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and upon that ground you cannot extend this restriction to Missouri.
You have imposed it upon the territory beyond the Ohio, but you have never applied it elsewhere. Tennessee, Vermont, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, have come into the Union without being required to submit to the condition inhibiting slavery; nay, whenever the Ordinance of H87 has been applied to any of these States, the operation of the 6th article has been suspended or destroyed.
According, then, to the uniform tenor of the precedent, let the States to be formed of the territory without the boundaries of the territory northwest of Ohio remain unrestricted, and in the enjoyment of the fullness of their rights.
Thus, it appears to me, the power you seek to assume is not found in the Constitution, or to be derived from precedent.
Shall, it, then, without any known process of generation, spring spontaneously from your councils, like the armed Minerva from the brain of Jupiter? The goddess, sir, although of wisdom, was also the inventress of war—and the power of your creation, although extensive in its dimensions, and ingenious in its organization, may produce the most terrible and deplorable effects.
Assure yourselves you have not authority to bind a State coming into the Union, with a single hair! If you have, you may rivet a chain upon every limb, a fetter upon every joint.
Where, then, I ask is the independence of your State governments? Do they not fall prostrate, debased, covered with sackloth and crowned with ashes, before the gigantic power of the Union? They will no longer, sir, resemble planets, moving in order around a solar centre, receiving and imparting lustre. They will dwindle to mere satellites, or, thrown from their orbits, they will wander "like stars condemned, the wrecks of worlds demolished!" ******
But, let gentlemen beware! Assume the Mississippi as the boundary. Say, that to the smiling Canaan beyond its waters no slave shall approach, and you give a new character to its inhabitants, totally distinct from that which shall belong to the people thronging on the east of your limits.
You implant diversity of pursuits, hostility of feeling, envy, hatred, and bitter reproaches, which
"Shall grow to clubs and naked swords,
If you remain inexorable; if you persist in refusing the humble, the decent, the reasonable prayer of Missouri, is there no danger that her resistance will rise in proportion to your oppression? Sir, the firebrand, which is even now cast into your society, will require blood—ay, and the blood of freemen—for its quenching. Your Union shall tremble, as under the force of an earthquake! While you incautiously pull down a constitutional barrier, you make way for the dark, and tumultuous, and overwhelming waters of desolation! If you "sow the wind, must you not reap the whirlwind?"
February 25. Mr. Scott, of Missouri, said: The powers given to Congress by the Constitution were few, express, limited, positive, and defined; the majority of them were to be found in the eighth section of that instrument, and consisted in the authority to levy taxes, borrow money, and regulate commerce; establish a uniform system of bankruptcy; to regulate the coin, punish counterfeiting, establish post-offices and post-roads, constitute courts, declare war, raise armies, maintain a navy, call forth the militia, organize and regulate them; to have exclusive jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, and their forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and to make all laws which should be necessary and proper to carry into effect the enumerated powers. Mr. S. could not discover that the authority to impose restrictions on States could be derived from any latitude of construction growing out of this section.
But the powers of Congress were not only enumerated and expressed in the Constitution; the tenth section was equally explicit in declaring of what attributes of sovereignty the States should be deprived ; no State was to enter into any treaty of alliance, grant letters of marque and reprisal, coin money, emit bills of credit, make anything but gold and silver a tender, pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, impair contracts, or grant titles of nobility; nor, without consent of Congress, lay imposts or duties on imports or exports, lay any duty on tonnage, keep troops or ships of war in time of peace, or make any agreement with any foreign power, or even with a sister State, or engage in war, unless actually invaded.
The States, then, were divested by the Constitution of no portion of sovereignty but those actually named and voluntarily surrendered; all other powers, and the residue of sovereignty, were inherent in, and expressly reserved to, the States aud the people.
The second clause of the third section of the fourth article provided that "Congress shall have power to dispose of, and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property of the United States."
The whole context of this article showed that it was as property, and not otherwise, that Congress were to make rules and regulations. Certainly the boldest advocate for restriction would not contend that Congress had any property in the persons of the citizens of Missouri, because they were circumstantially connected with a territory over which they had a limited control. Surely gentlemen would not undertake to advance the doctrine that Congress had any property in the confirmed lands of individuals, or in the lands purchased of the government and patented to the purchaser, and still less had Congress any property in the rights of the people.
And if Congress ever had the power contended for, while they owned the land, it would surely cease to exist so soon as they parted with the soil.
The sovereignty of Congress over the territory, as the lords paramount, was but temporary, and could only endure so long as they retained the soil; when that was disposed of, their sovereignty ceased also.
Yet, by virtue of this brief and temporary authority, limited in its extent, and short in its duration, Congress wera about to fix on Missouri a never-ending condition, that was to continue long after the authority on which it rested for existence, had passed away.
If, in consequence of owning the land, Congress possessed that description of sovereignty that would authorize them to legislate in regard to the property of the citizens of a Territory or a State, or to dictate what kind of property the citizens should introduce and hold, then might they at this day undertake to regulate the affairs of the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama; and their right to impose restrictions on each of them, similar to that contemplated in regard to Missouri, would be equally as unquestionable.
The whole amount of the authority Congress could claim under this clause of the Constitution, was, to make rules and regulations for the surveying and disposing of the public lands, to regulate the quantities in which it should-be sold, the price, and the credit.
But this power was limited in its operation to the property alone, and by no construction could be extended to the rights of the citizens inhabiting the territory. Congress had no power over the right or property of the citizen, but, in certain cases, to levy taxes; and this authority was one of those expressly conferred by the Constitution, and was not alone supported by inference.
* * * * * *
To ascertain what powers Congress had under the Constitution, which was ratified on the 17th of September 1787, resort was made to an ordinance of the 13th of July, 1787, several months, in date, prior to the Constitution of the United States.
The ordinance was passed by the old Congress, under the Articles of Confederation.
The adoption of the federal Constitution was the formation of a new government, and an abolition of the old; and yet, an ordinance passed by the former government was brought up in judgment to define and expound the powers of Congress under a new and totally different government— under a new Constitution, and new organization.
Gentlemen had contended that Congress had revived and ratified the ordinance in the act of 1802, relating to Ohio; the act of 1816, relating to Indiana; and the act of 1818, in reference to Illinois; these being the acts by which Congress authorized those States to form a Constitution and State government.
But, were he to surrender this part of the argument to gentlemen, could it possibly be deduced, that, because Congress had revived the ordinance in reference to any one or all those States, that, by that revival, it would have any operation beyond the State actually named, and to which it was applied. Nor, had the question ever been made, by any of those States, which Missouri now made, how far Congress had the power to impose the provisions of that ordinance over a State; they had taken it as a matter of course because it comported with their wishes and their will.
Missouri did not intend so to take it, because it neither promoted her interest, nor complied with her wishes or her