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defeated all her troops; penetrated her mountain passes, and occupied her capital. The marine force of the United States took possession of her forts and her towns on the Atlantic and on the Pacific. In less than two years a treaty was negotiated by which Mexico ceded to the United States a vast territory, extending seven or eight hundred miles along the shores of the Pacific; reaching back over the mountains and across the desert, and until it joined the frontier of the State of Texas. It so happened that, in the distracted and feeble state of the Mexican government, before the declaration of war by the United States against Mexico had become known in California, the people of California, under the lead of American officers overthrew the existing Provincial Government in California — the Mexican authorities — and run up an independent flag. When the news arrived at San Francisco that war had been declared by the United States against Mexico, this independent flag was pulled down and the stars and stripes of this Union hoisted in its stead. So, sir, before the war was over, the powers of the United States, military and naval, had possession of San Francisco and Upper California, and a great rush of emigrants from various parts of the world, took place into California in 1846 and 1847. And now, behold another wonder. In January of 1848, the Mormons, it is said, or some of them, made a discovery of an extraordinarily rich mine of gold — or rather, of a very great quantity of gold, hardly fit to be called a mine, for it was spread near the surface — on the lower part of the South or American branch of the Sacramento. They seem to have attempted to conceal their discovery for some time; but soon another discovery, perhaps of greater importance, was made of gold, in another part of the American branch of the Sacramento, and near Sutter's fort, as it is called. The same of these discoveries spread far and wide. They excited more and more the spirit of emigration towards California, which had already been excited; and persons crowded in hundreds, and flocked towards the bay of San Francisco. This, as I have said, took place in the winter and spring of 1848. The digging commenced in the spring of that year, and from that time to this the work of searching for gold has been prosecuted with a success not heretofore known in the history of this globe. We all know, sir, how incredulous the American public was at the accounts which reached us at first of these discoveries; but we all know now that these accounts received, and continue to receive daily confirmation, and down to the present moment I suppose the assurances are as strong, after the experience of these several months, of mines of gold apparently inexhaustible in the regions near San Francisco, in California, as they were at any period of the earlier dates of the accounts. It so happened, sir, that, although in the time of peace, it became a very important subject for legislative consideration and legislative decision to provide a proper Territorial Government for California, yet differences of opinion in the councils of the Government prevented the establisment of any such Territorial Government for California at the last session of Congress. Under this state of things, the inhabitants of San Francisco and California — then amounting to a great number of people — in the summer of last year, thought it to be their duty to establish a local Government. Under the proclamation of General Riley, the people chose delegates to a Convention — that Convention met at Monterey. They formed a constitution for the State of California, and it was adopted by the people of California in their primary assemblages. Desirous of immediate connexion with the United States, its Senators were appointed and Representatives chosen, who have come hither, bringing with them the authentic constitution of the State of California; and they now present themselves, asking, in behalf of their State, that the State may be admitted into this Union as one of the United States. This constitution, sir, contains an express prohibition against slavery or involuntary servitude in the State of California. It is said, and I suppose truly, that of the members who composed that Convention, some sixteen were natives and had been residents of the slaveholding States, about twenty-two were from the non-slaveholding States, and the remaining ten members were either native Californians or old settlers in that country. This prohibition against slavery, it is said was inserted with entire unanimity. And it is this circumstance, sir, the prohibition of slavery by that convention, which has contributed to raise — I do not say it has wholly raised—the dispute as to the propriety of the admission of California into the Union under this constitution. It is not to be denied, Mr. President—nobody thinks of denying—that, whatever reasons were assigned at the commencement of the late war with Mexico, it was prosecuted for the purpose of the acquisition of territory, and under the alleged argument that the cession of territory was the only form in which proper compensation could be made to the United States by Mexico for the various claims and demands which the people of this Country had against that Government. . At any rate, it will be found that President Polk's message at the commencement of the session of December, 1847, avowcd that the war was to be prosecuted until some acquisition of territory was made. And, as the acquisition was to be south of the line of the United States, in warm climates and countries, it was naturally, I suppose, expected by the South that whatever acquisitions were made in that region would be added to the slaveholding portion of the United

States. Events have turned out as was not expected, and that expectation has not been realized, and therefore some degree of disappointment and surprise has resulted, of course. In other words, it is obvious that the question which has so long harassed the country, and at some times very seriously alarmed the minds of wise and good men, has come upon us for a fresh discussion—the question of slavery in these United States. Now, sir, I propose—perhaps at the expense of some detail and consequent detention of the Senate — to review, historically, this question of slavery, which, partly in consequence of its own merits, and partly, perhaps mostly, in the manner it is discussed, in one and the other portion of the country, has been a source of so much alienation and unkind feeling between the different portions of the Union. We all know, sir, that slavery has existed in the world from time immemorial. There was slavery, in the earliest periods of history, in the Oriental nations, There was slavery among the Jews; the theocratic government of that people made no injunction against it. There was slavery among the Greeks, and the ingenious philosophy of the Greeks, found, or sought to find, a justification for it exactly upon the grounds which have been assumed for such a justification in this country; that is, a natural and original difference among the races of mankind, the inferiority of the black or colored race to the white. The Greeks justified their system of slavery upon that ground precisely. They held the African, and in some parts the Asiatic tribes, to be inferior to the white race; but they did not show, I think, by any close process of logic, that, if this were true, the more intelligent and the stronger had therefore a right to subjugate the weaker. The more manly philosophy and jurisprudence of the Romans placed the justification of slavery on entirely different grounds. The Roman jurists, from the first and down to the fall of the empire, admitted that slavery was against the natural law, by which as they maintained all men, of whatsoever clime, color, or capacity, were equal; but they justified slavery, first, upon the ground and authority of the law of nations — arguing, and arguing truly, that at that day the conventional law of nations admitted that captives in war, whose lives, according to the notions of the times, were at the absolute disposal of the captors, might, in exchange for exemption from death, be made slaves for life, and that such servitude might descend to their posterity. The jurists of Rome also maintained that by the civil law there might be servitude—slavery, personal and hereditary — first, by the voluntary act of an individual who might sell himself into slavery; second, by his being received into a state of slavery by his creditors in satisfaction of a debt; and, thirdly, by being placed in a state of servitude or slavery for crime. At the introduction of Christianity into the world, the Roman world was full of slaves, and I suppose there is to be found no injunction against that relation between man and man in the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or of any of his Apostles. The object of the instruction imparted to mankind by the founder of Christianity was to touch the heart, purify the soul, and improve the lives of individual men. That object went directly to the first fountain of all political and all social relations of the human race — the individual heart and mind of man. Now, sir, upon the general nature and character and influence of

slavery, there exists a wide difference between the Northern por

tion of this country and the Southern. It is said on the one side that, if not the subject of any injunction or direct prohibition in the New Testament, slavery is a wrong; that it is founded merely in the right of the strongest; and that it is an oppression, like all unjust wars, like all those conflicts by which a mighty nation subjects a weaker nation to their will; and that slavery, in its nature, whatever may be said of it in the modifications which have taken place, is not in fact according to the meek spirit of the gospel. It is not kindly affectioned. It does not “seek another's and not its own.” It does not “let the oppressed go free.” These are sentiments that are cherished, and recently with greatly augmented force, among the people of the Northern States. It has taken hold of the religious sentiment of that part of the country, as it has more or less taken hold of the religious feelings of a considerable portion of mankind. The South, upon the other side, have been accustomed to this relation between the two races all their lives, from their birth; having been taught in general to treat the subjects of this bondage with care and kindness — and I believe, in general, feeling for them great care and kindness — have yet not taken this view of the subject which I have mentioned. There are thousands of religious men, with consciences as tender as any of their brethren at the North, who do not see the unlawfulness of slavery; and there are more thousands perhaps that, whatsoever they may think of it in its origin, and as a matter depending upon matural right, yet take things as they are, and, finding slavery to be an established relation of the society in which they live, can see no way in which — let their opinions on the abstract question be what they may — it is in the power of the present generation to relieve themselves from this relation. And, in this respect candor obliges me to say, that I believe they are just as conscientious, many of them, and of the religious people all of them, as they are in the North in holding different opinions. - * Why, sir, the honorable Senator from South Carolina, the other day, alluded to the great separation of that great religious community, the Methodist Episcopal Church. That separation was brought about by differences of opinion upon this peculiar subject of slavery. I felt great concern as that dispute went on about the result, and I was in hopes that the difference of opinion might be adjusted, because I looked upon that religious denomination as one of the great props of religion and morals throughout the whole country, from Maine to Georgia. The result was against my wishes and against my hopes. I have read all their proceedings, and all their arguments, but I have never yet been able to come to the conclusion that there was any real ground for that separation; in other words, that no good could be produced by that separation. I must say, I think there was some want of candor and charity. Sir, when a question of this kind takes hold of the religious sentiments of mankind, and comes to be discussed in religious assemblies of the clergy and laity, there is always to be expected, or always to be feared, a great degree of excitement. It is in the nature of man, manifested by his whole history, that religious disputes are apt to become warm, and men's strength of conviction is proportionate to their views of the magnitude of the questions. In all such disputes there will sometimes men be found with whom everything is absolute — absolutely wrong or absolutely right. They see the right clearly; they think others ought so to see it, and they are disposed to establish a broad line of distinction between what is right, and what is wrong. And they are not seldom willing to establish that line upon their own convictions of the truth and the justice of their own opinions, and are willing to mark and guard that line by placing along it a series of dogmas, as lines of boundary are marked by posts and stones. There are men who, with clear perceptions, as they think, of their own duty, do not see how too hot a pursuit of one duty may involve them in the violation of others, or how too warm an embracement of one truth may lead to a disregard of other truths equally important. As I heard it stated strongly, not many days ago, these persons are disposed to mount upon some particular duty as upon a war horse, and to drive furiously, on, and upon, and over all other duties that may stand in the way. There are men who, in times of that sort and disputes of that sort, are of opinion that human duties may be ascertained with the exactness of mathematics. They deal with morals as with mathematics, and they think what is right may be distinguished from what is wrong with the precision of an algebraic equation. They have, therefore, none too much charity towards others who differ from them. They are apt, too, to think that nothing is good but what is perfect, and that there are no compromises or modifications to be

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