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into this land, which is too good for southern slaveholders. The good would come no faster, and of the bad we have enough already. The old States lose their population fast enough as it is, and no one should desire to increase the depopulation. The true title of the bill, sir, should read: “A bill to encourage foreign and domestic vagabondism, by granting quarter sections of the public land to each actual vagabond that cannot pay twelve-and-a-half cents per acre for a home."
I would finally beg to say to these anti-slavery gentlemen, that for purposes of present advantage they take but a limited view of the future of this great question. A world in arms could not abolish slavery in the southern States to-day, or, if once abolished, a world in arms would rise up and demand its restoration to-morrow. Our slaves are this moment more firmly fixed in their bondage than at any previous moment in our history. Their labor has become an indispensable necessity, not only to ourselves, but to the civilized world; and statesmen, whether British or Ameri
can, know it.
Our united people will defend it with their blood in the Union, and should your whole society, yielding to a mad fanaticism, so trespass upon our rights as to drive us from the Union, we would find ourselves able to defend it as an independent nation. In fact, we have all the capacities for a separate and independent existence that are calculated to make a great and prosperous State. We produce all the great items of raw material necessary for manufactures; the well-watered valleys of the mountain regions in Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina present the most desirable seats for manufactories in the world.
The beautiful, healthful, and magnificent mountain region
of western Carolina, which I am proud to represent on this floor, presents greater facilities itself for manufacturing than all New England put together. The coalfields of my State would feed the glowing furnace for ages to come; and the fertile plains of the northwestern States do not furnish a finer - region for the production of the common articles of food, than the great States of Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
In fact, we combine everything within ourselves that is necessary for a separate and independent existence. Norfolk, which I believe is in any event destined to become a rival of New York and Liverpool, would then become the great port of entry for the south; and the opening up of the great regions of the west by the Southern Pacific Railroad, and the mingling of the waters of the Ohio with those of the Chesapeake Bay, by canal, would make her to rival the magnificence of Tyre and Sidon. In all these mutations, whilst we could flourish, your prosperity would be stricken down to the dust, and your dependence upon raw material would still hold you our obsequious dependent.
You talk now of forbearing to interfere with slavery among us, because of the delicacy of the question and the interest it involves to us; but you know that your own prosperity is still more dependent upon its existence. It is a tender regard for the goose that lays for you the golden egg, that makes you profess to be unwilling to lay hands upon You know that slave labor has built all your cities and towns, has erected your great warehouses, freights your rich navies, and carries wealth and happiness throughout all the bleak and sterile hills of New England. You know that the shirt you wear, when you
up denounce the slaveholder; that the sugar that sweetens your
tea, when you sit down to the evening and morning meal — nay, the very paper on which you indite your senseless philippics against the south, are the products of slave labor. You not only thus grow rich upon what you call an iniquity, but you owe your positions in this Hall to the prejudice which you feed and pamper against slavery, and which alone constitutes your whole stock in trade.
Think not, therefore, that you can prevent the extension of slavery, or abolish it where it is. For should you succ
cceed, as you threaten, in cooping us up and surrounding us by Wilmot provisoes, or by your homestead bills, in filling up the common Territories with northern and foreign squatters inimical to slavery, the time will come when the southern people, gathering up their households together, sword in hand, will force an outlet for it at the cannon's mouth.
Long years might intervene before this necessity came upon us, but come it certainly would, and we would then go forth and find other lands whose soil and climate were adapted to our institutions, from which you would not dare to attempt to expel us. But will you drive us to this course ? Will the great conservative masses of the northern people, who are inheritors with us alike of the common glories of the past, and heirs-apparent of the unspeakable glories of our future, continue to urge this dire extremity upon their southern brethren?
Or will they not rather“ be still, and behold how God will bring it to pass ?” Will they not wait with patience for this great and all-absorbing problem to work itself out according to the immutable laws of climate, soil, and all the governing circumstances with which he has ever controlled the uprisings and the down-sittings of men ?
In this way, and this only, as the waters of the great sea
purify themselves, will the good of both the African slave and his European master be accomplished; without violence, without bloodshed, and without a disruption of the bonds which bind together this blood-bought and blood-cemented Union, which our fathers founded in the agony of the greatest of human struggles, and builded with prayers to Heaven for its perpetuity.
This way alone will enable us to avoid that dread day of disunion, of which I have thought in the bitterness of my spirit that I could curse it even as Job cursed his nativity: “Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it. Let it not be joined unto the days of the year; let it not come into the number of the months. Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark; let it look for light, but have none; neither let it see the dawning of the day."
ENRY MOORE TELLER, an American lawyer and politician, was
born at Granger, New York, May 23, 1830. After graduating from Rushford Academy and Alfred University and teaching for a few years he was admitted to the bar in 1856, practising first in Illinois and then in Colorado. He was a major-general of the Colorado militia during the last two years of the Civil War, and in December, 1876, was United States senator. From April, 1882, until March, 1885, during President Arthur's administration, he was secretary of the interior, resigning to take his seat again in the Senate. In 1897 he was re-elected as an Independent • Silver Republican with a term to expire in March, 1903.
ON PORTO RICO
[Speech delivered in the Senate, March 14, 1900, during the consideration of the bill temporarily to provide revenues for the relief of Porto Rico.)
R. PRESIDENT,— Before we get through with this
question of the power of the United States and what
ought to be its policy there will be ample time, I know, for me to discuss it, and I will go directly to the bill, so that I may shorten my remarks within a proper time, in view of the fact that the senator from Washington has yielded the floor to me for a few moments.
In dealing with these new possessions my theory is that we may make them a part of the United States if we see fit. Now, if we conclude that we do not want to make them a part of the United States, I believe we have the same power to hold them, in a different relation, that Great Britain has. I have listened to all the discussion that has gone on here, and I can conceive of no reason why the sovereignty of the United States is limited to territory that they must make a part of the United States. They will be a part of the United States