Plain Truths for the People

PLAIN TRUTHS TOR THE PEOPLE. ______ £4 38 iJirl SPEECH OF SENATOR WADE, OF OHIO. Delivered in the Senate of the United States, March 13 and 15, 1858. Mr President, I would gladly forego the task that is new before me, especially as the whole subject has been debated by those much more able to enlighten the Senate and the country upon it than I can claim to be. Indeed, after he able report of my colleague on the Com mittee on Territories, the Senator from Vermont, [Mr. Collamer ] on all the points involved in the controversy, which met with my entire approbation, backed by that masterly peech v h'ch he made on the case, it would be arrogant in me tc suppose that I could add anyjhing that would tend to enlighten either the Senate or the country on the subjects therein discussed. I would not speak at all, sir, if I did not know that the people of the S‘ate which I in part represent are more deeply mov ed with the consideration of this question than they ever have been before. They consider it . question of the first magnitude They are alarm;" 1 at the boldness with which a Constitution is urged upon a reluctant people against their will. They are alarmed at the progress of the principle of despotism'which they think they perceive connected with the administra tion of this Government. PROSCRIPTION. It is thought that we are very unreasonable because we take so much interest in the institution cf Slavery. I have been here long enough to know that that gi ;at b®dy of Northern people who remain true to the traditions of their fathers, who act up to the spirit of those who inaugu ratea our institutions, are just as’ much pro scribed from any of the benefits, emoluments, or honors of this Government, as if they were alien enemies. There are nearly thirteen hun dred thousand voters belonging to the great Republican party of the North, who, year after year, see the Government administered by hands that to them are alien, and they cannot participate in it. Why ? Because, when a nomination comes before you, the question is asked, how stands this Northern man upon the institution of th^ South ? What are his views ? Did he ever, in an unguarded moment, give utterance to the impulses of the heart of every freeman ? Did his tongue ever pronounce that wnich the heart of every freeman feels? If he did, and any spy can fish it up, and bring it here, he is proscribed from any favors from the Government under which he lives, ani which he supports. This should furnish a reason to you why almost everything political that is unpurchasa- ble in the market, that grounds itself upon principle, and cannot be swerved by those appliances, now ranks in the great Republican party of the North. If men are purchasable, if Execu- dve favor can reach and sway them, if any of those appliances that are brought to bear in political controversies can swerve them from the tpth, they have gone over to you; they have repudiated the principles under which they were born; they have forgotten the sentiments that they imbibed even from their mothers’ breasts. Such men have repudiated all this, and sworn fealty to an institution that they hate; such are the men of the North who find favor in this Government; the rest are aliens, proscribed by you. Yet, sir, because they are not perfectly patient under this state of things, they are said to be fanatical Abolitionists. I should like to kuqw how long the patience of the South would hold out ? Let us reverse this nefarious judgment; let Northern majorities come here a? inexorable as you; let us inquire, is he a slaveholder that is proposed for office? does he train in their company ? and if he ever dropped a word that favored the institution of Slavery, let us proscribe him—would there be any shrieking ? would you bear it like lambs ? I do ycu the credit of saying that you would rise up under such prosciption as this, and show a spirit more worthy of the fathers than we do on this side. I know you would. If we should undertake to hold you to those same intolerant and proscriptive principles that you exercise towards us, you would hear a howl worse than Mr. Buchanan heard from the South when Walker would not count fraudulent votes. BUfeLL & ULAN 0 H A RD, Printers, W ashington, D. 0.

2 ANTAGONISM. Mr. President, I have stated some of the reasons why Northern men take a deep and abiding interest in the question of Slavery, because it tends to fasten its nefarious shackles upon them. We may just as well look it right straight in the face, for it never will be allayed with sentiment; you may sing hosannas to this Union until you are hoarse; you may talk of our common blood and our common memories; and you may eulogize that great flag under which our fathers fought; and you may go into hysterics on the subject; but I tell you that Governments, in the long run, will be governed by their interests as they understand them, and by nothing else. These are all very pretty matters in their place, but the administrations of government are made of sterner stuff. They are never perpetuated by sentiments like these. I say to you, Mr. President, there is unfortunately—and I regret it as much as' any other man— a diversity between us in our government that seems almost irreconcilable. I do not know but that means may be found by which this great gulf can be bridged over; but on the one hand you find the freest communities that the world ever saw, where real and unadulterated Democracy does not reign as a sentiment, but is lived out in practice by all the people; where there is no aristocracy; where there is no man so high that he can claim a privilege beyond his most humble fellow citizen. This is the nature of the communities of the North, and of none more so than of that State which I have the honor in part to represent here. That is the freest of the free. It was there that the mind of that great patriot, Thomas Jefferson, fixed his eye the moment we had repelled the force of Great Britian. His philanthropic eye saw that great and beautiful wilderness lying open, soon to be peopled by the citizens of the United States. It was a leading object with him to carry into practice those beautiful theories of equality which had charmed his great mind so long. He labored unceasingly until he had fixed out a document fully to carry out there his great idea that the people should rule the Governments of the earth. He found nothing in the way of his theory; there was a blank sheet of paper. There was a Government to be laid, unstained by any of the crimes of ancient Rome. No institutions had grown up there, inconsistent with right; and he fixed upon that soil to carry out the great theory of self- government for which the world had labored and sighed for so many generations; and there the work was completed. In that region there is no aristocracy. In that glorious region there is no slave. Whoever comes there impressed with the image of God, is acknowledged to have an inalienable fight to liberty that none but God can take away. This is the character of the communities composing more than one-half the States of this Union. How is it on the other side ? Why, sir, I understood the Senator from Virginia, [Mr. Hunter,] in the beautiful speech that he made yesterday, which would have challenged the admiration of every one, except for some sentiments that were scattered through it, to say—I have not had the benefit of seeing his speech printed, but I think he said—that these ideas of political equality which were held up before our communities were utopian and fanciful, and never could be realized. This probably was not his language, but it was his sentiment. Those principles of equality, asserted in the great charter of human liberty, the Declaration of Independence, he believes to be utopian, incapable of practice; mere abstractions, not to be lived out. I wish Southern gentlemen were better acquainted than they seem to be with Northern institutions. I tell the Senator from Virginia, you are wrong in believing this to be an abstraction. It is, thank God, a truth, the realization of which any man can witness who will cross over into my State. I have heard these sentiments uttered so often on the other side of the Chamber, that I have come to know that our views of government are just as diverse as men’s views possibly can be. There is, as I said before, an antagonism existing between us, which I know not how you are to cover up. The Declaration of Independence an abstraction 1 Are the great rights which it proclaimed, and which were the boast and glory of our fathers “ glittering generalities,” having no practical meaning ? If so. I would ask any man, what did you gain by that boasted Revolution of yours? Wherein does your Government differ from any despotism on the face of the earth? Once break loose from the glorious doctrines of that great charter of liberty, and you are in the slough of despond; you have nothing to distinguish you from the most horrible despotism that ever reigned over prostrate human nature. I ask again, why do you boast of what your fathers did, if they established a mere abstraction, or, as it is sometimes called, a “glittering generality? ” The Senator from South Carolina, carrying out the same idea, said: “ In all social systems there must be a class to do the menial duties, to perform the drudgery of life. That is, a class requiring but a low order of intellect, and but little skill. Its requisites are vigor, docility, fidelity. Such a class you must have, or you would not have that other class which leads progress, civilization, and refinement.” Now, suppose you had not that class which leads progress, civilization, and refinement: which class can you dispense with best? Of what use is your idle aristocracy ? In God’s name, have they not been the curse, the blight of every nation of the earth ? You cannot have this refined aristocracy, says the gentleman, unless you have a class to do your drudgery ; and that is the sentiment of the whole South. How diametrically opposed to it is the whole practical system of the North 1 Is it reasonable, is it right, that “ a class ” shall do

3 your drudgery—“ a class ” that shall obey ? Sir, labor should never be done by a class. If you obeyed the mandate of the Almighty, and labor were distributed among all the able-bodied men, it would cease to be a task; it would become a mere amusement, and it would tax no man’s physical powers above what would consist with his health and his welfare. It was designed—for G-od is jus? -that this drudgery of which the Senator speaks should be distributed among all the able-bodied men, so as to make it light, and then it would not be inconsistent with the highest perfection of civiliza tion and refinement; but, on the other hand, would lead directly to it. Labor done by a class I That, sir, was the old curse of the Old World. A class has been assigned to do the drudgery, to do all that is valuable, to produce everything that is beneficial; and the system leaves aristocratical drones, useless, vicious idlers, whom any community can well dispense with. I say this class you can dispense with, to the advantage of any community that I know of; but the class who do your labor cannot be dispensed with. The Senator says you must have a class to do your degraded labor. I deny that labor is degraded; and here is the point of difference between us, which I fear can never be overcome. That is one grand reason why we resist your system coming into our Territories; it is because you are determined to contaminate all labor by this degra ded class. Will the free, intelligent laborer place himself upon a level with your mere ab ject chattel, and toil there? Sir, he cannot do it, and ought not to do it, and will not do it. THE WORKING CLASSES. What an idea of labor! The Senator supposes that the la coring class want but very little mind and very little skill. Sir, there is nothing on earth that puts the human intellect to all that it can attain, like the varied labor of man. What does your drone, your refined aristocrat, do in his mind? What problems does he work out ? He consumes the products of labor; he is idle, and ten to one he is also vicious. He never invents. Go to your Patent Office, and see what are the products of your degraded labor and your refined aristocrat The latter never invents anything, unless it is a new way of stuffing a chicken or mixing liquor. [Laughter.] He invents nothing beneficial to man. Degraded labor, with a low intellect, is all you want! Sir, the machinery brought into operation by intelligent labor is doing now more drudgery than all the slaves upon the face of the earth. The elements are yoked to the machines of human usefulness, and there they are doing the work of bone and muscle, and your system cannot abide with it. The doom of Slavery would be fixed, if it was by nothing else than the products of intelligent labor. You drudge along in the old way; you invent no steam engine, because your labor is degraded. You do not want skill; you want but very little mind; and the Senator thinks the more ignorant the laborers are the better, for, he says, they are so degraded that they have no ambition, and they never will endanger this refined class that eats up the proceeds of their labor 1 That is the idea of government that prevails all through the slaveholding regions of the South. Again, the Senator says of the degraded class that do the drudgery: “It constitutes the very mud-sill of society and of political government; and you might as well attempt to build a house in the air, as to build either the one or the other, except on this mud-sill.” And then he goes on to say that we of the North have white slaves ; that we perform our labor by white slaves. This class must exist everywhere, and they must be a mudsill upon which you must erect civil societies and political organizations. How little that gentleman understood of the spirit of our Northern laborers! I would like to see him endeavoring to erect his political institutions upon their prostrate necks as mud-sills. I think it would be a little troublesome. He might as well make his bed in hell, or erect his building over a volcano, as to undertake to build on his Northern “ mud-sills/ Then, with a simplicity that shows he knows nothing of Northern society, he says we have sent our missionaries down to their very hearthstones, to endanger their system. I do not know how that is; but he turns round and asks how we would like them to send their missionaries up to teach our laborers their power. I was astonished at such an idea as that being presented to political men of the North, who know and see and feel the power of the laboring class of men. We are all laboring men, and the politician cannot live, unless they breathe upon him ; he cannot move, unless he moves with their entire approbation. They are the soul, the strength, the body, the virtue, the mainstay, of all our society. Deprive our State of its laborers, and what would it be? We have nothing else, and we have none of your refined society that is spoken of. We all labor, and are all disgraced, as the gentleman would call it, in our community. Labor with us is honorable; idleness is disreputable. That is the state of things with us, and the laboring man knows full well, and needs no missionary to tell him, the potency of his vote. We should like to have your missionaries come up and endeavor to endanger our society 1 Good heavens! Oue man has the same interest in upholding it as another. Suppose one man is richer than another in Ohio. There is no very great diversity, as a general thing ; but suppose he is; take the child of the poorest man in our State, and has he any temptation to overthrow our Government ? No/sir. Full of life, full of hope, full of ambition to go beyond him who has gone furthest, he wishes to avail himself of the same securities which have ministered to the upbuilding of others. He is a

4 citizen, who holds all the rights of citizenship as dear as the most wealthy. His stake in society is the same; his hope is the same ; his interest in good government is the same. He is none of your prostrate mud sills, deprived of those rights which God Almighty has given him, trampled under foot, and made to minister to the interests of another man. There is no such system as that with us. ALLIES OF THE SLAVEHOLDERS. But the Senator spoke about a degraded class in our great commercial cities. I have to confess that there is some truth in that. We have a degraded class in the cities. They are the offscourings generally of the Old World—men who come here reduced to beggary by their ignorance ; reduced to beggary by their vice; ignorant, vicious, dangerous. I do not deny it. They are incident to all large cities; but the Senator should not complain of them. They are the chief corner-stone of your political strength in the North. Find me the vicious ward of any city that does not uphold your system of Slavery, vote for its candidates, support its measures, and labor for its men. No, sir ; you should not complain of this vicious population. In truth and in fact, they are about the only stay and support you have there now, and you ought not to traduce them From their very natures, they attach themselves to you, and I do not think by any treatment you will be able to drive' them off. They are naturally with you ; they were slaves in their own countries ; they do not know anything else than to be the understrappers of somebody; and when they hear that here are slaveholders contending with freemen, you find them with the former all the time. UNION AND DISUNION. Mr. President, I think this shows the antag- onisim between the institutions of the North and the South. We have not made them so. Nobody here is particularly to blame for the state of things that exists. It has grown imperceptibly with our growth. Our lot has been cast either on one side of the line or the other. Our habits and our education have' conformed to that state of things existing where our lot has been cast. I can appreciate and make allowances for that, but I cannot be biased as to the right of the matter. I know where that is. Now, what is the remedy for this ? If you bring us into collision, your system of despotism encountering our system of freedom here on this floor, do you suppose there will be no excitement ? Is any one so superficial as to believe that it will depend on the temper and disposition of a man how this great controversy shall be settled? Net at all, sir. You may preach harmony, you may preach forbearance till doomsday ; but a violent conflict will take place every time these principles meet on this floor or elsewhere, because they are naturally antagonistic. God Almighty has made them so, and man cannot reconcile them. What, then, is our safety ? It is to stand upon the principles you once professed, rigid State rights, yielding to the General Government j ust as little power as is possible to cement it together so far as to provide for the common defence ; for the moment won ' g these things into the Ger assure you that you m; till doomsday, and concii I u. , what is to be the result of this controversy I know some cf you threaten to leave the Union unless you are gratified every time a Collision takes place between us; and that Texas of ours, with which I opened this debate, stands in a singular attitude towards us to-day. I have in my drawer three resolutions of her Legislature, presented to us at this session, asking for men for her protection, and for sums of money to indemnify her for expenses incurred, as she claims, in protecting herself, and urging upon the General G )vernment to make further provision for that State, which has already cost us so much. Her Legislature has sent to us a fourth resolution. I have not got it here, but I heard it read at the table; and, if I understood it aright, she has given us fair notice that she is about to go out of this Union. At all events, I do not think that was in good taste. I do not think it was politic; because we may say to her, “if you are ready going to leave us, perhaps it is best for us to make no further appropriation for you.” Why beg of us protection, and turn right around and tell us “ we are going to put you at defiance; we are going to hold a Hartford Convention cf the South, to deliberate whether we shall leave the Union?” Before I vote for the supplies she asks, I think I shall want to hear an explanation of this. I may want to know whether they are to inure to the benefit of the Union, or to furnish powder to blow out our own brains. Let me say here, Mr. President, that I have no apprehensions about the Union. The people I represent have got bravely over any qualms about your dissolving the Union. You may preach about it, and howl about it, until your lungs are sore; it will not move a muscle of my constituents or cf myself. I know that our destinies are cast together; and whether it is beneficial or not—and I do not know whether it is or not—-you can obtain no divorce. We are wedded for better or for worse, and forever ; and we had better make the best of our lot. You cannot go out. The Senator from Alabama [Mr. Clay] asked the Senator from Wisconsin, [Mr. Doolittle,] in the course of his remarks, whether, if they undertook to go out cf the Union, we were going to forcibly interpose to prevent it ? I do not remember exactly what the answer was, but I wanted to ask another question, f jr it has taxed my ingenuity to know how it is you can get a State out of this Union. If the most violent resolution, if the most flaming declaration, could have

‘5 done it, your Union would have been blown to atoms long ago. It wants something more than Conventions; it wants something stronger than resolutions. I do not know how you propose to effect it. How can a State go out? A man may commit treason under the Constitution of the United States, if be levies war against them; he may be hauled up and pun ished; but how, in Heaven’s name, is a State to go out of the Union? I should like to have some one who talks about it show me the modus operands. THE SUPREME COURT. There was one thing I failed to mention in its proper place. I allude to the late nefarious decision of your Supreme Court. They made a new discovery—a discovery that, by vigor of the Constitution of the United States, you can carry Slavery all over the continent wherever your flag may float. I approach that subject with nc pleasure. I wish I could entertain a good opinion of the judges of that court. I wish I could believe they were patriotic. I wish I could believe they held the scales of justice equal between the rich and the poor, the great and the small, unswerved by political considerations, uninfluenced by anything but their duty, which is the most Godlike that man can ever administer; that is justice unmixed, unbiased justice. I wish I could believe that that court were actuated by no other than these great Gidlike principles in the decision they have nr de. It was a most extraordinary decision The mode of coming at it, the decision itself, the time when it was made, are all calculated to inspire the mind with a suspicion that all is not right. I affirm that the Supreme Court, in making this decision, has done what no court of the United States had ever done before; but I do not hold this court, and never did hold it, in that "reverence which some gentlemen pretend to entertain. I remember that it seems to be the mere instrument of political power. It follows it as the incident follows the principal. In the old Federal times, when your alien and sedition law was passed, and it came before that court, they found no difficulty in maintaining that most flagrant violation of the Constitution. Your sedition law was upheld by the judges of that court, and men were imprisoned by its process; and yet to day there is not a man to be found in these United States but what considers that law a most disgraceful law to remain on the statute book. It doe^ not remain there as a law, but it stands there as a memorial of the madness of party, and the easy method in which men will violate the Con- stitu ion of the United States. That wes upheld. All men now consider it as infamous, notwithstanding it had the sanction of that court. Almost the entire speech of the Senator from Louisiana—and I wish he was here—was made for the purpose of sustaining the validity of that decision. I am not going extensively into it, for I have not time, nor does it need a very extensive examination to show that it is a fallacy, a mere sham; that it has not the semblance or color of authority. THE DRED SCOTT DECISION. Dred Scott, the plaintiff, claimed that he was a free man; and according to the course of practice from the earliest organization of the Government, in every district, (for the cases ' establishing it are numerous enough,) he sued for his freedom in the Circuit Court of the United States. The pretended claimant put in a plea to the jurisdiction. He said that Dred Scott was a negro; that his ancestors came from Africa; that they were slat-os, and therefore he was not a citizen of the United States, and he had no right to a hearing in that court. Drod Scott demurred to that plea; and that demurrer came up before the court, and it was the only question they could decide. After getting the plaintiff out of court, and saying he has no standing here, after murdering him, the court go on to declare principles most fatal to the liberties and rights of many of the American people. The like was never done before in any court. No court in thia Union has been heretofore more chary of giving decisions that were not called for by the case, than the Supreme Court of the United States. They have always repudiated it. They would never go further than the necessities of the case required them to go Was not the decision of the question of jurisdiction an end of this case? A majority of the judges decided that Dred Scott had no right to be in the court. They dismissed him from their consideration. What further was there to do? The Senator from Louisiana, in his argument, did not pretend, as a lawyer, to argue that this was not the effect of the decision; but he uttered what seemed to me very much like sophistry. He read from the opinions of the court, claiming that they had a right to go further. I do not care what they claimed. Any man that ever went through a lawyer’s office knows that when they decided that the plaintiff had no standing in court, the case was at an end; and any opinion they should give after that was a ir ere obiter dictum, entitled to no more respect than though it had been delivered here or in the streets. Mr. President, there is another thing to be considered in reference to that case. Here, to be sure, was a poor negro, having no friends,, no consideration, nobody to look to his interests. He was a member of a degraded class, with yhom the court m’ght deal with perfect impunity. I fear that the court, swayed by political reasons, forgot the rights of Dred Scott, and plunged into this political whirlpool, in order to control its currents. Is it not remarkable that America, the first nation in the world, should decide that a man may be so low that he cannot even seek his rights in the courts of the country ? Was there ever anything like it in any community before, whether civilized or

6 ing on their exertions in favor of a liberty which they denied to their fellow men. No such reproach, Judge Taney, can be brought on the heads of the great worthies of the Revolution. The honorable Senator from Louisiana, with that plausible and beautiful style of which he is so completely master, tried to escape from the rugged inconsistencies of this nefarious decision, by passing a eulogy on the old Chief Justice. It was beautiful; it relieved him from the burden of encountering the enormous, glaring un- constitutionalities and breaches of law summed up there. Why, sir, he went so far as to send the old man to Heaven even before he died. I do not think that decision will help him on his road. He coolly joins the current of popular opinion, turns away from the poor man who has sought the administration of law in his behalf, and says to him, “ you are a negro, and you cannot sue in court; if you have rights, we cannot investigate them; you are a mere chattel/’ Sir, if that helps a man to heaven, God forbid that I should act upon such principles. CONGRESS NOT BARRED OUT. Therb is another consideration connected with this decision. I have not time, and I have not made it a point, to go into all its enormities. There are only one or two points in it that I wish to bring before the Senate. So far as I have heard them, those who yield to the decision of the Supreme Court seem to suppose that it is obligatory on everybody, and that the Senate of the United States, like poor Dred Scott, are barred and thrown-out of court; that the President of the United States, and the House of Representatives, and every department of the Government, are ignored, and no better off than poor Dred Scott. I deny the doctrine—the most dangerous that could be admitted in a free country—that these judges, holding their । office for life, reposing with total immunity, have any right to decide the law of the land for every department of this Government. Sir, you would have the most concentrated, irresponsible despotism on God’s earth, if you give such an interpretation to the decisions of that or any other court. No, sir ; each department must act for itself. I stand here, clothed with the same power, to proclaim what is the Constitution upon the passage of any law that comes before us, as that or any other court. I follow my own interpretation of the Constitution; I am bound to do it; I have sworn that I would, and I beg of the Senate never to yield to this arbitrary doctrine that the Supreme Court can bind the other departments of the Government; that we must yield to the decisions that they make. No, sir ; never. They may decide on the poor man’s rights, who is so unfortunate as to fall within their grasp. They have decided that Dred Scott could not sue in the court. R'lght' or wrong, constitutional or unconstitutional, that stands. It is the highest court; it has decided in the last resort. Dred Scott’s rights have been determined, and determined barbarous ? The court tells us we have men among us so low that they can have no rights ; that they are mere merchandise. But I will not travel into that field, which has been so ably discussed by the Senator from New Hampshire, [Mr Hale ] They grounded their decision upon history, not the Constitution. They travelled out of the Constitution of the United States, and sought to found their decision upon what they picked up as scraps of history here and there; and that history was entirely and utterly perverted, as was proved by the Senator from New Hampshire, so palpably that no gentleman on the other side has yet risen to challenge its accuracy; and they cannot do it. I have a law of Virginia here in my drawer, which was passed at about the period of which the Supreme Court speak when they say that negroes were considered as chattels whom any man might seize and convert to his own use. At that very instant, in old Virginia, he was a citizen, made so by statute, if he was free; and I do not know but that he had all the rights of a white man. At all events, he was declared there to be a citizen. He was then a citizen in at least eight of the States of this Union. Mr. MASON. Will the Senator advert to that statute, and give me its title ? I will not interrupt him now, though. Mr. WADE. I will show it to the gentleman. •Mr. MASON. I will not interrupt the gentleman now. Mr. WADE. I have it here, though I may not be able to put my hands on the exact place at this moment. In eight States of the Union, a black man was a citizen; and I do not know but that he was entitled to all the rights of a white man; for at that period you will find, if you search the history of the country, that a distinction between black and white was not taken. It was between slave and free. That was the question. Up to the time alluded to by the Chief Justice, I can find nothing that discriminates between the color of men. The only question was, whether a man was a freeman. If he was, he was entitled to all the rights of a freeman ; if he was not, he was a slave. But the Chief Justice says that all of them were so held. Good heavens I Had he not heard of the scathing anathema of Thomas Jefferson, of Judge Tucker,- and of other great lights and worthies of ♦he Old Dominion, about that same period, in language more pointed than any other men could use ? When was it that Thomas Jefferson said he trembled for his country, when he reflected that God was just, and that his ven geance would not sleep forever? Yet the Chief Justice says it was not controverted by anybody. Sir, it was controverted by every man of the Revolution. They, seeking their own rights at the cannon’s mouth, claiming for themselves the utmost freedom, and invoking the aid of God to help them to work it out, had not the impudence to look to Heaven, and ask a bless­

7 forever; but no other department of the Government, no other right, wag touched. Talk about their deciding that Slavery exists in Kansas as much as in South Carolina ! Talk about the highest tribunal in the land deciding that Slavery is in your Territories; that every inch of ground outside of the free States is slave territory ! I pity the weakness of the man who yields to any such ideas as that. That court has no such transcendent power. It could bind nobody but the suitors in the court. It would be unfortunate if it could. I know with what avidity your facile President seized upon the idea, and stultified himself by saying that it was a mystery to him that any man should ever doubt it. The Senator from Michigan [Mr. Chandler] yesterday disposed of him in that particular. He disposed of him forever, and showed a hypocrisy, I am compelled to say, disgraceful to a man, e^en in a private station. He who had deliberately put forth the doctrines of the Missouri Compromise; he who had sought, over and over again, in the ripeness of his judgment, after full deliberation, to procure its extension and recognition by Congress, now turns coldly around, and tells us it is a mystery that any man should ever have doubted it! Well, sir, if Mr. Buchanan is a mystery to himself, he is no mystery to me. HEAR THE SLAVE POWER. There is one other consideration that I wish to bring before the Senate. Why is it, and how is it, that the Southern States, with one- third, or lees than one-third, of the free population of this nation, have been enabled for sixty years to rule the destinies of the country ? It has been done, in the first place, (and that is one reason why I contest every inch of ground,) because in a close oligarchy you have a power that a democracy of the same numbers can never have politically. The power of the Government seems to be in inverse ratio to the number of people that participate in the Government. And this is obvious enough. You have a class of not more than three hundred and fifty thousand slaveholders in the United States. They have governed this Union (so says the Senator from South Carolina, and he says truly) for sixty long years ; not the people of the South, mind you ; he says the slaveholders have ruled the nation. That is true. First of all, they placed their feet on the necks of all those who do not hold slaves. The poor men of the South he utterly ignores, as having any political power, and I suppose they have none. They have votes, no doubt; but those votes are given in accordance with the will of this aristocracy, who are all-powerful; for it has been observed, and truly observed, that he who has the power over the subsistence of another has the power over his will. You, the wealthy slaveholders of the South, wield absolute dominion over your poorer white neighbors; therefore it was that the Senator from South Carolina said the slaveholders have ruled the nation. You three hundred and fifty thousand slaveholders have ruled your six million whites, (I go according to the census of 1850,) you have not only ruled your six million, but you have also ruled the fourteen million free people of the North. How have you done it? You have done it because you had a general bond of interest uniting you, tying you together as if animated by one soul. What was the interest of one, was the interest of another. You are forced all on the same platform, all acting to one end. You found the Democracy of the North divided in various pursuits, laboring in their various avocations, with very little time to study this problem of politics: and you have always been able to seduce enough of us over to you, to enable you to carry your Government along. I know that gentlemen smile at this; but I am compelled by truth to state facts here that I wish I could hide from the world. It is a rottenness at the North that you do not have. It is disreputable to us, but I am compelled to admit it. A DAGUERREOTYPE FOR THE BENEFIT OF FUTURE AGES. Your allies, the doughfaces of the North, in my judgment, are the most despicable of men. The modern doughface is not a character peculiar to the age in which we live, but you find traces of him at every period of the worlds history. He is void of pride; he is void of self- respect ; he is actuated by a mean, grovelling selfishness, that would sell his Maker for a price. Why, sir, when old Moses, under the immediate inspiration of God Almighty, enticed a whole nation of slaves, and ran away, not to Canada, but to old Canaan, I suppose that Pharaoh and all the chivalry of old Egypt denounced him as a most furious Abolitionist. [Laughter.] I do not know but that they blasphemed their God, who had assisted the fugitives from labor to escape. I have no doubt at all, that when some Southern gentlemen of the Gcspel come up to preach to the North, they will say that the Almighty acted a very fanatical part in this business. I am afraid they will say so; for He was aiding and abetting in the escape. But amidst the glories of that great deliverance, even feeding upon miracles of the Almighty as they went along, there were not wanting those who loved Egypt better than they loved liberty; whose souls longed for the flesh-pots of Egypt; and who could turn from the visible glories of the Almighty God to worship an Egyptian calf. These were the doughfaces of that day. They were national men. [Laughter.] They were not exactly Northern men with Southern principles; but they were Israelites with Egyptian principles. [Laughter.] Again: when the Saviour of the world went forth on his great mission to proclaim glad tidings of joy to all the people of the earth, to break every yoke, and to preach deliverance to the captive, He met with the same class of men

in the persons of Judas Iscariot and the chief priests. In the days of our own Revolution, when Washington and his noble associates were carrying on that struggle to establish justice, and to secure the blessings of liberty to them selves and their posterity, they met with the same class of men in the admirers of George III and Lord North. They are all of the same class—false to the education of their fathers—false to the great principles which have been instilled into them by their mothers from their birth—willing to do anything that will minister to the cupidity of their masters, let the consequences be what they may. It is this class of men, aided by a close aristocracy at the S>uth, that has enabled the minority to rule with iron hand the majority, since the organization of this Government. I have endeavored to daguerreotype these men for the benefit of future ages; for I believe that, like the Indian tribes, they are disappear ing. You have put them to very hard service, sir. They die faster than the Northern negroes in your rice-swamps—politically, I mean. You put them to service that they cannot stand. Whea you ask them to vote for a fugitive bill, they may do it once, but political death stares them in the face. When you ask them to go with you for the repeal of the Missouri restriction, you find the same state of things And now, worst of all, when you ask them to fasten upon their fellow men, in a Territory of the United States, a Constitution which that, people abhor, I tell you every Northern repre sentative who participates in this act is not only politically dead, but he may thank his God if he escapes with that. A LAWYER ADMITS AWAY HIS OWN CASE. I find, sir, that I am detaining the Senate longer than I wished ; and yet, if I am to go over the argument of the subject immediately under consideration, I shall have to detain them some time longer. [“ Go on ! ”] I shall be as brief as possible on this part of the case. I desire first to notice some things in the argument of the able and eloquent gentleman from Louisiana, [Mr. Benjamin.] who addressed us on the day before yesterday. He endeavored to show that there was a distinction between the right of a slaveholder to his slave and the remedy he might have ; and hence he claimed that, when a slave went into a free country, the master did not lose his right over him, but lost the remedy. He said that in a free country, where there was no law for the protection of the rights of the master, he did not lose his right to the slave, but lost his remedy—lost his power to control the slave. He likened it to the case of a man who had a patent right, or a poet who had a property in the productions of his own inspiration. I will read the Senator’s language, to show how the most gifted man, when he is not on his guard, may admit away his own case. He said: “ There lives now a man in England, who, from time to time «ings, to the enchanted ear of th civilized world, ’trains of such melody that the charmed senses seem to abandon the gros ser regions of earth, and to rise to purer and serener regions above. God has created that man a poet. His inspiration is his; his songs are his by right Divine; they are his property, so reccgnised by human law; yet here, in these United States, men steal Tennyson’s works, and sell his property for their profit; and this because, in spite of the violated conscience of the nation we refuse to give him protection for his property.” Again, following out the same idea, he said : “ Does not every man see at once that the right of the inventor to his discovery, that the right of the poet to his inspiration, depends upon those, principles of eternal justice which God has implanted in the heart of man ; and that wherever he cannot exercise them, it is because man, faithless to the trust that he has received from God, denies them the protection to which they are entitled.” That is a very sound doctrine, in my judgment ; it is an appeal to that higher law which has been so much traduced. The poet has a divine right to the inspiration of his genius and the products of his mind; the inventor of a machine has a God-given right to the use of his discovery. Does not the honorable Senator see, that if these rights are from God, above human law, no Constitution and no law can take them away ? And how much more has a man a right to his own body and to his own soul, than he can be said to have to his own productions? How could the gentleman fail to see that, if the poet and the inventor had this divine right, the slaveholder could not claim the right of ownership over another man ? Would not that man have the game Gcd-given right that he claims for the poet and the discoverer? Most assuredly he would. This admission stultified his whole case. He admits, then, that Slavery would be impossible. It is not a matter of right. No, sir; he might as well admit at the outset that Slavery is not a matter of right. It is a matter of positive law. It is a matter of force. It is a matter of fraud. It is not a matter of right; and the moment the slave gets beyond the power to enforce the mandate, he is as free as his master. Has God Almighty put any mark on him, by which you can say, when he gets into a foreign jurisdiction, which is the slave and which the master? The slave might as well claim a right to the master, as the master to the slave, the moment he passes beyond the jurisdiction. THE GREAT FRAUD. Now, Mr. President, with regard to the Kansas question, I shall treat it very briefly. I contended here, four years ago, that the abrogation of the Missouri restriction would be attended by the same train of circumstances that has taken place. I ^contended then that you were opening this Territory to strife and to contention; that you were putting it up to a vendue, to make it a theatre where the most selfish and outrageous passions would contend for the mastery; that you were begetting a state of civil war. You claimed that it was going to be all peace ; that it was done for the purpose of withdrawing this terrible controversy from

9 the Halls of Congress to your Territories. Do you gain anything by it? Agitation begins in your Territories. Is it not sure to find its way into these Halls ? The House of Representatives sent into that Territory a commission of the most honorable men, noton one side of politics, but on both, there to investigate the charges that were made against the first Legislature. I have its report before me. I have read more than ninety of the depositions that were taken, of men who are not impeached, men who were partisans, many of them against the side of the question which I advocate. Here are their depositions. Perhaps I had better read some of them. They go to show you that even before this law was passed, there were organized Upon the borders of Missouri divers lodges, under different names, for the sole and only purpose of carrying Slavery into that Territory at all hazards. That was the object of their organization. They had all the paraphernalia of a secret society They had their grips, their pass-words, their modes of recognition of one another; and before the day of election they went over there, embodied in military array, in vast numbers, with their colors flying and their drums beating, with guns, cannon, pistols, and bowie knives. They disseminated themselves through all the Territory, took possession of all the polls but one, and frequently removed the judges, giving them a certain time to deliver the poll books— a few minutes—holding watch in hand, and pointing pistols at the heads of the election judges. They drove them off with force and fraud. This is undeniable. The volume before me proves it. It will go down to the latest posterity, that these nefarious acts are proved. They are part of the records of your legislation. They never shall be gainsayed. I know the Senator from South Carolina, and a good many other Senators', have been willing to divide the cdium of this transaction with us. He thought there were disgraceful frauds on both sides—“ disgraceful,” said be, “ to the country,” and he has not sought to investigate them. He says it is a disagreeable subject, and he has no doubt both sides are guilty. Sir, it was not on both sides. It was only on one side. You took possession of those polls. You elected your own men, members of a foreign State, who came in there to control the destinies of this Territory, which it was especially said should be ruled as its own citizens pleased. I do not want to detain the Senate by reading the pages which I have turned down in this document, unless some gentlemen wishes to hear them. Tney are long, but they are all pertinent. All go to show the facts I have stated, and there is nobody to deny or contradict them. Now, you say we do not prove them. Did not we ask you for a commission to examine them during the last Congress? We made charges; we said they were true; we had letters and communications imploring us to investigate the state of things that was prevailing there; but as often as we asked you to give us a commission, you refused it. Standing on that refusal, you turn round and deny the weight of the authorities we produce. Sir, that will not go down. Now, at a later day, when your candle-box frauds, your forgeries most disgraceful, are coming to light—when they are known of all men—we ask you for a commission to investigate this matter; and as often as we ask it, you turn round coolly and vote us down, and then deny that there is any such thing I Sir, the country will take cognizance of that. The fraud by which the election of March 30, 1855, was carried, is established. I know you undertake to estop us by saying that Governor Reeder gave certificates to a majority of the members. So he did; but that did not cure the usurpation. I think the Governor allowed but four days to receive protests contesting the seats of the members elect. The people, scattered as they were, could not prepare their memorials to the Governor and get them there in time. In every instance where it was done, the election was set aside for most paloable frauds; but the setting them aside availed nothing. There were your blue lodges, your usurpers, in power. They were taking their seats by a usurpation ; they were not to be turned aside by anything like this. New elections were ordered in several of the districts, and in every instance the Free State men were returned; but, on the very first day of the meeting of the Legislature, without investigation, without referring to a committee, they just turned every Free S*ate man right out of the Legislature. What good would it do to give certificates ? But is a man to be estopped on a gross usurpation like this? Is an American citizen to be cheated out of his rights under forms of law ? I ask any honorable gentleman on the other side, would you submit to it? No, sir, you would not. Would you submit to be governed by a gang of usurpers, who, without right, and in defiance of right, had taken possession of your ballot-boxes, defeated your election, turned your countrymen out, and foreigners usurped your places ? Would technicalities avail ? No, sir; I have too high an cp’nion of you to believe that. It would be idle, mere miserable pettifogging, to come in and say, oh, you have certificates from the Governor, and that cures everything, and we cannot be admitted to & ove that it was a usurpation. Sir, there was n jt a man who received his certificate as havi g been elected on that day, who had any more title to a seat in the Legislature than he had to the kingdom of heaven ; and can a certificate give a man the right to rule in this country ? Sir, American liberty rests on no fragile basis like that; and shame to the man who will say that he would succumb to a fraud like this. Such was the original usurpation. It was the result of fraud. It was worse than void. It was a result brought about by the commis­