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States. Enlightened men, in the States where it is permitted, and every where out of them, regret its existence among us, and seek for the means of limiting and of mitigating it. The first introduction of slaves is not imputable to the resent generation, nor even to their ancestors. efore the year 1642, the trade and ports of the colonies were open to foreigners equally as those of the mother country; and as early as 1620, a few years only after the planting of the colony of Virginia, and the same year in which the first settlement was made in the old colony of Plymouth, a cargo of negroes was brought into, and sold as slaves in Virginia, by a foreign ship.” From this beginning, the importation of slaves was continued for nearly two centuries. To her honor, Virginia, while a colony, opposed the importation of slaves, and was the first State to prohibit the same, by a law passed for this purpose in 1778, thirty years before the general prohibition enacted by Congress in 1808. The laws and custom of the States in which slavery has existed for so long a period, must have had their influence on the opinions and habits of the citizens, which ought not to be disregarded on the present occasion. Omitting, therefore, the arguments which might be urged, and which by all of us might be deemed conclusive were this an original question, the reasons which shall be offered in favor of the interposition of the power of Congress to exclude slavery from Missouri shall be only such as respect the common defence, the general welfare, and that wise administration of the government, which, as far as possible, may produce the impartial distribution of benefits and burdens throughout the Union. By the articles of confederation the common treasury was to be supplied by the several States, according to the value of the lands, with the houses and improvements thereon, within the respective States. From the difficulty in making this valuation, the old Congress were unable to apportion the requisition for the supply of the general treasury, and obliged to propose to the States to propose an alteration of the articles of confederation, by which the whole number of free persons, with three-fifths of the slaves toin the respective States, should become the rule of such apportionment of the taxes. A majority of the States approved of this alteration, but some of them disagreed to the same; and for want of a practicable rule of apportionment, the whole of the reguisition of taxes made by Congress, during the revolutionary war and afterwards, up to the establishment of the Constitution of the United States, were merely provisional, and subject to revision and correction, as soon as such rules should be adopted. The several states were credited for their supplies, and charged for the advances made to them by Congress; but no settlement of their accounts could be made for
* Stith's History of Virginia.
the want of a rule of apportionment, until the establishment of the constitution. When the general convention that formed the constitution took this subject into their consideration, the whole question was once more examined; and while it was agreed that all contributions to the common treasury should be made according to the ability of the several States to furnish the same, the old difficulty recurred in agreeing upon a rule whereby such ability should be ascertained, there being no simple standard by which the ability of individuals to pay taxes can be ascertained. A diversity in the selection of taxes has been deemed requisite to their equalization. Between communities this difficulty is less considerable, and although the rule of relative numbers would not accurately measure the relative wealth of nations, in States in the circumstances of the United States, whose institutions, laws and employments are so much alike, the rule of numbers is probably as near equal as any other simple and practicable rule can be expected to be, (though between the old and new States its equity is defective,) these considerations, added to the approbation which had already been given to the rule, by a majority of the States, induced the convention to agree that direct taxes should be apportioned among the States, according to the whole number of free persons, and three-fifths of the slaves which they might respectively contain. The rule for apportionment of taxes is not necessarily the most equitable rule for the apportionment of representatives among the States; property must not be disregarded in the composition of the first rule, but frequently is overlooked in the establishment of the second. A rule which might be approved in respect to taxes, would be disapproved in respect to representatives; one individual possessing twice as much property as another, might be required to pay double the taxes of such other; but no man has two votes to another's one; rich or poor, each has but a single vote in the choice of representatives. In the dispute between England and the colonies, the latter denied the right of the former to tax them, because they were not represented in the English Parliament. They contended that, according to the law of the land, taxation and representation were inseparable. The rule of taxation being agreed upon by the convention, it is possible that the maxim
with which we successfully opposed the claim
of England, may have had an influence in procuring the adoption of the same rule for the apportionment of representatives; the true meaning, however, of this principle of the English constitution is, that a colony or district is not to be taxed which is not represented; not that its number of representatives shall be ascertained by its quota of taxes. If threefifths of the slaves are virtually represented, or their owners obtain a disproportionate power in legislation, and in the appointment of the President of the United States, why should not other property be virtually represented, and its lo. obtain a like power in legislation, and if the choice of the President? Property is not confined in slaves, but exists in houses, stores, ships, capital in trade and manufactures. To secure to the owners of property in slaves greater political power than is allowed to the owners of other and equivalent property, seems to be contrary to our theory of the equality of personal rights, inasmuch as the citizens of some States thereby become entitled to other and greater political power, than the citizens of other States. The present House of Representatives consist of one hundred and eightyone members, which are apportioned among the States in a ratio of one representative for every thirty-five thousand federal members, which are ascertained by adding to the whole number of free persons, three-fifths of the slaves. According to the last census, the whole number of slaves within the United States was 1,191,364, which entitles the States possessing the same to twenty representatives, and twenty presidential electors more than they would be entitled to, were the slaves excluded. By the last census, Virginia contained 582,104 free persons, and 392,518 slaves. In any of the States where slavery is excluded, 582,104 free persons would be entitled to elect only sixteen representatives, while in Virginia, 582,104 free persons, by the addition of three-fifths of her slaves, become entitled to elect, and do in fact elect twenty-three representatives, being seven additional ones on account of her slaves. Thus, while 35,000 free persons are requisite to elect one representative in a State where slavery is prohibited; 25,559 free persons in Virginia, Inay and do elect a representative—so that five free persons in Virginia have as much power in the choice of Representatives to Congress, and in the appointment of presidential electors, as seven free persons in any of the States in which slavery does not exist. This inequality in the apportionment of representatives, was not misunderstood at the adoption of the constitution—but as no one anticipated the fact that the whole of the revenue of the United States would be derived from indirect taxes (which cannot be supposed to spread themselves over the several States according to the rule for the apportionment of direct taxes), but it was believed that a part of the contribution to the common treasury would be apportioned among the States by the rule for the apportionment of representatives. The States in which slavery is prohibited, ultimately, though with reluctance, acquiesced in the disproportionate number of representatives and electors that was secured to the slaveholding States. The concession was, at the time, believed to be a great one, and has proved to have been the greatest which was made to secure the adoption of the constitution. Great, however, as this concession was, it was definite, and its full extent was compre
hended. It was a settlement between the original thirteen States. The considerations arising out of their actual condition, their past connection, and the obligation which all felt to promote a reformation in the Federal Government, were peculiar to the time and to the parties, and are not applicable to the new States, which Congress may now be willing to admit into the Union. The equality of rights, which includes an equality of burdens, # a vital principle in our theory of government, and its jealous preservation is the best security of public and individual freedom; the departure from this principle in the disproportionate power and influence, allowed to the slaveholding States, was a necessary sacrifice to the establishment of the constitution. The effect of this concession has been obvious in the preponderance which it has given to the slaveholding States, over the other States. Nevertheless, it is an ancient settlement, and faith and honor stand pledged not to disturb it. But the extension of this disproportionate power to the new States would be unjust and odious. The States whose power would be abridged, and whose burdens would be increased by the measure, cannot be expected to consent to it; and we may hope that the other States are too magnanimous to insist on it. The existence of slavery impairs the industry and the power of a nation; and it does so in proportion to the multiplication of its slaves: where the manual labor of a country is performed by slaves, labor dishonors the hands of freemen. If her laborers are slaves, Missouri may be able to pay money taxes, but will be unable to raise soldiers or to recruit seamen, and experience seems to have proved that manufactures do not prosper where the artificers are slaves. In case of foreign war, or domestic insurrection, misfortunes from which no State is exempt, and against which all should be seasonably prepared, slaves not only do not add to, but diminish the faculty of self-defence; instead of increasing the public strength, they lessen it, by the whole number of free persons whose place they occupy, increased by the number of freemen that may be employed as guards over them. The motives for the admission of new States into the Union, are the extension of the principles of our free government, the equalizing of the public burdens, and the consolidation of the power of the confederated nation. Unless these objects be promoted by the admission of new States, no such admission can be expedient or justified. e States in which slavery already exists are contiguous to each other; they are also the portion of the United States nearest to the European colonies in the West Indies; colonies whose future condition can hardly be regarded as problematical. If Missouri, and the other States that may be formed to the west of the river Mississippi, are permitted to introduce and establish slavery, the repose, if not the security, of the Union may be endangered; all the States south of the river Ohio, and west of Pennsylvania and Delaware, will be peopled with slaves, and the establishment of new States west of the river Mississippi, will serve to extend slavery instead of freedom over that boundless region. Such increase of the States, whatever other interests it may promote, will be sure to add nothing to the security of the public liberties, and can hardly fail, hereafter, to require and produce a change in our government. On the other hand, if slavery be excluded from Missouri, and the other new States which may be formed in this quarter, not only will the slave markets be broken up, and the principles of freedom be extended and strengthened, but an exposed and important frontier will present a barrier which will check and keep back foreign assailants, who may be as brave, and, as we hope, will be as free as ourselves. Surrounded in this manner by connected bodies of freemen, the States where slavery is allowed will be made more secure against domestic in... surrection, and less liable to be affected by what may take place in the neighboring coloInles. It ought not to be forgotten, that the first and main object of the negotiation which led to the acquisition of Louisiana, was the free navigation of the Mississippi; a river that forms the sole passage from the western States to the ocean. This navigation, although of general benefit, has been always valued and desired, as of peculiar advantage to the western States, whose demands to obtain it, were neither equiv
ocal nor unreasonable. But with the river
Mississippi, by a sort of coercion, we acquired, by good or ill fortune, as our future measures shall determine, the whole province of Louisiana. As this acquisition was made at the common expense, it is very fairly urged that the advantages to be derived from it should also be common. This, it is said, will not happen if slavery be excluded from Missouri, as the citizens of the States where slavery is permitted will be shut out, and none but citizens of States where slavery is prohibited, can become inhabitants of Missouri. But this consequence will not arise from the roposed exclusion of slavery. The citizens of tates in which slavery is allowed, like all other citizens, will be free to become inhabitants of Missouri, in like manner as they have become inhabitants of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, in which slavery is forbidden. The exclusion of slaves from Missouri will not, therefore, operate unequally among the citizens of the United States. The constitution provides, “that the citizens of each State shall be entitled to enjoy all the rights and immunities of citizens of the several States;” every citizen may, therefore, remove from one to another State, and there enjoy the rights and immunities of its citizens. The proposed provision excludes slaves, not
citizens, whose rights it will not, and cannot impair. Besides there is nothing new or peculiar in a provision for the exclusion of slavery; it has been established in the States northwest of the river Ohio, and has existed from the beginning in the old States where slavery is forbidden. The citizens of States where slavery is allowed, may become inhabitants of Missouri, but cannot hold slaves there, nor in any other State where slavery is prohibited. As well might the laws prohibiting slavery in the old States become the subject of complaint, as the proposed exclusion of slavery in Missouri; but there is no foundation for such complaint in either case. It is further urged, that the admission of slaves into Missouri would be limited to the slaves who are already within the United States; that their health and comfort would be promoted by their dispersion, and that their numbers would be the same whether they remain confined to the States where slavery exists, or are dispersed over the new States that may be admitted into the Union. That none but domestic slaves would be introduced into Missouri, and the other new and frontier States, is most fully disproved by the thousands of fresh slaves, which, in violation of our laws, are annually imported into Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. We may renew our efforts, and enact new laws with heavier penalties against the importation of slaves: the revenue cutters may more diligently watch our shores, and the naval force may be employed on the coast of Africa, and on the ocean, to break up the slave trade—but these means will not put an end to it; so long as markets are open for the purchase of slaves, so long they will be supplied;—and so long as we permit the existence of slavery in our new and frontier States, so long slave markets will exist. The plea of humanity is equally inadmissible, since no one who has ever witnessed the experiment, will believe that the condition of slaves is made better by the breaking up, and separation of their families, nor by their removal from the old States to the new ones; and the objection to the provision of the bill, excluding slavery from Missouri, is equally applicable to the like prohibitions of the old States: these should be revoked, in order that the slaves now confined to certain States, may, for their health and comfort, and multiplication, be spread over the whole Union. That the condition of slaves within the United States has been improved, and the rigors of slavery mitigated, by the establishment and progress of our free governments, is a fact that imparts consolation to all who have taken pains to inquire concerning it. The disproportionate increase of free persons of color, can be explained only by the supposition that the practice of emancipation is gaining ground; a practice which there is reason to believe would become more general, if a plan could be devised by which the comfort and morals of the emancipated slaves could be satisfactorily provided for: for it is not to be doubted that public opinion every where, and especially in the oldest State of the Union, is less favorable than formerly to the existence of slavery. Generous and enlightened men in the States where slavery exists, have discovered much solicitude on the subject: a desire has been manifested that emancipation might be encouraged by the establishment of a place or colony, without the United States, to which free persons of color might be removed; and great efforts for that purpose are making, with a corresponding anxiety for their success. These persons, enlightened and humane as they are known to be, surely will be unwilling to promote the removal of the slaves from the old States to the new ones: where their comforts will not be multiplied, and where their fetters may be riveted for ever. Slavery cannot exist in Missouri without the consent of Congress; the question may therefore be considered, in certain lights, as a new one, it being the first instance in which an inquiry respecting slavery, in a case so free from the influence of the ancient laws, usages, and manners of the country, has come before the Senate. The territory of Missouri is beyond our ancient limits, and the inquiry whether slavery shall exist there, is open to many of the arguments that might be employed, had slavery never existed within the United States. It is a question of no ordinary importance. Freedom and slavery are the parties which stand this day before the Senate; and upon its decision the empire of the one or the other will be established in the new State which we are about to admit into the Union. If slavery be permitted in Missouri with the climate, and soil, and in the circumstances of this territory, what hope can be entertained that it will ever be prohibited in any of the new States that will be formed in the immense region west of the Mississippi. Will the coextensive establishment of slavery and of the new States throughout this region, lessen the
dangers of domestic insurrection, or of foreign aggression? Will this manner of executing the great trust of admitting new States into the Union, contribute to assimilate our manners and usages, to increase our mutual affection and confidence, and to establish that equality of benefits and burdens which constitutes the true basis of our strength and union ? Will the militia of the nation, which must furnish our soldiers and seamen, increase as slaves increase? Will the actual disproportion in the military service of the nation, be thereby diminished? A disproportion that will be, as it has been, readily borne, as between the original States, because it arises out of their compact of Union, but which may become a badge of inferiority, if required for the protection of those who, being free to choose, persist in the establishment of maxims, the inevitable effect of which will deprive them of the power to contribute to the common defence, and even of the ability to protect themselves. There are limits within which our federal system must stop; no one has supposed that it could be indefinitely extended—we are now about to pass our original boundary; if this can be done without affecting the principles of our free governments, it can be accomplished only by the most vigilant attention to plant, cherish, and sustain the principles of liberty in the new States, that may be formed beyond our ancient limits: with our utmost caution in this respect, it may still be justly apprehended that the General Government must be made stronger as we become more extended. But, if instead of freedom, slavery is to prevail and spread, as we extend our dominion, can any reflecting man fail to see the necessity . of giving to the General Government greater powers, to enable it to afford the protection that will be demanded of it? powers that will be difficult to control, and which may prove fatal to the public liberties.*
* See the speech, on the Missouri Bill, by William Pinkney, in the subsequent pages of this volume.
JAMES A. BAY A R.D.
JAMEs A. BAYARD was a descendant of Pierre du Terrail Bayard, who is familiarly known as the Chevalier sans peur et sans reproche. His ancestors were Huguenots, who, fearing the fanatical tendencies of the age, abandoned their estates in France, some time prior to the revocation of the edict of Nantes, and emigrated to America. They settled in New York, and, at a subsequent period, one of them removed to Maryland, and there established his residence. From this branch of the family the subject of this sketch was descended. He was born in Philadelphia on the twenty-eighth day of July, 1767. His father, Doctor James A. Bayard, was a practitioner of medicine of great promise and an increasing reputation at the time of his death, in 1770. His uncle, Colonel John Bayard, occupied a prominent position in the councils of Pennsylvania, during the war of the Revolution, and for many years was speaker of the Legislature of that State. After the death of his parents, young Bayard was placed in the care of this uncle, and continued as a member of his family for a long period. He prepared for college under the supervision of the Reverend Mr. Smith, a respectable clergyman of Lancaster county, and a private tutor, in his uncle's family, and in 1780, matriculated at the College of New Jersey. From this institution, he graduated in 1784, with distinguished honor, and gave a pledge of future eminence, in the reputation he carried with him into the more extended scenes of life. Having decided to pursue the profession of the law, he commenced his studies under the direction of General Joseph Reed, and on his decease, removed to the office of Jared Ingersoll, where he remained until the close of his legal course. He selected the State of Delaware as the theatre for the pursuit of his profession, and, in the year 1787, was admitted to the bar of the Court of Common Pleas for the county of New Castle. The first years of his professional life were spent in severe study, at the same time acquiring the principles of general jurisprudence, and a thorough knowledge of political science, both of which were of the greatest service to him at the bar and in the halls of legislation. In the autumn of the year 1796, he was elected a member of the House of Representatives, and remained in public life, from that moment, through all the vicissitudes of party triumph and defeat, until the time of his death. Actively engaged in political and professional duties, he contrived to reconcile their endless varieties, and evinced a rare and happy aptitude for both. At the same moment one of the most conspicuous supporters of the Federal administration, and a leader of acknowledged ability in the House of Representatives—and the chief ornament of the forum, where he had chosen to excel. At once the profound jurist and the accomplished statesman; the acute, ingenious, and dexterous advocate, and the eloquent and dignified occupant of the parliamentary floor. The same efforts of industry, and powers of genius, that qualified and calculated him for superiority in the less magnified but intricate controversies of individuals, readily enabled him to extend his intellectual grasp to the comprehension of more enlarged topics of general interest, which involved the duties and the policy, the happiness and the rights of nations. The study and practice of the law is calculated to add vigor to a mind naturally strong. In a country emphatically subject to the government of the laws alone, the remark is peculiarly obvious and perpetually illustrated; and from the multitude of the profes