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two States, in the same manner as the differ- or possessed by the new inhabitants of Misence in the rights of the citizens of these States souri, has in each case been acquired under the to vote for representatives in Congress arises laws of the United States, and not during and ont of the State laws and constitution. In under the laws of the province of Louisiana. Massachusetts, every person of lawful age, and Should, therefore, the fature introduction of possessing property of any sort, of the value of slaves into Missouri, be forbidden, the feelings two hundred dollars, may vote for representa- of the citizens would soon become reconciled tives to Congress. In Virginia, no person can to their exclusion, and the inconsiderable num. vote for representatives to Congress, unless he ber of slaves owned by the inhabitants at the be a freeholder. As the admission of a new date of the cession of Louisiana, would be emanState into the Union confers upon its citizens cipated or sent for sale into States where slavery only the rights denominated federal, and as exists. these are common to the citizens of all the

It is further objected, that the article of the States, as well of those in which slavery is act of admission into the Union, by which prohibited, as of those in which it is allowed, slavery should be excluded from Missouri, it follows that the prohibition of slavery in would be nugatory, as the new State in virtue Missouri will not impair the federal rights of of its sovereignty would be at liberty to revoke its citizens, and that such prohibition is not its consent, and annul the article by which sustained by the clause of the treaty which has slavery is excluded. been cited.

Such revocation would be contrary to the The remaining clause of the article is ex- | obligations of good faith, which enjoins the pressly confined to the period of the territorial observance of our engagements; it would be government of Missouri, to the time between repugnant to the principles on which governthe first occupation of the country by the inent itself is founded: sovereignty in every United States, and its admission as a new State lawful government is a limited power, and can into the Union. Whatever may be its import, do only what it is lawful to do—sovereigns, it has no reference nor application to the terms like individuals

, are bound by their engageof the admission, or to the condition of Mis- ments, and have no moral power to break them. souri, after it shall have been admitted into the Treaties between nations repose on this prinUnion. The clause is but the common formula ciple. If the new State can revoke and annul of treaties, by which inhabited territories are an article concluded between itself and the passed from one sovereign to another; its ob- United States, by which slavery is excluded ject is to secure such inhabitants the permanent from it, it may revoke and annul any other or temporary enjoyment of their former liber article of the compact; it may, for example, ties, property, and religion; leaving to the new annul the article respecting public lands, and sovereign full power to make such regulations in virtue of its sovereignty, assume the right to respecting the same, as may be thought expe- tax and to sell the lands of the United States. dient, provided these regulations be not incom- There is yet a more satisfactory answer to this patible with the stipulated security.

objection. The judicial power of the United What were the liberties under the French States is co-extensive with their legislative government, the enjoyment of which, under power, and every question arising under the ours, called for protection, we are unable to Constitution or laws of the United States, is explain; as the United States have no power cognizable by the judiciary thereof. Should to prevent the free enjoyment of the Catholic the new State rescind any of the articles of religion, no stipulation against their interfer- compact contained in the act of admission into ence to disturb it could be necessary; and the the Union, that, for example, by which slavery only part of the clause whose object can be is excluded, and should pass a law authorizing readily understood, is that relative to "pro- slavery, the judiciary of the United States, on perty."

proper application, would immediately deliver As all nations do not permit slavery, the from bondage, any person detained as a slave term property, in its common and universal in said State. And, in like manner, in all inmeaning, does not include or describe slaves. stances affecting individuals, the judiciary might In treaties, therefore, between nations, and es- be employed to defeat every attempt to violate pecially in those of the United States, when the Constitution and laws of the United States. ever stipulations respecting slaves were to be If Congress possess the power to exclude made, the word "negroes," or "slaves," have slavery from Missouri, it still remains to be been employed, and the omission of these words shown that they ought to do so. The examiin this clause, increases the uncertainty whe- nation of this branch of the subject, for obvious ther, by the term property, slaves were in- reasons, is attended with peculiar difficulty, and tended to be included. But admitting that cannot be made without passing over arguments such was the intention of the parties, the stip- which, to some of us, might appear to be deciulation is not only temporary, but extends no sive, but the use of which, in this place, would farther than to the property actually possessed call up feelings, the influence of which would by the inhabitants of Missouri, when it was disturb, if not defeat, the impartial considerafirst occupied by the United States. Property tion of the subject. since acquired by them, and property acquired Slavery, unhappily, exists within the United States. Enlightened men, in the States where the want of a rule of apportionment, until the it is permitted, and every where out of them, establishment of the constitution. regret its existence among us, and seek for the When the general convention that formed means of limiting and of mitigating it. The first the constitution took this subject into their conintroduction of slaves is not imputable to the sideration, the whole question was once more present generation, nor even to their ancestors. examined; and while it was agreed that all conBefore the year 1642, the trade and ports of tributions to the common treasury should be the colonies were open to foreigners equally as made according to the ability of the several those of the mother country; and as early as States to furnish the same, the old difficulty 1620, a few years only after the planting of the recurred in agreeing upon a rule whereby such colony of Virginia, and the same year in which ability should be ascertained, there being no the first settlement was made in the old colony simple standard by which the ability of indiof Plymouth, a cargo of negroes was brought viduals to pay taxes can be ascertained. A diinto, and sold as slaves in Virginia, by a foreign versity in the selection of taxes has been deemed ship.* From this beginning, the importation requisite to their equalization. Between comof slaves was continued for nearly two centu-munities this difficulty is less considerable, and ries. To her honor, Virginia, while a colony, although the rule of relative numbers would opposed the importation of slaves, and was the not accurately measure the relative wealth of first State to prohibit the same, by a law passed nations, in States in the circumstances of the for this purpose in 1778, thirty years before United States, whose institutions, laws and emthe general prohibition enacted by Congress in ployments are so much alike, the rule of num1808. The laws and custom of the States in bers is probably as near equal as any other which slavery has existed for so long a.period, simple and practicable rule can be expected to must have had their influence on the opinions be, (though between the old and new States its and habits of the citizens, which ought not to equity is defective,) these considerations, added be disregarded on the present occasion. to the approbation which had already been

Omitting, therefore, the arguments which given to the rule, by a majority of the States, might be urged, and which by all of us might induced the convention to agree that direct be deemed conclusive were this an original taxes should be apportioned among the States, question, the reasons which shall be offered in according to the whole number of free persons, favor of the interposition of the power of Con- and three-fifths of the slaves which they might gress to exclude slavery from Missouri shall be respectively contain. only such as respect the common defence, the The rule for apportionment of taxes is not general welfare, and that wise administration necessarily the most equitable rule for the of the government, which, as far as possible, apportionment of representatives among the may produce the impartial distribution of ben- States; property must not be disregarded in efits and burdens throughout the Union. the composition of the first rule, but frequently

By the articles of confederation the common is overlooked in the establishment of the sectreasury was to be supplied by the several ond. A rule which might be approved in reStates, according to the value of the lands, with spect to taxes, would be disapproved in respect the houses and improvements thereon, within to representatives; one individual possessing the respective States. From the difficulty in twice as much property as another, might be making this valuation, the old Congress were required to pay double the taxes of such other; unable to apportion the requisition for the sup- but no man has two votes to another's one; ply of the general treasury, and obliged to pro- rich or poor, each has but a single vote in the pose to the States to propose an alteration of choice of representatives. the articles of confederation, by which the In the dispute between England and the whole number of free persons, with three-fifths colonies, the latter denied the right of the of the slaves contained in the respective States, former to tax them, because they were not should become the rule of such apportionment represented in the English Parliament. They of the taxes. A majority of the States approved contended that, according to the law of the of this alteration, but some of them disagreed land, taxation and representation were insepato the same; and for want of a practicable rule rable. The rule of taxation being agreed upon of apportionment, the whole of the requisition by the convention, it is possible that the maxim of taxes made by Congress, during the revolu- with which we successfully opposed the claim tionary war and afterwards, up to the estab- of England, may have had an influence in prolishment of the Constitution of the United curing the adoption of the same rule for the States, were merely provisional, and subject to apportionment of representatives; the true revision and correction, as soon as such rules meaning, however, of this principle of the should be adopted. The several States were English constitution is, that a colony or district credited for their supplies, and charged for the is not to be taxed which is not represented; advances made to them by Congress; but no not that its number of representatives shall be settlement of their accounts could be made for ascertained by its quota of taxes. If three

fifths of the slaves are virtually represented, or

their owners obtain a disproportionate power * Stith's History of Virginia.

in legislation, and in the appointment of the President of the United States, why should hended. It was a settlement between the orignot other property be virtually represented, inal thirteen States. The considerations arising and its owners obtain a like power in legisla- out of their actual condition, their past contion, and in the choice of the President? Pro-nection, and the obligation which all felt to perty is not confined in slaves, but exists in promote a reformation in the Federal Governhouses, stores, ships, capital in trade and manu- ment, were peculiar to the time and to the parfactures, To secure to the owners of property ties, and are not applicable to the new States, in slaves greater political power than is allowed which Congress may now be willing to admit to the owners of other and equivalent property, into the Union. seems to be contrary to our theory of the equali- The equality of rights, which includes an ty of personal rights, inasmuch as the citizens equality of burdens, is a vital principle in our of some States thereby become entitled to other theory of government, and its jealous preservaand greater political power, than the citizens tion is the best security of public and individual of other States. The present House of Repre- freedom; the departure from this principle in sentatives consist of one hundred and eighty- the disproportionate power and iniluence, alone members, which are apportioned among lowed to the slaveholding States, was a necesthe States in a ratio of one representative for sary sacrifice to the establishment of the conevery thirty-five thousand federal members, stitution. The effect of this concession has which are ascertained by adding to the whole been obvious in the preponderance which it number of free persons, three-fifths of the has given to the slaveholding States, over the slaves. According to the last census, the whole other States. Nevertheless, it is an ancient number of slaves within the United States was settlement, and faith and honor stand pledged 1,191,364, which entitles the States possessing not to disturb it. But the extension of this the same to twenty representatives, and twenty disproportionate power to the new States would presidential electors more thar they would be be unjust and odious. The States whose power entitled to, were the slaves excluded. By the would be abridged, and whose burdens would last census, Virginia contained 582,104 free be increased by the measure, cannot be expectpersons, and 392,518 slaves. In any of the ed to consent to it; and we may hope that States where slavery is excluded, 582,104 free the other States are too magnanimous to insist persons would be entitled to elect only sixteen on it. representatives, while in Virginia, 582, 104 free The existence of slavery impairs the industry persons, by the addition of three-fifths of her and the power of a nation; and it does so in slaves, become entitled to elect, and do in fact proportion to the multiplication of its slaves : elect twenty-three representatives, being seven where tho manual labor of a country is peradditional ones on account of her slaves. Thus, formed by slaves, labor dishonors the hands of while 35,000 free persons are requisite to elect freemen. one representative in a State where slavery is If her laborers are slaves, Missouri may be prohibited; 25,559 free persons in Virginia, able to pay money taxes, but will be unable to may and do elect a representative-50 that raise soldiers or to recruit seamen, and experifive free persons in Virginia have as much ence seems to have proved that manufactures power in the choice of Representatives to Con- do not prosper where the artificers are slaves. gress, and in the appointment of presidential In case of foreign war, or domestic insurrection, electors, as seven free persons in any of the misfortunes from which no State is exempt, and States in which slavery does not exist. against which all should be seasonably prepared,

This inequality in the apportionment of rep- slaves not only do not add to, but diminish the resentatives, was not misunderstood at the faculty of self-defence; instead of increasing adoption of the constitution—but as no one the public strength, they lessen it, by the whole anticipated the fact that the whole of the rev: number of free persons whose place they occuenue of the United States would be derived py, increased by the number of freemen that from indirect taxes (which cannot be supposed may be employed as guards over them. to spread themselves over the several States The motives for the admission of new States according to the rule for the apportionment of into the Union, are the extension of the princidirect taxes), but it was believed that a part ples of our free government, the equalizing of of the contribution to the common treasury the public burdens, and the consolidation of would be apportioned among the States by the the power of the confederated nation. Unless rule for the apportionment of representatives. these objects be promoted by the admission of The States in which slavery is prohibited, ulti- new States, no such admission can be expedient mately, though with reluctance, acquiesced in or justified. the disproportionate number of representatives The States in which slavery already exists and electors that was secured to the slavehold- are contiguous to each other; they are also the ing States. The concession was, at the time, portion of the United States nearest to the Eubelieved to be a great one, and has proved to ropean colonies in the West Indies; colonies have been the greatest which was made to se- whose future condition can hardly be regarded cure the adoption of the constitution.

as problematical. If Missouri, and the other Great, however, as this concession was, it States that may be formed to the west of the was definite, and its full extent was compre- | river Mississippi, are permitted to introduce

VOL. II.-4

and establish slavery, the repose, if not the se- citizens, whose rights it will not, and cannot curity, of the Union may be endangered; all impair. the States south of the river Ohio, and west of Besides there is nothing new or peculiar in a Pennsylvania and Delaware, will be peopled provision for the exclusion of slavery; it has with slaves, and the establishment of new been established in the States northwest of the States west of the river Mississippi, will serve river Ohio, and has existed from the beginning to extend slavery instead of freedom over that in the old States where slavery is forbidden. boundless region.

The citizens of States where slavery is allowed, Such increase of the States, whatever other may become inhabitants of Missouri, but can. interests it may promote, will be sure to add not hold slaves there, nor in any other State nothing to the security of the public liberties, where slavery is prohibited. As well might and can hardly fail, hereafter, to require and the laws prohibiting slavery in the old States produce a change in our government.

become the subject of complaint, as the proOn the other hand, if slavery be excluded posed exclusion of slavery in Missouri ; but from Missouri, and the other new States which there is no foundation for such complaint in may be formed in this quarter, not only will either case. It is further urged, that the ad the slave markets be broken up, and the prin- mission of slaves into Missouri would be limited ciples of freedom be extended and strengthened, to the slaves who are already within the Unitbut an exposed and important frontier will pre- ed States; that their health and comfort would sent a barrier which will check and keep back be promoted by their dispersion, and that their foreign assailants, who may be as brave, and, numbers would be the same whether they reas we hope, will be as free as ourselves. Sur- main confined to the States where slavery exrounded in this manner by connected bodies of ists, or are dispersed over the new States that freemen, the States where slavery is allowed may be admitted into the Union. will be made more secure against domestic in- That none but domestic slaves would be insurrection, and less liable to be affected by troduced into Missouri, and the other new and what may take place in the neighboring colo- frontier States, is most fully disproved by the nies,

thousands of fresh slaves, which, in violation It ought not to be forgotten, that the first of our laws, are annually imported into Alabama, and main object of the negotiation which led Louisiana, and Mississippi. to the acquisition of Louisiana, was the free We may renew our efforts, and enact new navigation of the Mississippi; a river that forms laws with heavier penalties against the importhe sole passage from the western States to the tation of slaves: the revenue cutters may more

This navigation, although of general diligently watch our shores, and the naval force benefit, has been always valued and desired, as may be employed on the coast of Africa, and of peculiar advantage to the western States, on the ocean, to break up the slave trade—but whose demands to obtain it, were neither equiv- these means will not put an end to it; so long ocal nor unreasonable. But with the river as markets are open for the purchase of slaves, Mississippi, by a sort of coercion, we acquired, so long they will be supplied ;—and so long as by good or ill fortune, as our futnre measures we permit the existence of slavery in our new shall determine, the whole province of Louisi- and" frontier States, so long slave markets will

As this acquisition was made at the com- exist. The plea of humanity is equally inadmon expense, it is very fairly urged that the missible, since no one who has ever witnessed advantages to be derived from it should also be the expériment, will believe that the condition common. This, it is said, will not happen if of slaves is made better by the breaking up, slavery be excluded from "Missouri, as the citi- and separation of their families, nor by their zens of the States where slavery is permitted removal from the old States to the new ones; will be shut out, and none but citizens of States and the objection to the provision of the bill

, where slavery is prohibited, can become inhab- excluding slavery from Missouri, is equally apitants of Missouri.

plicable to the like prohibitions of the old But this consequence will not arise from the States: these should be revoked, in order that proposed exclusion of slavery. The citizens of the slaves now confined to certain States, may, States in which slavery is allowed, like all other for their health and comfort, and multiplicacitizens, will be free to become inhabitarts of tion, be spread over the whole Union. Missouri, in like manner as they have become That the condition of slaves within the inhabitants of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, in United States has been improved, and the which slavery is forbidden. The exclusion of rigors of slavery mitigated, by the establishslaves from Missouri will not, therefore, operate ment and progress of our free governments, unequally among the citizens of the United is a fact that imparts consolation to all who States. The constitution provides, " that the have taken pains to inquire concerning it. The citizens of each State shall be entitled to enjoy disproportionate increase of free persons of all the rights and immunities of citizens of the color, can be explained only by the supposition several states;" every citizen may, therefore, that the practice of emancipation is gaining remove from one to another State, and there ground; a practice which there is reason to enjoy the rights and immunities of its citizens. believe would become more general, if a plan The proposed provision excludes slaves, not I could be devised by which the comfort and



our manners

morals of the emancipated slaves could be sat-dangers of domestic insurrection, or of foreign isfactorily provided for: for it is not to be aggression? Will this manner of executing the doubted that public opinion every where, and great trust of admitting new States into the especially in the oldest State of the Union, is Union, contribute to assim less favorable than formerly to the existence and usages, to increase our mutual affection of slavery. Generous and enlightened men in and confidence, and to establish that equality the States where slavery exists, have discovered of benefits and burdens which constitutes the much solicitude on the subject: a desire has true basis of our strength and union? Will the been manifested that emancipation might be militia of the nation, which must furnish our encouraged by the establishment of a place or soldiers and seamen, increase as slaves increase? colony, without the United States, to which Will the actual disproportion in the military free persons of color might be removed; and service of the nation, be thereby diminished great efforts for that purpose are making, with A disproportion that will be, as it has been, å corresponding anxiety for their success. readily borne, as between the original States, These persons, enlightened and humane as they because it arises out of their compact of Union, are known to be, surely will be unwilling to but which may become a badge of inferiority, promote the removal of the slaves from the if required for the protection of those who, old States to the new ones: where their com- being free to choose, persist in the establishforts will not be multiplied, and where their ment of maxims, the inevitable effect of which fetters may be riveted for ever.

will deprive them of the power to contribute Slavery cannot exist in Missouri without the to the common defence, and even of the ability consent of Congress; the question may there to protect themselves. There are limits within fore be considered, in certain lights, as a new which our federal system must stop; no one one, it being the first instance in which an in- has supposed that it could be indefinitely exquiry respecting slavery, in a case so free from tended-we are now about to pass our original the influence of the ancient laws, usages, and boundary; if this can be done without affecting manners of the country, has come before the the principles of our free governments, it can Senate.

be accomplished only by the most vigilant atThe territory of Missouri is beyond our an- tention to plant, cherish, and sustain the princient limits, and the inquiry whether slavery ciples of liberty in the new States, that may shall exist there, is open to many of the argu- be formed beyond our ancient limits : with our ments that might be employed, had slavery utmost caution in this respect, it may still be never existed within the United States. It is justly apprehended that the General Governa question of no ordinary importance. Free- ment must be made stronger as we become dom and slavery are the parties which stand more extended. this day before the Senate; and upon its deci- But, if instead of freedom, slavery is to presion the empire of the one or the other will be vail and spread, as we extend our dominion, established in the new State which we are can any reflecting man fail to see the necessity about to admit into the Union.

of giving to the General Government greater If slavery be permitted in Missouri with the powers, to enable it to afford the protection climate, and soil, and in the circumstances of that will be demanded of it? powers that will this territory, what hope can be entertained be difficult to control, and which may prove that it will ever be prohibited in any of the fatal to the public liberties.* new States that will be formed in the immense region west of the Mississippi. Will the coextensive establishment of slavery and of the

* See the speech, on the Missouri Bill, by William Pintnew States throughout this region, lessen the noy, in the subsequent pages of this volume.

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