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that the constitutional command to guarantee be made certain by a yet more doubtful negato the States a republican form of government, tive upon power-or rather a doubtful negagives power to coerce those States in the tive, where there is no evidence of the corresadjustment of the details of their constitutions ponding affirmative, is to make out the affirmaupon theoretical speculations. But surely it is tive and to justify us in acting upon it
, in a passing strange that any man, who thinks at matter of such high moment, that questionable all, can view this salutary command as the power should not dare to approach it. If the grant of a power so monstrous; or look at it negative were perfectly clear in its import, in any other light than as a protecting mandate the conclusion which has been drawn from it to Congress to interpose with the force and would be rash, because it might have proauthority of the Union against that violence ceeded, as some of the negatives in whose and usurpation, by which a member of it company it is found evidently did proceed, from might otherwise be oppressed by profligate and great anxiety to prevent such assumptions of powerful individuals, or ambitious and unprin- authority as are now attempted. But when it cipled factions.
is conceded that the supposed import of this In a word, the resort to this portion of the negative (as to the term migration) is ambiguconstitution for an argument in favor of the ous, and that it may have been used in a very proposed restriction, is one of those extrava- different sense from that which is imputed to gancies (I hope I shall not offend by this ex- | it, the conclusion acquires a character of boldpression) which may excite our admiration, ness, which, however some may admire, the but cannot call for a very rigorous refutation. wise and reflecting will not fail to condemn. I have dealt with it accordingly, and have now In the construction of this clause, the first done with it.
remark that occurs is, that the word migration We are next invited to study that clause of is associated with the word importation. I do the constitution which relates to the migration not insist that “noscitur a sociis” is as good a or importation, before the year 1808, of such rule in matters of interpretation as in common persons as any of the States then existing life-but it is, nevertheless, of considerable should think proper to admit. It runs thus: weight when the associated words are not "The migration or importation of such persons qualified by any phrases that disturb the effect as any of the States now existing shall think of their fellowship; and unless it announces, proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the (as in this case it does not,) by specific phrases Congress prior to the year one thousand eight combined with the associated term, a different hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be intention. Moreover, the ordinary unrestricted imposed on such importation not exceeding ten import of the word migration is what I have here dollars for each person.”
supposed. A removal from district to district, It is said that this clause empowers Con- within the same jurisdiction, is never denomigress, after the year 1808, to prohibit the pas- nated a migration of persons. I will concede sage of slaves from State to State, and the to the honorable gentlemen, if they will accept word “migration” is relied upon for that pur- the concession, that ants may be said to migrate pose.
when they go from one ant-hill to another at no I will not say that the proof of the existence great distance from it. But even then they of a power by a clause which, as far as it goes, could not be said to migrate, if each ant-hill denies it, is always inadmissible; but I will say was their home in virtue of some federal comthat it is always feeble. On this occasion, it is pact with insects like themselves. But, howsingularly so. The power, in an affirmative ever this may be, it should seem to be certain shape, cannot be found in the constitution; or that human beings do not migrate, in the sense if it can, it is equivocal and unsatisfactory of a constitution, simply because they transplant How do the gentlemen supply this deficiency? themselves, from one place, to which that conby the aid of a negative provision in an article stitution extends, to another which it equally of the constitution in which many restrictions covers. are inserted ex abundanti cautela, from which If this word migration applied to freemen it is plainly impossible to infer that the power and not to slaves, it would be clear that removal to which they apply would otherwise have from State to State would not be comprehended existed. Thus—"No bill of attainder or ex within it. Why then, if you choose to apply post facto law shall be passed." Take away it to slaves, does it take another meaning as to the restriction—could Congress pass a bill of the place from whence they are to come? attainder, the trial by jury in criminal cases Sir, if we once depart from the usual accepbeing expressly secured by the constitution ? tation of this term, fortified as it is by its union The inference, therefore, from the prohibition with another in which there is nothing in this in question, whatever may be its meaning, to respect equivocal, will gentlemen please to inthe power which it is supposed to restrain, but timate the point at which we are to stop? Miwhich you cannot lay your finger upon with gration means, as they contend, a removal from any pretensions to certainty, must be a very State to State, within the pale of the common doubtful one. But the import of the prohibi- government. Why not a removal also from tion is also doubtful, as the gentlemen them- county to county within a particular Stateselves admit. So that a doubtful power is to l from plantation to plantation—from farm to
farm-from hovel to hovel? Why not any ex- he exhibited, that the word “migration" was ertion of the power of locomotion? I protest introduced into this clause at the instance of I do not see, if this arbitrary limitation of the some of the Southern States, who wished by natural sense of the term migration be warrant- its instrumentality to guard against a prohibiable, that a person to whom it applies may not tion by Congress of the passage into those be compelled to remain immovable all the days States of slaves from other States. He has of his life (which could not well be many) in given us no authority for this supposition, and the very spot, literally speaking, in which it it is, therefore, a gratuitous one. How improbwas his good or his bad fortune to be born. able it is, a moment's reflection will convince
Whatever may be the latitude in which the him. The African slave-trade being open word “persons" is capable of being received, during the whole of the time to which the it is not denied that the word "importation" entire clause in question referred, such a purindicates a bringing in from a jurisdiction foreign pose could scarcely be entertained; but if it to the United States. The two "termini” of had been entertained, and there was believed the importation, here spoken of, are a foreign to be a necessity for securing it, by a restriction country and the American Union—the first the upon the power of Congress to interfere with "terminus a quo," the second the “terminus it, is it possible that they who deemed it imad quem.” The' word migration stands in portant would have contented themselves with simple connexion with it, and of course is left à vague restraint, which was calculated to to the full influence of that connexion. The operate in almost any other manner than that natural conclusion is, that the same "termini ” which they desired ? If fear and jealousy, such belong to each, or in other words, that if the as the honorable gentleman has described, had importation must be abroad, so also must be dictated this provision, a better term than that the migration-no other “termini” being as- of "migration," simple and unqualified, and signed to the one which are not manifestly joined too with the word " importation,” would characteristic of the other. This conclusion have been found to tranquillize those fears and is so obvious, that to repel it, the word migra- satisfy that jealousy. Fear and jealousy are tion requires, as an appendage, explanatory watchful, and are rarely seen to accept a secuphraseology, giving to it a different beginning rity short of their object, and less rarely to from that of importation. To justify the con- shape that security, of their own accord, in clusion that it was intended to mean a removal such a way as to make it no security at all. from State to State, each within the sphere of They always seek an explicit guaranty; and the constitution in which it is used, the addition that this is not such a guaranty this debate has of the words from one to another State in this proved, if it has proved nothing else. Union, were indispensable. By the omission Sir, I shall not be understood by wbat I have of these words, the word “migration” is com- said to admit that the word migration refers to pelled to take every sense of which it is fairly slaves. I have contended only that if it does susceptible from its immediate neighbor “im- refer to slaves it is in this clause synonymous portation.” In this view it means a coming, as with importation, and that it cannot mean the * importation" means a bringing, from a foregin mere passage of slaves, with or without their jarisdiction into the United States. That it is masters, from one State in the Union to another. susceptible of this meaning, nobody doubts. I But I now deny that it refers to slaves at all. go further. It can have no other meaning in I am not for any man's opinions or his histories the place in which it is found. It is found in upon this subject. I am not accustomed "jurare the constitution of this Union—which, when it in verba magistri.” I shall take the clause as speaks of migration as of a general concern, I find it, and do my best to interpret it. must be supposed to have in view a migration into the domain which itself embraces as a After going through with that part of his general government.
Migration, then, even if it comprehends argument relating to this clause of the constislaves, does not
mean the removal of them from tution, Mr. Pinkney concluded his speech by State to State, but means the coming of slaves expressing a hope that (what he deemed) the from places beyond their limits and their power. perilous principles urged by those in favor of And if this be so, the gentlemen gain nothing the restriction upon the new State would be for their argument by showing that slaves were disavowed or explained, or that at all events the objects of this term.
An honorable gentleman from Rhode Island, * the application of them to the subject under whose speech was distinguished for its ability, discussion would not be pressed, but that it and for an admirable force of reasoning, as well might be disposed of in a manner satisfactory as by the moderation
and mildness of its spirit; to all by a proscriptive prohibition of slavery informed us, with less discretion than in general
in the territory to the north and west of Mis• Mr. Burrill.
The parents of Albert Gallatin were residents of Geneva, in Switzerland, where he was born on the twenty-ninth of January, 1761.* During infancy he was left an orphan, and was educated under the guidance of an estimable and highly accomplished woman, a distant relative and intimate friend of his mother. He pursued his more advanced studies, with diligence and earnestness, in the educational institutions of his native place, and in the year 1779, graduated at the Geneva University with honor; giving great promise of future eminence. In speaking of his school days, in the latter years of his life," he often alluded to such of his companions as had subsequently distinguished themselves. He felt peculiar pride in the many great men to whom his native country had given birth, or who had flourished there, such as Sismondi, the historian, Decandolle, the botanist, Agassiz, the naturalist, now among us, and De Lolme and Dumont, the writers on legislation. Müller, the historian, was his instructor in history. De Lolme, he said, was in the class above him, and possessed a great faculty for languages, which enabled him to write his book on the English Constitution, after a residence of only a year in England. Dumont, the disciple and translator of Bentham, and friend of Mirabeau, was in the class below him. Dumont, he said, was not remarkable at school for any thing but the elegance of his French compositions and his facility in verse-making. He had no original genius, but at the same time had an exact estimate of his own powers; and the task of licking Bentham's lucubrations into shape was one that he was admirably fitted to perform.”+
Resolved to emigrate to America, Mr. Gallatin, at the age of nineteen, embarked for Boston. The motive for this step can best be understood by the following letter from the Duke de la Rochefoucauld D’Enville to Doctor Franklin, published in the works of the latter, edited by Jared Sparks, L.LD.:
“ La Rocheguyon, 22d May, 1780. “Sir,—The residence of your grandson at Geneva, makes me hope that the citizens of that town may have some claim to your kind attention. It is with this hope that I ask it for two young men, whom the love of glory and of liberty draws to America. One of them is named Gallatin; he is nineteen years of age, well informed for his age, of an excellent character thus far, with much natural talent. The name of the other, Serre. They have concealed their project from their relatives, and therefore we cannot tell where they will land. It is supposed, however, that they are going to Philadelphia, or to the continental army. One of my friends gives me this information, with the request that I will urge you to favor them with a recommendation. I shall share in his gratitude, and I beg you, sir, to be assured of the sentiments with which I have the honor to be, &c.,
“LA ROCHEFOUCAULD D'ENVILLE."
* Mr. Gallatin derived his name of Albert from his maternal grandfather, Albert Rolaz Seigneur du Rosez, of the Pays de Vaud. He was, on the part of both his parents, allied to some of tho most distinguished families of Geneva and Switzerland; and, among others, to M. Necker and his celebrated daughter, Madame de Staël. His ancestor John Gallatin, Secretary to the Duke of Savoy, emigrated to Geneva in the early part of the sixteenth contury, embraced the Reformation, and was one of the magistrates of the city, when, by the expulsion of its Prince Bishop, Geneva became an inde. pendent republic. His descendants have ever since been uninterruptedly connected with the magistracy of that republic.
+ Bartlett's Reminiscences of Albert Gallatin: New York Hist. Soc. Collections
Off the coast of New England the vessel in which Mr. Gallatin was a passenger was delayed by adverse weather, and finally obliged to stop at Cape Ann. Here the young traveller was glad to set foot on shore, and determined to continue the rest of his journey by land. On the fourteenth of July, 1780, he arrived at the town of Boston, where he became acquainted with a family from his native country, and, in a few days after, accompanied them to Machias, in the district of Maine. There learning that Captain John Allen, the commandant of the fort at that place, was enlisting a company of volunteers for the defence of the Passamaquoddy, he joined the troops and accompanied them to the frontier. On this expedition, money being wanted to supply the garrison, Mr. Gallatin made advances to the government, taking an order on the same from which he ultimately realized about one-third its value. “The sum I advanced," said he, in after life," though small, was to me a very large one, as it was nearly all the money I had; but the case was an urgent one, and I felt happy in having it in my power to do this."
In 1781, Mr. Gallatin left the vicinity of Machias and went to Boston. Early in the spring of the next year, he was chosen a teacher of the French language in Harvard College. He remained in this station until the close of the war in 1783; when he removed to Virginia. Here while engaged in prosecuting an extensive claim of a foreign house against the State, he attracted the attention and secured the friendship of many of the most prominent men of the time, among whom was Patrick Henry, “from whom he received several marks of personal friendship, and who predicted that Mr. Gallatin would rise to distinction as a statesman, and strongly advised him to settle in the west, which in those days did not imply a more remote residence than the neighborhood of the Ohio.” This advice seems to have been received with favor, for we find him, in 1785, purchasing with his moderate patrimony from Europe, extensive tracts of land in western Virginia, with the intention of forming a large settlement there. He was, however, prevented from perfecting this project by a renewal of Indian hostilities.
It is probable that it was during the examination of those lands that the following interview* occurred between General Washington and the subject of the present sketch: "Mr. Gallatin said he first met General Washington at the office of a Land Agent, near the Kenawha river, in north-western Virginia, where he (Mr. G.) had been engaged in surveying. The office consisted of a log-house, 14 feet square, in which was but one room. In one corner of this was a bed for the use of the agent. General Washington, who owned large tracts of land in this region, was then visiting them in company with his nephew, and at the same time examining the country with a view of opening a road across the Alleghanies. Many of the settlers and hunters familiar with the country had been invited to meet the General at this place, for the purpose of giving him such information as would enable him to select the most eligible pass for the contemplated road. Mr. Gallatin felt a desire to meet this great man, and determined to await his arrival.
“On his arrival General Washington took his seat at a pine table in the log-cabin, or rather Land Agent's office, surrounded by the men who had come to meet him. They all stood up, as there was no room for seats. Some of the more fortunate, however, secured quarters on the bed. They then underwent an examination by the General, who wrote down all the particulars stated by them. He was very inquisitive, questioning one after the other, and noting down all they said. Mr. Gallatin stood among the others in the crowd, though quite near the table, and listened attentively to the numerous queries put by the General, and very soon discovered from the various relations which was the only practicable pass through which the road could be made. He felt uneasy at the indecision of the General, when the point was so evident to him, and without reflecting on the impropriety of it, suddenly interrupted him, saying, 'Oh, it is plain enough, such a place (a spot just mentioned by one of the settlers) is the most practicable.' The good people stared at the young surveyor (for they only knew him as such) with surprise, wondering at his boldness in thrusting his opinion unasked upon the General. The interruption put a sudden stop to General Washington's inquiries. He laid down his pen, raised his eyes
Related by Mr. John Russell Bartlett, in his remarks before the New York Historical Society, on the death of Mr. Gallatin.- Proceedings of the N. Y. Hist. Soc.
from his paper, and cast a stern look at Mr. Gallatin, evidently offended at the intrusion of his opinion, but said not a word. Resuming his former attitude, he continued his interrogations for a few minutes longer, when, suddenly stopping, he threw down his pen, turned to Mr. Gallatin, and said, 'You are right, sir.' “It was so on all occasions with General Washington,” remarked Mr. Gallatin to me.
" He was slow in forming an opinion, and never decided until he knew he was right.”
"To continue the narrative: the General stayed here all night, occupying the bed alluded to, while his nephew, the land agent, and Mr. Gallatin, rolled themselves in blankets and buffalo skins, and lay upon the bare floor. After the examination mentioned, and when the party went out, General Washington inquired who the young man was who had interrupted him, made his acquaintance, and learned all the particulars of his history. They occasionally met afterwards, and the General urged Mr. Gallatin to become his land agent; but as Mr. Gallatin was then, or intended soon to become, the owner of a large tract of land, he was compelled to decline the favorable offer made him by General Wasilington."
In 1786, Mr. Gallatin purchased a farm on the banks of the Monongahela, in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and there established his residence. Three years after he was elected by the people of his adopted county to the Pennsylvania convention for the amendment of the State Constitution; and at that time commenced his political career as a member of the Democratic party.* In 1790 he was chosen a member of the State Legislature, and continued in that office until his attendance at Congress, in 1793. In Congress he remained but two months. His citizenship being questioned, his seat was contested, and after a warm and violent controversy, it was decided that he was ineligible.
In May, 1794, he returned to his home in Pennsylvania. Shortly after, the western insurrection against the excise broke out, in the suppression of which he exercised a most important part. On the fourteenth of the following October, he was again elected to the legislature from his own county, and the same day, “on the sole ground of his early and bold efforts to arrest the insurrection,-having himself no notice of the fact until after his election," — he was chosen a member of Congress for the district of Washington and Alleghany Counties. During the excitement consequent upon this event, the Legislature of Pennsylvania set aside the elections for that body. This had no other effect than the immediate re-election of the ejected members, and to give to Mr. Gallatin the opportunity to make a public statement of all the facts connected with the insurrection. This was done in an elaborate and able speech, delivered in January, 1795, and subsequently published.
In December, 1795, Mr. Gallatin took his seat in Congress, and continued there by re-election, from the same district, during three terms. He was chosen for a fourth term, but was prevented from continuing his congressional duties; being called upon by President Jefferson to take the chair of the United States Treasury. His course in Congress, as well as his services in the financial affairs of the country, are too well known to require particular notice here. He was opposed to the increase of the national debt,-advocated internal improvements,—was the originator of the National Road, and to a great degree the author of the public lands system. On the offer of the Russian mediation in 1813, he retired from the cabinet, in which he had served with great honor and usefulness during the presidential terms of Jefferson and Madison, to take part in the negotiations with Great Britain. In 1816 he was appointed minister to the Court of France, and continued in that capacity until 1823, during the same time being twice deputed on extraordinary missions: in 1817 to the Netherlands, where he was associated with Doctor Enstis, and in 1818 to England with Mr. Rush. In 1826 he was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Great Britain, where his services were of the utmost importance to the country he represented. “With respect to the estimation in which he was held throughout his diplomatic career," says his biographer, “it may be safely said that no American abroad in that capacity ever maintained a higher position, in every point of view. He was usually looked to as the head of the diplomatic
* Biographical sketch of Albert Gallatin, by William Beach Lawrence, Esq., in the Democratic Reviow for June, 1843, to which the editor is indebted for much of the material of this sketch.