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dry up before midsummer is gone. All that the people can do is to raise some little articles, some little wheat for their tortillas, and all that by irrigation. And who expects to see a hundred black men cultivating tobacco, corn, cotton, rice, or any thing else, on lands in New Mexico, made fertile only by irrigation ? I look upon it, therefore, as a fixed fact, to use an expression current at this day, that both Califormia and New Mexico are destined to be free, so far as they are settled at all, which I believe, especially in regard to New Mexico, will be very little for a great length of time; free by the arrangement of things by the Power above us. I have therefore to say, in this respect, also, that this country is fixed for freedom, to as many persons as shall ever live there, by as irrepealable, and more irrepealable a law, than the law that attaches to the right of holding slaves in Texas; and I will say further, that if a resolution or a law were now before us to provide a Territorial Government for New Mexico, I would not vote to put any prohibition into it whatever. The use of such a prohibition would be idle, as it respects any effect it would have upon the Territory; and I would not take pains to reaffirm an ordinance of Nature, nor to reënact the will of God. And I would put in no Wilmot Proviso, for the purpose of a taunt or a reproach. I would put into it no evidence of the votes of superior power, to wound the pride, even whether a just pride, a rational pride, or an irrational pride, to wound the pride of the gentlemen who belong to the Southern States. I have no such object, no such purpose. They would think it a taunt, an indignity; they would think it to be an act taking away from them what they regard a proper equality of privilege; and whether they expect to realize any benefit from it or not, they would think it a theoretic wrong; that something more or less derogatory to their character and their rights had taken place. I propose to inflict no such wound upon any body, unless something, essentially important to the country and efficient to the preservation of liberty and freedom, is to be effected. Therefore, I repeat, sir, and I repeat it because I wish it to be understood, that I do not propose to address the Senate often on this subject. I desire to pour out all my heart in as plain a manner as possible; and I say, again, that if a proposition were now here for a Government for New Mexico, and it was moved to insert a provision for a prohibition of slavery, I would not vote for it. Now, Mr. President, I have established, so far as I propose to go into any line of observation to establish, the proposition with which I set out, and upon which I propose to stand or fall; and that is, that the whole territory of the States in the United States, or in the newly acquired territory of the United States, has a fixed and settled charter, now fixed and settled by law, which cannot be repealed in the case of Texas without a violation of public faith, and cannot be repealed by any human power in regard to California or New Mexico; that, under one or other of these laws, every foot of territory in the States or in the Territories, has now received a fixed and decided character. '', 4 Sir, if we were now making a Government for New Mexico, and any body should propose a Wilmot proviso, I should treat it exactly as Mr. Polk treated that provision for excluding slavery from Oregon. Mr. Polk was known to be in opinion decidedly averse to the Wilmot proviso; but he felt the necessity of establishing a Government for the Territory of Oregon, and, though the proviso was there, he knew it would be entirely nugatory; and, since it must be entirely nugatory, since it took away no right, no describable, no estimable, no weighable or tangible right of the South, he said he would sign the bill for the sake of enacting a law to form a Government in that Territory, and let that entirely useless, and in that connexion entirely senseless, proviso remain. For myself, I will say that we hear much of the annexation of Canada; and if there be any man, any of the Northern Democracy, or any one of the Free-Soil party, who supposes it necessary to insert a Wilmot proviso in a Territorial Government for New Mexico, that man will of course be of opinion that it is necessary to protect the everlasting snows of Canada from the foot of slavery by the same overpowering wing of an act of Congress. Sir, wherever there is a particular good to be done; wherever there is a foot of land to be staid back from becoming slave territory, I am ready to assert the principle of the exclusion of slavery. I am pledged to it from the year 1837; I have been pledged to it again and again; and I will perform those pledges; but I will not do a thing unnecessary, that wounds the feelings of others, or that does disgrace to my own understanding. Mr. President, in the excited times in which we live there is found to exist a state of crimination and recrimination between the North and South. There are lists of grievances produced by each; and those grievances, real or supposed, alienate the minds of one portion of the country from the other, exasperate the feelings, subdue the sense of fraternal connexion and patriotic love and mutual regard. I shall bestow a little attention, sir, upon these various grievances produced on the one side and on the other. I begin with the complaints of the South. I will not answer, further than I have, the general statements of the honorable Senator from South Carolina, that the North has grown upon the South in consequence of the manner of administering this Government, in the collecting of its revenues, and so forth. They are disputed topics, and I have no inclination to enter into them. But I will state these complaints, especially one complaint of the South, which has in my opinion

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just foundation; and that is, that there has been sound at the North, among individuals and among the legislators of the North, a disinclination to perform fully their constitutional duties in regard to the return of persons bound to service who have escaped into the free States. In that respect, it is my judgment that the South is right and the North is wrong. Every member of every Northern Legislature is bound, like every other officer in the country, by oath to support the constitution of the United States; and this article of the constitution, which says to these States they shall deliver up fugitives from service, is as binding in honor and conscience as any other article. No man fulfils his duty in any Legislature who sets himself to find excuses, evasions, escapes from this constitutional obligation. I have always thought that the constitution addressed itself to the Legislatures of the States themselves, or to the States themselves. It says that those persons escaping to other States shall be delivered up, and I confess I have always been of the opinion that it was an injunction upon the States themselves. When it is said that a person escaping into another State, and becoming therefore within the jurisdiction of that State, shall be delivered up, it seems to me the import of the passage is, that the State itself, in obedience to the constitution, shall cause him to be delivered up. That is my judgment. I have always entertained that opinion, and I entertain it now. But when the subject, some years ago, was before the Supreme Court of the United States, the majority of the judges held that the power to cause fugitives from service to be delivered up was a power to be exercised under the authority of this Government. I do not know, on the whole, that it may not have been a fortunate decision. My habit is to respect the result of judicial deliberations and the solemnity of judicial decisions. But, as it now stands, the business of seeing that these fugitives are delivered up resides in the power of Congress and the national judicature, and my friend at the head of the Judiciary Committee has a bill on the subject now before the Senate, with some amendments to it, which I propose to support, with all its provisions, to the fullest extent. And I desire to call the attention of all sober-minded men, of all conscientious men in the North, of all men who are not carried away by any fanatical idea or by any false idea whatever to their constitutional obligations. I put it to all the sober and sound minds at the North as a question of morals and a question of conscience, What right have they in their legislative capacity, or any other, to endeavor to get round this constitution, to embarrass the free exercise of the rights secured by the constitution to the persons whose slaves escape from them? None at all; none at all, Neither in the forum of conscience nor before the face of the con

stitution are they justified, in my opinion. Of course it is a matter for their consideration. They probably, in the turmoil of the times, have not stopped to consider of this: they have followed what seems to be the current of thought and of motives as the occasion arose, and neglected to investigate fully the real question, and to consider their constitutional obligations; as I am sure, if they did consider, they would fulfil them with alacrity. Therefore, I repeat, sir, that here is a ground of complaint against the North well founded, which ought to be removed, which it is now in the power of the different departments of this Government to remove; which calls for the enactment of proper laws authorizing the judicature of this Government, in the several States, to do all that is necessary for the recapture of fugitive slaves, and for the restoration of them to those who claim them. Wherever I go, and whenever I speak on this subject—and when I speak here I desire to speak to the whole North — I say that the South has been injured in this respect, and has a right to complain; and the North has been too careless of what I think the constitution peremptorily and emphatically enjoins upon it as a duty. Complaint has been made against certain resolutions that emanate from Legislatures at the North, and are sent here to us, not only on the subject of slavery in this District, but sometimes recommending Congress to consider the means of abolishing slavery in the States. I should be sorry to be called upon to present any resolutions here which could not be referable to any committee or any power in Congress, and, therefore, I should be very unwilling to receive from Massachusetts instructions to present resolutions expressing any opinion whatever upon slavery as it exists at the pres. ent moment in the States, for two reasons: because, first, I do not consider that the Legislature of Massachusetts has any thing to do with it; and next, I do not consider that I, as her representative here, have anything to do with it. Sir, it has become, in my opinion, quite too common; and, if the Legislatures of the States do not like that opinion, they have a great deal more power to put it down than I have to uphold it. It has become, in my opinion, quite too common a prac. tice for the State Legislatures to present resolutions here on all subjects, and to instructus here on all subjects. There is no public man that requires instruction more than I do, or who requires information more than I do, or desires it more heartily; but I do not like to have it come in too imperative a shape. I took notice, with pleasure, of some remarks upon this subject made the other day in the Senate of Massachusetts, by a young man of talent and character, from whom the best hopes may be entertained. I mean Mr. Hillard. He told the Senate of Massachusetts that he would vote far no instructic

whatever to be forwarded to members of Congress, nor for any resolutions to be offered, expressive of the sense of Massachusetts as to what their members of Congress ought to do. He said that he saw no propriety in one set of public servants giving instructions and reading lectures to another set of public servants. To their own master all of them must stand or fall, and that master is their constituents. I wish these sentiments could become more common, a great deal more common. I have never entered into the question, and never shall, about the binding force of instructions. I will, however, simply say this: if there be any matter of interest pending in this body, while I am a member of it, in which Massachusetts has an interest of her own not adverse to the general interest of the country, I shall pursue her instructions with gladness of heart, and with all the efficiency which I can bring it. But if the question be one which affects her interest, and at the same time affects the interests of all other States, I shall no more regard her political wishes or instructions than I would regard the wishes of a man who might appoint me an arbiter or referee to decide some question of important private right, and who might instruct me to decide in his favor. If ever there was a Government upon earth, it is this Government, if ever there was a body upon earth, it is this body, which should consider itself as composed by agreement of all, appointed by some, but organized by the general consent of all, sitting here under the solemn obligations of oath and conscience to do that which they think is best for the good of the whole. Then, sir, there are these abolition societies, of which I am unwilling to speak, but in regard to which I have very clear notions and opinions. I do not think them useful. I think their operations for the last twenty years have produced nothing good or valuable. At the same time, I know thousands of them are honest and good men; perfectly well meaning men. They have excited feelings, they think they must do something for the cause of liberty, and in their sphere of action they do not see what else they can do, than to contribute to an abolition press or an abolition society, or to pay an abolition lecturer. I do not mean to impute gross motives even to the leaders of these societies, but I am not blind to the consequences. I cannot but see what mischiefs their interference with the South has produced. And is it not plain to every man? Let any gentleman who doubts of that, recur to the debates in the Virginia House of Delegates, in 1832, and he will see with what freedom a proposition made by Mr. Randolph, for the gradual abolition of slavery, was discussed in that body. Every one spoke of slavery as he thought; very ignominious and disparaging names and epithets were applied to it. The debates in the House of Delegates on that

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