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Abolition of Slavery.
[Jan. 7, 1836.
ly sensitive on this subject. I am aware that similar pe can interpose decidedly, distinctly, and at once. She titions have been presented, and referred to the Com can stay the desperate efforts of these stirrers up of mittee for the District of Columbia; and, as was stated bloodshed and murder. She can interpose the shield, by the chairman of that committee two years ago, with not merely of reason and argument, but of the constiluout the chance of provoking any action of that commit tion and the law. She can send back the Representatee. To use his language,
" the committee-room was tives of the South and West, to say to their constituents to them the lion's den, from which there were no foot that she will in no manner countenance or encourage prints to mark their return."
this mistaken philanthropy; that she will be no agent of But, sir, this course is not the proper one to pursue this paltry Quixotism; that she will not be instrumental
There is in it neither justice nor expediency. to a result which cannot be contemplated by the most We have a right to demand that some other remedy callous without emotions at once painful and overwhelmshould be applied, and we do demand it. When I con ing: sider the extraordinary excitement which has been pro Sir, I fear that unless this be done--unless the plans duced throughout the country; the combustible material, and operations of the abolitionists are thus put down-in the shape of incendiary pamphlets, which has been unless Government stands as an impassable barrier be. accumulated and spread abroad; the vast multitudes tween us and them--unless some prompt and immediate which have assembled; the apostles who have addressed action is bad--I fear, I say, sir, that no adequate conthem; their acts and their menaces; though I am but lit-ception can be formed of the tremendous consequences tle disposed to allude to them, yet a regard to the honor | which will follow. I wish not to menace or threaten. and interests of the South calls upon me to do so, and I speak from the deepest, fullest, firmest conviction. and that, too, in language which she has a right to ex We exist under a necessity which cannot be touched or pect and demand.
tampered with. Our property and lives may be in jeopSir, the Southern mind has been already filled with ardy. Let but the crisis come, and no feeling of the agitation and alarm. Their property, their domestic re. heart, no ratiocination of the head, can hold the Union lations, their altars, their lives, are in danger; and, as if together for a single moment. Why not then, sir, act this were not sufficient, we have now these agitators and in this exigency as we ask you to act? Why not silence incendiaries calling upon Congress to act upon the slave in this hall, at once and for ever, these enemies of our holding States, either directly or indirectly, through the peace? Why not, as friends of liberty and union, drive medium of this District. And are we, sir, to sit still from your doors wbatever is likely to jeopard either, and see it? Are we to bebold our rights and privileges and enable us to approach the necessary business of the trampled upon? All upon which the permanence and country-the conscientious discharge of our duty--with security of our prosperity depends assailed by these minds and hearts untrammelled and undisturbed. blood-thirsty fanatics, and Government called upon to Sir, we are obliged to act in this matter; we have been participate in the wanton and malicious movement, with compelled to do so by an imperious sense of duty. We out lifting a hand, without raising a voice, without acting abhor the idea of mixing it up with party--of making it as a due regard to the bonor, dignity, and happiness, of part and parcel of any political intrigue--of gatbering our constituents calls upon us to act?
about it measures or modes of policy to which it stands Sir, I, for one, do not fear the action of Government. in no relation. Our sole object is to protect our lives There exists no right, either in law, in the constitution, and property; to allay this exacerbated and en kindled or in morals, for such action; and if there did, thank feeling; to put down this spirit of fanaticism, this domiGod, the physical power is still wanting. We are pre neering insolence, which may prove destructive to our pared for resistance; and we shall resist with all the happiness and prosperity. It is of the first importance means that God and nature has placed at our disposal. to crushi and extinguish the efforts of these individuals Our determination is firm and steadfast, and ought not at once. They are not only dangerous in themselves, to be concealed or misunderstood. Let me, therefore, but it may be in their power to mislead the majority of implore and conjure the Senate to manifest at once, and a people who have no direct interest in the matter at without delay, their friendship and fidelity to the con issue. The question will then become political, and the stitution and the union of the States. Let me conjure country be revolutionized at once. To prevent it, you and implore them to look at the blessings which these must secure us from agitation here--here, if not elsecorrupt and unprincipled men are laboring to destroy. where. This, at least, must be neutral ground. Let me beseech them to weigh well the consequences Sir, we ask for such legislation upon this petition as which will follow the success of their mad and mis will close the doors, once and for all, upon others of guided efforts-insurrection and rebellion. A servile, similar import; we ask to be relieved from the consternot a civil war. A war upon women and children. A nation in which we and our constituents are thrown; we war that spares no sex, respects no age, pities no suffer ask that the motion of my honorable friend and colleague ing; that consigns our bearths and altars to fame and may prevail, and that whatever language these petitionblood, and fills our fields and woods with a foe at once ers, these calumniators, and disorganizers, may hold elsesavage, bloody, and remorseless.
where, they shall not be permilted to hold it here. The There is another important truth which we would gentleman from Ohio acts under a misconception; he is urge upon your consideration. We demand peace and not warranted, by any precedent, in supposing that the repose. We require you to say, in language express question, whether this petition shall or shall not be reand distinct, that this Government neither will nor can ceived, cannot be put. Sir, that is the preliminary interfere with the constitutional rights of the slavebolder. question, and, if carried in the affirmative, there is an We ask you to raise a barrier between us and these hot end of the matter. The right of petitioning is not at all headed and cold-hearted men, women, and children. prejudiced by such a course; nor has it been so consid. We may well calculate, indeed, sir, I am confident, that ered by any previous Congress; for I bave a case before the virtue and patriotism of the Senate will lead them me in which a petition from York county, Pennsylvania, to do both the one and the other. In a country free as was rejected, the vote on receiving it being yeas 20, this, thank God, the fanatical cant, the Quixotic feeling, the cheap charity, the unexpensive humanity, of these No, sir, this motion is a far milder one than the peomiserable fanatics, can perhaps be neither allayed nor ple of the South have a right to demand; they have the interfered with by Congress.
right to ask an express renunciation on the part of ConBut, sir, on the great question here at issue, Congress gress of any shadow of power to interfere between the
Jar. 7, 1836.]
Abolition of Slavery.
planter and his slaves. The constitution justifies them of this Senate, we do hope (and no man who has char. in such a demand; and yet they only require you to say acter enough to come here, or, at any rate, to deserve that you will not, and cannot, entertain these petitions. to be here, can hope otherwise) that the portcullis of the Has Congress prohibited itself from doing so? Not at constitution may be dropped between these men and all, sir. Does it, in so doing, abridge the right to as. our lives and property. semble peaceably and petition for redress of grievances? Sir, let me call upon you for the strongest possible Nothing of the kind. What petitions is it bound to re-action; let me ask you to restore a spirit of peace and ceive! Not surely those which are violent, disrespect. harmony to members of the same confederacy, to ful, and insolent in language, which would visit with a brethren of the same family, to human beings speaking moral contagion the whole body politic; which degrades the same language, practising the same religion, having the character of our mothers and sisters; which impugns the same deep and solemn interest in the happiness and the honor and outrages the feelings of the South and prosperity of our beloved country. Such action, conWest! Grievances! For what grievances do these peti sequent upon moderation, firmness, and good sense, tioners seek redress? Does slavery in this District inter will be at once honorable to you and satisfactory to the fere with them? Have they any local or general interest South. Instead of sweeping away our laws and instiin the matter? Or are you to elect this Government into tutions, our rights and property, it will go abroad with an ethical college? If so, sir, I plead to the jurisdiction. healing on its wings. Instead of the fruits of bitterness, It is not a tribunal before which we can be brought. blood-thirsty tumults, house-burning, and massacre, the Has the constitution guarantied to these people, having whole strength and fury of this excitement will be at neither a general nor local interest in the matter, the once stifled and dissipated; and, instead of the confiright to come here and require me to weaken and abol. dence of the slaveholding States being withdrawn from ish the very institution which I represent? Am I, acting the Government, never more to be restored, they will for three fifths of the slave population of South Caro
look upon it with yet more of honor, gratitude, and lina, to impugn the very principle upon which I hold affection. my seat? Shall I, sir, bound by ties that will cleave to Mr. BUCHANAN said that, for two or three weeks me through life, to protect and defend the character of past, there had been in his possession a memorial from my constituents, submit to this insolent dictation, and the Caln Quarterly Meeting of the religious Society of lend a helping hand to cover that character with insult Friends, in the Siate of Pennsylvania, requesting Conand opprobrium? Let me suppose a case. Suppose gress to abolish slavery and the slave trade within the that you were called upon to establish a general national
District of Columbia. This memorial was not a printed religion, would you consider the proposition for one form; its language was not that in established use for moment? Certainly you would not. Why, then, con
such documents. It did not proceed from those des. sider this proposition? What right have these petition perate fanatics who have been endeavoring to disturb ers to interfere between the District of Columbia and the security and peace of society in the Southern States, its slaves? The constitution authorizes the taking of pri- by the distribution of incendiary pamphlets and papers. yate property for public uses: but the use of property
Far different is the truth. It emanates from a society supposes its continuance. From what funds is this prop. of Christians, whose object had always been to promote erty to be purchased? From those of the United States? peace and good-will among men, and who have been from my funds? from the funds of South Carolina? Am the efficient and persevering friends of humanity in I to furnish, a torch for my own dwelling, a knife for my every clime. To their untiring efforts, more than to own throat?
those of any other denomination of Christians, we owe Sir, the Government has the same power over this the progress which has been made in abolishing the District that it has over a State, and it bas no more. African slave trade throughout the world. This memoThere is no adjudicated case, no dictum, admitting any
rial was their testimony against the existence of slavery. further jurisdiction. Maryland and Virginia, slavehold. This testimony they liad borne for more than a century. ing States, ceded these ten miles square to the general of the purity of their motives there can be no quesGovernment; and for what? That an unlimited despot.
tion. ism might be exercised in it? No, sir; they gave it in He had omitted to present this memorial at an earlier trust. There was an implied understanding that nothing day, because he had thought that, on its presentation at injurious to their interests should be transacted within the proper time, much good might be done. He had its borders; that here, at least, the cause of agitation and believed that, by private consultations, some resolution rebellion should find no material for its purpose; that might be devised upon this exciting subject, which here the wild frenzy of the abolitionists should neither would obtain the unanimous vote of the Senate. If be confirmed nor promoted; that here the mad and odi. there was one man in that body not willing to adopt any ous, the rash, stormy, and uncompromising doctrines of proper measure to calm the troubled spirit of the South, these rancorous fanatics, should not gravitate as to a he did not know him. This, in his judgment, would common centre. Why, sir, if one of the free States--if be the best mode of accomplishing the object which we Pennsylvania, for instance--should cede to you her me
all desire to accomplish. The proper course to attain tropolis, you might, with the same propriety, place the this result was, in his opinion, to refer the subject, nest egg of slavery there, as attempt to interfere with either to a select commiitee, or to the Committee for the mature development of that institution here. There the District of Columbia. They would examine it in is no distinction whatever--not the slightest; the cases all its bearings; they would ascertain the views and are parallel. You are invested with no power to med- feelings of individual Senators, and he had no doubt dle or make; you are estopped by the constitution; and they would be able to recommend some measure to the your fidelity to that instrument, your full and ready ap- Senate on which they could all unite. This would have preciation of it, is only to be shown by obeying its in a most happy effect upon the country. He had intendjunctions.
ed, upon presenting the memorial which he had in Looking, then, sir, all around at the plighted faith, charge, to have suggested this mode of proceeding. the federal compact, existing between us and our North. He regretted, therefore, that he had not known that his ern brethren, and at the friendship, and confidence, friend from Ohio (Mr. Morris) was in possession of meand sympathy, which should exist between us; looking morials having a similar object in view. If he had been at the leiter and spirit of our glorious constitution, and informed of it, he should have endeavored to persuade cherishing an abiding trust in the virtue and patriotism I him to wait until Monday next, when he (Mr. B.) would
Abolition of Slavery.
[Jan. 7, 1836.
have been prepared to pursue the course he had indi- is to produce dissatisfaction and revolt among the slaves, cated. But the question has now been forced upon us. and to incite their wild passions to vengeance. All No, (said Mr. B.,) it has not been forced upon me, be- history, as well as the present condition of the slaves, cause I am glad to have a suitable occasion of expressing proves that there can be no danger of the final result my opinions upon the subject.
of a servile war.
But, in the mean time, what dreadful The memorial which i bave in my possession is en scenes may be enacted, before such an insurrection, titled to the utmost respect, from the character of the which would spare neither age nor sex, could be sup. memorialists. As I entirely dissent from the opinion pressed! What agony of mind must be suffered, which they express, that we ought to abolish slavery in especially by the gentler sex, in consequence of these the District of Columbia, I feel it to be due to them, to publications Many a mother clasps her infant 10 her myself, and to the Senate, respectfully, but firmly, to bosom when she retires to rest, under dreadful apprestate the reasons why I cannot advocate their views or hensions that she may be aroused from her slumbers acquiesce in their conclusions.
by the savage yells of the slaves by whom she is sur. If any one principle of constitutional law can, at this rounded. These are the works of the abolitionist. day, be considered as settled, it is, that Congress have that their motives may be honest I do not doubt; but no right, no power, over the question of slavery within their zeal is without knowledge. The history of the those States where it exists. The property of the mas human race presents numerous examples of ignorant ter in his slave existed in full force before the federal enthusiasts, the purity of whose intentions cannot be constitution was adopted. It was a subject which then doubted, who have spread devastation and bloodshed belonged, as it still belongs, to the exclusive jurisdic over the face of the earth. tion of the several States. These States, by the adop These fanatics, instead of benefiting the slaves who tion of the constitution, never yielded to the general are the objects of their regard, have inflicted serious inGovernment any right to interfere with the question. juries upon them. Self-preservation is the first law of It remains where it was previous to the establishment of nature. The masters, for the sake of their wives and our confederacy.
children, for the sake of all that is near and dear to them The constitution has, in the clearest terms, recognised on earth, must tighten the reins of authority over their the right of property in slaves. It prohibits any State slaves. They must thus counteract the efforts of the aboliinto which a slave may have fled from passing any law tionists. The slaves are denied many indulgences which to discharge him from slavery, and declares that he their masters would otherwise cheerfully grant. They shall be delivered up by the authorities of such State to must be kept in such a state of bondage as effectually bis master. Nay, more; it makes the existence of slave to prevent their rising. These are the injurious effects ry the foundation of political power, by giving to those produced by the abolitionists upon the slave himself. States within which it exists, Representatives in Con. Whilst, on the one hand, they render his condition misgress, not only in proportion to the whole number of erable, by presenting to his mind vague notions of free. free persons, but also in proportion to three fifths of the dom never to be realized, on the other, they make it number of slaves.
doubly miserable, by compelling the master to be seAn occasion very fortunately arose in the first Con vere, in order to prevent any attempts at insurrection. gress to settle this question for ever. The society for They thus render it impossible for the master to treat the abolition of slavery in Pennsylvania brought it before his slave according to the dictates of his heart and his that Congress by a memorial, which was presented on feelings. the 11th day of February, 1790. After the subject bad Besides, do not the abolitionists perceive that the spirit been discussed for several days, and after solemn de which is thus roused must protract to an indefinite pe: liberation, the House of Representatives, in Committee riod the emancipation of the slave? The necessary efof the Whole, on the 23d day of March, 1790, resolved | fect of their efforts is to render desperate those to whom “That Congress have no authority to interfere in the the power of emancipation exclusively belongs. I be: emancipation of slaves, or in the treatment of them, lieve most conscientiously, in whatever light this subject within any of the States; it remaining with the several can be viewed, that the best interests of the slave reStates alone to provide any regulations therein which quire that the question should be left, where the conhumanity and true policy may require.”
stitution has left it, to the slaveholding States them. I have thought it would be proper to present this selves, without foreign interference. decision, which was made almost half a century ago, This being a true statement of the case, as applied to distinctly to the view of the American people. The the States where slavery exists, what is now asked by language of the resolution is clear, precise, and definite. these memorialists? That in this District of ten miles It leaves the question where the constitution left it, and square--a District carved out of two slaveholding States, where, so far as I am concerned, it ever shall remain. and surrounded by them on all sides--slavery shall be
The constitution of the United States never would have abolished. What would be the effects of granting their been called into existence; instead of the innumerable request? You would thus erect a citadel in the very blessings which have flowed from our happy Union, we heart of these States, upon a territory which they have should have had anarchy, jealousy, and civil war, among ceded to you for a far different purpose, from which the sister republics of which our confederacy is com abolitionists and incendiaries could securely attack the posed, had not the free States abandoned all control peace and safety of their citizens. You establish a spot over this question. For one, wbatever may be my within the slaveholding States which would be a city of opinions upon the abstract question of slavery, (and I am refuge for runaway slaves. You create by law a central free to confess they are those of the people of Pennsyl point from which trains of gunpowder may be securely vania,) I shall never attempt to violate this fundamental laid, extending into the surrounding States, which may compact. The Union will be dissolved, and incalcula at any moment produce a fearful and destructive exploble evils will rise from its ashes, the moment any such sion. By passing such a law, you introduce the enemy attempt is seriously made by the free States in Congress. into the very bosom of these two States, and afford him What, then, are the circumstances under which these
every opportunity to produce a servile insurrection. Is memorials are now presented? A number of fanatics, there any reasonable man who can for one moment supled on by foreign incendiaries, have been scattering pose that Virginia and Maryland would have ceded the "arrows, firebrands, and death," throughout the South District of Columbia to the United States, if they had ern States. The natural tendency of their publications entertained the slightest idea that Congress would ever
Jan, 7, 1836.]
Abolition of Slavery.
use it for any such purpose? They ceded it for your to inflame the passions of slaves? And why engrave it, use, for your convenience, and not for their own de except to multiply copies for extensive distribution? struction. When slavery ceases to exist under the laws But it was not pictures alone that operated upon the of Virginia and Maryland, then, and not till then, ought passions of the slaves, but speeches, publications, petiit to be abolished in the District of Columbia.
tions presented in Congress, and the whole machinery Mr. B. said that, notwithstanding these were his opin- of abolition societies. None of these things went to the ions, he could not vote for the motion of the Senator understandings of the slaves, but to their passions, all from South Carolina, (Mr. Calhoun,] not to receive imperfectly understood, and inspiring vague hopes, and these memorials. He would not at present proceed to stimulating abortive and fatal insurrections. Societies, state his reasons, still hoping the Senate could yet agree especially, were the foundation of the greatest mischiefs. upon some course wbich would prove satisfactory to Whatever might be their objects, the slaves never did, all. With this view, he moved that the whole subject and never can, understand them but in one way: as albe postponed until Monday next.
lies organized for action, and ready to march to their Mr. BENTON rose to express bis concurrence in the aid on the first signal of insurrection! It was thus that suggestion of the Senator from Pennsylvania, (Mr. the massacre of San Domingo was made. The society BUCHANAN,] that the consideration of this subject be in Paris, Les Amis des Noirs, Friends of the Blacks, with postponed until Monday. It had come up suddenly its affiliated societies throughout France and in London, and unexpectedly to-day, and the postponement would made that massacre. And who composed that society? give an opportunity for Senators to reflect, and to con In the beginning, it comprised the extremes of virtue fer together, and to conclude what was best to be done and of vice; it contained the best and the basest of hu. where all were united in wishing the same end, namely, man kind! Lafayette and the abbe Gregoire, those to allay, and not to produce, excitement. He had risen purest of philanthropists; and Marat and Anacharsis for this purpose; but, being on his feet, he would say a Chlootz, those imps of hell in human sbape. In the few words on the general subject, which the presenta- end, for all such societies run the same career of degention of these petitions had so suddenly and unexpectedly eration, the good men, disgusted with their associates, brought up. With respect to the petitioners, and those retired from the scene, and the wicked ruled at pleaswith whom they acted, he had no doubt but that many Declamations against slavery, publications in gaof them were good people, aiming at benevolent objects, zettes, pictures, petitions to the constituent assembly, and endeavoring to ameliorate the condition of one part were the mode of proceeding; and the fish women of of the human race, without inficting calamities Paris-he said it with humiliation, because American another part; but they were mistaken in their mode of females had signed the petitions now before us-the fish proceeding, and so far from accomplishing any part of women of Paris, the very poissardes from the quays of their object, the whole effect of their interposition was the Seine, became the obstreperous champions of West to aggravate the condition of those in whose behalf they India emancipation. The effect upon the French were inierfering. But there was another part, and he islands is known to the world; but what is not known to meant to speak of the abolitionists generally, as the the world, or not sufficiently known to it, is that the body containing the part of which he spoke; there was same societies which wrapt in flames and drenched in another part whom he could not qualify as good people blood the beautiful island, which was then a garden and seeking benevolent ends by mistaken means, but as in now a wilderness, were the means of exciting an insurcendiaries and agitators, with diabolical objects in view, rection upon our own continent; in Louisiana, where a to be accomplished by wicked and deplorable means. French slave population existed, and where the lanHe did not go into the proofs now to establish the correct guage of Les Amis des Noirs could be understood, and ness of his opinion of this latter class, but he presumed it where their emissaries could glide. The knowledge of would be admitted that every attempt to work upon the this event (Mr. B. said) ought to be better known, both passions of the slares, and to excite ihem to murder their. to show the danger of these societies, however distant, owners, was a wicked and diabolical attempt, and the and though oceans may roll between them and their work of a midnight incendiary. Pictures of slave degra- victims, and the fate of the slaves who may be excited dation and misery, and of the white man's luxury and cru to insurrection by them on any part of the American elty, were attempts of this kind; for they were appeals to continent. He would read the notice of the event from the vengeance of slaves, and not to the intelligence or rea the work of Mr. Charles Gayarre, lately elected by his son of those who legislated for them. He (Mr. B.) had
native State to a seat on this floor, and whose resignahad many pictures of this kind, as well as many diaboli. tion of that honor he sincerely regretted, and particularcal publications, sent to him on this subject, during the ly for the cause which occasioned it, and which abstractlast summer, the whole of which he had cast into the fire, ed talent from a station that it would have adorned. and should not have thought of referring to the circum Mr. B. read from the work, “ Essai Historique Sur la stance at this time, as displaying the character of the Louisianc.” “The white population of Louisiana was incendiary part of the abolitionists, had he not within not the only part of the population which was agitated these few days past, and while abolition petitions were by the French revolution. The blacks, encouraged pouring into the other end of the Capitol, received one without doubt by the success which their race bad ube of these pictures, the design of which could be nothing tained in San Domingo, dreamed of liberty and souglit but mischief of the blackest dye. It was a print from to shake off the yoke. The insurrection was planned an engraving, (and Mr. B. exhibited it, and handed it to at Pointe Coupeé, which was then an isolated parish, Senators near him,) representing a large and spreading and in which the number of slaves was considerable. tree of liberty, beneath whose ample shade a slave The conspiracy took birth on the plantation of Mr. Juowner was at one time luxuriously reposing, with slaves lien Poydras, a rich planter, who was then travelling in fanning him; at another carried forth in a palanquin, to the United States, and spread itself rapidly throughout view the half-naked laborers in the cotton field, whom the parish. The death of all the whites was resolved. drivers, with whips, were scourging to the task. The Happily the conspirators could not agree upon the day print was evidently from the abolition mint, and came for the massacre, and from this disagreement resulted a to him by some other conveyance than that of the mail, quarrel, which led to the discovery of the plot. The for there was no post mark, or mark of any kind, to militia of the parish immediately took arms, and the identify its origin and to indicate its line of march. For Baron de Carondelet caused them to be supported by what purpose could such a picture be intended, unless the troops of the line. It was resolved to arrest, and to
Abolition of Slavery.
[Jan. 7, 1836.
punish the principal conspirators. The slaves opposed non-slaveholding States, Mr. B. turned, with pride and it; but they were quickly dispersed, with the loss of exultation, to a different theme--the conduct of the twenty of their number killed on the spot. Fisty of great body of the people in all these States. Before he the insurgents were condemned to death. Sixteen were saw that conduct, and while the black question, like a executed in different parts of the parish; the rest were portentous cloud was gathering and darkening on the put on board a galley and hung at intervals, all along Northeastern horizon, he trembled, not for the South, the river, as far as New Orleans, (a distance of one but for the Union. He feared that he saw the fatal work hundred and fifty miles.) The severity of the chastise. of dissolution about to begin, and the bonds of this glo. ment intimidated the blacks, and all returned to per- rious confederacy about to snap; but the conduct of the fect order."
great body of the people in all the non-slaveholding Resuming his remarks, Mr. B. said he had read this states quickly dispelled that fear, and in its place plantpassage to show that our white population had a righted deep the strongest assurance of the harmony and into dread, nay, were bound to dread, the mischievous in- divisibility of the Union which he had felt for many fluence of these societies, even when an ocean inter- years. Their conduct was above all praise, above all vened, and much more when they stood upon the same thanks, above all gratitude. They had chased off the hemisphere, and within the bosom of the same country. foreign emissaries, silenced the gabbling tongues of fe. He had also read it to show the miserable fate of their male Jupes, and dispersed the assemblages, whether victims, and to warn all that were good and virtuous—all fanatical, visionary, or incendiary, of all that congrega. that were honest, but mistaken--in the three hundred ted to preach against evils which afflicted others, not and fifty affiliated societies, vaunted by the individuals them, and to propose remedies to aggravate the disease who style themselves their executive committee, and which they pretended to cure. They had acted with a who date, from the commercial emporium of this Union, noble spirit. They had exerted a vigor beyond all law. their high manifesto against the President; to warn They had obeyed the enactments, not of the statute them at once to secede from associations which, what- book, but of the heart; and while that spirit was in the ever may be their designs, can have no other effect than heart, he cared nothing for laws written in a book. He to revive in the Southern States the tragedy, not of San would rely upon that spirit to complete the good work Domingo, but of the parish of Pointe Coupeé.
it has began; to dry up these societies; to separate the Mr. B. went on to say that these societies had already mistaken philanthropist from the reckless fanatic and perpetrated more mischief than the joint remainder of the wicked incendiary, and put an end to publications all their lives spent in prayers of contrition, and in works and petitions which, whatever may be their design, can of retribution, could ever atone for. They had thrown have no other effect than to impede the object which the state of the emancipation question fifty years back. | they invoke, and to aggravate the evil which they deThey bad subjected every traveller, and every emigrant, plore. from the non-slaveholding States, to be received with Turning to the immediate question before the Senate, coldness, and viewed with suspicion and jealousy, in the that of the rejection of the petitions, Mr. B. said his slaveholding States. They had occasioned many slaves wish was to give that vote which would have the greatto lose their lives. They had caused the deportation of est effect in putting down these societies. He thought many ten thousands from the grain-growing to the the vote to be given to be rather one of expediency than planting States. They had caused the privileges of all of constitutional obligation. The clause in the constituslaves to be curtailed, and their bonds to be more tight-tion so often quoted in favor of the right of petitioning ly drawn. Nor was the mischief of their conduct con. for a redress of grievances would seem to him to apply fined to slaves; it reached the free colored people, and rather to the grievances felt by ourselves than to those opened a sudden gulf of misery to that population. In felt by others, and which others might think an advan. all the slave States, this population has paid the forfeit tage, what we thought a grievance. The petitioners of their intermediate position, and suffered proscription from Obio think it a grievance that the people of the as the instruments, real or suspected, of the abolition District of Columbia should suffer the institution of societies. In all these States, their exodus had either slavery, and pray for the redress of that grievance; the been enforced or was impending. In Missouri there was people of the District think the institution an advantage, a clause in the constitution which prohibited their emi- and want no redress; now, which has the right of petigration to the State; but that clause bad remained a tioning? Looking to the past action of the Senate, Mr. dead letter in the book until the agitation produced B. saw that, about thirty years ago, a petition against among the slaves by the distant rumbling of the aboli. slavery, and that in the States, was presented to this tion thunder, led to the knowledge in some instances, and body by the society of Quakers in Pennsylvania and to the belief in others, that these people were the an. New Jersey, and that the same question upon its receptennæ of the abolitionists, and their medium for commu tion was made, and decided by yeas and nays, 19 to 9, in nicating with the slaves, and for exciting them to de- favor of receiving it. He read the names, to show that sertion first, and to insurrection eventually. Then en. the Senators from the slave and non-slaveholding States sued a painful scene. The people met, resolved, and voted some for and some against the reception, accord. prescribed thirty days for the exodus of the obnoxious ing to each one's opinion, and not according to the pocaste. Under that decree a general emigration bad to sition or the character of the State from which he came. take place at the commencement of winter. Many wor. Mr. B. repeated that he thought this question to be one thy and industrious people had to quit their business of expediency, and that it was expedient to give the and their homes, and to go forth under circumstances vote which would go furthest towards quieting the pubwhich rendered them objects of suspicion wherever lic mind. The quieting the South depended upon they went, and sealed the door against the acquisition of quieting the North; for when the abolitionists were put new friends while depriving them of the protection of down in the former place, the latter would be at ease. old ones.
He (Mr. B.) had witnessed many instances It seemed to him, then, that the gentlemen of the nonof this kind, and had given certificates to several, to slaveholding States were the proper persons to speak first. show that they were banished, not for their offences, They knew the temper of their own constituents best, but for their misfortunes; for the misfortune of being and what might have a good or an ill effect upon them, allied to the race which the abolition societies bad made either to increase the abolition fever, or to allay it. He the object of their gratuitous philanthropy.
knew that the feeling of the Senate was general; that Having said thus much of the abolition societies in the all wished for the same end; and the gentlemen of the