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negro, which seems to be insuperable. It is to be remembered that citizenship as well as freedom is a constitutional qualification; and how it could be conferred so as to overbear the laws imposing countless disabilities on him in other States, is a problem of difficult solution. In this aspect the question becomes one not of intention, but of power; and of power so doubtful as to forbid the exercise of it. Every man must lament the necessity of these disabilities; but slavery is to be dealt with by those whose existence depends on the skill with which it is treated. Considerations oi mere humanity, however, belong to a class with which, a» judges, we have nothing to do; and interpreting the Constitution in the spirit of our institutions, we are bound ta pronounce that men of color are destitute of title to the elective franchise. Their blood, however, may become so diluted in successive descents as to lose its distinctive character, and then both policy and justice require that previous disabilities should cease. By the amended Constitution of North Carolina, no free negro, mulatto, or free person of mixed blood, descended from negro ancestors, to the fourth generation inclusive, though one ancestor of each generation may have been a white person, shall vote for members of the legislature.
I regret to say, no similar regulation for practical purposes has been attempted here, in consequence of which every case of disputed color must be determined by no particular rule, but by the discretion of the judges, and thus » great constitutional right, even under the proposed amendments of the Constitution, will be left a sport of caprice. In conclusion, we are of opinion the court erred in directing that the plaintiff could have his action against the defendant for the rejection of his vote.
Extract from the opinion of Judge Story.
The Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Prigg vs. the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 16th Peters' Rep., wherein Judge Story, in delivering the opinion of the court, says:
"It is historically well known that the clause in the Constitution of the United States, relating to persons owing servico and labor in one State escaping into other States, was to secure to the citizens of the slaveholding States the complete right and title of ownership in their slaves, as property, in every State in the Union into which they might escape from the State where they were held in servitude. The full recognition of this right and title was indispensable to the security of this species of property in all the slaveholding States; and, indeed, was so vital to the preservation of their domestic interests and institutions, that it cannot be doubted that it is constituted a fundamental article, withont the adoption of which the Union could not have been formed. Its true design was to guard against the doctrines and principles prevailing in the non-slaveholding States, by preventing them from intermeddling with, or obstructing, or abolishing the rights of the owners of slaves. ******
"The clause in the Constitution of the United States, relating to fugitives from labor, manifestly contemplates the existence of a positive, unqualified right on the part of the owner of the slave, which no State law or regulation can in any way qualify, regulate, control, or restrain. * * * * * .* *
"The owner of a fugitive slave has the same right to seize, and to take him in a State to which he has escaped or fled that he had in the State from which he escaped; and it is well known that this right to seize or recapture is universally acknowledged in all the slaveholding States. The court have not the slightest hesitation in holding, that under and in virtue of the Constitution, the owner of the slave is clothed with authority in every State of the Union to seize and recapture his slave, wherever he can do it without any breach of the peace, or illegal violence. * * * **'* * *
"The right to seize and retake fugitive slaves, and the duty to deliver them up, in whatever State of the Union they may be found, is, under the Constitution, recognized as an absolute positive right and duty, pervading the whole Union with an equal and supreme force; uncontrolled and uncontrollable by State sovereignty or State legislation. The right and duty are co-extensive and uniform in remedy and operation throughout the whole Union. The owner has the same security, and the same remedial justice, and the same exemption from State regulations and control, through however many States he may pass with the fugitive slave in his possession, in transitu, to his domicile."
Here the Supreme Court emphatically declare that this clause in the Constitution manifestly contemplates the existence of a positive, unqualified right on the part of the owner of a slave, which no State law or regulation can control, and without which the Union could not have been formed, and, further, that the right to seize and retake fugitive slaves, in whatever State of the Union they may be found, is an absolute, positive right. But we are not left simply with this constitutional provision, for Congress, in 1793, passed an act designed to put the provision into practical operation, the last two sections of which are as follows:
"Sec. 3. And be it also enacted, 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 the river Ohio under the laws thereof, shall escape into any other of the said States or territories, the person to whom such labor or service may be 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 satisfaction of such judge or magistrate, either by oral testimony or affidavit taken before and certified by a magistrate of any such State or territory, that the person so seized or arrested, doth, under the laws of the State or territory from which she or he fled, owe service or labor to the porson claiming him or her, it shall be the duty of the judge or magistrate to give a certificate thereof to such claimant, his agent or attorney, which shall be sufficient warrant for removing the said fugitive from labor to the State or territory from which he or she fled.
"Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That any person who shall knowingly and willingly obstruct and hinder such claimant, his agent or attorney, in so seizing or arresting such fugitive from labor, or shall rescue snch fugitive from such claimant, his agent or attorney, when so arrested, pursuant to the authority herein given or declared, or shall harbor or conceal such person after notice that he or she was a fugitive from labor as aforesaid, shall, for either of the said offenses, forfeit and pay the sum of five hundred dollars. Which penalty may be recovered by and for the benefit of such claimant, by action of debt, in any court proper to try the same; saving, moreover, to the person claiming such labor or service, his right of action for or on account of the said injuries or either of them."
INAUGURAL ADDRESSES OF WASHINGTON, ADAMS, JEFFERSON, AND MADISON; AND THE FAREWELL ADDRESSES OF WASHINGTON AND JACKSON.
The oath of office having, on Thursday, April 30, 1789, been administered by the Chancellor of the State of New York, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, to George Washington, President of the United States, he then made the following Inaugural Address:
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate, and
of the House of Representatives: Among the vicissitudes incident to life, no event could have filled me with greater anxieties than that of which the notification was transmitted by your order, and received on the fourteenth day of the present month. x On the one hand, I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, as the asylum of my declining years; a retreat which was rendered every day more necessary, as well as more dear to me, by the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in my health, to the gradual waste committed on it by time. On the other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice of my country called me, being sufficient to awaken in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with despondence one, who, inheriting inferior