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of New York, Mr. Sinnickson, of New Jersey, | Unjust suspicions and undeserved reproach, Mr. Hartley of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Parker, whatever pain I may experience from them, of Virginia, -all of them, sir, as you will ob will not induce me, I trust, nevertheless, to serve, northern men, but the last. This com- overstep the limits of constitutional duty, or to mittee made a report, which was committed to encroach on the rights of others. The domestic a committee of the whole House, and there slavery of the south I leave where I find it-in considered and discussed on several days; and the hands of their own governments. It is being amended, although without material al- their affair, not mine. Nor do I complain of teration, it was made to express three distinct the peculiar effect which the magnitude of that propositions, on the subject of slavery and the population has had in the distribution of power slave trade. First, in the words of the consti- under this federal government. We know, sir, tution; that Congress could not, prior to the that the representation of the States in the year 1808, prohibit the migration or importa- other House is not equal. We know that great tion of such persons as any of the States then advantage in that respect, is enjoyed by the existing should think proper to admit. Second, slave-holding States; and we know, too, that that Congress had authority to restrain the the intended equivalent for that advantage, that citizens of the United States from carrying on is to say, the imposition of direct taxes in the the African slave trade, for the purpose of sup- same ratio, has become merely nominal; the plying foreign countries. On this proposition, habit of the government being almost invaour early laws against those who engage in that riably to collect its revenue from other sources traffic are founded. The third proposition, and in other modes. Nevertheless, I do not comand that which bears on the present question, plain: nor would I countenance any movement was expressed in the following terms:
to alter this arrangement of representation. It " Resolved, That Congress have no authority is the original bargain, the compact-let it to interfere in the emancipation of slaves, or in stand; let the advantage of it be fully enjo: the treatment of them in any of the States; it The Union itself is too full of benefit to be remaining with the several States alone to pro- hazarded in propositions for changing its origivide rules and regulations therein, which hu- nal basis. I go for the constitution as it is, and manity and true policy may require.”
for the Union as it is. But I am resolved not This resolution received the sanction of the to submit, in silence, to accusations, either House of Representatives so early as March, against myself, individually, or against the 1790. And now, şir, the honorable member north, wholly unfounded and unjust; accusawill allow me to remind him, that not only were tions which impute to us a disposition to evade the select committee who reported the resolu- the constitutional compact, and to extend the tion, with a single exception, all northern men, power of the government over theinternal laws but also that of the members then composing and domestic condition of the States. All the House of Representatives, a large majority, such accusations, wherever and whenever made, I believe nearly two-thirds, were northern men all insinuations of the existence of any such also.
purposes, I know, and feel to be groundless and The House agreed to insert these resolutions injurious. And we must confide in southern in its journal ; and from that day to this, it has gentlemen themselves; we must trust to those never been maintained or contended, that Con- whose integrity of heart and magnanimity of gress had any authority to regulate, or interfere feeling will lead them to a desire to maintain with, the condition of slaves in the several and disseminate truth, and who possess the States. No northern gentleman, to my know- means of its diffusion with the southern publedge, has moved any such question in either lic; we must leave it to them to disabuse that House of Congress.
public of its prejudices. But, in the mean time, The fears of the south, whatever fears they for my own part, I shall continue to act justly, might have entertained, were allayed and quiet- whether those towards whom justice is exered by this early decision; and so remained, till cised receive it with candor or with contumely. they were excited afresh, without cause, but for Having had occasion to recur to the ordicollateral and indirect purposes. When it be- nance of 1787, in order to defend myself came necessary, or was thought so, by some against the inferences which the honorable mempolitical persons, to find an unvarying ground ber has chosen to draw from my former observafor the exclusion of northern men from confi- tions on that subject, I am not willing now endence and from lead in the affairs of the repub- tirely to take leave of it without another lic, then, and not till then, the cry was raised, remark. It need hardly be said, that that paper and the feeling industriously excited, that the expresses just sentiments on the great subject of influence of northern men in the public councils civil and religious liberty. Such sentiments would endanger the relation of master and slave. were common, and abound in all our State For myself, I claim no other merit, than that papers of that day. But this ordinance did that this gross and enormous injustice towards the which was not so common, and which is not, whole north, has not wrought upon me to even now, universal; that is, it set forth and change my opinions, or my political conduct. declared, as a high and binding duty of governI hope I am above violating my principles, even ment itself, to encourage schools, and advance under the smart of injury and false imputations. I the means of education ; on the plain reason, that religion, morality, and knowledge, are out, and two years afterwards the object was necessary to good government, and to the hap- attained. It is no derogation from the credit, piness of mankind. One observation further. whatever that may be, of drawing the ordiThe important provision incorporated into the nance, that its principles had before been preConstitution of the United States, and several pared and discussed, in the form of resolutions, of those of the States, and recently, as we have If one should reason in that way, what would Been, adopted into the reformed constitution of become of the distinguished honor of the Virginia, restraining legislative power, in ques- author of the Declaration of Independence ? tions of private right, and from impairing the There is not a sentiment in that paper which obligation of contracts, is first introduced and had not been voted and resolved in the assemestablished, as far as I am informed, as matter blies, and other popular bodies in the country, of express written constitutional law, in this or- over and over again, dinance of 1787. And I must add, alsó, in regard But the honorable member has now found to the author of the ordinance, who has not had out that this gentleman (Mr. Dane) was a memthe happiness to attract the gentleman's notice, ber of the Hartford Convention. However heretofore, nor to avoid his sarcasm now, that uninformed the honorable member may be of he was chairman of that select committee of characters and occurrences at the north, it the old Congress, whose report first expressed would seem that he has at his elbow, on this the strong sense of that body, that the old con- occasion, some high-minded and lofty spirit, federation was not adequate to the exigencies of some magnanimous and true-hearted inonitor, the country, and recommending to the States possessing the means of local knowledge, and to send delegates to the convention which ready to supply the honorable member with formed the present constitution.
every thing, down even to forgotten and mothAn attempt has been made to transfer, from eaten twopenny pamphlets, which may be used the north to the south the honor of this exclu- to the disadvantage of his own country. But, sion of slavery from the northwestern territory. as to the Hartford Convention, sir, allow me to The journal, without argument or comment, say, that the proceedings of that body seem refutes such attempt. The cession by Virginia now to be less read and studied in New Engwas made, March, 1784. On the 19th of April land than farther south. They appear to be following, a committee, consisting of Messrs. looked to, not in New England, but elsewhere, Jefferson, Chase, and Howell, reported a plan for the purpose of seeing how far they may for a temporary government of the territory, serve as a precedent. But they will not answer in which was this article: “that, after the year the purpose—they are quite too tame. The 1800, there shall be neither slavery, nor invol- latitude in which they originated was too cold. untary servitude in any of the said States, Other conventions, of more recent existence, otherwise than in punishment of crimes, have gone a whole bar's length beyond it. The whereof the party shall have been convicted." learned doctors of Colleton and Abbeville have Mr. Spaight, of North Carolina, moved to strike pushed their commentaries on the Hartford out this paragraph. The question was put ac- collect so far that the original text writers are cording to the form then practised : “shall thrown entirely into the shade. I have nothing these words stand as part of the plan," &c. to do, sir, with the Hartford Convention. Its New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, journal, which the gentleman has quoted, I Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and never read. So far as the honorable member Pennsylvania-seven states voted in the affirm- may discover in its proceedings a spirit, in any ative. Maryland, Virginia, and South Caro- degree resembling that which was avowed and lina, in the negative. North Carolina was justified in those other conventions to which I divided. As the consent of nine states was have alluded, or so far as those proceedings can necessary, the words could not stand, and were be shown to be disloyal to the constitution, struck out accordingly. Mr. Jefferson voted or tending to disunion, so far I shall be as ready for the clause, but was overruled by his col- as any one to bestow on them reprehension and leagues.
censure. In March of the next year, (1785,) Mr. King, Having dwelt long on this convention, and of Massachusetts, seconded by Mr. Ellery, of other occurrences of that day, in the hope, Rhode Island, proposed the formerly rejected probably (which will not be gratified) that I article, with this addition : “And that this should leave the course of this debate to follow regulation shall be an article of compact, and him, at length, in those excursions, the honorremain a fundamental principle of the consti- able member returned and attempted another tutions between the thirteen original States, object. He referred to a speech of mine in the and each of the States described in the resolve,"other House, the same which I had occasion to &c. On this clause, which provided the ade- allude to myself the other day; and has quoted quate and thorough security, the eight northern a passage or two from it, with a bold, though States of that time voted affirmatively, and the uneasy and laboring air of confidence, as if he four southern States negatively. The votes of had detected in me an inconsistency.' Judging nine States were not yet obtained, and thus the from the gentleman's manner, a stranger to the provision was again rejected by the southern course of the debate, and to the point in discusStates. The perseverance of the north held sion, would have imagined, from so triumphant a
tone, that the honorable member was about to of the honorable gentleman's speech. When overwhelm me with a manifest contradiction. he said yesterday, that he did not attack the Any one who heard him, and who had not eastern States, he certainly must have forgotheard what I had, in fact, previously said, must ten, not only particular remarks, but the whole have thought me routed and discomfited, as the drift and tenor of his speech; unless he means, gentleman had promised, Sir, a breath blows by not attacking, that he did not commence all this triumph away. There is not the slight- hostilities,—but that another had preceded him est difference in the sentiments of my remarks in the attack. He, in the first place, disapon the two occasions. What I said here on proved of the whole course of the government, Wednesday, is in exact accordance with the for forty years, in regard to its dispositions of opinion expressed by me in the other House in the public land; and then turning northward 1825. Though the gentleman had the meta- and eastward, and fancying he had found a physics of Hudibras—though he were able cause for alleged narrowness and niggardliness
in the “accursed policy" of the tariff, to which “To sever and divide
he represented the people of New England as A hair 'twixt north and northwest side,” wedded, he went on, for a full hour, with re
marks, the wi. 'e scope of which was to exhibit he yet could not insert his metaphysical scissors the results of his policy, in feelings and in between the fair reading of my remarks in 1825, measures unfavorable to the west. I thought and what I said here last week. There is not his opinions unfounded and erroneous, as to the only no contradiction, no difference, but, in general course of the government, and ventured truth, too exact a similarity, both in thought to reply to them. and language, to be entirely in just taste. Il The gentleman had remarked on the analogy had myself quoted the same speech, had recur- of other cases, and quoted the conduct of Eurored to it, and spoke with it open before me, and pean governments towards their own subjects, much of what I said was little more than a re-settling on this continent, as in point, to show, petition from it. In order to make finishing that we had been harsh and rigid in selling, work with this alleged contradiction, permit when we should have given the public lands to me to recur to the origin of this debate, and settlers, without price. I thought the honorreview its course. This seems expedient, and able member had suffered his judgment to be may be done as well now as at any time. betrayed by a false analogy; that he was struck
Well, then, its history is this: The honorable with an appearance of resemblance, where there member from Connecticut moved a resolution, was no real similitude. I think so still. The which constitutes the first branch of that which first settlers of North America were enteris now before us; that is to say, a resolution, prising spirits, engaged in private adventure, or instructing the committee on public lands to fleeing from tyranny at home. When arrived inquire into the expediency of limiting, for a here, they were forgotten by the mother councertain period, the sales of the public lands, to try, or remembered only to be oppressed. Carsuch as have heretofore been offered for sale ; ried away again by the appearance of analogy, and whether sundry offices connected with the or struck with the eloquence of the passage, the sales of the lands, might not be abolished, with honorable member yesterday observed, that the out detriment to the public service.
conduct of government towards the western In the progress of the discussion which arose emigrants, or my representation of it, brought on this resolution, an honorable member from to his mind a celebrated speech in the British New Hampshire moved to amend the resolu- Parliament. It was, sir, the speech of Col. tion, so as entirely to reverse its object; that Barre. On the question of the stamp act, or is, to strike it all out, and insert a direction to tea tax, I forget which, Col. Barre had heard a the committee to inquire into the expediency of member on the treasury bench argue, that the adopting measures to hasten the sales, and ex- | people of the United States, being British tend more rapidly the surveys of the lands. colonists, planted by the maternal care, nourish
The honorable member from Maine, Mr. ed by the indulgence, and protected by the arms Sprague, suggested that both those propositions of England, would not grudge their mite to remight well enough go for consideration to the lieve the mother country from the heavy burden committee; and in this state of the question, under which she groaned. The language of the member from South Carolina addressed the Col. Barre, in reply to this, was—They planted Senate in his first speech. He rose, he said, to by your care? Your oppression planted them give us his own free thoughts on the public in America. They fled from your tyranny, and lands. I saw him rise with pleasure, and lis- grew by your neglect of them. So soon as you tened with expectation, though before he con- began to care for them, you showed your care cluded, I was filled with surprise. Certainly, I by sending persons to spy out their liberties, was never more surprised, than to find him fol- misrepresent their character, prey upon them lowing up, to the extent he did, the sentiments and eat out their substance. and opinions which the gentleman from Miss And how does the honorable gentleman mean souri had put forth, and which it is known he to maintain, that language like this is applicable has long entertained.
to the conduct of the Government of the United I need not repeat at large the general topics | States towards the western emigrants, or to
any representation given by me of that con- debate; and I must now bring the gentleman duct? Were the settlers in the west driven back to what is the point. thither by our oppression? Have they flourish- The real question between me and him is, ed only by our neglect of them? Has the gov- has the doctrine been advanced at the south or ernment done nothing but to prey upon them, the east, that the population of the west should and eat out their substance? Sir, this fervid | be retarded, or at least need not be hastened, eloquence of the British speaker, just when on account of its effect to drain off the people and where it was uttered, and fit to remain an from the Atlantic States ? Is this doctrine, as exercise for the schools, is not a little out of has been alleged, of eastern origin? That is place when it is brought thence to be applied the question. Has the gentleman found any here, to the conduct of our own country to thing by which he can make good his accusawards her own citizens. From America to tion? I submit to the Senate, that he has enEngland, it may be true; from Americans to tirely failed; and as far as this debate has shown, their own government it would be strange lan- the only person who has advanced such sentiguage. Let us leave it, to be recited and de- ments, is a gentleman from South Carolina, and claimed by our boys, against a foreign nation; | a friend to the honorable member himself. The not introduce it here, to recite and declaim our honorable gentleman has given no answer to selves against our own.
| this; there is none which can be given. The But I come to the point of the alleged con- simple fact, while it requires no comment to tradiction. In my remarks on Wednesday, I enforce it, defies all argument to refute it. I contended that we could not give away gratui- could refer to the speeches of another southern tously all the public lands; that we held them gentleman, in years before, of the same general in trust; that the government had solemnly character, and to the same effect, as that which pledged itself to dispose of them as a common has been quoted; but I will not consume the fund for the common benefit, and to sell and time of the Senate by the reading of them. settle them as its discretion should dictate. So then, sir, New England is guiltless of the Now, sir, what contradiction does the gentle- policy of retarding western population, and of man find to this sentiment, in the speech of all envy and jealousy of the growth of the new 1825 ? He quotes me as having then said, that States. Whatever there be of that policy in we ought not to hug these lands as a very great the country, no part of it is her's. If it has a treasure. Very well, sir, supposing me to be local habitation, the honorable member has accurately reported, in that expression, what is probably seen, by this time, where to look for the contradiction? I have not now said, that it; and if it now has received a name, he has we should hug these lands as a favorite source himself christened it. of pecuniary income. No such thing. It is We approach, at length, sir, to a moro imnot my view. What I have said, and what I portant part of the honorable gentleman's obdo say, is, that they are a common fund to be servations. Since it does not accord with my disposed of for the common benefit-to be sold views of justice and policy to give away the at low prices for the accommodation of settlers, public lands altogether, as mere matter of grakeeping the object of settling the lands as much tuity, I am asked by the honorable gentleman in view, as that of raising money from them, on what ground it is that I consent to vote them This I say now, and this I have always said. away in particular instances? How, he inIs this hugging them as a favorite treasure? Is quires, do I reconcile with these professed sentithere no difference between hugging and hoard- ments my support of measures appropriating ing this fund, on the one hand, as a great portions of the lands to particular roads, partreasure, and on the other, of disposing of it at ticular canals, particular rivers, and particular low prices, placing the proceeds in the general institutions of education in the west? This treasury of the Union ? My opinion is, that as leads, sir, to the real and wide difference, in much is to be made of the land, as fairly and political opinion, between the honorable gentlereasonably may be, selling it all the while at man and myself. On my part, I look upon all such rates as to give the fullest effect to settle- these objects as connected with the common ment. This is not giving it all away to the good, fairly embraced in its object and its States, as the gentleman would propose; nor is terms; he, on the contrary, deems them all, if it hugging the fund closely and tenaciously, as a good at all, only local good. This is our differfavorite treasure; but it is, in my judgment, a ence. The interrogatory which he proceeded just and wise policy, perfectly according with to put, at once explains this difference. “What all the various duties which rest on govern- interest," asks he, “has South Carolina in a ment. So much for my contradiction. And canal in Ohio ?" Sir, this very question is full what is it? Where is the ground of the gentle of significance. It developes the gentleman's man's triumph? What inconsistency in word whole political system ; and its answer exor doctrine, has he been able to detect? Sir, pounds mine. Here we differ. I look upon a if this be a sample of that discomfiture, with | road over the Alleghany, a canal round the falls which the honorable gentleman threatened me, of the Ohio, or a canal or railway from the commend me to the word discomfiture for the Atlantic to the western waters, as being an obrest of my life.
ject large and extensive enough to be fairly But, after all, this is not the point of the said to be for the common benefit. The gentleman thinks otherwise, and this is the key to constitution to create unity of interests to the open his construction of the powers of the gov- extent of the powers of the general govern. ernment. He may well ask what interest has ment. In war and peace we are one; in comSouth Carolina in a canal in Ohio? On his merce, one ; because the authority of the gensystem, it is true, she has no interest. On that eral government reaches to war and peace, and system, Ohio and Carolina are different govern- to the regulation of commerce. I have never ments, and different countries : connected here, seen any more difficulty in erecting light-houses it is true, by some slight and ill-defined bond of on the lakes, than on the ocean; in improving union, but, in all main respects, separate and the harbors of inland seas, than if they were diverse. On that system, Carolina has no more within the ebb and flow of the tide; or of reinterest in a canal in Ohio than in Mexico. The moving obstructions in the vast streams of the gentleman, therefore, only follows out his own west, more than in any work to facilitate comprinciples; he does no more than arrive at the merce on the Atlantic coast. If there be any natural conclusions of his own doctrines; he power for one, there is power also for the only announces the true results of that creed, other; and they are all and equally for the which he has adopted himself, and would per- common good of the country. suade others to adopt, when he thus declares There are other objects, apparently more that South Carolina has no interest in a public loca, or the benefit of which is less general, work in Ohio. Sir, we narrow-minded people towards which, nevertheless, I have concurred of New England do not reason thus. Our with others, to give aid, by donations of land. notion of things is entirely different. We look It is proposed to construct a road, in or through upon the States not as separated, but as united. one of the new States, in which this governWe love to dwell on that union, and on the ment possesses large quantities of land. Have mutual happiness which it has so much pro- the United States no right, or, as a great and moted, and the common renown which it has untaxed proprietor, are they under no obliga80 greatly contributed to acquire. In our con- tion to contribute to an object thus calculated templation, Carolina and Ohio are parts of the to promote the common good of all the propriesame country; States, united under the same tors, themselves included? And even with general government, having interests, common, respect to education, which is the extreme case, associated, intermingled. In whatever is with- let the question be considered. In the first in the proper sphere of the constitutional power place, as we have seen, it was made matter of of this government, we look upon the States as compact with these States, that they should do one. We do not impose geographical limits to their part to promote education. In the next our patriotic feeling or regard; we do not fol- place, our whole system of land laws proceeds low rivers and mountains, and lines of latitude, on the idea that education is for the common to find boundaries, beyond which public im- good; because, in every division, a certain porprovements do not benefit us. We who come tion is uniformly reserved and appropriated for here, as agents and representatives of these the use of schools. And, finally, have not these narrow minded and selfish men of New Eng-new States singularly strong claims, founded on land, consider ourselves as bound to regard, the ground already stated, that the government with an equal eye, the good of the whole, in is a great untaxed proprietor, in the ownership whatever is within our power of legislation. of the soil? It is a consideration of great imSir, if a railroad or canal, beginning in South portance, that, probably, there is in no part of Carolina and ending in South Carolina, ap- the country, or of the world, so great call for peared to me to be of national importance and the means of education, as in those new States; national magnitude, believing, as I do, that the owing to the vast numbers of persons within power of government extends to the encourage- those ages in which education and instruction ment of works of that description, if I were to are usually received, if received at all. This is stand up here, and ask, what interest has Mas the natural consequence of recency of settlesachusetts in a railroad in South Carolina, I ment and rapid increase. The census of these should not be willing to face my constituents. States show how great a proportion of the These same narrow-minded men would tell me whole population occupies the classes between that they had sent me to act for the whole infancy and manhood. These are the wide fields, country, and that one who possessed too little and here is the deep and quick soil for the seeds comprehension, either of intellect or feeling; of knowledge and virtue; and this is the favored one who was not large enough, both in mind season, the very spring-time for sowing them, and in heart, to embrace the whole, was not Let them be disseminated without stint. Let fit to be entrusted with the interest of any part. them be scattered with a bountiful broadcast. Sir, I do not desire to enlarge the powers of the Whatever the government can fairly do towards government, by unjustifiable construction; nor these objects, in my opinion, ought to be done. to exercise any not within a fair interpretation. These, sir, are the grounds succinctly stated, But when it is believed that a power does on which my votes for grants of lands for parexist, then it is, in my judgment, to be exer- ticular objects rest; while I maintain, at the cised for the general benefit of the whole. So same time, that it is all a common fund, for the far as respects the exercise of such a power, the common benefit. And reasons like these, 1 States are one. It was the very object of the presume, have influenced the votes of other