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and the Ohio must evacuate their States, and most fortunate those who can do it first."

And in this letter, after speculating on the probable consequence of the threatened disunion, he adds:

"Should the scission take place, one of its most deplorable consequences would be its discouragement of the efforts of European nations, in the regeneration of their oppressive and cannibal governments."

In a letter of the same date (20th of December) to the Marquis de Lafayette, he prophetically shadows forth, what we now see realized, with the same precision as if he were the historian of to-day.

"With us things are going well. The boisterous sea of liberty, indeed, is never without a wave; and that from Missouri is now rolling towards us. But we shall ride over it as we have done over all others. It is not a moral question, but one merely of power. Its object is to raise a geographical principle for the choice of a President, and the noise will be kept up till that is effected. All know that permitting the slaves of the South to spread into the West, will not add one being to that unfortunate condition; that it will increase the happiness of those existing, and by spreading them over a large surface will dilate the evil everywhere, and facilitate the means of getting finally rid of it."

So thought and so wrote Jefferson, on the question which divided and threatened us then, as it divides and threatens us now.

Mr. Jefferson was minister to France whilst the Convention sat which formed the Constitution; and Mr. Mason, at whose relation he recorded this scrap of history, was a member of that Convention, and it is dated at the family seat of the relator, (Gunston Hall,) some four years only after the event.

September 30th, 1792. "Ex relatione G. Mason. The Constitution, as agreed to, till a fortnight before the Convention rose, was such an one as he would have set his hand and heart to. 1. The President was to be elected for seven years, then ineligible for seven years more. 2. Rotation in the Senate. 3. A vote of two-thirds in the legislature on particular subjects, and expressly on that of navigation. The three New England States were constantly with us in all questions—(Rhode Island not there, and New York seldom.) So that it was these three States, with the five Southern ones, against Pennsylvania, Jersey, and Delaware With respect to the importation of slaves, it was left to Congress. This disturbed the two southernmost States, who knew that Congress would immediately suppress the importation of slaves. These two States, therefore, struck up a bargain with the three New England States: if they would join to admit slaves for some years, the two southernmost States would join in changing the clause which required two-thirds of the legislature in any vote. It was done. These articles were changed accordingly, and from that moment the two Southern States and the three Northern ones joined Pennsylvania, Jersey, and Delaware, and made the majority 8 to 3 against us, instead of 8 to 3 for us, as it had been through the whole Convention. Under this coalition, the great principles of the Constitution were changed in the last days of the Convention."


In a letter to Mr. Adams, dated January 22d, 1821, he says:

"Our anxieties in this quarter are all concentrated in the question, What does the Holy Alliance in and out of Congress mean to do with us on the Missouri question? And this, by the by, is but the name of the case, it is only the John Doe or Richard Roe of the ejectment. The real question, as seen in the States afflicted with this unfortunate population, is, Are our slaves to be presented with freedom and a dagger? For if Congress has the power to regulate the conditions of the inhabitants of the States, within the States, it will be but another exercise of that power to declare that all shall be free."

Again, in a letter to General Lafayette, dated November 4th, 1823, he uses the following striking language:

"On the eclipse of federalism with us, although not its extinction, its leaders got up the Missouri question, under the false front of lessening the measure of slavery, but with the real view of producing a geographical division of parties, which might insure them the next President. The people of the North went blindfold into the snare, followed their leaders for a while with a zeal truly moral and laudable, until they became sensible that they were injuring instead of aiding the real interests of the slaves; that they had been used merely as tools for electioneering purposes; and that trick of hypocrisy then fell as quickly as it had been got up."

General (afterwards President) Harrison to President Monroe.Extract of a Letter dated North Bend, June 16, 1823.

"In relation to the Missouri question, I am, and have been for many years, so much opposed to slavery, that I will never live in a State where it exists. But I believe that the Constitution has given no power to the General Government to interfere in this matter, and that to have slaves or no slaves, depends upon the will of the people in each State alone.

"Besides the constitutional objection, I am persuaded that the obvious tendency of such interferences on the part of the States which have no slaves with the property of their fellow citizens of the others, is to produce a state of discord and jealousy that will, in the end, prove fatal to the Union. I believe in no other State are such wild and dangerous sentiments entertained on this subject as in Ohio, and I claim the merit of being the only person of any political standing in the State who publicly oppose them."



{From Benton's Thirty Tears.)

It is of record proof that the anti-slavery clause in the Ordinance of 1787, could not be passed until the fugitive slave recovery clause was added to it. That anti-slavery clause, first prepared in the Congress of the Confederation by Mr. Jefferson, in 1784, was rejected, and remained rejected for three years, until 1787; when, receiving the additional clause for the recovery of fugitives, it was unanimously passed. This is clear proof that the first clause, that prohibiting slavery in the Northwest Territory, could not be obtained without the second, authorizing the recovery of slaves who should take refuge in that territory. It was a compromise between the slave States and the free States, unanimously agreed upon by both parties, and founded on a valuable consideration, one preventing the spread of slavery over a vast extent of country, the other retaining the right of property in the slaves which might flee to it. Simultaneously with the adoption of this article in the Ordinances, in 1787, was the formation of the Constitution of the United States, both formed at the same time in neighboring cities, and (it maybe said) by the same men. The Congress sat in New York, the Federal Convention in Philadelphia; and while the most active members of both were members of each, as Madison and Hamilton, yet, by constant interchange of opinion, the members of both bodies may be assumed to have worked together for a common object. The right to recover fugitive slaves went into the Constitution as it went into the Ordinance, simultaneously and unanimously; and it may be assumed upon the facts of the case, and all the evidence of the day, that the Constitution, no more than the Ordinance, could have been formed without the fugitive slave recovery clause contained in it. A right to recover slaves is not only authorized in the Constitution, but it is a right without which there would have been no Constitution, and also no anti-slavery Ordinance.

One of the early acts of Congress, as early as February, 1793, was a statute to carry into effect the clause in the Constitution for the reclamation of fugitives from justice and fugitives from labor; and that statute made by the men who made the Constitution, as interpreted by men who had a right to know its meaning. That act consisted of four sections, all brief and clear, and the first two applied exclusively to fugitives from justice. The third and fourth applied to fugitives from labor, embracing apprentices as well as slaves, and applying the same rights and remedies in each case: and of these two, the third alone contains the whole provisions for reclaiming the fugitive—the fourth merely containing penalties for the obstruction of that right. The third section, then, is the only one essential to the object of this chapter, and is in these words:

"That when a person held to labor in any of the United States, or in either of the territories on the northwest or south of Ohio, under the laws thereof, shall escape into any other of said States or territories, the person to whom such labor is due, his agent or attorney, is hereby empowered to seize or arrest such fugitive from labor, and to take him or her before any judge of the circuit or district courts of the United States, residing or being within the State, or before any magistrate of a county, city, or town corporate, wherein such seizure or arrest shall be made, and upon proof to the

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