Slavery Question


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SPEECH OF MR. WADE. The House being in committee of the whole on the state of the union— Mr. WADE said: I propose to say a few things on the old theme of which, we have all heard so much—the subject of slavery and the threatened dissolution of the union. These two seem to constitute a sort of duality—a “ two in one ” subject, as inseparable as the Siamese twins. A part of what I have to say, will be with the intention of calling the minds of gentlemen, to the purer and better days of the republic—to contrast those days with the present, and try if we can search out the old landmarks of constitutional liberty, and from these, to determine how far we may have wandered into the domains of despotism. At this day, and under the perils to which liberty and the union are exposed, I believe this to be the most acceptable service which a patriot can render to his country. I desire sir if it be possible, to reproduce before the people of this day, the living realities of those purer and better days, when the union and the constitution bad their birth. For, sir, it is in the spirit only in which the union and constitution were organized, that they can be preserved, if preserved at all. If the ethical principles in which the union and constitution were brought into being, were the principles of despotism, of human bondage—if the spirit which presided at their birth, was the cold and sunless spirit of a crushing despotism, then in the perpetuity of that fell spirit, will rest their only peace and permanency. But if, on the other hand, the union and constitution were produced from the gentle, genial spirit of liberty, and the changeless natural equality of human rights, then in the same spirit, must they be administered, to be perpetuated. No self-evident axiom, no demonstration in mathematics, is more convincing than this. Gentlemen may tell us—they do tell us—that, in order to preserve the union, we must throw the rein over the neck of despotism—must yield to the necessities or to the caprices of slavery. Sir, doing this, is a dissolution of the union. Its life expires the moment we yield to this senseless elamor. Sir, in order to preserve the union, necessity is laid upon us, to go back to the birth of the union prior to the constitution, and to catch and hold the spirit which animated those great and good men, and apply it now, and for all time, to the administration of the government. In no other way, sir, is it possible to preserve this government. It will bear no other treatment, more than man’s natural body can bear strychine or arsenic. Sir, if the constitution and union are to be used merely as instruments for propagating and making perpetual human bondage, they cannot be preserved—neither is it desirable that they should. They were designed by their framers, to be instruments of perpetual good; and to change them from this their original design, into instruments of ceaseless evil, is in itself to destroy them; and the obligation to obey them ceases, when their nature is changed by usurpation or corruption. I do not say these things by way of menace, but as simple, fundamental truths, as necessary in the science of government, as are axioms in mathematics. But, sir, the preservation of this union and constitution, does not lie in force, but in the preparation of the hearts of the people. There is no better preparation for these, than a revival of that sentiment of veneration and affection for our fathers, which in individuals, is the highest possible development of a great character. Patriotism itself, that first duty of the citizen, may be said to consist in the sum of our individual affections and veneration for our fathers. That sum of individual sentiments, constitutes the national sentiment of patriotism. To that spirit I appeal for the adjustment of all our internal troubles, both political and sectional. In that spirit, I shall endeavor to retrace our steps to the period when our constitution and union were brought into existence, and to persuade my fellow members to accompany me in the sanie spirit, to a short communing with the mighty dead. In that spirit alone, can we calm the agitated waters of political strife, either in this Hall or among our constituents. To this end, I shall exhibit the fruits of their

4 toil and their patriotism, as precious relics, worthy of our ceaseless veneration and our ardent and devoted imitation. These relics constitute the pure fountain of freedom, from which our constitutional liberty flows, and will continue to flow through all time, unless fouled by the tread of the slaveholder and his free-state confederate. The firstgeneral congress which ever assembled in the colonies of British America, convened in Philadelphia in 1774. One of its earliest and most earnest efforts was, to put an end to the African slave trade. This wa's attempted openly and boldly, as a necessary preliminary to the abolition of slavery itself. Sir, those glorious old men, so deeply imbued with the spirit of the Bible, had at that time discovered no divinity—no Bible sanction to the wicked institution. But hark! Let us listen to the solemn and truthful voice of that first old continental congress. Blessed old fathers of our institutions—gone to their graves, full of years, and full of honors I But still they speak to all of us who have ears to hear, or hearts to understand—men whose fame will only grow brighter with the lapse of ages ; and whom it were an everlasting joy to call our fathers, were it not that their integrity to human liberty, has become the bitterest reproach upon our apostacy from, and treachery to, the holiest interests of our country and the human race. But listen again to the voice of the fathers, oh, ye sham democrats ! Hearken also, ye republicans! for their instructions are to all such as revere their memory, and follow in their footsteps. The first general congress assembled in Philadelphia in September, 1774, resolved that “ The abolition of domestic slavery is the ‘ greatest object of desire in these colonies, where ‘ it was unhappily introduced in their infant ‘ state. But previous to the enfranchisement of ‘ the slaves, it is necessary to exclude further im- 1 portations from Africa. Yet our repeated at- ‘ tempts to effect this by prohibitions, and by im- ‘ posing duties which might amount to prohibi- ‘ tion, have been heretofore defeated by his Majesty's negative; thus preferring the immediate ‘ advantage of a few African corsairs, to the 1 lasting interests of the American states, and ‘ the rights of human nature, deeply wounded by ‘ the infamous practice.”—American Archives, 4th series, vol. 1, p. 696. So “his Majesty”—thick-skulled, but mulish old King George III, was perversely bent on forcing slavery upon the colonies, against their most earnest remonstrances—against reasoh, common sense, and common humanity—and just so now, our modern dull-headed, dough-faced, and sham democratic party, following in the perverse footsteps of its illustrious prototypes, old King George and Lord North, is doing the samfein- famous and ruinous work for the ill-fated and oppressed people of Kansas. In the eyes of King George, the interests of a score or two of slave-trading pirates, was sufficient to break down the interests, and “ to crush out,” if possible, the principles of three millions of his subjects; and so noio, in the eyes of the sham democracy, the pretended, but not actual right of a mere handful of slaveholders, to saddle their atrocious and ruinous institution of slavery upon the free people and free territory of Kansas, against the most earnest remonstrances of that people, in breach of a solemn and time-bonOred compact, and at the hazard of civil war, and the overthrowing of the union, completes the parallel; and 1 leave it to the historian to say which should bear the palm, whether old King George or modern democracy, in this rivalship in wickedness and stupidity. Again, sir, I revert with gratitude and pride, to those venerated men who, in view of perils which would have daunted the boldest not armed in a panoply of righteousness and truth, and quote to the confusion of the combined, but recreant democracy and slavencracy, the bold, and yet holy resolves of the fathers whose memory they dishonor. I quote from the articles of association, formed by that first congress of 1774 : “ We do for ourselves and the inhabitants of ‘ the several colonies whom we represent, firmly 1 agree and associate under the sacred ties of ‘ virtue, honor, and love of our country, as fol- ‘ lows: * * * “ 2. That we will neither import nor purchase 1 any slave imported after the first day of Novem- 1 ber next, after which time we will wholly dis- ‘ continue the slave trade, and will neither be ‘ concerned in it ourselves, nor will we hire our ‘ vessels nor sell our commodities or manufactures 1 to those who are concerned in it.” * * * “ 3. That a committee be chosen in every ‘ county, city, and town, by those who are quali- ‘ fied to vote for representatives in the legisla- ‘ ture, whose business it shall be attentively to ‘ observe the conduct of all persons touching ‘ this association; and when it shall be made to ‘ appear, to the satisfaction of a majority of any 1 such committee, that any person within the ‘ limits of their appointment has violated this ag- ‘ sociation, that such majority do forthwith cause ‘ the truth of the case to be published in the ‘ Gazette, to the end that all such foes to the ‘ rights of British America may bepubliely known. ‘ and universally contemned, as the enemies of ‘ American liberty, and thenceforth we, respect- 1 ively, will break of all dealings with him or 1 her.” * * * “14. And we do further agree, and resolve, ‘ that We will have no trade, commerce, dealings, ‘ or intercourse whatever—-with any colony, or ‘ province, in North America, which shall not ac- 1 cede to, or w'hich shall hereafter violate, this 1 association; but will hold them as unworthy of ‘the rights of freemen, and as inimical to the ‘ liberties of this country.” “ The foregoing association, being determined ‘ upon by the congress, was ordered to be sub- ‘ scribed by the several members thereof; and ‘ thereupon we have hereunto set our respective ‘ names accordingly. “ In Congress, Philadelphia, October, 20, 1774. “PEYTON RANDOLPH, President.’- (.Archives, Ibid.) Mr. Chairtnan, that was the bold, stern language in which our fathers denounced slavery— the “ sum of all villanies.” These were some of

5 conspiracy, the purpose of which is to blight the continent with the endless curse of human bondage. I know very well, Mr. Chairman, and I blush to own it, that Virginia and the south are not alone in this great apostacy. My own section had its full share in the original sin of African kidnapping; and fealty to truth compels me to admit, that in nothing is her case more hopeful than that of the south, but in that remission which may be expected to follow the confession and repentance of sin. Still, sir, however much of injustice and cupidity prevailed in that day, both at the north and the south, there was yet an immense balance of justice, humanity, and love of human rights. Bad men and base actions were not then unknown ; but the central force of public opinion was love of freedom and justice ; and this drew our fathers to a union so close and cordial, that the result was the old confederation, the declaration of independence, revolutionary war, and the constitution of the United States. These all, were the sole fruits of the love of liberty and justice, and an intense and unremitting hostility to the existence—much more to the extension of slavery. But there is no end to the proofs, that the spirit of liberty, and not of slavery, was the spirit and bond of union, under the old confederation, and throughout the revolutionary war. Why, sir, under the guidance of that evil sprit of slavery propagandism, which now possesses the sham democracy of the slave and the free states, the war of independence would have been an impossibility. A cargo of African negroes, sir, would have transformed five regiments of these shams into “ cow-boys ” and tories. I will adduce but one proof more of my original proposition, and that shall be the declaration of independence itself. Here it is, 0 ye slavery-extending democrats, and blush that ever you dubbed yourselves followers of Jefferson 1 “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that 1 all men are created equal; that they are en- ‘ dowed by their Creator with certain unalien- ‘ able rights ; that among these are life, liberty, ‘ and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure ‘ these rights, governments are instituted among ‘ men, deriving their just powers from the con- ‘ sent of the governed,” &c. I know sir, that a democrat in the other end of the capitol, in the last congress, pronounced this sacred charter of human rights “ a self-evident lie ; ” and that democrat, so far as I know, is still in full communion in the democratic church, and is probably honored the more, for throwing the lie in the faces of those whose blood purchased that freedom which enabled him, on the floor of the American senate, to dishonor their memories and insult those of their posterity, who revere their virtues and cherish their principles. But why marvel at such audacity of language? Alas, sir! it but too well accords with the acts and records of the apostate party of which he was a prominent member. Mr. Chairman, if any human records of the past can be relied on as proof of any event of the past, then the proof, that the bond of our American union, prior to, and during the revolutionary war, the incipient measures, to which they resorted, to rid themselves of the iniquitous and ruinous system of slavery. Simultaneously with this association, formed by the first congres^xNorth Carolina denounced the slave trade and slavery, in language equally bold and truthful. The colony of Georgia did the same in the following year; and, indeed, the united voice of the colonies, during the agitations which immediately preceded the revolutionary war, down to the crowning period of the declaration of independence, was utterly condemnatory of slavery, morally, socially, and POLITICALLY. The gentleman from Georgia [Mr. Lumpkin] has assured us, that if the “ black republicans ” elect their president in the coming contest, the union will be dissolved, inasmuch as no southern man will take office under such an administration. This prediction however, is not original with that gentleman, nor to the section from which he comes, for even the north has. at least, one man simple enough, to back his own pretensions to the presidency by a similar- threat. But, Mr. Chairman, if Mr. Fremont can induce no living southern statesman to accept the appointment, let him select the ghost of some one of their dead sages ; for “ though he be dead, he yet speaketh.” Hear the old Georgians speak from their honored graves! “Colony of Georgia, January 12, ltV5. “ To show the world that we are not influenced ‘ by any contracted or interested motives, but a ‘ general philanthropy for all mankind, of whatever ‘ climate, language, or complexion, we hereby de- ‘ clare our disapprobation and abhorrence of the ‘ unnatural practice of slavery in America—a 1 practice founded in injustice and cruelty, and 1 highly dangerous to our liberties, (as well as 4 lives,) debasing part of our fellow-creatures be- ‘ low men, and corrupting the virtue and morals ‘ of the rest, and is laying the basis of that liberty ‘ we contend for upon a very wrong foundation. ‘ We, therefore, resolve, at all times, to use our ‘ utmost endeavors for the manumission of our f slaves in this colony upon the most safe and ‘ equitable footing for the master and themselves.” In that day, Mr. Chairman, Virginia was not behind her sister colonies in condemnation of slavery. In November, 1774, James City county endorsed the action of that first continental congress in the following language: “ The association entered into by congress be- ‘ ing publicly read, the freeholders and other in- * habitants of the county, that they might testify ‘ to the world their concurrence and hearty ap- ‘ probation of the measures adopted by that re- 1 spectable body, very cordially acceded thereto, ‘ and did bind and oblige themselves, by the ' sacred ties of virtue, honor, and love to their ‘ country, strictly and inviolably to observe and ‘ keep the same in every particular.”—ibid. Woe is the day, Mr. Chairman, that she ever receded from her plighted faith ! Had she kept the faith of her fathers, no note of discord would have ever marred the harmony of that union, then so auspiciously inaugurated. But she has fallen, and her sons are now heading that great

6 was an irrepressible love of personal freedom, as one of the inherent, indestructible rights of all human beings unconvicted of crime, is proved. And, sir, I declare it here, as the truth of history, that so long as this great truth was cherished, and practically recognised by the federal government, in all matters within the legitimate cognizance of its several departments, there was never manifested any dangerous indication of disloyalty to the union. No, sir, disunion is the whelp of the spirit of slavery propagandism; and since that evil spirit has possessed southern politicians, and their alliance has been perfected with our northern slave democracy, there has been no peace for the union ; and, in the providence of God, there never can, and never ought to be, any “ peace to the wicked,” either in union, or out of it. But, Mr. Chairman, having proven the allied forces of the slavery propagandists of the south and the "slave democracy of the free states to be hostile to the only enduring element of union, liberty I as received and understood by our fathers “ in the times that tried men’s souls,” I proceed now to show, that the same allies are equally hostile to the same essential element of union under the constitution of the United States. Mr. Chairman, I first call the attention of the committee to the preamble to the constitution. Hear it: “We, the people of the United States, in order ‘ to form a more perfect union, establish justice, 1 insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the com- ‘ mon defence, promote the general welfare, and 1 secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and ‘ our posterity, do ordain and establish this con- ‘ stitution for the United States of America.” There, Mr. Chairman, whoever, after reading that declaration of the objects and purposes for which the constitution of the United States, was framed and adopted by the people of the United States, shall assert, that the extension and perpetuation of slavery, or the exaltation of slavery into a “ domestic institution,” to be placed side by side with the institution of husband and wife, parent and child, &c., as is attempted by the slave democracy in and by the Nebraska bill, and as is asserted in every alternate breath, by each slaveholder and slave democrat in congress and out of it—I say, sir, every such person charges the men who framed, and the people who adopted the constitution, with deliberate and wicked lying, or else with a stupidity so nearly absolute, as to relieve them of moral responsibility for what they did assert. Our fathers set this preamble at the threshold of the constitution as a lamp, as well to dispel darkness from the minds of those who should attempt to enter this great edifice of free government, as to cast its cheering light through all the compartments of that edifice. They did it, that whoever might hope to find in the constitution a guarantee of slavery, or any form of injustice, might, at the commencement of his search, meet only—“ liberty and justice.” It was done to take all excuse from that perverse ingenuity which, from the infirmities of human language, might attempt to use the constitution as the slave democracy in congress, and out of it, are now using it, viz : as an instrument for the extension of slavery into free territory, and as a justification of their pretence, that the constitution propria vigore, carries slavery into all the territories of the United States ; or that slavery and liberty are twin brethren, and must be brought, as such, simultaneously into the union, or not be born at all; or that other piece of stupidity or perverseness, that the territories are the common property of the people of all the states, and therefore the slaveholder has the right to enter all or any of the federal territories with his slaves—or that other, and last for the present, assertion, that there exists a certain equality among all the states, which authorizes the people of the slave states to take their slaves, as property, into the territories, but does not authorize the people of the free states to enter the territories and exclude slavery therefrom—a sort of equality of states, which warrants the establishment of nuisances and social curses in the territories, but takes from the people the power to abate such nuisances. Another design of the preamble to the constitution was, to enable the people to detect that class of demagogues who, under the cloak of devotion to the union, are trying to force or cheat the people of the free states, into “carrying the flag and keeping step to the music of the coffle gang,” as it pursues its dead march from the old and slave-cursed states, to make its halt in the now free territories, there to leave forever the mildew of its blighting nature. But the preamble to the constitution, is not the constitution. This must speak with its own voice, but it must nevertheless speak in the spirit of its preamble, otherwise both preamble and constitution are a hypocrisy and a delusion. The constitution as framed by the convention, gave no power to any department of the government to make a slave of a free man, or to convert free territory into slave territory. The federal government, under the constitution, prior to the amendments, was utterly impotent, either to make . or hold a slave, or to give authority to others to make or hold slaves. The unamended constitution was precisely that, neither more nor less than its authors made it; but they did not make it a slave constitution. They did not omit a clause in that instrument, authorizing slaveholding by accident, but by design. Mr. Madison, one of the ; chief artificers of the constitution, assures us that they did not intend that the constitution should even disclose the shameful fact, that there existed such a crime and disgrace in the United States as j slavery. But to “make assurance doubly sure,” and as it were, “ to take a bond of fate,” those great and good men, for the vindication of their own fame as the friends of liberty and justice, and jealous lest, through the degeneracy of after times, and almost as if foreseeing the apostacy of the slave democracy of the present day, immediately on the adoption of the constitution, as framed by the convention, the first congress assembled under it, proposed divers amendments, the chief objects of which were, to negative all power in congress, which bad men might claim to be implied in the original constitution, to make

7 oppressive laws, or to wrest from men their inalienable rights. First amendment.—11 Congress shall make no {law abridging the freedom of speech or of the ‘ press, or the right of the people peaceably to ‘ assemble and to petition the government for a ‘ redress of grievances.” Mr. Chairman, it is very true that this prohibition against violating the freedom of speech and the press by congress, does not affect the states as such, and consequently the freedom of speech and the press in the states, must depend on state laws; but there is not a slave state in the union, with the exception perhaps of Delaware, where this great fundamental element of civilliberty, either practically, by licensed mobbing or by state laws, is not utterly annihilated. The principle of slavery, viz : property in man, will not bear discussion; neither dare it “ come to the light, lest its deeds should be reproved.” But the discussion of the right to property in 11 the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air,” in the earth, and the products of the earth, the air and the waters, are as freely discussed in slave states as in free states. The reason for this is too obvious to require illustration. But apropos of this, we have all heard of the celebrated laws of the bogus legislature of Kansas for the protection of property in slaves. If not, the masterly speech of my friend from Indiana [Mr. Colfax] will throw abundant light on these pandects of Atchison, Stringfellow, Shannon, and company. But super-fiendish as are these infamous acts in the form of laws, against the great right of free speech and a free press, we have nevertheless, the assurance of a senator from Mississippi, [Mr. Adams,] that the Kansas laws are by no means peculiar; but are such as are usual and necessary in the slave states. In alluding to these Kansas laws, he says: “ They have passed just such laws—not per- ‘ haps exactly in the language, but substantially ‘ the same—as the states maintaining the institu- ( tion of slavery have found it necessary to pass ‘ to sustain their rights. In the state in which I ‘ have the honor to live, we prohibit the circula- ‘ tion of incendiary pamphlets, as they are called, ‘ which mean nothing more nor less than the ‘ language objected to and provided against in ‘ this act. Men are punished for it; so in nearly ‘ all the states where the institution of slavery 1 exists. The mistake which is here is in £ reference to the qnestion which I have already ‘ called to the attention of the senate. These ‘ people have acted in conformity with the pro- ‘ visions of the act of congress.” Now. sir, admitting that slave states, for the support of the barbarism of slavery, within their own limits, may enact laws thus cruel, unjust, and disgusting; still this legislative assembly of Kansas, is but the creature of which the congress of the United States is the creator—the mere instrument, made .by congress, to make and execute laws for Kansas, in the place of, and for congress. Therefore, it can pass no law which congress, by the constitution of the United States, is prohibited from passing. Hence all these beastly, disgusting, and infamous slave laws of Kansas, are a nullity and a nuisance, by the express provisions of the first article of the amendments to the constitution of the United States. But what care this slave democracy, for the constitution of the United States, where that stands in the way of the extension of human slavery ? Just nothing at all 1 And hence every nerve of this mis-begotten administration, is strained to uphold these unconstitutional and scandalous laws. The whole military force of the government, is put in requisition by the slave democracy, to dragoon the people of Kansas, into submission to these laws; and men, good, and wise, and just men are to be tried by slave democratic judges and juries, and convicted and executed as traitors, for resistance to these laws, the forcible execution of which, is treason, and ought to subject the president, his cabinet, and all advising to their execution, to the trial, and sentence, and doom of traitors. Second amendment.—“ The right of the people ‘ to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” In this amendment the same spirit of liberty is developed, as was so apparent in the preceding. The right to “keep and bear arms,” is thus guarantied, in order that if the liberties of the people should be assailed, the means for their defence should be in their own hands. But this right of the people of the United States, of which the free-state settlers of Kansas are a part, has been torn from them by the treasonable violence of this ill-starred administration, which is used as the mere pack-mule of the slave democracy. Fourth amendment.—“ The right of the people 4 to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, ‘ and effects, against unreasonable searches and ‘ seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants ‘ shall issue but upon probable cause, supported ‘ by oath or affirmation, and particularly de- ‘ scribing the place to be searched, and the per- ‘ sons or things to be seized.” In utter contempt of this clause of the constitution, this guilty administration, by its less guilty tools in Kansas, has been sacking cities, burning houses, and carrying desolation, murder, and rapine, over that fair territory. Fifth amendment.—“No person shall be de- ‘ prived of life, liberty, or property, without due 1 process of law.” It should be always borne in mind, that the constitution of the United States was intended, first, to confer power on the government of the United States; second, to limit the power thus conferred; and third, to withdraw certain powers from the individual states. Nowhere in the constitution of the United States is the word “ slave ” used. Wherever in the constitution slaves are alluded to, or rather, are supposed to be alluded to, they are not named as slaves, but as persons, just as all the people, individually, are included in the term “person!,” in the fifth amendment above quoted. Mr. Madison, called the father of the constitution, informs us that the banishment of the term “slave" from the text of the constitution, was not the result of accident, but was done purposely, and with the intention of excluding the idea, that man can hold his fellow-man as property, the affirmative of which, would be implied in the term “ slave.”

8 Mr. Chairman, if the framers of the constitution cast the word, “ slave,” as a reprobate, out of the constitution, because its definition is “ a man held as property,” how dare our bogus democrats and slaveholders interpolate that venerated instrument with the execrable term? No, sir ; the argument is irresistible, that wherever the authority of the United States, in any of its departments, whether legislative, executive, or judicial, is invoked to interfere against a “person” held as a slave by the laws of any state, the United States must treat such slave as a person ; and if such person’s “life, liberty, Or property,” may be brought in jeopardy by authority of the United States, that “ person,” however humble, however bruised or trodden under foot by other states or other nations, is entitled to “ due process of law,” which, by the common consent of all—whether slaveholders, slave democrats, or republicans—is admitted to be a “trial by jury, according to the course of the common law.” Thus, sir, the thrice- execrable “ fugitive slave law,” with its catchpole bevy of slave-hunting commissioners and deputy marshals, becomes a nullity and nuisance—the villanous concoction of slaveholding usurpation and doughfaced subserviency—and dissolves like stubble before the devouring fire. Now, sir, I flatter myself that I have vindicated the memory and the fame of our fathers who bequeathed to us a constitution based on justice—a union knit and held together by the gentle, genial, humanizing spirit of God-given, and God-honoring freedom. I have proven by facts and arguments which no sophistry can overthrow, that the spirit which created the constitution and the union, was the love of personal liberty under just and humane law. The same spirit which created must preserve the constitution and the union; but the spirit which has taken possession of the slaveholders, and their base tools, the slave democracy of the free states, is the unclean spirit of slavery propagandism and perpetuation; and j ust as sure as animal life perishes in mephitic gaseSj so sure is it, that this consitution and union must perish, when smothered in the foul embraces of these allies of human slavery. Mr. Chairman, I would respectfully ask of our union-saving physicians and craftsmen, whether in their opinion, the health of the union is improving under the slavery-extension nostrums; which they have been administering to it now for some twenty years past ?—whether their last dose of Nebraska bitters, bids fair to improve the health or prolong the life of their unhappy patient? To me, sir, though I am no political doctor, and my opinion is therefore, of little value, I confess that the writhings and pantings of the patient, and the agitated and anxious countenances of the doctors and nurses, do not look like a favorable working of the medicines; and I would respectfully suggest a change of prescriptions. When you took your patient in hand, some twenty years ago, it was blessed with a robust constitution, seemingly calculated to outlive all the quacks and grandames who had taken its cure in hand, and only needed to be wisely let alone, to outlive the years of Methuselah himself. But you could not rest. You pronounced ' the union in danger, and again commenced administering your doses of pro-slavery agitation, In 1836 you “saved” the union by “Pinckney’s resolution.” That was by laying “ anti-slavery petitions on the table without reading or reference.” You pronounced your patient “ cured”— still, to all but the doctors, it was now evidently made sick by your medicine. You nevertheless tried the same remedy in 1838, in another resolution of the same character. In 1842 you administered another pro-slavery dose, in the attempt to expel from the House, the venerable ex-president Adams, merely for presenting a petition to congress. The union was thereby again saved, however; still, strange to say, it grew more and more feeble under these repeated salvations ; and again in 1843, you saved it by expelling from the House, my venerable friend and colleague, [Mr. Giddivos,] for offering a resolution in respect to slave trading under the flag of the union. But, like all your past quackery, this also, only made bad worse. But the union made out to keep above ground until 1846, when it was again saved by the annexation of the slave state of Texas and the Mexican war, and in 1848, by the acquisition of the new slave territories of New Mexico and Utah, and by the exertions of Colonel Fremont, .the free territory of California, making of slave territory 124,000 square miles, and the free territory of California 188,000 square miles, At about the same time, yon commenced depleting your patient by a treaty with Great Britain, and the cession to her Majesty of 5° 40z of latitude and 26° of longitude, equal to 114,000 square miles of free territory, to which your slaveholding president had declared the title of the United States to be “ clear and unquestioned,” Still the union only grew worse, and in 1852, was again declared by the pro-slavery and slaveholding doctors, to be “ as good as dead.” So you called in both whig and democratic doctors to a consultation over your old patient, the union. The council of doctors were unanimously of the opinion, not only that the patient was very sick, but, in addition thereto, was badly wounded— having “seven bleeding wounds” which were to be stanched at once, or the case was hopeless. As usual on those occasions, more concessions to slavery were prescribed ; California was graciously permitted to come into the union as a free state; Texas was consigned to the dissecting room, to be cut into only five slave states ; and New Mexico and Utah were to be slave or free at their option. With this came a withdrawal of the slaveholders’ license to convert the District of Columbia into a slave stable. But above all, this arrangement was declared final—was to be the very last dose of patent medicine to be administered—the “ all-healing ointment” for the convalescent union. But did the union recover on taking this dose of“ finality” physic ? The doctor's told us it was cured—that in this new ointment, of letting the slaveholders have their own way in the territories, the union was restored—was “ good as new.” But, alas 1 Mr. Chairman, however well it might fare with the union, the case was different with the doctors. In curing their patient, they killed

9 themselves—every mother’s Son of them. But, again, alas for the poor union, and for the infallibility of political nostrum venders I in less than four years from this perfect, this “ final ” recovery, the union was found again in hysterics. There was discovered a dreadful “ tender spot ” at the junction of the slave state of Missouri and the free territory of Kansas. The democratic faculty of political quacks was hurriedly summoned. What in the world could be the matter with the union now ? Well, it was found by them to be dying of a poison called “ Missouri compromise,” administered by the doctors in charge of her in 1820. This was the unanimous opinion of the doctors. The union, with that Missouri compromise, had taken an over dose of freedom, and it must be extracted from her system, as the only and the infallible remedy. Yes, sir; the slave democracy have, for all the diseases of the union, one, and only one, remedy ; and that is, to bleed her of every drop of freedom left in her veins. This, sir, is the course of surgery prescribed and administered by the democratic doctors for a union nursed in the lap, and nurtured at the bosom of freedom! Feed her with more slavery, more slave states, more slave territory; and, when you cease to have enough of these articles on hand, why, then, steal more from your neighbor nations, after the prescription of the Ostend conference of democratic doctors, of which Mr. Buchanan, the nominee of the slave democracy for the presidency, was the acknowledged head, and Mr. Sould, of Louisiana, the fitting tail. Steal it, sir, with a relish. Go at it, sir, wolf and lamb fashion. Says the wolf, drinking in the stream, to th'e lamb, drinking in the same stream, below the wolf, “ Sir, if your drinking in the stream below me does seriously endanger the riling of the water where I am drinking, then, by every law, human and divine, I shall be justified in wresting you from the brook;” and, so saying, seizes and devours the lamb. Go at it wolf fashion, 0 »lave democracy, and take Cuba; it will be needed in a little while as medjcine for a union sick of too much freedom and too little slavery. Here is the warrant, sir, under the hands of your slave democratic casuists and candidate. “ Does Cuba in the possession of Spain seri- ‘ ously endanger our internal peace and the existence of our cherished union? Should this ‘ question be answered in the affirmative, then by ‘ every law, human and divine, we shall be jus- 1 tified in wresting it from Spain, if we possess the ‘ power; and this upon the very same principle ‘ that would justify an individual in tearing down : the burning house of his neighbor, if there were ‘ no other means of preventing the flames from ‘ destroying his own home. Under such circum- ‘ stances, we ought neither to count the cost nor ‘ regard the odds which Spain might enlist against ‘ us. We forbear to enter into the question, 1 whether the present condition of the island ■ would justify such a measure. We should, how- ‘ ever, be recreant to our duty, be unworthy of our ‘ gallant forefathers, and commit base treason ‘ against our posterity, should we permit Cuba to ‘ be Africanized, and become a second St. Do- 1 mingo, with all its attendant horrors to the ' ‘ white race, and suffer the flames to extend to our ‘ own neighboring shores, seriously to endanger, ‘ or actually to consume, the fair fabric of our * union. We hear that the course and current ‘ of events are rapidly tending toward such a ‘ catastrophe. * * * « James Buchanan. “ John Y. Mason. “ Pibrre Soule. “MJz La Chapelle, October 18, 1854.” Oh yes, we will need Cuba ; we do need it now ; and Central America, why we shall need that by the time we can get it, and that will be as soon as Walker and his filibusters shall put slavery fairly under way there. Have it! why not have it when such a doctor of divinity as “ Old Buck ” says we are entitled to it by divine law ? There, Mr. Chairman, is your president, who will be his own chaplain, and do his own preying. But, Mr. Chairman, this is getting slightly, but no more than that, in advance of the “ wagon.” Let us return to the handiwork of the slave democracy for the advent of another dispensation of harmony—another “finality" to succeed the old and worn out “finality” of 1850. The scriptures say, that the “sinner an hundred years old shall be accursed; ” but a slave democratic “ finality ” is in as sad a plight, at four years old, as the sinner at “ an hundred.” So they cursed their old “finality” of 1850, and introduced another in 1854, by the repeal of the Missouri compromise ; which, in the short period of two years, has deserved and received more cursing, by friends and foes, than it of 1850, or all its predecessors put together. Indeed, this last seems to have had a bad effect even according to the democratic doctors themselves, inasmuch as it was a surfeit of slavery, which has resulted in the “ black (republican) vomit.” But seriously, Mr. Chairman, what I have spoken ironically is nevertheless, not an unfaithful picture of our present condition as a nation,' under the wicked and imbecile attempt of the slaveholders and the slave democracy, to strengthen the institutions of freedom, by nursing and feeding them on the garbage of human bondage. God knows, Mr. Chairman, that I desire, as earnestly as human nature can long for any earthly blessing, the perpetuity of the union of these states, just so long as the union shall subserve the ends for which our fathers formed it; but my convictions, that the accumulated perversions of those ends and objects, will if repeated, at no distant period, subvert the union, are as strong and earnest as my desires for its perpetuity. Sir, I have no faith in the conservative efficacy of anything for states and nations, but the healing virtues of justice, truth, and liberty. Mr. Chairman, it was my design, before resuming my seat, to say something on the causes which have led to the disgraceful state of things in Kansas—a state so repugnant to every sentiment of national pride, to say nothing of justice, peace, or even common decency ? Sir, there is involved in these Kansas troubles, something low, vulgar, dirty, savoring of the fish-market, on the part of the administration, mingled in the causes and accomplishments of these shameful scenes— much, sir, of the low, disgusting arrogance of the

10 overseer, in. his brutal efforts to subdue some refractory slave. “We mean to subdue you,” is the ebullition of a vulgar nature, elevated by means of some “villain service,” to an Unexpected height; and it is the mingling of this base spirit with executive power in Kansas, which has been at the root of all these shameful scenes. But before going further on this subject, I wish to say a few words, sir, on this new-fangled doctrine of squatter or popular sovereignty, as applicable to the promiscuous settlement of new territories, by slaveholders and persons opposed, either on conscientious, economical, or any other grounds, to the holding of slaves. As a simple question of statesmanship, waiving for the time, the moral question involved in the extension and perpetuity of slavery, no congregation of blockheads, ever committed a more egregious, or a more shallow blunder. Why, popular sovereignty implies, not only the right, but imposes the necessity for the most absolutely free discussion by the press, and by the exercise of perfect freedom of speech by the people. How can popular institutions be rightly established, without the exercise of those fundamental rights ? The negative of this question, strikes at the root of democratic institutions. The free state popular sovereign must have the same right to discuss the slaveholder’s right to his slave, as a moral, religious, and economical question, as he has to discuss the policy of incorporating banks, granting city charters, or establishing the legal height and strength of a division fence. The moment this right is taken from him, that moment, he ceases to be a “popular sovereign.” But slavery can bear no such discussion. The slave must not be told that he has, by the law of nature, the right to seek his own well-being in his own way, doing no harm to others—that he has a right to labor, and to receive, use, and dispose of the fruits of his labor— that his wife and children are his own, and not another’s. Sir, the single free state squatter sovereign, who is able to plant himself down in a territory, and exercise these undoubted rights of squatter sovereignty, would, by this simple process of truth-telling, expel every slave and slaveholder from 100,000 square miles of territory. But the slaveholding squatter sovereign must be authorized to silence all such “ damnable heresies,” coming from his free state brother sovereign; or slavery must slink away from the territories, like ghosts at the dawn of morning. But the statesmanship of the Nebraska bill is, to set free state squatter sovereign, against slave- holding squatter sovereign, contending for freedom against slavery and slavery against freedom, in the territories, openly, with free speech and a free press. The slaveholders understand this perfectly; and hence, the inherent and fundamental right of freedom of speech and the press, does not, and cannot exist in slaveholding communities. This is a necessity of despotic governments, it is more than a necessity of despotism, it is in itself, the essence of despotism. And, sir, there is not a more morbidly suspicious, cruel, revengeful, or lawless despotism oh the face of the earth, than the nightmare of slavery, which has settled down upon the people of the slaveholding states, with the exception of perhaps two or three of these states. Why sir, there is more freedom of speech and of the press to-day, and more personal safety in the exercise of such freedom, at Vienna, St. Petersburg, Paris, or Rome, in an attack and exposure of the despotism which reigns supreme over those cities, than there is at Richmond. Charleston, Milledgeville, or Mobile, to attack and expose the slaveholding despotisms which rule over these cities with a rod of iron. Sir, there are probably more citizens, born and nurtured in the slave states, now in exile from their native states for the exercise of freedom of speech and the press, against the despotism of slaveholding, than there are from Austria, Russia, France, or the Two Sicilies, for the exercise of the sama rights, against the despotisms which crush those nations. Why, sir, free speech and a free press, would, in less than a decade, drive slavery from every slave state in the union. It would exclude slavery from every territory belonging to the United States, in half that time. This truth, the men of 1820 saw clearly; and they saw that slavery and liberty could not dwell together on the same soil, that these two must separate or fight. They therefore drew a line of separation between them, and instantly their territorial dissensions ceased. But the slave democracy of our times, could not rest, while a foot of soil was dedicated to freedom. So they threw down the bars which our fathers had raised between freedom and slavery, and instantly, these two mortal foes are at each other’s throats, just as every sensible* and honest man knew they must be. This is th® finale of the squatter-sovereignty humbug, as a stroke of statesmanship; and it is but another illustration of the maxim, that a child or a fool may destroy in an hour, what it required the wisdom and the labor of ages to construct. The great procuring cause of these troubles, we all know to have been, the repeal of the Mis- sruri compromise ; and the cause of this repeal was, the lust of slavery propagandism, operating on mercenary northern politicians. But the efforts of the slave democracy, are now directed to the finding of some pretext by which, they may extricate themselves, by diverting the public attention to matters whicfi may seem to implicate others. To accomplish this unworthy object, this slave democracy has made the Massachusetts emigrant aid society its “ harp of a thousand strings.” Venting execrations on this never-quieted ghost, constitutes the staple of the presidential proclamations and messages, as well as of all the harangues, tirades, speeches, and reports, of the slave democracy, in and out of congress. The president also, expresses his regrets that Governor Reeder, in his Reading speech, had not dwelt “ a little more at large on the emigrant aid societies.” All the outrages of the Missouri borderers, their forays into Kansas, seizing ballot-boxes, expulsion of free-state voters from the polls, and from the territory; the election of a bogus legislature of Missourians by a Missouri mob ; the sacking and burning of Law-

11 pence; the disarming and expulsion of peaceful free-^tate settlers by United States troops, and the arrest, imprisonment, and nameless persecutions of innocent men for treason ; the arming of bands of lawless, worthless vagabonds, from the slave states, and enrolling them in the militia of the territory, thus, under color of law, turning loose, to rob, murder, and ravish, without restraint—are all justified and charged over to the account of the' emigrant aid society, for its audacity in presuming to grant free-state settlers facilities for entering the territory of Kansas. This action of that society, is the sole justification set up by all, from the president of the United States, and grave senators, down, down, to the little “ we-mean-to-subdue-you” scrub orator, commanding the advance guard of the free- state slave democracy. Sir, I make no apology for any exertions, however.^ great, on the part of the people of the free states, or any one or more of them, topreoccupy Kansas with free-state settlers. Their fault or guilt in that regard, has not been excess, but the lack of exertion to that end. Why, sir, did the slaveholders and their sham democratic allies presume that all spirit, all devotion to the constitution and the union—nay, all-self respect, all manhood even, had so forsaken that people, that they would give up Kansas a prey to slavery, through the treachery of those whose special duty it was, to guard the interests of freedom, without availing themselves of the poor and only chance left for liberty cm that soil—the chance of outvoting the tools of slavery, by bona fide settlers from the free states ? Well, sir, if they did, it was their own folly. They had no reason to expect such pusillanimity, such degradation from the sturdy and intelligent yeomanry and mechanics of the free states, whatever they may have had reason to expect from such specimens of the cringing sycophants and doughfaces as had wormed themselves into congress and the executive from those States. Nay, sir, they did not expect it. They anticipated competition from that quarter. They challenged and defied it. They reasoned in favor of their squatter-sovereignty humbug, by asserting the superior capabilities of the free states over the slave states, for the immediate occupancy of Kansas by free-state settlers. They taunted those of us, who were unwilling to remove this Missouri restriction, with hypocrisy on this very ground, viz : that on their squatter and popular sovereignty theory, the free states had greatly the advantage in the settlement of the territory, over the slave states. Some of them declared that they expected no advantage for slavery by the repeal. Thus Judge Butler, of South Carolina, (Senate, March 22, 1854 ; Appendix to Congressional Globe, first session Thirty-third Congress, p. 292:) “ If two states should come, into the union f from them, (Kansas and Nebraska,) it is very ‘ certain that not more than one of them could ‘ in any possible event be a slaveholding state ; ‘ and I have not the least idea that even one ‘ would be.” “ As far as I am concerned, I must say that I 1 do not expect that this bill is to give us of the ‘ south anything, but merely to accommodate ‘ something like the sentiment of the south.” No, Mr. Cliairman, it was, then, “ not to make a slave state of Kansas,” but to “ accommodate a southern sentiment,” to which the Missouri restriction was offensive. Oh, how gentle then ! The velvet foot-falls of the cat, before seizing her prey, were not more soft and unalarming. But, Mr. Chairman, notwithstanding all this seeming or real disinterestedness (I do not undertake to determine which) on the part of some of the southern men, there were others who did not view it in that light at all. Mr. B!ell, of Tennessee, (May 24, 1854, Appendix, as above, page 939,) alluding to what had been stated in a caucus of the advocates of the repeal of the Missouri compromise, as to the effect of such repeal upon the entrance of slavery into the territories, says: “ But this broad principle of ‘ squatter sover- ‘ eignty’ was not the idea on which the repeal ‘ clause of this bill was inserted. I was assured 1 then that the South had some interest in it; ‘ that it would secure, practically, a slave terri- ‘ tory west of Missouri; that slavery would go ‘ into Kansas, when the restriction of 1820 was ‘ removed. It was not dwelt on in argument; ‘ but my honorable friend from Missouri knows ‘ that that view was taken by him, [Atchison,] ‘ and I differed from him in regard to it. I 1 thought slavery could not go there ; the honor- 1 able Senator thought it could. “ Mr. Atchison. And I think so still.” This debate, slight as are the glimpses it furnishes, still discloses enough to prove the eager covetings of the slaveholders for Kansas, and that they had already been “ led into temptation” in relation to the question, how the territories could be appropriated to the uses of slavery ? It was then already the “ Naboth’s vineyard” of the slaveholding station of the sham democracy, and they were then, casting about for the means of converting it to the use of slavery. “Atchison thought it could be done,” though Bell doubted. At this conclave,he [Bell] “was 4 assured that the South had some interest in it; ‘ that it would secure, practically, a slave terri- ‘ tory west of Missouri; that slavery would go ‘ into Kansas, when the restriction of 1820 was ‘ removed.” Who that reads that, can doubt that there had been, at that time, a matured conspiracy, of which Atchison was the presiding genius, to repeal the restriction, and instantly to inundate Kansas with slave-breeding emigrants from Missouri ? No one can entertain a reasonable doubt, that the sham democrats in congress from the free states, were at that time, advertised of the existence of such a conspiracy, and had been instructed by their leaders, ‘the slaveholders, to attempt to convert their constituents to the new faith, that opening the territory of Kansas to the legal introduction of slaves, did not tend in the least, to make it a slave state; that the grand discovery of squatter sovereignty, would set all these things right, as by the power of magic. For this conspiracy, there was doubtless a programme, which subsequent developments indi-