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SPEECH

OF

'HON. J. P. BENJAMIN, OF LA.,

DELIVERED IN

SENATE OF UNITED STATES ON THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 1858.

SLAVERY PROTECTED

BY THE

COMMON LAW OF THE NEW WORLD.

Guarantied by Constitution.

Vindication be there Supreme Court of the U. S.

TIJD

WASHINGTON:
G. S. GIDEON, PRINTER.

1858.

2.4.

Checked
way 1913

DIR

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Mr. BENJAMIN. Mr. President, after the very able and eloquent discourse of the Senator from Missouri, [Mr. POLK,] if I had regard simply to my own reputation in giving utterance to the thoughts which I have conceived upon the subject now before us, I should better consult its interests by seeking another occasion for addressing the Senate; but I am admonished by the increasing impatience of the Senate, by the desire, not only in this Chamber, but in the public at large, to arrive

at an early vote on this subject, that all personal considerations must :- be made to give way and that each of us must do his duty as promptly

as he can. .* Mr. President, the issue to which the American people have been

looking forward for some years past, with almost instinctive apprehension, is now before us. The" urgent, the imperative necessity for its decision is upon us. Again is a slaveholding State demanding admission into the Union, and again is that admissioni opposed by a large majority of the Senators and Représentatives of the non-slavebolding States of the Confederacy. I am aware that every effort is being made to conceal the true motive for this hostility: Pretexts about the irregularity of the territorial government, charges of fraud and deception, vehement asseverations of a disregard of the popular will in the forma tion of the State constitution every pretext, every 'cause, every motive, that the ingenuity of their ablest and most practiced debaters can suggest, have been brought forward as the grounds of this hostility. But, sir, as the discussion has progressed, as the excitement of debate has overcome the cold teachings of prudence, various Senators have made admissions; the truth, which had been coneealed behind a cloudy, has become apparent to us all, and it is now boldly avowed that Kansas shall never be admitted as a slaveholding State into the Confederacy, not even, to use the words of the Senator from Maine, (Mr. FESSENDEN,] if the whole people of the Territory should establish a constitution recognising that institution. 15:6 Joint illi i tij 1,432,5 m

Opinions thus maturely formed, thus openly avowed, are not to be affected by any argument that I can hope to offer. But, sir, as long as the Constitution of my country endures, as long as I have a constitutional duty to perform upon this floor, I feel myself under the most sacred of all obligations to protebt against the doetrines thus assorted,

suggest, havenuity of their abivery pretext, er

Checked
May 1913

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