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ATTEMPT TO EXTEND THE LINE OF 36° 30'.

197

18

or so far as our possessions might ex with the majority, which was other-
tend. The House voted down Gen. wise entirely composed of members
Burt's proposition : Yeas 82; Nays from Free States ; eight"? Democrats
114-every member from the Slave from Free States voted in the minor-
States, with four" Democrats from ity, otherwise composed of all the
Free States, voting in the affirma- members from Slave States present,
tive; while every Whiy from the Mr. Houston, of Delaware, excepted.
Free States, with every Democrat The bill then passed the House by a
from those States but the four afore. “sectional” vote-Yeas 128; Nays
said, voted in the negative. The 71.
bill thereupon passed the House by In the Senate, Mr. Douglas"
13+ Yeas to 35 Nays—all from Slave promptly (August 5th) reported this
States; but, on reaching the Senate, bill with amendments, and a proposi-
it was referred, reported, sent back tion from Mr. Foote, of Mississippi,
again, and finally, on the last day of that it “ do lie on the table,” was de-
the session, laid on the table—Yeas feated by 15 (ultra Southern) Yeas to
26; Nays 18—there to sleep the 36 Nays. Among the amendments
sleep of death.

reported by Mr. Douglas was a repro-
In the next (XXXth) Congress, duction in substance of Gen. Burt's,
Mr. Caleb B. Smith (Whig), of In- defeated the year before in the
diana (since Secretary of the Inte- House, which now received but two
rior, under President Lincoln), was votes—those of Messrs. Bright and
chairman of the Committee on Terri- Douglas. Mr. Douglas thereupon
tories; and a bill creating a Territo- moved to amend the bill, by insert-
rial Government for Oregon, and ing as follows:
prohibiting Slavery therein, was re-

« That the line of thirty-six degrees and ported by him on the 9th of Febru- thirty minutes of north latitude, known as

This bill was made a the Missouri Compromise line, as defined in special order five weeks thereafter, | Act to authorize the people of the Missouri

the eighth section of an act entitled, “An but was so pertinaciously resisted by Territory to forin a Constitution and State the Slavery Extensionists that it Government, and for the adınission of such

State into the Union, on an equal footing could not be got out of Committee till

with the original States, and to prohibit August 1; when an amendment made Slavery in certain Territories, approved in Committee, striking out that clause March 6, 1820,' be, and the same is hereby,

declared to extend to the Pacific Ocean; of the original bill whereby the provi- and the said eighth section, together with sions of the Ordinance of '87 were the compromise therein effected, is hereby extended to this Territory-in other revived, and declared to be in full force, and

binding, for the future organization of the words, Slavery was prohibited there- Territories of the United States, in the in-was negatived; Yeas 88; Nays

same sense, and with the same understand114. On this division, Mr. John W. ing, with which it was generally adopted.” Houston (Whig), of Delaware, voted This was carried by 33 Yeas—in

11 PENSSYLVANIA.-Charles J. Ingersoll-1. xois.—Orlando B. Ficklin, John A. McClernand, ILLINOIS.—Stephen A. Douglas, Robert Smith William A. Richardson—3. INDIANA.—John L -2. lowa.-S. C. Hastings-1. In all, 4. Robinson, William W. Wick-2.

13 Recently transferred from the House; now 12 New YORK.-Ausburn Birdsall—1. 0110.- chairman of the Senate's Committee on Terri Williara Kennon, jr., John K. Miller—2. ILLI- | tories,

ary, 1848.

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cluding Messrs. Calhoun, Jefferson the minority. So the bill was reDavis, John Bell, Benton, and every turned to the Senate with its amendmember present from the Slave ment struck out; and that body States, with Messrs. Cameron, of thereupon recededYeas 29; Nays Pennsylvania ; Douglas, of Illinois; 25—from its amendment, and allowBright, of Indiana; Dickinson, of ed the bill to become a law in the New York ; and Fitzgerald, of Michi- shape given it by the House. On gan, from Free States——to 21 Nays, this memorable division, Messrs. including Messrs. Webster, of Massa- Benton, Bright, Cameron, Dickinson, chusetts, Hamlin, of Maine, Dix, Douglas, Fitzgerald, Hannegan, of New York, and Breese, of Illi- Spruance, of Delaware, and Housnois. The bill, thus amended, passed ton, of Texas, voted to yield to the the Senate by 33 Yeas to 22 Nays. House, leaving none but Senators

But the House, on its return, thus from Slave States, and not all of amended, utterly refused (August them, insisting on the partition de11th) to concur in any such partition manded. So Oregon became a Terof the territories oí the Union, on ritory, consecrated to Free Labor, the line of 36° 30', between Free without compromise or counterbaland Slave Labor. The proposition ance; and the Free States gave of Mr. Douglas, above cited, was re- fair notice that they would not divide jected by the decisive majority of with Slavery the vast and hitherto 39: Yeas 82; Nays 121—only three " free territories then just acquired members from Free States voting in from Mexico.

XV.

THE COMPROMISE OF 1850.

It is among

my

in

GEN. ZACHARY TAYLOR was inau. Slavery Restriction. gurated as President on the 4th of the traditions of the canvass that he, March, 1849. He had received, as some time in 1848, received a letter we have seen, both an electoral ma- from a planter running thus: “Sir: jority and a popular plurality, alike I have worked hard and been frugal in the Free and in the Slave States, all my life, and the results of mainly by reason of his persistent dustry have mainly taken the form and obstinate silence and reserve on of slaves, of whom I own about a the vexed question of Slavery in the hundred. Before I vote for PresiTerritories. He had written letters dent, I want to be sure that the —not always wise nor judicious— candidate I support will not so act during the canvass, mainly in its as to divest me of my property.” early stages; but they were not cal- To which the General, with a dexculated, decisively, to alienate either terity that would have done credit to the champions or the opponents of a diplomatist, and would have proved

14 NEW YORK-Ausburn Birdsall—1. PENNSYLVANIA.-Charles Brown, Charles J. Ingersoll—2.

WHIG ZEAL FOR SLAVERY RESTRICTION.

199

exceedingly useful to Mr. Clay, re- their party, not fully satisfied with sponded : “Sir: I have the honor to Gen. Taylor's position on the Slavery inform you that I, too, have been all question, but trusting that the influmy life industrious and frugal, and ence necessarily exerted over his that the fruits thereof are mainly Administration by the desires and invested in slaves, of whom I convictions of the far greater numown three hundred. Yours,” etc. ber of its supporters, whether in or South Carolina did not see fit to out of Congress, led by such derepose her faith in him; no more termined Slavery Restrictionists as did Texas : his own son-in-law, Jef- Mr. Webster and Gov. Seward, ferson Davis, went against him : so would insure his political adhesion did the great body of Slavery Propa. to the right side. Many acted or gandists; yet it is, nevertheless, true voted in accordance with this view that he received many more votes at who were not exactly satisfied with the South than would have been it; and the Whig canvassers were given for Mr. Webster, or even Mr. doubtless more decided and thorough Clay.

in their “Free Soil” inculcations In the Free States, very many than they would have been had their Northern Whigs' had refused to sup- Presidential candidate been one of port him, and given their votes to themselves. Mr. Webster' claimed Van Buren as an open, unequivocal. “ Free Soil” as a distinctive Whig champion of Slavery Restriction; doctrine, and declared that, were the and it was by the votes thus diverted Whigs to join the peculiar “Free from Gen. Taylor that Ohio, with Soil” organization, they would only perhaps Indiana and Wisconsin also, make that the Whig party with were given to Gen. Cass. The great Martin Van Buren at its head. body of the Northern Whigs, how- Gov. Seward o declared the Slavery ever, had supported the nominees of question the great, living, and pre

I say the

1 Among those Whigs who took this course in “But the Whigs, and they alone, raised a New York City, the names of Willis Hall, Joseph strong opposition to the measure. L. White, Philip W. Engs, and Wilson G. Hunt, Whigs alone—for nobody else, either in the are conspicuous.

East, West, South, or North, stirred a finger in

the cause—or, at least, made so small an effort • The following are extracts from Mr. Web that it could not be discerned until the Whigs ster's speech at Abingdon, Mass., Oct. 9, 1848: roused the people to a sentiment of opposition

“The gentlemen who have joined this new to the further spread of the Slave Power. Then party, from among the Whigs, pretend that they this portion of the New York Loco-Focos, these are greater lovers of Liberty and greater haters Barnburners, seized upon this Whig doctrine, of Slavery than those they leave behind them. and attached to it their policy, merely to give I do not admit it. I do not admit any such them the predominance over their rivals. * ** thing. [Applause.] I think we are as good “In this Buffalo platform, this Collect of the Free Soil men as they are, though we do not set new school, there is nothing new. up any such great prëeminence over our neigh- Suppose all the Whigs should go over to the bors. *

* There was an actual outbreak, Free Soil party: It would only be a change of years ago, between these two parties of the name; the principles would still be the same. Democracy of New York, and this ‘Barnburn But there would be one change which, I admit, ing party existed long before there was any would be monstrous-it would make Mr. Van question of Free Soil among them-long before Buren the head of the Whig party. [Laughter.]” there was any question of the Wilmot Proviso, or any opposition by that party to the extension 3 In his speech at Cleveland, Ohio, October of Slavery. And, up to the Annexation of 26, 1848, Gov. Seward said: Texas, every man of the party went straightfor "A sixth principle is, 'that Slavery must be ward for that Annexation, Slavery Extension abolished. I think these are the principles of and all.

the Whigs of the Western Reserve of Ohio. I

*

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dominant issue between the two | alienation of many Northern DemoNational parties, and urged the duty | crats from their former devotion to of abolishing Slavery as a reason for Southern ideas and docility to Southsupporting Gen. Taylor. Mr. Wash- ern leadership. This alienation was ington Hunt“ wrote an elaborate let- further evinced in the coalitions ter to Ohio, urging the duty of stand- formed the next summer between ing by Whig principles by electing the Democratic and Free Soil parties Gen. Taylor, and by choosing at the of Vermont and Massachusetts, which same time members of Congress who in Vermont proved too weak to overwould inflexibly resist, and legislate come the Whig ascendency, but in to prohibit, the Extension of Slavery. Massachusetts ultimately triumphed At no time previously, had Whig in- in the election of George S. Boutwell culcations tlıroughout the Free States (Democrat), as Governor, and Charles been so decidedly and strongly hostile Sumner (Free Soil), as Senator. In to the Extension of Slavery, and so New York, a fusion was with diffidetermined in requiring its inhibition culty effected (in 1849) of the parties by Congress, as during the canvass which had in 1848 supported Van of 1848.

Buren and Cass respectively — the Among the results of that canvass nominal basis of agreement being a was--as we have seen—a temporary resolve of mutual hostility to the am not now to say for the first time that they then raging, which was unanimously adopted are mine.

In the course of it, he said: "There are two antagonistic elements of society in America, Freedom and Slavery. "Fellow Citizens: Disguise the Mexican War Freedom is in harmony with our system of as sophistry may, the great truth cannot be put government, and with the spirit of the age, and down, nor lied down, that it exists because of the is therefore passive and quiescent. Slavery is Annexation of Texas; that from such a cause in conflict with that system, with justice, and we predicted such a consequence would follow; with humanity, and is therefore organized, and that, but for that cause, no war would have defensive, active, and perpetually aggressive. existed at all. Disguise its intents, purposes

“ Freedom insists on the emancipation and and consequences, as sophistry may struggle to development of labor; Slavery demands a soil

do, the further great truth cannot be hidden, that moistened with tears and blood-Freedom a

its main object is the conquest of a market for soil that exults under the elastic tread of man slaves, and that the flag our victorious legions in bis native majesty.

rally around, fight under, and fall for, is to be “These elements divide and classify the desecrated from its holy character of Liberty and American people into two parties. Each of Emancipation into an errand of Bondage and these parties has its court and its scepter. The

Slavery. * *

* We protest, too, in the name throne of one is amid the rocks of the Alleghany of the rights of Man and of Liberty, against the Mountains; the throne of the other is reared on further extension of Slavery in North America. the sands of South Carolina. One of these The curse which our mother country inflicted parties, the party of Slavery, regards disunion upon us, in spite of our fathers' remonstrances, as among the means of defense, and not always we demand shall never blight the virgin soil of the last to be employed. The other maintains the North Pacific.

We will not the Union of the States, one and inseparable, pour out the blood of our countrymen, if we can now and forever, as the highest duty of the help it, to turn a Free into a Slave soil; we will American people to themselves, to posterity, to not spend from fisty to a hundred millions of dol. mankind," etc., etc.

lars per year to make a Slave market for any “The party of Freedom seeks complete and portion of our countrymen.

The universal emancipation.”

Union as it is, the whole Union, and nothing but

the Union, we will stand by to the last-but No * Then a Whig member of Congress; since, More Territory is our watchword-unless it be Governor of New York.

Free."

*

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5 Mr. James Brooks, Editor of The New York 6 The last Convention of the Cass Democrats, Express, reported to the New York Whig State or "Hunkers," which was held at Syracuse in Convention of 1847 (October 6th), an Address September, 1849, proposing a conciliatory course condemning the objects of the Mexican War toward the “Barnburners," as an overture to

GEN, TAYLOR ON THE NEW TERRITORIES.

201

Extension of Slavery. There were indefensible by the lapse of a year local exceptions; but in the main since the complete restoration of the Democratic party was materially peace. Meantime, the discovery of strengthened by the rapid and gen- gold in California was already ateral disintegration of the Free Soil tracting swarms of adventurers to party, and by the apparent falling that country and rendering its speedy away of the Whigs of the Free States and extensive colonization inevitable. from a decided, open, inflexible main- That it should soon receive a suitable tenance of the principle of Slavery and legitimate civil government was Restriction. Gen. Taylor's election imperative. New Mexico, likewise, had exhausted the personal popular- having a population of sixty thouity based on his achievements as a sand, mainly native-born, and divestsoldier; his attitude as a slaveholder, ed by our conquest of a civil governand his tacit negation of the princi- ment substantially of her own choice, ple aforesaid, were awkward facts; had a right to expect an early and and, thongh the President himself complete deliverance from military could not be justly accused of doing rule. or saying any thing clearly objection The new Administration appears able, yet each successive State elec- to have promptly resolved on its tion of 1849 indicated a diminished course. It decided to invite and and declining popularity on the part favor an early organization of both of the new Administration.

California and New Mexico (includNeither Jr. Webster nor Gov. Sew- ing all the vast area recently ceded ard had a seat in Gen. Taylor's Cabi- by Mexico, apart from Texas proper) net, though either, doubtless, might as incipient States, and to urge their have had, had he desired it. Mr. admission, as such, into the Union Webster remained in the Senate, at the earliest practicable day. Of where Messrs. Clay and Calhoun still course, it was understood that, being lingered, and Gov. Seward first took thus organized, in the absence of his seat in that body on the day of both slaveholders and slaves, they Gen. Taylor's inauguration,

would almost necessarily become

Free States. The proper organization of the According to this programme, Mr. spacious territories recently acquired Thomas Butler King' was dispatchfrom Mexico necessarily attracted ed to California on the 3d of April, the early and earnest attention of 1849, as a special agent from the Exthe new President and his official ecutive, with instructions to favor the counselors. It could not be justifi- early formation of a State Constituably postponed; for the military rule tion and Government. The President, that had thus far been endured by in a Special Message to Congress on those territories, exceptional at best, the 21st of January, 1850, replying had been rendered anomalous and to a resolution of inquiry from the

wards a neutral basis of rëunion with them, question, in any form of its agitation, or any adopted the following:

opinion in relation thereto, as a test of political " Resolied, That we are opposed to the exten

faith, or as a rule of party action." sion of Slavery to the free territories of the * For most of the ten years preceding, a Wrig United States; but we do not regard the Slavery | member of Congress from Georgia.

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