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other States, this is a very unimportant object to her, compared with keeping the Constitution in violate—with keeping the hands of Congress from touching the question of slavery. On the subject of the Constitution, no compromise ought ever to be made. Neither can any be made on the national faith, so seriously involved in the treaty which gives to all Louisiana, to every part of it, a right to be incorpo. rated into the Union on equal terms with the other States.
Surely, sir, when we consider the public distress of this country, and the necessity of union and good humor to repair our finances, and place our commerce in that improved situation which will give us some hope of the rise of our products, such as may have a tendency to relieve our public and private embarrassments, if we had no other motives for it, certainly this should be sufficient. But, sir, there is one of infinitely higher moment. Do we recollect, that we are the only free republic now in existence, and that, probably, such existence can only depend upon our distance from Europe, and our union with our present numbers ? It may safely be calculated we have two millions of men, the greatest part of whom are able to bear arms.
In case of our continuing a united people, no attack from Europe, a distance of four thousand miles, could ever be made with the least hope of success. From the distance, all Europe could not furnish either the men or the means sufficient to divide or destroy this Union. If we continue united, as we have been, in such an event, the States would so second the general government, and so nerve its arm, as to put all attack at defiance. But, if on this, or any other occasion, this Union should unhappily divide, and from friends become bitter and implacable enemies to each other, who shall say what Europe may attempt ? Mark what they have done among themselves, to subjugate France, and destroy, in that part of the world, everything that has the semblance of republicanism. View the league they have formed, in wbich, for the first time, all Europe is seen united as a single gove ernment, to maintain their monarchical forms. Such is, no doubt, their detestation of everything like republicanism, that, were the United States in Europe, where they could be reached by land, I have not the smallest doubt, they would long since have been attacked, and every attempt made to reduce them to a monarchy. We are considered, sir, as an evil example to the monarchical world. We are considered as the only repository of those principles which have lately appeared and flourished for a time in Europe, and which it has cost them so much blood and treasure to suppress; and should our divisions, from friends to enemies, ever afford them an opportunity of striking at us, with the least probability of success, no doubt they will do so.
I will not trespass further on your patience, but thank the committee for the honor they have done me by their attention. I hope the great importance of the subject will be my excuse; and that, considering the relation in which I have stood to the Western country and the Mississippi, for the salvation of whicb, so far as means the keeping it annexed to this Union, as I have already said, I think I may claim to a gentleman, now high in office, and myself, as much as any other two can claim, the happiness of being the instruments, and having thus, in the early part of my life, labored with success for the parent, I cannot but think it a little extraordinary that I should, at this distant period, be called upon to defend the right of her children. My fervent wish is, that I may be able to do it with the same
Extract from the speech of Mr. Whitman, of Massachusetts, on the Missouri bill, which may be found in the sixteenth volume of Niles's Register. It was delivered upon the occasion of a motion to apply the slavery restriction in the Arkansas territorial bill:
"We should consider that we have, by our common and joint funds, acquired a large tract of vacant territory west of the Mississippi : that it is valuable to our country, as furnishing a fertile region for the citizens of our country to resort to for the purpose of bettering their condition, acquiring property, and providing for their children. The two great sections of the Union—to wit, the slaveholding and non-slaveholding sections—have an equal right to its enjoyment. By permitting slavery in every part of it, the non-slaveholding portion will be deprived of it; if not entirely, certainly in a very great degree. On the other hand, if the people of the South cannot carry their slaves with them when they emigrate, the benefit will be equally lost to them."
Extract from the speech of Mr. Shaw, of Massachusetts, on the Missouri bill, in 1820.
"The opinion of mutual interest, is the chain which binds these States together. Change this opinion, for one, that a section of this country is hostile to the interest of another, and distrust and jealousy ensue : make that hostility palpable, and the Union would not last a day. The slaveholding States, like the non-slaveholding States, are alive to all questions that touch their property : and, however humiliating it may be to speak of human beings as property, the Constitution and laws of our country consider the slaves of the South as such. Any question calculated to affect the value, or the right to this species of population, could not but be regarded by our countrymen of the south with the utmost jealousy. The country west of the Mississippi was purchased with the joint funds of the nation; all, therefore, had a joint interest in it. But the amendment proposed, by excluding slaves, absolutely excluded the population of all the southern and a part of the western States from that fertile domain. This fur. nished another ground of distrust : besides, it exhibited a spirit of monopoly altogether incompatible with that harmony and good will so essential in preserving the Union of the States; it created a distinction between slaveholding and non-slavebolding States—a distinction that loses none of its mischievous quality from the ability to trace it on the map of our country. Who that regards the onion of the States, can contemplate the feelings which the agitation of this question excited, without emotion ? And who, in reflecting upon it, is not strongly reminded of the admonition of the Father of his Country, to 'frown with indignation upon the first dawnings of an attempt to array one portion of the inhabitants of this country against another'?
"And, after all, what has this question to do with the principle of slavery? Our ancestors brought this unfortunate race of beings into our country; they have multiplied to an alarming extent; they are the property of our fellow citizens, secured to them by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Their number forbids the idea of general emancipation. What, then, does policy require in relation to them ? That we should prevent the increase by importation, by the most rigid execution of the severest penalties. This we are attempting; and I had the pleasure of voting for a law at the late session, inflicting the penalty of death on any one convicted of importing a slave into the United States. What does humanity demand ? That we should confine them forever within the present limits of the slaveholding States, or suffer the master to emigrate with his slaves into western America, where, from the extent, the fertility and productions of the country, they must be more tenderly treated, better fed, and in all respects their condition ameliorated."
Extract from the speech of Mr. Holmes, of Massachusetts, on the Missouri bill-the same gentleman to whom Jefferson addressed his celebrated letter on the Missouri question :
“But this division, (upon the question of slave territory,) he says, is singularly unfortunate. It is the only subject in which the slaveholding States could be made to unite against the rest. Are the general interests of Delaware more united with those of Georgia than Pennsylvania ? A re the interests of Ohio more coincident with Massachusetts than Kentucky ? Sir, the hopes and prospects of the north and east are interwoven with the prosperity of the south and west; and yet we have armed ourselves against them all. It is not with them a question of policy, of political power, but of SAFETY, PEACE, EXISTENCE. They consider it is hastening and provoking scenes of insurrection and massacre. Their jealousy and their sensibility are roused; and they demand what motive, what inducement, you have to this? They are answered, Humanity ! In the name of humanity, desist. She asks no such sacrifices at her altar. Create jealousies, heartburnings, and hatred -set brother against brother-kindle the flames of civil discord-destroy the Union--and your liberties are gone. And then where will your slaves find the freedom which you have proffered them at the expense of your own ?”
"New States may be admitted, and no difference is authorized The authority is to admit or not, but not to prescribe conditions. What would be a fair construction of this ? Surely not that Congress might hold a territory in a colonial condition as long as they choose, nor that they might admit a new State with less political rights than another, but that the admission should be as soon as the people needed, and were capable of supporting a State government."—National Intelligencer, Feb. 19, 1820.
Mr. J. Barbour, at that time a Senator in Congress from the State of Virginia, said :