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treaty to be negotiated between them, neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist except for crime, whereof the party shall be first duly convicted." The "proviso" was defeated by a small majority in the United States Senate. Yet on the termination of the Mexican war the practical question involved in the Wilmot proviso, whether the introduction of slavery should be allowed or prohibited in the territories acquired from Mexico, became of prominent interest.

The attention of the people of South Carolina was drawn to these matters year after year in the messages of the Governors of the State to the General Assembly, and as often a report from the Committee on Federal Relations would bring a protest in the form of resolutions against these procedures as being in flagrant violation of the provisions of the Federal Constitution and insulting to the dignity of the State. The same feeling of indignation pervaded each of the slaveholding States and manifested itself in varied forms of public expression. In Mississippi where the zeal of the abolitionists had introduced emissaries who induced the negroes to leave their masters and seek an asylum in the free States, public meetings were held, and finally a convention of the people assembled in 1848 to consider what measures to adopt in order to protect their property and secure the rights of the slave States. This convention issued an address to the people of the several Southern States and invited them to send delegates to a convention to be convened at Nashville "to consult in common upon common rights with the view to unity of action." Accordingly a convention of delegates from a few of the States did assemble at Nashville in the autumn of 1849, and issued an address to the people of the several slave-holding States, calling upon them to meet through delegates in a congress with the view of adopting such measures as would arrest further aggressions,

and if possible restore the constitutional rights of the South, and to recommend some provision for their future safety and independence.

The people of California had framed a constitution prohibiting slavery which was presented to Congress early in the session of 1850, with a petition praying the admission of that territory as a State. This.petition at once provoked an exciting debate in both Houses of Congress. The Southern or slave-holding section demanded the rejection of California and an amendment to the Constitution that should equalize the political power of the free and slave States. The question became still more complicated by a claim brought forward by Texas to a boundary line that would include a large part of the territory of New Mexico, and also by the application of New Mexico for admission into the Union as a State. After a stormy debate a compromise was proposed by Mr. Clay in the Senate, which, after a long discussion, was finally adopted. Under the provisions of this compromise California was admitted as a free State, territorial governments were framed for New Mexico and Utah without excluding slavery, but leaving its exclusion or admission to a popular vote of those residing in these territories. The boundary line of Texas was established, and the slave trade prohibited in the District of Columbia. A stringent law was also enacted for the arrest and return of fugitive slaves. This compromise was by no means satisfactory to the people of the South, nor was it quietly acquiesced in by their representatives in Congress. Ten of the senators from the Southern States, including Senators Mason and Hunter, of Virginia, Soulé, of Louisiana, and Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, published a protest against the admission of California after the vote was taken. The "Free-Soil" or abolition party at the North, appeared to be equally dissatisfied. In convention they denounced the concessions to Texas and

the refusal to prohibit slavery in New Mexico and Utah, and declared the fugitive slave law "unconstitutional, immoral and cruel." The excitement which these proceedings in Congress provoked in Washington city spread throughout the country. The manifest intention of the Free-Soil party to inaugurate a crusade against slavery, and the animus evidenced by their representatives in Congress, had caused the Legislature of South Carolina, at the session of 1849, to request the Governor to convene the Legislature, if not in session, in the event that any measure should be. passed by Congress containing the provisions of the Wilmot proviso.

Such was the condition of the public mind when the General Assembly of South Carolina convened on the 25th of November, 1850. At the opening of this session Governor Seabrook, in his message calling attention to these matters, uses the following language:

At my recommendation, and in pursuance of your own conceptions of duty, it was resolved, at your last session, that the Governor be requested to convene the Legislature, if not in session, should the Wilmot proviso or any kindred measure be passed by Congress. As the contingency to which the resolution had reference occurred in September, a profound respect for the Executive Department of the Government, and the honorable body by whose mandate I was called to fill it, induce me to say in general terms that public considerations of a grave and weighty character forbade me from acceding to the wish of the Legislature. Independent of the semi-official reasons for this refusal, which have been communicated to our fellow-citizens, there were others that, could they have been made generally known, would in my judgment have entirely appeased the public feeling. I am gratified in being enabled to assure you that the correctness of my decision has been almost unanimously sustained by the people.

The last meeting of the Congress of the United States was the most eventful and disturbing that has been held since the establishment of the Federal government. After many years of unwarrantable legislation by that body, a crisis has at length arisen in our federal relation affecting deeply and essentially the rights and interests of one-half the Union. Whether the endangered States should longer hold an equality of rank with their co-partners, and their citizens be prohibited from

enjoying all the advantages and privileges constitutionally guaranteed to both, were virtually the momentous, and to us humiliating, issues which the legislative branch of the central authority was engaged in considering for about nine of the ten months in which it was in session. The "compromise," ultimately adopted, I consider another triumph over the South by the fell spirit of abolitionism.

Although the mind of our community has not been prepared by public discussion, or perhaps private interchange of views on the subject, jet it is my deliberate opinion that the period has arrived for the removal from the State of every free colored person who is not the owner of real estate or slave property. This population is not only a non-productive class, but it is, and always has been, essentially corrupt and corrupting. Their longer residence among us, if the warfare between the North and South is to continue, will eventually generate evils very difficult of eradication. Possessing in an unlimited degree the right of locomotion, they can, in person, bear intelligence in a day from one section of the State to another, or through the post-office mature their own plans of villainy, as well as execute orders emanating from foreign sources. There is, indeed, too much reason to believe that at this moment they are made to occupy the situation of spies in our camp and to disseminate through the entire body of our slave population the poison of insubordination prepared in the great laboratory of Northern fanaticism.

The aggressive course of our Federal rulers, and the States and people of the North, had at an earlier period assumed so alarming an aspect that by invitation of Mississippi to the slave-holding States nine of their number assembled at Nashville in May last for consultation concerning the means of saving the Union by preserving inviolate the principles and guaranties of the Constitution. Over the deliberations of that august council, composed largely of the talent and patriotism of the land, the spirit of harmony presided. In demanding the protection of rights, jeopardized by the unfraternal acts of their own countrymen, they appealed to their sense of justice and the endearments of family association, the plain terms of the bond that united them, the ennobling and proud recollections of the past, and the glorious anticipations of the future. The result has shown that the authorities and people whom they addressed are, in feeling and sentiment, alien to us their political allies, and that the North have resolved on possessing the unlimited and permanent control of our civil institutions.

To operate on the fears of the minority section, and expose the supposed hopelessness of its condition, the President had voluntarily promulgated, in advance, his fixed determination to settle by the sword a disputed question between the general government and a sovereign member of the Union. In following the inglorious precedent established by one of his predecessors, the principle was maintained that State re

sistance to a congressional edict would by him be classed among the unreflecting acts of a mob, or the more deliberate opposition of a band of organized individuals to admitted lawful authority.

It is foreign to my purpose to speak elaborately of matters that have of late been so painfully brought to your notice. California created a State by Congress, was admitted into the confederacy against all precedent, and in violation of the laws and Constitution of the country. It was a premeditated insult and injury to the slave-holding States, and a wanton assault upon their honor. In the act abolishing the slave trade in the District of Columbia, the right of punishing the owner by manumitting his slaves is prominent among its provisions. By this bold and successful attempt to engraft abolitionism on the principles of our political system, a power has been assumed, which, by expansion, may yet clothe the entire federal community in the habiliments of mourning. These and other willful perversions of a high trust have virtually abrogated the powers necessary to the safety of the sovereignty of the States. The whole authority of the Federal government, granted and usurped, which is now concentrated in the will of an absolute and interested majority, is hereafter to be wielded for the exclusive benefit of the Northern or stronger interests. To its ambition and cupidity fifteen members of the Constitutional compact, by whose wealth the government is supported and our confederates enriched, are to be compelled Ignominiously to minister. In a word, the Congress of the United States is no longer to be the executor of the will of co-sovereign States, but of a party banded together by the two-fold incentive of sectional aggrandizement and public plunder. If the fundamental objects of our federative system have been designedly perverted, there is no remedy in the ordinary checks on power. The ballot-box is ineffectual, and the press powerless in its appeals to an oppressor deaf to entreaty, to argument and the admonitions of humanity and patriotism. In Federal council it is certain that the voice of the minority will never again be heeded. By a slow, cautious, but regular process, the rights of the people and the sovereignty of the Southern States will be curtailed until their total extinguishment is effected. By multiplying the number of free States, resisting all attempts to enlarge the area of the slave-holding community, and discriminating between the rights of Northern and Southern persons and property, another decade will not have passed before the general government will enforce edicts, greater in their results on human liberty and the progress of political enlightenment, than ever emanated from the worst forms of despotism. Before that period arrives, the existence of South Carolina as co-partner in a great commonwealth will have ceased. Merged in the limits of contiguous provinces, the truthful momorials of her history will lie scattered over her hills and valleys. On the printed page the

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