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liberty of the descendants of Africa in the United States is incompatible with the safety and liberty of the European descendants. There slavery forms an exception-an exception resulting from a stern and inexorable necessity—to the general liberty in the United States. We did not originate, nor are we responsible for, this necessity. Their liberty, if it were possible, could only be established by violating the incontestable powers of the States, and subverting the Union; and beneath the ruins of the Union would be buried, sooner or later, the liberty of both races.
But if one dark spot exists on our political horizon, is it not obscured by the bright and effulgent and cheering light that beams all around us ? Was ever a people before so blessed as we are, if true to ourselves? Did ever any other nation contain within its bosom so many elements of prosperity, of greatness, and of glory? Our only real danger lies ahead, conspicuous, elevated, and visible. clearly discerned at the commencement, and distinctly seen throughout our whole career. Shall we wantonly run upon it, and destroy all the glorious anticipations of the high desting that awaits us? I beseech the Abolitionists themselves solemnly to pause in their mad and fatal course. Amidst the infinite variety of objects of humanity and benevolence which invite the employment of their energies, let them select some one more harmless, that does not threaten to deluge our country in blood. I call upon that small portion of the clergy which has lent itself to these wild and ruinous schemes, not to forget the holy nature of the divine mission of the founder of our religion, and to profit by his peaceful examples. I intreat that portion of my countrywomen who have given their countenance to abolition, to remember that they are ever most loved and bonored when moving in their own appropriate and delightful sphere, and to reflect that the ink which they shed in subscribing with their fair hands Abolition petitions, may prove but the prelude to the shedding of the blood of their brethren. I adjure all the inhabitants of the free States to rebuke and discountenance, by their opinion and their example, measures which must inevitably lead to the most calamitous consequences.
And let us all, as countrymen, as friends, and as brothers, cherish in anfading memory the motto which bore our ancestors triumphantly through all the trials of the Revolution, as, if adhered to, it will condact their posterity through all that may, in the dispensa. tions of Providence, be reserved for them.
THE AGITATION IN 1847 AND 1850.
IN 1847, Mr. Calhoun introduced the following Resolution in the Senate :
“Resolved, That it is a fandamental principle in our political creed that a people, in framing a Constitution, have the unconditional right to form and adopt the government which they may think best calculated to secure their liberty, prosperity, and happiness; and that, in conformity thereto, no other condition is imposed by the federal Constitation on a State, in order to be admitted into this Union, except that its Constitution shall be republican; and that the imposition of any other by Congress would not only be in violation of the Constitution, but in direct conflict with the principle on which our political system rests.”
Upon this resolution Mr. Calhoun offered some bighly striking remarks,
“Mr. President: Not only is that proposition grossly inconsistent with the Constitution, but the other, which undertakes to say that no State shall be admitted into this Union which shall not prohibit by its Constítution the existence of slaves, is equally a great outrage against the Constitution of the United States. Sir, I hold it to be a fundamental principle of our political system that the people have a right to establish what government they may think proper for themselves; that every State about to become a member of this Union has a right to form its own government as it pleases; and that, in order to be admitted, there is but one qualification, and that is, that the government shall be republican. There is no express provision to that effect, but it results from that important section which guarantees to every State in this Union a republican form of government. Now, sir, what is proposed ? It is proposed, from a vague, indefinite, erroneous, and most dangerous conception of private individual liberty, to overrule this great common liberty which the people have of framing their own Consti tution ! Sir, the right of self-government on the part of individuals is not near so easily to be established by any course of reasoning as the right of a community or State to self-government. And yet, sir, there are men of such delicate feeling on the subject of liberty-men who cannot possibly bear what they call slavery in one section of the country, although not so much slavery as an institution indispensable for the good of both races-men so squeamish on this point, that they are ready to strike down the higher right of a community to govern themselves, in order to maintain the absolute right of individuals in every possible condition to govern themselves !"
In 1848 Mr. Calhoun said:
“ There is a very striking difference between the position in which the slaveholding and non-slaveholding States stand in reference to the subject under consideration. The former desire no action of the Government; demand no law to give them any advantage in the Territory about to be established ; are willing to leave it, and other Territories belonging to the United States, open to all their citizens, so long as they continue to be Territories, and when they cease to be so, to leave it to their inbabitants to form such governments as may suit them, without restriction or condition, except that imposed by the Constitution, as a prerequisite for admission into the Union. In short, they are willing to leave the whole subject where the Constitution and the great and fundamental principles of self-government place it. On the contrary, the non-slaveholding States, instead of being willing to leave it on this broad and equal foundation, demand the interposition of the Government, and the passage of an act to exclude the citizens of the slaveholding States from emigrating with their property into the Territory, in order to give their citizens, and those they may permit, the exclusive right of settling it, while it remains in that condition, preparatory to subjecting it to like restrictions and conditions when it becomes a State."
“But I go further, and hold that justice and the Constitation are the easiest and the safest guard on which the question can be settled, regarded in reference to party. It may be settled on that ground simply by non-action-by leaving the Territories free and open to the emigration of all the world so long as they continue so; and when they become States to adopt whatever Constitution they please, with the single restriction, to be republican, in order to their admission into the Union. If a party cannot safely take this broad and solid position, and successfully maintain it, what other can it take and maintain ? If it cannot maintain itself by an appeal to the great principles of justice, the Constitution, and self-government, to what other, sufficiently strong to uphold them in public opinion, can they appeal? I greatly mistake the character of the people of this Union, if such an appeal would not prove successful, if either party should have the magnanimity to step forward and boldly make it. It would, in my opinion, be received with shouts of approbation by the patriotic and intelligent in every quarter. There is a deep feeling pervading the country that the Union and our political institutions are in danger, which such a course would dispel."
January 12, 1848. In the Senate of the United States,