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of this Confederacy, as would be accepted by the people of this Commonwealth.” From this resolution, it is clear that the General Assembly, in its declared opinion of what would be acceptable to the people of Virginia, not only required the Crittenden propositions as a basis, but also held the modifications suggested in addition essential. In this the undersigned fully concurs. But, in his opinion, the propositions reported by the majority do not give, but materially weaken the Crittenden propositions themselves, and fail to accord the modifications suggested. . The undersigned therefore, feels it his duty to submit and recommend, as a substitute, the resolutions referred to, as proposed by the Hon. John J. CRITTENDEN, with the incorporation of the modifications suggested by Virginia explicitly expressed, and with some alterations on points which, he is assured, would make them more acceptable to that State, and, as he hopes, to the whole Union. The propositions submitted are . appended, marked No. 1. The undersigned, while contenting himself, in the spirit of the action taken by the General Assembly of his State, with the proposal of that substitute for the majority report, would be untrue to his own convictions, shared, as he believes, by the majority of the commissioners from Virginia, and to his sense of duty, if he did not emphatically declare, as his settled and deliberate judgment, that for permanent safety in this Union, to the slaveholding States, and the restoration of integrity to the Union and harmony and peace to the country, a guarantee of actual power in the Constitution and in the working of the Government to the slaveholding and minority section is indispensable. How such guarantee might be most wisely contrived and judiciously adjusted to the frame of the Government, the undersigned forbears now to inquire. He is not exclusively addicted to any special plan, but believing that such guarantee might be adequately afforded by a partition of power in the Senate between the two sections, and by a recognition that ours is a Union of freedom and consent, not constraint and force, he respectfully submits, for consideration by members of the Convention, the plan hereto appended, marked No. 2. Whether he shall feel bound to invoke the action of the Convention upon it, may depend on the future manifestations of sentiment in this body. All which is respectfully submitted, - JAMES A. SEDDON. Commissioner from Virginia. February 15th, 1861.
No 1. Joint Resolutions proposing certain amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
Whereas, serious and alarming dissensions have arisen between the Northern and Southern States, concerning the rights and security of the rights of the slaveholding States, and especially their rights in the common territory of the United States; and whereas, it is eminently desirable and proper that those
dissensions, which now threaten the very existence of this Union, should be permanently quieted and settled by constitutional provisions, which shall do equal justice to all sections, and thereby restore to the people that peace and goodwill which ought to prevail between all the citizens of the United States: Therefore, Resolved, by this Convention, that the following articles are hereby approved and submitted to the Congress of the United States, with the request that they may, by the requisite constitutional majority of two-thirds, be recommended to the respective States of the Union, to be, when ratified by Conventions of three-fourths of the States, valid and operative as amendments of the Constitution of the Union. r ARTICLE 1. In all the territory of the United States, now held or hereafter acquired, situate north of latitude thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes, slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, is prohibited, while such territory shall remain under territorial government. In all the territory south of said line of latitude, slavery of the African race is hereby recognized as existing, and shall not be interfered with by Congress, but shall be protected as property by all the departments of the territorial government during its continuance; and when any territory, north or south of said line, within such boundaries as Congress may prescribe, shall contain the population requisite for a member of Congress, according to the then federal ratio of representation of the people of the United States, it shall, if its form of government be republican, be admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, with or without slavery, as the Constitution of such new State may provide. ARTICLE 2. Congress shall have no power to abolish slavery in places under its exclusive jurisdiction, and situate within the limits of States that permit the holding of slaves. ARTICLE 3. Congress shall have no power to abolish slavery within the District of Columbia, so long as it exists in the adjoining States of Virginia and Maryland, or either, nor without the consent of the free white inhabitants, nor without just compensation first made to such owners of slaves as do not consent to such abolishment. Nor shall Congress at any time prohibit officers of the Federal Government, or members of Congress, whose duties require them to be in said District, from bringing with them their slaves, and holding them as such during the time their duties may require them to remain there, and afterwards taking them from the District. ARTICLE 4. Congress shall have no power to prohibit or hinder the transportation of slaves from one State to another, or to a Territory in which slaves are by law permitted to be held, whether that transportation be by land, navigable rivers, or by the sea. And if such transportation be by sea, the slaves shall be protected as property by the Federal Government. And the right of transit by the owners with their slaves, in passing to or from one slaveholding State or Territory to another, between and through the nonslaveholding States and Territories, shall be protected. And in imposing direct taxes pursuant to the Constitution, Congress shall have no power to impose on slaves a higher rate of tax than on land, according to their just value. ARTICLE 5. That, in addition to the provisions of the third paragraph of the second section of the fourth article of the Constitution of the United States, Congress shall provide by law, that the United States shall pay to the owner who shall apply for it, the full value of his fugitive slave, in all cases, when the marshal, or other officer, whose duty it was to arrest said fugitive, was prevented from so doing by violence or intimidation, or when, after arrest, said fugitive was rescued by force, and the owner thereby prevented and obstructed in the pursuit of his remedy for the recovery of his fugitive slave, under the said clause of the Constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof. And in all such cases, when the United States shall pay for such fugitive, they shall reimburse themselves by imposing and collecting a tax on the county or city in which said violence, intimidation, or rescue was committed, equal in amount to the sum paid by them, with the addition of interest and the costs of collection; and the said county or city, after it has paid said amount to the United States, may, for its indemnity, sue and recover from the wrong-doers, or rescuers, by whom the owner was prevented from the recovery of his fugitive slave, in like manner as the owner himself might have sued and recovered. ARTICLE 6. No future amendment of the Constitution shall affect the five preceding articles, nor the third paragraph of the second section of the first article of the Constitution, nor the third paragraph of the second section of the fourth article of said Constitution, and no amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress any power to abolish or interfere with slavery in any of the States, by whose laws it is or may be allowed or permitted. ARTICLE 7, Sec. 1. The elective franchise and the right to hold office, whether federal, State, territorial, or municipal, shall not be exercised by persons who are, in whole or in part, of the African race. And whereas, also, besides those causes of dissension embraced in the foregoing amendments proposed to the Constitution of the United States, there are others which come within the jurisdiction of Congress, and may be remedied by its legislative power: and whereas it is the desire of this Convention, as far its influence may extend, to remove all just cause for the popular discontent and agitation which now disturb the peace of the country, and threaten the stability of its institutions: Therefore, 1. Resolved, That the laws now in force for the recovery of fugitive slaves are in strict pursuance of the plain and mandatory provisions of the Constitution, and have been sanctioned as valid and constitutional by the judgment of the Supreme Court of the United States; that the slaveholding States are entitled to the faithful observance and execution of those laws, and that they ought not to be repealed, or so modified or changed as to impair their effia ciency; and that laws ought to be made for the punishment of those who attempt, by rescue of the slave or other illegal means, to hinder or defeat the due execution of said laws. 2. That all State laws which conflict with the fugitive slave acts, or any other constitutional acts of Congress, or which in their operation impede, hinder, or delay the free course and due execution of any of said acts, are null and void by the plain provisions of the Constitution of the United States. Yet those State laws, void as they are, have given color to practices, and led to consequences which have obstructed the due administration and execution of acts of Congress, and especially the acts for the delivery of fugitive slaves, and have thereby contributed much to the discord and commotion now prevailing. This Convention, therefore, in the present perilous juncture, does not deem it improper, respectfully and earnestly to recommend the repeal of those laws to the several States which have enacted them, or such legislative corrections or explanations of them as may prevent their being used or perverted to such mischievous purposes. 3. That the act of the 18th of September, 1850, commonly called the Fugitive Slave Law, ought to be so amended as to make the fee of the Commissioner, mentioned in the eighth section of the act, equal in amount, in the cases decided by him, whether his decision be in favor of or against the claimant. And to avoid misconstructions, the last clause of the fifth section of said act, which authorizes the person holding a warrant for the arrest or detention of a fugitive slave, to summon to his aid the posse comitatus, and which declares it to be the duty of all good citizens to assist him in its execution, ought to be so amended as to expressly limit the authority and duty to cases in which there shall be resistance, or danger of resistance or rescue. 4. That the laws for the suppression of the African slave-trade, and especially those prohibiting the importation of slaves into the United States, ought to be made effectual, and ought to be thoroughly executed, and all further enactments necessary to those ends ought to be promptly made.
To secure concert and promote harmony between the slaveholding and non-slaveholding sections of the Union, the assent of the majority of the Senators from the slaveholding States, and of the majority of the Senators from the non-slaveholding States, shall be requisite to the validity of all action of the Senate, on which the ayes and noes may be called by five Senators.
And on a written declaration, signed and presented for record on the Journal of the Senate by a majority of Senators from either the non-slaveholding or slaveholding States, of their want of confidence in any officer or appointee of the Executive, exercising functions exclusively or continuously within the class of States, or any of them, which the signers represent, then such officer shall be removed by the Executive; and if not removed at the expiration of ten days from the presentation of such declaration, the office shall be deemed vacant and open to new appointment.
The connection of every State with the Union is recognized as depending on the continuing assent of its people, and compulsion shall in no case, nor under any form, be attempted by the Government of the Union against a State acting in its collective or organic capacity. Any State, by the action of a convention of its people, assembled pursuant to a law of its Legislature, is held entitled to dissolve its relation to the Federal Government, and withdraw from the Union; and, on due notice given of such withdrawal to the Executive of the Union, he shall appoint two Commissioners, to meet two Commissioners to be appointed by the Governor of the State, who, with the aid, if needed from the disagreement of the Commissioners, of an umpire, to be selected by a majority of them, shall equitably adjudicate and determine finally a partition of the rights and obligations of the withdrawing State; and such adjudication and partition being accomplished, the withdrawal of such State shall be recognized by the Executive, and announced by public proclamation to the world. But such withdrawing State shall not afterwards be readmitted into the Union without the assent of two-thirds of the States constituting the Union at the time of the proposed readmission.
Mr. COALTER:—It is proper that I should say a word in relation to the position of Missouri in this Conference. It is expressly referred to in the resolution under which we hold our appointment, passed by the Senate and House of Representatives. It is believed by the people of Missouri that the rights and privileges of the slaveholding States are in danger, and that the time has arrived when they should be secured by additional guarantees. Those guarantees must be such as will secure the honor and equal rights of the slaveholding States.
I wish to say, further, that we, as Commissioners, must act at all times under the control of the General Assembly or the State Convention of our State. Before we can act definitely upon either of the propositions submitted, I think it will be our duty to transmit them to the General Assembly for instructions.
Mr. WICKLIFFE:—The several reports are now before the Conference. I presume it will be the desire of every member to give them a careful examination. In order to prevent all unnecessary delay, I move that the several reports be laid upon the table, that they be printed at once and distributed to the members, and made the special order of the Conference for 12 o'clock to-morrow.
The motion of Mr. WICKLIFFE was agreed to.
Mr. WICKLIFFE:—I have drawn up a preamble and a resolution which I wish to offer for the consideration of the Conference. I shall not press action upon them to-day, but desire to have them laid on the table and printed. I shall call them up