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JOHN W. TAYLOR FOR RESTRICTION
did not gain a single Southern vote cising it. And here I might rest satisfied
n with reminding my opponents of their own for the policy of Restriction when
declarations on the subject of Slavery. How the bill to organize Arkansas Terri often and how eloquently have they deplored tory was under consideration; where its existence among them! What willing
ness, nay, what solicitude, have they not on Mr. Walker, of North Carolina,
manifested to be relieved from this burden! in opposing that policy, gravely, and How have they wept over the unfortunate without the least suspicion of irony,
policy which first introduced slaves into
this country! How have they disclaimed observed: “Let it not be forgotten | the guilt and shame of that original sin, and that we are legislating in a free thrown it back upon their ancestors! I
have with pleasure heard these avowals of country, and for a free people.”
regret, and confided in their sincerity; I Yet the champions of Restriction, have hoped to see its effects in the advancethough less agile and skillful of fence
ment of the cause of Humanity. Gentlemen
have now an opportunity of putting their than their opponents, were by no
principles into practice. If they have tried means worsted in the argument. Slavery and found it a curse if they desire Here is a specimen of their logic,
to dissipate the gloom with which it covers
their land—I call upon them to exclude it from the speech of John W. Taylor :11 from the Territory in question; plant not its “Gentlemen have said the amendment is
seeds in this uncorrupt soil ; let not our
children, looking back to the proceedings of in violation of the treaty, because it impairs this day, say of them, as they have been the property of a master in his slave. Is it |
constrained to speak of their fathers, “We then pretended that, notwithstanding the
wish their decision had been different; we declaration in our bill of rights that all
regret the existence of this unfortunate popumen are created equal,' one individual can
lation among us; but we found them here; have a vested property, not only in the flesh
we know not what to do with them; it is and blood of his fellow-man, but also in
our misfortune; we must bear it with pagenerations not yet called into existence ?
tience.' Can it be believed that the supreme legisla
“History will record the decision of this ture has no power to provide rules and regu
day as exerting its influence for centuries to lations for meliorating the condition of fu
come over the population of half 'our contiture ages? And this, too, when the Consti
nent. If we reject the amendment, and suftution itself has vested in Congress full
fer this evil, now easily eradicated, to strike sovereignty, by authorizing the enactment
its roots so deep into the soil that it can of whatever law it may deem conducive to
never be removed, shall we not furnish some the welfare of the country ? The sovereign
apology for doubting our sincerity when we ty of Congress in relation to the States is
deplore its existence? Shall we not expose limited by specific grants, but in regard to
ourselves to the same kind of censure which the Territories it is unlimited. Missouri
was pronounced by the Saviour of mankind was purchased with our money; and, until
on the Scribes and Pharisees, who builded incorporated into the family of States, it may
the tombs of the prophets, and garnished be sold for money. Can it, then, be main
the sepulchres of the righteous, and said, if tained that, though we have the power to dispose of the whole Territory, we have no
they had lived in the days of their fathers,
they would not have been partakers with right to provide against the further increase
them in the blood of the prophets, while of Slavery within its limits? That, although
they manifested a spirit which clearly we may change the political relations of its free citizens by transferring their country to
proved them the legitimate descendants of a foreign power, we cannot provide for the
those who killed the prophets, and thus gradual abolition of Slavery within its limits,
filled up the measure of their fathers' ininor establish those civil regulations which
quities » naturally flow from self-evident truth? No,
The Legislatures of New York, Sir; it cannot: the practice of nations, and the cominon sense of mankind have long
New Jersey, and Pennsylvania unani. since decided these questions.
mously adopted and transmitted re“Having proved, as I apprehend, our
solves in favor of the proposed Reright to legislate in the manner proposed, I proceed to illustrate the propriety of exer- striction; and like resolves were
11 February 15, 1819.
adopted by the Legislature of the as a market for slaves, the Government will Slave State of Delaware. A frank
seem to become a party to a traffic which,
in so many acts, through so many years, it and forcible memorial from inhabit has denounced as impolitic, unchristian, ants of Boston and its vicinity,
inhuman. To enact laws to punish the traf
fic, and at the same time to tempt cupidity drafted by Daniel Webster, 12 and
and avarice by the allurements of an insatiasigned by the principal citizens of all ble market, is inconsistent and irreconcilable. parties, asserted the complete author
Government, by such a course, would only
defeat its own purposes, and render nugaity of Congress over the subject, and tory its own measures. . Nor can the laws demanded Restriction on those derive support from the manners of the peo
ple, if the power of moral sentiment be
weakened by enjoying, under the permission justice, with which thoughtful read- of Government, great facilities to commit ers are by this time abundantly fa
offenses. The laws of the United States
have denounced heavy penalties against the miliar. The following extract from
traffic in slaves, because such traffic is this memorial is eminently worthy deemed unjust and inhuman. We appeal to
the spirit of these laws. We appeal to of its author:
this justice and humanity. We ask whether “Your memorialists were not without the they ought not to operate, on the present hope that the time had at length arrived occasion, with all their force? We have a when the inconvenience and danger of this strong feeling of the injustice of any toleradescription of population had become appa- tion of Slavery. Circumstances have entailed rent in all parts of this country and in all it on a portion of our community, which parts of the civilized world. 1 It might have cannot be immediately relieved of it without been hoped that the new States themselves consequences more injurious than the sufferwould have had such a view of their own / ing of the evil. But to permit it in a new permanent interests and prosperity as would country, where, as yet, no habits are formed have led them to prohibit its extension and which render it indispensable, what is it, increase. The wonderful growth and pros- but to encourage that rapacity, and fraud, perity of the States north of the Ohio are and violence, against which we have so long unquestionably to be ascribed, in a great | pointed the denunciations of our penal code? measure, to the consequences of the Ordi- | What is it, but to tarnish the proud fame of nance of 1787; and few, indeed, are: the the country? What is it, but to throw susoccasions in the history of nations, in which picion on its good faith, and to render ques
tionable all its professions of regard for the benefit of future generations, as was done rights of Humanity and the liberties of manby that Ordinance, and as may now be done | kind ? by the Congress of the United States. We | “As inhabitants of a free country--as appeal to the justice and to the wisdom of | citizens of a great and rising Republic-as the National Councils to prevent the further members of a Christian community-as liv
appeal to those who look forward to the feeling ourselves called upon, by the dictates remote consequences of their measures, and of religion and humanity, we have presumed who cannot balance a temporary or trifling to offer our sentiments to Congress on this inconvenience, if there were such, against a question, with a solicitude for the event far bepermanent, growing, and desolating evil. We yond wbat a common occasion could inspire." cannot forbear to remind the two Houses of Congress that the early and decisive mea | The House Committee, of course, sures adopted by the American Government for the abolition of the Slave-Trade, are
reported the bill without restriction, among the proudest memorials of our and it came up as a special order. 13 nation's glory. That Slavery was ever
Mr. Taylor moved its postponement tolerated in the Republic is, as yet, to be attributed to the policy of another Govern for a week, which was voted downment. No imputation, thus far, rests on any Yeas 87; Nays 88. It was considerportion of the American Confederacy. The Missouri Territory is a new country. If its
ed in: Committee the next day, 14 as extensive and fertile fields shall be opened also off the 28th, and 30th, and thence
12 Then a recent emigrant to Massachusetts 13 January 24, 1820. from the neighboring State of New Hampshire. | 14 Missouri impatiently awaited admission.
THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE.
debated daily, until the 19th of Feb- of the State contemplated by this act, Slaveruary, when a bill came down from 11 como dorren from ry and involuntary servitude, otherwise than
in the punishment of crime, whereof the the Senate “to admit the State of
party shall have been duly convicted, shall Maine into the Union," with a rider, be and is hereby forever prohibited. Pro
vided always, That any person escaping into authorizing the people of Missouri to
the same, from whom labor or service is form a State Constitution, etc.--the lawfully claimed in any State or Territory connection being intended to force
of the United States, such fugitive may be
lawfully reclaimed and conveyed to the perthe Missouri measure through the
son claiming his or her labor or service as House upon the strength of the other aforesaid.” proposition.
The Senate adopted this proposiThe Maine bill had passed the tion by 34 Yeas to 10 Nays, and House weeks before, without serious passed the Missouri bill, thus amendopposition. Reaching the Senate, it ed, by 24 Yeas to 20 Nays-the miwas sent to its Judiciary Committee, nority embracing both advocates and which appended to it the provision opponents of Restriction. The House for organizing Missouri. An attempt at first rejected Mr. Thomas's amendto shake this off was defeated by 25 ment by the overwhelming vote of Nays to 18 Yeas, and the bill re- 159 Yeas to 18 Nays. The Senate turned to the House accordingly. refused to recede from its amendThe House refused to concur by the ments, and the House decisively indecisive vote of 93 to 72-only four sisted on its disagreement to them; members from the Free States voting whereupon the Senate asked a conin the minority. The House further ference, and the House granted it disagreed, by the strong vote of 102 without a division. The Committee to 68, to the Senate's amendment of Conference was framed so as to striking the Restriction out of the given the anti-Restrictionists a decidMissouri bill. Hereupon, what is ed preponderance; and John Holmes, known in history as the Missouri of Massachusetts, reported from said Compromise was concocted. It was committee, that the Senate should the work, not of the advocates, but give up its combination of Missouri of the opponents, of Slavery Restric- with Maine; that the House should tion, intended solely to win votes abandon its attempt to restrict Slaveenough from the majority in the ry in Missouri; and that both Houses House to secure the admission of should concur in passing the bill to Missouri as a Slave State. It was admit Missouri as a State, with Mr. first proposed in the Senate by Mr. | Thomas's restriction or proviso, excludThomas, of Illinois—a uniform oppo- ing Slavery from all Territory North nent of Restriction on Missouri-and and West of the new State. Fourintroduced by him in this shape: teen members, in all, from the Free " And be it further enacted, That in all
States 16 voted to adopt this Comthat Territory ceded by France to the United
promise, with 76 from the Slave States, under the name of Louisiana, which States, making 90 in all; while 87 lies north of thirty-six degrees thirty min
members from the Free States, and utes north latitude, excepting only such part thereof as is included within the limits none from the Slave States, voted
14 February 17, 1820. 15 March 2, 1820.
the 'Free States, thus voting with the Anti-Restrictionists, are as follows:
against the Compromise. So the bill citizens in every State. Her admispassed both Houses, as did that for sion was at first voted down in the the admission of Maine on the same House by 93 Nays to 79 Yeas; but, day.
finally, a fresh Compromise, concoctThis virtually ended the Missouri ed by a select Joint Committee, struggle ;!? though, at the next Ses- whereof Mr. Clay was chairman, sion, when Missouri presented herself was adopted. By this Compromise, for admission as a State, with a Con- Missouri was required to pledge herstitution denying to her Legislature self that no act should be passed by any power to emancipate slaves or to her Legislature, “ by which any of the prevent their immigration, and re- citizens of either of the States should quiring said Legislature to pass laws be excluded from the enjoyment of to prevent the immigration of free the privileges and immunities to negroes or mulattoes at any time or which they are entitled under the under any circumstances, the North Constitution of the United States." ern members for the moment revolt With this added as a proviso, the ed. They keenly felt that this was joint resolve admitting Missouri finalnot the “liberty” and “equality" ly passed the House by 86 Yeas to which had been so stoutly demanded 82 Nays; and the Senate concurred 19 and eulogized by the opponents of by 26 Yeas to 15 Nays. Missouri, Slavery Restriction; and they further through her legislature, complied objected that this arbitrary and irre- with the condition, and thereby bevocable prohibition of free colored came an admitted State. And thus immigration was in palpable viola- closed the memorable Missouri contion of that clause of the Federal troversy, which had for two years disConstitution which guarantees to we turbed the harmony, and threatened
the peace of the Union. 20
MASSACHUSETTS.—Mark Langdon Hill, John language as this? All things considered, we Holmes, Jonathan Mason, Henry Shaw--4. RHODE ISLAND.-Samuel Eddy-1.
to rest where it is, as the lesser evil; but, if ConCONNECTICUT.--Samuel A. Foot, James Ste gress pleases to take it up again, and refuses to
admit the Territory under the Constitution which NEW YORK.-Henry Meigs, Henry R. Storrs 2. | its Convention has formed, and is without power
NEW JERSEY.-Joseph Bloomfield, Charles to enforce its determination, it is high time, inKinsey, Bernard Smith—3.
deed, that a new organization of affairs should PENNSYLVANIA.-Henry Baldwin, David Ful- take place."—Niles' Register, August 26, 1820, lerton-2.
vol. xviii., p. 451. 17 Some idea of the state of feeling in Missouri,
18 Colonel William H. Russell, of Missouri, a as well as of that in some of the original States,
distant relative and life-long friend of Mr. Clay, at this period of the Missouri struggle, may be
in a letter (1862) to Hon. James S. Rollins, M. gathered from the following extract:
C., from his State, says that Mr. Scott, the Dele"IMPRUDENCE-OR WORSE.—The St. Louis En
gate from Missouri at the time of her admission, quirer, intimating that the Restrictionists intend to renew their designs at the next session of
told him that Mr. Clay, at the close of the strugCongress, says Missouri will then appear as gle, said to him: “Now, go home, and prepare a sovereign State, according to the law of Con- your State for gradual Emancipation.” gress, and not as a Territorial orphan;' that
19 February 27, 1821. her people will, in that case, 'give fresh proof to the world that they know their rights, and 20 Even John Adams's faith in the Union was are able to defend them.' What signifies such / somewhat shaken in this stormy passage of its history. In a letter to Thomas Jefferson, De- ion and control of the Congress. No State shall, cember 18, 1819, he said:
So long as the people of any State , ed to the fact, that the very prëamwithheld their assent from the Fed- ble to this instrument proclaimed it eral Constitution, it was represented the work of “the people of the Uniand reprobated by its adversaries as ted States," and not a mere alliance a scheme of absolute and undis- or pact between the States themguised consolidation. They pointed selves in their capacity of separate to its sweeping provisions, whereby and sovereign political communities. all power with regard to war, to Patrick Henry urged this latter obtreaties, and to diplomatic or commer- jection with much force in the Vircial intercourse with foreign nations, ginia ratifying Convention. These to the currency, to naturalization, to cavilers were answered, frankly and the support of armies, etc., etc., was firmly: “It is the work of the people expressly withdrawn from the States of the United States,' as distinguished and concentrated in the Federal from the States in their primary and Government,' as proof irresistible of sovereign capacity; and why should the correctness of their position. The not the fact be truly stated ?" Genexpress inhibition of any alliance, eral Washington did not hesitate to compact, or treaty between two or assert, in his plain, earnest, practical more of the States, was even more way, that the end sought by the new conclusive on this head. They point framework was the "consolidation of
without the consent of Congress, lay any duty “The Missouri question, I hope, will follow
on tonnage, keep troops or ships of war in time the other waves under the ship, and do no
of peace, enter into any agreement or compact harm. I know it is high treason to express a
with another State or with a foreign power, or doubt of the perpetual duration of our vast
engage in war unless actually invaded, or in such American empire, and our free institutions; and
imminent danger as will not admit of delay." I say as devoutly as father Paul, esto perpetua : 1
The Constitution, Art. I., sec. 10. and I am sometimes Cassandra enough to dream 2 In the Virginia Convention (Wednesday, that another Hamilton, another Burr, may rend
June 4, 1788, and the day-following) Mr. Henry this mighty fabric in twain, or perhaps into a leash, and a few more choice spirits of the same
spoke as follows: stamp might produce as many nations in North “That this is a consolidated government is America as there are in Europe."— Adams's demonstrably clear; and the danger of such a Works, vol. x., p. 386.
government is, to my mind, very striking. I 1“1. No State shall enter into any treaty, or have the highest veneration for those gentleconfederation; grant letters of marque or repri men [who formed the Constitution]; butSir, sal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make any give me leave to demand, What right had they thing but gold and silver coin a tender in pay to say, We, the people? My political curiosity, ment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex exclusive of my anxious solicitude for the public post-facto law, or law impairing the obligation welfare, leads me to ask, Who authorized them of contracts; or grant any title of nobility. to say, We, the people, instead of We, the States ?
62. No State shall, without the consent of States are the characteristics and the soul of a the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on im- | confederation. If the States be not the agents ports or exports, except what may be absolutely of this compact, it must be one great, consolidanecessary for executing its inspection laws; and ted, national government, of the people of all the net produce of all duties and imposts laid by the States. * * * I need not take much pains any State on imports or exports, shall be for to show that the principles of this system are the use of the treasury of the United States; extremely pernicious, impolitic, and dangerous." and all such laws shall be subject to the revis- | --Elliot's Debates, vol. iii., pp. 22, 44.