Columbia Democrat and Bloomsburg general advertiser. (Bloomsburg, Pa.) 1850-1866, January 19, 1861, Image 1

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LEYI L. TATE, Editor.
VOL. 14.-NO. 40.
YOL. 24.
published every Saturday, iiy
ofFTob .
ft the mtr Brtfk Building opposite the Erehange, btf stttt
of the Court Jloutt, "Democratic Head Quarter!."
Si 00 In advance, for nno copy, fornix monlhi.
1 75 In ndvnncc, for nuc ropy, one year,
W If not paid within the firt three months,
ii M Ifm.t paid within th first six ntontlii.
' SO If not paid within llHfiir.
0"N inscription taken for lean than! month n,
knit no paper discontinued until all arrearages shall liavt)
been paid.
E7 Ordinary A dvkrtisemeith inserted, and Job Woiiic
xecutcd, at the established tncci.
A year lias gone, ncar hag cmne,
The world grow sM and older;
The pulse of Time beats faint mid numb,
Hit heart growg cold and colder.
The ngcB march In grandeur.
With none but (Jod lo liftt-nf
And o'er the w reck of star and sun
Ntw suns and systems gtlstcu.
There ii no old tliera H no new ;
UMi.u tin tli b;en Is forr vcr ;
God lives unchanged ail change through,
And ro'ts nor wearies nitvcr
Col fill the year, and Ci'U tlio fphtres
With lif. and Joy siip'rnal ;
The glow that worms, the light that cheers.
Am liif awrf Kinilc eternal.
To the Senate an I Iliuse of Rrpicscnla
livcs :
At tho opening of your present session,
I called your attention to the dangers
which threatened the existence of the
Union. I expressed my opinion freely
concerning the origiual causes of those
dangers, and recommended such measures
ns I believed would have the effect of
iranquilizing the country, and saving it
from the peril in which it had been need
lessly and most unfortunately involved.
Those opinions and recommendations 1
do not proposo now to repeat. My own
convictions upon the whole subject remain
unchanged. 'I ho fact that a great ca
lamity was impending over the nation was
even at that time acknowledged by every
intelligent citizen. It had already made
itself felt throughout the length aud breadth
oftholar.d. The necessary consequences
of the alarm thus produced were most
dcplorablo. The imports fell off with a
rapidity never known beforo except in
time of war in the history of our foreign
commerce. The Trcaury was unexpect
edly left without tho means which it had
reasonably counted upon to meet tho pub-
lie engagements ; trade was paralyzed ;
manufactures were stopped ; the best pub
lie securities suddenly sunk in tho market;
every species of property depreciated more
or less ; and thousands of poor men, who
depended upon' their daily labor for their
daily bread, wcro turned out of employ
ment. 1 deeply regret that I am not ablo to
giro you any information upon the state of
tho Union which is more satisfactory than
what I was then obliged to communicate.
On the Contrary, matters arc still worse
at present thaa they then were. When
Congress met, a strong hopo pervaded tho
wholo publio mind that some amicable ad
iustmcnt of the subject would speedily be
made by the representatives of tho States
and of tho people, which might restore
peace between tho conflicting sections of
the country. That hopo has been dimin
ished by every hour of delay i and as tho
prospect of a bloodless settlement fades
nwav, tho public distress becomes moro
nnd more asaravated. As evidenco of
this, it is only necessary to say that tho
Treasury notes, authorized by tho act of
December last, were advertised according
to the law, and that no responsible bidder
offered to take any considerable sum at
par at a lower rate of interest than twelve
per cent. From theso facts it appears
that, in a Government organized liko our?,
revenues, and to protect tho publio prop-1
crty, so far as this might bo practicable
under existing law?. This is still my
purpose. My proviuco is to executo, and
not to make, tho laws. It belongs to Con
gress, exclusively, to repeal, to modify, or
to enlarge their provisions, lo meet exi
gencies as they may occur. I possess no
dispensing power.
I certainly had no right to make aggrcs
iivo war upon any State; aud I am per
fectly satisfied that tho Constitution has
wisely withheld that power even from Con
gress. Hut the right and tho duty to uso
military force defensively against those
who resist tho Federal officers in tho exe
cution of their legal fuuetions, and against
those who assail tho property of tho Fed
cral Government, is clear and undenia
ble. But tho dangerous and hostile attitude
of the States towards each other has al
ready far transcended and cast in tho
shade tho ordinary executive duties al
ready provided for by law, and has as
sumed such vast and alarming proportions
as to place the subject entirely above aud
beyond executive control. The fact can
not be disguised that we arc in tho midst
of a great revolution. In all its various
bearings, therefore, I commend the ques
tion to Congress, as the only human tri
bunal, under Providence, possessing tho
power to meet tho existing emergency.
lo them exclusively belongs the power to
declare war, or to authorize tho employ
ment of military force in all cases contem
plated by tho Constitution ; and they alone
possess the power to remove grievances
which might load to war, and to secure
peace aud union to this distracted country,
On Ihcm, and on them alone, rests the
and harmony can be produced, is surely
not unattainable. The proposition to com
promise by letting tho Norlh havo exclu
sive control of tho territory above a certain
line, and to give southern institutions pro
tection below that lino, ought to receive
universal approbation. In itself, indeed,
it may not be entirely satisfactory ; but
when tho alternative is between a reason,
ablo concession on both tides and a de
struction of tho Union, it is an imputation
upon tho patriotism of Congress to assert
that its members will hesitato for a mo
ment. Even now tho danger is upon us. In
several of tho States which havo not yet
seceded, tho forts, arsenals, and maga
zines of tho United States, havo been
seized. This is by far tho most serious
step which has been taken since the com
mencement of tho troubles. This public
property has long been loft without gar
risons and troops for its protestion ; be
cause no person doubted its security under
the flag of the country in any State of tho
Union. Besides, our small Army has
scarcely been sufficient to guard our re
moto frontiers against Indian incursioiiB.
Tho seizure of this property, from all ap
pearances, has been purely aggressive,
and not in resistance to any attempt to
coerce a Stato or States to remain in tho
Union .
At tho beginning of those unhappy
troubles, I determined that no act of mino
should increase tho excitement in either
section of tho country. If tho political
conflict were to cud in a civil war, it was
my determined purpose not to commcnoo
it, nor even to furnish any excuse for it by
any act of this government. Jly opinion
remains unchanged, that justice, as well as
a sound policy, requires us still to seek a
mo to remark, that I have oftcned warned
my countrymen of tho dangers which now
surround us. This may be the last tinio I
shall refer to Iho subject officially. I feci
that my duty has been faithfully, though
imperfectly performed, and whatever tho
result may be, I shall carry to my grave
tho consciousness that I at least meant well
for my country.
Washington City, Jan. 8, 1801.
Porsonal Liborty Laws.
Philadelphia, Dec. 20, 1800.
To the Hon. Ellis Lewis, l&te Chief Justice of the
Supremo Court of Pennsylvania !
Dear Sir : Wo havo observed in tho
Public Ledger, of this city, of this date,
an article purporting to be a'n extract of a
letter from tho Hon. John Sherman, a
member of tho IIouso of Representatives
of tho United Slates for the Stato of Ohio,
addressed to Charles B. Trego, Chairman,
of a Committee of tho People's Party of
Philadelphia, by whom Mr. Sherman had
been invited to partake of a public din
ner gotten up for social and political pur
poses. In the extract alluded to wo no
tice with with surprise tho following lan
guage: "lam therefore, opposed to any change
of the Constitution, and to any comprom
ise that will surrender any of tho princi
ples sanctioned by tho people in tho recent
contest. If the Personal Lxbtitij Bitii of
any Slate iifringe upon the Constitution,
then should at once be repealed. Most of
them haro Numbered upon tho statute
books for years. T.'icy an now seized
upon by thoso who are plotting disuuion
as a pretext. We should give them no
pretext. It is always right anil proper lor
each Stato to apply to State laws tho test
of the Constitution. It is a rcmarkabl
fact, that neither of tho border free States
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indi
ana, Illinois nor Iowa havo any suck
upon their statute books. The laws of these
States against kidnapping are similar to
those of Virginia k Kentucky. 'Picbncnof
othrr ktitts, so called, h"Ve never cpcratnl
to return a single fugitive slave, and may
la regarded limply c a piotcit of those
States jguinst tliehtttsh J'taluies if the
Fugitive Slice lute."
Believing, as wo do, that Mr. Sherman,
' .... ... .... . ....
no attack on Major Anderson was intended t0 above extract, in enner ignoramiy
but that on tho contrary it was tho desire r wilfully unstated the facts as regards
of the Stato authorities, as much as it was the laws of Pennsylvania, commonly call
my own, to avoid tho fatal consequences d Personal Liberty laws, wo respee'fully
which must incutably follow a military ' from you, in reply to this, your views
collision. upon tho subject. Your high character as
Aud licro I deem it proper to submit, j""1 Hatcsinau warrants us in ask
fnr vnr infnrn. ntinn . rnmna of a eommun- , S ''3 lucl of J'ou at a tlm0 tthcn cor'
n,l ( fr,,isl. il nal ,or tn rnnilnr itinn dntml tho 2Sth of December. 1600. ' ect information on una buiijcci is m su
Tho Union is a sacred trust, left by our peaceful solution of tho questions at issue
revolutionary fathers to their descend- j between tho North and South. Kntertain
ants ; and never did any other people ing this conviction, I refrained even from
inherit to rich a legacy. It has rendered sending reinforcements to Major Ander
us prosperous in peace and triumphant in ' son, who commanded tho forts in Chrrlcs
war. Tho national flag has floated in ' ton harbon, until an absolute necessity for
glory over every sea. Under its shadow doing so should make itself apparcui, lest
American citizens have found protection
and respeet in all lands beneath the run.
If wo descend to considerations of purely
material interest, when, in the history of
all time, has a confederacy been bound
together by fucIi strong ties of mutual
interest? Kaeh portion of it is dependent
on all, and all upon each portion, for
prosperity and domestic security. Free
trade throughout tho wholo supplies tho
wants of one portion from tho productions
of another, and scatters wealth every
where. The great planting and farming
States require tho aid of tho commercial
aud navigating States, to' send their pro
ductions to domestic aud foreign markets,
it might unjustly bo regarded as a menace
of military coercion aud thus furnish, if
not a provocation, at least a pretext for an
outbreak on tho pait of South Carolina.
No necessity for these reinforeomeute
seemed to exist.
I was assured by distinguished and up
right gentlemen from South Carolina, that
.11. J.
II. Adams and James L. Orr, Commiss
ioners from South Carolina, with accom
panying documents nnd copies of my
answer thereto, dated tho 3Ht of Decem
ber. The further explanation of Major An
derson's removal from Fort Moultrie to
Fort Sumptcr, it is propor to stato that,
after my answer to tho South Carolina
Commissioners, th War Department re
ceived a letter from that gallant officer,
dated on tho 27th of December, 1800, (tho
day after tho movement,) from which tho
following is an extract :
Evidently referring to the orders, dated
domestic strife, or even a wcll-grounucu
foar of civil hostilities, is moro debtructivo
to our publio and private interests than tho
most formidablo foreign war.
In mv annual message, I expressed tho
conviction, which I havo long deliberately
held, and which recent reflection has only
tended to deepen and confirm, that no
State has a right, by its own act, to so
cede from tho Union, or throw off its
Vn.lnrnl nl.liratinns at pleasure. I also
- -. o -
!..! A Un llmf
that right existed, and Miouiu uo exerciser
by any Stato of iho Confederacy, tho ex
ecutive department of this Government
had no authority, under Iho Constitution,
to rccognizo its validity by acknowledging
the indopendcuco of such State. This
left mo no alternative, ns the chief execu-
five officer under tho Constitution ot tlio
United States, but to collect the public
their transportation secure against all bos-! addressed tn mo l.y It W IV
tlio attacks.
Should tho Union perish in the midst of
tho present excitement, wo have already
had a sad loretasto of tho universal suf
fering which would result from iti de
struction. Tho calamity would bo scvero
in every portion of tho Union, and would
be quito as great, to say the least, in tho
southern as in the northern States. Tho
greatest aggravation of tho evil, and that
which would place m in tho most untavor-
ablo light both before the world and
posterity, is, as 1 am firmly convincea,
that tho secession movement lias been
chiefly based upon a misapprehension at
tho South of the sentiments of tho majori
ty in several of tho northern States. Let
tho question be transferred from political
assemblies to tho ballot-uox, anu tuo
peoplo themselves would speedily redress
tho serious grievances which tho South
have suffered. But, in Heaven's name;
let the trial be made beforo wo plungo
into armed conflict upon the moro assump
tion that there is no other alternative.
Timo is a great conservative power. Let
us pauso at this momentous point, and
nfford tho peoplo, both North and South,
an opportunity for reflection. Would that
South Carolina had boon convinced of this
truth beforo her prccipitato action I I
therefore appeal through you to tho pco
pie of tho couutry to declare in their might
that tho Uuion must aud shall bo prcsor
ved by all constitutional means. I mos
f.nmnstlv recommend that you devoto
j (
jour?elv!S, exclusively, to tho question
if how this can bo accomplislicil in peace
All other questions, when compared to
this, sink intoinsignificanco. Tho present
is no timo for palliations. Action, prompt
action, is raiuircd. A delay in Congress
to prescribe or to recommend a distinct
aud nract cal proposition lor conciuauou
may diivo us lo a point from which it will
bo almost iinpossibio to rcccuc.
A common ground on which conciliation
West Penn Square,
Philadelphia, Jan. U, 1801
Gentlemen : Yours of tho 20th ult., is
"I will add. as mv opinion, that many i,.r., , Vim nnntn from tho elonuent
f . .l.of .l.rt lllliAIitip4 1 . .
imngs couwij-" .u - , f , 0 nou JoIm ai,cruian. some
OI Uic clam uesiguvu iu jjiuvu .u u. vj
tile act."
' .'... ..It.... l.,J,.l..o.,U in irliii.ll
December 11, of tho lato Secretary ot ""yu'S
110 lllllUiaiua UlUl lliuiu uiu uvus mjiuii ..."
not , statute books which infringe upon tho Con
mnnl, ;,v - r--r - 1 '
iiiiu' of the question as to what is tho mean
ing and purport of the provisions of tho
law of 1817, aud thoso of tho Jlcvisctl
Penal Codo of Pennsy'vania, touching the
reclamation of fugitives from labor, Ac.
Trusting that you will at your earliest
convenience favor us with a reply lor pub
lication, we remain, very respectfully ,your
obediont servants.
Thomas C.MacDowelL:
A. DeIvawi Tarr.
passive acquicsecnco in tho efforts of tho
owner to recover his property is not a ful
filment of the obligation. If tho Stato
throws no obstructions in tho way of tho
owner it is certainly better than open and
active nullification ; but it is not a fulfill
ment of her obligation to "deliver up" tho
fugitivo within her jurisdiction. It is truo
that this is ono of tha duties in rcferenco
to which coercion cannot boused against a
Stato. Tho federal government may uso
its civil and military power to execute its
own Fugitivo Slave Law and to nullify all
unconstitutional obstructions created by
tho States, but it cannot compel the States
to fulflil (heir obligations to pass laws in
aceordauc.o with this provision of tho Con
stitution. Tho moral obligation is none
tho loss on this account. With honest
men a xcmd is as good as a bond, Penn
sylvania gavo her wnri when sho agreed
to tho Federal Constitution : sho has super
added her oath ; for all officers of tho
State, from the highest to the lowest, ever
since tho Constitution was adopted, havo
been solemnly sworn to support it. Tho
act of 25th March, 1820, was passed in
fulfilment of this obligation. Its general
provisions wcro satisfactory to tho parties
interested, but tho first section of tho act
was construed to deny tho right of recap
tion, which was a Common Law incident
of ownership, expressly protected by tho
act of Congress of 12th of February,
1793. For the exercise of this right, a
man named Prigg, agent for a slave owner,
was convicted of tho crime of kidnapping,
under tho first section of tho act 18'JO.
Tho Supremo Court of tho United States
reversed the judgment, and decided that
tho said section of the Stato act was un
constitutional. This was the only question
that aroto in the caU30. But unfortunately
for the peace of the couutry, Judge Story,
who delivered tho opinion of a majority of
tho Couit, volunteered an opinion that all
Stato legislation, including acts in f.ivorof
surrendering fugitives from labor to their
owners, was unconstitutional, null and void
Ono of the reasons assigned on the record
for this extraordinary doctrine, was, that
a Stato might "dole out its own remedial
justice or withhold it at plaasuro,'' and
'might greatly embarrass or delay the
cscicUo of tho owners' rights," and "that
tho nature and object of the provision im
peiiously require that, to mako it effect
tial," it should be construed to "bo cxclu'
sive of State authority." This captivating
view of Southern rights by a learned judge
from Boston, won over thrco Southern
judges, agaiust tho arguments and rcmon
(trances of Chief Justico laney, Judge
Daniel Thompson and ethers. It is a re
markablo fact that in tho life of Judge
Storv. written by his son, it is recorded
tliut. flm .Tudfc. when he returned to BoS'
... rr w o nroflf nrtint
bull, r(Ulvu VI mw ujnuiu.i f,. -
gained for liberty," "so great a point in
deed," adds tho biographer,that tho Judgo
"repeatedly and earnestly spoko of it to
his family and ultimata friends as being a
triumph of freedom." Tho sou undertakes
to explain what was meant by "a triumph
zanco repeatedly under Iho act of 1820,
notwithstanding the dictum in Prigg's casa
utitil tho act was repealed. This view of
tho caso has sinco been sustained by tho
unanimous decision of tho Supremo Court
of tho United States, in Iho caso of Moore
vs. the peoplo of Illinois, 14 Howard's Bo
ports 14. Tho constitutional obligation of
tho Stato to "deliver up" fugitivo slaves,
therefore, remains as binding ns it was
beforo Prigg's caso wa3 decided. Tho
cause which produced most of Iho unjust
legislation on thissubject having thus been
removed, thoro is now no reason why jus
tico and comity should nol be restored by
wiping from our statute books every unjust
or unfriendly enactment.
The 5th and 7th sections of tho act of
Judges " nt all times to issuo tho writ of
hebens corpus and inquire into tho causes
and legality of tho arrest nnd imprison
mentofany human being within this Com
monwealth." This enactment might bo
construed to authorize a Stato Judgo to is
suo a writ of hobeas corpus for the pur
poso of re-examining and re-judging the
decision of a federal magistrate, or inter
fering with his process under tho act of
Congress ; if so, it is unconstitutional.
Tho assertion .of a right in tho Stato
Judges to interfero against tho execution
of the law, in the same act that prohibi'i
their action in its favor, manifest a very
ufiiendly spirit. Tho States, when they
created tho Federal Government, and sur-
I rendered certain powers of sovereignty to
3d March, 18-17, and tho 05th sections of ' t expressly declared that tho Fedoral au-
tho new penal codo, passed 31st March,
I860, are now in force. I proceed, ac
cording to your request, to give my vows
of those Ecctions.
Tho act of Congress of 12th February,
1703, gave jurisdiction to itate magis
trates. Tho act of Ibth September, 1850
did not repeal tho act of 1793. There
wcro no words indicating an intention to
repeal. On the contrary, tho last act was
entitled, a supplement to amend tho first.
Thcro was no repugnancy in the provis
ions of tho two acts, in regard to the juris
diction of Stato magistrates. Tho rule is
that when two acts in pari materia, may
stand together, they are to havo a concur
rent operation, and one is not a repeal of
tho other; for "implied repeals aru not
favored by tho law." But tho 90th sec
lion of tho Pennsylvania act of 31st March
1800, expressly prohibits all Stato magis
trates from taking jurisdiction of fugitivo
slave cases "under any act of Congress."
If tho Stato had not repealed tho act of
1820, or if sho had mado other effectual
provisions for tho delivery of fugitive slaves,
thority, within those limits, should bo su
premo. It follows that they hare no right
whatever to obstruct its legislative action
by "Personal Liberty Bills," by writs of
hebeas corpus, or by any other means.
When Pennsylvania undertook to nullify
tho judgement cf the Federal court, by
means of her military power, heroin State
Judiciary concurred with tho Federal court
in pronouncing her act void. Olmstcad's
caso, Brightly's iV'si Prius Reports 0.
When the same thing was attempted, by
moans of tho writ of hominc replcgiando
her own State court again decided against
tho attempt ; (Wright's case,5 S & K,G2 ;)
and when asked to accomplish tho like re
sult, by prostituting titer great writ of he.
beat corpus to tho purpose, her highest ju
dicial tribunal decided against such abuso
of the writ. Passmoro Williamson's case,
2 Casey It.
By the act of 1780 the owners. of slaves
wcro allowed to visit us, attended by a
waiter or nurso acquainted with their wants
and attached to their interests. They
wcro allowed to sojourn among us six
' .... i... . .. ... ...
this part of tho 90th section of tho act of I "lom"3' 'lom ""iroymg tneir rigtiM ot
1600, would not bo unconstitutional; but u"'"-r5'"P wo never suuercu any incon
as sho has mado no provision of her own,
and also refuses all aid in executing every
federal enactment on tho subjcct,sho stands
justly liable to the charge of disregarding
tho Constitution. Sins of omission may bo
as criminal as sins of commission. Tho
circumstance that the constitutional obliga
tion in question is of a character which
must necessarily bo entrusted to our own
sense of justice and honor, only renders
the duty to fulfill it tho moro imperative in
the forum of conscience.
Another part of tho same section pro
hibits tho seizing of fugitive slaves "vio
lently and tumultously," although "under
pretence of authority," and although tho
intention bo to "carry the fugitivo beforo a
District or Circuit Judgo." There is too
much reason to fear that this (provision
lUflV llA f01ia"J - --- -
mcnt of those who aid in the execution ot
tho act of Congress. To understand its ef
fect properly, we must remember that a
fugitivo slave will, in general, resist auy
attempt to arrest him, and that in tho free
Stato of Pennsylvania tho sympathies of
tho bystanders will bo excited in his favor.
of freedom,'' by adding, "a triumph of In such cases it would bo impossible to ar
freedom, becauso it promised practically rest him without "violence aud tumult."
to nullify tho act of Congrcs", it being ' Tho tendency of this enactment is to em.
generally suppocd to bo impracticable to' barrass tho rights of tho slaveholder, and
reclaim furtive slaves, in frco States, (X- it creates an iuviduous distinction against
remarks relativo to what are called "Per
sonal Liberty Bills'' of several of tho
You think
UlTniln,. Iliis imnrrssiinn. I could
Witntn tlmt it was mv solemn (lutv to ' stitution oi iuo uimeu ouueb
move my command from a fort which we ' that ho is mistaken as regards the acts of
could not probably have hold longer than Vnnnsvlvania. and vou ask mv views on
forty eight or sixty hours, J .tuii oue. ! til0 sui,icci.
wuore my power oi resmaueo At 6Ucll a gloomy 11lir;0(1 :,, our Ustory,
to a very great degree. , .03nerou, nntioii.witli
I will bo recollected that tho concluding I . . frnvilrnmGIlt ,w cver ,va3
. ... i. ;.. .1... (it..: " o
part oi lueso orucra viua ru mu luiwnn'ij
cepl with tht aid o State legist itwn ami
State oulloritij !" (Life of Judgo Story,
2d vol., p. 393.) A regard for tho repu
tation of this eminent jurist,' suggests the
hopo that the ton misunderstood the lan
guage of the father. Bo that as it may,
the judges who concurred in that miscliicv
his property. It establishes a statute reg
ulation of great severity against his rights
which wo do not apply to our own citizens
nnd their property.
Tlio 90th section of Iho act of 1800 pro
hibits tho sale of a fugitive slave within tho
Stato, and makes it a criminal offence in
ous heresy, "sowed tho wind," and tlio , tho purchaser to cxerciso his right of rc
nation is "reaping tho whirlwind." Tho ' clainatiou. If it hs true that the right of
free States, justly indignant at tins denial j property is not impaired by the abscond
of their authoiity on grounds which im-j ing of tho slavo,it is equally truo that
pugncdiheir integrity, and glad to here-j the right to sell tho property remains
lieved from a very painful duty, repealed also unimpaired, becauso the right to
all their acts for the surrender of fugitive sell is ono of tho chief incidents of owucr-
slavcs, and withdrew all aid, of every des- ship. If a State law may destroy ono
crintion, in execution of the Fugitive Slave of tho incidents of ownership it may de
stroy all. So long as the owner does not
attempt to retain the blavo within tlio btata
taring :
"Tho smallncss of your forco will not
permit you, perhaps, to occupy more than
ono of tho thrco lorts ; but an attack on
or attempt to take possession of cither ono
of them will be rcgarueu as an uti ui
hostility, aud you may then put your
command into either of them which you
may deem most proper to iucrcaso its pow
er of resistance. You aro also authorized
to tako similar defensive steps whenever
you have tangiblo evidence oi a design to
proceed to a hostile act."
It is said that serious apprehensions aro
to soino extent cutcrtaiued that tho pcaco
of this District may bo disturbed beforo
March next. In any event it will bo my
duty to prevent it, and this duty shall bo
In conclusion, it muy bo permitted to
Law. Iu the excitement of the times,
they also passed laws which seriously em
barrassed tho slavo owner in tho exercise
of his rights. Tho Pennsylvania net of
3d March, 1817, is tho act chiefly com
plained of. Its penal provisions were
substantially re-enacted on the 31st March,
1600, having been reported for re-enact
mcnt by tho Commissioner! to lleviso the
Penal Code. It is proper to boar in mind
devised, is rapidly approaching dissolution
every word and act should bo governed by
such influences as usually control the sol
emn scenes of tho death bed. Party
schemes, pride of opinion, ambitious as
pirations, and all uucUaritablo leoung
should give placoto the high and holy con
sidcratious of true patriotism. Tho truth
should bo snoken fully and with
out regard to personal consequences ; and that this legislation was chiefly fuundtd on
at tho same timo, with kindness and ro- j tho dictum of tlio judges in Prigg's caso,
.nwi tnr tlm (minimis of thoso who sco tho an a nucstioii which did not ai' the
matter in a diffcicut light. , cause, aud which ihcy had uo light to dis
Tho Constitution of tho United States ' cuss or decide ; and tho opinion on that
declares that fugitives from labor, coming ' question was therefore, not a judicial tie
from ono Stato into another, "shall bo ' thioii, and oughl not to have been rcspce
delivered vn on claim of tho party to whom ted as such. I am not aware that it ever
such labor shall boflue." This clause im-' was regarded iu our com W of justice ;
poses an active duty upon the State. A e-crtaiuly diregaadcd it, and took cogni
or to exercise ownership over him within
our jurisdiction, except with a view to re
clamation, wo have-no authority to inter
fere with his right of ownership ; we aro
bound to deliver him up "to the person to
whom tho service may bo due," whether ho
tho original owner or a subsequent
purchaser. The original owner may bo a
vemenco from this civility to our Southern
friends. John Kmdolph and his faithful
Juba, while sojourning iu Philadelphia,
never did us any injury. But tho 7th sec
tion of the act of 3d March, 18-17, prohib
its tho owner from sojourning within tho
State "for any period of timo whatever, '
under the penalty of forfeiting his rights of
ownership. I am not prepared to say that
this enactment is unconstitutional, but it
exhibits an unfriendly di.'position,altogeth
cr at varianco with that neighborly cour
tesy which tho citizens of Mater States
should extend to each other. Neighbors
can do many things to' annoy each other
and at the saino timo keep within the palo
of municipal law but there is a law of
lovo and kindness which should not be for
gotten in our treatment of neighbors, cspe
.u , , Q4vuw , nuauuua
"do to others as wo would that thoy should
do to us,".
All the offensive legislation to which I
have referred ought to be repealed, and
enactments ought to bo substituted in ful
fillment of our Constitutional duties. Prido
of opinion should not stand in tho way.
We may abundantly gratify that, by tho
reflection that tho action of the State in
this respect, was produced by an unfortu-
I nato and erroneous opinion given by a ma
jority of tho Judges of tho Supreme Court
of tho United States. As that high tribu
nal has magnanimously corrected its error
with entire unanimity, why should an up
right Legislature of tho great Stato of
Pennsylvania hesitato to bo equally mag
nanimous ? Our Southern friends will
certainly bo liberal enough to assume their
sharo of tho Marco for tho past, when thoy
reflect that thrco of their own Judges con
curred in the erroneous doctrine which
brought most of these evils upon tho coun
try. By correcting tho evil, neither of tho
political parties can possibly gain any ad
vantage over the other, for tho error wa-s
common to both. When it was committed
ono party held tho legislative, iho other
tho executivo power, and both concurred
in tho wrongful enactments. The liberal
j views of tho Executivo, and of tho Speak
ers of tho respective Houses, as expressed
at tho opening of the present session, juit-
ify tho belief that the evils complained ot
will be redressed.
Yours Respectfully,
To Thomas C. MacDowcll, Esq., and A.
DeKalb Tarr, Esq.
fjiiinln nr n minor, or too lioor or infirm to
.!. !.!.. r n,rt,.,l A Awrui. Death. A frightful death
,mi.u. n.u .u0....v,. .. , i n5 occurrcll lst WCek at Colum-
it may become apparent, mar, mo )m. Ohio. Some courtezans had b'con
and happiness ol both parties would bo Jrinkin to excess, when the clothes o"
promoted by a chaiigo of ownership. I do ono of them caught firo and wcro complcto
not perceive that tho Stato has cither in- Jy burned off her back, nothing remaining
terest or right to interfere with the owner
in this respect.
Tho 5th section of the act of 3d of
March, 18-17, affirms the right of the Slate
upon ncr but a icaiucrn ueu. ner ucaiti,
says an cyo witness, was nwful. Thoso
who witnessed it and heard her mingled
songs, curses and prayers will never for
get it,