« ZurückWeiter »
isted not to use that power. He saw no rea- is not the Constitution of the States, but of the son to hope for such emancipation, but he people of the United States. should vote for the measure whenever pro- There is another aspect, he then said, in posed, and was willing to appropriate any which this principle of compromise must be means necessary to carry it into execution. examined. These boundless Western domains
Mr. SEWARD then cautioned Senators are ours; but ours only in trust for our fellow against ultra measures, either for the recovery men. They are the birthright of mankind. of the fugitive, or against the inhibition of Shall we who are founding institutions for slavery in territorial charters. The temper of future generations, shall we who know by the people might be tried too far. The spring, experience the wise and just, and are free to if pressed too hard, would give a recoil that choose them, and to reject the erroneous and would not leave here one servant who knew unjust
, shall we fasten bondage on countless his master's will and did it not.
millions, or permit it by our sufferance to be He then spoke of the suggested compromise
established ? of boundary between Texas and New Mexico. Mr. SEWARD then commented on arguments This was a question of legal right and title, founded on extraneous considerations. The and it was due to national dignity and justice
first of these is, that Congress has no power to that it be kept separate from compromises of legislate on the subject of slavery within the mere expediency, and should be settled by it- territories. But Congress, he argued, may adself alone. In connexion with this question, mit new States. It follows that Congress may he stated, he could not agree with the Senator reject new States. The greater includes the from Massachusetts with regard to the obli- less; and, therefore, Congress may impose gation of Congress to admit four new slave conditions of admission. The right, too, to States from Texas territory. When once legislate and administer justice in regard to formed, these States can come in as free or property is assumed in every territorial charslave States at their own choice; but such ter; and if to legislate concerning property, formation depends entirely on the will of Con- why not concerning personal rights ? and gress. He denied the Constitutionality of the freedom is a personal right. annexation of Texas. He found no authority But granting, it is said, the right, still in the Constitution of the United States for the legislation is unnecessary, for climate and annexation of foreign territory by a resolution sterility, the physical laws of God, lay a of Congress, and no power adequate to the stronger injunction on slavery than any laws purpose, but the treaty-making power of the
of man. Have climate and sterility, he asked, President and Senate.
barred out slavery from arctic Russia ? Did Another objection to compromise, he con- it not once brood over the length and breadth tinued, arises out of the principle on which of Europe ? and was not the enslaved race the demand for compromise rests. That prin- our own, and such as our own, the vigorous ciple assumes the classification of the States as Anglo-Saxon, instead of the docile African ? Northern and Southern, as slave and free The laws of God may be transgressed. States. Severally equal, the classes must be “ Sir," said he, “there is no climate unequal. To each of these classes, the new ter- congenial to slavery. It is true, it is less proritory, being a common acquisition, falls in ductive than free labor in many Northern equal proportions.
countries. But so it is less productive than On what, then, does this argument for the free wbite labor in even tropical climates. equality of the States rest? On the syllogism Labor is quick in demand in all new countries. that all men are by the law of nature and na- Slave labor is cheaper than free labor, and will tions equal; and States are aggregations of go first into new regions; and wherever it individual men, and thereby equal. But if goes, it brings labor into dishonor, and, thereall men are equal, slavery with its claims, fore, free white labor avoids competition with falls to the ground. You answer, the Consti- it. Sir, I might rely on climate if I had not tution recognizes properly in slaves. But this been born in a land where slavery existed ; Constitutional recognition must be void, for it and this land was all of it North of the fortieth is repugnant to the laws of nature and of na- parallel of latitude; and, if I did not know the tions, on which the Constitution is itself found struggle it has cost, and which is yet going on ed. He denied, too, that the Constitution to get complete relief from the institution and recognized slaves. It never mentions slaves its baleful consequences. I desire to propound as slaves, much less as chattels, but as per- this question to those who are now in favor
That this recognition of them as per- of dispensing with the Wilmot Proviso—was sons, was designed, is a historical fact. the ordinance of 1787 necessary or not? Ne
But granting the original equality of the cessary, we all agree. It has received too States, and granting the recognition of sla- many eulogiums to be now decried as an idle very, still the argument fails. The Constitution and unnecessary thing, and yet that ordinance
extended the inhibition of slavery from the such protection. To unsettle its stability, 37th to the 40th parallel of north latitude, and would be to destroy or depreciate its value. now we are told that the inhibition named is Any rash measure tending to destroy its dounnecessary anywhere north of 360 30.'" We mestic feature is to be deprecated; and this are told that we may rely upon the laws of can only be preserved by maintaining its God, which prohibit slavery north of that line, value. On these depend its permanence. On and that it is absurd to re-enact the laws of its permanence, the destiny of the Southern God. Sir, there is no human enactment, which States. is just, that is not a re-enactment of the law Out of the fifteen slaveholding States, two, of God. The Constitution of the United States, Delaware and Maryland, are, in any material and the Constitution of every State are full of sense, useless to the rest; and, from the course such re-enactments. Wherever I find a law
taken by the Senators of Missouri and Kenof God, or a law of nature disregarded, or in tucky, we are led to infer, that these States danger of being disregarded, then I shall vote
are distracted, and emancipation not distant. to reaffirm it with all the sanction of the civil
A proof and a consequence of this is found in authority. But I find no authority for the
the fact, that droves of slaves, by hundreds position that climate prevents slavery any. and thousands, are now on their way from the where. It is to the indolence of mankind, and
latter State, to this and others of the cotton not the natural necessity, that introduces sla- and sugar growing States. Now, is it, this very in any climate."
writer proceeds to say, the interest of MissisFinally, Mr. SEWARD thought too much sippians to encourage this state of things ? weight might be attached to the solemn ad- Shall the domestic character of the institution monitions of the South concerning the disso- be degraded, and its intrinsic value be suffered lution of the Union. Their violence, he said, to depreciate by the sudden introduction of surwas natural in a losing party who saw their plus slaves from other States ? Shall our preside of the scales kick the beam. But there sent effective and happy municipal regulations was a love of his country in the breast of eve- for the treatment and management of slaves ry American citizen, which sectional feelings be uprooted, and Mississippi converted into a might dim, but never destroy. He knows no camp, paraded daily by Provost guards and other country and no other sovereign. He patrols to prevent insurrection ? Thousands has life, liberty, and property, precious affec- of wretched, despairing human creatures, torn tions and hopes for himself treasured up in rudely from home, from family, and from cherthe ark of the Union. Let those, then, he ished local associations, will be driven in upconcluded, who distrust the Union, make com- on us in manacled gangs, and will soon infect promises to save it. He had no such fears those now living here with their rancorous and himself, and consequently should vote for the seditious spirit. We cannot at this day throw admission of California, directly, without con- aside all considerations of humanity in the ditions, without qualifications, and without vain attempt to display an overwrought zeal compromise.
in behalf of our cherished institution. Its As a commentary on the above speeches,
worst enemies are they who abuse it. Its real we give the following abstract of a letter pub- friends are not dead to all sensations of symlished in a Mississippi paper. It shews that pathy as regards the family attachments and even peaceable secession will have its attend
social condition of our negroes. ant dangers to the South; and that forces are And what will be the result? The picture now at work to lead a Southern confederacy here contemplated, the writer continues, brings to subsequent disunion and farther secession. before the mind the frightful scenes of the The writer asks if their State laws are ample British and French West India Islands. for the proper protection of property? Are Daily apprehensions, hourly vigilance, jealous their individual interests sufficienily guarded, suspicions, groups of white men, shrinking in case that direst of calamities, a separation with fear, hordes of sullen and desperate of these United States, should occur in the blacks—these are the ground-work of that pending contest on the Wilmot Proviso? Is wretched scenery. And shall such things be the farther introduction of slaves from other seen in Mississippi ? Shall the horizon be States, politic or safe, and is not the prohibi- darkened with a cloud charged with such pertion of such farther introduction demanded nicious elements ? Shall her property be cut both on the score of individual and of State in- down to one-half its value, that speculators terest, and as concerns the permanent legiti- and traders only shall flourish? To this one mate weal of the Southern domestic institu- | fact, the writer attributed the apparent mys, tion? The stability of property depends on tery of the impoverishment and unimproved its uniform value and proper protection by face of a State, exporting, annually, nigh law. Slave property above all others, is con- twenty millions worth of products. It is nosidered the most delicate and most in need of torious, he says, that in Mississippi there is
less to captivate the eye of a visitor, less to , authority for that purpose. He considered ensure permanent local attachments, fewer such a convention as revolutionary in its tenproud associations, less to offer by way of dency, and directly against the spirit of the emulous comparison, and less to invite availa- Constitution of the United States, and if the ble investments, than in any other Southern object of this convention be redress of grievState. Nothing but the character of the peo- ances, would not, he asks, the expression of ple sustains her position, and commands re- an opinion, or a determination by the States in spect. Nor must this state of things be attri- their sovereign capacity, be calculated to carry buted alone to financial derangement, or mis- more weight, and command more respect than management. The cause is found in the the proceedings of an irresponsible convention source above suggested. Of the aggregate of delegates ? But, it is answered, the States returns from the sale of her products, one- have already acted by reports and resolutions half is disbursed on New Orleans, or Mobile, and addresses; and the North remains unand the other half is carried off by negro tra- moved. What more then can this convention ders from Tennessee, Virginia, or North Caroli- effect, unless it is to be considered, and conna. This is destructive beyond compensation, siders itself a revolutionary body ? “If called and will, in the end, beggar the State and its for this end,” he says, “I most solemnly procitizens. But, apart from pecuniary considera- test against it. The time has not arrived for tions, the writer urges, is it politic, or safe, such measures, and I pray God the time may under present circumstances, to allow the far- never arrive. There are, however, restless ther introduction of slaves within this State ? spirits among us, who have calculated the We are threatened with dissolution of the value of the Union, and would sell it for a Union. Congress is convulsed, and a kind of mess of pottage. Since the Southern convendemi-revolution seems preparing. Should not tion has been projected, a Southern confederthe aggrieved States, then, contemplating the ation has been more than dreamed of.” He possibility of secession, be ready, at all questioned the expediency of getting up this points, for the result? Should not Mississip- convention, before any overt act of agression pi pause in her deceptive and profitless policy, had been committed on Southern rights. He to husband her resources, and expend her saw, as yet, nothing new or startling in the rewealth at home? In revolutionary times, a lation of the slave and free States; at least sudden accession of inflammable materials is nothing calling for such extraordinary and redangerous in the extreme. No material is so volutionary measures. For more than fifty inflammable as a horde of slaves, fresh from years have abolition petitions been presented the trader's manacles, torn recently from fa- in Congress. Thirty years ago, this identical mily, and home, and early associations, Wilmot Proviso question convulsed the Govdiscontented, corruptible, unreliable,—thrust ernment to its centre. From the time, he suddenly into our midst, ere yet system and writes, that the slave question first made its familiarity have reconciled them to their appearance in the North, when it was a new homes. These very domestic ties and « little cloud like a man's hand," until the prefeelings form the real value of our insti. sent moment, when it casts a deep gloom over tution. The blacks have them, and every in the future, it has been one continual conflict of telligent planter sedulously cultivates them. words between the abolitionists and agitators In times like this, then, harshly and rudely and politicians of the North, and the politito sever them, is there no danger in such a cians of the South. Time has brought forth no course ?
wisdom-experience no knowledge. But in Finally, the writer asks if it is not the in- spite of mutual bluster and threats, he believed terest, politically, of his own State, to hold the Union would safely weather the storm. those States, which now so strongly manifest He found one assurance of safety in the fact, a desire to emancipate, to the slave interest, i that the present chief magistrate of the Union, by refusing them opportunities of sale and was from and of the South; and he was conprofit. They will certainly hesitate, before fident that every encroachment on the bulthey resort to colonization or manumission, warks of the Constitution, would be by him and he urges the enforcement of the laws met with native energy and resolution. against the importation of slaves, which bave
In conclusion, Governor Brown exhorted the been suffered to become a dead letter.
people of the Southern States, ito look to the Disunion received the following severe re-energetic action of their State Governments to buke at the hands of Governor Brown of Flo- guard and protect their rights and interests; rida. That gentleman had been invited by the and the members in both halls of Congress, to Florida delegation in Congress, to use his meet and resist with prudence and firmness, official authority in organizing a plan of repre- every attempt to break down the guards and sentation for that State in the proposed Nash- compromises of the Constitution, from whatville convention.
ever source it may come; and when driven Governor Brown in reply, disclaimed all to the last trench, and beat down by brute
force, regardless of right and justice, and when , eration-then will those who have brought the executive can, or will not apply an endur- about this state of things have incurred the ing check, when all the barriers of the Con- guilt and shame of the wanton destruction of stitution are beaten down, and the South this beautiful form of Government; and upon deprived of her equal right under the Confed- | their heads will rest the curse.
Maury's Sailing Directions. Notice to Mariners: Jim Montjoy, the nominal hero, is not so in fact.
By Lieut. W. F. Maury, U. S. N., National He plays a very conspicuous part in the first Observatory, Washington. Approved by the scenes ; but as the drama develops itself, he Hon. William Ballard Preston, Secretary of the becomes a secondary character. Nor does any Navy; and published, by authority of Commo- one personage take his place. And this is the dore Lewis Warrington, chief of the Bureau vital defect of the book. Although the author of Ordnance and Hydrography. Washington : has, with considerable art, taken up afterwards the 1850.
separate threads of his narrative, and combined them
for the catastrophe, yet, for want of a centre of The peculiar benefits of a National Observatory interest to keep them connected throughout the ere beginning already to be felt. The attention
work, they divide and fatigue the attention. Some of the nation is directed toward it, as toward a
of the characters, indeed, have the appearance of centre, from which nothing crude or unscientific copies from living originals. There is an old lame can emanate. A spirit of exactness and of re
sailor, whose oddities produce a really Corporal search is cultivated in the official mind at Wash
Trim-like effect. But generally, Mr. Roe's paintington, and in the army and navy; and a respec- ing of characters belongs to a school that looks tability and importance is given to the Exact Sci
but little to nature for models. The good are too ences, by the knowledge that they are the indis- good ; the bad, too entirely bad. The blemishes pensable auxiliaries of the government. Upon this
we have noticed are of a serious character in a consideration, every reader can enlarge for himself.
work of fiction ; for they are of that class which Lieut. Maury states, in this quarto pamphlet,
mars effect, that main object of art. Yet there are that u every navigator, with the assistance ren
beauties enough in James Montjoy to redeem dered by the Observatory, and here published, defects even more fatal. The opening chapters, may now calculate and project for the path of which relate the adventures of young James with his ship, on an intended voyage, very much
his brother Ned and his friend Sam Oakum, are in the same way that the astronomer deter- delightful to read. The simplicity of the action mines the path of a comet through the heavens. invests the details with an absorbing interest, There is this difference, however, the • Pilot
which reminds one of Robinson Crusoe on his Chart, with its data, shows the navigator that, in island, and is only attainable in works, which repursuing his path on the ocean, head-winds and late the struggles of unassisted man against natural calms are to be encountered, and that therefore he obstacles. The style too of this part of the work cannot, with certainty, predict the place of his ship is greatly superior to the remainder. It seems to on a given day. He, therefore, in calculating his
have been cared for as a labor of love. It is plain, path through the ocean, has to go into the doctrine almost faultless, and well in keeping with the of chances, and to determine thereby the degree of events of the narrative. As soon as, by the sucprobability as to the frequency and extent with
cess of the boys, and the introduction of new charwhich he may anticipate adverse winds and calms acters, the plot becomes more intricate, much of by the way."
the attraction of the tale disappears, together with
much of the author's happiness of manner. Mr. James Montjoy ; or, I've been Thinking: By A. Roe's style, in the better parts, is of that kind of S. Roe. New York: D. Appleton & Co.
which we deemed the secret lost. It has that When a new author takes his place upon the quiet, calm beauty, which is felt, rather than seen, stage of literature, his first attempt deserves some- and wins, without striking, leaving upon the mind thing more at the hands of the critic than a gene- a sensation of pleasure, which has stolen in un ral expression of commendation or blame—it de- perceived. To give an idea of this style of wriserves discrimination. And yet we hardly know ting, definition will not answer—since its merits are how to give, within the limits of a mere notice, of that very character which baffles definition. an adequate idea of the work before us. We will | Nor will quotation answer the purpose. A begin with its faults, however, if only to have an bucket of water would give a poor idea of opportunity to make its merits the final object of the magnificent effect of the Hudson river in our remarks.
a landscape. So, of any single passage in this The author has unwisely deprived his book of work, whose beauty consists of a succession of the advantage of unity of interest. He has too beauties, constantly following each other, and many leading personages, whose separate adven- gaining strength by accumulation. Unexpected tures engross too much of the reader's attention. touches of gentle humor, or gentler pathos, minute,