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LIBERTY PARTY ADDRESS. 49

government for the people of all the States, leaving those relations untouched, it was equally impossible for them to abolish slavery in the States where it existed.” “Accordingly, we find that the Constitution designates all the inhabitants of the States as persons, and nowhere recognizes the idea that men can be the subjects of property; at the same time it nowhere confers on Congress the right to abolish slavery in the States where it is recognized and sanctioned by the local constitutions. . . . The Constitution found slavery and left it a State institution—the creature and dependant of State law— wholly local in its existence and character. It did not make it a national institution. It gave it no national character; no national existence. . . . . “Why, then, fellow-citizens, are we now appealing to you? Why have thousands of our countrymen, in other States, ranged themselves under the banner of constitutional liberty against slavery : Why is it that the whole nation is moved, as with a mighty wind, by the discussion of the questions involved in the great issue now made up between liberty and slavery { “It is, fellow-citizens—and we beg you to mark this—rt Is BECAUSE SLAVERY HAS OVERLEAPED ITS PRESCRIBED LIMITS AND Usurped THE CONTROL OF THE NATIONAL Gover NMENT. It is strictly a State institution, but it has arrogated to itself a national character. The General Government has no control over it in the States; but it has unwarrantably assumed to control in the administration of national affairs. . . . . “We ask you, fellow-citizens, to acquaint yourselves fully with the details and particulars belonging to the topics which we have briefly touched, and we do not doubt that you will concur with us in believing that THE HONOR, THE welfaRE, THE SAFETY of our countRY imperiously require THE ABsoLUTE AND UNQUALIFIED DIvorce of THE GoverNMENT FROM slaveRY. . . . . “We would, therefore, withdraw the support of national legislation from the system of slavery. “We would enforce the just and constitutional rule that slavery is the creature of local law, and cannot be extended beyond the limits of the State in which it exists.” Upon this general ground of action against slavery the convention appealed to the people of Ohio for approval and support, and declared that by its adoption “the blessings of the JUST GoD, who presides over the destinies of nations, would be upon our beloved country and all her institutions.” But the convention did not rest upon this general principle of slavery restriction, but insisted upon its abolition in the District of Columbia, and its exclusion from all places within the constitutional jurisdiction of the General Government. It declared, moreover, for the inviolability of the freedom of the press, of the right of trial by jury and right of petition; for a thorough reform in the currency, for a rigid economy in the public expenditures, and for the general education of the people, white and black. The convention nominated, as a candidate for Governor, Leicester King—formerly a State senator and a wellknown and honored citizen. And finally, it strongly recommended to the friends of the movement organization in townships and counties; and proposed a national convention preliminary to organization for national action. The result of the convention at Columbus was highly satisfactory to Mr. Chase. He believed the ground of antislavery action presented by it to be that warranted by constitutional obligation; that upon which the mass of the people might more certainly and readily be brought into union; and that method by which complete emancipation of the slave population would be ultimately secured, unattended by popular convulsion and calamity. Nor were the labors of the convention less satisfactory to its own members than to the antislavery citizens of the State. The address and resolutions were received with great favor; and although there was no apparent possibility of any political advancement for Liberty men—for the two old parties were in possession of all the offices—yet the friends of the movement labored on, in the midst of great opposition and many discouragements, with little to cheer, other than the satisfaction of duty performed and the hope of good to be accomplished, and some progress made. “For my own part,” writes Mr. Chase to Mr. Trowbridge, “having resolved on my political course, I devoted all the time and means I could command to the work of spreading the principles and building up the organization of the party of constitutional freedom then inaugurated. Sometimes, indeed, all I could

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do seemed insignificant, while the labors I had to perform and the demands upon rhy very limited, resources by necessary contributions taxed severely all my ability. . . . . “It seems to me now, on looking back, that I could not help working if I would; and that I was just as really called in the course of Providence to my labors for human freedom, as ever any other laborer in the great field of the world was called to his appointed work.”

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MR. CHASE “ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR RUNAway NEGROEs”—THE CASE of JoBN van ZANDT-MR. CHASE's ARGUMENT BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES.–ITS CONCLUSION.

HE reader must not suppose, from what precedes, that the case of Matilda was the only slave-defense in which Mr. Chase was engaged during this period of his life. He was counsel in so many that finally he came to be known in Kentucky as the “attorney-general for runaway negroes.” But the absence of all invective and denunciation, and indeed of all passion, in his management of such cases, with his uniform calmness and courtesy, and his evident desire to vindicate the law, measurably warded from him the personal disrespect which attended known antislavery men; so that when Mr. Chase went into Kentucky, as he sometimes did on professional business, the Kentuckians usually treated him with marked deference and kindness. Touching his office as “attorney-general for runaway negroes,” Mr. Chase protested his liking for it, because there were neither fees nor perquisites nor salary attending upon its duties. He never refused his help to any poor man, white or black. But it would be an utter mistake to suppose that Mr. Chase was not an object of hate; for he was—of hate bitter and unrelenting. It is difficult now for any one unacquainted with the earlier days of the slavery struggle, to form a very correct idea of the intense feeling which filled the minds of almost all men— North and South—on this subject. The popular sentiment was deeply and vindictively pro-slavery. It pervaded all classes and

THE WAN ZANDT CASE. 53

all professions. It colored legislation, administration, and even judicial decisions. It was a sort of frenzy which allowed no heresy in respect of its idol. In 1842 a slave-case surrounded by circumstances of dramatic interest happened in Hamilton County, Ohio, which excited a wide and profound attention. John Van Zandt, who is the original of John Van Trômpe in “Uncle Tom's Cabin,” was an old man; a Kentuckian, who had emigrated from that State into Ohio; a member of the Methodist Church, tuneducated but large-hearted; a friend of the slaves; who by hard work and thrift had secured a small farm in the vicinity of Cincinnati. He was an abolitionist from principle and sympathy. He believed slaveholding to be wrong, and his kindly nature was prompt to succor the distressed, and found especial gratification in aiding the escape of fugitive slaves. On the night of Friday, the 22d of April, nine slaves escaped from Kentucky into Ohio. Probably they escaped without the aid of other persons. But they found friends on the Ohio side of the river; and the next day, when Van Zandt was returning home from Cincinnati, these nine fugitives—among them a husband and wife and their three children—were found by him in the road. The wife was the daughter of an aged couple of black persons living near Cincinnati, who had once been slaves; who had grown old and infirm, while of their ten children not one was permitted to be the companion of their declining years, for all were slaves in slave States. Moved by sympathy, Van Zandt undertook to carry them some distance in his wagon. One of the slaves, Andrew, acted as driver. About fifteen or sixteen miles north of Cincinnati, on the public road and in broad daylight, two bold villains, Hargraves and Hefferman, with the help of some other persons of like character, violently stopped the travelers, and succeeded in securing all the fugitives except two: Andrew the driver, and another, who escaped. One of these subsequently returned to Kentucky. The slaves were put into a wagon, and without authority from any claimant, without any knowledge to whom the alleged slaves belonged, or indeed any certain knowledge that they were slaves at all, and without resort to legal proceedings of any kind,

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