Bradford reporter. (Towanda, Pa.) 1844-1884, July 14, 1855, Image 1

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Satnrban fUornmn, JJnln IV, 1555.
Sitting in the corner
On a sunday eve,
With a taper finger
Resting on your sleeve ;
Starting eyes are casting
On your face their light;
Bless me ! this is pleasant—
Sparking Sunday Night?
How your heart is thumping
'Gainst your Sunday vest—
How wickedly 'tis working
On this day of rest.
Hours seem hut minutes
As they take their flight;
Bless me! AIN'T it pleasant—
Sparking Sunday Night?
Dad and Mam are sleeping
On their peaceful bed,
Dreaming of the things
The folks in Meeting said—
" Love ye one another,"
Ministers recite ;
Bless me ! DON'T we do it—
Sparking Sunday Night ? *
One arm with gentle pressure
Lingers round her waist,
You squeeze her dimpled hand,
Her pouting lip you taste ;
She freely slaps your face,
But more in love than spite ;
Oh thunder! ain't it pleasant—
Sparking Sunday Xiglit i
But hark! the clock is striking—
It's two o'clock, I snutn,
As sure as I'm a siuuer
The time to go has come ;
You a-k with spiteful accents,
if •• that old clock is right,"
And wonder if it ever
Sparked on Sunday Night ?
One. two, three, sweet kisses,
Four, five, six. you liook—
But thinking that you rob her,
Give back those you took ;
Then as forth you hnrry
From the fair one's sight,
Don't you wish each day was
Only Sunday Night ?
Calhoun's Approval of the Missouri Compromise.
This portentous agitation, destined to act
so seriously on the harmony, and jiossibly on
the stability of the Union, requires to be no
ted in its different stages, that responsibility
may follow culpability, ami the judgment of
history fall where it is due, if a deplorable ca
lamity is made to come out of it. In this point >f
view, the movements for and against slavery
in the session of I*3" '3B deserve to be noted
as of disturbing effect at the time, and as hav
ing acquired new importance from subsequent
events. Early in the session a memorial was
presented in tlie Senate from the General As
sembly of Vermont, remonstrating against the
annexation of Texas to the United States, and
praying for the aliolitiou of slavery in the Dis
trict ot Columbia, followed by manv petitions
from citizens and societies in the northern
states to the same effect, and further—for the
abolition of slavery in the territories—for the
abolition of the slave trade between the states
—and tor the exclusion of future slave states
from the Union.
'J here was but little in the state of the conn
try at that time to excite an anti-sluverv feel
ing, or to excuse these disturbing applications
to Congress. There was no slave territory at
that time but that of Florida ; ami to ask to
alolidi slavery there, where it had existed from
the discovery of the continent, or to make its
continuance a cause for the rejection of the
state when ready for admission into the Union,
and thus form a free state in the rear of all
the great slave states, was equivalent to pray
ing for the dissolution of the Union. Texas,
i! annexed, would be south of 3D degrees 30
minutes, and its character, in relation to sla-!
* ry. would he fixed by the Missouri Compro- i line of 1820. The slave trade betweeen
the states was an affair of the states, with
Aoiidi Congress had nothing to do, and the
coiitinuauce of slavery, in the District of Co
uaojoia, so long as it existed in the adjacent
"i-°f hlia and Maryland, was a point
! olny in which every Congress and every
had concurred, from the for
~at;on of the Union, and in which there
Bas 111V *-T a more decided concurrence than at
Ihe petitioners did not live in any territory,
' s.e or district subject to slavery. They felt
~ jrie of the evils of which they complained,
*'. C' answerable for none of the supposed sin
M - .1 they denounced, were living under a go
' • DLieiir which acknowledged property in
; and had no right to disturb the rights '
'y Uie owner, and committed a cruelty upon
•ave by the additional rigors which their
* , : i "' lo| i> interference brought upon him.
subject of the petitions was disagreea
'j 1 itself; the language in which they were
was offensive ; and the wantonness of
• Pr< • i t. .Con aggravated a proceeding suf
"y'tt; . provoking in the civilest form in which
"t"i be conducted. Many petitions were
-line words, bearing internal evidence of
* j aaj ong tbeir signers ; many were sigu-
women, whose proper sphere was far
torn ! " 'Delation, all united in a
'"" purpose which bespoke community of
i! he su P er ' ,)ter| d ence °f a general di
< presentation gave rise to a
■i and debate, in which sentiments and
a*- I "'' and cousequences pre
"ch it was painful to hear. While
tioos senator condemned these peti-
Ml'an" in which tbey originated,
••c'aage in which they were couched, and
considered them as tending to no practical ob
ject, and only calculated to make disunion and
irritation, there were others who took them in
a graver sense, and considered them as leading
to the inevitable separation of the states. In
this sense, Mr. CALHOUN said
"He had foreseen what this subject would
come to ; he knew its origin, and that it lay
deeper than was supposed. It grew out of a
spirit of fanaticism, which was daily increasing,
and it uot met in limine, would by-and-by dis
solve this Union. It was particularly our du
ty to keep the matter out of the Senate, out of
the halls of the National Legislature. These
fanatics were interfering with what they had
no right. Grant the receptiou of these peti
tions and you will next be asked to act 011 them.
He was for no conciliatory course, no tempo
rizing ; instead of yielding one inch he would
rise in opposition, and he hoped every man from
the South would stand by him to put down this
growing evil. There was but one question that
would ever destroy this Union, and that was
involved in this principle. Yes : this was po
tent enough for it, and must be early arrested
il the Union was to be preserved. A man
must see little into what is going 011. if he did
not perceive that this spirit was growing, and
that the rising generation was becoming more
strongly imbued with it. It was not to be stop
ped by reports 011 paper, but by action, and
very decided action."
The question which occupied the Senate was,
as to the most judicious mode of treating these
memorials, with a view to prevent their evil
effects ; and that was entirely a question of
policy, on which senators disagreed who con
curred in the main object. Some deemed it
most advisable to receive and consider the pe
titions—to refer them to a committee—and
subject them to the adverse report which they
would be sure to receive ; as had been done
with the Quakers' petitions at the beginning of
the government. Others deemed it preferable
to refuse to receive them.
Hie object ion urged to this latter course was,
that it would mix up a new question with the
slavery agitation which would enlist the .sym
pathies of many who did not co-operate with
the abolitionists—the question of the right of
petition ; and that this new question, mixing
with the other, might swell the number of pe
titioners, keep up the applications to Congress,
and perpetuate an agitation which would oth
erwise soon die out. Mr. CLAY and many oth
ers were of this opinion ; Mr. CALHOUN and
his friends thought otherwise, and the result
was, so lar as it concerned the petitions of in
dividuals and societies, what it had previously
been—a half-way measure between reception
and rejection—a motion to lay the question of
reception 011 the table. This motion, preclud
ing all discussion, got rid of the petitions quiet
ly, and kept debate out of the Senate.
In the case of the memorial from the state
of Vermont, the proceeding was slightly differ
ent iu form, but the same in substance. As
the act of a state it was received, but after re
ception was laid 011 the table. Thus, all the
memorials and petitions were disposed of bv
the Senate in away to accomplish the twofold
object, first, of avoiding discussion, and next,
condemning the object of the petitioners. It
was accomplishing all that the South asked,
and if the subject had rested at that point
there would have been nothing in the history
of this session on (he slavery agitation to dis
tinguish it from other sessions about that peri
od ; but the subject was revived, and in away
to force discussion, and to constitute a point
for the retrospect of history.
Every memorial and petition had been dis
posed of according to the wishes of the sena
tors from the slaveholding states, but Mr. CAL
HOUN deemed it due to those states to go fur
ther, and to obtain from the Senate declara
tions which should cover all the questions of
federal power over the institution of slavery.
For that purpose lie submitted a series of re
solves, six in number, which derive their impor
tance from their comparison, or rather con
trast, with others on the same subject present
ed by him in the Senate ten years later, and
which have given birth to doctrines and pro
ceedings which have greatly d'sturbed the har
mony of the Union and palpably endangered its
staiiilit v.
The six resolutions of this period ('37- '3B)
undertook to define the whole extent of the
power delegated by the states to the federal
government on the subject of slavery—to spe
cify the acts which would exceed that power—
and to show the consequences of doing any
thing not authorized to be done. The fir.-t
four of these related to the states ; about which
there being no dispute, there was no debate.—
The sixth, without naming Texas, was pros
pective, and looked forward to a case which
might include her annexation ; and was laid
upon the table to make way for an express re
solution from Mr. Preston on the same subject.
The fifth related to the territories, and to the
District of Columbia, and was the only one
which excited attention, or has left a surviving
interest. It was in these words :
•' Resolved, That the intermeddling of any
state or states, or their citizens, to abolish sla
very in this District, or any of the territories,
on the ground or under the pretext that it is
immoral or sinful ; or the passage of any net
or measure of Congress, with that view, would
he a direct and dangerous attack on the insti
tutions of ail the slaveholding states."
The dogma of " no power in Congress to le
gislate upon the existence of slavery in territo
ries," was not then invented, and of course was
not asserted in this resolve, intended by its au
thor to define the extent of the federal legisla
tive power on the subject. The resolve went
upon existence of the power and deprecated
its abuse. It put the District of Columbia in
to the same category, both for the exercise of
the power and the consequences to result from
the intermeddling of states or citizens, or the
passage of any act of Congress to abolish sla
very in either. The intermeddling and the le
gislation were deprecated solely on the ground
of inexpediency.
Mr. CLAY believed this inexpediency to rest
upon different grounds in the District and in
territory of Florida—the ody territory in
which slavery then existed, and to which Mr
CALHOUN'S resolutions could apply. He was
as much opposed as any one to the abolition
of slavery in either of these places, but believ
ed that a different reason should be given for
each, founded in their respective circumstances;
and therefore submitted an amendment, con
sisting of two resolutions—one applicable to
the district, the other to the territory. In
stating the reasons why slavery should not be
abolished in Florida, lie quoted the Missouri
compromise line of 18-20. This was objected
to by other senators 011 the ground that that
line did not apply to Florida, and that her case
was complete without it. Of that opinion was
the Senate, and the clause was struck out. —
This gave Mr. CALHOUN occasion to speak of
that compromise, and of his own course in re
lation to it, in the course of which he declared
himself to have been favorable to that memora
ble measure at the time it was adopted, but
opposed to it now from having experienced its
ill-effects iu encouraging the spirit of aboli
" He was glad that the portion of the amend
ment which referred to the Missouri Compro
mise had been struck out. He was not a mem
ber of Congress when that compromise was
made, but it is due to candor to state, that his
impressions were in its favor ; but it is equally
due to it to say, that with his present experi
ence, and knowledge of the spirit which then,
for the first time, began to disclose itself, that
he had entirely changed his opinion. He now
believed that it was a dangerous measure, and
that it has done much to rouse into action the
spirit. Had it then been met with uncompro
mising opposition, such as a then distinguished
and sagacious member from Virginia, (Mr.
RANDOLPH,) now 110 more, opposed to it, abo
lition might have been crushed forever in its
birth. He then thought of Mr. RANDOLPH as,
he doubts not, many think of him now, who
have not fully looked into this subject, that he
was too unyielding, too uncompromising, too
impracticable ; but 110 had been taught his
error, and took great pleasure iu acknowledg
ing it."
This declaration is explicit. It is made in
a spirit of candor, and as due to justice. It
is a declaration spontaneously made, not an
admission obtained on interrogatories. It
shows that Mr. Calhoun was in favor of the
compromise at the time it was adopted and has
since changed his opinions—" entirely changed"
them, to use his own words— not 011 constitu
tional but expedient grounds. He had changed
upon experience? and upon seeing the dan
gerous effects of the measure. He bad been
taught his error, and took pleasure in acknowl
edging it. He blamed Mr. Randolph then for
having been to uncompromising,but now thought
him sagacious, and believed that if the measure
had met with uncompromising opposition at
the time, it would have crushed forever the
spirit of abolitionism. All these are reasons
of expediency, derived from after-experience,
and excludes the idea of any constitutional
objection. The establishment of the Missouri
Compromise line was the highest possible
exercise of legislative authority over the subject
of slavery in a territory. It abolished it where
it legally existed. It forever forbid it where
it had legally existed for one hundred years.
This abolition and prohibition extended over
an area large enough to make a dozen states ;
and of all this Mr. Calhoun was in favor ; aud
now had nothing but reasons of expediency,
and they c.r post facto, against. His expressed
belief now was that the measure was dangerous.
—lie does not say unconstitutional, but danger
ous- —and this corresponds with the. terms of
his resolution then submitted, which makes
the intermeddling to abolish slavery in the
District or territories, or any act or measure
of Congress to that effect, a "dangerous"
attack 011 the institutions of the slaveholding
states. Certainly the idea of the unconstituti
onality of such legislation had not then entered
his head. The substitute resolve of Mr. Clav
differed from that of Mr. Calhoun in changing
the word "intermeddling" to that of " inter
ference," and confining that word to the
conduct of citizens, and making the abolition
or attempted abolition of slavery iu the District
an injury to its own inhabitants as well as to
the states, and placing its protection under the
faith implied in accepting it cession from Mary
laud and Virginia. It was in these words :
"That the interference, by the citizens of
any of the states, with the view to the abolition
of slavery in this District, is endangering the
lights and security of the people in the District ;
and that any act or measure of Congress, de
signed to abolish slavery in this District, would
be a violation of the faith implied in the cessions
by the states of Virginia and Maryland ; a
just cause of alarm to the people of the slave
holding states, and have a direct and inevi
table tendency to disturb and endanger the
The vote on the final adoption of the reso
lution was :
YEAS —Messrs. Allen, Bayard, Benton,
Black, Brown, Buchanan, Calhoun, Clay of
Alabama, Clay of Kentucky, Thomas Clayton,
Crittenden,Cuthbert, Fill ton,Grundy, Hubbard,
King, Lumpkin, Lyon, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell,
Franklin Pierce, Preston, Rives, Roane,
Robinson, Sevier, Smith of Connecticut,
Strange, Talhnadge, Tipton, Walker, White,
Williams, Wright, Young.
NAYS —Messrs. Davis, Knight, McKean,
Morris, Prentiss, Smith of Indiana, Swift,
The second resolution of Mr. Clay applied
to slavery in a territory where it existed, and
deprecated any attempt to abolish it in such
territory as alarming to the slave states, nnd as
violation of faith towards its inhabitants, un
less they asked it, and in derogation of its right
to decide the question of slavery for itself
when erected into a state. This resolution
intended to cover the case of Florida, and ran
tlins :
" Resolved, That any attempt of Congress
to abolish slavery in any territory of the Uuited
States, iu which it exists, would create serious
alarm and just apprehension in the states
sustaining that domestic institution, would be
a violation of good faith towards the inhabi
tants of any snch territory who have been
permitted to settle with and hold slaves therein ;
because the people of any such territory have
not asked for the abolition of slavery therein ;
and because, when any such territory shall be
admitted into the Union as a state, the people
thereof shull be entitled to decide that question
exclusively for themselves."
And the vote upon it was—
YEAS —Messrs. Allen, Bayard, Benton,Black,
Brown, Buchanan, Calhoun, Clay, of Alabama,
Clay of Kentucky, Crittenden, Cuthbert, Ful
ton, Grundy, Hubbard, King, Lumpkin, Lyon,
Merrick, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Pierce,
Preston, Rivers, Roan, Robinson, Sevier, Smith
of Connecticut, Strange, Tipton, Walker, White,
and Young.
NAYS —Messrs. Thomas Clayton, Davis,
Knight, McKean, Preutiss, Robbius, Smith of
Indiana, Swift and Webster.
The few senators who voted against both
resolutions, chiefly did so for reasons wholly
unconnected with their merits ; some because
opposed to any declarations on the subject as
abstract and inoperative, others because they
dissented from the reasons expressed, arid pre
ferred others. Mr. Calhoun voted for both,
not in preference to his own, but us agreeing
to them after they had been preferred by the
Senate, and so gave his recorded assent to the
doctrines they contained. Both admit the
constitutional power of Congress over the
existence of slavery both in the District and
the territories, but deprecate its abolition where
it existed for reasons of high expediency, and
in this view, it is believed, nearly the entire
Senate concurred, and quite the entire Senate
on the constitutional point, there being no
reference to that point in any part of the
debates. Mr. Webster, probably, spoke the
sentiments of most of those voting with him
when he said : "If the resolutions set forth
that all domestic institutions, except so far as
the constitution might interfere, and any inter
meddling therewith by a state or individual,
was contrary to the spirit of the confederacy,
and was thereby illegal and unjust, he would
give theiu his hearty and cheerful support ; and
would do so still, if the senators from South
Carolina would consent to such an amendment:
but in their present form he must give his vote
against them."
The general feeling of the Senate was that
of entire repugnance to the whole movement—
that of the petitions and memorial 011 the one
hand,and Mr. Calhoun's resolutions on the other.
The former were quietly got rid of, and in a
way to rebuke as well as to condemn their
presentation, that is to say, by motions, (sustain
ed by the body.) to lay them on the table.—
The resolutions could not so easily be disposed
of, especially as their mover earnestly demand
ed discussion, spoke at large and often himself,
" and desired to make the question, on their
rejection or adoption, a test question." They
were abstract, leading to no result—made dis
cussion where silence was desirable—frustrated
the design of the Senate in refusing to discuss
the übolition petitions—gave them an import
ance to which they were not entitled—promoted
agitation—embarrassed friendly senators from
the North -placed some iu false positions—and
brought aniiuadverdons from many. Thus, Mr
Buchanan :
" I cannot believe that the senator from
South Carolina has taken the best course to
attain these results, (quieting agitation.) This
is the great centre of agitation. From this
eapitol it spreads over the whole L T uion. 1
therefore deprecate a protracted discussion of
the question here. It can do 110 good, but may
do much harm, both iu the North and in the
" The senators from Delaware, although
representing a slaveholding state, have voted
against these resolutions, because, in their
opinion, they can detect in them the poison of
nullification. Now 1 can see no such thing in
them, and am ready to avow in the main they
contain nothing but correct political principles
to which I am devoted. But what then ?
These senators are placed in a false position,
and arc compelled to vote against resolutions,
the object of which they heart ly approve.—
Again : my friend, the senator from New
Jersey, (Mr. Wall,) votes against tliern be
cause they are political abstractions, of which
he thinks the Senate ought not to take cogniz
ance, although he is as much opposed to
abolition, and as willing to maintain the con
stitutional rights of the South, as any senator
upon sliis floor. Other senators believe the
right of petition has been endangered ; nnd
until that has been established, they will not
vote for any resolutions on the subject. Thus
we stand ; and those of us in the North who
must sustain t lie brunt of the battle are forced
into false positions. Abolition thus acquires
force by bringing to its aid the right of petition
and the hostility which exists at the North
against the doctrines of nullification.
" It is vain to say that these principles are
not really involved in the question. This may
be, and in my opinion is true ; but why, by
our conduct here, should we afford the abolition
ists such plausible pretexts? The fact is, and
it cannot be disguised, that those of us in the
northern states who have determined to sustain
the rights of the slave states at every hazard,
are placed in a most embarrassing situation.—
We arc almost literally between two fires.—
Whilst in front we are assailed by the aboli
tionists our own friends in the South are
constantly driving us into positions where their
enemies and our enemies may gain important
And thus Mr. Crittenden :
"If the object of these resolutions was to
produce peace and allay excitement, it appear
ed to him that they were not very likely to
accomplish such a purpose. More vague and
general abstractions could hardly have been
brought forward, and they were more calculat
ed to produce agitation aud stir up discontent
and bad blood, than to do any good whatever.
Such he knew was the general opinion of
southern men, few of whom, however they
assented to the abstractions, approved of this
method of agitating the subject. The mover
of these resolutions relics mainly on two points
to carry the Senate with him : 6rst, he reiter
ates theory of danger to the Union ; and next,
that if he is not followed in this movement, he
urges the inevitable consequence of the do-
struction of the Union. It is possible the
gentleman may be mistaken. It possibly might
not be exactly true that, to save the Union, it
was necessary to follow him. On the contrary,
some were of opinion, and he for one was mueh
inclined to be of the same view, that to follow
the distinguished mover of these resolutions,
to pursue the course of irritation, agitation
and intimidation which he chalked out, would
be the very liest and surest method that could
be chalked out to destroy this great and happy
And thus Mr. Clay :
" The series of resolutions under consideration
has been introduced by the senator from South
Carolina, after he and other senators from the
South had deprecated discussion on the delicate
subject to which they relate. They have
occasioned much discussion, in which hitherto
T have not participated. I hope that the
tendency of the resolutions may be to allay the
excitement which unhappily prevails in respect
to the abolition of slavery; but I confess that,
taken altogether, and in connection with other
circumstances, and especially considering the
manner in which their author has pressed them
on the Senate, I fear that they will have the
opposite effect ; and particularly at the North,
that they rnav increase and exasperate, instead
of diminishing and assuaging the existing
And thus Mr. Preston, of South Carolina :
" His objections to the introduction of the
resolutions were, that they allowed ground for
discussion ; and that the subject ought never
to be allowed to enter the halls of the legisla
tive assembly was always to be taken for grant
ed by the South, and what would abstract pro
positions of this nature effect ?"
And thus Mr. Strange, of North Carolina :
" What did they set forth but abstract
principles, to which the South had again aud
again certified ? What bulwark of defence was
needed stronger than the constitution itself ?
Every movement on the part of the South only
gave additional strength to her opponents.—
The wisest, nay, the only safe course, was to
remain quiet, though prepared ut the same time
to resist all aggression. Questions like this
only tended to excite angry feelings. The
senator from South Carolina (Mr. Calhoun,)
charged with him " preaching " to one side.—
Perhaps he had sermonized too long for the
patience of the Senate ; but then he had
preached to all sides. It was the agitation of
the question in any form or shape that render
ed it dangerous. Agitating this question in
any shape was ruinous to the South."
Aud thus Mr. Richard 11. Bayard of Dela
ware :
" Though he denounced the spirit of aboli
tion as dangerous and wicked in the extreme,
yet he did not feel himself authorized to vote
for the resolutions. If the doctrines contain
ed in them were correct, then nullification was
correct ; and if passed, might hereafter he
appealed to as a precedent in favor of that
doctrine, though he acquitted the senator of
having the most remote intention of smuggling
in anything in isolation to that doctrine under
cover of these resolutions."
Mr. Calhoun annoyed by so much condem
nation of his course, and especially from those
as determined as himself to protect the slave
institution where it legally existed, spoke often
and warmly, and justified his course from the
greatness of the danger, ami the fatal con
sequences to the Union if it was not arrested.
" 1 fear (said Mr. C.) that the Senate has
not elevated its view sufficiently to comprehend
the extent and magnitude of the existing dan
ger. It was perhaps his misfortune to look
too much to the future, and to move against
dangers at too great a distance, which had in
volved him in many difficulties, and exposed
him often to the imputation of unworthy mo
tives. Thus he had long forseeu the immense
surplus revenue which a false system of legis
lation must pour into the treasury, and the fa
tal consequences to the morals and institutions
of the country which must follow. When no
thing else could arrest it, he threw himself,
with his state, into the breach, to arrest dan
gers which could not otherwise be arrested ;
whether wisely or not, lie left posterity to
" He now saw with equal clearness, as clear
as the noonday sun, the fatal consequences
which must follow, if the present disease be not
timely arrested. He would repeat again what
he had so often said on this floor. This was
the only question of sufficient magnitude and
potency to divide this Union, nnd divide it it
would, or drench the country in blood, if not
arrested. He knew how much the sentiment
he had uttered would be misconstrued and mis
represented. There were those who saw no
danger to the Union in the violation of all its
i fundamental principles, but who were full of
apprehension when danger was foretold or re
sisted, and who held not the authors of the
danger, but those who forewarned or opposed
it, responsible for consequences.
" But the cry of disunion by the weak or
designing has no terrors for him. If his at
tachment to the Union was loss, he might tam
per with the deep disease which now afflicts
the body politic, and keep silent till the patient
was ready to sink under its mortal blows. It
is a cheap, and, he must say, but too certain a
mode of acquiring the character of devoted at
tachment to the Union. But seeing the dan
ger, as he did, he would be a traitor to the
Union, and those he represented, to keep si
lence. The assaults daily made on the insti
tutions of nearly one-half of the states of this
Union by the other—institutions interwoven
from the beginning with their political and so
cial existence, and which cannot lie other than,
without their inevitable destruction, will and
must, if coutinued, make tiro people of one, by
destroying every sympathy between the two
great sections, obliterating from their hearts
the recollection of their common danger and
glory, and implanting in their place a mutual
hatred, more deadly than ever existed between
two neighboring people since the commence
ment of the human race. He feared not the
circulation of the thousands of incendiary and
slanderous publications which were daily issued
from an organized and powerful press among
thoiiC intended to be villificd. They eannot
VOL. XVr. —NO. 5.
peuetrate our section ; that was not the dan
ger ; it lay in a different direction. Their cir
culation in the non-slaveholditig states was
what was to be dreaded. It was infusing a
deadly poison into the minds of the rising gen
eration, implanting in them feelings of hatred,
the most deadly hatred, instead of a Section and
love, for one-half of this Union, to be returned,
on their part, with equal detestation. The fa
tal, the immutable consequences, if not arrested,
aud that without delay, were such as he had
" The first and desirable object is to arrest
it in the non-slaveholding states ; to meet thn
disease where it originated, and where it exists;
and the first step to this is to find some com
mon constitutional ground on which a rally,
with that object, can be made. These resolu
tions present the ground, and the only one, on
which it can he made. The only remedy is in
the state rights doctrines ; and," if those who
profess them in slaveholding states do not rail v
on them, as their political creed, and organize
as a party against the fanatics, in order to put
theui down, the South and West will be com
pelled to take the remedy into their own hands.
They will theu stand justified in the sight of God
and man ; and what, in that event, will follow,
no mortal can anticipate.
" Mr. President, (said Mr. C.) we are repos
ing on a volcano. The Senate seems entirely
ignorant of the state of feeling in the South.
The mail has just brought us intelligence of a
most important step taken by one of the
southern states in connection with this sub
ject, which will give some conception of tho
tone of feeling which begins to prevail in that
Mr. BENTON did not speak in this debate.—-
He believed, as others did, that discussion was
injurious—that it was the way to keep up and
extend agitation—and the thing above all
others which the abolitionists desired. Dis
cussion upon the tloor of the American Senate
was to them the concession of an immense ad
vantage—the concession of an elevated and
commanding theatre for the display and dissemi
nation of their doctrines.
The Senate, in laying all their petitions, and
the memorial of Vermont, on the table, without
debate, signified its desire to yield them no
such advantage. The introduction of Mr. CAL
IIOIX'S resolutions frustrated that desire, and
induced many to do what they condemned
Mr. BUXTON took his own Reuse of the proper
course in abstaining from debate, and confining
the expression of his opinions to the delivery
of votes ; and in that he conformed to the
sense of the Senate and the action of the House
of Representatives. Many hundreds of these
petitions were presented "in the House, and
quietly laid upon the table under motions to
that effect : and this would have been the case
in the Senate had it not been for the resolutions,
the introdutiou of which was so generally dep
Tlie part of this debate which excited no at
tention, but has since acquired a momentous
importance, is that part in .which Mr. CALHOUN
declared lu's favorable disposition to the Mis
souri Compromise, and condemnation of Mr.
R, (its chief opponent,) for opposing
it. and his change of opinion since, not for un
constitutionality, but because he believed it
dangerous in encouraging the spirit of aboli
tionism. This was the highest, the most sol
emn, the most momentous, the most emphatic
assertion of Congressional power over slavery
in a territory which had ever been made or
could be conceived. It not only abolished sla
very where it legally existed, but forever pro
hibited it where it had long existed ; and that
over an extent of territory larger than the
area of all the Atlantic slavestates put togeth
er ; and thus yielding to the free states the
absolute predominance in the Union.
Mr. CALHOUN was for that resolution in 1 S2(),
blamed those who opposed it, and could see no
objection to it in IX3B but the encouragement
it gave to the spirit of abolitionism. Nine
years afterwards, (session of 184G 47,) he sub
mitted other resolutions, (five in number,) on
the same power of Congress over slavery legis
lation in the territories—denied the power—
and asterteil that any such legislation to the
prejudice of slaveholding emigrants from the
states in preventing them from removing, with
their slave property, to such territory, "would
be a violation of the constitution and the rights
of the states from which such citizens emigra
ted, and a derogation of that perfect equality
which belongs to them as members of this I ie
ion, and would tend directly to subvert the Un
ion itself."
These resolutions, so new and startling in
their doctrines, so contrary to their antecessors
and to the whole course of the government,
were denounced by the writer of this View the
instant they were read in the Senate ; and be
ing much discountenanced by other senators,
they were never pressed to a vote in that body,
but were afterwards adopted by some of the
state legislatures. One year afterwards, in a
debate on the Oregon territories bill, and on
the section which proposed to declare the anti
slavery clause of the ordinance of 11*1 to be
in force in that territory, Mr. CAI.IIOI N denied
the power of Congress to make any such de
claration, or in any way to legislate upon sla
very in a territory. lie delivered a most elabo
rate and thoroughly considered speech on tlm
subject, in the course of which he laid down
three propositions :
1. That Congress ha<l 110 power to legislate
upon slavery in a territory so as to prevent the
citizens of slaveholding states from removing
into it with their slave projwrtv.
2 That Congress had no power to delegate
such authority to a territory.
3. That a territory had 110 such power in it
self—(thus leaving the subject of slavery in a
territory without any legislative power over it
at all.)
These propositions being in flagrant conflict
with the power exercised by Congress in the
establishment of the Missouri Compromise line,
which had become a tradition as a southern
measure, supported by southern members of
Congress and sanctioned by the cabinet of Mr.
Munhoe, of which Mr. Ca lhocn was a mem
btr—the fact of that compromise, and his con