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And then, too, we had boasted that this is a land where freedom of conscience and the right to worship God according to its dictates was impregnably established. The Constitution provided that there should be no relig. ious test as a qualification for holding office. Now, it was announced in unmistakable terms that no person should be eligible who "recognizes any obligation of any description to any foreign prince, potentate, or power. By this Roman Catholics, although born and reared in this country, were to be denied equal rights with their fellow-citizens.

But amongst the pro-slavery delegates to this con. vention their " peculiar institution" was of paramount importance; and they withdrew from the convention upon its refusal to approve of the re-establishment of the Missouri Compromise line.

These prescriptive, unrepublican, and un-American doctrines might have been kept alive in secret lodges by pandering to prejudices and bigotry, and by stimulating the fears of the weak and timorous; but under the glare of open day and free discussion they could not survive. With the added strength of the Whig vote, they were able to carry but one State - that of Maryland. How.

ever, they elected five Senators and about twenty mem. bers of the lower house of Congress.

In 1856 the anti-slavery element adopted the name of Republican, and became a very formidable factor in polit. ical history. Their convention met in Philadelphia on June 17th, and nominated John C. Fremont of California for President, and William L. Dayton of New Jersey for Vice-President.

There was considerable glainour about Fremont. He was popularly dubbed “the Great Pathfinder," because of his exploration and survey of a new route to the Pacific coast. While engaged in his survey in 1846, he learned that a Mexican officer had threatened to drive


out some American settlers. Fremont hurried to their rescue, and with a much inferior force he several times defeated the Mexicans. He was not aware that war had been declared between the United States and Mexico, but sought on his own responsibility and on the general principle that American citizens should be protected in whatever rights they had acquired.

The convention which nominated Fremont proclaimed that their party was opposed to the repeal of the Missouri Compromise; to the extension of slavery into free terri. tory; in favor of the admission of Kansas as a free State. They denied the power " of Congress, of a Territorial legislature, of any individual or association of individuals to give legal existence to slavery in any Territory of the United States while the present Constitution shall be maintained." Yet they held that "the Constitution confers upon Congress sovereign power over the Terri. tories for their government." They furiously denounced

the Administration, the President, his advisers, agents, supporters, and apologists" for the conduct and condi. tion of affairs in Kansas. They denounced the Ostend Manifesto, one of whose promulgators, Mr. Buchanan, had two weeks before been nominated by the Democrats, as the highwayman's plea that might makes, right." They were in favor of " immediate and efficient aid " by the government to secure a railroad to the Pacific. They announced that it was the right and duty of Congress to make appropriations for the improvement of rivers and harbors of national importance.

Upon these issues, and with their chosen chieftains, the four parties were put in battle array. The result proved the Democracy to be again invincible. Of the popular vote

Buchanan received...



The electoral vote stood':




The Congress which came in with Mr. Buchanan (the thirty-fifth) contained 39 Democrats, 20 Republicans, and 5 Know-Nothings in the Senate; in the House were 131 Democrats, 92 Republicans, and 14 Know.Nothings.

The thirty-sixth Congress stood : Senate, 38 Dem. ocrats, 26 Republicans, 2 Know-Nothings; House, 86 Democrats, 13 Anti-Lecompton Democrats, 109 Republicans, 22 Know Nothings.

Buchanan's administration was a stormy one through. out, and closed with "a dissevered Union." In 1856 the Supreme Court of the United States decided that slaves might be taken for temporary residence by their owners into any free State, despite the laws of such State, without a forfeiture of ownership.

The decision referred to was in the Dred Scott case, which, by reason of its inportance and results, merits a fuller notice. Two questions were before the court: ist. Whether a negro, whose ancestors were slaves, can be a citizen. 2d. Whether the plaintiff (Dred Scott) was a slave at the time he brought his action. Having been taken by his master to Minnesota, the effect of the Mis. souri Compromise was involved.

All the judges of the Supreme Court filed opinions, showing a great difference upon the two questions. A A

" The electoral votes for Buchanan were : Alabama, 9; Arkansas, 4; California, 4; Delaware, 3; Florida, 3; Georgia, 10; Illinois, 11; Indi. ana, 13; Kentucky, 12 ; Louisiana, 6; Mississippi, 7; Missouri, 9; New Jersey, 7; North Carolina, 10; Pennsylvania, 27 : South Carolina, 8; Tennessee, 12 ; Texas, 4; Virginia, 15-total, 174.

For Fremont were : Connecticut, 6; Iowa, 4 ; Maine, 8; Massachusetts, 13; New llampshire, 5 ; New York, 35; Ohio, 23; Rhode Island, 4; Vermont, 5 : Wisconsin, 5 ; Michigan, 6-total, 114.

For Fillmore : Maryland, 8- total, 8.

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re-argument was ordered, and again there was a lack of unanimity. But six of the judges (a majority of the court) held that the Missouri Compromise was unconsti. tutional; that property in slaves being recognized by the Constitution, although established only by the local law of a particular State, travelled with the person of the owner into a Territory; and while the Territorial condi. tion continued, such property could not be abolished by the legislation of the Territorial government or by Con. gressional action. Hence Dred Scott was not emanci. pated by being taken by his master into a free Territory, and that, being a slave, he was not a citizen of Missouri in the sense of the word as used in the Constitution, and could not maintain his suit.

The opinion of Chief Justice Taney, in this case, has been so systematically misrepresented that a correction is due to the truth of history. He did not assert, as has been charged, that "negroes have no rights which the white man is bound to respect." He gave a historical view of the state of opinion and feeling about the African race throughout the civilized world at the time the Con. stitution was adopted; that they were not regarded as citizens; for more than a century they had been regarded as being of an inferior order, and had been treated as having no rights which the white man is bound to respect. Who can question the truth of this historic statement ?

The fury of the anti-slavery men over this decision amounted almost to frenzy. They considered it cruel enough that a slave who had effected his escape to free. dom should be returned to his master. They admitted that the Constitution might justify this. But it was intol. erable that when a master voluntarily took his slaves into States whose statutes declared that slavery should not exist therein, he should be able to defy such statutes, and flaunt his " relic of barbarism " in the faces of men who utterly abhorred it. This decision of the court


caused a revulsion of feeling against the Fugitive Slave law in the breasts of many who up to this time had favored its enforcement. In some States “ Personal Liberty Bills" were passed to secure to fugitive slaves the right to trial by jury. All attempts to reclaim the fugitives were attended with disorders, almost, if not entirely, riotous.

The Kansas imbroglio occupied Congress to the exclu. sion of almost all other matters. The pro-slavery element adopted, at Lecompton, a constitution sanctioning slavery, and under that sought admission to the Union. Douglas and others opposed it on the ground that the constitution had not been submitted to a vote of the people. The bill was finally passed with a proviso that the constitution should be submitted to the people of Kansas, and with another proviso, in the nature of a bribe, that large grants of land should be made to the State in case the Lecompton constitution should be rati. fied. But the constitution was repudiated, and Kansas remained a Territory until (1861) a new constitution was approved by the voters. This (the Wyandotte constitu. tion) prohibited slavery.

February 14, 1859, Oregon was admitted.

In this Congress (thirty-fifth) eleven of the Democrats in the House still adhering to the party, but opposed to the Kansas policy of the President, were called Anti-Le. compton Democrats. The others supported the adminis. tration. In the next Congress (thirty-sixth) in the Senate were: 38 Democrats, 25 Republicans, 2 Know-Nothings; in the House, 86 Democrats, 13 Anti-Lecompton Demo. crats, 109 Republicans, and 22 Know-Nothings. This status of the parties caused a prolonged contest over the organization of the House. It was not until February 1, 1860, after eight weeks of balloting, that William Pennington of New Jersey, a Republican, was chosen Speaker.

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