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Jan. 6, 1836. ]
Regulations of the Senaie Chamber.
that the lobby could contain more than the amendment Mr. BUCHANAN said he had not expected this proposed to admit, without inconvenience, it might be debate could possibly assume the character which it had further opened; but he was of opinion that the galleries now taken.
The change of the rules of the Senate, in ought to be opened. It was the nature of power to shut regard to the use of the lobby and galleries, had been its doors, and hide its proceedings from the public eye; made by common consent. It was not the work of any but those who resisted power had an interest in giving political party in this body. The change was made, as to their efforts the utmost publicity. He wished the he had supposed, for the accommodation of all parties whole people of the United States to have an opportuni- | in the Senate, as well as for that of the people. ty of witnessing what passed in that chamber. As he Under these circumstances, he could not but feel desired to have the question essentially on the opening surprised when the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. of the galleries, he should vote for the amendment. Calhoun] very broadly insinuated that there was a
Mr. BENTON had but one word to say, and that was struggle in this body between two parties--the one the drawn from him by what he had heard of the hardship advocates of liberty, the other of power, and that the of those who were almost suffocated in the crowds at. advocates of power desired secrecy. tending the little gallery, while so few occupied the [Mr. Calhoun here said that he had affirmed it.] large one. Whoever encountered that hardship, he The Senator, then, has affirmed it. Sir, said Mr. B., would undertake to say, had brought it on himself, be- if the gentleman intends to assert that the friends of the cause he could easily be relieved of it, by taking a lady administration on this floor desire to envelop the prounder his arm, and going into the other gallery; and if ceedings of this body in mystery and darkness, the he had such an antipathy to the ladies as to prefer the assertion is wholly unfounded. In saying so, I mean no crowds of the little gallery to their society, he (Mr. B.) personal offence. We are not the advocates of power had no sympathy for him. The circular gallery was against liberty, and our conduct has never shown that freely open to all, under the rule as it then stood. we were. It is easy for the Senator to make general Every gentleman could go there if he pleased; and if he charges of this kind, but he will find it very difficult to did not know how, he (Mr. B.) would tell him. He place his hand upon any single fact to support them. had simply to get a young lady, or an old one, or any
Mr. B. said he was neither ashamed nor afraid to Jady he pleased, to go with him, and he would find the speak, and to vote, and to act, openly, and fearlessly, and doors open.
directly, upon every question which may come before Mr. TALLMADGE said he should vote against the the Senate. He did not shun, but courted, publicity. amendment of the gentleman from Delaware, (Mr. Neither his political friends nor himself had any thing Clayton,) and if the amendment of that gentleman did to conceal. He had never been consulted in respect to not succeed, he would then offer an amendment to admit the existing rule. He should now vote for the amenda certain number in the circular gallery. He was willing ment proposed by the Senator from Delaware, (Mr. to give to each Senator the privilege of admitting a certain Clayton.) He was willing that the upper gallery number of persons in that gallery. He bad no objec should be thrown open to all visiters who might think tion to affording every facility to spectators; but owing proper to attend. Although our convenience might be to the inconvenience mentioned by some of the gentle sacrificed by again crowding the lobby behind the seats men, growing out of an unlimited privilege, he would of the members, he could endure this inconvenience as prefer extending the convenience to the circular gallery. well as any other Senator. On this subject he would
Mr. SHEPLEY suggested to the gentleman from New go as far as he who should go farthest. Let all the York, (Mr. TallMADGE,) to submit his views in the American people who can be accommodated be received form of an amendment to the amendment. The resolu. | into this chamber. tion, thus amended, would accomplish the object the gen
Mr. CALHOUN remarked that he was much gratified tleman from South Carolina (Mr. Calhoun) had in view. at what bad been said by the Senator from Pennsylvania,
Mr. TALLMADGE then submitted the following and hoped that every gentleman on the same side would amendment to the amendment:
concur with him. It was not for him or that gentleman “ That each Senator have the privilege of admitting to decide which of them were on the side of liberty in into the circular gallery number of gentlemen.” the contest between liberty and power-that must be
Mr. WEBSTER said the public had a right them- left to time and to posterity for a fair decision. He was selves to the use of the galleries until they were filled. not called on then to show the many arbitrary acts of He was opposed to granting tickets, and was for opening the present administration; but, on a proper occasion, the galleries to all, without distinction of persons. It he would be ready to go into the subject. He did hope was preferable that fathers and brothers should meet that this session would show that the gentleman from and sit together in the same gallery, to having them Pennsylvania, and those with whom he acted, were not forced into separate galleries, merely because some of the advocates of power. He did hope that when that them happened not to have ladies in their charge. great measure, the expunging resolutions, came up, it
Mr. CALHOUN said that the amendment to the would be seen that those gentlemen will be found on amendment of the Senator from New York did not the side of liberty in its contest with power. answer his purpose at all. He did not wish to be trou. Mr. BUCHANAN said the Senator from South Caro. bled with applications for admission there, nor did he lina had acted very wisely in referring the great queswish to put the people to the trouble of asking for tions now before this body and the country to time and admission. They had a right to be there, to come to posterity. If he had submitted them to the people there, and stay there, whenever the Senate was in ses of the present generation, they are already decided sion. 1! was impossible to look at that debate without against him. seeing the nature of it, and from what quarter the oppo. In relation to his future course, Mr. B. said he would sition to the resolution came. Those who had got wait for the proper occasions to present themselves, power were not willing that the truth should be heard and should express his opinions on subjects as they came boldly and openly. We, said he, who are on the oppo- before the Senate. “Sufficient for the day is the evil site side, and who oppose power, ought to desire to give thereof." He had no hesitation, however, in now the utmost publicity to our proceedings. No, sir, said declaring his opinion upon the expunging resolution, as he, no modification of the amendment will answer my the Senator had introduced it into this debate. On that purpose; nothing which will exclude a single individual, question he should be found in direct opposition to the will ever meet my consent.
Abolition of Slavery.
[Jan. 7, 1836.
The question was here taken on Mr. TALLMADGE's did not take the trouble to wait on a lady, they might motion, and it was lost: Yeas 6, nays 34, as follows: encounter the inconvenience (if any) of the smaller
Yeas— Messrs. Prentiss, Shepley, Swift, Tallmadge, gallery. The point, however, he wished to bring out, Tipton, Wright_6.
was, that his friend from Louisiana, (Mr. Porter, ] who NAYS–Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, Buchanan, had introduced the resolution now in force, who had Calhoun, Clayton, Crittenden, Davis, Ewing, Golds- been put forward by the general understanding of the borough, Grundy, Hill, Hubbard, Kent, King of Ala- inconveniences of the old rule, and who had since been bama, King of Georgia, Knight, Leigh, Linn, McKean, abandoned by so many, never contemplated by his resoMangum, Moore, Morris, Niles, Porter, Preston, Rob-lution to shut the galleries against the public. He bins, Robinson, Tomlinson, Tyler, Wall, Webster, wished to give that gentleman bis support, by assisting White-34.
him in bearing the brunt in defence of a resolution The question then being on Mr. Claytor’s amend which was introduced and adopted by general consent ment,
of the Senate. Mr. NILES moved to divide it so as to take the ques There was one gallery (pointing to the small one] tion first on the first clause, as to opening the galleries. open to every body, and there was the other (pointing
Mr. BENTON suggested that this division was not to the circular gallery] equally open to all, save those sufficiently explicit. To say " open the galleries," im- whose limited acquaintance with females prevented them plied that they were closed; whereas one was already from being accompanied by a lady. Certain he was that entirely open, and the other open to gentlemen accom there were more who could get ladies willing to accom. panied by ladies. The division ought to be more ex pany them, by bundreds upon hundreds, than the gallery plicit, otherwise those who voted against the first clause would bold. Were they, then, under these circummight seem to vote against admitting spectators. stances, to vote so as to admit the fact that the galleries
Mr. NILES then moved to amend the resolution by were closed. Were they on an occasion like that to inserting the word “circular,” so as to apply the amend. call for testimony. If they did, the doorkeeper would ment to the opening of the circular gallery; which tell them that once already this session hundreds had to modification being accepted by Mr. Clayton, the divi- go away from that very gallery, because it was already sion of the question was ordered, and it was accordingly crowded almost to suffocation. He had made these few taken on the first clause of the amendment, and decided observations, because he wished to avoid, if possible, in the affirmative: Yeas 35, nays 7, as follows:
the imputation that this gallery bad been shut up by the Yeas-Messrs. Black, Brown, Buchanan, Calhoun, resolution of his friend from Louisiana, (Mr. PORTER;] Clayton, Crittenden, Davis, Ewing, Goldsborough, and he should go with that gentleman in support of the Grundy, Hill, Hubbard, Kent, King of Alabama, King rule as it stood. of Georgia, Knight, Leigh, Linn, McKean, Mangum, Mr. CLAYTON did not consider the adoption of the Moore, Morris, Niles, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, resolution, or the amendment he had offered, as any atRobinson, Shepley, Southard, Swift, Tomlinson, Tyler, tempt at censuring the committee by whom the resoluWall, Webster, White--35.
tion now in force was proposed for adoption. He had Nays-Messrs. Benton, Hendricks, Porter, Ruggles, adopted the rule as a matter of experiment, but it had Tallmadge, Tipton, Wright-7.
failed. He had observed the gallery into which gentleThe question was next taken on the second clause of men were admitted crowded, while the circular gallery the amendment, allowing each Senator to admit had been occasionally vacant. True, the circular gal. number of spectators into the lobby, and decided in the lery was not directly, but it was virtually, shut against negative: Yeas 18, nays 24, as follows:
any gentleman, who had come even five hundred miles, Yeas-Messrs. Black, Brown, Buchanan, Calhoun, who had not a lady under his charge. Clayton, Crittenden, Davis, Ewing, Goldsborough, Leigh, The question was then taken on the resolution as Mangum, Preston, Robbins, Robinson, Tomlinson, amended, and it was adopted: Yeas 31, nays 11, as folTyler, Wall, Webster--18.
lows: Nays--Messrs. Benton, Grundy, Hendricks, Hill, YEAS--Messrs. Black, Brown, Buchanan, Calhoun, Hubbard, Kent, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Clayton, Crittenden, Davis, Ewing, Goldsborough, HubKnight, Linn, McKean, Moore, Morris, Niles, Porter, 1 bard, Kent, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Knight, Prentiss, Ruggles, Shepley, Southard, Swift, Tall-Leigh, McKean, Mangum, Moore, Morris, Niles, Prenmadge, Tipton, White, Wright--24.
tiss, Preston, Robbins, Robinson, Shepley, Swift, TomThe question being on the resolution, as amended, linson, Tyler, Wall, Webster, White-31. Mr. Bexton asked the Secretary to read the resolution Nars--Messrs. Benton, Grundy, Hendricks, Hill, of the present session, by which the old rule was Linn, Porter, Ruggles, Southard, Tallmadge, Tipton, changed, and it was accordingly read.
Wright--11. Mr. BENTON remarked that he only wished to make The resolution was thereupon adopted in the followsure of the words of the resolution, as it applied to the ing form: circular gallery, and he now held that gallery to be open, “Resolved, That the circular gallery of the Senate be and that all that had been said in relation to it had been opened for the admission of spectators.” misapplied. He did not wish to give a vote which was On motion of Mr. HENDRICKS, to be understood, there or elsewhere, as intending to The Senate adjourned. shut up either of the galleries; nor did he wish to give any vote admitting, what every body knew to be untrue, that the galleries were closed. He wished in the most
TuunsDAY, JANUARY 7. emphatic manner to declare that the circular gallery,
SLAVERY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. instead of being closed, was open to every gentleman Mr. MORRIS presented two petitions from Ohio, who could get a lady to accompany lim; and by lady praying for the abolition of slavery in the District of he meant each respectable female in the United States. Columbia. It might be that some few strangers here would not be Mr. CALHOUN demanded that the petitions should sufficiently acquainted in Washington to get ladies to be read. accompany them; those few, he thought, could always The Secretary having read the petitions, be accommodated in the small gallery; but the great Mr. CALHOÚN demanded the question on receiving mass could easily find female acquaintances, and if they them; which was a preliminary question, which any
Jar. 7, 1836.]
Abolition of Slavery.
member had a right to make. He demanded it on be will, stop these petitions but a prompt and stern rejechalf of the State which he represented; he demanded it, tion of them. We must turn them away from our doors, because the petitions were in themselves a foul slander regardless of what may be done or said. If the issue on nearly one half of the States of the Union; he de must be, let it come, and let us meet it, as, I hope, we manded it, because the question involved was one over shall be prepared to do. which neither this nor the House had any power what Mr. HİLL moved to lay the question on the table. ever; and that a stop might be put to that agitation Mr. MORRIS asked leave to present other petitions which prevailed in so large a section of the country, and which he had received on the same subject, that they which, unless checked, would endanger the existence might be all disposed of together. of the Union. That the petitions just read contained Mr. PORTER. One at a time. a gross, false, and malicious slander, on eleven States The CHAIR decided that the petitions under conrepresented on this floor, there was no man who in his sideration must be first disposed of. heart could deny. This was, in itself, not only good, Mr. MORRIS. In presenting these petitions he would but the highest cause why these petitions should not be say, on the part of the State of Ohio, that she went to received. Had it not been the practice of the Senate the entire extent of the opinions of the Senator from to reject petitions which reflected on any individual South Carolina on one point. We deny, said he, the member of their body; and should they who were the power of Congress to legislate concerning local institurepresentatives of sovereign States permit petitions to tions, or to meddle in any way with slavery in any of be brought there, wilfully, maliciously, almost wicked the States; but we have always entertained the opinion ly, slandering so many sovereign States of this Union that Congress has primary and exclusive legislation over Were the States to be less protected than individual this District; under this impression, these petitioners members on that floor? He demanded the question on have come to the Senate to present their petitions. The receiving the petitions, because they asked for what was doctrine that Congress have no power over the subject a violation of the constitution. The question of emanci- of slavery in this District is to me a new one; and it is pation exclusively belonged to the several States. Con one that will not meet with credence in the State in gress had no jurisdiction on the subject, no more in this which I reside. I believe these petitioners have the District than the State of South Carolina: it was a ques. | right to present themselves here, placing their feet on tion for the individual State to determine, and not to be the constitution of their country, when they come to touched by Congress. He himself well understood, and ask of Congress to exercise those powers which they the people of his State should understand, that this was can legitimately exercise. I believe they have a right an emancipation movement. Those who have moved in to be heard in their petitions, and that Congress may it regard this District as the weak point through which afterwards dispose of these petitions as in their wisdom the first movement should be made upon the States. We they may think proper. Under these impressions, (said Mr. C.) of the South are bound to resist it. We these petitioners come to be heard, and they have a will meet this question as firmly as if it were the direct right to be heard. Is not the right of petition a fundaquestion of emancipation in the States. It is a move mental right? I believe it is a sacred and fundamental ment which ought to, which must be, arrested, in limine, right, belonging to the people, to petition Congress for or the guards of the constitution will give way and be the redress of their grievances. While this right is destroyed. He demanded the question on receiving the secured by the constitution, it is incompetent to any petitions, because of the agitation which would result legislative body to prescribe how the right is to be from discussing the subject. The danger to be appre-exercised, or when, or on what subject; or else this hended was from the agitation of the question on that right becomes a mere mockery. If you are to tell the floor. He did not fear those incendiary publications people that they are only to petition on this or that which were circulated abroad, and which could easily subject, or in this or that manner, the right of petition be counteracted. But he dreaded the agitation which is but a mockery: It is true we have a right to say that would rise out of the discussion in Congress on the no petition which is couched in disrespectful language subject. Every man, knew that there existed a body shall be received; but I presume there is a sufficient of men in the Northern States who were ready to check provided against this in the responsibility under second any insurrectionary movement of the blacks; which every Senator presents a petition. Any petition and that these men would be on the alert to turn these conveyed in such language would always meet with his discussions to their advantage. He dreaded the dis decided disapprobation. But if we deny the right of cussion in another sense. It would have a tendency the people to petition in this instance, I would ask how to break asunder this Union. What effect could be far they have the right. While they believe they posbrought about by the interference of these petition sess the right, no dential of it by Congress will prevent ers! Could they expect to produce a change of mind them from exercising it. in the Southern people! No; the effect would be di Mr. Morris concluded by asking that the question be rectly the opposite. The more they were assailed on taken by yeas and nays; and they were ordered. this point, the more closely would they cling to their in Mr. HILL moved to lay the whole subject on the stitutions. And what would be the effect on the rising table, but afterwards remarked that, as he understood generation, but to inspire it with odium against those this might be considered as a rejection of the petition, whose mistaken views and misdirected zea) menaced the he would withdraw his motion. peace and security of the Southern States. The effect Mr. PORTER, of Louisiana, said he could scarcely must be to bring our institutions into odium. As a lover agree with any thing that had fallen from the honorable of the Union, he dreaded this discussion; and asked for Senator from Obio, (Mr. MORRIS,] save that the petitionsome decided measure to arrest the course of the evil. ers came here with their feet on the constitution. CerThere must, there shall be some decided step, or the tainly nothing could more forcibly convey an idea of Southern people never will submit. And how are we to their position. They did come here with their feet on treat the subject? By receiving these petitions one after the constitution. But if, instead of placing themselves another, and thus tampering, trifling, sporting with the in that attitude, they had that instrument in their eye, feelings of the South No, no, no!' The abolitionists and the great principles on which it was established in well understand the effect of such a course of proceed their hearts, they would not to-day be found throwing ing. It will give importance to their movements, and firebrands on this floor. The constitution was estabaccelerate the ends they propose. Nothing can, nothing I lished, not merely in spirit, but in letter, in reference to
Abolition of Slavery.
[Jan. 7, 1836.
this great interest of the South. The right to the prop no more from them. We have lately had a striking ex. erty which the petitioners sought to impair was solemnly ample of the influence of such a step on the part of the recognised by that instrument; and it was a violation of legislative authority in another country. I allude, said the compact to seek, either directly or indirectly, to Mr. P., to what has lately occurred in England in regard shake the security which the slaveholding States had a to an agitation got up there and in Ireland for a repeal right to look for under it. It was melancholy, Mr. P. of the union between the two islands. It began to take said, to reflect how soon the wisdom and enlightened possession of the public mind, and was rapidly spreadpolicy of the framers of the constitution were forgotten. ing, when Parliament at once put an end to it by a Fanaticism and ignorance were about to take the place solemn declaration, nearly unanimously made, that, un. of the knowledge and deep-searching views of human der no circumstances whatever, would they consent to prosperity which enlightened and directed the measures the measure. From that day, sir, nothing more has of the fathers of their country; and no one could look been heard of it; and the great mover of the agitation at the prospect before bim without dismay, if these has given his turbulent passions another direction. What sinister influences were not removed. It was in vain, I wish, said Mr. P., is a similar declaration of deter. Mr. P. said, to disguise the fact; the public mind was mined purpose from the American Congress on this becoming morbidly excited in one quarter of the Union question. I do not know any mode in which it can be on this subject, and most painfully in another. Things more significantly expressed than by a decision that no have come to such a pass that it behooved all good and petitions on this matter will be taken into consideration. patriotic men to consult together, and devise some mode But, sir, said Mr. P., we are met by an objection by which an end could be put to the dangerous agita- from the honorable Senator from Ohio, that we are intion of this question.
fringing on the sacred right of petition. No one, sir, There were, said Mr. P., some who thought this ob- values that right more highly than I do, nor would guard ject could be best attained by consigning all appli. it more scrupulously. I hold that the people have a cations of this kind to a committee, where they were right to petition and to remonstrate on any subject they permitted to sleep, and were soon forgotten. Such, he please. But just as that right is unlimited, and should believed, had been the general, though not the uniform be free as air, so do I hold the right of those to whom course, and he would willingly suffer these petitions to memorials are addressed to sustain or reject them, and take the same direction, if experience had shown him that they have perfect freedom to mark their disappro. that any good resulted from it. But what, said Mr. P., bation of their purpose or tendency. This disapprobais the fact? Why, that the boldness and illiberality of tion, hold, sir, may be conveyed by a refusal to conthose who claim the right to interfere with other men's sider the petition at all, as well as by a denial of the property was increasing by the forbearance which had prayer of it after it is considered. Wliy go through the been exhibited towards them. Year after has the mockery of examining that which we have examined national Legislature, by its votes, told them how unwise fifty times already, and on which we have so often come it was to agitate this subject. They continue still to to a conclusion? I call on any honorable Senator to agitate it; and each year they increase in audacity. This show the difference between rejecting a petition at winter we have seen the protest; yes, Mr. President, once, or refusing its prayer after deliberation--to show the protest of the anti-slavery society against that por me how the first mode of disposing of the demand any tion of the President's message which touches on the at more affects or impairs the right of petition than the tempts made to emancipate the slaves at the South! and last. No, sir, said Mr. P., there is no difference. It is this protest bas been forwarded here by Senators, as a only a question of terms, and more or less perfect conpublic document from a public body, of which it is im- viction on the subject. portant we should bave a knowledge. In this precious But it is said, though you may reject at once, you document they speak of the purity of their motives, must receive. Sir, said Mr. P., I consider the difference their exemplary lives, and their increasing numbers, merely verbal. It is a dispute about terms, and wholly and deny to the Chief Magistrate of the Union the right overlooks the substance. We must receive it, if it can to speak of their incendiary character, unless he gives be called a reception, to learn from it to what subject it them, in the first instance, what they call a fair trial! It relates. But if he who presents it does (as I understand, was clear, therefore, that nothing had been obtained by by the rules of this body, he muist do) state what is its dealing gently with these people. If any other evidence object, I hold, sir, that the right exists in the Senate to was wanted of this truth, it would be found in the peti- refuse its consideration. It is only another mode in tion now offered, in which one half of the free citizens which our refusal of the prayer of the petition, and our of this country are denounced as tyrants, oppressors, strong disapprobation of its purport, are more distinctly and murderers.
marked. Sir, said Mr. P., it is evident, from the tone lately And, sir, I shall vote against the reception of this peassumed by these people, that they are laboring under tition, because I am anxious to mark my abhorrence of the impression that we are afraid to meet this question. its purposes, and my irrevocable determination to meet They bave worked themselves up to the belief that the those persons, here and elsewhere, with the most unSouth is ashamed of its position, and that it seeks to compromising opposition. There are subjects, sir, stifle or evade what it dares not defend. It is more than (said Mr. P.,) which we cannot stop to consider at all. time, said Mr. P., that they should be undeceived. They if I were to go before the Legislature of any of the must be taught at once that, on this subject, we are de- free States, and ask of them to dispossess the owners of termined, and will neither take nor give quarter. land within their limits of their inheritance, or acquisi
He did not, Mr. P. said, know whether any declaration by purchase, because, according to my opinions, tion which Congress could make would stop the wicked all laws which secure exclusive right to property were men who prompted these movements, but he thought it a violation of the intentions of Providence, who created would have a great effect on the honest but misguided all things for the use of all men, that the soil they tread persons who were their dupes and their instruments. A should be as free for common use as the air they clear, decided expression of the determination on this breathe, would that petition, sir, receive consideration subject of the national Legislature, he could not help any where? Would any public body consent to receive thinking, would have a most beneficial influence. The it for consideration? Would it not be considered the continued efforts of these persons were nourished by the ravings of a maniac, or something worse? Sir, (said hope of success. Take that away, and we should hear Mr. P.,) these are propositions so revolting that we
Jan. 7, 1836.)
Abolition of Slavery.
cannot approach them for the purposes of investigation, them of their property, to wrap their dwellings in and such, I consider, are those contained in the peti- flames, and to deliver their untainted wives and daughtion.
ters to the lust of brutal slaves? I venture to say, sir, There is another objection to receiving this petition. they would feel quite as strongly as we do; and I also Sir, the language is most indecorous and insulting to a venture to assert that their indignation would not be large portion of the members of this body. It does not, the least diminished on being told that no such enormiindeed, in direct terms, accuse them of being robbers ties were contemplated by their assailants. Whatever and tyrants, but, by a strong implication, it does make they might think of their motives, they would look to that accusation. For if slavery includes all the crimes the tendency of the means employed against them. which the petition enumerates, these slaveholders must There was another reason (Mr. P. said) why he would be criminals. I am clear, (said Mr. P.,) that no men in not receive the petition. It was a wanton attack on the this country have a right to come here, and, in the form right of property of the slaveholders of this District. of petition, accuse this body or any of its members of It surely (said Mr. P.) can require no time or delibera. offences against the laws of God or the laws of man. It tion to enable us to decide whether A has a right to take is not quite two years, sir, since the Senate refused to what belongs to B, because A does not wish B should receive a petition which accused a majority of it of vi-hold such property. olating the constitution. If (said Mr. P.) I could con Mr. P. said he had insensibly, and contrary to his insent to waive this indignity, so far as I was personally tention, been drawn somewhat from the argument which concerned, the duty I owe to the people whom I have strictly belonged to the question. « The subject was the bonor to represent warns me of the course I ought pregnant with observation, which at this moment he reto pursue. I never will be so false to the allegiance Ifrained from making. He firmly asserted, because he bear to them as to consent to receive any petition honestly believed, that so far the domestic institutions which, speaking of the institutions that prevail among of the South had worked no injury either to the white them as tyrannical, cruel, and murderous, necessarily man or the black; and, if the occasion was a proper one, charges them with being tyrants and murderers. The he thought he could demonstrate that he was not in eraccusation, sir, (said Mr. P.,) is as false as it is calumni.
He thought, too, he knew the motives of the aboous. They are neither tyrants nor murderers. They litionists, and he believed he saw the plan by which they found relations existing in their country, either at the hoped to accomplish their objects. They had taken for time of their birth or of their emigration to it, which they their model men in another hemisphere, and they imain no way contributed to establish, and for which they gined that the same success, by the use of the same are not responsible. They feel that they cannot abolish means, awaited their efforts, which had followed those them without utter ruin to themselves. So circum- of the persons they imitated. He could, however, instanced, they have comported themselves in a manner form them that, in this case, they counted without their which gives them no cause to blush. I wish, sir, (said host. They had left out of their calculation an imporMr. P.,) that those who denounce them would visit tant element, which was, that in this country they had their country before they poured out these effusions of to convince not others of the impropriety of slavery, ignorance and malignity. They would find these men but the slaveholders themselves. I have no doubt (said imbued with as lofty and disinterested patriotism as the Mr. P.) but they can find many and ready converts in world can exhibit, and the love of the union of these those who look at the institution from a distance, and States so entwined with every fibre of their heart as to have no interest in the question save that which may be constitute, as it were, a part of their being. They derived from the wish to carry out their abstract opinwould see women as pure and as gentle as the earth ions. But they never did, they never will, convince any holds or the sun looks at; and they would behold homes man who lives amidst these institutions, who sees their and hearths consecrated by the practice of every do practical operation, and whose rights, social and politimestic and Christian virtue. Instead of oppression and cal, are involved in their existence. They might, if tyranny displayed to slaves, they would see kindness their heated zeal gave the smallest chance for any exerpractised to those whom Providence has placed under cise of their judgment, learn, from what took place in the care of the inhabitants of this region; and they other countries, how vain and futile all their efforts must would receive readily at the hands of these very men, be. For twenty-five years this subject was the matter if they were in want or suffering, a full measure of that of debate in Great Britain. Year after year the balls of charity which they now so cruelly refuse to extend to its Legislature rung with the sounds of eloquence which them.
has never been surpassed. Constant appeals were Such a people should not, and with God's blessing made through the press during the same time, and the they shall not, with impunity, be made the objects of preachers in the pulpit aided to extend and enforce the vituperation. Year after year have they quietly heard delusion. What was the consequence! The end of a themselves, their wives, and daughters, denounced by quarter of a century's discussion left the slaveholder in miserable wretches who are animated only by a sickly the West Indies just where it found him-left him tolove of notoriety, and who hate the virtues which they tally unconvinced either of the justice or the practicacannot practice. Aware of the danger which hangs bility of the measure.
And if the decision of the ques. over our glorious Union by agitating this subject, they tion had been left to him, he would have so remained to have practised forbearance until it has ceased to be a the end of time. I think the agitators here should take virtue. But I warn our estimable brethren in the non-warning by this example. They can never accomplish slavebolding States that another feeling than that of pa- their object. He knows little of human nature who extient endurance is rising rapidly among the people of pects it. They may (said Mr. P..) excite partial insurthe South, and that, unless provocation ceases, no man rections, render the condition of the slave worse, aliencan contemplate without dismay the point to which that ate the affections of their Southern brethren, and endanfeeling rapidly tends.
ger our Union.
But all, and ten times more, will only Men who think justly, but who have never permitted tend to perpetuate that condition of society which they themselves to enter into our condition, tell us we should seek to change. treat this matter calmly. But it is not, sir, (said Mr. Mr. PRESTON. I must confess that I am somewhat P.,) in buman nature to treat such a matter calmly. surprised at the introduction of petitions of this characHow, I ask, would any of our friends feel if associations ter, after the occurrences of the last summer, which were formed among them to disturb their quiet, to rob. I must naturally have made the Southern people extreme.