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the exercise of all power, is to be allowed to turn propogandist, and devote its best energies to the driving through, against all resistance of plighted faith, of constitutional law, against all claims of right, justice or fraternity, a moral reform that has first and last for its object a forcible ejectment from our midst of what is denounced as a gross immorality, and a determination to give practical effect to the idea that this government as a government entertains the sin of slavery. It is the first and last instance furnished by our history in which this government has thought it rightful or expedient to subsidize religious agencies by the strong arm of political power. It would require but one short step further in this at empt to regulate a matter of conscience, to see our duty clearly dictating a union of Church and State. We feel it to be unnecessary to trace this controversy step by step to its present critical if not perilous stage. If we should do so with the minutest fidelity, its history would at every turn only show how reluctant the South has been to bring the grave matters in issue to that extremity which would leave the true friends of harmony and union nothing to hope. It has been our fault that we in every instance invited imposition by indicating a yielding disposition which only required to be hard pressed to grant the most extravagant requisitions. So it was in the controversy with the antislavery States which gave birth to the Missouri Compromise. In this mispained surrender of Southern rights, who can show a particle of consideration passing to the South? Where, in this one-sided Compromise, is there to be found the least reciprocity? Yet we gave in to this unreasonable and unjust requirem nt, and avowed a love for this Union which would not suffer us to part with it, though the North was seeking to make us pay in valuable and unrighteous concessions for every day of its existence.
This Compromise, by which we bought our peace for more than a quarter of a century, we observed with punctili>ous honor; and when in the course of events it came to the turn of this portion of the Union to be benefited by the operation of that law, we find the Northern States unblushingly repudiating their own contract, and when called upon to reaffirm their own long expressed ratification of this Compromise, they refused to do so, and as evidence of their deliberate purpose to evade their plighted faith, they sought to organize a territory embraced in the spirit of this Compromise, (by which every thing had been for years secured to them,) upon the anti-slavery basis, in the unmitigated and obnoxious shape of the Wilmot proviso. The North now disavows the Missouri Compromise, because of the inevitable implication involved in that law, that if north of 36 30 slavery is prohibited, south of that line it may exist. Passing over the insincerity now so transparent, with which the
anti-slavery States opposed to the 21st Rule of the House of Representatives, their specious attacks against that wholesome and conservative check upon fanaticism under the guise of a zeal for the right of petition, we come to the more recent legislation of Congress on the subject of slavery. And now can any Southern man at all conversant with the history of the abolition movement from its inception, longer doubt that the first aim of that agitation was a total and final emancipation of our slave property? Why should we doubt Because of the bad faith involved, was ever treachery and selfishness so blended before in the public conduct of any civilized State as is involved in the course the North has pursued in regard to this Compromise we have just spoken of? Because of the daring violation of private rights or constitutional provisions and guarantees, can the perfidy of man go further than several of the Northern States have gone in their practical nullification of the laws securing to the South the privilege of reclaiming her refugee slaves; or can any Vandalism improve upon the savage proposition of the last Congress to permit the slaves of the District of Columbia to vote themselves the equals f their masters? This brings our enemies in one step of the goal they have kept their eyes steadily fixed upon for twenty years, and has brought us too in one step of the last dishonor that can be reserved for us. They have but to lay their hands on slavery in the States, and we make one more submissive and feeble remonstrance, and the great work is finished. In view therefore of the past history of this war upon the peace, the rights, and the safety of the South-in view of its present aspects, and in anticipation of its future progress, we report to the House for its action the following preamble and resolutions, accompanied by a bill providing for the call of a Convention of the sovereign people of this State.
Whereas the people of the nou-slaveholding States have commenced and are persisting in a system of encroachment upon the Constitution and the rights of a portion of the people of this confederacy, which is alike unjust and dangerous to the peace and perpetuity of our cherished union : be it
1st Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Georgia in General Assembly convened, That the Government of the United States is one of limited powers, and cannot rightfully exercise any authority not conferred by the Constitution.
2d. Resolved, That the Constitution grants no power to Congress to prohibit the introduction of slavery into any territory belonging to the United States.
3d. Resolved, That the several States of the Union acceded to the confederacy upon terms of perfect equality; and that the rights, privileges, and immunities secured by the Constitution belong alike to the people of each State.
4th. Resolved, That any and all territory acquired by the United States, whether by discovery, purchase, or conquest, belongs in common to the people of each State, and thither the people of each State and every State have a common right to emigrate with any property they may possess; and that any restriction upon this right which will operate in favor of the people of one section to the exclusion of those of another, is unjust, oppressive and unwarranted by the Constitution.
5th. Resolved, That slaves are recognized by the Constitution as property; and that the Wilmot Proviso, whether applied to any territory at any time heretofore acquired, or which may be hereafter acquired, is unconstitutional.
6th. Resolved, That Congress has no power, either directly or indirectly, to interfere with the existence of slavery in the District of Columbia.
7th. Resolved, That the refusal on the part of the nonslaveholding States to deliver up fugitive slaves who have escaped to said States, upon proper demand being made therefor, is a plain and palpable violation of the letter of the Constitution, and an intolerable outrage upon Southern rights; and that it is the imperative duty of Congress to pass laws providing for the enforcement of this provision of the Constitution by federal, judicial, and ministerial officers responsible to the Federal Government.
Sth. Resolved, That in the event of the passage of the Wilmot Proviso by Congress, the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, the admission of California as a State in its present pretended organization, or the continued refusal of the non-slaveholding States to deliver up fugitive slaves as provided in the Constitution, it will become the immediate and imperative duty of the people of this State to meet in convention, to take into consideration the mode and measure of redress.
9th. Resolved, That the people of Georgia entertain an ardent feeling of devotion to the union of these States, and that nothing short of a persistence in the present system of encroachment upon our rights by the non-slaveholding States can induce us to contemplate the possibility of a dissolution.
10th. Resolved, That his Excellency the Governor be requested to forward copies of these resolutions to each of our Senators and Representatives in Congress, to the Legisla tures of the several States, except Vermout and Connecticut, and to the President of the United States.
Assented to, February 8th, 1850.
Resolution to direct the Reporter of the Supreme Court to send back volumes of the reports to the counties.
Resolved by the General Assembly, That the Reporter of the Supreme Court be directed to send, with the acts of each General Assembly to each county respectively, all the back volumes of reports to which the officers of such county may be entitled.
Assented to, February 23, 1850.
Report and resolution on the memorial of G. W. Towns in relation to certain grants for lots of land.
Mr. Harris, from the Special Committee to whom was referred the memorial of G. W. Towns, praying an investigation into the rights of certain persons to grants for certain lots of land therein specified, reports that they have had the same under consideration, and beg leave to report:
That this is an application by G. W. Towns, asking of the Legislature an expression of its opinion as to whom grants shall issue in the existing conflict of claims between himself and other persons to fractional lot No. 267 and lots of land Nos. 263 and 264 in the first district of originally Muscogee now Macon county.
The Committee on examination find that these three lots of land were purchased by the memorialist at public sale, ordered in pursuance of an act of the last General Assembly entitled "an act to authorize the Governor to appoint fit and proper persons to sell and dispose of the undrawn lots in the land lotteries heretofore had in this State, and to limit the time for fraction purchasers to pay for and to take out grants for fractions."
There is no controvery as to the regularity of the sale.The difficulty as to who is the proper owner of fractional lot No. 267, has arisen from the fact that there have been two several surveys of the district in which it is situated.Under the first survey, the land in this district was disposed of by lottery, and James Scott of Swain's district, Emanuel county, became the fortunate drawer of lot of land No. 267, for which a grant issued by the State on the first of October, 1827. The present claimant, John Usry, has a regular chain of title from the drawer to whom it was granted down to himself: said grant having been issued before the re-survey of said district, and the same located upon lot No. 267 of the first survey, which said lot, No. 267 of the first survey, has been long in the possession of said Scott and those claiming under him.
It having become apparent that great errors had been committed in the first survey of the district in question, the Legislature of the State ordered a new and perfect survey of the same, i the meantime making provision for protecting the rights of those fortunate drawers who might have
located their grants under the first survey upon lands the boundaries of which might not be the same as those of the like numbers under the new survey.
Your Committee deem any further reference to these legislative provisions unnecessary and not demanded by the question in issue, as in their judgment the rights of these parties are in no wise affected by them. We have given the original plats of both the first and second surveys of said district, how of file in the Surveyor General's office, a careful examination, and by comparing the plat and grant issued to Scott, the drawer under whom Usry claims, with each of the surveys, the Committee have fully and satisfactorily arrived at the conclusion that whatever contest may hereafter arise between the memorialist and other parties in consequence of the variations between the two surveys, that none can exist between him and Usry, as it is evident that lot No. 267, granted to James Scott under the first survey, is not the same territory bought by G. W. Towns as fractional lot No. 267 in said district. And the Committee are therefore of opinion that the said George W. Towns is entitled to a grant for said fractional lot under terms of the sale at which he purchased it.
The controversy between the memorialist and the estate of James A. Everett in relation to lots of land Nos. 263 and 264 in the same district, rests upon different grounds. There is no dispute as to the regularity of the sale or the identity of the lots. These, like No. 267 of the new survey, had been reported to the Governor as undrawn lots, as we are informed by the late Surveyor General, and they were all included together in the same advertisement of sale under the executive order pursuant to the act of the last Legislature.
No notice was given at the sale by the representative of Everett of any supposed claim to said two lots, and they were knocked off to the memorialist, he being the highest bidder for the same.
Not until after the sale was it communicated to the executor of Everett by one of the State House officers, and from whom this information is obtained, that the receipt books of fraction sales in the Treasury department, contained evidence that Everett had paid three instalments upon a supposed purchase of these two with several other lots, there being no return or record in said office of the sale, or evidence of the first payment having been made. These entries of money paid into the Treasury by Everett on account of these two lots gave rise to the presumption that he had bought the same at a former sale of undrawn lots made by the Sheriff of Macon county under legislative authority, and hence the claim now interposed.
Our investigations have satisfied us that the Sheriff of Macon, who sold these lots, made no return of the sale to the