Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

PROPOSED CRITTENDEN COMPROMISE.

At the commencement of the Congressional session of 1860, the portentous clouds of civil war, gathering and blackening in the southern horizon of our national sky, filled the hearts of the stoutest patriots with the most gloomy apprehensions, and cast a melancholy shadow over every Unionloving soul throughout the country, somewhat akin to that which hovers over an affectionate son or daughter, upon the approaching dissolution of a cherished, devoted mother. The following compromise, offered by Senator Crittenden, December 19, 1860, is one of the many measures proposed in Congress for adjusting the difficulties of that period:

Resolved, By the Senate and House of Representatives, That the following articles be proposed and submitted as an amendment to the Constitution, which shall be valid as a part of the Constitution, when ratified by the conventions of three-fourths of the people of the States :

1st. In all the territory now or hereafter acquired, north of 36° 30', slavery, or involuntary servitude, except for the punishment of crime, is prohibited; while in all the territory south of that, slavery is hereby recognized as existing, and shall not be interfered with by Congress, but shall be protected as property by all the departments of the terri. torial government during its continuance. All the territory north or south of said line, within such boundaries as Congress may prescribe, when it contains a population necessary for a member of Congress, with a Republican form of government, shall be admitted into the Union on an equality with the original States, with or without slavery, as the Constitution of the State shall prescribe.

2d. Congress shall have no power to abolish slavery in the State permitting it.

3d. Congress shall have no power to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia while it exists in Virginia and Maryland, or either; nor shall Congress at any time prohibit the officers of Government, or members of Congress, whose duties require them to live in the District of Columbia, bringing slaves there and using them as such.

4th. Congress shall have no power to hinder the transportation of slaves from one State to another, whether by land, navigable river, or sea.

5th. Congress shall have the power, by law, to pay any owner the full value of any fugitive slave, in all cases where the marshal is prevented from discharging his duty by force or rescue, made after arrest. In all such cases the owner shall have the power to sue the county in which the rescue or violence was made; and the county shall have the right to sue the individuals who committed the wrong, in the same mapper as the owner would sue.

6th. No future amendment or amendments shall affect the preceding article; and Congress shall never have power to interfere with slavery within the States where it is permitted.

LINCOLN'S EMANCIPATION PROCLA

MATION.

Whereas, On the twenty-second day of September, in the gear of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixtytwo, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing among other things the following: to wit:

That, on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all perbons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforth and forever free, and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people therein respectively shall then be in rebellion against the United States, and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be in good faith represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto, at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such States shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the poeple thereof are not then in rebellion against the United States.

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and Government of the United States, and as a fit

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
« ZurückWeiter »