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The Committee on Territories, to which was referred a bill for an act to establish
the Territory of Nebrasku, have given the same that serious and deliberate consideration which its great importance demands, and beg leave to report it back to the Senate with various amendments, in the form of a substitute for the bill: The principal amendments,
which your com- || proving voice of the American people, your committee deem it their duty to commend to the fa- mittee have deemed it their duty to incorporate vorable action of the Senate, in a special report, and perpetuate in their territorial bill the principles are those in which the principles established by and spirit of those measures. If any other conthe compromise measures of 1850, so far as they siderations were necessary to render ihe propriety are applicable to territorial organizations, are pro- of this course imperative upon the committee, posed io be afirmed and carried into practical ope they may be found in the fact that the Nebraska ration within the limits of the new territory. country occupies the same relative position to the
The wisdom of those measures is attested, not slavery question as did New Mexico and Utah less by their salutary and beneficial effects in al- when those territories were organized. laying sectional agitation and restoring peace and It was a disputed point, whether slavery was harmony to an irritated and distracted people, than prohibited by law in the country acquired from by the cordial and almost universal approbation Mexico. On the one hand, it was contended, as a with which they have been received and sanc-legal proposition, that, slavery having been protioned by the whole country. In the judgment of hibited by the enactments of Mexico according to your committee, those measures were intended to the laws of nations, we received the country with have a far more comprehensive and enduring effect all its local laws and domestic institutions aliached than the mere adjustment of the difficulties arising to the soil, so far as they did not conflict with the out of the recent acquisition of Mexican territory. | Constitution of the United States; and that a law
They were designed to establish certain great either protecting or prohibiting slavery was not principles, which would not only furnish adequate repugnant to that instrument, as was evinced by remedies for existing evils, but in all time to the fact that one-half of the States of the Union come avoid the perils of a similar agitation, hy tolerated, while the other half prohibited, the instiwithdrawing the question of slavery from the rution of slavery. On the other hand, it was inhalls of Congress and the political arena and com- sisted that, by virtue of the Constitution of the mitting it to the arbitrament of those who were United States, every citizen had a right to remove immediately interested in and alone responsible to any Territory of the Union, and carry his profor its consequences. With the view of conform-perly with him under the protection of law, wheing their action to what they regard the settled iher that properly consisted in persons or things. policy of the government, sanctioned by the ap- The dificulties arising from this diversity of opin
ion were greatly aggravated by the fact, that there by it to slave property in the territories, so your were many persons on both sides of the legal con- committee are not prepared now to recommend a troversy who were unwilling to abide the decision departure from the course pursued on that memoof the courts on the legal matters in dispute. Thus, rable occasion, either by aflirming or repealing the among those who clalmed that the Mexican laws | Sth section of the Missouri act, or by any act dewere still in force, and consequently that slavery claratory of the meaning of the Constitution in was already prohibited in those territories by valid respect to the legal points in dispute. enactment, there were many who insisted upon Your committee deem it fortunate for the peace Congress making the matter certain, by enacting of the country, and the security of the Union, that another prohibition. In like manner, some of those the controversy then resulted in the adoption of who argued that the Mexican laws had ceased to the compromise measures, which the two great have any binding force, and that the Constitution political parties, with singular unanimity, have aftolerated and protected slave property in those firmed as a cardinal article of their faith, and proterritories, were unwilling to trust the decision of claimed to the world as a final settlement of the the courts upon that point, and insisted that Con-controversy and an end of the agitation. A due gress should by direct enactment remove all legal respect, therefore, for the avowed opinions of senobstacles to the introduction of slaves into those i ators, as well as a proper sense of patriotic duty, territories.
enjoins upon your committee the propriety and Such being the character of the controversy in necessity of a strict adherence to the principles, respect to the territory acquired from Mexico, a and even a literal adoption of the enactments of similar question has arisen in regard to the right that adjustment, in all their territorial bills, so far 10 hold slaves in the proposed territory of Ne- as the same are not locally inapplicable. Those braska when the Indian laws shall be withdrawn enactments embrace, among other things, less and the country thrown open to emigration and material to the matters under consideration, the settlement. By the Sth section of an act to au- | following provisions : thorise the people of the Missouri Territory to " When admitted as a State, the said territory or form a constitution and State governinent, and for any portion of the same, shall be received into the the admission of such State into the Union to an Union, with or without slavery, as their constituequal footing with the original States, and to pro- tion may prescribe at the time of their admission.” bibit slavery in certain territories," approved 6. That ihe legislative power and authority of March 6, 1820, it was provided : “ That, in all that said territory shall be vested in the governor and territory ceded by France to the United Siates a legislative assembly.” under the name of Louisiana, which lies north of That the legislative power of said territory thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes north lati- || shall extend to all rightful subjects of legislation, tude, not included within the limits of the State consistent with the Constituiion of the United contemplated by this act, slavery and involuntary Siates and the provisions of this act; but no law servitude, otherwise than in the punishment of shall be passed interfering with the primary dispocrimes whereof the parties shall have been duly sal of the soil; no tax shall be imposed upon the convicted, shall be and is here by forever pro- l property of the United States ; nor shall the lands hibited: Provided always, That any person es- or other property of non-residents be taxed higher caping into the same, from whom labor or service than the lands or other property of residents.' is lawfully claimed in any State or territory of the “Writs of error and appeals from the final deciUnited States, such fugitive may be lawfully re. sions of said supreme court shall be allowed, and claimed, and conveyed to the person claiming his may be taken to the Supreme Court of the United or her labor or service as aforesaid."
States in the same manner and under the same Under this section, as in the case of the Mexi-regulations as from the circuit courts of the United can law in New Mexico and Utah, it is a disputed States, where the value of the property or the point whether slavery is prohibited in the Nebras- amount in controversy, to be ascertained by the ka country by valid enactment. The decision of oath or affirmation of either party or other comthis question involves the constitutional power of | petent witness, shall exceed one thousand dollars, Congress to pass laws prescribing and regulating except only that, in all cases involving title to the domestic institutions of the various territories || slaves, the said writs of error or appeals shall be of the Union. In the opinion of those eminent allowed and decided by the said supreme court, statesmen, who hold that Congress is invested without regard to the value of the matter, prowith no rightful authority to legislate upon the perty, or title in controversy; and except, also, subject of slavery in the territories, the sth sec- lihat a writ of error or appeal shall also be allowed tion of the act preparatory to the admission of to the Supreme Court of the United States, from Missouri is null and void; while the prevailing the decisions of the said supreme court created by sentiment in large portions of the Union sustains this act, or of any judge thereof, or of the district the doctrine that the Constitution of the United courts created by this act, or of any judge thereof, States secures to every citizens an inalienable upon any writ of habeas corpus involving the ques right to move into any of the territories with his tion of personal freedom ; and each of the said dis property, of whatever kind and description, and trict courts shall have and exercise the same juristo hold and enjoy the same under the sanction of diction in all cases arising under the Constitution law. Your committee do not feel themselves called and laws of the United States as is vested in the upon to enter into the discussion of these contro-circuit and district courts of the United States; verted questions. They involve the same grave and the said supreme and district courts of the said issues which produced the agitation, the sectional territory, and the respective judges thereof, shall strife, and the fearful struggle of 1850. As Con- and may grant writs of habeas corpus in all cases in gress deemed it wise and prudent to refrain from which the same are granted by the judges of the deciding the matters in controversy then, either United States in the District of Columbia." by affirming or repealing the Mexican laws, or To which may be added the following proposiby an act declaratory of the true intent of the Con- tion affirmed by the act of 1850, known as the fun stitution and the extent of the proluction afforded gitive slave law :
That the provisions of the “act respecting fugi- Second. That “all cases involving title to tives from justice and persons escaping from the slaves," and "questions of personal freedom," are service of their masters," approved February 12, referred to the adjudication of the local tribunals, 1793, and the provisions of the act to amend and with the right of appeal to the Supreme Court of supplementary to the aforesaid act, approved Sep- the United States. tember 18, 1850, shall extend to and be force in Third. That the provisions of the Constitution all the organized territories," as well as in the va- of the United States, in respect to fugitives from rious States of the Union.
service, is to be carried into faithful execution in From these provisions, it is apparent that the all “the organized territories" the same as in the compromise measures of 1850 affirm and rest States. The substitute for the bill which your upon the following propositions.
committee have prepared, and which is commendFirst. That all questions pertaining to slavery ined to the favorable action of the Senate, proposes the territories, and in the new States to be formed to carry these propositions and principles into therefrom, are to be left to the decision of the practical operation, in the precise language of the people residing therein, by their appropriate repre- compromise measures of 1850. sentatives, to be chosen by them for that purpose.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES.
JANUARY 23, 1854.
Mr. DOUGLAS, from the Committee on Territories, submitted the following
To bill (S. 22,) “To organize the Territory of Nebraska,” viz:
strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the following: That all that part of the territory of the United into two or more Territories in such manner and States included within the following limits, ex- at such times as Congress shall deem convenient cept such portions thereof as are hereinafter and proper, or from attaching any portion of said expressly exempted from the operations of this Territory to any other State or Territory of the act, to wit: beginning at a point in the Mis- United States. Provided further, That nothing in souri river where the fortieth parallel of north lat- this act contained, shall be construed to impair the itude crosses the same; thence west on said pa- rights of person or property now pertaining to the rallel to the summit of the highlands separating | Indians in said Territory, so long as such rights the waters flowing into Green riverjor Colorado of shall remain unextinguished by treaty between the west from the waters flowing into the great the United States ana such Indians, or to include basin; thence northward on the said highlands to any Territory which by treaty with any Indian the summit of the Rocky mountains; thence on tribe is not without the consent of said tribe to said summit northward to the forty-ninth parallel be included within the territorial limits or jurisdic. of north latitude ; thence west on said parallel to tion of any State or Territory; but all such Terthe western boundary of the territory of Minne- ritory shall be excepted out of the boundaries and sota; thence southward on said boundary to the constitute no part of the Territory of Nebraska, Missouri river; thence down the main channel of until said tribe shall signify their assent to the said river to the place of beginning, be, and the President of the United States to be included same is, hereby created into a temporary govern-within the said Territory of Nebraska, or to afment by the name of the Territory of Nebraska; fect the authority of the government of the United and when admitted as a State or States, the said States to make any regulation respecting such Territory, or any portion of the same, shall be re- Indians, their lands, property, or other rights, by ceived into the Union, with or without slavery, as treaty, law, or otherwise, which it would have their constitution may prescribe at the time of their been competent to the government to make if this admission : Provided, That nothing in this act con- act had never passed, tained shall be construed to inhibit the government SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the exof the United States from dividing said Territory Il ecutive power and authority in and over said Ter. ritory of Nebraska shall be vested in a governor, | whole number shall never exceed :hirty-nine. An who shall hold his office for four years, and until apportionment shall be made, as nearly equal as his successor shall be appointed and qualified, un- | practicable, among the several counties or disless sooner removed by the President of the Uni-tricts, for the election of the council and represented States. The governor shall reside within said tatives, giving to each section of the Territory repTerritory, shall be commander-in-chief of the militia resentation in the ratio of its qualified voters, as thereof, shall perform the duties and receive the nearly as may be. And the members of the counemoluments of superintendent of Indian affairs, || ciland of the house of représentatives shall reside and shall approve of all laws passed by the legisla- || in and be inhabitants of the district or county, tive assembly before they shall take effect; he or counties, for which they may be elected remay grant pardons and respites for offences against spectively. Previous to the first election the the laws of said Territory, and reprieves for of- governor shall cause a census or enumeration of fences against the laws of the United States until the inhabitants and qualified voters of the several the decision of the President can be made known counties and districts of the Territory to be taken thereon; he shall commission all officers who by such persons, and in such mode, as the govershall be appointed to office under the laws of the nor shall designate and appoint; and the persons the said Territory, and shall take care that the so appointed shall receive a reasonable compenlaws be faithfully executed.
sation therefor. And the first election shall be Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That there shall || held at such time and places, and be conducted in be a secretary of said Territory, who shall reside such manner, both as to the persons who shall sutherein, and hold his office for five years, unless | perintend such election and the returns thereof, as sooner removed by the President of the United the governor shall appoint and direct; and he shall States;
he shall record and preserve all the laws at the same time declare the number of members of and proceedings of the legislative assembly here- the council and house of representatives to which inafter constituted, and all the acts and proceed- each of the counties or districts shall be entitled ings of the governor in his executive department; under this act. The persons having the highest he shall transinit one copy of the laws and jour- | number of legal votes in each of said council disnals of the legislative assembly within thirty daystricts for members of the council shall be declared after the end of each session, and one copy of the by the governor to be duly elected to the council, executive proceedings and official correspondence and the persons having the highest number of semi-annually, on the first days of January and legal votes for the house of representatives shall July in each year, to the President of the United be declared by the governor to be duly elected States, and two copies of the laws to the President members of said house: Provided, That in case of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of two or more persons voted for shall have an equal Representatives, for the use of Congress. And, in number of votes, and in case a vacancy shall case of the death, removal, resignation, or absence otherwise occur in either branch of the legislative of the governor from the Territory, the secretary assembly, the governor shall order a new election; shall be and he is hereby authorized and required || and the persons thus elected to the legislative asto execute and perform all the powers and duties sembly shall meet at such place, and on such day, of the governor during such vacancy or absence as the governor shall appoint; but thereafter the or until another governor shall be duly appointed time, place, and manner of holding, and conducting and qualified to fill such vacancy.
all elections by the people, and the apportioniug Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the legis- | the representation in the several counties or dislative power and authority of said Territory shall |tricts to the council and house of representatives, be vested in the governor and a legislative assem- || according to the number of qualified voters, shall bly. The legislative assembly shall consist of a be prescribed by law, as well as the day of the council and house of representatives. The coun- commencement of the regular sessions of the cil shall consist of thirteen members, having the legislative assembly : Provided, That no session in qualifications of voters, as hereinafter prescribed, any one year shall exceed the term of forty days, whose term of service shall ue two years. except the first session, which may continue sixty The house of representatives shall, at its first ses-days. sion, consist of twenty-six members, possessing Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That every the same qualifications as prescribed for members free white male inhabitant above the age of twenof the council, and whose term of service shall ty-one years, who shall be an actual resident of continue one year. The number of representa- said Territory, and shall possess the qualifications tives may be increased by the legislative assem- hereinafter prescribed, shall be entitled to vote at bly, from time to time, in proportion to the in-| the first election, and shall be eligible to any office crease of qualified voters: Provided, That the within the said Territory; but the qualifications
of voters and of holding office, at all subsequent the legislative assembly, or shall hold any office elections, shall be such as shall be prescribed by under the government of said Territory. the legislative assembly: Provided, That the right Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That the judiof suffrage and of holding office shall be exercised cial power of said Territory shall be vested in a only by citizens of the United States, and those supreme court, district courts, probate courts, and who shall have declared on oath their intention || in justices of the peace. The supreme court shall. to become such, and shall have taken an oath to consist of a chief justice and two associate justices, support the Constitution of the United States and any two of whom shall constitute a quorum, and the provisions of this act: And provided further, who shall hold a term at the seat of government of That no officer, soldier, seaman, or marine, or said Territory annually; and they shall hold their other person in the army or navy of the United offices during the period of four years, and until States, or attached to troops in the service of the their successors shall be appointed and qualified. United States, shall be allowed to vote or hold of. The said Territory shall be divided into three jue fice in said Territory, by reason of being on ser- dicial districts, and a district court shall be held in vice therein for six months, unless said Territory | each of said districts by one of the justices of the is and has been for that period otherwise his per- || supreme court, at such times and places as may manent domicil, residence, habitation, and home. be prescribed by law; and the said judges shall,
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That the legis- | after their appointments respectively, reside in lative power of the Territory shall extend to all the districts which shall be assigned them. The rightful subjects of legislation consistent with the jurisdiction of the several courts herein provided Constitution of the United States and the provi-| for, both appellate and original, and that of the sions of this act; but no law shall be passed inter- probate courts and of justices of the peace, shall fering with the primary disposal of the soil, no
be as limited by law: Provided, That justices of tax shall be imposed upon the property of the the peace shall not have jurisdiction of any matter United States, nor shall the lands or other pro
in controversy when the title or boundaries of land perty of non-residents be taxed higher than the may be in dispute, or where the debt or sum
and the lands or other property of residents. All the laws claimed shall exceed one hundred dollars;
said passed by the legislative assembly and governor
supreme and district courts, respectively shall be submitted to the Congress of the United shall possess chancery as well as common law States, and if disapproved shall be null, and of no jurisdiction. Each district court, or judge thereof, effect.
shall appoint its clerk, who shall also be the regis
ter in chancery, and shall keep his office at the Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, Tbat all town- place where the court may be held. Writs of ership, district, and county officers, not herein other
ror, bills of exception, and appeals, shall be allowwise provided for, shall be appointed or elected, as ed in all cases from the final decisions of said disthe case may be, in such manner as shall be pro-trict courts to the supreme court, under such revided by the governor and legislative assembly of || gulations as may be prescribed by law; but in no the Territory of Nebraska. The governor shall
case removed to the supreme court shall trial by nominate, and, by and with the advice and consentjury be allowed in said court. The supreme court, of the legislative council, appoint all officers not
or the justices thereof, shall appoint its own clerk, herein otherwise provided for; and, in the first in and every clerk shall hold his office at the pleastance, the governor alone may appoint all said of
sure of the court for which he shall have been apficers, who shall hold their offices until the end of || pointed. Writs of error and appeals from the final the first session of the legislative assembly, and decisions of said supreme court shall be allowed, shall lay off the necessary districts for members of and may be taken to the Supreme Court of the the council and house of representatives, and all United States, in the same manner and under the other officers.
same regulations as from the circuit courts of the SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That no mem- | United States, where the value of the property, or ber of the legislative assembly shall hold, or be ap- the amount in controversy, to be ascertained by pointed to, any office which shall have been cre- || the oath or affirmation of either party, or other ated, or the salary or emoluments of which shall competent witness, shall exceed one thousand dolhave been increased, while he was a member, dur- || lars; except only that in all cases involving title ing the term for which he was elected, and for one to slaves the said writs of error or appeals shall year after the expiration of such term; but this re- be allowed and decided by the said supreme court siriction shall not be applicable to members of the without regard to the value of the matter, properfirst legislative assembly; and no person holding aty, or title in controversy; and except, also, that commission or appointment under the United a writ of error or appeal shall also be allowed to States, except postmasters, shall be a member of the Supreme Court of the United States from the