the result hiere, may abuse the Abolitionists as roundly as of the late election, to find that the Northern mind they please, and they will never find me defendin- four of the most important States of the ing them on any occasion. But this document, Union, where this institution does not prevail, emanating from the Chief Magistrate of the concurring with the views now given in the meg- nation, here on the first days of the session, has sage, did unite with the Sonth in keeping out of thrust upon us the Slavery question, the agitation power la partý whose success must necessarily of which the Senator from Virginia seems to have torn this Union into fragments. Two Mid- deprecate. He'speaks of Senators agitating this dle States, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and question. Could be expect otherwise than that two Western States, Indiana and Illinois, repudi- Senators would agitate the question which the ated, upon a direct issue in the canvass made, President of the United States makes the prominaked, uncovered, open, any power in the Fed- nent and leading question of his message? Did eral Government to interfere with the extension he expect that we should sit still here, when a of Slavery into Territory the common property message was read professing to give a historical of all the Stateo, by majorities which carried the account of the recent canvass and the recent Presidential election against that party. I trust election, which misrepresented them totally? I there will be found on all future occasions, if we shall not go into an argument to prove here that are ever to undergo the ordeal from which we the great party which has swept the North, and I have recently emerged, a Northern sentiment say has swept the States which the gentleman sound upon this question of constitutional power- has designated as having sustained Mr. Buchansound as we of the South esteem it, who, in an, entertain no views hostile to the Union or union with the South, will have it in their power the Constitution, or that they do not wish to infor ages to come to perpetuate a Union that must terfere with Slavery in any of the States of this otherwise be destroyed.
Union. They adopted a platform; they inI can well understand, therefore, why the hon- scribed upon it their principles; they published orable Senator says, as a matter of gratulation to it to the world, and every man can read it. A those who think with him, that this is the last part of that platform is, that the rights of the message which is to emanate from its source. I States, the Union of the States, and the Constitushould hope that the truths which emanate from tion of the country, must and shall be preserved. that paper will reach the Northern mind, and that That is our creed. Will you tell us that we' they will unite, in a common, patriotic interest want to interfere with the rights of the States ? and purpose, to come back to the Constitution You impute to us that which we have solemnly which our fathers framed, and to which we are declared we are opposed to. I parties—to come back to that Constitution, and I think it is just such remarks as those to which to administer it legitimately, and give to the South we have now listened from the Senator from what the South is entitled to, while the North Mississippi, that are alienating one section of this and West obtain what they are entitled to. Or Union from the other. He is arguing here to if it be that they really entertain an honest and show that the Northern sentiment wishes to inconscientious conviction that they cannot remain terfere with the institutions of the South. Does in mion with vig, let them propose a separation the Senator desire that state of things? Why fairly and openly but while the contract istbure, does le seek to fasten on us sentiments and opin! ions which we disclaim and disavow? He asks the shelter of this great liberty, and protected why we did not disavow this at the time in the by the laws and usages of the Government they North? We did it at the outset; we did it every-'assailed, associations have been formed in some where, and on all occasions.
of the States, of individuals who, pretending to - But, sir, this message--and I shall not now seek only to prevent the spread of the institution take time to discuss its various positions-con- of Slavery into the present or future inchoato tains the most unwarranted assumptions as to States of the Union, are really inflamed with a fact, and it states conclusions of law not sus- desire to change the domestic institutions of tained by the authorities. The President of the existing States." United States undertakes to say that the Miss | How did he find that out? Where is the souri Compromise, the act of 1820, under which evidence of it? Sir, I assert that, so far as I Missouri came into the Union, was obsolete and know, there is no foundation for the accusation, was unconstitutional. Where did he get the It is untrue. authority for saying so? The Supreme Court of My friend from Connecticut has found the the United States has said, in so many words, I decision to which I made allusion. In the case that in regard to the Territories of the United of the American Insurance Company and others States, Congress possesses all the powers both of us. Canter, 1st Peters, p. 546, the opinion of the the Federal and State Governments as to a State. Supreme Court was pronounced (by Mr. Chief That is the language of the Supreme Court of the Justice Marshall In that opinion is this sentenco United States. Is it denied by anybody that the in regard to the Territories: "In legislating for Federal and State Governments together have them, Congress exercises the combined powers anthority to keep Slavery out of a State?. of the General and of a State Government." I
Mr. CASS. I should like to hear that decision commend it and the whole case to the careful read. I never saw it.
examination of my distinguished friend from Mr. TRUMBULL. It is in the first volume Michigan. of Peters's Reports. I desire the pages to bring Mr. CASS. The honorable Senator will perit to me from the Library. Never has it been ceive that it asserts no power. It does not say said by the Supreme Court-no such decision how the Constitution limits their action. can be found--that Congress had not authority Mr. TRUMBULL. It does not assert any to exclude Slavery from the Territories. I have power, further than this: it says expressly that, now the book for which I sent. I do not know, as to a Territory, Congress exercises the combined however, that I shall be able to turn to the decis- powers of the General and of a State Governion at once. I ask my friend from Connecticut ment. If Congress has the combined powers of (Mr. Foster) to oblige me by looking for it. the General Government and of a State GovernWhen it is found, I shall furnish it to the Senator ment, in regard to Territory, I ask if it has not from Michigan, and shall be very glad to have power sufficient to keep Slavery out of a Terrihim read and ponder on it; I hope it will con- tory? vince him.
Mr. CASS. No; unless the Constitution gives Much of the President's message is taken up it. The power that is exercised must be a power with a discussion as to the equality of the States, within the Constitution, or there is no authority and the rights of the States. The Senator from for it. New Hampshire has well exposed this portion Mr. TRUMBULL. Let us follow that up. of the message, in commenting on that part of it There is no such escape for the distinguished wbich professes to set forth what was settled by Senator. There is no quibbling in this opinion the recent election. The President says: "The about " under the Constitution." The declara• people of the United States have asserted the tion is broad and unqualified, that in regard to a
constitutional equality of each and all of the Territory Congress exercises all the powers both * States of the Union, as States.”.
of the General and of a State Government. Now, Did anybody dispute it? The message pro- the Senator tells me, that even that being so, you ceeds to say: “They have affirmed the.constitu- cannot under the Constitution prevent Slavery.
tional equality of each and all of the citizens of Will he deny the right of the State of Michigan the United States, as citizens-[Who ever dis- to keep Slavery out of her limits ? According to puted it? Was any such question in issue the decision of Chief Justice Marshall, all the before the American people?]—whatever their power which the State of Michigan has in regard
religion, wherever their birth or their residence, to its own citizens is possessed by Congress in • they have maintained the inviolability of the regard to the Territories of the United States;
constitutional rights of the different sections and if the State of Michigan can exclude Slaof the Union-[Who proposed to interfere with very from its borders, then, if the Supreme "them?]-and they have proclaimed their devo- Court of the United States be any authority, Ited and unalterable attachment to the Union Congress can exclude it from one of the National "and to the Constitution-[I trust they have] - Territories, because it possesses in a Territory ' as objects of interest superior to all subjects of all the power which a State possesses over its
local or sectional controversy, as the safeguard inhabitants, and possesses also the power which of the rights of all, as the spirit and the essence the Federal Government exercises over the of the liberty, peace, and greatness of the Re- States. When it is said that Congress cannot public.”
exercise this power unless the Constitution gives The President makes the same charge here, it, that is begging the question. The decision of which is reiterated in the Senate, that « Under the Court, the languago of the Judge, is, that Congress has the power. He could not say that, and prepared to execute them, it would necessari. if the Constitution did not give it. If the Con- ly result in a dissolution of the Union, and then, stitution denied the power, how could the Judge so far as the South was concerned, it should be say that Congress possessed it? He had the immediate and eternal. Constitution in view when writing this opinion. Mr. TRUMBULL. I wish to examine that posiSir, the doctrine now advanced is a new and tion. It is this—I will endeavor to state it in modern discovery. Congress formerly possessed the language of the Senator—that if the Reand exercised this power, and nobody doubted publican party came into power with the princiit. For the first fifty years of the Government, ples which they avowed, it would necessarily the power was undisputed. It is a new discov- result in the dissolution of the Union, and that, ery that Congress does not now possess it. so far as he and the South were concerned, it
But, sir, let me resume the consideration of should be immediate and eternal. Now, what the message. The President tells us that "it principles did we arow? Is there any one hoswas imputed" that the measure of which he is tile to the South? I say we avow no principle speaking, the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, upon this subject about which we are now speak" originated in the conception of extending the ing, except those avowed by Thomas Jefferson ' limits of slave labor beyond those previously as- himself, by Washington, and by Monroe. Is it
signed to it; and that such was its natural as any cause for a dissolution of the Union, that a well as intended effect; and these baseless assump- particular man is elected President? Manifestly tions were made in the Northern States the ground not; and the Senator from Virginia does not conof unceasing assault upon constitutional right.” tend for that. Here the President informs us that the charge Mr. RUSK. Will the Senator from Illinois made against those who repealed the Missouri allow me to ask him a question ? Compromise, that it was intended or conceived Mr. TRUMBULL. Certainly. with the purpose of extending the limits of Sla Mr. RUSK. He and others have attributed very beyond those previously assigned to it, was the sentiment on which he is now commenting a baseless assumption.
so eloquently, to the Southern States. I desire Now, what does the Senator from Virginia tell to ask him if he does not know that it had its us? He says that under the Constitution the origin in the Northern States with one of the South has a right to a legitimate expansion of candidates for the Presidency? Did he not first Slavery, and it is the right to expand the institu- make the declaration that the event alluded to tion upon which he insists. When we charge would dissolve the Union ? that the design was to extend Slavery into the Mr. TRUMBULL. I am not the defender of any free Territories of Kansas and Nebraska, the third party, whose candidate may have made President says it is a baseless assumption. The declarations as to the dissolution of the Union, Senator from Virginia informs us that he insists I say that the great Fremont party entertain and on the right to the expansion of Slavery. Who avow no such sentiment. is right? He tells us, further, that the people in Mr. RUSK. The Senator misunderstands me. four of the Northern States united in keeping out I do not ask him to defend Mr. Fillmore; but I of power that party wbich would have severed ask him to make the charge, not against the the Union into fragments. How would they South, but against the individual who committed have severed it into fragments, I should like to the offence. know? Did they propose to dissolve it? Did! Mr. HALE and Mr. SEWARD. That is fair. they propose to encroach on the rights of the Mr. TRUMBULL. I do not care who makes States? They declared that the rights of the the charge that the election of Colonel Fremont States should be preserved. How were they to the Presidency would dissolve the Union. I going to dissolve the Union ? Was it in any say it is a baseless charge; and manifestly it other way than this: It has been stated here, could not prevail, come from what party it may. to-day, in the Senate, that if Colonel Fremont The Senator from Virginia does not put himself were elected, the Union must be and ought to be now on the fact of any particular man being dissolved! Because a particular man is elected elected, but on the principles avowed. To that President of the United States, is that any reason I will pay attention in a moment; but I wish first for dissolving the Union ?
to dispose of the clamor which has been raised Mr. MASON. Will the Senator allow me to in some parts of the country, that the election of interrupt him for a moment?
a particular man is a cause for a dissolution of Mr. TRUMBULL. Certainly.
I the Union. Mr. MASON. What I said was this: that if Why, sir, neither Colonel Fremont nor any that party came into power avowing the purposes other person can be elected President of the Uniwhich they did avow, it would necessarily result ted States except in the constitutional mode; and in a dissolution of the Union, whether they de- if any individual is elected President in the mode sired it or not. It was utterly immaterial who prescribed by the Constitution, is that cause for was their President; he might have been a man a dissolution of the Union? Assuredly not. If of straw; I alluded to the purposes of the party, it be, the Constitution contains within itself the What I said in the letter to which one of the elements of its own destruction. The great prinSenators has alluded, and what I said substan- ciple lying at the bottom of the institutions of the tially in the remarks which I have made in this country, and of the Constitution itself, is, that debate, was merely that if the party came into we must acquiesce in the decision of the majority, power avowing the purposes which they avowed, constitutionally expressed, in the selection of officers; and until the person elected does some united to keep out of power this party, and among overt act violating the Constitution, until he sets them the State of Illinois is named. Sir, the State on foot some measure destructive of the Govern- of Illinois endorses no such sentiments as those ment, the fact that he is elected President in the avored by the Senator from Virginia. You constitutional mode affords no reason whatever could not get the friends of Mr Buchanan in for the dissolution of the Union. Then would Illinois to discuss the question of the expansion there have been any reason for its dissolution, if of Slavery. They said that Kansas would be the Republican party had succeeded with its a free State ; that it was a libel on them, when we arowed sentiments ?
charge that the effect, the purpose, the object, of Now, what were its avowed sentiments on the the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, was to subject of Slavery? Opposition to its extension; open Kansas to Slavery. They said, “Slavery opposition to the spread of Slavery into the Ter- will not go there; Kangas will be a free State;" ritories, and a declaration of the right of Congress and they discussed other questions, and were 'to prohibit Slavery in the Territories of the Uni- very far from discussing this question of the exted States. Is that a cause for a dissolution of this pansion of Slavery. The great party which it Union? I know that the Senator has said that is said has triumphed, was not willing to put it matters not to him whether the interference is itself on that issue; but we find it at Cincinnati
with Slavery outside of the States or within the overturning and casting aside all the veterans · States; but I think the cases are very different. who had done service in the Kansas-Nebraska
I think we have no right, and that there is no fight, and taking up another gentleman, simply intention, on the part of the great body of the because he had not been mixed up with itpeople of the North, to interfere with Slavery in gentleman who had been abroad, who had noththe States; but I think there is an intention to ing to do with the repeal of the Missouri Comproprevent its extension outside of States into free mise and the opening of Kansas to Slavery. He Territories; and there is a very great difference was nominated for that reason; and it is as appabetween these positions.
rent as the noonday sun, that if he had been idenWell, sir, if the prevalence of these opinions | tified with that measure, he could not have been be a cause for a dissolution of the Union, which elected. Take the State of Illinois, which Mr. should be immediate and eternal, why, I ask, Buchanan has carried, but not by a majority vote; was not this Government dissolved the year of he is in a minority in that State of nearly thirty its formation? How did it happen that the very thousand. Thirty-seven thousand votes were first Congress which ever met under the Consti- cast in that State for Mr. Fillmore. The speakers tution of the United States adopted and reaffirm- in his favor denounced the repeal of the Missouri ed that ordinance excluding Slavery from the Compromise, denounced the extension of Slavery whole Northwest? Why was not the Union then into Kansas, as openly, as strongly, and as dissolved ? If it is a cause in 1856 for a dissolution boldly, as did any supporter of Colonel Fremont; of the Union to exclude Slavery from Kansas and but they insisted that Mr. Fillmore was the better Nebraska, was it not a cause in 1789, when Sla- man for the Presidency. They cast their votes very was excluded from the Territory now cov- for him under that impression. ered by the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, l But how was it when a man was brought up, Wisconsin, and Michigan? Why, I ask again, identified with the repeal of the Missouri Comin 1820, when Mr. Monroe was President of the promise, and the opening of Kansas to Slavery? United States, was not the Union dissolved im- How was it when Colonel Richardson came mediately and eternally? Slavery was then by before the people of Illinois as the nominee of act of Congress excluded from the free Territory the Buchanan party for Governor a man who from which we now wish to exclude it. If this had taken an active part in the repeal of the be a reason for dissolving the Union now, was it Missouri Compromise--and there came up in not a reason for dissolution then? How did Mr. opposition to him a gentleman who was opposed Monroe, from the State of Virginia, himself to the Kansas-Nebraska bill? The respectivo approve a bill excluding it from that Territory ? conventions which nominated these gentlemen Why, sir, it is manifest that the public sentiment passed resolutions on this subject. The one of this country has very much changed, if this is nominating Colonel Richardson endorsed the a cause for dissolution of the Union now. In Nebraska bill; the other nominating Colonel former times, these acts of Congress excluding Bissell denounced and condemned it. Who is Slavery from the Northwest and from the Terri-elected? Colonel Bissell triumphantly, and the tories of Kangas and Nebraska were deemed whole Republican State ticket; and that, too, judicious and proper acts of legislation, voted for notwithstanding the fact that there was a Fillmore by the South, and carried by Southern votes. ticket voted for. Now we are told that the same legislation is Do you claim Illinois as endorsing the repeal cause for a dissolution of the Union. This shows of the Missouri Compromise, and sustaining the how the Constitution, which our fathers made, administration of Franklin Pierce? If he had and understood, and have put into operation, is been the candidate, or any man identified with proposed to be changed and subverted in these him in his policy, he would have been beaten as modern times. Sir, it was no cause for a disso badly as was the man in the instance where there lution of the Union in 1789; it was none in 1820; were but two persons in Illinois running for a it is none to-day, and, in my judgment, it would State office, that of State Treasurer. It so haplead to no such consequences.
pened that we had but two candidates for that But it is said that four of the Northern States 1 office. One was Mr. Moore," honest John