Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

KANSAS AFFAIRS IN THE SENATE.

MINORITY REPORT

OF THE

SENATE COMMITTEE ON TERRITORIES.

MADE MARCH 12, 1856,
BY JUDGE COLLAMER, OF VERMONT.

Victos of the minority of the Committee on Territo It is said that organized opposition to

rics, to whom was referred so much of the annual law exists in Kansas. That, if existing, message of the President, as relates to Territorial may probably be suppressed by the Presiaffairs, the message of the President of 24th Janu- dent, by the use of the army; and so, too, uary in relation to Kansas Territory, and the mes- may invasions by armed bodies from Misbage of the President of the 18th February, in an-souri, the Executive be sincere in its swer to the resolution of the Senate of the 4th efforts; but when this is done, while the February, relative to the affairs in Kansas. cause of trouble remains, the results will Thirteen of the present prosperous

continue with renewed and increased deStates of this Union passed through the velopments of danger. period of apprenticeship or pupilage of

Let us, then, look fairly and undisguiTerritorial training, under the guardian-sedly at this subject, in its true character ship of Congress, preparatory to assu- and history. Wherein does this Kansas ming their proud rank of manhood as sov- Territory differ from all our other Territoereign and independent States. This pe- ries, which have been so peacefully and riod of their pupilage was, in every case, successfully carried through, and been a period of the good offices of parent and developed into the manhood of independchild, in the kind relationship sustained ent States? Can that difference account between the National and the Territorial for existing troubles ? Can that differGovernment, and may be remembered ence, as a cause of trouble, be removed ? with feelings of gratitude and pride. We The first and great point of difference have fallen on different times. A Terri- between the Territorial Government of tory of our Government is now convulsed Kansas and that of the thirteen Territorial with violence and discord, and the whole Governments before mentioned, consists family of our nation is in a state of excite- in the subject of Slavery, the undoubted! ment and anxiety. The national execu- cause of present trouble. tive power is put in motion, the army in The action of Congress in relation to requisition, and Congress is invoked for all those thirteen Territories was conduct interference.

ed on a uniform and prudent principle, to. In this case, as in all others of difficul- wit: To settle, by a clear provision, the ty, it becomes necessary to inquire what law in relation to the subject of Slavery to is the true cause of existing trouble, in be operative in the Territory, while it re- . order to apply effectual cure. It is but mained such; not leaving it in any one of temporary palliatives to deal with the ex- those cases to be a subject of controwersy ternal and more obvious manifestations within the same, while in the plastic grisand developments, while the real, procu- tle of its youth. This was done by:Con- . Ting cause lies unattended to, and uncor- gress in the exercise of the sam3 power rected, and unremoved.

which moulded the form of their organic

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

laws, and appointed their Executive and up without difficulty or doubt as to the Judiciary, and sometimes their legislative character of its institutions. In no inofficers. It was the power provided in stance was this difficult and disturbing the Constitution, in these words: “Con- subject left to the people who had and gress shall have power to dispose of, and who might settle in the Territory, to be make all needful rules and regulations re- there an everlasting bone of contention, specting, the Territory or other property so long as the Territorial Government belonging to the United States." 'Settling should continue. It was ever regarded, the subject of Slavery while the country too, as a subject in which the whole counremained a Territory, was no higher exer- try had an interest, and, therefore, impropcise of power in Congress than the regu- er for local legislation. lation of the functions of the Territorial And though, whenever the people of a Government, and actually appointing its Territory come to form their own organic principal functionaries. This practice law, as an independent State, they woulds, commenced with this National Govern-, either before or after their admission as a ment, and was continued, with uninter- State, form and mould their institutions, rupted uniformity, for more than sixty as a sovereign State, in their own way, yet years. This practical contemporaneous it must be expected, and has always provconstruction of the constitutional power ed true, that the State has taken the char: of this Government is too clear to leave acter her pupilage has prepared het for, as room for doubt, or opportunity for skep- well in respect to Slavery as in other reticism. The peace, prosperity, and suc- spects. Hence, six of the thirteen States cess, which attended this course, and the are free States, because Slavery was proresults which have ensued, in the forma- hibited in them by Congress while Territion and admission of the thirteen States tories, to wit: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, piherefrom, are most conclusive and satis- Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Seven factory evidence, also, of the wisdom and of the thirteen are slaveholding States, beprudence with which this power was exer cause Slavery was allowed in them by cised. Deluded must be that people who, Congress while they were Territories, to i in the pursuit of plausible theories, be- wit: Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, come deaf to the lessons and blind to the Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Misresults 9 leir own experience.

souri. Let us, next inquire by what rule of uni On the 6th of March, A. D. 1820, was formity Congtess was governed, in the ex- passed by Congress the act preparatory to ercise of this „power of determining the the admission of the State of Missouri into condition of each Territory as to Slavery, the Union. Much controversy and diswhile remaining a Territory, as manifested cussion arose on the question whether a in those thirteen instances. An examina- prohibition of Slavery within said State tion of our history will show that this was should be inserted, and it resulted in this: not done from time tu time by agitation that said State should be admitted withand local or party triumphs in Congress. out such prohibition, but that Slavery The rule pursued was uniform and clear; should be forever prohibited in the rest of and whoever may have lost by it, peace that country ceded to us by France lying and prosperity have been gained. That north 36° 30' north latitude, and it was so rule was this :

done. This contract is known as the MisWhere Slavery was actually existing in souri Compromise. Under this arrangea country to any considerable or general ment, Missouri was admitted as a slaveextent, it was (thougḥ somewhat modified holding State, the same having been a as to further importation in some instan- slaveholding Territory. Arkansas, south ces, as in Mississippi and Orleans Terri- of the line, was formed into a Territory, tories) suffered to remain. The fact that and Slavery allowed therein, and afterit had been taken and existed there was wards admitted as a slaveholding State. taken as an indication of its adaptation and Iowa was made a Territory, north of the local utility, Where Slavery did not in fact line, and, under the operation of the law, exist to any appreciable extent, the same was settled up without 'slaves, and admitwas, by Congress, expressly prohibited ; ted as a free State. The country pow ma80 that in either case the country settled king the Territories of Kansas and Nebras

« ZurückWeiter »