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Northern Boundary of Ohio.
[Dec. 21, 1835.
And if they have not this power, the Tercitory of Michi agrees with the line named in the ordinance; but it introgan was created without authority; for the ordinance of duces another call, “ Lake Erie, or the territorial line; 1787 expressly authorizes a division of the Northwest. and thence, with the same, through Lake Erie, to the ern Territory into no more than “two districts;" Pennsylvania line;" making a totally different northern and this express authority was exhausted by the act boundary. The two lines run together until they touch of the 7th of May, 1800, which divided the North Lake Erie, then diverge widely. The line named in western Territory into two separate Governments. I the ordinance runs through the southern bend of Lake take it, therefore, for granted, that the general power Erie, and, passing out of it, cuts off a large extent of will not be disputed by the advocates of the claims of territory, with fifty or sixty thousand inhabitants, in the Michigan; and if it be not, why do they fix upon, as the northeast corner of the State of Ohio, to which Michigan boundary to which they have a permanent right, that has the same right, by virtue of the ordinance, that she assigned to the Territory, “ for the purpose of a tempora has to the country north of that line and south of the ry Government,” by the act of 11th January, 1805, northern cape of the Miami bay. But Congress did not instead of either of the other acts fixing other limits? consider themselves bound by the ordinance to pursue That act is neither the first nor the last which gave a that line, or they acted under a mistake as to the true temporary Government to the inhabitants of the country position of Lake Michigan; the bearing of which error included in that Territory. It first formed a part of the I will by and by consider. Government of the Northwestern Territory. It was In the formation of the State of Indiana, Congress next divided between that Territory and Indiana. It disregarded this assumed restriction in the ordinance, or was, in the next place, attached wholly to Indiana, and they had failed to discover it. That State is extended made to form a part of it; next, it was formed into a ten miles north of the southerly extreme of Lake Michiseparate Territory, "for the purpose of a temporary gan; and Illinois, which was admitted a few years after, Government;" and, lastly, the whole residue of the Nortli- is extended north about thirty-five miles further than western Territory was attached to it, and formed with it Indiana, and within a few miles of the line of latitude one Territory for a like purpose, and remains, and is which, according to the old maps, (to which I shall by part and parcel of it, at this day. How, then, can it be by more particularly refer,) cut through the southerly with reason contended that the limits of the local Gov. extreme of Lake Michigan. The mistake which had ernment, to which the inhabitants of this tract of coun. been made in the position of the object of that call was try owed allegiance, should, in its fourth modification, substantially corrected in the case of Illinois. though never before, be holden fixed and immutable? I need not now advert to the unhappy consequences There are no words in the law to countenance it, save wbich would flow from holding the east and west line, what are also contained in the other laws fixing the named in the ordinance, as a fixed and immovable boundboundaries of the several territorial Governments, which, ary: the question is too clear, by the very language of by different names, were from time to time extended, the ordinance itself, and the legislative constructions of in whole or in part, over this peninsula. On the whole, it have been too frequent and unequivocal, to require that law gives to the inhabitants of that part of the Terri- this auxiliary aid in settling the principle; still it ought tory of Michigan no vested right to come into the Union not to be forgotten that the establishment of the doctrine as a State with those particular boundaries assigned contended for by Michigan involves, as its consequence, them; it therefore throws no obstacle in the way of the dismemberment of three States of this Union, and extending, or adjusting and defining, the boundaries of the bringing of a large number of their citzens under a the States of Obio and Indiana north of the east and west Government which they did not help to form, and to line above referred to, even if we admit that line to have which they have never yielded, and to which I believe been once made the boundary of the Michigan Terri- they never will yield, their willing allegiance. ory.
Having, as I trust, established the position, (if any I believe it has not been denied, by those who advo. arguments were necessary to establish it,) that Congress cate the claims of Michigan, that Congress had a right to has power to pass this act, without violating the constiextend all or either of the three southern States north tution or the compact, or any principle which ought to to the territorial line, according to their limits as set out govern legislators, I will now proceed to offer some in the first part of the 5th article of the ordinance; but reasons why the proposed adjustment of boundary ought they contend that Congress must include in each of those to be made. States all or none of the territory which lies within its First, then, it was the intent of the framers of the Jimits north of that line; that they cannot include a part, ordinance of 1787 that the northern line of each of the and exclude another part; that an option is given them three southern States should extend north of the points in fixing the boundaries of those States on the north, over which that east and west line is, by actual observabut no discretion beyond the mere choice of one of the tion and survey, found to pass. This intent is proved two lines. In aid of the several arguments which I have by the clearest evidence. 'At the time of the passage advanced against this position, I will now adduce a series of that ordinance, we had no information of the country of acts of Congress showing a legislative construction north and west of Lake Erie, save what we derived from of their own powers.
observations made or collected under the colonial GovThe east and west line named in the ordinance of ernment. A map of that country, published in 1755, 1787 bas but a single call, “the most southerly bend or and still familiarly known as Mitchell's map, was the extreme of Lake Michigan;" it has no terminus to the first in authority in England and America, from the east or the west; it of course passes across the whole time of its publication until long after the date of the territory; and if the position be correct that Congress ordinance. It is said to have been the map referred to could not extend any State beyond that line without in by the American and British commissioners at the treaty cluding all the territory which lay beyond it and due of peace in 1783. And in the particulars in which it north of such State, then Congress, in the formation of bears upon the present question, it was copied, or very the State of Ohio, and the designation of its boundary, closely followed, in all the maps which appeared in our has violated the ordinance. In the act of April 30, 1802, country from that time until after the close of the late under which Ohio was authorized to from a State Gov. war. That map, and indeed every contemporaneous ernment, the line running due east from the southerly map that I have seen, fixed the latitude of the southern extreme of Lake Michigan is taken in part as the north extreme of Lake Michigan about 42° 20' north, or about ern boundary of the contemplated State. Thus far it | forty-five miles north of its actual position, and so
Dec. 21, 1835.)
Northern Boundary of Ohio.
situated with regard to Lake Erie, that a line running United States and Great Britain to mark the boundary due east through it would touch the lake near its head, between the two countries, under the treaty of Ghent. or the Detroit river a little north of its entrance into the This duty was performed. This line was marked with lake. I have laid upon your table, and on that of each great care through the western part of Lake Erie, and of the Senators, a copy, on a reduced scale, of this map, the map showing its position is among the archives of as it is preserved in the State Department; by which state. I hold in my band a letter from Thomas P. Jones, may be seen, at a glance, the position of those lakes and keeper of the archives, directed to Mr. Vinton, of the of that line, as it was then believed and understood to exist. Ohio delegation in the House of Representatives, dated Congress had earnestly sought the power of fixing the January 7, 1835, in wbich he states that he has carefullimits of the proposed States according to natural bound. ly examined the map of Lake Erie, as laid down and aries, so that none of them should be improperly inter- marked out by those commissioners, and that he finds sected by rivers or lakes, and so that there should be the latitude of the most southern point to be 41 deg. secured to each such natural advantages of navigation 39 min. 43 sec., as nearly as he can ascertain by the as most properly pertained to it. They obtained that scale, but that the measurement may possibly vary a power, and intended to exert it for the benefit of each second or so from the truth. So that the east and west of the new States; and, in fixing that east and west, they line would not touch the northern boundary line by obviously intended to prohibit any future Congress from about three miles. I understand, however, (for I have bringing down the northern line of that State, which is not yet seen the report,) that the Department has at last dow Ohio, south of a line which would touch Lake brought the two lines together. Lake Michigan, I be. Erie near its head, or the Detroit river above the lake. lieve, still holds its first position--its southern extremity Ought that intent to be defeated by a mistake, by would move no farther north; but the boundary line misinformation as to the position of a natural object in between the United States and Great Britain has been a hostile country, remote from any part of the State found more flexible, and has come about four miles whose boundary was to be fixed? We are of opinion south of the point at which it was fixed by the commisthat the intent of the framers of that ordinance ought sioners under the treaty of Ghent. This has, it is true, to be carried into effect, so far as it is necessary for the been an ex parte proceeding by the United States; but well-being of the State that it should be so.
Great Britain cannot object to it, as it gives her (if the It can be shown that the same intent prevailed with new position of the line be adhered to) jurisdiction over the Congress who passed the act of 1802, under which many miles of the surface of the lake, which was assignOhio framed her constitution, and came into the Union ed by the joint commissioners to the United States. as a sovereign and independent State. The line desig For the present, however, I am disposed to consider the nated as her northern boundary is the same as that be. line run by the commissioners of the United States and fore referred to, laid down on Mitchell's map. That Great Britain, in pursuance of a treaty stipulation, as the map then hung, as I have been informed, in the commit true boundary between the two countries. Taking, tee-room of the committee of Congress who reported that then, the position of the southerly extreme of Lake Michlaw. That there was a mistake in the position of this line igan, as found by Captain Talcott, and the southern by the Congress which enacted the law of April 30th,1802, point of the northern boundary line of the United States is proved further by the fact that the boundary they affix in Lake Erie, as settled by the commissioners, and as to Obio is an impossible boundary. The law provides measured on their map by the keeper of the public arthat the northern line shall run due east through the chives, it is clear that these lines do not close, and that one southerly extreme of Lake Michigan, until it intersects of them must be varied by legislative enactment or judiLake Erie or the territorial line; thence, with the same, cial construction, or the State of Ohio has no boundary. through Lake Erie, to the Pennsylvania line. This bound This state of things could not have been in accordance ary, therefore, is based on the assumption that that east with the intent and purpose of the framers of the law of and west line will touch the territorial line (which is the April 30, 1802. northern boundary line of the United States) in Lake The line, then, so far as it touches the boundary of Erie, or north of it; otherwise it could not, without Ohio, was intended, by the Congress of the United changing its direction, run with it, through Lake Erie, States, to be where it appears on Mitchell's map, and the to the Pennsylvania line.
other maps of the day. If this were the case of two inBut that line does not touch the northern boundary clividuals contracting for the transfer of land, who had line of the United States at any point in Lake Erie. The been governed in their contract by a plat spread out beact of the 14th July, 1832, directs the President "to cause fore them, and if such contract had been made, and such to be ascertained (among other things) by accurate map exhibited as showing the boundary between them; observation, the latitude and longitude of the southerly I ask every land lawyer here, if a reference in the deed extreme of Lake Michigan.” Also, “that he cause to to some remote object, as that from which one of the be ascertained, with all practicable accuracy, the lati- boundary lines should emanate, when the position of tude and longitude of the most southerly part in the that object was proved to have been mistaken by the Dorthern boundary line of the l'nited States in Lake parties, would control the bounds of the grant? In equity Erie.” The performance of this duty was, as a matter would it? Would it between man and man, the facts beof course, assigned by the President to the War Depart. ing fully made out? Would it be permitted to defeat ment. And among the executive documents of 1833–'34, the manifest intent and purpose of both parties? We vol. 6, doc. 497, is found the report, in part, of the en know well it would not. We know that where the lines gineer employed to perform that service. He fixes the and bounds of a tract of land are shown by the vendor Jatitude of the southern extreme of Lake Michigan at to the purchaser, either upon the grouud or on a plat, 41 deg. 37 min. 7.9 sec. north. His observations as to and the description in the deed does not cover it, no the southern point of the northern boundary of the matter whether by accident or design, a court of equity United States in Lake Erie do not lay claim to accuracy, will hold the conveyance to be according to the boundbut he supposes it to be in latitude 41 deg. 38 min. 38 ary shown, and so correct the deed. In the acts of Gov. sec., being north of the east and west line one mile one ernments, there is no distinction between law and equity. thousand four hundred and forty yards. But there was The appeal to law, as it regards a nation, is an appeal another and better mode of ascertaining the last-named to the national sense of justice; and an obligation much fact than that adopted by the Department. It will be less strong than that which would move a court of equity, remembered that commissioners were appointed by the in the case of an individual, ought to be sufficient, especials
Northern Boundary of Ohio.
(Dec. 21, 1835.
ly in a case like this, to command the action of a just canal connecting the Miami bay with the Wabash river; and generous nation.
and that grand work is now delayed, awaiting the de. But Congress not only intended to give a boundary cision of this question. I ask, is it expedient that a which included the mouth of the Miami of the Lake and State, which you are to form hereafter north of these its bay, but the people of Ohio, in convention, asked two States, should hold this outlet of the vast region and expected to receive it. They believed the line in which is intersected by this canal?—that the new State cluded the Miami bay, and a doubt was for the first time should have delivered to her the key, and be the sole thrown upon it by information received from a trapper, keeper, of the entrance to the noble edifice erected by who returned from the shores of Lake Michigan while the industry and enterprise of her neighbors? It is not the convention was in session, which caused the insertion right. And the pride of those States must be wounded, of the proviso in the 6th section of the 7th article of the and their sense of justice outraged, by such a deterconstitution. This constitution was accepted by Con mination. But again: what policy is there in giving the gress without a syllable, yea or nay, on the subject of new State, when it shall be created, the jurisdiction the proviso. It was accepted all together, the proviso over this disputed territory? Is the territory of that forming a part of it. No objection was urged to it by State, without it, likely to be too small, or does it want Congress, or by the committee of Congress which re for navigable communication? Neither. One hundred ported on the constitution. And when we consider that and seventy.seven square miles, an extent equal to three this proviso was fully and entirely in accordance with the of the largest States in tbe Union, must be formed into end and aim of the resolution of Congress of the 7th of no more than two States; and its eastern portion has ad. July, 1786, which asks of Virginia, a modification of her vantages of navigation equalled by few States on the deed of cession, with a view to regard natural bounda Atlantic seaboard. ries and the commercial relations of the contemplated Then, with respect to those who belong to the un States; that it accorded with the views of the Legisla- claimed part of the territory-who profess to be conture of Virginia, who changed their deed of cession for tending for their rights, and who accuse Ohio of ambithat express and declared purpose; that it accords with tion, and usurpation, and injustice—what is their claim, the views of the framers of the ordinance of 1787, as and for what do they contend? Not the right of selfappears by the map of their day, showing their opinion government, or the right to choose their own rulers, or of the line which should bound the contemplated States; the jurisdiction to which they shall be attached; for that it accords, also, with the opinion of the Congress nothing of this is sought to be wrested from them; but who passed the law under which Ohio formed her con- they claim to govern their neighbors, who deny them stitution and State Government; that this proviso, the allegiance; or, if not to govern them, they wish to force solemn act of the people of Ohio, met in convention, into their fellowship and fraternity those who turn from declares that as a part of their constitution they ask and them with fear and aversion, and who seek protection claim of Congress that boundary; and, finally, when it from Ohio, whom they think more regardful of their is considered that the whole constitution was accepted feelings and more friendly to their interests. Those without a dissent to that proviso, I think a strong case who, in the plenitude of their chivalry, wish to protect of equitable if not legal right is presented on the part the weak against the strong, would do well to think of of Ohio, for the definitive sanction of the boundary which extending that protection over this people, who, if atshe claims; and that it is an irresistible appeal to the tached to Michigan, will feel themselves delivered over sense of justice of the nation. And I, for one, care not to a kind of political bondage, and into the hands of whether this act be passed on the ground that Ohio is those whom they look upon as their adversaries and entitled to the boundary claimed by law, by equity, or rivals. on principles of political justice and expediency; but Something is surely due to the opinions and feelings sure I am that the people of that State feel strongly that of these people of the disputed territory. If joined to the concession is due them, and that dissatisfaction will Michigan, they cannot and they will not be content with be general and deep if it be withheld.
their condition. They contend against it now, like men But it is said that the rights of Michigan are implicated who are struggling for all that they hold dear and sacred, in the adjustment proposed by this bill, and that it can. and against whatever is deemed most calamitous. They not pass without doing injustice to that Territory; but, think (but I cannot answer for the correctness of their for myself, I can discover nothing solid in this objection. opinion) that, instead of enjoying the privileges of free-, I have already shown that that Territory has no right to men, instead of being placed in the hands of a fostering any particular boundary, either by virtue of the ordi- and paternal Government, which would watch over and nance of 1787, or any of the acts of Congress. If I protect their interests, and aid in the improvement of have succeeded in establishing this, what is left of her their natural advantages, and in the development of claim on those general principles of political justice and their resources, they would be delivered over to a bitter expediency, to which I have appealed in behalf of Ohio? adversary, and a determined and inveterate rival.
Michigan is a temporary territorial Government, ex Mr. President, I ask, in behalf of Ohio, and I most tending over about 177,000 square miles of territory, earnestly ask, an early decision of this question. It has equal in extent to three of the largest States in the been for years past the victim of procrastination. For Union. It was called into existence by an act of Con. more than thirty years has Obio presented herself, year gress; and, so long as it continues a Territory, it is sub after year, at the bar of Congress, as a petitioner for what ject to be changed and modified, as to boundary and she deems her right-what this body, whenever it has extent, at the pleasure of the same power. The inhab. spoken, has declared to be hers, either on principles of itants bave their rights as American citizens secured justice or of national policy; but she has been delayed, under the ordinance of 1787, and various acts of Con- postponed, and the measure for her redress lost in the gress; but they have no territorial rights; and Michigan, other House, without a hearing had or an opinion elicit as such, has none against the will of Congress. The ed. I trust and hope that it now approaches a terminaquestion of expediency, only, then occurs in behalf of a tion, and that its result will be such as to satisfy the pulic State that is to be hereafter formed north of Ohio and mind, and calm the dissatisfaction of our people. Indiana; and I ask, is it expedient that that State should hold the mouth of the Miami, which has its
Leller to the honorable Samuel F. Vinton. whole navigable courses in Ohio and Indiana, and con
WASHINGTON, January 14, 1835. trol its entrance? Those two States are constructing a DEAR SIR: Agreeably to your request, I have care
Dec. 21, 1835. ]
President's Message, &c.-Incendiary Publications.
fully examined the map of Lake Erie, as laid down and
PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE, &c. marked out by the commissioners to settle the boundary
On motion of Mr. WEBSTER, line under the treaty of Ghent, and find the latitude of
Ordered, That so much of the President's message as the most southern point to be 41 deg. 39 min. 43 sec.,
relates to finance, together with the annual report of as nearly I can ascertain by the scale; but the measure
the Secretary of the Treasury, be referred to the Comment may possibly vary a second or so from the truth.
mittee on Finance. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obe.
Various other portions of the President's annual mes. dient servant,
sage were referred to the appropriate standing commitTHOS. P. JONES,
tees. Office of Archives, Dept. of Stale.
INCENDIARY PUBLICATIONS. Extract from Captain Talcolt's report of January 7, Mr. CALHOUN moved that so much of the Presi.
1834, (Executive Documents 1833-'54, volume 6, doc. dent's message as relates to the transmission of incendiument 497.)
ary publications by the United States mail be referred “The fourth station was at the most southern bend of to a special committee. Lake Michigan, on the beach of the lake, at high-water
Mr. C. said that this was a subject of such importance mark, and about the middle of a reach of the lake which as, in his opinion, to require the appointment of a spe. lies east and west, and is about two miles in extent. The cial committee. It was one which involved questions observations at this place were more numerous than at
of a complicated character, and such as did not properany of the other stations, and give for its latitude 41 ly come within the duties of the Committee on the Post deg. 37 min. 7.9 sec. north.”
Office and Post Roads, touching as they did on the con(The following is a copy of the bill introduced by Mr.
stitutional powers of the Government. Another reason EwIxG:
for the appointment of a special committee was to be
found in the fact that, in the construction of the stand. A BILL to settle and establish the northern boundary ing committees, there was only a single gentleman from line of the State of Ohio.
that section of the country which was most deeply inBe it enacted, &c., That the northern boundary of the terested in the proper disposition of this very important State of Ohio shall be established by, and extend to, a subject. He did not anticipate any opposition to the direct line running from the southern extremity of Lake motion, and hoped it would be at once adopted. Michigan to the most northerly cape of the Miami bay; Mr. KING, of Alabama, expressed his hope that, in thence, northeast, to the northern boundary line of the this instance, there would be no departure from the United States; thence, with said line, to the Pennsylva- customary practice of the Senate, as he bad no appre. nia line.
hension that the regular standing committee had the Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the boundary least desire to take any course which would interfere line surveyed, marked, and designated, agreeably to with any right which belonged to any State of the “An act to authorize the President of the United States Union. Without looking particularly at the constructo ascertain and designate the northern boundary of the tion of that committee, be felt a confident belief that State of Indiana,” approved March the second, eighteen there was no disposition in any of its members to have hundred and twenty-seven, shall be deemed and taken the public mails prostituted to the purposes of a set of as the east and west line mentioned in the constitution fanatics. He did not wish to see the subject taken out of the State of Indiana, drawn through a point ten miles of the regular course, as he considered that it would be north of the southern extreme of Lake Michigan, and giving to it a greater degree of importance than was shall be and for ever remain the northern boundary of necessary, He was of the opinion that the only mode said State.
in which Congress could interfere was through the regSec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the northern ulations of the Post Office. Beyond that, he believed boundary line ascertained, surveyed, and marked, they had no right to go. Thus believing, notwithstand. agreeably to a law of Congress, entitled “ An act to as- ing the situation of peculiar delicacy which he personcertain and mark the line between the State of Alabama ally occupied, he could not consent to give to the suband the Territory of Florida, and the northern boundary ject more consequence than it deserved, by taking it of the State of Illinois, and for other purposes," ap out of the hands of the regular Post Office Commitiee. proved March second, eighteen hundred and thirty-one, He hoped, therefore, that the Senator from South Caro. shall be deemed and taken as the line west from the lina would take a different course, and wait to see what middle of Lake Michigan, in north latitude forty-two was done by that committee before he advised the apdegrees thirty minutes, to the middle of the Mississippi pointment of a special committee. If he should find river, as defined in the act of Congress entitled “ An ihat the standing committee did not properly discharge act to enable the people of Illinois Territory to form a their trust, then it would be time enough to see what constitution and State Governnient, and for the admis- other mode could be devised by which a restraint might sion of such State into the Union on an equal footing be constitutionally imposed on the circulation of these with the original States," approved eighteenth of April, mischievous publications. He hoped the subject would eighteen hundred and eighteen, and shall be and for not be sent to a special committee. ever remain the northern boundary line of said State. ] Mr. CALHOUN replied that the Senator from AlaWhen Mr. Ewing had concluded,
bama had mistaken bis object, which was not to proMr. MORRIS objected to the second reading of the duce any unnecessary excitement, but to adopt such a bill, and said that, as there was some difference be. course as would secure a committee which would calmtween bis colleague and himself, in relation to some of ly and dispassionately go into an examination of the the principles involved in the bill just read, of an im- whole subject; which would investigate the character portant character, he would submit a resolution, as pre- of those publications, to ascertain if they were incendisenting his views on the subject.
ary or not, and, if so, on that ground to put a check in The CHAIR stated that, as the resolution was in the their transmission through the country. He could not form of a joint one, it must be introduced after giving but express his astonishment at the objection which had one day's previous notice.
been taken to his motion, for he knew that the Senator Mr. MORRIS gave notice accordingly that he would from Alabama felt that deep interest in the subject introduce the resolution to-morrow.
which pervaded the feelings of every man in the South
(Dec. 21, 1835.
ern section of the country. He believed that the Post himself a traitor to his section of the country if he could Office Committee would be fully occupied with the reg-suffer any consideration as to the presidential election ular business which would be brought before them, and to be brought to bear upon it. It was a question of init was this consideration, and no party feeling, which finitely higher moment. His desire was to allay every had induced this motion. Whatever was to be done, excited feeling; to look calmly, not only at the main whatever feeling to be expressed, it was earnestly to be question, but at all the collateral. He looked only to desired that it should come from a committee, a ma the importance of the subject, as a new one, which was jority of whom were of those who were most deeply now to setile a great principle. He did not desire to interested in the matter; and he hoped this sentiment assume any responsibility which the crisis did not dewould be responded to by a general acquiescence on mand, but he would not shrink from any necessary labor. the part of the Senate.
The Southern people were deeply interested; they Mr. GRUNDY said that his situation was such that he deemed that principles were involved in this subject ought not, perhaps, to take any part in this discussion, which affected their rights, and on the right decision of but that his silence might be misrepresented. In refer. | which the peace and harmony of the nation depended. ence to the objection that the members of the standing on these grounds he bad desired a special committee. committee were from a different part of the country, he
Mr. LEIGH said he should vote for a reference of the would reply that, such being the case, if the same sen- subject to a special committee, not from any distrust of timents favorable to the opinions of the Senator from the standing Committee on the Post Office, on account South Carolina were entertained by the majority of of the quarter of the Union from which the members them, their report would go forth to the public so much composing the committee came, but because he did not the stronger, as it would show that there existed a simi- think that the subject belonged to the province of the larity of feeling in every part of the country, as to the standing committee. He understood that committee 10 power of the Government to act efficiently on this sub- be charged with matters relating to the general arrange. ject. He did not intend even to give a full opinion; it
ments of the Post Office, and not to take cognizance of was not the time for it; but he would say that the gen any thing with which was mingled up, constitutional eral Government could do very little, except it should questions of such delicacy. He would take occasion to be through the regulation of the Post Ofice, and by say now, that, from the conversations he had had with aiding to give efficiency to the operation of the State intelligent individuals from the non-slaveholding States, laws. Perhaps more might be done, but he did not there existed no essential difference of opinion between desire to see any power exercised which could have the them and himself. All of them were deeply impressed least tendency to interfere with the sovereignty of the with the wickedness of these incendiary publications, States. He would only add, that the standing commit- and were ready to go with him in a common effort to tee he had intended to call together to-morrow, chiefly suppress them. There was therefore no fear to be enfor the purpose of deliberating on this subject, but, tertained as to the course of the intelligent part of the hearing that some motion of this kind might be made, North. But there was a fear lest this question should he had delayed his intention. He neither wished for become involved in party considerations; and he should the labor of examining this subject in the regular com.
have no fear of this if the subject were sent to a special mittee, nor did he desire to avoid any responsibility. It committee. So sure as it becomes entangled with party was not improbable that there would have been unanim-views, every thing like wise and efficient concert of acity of sentiment.
tion will be prevented. Mr. PRESTON made a few remarks, the commence Mr. BUCHANAN expressed his gratification to hear ment of which was inaudible, from the low tone in which the gentleman from Virginia express the result of his it was delivered. It had been said that the evil was to conversations with the gentlemen of the North; and he be cured through the regulation of the Post Office. Had was sure the honorable Senator spoke the sentiments of the Government any power to regulate that way? If every intelligent man north of the slaveholding States, so, to what extent? What surveillance could it exercise when he says he would suppress any incendiary publicaover the Post Office? If there can be any efficient ac. tions which disturb the tranquillity of that section of the tion in this mode to protect the rights and harmony of Union. I have yet to find that man of intelligence in the South, then to what extent do we want protection the North who is of the opinion that the general Gov. He believed the importance of the subject, involving, ernment has any right to interfere in the question of as it did, the interests of a large portion of the country,
domestic slavery in the South; and all are disposed to go required that it should be submitted to a special com. as far as they can constitutionally go, to suppress the mittee. There was great anxiety on the subject per. transportation of incendiary publications through the vading the South, but no excitement was likely to grow mail. The reason why he was opposed to a special out of it. If there should be any, it would not be as to committee was, because by adopting the ordinary course the question of slavery, but the power which might be party spirit would be effectually put down. He had no exercised by the Government.
fear of creating any party spirit on the subject in this Mr. CALHOUN stated that, if this subject had been body; but abroad the question might be asked, for within the ordinary duties of the Committee on the Post what purpose was this referred to a special committee? Oflice, he would not have objected to their taking charge is the subject so far out of the reach of law that it canof it; but every one must see that it involved considera not otherwise be taken hold of? Are there any two tions of a peculiar character, separate and distinct from individuals who differ as to the propriety of doing all that the ordinary duties of that committee. He had no de can be done to prevent the circulation of incendiary sire to bring into debate the important question of sla- publications in the South? The only question is the very, but merely the powers of the Government. The constitutional one, how far can we go? i undertake to peculiar question of power now presented was a new say that we are all disposed to go as far as we can; and one, and required to be examined with the utmost cau when we bave raised a standing committee, conversant tion. In all free States, the most dangerous precedents with the business of the Post Office and post roads, had been founded on questions of this character. Great shall we take the subject out of their hands, and give it principles might be overlooked, and dangerous inno. to a special committee? Abroad this may be considered vations adopted, from which the worst consequences a party movement. Mr. B. concluded with saying he would now. He looked to the constitution only. This should vote to send the subject to the Committee on the was a great constitutional question, and he should deem | Post Office and Post Roads.