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(April 7, 1836.
measure for the prosecution of internal improvement. Now, sir, (said Mr. D.,) the propositions seem to me The general Government would advance to the compa. to lead to the same result. The one proposes a sup. nies the means for the construction of these roads, and pression of certain papers by the agency of the postwould thus operate on all the railroads throughout the masters, and so does the other: not only the end, thereUnion.
fore, but the means, are the same. The only differ. The motion was then agreed to.
ence is, that in one case the law comes from a State or INCENDIARY PUBLICATIONS.
States, and in the other from Congress; but if Con
gress, by its acts, so far adopts the law of a State as to The Senate proceeded to consider the bill prohibiting , make it a rule of conduct for public officers, requiring deputy postmasters from receiving or transmitting them, under penalties, to obey it, is not such a law in through ihe mail, to any State, Territory, or District, | fact a law of Congress by adoption? Is it not in truth certain papers therein mentioned, the circulation of a part of our legislation in the regulation of the Post which, by the laws of said State, Territory, or District, | Office as much as if it had emanated directly from Con. may be prohibited, and for other purposes.
gress? I confess I cannot perceive the difference, and Mr. DAVIS, of Massachusetts, l'ose and said he pro- , the two parts of the report, which arrive at opposite reposell, as no other gentleman seemed inclined to take sults, seem to be irreconcilable. The one disproves the floor, to invite the attention of the Senate to some the other; for, if the one is right, the other is wrong. considerations connected with this bill. The Senator But, sir, I do not propose to enter into the question of from South Carolina (Mr. CALHOUN] had justly observed | constitutional power at this time, for I have other and that it was an important measure, and I (said Mr. D.) | distinct grounds of objection, about which I feel no em. so view it, for it seems to me to propose a great, and, 1 barrassment; and, therefore, shall at present leave this fear, injurious change in the policy of the United States. I debatable question. The alleged object (said Mr. D.) is to suppress what It seems to me, if the power were unquestionable, are called incendiary publications, and it is necessary to the measure is inexpedient. To make mys look at the provisions of the bill, that the change in pol.
stood, I must call the attention of the Senate to the char. icy, and the manner in which it affects privileges which acter of the Post Office, and then distinctly to the prowe have hitherto enjoyed, may be fully understood. posed plan of regulation; and, if I mistake not, it will 1st. It provides that it shall be unlawful for any post.
be found to be such a perversion of the purposes for master to put into the mail, or deliver therefrom, any
which the Post Office was established, as greatly to impamphlet, newspaper, handbill, or other paper, printed
pair its usefulness. or written, or pictorial representation, touching the
There is, perhaps, no known definition of a post office subject of slavery, addressed to any person living in a which so distinctly indicates its character as to show the State where the circulation of such paper is prohibited
precise purposes of its establishment in detail. The by law.
general design is to transmit intelligence; but in what 20. It makes a violation of this provision punishable
form and to wbat extent, are all matters undetermined with fine or imprisonment.
by the constitution; for the authority is there contained I need not (said Mr. D.) state the provisions more
in a single line. Among the enumerated powers, it particularly, as the residue consists of details. It seems
reads “to establish post offices and post roads." This to me plain that the object is to transfer from the United is all. A naked grant of power, leaving to Congress to States the regulation of the mail and of the Post Office, determine how and in what way it shall be executed; in these matters, lo the States, by making the laws of and Congress has hitherto determined both what shali the States, whatever they are or may be, the laws to go in the mail bags, and how they shall be transported, regulate the Post Office, and to that extent the laws of and upon what conditions. The reason of vesting this the Uniled States. This is a manifest change of pub- | power in Congress is apparent. The transmission of lic policy, a departure in principle from the uniform intelligence through all parts of the country was obvious. course of legislation; and, not being prepared for such a ly a matter of great public concernment, in which all step, I have risen to express the hope that it will not be
were interesteil; and, as all would be represented here, hastily taken. It was the pleasure of the Senate to
that could manifestly be better regulated and provided place me upon the committee; and, as I did not concur in
for here than by the States separately. The matter the report or the bill, it is probably expected that I was supposed to be thus confided where there could be should state my reasons for this difference of opinion. I no dispute or conflict of interest, but the laws would be
The report drawn by the distinguished Senator from uniform. and the transmission certain. It is, then, I South Carolina (Mr. CALHOUN) treals the matter in two think, clearly the duty of Congress to provide for the distinct views, which, however ingenious and able, seem speedy transmission of intelligence; and in this, I doubt to me not to be reconciled to each other.
not, we all concur. In the first place, it contains an able argument to The question, then, raised by this bill is this: shall we prove that Congress has no constitutional power to pass further regulate the Post Office, by requiring the posta law to regulate the Post Office, by making the post masters to investigate the contents of the mail? The masters the judges to determine the moral, political, bill makes it penal to receive or deliver any papers, the religious, or other tendency, of printed or written mat circulation of which are forbidden. Now, sir, how can ter, for this would be an indirect invasion of the liberly the receiving or delivering postmaster know what he re. of the press, and a perversion of the purposes and in. ceives or delivers, without examination? If he fails to tent of the power granted to manage the Post Office. It examine them, the whole purpose of the law is defeated. likens the case to that of the sedition law, which was If he examines them, the contents of the mail are excondemned on the ground that the press was indirectly | posed. The bill embraces all letters, as well as printed invaded by it.
matter; for, after enumerating newspapers, pamphlets, In the second place, it contends that, while this direct | handbills, pictures, &c., it says, or any other paper. exercise of power by legislation here is denied, there is the mail is necessarily submitted to the inspection of the a full and complete constitutional authority to sanction postmasters, with a power to reject or withhold so much and carry into effect the laws of the States, when they of the contents as bave any thing in them touching the require precisely the same investigation of the mail, the subject of slavery, if it is prohibited circulation. We are same objectionable separation of its contents, and the told that all incendiary publications are prohibited; but same practical invasion of the press.
what are incendiary?' Yes, what are incendiary? I will
APRIL 7, 1836.
read to the Senate, from a document before me, thallic mind, should pass a law prohibiting the circulation of they may be the better able to judge what is and will be all political matter not in accordance with the opinie inhibited as incendiary. A short time past, a citizen of ions of a majority; or of bank notes, or checks, or New York, residing in that State, and editing a news drafts, through the mail in payments of debts, as bas paper called the Emancipator, was indicted in Alabama; lately been menaced; or of speculations in philosophy and as he was not resident in that State, the Governor | or religion: can this Government, consistently with the clemaniled him of the Governor of New York as a figi fundamental principles of the constitution, lend its aid tive from justice, (though he had not been within the to countenance such measures? Are they not clearly in limits of Alabama,) that he might be tried upon the in- restraint of public liberty, and hostile to free Govern. dictment. A copy of this bill was exhibited to the Guy ment? And yet, is whatever touches the subject of ernor of New York, as the foundation of the right of slavery is to be shut out from the mail on the principles claim, and thus became public. The Governor of New upon which this bill rests, low are we to shun these York denied that a person who had not been in Alabaina consequences? One State makes a law, which stigmati. could be a fugitive from that State, and so he was not zes as libellous, and therefore criminal, whatever touches surrendered.
or aflects slavery, ay, mere opinions, as in Alabama. Now, (said Mr. D.,) I beg the Senate to be attentive | Another condemns religious sentiments as heretical, and to the offence set forth in this indictment. It consists another stamps with reprobation all political discussion, in matter extracted from the Emancipator, and is as fol- except what is agreeable to the views of its own majori. Jows: “God commands and all nature cries out that man | ty. Each demands the aid of Congress to enforce its should not be held as property. The system of making laws, because they have, under their several constitumen property has plunged 2,250,000 of our fellow-coun tions, a right to make such laws. If you admit the claim trymen into the deepest physical and moral degradation, I of one, on what principle will you resist the others? and they are every moment sinking deeper.” Of all the Such, sir, is the general character of this bill, and such matter published in this incendiary periodical, as it is its obvious tendencies. If no further objections c
could styleil, this has been selected as the most criminal, as be found, are we prepared to countenance doctrines designed, as the indictment alleres, "to produce con pregnant with such injurious consequences? For myspiracy, insurrection, and rebellion, among the slave self, I could have no hesitation in saying io the southern population of said State, in open violation of the act of States, you must first satisfy me tha: you have no other the General Assembly in such case made and provided.” remedy for the evil of which you complain, before I Such is the law of Alabama, and such the language would establish a precedent tending strongly to invade wbich it makes criminal, and sends the publisher, on the great principles of public liberty. conviction, I suppose, to the pentitentiary. With the But, sir, beyond all this there are insurmountable policy of such a law I have noihing to do on this occa difficulties. How, and by whom, is this law to be exsion, for I adduce this indictment as a leading example ecuted? Who is to determine, and in what manner, to show what is by law made incendiary. Whatever | whether the constitution of Massachusetts, which demay be the views entertained in the States where slavery clares that all men are born free and equal, or the dec. is lawful, I cannot forbear remarking 'that this language laration of independence, which declares that “all men will be read with surprise in this connexion out of them. are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator It will be esteeired a mere expression of opinion, a mere with certain inalienable rights, among which are, life, truism, by nine tenths of the people; and they will find liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” touch the subit difficult to understand how, in a land where the free. Lject of slavery, or are incendiary? Who is to decide dom of speech and the press are secured by the constitu- | whether the people shall see me
whether the people shall see the debates in Congress, tion, it can be in law criminal. If, sir, such declara- and know what their agents are doing and saying here! tions are to be denied the privilege of the mail, the con. These are momentous considerations: for whoever holds stitution of Massachusetts would be excluded as libellous, this power, may shut up the great channels of interbecause it declares all mer are born free and equal. communicalion; may obstruct the great avenues through This sentiment is manifestly as much at war with slavery which intelligence is disseminated. I say close and as that contained in the indictment.
obstruct them, because the Post Office power is a moThe speeches made here in the halls of legislation nopoly in the hands of this Government. It claims the could not pass through the mail. The debates them- | exclusive right to transmit the mail, and denies to in. selves would be suppressed; the speeches delivered here dividuals the right to send letters by private conveyby the Senator from Carolina bimself, if the malter he ance under severe penalties. It may, also, if it chooses, has read to us from papers is carried into them, could claim the exclusive right to transmit printed papers. It not be distributed in Alabama through the Post Office; is obvious, therefore, that this right of decision is one and for aught I see, in following out the same doc of great moment; and it is vested in each and every trine, an essay on education sustaining its general impor- deputy postmaster, and any clerk he may see fit to emtance would be leemed incendiary, because it is a por. / ploy. These persons are required to sit in judgment tion of the public policy not to educate slaves. And upon matters that would perplex the greatest judicial why should not a discussion of free and liberal principles, talent in the country. What is incendiary? What asserting the right of mankind to govern themselves, touches the subject of slavery? These are the ques. follow the same fate? I need not multiply instances to tions. Every one is aware that few matters are carried show where this power leads to. Incendiary matter is into the courts of law so difficult to determine as what any thing unfavorable to slavery. The general princi. are libellous, or what slanderous; and yet, if I wish to ple urged by the Senator from Carolina is, that where send a letter, a paper; yes, sir, the declaration of inde. the Siates have power to legislate, the United States pendence itself, through the Post Office, it must first be are bound to carry into execution their laws. They scrutinized by a clerk, to ascertain whether it violates have power to prohibit the circulation of incendiary the laws of Alabama, Carolina, or some other State; and matter, and iberefore Congress ought to aid that power. if, in his opinion, the subject of slavery is touched, so as It is clear, however, in doing so, we ought not thereby to offend one of these sweeping laws, I am denied the to surrender or impair the power vested in iis by the privilege of the mail. constitution. Without this qualification, where will the Ordinarily, when our rights of property or privileges doctrine lead us to?
are assailed, we are entitled to be heard, and to bave Suppose a State, in a highly excited statc of the pub. I the matter settled by a court and jury. But here a
New Hampshire Resolutions.
(APRIL 8, 1836.
mere boy may shut us out from a most important privi- the laws of the States allowed it. The power of the lege by a solitary judgment, made according to his own States in this matter was paramount to that of the United whim, caprice, or want of understanding; and, besides, States. They held the thing in their own hands, anil it is not difficult to imagine that, in corrupt, prejudiced, the United States could not interfere, except where the or perverse minds, this power may be exercised both right to import had been prohibited by the voluntary wickedly and oppressively. That it will be done par act of the States. All this act implies is a disposition on tially is almost certain; that it will be done unequally, the part of thie United States to discountenance the im. and by different rules, is inevitable from the nature of portation of slaves, to the lul extent of their power. I man; for there are eight or nine thousand post offices. cannot perceive that it has any bearing, as a precedent, How easy it will be to subject one newspaper to the to prove an acknowledged obligation on the part of the severest scrutiny, and to suffer another to pass with a United States to sustain Staie legislation. casual examination. The postmasters and their clerks The next is the quarantine laws. The detail of these will thus become judicial officers, settling great ques. laws I do not recollect; but am zware that the sanatary tions, and determining great rights, by an inquisitorial regulations of the seaports are made by the States. power as odious and offensive as that of the holy | This is obviously both convenient and proper, as the brotherhood-the inquisition of Spain. This is not mixed jurisdiction which the States and the United all. The labor will be immense, demanding great ad States have in this matter would almost render separate ditional force, and causing great delays in the transmis. and independent action impossible. Congress gives sion of the mail. Who can estimate the labor and time
countenance and support to these laws. The course is necessary to analyze the mails at the post oflice in
the result both of convenience and necessity. Before, New York?
however, this will stand as a precedent for this bill, a This right of scrutiny into the contents of the mail, like case of urgent necessity ought to be shown. But. and of inhibition, cannot fail also to excite distrust, and
even in this instance, I do not believe the United States to impair, if it does not entirely destroy, the lisefulness adopts the course because they hold themselves bound of the Post Office. It will so certainly be the grave of to do so, but because the object is most easily attained letters and papers, that the public will cease to use it. in this manner. The precedents, therefore, so far as I It may be said the heavy penalties afford some security. have been able to consider them without any opportuni. It will, I fear, be easy to shun them. If not, then the ty for examination, appear to me to fail to sustain the condition os the humble deputy will involve a learful
doctrine advanced. They have no tendency to prove responsibility, such as no man ought to incur. For you
that Congress is, under any circumstances, bound to require him to decide what he is incompetent to under adopt and enforce the law of a State. stand, and, if he decides wrong, subject him to an There are other topics which I intended to notice, and action for damage if he injures an individual, or å se. I may do so at another time; but I am able now to provere penalty if he violates your law. This again shows ceed no farther, and will conclude by saying that I am that the matter is surrounded with embarrassment, and I
not able to perceive any such urgent necessity for this should be approached with the greatest caution. Such, measure as has been represented. At any rate, it is so I repeat, is the tendency and character of this bill; and objectionable that it ought not to be adopted until other if these objections are allowed to have their proper
means fail. Why does not South Carolina, if she has weight in the minds of gentlemen, they will, without not done it make it penal for persons who take from hesitation, pronounce the measure inexpedient. They
the post offices incendiary papers, to circulate them? will also hold it inexpedient, as a measure of doubtful Why does she not require them to be delivered to a constitutional authority, from the showing of the report | magistrate. or to be otherwise suppressed? Let her try itself; for if it be unlawful for Congress to confer this
these strong measures, and, if they fail, it will then be authority on postmasters by a law of their own, it is diffi. in season to ask for aid here, and then soon enough to cult to comprehend how it can be done by indirection; consider such a measure as this. by adopting the laws of the Siates, when those laws lead
Mr. CALHOUN said that the Senator from Massachuto exactly the same result.
seits had certainly raised a very important point; and he Notwithstanding these objections, which stand forward could not do justice to his argument and to bimself withas if insurmountable, yet the Senator from South Caro.
out previously arranging the various points of it. The lina says there are precedents for the measure, and
Senator, however, was mistaken in his view of the subaffirms that the proposition is not new in its general as. ject. It was because the subject particularly belonged pect. I do not feel inclined to pay great respect to to the States, and it was the duty of the general Governprecedents, especially if they appear to rest on doubtful
ment to aid and co-operate with them in carrying their authority. They certainly impose no binding obliga. laws into effect that the bill was framed. He ventured tion, but come to us simply as the expression of opinion to assert that not only did this duty result from the relaupon former occasions. The precedents quoted cer
tions between the States and the federal Government, tainly fall far short of covering ihis measure. They are but that it was an indispensable duty. The principle in no respect, as it seems to me, applicable, unless to was not a new one; it had been applied more than once; prove that.Congress has, on two occasions, shown a but it was an old principle applied to a new case. He willingness to aid the States in their policy; and I believe threw out these lints to prevent any erroneous impresthe Senator produces them for that purpose.
sions resulting from the remarks of the gentleman from The first is a law, passed in 1803, to prohibit the im Massachusetts. portation of persons of color into such States as made it On motion of Mr. CALHOUN, unlawful. The object of this act seems to me to be The Senate then adjourned. obvious. It was designed to diminish the slave trade. The constitution provided that, until after 1808, Con.
FRIDAY, APRIL 8. gress should not prevent any of the States that authori.
NEW HAMPSHIRE RESOLUTIONS, zed it from importing such persons. It is manifest, Therefore, that a general law could not be passed in Mr. HUBBARD stated that the Legislature of New 1803, prohibiting the trade, for it is well known that Hampshire, on the 25th of June, 1835, passed a resoluseveral of the States authorized it. The constitution, tion instructing their Senators in the United States Sentherefore, only allowed Congress to go just as far as it ate to vote for expunging from the journals of that actually went, that is, to sustain the prohibition, where | Senale a certain resolution which was adopied on the
April 8, 1836.
28th of March, 1834; and that the Legislature also duced Maine not to legislate on the subject, were, that jassed, at the same time, a resolution instructing their no abolition papers were printed in that State, and no Senators to present their resolution to the Senate. In discussion of the kind was carried on there. He would obedience, therefore, to the instructions of the Legisla- | now ask the Senator whether there was not an abolition ture, and in accordance with his own feelings, he would society in Maine, and whether it did not issue addresses now ask leave to present the resolution, and would tha! were extensively circulated. He put these ques. move that it be laid upon the table and printed.
tions because he was anxious to give correct information The following is the resolution referred to by Mr. to the South on the subject. HUBBARD:
Mr. RUGGLES replied to the inquiry of the Senator “ STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE:
from South Carolina, (Mr. Calloux,] that there had “ Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Represent. been in times past, as he had been informed, a society alives in General Court convened, That our Senators in in Maine friendly to the abolition of slavery. But Congress be, and they are hereby, authorized to vote whether that society is in existence now, he was not able that the resolution passed by the Senate of the United | to say. Ile regarded the resolution just read to the States on the 28th day of March, 1834, in the words Senate, asserting that public discussions of the subject following, viz: “That the President, in the late execu had been arrested, as justifying the belief that there tive proceedings in relation to the public revenue, has | were now no proceedings relating to abolition in that assumed upon himself authority and power not conferred State, which it was necessary to suppress by law. by the constitution and laws, but in derogation of both,' Mr. CALHOUN observed, he had put the question be expunged from the journals of that body; and that because, shortly after his arrival here, he saw a publicathey be further instructed to say this resolution before tion, drawn up with great ability, said to be issued by a the Senate of the United States.”
society calling itself the Maine Abolition Society, having MAINE RESOLUTIONS.
numerous signatures appended to it. Now, he held the
existence of such a society to be as dangerous to the Mr. RUGGLES said that he held in his hand a copy 1 South as an abolition newspaper; and he thought if of resolutions passed by the Legislature of Maine, rela. the State could suppress the one, it could suppress the sing to the subject of abolition proceedings in the non other. He hoped that in time public sentiment would slaveholding States. They are responsive to resolutions be such at the North as to put down all such societies; transmitted to the Executive of Maine from the States, but he confessed he was incredulous as to the result. of North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, The Senator from Maine went so far as to cite the example calling upon the non-slaveholding States to suppress, by of the Legislature of Maine, as worthy to be followed law, abolition publications. These resolutions of the by certain Senators on that floor; meaning, he suppsed, Legislature of Maine assert, as the sense of the two himself for one. He thanked the Senator for his advice, Houses, that the Government of the United States is one and was, perhaps, so weak-minded as to require it; but of enumerated, limited, and defined powers; that the he who offered this advice ought to bave himself followpower of regulating slavery within the States does not ! ed the example recommended by him to others. He belong to Congress, not being one of the enumerated would tell the Senator, that so long as his constituents powers; that the States, with certain defined exceptions, sent here denunciations against the people he representare, with respect to each other, distinct and sovereigned, terming them pirates, murderers, and villains, he States, each having an independent Government, whose should take the liberty to treat such denunciations with action is not to be quiestioned by any power whatever, the scorn they deserved. He held it to be a solemn but by the people of such States; and that any interfe- truth, that as long as they were compelled to discuss the rence by a State, or by the citizens of a State, with the subject of abolition on petitions received there, the domestic concerns of another State, tends to break up abolitionists had gained all they wanted; and so long as the compromises of, and to disturb, the Union. The res- they were permitted to come there he would take the olutions further declare it to be inexpedient to legislate liberty to speak of them in the terms they deserved. on the subject of abolition publications, because there Mr. BROWN rose and said that he did not know in is no abolition paper printed within the State, and be. what spirit the resolutions which had been presented by cause ali discussion on the subject has been arrested by the Senator from Maine, passed unanimously by both the decided expression of public disapprobation. These branches of the Legislature of that State, might be reresolutions, said Mr. R., were reported from a large and ceived by some gentlemen, but, in his capacity as one respectable committee of both Houses, and received the l of the representatives from a southern State, he bailed einanimous assent of that committee. In the Senate they them with feelings of gratification, and looked on them passed unanimously, and nearly so in the House of Rep. as a most favorable omen, among many others, of that resentativ.'s, a body composed of upwards of one peace and good will, among our brethren of the North, hundred and eighty members. There was one circum so important to the continuance of the confederacy. stance, said Mr. R., which he considered deserving of He did not know to what extent anti-slavery societies the particular attention of certain honorable Senators. | existed among the people of Maine, but when that party He could not refrain from recommending it, with due had been unable to return a single member to the Ledeference, to their serious consideration, as furnishing an gislature of that State, the resolutions baving, as apexample worthy of imitation in this body in its action peared on the face of them, been passed without a distipon the abolition memorials which had been, or should senting voice, strongly condemnatory of the course of hereafter be, presented here. The circumstance to the abolitionists, he thought it would require a high dewhich he alluded, he said, was this: the resolutions were gree of credulity to believe that they possessed either permitted to pass through both Houses of the Legisla. | weight of characier or strength of numbers. To expect ture of Maine, without one word of agitating and exci. , a State to eradicate every folly or infatuation from the ting debate.
minds of all its citizens, was, and would be found, a He then moved that the resolutions be read.
very impracticable undertaking Mr. B. said, in this, Mr. CALHOUN expressed his gratification at the as in many others of the Legislatures of the northern tenor of the resolutions, which he said gave the correct States, the unanimity of sentiment on this subject was view of the subject in discussion, going back to the good almost unprecedented. In some, he was confidently old republican principles. He was also gratified to assured, there was not an abolitionist; in none, could that understand from her Senator that the reasons which in- | party make any exhibition of strength.
(April 8, 1836.
It had been said by gentlemen, on several occasions, petitions might be rejected. The Senale would then that they could not sit here patiently and hear the people see in what language ile petitions were drawn up, and of the South branded as “pirates, robbers, and murder might judge for itself whether it was as offersive as it ers,” by these petitioners. . This language had repeated. had been represented to be. Remarks had been made ly gone fortlı, in speeches delivered here: the effect of on that floor, in relation to these petitioners, which he it was, to excite ile feelings and sensibilities of the deemed very erroneous. It mattered not what class of people of the South, lle would now say that he had citizens presented themselves as petitioners, they were never heard either of the epithets just repeated, used in entiiled to a respectful hearing. They had been termed any, even the most offensive, of ihe petitions. Their miserable fanatics, vile incendiaries, and charged with language was bad enough, but none of them bad used an intention to dissolve the Union. All those interested the language which had been repeated; if they had, he in putting down this spirit, which they so much depre. too would have voted against their reception, on the cated, had used these violent terms in reference to perground that they had violated outrageously the rule of sons petitioning for what they deemed Congress had a the Senate which required decorum to this body, apply. right to grant. He had always thought that these people ing precisely the same rule in regard to petitions on this had an undoubted right to be heard; and he was of subject that he would to those on any other subject in opinion that lie receiving their petitions, and then reregard to their reception--the constitutional principle injecting them immediately, as moved by the Senator from regard to the right of petition being the same.
Pennsylvania, was tantamount to refusing to receive Mr. B. would again ask if it was prudent that such them; it was keeping the word of promise to the ear, expressions should go forth from this hall, when so well, and breaking it to their hope. calculated to inflame public feeling, and when they Mr. M. said he would here take occasion to correct were not to be found in even the worst of the petitions an error that appeared in one of the morning papers. themselves. None felt more sensibility on this subject Dis name was there given in the list of those who voted than himself; but it was the part of wisdom as well of to reject the prayer of the petitioners. His name ought generosity for us to cultivate harmonious feelings with not to have been given on that list; he gave no such those who were acting in concert with us to the North, vote; and he could not, consistently with his views, vole to put the abolitionists down; and he had heard with to reject a petition without giving the subject of it a fair regret expressions, in reply to the Senator from Maine, examination. Could he have done this, he would have which he thought should liave been rather those of | no hesitation in voting, with the Senator from South Cargratulation Man of a different character.
olina, to refuse to receive the petition at all. Ile would Mr. CALHOUN asked the Senator from Ohio, (Mr. here make another acknowledgment, with respect to a Morris,] to let him have the petitions that he had with. declaration he made to his friend from Georgia. When drawn.
he first took his seat here as a Senator of the United States, [Mr. Mornis gave Mr. CALIOUN some petitions, and he believed that Congress had a right to legislate on the said he could not consent for them to be used at that subject of slavery in the District of Columbia; and he time.]
was also of opinion that sound policy required that Mr. CALHOUN said he was litterly astonished at the something should be done with regard to it. He was remarks of the gentleman from North Carolina. These now consinced, from information since acquired, that it charges were made when the Ohio petitions were pre was not expedient for Congress to touch the subject; sented and read, and in the gentleman's presence. ud he would gladly rid them of all further solicitation Meniory was frail, but he could hardly be mistaken as to legislate on it, by going, with the Senator from South to the oflensive epitheis used in the Ohio memorials. Carolina, for a retrocession of the District to the States Certainly, said lie, all remembered that we were charged to whom it originally belonged. He believed that, as with dealing in human flesh, an allegation as strong as long as Congress bad exclusive jurisdiction over the len any he had quoted. The Senator from North Carolina miles square, petitions for abulisling slavery would be could not rejoice more strongly than himself to see this continually pouring in. The feelings which induced spirit of abolition arrested, but he feared that it was too i these petitions were the deepest rcoled of any in the strong to be easily subdued.
louinar brcast; they were excited by a high sense of reThe feelings, as indicated in these resolutions of the I ligious dury, and no human power could ever induce Legislature of Maine, were certainly to be highly com. them to abandon what they believed theinselves thus mended, and he had taken occasion to express the sat. bound to perform. A retrocession of the District, thereisfaction withi which he received them. lle had thougint fore, would be the best mode of relieving Congress from it, however, right for the people of the South to know continued petitions on this subject, and of avoiding that that there was an abolition society in Maine, which put agitation and excitement which gentlemen said ilireät. furth very able and extensive publications.
ened a dissolution of the Union. Mr. M. here took al Mr. LINN would merely remark that the petitions to extended view of the subject of dissolution and secession which the gentleman from South Carolina aluded had from the Union, denying that there was any power in been withdrawn by the gentleman who presented them, any State either to dissolve or secede from the Union. before taking any question upon them.
A man, said he, inay commit treason against bis GovernMr. MORRIS observed that lie had put the petitions ment, and if he succeeds he is a hiero; but if he fails, his which he had withdrawn into the possession of the Sen. fate is that of a traitor. When he heard gentlemen ator from South Carolina, but not with a view that he speak so frequently of a dissolution of the Union, lie should use them publicly on the occasion. It was true asked himself if it was possible they could be in earnest, that he did present petitions coucher in language deem. and could suppose that there was any power capable of ed by other gentlemen to be exceptionable, but which performing what had been thus threatened. le then and now thought was perfectly unexceptional Mr. PRESTON expressed his approbation on ble; and that he had afterwards withdrawn them, at the olutions. The people of Maine had taken fair, just, and solicitation of liis friends, to make way for a Quaker pe honorable grounds, which were dictated by an honorable lition, as if that was entitled to a precerience over those spirit of patriotism. It was because he felt great apprefrom Obio, At a proper time he should present them I hension as to the consequences of the agitation of this to the Senate; and if the Senator from South Carolina subject, that he so highly appreciated the sentiments of objected 10 their reception, and should be sustained by the resolution. But, although it might not be compe. the Senator from North Carolina and other Senators, the tent for an iridividual, or a single State, to attempt to