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4atiuakutdtigcmr.
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No. 7,367


VOL. LI.


SPEECH OF MR. WINTHROP,
OF MASSACHUSETTS.

HOUSE Op REPRESErTATIVES, FEBRUARY 21, 1850.
The House being in Committee of the Whole on the state
of the Union, on the Resolutions referring the President's
Message to appropriate Standing Committees-
Mr. WINTHROP samd: I do not rise, Mr. Chairman, to
enter elaborately into the general discussion to which the an-
nual message of the President of the United States has given
occasion. But finding myself under an unexpected necessity
of leaving my seatfor a week or two, I have been unwilling
to go without making a few remarks, which I feel to be due
to my own position and character.
I have abstained thus far from any expression of opinion
or declaration of purpose in regard to the unfortunate sec-
tional controversies by which our country is now agitated. I
have done so designedly, and fr many reasons, satisfactory
to myself, if t) nobody else.
In the first place, sir, I desired to wait until the excitement
growing out of that protracted struggle for the Speakership-
to which, by the unmerited favor of my friends, I was so
prominent a party-had passed away from the minds of all
who were engaged in it; and until I could express myself
fully and fearlessly upon these controverted topics without
the suspicion of being influenced by any thing of private re
sentiment or personal disappointment.


sas....... eTt mhcts hadso evidently been
brought hire from what may well be term d "the warm and
sunny South," had abated ; until the angry passions, which
seemed pent up within so many bosoms at the outset of the
session, had found vent through the safe and wholesome
channel of debate ; and until there could be a chance that a
calm and dispassionate voice from the cold and calculating
North" might be listened to with some degree of patient at-
tention.
SIn the third place, sir, I desired to wait until matters
should be rather more clearly and fully developed; until all
the circumstances of the case should be before us until we
should have been able to take an observation of the precise
position of the precious vessel in which we are all embarked ;
until we could ascertain, if possible, what is. the real length
and breadth, and height, and depth of that fearful chasm,
that yawning abyss, upon the dizzy brink of which, we are
told, the ship of State is even now poising herself ; until we
could learn, too, what course might be proposed by older and
abler, and more experienced hands, for extricating her from
peril; and until, especially, we might hear distinctly, above
the roar of the elements and the ratIling of the shrouds, the
voice of the responsible man at the helm-the man, who has
been placed at the helm by a majority of the crew, with my
own cordial concurrence, and who, by the blessing of God, I
hope and trust, and believe, is destined to be hailed by us al
hereafter as "the pilot who has weathered the storm."
These, Mr. Chairman, are some of the views with which I
have thus far abstained, and would gladly have still longer
abstained, from any participation in that strife of tongues
which hasso long been raging around us-a strif, kt me say,
which has seemed to me likely to have no more important or
practical issue, than that which was chronicled by ona of the
sacred historians in regard to a quarrel among the Hebrew
tribes, when he summed up the whole matter by saying,
" and the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the
words of the men of Israel."
But, sir, I have not been permitted to pursue this expec-
tant system, as an honorable member of the medical faculty
near me (Mr. VENIABLE) would probably call it; I have
not, I say, been permitted to pursue this course of silent ob
salvation without interruption. It appears to have been the
studious policy of a tew members of this House to drag me
into the debate, whether I would or no. Not satisfied with
having accomplished my defeat as a candidate for re-election
to the Speaker's chair-a defeat, sir, which, in all its per-
sonal incidents and consequences, I have ever regarded as
the most fortunate of triumphs, and over which no one of
my enemies has rejoiced more heartily than myself-not sat-
isfied with the accomplishment of this result, they have made
it their special business t) provoke and taunt me by unworthy
reflections upon my pAlitical and official conduct ; and more
than one of them has not scrupled to assail me with the
coarsest and most unwarrantable pern onalities.
It is my purpose, sir, at this moment, to notice some of
these unmannerly assaults, and no one will be surprised, I
think, if I should be found doing so in no very mincing or
measured terms.
Indeed, Mr. Chairman, both the House and the country
will bear witness that I have been placed in a somewhatex-
traordinary position during the present session of Congress.
Hardly had I reached the capital b, fire I found myself held
up, at the lengt' of three or four columns, in the Democratic
organ of this city, as a desperate abolitionist. The aboli-
tion papers, in reply, exhibited me at equal length, as indeed
they had ofien done before, as a rank pro-slavery man. The
honorable memberfrom Tennessee,:(Mr. AsnDRwJoHssoN,)
coming next to the onslaught, and doing me the favor to rehearse
before my face a speech which he had delivered behind my back
it the last session, arraigned me in the most ferocious terms
as having prostituted the prerogatives of the chaii to sectional
purposes, and as having framed all my committees in a man-
ner and with a view to do injustice to the South. The hon-
orable member from Ohio, (Mr. GriDnios,) following him,
after a due delay, denounced me, with equal violence, as hav-
ing packed the most important of those committees for the
purpose of betraying the North. The one proclaimed me to
be the very author and originator of the Wilmot proviso ; the,
other reproached me as being a downright, or, at best, a dis-
guised enemy to that proviso. The one exclaimed, as a very
climax of his condemnation, "I would sooner vote for Joshua
R. Giddings himself than for Robert C. Winthrop." The
other responded with an equally indignant emphasis, and I
would sooner vote for Howell Cobb than for Robert C. Win-
throp ; he cannot do worse, he may do better." Nay, I pre-
sume it is safe to say that the honorable member is now of
opinion that he has done better; since n'it only has the hon-
onorable member secured to himself a place on ihe Territo-
rial Committee, but the report of the Anti-Slavery Convention,
at their late meeting in Boston, has remarked upon it as "a
curious and instructive fact that, in the composition of com
mittees, Mr. Cobb has given more weight to the anti-slviry
element of the House than was done by his Northern prede-
cessor." How far this is true, I leave o hers to pronounce.
But the honorable members from Tennessee and Ohio (par
nobilefratrum !) have not been the only contributors to ithis
most amiable, consistent, and harmonious testimony,in regard
t my public couaduct and character. An honorable colleague
from Massachusetts (Mr. ALLENs) has cast in his mite also,
both by prompting others at his elbow and by the manlier
method of direct accusation. He, too, has charged me with
having arranged certain committees with the deliberate pur-
pose of preventing the action which Northern men demanded.
And more recently again an honorable member from Virginia,
(Mr. MOaTON,) in a speech which I take pleasure in saying
was characterized by entire coutppey, if not by entire justice,
ss-I *uw tie -,i,,s,, ;rd pi, ."..n.riisihi. that he voted
against me as Speaker because 'he believed me to be in favor
ul the Wilmot proviso, because he believed me to be in favor
of the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, and be-
cause my name was found in a minority of forty-five against
the admission of Florida as a slave State."
Sir, if my name were a little less humble than I feel it this
day to be-if I were not conscious how small a claim it has
to be classed among thie great names even of our own age
and country, much more of the world, I should be tempted to
console myself under these conflicting accusations with those
noble lines of Milton, which, as it is, I cannot but remember
"Fame, if not double-faced, is double-tongued,
And with contrary blast proclaims most deeds ;
On both his wings, one black, the other white,
Bears greatest names in his wild aery flight."
But indeed, Mr. Chairman, I need no consolation. These
contradictory charges are the natural consequence of the very
position which I have sought to occupy-of the very position
which I glory this day in occupying, and from which no
provocations and no reproaches can ever drive me.
Sir, when I was first a candidate for Congress, now some
ten winters gone, I told the abolitionists of my district, in re-
ply to their interrogatories, that, while I agreed with them in
most of their abstract principles, and was ready to carry them
out, in any just, practicable, and constitutional manner, yet,
if I were elected to this House, I should not regard it as any
peculiar part of my duty to in. ';',t the subject of slavery. I
have adhered to that declaration. I have been no agitator.
I have sympathized with no fanatics. 1 have defended the
rights ard interests and principles of the North, to the best of
my ability, wherever and whenever I have found them assail-
ed ; but 1 have enlisted in no crusade upon the institutions of
the South. I have eschewed and abhorred ultraism at both
ends of the Union. "A plague o' both your houses," has
been my constant ejaculation ; andI it is altogether natural,
therefore, that both their houses should cry a plague on me !
I would not have it otherwi e. I dote on their dislike. 1
covet thdir opposition. I desire no other testimony to the
general propriety of my own course than their reproaches. I
thank my God that he has endowed me, if with no other
gifts, with a spirit of moderation, which incapacitates me for
giving satisfaction to ultraists any where and on any subject.


I


the honorable member himself; and whether, on the proper Istate, at your request, what I recollect in relation to the ab-
occasion, if a real necessity or a reasonable demand for their sene of the Hn. Robs rt hel. Winthropse on that occasion.lli-
assetio andmaitennce houd aisethe wold nt b -That nieeting was held in consequence of the hostile collit-
assertion and maintenance should arise, they would not be sion which had just occurred on the Rio Grande, between a
asserted, and be maintained by as large a majority in this portion of our military forces and those of Mexico, and I per-
body as they ever have been heretofore. I believe they fectly recollect that I not only attended the meeting, but that
would be. I also made some remarks in it, the substance of which I still
But this I do say, that if these principles have been wound- remember. The meeting was not full, many members of the
ed and struck down ; if it be true that, by laying on the table House belonging to the Whig party being absent, and I dis-
an unseasonable resolution of the honorable member from tinctly recollect that the meeting adjourned without coming
Ohio, we have killed the Wilmot proviso, its death must lie to any formal conclusion on the subject, in consequence of
St h d d n a o this fact, as was then mentioned, and understood by those pre-
forenverat his dor, and not at ours; and the true inscription sent. I remember that Mr. Smith, of Connecticut, Mr.
on its tomb-stone will read thus : "Here lies a victim to the Hudson, of Massachusetts, and Mr. Giddings, of Ohio, were
restless vanity and headstrong rashness of the honorable mem- present at the meeting, and appeared to me to be the most
ber frost Ohio, who held it deliberately up to receive its death prominent of the, speakers in it, and I also remember that I


If they were to speak well of me I should be compelled to ex- blow, in order to gratify his passion for notoriety, and his
claim, like one of old, what bad thing have I done that pique against some of his old friends of the Whig party."
such men praise me ?" Why, sir, the conduct of the honorable member, on this
The only thing which I bave to regret, Mr. Chairman, is occasion, was what a French philosopher has called worse
that these various charges could not have been made against than a fault." It was a mistake-a fatal blunder. It was a
me io one arid the same debate, and on one and the same moment, of all others, when the North should not have been
day. They would then have effectually answered each other, called on to show its hand; when gentlemen from the free
They would then have fairly shamed each other out of court, States should not have been required to say what they would
and I should have been spared the necessity of even this brief do, or what they would not do, in regard to the Ttrritories,
allusion to them. and my only regret is, that the resolution could not have been
But, sir, the list of my accusers is not yet complete. An suffered to go upon the table by Southern votes only, with the
ether honorable member from Ohio (Mr. ROOT) has recently mere silent assent of Northern men. It was the precise case
taken the field against me, and has seen fit to make what, if for what the honorable member has called "standing out,"
it were entirely parliamn notary, I should be constrained to call and for the reservation of all expression of opinion or intention,
some very impertinent allusions to my course in reference to until a real exigency for such an expression had occurred.
a resolution of his, which was recently laid on the table. I And I repeat, sir, that if the Northern force has been weaken-
was accidentally in the Senate chamber when his speech was ed and the Northern front broken, it is owing to the rash and
delivered, but my attention has been called to it in a late num- precipitate charge which was attempted, under the assumed
her of the Congressional Globe, and illegitimate lead of the honorable member from Ohio.
Sir, when the honorable member first offered his resolution, But there are some mhn, we are told, who are "wiser in
some weeks since, I united with my friends of the free States their own conceit than seven men who can render a reason."
in saving it from the fate which it then merited, and which it The honorable member and his little squad insist upon regard-
has since received. I thought it then a most premature and ing themselves as the only persons in the country, or, cer-
precipitate movement, and there are those near me who can tainly, as the only persons in this House, who know how to
bear witness that, notwithstanding my exalted sense of the defend Norhern rights, or how to vindicate the great prinori-
honorable member's habitual wisdom and prudence, I could pIles of human freedom. Nay, sir, they modestly claim to be
not repress the exclamation- the only ones who desire, or who are even willing, to defend
Thus fools rush in where panel's fear to tread or vindicate them. All the world are doughfaces (as they
"Thus tools rush in where angel's fear to tread !" ei ,ml, dl .Q ,xep th l s ; ln i i
i ~ .~s.. ~ ,el ganli ,tylr ri) except ibeemeelfe T re.
*ffMIf s am f o a &Ro twaoers,'
iat it might be as precipitate to lay it on the table at once as legitimate occupants, of the great Free Soil field. Surely
it was to offer it, and that there would be no harm in taking these are the men, and wisdom shall die with them !
time to consider it. A fortnight intervened ; and I did consi I cannot listen, Mr. Chairman, to these arrogant assump-
der it in all its bearings. And as the honorable member has tions and offensive pretensions without calling to my aid the
been so plain and unceremonious with me, in ascribing mo- castigation which was administered by Edmund Burke (not
tives and calling names, I shall be equally plain and uncere- of the Union, sir) to one of the petty cabals which infested
monious with him, in telling him what I thought ofhisreso- Great Britain during the period of the French Revolution,
lotion. and which were attempting, as he said, "to hide their total
I regarded it, Mr. Chairman, consiering all the circum- went of consequence in bustle and noise, and puffing, and
stances of Congress and of the country, as one of the most mutual quotation of each other." "Because half a dozen
mischievous propositions ever introduced into this House. I grasshoppers," said he, "under a fern make the field ring
regarded it as mischievous in its inevitable consequences, and with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cat-
as mischievous in its deliberate design I came to the con- tie, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the
clusion that the honorable member, for the sake of a little misera- cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make
ble notoriety, had wantonly put in peril the very cause of which the noise are the only inhabitants of the field ; that of course
he professed to be the peculiar champion ; that, for the sake they are many in number; or that, after all, they are other
of playing captain, and marching ahead of the music, he had than the little, shrivelled, meager, hopping, though loud and
been willing to take the risk of sacrificing the very fortress of troublesome insects of the hour."
which he assumed to be the defender. I believed, in one For one, sir, I do not recognize the honorable member and
wond, sir, that, if that resolution were persevered in, in the his half a dozen compeers on this floor as my file-leaders, or
existing condition of this House and of the country, all hope as my fuglemen in this campaign. I do not belong to "the
of practical legislation would be extinguished ; the great mea- Rbot and branch party." I shall not march at the tap of
sure of the admission of California, as a State, into this Union their drum. I shall net vote against any bona fide practical
would be impeded, obstructed, and finally defeated ; and that and seasonable measure, simply because they originate it;
the session would be one protracted scene of strife, confusion, but I give my constituents and the country notice, once for
and discord, ali, that they are not to judge of my sentiments upon the
And why, then, sir, entertaining these views of the resolu great questions of the day by any votes which I may give, or
tion, did I not vote upon the second motion to lay it on the which I may not give, upon their amateur abstractions or
table ? for this is the part of my conduct which the honorable their precipitate instructions. I shall vote for them, or vote
member nas taken in such especial dudgeon, and which hlie against them, or not vote at all, just as it happens to suit my
has made the pretext fom applying to me certain contumelious own views, and certainly not at all with a view to suit their
epithets, purposes.
Well, now, I do confess, Mr. Chairman, that I was a little The honorable member, in the course of a speech in which
malicious in withholding my vote on this particular occasion, he has misrepresented and assailed at least one-half of the
It would have been so very gratifying to the honorable mem- Northern members of this House, has told us that he is a
ber, if he could have only had me once fairly on the record, member of "the reveled Free-Soil sect." Good Heavens,
where he has never yet had me, against a resolution contain- sir! if they are to be reviled, who are the revilers, and what
ing, as one of its elenuents, the Wilmot proviso! It would must they be ? Never, in the whole history of our country-
have furnished such an excellent apology for him and his never, since the existence of political parties any where-has
friends for having voted against me as Speaker, and for hay- there been a party which, under the pretext of philanthropy,
ing thrown the organization of this House into the hands of a has so revelled and luxuriated in malice, hatred, and unchari-
Southern Democrat It would have been such a telling tableness-in vituperation, calumny, and slander-as this
Free-Soil card in the next canvass in the fourth district of reviled Free-Soil sect." I speak of their principal leaders
Massachusetts, to say nothing of the twenty-first district, I and organs, as I know them in my own part of the country,
think it is, of Ohio! Indeed, sir, it was certainly a little and not of the great mass of their followers, there or else-
cruel to deprive the honorable member of an advantage upon where, who, I doubt not, are led along by honest impulses,
which he had so confidently calculated, and many of whom, I as little doubt, are disgusted with the
But I believe it is Solomon who has said, "Surely in vain music of their own trumpeters. Never, sir, I repeat, has
is the net spread in the sight of any bird." Sir, I saw the there been witnessed in this country, or on the face of the
trap which the honorable member had laid for me. I knew globe, su h an audacity of false statement and false accuse-
that he and his peculiar friends were lying in wait for me. 1 tion, as that with which some of their presses have teemed.
knew that they wire seeking to find a justification, after the Never have there been baser stabs at character than those
event, fr an opposition to me for which they had so little with which some of their speeches have reeked.
apology beforehand. I saw that he had framed his resolution I need not say that I have had my full share, and more
so that whether we had voted for it or against it, we should than my full share, of their misrepresentation and abu-e.
be placed in a false position. If we voted not to lay it on the I bear no special malice towards members of this House, who
table, and seemingly sustained the resolution, we were to be deal with me in this style, because I know that, after all,
held up as abandoning General Taylor and the Administra they are but the instruments and mouthpieces of others afar
tion. If we voted to lay it on the table, we were to be de- off. There is a little nest of vipers, sir, in my own immedi-
nounced as enemies to the principles of the ordinance of'87. ate district and its vicinity, who have been biting a file for
I understand that the honorable member said, in advance, that some three or four years past, and who, having fairly used up
he would either have our votes or our scalps. I know not their own teeth, have evidently enlisted in their service the
the precise meaning which is to be attached to this humane flesher fangs of some honorable members of this House.
and elegant expression, if he really used it. It might be Odissequem lrederis." Conscious that they have wronged
well, perhaps, to refer it, for inquiry, to the committee on me, they now hate me; and having been thoroughly put
Indian Affairs. If he only intended by this tomahawk down at home, they have turned prompters and panderers to
threat, that he would deal a few stabs at my character behind assaults upon me here. Let them go on in their manly and
my back, he is welcome to all the glory of the exploit. But magnanimous vocation! If they only succeed in doing them-
whatever he meant, I did not intend that he should have selves half as much injury as they do me good, they will
either my vote or my scalp, if I could help it; and seeing that speedily merit my sympathy, instead of my scorn.
my vote would make no difference to the result, I declined to Sir, I have already had occasion, during the present ses-
gratify his desire to ensnare me. And now, because the trap sion, to allude to one of the false statements which has been
of the honorable member failed to work, in the only case in frequently made in regard to me at home, and which has been
which it was of special importance for him that it should repeated here by the honorable member from Ohio on my
work, he flies into a passion, strips off his neck-cloth, and right, (Mr. GIDnnIos.) That honorable member's speech, I
begins to scold about dodging and skulking take occasion to say, as printed for the use of the Fourth dis-
Why, sir, the honorable member forgets himself. Cer- trict in Massachusetts, is a mere tissue of perversion and mis-
tainly, his speech forgets itself-for in the very same para- representation, so far as my own conduct is concerned. But
graph in which he upbraids me for my course in this case, the most that I can do, on this occasion, is to notice one of
he describes his own course in another case as entirely iden- the charges which it contained, and in regard to which, it
tical willth it. I would not ask a better justification from any will be remembered, a direct issue was made upon between us.
one than that which the honorable member himself has fur- The honorable member seems to have thought it important
nished me out of his own mouth. Hear what he says, sir, to his justification among his constituents, for his vote against
as to his own conduct at the late Presidential election : me for Speaker two years ago, that he should implicate me in
"It was nothing more (says he) but a game at the best. I the origin of the late deplorable war with Mexico. He knew
neither wanted to cheat nor to be cheated, and hence I took no perfectly well that my mere vote for the bill, by which the
part in it. I-stood out." existence of that war was recognized, and by which provision
Does it not lie admirably in his mouth to charge others was made for the rescue of our little army on the Rio Grande,
with skulking, and to exclaim so heroically, "it is better to would not answer his purpose. He knew that, whether that
vote wrong than to dodge," when in the very same breath hlie vote were right or wrong, it was given in company with those
is boasting that he skulked himself from the great Presiden- who were altogether invulnerable by his malignant shafts.
tial struggle ? He knew that he could not strike at me, on this point, with-
Nor is this the only instance of the same sort in the honor- out striking also at CoRwix and VIrTON, and SCHENCK, of
able member's history. What else but dodging was his con- his own State, and MAasa and FooTE, of Vermont, and I
duct in the protracted contest for the Speakership ? What know not how many others, from the North and from the
did he do, bun throw away his vote to the end, on an impos- West, whose characters would be an ample shield against all
sible candidate ? What did the eight peculiar Free-Soilers who should attack them, and whom he would not, then at
do, but pair off, four from each party, and, by neutralizing least, have dared to charge as supporters of the war. And
each other, virtually not vote at all !-virtually dodge, by so, sir, he sets himself to work to prove me an accessary be-
refusing to vote so as to make any difference to the result ? fore the fact, and charges me with having gone to a Whig
Sir, there are those here who believe that the first great de Caucus, before the War Bill was introduced, and with having
sertioa of Northern principles at this session has been exhib- made an appeal to the Whigs to vote in favor of a bill, in
ited by those who have thrown the organization of this House regard to the intended character of which I had no more
into the hands of a Southern Democrat. Of that, the honor- knowledge than the man in the moon Sir, I never heard of
able member stands convicted. And my opinion is, that any this Whig Caucus, to the best of my knowledge and belief,
one who considers the adroit and ingenious manner in which until I saw this account of it in a letter of the honorable mem-
it was done-by seeming to vote and yet practically not voting bhr to his constituents, eighteen months afterwards. And
at all-will come to the conclusion, that if the honorable difficult as it almost always is for any one to prove a nega-
member desires to see the true "Artful Dodger" of the day, tive, it is fortunately in my power, this day, to furnish such
he must look at home. conclusive testimony that I attended no such meeting, and
Nor is this all, Mr. Chairman. The honorable member made no such speech, that even the honorable member him-
has made a great vaunting of what he would have done on self will blush at ever having made the statement.
the last night of the last session, if the Walker amendment I have here a budget of letters, which I have rescued with-
had been hlnger persisted in. The more important inquiry, in a few days from a forgotten pigeonhole at home. They
sir, is, what did he do ? Where was he during the weary were procured two years ago, without my instigation, and
watches of that memorable night ? Where was he when the almost without my knowledge, by the Editor of the Boston
honorable member from Tennessee (Mr. ANDREW JonrsoB) Atlas, with a view to vindicate me from this calumny at the
mived to strike out the word "impartial" from the vote of time it was originally uttered. I shall append some of them,
thanks to the Chair ? Who then was "willing to wound, if not all of them, to the pamphlet copy of this speech, if such
hut yet afraid to strike 1" Where was he, too, when the a copy is ever published. I shall only have time to read one
honorable member from Kentucky (Mr. MoarHEnA) moved of them now.
that momentous amendment to the Walker proviso, in regard Is the honorable member from Delaware in his seat ? (Mr.
to the rightful boundaries of Texas? His name is not on the HOUSTON rose and assented.) I have here a letter bearing
record ; and, though the proverb is somewhat musty, sir, I his signature, dated Washington, April 1st, 1848, and ad-
cannot help reminding the honorable member that those who dressed to William Schouler, Esq., Boston. I will thank
live in glass Houses should not throw stones, him to tell me, after I have read it, whether it is his letter,
But he tells us most pathetically that the Wilmot proviso and whether this be his testimony now, as it was two years
has been wourmded in the House of its friends ; nay, that so far ago, in relation to the allegation of the honorable member
as this House could kill it, it has been killed. Well now, sir, from Ohio. The letter is as follows :
this remains to be seen. Doubtless, the honorable member WASHreGTO-B, APRI.lest, 1848.
fiuds it for his purpose at this moment to think so, or at least DAR Sin : I have received your letter of the 30th ult., and
to say so. But it remains to be seen whether the great prin- in reply to it, I have to state that I remember very well the
ciples of the ordinance of '87 have lost any portion of their casual conversation which 1 had with you recently in Boston,
vitality ; whether they have not as strong and living a hold on |"concerning a meeting of Whig members of Congress, held
the hearts of other Northern and Western men as on that of on the morning of the t1th of May, 1846," and I will briefly


had a 's words of conversation with them after the meeting
was 01 Tad before we separated, upon the subject of some
remasrtihr iih I hld made in %he meeting. I haves very dis..
tinct cullectin that Mr. Winthrop was not present at the
meetirs, nd of noting his absence, as well as that ofMr. Vin-
ton, oi hio,; and mv reason, if any should be required to for-
tifym ,iaemory on this point, for observing this act, is this:
I had Arcidy come to regard these two gentlemen as among
the evtwxperienced ahd prominent members of our party in
the 1klise, and as one sat directly before me, and the other
imm h (rely on my rigit, during that session, in the House,
it wi e ot appear strange, I apprehend, when these two cir-
cuen tees are taken together, terhat I should net only note but
reme Wg their absence on that occasion. Such is my distinct
recn 0ion, and without wishing to raise any question of me-
mory tlween myself and others on this or any other point,
I hat e n hesitation in giving it to you in compliance with
your nest.
A;t the meeting held some time previous, on the "Oregon
quer as it is familiarly termed. I have to state that it is
imp e that could have confounded it in my memory with
the thating first mentioned; as I did not attend that meet-
ting, knew nothing of its existence until a day or two after
it Ua een held.
eI am, very truly and respectfully, your obl't serv't,
VW.SCHOUDER, EsQ, JOHN W. HOUSTON.
r. fpoHsUTO. That is my letter, and I have no alteration
to ake in it.
Ir. WIeaTHnor. There are other letters here, sir, equal-
ly 4stinct and conclusive.
litte ohihonorable member summons Mr. E. D. Culver, of
vista that Mr. Culver has substantiated his charge. Sir, I
think it is in Sheridan's play of the Rivals, that one of the
characters is made to say : whenever I draw on my inven-
tion for a good current lie, I always forge endorsements as
well as the bill Now, I do not intend to apply the offen-
sive part of this language to the honorable member. I dis-
claim doing so. Still less do I intend any reflection upon
Mr. Culver. But I say that the letter of Mr. Culver does
little or nothing to sustain the honorable member's accusa-
tion, and that he must procure stronger endorsements, if he
expects his bill to pass current.
What says the Hon. E. D. Culver, in the letter upon
which thi honorable member relies ?
SIn reply to your note of the 14th, (says he,) which came
to hand list evening, I would state that 1 was at the Whigocau-
caus, in tie e teast corner of the Capitol, on the morning of
the llth of May, 1846. The subject of our deliberations was
the anticipated war bill. I think Mr. Winthrop. Mr. Vinton,
Mr. Hunt, and yourself, and others, were present and spoke.
The precise sentiments advanced by Mr. Winthrop I cannot
call to ti nd ; but the purport, the general scope ofhis remarks
was that we (the Whigs) must riot oppose the measure ; that
policy would require us to support it. I do not recollect his
allusion to the Federalists and the war of 181t2." (It seems
that thi impartial cross-examiner had asked some leading
questions.) "I think Mr. Vinton took a similar view. Yours
was quite the reverse."'
Now, sir, in answer to these thinking and indistinct re-
membrasces of what Mr. Winthrop said, and what Mr. Vin-
ton said, and what Mr. Hunt said, I have here a letter from
Mr. Vinton, to say that he never attended that meeting, and
here, within three feet of me, is Mr. Vinton himself, to ac-
knowledge the letter, and to repeat the assertion. While
here, again, is another letter from the Hon. Washington
Hunt, to saf y that he was absent from Washington on the
morning on which the meeting was held, and did not return
until the following day !.
Mr. Chairman, the most charitable explanation that can be
given of this extraordinary and unfounded allegation, which
the honorable member from Ohio basso perseveringly brought
against me, is that suggested in the letterof my late colleague
and friend, (Mr. Hudson,) who gives it as his opinion that
the honorable member may have confounded this meeting with
one which wss held in regard to the Oregon notice resou-
tion, when he was the open advocate oe cae f measures that look-
ed to war, and I declared myself in favor of measures for
the maintenance of peace !
But I eave the honorable member and his friends to find
explanations for themselves. It is enough for me to pro-
nounce the charge to be false, andto prove it to be son. Hav-
ing done this, I now hold it up to the House and to the coun-
try as & fair sample of the charges which have been arrayed
against me from the same quarter. Ex uno, dice ornnes.
Sist I have done with these personalities. They have not
been .e.ssy seeking. They are unnatural and revolting to
my disposition. I am entirely new to this style of debate.
During a ten years' occupancy of a seat in this House, I
have never before had occasion to resort to it. I trust that I
may over have another such occasion. But I could no long-
er submit in silence to such gross and groundless aspersions.
Gentltgnen may vote against me whenever they please.
Thereais no office in the gift of the House, of the people, or
of the Piriidri, which I covet, or for which I would quarrel
with apy one for not giving me his support. But no man
shall dander me with impunity. No man shall pervert and
tnsirel(. titl my words and acts, and falsify the record of my
public areer, without exposure.
Thai rtuer has been one of humble pretension, and pre-
sents no claim of distinguished service of any sort. But such
as it isi I am willing that it should be investigated. Ex-
amine the record. There may be votes upon it which require
explanation ; votes about which honest men may differ;
votes 6 to which I myself may have doubted at the time, and
may still doubt. But examine the record fairly and candidly ;
nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice ; and you
will fiid that I have neither been false to the North nor to the
South, to the East or to the West. You will find that while
I have been true to my constituents, I have been true, also, to
the constitution and to the Union. This, at least, I know, sir-
my conscience this day bearing me witness-that I have been
true tomyself, to my own honest judgment, to my own clear
convictions of right, of duty, and of patriotism. And we
all remember how justly, as well as how nobly, it has been
said :


as......of. easues.. e a................. t ...th .om eceb- .
"This above all-to thine own self be true, trial by jury. teen the two countries, would produce a very disagreeable
And it nmst follow, as the night the day, I move that they be received, and referred to the Commit- effect on public opinion in England.
Thou canst not then be false to any man." tee on the Territories. I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to you the assur-
And now, Mr. Chairman, I would gladly turn to some se- The VICE PRESIDENT. The question is on the mo ance of my most distinguished consideration.
rious consideration of the great questions of the day, but I am tion to receive. HENRY L. BULWER.
admonishd that my hour is almost exhausted, and I must On that question a division was called for. Hon. JoNe M. CLAYTON, ke. eS. &c.
reserve what I had proposed to say on these topics to another Mr. SEWARD. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and Now, sir, in order that I may say nothing but what I de-
and I trust an early opportunity. Having once swept this nays. The petitions, I will state, relate to subjects which sign to say, I will use very full notes in relation to that part
offensive rubbish of personalities out of my path, I shall no are debated before the Senate, before both Houses of Con- of my remarks which refer to the conduct and course
longer be obstructed in dealing with the weightier matters gress, and before the country. One of them relates to the pursued by the British Minister. I will repeat what I have
which ase before us. I cannot conclude, however, on this prohibition of slavery in the Territories, and I wish to know already stated, that I had left the Senate yesterday before
occasion without a few distinct declarations, if that, which is now under discussion so generally, is a legiti- the correspondence between the Secretary of State and the
In the firi place, sir, I have no hesitation in saying that mate subject of petition ? I wish to know if the citizens of British Minister had been disposed of, and without being
the adminion of California into the Union as a State, under this country have not the right to address Congress on a sub aware of the extent to which the latter had felt himself
the constitution which she has herself adopted, is, in my judg- ject which is now under its consideration, and which is of warranted in making suggestions relative t. what our domes-
ment, the first and greatest measure to be accomplished at paramount importance ? tic legislative policy should be. As far as the policy of one
the present session of Congress. For that I am ready ; and Mr. HALE. Let the petitions be read, that it may be independent nation towards another is within the control of
I shall bring to it -whatever powers I possess, known what they are, and what they are about, the Executive and subject to regulation by treaty, so far is it
In the second place, I do not believe that slavery does now The SECRETARY read the first as follows : legitimately the object of suggestion and discussion by the
exist, or can ever exist, in any of the Territories recently ac- 7b the Congress of the United States : diplomatic representatives of either. By this I do not intend
quired from Mexico, without the positive sanction of law. ThIe undersigned, citizensand electorsofthe State of Penn- to say, that the representative of one nation may not make
And such a sanction I, for one, shall never aid in giving,. sylvania, residing in Honesdale, in the county of Wayne, re- known to the Government of another, that its policy in parti-
In the third place, sir, while' I reserve to myself the full spectfully pray that slavery and the slave-trade may be ex- cular cases, in which it comes in conflict with the interests of
lib.er, w yjct and to vote upon every question which may pressly prohibited by an ac of Congress in all the Territories that which he represents, might be modified in such a way as to
hemeatter arise, as my judgment at the time and under the cir- of the United States, be mutually beneficial. But I do say, that a diplomatic repre-
cumstances may dictate, I have no hesitation in expressing The SECRETATRY read the other as follows : sentative fails in all the duties of etiquette and courtesy to-
my opinion that the plan proposed by the President of the T th onge f th nid wards the Government to which he is accredited, when he
my piiontht te la prpoed y hePreidnt f heTo the Congress of the United States udertakes to inform it that any contemplated legislative ac-
IUnited States is the plan to which we must come at last for The undersigned, citizens and electors of the State of Penn- u.noertakes to informal ta any contemplatedlegsate ct -
the settlement of these exciting and difficult questions. I do Sylvania, residing in Honesdale, in the county of Wayne, re- tion nits part" will produce a very disagreeable effect on
not say that it is the plan of all others which some of us could specttully request that provision may be made by law that the Government "or public opinion" of his country. To do
have wished to carry out. But the question is, not what we whenever a person shall be arrested as a fugitive slave in any so, sir, is obtrusive, impertinent, and deserving of rebuke.
wish, but what can we accomplish ? "If to do were as easy State other than that in which lie is alleged to be held to ser- We are competent to manage our own domestic policy, viih-
as to know what it were good to do, chapels had been churches vice, he shall not be delivered to the claimant or his agent, out hints or suggestions from the agents of other Govern-
and poor men's cottages rich men's palaces." We must aim except on the finding of a jury that he is the slave of the ments, however powerful, however wise in the management
at something practical and practicable. The President has claimant. of their own. It is our duty to regulate our own policy for
done so; and by following out his suggestions, I believe The yeas and nays were then ordered, and, being taken, the benefit of own people-the whole of our own people,
Southern sensibilities may be allayed, Northern principles sat- were as follows : without reference to the state of British public opinion,"
isfactorily vindicated, domestic peace maintained, and the YEAS-Messrs. Baldwin, Bell, Bradbury, Chase, Coop- or French public opinion, or public opinion elsewhere.
American Union preserved. er, Corwin, Davis, ofMassachusetts, Dodge, of Iowa, Dodge,
And, Mr. Chairman, the American Union mst be pre- of Wisconsin, Felch, Hale, Jones, Norris, Pearce, Seward, I doubt not, Mr. President, that British public opinion is
And, Mr. Chairman, the American Union must be pre Smith Sturgeon, Walker, and Whiteomb-19. gratified by a policy which feeds her people though it should
served. I speak for Faneuil Hall. Not for Faneuil Hall, NAYS-Messrs. Atchison, Berrien, Borland, Butler, starve ours ; but it is impertinent on the part of the British
occupied as it sometimes has been by an anti slavery or a lib- Clemens, Davis, of Mississippi, Dawson, Dickinson, Downs, Minister to tell us so. I know that there is a difference ofopin-
erty party convention, denouncing the Constitution and Gov- Hunter, King, Mason, Morton, Pratt, Rusk, Soule Turney, ion at home, on the subject of the policy referred to ; but it
ernment under which we live, and breathing threatening and and Yulee-I 8. is a d fference which we can settle at home amongst ourselves s
slaughter against all who support them ; but for Faneuil Hall, So the petitions were received and referred, and all the better and sooner without obtrusive, unsought ad-
thronged as it has been so often in times past, and as it will vice from abroad. Our Southern brethern do not all of them
be so often for a thousand generations in times to come, by REPORTS FROM COMMITTEES. agree with us on the subject of this policy ; but they will
as intelligent, honest, and patriotic a people as the sun ever Mr. FELCH, from the Committee on Public Land-, to agree with me that it is of domestic concern, and to be settled
shone upon; I speak for Faneuil Hall, and for the great which was referred the memorial and documents relating to at home by our own Congress, in such manner as shall best
masses oftrue-heatted American freemen, without distinction the claim of Anthony Rankin, submitted a report, which was comport with the interests of all. When England, through
of party, who delight to dwell beneath its shadow and to ga ordered to be printed, accompanied by a bill for the relief of her statesmen, in a manner far less offensive, inasmuch as it
(her beneath its roof; I speak for Faneuil Hall when I say Anthony Rankin, of Tennessee, which was read and passed was said of us and riot to us, has denounced the institution of
"the Union of these States must not, shall not, be dis- to a second reading, slavery as a stain upon our national escutcheon which ought
solved !" Also, from the same committee, to which was referred the to exclude us from the community of civilized nations, North-
The honorable member from Ohio (Mr. GInnDINsS) allud- bill granting to the State of Alabama the right of way, and a ern men as well as Southern men have expressed their indig-
ed, the other day, in terms of reproach and condemnation, to donation of public lands for making a railroad from Selma to nant disgust at the cant of those who denounce us for the
a sentiment which I proposed at a public dinner in this same the Tennessee liver, reported back the same with amend- tolerance of that which was inflicted on us in the beginning
Faneuil Hall, on the 4th of July, 1846. I am willing that ments. by British cupidity. I am opposed to slavery-deeply, con-
the House and the country should pass judgment upon that Also), from the same committee, to which were referred the scientiously, and forever opposed ; but, sir, entertaining an
sentiment. I am sorry that it is not better ; but, such as it several memorials asking the right of way and a grant of opinion hostile to slavery, I shall never so act as to give cause
is, I reiterate it here to day. I stand by it now and always, public land to aid in making a road from Davenport to Coun- of offence to the citizens of the States in which the institution
It is my living sentiment, and will be my dying sentiment: cil Bluffs, reported a bill granting the right of way and making exists, in which it is protected by the constitution ; and while
"OUR CoUterTy-Whether bounded by the St. John's a donation of public land to the State of Iowa, to aid in the I am opposed and conscientiously opposed to slavery, I wish
and the Sabine, or however otherwise bounded or described. construction of a railroad from Davenport to Council Bluffs; to hear no English denunciations of my country, nor any
and be the measurements more or less ; still our country, to which was read and passed to a second reading, part of it, on this account or any other. And what would our
be cherished in all our hearts-to be defended by all our Also, from the same committee, to which were referred the Southern brethern say if this same Sir Henry Lytton Bul-
hands." memorials of the Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama Rail- wee should conceive it to be his duty to tell us what thg


t


APPENDIX.
Letter from the Hon. Samuel F. Vinton.
WA ]' roTr, APRItL 6, IMg.
DEAR Si : I am in receipt of your no'e requesting me to
state whether there was a meeting of the Whig members of
the House of Representatives on the morning of the day when
the war with Mexico was declared ? whether Mr. Winthrop
was there and made a speech urging the whole Whig party to
vote for the war ? and whether I was there and made a speech
to the same purport ?
I have no recollection of having been present at that meet-
ing; and if I ever knew that such a meeting was held, the re-
collection of it has wholly faded away from my memory.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. SCHOULER, Esq SAML. F. VINTON.

Letter from the Hon. W. Hunt.
WASHINGTONr, APrIIaL 1, 1848.
DEAR SIR : I have received your letter of the 30th ultimo,
with a copy of the Boston Atlas of 23d March.
The only answer I can make to your inquiries is, to inform
you that I was not in this city on the t11th day of May, 1846.
1 left the capital late in April to visit my residence in New
York, and did not return till the 12th of May, the day after
war bill passed the House.
Mr. Culver is mistaken in his impression that I was pre-
sent at any meeting held on the day to which he refers.
Very respectfully, yours, WV. HUNT.
WM. SCHOULER, Esq.
Editor of the Atlas, Boston.
kxtract of it-leer fro/Tv .- tA < J-
WASHINGTror, APRIL 1, 1848.
Sia : In relation to the meeting of the Whigs on the morn-
ing of the 11th, I will say to you, as I have said to Mr. Gid-
dings, in a full conversation with him on the subject, that I am
satisfied that he confounds that meeting with another, which
took place at another time and place, on another subject. The
news of the conflict between our forces and those of Mexico
came into this city on Saturday evening, after the adjournment
of the House. On Sunday evening some gentlemen told me
that it was thought desirable that the Whigs should have a
meeting in the morning, before the session of the House, as it
was expected that the President would send in a war message
I went to the committee room in the morning, and found not
more than half a dozen there ; we waited till near the hour
of the meeting of the House before we called to order. The
members came in slowly, not more than twenty or twenty-five
being present at last. I think Mr. Winthrop was not present.
But I am perfectly confident that he d(lid not make a speech,
urging the Whigs to vote for any 'war measure. I had strong
convictions against' the propriety of any such measure, and ift"
one of my own colleagues had made such a speech as has been
imputed to Mr. Winthrop, I am satisfied that I could not have
forgotten it. Besides, boarding as I did with Messrs. Delano,
Culver, Root, and King, all of whom voted as I did, against
the bill, the vote of Mr. Winthrop was a subject of very fre-
quent and very free remark, arid yet I never heard any allu-
sion to such a speech, or indeed to any speech of Mr. Win-
throp, made in caucus on the morning of the llth of May, du-
ring that or the following session ; the first intimation of such
a speech coming to my knowledge since Mr. Winthrop was
chosen Speaker. My impressions on this whole subject are
the more distinct, because those who voted against the war
were immediately assailed, and on the 14th of the same month
I made a speech against the war, and in justification of m)
vote.
The Whig meeting on the morning of the llth of May was
in the room of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, but the
meeting which I think Mr. Giddings confounds with this was
held in the evening, in the commi tee room on Public Lands,
in another part of the Capitol. At the last named meeting
Mr. Winthrop, Mr. Vinton, Mr. Giddings, and, I think, Mr.
Hunt, spoke ; but this meeting was some time in the winter,
and the subject was the Oregon notice, which had been recom-
mended by the President in his message. In conversation
with Mr. Giddings, this winter, we both recollected this meet-
ing so well as to be able to point out to each other the position
in the room where speakers respectively stood when they ard-
dressed the meeting ; and agreed as to the speakers, but dif-
fered in our recollections as to the subject under considers
tion. At this Oregon meeting there was a marked difference
of opinion between Mr. Winthrop and Mr. Giddings, anil
some little warmth was manifested in the debate-Mr. Win-
throp being opposed to giving the notice, and Mr. Giddings
taking the opposite view of the question, according to my re-
collection.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHARLES HUDSON.
Col. WM. SCHouLnE, Editor of the Atlas.

Extract of a letter from Hon. J. Grinnell.
WASHINaOTON, APRIL 1, 1848.
I have to state that I have not any recollection of any meet-
ing of the Whigs on the morning of the llth of May, 1846.
I never heard of any until the present session of this Congress.
I do not believe that Mr. Winthrop attended any such meet-
ing, for the reason that I am under a strong impression, I ma)
say that I have as clear a recollection of the fact as of almost
any that occurred on that memorable day, that Mr. Winthrop
did not leave Mrs. Whitwell's that morning until we left
together, near the hour of the meeting of the House, and that
we went to the House together, and it was called to order
about the time we entered. I may add, there was very free
and full discussion of our votes on this bill for some weeks
after at Mrs. Whitwell's, and that I never heard of Mr. Win-
throp's attending any caucus of the Whigs on the day war
was declared, or making a speech urging the Whigs to go for
the war.


CONGRESS.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 1850.

IN SENATE.
Mr.SEWARD. I present a petition from citizens of Hones-
dale, Wayre county, Pennsylvania, for the establishment and
protection of freedom in the Territories of the United States.
Also, a petition to secure to alleged fugitives the right of


road Company, reported a bill to grant to the Tannusee,
Mississippi, and Alabama Railroad Company the right of way
through the public lands of the United States which Wo.
read and passed to a second reading.
Also, from the same committee, to which was referred the
petition of Simeon White, submitted an adverse report on the
same; which was ordered to be printed.
Also, from the same committee, to which was referred the
documents relating to the sale or assignment of land warrants,
reported that legislation on the subject was inexpedient;
which was ordered to be printed.
Also, from the same committee, to which was referred the
petition of James Higginbotham, submitted a report, accom-
panied by a bill for his relief; which was ordered to bae printed.
Also, from the same committee, asking to be discharged
from the further consideration of the late and present land offi-
ces at Champagnole, Arkansas ; which was concurred in.
Mr. BALDWIN, from the Committee of Claims, to which
were referred the petition of citizens of Michigan, in favor of
the children of Hubert La Croix, submitted an adverse report
on the same ; which was ordered to be printed.
Mr. DAVIS, of Massachusetts, from the Committee on
Commerce, to which was referred the petition of David P.
Barkydt, submitted an adverse report upon the same; which
was ordered to be printed.
Mr. DOWNS, in pursuance of notice, asked and obtained
leave to introduce a bill providing for the issuing of patents
for a certain class of confirmed private land claims in Louisi-
ana ; which was read a first and second time by its title, and

CLAIMS FOR SLAVES DEPORTED.
Mr. HUNTER submitted the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Secretary of State be directed to com-
municate to the Senate such information as may be found on
the records and on the files of the Department of State con-
cerning the correspondence and negotiation with Great Britain
on the subject of the claims of American citizens for slaves, the
property of those citizens, deported from the United States by
the officers of the British Government, in violation of the 7th
article of the definitive treaty of peace of the 3d of September,
1783, together with copies of such letters and documents as
may be calculated to exhibit the latest proceedings on the sub-
ject, and the fact wh-ther further application for indemnity
from the British Government was ever made by the Govern-
ment of the United States after the ratification of the treaty
of 1794 between the United States and Great Britain.
Mr. HUNTER. As this is merely a resolution of inquiry,
I hope there will be no objection on the part of the Senate to
consider it now.
Mr. KING. I do not exactly understand the object of the
resolution which has just been offered by my friend from Vir-
ginia. I presume that subject was definitively settled under
the auspices of the treaty with Russia, by which there was a
settlement of all claims for compensation for slaves taken dur-
ing the late war with Great Britain.
Mr. HUNTER. If the Senator will allow me I can ex-
plain this matter in a very few words. This resolution re-
lates to slaves taken contrary to the stipulations of the treaty
of peace entered into in the year 1783 between this country
and Great Britain. It was a subject of negotiation between
the two countries. These negotiations were probably aban-
doned after the ratification of Jay's treaty, and the neglect to
secure indemnity was one of the chief points of objection to
that treaty. The claim of indemnity for these slaves stands
pretty much on the same footing as the claims for indemnity
for French spoliations, and I think it will so turn out, when
we get the correspondence and all the facts. I wish to obtain
the correspondence for that purpose.
Mr. KING. I have no objection.
The question was then taken on the adoption of the reso-
lution, and it was agreed to.
RECIPROCITY WITH GREAT BRITAIN.
Mr. COOPER. Mr. President, I desire to obtain the in-
dulgence of the Senate for a very brief period, while I submit
a few remarks in relation to the correspondence between the
Secretary of State and the British Minister, which was pre-
sented yesterday, and which was disposed of after I left the
Senate.
The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Pennsyl-
vania asks unanimous consent to address the Senate.
Mr. TURNEY. What is the subject
Mr. COOPER. It is in relation to the President'. mes-
sage and correspondence presented yesterday, and disposed of
by being laid upon the table and ordered to be printed. I
move that the message and correspondence be taken up and
referred to the Committee on Commerce.
The VICE PRESIDENT. It is moved to refer the mes-
sage and accompanying correspondence to the Committee on
Commerce.
Mr. COOPER. I was about to remark that when the
President's message was disposed of yesterday by a motion to
lay it on the table, I had left my seat and retired from the
chamber, and I was not then aware of the extent to which
the British minister had felt himself warranted to go in mak-
ing suggestions relative to what our domestic legislative poli-
cy should be in reference to a particular subject. In order
that I may have a foundation for the remarks which I design
tosubmit, I will read the letter dated January 3d, 1850. It
is as follows -
BRITIsa LzorATION,
Washington, January 3, 1850.
Sia: It having been represented to her Majesty's Govern-
ment that there is some idea on the part of the Government
of the United States to increase the duties upon British iron
imported into the United States, I have been instructed by her
Maj-sty's Government to express to the United States Gov-
ernment the hope of her Majesty's Government that no addi-
ion will be made to the duties imposed by the present tariff
of the United States, which already weighs heavily o i British
productions; and I cannot but observe, for my own part, that
an augmentation of the duties on British produce or manufac-
tures, made at a moment when the British Government has,
by a series of measures, been facilitating the commerce be-












"public opinion" of England is relative to the institution of
slavery ? I leave it to them to answer.
This same ambassador seems to have a peculiar penchant
for offering his advice to the Governments to which he hap-
pens to be accredited. But a little more than two years since,
when minister to Spain, he volunteered to tell the Queen what
England thought her policy ought to be in relation to the do-
mestic management of the internal affairs of Spain. The
correspondence which took place between the Duke of Soto
mayar, the Prime Minister, so to speak, of Spain, and Lord
Palmerston, on the subject, is fresh in the memory of all.
One would have thought that he might have profited by the
lesson which was taught him then ; but it seems that he re-
gards England as so far in advance of all other nations, in
power and in wisdom, that they will be obliged for auch hints
and suggestions as may emanate from her ambassadors,
wherever they may chance to reside.
Now,-for my own part, I do not thank him for the sugges-
tion in relation to our domestic policy, and the Administra-
tion will not thank him, I trust. But a little while since, it
will be recollected, that, in a case not entirely dissimilar,
when the ambassador of another Power quite as respectable
as that of England, and to whom we owe far more than we
owe to England of friendship and of courtesy, undertook to
tell the national Executive of this country 'what was due to
its honor, and what was due to justice on his part, his pass-
ports were furnished to him by the President of the United
States, and he has left our shores for his home, there to ac-
count for his interference, not with a matter of domestic po-
licy, but for volunteering advice as to what was compatible
with honor and justice on the part of the country to which
he was accredited. In that case the Executive did right, and
I have no doubt that Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer has already
been informed by the President of the United States that his
advice is unsought for, in language equivalent to that which
he used to Monsieur De Tocqueville, the Prime Minister or
Minister of Foreign Affairs of France.
Sir, I am willing to trust the honor of this Government to
him in whose hands the people have placed it. He will do
all that is necessary for its vindication ; but I thought that it
was but right that this department of the Government, the
legislative depaiIment of the Government, equally concerned
in all that relates to the honor of the country, might speak its
sentiments in reference to this matter ; and if the humblest
member of this body felt called upon, by the relation which
he bears to the particular aubjat to which refeorrua i.
made, to speak, the rebuke will be all the more severe.
It was in order to utibmit these remarks that I made the
motion to refer the subject embraced in the President's mes-
sage and correspondence to the Committee on Commerce, and
if there be not a reply intended, I will now withdraw it.
Mr.DAVIS, of Massachusetts. The language of my friend
from Pennsylvania upon this topic is certainly somewhat se-
vere, if not censorious. He declares that the opinion of the
British Minister on this topic is impertinent ; and if it is im-
pertinent, it is an opinion which he had no right to express.
Yet no exception to it was taken before it came here. I fear
that my friend has perhaps forgotten some of our own prece-
dents in such matters. He should understand that it is no
uncommon or unusual thing for one nation to express towards
another an opinion in relation to the tariff, or duties on goods
imported. Since I have been a member of this body I well
remember a resolution which passed through this Senate, and
which is now doubtless in the remembrance of those within
the hearing of my voice, expressly requesting the President
of the United States to open negotiations with foreign Gov-
ernments to see if it were possible to obtain a reduction of the
duties on tobacco. And, sir, according to my recollection,
an agent of the Government of the United States was dis-
patched to Europe and kept there for years in correspondence
with the various Governments of Europe to obtain this object.
Mr. COOPER. In that case application was made to the
treaty-making power. There was no legislative department
in those Governments to which application was made. The
supreme power of the State was the King or the Emperor,
and the whole control of the subject there belongs to the treaty-
making power-the supreme power of the State.
Mr. DAVIS. In the language which I use it is not my
purpose to cast censure on my friend for the course he has
pursued, but merely to state for his consideration the facts
within my recollection, and to ask him to consider that foreign
Governments have no medium of communication with each
other except through the treaty-making power. There is no
other mode known. It is within my recollection, and that of
Senators all around me, that some years ago we sent a minis-
ter to France to negotiate and settle certain difficulties exist-
ing between us and that Government. A treaty was made
by the American minister with that kingdom, and in that
treaty was a provision that the wines of France should be in-
troduced into this country upon terms more favorable than
those granted to other nations. That treaty was brought here,
and ratified by this Senate, and has been executed by thisGo-
vernment. I, for one, protested against it. I dislike the
principle ; but still your records show what were the opinions
of the Senate and the ratifying power of the Government, and
they are far from censuring such a course as impertinent.
These are the facts, which, I believe, are undeniable in
their character. It is not, therefore, without a precedent that
one Government communicates its views to another in rela-
tion to topics of this description. And, while I know this to
be the fact, I at the same time entertain an opinion as strong
as that of the gentleman who has just taken his seat can pos-
sibly be. I have protested, and probably shall continue, un-
der all circumstances which may exist, to protest, against the
-" exercise of a power of this description by the Executive. In
V my opinion, the framers of the constitution of the United
States never contemplated transferring any portion of the
power of raising revenue to the treaty-making power of the
Government. Those who framed that instrument have given
their views in clear and distinct language, and they have re-
fused to trust this body with power to originate a money bill.
They have confided that to the House of Representatives, and
that house alone. And, sir, that those who framed this in-
strument were thus anxious to throw around it guards in this
particular, seems to me to be a sufficient reason why we
should retain a power so sacred in itself. But, upon a gene-
ral view of the subject, this is as objectionable an exercise of
the power as can be well thought of. What is a treaty ? Is
it not an irrepealable law for the time it exists-made to exist
during a certain period of time, and during that time irre-
pealable and unalterable ? That is a proposition which can-
not be denied ; and if you carry matters of revenue into a
treaty, and arrange them with a foreign Government in that
way, and ratify such a treaty and then refuse to abide by it,
whatever may be the change of circumstances in your Gov-
ernment, and whatever may be the exigencies which grow
up either for the increase or the diminution of its revenues,
the refusal to abide by that treaty and the violation of it will
b6.- cause of war. It is preposterous to transfer a power of this
de-cription to the treaty-making power.
I think, therefore, the Administration is entirely right, be-
fore making any disposition of this paper, to send it here to
be considered by Congress. That is the proper disposition of
it; and, for one, I am glad it is brought here, if it is to be
considered at all. I do not know, I do not undertake to say,
that a proposition of that sort merits consideration ; but I ne-
ver would be wanting in a disposition to treat with respect a
proposition made by a foreign country in good faith and cour-
reous language, though it should be manifest that we cannot
comply with it.
I thought that, after hearing the remarks of my friend,
some explanation of this kind was due, and I therefore rose to
submit what I have said, and shall be ready to meet the pro-
position upon its merits, if it ever comes before is, when, I
dare say, we shall not be found differing in opinion.
Mr. COOPER. From the tenor of the remarks of the
honorable Senator from Massachusetts one would suppose that
I had reflected on the character of the Executive in sending
that paper here. I did no such thing ; nor did I intend to do
any such thing. On the contrary, I approve of the course
which the Executive has pursued in sending that paper here ;
an, I had no doubt, as I observed in the remarks which I ad-
dnis(".d l.. the Senate a few minutes ago, that the President
would vindicate the honor of the country u that he would take
care of the interests of the country ; and, as an evidence that
he is disposed to do so, he has sent hither this correspondence,
in order that the Representatives of the pe iple may be inform-
ed of the efforts being made on the part of England to main-
tain the tariff policy adopted in the year 1846. Sir, it was
not without design that the President sent those papers here.
He desired-or at least I presume so-to show that England
had a more peculiar interest in maintaining that law than we
have in our own country ; and he sent this communication
here in order that we might gather from what the British min-
ister says what it would be proper for us to do when that sub-
ieet comes to be considered ; for, sir, if the people of Eng-


land would be so disagreeably disturbed by the repeal or modi-
fication of that law, it must be very important to the manu-
facturing interests of England that it should be maintained,
while, at the same time, it is equally important to us that it
should be at least pro tanto repealed.
Mr. BADGER. Mr. President, I do not rise for the pur-
pose of entering into any discussion as to the merits of the
letter which has been made the subject of the remarks which
have fallen from the Senator from Pennsylvania ; but I must
say, that, while I am very sorry that the honorable Senator
from Peonsylvania should have thought it proper on this oc-
casion to indulge in remarks which I think, were not n-ces-
sary to be made, and which appear to me in some degree to
involve a violation of that courtesy which ought to be mani-
fested in all our relations with foreign Powers and their repre-
sentatives, yet I must also say, that, in the general view and
opinions which have been expressed in relation to this letter,
I entirely concur. I think the honorable Senator from Mas-
sachusetts has failed to show us a case which furnishes a pre-
cedent for the kind of proceeding of which this letter furnishes
an example. All the cases to which he refers are cases in
which the President of the United States was desired to open
negotiations with foreign Powers, in order to procure by treaty
stipulations certain provisions deemed by the Senate to be ad
vantageous to our interests. This letter, if I understand it,
is not of that character. It is not a movement or an applica-
tion on the part of the British Minister to open n.n..i..-.n..
with the Executive Department of the Government for any
reciprocal arrangement in regard to duties levied on iron or


any other article of export. It does not loo1 o any negotia-
tion. It neither opens any negotiation nor proposes that any
should be opened ; but it is simply a letter in which he com-
municates to the Secretary of State the fact, that it is under-
stood that Congress intends to make some modification of the
existing tariff of duties on foreign iron, and communicates to
him the further fact that such a modification will not be well
received by the public opinion of England. That is the
whole of it. It is no proposal or negotiation. It is not say-
ing to the Secretary of State that" her Majesty's Government
is desirous of entering into some treaty stipulations by which
this subject can be amicably and properly arranged." It is
not saying that "when this subject comes under considera-
tion I am prepared, instructed, or authorized to make certain
compensating reductions of duty upon any of the great sub-
jects of exports from this country ; but it is a simple commu
nication to the Secretary of State that, if Congress should
make certain alterations in the duty on iron, which the(
Minister understood Congress proposes to do, it will not be
well -received in England.
Now, it seems to me that no precedent can be found-cer-
tainly none has been referred to ; I certainly know of none,
and have heard of none-for such interference as this in respect
to the legislative action of Congress; and it appears to me that
the true and proper answer to be given to it was not to have
spoken of it, as the Senator from Pennsylvania has spoken of
it, as being "impertinent" or "indecorous," but to have said
that the United States had fully discharged all her treaty obli-
gations to Great Britain ; that beyond those obligations the
regulations which Congress has to establish, the laws which
Congress has to pass, the duties which Congress has to levy,
must be dictated by a just and enlightened consideration of
that body for the interests of our own people, irrespective of
the wishes and opinions and interests of any other. In that
point of view, it strikes me that this letter is a singular one ;
that it is irregular, and therefore deserves some such reply as
that which I have suggested.
Mr. KING. I will say but a word in reply to the remarks
of the honorable Senator from Pennsylvania, which are cal-
culated to produce feelings of unkindness between the United
States and Great Britain, which I presume the honorable
Senator does not desire.
Sir Henry L Bulwer is the representative of Great Bri-
tain, and, although in a letter to the Secretary of State he
may have used terms which it would have been better not to
have used, and pro.porud what probably had better not have
been proposed, still, if the honorable Senator understands the
progress of things in negotiations between this and other
Governments, he will see that on more than one occasion the
Government of the United States, through its Minister, has
called on foreign Governments to change their regulations
with regard to duties or prohibitions upon articles the
growth or production of the United States, and when that
change could not be made by treaty stipulations, but must be
made by a legislative enactment. I allude to the regime in
relation to the introduction of tobacco into France, referred to
by the honorable Senator from Massachusetts. The Ameri-
can Government for years has been anxious have a reduction
or abandonment of that regime on the part of the French
Government. It was a legislative enactment, and must be
repealed fly the Legislature of the country before it can be
changed by the Executive.
Communications have beep made again and again by our
representative to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, advocating
the propriety of making a change, which has been advanta-
geous to the commerce of the two countries, beneficial alike to
France as well as this Government, and it never was taken
in an offensive sense. The minister of the United States was
not denounced for making such an application, as being "im-
pertinent," as acting indecorously, or as departing from the
line of his duty and deserving the reprobation of the Senate
of the United States. This language, it seems to me, is not
becoming this body, and I am sorry to hear it applied to a
highminded and honorable man. Though mistaken in the
course he has adopted, and though it might have been better
not to have made the communication, yet, believing it was a
duty he owed to the people of Great Britain, he brought it for-
ward in the terms which he did, and it has been communicated
here. I do not believe it was necessary that it should have been
communicated here. I am only surprised that the Secretary
of State did send it here, for he well understands that we do
not intend to legislate with reference to the opinions held by
any portion of the people of Great Britain in relation to the
propriety or impropriety of our legislative enactments.
I only rose to say that I regret exceedingly that the honorable
Senator from Pennsylvania indulged in expressions which
would have been received by this Government with indigna-
tion, if applied to her representative near a foreign Court. I
know well what would have been the feeling in this country,
if such terms had been used respecting our minister, either in
the House of Peers in Great Britain, or in the Chamber of
Deputies in France.
Mr. CLAY. I have risen only to say a word or two, for
really I am extremely unwilling to delay the honorable Sena-
tor who it was expected would occupy the floor ti-day. But
I have risen to express my very great regret at the language
which my worthy friend who sits before me (Mr. COOPER)
has thought proper to apply to the British Minister, here at
the seat of this Government.
I am afraid my friend-has confounded his wishes upon the
subject of the great interest which he is desirous to protect
with what he supposes to be the erroneous conduct of the rep-
resentative of a Government whose people have opinions not
exactly in accordance with those represented by my worthy
friend.
I must say, for one, sir, and in opposition to the opinion of
the honorable Senator from North Carolina, (Mr. BAnOER,)
that I do not see a particle of impropriety, or the slightest de-
viation from the most correct diplomatic practice and usage, in
the letter of Sir Henry Bu'wer, which has been the subject of
this morning's conversation.
What, sir Cannot the representative of a foreign Govern-
ment near this Government, or the representative of this
Government near a foreign Government, express its wishes
and expectations upon the subject of a tariff, without
incurring denunciations, and having applied to them lan-
guage such as I lament to have heard applied to Sir Henry
Bulwer this morning ? The honorable Senator from Mas-
sachusetts (Mr. DAvis) has spoken of the incapacity of
the treaty making power to regulate the subject of the
tariff. I concur with him in that opinion. Sir Henry
Bulwer has proposed no such thing in his note which
has called down on him the commentaries this morning.
Hle has proposed no action. He has said that which has
been read to us; and I suppose he had a right to say
it, in prosecuting the interests of his own country ; and
my habit, sir, of estimating the value of public men is by
their devotion and zeal in support of those interests which
they are charged to take care of. He is here. He under-
stands that there is a prospect of the duties on a particular ar-
ticle. being augmented, and he expresses the views and opin-
ions of his own Government and of himself upon the sub
ject. He proposes nothing-he proposes to open no nego-
tiations. And is it not an advantage even to us, when this
subject comes up-if it should come up-to know what will
be the feelings of all foreign Governments upon our action on
a subject which more or less interests them all, but interests
Great Britain more than all of them ?
In saying all this, I do not mean to come to the conclusion
at which the British Minister would arrive, or wishes this
Government to arrive. On the contrary, I concur entirely
with my friend from Pennsylvania, (Mr. Cooerxn,) and I
hope that the very object which the British Minister aims at
accomplishing will not be attained. I am entirely opposed to
his object. I am very desirous that this subject of a proper
protection on iron should be taken up, examined in fairness,
and calmly adjusted upon principles of equity and of sound
policy, in reference to that great national interest. And I am
sure that if I go into the subject, I shail be uninfluenced by
the wishes of the British Government-uninfluenced by what
its organ has chosen to present to our Government-uninflu-
enced, I should hope, by any other considerations than those
which belong to my own country, and all parts of it, and all
its great interests.
But, whilst I say all this, I could not sit in my seat and
hear-and I am sure my worthy friend from Pennsylvania,
on consideration, will be satisfied with the impropriety of it-
rhe application of such language as he has made to a minis-
ter with whom I have had frequent opportunities of intercourse,
and of whom I take pleasure in saying I have seen near this
Government no foreign minister whatever who appears to me
more accomplished, more able, and better diojposed towards
keeping the relations of the two countries upon a footing of
the most perfect amimy and good feeling.
I concur, sir, with the honorable Senator from Alabama
(Mr. KrIN) in thinking that it was perhaps hardly neces-
sary to have communicated this letter to Congress at all, but
at the same time I do not see that any harm can result from


the communication of it The President, not choosing to
enter into any negotiations, and perhaps no negotiations being
necessary in the case, thought proper to communicate the let-
ter t) Congress, that it may receive just so much and no
more consideration than is necessary.
Mr. CASS. I agree entirely with the honorable Senators
from Alabama and Kentucky (Mr. Kiso and Mr. CLAY)
in the expression of their regret upon this occasion. I deeply
regret that any Senator should have thought proper to make
use of such language as has been applied to Sir Henry Bulwer
this morning. I know that gentleman well. 1 have known
him for years, and a more highminded and honorable man
never crossed the Atlantic or came to our shores. I know it
is the last idea in his m'nd to give offence to the American
people or'thueir representatives. lIe comes to fulfil his duty to
his own Government, but he comes with very respectful feel-
ings ttvards ours. I am sure of it. Therefore, as far as
respects him, I deeply regret that any censure should be thus
publicly thrown upon him, that his name and his course
sh, uld he brought in here, and that he should be supposed to
intend any disrespect to this country or to this Government.
There is a misapprehension as to the practice and usage in
this matter. The honorable Senator from Alabama is right.
I myself know the course which has been taken by this Gov-
ernment and its representatives. Every Senator here knows
that not only in France is tobacco prohibited, but that it is a
monopoly, and that it is so in other countries on the conti-


nent of Europe. It is one of the principal sources of revenue' Mr. DICKINSON moved to lay the message and accom-
in France ; but the monopoly and prohibition are regulated paying documents on the table, and that they be printed.
by the Legislatures ; the Executive has no more power over The motion to lay on the table was agreed to, and :he mo-
it than ours When I was in France I was instructed to re- lion to print the message and accompanying documents was
monstrate against this course as unfriendly, and I didllaa no referred to the Committee on Printing.
measured terms ; and, although I failed to accomplish tia ob- T1 he Senate then adjourned.
ject, it was not my fault. But it never entered into my ead, [
nor I suppose into the heads of others, that that step on my THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 1850.
part was an offence. They never said so. They answered HuRS Y ,RCH7 w.
me very politely, but told me that they could not give it up At an early hour this mornir g the Senate chamber was
as a source of revenue. They did not send my letter te the completely occupied by ladies and such few gentlemen as had
Chamber of Deputies ; and I rather regret that this letter was been able to obtain admittance, who endured several hours
sent here, in consequence of the censure that has been thrown patient possession of seats, and even of the floor, that they
upon the British minister. I do not see the necessity for~end- might hear the long-expected speech of the Senator from
ing it here, although I presume it was sent with the best in- Massachusetts.
tensions. But precisely such a case happened within mlown The VICE PRESIDENT called the Senate to order at
knowledge, in which I remonstrated with the Fr.nch ta.v- five minutes to 12 o'clock, and the devotional exercises were
ernment against one of their prohibitory laws, which prelent- performed by the Chaplain, the Rev. C. M. BUTLER.
ed the exportation to France of one of the greatest of#" an- The Journal of yesterday was about to be read, when
tides of produce. Instead of having an open markets they Mr. BADGER moved that the reading of the Journal be
sent their agents here to purchase tobacco, and drive si into dispensed with.
other markets. The VICE PRESIDENT said he was in doubt whether
Mr. SEWARD. I rise for the purpose of moving that that could be done without the unanimous consent of the
this subject be postponed until to-morrow, in order thtt we Senate.
may now proceed to the consideration of the order of theds,. The SECaETARTn accordingly read the journal of the pro-
In making this motion I do not make it with any deiie ..It ceedings of yesterday.
speaking upon the subject myself, but simply because I itnow ADMISSION OF ILADIES.
that it is the right of the honorable Senator from Pensyl- FOOTE. Mr. President, I move that the ladies be
vania to reply, and I wish him to have an opportunity of Mr. FOOTE. Mr. President, I move that the ladies beI
doing so at length, without interrupting further the conspera- ghmittero occupy the for, which they now are doing.
lion of the order of the day. e VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Mississippi
Mr. BADGER. I beg leave, before that .li.p.-Ati..n The VIUE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Mississippi
made of the subject, to make one remark. I h.-I.- I was n.- (Mr. FoOTE) moves that the ladies be permitted to occupy
understood by the honorable Senator from Kentucky, ar by the floor. This motion requires unanimous consent.
Mr. HALE. I move to anmend the motion of the Senator
the honorable Senator from Michigan, as joining at all its the Mississippi by substituting the word "invited" for the
censure cast upon the British minister, or rather I should say wo "permitted." [Laughter.]
which has been indulged in by the honorable Senator-tpm word "permitted." [Laughter.]
Pennsylvania. I intended expressly to do away with my Mr. FOOTE. I will not be fastidious, but I do not know
such idea in the observations which I'made ; and I will say, why they should be invited when they already have pes-
while I think the motives presented in that letter are not seMon. CLEMENS. Would it not be well enough to make
thoe wic shuldinluece n te eeriseoflegislatice Mr. CLEMENS. Would it not be well enough to make
those which should influence u in the exercise of legisla the Sergeant-at-Arms clear the gallery of its male occupants,
power-and, according to my view of the matter, this is an a so as to allow the ladies to occupy it-as we then could act
plication designed to influence the legis action of Congres, wt mor comfort. Somebody most be put to inconve-
which is irregular and not supported by precedent-I let with more cotr t Senate, or the ladies, (puthich I do not dve-
entirely acquit him of any designed wrong in the coue e isie ne either the Senate, or the ladies, (which I do not de-
has adopted. I join entirely in the expressions of t firepr the atre occupants. Somf the business of the Senate.essary
ble Senator from Michigan, as to the high, upright, and for the prop PRESIDENT. Isof the businesmotion of the Senate.or
honorable character of that gentleman. I believe he is one The VICE PRESIDEN Is the motion of the Senator
of the last men ip the world who, in urging the interests of from Mississippi objected to
his own Government, would be guilty of the slightest in Mr. FOOTE. I would suggest to the honorable Senator
civility or improper interference with the affairs of the Gov- that he should not make the innocent responsible. The la-
civility or improper interference with the affairs of the ov- dies are never disorderly, and I do not see why they should
TheVICE PRESIDENT. The question is on the m be made responsible for the disorderly conduct of our sex. I
The' VICE PRESIDENT. The question is on lbs mu. icmtnei etrta ymto
lion to postpone the further consideration of this subject until think, under the circumstances, it is better that my motion a
to-morrow, should be adopted, and I will participate with him in at y ac-
Mr. COOPER. All I have to say will be said in a mmi- tioa he may propose for the purpose of clearing the galleries
ute. I am very sorry to trespass upon the time designed to of disorderly m en, if there be any found there, or compelling
be occupied by the honorable Senator from Wisconsiab, but I them to bea orderly, which, I am sorry to say, they are not
wish merely to say a few words, and the subject maybe en- always upon occasions of this sort.
tirely disposed of. I had no apprehension, sir, that Ishould The VICE PRESIDENT The Chair hears no objec-
awaken so much feeling as seems to have been manifested, i lion to the motion, and the order of the Senate will be exe-
by the remarks in which I indulged relative to the correspond- cuted.
ence which was brought to the notice of the Senate yesterday. THE COMPROMISE.
I am always willing to be lectured by those whose experience The VICE PRESIDENT. The resolutions submitted by
qualifies them in their lectures to impart information. But, the Senator from Kentucky were made the special order of
sir, although I admit that I need information on mary sub- the day at 12 o'clock. On this subject the Senator fiom
jects, I am inclined to think that I always do best, in repro- Wisconsin (Mr. WALKER) has the fl&or.
sending my constituents, when I follow the prompting of my Mr. WALKER. Mr. President, this vast audience has
own heart and the dictates of my own judgment. not assembled to hear me ; and there is but one man, in my
Sir, although I have not had thehonor of representing my opinion, who can assemble such an audience. They expect
country abroad, I know what is the usual course of proceed- to hearhim, and I feel it to be my duty, as well as my plea-
ing on the part of diplomatists. I do not know it from having sure, to give the floor therefore to the Senator from Massar hu-
practically seen it, or from having practised it myself, but setts. I understand it is immaterial to him upon which of
from my reading ; and, sir, I have yet to learn any ewe that these questions he speaks, and therefore I will not move to
is at all analogous to the present.
Mr. FOOTE. Will the honorable gentleman from Penn- postpone the special order.
sylvania allow me to interrupt him for a moment. Mr. WEBSTER. I beg to express my nbligitions to my
Mr. COOPER. Certainly, friend from Wisconsin, (Mr. WALKHa,) as well as to my
Mr. FOOTE. I simply suggest this as an excuse for the friend from New York, (Mr. SxwARnn,) for their courtesy in
British minister, which I am sure the honorable Senator from allowing me to address the Senate this morning.
Pennsylvania will receive kindly. He seems to hive forgot- Mr. President, I wish to speak to-day, not as a Massachu
ten the fact that a very leading statesman of th s country-I settls man, nor as a Northern man, but as an American, and a
refer to the honorable Senator from Massachusetts, not now in member of the Senate of the United States. It is fortunate
his seat, (Mr. WEs'STaR)-several years ago, in a very for- that there is a Senate of the United States-a body not yet
mal and deliberate manner, in a speech which I presume the moved from i-s propriety, not lost to a just sense of its own
Senator from Pennsylvania must recollect was very much dignity, and its own high responsilhilitiec, and a body to which
commented on at the time in the various newspapers of the the country looks withconfidence for wise, moderate, patriot ic,
country, and I suppose also in the newspapers of Europe, pro- and healing doctrine. It is not to be denied that we live in
posed the regulation of these whole subjects of imposts upon the midst of strong agitations, and in the midst of very con-
foreign productions by treaty. Now, sir, this subject being siderable dangers to our institutions of government. Thlieim-
very freely discussed in this country, it seems to me that the poisoned winds are let loose. The East, the West, the
British minister might have been encouraged at least to make North, and the stormy South, all combine to throw the whole
the suggestion in reference to one or two small articles, ocean into coimmotion, and to toss its billows to fie skies, and
Mr. COOPER. I do recollect it, and I recollect that the to disclose its profouidest depths. I do not expect, Mr. Pro-
suggestion was not adopted by the country. It would be sident, to hold, or to be fit to hold, the helm in this combat of
adopting a system of policy entirely uncongenial to our insti- the political elements ; but I have a duty to perform, and I
tutions. This is a subject which exclusively belongs to the mean to p reform it with fidelity-not without a sense of the
representatives of the people of this county. It differs in that surrounding dangers, but not without hope I have a part to
respect from the same subject, as it concerns all other coun- act, not for my own security or safety, for I am looking out
tries of Europe, except it be England and France, and !More- for no fragment upon which to float away from the wreck, if
fore it was that I chose to indulge in the strain of remark, wreck there must be, but for the good of the whole, ard the
And what, I will ask the honorable Senator from Kentucky, preservation of the whole ; and there is that which will keep
was there so exceedingly indecorous in my remarks ? The me to my duty during this struggle, whether the sun and the
word "impertinent" was the most harsh word which I used stars shall appear or shall not appear for many lays. I speak
in reference to it. Now, what does that word mean in its to-day for the preservation of the Union. Hear me for my
strict and proper sense ? Why, I regard it as simply mean- cause." I speak to-day, out of a solicitous and anxious heart,
ing that the British minister was meddling with a subject for the restoration to the country of that quiet and that har-
which did not at all belong to the Executive to regulate, but mony which make the blessings of this Union so rich and so
which belonged entirely to the Congress of the United Slates dear to us all. These are the topics that I propose to myself
to regulate. Now, sir, after all that has been said about the to discuss; these are the motives, and the sole motives, that
impropriety of my remarks, and all that has been said by the influence me in the wish to communicate my opinions to the
honorable Senators around me of their regret for what I did Senate and the country; and if I can do any thing, however
say, I must conclude by saying that I would not withdraw a little, for the promotion of these ends, I shall have accomplish-
single word of what I have said, and, if necessary, I would ed all that I desire.
say it over again. Mr. President, it may not be amiss to recur ve y briefly to
Mi. BERRIEN. Two things, Mr. President, have been the events whieb, equally sudden and extraordinary, have
presented to my mind calculated equally to acquit the British brought the political condition of the country to what it now
minister of any impropriety in making this communication, is. In May, 1846, the United States declared war against
and the President of the United States in submitting it for the Mexico. Her armies, then on the frontiers, entered the pro-
consideration of Congrees. I suppose it will be a conceded vines of that Republic ; met and defeated all her troops ; pcne-
proposition that the action of any one Government which i treated her mountain passes, and occupied her capital. The
calculated to affect the interests of other Governments and marine force of the United States took possession of her forts
people, is a proper subject ofcommunication between thetwo and her towns on the Atlantic and on the Pacific. In less
Governments. Now, if the regulation of the rate of duties than two years a treaty was negotiated by which Mexico ceded
or framing of the tariff had been subject to the tr. a.,,-Wakir.it to the Uni'ed States a vast territory, extending seven or eight
power, it will not be doubted that the British :nrr.ri r, ,.r -, hundred miles along the shores of the Pacific ; reaching back
minister of any other Government, might, with perfect pro- over the inmountains, and across the desert, until it joined the
priety, have communicated with the Executive Department of frontier of the State of Texas. It so happened that, ir the dis-
the Government to which the treaty making power belonged, traced and feeble state of the Mexican Government, before the
and that the suggestions, views, and feelings of is own Glov- declaration of war by the United States against Mexico had
ernment upon that subject so communicated would not have become known in California, that the people of California,
been characterized by impropriety. But, inasmuch as the under the lead of American officers, perhaps, generally, over-
power of regulating the tariff appropriately belongs to the threw the existing Provincial Government of California-the
legislative department of the Government, it i- -u|p.f.J that Mexican authorities-and run up an independent flag. When
in communicating with the Executive on this subject an ia- the news arrived at San Francisco that war had been declared
propriety has been committed, by the United States against Mexico, this independent flag
Mr. President, I think there is a fallacy in this, if th* pro- was pulled down and the stars and stripes of this Union hoist-
position be trie that the action of a Government, in whatever ed in its stead. So, sir, before the war was over, the powers
department it is calculated to affect the interests of other ua- of the United States, military and naval, had possession of
tions, may be a proper subject of communication. Then it San Francisco and Upper California, and a greatrush of emi-
only remains to reflect that the minister of a foreign Govern- grants fiom various parts of the world took place into Califor-
ment has no other means to communicate with the legislative nia in 1846 and 1847. But now, behold another wonder.
department of the Government hut through the Executive, In January of 1848, the;Morreons, it is said, or some of them,
the President of the United States. If this had belonged to made a discovery of an extraordinarily rich mine of gohl-
the treaty making power, the communication would hane been or, rather, of a very great quantity of gold, hardly fit to be
made to the President of the United States, and he, in the called a mine, for it was slead so near the surface-on the
exercise of his appropriate powers, would have cons~dsred it ; lower part of the South or American branch of the sacramento
but, inasmuch as it belongs to the legislative department, and They seem to have attempted to coaceal their discovery for
inasmuch as there is no medium of communication between a some time; but soon another discovery, perhaps of greater
foreign minister and that department but the Executive, in importance, was made of gold, in another part of the Amen-
my humble judgment the communication has been properly can branch of the Sacramento, and near Suiter's fort, as it
made, and properly communicated to Congress. is called. Tire fame of these discoveries spread far and wide.
Mr. DAVIS, of Massachusetts. I wish merely t-,erve They excited mere arud more the spirit of emigration towards
that, in the few remarks which I submitted upon this ques- California, which had already taken place; and persons
tion, I took it for granted that the Executive department o. crowded in hundreds, and flocked towards the bay of San
the Government took no exception whatever to the language Francisco. Thils, as I have said, took place in the winter and
used in this despatch of the British minister; that there was spring of 1848. The digging commenced in the spring of
no purpose of censuring it in sending it here, and that they that year, and from that time to this the work of searching
were satisfied, so far-as the courtesies of negotiation were con- for gold has been prosecuted with a success not heretofore
corned, with the language which was used. It seems to be known in the history of this globe. We all know, sir, how
proper that this should Ie taken into account among other incredulous the American public was at the accounts which
things, and if they took no exception to it, I can see no rea- reached us at first of these discoveries; but we all know that
son why we should, these accounts received, and continue to receive daily confir-
Mr. HALE. Mr. President, I move to lay the subject on nation, and down to the present moment Isuppose the assu-
the table, rances are as strong, after the experience of these several
SEVERAL SriWAToas. Oh, let it be referred. m months, of mines of gold apparently inexhaustible in the
On division, the motion to lay the subject on the table was regions near San Francisco, in California, as they were at


rejected, and the message was referred to the Committee on any period of the earlier dates of the accounts It so hap-
Commerce. opened, sir, that, although in the time of peace, it became a
THE COMPROMISE, very important subject for legislative consideration and legis
The Senate resumed the consideration of the special order, lative decision to provide a proper Territorial Government
viz. Mr. CLAT's series of resolutions, for California, yet differences of opinion in the councils of
Mr. WALKER, who was entitled to the floor, addressed the Government prevented the establishment of any such
the Senate for upwards of two hours. Territorial Government for California at the last session of
Mr. SEWARD. If the honorable Senator is not particu- Congress. Under this state of things, the inhabitants of
ladrly desirous of continuing his remarks at this time, I would San Francisco and California-then amounting to a great
propose, as it is now late, that the subject be postponed, number of people-in the summer of last year, thought it to
Mr. WALKER. In consequence of the interruptions that he their duty to establish a local Government. Under the
have taken place, I shall not be able to conclude to-day. proclamation of General Riley, the people chose dole--
Mr. BUTLER. I will suggest, if it bIe not objectionable gates to a Convention-that Convention met at Monterey.
to the Senator, that he resume his remarks at twelve o'clock They formed a constitution for the State of California, and
to-morrow, it was adopted by the people of Calitornia in their primary
Mr. WALKER assented, and the motion was agreed to ; assemntlages. Desirous of immediate connexion with the
and the resolutions were accordingly postponed, and made United States, its Senators were appointed and Representa-
the special order of the day for to-morrow at twelve o'clock, tives chosen, who have c me hither, bringing with them the
S O authentic constitution of the State of California; and they
POST OFFICE REMOVALS.t themselves, asking, in behalf of their State, that
The VICE PRESIDENT laid before the Senate the fotl- h present themy beadmitteds into this Ualfnionf tas one Statof the
lowing communication from the President: United States. This constitution, sir, contains an express
7bTo the Senate of the United Slates: prohibition against slavery or involuntary servitude in the
In answer to the inquiries contained in the resolution of the Sta'e of California. It is said, and I suppose truly, that of
Senate of the 4th instant, in relation to appointments of post- the members who composed that Convention some sixteen
masters by the Postmaster General, I send to the Senate here-
with thire letter of the Postmas'er General, dated on the 5th were natives and had been residentsoftl e -1. h..i.. S a
instant, furnishing the desired information. about twenty-two were from the nton-slaveholding Slates, and
WAs511INTON, MAncH 6, 1850. Z. TAYLOR. the remaining ten members were either native Californians


or old settlers in that country. This prohibition against slav-
ery, it is alleged--
Mr. HALE. Will the Senator give way until order is re-
stored ?
The VICE PRESIDENT. 'T'he Sergeant-at-Arms will
see that order is restored, and no more persons admitted to
the floor.
Mr. CASS. I trust the scene of the other day will not be
repeated. The Sergeant-at-Arms must display more energy
in suppressing this disorder.
Mr. HALE The noise is outside of the door.
Mr. WEBSTER. And it is this circumstance, sir, the
prohibition of slavery by that convention, which has con-
tributed to raise-I do not say it has wholly raised-
the dispute as to the propriety of the admission of California
into the Union under this constitution. It is not to be denied,
Mr. President-nobody thinks of denying-that, whatever
reasons were assigned at the commencement of the late war
with Mexico, it was prosecuted for the purpose of the acquisition
of territory, and under the alleged argument that thie cession
of territory was the only form in which proper compensation
could be made to the United States by Mexico for the various
claims and demands which the people of this Government had
against her. At any rate, it will be found that President
Polk's message at the commencement of tire session of De-
cember, 1847, avowed that the war was to be prosecuted un-
til some acquisition of territory was made. And, as the ac-
quisition was to be south of the line of the United States, in
warm climates and countries, it was naturally, I suppose, ex-
pected by the South that whatever acquisitions were made in
that region would be added to the slaveholding portion of the
United States. Events have turned out as was not expected,
and that expectation has not been realized ; and therefore some
degree of disappointment and surprise has resulted, of course.
In other words, it is obvious that the question which has so
long harassed the country, and at some times very seriously
alarmed the minds of wise and good men, has come upon us
for a fresh discussion-the question of slavery in these United
States.
Now, sir, I propose-perhaps at the expense of detail and
consequent detention of the Senate-to review historically this
question of slavery, which, partly in consequence of its own
merits, and partly, perhaps mostly, in the manner it is
discus-ed in tine and the other portion of the country, has
been a source of so much alienation and unkind feeling be-
tween the different portions of the Union We all know,
sir, that slavery has existed in the world from time immemo-
rial. There was slavery, in the earliest periods of history,
in the Oriental nations. 'here was slavery among the Jews ;
the theocratic government of that people made no injunction
against it. There was slavery amnmg the Greeks, and the
ingenious philosophy of the Greeks found, or sought to find,
a justification for it exactly upon the grounds which have been
assumed for such a justification in this country ; that is, a na-
tural and original difference among the races of mankind, the
inferiority of the black or colored race to the white. The
Greeks justified their system of slavery upon that ground pre
cisely. They held the African, and in some parts the Asiatic,
tribes to be inferior to the white race ; but they did not show,
I think, by any close process of logic, that, if this were true,
the more irrl,i.', r, and the stronger had therefore a right to
subjugate the weaker. The more manly philosophy aind
jurisprudence of the Romans placed the justification of
slavery on entirely different grounds.
The Roman jurists, from the first and down to the fall of
the empire, admitted that slavery was against the natural law,
by which they maintained that all menr, of whatsoever clime, co-
lor, or capacity, wereequal ; but theyjustifiedslavery, first, up-
on the ground and authority of the law of nations-arguing, and
arguing truly, that at that day the conventional law of nations
admitted that captives in war, whose lives, according to the
notions of the times, were at the absolute disposal of thie cap-
tois, might, in exchange for exemption from death, be made
slaves for life, and that such servitude might descend to their
posterity- The jurists of Rome alsi) maintained that by tihe
civil law there might be servitude-slavery, personal and he-
reditary-first, l.y the voluntary act of an individual who
might sell himself into slavery ; second, by his being receiv-
ed into a state of slavery by his creditors in satisfaction of a
debt ; anrid, thirdly, by being placed in a state of servitude or
slavery for crime. At the introduction of Chris!ianity into
the world, the Roman world was full of slaves, and I sup-
pose there is to he found no injunction against that relation
between man and man in the teachings by the Gospel of.l Jesus
Christ, or by any of his Apostles. The object of the in-
s:ruction imparted to mankind by the founder of Christianity
was to touch the heart, purify thle soul, and improve the lives
of individual men. That object went directly to the first
fountain of all political and all social relations of the human
race-the individual heart and mind of man.
Now, sir, upon the general nature arid character and in-
fluence of slavery, there exi-ts a wide difference between the
Northern portion of this country and the Southern. It is sail
on the one side that, if not the subject of any injunction or
direct prohibition in thIe New Testament, slavery is a wrong ;
that it is founded merely in the right of the strongest; andt
that it is aa oppression, like all unjust wars, like all those
conflicts by which a mighty nation suhjec's a weaker nation
to their will ;anti that slavery, in its nature, whatever may be
said of it in the modifications which have taken place, is not
in fact according to the meek spirit of the gospel. It is not
kindly aftectioned. It does not seek another's and not iis
own." It does not let the oppressed go free." These are
sentiments that are cherished, and recently with greatly aug-
mented force, among the people of the Northern States. It
has taken hold of the religious sentiment of that part of the
country, as it has more or less taken hold of the religious feel.
ings of a considerable portion of mankind. The South, upon
the other side, having been accustomed to this relation be-
tween the two races all their lives, from their birth ; having
been taught in general to treat the subjects of this bondage
with care and kindness-and 1 believe, in general, feeling
for them great care and kindness-have yet not taken this
view of the subject which I have mentioned. There are
thousands of religious men, with consciences asterder as any
of their brethren at the North, who do not see the unlawful-
ness of slavery ; and there are more thousands perhaps that,
whatsoever they may think of it in its origin, and as a mat-
ter depending upon natural right, yet take things as they are,
and, finding slavery to be an established relation of the society
where they live, can see no way in which-let their opinions
on the abstract question be what they may-itisin thepower of
the present .. .... .i; .i to relieve themselves from this rela-
tion. And, in this respect, candor obliges me to say, that I
believe they are just as conscientious, many of them, and cf
the religious people all of them, as they are in the North in
holding d fl'erent opinions.
Why, sir, the honorable Senator from South Carolina, the
other day, alluded to the great separation of that great reli-
gious community, the Methodist Episcopal Church. That
separation was brought about by differences of opinion upon
this peculiar subject of slavery. I felt great concern as that
dispute went on about the result, and I was in hopes that the
diff rence of opinion might be adjusted, because I looked upon
that religious denomination as one of the great props of reli-
gion and morals throughout the whole country, from Maine
to Georgia. The result was against my wishes and against
my hopes. I have read all their proceedings, and all their
arguments, bat I have never yet been able to come to the
conclusion that there was any real ground Jor that separation ;
in other words, that no good could be produced by that se-
paration. Sir, when a question of this kind takes hild of
the religious sentiments of mankind, and comes to be discuss-
ed in religious assemblies of the clergy and laity, there is
always to be expected, or always to be feared, a great degree
of excitement. It is in the nature of man, manifested by his
whole history, that religious disputes are apt to become
warm, and men's strength of conviction is proportionate to their
views of the magnitude of the questions. In all such disputes
there will sometimes men be found with whom every thing is
absolute-absolutely wrong or absolutely right. They see
the right clearly ; they think others ought to do it, and they
are disposed to establish a broad line of distinction between
what they think right and what they hold to be wrong. And
they are not seldom willing to estlalish that line upon tlieir
own convictions of the truth ant the justice of their own
opinions, and they are willing to mark and guard that line by
placing along it a series of dogmas, as lines of boundary are
marked by posts and stones. There are men who, with clear
perceptions, as they think, of their own duty, do not see how
t o hot a pursuit of one duty may involve them in the viola.
tion of others, or how too warm an embracement of one truth
may lead to a disregard of other truths equally important. As
I heard it stated strongly, not matry days ago, these per-
sons are disposed to mount upon some duty as a war horse,
and to drive furiously, on and upon, and over all other duties
that may stand in the way.. There are men who, in times of
that sort and disputes of that sort, are of opinion that human


duties may be ascertained with the precision of mathematics.
They deal with morals as with mahematics, and they think
what is right may be distinguished from what is wrong with
the precision of an algebraic equation. They have, there-
fore, none too much charity towards others who differ from
them. They are apt, too, to think that nothing is good hbut
what is perfect, and that there are no compromises or modifi-
cations to be made in submission to difference of opinion, or
in deference to other men's judgment. If their perspicacious
vision enables them to detect a spot on the face of the sun,
they think that a good reason why the sun should be struck
down from heaven. They prefer the chance of running into
utter darkness to living in heavenly light, if that heavenly
light be not absolutely without any imperfection. There are
impatient men-too impatient always to give heed to the ad-
mission of St. Paul, that we are not to do evil that good
may come"-too impatient to wait for the slow progress of
moral causes in the improvement of mankind. They do not
remember that the doctrines and the miracles of Jesus Christ
have, in eighteen hundred years, converted only a small por-
tion of the human race ; and among the nations that are con
averted to Christianiy they forget how many vices anid crimes,
public and private, still prevail, and that many of them, pub-
lic crimes especially, which are offences against the Christian
religion, pass without exciting particular regret or indignation.
Thus wars are waged, and unjust wars. I do not deny that
there may be just wars. There certainly are, but it was the


remark of an eminent person, not many years ago, on the
other side of the Atlantic, that it was one of the gr, wa'est re-
proaches to human nature that wars were Stimeries ini (es.-
sary. The defence of nations sometimes causes a war aai i st
the injustice of other nations.
Now, sir, in this state of sentiment upon the general na-
toure of slavery lies the cause of a great portion of those un-
happy divisions, exasperati ns, and reproaches which find
vent and support in different parts of the Ui'in. Slavry
does exist mn the UniteJ States. It did exit in ti.e Siai s
before the adoption of this constilu'ion, and at that time
And now let us consider, sir, for a moment, whi t was I e
state of sentiment North and South in regard to slavery at the
time this constitution was adopted. A reinarkable charge I as
taken place since, but what did the wise and great nmen of all
parts of the country think of slavery ?-in wt at ctitiaiiion
did they hold it in 1787, when this constitution Aas adopted
Now, it will be found, sir, if we will carry ourst Ires by his.
torical research back to that day, and ascertain men's olniinrs
by authentic records still existing among us, that there was no
great diversity of opinion between the North and the South
upon the subject of slavery, and it will be font d that I o h
parts f the country held it equally an evil-a mnral anrid .o.
litical evil. It will not be fmiund that either at the Noith or
at the South there was much, though there was s 'me, invec-
tive against slavery as inhuman and cruel. 'Tl e grfatgroinud
of objection to it was political; that it weakened there social
fabric ; that, taking the place of free. labor, society a as less
strong and labor was less productive ; and therefore ,e find
from all the eminent men of the time the'c!earest fCxIression
of their opinion that slavery was an evil. Anti they ascribed
it, not without truth, and not without some acrbity of tem-
per and force of language, to the injurious policy of the mo-
ther country, who, to favor the navigator, had e tailed these
evils upon the colonies. I need hardly refer, sir, to the pub-
lications of the day. They are mat ors of hi tty on the re-
cord. The eminent men, the most eminent men aid mor early
all the conspicuous of the South, held the same sentiments ;
that slavery was an evil, a bright, a blast, a mil, ew, a scourge,
and a curse. There are no terms of reprobation of slavery
so vehement in the North of that day as in the South. The
North was not so much excited against it as ithe South, and
the reason is, I suppose, because there was much less at the
North, antd the people did nrot see, or think they saw, the
evils so prominently as they were seen, or thought to be seen,
at the South.
Then, sir, when this constitution was frarreJ, ihi
light in which the Convention viewed it. T'-or,.iienon -
nifleeted the judgment and sentiments of the great men of
the South. A member of the other House, whom I have
not the honor to know, ii a recent speech has collected ex-
tracts from these public documents. They prove the truth of
what I am saying, and the question then w as, how to deal
with it, and how to deal with it as an evil Well, they
came to this general result. They thought that slavery could
not be continued in the country if the importati, n of slaves
were made to cease, aid therefore they provided that after a
certain period the importation might be prevented by the act
of the new Government. Twenty years was proposed by
some gentleman, a Northern gentleman, I think, and many
of the Southern gentlemen opposed it as being too long. Mr.
Madison especially was s jmething warm against it. He said
it would bring too much of ih's mischief into the country to
allow the importation of slaves for such a period Because
we must take along with us, in the whole of this discussion,
when we are considering the sentiments and opinions in which
this constitutional provision originated, that the conviction of
all men was that if the importati, n of slaves ceisd, the white
race would multiply faster than the black rate, at d that slave-
ry would therefore gradually wear out and exli e. I may nrot
be improper here to alludec to that, I had almost said, celebrated
opinion of Mr. Madison. You ob-erve, sir, that the term slave
or slavery is not used in the constitution. The constitution does
not require lhat "fugitive slaves" shall be delivered up. It re-
quires that "' persons bound to service in one State, and escap-
ing into another, shall be delivered up." Mr. Madison opposed
the introduction of the term slave or slavery into the constitu-
tion ; for he said he did not wish to see it recognised bythe
constitution of the United States of America that there could
be property in men. Now, sir, all this took place at the
Convention in 1787; but connected with this-concurrent
and contemporaneous-is another important consideration not
sufficiently attended to. The Convention for framing this
constitution assembled in Philadelphia in May, and sat until
September, 1787. During all that time the Congress of
the United States was in session at New York. It was a
matter of design, as we know, that the Convention should
not assemble in the sime city where Congress was holding
its passions. Almost all the public men of the country, there-
fore, of distinction and eminence, were in one or the other of
these two assembly es; and I think it happened in some in-
stances that the same gentlemen were members of both.
If I mistake not, such was the case of Mr. Rufus King,
then a member of Congress from Massachusetts, and at the
same time a member of the Convention to frame'the constitu-
tion from that State. Now, it was in the summer of t787,
the very time when the Convention in Philadelphia was franm-
ing this constitution, that the Congress in New York was
framing the ordinance of 1787. They passed that ordinance
on the 13th July, 1787, at New York, the very month, per-
hapi the very day, on which these questions about the impor-
tation of slaves and the character of slavery were debated in
the Convention at Philadelphia. And, so far as we can now
lear', there was a perfect concurrence of opinion between
the- i ,pective bodies ; and it resul ed in this ordinance of
1787, excluding slavery as applied to all the territory over
which the Congress of the United States had jurisdiction, and
that was all the territory northwest of the Ohio. Three years
before, Virginia and other States had made a cession of that
great territory to the United States. And a most magnificent
act it was. I never reflect upon it without a disposition to
do honor and justice-and justice would be the highest
honor-to Virginia foir that act of cession of her northwestern
territory. I will say, sir, it is one of her fairest claims to the
respect and gratitude of Ihe United States, and that perhaps
it is only second to that other claim which attaches to
her: that in her counsels, and from the intelligence and
patriotism of her leading statesmen, proceeded the first idea
put into practice for the formation of a general constitution of
the United States. Now, sir, the ordinance of 1787 applied
thus to the whole territory over which the Congress of the
United States had jurisdiction. It was adopted nearly three
years before the Constitution of the-United States went into
operation ; because the ordinance took effect immediately on
its passage, while the Constitution of the United States, hav-
ing been framed, was to be sent to the States to be adopted
by their Conventions ; and then a Government had to be or-
ganized under it. This ordinance, then, was in operation
and force when the constitution was adopted and this Govern-
ment put in motion, in April, 1789.
Mr. President, three things are quite clear as historical
truths. One is, that there was an expectation that on the
cea-ing of the importation of slaves front Africa, slavery would
begin to run out. That was hoped and expected. Another
is, that as tar as there was any power in Congress to prevent
the spread of slavery in the United States, that power was
executed in the most absolute manner and to the fullest ex-
tent. An honorable member whose health does not allow
him to be here to-day--
ASENATOS. He is here. (Referring to Mr. CALHOUN.)
Mr. WEBSTER. I am very happy to hear that he is--
may he long be in health and the enjoyment of it to serve his
country-said tIle other day that he considered this as the first
in the series of measures calculated to enfeeble the South and
deprive them of their just participation in the benefits and pri-
vileges of this Government. He says very properly, that it
was done under the old c.nfederation and before this constituo
lion went into effect; but, my present purpose is only to say,
Mr. President, that it was done with tire entire and unani-
mous concurrence of the whole South. Why there it stand-!
The vote of every State in the Union was unanimous in
favor of the ordinance, with the exception of a single indi-
vidual vote, and that individual was a N.rthern man But.
sir, the ordinance abolishing ofr rather |j r. .Fiil i.gsavry
northwest of the Ohio, hasthe hand and seal of every 1South-
ern member in Congress.
This was the state of things, sir, and this the state of opin-
ion under which those two very important matters wire ar-
ranged, and those two important things done ; that is, the
establishment of the constitution with a recognition of slavery
as it existed in the States, and the establishment of the ordi-
nance prohibiting, to the full extent of all territory owned by
the United States, the introduction of slavery into those ter-
ritories. And here, sir, we may pause. We may reflect for
a moment upon the entire coincidence and concurrence of


sentiment between the Nor h and the South upon this ques-
tion at the period of the adoption of the constitution. But
,pinions, sir, have changed-geatly changed-changed
North and changed South. Slavery is not regarded in the
South now as it was then. I see an honorable member ofthfs
body paying me the honor of listening to my remarks ; he
brings to me, sir, freshly and vividly the sentiments of his
great ancestor, so much distinguished in his day and genera-
tion, so worthy to be succeeded by so worthy a grandson,
with all the sentiments he expressed in the Convention in
Philadelphia upon this subject.
Here we may pause. There was unanimity of sentiment,
if not a general concurrence of sentiment, running through
the whole community, and especially entertained by the emi-
nent men of all portions of the country, in regard to this sub-
ject. But soon a change began at the North and the South,
and a severance of opinion soon showed itself-the North
growing much more warm and strong against slavery, and
the South growing much more warm and strong in its sup-
port Sir, there is no generation of mankind whose opinions
are not subject to be influenced by what appears to them to
he their present and emergent and exigent interest. I impute
to the South no particularly inter, sted view in the change
which has come over her. 1 impute to her certainly no dis-
honest view. All that has happened has been natural. It
has followed those causes which always influence the human
mind and operate upon it. What, then, havebeen the causes
which have created so new a feeling in favor of slavery in the
South-which have changed the whole nomenclature of the
South on the subject-and from being thought of and describ-








ed in the terms I have mentioned and will not repeat, it has
now become an institution, a cherished institution there ; no
evil, no scourge, but a great religious, social, and moral
blessing, as I think I have heard it latterly described ? I
suppose this, sir, is owing to the sudden uprising and
rapid growth of the cotton plantations of the South. So far
as any motive of honor, justice, and general judgment could
act, it was the cotton interest that gave a new desire to promote
slavery, to spread it and to use its labor. I again say that
this is produced by the causes which we must always expect
to produce like effects-their whole interests became connected
with it. If we look back to the history of the commerce of this
country at the early commencement of this Government, what
were our exports ? Cotton was hardly, or but to a very lim-
ited extent, known. The tables will show that the exports of
cotton for the years 1790 and '91 were hardly more than forty
or fifty thousand dollars a year. It has gone on increasing
rapidly until it may now be, perhaps, in a season of great pro-
duct and high prices, a hundred millions of dollars. Then there
was more of wax, more of indigo, more of rice, more of almost
every thing exported from the South than of cotton. I think
I have heard it said, when Mr. Jefferson negotiated the treaty
of 1794 with England, he did not know that cotton was ex-
ported at all from the United States ; and I have heard it said
that, after the treaty which gave to the United States the
right to carry their own commodities to England in their own
ships, the custom-house in London refused to admit cotton,
upon an allegation that it could not be an American produc-
tion, there being, as they supposed, no cotton raised in Ame-
rima. They would hardly think so now !
Well, sir, we know what follows. The age of cotton be-
came a golden age for our Southern brethren. It gratified
tht ir desire for improvement and accumulation at the same
time that it excited it. The desire grew by what it fed upon,
anrd there soon came to be an eagerness for other territory,
a new area or new areas for the cultivation of the cotton crop,
and measures were brought about, somewhat rapidly, one
after another, under the lead of Southern men at the head of
the Government, they having a majority in both branches of
the Government, to accomplish their ends. The honorable
member from Carolina observed that there has been a majo-
ri:y all along in favor of the North. If that be true, sir, the
North acted either very liberally and kindly, or very weakly;
for they never exercised that majority five times in the his
to:y of the Government. Never. Whether they were out-
generalled, or whether it was owing to other causes, I shall
... -. Ini.l-pJdlii-rdc, but no man acquainted with the history
of the country omn deny that the general lead in the politics
of the country for three-fourths of the period that has elapsed
since the adoption of the constitution has been a Southern
1 ad. In 1802, in pursuit of the idea of opening a new cot-
ton region, the United States obtained a cession from Georgia
of the whole of her western territory, now embracing the
rich and growing State of Alabama. In 1803 Louisiana was
purchased from France, out of which the States of Louisiana,
Arkansas, and Missouri have been framed as slaveholding
States. In 1819 the cession of Florida was made, bringing
another cession of slaveholding property and territory. Sir,
the honorable member from South Carolina thought he saw
in certain operations of the Government, such as the manner
of collecting the revenue and the tendency ot those measures to
promote emigration into the country, what accounts for the more
rapid growth of the North than the South. He thinks they
were not the operation ot time, but of the system of govern-
ment established under this constitution. That is a matter of
opinion. To a certain extent it may be so ; but it does seem
to me that if any operation of the Government could be
shown in any degree to have promoted the population, and
growth, and wealth of the North, it is much more sure that
there are sundry important and distinct operations of the
Government, about which no man can doubt, tending to pro-
mote, and which absolutely have promoted the increase of
the slave interest and the slave ter itory of the South. Allow
me to say that it was not time that brought in Louisiana ; it
was the act of men. It was not time that brought in Florida;
it was the act of men. And lastly, sir, to complete those acts
of men who have contributed so much to enlarge the area
and the sphere of the institution of slavery, Texas, great and
vast and illimitable Texas, was added to the Union as a
slave State in 1845 ; and that, sir, pretty much .closed
the whole chapter and settled the whole account. That
cl sed the whole chapter-that settled the whole ac-
S count, because the annexation of Texas upon the conditions
anid u.der the guaranties upon which she was admitted, did
not leave an acre of land capable of being cultivated by slave
labor between this Capitol and the Rio Grande or the Nueces,
or whatever is the proper boundary of Texas-not an acre,
not one. From that moment the whole country from here to
the western boundary of Texas, was fixed, pledged, fastened,
decided to be slave territory forever, by the solemn guaranties
of law. And I now say, sir, as the proposition upon which I
sand this day, and upon the truth arnd firmness of which I
intend to act until it is overthrown, that there is not at thi5
moment within the United States, or any territory of the
United States, a single foot of land the character of which, in
regard to its being free soil territory or slave territory, is not
fixed by some law, and some irrepealable law beyond the
power of the action of this Government. Now, is it not so
with respect to Texas ? Why, it is most manifestly so.
Thie honorable member from South Carolina, at the time of the
admission of Texas, held an important post in the Executive
Department of the Government ; he was Secretary of State.
Another eminent person of great activity and adroitness in
stalfair, I mean the late Secretary of the Treasury, (Mr. Walk-
er,) was a leading member of this body, and took the lead in
the business of annexation ; and I must say that they did their
business faithfully ; there was no botch in it. They rounded
it off, and made as close joiner-work as ever was put together.
Resolutions of annexation were I r..u li into Congress fitly
joined tog, ther-compact, firm, ti li,.u.,, conclusive upon the
great object which they had in view.
Allow me to read the resolution. It is the third clause of
the second section of the resolution of the 1st March, 1845,
for the admission of Texas. That clause reads in these
words:
"New States, of convenient siza, not exceeding four in
number, in addition to said State of Texas, aindt having suffi-
cient population, may hereafter, by the consent of said State,
be formed out of the Territory thereof, which shall he entitled
to admission under there provisions of thie Federal Constitution
And such States as may be formed out of that portion ot said
Territory lying south of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes
north latitude, commonly known as the Missouri compromise
line, shall be admitted into the Union with or without slavery,
as the people of each State asking admission may desire;
and in such State or States as shall be ormrid out ot said
Territory no-r li of said Missouri compromise line, slavery or
involuntary servitude (except for crime) shall be prohibited."
Now what is here stipulated, enacted, secured ? It is, that
all Texas south of 36 30', which is nearly the whole of it,
shall be admitted into the Union as a slave State-it was a
slave State, and therefore came ip as a slave State-and that
new States shall be made out of it, and that such States as
are formed out of that portion of Texas lying south of 36 30'
may come in as slave States to the number of four, in addi-
tion to the State then in existence, and admitted at that time
by these resolutions. I know no mode of legislation which can
strengthen that. I know no mode of recognition that can add
a tittle of weight to it. I listened respectfully to the resolu
tions of my honorable friend from Tennessee, (Mr. BELL.)
He proposed to recognise that stipulation with Texas. But any
additional recognition would weaken the force of it; because
it stands here on the ground of a contract for a consideration.
It is a law founded on a contract with Texas and destined th
carry that contract into effect. A recognition founded on any
consideration and any contract would not be so strong as it
now stands on the lace of the resolution. Now I know no
way, I candidly confess, in which this Government, acting in
good faith, as I trust it always will, can relieve itself from that
stipulation and pledge, by any honest course of legislation
whatever. And, therefore, I say again that, so far as Texas
is concerned-the whole of Texas south of 36 30', which I
suppose embraces all the slave territory-there is no land, not
San acre, the character of which is not established by law,
a tiw whirh cannot-bwee ealed without the violation of a
contract.
I hope, sir, it is now apparent that my proposition, so far
as Texas is concerned, has been maintained, and the provi-
sion .in this article-and it has been well suggested by my
friend from Rhode Island that that part of Ti xas which lies
north of thirty-four degrees of north latitude may be formed
into three States-is depondant in like manner up n the con-
sent of Texas, herself a slave State.
Well, now, sir, how came it h How came it that within
these walls, where it is said by the honorable member from


South Carolina that the free States have a majority-this
resolution of annnexation, such as I have described it, found
a majority in both Houses of Congiess ? Why, sir, it found
that majority by the vast addition of Northern votes added to
the entire Southern vote, or at least nearly the whole of the
Southern votes. It was made up of Northern as well as of
Southern votes. In the House of Representatives it stood, I
think, about eighty Sou'hern votes for the admission of
Texas, and about fifty Northern votes for the admission of
Texas. In the Senate the vote stood for the admission of
Texas twenty-seven, and twenty five against it ; and of those
twenty-seven votes constituting a majority for the admission
of Texas in this body, no less than thirteen of them came
from the free States-tbur of them were from New England.
The whole of these thirteen Senators from the free Sta'es-
within a fraction you see of.one-halt of all the votes in this
body for the admission of Tx-as, with its immeasurable extent
of slave territory-were sent to this body by free soil votes.
Sir, there is not so remarkable a chapter in our history of
political events, political parties, and political men, as is afford-
ed by this measure for the admission of Texas, with this im-
mense territory, that a bird cannot fly over in a week. [Laugh-
ter.] Sir, New England, with some of her votes, supported
this measure. Three-fourths of the votesof lilberty-loving Con-
necticut went for it in the other House, and one-half here.
There was one vote for it in Maine, but I am hsppy to say not
the vote of the honorable member who addressed the Senate
the day before yesterday, (Mr. HAMLIN,) ard who was then
a Representative fiom Maine in the o!licer House ; but there
was a vote or two from Maine-aye, and there was one vote
for it from Massachusetts, the ,wicl-nii then representing


and now living in the district in which the prevalence of free-
soil sentiment for a couple of years or so has defeated the
choice of any monemiker to represent it in Congress. Sir, that
body of Northern and Eastern men, who gave those votes at
that time, are now seen taking upon themselves, in the no-
menclature of politic-, the appellation of the Northern Democ-
racy. They undertook to wield the destinies of this empire-
if I may call a republic an empire-and their policy was, and
they persisted in it, to bring into this country all the territory
they could. They did it under pledges-absolute pledges to
the slave interest in thecase of Texas, and afterwards in the
case of these new conquests. My honorable friend from Geor-
gea, in March, 1847, moved the Senate to declare that the
war ought not to be prosecuted for acquisition, for conquest,
for the dismemberment of Mexico. The same Northern De-
mocracy entirely voted against it. He did not get a vo'e from
them. It suited the views, the patriotism, the elevated senti-
ments of the Northern Demccracy to bring in a world here,
among the mountains and valleys of California and New
Mexico, or any other part of Mexico, and then quarrel about
it-to bring it in and then to put upcn it the saving grace of
the Wilmot proviso. There were two eminent and highly re
spectable gentlemen from the North and East, then leading gen-
tlemen in this Senate-I refer, and I do so with entire respect,
for I entertain for both of those gentlemen in general high re-
gard, to Mr. Dix, of New York, and Mr. Niles, of Connec-
ticut-who voted for the admission of Texas. They would
not have that vote any other way than as it stood ; and they
would have it as it did stand. I speak of the vote upon the
annexation of Texas. Those two gentlemen would have the
resolution of annexation just as it is, and they voted for
it just as it is, and their eyes were all open to it. My
honorable friend, the member who addressed us the otherday
from South Carolina, was then Secretary of State. His cor-
respondence with Mr. Murphy, the charge d'affaires of the
United States in Texas, had been published. That corre-
spondence was all before those gentlemen, and the Secretary
had the boldness and candor to avow in that correspondence
that the great object sought by the annexation of Texas was
to strengthen the slave interest of this country. Why, sir, he
said, in so many words-
Mr. CALHOUN. Will the honorable Senator permit me
to interrupt him for a moment ?
Mr. WEBSTER. Certainly.
Mr. CALHOUN. I am very reluctant to interrupt the
honorable gentleman ; bu', upon a point of so much import-
ance, I deem it right to put myself rectus in curia. I did not
put it upon the ground assumed by the, Senator. I put it
upon this ground : that Great Britain had announced to this
country, in so many words, that her object was to abolish
slavery in Texas, and through Texas to accomplish the abol-
ishment of slavery in the United States and the world. The
ground I put it on was, that it would make an exposed fron-
tier, and, if Great Britain succeeded in her object, it would be
impossible that that frontier could be secured against the ag-
gression of the abolitionists; and that this Government was
bound, under the guaranties of the constitution, to protect us
against such a state of things.
Mr. WEBSTER. That comes, I suppose, sir, to exactly
the same thing. It was, that Texas must be obtained for the
security of the slave interest of the South.
Mr. CALHOUN. Another view is very distinctly given.
Mr. WEBSTER. That was the object set forth in the
correspondence of a worthy gentleman not now living, who
preceded the honorable member from South Carolina in that
office. There repose on the files of the Department of State,
as I have occasion to know, strong letters from Mr. Upshur
to the United States minister in England, and I believe there
are some to the same minister from the honorable Senator
himself, asserting to this extent the sentiments of this Gov-
ernment that Great Britain was expected not to interfere to
take Texas out of the hands of its then existing Government,
and make it a free country. But my argument, my sugges-
tion is this : that those gentlemen who composed the Northern
democracy when Texas was brought into the Union, saw with
all their eyes that it was brought in as a slave country, and
brought in for the purpose of being maintained as slave terri
tory to the Greek Kalends. I rather think the honorable
gentleman who was then Secretary of State might, in some of
his correspondence with Mr. Murphy, have suggested that it
was not expedient to say too much about this object, that it
might create some alarm : but, sir, he did avow it boldly and
manfully ; he did not disguise his conduct.
Mr. CALHOUN. Never, never.
Mr. WEBSTER. What he means he is very apt to say.
Mr. CALHOUN. Always, always.
Mr. WEBSTER. And I honor him for it. This was
in 1845. Then, in 1847, flagrante bello between the
United States and Mexico, the proposition [ have men-
tioned was brought forward by my friend from Georgia-
the Northern democracy vo ing sraight ahead against
it. Their remedy was to apply to the acquisitions, after
'hey should come in, the Wilmot proviso. What follows
These two gentlemen, worthy and honorable and influen-
tial men-and if they hod not been they cmld not have car-
ried the measure-these two gentlemen, members of this
body, brought in Texas, and by their votes they prevented
the passage of the resolution of the honorable member from
Georgia, and then they went home and took the lead in the
tree-Soil party. And there they stand, sir! They leave us
here, bound in honor and c, science by the resolutions of an-
nexation-they leave us here to take the odium of fulfilling
the obligations in favor of slavery which they voted us into,
or else the greater odium of violating those obligations while
they are at home making rousing and capital speeches for
free-soil and rio slavery. [Laughter.] And, therefore, I say,
sir, that there is not a chapter in our history, respecting pub-
lic measures and public men, mi)re full of what should create
surprise; more full of what does create, in my mind, ex-
treme mortification, than that of the conduct of this Northern
democracy.
Mr. President, sometimes, when a man is found in a new
elation to things around him and to other men, he says the
world has changed, and that he has not changed. I believe,
sir, that our self-respect leads us often to make this declara-
tion in regard to ourselves when it is not exactly true. An
individual is more apt to change, perhaps, than all the world
around him is to change. But, under the present circum-
stances, and under the responsibility which I know I incur
by what I am now stating here, I feel at liberty to recur to
the various expressions and statements, made at various times,
of my own opinions and resolutions respecting the admission
of Texas, and all that has followed. Sir, as early as 1836,
or in the earlier part of 1837, a matter of conversation and
correspondence between myself and some private friends
was this project of annexing Texas to the United States ; and
an honorable gentleman with whom I have had a long ac-
quaintance, a friend of mine, now perhaps in this chamber-
I mean Gen. Hamilton, of South ('arolina-was knowing to
that correspondence. I had voted fur the recognition of
Texan independence, because I believed it was an exist-
ing fact, surprising and astonishing as it was, and I wish
ed well to the new republic: but I manifested from the
first litter opposition to bringing her with her territory into
ihe Union. I had occasion, sir, in 1837 to meet friends in
New York, on some political occasion, and I then stated my
sentiments upon the subject. It was the first time that I had
occasion to advert to it; and I will ask a friend near me to do
me the favor to read an extract from the speech, for the Se
nate may find it rather tedious to listen to the whole of it. It
was delivered in Niblo's Garden in 1837.
Mr. GREENE then read the following extract from the
speech of the honorable Senator, to which he referred :
Gentlemen, we all see that, by whomsoevr possessed,
Texas is likely to be a slavehotling country ; and I frankly
avow my entire unwillingness to do any thing which shall ex-
tend the slavery of the African race on this continent, or add
other slaveholding States to the Union.
When I say that I regard slavery in itself as a great moral,
social, and political evil, I only use language which has been
adopted by distinguished men, themselves citizens of slave-
holding States.
"I shall do nothing, therefore, to favor or encourage its
further extension. We have slavery already among us. The
constitution found it among us ; it recognized it, anti gave it
solemn guaranties.
To the full extent of these guaranties, we are all bound in
honor, in justice, anti by the constitution. All the stipulations
contained in the constitution in fivor of the slaveholinig
State,, which are already in tie Union, ought to be fhlfilled,
and, so tli" as depends on me, sb.ll be fulfilled in the fulness
of their spirit and to the exactness of their letter. Slavery as
it exists in the States is beyond the reach of Congress. It is a
concern of the States themselves. They have never submitted
it to Cnngress, and Congress lias no rightful power over it.
1 shall concur, therefore, in no act, no measure, no me-
nace, no indication of purpose which shall interfere or threaten
to interfere with the exclusive au'horit, of the several States
over the subject of slavery, as it exists within their respective
limits. All this appears to me to be matter of plain and im-


perative duty.
"But when we come to speak of admitting new States, the
subject assumes an entirely different aspect. Our rights and
our duties are then both different. * *
I see, therefore, no political necessity fotbr the annexation
of Texas to the Union-no advantages to be derived from it;
and objections to it ofa strong, and, in my judgment, of a de-
cisive character."
Mr. WEBSTER. I have nothing, sir, to add to nor to
take back from those sentiments. That, the Senale will per-
ceive, Aas in 1837. The purpose of immediately annexing
Texas at that time was abandoned or postponed ; arid it was
not revived with any vigor for some years. In the mean time
it had so happened that I had become a member of the Exe-
cutive Administration, and was for a short period in the De-
partment of State. The annexation of Texas had become a
subject of conversation-not confidential-with the President
and heads of Departments, as well as with other public men.
No serious attempt was then made to bring it about. I left
the Department of State in May, 1843, and shortly after I
learned, though no way connected with official information,
that a design had been taken up of bringing in Texas, with
her slave territory and population, into the United States. I
was here in '-t.ii.,' at the time, and the persons are now
here who will rein mIber that we had an arranged meeting
for conversation upon it. I went home to Massachusetts and
proclaimed the existence of that purpose, but I could get no
audience, and but little attention. Some did not believe it,


and some were engaged in their own pursuits. They had
gone to their farms, or to their merchandise, and it was im-
possible to arouse any sentiment in New England or in Mas-
sachusetts that should combine the two great political parties
against this annexa ion ; and, indeed, there was no hope of
bringing the Northern Democracy into that view, for the lean-
ing was all the other way. But, sir, even with Whigs, and
leading Whigs, I am ashamed to say, there was a great in-
difference towards the admission of Texas with slave territory
into this Union. It went on. I was then out of Congress.
The annexation resolutions passed the 1st of March, 1845.
Texas complied with them ; the Legislature of Texas com-
plied with the conditions and accepted the guaranties ; for the
phraseology of the language of the resolution is, that Texas is
to come in upon the conditions and under the guaranties
herein prescribed." I happened to be returned to the Senate
in March, 1845, and was here in December, 1845, when the
acceptance by Texas of the conditions proposed by Congress
were laid before us by the President, and an act for the con
summation of the connexion was laid before the two Houses.
The connexion was not completed. A final law doing the
deed of annexation ultimately had not been passed ; and when
it was upon its final passage here, I expressed my opposi-
tion to it and recorded my vote in the negative; and there
that vote stands, with the observations that I made upon that
occasion. It happened that between 1837 and this time, on
various occasions and opportunities, I had expressed my en
tire opposition to the admission of slave States, or the acqui-
sition of new slave territories, to be added to the United States.
I know, sir, no change in my own sentiments or my own
purp wes in that respect. I will now again ask my friend
from Rhode Island to read another extract from a speech of
mine, made at a Whig Convention in Springfield, Massachu-
setts, in the month of September, 1847.
Mr. GaEESE here read the following extract:
We hear much just now of panacea for the dangers and
evils of slavery and slave annexation, which they call the
Wilmnot proviso.' That certainly is a just sentiment, but it
is not a sentiment to found anty new party upon. It is not a
sentiment on which Massachusetts Whigs differ. There is
not a man in this hall who holds to it more firmly than I do,
nor one who adheres to it more than another.
"I feel some little interest in this matter, sir. Did not I
commit myself in 1838 to the whole doctrine, tully, entirely ?
And 1 must be permitted to say that I cannot quite consent that
more recent discoverers should claim the merit and take out a
patent.
"I deny the priority of their invention. Allow me to say,
sir, it is not their thunder." *
"We are to use the first and last and every occasion which
offers to oppose the extension of slave power.
But I speak of it here, as in Congress, as a political ques-
tion, a question for statesmen to act upon. We must so re-
gard it. I certainly do not mean to say that it is less impor-
tant in a moral point of view, that it is not more important in
many other points of view ; but, as a legislator, or in any offi-
cial capacity, I must look at it, consider it, and decide it as a
matter of political action."
Mr. WEBSTER. On other occasions, in debates here, I
have expressed my determination to vote tor no acquisition, or
cession or annexation, North or South, East or West. My
opinion has been that we have territory enough, and that we
should follow the Spartan maxim, "improve, adorn what you
have, seek no further." I think that it was in some observations
that I made here on the three million loan bill that I avowed
that sentiment. In short, sir, the sentiment has been avowed
quite as often, in as many places, and before as many assem-
blies, as any of the humble sentiments of mine ought to be
avowed.
But now, that, under certain conditions, Texas is in with
all her terni ories, as a slave State, with a solemn pledge that
if she is divided into many States, those States may come in
as slave States south of 86 30', how are we to deal with it ?
I know no way of honorable legislation but, when the proper
time comes for the enactment, to carry into effect all that we
hsve stipulate to do. I do not entirely agree with my honor-
able friend from Tennessee, (Mr. BELL,) that, as soon as the
time comes when she is entitled to another Representative,
we should create a new State. The rule in regard to it
I take to be this : that, when we have created new States out
of Territories, we have generally gone upon the idia that
when there is population enough to form a State, sixty
thousand or some such thing, we would create a State ; but it
may be thought quite a different thing when a State is divided,
and two or more States made out of it. It does not follow, in
such a case, that the same rule afappoitionmentshouldbe ap-
plied. That, however, is a matter for the consideration of
Congress when the proper time arrives. I may not be here. I
may have no vote to give on the occasion, but I wish it to be
distinctly understood to day that, according to my view of the
matter, this Government is solemnly pledged by law to create
new States out of Texas, with her consent, when her popu-
lation shall justify such a pr, ceeding, and so tar as such
States are formed out of Texan territory lying south of 36
30', to let them come in as slave States That is the mean-
ing of the resolution which our friends, the Northern Demo-
cracy, have left us to fulfil ; and I, for one, mean to fulfil it,
because I will not violate the faith of the Government.
Now, as to California and New Mexico, I hold slavery to
be excluded from those Territories by a law even superior to
that which admits and sanctions it in Texas. 1 mean the law
of nature-of physical geography-the law of the formation
of the earth. ''That law settles forever, with a strength be-
yond all terms of human enactment, that slavery cannot exist
in California or New Mexico. Understand me, sir ; I mean
slavery as we regard it ; slaves in the gross, of the colored
race, transferable by sale and delivery like other property.
I shall not discuss that point. I leave it to the learned gen-
tlemen who have undertaken to discuss it ; but I suppose
there is no slave of that description in California now. I un-
derstand that peonismi, a sort of penal servitude, exists there,
or rather a sort of voluntary sale of a man and his offspring
for debt, as it is arranged and exists in some parts of Califor-
nia and New Mexico. But what I mean to say is, that
African slavery, as we see it among us, is as utterly impos-
sible to find itself, or to be found in Mexico, as any other
natural impossibility. California and New Mexico are Asia-
tic in their formation and scenery. They are composed of
wst ridges of mountains of enormous height, with some-
times broken ridges of deep valleys. The sides of these moun-
tains are barren, entirely barren, their tops capped by peren-
nial snow. There may be in California, now made flee by
its constitution, and no doubt there are, some tracts of valuable
land. But it is not so in New Mexico. Pray, what is the
evidence which any gentleman has obtained on this subject,
from information sought by himself or communicated by others.
I have inquired and read all I could in order to obtain infor-
mation on this subject. What is there in New Mexico that
could by any possibility induce any body to go there with
slaves ? There are some narrow strips oh tillable land on the
borders of the rivers ; but the rivers themselves dry up before
midsummer is gone. All that the people can do is to raise
some little articles, some little corn for their tortillas, and
all that by irrigation. And who expects to see a hundred black
men cultivating tobacco, corn, cotton, rice, or any thing else,
on lands in New Mexico made fertile only by irrigation? I look
upon it, therefore, as a fixed fact, to use an expression cur-
rent to the day, that both California and New Mexico are des-
tined to be free, so far as they are settled at all, which I be-
lieve, especially in regard to New Mexico, will be very little
for a great length of time ; free hy the arrangement of things
by the Power above us. I have therefore to say, in this re-
spect also, that this country is fixed for freedom, to as many
persons as shall ever live there, by as irrepealable and more ir-
repealable a law than the law that attaches to the right of
holding slaves in Texas; and I will say further, that if a
resolution or a law were now before us to provide a Territorial
Government for New Mexico, I would not vote to put any
prohibition into it whatever. The use- of such a prohibition
would be idle, as it respects any effect it would have upon the
Territory ; and I would not take pains to reform an ordinance
of Nature, nor to re-enact the will of God. And I would put
in no Wilmot proviso for the purpose of a taunt or a reproach.
I would put into it no evidence of the votes of superior power,
to wound the pride, even whether a just pride, a rational
pride, or an irrational pride, to wound the pride of the gentle-
men who people the Southern States. I have no such object,
no such purpose. They would think it a taunt, an indig-
nity ; they would think it to be an acttaking away from them
what they regard a proper equality of privtrege; and whether
they expect to realize any benefit from it or not, they would
think it a theoretic wrong ; that something more or less dero-
gatory to their character and their rights had taken place. I
propose to inflict no such wound upon any body, unless some-
thing essentially important to the country, and efficient to the
preservation ol liberty and freedom, is to be effected. There-
fore, I repeat, sir, and I repeat it because I wish it to be un-
derstood, that I do not propose to address the Senate often on
this subject. I desire to pour out all my heart in as plain a
manner as possible; and I say, again, that if a proposition


were now here for a Government for New Mexico, and it was
moved to insert a provision for a prohibition of slavery, I
would not vote for it.
Now, Mr. President, I have established, so far as I pro-
posed to go into any line of observation to establish, the pro-
position with which I set out, and upon which I propose to
stand or fall; and that is, that the whole territory of the States
in the United States, or in the newly-acquired territory of the
United States, has a fixed and settled character, now fixed
and settled by law, which cannot be repealed in the case of
Texas without a violation of public faith, and cannot be re-
pealed by any human power in regard to California or New
Mexico ; that, under one or other of these laws, every foot of
territory in the States or in the Territories has now received
a fixed and decided character.
Sir, if we were now making a Government for New Mexi-
co, and any body should propose a Wilmot proviso, I should
treat it exactly as Mr. Polk treated that provision for excluding
slavery fiom Oiegon. Mr. Polk was known to be in opinion
decidedly averse to the Wilmot proviso ; but he felt the ne-
cessity ot establishing a Government for the Territory of Ore-
gon, and, though the proviso was there, he knew it would be
entirely nugatory ; and, since it must be entirely nugatory,
since it took away no right, no describable, no estimable, ino
weighable or tangible right of the South, he said he would
sign the bill for the sake of enacting a law to form a Govern-
menrit in that Territory, and let that entirely useless, and in


that connexion entirely senseless, proviso remain. For my-
self, I will say that we hear much of the annexation of Cana-
da; and if there be any man, any of the Northern Demo-
cracy, or any one of the Free-Soil party, who supposes it neces-
sary to insert a Wilmot provis) in a Territorial Government for
New Mexico, that man will of course be of opinion that it is
necessary to protect the everlasting snows of Canada from the
foot ofalavery by the same overpowering wing of an act of
Congress. Sir, wherever there is a particular good to be done
wherever there is a foot of land to be staid back from becom-
ing slave territory, I am ready to assert the principle of the
exclusion of slavery. I am pledged to it from the year 1837;
I have been pledged to it again and again ; and I will per
lorm tlbse pledges ; but I will not do a thing unnecessary,
that wounds the feelings of others, or that does disgrace to my
own understanding.
Mr. President, in the excited times in which we live there
is found to exist a state of crimination and recrimination be-
tween the North and South. There are lists of grievances
tr-.,luid 1-s ash; and those grievances, real or supposed,
ahnliriate the minds of one portion of the country from the
ith, r, s@a.p, rate the feelings, subdue the sense of fraternal
-r.nmteic.' and patriotic love and mutual regard. I shall be-
stow little attention, sir, upon these various grievances pro
duced on the one side and on the other. I begin with the
c-nipltinri of the South. I will not answer, further than I
have, the general statements of the honorable Senator from
South Carolina, that the North has grown upon the South
:nr conirq.-erce of the manner of administering this Govern-
in,-ni, in ir' collecting of its revenues, and so forth. They
are dispuitd topics, and I have no inclination to enter into
them. But I will state these complaints, especially one corm
plaint fl' iht South, which has in my opinion justfoundation;
and that is, that there has been found at the North, among in-
dividtials and among the legislators of the North, a disincli-
nation to perform fully their constitutional duties in regard to
"he return of persons bound to service who have escaped into
-he free islt,. In that respect, it is my judgment that the
.S:.un i- rili and the North is wrong. Every member of
sEcry N.,,ih, tin Legislature is bound by oath to support the
conitilnuioi of the United States; and this article of the con-
slIu iTion, whichsays to these States they shall deliver up fugi-
*i,-g fruri service, is as binding in honor and conscience as
'rv 'il.,:r article. No man fulfils his duty in any Legisla
lure who sets himself to find excuses, evasions, escapes from
lbisconstiiatii,.nl duty. I have always thought that thecon-
,.-rilion addrcs-,d itselfto the Legislatures of the States them-
zae.sidg-or to thr States themselves. It says that those per-
sons escaping to other States shall be delivered up, and I con-
fess I have always been of the opinion that it was an injunc-
tion upon the States themselves. When it is said that a
person escaping into another State, and becoming therefore
within the jurisdiction of that State, shall be delivered up, it
seems to'me the import of the passage is, that the State itself,
in obedience to the constitution, shall cause him to be deliver-
ed utp. That is my judgment. I have always entertained it,
and I entertain it now. But when the subject, some years ago,
was before the Supreme Court of the United States, the
majority of the judges held that the power to cause fugitives
from service to be delivered up was a power to be exercised
under the authority of this Government. I dinot know, on
the whole, that it may not have been a fortunate decision. My
habit is to respect the result of judicial deliberations and the
solemnity ofjudicial decisions. But, asit nowstands, thebusi
ness of seeing that these fugitives are delivered up resides in
the power of Congress and the national judicature, and my
friend at the head of the Judiciary Committee has a bill on
the subject now before the Senate, with some amendments to
it, which I propose to support, with all its provisions, to
the fullest extent. And 1 desire to call the attention of all
sober-minded men, of all conscientious men in the North, ot
all men who are not carried away by any fanatical idea or by
any false idea whatever to their constitutional obligations. I
put it to all the sober and sound minds at the North as a
question of morals and a question of conscience, What right
have they, in their legislative capacity, or any other, to en-
deavor to get round this constitution, to embarrass the free
exercise of the rights secured by the constitution to the per-
sons whose slaves escape from them ? None at all; none at
all. Neither in the forum of conscience nor before the face
of the constitution are they justified, in my opinion. Of course
it is a matter for their consideration. They probably, in the
turmoil of the times, have not stopped to consider of this ;
they have followed what seems to be the current of thought
and of motives for the occasion, and they neglect to invest
gate fully the real question, and to consider their constitutional
obligations; as I am sure, if they did consider, they would ful
fil them with alacrity. Therefore, I repeat, sir, that here is a
ground of complaint against the North well founded, which
ought ta be removed, which it is now in the power of the
different departments of this Government to remove; which
calls for the enactment of proper laws authorizing the
judicature of this Government, in the several States, to do
all that is necessary for the recapture of fugitive slaves,
and for the restoration of them to those who claim them.
Wherever I go, and whenever I speak on the subject-and
when I speak here I desire to speak to the whole North-I
say that the South has been injured in this respect, and has a
right to complain ; and the North has been too careless of
what I think the constitution peremptorily and emphatically
enjoins uip-on it as a duty.
Com'pl.nni has been made against certain resolutions
that emanate from Legislatures at the North, and are
seit here to us, not only on the subject of slavery in this
Dtririel, but sometimes recommending Congress to consi-
der ihe, means of abolishing slavery in the States. I should
be sorry to be called upon to present any resolutions here
which could not be referable to any committee or any power
in Congress, and, therefore, I should be unwilling to receive
from the Legislature of Massachusetts any instructions to
present resolutions expressive of any opinion whatever on the
'utj,-rc of slavery, for two reasons; because, first, I do not
csid.- r that the Legislature of Massachusetts has any thing
"to Jo with it,; and next, I do not consider that I, as her
representative here, have any thing to do with it. Sir,
it has become, in my opinion, quite too common; and,
if the Legislatures of the States do not like it, they have a
great deal more power to put it down than I have to uphold
it. It has become, in my opinion, quite too common a prac-
*'is f-.rn h- State Legislatures to present resolutions here on
all utjscr, and to instruct us here on all subjects. There is
nopublic man that requires instruction more than I do, or
who requires information more than I do, or desires it more
heartily ; but I do not like to have it come in quite too im-
perative a shape. I took notice, with pleasure, of some re-
marks upon this subject made the other day in the Senate of
eassachusetts, by a young man of talent and character, from
whom the best hopes may be entertained. I mean Mr. Hil-
liard. He told the Senate of Massachusetts that he would
vote for no instructions whatever to be forwarded to members
of Congress, nor for any resolutions to be offered, expressive
of the sense of Massachusetts as to what their members of
Congress ought to do. He said that he saw no propriety in
one set of public servants giving instructions and read-
ing lectures to another set of public servants. To their
own master all of them must stand or fall, and that mas-
ter is their constituents. I wish these sentiments could be
come more common, a great deal more common. I have
never entered into the question, and never shall, about
the binding force of instructions. I will, however, sim
ply say this : if there be any matter of interest pending in this
body, while I am a member of it, in which Massachusetts has
an interest of her own not adverse to the general interest of
the country, I shall pursue her instructions with gladness of
heart, and with all the efficiency which I can bring here.
But if the question be one which's affects her interest, and
at the same time affects the interests of all ether States,
I shall no more regard her political wishess or instructions
than I would regard the wishes of a man who might
appoint me an arbitrator or referee to decide some ques-
tion of important private right. If ever there was a Govern-
ment upon earth, it is this Government ; if ever there was a
body upon earth, it is this body, which should consider itself
as composed by agreement of all, appointed by some, but or-
sniixsi'i thy the general consent of all, sitting here under
the s-h. ni obligations of oath and conscience to do that which
they think is best for the good of the whole.
Then, sir, there are those abolition societies, of which I am
unwilling to speak, but in regard to which I have very clear
notions and opinions. I do not think them useful. I think
their operations for the last twenty years have produced noth-
ing good or valuable. At the same time, I know thousands
of them are honest and good men; perfectly well meaning
risen. They have excited feelings, they think they must do


something for the cause of liberty, and in their sphere of ac-
tion they do not see what else they can do, than to contribute
to an abolition press or an abolition society, or to pay an
abolition lecturer. I do not mean to impute gross motives
even to the leaders of these societies, but I am not blind to
the consequences. I cannot but see what nmischiefs their in-
terference with the South has produced. And is it not plain
to every man ? Let any gentleman who doubts of that recur
to the debates in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1832,
and he will see with what freedom a proposition made by Mr.
Randolph for the gradual abolition of slavery was discussed
in that body. Every one spoke of slavery as he thought;
very ignominious -and disparaging names and epithets were
applied to it. The debates in the House of Delegates on that
occasion, I believe, were all published. They were read by
every colored man who could read, and if there were any
who could not read, those debates were read to them by white
men. At that time Virginia was not unwilling nor afraid to
discuss- this question, and to let that part of her popula-
tion know as much of it as they could learn. That was in 1832.
As has been said by the honorable member from Carolina,
these abolition societies commenced their course of action in
1835. It is said-I do not know how true it may be-that they
sentincendiary publications into the slave States ; at any event,
they attempted to arouse, and did arouse, a very strong feel-
ing ; in other words, they created great agitation in the North
against Southern slavery. Well, what was the result ? The
bonds of the slaves were bound more firmly than before ; their
i ivets were more strongly fastened. Public opinion, which in
Virginia had begun to be exhibited against slavery, andl was
opening out for the discussion of the question, drew back and


shut itself up in its castle. I wish to know whether any body
in Virginia can now talk as Mr. Randolph, Gav. McDowell,
and others talked there, openly, and sent their remarks
to the press, in 1832. We all know the fact, and we all
know the cause, and every thing that this agitating people
huve done has been, not to enlarge but to restrain, not to set
free, but to bind faster the slave population of the South.
That is my judgment. Sir, as I have said, I know many of
them in my own neighborhood, very honest good people, mis-
led, as I think, by strange enthusiasm ; but they wish to do
something, and they are called on to contribute, and they do
contribute ; and it is my firm opinion this day, that within
the last twenty years as much money has been collected and
paid to the abolition societies, abolition presses, and abolition
lecturers as would purchase the freedom of every slave man,
woman, and child in the State of Maryland, and send them
all to Liberia. I have no doubt of it. But I have yet to
learn that the benevolence of these abolition societies has at
any time taken that particular turn. [Laughter.]
Again, sir, the violence of the press is complained of. The
press violent Why, sir, the press is violent every where.
There are outrageous reproaches in the North against the
South, and there are reproaches in not much better taste in
the South against the North Sir, the extremists of both
parts of this country are violent; they mistake loud and vio-
lent talk for eloquence and for reason. They think that he who
talks loudest reasons the best. And this we must expect, when
the press is free, as it is here, andI trust alwayswill be-for, with
all its licentiousness, and all its evil, the entire and absolute
freedom of the press is essential to the preservation of govern-
ment on the basis of a free constitution. Wherever it exists,
there will be foolish paragraphs and violent paragraphs in the
press, as there are, I am sorry to say, foolish speeches and
violent speeches in both Houses of Congress. In short, sir,
I must say that, in my opinion, the vernacular tongue of the
country has become greatly vitiated, depraved, and corrupted
by the style of our congressional debates. [Laughter.] And
if it were possible for our debates in Congress to vitiate the
principles of the people as much as they have depraved their
tas-te, I should cry out, "God savethe Republic !"
Well, in all this I see no solid grievance, no grievance
produced by the South, within the redress of theGovernment,
but the single one to which I have referred ; and that is, the
want of a proper regard to the injunction of the constitution
for the delivery of fugitive slaves.
There are also complaints of the North against the South.
I need not go over them particularly. The first and gravest
is, that, the North adopted the constitution, recognizing the
existence of slavery in the Stales, and recognizing the right
to a certain extent of representation of the slaves in Congress,
under a state of sentiment and expectation which do not
now exist; and tha', by events, by circumstances, by the
eagerness of the South to acquire territory and extend their
slave population, the North finds itself, in regard to the in-
fluence of the South and the North, of the free States and the
slave States, where it never did expect to find itself when they
entered the compact of the constitution. They complain,
therefore, that, instead orslavery being regarded as an evil, as it
was then, an evil which all hoped would be extinguished gra-
dually, it is now regarded by the South as an institution to be
cherished and preserved and extended; an institution which
the South has extended to the utmost of her power by the ac
quisition of new territory. Well, then, pas-ing from that,
every body in the North reads ; and every body reads whatso
ever the newspapers contain ; and the newspapers, some of
them, especially those pre seas to which I have alluded, are
careful to spread about among the people every reproachful
sentiment uttered by any Southern man bearing at all against
the North ; every thing that is calculated to exasperate, to
alienate ; and there are many such things, as every body
will admit, from the South or some portion of it, which
are spread abroad among the reading people ; and they
do exasperate, and alienate, and produce a most mis-
chievous cflict upon the public mind at the North. Sir,
I would not notice things of this sort appearing in obscure
quarters ; but one thing has occurred in this debate which
struck me very forcibly. An honorable member from
Louisiana addressed us the other day on this subject. I sup-
pose there is not a more amiable and worthy gentleman in.
this chamber-a gentleman who would be more slow to give
offence to any body, and he did not mean in his remarks to
give offence. But what did he say ? Why, sir, he
took pains to run a contrast between the slaves of the South
and the laboring people of the North, giving the preference in all
points of condition, and comfort, and happiness, to the slaves
of the South. The Senator doubtless did not suppose that
hlie gave any offer ce, or did any injustice. He was merely
Sii.-'ii.c; his opinion. But does he know how remarks ot
int .:.rt will be received bIy the l,. -; n I 1.1i- ..1'f the North ?
Why, who are the laboring peol1. ,.t I,.. I.h They are
the North. They are the people who cultivate their own
farms with their own hands ; freeholders, educated men, in-
dependent men. Let me say, sir, that five-sixths of the
whole property of the North is in the hands of the laborer.
of the North ; they cultivate their farms, they educate their
children, they provide the means of independence ; if they
are not freeholders, they earn wages, these wages accumu
late, are turned into capital, into new freeholds, and small
capitalists are created. That is the case. Arid what can
these people think when so respectable and worthy a gentle-
man as the member from Louisiana undertakes to prove that
the'absolute ignorance and the abject slavery of the South is
more in conformity with the high purposes of immortal, ra
tional, human beings, than the educated, the independent free-
laborers of the North ?
Now, sir, so far as any of these grievances have their foun-
dation in matters of law, they can be redressed ; so far as
they have their foundation in matters of opinion, in sentiment,
in mutual crimination and recrimination, all that we can do is
to endeavor to allay and cultivate a better feeling and more
fraternal sentiments between the South and the North.
Mr. President, I should much prefer to have heard from
every member on this floor declarations of opinion that this
Union should never be dissolved, than the declaration of opin-
ian that in any case, under the pressure of any circumstances,
such a di-solution was possible. I hear with pain, and anguish,
and distress the word secession-especially when it falls from
the lips of those who are eminently patriotic, andt known to
the country, and known all over the world, for their political
services. Secession Peaceable secession Sir, your eyes
and mine are never destined to see that miracle. The dis-
memberment of this vast country without convulsion The
bursting up of the fountains of the great deep without ruffling
the surface Who is so foolish-I beg every body's pardon-
as to expect to see any such thing ? Sir, he who sees
these States, now revolving in harmony around a common
centre, can expect to see them quit their places and fly off with-
out convulsion, may look at the next hour to see the heavenly
b )dies rush fromin their spheres and jostle against each other in
the realms of space without producing a crash in the universe.
Tnere can be no such thing as a peaceable secession Peace-
able secession is an utter impossibility. Is the great Constitu
tion under which we live here-covering this whole country-
is it to be thawed and melted away by secession, as the snows
on the mountain melt under the influence of a vernal sun ?
disappear almost unobserved, and die off? No, sir No,
sir I will not state what might produce the disruption of the
States ; but, sir, I see it as plainly as I see the sun in heaven-
I see that disruption must produce such a war as I will not
describe in its twofold consequences.
Peaceable secession !-peaceable secession The concur-
rent agreement of all the members of this great republic to
separate A voluntary separation, with alimony on one side
and on the other. Why, what would be the result ? Where
is the line to be drawn ? What States are to secede ? What
is to remain American 1 What am I to be ? Where is the
flag of the republic to remain ? Where is the eagle still to
tower or is he to cower and shrink and fall to the ground ?
Why, sir, our ancestors-our fathers and our grandfathers,
those of them that are yet living amongst us with prolonged
lives, would rebuke and reproach us ; and our children and
our grandchildren would cry out shame upon us, if we of this
generation should dishonor these ensigns of the power of the
Government and the harmony of the Union which is every day
felt among us with so much joy and gratitude. What is to be-
come of the army ? What is to become of the navy ? What is to
become of the public lands a How is each of the thirty States to
defend itself ? I know, although the idea has not been stated dis-
tinctly. There is to be a Southern Confederacy, perhaps. I do
not mean,when I allude to this statement, that any one seriously
contemplates such a state of things. I do not mean to say that it
is true, but I have heard it suggested elsewhere that the idea
has originated from a design to separate. I am sorry, sir,
that it has ever been thought of, talked of, or dreamed of, in
the wildest flights of human imagination. But the idea must


be of a separation including the slave States upon one side
and the free States on the other. Sir, there is not-I may
express myself too strongly perhaps-but some things, some
moral things, are almost as impossible another natural or phy-
sical things; and I hold the idea of a separation of these
States, these that are free to form one government and those
that are slaveholding to form another, as a moral impossibili
ty. We could not separate the States by any such line, if we
were to draw it. We could not sit down here to day and
draw a line of separation that would satisfy any five men in
the c ;untry. There are natural causes that would keep and
tie us together-social and domestic relations which we could
not break if we would, and which we should not if we could.
Sir, nobody can look over the face of this country at the pre-
sent moment-nobody can see where its population is the
most dense and growing, without being ready to admit, and
compelled to admit, that ere long America will be in the val-
ley of the Mississippi.
Well, now, sir, I beg to inquire what the wildest enthu-
siast -has to say on the possibility of cutting off that river and
leaving free States at its source and its branches, and slave
States down near its mouth ? Pray, sir, pray, sir, let me
say to the people of this country that these things are worthy
of their pondering and of their consideration. Here, sir, are
five millions of freemen in the free States north of the river
Ohio : can any body suppose that this population can be
severed by a line that divides them from the territory of a
foreign and an alien Government, down somewhere, the Lord
knows where, upon the lower banks of the Mississippi ?
What would become of Missouri Will she join the


arironJdissenient of the slave States? Shall the man from the
'Yellow Stone and the Mad River be connected in the new
Republic with the man who lives on the southern extremity
of the Cape of Florida ? Sir, I am ashamed to pursue this
line of remark. I dislike it-I have an utter disgust for it.
I would rather hear of natural blasts and mildews, war, pesti-
lence, and famine, than to hear gentlemen talk of secession.
To break up to break up this great Government-to dis-
member this great country-to astonish Europe with an act of
folly such as Europe for two centuries has never beheld in
any Government No, sir ; no sir There will be no seces-
sion. Gentlemen are not serious when they talk of secession.
Sir, I hear there is to be a Convention held at Nashville.
I am bound to believe that if worthy gentlemen meet at Nash-
ville in Convention, their object will be to adopt counsels con-
ciliatory-to advise the South to forbearance and moderation,
and to advise the North to forbearance and moderation; and to
inculcate principles of brotherly love and affection, and at-
tachment to the constitution of the country as it now is. I
believe, if the Convention meet at all, it will be for this pur-
pose; for certainly, if they meet for any purpose hostile to the
Union, they have been singularly inappropriate in their selec-
tion of a place. I remember, sir, that when the treaty was
concluded between France and England at the peace of
Amiens, a stern old Englishman and an orator, who disliked
the terms of the peace as ignominious to England, said in the
House of Commons that if King William could know the
terms of the treaty he would turn in his coffin. Let me com-
mend the saying, in all its emphasis and in all its force, to any
body who shall meet at Nashville for the purpose of concert-
ing measures for the overthrow of the Union of this country
over the bones of Andrew Jackson.
Sir, I wish to make two remarks, and hasten to a conclu-
sion. I wish to say, in regard te Texas, that if it should be
hereafter at any time the pleasure of the Government of Texas
to cede to the United States a portion, larger or smaller, of
her territory which lies adjacent to New Mexico and north of
the 34 of north latitude, for a fair equivalent in money or in
the payment of her debt. I think it an object well worthy
the consideration of Congress, and I shall be happy to concur
in it myself, it I should be in the public councils of the coun-
try at the time.
I have one other remark to make. In my observations
upon slavery as it has existed in the country, and as it now
exists, I have expressed no opinion of the mode of its extin-
guishment or amelioration. I will say, however, though I
have nothing to propose on that subject, because I do not
deem myself so competent as other gentlemen to consider it,
that if any gentleman from the South shall propose a scheme
of colonization, to be carried on by this Government up -- --n __
large scale, for the transportation of free colored people to any
colony or any place in the world, I should be quite disposed
to incur almost any degree of expense to accomplish that ob-
ject Nay, sir, following an example set here more than
twenty years ago by a great man, then a Senator from New
York, I would return to Virginia-through her for the
benefit of the whole South-all the money received from the
lands and territories ceded by her to this Government, for any
such purpose as to relieve, in whole or in part, or in any way
to diminish or deal beneficially with the free colored population
of the Southern States. I have said that I honor Virginia for
hier cession of this territory. There have been received into the
treasury of the United States eighty millions of dollars, the pro-
ceeds of the sales of the public lands ceded by Virginia. If the
residue should be sold at the same rate, the whole aggregate will
exceed two hundred millions of dollars. If Virginia and the
Suuth sea fit to adopt any proposition to relieve themselves from
the free people of color among them, they have my free consent
that the Government shall pay them any sum ol money out
i)f its proceeds which may be adequate to the purpose.
And now, Mr. President, I draw these observations to a
close. I have spoken freely, and I meant to do so. I have
sought to make no display; I have sought to enliven the oc-
casion by no animated discussion ; I have sought only to
speak my sentiments fully and at large, being desirous once
and for all to let the Senate know, and to let the country
know, the opinions and sentiments which I entertain on all
these subjects. These opinions are not likely to be suddenly
changed. If there be any future service that I can ren-
der to the country consistently with these sentiments and
opinions, I shall cheerfully render it. If there be not, I shall
s!ill be glad to have an opportunity to disburden my con-
science from the bottom of my heart, and to make known
every political sentiment that therein exists.
And now, Mr. President, instead of speaking of the possi-
bility or utility of secession, instead of dwelling in these ca-
verns of darkness, instead of groping with those ideas so full
of all tliat is horrid and horrible, let us come out into the
light of day ; let us cherish those hopes which belong to us ;
let us devote ourselves to those great objects that are fit for
our consideration and our action; let us raise our conceptions
To the magnitude and the importance of the duties that de-
volve upon us; let our comprehension be as broad as the country
f r which vie act, our aspirations ashigh as its certain destiny;
let us not be pigmies in a case that calls for men: Never
lid there devolve on any generation of men higher trusts
than now devolve upon us for the preservation of this consti-
tution, and the harmony ansod peace of all who are destined to
live under it. It is a great popular Constitutional Govern-
,nent, guarded by legislation, by law, by judicature, and de-
fended by the whole affections of the people. No monarchi-
cal throne presses these States together no iron chain of
despotic power encircles them ; they live and stand upon a
Government popular in its form, representative in its charac-
ter, founded upon principles of equality, and calculated, we
hope, to last forever. In all its history it has been benefi-
cent; it has trodden down no man's liberty; it has crushed
no State. It has been, in all its influences, benevolent, be-
neficent; prromoting the general prosperity, the general glo-
ry, and the general renown, and, at last, it has received a
vast addition of territory. Large before, it has now, by re-
cent events, become vastly larger. This republic now ex-
tends, with a vast breadth, across the whole continent. The
two great seas of the world wash the one and the other shore.
We may realize the beautiful description of the ornamental
edging of the buckler of Achilles-
Now the broad shield complete the artist crowned,
With his last hand, and poured the ocean round
In living silver seemed the waves to roll,
And beat the buckler's verge, and bound the whole."
Mr. CALHOUN. I rise to correct what I conceive to be
an error of the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts as
to the motives which induced the acquisition of Florida,
Louisiana, and Texas. He attributed it to the great growth
of cotton, and the desire of the Southern people to get an
extension of territory, with the view of cultivating it with
more profit than they could in a compact and crowded settle-
ment. Now, Mr. President, the history of these acquisitions I
think was not correctly given. It is well known that the ac-
quisilion of Florida was the result of an Indian war. The
Seminole Indians residing along the line attacked one of our
fortresses ; troops were ordered out, they were driven back ;
anid, under the command of General Jackson, Pensacola and
St. Marks were seized. It was these acts, and not the de-
sire for the extended cultivation of cotton, which led to the
acquisition of Florida. I admit that there had been for a long
time a desire on the part of the South, and of the Adminis-
tration I believe, to acquire Florida, but it was very different
fomr the reason assigned by the honorable Senator. There
were collected together fiur tribes of Indians-the Creeks, the
Choctaws, the Chickasaws, and the Cherokees, about
thirty thousand warriors-who held connexion, almost the
whole of them, with the Spanish authorities in Florida,
and carried on a trade perpetually with them. It was
well known that a most pernicious influence was thus
exercised over them ; and it was the desire of prevent-
ing conflict between the Indians and ourselves in the
S.iuth, as I believe, which induced the acquisition of
Florida. I come now to Louisiana. We well know that
the immediate cause for the acquisition of Louisiana was
the suspension of our right of deposit at New Orleans.
Under a treaty with Spain we had a right to the navigation
of the river as far as New Orleans, and a right to make
deposites in the port of New Orleans. The Spanish aulsho-l ....
ties interrupted that right, and that interruption produced a
great agitation at the West, and I may say throughout the
whole United States. The gentlemen then in opposition, a
highly respectable party-the old Federal party, which I have
never said a word of disrespect in regard to-if I mistake not,
took the lead in a desire to resort to arms to acquire that terri-
tory. Mr. Jefferson, more prudent, desired to procure it by
purchase. A purchase was made, in order to remove the diffi-
culty and to give an outlet to the West to the ocean. That
was the immediate cause of the acquisition of Louisiana.
Now, sir, we come to Texas. Perhaps no gentleman had
more to do with the acquisition of Texas than myself; and I
aver, Mr. President, that I would have been among the very
last individuals in the Unitt d States to have made any move-


ment at that time for the acquisition of Texas; and I go
further, if I know myself, I was incapable of acquiring any
territory simply on the ground that it was to be an enlarge-
ment of slave territory. I would just as freely have acquired
it if it had been on the Northern as on the Southern side.
No, sir, very different motives actuated me. I knew at a
very early period-I will not go into the .history of it-the
British Government had given encouragement to the abolition-
ists of the United States, who were represented at the World's
Convention. The question of the abolition of slavery was
agitated in that Convention. One gentleman stated that Mr.
Adams informed him that if the British Government wished to
abolish slavery in the United Statesthey must begin with Texas.
A commission was sent from this World's Convetntion to
the British Secretary of State, Lord Aberdeen ; and it so hap-
pened that a gentleman was present when the interview took
place between Lord Aberdeen and the committee, who gave
me a full account of it shortly after it occurred. Lord Aber-
deen fell into the project, and gave full encouragement to the
abolitionists. Well, sir, it is well known that Lord Aberdeen
was a very direct, and, in my opinion, a very honest and
worthy man ; and when Mr. Pakenham was sent here to ne-
gotiate with regard to Oregon, and incidentally with respect
to Texas, lie was ordered to read a declaration to this Govern-
ment, stating that the British Government was anxious toput
an end to slavery all over the world, commencing at Texas.
It is well known, further, that at that very time a negotiation





),


was going on between France and England to accomplish that
object, and our Government was thrown by stratagem out of
the negotiation ; and that object was, first, to induce Mexico
to acknowledge the indeprndenea of Texas upon the ground
that she would abolish it. All these are matters of history
and where is the man so blind-I am sure the Senator from
Massachusetts is not so blind-as not to see that if the project
of Great Britain had been successful, the whole frontier of
the States of Louisiana and Arkansas and the adjacent Statel
would have been exposed to the inroads of British emissaries.
Sir, so far as I was concerned, I put it exclusively upon that
ground. I never would run into the folly of re-annexation,
which I always held to be absurd. Nor, sir, would I put it
upon the ground-which I might well have put it-of com-
mercial and manufacturing considerations ; because those were
not my motive principles, and I chose to assign what were.
So far as commerce and manufactures were concerned, I
would not have moved in the matter at that early period.
The Senator objects that many Northern gentlemen voted
for annexation. Why, sir, it was natural that they should
be desirous of fulfilling the obligations of the constitution;
and, besides, what man at that time doubted that the Missouri
compromise line would be adopted, and that the territory
would fall entirely to the South ? All that Northern men ask.
ed for at that time was the extension of that line. Their
course, in my opinion, was eminently correct and patriotic.
Now, Mr. President, having made these corrections, I
must go back a little further, and correct a statement which I
think the Senator has left very defective, relative to the ordi-
nance of 1787. He states very correctly that it commenced
under the Old Confederation ; that it was afterwards confirm-
ed by Congress ; that Congress was sitting in New York at
the time, while the Convention sat in Philapelphia; and
that there was concert of action. I have not looked into the
ordinance very recently, but my memory will serve me thus far,
that Mr. Jefferson introduced his first proposition to exclude
slavery in 1784. Therewas a vote taken upon it, andl I think
on that vote every Southern Senator voted against it ; but I am
not certain of it. One thing I am certain of, that it was
three years before the ordinance could pass. It was sturdily
resisted down to 1787 ; and when it was passed, as I had
good reason to believe, it was upon a principle of compro.
mise ; first, that the ordinance should contain a provision
similar to the one put in the constitution with respect to fu-
gitive slaves ; and next, that it should be inserted in the con-
stitution : and this was the compromise upon which the pro-
hibition was inserted in the ordinance of 1787. We thought
we had an indemnity in that, but we made a great mistake.
. __..Q9ta possible advantage has it been to us ? Violated faith
has met us on every side, and the advantage has been alto-
getherin their favor. On the other side, it has been thrown open
to a Northern population to the entire exclusion of the Southern.
This was the leading measure which destroyed the compro-
mise, of the constitution, and then followed the Missouri com-
promise which was carried mainly by Northern votes, although
now disavowed and not respected by them. That was the next
step, and between these two causes the equilibrium has been
broken.
Having made these remarks, let me say that I took great
pleasure in listening to the declarations of the honorable Sena-
tor from Massachusetts upon several points. He puts himself
upon the fulfilment of the contract of Congress in the resolu-
tions of Texas annexation, for the admission of the four new
States provided for by those resolutions to be formed out of
the Territory of Texas. All that was manly, statesmanlike,
and calculated to do good, because just. He went further ;
he condemned, and rightfully condemned, and in that he has
shown great firmness, the course of the North relative to the
stipulations of the constitution for the restoration of fugitive
slaves ; but permit me to say, for I desire to be candid upon
all subjects, that if the Senator, together with many friends
on this side of the chamber, puts his confidence in the bill
which has been reported here, further to extend the laws of
Congress upon this subject, it will prove fallacious. It is im-
possible to execute any law of Congress until the people of
the States shall co-operate.
I heard the gentleman with great pleasure say that he would
not vote for the Wilmot proviso, for he regarded such an act
unnecessary, considering that Nature had already excluded
slavery. As far as the new acquisitions are concerned, I am
disposed to leave them to be disposed of as the hand of Nature
shall determine. It is what I always have insisted upon.
Leave that portion of the country more natural to a non-slave-
holding population to be filled by that description of popula-
lion ; and leave that portion into which slavery would natu-
rally go, to be filled by a slaveholding population-destroying
artificial lines, though perhaps they may be better than none.
Mr. Jefferson spoke like a prophet of the effect of the M issouri
compromise line. I am willing to leave it for Nature to set-
tle ; and to organize governments for the Territories, giving all
free scope to enter and prepare themselves to participate in
their privileges. We want, sir, nothingbut justice. When the
gentleman says that he is willing to leave it to Nature, I un-
derstand he is willing to remove all impediments, whether
real or imaginary. It is consummate folly to assert
that the Mexican law prohibiting slavery in California and
New Mexico is in force ; and I have always regarded it so.
No man would feel more happy than myself to believe that
this Union formed by our ancestors should live forever. Look-
ing back to the long course of fory years' service here, I have
the consolation to believe that I have never done one act which
would weaken it; that I have done full justice to all sections.
And if I have ever been exposed to the imputation of a
contrary motive, it is because I have teen willing to de-
fend my section from unconstitutional encroachments. But
I cannot agree with the Senator from Massachusetts that this
Union cannot be dissolved. Am I to understand him that
no degree of oppression, no outrage, no broken faith can pro-
duce the destruction of this Union ? Why, sir, if that be-
comes a fixed fact, it will itself become the great instrument
of producing oppression, outrage, and broken taith. No, sir,
the Union can be broken. Great moral causes will break it
if they go on, and it can only be preserved by justice, good
faith, and a rigid adherence to the constitution.
Mr. WEBSTER. Mr. President, a single word in reply
to the honorable member from South Carolina., My distance
from the honorable member and the crowded state of the room
prevented me from hearing the whole of his remarks. I have
only one or two observations to make ; and, to begin, I first
notice the honorable member's last remark. He asks me
if I hold the breaking up of the Union, by any such thing as
the voluntary secession of States, as an impossiblity. I know,
sr, this Union can be broken up; every Government can be;
and I admit that there may be such a degree of oppression
as will warrant resistance and a forcible severance. That is
revolution. That is revolution! Of that ultimate right of
revolution I have not been speaking. I know that that law
o' necessity does exist. I forbear from going further, because
I do not wish to run into a discussion of the nature of this
Government. The honorable member and myself have bro-
ken lances sufficiently often before on that subject.
Mr. CALHOUN. I have no desire to do it now.
Mr. WEBSTER. I presume the gentleman has not, and
I have quite as little. The gentleman refers to the occasions
on which these great acquisitions were made to territory on
the Southern side. Why, undoubtedly wise and skilful pub:
lic men, having an object to accomplish, may take advantage
of occasions. Indian wars are an occasion ; a fear of the occu-
pation of Texas by the British was an occasion ; but when the
occasion came, under the pressure of which, or under the justifi-
cation of which the thing could be done, it was done, and done
skilfully. Let me say one thing further; and that is, thatif slave-
ry were abolished, as it was supposed to have been, throughout
all Mexico, before the revolution and the establishment of the
Texan Government, then, if it were desirable to have possession
of Texas by purchase, as a means of preventing its becoming
a British prsaession, I suppose that object could have been
secured by making it a free territory of the United Slates as
well as a slave territory.
Sir, in my great desire not to prolong this debate, I have
omitted what I intended to say upon a particular question un-
der the motion of the honorable Senator from Missouri, pro
posing en amendment to the resolution of the honorable mem-
ber from Illnois ; and that is, upon the propriety and expe-
diency of admitting California, under all circumstances, just
as she is. The more general subjects involved in this ques-
tion are now before the Senate under the resolutions of the
honorable member from Kentucky. I will say that I feel un-
der great obligations to that honorable member for introducing
the subject, and for the very lucid speech which he made, and
which haa been so much read throughout the whole country.
I am also under great obligations to the honorable member
from Tennessee for the light which he has shed upon this
subject; and, in some respect-, it will be seen that I d offer
very little from the leading projects submitted by either of
those honorable gentlemen.


Now, sir, when the direct question of the admission of Cali-
fornia shall be before the Senate, I propose-but not before every
other gentleman who has a wish to address the Senate shall
have gratified that desire-to say something upon the boun-
daries of California, upon the constitution of California, and
upon the expediency, under all the circumstances, ofadmitting
her with that constitution.
Mr. CALHOUN. One word, and I have done ; and that
word is, that notwithstanding the acquisition of the vast terri-
tory of Texas represented by the Senator from Massat husetts,
it is the fact that all that addition to oar territory made it by
no means equal to what the Northern States had excluded us
from before that acquisition. The territory lying west be-
tween the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains is three-
fourths of the whole of Louisiana ; and that which lies be-
tween the Mississippi and the Ohio, added to that, makes a
much greater extent of Territory than Florida and Texas and
that portion of Louisiana that has fallen to our share.
Mr. WALKER moved the postponement of the further
consideration of the resolutions until to-morrow ; which was
agreed to.
k On motion of Mr. DOUGLAS, the other special order,
viz. the message of the President transmitting the constitu-
tion of California, upon which he is entitled to the floor, was
postponed to Monday next.
Mr. BADGER moved that the Senate do now adjourn.
The yeas and nays were called for, and being taken, were
as follows : Yeas 42, nays 6.
The Beta:c then adjourned.


HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 1850.
Mr. SCHERMERHORN, in pursuance of previous notice,
introduced a lill to provide for the publication of the laws of
the United States which was read twice and referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.
Mr. OUTLAW offered the following resolution, which
was agreed to :
Resolved, That the Committee on Commerce be instructed
to inquire into the expediency of reopening a communication
between the waters of the Albemarle sound and the Atlantic
ocean, at or near Old Roanoke inlet, and that they have leave
to report by bill or otherwise.
Mr. McQUEEN, from the Committee of Naval Affairs,
reported a bill for the r, lief of Thomas Dennis ; which was
read twice, and, on his motion, was put on its passage.
Some debate ensued by Messrs. McQUEEN, P. KING,
STANTON, of Tennessee, CONGER, and STANLY,
after which the bill was read the third time and passed.
Mr. McCLERNAND, from the Committee on Foreign
Affairs, reported a bill for the relief of Thomas Ryder, a
British subject; and a bill for the relief of Henry La Rein-
tree ; which were severally read twice and committed.
Also, from the same committee, made an adverse report
upon the petition of Henry La Reintree, and it was laid on
the table.
Mr. FITCH, from the same committee, reported a bill to
make further appropriations for public buildings in the Terri-
tories of Minnesota and Oregon ; which was read twice and
committed.
Mr. WALLACE, from the Committee on Revolutionary
Pensions, made adverse reports upon the petitions of the heirs
of Peter and Winifred Ashby t Margaret Williams; the
heirs of James Broadus; Rosa Clarke; Roseman Porter,
widow of John Brady ; and Sarah Knight; which were
severally laid on the table.
Also, from the same committee, reported a bill for the re-
lief of Eleanor Davidson, widow of Heiry Davidson
which was read twiti e and committed.
Mr. EVANS, of Ohio, from the same committee, made
an adverse report upon the petition of Catharine M:chael;
which was laid on the table.
On motion of Mr. TUCK, the Committee on Revolution-
ary Pensions were discharged from the further consideration
of the petition of Caleb Dustin, praying for the redemption
of Continental scrip, and it was laid on the table.
Mr. FREEDLEY, from the same committee, reported a
bill granting a pension to Sarah A. Bush, and a bill for the
relief of the heirs of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Miller, de-
ceased ; which were severally read twice and committed.
Also, from the same committee, reported a joint resolution
giving a construction to the acts granting five years' half pay
to certain widows and orphans ; which he asked to have put
on its passage.
After debate by Messrs. JONES and FREEDLEY-
Mr. COBB, of Alabama, moved to amend the resolution
by adding the following proviso :
Provided, That this act shall be so constructed as to extend
to the widows and orphans of the officers, non-commissioned
officers, musicians, antd privates of the war of 1812, and the
Creek and Florida Indian wars.
Mr. JONES, prefacing his motion by a few remarks,
moved that the said resolution be recommitted to the Com-
mi'tee on Revolutionary Pensions.
Further discussion followed, in which Messrs. COBB, of
Alabama, HARALSON, SACKETT, and VINTON parti-
cipated.
The question then recurred on the motion of Mr. JoNys,
that the resolution be recommitted to the Committee on Re-
volutionary Pensions, and, being put, it was agreed to.
Mr. WALDO, from the Committee on Revolutionary Pen-
sions, made adverse reports upon the petitions of the children
of Lemuel Clift; Fan-,y Moody, widow of Edward Moody,
deceased and of Mary E'dridge, widow of Heber Eldridge,
deceased ; and they were laid on the table.
Also, from the same committee, reported a bill granting a
pension to Mary Pike, widow of Ezra Pike; which was read
twice and committed.
Also, from the same committee, reported a bill granting
bounty lands to certain officers and soldiers who served in the
last war with Great Britain ; which was read twice and re-
ferred.
PRESIDENT'S CALIFORNIA MESSAGE.
On motion of Mr. 'ST'ANLY, the House resolved itself
into Committee of the Whole on the State of the Union, (Mr.
BoYn, of Kentucky, in the chair,) and resumed the consid-
eration of the message from the President transmitting the
constitution of California.
Mr. FEATHERSTON, being entitled to the floor, ad-
dressed the committee for an hour on the subject of the ad-
mission of California into the Union.
Mr. STANLY followed, and also spoke an hour on the
subject of slavery.
Mr. STANTON, of Kentucky, next obtained the floor,
but gave way to a motion that the committee rise, which
prevailing, the committee rose and the House ajourned.
THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 1850.
Mr. PUTNAM asked the unanimous consent of the House
to introduce a joint resolution of the Legislature of the State
of New York relative to the renewal of the patent for Wood-
worth's planing machine.
Mr. JONES objected, and consequently the resolution was
not received.
Mr. THOMPSON, of Pennsylvania, prefacing his motion
by a few remarks, asked the unanimous consent of the House
to enable him to move that so much of the President's annual
message as relates to the seventh census be referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.
Mr. THOMPSON, of Mississippi, made the point of order
whether the Commit'ee on the Judiciary had not jurisdiction
of that subject, without the reference of that portion of the
message, and whether they could not make a report?
The SPEAKER stated the question to be this : That the
Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union be dis-
charged from the further consideration of so much of the
annual message of the President as relates to the seventh
census, cr an enumeration of the inhabitants of the United
States, nd that it be referred to the Committee on the Judi-
ciary, and stated that the motion could only be entertained
by unanimous consent.
No objection being made-
The question was taken on the motion of Mr. THOMPSON,
and it was decided in the affirmative.
The SPEAKER stated that the regular order of business
was the call of the Committees for reports.
Mr. HAMMOND, from the Committee on Engraving,
reported the fallowing resolution, which was agreed to :
Resolved, That the Committee oni Engraving be and they
are hereby authorized to contract for fourteen hundred and fifty
sets of the maps aid drawings accompanying the report of the
Secretary of War, relative to the route from Fort Smith to
Santa Fe, provided the cost shall not exceed $320; and for six
plates to accompany the first part of the Patent Office report,
provided the cost shall not exceed $85 per one thou and feet;
and for eleven thousand tour hundred sets of the maps and
drawings accompanying the message of the President of
the United States relative to California, provided the cost shall
- not exceed $1,250.
Mr. McWILLIE, from the Committee on Printing, re-
reported the following resolution :
Resolved, That thirty thousand copies of the mechanical
portion, and that seventy thousand copies of the agricultural
portion, of the Patent Office report be printed.
After debate by Messrs McWILLIE, CONGER, STAN-
TON, of Tennessee, FOWLER, and FULLER-
Mr. BAYLY moved thb previous question, which was
seconded; and, u.der the operation thereof, the resolution
was disagreed to.
Mr. McLANE, of Maryland, moved that the vote by which
the previous question was seconded be reconsidered.
The SPEAKER stated that the previous question had ex-
hausted itself.
Mr. McLANE then moved that the vote be reconsidered
by which the resolution was disagreed to.
After some cenversation-
Mr. McLANE moved that the consideration of the motion
to reconsider be postponed until to-morrow: which motion
was negatived.
Considerable debate ensued, which was participated in by
Messrs. McL \NE, BAYLY, WHITE, FOWLER,
TOOMBS, CARTER, and BROWN, of Mississippi ; after
which, and before taking the question upon the motion of Mr.
MCLANE, that the vote rejecting the resolution be recon-
sidered-


Mr. BAYLY, by unanimous consent, from the Committee
of Ways and Means, reported bills of the fiollowinrg titles :
A bill to supply defi,-iencies in the appropriations for the
service of the fiscal 3ear ending the 30th of June, 1850 ; and
A -dl m ,ki,,g appropriations far certain fortifications of
the Ini'. .-I di ii, for the fiscal year ending 30th June, 1851;
Which were severally read twice, committed to a Com-
mittee of the Whole on the State of the Union, and ordered
to be printed.
On motion of Mr. JACKSON leave was granted to with-
draw from the files of the House the petitions and papers of
Zepheniah Halsey and of Patience Corbin.
On motion of Mr. STANTON, of Tennessee, the House
resolved itself into Committee of the Whole on ihe stale of
the Union, (Mr. Born, of Kentucky, in the chair,) and re-
sumed the consideration of the President's special message
transmiting the constitution of California.
After personal explanations by Messrs. HILLIARD and
STANLY, made by the unanimous consent of the committee,
Mr. STANTON, of Kentucky, who was entitled to the
floor, addressed the committee on the subject of slavery ; but,
after speaking for about fifteen minutes, he gave way to a
motion that the committee rise, which prevailing, the commit-
tee rose, and the House adjourned.
W t. BRADY respectfully informs the citizens of Wash-
ington that hie has again returned to his rooms on Penn-
sylvania avenue, between 41 and 6th streets, where he will
be happy to see his friends and former patrons. He is pre-
pared to execute Miniatures in all the various styles of Photo-
graphy. His Daguerreotypes are too well known to require
any commendation, feb 22-eepiflm


FROM FLORIDA.

CORRESPONDENCE ON THE PROPOSED SOUTH-
ERN CONVENTION.

Letter from the Florida 1)elegation in Conmgrea .
WASnHIsGTOr, FEHBRUAR I 6, 1850.
To His Excellency THOMAS BRowS,
Governor of the State of Florida:
SIR : Events daily transpiring manifest the rapid difusion
in the Northern States of a feeling hostile to the socialatruc-
ture of the Southern communities, and indicate a maturing
purpose of unsettling the security of slave property, and crip-
pling the growth and progress of the slaveholding States, by
every means and appliance which the legislation of Congress
can afford.
The Federal Constitution of Government, wielded by a
hostile Northern majority, is capable of being made, and un-
doubtedly will become, the instrument of our degradation and
ultimate ruin, if timely preventive are not employed.
We are satisfied that no effectual or enduring check upon
this aggressive and injurious tendency in the action mj the
Federal Government can or will be applied by any of the
departments which administer its powers. We advance
this proposition without reference to the dispositions of those
who now or hereafter may administer the Government, but
as resulting from the inherent character of our political
system, which must, in all its departments, eventually bend
to the influence of the dominant section. Energetic State
action-the action of the people of the South through their
several State organizations, is the only power capable to cope
with the spirit that now overspreads the Northern States, sad
which subjugates the Government of the Union to its mad
and unjust purposes. An organized resistance, promptly de-
veloped, and well and wisely directed on the part of the South-
ern States, may, and in our opinion will, eventuate in arrest-
ing aggression upon our just rights under the constitution, in
providing effective guards against like danger in the future,
and thus in preserving the continued union of the States,
which are now associated in federal compact.
Influenced by a similar impression of what the presentlexi-
gency demands, a very general movement i- b. ire made ai.
your Excellency is doubtless apprized, for a c.onuocltionjofhoe
aggrieved States in Convention. Mississippi has proposed
that the meeting should take place at Nashville, in 'Tennes-
see, on the first Monday in June next Virginia, Alabama,
South Carolina, and Georgia, are understood already to have
responded by a formal provision for their respective represen-
tation in'that Convention ; and Maryland, Tennessee, North
Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, and other States, are in the
course of action in the same direction.
During the last session of the General Assembly of our
State a series of resolutions were unanimously enacted, which
we regarded as announcing the opinions and determination
of Florida. The resolutions were officially transmitted to her
Delegation in Congress, and passed to the public record in
each branch of the Federal Legislature. One of them.de-
fines, with signal spirit and distinctness, the purpose and atti-
tude of the State. It is in the following language :
"Resolved, That, knowing no party names or political divi-
sions, on questions involving in their settlement and conste-
quences the character, property, and lives of those whom we
represent, we are ready, heart and soul, with a united front, to
join Virginia, the Carolinas, and the other Southern States,
in taking such measures for the defence of our rights, and the
preservation of ourselves and those whom we hold clear, as
the highest wisdom of all may, whether through a Southern
Convention, or otherwise, suggest and devise."
The opportunity of judgment which our official connexion
with the federal interest of the State affords to us, has brought
us to the conviction that the time is now fully come when
Florida is required, in the spirit of her pledge, to meet with
her sister States of the South in Convention. We are also
convinced that the circumstances of the times not only jus-
tify, but demand this action by the South.
To you, as the Executive of the State, we have ventured
to communicate our opinion as to the action which the crisis
demands; and in doing so, we believe ourselves to be in the
discharge of a high and imperious obligation. Upon you
must devolve the honorable duty of devising a mode of pra-
ceeding by which the public will of our Commonwealth, as
declared in the resolution we have adverted to, can be best
resolved into action. We have no doubt the people of the
State will conform to any just method you may suggest for
the selection of representatives. Allow us to say, it seems
quite reasonable that our fellow citizens should be allowed to
benefit by the increased weight which the representation will
derive from the circumstance that their Chief Magistrate,
giving a substantial execution to a solemn enactment of the
State, had recommended the steps and co operated in the
movement by which a delegation was appointed.
Devoutly trusting that whatever course events may take,
the honor, liberty, and welfare of our beloved State may be
maintained,
We have the honor to be, your humble servants,
D L. YULEE,
JACKSON MORTON,
E. C. CABELL.

Reply of Governor Brown, of Florida.


and in such schemes, usually give place to the restless poli-
tician and forward demagogue, who generally manage to
render themselves prominent and popular, and of course suc-
cessful ; and I confess that even the possibility that a majority
of wild, visionary, or reckless men might get into the Con-
vention, wouldcause me to tremble at the idea of placing the
rights and interests of the South, and the safety of this
Union, upon the result of its deliberations.
But if we admit that no designs against the Union are in-
tended and none are to be feared-that the whole object of
the Convention is to show that we are united and earnest,
what, I ask again, can the Convention say or do to create or
strengthen this impression, which has not been said and done
in a more authoritative and dignified form by State Legisla-
tures and State Conventions ? What, on the other hand,
is to be the consequence, if the Nashville Conver tion shall
meet and failto agree upon our rights and anticipated wrongs
-upon measures and remedies ? Is it very certain that dele
gates from a vast extent of country, representing every shade
of Southern opinion on this subject, will see eye to eye on all
these points ? Will politicians of opposing parties certainly
coalesce upon a tpic which has been most unfortunately and
unnaturally made to play a part in partly politics for more
than twenty years past ? Will delegates from some of our
river States, who so unanimously declare for the Union to the
last extremity, harmonize with delegates from States alleged to
be indifferent to the Union ? Will all apprehend the same
degree, extent, and sources of danger, as well as unite upon
the same preventives ? If a small b dy of Southern Con-
gressmen, assembled under the pressure of great excitement
and a sense of immediate danger, could not agree upon the
teims of an Address to the people of the South, are we to
be so certain of unanimity in a body so numerous, and em-
bracing so wide a range and contrariety of opinion, as will
this proposed Convention ? But if it fails to agree, so far
from fortifying, will it not have a direct tendency to weaken
the position of the South ? I cannot comprehend why this
very possible contingency has been overlooked by the pro-
jectors of the Southern Convention.
I regret that it should have been deemed expedient at this
time by Southern Members of Congress to countenance the
getting up this SoUTHsaN CONVENTION before any overt act
of aggression on Southern rights and institutions has been
committed.
More than fifty years ago, abolition petitions were present-
ed to and debated in Congress, and thirty years ago we wit-
r,. s-el d an agitation brought about by this very identical Wil
mut proviso question, in a mi re offensive shape, which con-
vulsed this Government to its centre. The op'non that
Congress possesses the constitutional right to abolish slavery
in the District of Columbia, and of course in the forts, dock-
yards, and arsenals of the United States, has been publicly
declared by eminent statesmen, some of whom have since had
conferred upon them the highest honors in the gift of this
nation ; so that I can see nothing new that has occurred in
the aspect of this agitating question which should call forth at
this time such extraordinary arid revolutionary measures.
From the time this slave question first made its appearance
in the North, when it was a "little cloud like a man's hand,"
until the present time, when it has become a black cloud of
thick darkness impending over this Union, and casting a deep
gloom over the prospects of the future, it has been one con-
tinual conflict of words between the abolitionists and agita-
tors of the North, and the politicians of the South. Time
has brought f,)rth no wisdom-i experience has brought no
knowledge. The Northern politician, gaining confidence
in this wordy conflict, a-sumes a more threatening tone, and
the Southern politician, to keep even pace, must become more
violent in his manner of resistance, and threaten still louder,
until, in this war of words, we shall come to swear as terri-
bly as Uncle Toby says the army did in Flanders. And still
I believe that this glorious Union will firmly and safely
weather this storm.
I must acknowledge that I do not comprehend what is in-
tended to be implied by an organized resistance promptly
developed," &c. If nothing more is m'ant than another
wordy broadside, to be fired from the batileries of the Southern
Convention, "to provide effectual guards against the dangers
in future," I think it entirely useless and will prove abortive.
Are we not told that the determination is openly avowed by
Northern members of Congress to allow no moro .'.- '. .'./.-
States admission into the Union, and when a 1uilw' o ii,-
her of non-slaveholding States are admitted to give the requi-
site majority, the effort will be made to amend the Constitu-
tion, and abolish slavery in the States where it now exists
If such be their determination, what atiso'dily it is to talk
about providing effectual guards (by a Southern Conven-
tion) against like dangers in the future," for the purpose of
preserving the Constitution ? If the guards and compromises,
provided in tlie Constitution by the fathers of the Confedera-
tion, and s-cured under the solemnity of an oath to support
that instrument, will not shield it against the destructive in-
roads of these Northern vandals, what hope have we that any
thing which this Convention of the Southern States could
propose, would save that same in-trument from the ruthless
hands of brute force, predetermined to violate it against right
anid justice ?
Equally incomprehensible to me is the declaration that "we
'are satisfied that no efl'etual or enduring check upon this ag-
greesive and injurious tendency in the action of the Federal
Government, can or will be applied by any ofthe Depart-
ments which administer its powers. We advance this pro-
position without reference to the dispositions of those who
now or hereafter may administer the Government, but as
stlne, trm. thei nlhprent character nf or nplitieal se-


EXECUTIVE OFFICE, tern ; which must, is all its departments, eventually bend to
TALLARASSEE, FBrRUAna 22, 1850. the influence of the dontinant section." If it be really true,
GENTLESEN : It was my desire to have seen the good peo as here broadly declared, that there is in our political sys-
pie of this State pass upon the proposed Southern Conven- tern" an "inherent" v.ce which must eventually bend it to
tion as their judgments might dictate, without any expressiol the influence of the dominant section," which would inevita-
of opinion on my part; but the appeal which you have tbly operate to its owni destruction, I cannot see the wisdom
of opinion on my part but the appeal which you have or the consistency of making an effort through a Southern
leaves me without discretion, and I feel bound, in deference Convention, or otherwise, to save a form of Government which
to you and our constituents, as well as in re-pect to myself contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction.
to state candidly my opinions upon this contemplated measure It cannot be forgotten that during the recent Presidential
I do not believe that I possess any power or authority, at canvass the friends of our present National Executive recom-
the Chief Executive Magistrate of this State, to ake a mended his election not more on the ground of his high per-
the Chief Execstive Magistrate of this State, to take an onal qualifications than his identity in views and interest s
official step to cause the election or appointment of delegate! with the section of his birth and residence. It was contend-
to attend the Convention of the Southern States, to meet at ed, and, as I think justly, that, bound to the South by the strong
Nashville, in the State of Tennessee, on the first Monday in ties of interest and affection, he could not, with the constilut
June next. I know of no provision in the constitution ot tional stay in his hand, permit our rights to be trampled upon
S o t w by a ruthless majority. I see no reason to change that
laws of this State which points out or permits the perform opinion, and, so far as the advocacy of an ultra constitutional
dance of such a duty ; or that prescribes and defines the \-.i- remedy might be construed into the retraction of that opinion,
ers and duties of such delegates, when elected or appointed. I certainly cannot consent to it. On the contrary, I entertain
It is very clear to my mind that I have no more power or at. all confidence that General Taylor will oppose, wilh native
thority in this matter than any private citizen of the Comn, energy and resolution, every encro.ichment upon the sacred
blulwarks of the Constitution ; and if it be urged that the Ex-
monwealth, and that any act on my part, in my official cha- ecutive veto is no "enduring check," so, I reply, is no act
racier, to procure an election of Delegates to such a Conven- of or failure to enact by Congress, and so more particularly
tion, would be a usurpation alhke dangerous and censurable, must be the resolutions or enactments of a mere evanescent
I consider such a Convention as revolutionary in its ten- body like Ihe proposed Southern Convention. Nothing hu-
dency and directly against the spirit if not the letter of the man is "enduring ;" but, under the smiles of Divine Provi-
Constitution of the United States, which declares that "'nM dence, may we not hope for comparative stability in the pro-
State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation ;" visions of that compendium of human wisdom-the Consti-
and the framers and expounders of the constitution seemed to tution of the United States ?
understand this subject fully, in the course pointed out as pro- You dire-t my attention, gentlemen, to certain resolutions
per to be pursued by the States to oppose encroachments by by the Legislature of this State. If by these resolutions it
the Federal Government. In eating upon this subject, Mr. was intended to endorse this Southern Convention scheme,
Hamilton says : "The separate governments in a confeders- and that the Executive should take Iart in securing a repre-
tion may aptly be compared with the feudal baronies, with sensation, it is unfortunate that the ILegislature entirely omit-
"this advantage in their favor : that, from the reasons al- ted to empower me to this end, or to prescribe any thing in
"ready explained, they will generally possess the confidence reference to the selection of DIegates. In the absence of all
"and good will of the people, and, with so important a sup- legal or ci,.nstitutionl provision on this subject, I cannot,
port, will be able effectually to oppose all encroachments of consistently with my views, take upon myself the high re-
the Federal Government. The Legislature will have bet- sponsibilities you suggest.
ter means of information ; they can discover the danger at Let the people of the Southern States look to the "ener-
"a distance, arnd, possessing all the organs of civil power getic action of their State" Governments to guard and protect
"and the confidence of the people, they can at once adopt their rights and interests, and let the members in both halls of
a regular plan of opposition, in which they can combine the Congress of the United States, with prudence, wisdom,
all the resources of the community. They can readily and manly firmness, meet and resist every attempt to break
communicate with each other in the different States, and down the guards and compromises of the Constitution, from
unite with their common forces in the protection ot sir whatever source it may come; and, when driven to the last
"common liberty." trench and beat down by brute force, regardless of right and
If the object of the Nashville Convention be for the re- justice, and the head of the Executive "Department of Gov-
dress of grievances, I would ask if a more effectual mode ernment" can or will "not apply an enduring check ;" when
could be pointed out than that indicated by the foregoing quo- all the barriers and defences of the Constitution are beaten
station ? Would not the expression of an opinion or a deter- down, and the South shall be deprived of her equal rights
ruination by the States, in their sovereign capacity, be calcu- under the confederation, then will those who have brought
lated to carry mre weight, and to command more respect, about this state of things have incurred the guilt and shame
than the acts and proceedings of an irresponsible Convention of the wanton destruction ofthis beautifulform of Govern-
of Delegates, assembled from a pomiion of the States, without mrent-the admiration of the world, and the last refuge and
any prescribed powers or duties, and subject to no control ? hope of civil liberty-and upon their heads will rest the
But it is said that the States have acted by resolutions, re- curse. Then can you return to your constituents with a
ports, and addresses, and "they (the North) will not believe clear conscience, assured that the honor, liberty, and welfare
the States are in earnest, and mean what they say." Then of our beloved State have been properly defended, and leaving
what more could this proposed Southern Convention do to to the people and the State Legislatures of the South, under
make them believe we are in earnest, unless, indeed, it is to God, to devise the rightful remedy.
be considered, and to consider itself a revolutionary body? I am, with high respect, your fellow-citizen,
What more could it do than to re-resolve and reaffirm, un- THOMAS BROWN.
less to propose violent and extra constitutional remedies? If it To Hon. Messrs. YnLEE, MORTON, and CABELL.
is called for this end, I MOST SOLEMNSLY PROTEST AGA taST IT.--- -
The time has not arrived for such measures ; and I pray God U JANO.-The sut)scribers are now ready to supply deal-
such a time may never arrive. There are, however, restless eras and others with this valuable Manure. They offer
spirits amongst us, who have calculated the value of the for sale-
Union, and would, perhaps, sell it for a mness of pottage. 500 tons Patagonia, in bags.
Since this Southern Convention has been projected, a South- 200 (do Peruvian, warranted first quality.
ern Confederation has been more than dreamed of. Also, dealers mi Oils. Have always ia store pure Sperm
Ad when this Southern Convention meets, wh can ell Oil for manufacturing purposes. This oil is adapted to ma-
And when this Suhern Conventonelhinery of every description, and being of the purest quality
what its members may not attempt to accomplish, not thought cannot tail to give satisfaction.
of by those who sent them there ? Should they attempt mea- J. B. A. & S. ALLEN,
sures dangerous to the permanence of this Union, where is feb 15-w3w No. 7 South Wharves, Philadtephia.
the power to arrest them ? Whose voice so potent as to say N OTICE-The Stoekholesof the SaeMan actr-
to them, thus far shall thou go and no further How long .ing Company, having come to the conclusion of winding
may they remain in session ? What may be the term of their up the concerns of the Corporation. are now offering at private
appointment? These, and many other questions, may and sale their establishment, carried on by steam power, situated
should be asked by r fleeting men, before they go too far to in the thriving village of Salem, Forsyth county, North Caro-
retract. lina, on such favorable terms as cannot fail to prove profit able
It is asserted that this Convention will be composed of the to such persons as may feel inclined to enter into thie mainu-
most wise, honest, and discreet statesmen of the South, and, facturing of Cotton, and possessing practical knowledge of the
therefore, none of these dangers are obe apprehended. We business. If not sold at private sale the establishment will be
shoulerieot l" e offered at public sale mn the second Monday of April ,next.
should not lay this flattering unction to our souls." TheeThe factory contains 2,500 spindles and 30 looms. For fur-
are times of excitement, and men remarkable for wisdom, the r particulars apply to the acting agent, C. L. Banner, or to
honesty, and discretion are rarely, if ever, conspicuous in the President of the Company, F. H. SHUMAN,
promoting schemes of agitation. Such men, at such times, feb 12- Salem, North Carolina.


WASHINGTON.

Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and
inseparable.",

SATURDAY, MARCH 9, 1850.

We have never, we think, on any former occa-
sion, seen the Senate Chamber so crammed with
human beings as it was yesterday by the multitudes
of both sexes who were attracted thither by an
eager desire to hear Mr. WEBSTER'S speech. The
usual desire to hear an able and eloquent speech
was on this occasion greatly augmented by a
general conviction of the great importance of the
opinions which Mr. WEBSTER should declare on
the agitating topic of the (lay, and the powerful
effect which their solemn annunciation would pro-
duce on public feeling, both North and South.
All this had filled the public mind with an unusual
anxiety to hear the speech, and occasioned such a
press for admission that the Senators themselves
were in great part crowded out of their seats, and
the whole body of the chamber, as well as the
galleries and lobbies, were filled with a dense and
brilliant audience.
Of the speech-as we are, through the exertions
of our admirable Reporters, able to give a full report
in this morning's paper-it can speak for itself.
We will only say that its importance was not over-
rated ; that it added fresh lustre to the fame of the
great orator, and gave fresh proofs of his truly
national and patriotic spirit. The public voice all
around us, as far as it could be heard, and from
persons of all sections of the Union, expressed no
feeling but that of gratification-no opinion but
that of approbation and of anticipation that its
liberal and conciliatory spirit would have the hap-
piest effect in tranquillizing the present excitement,
and re-assuring the friends of the Union throughout
the country.

We republish the following Letter, being one of
those transmitted by the PRESIDENT to CONGRESS
on Tuesday, for the purpose of correcting in it a
slight error which occurred in its transcription for
the press:
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
WASHIaNTON, JAsNABY 14, 1850.
StinR: I was honored by the receipt of your note of the 1st
instant, assuring me that the vessels of the United States
would not be excluded by any order in council from the full
benefit of that change of system whieh Great Britain has
adopted by the recent modification of her navigation laws,
and expressing the great satisfaction of her Majesty's Gov-
ernment with the decision of the President of the United
States, conceding to British vessels in American ports the
same privileges and advantages which are now granted to
American vessels in British ports.
The questions whether British vessels shall be admitted to
trade, ss you propose, between the Atlantic and Pacific ports
of the United States, and whether vessels of British build
shall be admitted to the advantages of an American register,
are considered by the President as the proper subjects for legis-
lative consideration, and will be submitted to the judgment
of Congress.
I avail myself of this occasion to renew to you the assu-
rance of my distinguished consideration.
JOHN M. CLAYTON.
Rt. Hion. Sir H. L. BULWER, &c. &c. &c.

From the foregoing Letter of the SECRETARY OF
STATE it will be seen that our Government has suc-
ceeded in obtaining by negotiation, from Great
Britain, the all-important assurance that no Order
in Council shall disturb the reciprocity between the
two countries in the carrying trade ; the apprehen-
sion or such an order in council having heretofore
created uneasiness in commercial circles.
For the better understanding of this matter, it
ought-to be stated that, by the British Navigation
Act, which went into operation on the 1st of Janu-
ary, 1850, it is provided that her Majesty in Coun-
cil may, at any time, on deciding that the recipro-
city in thle carrying trade between Great Britain
and the United States, or any other country, is not
mutual, or that British ships have not in our ports
equal privileges with those which American vessels
enjoy in British ports, issue her proclamation, by
Order in Council, denying to our vessels the benefit
of the indirect carrying trade.
The whole benefit secured to other nations by
the British navigation act is thus placed, by the
terms of that act, at the discretion of her Majesty
in Council. By the assurance which our Govern-
ment has obtained from that of Great Britain, the
matter may now be considered as at rest. The
negotiation on this point, therefore, has terminated
greatly to the credit of the Administration, as well
as to the good of the country.
The Letter of Sir HENRY BULWER on the sub-
ject of the duties upon iron, &c. was communicated
to this Government, as is obvious from the face of
it, in consequence of express instructions from his
own Government, and quite probably in the very
terms of those instructions. That letter connects
the subject of the duties on iron with the modifica-
tion of the British navigation laws; and, the Min-
ister having been thus instructed to lay the subject
before this Government, it became the duty of the
Executive of the United States to transmit his com-
munication to Congress, which alone has jurisdic-
tion in the matter. The subject is one of .deep in-
terest; and so, indeed, is the topic of the other
note of Sir HENRY, relatig to the grant of Ameri
can registers to British-built ships.
We approve of the conduct of the Executive, in
submitting these propositions to Congress; it no-
appearing to us that either could properly have
been included in a diplomatic arrangement, or
treaty, between the two Governments.
Sir HENRY having declared that he is instructed
by his Government to present these subjects to the
consideration of the United States, the comity of
nations required of the Executive to transmit them
to that department of the Government to which the
consideration of them properly belongs.


DEATHS.
At the city of Camden, in Arkansas, on the 16th ultimo,
in the 7tst year of his age, the Rev. PORTER CLAY, the
last surviving full brother of the Hon. H. CLAY. Like him he
was, in all the attainments of education, self-made. Although
his career wa-i less known, he was distinguished and endeared
to he circle of his acquaintancesby his quiet and unobtrusive
virtues, by his perfect uprightness of conduct, and by his
fervent devotion, in and out of the pulpit, to the Christian
religion. Also, like his distinguished brother, he lived to
witness the departure for a better world of many of his de-
scendants. One of these, a most lovely and interesting
granddaughter, in the prime of life, preceded him only a
few months.
The Masonic Lodge, at Camden, among several aff etionate
anid touching resolutions, prompted by the occasion, passed the
foll )wing ;
Resolved, That in the death of our Brother, POTErR
CLAY, masonry mourns the lo:s of one of the brights' pillars
of the erder-one whose life of usefulness and honor has
given eviderces that his work in the lodge below will meet the
approbation and receive a rich reward at the hands cf the
Great Master above.


TO THE EDITORS.

GENTLEMEN: I notice in your paper of this
morning an extract from a communication address-
ed to you by Mr. LEWIs TAPPAN, which is design-
ed to discredit a statement made by me, in my ap-
peal to the Friends of the Union," in reference
to the early proceedings of certain abolitionists in
the North. The purport of my statement was this :
That a small band of agitators of abolitionism,
some years ago, before abolition had become con-
nected with politics, had set themselves to work
to stimulate rebellion amongst the slaves in the Souhern
States, and even took measures to teach them, by emissa-
ries and by the aid of presses devoted to this charitable labor,
how to establish and conduct a warfare wti )se chief imple-
4 ments were proposed to be the torch and the knife."
"This," Mr. TAPPAN says, "I deny. There is net a
word of truth in it." He then speaks of his c mnexion with
the American Anti-Slavery Society, with the Liberty party,
and with the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society,
and of his general connexion with the abolitionists for tmn-
ty-eight years, which enables him, "on taie veracity of a
Christian and the hoacr of a man," utterly to deny that
there is any truth in the assertion of MAnrLOcn1."
What Mr. TAPPAN and his compatriots may have done
for the promotion of abolitionism, I knew not. How far he
is cognizant of all that has been done by others, or how far
he has partaken in the councils of the men who attempted a
most flagrant crime against the South, I have no means of
knowing except through the denial he has juet made. I
make no charge against him, notwithstanding his avowal of
his acquaintance with "the doings of the great boJdy of the
abolitionists for twenty-eight years." But, nevertheless,
what I have said is strictly true.
Mr. TAi.As may know nothing of the fact, but I know it
from personal observation at the time ; that several years ago,
perhaps nearly twenty, there was noticed in the iU't
Baltimore the regular arrival of sundry papers from Boto-n
addressed, respectively, to a number of free negroes of the
firmer city. These papers were either thl Liberator" or
" Emancipator," or some other journal of similar import-for
I have forgotten the title-and were regularly taken out of the
post office by the persons to whom they were sent. An ex-
amination of one of these papers one day led to the seizure
and detention of the whole that were then in the office. This
fact produced great sensation in Baltimore, and attracted
many persons to an examination of the contents of the pa-
pers that had been seized. I read one of them myself, and
can therefore speak from distinct personal knowledge of what
it contained. Amongst several articles of ao inflammatory
character was one of such atrocity of design as almost to ex-
ceed belief. It was an article of some length, qnd purported
to be a dialogue between two negroes, in which the subject
was propounded and discussed in what manner were they to
set themselves and their people free ? This dialogue present-
ed the prominent idea that the wrongs of s-lavery were to be
redressed by blood, which word was printed in staring capi-
tals, thrice repeated in immediate succes.-ion. The plan of a
rebellion was pointed out, the secret meetings, the resolves,
the arming, and other preparations of a conspiracy. Then a
question of conduct was discussed. One ineil, cutor asked
the other whether, in the melee of this work of butchery, it
would not be allowable to him, who had a very kind and
worthy master, from whom he and his family had received
many favors, to spare him and his household, and protect
them against the fury of his confederates ? The answer to
this que-tion was in the negative; because, as it was sug-
gested by the Brutus of the colloquy, if one conspirator was
to be allowed this privilege, others would claim it on the same
ground, and the desired result of this humane rebellion would
be frustrated.
This was the purport of a dialogue written for purposes of
instruction, arnd sent in a newspaper from B.iston to free ne-
groes in Baltimore. This paper I saw, and shall never for-
get it. What might have been in other papers from the
same press, previously received, we may conjecture from this
specimen. How much further South than Baltimore these
were sent may be better answered in Mr. 'TAPPA's own sec-
tion of the country. This press was supported by abolitionists
who could not be ignorant of its designs. The paper was
issued from Boston, and without any rebuke that I am awar,
of from any general association of abolitionists of that day.
I d) not say that any particular society took it under their
p. tonage. My statement was that a clique, or company,
oi ',etion of agitators" did this thing. Perhaps but a few
were concerned in it. Many looked on without disapproba-
tion or effort to restrain it. Doubtless many silently approv-
ed and aided-men and wom-n who thought it a religious
duty to put down slavery.
If Mr. TAPPeAN knew nothing of these, things, his know-
ledge of twenty-eight years' experience is more limited than
mine.
That these violent proceedings were soon after this period
thought to be imprudent by the agitators themselves, and tha t
they were subsequently discountenanced by the societies which
were composed of persons of more rational character and more
humane views, I do not deny. I repeat, I make no charge
against any organized association known to the public My
statement was an item of history, in a view of the causes
which had irritated the public mind of the South, and I stated
what was literally true. Why should Mr. 'TAPPAN seek to
impeach the veracity of my narrative by challenging me to
adduce a single publication issued by any recognized anti-
slavery society or association in this country, recommending
violence, bloodshed, or any unconstitutional proceeding ?"
Was the mischief any thing the less ? Was my statement
any the less true if such publications came from a society or
association that was not recognised.2 Do not the terms of
this challenge show that Mr. TAPPAN was not willing to
make his denial so general and positive as one might infer it
was his purpose to do, from his zeal to defend the class of men
with whom he has "the honor and pleasure to be associated"
And since he could not defend the real culprits, why draw
public attention from them to those who wete not attacked ?
Rem acu tetigi.
MAsca 5, 1850. MARYLAND.

EDITORS' CORRESPONDENCE.

NEW YORK, MAanc 4, 1850.
An opportunity was given me last week to see one of the
very best Congresses of "the Southern Confederacy" it is
possible to see : and that is, TaE CoSoatas op SouTisnaN
MEeCUHArTS, now making their spring and summer purchases
in New York. This Congress juo- n..ra i, prcbtiblv "eit thou-
sand in number, from Texas to Vi'ginra,-i.-hrh r.',m ih" people
too. They all say serious difficulties might arise if Congress
abolished slavery in the District of Columbia or enacted the
Wilmot proviso; but in the main they ridicule the idea of
dissolving the Union because of the admission of California.
Out of South Carolina the opinions of very many of the most
intelligent and observing were, that not five members of Con-
gress could be elected after going to Nashville and proposing
such an issue. I infer from all this that the South is just as
loyal to the Union as the North is, and that the Union is
safe, at least through this Congress, notwithstanding the war
of words in the Capitol.

COMMISSION ON CLAIMS AGAINST MEXICO.


WEDNESDAY, MAaCH 6, 1850.
The Board met pursuant to adjournment: Present, iAll the
members.
The memorial of Robert J. Clow, of Texas, filed on the
3d of January and then suspended, which claims for the de-
s'ruction of his goods at several mercantile establishments in
Texas by the Mexican invading army in 1836, being again
taken up for examination, the Board came to an opinion that
the memorial does not set forth a valid claim against the re-
public of Mexico, and it was accordingly rejected.
'The memorial of John Baldwin, claiming for losses by the
confiscation cf the cargo of the schooner Orient, at Vera Cruz,
in 1837, being next taken up for consideration, together with
the proofs and documents connected therewith, the Board
came to an opinion that the claim is valid ; and the same was
accordingly allowed, the amount to be awarded subject to the
future action of the Board.
The Board then adjourned until I11 o'clock to-morrow.
J. ATWOOD, Portrait Painter, /romPh, ladelphia,
W ILL remain in Washington during the session of Con-
Sgress. His Studio is in room No. 47, basement ofthe
Capitol. feb 19-2awtna