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my friends (Mr. Taylor and Mr. Mills) for the expressions, really intending the meaning which manner in which they supported my amendment, the words seem to import, and which had been at a time when I was unable to partake in the uttered against the gentleman from New Hampdebate. I had only on that day returned from a shire. [Mr. Nelson, of Virginia, in the Chair, journey, long in its extent and painful in its oc- called to order, and said no personal remarks casion ; and from an affection of my breast I would be allowed.) Mr. T. said he rejoiced the could not then speak. I cannot yet hope to do Chair was at length aroused to a sense of its justice to the subject; but I do hope to say duties. The debate had, for several days, proenough to assure my friends that I have not left gressed with unequaled violence, and all was in them in the controversy, and to convince the order ; but now, when at length this violence on opponents of the measure, that their violence has one side is to be resisted, the Chair discovered it not driven me from the debate.
is out of order. I rejoice, said Mr. T., at the disSir, the hon. gentleman from Missouri (Mr. covery, I approve of the admonition, while I am Scott, who has just resumed his seat, has told us of proud to say it has no relevancy to me. It is the ides of March, and has cautioned us to “be iny boast that I have never uttered an unfriendly ware of the fate of Cæsar and of Rome.” Another personal remark on this floor; but I wish it disgentleman (Mr. Cobb) from Georgia, in addition tinctly understood, that the immutable laws of to other expressions of great warmth, has said, self-defense will justify going to great lengths, that if we persist, the Union will be dissolved ; and and that, in the future progress of this debate, with a look fixed on me, has told us, "we have the rights of defense would be regarded. kindled a fire which all the waters of the ocean Sir, has it already come to this: that in the cannot put out, which seas of blood can only ex- Congress of the United States—that, in the legistinguish."
lative councils of republican America, the subject Language of this sort has no effect on me; my of Slavery has become a subject of so much purpose is fixed, it is interwoven with my ex- feeling-of such delicacy-of such danger, that it istence; its durability is limited with my life; it cannot safely be discussed? Are menibers who is a great and glorious cause, setting bounds to a venture to express their sentiments on this subslavery the most cruel and debasing the world ject, to be accused of talking to the galleries, has ever witnessed ; it is the freedom of man; it with intention to excite a servile war; and of is the cause of unredeemed and unregenerated meriting the fate of Arbuthnot and Ambrister? human beings.
Are we to be told of the dissolution of the Union, If a dissolution of the Union must take place, of civil war. and of seas of blood ?
And yet, let it be so! If civil war, which gentlemen so with such awful threatenings before us, much threaten, must come, I can only say, let it tlemen, in the same breath, insist upon the encome! My hold on life is probably as frail as couragement of this evil; upon the extension of that of any man who now hears me'; but while this monstrous scourge of the human race? An that hold lasts, it shall be devoted to the service evil so fraught with such dire calamities to us of my country-to the freedom of man. If blood as individuals, and to our nation, and threatenis necessary to extinguish any fire which I have ing, in its progress, to overwhelm the civil and assisted to kindle, I can assure gentlemen, while religious institutions of the country, with the I regret the necessity, I shall not forbear to con- liberties of the nation, ought at once to be met, tribute my mite. Sir, the violence to which gen- and to be controlled. If its power, its influence, tlemen have resorted on this subject will not and its impending dangers, have already arrived move my purpose, nor drive me from my place. at such a point, that it is not safe to discuss it on I have the fortune and the honor to stand here as this floor, and it cannot now pass under considerathe representative of freemen, who possess in- tion as a proper subject for general legislation, telligence to know their rights; who have the what will be the result when it is spread through spirit to maintain them. Whatever might be my your widely-extended domain ? Its present own private sentiments on this subject, standing threatening aspect, and the violence of its suphere as the representative of others, no choice is porters, so far from inducing me to yield to its left me. I know the will of my constituents, and, progress, prompt me to resist its march. Now is regardless of consequences, I will avow it—as the time. It must now be met, and the extension their representative, I will proclaim their hatred of the evil must now be prevented, or the occato Slavery in every shape—as their representative sion is irrecoverably lust, and the evil can never here will I hold my stand, till this Hoor, with the be controlled. Constitution of my country which supports it, Sir, extend your view across the Mississippi, shall sink beneath me--if I am doomed to fall, I over your newly-acquired territory-a territory shall, at least, have the painful consolation to be so far surpassing, in extent, the limits of your lieve that I fall, as a fragment, in the ruins of my present country, that that country which gave country.
birth to your nation-which achieved your Revo. Sir, the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Colston) lution--consolidated your Union-formed your has accused my honorable friend from New Constitution, and has subsequently acquired so Hampshire (Mr. Livermore) of " speaking to the much glory, hangs but as an appendage to the galleries," and by his " language endeavoring to extended empire over which your republican excite a servile war;" and has ended by saying, government is nuw called to bear sway. Look “he is no better than Arbuthnot and Ambrister, down the long vista of futurity ; see your and deserves no better fate.” When I hear such empire, in extent unequaled, in advantageous language uttered upon this floor, and within this situation without a parallel, and occupying all the house, I am constrained to consider it as hasty valuable part of one continent. Behold this exand nnintended language, resulting from the tended empire, inhabited by the hardy sons of vehemence of debate, and not really intending the American freemen, knowing their rights, and inpersonal indecorum the expressions would seem heriting the will to protect them-owners of the to indicate., [Mr. Colston asked to explain, and soil on which they live, and interested in the in. said he had not distinctly understood Mr. T. stitutions which they labor to defend ; with two Mr. Livermore called on Mr. C. to state the ex- oceans laving your "shores, and tributary to your pressions he had used. Mr. C. then said he had purposes, bearing on their bosoms the commerce no explanation to give.) Mr. T. said he had none of our people ; compared to yours, the govern, to ask-he continued to say, he would not be ments of Europe dwindle into insignificance, and lieve any gentleman on this floor would commit the whole world is without a parallel. But, sir, 80 great an indecorum against any member, or reverse this scene; people this fair domain with against the dignity of this house, as to use such the slaves of your planters; extend Slavery, this
bane of man, this abomination of heaven, over that all amendments and conditions are proper, your extended empire, and you prepare ite dissolu. which suit a certain class of gentlemen, but what tion ; you turn its accumulated strength into ever amendment is proposed, which does not positive weakness ; you cherish a canker in your comport with their interests or their views, is unbreast ; you put poison in your bosom ; you place constitutional, and a flagrant violation of this a vulture preying on your heart-nay, you whet sacred charter of our rights. In order to be conthe dagger and place it in the hands of a portion sistent, gentlemen must go back and strike out of your population, stimulated to use it, by every the various amendments to which they have tie, human and divine. The envious contrast already agreed. The Constitution applies equally between your happiness and their misery, be to all, or to none. tween your liberty and their slavery, must con- Sir, we have been told that this is a new prinstantly prompt them to accomplish your destruc- ciple for which we contend, never before adopted, tion. "Your enemies will learn the source and or thought of. So far from this being correct, it the cause of your weakness. As often as external is due to the memory of our ancestors to say, it dangers shall threaten, or internal commotions is an old principle, adopted by them, as the await you, you will then realize, that by your own policy of our country: Whenever the United procurement, you have placed amidst your States have had the right and the power, they families, and in the bosom of your country, a have heretofore prevented the extension of population producing at once the greatest cause Slavery, The States of Kentucky and Tennessee of individual danger, and of national weakness. were taken off from other States, and were adWith this defect, your government must crumble mitted into the Union without condition, because to pieces, and your people become the scoff of their lands were never owned by the United the world.
States. The Territory northwest of the Ohio is all Sir, we have been told, with apparent confi- the land which ever belonged to them. Shortly dence, that we have no right to annex conditions after the cession of those lands to the Union, to a State, on its admission into the Union; and Congress passed, in 1787, a compact, which was it has been urged that the proposed amendment, declared to be unalterable, the sixth article of prohibiting the further introduction of Slavery, is which provides that "there shall be neither unconstitutional. This position, asserted with Slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said so much confidence, remains unsupported by any Territory, otherwise than in the punishment for argument, or by any authority derived from the crimes, whereof the parties shall have been duly Constitution itself. The Constitution strongly in convicted." In pursuance of this compact, all dicates an opposite conclusion, and seems to con- the States formed from that Territory have been template a difference between the old and the admitted into the Union upon various conditions, new States. The practice of the government and, amongst which, the sixth article of this has sanctioned this difference in many respects. compact is included as one.
The third section of the fourth article of the Let gentlemen also advert to the law for the Constitution says,
be admitted admission of the State of Louisiana into the by the Congress into this Union,” and it is silent Union : they will find it filled with conditions. It as to the terms and conditions upon which the was required not only to form a Constitution upon new States may be so admitted. The fair infer- the principles of a republican government, but ence from this is, that the Congress which might it was required to contain the fundamental prin. admit, should prescribe the time and the terms ciples of civil and religious liberty.' It was even of such adınission. The tenth section of the first required as a condition of its admission, to keep article of the Constitution says, “the migration its records, and its judicial and its legislativo or importation of such persons as any of the procedings in the English language; and also to States now existing shall think proper to ad secure the trial by jury, and to surrender all mit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior claim to unappropriated lands in the Territory, to the year 1808.". The words “ now existing with the prohibition to tax any of the United clearly show the distinction for which we con- States' lands. tend. The word slave is nowhere mentioned in After this long practice and constant usage to the Constitution; but this section has always annex conditions to the admission of a State into been considered as applicable to them, and un- the Union, will gentlemen yet tell us it is unconquestionably, reserved the right to prevent their stitutional, and talk of our principles being novel importation into any new State before the year and extraordinary? It has been said, that, if this 1808.
amendment prevails, we shall have an union of Congress, therefore, have power over the States possessing unequal rights. And we have subject, probably as a matter of legislation, but been asked, whether we wished to see such a more certainly as a right, to prescribe the time "chequered union ?". Sir, we have such a union and the condition upon which any new State already. If the prohibition of Slavery is the demay be admitted into the family of the Union. nial of a right, and constitutes a chequered union, Sir, the bill now before us proves the correctness gladly would I behold such rights denied, and of my argument. It is filled with conditions and such a chequer spread over every State in the limitations. The territory is required to take a Union. It is now spread over the States northcensus, and is to be admitted only on condition west of the Ohio, and forms the glory and the that it have 40,000 inhabitants. I have already strength of those States. I hope it will be exsubmitted amendments preventing the State from tended from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean. taxing the lands of the United States, and declar- Sir, we have been told that the proposed ing that all navigable waters shall remain open amendment cannot be received, because it is to the other States, and be exempt from any tolls contrary to the treaty and cession Louisiana, or duties. And my friend (Mr. Taylor) has also “ Article 3. The inhabitants of the ceded terri. submitted amendments prohibiting the State tory shall be incorporated in the Union of the from taxing soldiers' lands for the period of five United States, and admitted as soon as possible,
And to all these amendments we have according to the principles of the Federal Con. heard no objection-they have passed unani- stitution, to the enjoyment of all the rights ad. mously. But now, when an amendment, pro- vantages, and immunities of citizens of the hibiting the further introduction of Slavory is United States, and in the mean time they shall proposed, the whole house is put in agitation, be maintained and protected in the free enjoyand we are confidently told it is unconstitutional ment of their liberty, their property, and the ro. to annex conditions to the admission of a new ligion which they profess." I find nothing, said State into the Union. The result of all this is, Mr. T., in this artiêle of the treaty, incompatible with the proposed amendment. The rights, ad- of bettering the conditions of slaves, by spreadvantages, and iminunities of citizens of the ing them over the country. A slave-driver, a United States are guaranteed to the inhabitants trafficker in human flesh, as if sent by Provi. of Louisiana. If one of them should choose to dence, has passed the door of your capitol, on his remove into Virginia, he could take his slaves way to the West, driving, before him about fif. with him; but if he removes to Indiana, or any teen of these wretched victims of his power colof the States northwest of the Ohio, he cannot lected in the course of his traffic, and by their take his slaves with him. If the proposed removal, torn from every relation and from every amendment prevail, the inhabitants of 'Lou- tie which the human heart can hold dear. The isiana, or the citizens of the United States, can males, who might raise the arm of vengeance, neither of them take slaves into the State of and retaliate for their wrongs, were hand-cuffed Missouri
. All, therefore, may enjoy equal privi- and chained to each other, while the females and leges. It is a disability, or what I call a blessing, children were marched in their rear, under the annexed to the particular district of country, guidance of the driver's whip! Yes, sir, such and in no manner attached to the individual. has been the scene witnessed from the windows But, while I have no doubt that the treaty con- of Congress Hall, and viewed by members who tains no solid objection against the proposed compose the legislative councils of republican amendment, if it did, it would not alter my de America ! termination on the subject. The Senate, or the In the course of the debate on this subject, we treaty-making power of our government, have have been told that, from the long habit of the neither the right, nor the power to stipulate by a southern and western people, the possession of treaty, the terms upon which a people shall be slaves has become necessary to them, and an esadmitted into the Union. This House have a sential requisite in their living. It has been right to be heard on the subject. The admission urged, from the nature of the climate and soil of of a State into the Union is a Legislative act, the southern countries, that the lands cannot be which requires the concurrence of all the depart- occupied or cultivated without slaves. It has ments of Legislative power. It is an important been said that the slaves prosper in those places, prerogative of this House, which I hope will and that they are much better off there than in never be surrendered.
their own native country. We have ever been The zeal and the ardor of gentlemen, in the told that if we succeed and prevent Slavery across course of this debate, have induced them to an- the Mississippi, we shall greatly lessen the value nounce to this house, that, if we persist and force of property there, and shall retard, for a long the state of Missouri to accede to the proposed series of years, the settlement of that country. amendment, as the condition of her admission Sir, said Mr. T., if the western country cannot into the Union, she will not regard it, and, as be settled without slaves, gladly would I prevent soon as admitted, will alter her constitution, and its settlement till time shall be no more. If this introduce Slavery into her territory. Sir, I am class of arguments is to prevail, it sets all morals not prepared, nor is it necessary to determine, at defiance, and we are called to legislate on this what would be the consequence of such a viola subject as a matter of mere personal interest. If tion of faith—of such a departure from the funda- this is to be the case, repeal all your laws prohimental condition of her admission into the biting the slave-trade ; throw open this traffic to Union. I would not cast upon a people so foul the commercial States of the East; and if it betan imputation, as to believe they would be guilty ter the condition of these wretched beings, invite of such fraudulent duplicity. The States north- the dark population of benighted Africa to be west of the Ohio have all regarded the faith and translated to the shores of republican America. the conditions of their admission; and there is no But I will not cast upon this or upon that gentlereason to believe the people of Missouri will not man an imputation so ungracious as the conclu. also regard theirs. But, sir, whenever a State sion to which their arguments would necessarily admitted into the Union shall disregard and set tend. I do not believe any gentleman on this at naught the fundamental conditions of its ad- floor would here advocate the slave-trade; or mission, and shall, in violation of all faith, un maintain in the abstract the principles of Slave dertake to levy a tax upon lands of the United ry. I will not outrage the decorum, nor insult States, or a toll upon their navigable waters, or the dignity of this house, by attempting to argue introduce Slavery, where Congress have prohi- in this place, as an abstract proposition, the bited it, then it will be in time to determine the moral right of Slavery. How gladly would the consequence. But, if the threatened
consequence legitimates of Europe chuckle," to find an were known to be the certain result, yet would I American Congress in debate on such a quesinsist upon the proposed amendment. The de- tion! claration of this house, the declared will of the As an evil brought upon us without our own nation to prohibit Slavery, would produce its fault, before the formation of our government, moral effect, and stand as one of the brightest and as one of the sins of that nation from which ornaments of our country.
we have revolted, we must of necessity legislate Sir, it has been urged with great plausibility, upon this subject. It is our business so to legis. that we should spread the slaves now in our late as never to encourage, but always to concountry, and thus spread the evil, rather than trol, this evil; and, while we strive to eradicate confine it to its present districts. It has been it, we ought to fix its limits, and render it subor. said, we should thereby diminish the dangers dinate to the safety of the white population, and from them, while we increase the means of their the good order of civil society. living, and augment their comforts. But, you Sir, on this subject the eyes of Europe are may rest assured, that this reasoning is fallacious, turned upon you. You boast of the freedom of and that, while Slavery is admitted, the market your constitution and your laws, you have prowill be supplied. Our coast, and its contiguity claimed, in the Declaration of 'Independence, to the West Indies and the Spanish possessions, " That all men are created equal; that they are render easy the introduction of slaves into our endowed by their Creator with certain unalienacountry. Our laws are already highly penal ble rights that amongst these are life, liberty, against their introduction, and yet it is a well and the pursuit of happiness ;” and yet you have known fact, that about fourteen thousand slaves slaves in your country..
The enemies of your have been brought into our country this last government, and the legitimates of Europe, point year.
to your inconsistencies, and blazon your supposed Since we have been engaged in this debate, we defects. If you allow Slavery to pass into terri. have witnessed an elucidation of this argument, I tories where you ha
power to ex
clude it, you will justly take upon yourself all tlemen, by their superor liberality in contributhe charges of inconsistency; but confine it to the tions to moral institutions, justly stand in the original slaveholding States, where you found it first rank, and hold the first place in the brightest at the formation of your government, and you page in the history of our country. But, turn stand acquitted of all imputation.
over this page, and what do you behold ?' You This is a subject upon which I have great feel behold them contributing to teach the doctrines ing for the honor of my country. In a former of Christianity in every quarter of the globe. debate upon the Illinois constitution, I mention. You behold them legislating to secure the iged that our enemies had drawn a picture of our norance and stupidity of their own slaves! You country, as holding in one hand the Declaration behold them, prescribing, by law, penalties of Independence, and with the other brandishing against the inan that dares teach a negro to read. a whip over our affrighted slaves. I then made Such is the statute law of the State of Virginia. it my boast that we could cast back upon Eng. [Mr. Bassett and Mr. Tyler said that there was land the accusation-that she had committed the no such law in Virginia.) original sin of bringing slaves into our country. No, said Mr. T., I have mis-spoken myself; I I have since received, through the post-office, a ought to have said, such is the statute law of the letter post marked in South Carolina, and signed State of Georgia. Yes, while we hear of a “ A native of England," desiring that, when I liberality which civilizes the savages of all had occasion to repeat my boast against England, countries, and carries the gospel alike to the I would also state that she had atoned for her Hottentot and the Hindoo, it has been reserved original sin, by establishing in her slave-colonies for the republican State of Georgia, not content a system of humane laws, meliorating their con with the care of its overseers, to legislate to sedition, and providing for their safety, while cure the oppression and the ignorance of their America had committed the secondary sin of dis- slaves. The man who there teaches a negro to regarding their condition, and had even provided read, is liable to a criminal prosecution. The laws, by which it was not murder to kill a slave. dark, benighted beings of all creation profit by Sir, I felt the severity of the reproof ; I felt for our liberality-save those of our own plantations. my country. I have inquired on the subject, Where is the missionary who possesses sufficient and I find such were formerly the laws in some hardihood to venture à residence to teach the of the slaveholding States; and that even now, slaves of a plantatiou? Here is the stain! Here in the State of South Carolina, by law, the pen is the stigma! which fastens upon the character alty, of death is provided for stealing & slave, of our country; and which, in the appropriate while the murder of a slave is punished with a language of the gentleman from Georgia, (Mr. trivial fine. Such is the contrast and the relative Cobb,) all the waters of the ocean cannot wash value which is placed, in the opinion of a slavo- out ; which seas of blood can only take away. holding State, between the property of the mas- Şir, there is yet another, and an important ter and the life of a slave.
point of view, in which this subject ought to be Sir, gentlemen have undertaken to criminate, considered. Wo have been told by those who and to draw odious contrasts between different advocate the extension of Slavery into the Missections of our country-I shall not combat such souri, that any attempt to control this subject by arguments; I have made no pretense to exclusive legislation, is a violation of that faith and mumorality on this subject, either for myself or my tual confidence upon which our Union was constituents; nor have I cast any imputations formed, and our Constitution adopted. This ar. on others. On the contrary, I hold that man. gument might be considered plausible, if the kind under like circumstances are alike, the restriction was attempted to be enforced against world over. The vicious and unprincipled are any of the slaveholding States, which had been a confined to no district of country, and it is for party in the adoption of the Constitution. But this portion of the community we are bound to it can have no reference or application to a new legislate. When honorable gentlemen inform us district of country recently acquired, and never we overrate the cruelty and the dangers of contemplated in the formation of government, Slavery, and tell us that their slaves are happy, and not embraced in the mutual concessions and and contented, and would even contribute to declared faith upon which the Constitution was their safety, they tell us but very little ; they do adopted. The Constitution provides, that the not tell us, that, while their slaves are happy, Representatives of the several States to this the slaves of some depraved and cruel wretch in House shall be according to their number, in. their neighborhood may not be stimulated to re- cluding three-fifths of the slaves in the respective venge, and thus involve the country in ruin. If States. This is an important benefit yielded to we had to legislate only for such gentlemen as the slavehulding
States, as one of the mutual are now embraced within my view, a law against sacrifices for the Union. On this subject, I con. robbing the mail would be a disgrace upon the sider the faith of the Union pledged, and I never nation ; and, as useless, I would tear it from the would attempt coercive manumission in a slave. pages of your statute book; yet sad experience holding Statē. has taught us the necessity of such laws-and But none of the causes which induced the honor, justice, and policy teach us the wisdom sacrifice of this principle, and which now produce of legislating to limit the extension of Slavery. such an unequal representation on this floor, of
In the zeal to draw sectional contrasts, we have the free population of the country, exist as bebeen told by one gentleman, that gentlemen from tween us and the newly-acquired Territory one district of country talk of their morality, across the Mississippi. That portion of country while those of another practice it. And the su- has no claims to such an unequal representation, perior liberality has been asserted of Southern unjust in its results upon the other States. Are gentlemen over those of the North, in all contribu- the numerous slaves in extensive countries, which tions to moral institutions, for bible and mission. we may acquire by purchase, and admit as States ary societies. Sir, I understand too well the pur into the Union, at once to be represented on this suit of my purpose, to be decoyed and drawn off floor, under a clause of the Constitution, granted into the discussion of a collateral subject. I as a compromise and a benefit to the southern have no inclination to controvert these assertions States which had borne part in the Revolution ? of comparative liberality. Although I have no Such an extension of that clause in the Coustitu. idea they are founded in fact, yet, because it bet. tion would be unjust in its operations, unequal in ter suits the object of my present argument, I its results, and a violation of its original intention. will, on this occasion, admit them to the fullest Abstract from the moral effects of Slavery, its extent. And what is the result? Southern gen. political consequence in the representation under this clause of the Constitution, demonstrate the their own State Constitution, and over which importance of the proposed amendment. Congress had no superintending control, other
Sir, I shall bow in silence to the will of the than that expressly given in the fourth section of majority, on whichever side it shall be expressed : the same article, which read, "the United States yet i confidently hope that majority will be shall guarantee to every State in this Union a found on the side of an amendment, so replete republican form of government." This end acwith moral consequences, so pregnant with im. complished, the guardianship of the United portant political results.
States over the Constitutions of the several States Mr. Scott, of Missouri, said, he trusted conditions beyond this, was so much power un
was fulfilled ; and all restrictions, limitations and that his conduct, during the whole of the time warrantably assumed. In illustration of this in which he bad the honor of a seat in the House, position, he would read an extract from one of had convinced gentlemen of his disposition not the essays written by the late President Madison, to obtrude his sentiments on any other subjects contemporaneously with the Constitution of the than those on which the interest of his consti- United States, and from a very celebrated work : tuents, and of the Territory he represented, were “. In a confederacy founded on republican prinimmediately concerned. But when a question ciples, and composed of republican members, such as the amendments proposed by the gentle the superintending government ought clearly to men from New York (Messrs. Tallmadge and possess authority to defend the system against Taylor), was presented for consideration, in- aristocratic or monarchical innovations. The volving constitutional principles to a vast more intimate the nature of such an Union may amount, pregnant with the future fate of the be, the greater interest have the members in the Territory. portending destruction to the liberties political institutions of each other, and the greater of that people, directly bearing on their rights of right to insist that the forms of government unproperty, their state rights, their all, he should der which the compact was entered into, should consider it as a dereliction of his duty, as retreat be substantially maintained. But this authority ing from his post, nay, double criminality, did extends no further than to a guarantee of a rehe not raise his voice against their adoption. publican form of government, which supposes a After the many able and luminous views that pre-existing government of the form which is to had been taken of this subject, by the speaker of be guaranteed. As long, therefore, as the exthe House, and other honorable gentlemen, he isting republican forms are continued by the had not the vanity to suppose that any additional States, they are guaranteed by the Federal Conviews wbich he could offer or any new dress in stitution. Whenever the States may choose to which he could clothe those already advanced, substitute other republican forms, they have a would have the happy tendency of inducing any right to do so, and to claim the Federal guarantee gentleman to change his vote. But, if he stood for the latter. The only restriction imposed on single on the question, and there was no man to them is, that they shall not exchange republican help him, yet, while the laws of the land and the for anti-republican Constitutions; a restriction rules of the House guaranteed to him the privi- which, it is presumed, will hardly be considered lege of speech, he would redeem his conscience as a grievance." from the imputation of having silently witnessed Mr. S. thought that those two clauses, when a violation of the Constitution of his country, supported by such high authority, had they been and an infringement on the liberties of the the only ones in the Constitution which related people who had intrusted to his feeble abilities to the powers of the general government over the advocation of their rights. He desired, at the States, and particularly at their formation and this early stage of his remarks, in the name of adoption into the Union, could not but be deemed the citizens of Missouri Territory, whose rights satisfactory to a reasonable extent; but there on other subjects had been too long neglected were other provisions in the Constitution, to and shamefully disregarded, to enter his solemn which he would refer, that beyond all doubt, to protest against the introduction, under the in his mind, settled the question. One of those was sidious form of amendment, of any principle in the tenth article in the amendments, which said this bill, the obvious tendency of which would that "the powers not delegated to the United be to sow the seeds of discord in, and perhaps States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it eventually endanger the Uniun.
to the States, are reserved to the States respecMr. S. entertained the opinion, that, under the tively or to the people.” He believed that, by Constitution, Congress had not the power to im- common law, and common usage, all grants givpose this, or any other restriction, or to require ing certain defined and specific privileges, or of the people of Missouri their assent to this con. powers, were to be so construed as that no others dition, as a pre-requisite to their admission into should be intended to be given but such as were the Union. He contended this from the language particularly enumerated in the instruments themof the Constitution itself, from the practice in the selves, or indispensably necessary to carry into admission of new States under that instrument, effect those designated. In no part of the Constiand from the express terms of the treaty of ces- tution was the power proposed to be exercised, of sion. The short view he intended to take of imposing conditions on a new State, given, either those points would, he trusted, be satisfactory to in so many words, or by any justifiable or fair all those who were not so anxious to usurp power inference ; nor in any portion of the Constitution as to sacrifice to its attainment the principles of was the right prohibited to the respective States, our government, or who were not desirous of to regulate their own internal police, of admitting prostrating the rights and independence of a such citizens as they pleased, or of introducing State to chimerical views of policy or expediency. any description of property, that they should con The authority to admit new States into the Union sider as essential or necessary to their prosperity; was granted in the third section of the fourth ar. and the framers of that instrument seem to have ticle of the Constitution, which declared that been zealous lest, by implication or by inference,
new States my be admitted by the Congress powers might be assumed by the general govern. into the Union.". The only power given to the inent over the states and people, other than those Congress by this section appeared to him to expressly given: hence they reserve in so many be, that of passing a law for the admission of terms to the states, and the people, all powers not the new State, leaving it in possession of all the delegated to the federal governinent. The ninth rights, privileges, and immunities, enjoyed by article of the amendments to the Constitution the other States ; the most valuable and promi- still further illustrated the position he had taken ; nent of which was that of forming and modifying it read, that “the enumeration in the Constitution