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tions of the kind should be heard and decided amend this proposition so that it should by the permanent judicial tribunals of the read, Government, that the colored freemen of the
“ Provided, that the Senate does not deem it North are entitled to all the privileges and im
necessary to express in advance any opinion, or to munities of citizens of the several States to
give any instructions either general or specific, for which they have occasion to go. He thought
the guidance of the Committee.” that all that was needed upon the subject of fugitive slaves, was to amend the existing act
Mr. Benton said, in reply, that the propoof Congress, so as to confine the exercise of sition to which this amendment was offered, the powers conferred to the judges of courts was in fact.only an amendment to his original of the United States, and to secure to those proposition, and which he had accepted in a who allege themselves to be free, the advan- spirit of compromise, and at the suggestion of tage of an impartial jury to aid the courts in Mr. CLAY. As the Senator from Kentucky the ascertainment of facts.
now wished to recede from it, he would withRespecting the other alleged grievances, the draw it altogether. burden of the complaint seems to be the pe- The proposition being thus withdrawn, Mr. tition for the abolition of the slave-trade and CLAY's amendment fell with it. slavery in the District of Columbia and where- Mr. Benton then moved his original pro. ever the jurisdiction of Congress extends. But position, providing that the Committee shall is this any interference with the rights of any not take into consideration the question of State? Is it any real grievance, if these pe- slavery in the States, the internal slave-trade, titioners confine their request to the action of slavery in the District of Columbia, and in the Congress, where Congress has the entire and forts, arsenals, and navy-yards of the United exclusive power of legislation ? Senators may States. not be willing to grant these petitions, but Mr. Clay again moved his former amendhave they any right to say that they or their ment, namely, that the Senate does not deem constituents are aggrieved by their present- it necessary to express in advance any opin. ment?
ion, or to give any instructions, either general “In conclusion,” said Mr. BALDWIN, “I or specific, for the guidance of this Commitwill only say—and I say it with great defer- tee. ence to the opinions of others—that there is, Mr. Benton objected that this was not an in my opinion, but one course to be pursued amendment, but in direct conflict with his own to calm the agitations that now surround us, proposition, and consequently unparliamenand prevent their recurrence.
It is to place
tary. He regretted the obstacles thrown in ourselves firmly on the platform of the Con- the way of the admission of California. In stitution, adhering faithfully to its compro- fact, he saw nothing but long delay and immimises, and administering, in the spirit which nent danger to that bill, in proceeding ny faranimated our fathers, and in the light of their ther with this motion to refer to a committee. admonitions and example, the powers confided We have no need of this committee, he said. to us by the people. No compromises of We have the bill already, brief and explicit. principle are required for our security. No He therefore moved, before the pending amendsectional concessions should be asked, or ex- ment is gone into, to lay the subject of raising pectations encouraged; but even-handed jus- a committee on the table, for the purpose of tice secured to all. Pursuing such a course, I taking up the bill for the admission of the fear no danger to the Union. Its foundations State of California. are too deeply laid in the interests and affec- Mr. Clay, in reply, said, that no one wished tions of the people, and in their cherished re- for the speedy admission of California more collections of the past, to be easily disturbed. than himself, and with due deference to the It is emphatically their government; and its Senator from Missouri, he suggested that the powers, though wisely and carefully limited, chief obstacle was the course taken by Mr. are amply sufficient, if beneficently directed, Benton. Let this opposition to the appoint
o lead us to a higher degree of national glory ment of a committee cease; let the committee and happiness than has fallen to the lot of any be raised, and then, if necessary, let the bill other people."
April 17. for the admission of California be reported The same subject being before the Senate, and acted upon in the Senate. In that case, and the pending question thereon being Mr. he had already intimated, he should propose Benton's instructions to the Committee, to the as an amendment to the bill, provisions to give effect that Congress has no power over slave- territorial governments to the two new Terriry in the States, nor the slave-trade between tories without the Wilmot Proviso. He the States, and that Congress cught not to thought the bill faulty. The brevity that the abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia, Senator from Missouri so recommended, would nor in the forts, arsenals, and navy-yards result in losing for the United States, the of the United States, Mr. Clay moved to 'public doman of California.
The question being taken on Mr. Benton's, consideration may be amended.” If this were motion to lay on the table, it was negatived a bill, could it contain a proposition that it by yeas 24, nays 28, as follows:
should not be subject to amendment ? or could
it be moved in amendment to it, that this bill Yeas-Baldwin, Benton, Bradbury, Chase, should be carried through the Senate without Clarke, Corwin, Davis of Mass, Dayton, Dodge of any proposition to amend ? Iowa, Dodge of Wis Douglass, Felch, Green, Mr. Clay rejoined that here was a proposiHale, Hamlin, Jones, Miller, Norris, Phelps, Sew- tion to refer certain subjects to a committee. ard, Shields, Smith, Walker, Webster-24. Nays---Atchison, Badgor, Bell, Borland, Bright, amendments to that proposition. They had a
The Senator from Missouri proposed certain Butler, Cass, Clay, Clemens, Davis of Miss, Dickinson, Downs, Foote, Hunter, King, Mangum, right to vote these amendments down one by Mason, Morton, Pearce, Rusk, Sebastian, Soule,
one. His own proposition went little farther
than that. Spruance, Sturgeon, Turney, Underwood, Whitcomb, Yulee, 28.
At the suggestion of Mr. MANGUM, Mr.
Clay modified his amendment by inserting Mr. Benton, then commented on Mr. Clay's after the word “ necessary,” the words and amendment. It asked the Senate, he said, to therefore declines.” cut itself off from all its parlimentary rights of
The question being then taken, the amendoffering amendments to bills and resolutions i ment was adopted. Yeas 25, nays 22, as folwhile going through that body. The attempt lows: is impotent. We have a righi to offer instruc- Y5As—Atchison, Badger, Borland, Butler, Cass, tions after instructions, and if the Senate will Clay, Clemens, Davis (Miss,) Dickinson, Dodge not adopt them, its only way is to reject them (Iowa), Douglass, Downs, Foote, Hunter, Jones,
King, Mangum, Mason, Morton, Pearce, Rusk, when presented; to vote them down. This
Sebastian, Soule, Spruance, Sturgeon, Turney, right of offering instructions he meant to ex
Underwood, Yulee. ercise to its full extent.
NAYS.–Baldwin, Benton, Bradbury, Bright, In reply, Mr. Clay said, that there was no- Chase, Clark, Corwin, Davis (Mass), Dayton, thing extraordinary in giving a subject to a Dodge (Wis), Felch, Greene, Hale, Hamlin, Milcommittee without instructions. It happened ler, Norris, Phelps, Seward, Shields, Smith, Walevery day; two or three times a day. When ker, Whitecombe. a joint committee was appointed in the in
April 18. stance of the Missouri compromise, no instruc
Mr. Benton moved that the Senate proceed tions were given ; they were left free as air,
to the consideration of the California bill. to devise the best mode of settling that unhappy question. Senators had a right beyond
Mr. Clay moved to lay the motion on the doubt onstruct if they wished, or to leave
table, which was agreed to-Yeas 27, Nays
24, as follows: the con Wittee without restraint. This resolutjón will be adopted; and who was it, he
YEAS-Messrs Atchison, Badger, Bell, Borland,
Bright, Butler, Cass, Clemens, Davis of Miss., asked, that wished to check the free exercise
Dickinson, Downs, Foote, Hunter, King, Mangum, of their rights by the Senate ? Why those
Mason, Morton, Pearce, Rusk, Sebastian, Soule, who by their amendments, against the em
Sturgeon, Turney, Underwood, Whitecomb and phatic expressions of opinion by the majority | Yulee. of that body, would produce embarrassment NAYS—Messrs Baldwin, Benton, Chase, Clark, and delay. I have framed this resolution de- Corwin, Davis of Mass., Dayton, Dodge of Iowa, liberately, said Mr. Clay, and for the express Dodge of Wis, Douglas, Felch, Greene, Hale, purpose of getting rid of the unnecessary in. Hamlin, Jones, Miller, Morris, Phelps, Seward, structions which the Senator from Missouri | Shields, Smith, Spruance, Walker and Webster. has proposed, and to dispose of any other in- The question was then taken upon Mr. structions which his ingenuity, and no man Benton's amendment instructing the commitpossesses a greater amount of it than he does, tee not to connect California with any other might suggest to be brought before this body. measure. The amendment was rejected. Yeas Let my amendment be adopted, and let the 25, Nays 28. Senator offer his other instructions from one The question was then taken seriatim, upto ninety-nine, if he pleases, and we shall see on the thirteen propositions of Mr. BENTON, if the question of order will not silence them all of which were rejected. It was then taken all.
upon a proposition by Mr. HAMLIN, excepting Mr. WEBSTER cared little how this matter the admission of California from the reference. of a committee should be decided. He felt no This also was rejected. Mr. WALKER moved interest in it, for he thought no great benefit to except from reference to the Committee, the would result from it. But the motion of the subject of the arrest of fugitive slaves. This Senator from Kentucky he considered irregu- proposition was rejected. lar. It is in direct reversal of the standing The final question was then taken upon the rule of the Senate that “the proposition under motion to refer the resolution of Messrs CLAY
and Bell to a select committee of thirteen, and of annexation should be complied with. They adopted. Yeas 30, Nays 22, as follows: do not, however, consider that the formation
Yeas-Atchison, Badger, Bell, Borland, Bright of these new States should originate with ConButler, Cass, Clay, Clemens, Davis (Miss) Dickin- gress. In conformity with usage, the initiason, Dodge (of Iowa), Downs, Foote, Hunter, tive should be taken, with the consent of TexJones, King, Mangum, Mason, Morton, Pearce, as, by the people of her territory. When they Rusk, Sebastian, Soule, Spruance, Sturgeon, Turner, Underwood, Whitcomb, Yulee.
present themselves for admission, and have Nays-Baldwin, Benton, Bradbury, Chase,
the the purely municipal ques. Clarke, Corwin, Davis (Mass) Dayton, Dodge tion of slavery within their own limits, Con(Wis), Douglass, Felch, Greene, Hale, Hamlin, gress is bound to accept that decision. Miller, Norris, Phelps, Seward, Shields, Smith,
With regard to the question of the admisWalker, Webster.
sion of California, a majority of the CommitThe following day the Senate proceeded to
tee are of opinion that all irregularities in her ballot for the Chairman of the Select Com application should be overlooked, in considermittee upon the Compromise resolutions of ation of the omission of Congress to provide Mr. Bell and Mr. CLAY. On the first ballot
a proper territorial Government, and the conMr. Clay had 28 votes, BELL 1, BENTON 1,
sequent necessity of framing one for herself. MANGUM 1, blank 4.
The sole condition required by ihe Constitu. So Mr. Clay was declared elected.
tion of the United States in respect to the adMessrs Cass, Dickinson, Bright, Webster,
mission of a new State, is that its ConstiPhelps, Cooper, King, Mason, Bowns, Man- tution should be republican in form. That of gum, Bell, and Berrien were, on the next bal- California is such. Neither can there be oblot elected, the remaining members of the Com- jection on the score of population, which is mittee without opposition.
even greater than has heretofore been deemed
sufficient for the admission of new States. From this Committee, May 8, Mr. CLAY presented the following report.
With respect to her boundaries, the Committee From the thorough discussion which these regret the want of accurate geographical subjects have received in the Senate and
knowledge ; but extensive as her limits are, throughout the country, the Committee deem they appear to embrace no very disproportionit unnecessary to give the motives and views ate quantity of land adapted for cultivation. which have determined their conclusions on
It is known that they contain extensive ranges these questions. They would restrict themselves of mountains, deserts of sand, and much unto a few general observations and reflections. productive soil. The front assigned on the Their object in this report was to adjust all
Pacific might have been more limited, the differences arising from our late territorial but it is not certain that to States formed by acquisitions, in connection with the institution thus curtailing her sea-board, a sufficient exof slavery. They wished to leave nothing tent of accessible interior could have been behind to rankle in the public mind.
given. Should the necessity arise, from the inThe first subject that presented itself to crease of her population and a more thorough their attention was the Texas controversy.
exploration of her territory, to form a new The resolution of Congress annexing Texas to
State out of California, they believe from past the United States, provides that additional experience that such a measure would meet States, not exceeding four in number, may,
with no obstacles. by consent of Texas, be formed out of her ter- A majority of the Committee, therefore, reritory, and that such of these States as shall commend to the Senate the passage of the bill lie south of 36° 30' north latitude, commonly reported by the Committee on Territories for known as the Missouri compromise line, shall the admission of California, as a State, into be admitted, with or without slavery, as they the Union. They would 'advise also the shall severally choose.
adoption of the amendment to the bill, securThe Committee are unanimously of opinioning to the United States the public domain, and that the compact with Texas contained in other public property, in California. this resolution is clear and absolute. It has been Whilst a majority of the Committee believe it urged that it was unconstitutional. But it was to be necessary and proper, under actual circumalso declared at the time of the treaty of Loui. stances, to admit California, they think it quite siana, that the annexation of that province as necessary and proper to establish governwas unconstitutional, and who would now
ments for the residue of the territory derived from think of opposing the admission of the new
Mexico, and to bring it within the pale of the feStates constantly forming within its ancient deral authority. The remoteness of that territory limits? In grave national transactions, differ from the seat of the genera! Government; the ences may exist in their earlier stages; but dispersed state
of its population ; the variety of when once consummated, prudence and safety races--pure and mixed-of which it consists; demand acquiescence in the decision. The the ignorance of some of the races of our laws, Committee consequently think that the terms I language, and habits; their exposure to the
inroads and wars of savage tribes ; and the rit prevail. It was founded on mutual consolemn stipulations of the treaty by which we cession, and by mutual concession alone can acquired dominion over them, impose upon it be preserved. The territorial bill, in itself, the United States the imperative obligation of is marked by this species of compensation. extending to them protection, and of providing | It omits the Wilmot Proviso, that fruitful for them government and laws suited to their source of agitation ; while, on the other hand, condition. Congress will fail in the perform- it makes no provision for the introduction of ance of a high duty, if it does not give, or at- slavery. This Proviso, so productive of distempt to give, to them the benefit of such pro- cord, experience has shown to be practically tection, government, and laws. They are not unnecessary for the accomplishment of its now, and, for a long time to come, may not professed objects. California, in which the be, prepared for State government. The ter- introduction of slavery was most feared, has, ritorial form, for the present, is best suited to by the unanimous action of her own conventheir condition. A bill has been reported by tion, expressly prohibited that institution, and the Committee on Territories, dividing all the there is every reason to believe that Ulah and territory acquired from Mexico, not compre- New Mexico, on their admission as States, hended within the limits of California, into will follow the example. two territories, under the names of New Neither is there any aggrievement to CaliMexico and Utah, and proposing for each a fornia in thus coupling the question of her adterritorial government.
mission with other subjects, for her best digniThe Committee recommend to the Senate the ty should be found in her power to restore tranestablishment of those territorial goverments; quillity to the great family of her sister States. and, in order more certainly to secure that de- The next subject on which the Committee sirable object, they also recommend that the report is that of the Northern and Western bill for their establishment be incorporated in boundary of Texas. A majority of the Comthe bill for the admission of California, and mittee recommend that the boundary of Texas that, united together, they both be passed. be recognized to the Rio Grande, and up that
Exception has been taken to what is called river to the point commonly called El Paso, the incongruity of the combination of these and running thence up that river twenty two measures in the same bill. A majority of miles, measured thereon by a straight line, this Committee see nothing incongruous in this and thence eastwardly, to a point where the combination, but are aware of many conside- hundredth degree of west longitude crosses rations that mark it with a peculiar propriely. Red River; being the southward angle in the The object of these measures is, respectively, line designated between the United States and the establishment of a government for the new Mexico, and the same angle in the line of the State, and the new Territories. Originally territory set apart for the Indians by the provinces of one mother country, they were United States. In addition to this concession ceded to the United States by the same treaty. by the United States, it is proposed that The same article in that treaty guaranteed Texas receive for her relinquishment of whatthem protection and good government. ever claims she may have to any part of New Conterminous in some of their boundaries, Mexico, the pecuniary equivalent of alike in their physical condition, they present, millions of dollars, to be paid in a stock to with the exception of the rapid increase of be created, bearing five per cent interest annupopulation in California, a common attitude ally, payable half yearly, at the treasury of towards the rest of the Union.
the United States, and the principal reimbursBut it is objected, this combination forces able at the end of fourteen years. It is estimembers to the alternative of voting for what mated that the territory to which Texas will they disapprove, or of rejecting a measure of thus relinquish her claims, and which emwhich they approve. To this it may be an- braces that part of New Mexico lying east of swered, that there are also many who reject the Rio Grande, includes a little less than California alone, but would willingly admit 124,933 square miles, and about 79,957,120 her in conjunction with the territorial bill. acres of land. From the sale of this land the This objection shows that the real ground of United States may be reimbursed a portion, if opposition to the combination lies in the favor not the whole of the amount thus advanced or disfavor in which each measure is held, to Texas. and not in any want of affinity between them. A majority of the Committee recommend
In these conflicting opinions and interests, that the proposals to Texas be incorporated a majority of the Committee think that the in the bill embracing the admission of Calitrue spirit of legislation demands mutual con- fornia, as a State, and the establishment of cession. Few laws are ever passed in which territorial governments for Utah and New there is not something given up for the sake Mexico. By the union of these three meaof the greater good that is gained. Especial. sures, they hope that every question of diffily in a confederacy like ours should this spi- | culty arising from the acquisition of territory
VOL. V. NO. VI.
from Mexico will be placed in a train of sa- slaveholding States have prohibited a trade in tisfactory adjustment.
slaves, as merchandize, within their own liThe Committee next report on the subject of mits; and Congress, standing in regard to the fugitives from labor. The Constitution expli- | people of this District in the same position that citly declares that no person, held to service the State Legislatures do to the people of the in one State, under the laws thereof, shall, by States, may safely follow the example. The escaping into another, be discharged, in con- Committee recommend that this traffic be abosequence of any law, or regulation, therein, lished. from such service, but shall be delivered up on The views and recommendations contained the claim of the party to whom such service in this report may be recapitulated in a few is due. This clause, so plain and obligatory, words : is addressed alike to the States composing the 1. The admission of any new State, or Union, and to the General Government. Its States, formed out of Texas, to be postponed enforcement is the duty of both. At present, until they shall hereafter present themselves it is notorious that the attempt to recapture a to be received into the Union, when it will be slave is attended by great personal hazard. the duty of Congress, fairly and faithfully, to Perilous collisions constantly, ensue.
The execute the compact with Texas, by admitlaw of 1793 has been found wholly ineffectu- ting such new State, or States. al in prevention of this state of things, and 2. The admission, forthwith, of California the Committee recommend more stringent into the Union, with the boundaries she has enactments. The proceedings for the reco- proposed. very of the fugitive should be summary.
3. The establishment of territorial governTrial by jury has been required for them in ments, without the Wilmot Proviso, for New the non-slaveholding States; but, were this Mexico and Utah, embracing all the territory granted, it would draw after it its usual con- recently acquired by the United States from sequences of delay and increased expense, Mexico, not contained in the boundaries of and, under the name of a popular and che- California. rished institution, there would be a complete 4. The combination of these two last-menmockery of justice, so far as the owner of the tioned measures in the same bill. slave is concerned. A trial by jury, how- 5. The establishment of the western and ever, would be less objectionable in the State northern boundary of Texas, and the excluclaiming the fugitive. Accordingly, the Com- sion from her jurisdiction of all New Mexico, mittee recommend that the claimant be placed with the grant to Texas of pecuniary equiunder bond, and be required to return the valent. And the section for that purpose to fugitive to that county in the State from which be incorporated in the bill, admitting Califorhe fled, and there to take him before a compe- nia, and establishing territorial governments tent tribunal, giving him all facilities for esta- for Utah and New Mexico. blishing his freedom.
6. More effectual enactments of law to se. The Committee hope that, in this way, all cure the prompt delivery of persons bound to causes of irritation, consequent on the reco- service, or labor, in one State, under the laws very of fugitives, will be removed.
Should, thereof, who escape into another State. however, these measures, in their practical And 7. Abstaining from abolishing slavery; operation, prove insufficient, they consider but, under a heavy penalty, prohibiting the that the owners of such slaves will have a slave trade in the District of Columbia. just title to indemnity out of the Treasury of
May 13. the United States.
The Senate having under consideration the The Committee finally report on the ques- bill to admit California, as a State, into the tions of slavery, and the slave-trade, in Union, to establish territorial governments for the District of Columbia. Without discussing Utah and Mexico, and for making proposals the
power of Congress to abolish slavery to Texas for the establishment of her Western within the District, they are of opinion that its and Northern boundaries, Mr. Clay spoke as abolition is inexpedient. The apprehension follows: and uneasiness it would excite in the slave He wished to give some explanation conStates, the constant decrease of the slave po- cerning the report of the Committee of Thirpulation in this District, and the probability teen. When that report was presented to the that this concession would lead to farther de- Senate, various members stated that it did not mands, stamps such a measure as unneces- meet, in all its parts, with their concurrence. sary and unwise.
This was true. No one member of the ComBut a majority of the Committee think dif- mittee concurred in all that was done, or omitferently, with regard to the slave-trade with- ted to be done by the Committee. But these in the District. This trade is as revolting to differences were no source of discouragement the feelings of slaveholders, as to those from to him. In the passage of the measure through the Northern States. Most, if not all, of the this branch of Congress, there was