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nislied another ground of distrust: besides, it exhibited a spirit of monopoly altogether incompatible with that harmony and good will so essential in preserving the Union of the States; it created a distinction between slaveholding and non-slaveholding States—a distinction that loses none of its mischievous quality from the ability to trace it on the map of our country. Who that regards the union of the States, can contemplate the feelings which the agitation of this question excited, without emotion? And who, in reflecting upon it, is not strongly reminded of the admonition, of the Father of his Country, to 'frown with indignation upon the first dawnings of an attempt to array one portion of the inhabitants of this country against another'?
"And, after all, what has this question to do with the principle of slavery? Our ancestors brought this unfortunate race of beings into our country; they have multiplied to an alarming extent; they are the property of our fellow citizens, secured to them by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Their number forbids the idea of general emancipation. What, then, does policy require in relation to them? That we should prevent the increase by importation, by the most rigid execution of the severest penalties. This we are attempting; and I had the pleasure of voting for a law at the late session, inflicting the penalty of death on any one convicted of importing a slave into the United States. What does humanity demand? That we should confine them forever within the present limits of the slaveholding States, or suffer the master to emigrate with Ms slaves into western America, where, from the extent, the fertility and productions of the country, they must be more tenderly treated, better fed, and in all respects their condition ameliorated."
Extract from the speech of Mr. Holmes, of Massachusetts, on the Missouri bill—the same gentleman to whom Jefferson addressed his celebrated letter on the Missouri
"But this division, (upon the question of slave territory,) he says, is singularly unfortunate. It is the only subject in which the slaveholding States could be made to unite against the rest . Are the general interests of Delaware more united with those of Georgia than Pennsylvania? Are the interests of Ohio more coincident with Massachusetts than Kentucky? Sir, the hopes and prospects of the north and east are interwoven with the prosperity of the south and west; and yet we have armed ourselves against them all. It is not with them a question of policy, of political power, but of Safety, Peace, Existence. They consider it is hastening and provoking scenes of insurrection and massacre. Their jealousy and their sensibility are roused; and they demand what motive, what inducement, you have to this? They are answered, 'Humanity 1' In the name of humanity, desist. She asks no such sacrifices at her altar. Create jealousies, heartburnings, and hatred —set brother against brother—kindle the flames of civil discord—destroy the Union—and your liberties are gone. And then where will your slaves find the freedom which you have proffered them at the expense of your own?" ******
"New States may be admitted, and no difference is authorized. The authority is to admit or not, but not to prescribe conditions. What would be a fair construction of this? Surely not that Congress might hold a territory in a colonial condition as long as they choose, nor that they might admit a new State with less political rights than another, but that the admission should be as soon as the people needed, and were capable of supporting a Slate government."—National Intelligencer, Feb. 19, 1820.
Mr. J. Barbour, at that time a Senator in Congress from the State of Virginia, said:
"What, then, is your power? Simply whether you will admit or refuse. This is the limit of your power. And even this power is subject to control, whenever a Territory is sufficiently large, and its population sufficiently numerous, your discretion ceases, and the obligation becomes imperious that you forthwith admit; for I hold that, according to the spirit of the Constitution, the people thus circumstanced are entitled to the privilege of selfgovernment."—National Intelligencer, March 18, 1820.
OPINIONS OF MADISON, JEFFERSON AND HAKRISON.
Mr. Madison to President Monroe.—Extracts from a letter dated Montpelier, Feb. 23d, 1820.
"I Received yours of the 19th, on Monday. * * * * The pinch of the difficulty in the case stated, seems to be in words "forever," coupled with the interdict relating to the territory north of latitude 36° 30'. If the necessary import of these words be, that they are to operate as a condition on future States admitted into the Union, and as a restriction on them after admission, they seem to encounter, indirectly, the arguments which prevailed in the Senate for an unconditional admission of Missouri. I must conclude, therefore, from the assent of the Senate to the words, after the strong vote, on constitutional grounds, against the restriction on Missouri, that there is some other mode of explaining them in their actual application.
As to the right of Congress, to apply such a restriction during the territorial period, it depends on the clause especially providing for the management of those subordinate establishments.
On one side it naturally occurs, that the right being given from the necessity of the case, and in suspension of the great principle of self-government, ought not to be extended further, nor continued longer, than the occasion might fairly require.
On the other side, it cannot be denied that the constitutional phrase " to all rules," &c, as expounded by uniform practice, is somewhat of a ductile nature, and leaves much to legislative discretion. The question to be decided seems to be—
"1. Whether a territorial restriction be an assumption of illegitimate power; or,
"2. A misuse of legitimate power; and if the latter only, whether the injury threatened to the nation from an acquiescence in the misuse, or from a frustration of it, be the greater.
"On the first point, there is certainly room for difference of opinion ; though for myself, I must own that I have always leaned to the belief that the restriction was not within the true scope of the Constitution.
In reply to a letter from Mr. Monroe, on the Missouri question he said: "The question to be decided seem to be—
"1. Whether a territoral restriction be an assumption of illegitimate power ; or,
"2 A misuse of legitimate power; and if the latter only, whether the injury threatened to the nation from an acquiescence in the misuse, or from a frustration of it, be the greater.
"On the first point, there is certainly room for difference of opinion; though, for myself, I must own that I have always leaned in the belief that the restriction was not within the true scope of the Constitution.
"On the alternative presented by the second point, there can be no room, with the cool and candid, for blame in those acquiescing in a conciliatory course, the demand for which was deemed urgent, and the course itself deemed not irreconcilable with the Constitution.
"This is the hasty view I have taken of the subject. I am aware that I may be suspected of being influenced by the habit of a guarded construction of constitutional powers; and I have certainly felt all the influence that could justly