« ForrigeFortsett »
MASSACHUSETTS AGAINST SLAVERY,
WHIGS OF MASSACHUSETTS AGAINST
Whereas, A crisis has arrived in the public affairs of MR. WEBSTER AGAINST SLAVERY EXTENSIOY. the Nation, which requires the free and full expressiou of the people, through their legal representatives; and In the United States Senate, in Aug., 1848, Whereas, 'The United States is at war with the Republic ( Mr. Webster, in speaking on the bill to organize a view to the addition of Slave Territory to our country, the Territory of Oregon with a clause prohibitand the extending of Slave power in our Union; and ing Slavery, said: Whereas, In the opinion of the General Assembly, such acquisitions are hostile to the spirit of our Free Insti
The question now is, whether it is not competent te tutions, and contrary to sound morality; thercfore be it
Congress, in the exercise of a fair and just discretion, to Resolved, By the Senate and House of Representatives say that, considering that there have been five slave of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met, That holding States (Louisiana, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri our Senators and Representatives in Congress are hereby and Texas) added to the Union out of foreign acquisirequested to vote against the annexation of any Territory tions, and as yet only one Free State, whether, under this to our Union, which shall not thereafter be forever free state of things, it is unreasonable and unjust in the from Slavery.
slightest degree to limit their farther extensi..? That is the question. I see no injustice in it. As to the power
of Congress I have nothing to add to what I said the The following resolution was passed by the other day, I have said thai I shall consent to no Es Legislature of Massachusetts in 1847, in con- any increase of Slace Representation in the othe nection with others on the subject of the Mexi- House of Congre88.
MILLARD FILLMORE'S VIEWS. Resolved, That our attention is directed anew to the wrong and enormity" of Slavery, and to the tyranny
His Buffalo Letter of 1838. and usurpation of the “Slave Power," as displayed in the
BUFFALO, Oct. 17, 1898. history of our country, particularly in the annexation of Texas, and the present war with Mexico, and that we are of the committee appointed by “The Anti-Slavery Society
SIR: Your communication of the 13th inst., as chairman impressed with the unalterable condition, that a regard of the County of Erie," has just come to hand.
You solicit for the fair fame of our country, for the principle of morals, and for that righteousness that exalteth a nation, my answer to the following interrogatories : sanctions and requires all constitutional efforts for the subject of Slavery and the Slave-trade, ought to be re
1st. Do you believe that petitions to Congress, on the and for the abolition of Slavery within the limits of the ceived, read, and respectfully considered by the rep:csenUnited States.
tatives of the people?
2d. Are you opposed to the annexation of Texas ic this Union under any circumstances, so long as slaves are held therein ?
3d. Are you in favor of Congress exercising all the i The Massachusetts State Convention, held at power it possesses to abolish the Internal Slave-trade bo Springfield, in the latter part of the month of tween the States?
4th. Are you in favor of immediate legislation for the September, 1847, and at which Daniel Webster Abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia ? was nominated as a candidate for the Presi. Answer.-I am much engaged, and have no time to dency, passed the following among other re-enter into argument, or explain at length my reasons for solutions :
my opinions. I shall therefore content myself, for the
present, by answering all your interrogatories in the affir: Resolved, that the war with Mexico-the predicted, if mative, and leave for some future occasion a more exnot the legitimate offspring, of the annexation of Texas-tended discussion on the subject. begun in a palpable violation of the Constitution, and I would, however, take this occasion to say, that in thus the usurpation of the powers of Congress by the Presi. frankly giving my opinion, I would not desire to have it dent, wad carried on in reckless indifference and disregard understood in the nature of a pledge. At the same time of the blood and treasure of the Nation-can have no that I seek no disguise, but freely give my sentiments on object which can be effected by the acquisition of Mexi- any subject of interest to those for whose suffrages I am a can territory, under the circumstance of the country, candidate, I am opposed to giving any pledge that ghall unless under adequate securities for the protection of deprive me hereafter of all discretionary power. My own human liberty-can have no other probable result than character must be the guaranty for the general correctthe ultimate advancement of the sectional supremacy of ness of my legislative deportment. On every important the Slavu Power,
subject I am bound to deliberate before I act, and spe After recommending “Peace with Mexico, cially as a legislator, to possess myself of all the informa without dismemberment,” and “No addition of by my associates, before I give a final vote. If I stand Mexican Territories to the American Union,' ” pledged to a particular course of action, I cease to be a the Convention
responsible agent, but I become a mere machine. Should
subsequent events show, beyond all doubt, that the course Resolved, That if this course should be rejected and the I had become pledged pursue was ruinous to my conwar shall be prosecuted to the final subjection or disinen- stituents and disgraceful to myself, I have no alternative, berment of Mexico, the Whigs of Massachusetts now de- no opportunity for repentance, and there is no power to clare, and put this declaration of purpose on record, that absolve me from my obligation. Hence the impropriety, Massachusetts will never consent that Mexican Territory, not to say absurdity, in my view, of giving a pledge. however acquired, shall become a part of the American I am aware that you have not asked my pledge, and i Union, unless on the unalterable condition that there believe I know your sound judgment and good sense too shall be neither Slavery uor Involuntary Servitude therein, well to think you desire any such thing. It was, however, otherwise than in the punishment of crime."
to prevent any misrepresentation on the part of others, Resolved, That in making this declaration of her pur- that I have felt it my duty thus much on this subject. pose, Massachusetts announces no new principle of action I am, respectfully, your obedient servant, in regard to her sister States, and makes no new applica
MILLARD FILLMORE tion of principles already acknowledged. She merely
W. Mills, Esq., chairman. states the great American principle embodied in our Declaration of Independence--the political equality of per
MR. FILLMORE'S ALBANY SPEECH OF 1856. sons in the civil state; the principles adopted in the legislation of the States under the Confederation, and some.
The following is Mr. Fillmore's speech, detimes by the Constitution-in the admission of all the livered at Albany, in July, 1856 : new States formed from the only Territory belonging to Mr. Mayor and Felloro-Citizens : This overwhelming the Union at the adoption of the Constitution-it is, in demonstration of congratulation and welcome almost de short, the imperishable principle set forth in the ever prives me of the power of speech. Here, nearly thirty memorable Ordinance of 1787, which has for more than years ago, I commenced my political career, In this half a century been the fundamental law of human building I first saw a legislative body in session ; bot at liberty in the great valley of the Lakes, the Ohio, and that time it never entered into the aspirations of my the Mississippi, with what brilliant success, and with what heart that I ever should receive such a welcome as Miis unparalleled results, let the great and growing States of in the capital of my native State. Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, answer You have been pleased, sir, to allude to my former and declare.
services and my probable course if I should again be
called to the position of Chief Magistrate of the nation. I think we would submit to it? No, not for a moment. It is not pleasant to speak of one's self, yet I trust that and do you believe that your Southeru brethren are less the occasion will justify me in briefly alluding to one or sensitive on this subject than you are, or less jealous of #0 events connected with my administration. You all their rights? If you do, let me tell you that you are know that when I was called to the Executive chair by a mistaken. And, therefore, you must see that if this sec. tereavement which shrouded a nation in mourning, that tional party succeeds, it le: ds inevitably to the destruc: the country was unfortunately agitated from one end to tion of this beautiful fabric reared by our forefathers, cethe other upon the all-exciting subject of Slavery. It mented by their blood, and bequeathed to us as a pricewas then, sir, that I felt it my duty to rise above every less inheritan 'e. sectional prejudice, and look to the welfare of the whole I tell you, my friends, that I feel deeply, and therebation. I was compelled to a certain extent to overcome fore I speak earnestly on this subject (cries of you're long cherished prejudices, and disregard party claims. right !", for I feel that you are in danger. I am deter: But in doing this, sir, I did no more than was done by mined to make a clean breast of it. I will wash my many abler and better men than myself. I was by no hands of the consequences, whatever they may be; and means the sole instrument, under Providence, in har- | I tell you that we are treading upon the brink of a vol. monizing these difficulties. There were at that time cano, that is liable at any moment to burst forth and boble, independent, high-souled men in both Houses of overwhelin the nation. I might, by soft words, inspire Congress, belonging to both the great political parties of delusive hopes, and thereby win voies. But I can never the country-Whigs and Democrats--who spurned the consent to be one thing to the North and another to tho dictation of selfish party leaders, and rallied around my South, I should despise myself, if I could be guilty of administration in support of the great measures which such duplicity. For my conscience would exclaim, with restored peace to an agitated and distracted country. the dramatic poet: Some of these have gone to their eternal rest, with the
" Is there not some chosen curse, blessings of their country on their heads, but others yet
Some hidden thunder in the stores of heaven, tarvive, deserving the benediction and honors of a
Red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man grateful people. By the blessings of Divine Providence,
Who owes his greatness to his country's ruin ?" our efforts were crowned with signal success, and when
In the language of the lamented, but immortal Clay I left the Presidential chair, the whole nation was pros-“I had rather be right than be President !" perous and contented, and our relations with all foreign It seems to me impossible that those engaged in this nations were of the most amicable kind. The cloud that can bave contemplated the awful consequences of suc hung upon the horizon was dissipated. But where are cess. If it breaks asunder the bonds of our Union, and we now? Alas ! threatened at home with civil war, and spreads anarchy and civil war through the land, what is from abroad with a rupture of our peaceful relations. I it less than moral treason? Law and common sense shall not seek to trace the causes of this change. These hold a man responsible for the natural consequence of are the facts, and it is for you to ponder upon them
of his acts, and must not those whose acts tend to the de the present Administration I have nothing to say, for 1struction of the Government, be equally held responsi know and can appreciate the difficulties of adminisiering ble? this government, and if the present Executive and his And let me also add, that when this Union is dissolved, supporters have with good intentions and honest hearts it will not be divided into two republics, or two mon made a mistake, I hope God may forgive them as I freely archies, but be broken into fragments, and at war with do. But, if there be those who have brought these cai- each other. amities upon the country for selfish or ambitious objects, It is your duty, fellow-citizens, to hold them to a strict wR. FILLMORE'S LETTER TO A NEW-YORK UNION responsibility.
MEETING IN 1859. The agitation which disturbed the peace of the country in 1850, was unavoidable. It was brought upon us
The following is an extract from a letter of by the acquisition of new territory, for the government Mr. Fillinore, (dated Dec. 16, 1859), in reply to of which it was necessary to provide territorial organi- an invitation to attend a Union Meeting at zation. But it is for you to say whether the present agi. tation, which distracts the country and threatens us with Cooper Institute, New-York.
has not been recklessly and wantonly pro- But it seems to me that if my opinions are of any im. duced, by the adoption of a measure to aid personal ad- portance to my countrymen, they now have them in a vancement rather than in any public good.
much more responsible and satisfactory form than I Sir, you have been pleased to say, that I have the could give them by participating in the proceedings of Union of these States at heart; this, sir, is most true, for any meeting. My sentiments on this unfortunate quesif there be one object dearer to me than any other, it is tion of slavery, and the constitutional rights of the South the unity, prosperity, and glory of this great republic; in regard to it, have not changed since they were made and I confess frankly, sir, that I fear it is in danger. I manifest to the whole country by the performance of a say nothing of any particular section, much less of the painful duty in approving and enforcing the Fugitive several candidates before the people. I presume they Slave Law. What the Constitution gives I would coir are all honorable men. But, sir, what do we see? An cede at every sacrifice. I would not seek to enjoy its exasperated feeling between the North and the South, on benefits without sharing its burdens and its responsibilithe most exciting of all topics, resulting in bloodshed ties. I know of no other rule of political right or expedi. and organized military array.
ency. Those were my sentiments then-they are my But this is not all, sir. We see a political party pre sentiments now. I stand by the Constitution of my senting candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presi-country at every hazard, and am prepared to maintain dency, selected for the first time from the Free States it at every sacrifice. alone, with the avowed purpose of electing these candi- Here I might stop; but since I have yielded to the im. dates by suffrages of one part of the Union only, to rule pulse to write, I will not hesitate to express, very briefly, over the whole United States. Can it be possible that my views on one or two events which have occurred those who are engaged in such a measure can have seri- since I retired from office, and which, in all probability, ously reflected upon the consequences which must inevi- have given rise to your meeting. This I cannot do intel. tably follow, in case of success? Can they have the ligibly, without a brief reference to some events which madness or the folly to believe that our Southern breth- occurred during my administration. ren would submit to be governed by such a Chief Magis. All must remember that in 1949 and 1850, the country trate? Would he be required to follow the same rule was severely agitated on this disturbing question of prescribed by those who elected him, in making his ap- Slavery. That contest grew out of the acquisition pointments? If a man living south of Mason and Dixon's of new territory from Mexico, and a contest between the line be not worthy to be President or Vice-President, North and South as to whether Slavery should be toler would it be proper to select one from the same quarter ated in any part of that Territory. Mixed up with this, as one of his cabinet council or to represent the nation was a claim on the part of the slaveholding States, that in a foreign country ? Or, indeed, to collect the revenue, the provision of the Constitution for the rendition of or administer the laws of the United States? If not, fugitives from service should be made available, as the what new rule is the President to adopt in selecting men law of 1793 on that subject, which depended chiefly on for office, that the people themselves discard in selecting State officers for its execution, had become inoperative, him? These are serious, but practical questions, and in because State officers were not obliged to perform thai order to appreciate them fully, it is only necessary to duty. turn the tables upon ourselves. Suppose that the South, After a severe struggle, which threatened the integrity having a majority of the electoral votes, should declare of the Union, Congress finally passed laws settling these that they would only have slaveholders for President questions; and the Governinent and the people for a and Vice-President, and should elect such by their ex- time seemed to acquiesce in that compromise as a final clusive suffrages to rule over us at the North. Do you I settlement of this exciting question; and it is exceedingly
10 be regretted that mistaken ambition or the hope of | is a great curse-one of the greatest evils that could have promoting a party triumph should bave tempted any been interwoven into our system. I, Mr. Chairman, am one to raise this question again. But in an evil hour this one of those whom these poor wretches call master; I do Pandora's box of Slavery was again opened by what I not task them; I feed and clothe them well; but yet, conceive to be an unjustifiable attempt to force Slavery | alas ! sir, they are slaves, and Slavery is a curse in any into Kansas by a repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and shape. It is, no doubt, true that there are persons in the floods of evils now swelling and threatening to over- Europe far more degraded than our slaves, worse fed, throw the Constitution, and sweep away the foundation worse clothed, etc.; but, sir, this is far from proving that of the Government itself, and deluge this land with fra- negroes ought to be slaves. ternal blood, may all be traced to this unfortunate act. John Randolph, of Virginia.-Sir, I envy neither the Whatever might have been the motive, few acts have head nor heart of that man om the North who rises here ever been so barren of good, and so fruitful of evil. to defend Slavery upon principle. EDWARD EVERETT'S OPINIONS ON SLAVERY.
MR. CAMBRELENG'S VIEWS. The following is an extract of a speech of Churchill C. Cambreleng, of N. Y., (formerly of N. C.) Mr. Everett, delivered in the House of Represen--The gentleman from Massachusetts has gone too far. tatives, March 9, 1826. (See Benton's Abridg-He has expressed opinions which ought not to escape withment of Congressional Debates, vol. 8, page regret. I was astonished to hear him declare that Slavery 711.)
-domestic Slavery-say what you will, is a condition of
life, as well as any other, to be justified by morality, reliHaving touched upon this point, I ought, perhaps, to gion, and international law; and when at the close of his add that, if there are any members in this House of that opinion he solemnly declared that this was his confession class of politicians to whom the gentleman from North of faith, I lamented, sincerely lamented, that Carolina Mr. Saunders) alluded, as having the disposition, though not the power, to disturb the compromise contained
“Star-eyed Science should have wandered there in the Constitution on this point, I am not of the number.
To bring us back the message of despair.” Neither am I one of those citizens of the North, to whom If, sir, among the wild visions of German philosophy I another honorable gentleman referred, in a publication to had ever reached conclusions like this; if in the Aulæ of which his name was subscribed, who would think it im- Gottingen I had ever persuaded myself to adopt a politimoral and irreligious to join in putting down a servile in-cal maxim so hostile to liberal institutions and the rights surrection at the South: I am no soldier, sir; my habits of mankind, I would have locked it up forever in the darkand education are very unmilitary, but there is no cause est chambers of my mind. Or if my zeal had been too in which I would sooner buckle a knapsack to my back, ardent for my discretion, this place, at least, should never and put a musket on my shoulder, than that. I would have been the theatre of my eloquence. No, sir, if such cede the whole continent to any one who would take it had been my doctrines I would have turned my back forto England, to France, to Spain; I would see it sunk in ever on my native land. Following the course of "the the bottom of the ocean before I would see any part of dark rolling Danube," and cutting my way across the this fair America converted into a continental Hayti, by Euxine, I would have visited a well-known market of Conthat awful process of bloodshed and desolation, by which stantinople, and there preached my doctrine amidst the alone such a catastrophe could be brought on. The great rattling chains of the wretched captives. Nay, sir, I relation of servitude, in some form or other, with greater would have gone from thence, and laid my forehead upon or less departure from the theoretic equality of man, is the footstool of the Sultan, and besought him to set bis inseparable from our nature. I know of no way by which foot upon my neck, as the recreant citizen of a recreant the form of this servitude shall be fixed, but political insti. Republic. tution, Domestic Slavery - though, I confess, not that form of servitude which seems to be the most beneficial to EDWARD EVERETT ON GEOGRAPHICAL PARTIES the master-certainly not that which is most beneficial to the servant–is not, in my judgment, to be set down as an parties are the greatest evil this country has to fear.
But, sir, I am not prepared to admit that geographical Inmoral and irreligious relation. I cannot admit that re- Party of all kinds, in its excess, is certainly the bane. of Yigion has but one voice to the slave, and that this voice is, "Rise against your Master.". No, sir; the New Testa; Committee by disputing which is most deleterious, arsenic
our institutions; and I will not take up the time of this ment says, “ Slaves, obey your Masters ;” and, though I or laudanum. It is enough that they are both fatal. The know full well that, in the benignant operation of Chris- evil of geographical parties is, that they tend to sever the tianity, which gathered master and slave around the same Union. The evil of domestic parties is, that they render communion-table, this unfortunate institution disappeared the Union not worth having. I remember the time, sir, in Europe, yet I cannot admit that, while it subsists, and though I was but a boy, when under the influence of dowhere it subsists, its duties are not presupposed and sanc-mestic parties, near neighbors did not speak; when old tioned by religion. I certainly am not called upon to 1 acquaintances glared at each other as they passed in the meet the charges brought against this institution, yet truth streets; when you might wreak on a man all the bitterness obliges me to say a word more on the subject. I know of your personal and private enmity, and grind him into the condition of working classes in other countries; I am the dust, if you had the power, and say, he is a Democrat, intimately acquainted with it in some other countries, and he is a Federalist; he deserves it. Yes, sir, when party I have no hesitation in saying that I believe the slaves in spirit pursued its victim from the halls of legislation,
from this country are better clothed and fed, and less hardly the forum, from the market-place, to what should be the worked, than the peasantry of some of the most prosper- sanctuary of the fireside, and filled hearts that would have ous States of the continent of Europe. Consider the checks on population. What keeps population down? trangement. Talk not to me of your geographical parties.
bled to spare each other a pang, with coldness and esPoverty, want, starvation, disease, and all the ills of life; There does not live the man, i thank God, on earth, toit is these that check population all over the world. Now, ward whom I have an unkind'emotion-one whose rights the slave population of the United States increases faster I would invade, whose feelings I would wound. But if than the white, masters included. What is the inference there ever should be a man to whom I should stand in as to the physical condition of the two classes of society? that miserable relation, I pray that mountains may rise, These are opinions I have long entertained, and long that rivers may roll between us—that he may never cross since publicly professed on this subject, and which I here repeat in answer to the intimations to which I have ale my path, nor I his, to turn the sweetness of human nature
into bitterness and gall in both our þosoms.-Speech in ready alluded. But, sir, when Slavery comes to enter the House of Representatives, 1826.—Benton's Deinto the Constitution as a political element-when it comes to affect the distribution of power amongst the States of bates, vol. 8, P. 713. the Union, that is a matter of agreement. If I make an MR. EVERETT'S VIEWS IN 1837 and 39. agreement on this subject, I will adhere to it like a man; but I will protest against any inferences being made from Oct. 14th, 1837, Hon. Wm. Jackson, of New. it like that which was made by the honorable mover of ton, Mass., wrote to Mr. Everett a long letter well as votes, being increased by the ratio of three-Afths containing the following questions: of the Slaves,
Do justice, humanity, and sound policy, alike reMR. MITCHELL'S VIEWS.
quire that the slaves of this country should be emanci
pated ? Mr. Mitchell, of Tennessee.—Sir, I do not go the length Is it the right and duty of the citizens of the nonof the gentleman from Massachusetts, and hold that the slaveholding States to require of the General Governexistence of Slavery in this country is almost a blessing. ment the abolition of Slavery in the District of CoOn the contrary, I am firmly settled in the opinion that it | lumbia ?
Is it just or safe, with regard to our foreign relations | it. I will only say, that if, at this moment, when an alland domestic compact, to admit Texas into the Union ? important experiment is in train, to abolish Slavery by
peaceful and legal means in the British West Indies, MR. EVERETT'S REPLY.
the Uuited States, instead of imitating their example, or
even awaiting the result, should rush into a policy of Boston, 318t October, 183,
giving an indefinite extension to Slavery over a vast SIR: I have duly received your communication of the region incorporated into their Union, we should stand 14th inst., in which you desire to be furnished with my condemned before the civilized world. It would be vain views on certain questions therein propounded. Under to expect to gain credit for any further professions of a other circumstances, I should deem it proper to preface willingness to be rid of Slavery as soon as possible. No my answer with some preliminary remarks, but my en- extenuation of its existence, on the ground of its having gagements at the present time compel me to reply as been forced upon the country in its colonial state, would concisely as possible.
any longer avail us. It would be thought, and thought In answer to the first question, I observe, that Slavery justly, that lust of power and lust of gold had made us being, by universal admission, a social, political, and deaf to the voice of humanity and justice. We should moral evil of the first magnitude, it is required by jus be self-convicted of the enormous crime of having votice, humanity, and sound policy that the slaves should luntarily given the greatest possible enlargement to an be emancipated by those having constitutionally the evil, which, in concert with the rest of mankind, we power to effect that object, as soon as it can be done had affected to deplore, and that at a time when tho peacefully, and in a manner to better the condition of public sentiment of the civilized world, more than at ihe emancipated. I believe the most considerate por any former period, is aroused to its magnitude. tion of the people of the United States, in every quarter, There are other objections to the measure drawn from unite in this sentiment; and you are aware that the its bearing on our foreign relations; but it is unnecesmost eminent Southern names can be cited in its sup- sary to discuss them. port.
I am, sir, respectfully, In reply to the second question, I would remark, that
Your obedient servant, all the considerations in favor of emancipation in the
EDWARD EVERETT. States, apply with equal force to the District of Co
Hox. WILLIAM JACKSOX, lumbia. My opinions on this subject are fully expressed in the resolution adopted by the legislature last winter, In 1839, the following questions were put to with a pear approach to unanimity, in the following Mr. Everett by Hon. A. Borden, of Massachuterms: “ Resolved, That Congress having exclusive legislation in the District of Columbia, possesses the right to
setts: abolish Slavery in the said District, and that its exercise
1. Are you in favor of immediate abolition by law of should only be restrained by regard to the public Slavery in the District of Columbia and of the slave traffic good.”
between the States of this Union ? I know that the slave-trade is carried op to a shocking
2. Are you opposed to the admission into the Union of extent in the District of Columbia. There is no part of
any new States the constitutions of which tolerate domesthe South, where it is reputable to be engaged in this tic Slavery ? traffic; and no Southern State, I am persuaded, would permit its existence in its own capital, as it exists at the
The following was Mr. Everett's reply: national capital. The South and the North ought to
WASHINGTON, Oct 24, 1839. unite in prohibiting it, by act of Congress—which is the local legislature of the District.
DEAR SIR : On Saturday last I only received your let
This has been loudly ter of the 18th, propounding to me certain interrogato called for, from the District itself. have befor copy of a petition, couched in very strong language, aware that several resolves on the subject of these in.
ries, and earnestly requesting an early answer. against both Slavery and the slave-trade in the District of Columbia, which was presented to Congress in 1824, quiries and their kindred topics, accompanied by a resigned by nearly seven hundred and fifty names of port, were introduced into the Senate of the Commons citizens of Washington, several of whom were known to wealth, year before last, by a joint committee of the two me to be of the first consideration. I may observe in houses, of which the lamented Mr. Alvord was chair. this eonnection, that at the same session, I voted in the negative on a motion to lay upon the tab e the petition amendment, were adopted by the legislature. They ap
Those resolves, after having been somewhat enlarged by of the American Anti-Slavery Society for the abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia, and on two other pear to cover the whole ground of your two interrogamotions, intended, in like manner, to deprive this class
tories. Having cheerfully coöperated in the passage of of petitions of a respectful reception and considera
the resolves, and concurring in the general reasoning by
which they are sustained in the powerful report of the tion. The last question propounded by you refers to the
chairman of the committee, I respond to both your inannexation of Texas.
It presents the subject of Sla- quiries in the affirmative. very, in most of its bearings, in a new light.
The first of the three subjects in your inquiry is the its introduction was the result of a legislation was a member. I voted in the negative on the motion States,
only one of them which came before Congress while I forced upon the colonies, and in many cases, in despite to lay upon the table the petition of the American Antiof acts passed by their legislators, for the prohibition Slavery Society for the abolition of Slavery in the Disof the slave-trade, and regulated by the crown. istence is recognized by the Constitution of the United trict of Columbia, and on other motions of the like char. States. The rights of property growing out of it are in acter introduced to cast off the consideration of this class
of petitions. some degree protected by law in the non-slaveholding States (see the opinion of Chief Justice Shaw in the
I am, dear sir, very respectfully, your friend and sercase of the Commonwealth 08. Aves--an opinion in the
EDWARD EVERETT. doctrines and principles of which I fully concur); and
Hox. NATHANIEL A. BORDEN. morality and religion frown on all attempts to put an end to it by violence and bloodshed. But none of these The “ several resolves to which Mr. Everett principles countenance a voluntary extension of Slavery; and as the question of annexing Texas is one of volun: refers in the above letter, in the passage of tary, and almost boundless extension, it presents the which he “cheerfully coöperated," as Governor subject, as I have said, in a new light. It has been offia of Massachusetts, are as follows: cally stated by the Texan Envoy that the region so called contains two hundred thousand square miles. Resolved, That Congress has, by the Constitution, other words, it might form twenty-five States as power to abolish Slavery and the slave-trade in the Dislarge as Massachusetts. In this vast region, Slavery trict of Columbia, and that there is nothing in the terms was prohibited by Mexico; it has been restored, and is or circumstances of the acts of cession by Virginia and rapidly spreading itself under the new government ; Maryland, or otherwise, enforcing any legal or moral and no one denies, that if the independence of Texas is restraint on its existence. sustained, Slavery will be indefinitely extended through- Resolved, That Congress ought to take measures to out its ample borders.
effect the abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia. The Executive Government of the United States has Resolved, that the rights of humanity, the claims of promptly recognized this independence, and by so doing, justice, and the common good alike, demand the suphas discharged the whole duty that could be required by pression by Congress of the slave-trade carried on in the law of uations. Whatever step we take toward an- and through the District of Columbia. dexation is gratuitous. This whole subject has been so Resolved, That Congress has, by the Constitution, ably discussed by Dr. Channing, in his recent letter to power to abolish Slavery in the Territories of the United Mr, Clay, that it would be superfluous to enlarge upon States.
[For later views of Mr. Everett, see his letter a fusion of the Republicans with the other Opposition ele. accepting the nomination for the Vice-Presi- ments in the campaign of 1860, has been received.
Massachusetts is a sovereign and independent State, and dency in 1860.]
I have no right to advise her in her policy. Yet, if any
one is desirous to draw a conclusion as to what I would ABRAHAM LINCOLN ON THOMAS JEFFERSON. do, from what she has done, I may speak without improMr. Lincoln having been invited by the Re- priety. I say, then, that so far as I understand the Mas
sachusetts provision, I am against its adoption, not only publicans of Boston, to attend a Festival in in Illinois, but in every other place in which I have the honor of the anniversary of Jefferson's birthday, right to oppose it. As I understand the spirit of our inon the 13th of April, 1859, replied as follows: I am, therefore, hostile to anything that tends to their de
basement. SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 6, 1859.
It is well known that I deplore the oppressed condition GENTLEMEN : Your kind note, inviting me to attend a of the blacks ; and it would, therefore, be very inconsistent festival in Boston, on the 18th inst., in honor of the birth- for me to look with approval upon any measures that inday of Thomas Jefferson, was duly received. My engage: fringes upon the inalienable rights of white men, whether ments are such that I cannot attend. Bearing in mind that about seventy years ago two great political parties language from my own.
or not they are born in another land, or speak a different were first formed in this country; that Thomas Jefferson was the head of one of them and Boston the headquarters can be effected on Republican principles, but upon no
In respect to a fusion, I am in favor of it whenever it of the other, it is both curious and interesting that those other condition. A fusion upon any other platform supposed to descend politically from the party opposed would be as insane as unprincipled. It would thereby to Jefferson, should now be celebrating his birthday in lose the whole North, while the common enemy would their own original seat of empire, while those claiming still have the support of the entire South. The question political descent froin hima have nearly ceased to breathe in relation to men is ditferent. There are good and patrihis name everywhere.
otic men and able statesmen in the South, whom I would Remembering, too, that the Jefferson party was formed willingly support if they would place themselves on Reupon its su
sed superior devotion to the personal publican ground; but I shall oppose the lowering of the rights of men, holding the rights of property to be Republican standard even by a hair's breadth. secondary only, and greatly inferior; and then assum
I have written in haste, but I believe that I have an. ing that the so-called Democracy of to-day are the Jeffer- swered your questions substantially. son, and their opponents the anti-Jefferson parties, it
Respectfully yours, will be equally interesting to note how completely the
ABRAHAM LINCOLX. two have changed ground as to the principle upon which they were originally supposed to be divided.
NEW-YORK POR THE WILMOT PROVISO. The Democracy of to-day hold the liberty of one man to be absolutely nothing, when in conflict with another In January, 1847, Col. Samuel Young introman's right of property. Republicans, on the contrary, duced the following resolve into the New York are both for the man and the dollar, but in case of con. State Senate, and on the 27th of that month it flict the man before the dollar,
I remember being once much amused at seeing two was adopted by a vote of 22 to 6: partially intoxicated men engaged in a fight with their great-coats on, which fight, after a long and rather harm- Resowed, That if any Territory is hereafter acquired less contest, ended in each having fought himself out of by the United States, or annexed thereto, the act by which his own coat and into that of the other. If the two such Territory is acquired or annexed, whatever such act leading parties of this day are really identical with the may be, should contain an unalterable, fundamental artio in the days of Jefferson and Adams, they have per- ticle or provision whereby Slavery or involuntary servi. formed the same feat as the two drunken men.
tude, except as a punishment for crime, shall be forever But soberly, it is now no child's play to save the prin- excluded from the Territory acquired or annexed. ciples of Jefferson from total overthrow in this nation. One would state with great confidence that he could
This resolve subsequently passed the Assembly convince any sane child that the simpler propositions of by a vote which was almost unanimous. Euclid are true; but nevertheless, he would fail, with one who should deny the definitions and axioms. The prin.
NEW-YORK FOR FREEDOM IN 1858. ciples of Jefferson are the definitions and axioms of free society. And yet they are denied and evaded, with no The following preamble and resolutions were small show of success. One dashingly calls them coglit: adopted by the Assembly of the State of Newtering generalities.” Another bluntly styles then “selfevident lies.” And others insidiously argue that they York on the 10th day of January, 1848, by a apply only to "superior races.”
vote of 108 to 5, and by the Senate, a few days These expressions, differing in form, are identical in later, by a majority nearly as emphatic as that object and effect-the supplanting the principles of free government, and restoring those of classification, caste, of the Assembly: and legitimacy. They would delight a convocation of
Whereas, The President of the United States, in his crowned heads plotting against the people. They are last annual message, has recommended the establishinent the vanguard, the sappers and miners, of returning by Congress of territorial government over the conquered despotisın. We must repulse them, or they will subju- provinces of New Mexico, and the Californias, and the gate us.
retention thereof as an indemnity, in which said Terri. This is a world of compensations; and he who would tories the institution of Slavery does not now exist, be no slave must consent to have no slave. Those who therefore deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; Resolved (if the Senate concur), That our Senators in and, under a just God, cannot long retain it.
Congress be instructed, and our Representatives reAll honor to Jefferson--to the inan who, in the concrete quested, to use their best efforts to insert into any act or pressure of a struggle for national independence by a ordinance, establishing any or all such provisional or ter. single people, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity, to ritorial government or governments, a fundamental introduce into a merely revolutionary document an ab- article or provision, which shall provide, declare, and stract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so guaranty, that Slavery or involuntary servitude, except to embalın it there, that to-day and in all coming days it as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the harbin-been first duly convicted, shall be prohibited therein, so Eers of reappearing tyranny and oppression.
long as the same shall remain a Territory. Your obedient servant,
A. LINCOLN. Resolved, That the President of the Senate, and the Messrs. H. L. PIERCE, and others, etc.
Speaker of the Assembly, be requc ted to transmit a copy
of the foregoing resolutions and preamble to each of the ABRAHAM LINCOLN ON NATURALIZATION. said Senators aud Representatives. SPRINGFIELD, May 17, 1859.
NEW-YORK AGAIN FOR FREE TERRITORIES IN 1849. DR. THEODOR CANISIUS:
Dear Sir-Your letter, in which you inquire on your The following preamble and resolves were in. own account, and in behalf of certain other German chi- troduced into the New York Senate on the 2d zens, whether I approve or oppose the constitutional vision in relation to naturalized citizens which was lately of January, 1819, passed that body by a unani. enacted in Massachusetts, and whether I favor or opposomous vote on the 4th, and were concurred in