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In 1844, the statesmen of
believed that they had only to watch their opportunit,
the mails, and postmasters were made the judges of their incendiary less resolute executive, put forth their demands, acom
character; for years respectable newspapers, published in New York, 2 with threats, and they would be granted. In the nert
were not permitted to reach subscribers in the Southern States by ne experiment was tried more than once, and always Fila
mail. Colored seamen, citizens of Massachusetts, were, under State
laws, seized and kept in jail at Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans, of the Government at the adoption of the Constitutesa
while their vessels were in port, and occasionally sold to pay the jail years after, bad been to repress slavery. It was le
fees; and when that State sent an agent, one of her most distinguished Eramers of the Constitution that it would die out in a fer
and honored citizens, to South Carolina, to test the constitutionality of of them regarded such a result as one to be destes
these laws, he was treated with great indignity, and threatened with ation of the cotton-gin gave such an impulse to the cu
being mobbed unless he left the State within twenty-four hours. tton, and the rapid extension of the cotton manufacture
A citizen of Kentucky, of one of her most eminent families, who dared profitable and important a crop, that the demand fit?
10 advocate gradual emancipation, and set the example by freeing his vate it increased beyond the supply, and the price ced. But the system of cultivation by slave labor wore
saves, was set upon by assassins, and though he defended himself of the cotton planters in a few years, and they were con
1. great bravery, was wounded nigh unto death ; and when subse
quently he established a paper to set forth his views, his press was to new lands in order to obtain good crops. This, ade
destroyed and his type thrown into the Ohio River, and his life threatBecure to their section the political ascendancy in the tovernment, led the statesmen of the South to seek code
The support of Northern men was demanded for whatever meas
vere deemed necessary to maintain and strengthen slavery; and addition of new territory which could be made 250
any reluctance was shown, the threat to dissolve the Union, unless
Southern demands were granted, was always ready. jad great weight in inducing the purchase of Lons hout warrant froin the Constitution; in the parente
*, the statesmen of the South saw an opportunity of mate
mcreasing the area of slave territory by the annexatio Spain in 1819; and in the struggle for the adnika
Texas, which wonia viva Slave State in 1820, in which, as we have seen, log
were otherwise likely to lose in the next decade.
them the preponderance in Congress which then President hem
John Tyler, President by the death of General Harrison, was favor rease of slavery, however, there had been gradina the minds of the people of the non-slapen
annexation was consummated, with a proviso
ug four more States to be set off from f the system, and about the time of the pollincair
its territory wher
u be sufficient, to be Slave or Free States, as their ineling began to find public expression in newspaper E first the interests of the great body of the
u elect. This annexation led to the war with Mexico, ially the manufacturing, mercantile, and comm
very popular in the South, from the belief that it would ully identified with the South, that they were
crease the territory to be devoted to slavery. When
sed, and California. Utab, and New Mexico were anaea te any condemnation of slavery; and many of ten
w the discovery of gold sent a vast body of emit or spoke against it were mobbed and maltreated,
california, who soon claimed its admission to the Unio lers were enraged at the agitation of the subiet is some reason to fear that their slaves might let?
appointed and vexed.
onstitution, the Southern leaders were greatly
They opposed its ad those who desired their freedom, and tou a insurrection; there was more reason to
i consented after a further compromise, by which a
Dellin resave law, denying the fugitive a trial by jury, and com: to slavery assumed an organized form,
en18, under a penalty of one thousand dollars' fine, ana their power in the Government, and, sino population much more rapidly than the
* year's imprisonment, to aid in the surrender of an
was p:issed, and the Government was required to pay amation of their plans for the extension
um of ten millions of dollars (in addition to the prem control of the national administration.
of her debts), for the Gadsden tract, a barren, ed measures of severe repression whenever
trip of land, to which her claim was, to say the oppose or condemn the institution. The
matter of wonder that some of the Northern States ed; an attempt was made to expel John
surrender of fugitive slaves had always been a
should have been provoked by the passage of dificult of
the enactment of such State laws as should anti-slavery pamphlets or papers passing wrong
secution, and only capable of enforcement in cases
their purpose. The annexation was con
violence, and only consented after
It is not a matter of
Congress on any subject connected with emates
esident of the United States, from the House a offering such a petition; laws were passed
the passage of this fugitive te laws as should render it
there was no possibility of question of the status of the alleged fugitive. Some of the States passed “personal liberty bills," securing a jury trial before surrender, forbidding the use of the county jails or other prisons for the detention of fugitives, &c. Some of these laws probably conflicted with the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, and thus were void; but others kept within the letter of that instrument. In several of the States they were repealed, as a conciliatory measure, in 1861.
Thwarted in their expectation of adding territory for new Slave States by the Mexican war, the leaders of the Southern party turned their attention in a new direction. In the heart of the continent lay a broad tract of excellent land, directly west of Missouri, but all of it above the parallel of 36° 30'. Toward this rich and fertile region the attention of emigrants was now directed, as one of the most desirable for agricultural purposes. It was proposed to erect it into two teritorries, Kansas and Nebraska. By the terms of the Missouri compromise, it must be free territory, but the South had already realized all it could hope for of protit from that compromise; Missouri, Arkansas, and Florida had all been admitted as Slave States; and they had also acquired Texas, which would in time, they hoped, make four more Slave States. The North had received five free States, Maine, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, and California; and two more, Minnesota and Oregon, would, before long, ask for admission. The advantage was yet, apparently, on the Southern side; but they were resolved to have Kansas also, and therefore the Missouri Compromise must be repealed. Alexander H. Stephens, then a member of Congress from Georgia, and subsequently Vice-President of the “Southern Confederacy,” was selected to engineer the repeal, and thus to throw open the whole of the territories to slavery, and he did it with great adroitness. He caused the proposition for repeal both in the Senate and in the House to emanate from Northern men
-Mr. Douglas, of Illinois, bringing in a bill to that effect in the Senate, and Mr. Richardson, of the same State, in the House. After a long and exciting discussion the measure was forced through, and received the sanction of President Pierce, in 1854. The pretext for thus violating a solemn compact, which, in the North at least, bad acquired the binding efficacy of a constitutional provision, was that it was a violation of the Constitution. It is a curious exemplification of the growing arrogance of the slave power that a compromise which had proved satisfactory to Southern leaders in 1820, should, thirty-four years later, be scouted with scorn by some of these very men.
A case of considerable interest, in relation to an alleged fugitive slave named Dred Scott, coming before the Supreme Court of the United States about this time, the chief-justice, Roger B. Tapey, took occasion, after rendering his opinion in the case, to declare that negroes could not be citizens of the United States, and to promulgate the doctrine “ that they had no rights which a white man was bound to respect." He also gave it as his individual opinion that the slaveholder had a right to take and hold his slaves in any of the
ise mured to hayet appar would, besin, and had recently they h.
ty of question of the status of the alleged fugi-
th the provisions of the Constitution of the
xpectation of adding territory for new Slave war, the leaders of the Southern party turned w direction. In the heart of the continent lay nt land, directly west of Missouri, but all of it 36° 30'. Toward this rich and fertile region cants was now directed, as one of the most al purposes. It was proposed to erect it into and Nebraska. By the terms of the Missouri e free territory, but the South had already pe for of profit from that compromise ; Mislorida had all been admitted as Slave States; ired Texas, which would in time, they hoped, States. The North had received five free , Iowa, Wisconsin, and California; and two
Territories. A part of the associate justices of the Supreme Co coincided in this opinion, but others, and among them Justices McLe and Curtis, dissented.
The obstacle to making Kansas a Slave State, which had be interposed by the Missouri Compromise, having now been remove fireat efforts were made to send slaveholding emigrants thither, a to secure its admission with a slave Constitution. This was foun however, a matter of greater difficulty than had been at first expecte In Massachusetts and New York, Kansas Aid Societies had be organized, with branches throughout most of the Northern State by which funds were raised, land purchased, steam saw and flourir. mills set up, hotels and dwelling-houses erected, and emigrants fu nished with the means of removal to Kansas, and necessary assistanc after their arrival, to maintain free institutions and oppose the estal lishment of slavery. The Southern emigrants, aided by organize bands of lawless Missourians, known as “border ruffians," prominen among whom was David Atchison, formerly United States Senato from Missouri, soon came in collision with the Northern settlers and sought in many instances to drive them from their settlements Serious outrages, robbery, and often bloodshed, were the results Arms were sent from the Eastern States to the Northern emigrants and in several instances bloody battles were fought. The United States Government interposed, but without much effect, its policy being vacillating and uncertain. After about three years of anarchy, and disturbance, the border ruffians found the Northern settlers too strong for them, and left the Territory. The settlers met in convention repeatedly, and adopted a State Constitution; but on one pretext or another they were refused admission into the Union until the second session of the thirty-sixth Congress (1860–61).
Foiled in this attempt to increase the area of slave territory, the Southern leaders turned their attention to regions outside of the United States. The annexation of Cuba, peaceably or by force, had long been one of their favorite schemes, which Mr. Buchanan did all in his power to accomplish by purchase; but the decided refusal of Spain to listen to any proposition for parting with it put an end to that negotiation. The possession of Nicaragua, or some other of the Central American States, to be accomplished by an armed irruption and revolution, was another measure looking to the same end. An adventurer, named William Walker, fitted out several successive expeditions from Southern ports for this purpose, and prominent men in the South aided him with money and men, while the Government made some feeble efforts to prevent the departure of the piratical expeditions. These enterprises failed, and, at the last, Walker was taken prisoner and executed by the Costa Rican Government.
One of the results of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and of those desperate attempts to seize upon Kansas, and to acquire new regions to devote to slavery, was the organization of the Republican party, whose motto was, “No more slave territory.” This party origipated in the autumn of 1855, and in 1856 nominated John C. Fremont for the Presidency. The Democratic party in the same campaign nom
regon, would, before long, ask for admission.
apparently, on the Southern side; but they Kansas also, and therefore the Missouri Comed. Alexander H. Stephens, then a member gia, and subsequently Vice-President of the ” was selected to engineer the repeal, and whole of the territories to slarery, and he tness. He caused the proposition for repeal
in the House to emanate from Northern men ois, bringing in a bill to that effect in the son, of the same State, in the House. After cussion the measure was forced through, and
President Pierce, in 1854. The pretext for compact, which, in the North at least, had cacy of a constitutional provision, was that Constitution. It is a curious exemplification
ace of the slave power that a compromise
interest, in relation to an alleged fugitive
coming before the Supreme Court of the s time, the chief-justice, Roger B. Taper, ering his opinion in the case, to declare that zens of the United States, and to promuk hey had no rights which a white man was Iso gave it as his individual opinion that
tre and hold his slaves in any of the
inated James Buchanan. The contest was a very bitter one, but resulted in Mr. Buchanan's election. At one time the result was regarded as doubtful, and preparations were made by the political leaders in Virginia and South Carolina, as well as in some of the other Southern States, for precipitating the secession of their several States in the event of Mr. Fremont's election.
Buchanan. The contest was a very bitter one, but : ucbanan's election. At one time the result was regret od preparations were made by the political leaders a South Carolina, as well as in some of the other Searches
cipitating the secession of their several States 12 remont's election.
HISTORY OF THE GREAT REBELLION.
Secession determined upon by Southern Leaders.--Treachery of Cabinet Officers.
Mr. BUCHANAN was inaugurated President March 4th, 1857; and it was not long before the leaders of the South began to discover that all their schemes for the extension of the area of slavery were destined to prove futile. Kansas, amid strife and bloodshed, was struggling on toward the position of a Free State, and was certain in the end to secure it; Cuba could neither be bought nor conquered, and Walker's expeditions not only lacked respectability, but were unsuccessful. There was then no resource for them but to attempt the desperate measure which their great Southern statesman had advised thirty years before—SRCESSION. They might reasonably hope to carry with them, they believed, a portion of the Northwest, to which the navigation of the Mississippi was indispensable; and the great States of Pennsyltania and New York bad such large commercial interests in slavery, that little doubt was entertained that they too would unite with the South. New England, Northern New York, the northern portions of Obuo, Indiana, and Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota they did not care for.
In order to accomplish this change several things were necessary. The minds of the prominent men in the South must be prepared for it, without creating excitement or apprehension on the part of the North. Top Lluis purpose a secret society, the “ Knights of the Golden Circle » karing for its primary object the extension and defence of slavery, was organized, and several degrees, as in the Masonic order, were open to the aspirant for high rank’in it. To the initiated of the highest rank Only was the wholă plot revealed, and the others, with but an imperfect Mea of its purposes, were employed to further its designs. Among the otticers and members of the higher degrees of the order were, it was said, cabinet and other officers of the Government, and prominent cititus of all the Southern and of some of the Northern States.
The conspirators also sought to procure arms and money in aid of