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ONE of the subjects agitating the public mind during the past thirty years, was in relation to the government of the public domain, the great cause of which had its origin in the interests of the Slavery question. The Territories stretching westward from the Missouri to the Pacific, were filling up with a population chiefly from the Free States, carrying with them all their love of liberty and hatred of Slavery. Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Iowa, had planted themselves upon the territorial domain, reaching from the Ohio to the great lakes in the west, and had been admitted as Free States. Minnesota was still further northward; Wisconsin entered the Union from the west, in 1848, with a prohibition of Slavery; and now, in 1850, the jewel of the Republic, California, with an area greater than that of all the New England and Middle States, and with a climate, natural mineral and agricultural resources, unequaled in the world, came with Neptune's trident from the shores of the Pacific, and the golden. harvest of her mountains, proclaiming that her hardy: sons had planted the flag of liberty where the aurora borealis reflects back departed day, and demanded admission into the family of States. Her Constitution'. was examined, to see if it was Republican in form.

Article I. Section 18, reads: "Neither Slavery nor

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involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crimes, shall ever be tolerated in this State." The Constitution in all its forms seemed to be Republican; indeed too much so to suit the Senators and Representatives from the Slave States. The friends of freedom were anxious for her admission, but they were met early in the proceedings with bitter opposition from the South. The emaciated form of the leading spirit of "State Rights," ever true to his instincts, was in the Senate Chamber- the sands of life fast running through the glass, and the kingdom of Slavery crumbling before his gaze, from the Atlantic to the Pacificall the heresies of his youth unrepented, and the accumulated sins of half a century fresh blown upon him; still, with a fiendish propensity clinging to the relics of barbarism, he exerted every physical and mental effort at his command, to delay the admission of the new State, upon the specious argument of her coming into the Union without having gone through the probationary process of a Territorial Government, and her unwieldy proportions. Nor was the voice of John C. Calhoun, the only one raised against the admission of California; for now, as in 1820, on the application of Missouri for admission into the Union, the powerful combination of the entire South stood arrayed against her; but unlike that contest, the South did not pretend to feel disposed to enter into any "Compromise" for the interdiction of Slavery in the western territory. The act called the "Missouri Compromise," had already proved inoperative, as Slavery was extending itself into the whole western territory. Compromise had passed from the thought of the leaders of the South, who, now that they had violated the Missouri compact, claimed that Congress had no right to legislate upon

Slavery in the Territories; in fact this was their doctrine when they entered into the solemn agreement as follows, in 1820, on the admission of Missouri, which is known as the MISSOURI COMPROMISE:

"That in all that territory ceded by France to the United States, under the name of Louisiana, which lies north of thirtysix degrees and thirty minutes, north latitude, not included within the limits of the State contemplated by their act, Slavery or involuntary servitude, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof the parties shall be duly convicted, shall be, and is hereby forever prohibited. Provided always, That any person escaping into the same, from whom labor or service is lawfully claimed, in any State or Territory of the United States, such fugitive may be lawfully reclaimed and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labor as aforesaid."

Some of the positions taken, and arguments made, by the friends and opponents, at the time of this compact, to fasten the sin of Slavery upon Missouri by National sanction, will serve to aid the reader in determining upon the justice or injustice of this league with the traders in men.

On the 16th day of March, 1818, a petition from the inhabitants of Missouri, for admission into the Union, was presented to Congress. The petition for the admission of Maine was now also before that body; little objection was offered to her admission, save by members from the South, who were anxious that certain doctrines which had arisen regarding the admission of States from territory west of the Mississippi should be settled, "which," said Mr. Clay, "if persevered in, no man can tell where they will end. If conditions were to be demanded upon the admission of a State, where was the limit?" Mr. Taylor, of New York, said:

"Congress may admit new States into the Union.


The Constitution imposes upon Congress no obligation to admit new States; it permits none to demand admission; it authorizes no member of the Confederacy to require such admission. The President and Senate cannot by treaty admit a State into the Union, nor can they impose on Congress an obligation to do it. The admission of Louisiana, which was part of the same Territory with Missouri, was not claimed as a matter of right; it was solicited as a favor. The propriety of imposing conditions, was then thought reasonable and Constitutional too. A political, as well as every other society, should prescribe the manner of obtaining the conditions of membership. The power of admitting new States and making the laws necessary and proper therefor, gives the right for which we contend; and according to the plain and natural interpretation of language, appears too evident to need further illustration.

"By the treaty with France, Congress acquired an incontestable title to the domain, and possession of the ceded territory in full sovereignty, with all its rights and appurtenances. The only limitation on the exercise of this sovereignty, must be found in the Constitution. The sovereignty is general, but must be exerted in a manner consistent with the principles of our National Government; it, therefore, becomes important to ascertain what these principles are, in relation to the amendment on your table; in other words, is the power of holding slaves a Federal right? In discussing this question, we ought carefully to distinguish between the principles of the United States Government, and those of particular States.

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"The doctrines of New Hampshire and Georgia in regard to Slavery, are diametrically opposite, and cannot both be the doctrines of the United States. The Federal Government is as distinct from each of these as they are from each other. All these rightfully exercise a limited sovereignty in their proper sphere. We further premise, that in a Confederacy like ours, the principles of a dominant State naturally acquire a currency and artificial value from their connection with honor and power. It is evident enough that the United States Government does not belong to Virginia any more than to Ohio, and is there less danger that the principles of Virginia in regard to Slavery, will acquire popularity, and ultimately pass for those of the nation, because she is wise in her policy, and maintains her consequence in every department of your Government?




"But let us examine what are the principles upon which the United States Government is founded. Do they justify Slavery? I answer they do not. Congress with its sovereignty, has constantly endeavored to prevent the extension of Slavery, and has maintained the doctrine, that all men are born equally free;' but has disclaimed, and continues to disclaim, any right to enforce this doctrine upon State Sovereignties.

"The first truth declared by this nation at the era of its independence was, 'That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' Are we willing to pronounce this declaration, for the support of which the fathers of our Revolution pledged their lives and fortunes, a flagrant falsehood? Was this declaration a solemn mockery? Did such men as Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Sherman and Livingston, proclaim to the world a self-evident truth, doctrines they did not believe? Did they lay the foundations of this infant Republic in fraud and hypocrisy? The supposition is incredible. These men composed the Committee which reported the Declaration of Independence; four of them were delegates from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New York. They expressed the opinions of the States they represented. The sentiments of their Chairman on this interesting subject, are not contained in the Declaration alone; if further evidence be required as to his opinions, it is abundantly furnished in his 'Notes on Virginia.' His denunciation of Slavery is there expressed in language too distinct to be misunderstood; its injus-tice is portrayed in glowing colors, and, its evils portrayed with glowing eloquence. While books are read or truths revered, his sentiments on this subject will insure to their author unfading honor.

"In 1803, Louisiana, including the Territory of Missouri, was purchased from France. The third is the only article of the Treaty relating to the subject before us; it consists of three parts. First. The inhabitants of the ceded Territory shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States. This promise was to be executed immediately. It extended to all the inhabitants, wherever resident, and depended on no contingency; without it, they might have continued aliens, and been treated like the inhabitants of a conquered province. The obligation imposed by this clause, was discharged by Congress in passing the act of

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