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ROOT'S INSTRUCTION-GOTT'S RESOLUTION.
received a respectable support in every Free State, Rhode Island and New Jersey excepted. New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont, each gave a larger popular vote to him than to Gen. Cass; Wisconsin gave him nearly as many as Gen. Taylor. The entire popular vote (South Carolina not casting any) stood-Taylor and Fillmore, 1,360,752; Cass and Butler, 1,219,962; Van Buren and Adams, 291,342. Gen. Taylor had a majority of the Electoral and a plurality of the Popular vote, both in the Free and in the Slave States respectively.
voting for Gag-Rules, and against the establishment by law of Freedom in the Territories. Some of them were permanently alienated, though the far greater number were but temporarily estranged, from the councils of their Southern chiefs. But the change was made evident, soon after the assembling of the XXXth Congress for its second session, when, (December 13, 1848), on motion of Hon. Joseph M. Root, of Ohio, the House
8 The members from Free States (all Democrats), who had voted at the last session to lay the Wilmot Proviso on the table, and who now voted for the principle as above, were as follow:
MAINE.-Asa W. H. Clapp, James S. Wiley -2. NEW YORK.-Frederick W. Lord-1. OHIO.-Thomas Richey-1. INDIANA.-Charles W. Cathcart, Thomas J. Henley, John L. Robinson, William W. Wick-4. ILLINOIS.-Robert
"Resolved, That the Committee on Territories be instructed to report to this House, with as little delay as practicable, a bill or bills providing a territorial government for each of the Territories of New Mexico and
California, and excluding Slavery there
The struggle for the organization of the territories was resumed in Congress the ensuing Winter; and, though there had been very few changes of members, there had been a very considerable change of feeling on the part of a great many Democrats from Free States. They indignantly felt that, by the vote cast for Gen. Taylor in the South, the services and sacrifices of their party had been ungratefully requited. That eight of the fifteen Slave States should cast their votes for the Whig candidate for President, leaving Virginia, Alabama, and Mississippi to be carried against him by the very leanest majorities, was not the entertainment to which they had been in-gress of republican liberty among the nations of the earth: Therefore, vited when they risked their ascendency at home, and their seats, by
this metropolis of the Republic in human Whereas, the traffic now prosecuted in beings, as chattels, is contrary to natural justice, and the fundamental principles of our political system, is notoriously a reproach to our country throughout Christendom, and a serious hindrance to the pro
This passed by Yeas 108, including every Whig, and all but eight of the Democrats from Free States; Nays 80-all from the Slave States but the eight aforesaid.
A further evidence of the altered
feeling of the House was afforded, when, a few days thereafter, the following was, during the morning hour, moved by Mr. Daniel Gott, of New York:
Resolved, That the Committee on the District of Columbia be instructed to report
Smith-1. Messrs. Clark and H. Williams, of Maine, Birdsall and Maclay, of New York, Brodhead and Mann, of Pennsylvania; Pettit, of Indiana; Ficklin and McClernand, of Illinois, who voted with the South at the former session -now failed to vote. Mr. D. S. Jackson, of New York, who then voted with the South, had been succeeded by Mr. H. Greeley, who voted with the North.
a bill, as soon as practicable, prohibiting the | States, in the affirmative; while all Slave-Trade in said District."
The Previous Question having been required and ordered, this resolution was adopted by Yeas 98 to Nays 88. Hereupon there was a call for the Southern members to leave the Hall, and various demonstrations of the sort, which resulted in a meeting of members from the Slave States; which resulted in an address to their constituents, drafted and reported by Mr. Calhoun; which resulted in nothing. The House Committee on the District, being ProSlavery, of course took good care not to report as instructed above.
the members present from the Slave States but Messrs. Adams and Buckner voted in the negative: so that the House divided very nearly on Mason and Dixon's line. But Mr. Buckner paid for his speech and vote on this occasion with his seat. He had succeeded in 1847, over his Democratic opponent, by 386 majority; he was thrown out in 1849 by 1140 majority. Mr. Adams did not stand for re-election. And the bill thus passed was not even considered in the Senatea motion by Mr. Douglas (February 28), that it be taken up for reference, having been promptly voted down by 28 Nays to 25 Yeas.
The Territorial bill for California, foreshadowed and commended by Mr. Root's resolve, was reported by Caleb B. Smith, of Indiana, on the 20th, and that for New Mexico followed on the 3d of January, 1849. An effort (January 15), by Mr. Julius Rockwell, of Massachusetts, to make the former a special order, failed, lacking a two-thirds vote, but received the vote of nearly every member from the Free States-114 to 71. The bill was finally taken out of Committee of the Whole on the 26th of February, and engrossed for a third reading next day; when Mr. R. K. Meade, of Virginia, moved that it do
For the Pro-Slavery majority in that Senate had already resolved on their course, and it did not lie at all in this direction. They believed that their opportunity was at hand; that the more especial friends of the incoming Administration were anxious to have the Slavery question settled
that is, the opposition to Slavery Extension defeated or withdrawn, that being the way such questions were usually settled-in order to make matters smooth and pleasant for the powers soon to be; and they knew that the irritation of the Northern Democrats against the South for
ly negatived; and then the bill passed the House by 126 Yeas to 87 Nays. Mr. Aylett Buckner (Whig of Kentucky), who had made a forcible and thorough-going speech in favor of excluding Slavery from the Territories, voted with his Whig colleague, Green Adams, and all the Whigs and all but four of the Democrats from the Free
lie on the table, which was decisive-giving a majority of its votes for Gen. Taylor as against Gen. Cass had been gradually dying out under the pressure of social influences and of party necessities. They believed that, if a proper issue were made, the Northern repugnance to the organization of the Territories in profound silence as to Slavery, might be overcome. They had, therefore, determined to
"Messrs. Samuel A. Bridges of Pennsylvania. and William Kennon, jr., John K. Miller, and
William Sawyer, of Ohio. Messrs. Chas. Brown,
FAILURE TO ORGANIZE THE TERRITORIES.
fasten to the Civil and Diplomatic | Illinois, now moved that the House recede from its non-concurrence in the Senate's amendment, which prevailed-Yeas 111; Nays 106; whereupon Mr. Richard W. Thompson (Whig), of Indiana, moved that the House do concur with the Senate with an amendment, which was, in fact, a substitute for the Senate's project, and of which the gist was a provision that "until the 4th of July, 1850, unless Congress shall sooner provide for the government of said Territories, the existing laws thereof shall be retained and observed"—in other words, that the laws of Mexico, whereby Slavery was abolished throughout her entire area, should continue in force in said Territories of New Mexico and California. The Senate's amendment, as amended, was then agreed to: Yeas 110; Nays 103. And thus the bill, late at night of what was necessarily the last day of the session, was returned to the Senate.
Appropriation bill, a "rider," organizing the new Territories with no restriction on or impediment to the introduction of Slavery, calculating that a sufficient number of the Northern friends of the Administration would permit this to pass rather than see the Government crippled and the President constrained to call an extra session of Congress always a portent of evil to the party in power. Accordingly, the great Appropriation bill having passed the House, and been reported to and several days debated in the Senate, Mr. Walker, of Wisconsin, moved to add a section extending the laws of the United States over "the territory west of the Rio del Norte, acquired from Mexico by the treaty of February 22, 1848," and authorizing the President to "prescribe and establish all proper and needful regulations for the enforcement" of the Constitution and laws in said Territory; as also "to appoint and commission such officers as may be necessary to administer such laws," etc., etc. This passed the Senate by 29 Yeas" to 27 Nays; but the bill being thus returned to the House, the Senate's amendment was there (March 2) rejected: Yeas 100 (thirteen of them from Free States) to Nays 114 (all from Free States). The bill was then returned in its original shape to the Senate. The Senate insisted on its amendment, and asked a conference, which was granted, but nothing came of it. The Committee reported to either House its inability to agree, and was discharged.
Mr. McClernand (Democrat), of
10 Including only Messrs. Dickinson of New York, A. C. Dodge of Iowa, Douglas of Illinois,
The majority of that body were fairly caught in their own snare. They had vociferously protested that Congress should not adjourn without providing for the government and quiet of the new territories; and had threatened to defeat the General Appropriation bill and leave the Government penniless if this were not acceded to by the House. And here was the bill proposing to do just what they had insisted must be done, and could not with safety be postponed. It was only objectionable in that it provided (as was done in the case of Louisiana and Florida) that the social conditions which had existed prior to our acquisition should remain unchanged until Congress, or the People more
Fitzgerald of Michigan, and Hannegan of Indiana (all Democrats), from Free States.
immediately interested, should see fit | silent respecting Slavery; but, while to change them. But this was exactly under discussion in Committee of what the majority determined should the Whole, the following amendnot be, and were working to prevent. ment was added: Yet they did not care to make up an issue with the House majority on this point, and go to the country on the defeat of the chief Appropriation bill, and consequent embarrassment of the Government, for no other rea
son than that the House had refused
to unite in opening the Territories to Slavery. And so, after spending most of the night in heated discussionmuch of it mere talking against time -the Senate, toward morning, struck out of the Appropriation bill its materially amended amendment, and passed the bill as it originally came from the House-at all events, with no provision for the organization or government of New Mexico and California. And thus ended the Administration of Mr. Polk, along with the XXXth Congress.
THE action of the XXIXth and XXXth Congresses respectively with regard to the Territory of Oregon, though proceeding simultaneously with the incidents already recorded in this chapter, and involving essentially identical principles, requires distinct presentation, that the two diverse and somewhat conflicting threads of narrative may not be blended in hopeless entanglement. That action, briefly summed up, was as follows:
At the first session of the XXIXth Congress, Mr. Stephen A. Douglas reported to the House (August 6, 1846) a bill organizing the Territory of Oregon, whereof the northern boundary had just been fixed at latitude 49° by treaty with Great Britain. The bill, as reported, was
"And neither Slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in said Territory, except for crime, whereof the party shall
have been duly convicted."
In the House, on coming out of demanded on this amendment, which Committee, the Yeas and Nays were was sustained: Yeas 108; Nays 44 only three or four Northern Democrats and five or six Southern Whigs being found among the Nays, where
of the residue were Southern Democrats. The bill, as thus amended, passed the House, but went to the
Senate so near the close of the ses
sion that, though referred to and ritories, no further action was had reported by the Committee on Ter
On the assembling of this Congress for its second session, Mr. Douglas again reported to the House a bill to provide a Territorial Government for Oregon, which was read the Whole; where it was debated twice, and sent to the Committee of through the 11th, 12th, and 14th of January, and ordered to be taken out of Committee on the 15th. On
that day, Gen. Armistead Burt, of South Carolina, moved (having alWhole) this addition to the clause ready done so in Committee of the inhibiting Slavery, as above given :
"Inasmuch as the whole of the said Ter
ritory lies north of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, known as the line of the Missouri Compromise."
The object of this amendment was to obtain from the House a recognition of the parallel 36° 30' as a dividing line between Slave and Free territory across the entire continent,
ATTEMPT TO EXTEND THE LINE OF 36° 30'.
or so far as our possessions might extend. The House voted down Gen. Burt's proposition: Yeas 82; Nays 114 every member from the Slave States, with four" Democrats from Free States, voting in the affirmative; while every Whig from the Free States, with every Democrat from those States but the four aforesaid, voted in the negative. The bill thereupon passed the House by 134 Yeas to 35 Nays—all from Slave States; but, on reaching the Senate, it was referred, reported, sent back again, and finally, on the last day of the session, laid on the table-Yeas 26; Nays 18-there to sleep the sleep of death.
11 PENNSYLVANIA.-Charles J. Ingersoll-1. ILLINOIS.-Stephen A. Douglas, Robert Smith -2. Iowa.-S. C. Hastings-1. In all, 4.
| with the majority, which was otherwise entirely composed of members from Free States; eight " Democrats from Free States voted in the minority, otherwise composed of all the members from Slave States present, Mr. Houston, of Delaware, excepted. The bill then passed the House by a "sectional" vote-Yeas 128; Nays 71.
In the next (XXXth) Congress,
special order five weeks thereafter,
12 NEW YORK.-Ausburn Birdsall-1. OHIO.William Kennon, jr., John K. Miller-2. ILLI
In the Senate, Mr. Douglas " promptly (August 5th) reported this bill with amendments, and a proposition from Mr. Foote, of Mississippi, that it "do lie on the table,” was defeated by 15 (ultra Southern) Yeas to 36 Nays. Among the amendments reported by Mr. Douglas was a reproduction in substance of Gen. Burt's, defeated the year before in the House, which now received but two votes-those of Messrs. Bright and Douglas. Mr. Douglas thereupon moved to amend the bill, by inserting as follows:
"That the line of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes of north latitude, known as the Missouri Compromise line, as defined in the eighth section of an act entitled, 'An
Act to authorize the people of the Missouri Territory to form a Constitution and State Government, and for the admission of such State into the Union, on an equal footing with the original States, and to prohibit Slavery in certain Territories, approved March 6, 1820,' be, and the same is hereby, declared to extend to the Pacific Ocean; and the said eighth section, together with the compromise therein effected, is hereby revived, and declared to be in full force, and binding, for the future organization of the Territories of the United States, in the same sense, and with the same understandwith which it was generally adopted." This was carried by 33 Yeas-inNOIS.-Orlando B. Ficklin, John A. McClernand, William A. Richardson-3. INDIANA.-John L. Robinson, William W. Wick-2.
13 Recently transferred from the House; now chairman of the Senate's Committee on Territories.